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St. Basil the Great, From his Letters

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

Page 31

 Letter 207, To the clergy of Neocaesarea


YOU all concur in hating me. To a man you have followed the leader of the war against me. I was therefore minded to say not a word to any one. I determined that I would write no friendly letter; that I would start no communication, but keep my sorrow ill silence to myself. Yet it is wrong to keep silence in the face of calumny; not that by contradiction we may vindicate ourselves, but that we may not allow a lie to travel further and its victims to be harmed. I have therefore thought it necessary to put this matter also before you all, and to write a letter to you, although, when I recently wrote to all the presbyterate in common, you did not do me the honour to send me a reply. Do not, my brethren, gratify the vanity of those who are filling your minds with pernicious opinions. Do not consent to look lightly on, when, to your knowledge, God's people are being subverted by impious teaching. None but Sabellius the Libyan and Marcellus the Galatian have dared to teach and write what the leaders of your people are attempting to bring forward among you as their own private discovery. They are making a great talk about it, but they are perfectly powerless to give their sophisms anti fallacies even any colour of truth. In their harangues against me they shrink from no wickedness, and persistently refuse to meet me. Why? Is it not because they are afraid of being convicted for their own wicked opinions? Yes; and in their attacks upon me they have become so lost to all sense of shame as to invent certain dreams to my discredit while they falsely accuse my teaching of being pernicious. Let them take upon their own heads all the visions of the autumn months; they can fix no blasphemy on me, for in every Church there are many to testify to the truth.

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