1 Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord in goodness and seek him with sincerity of heart; 2 because he is found by those who do not put him to the test, and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him. 3 For perverse thoughts separate people from God, and when his power is tested, it exposes the foolish; 4 because wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, or dwell in a body enslaved to sin. 5 For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will leave foolish thoughts behind, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness. 6 For wisdom is a kindly spirit, but will not free blasphemers from the guilt of their words; because God is witness of their inmost feelings, and a true observer of their hearts, and a hearer of their tongues. 7 Because the spirit of the Lord has filled the world, and that which holds all things together knows what is said, 8 therefore those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice, and justice, when it punishes, will not pass them by. 9 For inquiry will be made into the counsels of the ungodly, and a report of their words will come to the Lord, to convict them of their lawless deeds; 10 because a jealous ear hears all things, and the sound of grumbling does not go unheard. 11 Beware then of useless grumbling, and keep your tongue from slander; because no secret word is without result, a and a lying mouth destroys the soul. 12 Do not invite death by the error of your life, or bring on destruction by the works of your hands;
Now what place and time does my accuser specify, at which I made use of these expressions according to his slanderous imputation? In whose presence was I so mad as to give utterance to the words which he has falsely charged me with speaking? Who is there ready to support the charge, and to testify to the fact? What his own eyes have seen that ought he to speak, as holy Scripture enjoins. But no; he will find no witnesses of that which never took place. But I take your Piety to witness, together with the Truth, that I lie not. I request you, for I know you to be a person of excellent memory, to call to mind the conversation I had with you, when you condescended to see me, first at Viminacium, a second time at Cæsarea in Cappadocia, and a third time at Antioch. Did I speak evil before you even of Eusebius and his fellows who had persecuted me? Did I cast imputations upon any of those that have done me wrong? If then I imputed nothing to any of those against whom I had a right to speak, how could I be so possessed with madness as to slander an Emperor before an Emperor, and to set a brother at variance with a brother? I beseech you, either cause me to appear before you that the thing may be proved, or else condemn these calumnies, and follow the example of David, who says, 'Whoever privily slanders his neighbour, him will I destroy.' As much as in them lies, they have slain me; for 'the mouth that belies, slays the soul.' But your long-suffering has prevailed against them, and given me confidence to defend myself, that they may suffer condemnation, as contentious and slanderous persons. Concerning your most religious brother, of blessed memory, this may suffice: for you will be able, according to the wisdom which God has given you, to gather much from the little I have said, and to recognise the fictitious charge.