I. He Wishes His Assent to the Acts of Chalcedon to Be Widely Known.
How watchfully and how devotedly you guard the catholic Faith, brother, the tenor of your letter shows, and my anxiety is greatly relieved by the information it contains; supplemented as it is by the most religious piety of our religious Emperor, which is clearly shown to be prepared by the Lord for the confirmation of the whole Church; so that, whilst Christian princes act for the Faith with holy zeal, the priests of the Lord may confidently pray for their realm.
What therefore our most clement Emperor deemed needful I have willingly complied with, by sending letters to all the brethren who were present at the Synod of Chalcedon, in which to show that I approved of what was resolved upon by our holy brethren about the Rule of Faith; on their account to wit, who in order to cloke their own treachery, pretend to consider invalid or doubtful such conciliar ordinances as are not ratified by my assent albeit, after the return of the brethren whom I had sent in my stead, I dispatched a letter to the bishop of Constantinople; so that, if he had been minded to publish it, abundant proof might have been furnished thereby how gladly I approved of what the synod had passed concerning the Faith. But, because it contained such an answer as would have run counter to his self-seeking, he preferred my acceptance of the brethren's resolutions to remain unknown, lest at the same time my reply should become known on the absolute authority of the Nicene canons. Wherefore take heed, beloved, that you warn our most gracious prince by frequent reminders that he add his words to ours and order the letter of the Apostolic See to be sent round to the priests of each single province, that hereafter no enemy of the Truth may venture to excuse himself under cover of my silence.
II. He Expresses His Thanks for the Zeal Shown by the Emperor and the Empress.
And as to the edict of the most Christian Emperor, in which he has shown what the ignorant folly of certain monks deserved and as to the reply of the most gracious Augusta, in which she rebuked the heads of the monasteries, I wish my great rejoicing to be known, being assured that this fervour of faith is bestowed upon them by Divine inspiration, in order that all men may acknowledge their superiority to rest not only on their royal state but also on their priestly holiness: whom both now and formerly I have asked to treat you with full confidence, being assured of their good will, and that they will not refuse to give ear to necessary suggestions.
III. He Wishes to Know the Effect of His Letter to the Empress Eudocia.
And, because the most clement Emperor has been pleased to charge me secretly by our son Paulus with the task of admonishing our daughter the most clement Augusta Eudociahyperlink , I have done what he wished, in order that from my letter she may learn how profitable it will be to her if she espouses the cause of the catholic Faith, and have managed that she should further be admonished by a letter from that most clement prince her son; nothing doubting that she herself, too, will set to work with pious zeal to bring the leaders of sedition to a knowledge of the consequences of their action, and, if they understand not the utterances of those who teach them, to make them at least afraid of the powers of those who will punish them. And so what effect this care of ours produces, I with to know at once by a letter from you, beloved, and whether their ignorant contumacy has at length subsided: as to which if they think there is any doubt about our teaching, let them at least not reject the writings of such holy priests as Athanasius, Theophilus and Cyril of Alexandria, with whom our statement of the Faith so completely harmonizes that any one who professes consent to them disagrees in nothing with us.
IV. Aetius Must Be Content at Present with the Emperor's Favour.
With our son Aetiushyperlink the presbyter we sympathize in his sorrow; and, as one has been put into his place who had previously been judged worthy of censure, there is no doubt that this change tends to the injury of catholics. But these things must be borne patiently meanwhile, lest we should be thought to exceed the measure of our usual moderation, and for the present Aetius must be content with the encouragement of our most clement prince's favour, to whom I have but lately so commended him by letter that I doubt not his good repute has been increased in their most religious minds.
V. Anatalius Shows No Contrition in His Subsequent Acts.
This too we would have you know, that bishop Anatolius after our prohibition so persisted in his rash presumption as to call upon the bishops of Illyricum to subscribe their names: this news was brought us by the bishop who was sent by the bishop of Thessalonicahyperlink to announce his consecration. We have declined to write to Anatolius about this, although you might have expected us to do so, because we perceived he did not wish to be reformed. I have made two versions of my letter to the Synod, one with a copy of my letter to Anatolius subjoined, one without it; leaving it to your judgment to deliver the one which you think ought to be given to our most clement prince and to keep the other. Dated 21st March, in the consulship of the illustrious Opilio (453).
1 This is Eudocia, the widow of Theodosius II., and the Prince, her son, mentioned below, is Valentinianus III., who had married her daughter Eudoxia. The letter of Leo here mentioned is probably not Letter CXXIII. below. For a graphic sketch of the elder lady see Gore's Life of Leo, pp. 131, 2.
2 Cf. Letter CXIII. above.
3 This is Euxitheus, the successor of Anastasius: Letter CL. is addressed to him.
Letter CXVIII. To the Same Julian, Bishop of Cos.
(In which, after speaking of his own efforts for the Faith, he objects to monks being permitted to preach, especially if heretically inclined, and asks Julian to stir up the Emperor's zeal for the Faith.)
Letter CXIX. To Maximus, Bishop of Antioch, by the Hand of Marian the Presbyter, and Olympius the Deacon.
Leo to Maximus of Antioch.
I. The Faith is the Mean Between the Two Extremes of Eutyches and Nestorius.
How much, beloved, you have at heart the most sacred unity of our common Faith and the tranquil harmony of the Church's peace, the substance of your letter shows, which was brought me by our sons, Marian the presbyter and Olympius the deacon, and which was the more welcome to us because thereby we can join as it were in conversation, and thus the grace of God becomes more and more known and greater joy is felt through the whole world over the revelation of catholic Truth. And yet we are sore grieved at some who still (so your messengers indicate) love their darkness; and though the brightness of day has arisen everywhere, even still delight in the obscurity of their blindness, and abandoning the Faith, remain Christians in only the empty name, without knowledge to discern one error from another, and to distinguish the blasphemy of Nestorius from the impiety of Eutyches. For no delusion of theirs can appear excusable, because they contradict themselves in their perverseness. For, though Eutyches' disciples abhor Nestorius, and the followers of Nestorius anathematize Eutyches, yet in the judgment of catholics both sides are condemned and both heresies alike are cut away from the body of the Church: because neither falsehood can be in unison with us. Nor does it matter in which direction of blasphemy they disagree with the truth of the Lord's Incarnation, since their erroneous opinions hold neither with the authority of the Gospel nor with the significance of the mysteryhyperlink .
II. Maximus is to Keep the Churches of the East Free from These Two Opposite Heresies.
And therefore, beloved brother, you must with all your heart consider over which church the Lord has set you to preside, and remember that system of doctrine of which the chief of all the Apostles, the blessed Peter, laid the foundation, not only by his uniform preaching throughout the world, but especially by his teaching in the cities of Antioch and Rome: so that you may understand that he demands of him who is set over the home of his own renown those institutions which he handed down, as he received them from the Truth Itself, which he confessed. And in the churches of the East, and especially in those which the canons of the most holy Fathers at Nicaeahyperlink assigned to the See of Antioch, you must not by any means allow unscrupulous heretics to make assaults on the Gospel, and the dogmas of either Nestorius or Eutyches to be maintained by any one. Since, as I have said, the rock (petra) of the catholic Faith, from which the blessed Apostle Peter took his name at the Lord's hands, rejects every trace of either heresy; for it openly and clearly anathematizes Nestorius for separating the nature of the Word and of the flesh in the blessed Virgin's conception, for dividing the one Christ into two, and for wishing to distinguish between the person of the Godhead and the person of the Manhood: because He is altogether one and the same who in His eternal Deity was born of the Father without time, and in His true flesh was born of His mother in time; and similarly it eschews Eutyches for ignoring the reality of the human flesh in the Lord Jesus Christ, and asserting the transformation of the Word Himself into flesh, so that His birth, nurture, growth, suffering, death and burial, and resurrection on the third day, all belonged to His Deity only, which put on not the reality but the semblance of the form of a slave.
III. Antioch as the Third See in Christendom is to Retain Her Privileges.
And so it behoves you to use the utmost vigilance, lest these depraved heretics dare to assert themselves; for you must resist them with all the authority of priests, and frequently inform us by your reports what is being done for the progress of the churches. For it is right that you should share this responsibility with the Apostolic See, and realize that the privileges of the third See in Christendomhyperlink give you every confidence in action, privileges which no intrigues shall in any way impair: because my respect for the Nicene canons is such that I never have allowed nor ever will the institutions of the holy Fathers to be violated by any innovation. For different sometimes as are the deserts of individual prelates, yet the rights of their Sees are permanent: and although rivalry may perchance cause some disturbance about them, yet it cannot impair their dignity. Wherefore, brother, if ever you consider any action ought to be taken to uphold the privileges of the church of Antioch, be sure to explain it in a letter of your own, that we may be able to reply to your application completely and appropriately.
IV. Anatolius' Attempts to Subvert the Decisions of Nicaea are Futile.
But at the present time let it be enough to make a general proclamation on all points, that if in any synod any one makes any attempt upon or seems to take occasion of wresting an advantage against the provisions of the Nicene canons, he can inflict no discredit upon their inviolable decrees: and it will be easier for the compacts of any conspiracy to be broken through than for the regulations of the aforesaid canons to be in any particular invalidated. For intrigue loses no opportunity of stealing an advantage, and whenever the course of things brings about a general assembly of priests, it is difficult for the greediness of the unscrupulous not to try to gain some unfair point: just as in the Synod of Ephesus which overthrew the blasphemous Nestorius with his dogma, bishop Juvenal believed that he was capable of holding the presidency of the province of Palestine, and ventured to rally the insubordinate by a lying letterhyperlink . At which Cyril of blessed memory, bishop of Alexandria, being properly dismayed, pointed out in his letter to mehyperlink to what audacity the other's cupidity had led him: and with anxious entreaty begged me hard that no assent should be given his unlawful attempts. For be it known to you that we found the original document of Cyril's letter which was sought for in our book-case, and of which you sent us copies. On this, however, my judgment lays especial stress that, although a majority of priests through the wiliness of some came to a decision which is found opposed to those constitutions of the 318 fathers, it must be considered void on principles of justice: since the peace of the whole Church cannot otherwise be preserved, except due respect be invariably shown to the canons.
V. If Leo's Legates in Any Way Exceeded Their Instructions, They Did So Ineffectually.
Of course, if anything is alleged to have been done by those brethren whom I sent in my stead to the holy Synod, beyond that which was germane to the Faith, it shall he of no weight at all: because they were sent by the Apostolic See only for the purpose of extirpating heresy and upholding the catholic Faith. For whatever is laid before bishops for inquiry beyond the particular subjects which come before synodal councils may admit of a certain amount of free discussion, if the holy Fathers have laid down nothing thereon at Nicaea. For anything that is not in agreement with their rules and constitutions can never obtain the assent of the Apostolic See. But how great must be the diligence with which this rule is kept, you will gather from the copies of the letter which we sent to the bishop of Constantinople, restraining his cupidity; and you shall take order that it reach the knowledge of all our brethren and fellow-priests.
VI. No One But Priests are Allowed to Preach.
This too it behaves you, beloved, to guard against, that no one except those who are the Lord's priests dare to claim the right of teaching or preaching, be he monk or laymanhyperlink , who boasts himself of some knowledge. Because although it is desirable that all the Church's sons should understand the things which are right and sound, yet it is permitted to none outside the priestly rank to assume the office of preacher, since in the Church of God all things ought to be orderly, that in Christ's one body the more excellent members should fulfil their own duties, and the lower not resist the higher. Dated the 11th of June, in the consulship of the illustrious Opilio (453).
1 Ratio sacramenti.
2 These were apparently twenty in number, but include no very important towns except Seleucia the seaport of Antioch.
3 Privilegia tertioe sedis. Leo here still assigns to Antioch the third place in order of precedence, Rome and Alexandria being first and second respectively; but since 381, as we have seen, e.g. in Lett. XCVIII., chap. iv.. it had been lowered to the 4th I..ce by the insertion of Constantinople between Rome and Alexandria: see Schaff's Hist., Vol. II. § 56, pp. 277 and following, and Gore's Leo, pp. 119 and foll.
4 It is a curious fact in the history of Church government that the bishopric of Jerusalem for the first centuries never had the first place in Palestine: this was assigned to the metropolitan of Coesarea, although on great occasions the Bishop of Jerusalem sat next to the patriarch of Antioch: cf. Schaff's Hist., Vol. II. 56, p. 283, and the viith. Nicene canon: mos antiquus obtineat ut Aelioe, id est Ierosolymoe, episcopus honoretur salva metroplois propria dignitate.
5 The Ballerinii point out that the 1st Council of Ephesus was held in 431, at which Cyril presided for Celestinus I. of Rome and that Leo was not bishop till 44; this letter was probably, addressed to him when archdeacon of Rome, in which case the authority which he had already gained is remarkably illustrated.
6 See Lett. CXX., chap. vi., note
Letter CXX. To Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, on Perseverance in the Faith.
Leo, the bishop, to his beloved brother Theodoret, the bishop.
I. He Congratulates Theodoret on Their Joint Victory, and Expresses His Approval of an Hottest Inquiry Which Leads to Good Results.
On the return of our brothers and fellow-priests, whom the See of the blessed Peter sent to the holy council, we ascertained, beloved, the victory you and we together had won by assistance from on high over the blasphemy of Nestorius, as well as over the madness of Eutyches. Wherefore we make our boast in tim Lord, singing with the prophet: "our help is in the name of the Lord, who hath made heaven and earthhyperlink :" who has suffered us to sustain no harm in the person of our brethren, but has corroborated by the irrevocable assent of the whole brotherhood what He had already laid down through our ministry: to show that, what had been first formulated by the foremost See of Christendom, and then received by the judgment of the whole Christian world, had truly proceeded from Himself: that in this, too, the members may be at one with the Head. And herein our cause for rejoicing grows greater when we see that the more fiercely the foe assailed Christ's servants, the more did he afflict himself. For lest the assent of other Sees to that which the Lord of all has appointed to take precedence of the rest might seem mere complaisance, or lest any other evil suspicion might creep in, some were found to dispute our decisions before they were finally acceptedhyperlink . And while some, instigated by the author of the disagreement, rush forward into a warfare of contradictions, a greater good results through his fall under the guiding hand of the Author of all goodness. For the gifts of God's grace are sweeter to us when they are gained with mighty efforts: and uninterrupted peace is wont to seem a lesser good than one that is restored by labours. Moreover, the Truth itself shines more brightly, and is more bravely maintained when what the Faith had already taught is afterwards confirmed by further inquiry. And still further, the good name of the priestly office gains much in lustre where the authority of the highest is preserved without it being thought that the liberty of the lower ranks has been at all infringed. And the result of a discussion contributes to the greater glory of God when the debaters exert themselves with confidence in overcoming the gainsayers: that what of itself is shown wrong may not seem to be passed over in prejudicial silence.
II. Christ's Victory Has Won Back Many to the Faith.
Exult therefore, beloved brother, yes, exult triumphantly in the only-begotten Son of God. Through us He has conquered for Himself the reality of Whose flesh was denied. Through us and for us He has conquered, in whose cause we have conquered. This happy day ranks next to the Lord's Advent for the world. The robber is laid low, and there is restored to our age the mystery of the Divine Incarnation which the enemy of mankind was obscuring with his chicaneries, because the facts would not let him actually destroy it. Nay, the immortal mystery had perished from the hearts of unbelievers, because so great salvation is of no avail to unbelievers, as the Very Truth said to His disciples: "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemnedhyperlink ." The rays of the Sun of Righteousness which were obscured throughout the East by the clouds of Nestorius and Eutyches, have shone out brightly from the West, where it has reached its zenith in the Apostles and teachers of the Church. And yet not even in the East is it to be believed that it was ever eclipsed where noble confessorshyperlink have been found among your ranks: so that, when the old enemy was trying afresh, through the impenitent heart of a modern Pharaohhyperlink , to blot out the seed of faithful Abraham and the sons of promise, he grew weary, through God's mercy, and could harm no one save himself. And in regard to him the Almighty has worked this wonder also, in that He has not overwhelmed with the founder of the tyranny those who were associated with him in the slaughter of the people of Israel, but has gathered them into His own people; and as the Source of all mercy knew to be worthy of Himself and possible for Himself alone, He has made them conquerors with us who were conquered by us. For whilst the spirit of falsehood is the only true enemy of the human race, it is undoubted that all whom the Truth has won over to His side share in His triumph over that enemy. Assuredly it now is clear how divinely authorized are these words of our Redeemer, which are so applicable to the enemies of the Faith that one may not doubt they were said of them: "You," He says, "are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to fulfil. He was a murderer from the beginning and stood not in the truth, because the truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father thereofhyperlink ."
III. Dioscorus, Who in His Madness Has Attacked Even the Bishop of Rome, Has Shown Himself the Instrument of Satan.
It is not to be wondered, then, that they who have accepted a delusion as to our nature in the true God agree with their father on these points also, maintaining that what was seen, heard, and in fact, by the witness of the gospel, touched and handled in the only Son of God, belonged not to that to which it was proved to belonghyperlink , but to an essence co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father: as if the nature of the Godhead could have been pierced on the Cross, as if the Unchangeable could grow from infancy to manhood, or the eternal Wisdom could progress in wisdom, or God, who is a Spirit, could thereafter be filled with the Spirit. In this, too, their sheer madness betrayed its origin, because, as far as it could, it attempted to injure everybody. For he, who afflicted you with his persecutions, led others wrong by driving them to consent to his wickedness. Yea, even us too, although he had wounded us in each one of the brethren (for they are our members), even us he did not exempt from special vexation in attempting to inflict an injury upon his Head with strange and unheard of and incredible effronteryhyperlink . But would that he had recovered his senses even after all these enormities, and had not saddened us by his death and eternal damnation. There was no measure of wickedness that he did not reach: it was not enough for him that, sparing neither living nor dead, and forswearing truth and allying himself with falsehood, he imbrued his hands, that had been already long polluted, in the blood of a guiltless, catholic priesthyperlink . And since it is written: "he that hateth his brother is a murdererhyperlink :" he has actually carried out what he was said already to have done in hate, as if he had never heard of this nor of that which the Lord says, "learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls: for My yoke is easy and My burden is lighthyperlink ." A worthy preacher of the devil's errors has been found in this Egyptian plunderer, who, like the cruellest tyrant the Church has had, forced his villainous blasphemies on the reverend brethren through the violence of riotous mobs and the blood-stained hands of soldiers. And when our Redeemer's voice assures us that the author of murder and of lying is one and the same, He has carried out both equally: as if these things were written not to be avoided but to be perpetrated: and thus does he apply to the completion of his destruction the salutary warnings of the Son of God, and turns a deaf ear to what the same Lord has said, "I speak that which I have seen with My Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your fatherhyperlink ."
IV. Those Who Undertake to Speak Authoritatively an Doctrine, Must Preserve the Balance Between the Extremes.
Accordingly while he strove to cut short Flavian of blessed memory's life in the present world, he has deprived himself of the light of true life. While he tried to drive you out of your churches, he has cut off himself from fellowship with Christians. While he drags and drives many into agreement with error, he has stabbed his own soul with many a wound, a solitary convicted offender beyond all, and through all and for all, for he was the cause of all men's being accused. But, although, brother, you who are nurtured on solid food, have little need of such reminders yet that we may fulfil what belongs to our position according to that utterance of the Apostle who says, "Besides these things that are without, that which presseth on me daily, anxiety for all the churches. Who is weakened and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble and I burn nothyperlink ?" we believe this admonition ought to be given especially on the present occasion, that whenever by the ministration of the Divine grace we either overwhelm or cleanse those who are without, in the pool of doctrine, we go not away in aught from those rules of Faith which the Godhead of the Holy Ghost brought forward at the Council of Choicedon, and weigh our words with every caution so as to avoid the two extremes of new false doctrinehyperlink : not any longer (God forbid it) as if debating what is doubtful, but with full authority laying clown conclusions already arrived at; for in the letter which we issued from the Apostolic See, and which has been ratified by the assent of the entire holy Synod, we know that so many divinely authorised witnesses are brought together, that no one can entertain any further doubt, except one who prefers to enwrap himself in the clouds of error, and the proceedings of the Synod whether those in which we read the formulating of the definition of Faith, or those in which the aforesaid letter of the Apostolic See was zealously supported by you, brother, and especially the address of the whole Council to our most religious Princes, are corroborated by the testimonies of so many fathers in the past that they must persuade any one, however unwise and stubborn his heart, so long as he be not already joined with the devil in damnation for his wickedness.
V. Theodoret's Orthodoxy Has Been Happily and Thoroughly Vindicated.
Wherefore this, too, it is our duty to provide against the Church's enemies, that, as far as in us lies, we leave them no occasion for slandering us, nor yet, in acting against the Nestorians or Eutychians, ever seem to have retreated before the other side, but that we shun and condemn both the enemies of Christ in equal measure, so that whenever the interests of the hearers in any way require it, we may with all promptitude and clearness strike down them and their doctrines with the anathema that they deserve, lest if we seem to do this doubtfully or tardily, we be thought to act against our willhyperlink . And although the facts themselves are sufficient to remind your wisdom of this, yet now actual experience has brought the lesson home. But blessed be our God, whose invincible Truth has shown you free from all taint of heresy in the judgment of the Apostolic Seehyperlink . To whom you will repay due thanks for all these labours, if you keep yourself such a defender of the universal Church as we have proved and do still prove you. For that God has dispelled all calumnious fallacies, we attribute to the blessed Peter's wondrous care of us all, for after sanctioning the judgment of his See in defining the Faith, he allowed no sinister imputation to rest on any of you, who have laboured with us for the catholic Faith: because the Holy Spirit adjudged that no one could fail to come out conqueror of those whose Faith had now conquered.
VI. He Asks Theodoret for His Continued Cooperation, and Refers Him to a Letter Which He Has Written to the Bishop of Antioch.
It remains that we exhort you to continue your co-operation with the Apostolic See, because we have learnt that some remnants of the Eutychian and Nestorian error still linger amongst you. For the victory which Christ our Lord has vouchsafed to His Church, although it increases our confidence, does not yet entirely destroy our anxiety, nor is it granted us to sleep but to work on more calmly. Hence it is we wish to be assisted in this too by your watchful care, that you hasten to inform the Apostolic See by your periodic reports what progress the Lord's teaching makes in those regions; to the end that we may assist the priests of that district in whatever way experience suggests.
On those matters which were mooted in the often-quoted council, in unlawful opposition to the venerable canons of Nicaea, we have written to our brother and fellow-bishop. the occupant of the See of Antiochhyperlink , adding that too which you had given us verbal information about by your delegates with reference to the unscrupulousness of certain monks, and laying down strict injunctions that no one, be he monkhyperlink or layman, that boasts himself of some knowledge, should presume to preach except the Lord's priests. That letter, however, we wish to reach all men's knowledge for the benefit of the universal Church through our aforesaid brother and fellow-bishop Maximus; and for that reason we have not thought fit to add a copy of it to this; because we have no doubt of the due carrying out of our injunctions to our aforesaid brother and fellow-bishop. (In another hand.) God keep thee safe, beloved brother. Dated 11 June in the consulship of the illustrious Opilio (453).
1 Ps. cxxiii. 8.
2 These were, of course, the bishops of Illyricum and Palestine, who raised objections at various points in the reading of Leo's Tome at Chalcedon. They were allowed five days to reconsider the matter, and ultimately yielded their consent. See Introduction, p. x., and Bright's notes to the Tome, who gives their objections and answers in detail, esp. nn. 148, 156, 160, and 173.
3 S. Mark xvi. 16.
4 He is thinking especially of the martyred Flavian.
5 Dioscorus of Alexandria is meant.
6 S. John viii. 44.
7 Viz., to human nature.
8 A reference to Letter XCVIII. (from the Synod of Chalcedonto Leo), chap. ii. shows that Dioscorus had threatened Leo with excommunication; excommunicationem meditatus est contra te qui corpus ecclesioe unire festinas.
9 This was of course Flavian. Quesnel quotes Liberatus the deacon (chap. x. of the Breviary) as asserting that no sooner was Dioscorus made bishop of Alexandria than oppressit Cyrilli heredes et per calumnias multas ab eis abstulit pecunias. His accusers at Chalcedon charge him with being an Origenist, an Arian, a murderer, an incendiary, and an evil liver generally.
10 1 S. John iii. 15.
11 S. Matt. xi. 29, 30.
12 S. John viii. 38.
13 2 Cor. xi. 28,29.
14 Inter utrumque hostem novelloe perfidioe, sc. Nestorianism and Eutychianism.
15 The Ballerinii remind us that all these allusions to keeping the balance of Truth in this and the last chapter,and here to acting promptissme et evidentissime were intended for Theodoret's especial benefit, who from his former defence of Nestorius and attacks on Cyril had been suspected of the Nestorian taint, but had expressly cleared himself at the Council of Chalcedon. This explains the res ipsoe and the, experimenta of the next sentence. and the solemn adjuration of the sentence next but one.
16 See the Acts of Chalcedon I, ingrediatur et reverendissimus episcopus Theodoretus ut sit particeps synodi, quia et restituit ei episcopatum sanctissimus archiepiscopus Leo, and 8, where the judges ask for a verdict, "sicut et sanctissimus Leo archiepiscopus iudicavit," to which the whole council replied Post Deum Leo iudicavit.
17 This is Letter CXIX. to Maximus, bishop of Antioch.
18 It must be remembered that monachus esse in those days meant complete withdrawal from all active life in the world the preaching orders being a much later institution. The Ballerinii suggest that it may have been a certain abbot Barsumas, who with his followers is said (Act. Chalc. 4) totam Syriam commovisse. See also Lett. CXIX., chap. vi.
Letters CXXI. And CXXII. The Former to Marcian Augustus, and the Other to Julian the Bishop.
Asking him for further inquiries and information about the proper date for Easter in 455; cf. Letter LXXXVIII. chap. 4, above.
I. A Request that She Should Use Her Influence with the Monks of Palestine in Reducing Them to Order.
I do not doubt that your piety is aware how great is my devotion to the catholic Faith, and with what care I am bound, God helping me, to guard against the Gospel of truth being withstood at any time by ignorant or disloyal men. And, therefore, after expressing to you my dutiful greetings which your clemency is ever bound to receive at my hands, I entreat the Lord to gladden me with the news of your safety, and to bring aid evermore and more by your means to the maintenance of that article of the Faith over which the minds of certain monks within the province of Palestine have been much disturbed; so that to the best of your pious zeal all confidence in such heretical perversity may be destroyed. For what but sheer destruction was to be feared by men who were not moved either by the principles of God's mysterieshyperlink , or by the authority of the Scriptures, or by the evidence of the sacred places themselveshyperlink . May it advantage then the Churches, as by God's favour it does advantage them, and may it advantage the human race itself which the Word of God adopted at the Incarnation, that you have conceived the wish to take up your abode in that countryhyperlink where the proofs of His wondrous acts and the signs of His sufferings speak to you of our Loan Jesus Christ as not only true God but also true Man.
II. They are to Be Told that the Catholic Faith Rejects Both the Eutychian and the Nestorian Extremes. He Wishes to Be Informed How Far She Succeeds.
If then the aforesaid revere and love the name of "catholic," and wish to be numbered among the members of the Lord's body, let them reject the crooked errors which in their rashness they have committed, and let them show penitencehyperlink for their wicked blasphemies and deeds of bloodshedhyperlink . For the salvation of their souls let them yield to the synodal decrees which have been confirmed in the city of Choicedon. And because nothing but true faith and quiet humility attains to the understanding of the mystery of man's salvation, let them believe what they read in the Gospel, what they confess in the Creed, and not mix themselves up with unsound doctrines. For as the catholic Faith condemns Nestorius, who dared to maintain two persons in our one Lord Jesus Christ, so does it also condemn Eutyches and Dioscorushyperlink who deny that the true human flesh was assumed in the Virgin Mother's womb by the only-begotten Word of God.
If your exhortations have any success in convincing these persons, which will win for you eternal glory, I beseech your clemency to inform me of it by letter; that I may have the joy of knowing that you have reaped the fruit of your good work, and that they through the Lord's mercy have not perished. Dated the 15th of June, in the consulship of the illustrious Opilio (453).
1 See Letter CXVII., chap. iii., n. 8.
2 See Letter CIX. above.
3 Ratio sacramentorum, it cannot be too often repeated that to Leo and other early Fathers, all nature, and all its phenomena, and all God's dealings with mankind are sacramenta. and capable of a sacramental (i.e. higher, inner, interpretation: the particular sacramentumhe is thinking of here is the incarnation, which he speaks of just below, as often elsewhere, as the sacramentum salutis humanoe (the sacrament or mystery whereby man is saved.
4 Viz., the places in Palestine where these monks themselves lived, which trustworthy history or tradition connects with the various incidents in our Lord's life.
5 Eudocia had just made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
6 Agant poenitentiam: this is the regular: this is the regular and very expressivetranslation in the Latin Versions and among the Fathers of the Greek metanoei=n.
7 They had seized Jerusalem, and deposed Juvenal, theBishop, setting up a partisan of their own in his stead.
8 Leo not unfrequently joins these two together as equallyresponsible (e.g. Lett. CIX. 3).