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The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen

By Thaumaturgus, Gregory

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Book Id: WPLBN0000136128
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.6 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen  
Author: Thaumaturgus, Gregory
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library

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Thaumaturgus, G. (n.d.). The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen. Retrieved from http://community.worldlibrary.net/


Excerpt
AN excellent [2] thing has silence proved itself in many another person on many an occasion, and at present it befits myself, too, most especially, who with or without purpose may keep the door of my lips, and feel constrained to be silent. For I am unpractised and unskilled [3] in those beautiful and elegant addresses which are spoken or composed in a regular and unbroken [4] train, in select and well-chosen phrases and words; and it may be that I am less apt by nature to cultivate successfully this graceful and truly Grecian art. Besides, it is now eight years since I chanced myself to utter or compose any speech, whether long or short; neither in that period have I heard any other compose or utter anything in private, or deliver in public any laudatory or controversial orations, with the exception of those admirable men who have embraced the noble study of philosophy, and who care less for beauty of language and elegance of expression. For, attaching only a secondary importance to the words, they aim, with all exactness, at investigating and making known the things themselves, precisely as they are severally constituted. Not indeed, in my opinion, that they: do not desire, but rather that they do greatly desire, to clothe the noble and accurate results of their thinking in noble and comely [5] language. Yet it may be that they are not able so lightly to put forth this sacred and godlike power (faculty) in the exercise of its own proper conceptions, and at the same time to practise a mode of discourse eloquent in its terms, and thus to comprehend in one and the same mind—and that, too, this little mind of man—two accomplishments, which are the gifts of two distinct persons, and which are, in truth, most contrary to each other. For silence is indeed the friend and helpmeet of thought and invention. But if one aims at readiness of speech and beauty of discourse, he will get at them by no other discipline than the study of words, and their constant practice. Moreover, another branch of learning occupies my mind completely, and the mouth binds the tongue if I should desire to make any speech, however brief, with the voice of the Greeks; I refer to those admirable laws of our sages [6] by which the affairs of all the subjects of the Roman Empire are now directed, and which are neither composed [7] nor learnt without difficulty. And these are wise and exact [8] in themselves, and manifold and admirable, and, in a word, most thoroughly Grecian; and they are expressed and committed to us in the Roman tongue, which is a wonderful and magnificent sort of language, and one very aptly conformable to royal authority, [9] but still difficult to me. Nor could it be otherwise with me, even though I might say that it was my desire that it should be. [10] And as our words are nothing else than a kind of imagery of the dispositions of our mind, we should allow those who have the gift of speech, like some good artists alike skilled to the utmost in their art and liberally furnished in the matter of colours, to possess the liberty of painting their word-pictures, not simply of a uniform complexion, but...

Table of Contents
· ARGUMENT I.—FOR EIGHT YEARS GREGORY HAS GIVEN UP THE PRACTICE OF ORATORY, BEING BUSIED WITH THE STUDY CHIEFLY OF ROMAN LAW AND THE LATIN LANGUAGE. · ARGUMENT II.—HE ESSAYS TO SPEAK OF THE WELL-NIGH DIVINE ENDOWMENTS OF ORIGEN IN HIS PRESENCE, INTO WHOSE HANDS HE AVOWS HIMSELF TO HAVE BEEN LED IN A WAY BEYOND ALL HIS EXPECTATION. · ARGUMENT III.—HE IS STIMULATED TO SPEAK OF HIM BY THE LONGING OF A GRATEFUL MIND. TO THE UTMOST OF HIS ABILITY HE THINKS HE OUGHT TO THANK HIM. FROM GOD ARE THE BEGINNINGS OF ALL BLESSINGS; AND TO HIM ADEQUATE THANKS CANNOT BE RETURNED. · ARGUMENT IV.—THE SON ALONE KNOWS HOW TO PRAISE THE FATHER WORTHILY. IN CHRIST AND BY CHRIST OUR THANKSGIVING SOUGHT TO BE RENDERED TO THE FATHER. GREGORY ALSO GIVES THANKS TO HIS GUARDIAN ANGEL, BECAUSE HE WAS CONDUCTED BY HIM TO ORIGEN. · ARGUMENT V.—HERE GREGORY INTERWEAVES THE NARRATIVE OF HIS FORMER LIFE. HIS BIRTH OF HEATHEN PARENTS IS STATED. IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR OF HIS AGE HE LOSES HIS FATHER. HE IS DEDICATED TO THE STUDY OF ELOQUENCE AND LAW. BY A WONDERFUL LEADING OF PROVIDENCE, HE IS BROUGHT TO ORIGEN. · ARGUMENT VI.—THE ARTS BY WHICH ORIGEN STUDIES TO KEEP GREGORY AND HIS BROTHER ATHENODORUS WITH HIM, ALTHOUGH IT WAS ALMOST AGAINST THEIR WILL; AND THE LOVE BY WHICH BOTH ARE TAKEN CAPTIVE. OF PHILOSOPHY, THE FOUNDATION OF PIETY, WITH THE VIEW OF GIVING HIMSELF THEREFORE WHOLLY TO THAT STUDY, GREGORY IS WILLING TO GIVE UP FATHERLAND, PARENTS, THE PURSUIT OF LAW, AND EVERY OTHER DISCIPLINE. OF THE SOUL AS THE FREE PRINCIPLE. THE NOBLER PART DOES NOT DESIRE TO BE UNITED WITH TIlE INFERIOR, BUT THE INFERIOR WITH THE NOBLER. · ARGUMENT VII.—THE WONDERFUL SKILL WITH WHICH ORIGEN PREPARES GREGORY AND ATHENODORUS FOR PHILOSOPHY. THE INTELLECT OF EACH IS EXERCISED FIRST IN LOGIC, AND THE MERE ATTENTION TO WORDS IS CONTEMNED. · ARGUMENT VIII.—THEN IN DUE SUCCESSION HE INSTRUCTS THEM IN PHYSICS, GEOMETRY,AND ASTRONOMY. · ARGUMENT IX.—BUT HE IMBUES THEIR MINDS, ABOVE ALL, WITH ETHICAL SCIENCE; AND HE DOES NOT CONFINE HIMSELF TO DISCOURSING ON THE VIRTUES IN WORD, BUT HE RATHER CONFIRMS HIS TEACHING BY HIS ACTS. · ARGUMENT X.—HENCE THE MERE WORD-SAGES ARE CONFUTED, WHO SAY AND YET ACT NOT. · ARGUMENT XI.—ORIGEN IS THE FIRST AND THE ONLY ONE THAT EXHORTS GREGORY TO ADD TO HIS ACQUIREMENTS THE STUDY OF PHILOSOPHY, AND OFFERS HIM IN A CERTAIN MANNER AN EXAMPLE IN HIMSELF. OF JUSTICE, PRUDENCE, TEMPERANCE, AND FORTITUDE. THE MAXIM, KNOW

 

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