Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Select Letters of Saint Gregory Nazianzen.: Letter XLII
Ep. XLII. To Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.
(There still seemed a probability that intrigues and party spirit would carry the day, and so the two Gregories determined to call in the aid of Eusebius of Samosata, though he did not belong to the Province. He had been a conspicuous champion of orthodoxy against the Arian Emperor Valens, and the Gregories hoped much from his presence at the Synod. He responded to their appeal, and undertook the three hundred miles of very difficult travelling to throw in his influence with the cause which they had at heart. He saw, however, that it was necessary that the aged Bishop of Nazianzus, notwithstanding his years and infirmities, should make the effort, and he persuaded him to go. The result was all that could be desired; for Basil was elected by a unanimous vote. The letter, which S. Gregory wrote in his own name to thank him, will be found later on.)
O that I had the wings of a dove, or that my old age could be renewed, that I might be able to go to your charity, and to satisfy the longings that I have to see you, and to tell you the troubles of my soul, and in you to find some comfort for my afflictions. For since the death of the blessed Bishop Eusebius I am not a little afraid lest they who on a former occasion set traps for our Metropolis, and wanted to fill it with heretical tares, should now seize the opportunity, and uproot by their evil teaching the piety which has with so much labour been sown in the hearts of men, and should tear asunder its unity, as they have done in many Churches. As soon as I received letters from the Clergy asking me not to forget them in their present circumstances, I looked round about me, and remembered your love and your right faith and the zeal with which you are ever possessed for the Churches of God; and therefore I sent my beloved Eustathius, my Deacon and helper, to warn your Reverence, and to entreat you, in addition to all your toils for the Churches, to meet me, and both to refresh my old age by your coming, and to establish in the Orthodox Church that piety which is so famous, by giving her with us (if we may be deemed worthy to have a share with you in the good work) a Shepherd according to the will of the Lord, who shall be able to rule His people. For we have a p. 452 man before our eyes, and you are not unacquainted with him; and if we are permitted to obtain him I know that we shall acquire great boldness towards God, and shall confer a very great benefit upon the people who have called upon our aid. I beg you again and again to put away all delay, and to come to us before the bad weather of the winter sets in.
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