Fathers of the Church
Letter CXXXIX. to Aspar, Consular and Patrician
by Theodoret in 450-451 | translated by Blomfield Jackson
To the other good deeds of your excellency must be added your having acquainted our pious and most christian emperor, whom God's grace has appointed for the blessing of his subjects, of the enormous wrong done against me, and your having by a righteous edict annulled an edict which was nothing of the kind. Supported by divine Providence I have made what they reckoned a punishment a means of good, and I have welcomed my rest with delight; but none the less I have been wrongly and illegally treated, though in no single point guilty of the errors which the enemies of the truth slanderously laid at my door, but yet made to suffer the penalty of the greatest criminals. Nay, my fate has been yet harder than theirs. I was judged without a trial; I was doomed in my absence; when forbidden by the emperor's orders to go to Ephesus I received the most righteous sentence of my holy judges. All this has now been undone by his most serene majesty, through the active interposition of your excellency. I, for my part, feeling that I should be wrong to keep silent and not offer you my thanks, have availed myself of this letter, whereby I beseech your excellency to speak in warm terms in my behalf both to the victorious and Christian emperor and to the very godly and pious Augusta. On their behalf I implore our good Lord as earnestly as lies in my power to guard their empire in security, and to grant that it may be at once a source of loving protection for their subjects, and of terror to their foes, and establish honourable peace for all. May your excellency be induced to petition them completely to put an end to the agitation of the Church, and order the assembling of the council; not, like the last, of men who from their habits of unruliness throw the synod into confusion, but, in peace and quiet, of members instructed in divine things, and in the habit of confirming the apostolic decrees and rejecting what is spurious and at variance with the truth. And I express this hope to the end that your excellency may reap the good which such a course of conduct is likely to produce.
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.