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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

IN this manner the emperor, like a powerful herald of God, addressed himself by his own letter to all the provinces, at the same time warning his subjects against the superstitious errors of idolatry, and encouraging them in the pursuit of true godliness. But in the midst of his joyful anticipations of the success of this measure, he received tidings of a most serious disturbance which had invaded the peace of the Church. This intelligence he heard with deep concern, and at once endeavoured to devise a remedy for the evil. The origin of this disturbance may be thus described. The people of God were in a truly flourishing state, and abounding in the practice of good works. No terror from without assailed them, but a bright and most profound peace, through the favour of God, encompassed His Church on every side. Meantime, however, the spirit of envy was watching to destroy our blessings, which at first crept in unperceived, but soon revelled without restraint in the midst of the assemblies of the saints. At length the same spirit reached the bishops themselves, and arrayed them in angry hostility against each other, on pretence of a jealous regard for the doctrines of Divine truth. Hence it was that a mighty fire was kindled as it were from a little spark, and which, originating in the first instance in the Alexandrian church, overspread the whole of Egypt and Libya, and the further Thebaid. Eventually it extended its ravages to the other provinces and cities of the empire; so that not only the prelates of the churches might be seen encountering each other in the strife of words, but the people themselves were completely divided, and embraced the tenets of opposing parties. Nay, so notorious did the scandal of these proceedings become, that the venerable mysteries of Divine revelation were exposed to the foulest insult and derision in the very theatres of the unbelievers.



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





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