Fathers of the Church

Letter IX. to an Anonymous Correspondent

Description

Theodoret’s letters are a mine of information for the history of the fifth century, of the author’s life and of the history of dogma in general. This large correspondence is distinguished for its unpretentious learning, felicitous diction and perfect grace of style. (Quasten) Here he responds cheerfully to a friend who had lamented Theodoret’s unjust condemnation (presumably by the “Robber-Council” of Ephesus in 449).

Provenance

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466), the wise and zealous bishop of Cyrus, a small town near Antioch, was the last great theologian of the school of Antioch. Although he first considered Alexandrian Christology dangerous, and refused to condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon, his commitment to the correct doctrine of the Incarnation should not be questioned. As late as the 14th century more than 500 of his letters were extant, of which we still have 232.

by Theodoret in c. 449 | translated by Blomfield Jackson

Your piety is annoyed and distressed at the sentence passed on me unjustly and without a trial. I am comforted that you are so feeling. Had I been justly condemned I should have been sorry at having given my judges reasonable grounds for what they have done, but, as it is, my conscience is quite clear, and I feel joyful and exultant and look forward to the remission of other sins on account of this injustice. Naboth lives in men's memories only because he suffered that unjust death. Only pray that we be not abandoned of God and let the enemy continue to do his worst. God's good will is enough to make me very cheerful and if He is on my side I despise all my troubles as trifles.

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. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.