I'm the weirdo and loner remember" responded AJ before walking from the kitchen and returning to her bedroom. She knew she would have to pack her things ready for leaving, the letter specifically said she would be living on campus.
Her own dorm room although she would be in a block with others like her. She had also noticed the list of accepted special ones. In her personal opinion she thought it was a joke but that soon changed when she went to her grandmother and seen how proud she was. As well as seen the yearbook she held of her time there. Even speaking of her best friends who were a mix of several different ones. Like herself Grandmother Lee was also a witch, an exceptionally powerful one during her prime yet now she was little more than a shadow in terms of power and considered delusional to think the school actually existed although she had published a few books on her time there which were popular amongst the teenagers.
Elsewhere in an unknown area of the country, Vince McMahon was keeping a close watch on all of his students. He had been preparing for when his latest one arrived, along with some of the others he had been contacted about. He knew AJ came from a long line of witches, hence why he was so quick to accept her.
She was after all likely to be as powerful as her grandmother and possibly as imaginative too. Like with all the witches and wizards of the school he often wondered what special ability they had, he knew they could have anything from telepathy to shape shifting.
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She had often found those who didn't know what they were special until they had caused some sort of accident or made themselves known to the mortals. Her room is also ready for her arrival. Shall I inform the students in her dorm block? She always had a smile on her lips when around the school although she could also be serious when she needed to be.
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Vince soon turned to her from his position, turning away from the floor to ceiling window that looked over the vast amount of lands which came with the school. A chuckle escaping his lips when he seen some of the others like AJ going around the school grounds appearing and disappearing within a blink of an eye. Forums The Watty Awards. Go Premium. Now too the bright rays of the light of godliness gladdened the days of those who had heretofore been sitting in darkness and the shadow of death.
Past sorrows were no more remembered, for all united in celebrating the praises of the victorious prince, and avowed their recognition of his preserver as the only true God. Thus he whose character shone with all the virtues of piety , the emperor Victor, for he had himself adopted this name as a most fitting appellation to express the victory which God had granted him over all who hated or opposed him, assumed the dominion of the East, and thus singly governed the Roman empire, re-united, as in former times, under one head. Thus, as he was the first to proclaim to all the sole sovereignty of God , so he himself, as sole sovereign of the Roman world, extended his authority over the whole human race.
Every apprehension of those evils under the pressure of which all had suffered was now removed; men whose heads had drooped in sorrow now regarded each other with smiling countenances, and looks expressive of their inward joy. The former afflictions were forgotten, and all past impieties forgiven: while with the enjoyment of present happiness was mingled the expectation of continued blessings in the future.
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Moreover, the emperor's edicts, permeated with his humane spirit, were published among us also, as they had been among the inhabitants of the other division of the empire; and his laws , which breathed a spirit of piety toward God , gave promise of manifold blessings, since they secured many advantages to his provincial subjects in every nation, and at the same time prescribed measures suited to the exigencies of the churches of God.
For first of all they recalled those who, in consequence of their refusal to join in idol worship, had been driven to exile, or ejected from their homes by the governors of their respective provinces. In the next place, they relieved from their burdens those who for the same reason had been adjudged to serve in the civil courts, and ordained restitution to be made to any who had been deprived of property. They too, who in the time of trial had signalized themselves by fortitude of soul in the cause of God , and had therefore been condemned to the painful labor of the mines, or consigned to the solitude of islands, or compelled to toil in the public works, all received an immediate release from these burdens; while others, whose religious constancy had cost them the forfeiture of their military rank, were vindicated by the emperor's generosity from this dishonor: for he granted them the alternative either of resuming their rank, and enjoying their former privileges, or, in the event of their preferring a more settled life, of perpetual exemption from all service.
Lastly, all who had been compelled by way of disgrace and insult to serve in the employments of women , he likewise freed with the rest.
Such were the benefits secured by the emperor's written mandates to the persons of those who had thus suffered for the faith , and his laws made ample provision for their property also. With regard to those holy martyrs of God who had laid down their lives in the confession of His name, he directed that their estates should be enjoyed by their nearest kindred; and, in default of any of these, that the right of inheritance should be vested in the churches.
Farther, whatever property had been consigned to other parties from the treasury, whether in the way of sale or gift, together with that retained in the treasury itself, the generous mandate of the emperor directed should be restored to the original owners. Such benefits did his bounty, thus widely diffused, confer on the Church of God. But his munificence bestowed still further and more numerous favors on the heathen peoples and the other nations of his empire.
So that the inhabitants of our [Eastern] regions, who had heard of the privileges experienced in the opposite portion of the empire, and had blessed the fortunate recipients of them, and longed for the enjoyment of a similar lot for themselves, now with one consent proclaimed their own happiness , when they saw themselves in possession of all these blessings; and confessed that the appearance of such a monarch to the human race was indeed a marvelous event, and such as the world's history had never yet recorded.
Such were their sentiments. And now that, through the powerful aid of God his Saviour, all nations owned their subjection to the emperor's authority, he openly proclaimed to all the name of Him to whose bounty he owed all his blessings, and declared that He, and not himself, was the author of his past victories.
This declaration, written both in the Latin and Greek languages, he caused to be transmitted through every province of the empire. Now the excellence of his style of expression may be known from a perusal of his letters themselves which were two in number; one addressed to the churches of God ; the other to the heathen population in the several cities of the empire. The latter of these I think it well to insert here as connected with my present subject, in order on the one hand that a copy of this document may be recorded as matter of history, and thus preserved to posterity, and on the other that it may serve to confirm the truth of my present narrative.
It is taken from an authentic copy of the imperial statute in my own possession and the signature in the emperor's own handwriting attaches as it were the impress of truth to the statement I have made. Victor Constantinus, Maximus Augustus , to the inhabitants of the province of Palestine.
To all who entertain just and sound sentiments respecting the character of the Supreme Being, it has long been most clearly evident, and beyond the possibility of doubt , how vast a difference there has ever been between those who maintain a careful observance of the hallowed duties of the Christian religion , and those who treat this religion with hostility or contempt. But at this present time, we may see by still more manifest proofs , and still more decisive instances, both how unreasonable it were to question this truth , and how mighty is the power of the Supreme God: since it appears that they who faithfully observe His holy laws , and shrink from the transgression of His commandments, are rewarded with abundant blessings, and are endued with well-grounded hope as well as ample power for the accomplishment of their undertakings.
On the other hand, they who have cherished impious sentiments have experienced results corresponding to their evil choice.
For how is it to be expected that any blessing would be obtained by one who neither desired to acknowledge nor duly to worship that God who is the source of all blessing? Indeed, facts themselves are a confirmation of what I say. For certainly any one who will mentally retrace the course of events from the earliest period down to the present time, and will reflect on what has occurred in past ages, will find that all who have made justice and probity the basis of their conduct, have not only carried their undertakings to a successful issue, but have gathered, as it were, a store of sweet fruit as the produce of this pleasant root.
Again, whoever observes the career of those who have been bold in the practice of oppression or injustice ; who have either directed their senseless fury against God himself, or have conceived no kindly feelings towards their fellow-men, but have dared to afflict them with exile, disgrace, confiscation, massacre, or other miseries of the like kind, and all this without any sense of compunction, or wish to direct thoughts to a better course, will find that such men have received a recompense proportioned to their crimes.
And these are results which might naturally and reasonably be expected to ensue. For whoever have addressed themselves with integrity of purpose to any course of action, keeping the fear of God continually before their thoughts, and preserving an unwavering faith in him, without allowing present fears or dangers to outweigh their hope of future blessings — such persons , though for a season they may have experienced painful trials, have borne their afflictions lightly, being supported by the belief of greater rewards in store for them; and their character has acquired a brighter luster in proportion to the severity of their past sufferings.
With regard, on the other hand, to those who have either dishonorably slighted the principles of justice , or refused to acknowledge the Supreme God themselves, and yet have dared to subject others who have faithfully maintained his worship to the most cruel insults and punishments; who have failed equally to recognize their own wretchedness in oppressing others on such grounds, and the happiness and blessing of those who preserved their devotion to God even in the midst of such sufferings: with regard, I say, to such men, many a time have their armies been slaughtered, many a time have they been put to flight; and their warlike preparations have ended in total ruin and defeat.
From the causes I have described, grievous wars arose, and destructive devastations. Hence followed a scarcity of the common necessaries of life, and a crowd of consequent miseries: hence, too, the authors of these impieties have either met a disastrous death of extreme suffering, or have dragged out an ignominious existence , and confessed it to be worse than death itself, thus receiving as it were a measure of punishment proportioned to the heinousness of their crimes. For each experienced a degree of calamity according to the blind fury with which he had been led to combat, and as he thought, defeat the Divine will: so that they not only felt the pressure of the ills of this present life, but were tormented also by a most lively apprehension of punishment in the future world.
And now, with such a mass of impiety oppressing the human race , and the commonwealth in danger of being utterly destroyed, as if by the agency of some pestilential disease, and therefore needing powerful and effectual aid; what was the relief, and what the remedy which the Divinity devised for these evils? And by Divinity is meant the one who is alone and truly God , the possessor of almighty and eternal power: and surely it cannot be deemed arrogance in one who has received benefits from God , to acknowledge them in the loftiest terms of praise. I myself, then, was the instrument whose services He chose, and esteemed suited for the accomplishment of his will.
Accordingly, beginning at the remote Britannic ocean, and the regions where, according to the law of nature, the sun sinks beneath the horizon, through the aid of divine power I banished and utterly removed every form of evil which prevailed, in the hope that the human race , enlightened through my instrumentality, might be recalled to a due observance of the holy laws of God , and at the same time our most blessed faith might prosper under the guidance of his almighty hand.
I said, under the guidance of his hand; for I would desire never to be forgetful of the gratitude due to his grace. Believing, therefore, that this most excellent service had been confided to me as a special gift, I proceeded as far as the regions of the East, which, being under the pressure of severer calamities, seemed to demand still more effectual remedies at my hands.
At the same time I am most certainly persuaded that I myself owe my life, my every breath, in short, my very inmost and secret thoughts, entirely to the favor of the Supreme God. Now I am well aware that they who are sincere in the pursuit of the heavenly hope, and have fixed this hope in heaven itself as the peculiar and predominant principle of their lives, have no need to depend on human favor, but rather have enjoyed higher honors in proportion as they have separated themselves from the inferior and evil things of this earthly existence.
Nevertheless I deem it incumbent on me to remove at once and most completely from all such persons the hard necessities laid upon them for a season, and the unjust inflictions under which they have suffered, though free from any guilt or just liability. For it would be strange indeed, that the fortitude and constancy of soul displayed by such men should be fully apparent during the reign of those whose first object it was to persecute them on account of their devotion to God , and yet that the glory of their character should not be more bright and blessed, under the administration of a prince who is His servant.
Let all therefore who have exchanged their country for a foreign land, because they would not abandon that reverence and faith toward God to which they had devoted themselves with their whole hearts, and have in consequence at different times been subject to the cruel sentence of the courts; together with any who have been enrolled in the registers of the public courts though in time past exempt from such office; let these, I say, now render thanks to God the Liberator of all, in that they are restored to their hereditary property, and their wonted tranquility.
Let those also who have been despoiled of their goods, and have hitherto passed a wretched existence , mourning under the loss of all that they possessed, once more be restored to their former homes, their families , and estates, and receive with joy the bountiful kindness of God. Furthermore , it is our command that all those who have been detained in the islands against their will should receive the benefit of this present provision; in order that they who till now have been surrounded by rugged mountains and the encircling barrier of the ocean, being now set free from that gloomy and desolate solitude, may fulfill their fondest wish by revisiting their dearest friends.
Those, too, who have prolonged a miserable life in the midst of abject and wretched squalor, welcoming their restoration as an unlooked-for gain, and discarding henceforth all anxious thoughts, may pass their lives with us in freedom from all fear. For that any one could live in a state of fear under our government, when we boast and believe ourselves to be the servants of God , would surely be a thing most extraordinary even to hear of, and quite incredible; and our mission is to rectify the errors of the others.
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Again, with regard to those who have been condemned either to the grievous labor of the mines, or to service in the public works, let them enjoy the sweets of leisure in place of these long-continued toils, and henceforth lead a far easier life, and more accordant with the wishes of their hearts, exchanging the incessant hardships of their tasks for quiet relaxation.
And if any have forfeited the common privilege of liberty, or have unhappily suffered dishonor, let them hasten back every one to the country of his nativity, and resume with becoming joy their former positions in society, from which they have been as it were separated by long residence abroad. Once more, with respect to those who had previously been preferred to any military distinction, of which they were afterwards deprived, for the cruel and unjust reason that they chose rather to acknowledge their allegiance to God than to retain the rank they held; we leave them perfect liberty of choice, either to occupy their former stations, should they be content again to engage in military service, or after an honorable discharge, to live in undisturbed tranquillity.
For it is fair and consistent that men who have displayed such magnanimity and fortitude in meeting the perils to which they have been exposed, should be allowed the choice either of enjoying peaceful leisure, or resuming their former rank. Lastly, if any have wrongfully been deprived of the privileges of noble lineage, and subjected to a judicial sentence which has consigned them to the women's apartments and to the linen making, there to undergo a cruel and miserable labor, or reduced them to servitude for the benefit of the public treasury, without any exemption on the ground of superior birth; let such persons , resuming the honors they had previously enjoyed, and their proper dignities, henceforward exult in the blessings of liberty, and lead a glad life.
Let the free man, too, by some injustice and inhumanity, or even madness , made a slave, who has felt the sudden transition from liberty to bondage, and ofttimes bewailed his unwonted labors, return to his family once more a free man in virtue of this our ordinance, and seek those employments which befit a state of freedom; and let him dismiss from his remembrance those services which he found so oppressive, and which so ill became his condition. Nor must we omit to notice those estates of which individuals have been deprived on various pretenses.
For if any of those who have engaged with dauntless and resolute determination in the noble and divine conflict of martyrdom have also been stripped of their fortunes; or if the same has been the lot of the confessors, who have won for themselves the hope of eternal treasures; or if the loss of property has befallen those who were driven from their native land because they would not yield to the persecutors, and betray their faith ; lastly, if any who have escaped the sentence of death have yet been despoiled of their worldly goods; we ordain that the inheritances of all such persons be transferred to their nearest kindred.
And whereas the laws expressly assign this right to those most nearly related, it will be easy to ascertain to whom these inheritances severally belong. And it is evidently reasonable that the succession in these cases should belong to those who would have stood in the place of nearest affinity, had the deceased experienced a natural death.watch
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But should there be no surviving relation to succeed in due course to the property of those above-mentioned, I mean the martyrs , or confessors, or those who for some such cause have been banished from their native land; in such cases we ordain that the church locally nearest in each instance shall succeed to the inheritance. And surely it will be no wrong to the departed that that church should be their heir, for whose sake they have endured every extremity of suffering.
We think it necessary to add this also, that in case any of the above-mentioned persons have donated any part of their property in the way of free gift, possession of such property shall be assured, as is reasonable, to those who have thus received it. And that there may be no obscurity in this our ordinance, but every one may readily apprehend its requirements, let all men hereby know that if they are now maintaining themselves in possession of a piece of land, or a house, or garden, or anything else which had appertained to the before-mentioned persons , it will be good and advantageous for them to acknowledge the fact, and make restitution with the least possible delay.
On the other hand, although it should appear that some individuals have reaped abundant profits from this unjust possession, we do not consider that justice demands the restitution of such profits. They must, however, declare explicitly what amount of benefit they have thus derived, and from what sources, and entreat our pardon for this offense; in order that their past covetousness may in some measure be atoned for, and that the Supreme God may accept this compensation as a token of contrition, and be pleased graciously to pardon the sin.
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But it is possible that those who have become masters of such property if it be right or possible to allow them such a title will assure us by way of apology for their conduct, that it was not in their power to abstain from this appropriation at a time when a spectacle of misery in all its forms everywhere met the view; when men were cruelly driven from their homes, slaughtered without mercy, thrust forth without remorse: when the confiscation of the property of innocent persons was a common thing, and when persecutions and property seizures were unceasing. If any defend their conduct by such reasons as these, and still persist in their avaricious temper, they shall be made sensible that such a course will bring punishment on themselves, and all the more because this correction of evil is the very characteristic of our service to the Supreme God.