Have Read the Document Sent from the East by Our Friend and Good Brother to a Distinguished Member of the Senate
I have read the document sent from the East by our friend and good brother to a distinguished member of the Senate, Pammachius, which you have copied and forwarded to me. It brought to my mind the words of the Prophet: "The sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword." But for these wounds which men inflict on one another with the tongue we can hardly find a physician; so I have betaken myself to Jesus, the heavenly physician, and he has brought out for me from the medicine chest of the Gospel an antidote of sovereign power; he has assuaged the violence of my grief with the assurance of the righteous judgment which I shall have at his hands. The potion which our Lord dispensed to me was nothing else than these words: "Blessed are ye when men persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely. Rejoice and leap for joy, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you." With this medicine I was content, and, as far as the matter concerned me, I had determined for the future to keep silence; for I said within myself, "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?" (that is, you and me, unworthy though we are). And, if it was said of him, "He is a deceiver, he deceiveth the people," I must not be indignant if I hear that I am called a heretic, and that the name of mole is applied to me because of the slowness of my mind, or indeed my blindness. Christ who is my Lord, aye, and who is God over all, was called "a gluttonous man and a wine bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." How can I, then, be angry when I am called a carnal man who lives in luxury?

Ps. lvii.4[2818] Matt. v.11, 12

[2819] Matt. x.25

[2820] John vii.12

[2821] Matt. xi.19

[2822] Jerome Ep. lxxxiv, 8.

book i
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