142 The theology of Gregory and his master Origen rises above the unconscious Stoicism of Tertullian, and even that of Clement, which has an air of materialistic pantheism about it, owing to his attempt, like that of Eunomius, to base our knowledge of God upon abstractions and analogies drawn from nature. The result, indeed, of the "abstraction process" of Clement is only a multiplication of negative terms, "immensity," "simplicity," "eternity," &c. But they will lead to nothing, if there is not already behind them all some positive idea which we have received from a different source. Faith is this source; it is described by Origen as "an ineffable grace of the soul which comes from God in a kind of enthusiasm;" which formula expresses the primary fact of religious consciousness such as Leibnitz demonstrated it: and the positive idea supplied by this faculty is with Origen Goodness (rather than the Good). He would put Will as well as Mind into the Central Idea of Metaphysics, and would have the heart governed as well as the reason. All that he says about the "incomprehensibility" of God does not militate against this: for we must have some idea of that which is incomprehensible to us: and the Goodness of the Deity is the side on which we gain this idea.
143 But there are two meanings of aqanatoj,-and of these perhaps Eunomius was thinking,-i. e. 1. Not dead; 2. Immortal. In Plato's Phaedo there is an argument for the immortality of the soul, certainly not the strongest one, drawn from this. It is assumed there that the thing, whose nature is such that so long as it exists it neither is noir can be dead, can never cease to exist i. e. the soul by virtue of not actually dying, though capable of death, is immortal Perhaps this accounts for Eunomius saying (lower down) that "the perishable is not opposed to the imperishable."
145 The reasoning, which precedes and follows, amounts to this, Basil had said that the terms ungenerate, imperishable, immortal, are privative, i.e. express the absence of a quality. Eunomius objects that-No term expressive of the absence of a quality can be God's Name: the Ungenerate (which includes the others) is God's Name, therefore It does not express a privation. You mean to say, Gregory replies, that Ungenerate, &c. does not mean not-generated, &c. But what is not not-generated is generated (by your own law of dichotomy); therefore, Ungenerate means generated; and you prove God perishable and mortal. Here, the fallacy arises from Gregory's assuming more than Eunomius' conclusion: i. e. "the Ungenerate means not only the not-generated," changes into "the Ungenerate does not mean," &c
146 This cannot have been written earlier than 384. The preceding twelve books, of which an instalment only was read to Gregory the Nazianzene and others during the Council of Constantinople, 381, must have occupied him a considerable time: and there may have been an interval after that before this essay was composed.
147 taj stomfwdeij ...chrostomiaj kakosunqetwj diaperainonta. The editt. have diaperainontej, which Gulonius' Latin follows "arrogantes has sicci oris voces mala compositione trajicientes," i. e. his hearers get through them with bad pronunciation.
151 O flock. This could not have been written earlier than 384, and there is abundant testimony that Eunomius still had his "flock. Long before this, even soon after he had left his see of Cyzicus, and had taken up his abode with Eudoxius, he separated himself from that champion of the Homoean party, and held assemblies apart because he had repeatedly entreated that his preceptor Aetius might be received into communion (Socrates iv. 13). This must have been about 366, before his banishment by Valens for favouring the rebellion of Procopius. Sozomen says (vi. 29), "The heresy of Eunomius was spread from Cilicia and the Mountains of Taurus as far as the Hellespont and Constantinople." In 380 at Bithynia near Constantinople "multitudes resorted to him, some also gathered from other quarters, a few with the design of testing his principles, and others merely from the desire of listening to his discourses. His reputation reached the ears of the Emperor, who would gladly have had a conference with him. But the Empress Flacilla studiously prevented an interview taking place between them; for she was the most faithful guard of the Nicene doctrines" (vii. 17). At the convention, however, of all the sects at Theodosius' palace in 382, Eunomius was present (Socrates v. 10). His ekqesij thj pistewj (to which he added learned notes) was laid before Theodosius in 383. It was not till 392 that the Emperor condemned him to banishment-the sole exception to Theodosius' toleration. "This heretic," says Sozomen again, "had fixed his residence in the suburbs of Constantinople and held frequent assemblies in private houses, where he read his own writings. He induced many to embrace his sentiments, so that the sectarians who were named after him became very numerous. He died not long after his banishment, and was interred at Dacora, his birthplace, a village of Cappadocia."
154 Plhn all auk anelpisteon soi kai twn onuxwn ekeinou. Viger (De Idiotismis, p. 474), "Plgn alla interdum repellentis est, interdum concedentis," as here ironically and in Book I. p. 83, plhn alla kai estin en qhrioij krisij, "still there is some distinction between animals."
2 eij asebeian grafein. This is Mai's reading. Cf. asebeiaj grafh. The active (instead of middle) in this sense is found in Aristoph. Av. 1052: the passive is not infrequent in Demosthenes and Aeschines.
3 From God, and of the Christ, according to Scripture. This is noticeable. The Greek is ek tou Qeou esti, kai tou Xristou esti, kaqwj gegraptai. Compare the words below "proceeding from the Father, receiving from the Son."
4 to aparallkton (but there is something lost before this: perhaps to hnwmenon). This word is used to express substantial identity. Origen uses it in alluding to the "Stoic resurrection," i. e. the time when the "Great Year" shall again begin, and the world's history be literally repeated, i. e. the "identical Socrates shall marry the identical Xantippe, and teach the identical philosophy, &c." This expression was a favourite one also with Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria to express the identity of Glory, of Godhead, and of Honour, in the Blessed Trinity.
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our senses."
11 "The Ancient Greek Fathers, speaking of this procession, mention the Father only, and never, I think, express the Son, as sticking constantly in this to the language of the Scriptures (John xv. 26)"-Pearson. The language of the above simile of Gregory would be an illustration of this. So Greg. Naz., Orat. I. de Filio, "standing on our definitions, we introduce the Ungenerate, the Generated, and that which proceeds from the Father." This last expression was so known and public, that it is recorded even by Lucian in his Philopatris, §12.
17 i. e. from fellowship with the Spirit. The text is tij o logoj kaf on eulogon krinousin patera anairein, dedwkasi; (for which dedwkosi is a conjecture). But perhaps pneuma anairein, didaskwsi, or didacwsi, would be a more intelligible reading; though the examples of the hortatory subjunctive other than in the first person are, according to Porson (ad Eurip. Hec. 430), to be reckoned among solecisms in classical Greek.
37 "Whether or not the Macedonians explicitly denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost is uncertain; but they viewed Him as essentially separate from, and external to, the One Indivisible Godhead. The `Nicene0' Creed declares that He is the Lord, or Sovereign Spirit because the heretics considered Him to be a minister of God; and the Supreme Giver of Life, because they considered Him a mere instrument by which we receive the gift."-Newman's Arians, note p. 420.