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§ 189. Gregory Thaumaturgus.


T. S. Gregorii episcopi Neocaesariensis Opera omnia, ed. G. Vossius, Mag. 1604; better ed. by Fronto Ducaeus, Par. 1622, fol.; in Gallandi, Bibl. Vet. Patrum" (1766–77), Tom. III., p. 385–470; and in Migne. "Patrol. Gr." Tom. X. (1857), 983–1343. Comp. also a Syriac version of Gregory’s κατὰ μέρος πίστις in R. de Lagarde’s Analecta Syriaca, Leipz. 1858, pp. 31–67.

II. Gregory Of Nyssa: Βίος καὶ ἐγκώμιον ῥήθεν εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Γρηγόριον τὸν θαυματουργόν. In the works of Gregory of Nyssa, (Migne, vol. 46). A eulogy full of incredible miracles, which the author heard from his grandmother.

English translation by S. D. F. Salmond, in Clark’s "Ante-Nicene Library," vol. xx. (1871), p. 1–156.

C. P. Caspari: Alte und neue Quellen zur Gesc. des Taufsymbols und der Glaubensregel. Christiania, 1879, p. 1–160.

Victor Ryssel: Gregorius Thaumaturgus. Sein Leben und seine Schriften. Leipzig, 1880 (160 pp.). On other biograpbical essays of G., see Ryssel, pp. 59 sqq. Contains a translation of two hitherto unknown Syriac writings of Gregory.

W. Möller in Herzog2, V. 404 sq. H. R. Reynolds in Smith & Wace, II. 730–737.


Most of the Greek fathers of the third and fourth centuries stood more or less under the influence of the spirit and the works of Origen, without adopting all his peculiar speculative views. The most distinguished among his disciples are Gregory Thaumaturgus, Dionysius of Alexandria, surnamed the Great, Heraclas, Hieracas, Pamphilus; in a wider sense also Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa and other eminent divines of the Nicene age.

Gregory, surnamed Thaumaturgus, "the wonder-worker," was converted from heathenism in his youth by Origen at Caesarea, in Palestine, spent eight years in his society, and then, after a season of contemplative retreat, labored as bishop of Neo-Caesarea in Pontus from 244 to 270 with extraordinary success. He could thank God on his death-bed, that he had left to his successor no more unbelievers in his diocese than he had found Christians in it at his accession; and those were only seventeen. He must have had great missionary zeal and executive ability. He attended the Synod of Antioch in 265, which condemned Paul of Samasota.

Later story represents him as a "second Moses," and attributed extraordinary miracles to him. But these are not mentioned till a century after his time, by Gregory of Nyssa and Basil, who made him also a champion of the Nicene orthodoxy before the Council of Nicaea. Eusebius knows nothing of them, nor of his trinitarian creed which is said to have been communicated to him by a special revelation in a vision.14811481    The Ἓκθεσις τῆς πίστεως κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν is rejected as spurious by Gieseler and Baur, defended by Hahn, Caspari, and Ryssel. It is given in Mansi, Conc. I, 1030, in Hahn, Bibl. der Symbole der alten Kirche, second ed. p. 183, and by Caspari, p. 10-17, in Greek and in two Latin versions with notes.482 This creed is almost too Orthodox for an admiring Pupil Of Origen, and seems to presuppose the Arian controversy (especially the conclusion). It has probably been enlarged. Another and fuller creed ascribed to him, is the work of the younger Apollinaris at the end of the fourth century.14821482    The κατὰ μέρος πίστις(i.e. the faith set forth piece for piece, or in detail, not in part only) was first published in the Greek original by Angelo Mai, Scriptorum Vet. Nova Collectio, VII. 170-176. A Syriac translation in the Analecta Syriaca, ed. by P. de Lagarde, pp. 31-42. See Caspari, l.c. pp. 65-116, who conclusively proves the Apollinarian origin of the document. A third trinitarian confession from Gregory, διάλεξις πρὸς Αἰλιανόν, is lost.483

Among his genuine writings is a glowing eulogy on his beloved teacher Origen, which ranks as a masterpiece of later Grecian eloquence.14831483    Best separate edition by Bengel, Stuttgart, 1722. It is also published in the 4th vol. of Delarue’s ed . of Origen, and in Migne, Patr. Gr. X. Col. 1049-1104. English version in Ante-Nic. Lib., XX., 36-80.484 Also a simple paraphrase of the book of Ecclesiastes.14841484    In Migne, Tom. X. Col. 987-1018.485 To these must be added two books recently published in a Syriac translation, one on the co-equality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the other on the impassibility and the possibility of God.


Notes.


I. The Declaration of faith (ἔκθεσις πίστεως κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν) is said to have been revealed to Gregory in a night vision by St. John, at the request of the Virgin Mary, and the autograph of it was, at the time of Gregory of Nyssa (as he says), in possession of the church of Neocaesarea. It is certainly a very remarkable document and the most explicit statement of the doctrine of the Trinity from the ante-Nicene age. Caspari (in his Alte und neue Quellen, etc., 1879, pp. 25–64), after an elaborate discussion, comes to the conclusion that the creed contains nothing inconsistent with a pupil of Origen, and that it was written by Gregory in opposition to Sabellianism and Paul of Samosata, and with reference to the controversy between Dionysius of Alexandria and Dionysius of Rome on the Trinity, between a.d. 260 and 270. But I think it more probable that it has undergone some enlargement at the close by a later hand. This is substantially also the view of Neander, and of Dorner (Entwicklungsgesch. der L. v. d. Pers. Christi, I. 735–737). The creed is at all events a very remarkable production and a Greek anticipation of the Latin Quicunque which falsely goes under the name of the "Athanasian Creed." We give the Greek with a translation. See Mansi, Conc. I. 1030 Patr. Gr. X. col. 983; Caspari, l. c.; comp. the comparative tables in Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, II. 40 and 41.


Gregory Thaumat. Declaration of Faith.


Εἰς Θεὸς, Πατὴρ λόγου ζῶντος, σοφίας ὑφεστώσης καὶ δυνάμεως καὶ χαρακτῆρος ἀϊδίου, τέλειος τελείου γεννήτωρ, Πατὴρ Υἱοῦ μονογενοῦ ς

There is one God, the Father of the living Word, (who is his) subsisting Wisdom and Power and eternal Impress (lmage): perfect Begetter of the Perfect [Begotten], Father of the only begotten Son.


Εἷς Κύριος, μόνος ἐκ μονου, θὲος ἐκ θεοῦ, χαρακτὴρ καὶ εἰκὼν τῆ ς θεότητος, λόγος ἐνεργός, σοφία τῆ ς τῶν ὅλων συστάσεως περιεκτικὴ καὶ δύναμις τῆ ς ὅλης κτίσεως ποιητική, Υἱὸς ἀληθινὸς ἀληθινοῦ Πατρός, ἀόρατος ἀοράτου καὶ ἄφθαρτος ἀφθάρτου καὶ ἀθάνατος ἀθανάτου καὶ ἀΐδιος ἀϊδίου

There is one Lord, Only of Only, God of God, the Image and Likeness of the Godhead, the efficient Word, Wisdom comprehensive of the system of all things, and Power productive of the whole creation; true Son of the true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal, and Eternal of Eternal.


Καὶ ἕν Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον, ἐκ θεοῦ τὴν ὕπαρξιν ἔχον, καὶ δι’ Υἰοῦ πεφηνὸς [δηλαδὴ τοῖ ς ἀνθρώποις], εἰκὼν τοῦ Υἰοῦ τελείου τελεία, ζωὴ, ζώντων αἰτία, πηγὴ ἁγία, ἁγιότης, ἁγιασμοῦ χορηγός· ἐν ᾦ φανεροῦται θεὸς ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ ἐπι πάντων καὶ ἐν πᾶσι καὶ θεὸς ὀ Υιός ὁ διὰ πάντων· τριὰς τελεία, δόξῃ και ἀϊδιότητι καὶ βασιλείᾳ μὴ μεριζομένη μηδὲ ἀπαλλοτριουμένη.

And there is one Holy Ghost, having his existence from God, and being manifested (namely, to mankind) by the Son; the perfect Likeness of the perfect Son: Life, the Cause of the living; sacred Fount; holiness, the Bestower of sanctification; in whom is revealed God the Father, who is over all things and in all things, and God the Son, who is through all things: a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and dominion, neither divided nor alien.


Οὔτε οὖν κτιστόν τι ἢ δοῦλον ἐν τῇ τριάδι, οὔτε ἐπείσακτον, ὡς πρότερον μὲν οὐχ ὑπάρχον, ὕστερον δὲ ἐπεισελθόν· οὔτε οὖν ἐνέλιπέ ποτε Υἱὸς Πατρὶ, οὔτε Υἱῷ Πνεῦμα ἀλλὰ ἄτρεπτος καὶ ἀναλλοίωτος ἡ αὐτὴ τριὰς ἀεί.

There is therefore nothing created or subservient in the Trinity, nor super-induced, as though not before existing, but introduced afterward Nor has the Son ever been wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son, but there is unvarying and unchangeable the same Trinity forever.



II. The Miracles ascribed to Gregory Thaumaturgus in the fourth century, one hundred years after his death, by the enlightened and philosophic Gregory of Nyssa, and defended in the nineteenth century by Cardinal Newman of England as credible (Two Essays on Bibl. and Eccles. Miracles. Lond. 3d ed., 1873, p. 261–270), are stupendous and surpass all that are recorded of the Apostles in the New Testament.

Gregory not only expelled demons, healed the sick, banished idols from a heathen temple, but he moved large stones by a mere word, altered the course of the Armenian river Lycus, and, like Moses of old, even dried up a lake. The last performance is thus related by St. Gregory of Nyssa: Two young brothers claimed as their patrimony the possession of a lake. (The name and location are not given.) Instead of dividing it between them, they referred the dispute to the Wonderworker, who exhorted them to be reconciled to one another. The young men however, became exasperated, and resolved upon a murderous duel, when the man of God, remaining on the banks of the lake, by the power of prayer, transformed the whole lake into dry land, and thus settled the conflict.

Deducting all these marvellous features, which the magnifying distance of one century after the death of the saint created, there remains the commanding figure of a great and good man who made a most powerful impression upon his and the subsequent generati



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