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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXV: to the Presbyter Dorotheus

Description

A brief letter to Dorotheus.

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 TOOK the earliest opportunity of writing to the most admirable Count Terentius, thinking it better to write to him on the subject in hand by means of strangers, and being anxious that oar very dear brother Acacius shall not be inconvenienced by any delay. I have therefore given my letter to the government treasurer, who is travelling by the imperial post, and I have charged him to shew the letter to you first. I cannot understand how it is that no one has told you that the road to Rome is wholly impracticable in winter, the country between Constantinople and out' own regions being full of enemies. If the route by sea must be taken, the season will be favourable; if indeed my God-beloved brother Gregory consents to the voyage and to the commission concerning these matters. For my own part, I do not know who can go with him, and am aware that he is quite inexperienced in ecclesiastical affairs. With a man of kindly character he may get on very well, and be treated with respect, but what possible good could accrue to the cause by communication between a man proud and exalted, and therefore quite unable to hear those who preach the truth to him from a lower standpoint, and a man like my brother, to whom anything like mean servility is unknown ?

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.