Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus/In Defence of His Flight to Pontus
Oration II: In Defence of His Flight to Pontus, and His Return, After His Ordination to the Priesthood, with an Exposition of the Character of the Priestly Office
I have been defeated, and own my defeat. I subjected myself to the Lord, and prayed unto Him. Let the most blessed David supply my exordium, or rather let Him Who spoke in David, and even now yet speaks through him. For indeed the very best order of beginning every speech and action, is to begin from God, and to end in God. As to the cause, either of my original revolt and cowardice, in which I got me away far off, and remained away from you for a time, which perhaps seemed long to those who missed me; or of the present gentleness and change of mind, in which I have given myself up again to you, men may think and speak in different ways, according to the hatred or love they bear me, on the one side refusing to acquit me of the charges alleged, on the other giving me a hearty welcome. For nothing is so pleasant to men as talking of other people’s business, especially under the influence of affection or hatred, which often almost entirely blinds us to the truth. I will, however, myself, unabashed, set forth the truth, and arbitrate with justice between the two parties, which accuse or gallantly defend us, by, on the one side, accusing myself, on the other, undertaking my own defence.