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Chapter II.—Character and Conduct of Atticus Bishop of Constantinople.

When Theodosius the emperor was in the eighth year of his age, Atticus was in the third year of his presidency over the church at Constantinople, a man as we have by anticipation said906906    Cf. VI. 20. distinguished alike for his learning, piety, and discretion, wherefore it came about that the churches under his episcopate attained a very flourishing condition. For he not only united those of ‘the household of faith,’907907    Gal. vi. 10. but also by his prudence called forth the admiration of the heretics, whom indeed he by no means desired to harass; but if he sometimes was obliged to impress them with the fear of himself, he soon afterward showed himself mild and clement toward them. But indeed he did not neglect his studies; for he assiduously labored in perusing the writings of the ancients, and often spent whole nights in the task; and thus he could not be confused by the reasonings of the philosophers, and the fallacious subtleties of the sophists. Besides this he was affable and entertaining in conversation, and ever ready to sympathize with the afflicted: and in a word, to sum up his excellences in the apostle’s saying, ‘He was made all things to all men.’908908    1 Cor. ix. 22. Formerly while a presbyter, he had been accustomed, after composing his sermons, to commit them to memory, and then recite them in the church: but by diligent application he acquired confidence and made his instruction extemporaneous and eloquent. His discourses however were not such as to be received with much applause by his auditors, nor to deserve to be committed to writing. Let these particulars respecting his talents, erudition, and manners suffice. We must now proceed to relate such things as are worthy of record, that happened in his time.


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