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Three Millennia of Greek Literature


Gregory the Theologian Bilingual Anthology


from the Third Theological Oration (29), on the Son, * §§ 2, 3, 10
translated by C. G. Browne, J. E. Swallow.
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Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader
UT Monarchy is that which we hold in honour. It is, however, a Monarchy that is not limited to one Person, for it is possible for Unity if at variance with itself to come into a condition of plurality; but one which is made of an equality of Nature and a Union of mind and an identity of motion, and a convergence of its elements to unity - a thing which is impossible to the created nature - so that though numerically distinct there is no severance of Essence. Therefore Unity having from all eternity arrived by motion at Duality, found its rest in Trinity. This is what we mean by Father and Son and Holy Ghost. The Father is the Begetter and the Emitter; without passion of course, and without reference to time, and not in a corporeal manner. The Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Ghost the Emission; for I know not how this could be expressed in terms altogether excluding visible things.

μονὰς μέχρι τριάδος ἔστη

ἡμῖν δὲ μοναρχία τὸ τιμώμενον· μοναρχία δέ͵ οὐχ ἣν ἓν περιγράφει πρόσωπον· ἔστι γὰρ καὶ τὸ ἓν στασιάζον πρὸς ἑαυτὸ πολλὰ καθίστασθαι· ἀλλ΄ ἣν φύσεως ὁμοτιμία συνίστησι καὶ γνώμης σύμπνοια καὶ ταὐτότης κινήσεως καὶ πρὸς τὸ ἓν τῶν ἐξ αὐτοῦ σύννευσις͵ ὅπερ ἀμήχανον ἐπὶ τῆς γεννητῆς φύσεως͵ ὥστε κἂν ἀριθμῷ διαφέρῃ͵ τῇ γε οὐσίᾳ μὴ τέμνεσθαι. διὰ τοῦτο μονὰς ἀπ΄ ἀρχῆς εἰς δυάδα κινηθεῖσα μέχρι τριάδος ἔστη. καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ἡμῖν ὁ Πατήρ͵ καὶ ὁ Υἱός͵ καὶ τὸ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα· ὁ μὲν γεννήτωρ καὶ προβολεύς͵ λέγω δὲ ἀπαθῶς καὶ ἀχρόνως καὶ ἀσωμάτως· τῶν δέ͵ τὸ μὲν γέννημα͵ τὸ δὲ πρόβλημα ἢ οὐκ οἶδ΄ ὅπως ἄν τις ταῦτα καλέσειεν͵ ἀφελὼν πάντῃ τῶν ὁρωμένων.

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