32. And so our Christian orator, while he says what is just, and holy, and
good (and he ought never to say anything else), does all he can to be heard
with intelligence, with pleasure, and with obedience; and he need not doubt
that if he succeed in this object, and so far as he succeeds, he will succeed
more by piety in prayer than by gifts of oratory; and so he ought to pray for
himself, and for those he is about to address, before he attempts to speak.
And when the hour is come that he must speak, he ought, before he opens his
mouth, to lift up his thirsty soul to God, to drink in what he is about to
pour forth, and to be himself filled with what he is about to distribute. For,
as in regard to every matter of faith and love there are many things that may
be said, and many ways of saying them, who knows what it is expedient at a
given moment for us to say, or to be heard saying, except God who knows the
hearts of all? And who can make us say what we ought, and in the way we ought,
except Him in whose hand both we and our speeches are? Accordingly, he who is
anxious both to know and to teach should learn all that is to be taught, and
acquire such a faculty of speech as is suitable for a divine. But when the
hour for speech arrives, let him reflect upon that saying of our Lord's, as
better suited to the wants of a pious mind: "Take no thought how or what ye
shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in
you." The Holy Spirit, then, speaks thus in those who for Christ's sake are
delivered to the persecutors; why not also in those who deliver Christ's
message to those who are willing to learn?