If this knowledge has come within your reach and you are familiar with these branches of science, look at the differences of plants also, up to the artistic fashion of the leaves, which is adapted both to give the utmost pleasure to the eye, and to be of the greatest advantage to the fruit. Or to what will reason carry you, O most philosophic of men and best of Theologians, who boast of your familiarity with the Unlimited? Or whatever may be the right expression when one contemplates the sun? Who poured forth the air, that great and abundant wealth, not measured to men by their rank or fortunes; not restrained by boundaries; not divided out according to people's ages; but like the distribution of the Manna, Exodus 16:18 received in sufficiency, and valued for its equality of distribution; the chariot of the winged creation; the seat of the winds; the moderator of the seasons; the quickener of living things, or rather the preserver of natural life in the body; in which bodies have their being, and by which we speak; in which is the light and all that it shines upon, and the sight which flows through it? 28. When Gregory begins to discuss the Trinitarian understanding of God, ... – Third Theological Oration, ch 20. Is He Nowhere or Somewhere. What Cretan Labyrinth, hard to get through, hard to unravel, as the poem say, and continually crossing itself through the tricks of its construction? Orations of Gregory of Nazianzus (1893) ... (28) The Second Theological Oration (29) The Third Theological Oration; The Fourth Theological Oration; The Fifth Theological Oration (33) Against The Arians (34) On the Arrival of the Egyptians (37) On Matthew 29 (38) On the Theophany Who spread the sky around us, and set the stars in order? Or will you say that He has a body, but not these attributes? * 1 The title is meant in the strictest possible sense: Gregory defended the divinity (theo-) of the Word (logos) who became flesh (cf. What is the reason of their melody, and from whom came it? What is this that has happened to me, O friends, and initiates, and fellow-lovers of the truth? As to what concerns us, it is not only the Peace of God Philippians 4:7 which passes all understanding and knowledge, nor only the things which God has stored up in promise for the righteous, which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived except in a very small degree, nor the accurate knowledge of the Creation. And now, leaving the earth and the things of earth, soar into the air on the wings of thought, that our argument may advance in due path; and thence I will take you up to heavenly things, and to heaven itself, and things which are above heaven; for to that which is beyond my discourse hesitates to ascend, but still it shall ascend as far as may be. And this I think is the solution of that vexed problem as to “We shall know even as we are known.” But in our present life all that comes to us is but a little effluence, and as it were a small effulgence from a great Light. And Noah's Genesis 6:8 glory was that he was pleasing to God; he who was entrusted with the saving of the whole world from the waters, or rather of the Seeds of the world, escaped the Deluge in a small Ark. But if we are to assert that He is immaterial (as for example that Fifth Element which some have imagined), and that He is carried round in the circular movement… let us assume that He is immaterial, and that He is the Fifth Element; and, if they please, let Him be also bodiless in accordance with the independent drift and arrangement of their argument; for I will not at present differ with them on this point; in what respect then will He be one of those things which are in movement and agitation, to say nothing of the insult involved in making the Creator subject to the same move-merit as the creatures, and Him That carries all (if they will allow even this) one with those whom He carries. Now the subject of God is more hard to come at, in proportion as it is more perfect than any other, and is open to more objections, and the solutions of them are more laborious. For my purpose in doing so was, not to get credit for myself for astonishing utterances, or excessive wisdom, through tying knots and solving difficulties (this was the great miraculous gift of Daniel), but to make clear the point at which my argument has aimed from the first. And how far in that case could God, to Whom the Angels minister, be superior to the Angels? Gregory of Nazianzus (3301 – January 25 389 or 3901) (also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen) was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople. Or of Light unmingled with air, and loosed from that which is as it were its father and source? And besides, where was He before the Universe was created, for this is a point of no little difficulty. XII. For something in our own environment is ever creeping in, even when the mind has most fully detached itself from the visible, and collected itself, and is attempting to apply itself to those invisible things which are akin to itself. How is it that birds have for nests rocks and trees and roofs, and adapt them both for safety and beauty, and suitably for the comfort of their nurslings? For he laid hold of their desire in its wandering in search of God, in order to distort to himself the power, and steal the desire, leading it by the hand, like a blind man asking a road; and he hurled down and scattered some in one direction and some in another, into one pit of death and destruction. And mark, if you please, what follows. But far before them is That nature Which is above them, and Out of which they spring, the Incomprehensible and Illimitable — not, I mean, as to the fact of His being, but as to Its nature. XXVI. Others again of the Elements, earth, air, water, fire, because of their useful nature, since without them human life cannot possibly exist. [15] They were thus speaking in foreign languages, and not their own, and this was a great miracle: the message was being proclaimed by those who had not been instructed. That the Divine Nature cannot be apprehended by human reason, and that we cannot even represent to ourselves all its greatness. But reason receiving us in our desire for God, and in our sense of the impossibility of being without a leader and guide, and then making us apply ourselves to things visible and meeting with the things which have been since the beginning, doth not stay its course even here. Whence does the peacock, that boastful bird of Media, get his love of beauty and of praise (for he is fully conscious of his own beauty), so that when he sees any one approaching, or when, as they say, he would make a show before his hens, raising his neck and spreading his tail in circle around him, glittering like gold and studded with stars, he makes a spectacle of his beauty to his lovers with pompous strides? Gregory of Nazianzus (Greek: Γρηγόριος ὁ Ναζιανζηνός Grēgorios ho Nazianzēnos; c. 329–25 January 390), also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. To Elias neither the strong wind, nor the fire, nor the earthquake, as you learn from the story, but a light breeze adumbrated the Presence of God, and not even this His Nature. But if any be of the multitude, who are unworthy of this height of contemplation, if he be altogether impure let him not approach at all, for it would be dangerous to him; but if he be at least temporarily purified, let him remain below and listen to the Voice alone, and the trumpet, the bare words of piety, and let him see the Mountain smoking and lightening, a terror at once and a marvel to those who cannot get up. And if you like we will grant you this: to what then will you ascribe its preservation and protection in accordance with the terms of its first creation. For either He will occupy an empty Universe, and so all things will have vanished for us, with this result, that we shall have insulted God by making Him a body, and by robbing Him of all things which He has made; or else He will be a body contained in other bodies, which is impossible; or He will be enfolded in them, or contrasted with them, as liquids are mixed, and one divides and is divided by another — a view which is more absurd and anile than even the atoms of Epicurus and so this argument concerning the body will fall through, and have no body and no solid basis at all. Is it not He who made them and brought them into being? And thus to us also is manifested That which made and moves and preserves all created things, even though He be not comprehended by the mind. How is it that the earth stands solid and unswerving? Yet neither he nor any one on his behalf, unto this day, of all the Twelve Tribes who were his children, could boast that he comprehended the whole nature or the pure sight of God. And how do you conceive of a mind? Hope was that for which he is commended; and that, not that he should know God, but that he should call upon him. Much too of the eyes, which have an indescribable communion with visible objects, and which are moved by the will alone, and that together, and are affected exactly as is the mind. Who can bring an excess or withhold a sufficiency of rain, unless he govern the Universe by his own measures and balances? And when I looked a little closer, I saw, not the First and unmingled Nature, known to Itself — to the Trinity, I mean; not That which abides within the first veil, and is hidden by the Cherubim; but only that Nature, which at last even reaches to us. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. And thus to us also is manifested That which made and moves and preserves all created things, even though He be not comprehended by the mind. Combining all things in one, solely with a view to the consent of the Creator of all things; Hymners of the Majesty of the Godhead, eternally contemplating the Eternal Glory, not that God may thereby gain an increase of glory, for nothing can be added to that which is full — to Him, who supplies good to all outside Himself but that there may never be a cessation of blessings to these first natures after God. [Second Theological Oration. Later on his father consecrated him an elder of the Church of Nazianzus. XI. V. But enough has been said on this point. Thus our mind faints to transcend corporeal things, and to consort with the Incorporeal, stripped of all clothing of corporeal ideas, as long as it has to look with its inherent weakness at things above its strength. Surely not to the Accidental. Or are these attributes of a body? 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