Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: To Eusebius, Bishop of Ancyra.
CIX. To Eusebius, Bishop of Ancyra. 1845
Many are the devices secretly plotted against me, and through me patched up against the faith of apostles. I am however comforted by the sufferings of the Saints, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and men famous in the churches in the word of Grace; and besides these by the promises of our God and Saviour, for in this present life He has promised us nothing pleasant or delightful, but rather trouble, toil, and peril, and attacks of enemies. “In the world,” He says, “ye shall have tribulation,” 1846 and “if they have persecuted me they will also persecute you,” 1847 and “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub how much more shall they call them of his household,” 1848 and “The time cometh when whosoever killeth you will think he doeth God service,” 1849 and “Straight is the gate and narrow the way which leadeth unto life,” 1850 and “When they persecute you in this city flee you into another,” 1851 and I might quote all similar passages. The divine Apostle too speaks in the same strain. “Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, but evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” 1852 These words give me the greatest comfort in this distress. As the calumnies uttered against me have probably reached your holinesss ears, I beseech your holiness to give no credence to the lies of my slanderers. I am not aware of ever having taught anyone up to the present time to believe in two sons. I have been taught to believe in one only begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, God the Word made man. But I know the distinction between flesh and Godhead, and regard as impious all who divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons, as well as those who, travelling in an opposite direction, call the Godhead and manhood of the master Christ one nature. For these exaggerations stand opposed to one another, while between them lies the way of the doctrines of the Gospel, beautified by the footprints of prophets and apostles, and of all who after them have been conspicuous for the gift of teaching. I was anxious to adduce their opinions, and to point out how they bear witness in favour of my own, but I want more words than a letter allows room for, wherefore I have written summarily what I have been taught about the incarnation of the only begotten; I send my statement to your godly excellency. 1853 I have written not with the object of teaching others, but of making my defence against the accusations brought against me, and of explaining my sentiments to those who are ignorant of them. After your holiness has read what I have written, if you find it in conformity with the apostolic doctrines, I hope you will confirm my opinion by what you reply—if, on the contrary, anything that I have said jars with the divine teaching, I request to be told of it by your holiness. For, though I have spent much time in teaching, I still need one to teach me. “We know,” says the divine Apostle “in part,” 1854 and again he says, “If any man think that he knoweth anything he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” 1855 So I hope that I may hear the truth from your holiness, and that you may also give heed to the calm of the Church, and fight for the divine doctrines. It is for their sakes that the very godly bishops, making light of the difficulties of the journey, and of the winter, have set out for the imperial city, in the p. 290 endeavour to bring about some end to the storm. Send them I pray you, on their way with your prayers and with your prayers too strengthen me. 1856
Cf. Letter LXXXII.289:1846
John xv. 33289:1847
John xv. 20289:1848
John xvi. 2289:1850
Matth. vii. 14289:1851
Matth. x. 23289:1852
2 Tim. 3:12, 13289:1853
Garnerius supposes this to refer to Dial. II.289:1854
1 Cor. xiii. 9289:1855
1 Cor. viii. 2290:1856
The route of the bishops would be by land, in consequence of the dangers of the sea voyage in winter time. From Ancyra (Angora) they would follow the course of the Sangarius into Bithynia, and would cross thence via Chalcedon to Constantinople.
Next: To Domnus, Bishop of Antioch.
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