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Chapter XLI.—Excellent Qualities of Proclus.

Proclus was a reader at a very early age, and assiduously frequenting the schools, became devoted to the study of rhetoric. On attaining 176manhood he was in the habit of constant intercourse with Atticus the bishop, having been constituted his secretary. When he had made great progress, his patron promoted him to the rank of deacon; subsequently being elevated to the presbyterate, as we have before stated, he was ordained by Sisinnius to be bishop of Cyzicus.10291029    See above, chap. 28. This was about the year 427 a.d. But all these things were done long before. At this time he was allotted the episcopal chair of Constantinople. He was a man of moral excellence equal to any other; for having been trained by Atticus, he was a zealous imitator of all that bishop’s virtues. Patience, however, he exercised to a greater degree than his master, who occasionally practiced severities upon the heretics; for Proclus was gentle towards everybody, being convinced that kindness is far more effective than violence in advancing the cause of truth. Resolving therefore to vexatiously interfere with no heresy whatever, he restored in his own person to the church that mild and benign dignity of character, which had so often before been unhappily violated. In this respect he followed the example of the Emperor Theodosius; for as the latter had determined never to exercise his imperial authority against criminals, so had Proclus likewise purposed not to disquiet those who entertained other sentiments on divine subjects than those which he cherished himself.


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