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Ep. LXV.

(Eusebius having replied to the former letter Gregory wrote again, having an opportunity of communicating with his friend through one Eupraxius, a disciple of Eusebius, who passed through Cappadocia on his way to visit his master.  This letter is sometimes attributed to Basil.)

Our reverend brother Eupraxius has always been dear to me and a true friend, but he has shewn himself dearer and truer through his affections for you, inasmuch as even at the present time he has hurried to your reverence, like, to use David’s words, a hart to quench his great and unendurable thirst47464746    Ps. xliii. 1. with a sweet and pure spring at your patience in tribulations.  Deign then to be his patron and mine.

Happy indeed are they who are permitted to come near you, and happier still is he who can place upon his sufferings for Christ’s sake and upon his labours for the truth, a crown such as few of those who fear God have obtained.  For it is not an untested virtue that you have shown, nor is it only, in a time of calm that you have sailed aright and steered the souls of others, but you have shone in the difficulties of temptations, and have been greater than your persecutors, having nobly departed from the land of your birth.  Others possess the threshold of their fathers,—we the heavenly City; others perhaps hold our throne, but we Christ.  O what a profitable exchange!  How little we give up, to receive how much!  We went through fire and water, and I believe that we shall also come out into a place of refreshment.  For God will not forsake us for ever, or abandon the true faith to persecution, but according to the multitude of our pains His comforts shall make us glad.  This at any rate we believe and desire.  But do you, I beg, pray for our humility.  And as often 464as occasion shall present itself bless us without hesitation by a letter, and cheer us up by news of yourself, as you have just been good enough to do.


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