To the Caesareans. A defence of his withdrawal, and concerning
1. I Have often been astonished at your feeling towards me as you do,
and how it comes about that an individual so small and insignificant, and
having, may be, very little that is lovable about him, should have so won
your allegiance. You remind me of the claims of friendship and of fatherland,2
and press me urgently in your attempt to make me come back to you, as though
I were a runaway from a father's heart and home. That I am a runaway I
confess. I should be sorry to deny it; since you are already regretting
me, you shall be told the cause. I was astounded like a man stunned by
some sudden noise. I did not crush my thoughts, but dwelt upon them as
I fled, and now I have been absent from you a considerable time. Then I
began to yearn for the divine doctrines, and the philosophy that is concerned
with them. How, said I, could I overcome the mischief dwelling with us?
Who is to be my Laban, setting me free from Esau, and leading me to the
supreme philosophy? By God's help, I have, so far as in me lies, attained
my object; I have found a chosen vessel, a deep well; I mean Gregory, Christ's
mouth. Give me, therefore, I beg you, a little time. I am not embracing
a city life.3 I am quite well aware how the evil one by such means devises
deceit for mankind, but I do hold the society of the saints most useful.
For in the more constant change of ideas about the divine dogmas I am acquiring
a lasting habit of contemplation. Such is my present situation.
2. Friends godly and well beloved, do, I implore you, beware of the
shepherds of the Philistines; let them not choke your wills unawares; let
them not befoul the purity of your knowledge of the faith. This is ever
their object, not to teach simple souls lessons drawn from Holy Scripture,
but to mar the harmony of the truth by heathen philosophy. Is not he an
open Philistine who is introducing the terms "unbegotten" and "begotten"
into our faith, and asserts that there was once a time when the Everlasting
was not;4 that He who is by nature and eternally a Father became a Father;
that the Holy Ghost is not eternal? He bewitches our Patriarch's sheep
that they may not drink "of the well of water springing upeverlasting life,"5
but may rather bring upon themselves the words of the prophet, "They have
forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns,
broken cisterns, that can hold no water;"6 when all the while they ought
to confess that the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God,7
as they have been taught by the divine words, and by those who have understood
them in their highest sense. Against those who cast it in our teeth that
we are Tritheists, let it be answered that we confess one God not in number
but in nature. For everything which is called one in number is not one
absolutely, nor yet simple in nature; but God is universally confessed
to be simple and not composite. God therefore is not one in number. What
I mean is this. We say that the world is one in number, but not one by
nature nor yet simple; for we divide it into its constituent elements,
fire, water, air, and earth.8 Again, man is called one in number. We frequently
speak of one man, but man who is composed of body and soul is not simple.
Similarly we say one angel in number, but not one by nature nor yet simple,
for we conceive of the hypostasis of the angel as essence with sanctification.
If therefore everything which is one in number is not one in nature, and
that which is one and simple in nature is not one in number; and if we
call God one in nature how can number be charged against us, when we utterly
exclude it from that blessed and spiritual nature? Number relates to quantity;
and quantity is conjoined with bodily nature, for number is of bodily nature.
We believe our Lord to be Creator of bodies. Wherefore every number indicates
those things which have received a material and circumscribed nature. Monad
and Unity on the other hand signify the nature which is simple and incomprehensible.
Whoever therefore confesses either the Son of God or the Holy Ghost to
be number or creature introduces unawares a material and circumscribed
nature. And by circumscribed I mean not only locally limited, but a nature
which is comprehended in foreknowledge by Him who is about to educe it
from the non-existent into the existent and which can be comprehended by
science. Every holy thing then of which the nature is circumscribed and
of which the holiness is acquired is not insusceptible of evil. But the
Son and the Holy Ghost are the source of sanctification by which every
reasonable creature is hallowed in proportion to its virtue.
3. We in accordance with the true doctrine speak of the Son as neither
like,9 nor unlike10 the Father. Each of these terms is equally impossible,
for like and unlike are predicated in relation to quality, and the divine
is free from quality. We, on the contrary, confess identity of nature and
accepting the consubstantiality, and rejecting the composition of the Father,
God in substance, Who begat the Son, God in substance. From this the consubstantiality11
is proved. For God in essence or substance is co-essential or con-substantial
with God in essence or substance. But when even man is called "god" as
in the words, "I have said ye are gods,"12 and "daemon" as in the words,
"The gods of the nations are daemons,"13 in the former case the name is
given by favour, in the latter untruly. God alone is substantially and
essentially God. When I say "alone" I set forth the holy and uncreated
essence and substance of God. For the word "alone" is used in the case
of any individual and generally of human nature. In the case of an individual,
as for instance of Paul, that he alone was caught into the third heaven
and "heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for a man to utter,"14
and of human nature, as when David says, "as for man his days are as grass,"15
not meaning any particular man, but human nature generally; for every man
is short-lived and mortal. So we understand these words to be said of the
nature, "who alone hath immortality"16 and "to God only wise,"17 and "none
is good save one, that is God,"18 for here "one" means the same as alone.
So also, "which alone spreadest out the heavens,"19 and again "Thou shall
worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve."20 "There is no
God beside me."21 In Scripture "one" and "only" are not predicated of God
to mark distinction from the Son and the Holy Ghost, but to except the
unreal gods falsely so called.As for instance, "The Lord alone did lead
them and there was no strange god with them,"22 and "then the children
of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and didserve the Lord only."23
And so St. Paul, "For as there be gods many and lords many, but to us there
is but out god, the Father, of whom are all things; and one Lord Jesus
Christ by Whom are all things."24 Here we enquire why when he had said
"one God" he was not content, for we have said that "one" and "only" when
applied to God, indicate nature. Why did he add the word Father and make
mention of Christ? Paul, a chosen vessel, did not, I imagine, think it
sufficient only to preach that the Son is God and the Holy Ghost God, which
he had expressed by the phrase "one God." without, by the further addition
of "the Father," expressing Him of Whom are all things; and, by mentioning
the Lord, signifyings the Word by Whom are all things; and yet further,
by adding the words Jesus Christ, announcing the incarnation, setting forth
the passion and publishing the resurrection. For the word Jesus Christ
suggests all these ideas to us. For this reason too before His passion
our Lord deprecates the designation of "Jesus Christ," and charges His
disciples to "tell no man that He was Jesus, the Christ."25 For His purpose
was, after the completion of the oeconomy,26 after His resurrection from
the dead, and His assumption into heaven, to commit to them the preaching
of Him as Jesus, the Christ. Such is the force of the words "That they
may know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,"27
and again "Ye believe in God, believe also in me."28 Everywhere the Holy
Ghost secures our conception of Him to save us from falling in else direction
while we advance in the other, heeding the theology but neglecting the
oeconomy,29 and so by omission falling into impiety.
4. Now let us examine, and to the best of our ability explain, the meaning
of the words of Holy Scripture, which our opponents seize and wrest to
their own sense, and urge against us for the destruction of the glory of
the Only-begotten. First of all take the words "I live because of the Father,"30
for this is one of the shafts hurled heavenward by those who impiously
use it. These words I do not understand to refer to the eternal life; for
whatever lives because of something else cannot be self-existent, just
as that which is warmed by another cannot be warmth itself; but He Who
is our Christ and God says, "I am the life."31 I understand the life lived
because of the Father to be this life in the flesh, and in this time. Of
His own will He came to live the life of men. He did not say "I have lived
because of the Father," but "I live because of the Father," clearly indicating
the present time, and the Christ, having the word of God in Himself, is
able to call the life which He leads, life, and that this is His meaning
we shall learn from what follows. "He that eateth me," He says, "he also
shall live because of me;"32 for we eat His flesh, and drink His blood,
being made through His incarnation and His visible life partakers of His
Word and of His Wisdom. For all His mystic sojourn among us He called flesh
and blood, and set forth the teaching consisting of practical science,
of physics, and of theology, whereby out soul is nourished and is meanwhile
trained for the contemplation of actual realities. This is perhaps the
intended meaning of what He says.33
5. And again, "My Father is greater than I."34 This passage is also
employed by the ungrateful creatures, the brood of the evil one. I believe
that even from this passage the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father
is set forth. For I know that comparisons may properly be made between
things which are of the same nature. We speak of angel as greater than
angel, of man as juster than man, of bird as fleeter than bird. If then
comparisons are made between things of the same species, and the Father
by comparison is said to be greater than the Son, then the Son is of the
same substance as the Father. But there is another sense underlying the
expression. In what is it extraordinary that He who "is the Word and was
made flesh"35 confesses His Father to be greater than Himself, when He
was seen in glory inferior to the angels, and in form to men? For "Thou
hast made him a little lower than the angels,"36 and again "Who was made
a little lower thanthe angels,"37 and "we saw Him and He had neither form
nor comeliness, his form was deficient beyond all men."38 All this He endured
on account of His abundant loving kindness towards His work, that He might
save the lost sheep and bring it home when He had saved it, and bring back
safe and sound to his own land the man who went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho and so fell among thieves.39 Will the heretic cast in His teeth
the manger out of which he in his unreasonableness was fed by the Word
of reason? Will he, because the carpenter's son had no bed to lie on, complain
of His being poor? This is why the Son is less than the Father; for your
sakes He was made dead to free you from death and make you sharer in heavenly
life. It is just as though any one were to find fault with the physician
for stooping to sickness, and breathing its foul breath, that he may heal
6. It is on thy account that He knows not the hour and the day of judgment.
Yet nothing is beyond the ken of the real Wisdom, for "all things were
made by Him; "40 and even among men no one is ignorant of what be has made.
But this is His dispensation41 because of thine own infirmity, that sinners
be not plunged into despair by the narrow limits of the appointed period,42
no opportunity for repentance being left them; and that, on the other hand,
those who are waging a long war with the forces of the enemy may not desert
their post on account of the protracted time. For both of these classes
He arranges43 by means of His assumed ignorance; for the former cutting
the time short for their glorious struggle's sake; for the latter providing
an opportunity for repentance because of their sins. In the gospels He
numbered Himself among the ignorant, on account, as I have said, of the
infirmity of the greater part of mankind. In the Acts of the Apostles,
speaking, as it were, to the perfect apart, He says, "It is not for yon
to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power."44
Here He implicitly excepts Himself. So much for a rough statement by way
of preliminary attack. Now let us enquire into the meaning of the text
from a higher point of view. Let me knock at the door of knowledge, if
haply I may wake the Master of the house, Who gives the spiritual bread
to them who ask Him, since they whom we are eager to entertain are friends
7. Our Saviour's holy disciples, after getting beyond the limits of
human thought, and then being purified by the word,45 are enquiring about
the end, and longing to know the ultimate blessedness which our Lord declared
to be unknown to His angels and to Himself. He calls all the exact comprehension
of the purposes of God, a day; and the contemplation of the One-ness and
Unity, knowledge of which He attributes to the Father alone, an hour. I
apprehend, therefore, that God is said to know of Himself what is; and
not to know what is not God, Who is, of His own nature, very righteousness
and wisdom, is said to know righteousness and wisdom; but to be ignorant
of unrighteousness and wickedness; for God who created us is not unrighteousness
and wickedness. If, then, God is said to know about Himself that which
is, and not to know that which is not; and if our Lord, according to the
purpose of the Incarnation and the denser doctrine, is not the ultimate
object of desire; then our Saviour does not know the end and the ultimate
blessedness. But He says the angels do not know;46 that is to say, not
even the contemplation which is in them, nor the methods of their ministries
are the ultimate object of desire. For even their knowledge, when compared
with the knowledge which is face to face, is dense.47 Only the Father,
He says, knows, since He is Himself the end and the ultimate blessedness,
for when we no longer know God in mirrors and not immediately,48 but approach
Him as one and alone, then we shall know even the ultimate end. For all
material knowledge is said to be the kingdom of Christ; while immaterial
knowledge, and so to say the knowledge of actual Godhead, is that of God
the Father. But our Lord is also Himself the end anti the ultimate blessedness
according to the purpose of the Word; for what does He say in the Gospel?
"I will raise him up at the last day."49 He calls the transition from material
knowledge to immaterial contemplation a resurrection, speaking of that
knowledge after which there is no other, as the last day: for our intelligence
is raised up and roused to a height of blessedness at the time when it
contemplates the One-ness and Unity of the Word. But since our intelligence
is made dense and bound to earth, it is both commingled with clay and incapable
of gazing intently in pure contemplation, being led through adornments50
cognate to its own body. It considers the operations of the Creator, and
judges of them meanwhile by their effects, to the end that growing little
by little it may one day wax strong enough to approach even the actual
unveiled Godhead. This is the meaning, I think, of the words "my Father
is greater than I,"51 and also of the statement, "It is not mine to give
save to those for whom it is prepared by my Father."52 This too is what
is meant by Christ's "delivering up the kingdom to God even the Father;"53
inasmuch as according to the denser doctrine which, as I said, is regarded
relatively to us and not to the Son Himself, He is not the end but the
first fruits. It is in accordance with this view that when His disciples
asked Him again in the Acts of the Apostles, "When wilt thou restore the
kingdom of Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or
the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power."54 That is to say,
the knowledge of such a kingdom is not for them that are bound in flesh
and blood. This contemplation the Father hath put away in His own power,
meaning by "power" those that are empowered, and by "His own" those who
are not held down by the ignorance of things below. Do not, I beg you,
have in mind times and seasons of sense but certain distinctions of knowledge
made by the sun apprehended by mental perception. For our Lord's prayer
must be carried out. It is Jesus Who prayed "Grant that they may be one
in us as I and Thou are one, Father."55 For when God, Who is one, is in
each, He makes all out; and number is lost in the in-dwelling of Unity.
This is my second attempt to attack the text. If any one has a better
interpretation to give, and can consistently with true religion amend what
I say, let him speak and let him amend, and the Lord will reward him for
me. There is no jealousy in my heart. I have not approached this investigation
of these passages for strife and vain glory. I have done so to help my
brothers, lest the earthen vessels which hold the treasure of God should
seem to be deceived by stony-hearted and uncircumcised men, whose weapons
are the wisdom of folly.56
8. Again, as is said through Solomon the Wise in the Proverbs, "He was
created;" and He is named "Beginning of ways"57 of good news. which lead
us to the kingdom of heaven. He is not in essence and substance a creature,
but is made a "way" according to the oeconomy. Being made and being created
signify the same thing. As He was made a way, so was He made a door, a
shepherd, an angel, a sheep, and again a High Priest and an Apostle,58
the names being used in other senses. What again would the heretics say
about God unsubjected, and about His being made sin for us?59 For it is
written "But when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the
Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him."60
Are you not afraid, sir, of God called unsubjected? For He makes thy subjection
His own; and because of thy struggling against goodness He calls himself
unsubjected. In this sense too He once spoke of Himself as persecuted-"Saul,Saul,"
He says, "why persecutest thou me?"61 on the occasion when Saul was hurrying
to Damascus with a desire to imprison the disciples. Again He calls Himself
naked, when any one of his brethren is naked. "I was naked," He says, "and
ye clothed me;"62 and so when another is in prison He speaks of Himself
as imprisoned, for He Himself took away our sins and bare our sicknesses.63
Now one of our infirmities is not being subject, and He bare this. So all
the things which happen to us to our hurt He makes His own, taking upon
Him our sufferings in His fellowship with us.
9. But another passage is also seized by those who are fighting against
God to the perversion of their hearers: I mean the words "The Son can do
nothing of Himself."64 To me this saying too seems distinctly declaratory
of the Son's being of the same nature as the Father. For if every rational
creature is able to do anything of himself, and the inclination which each
has to the worse and to the better is in his own power, but the Son can
do nothing of Himself, then the Son is not a creature. And if He is not
a creature, then He is of one essence and substance with the Father. Again;
no creature can do what be likes. But the Son does what He wills in heaven
and in earth. Therefore the Son is not a creature. Again; all creatures
are either constituted of contraries or receptive of contraries. But the
Son is very righteousness, and immaterial. Therefore the Son is not a creature,
and if He is not a creature, He is of one essenceand substance with the
10. This examination of the passages before us is, so far as my ability
goes, sufficient. Now let us turn the discussion on those who attack the
Holy Spirit, and cast down every high thing of their intellect that exalts
itself against the knowledge of God.65 You say that the Holy Ghost is a
creature. And every creature is a servant of the Creator, for "all are
thy servants."66 If then He is a servant, His holiness is acquired; and
everything of which the holiness is acquired is receptive of evil; but
the Holy Ghost being holy in essence is called "fount of holiness,"67 Therefore
the Holy Ghost is not a creature. If He is not a creature. He is of one
essence and substance with the Father. How, tell me, can you give the name
of servant to Him Who through your baptism frees you from your servitude?
"The law," it is said," of the Spirit of life hath made me free from the
law of sin."68 But you will never venture to call His nature even variable,
so long as you have regard to the nature of the opposing power of the enemy,
which, like lightning, is fallen from heaven and fell out of the true life
because its holiness was acquired, and its evil counsels were followed
by its change. So when it had fallen away from the Unity and had cast from
it its angelic dignity, it was named after its character" Devil,"69 its
former arid blessed condition being extinct and this hostile power being
Furthermore if he calls the Holy Ghost a creature he describes His nature
as limited. How then can the two following passages stand? "The Spirit
of the Lord filleth the world;"70 and "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?"71
But he does not, it would seem. confess Him to be simple in nature; for
he describes Him as one in number. And, as I have already said, everything
that is one in number is not simple. And if the Holy Spirit is not simple,
He consists of essence and sanctification, and is therefore composite.
But who is mad enough to describe the Holy Spirit as composite, and not
simple, and consubstantial with the Father and the Son?
11. If we ought to advance our argument yet further, and turn our inspection
to higher themes, let us contemplate the divine nature of the Holy Spirit
specially flora the following point of view. In Scripture we find mention
of three creations. The first is the evolution from non-being into being.72
The second is change from the worse to the better. The third is the resurrection
of the dead. In these you will find the Holy Ghost cooperating with the
Father and the Son. There is a bringing into existence of the heavens;
and what says David? "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made and
all the host of them by the breath of His mouth."73 Again, man is created
through baptism, for "if any man be in Christ he is a new creature."74
And why does the Saviour say to the disciples, "Go ye therefore and teach
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost"? Here too you see the Holy Ghost present with the Father
and the Son. And what would you say also as to the resurrection of the
dead when we shall have failed and returned to our dust? Dust we are and
unto dust we shall return.75 And He will send the Holy Ghost and create
us and renew the face of the earth.76 For what the holy Paul calls resurrection
David describes as renewal. Let us hear, once more, him who was caught
into the third heaven. What does he say? "You are the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you."77 Now every temple78 is a temple of God, and if
we are a temple of the Holy Ghost, then the Holy Ghost is God. It is also
called Solomon's temple, but this is in the sense of his being its builder.
And if we are a temple of the Holy Ghost in this sense, then the Holy Ghost
is God, for "He that built all things is God."79 If we are a temple of
one who is worshipped, and who dwells in us, let us confess Him to be God,
for thou shale worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve.80
Supposing them to object to the word "God," let them learn what this word
means. God is called Theos either because He placed (tetheikenai) all things
or because He beholds (Theasthai) all things. If He is called Theos because
He "placed" or "beholds" all things, and the Spirit knoweth all the things
of God, as the Spirit in us knoweth our things, then the Holy Ghost is
God.81 Again, if the sword of the spirit is the word of God,82 then the
Holy Ghost is God, inasmuch as the sword belongs to Him of whom it is also
called the word. Is He named the right hand of the Father? For "the right
hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass;"83 and "thy right hand,
O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy."84 But the Holy Ghost is the finger
of God, as it is said "if I by the finger of God cast out devils,"85 of
which the version in another Gospel is "if I by the Spirit of God cast
out devils."86 So the Holy Ghost is of the same nature as the Father and
12. So much must suffice for the present on the subject of the adorable
and holy Trinity. It is not now possible to extend the enquiry about it
further. Do ye take seeds from a humble person like me, and cultivate the
ripe ear for yourselves, for, as you know, in such cases we look for interest.
But I trust in God that you, because of your pure lives, will bring forth
fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold. For, it is said, Blessed are the
pure in heart, for they shall see God.87 And, my brethren, entertain no
other conception of the kingdom of the heavens than that it is the very
contemplation of realities. This the divine Scriptures call blessedness.
For "the kingdom of heaven is within you."88
The inner man consists of nothing but contemplation. The kingdom of
the heavens, then, must be contemplation. Now we behold their shadows as
in a glass; hereafter, set free from this earthly body, clad in the incorruptible
and the immortal, we shall behold their archetypes, we shall see them,
that is, if we have steered our own life's course aright, and if we have
heeded the right faith, for otherwise none shall see the Lord. For, it
is said, into a malicious soul Wisdom shall not enter, nor dwell in the
body that is subject unto sin.89 And let no one urge in objection that,
while I am ignoring what is before our eyes, I am philosophizing to them
about bodiless and immaterial being. It seems to me perfectly absurd, while
the senses are allowed free action in relation to their proper matter,
to exclude mind alone from its peculiar operation. Precisely in the same
manner in which sense touches sensible objects, so mind apprehends the
objects of mental perception. This too must be said that God our Creator
has not included natural faculties among things which can be taught. No
one teaches sight to apprehend colour or form, nor hearing to apprehend
sound and speech, nor smell, pleasant and unpleasant scents, nor taste,
flavours and savours, nor touch, soft and hard, hot and cold. Nor would
any one teach the mind to reach objects of mental perception; and just
as the senses in the case of their being in any way diseased, or injured,
require only proper treatment and then readily fulfil their own functions;
just so the mind, imprisoned in flesh. and full of the thoughts that arise
thence, requires faith anti right conversation which make "its feet like
hinds' feet. and set it on its high places."90 The same advice is given
us by Solomon the wise, who in one passage offers us the example of the
diligent worker the ant,91 and recommends her active life; and in another
the work of the wise bee in forming its cells,92 and thereby suggests a
natural contemplation wherein also the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is
contained, if at least the Creator is considered in proportion to the beauty
of the things created.
But with thanks to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost let me make
an end to my letter, for, as the proverb has it, pa=n me/tron a!riston.93
1 This important letter was written a.d. 360, when Basiil,
shocked at the discovery that Dianius, the bishop who had baptized him,
had subscribed the Arian creed of Ariminum, as revised at Nike (Theod.,
Hist. Ecc. II. xvi.), left Caesarea, and withdrew to his friend Gregory
at Nazianzus. The Benedictine note considers the traditional title an error,
and concludes the letter to have been really addressed to the monks of
the Coenobium over which Basil had presided. But it may have been written
to monks in or near Caesarea, so that title and sense will agree.
2 patri/j seems to be used of the city or neighbourhood
of Caesarea, and so far to be in favour of Basil's birth there.
3 i.e. the life of the city, presumably Nazianzus, from
which he is writing.
4 cf. the Arian formula h\n pote\ o#te ou'k h\n.
5 John iv. 14.
6 Jer. ii. 13.
7 cf. p. 16, note. This is one of the few instances of
St. Basil's use of the word qeo/j of the Holy Ghost.
8 For the four elements of ancient philosophy modern chemistry
now catalogues at least sixty-seven. Of these, earth generally contains
eight; air is a mixture of two; water is a compound of two; and fire is
the visible evidence of a combination between elements which produces light
and heat. On the "elements" of the Greek philosophers vide Arist., Met.i.
3. Thales (_c. 550. b.c.) said water; Anaximenes (_c. b.c. 480) air; and
Heraclitus (_c. b.c. 500) fire. To these Empedocles (who "ardentem frigidus
Aetnam insiluit, c. b.c. 440) added a fourth, earth.
9 Asserted at Seleucia and Ariminum.
10 cf. D. Sp. S. § 4 on Aetius' responsibility for
the Anomoean formula.
11 ro\ o'moou/sion.
12 Ps. lxxxii. 6.
13 Ps. xcvi. 5, LXX.
14 2 Cor. xii. 4.
15 Ps. cii. 15.
16 1 Tim. vi. 16.
17 Rom. xvi. 27.
18 Luke xviii. 19.
19 Job. ix. 8.
20 Deut. vi. 13, LXX., where the text runs ku/sion to\n
qeo/n sou fobhqh/sh. St. Basil may quote the version in Matt. iv. 10 and
Luke iv. 8, psoskunh/seij. The Hebrew=fear.
21 Deut. xxxii. 39, LXX.
22 Deut. xxxii. 12, LXX.
23 1 Sam. vii. 4.
24 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6.
25 Matt. xvi. 19.
26 i.e. of His work on earth as God manifest in the flesh.
Vide note, p. 7.
27 John xvii. 3.
28 John xiv. 1.
29 cf. note, p. 7.
30 John vi. 5y, R.V. The Greek is e'gw\ zw= dia\ to\n
pate/pa , i.e. not through or by the Father, but "because of" or "on account
of" the Father. "The preposition (Vulg. propter patrem'>) describes the
ground or object, not the instrument or agent (by, through dia\ tou= p.).
Complete devotion to the Father is the essence of the life of the Son;
and so complete devotion to the Son is the life of the believer. It seems
better to give this full sense to the word than to take it as equivalent
to 'by reason of;' that is, 'I live because the Father lives.'" Westcott,
St. John ad loc.
31 John xi. 25.
32 John vi. 57, R.V.
33 With this striking exposition of Basil's view of the
spiritual meaning of eating the flesh and drinking the blood, f. the passage
from Athanasius quoted by Bp. Harold Browne in his Exposition of the XXXIX.
Articles, p. 693. It is not easy for Roman commentators to cite passages
even apparently in support of the less spiritual view of the manducation,
e.g. Fessler, Inst. Pat. i. 530, and the quotations under the word "Eucharistia,"
in the Index of Basil ed Migne. Contrast Gregory of Nyssa, in chap xxxvii.
of the Greater Catechism.
34 John xiv. 28.
35 John i. 14.
36 Ps. viii. 5.
37 Heb. ii. 9.
38 Isa liii. 2, 3. LXX.
39 cf. Luke x. 30.
40 John i. 3.
41 tou=to oi'konomei=.
42 tw= stenw th=j proqesmi/aj. n 9 proqesmi/a sc. h 9me/ra
was in Attic Law a day fixed beforehand before which money must be paid,
actions brought, etc. cf. Plat. Legg, 954, D. It is the "time appointed"
of the Father in Gal. iv. 2.
44 Acts i. 7.
45 cf. John xv. 3, "Now ye are clean through the word."
46 Mark xiii. 32.
47 The Ben. note is Totahaec explicandi ratio no sua sponte
deducta, sed vi pertracta multis videbitur. Sed illud ad excusandum difficilius,
quod ait Basilius angelorum scientiam crassam esse, si comparetur cum ea
quae est facie ad faciem. Videtur subtilis explicatio, quam nic sequitur,
necessitatem ei imposuisse ita de angelis sentiendi. Nam cum diem et horam
idem esse statueret, ac extremam beatitudinem; illud Scriptura, sed neque
angeli sciunt, cogebat illis visionem illam quae fit facie ad faciem, denegare;
quia idem de illis non poterat dici ac de Filio eos de se ipsis scire id
quod sunt nescire quod non sunt. Quod si hanc hausit opinionem ex origenis
fontibus, qui pluribus locis eam insinuat, certe cito deposuit. Ait enim
tom P. p. 320. Angeloj in di/inum faxiem xontinenter intentoj oxuloj habere.
Idem doxet in Xom. Is. p. 515, n. 185, et De Sp. S. cap. XVI.
48 dia\ tw=n a'llotri/wn. cf. 1 Cor. xiii. 12, where St.
Paul's word is e!soptpon. St. Basil's ka/toptron may rather be suggested
by 2 Cor. iii. 18, where the original is katoptrizo/menoi.
49 John vi. 40.
50 ko/smwn. The Ben. note quotes Combefis as saying, "Dura
mihihic vox: sit pro stoixei/wn, per cognata corpori elementa," and then
goes on, sed hac in re minus vidit vir eruditus; non enim idem sonat illa
vox ac mundi, quasi plures ejusmodi mundos admittat Basilius; sed idem
ac ornatus, sive ut ait Basilius in Epist. vi. ta\ pepi\ gh=n ka/llh, pulchritudines
quae sunt circa terram. In Com. in Is. n. 58, p. 422. Ecclesia dicitur
pre/pousin e 9auth= kosmi/oij kekosmhue/nh, convenientibus sibi ornamentis
instructa eadem voce utitur Gregorius Nazianz. Ep. cvii.
51 John xiv. 28.
52 Matt. xx. 23. cf. n. Theodoret, p. 28.
53 1 Cor. xv. 24.
54 Acts i. 6, 7.
55 John xvii. 21 and 22, slightly varied.
56 Basil also refers to this passage in the treatise,
C. Eunomium I. 20: "Since the Son's origin (a'rxh\) is from (a/po/) the
Father, in this respect the Father is greater, as cause and origin (w 9j
ai!tioj kai a'oxh/). Whence also the Lord said thus my Father is greater
than I, clearly inasmuch as He is Father (kaqo\ path/r). Yea; what else
does the word Father signify unless the being cause and origin of that
which is begotten by Him?" And in iii. 1: "The Son is second in order (ta/cei)
to the Father, because He is from Him (a/po/) and in dignity (a'ciw/mati)
because the Father is the origin and cause of His being." Quoted by Bp.
Westcott in his St. John in the additional notes on xiv. 16, 28, pp. 211
seqq., where also will be found quotations from other Fathers on this passage.
57 The text of Prov. viii. 22 in the LXX. is ku/riose!ktoise/
me a'rxhn o 9dw=n au'tou= eij e$oga au'touj. The rendering of A.V. is "possessed,"
with "formed" in the margin.
The Hebrew verb occurs some eighty times in the Old Testament,
and in only four other passages is translated by possess, viz., Gen. xiv.
19, 22, Ps cxxxix. 13, Jer xxxii. 15, and Zec. xi. 5. In the two former,
though the LXX. renders the word in the Psalms e'kth/sw, it would have
borne the sense of "create." In the pasage under discussion the Syriac
agrees with the LXX., and among critics adopting the same view Bishop Wordsworth
cites Ewald, Hitzig, and Genesius. The ordinary meaning of the Hebrew is
"get" or "acquire," and hence it is easy to see how the idea of getting
or possessing passed in relation to the Creator into that of creation.
The Greek translators were not unanimous and Aquila wrote e'kth/sato. The
passage inevitably became the Jezreel or Low Countries of the Arian war,
and many a battle was fought on it. The depreciators of the Son found in
it Scriptural authority for calling Him kti/sma, e.g. Arius in the Thalia,
is quoted by Athanasius in Or. c. Ar. I. iii. § 9, and such writings
of his followers as the Letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia to Paulinus of
Tyre cited in Theod., Ecc. Hist. I. v., and Eunomius as quoted by Greg.
Nyss., c. Eunom. II. 10; but as Dr. Liddon observes in his Bampton Lect.
(p. 60, ed. 1868), "They did not doubt that this created Wisdom was a real
being or person."
e!ktise was accepted by the Catholic writers, but explained
to refer to the manhood only, cf. Eustathius of Antioch, quoted in Theod.,
Dial. I. The view of Athanasius will be found in his dissertation on the
subject in the Second Discourse against the Arians, pp. 357-385 of Schaff
& Wace's edition. xf. Bull, Def. Fid. Nic. II. vi. 8.
58 Heb iii. 1.
59 cf. 2 Cor. v. 21.
60 1 Cor. xv. 28. i.e. Because the Son then shall be subjected,
He is previously a$nupo/taktoj, not as being "disobedient" (1 Tim. i. 9),
or "unruly" (Tit. i. 6. 10), but as being made man, and humanity, though
subject unto Him, is not yet seen to be "put under Him" (Heb ii. 8).
61 Acts ix. 4.
62 Matt xxv. 36.
63 cf. Isa. liii. 4 and Matt. viii. 17.
64 John v. 19.
65 2 Cor. xi. 5.
66 Ps. xix. 91.
67 Rom. i. 4.
68 Rom. viii. 2.
69 In Letter cciv. The name of Dia/boloj is more immediately
connected with Diaba/llein, to caluminate. It is curious that the occasional
spelling (e.g. in Burton) Divell, which is nearer to the original, and
keeps up the association with Diable, Diavolo, etc., should have given
place to the less correct and misleading "Devil."
70 Wisdom i. 7.
71 Ps. cxxxix. 7.
72 paraywyh= a'po\ tou= mh/ o!ntoj ei'j to\ ei\nai. For
paragwgh/ it is not easy to give an equivalent; it is leading or bringing
with a notion of change, sometimes a change into error, as when it means
a quibble. It is not quite the Ben. Latin "productio." It is not used intransitively;
if there is a paragwgh\, there must be o 9 para/gwn, and similarly if there
is evolution or development, there must be an evolver or developer.
73 Ps. xxxiii. 6. tw= pneu/mati tou= sto/matoj au'tou=,
74 2 Cor. v. 17.
75 cf. Gen. iii. 19.
76 cf. Ps. ciii. 30.
77 1 Cor. vi. 19.
78 The Greek word nao/j (nai/w) = dwelling-place. The
Hebrew probably indicates capacity. Pour "temple," from the latin Templum
(te/menoj - TAM) is derivatively a place cut off.
79 Heb. iii. 4.
80 Matt. iv. 10. f. note on p. .
81 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. On the derivation of Qeo/j from
qe/w (ti/qhmi) or qea/omai, cf. Greg. Naz.
Skeat rejects the theory of connexion with the Latin Deus,
and thinks that the root of tiqhmi may be the origin.
82 Eph. vi. 17.
83 Ps. cxviii. 16. P.B. "doeth valiantly," A.V. e'poi/hse
du/na min, LXX.
84 Ex. xv. 6.
85 Luke xi. 20.
86 Matt. xii. 28.
87 Matt. v. 8.
88 Luke xvii. 21, e'nto\j u'mw=n. Many modern commentators
interpret "in you midst." "among you" So Alford, who quotes Xen., Anab.
I. x 3 for the Greek, Bp. Walsham How. Bornemann. Meyer. The older view
coincided with that of Basil; so Theophylact, Chrysostom, and with them
Olshausen and Godet.
To the objection that the words were said to the Pharisees,
and that the kingdom was not in their hearts, it may be answered that our
Lord might use "you" of humanity, even when addressing Pharisees. He never,
like a merely human preacher, says "we."
89 Wisdom viii. 4.
90 Ps. xviii. 33.
91 cf. Prov. vi. 6.
92 Ecclus. xi. 3. The ascription of this book to Solomon
is said by Rufinus to be confined to the Latin church, while the Greeks
know it as the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach (vers. Orig., Hom. in Num.
93 Attributed to Cleobulus of Lindos. Thales is credited
with the injunction me/trw xpw=. cf.. my note on Theodoret, Ep. cli. p.