More letters of Isidore of Pelusium

27. (1.27) TO THE PALACE EUNUCH PHARISMANIUS.

I understand that it is said that you are interested in the divine books and that you make an appropriate use of their testimonies in every circumstance, but that you are a covetous man, furiously grabbing for yourself from the lives of others.  I am extremely astonished that this assiduous reading has not blessed you with the divine love, a love which should have modified your former behaviour, something which not only prevents us from desiring the goods of others, but further prescribed us to distribute our own goods.  So, when you read, understand, or, if you do not understand, read!

36. (1.36) TO THE PALACE EUNUCH ANTIOCHUS.

Since you unroll the sacred books and, so it is said, you are very attached to reading them, you must know the history of the admirable Daniel:  upright in the middle of floods of error, he would not undergo the fate of the prisoners, not even to take his share of common meals, even when they did not happen to make unclean those who touched them.  And since not only you are the servant of the imperial power but that you direct it as you want, hurry up and make effective again the justice which has fallen into a state of weakness or rather which is moribund:  you will thus find the court of justice benevolent to you, even if for an hour the idea does not often come to you, blinded as you are by the vain spectacle of grandeur.  

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