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CENTURY VI.

CH A P. I.

THE LIFE OF FULGENTIUS, AND THE STATE OF

THE AFRICAN CHURCHES IN HIS TIME.

Nthe year 496, a storm began again to lower over A.D.

the African Churches. Thrasamond, whose 496. reign then commenced, as obftinate in Arianism as Huneric, but more fagacious and less bloody, mingled the arts of gentleness and severity against them. On the one hand he strove to gain over the orthodox by lucrative motives, on the other he forbad the ordination of bishops in the vacant Churches *. But Eugenius, whose faithfulness had been fo feverely tried in the former persecution, was called to sleep in Jesus before the commencement of this. The African bishops shewed however that divine grace had not forsaken them. They determined unanimously not to obey an order, which threatened the extinction of orthodoxy. They ordained bishops, and filled the vacant Sees, though they foresaw the probability of Thrafamond's resentment thought it their duty to take care of their flocks at this hazard, rather than to seem to consent to the king's unrighteous prohibitions. Thrasamond enTaged, determined to banish them all. Fulgentius was just at that time chosen bishop of Ruspæ. In him we behold another instance of the effects of the religion revived under Augustine. Fulgentius's

life • See Fleury, B. XXX, Vol. fi. Vol. IJI.

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