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Gregory Nazianzen the Theologian Fifth Theological Oration, On the Holy Spirit, Complete

Translated by Ch. Browne and J. Swallow.

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I. Such then is the account of the Son, and in this manner He has escaped those who would stone Him, passing through the midst of them. [3694] For the Word is not stoned, but casts stones when He pleases; and uses a sling against wild beasts—that is, words—approaching the Mount [3695] in an unholy way. But, they go on, what have you to say about the Holy Ghost? From whence are you bringing in upon us this strange God, of Whom Scripture is silent? And even they who keep within bounds as to the Son speak thus. And just as we find in the case of roads and rivers, that they split off from one another and join again, so it happens also in this case, through the superabundance of impiety, that people who differ in all other respects have here some points of agreement, so that you never can tell for certain either where they are of one mind, or where they are in conflict.

II. Now the subject of the Holy Spirit presents a special difficulty, not only because when these men have become weary in their disputations concerning the Son, they struggle with greater heat against the Spirit (for it seems to be absolutely necessary for them to have some object on which to give expression to their impiety, or life would appear to them no longer worth living), but further because we ourselves also, being worn out by the multitude of their questions, are in something of the same condition with men who have lost their appetite; who having taken a dislike to some particular kind of food, shrink from all food; so we in like manner have an aversion from all discussions. Yet may the Spirit grant it to us, and then the discourse will proceed, and God will be glorified. Well then, we will leave to others [3696] who have worked upon this subject for us as well as for themselves, as we have worked upon it for them, the task of examining carefully and distinguishing in how many senses the word Spirit or the word Holy is used and understood in Holy Scripture, with the evidence suitable to such an enquiry; and of shewing how besides these the combination of the two words—I mean, Holy Spirit—is used in a peculiar sense; but we will apply ourselves to the remainder of the subject.

[3694] Luke iv. 29, 30.

[3695] Exod. xix. 13.

[3696] E.g. S. Basil and S. Gregory of Nyssa.

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Reference address : http://www.elpenor.org/gregory-nazianzen/fifth-theological.asp