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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Physis : World Creation  

Gregory of Nyssa : THE MAKING OF MAN

That the Resurrection is Looked for as a Consequence, Not So Much from the Declaration of Scripture as from the Very Necessity of Things

Patrologia Graeca 44.201-4  * Greek Fonts


ICKEDNESS, however, is not so strong as to prevail over the power of good; nor is the folly of our nature more powerful and more abiding than the wisdom of God: for it is impossible that that which is always mutable and variable should be more firm and more abiding than that which always remains the same and is firmly fixed in goodness: but it is absolutely certain that the Divine counsel possesses immutability, while the changeableness of our nature does not remain settled even in evil.

Now that which is always in motion, if its progress be to good, will never cease moving onwards to what lies before it, by reason of the infinity of the course to be traversed:-for it will not find any limit of its object such that when it has apprehended it, it will at last cease its motion: but if its bias be in the opposite direction, when it has finished the course of wickedness and reached the extreme limit of evil, then that which is ever moving, finding no halting point for its impulse natural to itself when it has run through the lengths that can be run in wickedness, of necessity turns its motion towards good: for as evil does not extend to infinity, but is comprehended by necessary limits, it would appear that good once more follows in succession upon the limit of evil; and thus, as we have said, the ever-moving character of our nature comes to run its course at the last once more back towards good, being taught the lesson of prudence by the memory of its former misfortunes, to the end that it may never again be in like case.

Ὅτι ἡ ἀνάστασις οὐ τοσοῦτον ἐκ τοῦ κηρύγματος τοῦ Γραφικοῦ͵ ὅσον ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀνάγκης τῶν πραγμάτων ἀκολούθως ἐλπίζεται

Ἀλλ' οὐχ οὕτως ἐστὶν ἰσχυρὸν ἡ κακία͵ ὡς τῆς ἀγαθῆς ὑπερισχύσαι δυνάμεως, οὐδὲ κρείττων καὶ μονιμωτέρα τῆς Θεοῦ σοφίας ἡ τῆς φύσεως ἡμῶν ἀβουλία. Οὐδὲ γάρ ἐστι δυνατὸν τὸ τρεπόμενόν τε καὶ ἀλλοιούμενον τοῦ ἀεὶ ὡσαύτως ἔχοντος καὶ ἐν τῷ ἀγαθῷ πεπηγότος ἐπικρατέστερόν τε καὶ μονιμώτερον εἶναι, ἀλλ' ἡ μὲν θεία βουλὴ πάντη τε καὶ πάντως τὸ ἀμετάθετον ἔχει͵ τὸ δὲ τρεπτὸν τῆς φύσεως ἡμῶν οὐδὲ ἐν τῷ κακῷ πάγιον μένει.

Τὸ γὰρ ἀεὶ πάντως κινούμενον͵ εἰ μὲν πρὸς τὸ καλὸν ἔχοι τὴν πρόοδον͵ διὰ τὸ ἀόριστον τοῦ διεξοδευομένου πράγματος οὐδέποτε λήξει τῆς ἐπὶ τὰ πρόσω φορᾶς. Οὐδὲ γὰρ εὑρήσει ζητουμένου πέρας οὐδέν͵ οὗ δραξάμενον στήσεταί ποτε τῆς κινήσεως. Εἰ δὲ πρὸς τὸ ἐναντίον τὴν ῥοπὴν σχοίη, ἐπειδὰν διανύσῃ τῆς κακίας τὸν δρόμον καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ ἀκρότατον τοῦ κακοῦ μέτρον ἀφίκηται, τότε τὸ τῆς ὁρμῆς ἀεικίνητον οὐδεμίαν ἐκ φύσεως στάσιν εὑρίσκον͵ ἐπειδὰν διαδράμῃ τὸ ἐν κακίᾳ διάστημα, κατ' ἀνάγκην ἐπὶ τὸ ἀγαθὸν τρέπει τὴν κίνησιν. Μὴ γὰρ προϊούσης κακίας ἐπὶ τὸ ἀόριστον͵ ἀλλ' ἀναγκαίοις πέρασι κατειλημμένης͵ ἀκολούθως ἡ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ διαδοχὴ τὸ πέρας τῆς κακίας ἐκδέχεται. Καὶ οὕτω͵ καθὼς εἴρηται͵ τὸ ἀεικίνητον ἡμῶν τῆς φύσεως πάλιν ὕστατον ἐπὶ τὴν ἀγαθὴν ἀνατρέχει πορείαν͵ τῇ μνήμῃ τῶν προδεδυστυχημένων πρὸς τὸ μὴ πάλιν ἐναλῶναι τοῖς ἴσοις σωφρονιζόμενον.

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