Of Growth
And Strength


In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to become a Christian,
had over 3000 Christians executed because their interpretation of the Bible did not agree
with his. That is more than the number of Christians who died at the hands of the Romans
during the well known 1st century "Christians to the lions" persecutions.
William Manchester's "A World Lit Only by Fire- The Medieval Mind
and The Renaissance"..Little, Brown & Company, 1992

Who has lost and who has won in the struggle -- the one who keeps the premises [buildings] 
or the one who keeps the faith?  The (one who kept the) faith obviously.  That therefore the
ordinances which have been preserved in the churches [buildings] from  old time until now
may [Can] not be lost in our days,... rouse yourselves,  brethren,... seeing them [the
now [are] seized upon by aliens.
--St. Basil the Great (330-379) Epistulae, to St. Athanasius (Written in 371)
The ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority [the bishops of Rome]; 
and the chief seat [the seat of the Pope] is now openly proposed as a reward for  impiety; so that he whose blasphemies are the more shocking, is more eligible for the oversight of the people.[The Pope] Priestly gravity has perished; there are none left to feed the Lord's flock with knowledge; ambitious men are ever spending, in purposes of self-indulgence and bribery, possessions which they hold in trust for the poor.  The accurate observation of the canons (The traditions of the fathers) are no more; there is no restraint upon sin.  Unbelievers laugh at what they see, and the weak are unsettled; faith is doubtful, ignorance is poured over their souls, because the adulterators of the word in wickedness imitate the truth.  Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose.  Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship, as
schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitude with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven.  --St. Basil the Great
(330- 379),
Epistlae 92 (written in 372)
The whole Church is in dissolution.  
--St. Basil the Great (ca. 330-
ca. 379),
Epistulae, to St. Athanasius (Written 371-372)
Has the Lord completely abandoned His Church?  Has the hour then come and is 
the fall beginning in this way so that now the man of sin is clearly revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped?
--St. Basil the Great (330-379) (in 373)

Letter LXVI (66) To Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.

No one. I feel sure, is more distressed at the present condition, or, rather to speak more truly,

ill condition of the Churches than your excellency; for you compare the present with the past,

and take into account how great a change has come about. You are well aware that if no

check is put to the swift deterioration which we are witnessing, there will soon be
nothing to prevent the complete transformation of the Churches. And if the decay of

the Churches seems so pitiful to me, what must-so I have often in my lonely musings

reflected-be the feelings of one who has known, by experience, the old tranquillity of

the Churches of the Lord, and their one mind about the faith?
-- St. Basil the Great

Matters have come to this pass:  the people have left their houses of prayer and assembled in 
the deserts, -- a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise inform, 
wretchedly faring in the open air, amid most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and 
frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun.  To this they submit because 
they will have no part of the wicked Arian leaven.  
--St. Basil the Great (ca. 330-ca. 379), 
Epistulae 242 (in 376)

Letter LXXX (80) To Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.

The worse the diseases of the Churches grow, the more do we all turn to your

excellency, in the belief that your championship is the one consolation left to us in

our troubles. By the power of your prayers, and your knowledge of what is the best

course to suggest in the emergency, you are believed to be able to save us from this

terrible tempest by all alike who know your excellency even to a small extent, whether by

hearsay or by personal experience.

-- St. Basil the Great

This is the saddest of all the letter of Basil – for in this we have an admission of basil that his

trust is no longer in Christ but in Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria. For one that speaks of

knowing church history and what was once in the church, for one that speaks of the traditions

of the fathers being despised in his day, for one that speaks of the church in his day being

overthrown. A man that has such great insight to see the ill of the Church, has the boldness to

speak against the Pope and the Bishops of Rome and yet the best that he can do is turn to

Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria and Eusebius in hopes to turn the tides of darkness in his

hour. This almost brings tears to my eyes. I see the scripture where Christ spoke of the “Blind

leading the blind.” I have asserted many time of the last two years that when the early church

fell they had no idea on how to return to the God of Christ and the Apostles and this quote

powerfully demonstrates this. 

Letter XC (90) To the holy brethren the bishops of the West.

2. Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has 
gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the (Apostollic) Fathers are despised; apostolic 
traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men 
are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world (Greek 
and Roman Philosophy) is given the place of honor and (they) have rejected the glorying of 
the cross. Shepherds (who follow the old ways) are banished, and in their places are 
introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to 
assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they 
compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they 
do not know of what they have been deprived. 
-- St. Basil the Great

Letter CXIII (113) To the presbyters of Tarsus.

On meeting this man, I heartily thanked God that by means of his visit He had comforted me

in many afflictions and had through him shown me clearly your love. I seem to see in one

man's disposition the zeal of all of you for the truth. He will tell you of our discourses with one

another. What you ought to learn directly from me is as follows.We live in days when the

overthrow of the Churches seems imminent; of this I have long been cognizant.

There is no edification of the Church; no correction of error; no sympathy for the

weak; no single defense of sound brethren; no remedy is found either to heal the

disease which has already seized us, or as a preventive against that which we expect.

Altogether the state of the Church (if I may use a plain figure though it may seem too humble

an one) is like an old coat, which is always being torn and can never be restored to its

original strength. At such a time, then, there is need of great effort and diligence that the

Churches may in some way be benefited. It is an advantage that parts hitherto severed should

be united. Union would be effected if we were willing to accommodate ourselves to the

weaker, where we can do so without injury to souls; since, then, many mouths are open

against the Holy Ghost, and many tongues whetted to blasphemy against Him, we implore

you, as far as in you lies, to reduce the blasphemers to a small number, and to receive into

communion all who do not assert the Holy Ghost to be a creature, that the blasphemers may

be left alone, and may either be ashamed and return to the truth, or, if they abide in their

error, may cease to have any importance from the smallness of their numbers.

-- St. Basil the Great