Basil: Con Eunomius 3.6

Once again, the following wisdom is not mine:

If he is not a creature, therefore he is something begotten or unbegotten. But there is one God who is without a beginning and unbegotten. Not again is he something begotten. So, then, it remains that he is to be named ‘creature’ and ‘something made.’

For my part, if I were to declare that our knowledge can comprehend all things, I would probably be embarrassed to confess ignorance. But the truth of the matter is that there are countless things of which we do not have clear and incontrovertible knowledge—not only things reserved for us in the age to come and those now hidden in the heavens, but also those things that belong to our bodily existence. Let’s take vision as an example: does apprehension of visible things happen when we receive their images? If so, when we see gigantic objects, such as the immense earth and the boundless sea and even the heaven itself, how are the images contained in the tiny space of our pupil? Or is it the case that perception of visible things happens when we send out from ourselves something that draws near to the visible objects? If so, what is thing and how great would it have to be, such that when it is spread over the earth and sea, there is enough of it to traverse between earth and heaven and to come into contact with the heaven itself, moving with such great speed that both the surrounding body and the stars in heaven are perceived at the same time? What need is there to speak of other things? But as for the very movements of the mind, is the nature of the soul to create or beget them? Who can say with precision?

So, then, why is it shocking that we are not ashamed to confess our ignorance even in the case of the Holy Spirit, but we still render to him the glorification for which there is undeniable testimony? The teaching transmitted by the scripture sufficiently communicates to us that he is beyond creation. For it is impossible for the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified to be of the same nature. The same holds true for the one who teaches and those who are taught, and the one who reveals and those who are in need of revelation. No one is so completely out of his mind as to dare to designate anything other than the God of the universe as ‘unbegotten.’ The same goes for the ‘Son’ since the Only-Begotten is unique. So, then, what should we call him? Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of truth sent form God and bestowed through the Son, not a servant, but a holy, good, and guiding Spirit that gives life, Spirit of adopted sonship, the one who knows all that is God’s. Indeed the account of singleness will be preserved in the Trinity in this way, by confessing one Father and one Son and one Holy Spirit.