ST. BASIL
LETTERS CCXXVII TO CCXLVII

LETTER CCXXVII.(1)

Consolatory, to the clergy of Colonia.'

WHAT is so goodly and honourable before God and men as perfect love, which, as we are told by the wise teacher, is the fulfilling of the law ?(3) I therefore approve of your warm affection for your bishop, for, as to an affectionate son the loss of a good father is unendurable, so Christ's Church cannot bear the departure of a pastor and teacher. Thus, in your exceeding affection for your bishop, you are giving proof of a good and noble disposition. But this your good will towards your spiritual father is to be approved so long as it is shewn in reason and moderation; once let it begin to overstep this line, and it is no longer descrying of the same commendation. In time case of your very God-beloved brother, our fellow-minister Euphronius, good government has been shewn by those to whom has been committed the administration of the Church; they have acted as the occasion compelled them, to the gain alike of the Church to which be has been removed and of yourselves from whom he has been taken. Do not look at this as merely of man's ordaining, nor as having been originated by the calculations of men who regard earthly things. Believe that those to whom the anxious care of the Churches belongs bare acted, as they have, with the aid of the Holy Spirit; impress this inception of the proceedings on your hearts and do your best to perfect it. Accept quietly and thankfully what has happened, with the conviction that all, who refuse to accept what is ordered in God's Churches by tim Churches, are resisting the ordinance of God.(4) Do not enter into a dispute with your Mother Church at Nicopolis. Do not exasperate yourselves against those who have taken the anxious responsibility of your souls. In the firm establishment of things at Nicopolis your part in them may also be preserved; but if some disturbance affects them, though you have protectors beyond number, with the head the heart will be destroyed. It is like men who live on the riverside; when they see some one far up the stream making a strong dam against the current, they know that, in stopping the inrush of the current, he is providing for their safety. Just so those who have now undertaken the weight of the care of the Churches, by protecting the rest, are proving for your own security. You will be sheltered from every storm, while others have to bear the brunt of the attack. But you ought also to consider this; he has not cast you Off; he has taken others into his charge. I am not so invidious as to compel the man, who is able to give a share of his good gifts to others, also to confine his favour to you, and to limit it to your own city. A man who puts a fence round a spring, and spoils the outpour of the waters, is not free from the disease of envy, and it is just the same with him who tries to prevent the further flow of abundant teaching. Let him have some care for Nicopolis too, and let your interests be added to his anxieties there. He has received an addition of labour, but there is no diminution in his diligence on your behalf. I am really distressed at out thing that you have said, which seems to me quite extravagant, namely, that if you cannot obtain your object, you will betake yourselves to the tribunals, and put the matter into the hands of men, the great object of whose prayers is the overthrow of the Churches. Take heed lest men, carried away by unwise passions, persuade you. to your hurt, to put in any plea before the courts, and so some catastrophe may ensue, and the weight of the result fall upon the heads of those who have occasioned it. Take my advice. It is offered you in a fatherly spirit. Consent to the arrangement with the very God-beloved bishops, which has been made in accordance with God's will. Wait for my arrival. When I am with you, with God's help, I will give you in person all the exhortations which it has been impossible for me to express in my letter, and will do my utmost to give you all possible consolation, not by word but in deed.

LETTER CCXXVIII.(1)

To the magistrates of Colonia.

I HAVE received your lordships' letter, and offered thanks to God most holy, that you, occupied as you are with affairs of state, should not put those of the Church in the second place. I am grateful to think that every one of you has shewn anxiety as though he were acting in his own private interest, nay, in defence of his own life, and that you have written to me in your distress at the removal of your very God-beloved bishop Euphronius. Nicopolis has not really stolen him from you; were she pleading her cause before a judge she might say that she was recovering what is her own. If honourably treated she will tell you, as becomes an affectionate mother, that she will share with you the Father who will give a portion of his grace to each of you: he will not suffer the one to be in any way harmed by the invasion of their adversaries, and at the same time will not deprive you, the other, of the care to which you have been accustomed. Bethink you then of the emergency of the time; apply your best intelligence to understand how good government necessitates a certain course of action; and then pardon the bishops who have adopted this course for the establishment of the Churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. Suggest to yourselves what is becoming you. Your own intelligence needs no instruction, You know how to adopt the counsels of those who love you. It is only natural that you should be unaware of many of the questions that are being agitated, because of our being situated far away in Armenia; but we who are in the midst of affairs and have our ears dinned every day on all sides with news of Churches that are being overthrown, are in deep anxiety lest the common enemy, in envy at the protracted peace of our life, should be able to sow his tares in your ground too, and Armenia, as well as other places, be given over to our adversaries to devour. For the present be still, as not refusing to allow your neighbours too share with you the use of a goodly vessel. Ere long, 'if the Lord allow me to come to you, you shall, if it seem necessary to you, receive yet greater consolation for what has come to pass.

LETTER CCXXIX.(2)

To the clergy of Nicopolis.

I AM sure that a work done by one or two pious men is not done without the cooperation of the Holy Spirit. For when nothing merely human is put before us, when holy men ire moved to action with no thought of their own personal gratification, and with the sole object of pleasing God. it is plain that it is the Lord Who is directing their hearts. When spiritually-minded men take the lead in counsel, and the Lord's people follow them with consentient hearts, there can be no doubt that their decisions are arrived at with the participation of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who poured out His blood for the Churches' sake. You are therefore right in snpposing that our very God-beloved brother and fellow minister Poemenius,(1) who arrived among you at an opportune moment, and discovered this means of consoling you, has been divinely moved. I not only praise his discovery of the right course to take; I much admire the firmness with which, without allowing any delay to intervene, so as to slacken the energy of the petitioners, or to give the opposite party an opportunity of taking precautions, and to set in motion the counterplots of secret foes, he at once crowned his happy course with a successful conclusion. The Lord of His especial grace keep him and his, so that the Church, as becomes her, may remain in a succession in no way degenerate, and not give place to the evil one, who now, if ever, is vexed at the firm establishment of the Churches.

2. I have also written at length to exhort our brethren at Colonia. You, moreover, are bound rather to put up with their frame of mind than to increase their irritation, as though you despised them for their insignificance, or provoked them to a quarrel by ) your contempt. It is only natural for disputants to act without due counsel, and to manage their own affairs ill with the object of vexing their opponents. And no one is so small as not to be now able to give an occasion, to those who want an occasion, for great troubles. I do not speak at random. I speak from my own experience of my own troubles. From these may God keep yon in answer to your prayers. Pray also for me, that I may have a successful journey, and, on my arrival, may share your joy in your present pastor, and with you may find consolation at the departure of our common father.(2)

LETTER CCXXX.(3)

To the magistrates of Nicopolis.

THE government of the Churches is carried on by those to whom the chief offices in them have been entrusted, but their hands are strengthened by the laity. The measures which lay with the God-beloved bishops have been taken. The rest concerns you, if you deign to accord a hearty reception; to the bishop who has been given you. and to make a vigorous resistance to attacks from outside. For nothing is so likely to cause discouragement to all, whether rulers or the rest who envy your peaceful position, as agreement in affection to the appointed bishop, and firmness in maintaining your ground. They are likely to despair of every evil attempt, if they see that their counsels are accepted neither by clergy nor by laity. Bring it about then that your own sentiments as to the right(1) may be shared by all the city, and so speak to the citizens, and to all the inhabitants of the district, in confirmation of their good sentiments, that the genuineness of your love to God may be everywhere known. I trust that it may be permitted me one day to visit and inspect a Church which is the nursing mother of true religion, honoured by me as a metropolis of orthodoxy, because it has from of old been under the government of men right honourable and the elect of God, who have held fast to " the faithful word as we have been taught."(2) You have approved him who has just been appointed as worthy of these predecessors, and I have agreed. May you be preserved by God's grace. May He scatter the evil counsels of 3 our enemies, and fix in your souls strength and constancy to preserve what has been rightly determined on.

LETTER CCXXXI.(3)

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

I FIND few opportunities of writing to your reverence, and this causes me no little trouble. It is just the same as if, when it was in my power to see you and enjoy your society very often. I did so but seldom. But it is impossible for me to write to you because so few travel hence to you, otherwise there is no reason why my letter should not be a kind of journal of my life, to tell you, my dear friend, everything that happens to me day by day. It is a comfort to me to tell you my affairs, and I know that you care for nothing more than for what concerns me. Now, however, Elpidius(4) is going home to his own master, to refute the calumnies falsely got up against him by certain enemies, and he has asked me for a letter. I therefore salute your reverence by him and corn mend to you a man who deserves your protection, at once for the sake of justice and for my own sake. Although I could say nothing else in his favour, yet, because he has made it of very great importance to be the bearer of my letter, reckon him among our friends, and remember me and pray for the Church.

You must know that my yew God-beloved brother is in exile, for he could not endure the annoyance caused him by shameless persons.(1) Doara(2) is in a state of agitation. for the fat sea monster is throwing everything into confusion. My enemies, as I am informed by those who know, are plotting against me at court. But hitherto the hand of the Lord has been over me. Only pray that I be not abandoned in the end. My brother is taking things quietly Doara has received the old muleteer.(4) She can do no more. The Lord will scatter the counsels of my enemies. The out cure for all my troubles present and to come is to set eyes on you. If you possibly can, while I am still alive, do come to see me. The book on the Spirit has been written by me, and is finished, as you know, My brethren here have prevented me from sending it to you written on paper, and have told me that they had your excellency's orders to engross it on parchment.' Not, then, to appear to do anything against your injunctions, I have delayed now, but I will send it a little later, if only I find any suitable person to convey it. May you be granted to me and to God's Church by the kindness of the Holy One, in all health and happiness, and praying for me to the Lord.

LETTER CCXXXII.(6)

To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

EVERY day that brings me a letter from you is a feast day, the very greatest of feast days. And when symbols of the feast are brought, what can I call it but a feast of feasts, as the old law used to speak of Sabbath of Sabbaths? I thank the Lord that you are quite well, and that you have celebrated the commemoration of the economy of salvation(7) in a Church at peace. I have been disturbed by some troubles; and have not been without distress from the fact of my God-beloved brother being in exile. Pray for him that God may one day grant him to see his Church healed from the woulds of heretical bites. Do come to see me while I am yet upon this earth. Act in accordance with your own wishes and with my most earnest prayers. I may be allowed to be astonished at the meaning of your blessings, inasmuch as you have mysteriously wished me a vigorous old age. By your lamps(1) you rouse me to nightly toil; and by your sweet meats you seem to pledge yourself securely that all my body is in good case. But there is no munching for me at my time of life, for my teeth have long ago been worn away by time and bad health. As to what you have asked me there are some replies in the document I send you, written to the best of my ability, and as opportunity has allowed.

LETTER CCXXXIII.

To Amphilochius, in reply to certain questions.

1. I KNOW that I have myself heard of this, and I am aware of the constitution of mankind. What shall I say? The mind is a wonderful thing, and therein we possess that which is after the image of the Creator. And the operation of the mind is wonderful; in that, in its perpetual motion, it frequently forms imaginations about things non-existent as though they were existent, and is frequently carried straight to the truth. But there are in it two faculties; in accordance with the view of us who believe in God, the one evil, that of the daemons which draws us on to their own apostasy; and the divine and the good, which brings us to the likeness of God. When, therefor, the mind remains alone and unaided, it contemplates small things, commensurate with itself. When it yields to those who deceive it, it nullifies its proper judgment, and is concerned with monstrous fancies. Then it considers wood to be no longer wood, but a god; then it looks on gold no longer as money, but as an object of worship.(3) If on the other hand it assents to its diviner part, and accepts the boons of the Spirit, then, so fir as its nature admits, it becomes perceptive of the divine. There are, as it were, three conditions of life, and three operations of the mind. Our ways may be wicked, and the movements of our mind wicked; such as adulteries, thefts, idolatries, slanders, strife, passion, sedition, vain-glory, and all that the apostle Paul enumerates among the works of the flesh.(1) Or the soul's operation is, as it were, in a mean, and has nothing about it either damnable or laudable, as the perception of such mechanical crafts as we commonly speak of as indifferent, and, of their own character, inclining neither towards virtue nor towards vice. For what vice is there in the craft of the helmsman or the physician ? Neither are these operations in themselves virtues, but they incline in one direction or the other in accordance with the will of those who use them. But the mind which is impregnated with the Godhead of the Spirit is at once capable of viewing great objects; it beholds the divine beauty, though only so far as grace imparts and its nature receives.

2. Let them dismiss, therefore, these questions of dialectics and examine the truth, not with mischievous exactness but with reverence. The judgment of our mind is given us for the understanding of the truth. Now our God is the very truth.(2) So the primary function of our mind is to know one God, but to know Him so far as the infinitely great can be known by the very small. When our eyes are first brought to the perception of visible objects, all visible objects are not at once brought into sight. The hemisphere of heaven is not beheld with one glance, but we are surrounded by a certain appearance, though in reality many things, not to say all things, in it are unperceived;--the nature of the stars, their greatness, their distances, their movements, their conjunctions, their intervals, their other conditions, the actual essence of the firmament, the distance of depth from the concave circumference to the convex surface. Nevertheless, no one would allege the heaven to be invisible because of what is unknown; it would be said to be visible on account of our limited perception of it. It is just the same in the case of God. If the mind has been injured by devils it will be guilty of idolatry, or will be perverted to some other form of impiety. But if it has yielded to the aid of the Spirit, it will have understanding of the truth, and will know God. But it will know Him, as the Apostle says, in part; and in the life to come more perfectly. For "when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."(3) The judgment of the mind is, therefore, good and given us for a good end--the perception of God; but it operates only so far as it can.

LETTER CCXXXIV.(1)

To the same, in answer to another question.

Do you worship what you know or what you do not know ? If I answer, I worship what I know, they immediately reply, What is the essence of the object of worship? Then, if I confess that I am ignorant of the essence, they turn on me again and say, So you worship you know not what. I answer that the word to know has many meanings. We say that we know the greatness of God, His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His providence over us, and the justness of His judgment; but not His very essence. The question is, therefore, only put for the sake of dispute. For he who denies that he knows the essence does not confess himself to be ignorant of God. because our idea of God is gathered from all tire attributes which I have enumerated. But God, he says, is simple, and whatever attribute of Him you have reckoned as knowable is of His essence. But tile absurdities involved in this sophism are innumerable. When all these high attributes have been enumerated, are they all names of one essence? And is there the same mutual force in His awfulness and His loving-kindness, His justice and His creative power, His providence and His foreknowledge, and His bestowal of rewards and punishments, His majesty and His providence ? In mentioning any one of these do we declare His essence ? If they say, yes, let them not ask if we know the essence of God, but let them enquire of us whether we know God to be awful, or just, or merciful. These we confess that we know. if they say that essence is something distinct, let them not put us in the wrong on the score of simplicity. For they confess themselves that there is a distinction between the essence and each one of the attributes enumerated. The operations are various, and tile essence simple, but we say that we know our God from His operations, but do not undertake to approach near to His essence. His operations come down to us, but His essence remains beyond our reach.

2. But, it is replied, if you are ignorant of the essence, you are ignorant of Himself. Retort, If you say that you know His essence, you are ignorant of Himself. A man who has been bitten by a mad dog, and sees a dog in a dish, does not really see any more than is seen by people in good health; he is to be pitied because he thinks he sees what he does not see. Do not then admire him for his announcement, but pity him for his insanity. Recognise that the voice is the voice of mockers, when they say, if you are ignorant of the essence of God, you worship what you do not know. I do know that He exists; what His essence is, I look at as beyond intelligence. How then am I saved? Through faith. It is faith sufficient to know that God exists, without knowing what He is; and "He is a rewarder of them that seek Him ."(1) So knowledge of the divine essence involves perception of His incomprehensibility, and the object of our worship is not that of which we comprehend the essence, but of which we comprehend that the essence exists.

3. And the following counter question may also be put to them. "No man hath seen God at any time, the Only-begotten which is in the bosom hath declared him.''(2) What of the Father did the Only-begotten Son declare? His essence or His power? If His power, we know so much as He declared to us. If His essence, tell me where He said that His essence was the being unbegotten?(3) When did Abraham worship ? Was it not when he believed ? And when did he believe? Was it not when he was called ? Where in this place is there any testimony in Scripture to Abraham's comprehending? When did the disciples worship Him ? Was it not when they saw creation subject to Him ? It was from the obedience of sea and winds to Him that they recognised His Godhead. Therefore the knowledge came from the operations, and the worship from the knowledge. "Believest thou that I am able to do this?" "I believe, Lord;"(4) and he worshipped Him. So worship follows faith, and faith is confirmed by power. But if you say that the believer [also knows, he knows from what he believes; and vice versa he believes from what he knows. We know God from His power. We, therefore, believe in Him who is known, and we worship Him who is believed in.

LETTER CCXXXV.(5)

To the same, in answer to another question.

1. WHICH is first in order, knowledge or faith ? I reply that generally, in the case of disciples, faith precedes knowledge. But, in our teaching, if any one asserts knowledge to come before faith, I make no objection; understanding knowledge so far as is within the bounds of human comprehension. In our lessons we must first believe that the letter a is said to us; then we learn the characters and their pronunciation, and last of all we get the distinct idea of the force of the letter. But in our belief about God, first comes the idea that God is. This we gather from His works. For, as we perceive His wisdom, His goodness, and all His invisible things from the creation of the world,(1) so we know Him. So, too, we accept Him as our Lord. For since God is the Creator of the whole world, and we are a part of the world, God is our Creator. This knowledge is followed by faith, and this faith by worship.

2. But the word knowledge has many meanings, and so those who make sport of simpler minds, and like to make themselves remarkable by astounding statements (just like jugglers who get the balls out of sight before men's very eyes), hastily included everything in their general enquiry. Knowledge, I say, has a very wide application, and knowledge may be got of what a tiring is, by number, by bulk, by force, by its mode of existence, by the period of its generation, by its essence. When then our opponents include the whole in their question, if they catch us in the confession that we know, they straightway demand from us knowledge of the essence; if, on the contrary, they see us cautious as to making any assertion on the subject, they affix on us the stigma of impiety. I, however, confess that I know what is knowable of God, and that I know what it is which is beyond my comprehension.(2) So if you ask me if I know what sand is, and I reply that I do, you will obviously be slandering me, if you straightway ask me the number of the sand; inasmuch as your first enquiry bore only on the form of sand, while your second unfair objection bore upon its number. The quibble is just as though any one were to say, Do yon know Timothy? Oh, if you know Timothy you know his nature. Since you have acknowledged that you know Timothy, give me an account of Timothy's nature. Yes; but I at the same time both know and do not know Timothy, though not in the same way and in the same degree. It is not that I do not know in the same way in which I do know; but I know in one way and am ignorant in one way. I know him according to his forth and other properties; but I am ignorant of his essence. Indeed, in this way too, I both know, and am ignorant of, myself. I know indeed who I am, but, so far as I am ignorant of my essence I do not know myself

3. Let them tell me in what sense Paul says, "Now we know in part";(1) do we know His essence in part, as knowing parts of His essence? No. This is absurd; for God is without parts. But do we know the whole essence? How then "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."(3) Why are idolaters found fault with? Is it not because they knew God and did not honour Him as God? Why are the "foolish Galatians"(3) reproached by Paul in the words, "After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements?"(4) How was God known in Jewry? Was it because in Jewry it was known what His essence is? "The ox," it is said, "knoweth his owner."(5) According to your argument the ox knows his lord's essence. " And the ass his master's crib."(6) So the ass knows the essence of the crib, but "Israel doth not know me." So, according to you, Israel is found fault with for not knowing what the essence of God is. "Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee,"(7) that is, who have not comprehended thy essence. But, I repeat, knowledge is manifold--it involves perception of our Creator, recognition of His wonderful works, observance of His commandments and intimate communion with Him. All this they thrust on one side and force knowledge into one single meaning, the contemplation of God's essence. Thou shall put them, it is said, before the testimony and I shall be known of thee thence.(8) Is the term, "I shall be known of thee," instead of, " I will reveal my essence"? "The Lord knoweth them that are his."(9) Does He know the essence of them that are His, but is ignorant of the essence of those who disobey Him? "Adam knew his wife."(10) Did he know her essence? It is said of Rebekah "She was a virgin, neither had any man known her,"(11) and "How shall this be seeing I know not a man?"(12) Did no man know Rebekah's essence ? Does Mary mean " I do not know the essence of any man"? Is it not the custom of Scripture to use the word "know" of nuptial embraces? The statement that God shall be known from the mercy seat means that He will be known to His worshippers. And the Lord knoweth them that are His, means that on account of their good works He receives them into intimate communion with Him.

LETTER CCXXXVI.(1)

To the same Amphilochius.

1. ENQUIRY has already frequently been made concerning the saying of the gospels as to our Lord Jesus Christ's ignorance of the day and of the hour of the end;(2) an objection constantly put forward by the Anomoeans to the destruction of the glory of the Only-Begotten, in order to show Him to be unlike in essence and subordinate in dignity; inasmuch as, if He know not all things, He cannot possess the same nature nor be regarded as of one likeness with Him, who by His own prescience and faculty of forecasting the future has knowledge coextensive with the universe. This question has now been proposed to me by your intelligence as a new one. I can give in reply the answer which I heard from our fathers when I was a boy, anti which on account of my love for what is good, I have received without question. I do not expect that it can undo the shamelessness of them that fight against Christ, for where is the reasoning strong enough to stand their attack? It may, however, suffice to convince all that love the Lord, anti in whom the previous assurance supplied them by faith is stronger than any demonstration of reason.

Now "no man" seems to be a general expression, so that not even one person is excepted by it, but this is not its use in Scripture, as I have observed in the passage "there is none good but one, that is, God."(3) For even in this passage the Son does not so speak to the exclusion of Himself from the good nature. But, since the Father is the first good, we believe the words" no man" to have been uttered with the understood addition of " first."(4) So with the passage "No than knoweth the Son but the Father; "(5) even here there is no charge of ignorance against the Spirit, but only a testimony that knowledge of His own nature naturally belongs to the Father first. Thus also we understand " No man knoweth,"(1) to refer to the Father the first knowledge of things, both present and to be, and generally to exhibit to men the first cause. Otherwise how can this passage fall in with the rest of the evidence of Scripture, or agree with the common notions of us who believe that the Only-Begotten is the image of the invisible God, and image not of the bodily figure, but of the very Godhead and of the mighty qualities attributed to the essence of God, image of power, image of wisdom, as Christ is called "the power of God and the wisdom of God "?(2) Now of wisdom knowledge is plainly a part; and if in any part He falls short, He is not an image of the whole; and how can we understand the Father not to have shewn that day and that hour--the smallest portion of the ages--to Him through Whom He made the ages ? How can the Creator of the universe fall short of the knowledge of the smallest portion of the things created by Him? How can He who says, when the end is near, that such and such signs shall appear in heaven and in earth, be ignorant of the end itself? When He says, "The end is not yet."(3) He makes a definite statement, as though with knowledge and not in doubt. Then further, it is plain to the fair enquirer that our Lord says many things to men, in the character of man; as for instance, "give me to drink"(4) is a saying of our Lord, expressive of His bodily necessity; and yet the asker was not soulless flesh. but Godhead using flesh endued with soul.(5) So in the present instance no one will be carried beyond the bounds of the interpretation of true religion, who understands the ignorance of him who had received all things according to the aeconomy,(6) and was advancing with God and man in favour and wisdom.(7)

2. It would be worthy of your diligence to set the phrases of the Gospel side by side, and compare together those of Matthew and those of Mark, for these two alone are found in concurrence in this passage. The wording of Matthew is "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."(8) That of Mark runs, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."(1) What is noticeable in these passages is this; that Matthew says nothing about the ignorance of the Son, and seems to agree with Mark as to sense in saying "but my Father only." Now I understand the word "only" have been used in contradistinction to the angels, but that the Son is not included with His own servants in ignorance.

He could not say what is false Who said "All things that the Father hath are Mine,"(2) but one of the things which the Father hath is knowledge of that day and of that hour. In the passage in Matthew, then, the Lord made no mention of His own Person, as a matter beyond controversy, and said that the angels knew not and that His Father alone knew, tacitly asserting the knowledge of His Father to be His own knowledge too, because of what He had said elsewhere. "as the Father knoweth me even so know I the Father,"(3) and if the Father has complete knowledge of the Son, nothing excepted, so that He knows all knowledge to dwell in Him, He will clearly be known as fully by the Son with all His inherent wisdom and all His knowledge of things to come. This modification, I think, may be given to the words of Matthew, "but my Father only." Now as to the words of Mark, who appears distinctly to exclude the Son from the knowledge, my opinion is this. No man knoweth, neither the angels of God; nor yet the Son would have known unless the Father had known: that is, the cause of the Son's knowing comes from the Father. To a fair hearer there is no violence in this interpretation, because the wore "only" is not added as it is in Matthew. Mark's sense, then, is as follows: of that day and of that hour knoweth no man, nor the angels of God; but even the Son would not have known if the Father had not known, for the knowledge naturally His was given by the Father. This is very decorous and becoming the divine nature to say of the Son, because He has, His knowledge and His being, beheld in all the wisdom and glory which become His Godhead, from Him with Whom He is consubstantial.

3. As to Jeconias, whom the prophet Jeremiah declares in these words to have been rejected from the land of Judah, "Jeconias was dishonoured like a vessel for which there is no more use; and because he was cast out he and his seed; and none shall rise from his seed sitting upon the throne of David and ruling in Judah,"(4) the matter is plain and clear. On the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the kingdom s had been destroyed, and there was no longer an hereditary succession of reigns as before. Nevertheless, at that time, the deposed descendants of David were living in captivity. On the return of Salathiel and Zerubbabel i the supreme government rested to a greater degree with the people, and the sovereignty was afterwards transferred to the priesthood, on account of the intermingling of the priestly and royal tribes; whence the Lord, in things pertaining, to God, is both King and High Priest. Moreover, the royal tribe did not fail until the coming of the Christ; nevertheless, the seed of Jeconias sat no longer upon the throne of David. Plainly it is the royal dignity which is described by the term "throne." You remember the history, how all Judaea, Idumaea, Moab. both the neighbouring regions of Syria and the further countries up to Mesopotamia, and the country on the other side as far as the river of Egypt, were all tributary to David. If then none of his descendants appeared with a sovereignty so wide, how is not the word of the prophet true that no one of the seed of Jeconias should any longer sit upon the throne of David, for none of his descendants appears to have attained this dignity. Nevertheless, the tribe of Judah did not fail, until He for whom it was destined came. But even He did not sit upon the material throne. The kingdom of Judaea was transferred to Herod, the son of Antipater the Ascalonite, and his sons who divided Judaea into four principalities, when Pilate was Procurator and Tiberius was Master of the Roman Empire. It is the indestructible kingdom which he calls the throne of David on which the Lord sat. He is the expectation of the Gentiles(1) and not of the smallest division of the world, for it is written, " In that day there shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek."(2) "I have called thee ...for a covenant of the people for a light of the Gentiles ";(3) and thus then God remained a priest although He did not receive the sceptre of Judah, and King of all the earth; so the blessing of Jacob was fulfilled, and in Him(4) "shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," and all the nations shall call the Christ blessed.

4. And as to the tremendous question put by the facetious Encratites, why we do not eat everything? Let this answer be given, that we turn with disgust from our excrements. As far as dignity goes, to us flesh is grass; but as to distinction between what is and what is not serviceable, just as in vegetables, we separate the unwholesome from the wholesome, so in flesh we distinguish between that which is good and that which is bad for food. Hemlock is a vegetable, just as vulture's flesh is flesh yet no one in his senses would eat henbane nor dog's flesh unless he were in very great straits. If he did, however, he would not sin.

5. Next as to those who maintain that human affairs are governed by fate, do not ask information from me, but stab them with their own shafts of rhetoric. The question is too long for my present infirmity. With regard to emerging in baptism--I do not know how it came into your mind to ask such a question, if indeed you understood immersion to fulfil the figure of the three days. It is impossible for any one to be immersed three times, without emerging three times. We write the word <greek>fagod</greek> paroxytone.(1)

6. The distinction between <greek>onsia</greek> and <greek>npostasid</greek> is the same as that between the general and the particular; as, for instance, between the animal and the particular man. Wherefore, in the case of the Godhead, we confess one essence or substance so as not to give a variant definition of existence hut we confess a particular hypostasis, in order that our conception of Father, Son and Holy Spirit may be without confusion and clear.(2) If we have no distinct perception of the separate characteristics, namely, fatherhood, sonship, and sanctification, but form our conception of God t from the general idea of existence, we cannot possibly give a sound account of our i faith. We must, therefore, confess the faith by adding the particular to the common. The Godhead is common; the fatherhood particular. We must therefore combine the two and say," I believe in God the Father." The like course must be pursued in the confession of the Son; we must combine the particular with the common and say " I believe in God the Son," so in the case of the Holy Ghost we must make our utterance conform to the appellation and say " in God(3) the Holy Ghost." Hence it results that there is a satisfactory preservation of the unity by the confession of the one Godhead, while in the distinction of the individual properties regarded in each there is the confession of the peculiar properties of the i Persons. On the other hand those who identify essence or substance and hypostasis are compelled to confess only three Persons,(1) and, in their hesitation to speak of three hypostases, are convicted of failure to avoid the error of Sabellius, for even Sabellius himself, who in many places confuses the conception, yet, by asserting that the same hypostasis changed its form(2) to meet the needs of the moment, does endeavour to distinguish persons.

7. Lastly as to your enquiry in what manner things neutral and indifferent are ordained for us, whether by some chance working by its own accord, or by the righteous providence of God, my answer is this: Health and sickness, riches and poverty, credit and discredit, inasmuch as they do not render their possessors good, are not in the category of things naturally good, but, in so far as in any way they make life's current flow more easily, in each case the former is to be preferred to its contrary, and has a certain kind of value. To some men these things are given by God for stewardship's sake,(8) as for instance to Abraham, to Job and such like. To inferior characters they are a challenge to improvement. For the man who persists in unrighteousness, after so goodly a token of love from God, subjects himself to condemnation without defence. The good man, however, neither turns his heart to wealth when he has it, nor seeks after it if he has it not. He treats what is given him as given him not for his selfish enjoyment, but for wise administration. No one in his senses, runs after the trouble of distributing other people's property, unless he is trying to get the praise of the world, which admires and envies anybody in authority.

Good men take sickness as athletes take their contest, waiting for the crowns that are to reward their endurance. To ascribe the dispensation of these things to any one else is as inconsistent with true religion as it is with common sense.

LETTER CCXXXVII.(1)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

1. I BOTH wrote to your reverence by the vicar of Thrace, and sent other letters by one of the officers of the treasury of Philippopolis, who was starting from our country into Thrace, and begged him to take them on his departure. But the vicar never received my letter, for while I was visiting my diocese,(2) he came into town in the evening and started early in the morning, so that the church officers did not know of his coming, and the letter remained at my house. The treasurer, too, on account of some unexpected and urgent business, set out without seeing me or taking my letters. No one else could be found; so I remained, sorry at not being able to write to you and at not receiving any letter from your reverence. Yet I was wishful, were it possible, to tell you all that happens to me day by day. So many astonishing things happen as to need a daily narrative, and you may be sure that I would have written one, unless my mind had been diverted from its purpose by the pressure of events.

2. The first and greatest of my troubles was the visit of the Vicar. As to whether he is a man really heretically minded I do not know; for I think that he is quite unversed in doctrine, and has not the slightest interest or experience in such things, for I see him day and night busy, both in body and soul, in other things. But he is certainly a friend of heretics; and he is not more friendly to them than he is ill-disposed to me. He has a summoned a synod of wicked men in mid-winter in Galatia.(3) He has deposed Hypsinus and set up Ecdicius in his place.(4) I He has ordered the removal of my brother on the accusation of one man, and that one quite insignificant. Then, after being occupied for some little time about the army, he came to us again breathing rage and slaughter,(1) and, in one sentence, delivered all the Church of Caesarea to the Senate. He settled for several days at Sebaste, separating friends from foes,(2) calling those in communion with me senators, and condemning them to the public service, while he advanced the adherents of Eustathius. He has ordered a second synod of bishops of Galatia and Pontus to be assembled at Nyssa.(4) They have submitted, have met, and have sent to the Churches a man of whose character I do not like to speak; but your reverence can well understand what sort of a man he must be who would put himself at the disposal of such counsels of men.(4) Now, while I am thus writing, the same gang have hurried to Sebaste to unite with Eustathius, and, with him, to upset the Church of Nicopolis. For the blessed Theodotus has fallen asleep. Hitherto the Nicopolitans have bravely and stoutly resisted the vicar's first assault; for he tried to persuade them to receive Eustathius, and to accept their bishop on his appointment. But, on seeing them unwilling to yield, he is now trying, by yet more violent action, to effect the establishment of the bishop whom it has been attempted to give them.(5) There is, moreover, said to be some rumoured expectation of a synod, by which means they mean to summon me to receive them into communion, or to be friendly with them. Such is the position of the Churches. As to my own health, I think it better to say nothing. I cannot bear not to tell the truth, and by telling the truth I shall only grieve you.

LETTER CCXXXVIII.(6)

To the presbyters of Nicopolis.(7)

I HAVE received your letter, my reverend brethren, but it told me nothing that I did not already know. for the whole country round about was already full of the report announcing the disgrace of that one among you who has fallen, and through lust of vain glory has brought on himself very shameful dishonour, and has through his self-love lost the rewards promised to faith. Nay, through the just hatred of them that fear the Lord he misses even that contemptible little glory for lust of which he has been sold to impiety. By the character he has now shown he has very plainly proved, concerning all his life, that he has never at any time lived in hope of the promises laid up for us by the Lord, but, in all his transactions of human affairs, has used words of faith and mockery of piety, all to deceive every one whom he met. But how are you injured? Are you any worse off for this than you were before ? One of your number has fallen away, and if one or two others have gone with him, they are to be pitied for their fall, but, by God's grace, your body is whole. The useless part has gone, and what is left has not suffered mutilation. You are haply distressed that you are driven without the walls, but you shall dwell under the protection of the God of Heaven,(1) and the angel who watches over the Church has gone out with you. So they lie down in empty places day by day, bringing upon themselves heavy judgment through the dispersion of the people. And, if in all this there is sorrow to be borne, I trust in the Lord that it will not be without its use to you. Therefore, the more have been your trials, look for a more perfect reward from your just Judge• Do not take your present troubles ill. Do not lose hope. Yet a little while and your Helper will come to you and will not tarry.(2)

LETTER CCXXXIX.(3)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

1. THE Lord has granted me the privilege of now saluting your holiness by our beloved and very reverend brother, the presbyter Antiochus, of exhorting you to pray for me as you are wont, and offering in our communication by letter some consolation for our long separation. And, when you pray, I ask you to beg from the Lord this as the first and greatest boon, that I may be delivered from vile and wicked men, who have gained such power over the people that now I seem to see, indeed, a repetition of the events of the taking of Jerusalem.(4) For the weaker grow the Churches the more does men's lust for power increase. And now the very title of bishop has been conferred on wretched slaves, for no servant of God would choose to come forward in opposition to claim the see;--no one but miserable fellows like the emissaries of Anysius the creature of Euippius, and of Ecdicius of Parnassus: whoever has appointed him(1) has sent into the Churches a poor means of aiding his own entry into the life to come.

They have expelled my brother from Nyssa, and into his place have introduced hardly a man--a mere scamp(2) worth only an obol or two, but, so far as regards the ruin of the faith, a match for those who have put him where he is.

At the town of Doara they have brought shame upon the poor name of bishop, and have sent there a wretch, an orphans' domestic, a runaway from his own masters, to flatter a godless woman, who formerly used George as she liked, and now has got this fellow to succeed him.

And who could properly lament the occurrences at Nicopolis ? That unhappy Fronto did, indeed, for a while pretend to be on the side of the truth, but now he has shamefully betrayed both the faith and himself, and for the price of his betrayal has got a name of disgrace. He imagines that he has obtained from these men the rank of bishop; in reality he has become, by God's grace, the abomination of all Armenia. But there is nothing that they will not dare; nothing wherein they are at a loss for worthy accomplices. But the rest of the news of Syria my brother knows better and can tell you better, than I.

2. The news of the West you know already, on the recital of brother Dorotheus. What sort of letters are to be given him on his departure? Perhaps he will travel with the excellent Sanctissimus, who is full of enthusiasm, journeying through the East, and collecting letters and signatures from all the men of mark.(3) What ought to be written by them, or how I can come to an agreement with those who are writing, I do not know. If you hear of any one soon travelling my way, be so good as to let me know. I am moved to say, as Diomede said, "Would God, Atrides, thy request were yet to undertake; ... he's proud enough."(4) Really lofty souls, when they are courted, get haughtier than ever. If the Lord be propitious to us, what other thing do we need? If the anger of the Lord lasts on what help can come to us from the frown of the West? Men who do not know the truth, and do not wish to learn it, but are prejudiced by false suspicions, are doing now as they did in the case of Marcellus,(1) when they quarrelled with men who told them the truth, and by their own action strengthened the cause of heresy. Apart from the common document, I should like to have written to their Coryphaeus--nothing, indeed, about ecclesiastical affairs except gently to suggest that they know nothing of what is going on here, and will not accept the only means whereby they might learn it. I would say, generally, that they ought not to press hard on men who are crushed by trials. They must not take dignity for pride. Sin only avails to produce enmity against God.

LETTER CCXL.(2)

To the Presbyters of Nicopolis.

1. You have done quite right in sending me a letter, and in sending it by the hands of one who, even if you had not written, would have been perfectly competent to give me considerable comfort in all my anxieties, and an authentic report as to the position of affairs. Many vague rumours were continually reaching me, and therefore I was desirous of getting information on many points from some one able to give it through accurate knowledge. Touching all these I have received a satisfactory and intelligent narrative from our well-beloved and honourable brother Theodosius the presbyter. I now write to your reverences the advice which I give myself, for in many respects our positions are identical; and that not only at the present moment, but in times gone by too, as many instances may prove. Of some of these we possess records in writing; others we have received through unwritten recollection from persons acquainted with the facts. We know how, for the sake of the name of the Lord, trials have beset alike individuals and cities that have put their trust in Him. Nevertheless, one and all have passed away, and the distress caused by the days of darkness bus not been everlasting. For just as when hail-storm and flood, and all natural calamities, at once injure and destroy things that have no strength, while they are only themselves affected by falling on the strong, so the terrible trials set in action against the Church have been proved feebler than the firm foundation of our faith in Christ. The hail-storm has passed away; the torrent has rushed over its bed; clear sky has taken the place of the former, and the latter has left the course without water and i dry, over which it travelled, and has disappeared in the deep. So, too, in a little while the storm, now bursting upon us, will cease to be. But this will be on the condition of our being will big not to look to the present, but to gaze in hope at the future somewhat further off.

2. Is the trial heavy, my brethren? Let us endure the toil. No one who shuns the blows and the dust of battle wins a crown. Are those mockeries of the devil, and the enemies sent to attack us, insignificant ? They are troublesome because they are his ministers, but contemptible because God has in them combined wickedness with weakness. Let us beware of being condemned for crying out too loud over a little pain. Only one thing is worth anguish, the loss of one's own self, when for the sake of the credit of the moment, if one can really call making a public disgrace of one's self credit, one has deprived one's self of the everlasting reward of the just. You are children of confessors; you are children of martyrs; you have resisted sin unto blood.(1) Use, each one of you, the examples of those near and dear to you to make you brave for true religion's sake. No one of us has been torn by lashes;(2) no one of us has suffered confiscation of his house; we have not been driven into exile; we have not suffered imprisonment. What great suffering have we undergone, unless peradventure it is grievous that we have suffered noticing, and have not been reckoned worthy of the sufferings of Christ?(3) But if you are grieved because one whom I need not name occupies the house of prayer, and you worship the Lord of heaven and earth in the open air, remember that the eleven disciples were shut up in the upper chamber, when they that had crucified the Lord were worshipping in the Jews' far-famed temple. Peradventure, Judas, who preferred death by hanging to life in disgrace, proved himself a better man than those who now meet universal condemnation without a blush.

3. Only do not be deceived by their lies when they claim to be of the right faith. They are not Christians, but traffickers in Christ,(1) always preferring their profit in this life to living in accordance with the truth. When they thought that they should get this empty dignity, they joined the enemies of Christ: now that they have seen the indignation of the people, they are once more for pretending orthodoxy. I do not recognise as bishop--I would not count among Christ's clergy(2)--a man who has been promoted to a chief post by polluted hands, to the destruction of the faith. This is my decision. If you have any part with me, you will doubtless think as I do. If you take counsel on your own responsibility, every man is master of his own mind, and I am innocent of this blood.(3) I have written thus, not because I distrust you, but that by declaring my own mind I may strengthen some men's hesitation, and prevent any out from being prematurely received into communion, or after receiving the laying on of hands of our enemies, when peace is made, later on, trying to force me to enroll them in the ranks of the sacred ministry. Through you I salute the clergy of the city and diocese, and all the laity who fear the Lord.

LETTER CCXLI.(4)

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata.

IT is not to increase your distress that I am so lavish of painful topics in my letters to your excellency. My object is to get some comfort for myself in the lamentations which are a kind of natural means of dispersing deep-seated pain whenever they are produced. and further to rouse you, my great-hearted friend, to more earnest prayer on behalf of the Churches. We know that Moses prayed continually for the people; yet, when his battle with Amalek had begun, he did not. let down his hands from morning to evening, and the uplifting of the hands of the saint only ended with the end of the fight.

LETTER CCXLII.(5)

To the Westerns.(6)

1. THE HOLY GOD. Holy God has promised a happy of issue out of all their infirmities to those that trust in Him. We, therefore, though we have been cut off in a mid-ocean of troubles, though we are tossed by the great waves raised up against us by the spirits of wickedness, nevertheless hold out in Christ Who strengthens us. We have not slackened the strength of our zeal for the Churches, nor, as though despairing of our salvation, while the billows in the tempest rise above our heads, do we look to be destroyed. On the contrary, we are still holding out with all possible earnestness, remembering how even he who was swallowed by the sea monster, because he did not despair of his life, but cried to the Lord, was saved. Thus too we, though we have reached the last pitch of peril, do not give up our hope in God. On every side we see His succour round about us. For these reasons now we turn our eyes to you, right honourable brethren. In many an hour of our affliction we have expected that you would be at our side; and disappointed in that hope we have said to ourselves, "I looked for some to take pity and there was none; and for comforters but I found none."(1) Our sufferings are such as to have reached the confines of the empire; and since, when one member suffers, all the members suffer,(2) it is doubtless right that your pity should be shown to us who have been so long in trouble. Fort hat sympathy, which we have hoped you of your charity feel for us, is caused less by nearness of place than by union of spirit.

2. How comes it to pass then that we have received nothing of what is due to us by the law of love; no letter of consolation, no visit from brethren? This is now the thirteenth year since the war of heresy began against us.(3) in this the Churches have suffered more tribulations than all those which are on record since Christ's gospel was first preached.(4) I am unwilling to describe these one by one, lest the feebleness of my narrative should make the evidence of the calamities less convincing. It is moreover the less necessary for me to tell you of them, because you have long known what has happened from the reports which will have reached you. The sum and substance of our troubles is this: the people have left the houses of prayer and are holding congregations in the wildernesses. It is a sad sight. Women, boys, old men, and those who are in other ways infirm, remain in the open air, in heavy rain, in the snow, the gales and the frost of winter as well as in summer under the blazing heat of the sun. All this they are suffering because they refuse to have anything to do with the wicked leaven of Arius.

3. How could mere words give you any clear idea of all this without your being stirred to sympathy by personal experience and the evidence of eyewitnesses? We implore you, therefore, to stretch out a helping hand to those that have already been stricken to the ground, and to send messengers to retailed us of the prizes in store for the reward of all who patiently suffer for Christ. A voice that we are used to is naturally less able to comfort us than one; which sounds from afar, and that one coming from men who over all the world are known by God's grace to be among the noblest; for common report everywhere represents you as having remained steadfast, without suffering a wound in your faith, and as having kept the deposit of the apostles inviolate. This is not our case. here are among us some who, through lust of glory and that puffing up which is especially wont to destroy the souls of Christian men, have audaciously uttered certain novelties of expression with the result that the Churches have become like cracked pots and pans and bare let in the inrush of heretical impurity. But do you, whom we love and long for, be to us ass surgeons for the wounded, as trainers for the whole, healing the limb that is diseased, and anointing the limb that is sound for the service of the true religion.

LETTER CCXLIII.(1)

To the bishops of Italy and Gaul concerning the condition and confusion of the Churches.

1. To his brethren truly God-beloved and very dear, and fellow ministers of like mind, the bishops of Gaul and Italy, Basil, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has deigned to style the universal Church of God His body, and has made us individually members one of another, has moreover granted to all of us to live in intimate association with one another, as befits the agreement of the members. Wherefore, although we dwell far away from one another, yet, as regards our close conjunction, we are very near. Since, then, the head cannot say to the feet, I have no need of you,(1) you will not, I am sure, endure to reject us; you will, on the contrary, sympathize with us in the troubles to which, for our sins, we have been given over, in proportion as we rejoice together with you in your glorying in the peace which the Lord has bestowed on you. Ere now we have also at another time invoked your charity to send us succour and sympathy; but our punishment was not full, and you were not suffered to rise up to succour us. One chief object of our desire is that through you the state of confusion in which we are situated should be made known to the emperor of your part of the world.(2) If this is difficult, we beseech you to send envoys to visit and comfort us in our affliction, that you may have the evidence of eyewitnesses of those sufferings of the East which cannot be told by word of mouth, because language is inadequate to give a clear report of our condition.

2. Persecution has come upon us, right honourable brethren, and persecution in the severest form. Shepherds are persecuted that their flocks may be scattered. And the worst of all is that those who are being treated ill cannot accept their sufferings in proof of their testimony, nor can the people reverence the athletes as in the army of martyrs, because the name of Christians is applied to the persecutors. The one charge which is now sure to secure severe punishment is the careful keeping of the traditions of the Fathers. For this the pious are exiled from their homes, and are sent away to dwell in distant regions. No reverence is shown by the judges of iniquity to the hoary head, to practical piety, to the life lived from boyhood to old age according to the Gospel. No malefactor is doomed without proof, but bishops have been convicted on calumny alone, and are consigned to penalties on charges wholly unsupported by evidence. Some have not even known who has accused them, nor been brought before any tribunal, nor even been falsely accused at all. They have been apprehended with violence late at night, have been exiled to distant places, and, through the hardships of these remote wastes, have been given over to death.(1) The rest is notorious, though I make no mention of it--the flight of priests; the flight of deacons the foraying of all the clergy. Either the image must be worshipped, or we are delivered to the wicked flame of whips.(2) The laity groan; tears are filling without ceasing in public and in private; all are mutually lamenting their woes. No one's heart is so hard as to lose a father, and bear the bereavement meekly. There is a sound of them that mourn in the city--a sound in the fields, in the roads, in the deserts. But one voice is heard from all that utter sad and piteous words. Joy and spiritual gladness are taken away. Our feasts are turned into mourning.(3) Our houses of prayer are shut. The altars of the spiritual service are lying idle. Christians no longer assemble together; teachers no longer preside. The doctrines of salvation are no longer taught. We have no more solemn assemblies, no more evening hymns, no more of that blessed joy of souls which arises in the souls of all that believe in the Lord at communions, and the imparting of spiritual boons.(4) We may well say, " Neither is there at this time prince, or prophet, or reader, or offering, or incense, or place to sacrifice before thee, and to find mercy."(5)

3. We are writing to those who know these things, for there is not a region of the world which is ignorant of our calamities. Do not suppose that we are using these words as though to give information, or to recall ourselves to your recollection. We know that you could no more forget us than a mother forget the sons of her womb.(6) But all who are crushed by any weight of agony find some natural alleviation for their pain in uttering groans of distress, and it is for this that we are doing as we do. We get rid of the load of our grief in telling you of our manifold misfortunes, and in expressing the hope that you may haply be the more moved to pray for us, and may prevail on the Lord to be reconciled to us. And if these afflictions had been confined to ourselves, we might even have determined to keep silence, and to rejoice in our sufferings for Christ's sake, since "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."(1) But at the present time we are alarmed, lest the mischief growing day by days like a flame spreading through some burning wood, when it has consumed what is close at hand, may catch distant objects too. The plague of heresy is spreading, and there is ground of apprehension lest, when it has 'devoured our Churches, it may afterwards creep on even so far as to the sound portion of your district.(2) Peradventure it is because with us iniquity has abounded that we have been first delivered to be devoured by the cruel teeth of the enemies of God. But the gospel of the kingdom began in our regions, and then went forth over all the world. So, peradventure--and this is most probable--the common enemy of our souls, is striving to bring it about that the seeds of apostasy, originating in the same quarter, should be distributed throughout the world. For the darkness of impiety plots to come upon the very hearts whereon the "light of the knowledge" of Christ has shone.(3)

4. Reckon then, as true disciples of the Lord, that our sufferings are yours. We are not being attacked for the sake of riches. or glory, or any temporal advantages. We stand in the arena to fight for our common heritage, for the treasure of the sound faith, derived from our Fathers. Grieve with us, all ye who love the brethrens at the shutting of the mouths of our men of true religion, and at the opening of the bold and blasphemous lips of all that utter unrighteosness against God.(4) The pillars and foundation of the truth are scattered abroad. We, whose insignificance has allowed of our being overlooked, are deprived of oar right of free speech. Do ye enter into the straggle, for the people's sake. Do not think only of your being yourselves moored in a safe haven, where the grace of God gives you shelter from the tempest of the winds of wickedness. Reach out a helping hand to the Churches that are being buffeted by the storm, lest, if they be abandoned, they suffer complete shipwreck of the faith. Lament for us, in that the Only-begotten is being blasphemed, and there is none to offer contradiction. The Holy Ghost is being set at nought and he who is able to confute the error has been sent into exile. Polytheism has prevailed. Our opponents own a great God and a small God. "Son" is no longer a name of nature, but is looked upon as a title of some kind of honour. The Holy Ghost is regarded not as complemental of the Holy Trinity, nor as participating in the divine and blessed Nature, but as in some sort one of the number of created beings, and attached to Father and Son, at mere haphazard and as occasion may require. '' Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears,"(1) and I will weep many days for the people who are being driven to destruction by these vile doctrines. The ears of the simple are being led astray, and have now got used to heretical impiety. The nurslings of the Church are being brought up in the doctrines of iniquity. What are they to do ? Our opponents have the command of baptisms; they speed the dying on their way;(2) they visit the sick; they console the sorrowful; they aid the distressed; they give succour of various kinds; they communicate the mysteries. All these things, as long as the performance of them is in their hands, are so many ties to bind the people to their views. The result will be that in a little time, even if some liberty be conceded to us, there is small hope that they who have been long under the influence of error will be recalled to recognition of the truth.

5. Under these circumstances it would have been well for many of us to have travelled to your reverences, and to have individually reported each his own position. You may now take as a proof of the sore straits in which we are placed the fact that we are not even free to travel abroad. For if any one leaves his Church, even for a very brief space, he will leave his people at the mercy of those who are plotting their ruin. By God's mercy instead of many we have sent one, our very reverend and beloved brother the presbyter Dorotheus. He is fully able to supply by his personal report whatever has been omitted in our letter, for he has carefully followed all that has occurred, and is jealous of the right faith. Receive him in peace, and speedily send him back to us, bringing us good news of your readiness to succour the brotherhood.

LETTER CCXLIV.(1)

To Patrophilus, bishop of AEgae.(2)

1. I HAVE read, and read with pleasure, the letter which you have sent by Strategius the presbyter. How should I not so read it, written as it is by a wise man, anti dictated by a heart which has learned to observe the universal love taught by the commandment of the Lord? Possibly I am not unaware of the reasons which have hitherto kept you silent. You have been, as it were, amazed and astounded, at the idea of the change in the notorious Basil. Why, ever since he was a boy he did such and such service to such an one; at such and such times he did such and such things; he waged war against foes innumerable for the sake of his allegiance to one man; now he has become a totally different character; he has exchanged love for war; he is all that you have written; so you naturally shew considerable astonishment at the very unexpected turn of affairs. And if you have found some fault, I do not take it ill. I am not so beyond correction as to be amazed at the affectionate rebukes of my brothers. Indeed so far was I from being vexed at your letter that it really almost made me laugh to think that when there were, as I thought, so many strong causes already existing to cement our friendship, you should have expressed such very great astonishment at the trifles which have been reported to you. So truly have you suffered the fate of all those who omit to enquire into the nature of circumstances, and give heed to the men who are being discussed; of all who do not examine into the truth, but judge by the distinction of persons, in forgetfulness of the exhortion "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment."(3)

2. Nevertheless, since God in judgment of man does not accept persons, I will not refuse to make known to you the defence which I have prepared for the great tribunal. On my side, from the beginning, there has been no cause of quarrel, either small or great; but men who hate ,he, for what reason is best known to themselves (I must not say a word about them), incessantly calumniated me. I cleared myself again and! again of slanders. There seemed no end to the matter, and no good came of my continual defence, because I was far away, and the authors of the false statements, being on the spot, were able by their calumnies against me to wound a susceptible heart, and one which has never learnt to keep one ear open. for the absent. When the Nicopolitans, as you yourself are partly aware, were asking for some proof of faith, I determined to have recourse to the written document.(1) I thought that I should fulfil two objects at once; I expected both to persuade the Nicopolitans not to think ill of the man,(2) and to shut the mouths of my calumniators, because agreement in faith would exclude slander on both sides. Indeed the creed had been drawn up, and it was brought from me, and signed. After it had been signed, a place was appointed for a second meeting, and another date fixed, so that my brethren in the diocese might come together and be united with one another, and our communion for the future be genuine and sincere. I, for my part, arrived at the appointed time, and, of the brethren who act with me, some were on the spot, and others were hurrying thither, all joyous and eager as though on the high road to peace.(3) Couriers and a letter from myself announced my arrival; for the spot appointed for the reception of those who were assembling was mine. But nobody appeared on the other side; no one came in advance; no one to announce the approach of the expected bishops. So those who had been sent by me returned with the report of the deep dejection and the complaints of those who were assembled, as though a new creed had been promulgated by me. They were moreover said to be for deciding, that they certainly would not suffer their bishop to go over to me. Then came a messenger bringing me a letter hastily drawn up, and containing no mention of the points originally agreed on. My brother Theophilus,(4) a man worthy of all respect and honour at my hands, sent one of his adherents, and made certain announcements, which he thought it not improper for him to utter, nor unbecoming in me to hear. He did not condescend to write, not so much because he was afraid of being convicted on written evidence, as because he was anxious not to be compelled to address me as bishop. Assuredly his language was violent, and came from a heart a vehemently agitated. Under these circumstances I departed abashed and depressed, not knowing what to answer to my questioners. Then, without any long interval of time, there was the journey into Cilicia,(1) the return thence, and forthwith a letter repudiating communion with me.(2)

3. The cause of the rupture was the allegation that I wrote to Apollinarius and was in communion with the presbyter Diodorus. I never regarded Apollinarius as an enemy, and for some reasons I even respect him. But I never so far trotted myself to him as to take upon me the charges against him; indeed I have myself some accusations to bring against him after reading some of his books. I do not know that I ever asked him for a book on the Holy Spirit, or received it on his sending: I am told that he has become a most copious writer, but I have read very few of his works.(3) I have not even time to investigate such matters. Indeed I shrink from admitting any of the more recent works, for my health does not even allow of my reading the inspired Scriptures with diligence and as I ought. What, then, is it to me, if some one has written something displeasing to somebody else? Yet if one man is to render an account on behalf of another, let him who accuses me for Apollinarius' sake defend himself to me for the sake of Arius his own master and of Aetius his own disciple. I never learnt anything from, nor taught anything to this man whose guilt is laid at my door. Diodorus, as a nursling of the blessed Silvanus, I did receive from the beginning: I love him now and respect him on account of his grace of speech, whereby many who meet him are made the better men.(4)

4. At this letter I was affected in such a manner as might be expected, and astounded at so sudden and pleasant a change. I felt quite unable to reply. My heart could hardly beat; my tongue failed me, and my hand grew numb. I felt like a poor creature (for the truth shall be told; yet it is pardonable); I all but fell into a state of misanthropy; I looked on every one with suspicion and thought that there was no charity to be found in mankind. Charity seemed a mere specious word, serving as a kind of decoration to those who use it, while no such sentiment was really to be found in the heart of man. Could it really be that out who seethed to have disciplined himself froth boyhood to old age, could be so easily brutalized on such grounds, without a thought for me, without any idea that his experience of bygone years ought to have more weight than this wretched slander ? Could he really, like an unbroken colt as yet untaught to carry his rider properly, on some petty suspicion rear and unseat his rider and fling to the ground what was once his pride? If so, what must be thought of the rest with whom I had no such strong ties of friendship, and who had given no such proofs of a well trained life? All this I turned over in my soul and continually revolved in my heart, or, shall I rather say my heart was turned over by these things fighting and pricking me at the recollection of them? I wrote no answer; not that I kept silence from contempt; do not think it of me my brother, for I am not defending myself to men but I speak before God in Christ. I kept silence from utter inability to say a word commensurate with my grief.

5. While I was in this position another letter came to me, addressed to a certain Dazizas, but in reality written to all the world. This is obvious from its very rapid distribution, for in a few days it was delivered all over Pontus, and was travelling about Galatia; indeed it is said that the carriers of this good news traversed Bithynia, and reached the Hellespont itself. What was written against me to Dazizas(1) you are very well aware, for they do not reckon you as so far beyond the bounds of their friendship as to have left you alone undistinguished by this honour. However, if the letter has not reached you, I will send it to you. In it you will find me charged with craft and treachery, with corruption of Churches and with ruin of souls. The charge which they think the truest of all is, that I made that exposition of the faith for secret and dishonest reasons, not to do service to the Nicopolitans, but with the design of disingenously extracting a confession from them. Of all this the Lord is Judge. What clear evidence can there be of the thoughts of the heart? One thing I do wonder at in them, that after signing the document presented by me, they show so much disagreement, that they confuse truth and falsehood to satisfy those who t are accusing them, quite forgetful that their written confession of the Nicene Creed is preserved at Rome, and that they with their own hand delivered to the council at Tyana the document brought from Rome which is in my hands, and contains the same creed. They forgot their own address, when they came forward and bewailed the deceit by which they had been tricked into giving their adhesion to the document drawn up by the faction of Eudoxius,(1) and so bethought them of the defence for that error, that they should go to Rome(2) and there accept the creed of the Fathers, that so they might make amends, for the mischief they had done the Church by their agreement in evil, by their introduction of something better. Now the very men who undertook long journeys for the faith's sake, and made all these fine speeches, are reviling me for walking craftily, and for playing the playing the plotter under the cloke of love. is plain from the Letter, now bring carried about, that they have condemned the faith of Nicaea. They saw Cyzicus, and came home with another creed.(3)

6. But why say anything of mere verbal inconsistency? The practical proofs of their change of position afforded by their conduct are far stronger. They refused to yield to the sentence of fifty bishops passed against them.(4) They declined to resign the government of their Churches although the number of bishops assenting to the decree for their deposition was so many, on the alleged ground that they were not partakers of the Holy Ghost, and were not governing their Churches by the grace of God, but had clutched their dignity by the aid of human power, and through lust of vain glory. Now they are for receiving the men consecrated by these same persons as bishops. I should like you to ask them in my stead, (although they despise all mankind, is bereft of eyes, ears, and common sense), to perceive the inconsistency of their conduct, what sentiments they do really entertain in their own hearts. How can there be two bishops, one deposed by Euippius,(5) and the other consecrated by him? Both are the actions of the same man. Had he not been endowed with the grace bestowed upon Jeremiah to pull down and build again, to root out and to plant,(6) he certainly would not have rooted the one out and planted the other. Grant him the one and you must grant him the other. Their one object, as it seems, is everywhere to look to their own advantage, and to regard every one who acts in accordance with their own wishes as a friend, while they treat any one who opposes them as an enemy, and spare no calumny to run him down.(1)

7. What measures are they now taking against the Church? For the shiftiness of their originators, shocking; for the apathy of all who are affected by them, pitiable. By a respectable commission the children and grandchildren of Euippius have been summoned from distant regions to Sebasteia, and to them the people have been entrusted.(2) They have taken possession of the altar. They have been made the leaven of that Church. I am persecuted by them as a Homoousiast. Eustathius, who brought the Homoousion in the script from Rome to Tyana, although he was not able to get admitted into their much to be coveted communion, either because they feared, or respected the authority of, the large number of persons who had agreed in condemning him, is now in intimate alliance with them. I only hope that I may never have time enough on my hands to tell of all their doings--who were gathered together, how each one had been ordained, and from what kind of earlier life each arrived at his present dignity. I have been taught to pray "that my mouth may not utter the works of the men."(3) If you enquire you will learn these things for yourself, and, if they are hidden from you, they will not assuredly continue hidden from the judges.

8. I will not, however, omit to tell you, my dear friend, in what a state I have been. Last year I suffered from a very violent fever, and came near to the gates of death. When, by God's mercy, I was restored, I was distressed at coming back to life, as I bethought me of all the troubles before me. I considered with myself for what reason, hidden in the depths of the wisdom of God, yet further clays of life in the flesh had been allowed me. But when I heard of these matters I concluded that the Lord wished a me to see the Churches at rest after the storm c which they had previously suffered from the the alienation of the men in whom, on account of their fictitious gravity of character, every confidence had been placed. Or peradventure the Lord designed to invigorate my soul, and to render it more vigilant for the future, to the end that, instead of giving heed to men, it might be made perfect through those precepts of the Gospel which do not share in the changes and chances of human seasons and circumstances, but abide for ever the same, as they were uttered by the blessed lips that cannot lie.(1)

9. Men are like clouds, shifting hither and thither in the sky with the change of the winds.(2) And of all men who have ever come within my experience these of whom I am speaking are the most unstable. As to the other business of life, those who have lived with them may give evidence; but as to what is within my own knowledge, their inconsistency as regards the faith, I do not know that I have ever myself observed it or heard from any one else, of anything like it. Originally they were followers of Arius; then they went over to Hermogenes, who was diametrically opposed to the errors of Arius, as is evinced by the Creed originally recited by him at Nicaea.(3) Hermogenes, fell asleep, and then they went over to Eusebius, the coryphaeus, as we know on personal evidence, of the Arian ring. Leaving this, for whatever reasons, they came home again, and once more concealed their Arian sentiments. After reaching the episcopate, to pass by what occurred in the interval, how many creeds did they put forth? One at Ancyra;(4) another at Seleucia;(5) another at Constantinople,(6) the famous one; another at Lampsacus,(7) then that of Nike in Thrace;(8) and now again the creed of Cyzicus.(9) Of this last I know nothing, except that I am told that they have suppressed the homoousion, and are supporting the like in essence, while they subscribe with Eunomius the blasphemies against the Holy Spirit. Although all of the creeds which I have enumerated may not be opposed to one another, yet they alike exhibit the inconsistency of the men's minds, from their never standing by the same words. I have said nothing as to countless other points, but this that I do say is true. Now that they have gone over to you, I beg you to write back by the same man, I mean our fellow presbyter Strategius, whether you have remained in the same mind towards me, or whether you have been alienated in consequence of your meeting them. For it was not likely that they would be silent, nor that you yourself, after writing to me as yon have. would not use free speaking to them too. If you remain in communion with me, it is well; it is what I would most earnestly pray for. If they have drawn you over to them, it is sad. How should separation from such a brother not be sad? If in nothing else, at least in bearing losses like this, we have been considerably tried at their hands.

LETTER CCXLV.(1)

To Theophilus the Bishop.(3)

IT is some time since I received your letter, but I waited to be able to reply by some fit person; that so the bearer of my answer might supply whatever might be wanting in it. Now there has arrived our much beloved and very reverend brother Strategius, and I have judged it well to make use of his services, both as knowing my mind and able to convey(3) news of me with due propriety and reverence. Know, therefore, my beloved and honoured friend, that I highly value my affection for you, and am not conscious so far as the disposition of lay heart goes, of having at any time failed in it, although I have had many serious causes of reasonable complaint. But I have decided to weigh the good against the bad, as in a balance, and to add my own mind where the better inclines. Now changes have been made by those who should least of all have allowed anything of the kind. Pardon me, therefore, for I have not changed my mind, if I have shifted any side, or rather I should say, I shall still be on the same side, but there are others who are continually changing it, and are now openly deserting to the foe. You yourself know what a value I put on their communion, so long as they were of the sound party. If now I refuse to follow these, and shun all who think with them, I ought fairly to be forgiven. I put truth and my own salvation before everything.

LETTER CCXLVI.(1)

To the Nicopolitans.

I AM filled with distress at seeing evil on the high road to success, while you, my reverend friends, are faint and failing under continuous calamity. But when again I bethink me of the mighty hand of God, and reflect that He knows how to raise up them that are broken down, to love the just, to crush the proud and to put down the mighty from their seats, then again my heart grows lighter by hope, and I know that through your prayers the calm that the Lord will show us will come soon. Only grow not weary in prayer, but in the present emergency strive to give to all a plain example by deed of whatever you teach by word.

LETTER CCXLVII.(3)

To the Nicopolitans.

WHEN I had read the letter of your holinesses, how did I not groan and lament that I had heard of these further troubles, of blows and insults inflicted on yourselves, of destruction of homes, devastation of the city, ruin of your whole country, persecution of the Church, banishment; of priests, invasion of wolves, and scattering of flocks. But I have looked to the Lord in heaven, and have ceased to groan and weep, because I am perfectly well assured, as I hope you know too, that help will speedily come and that you will not be for ever forsaken. What we have suffered, we have suffered for our sins. But our loving Lord will show us His own aid for the sake of His love and pity for the Churches. Nevertheless, I have not omitted to beseech men in authority in person. I have written to those at court, who love us, that the wrath of our ravening enemy may be stayed. I think, moreover, that from many quarters condemnation may fall upon his head, unless indeed these. troublous times allow our public men no leisure for these matters.(3)

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