St-Basil-the-GreatNeither heaven and earth and the great seas,

nor the creatures that live in the water and on dry land,

nor plants, and stars, and air, and seasons,

nor the vast variety in the order of the universe,

so well sets forth the excellency of His might

as that God, being incomprehensible, should have been able, impassibly, through flesh, to have come into close conflict with death,

to the end that by His own suffering He might give us the boon of freedom from suffering.

[…] He Himself has bound the strong man and spoiled his goods, that is, us men, whom our enemy had abused in every evil activity.

He has made us “vessels meet for the Master’s use” – us who have been perfected for every work through the making ready of that part of us which is in our own control.

Thus we have had our approach to the Father through Him, being translated from “the power of darkness to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Col. 1:12, 13).

We must not, however, regard the œconomy through the Son as a compulsory and subordinate ministration resulting from the low estate of a slave, but rather the voluntary solicitude working effectually for His own creation in goodness and in pity, according to the will of God the Father.

For we shall be consistent with true religion if in all that was and is from time to time perfected by Him, we both bear witness to the perfection of His power, and in no case put it asunder from the Father’s will.

For instance, whenever the Lord is called the Way, we are carried on to a higher meaning, and not to that which is derived from the vulgar sense of the word.

We understand by Way that advance to perfection which is made stage by stage, and in regular order, through the works of righteousness and “the illumination of knowledge.”

We longing after what is before, and reach forth unto those things which remain, until we shall have reached the blessed end, the knowledge of God, which the Lord through Himself bestows on them that have trusted in Him.

For our Lord is an essentially good Way, where erring and straying are unknown, to that which is essentially good, to the Father.  For “no one,” He says, “cometh to the Father but through me”(John 14:6).  Such is our way up to God “through the Son.”

Basil the Great (330-379): On the Holy Spirit 8, 18.