LETTERS OF
THE BLESSED THEODORET
BISHOP OF CYRUS
LETTERS CLI TO CLXXXI

CLI. Letter or address of Theodoret to the monks of the Euphratensian, the Osrhoene, Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia.(3)

When I contemplate the condition of the Church at the present crisis of affairs,--the tempest which has recently beset the holy ship, the furious blasts, the beating of the waves, the deep darkness of the night, and, besides all this, the strife of the mariners, the struggle going on between oarsmen the drunkenness of the pilots, and, lastly, the untimely action of the bad.--I bethink me of the laments of Jeremiah anti cry with him, "my bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart, my heart maketh a noise in me,"(4) and to put away despondency's great cloud by the drops from my eyes, I have recourse to founts of tears. Amid a storm so wild it is fitting that the pilots be awake, to battle wills the tempest, and take heed for the safety of the ship: the sailors ought to cease from their strife, and strive to undo the danger alike by prayer and skill: the mariners ought to keep the peace, and quarrel neither with one another nor with the pilots, but implore the Lord of the sea to banish the darkness by His rod. No one now is willing to do anything of the kind; and, just as happens in a night-engagement, we cannot recognise one another, we leave our enemies alone, and waste our weapons against our own side; we wound our comrades for foes, while all the while the bystanders laugh at our drunken folly, enjoy our disasters, and are delighted to see us engaged in mutual destruction. The responsibility for all this lies with those who have striven to corrupt the apostolic faith, and have dared to add a monstrous doctrine to the teaching of the Gospels; with them that have accepted the impious "Chapters" which they have sent forth with anathematisms to the imperial city, and have confirmed them, as they have imagined, by their own signatures. But these "Chapters" have sprouted without doubt from the sour root of Apollinarius; they are tainted with Arian and Eunomian error; look into them carefully, and you will find that they are not clear of the impiety of Manes and Valentinus.(1)

In his very first chapter he rejects the dispensation(2) which has been made on our behalf, teaching that God the Word did not assume human nature, but was Himself changed into flesh, thus laying down that the incarnation took place not in reality but in semblance and seeming. This is the outcome of the impiety of Marcion, Manes, and Valentinus.

In his second and third chapters, as though quite oblivious of what he had stated in his preface, he brings in the hypostatic union, and a meeting by natural union, and by these terms he represents that a kind of mixture and confusion was effected of the divine nature and of the form of the servant. This comes of the innovation of the Apollinarian heresy.

In his fourth chapter he denies the distinction of the terms of evangelists and apostles, and refuses to allow, as the teaching of the orthodox Father's has allowed, the terms of divine dignity to be understood of the divine nature, while the terms of humility, spoken in human sense, are applied to the nature assumed; whence the rightminded can easily detect the kinship with impiety. For Arius and Eunomius, asserting the only begotten Son of God to be a creature, and made out of the non-existent, and a servant, have ventured to apply to His godhead what is said in lowly and human sense; establishing by such means the difference of substance and the unlikeness. Besides this, to be brief, he argues that the very impassible and immutable Godhead of the Christ suffered, and was crucified, dead, and buried. This goes beyond even the madness of Arius and Eunomius, for this pitch of impiety has not been reached even by them that dare to call the maker and creator of the universe a creature. Furthermore he blasphemes against the Holy Ghost, denying that It proceeds from the Father, in accordance with the word of the Lord, but maintaining that It has Its origin of the Son. Here we have the fruit of the Apollinarian seed; here we come near the evil husbandry of Macedonius. Such are the offspring of the Egyptian, viler children of a vile father. This growth, which men, entrusted with the healing of souls, ought to make abortive while yet in the womb, or destroy as soon as it is born, as dangerous and deadly to mankind, is cherished by these excellent persons, and promoted with great energy, alike to their own ruin and to that of all who will listen to them. We, on the contrary, earnestly desire to keep our heritage untouched; and the faith which we have received, and in which we have been ourselves baptized, and baptize others, we strive to preserve uninjured and undefiled. We confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and body, was begotten of the Father before the ages, as touching the Godhead; and in the last days for us men and our salvation (was born) of the Virgin Mary; that the same Lord is of one substance with the Father as touching the Godhead, and of one substance with us as touching the manhood. For there was an union of two natures. Wherefore we acknowledge one Christ, one Son, one Lord; but we do not destroy the union; we believe it to have been made without confusion, in obedience to the word of the Lord to the Jews, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."(1) If on the contrary there had been mixture and confusion, and one nature was made out of both, He ought to have said "Destroy me and in three days I shall be raised." But now, to show that there is a distinction between God according to His nature, and the temple, and that both are one Christ, His words are "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up," clearly teaching that it was not God who was undergoing destruction, but the temple. The nature of this latter was susceptible of destructions while the power of the former raised what was being destroyed. Furthermore it is in obedience to the divine Scriptures that we acknowledge the Christ to be God and man. That our Lord Jesus Christ is God is asserted by the blessed evangelist John "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was. God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made."(1) And again, "That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."(2) And the Lord Himself distinctly teaches us, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.''(3) And "I and my Father are one''(4) and "I am in the Father and the Father in me,''(5) and the blessed Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews says "Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power"(6) and in the epistle to the Philippians "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant."(7) And in the Epistle to the Romans, "Whose are the fathers and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is over all God blessed for ever. Amen."(8) And in the epistle to Titus "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."(9) And Isaiah exclaims "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called, Angel of great counsel, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, powerful, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the Age to come."(10) And again "In chains they shall come over and they shall fall unto thee. They shall make supplication unto thee shying, surely God is in thee anti there is none else, there is no God. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour."(11) The name Emmanuel, however, indicates both God and man, for it is interpreted in the Gospel to mean "God with us,"(12) that is to say "God in man," God in our nature. And the divine Jeremiah too utters the prediction "This is our God and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison with him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge and hath given it unto Jacob His servant and to Israel His beloved and afterward did He show Himself upon earth and conversed with men."(1) And countless other passages might be found as well in the holy gospels and in the writings of the apostles as in the predictions of the prophets, setting forth that our Lord Jesus Christ is very God.

That after the Incarnation He is spoken of as Man our Lord Himself teaches in His words to the Jews "Why go ye about to kill me?" "A man that hath told you the truth."(2) And in the first Epistle to the Corinthians the blessed Paul writes "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead,"(3) and to show of whom he is speaking he explains his words and says, "For as in Adam all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive."(4) And writing to Timothy he says, "For there is l one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."(5) In the Acts in his speech at Athens "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that than whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead."(6) And the blessed Peter preaching to the Jews says, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by Him in the midst of you,"(7) and the prophet Isaiah when predicting the sufferings of the Lord Christ, whom but just before he had called God, calls man in the passage "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." "Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows."(8) I might have collected other consentient passages of holy Scripture and inserted them in my letter had I not known yon to be practised in the divine oracles as befits the man called blessed in the Psalms.(9) I now leave the collection of evidence to your own diligence and proceed with my subject.

We confess then that our Lord Jesus Christ is very God and very man. We do not divide the one Christ into two persons, but we believe two natures to be united without confusion. We shall thus be able without difficulty to refute even the manifold blasphemy of the heretics: for many and various are the errors of those who have rebelled against the truth, as we shall proceed to point out. Marcion and Manes deny that God the Word assumed human nature and do not believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin. They say that God the Word Himself was fashioned in human form and appeared as man rather in semblance than in reality.

Valentinus and Bardesanes admit the birth, but they deny the assumption of our nature and affirm that the Son of God employed the Virgin as it were as a mere conduit.

Sabellius the Libyan, Photinus, Marcellus the Galatian, and Paul of Samosata say that a mere man was born of the Virgin, but openly deny that the eternal Christ was God.

Arius and Eunomius maintain that God the Word assumed only a body of the Virgin.

Apollinarius adds to the body an unreasonable soul, as though the incarnation of God the Word had taken place not for the sake of reasonable beings but of unreasonable, while the teaching of the Apostles is that perfect man was assumed by perfect God, as is proved by the words "Who being in the form of God took the form of a servant;"(1) for "form" is put instead of "nature" and "substance" and indicates that having the nature of God He took the nature of a servant.

When therefore we are disputing with Marcion, Manes and Valentinus, the earliest inventors of impiety, we endeavour to prove from the divine Scriptures that the Lord Christ is not only God but also man.

When, however, we are proving to the ignorant that the doctrine of Arius, Eunomius and Apollinarius about the oeconomy is incomplete, we show from the divine oracles of the Spirit that the assumed nature was perfect.

The impiety of Sabellius, Photinus, Marcellus, and Paulus, we refute by proving by the evidence of divine Scripture that the Lord Christ was not only man but also eternal God, of one substance with the Father. That He assumed a reasonable soul is stated by our Lord Himself in the words "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour."(2) And again "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death."(3) And in another place "I have power to lay down my soul (life A. V.) and I have power to take it again. No man taketh it from me."(1) And the angel said to Joseph, "Take the young child and His mother and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young child's soul (life A. V.)"(2) And the Evangelist says "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man." Now what increases in stature and wisdom is not the Godhead which is ever perfect, but the human nature which comes into being in time, grows, and is made perfect.

Wherefore all the human qualities of the Lord Christ, hunger, I mean, and thirst and weariness, sleep, fear, sweat, prayer, and ignorance, and the like, we affirm to belong to our nature which God the Word assumed and united to Himself in effecting our salvation. But the restitution of motion to the maimed, the resurrection of the dead, the supply of loaves, and all the other miracles we believe to be works of the divine power. In this sense I say that the same Lord Christ both suffers and destroys suffering; suffers, that is, as touching the visible, and destroys suffering as touching the ineffably indwelling Godhead. This is proved beyond question by the narrative of the holy evangelists, from whom we learn that when lying in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes, He was announced by a star, worshipped by magi and hymned by angels. Thus we reverent discern that the swaddling bands and the want of a bed and all the poverty belonged to the manhood; while the journey of the magi and the guiding of the star and the company of the angels proclaim the Godhead of the unseen. In like manner He makes His escape into Egypt and avoids the fury of Herod by flight,(3) for He was man; but as the Prophet says "He shakes the idols of Egypt,''(4) for He was by nature God. He is circumcised; He keeps the law; and offers offerings of purification, because He sprang from the root of Jesse. And, as man, He was under the law; and afterwards did away with the law and gave the new covenant, because He was a lawgiver and had promised by the prophets that He Himself would give it. He was baptized by John; and this shews His sharing what is ours. He is testified to by the Father from on high and is pointed out by the Spirit; this proclaims Him eternal. He hungered; but He fed many thousands with five loaves; the latter is divine, the former human. He thirsted and He asked for water; but He was the well of life; the former of His human weakness, the latter of His divine power. He fell asleep in the boat, but he put the tempest of the sea to sleep; the former of His human nature, the latter of His efficient and creative power which has gifted all things with their being. He was weary as he walked; but He healed the halt and raised dead men from their tombs; the former of human weakness, the latter of a power passing that of this world. He feared death and He destroyed death; the former shows that He was mortal, the latter that He was immortal or rather giver of life. "He was crucified," as the blessed Paul says "through weakness.''(1) But as the same Paul says "Yet He liveth by the power of God."(2) Let that word "weakness" teach us that He was not nailed to the tree as the Almighty, the Uncircumscribed, the Immutable and Invariable, but that the nature quickened by the power of God, was according to the Apostle's teaching dead and buried, both death and burial being proper to the form of the servant. "He broke the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron in sunder"(3) and destroyed the power of death and in three days raised His own temple. These are proofs of the form of God in accordance with the Lord's words "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."(4) Thus in the one Christ through the sufferings we contemplate the manhood and through the miracles we apprehend the Godhead. We do not divide the two natures into two Christs, and we know that of the Father God the Word was begotten and that of the seed of Abraham and David our nature was assumed. Wherefore also the blessed Paul says when discoursing of Abraham "He saith not and to seeds as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ,"(5) and writing to Timothy he says " Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel."(6) And to the Romans he writes "Concerning His son Jesus Christ ... which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."(7) And again "Whose are the fathers and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came." s And the Evangelist writes "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham,"(9) and the blessed Peter in the Acts says David " being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne, he seeing this before spake of his resurrection,"(1) and God says to Abraham "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,"(2) and Isaiah " There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of His roots; and there shall rest upon Him a the spirit of wisdom and understanding the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of piety and the spirit of the fear of the Lord shall fill Him."(4) And a little further on " And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious."(5)

From these quotations it is made plain that according to the flesh, the Christ was descended from Abraham and David and was of the same nature as theirs; while according to the Godhead He is Everlasting Son and Word of God, ineffably and in superhuman manner begotten of the Father, and co-eternal with Him as brightness and express image and Word. For as the word in relation to intelligence and brightness in relation to light are inseparably connected, so is the only begotten Son in relation to His own Father. We assert therefore that our Lord Jesus Christ is only begotten, and first born Son of God; only begotten both before the incarnation arid after the incarnation, but firstborn after being born of the Virgin. For the name first-born seems to be in a sense contrary to that of only begotten, because the only Son begotten of any one is called only begotten, while the eldest of several brothers is called first-born. The divine Scriptures state God the Word alone to have been begotten of tile Father; but the only begotten becomes also first-born, by taking our nature of the Virgin, and deigning to call brothers those who have trusted in Him; so that the same is only begotten in that He is God, first born in that He is Man. Thus acknowledging the two natures we adore the one Christ and offer Him one adoration, for we believe that the union took place from the moment of the conception in the Virgin's holy womb. Wherefore also we call tile holy Virgin both Mother of God(6) and Mother of man, since the Lord Christ Himself is called God and man in the divine Scripture. The name Emmanuel proclaims the union of the two natures. If we acknowledge the Christ to be both God and Man and so call Him, who is so insensate as to shrink from using the term "Mother of man" with that of " Mother of God"? For we use both terms of the Lord Christ. For this reason the Virgin is honoured and called "full of grace."(1) What sensible man then would object to name the Virgin in accordance with the titles of the Saviour, when on His account she is honoured by the faithful? For He who was born of her is not worshipped on her account, but she is honoured with the highest titles on account of Him Who was born from her.

Suppose the Christ to be God only, and to have taken the origin of His existence froth the Virgin, then let the Virgin be styled and named only "Mother of God" as having given birth to a being divine by nature. Bat if the Christ is both God and man and was God from everlasting (inasmuch as He did not begin to exist, being co-eternal with the Father that begat Him) and in these last days was born man of His human nature, then let him who wishes to define doctrine in both directions devise appellations for the Virgin with the explanation which of them befits the nature and which the union. But if any one should wish to deliver a panegyric and to compose hymns, and to repeat praises, and is naturally anxious to use the most august names; then, not laying down doctrine as in the former case, but with rhetorical laudation, and expressing all possible admiration at the mightiness of the mystery, let him gratify his heart's desire, let him employ high names, let him praise and let him wonder. Many instances of this kind are found in the writings of orthodox teachers. But on all occasions let moderation be respected. All praise to him who said that "moderation is best," although he is not of our herd.(2)

This is the confession of the faith of the Church; this is the doctrine taught by evangelists and apostles. For this faith, by God's grace I will not refuse to undergo many deaths. This faith we have striven to convey to them that now err and stray, again and again challenging them to discussion, and eager to show them the truth, but without success. With a suspicion of their probably plain confutation, they have shirked the encounter; for verily falsehood is rotten and yokefellow of obscurity. "Every one," it is written "that doeth evil cometh not to the light lest his deeds should be reproved"(1) by the light.

Since, therefore, after many efforts, I have failed in persuading them to recognise the truth, I have returned to my own churches, filled at once with sorrow and with joy; with joy on account of my own freedom from error; and with sorrow at the unsoundness of my members. I therefore implore you to pray with all your might to our loving Lord, and to cry unto Him, " 'Spare Thy people, 0 Lord and give not Thy heritage to reproach.'(2) Feed us O Lord that we become not as we were in the beginning when Thou didst not rule over us nor was Thy name invoked to help us. ' We are become a reproach to our neighhours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us,'(3) because wicked doctrines have come into Thy inheritance. They have polluted Thy holy temple in that the daughters of stranger's have rejoiced over our troubles. A little while ago we were of one mind and one tongue and now are divided into many tongues. But, 0 Lord our God, give us Thy peace which we have lost by setting Thy commandments at naught. O Lord we know none other than Thee. We call Thee by Thy name. ' Make both one and break down tile middle wall of the partition,'(4) namely the iniquity that has sprung up. Gather us one by one, Thy new Israel, building up Jerusalem and gathering together the outcasts of Israel.(5) Let us be made once more one flock(6) and all be fed by Thee; for Thou art the good Shepherd ' Who giveth His life for the shoe .'(7) 'Awake, why sleepest Thou O Lord, arise cast us not off forever.'(8) Rebuke the winds and the sea; give Thy Church calm and safety from the waves."

These words and words like these I implore yon to utter to the God of all; for He is good anti full of loving-kindness anti ever fulfils the will of them that fear Him. He will therefore listen to your prayer, and will scatter this darkness deeper than the plague of Egypt. He will give you His own calm of love, and will gather them that are scattered abroad and welcome them that have been cast out. Then shall be heard " the voice of rejoicing and salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous."(1) Then shall we cry unto Him we have been "glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us and the years wherein we have seen evil,"(2) and you when you have been granted your prayer shall praise Him in the words "Blessed be God which not turned away my prayer nor His mercy from me."(3)

Proof that after the Incarnation our Lord Jesus Christ, was one Son.

The authors of slanders against me allege that I divide the one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons. But so far am I from holding this opinion that I charge with impiety all who dare to say so. For I have been taught. by the divine Scripture to worship one Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, God the Word incarnate. For we confess the same to be both God eternal, and made man in the last days for the sake of man's salvation; but made man not by the change of the Godhead but by the assumption of the manhood. For the nature of this godhead is immutable and invariable, as is that of the Father who begat Him before the ages. And whatever would be understood of the substance of the Father will also be wholly found in the substance of the only begotten; for of that substance He is begotten. This our Lord taught when the said to Philip "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father "(4) and again in another place "All things that the Father hath are mine,"(5) and elsewhere " I and the Father are one,"(6) and very many other passages may be quoted setting forth the identity of substance.

It follows that He did not become God: He was God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God."(7) He was not man: He became man, and the so became by taking on Him our nature: So says the blessed Paid:--"Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, hut made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant."(8) And again: "For verily He took not on Him the nature of angel's; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham."(9) And again; Forasmuch then as the children are partaker's of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same."(10) Thus He was both passible and impassible; mortal and immortal; passible, on the one hand, and mortal, as man; impassible, on the other, and immortal, as God. As God He raised His own flesh, which was dead;--as His own words declare: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."(1) And as man, He was passible and mortal up to the time of the passion. For, after the resurrection, even as man He is impassible, immortal, and incorruptible; and He discharges divine lightnings; not that according to the flesh tie has been changed into the nature of Godhead, but still preserving the distinctive marks of humanity. Nor yet is His body uncircumscribed, for this is peculiar to the divine nature alone, but it abides in its former circumscription. This He teaches in the words He spake to the disciples even after His resurrection "Behold my hands and feet that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have."(2) While He was thus beheld He went up into heaven; thus has He promised to come again, thus shall He be seen both by them that have believed and them that have crucified, for it is written "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."(3) We therefore worship the Son, but we contemplate in Him either nature in its perfection, both that which took, and that which was taken; the one of God and the other of David. For this reason also He is styled both Son of the living God and Son of David; either nature receiving its proper title. Accordingly the divine scripture calls him both God and man, and the blessed Paul exclaims "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all."(4) But Him whom here he calls man in another place he describes as God for he says "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."(5) And yet in another place he uses both names at once saying "Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is over all God blessed for ever. Amen."(6)

Thus he has stated the same Christ to be of the Jews according to the flesh, and God over all as God. Similarly the prophet Isaiah writes "A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. ... Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows,"(1) and shortly afterwards he says "Who shall declare His generation?"(2) This is spoken not of man but of God. Thus through Micah God says "Thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah art not the least among the princes of Judah, for out of thee shall come a governor that shall rule my people Israel, whose goings forth have been as of old from everlasting."(3) Now by saying "From thee shall come forth a ruler" he exhibits the oeconomy of the incarnation; and by adding "whose goings forth have been as of old from everlasting" he declares the Godhead begotten of the Father before the ages.

Since we have been thus taught by the divine scripture, and have further found that the teachers who have been at different periods illustrious in the Church, are of the same opinion, we do our best to keep our heritage inviolate; worshipping one Son of God, one God the Father, and one Holy Ghost; but at the same time recognising the distinction between flesh and Godhead. And as we assert them that divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons to trangress flora the road trodden by the holy apostles, so do we declare the maintainers of the doctrine that the Godhead of the only begotten and the manhood have been made one nature to fall headlong into the opposite ravine. These doctrines we hold; these we preach; for these we do battle.

The slander of the libellers that represent me as worshipping two sons is refuted by the plain facts of the case. I teach all persons who come to holy Baptism the faith put forth at Nicaea; and, when I celebrate the sacrament of regeneration I baptize them that make profession of their faith in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, pronouncing each name by itself. And when I am performing divine service in the churches it is my wont to give glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; not sons, but Son. If then I uphold two sons, whether of the two is glorified by me, and whether remains unhonoured? For I have not quite come to such a pitch of stupidity as to acknowledge two sons and leave one of them without any tribute of respect. It follows then even from this fact that the slander is proved slander,--for I worship one only begotten Son, God the Word incarnate. And I call the holy Virgin "Mother of God"(4) because she has given birth to the Emmanuel, which means "God with us."(1) But the prophet who predicted the Emmanuel a little further on has written of him that "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name is called Angel of great counsel, wonderful, counsellor, mighty God, powerful, Prince of peace, Father of the age to come."(2) Now if the babe born of the Virgin is styled "Mighty God," then it is only with reason that the mother is called "Mother of God." For the mother shares the honour of her offspring, and the Virgin is both mother of the Lord Christ as man, and again is His servant as Lord and Creator and God.

On account of this difference of term He is said by the divine Paul to be "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life."(3) He is without father as touching His humanity; for as man He was born of a mother alone. And He is without mother as God, for He was begotten from everlasting of the Father alone. And again He is without descent as God while as man He has descent. For it is written "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham."(4) His descent is also given by the divine Luke.(5) So again, as God, He has no beginning of days for He was begotten before the ages; neither has He an end of life, for His nature is immortal and impassible. But as man He had both a beginning of days, for He was born in the reign of Augustus Caesar, and an end of life, for He was crucified in the reign of Tiberius Caesar. But now, as I have already said, even His human nature is immortal; and, as He ascended, so again shall He come according to the words of the Angel--"This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven."(6)

This is the doctrine delivered to us by the divine prophets; this is the doctrine of the company of the holy apostles; this is the doctrine of the great saints of the East and of the West; of the far-famed Ignatius, who received his archpriesthood by the right hand of the great Peter, and for the sake of his confession of Christ was devoured by savage beasts;(7) and of the great Eustathius, who presided over the assembled council, and on account of his fiery zeal for true religion was driven into exile.(1)

This doctrine was preached by the illustrious Meletius, at the cost of no less pains, for thrice was he driven from his flock in the cause of the apostles' doctrines;(2) by Flavianus,(3) glory of the imperial see; and by the admirable Ephraim, instrument of divine grace, who has left us in the Syriac tongue a written heritage of good things;(4) by Cyprian, the illustrious ruler of Carthage and of all Libya, who for Christ's sake found a death in the fire;(5) by Damasus, bishop of great Rome,(6) and by Ambrose, glory of Milan, who preached and wrote it in the language of Rome.(7)

The same was taught by the great luminaries of Alexandria, Alexander and Athanasius, men of one mind, who underwent sufferings celebrated throughout the world. This was the pasture given to their flocks by the great teachers of the imperial city, by Gregory, shining friend and supporter of the truth; by John, teacher of the world, by Atticus, their successor alike in see and in sentiment.(8) By these doctrines Basil, great light of the truth, and Gregory sprung from the same parents,(9) and Amphilochius,(10) who from him received the gift of the high-priesthood, taught their contemporaries, and have left the same to us in their writings for a goodly heritage. Time would fail me to tell of Polycarp,(11) and Irenaeus,(12) of Methodius(13) and Hippolytus,(14) and the rest of the teachers of the Church. In a word I assert that I follow the divine oracles and at the same time all these saints. By the grace of the spirit they dived into the depths of God-inspired scripture and both themselves perceived its mind, and made it plain to all that are willing to learn. Difference in tongue has wrought no difference in doctrine, for they were channels of the grace of the divine spirit, using the stream from one and the same fount.

CLII. Report of the (bishops) of the East to the Emperor, giving information of their proceedings, and explaining the cause of the delay in the arrival of the bishop of Antioch.(1)

In obedience to the order of your pious letter we have journeyed to the Ephesian metropolis. There we have found the affairs of the Church in confusion, and disturbed by internecine war. The cause of this is that Cyril of Alexandria and Memnon of Ephesus have handed together and mustered a great mob of rustics, and have forbidden both the celebration of the great feast of Pentecost, and the evening and morning offices.(2)

They have shut the sacred churches and martyrs' shrines; they have assembled apart with the victims of their deceit; they have wrought innumerable iniquities, trampling under foot alike the canons of the holy Fathers, and your own decrees. And the action has been taken in face of the order given both in writing and by word of mouth by the most excellent count Candidianus,(3) envoy of your Christ-loving majesty, that the council must await the arrival of the very holy bishops, coming from all quarters of the Empire, and then and not till then formally assemble in obedience to your piety's commands. Moreover Cyril of Alexandria had written to me, the bishop of Antioch, two days before the meeting of their synod, that the whole council was awaiting my arrival. We have therefore deposed both the aforenamed, Cyril and Memnon, and have excluded them from all the services of the church. The rest, who have participated in their iniquity, we have excommunicated, until they shall reject and anathematize the Chapters(4) issued by Cyril, which are full of the Eunomian and Arian heresies, and shall, in obedience to your piety's command, assemble together with us, and shall in an orderly manner and with all exactitude, together with ourselves, examine into the questions at issue, and confirm the pious doctrine of the holy Fathers.

As to the delay in my own arrival be it known to your piety that, in consideration of the distance of the way by land,--and this was our route,--I have come very quickly, I have travelled forty stages without pausing to rest on the way; so your Christian majesty may learn from the inhabitants of the towns on the route. Besides this I was detained many days in Antioch by the famine there; by the daily tumults of the people; and by the unusual severity of the rainy season, which caused the torrents to swell, and threatened danger to the town.

CLIII. Report of the same to the empresses Pulcheria and Eudoxia.

We had expected to be able to report to your pious majesties in different terms, but we are now compelled to make known to you the following facts, forced as we are by the irregular exercise of despotic power by Cyril of Alexandria and Memnon of Ephesus. The proper course to have been pursued, in accordance with the laws of the Church, and the command of your pious majesties, would have been to wait for the arrival of the godly bishops on the road, and in common with them to examine into the questions at issue concerning the true faith, and investigate the point offered for discussion, and, after exact enquiry, to confirm the doctrines of the apostles. They had written to me that they would wait for our arrival. They heard that we were only three stages off. Then they assembled an unconstitutional council by themselves, and have ventured on proceedings iniquitous, irregular, and bristling with absurdities. And this they have done though the most honourable count Candidianus, sent by your pious and Christian majesties for good order's sake, expressly charged them, alike in writing and by word of mouth, to wait for the arrival of the godly bishops who had been convened, and to attempt no innovation on the true faith, but to take their stand on the directions of our godly-minded sovereigns. Now in spite of their having heard the imperial letter and the advice of the most honourable count Candidianus, they have nevertheless made naught of due order. As the prophet says "They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web; and he that would eat of their eggs when he breaks them findeth rottenness, and therein is a viper,"(1) Wherefore we confidently cry "Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works. "(2)

They have shut the churches and the martyrs' shrines; they have forbidden the celebration of the holy feast of Pentecost; besides this they have sent the minions of their disorderly despotism into bishops' private houses, uttering shocking threats, and forcing them to affix their signatures to illegal acts. We therefore considering all their preposterous conduct, have deposed the aforenamed Cyril and Memnon, and deprived them of their episcopate. Their associates in irregularity, whether influenced by sycophancy or by fear, we have excommunicated, until, coming to a knowledge of their own wounds, they shall heartily repent, shall anathematize the heretical Chapters of Cyril, which are tainted with the heresy of Apollinarius, Arius, and Eunomius, shall recover the faith of the Fathers in Council at Nicaea, and, in obedience to the pious commands of our Christian sovereigns, shall, peacefully and without any tumult, assemble in synod, be willing to examine with care the questions submitted to them, and honestly protect the purity of the faith of the Gospel.

CLIV. Report of the same to the Senate of Constantinople.(1)

CLV. Letter of John, bishop of Antioch and his supporters, to the clergy of Constantinople.(2)

CLVI. Letter of the same to the people of Constantinople.(3)

CLVII. Report of the Council of (the bishops of) the East to the victorious Emperor, announcing a second time the deposition of Cyril and of Memnon.(4)

Your piety, which shines forth for the good of the empire and of the churches of God, has commanded us to assemble at Ephesus, in order to bring about peace and gain for the Church, rather than to confuse and disturb it. And the commands of your majesty plainly and distinctly indicate your pious and peaceful intentions for the churches of Christ. But Cyril of Alexandria, a man, it would seem, born and bred for the bane of the churches, after taking into partnership the audacity of Memnon of Ephesus, has first of all transgressed against your quieting and pious decree, and has so shewed his general depravity. Your majesty had ordered an investigation and careful testing to be made concerning the faith, and that with the consent and concord of all. Cyril, challenged, or rather himself convicting himself, on the count of the Apollinarian doctrines, by means of the letter which he lately sent to the imperial city, with anathematisms, whereby he is convicted of sharing the views of the impious and heretic Apollinarius, pays no heed to this condition of things, and, as though we were living with no emperor to govern us, is proceeding to every kind of lawlessness. He ought himself to be called to account for his unsound opinion about our Lord Jesus Christ; but, usurping an authority given him neither by the canons, nor by your edicts, he is hurrying headlong into every kind of disorder and illegality.

Moved by these things the holy Synod, which has refused to accept his devices for the damage of the faith, for the aforesaid reasons deposes him. It deposes Memnon also, who has been his counsellor and abettor through all, who has kept up constant agitation against the very holy bishops for refusing to assent to his pernicious heterodoxy; who has shut the churches and every place of prayer, as if we were living among the heathen and the enemies of God; who has brought in the Ephesian mob, so that every day we are in supreme danger, while we look not to defence, but heed the right doctrines of true religion. For the destruction of these men is identical with the establishment of orthodoxy.

From his own Chapters your majesty can have no difficulty in perceiving his impious mind. He is convicted of trying, so to say, to raise from Hades the impious Apollinarius, who died in his heresy, and of attacking the churches and the orthodox faith. He is shewn in his publications to anathematize at once evangelists and apostles and them that succeeded them as forefathers of the Church, who, moved not by their own imaginations, but by the holy Spirit, have preached the true faith, and proclaimed the gospel; a faith and gospel indeed opposed to what this man holds and teaches and by inculcating which he wishes to give his own private iniquity the mastery of the world. Since this is intolerable to us we have followed the proper course, relying at once on the divine grace and on your majesty's good will.

We know that you give to nothing higher honour than to the sacred faith in which both you and your thrice blessed forefathers have been brought up. From them you have received the perpetual sceptre of empire, ever putting down the opponents of the apostolic doctrines. Such an opponent is the aforesaid Cyril, who, with the aid of Memnon, has captured Ephesus as he might some fortress, and justly shares with his ally the sentence of deposition. Justly: for, besides all that has been said, they have boldly tried every means of assault and every violence against us, who, to come together in council in ratification of your edict, have disregarded every claim of home and country and self.

We are now the prey of tyranny, unless your piety intervene and order us to assemble in some other place, near at hand, where we shall be able, from the scriptures, and from the writings of the Fathers, to refute beyond contradiction both Cyril and the victims of his ingenuity. We have mercifully expelled these men from communion with the suggested hope of salvation in case they should repent; although, as if on some campaign of uncivilized soldiery, they have up to this moment furnished him with the means of his illegality. Some were deposed long ago, and have been restored by Cyril. Some have been excommunicated by their own metropolitans, and admitted by him again into communion. Others have been impaled on various accusations, and have been promoted by him to honour. All through, the main motive of his action has been the endeavour to achieve his heretical purpose by the force of numbers, for he does not reckon as he ought that in what relates to true religion, it is not numbers that are required, but rather correctness of doctrine and the truth of the doctrine of the apostles. Men are needed who are competent to establish these points not by audacity and masterful self-assertion but by pious use of apostolic testimony and example.

For all these reasons we beseech and implore your majesty to bear prompt aid to assaulted truth, and to remedy without delay these men's masterful readiness; for, like a hurricane, it is sweeping the less moderate among us into pernicious heresy. Your piety has had care for the churches in Persia and among the barbarians; it is only right that you should not neglect those which are tossed by the storm within the boundaries of the Roman empire.

CLVIII. Report of (the bishops of) the East to the very pious emperor, which delivered with the preceding. Report to the right honourable count Irenoeus.

On receiving the letter of your piety we entertained hopes that the Egyptian storm which has lately struck the churches of God would be driven away. But we have been disappointed. Those men have been made even yet more daring by their madness; they have given no heed to the sentence of deposition justly and in due forth passed upon them, nor have become any more moderate in consequence of the rebuke of your majesty. They have trampled down alike the laws of your piety, and the canons of the holy Fathers, and, some of them being deposed and some excommunicated, keep festivals, and celebrate communion, in Houses of Prayer. And we, as we have already informed your Christ-loving majesty, on the receipt of your clemency's kindly letter, though our only desire was to pray in the church of the Apostles, have not only been prevented, but actually stoned, and chased for a considerable distance, so that we were compelled to effect our safety by flight at full speed. Our opponents on the contrary think that they may act just as they please. They have declined to make investigation of the questions at issue, and to undertake the defence of Cyril's heretical Chapters, rejecting the plain proofs of the impiety which they contain. They are impudent from mere impudence, while the examination of the questions before us requires not impudence, but calmness, knowledge, and skill in matters of doctrine.

Under these circumstances we have been under the necessity of sending forward the most honourable Count Irenaeus, to approach your piety, and to explain the position of affairs. He has accurate information concerning all that has occurred, and has learned from us many modes of cure, whereby it may be possible to bring about the restoration of tranquillity to the holy churches of God. We beseech your clemency to grant him patient audience, and to give orders for the prompt carrying out of whatever measures may seem good to your piety, that we be not here crushed beyond all endurance.

CLIX. Letter of the same to the Proefect and to the Master.(1)

CLX. Letter of the same to the Governor and Scholasticus.(2)

CLXI. Report presented to the Emperor by John, archbishop of Antioch and his supporters through Palladius Magistrianus.(3)

CLXII. Letter of Theodoretus to Andreas, bishop of Samosata, written from Ephesus.(1)

Writing from Ephesus I salute your holiness, I congratulate you on your infirmity, and deem you dear to God, in that you have known what evil deeds have been going on here by report, and not by personal experience. Evil indeed! They transcend all imagination and all incidents of history; they compel a continual downpour of tears. The body of the Church is in peril of dismemberment;--nay, rather I may say it has received the first incision;--unless the wise Healer restore and re-connect the unsound and severed limbs. Once again the Egyptian is raging against God, and warring with Moses and Aaron His servants, and the more part of Israel are on the side of the foe; for all too few are the sound who willingly suffer for true religion's sake. Ancient principles are trodden under foot. Deposed men perform priestly functions, and they who have deposed them sit sighing at home. Men excommunicated by the same sentence as the deposed have relieved the deposed of their deposition of their own free will. Such is the mockery of a synod held by Egyptians, by Palestinians, by men from the Pontic and Asian dioceses, and by the West in their company.(2)

What players in a pantomime, in the days of paganism, even in any farce so held up religion to ridicule? Indeed what farce-writer ever performed such a play? What dramatist ever wrote so sad a tragedy? Such and so great are the troubles that have beset God's Church, whereof I have narrated but a very small part.

CLXIII. First Letter of the Commissioners of the East, sent to Chalcedon, among whom was Theodoretus.(3)

On our arrival at Chalcedon, for neither we ourselves nor our opponents were permitted to enter Constantinople, on account of the seditions of the excellent monks, we heard that eight days before we had appeared (behold the glory of the most pious prince) the lord Nestorius was dismissed from Ephesus, free to go where he would; whereat we are much distressed, since verily deeds done illegally and informally now seem to have some force. Let your holiness however be assured that we shall eagerly join the battle for the Faith, and are willing to fight even unto death. To-day, the 11th of the month Gorpiaeum,(1) we are expecting our very pious Emperor to cross over to the Rufinianum,(2) and there to hear the trial.

We therefore beg your holiness to pray the Lord Christ to help us to be able to con firm the faith of the holy Fathers, and to pluck up by the roots these Chapters which have sprouted to the damage of the Church. We implore your holiness to think and act with us, and to abide in your ready devotion to the orthodox faith. When this letter was written the lord Himerius(3) had not yet met us, being peradventure hindered on the road. But do not let this trouble you. Only let your piety strenuously support us, and we trust that gloom will disappear, and the truth shine forth.

CLXIV. Second Epistle of the same to the same, expressing premature triumph in victory.(4)

Through the prayers of your holiness our most pious prince has granted us an audience, anti by God's grace we have got the better of our opponents, as all our views have been accepted by the most Christ-loving emperor. The reports of others were read, and what seemed unfit to be received, and had no further importance, he rejected. They were full of Cyril, and petitioned that he might be summoned to give an account of himself. So far they have not prevailed, but have heard discourses on true religion, that is on the system of the Faith, and that the faith of the blessed Fathers was confirmed. We further refuted Acacius(5) who had laid down in his Commentaries that the Godhead is possible. At this our pious emperor was so shocked at the enormity of the blasphemy that he flung off his mantle, and stepped back. We know that the whole assembly welcomed us as champions of true religion.

It has seemed good to our most pious emperor that anyone should explain his own views, and report them to his piety. We have replied that it is impossible for us to make any other exposition than that made by the blessed Fathers at Nicaea, and so it has pleased his majesty. We therefore offered the form subscribed by your holiness. Moreover, the whole population of Constantinople is continually coming out to us to implore us to fight manfully for the Faith. We do our best to restrain them, to avoid giving offence to our opponents. We have sent a copy of the expositing, that two copies may be made, and you may subscribe them both.

CLXV. Letter of the same to the same.(1)

To the very pious bishops now in Ephesus: Johannes, Himerius, Paulus, Apringius, Theodoretus, greeting. For the fifth time an audience has been granted us. We entered largely into the question of the heretical Chapters, and swore again and again to the very pious emperor that it was, impossible for us to hold communion with our opponents unless they rejected the Chapters. We pointed out moreover that even if Cyril did abjure his Chapters he could not be received by us, because he had become the heresiarch of so impious a heresy. Nevertheless we gained no ground, because our adversaries were urgent, and their hearers could neither restrain them in their insolent endeavour, nor compel them to come to enquiry and argument. They thus evade the investigation of the Chapters, and allow no discussion concerning them. We, however, as you entreat, are ready to insist to the death. We refuse to receive Cyril and his Chapters; we will not admit these men to Communion till the improper additions to the Faith be rejected. We therefore implore your holiness to continue to show at once our mind and our efforts. The battle is for true religion; for the only hope we have,--on account of which we look forward to enjoying, in the world to come, the loving-kindness of our Saviour. As to the very pious and holy bishop Nestorius, be it known to your piety that we have tried to introduce a word about him, but have hitherto failed, because all are ill-affected toward him. We will notwithstanding do our best, though this is so, to take advantage of any opportunity that may offer, and of the goodwill of the audience, to carry out this purpose, God helping us. But that your holiness may not be ignorant of this too, know that we, seeing that the partisans of Cyril have deceived everyone by domineering, cheating, flattering, and bribing, have more than once besought the very pious emperor and most noble princes both to send us back to the East, and let your holiness go home. For we are beginning to learn that we are wasting time in vain, without nearing our end, because Cyril everywhere shirks discussion, in his conviction that the blasphemies published in his Twelve Chapters can be openly refuted. The very pious emperor has determined, after many exhortations, that we all go every one to his own home, and that, further, both the Egyptian and Memnon of Ephesus are to remain in their own places. So the Egyptian will be able to go on blindfolding by bribery. The one, after crimes too many to tell, is to return to his diocese. The other, an innocent man, is barely permitted to go home. We and all here salute you and all the brotherhood with you.

CLXVI. First petition of the commissioners, addressed from Chalcedon, to the Emperor.

It had been much to be desired that the word of true religion should not be adulterated by ridiculous explanations, and least of all by men who have obtained the priesthood and high office in the churches, and who have been induced, we know not how, by ambition, by lust of authority, and by certain poor promises, to despise all the commandments of Christ. Their only motive has been the desire to pay court to a man who has the presumption to hope that he and his abettors will be able to manage the whole business with success; I mean Cyril of Alexandria. Of his own frivolity he has intruded into the holy churches of God heretical doctrines which he believes himself able to support by argument. He expects to escape the chastisement of sinners by the sole help of Memnon and the bishops of the aforesaid conspiracy.

We are lovers of silence; in general we advise a philosophic course of action. Now, however, sensible that to be silent and to cultivate philosophy would be to throw away the Faith, we turn in supplication to you who, next to the Goodness on high, are the sole preserver of the world. We know that it specially belongs to you to be anxious for true religion, as having, up to this present day, continually protected it, and being in turn protected by it.

We beg you therefore to receive this treatise, as though our defence were to be pleaded in the presence of the most holy God; not because we are less active in the sacred cause, but because we are devoted to true religion, and are speaking in its behalf. For in Christian times the clergy have no more bounden duty than to bear testimony before so faithful a prince, however ready we might have been to yield our bodies and to lay down our lives a thousand times in the battle for the faith. We therefore beseech you by God who seeth all things, by our Lord Jesus Christ who will judge all men in righteousness, by the Holy Ghost by whose grace you hold your empire, and by the elect angels who are your guardians and whom one day you shall see standing by the awful throne, and ceaselessly offering unto God that dread doxology which it is now sought to corrupt; we beseech your piety, besieged as you now are by the craftiness of certain men who are forbidding access to you, and are supporting the introduction into the faith of heretical Chapters, utterly at variance with sound doctrine, and tainted with heresy, to order all who subscribe them, or assent to them, and wish, after your promised pardon, to dispute further, to come forth and submit to the discipline of the Church. Nothing, sir, is more worthy of an emperor than to fight for the truth, for which you hurried to join battle with Persians and other barbarians, when Christ granted you to win fair victories in acknowledgment of your zeal towards Him. We beseech you that the questions at issue may be put before your piety in writing, for thus their purport will be more easily perceived, and the transgressors will be convicted for all future time. If however anyone, heedless of the utterances for which he shall be at fault, shall wish by his teaching to prevail over the right faith, it will be the part of your justice and judgment to consider whether the very name of teachers has not been thrown away by men who are reluctant to run any risks concerning the doctrines which they introduce, refusing to be obedient to your orders, that they may escape conviction for having done wrong; nor reckoning them worth refutation, that their mutual conspiracy be not proved fruitless. For now it is clear, from those that have been ordained by them that some of them, in return for this impiety, have bethought them of obliging certain persons by the concession of dignities and have devised certain other means. This will become still more clear; and your piety will soon see that they will distribute the rewards of their treachery, as though they were the spoils of the faith of Christ.

But we, of whom some were long ago ordained by the very pious Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem, have kept silence, although it was our duty to contend for the canon, that we might not seem to be troubled for our own reputation's sake. We are now perfectly well aware of his active trickery through Phoenicia Secunda and Arabia. We really have not time to attend to such things. We are men who have preferred rather to be deprived of the very places of which the ministry has been entrusted to us, and so of our life, than of our ready zeal for the faith. To the attempts of those men we will oppose the sentence of God and of your piety.

Now also we beg that true religion may be your one and primary care, and that the brightness of orthodoxy, which at length with difficulty blazed forth in the days of Constantine of holy name, was maintained by your blessed grandfather and father, and was extended by your majesty among the Persians and other barbarians, be not allowed to grow dim in the very innermost courts of your imperial palace, or, in your serenity's days, to be dispersed.

You will not send, sir, a divided Christianity into Persia; nor here at home will there be anything great, while we are distressed by disputes, and while there is no one existing on their side to settle them; no one will take part in a divided Word and Sacraments; no one without loss of faith will cut himself off from such famous fathers and saints who have never been condemned. No imperial successes will be permitted to a people at variance among themselves; a burst of derision will be roused from the enemies of true religion; and all the other noxious consequences of their malignant controversy are too numerous to reckon.

If there is anyone who thinks little of the science of theology, let that one be any one in the world rather than he to whom the Lord has given the supreme government of the world. Our petition is that your piety will give judgment, for God will guide your intelligence into exact comprehension. Finally, should this be impracticable (and all the engagements of your piety we cannot know) we beseech your serenity to give us leave to travel safely home. We are aware that to the dioceses entrusted to us cause of offence is given by so protracted a delay, on account of those men who even in sacred matters look out for opportunities of dissension whence no advantage can be derived.

CLXVII. Second petition of the same, sent from Chalcedon to Theodosius Augustus.

Your piety has been informed on several occasions, both by ourselves in person and by our emissaries, that the doctrine of the true faith seems to stand in danger of being corrupted, and that the body of the Church is apparently being rent asunder by men who are turning everything upside down, trampling upon all church order, and all imperial law, and throwing everything into confusion that they may confirm the heresy propounded by Cyril of Alexandria. For when we were first summoned by your piety to Ephesus, to enquire into the question which had arisen and to confirm the evangelic and apostolic faith laid down by the holy Fathers, before the arrival of all the bishops who had been convened, the holders of their own private Council confirmed in writing the heretical Chapters, which are at one with the impiety of Arius, Eunomius and Apollinarius. Some they deceived; some they terrified; others already charged with heresy, they received into communion; and others who had not communicated with them were bribed into so doing; others again were fired with the hope of dignities for which they were unfit; so these men gathered round them a great crowd of adherents, as though they had no idea that true religion is shewn not by numbers, but by truth.

The dispatch of your piety was read a second time by the most honourable Count Candidianus, ordering that the questions recently raised be examined in a quiet and brotherly manner. When however all the pious bishops were assembling, the reading had no effect.

Then came the noble Palladius Magistrianus, bringing another dispatch froth your majesty, to the effect that all enactments passed privately and apart must be rescinded that the Council must be assembled afresh and the true doctrine ratified; but, as usual this your pious mandate was treated with contempt by these unscrupulous persons.

Then again arrived the right honourable Master John, at that time "Comes Largitionum," bringing another pious letter to the effect that the depositions of the three had been decreed, that the offences which had sprung up were to be removed, and the faith laid down at Nicaea by the holy and blessed Fathers was to be ratified by all. As usual these universal mockers transgressed this law too.

For after hearing the letter they did not change their mode of action; they held communion with the deposed; spoke of them as bishops, and refused to allow the Chapters, which had been propounded to the loss and corruption of the pious faith to be rejected; notwithstanding their having been frequently summoned by us to discussion. For we had ready to hand a plain refutation of the heretical Chapters.

In evidence of these statements we have the right honourable Master, who when both sides had been summoned a third and a fourth time, not venturing to make this conduct an excuse on account of their disobedience, thought it worth while to summon us hither.

We came at once; on our arrival we allowed ourselves no rest making our petition, both before your piety and before the illustrious assembly, that they would take up the quarrel for the Chapters and enter into discussion concerning them, or on the other hand reject them as contrary to the right faith, abiding by the faith as laid clown by the blessed fathers in council at Nicaea.

They refused to do anything of the kind; they persisted in their heretical procedure; yet they were allowed to attend the churches, and to perform their priestly functions. We, however, alike at Ephesus and here, have been for a long time deprived of communion; alike there and here we have undergone innumerable perils; and while we were being stoned and all but slain by slaves dressed up as monks, we took it all for the best, as willingly enduring such treatment in the cause of the truth.

Afterwards it seemed good to your majesty that we and the opposite party should assemble once again, that the recalcitrant might be compelled to examine the doctrines. While we were waiting for this to come to pass your piety set out for the city, and ordered the very men who were being accused of heresy and had been therefore some of them deposed by us, and others excommunicated and thereafter to be subjected to the discipline of the Church, to come to the city and perform priestly functions, and ordain.(1) We however who in the cause of true religion have undertaken a struggle so tremendous; we who have shrunk from no peril in our battle for right doctrine, have neither been bidden to enter the city to serve the cause of the imperilled Faith and strive for orthodoxy; nor have we been permitted to return home;(2) but here we are in Chalcedon distressed and groaning for the Church oppressed by schism.

Wherefore since we are in receipt of no reply we have thought it necessary to inform your piety by this present letter, before God and Christ and the Holy Ghost, that if any one shall have been ordained (before the settlement of right doctrines) by these men of heretical opinions, he must necessarily be cut off from the whole church, as well from the clergy as the dissentient laity. For none of the pious will endure that communion be granted to heretics, and their own salvation be nullified.

And when this shall have come to pass, then your piety shall be compelled to act against your will. For the schism will grow beyond all expectation, and thereby the champions of true religion will be saddened, unable to endure the loss of their own souls, and the establishment of those impious doctrines of Cyril which the contentious are desirous of defending.

Many indeed of the supporters of true religion will never allow the acceptance of Cyril's doctrines; we shall never allow it, who all are of the diocese of the East of your province, of the diocese of Pontus, of Asia, of Thrace, of Illyricum and of the Italies, and who also sent to your piety the treatise of the most blessed Ambrose, written against this nascent superstition.

To avoid all this, and the further troubling of your piety, we beg, beseech, and implore you to issue an edict that no ordination take place before the settlement of the orthodox faith, on account of which we have been convened by your Christ-loving highness.

CLXVIII. Third demand of the same, addressed from Chalcedon to the sovereigns.

We never expected the summons of your piety to meet with this result. We were honourably convoked, as priests by prince; we were convoked to ratify the faith of the holy Fathers; and therefore, in due obedience to a pious prince, we came. On our arrival we were no less faithful to the Church, not less respectful to your edict. From the day of our arrival at Ephesus till the present moment we have without intermission followed your behests.

As it seems, however, our moderation, in these times, has not been of the slightest use to us; nay, rather, so far as we can see, it has stood very much in our way. We indeed who have thus behaved have been up to the present time detained in Chalcedon; and now we are told that we may go home. They however who have thrown everything into confusion, who have filled the world with tumult, who are striving to rend churches in twain, and who are the open assailants of true religion, perform priestly functions, crowd the churches, and as they imagine have authority to ordain, though in truth it is illegally claimed by them, stir up seditions in the church, and what ought to be spent upon the poor they throw away upon their bullies.

But you are not only their emperor; you are ours too. For no small portion of your empire is the East, wherein the right faith has ever shone, and, besides, the other provinces and dioceses from which we have been convened.

Let not your majesty despise the faith which is being corrupted, in which you and your forefathers have been baptized; on which the Church's foundations are laid; for which most holy martyrs have rejoiced to suffer countless kinds of death; by aid of which you have vanquished barbarians and destroyed tyrants; which you are needing now in your war for the subjugation of Africa. For on your side will fight the God of all if you struggle on behalf of His holy doctrines and forbid the dismemberment of the body of the church: for dismembered it will be if the opinion prevail which Cyril has introduced into the Church and other heretics have confirmed.

To these truths we have often already borne testimony before God both in Ephesus and in this place. I have furnished information to your holiness, giving an account as before the God of all. For this is required of us, as is taught in the divine Scripture both by prophets and apostles; as says the blessed Paul "I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth the dead, and of Lord Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;"(1) and as God charged Ezekiel to announce to the people, adding threats and saying, "when thou givest him not warning, his blood will I require at thine hand."(2)

In awe of this sentence, once again we inform your majesty that they who have been permitted to hold churches, and who teach the doctrines of Apollinarius, Arius, and Eunomius, perform all sacred functions irregularly and in violation of the canons, and destroy the souls of all who approach them; if, indeed, any shall be found willing to listen to them. For by the grace of God whose Providence is over all, and who wishes all men to be saved, the more part of the people is sound, and warmly attached to pious doctrines. It is on their account that we grieve.

And in our anguish and alarm lest the plague creeping on by little and little should attack more, and the evil become general, we thus instruct your serenity, and continue to give you exhortation; we implore your majesty to yield to our prayers and to prohibit any addition to be made to the Faith of the holy Fathers assembled in council at Nicaea.

And if after this our entreaty your piety reject this doctrine, which was given in the presence of God, we will shake off the dust of our feet against you, and cry with the blessed Paul, "We are pure from your blood."(1) For we cease not night and day from the moment of our arrival at this distinguished council to bear witness to prince, nobles, soldiers, priests and people, that we hold fast the Faith delivered to us by the Fathers.

CLXIX. Letter written by Theodoretus, bishop of Cyrus, from Chalcedon to Alexander of Hierapolis.(2)

We have left no means untried, of courtesy, of sternness, of entreaty, of eloquence before the most pious emperor, and the illustrious assembly, testifying before God who sees all things and our Lord Jesus Christ who shall judge the world in justice,(3) and the Holy Spirit and his elect angels, lest the Faith be despised which is now being cor-rupted by the maintainers and bold subscribers of heretical doctrines: and that charge be given for it to be laid down in the same terms as at Nicaea and for the "ejection of the heresy introduced to the loss and ruin of true religion. Up to this time however we have produced not the slightest effect, our hearers being carried now in one direction and now in another.

Nevertheless all these difficulties have not been able to deter me from urging my point, but by God's grace I have pressed on. I have even stated to our pious emperor with an oath that it is perfectly impossible for Cyril and Memnon to be reconciled with me, find that we can never communicate with any one who has not previously repudiated the heretical Chapters. This then is our mind. The object of men who "seek their own not the things which are Jesus Christ's"(1) is to be reconciled with them against our will. But this is no business of mine, for God weighs our motives and tries our character, nor does He inflict chastisement for what is done against our will. Be it known to your holiness that if ever I said a word about our friend(2) either before the very pious emperor or the illustrious assembly, I was at once branded as a rebel. So intensely is he hated by the court party. This is most annoying. The most pious emperor, especially, cannot bear to hear his name mentioned and says publicly "Let no one speak to me of this man." On one occasion he gave an instance of this to me. Nevertheless as long as I am here I shall not cease to serve the interests of this our father, knowing that the impious have done him wrong.

My desire is that both your piety and I myself get quit of this. No good is to be hoped from it, in as much as all the judges trust in gold, and contend that the nature of the Godhead and manhood is one.

All the people however by God's grace are in good case, and constantly come out to us. I have begun to discourse to them and have celebrated very large communions.

On the fourth occasion I spoke at length about the faith and they listened with such delight that they did not go away till the seventh hour but held out even till the midday heat. An enormous crowd was gathered in a great court, with four verandahs, and I preached from above from a platform near the roof.

All the clergy with the excellent monks are on the contrary utterly opposed to me, so that when we came back from the Rufinianum, after the visit of the very pious emperor, stone throwing began and many of my companions were wounded, by the people and false monks.

The very pious emperor knew that the mob was gathered against me and coining up to me alone he said, "I know that you are assembling improperly." Then, said I, "As you have allowed me to speak hear me with favour. Is it fair for excommunicated heretics to be doing duty in churches, while I. who am fighting for the Faith and am therefore excluded by others from communion, am not allowed to enter a church?" He replied "What am I to do?" I said, "What your comes largitionum did at Ephesus. When he found that some were assembling, but that we were not assembling, he stopped them saying, 'If you are not peaceful I will allow neither party to assemble.' It would have become your piety also to have given directions to the bishop here to forbid both the opposite party and ourselves to assemble before our meeting together to make known your righteous sentence to all." To this he replied "It is not for me to order the bishop;" and I answered "Neither shall you command us, and we will take a church, and assemble. Your piety will find that there are many more on our side than on theirs." In addition to this I pointed out that we had neither reading of the holy Scripture, nor oblation; but only "prayer for the Faith and for your majesty, and pious conversation." So he approved, and made no further prohibition. The result is that increased crowds flock to us, and gladly listen to our teaching. I therefore beg your piety to pray that our case may have an issue pleasing to God. I am in daily danger, suspecting the wiles of both monks and clergy, as I witness alike their influence and their negligence.

CLXX. Letter of certain Easterns, who had been sent to Constantinople, to Bishop Rufus.

To our most godly and holy fellow-minister Rufus, Joannes, Himerius, Theodoretus, and the rest, send greeting in the Lord.(1)

True religion and the peace of the Church suffer, we think, in no small degree, from the absence of your holiness. Had you been on the spot you might have put a stop to the disturbances which have arisen, and the violence that has been ventured on, and might have fought on our side for the subjection of the heresies introduced into the orthodox Faith, and that doctrine of apostles and evangelists which, handed down from time to time from father to son, has at length been transmitted to ourselves.

And we do not assert this without ground, for we have learnt the mind of your holiness from the letter written to the very godly and holy Julianus, bishop of Sardica, for that letter as is right charged the above named very godly bishop to fight for the Faith laid down by the blessed fathers assembled in council at Nicaea, and not to allow any corruption to be introduced into those invincible definitions which are sufficient at once to exhibit the truth and to refute falsehood. So your holiness rightly, justly, and piously advised, and the recipient of the letter followed your counsel. But many of the members of the council, to use the word of the prophet, "have gone aside," and have "altogether become filthy,"(1) for they have abandoned the Faith which they received from the holy Fathers, and have subscribed the twelve Chapters of Cyril of Alexandria, which teem with Apollinarian error, are in agreement with the impiety of Arius and Eunomius, and anathematize all who do not accept their unconcealed unorthodoxy. To this plague smiting the Church vigorous resistance has been offered by us who have assembled from the East, and others from different dioceses, with the object of securing the ratification of the Faith delivered by the blessed Fathers at Nicaea. For in it, as your holiness knows, there is nothing lacking whether for the teaching of evangelic doctrines, or for the refutation of every heresy.

For the sake of this Faith we continue to struggle, despising alike all the joys and sorrows of mortal life, if only we may preserve untouched this heritage of our fathers. For this reason we have deposed Cyril and Memnon; the former as prime mover in the heresy, and the latter as his aider and abettor in all that has been done to ratify and uphold the Chapters published to the destruction of the Church. We have also excommunicated all that have dared to subscribe and support these impious doctrines till they shall have anathematized them, and returned to the Faith of the Fathers at Nicaea.

But our long-suffering has done them no good. To this day they continue to do battle for those pernicious doctrines and have impaled themselves on the law of the canon which distinctly enacts "If any bishop deposed by a synod, or presbyter or deacon deposed by his own bishop, shall perform his sacred office, without waiting for the judgment of a synod, he is to have no opportunity for defending himself, not even in another synod: but also all who communicate with him are to be expelled from the church." Now this law has been broken both by the deposed and the excommunicate. For immediately after the deposition and the excommunication becoming known to them, they performed sacred functions, and they continue to do so, in plain disbelief of Him who said" Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven."(1)

With this we have thought well to acquaint your holiness at once, but in expectation of some favourable change, we have waited up to the present time. But we have been disappointed. They have continued to fight for this impious heresy, and pay no attention to the counsels of the very pious emperor. On five separate occasions he has met us, and ordered them either to reject the Chapters of Cyril as contrary to the Faith, or to be willing to do battle in their behalf, and to shew in what way they are in agreement with the confession of the Fathers. We have our proofs at hand, whereby we should have shewn that they are totally opposed to the teaching of orthodoxy, and for the most part in agreement with heresy.

For in these very Chapters the author of the noxious productions teaches that the Godhead of the only begotten Son suffered, instead of the manhood which He assumed for the sake of our salvation, the indwelling Godhead manifestly appropriating the sufferings as of Its own body, though suffering nothing in Its own nature; and further that there is made one nature of both Godhead and manhood,--for so he explains "The Word was made flesh,"(2) as though the Godhead bad undergone some change, and been turned into flesh.

And, further, he anathematizes those who make a distinction between the terms used by apostles and evangelists about the Lord Christ, referring those of humiliation to the manhood, and those of divine glory to the Godhead, of the Lord Christ. It is with these views that Arians and Eunomians, attributing the terms of humiliation to the Godhead, have not shrunk from declaring God the Word to be made and created, of another substance, and unlike the Father.

What blasphemy follows on these statements it is not difficult to perceive. There is introduced a confusion of the natures, and to God the Word are applied the words "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me;"(3) and "Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me,"(4) the hunger, the thirst, and the strengthening by an angel; His saying "Now is my soul troubled,"(5) and "my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,"(1) and all similar passages belonging to the manhood of the Christ. Any one may perceive how these statements correspond with the impiety of Arius and Eunomius; for they, finding themselves unable to establish the difference of substance, connect, as has been said, the sufferings, and the terms of humiliation, with the Godhead of the Christ.

And be your reverence well assured that now in their churches the Arian teachers preach no other doctrine than that the supporters of the "homousion" at present hold the same views as Arius, and that, after long time, the truth has now at last been brought to light.

We on the contrary abide in the teaching, and follow in the pious footprints, of the blessed Fathers assembled at Nicaea, and of their illustrious successors, Eustathius of Antioch, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory, John, Athanasius, Theophilus, Damasus of Rome, and Ambrose of Milan. For all these, following the words of the apostles, have left us an exact rule of orthodoxy, which all we of the East earnestly desire to preserve unmoved. The same is the wish of the Bithynians, the Paphlagonians, of Cappadocia Secunda, Pisidia, Mysia, Thessaly, and Rhodope, and very many more of the different provinces. The Italians too, it is evident, will not endure this new-fangled doctrine; for the very godly and holy Martinus,(2) bishop of Milan, has written a letter to us, and has sent to the very pious emperor a work by the blessed Ambrose on the incarnation of the Lord, of which the teaching is opposed to these heretical Chapters.

And be it known to your holiness that Cyril and Memnon have not been satisfied with corrupting the orthodox Faith, but have trampled all the canons underfoot. For they have received into communion men excommunicated in various provinces and dioceses. Others lying under charges of heresy, and of the same mind as Celestius and Pelagius, (for they are Euchitae, or Enthusiasts(3)) and therefore excommunicated by their diocesans and metropolitans, they have, in defiance of all ecclesiastical discipline received into communion, so swelling their following from all possible quarters, and shewing their eagerness to enforce their teaching less by piety than by violence. For when they had been stripped bare of piety they devised, in their extremity, another sort of force,--walls of flesh, with the idea that by their showers of bribery they might vanquish the faith of the Fathers. But so long as your holiness puts forth your strength, and you continue to fight, as you are wont, in defence of true religion, none of these devices will be of the least avail. We exhort you therefore, most holy sir, to beware of the communion of the unscrupulous introducers of this heresy; and to make known to all, both far and near, that these are the points for which the thrice blessed Damasus deposed the heretics Apol-linarius, Vitalius, and Timotheus; and that the Epistle in which the writer has concealed his heresy and coloured it with a coating of truth, must not in simplicity be received. For in the Chapters he has boldly laid bare his impiety, and dared to anathematize all who disagree with him, while in the letter he has vilely endeavoured to harm the simpler readers.

Your holiness must therefore beware of neglecting this matter, lest when, too late, you see this heresy confirmed, you grieve in vain, and suffer affliction at being no longer able to defend the cause of truth.

We have also sent you a copy of the memorial which we have given to the most pious and Christ-loving emperor, containing the faith of the holy Fathers at Nicaea. wherein we have rejected the newly-invented heresies of Cyril, and adjudged them to be opposed to the orthodox faith.

Since in accordance with the orders of the very pious emperor only eight of us travelled to Constantinople, we have subjoined the copy of the order given us by the holy synod, that you may be acquainted with the provinces contained in it. Your holiness will learn them from the signatures of the metropolitans. We salute the brotherhood which is with you.

CLXXI. Letter of Theodoret to John, bishop of Antioch, after the reconciliation.(1)

God, who governs all things in wisdom, who provides for our unanimity, and cares for the salvation of His people, has caused us to be assembled together, and has shewn us that the views of all of us are in agreement with one another. We have assembled together, and read the Egyptian Letter;(2) we have carefully examined its purport, and we have discovered that its contents are quite in accordance with our own statements, and entirely opposed to the Twelve Chapters, against which up to the present time we have continued to wage war, as being contrary to true religion. Their teaching was that God the Word was carnally made flesh; that there was an union of hypostasis, and that the combination in union was of nature, and that God the Word was the first-born flora the dead. They forbade all distinction in the terms used of our Lord, and further contained other doctrines at variance with the seeds sown by the apostles, and outcome of heretical tares. The present script, however, is beautified by apostolic nobility of origin. For in it our Lord Jesus Christ is exhibited as perfect God and perfect man; it shews two natures, and the distinction between them; an unconfounded union, made not by mixture and compounding, but in a manner ineffable and divine, and distinctly preserving the properties of the natures; the impassibility and immortality of God the Word; the possibility and temporary surrender to death of the temple, and its resurrection by the power of the united God; that the holy Spirit is not of the Son, nor derives existence from the Son, but proceeds from the Father, and is properly stated to be of the Son, as being of one substance.[1] Beholding this orthodoxy in the letter, we have hymned Him who heals our stammering tongues, and changes our discordant noises into the harmony of sweet music.(2)

CLXXII. Letter of Theodoretus to Nestorius.(3)

To the very reverend and religions lord and very holy Father, Nestorius, the bishop Theodoretus sends greeting in the Lord. Your holiness is, I think, well aware that I take no pleasure in cultivated society, nor in the interests of this life, nor in reputation, nor am I attracted by other sees. Had I learn, this lesson from no other source, the very solitude of the city(4) over which I am called to preside would suffice to teach me this philosophy. It is not indeed distinguished only for solitude, but also by very many disturbances which may check the activity even of those who most delight in them.

Let no one therefore persuade your holiness that I have accepted the Egyptian writings as orthodox, with my eyes shut, because I covet any see. For really, to speak the truth, after frequently reading and carefully examining them, I have discovered that they are free from all heretical taint, and I have hesitated to put any stress upon them, though I certainly have no love for their author, who was the originator of the disturbances which have agitated the world. For this I hope to escape punishment in the day of Judgment, since the just Judge examines motives. But to what has been done unjustly and illegally against your holiness, not even if one were to cut off both my hands would I ever assent, God's grace helping me and supporting my infirmity. This I have stated in writing to those who require it. I have sent to your holiness my reply to what you wrote to me, that you may know that, by God's grace, no time has changed me like the centipedes and chameleons who imitate by their colour the stones and leaves among which they live. I and all with me salute all the Brotherhood who are with you in the Lord.

CLXXIII. Letter to Andreas, Monk of Constantinople.(1)

"God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it,"(2) and convicts falsehood,--although now refuted assertion of the falsehood is approved,--and the power of truth has been shewn. For, lo, they, who by their impious reasoning had confused the natures of our Saviour Christ, and dared to preach one nature, and therefore insulted the most holy and venerable Nestorius, high priest of God, their mouths held, as the prophet says, with bit and bridle(3) and turned from wrong to right, have once again learnt the truth, adopting the statement of him who in the cause of truth has borne the brunt of the battle. For instead of one nature they now confess two, anathematizing all who preach mixture and confusion. They adore the impossible Godhead of Christ; they attribute passion to the flesh; they distinguish between the terms of the Gospels, ascribing the lofty and divine to the Godhead, and the lowly to the manhood. Such are the writings now brought from Egypt.

CLXXIV. To Himerius, bishop of Nicomedia.(1)

We wish to acquaint your holiness that on reading and frequently discussing the letter brought from Egypt we find it in harmony with the doctrine of the Church. Of the twelve Chapters we have proved the contrary, and up to the present time we continue to oppose them. We have therefore determined, if your holiness has recovered the churches divinely entrusted to you, that you ought to communicate with the Egyptians and Constantinopolitans and others who have fought with them against us, because they have professed to hold our faith, or I should rather say the faith of the apostles; but not to give your consent to the alleged condemnation of the very holy and venerable Nestorius. For we hold it impious and unjust in the case of charges in which both appeared as defendants to lavish favour on the one and shut the door of repentance on the other. Far more unjust and impious is it to condemn an innocent man to death. Your holiness should be assured that you ought not to communicate with them before you have recovered your churches. For this not only I but all the holy bishops of our district decreed in the recent Council.

CLXXV. To Alexander of Hierapolis.(2)

I have already informed your holiness that if the doctrine of the very holy and venerable bishop, my lord Nestorius, is condemned, I will not communicate with those who do so. If it shall please your holiness to insert this in the letter which is being sent to Antioch so be it. Let there then, I beseech you, be no delay!

CLXXVI. Letter to the same Alexander after he had learnt that John, bishop of Antioch, had anathematized the doctrine of Nestorius.(3)

Be it known to your holiness that when read the letter addressed to the emperor I was much distressed, because I know perfectly well that the writer of the letter, being of the same opinions, has unwisely and impiously condemned one who has never held or taught anything contrary to sound doctrine. But the form of anathema, though it be more likely than his assent to the condemnation, to grieve a reader, nevertheless has given me some ground of comfort, in that it is laid down not in wide general terms, but with some qualification. For he has not said "We anathematize his doctrine" but 'whatever he has either said or held other than is warranted by the doctrine of the apostles."

CLXXVII. Letter to Andreas, bishop of Samosata.(1)

The illustrious Aristolaus has sent Magisterianus from Egypt with a letter of Cyril in which he anathematizes Arius, Eunomius Apollinarius and all who assert Christ's Godhead to be passible and maintain the confusion and commixture of the two natures. Hereat we rejoice, although he did withhold his consent from our statement. He requires further subscription to the condemnation which has been passed, and that the doctrine of the holy bishop Nestorius be anathematized. Your holiness well knows that if any one anathematizes, without distinction, the doctrine of that most holy and venerable bishop, it is just the same as though he seemed to anathematize true religion.

We must then if we are compelled anathematize those who call Christ mere man, or who divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons and deny His divinity, etc.

CLXXVIII. Letter to Alexander of Hierapolis.(2)

I think that more than all the very holy and venerable bishop, my lord John, must have been gratified at my refusing either to give my consent to the condemnation of the very holy and venerable bishop Nestorius or to violate the pledges made at Tarsus, Chalcedon and Ephesus.(3)

He remembers also what was frequently received from us at Antioch after our departure.

Let no one therefore deceive your holiness into the belief that I should ever do this, for God is without doubt on my side and strengthening me.

CLXXIX. Letter of Cyril to John, bishop of Antioch, against Theodoret.(1)

CLXXX. Letter of Theodoretus, as some suppose, to Domnus, bishop of Antioch, written on the death of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria.(2)

At last and with difficulty the villain has gone. The good and the gentle pass away all too soon; the bad prolong their life for years.

The Giver of all good, methinks, removes the former before their time from the troubles of humanity; He frees them like victors from their contests and transports them to the better life, that life which, free from death, sorrow and care, is the prize of them that contend for virtue. They, on the other hand, who love and practise wickedness are allowed a little longer to enjoy this present life, either that sated with evil they may afterwards learn virtue's lessons, or else even in this life may pay the penalty for the wickedness of their own ways by being tossed to and fro through many years of this life's sad and wicked waves.

This wretch, however, has not been dismissed by the ruler of our souls like other men, that he may possess for longer time the things which seem to be full of joy. Knowing that the fellow's malice has been daily growing and doing harm to the body of the Church, the Lord has lopped him off like a plague and "taken away the reproach from Israel."(1) His survivors are indeed delighted at his departure. The dead, maybe, are sorry. There is some ground of alarm lest they should be so much annoyed at his company as to send him back to us, or that he should run away from his conductors like the tyrant of Cyniscus in Lucian.(2)

Great care must then be taken, and it is especially your holiness's business to undertake this duty, to tell the guild of undertakers to lay a very big and heavy stone upon his grave, for fear he should come back again, and show his changeable mind once more. Let him take his new doctrines to the shades below, and preach to them all day and all night. We are not at all afraid of his dividing them by making public addresses against true religion and by investing an immortal nature with death. He will be stoned not only by ghosts learned in divine law, but also by Nimrod, Pharaoh and Sennacherib, or any other of God's enemies.

But I am wasting words. The poor fellow is silent whether he will or no, "his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish."(3) He is doomed too to silence of another kind. His deeds, detected, tie his tongue, gag his mouth, curb his passion, strike him dumb and make him bow down to the ground.

I really am sorry for the poor fellow. Truly the news of his death has not caused me unmixed delight, but it is tempered by sadness. On seeing the Church freed from a plague of this kind I am glad and rejoice; but I am sorry and do mourn when I think that the wretch knew no rest from his crimes, but went on attempting greater and more grievous ones till he died. His idea was, so it is said, to throw the imperial city into confusion by attacking true doctrines a second time, and to charge your holiness with supporting them. But God saw and did not overlook it. "He put his hook into his nose and his bridle into his lips,"(1) and turned him to the earth whence he was taken. Be it then granted to your holiness's prayers that he may obtain mercy and pity and that God's boundless clemency may surpass his wickedness. I beg your holiness to drive away the agitations of my soul. Many different reports are being bruited abroad to my alarm announcing general misfortunes. It is even said by some that your reverence is setting out against your will for the court, but so far I have despised these reports as untrue. But finding every one repeating one and the same story I have thought it right to try and learn the truth from your holiness that I may laugh at these tales if false, or sorrow not without reason if they are true.

CLXXXI. Letter to Abundius, bishop of Como.(2)

To my dear lord and very holy brother Abundius Theodoretus sends greeting in the Lord. I have discovered that your piety religiously preserves the true and apostolic faith; and I have thanked Almighty God that the truth which was in peril has been renewed and brought to light by your holiness.

Of old, after the flood, it came to pass that Noah and his sons were left for seed of the human race. Just so in our own day are reserved the fathers of the West, that by them the holy churches of the East may be able to preserve that true religion which has been threatened with devastation and destruction by a new and impious heresy. Well may we quote those words of the prophet "Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant we should have been as Sodom and we should have been like unto Gomorrah."(3) So upon us from this impious heresy the wrath of God has fallen like a flood and invasion.

Now we acknowledge the presence of our Saviour in a human body, and one Son of God, His perfect Godhead and His perfect manhood. We do not divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons for He is one; but we recognise the distinction between God and man; we know that one is of the Father, the other of the seed of David and Abraham, according to the divine Scriptures, and that the divine nature is free from passion, the body which was before subject to passion being now itself too free from passion; for after the resurrection it is plainly delivered from all passion.

This we have learnt from the letter of the very holy and religious Archbishop our lord Leo. For we have read what he wrote to Flavianus, of holy and blessed memory, and have thanked the loving-kindness of the Lord because we have found an advocate and defender of the truth. To this letter I have given my adhesion, and have subjoined a copy of it to my present epistle, which I have also subscribed and have thereby proved that I obey the apostolic rules, that is true doctrines; that I abide in them to this day, and am suffering in their cause.

Assent has also been given by my lord Ibas and my lord Aquilinus against whom the inventors of the new heresy have armed the imperial power.

It remains for you with your very holy colleagues to bring aid to the sacred Church, and to drive away the war that threatens it. Banish the impious party which has been roused against the truth; give back the churches their ancient peace; so will you receive from the Lord, Who has promised to grant this boon, the fruits of your apostolic labours.

All the very religious and godly presbyters and reverend deacons and brethren by your holiness I greet; and I and all who are with me salute your reverence.(1)

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