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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology


from the First theological oration (27), * §§ 3-9
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow. Greek Fonts / Gregory Theologian Home Page


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Page 3

Now, I am not saying that it is not needful to remember God at all times; ... I must not be misunderstood, or I shall be having these nimble and quick people down upon me again. For we ought to think of God even more often than we draw our breath; and if the expression is permissible, we ought to do nothing else. Yea, I am one of those who entirely approve that Word which bids us meditate day and night, and tell at eventide and morning and noon day, and praise the Lord at every time; or, to use Moses' words, whether a man lie down, or rise up, or walk by the way, or whatever else he be doing -and by this recollection we are to be moulded to purity. So that it is not the continual remembrance of God that I would hinder, but only the talking about God; nor even that as in itself wrong, but only when unseasonable; nor all teaching, but only want of moderation. As of even honey repletion and satiety, though it be of honey, produce vomiting; and, as Solomon says and I think, there is a time for every thing, and that which is good ceases to be good if it be not done in a good way; just as a flower is quite out of season in winter, and just as a man's dress does not become a woman, nor a woman's a man; and as geometry is out of place in mourning, or tears at a carousal; shall we in this instance alone disregard the proper time, in a matter in which most of all due season should be respected?

Καὶ οὐ λέγω τοῦτο μὴ δεῖν πάντοτε μεμνῆσθαι θεοῦ. μὴ πάλιν ἐπιφυέσθωσαν ἡμῖν οἱ πάντα εὔκολοι καὶ ταχεῖς. μνημονευτέον γὰρ θεοῦ μᾶλλον ἢ ἀναπνευστέον· καί͵ εἰ οἷόν τε τοῦτο εἰπεῖν͵ μηδὲ ἄλλο τι ἢ τοῦτο πρακτέον. κἀγὼ τῶν ἐπαινούντων εἰμὶ τὸν λόγον͵ ὃς μελετᾶν ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτὸς διακελεύεται͵ καὶ ἑσπέρας καὶ πρωὶ καὶ μεσημβρίας διηγεῖσθαι͵ καὶ εὐλογεῖν τὸν κύριον ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ· εἰ δεῖ καὶ τὸ Μωυσέως εἰπεῖν͵ κοιταζόμενον͵ διανιστάμενον ὁδοιποροῦντα͵ ὅ τι οὖν ἄλλο πράττοντα͵ καὶ τῇ μνήμῃ τυποῦσθαι πρὸς καθαρότητα. ὥστε οὐ τὸ μεμνῆσθαι διηνεκῶς κωλύω͵ τὸ θεολογεῖν δέ· οὐδὲ τὴν θεολογίαν͵ ὥσπερ ἀσεβές͵ ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀκαιρίαν· οὐδὲ τὴν διδασκαλίαν͵ ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀμετρίαν. ἢ μέλιτος μὲν πλησμονὴ καὶ κόρος ἔμετον ἐργάζεται͵ καίπερ ὄντος μέλιτος͵ καὶ καιρὸς τῷ παντὶ πράγματι͵ ὡς Σολομῶντι κἀμοὶ δοκεῖ͵ καὶ τὸ καλὸν οὐ καλόν͵ ὅταν μὴ καλῶς γίνηται͵ ὥσπερ ἄνθος ἐν χειμῶνι παντελῶς ἄωρον͵ καὶ γυναιξὶ κόσμος ἀνδρεῖος͵ ἢ γυναικεῖος ἀνδράσι͵ καὶ πένθει γεωμετρία͵ καὶ πότῳ δάκρυον͵ ἐνταῦθα δὲ μόνον τὸν καιρὸν ἀτιμάσομεν͵ οὗ μάλιστα τιμητέον τὸ εὔκαιρον;

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