St Maximus the Confessor, 1st Century on Theology, 48–50.

48. One should seek from those who are serious what it is that one ought to understand to be the works which God began at the beginning of the world, and what are the works which he did not begin at the beginning of the world. For whilst God ceased from all the works which he began to make, it is manifest that he did not cease from those which he did not begin to make. Therefore, it may be said that all the participating beings – such as the different essences of being – are works of God which have begun to be in time, i.e. which have non-being before their being. For there was, when the participating beings were not. Indeed, it happens to be the case that the participated beings – such as goodness and everything whatsoever which is encompassed within the logos of goodness – are works of God without temporal beginning. Rather, these participated beings are works of God in which, according to grace, the participating beings participate. And so it is for all life, immortality, simplicity, immutability, infinity, and all that which is contemplated about God with respect to essence – these are all works of God, without temporal beginning. For non-being was not before virtue, nor before any other of the things just mentioned – even if the participants of these things in themselves have come to be in time. For every virtue is beginningless, not having a time before itself – rather, each virtue has God as the most singular and eternal generator of its being.

49. By infinite times and in infinite ways, God is far removed from all beings, both participating and participated. For everything whatever which has a categorised logos of being, happens to be a work of God. And this is true not only of that which has begun to be according to genesis in time, but also of that which is implanted according to grace – such as innate power – which piercingly proclaims God in all beings.

50. All immortal things, and immortality itself; and all living things, and immortality itself; and all holy things, and holiness itself; and all virtuous things, and virtue itself; and all good things, and goodness itself; and all real things, and reality itself, manifestly happen to be works of God. Now, on the one hand, there are things which began to be in time – for there was, when they were not. And, on the other hand, there are things which did not begin to be in time – for there never was, when there was not virtue and goodness and holiness and immortality. And it is by participation in the things without temporal beginning that the things which have begun to be in time are and are said to be the very things which they are and are said to be. God is the Creator of all life and immortality, holiness and virtue; for he is removed beyond the essence of all things which are understood and said to be.