Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Of Mavia, Queen of the Saracens, and the ordination of Moses the monk.
Chapter XX.—Of Mavia, 759 Queen of the Saracens, and the ordination 760 of Moses the monk.
At this time 761 the Ishmaelites were devastating the country in the neighbourhood of p. 126 the Roman frontier. They were led by Mavia, a princess who regarded not the sex which nature had given her, and displayed the spirit and courage of a man. After many engagements she made a truce, and, on receiving the light of divine knowledge, begged that to the dignity of high priest of her tribe might be advanced one, Moses by name, who dwelt on the confines of Egypt and Palestine. This request Valens granted, and ordered the holy man to be conveyed to Alexandria, and there, as the most convenient place in the neighbourhood, to receive episcopal grace. When he had arrived and saw Lucius endeavouring to lay hands on him—“God forbid” said he “that I should be ordained by thine hand: the grace of the Spirit visits us not at thy calling.” “Whence,” said Lucius, “are you led to conjecture this?” He rejoined “I am not speaking of conjecture but of clear knowledge; for thou fightest against the apostolic decrees, and speakest words against them, and for thy blasphemous utterances thy lawless deeds are a match. For what impious man has not on thy account mocked the meetings of the Church? What excellent man has not been exiled? What barbarous savagery is not thrown into the shade by thy daily deeds?” So the brave man said, and the murderer heard him and desired to slay him, but was afraid of kindling once again the war which had come to an end. Wherefore he ordered other bishops to be produced whom Moses had requested. After receiving the episcopal grace of the right worthy faith Moses returned to the people who had asked for him, and by his apostolic teaching and miracles led them in the way that leads to truth. 762
These then were the deeds done by Lucius in Alexandria under the dispensation of the providence of God.
cf. Soz. vi. 38, and Soc. iv. 36.125:760
The word used is χειροτονία, of which it is well to trace the varying usages. These are given by the late Rev. E. Hatch (Dict. Christ. Ant. ii. 1501) as follows. “This word is used (a) in the N.T. Acts xiv. 24, χειροτονήσαντες δὲ αὐτοῖς κατ᾽ ἐκκλησίαν πρεσβυτέρους: 2 Cor. viii. 19 (of Titus) χειροτονηθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν; (b) in sub-apostolic Greek, Ignat. ad Philad. c. 10; (c) in the Clementines, Clement. Ep. ad Jacob. c. 2; (d) in the Apostolical Constitution; (e) in the Canon Law; (f) in the Civil Law. Its meaning was originally “to elect,” but it came afterwards to mean even in classical Greek, simply “to appoint to office,” without itself indicating the particular mode of appointment (cf. Schömann de Comitüs, p. 122). That the latter was its ordinary meaning in Hellenistic Greek, and consequently in the first ages of church history, is clear from a large number of instances; e.g. in Josephus vi. 13, 9, it is used of the appointment of David as King by God; id. xiii, 22, of the appointment of Jonathan as High Priest by Alexander; in Philo ii, 76 it is used of the appointment of Joseph as governor by Pharaoh; in Lucian, de morte Peregrini c. 41 of the appointment of ambassadors. “In Sozomen vii, 24 of the appointment of Arcadius as Augustus by Theodosius.” “In later times a new connotation appears of which there is no early trace; it was used of the stretching out of the bishops hands in the rite of imposition of hands.” The writer of the above seems hardly to do justice to its early use for ordination as well as for appointment. In the Pseudo-Ig. ad. Her. c. iii, it is said of bishops ἐκεῖνοι χειροτονοῦσι, χειροθετοῦσι and Bp. Lightfoot comments “while χειροθεσία is used of laying on of hands, e.g. in confirmation, χειροτονία is said of ordination, e.g. Ap. Const. viii. 27. ἐπίσκοπος ὑπὸ τριῶν ἢ δύο ἐπισκόπων χειροτονεῖσθω. Referring originally to the election of the Clergy χειροτονία came afterwards to be applied commonly, as here, to their ordination.” Theodoretus uses the word in both senses, and sometimes either will fit in with the context.125:761
i.e. about 375.126:762
Sozomen (vi. 38) describes Lucius as remonstrating in moderate language. “Do not judge of me before you know what my creed is.” Socrates (iv. 36) makes Moses charge Lucius with condemning the orthodox to exile, beasts, and burning. On Socrates Valesius annotates “Hanc narrationem de episcopo Saracenis dato et de pace cum iisdem facta, desumpsit quidem Socrates, ex Rufini lib. ii. 6.” Lucius was ejected from Alexandria when the reign of Valens ended with his death in 378. Theodoretus appears to confound this Lucius with an Arian Lucius who usurped the see of Samosata. Vide chap. xviii.
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