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Fathers of the Church

Letter C: to Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata

Description

Basil thanks Eusebius for his letter and expresses his worry at the trouble being caused him by Gregory of Nyssa, his brother.

Provenance

St. Basil's correspondence is a copious and invaluable store of information for the history of the Eastern Church in the fourth century, particularly in Cappadocia. Since he never found a real biographer, his letters represent the best source for his life and times, for his many activities and far-reaching influence, especially for his personality and his character. (Quasten)

by Basil the Great in 357-370 | translated by Blomfield Jackson, M.A

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

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (PNPF II/VIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.