ST. BASIL
LETTERS XXIX TO LIV

LETTER XXIX.(1)

To the Church of Ancyra. Consolatory.(2)

My amazement at the most distressing news of the calamity which has befallen you for a long time kept me silent. I felt like a man whose ears are stunned by a loud clap of thunder. Then I somehow recovered a little from my state of speechlessness. Now I have mourned, as none could help mourning, over the event, and, in the midst of my lamentations, have sent you this letter. I write not so much to console you,--for who could find words to cure a calamity so great?--as to signify to you, as well as I can by these means, the agony of my own heart. I need now the lamentations of Jeremiah, or of any other of the Saints who has feelingly lamented a great woe. A man has fallen who was really a pillar and stay of the Church or rather he himself has been taken from us and is gone to the blessed life, and there is no small danger lest many at the removal of this prop from under them fall too, and lest some men's unsoundness be brought to light. A mouth is sealed gushing with righteous eloquence and words of grace to the edification of the brotherhood. Gone are the counsels of a mind which truly moved in God. Ah! how often, for I must accuse myself, was it my lot to feel indignation against him, because, wholly desiring to depart and be with Christ, he did not prefer for our sakes to remain in the flesh!(1) To whom for the future shall I commit the cares of the Churches? Whom shall I take to share my troubles? Whom to participate in my gladness? O loneliness terrible and sad How am I not like to a pelican of the wilderness?(2) Yet of a truth the members of the Church, united by his leadership as by one soul, and fitted together into close union of feeling and fellowship, are both preserved and shall ever be preserved by the bond of peace for spiritual communion. God grants us the boon, that all the works of that blessed soul, which he did nobly in the churches of God, abide firm and immovable. But the struggle is no slight one, lest, once more strifes and divisions arising over the choice of the bishop, all your work be upset by some quarrel.

LETTER XXX.(3)

To Eusebius of Samosata.

IF I were to write at length all the causes which, up to the present time, have kept me at home, eager as I have been to set out to see your reverence, I should tell an interminable story. I say nothing of illnesses coming one upon another, hard winter weather, and press of work, for all this has been already made known to you. Now, for my sins, I have lost my Mother,(4) the only comfort I had in life. Do not smile, if, old as I am, I lament my orphanhood. Forgive me if I cannot endure separation from a soul, to compare with whom I see nothing in the future that lies before me. So once more my complaints have come back to me; once more I am confined to my bed, tossing about in my weakness, and every hour all but looking for the end of life; and the Churches are in somewhat the same condition as my body, no good hope shining on them, and their state always changing for the worse. In the meantime Neocaesarea and Ancyra have decided to have successors of the dead, and so far they are at peace. Those who are plotting against me have not yet been permitted to do anything worthy of their bitterness and wrath. This we make no secret of attributing to your prayers on behalf of the Churches. Weary not then in praying for the Churches and in entreating God. Pray give all salutations to those who are privileged to minister to your Holiness.

LETTER XXXI.(1)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

THE death is still with us, and I am therefore compelled to remain where I am, partly by the duty of distribution, and partly out of sympathy for the distressed. Even now, therefore, I have not been able to accompany our reverend brother Hypatius,(2) whom I am able to style brother, not in mere conventional language, but on account of relationship, for we are of one blood. You know how ill he is. It distresses me to think that all hope of comfort is cut off for him, as those who have the gifts of healing have not been allowed to apply their usual remedies in his case. Wherefore again he implores the aid of your prayers. Receive my entreaty that you will give him the usual protection alike for your own sake, for you are always kind to the sick, and for mine who am petitioning on his behalf. If possible, summon to your side the very holy brethren that he may be treated under your own eyes. If this be impossible, be so good as to send him on with a letter, and recommend him to friends further on.

LETTER XXXII.(3)

To Sophronius the Master.(4)

OUR God--beloved brother, Gregory the bishop,(1) shares the troubles of the times, for he too, like everybody else, is distressed. at successive outrages, and resembles a man buffeted by unexpected blows. For men who have no fear of God, possibly forced by the greatness of their troubles, are reviling him, on the ground that they have lent Caesarius(2) money. It is not indeed the question of any loss which is serious, for he has long learnt to despise riches. The matter rather is that those who have so freely distributed all the effects of Caesarius that were worth anything, after really getting very little, because his property was in the hands of slaves, and of men of no better character than slaves, did not leave much for the executors.(3) This little they supposed to be pledged to no one, and straightway spent it on the poor, not only from their own preference, but because of the injunctions of the dead. For on his death bed Caesarius is declared to have said "I wish my goods to belong tO the poor." In obedience then to the wishes of Caesarius they made a proper distribution of them. Now, with the poverty of a Christian, Gregory is immersed in the bustle of a chafferer. So I bethought me of reporting the matter to your excellency, in order that you may state what you think proper about Gregory to the Comes Thesaurorum, and so may honour a man whom you have known for many years, glorify the Lord who takes as done to Himself what is done to His servants, and honour me who am specially bound to you. You will, I hope, of your great sagacity devise a means of relief from these outrageous people and intolerable annoyances.

2. No one is so ignorant of Gregory as to have any unworthy suspicion of his giving an inexact account of the circumstances because he is fond of money. We have not to go far to find a proof of his liberality. What is left of the property of Caesarius he gladly abandons to the Treasury, so that the property may be kept there, and the Treasurer may give answer to those who attack it and demand their proofs; for we are not adapted for such business. Your excellency may be informed that, so long as it was possible, no one went away without getting what he wanted, and each one carried off what he demanded without any difficulty. The consequence indeed was that a good many were sorry that they had not asked for more at first; and this made still more objectors, for with the example of the earlier successful applicants before them, one false claimant starts up after another. I do then entreat your excellency to make a stand against all this and to come in, like some intervening stream, and solve the continuity of these troubles. You know how best you will help matters, and need not wait to be instructed by me. I am inexperienced the affairs of this life, and cannot see my way out of our difficulties. Of your great wisdom discover I some means of help. Be our counsellor. Be our champion.

LETTER XXXIII.(1)

To Aburgius.(2)

WHO knows so well as you do how to respect an old friendship, to pay reverence to virtue, and to sympathise with the sick? Now my God-beloved brother Gregory the bishop has become involved in matters which would be under any circumstances disagreeable, and are quite foreign to his bent of mind. I have therefore thought it best to throw myself on your protection, and to endeavour to obtain from you some solution of our difficulties. It is really an intolerable state of things that one who is neither by nature nor inclination adapted for anything of the kind should be compelled to be thus responsible; that demands for money should be made on a poor man; and that one who has long determined to pass his life in retirement should be dragged into publicity. It would depend upon your wise counsel whether yon think it of any use to address the Comes Thesaurorum or any other persons.

LETTER XXXIV.(3)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

How could I be silent at the present juncture? And if I cannot be silent, how am I to find utterance adequate to the circumstances, so as to make my voice not like a mere groan but rather a lamentation intelligibly indicating the greatness of the misfortune? Ah me! Tarsus is undone.(1) This is a trouble grievous to be borne, but it does not come alone. It is still harder to think that a city so placed as to be united with Cilicia, Cappadocia, and Assyria, should be lightly thrown away by the madness of two or three individuals, while you are all the while hesitating, settling what to do, and looking at one another's faces. It would have been far better to do like the doctors. (I have been so long an invalid that I have no lack of illustrations of this kind.) When their patients' pain becomes excessive they produce insensibility; so should we pray that our souls may be made insensible to the pain of our troubles, that we be not put under unendurable agony. In these hard straits I do not fail to use one means of consolation. I look to your kindness; I try to make my troubles milder by my thought and recollection of you.(2) When the eyes have looked intently on any brilliant objects it relieves them to turn again to what is blue and green; the recollection of your kindness and attention has just the same effect on my soul; it is a mild treatment that takes away my pain. I feel this the more when I reflect that you individually have done all that man could do. You have satisfactorily shewn us, men, if we judge things fairly, that the catastrophe is in no way due to you personally. The reward which you have won at God's hand for your zeal for right is no small one. May the Lord grant you to me and to His churches to the improvement of life and the guidance of souls, and may He once more allow me the privilege of meeting you.

LETTER XXXV.(3)

Without address.

I HAVE written to you about many people as belonging to myself; now I mean to write about more. The poor can never fail, and I can never say, no. There is no one more intimately associated with me, nor better able to do me kindnesses wherever he has the ability, than the reverend brother Leontius. So treat his house as if you had found me, not in that poverty in which now by God's help I am living, but endowed with wealth and landed property. There is no doubt that you would not have made me poor, but would have taken care of what I had, or even added to my possessions. This is the way I ask you to behave in the house of Leontius. You will get your accustomed reward from me; my prayers to the holy God for the trouble you are taking in shewing yourself a good man and true, and in anticipating the supplication of the needy.

LETTER XXXVI.(1)

Without address.

IT has, I think, been long known to your excellency that the presbyter of this place is a foster brother of my own. What more can I say to induce you in your kindness, to view him with a friendly eye, and give him help in his affairs? If you love me, as I know you do, I am sure that you will endeavour, to the best of your power, to relieve any one whom I look upon as a second self. What then do I ask? That he do not lose his old rating. Really he takes no little trouble in ministering to my necessities, because I, as you know, have nothing of my own, but depend upon the means of my friends and relatives. Look, then, upon my brother's house as you would on mine, or let me rather say, on your own. In return for your kindness to him God will not cease to help alike yourself, your house, and your family. Be sure that I am specially anxious lest any injury should be done to him by the equalization of rates.

LETTER XXXVII.(2)

Without address.

I LOOK with suspicion on the multiplication of letters. Against my will, and because I cannot resist the importunity of petitioners, I am compelled to speak. write because I can think of no other means of relieving myself than by assenting to the supplications of those who are always asking letters from me. I am really afraid lest, since many are carrying letters off, one of the many be reckoned to be that brother. I have, I own, many friends and relatives in my own country, and I am placed in loco parentis by the position a which the Lord has given me. Among them is this my foster brother, son of my nurse, and I pray that the house in which I was brought up may remain at its old assessment, so that the sojourn among us of your excellency, so beneficial to us all, may turn out no occasion of trouble to him. Now too I am supported from the same house, because I have nothing of my own, but depend upon those who love me. I do then entreat you to spare the house in which I was nursed as though you were keeping up the supply of support for me. May God in return grant you His everlasting rest. One thing however, and it is most true, I think your excellency ought to know, and that is that the greater number of the slaves were given him from the outset by us, as an equivalent for my sustenance, by the gift of my father and mother. At the same time this was not to be regarded as an absolute gift; he was only to have the use for life, so that, if anything serious happen to him on their account, he is at liberty to send them back to me, and I shall thus in another way be responsible for rates and to collectors.

LETTER XXXVIII.(1)

To his Brother Gregory, concerning the difference between <greek>ousia</greek> and <greek>upostasis</greek>

1. MANY persons, in their study of the sacred dogmas, failing to distinguish between what is common in the essence or substance, and the meaning of the hypostases, arrive at the same notions, and think that it makes no difference whether <greek>ousia</greek> or hypostasis be spoken of. The result is that some of those who accept statements on these subjects without any enquiry, are pleased to speak of "one hypostasis," just as they do of one "essence" or "substance;" while on the other hand those who accept three hypostases are under the idea that they are bound in accordance with this confession, to assert also, by numerical analogy, three essences or substances. Under these circumstances, lest you fall into similar error, I have composed a short treatise for you by way of memorandum. The meaning of the words, to put it shortly, is as follows:

2. Of all nouns the sense of some, which are predicated of subjects plural and numerically various, is more general; as for instance man. When we so say, we employ the noun to indicate the common nature, and do not confine our meaning to any one man in particular who is known by that name. Peter, for instance is no more than, than Andrew, John, or James. The predicate therefore being common, and extending to all the individuals ranked under the same name, requires some note of distinction whereby we may understand not man in general, but Peter or John in particular.

Of some nouns on the other hand the denotation is more limited; and by the aid of the limitation we have before our minds not the common nature, but a limitation of anything, having, so far as the peculiarity extends, nothing in common with what is of the same kind; as for instance, Paul or Timothy. For, in a word, of this kind there is no extension to what is common in the nature; there is a separation of certain circumscribed conceptions from the general idea, and expression of them by means of their names. Suppose then that two or more are set together, as, for instance, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, and that an enquiry is made into the essence or substance of humanity; no one will give one definition of essence or substance in the case of Paul, a second in that of Silvanus, and a third in that of Timothy; but the same words which have been employed in setting forth the essence or substance of Paul will apply to the others also. Those who are described by the same definition of essence or substance are of the same essence or substance(1) when the enquirer has learned what is common, and turns his attention to the differentiating properties whereby one is distinguished from another, the definition by which each is known will no longer tally in all particulars with the definition of another, even though in some points it be found to agree.

3. My statement, then, is this. That which is spoken of in a special and peculiar manner is indicated by the name of the hypostasis. Suppose we say "a man." The indefinite meaning of the word strikes a certain vague sense upon the ears. The nature is indicated, but what subsists and is specially and peculiarly indicated by the name is not made plain. Suppose we say "Paul." We set forth, by what is indicated by the name, the nature subsisting.(2)

This then is the hypostasis, or "understanding;" not the indefinite conception of the essence or substance, which, because what is signified is general, finds no "standing," but the conception which by means of the expressed peculiarities gives standing and circumscription to the general and uncircumscribed. It is customary in Scripture to make a distinction of this kind, as well in many other passages as in the History of Job. When purposing to narrate the events of his life, Job first mentions the common, and says "a man;" then he straightway particularizes by adding "a certain."(1) As to the description of the essence, as having no bearing on the scope of his work, he is silent, but by means of particular notes of identity, mentioning the place and points of character, and such external qualifications as would individualize, and separate from the common and general idea, he specifies the "certain man," in such a way that from name, place, mental qualities, and outside circumstances, the description of the man whose life is being narrated is made in all particulars perfectly clear. If he had been giving an account of the essence, there would not in his explanation of the nature have been any mention of these matters. The same moreover would have been the account that there is in the case of Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and each of the men there mentioned.(2) Transfer, then, to the divine dogmas the same standard of difference which you recognise in the case both of essence and of hypostasis in human affairs, and you will not go wrong. Whatever your thought suggests to you as to the mode of the existence of the Father, you will think also in the case of the Son, and in like manner too of the Holy Ghost. For it is idle to bait the mind at any detached conception from the conviction that it is beyond all contention.(3) For the account of the uncreate and of the incomprehensible is one and the same in the case of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. For one is not more incomprehensible and uncreate than another. And since it is necessary, by means of the notes of differentiation, in the case of the Trinity, to keep the distinction unconfounded, we shall not take into consideration, in order to estimate that which differentiates, what is contemplated in common, as the uncreate, or what is beyond all comprehension, or any quality of this nature; we shall only direct our attention to the enquiry by what means each particular conception will be lucidly and distinctly separated from that which is conceived of in common.

4. Now the proper way to direct our investigation seems to me to be as follows. We say that every good thing, which by God's providence befalls us, is an operation, of the Grace which worketh in us all things, as the apostle says, "But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will."(1) If we ask, if the supply of good things which thus comes to the saints has its origin in the Holy Ghost alone, we are on the other hand guided by Scripture to the belief that of the supply of the good things which are wrought in us through the Holy Ghost, the Originator and Cause is the Only-begotten God;(2) for we are taught by Holy Scripture that "All things were made by Him,"(3) and "by Him consist."(4) When we are exalted to this conception, again, led by God-inspired guidance, we are taught that by that power all things are brought from non-being into being, but yet not by that power to the exclusion of origination.(5) On the other hand there is a certain power subsisting without generation and without origination,(6) which is the cause of the cause of all things. For the Son, by whom are all things, and with whom the Holy Ghost is inseparably conceived of, is of the Father.(7) For it is not possible for any one to conceive of the Son if he be not previously enlightened by the Spirit. Since, then, the Holy Ghost, from Whom all the supply of good things for creation has its source, is attached to the Son, and with Him is inseparably apprehended, and has Its(8) being attached to the Father, as cause, from Whom also It proceeds; It has this note of Its peculiar hypostatic nature, that It is known after the Son(9) and together with the Son, and that It has Its subsistence of the Father. The Son, Who declares the Spirit proceeding from the Father through Himself and with Himself, shining forth alone and by only-begetting from the unbegotten light, so far as the peculiar notes are concerned, has nothing in common either with the Father or with the Holy Ghost. He alone is known by the stated signs. But God, Who is over all, alone has, as one special mark of His own hypostasis, His being Father, and His deriving His hypostasis(1) from no cause; and through this mark He is peculiarly known. Wherefore in the communion of the substance we maintain that there is no mutual approach or intercommunion of those notes of indication perceived in the Trinity, whereby is set forth the proper peculiarity of the Persons delivered in the faith, each of these being distinctively apprehended by His own notes. Hence, in accordance with the stated signs of indication, discovery is made of the separation of the hypostases; while so far as relates to the infinite, the incomprehensible, the uncreate, the uncircumscribed, and similar attributes, there is no variableness in the life-giving nature; in that, I mean, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in Them is seen a certain communion indissoluble and continuous. And by the same considerations, whereby a reflective student could perceive the greatness of any one of the (Persons) believed in in the Holy Trinity, he will proceed without variation. Beholding the glory in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, his mind all the while recognises no void interval wherein it may travel between Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for there is nothing inserted between Them; nor beyond the divine nature is there anything so subsisting as to be able to divide that nature from itself by the interposition of any foreign matter. Neither is there any vacuum of interval, void of subsistence, which can make a break in the mutual harmony of the divine essence, and solve the continuity by the interjection of emptiness. He who perceives the Father, and perceives Him by Himself, has at the same time mental perception of the Son; and he who receives the Son does not divide Him from the Spirit, but, in consecution so far as order is concerned, in conjunction so far as nature is concerned, expresses the faith commingled in himself in the three together. He who makes mention of the Spirit alone, embraces also in this confession Him of whom He is the Spirit. And since the Spirit is Christ's and of God,(2) as says Paul, then just as he who lays hold on one end of the chain pulls the other to him, so he who "draws the Spirit,"(3) as says the prophet, by His means draws to him at the same time both the Son and the Father. And if any one verily receives the Son, he will hold Him on both sides, the Son drawing towards him on the one His own Father, and on the other His own Spirit. For He who eternally exists in the Father can never be cut off from the Father, nor can He who worketh all things by the Spirit ever be disjoined from His own Spirit. Likewise moreover he who receives the Father virtually receives at the same time both the Son and the Spirit; for it is in no wise possible to entertain the idea of severance or division, in such a way as that the Son should be thought of apart from the Father, or the Spirit be disjoined from the Son. But the communion and the distinction apprehended in Them are, in a certain sense, ineffable and inconceivable, the continuity of nature being never rent asunder by the distinction of the hypostases, nor the notes of proper distinction confounded in the community of essence. Marvel not then at my speaking of the name thing as being both conjoined and parted, and thinking as it were darkly in a riddle, of a certain(1) new and strange conjoined separation and separated conjunction. Indeed, even in objects perceptible to the senses, any one who approaches the subject in a candid and uncontentious spirit, may find similar conditions of things.

5. Yet receive what I say as at best a token and reflexion of the truth; not as the actual truth itself. For it is not possible that there should be complete correspondence between what is seen in the tokens and the objects in reference to which the use of tokens is adopted. Why then do I say that an analogy of the separate and the conjoined is found in objects perceptible to the senses? You have before now, in springtime, beheld the brightness of the bow in the cloud; the bow, I mean, which, in our common parlance, is called Iris, and is said by persons skilled in such matters to be formed when a certain moisture is mingled with the air, and the force of the winds expresses what is dense and moist in the vapour, after it has become cloudy, into rain. The bow is said to be formed as follows. When the sunbeam, alter traversing obliquely the dense and darkened portion of the cloud-formation, has directly cast its own orb on some cloud, the radiance is then reflected back from what is moist and shining, and the result is a bending and return, as it were, of the light upon itself. For flame-like flashings are so constituted that if they fall on any smooth surface they are refracted on themselves; and the shape of the sun, which by means of the beam is formed on the moist and smooth part of the air, is round. The necessary consequence therefore is that the air adjacent to the cloud is marked out by means of the radiant brilliance in conformity with the shape of the sun's disc. Now this brilliance is both continuous and divided. It is of many colours; it is of many forms; it is insensibly steeped in the variegated bright tints of its dye; imperceptibly abstracting from our vision the combination of many coloured things, with the result that no space, mixing or paring within itself the difference of colour, can be discerned either between blue and flame-coloured, or between flame-coloured and red, or between red and amber. For all the rays, seen at the same time, are far shining, and while they give no signs of their mutual combination, are incapable of being tested, so that it is impossible to discover the limits of the flame-coloured or of the emerald portion of the light, and at what point each originates before it appears as it does in glory. As then in the token we clearly distinguish the difference of the colours, and yet it is impossible for us to apprehend by our senses any interval between them; so in like manner conclude, I pray you, that you may reason concerning the divine dogmas; that the peculiar properties of the hypostases, like colours seen in the Iris, flash their brightness on each of the Persons Whom we believe to exist in the Holy Trinity; but that of the proper nature no difference can be conceived as existing between one and the other, the peculiar characteristics shining, in community of essence, upon each. Even in our example, the essence emitting the many-coloured radiance, and refracted by the sunbeam, was one essence; it is the colour of the phaenomenon which is multiform. My argument thus teaches us, even by the aid of the visible creation, not to feel distressed at points of doctrine whenever we meet with questions difficult of solution, and when at the though of accepting what is proposed to us, our brains begin to reel. In regard to visible objects experience appears better than theories of causation, and so in matters transcending all knowledge, the apprehension of argument is inferior to the faith which teaches us at once the distinction in hypostasis and the conjunction in essence. Since then our discussion has included both what is common and what is distinctive in the Holy Trinity, the common is to be understood as referring to the essence; the hypostasis on the other hand is the several distinctive sign.(1)

6. It may however be thought that the account here given of the hypostasis does not tally with the sense of the Apostle's words, where he says concerning the Lord that He is "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,"(2) for if we have taught hypostasis to be the conflux of the several properties; and if it is confessed that, as in the case of the Father something is contemplated as proper and peculiar, whereby He alone is known, so in the same way is it believed about the Only-begotten; how then does Scripture in this place ascribe the name of the hypostasis to the Father alone, and describes the Son as form of the hypostasis, and designated not by His own proper notes, but by those of the Father? For if the hypostasis is the sign of several existence, and the property of the Father is confined to the unbegotten being, and the Son is fashioned according to His Father's properties, then the term unbegotten can no longer be predicated exclusively of the Father, the existence of the Only-begotten being denoted by the distinctive note of the Father.

7. My opinion is, however, that in this passage the Apostle's argument is directed to a different end; and it is looking to this that he uses the terms "brightness of glory," and "express image of person." Whoever keeps this carefully in view will find nothing that clashes with what I have said, but that the argument is conducted in a special and peculiar sense. For the object of the apostolic argument is not the distinction of the hypostases from one another by means of the apparent notes; it is rather the apprehension of the natural, inseparable, and close relationship of the Son to the Father. He does not say "Who being the glory of the Father" (although in truth He is); he omits this as admitted, and then in the endeavour to teach that we must not think of one form of glory in the case of the Father and of another in that of the Son, He defines the glory of the Only-begotten as the brightness of the glory of the Father, and, by the use of the example of the light, causes the Son to be thought of in indissoluble association with the Father. For just as the brightness is emitted by the flame, and the brightness is not after the flame, but at one and the same moment the flame shines and the light beams brightly, so does the Apostle mean the Son to be thought of as deriving existence from the Father, and yet the Only-begotten not to be divided from the existence of the Father by any intervening extension in space, but the caused to be always conceived of together with the cause. Precisely in the same manner, as though by way of interpretation of the meaning of the preceding cause, and with the object of guiding us to the conception of the invisible by means of material examples, he speaks also of "express image of person." For as the body is wholly in form, and yet tile definition of the body and the definition of the form are distinct, and no one wishing to give the definition of the one would be found in agreement with that of the other; and yet, even if in theory you separate the form from the body, nature does not admit of the distinction, and both are inseparably apprehended; just so the Apostle thinks that even if the doctrine of the faith represents the difference of the hypostases as unconfounded and distinct, he is bound by his language to set forth also the continuous and as it were concrete relation of the Only-begotten to the Father. And this he states, not as though the Only-begotten had not also a hypostatic being, but in that the union does not admit of anything intervening between the Son and the Father, with the result that he, who with his soul's eyes fixes his gaze earnestly on the express image of the Only-begotten, is made perceptive also of the hypostasis of the Father. Yet the proper quality contemplated in them is not subject to change, nor yet to commixture, in such wise as that we should attribute either an origin of generation to the Father or an origin without generation to the Son, but so that if we could compass the impossibility of detaching one from the other, that one might be apprehended severally and alone, for, since the mere name implies the Father, it is not possible that any one should even name the Son without apprehending the Father.(1)

8. Since then, as says the Lord in the Gospels,(2) he that hath seen the Son sees tim Father also; on this account he says that the Only-begotten is the express image of His Father's person. That this may be made still plainer I will quote also other passages of the apostle in which he calls the Son "the image of the invisible God,"(1) and again "image of His goodness;"(2) not because the image differs from the Archetype according to the definition of indivisibility and goodness, but that it may be shewn that it is the same as the prototype, even though it be different. For the idea of the image would be lost were it not to preserve throughout the plain and invariable likeness. He therefore that has perception of the beauty of the image is made perceptive of the Archetype. So he, who has, as it were mental apprehension of the form of the Son, prints the express image of the Father's hypostasis, beholding the latter in tile former, not beholding in the reflection tile unbegotten being of the Father (for thus there would be complete identity and no distinction), but gazing at tile unbegotten beauty in the Begotten. Just as he who in a polished mirror beholds the reflection of the form as plain knowledge of the represented face, so he, who has knowledge of the Son, through his knowledge of the Son receives in his heart the express image of the Father's Person. For all things that are the Father's are beheld in the Son, and all things that are the Son's are the Father's; because the whole Son is in the Father and has all the Father in Himself.(3) Thus the hypostasis of the Son becomes as it were form and face of the knowledge of the Father, and the hypostasis of the Father is known in the form of the Son, while the proper quality which is contemplated therein remains for the plain distinction of the hypostases.

LETTER XXXIX.(4)

Julian(5) to Basil.

THE proverb says "You are not proclaiming war,"(1) and, let me adds out of the comedy, "O messenger of golden words."(2) Come then; prove this in act, and hasten to me. You will come as friend to friend. Conspicuous and unremitting devotion to business seems, to those that treat it as of secondary importance, a heavy burden; yet the diligent are modest, as I persuade myself, sensible, and ready for any emergency. I allow myself relaxations so that even rest may be permitted to one who neglects nothing. Our mode of life is not marked by the court hypocrisy, of which I think you have had some experience, and in accordance with which compliments mean deadlier hatred than is felt to our worst foes; but, with becoming freedom, while we blame and rebuke where blame is due, we love with the love of the dearest friends. I may therefore, let me say, with all sincerity, both be diligent in relaxation and, when at work, not get worn out, and sleep secure; since when awake I do not wake more for myself, than, as is fit, for every one else. I am afraid this is rather silly and trifling, as I feel rather lazy, (I praise myself like Astydamas(3)) but I am writing to prove to you that to have the pleasure of seeing you, wise man as you are, will be more likely to do me good than to cause any difficulty. Therefore, as I have said, lose no time: travel post haste. After you have paid me as long a visit as you likes you shall go on your journey, whithersoever you will, with my best wishes.

LETTER XL.(4)

Julian to Basil.

WHILE showing up to the present time the gentleness and benevolence which have been natural to me from my boyhood, I have reduced all who dwell beneath the sun to obedience. For lo! every tribe of barbarians to the shores of ocean has come to lay its gifts before my feet. So too the Sagadares who dwell beyond the Danube, wondrous with their bright tattooing, and hardly like human beings, so wild and strange are they, now grovel at my feet, and pledge themselves to obey all the behests my sovereignty imposes on them. I have a further object. I must as soon as possible march to Persia and rout and make a tributary of that Sapor, descendant of Darius. I mean too to devastate the country of the Indians and the Saracens until they all acknowledge my superiority and become my tributaries. You, however, profess a wisdom above and beyond these things; you call yourself clad with piety, but your clothing is really impudence and everywhere you slander me as one unworthy of the imperial dignity. Do you not know that I am the grandson of the illustrious Constantius?(1) I know this of you, and yet I do not change the old feelings which I had to you, and you to me in the days when we were both young.(2) But of my merciful will I command that a thousand pounds of gold be sent me from you, when I pass by Caesarea; for I am still on the march, and with all possible dispatch am hurrying to the Persian campaign.. If you refuse I am prepared to destroy Caesarea, to overthrow the buildings that have long adorned it; to erect in their place temples and statues; and so to induce all men to submit to the Emperor of the Romans and not exalt themselves. Wherefore I charge you to send me without fail by the hands of some trusty messenger the stipulated gold, after duly counting and weighing it, and sealing it with your ring. In this way I may show mercy to you for your errors, if you acknowledge, however late, that no excuses will avail. I have learned to know, and to condemn, what once I read.(3)

LETTER XLI.(4)

Basil to Julian.

1. THE heroic deeds of your present splendour are small, and your grand attack against me, or rather against yourself, is paltry. When I think of you robed in purple, a crown on your dishonoured head, which, so long as true religion is absents, rather disgraces than graces your empire, I tremble. And you yourself who have risen to be so high and great, now that vile and honour-hating demons have brought you to this pass, have begun not only to exalt yourself above all human nature, but even to uplift yourself against God, and insult His Church, mother and nurse of all, by sending to me, most insignificant of men, orders to forward you a thousand pounds of gold. I am not so much astonished at the weight of the gold, although it is very serious; but it has made me shed bitter tears over your so rapid ruin. I bethink me how you and I have learned together the lessons of the best and holiest books. Each of us went through the sacred and God-inspired Scriptures. Then nothing was hid from you. Nowadays you have become lost to proper feeling, beleaguered as you are with pride. Your serene Highness did not find out for the first time yesterday that I do not live in the midst of superabundant wealth. To-day you have demanded a thousand pounds of gold of me. I hope your serenity will deign to spare me. My property amounts to so much, that I really shall not have enough to eat as much as I shall like to-day. Under my roof the art of cookery is dead. My servants' knife never touches blood. The most important viands, in which lies our abundance, are leaves of herbs with very coarse bread and sour wine, so that our senses are not dulled by gluttony, and do not indulge in excess.

2. Your excellent tribune Lausus, trusty minister of your orders, has also reported to me that a certain woman came as a suppliant to your serenity on the occasion of the death of her son by poison; that it has been judged by you that poisoners are not allowed to exist;(1) if any there be, that they are to be destroyed, or, only those are reserved, who are to fight with beasts. And, this rightly decided by you, seems strange to me, for your efforts to cure the pain of great wounds by petty remedies are to the last degree ridiculous. After insulting God, it is useless for you to give heed to widows and orphans. The former is mad and dangerous; the latter the part of a merciful and kindly man. It is a serious thing for a private individual like myself to speak to an emperor; it will be more serious for you to speak to God. No one will appear to mediate between God and man. What you read yon did not understand. If you had understood, you would not have condemned.(2)

LETTER XLII.(1)

To Chilo, his disciple.

1. IF, my true brother, you gladly suffer yourself to be advised by me as to what course of action you should pursue, specially in the points in which you have referred to me for advice, you will owe me your salvation. Many men have had the courage to enter upon the solitary life; but to live it out to the end is a task which perhaps has been achieved by few. The end is not necessarily involved in the intention; yet in the end is the guerdon of the toil. No advantage, therefore, accrues to men who fail to press on to the end of what they have in view and only adopt the solitary's life in its inception. Nay, they make their profession ridiculous, and are charged by outsiders with unmanliness and instability of purpose. Of these, moreover, the Lord says, who wishing to build a house "sitteth not down first and counteth the cost whether he have sufficient to finish it? lest haply after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish it," the passers-by "begin to mock him saying," this man laid a foundation "and was not able to finish."(2) Let the start, then, mean that you heartily advance in virtue. The right noble athlete Paul, wishing us not to rest in easy security on so much of our life as may have been lived well in the past, but, every day to attain further progress, says "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling."(3) So truly stands the whole of human life, not contented with what has gone before and fed not so much on the past as on the future. For how is a man the better for having his belly filled yesterday, if his natural hunger fails to find its proper satisfaction in food to-day? In the same way the soul gains nothing by yesterday's virtue unless it be followed by the right conduct of to-day. For it is said "I shall judge thee as I shall find thee."

2. Vain then is the labour of the righteous man, and free from blame is the way of the sinner, if a change befall, and the former turn from the better to the worse, and the latter from the worse to the better. So we hear from Ezekiel teaching as it were in the name of the Lord, when he says, "if the righteous turneth away and committeth iniquity, I will not remember the righteousness which he committed before; in his sin he shall die,"(1) and so too about the sinner; if he turn away from his wickedness, and do that which is right, he shall live. Where were all the labours of God's servant Moses, when the gainsaying of one moment shut him out from entering into the promised land? What became of the companionship of Gehazi with Elissaeus, when he brought leprosy on himself by his covetousness? What availed all Solomon's vast wisdom, and his previous regard for God, when afterwards from his mad love of women he fell into idolatry? Not even the blessed David was blameless, when his thoughts went astray and he sinned against the wife of Uriah. One example were surely enough for keeping safe one who is living a godly life, the fall from the better to the worse of Judas, who, after being so long Christ's disciple, for a mean gain sold his Master and got a halter for himself. Learn then, brother, that it is not he who begins well who is perfect. It is he who ends well who is approved in God's sight. Give then no sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids(2) that you may be delivered "as a roe from the net and a bird from the snare."(3) For, behold, you are passing through the midst of snares; you are treading on the top of a high wall whence a fall is perilous to the fuller; wherefore do not straightway attempt extreme discipline; above all things beware of confidence in yourself, lest you fall from a height of discipline through want of training. It is better to advance a little at a time. Withdraw then by degrees from the pleasures of life, gradually destroying all your wonted habits, lest you bring on yourself a crowd of temptations by irritating all your passions at once. When you have mastered one passion, then begin to wage war against another, and in this manner you will in good time get the better of all. Indulgence, so far as the name goes, is one, but its practical workings are diverse. First then, brother, meet every temptation with patient endurance. And by what various temptations the faithful man is proved; by worldly loss, by accusations, by lies, by opposition, by calumny, by persecution! These and the like are the tests of the faithful. Further, be quiet, not rash in speech, not quarrelsome, not disputatious, not covetous of vain glory, not more anxious to get than to give knowledge,(1) not a man of many words, but always more ready to learn than to teach. Do not trouble yourself about worldly life; from it no good can come to you. It is said, "That my mouth speak not the works of men."(2) The man who is fond of talking about sinners' doings, soon rouses the desire for self indulgence; much better busy yourself about the lives of good men for so you will get some profit for yourself. Do not be anxious to go travelling about(3) from village to village anti house to house; rather avoid them as traps for souls. If any one, for true pity's sake, invite you with many pleas to enter his house, let him be told to follow the faith of the centurion, who, when Jesus was hastening to him to perform an act of healing, besought him not to do so in the words, "Lord I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed,"(4) and when Jesus had said to him "Go thy way; as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee,"(5) his servant was healed from that hour. Learn then, brother, that it was the faith of the suppliant, not the presence of Christ, which delivered the sick man. So too now, if you pray, in whatever place you be, and the sick man believes that he will be aided by your prayers, all will fall out as he desires.

3. You will not love your kinsfolk more than the Lord. "He that loveth," He says, "father, or mother, or brother, more than me, is not worthy of me."(6) What is the meaning of the Lord's commandment? "He that taketh not up his cross and followeth after me, cannot be my disciple?"(7) If, together with Christ, you died to your kinsfolk according to the flesh, why do you wish to live with them again? If for your kinsfolk's sake you are building up again what you destroyed for Christ's sake, you make yourself a transgressor. Do not then for your kinsfolk's sake abandon your place: if you abandon your place, perhaps you will abandon your mode of life. Love not the crowd, nor the country, nor the town; love the desert, ever abiding by yourself with no wandering mind,(8) regarding prayer anti praise as your life's work. Never neglect reading, especially of the New Testament, because very frequently mischief comes of reading the Old; not because what is written is harmful, but because the minds of the injured are weak. All bread is nutritious, but it may be injurious to the sick. Just so all Scripture is God inspired and profitable,(1) and there is nothing in it unclean: only to him who thinks it is unclean, to him it is unclean. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."(2) "All things are lawful but all things are not expedient."(3) Among all, with whom you come in contact, be in all things a giver of no offence,(4) cheerful, "loving as a brother,"(5) pleasant, humble-minded, never missing the mark of hospitality through extravagance of meats, but always content with what is at hand. Take no more from any one than the daily necessaries of the solitary life. Above all things shun gold as the soul's foe, the father of sin and the agent of the devil. Do not expose yourself to the charge of covetousness on the pretence of ministering to the poor; but, if any one brings you money for the poor and you know of any who are in need, advise the owner himself to convey it to his needy brothers, lest haply your conscience may be defiled by the acceptance of money.

4. Shun pleasures; seek after continence; train your body to hard work; accustom your soul to trials. Regarding the dissolution of soul and body as release from every evil, await that enjoyment of everlasting good things in which all the saints have part. Ever, as it were, holding the balance against every suggestion of the devil throw in a holy thought, and, as the scale inclines do thou go with it. Above all when the evil thought starts up and says, "What is the good of your passing your life in this place? What do you gain by withdrawing yourself from the society of men? Do you not know that those, who are ordained by God to be bishops of God's churches, constantly associate with their fellows, and indefatigably attend spiritual gatherings at which those who are present derive very great advantage? There are to be enjoyed explanations of hard sayings, expositions of the teachings of the apostles, interpretations of the thoughts of the gospels. lessons in theology and the intercourse of spiritual brethren, who do great good to all they meet if only by the sight of their faces. You, however, who have decided to be a stranger to all these good things, are sitting here in a wild state like the beasts. You see round you a wide desert with scarcely a fellow creature in it, lack of all instruction, estrangement from your brothers, and your spirit inactive in carrying out the commandments of God." Now, when the evil thought rises against you, with all these ingenious pretexts and wishes to destroy you, oppose to it in pious reflection Your own practical experience, and say, u tell me that the things in the world are good; the reason why I came here is because I judged myself unfit for the good things of the world. With the world's good things are mingled evil things, and the evil things distinctly have the upper hand. Once when I attended the spiritual assemblies I did with difficulty find one brother, who, so far as I could see, feared God, but he was a victim of the devil, and I heard from him amusing stories and tales made up to deceive those whom he met. After him I fell in with many thieves, plunderers, tyrants. I saw disgraceful drunkards; I saw the blood of the oppressed; I saw women's beauty, which tortured my chastity. From actual fornication I fled, but I defiled my virginity by the thoughts of my heart. I heard many discourses which were good for the soul, but I could not discover in the case of any one of the teachers that his life was worthy of his words. After this, again, I heard a great number of plays, which were made attractive by wanton songs. Then I heard a lyre sweetly played, the applause of tumblers, the talk of clowns, all kinds of jests and follies and all the noises of a crowd. I saw the tears of the robbed, the agony of the victims of tyranny, the shrieks of the tortured. I looked and lo, there was no spiritual assembly, but only a sea, wind-tossed and agitated, and trying to drown every one at once under its waves.(1) Tell me, O evil thought, tell me, daemon of short lived pleasure and vain glory, what is the good of my seeing and hearing all these things, when I am powerless to succour any of those who are thus wronged; when I am allowed neither to defend the helpless nor correct the fallen; when I am perhaps doomed to destroy myself too. For just as a very little fresh water is blown away by a storm of wind and dust, in like manner the good deeds, that we think we do in this life, are overwhelmed by the multitude of evils. Pieces acted for men in this life are driven through joy and merriment, like stakes into their hearts, so that the brightness of their worship is be-dimmed. But the wails and lamentations of men wronged by their fellows are introduced to make a show of the patience of the poor.

5. What good then do I get except the loss of my soul? For this reason I migrate to the hills like a bird. "I am escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers."(1) I am living, O evil thought, in the desert in which the Lord lived. Here is the oak of Mature; here is the ladder going up to heaven, and the stronghold of the angels which Jacob saw; here is the wilderness in which the people purified received the law, and so came into the land of promise and saw God. Here is Mount Carmel where Elias sojourned and pleased God. Here is the plain whither Esdras withdrew, and at God's bidding uttered all the God inspired books.(2) Here is the wilderness in which the blessed John ate locusts and preached repentance to men. Here is the Mount of Olives, whither Christ came and prayed, and taught us to pray. Here is Christ the lover of the wilderness, for He says "Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them."(3) "Here is the strait and narrow way which leadeth unto life."(4) Here are the teachers and prophets "wandering in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth."(5) Here are apostles and evangelists and solitaries' life remote from cities. This I have embraced with all my heart, that I may win what has been promised to Christ's martyrs and all His other saints, and so I may truly say, "Because of the words of thy lips I have kept hard ways."(6) I have heard of Abraham, God's friend, who obeyed the divine voice and went into the wilderness; of Isaac who submitted to authority; of Jacob, the patriarch, who left his home; of Joseph, the chaste, who was sold; of the three children. who learnt how to fast, and fought with the fire; of Daniel thrown twice into the lion's den;(7) of Jeremiah speaking boldly, and thrown into a pit of mud; of Isaiah, who saw unspeakable things, cut asunder with a saw; of Israel led away captive; of John the rebuker of adultery, beheaded; of Christ's martyrs slain. But why say more? Here our Saviour Himself was crucified for our sakes that by His death He might give us life, and train and attract us all to endurance. To Him I press on, and to the Father and to the Holy Ghost. I strive to be found true, judging myself unworthy of this world's goods. And yet not I because of the world, but the world because of me. Think of all these things in your heart; follow them with zeal; fight, as you have been commanded, for the truth to the death. For Christ was made "obedient" even "unto death."(1) The Apostle says, "Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart ... in departing from the living God. But exhort one another ... (and edify one another(2)) while it is called to-day."(3) To-day means the whole time of our life, Thus living, brother, you will save yourself, you will make me glad, and you will glorify God from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.

LETTER XLIII.(4)

Admonition to the Young.

O Faithful man of solitary life, and practiser of true religion, learn the lessons of the evangelic conversation, of mastery over the body, of a meek spirit, of purity of mind, of destruction of pride. Pressed into the service,(5) add to your gifts, for the Lord's sake; robbed, never go to law; hated, love; persecuted, endure; slandered, entreat. Be dead to sin; be crucified to God. Cast all your care upon the Lord, that you may be found where are tens of thousands of angels, assemblies of the first-born, the thrones of prophets, sceptres of patriarchs, crowns of martyrs, praises of righteous men. Earnestly desire to be numbered with those righteous men in Christ Jesus our Lord. To Him be glory for ever. Amen.

LETTER XLIV.(6)

To a lapsed Monk.(7)

1. I DO not wish you joy, for there is no joy for the wicked. Even now I cannot believe it; my heart cannot conceive iniquity so great as the crime which you have committed: if, that is, the truth really is what is generally understood. I am at a loss to think how wisdom so deep can have been made to disappear; how such exact discipline can have been undone; whence blindness so profound can have been shed round you; how with utter inconsiderateness you have wrought such destruction of souls. If this be true, you have given over your own soul to the pit, and have slackened the earnestness of all who have heard of your impiety. You have set at nought the faith; you have missed the glorious fight. I grieve over you. What cleric(1) does not lament as he hears? What ecclesiastic does not beat the breast? What layman is not downcast? What ascetic is not sad? Haply, even the sun has grown dark at your fall, and the powers of heaven have been shaken at your destruction. Even senseless stones have shed tears at your madness; even your enemies have wept at the greatness of your iniquity. Oh hardness of heart! Oh cruelty! You did not fear God; you did not reverence men; you cared nothing for your friends you made shipwreck of all at once; at once you were stripped of all. Once more I grieve over you, unhappy man. You were proclaiming to all the power of the kingdom, and you fell from it. You were making all stand in fear of your teaching, and there was no fear of God before your eyes. You were preaching purity, and you are found polluted. You were priding yourself on your poverty, and you are convicted of covetousness; you were demonstrating and explaining the chastisement of God, and you yourself brought! chastisement on your own head. How am I to lament you, flow grieve for you? How is Lucifer that was rising in the morning fallen and dashed on the ground? Both the ears of every hearer will tingle. How is the Nazarite, brighter than gold, become dark above pitch? How has the glorious son of Sion become an unprofitable vessel! Of him, whose memory of the sacred Scriptures was in all men's mouths, the memory to-day has perished with the sound. The man of quick intelligence has quickly perished. The man of manifold wit has wrought manifold iniquity. All who profiled by your teaching have been injured by your fall. All who came to listen to your conversation have stopped their ears at your fall. I, sorrowful and downcast, weakened in every way, eating ashes for breast and with sackcloth on my wound, am thus recounting your praises; or rather, with none to comfort and none to cure, am making an inscription for a tomb. For comfort is hid from my eyes. I have no salve, no oil, no bandage to put on. My wound is sore, how shall I be healed?

2. If you have any hope of salvation; if you have the least thought of God, or any desire for good things to come; if you have any fear of the chastisements reserved for the impenitent, awake without delay, lift up your eyes to heaven, come to your senses, cease from your wickedness, shake off the stupor that enwraps you, make a stand against the foe who has struck you down. Make an effort to rise from the ground. Remember the good Shepherd who will follow and rescue you. Though it be but two legslobe of an ear,(1) spring back from the beast that has wounded you. Remember the mercies of God and how He cures with oil and wine. Do not despair of salvation. Recall your recollection of how it is written in the Scriptures that he who is filling rises and he who turns away returns;(2) the wounded is healed, the prey of beasts escapes; he who owns his sin is not rejected. The Lord willeth not the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn and live.(3) Do not despise, like the wicked in the pit of evil.(4) There is a time of endurance, a time of long suffering, a time of healing, a time of correction. Have you stumbled? Arise. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand in the way of sinners,(5) but spring away. When you are converted and groan you shall be saved. Out of labour comes health, out of sweat salvation. Beware lest, from your wish to keep certain obligations, you break the obligations to God which you professed before many witnesses.(6) Pray do not hesitate to come to me for any earthly considerations. When I have recovered my dead I shall lament, I shall tend him, I will weep "because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people."(7) All are ready to welcome you, all will share your efforts. Do not sink back. Remember the days of old. There is salvation; there is amendment. Be of good cheer; do not despair. It is not a law condemning to death without pity, but mercy remitting punishment and awaiting improvement. The doors are not yet shut; the bridegroom hears; sin is not the master. Make another effort, do not hesitate, have pity on yourself and on all of us in Jesus Christ our Lord, to Whom be glory and might now and for ever and ever. Amen.

LETTER XLV.(6)

To a lapsed Monk.(7)

1. I AM doubly alarmed to the very bottom of my heart, and you are the cause. I am either the victim of some unkindly prepossession, and so am driven to make an unbrotherly charge; or, with every wish to feel for you, and to deal gently with your troubles, I am forced to take a different and an unfriendly attitude. Wherefore, even as I take my pen to write, I have nerved my unwilling hand by reflection; but my face, downcast as it is, because of my sorrow over you, I have had no power to change. I am so covered with shame, for your sake, that my lips are turned to mourning and my mouth straightway falls. Ah me! What am I to write? What shall I think in my perplexity?

If I call to mind your former empty mode of life, when you were rolling in riches and had abundance of petty mundane reputation, I shudder; then you were followed by a mob of flatterers, and had the short enjoyment of luxury, with obvious peril and unfair gain on the one hand, fear of the magistrates scattered your care for your salvation, on the other the agitations of public affairs disturbed your home, and the continuance of troubles directed your mind to Him Who is able to help yon. Then, little by little, you took to seeking for the Saviour, Who brings you fears for your good, Who delivers you and protects you, though you mocked Him in your security. Then you began to train yourself for a change to a worthy life, treating all your perilous property as mere dung, and abandoning the care of your household and the society of your wife. All abroad like a stranger and a vagabond, wandering through town and country, you betook yourself to Jerusalem.(1) There I myself lived with you, and, for the toil of your ascetic discipline, called you blessed, when fasting for weeks you continued in contemplation before God, shunning the society of your fellows, like a routed runaway. Then you arranged for yourself a quiet and solitary life, and refused all the disquiets of society. You pricked your body with rough sackcloth; you tightened a hard belt round your loins; you bravely put wearing pressure on your bones; you made your sides hang loose from front to back, and all hollow with fasting; you would wear no soft bandage, and drawing in your stomach, like a gourd, made it adhere to the parts about your kidneys. You emptied out all fat from your flesh; all the channels below your belly you dried up; your belly itself you folded up for want of food; your ribs, like the caves of a house, you made to overshadow all the parts about your middle, and, with all your body contracted, you spent the long hours of the night in pouring out confession to God, and made your beard wet with channels of tears. Why particularize? Remember how many mouths of saints you saluted with a kiss, how many bodies you embraced, how many held hands as undefiled, how many servants God, as though in worship, ran and clasped you by the knees.

2. And what is the end of all this? My ears are wounded by a charge of adultery, flying swifter than an arrow, and piercing my heart with a sharper sting. What crafty wiliness of wizard has driven you into so deadly a trap? What many-meshed devil's nets have entangled you and disabled all the powers of your virtue? What has become of the story of your labours? Or must we disbelieve them? How can we avoid giving credit to what has long been hid when we see what is plain? What shall we say of your having by tremendous oaths bound souls which fled for refuge to God, when what is there than yea and nay is carefully attributed to the devil?(1) You have made yourself security for fatal perjury; and, by setting the ascetic character at nought, you have cast blame even upon the Apostles and the very Lord Himself. You have shamed the boast of purity. You have disgraced the promise of chastity; we have been made a tragedy of captives, and our story is made a play of be-Jews and Greeks. You have made a in the solitaries' spirit, driving those of exacter discipline into fear and cowardice, while they still wonder at the power of the devil, and seducing the careless into imitation of your incontinence. So far as you have been able, you have destroyed the boast of Christ, Who said, "Be of good cheer I have overcome the world,"(2) and its Prince. You have mixed for your country a bowl of ill repute. Verily you have proved the truth of the proverb, "Like a hart stricken through the liver."(3)

But what now? The tower of strength has not fallen, my brother. The remedies of correction are not mocked; the city of refuge is not shut. Do not abide in the depths of evil. Do not deliver yourself to the slayer of souls. The Lord knows how to set up them that are dashed down. Do not try to flee afar off, but hasten to me. Resume once more the labours of your youth, and by a fresh course of good deeds destroy the indulgence that creeps foully along the ground. Look to the end, that has come so near to our life. See how now the sons of Jews and Greeks are being driven to the worship of God, and do not altogether deny the Saviour of the World. Never let that most awful sentence apply to you, "Depart from me, I never knew you."(1)

LETTER XLVI.(2)

To a fallen virgin.

1. Now is the time to quote the words of the prophet and to say, "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people."(3) Though they are wrapped in profound silence and lie stunned by their misfortune, robbed of all sense of feeling by the fatal blow, I at all events must not let such a fall go unlamented. If, to Jeremiah, it seemed that those whose bodies had been wounded in war, were worthy of innumerable lamentations, what shall be said of such a disaster of souls? "My slain men," it is said, "are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle."(4) But I am bewailing the sting of the real death, the grievousness of sin and the fiery darts of the wicked one, which have savagely set on fire souls as well as bodies. Truly God's laws would groan aloud on seeing so great a pollution on the earth. They have pronounced their prohibition of old "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife";(5) and through the holy gospels they say that "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart."(6) Now they see the bride of the Lord herself, whose head is Christ, boldly committing adultery.(7) So too would groan the companies(8) of the Saints. Phinehas, the zealous, because he can now no more take his spear into his hands and avenge the outrage on the bodies; and John the Baptist, because he cannot quit the realms above, as in his life he left the wilderness, to hasten to convict iniquity, and if he must suffer for the deed, rather lose his head than his freedom to speak. But, peradventure, like the blessed Abel, he too though dead yet speaks to us,(9) and now exclaims, more loudly than John of old concerning Herodias. "It is not lawful for thee to have her."(1) For even if the body of John in obedience to the law of nature has received the sentence of God, and his tongue is silent, yet "the word of God is not bound."(2) John, when he saw the wedlock of a fellow servant set at nought, was bold to rebuke even to the death: how would he feel on seeing such an outrage wreaked on the marriage chamber of the Lord?

2. You have flung away the yoke of that divine union; you have fled from the undefiled chamber of the true King; you have shamefully fallen into this disgraceful and impious corruption; and now that you cannot avoid this painful charge, and have no means or device to conceal your trouble, you rush into insolence. The wicked man after falling into a pit of iniquity always begins to despise, and you are denying your actual covenant with the true bridegroom; you say that you are not a virgin, and made no promise, although you have undertaken and publicly professed many pledges of virginity. Remember the good profession which you witnessed(3) before God, angels, and men. Remember the hallowed intercourse, the sacred company of virgins, the assembly of the Lord, the Church of the holy. Remember your grandmother, grown old in Christ, still youthful and vigorous in virtue; and your mother vying with her in the Lord, and striving to break with ordinary life in strange and unwonted toils; remember your sister, who copies their doings, nay, endeavours to surpass them, and goes beyond the good deeds of her fathers in her virgin graces, and earnestly challenges by word and deed you her sister, as she thinks, to like efforts, while she earnestly prays that your virginity be preserved.(4) All these call to mind, and your holy service of God with them, your life spiritual, though in the flesh; your conversation heavenly, though on earth. Remember days of calm, nights lighted up, spiritual songs, sweet music of psalms, saintly prayers, a bed pure and undefiled, procession of virgins, and moderate fare.(5) What has become of your grave appearance, your gracious demeanour, your plain dress, meet for a virgin, the beautiful blush of modesty, the comely and bright pallor due to temperance and vigils, shining fairer than any brilliance of complexion? How often have you not prayed, perhaps with tears, that you might preserve your virginity without spot! How often have you not written to the holy men, imploring them to offer up prayers in your behalf, not that it should be your lot to marry, still less to be involved in this shameful corruption, but that you should not fall away from the Lord Jesus? How often have you received gifts from the Bridegroom? Why enumerate the honours given you for His sake by them that are His? Why tell of your fellowship with virgins, your progress with them, your being greeted by them with praises on account of virginity, eulogies of virgins, letters written as to a virgin? Now, nevertheless, at a little blast from the spirit of the air, "that now worketh in the children of disobedience,"(1) you have abjured all these; you have changed the honourable treasure, worth fighting for at all costs, for short-lived indulgence which does! for the moment gratify the appetite; one day you will find it more bitter than gall.

3. Who would not grieve over such things and say, "How is the faithful city become an harlot?"(2) How would not the Lord Himself say to some of those who are now walking in the spirit of Jeremiah, "Hast thou seen what the virgin of Israel has done to me?"(3) I betrothed her to me in trust, in purity, in righteousness, in judgment, in pity, and in mercy;(4) as I promised her through Hosea the prophet. But she loved strangers, and while I, her husband. was yet alive, she is called adulteress, and is not afraid to belong to another husband. What then says the conductor of the bride,(5) the divine and blessed Paul, both that one of old, and the later one of to-day under whose mediation and instruction you left your father's house and were united to the Lord? Might not either, in sorrow for such a trouble, say, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me."(6) "I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."(7) I was indeed ever afraid "lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your mind should be corrupted;"(8) wherefore by countless counter-charms I strove to control the agitation of your senses, and by countless safeguards to preserve the bride of the Lord. So I continually set forth the life of the unmarried maid, and described how "the unmarried" alone "careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit."(1) I used to describe the high dignity of virginity, and, addressing you as a temple of God, used as it were to give wings to your zeal as I strove to lift you to Jesus. Yet through fear of evil I helped you not to fall by the words "if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy."(2) So by my prayers I tried to make you more secure, if by any means "your body, soul, and spirit might be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."(3) Yet all my toil on your behalf has been in vain. Bitter to me has been the end of those sweet labours. Now I needs must groan again at that over which I ought to have rejoiced. You have been deceived by the serpent more bitterly than Eve; and not only your mind but also your body has been defiled. Even that last horror has come to pass which I shrink from saying, and yet cannot leave unsaid, for it is as a burning and blazing fire in my bones, and I am undone and cannot endure. You have taken the members of Christ and made them the members of a harlot.(4) This is an evil with which no other can be matched. This outrage in life is new. "For pass over the Isles of Chittim and see; and send unto Chedar and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods which are yet no gods."(5) But the virgin has changed her glory, and her glory is in her shame. The heavens are astonished at this, and the earth is horribly afraid, saith the Lord, for the virgin has committed two evils; she has forsaken(6) Me, the true and holy Bridegroom of holy souls, and has betaken herself to an impious and lawless destroyer of body and soul alike. She has revolted from God, her Saviour, and yielded her members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity.(7) She forgot me and went after her lover(8) from whom she will get no good.

4. It were better for him that a mill-stone had been hanged about his neck, and that he had been cast into the sea, than that he should have offended the virgin of the Lord.(9) What slave ever reached such a pitch of mad audacity as to fling himself upon his master's bed? What robber ever attained such a height of folly as to lay hands upon the very offerings of God, not dead vessels, but bodies living and enshrining a soul made after the image of God?(1)

Who was ever known to have the hardihood, in the heart of a city anti at high noon, to mark figures of filthy swine upon a royal statue? He who has set at naught a marriage of man, with no mercy shewn him, in the presence of two or three witnesses, dies.(2) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and defiled His pledged bride and done despite unto the spirit of virginity?(3) But the woman, he urges, consented, and I did no violence to her against her will. So, that unchaste lady of Egypt raged with love for comely Joseph, but the chaste youth's virtue was not overcome by the frenzy of the wicked woman, and, even when she laid her hand upon him, he was not forced into iniquity. But still, he urges, this was no new thing in her case; she was no longer a maid; if I had been unwilling, she would have been corrupted by some one else. Yes; and it is written, the Son of Man was ordained to be betrayed, but woe unto that man by whom He was betrayed.(4) It must needs be that offences come, but woe to that man by whom they come.(5)

5. In such a state of things as this, "Shall they fall and not arise? Shall he turn away and not return?"(6) Why did the virgin turn shamefully away, though she bad heard Christ her bridegroom saying through the mouth of Jeremiah, "And I said, after she had done all these things (committed all these fornications, LXX.), turn thou unto me, but she returned not?"(7) "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"(8) You might indeed find many remedies for evil in Scripture, many medicines to save from destruction and lead to health; the mysteries of death and resurrection, the sentences of terrible judgment and everlasting punishment; the doctrines of repentance and of remission of sins; all the countless illustrations of conversion, the piece of money, the sheep, the son who wasted his substance with harlots, who was lost and was found, who was dead and alive again. Let us not use these remedies for ill; by these means let us heal our soul. Bethink you of your last day, for you will surely not, unlike all other women, live for ever. The distress, the gasping for breath, the hour of death, the imminent sentence of God, the angels hastening on their way, the soul fearfully dismayed, and lashed to agony by the consciousness of sin, turning itself piteously to things of this life and to the inevitable necessity of that long life to be lived elsewhere. Picture to me, as it rises in your imagination, the conclusion of all human life, when the Son of God shall come in His glory with His angels, "For he shall come anti shall not keep silence;"(1) when He shall come to judge the quick and dead, to render to every one according to his work; when that terrible trumpet with its mighty voice shall wake those that have slept through the ages, and they that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.(2) Remember the vision of Daniel, and bow he brings the judgment before us: "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; ... and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth before Him; thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened,"(3) clearly disclosing in the hearing of all, angels and men, things good and evil, things done openly and in secret, deeds, words, and thoughts all at once. What then must those men be who have lived wicked lives? Where then shall that soul hide which in the sight of all these spectators shall suddenly be revealed in its fulness of shame? With what kind of body shall it sustain those endless and unbearable pangs in the place of fire unquenched, and of the worm that perishes and never dies, and of depth of Hades, dark and horrible; bitter wailings, loud lamenting, weeping and gnashing of teeth and anguish without end? From all these woes there is no release after death; no device, no means of coming forth from the chastisement of pain.

6. We can escape now. While we can, let us lift ourselves from the fall: let us never despair of ourselves, if only we depart from evil. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. "O come, let us worship and fall down; let us weep before Him."(4) The Word Who invited us to repentance calls aloud, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."(1) There is, then, a way of salvation, if we will. "Death in his might has swallowed up, but again the Lord hath wiped away tears from off all faces"(2) of them that repent. The Lord is faithful in all His words.(3) He does not lie when He says, "Though your sins be scarlet they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool."(4) The great Physician of souls, Who is the ready liberator, not of you alone, but of all who are enslaved by sin, is ready to heal your sickness. From Him come the words, it was His sweet and saving lips that said, "They that be whole need not a physician but they that are sick. ... I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."(5) What excuse have you, what excuse has any one, when He speaks thus? The Lord wishes to cleanse you from the trouble of your sickness and to show you light after darkness. The good Shepherd, Who left them that had not wandered away, is seeking after you. If you give yourself to Him He will not hold back. He, in His love, will not disdain even to carry you on His own shoulders, rejoicing that He has found His sheep which was lost. The Father stands and awaits your return from your wandering. Only come back, and while you are yet afar off, He will run and fall upon your neck, and, now that you are cleansed by repentance, will enwrap you in embraces of love. He will clothe with the chief robe the soul that has put off the old man with all his works; He will put a ring on hands that have washed off the blood of death, and will put shoes on feet that have turned from the evil way to the path of the Gospel of peace. He will announce the day of joy and gladness to them that are His own, both angels and men, and will celebrate your salvation far and wide. For "verily I say unto you," says He, "there is joy in heaven before God over one sinner that repenteth."(6) If any of those who think they stand find fault because of your quick reception, the good Father will Himself make answer for you in the words, "It was meet that we should make merry and be glad for this" my daughter "was dead and is alive again, was lost and is found."(7)

LETTER XLVII.(1)

To Gregory.(2)

"WHO will give me wings like a dove?(3) Or how can my old age be so renewed that I can travel to your affection, satisfy my deep longing to see you, tell you all the troubles of my soul, and get from you some comfort in my affliction? For when the blessed bishop Eusebius(4) fell asleep, we were under no small alarm lest plotters against the Church of our Metropolis, wishful to fill it with their heretical tares, should seize the present opportunity, root out by their wicked teaching the true faith sown by much labour in men's souls, and destroy its unity. This has been the result of their action in many churches.(5) When however I received the letters of the clergy exhorting me not to let their needs be overlooked at such a crisis, as I ranged my eyes in all directions I bethought me of your loving spirit, your right faith, and your unceasing zeal on behalf of the churches of God. I have therefore sent the well beloved Eustathius,(6) the deacon, to invite your reverence, and implore you to add this one more to all your labours on behalf of the Church. I entreat you also to refresh my old age by a sight of you; and to maintain for the true Church its famous orthodoxy, by uniting with me, if I may be deemed worthy of uniting with you, in the good work, to give it a shepherd in accordance with the will of the Lord, able to guide His people aright. I have before my eyes a man not unknown even to yourself. If only we be found worthy to secure him, I am sure that we shall acquire a confident access to God and confer a very great benefit on the people who have invoked our aid. Now once again, aye, many times I call on you, all hesitation put aside, to come to meet me, and to set out before the difficulties of winter intervene.

LETTER XLVIII.(1)

To Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.

I HAVE had considerable difficulty in finding a messenger to convey a letter to your reverence, for our men are so afraid of the winter that they can hardly bear even to put their heads outside their houses. We have suffered from such a very heavy fall of snow that we have been buried, houses and all, beneath it, and now for two months have been living in dens and caves. You know the Cappadocian character and how hard it is to get us to move.(3) Forgive me then for not writing sooner and bringing to the knowledge of your excellency the latest news from Antioch. To tell you all this now, when it is probable that you learnt it long ago, is stale and uninteresting. But as I do not reckon it any trouble to tell you even what you know, I have sent you the letters conveyed by the reader. On this point I shall say no more. Constantinople has now for some time had Demophilus,(4) as the bearers of this letter will themselves tell you, and as has doubtless been reported to your holiness. From all who come to us from that city there is unanimously reported about him a certain counterfeit of orthodoxy and sound religion, to such an extent that even the divided portions of the city have been brought to agreement, and some of the neighbouring bishops have accepted the reconciliation. Our men here have not turned out better than I expected. They came directly you were gone,(1) said and did many painful things, and at last went home again, after making their separation from me wider.(2) Whether anything better will happen in the future, and whether they will give up their evil ways, is unknown to all but God. So much for our present condition. The rest of the Church, by God's grace, stands sound, and prays that in the spring we may have you with us again, and be renewed by your good counsel. My health is no better than it ever is.

LETTER XLIX.(3)

To Arcadius the Bishop.

I THANKED the Holy God when I read your letter, most pious brother. I pray that I may not be unworthy of the expectations you have formed of me, and that you will enjoy a full reward for the honour which you pay me in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I was exceedingly pleased to hear that you have been occupied in a matter eminently becoming a Christian, have raised a house to the glory of God, and have in practical earnest loved, as it is written, "the beauty of the house of the Lord, and have so provided for yourself that heavenly mansion which is prepared in His rest for them that love the Lord. If I am able to find any relics of martyrs, I pray that I may take part in your earnest endeavour. If "the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance,"(5) I shall without doubt have a share in the good fame which the Holy One will give you.

LETTER L.

To Bishop Innocentius.(7)

WHOM, indeed, could it better befit to encourage the timid, and rouse the slumbering, than you, my godly lord, who have shewn your general excellence in this, too, that you have consented to come down among us, your lowly inferiors, like a true disciple of Him Who said, "I am among you," not as a fellow guest, but "as he that serveth."(1) For you have condescended to minister to us your spiritual gladness, to refresh our souls by your honoured letter, and, as it were, to fling the arms of your greatness round the infancy of children. We, therefore, implore your good soul to pray, that we may be worthy to receive aid from the great, such as yourself, and to have a mouth and wisdom wherewith to chime in with the strain of all, who like you are led by the Holy Spirit. Of Him I hear that you are a friend and true worshipper, and I am deeply thankful for your strong and unshaken love to God. I pray that my lot may be found with the true worshippers, among whom we are sure your excellency is to be ranked, as well as that great and true bishop who has filled all the world with his wonderful work.

LETTER LI.(2)

To Bishop Bosporius.(3)

How do you think my heart was pained at hearing of the slanders heaped on me by some of those that feel no fear of the Judge, who "shall destroy them that speak leasing"?(4) I spent nearly the whole night sleepless, thinking of your words of love; so did grief lay hold upon my heart of hearts. For verily, in the words of Solomon, slander humbleth a man.(5) And no man is so void of feeling as not to be touched heart, and bowed down to the ground, if he falls in with lips prone to lying. But we must needs put up with all things and endure all things, after committing our vindication to the Lord. He will not despise us; for "he that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker."(6) They, however, who have patched up this new tragedy of blasphemy seem to have lost all belief in the Lord, Who has declared that we must give account at the day of judgment even for an idle word.(7) And I, tell me, I anathematized the right blessed Dianius? For this is what they have said against me. Where? When? In whose presence? On what pretext? In mere spoken words, or in writing? Following others, or myself the author and originator of the deed? Alas for the impudence of men who make no difficulty at saying anything l Alas for their contempt of the judgment of God! Unless, indeed, they add this further to their fiction, that they make me out to have been once upon a time so far out of my mind as not to know what I was saying. For so long as I have been in my senses I know that I never did anything of the kind, or had the least wish to do so. What I am, indeed, conscious of is this; that from my earliest childhood I was brought up in love for him, thought as I gazed at him how venerable he looked, how dignified, how truly reverend. Then when I grew older I began to know him by the good qualities of his soul, and took delight in his society, gradually learning to perceive the simplicity, nobility, and liberality of his character, and all his most distinctive qualities, his gentleness of soul, his mingled magnanimity and meekness, the seemliness of his conduct, his control of temper, the beaming cheerfulness and affability which he combined with majesty of demeanour. From all this I counted him among men most illustrious for high character.

However, towards the close of his life (I will not conceal the truth) I, together with many of them that in our country(1) feared the Lord, sorrowed over him with sorrow unendurable, because he signed the creed brought from Constantinople by George.(2) Afterwards, full of kindness and gentleness as he was, and willing out of the fulness of his fatherly heart to give satisfaction to everyone, when he had already fallen sick of the disease of which he died, he sent for me, and, calling the Lord to witness, said that in the simplicity of his heart he had agreed to the document sent from Constantinople, but had had no idea of rejecting the creed put forth by the holy Fathers at Nicaea, nor had had any other disposition of heart than from the beginning he had always had. He prayed, moreover, that he might not be cut off from the lot of those blessed three hundred and eighteen bishops who had announced the pious decree(1) to the world. In consequence of this satisfactory statement I dismissed all anxiety and doubt, and, as you are aware, communicated with him, and gave over grieving. Such have been my relations with Dianius. If anyone avers that he is privy to any vile slander on my part against Dianius, do not let him buzz it slave-wise in a corner; let him come boldly out and convict me in the light of day.

LETTER LII.(2)

To the Canonicoe.

1. I HAVE been very much distressed by a painful report which reached my ears; but I have been equally delighted by my brother, beloved of God, bishop Bosporius,(4) who has brought a more satisfactory account of you. He avers by God's grace that all those stories spread abroad about you are inventions of men who are not exactly informed as to the truth about you. He added, moreover, that he found among you impious calumnies about me, of a kind likely to be uttered by those who do not expect to have to give the Judge in the day of His righteous retribution an account of even an idle word. I thank God, then, both because I am cured of my damaging opinion of you, an opinion which I have derived from the calumnies of men, and because I have heard of your abandonment of those baseless notions about me, on hearing the assurances of my brother. He, in all that he has said as coming from himself, has also completely expressed my own feeling. For in us both there is one mind about the faith, as being heirs of the same Fathers who once at Nicaea promulgated their great decree(5) concerning the faith. Of this, some portions are universally accepted without cavil, but the homoousion, ill received in certain quarters, is still rejected; by some. These objectors we may very properly blame, and yet on the contrary deem them deserving of pardon. To refuse to follow the Fathers, not holding their declaration of more authority than one's own opinion, is conduct worthy of blame, as being brimful of self-sufficiency. On the other hand the fact that they view with suspicion a phrase which is misrepresented by an opposite party does seem to a small extent to relieve them from blame. Moreover, as a matter of fact, the members of the synods which met to discuss the case of Paul of Samosata(1) did find fault with the term as an unfortunate one.

For they maintained that the homoousion set forth the idea both of essence and of what is derived from it, so that the essence, when divided, confers the title of co-essential on the parts into which it is divided. This explanation has some reason in the case of bronze and coins made therefrom, but in the case of God the Father and God the Son there is no question of substance anterior or even underlying both; the mere thought anti utterance of such a thing is the last extravagance of impiety. What can be conceived of as anterior to the Unbegotten? By this blasphemy faith in the Father and the Son is destroyed, for things, constituted out of one, have to one another the relation of brothers.

2. Because even at that time there were men who asserted the Son to have been brought into being out of the non-existent, the term homoousion was adopted, to extirpate this impiety. For the conjunction of the Son with the Father is without time and without interval. The preceding words shew this to have been the intended meaning. For after saying that the Son was light of light, and begotten of tile substance of tile Father, but was not made, they went on to add the homoousion, thereby showing that whatever proportion of light any one would attribute in the case of the Father will obtain also in that of the Son. For very light in relation to very light, according to the actual sense of light, will have no variation. Since then the Father is light without beginning, and the Son begotten light, but each of Them light and light; they rightly said "of one substance," in order to set forth the equal dignity of the nature. Things, that have a relation of brotherhood, are not, as some persons have supposed, of one substance; but when both the cause and that which derives its natural existence from the cause are of the same nature, then they are called "of one substance."

3. This term also corrects the error of Sabellius, for it removes the idea of the identity of the hypostases, and introduces in perfection the idea of the Persons. For nothing can be of one substance with itself, but one thing is of one substance with another. The word has therefore an excellent and orthodox use, defining as it does both the proper character of the hypostases, and setting forth the invariability of the nature. And when we are taught that the Son is of the substance of the Father, begotten and not made, let us not fall into the material sense of the relations. For the substance was not separated from the Father and bestowed on the Son; neither did the substance engender by fluxion, nor yet by shooting forth(1) as plants their fruits. The mode of the divine begetting is ineffable and inconceivable by human thought. It is indeed characteristic of poor and carnal intelligence to compare the things that are eternal with the perishing things of time, and to imagine, that as corporeal things beget, so does God in like manner; it is rather our duty to rise to the truth by arguments of the contrary, and to say, that since thus is the mortal, not thus is He who is immortal. We must neither then deny tile divine generation, nor contaminate our intelligence with corporeal senses.

4. The Holy Spirit, too, is numbered with the Father and the Son, because He is above creation, and is ranked as we are taught by the words of the Lord in the Gospel, "Go and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."(2) He who, on the contrary, places the Spirit before the Son, or alleges Him to be older than the Father, resists the ordinance of God, and is a stranger to the sound faith, since he fails to preserve the form of doxology which he has received, but adopts some new fangled device in order to be pleasing to men. It is written "The Spirit is of God,"(3) and if He is of God, how can He be older than that of which He is? And what folly is it not, when there is one Unbegotten, to speak of something else as superior to the Unbegotten? He is not even anterior, for nothing intervenes between Son and Father. If, however, He is not of God but is through Christ, He does not even exist at all. It follows, that this new invention about the order really involves the destruction of the actual existence, and is a denial of the whole faith. It is equally impious to reduce Him to the level of a creature, and to subordinate Him either to Son or to Father, either in time or in rank. These are the points on which I have heard that you are making enquiry. If the Lord grant that we meet I may possibly have more to say on these subjects, and may myself, concerning points which I am investigating, receive satisfactory information from you.

LETTER LIII.(1)

To the Chorepiscopi.(2)

1. MY soul is deeply pained at the enormity of the matter on which I write, if for this only, that it has caused general suspicion and talk. But so far it has seemed to me incredible. I hope then that what I am writing about it may be taken by the guilty as medicine, by the innocent as a warning, by the indifferent, in which class I trust none of you may be found, as a testimony. And what is it of which I speak? There is a report that some of you take money from candidates for ordination,(3) and excuse it on grounds of religion. This is indeed worse. If any one does evil under the guise of good he deserves double punishment; because he not only does what is in itself not good, but, so to say, makes good an accomplice in the commission of sin. If the allegation be true, let it be so no more. Let a better state of things begin. To the recipient of the bribe it must be said, as was said by the Apostles to him who was willing to give money to buy the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, "Thy money perish with thee.[1] It is a lighter sin to wish in ignorance to buy, than it is to sell, the gift of God. A sale it was; and if you sell what you received as a free gift you will be deprived of the boon, as though you were yourself sold to Satan. You are obtruding the traffic of the huckster into spiritual things and into the Church where we are entrusted with the body and blood of Christ. These things mast not be. And I will mention wherein lies an ingenious contrivance. They think that there is no sin because they take the money not before but after the ordination; but to take is to take at whatever time.

2. I exhort you, then, abandon this gain, or, I would rather says this approach to Hell. Do not, by defiling your hands with such bribes, render yourselves unfit to celebrate holy mysteries. But forgive me. I began by discrediting; and now I am threatening as though I were convinced. If, after this letter of mine, any one do anything of the kind, he will depart from the altars here and will seek a place where he is able to buy and to sell God's gift. We and the Churches of God have no such custom.[2] One word more, and I have done. These things come of covetousness. Now covetousness is the root of all evil and is called idolatry.[3] Do not then price idols above Christ for the sake of a little money. Do not imitate Judas and once more betray for a bribe Him who was crucified for us. For alike the lands and the hands of all that make such gain shall be called Aceldama.[4]

LETTER LIV.[5]

To the Chorepiscopi.

I AM much distressed that the canons of the Fathers have fallen through, and that the exact discipline of the Church has been banished from among you. I am apprehensive lest, as this indifference grows, the affairs of the Church should, little by little, fall into confusion According to the ancient custom observed in the Churches of God, ministers in the Church were received after careful examination; the whole of their life was investigated; an enquiry was made as to their being neither railers nor drunkards, not quick to quarrel, keeping their youth in subjection, so as to be able to maintain "the holiness without which no man shall see the Lord."[6] This examination was made by presbyters and deacons living with them. Then they brought them to the Chorepiscopi; and the Chorepiscopi, after receiving the suffrages of the witnesses as to the truth and giving information to the Bishop, so admitted the minister to the sacerdotal order.[1] Now, however, you have quite passed me over; you have not even had the grace to refer to me, and have transferred the whole authority to yourselves. Furthermore, with complete indifference, you have allowed presbyters and deacons to introduce unworthy persons into the Church, just any one they choose, without any previous examination of life and character, by mere favoritism, on the score of relationship or some other tie. The consequence is, that in every village, there are reckoned many ministers, but not one single man worthy of the service of the altars. Of this you yourselves supply proof from your difficulty in finding suitable candidates for election. As, then, I perceive that the evil is gradually reaching a point at which it would be incurable, and especially at this moment when a large number of persons are presenting themselves for the ministry through fear of the conscription, I am constrained to have recourse to the restitution of the canons of the Fathers. I thus order you in writing to send me the roll of the ministers in every village, stating by whom each has been introduced, and what is his mode of life. You have the roll in your own keeping, so that your version can be compared with the documents which are in mine, and no one can insert his own name when he likes. So if any have been introduced by presbyters after the first appointment,[2] let them be rejected, and take their place among the laity. Their examination must then be begun by you over again, and, if they prove worthy, let them be received by your decision. Drive out unworthy men from the Church, and so purge it. For the future, test by examination those who are worthy, and then receive them; but do not reckon them of the number before you have reported to me. Otherwise, distinctly understand that he who is admitted to the ministry without my authority will remain a layman.

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