Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter XLV
Chapter XLV.—Statutes which forbade Sacrifice, and enjoined the Building of Churches.
Soon after this, two laws were promulgated about the same time; one of which was intended to restrain the idolatrous abominations which in time past had been practiced in every city and country; and it provided that no one should erect images, or practice divination and other false and foolish arts, or offer sacrifice in any way. 3192 The other statute commanded the heightening of the oratories, and the enlargement in length and breadth of the churches of God; as though it were expected that, now the madness of polytheism was wholly removed, pretty nearly all mankind would henceforth attach themselves to the service of God. His own personal piety induced the emperor to devise and write these instructions to the governors of the several provinces: and the law farther admonished them not to spare the expenditure of money, but to draw supplies from the imperial treasury itself. Similar instructions were written also to the bishops of the several churches; and the emperor was pleased to transmit the same to myself, being the first letter which he personally addressed to me.
[That is, private sacrifices: for it appears that the idolatrous temples were allowed to be open for public worship.—Bag.]
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