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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE emperor, on sending back Athanasius to Egypt, wrote in his favour to the bishops and presbyters of that country, and to the people of the church of Alexandria, commended the integrity and virtue of his conduct, and exhorted them to be of one mind, and to unite in prayer and service to God under his guidance. He added, that, if any evil-disposed persons should excite disturbances, they should receive the punishment awarded by the laws for such offences. He also commanded that the former decrees he had enacted against Athanasius, and those who were in communion with him, should be effaced from the public registers, and that his clergy should be admitted to the same privileges they had previously enjoyed; and edicts to this effect were despatched to the governors of Egypt and Libya.

Immediately on his arrival in Egypt, Athanasius displaced those priests who were attached to Arianism, and placed the government of the church in the hands of those who held his sentiments, and whom he specially exhorted to cleave to the Nicene doctrines. It was said at that time, that when he was travelling through other countries, he effected the same change in churches which were not under his administration when he found the Arians in power. He was certainly accused of having performed the ceremony of ordination in cities where he had no right to do so. But after he was recalled from exile in spite of the machinations of his enemies, and was honoured with the friendship of the Emperor Constantius, he was regarded with greater consideration than before. Many bishops, who had previously been at enmity with him, received him into communion, particularly those of Palestine. When he visited these latter, they received him kindly: they held a synod at Jerusalem, and Maximus and the others wrote the following letter in his favour.








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