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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 30

Letter 30

To Aerius the Sophist.

Now is the time for your Academy to prove the use of your discussions. I am told that a brilliant assemblage collects at your house, of which the members are both illustrious by birth and polished of speech, and that you debate about virtue and the immortality of the soul, and other kindred subjects. Show now opportunely your nobility of soul and wealth of virtue, and receive the most admirable and honourable Celestinianus in the spirit of men who have learned the rapid changes of human prosperity. He was formerly an ornament of the city of Carthage, where he flung open the doors of his house to many priests, and never thought to need a stranger's kindness. Be his spokesman, my friend, and aid him in his need of your voice, for he cannot suffer the advice of the poet which bids him that needs speak though he be ashamed.

Persuade I beg you any of your society who are capable of so doing to emulate the hospitality of Alcinous, to remove the poverty which has unexpectedly befallen him, and to change his evil fortune into good. Let them praise our kindly Lord for making us wise by other men's calamities, not having sent us to strangers' houses and having brought strangers to our doors. To men that show kindness He promises to give what words cannot express and no intelligence can understand.

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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/2707030.htm>.

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