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97 Revealed by the Apostle St. John * -
The Ebionites and Docetes * &
Mysterious Nature of the Trinity -
Zeal of the Christians - * -
Authority of the Church •- - -
HE unfortunate Licinius was the last rival who opposed the greatness, and the last captive who adorned the triumph, of Constantine. After a tranquil and prosperous reign, the Conqueror bequeathed to his family the inheritance of the Roman empire ; a new capital, a new policy, and a new religion; and the innovations which he established have been embraced and consecrated by succeeding generations.
a new ca
pital. A.D. 324.
riety, unless he diligently separates from each other the scenes which are connected only by the order of time. He will describe the political institutions that gave strength and stability to the
empire, before he proceeds to relate the wars and revolutions which hastened its decline. He will adopt the division unknown to the ancients, of civil and ecclesiastical affairs; the vićtory of the Christians, and their intestine discord, will supply copious and distinct materials both for edifi
cation and for scandal.
After the defeat and abdication of Licinius, his vićtorious rival proceeded to lay the foundations of a city, destined to reign, in future times, the mistress of the East, and to survive the empire and religion of Constantine. The motives, whether of pride or of policy, which first induced T)iocletian to withdraw himself from the ancient seat of government, had acquired additional weight by the example of his successors, and the habits of forty years. Rome was insensibly confounded with the dependent kingdoms which had once acknowledged her supremacy; and the country of the Caesars was viewed with cold indifference by a martial prince, born in the neighbourhood of the Danube, educated in the courts and armies of Afia, and invested with the purple by the legions of Britain. The Italians, who had received Constantine as their deliverer, submis. sively obeyed the edićts which he sometimes condescended to address to the senate and people of Rome; but they were seldom honoured with the presence of their new sovereign. During the vigour
gour of his age, Constantine, according to the va- c H A P.
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