St. Basil of Caesarea- Why the World Must End

(from The Hexaemeron, c. 370 A.D.)

Thus, seeing that figures which move in a circle [orbit] always return upon themselves, without for a single instant interrupting the regularity of their course, do not vainly imagine to yourselves that world has neither beginning nor end. “For the figure of this world passeth away” (1 Cor. vii. 31), and “Heaven and earth shall pass away” (Matt. xxiv. 35). The dogmas of the end, and of the renewing of the world, are announced beforehand in these short words put at the head of the inspired history. “In the beginning God made.” That which was begun in time is condemned to end in time. If there has been a beginning, do not doubt of an end.

Of what use then are geometry–the calculations of arithmetic–the study of solids and far-famed astronomy, this laborious vanity, if those who pursue them imagine that this visible world is co-eternal with the Creator of all things, with God Himself; if they attribute to this limited world, which has a material body, the same glory as to the incomprehensible and invisible nature; if they cannot conceive that a whole, of which the parts are subject to corruption and change, must of necessity end by itself submitting to the fate of its parts? But they have become “vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans i. 21, 22).


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