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ous, amounting to 431, were the best history of the church-tranfactions of his times. His Canons in his Letter to Amphilochius fhew the practice of the Church of Cappadocia in thofe times, his Commentaries on almost all the Scripture are loft, but the few which remain, as well as his polemic writings against Eunomius and other Heretics, are pregnant proofs of his knowledge in the Scripture.
2. S. Ephrem within a month followed S. Bafil. His fafts, tears, converfion of finners, enlightened difcourfes, triumphs of virginity, his depths of humility and his heights of charity, which require too much space to be inferted here, made him much regretted by his flock. His laft act, which took him up the laft year of his life, was a preparation for the finishing his career, and adding another crown to his other perfections. He had now a long time poffeffed his foul in the quiet of folitude; but the dire famine that afflicted the city of Edeffa made him come abroad, that fince his poverty could not affift their wants, he might by his difcourfes raife compaffion in the breafts of the wealthy, and foften the merciless into pity. His charity had the fuccefs he defired, no one had the heart to deny him, but only pretended they could find no faithful body that could and would undertake the office of dealing out the alms to the people; and indeed confidering the banishment of S. Barfas and 80 more (which were the holiest part of the clergy) by Valens, they could not cafily meet with a perfon qualified for that employ. S. Ephrem was glad the difficulty pinched there,
there, and to cut off all fuch pretences offered his own fervice, which being joyfully accepted of, he made 300 beds be placed in the public galleries, gave all the poor their daily allowances, attended the fick, buried the dead, and by his pathetic discourses taught them those precepts which his actions infpired them to follow. Having spent the year of famine in this charitable manner, the feafon of plenty fucceeded; fo that our faint finding he was no longer wanted in the city retired to his cell, and after a short fit of fickness gave up his foul to his Creator. The whole town of Edella was a-while abandoned, to be present at their benefactor's death, and in their prefence he made a parting fpeech, which he called his teftament, in which he exprefly forbids his difciples to embalm his body, to bury him in the Church, or keep his cloaths as reliques; but, fays he, when I am dead, inftead of fpices and perfumes affift me with prayers, continually remembring me in them: and when I have finished the 30th day remember me. For in the oblations, the dead receive advantage by the memory of the living faints. He gave his bleffing to his difciples, and anathematifed the Meffalians, Apollinarifts and Vitalians, that is those who acknowledged Vitalis for Bp. of Antioch. He exhorted a priest, one of his difciples, called Paulinus, not to give in too much to his imagination and curiofities, left he fhould become a Bardafanes. It happened as the faint prophefied; for this Paulinus neglecting the faint's dying words, from a perfon reputed as a doctor of the Church, particularly for B 3 his
his excellent faculty at extempore fermons, after S. Ephrem's death fell from the church, and writ many things contrary to faith. S. Ephrem had many other difciples, who closely preffed the fteps of fo excellent a mafter, amongst whom the most celebrated names in Sozomen are Abba, Abraham, Simeon, Maras and Zenobius. His works are printed in three volumes: the first contains above 50 difcourfes on feveral fubjects of devotion; the 2d has 50 exhortations to young monks, with other fermons, fentences, &c. the 3d has his proverbs, treatifes of a religious life, penance, &c. a prayer to the B. Virgin, hymns, above 20 panegyrics of the patriarchs, &c. his teftament, &c. Befides thefe, he is faid to have compofed above 100,000 verfes to the fame tune as Ammonius's, for the Syrians to fing in praife of God, to have made commentaries upon all the Scripture, and writ many books of controverfy.
3. S. Gregory of Niffa, who made a panegyric upon this faint, being much afflicted at his brother S. Bafil's death, and well acquainted with the approved virtue of his fifter Maerina, whom he had not feen these eight years, defigned to vifit her for their mutual confolation. Mean-time he was called to the Church of Antioch, where he, S. Gregory Nazianzen, Eufebius of Samofata, and Meletius of Antioch were destined to the infpection of feveral provinces. Before S. Gregory of Niffa entered upon this charge he went to vifit his fifter, and understanding the was ill of a very violent fever, entered into the monaftery, where he found her
lying on a board for her bed, having for her pillow a piece of wood, and a hair-cloth for her coverlet. This bed was turned towards the Eaft for the conveniency of prayer; their dif courfe run upon their brother Bafil's death, which renewed Gregory's grief, and occafioned an excellent confolatory difcourfe of Macrina's upon providence, the nature of the foul, and the life to come, out of which Gregory formed his treatife of the Soul and the Refurrection, which is ftill extant, but thought for a long time to have been corrupted by the Origenists, as well as fome other of his writings. S. Macrina performed all the duties of a Chriftian foul going to be joined more nearly to its Creator, and having continued her prayers to the last gafp, made the fign of the crofs and expired with a deep figh. She was carried by Araxes Bp. of the place, S. Gregory and two clergymen, with the pfalms and ufual prayers to her tomb, which was in the Church of the 40 Martyrs, where her father and mother were interred, and the funeral proceffion went with that folemnity, that tho' it was but a mile to the Church, it took up almost all the day. On S. Macrina's neck there hung an iron crofs and an iron ring, which one of the nuns took off; S. Gregory told them they must divide this, that she should have the cross and he the ring: you have not chofen amifs, fays Veftiana, for the fignet is hollow and contains the wood of life. After this he returned to Nia, with a defign of beginning next fpring his journey into Arabia to execute the B 4
commiffion he had from the Antioch council of reforming the Churches of Arabia.
4. His friend S. Gregory Nazianzen was a little before this called to C. P. to relieve the diftreffed condition of that Church. It had now for forty years groaned under the yoak of Arianifm: that party had poffeffed themselves of the great Church of S. Sophia, turned that once fanctuary of Sion into a fortrefs of hell, which was guarded by rank impoftors, defenders of herefy, legions of impure fpirits, and by a company of furies; for fo the Arian women might be jufty ftiled, who animated with a false zeal were inflamed with a rage beyond their sex, and exceeded Jezabel in the impetuous tranfports of their paffion. The Eunomians, Macedonians, and Novatians had the leffer Churches, who tho' they were perfecuted by the Arians, and were a kind of mungril friends to the Catholics, yet upon occafions fided with the Arians to worry them. So that the Catholics in a small number remained in this city without a temple, and like sheep without a pastor were hunted up and down, and treated with blows, threats, affronts and banishment. They faw their goods confifcated, their holy places stained with the blood of faints, and polluted into fepulchres: their old men, their patriarchs, their leaders publicly maffacred, and the whole number of them encompaffed with the dangers of death. In this diftrefs the people of C. P. fpread forth their arms to Gregory for relief; the Bps. of that province, and his own, and among others the great S. Bafil, before his death, earnest