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Fathers of the Church

Letter XXXVII. to Salustius the Governor

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 affectionately to a request from the new governor in Hierapolis.

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

When rulers keep the scales of justice true, and let them hang in even balance, they confer all kinds of benefits upon their subjects; if they are also gifted with prudence and further show loving-kindness to him that needs it, manifold advantages accrue from their rule to them that live under it. Having enjoyed these good things through your excellency, and having experienced them in your refiner administration, they have now been moved with joy at the information that to your munificence the helm of government has been entrusted. I pray that they may gain yet greater good, that your excellency may win still higher praise, and that the encomiums of your eulogists may be vindicated by the addition to all your other honourable titles to fame of that colophon of good things—true religion. As I was compelled to pass several days in Hierapolis I hoped to have the pleasure of meeting your excellency, and persistently enquired of new comers if the insignia of office had been conveyed to you. But I was compelled by the divine feast of salvation to return in haste to the city entrusted to me. Now however that I have received your excellency's letter, with very great pleasure I return your salutation, and without delay have sent, as you requested, the honourable and pious deacon who is by God's grace a water-finder. May the Lord in His loving kindness grant him both to do good service to the city and increase your excellency's glory.

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.