Early Church Fathers
To the Church of Parnassus.2
Following an ancient custom, which has obtained for many years, and at the same time shewing you love in God, which is the fruit of the Spirit, I now, my pious friends, address this letter to you. I feel with you at once in your grief at the event which has befallen you, and in your anxiety at the matter which you have in hand. Concerning all these troubles I can only say, that an occasion is given us to look to the injunctions of the Apostle, and not to sorrow "even as others which have no hope."3 I do not mean that we should be insensible to the loss we have suffered, but that we should not succumb to our sorrow, while we count the Pastor happy in his end. He has died in a ripe old age, and has found his rest in the great honour given him by his Lord.
As to the future I have this recommendation to give you. You must now lay aside all mourning; you must come to yourselves you must rise to the necessary management of the Church; to the end that the holy God may give heed to His own little flock, and may grant you a shepherd in accordance with His own will, who may wisely feed you.