This translation of a portion of the works of St. Basil was originally begun under the editorial supervision of Dr. Wace. It was first announced that the translation would comprise the De Spiritu Sancto and Select Letters, but it was ultimately arranged with Dr. Wace that a volume of the series should be devoted to St. Basil, containing, as well as the De Spiritu Sancto, the whole of the Letters, and the Hexæmeron. The De Spiritu Sancto has already appeared in an English form, as have portions of the Letters, but I am not aware of an English translation of the Hexæmeron, or of all the Letters. The De Spiritu Sancto was presumably selected for publication as being at once the most famous, as it is among the most valuable, of the extant works of this Father. The Letters comprise short theological treatises and contain passages of historical and varied biographical interest, as well as valuable specimens of spiritual and consolatory exhortation. The Hexæmeron was added as being the most noted and popular of St. Basils compositions in older days, and as illustrating his exegetic method and skill, and his power as an extempore preacher.
The edition used has been that of the Benedictine editors as issued by Migne, with the aid, in the case of the De Spiritu Sancto, of that published by Rev. C. F. H. Johnston.
The editorship of Dr. Wace terminated during the progress of the work, but I am indebted to him, and very gratefully acknowledge the obligation, for valuable counsel and suggestions. I also desire to record my thanks to the Rev. C. Hole, Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at Kings College, London, and to Mr. Reginald Geare, Head Master of the Grammar School, Bishops Stortford, to the former for help in the revision of proof-sheets and important suggestions, and to the latter for aid in the translation of several of the Letters.
The works consulted in the process of translation and attempted illustration are sufficiently indicated in the notes.
London, December, 1894.p. vii