from ORATION 27
"For it is necessary to be truly at leisure to know God."
from ORATION 28
"Is He a body? How then is He the Infinite and
Limitless, and formless, and intangible, and invisible? or are these
attributes of a body? What arrogance for such is not the nature of a body!
Or will you say that He has a body, but not these attributes? O stupidity,
that a Deity should possess nothing more than we do. For how is He an
object of worship if He be circumscribed? Or how shall He escape being made
of elements, and therefore subject to be resolved into them again, or even
altogether dissolved? For every compound is a starting point of strife, and
strife of separation, and separation of dissolution. But dissolution is
altogether foreign to God and to the First Nature. Therefore there can be
no separation, that there may be no dissolution, and no strife that there
may be no separation, and no composition that there may be no strife. Thus
also them must be no body, that there may be no composition, and so the
argument is established by going back from last to first."
"Now since we have ascertained that God is incorporeal, let us
proceed a little further with our examination. Is He Nowhere or Somewhere.
For if He is Nowhere,(a) then some person of a very inquiring turn of mind
might ask, How is it then that He can even exist? For if the non-existent
is nowhere, then that which is nowhere is also perhaps non-existent. But if
He is Somewhere, He must be either in the Universe, or above the Universe.
And if He is in the Universe, then He must be either in some part or in the
whole. If in some part, then He will be circumscribed by that part which is
less than Himself; but if everywhere, then by one which is further and
greater--I mean the Universal, which contains the Particular; if the
Universe is to be contained by the Universe, and no place is to be free
from circumscription. This follows if He is contained in the Universe. And
besides, where was He before the Universe was created, for this is a point
of no little difficulty. But if He is above the Universe, is there nothing
to distinguish this from the Universe, and where is this above situated?
And how could this Transcendence and that which is transcended be
distinguished in thought, if there is not a limit to divide and define
them? Is it not necessary that there shall be some mean to mark off the
Universe from that which is above the Universe? And what could this be but
Place, which we have already rejected?"
"...the Divine Nature cannot be apprehended by human reason, and we cannot even represent to ourselves all its
"For every rational nature longs for God and for the First Cause, but is unable to
grasp Him... Faint therefore with the
desire, and as it were restive and impatient of the disability, it tries a
second course, either to look at visible things, and out of some of them to
make a god ... or else through the beauty and order of visible things to attain to that which is above sight;
but not to suffer
the loss of God through the magnificence of visible things.
"Thus reason that proceeds from God, that is implanted in
all from the beginning and is the first law in us, and is bound up in all,
leads us up to God through visible things."
"What God is in nature and essence, no man ever yet has discovered
or can discover."
from ORATION 29
"...it is possible for Unity if
at variance with itself to come into a condition of plurality; but one
which is made of an equality of Nature and a Union of mind and an identity
of motion, and a convergence of its elements to unity--a thing which is
impossible to the created nature--so that though numerically distinct there
is no severance of Essence. Therefore Unity having from all eternity
arrived by motion at Duality, found its rest in Trinity. This is what we
mean by Father and Son and Holy Ghost. The Father is the Begetter and the
Emitter; without passion of course, and without reference to time, and
not in a corporeal manner. The Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Ghost the
"But they say, The Unbegotten and the Begotten are not the same; and
if this is so, neither is the Son the same as the Father. It is clear,
without saying so, that this line of argument manifestly excludes either
the Son or the Father from the Godhead. For if to be Unbegotten is the
Essence of God, to be begotten is not that Essence; if the opposite is the
case, the Unbegotten is excluded. What argument can contradict this?"
from ORATION 31
"To us there is One God,
for the Godhead is One, and all that proceedeth from Him is referred to
One, though we believe in Three Persons. For one is not more and another
less God; nor is One before and another after; nor are They divided in will
or parted in power; nor can you find here any of the qualities of divisible
things; but the Godhead is, to speak concisely, undivided in separate
Persons; and there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns
joined to each other. When then we look at the Godhead, or the First Cause,
or the Monarchia, that which we conceive is One; but when we look at the
Persons in Whom the Godhead dwells, and at Those Who timelessly and with
equal glory have their Being from the First Cause--there are Three Whom we