Fathers of the Church

Letter LXI. to the Presbyter Archibius

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) The present letter brings short, affectionate greetings to a friend.

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 Unknown | translated by Blomfield Jackson

I did not let the two letters which I had just received from you go unheeded, but wrote without delay, and gave my letter to the very devout presbyter Eusebius. In consequence of some delay, it was for the time postponed, for the weather kept the vessels within the harbour, inasmuch as it indicated a coming storm at sea and bade sailors and pilots wait awhile. So I discharged this debt for the time, not that I may cease to be a debtor but that I may increase the debt. For this obligation becomes many times greater by being discharged, inasmuch as they who try to observe the laws of friendship increase the potency of its love, and, blowing sparks into a flame, kindle a greater warmth of affection, while all who are fired thereby strive to surpass one another in love. Receive then my defence, my venerable friend; forgive me; and send me a letter to tell me how you are.

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.