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To Conon106106The letter from which this is supposed to be an extract is said by Eusebius (H. E. vi. 46, 2) to have been on the subject of Repentance, and may possibly be “the instruction” which Dionysius says he had given on p. 42 above.
(Pitra, Spic. Sol. i. 15, from a Bodl. MS. dated 1062)

As to those who are nearing the end of life, if they desire and beg to obtain absolution, having before 61 their eyes the judgment to which they are departing, considering what is in store for them, if they are handed over thereto bound and condemned, and believing that they will gain relief and lightening of punishment there, if they be loosed here—for these the approval of the Lord is true and assured—these, too, it is part of the Divine mercy to send on their way free. If, however, they afterwards continue to live, it does not appear to me consistent to bind them again and load them with their sins. For when once absolved and reconciled to God, and pronounced again to be partakers of Divine grace and dispatched as free to appear before the Lord,107107Viz. under the impression that they were going to die. so long as nothing wrong has been done by them in the meantime to bring them back into bondage for their sins were most unreasonable. Shall we after that108108i. e. after thus pledging ourselves to them. impose on God the limits of our judgment, to be kept by Him while we observe them not ourselves, making parade of the goodness of the Lord109109Cf. 1 Pet. ii. 3, where Ps. xxxiii. (xxxiv.) 9 is quoted. but withholding our own? Nevertheless if any one, after recovery, should show himself in need of further treatment, we counsel him, of his own accord, to humble and abase and lower himself, with a view to his own improvement and also to what is seemly in the eyes of the brethren and irreproachable before those without.110110Cf. 1 Tim. iii. 7, etc. If he consent to this, he will be the gainer: but, if he should object and refuse, then no doubt that will be a sufficient ground for a second exclusion.

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