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Fathers of the Church

Letter CCLXIV: to Barses, Bishop of Edessa, in Exile

Description

A brief letter of friendship and encouragement to Barses.

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

TO Barses the bishop, truly God-beloved and worthy of all reverence and honour, Basil sends greeting in the Lord. As my dear brother Domninus is setting out to you, I gladly seize the opportunity of writing, and I greet you by him, praying the holy God that we may be so long preserved in this life as to be permitted to see you, and to enjoy the good gifts which you possess. Only pray, I beseech you, that the Lord may not deliver us for aye to the enemies of the Cross of Christ, but that He will keep His Churches, until the time of that peace which the just Judge Himself knows when He will bestow. For He will bestow it. He will not always abandon us. As He limited seventy years for the period of captivity for the Israelites in punishment for their sins, so peradventure the Mighty One, after giving us up for some appointed time, will recall us once again, and will restore us to the peace of the beginning—unless indeed the apostasy is now nigh at hand, and the events that have lately happened are the beginnings of the approach of Antichrist. If this be so, pray that the good Lord will either take away our afflictions, or preserve us through our afflictions unvanquished. Through you I greet all those who have been thought worthy to be associated with you. All who are with me salute your reverence. May you, by the grace of the Holy One, be preserved to the Church of God in good health, trusting in the Lord, and praying for 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.