The original Greek of the following translation is available in Hugo Laemmer’s Scriptorum Graeciae Orthodoxae Bibliotheca Selecta, tomus primus (Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1866), pp. 500-516.


Epigraph IV

Since certain people, rejecting the mediatory role of the Son in the Trinity, which is clearly a theological teaching of the saints, deny also any right to speak of an order in the Trinity, the following patristic citations have been collected: they make it clear that the Spirit is joined to the Father through the Son, and plainly demonstrate that, in the Trinity, one can speak of an order.

[501] Athanasius the Great, in his Third Discourse Against the Arians, which begins, “The Ariomaniacs, it appears, having once decided to become apostates and transgressors against the truth, vie to divert the text to their own interpretation,” says:

“It is not the Spirit who joins the Word to the Father; rather, the Spirit receives this from the Word.”
4:1 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Oratio iii c. Arianos 24; PG 26, 373 B. Text in Migne lacks the word τοῦτο, “this” (ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον τὸ Πνεῦμα παρὰ τοῦ Λόγου λαμβάνει).

And a little after this:

“For since the Word is in the Father, and the Spirit is given from the Word, the Spirit wants to receive us, so that when we receive him, then we too, by possessing the Spirit, the Word being one with the Father — we too may believe that, through the Spirit, we become one in the Word, and through him, one with the Father.”
4:2 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Oratio iii c. Arianos 25; PG 26, 376 A-B.

And a little after this he speaks in this manner:

“We shall be and we shall [502] be reckoned to have become one in the Son and in the Father, because of the Spirit’s being in us, who is in his Word, who, in turn, is in the Father.”
4:3 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Oratio iii c. Arianos 25; PG 26, 376 C. Text in Migne lacks αὐτοῦ, “his” (ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ Λόγῷ τῷ ὄντι ἐν τῷ Πατρί).

The same father, in his Letter to Serapion concerning the Holy Spirit, which begins, “Your sacred Kindness’s letter was delivered to me in the desert,” says:

“Because of the oneness of the Word with the Father, they will not have the Son belong to things originated. … Why then do they say that the Holy Spirit is a creature, who has the same oneness with the Son as the Son has with the Father? Why have they not understood that, just as [503] by not dividing the Son from the Father they ensure that God is one, so by dividing the Spirit from the Word they no longer ensure that the Godhead in the Triad is one?”
4:4 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola i ad Serapionem 2; PG 26, 533 A.

And a long ways after this in the same letter:

“The Spirit was in Christ, just as the Son was in the Father.”
4:5 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola i ad Serapionem 21; PG 26, 580 C.

And again:

“The holy and blessed Triad is indivisible and one in itself. When mention is made of the Father, there is included also his Word, and the Spirit who is in the Son. If the Son is named, the Father is in the Son, and the Spirit is not outside the Word.”
4:6 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola i ad Serapionem 14; PG 26, 565 A-B.

And a long ways after this:

“As the Son, the living Word, is one, so must the sanctifying and enlightening life, which is his energy and gift, be one perfect and complete. It is said to proceed [504] from the Father, because it is from the Word, who is confessed to be from the Father, that it shines forth and is sent and is given. The Son is sent from the Father…, but the Son sends the Spirit.”
4:7 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola i ad Serapionem 20; PG 26, 580 A.

The same father in his Letter to Serapion on the Holy Spirit, that begins, “Perhaps you will wonder why, when I have been enjoined…,” says:

“For the Spirit is not outside the Word, but, being in the Word, he is in God through him.”
4:8 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola iii ad Serapionem 5; PG 26, 633 A.

And a little after this:

“For when we participate in the Spirit, we have the grace of the Word, and, in that grace, the love of the Father.”
4:9 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola iii ad Serapionem 6; PG 26, 633 B. (Note that the Migne text reads, not ἐν αὐτῇ, but ἐν αὐτῷ τὴν τοῦ Πατρὸς ἀγάπην: “and, in him, the love of the Father.”)

And a little after this:

“But, given that the Spirit is in the Word, it is clear that the Spirit is also in God through the Word.”
4:10 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola iii ad Serapionem 6; PG 26, 633 B-C.

[505] The same father in his first Letter to Serapion says:

“Given that the Spirit holds the same nature and rank with respect to the Son that the Son holds with respect to the Father, won’t it necessarily be the case that anyone who calls him a creature will also hold the same thing to be true about the Son?”
4:11 ❖ Athanasius of Alexandria, Epistola i ad Serapionem 21; PG 26, 580 B.

St. Basil in one of his chapters bearing the title, “That the Spirit is shown to be glorified together with God,” says:

“The fact that the Trinity is glorified on account of the same divine works is a testimony to the one Godhead, because neither does the Father do anything without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit.”
4:12 ❖ Ps.-Basil of Caesarea, Adv. Eunomium V; PG 29, 729D – 732A.

The same father, in one of his chapters titled “That the unity of the Trinity is recognized from the divine nature,” says:

“And neither was the Son ever lacking to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son.”
4:13 ❖ Ps.-Basil of Caesarea, Adv. Eunomium V; PG 29, 753 B.

[506] The same father in his seventeenth chapter To Amphilochius says:

“As therefore the Son stands in relation to the Father, so the Spirit stands in relation to the Son, according to the ordering of the traditional baptismal formula. But if the Spirit is ordered to the Son, and the Son to the Father, it is evident that the Spirit is also ordered to the Father.”
4:14 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto, 17.43; PG 32, 148 A.

The same, in the eighteenth of those same chapters, says:

“One also is the Holy Spirit, joined to the one Father through the one Son.”
4:15 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto 18.45; PG 32, 149 C – 152 A; SC 17 (Paris 1968), p. 408.

And a little after this:

“Therefore the road of divine knowledge is from the one Spirit through the one Son to the one Father. And, conversely, the natural goodness, and the sanctification according to nature, and the royal honor, extends from the Father through [507] the Only-Begotten to the Spirit. Thus, both confession is made of the hypostases, and the pious doctrine of the monarchy does not collapse.”
4:16 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto, 18.47; PG 32, 153 B-C; SC 17 (Paris 1968), p. 412.

The same father, in his letter to his brother Gregory, says:

“The Spirit has this as an identifying sign of his hypostatic property, the fact that he makes himself known after the Son and with the Son, and that he exists from the Father.”
4:17 ❖ Ps.-Basil of Caesarea (= Gregory of Nyssa), Epistola 38.4; PG 32, 329 C.

The same father, in the third book of his Antirrhetics, says:

“For as, on the one hand, the Son is second to the Father in order, because he is from him, and in dignity, because of the Father’s being his principle and cause, [508] and because through him there is access and approach to God the Father, but, on the other hand, in terms of nature he is in no wise second, because the Godhead in each of them is one: so it is also manifest that, even if the Holy Spirit comes after the Son in order and in dignity (that is, even if we concede all of this), it would still hardly follow that he is of a different nature.”
4:18 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, Adv. Eunomium III.1; PG 29, 656 A. Cf. Epig. 1:2.

The same father in the first of his antirrhetic speeches Against Eunomius, which begins, “If all those upon whom the name of our God and Savior Jesus Christ has been named were willing …,” says:

“There is one kind of order which is natural, another which is [509] invented. A natural order is found, for instance, in the order of creatures organized according to God’s creative logoi, and in the orderings of countable objects, and in the relation of causes to things caused. All this is upon the prior assumption and acknowledgment that God is the Maker and Creator of nature itself. An invented and artificial order, by contrast, is found in constructs and fields of study and axioms and in number and the like. Eunomius, then, having let the first kind of order go unnoticed, made mention of the second kind of order, and he says that it is unnecessary to speak of ‘order’ in God, since order is secondary to an orderer. But he was either unaware, [510] or willingly hid the fact, that there is a kind of order that does not come about from our own arranging of things, but which happens according to the sequence found in nature, as in the case of the relation of fire to the light that is from it. With regard to such things, we call the cause prior, what comes from it secondary, not separating these things from one another by an interval, but conceiving of the cause before the caused in our thought. Why then is it reasonable to deny the order in things where there is first and second, not according to our disposing of things, but from the sequence that exists in these things according to nature?

“For what reason, then, does he deny that order holds good in the case of God? He supposes that, if he can show that ‘first’ in the case of God can be thought of in no [511] other way, he will only have left to show that superiority is according to the essence itself. But as for us, we say that the Father is placed before the Son according to the relation which exists among causes and things from them, but never that it is according to a difference of nature, or according to a priority of time. Otherwise, indeed, we will be excluding God’s very being Father, since a differentiation in essence would exclude a natural conjunction.”
4:19 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, Adv. Eunomium I.20; PG 29B, 556C-557C.

The same father in the Letter to the Canonicae, which begins, “As much as the sorrowful report earlier grieved us, when it resounded in our ears,” says:

“And when we are taught that the Son is of the substance of the Father, … let us not fall into [512] corporeal notions of passions. For the substance was not separated from the Father and bestowed on the Son, neither did the substance engender by fluxion, … but the mode of the divine begetting is ineffable…. Now, the Holy Spirit is numbered with the Father and the Son, because he is above creation, and is ranked third, as we are taught by the words of the Lord in the Gospel, ‘Go and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’ He who, on the contrary, places the Spirit before the Son, or alleges him to be older than the Father, resists the ordinances of God, and is a stranger to the sound faith, since he fails to preserve the form of doxology which he has received, but adopts some new fangled device in order to be pleasing to men.”
4:20 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, Epistola 52.3-4; PG 32, 393C – 396B.

And a little after this:

“It follows that this new invention about the order [513] really involves the destruction of the actual existence, and is a denial of the whole faith. It is equally impious to reduce him to the level of a creature, and to place him above either Son or Father, either in time or in rank.”
4:21 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, Epistola 52.4; PG 32, 396 C.

The same father, in his Letter to Gregory his brother, which begins, “Since many persons, in their study of the mystical doctrines, fail to distinguish between what is common to the substance …,” says:

“He who knows the Spirit, both knows him by himself, and embraces the Son in his knowledge; and he who has grasped the Son does not divide the Father from the Son, but, consecutively as far as order is concerned, conjointly as far as concerns the nature of the Three, expresses in himself the faith in a commingled way, both these aspects together. And he who makes mention of [514] the Spirit alone, embraces also in this confession him of whom he is the Spirit. And since the Spirit is Christ’s, and from God, as says the Apostle, then just as he who lays hold on one end of the chain pulls the other end to him, so he who ‘draws the Spirit,’ as says the prophet [cf. LXX Ps 118:131], by means of him draws to himself at the same time both the Son and the Father. And if anyone verily receives the Son, he will hold him on both sides, the Son drawing towards him on the one his own Father, and on the other his own Spirit. For it is in no wise possible to entertain the idea of a severance or division, in such a way as that the Son should be thought of apart from the Father, or the Spirit be disjoined from the Son.”
4:22 ❖ Ps.-Basil of Caesarea (= Gregory of Nyssa), Epistola 38.4; PG 32, 332 B-D. Note that the text in Migne gives, at the beginning of this passage, “He who knows the Father,” ὁ τὸν Πατέρα νοήσας, instead of “He who knows the Spirit,” ὁ τὸ Πνεῦμα νοήσας. The abbreviations for “Father” (ΠΡ) and “Spirit” (ΠΝ) looked very similar in medieval Greek handwriting and were sometimes confused, as Bekkos himself elsewhere remarks.

The same father, in his Letter to Eustathius, which begins, “Both those whose minds have been preoccupied by a heterodox creed…,” says:

“They also are to be shunned, as plainly hostile to true religion, [515] who invert the order left us by the Lord, and put the Son before the Father, and the Holy Spirit before the Son.”
4:23 ❖ Basil of Caesarea, Epistola 125.3; PG 32, 549 D.

Damascene, in the fourteenth of his theological chapters, says:

“God the Holy Spirit, a mean between the Unbegotten and the Begotten, and joined to the Father through the Son.”
4:24 ❖ John of Damascus, De fide orthodoxa I.13; PG 94, 856 B; tr. NPNF ii.9, p. 16. Note that there the passage is translated thus: “The Holy Spirit is God, being between the unbegotten and the begotten, and united to the Father through the Son.”

Gregory the Theologian, in his Second (Third) Oration on Peace, speaks in this way:

“Thus we think, and thus we hold, that how these stand towards one another by way of relation and order is a thing granted to be known only to the Trinity, and to those purified people to whom the Trinity may reveal this, whether now or hereafter.”
4:25 ❖ Gregory of Nazianzus, or. 23.11; PG 35, 1161 D.

Gregory of Nyssa, in the first book of his antirrhetics Against Eunomius, which begins, “It was not, as it appears, from entirely beneficent motives…,” says:

“From the Father through the Son we move on towards the Spirit.”
4:26 ❖ Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomium I.1.532.

[516] Chrysostom, in one his Homilies on Abraham’s statement, “Place your hand upon my thigh,” says:

“For the Trinity is said not to have an order, not because it is disordered, but because it surpasses order.”
4:27 ❖ [Passage not found]

And a little after this:

“Therefore an order differentiating the divine hypostases has stood acknowledged by the saints, but one that differentiates natures in the Holy Trinity is rejected.”
4:28 ❖ [Passage not found]

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