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Canon VII.

But the freemen shall be tried by penance for three years, both for their dissimulation, and for having compelled their fellow-servants to offer sacrifice, inasmuch as they have not obeyed the apostle, who would have the masters do the same things unto the servant, forbearing threatening;22982298    Eph. vi. 9. knowing, says he, that our and their Master is in heaven; and that there is no respect of persons with Him.22992299    Rom. ii. 11. Now, if we all have one Master, with whom is no respect of persons, since Christ is all and in all, in barbarian, Scythian, bond or free,23002300    Col. iii. 11. they ought to consider what they have done, wishing to preserve their own lives. They have drawn their fellow-servants to idolatry who would have been able to escape, had they given to them that which is just and equal, as again says the apostle.

Balsamon. But upon the freemen, or the masters of the servant compelled to sacrifice, he enjoins a punishment of three years, both because they pretended to sacrifice, and seemed to assent to it; and also because they compelled their fellow-servants to offer sacrifice, and did not obey the apostle, who ordered them to forbear threatening their servants, inasmuch as they themselves, the masters, are the servants of God, and fellow-servants with their own domestics. And then they have made haste to preserve their own lives, and have driven their fellow-servants to idolatry who might have escaped.

Zonaras. But upon the freemen, that is, the masters of the servants who were compelled to sacrifice, he enjoins a penalty of three years, both because they pretended to sacrifice, and altogether appeared to succumb; and also because they compelled their fellow-servants to offer sacrifice, and did not obey the apostle’s injunction to forbear threatening their servants; since they also, the masters, are the servants of God, and the fellow-servants of their own domestics. And they indeed made haste to preserve their own lives, and drove their fellow-servants, who might have escaped, to idolatry.


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