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Chapter XI.—In what manner Valens fell into heresy.

I will now pursue the course of my narrative, and will describe the beginning of the tempest which stirred up many and great billows to buffet the Church. Valens, when he first received the imperial dignity, was distinguished by his fidelity to apostolic doctrine. But when the Goths had crossed the Danube and were ravaging Thrace, he determined to assemble an army and march against them; and accordingly resolved not to take the field without the garb of divine grace, but first to protect himself with the panoply of Holy Baptism.709709    Valens was baptized in 368. In forming this resolution he acted at once well and wisely, but his subsequent conduct betrays very great feebleness of character, resulting in the abandonment of the truth. His fate was the same as that of our first father, Adam; for he too, won over by the arguments of his wife, lost his free estate and became not merely a captive but an obedient listener to woman’s wily words. His wife710710    Albia Dominica. had already been entrapped in the Arian snare, and now she caught her husband, and persuaded him to fall along with her into the pit of blasphemy. Their leader and initiator was Eudoxius, who still held the tiller of Constantinople, with the result that the ship was not steered onwards but sunk711711    The use of the word baptized for submerged is significant. Polyb. 1: 51. 6 uses it of sinking a ship. It first appears with the technical sense of baptized in the Evangelists. to the bottom.


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