ST. BASIL
LETTERS XCIV TO CXXXIII

LETTER XCIV.(2)

To Elias, Governor of the Province.

I Too have been very anxious to meet your excellency, lest by my failure to do so I might come off worse than my accusers; but bodily sickness has prevented me, attacking me even more seriously than usual, and so I am perforce reduced to address you by letter. When, not long ago, most excellent sir, I had the pleasure of meeting your excellency, I was anxious to communicate with your wisdom about all my affairs; and I was also anxious to address you on behalf of the Churches, that no ground might be left for future calumnies. But I restrained myself, thinking it altogether superfluous and importunate to add troubles outside his own necessary business to a man charged with so many responsibilities. At the same time (for the truth shall be told) I did shrink from being driven to wound your sold by our mutual recriminations, when it ought in pure devotion to God to reap the perfect reward of piety. For really, if I attract your attention to me, I shall leave you but scant leisure for your public duties; shall act something like a man overloading with additional luggage some boatmen managing a new boat in very rough water, when all the while he ought to lessen the cargo and do his best to lighten the craft. For this very reason, I think, our great Emperor, after seeing how fully occupied I am, leaves me to manage the Churches by myself. Now I should like those who are besieging your impartial ears to be asked what harm the government suffers from me? What depreciation is suffered by any public interests, be they small or great, by my administration of the Churches? Still, possibly, it might be urged that I have done damage to the government by erecting a magnificently appointed church to God, and round it a dwelling house, one liberally assigned to the bishop, and others underneath, allotted to the officers of the Church in order, the use of both being open to you of the magistracy and your escort. But to whom do we do any harm by building a place of entertainment for strangers, both for those who are on a journey and for those who require medical treatment on account of sickness, and so establishing a means of giving these men the comfort they want, physicians, doctors, means of conveyance, and escort?(1) All these men must learn such occupations as are necessary to life and have been found essential to a respectable career; they must also have buildings suitable for their employments, all of which are an honour to the place, and, as their reputation is credited to our governor, confer glory on him. Not indeed that for this reason you were unwillingly induced to accept the responsibility of ruling us, for you alone are sufficient by your high qualities to restore our ruins, to people deserted districts and turn wildernesses into towns. Would it be better to harrass and annoy, or to honour and reverence an associate in the discharge of these duties? Do not think, most excellent sir, that what I say is mere words. We have already, in the meanwhile, begun providing material. So much for our defence, before our ruler. As to what is to be said in answer to the charges of our accusers, to a Christian and to a friend who cares for my opinion, I must now say no more; the subject is too long for a letter, and cannot, besides, be safely committed to writing. But lest, before we have an opportunity of meeting, you are driven by the inducement of some men's calumnies to give up any of your good will towards me, do as Alexander did. The story is, as you remember, that, when one of his friends was being calumniated, he left one ear open to the slanderer, and carefully closed the other with his hand, with the object of showing that he whose duty is to judge ought not to be easily and wholly given over to the first occupants of his attention, but should keep half his hearing open for the defence of the absent.(1)

LETTER XCV.(2)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

I HAD written some while since to your reverence about our meeting one another and other subjects, but I was disappointed at my letter not reaching your excellency, for after the blessed deacon Theophrastus had taken charge of the letter, on my setting out on an unavoidable journey, he did not convey it to your reverence, because he was seized by the sickness of which he died. Hence it happened that I was so late in writing, that, the time being now so exceedingly short, I did not look for there being much use in this letter. The godly bishop Meletius and Theodotus had strongly urged me to visit them, representing that a meeting would be a proof of affection, and being wishful of remedying the troubles which are at present a cause of anxiety.(3) They had appointed, as a time for our meeting, the middle of the approaching month of June, and for the place, Phargamus, a spot famous for martyr's glory and for the large number of people attending the synod there every year. Directly I returned and heard of the death of the blessed deacon, and that my letter was lying useless at home, I felt that I must not be idle, because thirty-three days were still remaining up to the appointed time, and so I hurriedly sent the letter to the very reverend Eustathius, my fellow minister, with the object of its being sent on by him to your reverence and of getting an answer without delay. If, then, it is possible and agreeable to yon to come, I will come too. If not, I, God willing, will pay the debt of meeting due from last year: unless haply some hindrance for my sins comes in the way again, in which case I must put off my meeting with the bishops to another time.

LETTER XCVI.(4)

To Sophronius, the master.(5)

Who ever loved his city, honouring with filial love the place which gave him birth and nurture, as you do; praying for the whole city together, and for every one in it individually, and not merely praying but confirming your prayers by your own means? For this you are able to effect by God's help, and long, good man that you are, may you be able so to do. Nevertheless in your time our city has enjoyed but a brief dream of prosperity, in being committed to the charge of one the like of whom, according to the students of our oldest annals, never sat in the praefectorial chair. But now the city has suddenly lost his services, through the wickedness of men who have found a ground of attack in his very liberality and impartiality, and, without the knowledge of your excellency, have made up calumnies against him. There is therefore universal depression among us at the loss of a governor with unique capacity for raising our dejected community, a true guardian of justice, accessible to the wronged, a terror to law breakers, of like behaviour to rich and poor, and, what is most important, one who has restored the interests of Christians to their old place of honour. That he was, of all men that I know, the most incapable of being bribed, and never did any one an unfair favour, I have passed by as a small point in comparison with his other virtues. I am indeed testifying to all this too late, like men who sing dirges to console themselves when they can get no practical relief. Yet, it is not useless that his memory should remain in your generous heart, and that you should be grateful to him as a benefactor of your native place. Should any of those who feel a grudge against him, for not sacrificing justice to their interests, attack him, it will be well for you to defend and protect him. Thus you will make it clear to all that you count his interests yours, and think it quite a sufficient reason for this your close association with him that his record should be so unimpeachable, and his administration so remarkable in view of the time. For what any other man would not be able to affect in many years has been quickly accomplished by him. It will be a great favour to me, and a comfort under the circumstances, if yon will recommend him to the Emperor, and dispel the calumnious charges brought against him. Believe me that I am speaking here not for myself alone, but for the whole community, and that it is our unanimous prayer that he may reap some benefit from your excellency's aid.

LETTER XCVII.(1)

To the Senate of Tyana.(2)

THE Lord, Who reveals hidden things, and makes manifest the counsels of men's hearts, has given even to the lowly knowledge of devices apparently hard to be understood. Nothing has escaped my notice, nor has any single action been unknown. Nevertheless I neither see nor hear anything but the peace of God and all that pertains to it. Others may be great and powerful and self-confident, but I am nothing and worth nothing, and so I could never take upon myself so much as to think myself able to manage matters without support. I know perfectly well that I stand more in need of the succour of each of the brethren than one hand does of the other. Truly, from our own bodily constitution, the Lord has taught us the necessity of fellowship. When I look to these my limbs and see that no out of them is self-sufficient, how can I reckon myself competent to discharge the duties of life? One foot could not walk securely without the support of the other; one eye could not see well, were it not for the alliance of the other and for its being able to look at objects in conjunction with it. Hearing is more exact when sound is received through both channels, and the grasp is made firmer by the fellowship of the fingers. In a word, of all that is done by nature and by the will, I see nothing done without the concord of fellow forces. Even prayer, when it is not united prayer, loses its natural strength and the Lord has told us that He will be in the midst where two or three call on Him in concord. The Lord Himself undertook the economy,(3) that by the blood of His cross He might make peace between things in earth and things in heaven. For all these reasons then, I pray that I may for my remaining days remain in peace; in peace I ask that it may be my lot to fall asleep. For peace's sake there is no trouble that I will not undertake, no act, no word of humility, that I will shrink from; I will reckon no length of journey, I will undergo any inconvenience, if only I may be rewarded by being able to make peace. If I am followed by any one in this direction, it is well, and my prayers are answered; but if the result is different I shall not recede from my determination. Every one will receive the fruit of his own works in the day of retribution.

LETTER XCVIII.(1)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

1. AFTER receiving the letter of your holiness, in which you said you would not come, I was most anxious to set out for Nicopolis, but I have grown weaker in my wish and have remembered all my infirmity. I bethought me, too, of the lack of seriousness in the conduct of those who invited me. They gave me a casual invitation by the hands of our reverend brother Hellenius, the surveyor of customs at Nazianzus, but they never took the trouble to send a messenger to remind me, or any one to escort me. As, for my sins, I was an object of suspicion to them, I shrank from sullying the brightness of their meeting by my presence. In company with your excellency I do not shrink from stripping for even serious trials of strength; but apart from you I feel myself hardly equal even to looking at every day troubles. Since, then, my meeting with them was intended to be about Church affairs, I let the time of the festival go by, and put off the meeting to a period of rest and freedom from distraction, and have decided to go to Nicopolis to discuss the needs of the Churches with the godly bishop Meletius, in case he should decline to go to Samosata. If he agrees, I shall hasten to meet him, provided this is made clear to me by both of you, by him in reply to me (for I have written), and by your reverence.

2. We were to have met the bishops of Cappadocia Secunda, who, directly they were ranked under another prefecture, suddenly got the idea that they were made foreigners and strangers to me. They ignored me, as though they had never been under my jurisdiction, and had nothing to do with me. I was expecting too a second meeting with the reverend bishop Eustathius, which actually took place. For on account of the cry raised by many against him that he was injuring the faith, I met him, and found, by God's grace, that he was heartily following all orthodoxy. By the fault of the very men who ought to have conveyed my letter, that of the bishop was not transmitted to your excellency, and, harassed as I was by a multitude of cares, it escaped my memory.

I, too, was anxious that our brother Gregory(1) should have the government of a Church commensurate with his abilities; and that would have been the whole Church under the sun gathered into one place. But, as this is impossible, let him be a bishop, not deriving dignity from his see, but conferring dignity on his see by himself. For it is the part of a really great man not only to be sufficient for great things, but by his own influence to make small things great.

But what is to be done to Palmatius,(2) who, after so many exhortations of the brethren, still helps Maximus in his persecutions? Even now they do not hesitate to write to him. They are prevented from coming themselves by bodily weakness and their own occupations. Believe me, very godly Father, our own affairs are much in need of your presence, and vet once more you must put your honourable old age in motion, that you may give your support to Cappadocia, which is now tottering and in danger of falling.

LETTER XCIX.(3)

To Count Terentius.(4)

1, 2. I HAVE had every desire and have really done my best to obey, if only in part, the imperial order and the friendly letter of your excellency. I am sure that your every word and every thought are full of good intentions and right sentiments. But I have not been permitted to show my ready concurrence by practical action. The truest cause is my sins, which always rise before me and always hamper my steps. Then, again, there is the alienation of the bishop who had been appointed to cooperate with me, why, I know not; but my right reverend brother Theodotus, who promised from the beginning to act with me, had cordially invited(1) me from Getusa to Nicopolis.(2) When however he saw me in the town, he was so shocked at me, trod so afraid of my sins, that he could not bear to take me either to morning or evening prayer. In this he acted quite justly so far as my deserts go, and quite as befits my course of life, but not in a manner likely to promote the interests of the Churches. His alleged reason was that I had admitted the very reverend brother Eustathius to communion. What I have done is as follows. When invited to a meeting held by our brother Theodotus, and wishful, for love's sake, to obey the summons, that I might not make the gathering fruitless and vain, I was anxious to hold communication with the aforementioned brother Eustathius. I put before him the accusations concerning the faith, advanced against him by our brother Theodotus, and I asked him, if he followed the right faith, to make it plain to me, that I might communicate with him; if he were of another mind he must know plainly that I should be separated from him. We had much conversation on the subject, and all that day was spent in its examination; when evening came on we separated without arriving at any definite conclusion. On the morrow, we had another sitting in the morning and discussed the same points, with the addition of our brother Poemenius, the presbyter of Sebasteia, who vehemently pressed the argument against me. Point by point I cleared up the questions on which he seemed to be accusing me, and brought them to agree to my propositions. The result was, that, by the grace of the Lord, we were found to be in mutual agreement, even on the most minute particulars. So about the ninth hour, after thanking God for granting us to think and say the same thing, we rose up to go to prayer. In addition to this I ought to have got some written statement from him, so that his assent might be made known to his opponents and the proof of his opinion might be sufficient for the rest. But I was myself anxious, with the desire for great exactitude. to meet my brother Theodotus, to get a written statement of the faith from him, and to propose it to Eustathius; that so both objects might be obtained at once, the confession of the right faith by Eustathius and the complete satisfaction of Theodotus and his friends, and they would have no ground for objection after the acceptance of their own propositions. But Theodotus, before learning why we were met and what had been the result of our intercourse, decided not to allow us to take part in the meeting. So midway on our journey we set out back again, disappointed that our efforts for the peace of the Churches had been counteracted.

3. After this, when I was compelled to undertake a journey into Armenia, knowing the man's character, and with the view both of making my own defence before a competent witness, for what had taken place and of satisfying him, I travelled to Getusa, into the territory of the very godly bishop Meletius, the aforementioned Theodotus being with me; and while there, on being accused by him of my communication with Eustathius, I told him that the result of our intercourse was my finding Eustathius to be in all things in agreement with myself. Then he persisted that Eustathius, after leaving me, had denied this and asseverated to his own disciples that he had never come to any agreement with me about the faith. I, therefore, combated this statement; and see, O most excellent man, if the answer I made was not most fair and most complete. I am convinced, I said, judging from the character of Eustathius, that he cannot thus lightly be turning from one direction to another, now confessing now denying what he said; that a man, shunning a lie, even in any little matter, as an awful sin, is not likely to choose to run counter to the truth in matters of such vast importance and so generally notorious: but if what is reported among you turns out to be true, he must be confronted with a written statement containing the complete exposition of the right faith; then, if I find him ready to agree in writing, I shall continue in communion with him; but, if I find that be shrinks from the test, I shall renounce all intercourse with him. The bishop Meletius agreed to these arguments, and the brother Diodorus the presbyter, who was present, and then the right reverend brother Theodotus, assented, and invited me to go to Nicopolis, both to visit the Church there, and to keep him company as far as Satala. But he left me at Getasa, and, when I reached Nicopolis, forgetting all that he heard from me, and the agreement he had made with me, dismissed me, disgraced by the insults and dishonours which I have mentioned.

4. How, then, right honourable sir, was it possible for me to perform any of the injunctions laid on me, and to provide bishops for Armenia? How could I act, when the sharer of my responsibilities was thus disposed towards me,--the very man by whose aid I was expecting to be able to find suitable persons, because of his having in his district reverend and learned men, skilled in speech, and acquainted with the other peculiarities of the nation? I know their names, but I shall refrain from mentioning them, lest there arise any hindrance to the interests of Armenia being served at some future time.

Now, after getting as far as Satala in such a state of health, I seemed to settle the rest by the grace of God. I made peace between the Armenian bishops, and made them a suitable address, urging them to put away their customary indifference, and resume their ancient zeal in the Lord's cause. Moreover, I delivered them rules as to how it behoved them to give heed to iniquities generally practised in Armenia. I further accepted a decision of the Church of Satala, asking that a bishop might be given them through me. I was also careful to inquire into the calumnies promulgated against our brother Cyril, the Armenian bishop, and by God's grace I have found them to be started by the lying slanders of his enemies. This they confessed to me. And I seemed to some extent to reconcile the people to him, so that they avoid communion with him no more. Small achievements these, maybe, and not worth much, but in consequence of the mutual discord caused by the wiles of the devil, it was impossible for me to effect more. Even this much I ought not to have said, so as not to seem to be publishing my own disgrace. But as I could not plead my cause before your excellency in any other way, I was under the necessity of telling you the entire truth.

LETTER C.(1)

To Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.

WHEN I saw your affectionate letter, in the country bordering on Armenia, it was like a lighted torch held up at a distance to mariners at sea, especially if the sea happen to be agitated by the wind. Your reverence's letter was of itself a pleasant one, and full of comfort; but its natural charm was very much enhanced by the time of its arrival, a time so painful to me, that I hardly know how to describe it, after once making up my mind to forget its troubles. However, my deacon will give you a full account. My bodily strength completely failed me, so that I was not even able to bear the slightest movement without pain. Nevertheless I do pray that, by the aid of your prayers, my own longing may be fulfilled; although my journey has caused me great difficulties, in consequence of the affairs of my own Church having been neglected through its occupying such a long time. But if, while I yet live, God grants me to see your reverence in my Church, then truly I shall have good hope, even for the future, that I am not wholly excluded from the gifts of God. If it be possible, I beg that this meeting between us may take place at the Synod which we hold every year, in memory of the blessed martyr Eupsychius,(1) now about to be held on the 7th of September. I am compassed with anxieties which demand your help and sympathy, both in the matter of the appointment of bishops anti in the consideration of the trouble caused me by the simplicity of Gregory of Nyssa,(2) who is summoning a Synod at Ancyra and leaving nothing undone to counteract me.

LETTER CI.(3)

Consolatory.

THIS is my first letter to you, and I could have prayed that its subject were a brighter one. Had it been so, things would have fallen out as I desire, for it is my wish that the life of all those who are purposed to live in true religion should be happily spent. But the Lord, Who ordains our course in accordance with His ineffable wisdom, has arranged that all these things should come about for the advantage of our souls, whereby He has, on the one hand, made your life sorrowful, and on the other, roused the sympathy of one who, like myself, is united to you in godly love. Therefore on my learning from my brothers what has befallen yon it has seemed to me that I could not but give you such comfort as I can. Had it indeed been possible to me to travel to the place in which you are now living I would have made every effort to do so. But my bad health and the present business which occupies me have caused this very journey, which I have undertaken, to be injurious to the interests of my Church. I have, therefore, determined to address your excellency in writing, to remind you that these afflictions are not sent by the Lord, Who rules us, to the servants of God to no purpose, but as a test of the genuineness of our love to the divine Creator. Just as athletes win crowns by their struggles in the arena, so are Christians brought to perfection by the trial of their temptations, if only we learn to accept what is sent us by the Lord with becoming patience, with all thanksgiving. All things are ordained by the Lord's love. We must not accept anything that befalls us as grievous, even if, for the present, it affects our weakness. We are ignorant, peradventure, of the reasons why each tiring that happens to us is sent to us as a blessing by the Lord but we ought to be convinced that all that happens to us is for our good, either for the reward of our patience, or for the soul which we have received, lest, by lingering too long in this life, it be filled with the wickedness to be found in this world. If the hope of Christians is limited to this life, it might rightly have been reckoned a bitter lot to be prematurely parted from the body; but if, to them that love God, the sundering of the soul from these bodily fetters is the beginning of our real life, why do we grieve like them which have no hope?(1) Be comforted then, and do not fall under your troubles, but show that you are superior to them and can rise above them.

LETTER CII.(2)

To the citizens of Satala.(3)

MOVED by your importunity and that of all your people, I have undertaken the charge of your Church, and have promised before the Lord that I will be wanting to you in nothing which is within my power. So I have been compelled, as it is written, to touch as it were the apple of my eye.(4) Thus the high honour in which I hold you has suffered me to remember neither relationship, nor the intimacy which I have had from my boyhood with the person in question, as making a stronger demand on me than your request. I have forgotten all the private considerations which made him near and dear to me, making no account of the sighs which will be heaved by all my people on being deprived of his rule, none of the tears of all his kindred; nor have I taken to heart the affliction of his aged mother, who is supported by his aid alone. All these considerations, great and many as they are, I have put aside, keeping only in view the one object of giving your Church the blessing of the rule of such a man, and of siding her, now distressed as she is, at being so long without a head, and needing great and powerful support to be enabled to rise again. So much for what concerns myself. Now, on the other hand, I ask you not to fall short of the hope which I have entertained and of the promises which I have made him, that I have sent him to close friends. I ask every one of you to try to surpass the rest in love and affection to him. I entreat you to show this laudable rivalry, and to comfort his heart by the greatness of your attentions to him, that he may forget his own home, forget his kinsfolk, and forget a people so dependent on his rule, like a child weaned from his mother's breast.

I have despatched Nicias beforehand to explain everything to your excellencies, and that you may fix a day to keep the feast and give thanks to the Lord, Who has granted the fulfilment of your prayer.(1)

LETTER CIII.(2)

To the people of Satala.

THE Lord has answered the prayer of His people and has given them, by my humble instrumentality, a shepherd worthy of the name; not one making traffic of the word, as many do, but competent to give full satisfaction to you, who love orthodoxy of doctrine, and have accepted a life agreeable to the Lord's commands, in the name of the Lord, Who has filled him with His own spiritual graces.

LETTER CIV.(3)

To the prefect Modestus.(4)

MERELY to write to so great a man, even though there be no other reason, must be esteemed a great honour. For communication with personages of high distinction confers glory upon all to whom it is permitted. My supplication, however, is one which I am driven by necessity to make to your excellency, in my great distress at the condition of my whole country. Bear with me, I beg you, kindly and in accordance with your own characters and reach a helping hand to my country, now beaten to the knee. The immediate object of my entreaty is as follows. By the old census, the clergy of God, presbyters and deacons,(1) were left exempt. The recent registrars, however, without any authority from your lordship, have enrolled them, except that in some cases a few were granted immunity on the score of age. I ask, then, that you will leave us this memorial of your beneficence, to preserve through all coming time your good fame; that in accordance with the old law the clergy be exempt from contribution. I do not ask the remission to be conceded personally and individually to those who are now included, in which case the grace will pass to their successors, who may not always be worthy of the sacred ministry. I would suggest that some general concession be made to the clergy, according to the form in the open register, so that the exemption may be given in each place to ministers by the rulers of the Church. This boon is sere to bring undying glory to your excellency for your good deeds, and will cause many to pray for the imperial house. It will also really be profitable to the government, if we afford the relief of exemption, not generally to all the clergy, but to those who from time to time are in distress. This, as any one who chooses may know, is the course we actually pursue when we are at liberty.

LETTER CV.(2)

To the deaconesses, the daughters of Count Terentius.(3)

ON coming to Samosata I expected to have the pleasure of meeting your excellencies, and when I was disappointed I could not easily bear it. When, I said, will it be possible for me to be in your neighbourhood again? When will it be agreeable to you to come into mine? All this, however, must be left to the Lord's will. As to the present, when I found that my son Sophronius was setting out to you, I gladly delivered him this letter, to convey you my salutation, and to tell you how, by God's grace, I do not cease to remember you, and to thank the Lord on your behalf, in that you are goodly scions of a goodly stock, fruitful in good works, and verily like lilies among thorns. Surrounded as you are by the terrible perversity of them that are corrupting the word of truth, you do not give in to their wiles; you have not abandoned the apostolic proclamation of faith, you have not gone over to the successful novelty of the day. Is not this cause of deep thankfulness to God? Shall not this rightly bring you great renown? You have professed your faith in Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Do not abandon this deposit; the Father--origin of all; the Son--Only begotten, begotten of Him, very God, Perfect of Perfect, living image, shewing the whole Father in Himself; the Holy Ghost, having His subsistence of God, the fount of holiness, power that gives life, grace that maketh perfect, through Whom man is adopted, and the mortal made immortal, conjoined with Father and Son in all things in glory and eternity, in power and kingdom, in sovereignty and godhead; as is testified by the tradition of the baptism of salvation.

But all who maintain that either Son or Spirit is a creature, or absolutely reduce the Spirit to ministerial and servile rank, are far removed from the truth. Flee their communion. Turn away from their teaching, They are destructive to souls. If ever the Lord grant us to meet, I will discourse to you further concerning the faith, to the end that you may perceive at once the power of the truth and the rottenness of heresy by Scriptural proof.

LETTER CVI.(1)

To a soldier.

I HAVE many reasons for thanking God for mercies vouchsafed to me in my journey, but I count no blessing greater than the knowledge of your excellency, which has been permitted me by our good Lord's mercy. I have learnt to know one who proves that even in a soldier's life it is possible to preserve the perfection of love to God,(2) and that we must mark a Christian not by the style of his dress, but by the disposition of his soul. It was a great delight to me to meet you; and now, whenever I remember you, I feel very glad. Play the man; be strong; strive to nourish and multiply love to God, that there may be given you by Him yet greater boons of blessing. I need no further proof that you remember me; I have evidence in what you have done.

LETTER CVII.[1]

To the Widow Julitta.[2]

I was grieved to find on reading your ladyship's letter that you are involved in the same difficulties. What is to be done to men who show such a shifty character, saying now one thing now another and never abiding in the same pledges? If, after the promises made in my presence, and in that of the ex-prefect, he now tries to shorten the time of grace as though nothing had been said, he does seem to have lost, as far as I am concerned, all sense of shame. Nevertheless I wrote to him, rebuking him, and reminding him of his promises. I wrote also to Helladius, who is of the household of the prefect, that information might be given through him about your affairs. I hesitated myself to make so free with an officer of such importance, on account of my never having yet written to him about my own private affairs and my fearing some adverse decision from him, great men, as you know, being easily annoyed about such matters. If, however, any good is to be done in the matter, it will be through Helladius, an excellent man, well disposed towards me, fearing God, and having perfectly free access to the prefect. The Holy One is able to deliver you from all affliction, if only truly and sincerely we fix all our hope on Him.

LETTER CVIII.[3]

To the guardian of the heirs of Julitta.

I AM very much astonished to bear that, after the kind promises which you made and which were only such as might be expected from your generous character, you have now forgotten them and are putting violent and stern pressure on our sister. What to think, trader the circumstances, I really do not know. I know from many who have experienced your liberality, and bear testimony to it, how great it is; and I remember the promises which you made before me and the ex-prefect. You said that you were naming a shorter time in writing, but that you would grant a longer term of grace, from your wish to meet the necessities of the case, and do a favour to the widow, who is now compelled to pay out of her substance such a large sum of money at once. What is the cause of this change I cannot imagine. However, whatever it is, I beg you to be mindful of your own generous character, and to look to the Lord Who requites good deeds. I beg you to grant the time of remission, which you promised at tim outset, that they may be able to sell their property and discharge the debt. I perfectly well remember that you promised, if you received the sum agreed on, to restore to the widow all the stipulated documents, as well those which had been executed before the magistrates as the private papers. I do beg you then, honour me and win great blessing for yourself from the Lord. Remember your own promises, recognizing that you are human and must yourself look for that time when you will need God's help. Do not shut yourself off from that help by your present severity; but, by showing all kindness and clemency to the afflicted, attract God's pity to yourself.

LETTER CIX.[1]

To the Count Helladius.

I SHRINK from troubling your good nature, on account of the greatness of your influence, for fear of seeming to make an unwarrantable use of your friendship; however, the necessity of the case prevents my holding my peace. Our sister, who is a relative of mine, and now in the sorrowful position of a widow, has to look after the affairs of her orphan boy. On seeing her above measure oppressed by intolerable responsibilities, I felt great compassion for her, and, feeling deeply on the subject, I have hastened to invoke your aid, in order that you may, if possible, deign to support the messenger whom she has sent, to the end that when she has paid what she promised in person in my presence, she may be freed from any further pressure. She had agreed that she should be relieved from the interest on payment of the capital. Now, however, those who are looking after the affairs of her heirs are trying to exact the payment of the interest as well as that of the capital. The Lord, you know, makes the care of widows and orphans His own, and so do you strive to use your best endeavours in this matter, in the hope of the recompense which God Himself will give you. I cannot help thinking that, when our admirable and kindly prefect has heard of the discharge of the capital, he will feel for this afflicted and unhappy house now stricken to the knee, and no longer able to cope with the injuries inflicted upon it. Pardon, then, the necessity which compels me to intrude upon you; and give your help in this matter, in proportion to the power which Christ has given you, good and true man as you are, and using your talents for the best.

LETTER CX.[1]

To the prefect Modestus.[2]

IN kindly condescending to come down to me you give me great honour and allow me great freedom; and these in like, aye and in greater, measure, I pray that your lordship may receive from our good Master during the whole of your life. I have long wanted to write to you and to receive honour at your hands, but respect for your great dignity has restrained me, and I have been careful lest I should ever seem to abuse the liberty conceded to me. Now, however, I am forced to take courage, not only by the fact of my having received permission from your incomparable excellency to write, but also by the necessity of the distressed. If, then, prayers of even the small are of any avail with the great, be moved, most excellent sir, of your good will to grant relief to a rural population now in pitiable case, and give orders that the tax of iron, paid by the inhabitants of iron-producing Taurus, may be made such as it is possible to pay. Grant this, lest they be crushed once for all, instead of being of lasting service to the state. I am sure that your admirable benevolence will see that this is done.

LETTER CXI.[3]

To Modestus, the prefect.

UNDER any ordinary circumstances I should have lacked courage to intrude upon your excellency, for I know how to gauge my own importance and to recognise dignities. But now that I have seen a friend in a distressing position at having been summoned before you, I have ventured to give him this letter. I hope that by using it, as a kind of propitiatory symbol, he may meet with merciful consideration. Truly, although I am of no account, moderation itself may be able to conciliate the most merciful of prefects, and to win pardon for me. Thus if my friend has done no wrong, he may be saved by the mere force of truth; if he has erred, he may be forgiven through my entreaty.

How we are situated here no one knows better than yourself, for you discern the weak parts in each man and rule all with your admirable forethought.

LETTER CXII.[1]

To Andronicus, a general.[2]

1. DID but my health allow of my being able to undertake a journey without difficulty, and of putting up with the inclemency of the winter, I should, instead of writing, have travelled to your excellency in person, and this for two reasons. First to pay my old debt, for I know that I promised to come to Sebastia and to have the pleasure of seeing your excellency; I did indeed come, but I failed to meet you because I arrived a little later than your lordship; secondly, to be my own ambassador, because I have hitherto shrunk from sending, from the idea that I am too insignificant to win such a boon, and at the same time reckoning that no one by merely writing would be so likely to persuade any one of public or private rank, in behalf of any one, as by a personal interview, in which one might clear up some points in the charges, as to others make entreaty, and for others implore pardon; none of which ends can be easily achieved by a letter. Now against all this I can only set one thing, your most excellent self; and because it will suffice to tell you my mind in the matter, and all that is wanting you will add of yourself, I have ventured to write as I do.

2. But you see how from my hesitation, and because I put off explaining the reasons of my pleading, I write in roundabout phrase. This man Domitianus has been an intimate friend of my own and of my parents from the beginning, and is like a brother to me. Why should I not speak the truth? When I learnt the reasons for his being in his present troubles, I said that he had only got what he deserved. For I hoped that no one who has ever committed any offence be it small or great, will escape punishment. But when I saw him living a life of insecurity and disgrace, and felt that his only hope depends on your decision, I thought that he had been punished enough; and so I implore you to be magnanimous and humane in the view you take of his case. To have one's opponents under one's power is right and proper for a man of spirit and authority; but to be kind and gentle to the fallen is the mark of the man supereminent in greatness of soul, and in inclemency. So, if you will, it is in your power to exhibit your magnanimity in the case of the same man, both in punishing him and in saving him. Let the fear Domitian has of what he suspects, and of what he knows he deserves to suffer, be the extent of his chastisement. I entreat you to add nothing to his punishment, for consider this: many in former times, of whom no record has reached us, have had those who wronged them in their power. But those who surpassed their fellows in philosophy did not persist in their wrath, and of these the memory has been handed down, immortal through all time. Let this glory be added to what history will say of you. Grant to us, who desire to celebrate your praises, to be able to go beyond the instances of kindnesses sting of in days of old. In this manner Croesus, it is said, ceased from his wrath against the slayer of his son, when he gave himself up for punishment,[1] and the great Cyrus was friendly to this very Croesus after his victory.[2] We shall number you with these and shall proclaim this your glory, with all our power, unless we be counted too poor heralds of so great a man.

3. Yet another plea that I ought to urge is this, that we do not chastise transgressors for what is past and gone, (for what means can be devised for undoing the past?) but either that they may be reformed for the future, or may be an example of good behaviour to others. Now, no one could say that either of these points is lacking in the present case; for Domitian will remember what has happened till the day of his death; and I think that all the rest, with his example before them, are dead with alarm. Under these circumstances any addition which we make to his punishment will only look like a satisfaction of our own anger. This I should say is far from being true in your case. I could not indeed be induced to speak of such a thing did I not see that a greater blessing comes to him that gives, than to him that receives. Nor will your magnanimity be known only to a few. All Cappadocia is looking to see what is to be done, and I pray that they may be able to number this among the rest of your good deeds. I shrink from concluding my letter for fear any omission may be to my hurt. But one thing I will add. Domitian has letters from many, who plead for him, but he thinks mine the most important of all, because he has learnt, from whom I know not, that I have influence with your excellency. Do not let the hopes he has placed in me be blasted; do not let me lose my credit among my people here; be entreated, illustrious sir, and grant my boon. You have viewed human life as clearly as ever philosopher viewed it, and you know how goodly is the treasure laid up for all those who give their help to the needy.

LETTER CXIII.[1]

To the presbyters of Tarsus.[2]

ON meeting this man, I heartily thanked God that by means of his visit He had comforted me in many afflictions and had through him shewn me clearly your love. I seem to see in one man's disposition the zeal of all of you for the truth. He will tell you of our discourses with one another. What you ought to learn directly from me is as follows.

We live in days when the overthrow of the Churches seems imminent; of this I have long been cognisant. There is no edification of the Church; no correction of error; no sympathy for the weak; no single defence of sound brethren; no remedy is found either to heal the disease which has already seized us, or as a preventive against that which we expect. Altogether the state of the Church (if I may use a plain figure though it may seem too humble an one) is like an old coat, which is always being torn and can never be restored to its original strength. At such a time, then, there is need of great effort and diligence that the Churches may in some way be benefited. It is an advantage that parts hitherto severed should be united. Union would be effected if we were willing to accommodate ourselves to the weaker, where we can do so without injury to souls; since, then, many mouths are open against the Holy Ghost, and many tongues whetted to blasphemy against Him, we implore you, as far as in you lies, to reduce the blasphemers to a small number, and to receive into communion all who do not assert the Holy Ghost to be a creature, that the blasphemers may be left alone, and may either be ashamed and return to the truth, or, if they abide in their error, may cease to have any importance from the smallness of their numbers. Let us then seek no more than this, but propose to all the brethren, who are willing to join us, the Nicene Creed. If they assent to that, let us further require that the Holy Ghost ought not to be called a creature, nor any of those who say so be received into communion. I do not think that we ought to insist upon anything beyond this. For I am convinced that by longer communication and mutual experience without strife, if anything more requires to be added by way of explanation, the Lord Who worketh all things together for good for them that love Him,[1] will grant it.

LETTER CXIV.[2]

To Cyriacus, at Tarsus.[3]

I NEED hardly tell the sons of peace how great is the blessing of peace. But now this blessing, great, marvellous, and worthy as it is of being most strenuously sought by all that love the Lord, is in peril of being reduced to the bare name, because iniquity abounds, and the love of most men has waxed cold.[4] I think then that the one great end of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the Churches now "at sundry times and in divers managers" [5] divided from one another. In attempting myself to effect this, I cannot fairly be blamed as a busybody, for nothing is so characteristically Christian as the being a peacemaker, and for this reason our Lord has promised us peacemakers a very high reward.

When, therefore, I had met the brethren, and learnt how great was their brotherly love, their regard for you, and yet more their love for Christ, and their exactitude and firmness in all that concerns the faith, and moreover their earnestness in compassing two ends, the not being separated from your love, and the not abandoning their sound faith. I approved of their good disposition; and I now write to your reverence beseeching you with all love to retain them in true union, and associated with you in all your anxiety for the Church. I have moreover pledged myself to them for your orthodoxy, and that you too by God's grace are enrolled to fight with all vigour for the truth, whatever you may have to suffer for the true doctrine. My own opinion is that the following conditions are such as will not run counter to your own feeling and will be quite sufficient to satisfy the above mentioned brethren; namely, that you should confess the faith put forth by our Fathers once assembled at Nicaea, that you should not omit any one of its propositions, but bear in mind that the three hundred and eighteen who met together without strife did not speak without the operation of the Holy Ghost, and not to add to that creed the statement that the Holy Ghost is a creature, nor hold communion with those who so say, to the end that the Church of God may be pure and without any evil admixture of any tare. If this full assurance is given them by your good feeling, they are prepared to offer proper submission to you. And I myself promise for the brethren that they will offer no opposition, but will show themselves entirely subordinate, if only your excellency shall have readily granted this one thing which they ask for.

LETTER CXV.[1]

To the heretic Simplicia.[2]

We often ill advisedly hate our superiors and love our inferiors. So I, for my part, hold my tongue, and keep silence about the disgrace of the insults offered me. I wait for the Judge above, Who knows how to punish all wickedness in the end, even though a man pour out gold like sand; let him trample on the right, he does but hurt his own soul. God always asks for sacrifice, not, I think, because He needs it, but because He accepts a pious and right mind as a precious sacrifice. But when a man by Iris transgressions tramples on himself God reckons his prayers impure. Bethink thyself, then, of the last day, and pray do not try to teach me. I know more than you do, and am not so choked with thorns within. I do not mind tenfold wickedness with a few good qualities. You have stirred up against me lizards and toads,[3] beasts, it is true, of Spring time, but nevertheless unclean. But a bird will come from above who will devour them. The account I have to render is not according to your ideas, but as God thinks fit to judge. If witnesses are wanted, there will not stand before the Judge slaves; nor yet a disgraceful and detestable set of eunuchs; neither woman nor man, lustful, envious, ill-bribed, passionate, effeminate, slaves of the belly, mad for gold, ruthless, grumbling about their dinner, inconstant, stingy, greedy, insatiable, savage, jealous. What more need I say? At their very birth they were condemned to the knife. How can their mind be right when their feet are awry? They are chaste because of the knife, and it is no credit to them. They are lecherous to no purpose, of their own natural vileness. These are not the witnesses who shall stand in the judgment, but rather the eyes of the just and the eyesight of the perfect, of all who are then to see with their eyes what they now see with their understanding.

LETTER CXVI.[1]

To Firminius.[2]

You write seldom, and your letters are short, either because you shrink from writing or from avoiding the satiety that comes from excess; or perhaps to train yourself to curt speech. I, indeed, am never satisfied and however abundant be your communication, it is less than my desire, because I wish to know every detail about you. How are you as to health ? How as to ascetic discipline? Do you persevere in your original purpose ? Or have you formed some new plan, changing your mind according to circumstances? Had you remained the same, I should not have wanted a great number of letters. I should have been quite satisfied with "I am quite well and I hope you are quite well." But I hear what I am ashamed to say, that you have deserted the ranks of your blessed forefathers, and deserted to your paternal grandfather, and are anxious to be rather a Brettanius than a Firminius. I am very anxious to hear about this, and to learn the reasons which have induced you to take to this kind of life. You have yourself been silent; ashamed, I suppose, of your intentions, and therefore I must implore you not to entertain any project, which can be associated with shame. If any such idea has entered into your mind, put it from you, come to yourself again, bid a long farewell to soldiering and arms and the toils of the camp. Return home thinking it, as your forefathers thought before you, quite enough for ease of life and all possible distinction to hold a high place in your city. This, I am sure, you will be able to achieve without difficulty, when I consider your natural gifts and the small number of your rivals. If, then, this was not your original intention, or if after forming it you have rejected it, let me know at once. If, on the other hand, which God forbid, you remain in the same mind, let the trouble come self announced. I do not want a letter.

LETTER CXVII.

Without address.[1]

For many reasons I know that I am a debtor to your reverence, and now the anxiety in which I find myself necessarily puts me in the way of services of this kind, although my advisers are mere chance comers, and not like yourself joined to me by many and different ties. There is no need to bring the past under review. I may say that I was the cause of my own difficulties, by determining to leave that good discipline which alone leads to salvation. The result was that in this trouble I soon fell into temptation. What happened has seemed worthy of mention, so that I may not again fall into similar distress. As to the future, I wish to give full assurance to your reverence, that, by God's grace, all will go well, since the proceeding is lawful, and there is no difficulty about it, as many of my friends about the court are ready to help me. I shall therefore have a petition drawn up, similar to the form presented to the Vicar; and, if no delay intervene, I shall promptly get my discharge, and shall be sure to give you relief by sending you the formal document. I feel sure that in this my own convictions have more force than the imperial orders. If I shew this fixed and firm in the highest life, by God's aid the keeping of my chastity will be inviolable and sure. I have been pleased to see the brother entrusted to me by you, and hold him among my intimate friends. I trust he may prove worthy of God and of your good word.

LETTER CXVIII.[1]

To Jovinus, Bishop of Perrha.[2]

You owe me a good turn. For I lent you a kindness, which I ought to get back with interest;-- a kind of interest, this, which our Lord does not refuse. Pay me, then, my friend, by paying me a visit. So much for the capital; what of the increment? It is the fact of the visit being paid by you, who are a man as much superior to me, as fathers are better than children.

LETTER CXIX.[3]

To Eustathius, Bishop of Sebasteia.[4]

I ADDRESS you by the very honourable and reverend brother Petrus, beseeching you now and ever to pray for me, that I may be changed from ways dangerous and to be shunned, and may be made one day worthy of the name of Christ. Though I say nothing, you will converse together about my affairs, and he will give you an exact account of what has taken place. But you admit without due examination, the vile suspicions against me which will probably be raised by men who have insulted me, in violation of the fear of God and the regard of men. I am ashamed to tell you what treatment I have received from the illustrious Basilius, whom I had accepted at the hands of your reverence as a protection for my life. But, when you have heard what our brother has to say, you will know every detail. I do not thus speak to avenge myself upon him, for I pray that it may not be put to his account by the Lord, but in order that your affection to me may remain firm, and because I am afraid lest it be shaken by the monstrous slanders which these men are pretty sure to make up in defence of their fall. Whatever be the charges they adduce, I hope your intelligence will put these enquiries to them. Have they formally accused me? Have they sought for any correction of the error which they bring against me? Have they made their grievance against me plain? As matters are, by their ignoble flight they have made it evident that under the cheerfulness of their countenance, and their counterfeit expressions of affection, they are all the while hiding in their heart an immense depth of guile and of gall. In all this, whether I narrate it or not, your intelligence knows perfectly well what sorrow they have caused me, and what laughter to those who, always expressing their abomination for the pious life in this wretched city, affirm that the pretence of virtue is practised as a mere trick to get credit, a mere assumption to deceive. So in these days no mode of life is now so suspected of vice by people here as the profession of asceticism. Your intelligence will consider what is the best cure for all this.

As to the charges patched up against me by Sophronius, far from being a prelude of blessings, they are a beginning of division and separation, and are likely to lead to even my love growing cold. I implore that by your merciful kindness he may be withheld from his injurious efforts, and that your affection may strive rather to tighten the bonds of what is falling asunder, and not to increase separation by joining with those who are eager for dissent.

LETTER CXX.[1]

To Meletius, bishop of Antioch.[2]

I HAVE received a letter from the very God-beloved bishop Eusebius, in which he enjoins that a second letter be written to the Westerns about certain Church matters. He has expressed a wish that the letter should be drawn up by me, and signed by all those who are in communion. Having no means of writing a letter about these wishes of his, I have sent on his minute to your holiness, in order that, when you have read it and can give heed to the information given by the very dear brother Sanctissimus, our fellow presbyter, you may yourself be so good as to indite a letter on these points as seems best to you. We are prepared to agree to it and to lose no time in having it conveyed to those in communion with us, so that, when all have signed it may be carried by the messenger, who is on the point of starting on his journey to visit the bishops of the West. Give orders for the decision of your holiness to be communicated to me as quickly as possible, that I may not be ignorant of your intentions.

As to the intrigue which is now being devised, or has already been devised against me, in Antioch, the same brother will convey intimation to your holiness, unless indeed the report of what has been done does not anticipate him and make the position clear. There is ground for hope that the threats are coming to an end.

I wish your reverence to know that our brother Anthimus has ordained Faustus, who is living with the pope (1) as bishop, without having received the votes, and in place of our right reverend brother Cyril. Thus he has filled Armenia with schisms. I have thought it right to tell your reverence this, lest they should lie against me, and I be responsible for these disorderly proceedings. You will of course deem it right to make this known to the rest. I think such irregularity will distress many.

LETTER CXXI.(2)

To Theodotus, bishop of Nicopolis. (3)

THE winter is severe and protracted, so that it is difficult for me even to have the solace of letters. For this reason I have written seldom to your reverence and seldom heard from you, but now my beloved brother Sanctissimus, the co-presbyter, has undertaken a journey as far as your city. By him I salute your lordship, and ask you to pray for me, and to give ear to Sanctissimus, that from him you may learn in what situation the Churches are placed, and may give all possible heed to the points put before you. You must know that Faustus came with letters for me, from the pope, requesting that he might be ordained bishop. When however I asked him for some testimonial from yourself. and the rest of the bishops, he made light of me and betook himself to Anthimus. He came back, ordained by Anthimus, without any communication having been made to me on the subject.

LETTER CXXII. (4)

To Poemenius, (5) bishop of Satala.

When the Armenians returned by your way you no doubt asked for a letter from them, and you learnt why I had not given the letter to them. If they spoke as truth lovers should, you forgave me on the spot; if they kept anything back (which I do not suppose), at all events hear it from me.

The most illustrious Anthimus, who long ago made peace with me, when he found an opportunity of satisfying his own vain gloriousness, and of causing me some vexation, consecrated Faustus, by his own authority and with his own hand, without waiting for any election from you, and ridiculing my punctiliousness in such matters. Inasmuch, then, as he has confounded ancient order and has made light of you, for whose election I was waiting, and has acted in a manner, as I view it, displeasing to God, for these reasons I felt pained with them, and gave no letter for any of the Armenians, not even for your reverence. Faustus I would not even receive into communion, thereby plainly testifying that, unless he brought me a letter from you, I should be permanently alienated from him, and should influence those of the same mind with me to treat him in the same manner. If there is any remedy for these things, be sure to write to me yourself, giving your testimony to him, if you see that his life is good; and exhort the rest. If on the other hand the mischief is incurable, let me perfectly understand it to be so, that I may no longer take them into account; although really, as they have proved, they have agreed, for the future, to transfer their communion to Anthimus, in contempt of me and of my Church, as though my friendship were no longer worth having.

LETTER CXXIII. (1)

To Urbicius, the monk. (2)

You were to have come to see me (and the blessing was drawing near) to cool me, aflame in my temptations, with the tip of your finger. What then? My sins stood in the way and hindered your start, so that I am sick without a remedy. Just as when the waves are round us, one sinks and another rises, and another looms black and dreadful, so of my troubles: some have ceased, some are with me, some are before me. As is generally the case, the one remedy for these troubles is to yield to the crisis and withdraw from my persecutors. Yet come to me, to console, to advise, or even to travel with me; in any case you will make me better for the mere sight of you. Above all, pray, and pray again, that my reason be not whelmed by the waves of my troubles; pray that all through I may keep a heart pleasing to God, that I be not numbered with the wicked servants, who thank a master when he gives them good, and refuse to submit when he chastises them by adversity; but let me reap benefit from my very trials, trusting most in God when I need Him most.

LETTER CXXIV. (1)

To Theodorus.

IT is sometimes said that slaves to the passion of love, when by some inevitable necessity they are separated from the object of their desire, are able to stay the violence of their passion by indulging the sense of sight, if haply they can look at the picture of the beloved object. Whether this be true or not I cannot say; but what has befallen me in your case, my friend, is not very different. I have felt a disposition towards your godly and guileless soul, somewhat, if I may so say, of the nature of love; but the gratification of my desire, like that of all other blessings, is made difficult to me by the opposition of my sins. However, I have seemed to see a very good likeness of you in the presence of my very reverend brothers. And if it had been my lot to fall in with you when far away from them, I should have fancied that I saw them in you. For the measure of love in each of you is so great, that in both of you there is a plain contest for the superiority. I have thanked God for this. If any longer life be left me, I pray that my life may be made sweet through you, just as now I look on life as a wretched thing to be avoided, because I am separated from the companionship of those I love best. For, in my judgment, there is nothing in which one can be cheerful when cut off from those who truly love us.

LETTER CXXV. (2)

A transcript of the faith as dictated by Saint Basil, and subscribed by Eustathius, bishop of Sebasteia. (3)

1. Both men whose minds have been preoccupied by a heterodox creed and now wish to change over to the congregation of the orthodox, and also those who are now for the first time desirous of being instructed in the doctrine of truth, must be taught the creed drawn up by the blessed fathers in the Council which met at Nicaea. The same training would also be exceedingly useful in the case of all who are under suspicion of being in a state of hostility to sound doctrine, and who by ingenious and plausible excuses keep the depravity of their sentiments out of view. For these too this creed is all that is needed. They will either get cured of their concealed unsoundness, or, by continuing to keep it concealed, will themselves bear the load of the sentence due to their dishonesty, and will provide us with an easy defence in the day of judgment, when the Lord will lift the cover from the hidden things of darkness, and "make manifest the counsels of the hearts." (1) It is therefore desirable to receive them with the confession not only that they believe in the words put forth by our fathers at Nicaea, but also according to the sound meaning expressed by those words, For there are men who even in this creed pervert the word of truth, and wrest the meaning of the words in it to suit their own notions. So Marcellus, when expressing impious sentiments concerning the hypostasis of our Lord Jesus Christ, and describing Him as being Logos and nothing more, (2) had the hardihood to profess to find a pretext for his principles in that creed by affixing an improper sense upon the Homoousion. Some, moreover, of the impious following of the Libyan Sabellius, who understand hypostasis and substance to be identical, derive ground for the establishment of their blasphemy from the same source, because of its having been written in the creed "if any one says that the Son is of a different substance or hypostasis, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes him." But they did not there state hypostasis and substance to be identical. Had the words expressed one and the same meaning, what need of both? It is on the contrary clear that while by some it was denied that the Son was of the same substance with the Father, and some asserted that He was not of the substance and was of some other hypostasis, they thus condemned both opinions as outside that held by the Church. When they set forth their own view, they declared the Son to be of the substance of the Father, but they did not add the words "of the hypostasis." The former clause stands for the condemnation of the faulty view; the latter plainly states the dogma of salvation. We are therefore bound to confess the Son to be of one substance with the Father, as it is written; but the Father to exist in His own proper hypostasis, the Son in His, and the Holy Ghost in His, as they themselves have clearly delivered the doctrine. They indeed clearly and satisfactorily declared in the words Light of Light, that the Light which begat and the Light which was begotten, are distinct, and yet Light and Light; so that the definition of the Substance is one and the same.(1) I will now subjoin the actual creed as it was drawn up at Nicaea.(2)

2. <greek>pisteuomen</greek> <greek>eis</greek> <greek>ena</greek> <greek>Qeon</greek> <greek>Patera</greek> <greek>pantokratora</greek>, <greek>pantwn</greek> <greek>oratpn</greek> <greek>te</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>aoratwn</greek> <greek>poihthn</greek>. [<greek>poihthn</greek> <greek>ouranou</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>ghs</greek> <greek>oratpn</greek> <greek>te</greek> <greek>pantwn</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>aoratwn</greek>.]

<greek>kai</greek> <greek>eis</greek> <greek>ena</greek> K<greek>urion</greek> I<greek>hsoun</greek> X<greek>riston</greek>, <greek>ton</greek> <greek>uion</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek> [<greek>ton</greek> <greek>monogenh</greek>] <greek>gennhqenta</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Patros</greek> <greek>monogenh</greek>. [<greek>ton</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>ton</greek> <greek>Patros</greek> <greek>gennhqenta</greek> <greek>pro</greek> <greek>pantwn</greek> <greek>twn</greek> <greek>aiwnwn</greek>.]

<greek>toutestin</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>ths</greek> <greek>ousias</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Patros</greek>, <greek>Qeon</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek> [omit],(3) <greek>Fps</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>Fptos</greek>, <greek>Qeon</greek> <greek>alhqinon</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek> <greek>alhqinou</greek>, <greek>gennhqenta</greek> <greek>on</greek> <greek>poihqenta</greek>, <greek>omoousion</greek> <greek>tp</greek> <greek>Patri</greek>, <greek>di</greek> <greek>ou</greek> <greek>ta</greek> <greek>panta</greek> <greek>egeneto</greek>, <greek>ta</greek> <greek>te</greek> <greek>en</greek> <greek>tp</greek> <greek>ouranp</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>ta</greek> <greek>en</greek> <greek>th</greek> <greek>gh</greek> [omit].

<greek>ton</greek> <greek>di</greek> <greek>hmas</greek> <greek>tous</greek> <greek>anqrwpous</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>dia</greek> <greek>thn</greek> <greek>hmeteran</greek> <greek>swthrian</greek>, <greek>katelqonta</greek> [<greek>ek</greek> <greek>tpn</greek> <greek>ouranpn</greek>] <greek>kai</greek> <greek>sarkwqenta</greek>. <greek>kai</greek> <greek>enanqrwphsanta</greek> [<greek>staurwqentate</greek> <greek>uper</greek> <greek>hmpn</greek> <greek>epi</greek> <greek>Pontiou</greek> <greek>Pilatou</greek>, <greek>kai</greek>], <greek>paqota</greek> [<greek>kai</greek> <greek>tafenta</greek>], <greek>kai</greek> <greek>anastanta</greek> <greek>th</greek> <greek>trith</greek> <greek>hmera</greek> [<greek>kata</greek> <greek>tas</greek> <greek>grafas</greek> <greek>kai</greek>], <greek>anelqonta</greek>

<greek>eis</greek> <greek>tous</greek> <greek>ouranous</greek>. [<greek>kai</greek> <greek>kaqezomeno</greek><s225 > <greek>ek</greek> <greek>dexipn</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Patros</greek>.]

<greek>kai</greek> <greek>palin</greek> <greek>erkomenon</greek> [<greek>weta</greek> <greek>doxhs</greek>] <greek>krinai</greek> <greek>zwntas</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>nekrous</greek>. [<greek>ou</greek> <greek>ths</greek> <greek>basileias</greek> <greek>ouk</greek> <greek>estai</greek> <greek>telos</greek>.]

<greek>kai</greek> <greek>eis</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>Pneuma</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>agion</greek>. [<greek>to</greek> K<greek>nrion</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>zwopoion</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>ek</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>Patrou</greek> <greek>ekporeuomenon</greek>, <greek>to</greek> <greek>sun</greek> <greek>Patri</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>giw</greek> <greek>snmproskunoumenon</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>sundoxazomenon</greek>, <greek>to</greek> <greek>lalhsan</greek> <greek>dia</greek> <greek>twn</greek> <greek>profhtwn</greek>. <greek>eis</greek> <greek>m</greek>,s217><greek>an</greek> <greek>agian</greek> <greek>kaqolikhn</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>apostolikhn</greek> <greek>ekklhsi</greek>,s201><greek>n</greek>, <greek>omologoumen</greek> <greek>en</greek> <greek>baptisma</greek> <greek>eis</greek> <greek>afesin</greek> <greek>amartiwn</greek>, <greek>prasdok?men</greek> <greek>a</greek>,s225><greek>astasin</greek> <greek>nekrmn</greek>, <greek>kai</greek> <greek>zwhn</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>mellontos</greek> <greek>aiwnos</greek>. A<greek>m?n</greek>.]

<greek>tous</greek> <greek>de</greek> <greek>legontas</greek>, <greek>hn</greek> <greek>pote</greek> <greek>ote</greek> <greek>hn</greek>, <greek>kai</greek> <greek>prin</greek> <greek>gennhqhnai</greek> <greek>ouk</greek> <greek>hn</greek>, <greek>kai</greek> <greek>oti</greek> <greek>ex</greek> <greek>ouk</greek> <greek>ontwn</greek> <greek>egeneto</greek>, <greek>h</greek> <greek>ex</greek> <greek>eteras</greek> <greek>unostasews</greek> <greek>h</greek> <greek>ousias</greek> <greek>faskontas</greek> <greek>ei?ai</greek>, <greek>h</greek> <greek>ktiston</greek> <greek>h</greek> <greek>ktiston</greek> <greek>h</greek> <greek>trepton</greek> <greek>h</greek> <greek>alloiwton</greek> <greek>ton</greek> <greek>gion</greek> <greek>ton</greek> <greek>Qeou</greek>, <greek>toutous</greek> <greek>anaqematizei</greek> <greek>h</greek> <greek>kaqolikh</greek> <greek>kai</greek> <greek>apostolikh</greek> <greek>ekklhsia</greek>. [Omit all the athemas.]

3. Here then all points but one are satisfactorily and exactly defined, some for the correction of what had been corrupted, some as a precaution against errors expected to arise. The doctrine of the Spirit, however, is merely mentioned, as needing no elaboration, because at the time of the Council no question was mooted, and the opinion on this subject in the hearts of the faithful was exposed to no attack. Little by little, however, the growing poison-germs of impiety, first sown by Arius, the champion of the heresy, and then by those who succeeded to his inheritance of mischief, were nurtured to the plague of the Church, and the regular development of the impiety issued in blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Under these circumstances we are under the necessity of putting before the men who have no pity for themselves, and shut their eyes to the inevitable threat directed by our Lord against blasphemers of the Holy Ghost, their bounden duty. They must anathematize all who call the Holy Ghost a creature, and all who so think; all who do not confess that He is holy by nature, as the Father is holy by nature, and the Son is holy by nature, and refuse Him His place in the blessed divine nature. Our not separating Him from Father and Son is a proof of our right mind, for we are bound to be baptized in the terms we have received and to profess belief in the terms in which we are baptized, and as we have professed belief in, so to give glory to Father, on, and Holy Ghost; and to hold aloof from the communion of all who call Him creature, as from open blasphemers. One point must be regarded as settled; and the remark is necessary because of our slanderers; we do not speak of the Holy Ghost as unbegotten, for we recognise one Unbegotten and one Origin of all things,(1) the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: nor do we speak of the Holy Ghost as begotten, for by the tradition of the faith we have been taught one Only-begotten: the Spirit of truth we have been taught to proceed from the Father, and we confess Him to be of God without creation. We are also bound to anathematize all who speak of the Holy Ghost as ministerial,(2) inasmuch as by this term they degrade Him to the rank of a creature. For that the ministering spirits are creatures we are told by Scripture in the words "they are all ministering spirits sent forth to minister."(3) But because of men who make universal confusion, and do not keep the doctrine of the Gospels, it is necessary to add yet this further, that they are to be shunned, as plainly hostile to true religion, who invert the order left us by the Lord, and put the Son before the Father, and the Holy Spirit before the Son. For we must keep unaltered and inviolable that order which we have received from the very words of the Lord, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them m the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."(1)

I, Eustathius, bishop, have read to thee, Basil, and understood; and I assent to what is written above. I have signed in the presence of our Fronto, Severus, the chorepis-copus, and several other clerics.

LETTER CXXVI.(2)

To Atarbius.(3)

On arriving at Nicopolis in the double hope of settling the disturbances which had arisen, and applying a remedy, as far as possible, to measures taken in a disorderly manner and in violation of the law of the Church, I was exceedingly disappointed at failing to meet you. I heard that you had hurriedly withdrawn, and actually from the very synod which was being held by you. I am, therefore, under the necessity of having recourse to writing, and by this letter I bid you present yourself before me, that you may in person apply some remedy to the pain which I felt, even unto death, on hearing that you bad ventured on action, in the very middle of the church, of the like of which I hitherto have never heard. All this, although painful and serious, is endurable, as having happened to a man who has committed the punishment due for his sufferings to God, and is wholly devoted to peace and to preventing harm falling from any fault of his on God's people. Since, however, some honourable brethren, worthy of all credit, have told me that you have introduced certain innovations into the faith, and have spoken against sound doctrine, I am under the circumstances the more agitated, and above measure anxious, lest, in addition to the countless wounds which have been inflicted on the Church by traitors to the truth of the Gospel, yet a further calamity should spring up in the renewal of the ancient heresy of Sabellius, the enemy of the Church; for to this the brethren have reported your utterances to be akin. I have, therefore, written to charge you not to shrink from undertaking a short journey to come to me, and, by giving me full assurance in the matter, at once to alleviate my pangs, and to solace the Churches of God, which are now pained to a grave, nay an unendurable extent, at your actions and your reported words.

LETTER CXXVII.(1)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.(2)

Our merciful God, Who makes comfort match trouble, and consoles the lowly, lest they be drowned unawares in exceeding grief, has sent a consolation, equivalent to the troubles I have suffered in Nicopolis, in seasonably bringing me the God-beloved bishop Jobinus. He must tell you himself how very opportune his visit was. I shrink from a long letter, and will hold my peace. And I am the more inclined to silence, lest I seem as it were to put a mark on men, who have turned round and begun to show regard to me, by mentioning their fall.

God grant that you may come to see me in my own home, so that I may embrace your reverence and tell you everything in detail. For we often find some comfort in telling what is painful in actual experience. However, for all that the very godly bishop has done, fully as far as regards his affection for me, and preeminently and stoutly as regards the exact observance of the canons, commend him. Moreover, thank God that your pupils everywhere exhibit your reverence's character.

LETTER CXXVIII.(3)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.(4)

1. HITHERTO I have been unable to give any adequate and practical proof of my earnest desire to pacify the Churches of the Lord. But in my heart I affirm that I have so great a longing, that I would gladly give up even my life, if thereby the flame of hatred, kindled by the evil one, could be put out. If it was not for the sake of this longing for peace that I consented to come to Colonia,(5) may my life he unblessed by peace. The peace I seek is the true peace, left us by the Lord Himself; and what I have asked that I may have for my assurance belongs to one who desires nothing but the true peace, although some perversely interpret the truth into another sense. Let them use their tongues as they will, but assuredly they will one day be sorry for their words.

2. Now I beseech your holiness to remember the original propositions, and not to be led away by receiving answers that do not fit the questions, nor yet to give practical weight to the quibbles of men who, without any power of argument, very cleverly pervert the truth, from their own ideas alone. I set out propositions which were perfectly simple, clear and easy to remember; do we decline to receive into communion those who refuse to accept the Nicene Creed? Do we refuse to have part or lot with those who have the hardihood to assert that the Holy Ghost Is a creature? He, however,(1) instead of answering my questions word for word, has concocted the statement which you have sent me:--and this not from simplemindedness, as might be imagined, nor yet from his inability to see the consequences. What he reckons is that, by repudiating my proposition, he will expose his true character to the people; while, if he agrees to it, he will depart from that via media which has hitherto seemed to him preferable to any other position. Let him not try to beguile me, nor, with the rest, deceive your intelligence. Let him send a concise answer to my question, whether he accepts or repudiates communion with the enemies of the faith. If you get him to do this and send me such a distinct answer as I pray for, I own myself in error in all that has gone before; I take all the blame upon myself; then ask from me a proof of humility. But, if nothing of the kind come to pass, pardon me, most God-beloved father, in my inability to approach God's altar with hyprocrisy. Were it not for self this dread, why should I separate my from Euippius, so learned a man, so advanced in age, and bound to me by so many ties of affection? If, however, in this case I acted rightly, it would, I am sure, be absurd to appear united with those who maintain the same views as Euippius, through the media-lion of these amiable and charming persons.

3. Not that I think it is absolutely our duty to cut ourselves off from those who do not receive the faith, but rather to have regard to them in accordance with the old law of love, and to write to them with one consent, giving them all exhortation with pity, and to propose to them the faith of the fathers, and invite them to union. If we succeed we should be united in communion with them; if we fail we must be content with one another and purge our conduct of this uncertain spirit, restoring the evangelical and simple conversation followed by those who accepted the Word from the beginning. "They," it is said, "were of one heart and of one soul."(1) If they obey you, this will be best; if not, recognise the real authors of the war, and, for the future do riot write me any more letters about reconciliation.

LETTER CXXIX.(2)

To Meletius Bishop of Antioch.(3)

1. I KNEW that the charge which had lately sprung up against the loquacious Apollinarius would sound strange in the ears of your excellency. I did not know myself, till now, that he was accused; at the present time, however, the Sebastenes, after search in some quarter or another, have brought these things forward, and they are carrying about a document for which they are specially trying to condemn me on the ground that I hold the same sentiments, It contains the following phrases. "Wherefore it is everywhere necessary to understand the first identity in conjunction with, or rather in union with, the second, and to say that the second and the third are the same. For what the Father is firstly, the Son is secondly, and the Spirit thirdly. And, again, what the Spirit is firstly, the Son is secondly, in so far as the Spirit is the Lord; and the Father thirdly, in so far as the Spirit is God. And, to express the ineffable with greatest force, the Father is Son in a paternal sense, and the Son Father in a filial sense, and so in the case of the Spirit, in so far as the Trinity is one God." This is what is being bruited about. I never can believe it to have been invented by those through whom it has been published, although, after their slanders against me, I can regard nothing as beyond their audacity. For writing to some of their party, they advanced their false accusation against me, and then added the words I have quoted, describing them as the work of heretics, but saying nothing as to the author of the document, in order that it might vulgarly be supposed to have come from my pen. Nevertheless, in my opinion, their intelligence would not have gone far enough in putting the phrases together. On this account, in order to repudiate the growing blasphemy against myself, and shew to all the world that I have nothing in common with those who make such statements, I have been compelled to mention Apollinarius as approximating to the impiety of Sabellius. Of this subject I will say no more.

2. I have received a message from the court that, after the first impulse of the Emperor, to which he was impelled by my calumniators, a second decree has been passed, that I am not to be delivered to my accusers, nor given over to their will, as was ordered at the beginning; but that there has been in the meanwhile some delay. If then this obtains, or any gentler measure is determined on, I will let you know. If the former prevails, it shall not be so, without your knowledge.

3. Our brother Sanctissimus has certainly been with you a long time, and you have learnt the objects he has in view. If, then, the letter to the Westerns seems to you to contain at all what is requisite, be so good as to have it written out and conveyed to me, that I may get it signed by those who think with us, and may keep the subscription ready, and written out on a separate paper, which we can fasten on to the letter which is being carried about by our brother and fellow presbyter. As I did not find in the minute anything conclusive, I was in a difficulty on what point to write to the Westerns. Necessary points are anticipated, and it is useless to write what is superfluous, and on such points would it not be ridiculous to show feeling? One subject, however, did appear to me to be hitherto untouched, and to suggest a reason for writing, and that was an exhortation to them not indiscriminately to accept the communion of men coming from the East; but, after once choosing one side, to receive the rest on the testimony of their fellows, and not to assent to every one writing a form of creed on the pretext of orthodoxy. If they do so, they will be found in communion with men at war with one another, who often put forward the same formulae, and yet battle vehemently against one another, as those who are most widely separated. To the end, then, that the heresy may not be the more widely kindled, while those who are at variance with one another mutually object to their own formulae, they ought to be exhorted to make a distinction between the acts of communion which are brought them by chance comers, and those which are duly drawn up according to the rule of the Church.(1)

LETTER CXXX.(1)

To Theodotus bishop of Nicopolis.

1. You have very rightly and properly blamed me, right honourable and well beloved brother, in that ever since I departed from your reverence, conveying to Eustathius those propositions about the faith, I have told you neither much nor little about his business. This neglect is really not due to any contempt on my part for the way in which he has treated me, but simply to the fact that the story is now published abroad in all men's ears, and nobody needs any instructions from me in order to learn what his intentions are. For this he has had good heed, as though he were really afraid that he would have few witnesses of his opinion, and has sent to the ends of the earth the letter which he has written against me. He has therefore severed himself from communion with me. He did not consent to meet me at the appointed spot, and did not bring his disciples, as he had promised. On the contrary, he publicly stigmatized me in the public synods, with the Cilician Theophilus,(2) by the open and undisguised slander of sowing in the souls of the people doctrines at variance with his own teaching. This was quite enough to break up all union between us. Afterwards he came to Cilicia, and, on meeting with a certain Gelasius, showed him the creed which only an Arian, or a thorough disciple of Arius, could subscribe. Then, indeed, I was yet more confirmed in my alienation from him. I felt that the Ethiopian will never change his skin, nor the leopard his spots,(3) nor a man nurtured in doctrines of perversity ever be able to rub off the stain of his heresy.

2. In addition to all this he has bad the impudence to write against me, or rather to compose long discourses full of all kinds of abuse and calumny. To these, up to this time, I have answered nothing, taught as we are by the Apostle, not to avenge ourselves, but to give place unto wrath.(4) Moreover, at the thought of the depth of the hypocrisy with which he has all along approached me, I have, in a way, become speechless with amazement. But, if all this had never happened, who would not feel horror and detestation of the fellow at this fresh piece of audacity? Now, as I hear, if the report is really true and not a slanderous invention, he has ventured to re-ordain certain men; a proceeding on which so far no heretic has ventured. How then can I quietly endure such treatment? How can I look upon the errors of the man as curable? Beware, then, of being led away by lies; do not be moved by the suspicions of men who are prone to look at everything in a bad light, as though I were making little of such things. For, be sure, my very dear and honourable friend, that I have never at any time been so grieved as I am now, on hearing of this confusion of the laws of the Church. Pray only that the Lord grant me to take no step in anger, but to maintain charity, which behaveth itself not unseemly and is not puffed up.[1] Only look how men without charity have been lifted up beyond all human bounds and conduct themselves in an unseemly manner, daring deeds which have no precedent in all the past.[2]

LETTER CXXXI.[3]

To Olympius.[4]

1. TRULY unexpected tidings make both ears tingle. This is my case. These compositions against me, which are being carried about, have fallen upon ears by this time pretty well seasoned, on account of my having formerly received the letter, appropriate enough to my sins, but which I should never have expected to be written by those who sent it. Nevertheless what followed did seem to me so extraordinarily cruel as to blot out all that had gone before. How could I fail to be driven almost out of my senses when I read the letter addressed to the reverend brother Dazinas, full of outrageous insults and calumnies and of attacks against me, as though I had been convicted of much pernicious designs against the Church? Moreover proofs were forthwith offered of the truth of the calumnies against me, from the document of whose authorship I am ignorant. Parts I recognise, I own, as having been written by Apollinarius of Laodicea. These I had purposely not even ever read, but I had heard of them from the report of others. Other portions I found included, which I had never either read or heard of from any one else; of the truth of this there is a faithful witness in heaven. How then can men who shun lies, who have learnt that love is the fulfilling of the law, who profess to bear the burdens of the weak, have consented to bring these calumnies against me and to condemn me out of other men's writings? I have often asked myself this question, but I cannot imagine the reason, unless it be, as I have said from the beginning, that my pain in all this is a part of the punishment which is due to my sins.

2. First of all I sorrowed in soul that truths were lessened by the sons of men; in the second place I feared for my own self, lest in addition to my other sins, I should become a misanthrope, believing no truth and honour to be left in any man; if indeed those whom I have most greatly trusted are proved to be so disposed both to me and to the truth. Be sure then, my brother, and every one who is a friend of the truth, that the composition is not mine; I do not approve of it, for it is not drawn up according to my views. Even if I did write, a good many years ago, to Apollinarius or to any one else, I ought not to be blamed. I find no fault myself if any member of any society has been cut off into heresy (and you know perfectly well whom I mean though I mention nobody by name), because each man will die in his own sin.

This is my reply to the document sent me, that you may know the truth, and make it plain to all who wish not to hold the truth in unrighteousness. If it prove necessary to defend myself more at length on each separate count, I will do so, God being my helper. I, brother Olympius, neither maintain three Gods, nor communicate with Apollinarius.[1]

LETTER CXXXII.[2]

To Abramius, bishop of Batnoe.[3]

EVER since the autumn I have been quite ignorant of the whereabouts of your reverence; for I kept hearing uncertain rumours, some saying that you were stopping at Samosata, and some in the country, while others maintained that they had seen you at Batnae. This is the reason of my not writing frequently. Now, on hearing that you are staying at Antioch, in the house of the honourable Count Saturninus, I have been glad to give this letter to our beloved and reverend brother Sanctissimus, our fellow presbyter, by whom I salute you, and exhort you, whereever you be, to remember firstly God, and secondly myself, whom you determined from the beginning to love and to reckon among your most intimate friends.

LETTER CXXXIII.

To Peter, bishop of Alexandria.[1]

THE sight of the eyes brings about bodily friendship, and long companionship strengthens it, but genuine regard is the gift of the Spirit, Who unites what is separated by long distances, and makes friends known to one another, not by bodily qualities, but by the characteristics of the soul. The grace of the Lord has granted me this favour, by permitting me to see you with the soul's eye, and to embrace you with genuine affection, and as it were, to be drawn very near to you, and to come into close union with you in the communion of faith. I am sure that you, disciple as you are of so great a man, and long associated with him, will walk in the same spirit and follow the same doctrines of true religion. Under these circumstances I address your excellency, and beseech you that among the other things in which you have succeeded that great man, you will succeed him in love to me, that you will frequently write me news of you, and will give heed to the brotherhood all over the world with the same affection and the same zeal which that most blessed man always showed to all that love God in truth.

Return to Volume 31 Index