The Glorious Creator
St. Basil the Great
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
I stop struck with admiration at this thought. What shall I first say? Where shall I
begin my story? Shall I show forth the vanity of the Gentiles? Shall I exalt the truth of
our faith? The philosophers of Greece have made much ado to explain nature, and not one of
their systems has remained firm and unshaken, each being overturned by its successor. . .
. Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled
the universe, and that was all was given up to chance. To guard us against this error the
writer on the creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the
name of God; "In the beginning God created." What a glorious order! He first
establishes a beginning, so that it might not be supposed that the world never had a
beginning. Then be adds "Created" to show that which was made was a very small
part of the power of the Creator. In the same way that the potter, after having made with
equal pains a great number of vessels, has not exhausted either his art or his talent;
thus the Maker of the Universe, whose creative power, far from being bounded by one world,
could extend to the infinite, needed only the impulse of His will to bring the immensities
of the visible world into being. If then the world has a beginning, and if it has been
created, enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was the Creator: or rather, in the
fear that human reasonings may make you wander from the truth, Moses has anticipated
enquiry by engraving in our hearts, as a seal and a safeguard, the awful name of God:
"In the beginning God created"--It is He, beneficent Nature, Goodness without
measure, a worthy object of love for all beings endowed with reason, the beauty the most
to be desired, the origin of all that exists, the source of life, intellectual light,
impenetrable wisdom, it is He who "in the beginning created heaven and earth."
Homily 1 on the Hexaemeron, 2.
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