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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Theodoret) > Letter 20

Letter 20

To the Presbyter Martyrius.

Natural disposition appears in us before resolution of character, and, in this sense, takes the lead; but disposition is overcome by resolution, as is plainly proved by the right eloquent orator Athanasius. Though an Egyptian by birth, he has none of the Egyptian want of self-control, but shows a character tempered by gentleness. He is moreover a warm lover of divine things. On this account he has spent many days with me, expecting to reap some benefit from his stay. But I, as you know, most God-beloved friend, shrink from trying so to derive good from others, and am far from being able to impart it to those who seek it, and this not because I grudge, but because I have not the wherewithal, to give. Wherefore let your holiness pray that what is said of me may be confirmed by fact, and that not only may good things be reported of me by word, but proved in deed.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2707020.htm>.

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