Fathers of the Church
Epistle XLI: to Julianus, Scribo
by Gregory the Great in 590-604 | translated by James Barmby, D.d
Gregory to Julianus, &c.
If in secular offices order and the discipline handed down by our ancestors is observed, who may bear to see ecclesiastical order confounded, to disregard such things when heard of, and postpone their amendment by improperly condoning them? And indeed you do well to love charity and to persuade to concord. But, since we are compelled by consideration of our position, and for God's sake, by no means to leave uninvestigated the things that have come to our knowledge, we shall take care, when Maximus comes, to require a strict account from him of the things that have been said about him. And we trust in the guardianship of our Creator, that we shall not be turned aside by either the favour or the fault of any man from maintenance of the canons and the straight path of equity, but willingly observe what is agreeable to reason. For if (which God forbid) we neglect ecclesiastical solicitude and vigour, indolence destroys discipline, and certainly harm will be done to the souls of the faithful, while they see such examples set them by their pastors. But with regard to your saying in your letter that the good will of the palace and the love of the people are not alienated from him, this circumstance does not recall us from our zeal for justice, nor shall it cause our determination to enquire into the truth to fail through sin of ours. Every one, then, should strive, magnificent son, to conciliate to himself the love of God. For without divine favour what can I say that human love will do for us hereafter, when even among ourselves it harms us the more?
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/XIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.