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Page:Early Christianity in Arabia.djvu/44

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EARLY CHRISTIANITY

received permission to go wherever they wished. Availing themselves of her liberality, they were preparing to return to their native city of Tyre, when the queen earnestly requested them to stay, and undertake the guardianship of her infant son, and of the kingdom, until he should arrive at a proper age to assume the administration. They obeyed, and the first use Frumentius made of his power, was to cause strict search to be made for the few Christians who might live under his jurisdiction. Those whom he found he treated with great kindness; he built them a place of worship, and soon by his favour and encouragement increased the number of converts to the Christian faith. As soon as the young king was capable of ascending the throne, Frumentius and Ædesius returned to Tyre, where the latter was raised to the dignity of a presbyter. From Phœnicia Frumentius repaired to Alexandria, where he related his adventures to Athanasius, then lately elevated to the head of the church, representing to him that many people in Hamyar were well inclined towards the true faith, and begging that he would immediately send them a bishop and priests. The primate, having consulted the bishops who were then at Alexandria, judged that no one could be better fitted to govern the Christian church in Arabia than the person who had first introduced it there, and Frumentius returned as bishop to Hamyar, where he built many churches, and greatly conduced by the example of