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Letter CXLV. 2477

To Eusebius, bishop of Samosata2478

I know the countless labours which you have undergone for the Churches of God; I know your press of occupation, while you discharge your responsibilities, not as though they were of mere secondary importance, but in accordance with God’s will.  I know the man 2479 who is, as it were, laying close siege to you and by whom you are forced, like p. 206 birds crouching in cover under an eagle, not to go far from your shelter.  I know all this.  But longing is strong, both in hoping for the impracticable and attempting the impossible.  Rather I should say, hope in God is the strongest of all things. 2480   For it is not from unreasonable desire, but from strength of faith, that I expect a way out, even from the greatest difficulties, and that you will find a way to get over all hindrances, and to come to see the Church that loves you best of all, and to be seen by her.  What she values most of all good things is to behold your face and to hear your voice.  Beware then of making her hopes vain.  When last year, on my return from Syria, I reported the promise which you had given me, you cannot think how elated with her hopes I made her.  Do not, my friend, postpone your coming to another time.  Even if it may be possible for you to see her one day, you may not see her and me too, for sickness is hurrying me on to quit this painful life.



Placed in 373.


On a possible visit of Eusebius to Cæsarea.


i.e. Valens.


Vita vere mortalis spes est vitæ immortalis.”  St. Augustine in Ps. iii.  “Spes æternitatem animum erigit, et idcirco nulla mala sentit.”  St. Greg., Moralcf. Ovid. i. Pont. 7:

Quamvis est igitur meritis indebita nostris,

Magna tamen spes est in bonitate Dei.

Next: To Antiochus.