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Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology

GOD IS A GOD OF THE PRESENT

from the Speech on the Holy Baptism, * §§ 13-14, Patrologia Graeca 36.376
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow.
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ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader
KNOW of three classes among the saved; the slaves, the hired servants, the sons. If you are a slave, be afraid of the whip; if you are a hired servant, look only to receive your hire; if you are more than this, a son, revere Him as a Father, and work that which is good, because it is good to obey a Father; and even though no reward should come of it for you, this is itself a reward, that you please your Father. Let us then take care not to despise these things. How absurd it would be to grasp at money and throw away health; and to be lavish of the cleansing of the body, but economical over the cleansing of the soul; and to seek for freedom from earthly slavery, but not to care about heavenly freedom; and to make every effort to be splendidly housed and dressed, but to have never a thought how you yourself may become really very precious; and to be zealous to do good to others, without any desire to do good to yourself.

πᾶς ἔστω σοι βαπτίσματος καιρός

Τρεῖς γὰρ οἶδα τάξεις τῶν σωζομένων͵ δουλείαν͵ μισθαρνίαν͵ υἱότητα. Εἰ δοῦλος εἶ͵ τὰς πληγὰς φοβήθητι· εἰ μισθωτὸς͵ πρὸς τὸ λαβεῖν βλέπε μόνον. Εἰ δὲ ὑπὲρ τούτους͵ καὶ υἱὸς͵ ὡς πατέρα αἰδέσθητι. Ἔργασαι τὸ καλὸν͵ ὅτι καλὸν τῷ πατρὶ πείθεσθαι͵ κἂν εἴ σοι μηδὲν ἔσεσθαι μέλλοι. Τοῦτο αὐτὸ μισθὸς͵ τὸ τῷ πατρὶ χαρίζεσθαι. Ὧν ἡμεῖς μὴ καταφρονοῦντες φαινοίμεθα. Ὡς ἔστιν ἄτοπον͵ χρήματα μὲν προαρπάζειν͵ ὑγείαν δὲ ἀναβάλλεσθαι· καὶ σώματα μὲν προκαθαίρειν͵ ψυχῆς δὲ κάθαρσιν ταμιεύεσθαι· καὶ τῆς μὲν κάτω δουλείας ἐλευθερίαν ζητεῖν͵ τῆς ἄνω δὲ μὴ ἐφίεσθαι· καὶ ὅπως μὲν οἰκήσεις μεγαλοπρεπῶς ἢ ἀμφιέσῃ πᾶσαν ποιεῖσθαι σπουδήν͵ ὅπως δὲ αὐτὸς πλείστου ἄξιος ἔσῃ͵ μηδὲν φροντίζειν· καὶ ἄλλους μὲν εὖ ποιεῖν πρόθυμον εἶναι͵ σαυτὸν δὲ μὴ βούλεσθαι.

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