Has the rain a father? or who has begotten the drops of dew?
Read Chapter 38
Gregory The Dialogist
54. As if He were saying, Except Myself, Who sprinkle, of My free grace, the barren earth of the human heart with drops of knowledge. For of this rain is said elsewhere, Thou wilt set apart, O God, a voluntary rain for thine inheritance. [Ps. 68, 9] For God sets apart a voluntary rain for His inheritance, because He grants it to us, not for own deserts, but from the bounty of His own benignity. And He is in this place called the father of this rain, for this reason, because His heavenly preaching is begotten in us, not for our merits, but from His grace. For the drops of dew, are the holy preachers themselves, who water the fields of our breast, (parched amid the evils of the present life, as though amid the gloom of a dry night,) with the grace of bounty from above. Of these drops it is said to obstinate Judah; Therefore the drops of rains have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain. [Jer. 3, 3] For the drops of dew are the same as the drops of rains. For when they soften down their preaching by any accommodation, they sprinkle, as it were, the tender dew. But when they say what they think of heavenly things, with the power with which they are strong, they pour forth, as it were, the flowing rain abundantly. Paul was sprinkling the dew, when saying to the Corinthians, For I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. [1 Cor. 2, 2] And again he was pouring forth the rain, saying, O ye Corinthians, our mouth is opened unto you, our heart is enlarged. [2 Cor. 6, 11] Hence it is, that Moses, who knew that he would say bold things to the strong, and gentle to the weak, observed, Let my speech be waited for as the rain, and let my words descend as the dew. [Deut. 32, 2]
But, lo! we have heard with what favour the Gentiles are called, let us now hear with what severity Judah is rejected. We have heard how He cultivates what is desert, and waters what is barren: let us now hear how He casts forth those which seem to be, as it were, within. For He does not so gather His Elect, as not also to judge the reprobate; nor does He so forgive faults to some persons, as not to punish them in some also. For it is written, For mercy and wrath come from Him. Whence here also, after He had introduced so many gifts of grace, He conceals not the judgments of His wrath.