Gregory Thaumaturgus (Cont.)Part I. – Acknowledged Writings.

A Declaration of Faith.1

There is one God, the Father of the living Word, who is His subsistent Wisdom and Power and Eternal Image:2 perfect Begetter of the perfect Begotten, Father of the only-begotten Son. There is one Lord, Only of the Only,3 God of God, Image and Likeness of Deity, Efficient Word,4 Wisdom comprehensive5 of the constitution of all things, and Power formative6 of the whole creation, true Son of true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal and Eternal of Eternal.7 And there is One Holy Spirit, having His subsistence8 from God, and being made manifest9 by the Son, to wit to men:10 Image11 of the Son, Perfect Image of the Perfect;12 Life, the Cause of the living; Holy Fount; Sanctity, the Supplier, or Leader,13 of Sanctification; in whom is manifested God the Father, who is above all and in all, and God the Son, who is through all. There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged.14 Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude15 in the Trinity;16 nor anything superinduced,17 as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son;18 but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abideth ever.19



The story of the “Revelation” is of little consequence, though, if this were Gregory’s genuine work, it would be easy to account for it as originating in a beautiful dream. But it is very doubtful whether it be a genuine work; and, to my mind, it is most fairly treated by Lardner, to whose elaborate chapter concerning Gregory every scholar must refer.20 Dr. Burton, in his edition of Bishop Bull’s works,21 almost overrules that learned prelate’s inclination to think it genuine, in the following words: “Hanc formulam minime esse Gregorii authenticam … multis haud spernendis argumentis demonstrat Lardner.” Lardner thinks it a fabrication of the fourth century.

Cave’s learned judgment is more favourable; and he gives the text22 from Gregory of Nyssa, which he translates as follows: “There is one God, the Father of the living Word and of the subsisting Wisdom and Power, and of Him who is His Eternal Image, the perfect begetter of Him that is perfect, the Father of the only-begotten Son. There is one Lord, the only Son of the only Father, God of God, the character and image of the Godhead, the powerful Word, the comprehensive Wisdom, by which all things were made, and the Power that gave being to the whole creation, the true Son of the true Father, the Invisible of the Invisible, the Incorruptible of the Incorruptible, the Immortal of the Immortal, and the Eternal of Him that is Eternal. There is one Holy Ghost, having its subsistence of God, which appeared through the Son to mankind, the perfect Image of the perfect Son, the Life-giving Life, the holy Fountain, the Sanctity, and the Author of sanctification, by whom God the Father is made manifest, who is over all, and in all; and God the Son, who is through all. A perfect Trinity, which neither in glory, eternity, or dominion is divided, or departed from itself.”





1 The title as it stands has this addition: “which he had by revelation from the blessed John the evangelist, by the mediation of the Virgin Mary, Parent of God.” Gallandi, Veterum Patrum Biblioth., Venice, 1766, p.385. [Elucidations, p. 8, infra]

2 χαρακτῆρος ἀΐδίου.

3 μόνος ἐκ μόνου.

4 λόγος ἐνεργός.

5 περιεκτική.

6 ποιητική.

7 ἀΐδιος ἀΐδίου.

8 υπαρξιν.

9 πεφηνός.

10 The words δηλαδὴ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις are suspected by suspected by some to be a gloss that has found its way into the text.

11 εἰκών.

12 So John of Damascus uses the phrase, εἰκὼν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὁ Υἱὸς, καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ, τὸ Πνεῦμα, the Son is the Image of the Father, and the Spirit is that of the Son, lib. 1, De fide orthod., Joh_13:1-38, vol. I. p. 151. See also Athanasius, Epist. I ad Serap.; Basil, lib v. contra Eunom.; Cyril, Dial., 7, etc.

13 χορηγός.

14 ἀπαλλοτριουμένη. See also Gregory Nazianz., Orat., 37, p. 609.

15 δοῦλον.

16 Gregory Nazianz., Orat., 40, p. 668, with reference apparently to our author, says: Οὐδὲν τῆς Τριάδος δοῦλον, οὐδὲ κτιστον, οὐδε ἐπεισακτον, ἤκουσα τῶν σοφῶν τινος λέγοντος – In the Trinity there is nothing either in servitude or created, or superinduced, as I heard one of the learned say.

17 ἐπείσακτον.

18 In one codex we find the following addition here: οὔτε αὔξεται μονὰς εἰς δυάδα, οὐδὲ δυὰς εἰς τριάδα – Neither again does the unity grown into duality, nor the duality into trinity; or = Neither does the condition of the one grown into the condition of the two, nor that of the two into the condition of the three.

19 [See valuable note and Greek text in Dr. Schaff’s History, vol. ii. p. 799.]

20 Credibility, vol. ii. p. 635.

21 Vol. v. p. 423.

22 Cave, Lives of the Fathers, vol. i. p. 402, ed. Oxford, 1840.