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Epistle XXXIII.

To Andrew3232    Andreas Scholasticus, so addressed V. 48..

Gregory to Andrew.

On hearing that your Glory had been severely afflicted with grief and sickness, I condoled with you exceedingly.  But learning presently that the malady had entirely left you, I soon turned my sorrow into joy, and returned great thanks to Almighty God for that He smote that He might heal, afflicted that He might lead to true joys.  For hence it is written, Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Heb. xii. 6).  Hence the Truth in person says, My Father is the husbandman, and every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away; but every branch that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John xv. 1, 2).  For the unfruitful branch is taken away, because a sinner is utterly rooted up.  But the fruitful branch is said to be purged, because it is cut down by discipline that it may be brought to more abundant grace.  For so the grain of the ears of corn, beaten with the threshing instrument, is stript of its awn and chaff.  So the olives, pressed in the oil-press, flow forth into the fatness of oil.  So the bunches of grapes pounded with the heels, liquify into wine.  Rejoice, therefore, good man, for that in this thy 12scourge and this thy advancement thou seest that thou art loved by the Eternal Judge.

Furthermore, I beg that my daughter Gloriosa, your wife, be greeted in my name.  Now may Almighty God keep you under heavenly protection, and comfort you both now with abundance of gifts and hereafter with the retribution of reward.

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