Fathers of the Church

Letter CCLXVIII: to Eusebius, in Exile

Description

A letter of friendship and encouragement to Eusebius.

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

EVEN in our time the Lord has taught us, by protecting with His great and powerful hand the life of your holiness, that He does not abandon His holy ones. I reckon your case to be almost like that of the saint remaining unhurt in the belly of the monster of the deep, or that of the men who feared the Lord, living unscathed in the fierce fire. For though the war is round about you on every side, He, as I hear, has kept you unharmed. May the mighty God keep you, if I live longer, to fulfil my earnest prayer that I may see you! If not for me, may He keep you for the rest, who wait for your return as they might for their own salvation. I am persuaded that the Lord in His loving-kindness will give heed to the tears of the Churches, and to the sighs which all are heaving over you, and will preserve you in life until He grant the prayer of all who night and day are praying to Him. Of all the measures taken against you, up to the arrival of our beloved brother Libanius the deacon, I have been sufficiently informed by him while on his way. I am anxious to learn what happened afterwards. I hear that in the meanwhile still greater troubles have occurred where you are; about all this, sooner if possible, but, if not, at least by our reverend brother Paul the presbyter, on his return, may I learn, as I pray that I may, that your life is preserved safe and sound. But on account of the report that all the roads are infested with thieves and deserters,report that all the roads are infested with thieves and deserters, I have been afraid to entrust anything to the brother's keeping, for fear of causing his death. If the Lord grant a little quiet, (as I am told of the coming of the army), I will try to send you one of my own men, to visit you, to bring me back news of everything about you.

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.