Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXXI: to the Beraeans

Description

Another letter of praise to the Beraeans.

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

You were previously known to me, my dear friends, by your far-famed piety, and by the crown won by your confession in Christ. Peradventure one of you may ask in reply who can have carried these tidings of us so far? The Lord Himself; for He puts His worshippers like a lamp on a lamp-stand, and makes them shine throughout tile whole world. Are not winners in the games wont to be made famous by the prize of victory, and craftsmen by the skilful design of their work? Shall the memory of these and others like them abide for ever unforgotten, and shall not Christ's worshippers concerning whom the Lord says Himself, Them that honour me I will honour, be made famous and glorious by Him before all? Shall He not display the brightness of their radiant splendour as He does the beams of the sun? But I have been moved to greater longing for you by the letter which you have been good enough to send me, a letter in which, above and beyond your former efforts on behalf of the truth, you have been yet more lavish of your abounding and vigorous zeal for the true faith. In all this I rejoice with you, and I pray with you that the God of the universe, Whose is the struggle and the arena, .and Who gives the crown, may fill you with enthusiasm, may make your souls strong, and make your work such as to meet with His divine approval.

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.