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Basil the Great

On the Holy Spirit

From: Schaff - Wace, (ed)., Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Series II, v. 8, tr. by the Rev. Blomfield Jackson, London 1894.


The glorifying of the enumeration of His attributes.

54. Now of the rest of the Powers each is believed to be in a circumscribed place. The angel who stood by Cornelius was not at one and the same moment with Philip; nor yet did the angel who spoke with Zacharias from the altar at the same time occupy his own pose in heaven. But the Spirit is believed to have been operating at the saint time in Habakkuk and in Daniel at Babylon, and to have been at the prison with Jeremiah, and with Ezekiel at the Chebar. For the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world, and "whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" And, in the words of the Prophet, "For I am with you, saith the Lord ... and my spirit remaineth among you." But what nature is it becoming to assign to Him who is omnipresent, and exists together with God? The nature which is all-embracing, or one which is confined to particular places, like that which our argument shews the nature of angels to be? No one would so say. Shall we not then highly exalt Him who is in His nature divine, in His greatness infinite, in His operations powerful, in the blessings He confers, good? Shall we not give Him glory? And I understand glory to mean nothing else than the enumeration of the wonders which are His own. It follows then that either we are forbidden by our antagonists even to mention the good things which flow to us from Him. or on the other hand that the mere recapitulation of His attributes is the fullest possible attribution of glory. For not even in the case of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Only begotten Son, are we capable of giving Them glory otherwise than by recounting, to the extent of our powers, all the wonders that belong to Them.

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