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Letter 226, To the ascetics under him
IT may be that the holy God will grant me the joy of a meeting with you, for I am ever longing to see you and bear about you, because in no other thing do I find rest for my soul than in your progress and perfection in the commandments of Christ. But so long as this hope remains unrealized I feel bound to visit you through the instrumentality of our dear and God-fearing brethren, and to address you, my beloved friends, by letter. Wherefore I have sent my reverend and dear brother and fellow-worker in the Gospel, Meletius the presbyter. He will tell you my yearning affection for you. and the anxiety of my soul, in that. night and day, I beseech the Lord in your behalf, that I may have boldness in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ through your salvation, and that when your work is tried by the just judgment of God you may shine forth in the brightness of the saints. At the same thee the difficulties of the day cause me deep anxiety, for all Churches have been tossed to and fro, and all souls are being sifted. Some have even opened their mouths without any reserve against their fellow servants. Lies are boldly uttered, and the truth has been hidden. The accused are being condemned without a trial, and the accusers are believed without evidence. I had heard that many letters are being carried about against myself, stinging, gibbeting, and attacking me for matters about which I have my defence ready for the tribunal of truth; and I had intended to keep Silence, as indeed I have done; for now for three years I have been bearing the blows of calumny and the whips of accusation, content to think that I have the Lord, Who knows all secrets, as witness of its falsehood. But I see now that many men have silence as a corroboration of these slanders, and have formed the idea that my silence was due, not to my longsuffering, but to my inability to open my lips in opposition to the truth. For these reasons I have attempted to write to you, beseeching your love in Christ not to accept these partial calumnies as true. because, as it is written, the law judges no man unless it have heard and known his actions.
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