Basil Letters And Select Works by Basil
Letter CCLXXI. To Eusebius, my comrade, to recommend Cyriacus the presbyter.
At once and in haste, after your departure, I came to the town. Why need I tell a man not needing to be told, because he knows by experience, how distressed I was not to find you? How delightful it would have been to me to see once more the excellent Eusebius, to embrace him, to travel once again in memory to our young days, and to be reminded of old times when for both of us there was one home, one hearth, the same schoolmaster, the same leisure, the same work, the same treats, the same hardships, and everything shared in common! What do you think I would not have given to recall all this by actually meeting you, to rid me of the heavy weight of my old age, and to seem to be turned from an old man into a lad again? But I have lost this pleasure. At least of the privilege of meeting your excellency in correspondence, and of consoling myself by the best means at my disposal, I am not deprived. I am so fortunate as to meet the very reverend presbyter Cyriacus. I am ashamed to recommend him to you, and to make him, through me, your own, lest I seem to be performing a superfluous task in offering to you what you already possess and value as your own. But it is my duty to witness to the truth, and to give the best boons I have to those who are spiritually united to me. I think that the man's blamelessness in his sacred position is well known to you; but I confirm it, for I do not know that any charge is brought against him by those who do not fear the Lord and are laying their hands upon all. Even if they had done anything of the kind, the man would not have been unworthy, for the enemies of the Lord rather vindicate the orders of those whom they attack than deprive them of any of the grace given them by the Spirit. However, as I said, nothing has even been thought of against the man. Be so good then as to look upon him as a blameless presbyter, in union with me, and worthy of all reverence. Thus will you benefit yourself and gratify me.