Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Letter CLXXV. 2576

To Count Magnenianus2577

Your excellency lately wrote to me, plainly charging me, besides other matters, to write concerning the Faith.  I admire your zeal in the matter, and I pray God that your choice of good things may be persistent, and that, advancing in knowledge and good works, you may be made perfect.  But I have no wish to leave behind me a treatise on the Faith, or to write various creeds, and so I have declined to send what you asked. 2578   You seem to me to be surrounded by the din of your men there, idle fellows, who say certain things to calumniate me, with the idea that they will improve their own position by lying disgracefully against me. 2579   The past shews what they are, and future experience will shew them in still plainer colours.  I, however, call on all who trust in Christ not to busy themselves in opposition to the ancient faith, but, as we believe, so to be baptized, and, as we are baptized, so to offer the doxology. 2580   It is enough for us to confess those names which we have received from Holy Scripture, and to shun all innovation about them.  Our salvation does not lie in the invention of modes of address, but in the sound confession of the Godhead in which we have professed our faith.



Written probably early in 374.


One ms. reads Magninianus.  On the identification of this officer with the recipient of cccxxv., see that letter.


But what Basil declined to do at the prompting of Magnenianus, he shortly afterwards did for Amphilochius, and wrote the De Spiritu Sancto.


Maran (V. Basilxxx.) thinks that the allusion is to Atarbuis of Neocæsarea and to some of his presbyters.  cf. Letter ccx.


cf. De Sp. Scto. p. 17.

Next: To Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium.