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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (St. Basil of Caesarea) > Letter 175

Letter 175

ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA

To Count Magnenianus.

Your excellency lately wrote to me, plainly charging me, besides other matters, to write concerning the Faith. I admire your zeal in the matter, and I pray God that your choice of good things may be persistent, and that, advancing in knowledge and good works, you may be made perfect. But I have no wish to leave behind me a treatise on the Faith, or to write various creeds, and so I have declined to send what you asked. You seem to me to be surrounded by the din of your men there, idle fellows, who say certain things to calumniate me, with the idea that they will improve their own position by lying disgracefully against me. The past shows what they are, and future experience will show them in still plainer colours. I, however, call on all who trust in Christ not to busy themselves in opposition to the ancient faith, but, as we believe, so to be baptized, and, as we are baptized, so to offer the doxology. It is enough for us to confess those names which we have received from Holy Scripture, and to shun all innovation about them. Our salvation does not lie in the invention of modes of address, but in the sound confession of the Godhead in which we have professed our faith.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202175.htm>.

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