Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 17—Basilius Caesariensis. A.D. 370.

Basil of Caesarea has also many expressions of God's general goodness to men; of his nearness to them, and willingness that all of them should partake of life; and which are therefore, with others, produced by Monseiur Daille,[1] to countenance general redemption, though there is not one syllable concerning it in them. Nor is Basil very favorable to the universal scheme, when he says,[2] "God is not the God of all, but of them who are joined to him in love, as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for if he was the God of all, he would have given them a testimony as something very excellent." He indeed says, as Monsieur Daille has observed, "The Holy Ghost calls all nations, all that dwell on the earth to hear the psalm," which is no proof of the point before us; and besides, he explains all nations, and all that dwell on the earth, of the church,which he says[3] is suneilektai, "gathered out of nations of all sorts, of laws and manners." He also speaks of Christ's giving himself a propitiation for the whole world, but in the same place[4] gives a plain intimation that he is to be understood of the sufficiency of Christ's blood and sacrifice to atone for and redeem all mankind; his words are these, "What can a man find of such a nature as he can give for the redemption of his own soul?" Yet here is one thing found out omoupanton anthropon antaxion,"worthy of all men alike, even the holy and precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he has shed for us all." Besides, he frequently describes those who are redeemed by Christ, by such characters as cannot agree with all mankind; for a little after he says,[5] he "that is redeemed by God, who gave a propitiation for him, he indeed labors in this world, but after these things he shall live forever; verily he shall not see destruction, when he shall see wise men die." Which cannot be said of every individual of mankind. And in another place he says,[6] "We are all, oi pisteuontes, ‘who believe,' redeemed from the condemnation of sin by the grace of God, which is through his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; who said, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."Which passage of Scripture is twice cited by him afterwards,[7] and applied to believers,to whom he says is given the remission of Sins. Again, he observes,[8] that "where spiritual men are the authors of counsels, and the people of the Lord follow them with unanimity, who can doubt that this is by the communication of our Lord Jesus Christ, tou to aima autou uper ton ekklesion ekcheontous,who shed his blood for the churches."


[1] Apolog. p. 792, etc.

[2] Homil. in Psalm 29. p. 189. vol. 1.

[3] Homil. in Psalm 48, p. 276.

[4] Ibid. p. 280.

[5] Ibid. p. 282.

[6] De Baptismo, 1. 1, c. 1, p. 639.

[7] Ibid. c. 2, p. 649, 652.

[8] Epist. ad Clericos Nieopolit. ep. 192, p. 977, vol. 2.