2 cf. Letter 290. The identification of the two Nectarii is conjectural. "Tillemont is inclined to identify Basil's correspondent with the future bishop of Constantinople, but without sufficient grounds." D.C.B. see.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.