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" There is one God the Father of the living Word, of the subsisting wisdom and power, and of the eternal express Image ; Perfect, the Father of the perfect, the Father of the only-begotten Son. One Lord alone of alone, God of God, the character and image of the Deity, the energetic word, the wisdom comprehensive of the System of the Universe, and the Power that made all creation, the true Son of the true Father, the Invisible of the invisible, the incorruptible of the incorruptible, the immortal of the immortal, the eternal of the eternal; and one Holy Ghost, having his subsistence of God, manifested through the Son to men, the image of the Son, the perfect life of the perfect, the source of life, the holy fountain, fanctification, and the supplier of fanctification, in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all; a perfect Trinity, in glory, eternity, and kingdom, not separated, not divided.”
Notwithstanding the prejudices which his idolatrous countrymen must have had against him, Musonius, a person of consequence in the city, received him, and in a very little cime his preaching was attended with so great success that he had a numerous congregation. The situation of Gregory, so like that of the primitive christian preachers, in the midst of idolatry, renders it exceedingly probable that he was, as they were, favoured with miraculous gifts : for these the Lord bestowed in abundance, where the name of Jesus had as yet gained no admiffion; and it is certain that miracles had not ceased in the church.
Gregory Nyssen lived himself within less than a hundred years after our Gregory; and both he and his brother, the famous Basil, speak of his miracles without the least doubt. Their aged grandmother
Macrina, who taught them in their youth, had in her younger years been an hearer of Gregory. Bafil particularly observes, that she told them the very words which she had heard from him, and assures us that the Gentiles on account of the miracles which he performed used to call him a second Moses. The existence of his miraculous powers, with reasonable persons, seems then unquestionable. It is only to be regretted that the few particular instances which have come down to us are not the belt chofen; but that he cured the sick, healed the diseased, and expelled devils, and that thus God wrought by him for the good of fouls, and to pave the way for the propagation of the gospel, as it is in itself very credible, so has it the testimony of men worthy to be believed.
Gregory continued successfully employed at Neocæsarea till the persecution of Decius. Swords and axes, fire, wild beasts, stakes and engines to diftend the limbs, iron chairs made red hot, frames of timber fet up straight, in which the bodies of the tortured were racked with nails that tore off the feíh. These and a variety of other inventions were used. But the Decian persecution, in general, was before described. Pontus and Cappadocia seem to have had their full share. Relations, in the most unnatural manner, betrayed one another, the woods were full of vagabonds, the towns were empty, and private houses, deprived of their christian inhabitants, became gaols for the reception of prisoners, the public prisons not sufficing for that purpose.
In this terrible situation of things, Gregory considering that his new converts could Icarce be Itrong enough to stand their ground and be faithful, advised them to flee, and to encourage them in it he set them the example. Many of his people
suffered, but God restored them at length to peace, and Gregory again returned to exhilarate their minds with his pastoral labours.
In the reign of Gallienus the christians suffered extremely from the ravages of barbarous nations, which gave occasion to Gregory's Canonical Epistle, Itill extant, in which rules of a wholesome, peniçential, and disciplinarian nature are delivered. But there is no need to particularize them.
The last service of his which is recorded, is the part which he took in the first council concerning Paul of Samosata. He died not long after. А little before his death he made a strict enquiry whether there were any in the city and neighbour. hood still strangers to christianity. And being told there were about seventeen in all, he fighed and lifting up his eyes to heaven, appealed to God how much it troubled him that any of his fellow-townsmen should remain unacquainted with salvation, yet that his thankfulness was due to God, that when at first he had found only seventeen christians, he had left only seventeen idolators. Having prayed for the conversion of infidels and the edification of the faithful, he peaceably gave up his soul to God.
He was an evangelical man in his whole life, as Basil says. In his devotion he shewed the greatest reverence. Yea and nay were the usual measures of his communication ; how desirable that those who protels to love Jesus, uniformly practifed the fame. He never allowed himself to call his brother fool; no anger or bitterness proceeded out of his mouth. Slander and calumny, as directly opposite to christianity, he peculiarly hated and avoided. Lies and falsehood, envy and pride, he abhorred. Zealous he was against all corruprions, and Sabellianism, which long after in Basil's time
reared doctrine Such * Du Pin, 3d Century.
reared up its head, was, he tells us, filenced by the remembrance of what he had taught and left among them.
On the whole, the reader will with me regret, that antiquity has left us such scanty memorials of a man so much honoured of God, fo eminently holy, and little inferior in utility among mankind to any from the Apostle's days to his own cimes, For it is not to be conceived that so great and almost universal a change in the religious profession of the citizens of Neocælarea could have taken place without a marvellous out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in that place. And how initructive and edifying would the narrative have been were we distinctly informed of its rise and progress ! Certainly the essentials of the gospel inust have been preached in much clearness and purity. In no particular instance was the Divine influence ever more apparent since the apostolic age.
Theognoftus of Alexandria is an author whose time it is not easy to fix with precision, though it be certain that he is later than Origen, and mutt belong to the third century. He platonizes after the inanner of Origen, in some parts of his writings, yer is he cited by Athanafius as a witness of the Son's consubstantiality with the Father. as the Sun is not diminithed, says he, though it produces rays continually, fo likewise the Father is not diminished in begetting the Son, who is his image.” It is certain that this is Trinitarian
Ic language, and though neither Theognoftus nor Gregory, nor some others of the ancient fathers spake always of the persons of the blessed Trinity, with so much exactness as afterwards was done, it would be an extreme want of candour to rank him with Arians, Sabellians, or the like, when there is clear proof that the foundation of their
doctrine was really Trinitarian. It cannot be expected that men should speak always with the same care on a point, before there be an urgent call for it, as afterwards when contrary heresies were formed.' The want of attending to this just distinction has nursed several unreasonable cavils in those who eagerly catch at every straw to support heretical notions. Nothing is known of the life of this man; of his eloquence and capacity the proofs are clear and strong *.
The injustice of the attempts made to invalidate the proofs of the antiquity and uninterrupted prefervation of the doctrine of the Trinity within the three first centuries, require me to mention one instance more, which, added to the many already mentioned, will, I think, authorize me to draw this conclusion, that during the first three hundred years, though the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity was variously opposed, yet the whole chriflian church constantly united in preserving and maintaining it, even from the Apostle's days, as the proper iphere within which all the truth, and holiness, and consolation of genuine chriftianity lies, and exclusive of which one may defy its boldest enemies to produce a single instance of any real progress in piety, made in any place, where the name of Christ was known.
We have before observed that Dionysius of Alexandria, for his zeal against Sabellianism, was suspected of Arianism, and that he fully exculpated himself. A Roman synod had been convened on the account, and Dionysius of Rome I, in the name of the Synod, wrote a letter in which he proves, that the Word was not created, but begotten of the Father from all eternity, and distinctly explains the mystery of the Trinity.
Du Pin, ibid.