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Fathers of the Church

Letter CXXIV. to the Learned Maranas

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 Theodoret suggests that the behavior of the Monophysites has been so outrageous that it cannot last.

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. Letters CXIV-CXXXII were written during his exile from Cyrus after the “Robber-Council” of Ephesus.

by Theodoret in 449-450 | translated by Blomfield Jackson

I too am distressed at the calamities of the Church, and wail over the storm that is raging; for myself I am glad to be quit of agitation, and to be enjoying a calm which is delightful to me. As to the men whom your learning states to be still carrying on their iniquities, the day is not far distant when they will pay the penalty of their present rash lawlessness. All things are governed by the Lord of all with weight and rule, and whenever any fall away into unbounded iniquity His long suffering comes to an end, and He then acts as Judge and appoints punishment. Foreseeing this I pray that they may cease from their license that I may not be compelled to weep once more for them as I behold them undergoing chastisement.

Your excellency I can never forget, and I beg our common Master to fill your house with blessing.

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.