CXVII. To the Bishop Florentius. 1899
Truly the grace of our God and Saviour has not yet abandoned the human race, but has left us a seed in your holiness “lest we should become as Sodom, and be made like unto Gomorrah.” 1900 This seed suffers us not altogether to faint, but charges us to wait for the passing away of the dire storm; this renders us hopeful.
We have therefore sent to your holiness the very godly presbyters Hypatius and Abramius, chorepiscopi, and Alypius, exarch of our monks, that you may put an end to the disaster which has befallen the churches of the East; that in the first place you may confirm the faith handed down to us from the first by the holy Apostles, may proscribe the heresy that has started up, and openly convict the men who have the hardihood to debase the preaching of the Œconomy; 1901 and secondly may fight as champion of them who are being attacked for the truths sake. For it is in the cause of the apostolic Faith, most holy, that we have undergone that unrighteous massacre, because we refused to abandon the truth of the Gospel doctrines. Now it behoves your holiness not to overlook the unjust persecution of men of like mind with yourself, but by your just help to put a stop to injustice, and teach the assailants of the truth that men who strive to act unscrupulously at their own good pleasure cannot be allowed to work out their ends.
There were at this time two well known personages of the name of Florentius to whom this letter may possibly have been addressed. Florentius the patrician, recipient of Letter LXXXIX., and Florentius bishop of Sardis. Against the former hypothesis are the terms of the letter; against the latter the character and sympathies of the metropolitan of Lydia, if, as Garnerius thinks, he was an Eutychian. Canon Venables (Dict. Christ Biog. II. 540) supposes a Florentius bishop of a nameless western see. Garnerius and others think the letter was probably really addressed to the clergy or bishops assembled in synod at Rome.296:1900
Romans ix. 25296:1901
Vide page 72.