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Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter XLV.--An Epistle of Dionysius to Novatus.

1. But let us see how the same man addressed Novatus when he was disturbing the Roman brotherhood. As he pretended that some of the brethren were the occasion of his apostasy and schism, as if he had been forced by them to proceed as he had, observe the manner in which he writes to him:

2. |Dionysius to his brother Novatus, greeting. If, as thou sayest, thou hast been led on unwillingly, thou wilt prove this if thou retirest willingly. For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. Nay, to me it seems greater. For in the one case a man suffers martyrdom for the sake of his own soul; in the other case in behalf of the entire Church. And now if thou canst persuade or induce the brethren to come to unanimity, thy righteousness will be greater than thine error, and this will not be counted, but that will be praised. But if thou canst not prevail with the disobedient, at least save thine own soul. I pray that thou mayst fare well, maintaining peace in the Lord.| This he wrote to Novatus.

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