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Gregory Nazianzen the Theologian On the Arrival of the Egyptians (Oration XXXIV), Complete

Translated by Ch. Browne and J. Swallow.

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This Oration was preached at Constantinople in 380, under the following circumstances: Peter, Patriarch of Alexandria, had sent a mission of five of his Suffragans to consecrate the impostor Maximus to the Throne occupied by Gregory. This had led to much trouble, but in the end the intruder had been expelled and banished. Shortly afterwards an Egyptian fleet, probably the regular corn ships, had arrived at Constantinople, apparently on the day before a Festival. The crews of the ships, landing next day to go to Church, passed by the numerous Churches held by the Arians, and betook themselves to the little Anastasia. S. Gregory felt himself moved to congratulate them specially on such an act, after what had recently passed, and accordingly pronounced the following discourse.

I. I will address myself as is right to those who have come from Egypt; for they have come here eagerly, having overcome illwill by zeal, from that Egypt which is enriched by the River, raining out of the earth, and like the sea in its season,—if I too may follow in my small measure those who have so eloquently spoken of these matters; and which is also enriched by Christ my Lord, Who once was a fugitive into Egypt, and now is supplied by Egypt; the first, when He fled from Herod's massacre of the children; [3788] and now by the love of the fathers for their children, by Christ the new Food of those who hunger after good; [3789] the greatest alms of corn of which history speaks and men believe; the Bread which came down from heaven and giveth life to the world, that life which is indestructible and indissoluble, concerning Whom I now seem to hear the Father saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son. [3790]

[3788] Matt. ii. 13.

[3789] John vi. 33.

[3790] Hos. xi. 1.

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