ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
To Elpidius the bishop.
Once again I have started the well-beloved presbyter Meletius to carry my greeting to you. I had positively determined to spare him, on account of the weakness which he has voluntarily brought upon himself, by bringing his body into subjection for the sake of the gospel of Christ. But I have judged it fitting to salute you by the ministry of such men as he is, able to supply of themselves all the shortcomings of my letter, and to become, alike to writer and recipient, a kind of living epistle. I am also carrying out the very strong wish, which he has always had, to see your excellency, ever since he has had experience of the high qualities you possess. So now I have besought him to travel to you, and through him I discharge the debt of the visit I owe you, and beseech you to pray for me and for the Church of God, that the Lord may grant me deliverance from the injuries of the enemies of the Gospel, and to pass my life in peace and quiet. Nevertheless, if you in your wisdom, think it needful that we should travel to the same spot, and meet the rest of our right honourable brother bishops of the sea board regions, do you yourself point out a suitable place and time where and when this meeting may take place. Write to our brethren to the end that each and all may, at the appointed time, leave the business they may have in hand, and may be able to effect something for the edification of the Churches of God, do away with the pain which we now suffer from our mutual suspicions, and establish love, without which the Lord Himself has ordained that obedience to every commandment must be of none effect.
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/3202205.htm>.
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