Basil: letters, hexaemeron - II. WORKS

To the notables of Neocaesarea.

I am really under no obligation to publish my own mind to you, or to state the reasons for my present sojourn where I am; it is not my custom to indulge in self advertisement, nor is the matter worth publicity. I am not, I think, following my own inclinations; I am answering the challenge of your leaders. I have always striven to be ignored more earnestly than popularity hunters strive after notoriety. But, I am told, the ears of everybody in your town are set a thrilling, while certain tale-mongers, creators of lies, hired for this very work, are giving you a history of me and my doings. I therefore do not think that I ought to overlook your being exposed to the teaching of vile intention and foul tongue; I think that I am bound to tell you myself in what position I am placed. From my childhood I have been familiar with this spot, for here I was brought up by my grandmother;2 hither I have often retreated, and here I have spent many years, when endeavouring to escape from the hubbub of public affairs, for experience has taught me that the quiet and solitude of the spot are favourable to serious thought. Moreover as my brothers3 are now living here, I have gladly retired to this retreat, and have taken a brief breathing time from the press of the labours that beset me, not as a centre from which I might give trouble to others, but to indulge my own longing.

2. Where then is the need of having recourse to dreams and of hiring their interpreters, and making me matter for talk over the cups at public entertainments? Had slander been launched against me in any other quarter, I should have called you to witness to prove what I think, and now I ask every one of you to remember those old days when I was invited by your city to take charge of the education of the young, and a deputation of the first men among you came to see me.4 Afterwards, when you all crowded round me, what were you not ready to give? what not to promise? Nevertheless you were not able to keep me. How then could I, who at that time would not listen when you invited me, now attempt to thrust myself on you uninvited? How could I, who when you complimented and admired me, avoided you, have been intending to court you now that you calumniate me? Nothing of the kind, sirs; I am not quite so cheap. No man in his senses would go on board a boat. without a steersman, or get alongside a Church where the men siring at the helm are themselves stirring up tempest and storm. Whose fault was it that the town was all full of tumult, when some were running away with no one after them, and others stealing off when no invader was near, and all the wizards and dream-tellers were flourishing their bogeys? Whose fault was it else? Does not every child know that it was the mob-leaders’? The reasons of their hatred to me it would be bad taste on my part to recount; but they are quite easy for you to apprehend. When bitterness and division have come to the last pitch of savagery, and the explanation of the cause is altogether groundless and ridiculous, then the mental disease is plain, dangerous indeed to other people’s comfort,but greatly and personally calamitous to the patient. And there is one charming point about them. Torn and racked with inward agony as they are, they cannot yet for very shame speak out about it. The state they are in may be known not only from their behaviour to me, but from the rest of their conduct. If it were unknown, it would not much matter. But the veritable cause of their shunning communication with me may be unperceived by the majority among you. Listen; and I will tell you.

3. There is going on among you a movement ruinous to the faith, disloyal to the apostolical and evangelical dogmas, disloyal too to the tradition of Gregory the truly great,5 and of his successors up to the blessed Musonius, whose teaching is still ringing in your ears.6 For those men, who, from fear of confutation, are forging figments against me, are endeavouring to renew the old mischief of Sabellius, started long ago, and extinguished by the tradition of the great Gregory. But do you bid goodbye to those wine-laden heads, bemuddled by the swelling fumes that mount from their debauch, and from me who am wide awake and from fear of God cannot keep silence. hear what plague is rife among you. Sabellianism is Judaism7 imported into the preaching of the Gospel under the guise of Christianity. For if a man calls Father Son and Holy Ghost one thing of many faces,8 and makes the hypostasis of the three one,9 what is this but to deny the everlasting pre-existence of the Only begotten? He denies too the Lord’s sojourn among men in the incarnation,10 the going down into hell, the resurrection, the judgment; he denies also the proper operations of the Spirit. And I hear that even rasher innovations than those of the foolish Sabellius are now ventured on among you. It is said, and that on the evidence of ear witnesses, that your clever men go to such an extreme as to say that there is no tradition of the name of the Only-begotten, while of the name of the adversary there is; and at this they are highly delighted and elated, as though it were a discovery of their own. For it is said, “I came in my Father’s name and ye received me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”11 And because it is said, “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,”12 it is obvious, they urge, that the name is one, for it is not “in the names,” but “in the name.”

4. I blush so to write to you, for the men thus guilty are of my own blood;13 and I groan for my own soul, in that, like boxers fighting two men at once, I can only give the truth its proper force by hitting with my proofs, and knocking down, the errors of doctrine on the right and on the left. On one side I am attacked by the Anomoean: on the other by the Sabellian. Do not, I implore you, pay any attention to these abominable and impotent sophisms. Know that the name of Christ which is above every name is His being called Son of God, as Peter says, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”14 And as to the words “I came in my Father’s name,” it is to be understood that He so says describing His Father as origin and cause of Himself.15 And if it is said “Go and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” we must not suppose that here one name isdelivered to us. For just as he who saidPaul and Silvanus and Timothy mentioned three names, and coupled them one to the other by the word “and,” so He who spokeof the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” mentioned three, and united them by theconjunction, teaching that with each name must be understood its own proper meaning; for the names mean things. And no one gifted with even the smallest particle of it intelligence doubts that the existence belonging to the things is peculiar and complete in itself. For of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost there is the same nature and one Godhead; but these are different names, setting forth to a us the circumscription and exactitude of the meanings. For unless the meaning of the distinctive qualities of each be unconfounded, it is impossible for the doxology to be adequately offered to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

If, however, they deny that they so say, and so teach, my object is attained. Yet I see that this denial is no easy matter, because of our having many witnesses who heard these things said. But let bygones be bygones; let them only be sound now. If they persist in the same old error I must proclaim your calamity even to other Churches, and get letters written to you froth more bishops. In my efforts to break down this huge mass of impiety now gradually and secretly growing, I shall either effect something towards the object I have in view; or at least my present testimony will clear me of guilt in the judgment day. 5. They have already inserted theseexpressions in their own writings. They sent them first to the man of God, Meletius,16 bishop, and after receiving from him a suitable reply, like mothers of monsters, ashamed of their natural deformities, these men themselves brought forth and bring up their disgusting offspring in appropriate darkness. They made an attempt too by letter on my dear friend Anthimus, bishop of Tyana,17 on the ground that Gregory had said in his exposition of the faith18 that Father and Son are in thought two, but in hypostasis one.19 The men who congratulate themselves on the subtilty of their intelligence could not perceive that this is said not in reference to dogmatic opinion, but in controversy with Aelian. And in this dispute there are not a few copyists’ blunders, as, please God, I shall shew in the case of the actual expressions used. But in his endeavour to convince the heathen, he deemed it needless to be nice about the words he employed; he judged it wiser sometimes to make concessions to the character of the subject who was being persuaded, so as not to run counter to the opportunity given him. This explains how it is that you may find there many expressions which now give great support to the heretics, as for instance “creature”20 and “thing made”21 and the like. But those who ignorantly criticise these writings refer to the question of the Godhead much that is said in reference to the conjunction with man; as is the case with this passage which they are hawking about. For it is indispensable to have clear understanding that, as he who fails to confess the community of the essence or substance falls into polytheism, so he who refuses to grant the distinction of the hypostases is carried away into Judaism. For we must keep oar mind stayed, so to say, on certain underlying subject matter, and, by forming a clear impression of its distinguishing lines, so arrive at the end desired. For suppose we do not bethink us of the Fatherhood, nor bear in mind Him of whom this distinctive quality is marked off, how can we take in the idea of God the Father? For merely to enumerate the differences of Persons22 is insufficient; we must confess each Person23 to have a natural existence in real hypostasis. Now Sabellius did not even deprecate the formation of the persons without hypostasis, saying as he did that the same God, being one in matter,24 was metamorphosed as the need of the moment required, and spoken of now as Father, now as Son, and now as Holy Ghost. The inventors of this unnamed heresy are renewing the old long extinguished error; those, I mean, who are repudiating the hypostases, and denying the name of the Son of God. They must give over uttering iniquity against God,25 or they will have to wail with them that deny the Christ.

6. I have felt compelled to write to you in these terms, that you, may be on your guard against the mischief arising from bad teaching. If we may indeed liken pernicious teachings to poisonous drugs, as your dream-tellers have it. these doctrines are hemlock and monkshood, or any other deadly to man. It is these that destroy souls; not my words, as this shrieking drunken scum, full of the fancies of their condition, make out. If they bad any sense they ought to know that in souls, pure and cleansed from all defilement, the prophetic gift shines clear. In a foul mirror you cannot see what the reflexion is, neither can a soul preoccupied with cares of this life, and darkened with the passions of the lust of the flesh, receive the rays of the Holy Ghost. Every dream is not a prophecy, as says Zechariah. “The Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, ... for the idols have spoken vanity and the diviners have told false dreams.”26 Those who, as Isaiah says, dream and love to sleep in their bed27 forget that an operation of error is sent to “the children of disobedience.”28 And there is a lying spirit, which arose in false prophecies, and deceived Ahab.29 Knowing this they ought not to have been so lifted up as to ascribe the gift of prophecy to themselves. They are shewn to fall far short even of the case of the seer Balaam; for Balaam when invited by the king of Moab with mighty bribes brooked not to utter a word beyond the will of God, nor to curse Israel whom the Lord cursed not.30 If then their sleep-fancies do not tally with the commandments of the Lord, let them be content with the Gospels. The Gospels need no dreams to add to their credit. The Lord has sent His peace to us, and left us a new commandment, to love one another, but dreams bring strife and division and destruction of love. Let them therefore not give occasion to the devil to attack their souls in sleep; nor make their imaginations of more authority than the instruction of salvation.
Letter CCXI1

To Olympius.2

Truly when I read your excellency’s letter I felt unwonted pleasure and cheerfulness; and when I met your well-beloved sons, I seemed to behold yourself. They found me in the deepest affliction, but they so behaved as to make me forget the hemlock, which your dreamers and dream mongers are carrying about to my hurt, to please the people who have hired them. Some letters I have already sent; others, if you like, shallfollow. I only hope that they may be of some advantage to the recipients).
Letter CCXII1

To Hilarius.2

1. You can imagine what I felt, and in what state of mind I was, when I came to Dazimon and found that you had left a few days before my arrival. From my boyhood I have held you in admiration, and, therefore, ever since our old school days, have placed a high value on intercourse with you. But another reason for my doing so is that nothing is so precious now as a soul that loves the, truth, and is gifted with a sound judgment in practical affairs. This, I think, is to be found in you. I see most men, as in the hippodrome, divided into factions, some for one side and some for another, and shouting with their parties. But you are above fear, flattery, and every ignoble sentiment, and so naturally look at truth with an unprejudiced eye. And I see that you are deeply interested in the affairs of the Churches, about which you have sent me a letter, as you have said in your last. I should like to know who took charge of the conveyance of this earlier epistle, that I may know who has wronged me by its loss. No letter from you on this subject has yet reached me.

2. How much, then, would I not have given to meet you, that I might tell you all my troubles? When one is in pain it is, as you know, some alleviation, even to describe it. How gladly would I have answered your questions, not trusting to lifeless letters, but in my own person, narrating each particular. The persuasive force of living words is more efficient and they are not so susceptible as letters to attack and to misrepresentation. For now no one has left anything untried, and the very men in whom I put the greatest confidence, men, who when I saw them among others, I used to think something more than human, have received documents written by some one, and have sent them on, whatever they are, as mine, and on their account are calumniating me to the brethren as though there is nothing now that pious and faithful men ought to hold in greater abhorrence than my name. From the beginning it has been my object to live unknown, to a degree not reached by anyone who has considered human infirmity; but now, just as though on the other hand it had been my purpose to make myself notorious to the world, I have been talked about all over the earth, and I may add all over the sea too. For men, who go to the last limit of impiety, and are introducing into the Churches the godless opinion of Unlikeness,3 are waging war against me. Those too who hold the via media.4 as they think, and, though they start from the same principles, do not follow out their logical consequences, because they are so opposed to the view of the majority, are equally hostile to me, overwhelming me to the utmost of their ability with their reproaches, and abstaining from no insidious attacks against me. But the Lord has made their endeavours vain.

(Is not this a grievous state of things? Must it not make my life painful? I have at all events one consolation in my troubles, my bodily infirmity. This I am sure will not suffer me to remain much longer in this miserable life. No more on this point. You too I exhort, in your bodily infirmity. to bear yourself bravely and worthy of the God Who has called us. If He sees us accepting our present circumstances with thanksgiving, He will either put away our troubles as He did Job’s, or will requite us with the glorious crowns of patience in the life to come.
Letter CCXIII1

Without address.

1). May the Lord, Who has brought me prompt help in my afflictions, grant you the help of the refreshment wherewith you have refreshed me by writing to me, rewarding you for your consolation of my humble self with the real and great gladness of the Spirit. For I was indeed downcast in soul when I saw in a great multitude the almost brutish and unreasonable insensibility of the people, and the inveterate and ineradicable unsatisfactoriness of their leaders. But I saw your letter; I saw the treasure of love which it contained; then I knew that He Who ordains all our lives had made some sweet consolation shine on me in the bitterness of my life. I therefore salute your holiness in return, and exhort you, as is my wont, not to cease to pray for my unhappy life, that I may never, drowned in the unrealities of this world, forget God, “who raiseth up the poor out of the dust;”2 that I may never be lifted up with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil;3 that I may never be found by the Lord neglectful of my stewardship and asleep; never discharging it amiss, and wounding the conscience of my fellow-servants;4 and, never companying with the drunken, suffer the pains threatened in God’s just judgment against wicked stewards. I beseech you, therefore, in all your prayers to pray God that I may be watchful in all things; that I may be no shame or disgrace to the name of Christ, in the revelation of the secrets of my heart, in the great day of the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

2. Know then that I am expecting to be summoned by the wickedness of the heretics to the court, in the name of peace. Learn too that on being so informed, this bishop5 wrote to me to hasten to Mesopotamia, and, after assembling together those who in that country are of like sentiments with us, and are strengthening the state of the Church, to travel in their company to the emperor. But perhaps my health will not be good enough to allow me to undertake a journey in the winter. Indeed, hitherto I have not thought the matter pressing, unless yon advise it. I shall therefore await your counsel that my mind may be made up. Lose no time then, I beg you, in making known to me, by means of one of our trusty brethren, what course seems best to the divinely guided intelligence of your excellency.
Letter CCXIV1

To Count Terentius.2

1). When I heard that your excellency had again been compelled to take part in public affairs, I was straightway distressed (for the truth must be told) at the thought of how contrary to your mind it must be that you after once giving up the anxieties of official life, and allowing yourself leisure for the care of your sold, should again beforced back into your old career. But then I bethought me that peradventure theLord has ordained that your lordship shouldagain appear in public from this wish to grant the boon of one alleviation for the countless pains which now beset the Church in our part of the world. I am, moreover, cheered by the thought that I am about to meet your excellency once again before I depart this life.

2. But a further rumour has reached me that you are in Antioch, and are transacting the business in hand with the chief authorities. And, besides this, I have heard that the brethren who are of the party of Paulinus are entering on some discussion with your excellency on the subject of union with us; and by “us” I mean those who are supporters of the blessed man of God, Meletius.3 I hear, moreover, that the Paulinians are carrying about a letter of the Westerns,4 assigning to them the episcopate of the Church in Antioch, but speaking under a false impression of Meletius, the admirable bishop of the true Church of God. I am not astonished at this. They5 are totally ignorant of what is going on here; the others, though they might be supposed to know, give an account to them in which party is put before truth; and it is only what one might expect that they should either be ignorant of the truth, or should even endeavour to conceal the reasons which led the blessed Bishop Athanasius to write to Paulinus. But your excellency has on the spot those who are able to tell you accurately what passed between the bishops in the reign of Jovian, and from them I beseech you to get information.6 I accuse no one; I pray that I may have love to all, and “especially unto them who are of the household of faith;”7 and therefore I congratulate those who have received the letter from Rome. And, although it is a grand testimony in their favour, I only hope it is true and confirmed by facts. But I shall never be able to persuade myself on these grounds to ignore Meletius, or to forget the Church which is under him, or to treat as small, and of little importance to the true religion, the questions which originated the division. I shall never consent to give in, merely because somebody is very much elated at receiving a letter from ment.8 Even if it had come down from heaven itself, but he does not agree with the sound doctrine of the faith, I cannot look upon him as in communion with the saints.

3. Consider well, my excellent friend, that the falsifiers of the truth, who have introduced the Arian schism as an innovation on the sound faith of the Fathers, advance no other reason for refusing to accept the pious opinion of the Fathers than the meaning of the homoousion which they hold in their wickedness, and to the slander of the whole faith, alleging our contention to be that the Son is consubstantial in hypostasis. If we give them any opportunity by our being carried away by men who propound these sentiments and their like, rather from simplicity than from malevolence, there is nothing to prevent oar giving them an unanswerable ground of argument against ourselves and confirming the heresy of those whose one end is in all their utterances about the Church, not so much to establish their own position as to calumniate mine. What more serious calumny could there be? What better calculated to disturb the faith of the majority than that some of us could be shewn to assert that there is one hypostasis of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? We distinctly lay down that there is a difference of Persons; but this statement was anticipated by Sabellius, who affirms that God is one by hypostasis, but is described by Scripture in different Persons, according to the requirements of each individual case; sometimes under the name of Father, when there is occasion for this Person; sometimes under the name of Son when there is a descent to human interests or any of the operations of the oeconomy;9 and sometimes under the Person of Spirit when the occasion demands such phraseology. If, then, any among us are shewn to assert that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one in substance,10 while we maintain the three perfect Persons, how shall we escape giving clear and incontrovertible proof of the truth of what is being asserted about us?

4. The non-identity of hypostasis and ousia is, I take it, suggested even by our western brethren, where, from a suspicion of tile inadequacy of their own language, they have given the word ousia in the Greek, to the end that any possible difference of meaning might be preserved in the clear and unconfounded distinction of terms. If you ask me to state shortly my own view, I shall state that ousia has the same relation to hypostasis as the common has to the particular. Every one of us both shares in existence by the common term of essence (ousia) and by his own properties is such an one and such an one. In the same manner, in the matter in question, the term ousia is common, like goodness, or Godhead, or any similar attribute; while hypostasis is contemplated in the special property of Fatherhood, Sonship, or the power to sanctify. If then they describe the Persons as being without hypostasis,11 the statement is per se absurd; but if they concede that the Persons exist in real hypostasis, as they acknowledge, let them so reckon them that the principle of the homoousion may be preserved in the unity of the Godhead, and that the doctrine preached may be the recognition of true religion, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in the perfect and complete hypostasis of each of the Persons named. Nevertheless, there is one point which I should like to have pressed on your excellency, that you and all who like you care for the truth, and honour the combatant in the cause of true religion, ought to wait for the lead to be taken in bringing about this union and peace by the foremost authorities in the Church, whom I count as pillars and foundations of the truth and of the Church, and reverence all the more because they have been sent away for punishment, and have been exiled far from home. Keep yourself, I implore you, clear of prejudice, that in you, whom God has given me as a staff and support in all things, I may be able to find rest.12
Letter CCXV.1

To the Presbyter Dorotheus.

I Took the earliest opportunity of writing to the most admirable Count Terentius, thinking it better to write to him on the subject in hand by means of strangers, and being anxious that oar very dear brother Acacius shall not be inconvenienced by any delay. I have therefore given my letter to the government treasurer, who is travelling by the imperial post, and I have charged him to shew the letter to you first. I cannot understand how it is that no one has told you that the road to Rome is wholly impracticable in winter, the country between Constantinople and out’ own regions being full of enemies. If the route by sea must be taken, the season will be favourable; if indeed my God-beloved brother Gregory2 consents to the voyage and to the commission concerning these matters. For my own part, I do not know who can go with him, and am aware that he is quite inexperienced in ecclesiastical affairs. With a man of kindly character he may get on very well, and be treated with respect, but what possible good could accrue to the cause by communication between a man proud and exalted, and therefore quite unable to hear those who preach the truth to him from a lower standpoint, and a man like my brother, to whom anything like mean servility is unknown ?
Letter CCXVI.1

To Meletius, bishop of Antioch.

Many other2 journeys have taken me from home. I have been as far as Pisidia to settle the matters concerning the brethren in Isauria in concert with the Pisidian bishops. Thence I journeyed into Pontus, for Eustathius had caused no small disturbance at Dazimon, and had caused there a considerable secession from our church. I even went as far as the home of my brother Peter,3 and, as this is not far from Neocaesarea, there was occasion of considerable trouble to the Neocaesareans, and of much rudeness to myself. Some men fled when no one was in pursuit. And I was supposed to be intruding uninvited, simply to get compliments from the folk there. As soon as I got home, after contracting a severe illness from the bad weather and my anxieties. I straightway received a letter from the East to tell me that Paulinus had had certain letters from the West addressed to him, in acknowledgement of a sort of higher claim; and that the Antiochene rebels were vastly elated by them, and were next preparing a form of creed. and offering to make its terms a condition of union with our Church. Besides all this it was reported to me that they had seduced to their faction that most excellent man Terentius. t wrote to him at once as forcibly as I could. to induce him to pause; and I tried to point po out their disingenuousness.
Letter CCXVII.

To Amphilochius, the Canons.1

ON my return from a long journey (for I have been into Pontus on ecclesiastical business, and to visit my relations) with my body weak and ill, and my spirits considerably broken, I took your reverence’s letter into my hand. No sooner did I receive the tokens of that voice which to me is of all voices the sweetest, and of that hand that I love so well, than I forgot all my troubles. And if I was made so much more cheerful by the receipt of your letter, you ought to be able to conjecture at what value I price your actual presence. May this be granted me by the Holy One, whenever it may be convenient to you and you yourself send me an invitation. And if you were to come to the house at Euphemias it would indeed be pleasant for me to meet you, escaping from my vexations here, and hastening to your unfeigned affection. Possibly also for other reasons I may be compelled to go as far as Nazianzus by the sudden departure of the very God-beloved bishop Gregory. How or why this has come to pass, so far I have no information.2 The man about whom I had spoken to your excellency, and whom you expected to be ready by this time, has, you must know, fallen ill of a lingering disease, and is moreover now suffering from an affection of the eyes, arising from his old complaint and from the illness which has now befallen him, and he is quite unfit to do any work. I have no one else with me. It is consequently better, although the matter was left by them to me, for some one to be put forward by them. And indeed one cannot but think that the expressions were used merely as a necessary form, and that what they really wished was what they originally requested, that the person selected for the leadership should be one of themselves. If there is any one of the lately baptized,3 whether Macedonius approve or not, let him be appointed. You will instruct him in his duties, the Lord,

Who in all things cooperates with you, granting you His grace for this work also.

LI. As to the clergy, the Canons have enjoined without making any distinction that one penalty is assigned for the lapsed,—ejection from the ministry, whether they be in orders4 or remain ill the ministry which is conferred without imposition of hands.

LII. The woman who has given birth to a child and abandoned it in the road, if she was able to save it and neglected it, or thought by this means to hide her sin, or was moved by some brutal and inhuman motive, is to be judged as in a case of murder. If, on the other hand, she was unable to provide for it. and the child perish from exposure and want of the necessities of life, the mother is to be pardoned.

LIII. The widowed slave is not guilty of a serious fall if she adopts a second marriage under colour of rape. She is not on tiffs ground open to accusation. It is rather the object than the pretext which mast be taken into account, but it is clear that she is exposed to the punishment of digamy.5

LIV. I know that I have already written to your reverence, so far as I can, on the distinctions to be observed in cases of involuntary homicide,6 and on this point I can say no more. It rests with your intelligence to increase or lessen the severity of the punishment as each individual case may require.

LV. Assailants of robbers, if they are outside, are prohibited from the communion of the good thing.7 If they are clerics they are degraded from their orders. For, it is said. “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

LVI. The intentional homicide, who has afterwards repented, will be excommunicated from the sacrament8 for twenty years. The twenty years will be appointed for him as follows: for four he ought to weep, standing outside the door of the house of prayer, beseeching the faithful as they enter in to offer prayer in his behalf, and confessing his own sin. After four years he will be admitted among the hearers, and during five years will go out with them. During seven years he will go out with the kneelers,9 praying. During four years he will only stand with the faithful, and will not take part in the oblation. On the completion of this period he will be admitted to participation of the sacrament.

LVII. The unintentional homicide will be excluded for ten years from the sacrament. The ten years will be arranged as follows: For two years he will weep, for three years he will continue among the hearers; for four he will be a kneeler; and for one he will only stand. Then he will be admitted to the holy rites.

LVIII. The adulterer will be excluded from the sacrament for fifteen years. During four he will be a weeper, and during five a hearer, during four a kneeler, and for two a slander without communion.

LIX. The fornicator will not be admitted to participation in the sacrament for seven years;10 weeping two hearing two kneeling two, and standing one: in the eighth he will be received into communion.

LX. The woman who has professed virginity and broken her promise will complete the time appointed in the case of adultery in her continence.11 The same rule will be observed in the case of men who have professed a solitary life and who lapse.

Basil: letters, hexaemeron - II. WORKS