Online Library of Liberty

A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

Advanced Search

St. Thomas Aquinas, The “Summa Theologica” of St. Thomas Aquinas. Part I QQ XXVII-XLIX. Vol. 2 (Treatise on the Trinity, Treatise on the Creation) [1256]

0961-02_tp
Title Page
0961-02_toc
Original Table of Contents or First Page

Edition used:

St. Thomas Aquinas, The “Summa Theologica” of St. Thomas Aquinas. Part I QQ XXVII-XLIX. Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Second and revised edition (London: Burns Oates and Washbourne, 1921). Vol. 2. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1980

Available in the following formats:
Facsimile PDF small 2.95 MB This is a compressed facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book.
Facsimile PDF 13.5 MB This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book.
MARC Record 1.89 KB MAchine-Readable Cataloging record.
Kindle 351 KB This is an E-book formatted for Amazon Kindle devices.
EBook PDF 807 KB This text-based PDF or EBook was created from the HTML version of this book and is part of the Portable Library of Liberty.
HTML 768 KB This version has been converted from the original text. Every effort has been taken to translate the unique features of the printed book into the HTML medium.

About this Title:

Vol. 2 of a multi-volume collection of Aquinas’ greatest work on philosophy and theology.

Copyright information:

The text is in the public domain.

Fair use statement:

This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
THE “SUMMA THEOLOGICA”
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

Aihil Obstat.

F. INNOCENTIUS APAP., O.P., S.T.M.

Censor. Theol.

Imprimatur.

EDUS. CANONICUS SURMONT,

Vicarius Generalis.

Westmonasterii

APPROBATIO ORDINIS.

Aihil Obstat.

F. RAPHAEL MOSS, O.P., S.T.L.

F. LEO. MOORE, O.P., S.T.L.

Imprimatur.

F. BEDA JARRETT, O.P., S.T.L., A.M.

Prior Provincialis Angliæ.

Die 7 Januarii, 1921.

Edition: current; Page: [iii]
THE “SUMMA THEOLOGICA” OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
PART I. QQ. XXVII.—XLIX.
LITERALLY TRANSLATED BY FATHERS OF THE ENGLISH DOMINICAN PROVINCE
SECOND AND REVISED EDITION
LONDON
BURNS OATES & WASHBOURNE LTD. 28 ORCHARD STREET, W. 1 8-10 PATERNOSTER ROW. E.C. 4 benziger brothers: new york, cincinnati, chicago
1921
All rights reserved
Edition: current; Page: [iv] Edition: current; Page: [v]
R. Card. Merry del Val
Merry del Val, R. Card.
February 24th, 1912
The Vatican
Humbert Everest
Everest, Humbert

LETTER FROM THE CARDINAL SECRETARY OF STATE.

The Vatican,
To the Very Reverend Father Humbert Everest, O.P., Prior Provincial of the English Dominican Province.
Reverend Father,

I am desired to inform you that the Holy Father has been pleased to express his gratitude on receiving from you the first volume of the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas, which, with the assistance of your beloved brethren of the English Province, you have most wisely determined to translate into your mother-tongue. I say ‘most wisely,’ because to translate into the language of one’s country the immortal works of St. Thomas is to give to its people a great treasure of human and Divine knowledge, and to afford those who are desirous of obtaining it, not only the best method of reasoning in unfolding and elucidating sacred truths, but also the most efficacious means of combating heresies. Therefore, without doubt, you have undertaken a task worthy of religious men—worthy of the sons of St. Dominic.

The Venerable Pontiff, in graciously accepting your gift, returns you most cordial thanks, and earnestly prays that your task may have a successful result and produce abundant fruit. In token of his appreciation, he most lovingly imparts to you and your fellow-workers the Apostolic Benediction.

And for myself I extend to you the right hand of fellowship, and thank you for the special volume of the translation which you presented to me.

I remain, Rev. Father,
Yours devotedly,
R. Card. Merry del Val.
Edition: current; Page: [vi] Edition: current; Page: [vii]
Fr. Hyacinth M. Cormier
Cormier, Fr. Hyacinth M.
May 21st, 1911
Roma

LETTER FROM THE MASTER-GENERAL OF THE FRIAR PREACHERS.

Collegio Angelico,
To the English Translators of the ‘Summa Theologica’ of St. Thomas.
Very Rev. and dear Fathers,

In translating into English the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas, you undertake a work which will bring profit to the Church and honour to the Dominican Order, and which, I hope, will be acceptable even to the laity; for what was said of the great doctor by his contemporaries is true for all time—that everybody can gather fruit from his writings, which are within the grasp of all. As a matter of fact, St. Thomas appeals to the light of reason, not in order to weaken the ground of faith, which is the Divine Reason, infinitely surpassing the reason of man, but, on the contrary, in order to increase the merit of faith by making us adhere more firmly to His revelation. For we see thereby how reasonable is our submission, how salutary it is to the mind, how profitable for our guidance, how joyful to the heart.

May your work contribute to this end! Thus it will be a sermon, preached through the press, by reason of its diffusion and duration more fruitful than that preached by word of mouth.

I bless you in our Holy Father, St. Dominic, and ask the help of your prayers for the Order and for myself.

Fr. Hyacinth M. Cormier, O.P.,
Master-General.
Edition: current; Page: [viii] Edition: current; Page: [ix]

CONTENTS

  • TREATISE ON THE TRINITY

  • question XXVII. THE PROCESSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS - - - page 3
  • XXVIII. THE DIVINE RELATIONS - - - - - 14
  • XXIX. THE DIVINE PERSONS - - - - - 25
  • XXX. THE PLURALITY OF PERSONS IN GOD - - - 38
  • XXXI. WHAT BELONGS TO THE UNITY AND PLURALITY IN GOD - 49
  • XXXII. THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE DIVINE PERSONS - - - 60
  • XXXIII. OF THE PERSON OF THE FATHER - - - - 72
  • XXXIV. OF THE PERSON OF THE SON - - - - 83
  • XXXV. OF THE IMAGE - - - - - 93
  • XXXVI. OF THE PERSON OF THE HOLY GHOST - - - 97
  • XXXVII. OF THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST—LOVE - - - 113
  • XXXVIII. OF THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST AS GIFT - - - 121
  • XXXIX. OF THE PERSONS IN RELATION TO THE ESSENCE - - 126
  • XL. OF THE PERSONS AS COMPARED TO THE RELATIONS OR PROPERTIES - - - - - - 152
  • XLI. OF THE PERSONS IN REFERENCE TO THE NATIONAL ACTS - 163
  • XLII. OF EQUALITY AND LIKENESS AMONG THE DIVINE PERSONS - 179
  • XLIII. THE MISSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS - - - 194
  • TREATISE ON THE CREATION

  • XLIV. THE PROCESSION OF CREATURES FROM GOD, AND OF THE FIRST CAUSE OF ALL THINGS - - - - 213
  • XLV. THE MODE OF EMANATION OF THINGS FROM THE FIRST PRINCIPLE - - - - - - 222
  • XLVI. OF THE BEGINNING OF THE DURATION OF THE CREATURES - 242
  • XLVII. THE DISTINCTION OF THINGS IN GENERAL - - - 255
  • XLVIII. THE DISTINCTION OF THINGS IN PARTICULAR - 263
  • XLIX. THE CAUSE OF EVIL - - - - - - 277
Edition: current; Page: [x] Edition: current; Page: [1] Edition: current; Page: [2] Edition: current; Page: [3]

FIRST PART.: TREATISE ON THE TRINITY.

QUESTION XXVII.: THE PROCESSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
(In Five Articles.)

Having considered what belongs to the unity of the divine essence, it remains to treat of what belongs to the Trinity of the persons in God. And because the divine Persons are distinguished from each other according to the relations of origin, the order of doctrine leads us to consider firstly, the question of origin or procession; secondly, the relations of origin; thirdly, the persons.

Concerning procession there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there is procession in God? (2) Whether any procession in God can be called generation? (3) Whether there can be any other procession in God besides generation? (4) Whether that other procession can be called generation? (5) Whether there are more than two processions in God?

First Article.
WHETHER THERE IS PROCESSION IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there cannot be any procession in God. For procession signifies outward movement. But in God there is nothing mobile, nor anything extraneous. Therefore neither is there procession in God.

Edition: current; Page: [4]

Obj. 2. Further, everything which proceeds differs from that whence it proceeds. But in God there is no diversity; but supreme simplicity. Therefore in God there is no procession.

Obj. 3. Further, to proceed from another seems to be against the nature of the first principle. But God is the first principle, as shown above (Q. II., A. 3). Therefore in God there is no procession.

On the contrary, Our Lord says, From God I proceeded (Jo. viii. 42).

I answer that, Divine Scripture uses, in relation to God, names which signify procession. This procession has been differently understood. Some have understood it in the sense of an effect proceeding from its cause; so Arius took it, saying that the Son proceeds from the Father as His primary creature, and that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as the creature of both. In this sense neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost would be true God: and this is contrary to what is said of the Son, That . . . we may be in His true Son. This is the true God (1 John v. 20). Of the Holy Ghost it is also said, Know you not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost? (1 Cor. vi. 19.) Now, to have a temple is God’s prerogative. Others take this procession to mean the cause proceeding to the effect, as moving it, or impressing its own likeness on it; in which sense it was understood by Sabellius, who-said that God the Father is called Son in assuming flesh from the Virgin, and that the Father also is called Holy Ghost in sanctifying the rational creature, and moving it to life. The words of the Lord contradict such a meaning, when He speaks of Himself, The Son cannot of Himself do anything (John v. 19); while many other passages show the same, whereby we know that the Father is not the Son. Careful examination shows that both of these opinions take procession as meaning an outward act; hence neither of them affirms procession as existing in God Himself; whereas, since procession always supposes action, and as there is an outward procession corresponding to the act tending to external matter, so there must be an Edition: current; Page: [5] inward procession corresponding to the act remaining within the agent. This applies most conspicuously to the intellect, the action of which remains in the intelligent agent. For whenever we understand, by the very fact of understanding there proceeds something within us, which is a conception of the object understood, a conception issuing from our intellectual power and proceeding from our knowledge of that object. This conception is signified by the spoken word; and it is called the word of the heart signified by the word of the voice.

As God is above all things, we should understand what is said of God, not according to the mode of the lowest creatures, namely bodies, but from the similitude of the highest creatures, the intellectual substances; while even the similitudes derived from these fall short in the representation of divine objects. Procession, therefore, is not to be understood from what it is in bodies, either according to local movement, or by way of a cause proceeding forth to its exterior effect, as, for instance, like heat from the agent to the thing made hot. Rather it is to be understood by way of an intelligible emanation, for example, of the intelligible word which proceeds from the speaker, yet remains in him. In that sense the Catholic Faith understands procession as existing in God.

Reply Obj. 1. This objection comes from the idea of procession in the sense of local motion, or of an action tending to external matter, or to an exterior effect; which kind of procession does not exist in God, as we have explained.

Reply Obj. 2. Whatever proceeds by way of outward procession is necessarily distinct from the source whence it proceeds, whereas, whatever proceeds within by an intelligible procession is not necessarily distinct; indeed, the more perfectly it proceeds, the more closely it is one with the source whence it proceeds. For it is clear that the more a thing is understood, the more closely is the intellectual conception joined and united to the intelligent agent; since the intellect by the very act of understanding is made one with the object understood. Thus, as the divine intelligence is the very supreme perfection of God (Q. XIV., Edition: current; Page: [6] A. 2.), the divine Word is of necessity perfectly one with the source whence He proceeds, without any kind of diversity.

Reply Obj. 3. To proceed from a principle, so as to be something outside and distinct from that principle, is irreconcilable with the idea of a first principle; whereas an intimate and uniform procession by way of an intelligible act is included in the idea of a first principle. For when we call the builder the principle of the house, in the idea of such a principle is included that of his art; and it would be included in the idea of the first principle were the builder the first principle of the house. God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created as the architect is to things designed.

Second Article.
WHETHER ANY PROCESSION IN GOD CAN BE CALLED GENERATION?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that no procession in God can be called generation. For generation is change from non-existence to existence, and is opposed to corruption; while matter is the subject of both. Nothing of all this belongs to God. Therefore generation cannot exist in God.

Obj. 2. Further, procession exists in God, according to an intelligible mode, as above explained (A. 1). But such a process is not called generation in us; therefore neither is it to be so called in God.

Obj. 3. Further, anything that is generated derives existence from its generator. Therefore such existence is a derived existence. But no derived existence can be a self-subsistence. Therefore, since the divine existence is self-subsisting (Q. III., A. 4), it follows that no generated existence can be the divine existence. Therefore there is no generation in God.

On the contrary, It is said (Ps. ii. 7): This day have I begotten Thee.

Edition: current; Page: [7]

I answer that, The procession of the Word in God is called generation. In proof whereof we must observe that generation has a twofold meaning: one common to everything subject to generation and corruption; in which sense generation is nothing but change from non-existence to existence. In another sense it is proper and belongs to living things; in which sense it signifies the origin of a living being from a conjoined living principle; and this is properly called birth. Not everything of that kind, however, is called begotten; but, strictly speaking, only what proceeds by way of similitude. Hence a hair has not the aspect of generation and of sonship, but only that has which proceeds by way of a similitude. Nor will any likeness suffice; for a worm which is generated from animals has not the aspect of generation and sonship, although it has a generic similitude; for this kind of generation requires that there should be a procession by way of similitude in the same specific nature; as a man proceeds from a man, and a horse from a horse. So in living things, which proceed from potential to actual life, such as men and animals, generation includes both these kinds of generation. But if there is a being whose life does not proceed from potentiality to act, procession (if found in such a being) excludes entirely the first kind of generation; whereas it may have that kind of generation which belongs to living things. So in this manner the procession of the Word in God is generation; for He proceeds by way of intelligible action, which is a vital operation:—from a conjoined principle (as above described):—by way of similitude, inasmuch as the concept of the intellect is a likeness of the object conceived:—and exists in the same nature, because in God the act of understanding and His existence are the same, as shown above (Q. XIV., A. 4). Hence the procession of the Word in God is called generation; and the Word Himself proceeding is called the Son.

Reply Obj. 1. This objection is based on the idea of generation in the first sense, importing the issuing forth from potentiality to act; in which sense it is not found in God.

Edition: current; Page: [8]

Reply Obj. 2. The act of human understanding in ourselves is not the substance itself of the intellect; hence the word which proceeds within us by intelligible operation is not of the same nature as the source whence it proceeds; so the idea of generation cannot be properly and fully applied to it. But the divine act of intelligence is the very substance itself of the one who understands (Q. XIV., A. 4). The Word proceeding therefore proceeds as subsisting in the same nature; and so is properly called begotten, and Son. Hence Scripture employs terms which denote generation of living things in order to signify the procession of the divine Wisdom, namely, conception and birth; as is declared in the person of the divine Wisdom, The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived; before the hills, I was brought forth (Prov. viii. 24). In our way of understanding we use the word ‘conception’ in order to signify that in the word of our intellect is found the likeness of the thing understood, although there be no identity of nature.

Reply Obj. 3. Not everything derived from another has existence in another subject; otherwise we could not say that the whole substance of created being comes from God, since there is no subject that could receive the whole substance. So, then, what is generated in God receives its existence from the generator, not as though that existence were received into matter or into a subject (which would conflict with the divine self-subsistence); but when we speak of His existence as received, we mean that He Who proceeds receives divine existence from another; not, however, as if He were other from the divine nature. For in the perfection itself of the divine existence are contained both the Word intelligibly proceeding and the principle of the Word, with whatever belongs to His perfection (Q. IV., A. 2).

Edition: current; Page: [9]

Third Article.
WHETHER ANY OTHER PROCESSION EXISTS IN GOD BESIDES THAT OF THE WORD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that no other procession exists in God besides the generation of the Word. Because, for whatever reason we admit another procession, we should be led to admit yet another, and so on to infinitude; which cannot be. Therefore we must stop at the first, and hold that there exists only one procession in God.

Obj. 2. Further, every nature possesses but one mode of self-communication; because operations derive unity and diversity from their terms. But procession in God is only by way of communication of the divine nature. Therefore, as there is only one divine nature (Q. XI., A. 4), it follows that only one procession exists in God.

Obj. 3. Further, if any other procession but the intelligible procession of the Word existed in God, it could only be the procession of love, which is by the operation of the will. But such a procession is identified with the intelligible procession of the intellect, inasmuch as the will in God is the same as His intellect (Q. XIX., A. 1). Therefore in God there is no other procession but the procession of the Word.

On the contrary, The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father (Jo. xv. 26); and He is distinct from the Son, according to the words, I will ask My Father, and He will give you another Paraclete (Jo. xiv. 16). Therefore in God another procession exists besides the procession of the Word.

I answer that, There are two processions in God; the procession of the Word, and another.

In evidence whereof we must observe that procession exists in God, only according to an action which does not tend to anything external, but remains in the agent itself. Such action in an intellectual nature is that of the intellect, and of the will. The procession of the Word is by way of an intelligible operation. The operation of the will within Edition: current; Page: [10] ourselves involves also another procession, that of love, whereby the object loved is in the lover; as, by the conception of the word, the object spoken of or understood is in the intelligent agent. Hence, besides the procession of the Word in God, there exists in Him another procession called the procession of love.

Reply Obj. 1. There is no need to go on to infinitude in the divine processions; for the procession which is accomplished within the agent in an intellectual nature terminates in the procession of the will.

Reply Obj. 2. All that exists in God, is God (Q. III., AA. 3, 4); whereas the same does not apply to others. Therefore the divine nature is communicated by every procession which is not outward, and this does not apply to other natures.

Reply Obj. 3. Though will and intellect are not diverse in God, nevertheless the nature of will and intellect requires the processions belonging to each of them to exist in a certain order. For the procession of love occurs in due order as regards the procession of the Word; since nothing can be loved by the will unless it is conceived in the intellect. So as there exists a certain order of the Word to the principle whence He proceeds, although in God the substance of the intellect and its concept are the same; so, although in God the will and the intellect are the same, still, inasmuch as love requires by its very nature that it proceed only from the concept of the intellect, there is a distinction of order between the procession of love and the procession of the Word in God.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE PROCESSION OF LOVE IN GOD IS GENERATION?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the procession of love in God is generation. For what proceeds by way of likeness of nature among living things is said to be generated and born. But what proceeds in God by way of love proceeds in the likeness of nature; otherwise it would be extraneous Edition: current; Page: [11] to the divine nature, and would be an external procession. Therefore what proceeds in God by way of love, proceeds as generated and born.

Obj. 2. Further, as similitude is of the nature of the word, so does it belong to love. Hence it is said, that every beast loves its like (Ecclus. xiii. 19). Therefore if the Word is begotten and born by way of likeness, it seems becoming that love should proceed by way of generation.

Obj. 3. Further, what is not in any species is not in the genus. So if there is a procession of love in God, there ought to be some special name besides this common name of procession. But no other name is applicable but generation. Therefore the procession of love in God is generation.

On the contrary, Were this true, it would follow that the Holy Ghost Who proceeds as love, would proceed as begotten; which is against the statement of Athanasius: The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son, not made, nor begotten, but proceeding.

I answer that, The procession of love in God ought not to be called generation. In evidence whereof we must consider that the intellect and the will differ in this respect, that the intellect is made actual by the object understood residing according to its own likeness in the intellect; whereas the will is made actual, not by any similitude of the object willed within it, but by its having a certain inclination to the thing willed. Thus the procession of the intellect is by way of similitude, and is called generation, because every generator begets its own like; whereas the procession of the will is not by way of similitude, but is rather by way of impulse and movement towards an object.

So what proceeds in God by way of love, does not proceed as begotten, or as son, but proceeds rather as spirit; which name expresses a certain vital movement and impulse, accordingly as anyone is described as moved or impelled by love to perform an action.

Reply Obj. 1. All that exists in God is one with the divine nature. Hence the proper notion of this or that Edition: current; Page: [12] procession, by which one procession is distinguished from another, cannot be on the part of this unity: but the proper notion of this or that procession must be taken from the order of one procession to another; which order is derived from the nature of will and intellect. Hence, each procession in God takes its name from the proper notion of will and intellect; the name being imposed to signify what its nature really is; and so it is that the Person proceeding as love receives the divine nature, but is not said to be born.

Reply Obj. 2. Likeness belongs in a different way to the word and to love. It belongs to the word as being the likeness of the object understood, as the thing generated is the likeness of the generator; but it belongs to love, not as though love itself were a likeness, but because likeness is the principle of loving. Thus it does not follow that love is begotten, but that the one begotten is the principle of love.

Reply Obj. 3. We can name God only from creatures (Q. XIII., A. 1). As in creatures generation is the only principle of communication of nature, procession in God has no proper or special name, except that of generation. Hence the procession which is not generation has remained without a special name; but it can be called spiration, as it is the procession of the Spirit.

Fifth Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE MORE THAN TWO PROCESSIONS IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there are more than two processions in God. As knowledge and will are attributed to God, so is power. Therefore, if two processions exist in God, of intellect and will, it seems that there must also be a third procession of power.

Obj. 2. Further, goodness seems to be the greatest principle of procession, since goodness is diffusive of itself. Therefore there must be a procession of goodness in God.

Obj. 3. Further, in God there is greater power of fecundity than in us. But in us there is not only one procession Edition: current; Page: [13] of the word, but there are many: for in us from one word proceeds another; and also from one love proceeds another. Therefore in God there are more than two processions.

On the contrary, In God there are not more than two who proceed—the Son and the Holy Ghost. Therefore there are in Him but two processions.

I answer that, The divine processions can be derived only from the actions which remain within the agent. In a nature which is intellectual, and in the divine nature these actions are two, the acts of intelligence and of will. The act of sensation, which also appears to be an operation within the agent, takes place outside the intellectual nature, nor can it be reckoned as wholly removed from the sphere of external actions; for the act of sensation is perfected by the action of the sensible object upon sense. It follows that no other procession is possible in God but the procession of the Word, and of Love.

Reply Obj. 1. Power is the principle whereby one thing acts on another. Hence it is that external action points to power. Thus the divine power does not imply the procession of a divine person; but is indicated by the procession therefrom of creatures.

Reply Obj. 2. As Boëthius says (De Hebdom.), goodness belongs to the essence and not to the operation, unless considered as the object of the will.

Thus, as the divine processions must be denominated from certain actions; no other processions can be understood in God according to goodness and the like attributes except those of the Word and of love, according as God understands and loves His own essence, truth, and goodness.

Reply Obj. 3. As above explained (QQ. XIV., A. 5, and XIX., A. 5), God understands all things by one simple act; and by one act also He wills all things. Hence there cannot exist in Him a procession of Word from Word, nor of Love from Love: for there is in Him only one perfect Word, and one perfect Love; thereby being manifested His perfect fecundity.

Edition: current; Page: [14]

QUESTION XXVIII.: THE DIVINE RELATIONS.
(In Four Articles.)

The divine relations are next to be considered, in four points of inquiry: (1) Whether there are real relations in God? (2) Whether those relations are the divine essence itself, or are extrinsic to it? (3) Whether in God there can be several relations distinct from each other? (4) The number of these relations.

First Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE REAL RELATIONS IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there are no real relations in God. For Boëthius says (De Trin. iv.), All possible predicaments used as regards the Godhead refer to the substance; for nothing can be predicated relatively. But whatever really exists in God can be predicated of Him. Therefore no real relation exists in God.

Obj. 2. Further, Boëthius says (ibid.) that, Relation in the Trinity of the Father to the Son, and of both to the Holy Ghost, is the relation of the same to the same. But a relation of this kind is only a logical one; for every real relation requires and implies in reality two terms. Therefore the divine relations are not real relations, but are formed only by the mind.

Obj. 3. Further, the relation of paternity is the relation of a principle. But to say that God is the principle of creatures does not import any real relation, but only a logical one. Therefore paternity in God is not a real Edition: current; Page: [15] relation; while the same applies for the same reason to the other relations in God.

Obj. 4. Further, the divine generation proceeds by way of an intelligible word. But the relations following upon the operation of the intellect are logical relations. Therefore paternity and filiation in God, consequent upon generation, are only logical relations.

On the contrary, The Father is denominated only from paternity; and the Son only from filiation. Therefore, if no real paternity or filiation existed in God, it would follow that God is not really Father or Son, but only in our manner of understanding; and this is the Sabellian heresy.

I answer that, relations exist in God really; in proof whereof we may consider that in relations alone is found something which is only in the apprehension and not in reality. This is not found in any other genus; forasmuch as other genera, as quantity and quality, in their strict and proper meaning, signify something inherent in a subject. But relation in its own proper meaning signifies only what refers to another. Such regard to another exists sometimes in the nature of things, as in those things which by their own very nature are ordered to each other, and have a mutual inclination; and such relations are necessarily real relations; as in a heavy body is found an inclination and order to the centre; and hence there exists in the heavy body a certain respect in regard to the centre and the same applies to other things. Sometimes, however, this regard to another, signified by relation, is to be found only in the apprehension of reason comparing one thing to another, and this is a logical relation only; as, for instance, when reason compares man to animal as the species to the genus. But when something proceeds from a principle of the same nature, then both the one proceeding and the source of procession, agree in the same order; and then they have real relations to each other. Therefore as the divine processions are in the identity of the same nature, as above explained (Q. XXVII., AA. 2, 4), these relations, according to the divine processions, are necessarily real relations.

Edition: current; Page: [16]

Reply Obj. 1. Relationship is not predicated of God according to its proper and formal meaning, that is to say, in so far as its proper meaning denotes comparison to that in which relation is inherent, but only as denoting regard to another. Nevertheless Boëthius did not wish to exclude relation in God; but he wished to show that it was not to be predicated of Him as regards the mode of inherence in Himself in the strict meaning of relation; but rather by way of relation to another.

Reply Obj. 2. The relation signified by the term the same is a logical relation only, if in regard to absolutely the same thing; because such a relation can exist only in a certain order observed by reason as regards the order of anything to itself, according to some two aspects thereof. The case is otherwise, however, when things are called the same, not numerically, but generically or specifically. Thus Boëthius likens the divine relations to a relation of identity, not in every respect, but only as regards the fact that the substance is not diversified by these relations, as neither is it by relation of identity.

Reply Obj. 3. As the creature proceeds from God in diversity of nature, God is outside the order of the whole creation, nor does any relation to the creature arise from His nature; for He does not produce the creature by necessity of His nature, but by His intellect and will, as is above explained (QQ. XIV., AA. 3, 4, and XIX., A. 8). Therefore there is no real relation in God to the creature; whereas in creatures there is a real relation to God; because creatures are contained under the divine order, and their very nature entails dependence on God. On the other hand, the divine processions are in one and the same nature. Hence no parallel exists.

Reply Obj. 4. Relations which result from the mental operation alone in the objects understood are logical relations only, inasmuch as reason observes them as existing between two objects perceived by the mind. Those relations, however, which follow the operation of the intellect, and which exist between the word intellectually proceeding and the source whence it proceeds, are not logical relations Edition: current; Page: [17] only, but are real relations; inasmuch as the intellect and the reason are real things, and are really related to that which proceeds from them intelligibly; as a corporeal thing is related to that which proceeds from it corporeally. Thus paternity and filiation are real relations in God.

Second Article.
WHETHER RELATION IN GOD IS THE SAME AS HIS ESSENCE?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the divine relation is not the same as the divine essence. For Augustine says (De Trin. v.) that not all that is said of God is said of His substance, for we say some things relatively, as Father in respect of the Son: but such things do not refer to the substance. Therefore the relation is not the divine essence.

Obj. 2. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. vii.) that, every relative expression is something besides the relation expressed, as master is a man, and slave is a man. Therefore, if relations exist in God, there must be something else besides relation in God. This can only be His essence. Therefore essence differs from relation.

Obj. 3. Further, the essence of relation is the being referred to another, as the Philosopher says (Prædic. v.). So if relation is the divine essence, it follows that the divine essence is essentially itself a relation to something else; whereas this is repugnant to the perfection of the divine essence, which is supremely absolute and self-subsisting (Q. III., A. 4). Therefore relation is not the divine essence.

On the contrary, Everything which is not the divine essence is a creature. But relation really belongs to God; and if it is not the divine essence, it is a creature; and it cannot claim the adoration of latria; contrary to what is sung in the Preface: Let us adore the distinction of the Persons, and the equality of their Majesty.

I answer that, It is reported that Gilbert de la Porrée Edition: current; Page: [18] erred on this point, but revoked his error later at the council of Rheims. For he said that the divine relations are assistant, or externally affixed.

To perceive the error here expressed, we must consider that in each of the nine genera of accidents there are two points for remark. One is the nature belonging to each one of them considered as an accident; which commonly applies to each of them as inherent in a subject, for the essence of an accident is to inhere. The other point of remark is the proper nature of each one of these genera. In the genera, apart from that of relation, as in quantity and quality, even the true idea of the genus itself is derived from a respect to the subject; for quantity is called the measure of substance, and quality is the disposition of substance. But the true idea of relation is not taken from its respect to that in which it is, but from its respect to something outside. So if we consider even in creatures, relations formally as such, in that aspect they are said to be assistant, and not intrinsically affixed, for, in this way, they signify a respect which affects the thing related and tends from that thing to something else; whereas, if relation is considered as an accident, it inheres in a subject, and has an accidental existence in it. Gilbert de la Porrée considered relation in the former mode only.

Now whatever has an accidental existence in creatures, when considered as transferred to God, has a substantial existence; for there is no accident in God; since all in Him is His essence. So, in so far as relation has an accidental existence in creatures, relation really existing in God has the existence of the divine essence in no way distinct therefrom. But in so far as relation implies respect to something else, no respect to the essence is signified, but rather to its opposite term.

Thus it is manifest that relation really existing in God is really the same as His essence; and only differs in its mode of intelligibility; as in relation is meant that regard to its opposite which is not expressed in the name of essence. Thus it is clear that in God relation and essence do not differ from each other, but are one and the same.

Edition: current; Page: [19]

Reply Obj. 1. These words of Augustine do not imply that paternity or any other relation which is in God is not in its very being the same as the divine essence; but that it is not predicated under the mode of substance, as existing in Him to Whom it is applied; but as a relation. So there are said to be two predicaments only in God, since other predicaments import habitude to that of which they are spoken, both in their generic and in their specific nature; but nothing that exists in God can have any relation to that wherein it exists, or of whom it is spoken, except the relation of identity; and this by reason of God’s supreme simplicity.

Reply Obj. 2. As the relation which exists in creatures involves not only a regard to another, but also something absolute, so the same applies to God, yet not in the same way. What is contained in the creature above and beyond what is contained in the meaning of relation, is something else besides that relation; whereas in God there is no distinction, but both are one and the same; and this is not perfectly expressed by the word relation, as if it were comprehended in the ordinary meaning of that term. For it was above explained (Q. XIII., A. 2), in treating of the divine names, that more is contained in the perfection of the divine essence than can be signified by any name. Hence it does not follow that there exists in God anything besides relation in reality; but only in the various names imposed by us.

Reply Obj. 3. If the divine perfection contained only what is signified by relative names, it would follow that it is imperfect, being thus related to something else; as in the same way, if nothing more were contained in it than what is signified by the word wisdom, it would not in that case be a subsistence. But as the perfection of the divine essence is greater than can be included in any name, it does not follow, if a relative term or any other name applied to God signify something imperfect, that the divine essence is in any way imperfect; for the divine essence comprehends within itself the perfection of every genus (Q. IV., A. 2).

Edition: current; Page: [20]

Third Article.
WHETHER THE RELATIONS IN GOD ARE REALLY DISTINGUISHED FROM EACH OTHER?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the divine relations are not really distinguished from each other. For things which are identified with the same, are identified with each other. But every relation in God is really the same as the divine essence. Therefore the relations are not really distinguished from each other.

Obj. 2. Further, as paternity and filiation are by name distinguished from the divine essence, so likewise are goodness and power. But this kind of distinction does not make any real distinction of the divine goodness and power. Therefore neither does it make any real distinction of paternity and filiation.

Obj. 3. Further, in God there is no real distinction but that of origin. But one relation does not seem to arise from another. Therefore the relations are not really distinguished from each other.

On the contrary, Boëthius says (De Trin.) that in God the substance contains the unity; and relation multiplies the trinity. Therefore, if the relations were not really distinguished from each other, there would be no real trinity in God, but only an ideal trinity, which is the error of Sabellius.

I answer that, The attributing of anything to another involves the attribution likewise of whatever is contained in it. So when man is attributed to anyone, a rational nature is likewise attributed to him. The idea of relation, however, necessarily means regard of one to another, according as one is relatively opposed to another. So as in God there is a real relation (A. 1) there must also be a real opposition. The very nature of relative opposition includes distinction. Hence, there must be real distinction in God, not, indeed, according to that which is absolute—namely, essence, wherein there is supreme unity and simplicity—but according to that which is relative.

Edition: current; Page: [21]

Reply Obj. 1. According to the Philosopher (Phys. iii.), this argument holds, that whatever things are identified with the same thing are identified with each other, if the identity be real and logical; as, for instance, a tunic and a garment; but not if they differ logically. Hence in the same place he says that although action is the same as motion, and likewise passion; still it does not follow that action and passion are the same; because action implies reference as of something from which there is motion in the thing moved; whereas passion implies reference as of something which is from another. Likewise, although paternity, just as filiation, is really the same as the divine essence; nevertheless these two in their own proper idea and definitions import opposite respects. Hence they are distinguished from each other.

Reply Obj. 2. Power and goodness do not import any opposition in their respective natures; and hence there is no parallel argument.

Reply Obj. 3. Although relations, properly speaking, do not arise or proceed from each other, nevertheless they are considered as opposed according to the procession of one from another.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER IN GOD THERE ARE ONLY FOUR REAL RELATIONS—PATERNITY, FILIATION, SPIRATION, AND PROCESSION?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in God there are not only four real relations—paternity, filiation, spiration, and procession. For it must be observed that in God there exist the relations of the intelligent agent to the object understood; and of the one willing to the object willed; which are real relations not comprised under those above specified. Therefore there are not only four real relations in God.

Obj. 2. Further, real relations in God are understood as coming from the intelligible procession of the Word. But intelligible relations are infinitely multiplied, as Avicenna Edition: current; Page: [22] says. Therefore in God there exists an infinite series of real relations.

Obj. 3. Further, ideas in God are eternal (Q. XV., A. 1); and are only distinguished from each other by reason of their regard to things, as above stated. Therefore in God there are many more eternal relations.

Obj. 4. Further, equality, and likeness, and identity are relations: and they are in God from eternity. Therefore several more relations are eternal in God than the above named.

Obj. 5. Further, it may also contrariwise be said that there are fewer relations in God than those above named. For, according to the Philosopher (Phys. iii. text 24), It is the same way from Athens to Thebes, as from Thebes to Athens. By the same way of reasoning there is the same relation from the Father to the Son, that of paternity, and from the Son to the Father, that of filiation; and thus there are not four relations in God.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v.), every relation is based either on quantity, as double and half; or on action and passion, as the doer and the deed, the father and the son, the master and the servant, and the like. Now as there is no quantity in God, for He is great without quantity, as Augustine says (De Trin. i. 1) it follows that a real relation in God can be based only on action. Such relations are not based on the actions of God according to any extrinsic procession, forasmuch as the relations of God to creatures are not real in Him (Q. XIII., A. 7). Hence, it follows that real relations in God can be understood only in regard to those actions according to which there are internal, and not external, processions in God. These processions are two only, as above expounded (Q. XXVII., A. 5), one derived from the action of the intellect, the procession of the Word; and the other from the action of the will, the procession of love. In respect of each of these processions two opposite relations arise; one of which is the relation of the person proceeding from the principle; the other is the relation of the principle Himself. The procession of the Word is called Edition: current; Page: [23] generation in the proper sense of the term, whereby it is applied to living things. Now the relation of the principle of generation in perfect living beings is called paternity; and the relation of the one proceeding from the principle is called filiation. But the procession of Love has no proper name of its own (Q. XXVII., A. 4); and so neither have the ensuing relations a proper name of their own. The relation of the principle of this procession is called spiration; and the relation of the person proceeding is called procession: although these two names belong to the processions or origins themselves, and not to the relations.

Reply Obj. 1. In those things in which there is a difference between the intellect and its object, and the will and its object, there can be a real relation, both of science to its object, and of the willer to the object willed. In God, however, the intellect and its object are one and the same; because by understanding Himself, God understands all other things; and the same applies to His will and the object that He wills. Hence it follows that in God these kinds of relations are not real; as neither is the relation of a thing to itself. Nevertheless, the relation to the word is a real relation; because the word is understood as proceeding by an intelligible action; and not as a thing understood. For when we understand a stone; that which the intellect conceives from the thing understood, is called the word.

Reply Obj. 2. Intelligible relations in ourselves are infinitely multiplied, because a man understands a stone by one act, and by another act understands that he understands the stone, and again by another, understands that he understands this; thus the acts of understanding are infinitely multiplied, and consequently also the relations understood. This does not apply to God, inasmuch as He understands all things by one act alone.

Reply Obj. 3. Ideal relations exist as understood by God. Hence it does not follow from their plurality that there are many relations in God; but that God knows these many relations.

Edition: current; Page: [24]

Reply Obj. 4. Equality and similitude in God are not real relations; but are only logical relations (Q. XLII., A. 3, ad 4).

Reply Obj. 5. The way from one term to another and conversely is the same; nevertheless the mutual relations are not the same. Hence, we cannot conclude that the relation of the father to the son is the same as that of the son to the father; but we could conclude this of something absolute, if there were such between them.

Edition: current; Page: [25]

QUESTION XXIX.: THE DIVINE PERSONS.
(In Four Articles.)

Having premised what have appeared necessary notions concerning the processions and the relations, we must now approach the subject of the persons.

First, we shall consider the persons absolutely, and then comparatively as regards each other. We must consider the persons absolutely first in common; and then singly.

The general consideration of the persons seemingly involves four points: (1) The signification of this word person; (2) the number of the persons; (3) what is involved in the number of the persons, or is opposed thereto; as diversity, and similitude, and the like; (4) what belongs to our knowledge of the persons.

Four subjects of inquiry are comprised in the first point: (1) The definition of person. (2) The comparison of person to essence, subsistence, and hypostasis. (3) Whether the name of person is becoming to God? (4) What does it signify in Him?

First Article.
THE DEFINITION OF ‘PERSON.’

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the definition of person given by Boëthius (De Duab. Nat.) is insufficient—that is, a person is an individual substance of a rational nature. For nothing singular can be subject to definition. But person signifies something singular. Therefore person is improperly defined.

Edition: current; Page: [26]

Obj. 2. Further, substance as placed above in the definition of person, is either first substance, or second substance. If it is the former, the word individual is superfluous, because first substance is individual substance; if it stands for second substance, the word individual is false, for there is contradiction of terms; since second substances are the genera or species. Therefore this definition is incorrect.

Obj. 3. Further, an intentional term must not be included in the definition of a thing. For to define a man as a species of animal would not be a correct definition; since man is the name of a thing, and species is a name of an intention. Therefore, since person is the name of a thing (for it signifies a substance of a rational nature), the word individual which is an intentional name comes improperly into the definition.

Obj. 4. Further, Nature is the principle of motion and rest, in those things in which it is essentially, and not accidentally, as Aristotle says (Phys. ii.). But person exists in things immovable, as in God, and in the angels. Therefore the word nature ought not to enter into the definition of person, but the word should rather be essence.

Obj. 5. Further, the separated soul is an individual substance of the rational nature; but it is not a person. Therefore person is not properly defined as above.

I answer that, Although the universal and particular exist in every genus, nevertheless, in a certain special way, the individual belongs to the genus of substance. For substance is individualized by itself; whereas the accidents are individualized by the subject, which is the substance; since this particular whiteness is called this, because it exists in this particular subject. And so it is reasonable that the individuals of the genus substance should have a special name of their own; for they are called hypostases, or first substances.

Further still, in a more special and perfect way, the particular and the individual are found in the rational substances which have dominion over their own actions; and which are not only made to act, like others; but which can Edition: current; Page: [27] act of themselves; for actions belong to singulars. Therefore also the individuals of the rational nature have a special name even among other substances; and this name is person.

Thus the term individual substance is placed in the definition of person, as signifying the singular in the genus of substance; and the term rational nature is added, as signifying the singular in rational substances.

Reply Obj. 1. Although this or that singular may not be definable, yet what belongs to the general idea of singularity can be defined; and so the Philosopher* gives a definition of first substance; and in this way Boëthius defines person.

Reply Obj. 2. In the opinion of some, the term substance in the definition of person stands for first substance, which is the hypostasis; nor is the term individual superfluously added, forasmuch as by the name of hypostasis or first substance the idea of universality and of part is excluded. For we do not say that man in general is an hypostasis, nor that the hand is since it is only a part. But where individual is added, the idea of assumptibility is excluded from person; for the human nature in Christ is not a person, since it is assumed by a greater—that is, by the Word of God. It is, however, better to say that substance is here taken in a general sense, as divided into first and second, and when individual is added, it is restricted to first substance.

Reply Obj. 3. Substantial differences being unknown to us, or at least unnamed by us, it is sometimes necessary to use accidental differences in the place of substantial; as, for example, we may say that fire is a simple, hot, and dry body: for proper accidents are the effects of substantial forms, and make them known. Likewise, terms expressive of intention can be used in defining realities if used to signify things which are unnamed. And so the term individual is placed in the definition of person to signify the mode of subsistence which belongs to particular substances.

Edition: current; Page: [28]

Reply Obj. 4. According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v. 5), the word nature was first used to signify the generation of living things, which is called nativity. And because this kind of generation comes from an intrinsic principle, this term is extended to signify the intrinsic principle of any kind of movement. In this sense he defines nature (Phys. ii. 3). And since this kind of principle is either formal or material, both matter and form are commonly called nature. And as the essence of anything is completed by the form; so the essence of anything, signified by the definition, is commonly called nature. And here nature is taken in that sense. Hence Boëthius says (ibid.) that, nature is the specific difference giving its form to each thing, for the specific difference completes the definition, and is derived from the special form of a thing. So in the definition of person, which means the singular in a determined genus, it is more correct to use the term nature than essence, because the latter is taken from being, which is most common.

Reply Obj. 5. The soul is a part of the human species; and so, although it may exist in a separate state, yet since it ever retains its nature of unibility, it cannot be called an individual substance, which is the hypostasis or first substance, as neither can the hand nor any other part of man; thus neither the definition nor the name of person belongs to it.

Second Article.
WHETHER ‘PERSON’ IS THE SAME AS HYPOSTASIS, SUBSISTENCE, AND ESSENCE?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that person is the same as hypostasis, subsistence, and essence. For Boëthius says (De Duab. Nat.) that the Greeks called the individual substance of the rational nature by the name hypostasis. But this with us signifies person. Therefore person is altogether the same as hypostasis.

Obj. 2. Further, as we say there are three persons in Edition: current; Page: [29] God, so we say there are three subsistences in God; which implies that person and subsistence have the same meaning. Therefore person and subsistence mean the same.

Obj. 3. Further, Boëthius says (Com. Præd.) that οὐσία, which means essence, signifies a being composed of matter and form. Now, that which is composed of matter and form is the individual substance called hypostasis and person. Therefore all the aforesaid names seem to have the same meaning.

Obj. 4. On the contrary, Boëthius says (De Duab. Nat.) that genera and species only subsist; whereas individuals are not only subsistent, but also substand. But subsistences are so called from subsisting, as substance or hypostasis is so called from substanding. Therefore, since genera and species are not hypostases or persons, these are not the same as subsistences.

Obj. 5. Further, Boëthius says (Com. Præd.) that matter is called hypostasis, and form is called ὀυσιώσις—that is, subsistence. But neither form nor matter can be called person. Therefore person differs from the others.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Metaph. v.), substance is twofold. In one sense it means the quiddity of a thing, signified by its definition, and thus we say that the definition means the substance of a thing; in which sense substance is called by the Greeks οὐσία, which we may call essence. In another sense substance means a subject or suppositum, which subsists in the genus of substance. To this, taken in a general sense, can be applied a name expressive of an intention; and thus it is called the suppositum. It is also called by three names signifying a reality—that is, a thing of nature, subsistence, and hypostasis, according to a threefold consideration of the substance thus named. For, as it exists in itself and not in another, it is called subsistence; as we say that those things subsist which exist in themselves, and not in another. As it underlies some common nature, it is called a thing of nature; as, for instance, this particular man is a human natural thing. As it underlies the accidents, it is called hypostasis, or substance. What these three names Edition: current; Page: [30] signify in common to the whole genus of substances, this name person signifies in the genus of rational substances.

Reply Obj. 1. Among the Greeks, the term hypostasis, taken in the strict interpretation of the word, signifies any individual of the genus substance; but in the usual way of speaking, it means the individual of the rational nature, by reason of the excellence of that nature.

Reply Obj. 2. As we say three persons plurally in God, and three subsistences, so the Greeks say three hypostases. But because the word substance, which, properly speaking, corresponds in meaning to hypostasis, is used among us in an equivocal sense, since it sometimes means essence, and sometimes means hypostasis, in order to avoid any occasion of error, it was thought preferable to use subsistence for hypostasis, rather than substance.

Reply Obj. 3. Strictly speaking, the essence is what is expressed by the definition. Now, the definition comprises the principles of the species, but not the individual principles. Hence in things composed of matter and form, the essence signifies not only the form, nor only the matter, but what is composed of matter and the common form, as the principles of the species. But what is composed of this matter and this form has the nature of hypostasis and person. For soul, flesh, and bone belong to the nature of man; whereas this soul, this flesh, and this bone belong to the nature of this man. Therefore hypostasis and person add the individual principles to the idea of essence; not are these identified with the essence in things composed of matter and form, as we said above when treating of divine simplicity (Q. III., A. 3).

Reply Obj. 4. Boëthius says that genera and species subsist, inasmuch as it belongs to some individual things to subsist, from the fact that they belong to genera and species comprised in the predicament of substance, but not because the species and genera themselves subsist; except in the opinion of Plato, who asserted that the species of things subsisted separately from singular things. To substand, however, belongs to the same individual things Edition: current; Page: [31] in relation to the accidents, which are outside the essence of genera and species.

Reply Obj. 5. The individual composed of matter and form substands in relation to accident from the very nature of matter. Hence Boëthius says (De Trin.): A simple form cannot be a subject. Its self-subsistence is derived from the nature of its form, which does not supervene to the things subsisting, but gives actual existence to the matter, and makes it subsist as an individual. On this account, therefore, he ascribes hypostasis to matter, and ὀυσιώσις, or subsistence, to the form, because the matter is the principle of substanding, and the form is the principle of subsisting.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE WORD ‘PERSON’ SHOULD BE SAID OF GOD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the name person should not be said of God. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i.): No one should ever dare to say or think anything of the supersubstantial and hidden Divinity, beyond what has been divinely expressed to us by the sacred oracles. But the name person is not expressed to us in the Old or New Testament. Therefore person is not to be applied to God.

Obj. 2. Further, Boëthius says (De Duab. Nat.): The word person seems to be taken from those persons who represented men in comedies and tragedies. For person comes from sounding through (personando), since a greater volume of sound is produced through the cavity in the mask. These ‘persons’ or masks the Greeks called πρόσωπα, as they were placed on the face and covered the features before the eyes. This, however, can apply to God only in a metaphorical sense. Therefore the word person is only applied to God metaphorically.

Obj. 3. Further, every person is a hypostasis. But the word hypostasis does not apply to God, since, as Boëthius says (ibid.), it signifies what is the subject of accidents, which do not exist in God. Jerome also says Edition: current; Page: [32] (Ep. ad Damas.) that, in this word hypostasis, poison lurks in honey. Therefore the word person should not be said of God.

Obj. 4. Further, if a definition is denied of anything, the thing defined is also denied of it. But the definition of person, as given above, does not apply to God. Both because reason implies a discursive knowledge, which does not apply to God, as we proved above (Q. XIV., A. 12); and thus God cannot be said to have a rational nature. And also because God cannot be called an individual substance, since the principle of individuation is matter; while God is immaterial: nor is He the subject of accidents, so as to be called a substance. Therefore the word person ought not to be attributed to God.

On the contrary, In the Creed of Athanasius we say: One is the person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost.

I answer that, Person signifies what is most perfect in all nature—that is, a subsistent individual of a rational nature. Hence, since everything that is perfect must be attributed to God, forasmuch as His essence contains every perfection, this name person is fittingly applied to God; not, however, as it is applied to creatures, but in a more excellent way; as other names also, which, while giving them to creatures, we attribute to God; as we showed above when treating of the names of God (Q. XIII., A. 2).

Reply Obj. 1. Although the word person is not found applied to God in Scripture, either in the Old or New Testament, nevertheless what the word signifies is found to be affirmed of God in many places of Scripture; as that He is the supreme self-subsisting being, and the most perfectly intelligent being. If we could speak of God only in the very terms themselves of Scripture, it would follow that no one could speak about God in any but the original language of the Old or New Testament. The urgency of confuting heretics made it necessary to find new words to express the ancient faith about God. Nor is such a kind of novelty to be shunned; since it is by no means profane, for it does not lead us astray from the sense of Scripture. Edition: current; Page: [33] The Apostle warns us to avoid profane novelties of words (1 Tim. vi. 20).

Reply Obj. 2. Although this name person may not belong to God as regards the origin of the term, nevertheless it excellently belongs to God in its objective meaning. For as famous men were represented in comedies and tragedies, the name person was given to signify those who held high dignity. Hence, those who held high rank in the Church came to be called persons. Thence by some the definition of person is given as hypostasis distinct by reason of dignity. And because subsistence in a rational nature is of high dignity, therefore every individual of the rational nature is called a person. Now the dignity of the divine nature excels every other dignity; and thus the name person pre-eminently belongs to God.

Reply Obj. 3. The word hypostasis does not apply to God as regards its source of origin, since He does not underlie accidents; but it applies to Him in its objective sense, for it is imposed to signify the subsistence. Jerome said that poison lurks in this word, forasmuch as before it was fully understood by the Latins, the heretics used this term to deceive the simple, to make people profess many essences as they profess several hypostases, inasmuch as the word substance, which corresponds to hypostasis in Greek, is commonly taken amongst us to mean essence.

Reply Obj. 4. It may be said that God has a rational nature, if reason be taken to mean, not discursive thought, but in a general sense, an intelligent nature. But God cannot be called an individual in the sense that His individuality comes from matter; but only in the sense which implies incommunicability. Substance can be applied to God in the sense of signifying self-subsistence. There are some, however, who say that the definition of Boëthius, quoted above (A. 1), is not a definition of person in the sense we use when speaking of persons in God. Therefore Richard of St. Victor amends this definition by adding that Person in God is the incommunicable existence of the divine nature.

Edition: current; Page: [34]

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THIS WORD ‘PERSON’ SIGNIFIES RELATION?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that this word person, as applied to God, does not signify relation, but substance. For Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 6): When we speak of the person of the Father, we mean nothing else but the substance of the Father, for person is said in regard to Himself, and not in regard to the Son.

Obj. 2. Further, the interrogation What? refers to the essence. But, as Augustine says: When we say there are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and it is asked, Three what? the answer is, Three persons. Therefore person signifies essence.

Obj. 3. According to the Philosopher (Metaph. iv.), the meaning of a word is its definition. But the definition of person is this: The individual substance of the rational nature, as above stated. Therefore person signifies substance.

Obj. 4. Further, person in men and angels does not signify relation, but something absolute. Therefore, if in God it signified relation, it would bear an equivocal meaning in God, in man, and in angels.

On the contrary, Boëthius says (De Trin.) that every word that refers to the persons signifies relation. But no word belongs to person more strictly than the very word person itself. Therefore this word person signifies relation.

I answer that, A difficulty arises concerning the meaning of this word person in God, from the fact that it is predicated plurally of the Three in contrast to the nature of the names belonging to the essence; nor does it in itself refer to another, as do the words which express relation.

Hence some have thought that this word person of itself expresses absolutely the divine essence; as this name God and this word Wise; but that to meet heretical attack, it was ordained by conciliar decree that it was to be taken in a relative sense, and especially in the plural, or with the Edition: current; Page: [35] addition of a distinguishing adjective; as when we say, Three persons, or, one is the person of the Father, another of the Son, etc. Used, however, in the singular, it may be either absolute or relative. But this does not seem to be a satisfactory explanation; for, if this word person, by force of its own signification, expresses the divine essence only, it follows that forasmuch as we speak of three persons, so far from the heretics being silenced, they had still more reason to argue. Seeing this, others maintained that this word person in God signifies both the essence and the relation. Some of these said that it signifies directly the essence, and relation indirectly, forasmuch as person means as it were by itself one (per se una); and unity belongs to the essence. And what is ‘by itself’ implies relation indirectly; for the Father is understood to exist ‘by Himself,’ as relatively distinct from the Son. Others, however, said, on the contrary, that it signifies relation directly; and essence indirectly; forasmuch as in the definition of ‘person’ the term nature is mentioned indirectly; and these come nearer to the truth.

To determine the question, we must consider that something may be included in the meaning of a less common term, which is not included in the more common term; as rational is included in the meaning of man, and not in the meaning of animal. So that it is one thing to ask the meaning of the word animal, and another to ask its meaning when the animal in question is a man. Also, it is one thing to ask the meaning of this word person in general; and another to ask the meaning of person as applied to God. For person in general signifies the individual substance of a rational nature. The individual in itself is undivided, but is distinct from others. Therefore person in any nature signifies what is distinct in that nature: thus in human nature it signifies this flesh, these bones, and this soul, which are the individuating principles of a man, and which, though not belonging to person in general, nevertheless do belong to the meaning of a particular human person.

Edition: current; Page: [36]

Now distinction in God is only by relation of origin, as stated above (Q. XXVIII., AA. 2, 3), while relation in God is not as an accident in a subject, but is the divine essence itself; and so it is subsistent, for the divine essence subsists. Therefore, as the Godhead is God, so the divine paternity is God the Father, Who is a divine person. Therefore a divine person signifies a relation as subsisting. And this is to signify relation by way of substance, and such a relation is a hypostasis subsisting in the divine nature, although in truth that which subsists in the divine nature is the divine nature itself. Thus it is true to say that the name person signifies relation directly, and the essence indirectly; not, however, the relation as such, but as expressed by way of a hypostasis. So likewise it signifies directly the essence, and indirectly the relation, inasmuch as the essence is the same as the hypostasis: while in God the hypostasis is expressed as distinct by the relation: and thus relation, as such, enters into the notion of the person indirectly. Thus we can say that this signification of the word person was not clearly perceived before it was attacked by heretics. Hence, this word person was used just as any other absolute term. But afterwards it was applied to express relation, as it lent itself to that signification, so that this word person means relation not only by use and custom, according to the first opinion, but also by force of its own proper signification.

Reply Obj. 1. This word person is said in respect to itself, not to another; forasmuch as it signifies relation not as such, but by way of a substance—which is a hypostasis. In that sense Augustine says that it signifies the essence, inasmuch as in God essence is the same as the hypostasis, because in God what He is, and whereby He is are the same.

Reply Obj. 2. The term what refers sometimes to the nature expressed by the definition, as when we ask; What is man? and we answer; A mortal rational animal. Sometimes it refers to the suppositum, as when we ask, What swims in the sea? and answer, A fish. So to those who ask, Three what? we answer, Three persons.

Edition: current; Page: [37]

Reply Obj. 3. In God the individual—i.e., distinct and incommunicable substance—includes the idea of relation, as above explained.

Reply Obj. 4. The different sense of the less common term does not produce equivocation in the more common. Although a horse and an ass have their own proper definitions, nevertheless they agree univocally in animal, because the common definition of animal applies to both. So it does not follow that, although relation is contained in the signification of divine person, but not in that of an angelic or of a human person, the word person is used in an equivocal sense. Though neither is it applied univocally, since nothing can be said univocally of God and creatures (Q. XIII., A. 5).

Edition: current; Page: [38]

QUESTION XXX.: THE PLURALITY OF PERSONS IN GOD.
(In Four Articles.)

We are now led to consider the plurality of the persons; about which there are four points of inquiry: (1) Whether there are several persons in God? (2) How many are they? (3) What the numeral terms signify in God? (4) The community of the term person.

First Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE SEVERAL PERSONS IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there are not several persons in God. For person is the individual substance of a rational nature. If then there are several persons in God, there must be several substances; which appears to be heretical.

Obj. 2. Further, Plurality of absolute properties does not make a distinction of persons, either in God, or in ourselves. Much less therefore is this effected by a plurality of relations. But in God there is no plurality but of relations (Q. XXVIII., A. 3). Therefore there cannot be several persons in God.

Obj. 3. Further, Boëthius says of God (De Trin. i.), that this is truly one which has no number. But plurality implies number. Therefore there are not several persons in God.

Obj. 4. Further, where number is, there is whole and part. Thus, if in God there exist a number of persons, there must be whole and part in God; which is inconsistent with the divine simplicity.

Edition: current; Page: [39]

On the contrary, Athanasius says: One is the person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost. Therefore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are several persons.

I answer that, It follows from what precedes that there are several persons in God. For it was shown above (Q. XXIX., A. 4) that this word person signifies in God a relation as subsisting in the divine nature. It was also established (Q. XXVIII., A. 1) that there are several real relations in God; and hence it follows that there are also several realities subsistent in the divine nature; which means that there are several persons in God.

Reply Obj. 1. The definition of person includes substance, not as meaning the essence, but the suppositum which is made clear by the addition of the term individual. To signify the substance thus understood, the Greeks use the name hypostasis. So, as we say Three persons, they say Three hypostases. We are not, however, accustomed to say Three substances, lest we be understood to mean three essences or natures, by reason of the equivocal signification of the term.

Reply Obj. 2. The absolute properties in God, such as goodness and wisdom, are not mutually opposed; and hence, neither are they really distinguished from each other. Therefore, although they subsist, nevertheless they are not several subsistent realities—that is, several persons. But the absolute properties in creatures do not subsist, although they are really distinguished from each other, as whiteness and sweetness; on the other hand, the relative properties in God subsist, and are really distinguished from each other (Q. XXVIII., A. 3). Hence the plurality of such properties suffices for the plurality of persons in God.

Reply Obj. 3. The supreme unity and simplicity of God exclude every kind of plurality of absolute things, but not plurality of relations. Because relations are predicated relatively, and thus the relations do not import composition in that of which they are predicated, as Boëthius teaches in the same book.

Edition: current; Page: [40]

Reply Obj. 4. Number is twofold, simple or absolute, as two and three and four; and number as existing in things numbered, as two men and two horses. So, if number in God is taken absolutely or abstractedly, there is nothing to prevent whole and part from being in Him, and thus number in Him is only in our way of understanding; forasmuch as number regarded apart from things numbered exists only in the intellect. But if number be taken as it is in the things numbered, in that sense as existing in creatures, one is part of two, and two of three, as one man is part of two men, and two of three; but this does not apply to God, because the Father is of the same magnitude as the whole Trinity, as we shall show further on (Q. XLII., AA. 1, 4).

Second Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE MORE THAN THREE PERSONS IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there are more than three persons in God. For the plurality of persons in God arises from the plurality of the relative properties as stated above (A. 1). But there are four relations in God as stated above (Q. XXVIII., A. 4), paternity, filiation, common spiration, and procession. Therefore there are four persons in God.

Obj. 2. The nature of God does not differ from His will more than from His intellect. But in God, one person proceeds from the will, as love; and another proceeds from His nature, as Son. Therefore another proceeds from His intellect, as Word, besides the one Who proceeds from His nature, as Son; thus again it follows that there are not only three persons in God.

Obj. 3. Further, the more perfect a creature is, the more interior operations it has; as a man has understanding and will beyond other animals. But God infinitely excels every creature. Therefore in God not only is there a person proceeding from the will, and another from the Edition: current; Page: [41] intellect, but also in an infinite number of ways. Therefore there are an infinite number of persons in God.

Obj. 4. Further, it is from the infinite goodness of the Father that He communicates Himself infinitely in the production of a divine person. But also in the Holy Ghost is infinite goodness. Therefore the Holy Ghost produces a divine person; and that person another; and so to infinity.

Obj. 5. Further, everything within a determinate number is measured, for number is a measure. But the divine persons are immense, as we say in the Creed of Athanasius: The Father is immense, the Son is immense, the Holy Ghost is immense. Therefore the persons are not contained within the number three.

On the contrary, It is said: There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost (1 John v. 7). To those who ask, Three what? we answer, with Augustine (De Trin. vii. 4), Three persons. Therefore there are but three persons in God.

I answer that, As was explained above, there can be only three persons in God. For it was shown above that the several persons are the several subsisting relations really distinct from each other. But a real distinction between the divine relations can come only from relative opposition. Therefore two opposite relations must needs refer to two persons: and if any relations are not opposite, they must needs belong to the same person. Since then paternity and filiation are opposite relations, they belong necessarily to two persons. Therefore the subsisting paternity is the person of the Father; and the subsisting filiation is the person of the Son. The other two relations are not opposed to either of these, but they are opposed to each other; therefore these two cannot belong to one person: hence either one of them must belong to both of the aforesaid persons; or one must belong to one person, and the other to the other. Now, procession cannot belong to the Father and the Son, or to either of them; for thus it would follow that the procession of the intellect, which in God is generation, wherefrom paternity and filiation Edition: current; Page: [42] are derived, would issue from the procession of love, whence spiration and procession are derived, if the person generating and the person generated proceeded from the person spirating; and this is against what was laid down above (Q. XXVII., AA. 3, 4). We must consequently admit that spiration belongs to the person of the Father, and to the person of the Son, forasmuch as it has no relative opposition either to paternity or to filiation; and consequently that procession belongs to the other person who is called the person of the Holy Ghost, who proceeds by way of love, as above explained. Therefore only three persons exist in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 1. Although there are four relations in God, one of them, spiration, is not separated from the person of the Father and of the Son, but belongs to both; thus, although it is a relation, it is not called a property, because it does not belong to only one person; nor is it a personal relation—i.e., constituting a person. The three relations—paternity, filiation, and procession—are called personal properties, constituting as it were the persons; for paternity is the person of the Father, filiation is the person of the Son, procession is the person of the Holy Ghost proceeding.

Reply Obj. 2. That which proceeds by way of intelligence, as word, proceeds according to similitude, as also that which proceeds by way of nature; thus, as above explained (Q. XXVII., A. 3), the procession of the divine Word is the very same as generation by way of nature. But love, as such, does not proceed as the similitude of that whence it proceeds; although in God love is co-essential as being divine; and therefore the procession of love is not called generation in God.

Reply Obj. 3. As man is more perfect than other animals, he has more intrinsic operations than other animals, because his perfection is something composite. Hence the angels, who are more perfect and more simple, have fewer intrinsic operations than man, for they have no imagination, or feeling, or the like. In God there exists only one Edition: current; Page: [43] real operation—that is, His essence. How there are in Him two processions was above explained (Q. XXVII., AA. 1, 4).

Reply Obj. 4. This argument would prove if the Holy Ghost possessed another goodness apart from the goodness of the Father; for then if the Father produced a divine person by His goodness, the Holy Ghost also would do so. But the Father and the Holy Ghost have one and the same goodness. Nor is there any distinction between them except by the personal relations. So goodness belongs to the Holy Ghost, as derived from another; and it belongs to the Father, as the principle of its communication to another. The opposition of relation does not allow the relation of the Holy Ghost to be joined with the relation of principle of another divine person; because He Himself proceeds from the other persons who are in God.

Reply Obj. 5. A determinate number, if taken as a simple number, existing in the mind only, is measured by one. But when we speak of a number of things as applied to the persons in God, the notion of measure has no place, because the magnitude of the three persons is the same (Q. XLII., AA. 1, 4), and the same is not measured by the same.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE NUMERAL TERMS DENOTE ANYTHING REAL IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the numeral terms denote something real in God. For the divine unity is the divine essence. But every number is unity repeated. Therefore every numeral term in God signifies the essence; and therefore it denotes something real in God.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever is said of God and of creatures, belongs to God in a more eminent manner than to creatures. But the numeral terms denote something real in creatures; therefore much more so in God.

Edition: current; Page: [44]

Obj. 3. Further, if the numeral terms do not denote anything real in God, and are introduced simply in a negative and removing sense, as plurality is employed to remove unity, and unity to remove plurality; it follows that a vicious circle results, confusing the mind and obscuring the truth; and this ought not to be. Therefore it must be said that the numeral terms denote something real in God.

On the contrary, Hilary says (De Trin. iv.): If we admit companionship—that is, plurality—we exclude the idea of oneness and of solitude; and Ambrose says (De Fide. i.): When we say one God, unity excludes plurality of gods, and does not imply quantity in God. Hence we see that these terms are applied to God in order to remove something; and not to denote anything positive.

I answer that, The Master (Sent. i. D. 24) considers that the numeral terms do not denote anything positive in God, but have only a negative meaning. Others, however, assert the contrary.

In order to resolve this point, we may observe that all plurality is a consequence of division. Now division is twofold; one is material, and is division of the continuous; from this results number, which is a species of quantity. Number in this sense is found only in material things which have quantity. The other kind of division is called formal, and is effected by opposite or diverse forms; and this kind of division results in a multitude, which does not belong to a genus, but is transcendental in the sense in which being is divided by one and by many. This kind of multitude is found only in immaterial things.

Some, considering only that multitude which is a species of discrete quantity, and seeing that such kind of quantity has no place in God, asserted that the numeral terms do not denote anything real in God, but remove something from Him. Others, considering the same kind of multitude, said that as knowledge exists in God according to the strict sense of the word, but not in the sense of its genus (as in God there is no such thing as a quality), so number exists in God in the proper sense of number, but not in the sense of its genus, which is quantity.

Edition: current; Page: [45]

But we say that numeral terms predicated of God are not derived from number, a species of quantity, for in that sense they could bear only a metaphorical sense in God, like other corporeal properties, such as length, breadth, and the like; but that they are taken from multitude in a transcendent sense. Now multitude so understood has relation to the many of which it is predicated, as one convertible with being is related to being; which kind of oneness does not add anything to being, except a negation of division, as we saw when treating of the divine unity (Q. XI., A. 1); for one signifies undivided being. So, of whatever we say ‘one,’ we imply its undivided reality: thus, for instance, one applied to man signifies the undivided nature or substance of a man. In the same way, when we speak of many things, multitude in this latter sense points to those things as being each undivided in itself.

But number, if taken as a species of quantity, denotes an accident added to being; as also does one which is the principle of that number. Therefore the numeral terms in God signify the things of which they are said, and beyond this they add negation only, as stated (loc. cit.); in which respect the Master was right (loc. cit.). So when we say, the essence is one, the term one signifies the essence undivided; and when we say the person is one, it signifies the person undivided; and when we say the persons are many, we signify those persons, and their individual undividedness; for it is of the very nature of multitude that it should be composed of units.

Reply Obj. 1. One, as it is a transcendental, is wider and more general than substance and relation. And so likewise is multitude; hence in God it may mean both substance and relation, according to the context. Still, the very signification of such names adds a negation of division, beyond substance and relation; as was explained above.

Reply Obj. 2. Multitude, which denotes something real in creatures, is a species of quantity, and cannot be used when speaking of God: unlike transcendental multitude, Edition: current; Page: [46] which adds only indivision to those of which it is predicated. Such a kind of multitude is applicable to God.

Reply Obj. 3. One does not exclude multitude, but division, which logically precedes one or multitude. Multitude does not remove unity, but division from each of the individuals which compose the multitude. This was explained when we treated of the divine unity (Q. XI., A. 2).

It must be observed, nevertheless, that the opposite arguments do not sufficiently prove the point advanced. Although the idea of solitude is excluded by plurality, and the plurality of gods by unity, it does not follow that these terms express this signification alone. For blackness is excluded by whiteness; nevertheless, the term whiteness does not signify the mere exclusion of blackness.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THIS TERM ‘PERSON’ CAN BE COMMON TO THE THREE PERSONS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that this term person cannot be common to the three persons. For nothing is common to the three persons but the essence. But this term person does not signify the essence directly. Therefore it is not common to all three.

Obj. 2. Further, the common is the opposite to the incommunicable. But the very meaning of person is that it is incommunicable; as appears from the definition given by Richard of St. Victor (Q. XXIX., A. 3, ad 4). Therefore this term person is not common to all the three persons.

Obj. 3. Further, if the name person is common to the three, it is common either really, or logically. But it is not so really; otherwise the three persons would be one person; nor again is it so logically; otherwise person would be a universal. But in God there is neither universal nor particular; neither genus nor species, as we proved above (Q. III., A. 5). Therefore this term person is not common to the three.

Edition: current; Page: [47]

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 4) that when we ask, Three what? we say, Three persons, because what a person is, is common to them.

I answer that, The very mode of expression itself shows that this term person is common to the three when we say three persons; for when we say three men we show that man is common to the three. Now it is clear that this is not community of a real thing, as if one essence were common to the three; otherwise there would be only one person of the three, as also one essence.

What is meant by such a community has been variously determined by those who have examined the subject. Some have called it a community of exclusion, forasmuch as the definition of person contains the word incommunicable. Others thought it to be a community of intention, as the definition of person contains the word individual; as we say that to be a species is common to horse and ox. Both of these explanations, however, are excluded by the fact that person is not a name of exclusion nor of intention, but the name of a reality. We must therefore resolve that even in human affairs this name person is common by a community of idea, not as genus or species, but as a vague individual thing. The names of genera and species, as man or animal, are given to signify the common natures themselves, but not the intentions of those common natures, signified by the terms genus or species. The vague individual thing, as some man, signifies the common nature with the determinate mode of existence of singular things—that is, something self-subsisting, as distinct from others. But the name of a designated singular thing signifies that which distinguishes the determinate thing; as the name Socrates signifies this flesh and this bone. But there is this difference—that the term some man signifies the nature, or the individual on the part of its nature, with the mode of existence of singular things; while this name person is not given to signify the individual on the part of the nature, but the subsistent reality in that nature. Now this is common in idea to the divine persons, that each of them subsists Edition: current; Page: [48] distinctly from the others in the divine nature. Thus this name person is common in idea to the three divine persons.

Reply Obj. 1. This argument is founded on a real community.

Reply Obj. 2. Although person is incommunicable, yet the mode itself of incommunicable existence can be common to many.

Reply Obj. 3. Although this community is logical and not real, yet it does not follow that in God there is universal or particular, or genus, or species; both because neither in human affairs is the community of person the same as community of genus or species; and because the divine persons have one being; whereas genus and species and every other universal are predicated of many which differ in being.

Edition: current; Page: [49]

QUESTION XXXI.: OF WHAT BELONGS TO THE UNITY OR PLURALITY IN GOD.
(In Four Articles.)

We now consider what belongs to the unity or plurality in God; which gives rise to four points of inquiry: (1) Concerning the word Trinity. (2) Whether we can say that the Son is other than the Father? (3) Whether an exclusive term, which seems to exclude otherness, can be joined to an essential name in God? (4) Whether it can be joined to a personal term?

First Article.
WHETHER THERE IS TRINITY IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem there is not trinity in God. For every name in God signifies substance or relation. But this name Trinity does not signify the substance; otherwise it would be predicated of each one of the persons: nor does it signify relation; for it does not express a name that refers to another. Therefore the word Trinity is not to be applied to God.

Obj. 2. Further, this word trinity is a collective term, since it signifies multitude. But such a word does not apply to God; as the unity of a collective name is the least of unities, whereas in God there exists the greatest possible unity. Therefore this word trinity does not apply to God.

Obj. 3. Further, every trine is threefold. But in God there is not triplicity; since triplicity is a kind of inequality. Therefore neither is there trinity in God.

Edition: current; Page: [50]

Obj. 4. Further, all that exists in God exists in the unity of the divine essence; because God is His own essence. Therefore, if Trinity exists in God, it exists in the unity of the divine essence; and thus in God there would be three essential unities; which is heresy.

Obj. 5. Further, in all that is said of God, the concrete is predicated of the abstract; for Deity is God and paternity is the Father. But the Trinity cannot be called trine; otherwise there would be nine realities in God; which, of course, is erroneous. Therefore the word trinity is not to be applied to God.

On the contrary, Athanasius says: Unity in Trinity; and Trinity in Unity is to be revered.

I answer that, The name Trinity in God signifies the determinate number of persons. And so the plurality of persons in God requires that we should use the word trinity; because what is indeterminately signified by plurality, is signified by trinity in a determinate manner.

Reply Obj. 1. In its etymological sense, this word Trinity seems to signify the one essence of the three persons, according as trinity may mean trine-unity. But in the strict meaning of the term it rather signifies the number of persons of one essence; and on this account we cannot say that the Father is the Trinity, as He is not three persons. Yet it does not mean the relations themselves of the Persons, but rather the number of persons related to each other; and hence it is that the word in itself does not express regard to another.

Reply Obj. 2. Two things are implied in a collective term, plurality of the supposita, and a unity of some kind of order. For people is a multitude of men comprehended under a certain order. In the first sense, this word trinity is like other collective words; but in the second sense it differs from them, because in the divine Trinity not only is there unity of order, but also with this there is unity of essence.

Reply Obj. 3. Trinity is taken in an absolute sense; for it signifies the threefold number of persons. Triplicity signifies a proportion of inequality; for it is a species of Edition: current; Page: [51] unequal proportion, according to Boëthius (Arithm. i. 23). Therefore in God there is not triplicity, but Trinity.

Reply Obj. 4. In the divine Trinity is to be understood both number and the persons numbered. So when we say, Trinity in Unity, we do not place number in the unity of the essence, as if we meant three times one; but we place the Persons numbered in the unity of nature; as the supposita of a nature are said to exist in that nature. On the other hand, we say Unity in Trinity; meaning that the nature is in its supposita.

Reply Obj. 5. When we say, Trinity is trine, by reason of the number implied, we signify the multiplication of that number by itself; since the word trine imports a distinction in the supposita of which it is spoken. Therefore it cannot be said that the Trinity is trine; otherwise it follows that, if the Trinity be trine, there would be three supposita of the Trinity; as when we say, God is trine, it follows that there are three supposita of the Godhead.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE SON IS OTHER THAN THE FATHER?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Son is not other than the Father. For other is a relative term implying diversity of substance. If, then, the Son is other than the Father, He must be different from the Father; which is contrary to what Augustine says (De Trin. vii.), that when we speak of three persons, we do not mean to imply diversity.

Obj. 2. Further, whosoever are other from one another, differ in some way from one another. Therefore, if the Son is other than the Father, it follows that He differs from the Father; which is against what Ambrose says (De Fide i.), that the Father and the Son are one in Godhead; nor is there any difference in substance between them, nor any diversity.

Obj. 3. Further, the term alien is taken from alius (other). But the Son is not alien from the Father, for Edition: current; Page: [52] Hilary says (De Trin. vii) that in the divine persons there is nothing diverse, nothing alien, nothing separable. Therefore the Son is not other than the Father.

Obj. 4. Further, the terms other person and other thing (alius et aliud) have the same meaning, differing only in gender. So if the Son is another person from the Father, it follows that the Son is a thing apart from the Father.

On the contrary, Augustine* says: There is one essence of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost, in which the Father is not one thing, the Son another, and the Holy Ghost another; although the Father is one person, the Son another, and the Holy Ghost another.

I answer that, Since, as Jerome remarks, a heresy arises from words wrongly used, when we speak of the Trinity we must proceed with care and with befitting modesty; because, as Augustine says (De Trin. i. 3), nowhere is error more harmful, the quest more toilsome, the finding more fruitful. Now, in treating of the Trinity, we must beware of two opposite errors, and proceed cautiously between them—namely, the error of Arius, who placed a Trinity of substance with the Trinity of persons; and the error of Sabellius, who placed unity of person with the unity of essence.

Thus, to avoid the error of Arius we must shun the use of the terms diversity and difference in God, lest we take away the unity of essence: we may, however, use the term distinction on account of the relative opposition. Hence, whenever we find terms of diversity or difference of Persons used in an authentic work, these terms of diversity or difference are taken to mean distinction. But lest the simplicity and singleness of the divine essence be taken away, the terms separation and division, which belong to the parts of a whole, are to be avoided: and lest equality be taken away, we avoid the use of the term disparity: and lest we remove similitude, we avoid the terms alien and discrepant. For Ambrose says (De Fide i.) that in the Father and the Son there is no discrepancy, but one Godhead: Edition: current; Page: [53] and according to Hilary, as quoted above, in God there is nothing alien, nothing separable.

To avoid the heresy of Sabellius, we must shun the term singularity, lest we take away the communicability of the divine essence. Hence Hilary says (De Trin. vii.): It is sacrilege to assert that the Father and the Son are separate in Godhead. We must avoid the adjective only (unici) lest we take away the number of persons. Hence Hilary says in the same book: We exclude from God the idea of singularity or uniqueness. Nevertheless, we can say the only Son, for in God there is no plurality of Sons. Yet, we do not say the only God, for Deity is common to several. We avoid the word confused, lest we take away from the Persons the order of their nature. Hence Ambrose says (loc. cit.): What is one is not confused; and there is no multiplicity where there is no difference. The word solitary is also to be avoided, lest we take away the society of the three persons; for, as Hilary says (De Trin. iv.), We confess neither a solitary nor a diverse God.

This word other (alius), however, in the masculine sense, means only a distinction of suppositum; and hence we can properly say that the Son is other than the Father, because He is another suppositum of the divine nature, as He is another person and another hypostasis.

Reply Obj. 1. Other, being like the name of a particular thing, refers to the suppositum; and so, there is sufficient reason for using it, where there is a distinct substance in the sense of hypostasis or person. But diversity requires a distinct substance in the sense of essence. Thus we cannot say that the Son is diverse from the Father, although He is another.

Reply Obj. 2. Difference implies distinction of form. There is one form only in God, as appears from the text, Who, when He was in the form of God (Phil. ii. 6). Therefore the term difference does not properly apply to God, as appears from the authority quoted. Yet, Damascene (De Fide Orthod. i. 5) employs the term difference in the divine persons, as meaning that the relative property is signified by way of form. Hence he says that the hypostases do Edition: current; Page: [54] not differ from each other in substance, but according to determinate properties. But difference is taken for distinction, as above stated.

Reply Obj. 3. The term alien means what is extraneous and dissimilar; which is not expressed by the term other (alius); and therefore we say that the Son is other than the Father, but not that He is anything alien.

Reply Obj. 4. The neuter gender is formless; whereas the masculine is formed and distinct; and so is the feminine. So the common essence is properly and aptly expressed by the neuter gender, but by the masculine and feminine is expressed the determined subject in the common nature. Hence also in human affairs, if we ask, Who is this man? we answer, Socrates, which is the name of the suppositum; whereas, if we ask, What is he? we reply, A rational and mortal animal. So, because in God distinction is by the persons, and not by the essence, we say that the Father is other than the Son, but not something else; while conversely we say that they are one thing, but not one person.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE EXCLUSIVE WORD ‘ALONE’ SHOULD BE ADDED TO THE ESSENTIAL TERM IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the exclusive word alone (solus) is not to be added to an essential term in God. For, according to the Philosopher (Elench. ii. 3), He is alone who is not with another. But God is with the angels and the souls of the saints. Therefore we cannot say that God is alone.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever is joined to the essential term in God can be predicated of every person per se, and of all the persons together; for, as we can properly say that God is wise, we can say the Father is a wise God; and the Trinity is a wise God. But Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 9): We must consider the opinion that the Father is not true God alone. Therefore God cannot be said to be alone.

Edition: current; Page: [55]

Obj. 3. Further, if this expression alone is joined to an essential term, it would be so joined as regards either the personal predicate or the essential predicate. But it cannot be the former, as it is false to say, God alone is Father, since man also is a father; nor, again, can it be applied as regards the latter, for, if this saying were true, God alone creates, it would follow that the Father alone creates, as whatever is said of God can be said of the Father; and it would be false, as the Son also creates. Therefore this expression alone cannot be joined to an essential term in God.

On the contrary, It is said, To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God (1 Tim. i. 17).

I answer that, This term alone can be taken as a categorematical term, or as a syncategorematical term. A categorematical term is one which ascribes absolutely its meaning to a given suppositum; as, for instance, white to man, as when we say a white man. If the term alone is taken in this sense, it cannot in any way be joined to any term in God; for it would mean solitude in the term to which it is joined; and it would follow that God was solitary, against what is above stated (A. 2). A syncategorematical term imports the order of the predicate to the subject; as this expression every one or no one; and likewise the term alone, as excluding every other suppositum from the predicate. Thus, when we say, Socrates alone writes, we do not mean that Socrates is solitary, but that he has no companion in writing, though many others may be with him. In this way nothing prevents the term alone being joined to any essential term in God, as excluding the predicate from all things but God; as if we said, God alone is eternal, because nothing but God is eternal.

Reply Obj. 1. Although the angels and the souls of the saints are always with God, nevertheless, if plurality of persons did not exist in God, He would be alone or solitary. For solitude is not removed by association with anything that is extraneous in nature; thus anyone is said to be alone in a garden, though many plants and animals are with him in the garden. Likewise, God would be alone or Edition: current; Page: [56] solitary, though angels and men were with Him, supposing that several persons were not within Him. Therefore the society of angels and of souls does not take away absolute solitude from God; much less does it remove respective solitude, in reference to a predicate.

Reply Obj. 2. This expression alone, properly speaking, does not affect the predicate, which is taken formally, for it refers to the suppositum, as excluding any other suppositum from the one which it qualifies. But the adverb only, being exclusive, can be applied either to subject or predicate. For we can say, Only Socrates—that is, no one else—runs: and Socrates runs only—that is, he does nothing else. Hence it is not properly said that the Father is God alone, or the Trinity is God alone, unless some implied meaning be assumed in the predicate, as, for instance, The Trinity is God Who alone is God. In that sense it can be true to say that the Father is that God who alone is God, if the relative be referred to the predicate, and not to the suppositum. So, when Augustine says that the Father is not God alone, but that the Trinity is God alone, he speaks expositively, as he might explain the words, ‘To the King of ages, invisible, the only God,’ as applying not to the Father, but to the Trinity alone.

Reply Obj. 3. In both ways can the term alone be joined to an essential term. For this proposition, God alone is Father, can mean two things, because the word Father can signify the person of the Father; and then it is true; for no man is that person: or it can signify the relation only; and thus it is false, because the relation of paternity is found also in others, though not in a univocal sense. Likewise it is true to say God alone creates; nor, does it follow, therefore the Father alone creates, because, as logicians say, an exclusive diction so fixes the term to which it is joined that what is said exclusively of that term cannot be said exclusively of an individual contained in that term: for instance, from the premiss, Man alone is a mortal rational animal, we cannot conclude, therefore Socrates alone is such.

Edition: current; Page: [57]

Fourth Article.
WHETHER AN EXCLUSIVE DICTION CAN BE JOINED TO THE PERSONAL TERM?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that an exclusive diction can be joined to the personal term, even though the predicate is common. For our Lord speaking to the Father, said: That they may know Thee, the only true God (Jo. xvii. 3). Therefore the Father alone is true God.

Obj. 2. Further, He said: No one knows the Son but the Father (Matt. xi. 27); which means that the Father alone knows the Son. But to know the Son is common (to the persons). Therefore the same conclusion follows.

Obj. 3. Further, an exclusive diction does not exclude what enters into the concept of the term to which it is joined. Hence it does not exclude the part, nor the universal; for it does not follow that if we say Socrates alone is white, that therefore his hand is not white, or that man is not white. But one person is in the concept of another; as the Father is in the concept of the Son; and conversely. Therefore, when we say, The Father alone is God, we do not exclude the Son, nor the Holy Ghost; so that such a mode of speaking is true.

Obj. 4. Further, the Church sings: Thou alone art Most High, O Jesus Christ.

On the contrary, This proposition The Father alone is God includes two assertions—namely, that the Father is God, and that no other besides the Father is God. But this second proposition is false, for the Son is another from the Father, and He is God. Therefore this is false, The Father alone is God; and the same of the like sayings.

I answer that, When we say, The Father alone is God, such a proposition can be taken in several senses. If alone means solitude in the Father, it is false in a categorematical sense; but if taken in a syncategorematical sense it can again be understood in several ways. For if it exclude (all others) from the form of the subject, it is true, Edition: current; Page: [58] the sense being the Father alone is God—that is, He who with no other is the Father, is God. In this way Augustine expounds when he says (De Trin. vi. 6): We say the Father alone, not because He is separate from the Son, or from the Holy Ghost, but because they are not the Father together with Him. This, however, is not the usual way of speaking, unless we understand another implication, as though we said He who alone is called the Father is God. But in the strict sense the exclusion affects the predicate. And thus the proposition is false if it excludes another in the masculine sense; but true if it excludes it in the neuter sense; because the Son is another person than the Father, but not another thing; and the same applies to the Holy Ghost. But because this diction alone, properly speaking, refers to the subject, it tends to exclude another Person rather than other things. Hence such a way of speaking is not to be taken too literally, but it should be piously expounded, whenever we find it in an authentic work.

Reply Obj. 1. When we say, Thee the only true God, we do not understand it as referring to the person of the Father, but to the whole Trinity, as Augustine expounds (De Trin. vi. 9). Or, if understood of the person of the Father, the other persons are not excluded by reason of the unity of essence; in so far as the word only excludes another thing, as above explained.

The same Reply can be given to Obj. 2. For an essential term applied to the Father does not exclude the Son or the Holy Ghost, by reason of the unity of essence. Hence we must understand that in the text quoted the term no one (nemo) is not the same as no man, which the word itself would seem to signify* (for the person of the Father could not be excepted), but is taken according to the usual way of speaking in a distributive sense, to mean any rational nature.

Reply Obj. 3. The exclusive diction does not exclude what enters into the concept of the term to which it is adjoined, if they do not differ in suppositum, as part and Edition: current; Page: [59] universal. But the Son differs in suppositum from the Father; and so there is no parity.

Reply Obj. 4. We do not say absolutely that the Son alone is Most High; but that He alone is Most High with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father.

Edition: current; Page: [60]

QUESTION XXXII.: THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
(In Four Articles.)

We proceed to inquire concerning the knowledge of the divine persons; and this involves four points of inquiry: (1) Whether the divine persons can be known by natural reason? (2) Whether notions are to be attributed to the divine persons? (3) The number of the notions? (4) Whether we may lawfully have various contrary opinions of these notions?

First Article.
WHETHER THE TRINITY OF THE DIVINE PERSONS CAN BE KNOWN BY NATURAL REASON?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the trinity of the divine persons can be known by natural reason. For philosophers came to the knowledge of God not otherwise than by natural reason. Now we find that they said many things about the trinity of persons, for Aristotle says (De Cœlo et Mundo i. 2): Through this number—namely, three—we bring ourselves to acknowledge the greatness of one God, surpassing all things created. And Augustine says (Conf. vii. 9): I have read in their works, not in so many words, but enforced by many and various reasons, that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and so on; in which passage the distinction of persons is laid down. We read, moreover, in a gloss on Rom. i. and Exod. viii. that the magicians of Pharaoh failed in the third sign—that is, as regards knowledge of a third person—i.e., of the Holy Ghost—and thus Edition: current; Page: [61] it is clear that they knew at least two persons. Likewise Trismegistus says: The monad begot a monad, and reflected upon itself its own heat. By which words the generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Ghost seem to be indicated. Therefore knowledge of the divine persons can be obtained by natural reason.

Obj. 2. Further, Richard of St. Victor says (De Trin. i. 4): I believe without doubt that probable and even necessary arguments can be found for any explanation of the truth. So even to prove the Trinity some have brought forward a reason from the infinite goodness of God, who communicates Himself infinitely in the procession of the divine persons; while some are moved by the consideration that no good thing can be joyfully possessed without partnership. Augustine proceeds (De Trin. ix. 4; x. 11, 12) to prove the trinity of persons by the procession of the word and of love in our own mind; and we have followed him in this (Q. XXVII., A. 1, 3). Therefore the trinity of persons can be known by natural reason.

Obj. 3. Further, it seems to be superfluous to teach what cannot be known by natural reason. But it ought not to be said that the divine tradition of the Trinity is superfluous. Therefore the trinity of persons can be known by natural reason.

On the contrary, Hilary says (De Trin. i.), Let not man think to reach the sacred mystery of generation by his own mind. And Ambrose says (De Fide ii. 5), It is impossible to know the secret of generation. The mind fails, the voice is silent. But the trinity of the divine persons is distinguished by origin of generation and procession (Q. XXX., A. 2). Since, therefore, man cannot know, and with his understanding grasp that for which no necessary reason can be given, it follows that the trinity of persons cannot be known by reason.

I answer that, It is impossible to attain to the knowledge of the Trinity by natural reason. For, as above explained (Q. XII., AA. 4, 12), man cannot obtain the knowledge of God by natural reason except from creatures. Now creatures lead us to the knowledge of God, as effects Edition: current; Page: [62] do to their cause. Accordingly, by natural reason we can know of God that only which of necessity belongs to Him as the principle of all things, and we have cited this fundamental principle in treating of God as above (Q. XII., A. 12). Now, the creative power of God is common to the whole Trinity; and hence it belongs to the unity of the essence, and not to the distinction of the persons. Therefore, by natural reason we can know what belongs to the unity of the essence, but not what belongs to the distinction of the persons. Whoever, then, tries to prove the trinity of persons by natural reason, derogates from faith in two ways. Firstly, as regards the dignity of faith itself, which consists in its being concerned with invisible things, that exceed human reason; wherefore the Apostle says that faith is of things that appear not (Heb. xi. 1), and the same Apostle says also, We speak wisdom among the perfect, but not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery which is hidden (1 Cor. ii. 6, 7). Secondly, as regards the utility of drawing others to the faith. For when anyone in the endeavour to prove the faith brings forward reasons which are not cogent, he falls under the ridicule of the unbelievers: since they suppose that we stand upon such reasons, and that we believe on such grounds.

Therefore, we must not attempt to prove what is of faith, except by authority alone, to those who receive the authority; while as regards others it suffices to prove that what faith teaches is not impossible. Hence it is said by Dionysius (Div. Nom. ii): Whoever wholly resists the word, is far off from our philosophy; whereas if he regards the truth of the word—i.e., the sacred word, we too follow this rule.

Reply Obj. 1. The philosophers did not know the mystery of the trinity of the divine persons by its proper attributes, such as paternity, filiation, and procession, according to the Apostle’s words, We speak the wisdom of God which none of the princes of the world—i.e., the philosophers—knew (1 Cor. ii. 6). Nevertheless, they knew Edition: current; Page: [63] some of the essential attributes appropriated to the persons, as power to the Father, wisdom to the Son, goodness to the Holy Ghost; as will later on appear. So, when Aristotle said, By this number, etc., we must not take it as if he affirmed a threefold number in God, but that he wished to say that the ancients used the threefold number in their sacrifices and prayers on account of some perfection residing in the number three. In the Platonic books also we find, In the beginning was the word, not as meaning the Person begotten in God, but as meaning the ideal type whereby God made all things, and which is appropriated to the Son. And although they knew these were appropriated to the three persons, yet they are said to have failed in the third sign—that is, in the knowledge of the third person, because they deviated from the goodness appropriated to the Holy Ghost, in that knowing God they did not glorify Him as God (Rom. i.); or, because the Platonists asserted the existence of one Primal Being whom they also declared to be the father of the universe, they consequently maintained the existence of another substance beneath him, which they called mind or the paternal intellect, containing the idea of all things, as Macrobius relates (Som. Scip. iv.). They did not, however, assert the existence of a third separate substance which might correspond to the Holy Ghost. So also we do not assert that the Father and the Son differ in substance, which was the error of Origen and Arius, who in this followed the Platonists. When Trismegistus says, Monad begot monad, etc., this does not refer to the generation of the Son, or to the procession of the Holy Ghost, but to the production of the world. For one God produced one world by reason of His love for Himself.

Reply Obj. 2. Reason may be employed in two ways to establish a point: firstly, for the purpose of furnishing sufficient proof of some principle, as in natural science, where sufficient proof can be brought to show that the movement of the heavens is always of uniform velocity. Reason is employed in another way, not as furnishing a sufficient proof of a principle, but as confirming an already Edition: current; Page: [64] established principle, by showing the congruity of its results, as in astrology the theory of eccentrics and epicycles is considered as established, because thereby the sensible appearances of the heavenly movements can be explained; not, however, as if this proof were sufficient, forasmuch as some other theory might explain them. In the first way we can prove that God is one; and the like. In the second way, reasons avail to prove the Trinity; as, when assumed to be true, such reasons confirm it. We must not, however, think that the trinity of persons is adequately proved by such reasons. This becomes evident when we consider each point; for the infinite goodness of God is manifested also in creation, because to produce from nothing is an act of infinite power. For if God communicates Himself by His infinite goodness, it is not necessary that an infinite effect should proceed from God: but that according to its own mode and capacity it should receive the divine goodness. Likewise, when it is said that joyous possession of good requires partnership, this holds in the case of one not having perfect goodness: hence it needs to share some other’s good, in order to have the goodness of complete happiness. Nor is the image in our mind an adequate proof in the case of God, forasmuch as the intellect is not in God and ourselves univocally. Hence, Augustine says (Tract. xxvii. in Joan.) that by faith we arrive at knowledge, and not conversely.

Reply Obj. 3. There are two reasons why the knowledge of the divine persons was necessary for us. It was necessary for the right idea of creation. The fact of saying that God made all things by His Word excludes the error of those who say that God produced things by necessity. When we say that in Him there is a procession of love, we show that God produced creatures not because He needed them, nor because of any other extrinsic reason, but on account of the love of His own goodness. So Moses, when he had said, In the beginning God created heaven and earth, subjoined, God said, Let there be light, to manifest the divine Word; and then said, God saw the light that it was good, to show the proof of the divine love. Edition: current; Page: [65] The same is also found in the other works of creation. In another way, and chiefly, that we may think rightly concerning the salvation of the human race, accomplished by the Incarnate Son, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Second Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE NOTIONS IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in God there are no notions. For Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i.): We must not dare to say anything of God but what is taught to us by the Holy Scripture. But Holy Scripture does not say anything concerning notions. Therefore there are none in God.

Obj. 2. Further, all that exists in God concerns the unity of the essence or the trinity of the persons. But the notions do not concern the unity of the essence, nor the trinity of the persons; for neither can what belongs to the essence be predicated of the notions: for instance, we do not say that paternity is wise or creates; nor can what belongs to the persons be so predicated; for example, we do not say that paternity begets, nor that filiation is begotten. Therefore there do not exist notions in God.

Obj. 3. Further, we do not require to presuppose any abstract notions as principles of knowing things which are devoid of composition: for they are known of themselves. But the divine persons are supremely simple. Therefore we are not to suppose any notions in God.

On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. iii. 5): We recognize difference of hypostases (i.e., of persons), in the three properties; i.e., in the paternal, the filial, and the processional. Therefore we must admit properties and notions in God.

I answer that, Prepositivus, considering the simplicity of the persons, said that in God there were no properties or notions, and wherever they were mentioned, he propounded the abstract for the concrete. For as we are accustomed to say, I beseech your kindness—i.e., you who Edition: current; Page: [66] are kind—so when we speak of paternity in God, we mean God the Father.

But, as was shown above (Q. III., A. 3, ad 1), the use of concrete and abstract names in God is not in any way repugnant to the divine simplicity; forasmuch as we always name a thing as we understand it. Now, our intellect cannot attain to the absolute simplicity of the divine essence, considered in itself, and therefore, our human intellect apprehends and names divine things, according to its own mode, that is in so far as they are found in sensible objects, whence its knowledge is derived. In these things we use abstract terms to signify simple forms; and to signify subsistent things we use concrete terms. Hence also we signify divine things, as above stated, by abstract names, to express their simplicity; whereas, to express their subsistence and completeness, we use concrete names.

But not only must essential names be signified in the abstract and in the concrete, as when we say Deity and God; or wisdom and wise; but the same applies to the personal names, so that we may say paternity and Father.

Two chief motives for this can be cited. The first arises from the obstinacy of heretics. For since we confess the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be one God and three persons, to those who ask: Whereby are They one God? and whereby are they three persons? as we answer that they are one in essence or deity; so there must also be some abstract terms whereby we may answer that the persons are distinguished; and these are the properties or notions signified by an abstract term, as paternity and filiation. Therefore the divine essence is signified as What; and the person as Who; and the property as Whereby.

The second motive is because one person in God is related to two Persons—namely, the person of the Father to the person of the Son and to the person of the Holy Ghost. This is not, however, by one relation; otherwise it would follow that the Son also and the Holy Ghost would be related to the Father by one and the same relation. Edition: current; Page: [67] Thus, since relation alone multiplies the Trinity, it would follow that the Son and the Holy Ghost would not be two persons. Nor can it be said with Prepositivus that as God is related in one way to creatures, while creatures are related to Him in divers ways, so the Father is related by one relation to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; whereas these two persons are related to the Father by two relations. For, since the very specific idea of a relation is that it refers to another, it must be said that two relations are not specifically different if but one opposite relation corresponds to them. For the relation of lord and father must differ according to the difference of filiation and servitude. Now, all creatures are related to God as His creatures by one specific relation. But the Son and the Holy Ghost are not related to the Father by one and the same kind of relation. Hence there is no parity.

Further, in God there is no need to admit any real relation to the creature (Q. XXVIII., AA. 1, 3); while there is no reason against our admitting in God, many logical relations. But in the Father there must be a real relation to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Hence, corresponding to the two relations of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, whereby they are related to the Father, we must understand two relations in the Father, whereby He is related to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. Hence, since there is only one Person of the Father, it is necessary that the relations should be separately signified in the abstract; and these are what we mean by properties and notions.

Reply Obj. 1. Although the notions are not mentioned in Holy Scripture, yet the persons are mentioned, comprising the idea of notions, as the abstract is contained in the concrete.

Reply Obj. 2. In God the notions have their significance not after the manner of realities, but by way of certain ideas whereby the persons are known; although in God these notions or relations are real, as stated above (Q. XXVIII., A. 1). Therefore whatever has order to any essential or personal act, cannot be applied to the notions; forasmuch as this is against their mode of signification. Edition: current; Page: [68] Hence we cannot say that paternity begets, or creates, or is wise, or is intelligent. The essentials, however, which are not ordered to any act, but simply remove created conditions from God, can be predicated of the notions; for we can say that paternity is eternal, or immense, or such like. So also on account of the real identity, substantive terms, whether personal or essential, can be predicated of the notions; for we can say that paternity is God, and that paternity is the Father.

Reply Obj. 3. Although the persons are simple, still without prejudice to their simplicity, the proper ideas of the persons can be abstractly signified, as above explained.

Third Article.
WHETHER THERE ARE FIVE NOTIONS?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there are not five notions. For the notions proper to the persons are the relations whereby they are distinguished from each other. But the relations in God are only four (Q. XXVIII., A. 4). Therefore the notions are only four in number.

Obj. 2. Further, as there is only one essence in God, He is called one God, and because in Him there are three persons, He is called the Trine God. Therefore, if in God there are five notions, He may be called quinary; which cannot be allowed.

Obj. 3. Further, if there are five notions for the three persons in God, there must be in some one person two or more notions, as in the person of the Father there is innascibility and paternity, and common spiration. Either these three notions really differ, or not. If they really differ, it follows that the person of the Father is composed of several things. But if they differ only logically, it follows that one of them can be predicated of another, so that we can say that as the divine goodness is the same as the divine wisdom by reason of the common reality, so common spiration is paternity; which is not to be admitted. Therefore there are not five notions.

Edition: current; Page: [69]

Obj. 4. On the contrary, It seems that there are more; because, as the Father is from no one, and therefrom is derived the notion of innascibility; so from the Holy Ghost no other person proceeds. And in this respect there ought to be a sixth notion.

Obj. 5. Further, as the Father and the Son are the common origin of the Holy Ghost, so it is common to the Son and the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father. Therefore, as one notion is common to the Father and the Son, so there ought to be one notion common to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.

I answer that, A notion is the proper idea whereby we know a divine Person. Now the divine persons are multiplied by reason of their origin: and origin includes the idea of someone from whom another comes, and of someone that comes from another, and by these two modes a person can be known. Therefore the Person of the Father cannot be known by the fact that He is from another; but by the fact that He is from no one; and thus the notion that belongs to Him is called innascibility. As the source of another, He can be known in two ways, because as the Son is from Him, the Father is known by the notion of paternity; and as the Holy Ghost is from Him, He is known by the notion of common spiration. The Son can be known as begotten by another, and thus He is known by filiation; and also by another person proceeding from Him, the Holy Ghost, and thus He is known in the same way as the Father is known, by common spiration. The Holy Ghost can be known by the fact that He is from another, or from others; thus He is known by procession; but not by the fact that another is from Him, as no divine person proceeds from Him.

Therefore there are Five notions in God: innascibility, paternity, filiation, common spiration, and procession. Of these only four are relations, for innascibility is not a relation, except by reduction, as will appear later (Q. XXXIII., A. 4, ad 3). Four only are properties. For common spiration is not a property; because it belongs to two persons. Three are personal notions—i.e., constituting Edition: current; Page: [70] persons, paternity, filiation, and procession. Common spiration and innascibility are called notions of Persons, but not personal notions, as we shall explain further on (Q. XL., A. 1, ad 1).

Reply Obj. 1. Besides the four relations, another notion must be admitted, as above explained.

Reply Obj. 2. The divine essence is signified as a reality; and likewise the persons are signified as realities; whereas the notions are signified as ideas notifying the persons. Therefore, although God is one by unity of essence, and trine by trinity of persons, nevertheless He is not quinary by the five notions.

Reply Obj. 3. Since the real plurality in God is founded only on relative opposition, the several properties of one Person, as they are not relatively opposed to each other, do not really differ. Nor again are they predicated of each other, because they are different ideas of the persons; as we do not say that the attribute of power is the attribute of knowledge, although we do say that knowledge is power.

Reply Obj. 4. Since Person implies dignity, as stated above (Q. XIX., A. 3), we cannot derive a notion of the Holy Spirit from the fact that no person is from Him. For this does not belong to His dignity, as it belongs to the authority of the Father that He is from no one.

Reply Obj. 5. The Son and the Holy Ghost do not agree in one special mode of existence derived from the Father; as the Father and the Son agree in one special mode of producing the Holy Ghost. But the principle on which a notion is based must be something special; thus no parity of reasoning exists.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER IT IS LAWFUL TO HAVE VARIOUS CONTRARY OPINIONS OF NOTIONS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is not lawful to have various contrary opinions of the notions: For Augustine says (De Trin. i. 3): No error is more dangerous than any Edition: current; Page: [71] as regards the Trinity: to which mystery the notions assuredly belong. But contrary opinions must be in some way erroneous. Therefore it is not right to have contrary opinions of the notions.

Obj. 2. Further, the persons are known by the notions. But no contrary opinion concerning the persons is to be tolerated. Therefore neither can there be about the notions.

On the contrary, The notions are not articles of faith. Therefore different opinions of the notions are permissible.

I answer that, Anything is of faith in two ways; directly, where any truth comes to us principally as divinely taught, as the trinity and unity of God, the Incarnation of the Son, and the like; and concerning these truths a false opinion of itself involves heresy, especially if it be held obstinately. A thing is of faith, indirectly, if the denial of it involves as a consequence something against faith; as for instance if anyone said that Samuel was not the son of Elcana, for it follows that the divine Scripture would be false. Concerning such things anyone may have a false opinion without danger of heresy, before the matter has been considered or settled as involving consequences against faith, and particularly if no obstinacy be shown; whereas when it is manifest, and especially if the Church has decided that consequences follow against faith, then the error cannot be free from heresy. For this reason many things are now considered as heretical which were formerly not so considered, as their consequences are now more manifest.

So we must decide that anyone may entertain contrary opinions about the notions, if he does not mean to uphold anything at variance with faith. If, however, anyone should entertain a false opinion of the notions, knowing or thinking that consequences against the faith would follow, he would lapse into heresy.

By what has been said all the objections may be solved.

Edition: current; Page: [72]

QUESTION XXXIII.: OF THE PERSON OF THE FATHER.
(In Four Articles.)

We now consider the persons singly; and first, the Person of the Father, concerning Whom there are four points of inquiry: (1) Whether the Father is the Principle? (2) Whether the person of the Father is properly signified by this name Father? (3) Whether Father in God is said personally before it is said essentially? (4) Whether it belongs to the Father alone to be unbegotten?

First Article.
WHETHER IT BELONGS TO THE FATHER TO BE THE PRINCIPLE?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Father cannot be called the principle of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost. For principle and cause are the same, according to the philosopher (Metaph. iv.). But we do not say that the Father is the cause of the Son. Therefore we must not say that He is the principle of the Son.

Obj. 2. Further, a principle is so called in relation to the thing principled. So if the Father is the principle of the Son, it follows that the Son is a person principled, and is therefore created; which appears false.

Obj. 3. Further, the word principle is taken from priority. But in God there is no before and after, as Athanasius says. Therefore in speaking of God we ought not to use the term principle.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20), The Father is the Principle of the whole Deity.

Edition: current; Page: [73]

I answer that, The word principle signifies only that whence another proceeds: Since anything whence something proceeds in any way we call a principle; and conversely. As the Father then is the one whence another proceeds, it follows that the Father is a principle.

Reply Obj. 1. The Greeks use the words cause and principle indifferently, when speaking of God; whereas the Latin Doctors do not use the word cause, but only principle. The reason is because principle is a wider term than cause; as cause is more common than element. For the first term of a thing, as also the first part, is called the principle, but not the cause. Now the wider a term is, the more suitable it is to use as regards God (Q. XIII., A. 11), because, the more special terms are, the more they determine the mode adapted to the creature. Hence this term cause seems to mean diversity of substance, and dependence of one from another; which is not implied in the word principle. For in all kinds of causes there is always to be found between the cause and the effect a distance of perfection or of power: whereas we use the term principle even in things which have no such difference, but have only a certain order to each other; as when we say that a point is the principle of a line; or also when we say that the first part of a line is the principle of a line.

Reply Obj. 2. It is the custom with the Greeks to say that the Son and the Holy Ghost are principled. This is not, however, the custom with our Doctors; because, although we attribute to the Father something of authority by reason of His being the principle, still we do not attribute any kind of subjection or inferiority to the Son, or to the Holy Ghost, to avoid any occasion of error. In this way, Hilary says (De Trin. ix.): By authority of the Giver, the Father is the greater; nevertheless the Son is not less to Whom oneness of nature is given.

Reply Obj. 3. Although this word principle, as regards its derivation, seems to be taken from priority, still it does not signify priority, but origin. For what a term signifies, and the reason why it was imposed, are not the same thing, as stated above (Q. XIII., A. 8).

Edition: current; Page: [74]

Second Article.
WHETHER THIS NAME ‘FATHER’ IS PROPERLY THE NAME OF A DIVINE PERSON?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that this name Father is not properly the name of a divine person. For the name Father signifies relation. Moreover person is an individual substance. Therefore this name Father is not properly a name signifying a Person.

Obj. 2. Further, a begetter is more common than father; for every father begets; but it is not so conversely. But a more common term is more properly applied to God, as stated above (Q. XIII., A. 11). Therefore the more proper name of the divine person is begetter and genitor than Father.

Obj. 3. Further, a metaphorical term cannot be the proper name of anyone. But the word is by us metaphorically called begotten, or offspring; and consequently, he of whom is the word, it metaphorically called father. Therefore the principle of the Word in God is not properly called Father.

Obj. 4. Further, everything which is said properly of God, is said of God first before creatures. But generation appears to apply to creatures before God; because generation seems to be truer when the one who proceeds is distinct from the one whence it proceeds, not only by relation but also by essence. Therefore the name Father taken from generation does not seem to be the proper name of any divine person.

On the contrary, It is said (Ps. lxxxviii. 27): He shall cry out to me: Thou art my Father.

I answer that, The proper name of any person signifies that whereby the person is distinguished from all other persons. For as body and soul belong to the nature of man, so to the concept of this particular man belong this particular soul and this particular body; and by these is this particular man distinguished from all other men. Now it is paternity which distinguishes the person of the Edition: current; Page: [75] Father from all the other persons. Hence this name Father, whereby paternity is signified, is the proper name of the person of the Father.

Reply Obj. 1. Among us relation is not a subsisting person. So this name father among us does not signify a person, but the relation of a person. In God, however, it is not so, as some wrongly thought; for in God the relation signified by the name Father is a subsisting person. Hence, as above explained (Q. XXIX., A. 4), this name person in God signifies a relation subsisting in the divine nature.

Reply Obj. 2. According to the Philosopher (De Anima, ii., text 49), a thing is denominated chiefly by its perfection, and by its end. Now generation signifies something in process of being made, whereas paternity signifies the complement of generation; and therefore the name Father is more expressive as regards the divine person than genitor or begetter.

Reply Obj. 3. In human nature the word is not a subsistence, and hence is not properly called begotten or son. But the divine Word is something subsistent in the divine nature; and hence He is properly and not metaphorically called Son, and His principle is called Father.

Reply Obj. 4. The terms generation and paternity, like the other terms properly applied to God, are said of God before creatures as regards the thing signified, but not as regards the mode of signification. Hence also the Apostle says, I bend my knee to the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all paternity in heaven and on earth is named (Eph. iii. 14). This is explained thus. It is manifest that generation receives its species from the term which is the form of the thing generated; and the nearer it is to the form of the generator, the truer and more perfect is the generation; as univocal generation is more perfect than non-univocal, for it belongs to the essence of a generator to generate what is like itself in form. Hence the very fact that in the divine generation the form of the Begetter and Begotten is numerically the same, whereas in creatures it is not numerically, but only specifically, the Edition: current; Page: [76] same, shows that generation, and consequently paternity, is applied to God before creatures. Hence the very fact that in God a distinction exists of the Begotten from the Begetter as regards relation only, belongs to the truth of the divine generation and paternity.

Third Article.
WHETHER THIS NAME ‘FATHER’ IS APPLIED TO GOD, FIRSTLY AS A PERSONAL NAME?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that this name Father is not applied to God, firstly as a personal name. For in the intellect the common precedes the particular. But this name Father as a personal name, belongs to the person of the Father; and taken in an essential sense it is common to the whole Trinity; for we say Our Father to the whole Trinity. Therefore Father comes first as an essential name before its personal sense.

Obj. 2. Further, in things of which the concept is the same there is no priority of predication. But paternity and filiation seem to be of the same nature, according as a divine person is Father of the Son, and the whole Trinity is our Father, or the creature’s; since, according to Basil (Hom. xv., De Fide), to receive is common to the creature and to the Son. Therefore Father in God is not taken as an essential name before it is taken personally.

Obj. 3. Further, it is not possible to compare things which have not a common concept. But the Son is compared to the creature by reason of filiation or generation, according to Col. i. 15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. Therefore paternity taken in a personal sense is not prior to, but has the same concept as, paternity taken essentially.

On the contrary, The eternal comes before the temporal. But God is the Father of the Son from eternity; while He is Father of the creature in time. Therefore paternity in God is taken in a personal sense as regards the Son, before it is so taken as regards the creature.

Edition: current; Page: [77]

I answer that, A name is applied to that wherein is perfectly contained its whole signification, before it is applied to that which only partially contains it; for the latter bears the name by reason of a kind of similitude to that which answers perfectly to the signification of the name; since all imperfect things are taken from perfect things. Hence this name lion is applied first to the animal containing the whole nature of a lion, and which is properly so called, before it is applied to a man who shows something of a lion’s nature, as courage, or strength, or the like; and of whom it is said by way of similitude.

Now it is manifest from the foregoing (QQ. XXVII. A. 2; XXVIII., A. 4), that the perfect idea of paternity and filiation is to be found in God the Father, and in God the Son, because one is the nature and glory of the Father and the Son. But in the creature, filiation is found in relation to God, not in a perfect manner, since the Creator and the creature have not the same nature; but by way of a certain likeness, which is the more perfect the nearer we approach to the true idea of filiation. For God is called the Father of some creatures by reason only of a trace, for instance of irrational creatures, according to Job xxxviii. 28: Who is the father of the rain? or who begot the drops of dew? Of some, namely, the rational creature (He is the Father), by reason of the likeness of His image, according to Deut. xxxii. 6: Is He not thy Father, who possessed, and made, and created thee? And of others He is the Father by similitude of grace, and these are also called adoptive sons, as ordained to the heritage of eternal glory by the gift of grace which they have received, according to Rom. viii. 16, 17: The Spirit Himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God; and if sons, heirs also. Lastly, He is the Father of others by similitude of glory, forasmuch as they have obtained possession of the heritage of glory, according to Rom. v. 2: We glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God. Therefore it is plain that paternity is applied to God first, as importing regard of one Person to another Person, before it imports the regard of God to creatures.

Edition: current; Page: [78]

Reply Obj. 1. Common terms taken absolutely, in the order of our intelligence, come before proper terms; because they are included in the understanding of proper terms; but not conversely. For in the concept of the person of the Father, God is understood; but not conversely. But common terms which import relation to the creature come after proper terms which import personal relations; because the person proceeding in God proceeds as the principle of the production of creatures. For as the word conceived in the mind of the artist is first understood to proceed from the artist before the thing designed, which is produced in likeness to the word conceived in the artist’s mind; so the Son proceeds from the Father before the creature, to which the name of filiation is applied as it participates in the likeness of the Son, as is clear from the words of Rom. viii. 29: Whom He foreknew and predestined to be made conformable to the image of His Son.

Reply Obj. 2. To receive is said to be common to the creature and to the Son not in a univocal sense, but according to a certain remote similitude whereby He is called the First Born of creatures. Hence the authority quoted subjoins: That He may be the First Born among many brethren, after saying that some were conformed to the image of the Son of God. But the Son of God possesses a position of singularity above others, in having by nature what He receives, as Basil also declares (ibid.); hence He is called the only begotten (John i. 18): The only begotten Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared unto us.

From this appears the Reply to Obj. 3.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER IT IS PROPER TO THE FATHER TO BE UNBEGOTTEN.

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is not proper to the Father to be unbegotten. For every property supposes something in that of which it is the property. But unbegotten Edition: current; Page: [79] supposes nothing in the Father; it only removes something. Therefore it does not signify a property of the Father.

Obj. 2. Further, Unbegotten is taken either in a privative, or in a negative, sense. If in a negative sense, then whatever is not begotten can be called unbegotten. But the Holy Ghost is not begotten; neither is the divine essence. Therefore to be unbegotten belongs also to the essence; thus it is not proper to the Father. But if it be taken in a privative sense, as every privation signifies imperfection in the thing which is the subject of privation, it follows that the Person of the Father is imperfect; which cannot be.

Obj. 3. Further, in God, unbegotten does not signify relation, for it is not used relatively. Therefore it signifies substance; therefore unbegotten and begotten differ in substance. But the Son, Who is begotten, does not differ from the Father in substance. Therefore the Father ought not to be called unbegotten.

Obj. 4. Further, property means what belongs to one alone. Since, then, there are more than one in God proceeding from another, there is nothing to prevent several not receiving their being from another. Therefore the Father is not alone unbegotten.

Obj. 5. Further, as the Father is the principle of the person begotten, so is He of the person proceeding. So if by reason of His opposition to the person begotten, it is proper to the Father to be unbegotten, it follows that it is proper to Him also to be unproceeding.

On the contrary, Hilary says (De Trin. iv.): One is from one—that is, the Begotten is from the Unbegotten—namely, by the property in each one respectively of innascibility and origin.

I answer that, As in creatures there exist a first and a secondary principle, so also in the divine Persons, in Whom there is no before or after, is formed the principle not from a principle, Who is the Father; and the principle from a principle, Who is the Son.

Now in things created a first principle is known in two Edition: current; Page: [80] ways; in one way as the first principle, by reason of its having a relation to what proceeds from itself; in another way, inasmuch as it is a first principle by reason of its not being from another. Thus therefore the Father is known both by paternity and by common spiration, as regards the persons proceeding from Himself. But as the principle, not from a principle He is known by the fact that He is not from another; and this belongs to the property of innascibility, signified by this word unbegotten.

Reply Obj. 1. Some there are who say that innascibility, signified by the word unbegotten, as a property of the Father, is not a negative term only, but either that it means both these things together—namely, that the Father is from no one, and that He is the principle of others; or that it imports universal authority, or also His plenitude as the source of all. This, however, does not seem true, because thus innascibility would not be a property distinct from paternity and spiration; but would include them as the proper is included in the common. For source and authority signify in God nothing but the principle of origin. We must therefore say with Augustine (De Trin. v. 7) that unbegotten imports the negation of passive generation. For he says that unbegotten has the same meaning as ‘not a son.’ Nor does it follow that unbegotten is not the proper notion of the Father; for primary and simple things are notified by negations; as, for instance, a point is defined as what has no part.

Reply Obj. 2. Unbegotten is taken sometimes in a negative sense only, and in that sense Jerome says that the Holy Ghost is unbegotten—that is, He is not begotten. Otherwise unbegotten may be taken in a kind of privative sense, but not as implying any imperfection. For privation can be taken in many ways; in one way when a thing has not what naturally belongs to another, even though it is not of its own nature to have it; as, for instance, if a stone be called a dead thing, as wanting life, which naturally belongs to some other things. In another sense, privation is so called when something has not what naturally belongs to some members of its genus; as for Edition: current; Page: [81] instance when a mole is called blind. In a third sense privation means the absence of what something ought to have; in which sense, privation imports an imperfection. In this sense, unbegotten is not attributed to the Father as a privation, but it may be so attributed in the second sense, meaning that a certain person of the divine nature is not begotten, while some person of the same nature is begotten. In this sense the term unbegotten can be applied also to the Holy Ghost. Hence to consider it as a term proper to the Father alone, it must be further understood that the name unbegotten belongs to a divine person as the principle of another person; so that it be understood to imply negation in the genus of principle taken personally in God. Or that there be understood in the term unbegotten that He is not in any way derived from another; and not only that He is not from another by way only of generation. In this sense the term unbegotten does not belong at all to the Holy Ghost, Who is from another by procession, as a subsisting person; nor does it belong to the divine essence, of which it may be said that it is in the Son or in the Holy Ghost from another—namely, from the Father.

Reply Obj. 3. According to Damascene (De Fide Orthod. ii. 9), unbegotten in one sense signifies the same as uncreated; and thus it applies to the substance, for thereby does the created substance differ from the uncreated. In another sense it signifies what is not begotten, and in this sense it is a relative term; just as negation is reduced to the genus of affirmation, as not man is reduced to the genus of substance, and not white to the genus of quality. Hence, since begotten implies relation in God, unbegotten belongs also to relation. Thus it does not follow that the Father unbegotten is substantially distinguished from the Son begotten; but only by relation; that is, as the relation of Son is denied of the Father.

Reply Obj. 4. In every genus there must be something first; so in the divine nature there must be some one principle which is not from another, and which we call unbegotten. To admit two innascibles is to suppose the Edition: current; Page: [82] existence of two Gods, and two divine natures. Hence Hilary says (De Synod.): As there is one God, so there cannot be two innascibles. And this especially because, did two innascibles exist, one would not be from the other, and they would not be distinguished by relative opposition: therefore they would be distinguished from each other by diversity of nature.

Reply Obj. 5. The property of the Father, whereby He is not from another, is more clearly signified by the removal of the nativity of the Son, than by the removal of the procession of the Holy Ghost; both because the procession of the Holy Ghost has no special name, as stated above (Q. XXVII., A. 4, ad 3), and because also in the order of nature it presupposes the generation of the Son. Hence, it being denied of the Father that He is begotten, although He is the principle of generation, it follows, as a consequence, that He does not proceed by the procession of the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost is not the principle of generation, but proceeds from the person begotten.

Edition: current; Page: [83]

QUESTION XXXIV.: OF THE PERSON OF THE SON.
(In Three Articles.)

We next consider the person of the Son. Three names are attributed to the Son—namely, Son, Word, and Image. The idea of Son is gathered from the idea of Father. Hence it remains for us to consider Word and Image.

Concerning Word there are three points of inquiry: (1) Whether Word is an essential term in God, or a personal term? (2) Whether it is the proper name of the Son? (3) Whether in the name of Word is expressed relation to creatures?

First Article.
WHETHER WORD IN GOD IS A PERSONAL NAME?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that Word in God is not a personal name. For personal names are applied to God in a proper sense, as Father and Son. But Word is applied to God metaphorically, as Origen says on (Jo. i. 1), In the beginning was the Word. Therefore Word is not a personal name in God.

Obj. 2. Further, according to Augustine (De Trin. ix. 10), The Word is knowledge with love; and according to Anselm (Monol. lx.), To speak is to the Supreme Spirit nothing but to see by thought. But knowledge and thought, and sight, are essential terms in God. Therefore Word is not a personal term in God.

Obj. 3. Further, it is essential to word to be spoken. But, according to Anselm (ibid. lix.), as the Father is intelligent, the Son intelligent, and the Holy Ghost intelligent, so the Father speaks, the Son speaks, and the Edition: current; Page: [84] Holy Ghost speaks; and likewise, each one of them is spoken. Therefore, the name Word is used as an essential term in God, and not in a personal sense.

Obj. 4. Further, no divine person is made. But the Word of God is something made. For it is said, Fire, hail, snow, ice, the storms which do His Word (Ps. cxlviii. 8). Therefore the Word is not a personal name in God.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 11): As the Son is related to the Father, so also is the Word to Him Whose Word He is. But Son is a personal name, since it is said relatively. Therefore so also is Word.

I answer that, The name of Word in God, if taken in its proper sense, is a personal name, and in no way an essential name.

To see how this is true, we must know that our own word taken in its proper sense has a threefold meaning; while in a fourth sense it is taken improperly or figuratively. The clearest and most common sense is when it is said of the word spoken by the voice; and this proceeds from an interior source as regards two things found in the exterior word—that is, the vocal sound itself, and the signification of the sound. For, according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. i.) vocal sound signifies the concept of the intellect. Again the vocal sound proceeds from the signification or the imagination, as stated in De Anima, ii., text 90. The vocal sound, which has no signification, cannot be called a word: wherefore the exterior vocal sound is called a word from the fact that it signifies the interior concept of the mind. Therefore it follows that, first and chiefly, the interior concept of the mind is called a word; secondarily, the vocal sound itself, signifying the interior concept, is so called; and thirdly, the imagination of the vocal sound is called a word. Damascene mentions these three kinds of words (De Fide Orthod. i. 17), saying that word is called the natural movement of the intellect, whereby it is moved, and understands, and thinks, as light and splendour; which is the first kind. Again, he says, the word is what is not pronounced by a vocal word, but is uttered in the heart; which is the third kind. Again also, Edition: current; Page: [85] the word is the angel—that is, the messenger of intelligence; which is the second kind. Word is also used in a fourth way figuratively for that which is signified or effected by a word; thus we are wont to say, this is the word I have said, or which the king has commanded, alluding to some deed signified by the word either by way of assertion or of command.

Now word is taken strictly in God, as signifying the concept of the intellect. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 10): Whoever can understand the word, not only before it is sounded, but also before thought has clothed it with imaginary sound, can already see some likeness of that Word of Whom it is said: In the beginning was the Word. The concept itself of the heart has of its own nature to proceed from something other than itself—namely, from the knowledge of the one conceiving. Hence Word, according as we use the term strictly of God, signifies something proceeding from another; which belongs to the nature of personal terms in God, inasmuch as the divine persons are distinguished by origin (Q. XXVII., AA. 3, 4, 5). Hence the term Word, according as we use the term strictly of God, is to be taken as said not essentially, but personally.

Reply Obj. 1. The Arians, who sprang from Origen, declared that the Son differed in substance from the Father. Hence, they endeavoured to maintain that when the Son of God is called the Word, this is not to be understood in a strict sense; lest the idea of the Word proceeding should compel them to confess that the Son of God is of the same substance as the Father. For the interior word proceeds in such a manner from the one who pronounces it, as to remain within him. But supposing Word to be said metaphorically of God, we must still admit Word in its strict sense. For if a thing be called a word metaphorically, this can only be by reason of some manifestation; either it makes something manifest as a word, or it is manifested by a word. If manifested by a word, there must exist a word whereby it is manifested. If it is called a word because it exteriorly manifests, what it exteriorly manifests cannot be Edition: current; Page: [86] called word except in as far as it signifies the interior concept of the mind, which anyone may also manifest by exterior signs. Therefore, although Word may be sometimes said of God metaphorically, nevertheless we must also admit Word in the proper sense, and which is said personally.

Reply Obj. 2. Nothing belonging to the intellect can be applied to God personally, except word alone; for word alone signifies that which emanates from another. For what the intellect forms in its conception is the word. Now, the intellect itself, according as it is made actual by the intelligible species, is considered absolutely; likewise the act of understanding which is to the actual intellect what existence is to actual being; since the act of understanding does not signify an act going out from the intelligent agent, but an act remaining in the agent. Therefore when we say that word is knowledge, the term knowledge does not mean the act of a knowing intellect, or any one of its habits, but stands for what the intellect conceives by knowing. Hence also Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 1) that the Word is begotten wisdom; for it is nothing but the concept of the Wise One; and in the same way It can be called begotten knowledge. Thus can also be explained how to speak is in God to see by thought, forasmuch as the Word is conceived by the gaze of the divine thought. Still the term thought does not properly apply to the Word of God. For Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 16): Therefore do we speak of the Word of God, and not of the Thought of God, lest we believe that in God there is something unstable, now assuming the form of Word, now putting off that form and remaining latent and as it were formless. For thought consists properly in the search after truth, and this has no place in God. But when the intellect attains to the form of truth, it does not think, but perfectly contemplates the truth. Hence Anselm (loc. cit.) takes thought in an improper sense for contemplation.

Reply Obj. 3. As, properly speaking, Word in God is said personally, and not essentially, so likewise is to speak. Hence, as the Word is not common to the Father, Son, Edition: current; Page: [87] and Holy Ghost, so it is not true that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one speaker. So Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 1): He who speaks in that co-eternal Word is understood as not alone in God, but as being with that very Word, without which, forsooth, He would not be speaking. On the other hand, to be spoken belongs to each Person, for not only is the word spoken, but also the thing understood or signified by the word. Therefore in this manner to one person alone in God does it belong to be spoken in the same way as a word is spoken; whereas in the way whereby a thing is spoken as being understood in the word, it belongs to each Person to be spoken. For the Father, by understanding Himself, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and all other things comprised in this knowledge, conceives the Word; so that thus the whole Trinity is spoken in the Word; and likewise also all creatures: as the intellect of a man by the word he conceives in the act of understanding a stone, speaks a stone. Anselm took the term speak improperly for the act of understanding; whereas they really differ from each other; for to understand means only the habitude of the intelligent agent to the thing understood, in which habitude no trace of origin is conveyed, but only a certain information of our intellect; forasmuch as our intellect is made actual by the form of the thing understood. In God, however, it means complete identity, because in God the intellect and the thing understood are altogether the same, as was proved above (Q. XIV., AA. 4, 5). Whereas to speak means chiefly the habitude to the word conceived; for to speak is nothing but to utter a word. But by means of the word it imports a habitude to the thing understood which in the word uttered is manifested to the one who understands. Thus, only the Person who utters the Word is speaker in God, although each Person understands and is understood, and consequently is spoken by the Word.

Reply Obj. 4. The term word is there taken figuratively, as the thing signified or effected by word is called word. For thus creatures are said to do the word of God, as executing any effect, whereto they are ordained from the word Edition: current; Page: [88] conceived of the divine wisdom; as anyone is said to do the word of the king when he does the work to which he is appointed by the king’s word.

Second Article.
WHETHER ‘WORD’ IS THE SON’S PROPER NAME?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that Word is not the proper name of the Son. For the Son is a subsisting person in God. But word does not signify a subsisting thing, as appears in ourselves. Therefore word cannot be the proper name of the person of the Son.

Obj. 2. Further, the word proceeds from the speaker by being uttered. Therefore if the Son is properly the word, He proceeds from the Father by way only of utterance; which is the heresy of Valentine; as appears from Augustine (De Hæres. xi.).

Obj. 3. Further, every proper name of a person signifies some property of that person. Therefore, if the Word is the Son’s proper name, it signifies some property of His; and thus there will be several more properties in God than those above mentioned.

Obj. 4. Further, Whoever understands conceives a word in the act of understanding. But the Son understands. Therefore some word belongs to the Son: and consequently to be Word is not proper to the Son.

Obj. 5. Further, it is said of the Son (Heb. i. 3): Bearing all things by the word of His power; whence Basil infers (Cont. Eunom. v. 11) that the Holy Ghost is the Son’s Word. Therefore to be Word is not proper to the Son.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 11): By Word we understand the Son alone.

I answer that, Word, said of God in its proper sense, is used personally, and is the proper name of the person of the Son. For it signifies an emanation of the intellect: and the person Who proceeds in God, by way of emanation Edition: current; Page: [89] of the intellect, is called the Son; and this procession is called generation, as we have shown above (Q. XXVII., A. 2). Hence it follows that the Son alone is properly called Word in God.

Reply Obj. 1. To be and to understand are not the same in us. Hence that which in us has intellectual being, does not belong to our nature. But in God to be and to understand are one and the same: hence the Word of God is not an accident in Him, or an effect of His; but belongs to His very nature. And therefore it must needs be something subsistent; for whatever is in the nature of God subsists; and so Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. i. 18) that the Word of God is substantial and has a hypostatic being; but other words (as our own) are activities of the soul.

Reply Obj. 2. The error of Valentine was condemned, not as the Arians pretended, because he asserted that the Son was born by being uttered, as Hilary relates (De Trin. vi.); but on account of the different mode of utterance proposed by its author, as appears from Augustine (De Hæres., loc. cit.).

Reply Obj. 3. In the term Word the same property is comprised as in the name Son. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 11): Word and Son express the same. For the Son’s nativity, which is His personal property, is signified by different names, which are attributed to the Son to express His perfection in various ways. To show that He is of the same nature as the Father, He is called the Son; to show that He is co-eternal, He is called the Splendour; to show that He is altogether like, He is called the Image; to show that He is begotten immaterially, He is called the Word. All these truths cannot be expressed by only one name.

Reply Obj. 4. To be intelligent belongs to the Son, in the same way as it belongs to Him to be God, since to understand is said of God essentially, as stated above, (Q. XIV., AA. 2, 4). Now the Son is God begotten, and not God begetting; and hence He is intelligent, not as producing a Word, but as the Word proceeding; forasmuch as in God the Word proceeding does not differ really Edition: current; Page: [90] from the divine intellect, but is distinguished from the principle of the Word only by relation.

Reply Obj. 5. When it is said of the Son, Bearing all things by the word of His power: word is taken figuratively for the effect of the Word. Hence a gloss says that word is here taken to mean command; inasmuch as by the effect of the power of the Word, things are kept in being, as also by the effect of the power of the Word things are brought into being. Basil speaks widely and figuratively in applying Word to the Holy Ghost; in the sense perhaps that everything that makes a person known may be called his word, and so in that way the Holy Ghost may be called the Son’s Word, because He manifests the Son.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE NAME ‘WORD’ IMPORTS RELATION TO CREATURES?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the name Word does not import relation to creatures. For every name that connotes some effect in creatures, is said of God essentially. But Word is not said essentially, but personally. Therefore Word does not import relation to creatures.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever imports relation to creatures is said of God in time; as Lord and Creator. But Word is said of God from eternity. Therefore it does not import relation to the creature.

Obj. 3. Further, Word imports relation to the source whence it proceeds. Therefore if it imports relation to the creature, it follows that the Word proceeds from the creature.

Obj. 4. Further, Ideas (in God) are many according to their various relations to creatures. Therefore if Word imports relation to creatures, it follows that in God there is not one Word only, but many.

Obj. 5. Further, if Word imports relation to the creature, this can only be because creatures are known by God. But Edition: current; Page: [91] God does not know beings only; He knows also non-beings. Therefore in the Word are implied relations to non-beings; which appears to be false.

On the contrary, Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii., qu. 63), that the name Word signifies not only relation to the Father, but also relation to those beings which are made through the Word, by His operative power.

I answer that, Word implies relation to creatures. For God by knowing Himself, knows every creature. Now the word conceived in the mind is representative of everything that is actually understood. Hence there are in ourselves different words for the different things which we understand. But because God by one act understands Himself and all things, His one only Word is expressive not only of the Father, but of all creatures.

And as the knowledge of God is only cognitive as regards God, whereas as regards creatures, it is both cognitive and operative, so the Word of God is only expressive of what is in God the Father, but is both expressive and operative of creatures; and therefore it is said (Ps. xxxii. 9): He spake, and they were made; because in the Word is implied the operative idea of what God makes.

Reply Obj. 1. The nature is also included indirectly in the name of the person; for person is an individual substance of a rational nature. Therefore the name of a divine person, as regards the personal relation, does not imply relation to the creature, but it is implied in what belongs to the nature. Yet there is nothing to prevent its implying relation to creatures, so far as the essence is included in its meaning: for as it properly belongs to the Son to be the Son, so it properly belongs to Him to be God begotten, or the Creator begotten; and in this way the name Word imports relation to creatures.

Reply Obj. 2. Since the relations result from actions, some names import the relation of God to creatures, which relation follows on the action of God which passes into some exterior effect, as to create and to govern; and the like are applied to God in time. But others import a relation which follows from an action which does not pass into an exterior Edition: current; Page: [92] effect, but abides in the agent—as to know and to will: such are not applied to God in time; and this kind of relation to creatures is implied in the name of the Word. Nor is it true that all names which import the relation of God to creatures are applied to Him in time; but only those names are applied in time which import relation following on the action of God passing into exterior effect.

Reply Obj. 3. Creatures are known to God not by a knowledge derived from the creatures themselves, but by His own essence. Hence it is not necessary that the Word should proceed from creatures, although the Word is expressive of creatures.

Reply Obj. 4. The name of Idea is imposed chiefly to signify relation to creatures; and therefore it is applied in a plural sense to God; and it is not said personally. But the name of Word is imposed chiefly to signify relation to the speaker, and consequently, relation to creatures, inasmuch as God, by understanding Himself, understands every creature; and so there is only one Word in God, and that a personal one.

Reply Obj. 5. God’s knowledge of non-beings and God’s Word about non-beings are the same; because the Word of God contains no less than does the knowledge of God, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 14). Nevertheless the Word is expressive and operative of beings, but is expressive and manifestive of non-beings.

Edition: current; Page: [93]

QUESTION XXXV.: OF THE IMAGE.
(In Two Articles.)

We next inquire concerning the Image: about which there are two points of inquiry: (1) Whether Image in God is said personally? (2) Whether this name belongs to the Son alone?

First Article.
WHETHER IMAGE IN GOD IS SAID PERSONALLY?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that image is not said personally of God. For Augustine (Fulgentius—De Fide ad Petrum i.) says, The Godhead of the Holy Trinity and the Image whereunto man is made are one. Therefore Image is said of God essentially, and not personally.

Obj. 2. Further, Hilary says (De Synod.): An image is a like species of that which it represents. But species or form is said of God essentially. Therefore so also is Image.

Obj. 3. Further, Image is derived from imitation, which implies before and after. But in the divine persons there is no before and after. Therefore Image cannot be a personal name in God.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 1): What is more absurd than to say that an image is referred to itself? Therefore the Image in God is a relation, and is thus a personal name.

I answer that, Image includes the idea of similitude. Still, not any kind of similitude suffices for the notion of image, but only similitude of species, or at least of some specific sign. In corporeal things the specific sign consists Edition: current; Page: [94] chiefly in the figure. For we see that the species of different animals are of different figures; but not of different colours. Hence if the colour of anything is depicted on a wall, this is not called an image unless the figure is likewise depicted. Further, neither the similitude of species nor of figure is enough for an image, which requires also the idea of origin; because, as Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii., qu. 74): One egg is not the image of another, because it is not derived from it. Therefore for a true image it is required that one proceeds from another like to it in species, or at least in specific sign. Now whatever imports procession or origin in God, belongs to the persons. Hence the name Image is a personal name.

Reply Obj. 1. Image, properly speaking, means whatever proceeds forth in likeness to another. That to the likeness of which anything proceeds, is properly speaking called the exemplar, and is improperly called the image. Nevertheless Augustine (Fulgentius) uses the name of Image in this sense when he says that the divine nature of the Holy Trinity is the Image to whom man was made.

Reply Obj. 2. Species, as mentioned by Hilary in the definition of image, means the form derived from one thing to another. In this sense image is said to be the species of anything, as that which is assimilated to anything is called its form, inasmuch as it has a like form.

Reply Obj. 3. Imitation in God does not signify posteriority, but only assimilation.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE NAME OF IMAGE IS PROPER TO THE SON?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the name of Image is not proper to the Son; because, as Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. i. 18), The Holy Ghost is the Image of the Son. Therefore Image does not belong to the Son alone.

Obj. 2. Further, Similitude in expression belongs to the nature of an image, as Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 74). But this belongs to the Holy Ghost, Who proceeds Edition: current; Page: [95] from another by way of similitude. Therefore the Holy Ghost is an Image; and so to be Image does not belong to the Son alone.

Obj. 3. Further, man is also called the image of God, according to 1 Cor. xi. 7, The man ought not to cover his head, for he is the image and the glory of God. Therefore Image is not proper to the Son.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 2): The Son alone is the Image of the Father.

I answer that, The Greek Doctors commonly say that the Holy Ghost is the Image both of the Father and of the Son; but the Latin Doctors attribute the name Image to the Son alone. For it is not found in the canonical Scripture except as applied to the Son; as in the words, Who is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creatures (Col. i. 15); and again: Who being the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance (Heb. i. 3).

Some explain this by the fact that the Son agrees with the Father, not in nature only, but also in the notion of principle: whereas the Holy Ghost agrees neither with the Son, nor with the Father in any notion. This, however, does not seem to suffice. Because as it is not by reason of the relations that we consider either equality or inequality in God, as Augustine says (De Trin. v. 6), so neither (by reason thereof do we consider) that similitude which is essential to image. Hence others say that the Holy Ghost cannot be called the Image of the Son, because there cannot be an image of an image; nor of the Father, because again the image must be immediately related to that of which it is the image; and the Holy Ghost is related to the Father through the Son; nor again is He the Image of the Father and the Son, because then there would be one image of two; which is impossible. Hence it follows that the Holy Ghost is in no way an Image. But this is no proof: for the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, as we shall explain further on (Q. XXXVI., A. 4). Hence there is nothing to prevent there being one Image of the Father and of the Son, inasmuch as they are one; since even man is one image of the whole Trinity.

Edition: current; Page: [96]

Therefore we must explain the matter otherwise by saying that, as the Holy Ghost, although by His procession He receives the nature of the Father, as the Son also receives it, nevertheless is not said to be born; so, although He receives the likeness of the Father, He is not called the Image; because the Son proceeds as word, and it is essential to word to be of like species with that whence it proceeds; whereas this does not essentially belong to love, although it may belong to that love which is the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as He is the divine love.

Reply Obj. 1. Damascene and the other Greek Doctors commonly employ the term image as meaning a perfect similitude.

Reply Obj. 2. Although the Holy Ghost is like to the Father and the Son, still it does not follow that He is the Image, as above explained.

Reply Obj. 3. The image of a thing may be found in something in two ways. In one way it is found in something of the same specific nature; as the image of the king is found in his son. In another way it is found in something of a different nature, as the king’s image on the coin. In the first sense the Son is the Image of the Father; in the second sense man is called the image of God; and therefore in order to express the imperfect character of the divine image in man, man is not simply called the image, but to the image, whereby is expressed a certain movement of tendency to perfection. But it cannot be said that the Son of God is to the image, because He is the perfect Image of the Father.

Edition: current; Page: [97]

QUESTION XXXVI.: OF THE PERSON OF THE HOLY GHOST.
(In Four Articles.)

We now proceed to treat of what belongs to the person of the Holy Ghost, Who is called not only the Holy Ghost, but also the Love and Gift of God. Concerning the name Holy Ghost, there are four points of treatment: (1) Whether this Name, Holy Ghost, is the proper name of one divine Person? (2) Whether that divine person Who is called the Holy Ghost, proceeds from the Father and the Son? (3) Whether He proceeds from the Father through the Son? (4) Whether the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost?

First Article.
WHETHER THIS NAME, ‘HOLY GHOST,’ IS THE PROPER NAME OF ONE DIVINE PERSON?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that this name, ‘Holy Ghost,’ is not the proper name of one divine person. For no name which is common to the three persons is the proper name of any one person. But this name of ‘Holy Ghost’* is common to the three persons; for Hilary (De Edition: current; Page: [98] Trin. viii.) shows that the Spirit of God sometimes means the Father, as in the words of Isaias (lxi. 1): The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; and sometimes the Son, as when the Son says: In the Spirit of God I cast out devils (Matt. xii. 28), showing that He cast out devils by His own natural power; and that sometimes it means the Holy Ghost, as in the words of Joel (ii. 28): I will pour out of My Spirit over all flesh. Therefore this name Holy Ghost is not the proper name of a divine person.

Obj. 2. Further, the names of the divine persons are relative terms, as Boëthius says (De Trin.). But this name Holy Ghost is not a relative term. Therefore this name is not the proper name of a divine Person.

Obj. 3. Further, because the Son is the name of a divine Person He cannot be called the Son of this one or of that. But the spirit is spoken of as of this or that man, as appears in the words, The Lord said to Moses, I will take of thy spirit and will give to them (Num. xi. 17), and also, The Spirit of Elias rested upon Eliseus (4 Kings ii. 15). Therefore Holy Ghost does not seem to be the proper name of a divine Person.

On the contrary, It is said (1 Jo. v. 7): There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. As Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 4): When we ask, Three what? we say, Three persons. Therefore the Holy Ghost is the name of a divine person.

I answer that, While there are two processions in God, one of these, the procession of love, has no proper name of its own, as stated above (Q. XXVII., A. 4, ad 3). Hence the relations also which follow from this procession are without a name (Q. XXVIII., A. 4): for which reason the Person proceeding in that manner has not a proper name. But as some names are accommodated by the usual mode of speaking to signify the aforesaid relations, as when we use the names of procession and spiration, which in the strict sense more fittingly signify the notional acts than the relations; so to signify the divine Person, Who proceeds by way of love, this name Holy Ghost is by the use of scriptural speech accommodated to Him. The appropriateness Edition: current; Page: [99] of this name may be shown in two ways. Firstly, from the fact that the person who is called Holy Ghost has something in common with the other Persons. For, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 17; v. 11), Because the Holy Ghost is common to both, He Himself is called that properly which both are called in common. For the Father also is a spirit, and the Son is a spirit; and the Father is holy, and the Son is holy. Secondly, from the proper signification of the name. For the name spirit in things corporeal seems to signify impulse and motion; for we call the breath and the wind by the term spirit. Now it is a property of love to move and impel the will of the lover towards the object loved. Further, holiness is attributed to whatever is ordered to God. Therefore because the divine person proceeds by way of the love whereby God is loved, that person is most properly named The Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 1. The expression Holy Spirit, if taken as two words, is applicable to the whole Trinity: because by spirit the immateriality of the divine substance is signified; for corporeal spirit is invisible, and has but little matter; hence we apply this term to all immaterial and invisible substances. And by adding the word holy we signify the purity of divine goodness. But if Holy Spirit be taken as one word, it is thus that the expression, in the usage of the Church, is accommodated to signify one of the three persons, the one who proceeds by way of love, for the reason above explained.

Reply Obj. 2. Although this name Holy Ghost does not indicate a relation, still it takes the place of a relative term, inasmuch as it is accommodated to signify a Person distinct from the others by relation only. Yet this name may be understood as including a relation, if we understand the Holy Spirit as being breathed (spiratus).

Reply Obj. 3. In the name Son we understand that relation only which is of something from a principle, in regard to that principle: but in the name Father we understand the relation of principle; and likewise in the name of Spirit inasmuch as it implies a moving power. But to Edition: current; Page: [100] no creature does it belong to be a principle as regards a divine person; but rather the reverse. Therefore we can say our Father, and our Spirit; but we cannot say our Son.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE HOLY GHOST PROCEEDS FROM THE SON?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son. For as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i.): We must not dare to say anything concerning the substantial Divinity except what has been divinely expressed to us by the sacred oracles. But in the Sacred Scripture we are not told that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son; but only that He proceeds from the Father, as appears from Jo. xv. 26: The Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father. Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.

Obj. 2. Further, In the creed of the council of Constantinople (Can. vii.) we read: We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Lifegiver, Who proceeds from the Father; with the Father and the Son to be adored and glorified. Therefore it should not be added in our Creed that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son; and those who added such a thing appear to be worthy of anathema.

Obj. 3. Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. i.): We say that the Holy Ghost is from the Father, and we name Him the Spirit of the Father; but we do not say that the Holy Ghost is from the Son, yet we name Him the Spirit of the Son. Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.

Obj. 4. Further, Nothing proceeds from that wherein it rests. But the Holy Ghost rests in the Son; for it is said in the legend of St. Andrew: Peace be to you and to all who believe in the one God the Father, and in His only Son our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the one Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father, and abiding in the Son. Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.

Edition: current; Page: [101]

Obj. 5. Further, the Son proceeds as the Word. But our breath (spiritus) does not seem to proceed in ourselves from our word. Therefore the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Son.

Obj. 6. Further, the Holy Ghost proceeds perfectly from the Father. Therefore it is superfluous to say that He proceeds from the Son.

Obj. 7. Further, the actual and the possible do not differ in things perpetual (Phys. iii., text 32), and much less so in God. But it is possible for the Holy Ghost to be distinguished from the Son, even if He did not proceed from Him. For Anselm says (De Process. Spir. Sancti ii.): The Son and the Holy Ghost have their Being from the Father; but each in a different way; one by Birth, the other by Procession, so that they are thus distinct from one another. And further on he says: For even if for no other reason were the Son and the Holy Spirit distinct, this alone would suffice. Therefore the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Son, without proceeding from Him.

On the contrary, Athanasius says: The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son; not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

I answer that, It must be said that the Holy Ghost is from the Son. For if He were not from Him, He could in no wise be personally distinguished from Him; as appears from what has been said above (QQ. XXVIII., A. 3; XXX., A. 2). For it cannot be said that the divine Persons are distinguished from each other in any absolute sense; for it would follow that there would not be one essence of the three persons: since everything that is spoken of God in an absolute sense, belongs to the unity of essence. Therefore it must be said that the divine persons are distinguished from each other only by the relations. Now the relations cannot distinguish the persons except forasmuch as they are opposite relations; which appears from the fact that the Father has two relations, by one of which He is related to the Son, and by the other to the Holy Ghost: but these are not opposite relations, and therefore they do not make two persons, but belong only to the one person Edition: current; Page: [102] of the Father. If therefore in the Son and the Holy Ghost there were two relations only, whereby each of them were related to the Father, these relations would not be opposite to each other, as neither would be the two relations whereby the Father is related to them. Hence, as the person of the Father is one, it would follow that the person of the Son and of the Holy Ghost would be one, having two relations opposed to the two relations of the Father. But this is heretical since it destroys the Faith in the Trinity. Therefore the Son and the Holy Ghost must be related to each other by opposite relations. Now there cannot be in God any relations opposed to each other, except relations of origin, as proved above (Q. XXVIII., A. 4). And opposite relations of origin are to be understood as of a principle, and of what is from the principle. Therefore we must conclude that it is necessary to say that either the Son is from the Holy Ghost; which no one says; or that the Holy Ghost is from the Son, as we confess.

Furthermore, the order of the procession of each one agrees with this conclusion. For it was said above (QQ. XXVII., AA. 2, 4; XXVIII., A. 4), that the Son proceeds by way of the intellect as Word, and the Holy Ghost by way of the will as Love. Now love must proceed from a word. For we do not love anything unless we apprehend it by a mental conception. Hence also in this way it is manifest that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.

We derive a knowledge of the same truth from the very order of nature itself. For we nowhere find that several things proceed from one without order except in those which differ only by their matter; as for instance one smith produces many knives distinct from each other materially, with no order to each other; whereas in things in which there is not only a material distinction we always find that some order exists in the multitude produced. Hence also in the order of creatures produced, the beauty of the divine wisdom is displayed. So if from the one Person of the Father, two persons proceed, the Son and the Holy Ghost, there must be some order between them. Nor can any other be assigned except the order of their nature, Edition: current; Page: [103] whereby one is from the other. Therefore it cannot be said that the Son and the Holy Ghost proceed from the Father in such a way as that neither of them proceeds from the other, unless we admit in them a material distinction; which is impossible.

Hence also the Greeks themselves recognize that the procession of the Holy Ghost has some order to the Son. For they grant that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Son; and that He is from the Father through the Son. Some of them are said also to concede that He is from the Son; or that He flows from the Son, but not that He proceeds; which seems to come from ignorance or obstinacy. For a just consideration of the truth will convince anyone that the word procession is the one most commonly applied to all that denotes origin of any kind. For we use the term to describe any kind of origin; as when we say that a line proceeds from a point, a ray from the sun, a stream from a source, and likewise in everything else. Hence, granted that the Holy Ghost originates in any way from the Son, we can conclude that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.

Reply Obj. 1. We ought not to say about God anything which is not found in Holy Scripture either explicitly or implicitly. But although we do not find it verbally expressed in Holy Scripture that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, still we do find it in the sense of Scripture, especially where the Son says, speaking of the Holy Ghost, He will glorify Me, because He shall receive of Mine (Jo. xvi. 14). It is also a rule of Holy Scripture that whatever is said of the Father, applies to the Son, although there be added an exclusive term; except only as regards what belongs to the opposite relations, whereby the Father and the Son are distinguished from each other. For when the Lord says, No one knoweth the Son, but the Father, the idea of the Son knowing Himself is not excluded. So therefore when we say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, even though it be added that He proceeds from the Father alone, the Son would not thereby be at all excluded; because as regards being the principle of the Holy Edition: current; Page: [104] Ghost, the Father and the Son are not opposed to each other, but only as regards the fact that one is the Father, and the other is the Son.

Reply Obj. 2. In every council of the Church a symbol of faith has been drawn up to meet some prevalent error condemned in the council at that time. Hence subsequent councils are not to be described as making a new symbol of faith; but what was implicitly contained in the first symbol was explained by some addition directed against rising heresies. Hence in the decision of the council of Chalcedon it is declared that those who were congregated together in the council of Constantinople, handed down the doctrine about the Holy Ghost, not implying that there was anything wanting in the doctrine of their predecessors who had gathered together at Nicæa, but explaining what those fathers had understood of the matter. Therefore, because at the time of the ancient councils the error of those who said that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son had not arisen, it was not necessary to make any explicit declaration on that point; whereas, later on, when certain errors rose up, in another council* assembled in the west, the matter was explicitly defined by the authority of the Roman Pontiff, by whose authority also the ancient councils were summoned and confirmed. Nevertheless the truth was contained implicitly in the belief that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father.

Reply Obj. 3. The Nestorians were the first to introduce the error that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Son, as appears in a Nestorian creed condemned in the council of Ephesus. This error was embraced by Theodoric the Nestorian, and several others after him, among whom was also Damascene. Hence, in that point his opinion is not to be held. Although, too, it has been asserted by some that while Damascene did not confess that the Holy Ghost was from the Son, neither do those words of his express a denial thereof.

Reply Obj. 4. When the Holy Ghost is said to rest or abide in the Son, it does not mean that He does not Edition: current; Page: [105] proceed from Him; for the Son also is said to abide in the Father, although He proceeds from the Father. Also the Holy Ghost is said to rest in the Son as the love of the lover abides in the beloved; or in reference to the human nature of Christ, by reason of what is written: On whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, He it is who baptizes (Jo. i. 33).

Reply Obj. 5. The Word in God is not taken after the similitude of the vocal word, whence the breath (spiritus) does not proceed; for it would then be only metaphorical; but after the similitude of the mental word, whence proceeds love.

Reply Obj. 6. For the reason that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father perfectly, not only is it not superfluous to say He proceeds from the Son, but rather it is absolutely necessary. Forasmuch as one power belongs to the Father and the Son; and because whatever is from the Father, must be from the Son unless it be opposed to the property of filiation; for the Son is not from Himself, although He is from the Father.

Reply Obj. 7. The Holy Ghost is distinguished personally from the Son, inasmuch as the origin of the one is distinguished from the origin of the other; but the difference itself of origin comes from the fact that the Son is only from the Father, whereas the Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son; for otherwise the processions would not be distinguished from each other, as explained above, and in Q. XXVII.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE HOLY GHOST PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Father through the Son. For whatever proceeds from one through another, does not proceed immediately. Therefore, if the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, He does not proceed immediately from the Father; which seems to be unfitting.

Edition: current; Page: [106]

Obj. 2. Further, if the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, He does not proceed from the Son, except on account of the Father. But whatever causes a thing to be such is yet more so. Therefore He proceeds more from the Father than from the Son.

Obj. 3. Further, the Son has His being by generation. Therefore if the Holy Ghost is from the Father through the Son, it follows that the Son is first generated and afterwards the Holy Ghost proceeds; and thus the procession of the Holy Ghost is not eternal, which is heretical.

Obj. 4. Further, when anyone acts through another, the same may be said conversely. For as we say that the king acts through the bailiff, so it can be said conversely that the bailiff acts through the king. But we can never say that the Son spirates the Holy Ghost through the Father. Therefore it can never be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son.

On the contrary, Hilary says (De Trin. xii.): Keep me, I pray, in this expression of my faith, that I may ever possess the Father—namely, Thyself: that I may adore Thy Son together with Thee: and that I may deserve Thy Holy Spirit, Who is through Thy Only Begotten.

I answer that, Whenever one is said to act through another, this preposition through points out, in what is covered by it, some cause or principle of that act. But since action is a mean between the agent and the thing done, sometimes that which is covered by the preposition through is the cause of the action, as proceeding from the agent; and in that case it is the cause of why the agent acts, whether it be a final cause or a formal cause, whether it be effective or motive. It is a final cause when we say, for instance, that the artisan works through love of gain. It is a formal cause when we say that he works through his art. It is a motive cause when we say that he works through the command of another. Sometimes, however, that which is covered by this preposition through is the cause of the action regarded as terminated in the thing done; as, for instance, when we say, the artisan acts through the mallet, for this does not mean that the mallet is the cause why the Edition: current; Page: [107] artisan acts, but that it is the cause why the thing made proceeds from the artisan, and that it has even this effect from the artisan. This is why it is sometimes said that this preposition through sometimes denotes direct authority, as when we say, the king works through the bailiff; and sometimes indirect authority, as when we say, the bailiff works through the king.

Therefore, because the Son receives from the Father that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him, it can be said that the Father spirates the Holy Ghost through the Son, or that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father through the Son, which has the same meaning.

Reply Obj. 1. In every action two things are to be considered, the suppositum acting, and the power whereby it acts; as, for instance, fire heats through heat. So if we consider in the Father and the Son the power whereby they spirate the Holy Ghost, there is no mean, for this is one and the same power. But if we consider the persons themselves spirating, then, as the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father and from the Son, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father immediately, as from Him, and mediately, as from the Son; and thus He is said to proceed from the Father through the Son. So also did Abel proceed immediately from Adam, inasmuch as Adam was his father; and mediately, as Eve was his mother, who proceeded from Adam; although, indeed, this example of a material procession is inept to signify the immaterial procession of the divine persons.

Reply Obj. 2. If the Son received from the Father a numerically distinct power for the spiration of the Holy Ghost, it would follow that He would be a secondary and instrumental cause; and thus the Holy Ghost would proceed more from the Father than from the Son; whereas, on the contrary, the same spirative power belongs to the Father and to the Son; and therefore the Holy Ghost proceeds equally from both, although sometimes He is said to proceed principally or properly from the Father, because the Son has this power from the Father.

Reply Obj. 3. As the begetting of the Son is coeternal Edition: current; Page: [108] with the begetter (and hence the Father does not exist before begetting the Son), so the procession of the Holy Ghost is coeternal with His principle. Hence, the Son was not begotten before the Holy Ghost proceeded; but each of the operations is eternal.

Reply Obj. 4. When anyone is said to work through anything, the converse proposition is not always true. For we do not say that the mallet works through the carpenter; whereas we can say that the bailiff acts through the king, because it is the bailiff’s place to act, since he is master of his own act, but it is not the mallet’s place to act, but only to be made to act, and hence it is used only as an instrument. The bailiff is, however, said to act through the king, although this preposition through denotes a medium, for the more a suppositum is prior in action, so much the more is its power immediate as regards the effect, inasmuch as the power of the first cause joins the second cause to its effect. Hence also first principles are said to be immediate in the demonstrative sciences. Therefore, so far as the bailiff is a medium according to the order of the subject’s acting, the king is said to work through the bailiff; but according to the order of powers, the bailiff is said to act through the king, forasmuch as the power of the king gives the bailiff’s action its effect. Now there is no order of power between Father and Son, but only order of supposita; and hence we say that the Father spirates through the Son; and not conversely.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE FATHER AND THE SON ARE ONE PRINCIPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Father and the Son are not one principle of the Holy Ghost. For the Holy Ghost does not proceed from the Father and the Son as they are one; not as they are one in nature, for the Holy Ghost would in that way proceed from Himself, as He is one in nature with Them; nor again inasmuch as they are united Edition: current; Page: [109] in any one property, for it is clear that one property cannot belong to two subjects. Therefore the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as distinct from one another. Therefore the Father and the Son are not one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2. Further, in this proposition the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, we do not designate personal unity, because in that case the Father and the Son would be one person; nor again do we designate the unity of property, because if one property were the reason of the Father and the Son being one principle of the Holy Ghost, similarly, on account of His two properties, the Father would be two principles of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, which cannot be admitted. Therefore the Father and the Son are not one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 3. Further, the Son is not one with the Father more than is the Holy Ghost. But the Holy Ghost and the Father are not one principle as regards any other divine person. Therefore neither are the Father and the Son.

Obj. 4. Further, if the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, this one is either the Father or it is not the Father. But we cannot assert either of these positions because if the one is the Father, it follows that the Son is the Father; and if the one is not the Father, it follows that the Father is not the Father. Therefore we cannot say that the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 5. Further, if the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, it seems necessary to say, conversely, that the one principle of the Holy Ghost is the Father and the Son. But this seems to be false; for this word principle stands either for the person of the Father, or for the person of the Son; and in either sense it is false. Therefore this proposition also is false, that the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 6. Further, unity in substance makes identity. So if the Father and the Son are the one principle of the Holy Ghost, it follows that they are the same principle; which Edition: current; Page: [110] is denied by many. Therefore we cannot grant that the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 7. Further, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are called one Creator, because they are the one principle of the creature. But the Father and the Son are not one, but two Spirators, as many assert; and this agrees also with what Hilary says (De Trin. ii) that the Holy Ghost is to be confessed as proceeding from Father and Son as authors. Therefore the Father and the Son are not one principle of the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. v. 14) that the Father and the Son are not two principles, but one principle of the Holy Ghost.

I answer that, The Father and the Son are in everything one, wherever there is no distinction between them of opposite relation. Hence since there is no relative opposition between them as the principle of the Holy Ghost it follows that the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost.

Some, however, assert that this proposition is incorrect: The Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, because, they declare, since the word principle in the singular number does not signify person, but property, it must be taken as an adjective; and forasmuch as an adjective cannot be modified by another adjective, it cannot properly be said that the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost unless one be taken as an adverb, so that the meaning should be: They are one principle—that is, in one and the same way. But then it might be equally right to say that the Father is two principles of the Son and of the Holy Ghost—namely, in two ways. Therefore we must say that, although this word principle signifies a property, it does so after the manner of a substantive, as do the words father and son even in things created. Hence it takes its number from the form that it signifies, like other substantives. Therefore, as the Father and the Son are one God, by reason of the unity of the form that is signified by this word God; so they are Edition: current; Page: [111] one principle of the Holy Ghost by reason of the unity of the property that is signified in this word principle.

Reply Obj. 1. If we consider the spirative power, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as they are one in the spirative power, which in a certain way signifies the nature with the property, as we shall see later (ad 7). Nor is there any reason against one property being in two supposita that possess one common nature. But if we consider the supposita of the spiration, then we may say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as distinct; for He proceeds from them as the unitive love of both.

Reply Obj. 2. In the proposition the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, one property is designated which is the form signified by the term. It does not thence follow that by reason of the several properties the Father can be called several principles, for this would imply in Him a plurality of subjects.

Reply Obj. 3. It is not by reason of relative properties that we speak of similitude or dissimilitude in God, but by reason of the essence. Hence, as the Father is not more like to Himself than He is to the Son; so likewise neither is the Son more like to the Father than is the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 4. These two propositions, The Father and the Son are one principle which is the Father, or, one principle which is not the Father, are not mutually contradictory; and hence it is not necessary to assert one or other of them. For when we say the Father and the Son are one principle, this word principle has not determinate supposition; but rather it stands indeterminately for two persons together. Hence there is a fallacy of figure of speech as the argument concludes from the indeterminate to the determinate.

Reply Obj. 5. This proposition is also true:—The one principle of the Holy Ghost is the Father and the Son; because the word principle does not stand for one person only, but indistinctly for the two persons as above explained.

Reply Obj. 6. There is no reason against saying that the Edition: current; Page: [112] Father and the Son are the same principle, because the word principle stands confusedly and indistinctly for the two Persons together.

Reply Obj. 7. Some say that although the Father and the Son are one principle of the Holy Ghost, there are two spirators, by reason of the distinction of supposita, as also there are two spirating, because acts refer to subjects. Yet this does not hold good as to the name Creator; because the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as from two distinct persons, as above explained; whereas the creature proceeds from the three persons not as distinct persons, but as united in essence. It seems, however, better to say that because spirating is an adjective, and spirator a substantive, we can say that the Father and the Son are two spirating, by reason of the plurality of the supposita, but not two spirators by reason of the one spiration. For adjectival words derive their number from the supposita, but substantives from themselves, according to the form signified. As to what Hilary says, that the Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son as His authors, this is to be explained in the sense that the substantive here stands for the adjective.

Edition: current; Page: [113]

QUESTION XXXVII.: OF THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST—LOVE.
(In Two Articles.)

We now inquire concerning the name Love, on which arise two points for consideration: (1) Whether it is the proper name of the Holy Ghost? (2) Whether the Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost?

First Article.
WHETHER ‘LOVE’ IS THE PROPER NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that Love is not the proper name of the Holy Ghost. For Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 17): As the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are called Wisdom, and are not three Wisdoms, but one; I know not why the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost should not be called Charity, and all together one Charity. But no name which is predicated in the singular of each person and of all together, is a proper name of a person. Therefore this name, Love, is not the proper name of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2. Further, the Holy Ghost is a subsisting person, but love is not used to signify a subsisting person, but rather an action passing from the lover to the beloved. Therefore Love is not the proper name of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 3. Further, Love is the bond between lovers, for as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.): Love is a unitive force. But a bond is a medium between what it joins together, not something proceeding from them. Therefore, since the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as Edition: current; Page: [114] was shown above (Q. XXXVI., A. 2), it seems that He is not the Love or bond of the Father and the Son.

Obj. 4. Further, Love belongs to every lover. But the Holy Ghost is a lover: therefore He has love. So if the Holy Ghost is Love, He must be love of love, and spirit from spirit; which is not admissible.

On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. xxx. in Pentecost.): The Holy Ghost Himself is Love.

I answer that, The name Love in God can be taken essentially and personally. If taken personally it is the proper name of the Holy Ghost; as Word is the proper name of the Son.

To see this, we must know that since, as shown above (Q. XXVII., AA. 2, 3, 4, 5), there are two processions in God, one by way of the intellect, which is the procession of the Word, and another by way of the will, which is the procession of Love; forasmuch as the former is the more known to us, we have been able to apply more suitable names to express our various considerations as regards that procession, but not as regards the procession of the will. Hence, we are obliged to employ circumlocution as regards the person Who proceeds, and the relations following from this procession which are called procession and spiration, as stated above (Q. XXVII., A. 4, ad 3), and yet express the origin rather than the relation, in the strict sense of the term. Nevertheless we must consider them in respect of each procession simply. For as when a thing is understood by anyone, there results in the one who understands a conception of the object understood, which conception we call word; so when anyone loves an object, a certain impression results, so to speak, of the thing loved in the affection of the lover; by reason of which the object loved is said to be in the lover; as also the thing understood is in the one who understands; so that when anyone understands and loves himself he is in himself, not only by real identity, but also as the object understood is in the one who understands, and the thing loved is in the lover. As regards the intellect, however, words have been found to describe the mutual relation of the one who understands Edition: current; Page: [115] to the object understood, as appears in the word to understand; and other words are used to express the procession of the intellectual conception—namely, to speak, and word. Hence in God, to understand is applied only to the essence; because it does not import relation to the Word that proceeds; whereas Word is said personally, because it signifies what proceeds; and the term to speak is a notional term as importing the relation of the principle of the Word to the Word Himself. On the other hand, on the part of the will, with the exception of the words dilection and love, which express the relation of the lover to the object loved, there are no other terms in use, which express the relation of the impression or affection of the object loved, produced in the lover by the fact that he loves—to the principle of that impression, or vice versa. And therefore, on account of the poverty of our vocabulary, we express these relations by the words love and dilection: just as if we were to call the Word intelligence conceived, or wisdom begotten.

It follows that so far as love means only the relation of the lover to the object loved, love and to love are said of the essence, as understanding and to understand; but, on the other hand, so far as these words are used to express the relation to its principle, of what proceeds by way of love, and vice versa, so that by love is understood the love proceeding, and by to love is understood the spiration of the love proceeding, in that sense love is the name of the person, and to love is a notional term, as to speak and to beget.

Reply Obj. 1. Augustine is there speaking of charity as it means the divine essence, as was said above (here and Q. XXIV., A. 2 ad 4).

Reply Obj. 2. Although to understand, and to will, and to love signify actions passing on to their objects, nevertheless they are actions that remain in the agents, as stated above (Q. XIV., A. 4), yet in such a way that in the agent itself they import a certain relation to their object. Hence, love also in ourselves is something that abides in the lover, and the word of the heart is something abiding in the Edition: current; Page: [116] speaker; yet with a relation to the thing expressed by word, or loved. But in God, in whom there is nothing accidental, there is more than this; because both Word and Love are subsistent. Therefore, when we say that the Holy Ghost is the Love of the Father for the Son, or for something else; we do not mean anything that passes into another, but only the relation of love to the beloved; as also in the Word is imported the relation of the Word to the thing expressed by the Word.

Reply Obj. 3. The Holy Ghost is said to be the bond of the Father and Son, inasmuch as He is Love; because, since the Father loves Himself and the Son with one Love, and conversely, there is expressed in the Holy Ghost, as Love, the relation of the Father to the Son, and conversely, as that of the lover to the beloved. But from the fact that the Father and the Son mutually love one another, it necessarily follows that this mutual Love, the Holy Ghost, proceeds from both. As regards origin, therefore, the Holy Ghost is not the medium, but the third person in the Trinity; whereas as regards the aforesaid relation He is the bond between the two persons, as proceeding from both.

Reply Obj. 4. As it does not belong to the Son, though He understands, to produce a word, for it belongs to Him to understand as the word proceeding; so in like manner, although the Holy Ghost loves, taking Love as an essential term, still it does not belong to Him to spirate love, which is to take love as a notional term; because He loves essentially as love proceeding; but not as the one whence love proceeds.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE FATHER AND THE SON LOVE EACH OTHER BY THE HOLY GHOST?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Father and the Son do not love each other by the Holy Ghost. For Augustine (De Trin. vii. 1) proves that the Father is not wise by the Wisdom begotten. But as the Son is Wisdom begotten, Edition: current; Page: [117] so the Holy Ghost is the Love proceeding, as explained above (Q. XXVII., A. 3). Therefore the Father and the Son do not love each other by the Love proceeding—that is, by the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2. Further, in the proposition, The Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost, this word love is to be taken either essentially or notionally. But it cannot be true if taken essentially, because in the same way we might say that the Father understands by the Son; nor, again, if it is taken notionally, for then, in like manner, it might be said that the Father and the Son spirate by the Holy Ghost, or that the Father generates by the Son. Therefore in no way is this proposition true: The Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 3. Further, by the same love the Father loves the Son, and Himself, and us. But the Father does not love Himself by the Holy Ghost; for no notional act is reflected back on the principle of the act; since it cannot be said that the Father begets Himself, or that He spirates Himself. Therefore, neither can it be said that He loves Himself by the Holy Ghost, if to love is taken in a notional sense. Again, the love wherewith He loves us is not the Holy Ghost; because it imports a relation to creatures, and this belongs to the essence. Therefore this also is false: The Father loves the Son by the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 5): The Holy Ghost is He whereby the Begotten is loved by the one begetting and loves His Begetter.

I answer that, A difficulty about this question is objected to the effect that when we say, the Father loves the Son by the Holy Ghost, since the ablative is construed as denoting a cause, it seems to mean that the Holy Ghost is the principle of love to the Father and the Son; which cannot be admitted.

In view of this difficulty some have held that it is false, that the Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost; and they add that it was retracted by Augustine when he retracted its equivalent to the effect that the Father is wise by the Wisdom begotten. Others say that the Edition: current; Page: [118] proposition is inaccurate and ought to be expounded, as that the Father loves the Son by the Holy Ghost—that is, by His essential Love, which is appropriated to the Holy Ghost. Others further say that this ablative should be construed as importing a sign, so that it means, the Holy Ghost is the sign that the Father loves the Son; inasmuch as the Holy Ghost proceeds from them both, as Love. Others, again, say that this ablative must be construed as importing the relation of formal cause, because the Holy Ghost is the love whereby the Father and the Son formally love each other. Others, again, say that it should be construed as importing the relation of a formal effect; and these approach nearer to the truth.

To make the matter clear, we must consider that since a thing is commonly denominated from its forms, as white from whiteness, and man from humanity; everything whence anything is denominated, in this particular respect stands to that thing in the relation of form. So when I say, this man is clothed with a garment, the ablative is to be construed as having relation to the formal cause, although the garment is not the form. Now it may happen that a thing may be denominated from that which proceeds from it, not only as an agent is from its action, but also as from the term itself of the action—that is, the effect, when the effect itself is included in the idea of the action. For we say that fire warms by heating, although heating is not the heat which is the form of the fire, but is an action proceeding from the fire; and we say that a tree flowers with the flower, although the flower is not the tree’s form, but is the effect proceeding from the form. In this way, therefore, we must say that since in God to love is taken in two ways, essentially and notionally, when it is taken essentially, it means that the Father and the Son love each other not by the Holy Ghost, but by their essence. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 7): Who dares to say that the Father loves neither Himself, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, except by the Holy Ghost? The opinions first quoted are to be taken in this sense. But when the term Love is taken in a notional sense it means nothing else Edition: current; Page: [119] than to spirate love; just as to speak is to produce a word, and to flower is to produce flowers. As therefore we say that a tree flowers by its flower, so do we say that the Father, by the Word or the Son, speaks Himself, and His creatures; and that the Father and the Son love each other and us, by the Holy Ghost, or by Love proceeding.

Reply Obj. 1. To be wise or intelligent is taken only essentially in God; therefore we cannot say that the Father is wise or intelligent by the Son. But to love is taken not only essentially, but also in a notional sense; and in this way we can say that the Father and the Son love each other by the Holy Ghost, as was above explained.

Reply Obj. 2. When the idea of an action includes a determined effect, the principle of the action may be denominated both from the action, and from the effect; so we can say, for instance, that a tree flowers by its flowering and by its flower. When, however, the idea of an action does not include a determined effect, then in that case, the principle of the action cannot be denominated from the effect, but only from the action. For we do not say that the tree produces the flower by the flower, but by the production of the flower. So when we say, spirates or begets, this imports only a notional act. Hence we cannot say that the Father spirates by the Holy Ghost, or begets by the Son. But we can say that the Father speaks by the Word, as by the Person proceeding, and speaks by the speaking, as by a notional act; forasmuch as to speak imports a determinate person proceeding; since to speak means to produce word. Likewise to love, taken in a notional sense, means to produce love; and so it can be said that the Father loves the Son by the Holy Ghost, as by the person proceeding, and by Love itself as a notional act.

Reply Obj. 3. The Father loves not only the Son, but also Himself and us, by the Holy Ghost; because, as above explained, to love, taken in a notional sense, not only imports the production of a divine person, but also the person produced, by way of love, which has relation to the object loved. Hence, as the Father speaks Himself and Edition: current; Page: [120] every creature by His begotten Word, inasmuch as the Word begotten adequately represents the Father and every creature; so He loves Himself and every creature by the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as the Holy Ghost proceeds as the love of the primal goodness whereby the Father loves Himself and every creature. Thus it is evident that relation to the creature is implied both in the Word and in the proceeding Love, as it were in a secondary way, inasmuch as the divine truth and goodness are a principle of understanding and loving all creatures.

Edition: current; Page: [121]

QUESTION XXXVIII.: OF THE NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST, AS GIFT.
(In Two Articles.)

There now follows the consideration of the Gift; concerning which there are two points of inquiry: (1) Whether Gift can be a personal name? (2) Whether it is the proper name of the Holy Ghost?

First Article.
WHETHER ‘GIFT’ IS A PERSONAL NAME?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that Gift is not a personal name. For every personal name imports a distinction in God. But the name of Gift does not import a distinction in God; for Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 19): that the Holy Ghost is so given as God’s Gift, that He also gives Himself as God. Therefore Gift is not a personal name.

Obj. 2. Further, no personal name belongs to the divine essence. But the divine essence is the Gift which the Father gives to the Son, as Hilary says (De Trin. ix.). Therefore Gift is not a personal name.

Obj. 3. Further, according to Damascene (De Fide Orthod. iv. 19) there is no subjection nor service in the divine persons. But gift implies a subjection both as regards him to whom it is given, and as regards him by whom it is given. Therefore Gift is not a personal name.

Obj. 4. Further, Gift imports relation to the creature, and it thus seems to be said of God in time. But personal names are said of God from eternity; as Father, and Son. Therefore Gift is not a personal name.

Edition: current; Page: [122]

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 19): As the body of flesh is nothing but flesh; so the gift of the Holy Ghost is nothing but the Holy Ghost. But the Holy Ghost is a personal name; so also therefore is Gift.

I answer that, The word gift imports an aptitude for being given. And what is given has an aptitude or relation both to the giver and to that to which it is given. For it would not be given by anyone, unless it was his to give; and it is given to someone to be his. Now a divine person is said to belong to another, either by origin, as the Son belongs to the Father; or as possessed by another. But we are said to possess what we can freely use or enjoy as we please: and in this way a divine person cannot be possessed, except by a rational creature united to God. Other creatures can be moved by a divine person, not, however, in such a way as to be able to enjoy the divine person, and to use the effect thereof. The rational creature does sometimes attain thereto; as when it is made partaker of the divine Word and of the Love proceeding, so as freely to know God truly and to love God rightly. Hence the rational creature alone can possess the divine person. Nevertheless in order that it may possess Him in this manner, its own power avails nothing: hence this must be given it from above; for that is said to be given to us which we have from another source. Thus a divine person can be given, and can be a gift.

Reply Obj. 1. The name Gift imports a personal distinction, in so far as gift imports something belonging to another through its origin. Nevertheless, the Holy Ghost gives Himself, inasmuch as He is His own, and can use or rather enjoy Himself; as also a free man belongs to himself. And as Augustine says (In Jo. Tract. xxix.): What is more yours than yourself? Or we might say, and more fittingly, that a gift must belong in a way to the giver. But the phrase, this is this one’s, can be understood in several senses. In one way it means identity, as Augustine says (ibid.); and in that sense gift is the same as the giver, but not the same as the one to whom it is given. The Holy Ghost gives Himself in that sense. In another Edition: current; Page: [123] sense, a thing is another’s as a possession, or as a slave; and in that sense gift is essentially distinct from the giver; and the gift of God so taken is a created thing. In a third sense this is this one’s through its origin only; and in this sense the Son is the Father’s; and the Holy Ghost belongs to both. Therefore, so far as gift in this way signifies the possession of the giver, it is personally distinguished from the giver, and is a personal name.

Reply Obj. 2. The divine essence is the Father’s gift in the first sense, as being the Father’s by way of identity.

Reply Obj. 3. Gift as a personal name in God does not imply subjection, but only origin, as regards the giver; but as regards the one to whom it is given, it implies a free use, or enjoyment, as above explained.

Reply Obj. 4. Gift is not so called from being actually given, but from its aptitude to be given. Hence the divine person is called Gift from eternity, although He is given in time. Nor does it follow that it is an essential name because it imports relation to the creature; but that it includes something essential in its meaning; as the essence is included in the idea of person, as stated above (Q. XXXIV., A. 3).

Second Article.
WHETHER ‘GIFT’ IS THE PROPER NAME OF THE HOLY GHOST?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that Gift is not the proper name of the Holy Ghost. For the name Gift comes from being given. But, as Isaias says, A Son is given to us (ix. 6). Therefore to be Gift belongs to the Son, as well as to the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 2. Further, every proper name of a person signifies a property. But this word Gift does not signify a property of the Holy Ghost. Therefore Gift is not a proper name of the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 3. Further, the Holy Ghost can be called the spirit of a man, whereas He cannot be called the gift of any man, Edition: current; Page: [124] but God’s Gift only. Therefore Gift is not the proper name of the Holy Ghost.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20): Asto be born’ is, for the Son, to be from the Father, so, for the Holy Ghost, ‘to be the Gift of God’ is to proceed from Father and Son. But the Holy Ghost receives His proper name from the fact that He proceeds from Father and Son. Therefore Gift is the proper name of the Holy Ghost.

I answer that, Gift, taken personally in God, is the proper name of the Holy Ghost.

In proof of this we must know that a gift is properly an unreturnable giving, as Aristotle says (Top. iv. 4)i.e., a thing which is not given with the intention of a return—and it thus contains the idea of a gratuitous donation. Now, the reason of donation being gratuitous is love; since therefore do we give something to anyone gratuitously forasmuch as we wish him well. So what we first give him is the love whereby we wish him well. Hence it is manifest that love has the nature of a first gift, through which all free gifts are given. So since the Holy Ghost proceeds as love, as stated above (Q. XXVII., A. 4; Q. XXXVII., A. 1), He proceeds as the first gift. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 24): By the gift, which is the Holy Ghost, many particular gifts are portioned out to the members of Christ.

Reply Obj. 1. As the Son is properly called the Image because He proceeds by way of a word, whose nature it is to be the similitude of its principle, although the Holy Ghost also is like to the Father; so also, because the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father as love, He is properly called Gift, although the Son, too, is given. For that the Son is given is from the Father’s love, according to the words, God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son (Jo. iii. 16).

Reply Obj. 2. The name Gift involves the idea of belonging to the Giver through its origin; and thus it imports the property of the origin of the Holy Ghost—that is, His procession.

Edition: current; Page: [125]

Reply Obj. 3. Before a gift is given, it belongs only to the giver; but when it is given, it is his to whom it is given. Therefore, because Gift does not import the actual giving, it cannot be called a gift of man, but the Gift of God giving. When, however, it has been given, then it is the spirit of man, or a gift bestowed on man.

Edition: current; Page: [126]

QUESTION XXXIX.: OF THE PERSONS IN RELATION TO THE ESSENCE.
(In Eight Articles.)

Those things considered which belong to the divine persons absolutely, we next treat of what concerns the person in reference to the essence, to the properties, and to the notional acts; and of the comparison of these with each other.

As regards the first of these, there are eight points of inquiry: (1) Whether the essence in God is the same as the person? (2) Whether we should say that the three persons are of one essence? (3) Whether essential names should be predicated of the persons in the plural, or in the singular? (4) Whether notional adjectives, or verbs, or participles, can be predicated of the essential names taken in a concrete sense? (5) Whether the same can be predicated of essential names taken in the abstract? (6) Whether the names of the persons can be predicated of concrete essential names? (7) Whether essential attributes can be appropriated to the persons? (8) Which attributes should be appropriated to each person?

First Article.
WHETHER IN GOD THE ESSENCE IS THE SAME AS THE PERSON?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in God the essence is not the same as person. For whenever essence is the same as person or suppositum, there can be only one suppositum Edition: current; Page: [127] of one nature, as is clear in the case of all separate substances. For in those things which are really one and the same, one cannot be multiplied apart from the other. But in God there is one essence and three persons, as is clear from what is above expounded (Q. XXVIII., A. 3; Q. XXX., A. 2). Therefore essence is not the same as person.

Obj. 2. Further, simultaneous affirmation and negation of the same things in the same respect cannot be true. But affirmation and negation are true of essence and of person. For person is distinct, whereas essence is not. Therefore person and essence are not the same.

Obj. 3. Further, nothing can be subject to itself. But person is subject to essence; whence it is called suppositum or hypostasis. Therefore person is not the same as essence.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 7): When we say the person of the Father we mean nothing else but the substance of the Father.

I answer that, The truth of this question is quite clear if we consider the divine simplicity. For it was shown above (Q. III., A. 3) that the divine simplicity requires that in God essence is the same as suppositum, which in intellectual substances is nothing else than person. But a difficulty seems to arise from the fact that while the divine persons are multiplied, the essence nevertheless retains its unity. And because, as Boëthius says (De Trin. i.), relation multiplies the Trinity of persons, some have thought that in God essence and person differ, forasmuch as they held the relations to be adjacent; considering only in the relations the idea of reference to another, and not the relations as realities. But as it was shown above (Q. XXVIII., A. 2) in creatures relations are accidental, whereas in God they are the divine essence itself. Thence it follows that in God essence is not really distinct from person; and yet that the persons are really distinguished from each other. For person, as above stated (Q. XXIX., A. 4), signifies relation as subsisting in the divine nature. But relation as referred to the essence does not differ therefrom really, but only in our way of thinking; while as referred to an Edition: current; Page: [128] opposite relation, it has a real distinction by virtue of that opposition. Thus there are one essence and three persons.

Reply Obj. 1. There cannot be a distinction of suppositum in creatures by means of relations, but only by essential principles; because in creatures relations are not subsistent. But in God relations are subsistent, and so by reason of the opposition between them they distinguish the supposita; and yet the essence is not distinguished, because the relations themselves are not distinguished from each other so far as they are identified with the essence.

Obj. 2. As essence and person in God differ in our way of thinking, it follows that something can be denied of the one and affirmed of the other; and therefore, when we suppose the one, we need not suppose the other.

Obj. 3. Divine things are named by us after the way of created things, as above explained (Q. XIII., AA. 1, 3). And since created natures are individualized by matter which is the subject of the specific nature, it follows that individuals are called subjects, supposita, or hypostases. So the divine persons are named supposita or hypostases, but not as if there really existed any real supposition or subjection.

Second Article.
WHETHER IT MUST BE SAID THAT THE THREE PERSONS ARE OF ONE ESSENCE?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem not right to say that the three persons are of one essence. For Hilary says (De Synod.) that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are indeed three by substance, but one in harmony. But the substance of God is His essence. Therefore the three persons are not of one essence.

Obj. 2. Further, nothing is to be affirmed of God except what can be confirmed by the authority of Holy Writ, as appears from Dionysius (Div. Nom. i.). Now Holy Writ never says that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are of one essence: Therefore this should not be asserted.

Edition: current; Page: [129]

Obj. 3. Further, the divine nature is the same as the divine essence. It suffices therefore to say that the three persons are of one nature.

Obj. 4. Further, it is not usual to say that the person is of the essence; but rather that the essence is of the person. Therefore is does not seem fitting to say that the three persons are of one essence.

Obj. 5. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 6) that we do not say that the three persons are from one essence (ex una essentia), lest we should seem to indicate a distinction between the essence and the persons in God. But prepositions which imply transition, denote the oblique case. Therefore it is equally wrong to say that the three persons are of one essence (unius essentiæ).

Obj. 6. Further, nothing should be said of God which can be occasion of error. Now, to say that the three persons are of one essence or substance, furnishes occasion of error. For, as Hilary says (De Synod.): One substance predicated of the Father and the Son signifies either one subsistent, with two denominations; or one substance divided into two imperfect substances; or a third prior substance taken and assumed by the other two. Therefore it must not be said that the three persons are of one substance.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii.) that the word ὁμοούσιον, which the Council of Nicæa adopted against the Arians, means that the three persons are of one essence.

I answer that, As above explained (Q. XIII., AA. 1, 2), divine things are named by our intellect, not as they really are in themselves, for in that way it knows them not; but in a way that belongs to things created. And as in the objects of the senses, whence the intellect derives its knowledge, the nature of the species is made individual by the matter, and thus the nature is as the form, and the individual is the suppositum of the form; so also in God the essence is taken as the form of the three persons, according to our mode of signification. Now in creatures we say that every form belongs to that whereof it is the form; as Edition: current; Page: [130] the health and beauty of a man belongs to the man. But we do not say of that which has a form, that it belongs to the form, unless some adjective qualifies the form; as when we say: That woman is of a handsome figure, or: This man is of perfect virtue. In like manner, as in God the persons are multiplied, and the essence is not multiplied, we speak of one essence of the three persons, and three persons of the one essence, provided that these genitives be understood as designating the form.

Reply Obj. 1. Substance is here taken for the hypostasis, and not for the essence.

Reply Obj. 2. Although we may not find it declared in Holy Writ in so many words that the three persons are of one essence, nevertheless we find it so stated as regards the meaning; for instance, I and the Father are one (Jo. x. 30), and I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (ibid. 38); and there are many other texts of the same import.

Reply Obj. 3. Because nature designates the principle of action, while essence comes from being (essendo), things may be said to be of one nature which agree in some action, as all things which give heat; but only those things can be said to be of one essence which have one being. So the divine unity is better described by saying that the three persons are of one essence, than by saying they are of one nature.

Reply Obj. 4. Form, in the absolute sense, is wont to be designated as belonging to that of which it is the form, as we say the virtue of Peter. On the other hand, the thing having form is not wont to be designated as belonging to the form except when we wish to qualify or designate the form. In which case two genitives are required, one signifying the form, and the other signifying the determination of the form, as, for instance, when we say, Peter is of great virtue (magnœ virtutis), or else one genitive must have the force of two, as, for instance, he is a man of blood—that is, he is a man who sheds much blood (multi sanguinis). So, because the divine essence signifies a form as regards the person, it may properly be said that the essence is of the person; but we cannot say the converse, unless we add some term to designate the essence; as, for instance, the Edition: current; Page: [131] Father is a person of the divine essence; or, the three persons are of one essence.

Reply Obj. 5. The preposition from or out of does not designate the habitude of a formal cause, but rather the habitude of an efficient or material cause; which causes are in all cases distinguished from those things of which they are the causes. For nothing can be its own matter, nor its own active principle. Yet a thing may be its own form, as appears in all immaterial things. So, when we say, three persons of one essence, taking essence as having the habitude of form, we do not mean that essence is different from person, which we should mean if we said, three persons from the same essence.

Reply Obj. 6. As Hilary says (De Synod.): It would be prejudicial to holy things, if we had to do away with them, just because some do not think them holy. So if some misunderstand ὁμοούσιον, what is that to me, if I understand it rightly? . . . The oneness of nature does not result from division, or from union or from community of possession, but from one nature being proper to both Father and Son.

Third Article.
WHETHER ESSENTIAL NAMES SHOULD BE PREDICATED IN THE SINGULAR OF THE THREE PERSONS?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that essential names, as the name God, should not be predicated in the singular of the three persons, but in the plural. For as man signifies one that has humanity, so God signifies one that has Godhead. But the three persons are three who have Godhead. Therefore the three persons are three Gods.

Obj. 2. Further, Gen. i. 1, where it is said, In the beginning God created heaven and earth, the Hebrew original has Elohim, which may be rendered Gods or Judges: and this word is used on account of the plurality of persons. Therefore the three persons are several Gods, and not one God.

Obj. 3. Further, this word thing, when it is said Edition: current; Page: [132] absolutely, seems to belong to substance. But it is predicated of the three persons in the plural. For Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i. 5): The things that are the objects of our future glory are the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Therefore other essential names can be predicated in the plural of the three persons.

Obj. 4. Further, as this word God signifies a being who has Deity, so also this word person signifies a being subsisting in an intellectual nature. But we say there are three persons. So for the same reason we can say there are three Gods.

On the contrary, It is said (Deut. vi. 4): Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one God.

I answer that, Some essential names signify the essence after the manner of substantives; while others signify it after the manner of adjectives. Those which signify it as substantives are predicated of the three persons in the singular only, and not in the plural. Those which signify the essence as adjectives are predicated of the three persons in the plural. The reason of this is that substantives signify something by way of substance, while adjectives signify something by way of accident, which adheres to a subject. Now just as substance has existence of itself, so also it has of itself unity or multitude; wherefore the singularity or plurality of a substantive name depends upon the form signified by the name. But as accidents have their existence in a subject, so they have unity or plurality from their subject; and therefore the singularity and plurality of adjectives depends upon their supposita. In creatures, one form does not exist in several supposita except by unity of order, as the form of an ordered multitude. So if the names signifying such a form are substantives, they are predicated of many in the singular, but otherwise if they are adjectives. For we say that many men are a college, or an army, or a people; but we say that many men are collegians. Now in God the divine essence is signified by way of a form, as above explained (A. 2), which, indeed, is simple and supremely one, as shown above (QQ. III., A. 7; XI., A. 4). So, names Edition: current; Page: [133] which signify the divine essence in a substantive manner are predicated of the three persons in the singular, and not in the plural. This, then, is the reason why we say that Socrates, Plato, and Cicero are three men; whereas we do not say the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three Gods, but one God; forasmuch as in the three supposita of human nature there are three humanities, whereas in the three divine Persons there is but one divine essence. On the other hand, the names which signify essence in an adjectival manner are predicated of the three persons plurally, by reason of the plurality of supposita. For we say there are three existent or three wise beings, or three eternal, uncreated, and immense beings, if these terms are understood in an adjectival sense. But if taken in a substantive sense, we say one uncreated, immense, eternal being, as Athanasius declares.

Reply Obj. 1. Though the name God signifies a being having Godhead, nevertheless the mode of signification is different. For the name God is used substantively; whereas having Godhead is used adjectively. Consequently, although there are three having Godhead, it does not follow that there are three Gods.

Reply Obj. 2. Various languages have diverse modes of expression. So as by reason of the plurality of supposita the Greeks said three hypostases, so also in Hebrew Elohim is in the plural. We, however, do not apply the plural either to God or to substance, lest plurality be referred to the substance.

Reply Obj. 3. This word thing is one of the transcendentals. Whence, so far as it is referred to relation, it is predicated of God in the plural; whereas, so far as it is referred to the substance, it is predicated in the singular. So Augustine says, in the passage quoted, that the same Trinity is a thing supreme.

Reply Obj. 4. The form signified by the word person is not essence or nature, but personality. So, as there are three personalities—that is, three personal properties in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—it is predicated of the three, not in the singular, but in the plural.

Edition: current; Page: [134]

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE CONCRETE ESSENTIAL NAMES CAN STAND FOR THE PERSON?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the concrete, essential names cannot stand for the person, so that we can truly say God begot God. For, as the logicians say, a singular term signifies what it stands for. But this name God seems to be a singular term, for it cannot be predicated in the plural, as above explained (A. 3). Therefore, since it signifies the essence, it stands for essence, and not for person.

Obj. 2. Further, a term in the subject is not modified by a term in the predicate, as to its signification; but only as to the sense signified in the predicate. But when I say, God creates, this name God stands for the essence. So when we say God begot, this term God cannot by reason of the notional predicate, stand for person.

Obj. 3. Further, if this be true, God begot, because the Father generates; for the same reason this is true, God does not beget, because the Son does not beget. Therefore there is God who begets, and there is God who does not beget; and thus it follows that there are two Gods.

Obj. 4. Further, if God begot God, He begot either God, that is Himself, or another God. But He did not beget God, that is Himself; for, as Augustine says (De Trin. i. 1), nothing begets itself. Neither did He beget another God; as there is only one God. Therefore it is false to say, God begot God.

Obj. 5. Further, if God begot God, He begot either God who is the Father, or God who is not the Father. If God who is the Father, then God the Father was begotten. If God who is not the Father, then there is a God who is not God the Father: which is false. Therefore it cannot be said that God begot God.

On the contrary, In the Creed it is said, God of God.

I answer that, Some have said that this name God and the like, properly according to their nature, stand for the Edition: current; Page: [135] essence, but by reason of some notional adjunct are made to stand for the Person. This opinion apparently arose from considering the divine simplicity, which requires that in God, He who possesses and what is possessed be the same. So He who possesses Godhead, which is signified by the name God, is the same as Godhead. But when we consider the proper way of expressing ourselves, the mode of signification must be considered no less than the thing signified. Hence as this word God signifies the divine essence as in Him Who possesses it, just as the name man signifies humanity in a subject, others more truly have said that this word God, from its mode of signification, can, in its proper sense, stand for person, as does the word man. So this word God sometimes stands for the essence, as when we say God creates; because this predicate is attributed to the subject by reason of the form signified—that is, Godhead. But sometimes it stands for the person, either for only one, as when we say God begets, or for two, as when we say, God spirates; or for three, as when it is said: To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, etc. (1 Tim. i. 17).

Reply Obj. 1. Although this name God agrees with singular terms as regards the form signified not being multiplied; nevertheless it agrees also with general terms so far as the form signified is to be found in several supposita. So it need not always stand for the essence it signifies.

Reply Obj. 2. This holds good against those who say that the word God does not naturally stand for person.

Reply Obj. 3. The word God stands for the person in a different way from that in which this word man does; for since the form signified by this word man—that is, humanity—is really divided among its different subjects, it stands of itself for the person, even if there is no adjunct determining it to the person—that is, to a distinct subject. The unity or community of the human nature, however, is not a reality, but is only in the consideration of the mind. Hence this term man does not stand for the common nature, unless this is required by some adjunct, as when we say, Edition: current; Page: [136] man is a species; whereas the form signified by the name God — that is, the divine essence — is really one and common. So of itself it stands for the common nature, but by some adjunct it may be restricted so as to stand for the person. So, when we say, God generates, by reason of the notional act this name God stands for the person of the Father. But when we say, God does not generate, there is no adjunct to determine this name to the person of the Son, and hence the phrase means that generation is repugnant to the divine nature. If, however, something be added belonging to the person of the Son, this proposition, for instance, God begotten does not beget, is true. Consequently, it does not follow that there exists a God generator, and a God not generator; unless there be an adjunct pertaining to the persons; as, for instance, if we were to say, the Father is God the generator, and the Son is God the non-generator: and so it does not follow that there are many Gods; for the Father and the Son are one God, as was said above (A. 3).

Reply Obj. 4. This is false, the Father begot God, that is Himself, because the word Himself, as a reciprocal term, refers to the same suppositum. Nor is this contrary to what Augustine says (Ep. lxvi., ad Maxim.) that God the Father begot another self (alterum se), forasmuch as the word se is either in the ablative case, and then it means He begot another from Himself, or it indicates a single relation, and thus points to identity of nature. This is, however, either a figurative or an emphatic way of speaking, so that it would really mean, He begot another most like to Himself. Likewise also it is false to say, He begot another God, because although the Son is another than the Father, as above explained (Q. XXXI., A. 2), nevertheless it cannot be said that He is another God; forasmuch as this adjective another would be understood to apply to the substantive God; and thus the meaning would be that there is a distinction of Godhead. Yet this proposition He begot another God is tolerated by some, provided that another be taken as a substantive, and the word God be construed in apposition with it. This, however, is an inexact way of Edition: current; Page: [137] speaking, and to be avoided, for fear of giving occasion to error.

Reply Obj. 5. To say, God begot God Who is God the Father, is wrong, because since the word Father is construed in apposition to God, the word God is restricted to the person of the Father; so that it would mean, He begot God, Who is Himself the Father; and then the Father would be spoken of as begotten, which is false. Wherefore the negative of this proposition is true, He begot God Who is not God the Father. If, however, we understand these words not to be in apposition, and require something to be added, then, on the contrary, the affirmative proposition is true, and the negative is false; so that the meaning would be, He begot God Who is God Who is the Father. Such a rendering, however, appears to be forced, so that it is better to say simply that the affirmative proposition is false, and the negative is true. Yet Prepositivus said that both the negative and affirmative are false, because this relative Who in the affirmative proposition can be referred to the suppositum; whereas in the negative it denotes both the thing signified and the suppositum. Whence, in the affirmative the sense is that to be God the Father is befitting to the person of the Son; and in the negative the sense is that to be God the Father, is to be removed from the Son’s divinity as well as from His personality. This, however, appears to be irrational; since, according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. ii.), what is open to affirmation, is open also to negation.

Fifth Article.
WHETHER ABSTRACT ESSENTIAL NAMES CAN STAND FOR THE PERSON?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that abstract essential names can stand for the person, so that this proposition is true, Essence begets essence. For Augustine says (De Trin. vii., i. 2): The Father and the Son are one Wisdom, Edition: current; Page: [138] because they are one essence; and taken singly Wisdom is from Wisdom, as essence from essence.

Obj. 2. Further, generation or corruption in ourselves implies generation or corruption of what is within us. But the Son is generated. Therefore since the divine essence is in the Son, it seems that the divine essence is generated.

Obj. 3. Further, God and the divine essence are the same, as is clear from what is above explained (Q. III., A. 3). But, as was shown, it is true to say that God begets God. Therefore this is also true: — Essence begets essence.

Obj. 4. Further, a predicate can stand for that of which it is predicated. But the Father is the divine essence; therefore essence can stand for the person of the Father. Thus the essence begets.

Obj. 5. Further, the essence is a thing begetting, because the essence is the Father who is begetting. Therefore if the essence is not begetting, the essence will be a thing begetting, and not begetting: which cannot be.

Obj. 6. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20): The Father is the principle of the whole Godhead. But He is principle only by begetting or spirating. Therefore the Father begets or spirates the Godhead.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. i. 1): Nothing begets itself. But if the essence begets the essence, it begets itself only, since nothing exists in God as distinguished from the divine essence. Therefore the essence does not beget the essence.

I answer that, Concerning this, the abbot Joachim erred in asserting that as we can say God begot God, so we can say, Essence begot essence: considering that, by reason of the divine simplicity God is nothing else but the divine essence. In this he was wrong, because if we wish to express ourselves correctly, we must take into account not only the thing which is signified, but also the mode of its signification, as above stated (A. 4). Now although God is really the same as Godhead, nevertheless the mode of signification is not in each case the same. For since this word God signifies the divine essence in Him that possesses Edition: current; Page: [139] it, from its mode of signification it can of its own nature stand for person. Thus the things which properly belong to the persons, can be predicated of this word God, as, for instance, we can say God is begotten or is Begetter, as above explained (A. 4). The word essence, however, in its mode of signification, cannot stand for Person, because it signifies the essence as an abstract form. Consequently, what properly belongs to the persons whereby they are distinguished from each other, cannot be attributed to the essence. For that would imply distinction in the divine essence, in the same way as there exists distinction in the supposita.

Reply Obj. 1. To express unity of essence and of person, the holy Doctors have sometimes expressed themselves with greater emphasis than the strict propriety of terms allows. Whence instead of enlarging upon such expressions we should rather explain them: thus, for instance, abstract names should be explained by concrete names, or even by personal names; as when we find essence from essence; or wisdom from wisdom; we should take the sense to be, the Son who is essence and wisdom, is from the Father who is essence and wisdom. Nevertheless, as regards these abstract names a certain order should be observed, forasmuch as what belongs to action is more nearly allied to the persons because actions belong to supposita. So nature from nature, and wisdom from wisdom are less inexact than essence from essence.

Reply Obj. 2. In creatures the one generated has not the same nature numerically as the generator, but another nature, numerically distinct, which commences to exist in it anew by generation, and ceases to exist by corruption, and so it is generated and corrupted accidentally; whereas God begotten has the same nature numerically as the begetter. So the divine nature in the Son is not begotten either directly or accidentally.

Reply Obj. 3. Although God and the divine essence are really the same, nevertheless, on account of their different mode of signification, we must speak in a different way about each of them.

Edition: current; Page: [140]

Reply Obj. 4. The divine essence is predicated of the Father by mode of identity by reason of the divine simplicity; yet it does not follow that it can stand for the Father, its mode of signification being different. This objection would hold good as regards things which are predicated of another as the universal of a particular.

Reply Obj. 5. The difference between substantive and adjectival names consists in this, that the former carry their subject with them, whereas the latter do not, but add the thing signified to the substantive. Whence logicians are wont to say that the substantive is considered in the light of suppositum, whereas the adjective indicates something added to the suppositum. Therefore substantive personal terms can be predicated of the essence, because they are really the same; nor does it follow that a personal property makes a distinct essence; but it belongs to the suppositum implied in the substantive. But notional and personal adjectives cannot be predicated of the essence unless we add some substantive. We cannot say that the essence is begetting; yet we can say that the essence is a thing begetting, or that it is God begetting, if thing and God stand for person, but not if they stand for essence. Consequently, there exists no contradiction in saying that essence is a thing begetting, and a thing not begetting; because in the first case thing stands for person, and in the second it stands for the essence.

Reply Obj. 6. So far as Godhead is one in several supposita, it agrees in a certain degree with the form of a collective term. So when we say, the Father is the principle of the whole Godhead, the term Godhead can be taken for all the persons together, inasmuch as it is the principle in all the divine persons. Nor does it follow that He is His own principle; as one of the people may be called the ruler of the people without being ruler of himself. We may also say that He is the principle of the whole Godhead; not as generating or spirating it, but as communicating it by generation and spiration.

Edition: current; Page: [141]

Sixth Article.
WHETHER THE PERSONS CAN BE PREDICATED OF THE ESSENTIAL TERMS?

We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the persons cannot be predicated of the concrete essential names; so that we can say for instance, God is three persons; or, God is the Trinity. For it is false to say, man is every man, because it cannot be verified as regards any particular subject. For neither Socrates, nor Plato, nor anyone else is every man. In the same way this proposition, God is the Trinity, cannot be verified of any one of the supposita of the divine nature. For the Father is not the Trinity; nor is the Son; nor is the Holy Ghost. So to say, God is the Trinity, is false.

Obj. 2. Further, the lower is not predicated of the higher except by accidental predication; as when I say, animal is man; for it is accidental to animal to be man. But this name God as regards the three persons is as a general term to inferior terms, as Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. iii. 4). Therefore it seems that the names of the persons cannot be predicated of this name God, except in an accidental sense.

On the contrary, Augustine says, in his sermon on Faith,* We believe that one God is one divinely named Trinity.

I answer that, As above explained (A. 5), although adjectival terms, whether personal or notional, cannot be predicated of the essence, nevertheless substantive terms can be so predicated, owing to the real identity of essence and person. The divine essence is not only really the same as one person, but it is really the same as the three persons. Whence, one person, and two, and three, can be predicated of the essence as if we were to say, The essence is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And because this word God can of itself stand for the essence, as above Edition: current; Page: [142] explained (A. 4, ad 3), hence, as it is true to say, The essence is the three persons; so likewise it is true to say, God is the three persons.

Reply Obj. 1. As above explained this term man can of itself stand for person, whereas an adjunct is required for it to stand for the universal human nature. So it is false to say, Man is every man; because it cannot be verified of any particular human subject. On the contrary, this word God can of itself be taken for the divine essence. So, although to say of any of the supposita of the divine nature, God is the Trinity, is untrue, nevertheless it is true of the divine essence. This was denied by Porretanus because he did not take note of this distinction.

Reply Obj. 2. When we say, God, or the divine essence is the Father the predication is one of identity, and not of the lower in regard to a higher species: because in God there is no universal and singular. Hence, as this proposition, The Father is God is of itself true, so this proposition God is the Father is true of itself, and by no means accidentally.

Seventh Article.
WHETHER THE ESSENTIAL NAMES SHOULD BE APPROPRIATED TO THE PERSONS?

We proceed thus to the Seventh Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the essential names should not be appropriated to the persons. For whatever might verge on error in faith should be avoided in the treatment of divine things; for, as Jerome says, careless words involve risk of heresy.* But to appropriate to any one person the names which are common to the three persons, may verge on error in faith; for it may be supposed either that such belong only to the person to whom they are appropriated, or that they belong to Him in a fuller degree than to the others. Therefore the essential attributes should not be appropriated to the persons.

Edition: current; Page: [143]

Obj. 2. Further, the essential attributes expressed in the abstract signify by mode of form. But one person is not as a form to another; since a form is not distinguished in subject from that of which it is the form. Therefore the essential attributes, especially when expressed in the abstract, are not to be appropriated to the persons.

Obj. 3. Further, property is prior to the appropriated, for property is included in the idea of the appropriated. But the essential attributes, in our way of understanding, are prior to the persons; as what is common is prior to what is proper. Therefore the essential attributes are not to be appropriated to the persons.

On the contrary, The apostle says: Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. i. 24).

I answer that, For the manifestation of our faith it is fitting that the essential attributes should be appropriated to the persons. For although the trinity of persons cannot be proved by demonstration, as was above expounded (Q. XXXII., A. 1), nevertheless it is fitting that it be declared by things which are more known to us. Now the essential attributes of God are more clear to us from the standpoint of reason than the personal properties; because we can derive certain knowledge of the essential attributes from creatures which are sources of knowledge to us, such as we cannot obtain regarding the personal properties, as was above explained (ibid.). As, therefore, we make use of the likeness of the trace or image found in creatures for the manifestation of the divine persons, so also in the same manner do we make use of the essential attributes. And such a manifestation of the divine persons by the use of the essential attributes is called appropriation.

The divine person can be manifested in a twofold manner by the essential attributes; in one way by similitude, and thus the things which belong to the intellect are appropriated to the Son, Who proceeds by way of intellect, as Word. In another way by dissimilitude; as power is appropriated to the Father, as Augustine says, because fathers by reason of old age are sometimes feeble; lest anything of the kind be imagined of God.

Edition: current; Page: [144]

Reply Obj. 1. The essential attributes are not appropriated to the persons as if they exclusively belonged to them; but in order to make the persons manifest by way of similitude, or dissimilitude, as above explained. So, no error in faith can arise, but rather manifestation of the truth.

Reply Obj. 2. If the essential attributes were appropriated to the persons as exclusively belonging to each of them, then it would follow that one person would be as a form as regards another; which Augustine altogether repudiates (De Trin. vi. 2), showing that the Father is wise, not by the wisdom begotten by Him, as though only the Son were Wisdom; so that the Father and the Son together only can be called wise, but not the Father without the Son. But the Son is called the Wisdom of the Father, because He is Wisdom from the Father Who is Wisdom. For each of them is of Himself Wisdom; and both together are one Wisdom. Whence the Father is not wise by the wisdom begotten by Him, but by the wisdom which is His own essence.

Reply Obj. 3. Although the essential attribute is in its proper concept prior to person, according to our way of understanding; nevertheless, so far as it is appropriated, there is nothing to prevent the personal property from being prior to that which is appropriated. Thus colour is posterior to body considered as body, but is naturally prior to white body, considered as white.

Eighth Article.
WHETHER THE ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES ARE APPROPRIATED TO THE PERSONS IN A FITTING MANNER BY THE HOLY DOCTORS?

We proceed thus to the Eighth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the essential attributes are appropriated to the persons unfittingly by the holy doctors. For Hilary says (De Trin. ii.): Eternity is in the Father, the species is in the Image; and use is in the Gift. In which words he designates three names proper to the Edition: current; Page: [145] persons: the name of the Father, the name Image proper to the Son (Q. XXXV., A. 2), and the name Bounty or Gift, which is proper to the Holy Ghost (Q. XXXVIII., A. 2). He also designates three appropriated terms. For he appropriates eternity to the Father, species to the Son, and use to the Holy Ghost. This he does apparently without reason. For eternity imports duration of existence; species, the principle of existence; and use belongs to the operation. But essence and operation are not found to be appropriated to any person. Therefore the above terms are not fittingly appropriated to the persons.

Obj. 2. Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i. 5): Unity is in the Father, equality in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost is the concord of equality and unity. This does not, however, seem fitting; because one person does not receive formal denomination from what is appropriated to another. For the Father is not wise by the wisdom begotten, as above explained (Q. XXXVII., A. 2, ad 1). But, as he subjoins, All these three are one by the Father; all are equal by the Son, and all united by the Holy Ghost. The above, therefore, are not fittingly appropriated to the Persons.

Obj. 3. Further, according to Augustine, to the Father is attributed power, to the Son wisdom, to the Holy Ghost goodness. Nor does this seem fitting; for strength is part of power, whereas strength is found to be appropriated to the Son, according to the text, Christ the strength* of God (1 Cor. i. 24). So it is likewise appropriated to the Holy Ghost, according to the words, strength came out from Him and healed all (Luke vi. 19). Therefore power should not be appropriated to the Father.

Obj. 4. Likewise Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 10): What the Apostle says, “From Him, and by Him, and in Him,” is not to be taken in a confused sense. And (Contra Maxim. ii.) “from Him” refers to the Father, “by Him” to the Son, “in Him” to the Holy Ghost. This, however, seems to be incorrectly said; for the words in Edition: current; Page: [146] Him seem to imply the relation of final cause, which is first among the causes. Therefore this relation of cause should be appropriated to the Father, Who is the principle from no principle.

Obj. 5. Likewise, Truth is appropriated to the Son, according to John xiv. 6, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and likewise the book of life, according to Ps. xxxix. 9, In the beginning of the book it is written of Me, where a gloss observes, that is, with the Father Who is My head, also this word Who is; because on the text of Isaias, Behold I go to the Gentiles (lxv. 1), a gloss adds, The Son speaks Who said to Moses, I am Who am. These appear to belong to the Son, and are not appropriated. For truth, according to Augustine (De Vera Relig. 36), is the supreme similitude of the principle without any dissimilitude. So it seems that it properly belongs to the Son, Who has a principle. Also the book of life seems to be proper to the Son, as signifying a thing from another; for every book is written by someone. This also, Who is, appears to be proper to the Son; because if when it was said to Moses, I am Who am, the Trinity spoke, then Moses could have said, He Who is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost sent me to you; so also he could have said further, He Who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost sent me to you, pointing out a certain person. This, however, is false; because no person is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Therefore it cannot be common to the Trinity, but is proper to the Son.

I answer that, Our intellect, which is led to the knowledge of God from creatures, must consider God according to the mode derived from creatures. In considering any creature four points present themselves to us in due order. Firstly, the thing itself taken absolutely is considered as a being. Secondly, it is considered as one. Thirdly, its intrinsic power of operation and causality is considered. The fourth point of consideration embraces its relation to its effects. Hence this fourfold consideration comes to our mind in reference to God.

According to the first point of consideration, whereby Edition: current; Page: [147] we consider God absolutely in His being, the appropriation mentioned by Hilary applies, according to which eternity is appropriated to the Father, species to the Son, use to the Holy Ghost. For eternity as meaning a being without a principle, has a likeness to the property of the Father, Who is a principle without a principle. Species or beauty has a likeness to the property of the Son. For beauty includes three conditions, integrity or perfection, since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due proportion or harmony; and lastly, brightness, or clarity, whence things are called beautiful which have a bright colour.

The first of these has a likeness to the property of the Son, inasmuch as He as Son has in Himself truly and perfectly the nature of the Father. To insinuate this, Augustine says in his explanation (De Trin. vi. 10): Where—that is, in the Son—there is supreme and primal life, etc.

The second agrees with the Son’s property, inasmuch as He is the express Image of the Father. Hence we see that an image is said to be beautiful, if it perfectly represents even an ugly thing. This is indicated by Augustine when he says (ibid.), Where there exists wondrous proportion and primal equality, etc.

The third agrees with the property of the Son, as the Word, which is the light and splendour of the intellect, as Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. iii. 3). Augustine alludes to the same when he says (ibid.): As the perfect Word, not wanting in anything, and, so to speak, the art of the omnipotent God, etc.

Use has a likeness to the property of the Holy Ghost; provided that use be taken in a wide sense, as including also the sense of to enjoy; according as to use is to employ something at the beck of the will, and to enjoy means to use joyfully, as Augustine says (De Trin. x. 11). So use, whereby the Father and the Son enjoy each other, agrees with the property of the Holy Ghost, as Love. This is what Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 10): That love, that delectation, that felicity or beatitude, is called use by him (Hilary). But the use Edition: current; Page: [148] by which we enjoy God, is likened to the property of the Holy Ghost as the Gift; and Augustine points to this when he says (ibid.): In the Trinity, the Holy Ghost, the sweetness of the Begetter and the Begotten, pours out upon us mere creatures His immense bounty and wealth. Thus it is clear how eternity, species, and use are attributed or appropriated to the persons, but not essence or operation; because, being common, there is nothing in their concept to liken them to the properties of the Persons.

The second consideration of God regards Him as one. In that view Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i. 5) appropriates unity to the Father, equality to the Son, concord or union to the Holy Ghost. It is manifest that these three imply unity, but in different ways. For unity is said absolutely, as it does not presuppose anything else; and for this reason it is appropriated to the Father, to Whom any other person is not presupposed, since He is the principle without a principle. Equality implies unity as regards another; for that is equal which has the same quantity as another. So equality is appropriated to the Son, Who is the principle from a principle. Union implies the unity of two; and is therefore appropriated to the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as He proceeds from two. And from this we can understand what Augustine means when he says (loc. cit.) that The Three are one, by reason of the Father; They are equal by reason of the Son; and are united by reason of the Holy Ghost. For it is clear that we trace a thing back to that in which we find it first: just as in this lower world we attribute life to the vegetative soul, because therein we find the first trace of life. Now, unity is perceived at once in the person of the Father, even if by an impossible hypothesis, the other persons were removed. So the other persons derive their unity from the Father. But if the other persons be removed, we do not find equality in the Father, but we find it as soon as we suppose the Son. So, all are equal by reason of the Son, not as if the Son were the principle of equality in the Father, but that, without the Son equal to the Father, the Father could not be called equal; because His equality is Edition: current; Page: [149] considered firstly in regard to the Son: for that the Holy Ghost is equal to the Father, is also from the Son. Likewise, if the Holy Ghost, Who is the union of the two, be excluded, we cannot understand the oneness of the union between the Father and the Son. So all are connected by reason of the Holy Ghost; because given the Holy Ghost, we find whence the Father and the Son are said to be united.

According to the third consideration, which brings before us the adequate power of God in the sphere of causality, there is said to be a third kind of appropriation, of power, wisdom, and goodness. This kind of appropriation is made both by reason of similitude as regards what exists in the divine persons, and by reason of dissimilitude if we consider what is in creatures. For power has the nature of a principle, and so it has a likeness to the heavenly Father, Who is the principle of the whole Godhead. But in an earthly father it is wanting sometimes by reason of old age. Wisdom has likeness to the heavenly Son, as the Word, for a word is nothing but the concept of wisdom. In an earthly son this is sometimes absent by reason of lack of years. Goodness, as the nature and object of love, has likeness to the Holy Ghost, Who is Love; but seems repugnant to the earthly spirit, which often implies a certain violent impulse, according to Isaias xxv. 4: The spirit of the strong is as a blast beating on the wall. Strength is appropriated to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, not as denoting the power itself of a thing, but as sometimes used to express that which proceeds from power; for instance, we say that the strong work done by an agent is its strength.

According to the fourth consideration, i.e., God’s relation to His effects, there arises appropriation of the expression from Whom, by Whom, and in Whom. For this preposition from (ex) sometimes implies a certain relation of the material cause; which has no place in God; and sometimes it expresses the relation of the efficient cause, which can be applied to God by reason of His active power; hence it is appropriated to the Father in the same Edition: current; Page: [150] way as power. The preposition by (per) sometimes designates an intermediate cause; thus we may say that a smith works by a hammer. Hence the word by is not always appropriated to the Son, but belongs to the Son properly and strictly, according to the text, All things were made by Him (Jo. i. 3); not that the Son is an instrument, but as the principle from a principle. Sometimes it designates the habitude of a form by which an agent works; thus we say that an artificer works by his art. Hence, as wisdom and art are appropriated to the Son, so also is the expression by Whom. The preposition in strictly denotes the habitude of one containing. Now, God contains things in two ways: in one way by their similitudes; thus things are said to be in God, as existing in His knowledge. In this sense the expression in Him should be appropriated to the Son. In another sense things are contained in God forasmuch as He in His goodness preserves and governs them, by guiding them to a fitting end; and in this sense the expression in Him is appropriated to the Holy Ghost, as likewise is goodness. Nor need the habitude of the final cause (though the first of causes) be appropriated to the Father, Who is the principle without a principle; because the divine persons, of Whom the Father is the principle, do not proceed from Him as towards an end, since each of Them is the last end; but They proceed by a natural procession, which seems more to belong to the nature of a natural power.

Regarding the other points of inquiry, we can say that since truth belongs to the intellect, as stated above (Q. XVI., A. 1), it is appropriated to the Son, without, however, being a property of His. For truth can be considered as existing in the thought or in the thing itself. Hence, as intellect and thing in their essential meaning, are referred to the essence, and not to the persons, so the same is to be said of truth. The definition quoted from Augustine belongs to truth as appropriated to the Son. The book of life directly means knowledge; but indirectly it means life. For, as above explained (Q. XXIV., A. 1), it is God’s knowledge regarding those who are to possess Edition: current; Page: [151] eternal life. Consequently, it is appropriated to the Son; although life is appropriated to the Holy Ghost, as implying a certain kind of interior movement, agreeing in that sense with the property of the Holy Ghost as Love. To be written by another is not of the essence of a book considered as such; but this belongs to it only as a work produced. So this does not imply origin; nor is it personal, but an appropriation to a person. The expression Who is is appropriated to the person of the Son, not by reason of itself, but by reason of an adjunct, inasmuch as, in God’s word to Moses, was prefigured the delivery of the human race accomplished by the Son. Yet, forasmuch as the word Who is taken in a relative sense, it may sometimes relate to the person of the Son; and in that sense it would be taken personally; as, for instance, were we to say, The Son is the begotten “Who is,” forasmuch as God begotten is personal. But taken indefinitely, it is an essential term. And although the pronoun this (iste) seems grammatically to point to a particular person, nevertheless everything that we can point to can be grammatically treated as a person, although in its own nature it is not a person; as we may say, this stone, and this ass. So, speaking in a grammatical sense, so far as the word God signifies and stands for the divine essence, the latter may be designated by the pronoun this, according to Exod. xv. 2: This is my God, and I will glorify Him.

Edition: current; Page: [152]

QUESTION XL.: OF THE PERSONS AS COMPARED TO THE RELATIONS OR PROPERTIES.
(In Four Articles.)

We now consider the persons in connection with the relations, or properties; and there are four points of inquiry: (1) Whether relation is the same as person? (2) Whether the relations distinguish and constitute the persons? (3) Whether mental abstraction of the relations from the persons leaves the hypostases distinct? (4) Whether the relations, according to our mode of understanding, presuppose the acts of the persons, or contrariwise?

First Article.
WHETHER RELATION IS THE SAME AS PERSON?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in God relation is not the same as person. For when things are identical, if one is multiplied the others are multiplied. But in one person there are several relations; as in the person of the Father there is paternity and common spiration. Again, one relation exists in two persons, as common spiration in the Father and in the Son. Therefore relation is not the same as person.

Obj. 2. Further, according to the Philosopher (Phys. iv., text. 24), nothing is contained by itself. But relation is in the person; nor can it be said that this occurs because they are identical, for otherwise relation would be also in the essence. Therefore relation, or property, is not the same as person in God.

Edition: current; Page: [153]

Obj. 3. Further, when several things are identical, what is predicated of one is predicated of the others. But all that is predicated of a Person is not predicated of His property. For we say that the Father begets; but not that the paternity is begetting. Therefore property is not the same as person in God.

On the contrary, in God what is and whereby it is are the same, according to Boëthius (De Hebdom.). But the Father is Father by paternity. Therefore He is the same as paternity. In the same way, the other properties are the same as the persons.

I answer that, Different opinions have been held on this point. Some have said that the properties are not the persons, nor in the persons; and these have thought thus owing to the mode of signification of the relations, which do not indeed signify existence in something, but rather existence towards something. Whence, they styled the relations assistant, as above explained (Q. XXVIII., A. 2). But since relation, considered as really existing in God, is the divine essence Itself, and the essence is the same as person, as appears from what was said above (Q. XXXIX., A. 1), relation must necessarily be the same as person.

Others, therefore, considering this identity, said that the properties were indeed the persons; but not in the persons; for, they said, there are no properties in God except in our way of speaking, as stated above (Q. XXXII., A. 2). We must, however, say that there are properties in God; as we have shown (ibid.). These are designated by abstract terms, being forms, as it were, of the persons. So, since the nature of a form requires it to be in that of which it is the form, we must say that the properties are in the persons, and yet that they are the persons; as we say that the essence is in God, and yet is God.

Reply Obj. 1. Person and property are really the same, but differ in concept. Consequently, it does not follow that if one is multiplied, the other must also be multiplied. We must, however, consider that in God, by reason of the divine simplicity, a twofold real identity exists as regards what in creatures are distinct. For, since the divine Edition: current; Page: [154] simplicity excludes the composition of matter and form, it follows that in God the abstract is the same as the concrete, as Godhead and God. And as the divine simplicity excludes the composition of subject and accident, it follows that whatever is attributed to God, is His essence Itself; and so, wisdom and power are the same in God, because they are both in the divine essence. According to this twofold identity, property in God is the same as person. For personal properties are the same as the persons because the abstract and the concrete are the same in God; since they are the subsisting persons themselves, as paternity is the Father Himself, and filiation is the Son, and procession is the Holy Ghost. But the non-personal properties are the same as the persons according to the other reason of identity, whereby whatever is attributed to God is His own essence. Thus, common spiration is the same as the person of the Father, and the person of the Son; not that it is one self-subsisting person; but that as there is one essence in the two persons, so also there is one property in the two persons, as above explained (Q. XXX., A. 2).

Reply Obj. 2. The properties are said to be in the essence, only by mode of identity; but in the persons they exist by mode of identity, not merely in reality, but also in the mode of signification; as the form exists in its subject. Thus the properties determine and distinguish the persons, but not the essence.

Reply Obj. 3. Notional participles and verbs signify the notional acts: and acts belong to a suppositum. Now, properties are not designated as supposita, but as forms of supposita. And so their mode of signification is against notional participles and verbs being predicated of the properties.

Edition: current; Page: [155]

Second Article.
WHETHER THE PERSONS ARE DISTINGUISHED BY THE RELATIONS?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the persons are not distinguished by the relations. For simple things are distinct by themselves. But the persons are supremely simple. Therefore they are distinguished by themselves, and not by the relation.

Obj. 2. Further, a form is distinguished only in relation to its genus. For white is distinguished from black only by quality. But hypostasis signifies an individual in the genus of substance. Therefore the hypostases cannot be distinguished by relations.

Obj. 3. Further, what is absolute comes before what is relative. But the distinction of the divine persons is the primary distinction. Therefore the divine persons are not distinguished by the relations.

Obj. 4. Further, whatever presupposes distinction cannot be the first principle of distinction. But relation presupposes distinction, which comes into its definition; for a relation is essentially what is towards another. Therefore the first distinctive principle in God cannot be relation.

On the contrary, Boëthius says (De Trin.): Relation alone multiplies the Trinity of the divine persons.

I answer that, In whatever multitude of things is to be found something common to all, it is necessary to seek out the principle of distinction. So, as the three persons agree in the unity of essence, we must seek to know the principle of distinction whereby they are several. Now, there are two principles of difference between the divine persons, and these are origin and relation. Although these do not really differ, yet they differ in the mode of signification; for origin is signified by way of act, as generation; and relation by way of the form, as paternity.

Some, then, considering that relation follows upon act, have said that the divine hypostases are distinguished by Edition: current; Page: [156] origin, so that we may say that the Father is distinguished from the Son, inasmuch as the former begets and the latter is begotten. Further, that the relations, or the properties, make known the distinctions of the hypostases or persons as resulting therefrom; as also in creatures the properties manifest the distinctions of individuals, which distinctions are caused by the material principles.

This opinion, however, cannot stand—for two reasons. Firstly, because, in order that two things be understood as distinct, their distinction must be understood as resulting from something intrinsic to both; thus in things created it results from their matter or their form. Now origin of a thing does not designate anything intrinsic, but means the way from something, or to something; as generation signifies the way to the thing generated, and as proceeding from the generator. Hence it is not possible that what is generated and the generator should be distinguished by generation alone; but in the generator and in the thing generated we must presuppose whatever makes them to be distinguished from each other. In a divine person there is nothing to presuppose but essence, and relation or property. Whence, since the persons agree in essence, it only remains to be said that the persons are distinguished from each other by the relations. Secondly: because the distinction of the divine persons is not to be so understood as if what is common to them all is divided, because the common essence remains undivided; but the distinguishing principles themselves must constitute the things which are distinct. Now the relations or the properties distinguish or constitute the hypostases or persons, inasmuch as they are themselves the subsisting persons; as paternity is the Father, and filiation is the Son, because in God the abstract and the concrete do not differ. But it is against the nature of origin that it should constitute hypostasis or person. For origin taken in an active sense signifies proceeding from a subsisting person, so that it presupposes the latter; while in a passive sense origin, as nativity, signifies the way to a subsisting person, and as not yet constituting the person.

Edition: current; Page: [157]

It is therefore better to say that the persons or hypostases are distinguished rather by relations than by origin. For, although in both ways they are distinguished, nevertheless in our mode of understanding they are distinguished chiefly and firstly by relations; whence this name Father signifies not only a property, but also the hypostasis; whereas this term Begetter or Begetting signifies property only; forasmuch as this name Father signifies the relation which is distinctive and constitutive of the hypostasis; and this term Begetter or Begotten signifies the origin which is not distinctive and constitutive of the hypostasis.

Reply Obj. 1. The persons are the subsisting relations themselves. Hence it is not against the simplicity of the divine persons for them to be distinguished by the relations.

Reply Obj. 2. The divine persons are not distinguished as regards being, in which they subsist, nor in anything absolute, but only as regards something relative. Hence relation suffices for their distinction.

Reply Obj. 3. The more prior a distinction is, the nearer it approaches to unity; and so it must be the least possible distinction. So the distinction of the persons must be by that which distinguishes the least possible; and this is by relation.

Reply Obj. 4. Relation presupposes the distinction of the subjects, when it is an accident; but when the relation is subsistent, it does not presuppose, but brings about distinction. For when it is said that relation is by nature to be towards another, the word another signifies the correlative which is not prior, but simultaneous in the order of nature.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE HYPOSTASES REMAIN IF THE RELATIONS ARE MENTALLY ABSTRACTED FROM THE PERSONS?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the hypostases remain if the properties or relations are mentally abstracted from the persons. For that to which something is added, may be Edition: current; Page: [158] understood when the addition is taken away; as man is something added to animal which can be understood if rational be taken away. But person is something added to hypostasis; for person is a hypostasis distinguished by a property of dignity. Therefore, if a personal property be taken away from a person, the hypostasis remains.

Obj. 2. Further, that the Father is Father, and that He is someone, are not due to the same reason. For as He is the Father by paternity, supposing He is some one by paternity it would follow that the Son, in Whom there is not paternity, would not be someone. So when paternity is mentally abstracted from the Father, He still remains someone — that is, a hypostasis. Therefore, if property be removed from person, the hypostasis remains.

Obj. 3. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. v. 6): Unbegotten is not the same as Father; for if the Father had not begotten the Son, nothing would prevent Him being called unbegotten. But if He had not begotten the Son, there would be no paternity in Him. Therefore, if paternity be removed, there still remains the hypostasis of the Father as unbegotten.

On the contrary, Hilary says (De Trin. iv.): The Son has nothing else than birth. But He is Son by birth. Therefore, if filiation be removed, the Son’s hypostasis no more remains; and the same holds as regards the other persons.

I answer that, Abstraction by the intellect is twofold,—when the universal is abstracted from the particular, as animal abstracted from man; and when the form is abstracted from the matter, as the form of a circle is abstracted by the intellect from any sensible matter. The difference between these two abstractions consists in the fact that in the abstraction of the universal from the particular, that from which the abstraction is made does not remain; for when the difference of rationality is removed from man, the man no longer remains in the intellect, but animal alone remains. But in the abstraction of the form from the matter, both the form and the matter remain in the intellect; as, for instance, if we abstract the form of a circle Edition: current; Page: [159] from brass, there remains in our intellect separately the understanding both of a circle, and of brass. Now, although there is no universal nor particular in God, nor form and matter, in reality; nevertheless, as regards the mode of signification there is a certain likeness of these things in God; and thus Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. iii. 6) that substance is common and hypostasis is particular. So, if we speak of the abstraction of the universal from the particular, the common universal essence remains in the intellect if the properties are removed; but not the hypostasis of the Father, which is, as it were, a particular.

But, as regards the abstraction of the form from the matter, if the non-personal properties are removed, then the idea of the hypostases and persons remains: as, for instance, if the fact of the Father’s being unbegotten or spirating be mentally abstracted from the Father, the Father’s hypostasis or person remains.

If, however, the personal property be mentally abstracted, the idea of the hypostasis no longer remains. For the personal properties are not to be understood as added to the divine hypostases, as a form is added to a pre-existing subject: but they carry with them their own supposita, inasmuch as they are themselves subsisting persons; thus paternity is the Father Himself. For hypostasis signifies something distinct in God, since hypostasis means an individual substance. So, as relation distinguishes and constitutes the hypostases, as above explained (A. 3), it follows that if the personal relations are mentally abstracted, the hypostases no longer remain. Some, however, think, as above noted, that the divine hypostases are not distinguished by the relations, but only by origin; so that the Father is a hypostasis as not from another, and the Son is a hypostasis as from another by generation. And that the consequent relations which are to be regarded as properties of dignity, constitute the notion of person, and are thus called personal properties. Hence, if these relations are mentally abstracted, the hypostasis, but not the persons, remain.

But this is impossible, for two reasons: first, because the Edition: current; Page: [160] relations distinguish and constitute the hypostases, as shown above (A. 2); secondly, because every hypostasis of a rational nature is a person, as appears from the definition of Boëthius (De Duab. Natur.) that, person is the individual substance of a rational nature. Hence, to have hypostasis and not person, it would be necessary to abstract the rationality from the nature, but not the property from the person.

Reply Obj. 1. Person does not add to hypostasis a distinguishing property absolutely, but a distinguishing property of dignity, all of which must be taken as the difference. Now, this distinguishing property is one of dignity precisely because it is understood as subsisting in a rational nature. Hence, if the distinguishing property be removed from the person, the hypostasis no longer remains; whereas it would remain were the rationality of the nature removed; for both person and hypostasis are individual substances. Consequently, in God the distinguishing relation belongs essentially to both.

Reply Obj. 2. By paternity the Father is not only Father, but is a person, and is someone, or a hypostasis. It does not follow, however, that the Son is not someone or a hypostasis; just as it does not follow that He is not a person.

Reply Obj. 3. Augustine does not mean to say that the hypostasis of the Father would remain as unbegotten, if His paternity were removed, as if innascibility constituted and distinguished the hypostasis of the Father; for this would be impossible, since being unbegotten says nothing positive and is only a negation, as he himself says. But he speaks in a general sense, forasmuch as not every unbegotten being is the Father. So, if paternity be removed, the hypostasis of the Father does not remain in God, as distinguished from the other persons, but only as distinguished from creatures; as the Jews understand it.

Edition: current; Page: [161]

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE PROPERTIES PRESUPPOSE THE NOTIONAL ACTS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the notional acts are understood before the properties. For the Master of the Sentences says (1 Sent. D. xxvii.) that, the Father always is, because He is ever begetting the Son. So it seems that generation precedes paternity in the order of intelligence.

Obj. 2. Further, in the order of intelligence every relation presupposes that on which it is founded; as equality presupposes quantity. But paternity is a relation founded on the action of generation. Therefore paternity presupposes generation.

Obj. 3. Further, Active generation is to paternity as nativity is to filiation. But filiation presupposes nativity; for the Son is so called because He is born. Therefore paternity also presupposes generation.

On the contrary, Generation is the operation of the person of the Father. But paternity constitutes the person of the Father. Therefore, in the order of intelligence, paternity is prior to generation.

I answer that, According to the opinion that the properties do not distinguish and constitute the hypostases in God, but only manifest them as already distinct and constituted, we must absolutely say that the relations in our mode of understanding follow upon the notional acts, so that we can say, without qualifying the phrase, that because He begets, He is the Father. A distinction, however, is needed if we suppose that the relations distinguish and constitute the divine hypostases. For origin has in God an active and passive signification—active, as generation is attributed to the Father, and spiration, taken for the notional act, is attributed to the Father and the Son; passive, as nativity is attributed to the Son, and procession to the Holy Ghost. For, in the order of intelligence, origin, in the passive sense, simply precedes the personal Edition: current; Page: [162] properties of the person proceeding; because origin, as passively understood, signifies the way to a person constituted by the property. Likewise, origin signified actively is prior in the order of intelligence to the nonpersonal relation of the person originating; as the notional act of spiration precedes, in the order of intelligence, the unnamed relative property common to the Father and the Son. The personal property of the Father can be considered in a twofold sense: firstly, as a relation; and thus again in the order of intelligence it presupposes the notional act, for relation, as such, is founded upon an act: secondly, according as it constitutes the person; and thus the notional act presupposes the relation, as an action presupposes a person acting.

Reply Obj. 1. When the Master says that because He begets, He is Father, the term Father is taken as meaning relation only, but not as signifying the subsisting person; for then it would be necessary to say conversely that because He is Father He begets.

Reply Obj. 2. This objection avails of paternity as a relation, but not as constituting a person.

Reply Obj. 3. Nativity is the way to the person of the Son; and so, in the order of intelligence, it precedes filiation, even as constituting the person of the Son. But active generation signifies a proceeding from the person of the Father; wherefore it presupposes the personal property of the Father.

Edition: current; Page: [163]

QUESTION XLI.: OF THE PERSONS IN REFERENCE TO THE NOTIONAL ACTS.
(In Six Articles.)

We now consider the persons in reference to the notional acts, concerning which six points of inquiry arise: (1) Whether the notional acts are to be attributed to the persons? (2) Whether these acts are necessary, or voluntary? (3) Whether as regards these acts, a person proceeds from nothing or from something? (4) Whether in God there exists a power as regards the notional acts? (5) What this power means? (6) Whether several persons can be the term of one notional act?

First Article.
WHETHER THE NOTIONAL ACTS ARE TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE PERSONS?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the notional acts are not to be attributed to the persons. For Boëthius says (De Trin.): Whatever is predicated of God, of whatever genus it be, becomes the divine substance, except what pertains to the relation. But action is one of the ten genera. Therefore, any action attributed to God belongs to His essence, and not to a notion.

Obj. 2. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. v. 4, 5) that, everything which is said of God, is said of Him as regards either His substance, or relation. But whatever belongs to the substance is signified by the essential attributes; and whatever belongs to the relations, by the names of the persons, Edition: current; Page: [164] or by the names of the properties. Therefore, in addition to these, notional acts are not to be attributed to the persons.

Obj. 3. Further, the nature of action is of itself to cause passion. But we do not place passions in God. Therefore neither are notional acts to be placed in God.

On the contrary, Augustine (Fulgentius, De Fide ad Petrum ii.) says: It is a property of the Father to beget the Son. But to beget is an act. Therefore notional acts are to be placed in God.

I answer that, In the divine persons distinction is founded on origin. But origin can be properly designated only by certain acts. Wherefore, to signify the order of origin in the divine persons, we must attribute notional acts to the persons.

Reply Obj. 1. Every origin is designated by an act. In God there is a twofold order of origin: one, forasmuch as the creature proceeds from Him, and this is common to the three persons; and so those actions which are attributed to God to designate the proceeding of creatures from Him, belong to His essence. Another order of origin in God regards the procession of person from person; wherefore the acts which designate the order of this origin are called notional; because the notions of the persons are the mutual relations of the persons, as is clear from what was above explained (Q. XXXII., A. 2).

Reply Obj. 2. The notional acts differ from the relations of the persons only in their mode of signification; and in reality are altogether the same. Whence the Master says that generation and nativity in other words are paternity and filiation (1 Sent. D. xxvi.). To see this, we must consider that the origin of one thing from another is firstly inferred from movement: for that anything be changed from its disposition by movement evidently arises from some cause. Hence action, in its primary sense, means origin of movement; for, as movement derived from another into a mobile object, is called passion, so the origin of movement itself as beginning from another and terminating in what is moved, is called action. Hence, if we take away Edition: current; Page: [165] movement, action implies nothing more than order of origin, in so far as action proceeds from some cause or principle to what is from that principle. Consequently, since in God no movement exists, the personal action of the one producing a person is only the habitude of the principle to the person who is from the principle; which habitudes are the relations, or the notions. Nevertheless we cannot speak of divine and intelligible things except after the manner of sensible things, whence we derive our knowledge, and wherein actions and passions, so far as these imply movement, differ from the relations which result from action and passion, and therefore it was necessary to signify the habitudes of the persons separately after the manner of act, and separately after the manner of relations. Thus it is evident that they are really the same, differing only in their mode of signification.

Reply Obj. 3. Action, so far as it means origin of movement, naturally involves passion; but action in that sense is not attributed to God. Whence, passions are attributed to Him only from a grammatical standpoint, and in accordance with our manner of speaking; as we attribute to beget to the Father, and to the Son to be begotten.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE NOTIONAL ACTS ARE VOLUNTARY?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the notional acts are voluntary. For Hilary says (De Synod.): Not by natural necessity was Father led to beget the Son.

Obj. 2. Further, the Apostle says, He transferred us to the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. i. 13). But love belongs to the will. Therefore the Son was begotten of the Father by will.

Obj. 3. Further, nothing is more voluntary than love. But the Holy Ghost proceeds as Love from the Father and the Son. Therefore He proceeds voluntarily.

Obj. 4. Further, the Son proceeds by mode of the intellect, as the Word. But every word proceeds by the will Edition: current; Page: [166] from a speaker. Therefore the Son proceeds from the Father by will, and not by nature.

Obj. 5. Further, what is not voluntary is necessary. Therefore if the Father begot the Son, not by the will, it seems to follow that He begot Him by necessity; and this is against what Augustine says (Ad Orosium qu. vii.).

On the contrary, Augustine says, in the same book, that, the Father begot the Son neither by will, nor by necessity.

I answer that, When anything is said to be, or to be made by the will, this can be understood in two senses. In one sense, the ablative designates only concomitance, as I can say that I am a man by my will—that is, I will to be a man; and in this way it can be said that the Father begot the Son by will; as also He is God by will, because He wills to be God, and wills to beget the Son. In the other sense, the ablative imports the habitude of a principle, as it is said that the workman works by his will, as the will is the principle of his work; and thus in that sense it must be said that God the Father begot the Son, not by His will; but that He produced the creature by His will. Whence in the book De Synod., it is said: “If anyone say that the Son was made by the Will of God, as a creature is said to be made, let him be anathema.” The reason of this is that will and nature differ in their manner of causation, in such a way that nature is determined to one, while the will is not determined to one; and this because the effect is assimilated to the form of the agent, whereby the latter acts. Now it is manifest that of one thing there is only one natural form whereby it exists; and hence such as it is itself, such also is its work. But the form whereby the will acts is not only one, but many, according to the number of ideas understood. Hence the quality of the will’s action does not depend on the quality of the agent, but on the agent’s will and understanding. So the will is the principle of those things which may be this way or that way; whereas of those things which can be only in one way, the principle is nature. What, however, can exist in different ways is far from the divine nature, whereas it belongs to the nature of a created being; because God is of Himself necessary Edition: current; Page: [167] being, whereas a creature is made from nothing. Thus, the Arians, wishing to prove the Son to be a creature, said that the Father begot the Son by will, taking will in the sense of principle. But we, on the contrary, must assert that the Father begot the Son, not by will, but by nature. Wherefore Hilary says (De Synod.): The will of God gave to all creatures their substance: but perfect birth gave the Son a nature derived from a substance impassible and unborn. All things created are such as God willed them to be; but the Son, born of God, subsists in the perfect likeness of God.

Reply Obj. 1. This saying is directed against those who did not admit even the concomitance of the Father’s will in the generation of the Son, for they said that the Father begot the Son in such a manner by nature that the will to beget was wanting; just as we ourselves suffer many things against our will from natural necessity—as, for instance, death, old age, and like ills. This appears from what precedes and from what follows as regards the words quoted, for thus we read: Not against His will, nor as it were, forced, nor as if He were led by natural necessity did the Father beget the Son.

Reply Obj. 2. The Apostle calls Christ the Son of the love of God, inasmuch as He is superabundantly loved by God; not, however, as if love were the principle of the Son’s generation.

Reply Obj. 3. The will, as a natural faculty, wills something naturally, as man’s will naturally tends to happiness; and likewise God naturally wills and loves Himself; whereas in regard to things other than Himself, the will of God is, in a way, undetermined in itself, as above explained (Q. XIX., A. 3). Now, the Holy Ghost proceeds as Love, inasmuch as God loves Himself, and hence He proceeds naturally, although He proceeds by mode of the will.

Reply Obj. 4. Even as regards the intellectual conceptions of the mind, a return is made to those first principles which are naturally understood. But God naturally understands Himself, and thus the conception of the divine Word is natural.

Edition: current; Page: [168]

Reply Obj. 5. A thing is said to be necessary of itself, and by reason of another. Taken in the latter sense, it has a twofold meaning: firstly, as an efficient and compelling cause, and thus necessary means what is violent; secondly, it means a final cause, when a thing is said to be necessary as the means to an end, so far as without it the end could not be attained, or, at least, so well attained. In neither of these ways is the divine generation necessary; because God is not the means to an end, nor is He subject to compulsion. But a thing is said to be necessary of itself which cannot but be: in this sense it is necessary for God to be; and in the same sense it is necessary that the Father beget the Son.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE NOTIONAL ACTS PROCEED FROM SOMETHING?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the notional acts do not proceed from anything. For if the Father begets the Son from something, this will be either from Himself or from something else. If from something else, since that whence a thing is generated exists in what is generated, it follows that something different from the Father exists in the Son, and this contradicts what is laid down by Hilary (De Trin. vii.) that, In them nothing diverse or different exists. If the Father begets the Son from Himself, since again that whence a thing is generated, if it be something permanent, receives as predicate the thing generated therefrom—just as we say, The man is white, since the man remains, when from not white he is made white—it follows that either the Father does not remain after the Son is begotten, or that the Father is the Son, which is false. Therefore the Father does not beget the Son from something, but from nothing.

Obj. 2. Further, that whence anything is generated is the principle regarding what is generated. So if the Father generate the Son from His own essence or nature, it follows that the essence or nature of the Father is the principle of the Son. But it is not a material principle, because in God Edition: current; Page: [169] nothing material exists; and therefore it is, as it were, an active principle, as the begetter is the principle of the one begotten. Thus it follows that the essence generates, which was disproved above (Q. XXXIX., A. 5).

Obj. 3. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. vii. 6) that the three persons are not from the same essence; because the essence is not another thing from person. But the person of the Son is not another thing from the Father’s essence. Therefore the Son is not from the Father’s essence.

Obj. 4. Further, every creature is from nothing. But in Scripture the Son is called a creature; for it is said (Ecclus. xxiv. 5), in the person of the Wisdom begotten, I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before all creatures: and further on (verse 14) it is said as uttered by the same Wisdom, From the beginning, and before the world was I created. Therefore the Son was not begotten from something, but from nothing. Likewise we can object concerning the Holy Ghost, by reason of what is said (Zach. xii. 1): Thus saith the Lord Who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him; and (Amos iv. 13) according to another version:* I Who form the earth, and create the spirit.

On the contrary, Augustine (Fulgentius, De Fide ad Petrum i. 1) says: God the Father, of His nature, without beginning, begot the Son equal to Himself.

I answer that, The Son was not begotten from nothing, but from the Father’s substance. For it was explained above (Q. XXVII., A. 2; Q. XXXIII., AA. 2, 3) that paternity, filiation and nativity really and truly exist in God. Now, this is the difference between true generation, whereby one proceeds from another as a son, and making, that the maker makes something out of external matter, as a carpenter makes a bench out of wood, whereas a man begets a son from himself. Now, as a created workman makes a thing out of matter, so God makes things out of nothing, as will be shown later on (Q. XLV., A. 1), not as if this nothing were a part of the substance of the Edition: current; Page: [170] thing made, but because the whole substance of a thing is produced by Him without anything else whatever presupposed. So, were the Son to proceed from the Father as out of nothing, then the Son would be to the Father what the thing made is to the maker, whereto, as is evident, the name of filiation would not apply except by a kind of similitude. Thus, if the Son of God proceeds from the Father out of nothing, He could not be properly and truly called the Son, whereas the contrary is stated (1 Jo. v. 20): That we may be in His true Son Jesus Christ. Therefore the true Son of God is not from nothing; nor is He made, but begotten.

That certain creatures made by God out of nothing are called sons of God is to be taken in a metaphorical sense, according to a certain likeness of assimilation to Him Who is the true Son. Whence, as He is the only true and natural Son of God, He is called the only begotten, according to Jo. i. 18, The only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him; and so far as others are entitled sons of adoption by their similitude to Him, He is called the first begotten, according to Rom. viii. 29: Whom He foreknew He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born of many brethren. Therefore the Son of God is begotten of the substance of the Father, but not in the same way as man is born of man; for a part of the human substance in generation passes into the substance of the one begotten, whereas the divine nature cannot be parted; whence it necessarily follows that the Father in begetting the Son does not transmit any part of His nature, but communicates His whole nature to Him, the distinction only of origin remaining, as explained above (Q. XL., A. 2).

Reply Obj. 1. When we say that the Son was born of the Father, the preposition of designates a consubstantial generating principle, but not a material principle. For that, which is produced from matter, is made by a change of form in that whence it is produced. But the divine essence is unchangeable, and is not susceptive of another form.

Edition: current; Page: [171]

Reply Obj. 2. When we say the Son is begotten of the essence of the Father, as the Master of the Sentences explains (1 Sent. D. v.), this denotes the habitude of a kind of active principle, and as he expounds, the Son is begotten of the essence of the Father—that is, of the Father Who is essence; and so Augustine says (De Trin. xv. 13): When I say of the Father Who is essence, it is the same as if I said more explicitly, of the essence of the Father.

This, however, is not enough to explain the real meaning of the words. For we can say that the creature is from God Who is essence; but not that it is from the essence of God. So we may explain them otherwise, by observing that the preposition of (de) always denotes consubstantiality. We do not say that a house is of (de) the builder, since he is not the consubstantial cause. We can say, however, that something is of another, if this is its consubstantial principle, no matter in what way it is so, whether it be an active principle, as the son is said to be of the father, or a material principle, as a knife is of iron; or a formal principle, but in those things only in which the forms are subsisting, and not accidental to another, for we can say that an angel is of an intellectual nature. In this way, then, we say that the Son is begotten of the essence of the Father, inasmuch as the essence of the Father, communicated by generation, subsists in the Son.

Reply Obj. 3. When we say that the Son is begotten of the essence of the Father, a term is added which saves the distinction. But when we say that the three persons are of the divine essence, there is nothing expressed to warrant the distinction signified by the preposition, so there is no parity of argument.

Reply Obj. 4. When we say Wisdom was created, this may be understood not of Wisdom which is the Son of God, but of created wisdom given by God to creatures: for it is said, He created her (namely, Wisdom) in the Holy Ghost, and He poured her out over all His works (Ecclus. i. 9, 10). Nor is it inconsistent for Scripture in one text to speak of the Wisdom begotten and wisdom created, for wisdom created is a kind of participation of the uncreated Edition: current; Page: [172] Wisdom. The saying may also be referred to the created nature assumed by the Son, so that the sense be, From the beginning and before the world was I made—that is, I was foreseen as united to the creature. Or the mention of wisdom as both created and begotten insinuates into our minds the mode of the divine generation; for in generation what is generated receives the nature of the generator, and this pertains to perfection; whereas in creation the Creator is not changed, but the creature does not receive the Creator’s nature. Thus the Son is called both created and begotten, in order that from the idea of creation the immutability of the Father may be understood, and from generation the unity of nature in the Father and the Son. In this way Hilary expounds the sense of this text of Scripture (De Synod.). The other passages quoted do not refer to the Holy Ghost, but to the created spirit, sometimes called wind, sometimes air, sometimes the breath of man, sometimes also the soul, or any other invisible substance.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER IN GOD THERE IS A POWER IN RESPECT OF THE NOTIONAL ACTS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in God there is no power in respect of the notional acts. For every kind of power is either active, or passive; neither of which can be here applied, there being in God nothing which we call passive power, as above explained (Q. XXV., A. 1); nor can active power belong to one person as regards another, since the divine persons were not made, as stated above (A. 3). Therefore in God there is no power in respect of the notional acts.

Obj. 2. Further, the object of power is what is possible. But the divine persons are not regarded as possible, but as necessary. Therefore, as regards the notional acts, whereby the divine persons proceed, there cannot be power in God.

Edition: current; Page: [173]

Obj. 3. Further, the Son proceeds as the word, which is the concept of the intellect; and the Holy Ghost proceeds as love, which belongs to the will. But in God power exists as regards effects, and not as regards intellect and will, as stated above (Q. XXV., A. 1). Therefore, in God power does not exist in reference to the notional acts.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii. 1): If God the Father could not beget a co-equal Son, where is the omnipotence of God the Father? Power therefore exists in God regarding the notional acts.

I answer that, As the notional acts exist in God, so must there be also a power in God regarding these acts; since power only means the principle of act. So, as we understand the Father to be principle of generation; and the Father and the Son to be the principle of spiration, we must attribute the power of generating to the Father, and the power of spiration to the Father and the Son; for the power of generation means that whereby the generator generates. Now every generator generates by something. Therefore in every generator we must suppose the power of generating, and in the spirator the power of spirating.

Reply Obj. 1. As a person, according to the notional acts, does not proceed as if made; so the power in God as regards the notional acts has no reference to a person as if made, but only as regards the person as proceeding.

Reply Obj. 2. Possible, as opposed to what is necessary, is a consequence of a passive power, which does not exist in God. Hence, in God there is no such thing as possibility in this sense, but only in the sense of possible as contained in what is necessary; and in this latter sense it can be said that as it is possible for God to be, so also is it possible that the Son should be generated.

Reply Obj. 3. Power signifies a principle: and a principle implies distinction from that of which it is the principle. Now we must observe a double distinction in things said of God: one is a real distinction, the other is a distinction of reason only. By a real distinction, God by His essence is distinct from those things of which He is the principle by creation: just as one person is distinct Edition: current; Page: [174] from the other of which He is principle by a notional act. But in God the distinction of action and agent is one of reason only, otherwise action would be an accident in God. And therefore with regard to those actions in respect of which certain things proceed which are distinct from God, either personally or essentially, we may ascribe power to God in its proper sense of principle. And as we ascribe to God the power of creating, so we may ascribe the power of begetting and of spirating. But to understand and to will are not such actions as to designate the procession of something distinct from God, either essentially or personally. Wherefore, with regard to these actions we cannot ascribe power to God in its proper sense, but only after our way of understanding and speaking: inasmuch as we designate by different terms the intellect and the act of understanding in God, whereas in God the act of understanding is His very essence which has no principle.

Fifth Article.
WHETHER THE POWER OF BEGETTING SIGNIFIES A RELATION, AND NOT THE ESSENCE?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the power of begetting, or of spirating, signifies the relation and not the essence. For power signifies a principle, as appears from its definition: for active power is the principle of action, as we find in Metaph v., text. 17. But in God, principle in regard to Person is said notionally. Therefore, in God, power does not signify essence but relation.

Obj. 2. Further, in God, the power to act (posse) and to act are not distinct. But in God, begetting signifies relation. Therefore, the same applies to the power of begetting.

Obj. 3. Further, terms signifying the essence in God, are common to the three persons. But the power of begetting is not common to the three persons, but proper to the Father. Therefore it does not signify the essence.

Edition: current; Page: [175]

On the contrary, As God has the power to beget the Son, so also He wills to beget Him. But the will to beget signifies the essence. Therefore, also, the power to beget.

I answer that, Some have said that the power to beget signifies relation in God. But this is not possible. For in every agent, that is properly called power, by which the agent acts. Now, everything that produces something by its action, produces something like itself, as to the form by which it acts; just as man begotten is like his begetter in his human nature, in virtue of which the father has the power to beget a man. In every begetter, therefore, that is the power of begetting in which the begotten is like the begetter.

Now the Son of God is like the Father, who begets Him, in the divine nature. Wherefore the divine nature in the Father is in Him the power of begetting. And so Hilary says (De Trin. v.): The birth of God cannot but contain that nature from which it proceeded; for He cannot subsist other than God, Who subsists from no other source than God.

We must therefore conclude that the power of begetting signifies principally the divine essence as the Master says (1 Sent. D. vii.), and not the relation only. Nor does it signify the essence as identified with the relation, so as to signify both equally. For although paternity is signified as the form of the Father, nevertheless it is a personal property, being in respect to the person of the Father, what the individual form is to the individual creature. Now the individual form in things created constitutes the person begetting, but is not that by which the begetter begets, otherwise Socrates would beget Socrates. So neither can paternity be understood as that by which the Father begets, but as constituting the person of the Father, otherwise the Father would beget the Father. But that by which the Father begets is the divine nature, in which the Son is like to Him. And in this sense Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. i. 18) that generation is the work of nature, not of nature as generating, but of nature, as being that by which the generator generates. And therefore the Edition: current; Page: [176] power of begetting signifies the divine nature directly, but the relation indirectly.

Reply Obj. 1. Power does not signify the relation itself of a principle, for thus it would be in the genus of relation; but it signifies that which is a principle; not, indeed, in the sense in which we call the agent a principle, but in the sense of being that by which the agent acts. Now the agent is distinct from that which it makes, and the generator from that which it generates: but that by which the generator generates is common to generated and generator, and so much more perfectly, as the generation is more perfect. Since, therefore, the divine generation is most perfect, that by which the Begetter begets, is common to Begotten and Begetter by a community of identity, and not only of species, as in things created. Therefore, from the fact that we say that the divine essence is the principle by which the Begetter begets, it does not follow that the divine essence is distinct (from the Begotten): which would follow if we were to say that the divine essence begets.

Reply Obj. 2. As in God, the power of begetting is the same as the act of begetting, so the divine essence is the same in reality as the act of begetting or paternity; although there is a distinction of reason.

Reply Obj. 3. When I speak of the power of begetting, power is signified directly, generation indirectly: just as if I were to say, the essence of the Father. Wherefore in respect of the essence, which is signified, the power of begetting is common to the three persons: but in respect of the notion that is connoted, it is proper to the person of the Father.

Sixth Article.
WHETHER SEVERAL PERSONS CAN BE THE TERM OF ONE NOTIONAL ACT?

Objection 1. It would seem that a notional act can be directed to several Persons, so that there may be several. Persons begotten or spirated in God. For whoever has the power of begetting can beget. But the Son has the power Edition: current; Page: [177] of begetting. Therefore He can beget. But He can not beget Himself: therefore He can beget another son. Therefore there can be several Sons in God.

Obj. 2. Further, Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii. 12): The Son did not beget a Creator: not that He could not, but that it behoved Him not.

Obj. 3. Further, God the Father has greater power to beget than has a created father. But a man can beget several sons. Therefore God can also: the more so that the power of the Father is not diminished after begetting the Son.

On the contrary, In God that which is possible, and that which is do not differ. If, therefore, in God it were possible for there to be several Sons, there would be several Sons. And thus there would be more than three Persons in God; which is heretical.

I answer that, As Athanasius says, in God there is only one Father, one Son, one Holy Ghost. For this four reasons may be given.

The first reason is in regard to the relations by which alone are the Persons distinct. For since the divine Persons are the relations themselves as subsistent, there would not be several Fathers, or several Sons in God, unless there were more than one paternity, or more than one filiation. And this, indeed, would not be possible except owing to a material distinction: since forms of one species are not multiplied except in respect of matter, which is not in God. Wherefore there can be but one subsistent filiation in God: just as there could be but one subsistent whiteness.

The second reason is taken from the manner of the processions. For God understands and wills all things by one simple act. Wherefore there can be but one person proceeding after the manner of word, which person is the Son; and but one person proceeding after the manner of love, which person is the Holy Ghost.

The third reason is taken from the manner in which the persons proceed. For the persons proceed naturally, as we have said (A. 2), and nature is determined to one.

Edition: current; Page: [178]

The fourth reason is taken from the perfection of the divine persons. For this reason is the Son perfect, that the entire divine filiation is contained in Him, and that there is but one Son. The argument is similar in regard to the other persons.

Reply Obj. 1. We can grant, without distinction, that the Son has the same power as the Father; but we cannot grant that the Son has the power generandi (of begetting) thus taking generandi as the gerund of the active verb, so that the sense would be that the Son has the power to beget. Just as, although Father and Son have the same being, it does not follow that the Son is the Father, by reason of the notional term added. But if the word generandi (of being begotten) is taken as the gerundive of the passive verb, the power generandi is in the Son—that is, the power of being begotten. The same is to be said if it be taken as the gerundive of an impersonal verb, so that the sense be the power of generation—that is, a power by which it is generated by some person.

Reply Obj. 2. Augustine does not mean to say by those words that the Son could beget a Son: but that if He did not, it was not because He could not, as we shall see later on (Q. XLII., A. 6 ad 3).

Reply Obj. 3. Divine perfection and the total absence of matter in God require that there cannot be several Sons in God, as we have explained. Wherefore that there are not several Sons is not due to any lack of begetting power in the Father.

Edition: current; Page: [179]

QUESTION XLII.: OF EQUALITY AND LIKENESS AMONG THE DIVINE PERSONS.
(In Six Articles.)

We now have to consider the persons as compared to one another: firstly, with regard to equality and likeness; secondly, with regard to mission. Concerning the first there are six points of inquiry.

(1) Whether there is equality among the divine persons? (2) Whether the person who proceeds is equal to the one from Whom He proceeds in eternity? (3) Whether there is any order among the divine persons? (4) Whether the divine persons are equal in greatness? (5) Whether the one divine person is in another? (6) Whether they are equal in power?

First Article.
WHETHER THERE IS EQUALITY IN GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that equality is not becoming to the divine persons. For equality is in relation to things which are one in quantity as the Philosopher says (Metaph. v., text. 20). But in the divine persons there is no quantity, neither continuous intrinsic quantity, which we call size, nor continuous extrinsic quantity, which we call place and time. Nor can there be equality by reason of discrete quantity, because two persons are more than one. Therefore equality is not becoming to the divine persons.

Obj. 2. Further, the divine persons are of one essence, as we have said (Q. XXXIX., A. 2). Now essence is signified by way of form. But agreement in form makes Edition: current; Page: [180] things to be alike, not to be equal. Therefore, we may speak of likeness in the divine persons, but not of equality.

Obj. 3. Further, things wherein there is to be found equality, are equal to one another, for equality is reciprocal. But the divine persons cannot be said to be equal to one another. For as Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 10): If an image answers perfectly to that whereof it is the image, it may be said to be equal to it; but that which it represents cannot be said to be equal to the image. But the Son is the image of the Father; and so the Father is not equal to the Son. Therefore equality is not to be found among the divine persons.

Obj. 4. Further, equality is a relation. But no relation is common to the three persons; for the persons are distinct by reason of the relations. Therefore equality is not becoming to the divine persons.

On the contrary, Athanasius says that the three persons are co-eternal and co-equal to one another.

I answer that, We must needs admit equality among the divine persons. For, according to the Philosopher (Metaph. x., text. 15, 16, 17), equality signifies the negation of greater or less. Now we cannot admit anything greater or less in the divine persons; for as Boëthius says (De Trin. i.): They must needs admit a difference—namely, of Godhead—who speak of either increase or decrease, as the Arians do, who sunder the Trinity by distinguishing degrees as of numbers, thus involving a plurality. Now the reason of this is that unequal things cannot have the same quantity. But quantity, in God, is nothing else than His essence. Wherefore it follows, that if there were any inequality in the divine persons, they would not have the same essence; and thus the three persons would not be one God; which is impossible. We must therefore admit equality among the divine persons.

Reply Obj. 1. Quantity is twofold. There is quantity of bulk or dimensive quantity, which is to be found only in corporeal things, and has, therefore, no place in God. There is also quantity of virtue, which is measured according to the perfection of some nature or form: to this sort of Edition: current; Page: [181] quantity we allude when we speak of something as being more, or less, hot; forasmuch as it is more, or less, perfect in heat. Now this virtual quantity is measured firstly by its source—that is, by the perfection of that form or nature: such is the greatness of spiritual things, just as we speak of great heat on account of its intensity and perfection. And so Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 18) that in things which are great, but not in bulk, to be greater is to be better, for the more perfect a thing is, the better it is. Secondly, virtual quantity is measured by the effects of the form. Now the first effect of form is being, for everything has being by reason of its form. The second effect is operation, for every agent acts through its form. Consequently virtual quantity is measured both in regard to being and in regard to action: in regard to being, forasmuch as things of a more perfect nature are of longer duration; and in regard to action, forasmuch as things of a more perfect nature are more powerful to act. And so as Augustine (Fulgentius, De Fide ad Petrum i.) says: We understand equality to be in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, inasmuch as no one of them either precedes in eternity, or excels in greatness, or surpasses in power.

Reply Obj. 2. Where we have equality in respect of virtual quantity, equality includes likeness and something besides, because it excludes excess. For whatever things have a common form, may be said to be alike, even if they do not participate in that form equally, just as the air may be said to be like fire in heat; but they cannot be said to be equal, if one participates in the form more perfectly than another. And because not only is the same nature in both Father and Son, but also is it in both in perfect equality, therefore we say not only that the Son is like to the Father, in order to exclude the error of Eunomius, but also that He is equal to the Father to exclude the error of Arius.

Reply Obj. 3. Equality and likeness in God may be designated in two ways—namely, by nouns and by verbs. When designated by nouns, equality in the divine persons is mutual, and so is likeness; for the Son is equal and like to the Father, and conversely. This is because the divine Edition: current; Page: [182] essence is not more the Father’s than the Son’s. Wherefore, just as the Son has the greatness of the Father, and is therefore equal to the Father, so the Father has the greatness of the Son, and is therefore equal to the Son. But in reference to creatures, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ix.): Equality and likeness are not mutual. For effects are said to be like their causes, inasmuch as they have the form of their causes: but not conversely, for the form is principally in the cause, and secondarily in the effect.

But verbs signify equality with movement. And although movement is not in God, there is something that receives. Since, therefore, the Son receives from the Father, this, namely, that He is equal to the Father, and not conversely, for this reason we say that the Son is equalled to the Father, but not conversely.

Reply Obj. 4. In the divine persons there is nothing for us to consider but the essence which they have in common and the relations in which they are distinct. Now equality implies both—namely, distinction of persons, for nothing can be said to be equal to itself; and unity of essence, since for this reason are the persons equal to one another, that they are of the same greatness and essence. Now it is clear that the relation of a thing to itself is not a real relation. Nor, again, is one relation referred to another by a further relation: for when we say that paternity is opposed to filiation, opposition is not a relation mediating between paternity and filiation. For in both these cases relation would be multiplied indefinitely. Therefore equality and likeness in the divine persons is not a real relation distinct from the personal relations: but in its concept it includes both the relations which distinguish the persons, and the unity of essence. For this reason the Master says (1 Sent. D. xxxi.) that in these it is only the terms that are relative.

Edition: current; Page: [183]

Second Article.
WHETHER THE PERSON PROCEEDING IS CO-ETERNAL WITH HIS PRINCIPLE, AS THE SON WITH THE FATHER?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the person proceeding is not co-eternal with His principle, as the Son with the Father. For Arius gives twelve modes of generation. The first mode is like the issue of a line from a point; wherein is wanting equality of simplicity. The second is like the emission of rays from the sun; wherein is absent equality of nature. The third is like the mark or impression made by a seal; wherein is wanting consubstantiality and executive power. The fourth is the infusion of a good will from God; wherein also consubstantiality is wanting. The fifth is the emanation of an accident from its subject; but the accident has no subsistence. The sixth is the abstraction of a species from matter, as sense receives the species from the sensible object; wherein is wanting equality of spiritual simplicity. The seventh is the exciting of the will by knowledge, which excitation is merely temporal. The eighth is transformation, as an image is made of brass; which transformation is material. The ninth is motion from a mover; and here again we have effect and cause. The tenth is the taking of species from genera; but this mode has no place in God, for the Father is not predicated of the Son as the genus of a species. The eleventh is the realization of an idea (ideatio), as an external coffer arises from the one in the mind. The twelfth is birth, as a man is begotten of his father; which implies priority and posteriority of time. Thus it is clear that equality of nature or of time is absent in every mode whereby one thing is from another. So if the Son is from the Father, we must say that He is less than the Father, or later than the Father, or both.

Obj. 2. Further, everything that comes from another has a principle. But nothing eternal has a principle. Therefore the Son is not eternal; nor is the Holy Ghost.

Edition: current; Page: [184]

Obj. 3. Further, everything which is corrupted ceases to be. Hence everything generated begins to be; for the end of generation is existence. But the Son is generated by the Father. Therefore He begins to exist, and is not co-eternal with the Father.

Obj. 4. Further, if the Son be begotten by the Father, either He is always being begotten, or there is some moment in which He is begotten. If He is always being begotten, since, during the process of generation, a thing must be imperfect, as appears in successive things, which are always in process of becoming, as time and motion, it follows that the Son must be always imperfect, which cannot be admitted. Thus there is a moment to be assigned for the begetting of the Son, and before that moment the Son did not exist.

On the contrary, Athanasius declares that all the three persons are co-eternal with each other.

I answer that, We must say that the Son is co-eternal with the Father. In proof of which we must consider that for a thing which proceeds from a principle to be posterior to its principle may be due to two reasons: one on the part of the agent, and the other on the part of the action. On the part of the agent this happens differently as regards free agents and natural agents. In free agents, on account of the choice of time; for as a free agent can choose the form it gives to the effect, as stated above (Q. XLI., A. 2), so it can choose the time in which to produce its effect. In natural agents, however, the same happens from the agent not having its perfection of natural power from the very first, but obtaining it after a certain time; as, for instance, a man is not able to generate from the very first. Considered on the part of action, anything derived from a principle cannot exist simultaneously with its principle when the action is successive. So, given that an agent, as soon as it exists, begins to act thus, the effect would not exist in the same instant, but in the instant of the action’s termination. Now it is manifest, according to what has been said (Q. XLI., A. 2), that the Father does not beget the Son by will, but by nature; and also that the Father’s Edition: current; Page: [185] nature was perfect from eternity; and again that the action whereby the Father produces the Son is not successive, because thus the Son would be successively generated, and this generation would be material, and accompanied with movement; which is quite impossible. Therefore we conclude that the Son existed whensoever the Father existed; and thus the Son is co-eternal with the Father, and likewise the Holy Ghost is co-eternal with both.

Reply Obj. 1. As Augustine says (De Verbis Domini, Serm. 38), no mode of the procession of any creature perfectly represents the divine generation. Hence we need to gather a likeness of it from many of these modes, so that what is wanting in one may be somewhat supplied from another; and thus it is declared in the council of Ephesus: Let Splendour tell thee that the co-eternal Son existed always with the Father; let the Word announce the impassibility of His Birth; let the name Son insinuate His consubstantiality.—Yet, above them all the procession of the word from the intellect represents it more exactly; the intellectual word not being posterior to its source except in an intellect passing from potentiality to act; and this cannot be said of God.

Reply Obj. 2. Eternity excludes the principle of duration, but not the principle of origin.

Reply Obj. 3. Every corruption is a change; and so all that corrupts begins not to exist and ceases to be. The divine generation, however, is not changed, as stated above (Q. XXVII., A. 2). Hence the Son is ever being begotten, and the Father is always begetting.

Reply Obj. 4. In time there is something indivisible—namely, the instant; and there is something else which endures—namely, time. But in eternity the indivisible now stands ever still, as we have said above (Q. X., A. 2 ad 1, A. 4 ad 2). But the generation of the Son is not in the now of time, or in time, but in eternity. And so to express the presentiality and permanence of eternity, we can say that He is ever being born, as Origen said (Hom. in Jo. i.). But as Gregory* and Augustine said, it is Edition: current; Page: [186] better to say ever born, so that ever may denote the permanence of eternity, and born the perfection of the only Begotten. Thus, therefore, neither is the Son imperfect, nor was there a time when He was not, as Arius said.

Third Article.
WHETHER IN THE DIVINE PERSONS THERE EXISTS AN ORDER OF NATURE?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that among the divine persons there does not exist an order of nature. For whatever exists in God is the essence, or a person, or a notion. But the order of nature does not signify the essence, nor any of the persons, or notions. Therefore there is no order of nature in God.

Obj. 2. Further, wherever order of nature exists, there one comes before another, at least, according to nature and intellect. But in the divine persons there exists neither priority nor posteriority, as declared by Athanasius. Therefore, in the divine persons there is no order of nature.

Obj. 3. Further, wherever order exists, distinction also exists. But there is no distinction in the divine nature. Therefore it is not subject to order; and order of nature does not exist in it.

Obj. 4. Further, the divine nature is the divine essence. But there is no order of essence in God. Therefore neither is there of nature.

On the contrary, Where plurality exists without order, confusion exists. But in the divine persons there is no confusion, as Athanasius says. Therefore in God order exists.

I answer that, Order always has reference to some principle. Wherefore since there are many kinds of principle—namely, according to site, as a point; according to intellect, as the principle of demonstration; and according to each individual cause—so are there many kinds of order. Now principle, according to origin, without priority, exists in God as we have stated (Q. XXXIII., A. 1): so there Edition: current; Page: [187] must likewise be order according to origin, without priority; and this is called the order of nature: in the words of Augustine (Contra Maxim. iv.): Not whereby one is prior to another, but whereby one is from another.

Reply Obj. 1. The order of nature signifies the notion of origin in general, not a special kind of origin.

Reply Obj. 2. In things created, even when what is derived from a principle is coeval in duration with its principle, the principle still comes first in the order of nature and reason, if formally considered as principle. If, however, we consider the relations of cause and effect, or of the principle and the thing proceeding therefrom, it is clear that the things so related are simultaneous in the order of nature and reason, inasmuch as the one enters the definition of the other. But in God the relations themselves are the persons subsisting in one nature. So, neither on the part of the nature, nor on the part of the relations, can one person be prior to another, not even in the order of nature and reason.

Reply Obj. 3. The order of nature means not the ordering of nature itself, but the existence of order in the divine Persons according to natural origin.

Reply Obj. 4. Nature in a certain way implies the idea of a principle, but essence does not; and so the order of origin is more correctly called the order of nature than the order of essence.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE SON IS EQUAL TO THE FATHER IN GREATNESS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Son is not equal to the Father in greatness. For He Himself said (Jo. xiv. 28): The Father is greater than I; and the Apostle says (1 Cor. xv. 28): The Son Himself shall be subject to Him that put all things under Him.

Obj. 2. Further, Paternity is part of the Father’s dignity. But paternity does not belong to the Son. Therefore the Edition: current; Page: [188] Son does not possess all the Father’s dignity; and so He is not equal in greatness to the Father.

Obj. 3. Further, wherever there exist a whole and a part, many parts are more than one only, or than fewer parts; as three men are more than two, or than one. But in God a universal whole exists, and a part; for under relation or notion, several notions are included. Therefore, since in the Father there are three notions, while in the Son there are only two, the Son is evidently not equal to the Father.

On the contrary, It is said (Phil. ii. 6).: He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

I answer that, The Son is necessarily equal to the Father in greatness. For the greatness of God is nothing but the perfection of His nature. Now it belongs to the very nature of paternity and filiation that the Son by generation should attain to the possession of the perfection of the nature which is in the Father, in the same way as it is in the Father Himself. But since in men generation is a certain kind of transmutation of one proceeding from potentiality to act, it follows that a man is not equal at first to the father who begets him, but attains to equality by due growth, unless owing to a defect in the principle of generation it should happen otherwise. From what precedes (Q. XXVII., A. 2; Q. XXXIII., AA. 2, 3), it is evident that in God there exist real true paternity and filiation. Nor can we say that the power of generation in the Father was defective, or that the Son of God arrived at perfection in a successive manner and by change. Therefore we must say that the Son was eternally equal to the Father in greatness. Hence, Hilary says (De Synod., Can. 27): Remove bodily weakness, remove the beginning of conception, remove pain and all human shortcomings, then every son, by reason of his natural nativity, is the father’s equal, because he has a like nature.

Reply Obj. 1. These words are to be understood of Christ’s human nature, wherein He is less than the Father, and subject to Him; but in His divine nature He is equal to the Father. This is expressed by Athanasius, Equal to the Father in His Godhead; less than the Father in Edition: current; Page: [189] humanity: and by Hilary (De Trin. ix.): By the fact of giving, the Father is greater; but He is not less to Whom the same being is given; and (De Synod.): The Son subjects Himself by His inborn piety—that is, by His recognition of paternal authority; whereas creatures are subject by their created weakness.

Reply Obj. 2. Equality is measured by greatness. In God greatness signifies the perfection of nature, as above explained (A. 1 ad 1), and belongs to the essence. Thus equality and likeness in God have reference to the essence; nor can there be inequality or dissimilitude arising from the distinction of the relations. Wherefore Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii. 13), The question of origin is, Who is from whom? but the question of equality is, Of what kind, or how great, is he? Therefore, paternity is the Father’s dignity, as also the Father’s essence: since dignity is something absolute, and pertains to the essence. As, therefore, the same essence, which in the Father is paternity, in the Son is filiation, so the same dignity which, in the Father is paternity, in the Son is filiation. It is thus true to say that the Son possesses whatever dignity the Father has; but we cannot argue—the Father has paternity, therefore the Son has paternity, for there is a transition from substance to relation. For the Father and the Son have the same essence and dignity, which exist in the Father by the relation of giver, and in the Son by the relation of receiver.

Reply Obj. 3. In God relation is not a universal whole, although it is predicated of each of the relations; because all the relations are one in essence and being, which is irreconcilable with the idea of universal, the parts of which are distinguished in being. Person likewise is not a universal term in God as we have seen above (Q. XXX., A. 4). Wherefore all the relations together are not greater than only one; nor are all the persons something greater than only one; because the whole perfection of the divine nature exists in each person.

Edition: current; Page: [190]

Fifth Article.
WHETHER THE SON IS IN THE FATHER, AND CONVERSELY?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Son and the Father are not in each other. For the Philosopher (Phys. iv., text 23) gives eight modes of one thing existing in another, according to none of which is the Son in the Father, or conversely; as is patent to anyone who examines each mode. Therefore the Son and the Father are not in each other.

Obj. 2. Further, nothing that has come out from another is within it. But the Son from eternity came out from the Father, according to Micheas v. 2: His going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. Therefore the Son is not in the Father.

Obj. 3. Further, one of two opposites cannot be in the other. But the Son and the Father are relatively opposed. Therefore one cannot be in the other.

On the contrary, It is said (Jo. xiv. 10): I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me.

I answer that, There are three points of consideration as regards the Father and the Son; the essence, the relation, and the origin; and according to each the Son and the Father are in each other. The Father is in the Son by His essence, forasmuch as the Father is His own essence, and communicates His essence to the Son not by any change on His part. Hence it follows that as the Father’s essence is in the Son, the Father Himself is in the Son; likewise, since the Son is His own essence, it follows that He Himself is in the Father in Whom is His essence. This is expressed by Hilary (De Trin. v.), The unchangeable God, so to speak, follows His own nature in begetting an unchangeable subsisting God. So we understand the nature of God to subsist in Him, for He is God in God. It is also manifest that as regards the relations, each of two relative opposites is in the concept of the other. Regarding origin also, it is clear that the procession of the intelligible word is not outside the intellect, inasmuch as it remains in the Edition: current; Page: [191] utterer of the word. What also is uttered by the word is therein contained. And the same applies to the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 1. What is contained in creatures does not sufficiently represent what exists in God; so according to none of the modes enumerated by the Philosopher, are the Son and the Father in each other. The mode the most nearly approaching to the reality is to be found in that whereby something exists in its originating principle, except that the unity of essence between the principle and that which proceeds therefrom is wanting in things created.

Reply Obj. 2. The Son’s going forth from the Father is by mode of the interior procession whereby the word emerges from the heart and remains therein. Hence this going forth in God is only by the distinction of the relations, not by any kind of essential separation.

Reply Obj. 3. The Father and the Son are relatively opposed, but not essentially; while, as above explained, one relative opposite is in the other.

Sixth Article.
WHETHER THE SON IS EQUAL TO THE FATHER IN POWER?

We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Son is not equal to the Father in power. For it is said (Jo. v. 19): The Son cannot do anything of Himself but what He seeth the Father doing. But the Father can act of Himself. Therefore the Father’s power is greater than the Son’s.

Obj. 2. Further, greater is the power of him who commands and teaches than of him who obeys and hears. But the Father commands the Son according to Jo. xiv. 31: As the Father gave Me commandment, so do I. The Father also teaches the Son: The Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doth (Jo. v. 20). Also, the Son hears: As I hear, so I judge (Jo. v. 30). Therefore, the Father has greater power than the Son.

Obj. 3. Further, it belongs to the Father’s omnipotence Edition: current; Page: [192] to be able to beget a Son equal to Himself. For Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii. 7), Were He unable to beget one equal to Himself, where would be the omnipotence of God the Father? But the Son cannot beget a Son, as proved above (Q. XLI., A. 6). Therefore the Son cannot do all that belongs to the Father’s omnipotence; and hence He is not equal to Him in power.

On the contrary, It is said (Jo. v. 19): Whatsoever things the Father doth, these the Son also doth in like manner.

I answer that, The Son is necessarily equal to the Father in power. Power of action is a consequence of perfection of nature. In creatures, for instance, we see that the more perfect the nature, the greater power is there for action. Now it was shown above (A. 4) that the very notion of the divine paternity and filiation requires that the Son should be the Father’s equal in greatness—that is, in perfection of nature. Hence it follows that the Son is equal to the Father in power; and the same applies to the Holy Ghost in relation to both.

Reply Obj. 1. The words, the Son cannot of Himself do anything, do not withdraw from the Son any power possessed by the Father, since it is immediately added, Whatsoever things the Father doth, the Son doth in like manner: but their meaning is to show that the Son derives His power from the Father, of Whom He receives His nature. Hence, Hilary says (De Trin. ix.), The unity of the divine nature implies that the Son so acts of Himself (per se), that He does not act by Himself (a se).

Reply Obj. 2. The Father’s showing and the Son’s hearing are to be taken in the sense that the Father communicates knowledge to the Son, as He communicates His essence. The command of the Father can be explained in the same sense, as giving Him from eternity knowledge and will to act, by begetting Him. Or, better still, this may be referred to Christ in His human nature.

Reply Obj. 3. As the same essence is paternity in the Father, and filiation in the Son: so by the same power the Father begets, and the Son is begotten. Hence it is clear that the Son can do whatever the Father can do; yet it Edition: current; Page: [193] does not follow that the Son can beget; for to argue thus would imply transition from substance to relation, for generation signifies a divine relation. So the Son has the same omnipotence as the Father, but with another relation; the Father possessing power as giving signified when we say that He is able to beget; while the Son possesses the power as receiving, signified by saying that He can be begotten.

Edition: current; Page: [194]

QUESTION XLIII.: THE MISSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS.
(In Eight Articles.)

We next consider the mission of the divine persons, concerning which there are eight points of inquiry: (1) Whether it is suitable for a divine person to be sent? (2) Whether mission is eternal, or only temporal? (3) In what sense a divine person is invisibly sent? (4) Whether it is fitting that each person be sent? (5) Whether both the Son and the Holy Ghost are invisibly sent? (6) To whom the invisible mission is directed? (7) Of the visible mission. (8) Whether any person sends Himself visibly or invisibly?

First Article.
WHETHER A DIVINE PERSON CAN BE PROPERLY SENT?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that a divine person cannot be properly sent. For one who is sent is less than the sender. But one divine person is not less than another. Therefore one person is not sent by another.

Obj. 2. Further, what is sent is separated from the sender; hence Jerome says, commenting on Ezechiel xvi. 53: What is joined and tied in one body cannot be sent. But in the divine persons there is nothing that is separable, as Hilary says (De Trin. vii.). Therefore one person is not sent by another.

Obj. 3. Further, whoever is sent, departs from one place and comes anew into another. But this does not apply to a divine person, Who is everywhere. Therefore it is not suitable for a divine person to be sent.

Edition: current; Page: [195]

On the contrary, It is said (Jo. viii. 16): I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me.

I answer that, the notion of mission includes two things: the habitude of the one sent to the sender; and that of the one sent to the end whereto he is sent. Anyone being sent implies a certain kind of procession of the one sent from the sender: either according to command, as the master sends the servant; or according to counsel, as an adviser may be said to send the king to battle; or according to origin, as a tree sends forth its flower. The habitude to the term to which he is sent is also shown, so that in some way he begins to be present there: either because in no way was he present before in the place whereto he is sent, or because he begins to be there in some way in which he was not there hitherto. Thus the mission of a divine person is a fitting thing, as meaning in one way the procession of origin from the sender, and as meaning a new way of existing in another; thus the Son is said to be sent by the Father into the world, inasmuch as He began to exist visibly in the world by taking our nature; whereas He was previously in the world (Jo. i. 1).

Reply Obj. 1. Mission implies inferiority in the one sent, when it means procession from the sender as principle, by command or counsel; forasmuch as the one commanding is the greater, and the counsellor is the wiser. In God, however, it means only procession of origin, which is according to equality, as explained above (Q. XLII., AA. 4, 6).

Reply Obj. 2. What is so sent as to begin to exist where previously it did not exist, is locally moved by being sent; hence it is necessarily separated locally from the sender. This, however, has no place in the mission of a divine person; for the divine person sent neither begins to exist where he did not previously exist, nor ceases to exist where He was. Hence such a mission takes place without a separation, having only distinction of origin.

Reply Obj. 3. This objection rests on the idea of mission according to local motion, which is not in God.

Edition: current; Page: [196]

Second Article.
WHETHER MISSION IS ETERNAL, OR ONLY TEMPORAL?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that mission can be eternal. For Gregory says (Hom. xxvi. in Ev.), The Son is sent as He is begotten. But the Son’s generation is eternal. Therefore mission is eternal.

Obj. 2. Further, a thing is changed if it becomes something temporally. But a divine person is not changed. Therefore the mission of a divine person is not temporal, but eternal.

Obj. 3. Further, mission implies procession. But the procession of the divine persons is eternal. Therefore mission is also eternal.

On the contrary, It is said (Gal. iv. 4): When the fulness of the time was come, God sent His Son.

I answer that, A certain difference is to be observed in all the words that express the origin of the divine persons. For some express only relation to the principle, as procession and going forth. Others express the term of procession together with the relation to the principle. Of these some express the eternal term, as generation and spiration; for generation is the procession of the divine person into the divine nature, and passive spiration is the procession of the subsisting love. Others express the temporal term with the relation to the principle, as mission and giving. For a thing is sent that it may be in something else, and is given that it may be possessed; but that a divine person be possessed by any creature, or exist in it in a new mode, is temporal.

Hence mission and giving have only a temporal signification in God; but generation and spiration are exclusively eternal; whereas procession and giving, in God, have both an eternal and a temporal signification: for the Son may proceed eternally as God; but temporally, by becoming man, according to His visible mission, or likewise by dwelling in man according to his invisible mission.

Edition: current; Page: [197]

Reply Obj. 1. Gregory speaks of the temporal generation of the Son, not from the Father, but from His mother; or it may be taken to mean that He could be sent because eternally begotten.

Reply Obj. 2. That a divine person may newly exist in anyone, or be possessed by anyone in time, does not come from change of the divine person, but from change in the creature; as God Himself is called Lord temporally by change of the creature.

Reply Obj. 3. Mission signifies not only procession from the principle, but also determines the temporal term of the procession. Hence mission is only temporal. Or we may say that it includes the eternal procession, with the addition of a temporal effect. For the relation of a divine person to His principle must be eternal. Hence the procession may be called a twin procession, eternal and temporal, not that there is a double relation to the principle, but a double term, temporal and eternal.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE INVISIBLE MISSION OF THE DIVINE PERSON IS ONLY ACCORDING TO THE GIFT OF SANCTIFYING GRACE?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the invisible mission of the divine person is not only according to the gift of sanctifying grace. For the sending of a divine person means that He is given. Hence if the divine person is sent only according to the gift of sanctifying grace, the divine person Himself will not be given, but only His gifts; and this is the error of those who say that the Holy Ghost is not given, but that His gifts are given.

Obj. 2. Further, this preposition, according to, denotes the habitude of some cause. But the divine person is the cause why the gift of sanctifying grace is possessed, and not conversely, according to Rom. v. 5, the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who is given to us. Therefore it is improperly said that the divine person is sent according to the gift of sanctifying grace.

Edition: current; Page: [198]

Obj. 3. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20) that the Son, when temporally perceived by the mind, is sent. But the Son is known not only by sanctifying grace, but also by gratuitous grace, as by faith and knowledge. Therefore the divine person is not sent only according to the gift of sanctifying grace.

Obj. 4. Further, Rabanus says that the Holy Ghost was given to the apostles for the working of miracles. This, however, is not a gift of sanctifying grace, but a gratuitous grace. Therefore the divine person is not given only according to the gift of sanctifying grace.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iii. 4) that the Holy Ghost proceeds temporally for the creature’s sanctification. But mission is a temporal procession. Since then the creature’s sanctification is by sanctifying grace, it follows that the mission of the divine person is only by sanctifying grace.

I answer that, The divine person is fittingly sent in the sense that He exists newly in anyone; and He is given as possessed by anyone; and neither of these is otherwise than by sanctifying grace.

For God is in all things by His essence, power, and presence, according to His one common mode, as the cause existing in the effects which participate in His goodness. Above and beyond this common mode, however, there is one special mode belonging to the rational nature wherein God is said to be present as the object known is in the knower, and the beloved in the lover. And since the rational creature by its operation of knowledge and love attains to God Himself, according to this special mode God is said not only to exist in the rational creature, but also to dwell therein as in His own temple. So no other effect can be put down as the reason why the divine person is in the rational creature in a new mode, except sanctifying grace. Hence, the divine person is sent, and proceeds temporally only according to sanctifying grace.

Again, we are said to possess only what we can freely use or enjoy: and to have the power of enjoying the divine person can only be according to sanctifying grace. And Edition: current; Page: [199] yet the Holy Ghost is possessed by man, and dwells within him, in the very gift itself of sanctifying grace. Hence the Holy Ghost Himself is given and sent.

Reply Obj. 1. By the gift of sanctifying grace the rational creature is perfected so that it can freely use not only the created gift itself, but enjoy also the divine person Himself; and so the invisible mission takes place according to the gift of sanctifying grace; and yet the divine person Himself is given.

Reply Obj. 2. Sanctifying grace disposes the soul to possess the divine person; and this is signified when it is said that the Holy Ghost is given according to the gift of grace. Nevertheless the gift itself of grace is from the Holy Ghost; which is meant by the words, the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.

Reply Obj. 3. Although the Son can be known by us according to other effects, yet neither does He dwell in us, nor is He possessed by us according to those effects.

Reply Obj. 4. The working of miracles manifests sanctifying grace as also does the gift of prophecy and any other gratuitous graces. Hence gratuitous grace is called the manifestation of the Spirit (1 Cor. xii. 7). So the Holy Ghost is said to be given to the apostles for the working of miracles, because sanctifying grace was given to them with the outward sign. Were the sign only of sanctifying grace given to them without the grace itself, it would not be simply said that the Holy Ghost was given, except with some qualifying term; just as we read of certain ones receiving the gift of the spirit of prophecy, or of miracles, as having from the Holy Ghost the power of prophesying or of working miracles.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER THE FATHER CAN BE FITTINGLY SENT?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is fitting also that the Father should be sent. For being sent means that the divine person is given. But the Father gives Himself since Edition: current; Page: [200] He can only be possessed by His giving Himself. Therefore it can be said that the Father sends Himself.

Obj. 2. Further, the divine person is sent according to the indwelling of grace. But by grace the whole Trinity dwells in us according to Jo. xiv. 23: We will come to him and make Our abode with him. Therefore each one of the divine persons is sent.

Obj. 3. Further, whatever belongs to one person, belongs to them all, except the notions and persons. But mission does not signify any person; nor even a notion, since there are only five notions, as stated above (Q. XXXII., A. 3). Therefore every divine person can be sent.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. ii. 3), The Father alone is never described as being sent.

I answer that, The very idea of mission means procession from another, and in God it means procession according to origin, as above expounded. Hence, as the Father is not from another, in no way is it fitting for Him to be sent; but this can only belong to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, to Whom it belongs to be from another.

Reply Obj. 1. In the sense of giving as a free bestowal of something, the Father gives Himself, as freely bestowing Himself to be enjoyed by the creature. But as implying the authority of the giver as regards what is given, to be given only applies in God to the Person Who is from another; and the same as regards being sent.

Reply Obj. 2. Although the effect of grace is also from the Father, Who dwells in us by grace, just as the Son and the Holy Ghost, still He is not described as being sent, for He is not from another. Thus Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20) that The Father, when known by anyone in time, is not said to be sent; for there is no one whence He is, or from whom He proceeds.

Reply Obj. 3. Mission, meaning procession from the sender, includes the signification of a notion, not of a special notion, but in general; thus to be from another is common to two of the notions.

Edition: current; Page: [201]

Fifth Article.
WHETHER IT IS FITTING FOR THE SON TO BE SENT INVISIBLY?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is not fitting for the Son to be sent invisibly. For invisible mission of the divine person is according to the gift of grace. But all gifts of grace belong to the Holy Ghost, according to 1 Cor. xii. 11: One and the same Spirit worketh all things. Therefore only the Holy Ghost is sent invisibly.

Obj. 2. Further, the mission of the divine person is according to sanctifying grace. But the gifts belonging to the perfection of the intellect are not gifts of sanctifying grace, since they can be held without the gift of charity, according to 1 Cor. xiii. 2: If I should have prophecy, and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith so that I could move mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Therefore, since the Son proceeds as the word of the intellect, it seems unfitting for Him to be sent invisibly.

Obj. 3. Further, the mission of the divine person is a procession, as expounded above (AA. 1, 4). But the procession of the Son and of the Holy Ghost differ from each other. Therefore they are distinct missions, if both are sent; and then one of them would be superfluous, since one would suffice for the creature’s sanctification.

On the contrary, It is said of divine Wisdom (Wisd. ix. 10): Send her from heaven to Thy Saints, and from the seat of Thy greatness.

I answer that, The whole Trinity dwells in the mind by sanctifying grace, according to Jo. xiv. 23: We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. But that a divine person be sent to anyone by invisible grace signifies both that this person dwells in a new way within him and that He has His origin from another. Hence, since both to the Son and to the Holy Ghost it belongs to dwell in the soul by grace, and to be from another, it therefore belongs to Edition: current; Page: [202] both of them to be invisibly sent. As to the Father, though He dwells in us by grace, still it does not belong to Him to be from another, and consequently He is not sent.

Reply Obj. 1. Although all the gifts, considered as such, are attributed to the Holy Ghost, forasmuch as He is by His nature the first Gift, since He is Love, as stated above (Q. XXXVIII., A. 1), some gifts nevertheless, by reason of their own particular nature, are appropriated in a certain way to the Son, those, namely, which belong to the intellect, and in respect of which we speak of the mission of the Son. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20) that The Son is sent to anyone invisibly, whenever He is known and perceived by anyone.

Reply Obj. 2. The soul is made like to God by grace. Hence for a divine person to be sent to anyone by grace, there must needs be a likening of the soul to the divine person Who is sent, by some gift of grace. Because the Holy Ghost is Love, the soul is assimilated to the Holy Ghost by the gift of charity: hence the mission of the Holy Ghost is according to the mode of charity. Whereas the Son is the Word, not any sort of word, but one Who breathes forth Love. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. ix. 10): The Word we speak of is knowledge with love. Thus the Son is sent not in accordance with every and any kind of intellectual perfection, but according to the intellectual illumination, which breaks forth into the affection of love, as is said (Jo. vi. 45): Everyone that hath heard from the Father and hath learned, cometh to Me, and (Ps. xxxviii. 4): In my meditation a fire shall flame forth. Thus Augustine plainly says (De Trin. iv. 20): The Son is sent, whenever He is known and perceived by anyone. Now perception implies a certain experimental knowledge; and this is properly called wisdom (sapientia), as it were a sweet knowledge (sapida scientia), according to Ecclus. vi. 23: The wisdom of doctrine is according to her name.

Reply Obj. 3. Since mission implies the origin of the person Who is sent, and His indwelling by grace, as above explained (A. 1), if we speak of mission according to origin, in this sense the Son’s mission is distinguished from the Edition: current; Page: [203] mission of the Holy Ghost, as generation is distinguished from procession. If we consider mission as regards the effect of grace, in this sense the two missions are united in the root which is grace, but are distinguished in the effects of grace, which consist in the illumination of the intellect and the kindling of the affection. Thus it is manifest that one mission cannot be without the other, because neither takes place without sanctifying grace, nor is one person separated from the other.

Sixth Article.
WHETHER THE INVISIBLE MISSION IS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATE GRACE?

We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the invisible mission is not to all who participate grace. For the Fathers of the Old Testament had their share of grace. Yet to them was made no invisible mission; for it is said (Jo. vii. 39): The Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Therefore the invisible mission is not to all partakers in grace.

Obj. 2. Further, progress in virtue is only by grace. But the invisible mission is not according to progress in virtue; because progress in virtue is continuous, since charity ever increases or decreases; and thus the mission would be continuous. Therefore the invisible mission is not to all who share in grace.

Obj. 3. Further, Christ and the blessed have fulness of grace. But mission is not to them, for mission implies distance, whereas Christ, as man, and all the blessed are perfectly united to God. Therefore the invisible mission is not to all sharers in grace.

Obj. 4. Further, the Sacraments of the New Law contain grace, and it is not said that the invisible mission is sent to them. Therefore the invisible mission is not to all that have grace.

On the contrary, According to Augustine (De Trin. iii. 4; xv. 27), the invisible mission is for the creature’s sanctification. Edition: current; Page: [204] Now every creature that has grace is sanctified. Therefore the invisible mission is to every such creature.

I answer that, As above stated (AA. 3, 4, 5), mission in its very meaning implies that he who is sent either begins to exist where he was not before, as occurs to creatures; or begins to exist where he was before, but in a new way, in which sense mission is ascribed to the divine persons. Thus, mission as regards the one to whom it is sent implies two things, the indwelling of grace, and a certain renewal by grace. Thus the invisible mission is sent to all in whom are to be found these two conditions.

Reply Obj. 1. The invisible mission was directed to the Old Testament Fathers, as appears from what Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20), that the invisible mission of the Son is in man and with men. This was done in former times with the Fathers and Prophets. Thus the words, the Spirit was not yet given, are to be applied to that giving accompanied with a visible sign which took place on the day of Pentecost.

Reply Obj. 2. The invisible mission takes place also as regards progress in virtue or increase of grace. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. iv. 20), that the Son is sent to each one when He is known and perceived by anyone, so far as He can be known and perceived according to the capacity of the soul, whether journeying towards God, or united perfectly to Him. Such invisible mission, however, chiefly occurs as regards anyone’s proficiency in the performance of a new act, or in the acquisition of a new state of grace; as, for example, the proficiency in reference to the gift of miracles or of prophecy, or in the fervour of charity leading a man to expose himself to the danger of martyrdom, or to renounce his possessions, or to undertake any arduous work.

Reply Obj. 3. The invisible mission is directed to the blessed at the very beginning of their beatitude. The invisible mission is made to them subsequently, not by intensity of grace, but by the further revelation of mysteries; which goes on till the day of judgment. Such an increase is by the extension of grace, because it extends Edition: current; Page: [205] to a greater number of objects. To Christ the invisible mission was sent at the first moment of His conception; but not afterwards, since from the beginning of His conception He was filled with all wisdom and grace.

Reply Obj. 4. Grace resides instrumentally in the sacraments of the New Law, as the form of a thing designed resides in the instruments of the art designing, according to a process flowing from the agent to the passive object. But mission is only spoken of as directed to its term. Hence the mission of the divine person is not sent to the sacraments, but to those who receive grace through the sacraments.

Seventh Article.
WHETHER IT IS FITTING FOR THE HOLY GHOST TO BE SENT VISIBLY?

We proceed thus to the Seventh Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the Holy Ghost is not fittingly sent in a visible manner. For the Son as visibly sent to the world is said to be less than the Father. But the Holy Ghost is never said to be less than the Father. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not fittingly sent in a visible manner.

Obj. 2. Further, the visible mission takes place by way of union to a visible creature, as the Son’s mission according to the flesh. But the Holy Ghost did not assume any visible creature; and hence it cannot be said that He exists otherwise in some creatures than in others, unless perhaps as in a sign, as He is also present in the sacraments, and in all the figures of the law. Thus the Holy Ghost is either not sent visibly at all, or His visible mission takes place in all these things.

Obj. 3. Further, every visible creature is an effect showing forth the whole Trinity. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not sent by reason of those visible creatures more than any other person.

Obj. 4. Further, the Son was visibly sent by reason of the noblest kind of creature—namely, the human nature. Edition: current; Page: [206] Therefore if the Holy Ghost is sent visibly, He ought to be sent by reason of rational creatures.

Obj. 5. Further, whatever is done visibly by God is dispensed by the ministry of the angels; as Augustine says (De Trin. iii. 4, 5, 9). So visible appearances, if there have been any, came by means of the angels. Thus the angels are sent, and not the Holy Ghost.

Obj. 6. Further, the Holy Ghost being sent in a visible manner is only for the purpose of manifesting the invisible mission; as invisible things are made known by the visible. So those to whom the invisible mission was not sent, ought not to receive the visible mission; and to all who received the invisible mission, whether in the New or in the Old Testament, the visible mission ought likewise to be sent; and this is clearly false. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not sent visibly.

On the contrary, It is stated (Matt. iii. 16) that, when our Lord was baptized, the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the shape of a dove.

I answer that, God provides for all things according to the nature of each thing. Now the nature of man requires that he be led to the invisible by visible things, as explained above (Q. XII., A. 12). Wherefore the invisible things of God must be made manifest to man by the things that are visible. As God, therefore, in a certain way has demonstrated Himself and His eternal processions to men by visible creatures, according to certain signs; so was it fitting that the invisible missions also of the divine persons should be made manifest by some visible creatures.

This mode of manifestation applies in different ways to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. For it belongs to the Holy Ghost, Who proceeds as Love, to be the gift of sanctification; to the Son as the principle of the Holy Ghost, it belongs to be the author of this sanctification. Thus the Son has been sent visibly as the author of sanctification; the Holy Ghost as the sign of sanctification.

Reply Obj. 1. The Son assumed the visible creature, wherein He appeared, into the unity of His person, so that whatever can be said of that creature can be said of the Edition: current; Page: [207] Son of God; and so, by reason of the nature assumed, the Son is called less than the Father. But the Holy Ghost did not assume the visible creature, in which He appeared, into the unity of His person; so that what is said of it cannot be predicated of Him. Hence He cannot be called less than the Father by reason of any visible creature.

Reply Obj. 2. The visible mission of the Holy Ghost does not apply to the imaginary vision which is that of prophecy; because, as Augustine says (De Trin. ii. 6): The prophetic vision is not displayed to corporeal eyes by corporeal shapes, but is shown in the spirit by the spiritual images of bodies. But whoever saw the dove and the fire, saw them by their eyes. Nor, again, has the Holy Ghost the same relation to these images that the Son has to the rock, because it is said,The rock was Christ(1 Cor. x. 4). For that rock was already created, and after the manner of an action was named Christ, Whom it typified; whereas the dove and the fire suddenly appeared to signify only what was happening. They seem, however, to be like to the flame of the burning bush seen by Moses and to the column which the people followed in the desert, and to the lightning and thunder issuing forth when the law was given on the mountain. For the purpose of the bodily appearances of those things was that they might signify, and then pass away. Thus the visible mission is neither displayed by prophetic vision, which belongs to the imagination, and not to the body, nor by the sacramental signs of the Old and New Testament, wherein certain pre-existing things are employed to signify something. But the Holy Ghost is said to be sent visibly, inasmuch as He showed Himself in certain creatures as in signs especially made for that purpose.

Reply Obj. 3. Although the whole Trinity makes those creatures, still they are made in order to show forth in some special way this or that person. For as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are signified by diverse names, so also can They each one be signified by different things; although neither separation nor diversity exists amongst Them.

Reply Obj. 4. It was necessary for the Son to be declared Edition: current; Page: [208] as the author of sanctification, as explained above. Thus the visible mission of the Son was necessarily made according to the rational nature to which it belongs to act, and which is capable of sanctification; whereas any other creature could be the sign of sanctification. Nor was such a visible creature, formed for such a purpose, necessarily assumed by the Holy Ghost into the unity of His person, since it was not assumed or used for the purpose of action, but only for the purpose of a sign; and so likewise it was not required to last beyond what its use required.

Reply Obj. 5. Those visible creatures were formed by the ministry of the angels, not to signify the person of an angel, but to signify the Person of the Holy Ghost. Thus, as the Holy Ghost resided in those visible creatures as the one signified in the sign, on that account the Holy Ghost is said to be sent visibly, and not an angel.

Reply Obj. 6. It is not necessary that the invisible mission should always be made manifest by some visible external sign; but, as is said (1 Cor. xii. 7)the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit—that is, of the Church. This utility consists in the confirmation and propagation of the faith by such visible signs. This has been done chiefly by Christ and by the apostles, according to Heb. ii. 3, which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard.

Thus in a special sense, a mission of the Holy Ghost was directed to Christ, to the apostles, and to some of the early saints on whom the Church was in a way founded; in such a manner, however, that the visible mission made to Christ should show forth the invisible mission made to Him, not at that particular time, but at the first moment of His conception. The visible mission was directed to Christ at the time of His baptism by the figure of a dove, a fruitful animal, to show forth in Christ the authority of the giver of grace by spiritual regeneration; hence the Father’s voice spoke, This is My beloved Son (Matt. iii. 17), that others might be regenerated to the likeness of the only Begotten. The Transfiguration showed it forth in the appearance of a bright cloud, to show the exuberance of doctrine; and Edition: current; Page: [209] hence it was said, Hear ye Him (Matt. xvii. 5). To the apostles the mission was directed in the form of breathing to show forth the power of their ministry in the dispensation of the sacraments; and hence it was said, Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven (Jo. xx. 23): and again under the sign of fiery tongues, to show forth the office of teaching; whence it is said that, they began to speak with divers tongues (Acts ii. 4). The visible mission of the Holy Ghost was fittingly not sent to the fathers of the Old Testament, because the visible mission of the Son was to be accomplished before that of the Holy Ghost; since the Holy Ghost manifests the Son, as the Son manifests the Father. Visible apparitions of the divine persons were, however, given to the Fathers of the Old Testament, which, indeed, cannot be called visible missions; because, according to Augustine (De Trin. ii. 17), they were not sent to designate the indwelling of the divine person by grace, but for the manifestation of something else.

Eighth Article.
WHETHER A DIVINE PERSON IS SENT ONLY BY THE PERSON WHENCE HE PROCEEDS ETERNALLY?

We proceed thus to the Eighth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that a divine person is sent only by the one whence He proceeds eternally. For as Augustine says (De Trin. iv.), The Father is sent by no one because He is from no one. Therefore if a divine person is sent by another, He must be from that other.

Obj. 2. Further, the sender has authority over the one sent. But there can be no authority as regards a divine person except from origin. Therefore the divine person sent must proceed from the one sending.

Obj. 3. Further, if a divine person can be sent by one whence He does not proceed, then the Holy Ghost may be given by a man, although He proceeds not from him; which is contrary to what Augustine says (De Trin. xv.). Therefore the divine person is sent only by the one whence He proceeds.

Edition: current; Page: [210]

On the contrary, The Son is sent by the Holy Ghost, according to Isa. xlviii. 16, Now the Lord God hath sent Me and His Spirit. But the Son is not from the Holy Ghost. Therefore a divine person is sent by one from Whom He does not proceed.

I answer that, There are different opinions on this point. Some say that the divine person is sent only by the one whence He proceeds eternally; and so, when it is said that the Son of God is sent by the Holy Ghost, this is to be explained as regards His human nature, by reason of which He was sent to preach by the Holy Ghost. Augustine, however, says (De Trin. ii. 5) that the Son is sent by Himself, and by the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost is sent by Himself, and by the Son; so that to be sent in God does not apply to each person, but only to the person proceeding from another, whereas to send belongs to each person.

There is some truth in both of these opinions; because when a person is described as being sent, the person Himself existing from another is designated, with the visible or invisible effect, applicable to the mission of the divine person. Thus if the sender be designated as the principle of the person sent, in this sense not each person sends, but that person only Who is the principle of that person who is sent; and thus the Son is sent only by the Father; and the Holy Ghost by the Father and the Son. If, however, the person sending is understood as the principle of the effect implied in the mission, in that sense the whole Trinity sends the person sent. This reason does not prove that a man can send the Holy Ghost, forasmuch as man cannot cause the effect of grace.

The answers to the objections appear from the above.

Edition: current; Page: [211]

SECOND PART.: TREATISE ON THE CREATION

Edition: current; Page: [212] Edition: current; Page: [213]

QUESTION XLIV.: THE PROCESSION OF CREATURES FROM GOD, AND OF THE FIRST CAUSE OF ALL THINGS.
(In Four Articles.)

After treating of the procession of the divine persons, we must consider the procession of creatures from God. This consideration will be threefold: (1) of the production of creatures; (2) of the distinction between them; (3) of their preservation and government. Concerning the first point there are three things to be considered: (1) the first cause of beings; (2) the mode of procession of creatures from the first cause; (3) the principle of the duration of things.

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry: (1) Whether God is the efficient cause of all beings? (2) Whether primary matter is created by God, or is an independent co-ordinate principle with Him? (3) Whether God is the exemplar cause of beings, or whether there are other exemplar causes? (4) Whether He is the final cause of things?

First Article.
WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY THAT EVERY BEING BE CREATED BY GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is not necessary that every being be created by God. For there is nothing to prevent a thing from being without that which does not belong to its essence, as a man can be found without whiteness. But the relation of the thing caused to its cause does not appear to be essential to beings, for some beings can be understood without it; therefore they can exist without Edition: current; Page: [214] it; and therefore it is possible that some beings should not be created by God.

Obj. 2. Further, a thing requires an efficient cause in order to exist. Therefore whatever cannot but exist does not require an efficient cause. But no necessary thing can not exist, because whatever necessarily exists cannot but exist. Therefore as there are many necessary things in existence, it appears that not all beings are from God.

Obj. 3. Further, whatever things have a cause, can be demonstrated by that cause. But in mathematics demonstration is not made by the efficient cause, as appears from the Philosopher (Metaph. iii., text. 3); therefore not all beings are from God as from their efficient cause.

On the contrary, It is said (Rom. xi. 36): Of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things.

I answer that, It must be said that every being in any way existing is from God. For whatever is found in anything by participation, must be caused in it by that to which it belongs essentially, as iron becomes ignited by fire. Now it has been shown above (Q. III., A. 4) when treating of the divine simplicity that God is the essentially self-subsisting Being; and also it was shown (Q. XI., AA. 3, 4) that subsisting being must be one; as, if whiteness were self-subsisting, it would be one, since whiteness is multiplied by its recipients. Therefore all beings apart from God are not their own being, but are beings by participation. Therefore it must be that all things which are diversified by the diverse participation of being, so as to be more or less perfect, are caused by one First Being, Who possesses being most perfectly.

Hence Plato said (Parmen. xxvi.) that unity must come before multitude; and Aristotle said (Metaph. ii., text. 4) that whatever is greatest in being and greatest in truth, is the cause of every being and of every truth; just as whatever is the greatest in heat is the cause of all heat.

Reply Obj. 1. Though the relation to its cause is not part of the definition of a thing caused, still it follows, as a consequence, on what belongs to its essence; because from the fact that a thing has being by participation, it follows that Edition: current; Page: [215] it is caused. Hence such a being cannot be without being caused, just as man cannot be without having the faculty of laughing. But, since to be caused does not enter into the essence of being as such, therefore is it possible for us to find a being uncaused.

Reply Obj. 2. This objection has led some to say that what is necessary has no cause (Phys. viii., text. 46). But this is manifestly false in demonstrative sciences, where necessary principles are the causes of necessary conclusions. And therefore Aristotle says (Metaph. v., text. 6), that there are some necessary things which have a cause of their necessity. But the reason why an efficient cause is required is not merely because the effect is not necessary, but because the effect might not be if the cause were not. For this conditional proposition is true, whether the antecedent and consequent be possible or impossible.

Reply Obj. 3. The science of mathematics treats its object as though it were something abstracted mentally, whereas it is not abstract in reality. Now, it is becoming that everything should have an efficient cause in proportion to its being. And so, although the object of mathematics has an efficient cause, still, its relation to that cause is not the reason why it is brought under the consideration of the mathematician, who therefore does not demonstrate that object from its efficient cause.

Second Article.
WHETHER PRIMARY MATTER IS CREATED BY GOD?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that primary matter is not created by God. For whatever is made is composed of a subject and of something else (Phys. i., text. 62). But primary matter has no subject. Therefore primary matter cannot have been made by God.

Obj. 2. Further, action and passion are opposite members of a division. But as the first active principle is God, so the first passive principle is matter. Therefore God and Edition: current; Page: [216] primary matter are two principles divided against each other, neither of which is from the other.

Obj. 3. Further, every agent produces its like, and thus, since every agent acts in proportion to its actuality, it follows that everything made is in some degree actual. But primary matter is only in potentiality, formally considered in itself. Therefore it is against the nature of primary matter to be a thing made.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Conf. xii. 7), Two things hast Thou made, O Lord; one nigh unto Thyself—viz., angels—the other nigh unto nothing—viz., primary matter.

I answer that, The ancient philosophers gradually, and as it were step by step, advanced to the knowledge of truth. At first being of grosser mind, they failed to realize that any beings existed except sensible bodies. And those among them who admitted movement, did not consider it except as regards certain accidents, for instance, in relation to rarefaction and condensation, by union and separation. And supposing as they did that corporeal substance itself was uncreated, they assigned certain causes for these accidental changes, as for instance, affinity, discord, intellect, or something of that kind. An advance was made when they understood that there was a distinction between the substantial form and matter, which latter they imagined to be uncreated, and when they perceived transmutation to take place in bodies in regard to essential forms. Such transmutations they attributed to certain universal causes, such as the oblique circle,* according to Aristotle (De Gener. ii.), or ideas, according to Plato. But we must take into consideration that matter is contracted by its form to a determinate species, as a substance, belonging to a certain species, is contracted by a supervening accident to a determinate mode of being; for instance, man by whiteness. Each of these opinions, therefore, considered being under some particular aspect, either as this or as such; and so they assigned particular efficient causes to things. Then others there were who arose to the consideration of being, Edition: current; Page: [217] as being, and who assigned a cause to things, not as these, or as such, but as beings.

Therefore whatever is the cause of things considered as beings, must be the cause of things, not only according as they are such by accidental forms, nor according as they are these by substantial forms, but also according to all that belongs to their being at all in any way. And thus it is necessary to say that also primary matter is created by the universal cause of things.

Reply Obj. 1. The Philosopher (Phys. i., text. 62), is speaking of becoming in particular—that is, from form to form, either accidental or substantial. But here we are speaking of things according to their emanation from the universal principle of being; from which emanation matter itself is not excluded, although it is excluded from the former mode of being made.

Reply Obj. 2. Passion is an effect of action. Hence it is reasonable that the first passive principle should be the effect of the first active principle, since every imperfect thing is caused by one perfect. For the first principle must be most perfect, as Aristotle says (Metaph. xii., text. 40).

Reply Obj. 3. The reason adduced does not show that matter is not created, but that it is not created without form; for though everything created is actual, still it is not pure act. Hence it is necessary that even what is potential in it should be created, if all that belongs to its being is created.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE EXEMPLAR CAUSE IS ANYTHING BESIDE GOD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the exemplar cause is something beside God. For the effect is like its exemplar cause. But creatures are far from being like God. Therefore God is not their exemplar cause.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever is by participation is reduced to something self-existing, as a thing ignited is reduced to fire, as stated above (A. 1). But whatever exists in Edition: current; Page: [218] sensible things exists only by participation of some species. This appears from the fact that in all sensible things is found not only what belongs to the species, but also individuating principles added to the principles of the species. Therefore it is necessary to admit self-existing species, as, for instance, a per se man, and a per se horse, and the like, which are called the exemplars. Therefore exemplar causes exist beside God.

Obj. 3. Further, sciences and definitions are concerned with species themselves, but not as these are in particular things, because there is no science or definition of particular things. Therefore there are some beings, which are beings or species not existing in singular things, and these are called exemplars. Therefore the same conclusion follows as above.

Obj. 4. Further, this likewise appears from Dionysius, who says (Div. Nom. v.) that self-subsisting being is before self-subsisting life, and before self-subsisting wisdom.

On the contrary, The exemplar is the same as the idea. But ideas, according to Augustine (QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 46), are the master forms, which are contained in the divine intelligence. Therefore the exemplars of things are not outside God.

I answer that, God is the first exemplar cause of all things. In proof whereof we must consider that if for the production of anything an exemplar is necessary, it is in order that the effect may receive a determinate form. For an artificer produces a determinate form in matter by reason of the exemplar before him, whether it is the exemplar beheld externally, or the exemplar interiorly conceived in the mind. Now it is manifest that things made by nature receive determinate forms. This determination of forms must be reduced to the divine wisdom as its first principle, for divine wisdom devised the order of the universe, which order consists in the variety of things. And therefore we must say that in the divine wisdom are the types of all things, which types we have called ideas—i.e., exemplar forms existing in the divine mind (Q. XV., A. 1). And these ideas, though multiplied by their relations to things, Edition: current; Page: [219] in reality are not apart from the divine essence, according as the likeness to that essence can be shared diversely by different things. In this manner therefore God Himself is the first exemplar of all things. Moreover, in things created one may be called the exemplar of another by the reason of its likeness thereto, either in species, or by the analogy of some kind of imitation.

Reply Obj. 1. Although creatures do not attain to a natural likeness to God according to similitude of species, as a man begotten is like to the man begetting, still they do attain to likeness to Him, forasmuch as they represent the divine idea, as a material house is like to the house in the architect’s mind.

Reply Obj. 2. It is of a man’s nature to be in matter, and so a man without matter is impossible. Therefore although this particular man is a man by participation of the species, he cannot be reduced to anything self-existing in the same species, but to a superior species, such as separate substances. The same applies to other sensible things.

Reply Obj. 3. Although every science and definition is concerned only with beings, still it is not necessary that a thing should have the same mode in reality as the thought of it has in our understanding. For we abstract universal ideas by force of the active intellect from the particular conditions; but it is not necessary that the universals should exist outside the particulars in order to be their exemplars.

Reply Obj. 4. As Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.), by self-existing life and self-existing wisdom he sometimes denotes God Himself, sometimes the powers given to things themselves; but not any self-subsisting things, as the ancients asserted.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER GOD IS THE FINAL CAUSE OF ALL THINGS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that God is not the final cause of all things. For to act for an end seems to imply need of Edition: current; Page: [220] the end. But God needs nothing. Therefore it does not become Him to act for an end.

Obj. 2. Further, the end of generation, and the form of the thing generated, and the agent cannot be identical (Phys. ii., text 70), because the end of generation is the form of the thing generated. But God is the first agent producing all things. Therefore He is not the final cause of all things.

Obj. 3. Further, all things desire their end. But all things do not desire God, for all do not even know Him. Therefore God is not the end of all things.

Obj. 4. Further, the final cause is the first of causes. If, therefore, God is the efficient cause and the final cause, it follows that before and after exist in Him; which is impossible.

On the contrary, It is said (Prov. xvi. 4): The Lord has made all things for Himself.

I answer that, Every agent acts for an end: otherwise one thing would not follow more than another from the action of the agent, unless it were by chance. Now the end of the agent and of the patient considered as such is the same, but in a different way respectively. For the impression which the agent intends to produce, and which the patient intends to receive, are one and the same. Some things, however, are both agent and patient at the same time: these are imperfect agents, and to these it belongs to intend, even while acting, the acquisition of something. But it does not belong to the First Agent, Who is agent only, to act for the acquisition of some end; He intends only to communicate His perfection, which is His goodness; while every creature intends to acquire its own perfection, which is the likeness of the divine perfection and goodness. Therefore the divine goodness is the end of all things.

Reply Obj. 1. To act from need belongs only to an imperfect agent, which by its nature is both agent and patient. But this does not belong to God, and therefore He alone is the most perfectly liberal giver, because He does not act for His own profit, but only for His own goodness.

Edition: current; Page: [221]

Reply Obj. 2. The form of the thing generated is not the end of generation, except inasmuch as it is the likeness of the form of the generator, which intends to communicate its own likeness; otherwise the form of the thing generated would be more noble than the generator, since the end is more noble than the means to the end.

Reply Obj. 3. All things desire God as their end, when they desire some good thing, whether this desire be intellectual or sensible, or natural, i.e., without knowledge; because nothing is good and desirable except forasmuch as it participates in the likeness to God.

Reply Obj. 4. Since God is the efficient, the exemplar and the final cause of all things, and since primary matter is from Him, it follows that the first principle of all things is one in reality. But this does not prevent us from mentally considering many things in Him, some of which come into our mind before others.

Edition: current; Page: [222]

QUESTION XLV.: THE MODE OF EMANATION OF THINGS FROM THE FIRST PRINCIPLE.
(In Eight Articles.)

The next question concerns the mode of the emanation of things from the First Principle, and this is called creation, and includes eight points of inquiry: (1) What is creation? (2) Whether God can create anything? (3) Whether creation is anything in the very nature of things? (4) To what things it belongs to be created? (5) Whether it belongs to God alone to create? (6) Whether creation is common to the whole Trinity, or proper to any one Person? (7) Whether any trace of the Trinity is to be found in created things? (8) Whether the work of creation is mingled with the works of nature and of the will?

First Article.
WHETHER TO CREATE IS TO MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that to create is not to make anything from nothing. For Augustine says (Contra Adv. Leg. et Proph. i.): To make concerns what did not exist at all; but to create is to make something by bringing forth something from what was already.

Obj. 2. Further, the nobility of action and of motion is considered from their terms. Action is therefore nobler from good to good, and from being to being, than from nothing to something. But creation appears to be the most noble action, and first among all actions. Therefore it is Edition: current; Page: [223] not from nothing to something, but rather from being to being.

Obj. 3. Further, the preposition from (ex) imports relation of some cause, and especially of the material cause; as when we say that a statue is made from brass. But nothing cannot be the matter of being, nor in any way its cause. Therefore to create is not to make something from nothing.

On the contrary, On the text of Gen. i., In the beginning God created, etc., the gloss has, To create is to make something from nothing.

I answer that, As said above (Q. XLIV., A. 2), we must consider not only the emanation of a particular being from a particular agent, but also the emanation of all being from the universal cause, which is God; and this emanation we designate by the name of creation. Now what proceeds by particular emanation, is not presupposed to that emanation; as when a man is generated, he was not before, but man is made from not-man, and white from not-white. Hence if the emanation of the whole universal being from the first principle be considered, it is impossible that any being should be presupposed before this emanation. For nothing is the same as no being. Therefore as the generation of a man is from the not-being which is not-man, so creation, which is the emanation of all being, is from the not-being which is nothing.

Reply Obj. 1. Augustine uses the word creation in an equivocal sense, according as to be created signifies improvement in things; as when we say that a bishop is created. We do not, however, speak of creation in that way here, but as it is described above.

Reply Obj. 2. Changes receive species and dignity, not from the term wherefrom, but from the term whereto. Therefore a change is more perfect and excellent when the term whereto of the change is more noble and excellent, although the term wherefrom, corresponding to the term whereto, may be more imperfect: thus generation is simply nobler and more excellent than alteration, because the substantial form is nobler than the accidental form; and yet the privation of the substantial form, which is the term Edition: current; Page: [224] wherefrom in generation, is more imperfect than the contrary, which is the term wherefrom in alteration. Similarly creation is more perfect and more excellent than generation and alteration, because the term whereto is the whole substance of the thing; whereas what is understood as the term wherefrom is simply not-being.

Reply Obj. 3. When anything is said to be made from nothing, this preposition from (ex) does not signify the material cause, but only order; as when we say, from morning comes midday—i.e., after morning is midday. But we must understand that this preposition from (ex) can comprise the negation implied when I say the word nothing, or can be included in it. If taken in the first sense, then we affirm the order by stating the relation between what is now and its previous non-existence. But if the negation includes the preposition, then the order is denied, and the sense is, It is made from nothing—i.e., it is not made from anything—as if we were to say, He speaks of nothing, because he does not speak of anything. And this is verified in both ways, when it is said, that anything is made from nothing. But in the first way this preposition from (ex) implies order, as has been said in this reply. In the second sense, it imports the material cause, which is denied.

Second Article.
WHETHER GOD CAN CREATE ANYTHING?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that God cannot create anything, because, according to the Philosopher (Phys. i., text 34), the ancient philosophers considered it as a commonly received axiom that nothing is made from nothing. But the power of God does not extend to the contraries of first principles; as, for instance, that God could make the whole to be less than its part, or that affirmation and negation are both true at the same time. Therefore God cannot make anything from nothing, or create.

Obj. 2. Further, if to create is to make something from Edition: current; Page: [225] nothing, to be created is to be made. But to be made is to be changed. Therefore creation is change. But every change occurs in some subject, as appears by the definition of movement: for movement is the act of what is in potentiality. Therefore it is impossible for anything to be made out of nothing by God.

Obj. 3. Further, what has been made must have at some time been becoming. But it cannot be said that what is created, at the same time, is becoming and has been made, because in permanent things what is becoming, is not, and what has been made, already is: and so it would follow that something would be, and not be, at the same time. Therefore when anything is made, its becoming precedes its having been made. But this is impossible, unless there is a subject in which the becoming is sustained. Therefore it is impossible that anything should be made from nothing.

Obj. 4. Further, infinite distance cannot be crossed. But infinite distance exists between being and nothing. Therefore it does not happen that something is made from nothing.

On the contrary, It is said (Gen. i. 1): In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

I answer that, Not only is it not impossible that anything should be created by God, but it is necessary to say that all things were created by God, as appears from what has been said (Q. XLIV., A. 1). For when anyone makes one thing from another, this latter thing from which he makes is presupposed to his action, and is not produced by his action; thus the craftsman works from natural things, as wood or brass, which are caused not by the action of art, but by the action of nature. So also nature itself causes natural things as regards their form, but presupposes matter. If therefore God did only act from something presupposed, it would follow that the thing presupposed would not be caused by Him. Now it has been shown above (Q. XLIV., AA. 1, 2), that nothing can be, unless it is from God, Who is the universal cause of all being. Hence it is necessary to say that God brings things into being from nothing.

Edition: current; Page: [226]

Reply Obj. 1. Ancient philosophers, as is said above (Q. XLIV., A. 2), considered only the emanation of particular effects from particular causes, which necessarily presuppose something in their action; whence came their common opinion that nothing is made from nothing. But this has no place in the first emanation from the universal principle of things.

Reply Obj. 2. Creation is not change, except according to a mode of understanding. For change means that the same something should be different now from what it was previously. Sometimes, indeed, the same actual thing is different now from what it was before, as in motion according to quantity, quality and place; but sometimes it is the same being only in potentiality, as in substantial change, the subject of which is matter. But in creation, by which the whole substance of a thing is produced, the same thing can be taken as different now and before only according to our way of understanding, so that a thing is understood as first not existing at all, and afterwards as existing. But as action and passion coincide as to the substance of motion, and differ only according to diverse relations (Phys. iii., text 20, 21), it must follow that when motion is withdrawn, only diverse relations remain in the Creator and in the creature. But because the mode of signification follows the mode of understanding as was said above (Q. XIII., A. 1), creation is signified by mode of change; and on this account it is said that to create is to make something from nothing. And yet to make and to be made are more suitable expressions here than to change and to be changed, because to make and to be made import a relation of cause to the effect, and of effect to the cause, and imply change only as a consequence.

Reply Obj. 3. In things which are made without movement, to become and to be already made are simultaneous, whether such making is the term of movement, as illumination (for a thing is being illuminated and is illuminated at the same time) or whether it is not the term of movement, as the word is being made in the mind and is made at the same time. In these things what is being made, is; but Edition: current; Page: [227] when we speak of its being made, we mean that it is from another, and was not previously. Hence since creation is without movement, a thing is being created and is already created at the same time.

Reply Obj. 4. This objection proceeds from a false imagination, as if there were an infinite medium between nothing and being; which is plainly false. This false imagination comes from creation being taken to signify a change existing between two terms.

Third Article.
WHETHER CREATION IS ANYTHING IN THE CREATURE?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that creation is not anything in the creature. For as creation taken in a passive sense is attributed to the creature, so creation taken in an active sense is attributed to the Creator. But creation taken actively is not anything in the Creator, because otherwise it would follow that in God there would be something temporal. Therefore creation taken passively is not anything in the creature.

Obj. 2. Further, there is no medium between the Creator and the creature. But creation is signified as the medium between them both: since it is not the Creator, as it is not eternal; nor is it the creature, because in that case it would be necessary for the same reason to suppose another creation to create it, and so on to infinity. Therefore creation is not anything in the creature.

Obj. 3. Further, if creation is anything beside the created substance, it must be an accident belonging to it. But every accident is in a subject. Therefore a thing created would be the subject of creation, and so the same thing would be the subject and also the term of creation. This is impossible, because the subject is before the accident, and preserves the accident; while the term is after the action and passion whose term it is, and as soon as it Edition: current; Page: [228] exists, action and passion cease. Therefore creation itself is not any thing.

On the contrary, It is greater for a thing to be made according to its entire substance, than to be made according to its substantial or accidental form. But generation taken simply, or relatively, whereby anything is made according to the substantial or the accidental form, is something in the thing generated. Therefore much more is creation, whereby a thing is made according to its whole substance, something in the thing created.

I answer that, Creation places something in the thing created according to relation only; because what is created, is not made by movement, or by change. For what is made by movement or by change is made from something pre-existing. And this happens, indeed, in the particular productions of some beings, but cannot happen in the production of all being by the universal cause of all beings, which is God. Hence God by creation produces things without movement. Now when movement is removed from action and passion, only relation remains, as was said above (A. 2 ad 2). Hence creation in the creature is only a certain relation to the Creator as to the principle of its being; even as in passion, which implies movement, is implied a relation to the principle of motion.

Reply Obj. 1. Creation signified actively means the divine action, which is God’s essence, with a relation to the creature. But in God relation to the creature is not a real relation, but only a relation of reason; whereas the relation of the creature to God is a real relation, as was said above (Q. XIII., A. 7) in treating of the divine names.

Reply Obj. 2. Because creation is signified as a change, as was said above (A. 2, ad 2), and change is a kind of medium between the mover and the moved, therefore also creation is signified as a medium between the Creator and the creature. Nevertheless passive creation is in the creature, and is a creature. Nor is there need of a further creation in its creation; because relations, of their entire nature being referred to something, are not referred by any other relations, but by themselves; as was also shown Edition: current; Page: [229] above (Q. XLII., A. 1, ad 4), in treating of the equality of the Persons.

Reply Obj. 3. The creature is the term of creation as signifying a change, but is the subject of creation, taken as a real relation, and is prior to it in being, as the subject is to the accident. Nevertheless creation has a certain aspect of priority on the part of the object to which it is directed, which is the beginning of the creature. Nor is it necessary that as long as the creature is it should be created; because creation imports a relation of the creature to the Creator, with a certain newness or beginning.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER TO BE CREATED BELONGS TO COMPOSITE AND SUBSISTING THINGS?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that to be created does not belong to composite and subsisting things. For in the book, De Causis (prop. iv.), it is said, The first of creatures is being. But the being of a thing created is not subsisting. Therefore creation properly speaking does not belong to subsisting and composite things.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever is created is from nothing. But composite things are not from nothing, but are the result of their own component parts. Therefore composite things are not created.

Obj. 3. Further, what is presupposed in the second emanation is properly produced by the first: as natural generation produces the natural thing, which is presupposed in the operation of art. But the thing supposed in natural generation is matter. Therefore matter, and not the composite, is, properly speaking, that which is created.

On the contrary, It is said (Gen. i. 1): In the beginning God created heaven and earth. But heaven and earth are subsisting composite things. Therefore creation belongs to them.

I answer that, To be created is, in a manner, to be made, Edition: current; Page: [230] as was shown above (Q. XLIV., A. 2, ad 2 and 3). Now, to be made is directed to the being of a thing. Hence to be made and to be created properly belong to whatever being belongs; which, indeed, belongs properly to subsisting things, whether they are simple things, as in the case of separate substances, or composite, as in the case of material substances. For being belongs to that which has being—that is, to what subsists in its own being. But forms and accidents and the like are called beings, not as if they themselves were, but because something is by them; as whiteness is called a being, forasmuch as its subject is white by it. Hence, according to the Philosopher (Metaph. vii., text. 2) accident is more properly said to be of a being than a being. Therefore, as accidents and forms and the like non-subsisting things are to be said to co-exist rather than to exist, so they ought to be called rather concreated than created things; whereas, properly speaking, created things are subsisting beings.

Reply Obj. 1. In the proposition the first of created things is being, the word being does not refer to the subject of creation, but to the proper concept of the object of creation. For a created thing is called created because it is a being, not because it is this being, since creation is the emanation of all being from the Universal Being, as was said above (A. 1). We use a similar way of speaking when we say that the first visible thing is colour, although, strictly speaking, the thing coloured is what is seen.

Reply Obj. 2. Creation does not mean the building up of a composite thing from pre-existing principles; but it means that the composite is created so that it is brought into being at the same time with all its principles.

Reply Obj. 3. This reason does not prove that matter alone is created, but that matter does not exist except by creation; for creation is the production of the whole being, and not only of matter.

Edition: current; Page: [231]

Fifth Article.
WHETHER IT BELONGS TO GOD ALONE TO CREATE?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it does not belong to God alone to create, because, according to the Philosopher (De Anima ii., text. 34), what is perfect can make its own likeness. But immaterial creatures are more perfect than material creatures, which nevertheless can make their own likeness, for fire generates fire, and man begets man. Therefore an immaterial substance can make a substance like to itself. But immaterial substance can be made only by creation, since it has no matter from which to be made. Therefore a creature can create.

Obj. 2. Further, the greater the resistance is on the part of the thing made, so much the greater power is required in the maker. But a contrary resists more than nothing. Therefore it requires more power to make (something) from its contrary, which nevertheless a creature can do, than to make a thing from nothing. Much more therefore can a creature do this.

Obj. 3. Further, the power of the maker is considered according to the measure of what is made. But created being is finite, as we proved above when treating of the infinity of God (Q. VII., AA. 2, 3, 4). Therefore only a finite power is needed to produce a creature by creation. But to have a finite power is not contrary to the nature of a creature. Therefore it is not impossible for a creature to create.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iii. 8) that neither good nor bad angels can create anything. Much less therefore can any other creatures.

I answer that, It sufficiently appears at the first glance, according to what precedes (A. 1), that to create can be the action of God alone. For the more universal effects must be reduced to the more universal and prior causes. Now among all effects the most universal is being itself: and hence it must be the proper effect of the first and most Edition: current; Page: [232] universal cause, and that is God. Hence also it is said (De Causis, prop. iii.) that neither intelligence nor the soul gives us being, except inasmuch as it works by divine operation. Now to produce being absolutely, not as this or that being, belongs to creation. Hence it is manifest that creation is the proper act of God alone.

It happens, however, that something participates the proper action of another, not by its own power, but instrumentally, inasmuch as it acts by the power of another; as air can heat and ignite by the power of fire. And so some have supposed that although creation is the proper act of the universal cause, still some inferior cause acting by the power of the first cause, can create. And thus Avicenna asserted that the first separate substance created by God created another after itself, and the substance of the world and its soul; and that the substance of the world creates the matter of the inferior bodies. And in the same manner the Master says (Sent. iv., D. 5) that God can communicate to a creature the power of creating, so that the latter can create ministerially, not by its own power.

But such a thing cannot be, because the secondary instrumental cause does not participate the action of the superior cause, except inasmuch as by something proper to itself it acts dispositively to the effect of the principal agent. If therefore it effects nothing, according to what is proper to itself, it is used to no purpose; nor would there be any need of certain instruments for certain actions. Thus we see that a saw, in cutting wood, which it does by the property of its own form, produces the form of a bench, which is the proper effect of the principal agent. Now the proper effect of God creating is what is presupposed to all other effects, and that is absolute being. Hence nothing else can act dispositively and instrumentally to this effect, since creation is not from anything presupposed, which can be disposed by the action of the instrumental agent. So therefore it is impossible for any creature to create, either by its own power, or instrumentally—that is, ministerially.

Edition: current; Page: [233]

And above all it is absurd to suppose that a body can create, for no body acts except by touching or moving; and thus it requires in its action some pre-existing thing, which can be touched or moved, which is contrary to the very idea of creation.

Reply Obj. 1. A perfect thing participating any nature, makes a likeness to itself, not by absolutely producing that nature, but by applying it to something else. For an individual man cannot be the cause of human nature absolutely, because he would then be the cause of himself; but he is the cause of human nature being in the man begotten; and thus he presupposes in his action a determinate matter whereby he is an individual man. But as an individual man participates human nature, so every created being participates, so to speak, the nature of being; for God alone is His own being, as we have said above (Q. VII., AA. 1, 2). Therefore no created being can produce a being absolutely, except forasmuch as it causes being in this: and so it is necessary to presuppose that whereby a thing is this thing, before the action whereby it makes its own likeness. But in an immaterial substance it is not possible to presuppose anything whereby it is this thing; because it is what it is by its form, whereby it has being, since it is a subsisting form. Therefore an immaterial substance cannot produce another immaterial substance like to itself as regards its being, but only as regards some added perfection; as we may say that a superior angel illuminates an inferior, as Dionysius says (Cœl. Hier. iv., x.). In this way even in heaven there is paternity, as the Apostle says (Eph. iii. 15): From whom all paternity in heaven and on earth is named. From which it evidently appears that no created being can cause anything, unless something is presupposed; which is against the very idea of creation.

Reply Obj. 2. A thing is made from its contrary indirectly (Phys. i., text. 43), but directly from the subject which is in potentiality. And so the contrary resists the agent, inasmuch as it impedes the potentiality from the act which the agent intends to induce, as fire intends to reduce Edition: current; Page: [234] the matter of water to an act like to itself, but is impeded by the form and contrary dispositions, whereby the potentiality (of the water) is restrained from being reduced to act; and the more the potentiality is restrained, the more power is required in the agent to reduce the matter to act. Hence a much greater power is required in the agent when no potentiality pre-exists. Thus therefore it appears that it is an act of much greater power to make a thing from nothing, than from its contrary.

Reply Obj. 3. The power of the maker is reckoned not only from the substance of the thing made, but also from the mode of its being made; for a greater heat heats not only more, but quicker. Therefore although to create a finite effect does not show an infinite power, yet to create it from nothing does show an infinite power: which appears from what has been said (ad 2). For if a greater power is required in the agent in proportion to the distance of the potentiality from the act, it follows that the power of that which produces something from no presupposed potentiality is infinite, because there is no proportion between no potentiality and the potentiality presupposed by the power of a natural agent, as there is no proportion between not being and being. And because no creature has simply an infinite power, any more than it has an infinite being, as was proved above (Q. VII., A. 2), it follows that no creature can create.

Sixth Article.
WHETHER TO CREATE IS PROPER TO ANY PERSON?

We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that to create is proper to some Person. For what comes first is the cause of what is after; and what is perfect is the cause of what is imperfect. But the procession of the divine Person is prior to the procession of the creature: and is more perfect, because the divine Person proceeds in perfect similitude of its principle; whereas the creature proceeds in imperfect similitude. Edition: current; Page: [235] Therefore the processions of the divine Persons are the cause of the processions of things, and so to create belongs to a Person.

Obj. 2. Further, the divine Persons are distinguished from each other only by their processions and relations. Therefore whatever difference is attributed to the divine Persons belongs to them according to the processions and relations of the Persons. But the causation of creatures is diversely attributed to the divine Persons; for in the Creed, to the Father is attributed that He is the Creator of all things visible and invisible; to the Son is attributed that by Him all things were made; and to the Holy Ghost is attributed that He is Lord and Life-giver. Therefore the causation of creatures belongs to the Persons according to processions and relations.

Obj. 3. Further, if it be said that the causation of the creature flows from some essential attribute appropriated to some one Person, this does not appear to be sufficient; because every divine effect is caused by every essential attribute—viz., by power, goodness, and wisdom—and thus does not belong to one more than to another. Therefore any determinate mode of causation ought not to be attributed to one Person more than to another, unless they are distinguished in creating according to relations and processions.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ii.) that all things caused are the common work of the whole Godhead.

I answer that, To create is, properly speaking, to cause or produce the being of things. And as every agent produces its like, the principle of action can be considered from the effect of the action; for it must be fire that generates fire. And therefore to create belongs to God according to His being, that is, His essence, which is common to the three Persons. Hence to create is not proper to any one Person, but is common to the whole Trinity.

Nevertheless the divine Persons, according to the nature of their procession, have a causality respecting the creation of things. For as was said above (Q. XIV., A. 8; Q. XIX., A. 4), when treating of the knowledge and will of Edition: current; Page: [236] God, God is the cause of things by His intellect and will, just as the craftsman is cause of the things made by his craft. Now the craftsman works through the word conceived in his mind, and through the love of his will regarding some object. Hence also God the Father made the creature through His Word, which is His Son; and through His Love, which is the Holy Ghost. And so the processions of the Persons are the type of the productions of creatures inasmuch as they include the essential attributes, knowledge, and will.

Reply Obj. 1. The processions of the divine Persons are the cause of creation, as above explained.

Reply Obj. 2. As the divine nature, although common to the three Persons, still belongs to them in a kind of order, inasmuch as the Son receives the divine nature from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both: so also likewise the power of creation, whilst common to the three Persons, belongs to them in a kind of order. For the Son receives it from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both. Hence to be the Creator is attributed to the Father as to Him Who does not receive the power of creation from another. And of the Son it is said (Jo. i. 3), Through Him all things were made, inasmuch as He has the same power, but from another; for this preposition through usually denotes a mediate cause, or a principle from a principle. But to the Holy Ghost, Who has the same power from both, is attributed that by His sway He governs, and quickens what is created by the Father through the Son. Again, the reason for this particular appropriation may be taken from the common notion of the appropriation of the essential attributes. For, as above stated (Q. XXXIX., A. 8, ad 3), to the Father is appropriated power which is chiefly shown in creation, and therefore it is attributed to Him to be the Creator. To the Son is appropriated wisdom, through which the intellectual agent acts; and therefore it is said: Through Whom all things were made. And to the Holy Ghost is appropriated goodness, to which belong both government, which brings things to their proper end, and the giving of life—for life consists in a Edition: current; Page: [237] certain interior movement; and the first mover is the end, and goodness.

Reply Obj. 3. Although every effect of God proceeds from each attribute, each effect is reduced to that attribute with which it is naturally connected; thus the order of things is reduced to wisdom, and the justification of the sinner to mercy and goodness poured out superabundantly. But creation, which is the production of the very substance of a thing, is reduced to power.

Seventh Article.
WHETHER IN CREATURES IS NECESSARILY FOUND A TRACE OF THE TRINITY?

We proceed thus to the Seventh Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that in creatures there is not necessarily found a trace of the Trinity. For anything can be traced through its traces. But the trinity of persons cannot be traced from creatures, as was above stated (Q. XXXII., A. 1). Therefore there is no trace of the Trinity in creatures.

Obj. 2. Further, whatever is in creatures is created. Therefore if the trace of the Trinity is found in creatures according to some of their properties, and if everything created has a trace of the Trinity, it follows that we can find a trace of the Trinity in each of these (properties): and so on to infinitude.

Obj. 3. Further, the effect represents only its own cause. But the causality of creatures belongs to the common nature, and not to the relations whereby the Persons are distinguished and numbered. Therefore in the creature is to be found a trace not of the Trinity but of the unity of essence.

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi. 10), that the trace of the Trinity appears in creatures.

I answer that, Every effect in some degree represents its cause, but diversely. For some effects represent only the causality of the cause, but not its form; as smoke represents fire. Such a representation is called a trace; for a Edition: current; Page: [238] trace shows that someone has passed by but not who it is. Other effects represent the cause as regards the similitude of its form, as fire generated represents fire generating; and a statue of Mercury represents Mercury; and this is called the representation of image. Now the processions of the divine Persons are referred to the acts of intellect and will, as was said above (Q. XXVII.). For the Son proceeds as the word of the intellect; and the Holy Ghost proceeds as love of the will. Therefore in rational creatures, possessing intellect and will, there is found the representation of the Trinity by way of image, inasmuch as there is found in them the word conceived, and the love proceeding.

But in all creatures there is found the trace of the Trinity, inasmuch as in every creature are found some things which are necessarily reduced to the divine Persons as to their cause. For every creature subsists in its own being, and has a form, whereby it is determined to a species, and has relation to something else. Therefore as it is a created substance, it represents the cause and principle; and so in that manner it shows the Person of the Father, Who is the principle from no principle. According as it has a form and species, it represents the Word as the form of the thing made by art is from the conception of the craftsman. According as it has relation of order, it represents the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as He is love, because the order of the effect to something else is from the will of the Creator. And therefore Augustine says (De Trin. vi., loc. cit.) that the trace of the Trinity is found in every creature, according as it is one individual, and according as it is formed by a species, and according as it has a certain relation of order. And to these also are reduced those three, number, weight, and measure, mentioned in the Book of Wisdom (xi. 21). For measure refers to the substance of the thing limited by its principles, number refers to the species, weight refers to the order. And to these three are reduced the other three mentioned by Augustine (De Nat. Boni iii.), mode, species, and order, and also those he mentions (QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 18): that which exists; Edition: current; Page: [239] whereby it is distinguished; whereby it agrees. For a thing exists by its substance, is distinct by its form, and agrees by its order. Other similar expressions may be easily reduced to the above.

Reply Obj. 1. The representation of the trace is to be referred to the appropriations: in which manner we are able to arrive at a knowledge of the trinity of the divine persons from creatures, as we have said (Q. XXXII., A. 1).

Reply Obj. 2. A creature properly speaking is a thing self-subsisting; and in such are the three above-mentioned things to be found. Nor is it necessary that these three things should be found in all that exists in the creature; but only to a subsisting being is the trace ascribed in regard to those three things.

Reply Obj. 3. The processions of the persons are also in some way the cause and type of creation; as appears from the above (A. 6).

Eighth Article.
WHETHER CREATION IS MINGLED WITH WORKS OF NATURE AND ART?

We proceed thus to the Eighth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that creation is mingled in works of nature and art. For in every operation of nature and art some form is produced. But it is not produced from anything, since matter has no part in it. Therefore it is produced from nothing; and thus in every operation of nature and art there is creation.

Obj. 2. Further, the effect is not more powerful than its cause. But in natural things the only agent is the accidental form, which is an active or a passive form. Therefore the substantial form is not produced by the operation of nature; and therefore it must be produced by creation.

Obj. 3. Further, in nature like begets like. But some things are found generated in nature by a thing unlike to them; as is evident in animals generated through putrefaction. Edition: current; Page: [240] Therefore the form of these is not from nature, but by creation; and the same reason applies to other things.

Obj. 4. Further, what is not created, is not a creature. If therefore in nature’s productions there were not creation, it would follow that nature’s productions are not creatures; which is heretical.

On the contrary, Augustine (Super Gen. v. 6, 14, 15) distinguishes the work of propagation, which is a work of nature, from the work of creation.

I answer that, The doubt on this subject arises from the forms which, some said, do not come into existence by the action of nature, but previously exist in matter; for they asserted that forms are latent. This arose from ignorance concerning matter, and from not knowing how to distinguish between potentiality and act. For because forms pre-exist in matter, in potentiality, they asserted that they pre-existed simply. Others, however, said that the forms were given or caused by a separate agent by way of creation; and accordingly, that to each operation of nature is joined creation. But this opinion arose from ignorance concerning form. For they failed to consider that the form of the natural body is not subsisting, but is that by which a thing is. And therefore, since to be made and to be created belong properly to a subsisting thing alone, as shown above (A. 4), it does not belong to forms to be made or to be created, but to be concreated. What, indeed, is properly made by the natural agent is the composite, which is made from matter.

Hence in the works of nature creation does not enter, but is presupposed to the work of nature.

Reply Obj. 1. Forms begin to be actual when the composite things are made, not as though they were made directly, but only indirectly.

Reply Obj. 2. The active qualities in nature act by virtue of substantial forms: and therefore the natural agent not only produces its like according to quality, but according to species.

Reply Obj. 3. For the generation of imperfect animals, a Edition: current; Page: [241] universal agent suffices, and this is to be found in the celestial power to which they are assimilated, not in species, but according to a kind of analogy. Nor is it necessary to say that their forms are created by a separate agent. However for the generation of perfect animals the universal agent does not suffice, but a proper agent is required, in the shape of a univocal generator.

Reply Obj. 4. The operation of nature takes place only on the presupposition of created principles; and thus the products of nature are called creatures.

Edition: current; Page: [242]

QUESTION XLVI.: OF THE BEGINNING OF THE DURATION OF CREATURES.
(In Three Articles.)

Next must be considered the beginning of the duration of creatures, about which there are three points for treatment: (1) Whether creatures always existed? (2) Whether that they began to exist is an article of Faith? (3) How God is said to have created heaven and earth in the beginning?

First Article.
WHETHER THE UNIVERSE OF CREATURES ALWAYS EXISTED?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the universe of creatures, called the world, had no beginning, but existed from eternity. For everything which begins to exist, is a possible being before it exists: otherwise it would be impossible for it to exist. It therefore the world began to exist, it was a possible being before it began to exist. But possible being is matter, which is in potentiality to existence, which results from a form, and to non-existence, which results from privation of form. If therefore the world began to exist, matter must have existed before the world. But matter cannot exist without form: while the matter of the world with its form is the world. Therefore the world existed before it began to exist: which is impossible.

Obj. 2. Further, nothing which has power to be always, sometimes is and sometimes is not; because so far as the power of a thing extends so long it exists. But every incorruptible thing has power to be always; for its power Edition: current; Page: [243] does not extend to any determinate time. Therefore no incorruptible thing sometimes is, and sometimes is not: but everything which has a beginning at some time is, and at some time is not; therefore no incorruptible thing begins to exist. But there are many incorruptible things in the world, as the celestial bodies and all intellectual substances. Therefore the world did not begin to exist.

Obj. 3. Further, what is unbegotten has no beginning. But the Philosopher (Phys. i., text. 82) proves that matter is unbegotten, and also (De Cœlo et Mundo i., text. 20) that the heaven is unbegotten. Therefore the universe did not begin to exist.

Obj. 4. Further, a vacuum is where there is not a body, but there might be. But if the world began to exist, there was first no body where the body of the world now is; and yet it could be there, otherwise it would not be there now. Therefore before the world there was a vacuum; which is impossible.

Obj. 5. Further, nothing begins anew to be moved except through either the mover or the thing moved being otherwise than it was before. But what is otherwise now than it was before, is moved. Therefore before every new movement there was a previous movement. Therefore movement always was; and therefore also the thing moved always was, because movement is only in a movable thing.

Obj. 6. Further, every mover is either natural or voluntary. But neither begins to move except by some pre-existing movement. For nature always moves in the same manner: hence unless some change precede either in the nature of the mover, or in the movable thing, there cannot arise from the natural mover a movement which was not there before. And the will, without itself being changed, puts off doing what it proposes to do; but this can be only by some imagined change, at least on the part of time. Thus he who wills to make a house to-morrow, and not to-day, awaits something which will be to-morrow, but is not to-day; and at least awaits for to-day to pass, and for to-morrow to come; and this cannot be without change, Edition: current; Page: [244] because time is the measure of movement. Therefore it remains that before every new movement, there was a previous movement; and so the same conclusion follows as before.

Obj. 7. Further, whatever is always in its beginning, and always in its end, cannot cease and cannot begin; because what begins is not in its end, and what ceases is not in its beginning. But time always is in its beginning and end, because there is no time except now which is the end of the past and the beginning of the future. Therefore time cannot begin or end, and consequently neither can movement, the measure of which is time.

Obj. 8. Further, God is before the world either in the order of nature only, or also by duration. If in the order of nature only, therefore, since God is eternal, the world also is eternal. But if God is prior by duration; since what is prior and posterior in duration constitutes time, it follows that time existed before the world, which is impossible.

Obj. 9. Further, if there is a sufficient cause, there is an effect; for a cause to which there is no effect is an imperfect cause, requiring something else to make the effect follow. But God is the sufficient cause of the world; being the final cause, by reason of His goodness, the exemplar cause by reason of His wisdom, and the efficient cause, by reason of His power as appears from the above (Q. XLIV., AA. 2, 3, 4). Since therefore God is eternal, the world also is eternal.

Obj. 10. Further, eternal action postulates an eternal effect. But the action of God is His substance, which is eternal. Therefore the world is eternal.

On the contrary, It is said (Jo. xvii. 5), Glorify Me, O Father, with Thyself with the glory which I had before the world was; and (Prov. viii. 22), The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything from the beginning.

I answer that, Nothing except God can be eternal. And this statement is far from impossible to uphold: for it has been shown above (Q. XIX., A. 4) that the will of God is the cause of things. Therefore things are necessary, according Edition: current; Page: [245] as it is necessary for God to will them, since the necessity of the effect depends on the necessity of the cause (Metaph. v., text. 6). Now it was shown above (Q. XIX., A. 3), that, absolutely speaking, it is not necessary that God should will anything except Himself. It is not therefore necessary for God to will that the world should always exist; but the world exists forasmuch as God wills it to exist, since the being of the world depends on the will of God, as on its cause. It is not therefore necessary for the world to be always; and hence it cannot be proved by demonstration.

Nor are Aristotle’s reasons (Phys. viii.) simply, but relatively, demonstrative—viz., in order to contradict the reasons of some of the ancients who asserted that the world began to exist in some quite impossible manner. This appears in three ways. Firstly, because, both in Phys. viii. and in De Cœlo i., text. 101, he premises some opinions, as those of Anaxagoras, Empedocles and Plato, and brings forward reasons to refute them. Secondly, because wherever he speaks of this subject, he quotes the testimony of the ancients, which is not the way of a demonstrator, but of one persuading of what is probable. Thirdly, because he expressly says (Topic. i. 9), that there are dialectical problems, about which we have nothing to say from reason, as, whether the world is eternal.

Reply Obj. 1. Before the world existed it was possible for the world to be, not, indeed, according to a passive power which is matter, but according to the active power of God; and also, according as a thing is called absolutely possible, not in relation to any power, but from the sole habitude of the terms which are not repugnant to each other; in which sense possible is opposed to impossible, as appears from the Philosopher (Metaph. v., text. 17).

Reply Obj. 2. Whatever has power always to be, from the fact of having that power, cannot sometimes be and sometimes not be; but before it received that power, it did not exist.

Hence this reason, which is given by Aristotle (De Cœlo i., text. 120), does not prove simply that incorruptible Edition: current; Page: [246] things never began to exist; but that they did not begin by the natural mode whereby things generated and corruptible begin.

Reply Obj. 3. Aristotle (Phys. i., text. 82) proves that matter is unbegotten from the fact that it has not a subject from which to derive its existence; and (De Cœlo et Mundo i., text. 20) he proves that heaven is ungenerated, forasmuch as it has no contrary from which to be generated. Hence it appears that no conclusion follows either way, except that matter and heaven did not begin by generation, as some said, especially about heaven. But we say that matter and heaven were produced into being by creation, as appears above (Q. XLIV., A. 1 ad 2).

Reply Obj. 4. The notion of a vacuum is not only in which is nothing, but also implies a space capable of holding a body and in which there is not a body, as appears from Aristotle (Phys. iv., text. 60). Whereas we hold that there was no place or space before the world was.

Reply Obj. 5. The first mover was always in the same state: but the first movable thing was not always so, because it began to be whereas hitherto it was not. This, however, was not through change, but by creation, which is not change, as said above (Q. XLV., A. 2 ad 2). Hence it is evident that this reason, which Aristotle gives (Phys. viii.), is valid against those who admitted the existence of eternal movable things, but not eternal movement, as appears from the opinions of Anaxagoras and Empedocles. But we hold that from the moment that movable things began to exist movement also existed.

Reply Obj. 6. The first agent is a voluntary agent. And although He had the eternal will to produce some effect, yet He did not produce an eternal effect. Nor is it necessary for some change to be presupposed, not even on account of imaginary time. For we must take into consideration the difference between a particular agent, that presupposes something and produces something else, and the universal agent, who produces the whole. The particular agent produces the form, and presupposes the matter; and hence it is necessary that it introduce the form in due proportion into Edition: current; Page: [247] a suitable matter. Hence it is correct to say that it introduces the form into such matter, and not into another, on account of the different kinds of matter. But it is not correct to say so of God Who produces form and matter together: whereas it is correct to say of Him that He produces matter fitting to the form and to the end. Now, a particular agent presupposes time just as it presupposes matter. Hence it is correctly described as acting in time after and not in time before, according to an imaginary succession of time after time. But the universal agent who produces the thing and time also, is not correctly described as acting now, and not before, according to an imaginary succession of time succeeding time, as if time were presupposed to His action; but He must be considered as giving time to His effect as much as and when He willed, and according to what was fitting to demonstrate His power. For the world leads more evidently to the knowledge of the divine creating power, if it was not always, than if it had always been; since everything which was not always manifestly has a cause; whereas this is not so manifest of what always was.

Reply Obj. 7. As is stated (Phys. iv., text. 99), before and after belong to time, according as they are in movement. Hence beginning and end in time must be taken in the same way as in movement. Now, granted the eternity of movement, it is necessary that any given moment in movement be a beginning and an end of movement; which need not be if movement has a beginning. The same applies to the now of time. Thus it appears that the idea of the instant now, as being always the beginning and end of time, presupposes the eternity of time and movement. Hence Aristotle brings forward this reason (Phys. viii., text. 10) against those who asserted the eternity of time, but denied the eternity of movement.

Reply Obj. 8. God is prior to the world by priority of duration. But the word prior signifies priority not of time, but of eternity.—Or we may say that it signifies the eternity of imaginary time, and not of time really existing; thus, when we say that above heaven there is nothing, Edition: current; Page: [248] the word above signifies only an imaginary place, according as it is possible to imagine other dimensions beyond those of the heavenly body.

Reply Obj. 9. As the effect follows from the cause that acts by nature, according to the mode of its form, so likewise it follows from the voluntary agent, according to the form preconceived and determined by the agent, as appears from what was said above (Q. XIX., A. 4; Q. XLI., A. 2). Therefore, although God was from eternity the sufficient cause of the world, we should not say that the world was produced by Him, except as preordained by His will—that is, that it should have being after not being, in order more manifestly to declare its author.

Reply Obj. 10. Given the action, the effect follows according to the requirement of the form, which is the principle of action. But in agents acting by will, what is conceived and preordained is to be taken as the form, which is the principle of action. Therefore from the eternal action of God an eternal effect did not follow; but such an effect as God willed, an effect, to wit, which has being after not being.

Second Article.
WHETHER IT IS AN ARTICLE OF FAITH THAT THE WORLD BEGAN?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is not an article of faith but a demonstrable conclusion that the world began. For everything that is made has a beginning of its duration. But it can be proved demonstratively that God is the effective cause of the world; indeed this is asserted by the more approved philosophers. Therefore it can be demonstratively proved that the world began.

Obj. 2. Further, if it is necessary to say that the world was made by God, it must therefore have been made from nothing, or from something. But it was not made from something; otherwise the matter of the world would have Edition: current; Page: [249] preceded the world; against which are the arguments of Aristotle (De Cœlo i.), who held that heaven was ungenerated. Therefore it must be said that the world was made from nothing; and thus it has being after not being. Therefore it must have begun.

Obj. 3. Further, everything which works by intellect, works from some principle, as appears in all kinds of craftsmen. But God acts by intellect: therefore His work has a principle. The world, therefore, which is His effect, did not always exist.

Obj. 4. Further, it appears manifestly that certain arts have developed, and certain countries have begun to be inhabited at some fixed time. But this would not be the case if the world had been always. Therefore it is manifest that the world did not always exist.

Obj. 5. Further, it is certain that nothing can be equal to God. But if the world had always been, it would be equal to God in duration. Therefore it is certain that the world did not always exist.

Obj. 6. Further, if the world always was, the consequence is that infinite days preceded this present day. But it is impossible to pass through an infinite medium. Therefore we should never have arrived at this present day; which is manifestly false.

Obj. 7. Further, if the world was eternal, generation also was eternal. Therefore one man was begotten of another in an infinite series. But the father is the efficient cause of the son (Phys. ii., text. 29). Therefore in efficient causes there could be an infinite series, which is disproved (Metaph. ii., text. 5).

Obj. 8. Further, if the world and generation always were, there have been an infinite number of men. But man’s soul is immortal: therefore an infinite number of human souls would actually now exist, which is impossible. Therefore it can be known with certainty that the world began, and not only is it known by faith.

On the contrary, The articles of faith cannot be proved demonstratively, because faith is of things that appear not (Heb. xi. 1). But that God is the Creator of the world: Edition: current; Page: [250] hence that the world began, is an article of faith; for we say, I believe in one God, etc. And again, Gregory says (Hom. i. in Ezech.), that Moses prophesied of the past, saying, In the beginning God created heaven and earth: in which words the newness of the world is stated. Therefore the newness of the world is known only by revelation; and therefore it cannot be proved demonstratively.

I answer that, By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist, as was said above of the mystery of the Trinity (Q. XXXII., A. 1). The reason of this is that the newness of the world cannot be demonstrated on the part of the world itself. For the principle of demonstration is the essence of a thing. Now everything according to its species is abstracted from here and now; whence it is said that universals are everywhere and always. Hence it cannot be demonstrated that man, or heaven, or a stone were not always. Likewise neither can it be demonstrated on the part of the efficient cause, which acts by will. For the will of God cannot be investigated by reason, except as regards those things which God must will of necessity; and what He wills about creatures is not among these, as was said above (Q. XIX., A. 3). But the divine will can be manifested by revelation, on which faith rests. Hence that the world began to exist is an object of faith, but not of demonstration or science. And it is useful to consider this, lest anyone, presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, should bring forward reasons that are not cogent, so as to give occasion to unbelievers to laugh, thinking that on such grounds we believe things that are of faith.

Reply Obj. 1. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi. 4), the opinion of philosophers who asserted the eternity of the world was twofold. For some said that the substance of the world was not from God, which is an intolerable error; and therefore it is refuted by proofs that are cogent. Some, however, said that the world was eternal, although made by God. For they hold that the world has a beginning, not of time, but of creation, so that in a certain hardly intelligible way it was always made. And they try to explain their Edition: current; Page: [251] meaning thus (De Civ. Dei x. 31): for as, if the foot were always in the dust from eternity, there would always be a footprint which without doubt was caused by him who trod on it, so also the world always was, because its Maker always existed. To understand this we must consider that the efficient cause, which acts by motion, of necessity precedes its effect in time; because the effect is only in the end of the action, and every agent must be the principle of action. But if the action is instantaneous and not successive, it is not necessary for the maker to be prior to the thing made in duration, as appears in the case of illumination. Hence they say that it does not follow necessarily if God is the active cause of the world, that He should be prior to the world in duration; because creation, by which He produced the world, is not a successive change, as was said above (Q. XLV., A. 2).

Reply Obj. 2. Those who would say that the world was eternal, would say that the world was made by God from nothing, not that it was made after nothing, according to what we understand by the word creation, but that it was not made from anything; and so also some of them do not reject the word creation, as appears from Avicenna (Metaph. ix., text. 4).

Reply Obj. 3. This is the argument of Anaxagoras (as quoted in Phys. viii., text. 15). But it does not lead to a necessary conclusion, except as to that intellect which deliberates in order to find out what should be done, which is like movement. Such is the human intellect, but not the divine intellect (Q. XIV., AA. 7, 12).

Reply Obj. 4. Those who hold the eternity of the world hold that some region was changed an infinite number of times, from being uninhabitable to being inhabitable and vice versa, and likewise they hold that the arts, by reason of various corruptions and accidents, were subject to an infinite variety of advance and decay. Hence Aristotle says (Meteor. i.), that it is absurd from such particular changes to hold the opinion of the newness of the whole world.

Reply Obj. 5. Even supposing that the world always was, it would not be equal to God in eternity, as Boëthius Edition: current; Page: [252] says (De Consol. v. 6); because the divine Being is all being simultaneously without succession; but with the world it is otherwise.

Reply Obj. 6. Passage is always understood as being from term to term. Whatever by-gone day we choose, from it to the present day there is a finite number of days which can be passed through. The objection is founded on the idea that, given two extremes, there is an infinite number of mean terms.

Reply Obj. 7. In efficient causes it is impossible to proceed to infinity per se—thus, there cannot be an infinite number of causes that are per se required for a certain effect; for instance, that a stone be moved by a stick, the stick by the hand, and so on to infinity. But it is not impossible to proceed to infinity accidentally as regards efficient causes; for instance, if all the causes thus infinitely multiplied should have the order of only one cause, their multiplication being accidental; as an artificer acts by means of many hammers accidentally, because one after the other may be broken. It is accidental, therefore, that one particular hammer acts after the action of another; and likewise it is accidental to this particular man as generator to be generated by another man; for he generates as a man, and not as the son of another man. For all men generating hold one grade in efficient causes—viz., the grade of a particular generator. Hence it is not impossible for a man to be generated by man to infinity; but such a thing would be impossible if the generation of this man depended upon this man, and on an elementary body, and on the sun, and so on to infinity.

Reply Obj. 8. Those who hold the eternity of the world evade this reason in many ways. For some do not think it impossible for there to be an actual infinity of souls, as appears from the Metaphysics of Algazel, who says that such a thing is an accidental infinity. But this was disproved above (Q. VII., A. 4). Some say that the soul is corrupted with the body. And some say that of all souls only one will remain. But others, as Augustine says,* Edition: current; Page: [253] asserted on this account a circuit of souls—viz., that souls separated from their bodies return again thither after a course of time; a fuller consideration of which matters will be given later (Q. LXXV., A. 6; Q. LXXVI., A. 2; Q. CXVIII., A. 6). But be it noted that this argument considers only a particular case. Hence one might say that the world was eternal, or at least some creature, as an angel, but not man. But we are considering the question in general, as to whether any creature can exist from eternity.

Third Article.
WHETHER THE CREATION OF THINGS WAS IN THE BEGINNING OF TIME?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the creation of things was not in the beginning of time. For whatever is not in time, is not in any part of time. But the creation of things was not in time; for by the creation the substance of things was brought into being; and time does not measure the substance of things, and especially of incorporeal things. Therefore, creation was not in the beginning of time.

Obj. 2. Further, the Philosopher proves (Phys. vi., text. 40) that everything which is made, was being made; and so to be made implies a before and after. But in the beginning of time, since it is indivisible, there is no before and after. Therefore, since to be created is a kind of being made, it appears that things were not created in the beginning of time.

Obj. 3. Further, even time itself is created. But time cannot be created in the beginning of time, since time is divisible, and the beginning of time is indivisible. Therefore, the creation of things was not in the beginning of time.

On the contrary, It is said (Gen. i. 1): In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

I answer that, The words of Genesis, In the beginning God created heaven and earth, are expounded in a threefold sense in order to exclude three errors. For some said that Edition: current; Page: [254] the world always was, and that time had no beginning; and to exclude this the words In the beginning are expounded—viz., of time. And some said that there are two principles of creation, one of good things and the other of evil things, against which In the beginning is expounded—in the Son. For as the efficient principle is appropriated to the Father by reason of power, so the exemplar principle is appropriated to the Son by reason of wisdom, in order that, as it is said (Ps. ciii. 24), Thou hast made all things in wisdom, it may be understood that God made all things in the beginning—that is, in the Son; according to the word of the Apostle (Col. i. 16), In Him—viz., the Son—were created all things. But others said that corporeal things were created by God through the medium of spiritual creation; and to exclude this it is expounded thus: In the beginning—i.e., before all things—God created heaven and earth. For four things are stated to be created together—viz., the empyrean heaven, corporeal matter, by which is meant the earth, time, and the angelic nature.

Reply Obj. 1. Things are said to be created in the beginning of time, not as if the beginning of time were a measure of creation, but because together with time heaven and earth were created.

Reply Obj. 2. This saying of the Philosopher is understood of being made by means of movement, or as the term of movement. Because, since in every movement there is before and after, before any one point in a given movement—that is, whilst anything is in the process of being moved and made, there is a before and also an after, because what is in the beginning of movement or in its term is not in being moved. But creation is neither movement nor the term of movement, as was said above (Q. XLV., AA. 2, 3). Hence a thing is created in such a way that it was not being created before.

Reply Obj. 3. Nothing is made except as it exists. But nothing exists of time except now. Hence time cannot be made except according to some now; not because in the first now is time, but because from it time begins.

Edition: current; Page: [255]

QUESTION XLVII.: OF THE DISTINCTION OF THINGS IN GENERAL.
(In Three Articles.)

After considering the production of creatures, we come to the consideration of the distinction of things. This consideration will be threefold—first, of the distinction of things in general; secondly, of the distinction of good and evil; thirdly of the distinction of the spiritual and corporeal creature.

Under the first head there are three points of inquiry: (1) The multitude or distinction of things. (2) Their inequality. (3) The unity of the world.

First Article.
WHETHER THE MULTITUDE AND DISTINCTION OF THINGS COME FROM GOD?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the multitude and distinction of things does not come from God. For one naturally always makes one. But God is supremely one, as appears from what precedes (Q. XI., A. 4). Therefore He produces but one effect.

Obj. 2. Further, the representation is assimilated to its exemplar. But God is the exemplar cause of His effect, as was said above (Q. XLIV., A. 3). Therefore, as God is one, His effect is one only, and not diverse.

Obj. 3. Further, the means are proportional to the end. But the end of the creation is one—viz., the divine goodness, as was shown above (Q. XLIV., A. 4). Therefore the effect of God is but one.

Edition: current; Page: [256]

On the contrary, It is said (Gen. i. 4, 7) that God divided the light from the darkness, and divided waters from waters. Therefore the distinction and multitude of things is from God.

I answer that, The distinction of things has been ascribed to many causes. For some attributed the distinction to matter, either by itself or with the agent. Democritus, for instance, and all the ancient natural philosophers, who admitted no cause but matter, attributed it to matter alone; and in their opinion the distinction of things comes from chance according to the movement of matter. Anaxagoras, however, attributed the distinction and multitude of things to matter and to the agent together; and he said that the intellect distinguishes things by extracting what is mixed up in matter.

But this cannot stand, for two reasons. First, because, as was shown above (Q. XLIV., A. 2), even matter itself was created by God. Hence we must reduce whatever distinction comes from matter to a higher cause. Secondly, because matter is for the sake of the form, and not the form for the matter, and the distinction of things comes from their proper forms. Therefore the distinction of things is not on account of the matter; but rather, on the contrary, created matter is formless, in order that it may be accommodated to different forms.

Others have attributed the distinction of things to secondary agents, as did Avicenna, who said that God by understanding Himself, produced the first intelligence; in which, forasmuch as it was not its own being, there is necessarily composition of potentiality and act, as will appear later (Q. L., A. 3). And so the first intelligence, inasmuch as it understood the first cause, produced the second intelligence; and in so far as it understood itself as in potentiality it produced the heavenly body, which causes movement, and inasmuch as it understood itself as having actuality it produced the soul of the heavens.

But this opinion cannot stand, for two reasons. First, because it was shown above (Q. XLV., A. 5) that to create belongs to God alone, and hence what can be caused only Edition: current; Page: [257] by creation is produced by God alone—viz., all those things which are not subject to generation and corruption. Secondly, because, according to this opinion, the universality of things would not proceed from the intention of the first agent, but from the concurrence of many active causes; and such an effect we can describe only as being produced by chance. Therefore, the perfection of the universe, which consists of the diversity of things, would thus be a thing of chance, which is impossible.

Hence we must say that the distinction and multitude of things come from the intention of the first agent, who is God. For He brought things into being in order that His goodness might be communicated to creatures, and be represented by them; and because His goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, He produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting to one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another. For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided; and hence the whole universe together participates the divine goodness more perfectly, and represents it better than any single creature whatever.

And because the divine wisdom is the cause of the distinction of things, therefore Moses said that things are made distinct by the word of God, which is the concept of His wisdom; and this is what we read in Genesis (i. 3, 4): God said: Be light made. . . . And He divided the light from the darkness.

Reply Obj. 1. The natural agent acts by the form which makes it what it is, and which is only one in one thing; and therefore its effect is one only. But the voluntary agent, such as God is, as was shown above (Q. XIX., A. 4), acts by an intellectual form. Since, therefore, it is not against God’s unity and simplicity to understand many things, as was shown above (Q. XV., A. 2), it follows that, although He is one, He can make many things.

Reply Obj. 2. This reason would apply to the representation which reflects the exemplar perfectly, and which is multiplied by reason of matter only; hence the uncreated Edition: current; Page: [258] image, which is perfect, is only one. But no creature represents the first exemplar perfectly, which is the divine essence; and, therefore, it can be represented by many things. Still, according as ideas are called exemplars, the plurality of ideas corresponds in the divine mind to the plurality of things.

Reply Obj. 3. In speculative things the medium of demonstration, which demonstrates the conclusion perfectly, is one only; whereas probable means of proof are many. Likewise when operation is concerned, if the means be equal, so to speak, to the end, one only is sufficient. But the creature is not such a means to its end, which is God; and hence the multiplication of creatures is necessary.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE INEQUALITY OF THINGS IS FROM GOD?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the inequality of things is not from God. For it belongs to the best to produce the best. But among things that are best, one is not greater than another. Therefore, it belongs to God, Who is the Best, to make all things equal.

Obj. 2. Further, equality is the effect of unity (Metaph. v., text. 20). But God is one. Therefore, He has made all things equal.

Obj. 3. Further, it is the part of justice to give unequal to unequal things. But God is just in all His works. Since, therefore, no inequality of things is presupposed to the operation whereby He gives being to things, it seems that He has made all things equal.

On the contrary, It is said (Ecclus. xxxiii. 7): Why does one day excel another, and one light another, and one year another year, one sun another sun? (Vulg.—when all come of the sun). By the knowledge of the Lord they were distinguished.

I answer that, When Origen wished to refute those who said that the distinction of things arose from the contrary principles of good and evil, he said that in the beginning Edition: current; Page: [259] all things were created equal by God. For he asserted that God first created only the rational creatures, and all equal; and that inequality arose in them from free-will, some being turned to God more and some less, and others turned more and others less away from God. And so those rational creatures which were turned to God by free-will, were promoted to the order of angels according to the diversity of merits. And those who were turned away from God were bound down to bodies according to the diversity of their sin; and he said this was the cause of the creation and diversity of bodies. But according to this opinion, it would follow that the universality of bodily creatures would not be the effect of the goodness of God as communicated to creatures, but it would be for the sake of the punishment of sin, which is contrary to what is said: God saw all the things that He had made, and they were very good (Gen. i. 31). And, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ii. 23): What can be more foolish than to say that the divine Architect provided this one sun for the one world, not to be an ornament to its beauty, nor for the benefit of corporeal things, but that it happened through the sin of one soul; so that, if a hundred souls had sinned, there would be a hundred suns in the world?

Therefore it must be said that as the wisdom of God is the cause of the distinction of things, so the same wisdom is the cause of their inequality. This may be explained as follows. A twofold distinction is found in things; one is a formal distinction as regards things differing specifically; the other is a material distinction as regards things differing numerically only. And as the matter is on account of the form, material distinction exists for the sake of the formal distinction. Hence we see that in incorruptible things there is only one individual of each species, forasmuch as the species is sufficiently preserved in the one; whereas in things generated and corruptible there are many individuals of one species for the preservation of the species. Whence it appears that formal distinction is of greater consequence than material. Now, formal distinction always requires inequality, because, as the Philosopher Edition: current; Page: [260] says (Metaph. viii. 10), the forms of things are like numbers in which species vary by addition or subtraction of unity. Hence in natural things species seem to be arranged in degrees; as the mixed things are more perfect than the elements, and plants than minerals, and animals than plants, and men than other animals; and in each of these one species is more perfect than others. Therefore, as the divine wisdom is the cause of the distinction of things for the sake of the perfection of the universe, so is it the cause of inequality. For the universe would not be perfect if only one grade of goodness were found in things.

Reply Obj. 1. It is the part of the best agent to produce an effect which is best in its entirety; but this does not mean that He makes every part of the whole the best absolutely, but in proportion to the whole; in the case of an animal, for instance, its goodness would be taken away if every part of it had the dignity of an eye. Thus, therefore, God also made the universe to be best as a whole, according to the mode of a creature; whereas He did not make each single creature best, but one better than another. And therefore we find it said of each creature, God saw the light that it was good (Gen. i. 4); and in like manner of each one of the rest. But of all together it is said, God saw all the things that He had made, and they were very good (Gen. i. 31).

Reply Obj. 2. The first effect of unity is equality; and then comes multiplicity; and therefore from the Father, to Whom, according to Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i. 5), is appropriated unity, the Son proceeds, to Whom is appropriated equality, and then from Him the creature proceeds, to which belongs inequality; but nevertheless even creatures share in a certain equality—namely, of proportion.

Reply Obj. 3. This is the argument that persuaded Origen: but it holds only as regards the distribution of rewards, the inequality of which is due to unequal merits. But in the constitution of things there is no inequality of parts through any preceding inequality, either of merits or of the disposition of the matter; but inequality comes Edition: current; Page: [261] from the perfection of the whole. This appears also in works done by art; for the roof of a house differs from the foundation, not because it is made of other material; but in order that the house may be made perfect of different parts, the artificer seeks different material; indeed, he would make such material if he could.

Third Article.
WHETHER THERE IS ONLY ONE WORLD?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there is not only one world, but many. Because, as Augustine says (QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 46), it is unfitting to say that God has created things without a reason. But for the same reason that He created one, He could create many, since His power is not limited to the creation of one world; but rather it is infinite, as was shown above (Q. XXV., A. 2). Therefore God has produced many worlds.

Obj. 2. Further, nature does what is best, and much more does God. But it is better for there to be many worlds than one; because many good things are better than a few. Therefore many worlds have been made by God.

Obj. 3. Further, everything which has a form in matter can be multiplied in number, the species remaining the same, because multiplication in number comes from matter. But the world has a form in matter. Thus as when I say man I mean the form, and when I say this man, I mean the form in matter; so when we say world, the form is signified, and when we say this world, the form in matter is signified. Therefore there is nothing to prevent the existence of many worlds.

On the contrary, It is said (Jo. i. 10): The world was made by Him, where the world is named as one, as if only one existed.

I answer that, The very order of things created by God shows the unity of the world. For this world is called one by the unity of order, whereby some things are ordered to others. But whatever things come from God, have relation Edition: current; Page: [262] of order to each other, and to God Himself, as shown above (Q. XI., A. 3; Q. XXI., A. 1). Hence it must be that all things should belong to one world. Therefore those only can assert that many worlds exist who do not acknowledge any ordaining wisdom, but rather believe in chance, as Democritus, who said that this world, besides an infinite number of other worlds, was made from a casual concourse of atoms.

Reply Obj. 1. This reason proves that the world is one because all things must be arranged in one order, and to one end. Therefore from the unity of order in things Aristotle infers (Metaph. xii., text. 52) the unity of God governing all; and Plato (Tim.), from the unity of the exemplar, proves the unity of the world, as the thing designed.

Reply Obj. 2. No agent intends material plurality as the end; forasmuch as material multitude has no certain limit, but of itself tends to infinity, and the infinite is opposed to the notion of end. Now when it is said that many worlds are better than one, this has reference to material order. But the best in this sense is not the intention of the divine agent; forasmuch as for the same reason it might be said that if He had made two worlds, it would be better if He had made three; and so on to infinity.

Reply Obj. 3. The world is composed of the whole of its matter. For it is not possible for there to be another earth than this one, since every earth would naturally be carried to this central one, wherever it was. The same applies to the other bodies which are part of the world.

Edition: current; Page: [263]

QUESTION XLVIII.: THE DISTINCTION OF THINGS IN PARTICULAR.
(In Six Articles.)

We must now consider the distinction of things in particular; and firstly the distinction of good and evil; and then the distinction of the spiritual and corporeal creatures.

Concerning the first, we inquire into evil and its cause.

Concerning evil, six points are to be considered: (1) Whether evil is a nature? (2) Whether evil is found in things? (3) Whether good is the subject of evil? (4) Whether evil totally corrupts good? (5) The division of evil into pain and fault. (6) Whether pain, or fault, has more the nature of evil?

First Article.
WHETHER EVIL IS A NATURE?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that evil is a nature. For every genus is a nature. But evil is a genus; for the Philosopher says (Prædic. x.) that good and evil are not in a genus, but are genera of other things. Therefore evil is a nature.

Obj. 2. Further, every difference which constitutes a species is a nature. But evil is a difference constituting a species of morality; for a bad habit differs in species from a good habit, as liberality from illiberality. Therefore evil signifies a nature.

Obj. 3. Further, each extreme of two contraries is a nature. But evil and good are not opposed as privation and habit, but as contraries, as the Philosopher shows Edition: current; Page: [264] (Prædic. x.) by the fact that between good and evil there is a medium, and from evil there can be a return to good. Therefore evil signifies a nature.

Obj. 4. Further, what is not, acts not. But evil acts, for it corrupts good. Therefore evil is a being and a nature.

Obj. 5. Further, nothing belongs to the perfection of the universe except what is a being and a nature. But evil belongs to the perfection of the universe of things; for Augustine says (Enchir. 10, 11) that the admirable beauty of the universe is made up of all things. In which even what is called evil, well ordered and in its place, is the eminent commendation of what is good. Therefore evil is a nature.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.), Evil is neither a being nor a good.

I answer that, One opposite is known through the other, as darkness is known through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the nature of good. Now, we have said above that good is everything appetible; and thus, since every nature desires its own being and its own perfection, it must be said also that the being and the perfection of any nature is good. Hence it cannot be that evil signifies being, or any form or nature. Therefore it must be that by the name of evil is signified the absence of good. And this is what is meant by saying that evil is neither a being nor a good. For since being, as such, is good, the absence of one implies the absence of the other.

Reply Obj. 1. Aristotle speaks there according to the opinion of the Pythagoreans, who thought that evil was a kind of nature; and therefore they asserted the existence of the genus of good and evil. For Aristotle, especially in his logical works, brings forward examples that in his time were probable in the opinion of some philosophers. Or, it may be said that, as the Philosopher says (Metaph. iv., text. 6), the first kind of contrariety is habit and privation, as being verified in all contraries; since one contrary is always imperfect in relation to another, as black in relation to white, and bitter in relation to sweet. And in this way Edition: current; Page: [265] good and evil are said to be genera not simply, but in regard to contraries; because, as every form has the nature of good, so every privation, as such, has the nature of evil.

Reply Obj. 2. Good and evil are not constitutive differences except in morals, which receive their species from the end, which is the object of the will, the source of all morality. And because good has the nature of an end, therefore good and evil are specific differences in moral things; good in itself, but evil as the absence of the due end. Yet neither does the absence of the due end by itself constitute a moral species, except as it is joined to the undue end; just as we do not find the privation of the substantial form in natural things, unless it is joined to another form. Thus, therefore, the evil which is a constitutive difference in morals is a certain good joined to the privation of another good; as the end proposed by the intemperate man is not the privation of the good of reason, but the delight of sense without the order of reason. Hence evil is not a constitutive difference as such, but by reason of the good that is annexed.

Reply Obj. 3. This appears from the above. For the Philosopher speaks there of good and evil in morality. Because in that respect, between good and evil there is a medium, as good is considered as something rightly ordered, and evil as a thing not only out of right order, but also as injurious to another. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv. i.) that a prodigal man is foolish, but not evil. And from this evil in morality, there may be a return to good, but not from any sort of evil; for from blindness there is no return to sight, although blindness is an evil.

Reply Obj. 4. A thing is said to act in a threefold sense. In one way, formally, as when we say that whiteness makes white; and in that sense evil considered even as a privation is said to corrupt good, forasmuch as it is itself a corruption or privation of good. In another sense a thing is said to act effectively, as when a painter makes a wall white. Thirdly, it is said in the sense of the final cause, as the end is said to effect by moving the efficient cause. But in these two ways evil does not effect anything of Edition: current; Page: [266] itself, that is, as a privation, but by virtue of the good annexed to it. For every action comes from some form; and everything which is desired as an end, is a perfection. And therefore, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.): Evil does not act, nor is it desired, except by virtue of some good joined to it: while of itself it is nothing definite, and beside the scope of our will and intention.

Reply Obj. 5. As was said above, the parts of the universe are ordered to each other, according as one acts on the other, and according as one is the end and exemplar of the other. But, as was said above, this can only happen to evil as joined to some good. Hence evil neither belongs to the perfection of the universe, nor does it come under the order of the same, except accidentally, that is, by reason of some good joined to it.

Second Article.
WHETHER EVIL IS FOUND IN THINGS?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that evil is not found in things. For whatever is found in things, is either something, or a privation of something, that is a not-being. But Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that evil is distant from existence, and even more distant from non-existence. Therefore evil is not at all found in things.

Obj. 2. Further, being and thing are convertible. If, therefore, evil is a being in things, it follows that evil is a thing, which is contrary to what has been said (A. 1).

Obj. 3. Further, the white unmixed with black is the most white, as the Philosopher says (Topic. iii. 4). Therefore also the good unmixed with evil is the greater good. But God makes always what is best, much more than nature does. Therefore in things made by God there is no evil.

On the contrary, On the above assumptions, all prohibitions and penalties would cease, for they exist only for evils.

Edition: current; Page: [267]

I answer that, As was said above (Q. XLVII., AA. 1, 2), the perfection of the universe requires that there should be inequality in things, so that every grade of goodness may be realized. Now, one grade of goodness is that of the good which cannot fail. Another grade of goodness is that of the good which can fail in goodness, and this grade is to be found in existence itself; for some things there are which cannot lose their existence as incorruptible things, while some there are which can lose it, as things corruptible.

As, therefore, the perfection of the universe requires that there should be not only beings incorruptible, but also corruptible beings; so the perfection of the universe requires that there should be some which can fail in goodness, and thence it follows that sometimes they do fail. Now it is in this that evil consists, namely, in the fact that a thing fails in goodness. Hence it is clear that evil is found in things, as corruption also is found; for corruption is itself an evil.

Reply Obj. 1. Evil is distant both from simple being and from simple not-being, because it is neither a habit nor a pure negation, but a privation.

Reply Obj. 2. As the Philosopher says (Metaph. v., text. 14), being is twofold. In one way it is considered as signifying the entity of a thing, as divisible by the ten predicaments; and in that sense it is convertible with thing, and thus no privation is a being, and neither therefore is evil a being. In another sense being conveys the truth of a proposition which unites together subject and attribute by a copula, notified by this word is; and in this sense being is what answers to the question, Does it exist? and thus we speak of blindness as being in the eye; or of any other privation. In this way even evil can be called a being. Through ignorance of this distinction some, considering that things may be evil, or that evil is said to be in things, believed that evil was a positive thing in itself.

Reply Obj. 3. God and nature and any other agent make what is best in the whole, but not what is best in every single part, except in order to the whole, as was said above Edition: current; Page: [268] (Q. XLVII., A. 2). And the whole itself, which is the universe of creatures, is all the better and more perfect if some things in it can fail in goodness, and do sometimes fail, God not preventing this. This happens, firstly, because it belongs to Providence not to destroy, but to save nature, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.); but it belongs to nature that what may fail should sometimes fail; secondly, because, as Augustine says (Enchir. 11), God is so powerful that He can even make good out of evil. Hence many good things would be taken away if God permitted no evil to exist; for fire would not be generated if air was not corrupted, nor would the life of a lion be preserved unless the ass were killed. Neither would avenging justice nor the patience of a sufferer be praised if there were no injustice.

Third Article.
WHETHER EVIL IS IN GOOD AS IN ITS SUBJECT?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that evil is not in good as its subject. For good is something that exists. But Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv. 4) that evil does not exist, nor is it in that which exists. Therefore, evil is not in good as its subject.

Obj. 2. Further, evil is not a being; whereas good is a being. But not-being does not require being as its subject. Therefore, neither does evil require good as its subject.

Obj. 3. Further, one contrary is not the subject of another. But good and evil are contraries. Therefore, evil is not in good as in its subject.

Obj. 4. Further, the subject of whiteness is called white. Therefore, also, the subject of evil is evil. If, therefore, evil is in good as in its subject, it follows that good is evil, against what is said (Isa. v. 20): Woe to you who call evil good, and good evil!

On the contrary, Augustine says (Enchir. 14) that evil exists only in good.

I answer that, As was said above (A. 1), evil imports the Edition: current; Page: [269] absence of good. But not every absence of good is evil. For absence of good can be taken in a privative and in a negative sense. Absence of good, taken negatively, is not evil; otherwise, it would follow that what does not exist is evil, and also that everything would be evil, through not having the good belonging to something else; for instance, a man would be evil who had not the swiftness of the roe, or the strength of a lion. But the absence of good, taken in a privative sense, is an evil; as, for instance, the privation of sight is called blindness.

Now, the subject of privation and of form is one and the same—viz., being in potentiality, whether it be being in absolute potentiality, as primary matter, which is the subject of the substantial form, and of privation of the opposite form; or whether it be being in relative potentiality, and absolute actuality, as in the case of a transparent body, which is the subject both of darkness and light. It is, however, manifest that the form which makes a thing actual is a perfection and a good; and thus every actual being is a good; and likewise every potential being, as such, is a good, as having a relation to good. For as it has being in potentiality, so has it goodness in potentiality. Therefore, the subject of evil is good.

Reply Obj. 1. Dionysius means that evil is not in existing things as a part, or as a natural property of any existing thing.

Reply Obj. 2. Not-being, understood negatively, does not require a subject; but privation is negation in a subject, as the Philosopher says (Metaph. iv., text. 4), and such not-being is an evil.

Reply Obj. 3. Evil is not in the good opposed to it as in its subject, but in some other good, for the subject of blindness is not sight, but animal. Yet, it appears, as Augustine says (Enchir. 13), that the rule of dialectics here fails, where it is laid down that contraries cannot exist together. But this is to be taken as referring to good and evil in general, but not in reference to any particular good and evil. For white and black, sweet and bitter, and the like contraries, are only considered as contraries in a special Edition: current; Page: [270] sense, because they exist in some determinate genus; whereas good enters into every genus. Hence one good can coexist with the privation of another good.

Reply Obj. 4. The prophet invokes woe to those who say that good as such is evil. But this does not follow from what is said above, as is clear from the explanation given.

Fourth Article.
WHETHER EVIL CORRUPTS THE WHOLE GOOD?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that evil corrupts the whole good. For one contrary is wholly corrupted by another. But good and evil are contraries. Therefore evil corrupts the whole good.

Obj. 2. Further, Augustine says (Enchir. 12) that evil hurts inasmuch as it takes away good. But good is all of a piece and uniform. Therefore it is wholly taken away by evil.

Obj. 3. Further, evil, as long as it lasts, hurts, and takes away good. But that from which something is always being removed, is at some time consumed, unless it is infinite, which cannot be said of any created good. Therefore evil wholly consumes good.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Enchir., loc. cit.) that evil cannot wholly consume good.

I answer that, Evil cannot wholly consume good. To prove this we must consider that good is threefold. One kind of good is wholly destroyed by evil, and this is the good opposed to the evil, as light is wholly destroyed by darkness, and sight by blindness. Another kind of good is neither wholly destroyed nor diminished by evil, and that is the good which is the subject of evil; for by darkness the substance of the air is not injured. And there is also a kind of good which is diminished by evil, but is not wholly taken away; and this good is the aptitude of a subject to some actuality.

The diminution, however, of this kind of good is not to be considered by way of subtraction, as diminution in Edition: current; Page: [271] quantity, but rather by way of remission, as diminution in qualities and forms. The remission likewise of this habitude is to be taken as contrary to its intensity. For this kind of aptitude receives its intensity by the dispositions whereby the matter is prepared for actuality; which the more they are multiplied in the subject, the more is it fitted to receive its perfection and form; and, on the contrary, it receives its remission by contrary dispositions, which, the more they are multiplied in the matter, and the more they are intensified, the more is the potentiality remitted as regards the actuality.

Therefore, if contrary dispositions cannot be multiplied and intensified to infinity, but only to a certain limit, neither is the aforesaid aptitude diminished or remitted infinitely, as appears in the active and passive qualities of the elements; for coldness and humidity, whereby the aptitude of matter to the form of fire is diminished or remitted, cannot be infinitely multiplied. But if the contrary dispositions can be infinitely multiplied, the aforesaid aptitude is also infinitely diminished or remitted; yet, nevertheless, it is not wholly taken away, because its root always remains, which is the substance of the subject. Thus, if opaque bodies were interposed to infinity between the sun and the air, the aptitude of the air to light would be infinitely diminished, but still it would never be wholly removed while the air remained, which in its very nature is transparent. Likewise, addition in sin can be made to infinitude, whereby the aptitude of the soul to grace is more and more lessened; and these sins, indeed, are like obstacles interposed between us and God, according to Isa. lix. 2: Our sins have divided between us and God. Yet the aforesaid aptitude of the soul is not wholly taken away, for it belongs to its very nature.

Reply Obj. 1. The good which is opposed to evil is wholly taken away; but other goods are not wholly removed, as said above.

Reply Obj. 2. The aforesaid aptitude is a medium between subject and act. Hence, where it touches act, it is diminished by evil; but where it touches the subject, it Edition: current; Page: [272] remains as it was. Therefore, although good is like to itself, yet, on account of its relation to different things, it is not wholly, but only partially taken away.

Reply Obj. 3. Some, imagining that the diminution of this kind of good is like the diminution of quantity, said that just as the continuous is infinitely divisible, if the division be made in an ever same proportion (for instance, half of half, or a third of a third), so is it in the present case. But this explanation does not avail here. For when in a division we keep the same proportion, we continue to subtract less and less; for half of half is less than half the whole. But a second sin does not necessarily diminish the above mentioned aptitude less than a preceding sin, but perchance either equally or more.

Therefore it must be said that, although this aptitude is a finite thing, still it may be so diminished infinitely, not per se, but accidentally; according as the contrary dispositions are also increased infinitely, as explained above.

Fifth Article.
WHETHER EVIL IS ADEQUATELY DIVIDED INTO PAIN* AND FAULT?

We proceed thus to the Fifth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that evil is not adequately divided into pain and fault. For every defect is a kind of evil. But in all creatures there is the defect of not being able to preserve their own existence, which nevertheless is neither a pain nor a fault. Therefore evil is inadequately divided into pain and fault.

Obj. 2. Further, in irrational creatures there is neither fault nor pain; but, nevertheless, they have corruption and defect, which are evils. Therefore not every evil is a pain or a fault.

Obj. 3. Further, temptation is an evil, but it is not a fault; for temptation which involves no consent, is not a sin, but an occasion for the exercise of virtue, as is said in Edition: current; Page: [273] a gloss on 2 Cor. xii.; nor is it a pain; because temptation precedes the fault, and the pain follows afterwards. Therefore, evil is not sufficiently divided into pain and fault.

Obj. 4. On the contrary, It would seem that this division is superfluous; for, as Augustine says (Enchir. 12), a thing is evil because it hurts. But whatever hurts is penal. Therefore every evil comes under pain.

I answer that, Evil, as was said above (A. 3) is the privation of good, which chiefly and of itself consists in perfection and act. Act, however, is twofold; first, and second. The first act is the form and integrity of a thing; the second act is its operation. Therefore evil also is twofold. In one way it occurs by the subtraction of the form, or of any part required for the integrity of the thing, as blindness is an evil, as also it is an evil to be wanting in any member of the body. In another way evil exists by the withdrawal of the due operation, either because it does not exist, or because it has not its due mode and order. But because good in itself is the object of the will, evil, which is the privation of good, is found in a special way in rational creatures which have a will. Therefore the evil which comes from the withdrawal of the form and integrity of the thing, has the nature of a pain; and especially so on the supposition that all things are subject to divine providence and justice, as was shown above (Q. XXII., A. 2); for it is of the very nature of a pain to be against the will. But the evil which consists in the subtraction of the due operation in voluntary things has the nature of a fault; for this is imputed to anyone as a fault to fail as regards perfect action, of which he is master by the will. Therefore every evil in voluntary things is to be looked upon as a pain or a fault.

Reply Obj. 1. Because evil is the privation of good, and not a mere negation, as was said above (A. 3), therefore not every defect of good is an evil, but the defect of the good which is naturally due. For the want of sight is not an evil in a stone, but it is an evil in an animal; since it is against the nature of a stone to see. So, likewise, it is against the nature of a creature to be preserved in Edition: current; Page: [274] existence by itself, because existence and conservation come from one and the same source. Hence this kind of defect is not an evil as regards a creature.

Reply Obj. 2. Pain and fault do not divide evil absolutely considered, but evil that is found in voluntary things.

Reply Obj. 3. Temptation, as importing provocation to evil, is always an evil of fault in the tempter; but in the one tempted it is not, properly speaking, a fault; unless through the temptation some change is wrought in the one who is tempted; for thus is the action of the agent in the patient. And if the tempted is changed to evil by the tempter he falls into fault.

Reply Obj. 4. In answer to the opposite argument, it must be said that the very nature of pain includes the idea of injury to the agent in himself, whereas the idea of fault includes the idea of injury to the agent in his operation; and thus both are contained in evil, as including the idea of injury.

Sixth Article.
WHETHER PAIN HAS THE NATURE OF EVIL MORE THAN FAULT HAS?

We proceed thus to the Sixth Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that pain has more of evil than fault. For fault is to pain what merit is to reward. But reward has more of good than merit, as its end. Therefore pain has more evil in it than fault has.

Obj. 2. Further, that is the greater evil which is opposed to the greater good. But pain, as was said above (A. 5), is opposed to the good of the agent, while fault is opposed to the good of the action. Therefore, since the agent is better than the action, it seems that pain is worse than fault.

Obj. 3. Further, the privation of the end is a pain consisting in forfeiting the vision of God; whereas the evil of fault is privation of the order to the end. Therefore pain is a greater evil than fault.

On the contrary, A wise workman chooses a less evil in order to prevent a greater, as the surgeon cuts off a limb Edition: current; Page: [275] to save the whole body. But divine wisdom inflicts pain to prevent fault. Therefore fault is a greater evil than pain.

I answer that, Fault has the nature of evil more than pain has; not only more than pain of sense, consisting in the privation of corporeal goods, which kind of pain appeals to most men; but also more than any kind of pain, thus taking pain in its most general meaning, so as to include privation of grace or glory.

There is a twofold reason for this. The first is that one becomes evil by the evil of fault, but not by the evil of pain, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.): To be punished is not an evil; but it is an evil to be made worthy of punishment. And this because, since good absolutely considered consists in act, and not in potentiality, and the ultimate act is operation, or the use of something possessed, it follows that the absolute good of man consists in good operation, or the good use of something possessed. Now we use all things by the act of the will. Hence from a good will, which makes a man use well what he has, man is called good, and from a bad will he is called bad. For a man who has a bad will can use ill even the good he has, as when a grammarian of his own will speaks incorrectly. Therefore, because the fault itself consists in the disordered act of the will, and the pain consists in the privation of something used by the will, fault has more of evil in it than pain has.

The second reason can be taken from the fact that God is the author of the evil of pain, but not of the evil of fault. And this is because the evil of pain takes away the creature’s good, which may be either something created, as sight, destroyed by blindness, or something uncreated, as by being deprivated of the vision of God, the creature forfeits its uncreated good. But the evil of fault is properly opposed to uncreated good: for it is opposed to the fulfilment of the divine will, and to divine love, whereby the divine good is loved for itself, and not only as shared by the creature. Therefore it is plain that fault has more evil in it than pain has.

Edition: current; Page: [276]

Reply Obj. 1. Although fault results in pain, as merit in reward, yet fault is not intended on account of the pain, as merit is for the reward; but rather, on the contrary, pain is brought about so that the fault may be avoided, and thus fault is worse than pain.

Reply Obj. 2. The order of action which is destroyed by fault is the more perfect good of the agent, since it is the second perfection, than the good taken away by pain, which is the first perfection.

Reply Obj. 3. Pain and fault are not to be compared as end and order to the end; because one may be deprived of both of these in some way, both by fault and by pain; by pain, accordingly as a man is removed from the end and from the order to the end; by fault, inasmuch as this privation belongs to the action which is not ordered to its due end.

Edition: current; Page: [277]

QUESTION XLIX.: THE CAUSE OF EVIL.
(In Three Articles.)

We next inquire into the cause of evil. Concerning this there are three points of inquiry: (1) Whether good can be the cause of evil? (2) Whether the supreme good, God, is the cause of evil? (3) Whether there be any supreme evil, which is the first cause of all evils?

First Article.
WHETHER GOOD CAN BE THE CAUSE OF EVIL?

We proceed thus to the First Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that good cannot be the cause of evil. For it is said (Matth. vii. 18): A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.

Obj. 2. Further, one contrary cannot be the cause of another. But evil is the contrary to good. Therefore good cannot be the cause of evil.

Obj. 3. Further, a deficient effect can proceed only from a deficient cause. But evil is a deficient effect. Therefore its cause, if it has one, is deficient. But everything deficient is an evil. Therefore the cause of evil can only be evil.

Obj. 4. Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv.) that evil has no cause. Therefore good is not the cause of evil.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Julian. i. 9): There is no possible source of evil except good.

I answer that, It must be said that every evil in some way has a cause. For evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due to a thing. But that anything Edition: current; Page: [278] fail from its natural and due disposition, can come only from some cause drawing it out of its proper disposition. For a heavy thing is not moved upwards except by some impelling force; nor does an agent fail in its action except from some impediment. But only good can be a cause; because nothing can be a cause except inasmuch as it is a being, and every being, as such, is good.

And if we consider the special kinds of causes, we see that the agent, the form, and the end, import some kind of perfection which belongs to the notion of good. Even matter, as a potentiality to good, has the nature of good. Now that good is the cause of evil by way of the material cause was shown above (Q. XLVIII., A. 3). For it was shown that good is the subject of evil. But evil has no formal cause, rather is it a privation of form; likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end. Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but accidentally.

In proof of this, we must know that evil is caused in the action otherwise than in the effect. In the action evil is caused by reason of the defect of some principle of action, either of the principal or the instrumental agent; thus the defect in the movement of an animal may happen by reason of the weakness of the motive power, as in the case of children, or by reason only of the ineptitude of the instrument, as in the lame. On the other hand, evil is caused in a thing, but not in the proper effect of the agent, sometimes by the power of the agent, sometimes by reason of a defect, either of the agent or of the matter. It is caused by reason of the power or perfection of the agent when there necessarily follows on the form intended by the agent the privation of another form; as, for instance, when on the form of fire there follows the privation of the form of air or of water. Therefore, as the more perfect the fire is in strength, so much the more perfectly does it impress its own form, so also the more perfectly does it corrupt the contrary. Hence that evil and corruption befall air and Edition: current; Page: [279] water comes from the perfection of the fire: but this is accidental; because fire does not aim at the privation of the form of water, but at the bringing in of its own form, though by doing this it also accidentally causes the other. But if there is a defect in the proper effect of the fire—as, for instance, that it fails to heat—this comes either by defect of the action, which implies the defect of some principle, as was said above, or by the indisposition of the matter, which does not receive the action of fire, the agent. But this very fact that it is a deficient being is accidental to good to which of itself it belongs to act. Hence it is true that evil in no way has any but an accidental cause; and thus is good the cause of evil.

Reply Obj. 1. As Augustine says (Contra Julian. i.): The Lord calls an evil will the evil tree, and a good will a good tree. Now, a good will does not produce a morally bad act, since it is from the good will itself that a moral act is judged to be good. Nevertheless the movement itself of an evil will is caused by the rational creature, which is good; and thus good is the cause of evil.

Reply Obj. 2. Good does not cause that evil which is contrary to itself, but some other evil: thus the goodness of the fire causes evil to the water, and man, good as to his nature, causes an act morally evil. And, as explained above (Q. XIX., A. 9), this is by accident. Moreover, it does happen sometimes that one contrary causes another by accident: for instance, the exterior surrounding cold heats (the body) through the concentration of the inward heat.

Reply Obj. 3. Evil has a deficient cause in voluntary things otherwise than in natural things. For the natural agent produces the same kind of effect as it is itself, unless it is impeded by some exterior thing; and this amounts to some defect belonging to it. Hence evil never follows in the effect, unless some other evil pre-exists in the agent or in the matter, as was said above. But in voluntary things the defect of the action comes from the will actually deficient, inasmuch as it does not actually subject itself to its proper rule. This defect, however, is not a fault, but Edition: current; Page: [280] fault follows upon it from the fact that the will acts with this defect.

Reply Obj. 4. Evil has no direct cause, but only an accidental cause, as was said above.

Second Article.
WHETHER THE SUPREME GOOD, GOD, IS THE CAUSE OF EVIL?

We proceed thus to the Second Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that the supreme good, God, is the cause of evil. For it is said (Isa. xlv. 5, 7): I am the Lord, and there is no other God, forming the light, and creating darkness, making peace, and creating evil. And (Amos iii. 6), Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done?

Obj. 2. Further, the effect of the secondary cause is reduced to the first cause. But good is the cause of evil, as was said above (A. 1). Therefore, since God is the cause of every good, as was shown above (Q. II., A. 3; Q. VI., AA. 1, 4), it follows that also every evil is from God.

Obj. 3. Further, as is said by the Philosopher (Phys. ii., text. 30), the cause of both safety and danger of the ship is the same. But God is the cause of the safety of all things. Therefore He is the cause of all perdition and of all evil.

On the contrary, Augustine says (QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 21) that, God is not the author of evil, because He is not the cause of tending to not-being.

I answer that, As appears from what was said (A. 1), the evil which consists in the defect of action is always caused by the defect of the agent. But in God there is no defect, but the highest perfection, as was shown above (Q. IV., A. 1). Hence, the evil which consists in defect of action, or which is caused by defect of the agent, is not reduced to God as to its cause.

But the evil which consists in the corruption of some things is reduced to God as the cause. And this appears as regards both natural things and voluntary things. For Edition: current; Page: [281] it was said (A. 1) that some agent inasmuch as it produces by its power a form to which follows corruption and defect, causes by its power that corruption and defect. But it is manifest that the form which God chiefly intends in things created is the good of the order of the universe. Now, the order of the universe requires, as was said above (Q. XXII., A. 2 ad 2; Q. XLVIII., A. 2), that there should be some things that can, and do sometimes, fail. And thus God, by causing in things the good of the order of the universe, consequently and as it were by accident, causes the corruptions of things, according to 1 Kings ii. 6: The Lord killeth and maketh alive. But when we read that God hath not made death (Wis. i. 13), the sense is that God does not will death for its own sake. Nevertheless the order of justice belongs to the order of the universe; and this requires that penalty should be dealt out to sinners. And so God is the author of the evil which is penalty, but not of the evil which is fault, by reason of what is said above.

Reply Obj. 1. These passages refer to the evil of penalty, and not to the evil of fault.

Reply Obj. 2. The effect of the deficient secondary cause is reduced to the first non-deficient cause as regards what it has of being and perfection, but not as regards what it has of defect; just as whatever there is of motion in the act of limping is caused by the motive power, whereas what there is of obliqueness in it does not come from the motive power, but from the curvature of the leg. And, likewise, whatever there is of being and action in a bad action, is reduced to God as the cause; whereas whatever defect is in it is not caused by God, but by the deficient secondary cause.

Reply Obj. 3. The sinking of a ship is attributed to the sailor as the cause, from the fact that he does not fulfil what the safety of the ship requires; but God does not fail in doing what is necessary for the safety of all. Hence there is no parity.

Edition: current; Page: [282]

Third Article.
WHETHER THERE BE ONE SUPREME EVIL WHICH IS THE CAUSE OF EVERY EVIL?

We proceed thus to the Third Article:

Objection 1. It would seem that there is one supreme evil which is the cause of every evil. For contrary effects have contrary causes. But contrariety is found in things, according to Ecclus. xxxiii. 15: Good is set against evil, and life against death; so also is the sinner against a just man. Therefore there are contrary principles, one of good, the other of evil.

Obj. 2. Further, if one contrary is in nature, so is the other. But the supreme good is in nature, and is the cause of every good, as was shown above (Q. II., A. 3; Q. VI. AA. 2, 4). Therefore, also, there is a supreme evil opposed to it as the cause of every evil.

Obj. 3. Further, as we find good and better things, so we find evil and worse. But good and better are so considered in relation to what is best. Therefore evil and worse are so considered in relation to some supreme evil.

Obj. 4. Further, everything participated is reduced to what is essential. But things which are evil among us are evil not essentially, but by participation. Therefore we must seek for some supreme essential evil, which is the cause of every evil.

Obj. 5. Further, whatever is accidental is reduced to that which is per se. But good is the accidental cause of evil. Therefore, we must suppose some supreme evil which is the per se cause of evils. Nor can it be said that evil has no per se cause, but only an accidental cause; for it would then follow that evil would not exist in the many, but only in the few.

Obj. 6. Further, the evil of the effect is reduced to the evil of the cause; because the deficient effect comes from the deficient cause, as was said above (AA. 1, 2). But we cannot proceed to infinity in this matter. Therefore, we must suppose one first evil as the cause of every evil.

Edition: current; Page: [283]

On the contrary, The supreme good is the cause of every being, as was shown above (Q. II., A. 3; Q. VI., A. 4). Therefore there cannot be any principle opposed to it as the cause of evils.

I answer that, It appears from what precedes that there is no one first principle of evil, as there is one first principle of good.

First, indeed, because the first principle of good is essentially good, as was shown above (Q. VI., AA. 3, 4). But nothing can be essentially bad. For it was shown above that every being, as such, is good (Q. V., A. 3); and that evil can exist only in good as in its subject (Q. XLVIII., A. 3).

Secondly, because the first principle of good is the highest and perfect good which pre-contains in itself all goodness, as shown above (Q. VI., A. 2). But there cannot be a supreme evil; because, as was shown above (Q. XLVIII., A. 4), although evil always lessens good, yet it never wholly consumes it; and thus, while good ever remains, nothing can be wholly and perfectly bad. Therefore, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv. 5) that if the wholly evil could be, it would destroy itself; because all good being destroyed (which it need be for something to be wholly evil), evil itself would be taken away, since its subject is good.

Thirdly, because the very nature of evil is against the idea of a first principle; both because every evil is caused by good, as was shown above (A. 1), and because evil can be only an accidental cause, and thus it cannot be the first cause, for the accidental cause is subsequent to the direct cause.

Those, however, who upheld two first principles, one good and the other evil, fell into this error from the same cause, whence also arose other strange notions of the ancients; namely, because they failed to consider the universal cause of all being, and considered only the particular causes of particular effects. For on that account, if they found a thing hurtful to something by the power of its own nature, they thought that the very nature of that thing Edition: current; Page: [284] was evil; as, for instance, if one should say that the nature of fire was evil because it burnt the house of a poor man. The judgment, however, of the goodness of anything does not depend upon its order to any particular thing, but rather upon what it is in itself, and on its order to the whole universe, wherein every part has its own perfectly ordered place, as was said above (Q. XLVII., A. 2 ad 1).

Likewise, because they found two contrary particular causes of two contrary particular effects, they did not know how to reduce these contrary particular causes to the universal common cause; and therefore they extended the contrariety of causes even to the first principles. But since all contraries agree in something common, it is necessary to search for one common cause for them above their own contrary proper causes; as above the contrary qualities of the elements exists the power of a heavenly body; and above all things that exist, no matter how, there exists one first principle of being, as was shown above (Q. II., A. 3).

Reply Obj. 1. Contraries agree in one genus, and they also agree in the nature of being; and therefore, although they have contrary particular causes, nevertheless we must come at last to one first common cause.

Reply Obj. 2. Privation and habit belong naturally to the same subject. Now the subject of privation is a being in potentiality, as was said above (Q. XLVIII., A. 3). Hence, since evil is privation of good, as appears from what was said above (ibid., AA. 1, 2, 3), it is opposed to that good which has some potentiality, but not to the supreme good, who is pure act.

Reply Obj. 3. Increase in intensity is in proportion to the nature of a thing. And as the form is a perfection, so privation removes a perfection. Hence every form, perfection, and good is intensified by approach to the perfect term; but privation and evil by receding from that term. Hence a thing is not said to be evil and worse, by reason of access to the supreme evil, in the same way as it is said to be good and better, by reason of access to the supreme good.

Reply Obj. 4. No being is called evil by participation, Edition: current; Page: [285] but by privation of participation. Hence it is not necessary to reduce it to any essential evil.

Reply Obj. 5. Evil can only have an accidental cause, as was shown above (A. 1). Hence reduction to any per se cause of evil is impossible. And to say that evil is in the greater number is simply false. For things which are generated and corrupted, in which alone can there be natural evil, are the smaller part of the whole universe. And again, in every species the defect of nature is in the smaller number. In man alone does evil appear as in the greater number; because the good of man as regards the senses is not the good of man as man—that is, in regard to reason; and more men seek good in regard to the senses than good according to reason.

Reply Obj. 6. In the causes of evil we do not proceed to infinity, but reduce all evils to some good cause, whence evil follows accidentally.

Edition: current; Page: [286] Edition: current; Page: [287]

The “Summa Theologica” of St. Thomas Aquinas, in English

Edited by THE DOMINICAN FATHERS

Demy 8vo. Volumes. Cloth.

FIRST PART.
QQ. 1- 26 OF GOD AND THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES. 12s. [Second and Revised Edition Ready.
27- 49 THE BLESSED TRINITY—THE CREATION } [Revised Editions are in Preparation.
50- 74 THE ANGELS—THE WORK OF SIX DAYS. }
75-119 ON MAN—THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT. 9s. [Ready.
SECOND PART. (Prima Secundæ.)
QQ. 1- 48 THE END OF MAN—HUMAN ACTS—PASSIONS. 9s. [Ready.
49- 89 HABITS—VIRTUES AND VICES. 9s. [Ready.
90-114 LAW AND GRACE. 9s. [Ready.
SECOND PART. (Secunda Secundæ.)
QQ. 1- 46 FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.9s. [Ready.
47- 79 PRUDENCE—JUSTICE. 9s. [Ready.
80-100 JUSTICE (continued)—THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR ACTS OF RELIGION [Nearly Ready.
101-140 PIETY, OBSERVANCE, AND CONTRARY VICES—FORTITUDE [In Preperation.
141-170 TEMPERANCE, ITS INTEGRAL, SUBJECTIVE AND POTENTIAL PARTS, AND CONTRARY VICES. [Nearly Ready.
171-189 GRATUITOUS GRACES—ACTIVE AND CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE—STATES OF LIFE. [In Preparation.
THIRD PART AND SUPPLEMENT.
QQ. 1- 26 THE INCARNATION. 9s. [Ready.
27- 59 THE CHRISTOLOGY (including St. Thomas’s Mariology). 9s. [Ready.
60- 83 THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL—BAPTISM—CONFIRMATION—HOLY EUCHARIST. 9s. [Ready.
84-Supp. 33 PENANCE (including last seven questions of the Third Part)—EXTREME UNCTION. 9s. [Ready.
34- 68 HOLY ORDERS—MATRIMONY. [In Preparation.
69- 90 TREATISE ON THE LAST THINGS—PURGATORY. [In Preparation.

Orders for the entire work are received. Forthcoming Volumes will be charged as they appear. ALL PRICES NET.

BURNS OATES & WASHBOURNE LTD.

28 ORCHARD STREET

8-10 PATERNOSTER ROW

W. 1

E.C. 4

Printed in England.

*

De Prædic., cap. De substantia.

*

Fulgentius, De Fide ad Petrum i.

In substance, Ep. lvii.

*

Nemo = non-homo, i.e. no man.

*

It should be borne in mind that the word ‘ghost’ is the old English equivalent for the Latin spiritus, whether in the sense of breath or blast, or in the sense of spirit as an immaterial substance. Thus we read in the former sense (Hampole, Psalter x. 7), The Gost of Storms (spiritus procellarum), and in the latter Trubled gost is sacrifice of God (Prose Psalter, ad 1325), and Oure wrestlynge is . . . against the spiritual wicked gostes of the ayre (More, “Comfort against Tribulation”); and in our modern expression of giving up the ghost. As applied to God, and not specially to the third Holy Person, we have an example from Maunder, Jhesu Criste was the worde and the goste of Good. (See Oxford Dictionary.)

*

Council of Rome, under Pope Damasus.

*

Serm. ii., in cœna Domini.

*

In substance Ep. lvii.

*

Douay, power.

Douay, virtue.

*

The Septuagint.

*

Moral. xxix. 21.

Super Ps. ii. 7.

*

The zodiac.

*

Serm. XIV., De Temp., 4, 5; De Hæres., hæres. 46; De Civ. Dei xii. 13.

*

Pain here means penalty: such was its original signification, being derived from pœna. In this sense we say Pain of death, Pain of loss, Pain of sense.—Ed.