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Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology

PRINCIPLES OF THEOLOGY

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 4

Surely not, my friends and brethren (for I will still call you Brethren, though you do not behave like brothers). Let us not think so nor yet, like hot tempered and hard mouthed horses, throwing off our rider Reason, and casting away Reverence, that keeps us within due limits, run far away from the turning point? but let us philosophize within our proper bounds, and not be carried away into Egypt, nor be swept down into Assyria , nor sing the Lord's song in a strange land, by which I mean before any kind of audience, strangers or kindred, hostile or friendly, kindly or the reverse, who watch what we do with over great care, and would like the spark of what is wrong in us to become a flame, and secretly kindle and fan it and raise it to heaven with their breath and make it higher than the Babylonian flame which burnt up every thing around it. For since their strength lies not in their own dogmas, they hunt for it in our weak points. And therefore they apply themselves to our-shall I say "misfortunes" or "failings"?-like flies to wounds. But let us at least be no longer ignorant of ourselves, or pay too little attention to the due order in these matters. Μηδαμῶς͵ ὦ φίλοι καὶ ἀδελφοί· ἀδελφοὺς γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἔτι καλῶ͵ καίπερ οὐκ ἀδελφικῶς ἔχοντας· μὴ οὕτω διανοώμεθα͵ μηδὲ καθάπερ ἵπποι θερμοὶ καὶ δυσκάθεκτοι͵ τὸν ἐπιβάτην λογισμὸν ἀπορρίψαντες καὶ τὴν καλῶς ἄγχουσαν εὐλάβειαν ἀποπτύσαντες͵ πόρρω τῆς νύσσης θέωμεν· ἀλλ΄ εἴσω τῶν ἡμετέρων ὅρων φιλοσοφῶμεν͵ καὶ μὴ εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐκφερώμεθα͵ μηδὲ εἰς Ἀσσυρίους κατασυρώμεθα͵ μηδὲ ᾄδωμεν τὴν ᾠδὴν κυρίου ἐπὶ γῆς ἀλλοτρίας͵ πάσης ἀκοῆς λέγω͵ ξένης τε καὶ ἡμετέρας͵ ἐχθρᾶς καὶ φιλίας͵ εὐγνώμονος καὶ ἀγνώμονος͵ ἣ λίαν ἐπιμελῶς τηρεῖ τὰ ἡμέτερα͵ καὶ βούλοιτο ἂν τὸν σπινθῆρα τῶν ἐν ἡμῖν κακῶν γενέσθαι φλόγα͵ ἐξάπτει τε καὶ ἀναρριπίζει καὶ εἰς οὐρανὸν αἴρει ταῖς παρ΄ ἑαυτῆς αὔραις λανθάνουσα͵ καὶ ποιεῖ τῆς Βαβυλωνίας φλογὸς τὰ κύκλῳ καταφλεγούσης ὑψηλοτέραν. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ οὐκ ἐν τοῖς ἑαυτῶν δόγμασιν ἔχουσι τὴν ἰσχύν͵ ἐν τοῖς ἡμετέροις σαθροῖς ταύτην θηρεύουσι͵ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο͵ ὥσπερ αἱ μυῖαι τοῖς τραύμασιν͵ οὕτω τοῖς ἡμετέροις ἐπιτίθενται - εἴτε ἀτυχήμασι χρὴ λέγειν͵ εἴτε ἁμαρτήμασιν. ἀλλ΄ ἡμεῖς γε μὴ ἐπὶ πλεῖον ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς ἀγνοήσωμεν͵ μηδὲ τὸ περὶ ταῦτα κόσμιον ἀτιμάσωμεν·
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