Contemplating creation (Basil of Caesarea)

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And we, whom the Lord, the great Wonder-worker and Craftsman, has called together for a manifestation of His works, shall we become weary in contemplating or reluctant to hear the eloquence of the Spirit? Rather, shall we not, standing around this vast and varied workshop of the divine creation, and going back in thought, each one, to the times past, contemplate the orderly arrangement of the whole?

Basil of Caesarea, On the Hexaemeron (379), 4.1 in Saint Basil’s Exegetic Homilies, trans. Agnes Clare Way in The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation, Volume 46 (Washington DC, 1963), pp 55-56.


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the eloquence of the Spirit
Notice Basil's language here for scripture . . . "the eloquence of the Spirit" is for him a term synonymous with holy Scripture. You find this to be a feature prevalent among Greek early church writers. Other examples of this, with slightly different terminology ("teaching of the Spirit"), are found as follows...

Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 329-379): With this empty external wisdom he [i.e., Eunomius] disturbs what is pure and simple in the teaching of the divine Spirit and misleads the innocent through the use of plausible arguments. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 122, St. Basil of Caesarea Against Eunomius, trans. Mark DelCogliano and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2011), Book 1.1, p. 81.

Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 329-379): In the same vein, whoever has heard that God does not change will also be led to his unbegottenness, and whoever has heard that he has no parts will also be brought to his creative power. What is more absurd than this confusion? Each of the names is deprived of its proper signification, and conventions are established that contradict both common usage and the teaching of the Spirit. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 122, St. Basil of Caesarea Against Eunomius, trans. Mark DelCogliano and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2011), Book 1.8, p. 101.

Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 329-379): Generally speaking, how much arrogance and pride would it take for someone to think he has discovered the very substance of God above all? For by their bragging they nearly eclipse even the one who said: Above the stars I will set my throne [Is 14:13]. Yet these men are not insolently attacking the stars or heaven, but are bragging that they have penetrated the very substance of the God of the universe! Let’s ask him from which source he claims to have comprehended it. So, then, from a common notion? But this tells us that God exists, not what God is. Perhaps from the Spirit’s teaching? Which one? Where is it located? Fathers of the Church, Vol. 122, St. Basil of Caesarea Against Eunomius, trans. Mark DelCogliano and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2011), Book 1.12, p. 108.

Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 329-379): Eunomius pretends that he has taken these designations from no other source than from the teaching of the Spirit. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 122, St. Basil of Caesarea Against Eunomius, trans. Mark DelCogliano and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2011), Book 2.7, p. 139.
Greek text: Καίτοι οὐδαμόθεν οὗτος ἢ ἐκ τῆς τοῦ Πνεύματος διδασκαλίας εἰληφέναι τὰς προσηγορίας ταύτας ἀλαζονεύεται. Adversus Eunomium, Liber II, §7, PG 29:584.

John Chrysostom (349-407): Notice again, I ask you, the insight of this remarkable author, or rather the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I mean, after narrating to us detail by detail all the items of creation and going through the works of the six days, the creation of human beings and the authority granted them over all visible things, now he sums them all up in the words, “This is the book about the origins of heaven and earth when they were created.” Fathers of the Church, Vol. 74, Homilies on Genesis 1-17, Homily 12.3 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1986), pp. 157-158.
Greek text: Σκόπει μοι πάλιν τοῦ θαυμαστοῦ τούτου προφήτου τὴν σύνεσιν, μᾶλλον δὲ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος τὴν διδασκαλίαν. Μετὰ γὰρ τὸ διηγήσασθαι ἡμῖν κατὰ μέρος τὰ τῆς δημιουργίας ἅπαντα, καὶ τὰ ἔργα ἓξ διελθεῖν ἡμερῶν, καὶ τὴν παρασχεθεῖσαν αὐτῷ πάντων τῶν ὁρωμένων, νῦν πάλιν ἀνακεφαλαιούμενος τὰπάντα, φησίν· Αὕτη ἡ βίβλος γενέσεως οὐρανοῦ τε καὶ γῆς, ὅτε ἐγένετο. Homiliae in Genesin, Homilia XΙΙ, §1, PG 53:99.

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466): Had I only considered the character of the loss which you have sustained, I should have wanted consolation myself, not only because I count that what concerns you concerns me, be it agreeable or otherwise, but because I did so dearly love that admirable and truly excellent man. But the divine decree has removed him from us and translated him to the better life. I therefore scatter the cloud of sorrow from my soul, and urge you, my worthy friend, to vanquish the pain of your sorrow by the power of reason, and to bring your soul in this hour of need under the spell of God’s word. Why from our very cradles do we suck the instruction of the divine Scriptures, like milk from the breast, but that, when trouble falls upon us, we may be able to apply the teaching of the Spirit as a salve for our pain? NPNF2: Vol. III, Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, Letter 14 - To Alexandra.
Greek text: Εἰ μὲν μόνην τοῦ συμβεβηκότος ὑμῖν πάθους ἐλογιζόμην τὴν φύσιν, τῶν ψυχαγωγούντων ἂν ἐδεήθην κἀγώ, οὐ μόνον τῷ τὰ ὑμέτερα οἰκεῖα κρίνειν καὶ τὰ θυμήρη καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὁποῖά ποτʼ ἂν ᾖ, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ τὴν θαυμασίαν ἐκείνην καὶ ὄντως ἀξιέπαινον κεφαλὴν διαφερόντως ἠγαπηκέναι. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ὅρος αὐτὸν θεῖος ἐνθένδε μετέστησε καὶ εἰς τὴν ἀμείνω μετέθηκε βιοτήν, καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἐμαυτοῦ ψυχῆς ἀποσκεδάννυμι τῆς ἀθυμίας τὸ νέφος καὶ τὴν σὴν παρακαλῶ σεμνοπρέπειαν νικῆ σαι τῆς ἀθυμίας τὸ πάθος τῷ λογισμῷ καὶ εἰς καιρὸν προσ ενεγκεῖν τῇ ψυχῇ τῶν θείων λόγων τὴν ἐπῳδήν· τούτου γὰρ δὴ χάριν εὐθὺς ἐκ σπαργάνων οἷόν τινα θηλὴν ἕλκομεν τῆς ἱερᾶς Γραφῆς τὴν μέλιτταν, ἵν' ὅταν ἡμῖν προσπέσῃ πάθος προσ ενέγκωμεν ἀλεξίκακον φάρμακον τὴν διδασκαλίαν τοῦ Πνεύματος. Epistola XIV, PG 83:1185, 1188.

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466): If, as our slanderers allege, we preach two sons, which do we glorify and which do we leave unworshipped? It were the wildest folly to believe that there are two sons, and to give the doxology to one alone. And who is so distraught as, while hearing the words of the divine Paul “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” and again “there is one Lord Jesus Christ by Whom are all things,” to lay down the law at variance with the teaching of the Spirit, and cut the one in two. NPNF2: Vol. III, Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, Letter 145 - To the Monks of Constantinople.
Greek text: Εἰ δὲ δύο υἱοὺς κατὰ τὴν τούτων συκοφαντίαν πρεσβεύομεν, τίνα δοξάζομεν, τίνα δὲ ἀπροσκύνητον καταλείπομεν; Μανίας γὰρ ἐσχάτης, δύο μὲν εἶναι πιστεύειν υἱούς, ἑνὶ δὲ μόνῳ τὴν δοξολογίαν προσφέρειν. Τίς δὲ οὕτως ἐμβρόντητος, ὡς τοῦ θείου Παύλου βοῶντος ἀκούων· Εἷς Κύριος, μία πίστις, ἓν βάπτισμα· καὶ πάλιν· Εἷς Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα· ἀντι νομοθετῆσαι τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ τοῦ Πνεύματος, καὶ διχῆ τὸν ἕνα τεμεῖν; Epistola CXLV, PG 83:1377C-D.

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466): But whether this composition comes from himself or from some other in his name, I, for my part, by the aid of the light of the Holy Ghost, in the investigation of this heretical and corrupt opinion, according to the measure of the power given me, have refuted them as best I could. I have confronted them with the teaching of evangelists and apostles. I have exposed the monstrosity of the doctrine, and proved how vast is its divergence from divine truth. This I have done by comparing it with the words of the Holy Spirit, and pointing out what strange and jarring discord there is between it and the divine.
Against the hardihood of this anathematizing, thus much I will say, that Paul, the clear-voiced herald of truth, anathematized those who had corrupted the evangelic and apostolic teaching and boldly did so against the angels, not against those who abided by the laws laid down by theologians; these he strengthened with blessings, saying, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and mercy and on the Israel of God.” Let then the author of these writings reap from the Apostle’s curse the due rewards of his labours and the harvest of his seeds of heresy. We will abide in the teaching of the holy Fathers. NPNF2: Vol. III, Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, Letter 150 - To Joannes, Bishop of Antioch.
Greek text: Ἐγὼ τοίνυν, εἴτʼ ἐκεῖνος, εἴτʼ ἄλλος τις, ὡς ἐξ ἐκεῖνου ταῦτα συντέθεικε, τῷ φωτὶ τοῦ παναγίου Πνεύματος συνέργω πρὸς τὴν ἔρευναν τὴς αἱρετικῆς κακοδοξίας χρησάμενος, κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δοθείσης μοι δυνάμεως διήλεγξα ταῦτα, ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν· καὶ τὰς εὐαγγελικὰς καὶ ἀποστολικὰς ἀντέθηκα διδασκαλίας· καὶ τὸ ἀλλόκοτον τοῦ δόγματος ἔδειξα· καὶ ὅσην ἔχει διαφωνίαν πρὸς τὰ θεῖα δόγματα πεποίηκα φανερόν· παρεξετάσας αὐτὰ τοῖς τοῦ θείου Πνεύματος λόγοις, καὶ διδάξας ὅπως ἀσύμφωνα, καὶ τῶν θείων ἀλλότρια.
Πρὸς δὲ τὴν τοῦ ἀναθεματισμοῦ τόλμαν τοσοῦτον ἐρῶ, ὅτι Παῦλος, ὁ μεγαλοφωνότατος τῆς ἀληθείας κήρυξ, τοὺς παραφθείραντας τὰ εὐαγγελικὰ καὶ ἀποστολικὰ διδάγματα ἀνεθεμάτισε, καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων κατατολμήσας, οὐ τοὺς ἐμμένοντας τοῖς δοθεῖσιν ὅροις ὑπὸ τῶν θεολόγων ἀνδρῶν· τούτους γὰρ καὶ εὐλογίας ὠχύρωσεν, εἰπών· «Ὅσοι τῷ κανόνι τούτῷ στοιχήσουσιν, εἰρήνη ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς, καὶ ἔλεος, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ τοῦ Θεοῦ.»
Δρεπέσθω τοίνυν ὁ τῶν λόγων τούτων πατὴρ ἐκ τῆς ἀποστολικῆς ἀρᾶς τῶν οἰκείων πόνων τὰ ἐπίχειρα, καὶ τῶν αἱρετικῶν σπερμάτων τὰ δράγματα· ἡμεῖς δὲ τῇ τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ἐμμενοῦμεν διδασκαλίᾳ. Epistola CL, PG 83:1413, 1416.

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466): Question 25: Some commentators locate Paradise in heaven. Since holy Scripture says, “God caused to grow up from the ground every tree that is beautiful to behold and good to eat,” it is quite rash to abandon the teaching of the Spirit and follow one’s own reasoning. Robert C. Hill, trans., Theodoret of Cyrus: The Questions on the Octateuch, Volume 1, Questions on Genesis, Question 25 (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007) p. 61.
Greek text: Τινὲς ἐν οὐρανῷ φασι τὸν παράδεισον εἶναι. Τῆς θείας λεγούσης γραφῆς «ἐξανέτειλεν ἔτι ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τῆς γῆς πᾶν ξύλον ὡραῖον εἰς ὅρασιν καὶ καλὸν εἰς βρῶσιν·» τολμηρὸν ἄγαν τὸ τοῖς οἰκείοις ἀκολουθεῖν λογισμοῖς καταλιπόντας τὴν διδασκαλίαν τοῦ πνεύματος. Quaestiones in Genesim, Interrogatio 25, PG 80:121C.

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466) commenting on the profane offering of Nadab & Abihu: These events teach us not to quench the Spirit but to rekindle the grace we have received, not to introduce anything foreign into holy Scripture but to be content with the teaching of the Spirit, and to abhor heretics, some of whom have combined their mythological fables with the divine oracles, while others have preferred their own unholy notions to the sense of Scripture. Robert C. Hill, trans., Theodoret of Cyrus: The Questions on the Octateuch, Volume 2, Questions on Leviticus, Question 9 (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007) pp. 26-27.
Greek text: Ἡμεῖς δὲ παιδευόμεθα διὰ τούτων, μὴ σβεννύναι τὸ πνεῦμα, ἀλλʼ ἀναζωπυρεῖν ἣν ἐλάβομεν χάριν· καὶ μηδὲν ἀλλότριον ἐπεισάγειν τῇ θείᾳ γραφῇ, ἀλλʼ ἀρκεῖσθαι τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ τοῦ πνεύματος, καὶ μυσάττεσθαι τὰς αἱρέ σεις, ὧν οἱ μὲν μύθους τοῖς θείοις λογίοις προσέθεσαν· οἱ δὲ τοὺς δυσσεβεῖς αὐτῶν λογισμοὺς τῆς γραφικῆς προετίμησαν διανοίας. Quaestiones in Leviticum, Interrogatio 9, PG 80:313.

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Jonah 3: Now, let no one pry into the way the sea monster vomited him out, everything being possible to God, nor on which shore he deposited him; it is a quite idle question. Instead, let every godly person be content with the teaching of the Spirit. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentaries on the Prophets, Vol. 3, Commentary on the Twelve Prophets (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2006), Theme, p. 143.
Greek text: Μηδεὶς δὲ ἀνοήτως πολυπραγμονείτω, πῶς αὐτὸν τὸ κῆτος ἐξήμεσε· πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ βουλομένου Θεοῦ· μήτε μὴν παρὰ ποίαν αὐτὸν ἐξήγαγεν ἠϊόνα· καὶ τοῦτο γὰρ τῶν ἄγαν ἐστὶ περιττῶν. Ἀρκείσθω δὲ πᾶς εὐσεβὴς τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ τοῦ Πνεύματος. Interpretatio Jonae Prophetae, Caput III, PG 81:1733A-B.

The teaching (or eloquence) of the Spirit was not some vague reference to ecstatic utterances or gnostic unwritten tradition, but, practically speaking, a technical term equivalent to Holy Scripture! Now, to be sure, that's not something I've read out of a book, but my own personal conclusion from my own studies of ancient christian writers from the east.
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