CII. To Bishop Basilius. 1821
There is nothing remarkable in the reproaches that are directed against me being heard in silence by men who do not know me; but that your holiness should not refute the lies of my revilers, or at least should do so only to a certain extent, and with no great heartiness, passes the belief of any one who knows your character and conduct. And I say this not because friendship ought to be preferred to truth, but because the witness of truth is on the side of friendship. Your reverence has very often heard me preaching in church, and, in other assemblies where I have spoken on doctrinal questions; you have listened to what I have said, and I do not know of any occasion on which you have found fault with me for expressing unorthodox opinions. But what is the case at the present moment? Why in the world, my dear friend, do you not utter a word against falsehood, while you allow a friend to be calumniated and the truth to be assailed? If this is because you disregard the helpless and insignificant, remember the plain proclamation of the commandment of the Lord “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones which believe in me, for I say unto you that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” 1822 If however it is the influence of my calumniators which imposes silence upon you, you must listen to the other law which says “Thou shalt not honour the person of the mighty” 1823 and “Judge righteous judgment” 1824 and “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” 1825 and “He that shutteth his eyes from seeing evil and stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood.” 1826 You may find innumerable similar passages in holy Scripture, which I have thought it needless to collect when writing to a man brought up in the divine oracles, and watering Christian people with his teaching. But this I will say, that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall give account of our words and deeds. I, who for every other reason dread this tribunal, now that I am encompassed with calumny, find my chief consolation in the thought of it.
Cf. Letter LXXXV. There seems nothing to indicate whether this Basil is Basil of Seleucia or Basil of Trajanopolis, both of whom were present at the Latrocinium and took part against Theodoret. Garnerius refers it to the former, a time-server of the court.287:1822
Matt. 18:10, 6Matt. xviii. 10 and 6287:1823
Leviticus xix. 15287:1824
John vii. 24287:1825
Ex. xxiii. 2287:1826
Isaiah xxxiii. 15. Observe the inversion.