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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: To Longinus, Archimandrite of Doliche.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

CXXXI. To Longinus, Archimandrite of Doliche. 1954

You have shewn alike your zeal for the true religion, and your love for your neighbour, both of which are at the present time clearly connected, for it is for the sake of the apostolic decrees that I am being attacked, because I refuse to give up the heritage of my fathers, and prefer to undergo any suffering to looking lightly on the robbery of one tittle from the faith of the Gospel. You have accepted fellowship in my sufferings, not only by comforting me by means of your letter, but further by sending to me the very honourable and pious Matthew and Isaac. You shall hear, I am well assured, from the lips of the righteous Lord, “I was in prison, and ye visited me.” 1955 We are small and of no account, and burdened by a great load of sins, but the Lord is bountiful and generous. He remembers the small rather than the great, and says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these” 1956 “which believe in me” 1957 “ye have done it unto me.” 1958 I pray you in that you are conspicuous for right doctrine, and shine by worthiness of life, and therefore have great boldness before God, help me in your prayers, that I may be able “to stand,” to use the words of the Apostle, 1959 “against the wiles of error,” escape the sins of the destroyer, and stand, though with little boldness, in the day of the appearing before the righteous Judge.



Sent presumably at the same time as the preceding. Nothing is recorded of Longinus. It will be remembered that the name, recorded also in the Acts of Linus as that of an officer commanding the executioners of St. Paul, is assigned by tradition to the soldier who wounded the Saviour’s side.


Matt. xxv. 36


Matt. xxv. 40


Matt. xviii. 6


Matt. xxv. 40


Eph. 4:14, Eph. 6:11Eph. iv. 14, and vi. 11. As in the case of the former citation Theodoret seems to be quoting from memory, and coupling the two passages in which the word μεθοδεία occurs. “Wiles” fits in better with the evident allusion to Eph. vi. 11, than the periphrasis by which A.V. renders Eph. 4.14, and for which the revisers substitute “the wiles of error.” “μεθοδεία” may be exactly described as “ ἀποστολικὴ φωνή,” for it occurs nowhere but in these two passages.

Next: To Ibas, Bishop of Edessa.

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