To an Unknown Correspondent.
In the words of the prophet we find the wise hearer mentioned with the excellent councillor. I, however, send the book I have written on the divine Apostle, not as much to a wise hearer as to a just and clever judge. When goldsmiths wish to find out if their gold is refined and unalloyed, they apply it to the touchstone; and just so I sent my book to your reverence, for I wish to know whether it is what it should be, or needs some fining down. You have read it and returned it, but have said nothing to me on this point. Your silence leads me to conjecture that the judge has given sentence of condemnation, but is unwilling to hurt my feelings by telling me so. Pray dismiss any such idea, and do not hesitate to tell me your opinion about the book.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2707001.htm>.
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