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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: To Uranius Bishop of Emesa.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

CXXII. 1909 To Uranius 1910 Bishop of Emesa.

I have been greatly delighted that we who correspond in character should have corresponded by letter. But I do not quite see what you mean by saying “Are not these my words?” If it were said only for the sake of salutation, I am not annoyed at it; but if it is intended to remind me of the advice which recommended silence, and of the so-called œconomy, 1911 I am very much obliged, but I do not accept the suggestion. For the divine Apostle charges us to take quite the opposite course. “Be instant in season and out of season.” 1912 And the Lord says to this very spokesman, “Be not afraid, but speak” 1913 and to Isaiah, “Cry aloud, spare not” 1914 and to Moses “Go down, charge the people” 1915 and to Ezekiel “I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel,” and it shall be “if thou warn not the wicked,” 1916 and the like: for I think it needless to write at length to one who knows. Not only therefore are we not distressed at having spoken freely, but we even rejoice and are glad, and laud Him who has thought us worthy of these sufferings; aye and call on my friends to encounter the same perils.

If they know that we do not keep the apostolic rule of the faith, but swerve to the right hand or the left, let them hate us; let them join the opposite side; let them be ranked with them that are at war with us. But if they bear witness to our holding the right teaching of the gospel message, we hail them with the cry, “Do you too ‘stand having your loins girt about with truth,…and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,’” 1917 and so on, for it is said that virtue comprises not only temperance, righteousness, and prudence, but also courage, and that by means of courage the rest of its component parts are preserved. For righteousness needs the alliance of courage in its war against wrong; temperance vanquishes intemperance by the aid of courage. And for this reason the God of all said to the prophet “The just shall live by his faith, and if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” 1918 Shrinking he calls cowardice. Hold fast then, my dear friend, to the apostolic doctrines, for “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry,” 1919 and “He shall render to every man according to his deeds,” 1920 for “the fashion of this world passeth away,” 1921 and the truth shall be made manifest.


Footnotes

298:1909

The two following letters are written from the monastery at Nicerte where Theodoret found a retreat after his banishment from Cyrus. Garnerius would place the former late in 449, and the latter early in 450.

298:1910

Uranius, bishop of Emesa in Phœnicia, was present at the two trials of Ibas, at Tyre in February and at Berytus in September 448. At the Latrocinium he was accused of immorality and of episcopal usurpation. It was during his episcopate that the head of the Baptist was supposed to be found at Emesa. Cf. notes on pp. 96 and 242.

298:1911

Cf. note on p. 72. Here οἰκονομία is used for discreet silence like the German “Zurückhaltung,” and the French “ménagement.” Cf. the Socratic ρωνεία and the Latin dissimulatio.

298:1912

2 Tim. iv. 2

298:1913

Acts xviii. 9

298:1914

Isaiah lviii. 1

298:1915

Exodus xix. 21

298:1916

Ezek. 3:17, 19. inexact quotation.

298:1917

Ephes. vi. 14

298:1918

Heb. 10:38, Hab. 2:4Heb. x. 38. Cf. Hab. ii. 4. Sept. Note inverted quotation of Habakkuk.

298:1919

Heb. x. 37

298:1920

Rom. ii. 6

298:1921

1 Cor. vii. 31


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