be the beginning of an eschatological transformation, signalled in the church's mission to bring all peoples to true piety.11

Basil's younger brother Gregory of Nyssa, however, moves from the eccle-siological dimension of this change to its properly moral and spiritual implications, still within an eschatological framework. The 'end' in Psalm 59 is still Christ's victory, but the domain of the struggle is the larger frontier between mutable creatures and the immutable God, the divide across which all souls must upwardly advance by imitating the biblical saints in prayer and in virtue.12 Later, in the early seventh century, Maximus the Confessor was to describe this eschatological change in Psalm 59 as the dramatic transformation of free will among all the faithful, already breaking forth in this, the end of the ages (cf. 1 Corinthians 10.11).13

In the Latin tradition as well, Augustine, like Hilary of Poitiers before him and Cassiodorus after, interpreted psalms entitled To the end - including Psalm 59 - in reference precisely to Christ as the end of the law (finis legis, Romans 10.9).14 For Augustine such psalms signalled the Saviour's solidarity with his church in its pilgrimage toward ultimate perfection.

Biblical prophecy, so understood, bridged history and eternity, with the church, as interpreting community, poised between the 'already' and the 'not yet'. Salvation history was not a 'flat' or transparent linear pattern of sacred events, it was dimensional, training the church forward and upward to a transformed order, the new creation. Underlying typology, like the more purely symbolic forms of allegory and anagogy, was a view of biblical revelation as a dense web of signification and evocation, its multiple senses hanging together at various levels, their connections needing patiently to be sifted according to the discernible 'plot' (hypothesis) and 'intention' (skopos) of the Bible as a whole. We are helped by the rich patristic notion of 'economy' (oikonomia; dispensatio), which envisioned the forward progress of sacred history, from creation to consummation, as shot through with the 'vertical' dynamics of divine condescension and human ascent, or as Maximus would eventually call them, the 'ages' of'incarnation' and 'deification' defying purely chronological delimitations.15

11 Basil the Great, Hom. super Ps. 59 (PG 29: 460-4).

12 Gregory of Nyssa, Inscriptiones in Ps. 11.4 (GNO 5: 72-4).

13 Maximus the Confessor, Expositio in Ps. 59 (CCSG 23: 3-4).

14 Augustine, Enarrationes in Ps. 59 (CCSL 39:753-65); cf.Hilary, Tract. in Ps. 53, 2 (CSEL 22: 136); Cassiodorus, Exp. in Ps. 59 (CCSL 97: 529-37).

15 Maximus, Ad Thalassium 22 (CCSG 22:137-43).

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