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Fathers of the Church

Letter XXIV. to Andreas Bishop of Samosata

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 affectionately returns a letter from his correspondent.

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

Your piety, nursling of God's love, longs, I am sure, for my society. But I am all the more eager for yours in proportion as I know that from it more advantage will accrue to me. Want somehow naturally makes our wishes the stronger, but the Lord of all is able to give us what we long for. He rules all things Himself; knows what is sure to do us good, and never ceases to give every man this boon. I really cannot tell you how much delighted I was with your letter, and the very honourable and devout deacon Thalassius increased my pleasure by telling me what I was very anxious to know, for what call be more welcome to me than news that all goes well with you? And what is it that so increases your welfare as the moderation of the great men among us? You have acted like a wise and active physician who does not wait to be sent for, but comes of his own accord to them that need his care. This has given me great pleasure, and I have learnt by my own experience what the poet means when he says "laughing through her tears." May the bountiful Giver of all good things grant your holiness to excel in them, and to make us emulous of what is praiseworthy in all good men. Help us then my dear friend, and persuade him who can to grant our petition.

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.