ST. BASIL
LETTERS CLXXX TO CCIV

LETTER CLXXX.[3]

To the Master Sophronius, on behalf of Eunathius.

I HAVE been much distressed on meeting a worthy man involved in very great trouble. Being human, how could I fail to sympathise with a man of high character afflicted beyond his deserts? On thinking in what way I could be useful to him, I did find one means of helping him out of his difficulties, and that is by making him known to your excellency. It is now for you to extend also to him the same good offices which, as I can testify, you have shown to many. You will learn all the facts of the case from the petition presented by him to the emperors. This document I beg you to take into your hands, and implore you to help him to the utmost of your power. You will be helping a Christian, a gentleman, and one whose deep learning ought to win respect. If I add that in helping him you will confer a great kindness upon me, though, indeed, my interests are matters of small moment, yet, since you are always so good as to make them of importance, your boon to me will be no small one.

LETTER CLXXXI.[1]

To Otreius, bishop of Melitene.[2]

YOUR reverence is, I know, no less distressed than myself at the removal of the very God-beloved bishop Eusebius. We both of us need comfort. Let us try to give it to one another. Do you write to me what you hear from Samosata, and I will report to you anything that I may learn from Thrace.[3]

It is to me no slight alleviation of our present distress to know the constancy of the people. It will be the same to you to have news of our common father. Of course I cannot now tell you this by letter, but I commend to you one who is fully informed, and will report to you in what condition he left him, and how he bears his troubles. Pray, then, for him and for me that the Lord will grant him speedy release from his distress.

LETTER CLXXXII.[4]

To the presbyters of Samosata.

GRIEVED as I am at the desolation of the Church,[5] I none the less congratulate you on having been brought so soon to this extreme limit of your hard struggle. God grant that you may pass through it with patience. to the end that in return for your faithful stewardship, and the noble constancy which you have shewn in Christ's cause, you may receive the great reward.

LETTER CLXXXIII.[6]

To the Senate of Samosata.

SEEING, as I do, that temptation is now spread all over the world, and that the greater cities of Syria have been tried by the same sufferings as yourselves, (though, indeed, nowhere is the Senate so approved and renowned for good works, as your own, noted as you are for your righteous zeal,) I all but thank the troubles which have befallen you.[7]

For had not this affliction come to pass, your proof under trial would never have been known. To all that earnestly strive for any good, the affliction they endure for the sake of their hope in God is like a furnace to gold.[1]

Rouse ye, then, most excellent sirs, that the labours you are about to undertake may not be unworthy of those which you have already sustained, and that on a firm foundation you may be seen putting a yet worthier finish. Rouse ye, that ye may stand round about the shepherd of the Church, when the Lord grants him to be seen on his own throne, telling each of you in his turn. some good deed done for the sake of the Church of God. On the great day of the Lord, each, according to the proportion of his labours, shall receive his recompense from the munificent Lord. By remembering me and writing to me as often as you can, you will be doing justice in sending me a reply, and will moreover give me very great pleasure, by sending me in writing a plain token of a voice which it is delightful to me to hear.

LETTER CLXXXIV.[2]

To Eustathius, bishop of Himmeria.[3]

ORPHANHOOD is, I know, very dismal, and entails a great deal of work, because it deprives us of those who are set over us. Whence I conclude that yon do not write to me, because you are depressed at what has happened to you, and at the same time are now very much occupied in visiting the folds of Christ, because they are attacked on every side by foes. But every, grief finds consolation in communication with sympa-thising friends. Do then, I beg you, as often as you can, write to me. You will both refresh yourself by speaking to me, and you will comfort me by letting me hear from you. I shall endeavour to do the same to you, as often as my work lets me. Pray yourself, and entreat all the brotherhood earnestly to importune the Lord, to grant us one day release from the present distress.

LETTER CLXXXV.[4]

To Theodotus, bishop of Beroea.[5]

ALTHOUGH you do not write to me, I know that there is recollection of me in your heart; and this I infer, not because I am worthy of any favourable recollection, but because your soul is rich in abundance of love. Yet, as far as in you lies, use whatever opportunities you have of writing to me, to the end that I may both be cheered by hearing news of you, and have occasion to send you tidings of myself. This is the only mode of communication for those who live far apart. Do not let us deprive one another of it, so far as our labours will permit. But I pray God that we may meet in person, that our love may be increased, and that we may multiply gratitude to our Master for His greater boons.

LETTER CLXXXVI.[1]

To Antipater, the governor.[2]

PHILOSOPHY is an excellent thing, if only for this, that it even heals its disciples at small cost; for, in philosophy, the same thing is both dainty and healthy fare. I am told that you have recovered your failing appetite by pickled cabbage. Formerly I used to dislike it, both on account of the proverb,[3] and because it reminded me of the poverty that went with it. Now, however, I am driven to change my mind. I laugh at the proverb when I see that cabbage is such a "good nursing mother of men,"[4] and has restored our governor to the vigour of youth. For the future I shall think nothing like cabbage, not even Homer's lotus,[5] not even that ambrosia,[6] whatever it was, which fed the Olympians.

LETTER CLXXXVII.

Antipater to Basil.

"TWICE cabbage is death," says the unkind proverb. I, however, though I have called for it often, shall die once. Yes: even though I had never called for it at all! If you do die anyhow, don't fear to eat a delicious relish, unjustly reviled by the proverb!

LETTER CLXXXVIII.[7]

(CANONICA PRIMA.)

To Amphilochius, concerning the Canons.[8]

"EVEN a fool," it is said, "when he asks questions," is counted wise.[1] But when a wise man asks questions, he makes even a feel wise. And this, thank God, is my case, as often as I receive a letter from your industrious self. For we become more learned and wiser than we were before, merely by asking questions, because we are taught many things which we did not know; and our anxiety to answer them acts as a teacher to us. Assuredly at the present time, though I have never before paid attention to the points you raise, I have been forced to make accurate enquiry, and to turn over in my mind both whatever I have heard from the elders, and all that I have been taught in conformity with their lessons.

I. As to your enquiry about the Cathari,[2] a statement has already been made, and you have properly reminded me that it is right to follow the custom obtaining in each region, because those, who at the time gave decision on these points, held different opinions concerning their baptism. But the baptism of the Pepuzeni[3] seems to me to have no authority; and I am astonished how this can have escaped Dionysius,[4] acquainted as he was with the canons. The old authorities decided to accept that baptism which in nowise errs from the faith. Thus they used the names of heresies, of schisms, and of unlawful congregations.[5] By heresies they meant men who were altogether broken off and alienated in matters relating to the actual faith; by schisms[6] men who had separated for some ecclesiastical reasons and questions capable of mutual solution; by unlawful congregations gatherings held by disorderly presbyters or bishops or by uninstructed laymen. As, for instance, if a man be convicted of crime, and prohibited from discharging ministerial functions, and then refuses to submit to the canons, but arrogates to himself episcopal and ministerial rights, and persons leave the Catholic Church and join him, this is unlawful assembly. To disagree with members of the Church about repentance, is schism. Instances of heresy are those of the Manichae-ans, of the Valentinians, of the Marcionites, and of these Pepuzenes; for with them there comes in at once their disagreement concerning the actual faith in God. So it seemed good to the ancient authorities to reject the baptism of heretics altogether, but to admit that of schismatics,[1] on the ground that they still belonged to the Church.

As to those who assembled in unlawful congregations, their decision was to join them again to the Church, after they had been brought to a better state by proper repentance and rebuke, and so, in many cases, when men in orders[2] had rebelled with the disorderly, to receive them on their repentance, into the same rank. Now the Pepuzeni are plainly heretical, for, by unlawfully and shamefully applying to Montanus and Priscilla the title of the Paraclete, they have blasphemed against the Holy Ghost. They are, therefore, to be condemned for ascribing divinity to men; and for outraging the Holy Ghost by comparing Him to men. They are thus also liable to eternal damnation, inasmuch as blasphemy against the Holy Ghost admits of no forgiveness. What ground is there, then, for the acceptance of the baptism of men who baptize into the Father and the Son and Montanus or Priscilla? For those who have not been baptized into the names delivered to us have not been baptized at all. So that, although this escaped the vigilance of the great Dionysius, we must by no means imitate his error. The absurdity of the position is obvious in a moment, and evident to all who are gifted with even a small share of reasoning capacity.

The Cathari are schismatics; but it seemed good to the ancient authorities, I mean Cyprian and our own[1] Firmilianus, to reject all these, Cathari, Encratites,[2] and Hydroparastatae,[3] by one common condemnation, because the origin of separation arose through schism, and those who had apostatized from the Church had no longer on them the grace of the Holy Spirit, for it ceased to be imparted when the continuity was broken. The first separatists had received their ordination from the Fathers, and possessed the spiritual gift by the laying on of their hands. But they who were broken off had become laymen, and, because they are no longer able to confer on others that grace of the Holy Spirit from which they themselves are fallen away, they had no authority either to baptize or to ordain. And therefore those who were from time to time baptized by them, were ordered, as though baptized by laymen, to come to the church to be purified by the Church's true baptism. Nevertheless, since it has seemed to some of those of Asia that, for the sake of management of the majority, their baptism should be accepted, let it be accepted. We must, however, perceive the iniquitous action of the Encratites; who, in order to shut themselves out from being received back by the Church have endeavoured for the future to anticipate readmission by a peculiar baptism of their own, violating, in this manner even their own special practice.[4] My opinion, therefore, is that nothing being distinctly laid down concerning them, it is our duty to reject their baptism, and that in the case of any one who has received baptism from them, we should, on his coming to the church, baptize him. If, however, there is any likelihood of this being detrimental to general discipline, we must fall back upon custom, and follow the fathers who have ordered what course we are to pursue. For I am under some apprehension lest, in our wish to discourage them from baptizing, we may, through the severity of our decision, be a hindrance to those who are being saved. If they accept our baptism, do not allow this to distress us. We are by no means bound to return them the same favour, but only strictly to obey canons. On every ground let it be enjoined that those who come to us from their baptism be anointed[1] in the presence of the faithful, and only on these terms approach the mysteries. I am aware that I have received into episcopal rank Izois and Saturninus from the Encratite following.[2] I am precluded therefore from separating from the Church those who have been united to their company, inasmuch as, through my acceptance of the bishops, I have promulgate d a kind of canon of communion with them.

II. The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. With us there is no nice enquiry as to its being formed or unformed. In this case it is not only the being about to be born who is vindicated, but the woman in her attack upon herself; because in most cases women who make such attempts die. The destruction of the embryo is an additional crime, a second murder, at all events if we regard it as done with intent. The punishment, however, of these women should not be for life, but for the term of ten years. And let their treatment depend not on mere lapse of time, but on the character of their repentance.

III. A deacon who commits fornication after his appointment to the diaconate is to be deposed. But, after he has been rejected and ranked among the laity, he is not to be excluded from communion. For there is an ancient canon that those who have fallen from their degree are to be subjected to this kind of punishment alone.[1]

Herein, as I suppose, the ancient authorities followed the old rule "Thou shalt not avenge twice for the same thing."[2] There is this further reason too, that laymen, when expelled from the place of the faithful, are from time to time restored to the rank whence they have fallen; but the deacon undergoes once for all the lasting penalty of deposition. His deacon's orders not being restored to him, they rested at this one punishment. So far is this as regards what depends on law laid down. But generally a truer remedy is the departure from sin. Wherefore that man will give me full proof of his cure who, after rejecting grace for the sake of the indulgence of the flesh, has then, through bruising of the flesh[3] and the enslaving of it[4] by means of self control, abandoned the pleasures whereby he was subdued. We ought therefore to know both what is of exact prescription and what is of custom; and, in cases which do not admit of the highest treatment, to follow the traditional direction.

IV. In the case of trigamy and polygamy they laid down the same rule, in proportion, as in the case of digamy; namely one year for digamy (some authorities say two years); for trigamy men are separated for three and often for four years; but this is no longer described as marriage at all, but as polygamy; nay rather as limited fornication. It is for this reason that the Lord said to the woman of Samaria, who had five husbands, "he whom thou now hast is not thy husband."[5] He does not reckon those who had exceeded the limits of a second marriage as worthy of the title of husband or wife. In cases of trigamy we have accepted a seclusion of five years, not by the canons, but following the precept of our predecessors. Such offenders ought not to be altogether prohibited from the privileges of the Church; they should be considered deserving of hearing after two or three years, and afterwards of being permitted to stand in their place; but they must be kept from the communion of the good gift, and only restored to the place of communion after showing some fruit of repentance.

V. Heretics repenting at death ought to be received; yet to be received, of course, not indiscriminately, but on trial of exhibition of true repentance and of producing fruit in evidence of their zeal for salvation.[1]

VI. The fornication of canonical persons is not to be reckoned as wedlock, and their union is to be completely dissolved, for this is both profitable for the security of the Church and will prevent the heretics from having a ground of attack against us, as though we induced men to join us by the attraction of liberty to sin.

VII. Abusers of themselves with mankind, and with beasts, as also murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, are deserving of the same punishment. Whatever rule you have in the case of the rest, observe also in their case. There can, however, be no doubt that we ought to receive those who have repented of impurity committed in ignorance for thirty years.[2] In this case there is ground for forgiveness in ignorance, in the spontaneity of confession, and the long extent of time. Perhaps they have been delivered to Satan for a whole age of man that they may learn not to behave unseemly;[3] wherefore order them to be received without delay, specially if they shed tears to move your mercy, and shew a manner of living worthy of compassion.[4]

VIII. The man who in a rage has taken up a hatchet against his own wife is a murderer. But it is what I should have expected from your intelligence that you should very properly remind me to speak on these points more fully, because a wide distinction must be drawn between cases where there is and where there is not intent. A case of an act purely unintentional, and widely removed from the purpose of the agent, is that of a man who throws a stone at a dog or a tree, and hits a man. The object was to drive off the beast or to shake down the fruit. The chance comer falls fortuitously in the way of the blow, and the act is unintentional. Unintentional too is the act of any one who strikes another with a strap or a flexible stick, for the purpose of chastising him, and the man who is being beaten dies. In this case it must be taken into consideration that the object was not to kill, but to improve, the offender. Further, among unintentional acts must be reckoned the case of a man in a fight who when warding off an enemy's attack with cudgel or hand, hits him without mercy in some vital part, so as to injure him, though not quite to kill him. This, however, comes very near to the intentional; for the man who employs such a weapon in self defence, or who strikes without mercy, evidently does not spare his opponent, because he is mastered by passion. In like manner the case of any one who uses a heavy cudgel, or a stone too big for a man to stand, is reckoned among the unintentional, because he does not do what he meant: in his rage he deals such a blow as to kill his victim, yet all he had in his mind was to give him a thrashing, not to do him to death. If, however, a man uses a sword, or anything of the kind, he has no excuse: certainly none if he throws his hatchet. For he does not strike with the hand, so that the force of the blow may be within his own control, but throws, so that from the weight and edge of the iron, and the force of the throw, the wound cannot fail to be fatal.

On the other hand acts done in the attacks of war or robbery are distinctly intentional, and admit of no doubt. Robbers kill for greed, and to avoid conviction. Soldiers who inflict death in war do so with the obvious purpose not of fighting, nor chastising, but of killing their opponents. And if any one has concocted some magic philtre for some other reason, and then causes death, I count this as intentional. Women frequently endeavour to draw men to love them by incantations and magic knots, and give them drugs which dull their intelligence. Such women, when they cause death, though the result of their action may not be what they intended, are nevertheless, on account of their proceedings being magical and prohibited, to be reckoned among intentional homicides. Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses. So much on this subject.

IX. The sentence of the Lord that it is unlawful to withdraw from wedlock, save on account of fornication,[1] applies, according to the argument, to men and women alike. Custom, however, does not so obtain. Yet, in relation with women, very strict expressions are to be found; as, for instance, the words of the apostle "He which is joined to a harlot is one body"[2] and of Jeremiah, If a wife "become another man's shall be return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted?"[3] And again, "He that hath an adulteress is a feel and impious."[4] Yet custom ordains that men who commit adultery and are in fornication be retained by their wives. Consequently I do not know if the woman who lives with the man who has been dismissed can properly be called an adulteress; the charge in this case attaches to the woman who has put away her husband, and depends upon the cause for which she withdrew from wedlock.[5] In the case of her being beaten, and refusing to submit, it would be better for her to endure than to be separated from her husband; in the case of her objecting to pecuniary loss, even here she would not have sufficient ground. If her reason is his living in fornication we do not find this in the custom of the church; but from an unbelieving husband a wife is commanded not to depart, but to remain, on account of the uncertainty of the issue. "For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shall save thy husband?"[6] Here then the wife, if she leaves her husband and goes to another, is an adulteress. But the man who has been abandoned is pardonable, and the woman who lives with such a man is not condemned. But if the man who has deserted his wife goes to another, he is himself an adulterer because he makes her commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has caused another woman's husband to come over to her.

X. Those who swear that they will not receive ordination, declining orders upon oath, must not be driven to perjure themselves, although there does seem to be a canon making concessions to such persons. Yet I have found by experience that perjurers never turn out well.[1] Account must however be taken of the form of the oath, its terms, the frame of mind in which it was taken, and the minutest additions made to the terms, since, if no ground of relief can anywhere be found, such persons must be dismissed. The case, however, of Severus, I mean of the presbyter ordained by him, does seem to me to allow of relief of this kind, if you will permit it. Give directions for the district placed under Mestia, to which the man was appointed, to be reckoned tinder Vasoda. Thus he will not forswear himself by not departing from the place, and Longinus, having Cyriacus with him, will not leave the Church unprovided for, nor himself be guilty of neglect of work.[2] I moreover shall not be held guilty of taking action in contravention of any canons by making a concession to Cyriacus who had sworn that he would remain at Mindana and yet accepted the transfer. His return will be in accordance with his oath, and his obedience to the arrangement will not be reckoned against him as perjury, because it was not added to his oath that he would not go, even a short time, from Mindana, but would remain there for the future. Severus, who pleads forgetfulness, I shall pardon, only telling him that One who knows what is secret will not overlook the ravaging of His Church by a man of such a character; a man who originally appoints uncanonically, then imposes oaths in violation of the Gospel, then tells a man to perjure himself in the matter of his transfer, and last of all lies in pretended forgetfulness. I am no judge of hearts; I only judge by what I hear; let us leave vengeance to the Lord, and ourselves pardon the common human error of forgetfulness, and receive the man without question.

XI. The man who is guilty of unintentional homicide has given sufficient satisfaction in eleven years. We shall, without doubt, observe what is laid down by Moses in the case of wounded men, and shall not hold a murder to have been committed in the case of a man who lies down after he has been struck, and walks again leaning on his staff.[1] If, however, he does not rise again after he has been struck, nevertheless, from there being no intent to kill, the striker is a homicide, but an unintentional homicide.

XII. The canon absolutely excludes digamists from the ministry.[2]

XIII. Homicide in war is not reckoned by our Fathers as homicide; I presume froth their wish to make concession to men fighting on behalf of chastity and true religion. Perhaps, however, it is well to counsel that those whose hands are not clean only abstain from communion for three years.[3]

XIV. A taker of usury, if he consent to spend his unjust gain on the poor, and to be rid for the future of the plague of covetousness, may be received into the ministry.[4]

XV. I am astonished at your requiring exactitude in Scripture, and arguing that there is something forced in the diction of the interpretation which gives the meaning of the original, but does not exactly render what is meant by the Hebrew word. Yet I must not carelessly pass by the question started by an enquiring mind. At the creation of the world, birds of the air and the fishes of the sea had the same origin;[1] for both kinds were produced from the water.[2] The reason is that both have the same characteristics. The latter swim in the water, the former in the air. They are therefore mentioned together. The form of expression is not used without distinction, but of all that lives in the water it is used very properly. The birds of the air and the fishes of the sea are subject to man; and not they alone, but all that passes through the paths of the sea. For every water-creature is not a fish, as for instance the sea monsters, whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, even sea-horses, sea-dogs, saw-fish, sword-fish, and sea-cows; and, if you like, sea nettles, cockles and all hard-shelled creatures of whom none are fish, and all pass through the paths of the sea; so that there are three kinds, birds of the air, fishes of the sea, and all water-creatures which are distinct from fish, and pass through the paths of the sea.

XVI. Naaman was not a great man with the Lord, but with his lord; that is, he was one of the chief princes of the King of the Syrians.[3] Read your Bible carefully, and you will find the answer to your question there.

LETTER CLXXXIX.[4]

To Eustathius the physician.[5]

HUMANITY is the regular business of all you who practise as physicians. And, in my opinion, to put your science at the head and front of life's pursuits is to decide reasonably and rightly. This at all events seems to be the case if man's most precious possession, life, is painful and not worth living, unless it be lived in health, and if for health we are dependent on your skill. In your own case medicine is seen, as it were, with two right hands; you enlarge the accepted limits of philanthropy by not confining the application of your skill to men's bodies, but by attending also to the cure of the diseases of their souls. It is not only in accordance with popular report that I thus write. I am moved by the personal experience which I have had on many occasions and to a remarkable degree at the present time, in the midst of the unspeakable wickedness of our enemies, which has flooded our life like a noxious torrent. You have most skilfully dispersed it and by pouring in your soothing words have allayed the inflammation of my heart. Having regard to the successive and diversified attacks of my enemies against me, I thought that I ought to keep silence and to bear their successive assaults without reply, and without attempting to contradict foes armed with a lie, that terrible weapon which too often drives its point through the heart of truth herself. You did well in urging me not to abandon the defence of truth, but rather to convict our calumniators, lest haply, by the success of lies, many be hurt.

2. In adopting an unexpected attitude of hatred against me my opponents seem to be repeating the old story in AEsop. He makes the wolf bring certain charges against the lamb, as being really ashamed to seem to kill a creature who had done him no harm without some reasonable pretext; then when the lamb easily rebuts the slander, the wolf, none the less, continues his attack, and, though defeated in equity, comes off winner in biting. Just so with those who seem to count hatred to me as a virtue. They will perhaps blush to hate me without a cause, and so invent pleas and charges against me, without abiding by any of their allegations, but urging as the ground of their detestation now this, now that, and now something else. In no single case is their malice consistent; but when they are baulked in one charge they cling to another and, foiled in this, have recourse to a third; and if all their accusations are scattered they do not drop their ill-will. They say that I preach three Gods, dinning the charge into the ears of the mob and pressing the calumny plausibly and persistently. Nevertheless, truth is fighting on my side; and both in public to all the world, and in private to all whom I meet, I prove that I anathematize every one who maintains three Gods and do not even allow him to be a Christian. No sooner do they hear this than Sabellius is handy for them to urge against me, and it is noised abroad that my teaching is tainted with his error. Once more I hold out in my defence my wonted weapon of truth, and demonstrate that I shudder at Sabellianism as much as at Judaism.

3. What then? After all these efforts were they tired? Did they leave off? Not at all. They are charging me with innovation, and base their charge on my confession of three hypostases, and blame me for asserting one Goodness, one Power, one Godhead. In this they are not wide of the truth, for I do so assert. Their complaint is that their custom does not accept this, and that Scripture does not agree. What is my reply? I do not consider it fair that the custom which obtains among them should be regarded as a law and rule of orthodoxy. If custom is to be taken in proof of what is right, then it is certainly competent for me to put forward on my side the custom which obtains here. If they reject this, we are clearly not bound to follow them. Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favour of that side will be cast the vote of truth. What then is the charge? Two points are advanced at one and the same time in the accusations levelled against me. I am accused on the one hand of parting the hypostases asunder; on the other of never using in the plural any one of the nouns relating to the Divinity, but of always speaking in the singular number of one Goodness, as I have already said; of one Power; one Godhead; and so on. As to the parting of the hypostases, there ought to be no objection nor opposition on the part of those who assert in the case of the divine nature a distinction of essences. For it is unreasonable to maintain three essences and to object to three hypostases. Nothing, then, is left but the charge of using words of the divine nature in the singulars.

4. I have quite a little difficulty in meeting the second charge. Whoever condemns those who assert that the Godhead is one, must of necessity agree with all who maintain many godheads, or with those who maintain that there is none. No third position is conceivable. The teaching of inspired Scripture does not allow of our speaking of many godheads, but, wherever it mentions the Godhead, speaks of it in the singular number; as, for instance, "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."[1] And again; "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."[2] If, then, to multiply godheads is the special mark of the victims of polytheistic error, and to deny the Godhead altogether is to fall into atheism, what sense is there in this charge against me of confessing one Godhead? But they make a plainer disclosure of the end they have in view; namely, in the case of the Father to agree that He is God, and consenting in like manner that the Son be honoured with the attribute of Godhead; but to refuse to comprehend the Spirit, though reckoned with Father and with Son in the idea of Godhead. They allow that the power of the Godhead extends from the Father to the Son, but they divide the nature of the Spirit from the divine glory. Against this view, to the best of my ability, I must enter a brief defence of my own position.

5. What, then, is my argument? In delivering the Faith of Salvation to those who are being made disciples in His doctrine, the Lord conjoins with Father and with Son the Holy Spirit also. That which is conjoined once I maintain to be conjoined everywhere and always. There is no question here of a ranking together in one respect and isolation in others. In the quickening power whereby our nature is transformed from the life of corruption to immortality, the power of the Spirit is comprehended with Father and with Son, and in many other instances, as in the conception of the good, the holy, the eternal, the wise, the right, the supreme, the efficient, and generally in all terms which have the higher meaning, He is inseparably united. Wherefrom I judge it right to hold that the Spirit, thus conjoined with Father and Son in so many sublime and divine senses, is never separated. Indeed I am unaware of any degrees of better or worse in the terms concerning the divine nature, nor can I imagine its being reverent and right to allow the Spirit a participation in those of lesser dignity, while He is judged unworthy of the higher. For all conceptions and terms which regard the divine are of equal dignity one with another, in that they do not vary in regard to the meaning of the subject matter to which they are applied. Our thought is not led to one subject by the attribution of good, and to another by that of wise, powerful, and just; mention any attributes you will, the thing signified is one and the same. And if you name God, you mean the same Being whom you understood by the rest of the terms. Granting, then, that all the terms applied to the divine nature are of equal force one with another in relation to that which they describe, one emphasizing one point and another another, but all bringing our intelligence to the contemplation of the same object; what ground is there for conceding to the Spirit fellowship with Father and Son in all other terms, and isolating Him from the Godhead alone? There is no escape from the position that we must either allow the fellowship here, or refuse it everywhere. If He is worthy in every other respect, He is certainly not unworthy in this. If, as our opponents argue, He is too insignificant to be allowed fellowship with Father and with Son in Godhead, He is not worthy to share any single one of the divine attributes: for when the terms are carefully considered, and compared with one another, by the help of the special meaning contemplated in each, they will be found to involve nothing less than the title of God. A proof of what I say lies in the fact that even many inferior objects are designated by this name. Nay, Holy Scripture does not even shrink from using this term in the case of things of a totally opposite character, as when it applies the title god to idols. "Let the gods," it is written, "who have not made heaven and earth, be taken away, and cast beneath the earth;"[1] and again, "the gods of the nations are idols."[2] And the witch, when she called up the required spirits for Saul, is said to have seen gods.[3] Balsam too, an augur and seer, with the oracles in his hand, as Scripture says, when he had got him the teaching of the demons by his divine ingenuity, is described by Scripture as taking counsel with God.[4] From many similar instances in Holy Scripture it may be proved that the name of God has no pre-eminence over other words which are applied to the divine, since, as has been said, we find it employed without distinction even in the case of things of quite opposite character. On the other hand we are taught by Scripture that the names holy, incorruptible, righteous, and good, are nowhere indiscriminately used of unworthy objects. It follows, then, that if they do not deny that the Holy Spirit is associated with the Son and with the Father, in the names which are specially applied, by the usage of true religion, to the divine nature alone, there is no reasonable ground for refusing to allow the same association in the case of that word alone which, as I have shown, is used as a recognised homonym even of demons and idols.

6. But they contend that this title sets forth the nature of that to which it is applied; that the nature of the Spirit is not a nature shared in common with that of Father and of Son; and that, for this reason, the Spirit ought not to be allowed the common use of the name. It is, therefore, for them to show by what means they have perceived this variation in the nature. If it were indeed possible for the divine nature to be contemplated in itself; could what is proper to it and what is foreign to it be discovered by means of visible things; we should then certainly stand in no need of words or other tokens to lead us to the apprehension of the object of the enquiry. But the divine nature is too exalted to be perceived as objects of enquiry are perceived, and about things which are beyond our knowledge we reason on probable evidence. We are therefore of necessity guided in the investigation of the divine nature by its operations. Suppose we observe the operations of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Ghost, to be different from one another, we shall then conjecture, from the diversity of the operations that the operating natures are also different. For it is impossible that things which are distinct, as regards their nature, should be associated as regards the form of their operations; fire does not freeze; ice does not warm; difference of natures implies difference of the operations proceeding from them. Grant, then, that we perceive the operation of Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be one and the same, in no respect showing difference or variation; from this identity of operation we necessarily infer the unity of the nature.

7. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost alike hallow, quicken, enlighten, and comfort. No one will attribute a special and peculiar operation of hallowing to the operation of the Spirit, after hearing the Saviour in the Gospel saying to the Father about His disciples, sanctify them in Thy name.[1] In like manner all other operations are equally performed, in all who are worthy of them, by the Father and by the Son and by the Holy Ghost; every grace and virtue, guidance, life, consolation, change into the immortal, the passage into freedom and all other good things which come down to man. Nay even the dispensation which is above us in relation to the creature considered both in regard to intelligence and sense, if indeed it is possible for any conjecture concerning what lies above us to be formed from what we know, is not constituted apart from the operation and power of the Holy Ghost, every individual sharing His help in proportion to the dignity and need of each. Truly the ordering and administration of beings above our nature is obscure to our perception; nevertheless any one, arguing from what is known to us, would find it more reasonable to conclude that the power of the Spirit operates even in those beings, than that He is excluded from the government of supramundane things. So to assert is to advance a blasphemy bare and unsupported; it is to support absurdity on fallacy. On the other hand to agree that even the world beyond us is governed by the power of the Spirit, as well as by that of the Father and of the Son, is to advance a contention, supported on the plain testimony of what is seen in human life. Identity of operation in the case of Father and of Son and of Holy Ghost clearly proves invariability of nature. It follows that, even if the name of Godhead does signify nature, the community of essence proves that this title is very properly applied to the Holy Spirit.

8. I am, however, at a loss to understand how our opponents with all their ingenuity can adduce the title of Godhead in proof of nature, as though they had never heard from Scripture that nature does not result from institution and appointment.[1] Moses was made[2] a god of the Egyptians when the divine voice said, "See I have made thee a god to Pharaoh.[3] The title therefore does give proof of a certain authority of oversight or of action. The divine nature, on the other hand, in all the words which are contrived, remains always inexplicable, as I always teach. We have learnt that it is beneficent, judicial, righteous, good, and so on; and so have been taught differences of operations. But we are, nevertheless, unable to understand the nature of the operator through our idea of the operations. Let any one give an account of each one of these names, and of the actual nature to which they are applied, and it will be found that the definition will not in both cases be the same. And where the definition is not identical the nature is different. There is, then, a distinction to be observed between the essence, of which no explanatory term has yet been discovered, and the meaning of the names applied to it in reference to some operation or dignity. That there should be no difference in the operations we infer from the community of terms. But, we derive no clear proof of variation in nature, because, as has been said, identity of operations indicates community of nature. If then Godhead be the name of an operation, we say that the Godhead is one, as there is one operation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; if, however, as is popularly supposed, the name of Godhead indicates nature, then, since we find no variation in the nature, we reasonably define the Holy Trinity to be of one Godhead.

LETTER CXC.[1]

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.[2]

1. THE interest which you have shewn in the affairs of the Isaurian Church is only what might have been expected from that zeal and propriety of conduct which so continually rouses my admiration of you. The most careless observer must at once perceive that it is in all respects more advantageous for care and anxiety to be divided among several bishops. This has not escaped your observation, and you have done well in noting, and in acquainting me with, the position of affairs. But it is not easy to find fit men. While, then, we are desirous of having the credit that comes of numbers, and cause God's Church to be more effectively administered by more officers, let us be careful lest we unwittingly bring the word into contempt on account of the unsatisfactory character of the men who are called to office, and accustom the laity to indifference. You yourself know well that the conduct of the governed is commonly of a piece with that of those who are set over them. Perhaps therefore it might be better to appoint one well approved man, though even this may not be an easy matter, to the supervision of the whole city, and entrust him with the management of details on his own responsibility. Only let him be a servant of God, "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,"[3] not "looking on his own things,"[4] but on the things of the most, "that they be saved."[5] If he finds himself overweighted with responsibility, he will associate other labourers for the harvest with himself. If only we can find such a man, I own that I think the one worth many, and the ordering of the cure of souls in this way likely to be attended at once with more advantage to the Churches and with less risk to us. If, however, this course prove difficult, let us first do our best to appoint superintendents[6] to the small townships or villages which have of old been episcopal sees. Then afterwards we will appoint once more the [bishop] of the city. Unless we take this course the man appointed may prove a hindrance to subsequent administration. and from his wish to rule over a larger diocese, and his refusal to accept the ordination of the bishops, we may find ourselves suddenly involved in a domestic quarrel. If this course is difficult, and time does not allow, see to it that the Isaurian bishop is strictly kept within his own bounds by ordaining some of his immediate neighbours. In the future it will be reserved for us to give to the rest bishops at the proper season, after we have carefully examined those whom we ourselves may judge to be most fit.

2. I have asked George, as you requested. He replies as you reported. In all this we must remain quiet, casting the care of the house on the Lord. For I put my trust in the Holy God that He will by my aid grant to him deliverance from his difficulties in some other way, and to me to live my life without trouble. If this cannot be, be so good as to send me word yourself as to what part I must look after, that I may begin to ask this favour of each of my friends in power, either for nothing, or for some moderate price, as the Lord may prosper me.[2]

I have, in accordance with your request, written to brother Valerius. Matters at Nyssa are going on as they were left by your reverence, and, by the aid of your holiness, are improving. Of those who were then separated from me some have gone off to the court, and some remain waiting for tidings from it. The Lord is able as well to frustrate the expectations of these latter as to make the return of the former useless.

3. Philo, on the authority of some Jewish tradition, explains the manna to have been of such a nature that it changed with the taste of the eater: that of itself it was like millet seed boiled in honey; it served sometimes for bread, sometimes for meat, either of birds or beasts; at other times for vegetables, according to each man's liking; even for fish so that the flavour of each separate kind was exactly reproduced in the eater's mouth.

Scripture recognises chariots containing three riders, because while other chariots contained two, the driver and the man-at-arms, Pharaoh's held three, two men-at-arms. and one to hold the reins.

Sympius has written me a letter expressive of respect and communion. The letter which I have written in reply I am sending to your holiness, that you may send it on to him if you quite approve of it, with the addition of some communication from yourself. May you, by the loving kindness of the Holy One, be preserved for me and for the Church of God, in good health, happy in the Lord, and ever praying for me.

LETTER CXCI.[1]

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.[2]

ON reading the letter of your reverence I heartily thanked God. I did so because I found in your expressions traces of ancient affection. You are not like the majority. You did not persist in refusing to begin an affectionate correspondence. You have learned the greatness of the prize promised to the saints for humility, and so you have chosen, by taking the second place, to get before me. Among Christians such are the conditions of victory, and it is he who is content to take the second place who wins a crown. But I must not be behindhand in this virtuous rivalry, and so I thus salute your reverence in return; and inform you as to how I am minded, in that, since agreement in the faith is established among us,[3] there is nothing further to prevent our being one body and one spirit, as we have been called in one hope of our calling.[4] It is for you, then, of your charity to follow up a good beginning to rally men of like mind to stand at your side, and to appoint both time and place for meeting. Thus, by God's grace, through mutual accommodation we may govern the Churches by the ancient kind of love; receiving as our own members brothers coming from the other side, sending as to our kin, and in turn receiving as from our own kin. Such, indeed, was once the boast of the Church. Brothers from each Church, travelling from one end of the world to the other, were provided with little tokens, and found all men fathers and brothers. This is a privilege whereof, like all the rest, the enemy of Christ's Churches has robbed us. We are confined each in his own city, and every one looks at his neighbour with distrust. What more is to be said but that our love has grown cold,[1] whereby alone our Lord has told us that His disciples are distinguished?[2] First of all, if you will, do you become known to one another, that I may know with whom I am to be in agreement. Thus by common consent we will fix on some place convenient to both, and, at a season suitable for travelling, we will hasten to meet one another; the Lord will direct us in the way. Farewell. Be of good cheer. Pray for me. May you be granted to me by the grace of the Holy One?

LETTER CXCII.[4]

To Sophronius the Master.

WITH your extraordinary zeal in good deeds you have written to me to say that you yourself owe me double thanks; first, for getting a letter from me, and secondly, for doing me a service. What thanks, then, must not I owe you, both for reading your most delightful words, and for finding what I hoped for so quickly accomplished! The message was exceedingly gratifying on its own account, but it gave me much greater gratification from the fact that you were the friend to whom I owed the boon. God grant that ere long I may see you, and return you thanks in words, and enjoy the great pleasure of your society.

LETTER CXCIII. [5]

To Meletius the Physician.

I AM not able to flee from the discomforts of winter so well as cranes are, although for foreseeing the future I am quite as clever as a crane. But as to liberty of life the birds are almost as far ahead of me as they are in the being able to fly. In the first place I have been detained by certain worldly business; then I have been so wasted by constant and violent attacks of fever that there does seem something thinner even than I was,--I am thinner than ever. Besides all this, bouts of quartan ague have gone on for more than twenty turns. Now I do seem to be free from fever, but I am in such a feeble state that I am no stronger than a cobweb. Hence the shortest journey is too far for me, and every breath of wind is more dangerous to me than big waves to those at sea. I have no alternative but to hide in my hut and wait for spring, if only I can last out so long, and am not carried off beforehand[1] by the internal malady of which I am never rid. If the Lord saves me with His mighty hand, I shall gladly betake myself to your remote region, and gladly embrace a friend so dear. Only pray that my life may be ordered as may be best for my soul's good.

LETTER CXCIV.[2]

To Zoilus.

WHAT are you about, most excellent sir, in anticipating me in humility? Educated as you are, and able to write such a letter as you have sent, you nevertheless ask for forgiveness at my hands, as though you were engaged in some undertaking rash and beyond your position. But a truce to mockery. Continue to write to me on every occasion. Am I not wholly illiterate? It is delightful to read the letters of an eloquent writer. Have I learned from Scripture how good a thing is love? I count intercourse with a loving friend invaluable. And I do hope that you may tell me of all the good gifts which I pray for you; the best of health, and the prosperity of all your house. Now as to my own affairs, my condition is not more endurable than usual. It is enough to tell you this and you will understand the bad state of my health. It has indeed reached such extreme suffering as to be as difficult to describe as to experience, if indeed your own experience has fallen short of mine. But it is the work of the good God to give me power to bear in patience whatever trials are inflicted on me for my own good at the hands of our merciful Lord.

LETTER CXCV.[3]

To Euphronius, bishop of Colonia Armenioe.

COLONIA, which the Lord has placed under your authority, is far out of the way of ordinary routes. The consequence is that, although I am frequently writing to the rest of the brethren in Armenia Minor, I hesitate to write to your reverence, because I have no expectation of finding any one to convey my letter. Now, however, that I am hoping either for your presence, or that my letter will be sent on to you by some of the bishops to whom I have written, I thus write and salute you by letter. I wish to tell you that I seem to be still alive, and at the same time to exhort you to pray for me, that the Lord may lessen my afflictions, and lift from me the heavy load of pain which now presses like a cloud upon my heart. I shall have this relief if He will only grant a quick restoration to those godly bishops who are now punished for their faithfulness to true religion by being scattered all abroad.

LETTER CXCVI.[1]

To Aburgius.

RUMOUR, messenger of good news, is continually reporting how you dart across, like the stars, appearing now here, now there, in the barbarian regions; now supplying the troops with provisions, now appearing in gorgeous array before the emperor. I pray God that your doings may prosper as they deserve, and that you may achieve eminent success. I pray that, so long as I live and breathe this air, (for my life now is no more than drawing breath), our country may from time to time behold you.

LETTER CXCVII.[2]

To Ambrose, bishop of Milan.[3]

1. THE gifts of the Lord are ever great and many; in greatness beyond measure, in number incalculable. To those who are not insensible of His mercy one of the greatest of these gifts is that of which I am now availing myself, the opportunity allowed us, far apart in place though we be, of addressing one another by letter. He grants us two means of becoming acquainted; one by personal intercourse, another by epistolary correspondence. Now I have become acquainted with you through what you have said. I do not mean that my memory is impressed with your outward appearance, but that the beauty of the inner man has been brought home to me by the rich variety of your utterances, for each of us "speaketh out of the abundance of the heart."(1) I have given glory to God, Who in every generation selects those who are well-pleasing to Him; Who of old indeed chose from the sheepfold a prince for His people;(2) Who through the Spirit gifted Amos the herdman with power and raised him up to be a prophet; Who now has drawn forth for the care of Christ's flock a man from the imperial city, entrusted with the government of a whole nation, exalted in character, in lineage, in position, in eloquence, in all that this world admires. This same man has flung away all the advantages of the world, counting them all loss that he may gain Christ,(3) and has taken in his hand the helm of the ship, great and famous for its faith in God, the Church of Christ. Come, then, O man of God; not from men have you received or been taught the Gospel of Christ; it is the Lord Himself who has transferred you from the judges of the earth to the throne of the Apostles; fight the good right; heal the infirmity of the people, if any are infected by the disease of Arian madness; renew the ancient footprints of the Fathers. You have laid the foundation of affection towards me; strive to build upon it by the frequency of your salutations. Thus shall we be able to be near one another in spirit, although our earthly homes are far apart.

2. By your earnestness and zeal in the matter of the blessed bishop Dionysius you testify all your love to the Lord, your honour for your predecessors, and your zeal for the fairly. For our disposition towards our faithful fellow-servants is referred to the Lord Whom they have served. Whoever honours men that have contended for the faith proves that he has like zeal for it. One single action is proof of much virtue.

I wish to acquaint your love in Christ that the very zealous brethren who have been commissioned by your reverence to act for you in this good work have won praise for all the clergy by the amiability of their manners; for by their individual modesty and conciliatoriness they have shewn the sound condition of all. Moreover, with all zeal and diligence they have braved an inclement season; and with unbroken perseverance have persuaded the faithful guardians of the blessed body to transmit to them the custody of what they have regarded as the safeguard of their lives. And you must understand that they are men who would never have been forced by any human authority or sovereignty, had not the perseverance of these brethren moved them to compliance. No doubt a great aid to the attainment of the object desired was the presence of our well beloved and reverend son Therasius the presbyter. He voluntarily undertook all the toil of the journey; he moderated the energy of the faithful on the spot; he persuaded opponents by his arguments; in the presence of priests and deacons, and of many others who fear the Lord, he took up the relics with all becoming reverence, and has aided the brethren in their preservation. These relics do you receive with a joy equivalent to the distress with which their custodians have parted with them and sent them to you. Let none dispute; let none doubt. Here you have that unconquered athlete. These bones, which shared in the conflict with the blessed soul, are known to the Lord. These bones He will crown, together with that soul, in the righteous day of His requital, as it is written, "we must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may give an account of the deeds he has done in the body."(1) One coffin held that honoured corpse. None other lay by his side. The burial was a noble one; the honours of a martyr were paid him. Christians who had welcomed him as a guest and then with their own hands laid him in the grave, have now disinterred him. They have wept as men bereaved of a father and a champion. But they have sent him to you, for they put your joy before their own consolation. Pious were the hands that gave; scrupulously careful were the hands that received. There has been no room for deceit; no room for guile. I bear witness to this. Let the untainted truth be accepted by you.

LETTER CXCVIII.(2)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

AFTER the letter conveyed to me by the officiales(3) I have received one other despatched to me later. I have not sent many myself, for I have not found any one travelling in your direction. But I have sent more than the four, among which also were those conveyed to me from Samosata after the first epistle of your holiness. These I have sealed and sent to our honourable brother Leontius, peraequator of Nicaea, urging that by his agency they may be delivered to the steward of the household of our honourable brother Sophronius, that he may see to their transmission to you. As my letters are going through many hands, it is likely enough that because one man is very busy or very careless, your reverence may never get them. Pardon me, then, I beseech you, if my letters are few. With your usual intelligence you have properly found fault with me for not sending, as I ought, a courier of my own when there was occasion for doing so; but you must understand that we have had a winter of such severity that all the roads were blocked till Easter, and I had no one disposed to brave the difficulties of the journey. For although our clergy do seem very numerous, they are men inexperienced in travelling because they never traffic, and prefer not to live far away from home, the majority of them plying sedentary crafts, whereby they get their daily bread. The brother whom I have now sent to your reverence I have summoned from the country, and employed in the conveyance of my letter to your holiness, that he may both give you clear intelligence as to me and my affairs, and, moreover, by God's grace, bring me back plain and prompt information about you and yours. Our dear brother Eusebius the reader has for some time been anxious to hasten to your holiness, but I have kept him here for the weather to improve. Even now I am under no little anxiety lest his inexperience in travelling may cause him trouble, and bring on some illness; for he is not robust.

2. I need say nothing to you by letter about the innovations of the East, for the brothers can themselves give you accurate information. You must know, my honoured friend, that, when I was writing these words, I was so ill that I had lost all hope of life. It is impossible for me to enumerate all my painful symptoms, my weakness, the violence of my attacks of fever, and my bad health in general. One point only may be selected. I have now completed the time of my sojourn in this miserable and painful life.

LETTER CXCIX.(1)

CANONICA SECUNDA.

To Amphilochius, concerning the Canons.

I WROTE some time ago in reply to the questions of your reverence, but I did not send the letter, partly because from my long and dangerous illness I had not time to do so; partly because I had no one to send with it. I have but few men with me who are experienced in travelling and fit for service of this kind. When you thus learn the causes of my delay, forgive me. I have been quite astonished at your readiness to learn and at your humility. You are entrusted with the office of a teacher, and yet you condescend to learn, and to learn of me, who pretend to no great knowledge. Nevertheless, since you consent, on account of your fear of God, to do what another man might hesitate to do, I am bound for my part to go even beyond my strength in aiding your readiness and righteous zeal.

XVII. You asked me about the presbyter Bianor--can he be admitted among the clergy, because of his oath? I know that I have already given the clergy of Antioch a general sentence in the case of all those who had sworn with him; namely, that they should abstain from the public congregations, but might perform priestly functions in private.(1) Moreover, he has the further liberty for the performance of his ministerial functions, from the fact that his sacred duties lie not at Antioch, but at Iconium; for, as you have written to me yourself, he has chosen to live rather at the latter than at the former place. The man in question may, therefore, be received; but your reverence must require him to shew repentance for the rash readiness of the oath which he took before the unbeliever,(2) being unable to bear the trouble of that small peril.

XVIII. Concerning fallen virgins, who, after professing a chaste life before the Lord, make their vows vain, because they have fallen under the lusts of the flesh, our fathers, tenderly(1) and meekly making allowance for the infirmities of them that fall, laid down that they might be received after a year, ranking them with the digamists. Since, however, by God's grace the Church grows mightier as she advances, and the order of virgins is becoming more numerous, it is my judgment that careful heed should be given both to the act as it appears upon consideration, and to the mind of Scripture, which may be discovered from the context. Widowhood is inferior to virginity; consequently the sin of the widows comes far behind that of the virgins. Let us see what Paul writes to Timothy. "The young widows refuse: for when they have begun tO wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having damnation because they have cast off their first faith."(2) If, therefore, a widow lies under a very heavy charge, as setting at naught her faith in Christ, what must we think of the virgin, who is the bride of Christ, and a chosen vessel dedicated to the Lord? It is a grave fault even on the part of a slave to give herself away in secret wedlock and fill the house with impurity, and, by her wicked life, to wrong her owner; but it is forsooth far more shocking for the bride to become an adulteress, and, dishonouring her union with the bridegroom, to yield herself to unchaste indulgence. The widow, as being a corrupted slave, is indeed condemned; but the virgin comes under the charge of adultery. We call the man who lives with another man's wife an adulterer, and do not receive him into communion until he has ceased from his sin; and so we shall ordain in the case of him who has the virgin. One point, however, must be determined beforehand, that the name virgin is given to a woman who voluntarily devotes herself to the Lord, renounces marriage, and embraces a life of holiness. And we admit professions dating from the age of full intelligence.(3) For it is not right in such cases to admit the words of mere children. But a girl of sixteen or seventeen years of age, in full possession of her faculties, who has been submitted to strict examination, and is then constant, and persists in her entreaty to be admitted, may then be ranked among the virgins, her profession ratified, and its violation rigorously punished. Many girls are brought forward by their parents and brothers, and other kinsfolk, before they are of full age, and have no inner impulse towards a celibate life. The object of the friends is simply to provide for themselves. Such women as these must not be readily received, before we have made public investigation of their own sentiments.

XIX. I do not recognise the profession of men, except in the case of those who have enrolled themselves in the order of monks, and seem to have secretly adopted the celibate life. Yet in their case I think it becoming that there should be a previous examination, and that a distinct profession should be received from them, so that whenever they may revert to the life of the pleasures of the flesh, they may be subjected to the punishment of fornicators.

XX. I do not think that any condemnation ought to be passed on women who professed virginity while in heresy, and then afterwards preferred marriage. "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law."(1) Those who have not yet put on Christ's yoke do not recognise the laws of the Lord. They are therefore to be received in the church, as having remission in the case of these sins too, as of all, from their faith in Christ. As a general rule, all sins formerly committed in the catechumenical state are not taken into [account.(2) The Church does not receive these persons without baptism; and it is very necessary that in such cases the birthrights should be observed.

XXI. If a man living with a wife is not satisfied with his marriage and falls into fornication, I account him a fornicator, and prolong his period of punishment. Nevertheless, we have no canon subjecting him to the charge of adultery, if the sin be committed against an unmarried woman. For the adulteress, it is said, "being polluted shall be polluted,"(3) and she shall not return to her husband: and "He that keepeth an adulteress is a fool and impious."(4) He, however, who has committed fornication is not to be cut off from the society of his own wife. So the wife will receive the husband on his return from fornication, but the husband will expel the polluted woman from his house. The argument here is not easy, but the custom has so obtained.(4)

XXII. Men who keep women carried off by violence, if they carried them off when betrothed to other men, must not be received before removal of the women and their restoration to those to whom they were first contracted, whether they wish to receive them, or to separate from them. In the case of a girl who has been taken when not betrothed, she ought first to be removed, and restored to her own people, and handed over to the will of, her own people whether parents, or brothers, or any one having authority over her. If they choose to give her up, the cohabitation may stand; but, if they refuse, no violence should be used. In the case of a man having a wife by seduction, be it secret or by violence, he must be held guilty of fornication. The punish-meat of fornicators is fixed at four years. In the first year they must be expelled from prayer, and weep at the door of the church; in the second they may be received to set-mon; in the third to penance; in the fourth to standing with the people, while they are withheld from the oblation. Finally, they may be admitted to the communion of the good gift.

XXIII. Concerning men who marry two sisters, or women who marry two brothers a short letter of mine has been published, of which I have sent a copy to your reverence.(1) The man who has taken his own brother's wife is not to be received until he have separated from her.

XXIV. A widow whose name is in the list of widows, that is, who is supported(2) by the Church, is ordered by the Apostle to be supported no longer when she marries.(3)

There is no special rule for a widower. The punishment appointed for digamy may suffice. If a widow who is sixty years of age chooses again to live with a husband, she shall be held unworthy of the communion of the good gift until she be moved no longer by her impure desire. If we reckon her before sixty years, the blame rests with us, and not with the woman.

XXV. The man who retains as his wife the woman whom he has violated, shall be liable to the penalty of rape, but it shall be lawful for him to have her to wife.

XXVI. Fornication is not wedlock, nor yet the beginning of wedlock. Wherefore it is best, if possible, to put asunder those who are united in fornication. If they are set on cohabitation, let them admit the penalty of fornication. Let them be allowed to live together, lest a worse thing happen.

XXVII. As to the priest ignorantly involved in an illegal marriage,(1) I have made the fitting regulation, that he may hold his seat, but must abstain from other functions. For such a case pardon is enough. It is unreasonable that the man who has to treat his own wounds should be blessing another, for benediction is the imparting of holiness. How can he who through his fault, committed in ignorance, is without holiness, impart. it to another? Let him bless neither in public nor in private, nor distribute the body of Christ to others, nor perform any other sacred function, but, content with his seat of honour, let him beseech the Lord with weeping, that his sin, committed in ignorance, may be forgiven.

XXVIII. It has seemed to me ridiculous that any one should make a vow to abstain from swine's flesh. Be so good as to teach men to abstain from foolish vows and promises. Represent the use to be quite indifferent. No creature of God, received with thanksgiving, is to be rejected.(2) The vow is ridiculous; the abstinence unnecessary.

XXIX. It is especially desirable that attention should be given to the case of persons in power who threaten on oath to do some hurt to those under their authority. The remedy is twofold. In the first place, let them be taught not to take oaths at random: secondly, not to persist in their wicked determinations. Any one who is arrested in the design of fulfilling an oath to injure another ought to shew repentance for the rashness of his oath, and must not confirm his wickedness under the pretext of piety. Herod was none the better for fulfilling his oath, when, of course only to save himself from perjury, he became the prophet's murderer.(3) Swearing is absolutely forbidden,(4) and it is only reasonable that the oath which tends to evil should be condemned. The swearer must therefore change his mind, and not persist in confirming his impiety. Consider the absurdity of the thing a little further. Suppose a man to swear that he will put his brother's eyes out: is it well for him to carry his oath into action? Or to commit murder? or to break any other commandment? "I have sworn, and I will perform it,"(1) not to sin, but to "keep thy righteous judgments." It is no less our duty to undo and destroy sin, than it is to confirm the commandment by immutable counsels.

XXX. As to those guilty of abduction we have no ancient rule, but I have expressed my own judgment. The period is three years;(2) the culprits and their accomplices to be excluded from service. The act committed without violence is not liable to punishment, whenever it has not been preceded by violation or robbery. The widow is independent, and to follow or not is in her own power. We must, therefore, pay no heed to excuses.

XXXI. A woman whose husband has gone away and disappeared, and who marries another, before she has evidence of his death, commits adultery. Clerics who are guilty of the sin unto death(3) are degraded from their order, but not excluded from the communion of the laity. Thou shall not punish twice for the same fault.(4)

XXXIII. Let an indictment for murder be preferred against the woman who gives birth to a child on the road and pays no attention to it.

XXXIV. Women who had committee adultery, and confessed their fault through piety, or were in any way convicted, were not allowed by our fathers to be publicly exposed, that we might not cause their death after conviction. But they ordered that they should be excluded from communion till they had fulfilled their term of penance.

XXXV. In the case of a man deserted by his wife, the cause of the desertion must be taken into account. If she appear to have abandoned him without reason, he is deserving of pardon, but the wife of punishment. Pardon will be given to him that he may communicate with the Church.

XXXVI. Soldiers' wives who have married in their husbands' absence will come under the same principle as wives who, when their husbands have been on a journey, have not waited their return. Their case, however, does admit of some concession on the ground of there being greater reason to suspect death.

XXXVII. The man who marries after abducting another man's wife will incur the charge of adultery for the first case; but for the second will go free.

XXXVIII. Girls who follow against their fathers' will commit fornication; but if their fathers are reconciled to them, the act seems to admit of a remedy. They are not however immediately restored to communion, but are to be punished for three years.

XXXIX. The woman who lives with an adulterer is an adulteress the whole time.(1)

XL. The woman who yields to a man against her master's will commits fornication; but if afterwards she accepts free marriage, she marries. The former case is fornication; the latter marriage. The covenants of persons who are not independent have no validity.

XLI. The woman in widowhood, who is independent, may dwell with a husband without blame, if there is no one to prevent their cohabitation; for the Apostle says; "but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."(2)

XLII. Marriages contracted without the permission of those in authority, are fornication. If neither father nor master be living the contracting parties are free from blame; just as if the authorities assent to the cohabitation, it assumes the fixity of marriage.

XLIII. He who smites his neighbour to death is a murderer, whether he struck first or in self defence.

XLIV. The deaconess who commits fornication with a heathen may be received into repentance and will be admitted to the oblation in the seventh year; of course if she be living in chastity. The heathen who, after he has believed, takes to idolatry, returns to his vomit. We do not, however, give up the body of the deaconess to the use of the flesh, as being consecrated.

XLV. If any one, after taking the name of Christianity, insults Christ, he gets no good froth the name.

XLVI. The woman who unwillingly marries a man deserted at the time by his wife, and is afterwards repudiated, because of the return of the former to him, commits fornication, but involuntarily. She will, therefore, not be prohibited from marriage; but it is better if she remain as she is.(3)

XLVII. Encratitae,(4) Saccophori,(5) and Apotactitae(1) are not regarded in the same manner as Novatians, since in their case a canon has been pronounced, although different; while of the former nothing has been said. All these I re-baptize on the same principle. If among you their re-baptism is forbidden, for the sake of some arrangement, nevertheless let my principle prevail. Their heresy is, as it were, an offshoot of the Marcionites, abominating, as they do, marriage, refusing wine, and calling God's creature polluted. We do not therefore receive them into the Church, unless they be baptized into our baptism. Let them not say that they have been baptized into Father, Son and Holy Ghost, inasmuch as they make God the author of evil, after the example of Marcion and the rest of the heresies. Wherefore, if this be determined on, more bishops ought to meet together in one place and publish the canon in these terms, that action may be taken without peril, and authority given to answers to questions of this kind.

XLVIII. The woman who has been abandoned by her husband, ought, in my judgment, to remain as she is. The Lord said, "If any one leave(2) his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, he causeth her to commit adultery;"(3) thus, by calling her adulteress, He excludes her from intercourse with another man. For how can the man being guilty, as having caused adultery, and the woman, go without blame, when she is called adulteress by the Lord for having intercourse with another man?

XLIX. Suffering violation should not be a cause of condemnation. So the slave girl, if she has been forced by her own master, is free from blame.

L. There is no law as to trigamy: a third marriage is not contracted by law. We look upon such things as the defilements of the Church. But we do not subject them to public condemnation, as being better than unrestrained fornication.(4)

LETTER CC.(5)

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

I AM attacked by sickness after sickness, and all the work given me, not only by the affairs of the Church, but by those who are troubling the Church, has detained me during the whole winter, and up to the present time. It has been therefore quite impossible for me to send any one to you or to pay you a visit. I conjecture that you are similarly situated; not, indeed, as to sickness, God forbid; may the Lord grant you continued health for carrying out His commandments. But I know that the care of the Churches gives you the same distress as it does me. I was now about to send some one to get me accurate information about your condition. But when my well beloved son Meletius, who is moving the newly enlisted troops, reminded me of the opportunity of my saluting you by him, I gladly accepted the occasion to write and had recourse to the kind services of the conveyor of my letter. He is one who may himself serve instead of a letter, both because of his amiable disposition, and of his being well acquainted with all which concerns me. By him, then, I beseech your reverence especially to pray for me, that the Lord may grant to me a riddance from this troublesome body of mine; to His Churches, peace; and to you, rest; and, whenever you have settled the affairs of Lycaonia in apostolic fashion, as you have began, an opportunity to visit also this place. Whether I be sojourning in the flesh, or shall have been already bidden to take my departure to the Lord, I hope that you will interest yourself in our part of the world, as your own, as indeed it is, strengthening all that is weak, rousing all that is slothful and, by the help of the Spirit Which abides in you, transforming everything into a condition well pleasing to the Lord. My very honourable sons, Meletius and Melitius, whom you have known for some time, and know to be devoted to yourself, keep in your good care and pray for them. This is enough to keep them in safety. Salute in my name, I beg you, all who are with your holiness, both all the clergy, and all the laity under your pastoral care, and my very religious brothers and fellow ministers. Bear in mind the memory of the blessed martyr Eupsychius, and do not wait for me to mention him again. Do not take pains to come on the exact day, but anticipate it, and so give me joy, if I be yet living on this earth. Till then may you, by the grace of the Holy One, be preserved for me and for God's Churches, enjoying health and wealth in the Lord, and praying for me.

LETTER CCI.

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

I LONG to meet you for many reasons, that I may have the benefit of your advice in the matters I had in hand, and that on beholding you after a long interval I may have some comfort for your absence. But since both of us are prevented by the same reasons, you by the illness which has befallen you, and I by the malady of longer standing which has not yet left me, let us, if you will, each forgive the other, that both may free ourselves from blame.

LETTER CCII.

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

Under other circumstances I should think it a special privilege to meet with your reverence, but above all now, when the business which brings us together is of such great importance. But so much of my illness as still clings to me is enough to prevent my stirring ever so short a distance. I tried to drive as far as the martyrs(3) and had a relapse almost into my old state. You must therefore forgive me. If the matter can be put off for a few days, I will, by God's grace join you, and share your anxieties. If the business presses, do, by God's help, what has to be done; but reckon me as present with you and as participating in your worthy deeds. May you, by the grace of the Holy One, be preserved to God's Church, strong and joyous in the Lord, and praying for me.

LETTER CCIII.(4)

To the bishops of the sea coast.(5)

I Have had a strong desire to meet you, but from time to time some hindrance has supervened and prevented my fulfilling my purpose. I have either been hindered by sickness, and you know well how, from my early manhood to my present old age, this ailment has been my constant companion, brought up with me, and chastising me, by the righteous judgment of God, Who ordains all things in wisdom; or by the cares of the Church, or by struggles with the opponents of the doctrines of truth. [Up to this day I live in much affliction and grief, having the feeling present before me, that you are wanting to me. For when God tells me, who took on Him His sojourn in the flesh for the very purpose that, by patterns of duty, He might regulate our life, and might by His own voice announce to us the Gospel of the kingdom,--when He says, 'By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another,' and whereas the Lord left His own peace to His disciples as a farewell gift,(1) when about to complete the dispensation in the flesh, saying, 'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you,' I cannot persuade myself that without love to others, and without, as far as rests with me, peaceableness towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ. I have waited a long while for the chance of your love paying us a visit. For ye are not ignorant that we, being exposed to all, as rocks running out in the sea, sustain the fury of the heretical waves, which, in that they break around us, do not cover the district behind. I say "we" in order to refer it, not to human power, but to the grace of God, Who, by the weakness of men shows His power, as says the prophet in the person of the Lord, 'Will ye not fear Me, who have placed the sand as a boundary to the sea? ' for by the weakest and most contemptible of all things, the sand, the Mighty One has bounded the great and fall sea. Since, then, this is our position, it became your love to be frequent in sending true brothers to visit us who labour with the storm, and more frequently letters of love, partly to confirm our courage, partly to correct any mistake of ours. For we confess that we are liable to numberless mistakes, being men, and living in the flesh.]

2. But hitherto, very honourable brethren, you have not given me my due; and this for two reasons. Either you failed to perceive the proper course; or else, under the influence of some of the columnies spread abroad about me, you did not think me deserving of being visited by you in love. Now, therefore, I myself take the initiative. I beg to state that I am perfectly ready to rid myself, in your presence, of the charges urged against me, but only on condition that my revilers are admitted to stand face to face with me before your reverences. If I am convicted, I shall not deny my error. You, after the conviction, will receive pardon from the Lord for withdrawing yourselves from the communion of me a sinner. The successful accusers, too, will have their reward in the publication of my secret wickedness. If, however, you condemn me before you have the evidence before you, I shall be none the worse, barring the loss I shall sustain of a possession I hold most dear--your love: while you, for your part, will suffer the same loss in losing me, and will seem to be running counter to the words of the Gospel: "Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?"(1) The reviler, moreover, if he adduce no proof of what he says, will be shewn to have got nothing from his wicked language but a bad name for himself. For what name can be properly applied to the slanderer(2) except that which he professes to bear by the very conduct of which be is guilty? Let the reviler, therefore, appear not as slanderer,(3) but as accuser; nay, I will not call him accuser, I will rather regard him as a brother, admonishing in love, and producing conviction for my amendment. And you must not be hearers of calumny, but triers of proof. Nor must I be left uncured, because my sin is not being made manifest.

[3. Let not this consideration influence you. 'We dwell on the sea, we are exempt from the sufferings of the generality, we need no succour from others; so what is the good to us of foreign communion?' For the same Lord Who divided the islands from the continent by the sea, bound the island Christians to those of the continent by love. Nothing, brethren, separates us froth each other, but deliberate estrangement. We have one Lord, one faith, the same hope. The hands need each other; the feet steady each other. The eyes possess their clear apprehension from agreement. We, for our part, confess our own weakness, and we seek your fellow feeling. For we are assured, that though ye are not present in body, yet by the aid of prayer, ye will do us much benefit in these most critical times. It is neither decorous before men, nor pleasing to God, that you should make avowals which not even the Gentiles adopt, which know not God. Even they, as we hear, though the country they live in be sufficient for all things, yet, on account of the uncertainty of the future, make much of alliances with each other, and seek mutual intercourse as being advantageous to them. Yet we, the sons of fathers who have laid down the law that by brief notes the proofs of communion should be carried about from one end of the earth to the other, and that all should be citizens and familiars with all, now sever ourselves from the whole world, and are neither ashamed at our solitariness, nor shudder that on us is fallen the fearful prophecy of the Lord, 'Because of lawlessness abounding, the love of the many shall wax cold.']

4. Do not, most honourable brethren, do not suffer this. Rather, by letters of peace and by salutations of love, comfort me for the past. You have made a wound in my heart by your former neglect. Soothe its anguish, as it were, by a tender touch. Whether you wish to come to me, and examine for yourselves into the truth of what you hear of my infirmities, or whether by the addition of more lies my sins are reported to you to be yet more grievous, I must accept even this. I am ready to welcome you with open hands and to offer myself to the strictest test, only let love preside over the proceedings. Or if you prefer to indicate any spot in your own district to which I may come and pay you the visit which is due, submitting myself, as far as may be, to examination, for the healing of the past, and the prevention of slander for the future, I accept this. Although my flesh is weak, yet, as long as I breathe, I am responsible for the due discharge of every duty which may tend to the edification of the Churches of Christ. Do not, I beseech you. make light of my entreaty. Do not force me to disclose my distress to others. Hitherto, brethren, as you are well aware, I have kept my grief to myself, for I blush to speak of your alienation from me to those of our communion who are at a distance. I shrink at once from paining them and from gratifying those who hate me. I alone am writing this now; but I send in the name of all the brethren in Cappadocia, who have charged me not to employ any chance messenger, but some one who, in case I should, from my anxiety not to be too prolix, leave out any points of importance, might supply them with the intelligence wherewith God has gifted him. I refer to my beloved and reverend fellow presbyter Petrus. Welcome him in love, and send him forth to me in peace, that he may be a messenger to me of good things.

LETTER CCIV.(1)

To the Neocaesarcans.(2)

1. [THERE has been a long silence on both sides, revered and well-beloved brethren, just as if there were angry feelings between us. Yet who is there so sullen and implacable towards the party which has injured him, as to lengthen out the resentment which has begun in disgust through almost a whole life of man?] This [is happening in our case, no just occasion of estrangement existing, as far as I myself know, but on the contrary, there being, from the first, many strong reasons for the closest friendship and unity. The greatest and first is this, our Lord's command, pointedly saying, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another."(3)] Again, the apostle clearly sets before us the good of charity where he tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law;(4) and again where he says that charity is a good thing to be preferred to all great and good things, in the words. "Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burnt and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."(5) Not that each of the points enumerated could be performed without love, but that the Holy One wishes, as He Himself has said, to attribute to the commandment super-eminent excellency by the figure of hyperbole.(6)

2. [Next, if it tend much towards intimacy to have the same teachers, there are to you and to me the same teachers of God's mysteries, and spiritual Fathers, who from the beginning were the founders of your Church. I mean the great Gregory, and all who succeeding in order to the throne of your episcopate, like stars rising one after another, have tracked the same course, so as to leave the tokens of the heavenly polity most clear to all who desire them.] And if natural relationships are not to be despised, but are greatly conducive to unbroken union and fellowship, these rights also exist naturally for you and me. [Why is it, then, O venerable among cities, for through you I address the whole city, that no civil writing comes from you, no welcome voice, but your ears are open to those who aim at slander?] I am therefore the more bound to groan, the more I perceive the end they have in view. There is no doubt as to who is the originator of the slander.(1) He is known by many evil deeds, but is best distinguished by this particular wickedness, and it is for this reason that the sin is made his name.(2) But you must pat up with my plain speaking. You have opened both ears to my slanderers. You heartily welcome all you hear without any enquiry. Not one of you distinguishes between lies and truth. Who ever suffered for lack of wicked accusations when struggling all alone? Who was ever convicted of lying in the absence of his victim? What plea does not sound plausible to the hearers when the reviler persists that such and such is the case, and the reviled is neither present nor hears what is urged against him? Does not even the accepted custom of this world teach you, in reference to these matters, that if any one is to be a fair and impartial hearer, he must not be entirely led away by the first speaker, but must wait for the defence of the accused, that so truth may be demonstrated by a comparison of the arguments on both sides? "Judge righteous judgment."(3) This precept is one of those most necessary for salvation.

3. When I say this I am not forgetful of the words of the Apostle, who fled from human tribunals and reserved the defence of all his life for the unerring judgment seat, when he said, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's judgment."(4) Your ears have been preoccupied by lying slanders, slanders that have touched my conduct, slanders that have touched my faith in God. Nevertheless, knowing, as I do, that three persons at once are injured by the slanderer, his victim, his hearer, and himself; as to my own wrong, I would have held my tongue, be sure; not because I despise your good opinion,(how could I, writing now as I do and earnestly pleading as I do that I may not lose it?) but because I see that of the three sufferers the one who is least injured is myself. It is true that I shall be robbed of you, but you are being robbed of the truth, and he who is at the bottom of all this is parting me from you, but he is alienating himself from the Lord, inasmuch as no one can be brought near to the Lord by doing what is forbidden. Rather then for your sakes than for mine, rather to rescue you from unendurable wrong am I pleading. For who could suffer a worse calamity than the loss of the most precious of all things, the truth?

4. [What say I, brethren? Not that I am a sinless person; not that my life is not full of numberless faults. I know myself; and indeed I cease not my tears for my sins, if by any means I may be able to appease my d, and to escape the punishment threatened against them. But this I say: let him who: judges me, hunt for motes in my eye, if he can say that his own is clear.] I own, brethren, that I need the care of the sound and healthy, and need much of it. If he cannot say that it is clear, and the clearer it is the less will he say so--(for it is the part of the perfect not to exalt themselves; if they do they will certainly come under the charge of the pride of the Pharisee, who, while justifying himself, condemned the publican) let him come with me to the physician let him not "judge before the time until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts."(1) Let him remember the words. "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; "(2) and "Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned."(3) [In a word, brethren, if my offences admit of cure, why does not such an one obey the teacher of the Churches, "Reprove, exhort, rebuke"?(4) If, on the other hand, my iniquity he past cure, why does he not withstand me to the face, and, by publishing my transgressions, deliver the Churches from the mischief which I bring on them?] Do not put up with the calumny uttered against me within the teeth.(5) This is the abuse which any slave-girl from the grindstone might utter; this is the kind of fine shewing-off you might expect from any street vagabond; their tongues are whetted for any slander. But [there are bishops; let appeal be made to them. There is a clergy in each of God's dioceses;(6) let the most eminent be assembled. Let whoso will, speak freely, that I may have to deal with a charge, not a slander.] Let my secret wickedness be brought into full view; let me no longer be hated, but admonished as a brother. It is more just that we sinners should be pitied by the blessed and the sinless, than that we should be treated angrily.

5. [If the fault be a point of faith, let the document be pointed out to me. Again, let a fair and impartial inquiry be appointed. Let the accusation be read; let it be brought to the test, whether it does not arise from ignorance in the accuser, not from blame in the matter of the writing. For right things often do not seem such to those who are deficient in accurate judgment. Equal weights seem unequal when the arms of the balance are of different sizes.] Men whose sense of taste is destroyed by sickness, sometimes think honey sour. A diseased eye does not see many things which do exist, and notes many things which do not exist. The same thing frequently takes place with regard to the force of words, when the critic is inferior to the writer. The critic ought really to set out with much the same training and equipment as the author. A man ignorant of agriculture is quite incapable of criticising husbandry, and the distinctions between harmony and discord can only be adequately judged by a trained musician. But any one who chooses will set up for a literary critic, though he cannot tell us where he went to school, or how much time was spent in his education, and knows nothing about letters at all. I see clearly that, even in the case of the words(1) of the Holy Spirit, the investigation of the terms is to be attempted not by every one, but by him who has the spirit of discernment, as the Apostle has taught us, in the differences of gifts;--"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gift of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits."(2) If, therefore, my gifts are spiritual, he who wishes to judge them must shew proof of his own possession of the gift of "discerning of spirits." If, on the contrary, as he calumniously contends, my gifts are of the wisdom of this world, let him shew that he is an adept in this world's wisdom, and I will submit myself to his verdict. And [let no one suppose that I am making excuses to evade the charge. I put it into your hands, dearest brethren, to investigate for yourselves the points alleged against me. Are you so slow of intelligence as to be wholly dependent upon advocates for the discovery of the truth? If the points in question seem to you to be quite plain of themselves, persuade the jesters to drop the dispute. [If there be anything you do not understand, put questions to me, through appointed persons who will do justice to me; or ask of me explanations in writing. And take all kinds of pains that nothing may be left unsifted.

6. What clearer evidence can there be of my faith, than that I was brought up by my grandmother, blessed woman, who came from you? I mean the celebrated Macrina who taught me the words of the blessed Gregory; which, as far as memory had preserved down to her day, she cherished herself. while she fashioned and formed me, while yet a child, upon the doctrines of piety. And when I gained the capacity of thought, my reason being matured by full age, I travelled over much sea and land, and whomsoever I found walking in the rule of godliness delivered, those I set down as fathers,] and made them my soul's guides in my journey to God. And up to this day, by the grace of Him who has called me in His holy calling to the knowledge of Himself, I know of no doctrine opposed to the sound teaching having sunk into my heart; nor was my soul ever polluted by the ill-famed blasphemy of Arius. If I have ever received into communion any who have come from that teacher, hiding their unsoundness deep within them, or speaking words of piety, or, at any rate. not opposing what has been said by me, it is on these terms that I have admitted them; and I have not allowed my judgment concerning them to rest wholly with myself, but have followed the decisions given about them by our Fathers. For after receiving the letter of the very blessed Father Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, which I hold in my hand, and shew to any one who asks, wherein he has distinctly declared that any one expressing a wish to come over from the heresy of the Arians and accepting the Nicene Creed. is to be received without hesitation and difficulty, citing in support of his opinion the unanimous assent of the bishops of Macedonia and of Asia; I, considering myself bound to follow the high authority of such a man and of those who made the rule, and with every desire on my own part to win the reward promised to peacemakers, did enroll in the lists of communicants all who accepted that creed.

7. [The fair thing would be to judge of me, not from one or two who do not walk uprightly in the truth, but from the multitude of bishops throughout the world, connected with me by the grace of the Lord. Make enquiries of Pisidians, Lycaonians, Isaurians, Phrygians of both provinces, Armenians your neighbours, Macedonians, Achaeans. Illyrians, Gauls. Spaniards, the whole of Italy, Sicilians, Africans, the healthy part of Egypt, whatever is left of Syria; all of whom send letters to me, and in turn receive them from me.] From these letters, alike from all which are despatched from them. and from all which go out from us to them, you may learn that we are all of one mind, and of one opinion. [Whoso shuns communion with me, it cannot escape your accuracy, cuts himself off from the whole Church. Look round about, brethren, with whom do you hold communion? If you will not receive it from me, who remains to acknowledge you? Do not reduce me to the necessity of counselling anything unpleasant concerning a Church so dear to me.] There are things now which I hide in the bottom of my heart, in secret groaning over and bewailing the evil days in which we live, in that the greatest Churches which have long been united to one another in brotherly love, now, without any reason, are in mutual opposition. Do not, oh! do not, drive me to complain of these things to all who are in communion with me. Do not force me to give utterance to words which hitherto I have kept in check by reflection and have hidden in my heart. Better were it for me to be removed and the Churches to be at one, than that God's people should suffer such evil through our childish ill-will. [Ask your fathers, and they will tell you that though our districts were divided in position, yet in mind they were one, and were governed by one sentiment. Intercourse of the people was frequent; frequent the visits of the clergy; the pastors, too, had such mutual affection, that each used the other as teacher and guide in things pertaining to the Lord.]

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