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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VIII:
The Letters.: To Gregory my friend.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Letter VII. 1777

To Gregory my friend1778

When I wrote to you, I was perfectly well aware that no theological term is adequate to the thought of the speaker, or the want of the questioner, because language is of natural necessity too weak to act in the service of objects of thought.  If then our thought is weak, and our tongue weaker than our thought, what was to be expected of me in what I said but that I should be charged with poverty of expression?  Still, it was not possible to let your question pass unnoticed.  It looks like a betrayal, if we do not readily give an answer about God to them that love the Lord.  What has been said, however, whether it seems satisfactory, or requires some further and more careful addition, needs a fit season for correction.  For the present I implore you, as I have implored you before, to devote yourself entirely to the advocacy of the truth, and to the intellectual energies God gives you for the establishment of what is good.  With this be content, and ask nothing more from me.  I am really much less capable than is supposed, and am more likely to do harm to the word by my weakness than to add strength to the truth by my advocacy.



Written from the retirement in Pontus.


i.e. Gregory of Nazianzus.

Next: To the Cæsareans.  A defence of his withdrawal, and concerning the faith.

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