Gregory of Tours, The Patient Impassioned Suffering of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus

1. With Christian persecutions and idol worship the world over, seven noblemen were in the palace of the King at whose petty sins of ordering God to be worshipped through lifeless images they felt divine remorse and converted; after their baptism were they renamed. When Decius came to Ephesus, he ordered that Christians be persecuted to the elimination, if possible, of their faith. He burned them amidst their pleas and fear. They burned victims and the whole city went dark with fumes. The seven champions for Christ fell crying with dust pouring over their head, begging pity of God looking down from heaven that he not, in being conquered, let his people die like this.

2. When this was discovered, enemies to the Christian name went & told the Princeps: “The command of your realm, oh King, has gone throughout the world and none dare go against your rule; all offer daily sacrifice to the immortal gods — except for seven men whom you especially are fond of and adore.” The imperial commander said: “And who are these?” They replied, Maximian the son of a local magistrate & his companions.” The emperor was furious and the men were brought in chains before him with tearful looks and dirt upon their heads as they had been when praying in God’s sight. The Emperor saw them and said: “Has such great treachery of your guilty mind taken hold of that you dare defy our will and do not offer due sacrifice to the immortal gods? I say to you, by my glory: And we know about different types of torture.” The men replied: “God himself created the sky and earth & sea, we give him sacrifice everyday in praise and for his name are we prepared to die. But the powers which you urge we should adore in the name of the gods, we know do not exist at all. Because lewd statues, since they are adorned by the art of the artisans, are able to take no use of animating them, and so even those who love them are condemned by divine law that the makers become like the doers as they’re their lovers.”

3. Then the Emperor in a rage said to them all taken aback: “Be gone you scoundrels! Until you pay the price for the crime of this insult in our palace and are reconciled by the pity of the gods, you enjoy the bloom of youth. Because it is wrong that torments be applied to such charming beauty of body.” And with the iron wrenched from their neck, he ordered them to depart as free men until he himself should return to Ephesus. And so with this exception granted as favor in departing, the seven men (while the Emperor goes to another town) go home where a guard was at watch, grab their gold and silver, clothes and all of their furnishing. When this is given to the poor, they go off into a cave on Mt. Celion, carrying a little change for the necessities of life and they select Malchus to go in secret to the city to buy food and discern what the Emperor decided about his daily edict on Christians.

4. Then with the Saints under guard in prison each, and the most wicked Emperor talking constantly to the idle, returned to Ephesus and with the Christians seized for questioning as usual, he asked about Maximian and his family. The parents said that they were shut up in a cave on Mt. Celion, from which they could easily be dug up if there was a royal command of the Emperor. When the men learned this (Malchus told them), they were so scared they threw themselves to the ground and cried out with tears that god, as their protector in faith keep them from the sight of the most unjust Emperor. When they said this, god foresaw that they were in need of [assistance]; he heard their prayer and took up their souls; & lying on the earth they sleep sweet in slumber.

5. Then the angry Emperor snapped at his men: “Come and close the cavern’s mouth so those rising up to disobey the gods have no way to leave!” And two Christians, Theodore and Ruben went ahead of the men who were supposed to block up the cave’s opening and they secretly prayed to Christ about the Emperor’s threats. These men wrote on some heavy stones the whole history of the Saints, placed them just inside the entrance to the cave with no one’s knowledge and said: “When ever God wants to show the peoples the holy incense of his own athletic champions so they might teach these things they suffered them in his name.” And when arriving, those who had been sent and who roll forward great big stones closed off the cave’s ingress and departed saying, “Let them die here starving and eat themselves up as their own food: Those who hated and refused to pour our gods the proper ceremonial offerings.”

6. After this, when Decius was dead, through generations following, the highest Imperial power was bestowed upon Theodosius, Arcadius’ son, in whose era the filthy sect of the Sadduccees wanted to turn aside the hope of resurrection, (justified their claim) saying, “Because: The dead don’t rise again.” Theodore and Gaius the patriarchs, as the head of this heresy, even wanted their Emperor’s very soul to join them in this faithlessness. And so did it happen that on this account was the Emperor so stricken and brought low down to earth, he begged the Lord that whatever should follow, let it come on as he deserved. Then was Dalius at Ephesus who had a great herd of flocks he was tending on Mt. Celion and ordered his serving boys: “Prepare a fold for our sheep, because this is a real good place for our flocks to graze.” But he didn’t know what was going on in the cave. While the lads were performing their task and rolled back the massive rocks, they came to the mouth of a cavern and found great big stones which they removed and made a wall, but did not go inside the cave.

7. Then the Lord ordered the life’s spirits to be returned into the bodies of the saints and they rose up and greeted each other as usual — thinking they had slept one full night — they sat up in good spirits and strength. Well, not only were their bodies charming and gorgeous, but even their clothes were entirely unscathed just as many years before they had been covered in them. They turned to Malchus and said: “Say, what are we, our brother; what did the Emperor say tonight? Are we being sought out? Tell, so we may know.” He said to them, “You are looked and asked for to sacrifice to gods.” & Maximian told him: “We all are ready to die for Christ. But take our money & go buy us some food and listen carefully: Bring back what news you hear to us.” And so he took the money and left with silver coins inscribed in the name of Decius. When he came near the town gate, he saw the sign of the cross above and was struck dumb with amazement, saying to himself: “But how, from yesterday after the sun set when I left the city, has Decius’ heart changed; so that he strengthened the gate with cross’s sign?” He entered the city, heard men proclaiming Jesus’ name and saw a church and priests running through town, the walls made newly strong — and even more amazed — he spoke he himself, You think it’s, you entered another town? And strolling through the market held on each ninth day, he brought up his silver coins, praying food be given him.

8. But when they saw the silver coins, they said: “This man has found an ancient treasure trove; and he’s got silver from Decius’ times!” As Malchus heard this, he turned thoughts about in his heart, saying, “What do they covet these old things for? Is it possible I’m watching a dream?” But some men grabbed him and led to the bishop Marinus and to the city’s Prefect of police. He said to him: “Where are you from; or what area have you come from?” He said, “From Ephesus: But isn’t this city the Ephesians’ which I recall I saw yesterday?” “The silver coins you hold,” said the Prefect: “Where did you get them?” He replied, “I got them from my father’s home.” The Prefect said: “And where’s your father?” & he named his parents, but none recognized. The Prefect said “Tell us where you got these pieces of silver: They are from Decius’ time, & he is dead for many years. Clearly from somewhere, since you have come to trick the wisemen of Ephesus, and so will you suffer under torture until you disclose the truth.” Malchus was terrified to silence and said through tears, “I want to beg one piece of proof from you, if you think it worth: The Emperor Decius, who persecutes Christians in this town, where is he? The bishop Marinus replied: “He’s not in this city, most beloved — my child, a man who recalls anew the times of Decius: For he’s been settled & gone for many years before.”

9. Hearing this, Malchus — talking to himself — told the bishop “I thought I had slept with my brothers for but a single night; but as I now find out, the heavens have passed a great many years above our slumber. And now has the Lord ordained me with my brethren so he may teach every generation, because the re-arising of the dead has come to be: Therefore, follow me and I will show my brothers to you, who have been resurrected with me.” While Malchus was telling his brethren what happened to him in the city, the bishop entered and found the chest sealed by two silver signs; he stepped outside and, calling on the city’s multitude along with the Prefect, opened the seals & found two lead writing-tablets in which was written the whole story of their suffering just as we retold above; they recognized, because the things were true, what they were told by Malchus.

10. Then did they find the blessed Martyrs sitting in a corner of the cave with their faces so flowery red and shining like the sun in righteousness, since nothing had been taken away, either of their clothing, or from their bodies. Moreover, the bishop Marinus fell before their feet with the Prefect and did honor them & the whole crowd glorified God, who is worthy showing such a blessed miracle to his servants. The Saints related in truth to the bishop and all the folks what had happened in Decius’ era. True, the bishop and Prefect sent messengers to tell the Emperor Theodosius: Celebrate as soon as now! You can if you want to see incredible miracle which is revealed by God presenting to your generations in time. If you do come, you will know the hope of resurrection is practicable in truth, just like the guarantee of his Ministry’s promise.

11. The Emperor Theodosius heard this & leapt for joy and said, stretching out his hand to God, I thank you Lord, Jesus Christ, you son of justice who are worthy of sprinkling the mortals’ shadows with the with the light of your truth; I give you thanks, who did not permit your lamp of my thanks-giving in praise to be taken from the lands by the shades of doubtful words. And saying these, his horses were spurred on in the highest haste went he to Ephesus. But the bishop with the Prefect and the whole population of the city departed to meet the Emperor; & while they all climbed up the saintly Martyrs went out to the august Father’s path and their faces became like as the sun shining in virtuousness; Augustus [the Emperor] fell to the earth and glorified them to worship God. & rising up, he kissed them and wept upon their shoulder & one of them said, “So I see your faces just as if I saw Jesus Christ, my Lord when he called Lazarus from the tomb; I give boundless thanks to him because he did not deceive me in hoping for eternal life.

12. Then Maximian replied, “Emperor, please know that Lord ordered us to arise again for strengthening your faith. Therefore understand believing always in him, because the resurrection of the dead will occur as you see us testify after our resurrection with you, and narrate the great works of God.” People said a lot of other things along with him, but they lay down again and slept upon the earth, handing their souls to the undying King and god All-powerful. The Emperor saw these things, fell upon them and crying, kissed them; brought his own clothes & placed them over these saints and ordered golden coffins to be made that they be hidden in. But on this night the Saints appeared to him and said: Don’t do it; leave us above the ground instead: From it the lord God will awaken us on the great day of Resurrection for all flesh. Then the Emperor constructed them a marvelous churchall and there made a place of refuge for the needy & poor, commanding that they feed from the public’s store. And when the bishops were called together, he celebrated a glorious Holy Day of the Saints and everyone worshipped God whose honor unflawed is in the Trinity and grace for centuries of generations. Amen.

Advertisements

Anna Comnena, Preface

Flowing, time unrestrained and ever-moving checks and differentiates all things in creation and drowns them in the depths of obscurity, where there are both things which deserve not to be spoken of and great matters worthy of memory; and it even begets things unseen, like the tragedian says, and hides that which is visible. But actually the story of history becomes the strongest defense against the flow of time, and in a way sets up time’s irresistible flow as well as all other things subject to it; as many as its tale has tied up it holds and binds together and does not permit them to vanish into the depths of being forgotten. And after coming to realize these facts, I — Anna, daughter of sovereigns Alexius and Irene, was both born and raised in the purple, being somewhat experienced in letters, and even eager to carry my Greecianization to the utmost — I am not ignorant of rhetoric: I read the works of Aristotle and Plato’s dialogues, having enwrapt my mind in the four-tiered form of knowledge (since it is necessary to swear these things are real and no bragging in fact, as many as nature and my zeal for knowledge have given me; which God arranged from the beginning and time brought as well.) I want this, my writing, to recount the deeds, my father’s, that are not worthy of being betrayed to silence, nor held back in the flow of time as though into the sea of no recollection, both all the deeds he practiced after taking the scepter and as many actions, before taking the crown, as he performed for other royal personages. And I am going to relate these actions, not as a display of my training in discourses, but that so great a matter not be left without testimony for generations to come, since even the greatest works are consumed by the darkness of silence unless they be guarded in a sense by words and handed down to memory. For my father knew, as matters themselves proved to be, how to rule and obey, to the necessary extent, the authorities. But by even mentioning his acts in writing, I am afraid of suspicion and conniving both, that someone at some time might argue she is writing in praise of her own affairs and not my father’s, and entirely falsely think that the matter of history and praise are incommensurate — if I should be a bit impressed with that man’s accomplishments. But certainly if he himself undertook it he would also do violence to the matter, so that some of that man’s actions might be a bit blamed, not on his account, but by the nature of the matter. — I am afraid again that the disbelievers will bring up Noah’s son Ham for me, all of them looking at it wrong in relation to everyone and not seeing aright because of malice and envy: they, as Homer said, blame one blameless. Because when someone takes up the character of history, it is often necessary to forget affection and enmity, and to decorate their enemies with the greatest praise, when the deeds merit this, and as often needed to question one’s most familiar relations when the errors of their practices demand this: that is why one must not fail to blame one’s loved ones nor praise one’s enemies. I would reconcile both these men and those, the ones attacked by us and those on our side, with the events themselves and those who witnessed matters by consulting with them and the facts. Some of them are still alive; some of their contemporaries have become fathers, others — grandfathers. In particular, I came to the story of the deeds of my father from the following causes: I had a husband, joined according to the laws, Caesar Nicephorus, an offshoot of the Bryenni, a man whose superior beauty, quickness of wit and pinpoint manner of reasoning, speech far surpassed that of his contemporaries. I mean, he was a marvel to see and hear. So that my explanation not get off track, let us get hold of what comes next right now: so, he was incredibly conspicuous among all, and went on campaign with John the Emperor, my brother, when he waged an attack on other foreign peoples, and what is more, he made an advance against Syria, and re-took the city of Antioch by law. But Caesar certainly did not know how to dismiss the written word either at times of toil or trouble and he even wrote some various things worthy of memory and mention; but he especially liked to write about the affairs of Alexius — the autocrat of Romans; and he wrote about my father by the Queen’s command and set the deeds of his kingdom in books whenever the proper time gave him a brief break from weapons and war to look over his compositions and certain wordy labors. What is more, he began the writing by taking up the story from the times that came before, even in this particular obeying the order of the Queen; he started from the time of Diogenes, the Romans’ Emperor, going down to Alexius himself, about whom he had formed an intention: because, at the time, even time held my father in bloom of youth as a young boy. But with respect to matters before this, he was not yet a boy and did nothing worthy of writing about, unless one set a speech of praise out of his childhood. Caesar’s goal was such as the writing of this man asserts. Indeed, disappointed of his hope, he did not finish the history completely; rather, he brought the tale down to the times of the Emperor Nicephorus Botaniates and at that point left its writing, — opportunity giving no time to improve the writing further, — both doing great harm to the deeds which concerned his writing, and robbing his readers of enjoyment. On account of this myself, I elected to compose as many things as my father did, so that such noble deeds not escape future generations. What sort of pleasing note it hits, and however much favor the words of Caesar retain, do all familiar with the historical writings of that man know for certain. But before coming to this, just as I said, he outlined the composition, brought it back to us half-finished from abroad; brought back also, I imagine, a deadly disease from the unlimited suffering, the uncomfortable campaigns, and from his untold concern over us. His concern was innate and its toils were relentless, and in addition there were also extremes of weather that mixed his lethal cup of poison. He did go on expedition to Syria; and then Syria handed him over, still sick, to the people of Cilicia — the Cilicians giving him up to the Pamphylians, Pamphylians to the Lydians and Lydia to Bithynia; Bithynia to the Queen of cities and to us: yet in a state of suffering from the intense agony. Although he was this weakened, he still wanted to play his own tragedian in the events that befell him, on the one hand being a bit sick, and incapable of it — on the other, we prevented it a bit in fear that he might open up the ache by thinking aloud. I have just fallen into a dizziness, my mind, and I am blind in my eyes for the rivulets of tears. Oh what a counselor did Constantinople lose in him, his insightful experience about real events and as much as that man was destined for; knowledgeable about words, stories and multi-faceted in wisdom, — I mean for sure his awareness of foreign places, as well as our own court! Oh, even the grace running throughout his features and form so unlike a tyrant, as some do say… but his appearance was both more powerful and divine. Therefore, I got used to many different conversations with danger ever since my birth in and from the purple, so to speak: I got used to less than great fortune; unless someone supposed it is not a great fate that was smiling upon me, and Royalty itself; and having as sovereigns who begat me, and the purple upon which I was implanted; since the rest is sadly just storms and, how sad, revolutions. Orpheus, by singing, moved stones and woods, quite simply inanimate nature; but Timotheus the flutist played a popular Athenian tune once for Alexander, and moved Macedon to weapons immediately brandishing his sword: but the part about the narrative according to me is an irrelevant motion, not to take arms and fight, but that it would move the listener to tears and compel not only a perceptual reader, but even one who has no soul, to feeling. However, my grief for Caesar and the unexpected death that befell him have put my soul down and brought about a painful descent into the depths. And I consider the previous misfortunes in relation to this insatiable disaster as the wave in relation to the entire Atlantic, or the billows of the Adriatic Sea. But rather, so it seems, those things were the preface to these matters; and the smoke from the heat of this fire, and that which burns with an unspeakable blaze, and that burning smoke of the unfed fire and the daily sparks of the unspeakable pyre fill me with anxiety. Dear fuelless fire reducing to ashes, oh fire born as a torch among mysteries and burning, you torch even the heart without burning it, provide the appearance that we are not scorched; though we receive it unto the charring of bones and marrow and cleaving of soul. However, I perceive that I have let my feelings carry me away from my subject, even Caeser who knew me and the grief for Caesar have set me up for resounding pain. So therefore having wiped the flowing of my eyes and continuing with my experiences in order I will have, as the tragedian says, the advantage — double tears, like she who remembers the unfortunate event of a disaster. Since with respect to the placement of a theme in the face of such a King, who was so great, is to recall him in relation to virtue and the marvels accomplished through that man; though it also brings me to warming tears to weep along with my household in its entirety. But to recollect that man and bring his Kingdom to the forefront is the theme of my lamentation, and a memory of others’ loss. Now at this point the history of my father’s story must begin, from here it is best to start: better to start from where the account will be more clear and historical.

William of Tyre, Preface

THE PREFACE BEGINS.

WILLIAM, unworthy servant of the holy Church at Tyre by the patience of God, to his brothers beloved in Christ, whom the present work comes to stating that eternal salvation is in the Lord.

That it is dangerous, and a sizeable gamble, to describe the achievements of kings there can be no one of sense who would doubt. But let us dismiss inwardly the work, continual zeal, years of nightwatches for those whose business is accustomed to require it — there is a certain, double danger threatening writers of history: to make scarce with these results in their being able to bring down one another. Since in fleeing Charybdis, they run into Scylla, who is surrounded by dogs, and knows no less how to manage to wreck ships. Or since they proceed with the truth of achievements accomplished, they arouse a lot of ill-will against themselves; or, to alleviate the outrage, they abscond a series of events in which there is certainly the presence of their faults. No, to studiously go through the truth of facts and hide things out of busyness is considered unworthy of their duty. However, to shirk that responsibility headlong entirely in doubt is wrong; though if it is with accuracy it is said that, “Service is an act commensurate with each individual according to customs and principles of the homeland.” So, pursuing the untainted chronology of events accomplished without violating the rule of truth is often a matter which is in the habit of inciting controversy, like that old-time saying which is customarily stated: “Submission brings friends, truth — hatred.” So they either neglect the duty of their occupation, and offer praise undeserved; or, in pursuing the truth of the matter, it will be fitting for them to endure hatred, which is Truth’s mother herself. These things are all too often accustomed to being turned against themselves in this manner, and wound each other with their reciprocal relentlessness. Since, as the saying of our Cicero goes: “Truth is harmful, if indeed hatred is born of it, which is a poison to the soul; but flattery is more harmful, that which indulges in vices, permitting a friend to go in headfirst.”: and he seems to fulfill this, the man who, for the sake of flattery, suppresses the truth against the obligation of official duty. For the lies of those who shamelessly involve themselves in the particulars of events accomplished, out of a zeal for fawning — so loathsome a fact to be believed, — that they ought not be counted amongst the ranks of writers. But if it is contrary to hide the truth of things done, and to fail in one’s capacity as a writer, that would be accounted quite forcefully a sin — to mix up the blemish of lying with true things; and that fails in truth, delivering them together as for the true to future generations’ belief. For these reasons, a fearful decision must habitually take place, no less equal or greater for writers of historical works, that must be avoided with all of one’s strength; meaning, in order that the momentousness of accomplishments bear its own cost for the dryness of the discourse and spareness of eloquence. But words ought to be related to the things they are about; it is not appropriate for a writer’s tongue to fall off from the elegance of more noble material. That is why one must be very cautious that the volume of material not give way to the weakness of convention, and issue a thing too skinny or weak, to the fault of the narrative: something rich and stalwart in its nature. For as the outstanding orator said in the first of the Tusculans: “To send someone your thoughts in letters, who would be able neither to manage nor illustrate them, is not to win a reader over with pleasure ; it is characteristic of someone who violently abuses both letters and leisure.” So this difficulty and increase of danger do we seem to have entered upon, presently. Indeed, in the work which we have before our hands we have put many tales of Kings’ character, and life, and demeanor of the body, whether worthy of praise or subject to being known, just as the series of events that happened seemed to demand; and future generations, in re-reading the affairs of these men will perhaps take it with impatience, and start to ignite their temper against the chronicler beyond what is deserved; or they will report he is hated or a liar and either of these traits (The Lord lives.) do we flee as such an unhealthy affair. Though it is not permitted now to be in doubt about the rest; that which we boldly bring forth to an unequal labor, and which our speech approaches insufficient to the worthiness of matters. There is something which we still lack. For even untutored in paintings, and not yet admitted to the hidden secrets of art, the yellowish colors are spread out first customarily, customary to design the first pages upon which a more judicious hand will be; the method is to supplement its beauty finished with more noble colors. However, at the first, we have lain the foundation with the greatest labor; a foundation by which a wiser builder, the rule of truth having been observed — truth, which we have in no way forsaken — with a noble method will be able to make a more comfortable couch to rest on. So therefore, amidst so many plots of dangerous acts and a decision in doubt, it had been of the whole to be at rest, and a silence was to be observed, and leisure time was publically professed by the pen; but the most insistent love of country was at hand, his homeland for which a man is placed even (if the article of necessity drive it out) clinging to weigh his life in the balance. He stands, I say, even by the authority which outshines; he powerfully perceives these things which have happened for nearly a hundred years, buried in silence — that we not be allowed to be able to feel the inconvenience of oblivion; but things written with a pen in dutiful diligence of position, let them be retained for the memory of the future. Therefore we have been conspicuous, and gave hands to him, whose labor of ours we are not able to deny with sufficient honesty; we are not extremely intent on what posterity will think of us; and why our anemic speech deserves being here amidst such fine material. We have been fairly visible, would that it were as practical as free; that it was as commendable as devotedly: we have been taken in by pleasure of the native soil more than our force repaying us with the work undertaken; we trust not in the creative faculty of genius, but in the heat of sanctified love and sincerity of charitable devotion. Additionally, the order of the Lord, King Almaric (whose holy spirit flowered at rest), who is clear to recollection, his imperative to remembrance famed in the Lord must not be easily dismissed; nor complex seriousness,which in particular compelled us to this very thing, at his behest, while he himself ministered unto the Arabic copies, that there be another History from the time of Muhammad the seducer all the way up to this, which is our year 1184 since the Lord’s Incarnation in the flesh, running after five hundred and seventy years I have written: that its author is quite like the venerable man Seth, son of Patricius, Patriarch of Alexandria. Actually in this, having no outstanding Greek or Arabic writing, learned solely in the traditions, except for the few things which we ourselves saw with faith conspicuous, we have set in order the series of our narrative, taking the beginning from the departure of the strong men, and princes beloved to God — chiefs who left their western kingdoms at God’s calling and claimed the land of promise and nearly all of Syria in hand, unto* themselves: and from there on up to the reign of Lord Baldwin IV, who in the succession of Kings, calculated from the Lord, Duke Godfrey, who first gained power, held the seventh place; we have drawn history across eighty-four years with careful diligence. And so that it not be possible that any insight be missing from a zealous reader as pertains to the rather satisfying state of status in the Easterners’ vicinity, we have taken up in few and concise words at what time and to what extent the holy city had suffered the yoke of slavery; which was the agreement between the enduring believers and the faithless at this very time, and which had become an opportunity so that after so long a period of slavery, the chiefs of the western Kingdoms — roused to liberate them — took upon themselves so great a burden of pilgrimage. But if someone should regard our occupations by whose complexity we are particularly exhausted; then regarding the noble mother-city, cared for by God, of the Tyrians, which we preside over not because of a merited selection, but by the Lord’s sole patience; as well concerning the business of the Lord, King in whose sacred palace we perform worthily as official; and about other needs which come off as greater than what is accustomed: it will be more prone toward the obligatory indulgence should one, by chance, happen upon the present labor by which he would be rather justifiably upset. Because an inward movement of the mind occupied with a great many things, being very weak, is in the habit of coming up for each point needing to be discussed with excess of devotion, and when divided up, is impossible to expend such great care on the individual points — so great it is, the whole inhabiting its own place, uniform in nature, accustomed to fit together the unique and individual studies of zeal. That is when it also rather easily deserves favor. Moreover, we have divided our volume into twenty-three books and marked out each of them with fixed titles, so that for a reader some bit of history will more easily be seen as needed, it happens that: in our having a purpose, with Life as companion, — things which the vicissitude of future events offers then to our own times — holding our intention to add to these things those which we have sent on; and to increase the number of books, in proportion to the amount of material happening. Furthermore, we have it for certain, and this opinion deceives us not, that we bring forth the present work as a witness to our ignorance. And we who are able to lie hidden in silence, we proffer our fault in writing, while the duty — we are embraced by the office of charity; nevertheless we would rather be found away from that charity which inspires, than lack those things it structures. For without that love of God, that is charity, many people enter into marriage, are found worthy of the King’s table; however, he who is found without it amongst his companions deserves to hear: “How do you enter on this without having a marriage garment?” That this not happen to us, let he who alone is able avert it — the pitying and mericful Lord, — do so. Yet, knowing this, “Because grandiloquence is no habit of lacking sin.”, and that the tongue of a miserable man is well lubricated — who easily deserves punishment, we summon, Brother, and exhort our reader in the Lord, so that when he finds the just location of grounds for criticism, — charity’s love of God brought to the fore — that he use it freely, and that he obtain for himself the reward of eternal life from our correction: let him receive it, being mindful of us in his prayers at the Lord’s Kingdom; as we have been somewhat remiss in the present work, let him not charge us unto the tomb, rather let the Savior of the world — whose judgment seat we serve as lowly and worthless slaves in his home — grant indulgence mercifully out of freely bestowed good will and living piety as we fear to excess guilt’s accusation; — we deserve to be afraid.

*or “for”