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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter XI.--The Final Destruction of the Enemies of Religion.

Church History by Eusebius Pamphilius

Chapter XI.--The Final Destruction of the Enemies of Religion.

1. Thus when Maximinus, who alone had remained of the enemies of religion and had appeared the worst of them all, was put out of the way, the renovation of the churches from their foundations was begun by the grace of God the Ruler of all, and the word of Christ, shining unto the glory of the God of the universe, obtained greater freedom than before, while the impious enemies of religion were covered with extremest shame and dishonor.

2. For Maximinus himself, being first pronounced by the emperors a common enemy, was declared by public proclamations to be a most impious, execrable, and God-hating tyrant. And of the portraits which had been set up in every city in honor of him or of his children, some were thrown down from their places to the ground, and torn in pieces; while the faces of others were obliterated by daubing them with black paint. And the statues which had been erected to his honor were likewise overthrown and broken, and lay exposed to the laughter and sport of those who wished to insult and abuse them.

3. Then also all the honors of the other enemies of religion were taken away, and all those who sided with Maximinus were slain, especially those who had been honored by him with high offices in reward for their flattery, and had behaved insolently toward our doctrine.

4. Such an one was Peucetius, the dearest of his companions, who had been honored and rewarded by him above all, who had been consul a second and third time, and had been appointed by him chief minister; and Culcianus, who had likewise advanced through every grade of office, and was also celebrated for his numberless executions of Christians in Egypt; and besides these not a few others, by whose agency especially the tyranny of Maximinus had been confirmed and extended.

5. And Theotecnus also was summoned by justice which by no means overlooked his deeds against the Christians. For when the statue had been set up by him at Antioch, he appeared to be in the happiest state, and was already made a governor by Maximinus.

6. But Licinius, coming down to the city of Antioch, made a search for impostors, and tortured the prophets and priests of the newly erected statue, asking them for what reason they practiced their deception. They, under the stress of torture, were unable longer to conceal the matter, and declared that the whole deceptive mystery had been devised by the art of Theotecnus. Therefore, after meting out to all of them just judgment, he first put Theotecnus himself to death, and then his confederates in the imposture, with the severest possible tortures.

7. To all these were added also the children of Maximinus, whom he had already made sharers in the imperial dignity, by placing their names on tablets and statues. And the relatives of the tyrant, who before had been boastful and had in their pride oppressed all men, suffered the same punishments with those who have been already mentioned, as well as the extremest disgrace. For they had not received instruction, neither did they know and understand the exhortation given in the Holy Word:

8. |Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation; his spirit shall go forth and return to his earth; in that day all their thoughts perish.|

9. The impious ones having been thus removed, the government was preserved firm and undisputed for Constantine and Licinius, to whom it fittingly belonged. They, having first of all cleansed the world of hostility to the Divine Being, conscious of the benefits which he had conferred upon them, showed their love of virtue and of God, and their piety and gratitude to the Deity, by their ordinance in behalf of the Christians.

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