Chapter XXI.—His Laws concerning Martyrs, and concerning Ecclesiastical Property.
Such were the benefits secured by the emperors 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.