Just so I have heard the sacred record laying blame upon the sons of Benjamin who did not regard the law, but could shoot within a hair's breadth [Judges 20:16], wherein, methinks, the word exhibited their eager pursuit of an idle object, that they were far-darting and dexterous aimers at things that were useless and unsubstantial, but ignorant and regardless of what was manifestly for their benefit. For after what I have quoted, the history goes on to relate what befell them, how, when they had run madly after the iniquity of Sodom, and the people of Israel had taken up arms against them in full force, they were utterly destroyed. And it seems to me to be a kindly thought to warn young archers not to wish to shoot within a hair's-breadth, while they have no eyes for the door of the faith, but rather to drop their idle labor about the incomprehensible, and not to lose the gain that is ready to their hand, which is found by faith alone.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius (Book X), Chapter 1
And so, after this ecstasy which came upon him as a result of these lofty visions, Abraham returned once more to his human frailty: I am, he admits [Genesis 18:27], dust and ashes, mute, inert, incapable of explaining rationally the Godhead that my mind has seen. (And the dust and ashes, I think, symbolizes all that is dead and unfruitful.) Thus this became the norm of faith for all that followed; for in his life we are taught that for those who are advancing in the divine paths there is no other way of drawing near to God than by the intermediary of faith; it is only through faith that the questing soul can unite itself with the incomprehensible Godhead. Abandoning, then, the curiosity of the mind, Abraham, says the text, believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice [Romans 4:3; cf. Genesis 15:6]. And this, says the Apostle, was written not for Abraham but for us, for it is by faith and not knowledge that men are accounted just before God. For knowledge has a kind of market value, accorded to the knower alone. But this is not so of Christian faith. For it is the substance of things to be hoped for [Hebrews 11:1], not of things that are known. We not hope for what we already possess. As the Apostle says, For what a man hath, why doth he hope for? [Romans 8:24].
-Gregory of Nyssa, Against Euonius (Book XII)
And after she has gone about the entire supramundane city by the operation of her mind, and has not recognized her Beloved even among things spiritual and immaterial, then at last she gives up all she has found; for she realizes that what she seeks can be understood only in the very inability to comprehend His essence, and that every intelligible attribute becomes merely a hindrance to those who seek to find him. This is why she says: When I had a little passed by them [Song of Solomon 3:4], I abandoned all creatures and passed by all that is intelligble in creation; and when I gave up every finite mode of comprehension, then it was that I found my Beloved by faith. And I will never let Him go, now that I have found Him, from the grasp of faith, until He comes within my chamber [Song of Solomon 3:4]. For the heart is indeed a chamber to be filled by the divine indwelling -- that is, when it is restored to the state that it had in the beginning.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Commentary on Song of Solomon (Song of Solomon 3:4)
34: This done, the serpent was changed back into a rod by which sinners are brought to their senses, and those slackening on the upward and toilsome course of virtue are given rest, the rod of faith supporting them through their high hopes. Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for. [Heb. 11:1]
- Gregory of Nyssa, Contemplation on the Life of Moses, Book 2
Having zealously directed the church's affairs in this fashion before his death, [Gregory] wished to see everyone converted from idolatry to the faith which saves.
- Gregory of Nyssa, The Life of Gregory the Wonderworker
Whether faith saves or whether we are saved through faith or await grace through patience, "love believes all things and hopes all things" as the Apostle says [1Cor 13.7].
- Gregory of Nyssa, A Euology for Basil the Great
For if we have learnt what the good alliance is and who is the Commander of these allied troops, let us make a treaty with him, let us join his command, let us make friends with the one who has gained such power. The way to be attached to him is taught by the assembler of this league, the great Apostle, when he says Therefore, since we are justified by faith, let us have peace with God [Romans 5:1], and again, We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were urging through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled with God [2 Corinthians 5:20]. As long as we were by nature children of wrath by doing what is wrong [Ephesians 2:3], we stood in the ranks of those who resist the right hand of the most high [Psalm 77:10/76:11]; but if we lay aside ungodliness and worldly desires, in holy, just and godly living, by making this peace we shall be joined to the true Peace. For so the Apostle says of him, He is himself our peace [Ephesians 2:14].
- Gregory of Nyssa, Homily 8 on Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 3:8) (Hall/Moriarty Translation)
If we have gained knowledge about the enemy against whom we must fight and take up arms, we ought to learn about another part of the text, that is, when to make a treaty of peace. Who is the good commander? He enables me to win favor by peaceful means. Who is the leader of this army? The divinely inspired scriptures clearly depict the battle array of angels belonging to the heavenly army: "There was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God" [Lk 2.13]. Daniel saw a thousand thousands and thousand times ten thousand worshiping him [Dan 7.10]. The prophets testify to this, calling him the Lord of all the armies and Lord of hosts [Ps 23.10]. And to Joshua Nave, the powerful one in battle, he said, "I am the commander of the army [of the Lord]" [Jos 5.14]. If we have understood the assistance we receive in battle and the leader of our allies, let us make a truce with him, fly to his powerful aide and become friends in order to secure his assistance. The great Apostle [Paul] teaches us how to gain intimacy with him and how to be united in friendship saying, "Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God" [Rom 5.1]. And, "We are ambassadors for Christ as though God besought you by us [saying], 'Be reconciled to God'" [2Cor 5.20]. As long as our shameful deeds made us sons of wrath [Eph 2.3] we were among those who opposed the right hand of the Most High. The Apostle says of him "He is our peace" [Eph 2.14], words which form the end and summation of all temporal reality. We who had once been God's adversaries have learned to accomplish all things in time in order to establish peace with ourselves and with him. If the virtues truly belong to the army of peace with which we must be associated, it would not be outside the sense of the text which refers the name of every virtue to the Lord of virtues.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Homily 8 on Ecclesiastes
Note well: these are expressions of Sola Fide in Gregory of Nyssa. However, I cannot ensure that Gregory of Nyssa doesn't somewhere else undermine the position laid out above.
What about the places where Gregory of Nyssa speaks to the relation of faith and works?
By dividing the virtues into different types the Apostle has made each type of virtue into the particular piece of armor for each of the crucial moments in our lives. Entwining justice with faith and plaiting them together he constructs with them the hoplite's breastplate, protecting the soldier’s body thoroughly and securely with them both. One piece of armor separated from another cannot by itself be a protection for the one who handles it. Faith without the works of justice is not enough to save one from death, nor again is the justice of one's life a guarantee of salvation if it is on its own, divorced from faith.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Homily 8 on Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 3:8)
This, as I understand it, is the Good that truly is, the thing Solomon sought to see, which people will do under the sun throughout all the number of the days of their life. This seems to me to be none other than the work of faith, the performance of which is common to all, available on equal terms to those who wish for it, lasting in full strength continuously throughout life. This is the good work, which I pray may be done in us too, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. AMEN.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Homily 2 on Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 2:3)
198. That was the outward appearance of the ornament, and this is its meaning: The shield-like ornaments hanging down from both shoulders symbolize the two-fold nature of our armor against the Adversary. Therefore, as I said a short time ago, since the life of virtue is lived in a two-fold way -- by faith and a good conscience in life -- we are made safe with respect to both by the shield's protection. We remain unwounded by the enemy's darts, by being armed with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left [2 Corinthians 6:7].
- Gregory of Nyssa, Contemplation on the Life of Moses (Malherbe/Ferguson translation)
The golden bells alternating with the tassels stand for the brilliance of our good works. Perfect virtue consists indeed of two things, having faith in God and living our lives according to our conscience. Thus the great Paul fastens bells and tassels to the garment of Timothy when he says that he must have faith and a good conscience [1 Timothy 1:19]. Faith then, should sound strong and clear in its preaching of the Trinity; and our lives should imitate the form of the pomegranate. For on the outside it is covered with a hard and bitter rind which is inedible; but on the inside the brightness and regularity of its fruit makes [sic] it very pleasant to see and even more pleasant to taste. So too, the life of wisdom is bitter and difficult to the senses, but full of good expectations when it has produced fruit in due season. For when the gardener opens the pomegranate of our lives in due time and reveals the beauty hidden there, sweet indeed will be the taste of that fruit to those who share in it. The divine Apostle somewhere says: All chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorry (and so it seems for those who first come in contact with the pomegranate): but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of justice [Hebrews 12:11], that is, the sweetness of spiritual nourishment.
- Gregory of Nyssa, Contemplation on the Life of Moses (Daniélou/Musurillo translation)
This was the way this ornament was made. And its meaning is as follows. The two bosses suspended from the shoulders symbolize the double aspect of our armor against the adversary. For, as we said earlier, virtue works in two ways, by faith and by a life lived according to one's conscience; in this way we are protected on both sides by the bulwark of the bosses and remain untouched by the darts of the enemy, by the armor of justice on the right hand and the left [2 Corinthians 6:7].
- Gregory of Nyssa, Contemplation on the Life of Moses (Daniélou/Musurillo translation)
Apparently Inconsistent Remarks in Gregory of Nyssa
But if some one says that such a life [of an infant dying in infancy] does not only exist, but exists as one of the good ones, and that God gives, though He does not repay, what is good to such, we may ask what sort of reason he advances for this partiality; how is justice apparent in such a view; how will he prove his idea in concordance with the utterances in the Gospels? There (the Master) says, the acquisition of the Kingdom comes to those who are deemed worthy of it, as a matter of exchange. "When you have done such and such things, then it is right that you get the Kingdom as a reward." But in this case there is no act of doing or of willing beforehand, and so what occasion is there for saying that these will receive from God any expected recompense?
- Gregory of Nyssa, On Infants' Early Deaths
Let us suppose two persons suffering from an affection of the eyes; and that the one surrenders himself most diligently to the process of being cured, and undergoes all that Medicine can apply to him, however painful it may be; and that the other indulges without restraint in baths and wine-drinking, and listens to no advice whatever of his doctor as to the healing of his eyes. Well, when we look to the end of each of these we say that each duly receives in requital the fruits of his choice, the one in deprivation of the light, the other in its enjoyment; by a misuse of the word we do actually call that which necessarily follows, a recompense. We may speak, then, in this way also as regards this question of the infants: we may say that the enjoyment of that future life does indeed belong of right to the human being, but that, seeing the plague of ignorance has seized almost all now living in the flesh, he who has purged himself of it by means of the necessary courses of treatment receives the due reward of his diligence, when he enters on the life that is truly natural; while he who refuses Virtue's purgatives and renders that plague of ignorance, through the pleasures he has been entrapped by, difficult in his case to cure, gets himself into an unnatural state, and so is estranged from the truly natural life, and has no share in the existence which of right belongs to us and is congenial to us.
- Gregory of Nyssa, On Infants' Early Deaths
You'll notice in the two passages above there is a strong emphasis on personal desert.