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Chapter II.—Of the return of the bishops.

The emperor at once gave plain indications of his adherence to true religion, and offered the first fruits of his kingdom to the Lord of all, by publishing an edict commanding the exiled shepherds to return, and to be restored to their flocks, and ordering the sacred buildings to be delivered to congregations adopting communion with Damasus.810810    Cf. note on page 82.

This Damasus, the successor of Liberius in the see of Rome, was a man of most praiseworthy life and by his own choice alike in word and deed a champion of Apostolic doctrines. To put his edict in force Gratianus sent Sapor the general, a very famous character at that time, with orders to expel the preachers of the blasphemies of Arius like wild beasts from the sacred folds, and to effect the restoration of the excellent shepherds to God’s flocks.

In every instance this was effected without dispute except in Antioch, the Eastern capital, where a quarrel was kindled which I shall proceed to describe.


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