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Chrysestomus, Joannes, saint, Patrianen of

Constantinople, d. 407.

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The history and remains of St. Chrysostom are in one respect more interesting perhaps to the modern reader, than most of the monuments of those who are technically called the Fathers. At the time when he was raised up, and in those parts of the Christian world to which he was sent, the Patriarchates, namely, of Antioch and Constantinople, the Church was neither agitated by persecution from without, nor by any particular doctrinal controversy within, sufficient to attract his main attention, and connect his name with its history, as the name of St. Athanasius, e. g. is connected with the Arian, or that of St. Augustine with the Pelagian, controversy. The labours of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, and their friends and disciples, had come to a happy issue at the second Ecumenical Council; the civil power favoured orthodox doctrine, and upheld Episcopal authority. The Church seemed for the time free to try the force of her morals and discipline against the ordinary vices and errors of all ages and all nations. This is one reason why the Homilies of St. Chrysostom have always been considered as eminently likely among the relics of Antiquity, to be useful as models for preaching, and as containing hints for the application of Scripture to common life, and the consciences of persons around us.

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