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tinguished only for solitude, but also by very many disturbances which may check the activity even of those who most delight in them.
Let no one therefore persuade your holiness that I have accepted the Egyptian writings as orthodox, with my eyes shut, because I covet any see. For really, to speak the truth, after frequently reading and carefully examining them, I have discovered that they
are free from all heretical taint, and I have
hesitated to put any stress upon them, though I certainly have no love for their author, who was the originator of the disturbances which have agitated the world. For this I hope to escape punishment in the day of Judgment, since the just Judge examines
motives. But to what has been done un
justly and illegally against your holiness, not even if one were to cut off both my hands would I ever assent, God's grace helping me and supporting my infirmity. This I have stated in writing to those who require it. I have sent to your holiness my reply to what you wrote to me, that you may know that, by God's grace, no time has changed me like the centipedes and chameleons who imitate by their colour the stones and leaves among which they live. I and all with me salute all the Brotherhood who are with you in the
CLXXIII. Letter to Andreas, Monk of Constantinople.
"God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it," and convicts falsehood, although now refuted assertion of the falsehood is approved, - and the power of truth has been shewn. For, lo, they, who by their impious reasoning had confused the natures of our Saviour Christ, and dared to preach one nature, and therefore insulted the most holy and venerable Nestorius, high priest of God, their mouths held, as the prophet says, with bit and bridle and turned from wrong to right, have once again learnt the truth, adopting
the statement of him who in the cause of truth has borne the brunt of the battle. For
instead of one nature they now confess two anathematizing all who preach mixture and confusion. They adore the impassible Godhead of Christ; they attribute passion to the flesh; they distinguish between the terms of the Gospels, ascribing the lofty and divine
to the Godhead, and the lowly to the manhood. Such are the writings now brought from Egypt.
CLXXIV. To Himerius, bishop of Nicomedia.
We wish to acquaint your holiness that on reading and frequently discussing the letter with the doctrine of the Church. Of the brought from Egypt we find it in harmony twelve Chapters we have proved the continue to oppose them. trary, and up to the present time we conWe have therefore determined, if your holiness has recovered the churches divinely entrusted to you, that tians and Constantinopolitans and others who you ought to communicate with the Egyphave fought with them against us, because should rather say the faith of the apostles; they have professed to hold our faith, or I condemnation of the very holy and venerable but not to give your consent to the alleged Nestorius. For we hold it impious and unjust in the case of charges in which both appeared as defendants to lavish favour on the other. Far more unjust and impious is the one and shut the door of repentance on
it to condemn an innocent man to death.
Your holiness should be assured that you ought not to communicate with them before you have recovered your churches. For this not only I but all the holy bishops of our district decreed in the recent Council.
CLXXV. To Alexander of Hierapolis.
I have already informed your holiness that if the doctrine of the very holy and venerable bishop, my lord Nestorius, is condemned, I will not communicate with those who do so. If it shall please your holiness to insert this in the letter which is being sent to Antioch so be it. Let there then, I beseech you, be no delay!
Letter to the same Alexander after he had learnt that John, bishop of Antioch, had anathematized the doctrine of Nestorius.3
read the letter addressed to the emperor I Be it known to your holiness that when I was much distressed, because I know perof the same opinions, has unwisely and fectly well that the writer of the letter, being
1 Himerius was of the "Conciliabulum," and a staunch
Nestorian. LeQuien points out that he, as well as Theodoret,
became ultimately reconciled to the victorious party.
2 This according to Marius Mercator is the conclusion of a letter to Alexander of Hierapolis. Garnerius had edited it as
the conclusion of the preceding letter to Himerius. Vide
Mans. V. S$0.
3 This letter was also edited by Garnerius as addressed to Himerius but is inscribed by Schulze to Alexander of Hieranolis. It is to be found complete in Mans. 927.
impiously condemned one who has never for God is without doubt on my side and held or taught anything contrary to sound strengthening me.
doctrine. But the form of anathema, though
it be more likely than his assent to the con- CLXXIX. Letter of Cyril to John, bishop of demnation, to grieve a reader, nevertheless Antioch, against Theodoret. has given me some ground of comfort, in that it is laid down not in wide general terms, but with some qualification. For
he has not said "We anathematize his doctrine" but "whatever he has either said or held other than is warranted by the doctrine of the apostles."
CLXXVII. Letter to Andreas, bishop of Sa
CLXXX. Letter of Theodoretus, as
suppose, to Domnus, bishop of Antioch, written on the death of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria.
At last and with difficulty the villain has gone. The good and the gentle pass away all too soon; the bad prolong their life for years.
The Giver of all good, methinks, removes the former before their time from the troubles of humanity; He frees them like victors from their contests and transports them to the better life, that life which, free from death, sorrow and care, is the prize of them that contend for virtue. They, on the other hand. who love and practise wickedness are allowed
The illustrious Aristolaus has sent Magisterianus from Egypt with a letter of Cyril in which he anathematizes Arius, Eunomius, Apollinarius and all who assert Christ's Godhead to be passible and maintain the confusion and commixture of the two natures. Hereat we rejoice, although he did withhold his consent from our statement. He requires further subscription to the condemnation 1Vide Migne LXXVII. 327. Cyril. Ep. Ixiii. which has been passed, and that the doctrine 295) as addressed to John, but Garnerius, with general accept of the holy bishop Nestorius be anathema-ance, has substituted Domnus. Its genuineness was contested tized. Your holiness well knows that if any one anathematizes, without distinction, the doctrine of that most holy and venerable bishop, it is just the same as though he seemed to anathematize true religion.
We must then if we are compelled anathematize those who call Christ mere man, or who divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons and deny His divinity, etc.
2This letter is inserted in the Act. Synod. (vide Mans. ix.
by Baronius (an. vi. 23) not only on the ground of its ascrip.
"It must be needless to add that Cyril's character is not to be estimated aright by ascribing any serious value to a coarse and ferocious invective against his memory, which was quoted as Theodoret's in the fifth General Council (Theodor. Ep. 180; see Tillemont, xiv. 784). If it were indeed the production of the CLXXVIII. Letter to Alexander of Hiera- it would assuredly be his own." pen of Theodoret, the reputation which would suffer from Canon Bright. Dict. Christ. Biog. I. "The long and bitter controversy in which both parties did regret, was closed by the death of Cyril, June 9, or 37, 444. and said many things they must have had cause deeply to With Baronius, the cautious' Tillemont, Cardinal Newman and Dr. Bright, we should be glad to utterly scout' the idea, that the atrocious letter' on Cyril's death ascribed to Theod oret by the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Theod. ed Schulze, Ep. 180; Labbe, v. 507) which he was said to have delivered by way of pean (Bright u. s. 176) and the scarcely less scandalous' sermon (ib.) can have been written by him. To treat it as genuine would be to vilify Theodoret.' 'The Fathers of the Council' writes Dr. Newman are no authority on such a matter' (Hist. Sketches p. 359). A painful suspicion of their genuineness, however, still lingers and troubles our conception of Theodoret. The documents may have been garbled, but the general tone too much resembles that of undisputed polemical writings of Theodoret's to allow us entirely We wish we could. Neander (vol. iv.
I think that more than all the very holy and venerable bishop, my lord John, must have been gratified at my refusing either to give my consent to the condemnation of the very holy and venerable bishop Nestorius or to violate the pledges made at Tarsus, Chalcedon and Ephesus."
He remembers also what was frequently received from us at Antioch after our departure.
Let no one therefore deceive your holiness into the belief that I should ever do this,
1 This letter is to be found complete in Latin in Mans. Synod. 840, Schulze's Index inscribing it to Andreas the Constantinopolitan monk. cf. Ep. CLXII. and note.
2 The complete letter is given in another Latin version Baluz. Synod. LXVI. Garnerius makes it the conclusion of the letter to Andrew of Samosata.
3 The order of events is reversed. John and his friends went from Ephesus to Chalcedon, from Chalcedon via Ancyra to Tarsus, where he was in his own patriarchate, and held a council, confirming Cyril's deposition, and pledging its mem. bers never to abandon Nestorius. Again at Antioch the same course was repeated.
to repudiate them.
p. 13, note, Clark's tr.) is inclined to accept the genuineness of the letter, the arguments against which he does not regard as carrying conviction, and to a large extent deriving their weight from Tillemont's Catholic standpoint.' That Theodoret should speak in this manner of Cyril's character and death cannot, he thinks, appear surprising to those who, without prejudice, contemplate Cyril and his relations to Theodoret. The playful description, after the manner of Lucian, of a Voyage to the Shades below, is not to be reckoned a very sharp thing even in Theodoret. The advice to put a heavy stone over his grave to keep Cyril down is sufficient proof that the whole is a bitter jest. The world felt freer now Cyril was gone; and he does not shrink from telling a friend that he could well spare him. The exaggeration of rhetorical polemics requires many grains of allowance."" Canon Venables. Dict. Christ. Biog. iv.
a little longer to enjoy this present life, either that sated with evil they may afterwards learn virtue's lessons, or else even in this life may pay the penalty for the wickedness of their own ways by being tossed to and fro through many years of this life's sad and wicked
This wretch, however, has not been dismissed by the ruler of our souls like other men, that he may possess for longer time the things which seem to be full of joy. Knowing that the fellow's malice has been daily 'growing and doing harm to the body of the Church, the Lord has lopped him off like a plague and "taken away the reproach from Israel."1 His survivors are indeed delighted at his departure. The dead, maybe, are sorry. There is some ground of alarm lest they should be so much annoyed at his company as to send him back to us, or that he should run away from his conductors like the tyrant of Cyniscus in Lucian.'
Great care must then be taken, and it is especially your holiness's business to undertake this duty, to tell the guild of undertakers to lay a very big and heavy stone upon his grave, for fear he should come back again, and show his changeable mind once more. Let him take his new doctrines to the shades
below, and preach to them all day and all night. We are not at all afraid of his dividing them by making public addresses against true religion and by investing an immortal nature with death. He will be stoned not only by ghosts learned in divine law, but also by Nimrod, Pharaoh and Sennacherib, or any
other of God's enemies.
But I am wasting words. The poor fellow is silent whether he will or no, his breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish." 3 He is doomed too to silence of another kind. His deeds, detected, tie his tongue, gag his mouth, curb his passion, strike him dumb and make him bow down to the ground.
I really am sorry for the poor fellow. Truly the news of his death has not caused me unmixed delight, but it is tempered by
sadness. On seeing the Church freed from a plague of this kind I am glad and rejoice; but I am sorry and do mourn when I think that the wretch knew no rest from his crimes, but went on attempting greater and
1 I. Sam. xvii. 26.
2 Lucian. "Cataplus sive Tyrannus." Cyniscus and Megapenthes come to the shore of Styx in the same batch of ghosts.
Megapenthes begs hard of Clotho to let him go back again, but Cyniscus the philosopher, who professes great delight at having died at last, refuses to get into the boat. "No; by Zeus, not till we have bound this fellow here, and set him on board, for I am afraid he will get over you by his entreaties." 3 Ps. cxlvi. 4.
more grievous ones till he died. His idea was, so it is said, to throw the imperial city into confusion by attacking true doctrines a second time, and to charge your holiness with supporting them. But God saw and did not overlook it. "He put his hook into his nose and his bridle into his lips," and turned him to the earth whence he was taken. Be it then granted to your holiness's prayers that he may obtain mercy and pity and that God's boundless clemency may surpass his wickedness. I beg your holiness to drive away the agitations of my soul. Many different reports are being bruited abroad to my alarm announcing general misfortunes. It is even said by some that your reverence is setting out against your will for the court, but so far I have despised these reports as untrue. But finding every one repeating one and the same story I have thought it right to try and learn the truth from your holiness that I may laugh at these tales if false, or sorrow not without reason if they are true.
CLXXXI. Letter to Abundius, bishop of Como.
To my dear lord and very holy brother Abundius Theodoretus sends greeting in the Lord. I have discovered that your piety religiously preserves the true and apostolic faith; and I have thanked Almighty God that the truth which was in peril has been renewed and brought to light by your holiness. that Noah and his sons were left for seed of Of old, after the flood, it came to pass the human race. Just so in our own day are reserved the fathers of the West, that by them the holy churches of the East may be able to preserve that true religion which has been threatened with devastation and destruction by a new and impious heresy. Well may we quote those words of the prophet Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant we should have been as Sodom and we should have been like this impious heresy the wrath of God has unto Gomorrah. So upon us from fallen like a flood and invasion.
Now we acknowledge the presence of our
1 Isaiah xxxvii. 29.
This letter may be dated from Nicerte in the autumn of 450 when Abundius was at Constantinople on a mission from Leo, after the failure to get Theodosius to agree to the summary of the Council in the West. Theodosius died a few days after the arrival of the envoys at Constantinople. Theodoret is anxious to encourage the Roman Legates to support the orthodox cause in the Imperial city, to repair the mischief caused by the Latrocinium, and to show the court that he and his friends Ibas and Aquilinus had the support of Leo. Abundius, fourth bishop of Como (450-469) represented Leo at Chalcedon. Manzoni, in the Promessi Sposi, reminds us of the local survival of the name.
Isaiah i. 9.
Saviour in a human body, and one Son of God, His perfect Godhead and His perfect manhood. We do not divide our one Lord Jesus Christ into two sons for He is one; but we recognise the distinction between God and man; we know that one is of the Father, the other of the seed of David and Abraham, according to the divine Scriptures, and that the divine nature is free from passion, the body which was before subject to passion being now itself too free from passion; for after the resurrection it is plainly delivered from all passion.
This we have learnt from the letter of the very holy and religious Archbishop our lord Leo. For we have read what he wrote to Flavianus, of holy and blessed memory, and have thanked the loving-kindness of the Lord because we have found an advocate and defender of the truth. To this letter I have given my adhesion, and have subjoined a copy of it to my present epistle, which I have also subscribed and have thereby proved that I obey the apostolic rules, that is true doctrines; that I abide in them to this day, and am suffering in their cause,
All the very religious and godly presbyters and reverend deacons and brethren by your holiness I greet; and I and all who are with me salute your reverence.'
have followed in the course of the dialogues and letters of the 1 After all the storms of controversy and quarrel which we Blessed Bishop of Cyrus; after the lurid leap of grim pleasan try which, if not actually penned by Theodoret, indicates a temper that must have often shewn itself in these troubled times; there is something pathetic and encouraging in the concilatory conclusion of this last letter, Cyril has been dead for years, and his weaknesses are forgotten in a confession which his more moderate opponents could accept. The subscription of Theodoret to the tome of Leo is an earnest of harmony and concord. The calmer wisdom of the West asserts the truth
which underlay the furious disputes of the subtler East. The last word of the drama is Peace.