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The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite, tr. by John Parker, [1897], at

LETTER X. To John, Theologos, Apostle and Evangelist, imprisoned in the Isle of Patmos.

I salute thee, the holy soul! O beloved one! and this for me is more appropriate than for most. Hail! O truly beloved! And to the truly Loveable and Desired, very beloved! Why should it be a marvel, if Christ speaks truly, and the unjust banish His disciples from their cities 134 , themselves bringing upon themselves their due, and the accursed severing themselves, and departing from the holy. Truly p. 179 things seen are manifest images of things unseen. For, neither in the ages which are approaching, will Almighty God be Cause of the just separations from Himself, but they by having separated themselves entirely from Almighty God; even as we observe the others, becoming here already with Almighty God, since being lovers of truth, they depart from the proclivities of things material, and love peace in a complete freedom from all things evil, and a Divine love of all things good; and start their purification, even from the present life, by living, in the midst of mankind, the life which is to come, in a manner suitable to angels, with complete cessation of passion, and deification and goodness, and the other good attributes. As for you then, I would never be so crazy as to imagine that you feel any suffering; but I am persuaded that you ate sensible of the bodily sufferings merely to appraise them. But, as for those who are unjustly treating you, and fancying to imprison, not correctly, the sun of the Gospel, whilst fairly blaming them, I pray that by separating themselves from those things which they are bringing upon themselves they may be turned to the good, and may draw you to themselves, and may participate in the light. But for ourselves, the contrary will not deprive us of the all-luminous ray of John, who are even now about to read the record, and the renewal of this, thy true theology: but shortly after (for I will say p. 180 it, even though it be rash), about to be united to you yourself. For, I am altogether trustworthy, from having learned, and reading the things made foreknown to you by God, that you will both be liberated from your imprisonment in Patmos, and will return to the Asiatic coast, and will perform there imitations of the good God, and will transmit them to those after you.


178:134 Matt. xxiii. 34.

Next: Letter XI. Dionysius to Apollophanes, Philosopher.