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St. Basil the Great, From his Letters

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Page 50

3. But of course this is not the real cause of our separation. It was when they found that they would recommend themselves to Euzoius if they were alienated from me, that they devised these pretences. The object was to find some ground of recommendation with the authorities for their attack upon me. Now they are beginning to run down even the Nicene Creed, and nickname me Homoousiast, because in that creed the Only begotten Son is said to be homoousios with God the Father. Not that one essence is divided into two kindred parts; God forbid! This was not the meaning of that holy and God-beloved synod; their meaning was that what the Father is in essence, such is the Son. And thus they themselves have explained it to us, in the phrase Light of Light. Now it is the Nicene Creed, brought by themselves from the west, which they presented to the Synod at Tyana, by which they were received. But they have an ingenious theory as to changes of this kind; they use the words of the creed as physicians use a remedy for the particular moment, and substitute now one and now another to suit particular diseases. The unsoundness of such a sophism it is rather for you to consider than for me to prove. For "the Lord will give you understanding" to know what is the right doctrine, and what the crooked and perverse. If indeed we are to subscribe one creed to-day and another tomorrow, and shift with the seasons, then is the declaration false of him who said, " One Lord, one faith, one baptism." But if it is true, then "Let no man deceive you with [these] vain words." They falsely accuse me of introducing novelties about the Holy Spirit. Ask what the novelty is. I confess what I have received, that the Paraclete is ranked with Father and Son, and not numbered with created beings. We have made profession of our faith in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and we are baptized in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Wherefore we never separate the Spirit from conjunction with the Father and the Son. For our mind, enlightened by the Spirit, looks at the Son, and in Him, as in an image, beholds the Father. And I do not invent names of myself, but call the Holy Ghost Paraclete; nor do I consent to destroy His due glory. These are truly my doctrines. If any one wishes to accuse me for them, let him accuse me; let my persecutor persecute me. Let him who believes in the slanders against me be ready for the judgment. "The Lord is at hand." "I am careful for nothing,"

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