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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 52

Letter 52

To Ibas, Bishop of Edessa.

It is, I think, of His providential care for our common salvation that the God of all brings on some men certain calamities, that chastisement may prove to be to them that have erred a healing remedy; to virtue's athletes an encouragement to constancy; and to all who look on a beneficial exemplar. For it is natural that when we see others punished we should be filled with fear ourselves. In view of these considerations I look on the trouble of Africa as a general advantage. In the first place when I bear in mind their former prosperity and now look on their sudden overthrow, I see how variable are all human affairs, and learn a twofold lesson—not to rejoice in felicity as though it would never come to an end, nor be distressed at calamities as hard to bear. Then I recall the memory of past errors, and tremble lest I fall into like sufferings. My main motive in now writing to you is to introduce to your holiness the very God-beloved bishop Cyprianus, who starting from the famous Africa is now compelled, by the savagery of the barbarians, to travel in foreign lands.

He has brought a letter to us from the very holy bishop the lord Eusebius, who wisely rules the Galatians. When your piety has received him with your wonted kindness I beg you to send him with a letter to whatever pious bishops you may think fit so that while he enjoys their kindly consolation he may be the means of their receiving heavenly and lasting benefits.

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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/2707052.htm>.

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