Early Church Fathers
30 Num. xxii. 11.
1 Placed in 375.
2 cf. Letters iv., xii., xiii., cxxxi.
1 Placed in 375.
2 An old schoolfellow of Bail's, of whom nothing seemsto be known but what is gathered from this letter.
3 i.e. the Anomoeans. On the use of the word dogma for an heretical tenet, cf. note on p. 41.
4 The Ben. note remarks that at first sight Eustathius of Sebasteia seems to be pointed at, for in Letter cxxviii. Basil speaks of him as occupying a contemptible half-and-half position. But, continues the note: Si res attentius consideretur, non Eustathium proprie hoc loco, sed generatim eosdem haereticos, quos contra liber De Spiritu Sancto scriptus est, perspicuum erit notari. Nam medius ille Eustathii status in eo positus erat, quod nec catholicus potentioribus Arianis catholicis videri vellet. Nondum aperti cum Arianis conjunctus, nec probare quae ipsi a Basilio proponebantur. At quos hic commemorat Basilius, hi catholicae doctrinae bellum apertum in dixerant, et quamvis dissimilitudinis impietatem fugere viderentur, iisdem tamen, ac Anomoei, principiis stabant. Hoc eis exprobat Basilius in libro De Spiritu Sancto, cap. 2, ubi impias eorum de Filio ac Spiritu sancto nugas ex principiis Aetii deductas esse demonstrat, idem haeretici non desierunt nefaria Basillii expellendi consilia inire. Eorum convicia in Basilium, insidias et nefarias molitiones, furorem ac bellum inexpiabile, vide in libro De Spiritu Sancto, num. 13, 25, 34, 52, 60, 69, 75.
1 Placed in 375.
2 Ps. cxxiii. 7.
3 cf. 1 Tim. iii. 6.
4 cf. 1 Cor. viii. 12.
5 Maran (Vit. Bas. vi) conjectures this bishop to be Meletius, and refers to the beginning of Letter ccxvi. with an expression of astonishment that Tillemont should refer this letter to the year 373.
1 Placed in 375.
2 cf. Letters xcix. and cv.
3 On the divisions of Antioch, cf. Theod., H.E. iii. 2. Basil was no doubt taking the wise course in supporting Meletius, whose personal orthodoxy was unimpeachable. But the irreconcilable Eustathians could not forgive him his Arian nomination.
4 This description might apply to either of the two letters written by Damasus to Paulinus on the subject of the admission to communion of Vitalius, bishop of the Apollinarian schism at Antioch. (Labbe. Conc. ii. 864 and 900 , and Theod H.E. v. ii.) The dates may necessitate its being referred to the former.
5 i.e. the Westerns.
6 cf. Letter cclviii. and the Prolegomena to Athanasius in this edition, p. lxi. The events referred to took place in the winter of 363, when Athanasius was at Antioch, and in the early part of 364 on his return to Alexandria.
7 Gal. vi. 10.
8 St. Basil seems quite unaware of any paramount authority in a letter from Rome. cf. Prolegomena.
9 Vide notes, pp. 7 and 12. On Sabellius, cf. note on Letter ccxxxvi.
10 to\ u 9pokei/menon.
12 On the point treated of in this letter, cf. note on p. 5 and Letter xxxviii. p. 137. But in the De S.S. cap. 38 (p. 23) St. Basil himself repudiates the assertion of three "original hypostases," when he is apparently using u/po/stasij in the Nicene sense.
1 Placed in 375.
2 i.e. of Nyssa, an unsuitable envoy to Damascus.
1 Placed in 375.
2 On this word other the Ben. note grounds the argument that Meletius had proposed a journey which Basil had not undertaken, and hence that the unnamed bishop of Letter xxciii. is Meletius; and further that the fact of the bishop not being named in ccxiii., and the obscurity of this and of other letters, may indicate the writer's hesitation to put particulars in his letters which might be more discreetly left to be conveyed by word of mouth.
3 .e. the settlement on the Iris, where Peter had succeeded Basil as Head.
1 The third canonical letter, written on Basil's return from Pontus, in 375.
2 This is the sudden disappearance of Gregory from Nazianzus at the end of 375, which was due at once to his craving for retirement and his anxiety not to complicate the appointment of a successor to his father (who died early in 374) in the see of Nazianzus. He found a refuge in the monastery of Thecla at the Isaurian Seleucia. (Carm. xi. 549).
3 The Ben. note appositely points out that any astonishment, such as expressed by Tillemont, at the consecration of a neophyte, is quite out of place, in view of the exigencies of the times and the practice of postponing baptism. St. Ambrose at Milan and Nectarius at Constantinople were not even "neophytes," but were actually unbaptized at the time of their appointment to their respective sees. "If there is any one among the lately baptized," argues the Ben. note, is tantamount to saying "If there is any one fit to be bishop."
4 e'i/te e'n baquw=. This is understood by Balsamon and Zonaras to include Presbyters, Deacons, and sub -deacons; while the ministry conferred without imposition of hands refers to Readers, Singers, Sacristans, and the like. Alexius Aristenus ranks Singers and Readers with the higher orders, and understands by the lower, keepers of the sacred vessels, candle-lighters, and chancel door keepers. The Ben. note inclines to the latter view on the ground that the word "remain" indicates a category where there was no advance to a higher grade, as was the case with Readers and Singers.
5 cf. Can. xxx. p. 239.
6 i.e. in Cannon viii. p. 226 and Cannon xi. p. 228.
7 Here reading, punctuation, and sense are obscure. The Ben. Ed. have e!cw me\n o!ntej, th=j koinwni/aj ei!rgontai, and render "Si sint quidem laici, a boni communione arcentur." But e!cw o!ntej, standing alone, more naturally mans non-Christians. Basamon and Zonaras in Pandects have e!cw me\n o!ntej th=s 0Ecclhci/aj ei/rgontai th=j koinwni/aj tou\ a'gaqou=.
8 Matt. xxvi. 52.
9 a 9gia/smasi. The Ben. Ed. render Sacramento. In the Sept. (e.g. Amos vii. 13) the word = sanctuary. In patristic usage both S. and P. are found for the Lord's Supper, or the consecrated elements; e.g. a 9ni/asma in Greg. Nyss., Ep. Canon. Can. v. The plural as in this place "frequentius." (Suicer s.v.).
10 meta\ tw=n e'n u 9poptw/sei. The u 9popi/ptontej or substrati constituted the third and chief station in the oriental system of penance, the first and second being the prosklai/ontej, flentes or weepers, and the a'kow/menoj, audientes, or hearers.. In the Western Church it is the substrati who are commonly referred to as being in penitence, and the Latin versions of the Canons of Ancyra by Dionysius Exiguus and Martin of Braga render u 9popi/ptontej and u 9poptw=stj by poeniltentis and poenitentia. In Basil's Canon xxii. p. 238, this station is specially styled meta/noia. cf. D. C. A. ii. 1593. "Meta/noia notat poenitentiam eorum qui ob delicta sua in ecclesia e'pitimioij e'swfroni/zonto (Zonaras, Ad. Can. v. Conc. Antioch, p. 327), quique dicebantur oi e'n metano a o!ntej. Chrysostom, IIom. iii. in Epist. ad Eph. in S. Coenae communione clamabat kh/ruc o!soi e'n metanoi/a a'pe/lqeta. pa/ntej." Suicer s.v.
11 cf. Can. xxii. p. 228. The Ben. note is "Labornt Balsamon et Zonaras in hoc canone conciliando cum vicesimo secundo, atque id causae afferunt, cur in vicesimo secundo quatuor anni, septem in altero decernantur, quod Basilius in vicesimo secundo antiqua Patrum placita sequatur, suam in altero propiram sententiam exponat. Eundem hunc canonem Alexius Aristenus, ut clarum et perspicuum, netat explicatione indigere. Videbat nimirum doctissimus scriptor duplicem a Basilio distingui fornicationem, leviorem alteram, alteram graviorem levior dicitur, quae inter personasmatrimonio solutas committitur: grvior, cum conjugati hominis libido in mulierem solutam erumpit. Priori anni quatuor, septem alteri imponuntur. Manifesta res est ex canone 21, ubi conjugati peccatum cum soluta fornicationem appellat Basilius, ac longioribus poenis coerceri, non tamen instar adulterii, tesatur. In canone autem 77 eum qui legitiman uxorem dimittit, et aliam ducit, adulterum quidem esse ex Domini sententia testatur, sed tamen ex canonibus Patrum annos septem decernit, non quindecim, ut in adulterio cum aliena uxore commisso. Secum ergo non pugnat cum fornicationi nunc annos quatuor, nunc septem, adulterio nunc septem, nunc quindecim indicit. Eamdem in sententiam videtur accipiendus canon quartus epistolae Sancti Gregorii Nysseni ad Letoium. Na cum fornicationi novem annos, adulterio decem et octo imponit, gravior illa intelligenda fornicatio, quam conjugatur cum soluta committit. Hinc ilium adulterium videri fatetur his qui accuratius examinant.