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St Cyril of Alexandria To Theodosius Against Julian

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Address of the blessed Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, 
to the very pious emperor Theodosius, devoted to Christ.

The exceptional success of your holy principate, which deserves fame but discourages praise, your incomparable provision for piety, are the heritage from On High which you echo and which you have preserved, unconquered, from the traits of envy, thanks to a skill in public affairs which you got from your father and also your grandfather, as can clearly been seen in this field. Also I propose to apply to your own person the words of our Saviour, who said: "A city on a hill cannot be hidden"; isn't what is on the heights not always, on the same basis, the same thing as that which is seen?

However what could equal Your Serenity? Nothing in the world, since the glory of your sceptre has reached the supreme limits by illuminating the whole universe with the glow of your perfect administration, while your leniency and your piety towards Christ delight Heaven — I mean the rational powers which reign in its heights. So great indeed is the admiration that you receive in these two connections that, having here and there equal and rival virtues, you have placed yourself beyond praise in all its forms. The votive offerings that others devote to you, Emperor Theodosius devoted to Christ, are the trophies of victories, crowns, thanksgivings and all other ways of honouring, not without reason, the imperial power.

2. As for us, that destiny has given to sacred service, we had the duty to offer you a work composed with the greatest care to the glory of God: your inclinations, your practice and the authentic wishes of your heart have indeed always carried you to applaud that glory, to hold execrable those who, like drunken men, insult it in one way or another, to put them in the row of your worst enemies, to gratify on the other hand with every kind of favour those who choose to glorify God in thought and word. I would willingly consider these excellent provisions as a proof of holiness, in perfect suitability to the glorious heights which you occupy. In a psalm to Christ the Saviour of the world, David, the inspired prophet exclaimed: "Didn't I hate those who hate you, Lord, and was I not consumed toward your enemies? I made myself hate them with a perfect hatred, they became my own enemies!" These words are fully justified: indeed one can give as a shining proof of his attachment to your person the combat which he ardently carries out against those who chose, I do not know through what blindness, not to love you; in the same way, one could express all the authenticity of his love for Christ by impetuously attacking those who have discredited Christianity, with on the lips, almost like a cry, these words of the Scripture inspired by God: "I am filled with a jealous zeal for the Lord!"

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