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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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Page 3

XIV. Sow in good season, and gather together, and open thy barns when it is the time to do so; and plant in season, and let the clusters be cut when they are ripe, and launch boldly in spring, and draw thy ship on shore again at the beginning of winter, when the sea begins to rage. And let there be to thee also a time for war and a time for peace; a time to marry, and a time to abstain from marrying; a time for friendship, and a time for discord, if this be needed; and in short a time for everything, if you will follow Solomon's advice. And it is best to do so, for the advice is profitable. But the work of your salvation is one upon which you should be engaged at all times; and let every time be to you the definite one for Baptism. If you are always passing over to-day and waiting for to-morrow, by your little procrastinations you will be cheated without knowing it by the Evil One, as his manner is. Give to me, he says, the present, and to God the future; to me your youth, and to God old age; to me your pleasures, and to Him your uselessness. ΙΔ. Σπεῖρε μὲν ὅτε καιρὸς καὶ συγκόμιζε καὶ λύε τὰς ἀποθήκας͵ ὅτε τούτου καιρός͵ καὶ φύτευε καθ΄ ὥραν καὶ κειρέσθω σοι βότρυς ὥριμος καὶ ἀνάγου θαῤῥήσας ἔαρι καὶ ἄνελκε τὴν ναῦν πάλιν ἀρχομένου χειμῶνος καὶ τῆς θαλάσσης ἀγριουμένης. Καὶ πολέμου καιρὸς ἔστω σοι καὶ εἰρήνης καὶ γάμου καὶ τῶν οὐ γάμου καὶ φιλίας καὶ διαστάσεως͵ ἂν ταύτης δεήσῃ, καὶ παντὸς ὅλως πράγματος͵ εἴ τι τῷ Σολομῶντι πειστέον. Πειστέον δέ· καὶ γὰρ ὠφέλιμος ἡ παραίνεσις. Ἀεὶ δὲ τὴν σωτηρίαν ἐργάζου͵ καὶ πᾶς ἔστω σοι καιρὸς τοῦ βαπτίσματος ὅρος. Ἐὰν ἀεὶ τὸ σήμερον παρατρέχων͵ ἐπιτηρῇς τὸ εἰς αὔριον͵ λανθάνεις ταῖς κατὰ μικρὸν ἀναβολαῖς ὑπὸ τοῦ Πονηροῦ κλεπτόμενος͵ ὥσπερ ἐκείνου τρόπος. Ἐμοὶ δὸς τὸ παρόν͵ Θεῷ τὸ μέλλον· ἐμοὶ τὴν νεότητα͵ Θεῷ τὸ γῆρας· ἐμοὶ τὰς ἡδονάς͵ ἐκείνῳ τὴν ἀχρηστίαν.
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