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Chapter XXVII.—Of the piety of the emperor Arcadius and the ordination of John Chrysostom.

On the death at Constantinople of Nectarius, bishop of that see, Arcadius, who had succeeded to the Eastern empire, summoned John, the great luminary of the world. He had heard that he was numbered in the ranks of the presbyterate, and now issued orders to the assembled bishops to confer on him divine grace, and appoint him shepherd of that mighty city.907907    Nectarius died in Sept. 397, and John Chrysostom was appointed in Feb. 398. cf. Soc. vi. 2 and Soz. viii. 2.
   “The only difficulty lay with Chrysostom himself and the people of Antioch. The double danger of a decided ‘nolo episcopari’ on Chrysostom’s part, and of a public commotion when the Antiocheans heard of the intention of robbing them of their favourite preacher was overcome by stratagem. Asterius, the Comes Orientis, in accordance with instructions received from Eutropius, induced Chrysostom to accompany him to a martyr’s chapel outside the city walls. There he was apprehended by the officers of the government, and conveyed to Papae, the first post station on the road to Constantinople. His remonstrances were unheeded; his enquiries met with obstinate silence. Placed in a public chariot, and hurried on under a military escort from stage to stage, the 800 miles traversed with the utmost dispatch, the future bishop reached his imperial see a closely guarded prisoner. However unwelcome the dignity thrust on him was, Chrysostom, knowing that resistance was useless, felt it more dignified to submit without further struggle.”


   “Chrysostom was consecrated February 26th a.d. 398, in the presence of a vast multitude assembled not only to witness the ceremony but also to listen to the inaugural sermon of one of whose eloquence they had heard so much. This ‘sermo enthronisticus’ is lost.” Dict. Christ. Biog. s.v. “Chrysostom.”

This fact is alone sufficient to show the emperor’s care for divine things. At the same time the see of Antioch was held by Flavianus, and that of Laodicea by Elpidius, who had formerly been the comrade of the great Meletius, and had received the impress of his life and conversation more plainly than wax takes the impression of a seal ring.908908    Elpidius, possibly a kind of domestic chaplain (σύσκηνος) to Meletius, was afterwards a warm friend and advocate of Chrysostom. In 406 he was deposed and imprisoned for three years, and not restored till 414.

He succeeded the great Pelagius;909909    Vide note on p. 115. and the divine Marcellus910910    Marcellus was bishop of Apamea. was followed by the illustrious Agapetus911911    Succeeded his brother Marcellus in 398. cf. note on p. 128 and Relig. Hist. 3. whom I have already described as conspicuous for high ascetic virtue. In the time of the tempest of heresy, of Seleucia ad Taurum, Maximus,912912    Soc. vi. 3; Soz. viii, 2. the companion of the great John, was bishop, and of Mopsuestia Theodorus,913913    Vide p. 159. both illustrious teachers. Conspicuous, too, in wisdom and character was the holy Acacius,914914    Vide p. 128. bishop of Berœa.

Leontius,915915    Of Ancyra cf. Soz. vi, 18; and viii, 30. a shining example of many virtues, tended the flock of the Galatians.

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