Letter CLXX. 2564
How far will your mad folly go? How long will you counsel mischief against yourself? How long will you go on rousing me to wrath, and bringing shame on the common order of solitaries? Return. Put confidence in God, and in me, who imitate Gods loving-kindness. If I rebuked you like a father, like a father I will forgive you. This is the treatment you shall receive from me, for many others are making supplication in your behalf, and before all the rest your own presbyter, for whose grey hairs and compassionate disposition I feel much respect. Continue longer to hold aloof from me and you have quite fallen from your degree. 2565 You will also fall away from God, for with your songs and your garb 2566 you are leading the young women not to God, but to the pit.
τοῦ βαθμοῦ. cf. 1 Tim. iii. 13. οἱ καλῶς διακονησαντες βαθμὸν ἑαυτοῖς καλὸν περιποιοῦνται. There seems an evident allusion to this passage, but not such as to enable Basil to be positively ranked with Chrysostom in his apparent interpretation of βαθμός objectively of preferment, or with Theodoret in his subjective idea of honour with God. Apparently the “degree” is the Diaconate.218:2566
στολή. The technical use of this word for a “stole” is not earlier than the ninth century. It was indeed used for a sacred vestment, e.g. the sacred robe which Constantine presented to Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem. (Theodoret ii. 27.) In Latin “stola” designated the distinctive dress of the matron, and it seems to be used with a suggestion of effeminacy.
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