2.8.1          But the amazing thing which was brought about during the synod by the all-conquering emperor does not deserve to be passed over in silence. For when all the bishops gathered together and, as is the custom, both matters for dispute and comparison were brought forth by some of the bishops in regards to the contentions which one had against another, and when the indictments[ were handed in by them and the accusations brought together before the godly emperor, he received the indictments and sealed them with his ring and ordered that they be kept safe.

2.8.2          And on observing the strife such bishops had among each other, he said that they all must gather together on one day to sort out these things. And when the appointed day arrived, the emperor sat down in the middle, and when there was silence fitting for the occasion, he commanded that the indictments of all be brought in. And then he received them and placed them in his own lap. Desiring not to look into what was brought in, he said,

2.8.3          “God chose you to be priests and rulers to judge and evaluate the multitudes and be gods inasmuch as he has appointed you as rulers over all people in accordance with what was said, “I said, ‘You are gods and you are all sons of the Most High,’” [Psalm 82:6, LXX 81:6] and “God stood in the assembly of gods.” [Psalm 82:1, LXX 81:1] Therefore, you must think little of common affairs but give all your attention to divine things.”

2.8.4          And after ordering that a fire be started, he commanded that the indictments be burned. For he was exercising special effort that no outsider would find out about the out-of-line attacks of such bishops. So great was the emperor’s reverence for the priests of God that all who think rightly should marvel at it.

2.8.5          And I also do not consider it right to relegate to silence the thing similar to this which was brought about by him. For quarrelsome and lambasting-loving laymen, indicted some of the bishops and handed over written charges to the emperor. And these things happened before the harmony was brought about.

2.8.6          He received these too and then placed a band around them and sealed them with his ring and ordered that these too be kept safe. Then, after bringing about the agreement of harmony, he commanded that they be brought back. And with all the bishops present, he burned these too, swearing that he had read none of the things written in them.

2.8.7          For he said that it was not necessary that the priests’ transgressions be made manifest to the masses, in order that the masses might not receive from this a scandalous excuse to sin without restraint. And they say that he also added this—that if he had been an eyewitness to a bishop undermining someone else’s marriage, he would conceal with the purple cloak the unlawful thing which had happened, in order that the sight of the things that were done would not hurt the observers.[ So great was the discernment of the God-loving and admirable emperor.

2.8.8          While he met together with the bishops for many days, not only so, but even for successive seasons, the emperor dealt with matters concerning the faith together with them and gathered their various opinions.[ For there were, as we have said many times, some among them who were in agreement with the heinous doctrines of Arius and who opposed the multitude of the holy bishops who were fighting for the truth. But our best and most-holy-in-every-way fathers—protected by the shield of the truth—preached the radiant and blameless faith with boldness. Among them were also a great number of confessors who stood in opposition to those who wanted to preserve the wretched doctrines of Arius.

Next Chapter – 2.9 The holy Paphnutius

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Created by NJ 6-5-19

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