« Prev Gregory, the Theologian, receives from Theodosius… Next »

Chapter V.—Gregory, the Theologian, receives from Theodosius the Government of the Churches. Expulsion of Demophilus, and of all who deny that the Son is “Consubstantial” with the Father.

Soon after the enactment of this law, Theodosius went to Constantinople.15241524    Soc. v. 6; Philost. ix. 19; Theodoret, H. E. v. 8; Marcellinus Comes, Chronicon, s. a.d. 380. The Arians, under the guidance of Demophilus, still retained possession of the churches. Gregory of Nazianzen presided over those who maintain the “consubstantiality” of the Holy Trinity, and 379assembled them together in a little dwelling, which had been altered into the form of a house of prayer, by those who held the same opinions and had a like form of worship. It subsequently became one of the most conspicuous in the city, and is so now, not only for the beauty and number of its structures, but also for the advantages accruing to it from the visible manifestations of God. For the power of God was there manifested, and was helpful both in waking visions and in dreams, often for the relief of many diseases and for those afflicted by some sudden transmutation in their affairs. The power was accredited to Mary, the Mother of God, the holy virgin, for she does manifest herself in this way. The name of Anastasia was given to this church, because, as I believe, the Nicene doctrines which were fallen into disuse in Constantinople, and, so to speak, buried by reason of the power of the heterodox, arose from the dead and were again quickened through the discourses of Gregory; or, as I have heard, some affirm with assurance that one day, when the people were met together for worship in this edifice, a pregnant woman fell from the highest gallery, and was found dead on the spot; but that, at the prayer of the whole congregation, she was restored to life, and she and the infant were saved. On account of the occurrence of this divine marvel, the place, as some assert, obtained its name.

The emperor sent to command Demophilus to conform to the doctrines of Nicæa, and to lead the people to embrace the same sentiments, or else to vacate the churches. Demophilus assembled the people, acquainted them with the imperial edict, and informed them that it was his intention to hold a church the next day without the walls of the city, in accordance, he said, with the Divine law, which commands us when we are persecuted in one city to “flee unto another.”15251525    Matt. x. 23. From that day he always held church without the city with Lucius, who was formerly the bishop of the Arians at Alexandria; and who, after having been expelled, as above related, from that city, fled to Constantinople and fixed his residence there. When Demophilus and his followers had quitted the church, the emperor entered therein and engaged in prayer; and from that period those who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity held possession of the houses of prayer. These events occurred in the fifth year of the consulate of Gratian, and in the first of that of Theodosius, and after the churches had been during forty years in the hands of the Arians.

« Prev Gregory, the Theologian, receives from Theodosius… Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection