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Fathers of the Church

Epistle XVIII: to Eusebius of Caesarea

Description

Gregory assures Eusebius that he was never opposed to him.

Provenance

Gregory was the first Greek author to publish a collection of his letters; he did so at the request of Nicobulus, a grandson of his sister Gorgonia. Incidentally, he also sets forth a theory of epistolography; he demands that a good letter should have four characteristics: shortness, clearness, charm and simplicity. Although he refuses to present his own epistles as models, they are carefully written, in many cases not without humor, and most of them are brief and pointed. (Quasten)

In a letter (Epistle XIX) to his friend and mentor St. Basil the Great, Gregory suggests that they write to Bishop Eusebius. Below is the third of three such letters (XVI, XVII, XVIII).

by Gregory Nazianzen in Unknown | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

I was never meanly disposed towards your Reverence; do not find me guilty. But after allowing myself a little liberty and boldness, just to relieve and heal my grief, I at once bowed and submitted, and willingly subjected myself to the Canon. What else could I have done, knowing both you and the Law of the Spirit? But if I had been ever so mean and ignoble in my sentiments, yet the present time would not allow such feelings, nor the wild beasts which are rushing on the Church, nor your own courage and manliness, so purely and genuinely fighting for the Church. I will come then, if you wish it, and take part with you in prayers and in conflict, and will serve you, and like cheering boys will stir up the noble athlete by my exhortations.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/VII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.