« Prev The Son Alone Knows How to Praise the Father… Next »

Argument IV.—The Son Alone Knows How to Praise the Father Worthily. In Christ and by Christ Our Thanksgivings Ought to Be Rendered to the Father. Gregory Also Gives Thanks to His Guardian Angel, Because He Was Conducted by Him to Origen.

But let us commit the praises and hymns in honour of the King and Superintendent of all things, the perennial Fount of all blessings, to the hand of Him who, in this matter as in all others, is the Healer of our infirmity, and who alone is able to supply that which is lacking; to the Champion and Saviour of our souls, His first-born Word, the Maker and Ruler of all things, with whom also alone it is possible, both for Himself and for all, whether privately and individually, or publicly and collectively, to send up to the Father uninterrupted and ceaseless thanksgivings. For as He is Himself the Truth, and the Wisdom, and the Power of the Father of the universe, and He is besides in Him, and is truly and entirely made one with Him, it cannot be that, either through forgetfulness or unwisdom, or any manner of infirmity, such as marks one dissociated from Him, He shall either fail in the power to praise Him, or, while having the power, shall willingly neglect (a supposition which it is not lawful, surely, to indulge) to praise the Father. For He alone is able most perfectly to fulfil the whole meed of honour which is proper to Him, inasmuch as the Father of all things has made Him one with Himself, and through Him all but completes the circle of His own being objectively,174174    ἐκπεριών in the text, for which Bengel gives ἐκπεριϊών, a word used frequently by this author. In Dorner it is explained as = going out of Himself in order to embrace and encompass Himself. See the Doctrine of the Person of Christ, A. II. p. 173 (Clark). and honours Him with a power in all respects equal to His own, even as also He is honoured; which position He first and alone of all creatures that exist has had assigned Him, this Only-begotten of the Father, who is in Him, and who is God the Word; while all others of us are able to express our thanksgiving and our piety only if, in return for all the blessings which proceed to us from the Father, we bring our offerings in simple dependence on Him alone, and thus present the meet oblation of thanksgiving to Him who is the Author of all things, acknowledging also that the only way of piety is in this manner to offer our memorials through Him. Wherefore, in acknowledgment of that ceaseless providence which watches over all of us, alike in the greatest and in the smallest concerns, and which has been sustained even thus far, let this Word175175    λόγος. be accepted as the worthy and perpetual expression for all thanksgivings and praises,—I mean the altogether perfect and living and verily animate Word of the First Mind Himself. But let this word of ours be taken primarily as an eucharistic address in honour of this sacred personage, who stands alone among all men;176176    [The unformed theological mind of a youth is here betrayed.] and if I may seek to discourse177177    The text gives μεληγορείν, for which others read μεγαληγορεῖν. of aught beyond this, and, in particular, of any of those beings who are not seen, but yet are more godlike, and who have a special care for men, it shall be addressed to that being who, by some momentous decision, had me allotted to him from my boyhood to rule, and rear, and train,—I mean that holy angel of God who fed me from my youth,178178    Gen. xlviii. 15. [Jacob refers to the Jehovah-Angel.] as says the saint dear to God, meaning thereby his own peculiar one. Though he, indeed, as being himself illustrious, did in these terms designate some angel exalted enough to befit his own dignity (and whether it was some other one, or whether it was perchance the Angel of the Mighty Counsel Himself, the Common Saviour of all, that he received as his own peculiar guardian through his perfection, I do not clearly know),—he, I say, did recognise and praise some superior angel as his own, whosoever that was. But we, in addition to the homage we offer to the Common Ruler of all men, acknowledge and praise that being, whosoever he is, who has been the wonderful guide of our childhood, who in all other matters has been in time past my beneficent tutor and guardian. For this office of tutor and guardian is one which evidently can suit179179    The text gives ἐμοὶ, etc.,…συμφερον ειναι καταφαίνεται. Bengel’s idea of the sense is followed in the translation. neither 25me nor any of my friends and kindred; for we are all blind, and see nothing of what is before us, so as to be able to judge of what is right and fitting; but it can suit only him who sees beforehand all that is for the good of our soul: that angel, I say, who still at this present time sustains, and instructs, and conducts me; and who, in addition to all these other benefits, has brought me into connection with this man, which, in truth, is the most important of all the services done me. And this, too, he has effected for me, although between myself and that man of whom I discourse there was no kinship of race or blood, nor any other tie, nor any relationship in neighbourhood or country whatsoever; things which are made the ground of friendship and union among the majority of men. But to speak in brief, in the exercise of a truly divine and wise forethought he brought us together, who were unknown to each other, and strangers, and foreigners, separated as thoroughly from each other as intervening nations, and mountains, and rivers can divide man from man, and thus he made good this meeting which has been full of profit to me, having, as I judge, provided beforehand this blessing for me from above from my very birth and earliest upbringing. And in what manner this has been realized it would take long to recount fully, not merely if I were to enter minutely into the whole subject, and were to attempt to omit nothing, but even if, passing many things by, I should purpose simply to mention in a summary way a few of the most important points.


« Prev The Son Alone Knows How to Praise the Father… Next »





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |