Canonical Epistle Of Gregory Thaumaturgus by Gregory Thaumaturgus
Canon IV. Let no one deceive himself, nor put forward the pretext of having found such property.à
Let no one deceive himself, nor put forward the pretext of having found such property. For it is not lawful, even for a man who has found anything, to aggrandize himself by it. For Deuteronomy says: |Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray in the way, and pay no heed to them; but thou shalt in any wise bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother come not nigh thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring them together, and they shall be with thee until thy brother seek after them, and thou shalt restore them to him again. And in like manner shalt thou do with his ass, and so shalt thou do with his raiment, and so shalt thou do with all lost things of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou mayest find.| Thus much in Deuteronomy. And in the book of Exodus it is said, with reference not only to the case of finding what is a friend's, but also of finding what is an enemy's: |Thou shalt surely bring them back to the house of their master again.| And if it is not lawful to aggrandize oneself at the expense of another, whether he be brother or enemy, even in the time of peace, when he is living at his ease and delicately, and without concern as to his property, how much more must it be the case when one is met by adversity, and is fleeing from his enemies, and has had to abandon his possessions by force of circumstances!