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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

“WHEN you are led by love, my much honoured sons, to pay due reverence to the apostolical chair, it is much to your own advantage. For though we are placed at the helm of that great and holy church in which the holy apostle sat down to teach, yet we confess ourselves to be altogether unworthy of the honour. And we Strive Earnestly, by Every Means in Our Power, to attain the glory and blessedness of which he is now possessed. Know then, that we have condemned Timothy, the disciple of the heretic Apollinaris, and his impious doctrines, and that we hope none of his sect will arise in future. If this old serpent, who has already been struck once or twice, and driven from the church, should revive to receive his own punishment, and should seek by his deadly venom to inflict mortal injury on some of the faithful, do you carefully shun his path, and adhere firmly and stedfastly to the faith of the apostles which was signed and published by the fathers at Nice; and permit not either the clergy or the people under your jurisdiction to give ear to vain words or forbidden questions. For we have already laid down the following rule, namely, that whoever professes to be a Christian ought to preserve the doctrines of the apostles; for Paul says, ‘if any one oreach another doctrine than that ye have received, let him be anathema.’ Christ, our Lord, the Son of God, has by his sufferings obtained redemption for all mankind, and, by having borne the whole weight of human guilt, has delivered all men from sin. Whoever asserts that his human or Divine nature is imperfect, is full of the spirit of the devil, and shows himself to be the son of perdition. Why then should you ask me to depose Timothy? He has been already deposed with his teacher Apollinaris, by the sentence of the apostolic chair, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria; and in the day of judgment he will suffer the vengeance and the torments which are his due. If he seduce any light-minded persons to embrace his opinions, and place his confidence in them, renouncing the confession of true hope in Christ, he will perish with all those who desire to subvert the canons of the church. May your God preserve you in health, my much honoured sons.

Other letters were written by the bishops assembled in Rome, against various heresies; and it is requisite to insert the following in this part of my history.








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