Basil of Caesarea on the impossibility of self-liberation

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DTK

Puritan Board Junior
At the risk of sounding anachronistic, Basil's words preclude any notion of support for alleged works of supererogation and/or indulgences.

Basil of Caesarea (Ad 329-379) commenting on Psalm 49:7-8: Therefore, a brother is not able to ransom you. For, no man can persuade the devil to remove from his power him who has once been subject to him, not he, at any rate, who is incapable of giving God a propitiatory offering even for his own sins. How, then, will he have power to do this for the other? And what could he possess so great in this world that he would have a sufficient exchange price for a soul which is precious by nature, since it was made according to the image of its Creator? What labor of the present age is sufficient for the human soul as a means and provisions for the future life? Fathers of the Church, Vol. 46, Saint Basil, Exegetic Homilies, Homily 19 – On Psalm 48.3 LXX (Washington D.C.: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1963), p. 316.
Greek text: Διόπερ ἀδελφὸς ὑμᾶς λυτρώσασθαι οὐ δύναται. Ἄνθρωπος γὰρ οὐδεὶς δυνατός ἐστι· πεῖσαι τὸν διάβολον πρὸς τὸ τὸν ἅπαξ αὐτῷ ὑποπεσόντα ἐξελέσθαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἐξουσίας· ὅς γε οὐδὲ περὶ τῶν ἰδίων ἁμαρτημά των οἷός τέ ἐστι ἐξίλασμα δοῦναι τῷ Θεῷ. Πῶς οὖν ἰσχύσει τοῦτο ὑπὲρ ἑτέρου πρᾶξαι; Τί δʼ ἂν καὶ το σοῦτον κτήσαιτο ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ὡς αὔταρκες ἔχειν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς φύσει τιμίας, διότι κατʼ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτὴν ἐγένετο; Ποῖος δὲ κάματος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος αἰῶνος αὔταρκες ἐφόδιον τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος τῇ ἀνθρωπίνῃ ψυχῇ; Homilia in Psalmum XLVIII, 3, PG 29:437C.
 
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