Fathers of the Church
Letter X. to the Learned Elias
by Theodoret in Unknown | translated by Blomfield Jackson
Legislators have made laws in aid of the oppressed, and advocates have practised the orator's arts to help them that stand in need of fair defence. You, my friend, have studied eloquence and the law. Now put your art in practice, and by it put down the oppressors, help them that are put down by them, and defend them with the law as with a shield. Let no guilty client enjoy the benefit of your advocacy, even though he be your friend.
Now one of these guilty men is that villain Abraham. After being settled for a considerable time on an estate belonging to the church, he then took several partners in his rascality, and has had no hesitation in owning his proceedings. I have sent him to you with an account of his doings, the parties be has wronged, and the reverend sub-deacon Gerontius. I do not want you to deliver the guilty man to the authorities, but in the hope that when his victims have told you all they have had to put up with, and have made you, my learned friend, feel sympathy for their case, you may be induced to compel the wicked fellow to restore what he has stolen.
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.