from the First theological oration
(27), * §§ 3-9
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow. Greek Fonts / Gregory Theologian Home Page
to every one, my friends, does it belong to philosophize about God;
not to every one; the Subject is not so cheap and low; and I will add,
not before every audience, nor at all times, nor on all points; but on
certain occasions, and before certain persons, and within certain
Not to all men, because it is permitted only to those who have been examined, and are passed masters in meditation, and who have been previously purified in soul and body, or at the very least are being purified. For the impure to touch the pure is, we may safely say, not safe, just as it is unsafe to fix weak eyes upon the sun's rays. And what is the permitted occasion? It is when we are free from all external defilement or disturbance, and when that which rules within us is not confused with vexatious or erring images; like persons mixing up good writing with bad, or filth with the sweet odours of unguents.
Οὐ παντός͵ ὦ οὗτοι͵ τὸ περὶ θεοῦ φιλοσοφεῖν͵ οὐ παντός· οὐχ οὕτω τὸ πρᾶγμα εὔωνον καὶ τῶν χαμαὶ ἐρχομένων. προσθήσω δέ͵ οὐδὲ πάντοτε͵ οὐδὲ πᾶσιν͵ οὐδὲ πάντα͵ ἀλλ΄ ἔστιν ὅτε͵ καὶ οἷς͵ καὶ ἐφ΄ ὅσον.
οὐ πάντων μέν͵ ὅτι τῶν ἐξητασμένων καὶ διαβεβηκότων ἐν θεωρίᾳ͵ καὶ πρὸ τούτων καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα κεκαθαρμένων͵ ἢ καθαιρομένων͵ τὸ μεριώτατον. μὴ καθαρῷ γὰρ ἅπτεσθαι καθαροῦ τυχὸν οὐδὲ ἀσφαλές͵ ὥσπερ οὐδὲ ὄψει σαθρᾷ ἡλιακῆς ἀκτῖνος. ὅτε δέ; ἡνίκα ἂν σχολὴν ἄγωμεν ἀπὸ τῆς ἔξωθεν ἰλύος καὶ ταραχῆς͵ καὶ μὴ τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν ἡμῶν συγχέηται τοῖς μοχθηροῖς τύποις καὶ πλανωμένοις͵ οἷον γράμμασι πονηροῖς ἀναμιγνύντων κάλλη γραμμάτων͵ ἢ βορβόρῳ μύρων εὐωδίαν.
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