Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Letter of Theodoretus to Andreas, Bishop of Samosata, written from Ephesus.
p. 336 CLXII. Letter of Theodoretus to Andreas, Bishop of Samosata, written from Ephesus. 2268
Writing from Ephesus I salute your holiness, I congratulate you on your infirmity, and deem you dear to God, in that you have known what evil deeds have been going on here by report, and not by personal experience. Evil indeed! They transcend all imagination and all incidents of history; they compel a continual downpour of tears. The body of the Church is in peril of dismemberment;—nay, rather I may say it has received the first incision;—unless the wise Healer restore and re-connect the unsound and severed limbs. Once again the Egyptian is raging against God, and warring with Moses and Aaron His servants, and the more part of Israel are on the side of the foe; for all too few are the sound who willingly suffer for true religions sake. Ancient principles are trodden under foot. Deposed men perform priestly functions, and they who have deposed them sit sighing at home. Men excommunicated by the same sentence as the deposed have relieved the deposed of their deposition of their own free will. Such is the mockery of a synod held by Egyptians, by Palestinians, by men from the Pontic and Asian dioceses, and by the West in their company. 2269
What players in a pantomime, in the days of paganism, even in any farce so held up religion to ridicule? Indeed what farce-writer ever performed such a play? What dramatist ever wrote so sad a tragedy? Such and so great are the troubles that have beset Gods Church, whereof I have narrated but a very small part.
This letter may be dated “towards the end of July or in the beginning of August 431, after the restitution of Cyril and Memnon on July 16, and before the departure of Theodoret from Ephesus on August 20.” Garnerius. Andrew of Samosata wrote objections to Cyrils Chapters in the name of the bishops of the East. He was prevented by illness from being present at Ephesus in 431, as he was also from the synod assembled at Antioch in 444 to hear the cause of Athanasius of Perrha. He was a warm supporter of Nestorius.
This letter exists only in the Latin Version, and is to be found also in Mansi Collect. Conc. ix. 293.336:2269
In Ep. CLXI, the numbers are specified;—“Of Egyptians fifty; of Asiani under Memnon, leader of the tyranny, forty; of the heretics in Pamphylia called Messalianitæ, twelve; besides those attached to the same metropolitan” (i.e. Amphilochius of Side) “and others deposed and excommunicated in divers places by synods or bishops, who constitute nothing but a mere turbulent and disorderly mob, entirely ignorant of the divine decrees.”
Next: First Letter of the Commissioners of the East, sent to Chalcedon, among whom was Theodoretus.
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