To Protogenes The Præfect.
The loving-kindness of the Lord has already given you an opportunity of carrying out your good intentions. He has given you a greater opportunity now, that your excellency may the more easily champion the cause of the truth that is assailed, bring lies to nought, and give the churches the calm for which they so intensely long. Your excellency has already learned from many other sources how great is the surge by which the churches in the East are overwhelmed, but you will acquire more accurate information concerning it from the very religious bishops who, on account of it, have undertaken their long journey in the winter, relying, next after the Grace of God, on the providence of your authority. Disperse for us, then, O Christian man, the storm, change the moonless night into clear sunshine, and bridle the tongues set wagging against us. We by God's grace are ever fighting for the apostolic decrees, and we preserve undefiled the faith laid down at Nicæa, and style impious all who dare to violate its dogmas. In evidence of the truth of what I say may be cited my catechumens, those who are from time to time baptized by me, and the hearers of my discourses in the churches. If they mean to accuse me in accordance with the law, they must convict me in my presence, not slander me in my absence. In this manner your excellency, when giving judgment in other cases, is wont to deliver your sentences, perceiving on which side lies the right from the pleadings both of the prosecution and of the defence.
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/2707094.htm>.
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