LXXV. To the Clergy of Berœa.
I perceive that it is with reason that I am well disposed to your reverences, for I have been assured by your kindly letter that my affection was returned. For this affection of mine towards you I have many reasons. First of all there is the fact that your father, that great and apostolic man, was my father too. Secondly I look upon that truly religious bishop, 1720 who now rules your church, as I might on a brother both in blood and in sympathy. Thirdly there is the near neighbourhood of our cities, and fourthly our frequent intercourse with one another, which naturally begets friendship and increases it when it is begotten. If you like, I will name yet a fifth, and that is that we have the same close connexion with you as the tongue has with the ears, the former uttering speech, and the latter receiving it; for you most gladly listen to my words, and I am delighted to let fall my little drop upon you. p. 272 But the colophon 1721 of our union is our harmony in faith; our refusal to accept any spurious doctrines; our preservation of the ancient and apostolic teaching, which has been brought to you by hoary wisdom and nurtured by virtues hardy toil. I beseech you therefore to take greater care of the flock, to preserve it unharmed for the Shepherd, and boldly to utter the famous words of the patriarch “that which was born of beasts I offered not unto Thee.” 1722
Theoctistus; who, we learn from Letter CXXXIV, did not prove himself a friend in need, succeeded Acacius in 438. Garnerius, apparently on insufficient grounds, would therefore date the letter before this year.272:1721
cf. p. 262 n.272:1722
Gen. xxxi. 39