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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/143

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131
IN ARABIA.

Christian Arabs of Ghassan, persisted obstinately in his faith;[1] he opposed force to force, and the persecution of their bishops was the signal of revolt to the Arab tribes, who harassed the Syrian borders with their incursions.[2] The people of Hamyar and southern Arabia presented yearly petitions to the emperor for bishops to occupy their vacant sees, such as might be agreeable to the doctrines which they all professed, and who had not subscribed to the council of Chalcedon. But their ambassadors only returned with a refusal, and an earnest admonition that they should receive the bishop whom he had appointed for them, and who was then at Alexandria. But the Hamyarites chose rather to create bishops for themselves than submit to the arbitrary commands of those who, by the rules of the church, were alone capable of ordaining them. The assembled priests and clergy selected men out of their own order, constituted them bishops by the operation of cheirotony, or placing their hands on their heads,

  1. Asseman, tom. ii. pp. 326–331.
  2. The account of this invasion is given in Pococke, Spec. Hist. Arab. The cause of it is given by an Arabian writer in Asseman, tom. ii. p. 494. سبب الشقاق بين العرب والروم هة اضطهاد الملك يوسطينوس الابا القاتلين بالطبيعو الواحدة لان نصاري العرب يومتذ انما كانوا يعتقدون اعتقاد اليعقوبية لا غير٭ "The cause of the dissension between the Arabs and the Romans was that the emperor Justin (Justinian) persecuted the Monophysite fathers; for the Christian Arabs at that time professed solely the Jacobite faith."