BASIL THE GREAT:
Remember the vision of Daniel and how he brings the judgment before us … clearly disclosing in the hearing of all, angels and human beings, things good and evil, things done openly and in secret, deeds, words and thoughts all at once. What then must those people be who have lived wicked lives? Where then shall that soul hide that in the sight of all these spectators shall suddenly be revealed in its fullness of shame? With what kind of body shall it sustain those endless and unbearable pangs … without end? There is no release after death; no device, no means of coming forth from the chastisement of pain.1
And to him to whom we offer firstfruits we also send up our prayers, “having a great high priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God,” and “we hold fast this profession” as long as we live; for we find God and his only-begotten Son, manifested to us in Jesus, to be gracious and kind to us. And if we would wish to have besides a great number of beings who shall ever prove friendly to us, we are taught that “thousand thousands stood before him, and ten thousand times ten thousand ministered to him.” And these, regarding all as their relations and friends who imitate their piety toward God and in prayer call on him with sincerity, work along with them for their salvation, appear to them, deem it their office and duty to attend to them, and as if by common agreement they visit with all manner of kindness and deliverance those who pray to God, to whom they themselves also pray. “For they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation.”2
BASIL THE GREAT:
Do “thousand thousand” of angels stand before him, and “ten thousand times ten thousand” ministering spirits? They are blamelessly doing their proper work by the power of the Spirit. All the glorious and unspeakable harmony of the highest heavens in the service of God and in the mutual concord of the celestial powers can therefore be preserved only by the direction of the gradually perfected by increase and advance, but they are perfect from the moment of the creation, there is in creation the presence of the Holy Spirit, who confers on them the grace that flows from him for the completion and perfection of their essence.3
- LETTER 46.5. Stevenson, K., & Gluerup, M. (Eds.). (2008). Ezekiel, Daniel (p. 230). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- AGAINST CELSUS 8.34. Stevenson, K., & Gluerup, M. (Eds.). (2008). Ezekiel, Daniel (pp. 232–233). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- ON THE HOLY SPIRIT 16.38. Stevenson, K., & Gluerup, M. (Eds.). (2008). Ezekiel, Daniel (p. 233). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.