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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

AND now, when the council was on the point of being finally dissolved, he summoned all the bishops to meet him on an appointed day, and on their arrival addressed them in a farewell speech, in which he recommended them to be diligent in the maintenance of peace, and the avoidance of contentious disputations, amongst themselves. He cautioned them also against a spirit of jealousy, should any one of their number appear pre-eminent for wisdom and eloquence, bidding them esteem the excellence of one a blessing common to all. On the other hand he reminded them that the more gifted should forbear to exalt themselves to the prejudice of their humbler brethren, since it is God’s prerogative to judge of real superiority. Rather should they considerately condescend to the weaker, remembering that absolute perfection in any case is a rare quality indeed. Each, then, should be willing to accord indulgence to the other for slight offences, to forgive and pass over mere human errors; holding mutual harmony in the highest honour, that no occasion of mockery might be given by their dissensions to those who are ever ready to blaspheme the word of God: for whose benefit indeed we should do all in our power, as for those who might be saved, were our state and conduct exhibited before them in an attractive light. Meantime they should be well aware of the fact, that the testimony given is by no means productive of blessing to all, since some who hear are glad to secure the supply of their mere bodily necessities, while others court the patronage of their superiors; some fix their affection on those who treat them with hospitable kindness, others again, being honoured with presents, love their benefactors in return; but few are they who really desire the word of testimony, and rare indeed is it to find a friend of truth. Hence the necessity of endeavouring to meet the case of all, and, physician-like, to administer to each that which may tend to the health of the soul, to the end that the saving doctrine may be fully honoured by all. Of this kind was the former part of his exhortation; and in conclusion he enjoined them to offer diligent supplications to God on his behalf. Having thus taken leave of them, he gave them all permission to return to their respective countries; and this they did with joy, and thenceforward that unity of judgment at which they had arrived in the emperor’s presence continued to prevail, and those who had long been divided were bound together as members of the same body.



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





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