Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Macedonius, after his Rejection from his See, blasphemes against the Holy Spirit; Propagation of his Heresy through the Instrumentality of Marathonius and Others.Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Chapter XXVII.—Macedonius, after his Rejection from his See, blasphemes against the Holy Spirit; Propagation of his Heresy through the Instrumentality of Marathonius and Others.
The spirit of innovation is self-laudatory, 1351 and hence it advanced further and further, and crept along to greater novelties with increasing self-conceit, and in scorn of the fathers it enacted laws of its own, nor does it honor the doctrines of the ancients concerning God, but is always thinking out strange dogmas and restlessly adds novelty to novelty as the events now show. For after Macedonius had been deposed from the church of Constantinople, he renounced the tenets of Acacius and Eudoxius. 1352 He began to teach that the Son is God, and that He is in all respects and in substance like unto the Father. But he affirmed that the Holy Ghost is not a participant of the same dignities, and designated Him a minister and a servant, and applied to Him whatever could, without error, be said of the holy angels. This doctrine was embraced by Eleusius, Eustathius, and by all the other bishops who had been deposed at Constantinople, by the partisans of the opposite heresy. Their example was quickly followed by no small part of the people of Constantinople, Bithynia, Thrace, the Hellespont, and of the neighboring provinces. For their mode of life had no little influence, and to this do the people give special attention. They assumed great gravity of demeanor, and their discipline was like that of the monks; their conversation was plain and of a style fitted to persuade. It is said that all these qualifications were united in Marathonius. He originally held a public appointment in the army, under the command of the prefect. After amassing some money in this employment, he quit military science, and undertook the superintendence of the establishments for the relief of the sick and the destitute. Afterwards, at the suggestion of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, he embraced an ascetic mode of life, and founded a monastical institution in Constantinople which exists to the present day. He brought so much zeal, and so much of his own wealth to the support of the aforesaid heresy, that the Macedonians were by many termed Marathonians, and it seems to me not without reason; for it appears that he alone, together with his institutions, was the cause that it was not altogether extinguished in Constantinople. In fact, after the deposition of Macedonius, the Macedonians possessed neither churches nor bishops until the reign of Arcadius. 1353
The Arians, who drove out of the churches and rigorously persecuted all who held different p. 323 sentiments from themselves, deprived them of all these privileges. It would be no easy task to enumerate the names of the priests who were at this period ejected from their own cities; for I believe that no province of the empire was exempted from such a calamity.
Soc. ii. 45; Ruf. H. E. ii. 25; Theodoret, H. E. ii. 6. Soz. independent.322:1352
Cf. Philost. iv. 9.322:1353
After a.d. 395. Yet according to vii. 2, the Macedonians took advantage of the Gratian law and repossessed the churches from which Valens had ejected them.
Next: The Arians, under the Impression that the divine Meletius upheld their Sentiments, translate him from Sebaste to Antioch. On his Bold Confession of the Orthodox Doctrines, they were confounded, and after they had deposed him they placed Euzoïus in the See. Meletius formed his own Church: but those who held to Consubstantiality turned away from him because he had been ordained by Arians.
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