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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : 26. He acted according to the example of the Saints. Character of his accusers.

Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius

26. He acted according to the example of the Saints. Character of his accusers.

Being careful to avoid such an offence, and instructed by these examples, I so ordered my conduct; and I do not undervalue the favour and the help which have been shewn me of the Lord, howsoever these in their madness may gnash their teeth against us. For since the manner of our retreat was such as we have described, I do not think that any blame whatever can attach to it in the minds of those who are possessed of a sound judgment: seeing that according to holy Scripture, this pattern has been left us by the Saints for our instruction. But there is no atrocity, it would seem, which these men neglect to practise, nor will they leave anything undone which may shew their own wickedness and cruelty. And indeed their lives are only in accordance with their spirit and the follies of their doctrines; for there are no sins that one could charge them with, how heinous soever, that they do not commit without shame. Leontius for instance being censured for his intimacy with a certain young woman, named Eustolium, and prohibited from living with her, mutilated himself for her sake, in order that he might be able to associate with her freely. He did not however clear himself from suspicion, but rather on this account he was degraded from his rank as Presbyter. [Although the heretic Constantius by violence caused him to be named a Bishop .] Narcissus , besides being charged with many other transgressions, was degraded three times by different Councils; and now he is among them, most wicked man. And George , who was a Presbyter, was deposed for his wickedness, and although he had nominated himself a Bishop, he was nevertheless a second time deposed in the great Council of Sardica. And besides all this, his dissolute life was notorious, for he is condemned even by his own friends, as making the end of existence, and its happiness, to consist in the commission of the most disgraceful crimes.
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