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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 96

Letter 96

To Nomus the Patrician.

I have written to you two letters, indeed I think three, but without getting any answer. I had wished to say no more, but to know my own place and the greatness of dignities, and to beg you to inform me of the cause of your silence. Really I do not know what offense I can have given to your excellency. We err unwillingly as well as willingly, and sometimes are quite ignorant in what way we are transgressing. I therefore beg your greatness, remembering the divine laws which plainly charge us If your brother shall trespass against you go and tell him his fault between him and you alone to deign to make plain to me the origin of the annoyance, that I may either prove myself innocent, or, made aware of where I was wrong, may beg your pardon. In my confidence in the evidence of my conscience I hope for the former. All men are adorned by magnanimity, and not least those who, following the example of your excellency, trained in outside education as well as instructed in divine principles, both hear the apostolic laws loudly exclaiming Let not the sun go down upon your wrath and remember the words of Homer

In fit bounds contain your mighty mind;
Benignity is best.

I have thus written not as though giving you information, but to remind one who is much occupied, and I do so in remembrance of the law of the Lord, who says Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there rememberest that your brother has ought against you; leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift. In obedience to these words I have thought it right to salute your excellency by the most pious bishops, and to exhort you to give heed to the tranquillity of the churches. They are indeed overwhelmed by a great storm.

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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/2707096.htm>.

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