Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: To the Patrician Anatolius.
XLV. To the Patrician Anatolius. 1692
Your greatness knows full well how all the inhabitants of the East feel towards your magnificence, as sons feel towards an affectionate father. Why then have you shewn hate to them that love you, deprived them of your kindly care, and driven them all to weeping and lamentation by putting your own advantage before the service of others? In truth I think there is not one of them that fear the Lord who is not much grieved at losing your official sway, and I think that even all the rest, although they have not right knowledge about divine things, when they reflect on the kindnesses you have conferred, share in these sentiments of distress. I for my part am specially sorry when I bethink me of your dignity and your unaffected character, and I pray the God of all ever to bestow on you the bulwark of His invincible right hand, and supply you with abundance of all kinds of blessings. We beseech your excellency no less when absent than when present to extend to us your accustomed protection, and to undo the rage of that unworthy bishop of ours whose purposes are perfectly well known to your greatness. He is endeavouring, as I am informed, to work the entire ruin of our district, and has accepted the part of an informer to culumniate the recent visitation, and this when all in a word know that the taxation of our district is very heavy, and that in consequence many estates have been abandoned by the husbandmen. But this man, in contempt of his excommunication, and in flight from the holy synod, has thrust out his tongue against the unhappy poor. May your magnificence then consent to look to it that the truth be not vanquished by a lie. And I bring the same supplication about the Cilicians. For we cease not to wail till the iniquity be undone. The Lord, who promises to reward even a drop of water, will requite you for this trouble.
Anatolius, consul in 440, was Magister militum in the East. He was a true friend to Theodoret. This letter may be placed in 444.
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