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Fathers of the Church

Letter CLXVIII: to Antiochus

Description

Basil praises Antiochus' instructor and mentor.

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

I MOURN for the Church that is deprived of the guidance of such a shepherd. But I have so much the more ground for congratulating you on being worthy of the privilege of enjoying, at such a moment, the society of one who is fighting such a good fight in the cause of the truth, and I am sure that you, who nobly support and stimulate his zeal, will be thought worthy by the Lord of a lot like his. What a blessing, to enjoy in unbroken quiet the society of the man so rich in learning and experienced in life! Now, at least, you must, I am sure, know how wise he is. In days gone by his mind was necessarily given to many divided cares, and you were too busy a man to give your sole heed to the spiritual fountain which springs from his pure heart. God grant that you may be a comfort to him, and never yourself want consolation from others. I am sure of the disposition of your heart, alike from the experience which I, for a short time, have had of you, and from the exalted teaching your illustrious instructor, with whom to pass one single day is a sufficient provision for the journey to salvation.

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.