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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

“THEY must, however, declare explicitly what amount of benefit they have thus derived, and from what sources, and intreat our pardon for this offence; in order that their past covetousness may in some measure be atoned for, and that the Supreme Being may accept this compensation as a token of contrition, and be pleased graciously to pardon the sin. But it is possible that those who have become masters of such property (if it be right or possible to allow them such a title), will assure us by way of apology for their conduct, that it was not in their power to abstain from this appropriation at a time when a spectacle of misery in all its forms every where met the view; when men were cruelly driven from their homes, slaughtered without mercy, thrust forth without remorse: when the proscription of innocent persons was a common thing; when the fury of persecution was insatiable, and property seized and openly exposed for sale. If any defend their conduct by such reasons as these, and still persist in their avaricious temper, they shall be made sensible that such a course will bring punishment on themselves, and the rather so, because this correction of evil is the very characteristic of our service to the Supreme God. So that it will henceforth be dangerous to retain what dire necessity may in time past have compelled men to take; especially because it is in any case incumbent on us to discourage covetous desires, both by persuasion, and by making examples of the guilty.



Image or Constantine is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. Attribution: I, Jean-Christophe Benoist





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