Question Five: Providence
- Primo ad quod attributorum providentia reducatur.
- Secundo utrum mundus providentia regatur.
- Tertio utrum divina providentia ad corruptibilia se extendat.
- Quarto utrum omnes motus et actiones horum inferiorum corporum subdantur divinae providentiae.
- Quinto utrum humani actus providentia regantur.
- Sexto utrum animalia bruta et eorum actus divinae providentiae subdantur.
- Septimo utrum peccatores divina providentia regantur.
- Octavo utrum tota corporalis creatura gubernetur divina providentia mediante creatura angelica.
- Nono utrum per corpora caelestia disponat divina providentia inferiora corpora.
- Decimo utrum humani actus gubernentur a divina providentia mediantibus corporibus caelestibus.
- To which attribute can God’s providence be reduced?
- Is the world ruled by providence?
- Does God’s providence extend to corruptible things?
- Are the motions and actions of all bodies here below subject to divine providence?
- Are human acts ruled by providence?
- Are brute animals and their acts subject to God’s providence?
- Are sinners ruled by God’s providence?
- Are all material creatures governed by God’s providence through angels?
- Does divine providence dispose bodies here below by means of the celestial bodies?
- Are human acts governed by God’s providence through the instrumentality of celestial bodies?
This question treats providence.
In the first article we ask:
To which attribute can God’s providence be reduced?
[ARTICLE De ver., 3, aa. 2-3; S.T., I, 22, 1; I Sent., 39, 2, 1; VI Metaph., lect. 3, n. 1218 seq. ]
Quaestio est de providentia. Et primo quaeritur ad quod attributorum providentia reducatur Difficulties Et videtur quod tantum ad scientiam. It seems that it belongs only to His knowledge, for Quia, sicut dicit Boetius in IV de consolatione Philos., illud certe manifestum est, immobilem simplicemque formam gerendarum rerum esse providentiam. Sed forma rerum agendarum in Deo est idea, quae ad scientiam pertinet. Ergo et providentia ad cognitionem pertinet. 1. Boethius says, “It is certainly clear that Providence is the immovable and simple form of things to be done.” Now, in God the form of things that should be done is an idea, and an idea pertains to His knowledge. Providence, therefore, pertains to His knowledge. Sed dicebat, quod providentia pertinet ad voluntatem etiam inquantum est causa rerum.- Sed contra, in nobis scientia practica est causa rerum scitarum. Sed scientia practica in sola cognitione est. Ergo et providentia. 2. But it was said that providence also pertains to God’s will in so far as it is the cause of things.—To the contrary, in us practical knowledge causes the things that we know. Practical knowledge, however, consists merely in knowledge. The same is true, therefore, of providence. Praeterea, Boetius dicit in Lib. praedicto: modus rerum gerendarum, cum in ipsa divinae intelligentiae puritate conspicitur, providentia nominatur. Sed puritas intelligentiae ad cognitionem speculativam pertinere videtur. Ergo providentia ad cognitionem speculativam pertinet. 3. In the same section as cited above, Boethius writes: “The plan of carrying things out, when considered in the purity of God’s understanding, is called Providence.” Now, purity of understanding seems to pertain to speculative knowledge. Providence, therefore, pertains to speculative knowledge. Praeterea, Boetius dicit in V de consolatione Philos., quod providentia dicitur: eo quod porro a rebus infimis constituta, quasi ab excelso rerum cacumine cuncta prospiciat. Sed prospicere cognitionis est, et praecipue speculativae. Ergo providentia maxime videtur ad cognitionem speculativam pertinere. 4. Boethius writes: “Providence is so called because, standing at a distance from the lowest things, it looks upon all things from their highest summit.” Now, to look upon is to know, especially to know speculatively. Providence, therefore, seems to belong to speculative knowledge. Praeterea, sicut dicit Boetius in IV de consolatione, uti est ad intellectum ratiocinatio, ita est fatum ad providentiam. Sed tam intellectus quam ratiocinatio ad cognitionem pertinet communiter speculativam et practicam. Ergo et providentia. 5. As Boethius says: “Fate is related to Providence as reasoning is to understanding.” Now, understanding and reasoning are common to both speculative and practical knowledge. Providence, therefore, also belongs to both types of knowledge. Praeterea, Augustinus in libro LXXXIII quaestionum dicit, lex incommutabilis omnia mutabilia pulcherrima gubernatione moderatur. Sed gubernare et moderari ad providentiam pertinet. Ergo lex incommutabilis est ipsa providentia. Sed lex ad cognitionem pertinet. Ergo et providentia. 6. Augustine writes: “An unchangeable law controls all changeable things, governing them gloriously.” Now, control and government belong to providence. Consequently, that unchangeable law is providence itself. But law pertains t knowledge. Therefore, providence also belongs to knowledge. Praeterea, lex naturalis in nobis ex divina providentia causatur. Sed causa agit ad effectum producendum per viam similitudinis; unde dicimus quod bonitas Dei est causa bonitatis in rebus, et essentia essendi et vita vivendi. Ergo divina providentia est lex; et sic idem quod prius. 7. The natural law as it exists within us is caused by divine providence. Now, a cause acts to bring about an effect in its own likeness. For this reason we also say that God’s goodness is the cause of goodness in things, His essence, the cause of their being, and His life, the cause of their living. Divine providence, therefore, is a law; hence, our former position stands. Praeterea, Boetius dicit in IV de consolatione, quod providentia est ipsa illa divina ratio in summo omnium principe constituta. Sed ratio rei in Deo est idea, ut Augustinus dicit in Lib. LXXXIII quaestionum. Ergo providentia est idea. Sed idea pertinet ad cognitionem. Ergo et providentia. 8. Boethius says: “Providence is the divine plan set up within the ruler of all things.” Now, as Augustine says,” the divine plan of a thing is an idea. Providence, therefore, is an idea; and since an idea pertains to knowledge, providence also pertains to knowledge. Praeterea, scientia practica ordinatur vel ad producendum res in esse, vel ad ordinandum iam productas res. Sed producere res non est providentiae, quia providentia praesupponit res provisas; similiter etiam nec ordinare res productas, quia hoc ad dispositionem pertinet. Ergo providentia non pertinet ad cognitionem practicam, sed speculativam tantum. 9. Practical knowledge is ordained either to bring things into existence or to order things already in existence. Now, it does not belong to providence to bring things into existence. It rather presupposes the things over which it is exercised. Nor does it order things that are in existence. This belongs to God’s disposal of things. Providence, therefore, pertains not to practical, but only to speculative knowledge. Sed e contra. To the Contrary Videtur quod pertineat ad voluntatem, quia sicut dicit Damascenus in Lib. II: providentia est voluntas Dei, propter quam omnia quae sunt, convenientem deductionem suscipiunt. 1. Providence seems to belong to the will, because, as Damascene says: “Providence is the will of God, which brings all existing things to a suitable end.” Praeterea, illos qui sciunt quid agendum est et tamen nolunt facere, non dicimus providos. Ergo providentia magis respicit voluntatem quam cognitionem. 2. We do not call those people provident who know what to do but are unwilling to do it. Providence, therefore, is related more to the will than to knowledge. Praeterea, sicut dicit Boetius in IV de Consol., Deus sua bonitate gubernat mundum. Sed bonitas ad voluntatem pertinet. Ergo et providentia, cuius est gubernare. 3. As Boethius says, God governs the world by His goodness. Now, goodness pertains to the will. Therefore, providence also pertains to the will, since the role of providence is to govern. Praeterea, disponere non est scientiae, sed voluntatis. Sed secundum Boetius in IV de Consol., providentia est ratio per quam Deus cuncta disponit. Ergo providentia ad voluntatem pertinet, non ad notitiam. 4. To dispose things is a function, not of knowledge, but of will. Now, according to Boethius, providence is the plan according to which God disposes all things. Providence, therefore, pertains to the will, not to knowledge. Praeterea, provisum, inquantum provisum, non est sapiens vel scitum, sed est bonum. Ergo nec providens, inquantum providens, est sapiens, sed bonus; et ita providentia non pertinet ad sapientiam, sed ad bonitatem, vel voluntatem. 5. What is provided for, taken simply as such, is neither a wise thing nor a known thing. It is merely a good. Consequently, one who provides, taken as such, is not wise, but good. Hence, providence does not pertain to wisdom, but to goodness or to the will. To the Contrary (Second Series) Sed iterum videtur quod pertineat ad potentiam, quia Boetius dicit in Lib. de Consol.: providentia dedit rebus a se creatis hanc vel maximam manendi causam, ut quoad possint, naturaliter manere desiderent. Ergo providentia est creationis principium. Sed creatio appropriatur potentiae. Ergo providentia ad potentiam pertinet. 1. Furthermore, it seems that providence pertains to power. For Boethius says: “Providence has given to the things it has created the greatest reason for enduring, so that as far as they are able, all things naturally desire to endure.” Providence, therefore, is a principle of creation. But, since creation is appropriated to God’s power, providence pertains to power. Praeterea, gubernatio est providentiae effectus, ut dicitur Sapient., XIV, 3: tu autem, pater, gubernas omnia providentia. Sed, sicut Hugo dicit in Lib. de sacramentis, voluntas est ut imperans, sapientia ut dirigens, potentia ut exequens; et sic potentia est gubernationi propinquior quam scientia vel voluntas. Ergo providentia pertinet magis ad potentiam quam scientiam vel voluntatem. 2. Government is the effect of providence, for the Book of Wisdom (14:3) says: “But thy providence, O Father, governs all.” But, as Hugh of St. Victor says, the will commands, wisdom directs, and power executes. Power, therefore, is more closely related to government than is knowledge or will. Consequently, providence pertains more to power than to knowledge or will. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod ea quae de Deo intelliguntur, propter nostri intellectus infirmitatem cognoscere non possumus nisi ex his quae apud nos sunt; et ideo, ut sciamus quomodo providentia dicatur in Deo, videndum est quomodo providentia sit in nobis. Because our intellects are weak, what we know of God we have to learn from creatures, around us. Consequently, to know how God is said to be provident, we have to see how creatures are provident. Sciendum est ergo, quod Tullius providentiam ponit prudentiae partem in II libro veteris rhetoricae, et est pars prudentiae quasi completiva. Quia aliae duae partes, scilicet memoria et intelligentia, non sunt nisi quaedam praeparationes ad prudentiae actum. Prudentia autem, secundum philosophum in VI Ethic., est recta ratio agibilium. Et differunt agibilia a factibilibus, quia factibilia dicuntur illa quae procedunt ab agente in exteriorem materiam, sicut scamnum et domus: et horum recta ratio est ars; sed agibilia dicuntur actiones quae non progrediuntur extra agentem, sed sunt actus perficientes ipsum, sicut caste vivere, patienter se habere, et huiusmodi: et horum recta ratio est prudentia. Sed in istis agibilibus duo quaedam consideranda occurrunt: scilicet finis, et id quod est ad finem. We should first note that Cicero makes providence a part of prudence. Providence, as it were, completes prudence, since the other two parts of prudence, memory and understanding, are merely preparations for the prudent act. Moreover, according to the Philosopher,” prudence is the reasoned plan of doing things. Now, things to be done differ from things to be made, because the latter start from an agent and terminate in some extrinsic matter, as, for example, a bench and a house; and the reasoned plan of making them is called art. On the other hand, things to be done are actions which do not go outside the agent, but, instead, are acts that perfect him, as, for example, chaste living, bearing oneself patiently, and the like. The reasoned plan of performing these is called prudence. With respect to action, two things should be considered: the end and the means. Prudentia ergo praecipue dirigit in his quae sunt ad finem; ex hoc enim aliquis dicitur prudens, quod est bene consiliativus, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. Consilium autem non est de fine, sed de his quae sunt ad finem, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Sed finis agibilium praeexistit in nobis dupliciter: scilicet per cognitionem naturalem de fine hominis; quae quidem naturalis cognitio ad intellectum pertinet, secundum philosophum in VI Ethic., qui est principiorum operabilium sicut et speculabilium; principia autem operabilium sunt fines, ut in eodem Lib. dicitur. Alio modo quantum ad affectionem; et sic fines agibilium sunt in nobis per virtutes morales, per quas homo afficitur ad iuste vivendum vel fortiter vel temperate, quod est quasi finis proximus agibilium. Et similiter ad ea quae sunt ad finem perficimur, et quantum ad cognitionem per consilium, et quantum ad appetitum per electionem; et in his per prudentiam dirigimur. However, it is especially the role of prudence to direct the means to the end; and, as we read in the Ethics, one is called prudent if he deliberates well. But, as we also read in the Ethics, deliberation “is not concerned with ends, but only with means.” Now, the end of things to be done pre-exists in us in two ways: first, through the natural knowledge we have of man’s end. This knowledge, of course, as the Philosopher says, belongs to the intellect, which is a principle of things to be done as well as of things to be studied; and, as the Philosopher also points out, ends are principles of things to be done. The second way that these ends pre-exist in us is through our desires. Here, the ends of things to be done exist in us in our moral virtues, which influence a man to live a just, brave, or temperate life. This is, in a sense, the proximate end of things to be done. We are similarly perfected with respect to the means towards this end: our knowledge is perfected by counsel, our appetite, by choice; and in these matters we are directed by prudence. Patet ergo quod prudentiae est aliqua ordinate ad finem disponere. Et quia ista dispositio eorum quae sunt ad finem, in finem per prudentiam est per modum cuiusdam ratiocinationis, cuius principia sunt fines (ex eis enim trahitur tota ratio ordinis praedicti in omnibus operabilibus, sicut manifeste apparet in artificiatis); ideo ad hoc quod aliquis sit prudens, requiritur quod bene se habeat circa ipsos fines. Non enim potest esse recta ratio, nisi principia rationis salventur. Et ideo ad prudentiam requiritur et intellectus finium, et virtutes morales, quibus affectus recte collocatur in fine; et propter hoc oportet omnem prudentem esse virtuosum, ut in VI Ethic. dicitur. In omnibus autem viribus et actibus animae ordinatis hoc est commune, quod virtus primi salvatur in omnibus sequentibus; et ideo in prudentia quodammodo includitur et voluntas, quae est de fine, et cognitio finis. It is clear, therefore, that it belongs to prudence to dispose, in an orderly way, the means towards an end. And because this disposing of means to an end is done by prudence, it can be said to take place by a kind of reasoning process, whose first principles are ends. The very reason for the sequence described above—and found in all things to be done—is taken from ends, as is clear in the case of art products. Consequently, if one would be prudent, he must stand in the proper relation to the ends themselves, for a reasoned plan cannot exist unless the principles of reason are maintained. Hence, prudence requires not only the understanding of ends but also moral virtues by which the will is settled in a correct end. For this reason, the Philosopher says that the prudent man must be virtuous. Finally, this is common to all rightly ordered powers and acts of the soul: the virtue of what is first is maintained in all the rest. Consequently, in prudence, in some way, are included both the will as directed towards an end and the knowledge of the end itself. Ex dictis igitur patet quomodo providentia se habeat ad alia quae de Deo dicuntur. Scientia enim se habet communiter ad cognitionem finis, et eorum quae sunt ad finem: per scientiam enim Deus scit se et creaturas. Sed providentia pertinet tantum ad cognitionem eorum quae sunt ad finem, secundum quod ordinantur in finem; et ideo providentia in Deo includit et scientiam et voluntatem; sed tamen essentialiter in cognitione manet, non quidem speculativa, sed practica. Potentia autem executiva est providentiae; unde actus potentiae praesupponit actum providentiae sicut dirigentis; unde in providentia non includitur potentia sicut voluntas. From what has been said it is now clear how providence is related to God’s other attributes. His knowledge is related both to ends and to means toward ends, because through knowledge God knows Himself and creatures. But providence pertains only to that knowledge which is concerned with means to ends and in so far as these means are ordained to ends. Consequently, in God providence includes both knowledge and will, although, taken essentially, it belongs only to knowledge, that is, to practical, not to speculative, knowledge. Providence, moreover, also includes the power of execution; hence, an act of power presupposes an act of providence, as it were, directing it, and for this reason power is not included in providence as the will is. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod in re creata duo possunt considerari: scilicet ipsa species eius absolute, et ordo eius ad finem; et utriusque forma praecessit in Deo. Forma ergo exemplaris rei secundum suam speciem absolute est idea; sed forma rei secundum quod est ordinata in finem, est providentia. Ipse autem ordo a divina providentia rebus inditus, fatum vocatur, secundum Boetium. Unde, sicut se habet idea ad speciem rei, ita se habet providentia ad fatum; et tamen, quamvis idea possit pertinere ad speculativam cognitionem aliquo modo, tamen providentia tantum ad practicam pertinet; eo quod importat ordinem ad finem, et ita ad opus, quo mediante pervenitur ad finem. 1. Two aspects of a creature can be considered: first, its species taken absolutely; second, its relation to an end. The form of each exists previously in God. The exemplary form of a thing considered absolutely in its species is an idea; but the form of a thing considered as directed to an end is called providence. Moreover, according to Boethius, the order divine providence implants in things is called fate. Consequently, providence is related to fate as an idea is related to the species of a thing. An idea, however, can in some way pertain to speculative knowledge; but providence is related only to practical knowledge, since it implies an ordering to an end, and, consequently, to something to be done, by means of which the end will be reached. Ad secundum dicendum, quod providentia plus habet de ratione voluntatis quam scientia practica absolute: scientia enim practica absolute communiter se habet ad cognitionem finis et eorum quae sunt ad finem; unde non praesupponit voluntatem finis, ut sic aliquo modo voluntas in scientia includatur; sicut de providentia dictum est. 2. Providence pertains more to the will than does practical knowledge taken absolutely, because the latter is concerned in general only with the knowledge of an end and of the means to achieve it. Consequently, practical knowledge does not presuppose that an end has been willed. If this were true, then the will would be included in knowledge, as has been said with regard to providence. Ad tertium dicendum, quod puritas intelligentiae non dicitur ad exclusionem voluntatis, sed ad excludendum mutabilitatem et varietatem a providentia. 3. Purity of understanding is mentioned, not to exclude the will from the concept of providence, but to exclude change and mutability. Ad quartum dicendum, quod Boetius in verbis illis non ponit completam providentiae rationem, sed nominis rationem assignat; unde, quamvis videre ad cognitionem speculativam pertinere possit, non tamen sequitur quod providentia. Et praeterea, secundum hoc Boetius exponit providentiam quasi procul videntiam, quia ipse Deus ab excelso rerum cacumine cuncta prospicit. Secundum hoc autem est in excelso rerum cacumine quod omnia causat et ordinat: et sic etiam in verbis Boetii potest aliquid ad practicam cognitionem pertinens notari. 4. In this passage Boethius is not giving a complete description of the nature of providence. He is merely giving the reason for its name. Consequently, even though looking upon things may be considered as speculative knowledge, it does not follow that providence may be considered to be such. Besides, Boethius explains providence, or foresight, as though it were far-sight, because “God Himself surveys all things from their highest summit.” But God is on the highest summit of things for the very reason that He causes and directs all things. So, even in the words of Boethius something pertaining to practical knowledge can be noted. Ad quintum dicendum, quod comparatio illa Boetii accipitur secundum similitudinem proportionis simplicis ad compositum, et quieti ad mobile: sicut enim intellectus simplex est et sine discursu, ratio autem discurrendo circa diversa vagatur; ita etiam providentia simplex est et immobilis, fatum autem multiplex et variabile: unde non sequitur ratio. 5. The comparison Boethius makes is taken from the resemblance had by the proportion between the simple and the composite to the proportion between a body at rest and a body in motion. For, just as understanding is simple and non-discursive but reason is discursive, passing from one thing to another, similarly, providence is simple and unchangeable but fate is multiple and changeable. The conclusion, therefore, does not follow. Ad sextum dicendum, quod providentia in Deo proprie non nominat legem aeternam, sed aliquid ad legem aeternam consequens. Lex enim aeterna est consideranda in Deo, sicut accipiuntur in nobis principia operabilium naturaliter nota, ex quibus procedimus in consiliando et eligendo: quod est prudentiae, sive providentiae; unde hoc modo se habet lex intellectus nostri ad prudentiam sicut principium indemonstrabile ad demonstrationem. Et similiter etiam in Deo lex aeterna non est ipsa providentia, sed providentiae quasi principium; unde et convenienter legi aeternae attribuitur actus providentiae, sicut et omnis effectus demonstrationis principiis indemonstrabilibus attribuitur. 6. Properly speaking, God’s providence is not the eternal law; it is something that follows upon the eternal law. The eternal law should be thought of as existing in God as those principles of action exist in us which we know naturally and upon which we base our deliberation and choice. These belong to prudence or providence. Consequently, the law of our intellect is related to prudence as an indemonstrable principle is related to a demonstration. Similarly, the eternal law in God is not His providence, but, as it were, a principle of His providence; for this reason one can, without any inconsistency, attribute an act of providence to the eternal law in the same way that he attributes every conclusion of a demonstration to self-evident principles. Ad septimum dicendum, quod in divinis attributis invenimus duplicem rationem causalitatis. Unam per viam exemplaritatis, sicut dicimus quod a primo vivo procedunt omnia viva, et haec ratio causandi est communis omnibus attributis. Alia ratio est secundum ordinem ad obiectum attributi, prout dicimus quod potentia est causa possibilium, et scientia scitorum, et secundum hunc modum causandi non oportet quod causatum habeat similitudinem causae: non enim quae per scientiam facta sunt, oportet esse scientia, sed scita. Et per hunc modum providentia Dei causa omnium ponitur; unde, quamvis a providentia sit lex naturalis intellectus nostri, non sequitur quod divina providentia sit lex aeterna. 7. There are two types of causality to be found in the divine attributes. The first type is exemplary causality. Because of this type, we say that all living beings come from the first living being. This type of causality is common to all the divine attributes. The second type of causality is according to the relation the attributes have to their objects. We say, for example, that divine power is the cause of the possibles, divine knowledge is the cause of what is known. An effect of this type of causality need not resemble its cause; for the things that are made by knowledge need not be knowledge, but merely known. It is according to this type of causality that the providence of God is said to be the cause of all things. Consequently, even though the natural law within our understanding is derived from providence, it does not follow that divine providence is the eternal law. Ad octavum dicendum, quod ratio illa in summo principe constituta non dicitur providentia nisi adiuncto ordine ad finem, ad quem praesupponitur voluntas finis; unde licet essentialiter ad cognitionem pertineat, tamen voluntatem aliquo modo includit. 8. “That divine plan within the highest ruler” is not called providence unless one includes in it the notion of direction to an end, which, in turn, presupposes that an end has been willed. Consequently, even though providence may essentially belong to knowledge, it also, in some way, includes the divine will. Ad nonum dicendum, quod in rebus potest considerari duplex ordo: unus secundum quod egrediuntur a principio; alius secundum quod ordinantur ad finem. Dispositio ergo pertinet ad illum ordinem quo res progrediuntur a principio: dicuntur enim aliqua disponi secundum quod in diversis gradibus collocantur a Deo, sicut artifex diversimode collocat partes sui artificii; unde dispositio ad artem pertinere videtur. Sed providentia importat illum ordinem qui est ad finem. Et sic providentia differt ab arte divina et dispositione, quia ars divina dicitur respectu productionis rerum; sed dispositio respectu ordinis productorum; providentia autem dicit ordinem in finem. Sed quia ex fine artificiati colligitur quidquid est in artificiato; ordo autem ad finem est fini propinquior quam ordo partium ad invicem, et quodammodo causa eius; ideo providentia quodammodo est dispositionis causa, et propter hoc actus dispositionis frequenter providentiae attribuitur. Quamvis ergo providentia nec sit ars quae respicit productionem rerum, nec dispositio quae respicit rerum ordinem ad invicem, non tamen sequitur quod non pertineat ad practicam cognitionem. 9. A twofold ordering may be found in things. First, there is that order according to which things come from their principles. Second, there is the order according to which they are directed to an end. Now, the divine disposing pertains to that order according to which things proceed from their principles; for things are said to be disposed inasmuch as they are put on different levels by God, who is like an artist arranging the different parts of his work in different ways. Consequently, disposition seems to pertain to art. Providence, however, implies the ordering which directs to an end; for this reason it differs from the divine art and disposition. For divine art is so called because of its relation to the production of things, but divine disposition is so called because of its relation to the order of what has already been produced. Providence, however, implies the ordination to an end. Now, we can gather from the end of an art product whatever exists in the thing itself. Moreover, the ordering of a thing to an end is more closely related to the end than is the ordering of its parts to each other. In fact, their ordering to an end is, in a sense, the cause of the ordering of the parts to each other. Consequently, divine providence is, in a sense, the cause of God’s disposition of things, and for this reason an act of His disposition is sometimes attributed to His providence. Therefore, even if providence is not an art related to the production of things or a disposition related to the ordering of things one to another, it does not follow that providence does not belong to practical knowledge. Answers to Contrary Difficulties Ad primum vero quod de voluntate obiicitur, dicendum est, quod pro tanto Damascenus providentiam dicit esse voluntatem, quia voluntatem includit et praesupponit, ut dictum est. 1. With reference to the difficulty about the will, we reply that Damascene calls providence will inasmuch as providence includes and presupposes the will, as we have pointed out previously. Ad secundum dicendum, quod secundum philosophum in VI Ethic., nullus potest esse prudens nisi virtutes morales habeat, per quas recte sit dispositus circa fines; sicut nullus potest bene demonstrare, nisi recte se habeat circa demonstrationis principia; et propter hoc etiam nullus dicitur providus nisi habeat rectam voluntatem, non quia providentia sit in voluntate. 2. As the Philosopher says, no man can be prudent unless he has moral virtues which rightly dispose him toward his ends, just as no one can demonstrate properly unless he knows well the principles of demonstration. It is for this reason that no one is said to be provident unless he has a correct will—not because providence is in the will. Ad tertium dicendum, quod Deus dicitur gubernare per bonitatem, non quasi bonitas sit ipsa providentia, sed quia est providentiae principium, cum habeat rationem finis; et etiam quia ita se habet divina bonitas ad ipsum sicut moralis virtus ad nos. 3. God is said to govern through His goodness, not because His goodness is providence, but because, having the nature of an end, His goodness is a principle of providence. He is also said to govern through His goodness because the divine goodness is related to God as moral virtues are to us. Ad quartum dicendum, quod disponere, quamvis voluntatem praesupponat, non tamen est actus voluntatis: quia ordinare quod in dispositione intelligitur, est sapientis, ut philosophus dicit; et ideo dispositio et providentia essentialiter ad cognitionem pertinent. 4. Even though the disposition of things presupposes the will, it is not an act of the will, because, as the Philosopher says, ordering, which is what is meant by disposition, is the act of one who is wise. Consequently, both disposition and providence really belong to knowledge. Ad quintum dicendum, quod providentia comparatur ad provisum sicut scientia ad scitum, et non sicut scientia ad scientem; unde non oportet quod provisum, inquantum provisum, sit sapiens, sed quod sit scitum. Alia duo concedimus. 5. Providence is compared to what is provided for as knowledge is compared to what is known—not as knowledge is compared to the knower. Consequently, it is not necessary that what is foreseen, taken as such, be wise, but rather that it be known. The other two arguments we concede.
In the second article we ask:
Is the world ruled by providence?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 2; 103, 5; I Sent., 39, 2, 2; C.G., III, cc. 1, 64,75,79, 94; De div. nom., c. 3, lect. 1 (P. 15:292a); De subst. sep., cc. 11-15 (Perr.:nn. 68-91); Comp. Theol., I, cc. 123,130,132-33.]
Secundo quaeritur utrum mundus providentia regatur Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for Nullum enim agens ex necessitate naturae, agit per providentiam. Sed Deus agit in res creatas ex necessitate naturae, quia, ut dicit Dionysius IV cap. de divinis nominibus, divina bonitas se creaturis communicat sicut noster sol, non praeeligens neque praecognoscens, radios suos in corpora diffundit. Ergo mundus a Deo non regitur providentia. 1. No agent that acts from natural necessity acts through providence. But God acts upon created things through the necessity of nature, because, as Dionysius says: “The divine goodness communicates itself to us like the sun, which, without previous choice or knowledge, pours out its rays upon all bodies.” The world, therefore, is not ruled by the providence of God. Praeterea, principium multiforme sequitur ad principium uniforme. Sed voluntas est principium multiforme, quia se habet ad opposita, et per consequens etiam providentia, quae voluntatem praesupponit; natura autem est principium uniforme, quia determinatur ad unum. Ergo natura praecedit providentiam: non igitur res naturales providentia reguntur. 2. A principle having many forms is posterior to a principle having but one form. Now, the will is a multiform principle because it is related to opposites. Consequently, providence is also multiform, since it presupposes will. On the other hand, nature is a principle having but one form, because it is determined to one. Therefore, nature precedes providence. Consequently, the realm of nature is not ruled by providence. Sed dicebat, quod principium uniforme praecedit multiforme in eodem, non in diversis. Sed contra, quanto aliquod principium maiorem habet virtutem causandi, tanto est prius. Sed quanto magis est uniforme, maiorem habet virtutem in causando, quia, ut dicitur in Lib. de causis, omnis virtus unita plus est infinita quam multiplicata. Ergo, sive in eodem sive in diversis accipiantur uniforme principium multiforme praecedet. 3. But it was said that a principle having one form precedes a multiform principle in the same genus, not in other genera.—On the contrary, the greater the power that a principle has of exercising causality, the greater is its priority. But the more a principle has but one form, the greater is its power of causality, since, as said in The Causes: “A united power is more infinite than one that is multiplied.” Consequently, a principle having but one form precedes a multiform principle whether they are in the same genus or in different genera. Praeterea, secundum Boetium in sua arithmetica, omnis inaequalitas ad aequalitatem reducitur, et multitudo ad unitatem. Ergo et omnis actio voluntatis, quae multiplicitatem habet, ad actionem naturae, quae simplex est et aequalis, reduci debet; et ita oportet quod primum agens per essentiam suam et naturam agat, et non per providentiam; et sic idem quod prius. 4. According to Boethius, any inequality is reduced to an equality and any multitude to a unity. Therefore, any multiple act of the will ought to be reduced to an act of nature that is simple and equal. Hence, the first cause must work through its own essence and nature, and not through providence. Thus, our original argument stands. Praeterea, illud quod est de se determinatum ad unum, non indiget aliquo regente, quia ad hoc alicui regimen adhibetur, ne in contrarium dilabatur. Res autem naturales per propriam naturam sunt determinatae ad unum. Ergo non indigent providentia gubernante. 5. What is, of itself, determined to one course of action does not need the direction of anything else, because direction is applied to a thing to prevent it from taking a contrary course. Natural things, however, are determined to one course of action by their own natures. Consequently, they do not need the direction of providence. Sed dicebat, quod ad hoc providentiae gubernatione indigent, ut conserventur in esse.- Sed contra, illud in quo non est potentia ad corruptionem, non indiget exteriori conservante. Sed quaedam res sunt in quibus non est potentia ad corruptionem quia nec ad generationem, sicut patet in corporibus caelestibus et substantiis spiritualibus, quae sunt principales partes mundi. Ergo huiusmodi non indigent providentia conservante in esse. 6. But it was said that natural things need the direction of providence to be kept in being.—On the contrary, if no possibility of corruption exists in a thing, it has no need of something extrinsic to conserve it. Now, there are some things in which there is no potency to corruption, since there is none to generation, as, for example, the celestial bodies and the spiritual substances, which are the most important things in the universe. Therefore, substances of this sort do not need providence to keep them in being. Praeterea, quaedam sunt in rerum natura quae nec etiam Deus potest mutare, sicut hoc principium quod non est de eodem affirmare et negare et quod fuit non potest non fuisse, ut Augustinus dicit in libro contra Faustum: ergo ad minus huiusmodi providentia gubernante et conservante non indigent. 7. There are certain things in the realm of nature that even God cannot change, such as the principle that “one cannot assert and deny the same thing under the same aspect,” and “what has existed cannot not have existed,” as Augustine says. Therefore, at least principles of this sort do not need divine rule and conservation. Praeterea, ut Damascenus dicit in libro II, non est conveniens alium esse factorem rerum, et alium provisorem. Sed corporalia non sunt facta a Deo, cum Deus sit spiritus; non enim videtur quod spiritus possit producere aliquod corpus, sicut nec corpus potest aliquem spiritum producere. Ergo huiusmodi corporalia a divina providentia non reguntur. 8. Damascene points out that it would be illogical to say that the one who makes things is other than the one who exercises providence over them. Material bodies, however, are not made by God, since He is a spirit, and it seems no more possible for a spirit to produce a material body than for a material body to produce a spirit. Material bodies of this sort, therefore, are not ruled through divine providence. Praeterea, gubernatio rerum ipsam rerum distinctionem concernit. Sed rerum distinctio non videtur esse a Deo, quia ipse se habet uniformiter ad omnia, ut dicitur in libro de causis. Ergo res non gubernantur per divinam providentiam. 9. The government of things involves distinguishing between things. But making things distinct does not seem to be the work of God, because, as said in The Causes, God is related to all things in one way. Therefore, things are dot ruled through divine providence. Praeterea, quae sunt in seipsis ordinata, non oportet ab alio ordinari. Sed res naturales sunt huiusmodi, quia, ut dicitur II de anima, omnium natura constantium est terminus et ratio magnitudinis et augmenti. Ergo res naturales non ordinantur per providentiam divinam. 10. Things ordered of themselves need not be ordered by others. But natural things are ordered of themselves, because, as is said in The Soul: “For all things naturally constituted there is a term and proportion set to their size and growth.” Natural things, therefore, are not ordered by divine providence. Praeterea, si res gubernantur per divinam providentiam, ex ordine rerum poterimus divinam providentiam perscrutari. Sed, sicut dicit Damascenus in II libro, oportet omnia admirari omnia laudare, omnia imperscrutate acceptare, quae providentiae sunt. Ergo providentia mundus non regitur. 11. If things were ruled by divine providence, we could know divine providence by studying the order of nature. But, as Damascene says: “We should wonder at all things, praise all things, and accept without question all the works of providence.” The world, therefore, is not ruled by providence. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod Boetius dicit: o qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas. 1. Boethius writes: “O you who guide the world in everlasting order!” Praeterea, quaecumque habent certum ordinem, oportet quod aliqua providentia regantur. Sed res naturales tenent certum ordinem in suis motibus. Ergo providentia reguntur. 2.Whatever has a fixed order must be ruled by a providence. But natural things have a fixed order in their motions. Hence, they are ruled by providence. Praeterea, ea quae sunt diversa, non conservantur in aliqua coniunctione nisi per aliquam providentiam gubernantem; unde etiam quidam philosophi coacti sunt ponere animam esse harmoniam, propter conservationem contrariorum in corpore animalis. Sed in mundo videmus contraria et diversa ad invicem colligata permanere. Ergo mundus providentia regitur. 3. Things which have different natures remain joined only if they are ruled by a providence. For this reason, certain philosophers were forced to say that the soul is a harmony, because contraries remain joined together in the bodies of animals. Now, we see that in the world contraries and things of different natures are kept together. Consequently, the world is ruled by providence. Praeterea, sicut dicit Boetius in IV de consolatione, fatum singula in motu digerit locis, formis ac temporibus distributa; et haec temporis ordinis explicatio in divinae mentis adunata prospectu, providentia est. Cum ergo videamus res esse distinctas secundum formas et tempora et loca, necesse est ponere fatum, et sic etiam providentiam. 4. As Boethius says: “Fate directs the motion of all things and determines their places, forms, and time. This unfolding of the temporal order, united in the foresight of God’s mind, is providence.”“ Therefore, since we see that things have distinct forms, times, or places, we must admit the existence of fate and, consequently, that of providence. Praeterea, omne illud quod per se non potest conservari in esse, indiget aliquo gubernante, quo conservetur. Sed res creatae per se in esse conservari non possunt, quia, quae ex nihilo facta sunt, per se in nihilum tendunt, ut Damascenus dicit. Ergo oportet esse providentiam gubernantem res. 5. Whatever cannot keep itself in existence needs something else to rule it and keep it in existence. But created things cannot keep themselves in existence, for, as Damascene says, what is made from nothing tends, of itself, to return to nothing. There must, therefore, be a providence ruling over things. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod providentia respicit ordinem ad finem; Providence is concerned with the direction of things to an end. et ideo quicumque causam finalem negant, oportet quod negent per consequens providentiam, ut Commentator dicit in II Physic. Therefore, as the Commentator says, whoever denies final causality should also deny providence. Now, those who deny final causality take two positions. Negantium autem causam finalem antiquitus duplex fuit positio. Quidam enim antiquissimi philosophi posuerunt tantum causam materialem; unde, cum non ponerent causam agentem, nec finem ponere poterant, qui non est causa nisi inquantum movet agentem. Alii autem posteriores ponebant causam agentem, nihil dicentes de causa finali. Et secundum utrosque omnia procedebant ex necessitate causarum praecedentium, vel materiae, vel agentis. Some of the very ancient philosophers admitted only a material cause. Since they would not admit an efficient cause, they could not affirm the existence of an end, for an end is a cause only in so far as it moves the efficient cause. Other and later philosophers admitted an efficient cause, but said nothing about a final cause. According to both schools, everything was necessarily caused by previously existing causes, material or efficient. Sed haec positio hoc modo a philosophis improbatur. Causae enim materialis et agens, inquantum huiusmodi, sunt effectui causa essendi; non autem sufficiunt ad causandum bonitatem in effectu, secundum quam sit conveniens et in seipso, ut permanere possit, et aliis, ut opituletur. Verbi gratia, calor de sui ratione, quantum ex se est, habet dissolvere; dissolutio autem non est conveniens et bona nisi secundum aliquem certum terminum et modum; unde, nisi poneremus aliam causam praeter calorem et huiusmodi agentia in natura, non possemus assignare causam quare res convenienter fiant et bene. This position, however, was criticized by other philosophers on the following grounds. Material and efficient causes, as such, cause only the existence of their effects. They are not sufficient to produce goodness in them so that they be aptly disposed in themselves, so that they could continue to exist, and toward others so that they could help them. Heat, for example, of its very nature and of itself can break down other things, but this breaking down is good and helpful only if it happens up to a certain point and in a certain way. Consequently, if we do not admit that there exist in nature causes other than heat and similar agents, we cannot give any reason why things happen in a good and orderly way. Omne autem quod non habet causam determinatam, casu accidit. Et ideo oporteret secundum positionem praedictam, ut omnes, convenientiae et utilitates quae inveniuntur in rebus, essent casuales; quod etiam Empedocles posuit, dicens casu accidisse ut per amicitiam hoc modo congregarentur partes animalium, ut animal salvari posset, et quod multoties accidit. Hoc autem non potest esse: ea enim quae casu accidunt, proveniunt ut in minori parte; videmus autem huiusmodi convenientias et utilitates accidere in operibus naturae aut semper, aut in maiori parte; unde non potest esse quod casu accidant; et ita oportet quod procedant ex intentione finis. Sed id quod intellectu caret vel cognitione, non potest directe in finem tendere, nisi per aliquam cognitionem ei praestituatur finis, et dirigatur in ipsum; unde oportet, cum res naturales cognitione careant, quod praeexistat aliquis intellectus, qui res naturales in finem ordinet, ad modum quo sagittator dat sagittae certum motum, ut tendat ad determinatum finem; unde, sicut percussio quae fit per sagittam non tantum dicitur opus sagittae, sed proiicientis, ita etiam omne opus naturae dicitur a philosophis opus intelligentiae. Moreover, whatever does not have a determinate cause happens by accident. Consequently, if the position mentioned above were true, all the harmony and usefulness found in things would be the result of chance. This was actually what Empedocles held. He asserted that it was by accident that the parts of animals came together in this way through friendship—and this was his explanation of an animal and of a frequent occurrence! This explanation, of course, is absurd, for those things that happen by chance, happen only rarely; we know from experience, however, that harmony and usefulness are found in nature either at all times or at least for the most part. This cannot be the result of mere chance; it must be because an end is intended. What lacks intellect or knowledge, however, cannot tend directly toward an end. It can do this only if someone else’s knowledge has established an end for it, and directs it to that end. Consequently, since natural things have no knowledge, there must be some previously existing intelligence directing them to an end, like an archer who gives a definite motion to an arrow so that it will wing its way to a determined end. Now, the hit made by the arrow is said to be the work not of the arrow alone but also of the person who shot it. Similarly, philosophers call every work of nature the work of intelligence. Et sic oportet quod per providentiam illius intellectus qui ordinem praedictum naturae indidit, mundus gubernetur. Et similatur providentia ista qua Deus mundum gubernat providentiae oeconomicae, qua aliquis gubernat familiam, vel politicae qua aliquis gubernat civitatem aut regnum, per quam aliquis ordinat actus aliorum in finem; non enim potest esse in Deo providentia respectu sui ipsius, cum quidquid est in eo, sit finis, non ad finem. Consequently, the world is ruled by the providence of that intellect which gave this order to nature; and we may compare the providence by which God rules the world to the domestic foresight by which a man rules his family, or to the political foresight by which a ruler governs a city or a kingdom, and directs the acts of others to a definite end. There is no providence, however, in God with respect to Himself, since whatever is in Him is an end, not a means to it. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod similitudo Dionysii quantum ad hoc attenditur, quod sicut sol nullum corpus excludit, quantum in ipso est, a sui luminis communicatione; ita etiam nec divina bonitas aliquam creaturam a sui participatione; non autem quantum ad hoc quod sine cognitione et electione operetur. 1. The metaphor used by Dionysius notes merely that, like the sun which, on its own part, keeps no body from sharing its light, the divine goodness keeps no creature from participating in itself. The metaphor does not mean that providence acts without choice or knowledge.  De veritate, q. 5 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum, quod principium aliquod potest dici multiforme dupliciter. Uno modo quantum ad ipsam essentiam principii; in quantum scilicet, est compositum: et sic multiforme principium oportet esse posterius uniformi. Alio modo secundum respectum ad effectus, ut dicatur illud principium multiforme quod ad multa se extendit: et sic multiforme est prius quam uniforme, quia quanto aliquod principium est simplicius, tanto se extendit ad plura; et per hunc modum voluntas dicitur multiforme principium, natura autem uniforme. 2. A principle can be said to be multiform in two senses. First, the multiformity can refer to the very essence of the principle—that is, the principle is composite. A principle that is multiform in this sense must be posterior to a principle having but one form. Second, the multiformity may refer to the principle’s relation to its effects, so that a principle is said to be multiform because it extends its influence to many things. A principle that is multiform in this sense precedes one that has but a single form, because the more simple a principle is, the more extensive is its influence. It is in this sense, moreover, that the will is said to be a multiform, and nature, a uniform principle. Ad tertium dicendum, quod ratio illa procedit de uniformitate principii secundum suam essentiam. 3. The argument given is based on the uniformity of a principle according to its essence. Ad quartum dicendum, quod Deus per essentiam suam est causa rerum; et ita ad aliquod simplex principium reducitur omnis rerum pluralitas. Sed essentia eius non est causa rerum nisi secundum quod est scita, et per consequens, secundum quod est volita communicari creaturae per viam assimilationis; unde res ab essentia divina per ordinem scientiae et voluntatis procedunt; et ita per providentiam. 4. God is the cause of things by His essence. Consequently, any plurality in things can be reduced to one simple principle. His essence, however, is the cause of things only in so far as it is known, and consequently, only in so far as it wills to be communicated to a creature by the creature’s being made in its likeness. Hence, things proceed from the divine essence through the ordering of knowledge and will, and so through providence. Ad quintum dicendum, quod ista determinatio qua res naturalis determinatur ad unum, non est ei ex seipsa, sed ex alio; et ideo ipsa determinatio ad effectum convenientem, providentiam demonstrat, ut dictum est. 5. That determination by which a natural thing is restricted to one course of action belongs to it, not because of itself, but because of something else. Consequently, the very determination for bringing about the suitable effect is, as has been said, a proof of divine providence. Ad sextum dicendum, quod corruptio et generatio possunt accipi dupliciter. Uno modo secundum quod generatio et corruptio sunt ex ente contrario et in ens contrarium; et hoc modo potentia ad generationem et corruptionem inest alicui secundum quod eius materia est in potentia ad contrarias formas; et hoc modo corpora caelestia et substantiae spirituales nec ad generationem nec ad corruptionem potentiam habent. Alio modo dicuntur communiter pro quolibet exitu rerum in esse, et pro quolibet transitu in non esse; ut sic etiam creatio, per quam aliquid ex nihilo ad esse deducitur, generatio dicatur, et ipsa rei annihilatio dicatur corruptio. 6. Generation and corruption can be understood in two senses. First, generation and corruption can arise from a contrary being and terminate in a contrary. In this sense, the potency to generation and corruption exists in a thing because its matter is in potency to contrary forms; and in this respect celestial bodies and spiritual substances have no potency to generation or corruption. Second, these terms are commonly used to indicate any coming into or passing out of existence that is found in things. Consequently, even creation, by which a thing is drawn from nothingness into existence, is called generation; and the annihilation of a thing is called corruption. Dicitur autem aliquid habere potentiam ad generationem per hunc modum, per hoc quod est potentia in agente ad ipsius productionem; et similiter dicitur aliquid habere potentiam ad corruptionem, quia in agente est potentia ut deducat illud in non esse; et secundum hoc omnis creatura habet potentiam ad corruptionem; cuncta enim quae Deus in esse produxit, potest etiam reducere in non esse. Cum ad hoc quod creaturae subsistant, oportet quod semper in eis Deus esse operetur, ut Augustinus dicit super Genesim ad litteram; non per modum quo domus fit ab artifice, cuius actione cessante adhuc domus manet, sed per modum quo illuminatio aeris est a sole; unde ex hoc ipso quod non praeberet creaturae esse, quod in eius voluntate est constitutum, creatura in nihilum redigeretur. Moreover, a thing is said to be in potency to generation in this sense if an agent has the power to produce it; and it is said to be in potency to corruption if an agent has the power to reduce it to nothingness. In this way of speaking, every creature is in potency to corruption; for all that God has brought into existence He can also reduce to nothingness. For, as Augustine says, for creatures to subsist God must constantly work in them. This action of God, however, must not be compared to the action of a craftsman building a house, for, when his action ceases, the house still remains; it should rather be compared to the sun’s lighting up the air. Consequently, when God no longer gives existence to a creature, whose very existence depends on His will, then this creature is reduced to nothingness. Ad septimum dicendum, quod necessitas principiorum dictorum consequitur providentiam divinam et dispositionem: ex hoc enim quod res productae sunt in tali natura, in qua habent esse terminatum, sunt distinctae a suis negationibus: ex qua distinctione sequitur quod affirmatio et negatio non sunt simul vera; et ex hoc est necessitas in omnibus aliis principiis, ut dicitur in IV metaphysicorum. 7. The necessity of the principles mentioned depends upon God’s providence and disposition, because the fact that created things have a particular nature and, in this nature, a determined act of existence, makes these things distinct from their negations; and upon this distinction is based the principle that affirmation and negation cannot be true simultaneously. Moreover, on this principle, as we read in the Metaphysics, the necessity of all the other principles is founded. Ad octavum dicendum, quod effectus non potest esse praestantior causa, potest autem inveniri deficientior quam causa; et quia corpus naturaliter est inferius spiritu, ideo corpus non potest spiritum producere, sed e converso. 8. An effect cannot be stronger than its cause. It can, however, be weaker than its cause. Now, since body is naturally inferior to spirit, it cannot produce a spirit; but a spirit can produce a body. Ad nonum dicendum, quod Deus secundum hoc similiter dicitur se habere ad res, quod in eo nulla est diversitas; et tamen ipse est causa diversitatis rerum, secundum quod per scientiam suam rationes diversarum rerum penes se continet. 9. God is similarly said to be related to all things, because there is no diversity in Him. He is, however, the cause of diversity in things inasmuch as by His knowledge He contains within Himself the intelligible characters of all things. Ad decimum dicendum, quod ordo ille qui est in natura, non est ei a se, sed ab alio; et ideo indiget natura providentia, a qua talis instituatur in ea. 10. That order which is found in nature is not caused by nature but by something else. Consequently, nature needs providence to implant such an order in it. Ad undecimum dicendum, quod creaturae deficiunt a repraesentatione creatoris. Et ideo per creaturas nullo modo perfecte possumus devenire in creatoris cognitionem; et etiam propter imbecillitatem intellectus nostri, qui nec totum hoc de Deo potest ex creaturis accipere quod creaturae manifestant de Deo. Et ideo prohibemur perscrutari ea quae in Deo sunt, ne scilicet velimus ad finem inquisitionis pervenire, quod nomen perscrutationis ostendit: sic enim non crederemus de Deo nisi quod noster intellectus capere posset. Non autem prohibemur scrutari cum ista modestia, ut recognoscamus nos insufficientes ad perfectam comprehensionem; et ideo Hilarius dicit, quod qui pie infinita persequitur, etsi nunquam perveniat, semper tamen proficiet prodeundo. 11. Creatures fail to represent their creator adequately. Consequently, through them we cannot arrive at a perfect knowledge of God. Another reason for our imperfect knowledge is the weakness of our intellect, which cannot assimilate all the evidence of God that is to be found in creatures. It is for this reason that we are forbidden to scrutinize God’s attributes over-zealously in the sense of aiming at the completion of such an inquiry, an aim which is implied in the very notion of overzealous scrutiny. If we were to act thus, we would not believe anything about God unless our intellect could grasp it. We are not, however, kept from humbly investigating God’s attributes, remembering that we are too weak to arrive at a perfect comprehension of Him. Consequently, Hilary writes as follows: “Even if a man who reverently seeks the infinite ways of God never reaches the end of his search, his search will always profit him.”
In the third article we ask:
Does God’s providence extend to corruptible things?
[ARTICLE See readings given for preceding article.]
Tertio quaeritur utrum divina providentia ad corruptibilia se extendat Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that it does not, for Causa enim et effectus sunt eiusdem coordinationis. Sed creaturae corruptibiles sunt causae culpae, ut patet: quod species mulieris est fomentum et causa luxuriae; et Sap., XIV, 11, dicitur quod creaturae Dei factae sunt in muscipulam pedibus insipientium. Cum ergo culpa sit extra ordinem providentiae divinae, videtur quod ordini providentiae corruptibilia non subdantur. 1. A cause and its effects are in the same order. Now, corruptible creatures are the cause of sin. This is evident. For example, women’s beauty is an incitement to and cause of lust. Moreover, Wisdom (14:11) says: “The creatures of God have been turned into... a snare for the feet of the unwise.” Now, since sin is outside the order of divine providence, it seems that corruptible beings are not subject to this order. Praeterea, nihil provisum a sapiente est corruptivum effectus eius, quia sic contrariaretur sapiens sibi ipsi, eadem aedificans et destruens. Sed in rebus corruptibilibus invenitur una contraria alteri, et corruptiva illius. Ergo non sunt provisa a Deo. 2. Nothing that a wise man arranges can destroy his work, because he, would be contradicting himself were he to build and destroy the same thing. Now, we find among corruptible things some that are contrary to and destructive of others. Consequently, corruptible things were not arranged by God. Praeterea, sicut dicit Damascenus in II Lib., necesse est omnia quae providentia fiunt, secundum rectam rationem et optimam et Deo decentissimam fieri, et sicut potest melius fieri. Sed corruptibilia possent fieri meliora, quia incorruptibilia. Ergo providentia divina ad corruptibilia se non extendit. 3. Damascene speaks as follows: “It must be true that all things happening according to God’s providence take place according to right reason in a way that is best and most fitting in God’s eyes—indeed, in a way that is better for them to take place.” But corruptible things could become better, for they could become incorruptible. The providence of God he ore, does not extend to corruptible things. Praeterea, omnia corruptibilia de sua natura corruptionem habent, alias non esset necesse omnia corruptibilia corrumpi. Sed corruptio, cum sit defectus, non est provisa a Deo, qui non potest esse causa alicuius defectus. Ergo naturae corruptibiles non sunt provisae a Deo. 4. Whatever is corruptible has corruption in it by its very nature; otherwise it would not be necessary for all corruptible things to corrupt. But, since corruption is a defect, it is not provided for by God, who cannot be a cause of any defect. Corruptible natures, therefore, do not come under God’s providence. Praeterea, sicut dicit Dionysius in IV de Divin. Nomin., providentiae non est naturam perdere, sed salvare. Ergo providentiae omnipotentis Dei est res perpetuo salvare. Sed corruptibilia non perpetuo salvantur. Ergo non subiacent divinae providentiae. 5. As Dionysius says, providence does not destroy nature but saves it. The role of God’s providence, therefore, is to save things continually. But corruptible things are not continually saved. They are not, therefore, subject to God’s providence. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicitur Sapient., cap. XIV, 3: tu autem, pater, gubernas omnia providentia. 1. Wisdom (14:3) says: “But your Providence, O Father, governs all things.” Praeterea, Sapient., XIII, dicitur quod ipse est Deus, cui est cura de omnibus. Ergo tam corruptibilia quam incorruptibilia eius providentiae subsunt. 2. Wisdom (12:13) also says that it is God who “has care of all things.” Therefore, corruptible as well as incorruptible things fall under His providence. Praeterea, sicut dicit Damascenus in II libro, non est conveniens alium esse factorem rerum, et alium provisorem. Sed Deus est causa efficiens omnium corruptibilium. Ergo et eorum provisor. 3. As Damascene says, it is illogical to hold that one being creates things and another exercises providence over them. Now, God is the efficient cause of all corruptible things. Consequently, He also provides for them. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod providentia Dei, qua res gubernat, ut dictum est, est similis providentiae qua paterfamilias gubernat domum, aut rex civitatem aut regnum: in quibus gubernationibus hoc est commune, quod bonum commune est eminentius quam bonum singulare; sicut bonum gentis est divinius quam bonum civitatis vel familiae vel personae, ut habetur, in principio Ethicorum. Unde quilibet provisor plus attendit quid communitati conveniat, si sapienter gubernat, quam quid conveniat uni tantum. As we said above, the providence by which God rules things is similar to the providence by which the father of a family rules his household or a king rules a city or kingdom. The common element in these rules is the primacy of the common good over the good of the individual; for, as we read in the Ethics, the good of the nation is more divine than that of the city, family, or person. Consequently, whoever is supervising must—if he is to rule wisely—pay more attention to what is good for the community than to what is good merely for an individual. Hoc ergo quidam non attendentes, considerantes in rebus corruptibilibus aliqua quae possent meliora esse secundum seipsa considerata, non attendentes ordinem universi, secundum quem optime collocatur unumquodque in ordine suo, dixerunt ista corruptibilia non gubernari a Deo, sed sola incorruptibilia; ex quorum persona dicitur Iob cap. XXII, 14: nubes latibulum eius, scilicet Dei, nec nostra considerat, sed circa cardines caeli perambulat. Haec autem corruptibilia posuerunt vel omnino absque gubernatore temere agi, vel a contrario principio gubernari. Quam positionem philosophus in XI Metaphysic. reprobat per similitudinem exercitus, in quo invenimus duplicem ordinem: unum quo exercitus partes ordinantur ad invicem, alium quo ordinantur ad bonum exterius, scilicet bonum ducis; et ordo ille quo partes exercitus ordinantur ad invicem, est propter illum ordinem quo totus exercitus ordinatur ad ducem; unde si non esset ordo ad ducem, non esset ordo partium exercitus ad invicem. Quamcumque ergo multitudinem invenimus ordinatam ad invicem, oportet eam ordinari ad exterius principium. Some have not kept this point in mind, but considering only that there are corruptible things which, if taken in themselves, could be better, and not considering the order of the universe in which each and every thing is excellently arranged—some, I say, have said that those corruptible things are therefore not ruled by God but that only incorruptible things are. These persons are represented in Job (22:14) by the man who says: “The clouds are God’s covert, and he doth not consider our things, and he walks about the poles of heaven.” Moreover, they assert that corruptible things act necessarily and without any ruler at all or are ruled by an opposing principle. The Philosopher, however, has refuted” this position by taking an army as an example. In an army we find two orders, one by which the parts of the army are related to each other, and a second by which the army is directed to an external good, namely, the good of its leader. That order by which the parts of the army are related to each other exists for the sake of the order by which the entire army is subordinated to its leader. Consequently, if the subordination to the leader did not exist, the ordering of the parts of the army to each other would not exist. Consequently, whenever we find a group whose members are ordered to each other, that group must necessarily be ordered to some external principle. Partes autem universi, corruptibiles et incorruptibiles, sunt ad invicem ordinatae, non per accidens, sed per se: videmus enim ex corporibus caelestibus utilitates provenientes in corporibus corruptibilibus vel semper vel in maiori parte secundum eumdem modum; unde oportet omnia, corruptibilia et incorruptibilia, esse in uno ordine providentiae principii exterioris, quod est extra universum. Unde philosophus concludit, quod necesse est ponere in universo unum dominatum et non plures. Now, the corruptible and incorruptible parts of the universe are related to each other essentially, not accidentally. For we see that corruptible bodies benefit from celestial bodies, and always, or at least ordinarily, in the same manner. Consequently, all things, corruptible and incorruptible, must be in one order under the providence of an external principle outside the universe. For this reason, the Philosopher concluded that it was necessary to affirm the existence of a single rule over the universe, and of not more than one. Sciendum tamen, quod aliquid providetur dupliciter: uno modo propter se, alio modo propter aliud; sicut in domo propter se providentur ea in quibus consistit essentialiter bonum domus, sicut filii, possessiones, et huiusmodi: alia vero providentur ad horum utilitatem, ut vasa, animalia, et huiusmodi. Et similiter in universo illa propter se providentur in quibus consistit essentialiter perfectio universi; et haec perpetuitatem habent, sicut et universum perpetuum est. Quae vero perpetua non sunt, non providentur nisi propter alium. Et ideo substantiae spirituales et corpora caelestia, quae sunt perpetua et secundum speciem, et secundum individuum, sunt provisa propter se et in specie et in individuo. Sed corruptibilia perpetuitatem non possunt habere nisi in specie; unde species ipsae sunt provisae propter se, sed individua eorum non sunt provisa nisi propter perpetuum esse speciei conservandum. It must be noted, however, that a thing is provided for in two ways: for itself, or for other things. For example, in a home, care is taken of some things on their own account, namely, those things that constitute the essential goods of a household, such as sons, possessions, and the like; and other things, such as utensils, animals, and the like are cared for so that the essential things can use them. Similarly, in the universe, the things in which the essential perfection of the universe consists are provided for on their own account, and like the universe itself, these things stay in existence. But the things that do not endure are provided for, not for their own sake, but for the sake of other things. Consequently, spiritual substances and heavenly bodies, which are perpetual both as species and as individuals, are provided for on their own account both as species and as individuals. Corruptible things, however, are perpetual only as a species; hence, these species are looked after for their own sake, but the individual members of these species are not provided for except for this reason: to keep the species in perpetual existence. Et secundum hoc salvatur opinio illorum qui dicunt quod ad huiusmodi corruptibilia non se extendit divina providentia nisi secundum quod participant naturam speciei: hoc enim est verum (si) intelligatur de providentia qua aliqua propter se providentur. If we thus understand the opinion of those who say that divine providence does not extend to corruptible things of this kind, except as they participate in the nature of a species, it need not be rejected; for this opinion is true if it is understood as referring to the providence of things by which they are provided for on their own account. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod creaturae corruptibiles non sunt per se causa culpae, sed occasio tantum, et per accidens causa: causa autem per accidens et effectus non oportet esse unius coordinationis. 1. Of themselves, corruptible creatures do not cause sin. They are only its occasion and accidental cause. Now, an accidental cause and its effect do not have to belong to the same order. Ad secundum dicendum, quod sapiens provisor non solum attendit quid expediat uni eorum quae suae providentiae subduntur, sed magis quid competat omnibus. Quamvis ergo corruptio alicuius rei in universo non sit ei conveniens, competit tamen perfectioni universi: quia per continuam generationem et corruptionem individuorum conservatur esse perpetuum in speciebus, in quibus per se consistit perfectio universi. 2. A wise provider does not consider what is good for merely one of the things that fall under his providence. He is concerned rather with what is better for all. Consequently, even though the corruption of a thing in the universe is not good for that thing, it is good for the perfection of the entire universe, because the continual generation and corruption of individuals makes it possible for the species to be perpetual; and it is in this that the perfection of the universe essentially consists. Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis res corruptibilis melior esset si incorruptibilitatem haberet, melius tamen est universum quod ex corruptibilibus et incorruptibilibus constat, quam quod ex incorruptibilibus tantum constaret, quia utraque natura bona est, scilicet corruptibilis et incorruptibilis; melius autem est esse duo bona quam unum tantum. Nec multiplicatio individuorum in una natura posset aequivalere diversitati naturarum, cum bonum naturae, quod est communicabile, praemineat bono individuali, quod est singulare. 3. Although a corruptible thing would be better if it possessed incorruptibility, it is better for the universe to be made of both corruptible and incorruptible things than to be made merely of the latter, because the nature of the corruptible thing, as well as that of the incorruptible, is good, and it is better to have two goods than merely one. Moreover, multiplication of individuals in one nature is of less value than a variety of natures, since the good found in a nature, being communicable, is superior to the good found in an individual, which is incommunicable. Ad quartum dicendum, quod sicut tenebrae sunt a sole non ex hoc quod aliquid agat, sed ex hoc quod lumen non immittit, ita corruptio est a Deo non quasi aliquid agente, sed non tribuente permanentiam. 4. Darkness is brought about by the sun, not because of any action of the sun, but because the sun does not send out light. Similarly, corruption comes from God, not because of any positive action by Him, but because He does not give the thing permanency. Ad quintum dicendum, quod illa quae propter se providentur a Deo, perpetuo manent. Non autem hoc oportet de illis quae propter se non providentur; sed oportet ea tantum manere quantum est necessarium his propter quae providentur; et ideo particularia quaedam, quia propter se non sunt provisa, corrumpuntur, ut ex dictis patet. 5. The things that are provided for by God on their own account last forever. But this permanency is not necessary for those things that are not provided for on their own account. These need remain only so long as they are needed by the things for which they are provided. Consequently, as is clear from the previous discussion, certain things corrupt because they are not looked after for their own sakes.
In the fourth article we ask:
Are the motions and actions of all bodies here below subject to divine providence?
[ARTICLE See readings given for q. 5, a. 2.]
Quarto quaeritur utrum omnes motus et actiones horum inferiorum corporum subdantur divinae providentiae Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that they are not, for Deus enim non est provisor eius cuius non est actor, quia non est conveniens ponere alium provisorem et alium conditorem, ut Damascenus dicit in II libro. Sed Deus non est actor mali, cum omnia, inquantum ab eo sunt, bona sint. Cum igitur in motibus et actionibus horum inferiorum multa mala accidant, videtur quod non omnes motus horum inferiorum, divinae providentiae subsint. 1. God does not provide for a thing if He is not its author, because, as Damascene says,’ it is illogical to say that one person makes a thing and another provides for it. Now, God is not the author of evil, for to the extent that things come from Him they are good. Therefore, since many evil things happen in the actions and motions of creatures here below, it does not seem that all of their motions fall under His divine providence, Praeterea, contrarii motus non videntur esse unius ordinis. Sed in istis inferioribus inveniuntur contrarii motus et contrariae actiones. Ergo impossibile est quod omnes cadant sub ordine divinae providentiae. 2.Motions that are contrary do not seem to belong to the same order. Now, in creatures here below there are contrary motions and actions. Consequently, it is impossible that they all fall under the order of divine providence. Praeterea, nihil cadit sub providentia nisi ex hoc quod ordinatur in finem. Sed malum non ordinatur in finem: quinimmo malum est privatio ordinis. Ergo malum non cadit sub providentia. In his autem inferioribus multa mala accidunt. Ergo, et cetera. 3. A thing falls under divine providence only inasmuch as it is directed to an end. But evil is not ordered to an end. On the contrary, it is a privation of order. Consequently, evil does not fall under providence. In creatures here below, however, many evils occur. Therefore. Praeterea, non est prudens qui sustinet aliquod malum evenire in illis quorum actus eius providentiae subsunt, si possit impedire. Sed Deus est prudentissimus et potentissimus. Cum ergo multa mala eveniant in his inferioribus, videtur quod particulares actus horum inferiorum divinae providentiae non subdantur. 4. A man is not prudent if he allows something evil to occur in those things whose actions fall under his providence when he can prevent that evil from taking place. Now, God is most prudent and powerful. Hence, since many evils occur in creatures here below, it seems that certain of their acts do not fall under divine providence. Sed dicebat, quod Deus ideo permittit mala fieri, quia potest ex eis elicere bona.- Sed contra, bonum est potentius quam malum. Ergo magis ex bono potest elici bonum quam ex malo; ergo non est necesse quod Deus mala permittat fieri ut eliciat ex eis bona. 5. It was said, however, that God permits these evils to happen because He can draw good from them.—On the contrary, good is more powerful than evil, so it is easier to draw good from good than good from evil. Consequently, it is not necessary for God to permit evil to happen in order to draw good from it. Praeterea, sicut Deus condidit omnia per suam bonitatem, ita etiam omnia sua bonitate gubernat, ut Boetius dicit in IV de Consol. Sed divina bonitas non permittit ut aliquid ab eo malum producatur. Ergo nec divina bonitas permittet aliquid malum suae providentiae subesse. 6. As Boethius says, just as God creates all things through His goodness, so does He also govern all things by His goodness. But His divine goodness does not permit Him to make anything evil. Consequently, His goodness does not permit anything evil from coming under His providence Praeterea, nullum provisum est casuale. Si ergo omnes motus horum inferiorum essent provisi, nihil casu accideret, et ita omnia ex necessitate contingerent; quod est impossibile. 7. If a thing is arranged, it does not happen by chance. Therefore, if all the motions of creatures here below were arranged, nothing would happen by chance, but everything would happen by necessity. This, however, is impossible. Praeterea, si omnia ex necessitate materiae contingerent in his inferioribus, haec inferiora non regerentur providentia, ut Commentator dicit, II Physicor. Sed multa in his inferioribus accidunt ex necessitate materiae. Ergo ad minus ista divinae providentiae non subduntur. 8. As the Commentator says, if everything happened in creatures here below because of the necessity of matter, they would not be ruled by providence. But many things in creatures here below happen because of the necessity of matter. At least these events, then, are not ruled by providence. Praeterea, nullus prudens permittit bonum ut veniat malum. Ergo eadem ratione nullus prudens permittit malum ut veniat bonum. Sed Deus est prudens. Ergo non permittit mala fieri ut bona eveniant; et ita videtur quod mala quae fiunt in his inferioribus, non cadant etiam sub providentia concessionis. 9. No prudent man permits a good so that evil will result. For the same reason, therefore, no prudent man permits an evil that good will result. Since God is prudent, He will therefore not permit evils in order that good will result. Consequently, it seems that the evils occurring in creatures here below are not allowed by providence. Praeterea, illud quod est reprehensibile in homine, nullo modo Deo attribuendum est. Sed hoc reprehenditur in homine ut faciat mala ad bonum consequendum, ut patet Roman. III, 8: sicut blasphemamur, et sicut quidam aiunt nos dicere: faciamus mala ut veniant bona. Ergo Deo non competit ut sub eius providentia cadant mala, ut bona ex eis eliciantur. 10. What is blameworthy in a man should by no means be attributed to God. But a man is blamed if he does wrong in order to get something good. This is clear from the Epistle to the Romans (3:8): “As we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say: Let us do evil, that there may come good.” Consequently, it is contrary to God’s nature for evil to come under His providence in order that good may be drawn from it. Praeterea, si actus inferiorum corporum divinae providentiae subderentur, hoc modo agerent secundum quod divinae iustitiae conveniret. Sed non hoc modo inveniuntur inferiora elementa agere, quia ignis aequaliter comburit domum iusti hominis et iniusti. Ergo actus inferiorum corporum non subduntur providentiae divinae. 11. If the acts of bodies here below were subject to God’s providence, they would act in harmony with God’s justice. But the lower elements do not act in this way: fire burns the homes of the just as well as those of the unjust. Consequently, acts of lower bodies do not fall under God’s providence. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicitur Matth. X, vers. 19: nonne duo passeres asse veneunt? Et unus ex eis non cadet in terram sine patre vestro; ubi dicit Glossa: magna est Dei providentia, quam nec parva latent. Ergo etiam minimi motus horum inferiorum subduntur providentiae. 1. In the Gospel according to Matthew (10:29), we read: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.” On this, the Gloss reads: “Great is the providence of God. Not even the smallest things escape it.” Consequently, even the smallest movement of things here below comes under God’s providence. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, VIII super Genesim ad litteram: secundum divinam providentiam videmus caelestia superius ordinari, inferiusque terrestria luminaria sideraque fulgere, diei noctisque vices agitari, aquis terram fundatam interlui atque circumlui, aerem altius superfundi, arbusta et animalia concipi et nasci, crescere et senescere, occidere, et quidquid aliud in rebus interiori naturalique motu geritur. Ergo omnes motus inferiorum corporum subduntur providentiae divinae. 2. Augustine writes as follows: “It is because of God’s providence that we see celestial bodies ordered from on high, stars and planets of the earth shining down on us below, the regular alternation of night and day, the rugged earth being cleansed by surrounding waves of water, air gushing out in the heavens, shrubs and animals being conceived and born, growing, wasting away, and killing, and all things else that happen by interior, natural motion.” Consequently, all motions of lower bodies fall under God’s providence. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod cum idem sit primum principium rerum et ultimus finis, eodem modo aliqua progrediuntur a principio primo et ordinantur in finem ultimum. In progressu autem rerum a principio invenimus, quod ea quae sunt propinqua principio, esse indeficiens habent; quae vero distant, habent esse corruptibile, ut dicitur in II de Generat.; unde et in ordine rerum ad finem, illa quae sunt propinquissima fini ultimo indeclinabiliter tenent ordinem ad finem; quae vero remota, quandoque ab illo ordine declinant. Since the first principle of things is the same as their final end, things come from their first principle and are ordered to their ultimate end in the same manner. Studying things as they come from their principle, however, we find that those which are close to their principle have an unfailing act of existence, but, as is said in Generation and Corruption, those that are remote from their principle have a corruptible act of existence. Consequently, with respect to their relation to an end, those things that are closest to their ultimate end unfailingly keep their direction to their end, but those that are remote from their ultimate end sometimes diverge from their direction to it. Eadem autem sunt propinqua vel remota respectu principii et finis; unde incorruptibilia, sicut habent esse indeficiens, ita nunquam declinant in suis actibus ab ordine ad finem, sicut sunt corpora caelestia quorum motus nunquam a cursu naturali exorbitant. In corruptibilibus vero corporibus multi motus proveniunt praeter rectum ordinem ex defectu naturae; unde philosophus in XI Metaph. dicit, quod in ordine universi substantiae incorruptibiles similantur liberis in domo, qui semper operantur ad bonum domus; sed corpora corruptibilia comparantur servis et animalibus in domo, quorum actiones frequenter exeunt ab ordine gubernantis domum. Et propter hoc etiam Avicenna dicit, quod ultra orbem lunae non est malum, sed solum in his inferioribus. Moreover, the same things that are close to their principle are close to their end, and those that are remote from their principle are remote from their end. Consequently, not only have incorruptible substances an unfailing act of existence, but also their actions never fail to keep their direction to an end. For example, there are heavenly bodies whose motions never leave their natural orbit. However because corruptible bodies have defective natures, many of their movements diverge from their proper order. It is for this reason that, in regard to the order of the universe, the Philosopher compares incorruptible bodies to children in a household who always do what is good for the home, and corruptible bodies to domestic animals and slaves whose actions frequently violate the order laid down by the one in charge of the household. This is the reason, too, why Avicenna says that nothing evil lies beyond the moon and that there is evil only in creatures here below. Nec tamen isti actus deficientes a recto ordine in rebus inferioribus, omnino sunt extra ordinem providentiae. Dupliciter enim aliquid subest providentiae: uno modo sicut ad quod aliquid ordinatur; alio modo sicut quod ad alterum ordinatur. In ordine autem eorum quae sunt ad finem, omnia intermedia sunt fines et ad finem, ut dicitur in II physicorum et V metaphysicae; et ideo quidquid est in recto ordine providentiae, cadit sub providentia non solum sicut ordinatum ad aliud, sed sicut ad quod aliud ordinatur. Sed illud quod exit a recto ordine, cadit sub providentia solum secundum quod ordinatur ad aliud, non quod aliquid ordinetur ad ipsum; sicut actus virtutis generativae, qua homo generat hominem perfectum in natura, est ordinatus a Deo ad aliquid, scilicet ad formam humanam, et ad ipsum ordinatur aliquid, scilicet vis generativa; sed actus deficiens, quo interdum monstra generantur in natura, ordinatur quidem a Deo ad aliquam utilitatem, sed ad hoc nihil aliud ordinatur; incidit enim ex defectu alicuius causae. Et respectu primi est providentia approbationis, respectu autem secundi est providentia concessionis, quos duos modos providentiae Damascenus ponit in II libro. It should not be thought, however, that those acts of things here below which are outside their proper course are entirely outside the order of providence. For a thing comes under God’s providence in two ways: it can be something to which something else is ordered or it can be something that is ordered to something else. Now, as said in the Physics and in the Metaphysics, in an order of means to an end, all the intermediate members are ends as well as means to an end. Consequently, whatever is rightly ordered by providence comes under providence not only as something that is referred to something else, but also as something to which another thing is referred. However, a thing which leaves the right order comes under providence only as something referred, to something else, not as something to which another thing has been referred. For example, the act of the generative powers by which a man generates another complete in his nature is directed by God to a particular thing, namely, a human form; and to the act itself something else is directed, namely, the generative power. A defective act which results occasionally in the generation of natural monstrosities is, of course, directed by God to some useful purpose; but to this defective act itself nothing else was directed. It happened merely on account of the failure of some cause. With regard to the first-named act of generation, the providence is one of approval; with regard to the second, it is one of permission. These two kinds of providence are discussed by Damascene. Sciendum tamen quod quidam praedictum providentiae modum retulerunt tantum ad species naturalium rerum, non autem ad singularia, nisi in quantum participant in natura communi, quia non ponebant Deum cognoscere singularia; dicebant enim, quod Deus taliter naturam alicuius speciei ordinavit, ut ex virtute quae consequitur speciem, talis actio consequi deberet; et si aliquando deficeret, quod hoc ad talem utilitatem ordinaretur, sicut corruptio unius ordinatur ad generationem alterius; non tamen hanc virtutem particularem ad hunc particularem actum ordinavit, nec hunc particularem defectum ad hanc particularem utilitatem. Nos autem Deum perfecte cognoscere omnia particularia dicimus; et ideo praedictum providentiae ordinem in singularibus ponimus, etiam in quantum singularia sunt. It should be noted, however, that some have restricted God’s providence to only the species of natural things, and have excluded it from individuals except as they participate in a common nature. They did this because they did not admit that God knows singulars, but said that God directs the nature of a species in such a way that the resultant power of a species can bring about a certain action, and, if this should fail at times, the failure itself is directed to something useful—just as the corruption of one thing is directed to the generation of another. They denied, however, that a particular force is directed to a particular act and that this particular failure is directed to this particular use. But since we say that God knows all particular things perfectly, we assert that all individual things, even as individuals, fall under God’s providence. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod ratio illa procedit de providentia approbationis; sic enim nihil providetur a Deo nisi quod ab eo aliquo modo fit; unde malum, quod non est a Deo, non cadit sub providentia approbationis, sed concessionis tantum. 1. That argument touches only the providence of approval. It is true, however, that God does not provide for a thing unless He is in some way its author. Consequently, since evil does not come from God, it does not fall under His providence of approval, but falls only under His providence of permission. Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis contrarii motus non sint unius ordinis specialis, sunt tamen unius ordinis generalis; sicut etiam diversi ordines diversorum artificiorum quae ordinantur in uno ordine civitatis unius. 2. Although contrary motions do not belong to the same specific order, they do belong to one general order, as do even the different orders of different crafts which are subordinated to the order of a city. Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis malum, secundum quod exit ab agente proprio, sit inordinatum, et ex hoc per privationem ordinis definiatur, tamen nihil prohibet quin a superiori agente ordinetur; et sic sub providentia cadit. 3. Even though evil inasmuch as it issues from its own cause is without order and, for this reason, is defined as a privation of order, there is nothing that keeps a higher cause from ordering it. In this way evil comes under providence. Ad quartum dicendum, quod quilibet prudens sustinet aliquod parvum malum ne impediatur magnum bonum; quodlibet autem particulare bonum est parvum respectu boni alicuius naturae universalis. Non posset autem impediri malum quod ex aliquibus rebus provenit, nisi natura eorum tolleretur, quae talis est, ut possit deficere vel non deficere, et quae alicui particulari nocumentum infert, et tamen in universo quamdam pulchritudinem addit. Et ideo Deus, cum sit prudentissimus, sua providentia non prohibet mala, sed permittit unumquodque agere secundum quod natura eius requirit; ut enim Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Divin. Nomin., providentiae non est naturam perdere, sed salvare. 4. Any prudent man will endure a small evil in order that a great good will not be prevented. Any particular good, moreover, is trifling in comparison with the good of a universal nature. Again, evil cannot be kept from certain things without taking away their nature, which is such that it may or may not fail; and, while this nature may harm something in particular, it nevertheless gives some added beauty to the universe. Consequently, since God is most prudent, His providence does not prevent evil, but allows each thing to act as its nature requires it to act. For, as Dionysius says, the role of providence is to save, not to destroy, nature. Ad quintum dicendum, quod aliquod bonum est quod non posset elici nisi ex aliquo malo, sicut bonum patientiae non nisi ex malo persecutionis elicitur, et bonum poenitentiae ex malo culpae; nec hoc impedit infirmitas mali respectu boni, quia huiusmodi non eliciuntur ex malo quasi ex causa per se, sed quasi per accidens et materialiter. 5. There are certain goods which can be drawn only from certain evils; for example, the good of patience can be drawn only from the evil of persecution, and the good of penitence only from the evil of sin. This, however, is not to deny that evil is weak in comparison with good, because things of this sort are drawn out of evil, not as from an essential cause, but, as it were, accidentally and materially. Ad sextum dicendum, quod illud quod producitur, oportet quod secundum esse suum habeat formam producentis, quia productio rei terminatur ad esse rei; unde non potest esse malum quod a bono actore productum est. Sed providentia rem ordinat in finem. Ordo autem in finem consequitur ad rei esse; et ideo non est impossibile aliquod malum a bono ordinari in bonum; sed impossibile est a bono aliquid ordinari in malum; sicut enim bonitas producentis inducit formam bonitatis in productis, ita bonitas providentis inducit ordinem ad bonum in provisis. 6. Inasmuch as it has an act of existence, whatever is made must have the form of the one who makes it, because the making of a thing terminates in its act of existence. Consequently, an evil cannot be produced by a cause that is good. Now, providence directs a thing to an end, and this direction to an end follows upon the act of existence of the thing. It is not impossible, therefore, for something evil to be directed to a good by one who is good, but it is impossible for one who is good to direct something to an evil. For, just as the goodness of a maker puts the form of goodness in the things he makes, so also does the goodness of one who is provident put a direction to good in the things that are subject to his providence. Ad septimum dicendum, quod effectus accidentes in istis inferioribus possunt considerari dupliciter: uno modo in ordine ad causas proximas, et sic multa casu eveniunt; alio modo in ordine ad causam primam, et sic nihil casu accidit in mundo. Neque tamen sequitur quod omnia necessario eveniant, quia effectus non sequuntur in necessitate et contingentia causas primas, sed proximas. 7. Effects happening accidentally in creatures here below can be considered in two ways: in their relation to proximate causes—and, in this sense, many things happen by chance—or in their relation to the first cause—and, in this sense, nothing in the world happens by chance. It does not follow, therefore, that all things happen necessarily, because in necessity and contingency effects do not follow first causes but proximate causes. Ad octavum dicendum, quod illa quae ex necessitate materiae proveniunt, consequuntur naturas ordinatas in finem et secundum hoc ipsa etiam sub providentia cadere possunt, quod non esset, si omnia ex materiae necessitate contingerent. 8. Those things resulting from the necessity of matter are themselves determined by natures ordered to an end, and for this reason can also fall under divine providence. This would not be possible if everything resulted from the necessity of matter. Ad nonum dicendum, quod malum est contrarium bono. Nullum autem contrarium per se inducit ad suum contrarium, sed omne contrarium contrarium sibi inducit ad sibi simile; sicut calidum non inducit rem aliquam in frigiditatem nisi per accidens, sed magis frigidum per calidum ad caliditatem reducitur. Similiter etiam nullus bonus ordinat aliquid in malum, sed potius ordinat in bonum. 9. Evil is the contrary of good. Now, of itself no contrary brings about its contrary, but every contrary brings its contrary to that which is similar to itself. For example, heat does not bring a thing to coldness, except accidentally. Instead, it reduces cold to warmth. Similarly, no good person directs a thing to evil; instead, he directs it to good. Ad decimum dicendum, quod facere malum, ut ex dictis patet, nullo modo bonis competit; unde facere malum propter bonum in homine reprehensibile est nec Deo potest attribui. Sed ordinare malum in bonum, hoc non contrariatur bonitati alicuius; et ideo permittere malum propter aliquod bonum inde eliciendum, Deo attribuitur. 10. As is clear from the above discussion, to do evil is in no way proper to those who are good. To do evil for the sake of a good is blameworthy in a man and cannot be attributed to God. On the other hand, to direct evil to a good is not opposed to one’s goodness. Hence, permitting evil in order to draw some good from it can be attributed to God. 11. [No answer is given to the eleventh difficulty. See the answer to the sixth difficulty of the following article.]
In the fifth article we ask:
Are human acts ruled by providence?
[ARTICLE De ver., 24, aa. 1-2; II Sent., 39, 1, 1; IV Sent., 49, 1, 3, ad 1; S.T., I, 22, 2, ad 4; 22, 4; 59, 3; 83, 1; I-II, 9, 6, ad 3; 10, 4; 13, aa. 1, 6; C.G., I, 68; III, 73; De malo, 3, 2, ad 4; 3,3, ad 5; 6, 1 (P. 8:311a); De Pot., 3,7, ad 12-14; In Rom., c. 9, lect. 3 (P. 13:97a); De rationibus fidei, c. 10 (P. 16:96a).]
Quinto quaeritur utrum humani actus providentia regantur Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that they are not, for Quia, ut dicit Damascenus in II libro, quae in nobis sunt, non providentiae sunt, sed nostri liberi arbitrii. Sed actus humani dicuntur qui sunt in nobis. Ergo ipsi non cadunt sub divina providentia. 1. As Damascene says: “What is in us is the work not of providence but of our own free choice.” What is in us means our human actions. Consequently, these do not fall under God’s providence. Praeterea, eorum quae sub providentia cadunt, quanto aliqua sunt nobiliora, tanto digniori modo providentur. Sed homo est nobilior insensibilibus creaturis, quae semper cursum suum tenent, nec excidunt a recto ordine nisi raro; hominum autem actus frequenter a recto ordine deviant. Ergo humani actus providentia non reguntur. 2. Of the things coming under God’s providence, the more noble a thing is, the more elaborately is it provided for. Now, man is more noble than those creatures that lack sensation and, never departing from their course, rarely, if ever, deviate from the right order. Men’s actions, however, frequently deviate from the right order. Hence, they are not ruled by providence. Praeterea, malum culpae maxime est odibile Deo. Sed nullus providens, illud quod ei maxime displicet, permittit propter aliquid aliud, quid sic absentia illius alterius magis ei displiceret. Ergo cum Deus permittat in humanis actibus mala culpae accidere, videtur quod humani actus providentia eius non regantur. 3. The evil of sin is very hateful to God. But no one who is provident permits what is most displeasing to him to happen for the sake of something else, because this would mean that the absence of the latter would be even more displeasing to him. Consequently, since God permits the evil of sin to occur in human acts, it seems that they are not ruled by His providence. Praeterea, illud quod dimittitur sibi, non gubernatur providentia. Sed Deus dimisit hominem in manu consilii sui, ut dicitur Eccli., XVII. Ergo humani actus providentia non reguntur. 4. What is abandoned does not fall under the rule of providence. But, as we read in Sirach (15:14): “God left man in the hand of his own counsel.” Human acts, therefore, are not ruled by providence. Praeterea, Eccle. IX, 11 dicitur: vidi nec velocium esse cursum, nec fortium bellum, sed tempus casumque in omnibus; et loquitur de actibus humanis. Ergo videtur quod humani actus casu agitentur, et non gubernentur providentia. 5. In Ecclesiastes (9:11) we read: “I saw that... the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong... but time and chance in all.” Since the author is speaking about human acts, it seems that men’s actions are subject to the whims of chance and are not ruled by providence. Praeterea, in his quae providentia reguntur, diversis diversa attribuuntur. Sed in rebus humanis eadem bonis et malis eveniunt: Eccle., IX, 2: universa aeque eveniunt iusto et impio, bono et malo. Ergo res humanae providentia non reguntur. 6. By the rule of providence, different allotments are made to different things. But in human affairs the same things happen to the good and to the evil; for, as we read in Ecclesiastes (9:2): “All things equally happen to the just and to the wicked, to the good and to the evil.” Consequently, human affairs are not ruled by providence. Sed contra. To the Contrary Matth. X, 30, dicitur: vestri autem capilli omnes numerati sunt. Ergo etiam minima in humanis actibus divina providentia ordinantur. 1. In the Gospel according to Matthew (10:30) is written: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Even the least of human acts, therefore, is directed by God’s providence. Praeterea, punire et praemiare et praecepta dare, sunt providentiae actus, quia per huiusmodi quilibet provisor suos subditos gubernat. Sed Deus haec omnia circa humanos actus agit. Ergo omnes humani actus divinae providentiae subduntur. 2. To punish, reward, and issue commands are acts of providence because it is through acts of this kind that every provider governs his subjects. Now, God does all these things in connection with human acts. Consequently, all human acts are ruled by His providence. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod, sicut prius dictum est, quanto aliquid est propinquius primo principio, tanto nobilius sub ordine providentiae collocatur. Inter omnia vero alia spirituales substantiae magis primo principio appropinquant; unde et eius imagine insignitae dicuntur; et ideo a divina providentia non solum consequuntur quod sint provisa, sed etiam quod provideant. Et haec est causa quare praedictae substantiae habent suorum actuum electionem, non autem ceterae creaturae, quae sunt provisae tantum, non autem providentes. As pointed out previously, the closer a being is to the first principle, the higher is its place in the order of providence. Now, among all things, spiritual substances stand closest to the first principle; this is why they are said to be stamped with God’s image. Consequently, by God’s providence they are not only provided for, but they are provident themselves. This is why these substances can exercise a choice in their actions while other creatures cannot. The latter are provided for, but they themselves are not provident. Providentia autem, cum respiciat ordinem in finem, oportet quod fiat secundum regulam finis: et quia primus providens ipsemet est sicut providentiae finis, habet regulam providentiae sibi coniunctam; unde impossibile est ut ex parte ipsius aliquis defectus incidere possit in provisis ab ipso: et sic non est defectus in eis nisi ex parte provisorum. Sed creaturae, quibus providentia est communicata, non sunt fines suae providentiae, sed in alium finem ordinantur, scilicet Deum; unde oportet quod rectitudinem suae providentiae ex regula divina sortiantur. Et inde est quod in eorum providentia accidere potest defectus non tantum ex parte provisorum, sed etiam ex parte providentium. Now, since providence is concerned with directing to an end, it must take place with the end as its norm; and since the first provider is Himself the end of His providence, He has the norm of providence within Himself. Consequently, it is impossible that any of the failures in those things for which He provides should be due to Him; the failures in these things can be due only to the objects of His providence. Now, creatures to whom His providence has been communicated are not the ends of their own providence. They are directed to another end, namely, God. Hence, it is necessary that they draw the rectitude of their own providence from God’s norm. Consequently, in the providence exercised by creatures failures may take place that are due, not only to the objects of their providence, but also to the providers themselves. Secundum tamen quod aliqua creatura magis inhaeret regulae primi providentis, secundum hoc firmiorem rectitudinem habet ordo providentiae eius. Quia igitur huiusmodi creaturae deficere possunt in suis actibus, et ipsae sunt causae suorum actuum, inde est quod eorum defectus rationem culpae habent, quod non erat de defectibus aliarum creaturarum. Quia vero huiusmodi spirituales creaturae incorruptibiles sunt etiam secundum individua, etiam eorum individua sunt propter se provisa; et ideo defectus qui in eis contingunt, ordinantur in poenam vel praemium, secundum quod eis competit, non autem solum secundum quod ad alia ordinantur. However, the more faithful a creature is to the norm of the first provider, the firmer will be the rectitude of his own providence. Consequently, it is because creatures of this sort can fail in their actions and are the cause of their actions, that their failures are culpable something which is not true of the failures of other creatures. Moreover, because these spiritual creatures are incorruptible even as individuals, they are provided for on their own account as individuals. Hence, defects that take place in them are destined to a reward or punishment which will belong to these individuals themselves—and not to them only as they are ordered to other things. Et inter has creaturas est homo, quia eius forma, scilicet anima, est spiritualis creatura, a qua est radix humanorum actuum, et a qua etiam corpus hominis ordinem ad immortalitatem habet. Et ideo humani actus sub divina providentia cadunt hoc modo quod et ipsi provisores sunt suorum actuum, et eorum defectus ordinantur secundum quod competit eisdem, non solum secundum quod competit aliis; sicut peccatum hominis ordinatur a Deo in bonum eius, ut cum post peccatum resurgens humilior redditur, vel saltem in bonum quod in ipso fit per divinam iustitiam, dum pro peccato punitur. Sed defectus in creaturis sensibilibus contingentes ordinantur solum in id quod competit aliis, sicut corruptio huius ignis in generationem illius aeris. Et ideo ad designandum hunc specialem providentiae modum, quo Deus humanos actus gubernat, dicitur sapientiae XII, 18: cum reverentia disponis nos. Now, man is numbered among these creatures, because his form—that is, his soul—is a spiritual being, the root of all his human acts, and that by which even his body has a relation to immortality. Consequently, human acts come under divine providence according as men themselves have providence over their own acts; and the defects in these acts are ordained according to what belongs to these men themselves, not only according to what belongs to others. For example, when a man sins, God orders the sin to the sinner’s good, so that after his fall, upon rising again, he may be a more humble person; or it is ordered at least to a good which is brought about in him by divine justice when he is punished for his sin. The defects happening in sensible creatures, however, are directed only to what belongs to others; for example, the corruption of some particular fire is directed to the generation of some particular air. Consequently, to designate this special manner of providence which God exercises over human acts, Wisdom (12:18) says: “You, with great favour, dispose of us.” Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod verbum Damasceni non est intelligendum hoc modo quod omnino ea quae sunt in nobis, id est in electione nostra, a divina providentia excludantur; sed quia non sunt per divinam providentiam ita determinata ad unum, sicut ea quae libertatem arbitrii non habent. 1. The statement of Damascene does not mean that the things in us (that is, in our power to choose) are entirely outside of God’s providence, but it means rather that our choice is not determined to one course of action by divine providence, as are the actions of those beings which do not possess freedom. Ad secundum dicendum, quod res naturales insensibiles providentur solum a Deo; et ideo non potest ibi accidere defectus ex parte providentis, sed solummodo ex parte provisorum. Humani autem actus possunt habere defectum ex parte providentiae humanae; et ideo plures defectus et inordinationes inveniuntur in humanis actibus quam in actibus naturalibus. Et tamen hoc quod homo habet providentiam suorum actuum, ad nobilitatem eius pertinet; unde multiplicitas defectuum non impedit quin homo nobiliorem gradum sub providentia teneat. 2. Natural things lacking sensation are provided for by God alone. Consequently, no failure here is possible on the part of the one who provides, but only on the part of the objects of His providence. But human acts can be defective because of human providence. For this reason, we find more failures and deordinations in human acts than we do in the acts of natural things. Yet, the fact that man has providence over his own acts is part of his nobility, Consequently, the number of his failures does not keep man from holding a higher place under God’s providence. Ad tertium dicendum, quod Deus plus amat quod magis bonum est, et ideo magis vult praesentiam magis boni quam absentiam minus mali, quia et absentia mali quoddam bonum est: et ideo ad hoc ut aliqua bona maiora eliciantur, permittit aliquos etiam in mala culpae cadere, quae maxime secundum genus sunt odibilia, quamvis unum eorum sit ei magis odibile alio; unde ad medicinam unius permittit quandoque cadere in aliud. 3. God loves a thing more if it is a greater good. Consequently, He wills the presence of a greater good more than He wills the absence of a lesser evil (for even the absence of an evil is a certain good). So, in order that certain greater goods may be had, He permits certain persons to fall even into the evils of sin, which, taken as a class, are most hateful, even though one of them may be more hateful to Him than another. Consequently, to cure a man of one sin, God sometimes permits him to fall into another. Ad quartum dicendum, quod Deus permisit hominem in manu consilii sui, inquantum constituit eum propriorum actuum provisorem; sed tamen providentia hominis de suis actibus non excludit divinam providentiam de eisdem, sicut nec virtutes activae creaturarum excludunt virtutem activam divinam. 4. “God leaves man in the hand of his own counsel” in the sense that He gives him providence over his own acts. Man’s providence over his acts, however, does not exclude God’s providence over them, just as the active power of creatures does not exclude the active power of God. Ad quintum dicendum, quod quamvis multa in humanis actibus casu eveniant, si considerentur inferiores causae; nihil tamen casu evenit, si consideretur divina providentia, quae omnibus praeeminet. Hoc etiam quod tam multa in humanis actibus accidunt quorum contraria deberent accidere, ut videtur consideratis inferioribus causis, ostendit quod humani actus divina providentia gubernantur; ex qua contingit quod frequenter potentiores succumbunt: ostenditur enim per hoc quod victor magis est ex divina providentia quam humana virtute; et similiter est in aliis. 5. Even though many of our human acts are the result of chance if we consider only lower causes, still, if we consider the providence which God has over all things, there is nothing that results from chance. Indeed, the very fact that so many things happen in human affairs when, if we consider merely lower causes, just the opposite should happen, proves that human actions are governed by God’s providence. Hence, the powerful frequently fall, for this shows that one is victorious because of God’s providence and not because of any human power. The same can be said of other cases. Ad sextum dicendum, quod quamvis videatur nobis quod omnia aequaliter bonis et malis accidant, ex hoc quod nescimus qua de causa divina providentia singula dispenset; non est tamen dubium quin in omnibus bonis et malis, quae eveniunt sive bonis sive malis, sit recta ratio, secundum quam divina providentia omnia ordinat. Et quia eam ignoramus videtur nobis quod inordinate et irrationabiliter eveniant; sicut si aliquis intraret officinam fabri, videretur ei quod instrumenta fabrilia essent inutiliter multiplicata, si nesciret rationem utendi unoquoque; quorum tamen multiplicatio ex causa rationabili esse apparet ei qui virtutem artis intuetur. 6. Even though it may seem to us that all things happen equally to the good and to the evil since we are ignorant of the reasons for God’s providence in allotting these things, there is no doubt that in all these good and evil things happening to the good or to the evil there is operative a well worked out plan by which God’s providence directs all things. It is because we do not know His reasons that we think many things happen without order or plan. We are like a man who enters a carpenter shop and thinks that there is a useless multiplication of tools because he does not know how each one is used; but one who knows the trade will see that this number of tools exists for a very good reason.
In the sixth article we ask:
Are brute animals and their acts subject to God’s providence?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 2. See also readings given for q. 5, a. 2.]
Sexto quaeritur utrum animalia bruta et eorum actus divinae providentiae subdantur Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that they are not, for Quia I Cor., IX 9, dicitur quod non est Deo cura de bobus. Ergo nec de aliis brutis, eadem ratione. 1. In the first Epistle to the Corinthians (9:9) we read: “Does God take care for oxen?” Consequently, God does not take care of other animals for the same reason. Praeterea, Habacuc, I, 14, dicitur: numquid facies homines sicut pisces maris? Et sunt verba prophetae conquerentis de perturbatione ordinis, quae videtur in humanis actibus accidere. Ergo videtur quod actus irrationalium creaturarum divina providentia non gubernentur. 2. In the Book of Habakkuk (1:14) we read: “You will make men as the fishes of the sea...” In this passage, the prophet is lamenting the troubling of the order which seems to happen in men’s actions. It seems, therefore, that the acts of irrational creatures are not governed by divine providence. Praeterea, si homo sine culpa puniretur, et poena in eius bonum non cederet, non videretur quod res humanae providentia gubernarentur. Sed in brutis animalibus non est culpa; nec hoc quod quandoque occiduntur, in eorum bonum ordinatur, quia nullum est eis praemium post mortem. Ergo eorum vita providentia non regitur. 3. If a man is punished for no fault of his own, and this punishment does not help him in any way, it would not seem that human affairs were ruled by providence. Now, brute animals cannot come to a particiption in God, nor do they have any fault. And when they are killed, their death is not directed to their good, because there is no reward for them after death. Their lives, therefore, are not ruled by providence. Praeterea, nihil regitur divina providentia nisi quod ordinatur ad finem quem ipsa intendit, qui non est aliud quam ipse Deus. Sed bruta non possunt pervenire ad participationem Dei, cum non sint capacia beatitudinis. Ergo videtur quod divina providentia non gubernentur. 4. A thing is not ruled by God’s providence but is ordained to the end which He intends; and this end is nothing other than God Himself. Brutes, however, cannot attain to a participation in God, since they are not capable of beatitude. Consequently, it seems that divine providence does not rule them. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicitur, Matth. cap. X, vers. 29, quod unus ex passeribus non cadit in terram sine patre caelesti. 1. In the Gospel according to Matthew (10:29) we read: “not one sparrow shall fall on the ground without our heavenly Father’s permission.” Praeterea, bruta animalia sunt digniora aliis insensibilibus creaturis. Sed aliae creaturae cadunt sub divina providentia; et etiam omnes actus ipsarum. Ergo et multo magis bruta. 2. Brutes are more noble than creatures that lack sensation. But these other creatures and all their actions come under God’s providence. Even more, then, will brutes come under His providence. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod circa hoc duplex fuit error. Quidam enim dixerunt, quod animalia bruta non gubernantur providentia, nisi inquantum participant naturam speciei, quae est a Deo provisa et ordinata: et ad hunc providentiae modum referunt omnia quae in sacra Scriptura inveniuntur, quae videntur importare providentiam Dei circa bruta, sicut illud: qui dat iumentis escam ipsorum, et pullis etc.; et iterum: catuli leonum rugientes etc.; et multa huiusmodi. Sed hic error maximam imperfectionem Deo attribuit: non enim potest esse quod sciat singulares actus brutorum animalium, et eos non ordinet, cum sit summe bonus, et bonitatem suam per hoc in omnia diffundens. Unde praedictus error vel derogat divinae scientiae, subtrahens ei particularium cognitionem, vel divinae bonitati subtrahens ei ordinationem particularium in quantum sunt particularia. Unde alii dixerunt, quod etiam brutorum actus sub providentia cadunt, et eodem modo quo actus rationalium; ut scilicet nullum malum in eis accidere patiatur quin ordinet in bonum ipsorum. Sed hoc est longe etiam a ratione: non enim debetur praemium vel poena nisi ei qui liberum arbitrium habet. In this matter two errors have been made. Some’ have said that brutes are not ruled by providence except as they participate in the nature of their species, which alone is provided for and directed by God. It is to this kind of providence, they say, that all the passage in Scripture refer when they seem to imply God’s providence over brutes, for example: “Who gives to beasts their food: and to the young...” (Psalms 146:9); “The young lions roaring...” (Psalm 103:21); and many similar passages. This error, however, attributes very great imperfection to God. Moreover, it is not possible that God should know the individual acts of brutes and not direct them, since He is most good and, because He is good, pours out His goodness upon all things. Consequently, the error we have mentioned belittles either God’s knowledge by denying that He knows individual things or His goodness by denying that He directs individual things as individuals. For this reason, others have said that the acts of brutes, also, fall under providence in the same way in which the acts of rational being do. Consequently, no evil would be found in the acts of brutes that would not be directed to their good. This position, however, is also far from reasonable, for punishment and reward is due only to those who have free choice. Et ideo dicendum est, quod bruta et omnes eorum actus etiam in singulari sub divina providentia cadunt; non tamen eodem modo quo homines, et eorum actus: quia de hominibus etiam in singulari est providentia propter se; sed singularia brutorum non providentur nisi propter aliud, sicut et de aliis creaturis corruptibilibus dictum est. Et ideo malum quod in bruto accidit, non ordinatur in bonum eius, sed in bonum alterius, sicut mors asini ordinatur in bonum leonis vel lupi. Sed occisio hominis qui a leone occiditur, non solum ad hoc ordinatur, sed principalius ad poenam eius, vel ad augmentum meriti, quod per patientiam crescit. It must be said, therefore, that brutes and their acts, taken even individually, fall under God’s providence, but not in the same way in which men and their actions do. For providence is exercised over men, even as individuals, for their own sake; but individual brutes are provided for merely for the sake of something else—just as other corruptible creatures are, as mentioned previously. Hence, the evil that happens to a brute is not ordered to the good of the brute but to the good of something else, just as the death of an ass is ordered to the good of a lion or that of a wolf. But the death of a man killed by a lion is directed not merely to the good of the lion, but principally to the man’s punishment or to the increase of his merit; for his merit can grow if he accepts his sufferings. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod apostolus non intendit universaliter bruta a cura divina removere; sed intendit dicere quod Deus non hoc modo curat de brutis quod propter bruta homini legem det ut scilicet eis beneficiat, vel ab eorum occisione abstineat, quia bruta in usum hominum facta sunt; unde non sunt propter se provisa, sed propter hominem. 1. The Apostle does not intend to remove brutes entirely from God’s care. He simply means to say that God does not care so much for brutes that He would impose a law upon men for the sake of brutes, commanding men to be good to them or not to kill them; for brutes have been made for man’s use. Consequently, providence is not exercised over them for their own sake but for the sake of men. Ad secundum dicendum, quod in piscibus et in brutis animalibus Deus hoc ordinavit ut potentiora infirmiora subiiciant absque alicuius meriti vel demeriti consideratione, sed solummodo ad conservationem boni naturae; et ideo admiratur propheta, si hoc modo etiam res humanae gubernentur; quod est inconveniens. 2. God has so ordered fishes and brutes that the weak are subject to the strong. This was done without any consideration of merits or demerits, but only for the conservation of the good of nature. The prophet wondered, therefore, if human affairs were governed in the same way. For this to be true, of course, would be unreasonable. Ad tertium dicendum, quod in rebus humanis alius ordo requiritur providentiae quam in brutis; unde si ille ordo solus quo bruta ordinantur, in humanis rebus esset, res humanae improvisae viderentur; sed tamen ille ordo sufficit ad providentiam brutorum. 3. A different order of providence is required for human affairs than is required for brutes. Consequently, if the ordering of human affairs were only that proper to brutes, human affairs would seem to be entirely without providence. Yet, that order is sufficient for the providence of brutes. Ad quartum dicendum, quod omnium creaturarum ipse Deus est finis, sed diversimode: quarumdam enim creaturarum dicitur esse finis inquantum illae creaturae participant aliquid de Dei similitudine; et hoc est commune omnibus creaturis: quarumdam vero est finis hoc modo quod ipsae creaturae pertingunt ad ipsum Deum per suam operationem; et hoc est solum creaturarum rationabilium, quae possunt Deum cognoscere et amare, in quo earum beatitudo consistit. 4. God Himself is the end of all creatures, but in different ways. He is said to be the end of some creatures inasmuch as they participate somewhat in God’s image. This participation is common to all creatures. However, He is said to be the end of certain creatures inasmuch as they can attain God Himself through their own actions. This is the end only of rational creatures, who can know and love God in whom their beatitude lies.
In the seventh article we ask:
Are sinners ruled by God’s providence?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 2, ad 4; C.G., III, cc. 71,73,113.]
Septimo quaeritur utrum peccatores divina providentia regantur Difficulties It seems that they are not, for Quia illud quod sibi relinquitur, non gubernatur; sed mali sibi relinquuntur; Psalm. LXXX, 13: dimisi eos secundum desideria cordis eorum; ibunt etc.; ergo mali per providentiam non gubernantur. 1. What is left to its own devices is not ruled. But the evil are left to themselves: “So I let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk...” (Psalm 80:13). The evil, therefore, are not governed by providence. Praeterea, ad providentiam qua Deus homines gubernat, pertinet quod eis Angelorum custodiam adhibet. Sed Angeli custodientes, quandoque homines derelinquunt, ex quorum voce dicitur Ierem., LII: curavimus Babylonem, et non est curata; derelinquamus ergo eam. Ergo et mali divina providentia non gubernantur. 2. It is part of the providence by which God rules over men that they are guarded by angels. But guardian angels sometimes abandon men. From their own lips we have these words: “We would have cured Babylon, but she is not healed: let us forsake her (Jeremiah 51:9). The evil, therefore, are not governed by God’s providence. Praeterea, illud quod datur bonis in praemium, non convenit malis. Sed hoc in praemium bonis repromittitur, quod a Deo gubernentur; Psalm. XXXIII, 16: oculi domini super iustos; ergo et cetera. 3. What is given as a reward to the good should not be given to the evil. But government by God is promised as a reward to the good—“The eyes of the Lord are upon the just” (Psalms 33:16). Therefore. Sed contra, To the Contrary nullus punit iuste eos qui non sunt de suo regimine. Sed Deus iuste punit malos pro his in quibus peccant. Ergo eius ipsi regimini subduntur. No one justly punishes those who are not under his rule. But God punishes the evil for the sins they commit. Therefore, they are under His rule. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod providentia divina se extendit ad homines dupliciter: uno modo inquantum ipsi providentur; alio modo inquantum providentes fiunt. Ex hoc autem quod in providendo deficiunt, vel rectitudinem servant, boni vel mali dicuntur; ex hoc autem quod providentur eis a Deo, bona vel mala praestantur; et secundum quod ipsi diversimode se habent in providendo, diversimode providetur eis. Si enim rectum ordinem in providendo servent; et in eis divina providentia ordinem servat congruum humanae dignitati, ut, scilicet, nihil eis eveniat quod in eorum bonum non cedat; et quod omnia quae eis proveniunt eos in bonum promoveant; secundum id quod dicitur Rom. VIII, 28: diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum. Si autem in providendo ordinem non servent, qui congruit rationali creaturae, sed provideant secundum modum animalium brutorum, et divina providentia de eis ordinabit secundum ordinem qui brutis competit; ut scilicet ea quae in eis bona vel mala sunt, non ordinentur in eorum bonum proprium, sed in bonum aliorum, secundum id quod in Psalm. XLVIII, 13, dicitur: homo, cum in honore esset, non intellexit: comparatus et cetera. Ex hoc patet quod altiori modo divina providentia gubernat bonos quam malos: mali enim dum ab uno ordine providentiae exeunt, ut scilicet Dei voluntatem faciant, in alium ordinem dilabuntur, ut scilicet de eis voluntas divina fiat; sed boni quantum ad utrumque sunt in recto ordine providentiae. Divine providence extends to men in two ways: first, in so far as men are provided for; second, in so far as they themselves become providers. If they fail in their own providence they are called evil; but if they observe the demands of justice they are called good. Moreover in so far as they come under providence they are given both good and evil. Now, men are provided for in different ways according to the different ways they have of providing for themselves. For, if they keep the right order in their own providence, God’s providence in their regard will keep an ordering that is congruent with their human dignity; that is, nothing will happen to them that is not for their own good, and everything that happens to them will be to their own advantage, according to what is said in the Epistle to the Romans (8:2 8): “To them that love God, all things work together unto good.” However, if in their own providence men do not keep that order which is congruent with their dignity as rational creatures, but provide after the manner of brute animals, then God’s providence will dispose of them according to the order that belongs to brutes, so that their good and evil acts will not be directed to their own profit but to the profit of others, according to the words of the Psalmist: “And man when he was in honour did not understand; he is compared...” (Psalms 48:13) —From this it is evident that God’s providence governs the good in a higher way than it governs the evil. For, when the evil leave the order of providence, that is, by not doing the will of God, they fall into another order, an order in which the will of God is done to them. The good, however, are in the true order of His providence in both respects. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod secundum hoc dicitur Deus derelinquere malos, non quod omnino sint ab eius providentia alieni, sed quia eorum actus non ordinat in eorum promotionem; et praecipue quantum ad reprobos. 1. God is said to abandon the wicked, not because they are entirely alien to His providence, but because their acts are not directed to their own profit. This is especially true of the depraved. Ad secundum dicendum, quod Angeli qui sunt deputati hominibus ad custodiam, nunquam totaliter hominem dimittunt; sed dicuntur eum dimittere, inquantum ex iusto Dei iudicio permittunt eum cadere in culpam vel poenam. 2. The angels in charge of guarding men never leave a man entirely. They are merely said to leave a man when, according to God’s just judgment, they permit a man to fall into sin or into some punishment. Ad tertium dicendum, quod specialis modus providentiae repromittitur bonis in praemium; et hic non competit malis, ut dictum est. 3. A special kind of providence is promised to the good as a reward. As we mentioned above, this does not belong to the wicked.
In the eighth article we ask:
Are all material creatures governed by God’s providence through angels?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 3; 103, 6; C.G., III, cc. 76-78, 83, 94, 124-25; De subst. sep., c. 13 (Perr. 1:n. 80); Comp. Theol., I, cc. 130-31.]
Octavo quaeritur utrum tota corporalis creatura gubernetur divina providentia, mediante creatura angelica Difficulties Et videtur quod non. It seems that they are not, for Quia dicitur Iob XXXIV, 13,: quem constituit alium super terram, aut quem posuit super orbem quem fabricatus est? Super quo dicit Gregorius: mundum quippe per se ipsum regit, qui per se ipsum condidit. Ergo Deus non gubernat corporalem creaturam mediante spirituali. 1. In Job (34:13) we read: “What other has he appointed over the earth? or whom has he set over the world which he has made?” In his commentary on this passage, Gregory says: “By Himself, indeed, He rules that world who has created it by Himself.”’ Consequently, God does not rule material creatures through the mediation of spirits. Praeterea, Damascenus dicit, II libro, quod non est conveniens alium esse factorem, et gubernatorem. Sed solus Deus est factor corporalium creaturarum immediate. Ergo et ipse corporales creaturas sine medio gubernat. 2. Damascene says that it is inconsistent to say that one person makes a thing and another rules over it. But, without any medium, God alone creates material creatures. Therefore, He governs them without any intermediaries. Praeterea, Hugo de sancto Victore dicit in Lib. de Sacram., quod divina providentia est eius praedestinatio, quae est summa sapientia et summa bonitas. Sed summum bonum, sive summa sapientia, nulli creaturae communicatur. Ergo nec providentia; non ergo mediantibus creaturis spiritualibus providet corporalibus. 3. Hugh of St. Victor says that God’s providence is His predestination, which is the highest wisdom and the highest goodness. Now, the highest good or wisdom is not communicated to any creature. Therefore, neither is providence. Hence, God does not provide for material creatures through the mediation of spiritual creatures. Praeterea, secundum hoc corporales creaturae reguntur providentia, quod ordinantur in finem; sed corpora ordinantur in finem per suas operationes naturales, quae consequuntur naturas determinatas ipsorum. Cum igitur a spiritualibus creaturis non sint naturae determinatae naturalium corporum, sed immediate a Deo; videtur quod non regantur mediantibus substantiis spiritualibus. 4. Material creatures are ruled by providence in so far as they are directed to an end. But bodies are ordained to their end through their natural operations in accordance with their determinate natures. Therefore, since the natures of natural bodies are made determinate, not by spiritual creatures, but directly by God, it seems that they are not governed through the mediation of spiritual substances. Praeterea, Augustinus, VIII super Genes. ad litteram, distinguit duplicem operationem providentiae: quarum una est naturalis, alia voluntaria: et dicit, quod naturalis est quae lignis et herbis dat incrementum, voluntaria vero quae est per Angelorum opera et hominum; et sic patet quod omnia corporalia naturali providentiae operatione reguntur. Non ergo gubernantur mediantibus Angelis, quia sic esset operatio voluntaria. 5. Augustine distinguishes between two types of providential operations: “natural and voluntary.” The former he calls natural because it makes trees and plants grow; the latter he calls voluntary because it takes place through the deeds of angels and men. It is clear, therefore, that all material things are ruled by the natural operation of providence, not through the mediation of angels, as would be true were they ruled by voluntary operation. Praeterea, illud quod attribuitur alicui ratione suae dignitatis, non convenit ei quod similem dignitatem non habet. Sed, sicut dicit Hieronymus, magna est dignitas animarum, quarum unaquaeque habet Angelum ad sui custodiam deputatum. Haec autem dignitas in corporalibus creaturis non invenitur. Ergo providentiae et gubernationi Angelorum commissa non sunt. 6. What is attributed to one person because of his dignity does not belong to another who does not have a similar dignity. Now, Jerome writes: “Great is the dignity of souls, each of whom has an angel appointed to guard it.” This dignity, however, is not found in material creatures; consequently, they are not committed to the providence and direction of angels. Praeterea, horum corporalium effectus et debiti cursus frequenter impediuntur. Sed hoc non esset si mediantibus Angelis gubernarentur: quia aut defectus isti acciderent eis volentibus; quod esse non potest, cum essent ad contrarium constituti, scilicet ad gubernandum naturam in suo debito ordine; aut accideret eis nolentibus, quod iterum esse non potest, quia sic beati non essent, si aliquid eis nolentibus accideret. Ergo corporales creaturae mediantibus spiritualibus non gubernantur. 7. The effects and due courses of these material bodies are frequently hindered. This would not happen if they were governed by the mediation of angels, because these obstacles would then occur either with the consent of the angels—and this is impossible, since it would be contrary to that for which angels were appointed, namely, the government of natures according to its due order—or they would occur against the angels’ will—and this, too, is impossible, since the angels would not be in the state of beatitude if something could happen to them which they did not want to happen. Therefore, material creatures are not ruled through the mediation of spiritual creatures. Praeterea, quanto aliqua causa est nobilior et potentior, tanto habet perfectiorem effectum. Causae autem inferiores tales effectus producunt, qui possunt conservari in esse, etiam remota operatione causae producentis, sicut cultellus remota operatione fabri. Ergo multo fortius effectus divini per seipsos subsistere poterunt absque alicuius causae providentis gubernatione; et ideo non indigent quod per Angelos gubernentur. 8. The more noble and powerful a cause is, the more perfect is its effect. Now, lower causes can produce such effects as can be kept in existence even after the operation of their efficient cause ceases; for example, a knife continues in existence even after the work of the cutler has ceased. Much more so, then, will the effects of God’s power be able to exist by themselves without being provided for by any efficient cause. Consequently, they do not need to be ruled through angels. Praeterea, divina bonitas ad sui manifestationem totum condidit universum, secundum illud Prov., XVI, 4: universa propter semetipsum operatus est dominus. Magis autem manifestatur divina bonitas, ut etiam Augustinus dicit, in diversitate naturarum quam in numerositate eorum quae eamdem naturam habent: et propter hoc non fecit omnes creaturas rationales vel per se existentes, sed quasdam irrationales, et quasdam existentes in alio, sicut accidentia. Ergo videtur quod ad maiorem sui manifestationem non solum condiderit creaturas quae indigent alieno regimine, sed etiam aliquas quae nullo regimine indigeant; et sic idem quod prius. 9. The divine goodness has created the whole world in order to manifest itself; for, as we read in Proverbs (16:4): “The Lord has made all things for himself...” Now, God’s goodness, as Augustine also says, is manifested more by a diversity of natures than by a number of things all possessing the same nature. For this reason, God did not make all creatures rational or all of them to exist in themselves. He made some creatures irrational, and some, like accidents, that exist in others. Consequently, it seems that for the greater manifestation of Himself God created not only creatures that needed the rule of another, but also some creatures that needed no rule at all. Hence, our position stands. Praeterea, duplex est creaturae actus: scilicet primus et secundus. Primus autem est forma, et esse quod forma dat; quorum forma dicitur primo primus, et esse secundo primus: secundus autem actus est operatio. Sed res corporales secundum actum primum sunt immediate a Deo. Ergo et actus secundi immediate causantur a Deo. Sed nullus gubernat aliquem nisi inquantum est causa operationis eius aliquo modo. Ergo huiusmodi corporalia non gubernantur mediantibus spiritualibus. 10. There are two types of acts in creatures, first act and second act. First act is the form and the act of existence that a form gives. Form is called the primarily first act, existence, the secondarily first act. Second act, however, is operation. Now, the first act of corporeal things comes directly from God. Therefore, their second acts are also caused directly by God. But the only way in which one thing governs another is by being in some manner the cause of its operations. Therefore, material creatures of this sort are not governed through the instrumentality of spirits. Praeterea, duplex est modus gubernationis: unus per influentiam luminis sive cognitionis, sicut magister regit scholas, et rector civitatem; alius per influentiam motus, sicut gubernator navim. Sed spirituales creaturae non gubernant corporalia per influentiam cognitionis aut luminis quia haec corporalia non sunt cognitionis receptiva; similiter nec per influentiam motus, quia movens oportet esse coniunctum mobili, ut probatur VII Phys.: substantiae autem spirituales his inferioribus corporibus non sunt coniunctae. Ergo nullo modo corporales substantiae (spiritualibus) mediantibus gubernantur. 11. There are two ways of governing. One way is to impart light or knowledge; this is the way in which a teacher rules his class, and a ruler, his city. The other way is to impart motion to a thing; this is the way in which a pilot guides his ship. Now, spiritual creatures do not govern material creatures by imparting light or knowledge, because these material things cannot receive knowledge, nor do they govern them by imparting motion, because, as is proved in the Physics, a mover must be joined to what he moves, and spiritual substances are not joined to these lesser material bodies. Consequently, the latter are not governed in any way through their mediation. Praeterea, secundum sententiam Augustini, Deus mundum simul creavit secundum omnes partes suas perfectum, ut in hoc eius potentia magis ostendatur; sed similiter etiam magis commendabilis ostenderetur sua providentia, si omnia immediate gubernaret. Ergo non gubernat creaturas corporales spiritualibus mediantibus. 12. According to Augustine, God simultaneously created a world that was perfect in all its parts in order that His power might be better shown. The praiseworthiness of His providence would similarly be even better shown if He were to govern all things directly. Therefore, He does not govern material things through the mediation of spirits. Praeterea, Boetius dicit in III de Consol.: Deus per se solum cuncta disponit. Non ergo corporalia disponuntur per spiritualia. 13. Boethius says: “Through Himself alone God disposes all things.” His disposition of material things, therefore, does not take place through spirits. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod Gregorius dicit in IV Dialog.: in hoc mundo visibili nihil nisi per creaturam invisibilem disponi potest. 1. Gregory says: “In this visible world, nothing can be disposed except through invisible creatures.” Praeterea, Augustinus dicit in III de Trinit.: omnia corporalia quodam ordine per spiritum vitae reguntur. 2. Augustine writes: “All material things are ruled in a definite order through the spirit of life.” Praeterea, Augustinus, in Lib. LXXXIII quaestionum, dicit, quod Deus quaedam facit per seipsum, sicut illuminare animas, et beatificare eas; alia per servientem sibi creaturam integerrimis legibus pro meritis ordinatam usque ad passerum administrationem, et usque ad feni decorem, usque etiam ad numerum capillorum nostrorum divina providentia pertendente. Sed creatura Deo ministrans integerrimis legibus ordinata, est creatura angelica. Ergo Deus per eam gubernat corporalia. 3. Augustine also says: “God does certain things Himself, as illuminating and beatifying souls. Other things He does through creatures who serve Him. These, in proportion to their merit and according to inviolable laws, are ordained to care even for sparrows, even for the beauty of the grass of the fields, indeed, even for the number of hairs on our heads—and to all this divine providence extends.” Now, the creatures ordained to serve God’s inviolable decrees are the angels; consequently, it is through them that He governs material things. Praeterea, Num., XXII, 21 super illud: surrexit Balaam mane, et strata etc., dicit Origenes in Glossa: opus est mundo Angelis, qui sunt super bestias et praesunt animalium nativitati, virgultorum, plantationumque, et ceterorum incrementis. 4. Origen writes: “The world needs the angels, who rule over beasts, preside over the birth of animals, and over the growth of bushes, plants, and other things.” Praeterea, Hugo de sancto Victore dicit, quod ministerio Angelorum non solum vita humana regitur, sed etiam ea quae ad vitam hominum ordinantur. Sed omnia corporalia sunt ad hominem ordinata. Ergo omnia gubernantur mediantibus Angelis. 5. Hugh of St. Victor says: “The ministry of angels rules not only over the life of men but also over the things that are related to their life.” Now, all material things are ordained for men’s use. Consequently, all things are governed through the mediation of angels. Praeterea, in omnibus coordinatis ad invicem priora agunt in posteriora, et non e converso. Sed substantiae spirituales sunt priores corporalibus substantiis, utpote primo propinquiores. Ergo per actionem substantiarum spiritualium gubernantur corporales, et non e converso. 6. In a co-ordinated series, the earlier members act on the later members. The later do not act on the earlier. But spiritual substances are prior to material, since they are closer to the first principle. Therefore, the action of spiritual substances governs material actions, and the opposite is not true. Praeterea, homo dicitur minor mundus, quia anima hoc modo regit corpus humanum sicut Deus totum universum; in quo etiam anima prae Angelis ad imaginem dicitur. Sed anima nostra corpus gubernat mediantibus quibusdam spiritibus qui sunt quidem spirituales respectu corporis, sed corporales respectu animae. Ergo et Deus reget corporalem creaturam mediantibus creaturis spiritualibus. 7. Man is said to be a “microcosm” because the soul rules the human body as God rules the whole universe. In this respect, the soul is called “an image of God” more than angels are. Now, our soul governs the body through the mediation of certain spirits which are spiritual in comparison with the body, although material in comparison with the soul. Consequently, God also rules material creatures through the mediation of spiritual creatures. Praeterea, anima nostra quasdam operationes immediate exercet, sicut intelligere et velle; quasdam vero mediantibus corporeis instrumentis, sicut operationes animae sensibilis et vegetabilis: sed quasdam operationes Deus exercet immediate, sicut beatificare animas, et alia quae agit in substantiis supremis. Ergo etiam aliquae operationes eius erunt in infimis substantiis, mediantibus supremis substantiis. 8. Our soul exercises certain operations directly, for example, understanding and willing; but it exercises other operations mediately by using bodily organs as instruments, as, for example, in the operations of the sensitive and vegetative soul. God also exercises certain operations directly, such as the beatifying of souls and the other actions He performs in relation to the highest substances. Consequently, some of God’s operations will also take place in the lowest substances through the mediation of the highest ones. Praeterea, prima causa non aufert operationem suam a causa secunda, sed fortificat eam, ut patet ex hoc quod in Lib. de causis dicitur. Sed si Deus immediate omnia gubernaret, tunc secundae causae nullam operationem habere possent. Ergo Deus gubernat inferiora per superiora. 9. The first cause does not take away the operation of a second cause, but, as is clear from what is said in The Causes, it strengthens it. Now, if God were to govern all things immediately, second causes would have no operations of their own. God, therefore, rules lower beings through higher beings. Praeterea, in universo est aliquid rectum et non regens, sicut ultima corporum; aliquid autem regens, et non rectum sicut Deus. Ergo aliquid erit regens et rectum, quod est medium inter utrumque. Ergo Deus mediantibus creaturis superioribus regit inferiores. 10. In the universe there is something, such as the ultimate constituents of bodies, which is ruled but does not rule. There is something, such as God, which is not ruled but rules. Therefore, there will exist something that both rules and is ruled—a medium between both types. Consequently, God rules lower creatures through the mediation of higher. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod causa productionis rerum in esse est divina bonitas, ut Dionysius et Augustinus dicunt. Voluit enim Deus perfectionem suae bonitatis, creaturae alteri communicare secundum quod possibile erat. Divina autem bonitas duplicem habet perfectionem: unam secundum se; prout, scilicet, omnem perfectionem supereminenter in se continet; aliam prout influit in res, secundum, scilicet, quod est causa rerum, unde et divinae bonitati congruebat ut utraque creaturae communicaretur; ut, scilicet, res creata non solum a divina bonitate haberet quod esset et bona esset, sed etiam quod alii esse et bonitatem largiretur; sicut etiam sol per diffusionem radiorum suorum non solum facit corpora illuminata, sed etiam illuminantia; hoc tamen ordine servato, ut illa quae magis sunt soli conformia, plus de lumine eius recipiant, ac per hoc non solum sufficienter sibi, sed etiam ad influendum aliis. As Dionysius and Augustine say, the divine goodness is the cause of things’ being brought into existence, for God wished to communicate His goodness to others as far as this was possible to creatures. God’s goodness, however, has a twofold perfection. We can consider it in itself as it contains all perfections in itself in a supereminent way, or we can consider it as it flows into things, that is, as it is the cause of things. It was fitting, therefore, that God’s divine goodness should be communicated to creatures in both ways so that because of this goodness created things not only would exist and possess goodness but also would give existence and goodness to other things, just like the sun’s outpoured rays, which not only illumine other bodies but also make them to be sources of light, too. However, the following order is kept: Those that most resemble the sun receive the most of its light and, consequently, have sufficient light not only for themselves but also to pour out on other things. Unde et in ordine universi creaturae superiores ex influentia divinae bonitatis habent non solum quod in seipsis bonae sint; sed etiam quod sint causa bonitatis aliorum, quae extremum modum participationis divinae bonitatis habent; quam scilicet participant ad hoc solum ut sint, non ut alia causent. Et inde est quod semper agens est honorabilius patiente, ut Augustinus dicit et philosophus. Similarly, in the ordering of the universe, as a result of the outpouring of God’s goodness, superior creatures have not only that by which they are good in themselves, but also that by which they are the cause of goodness for other things which participate the least in God’s goodness. These last-named things participate in the divine goodness merely in order to exist—not to be the cause of other things. And this is the reason, as Augustine and the Philosopher say, why that which is active is always more noble than that which is passive. Inter superiores autem creaturas maxime Deo propinquae sunt creaturae rationales, quae ad Dei similitudinem sunt, vivunt et intelligunt; unde eis non solum a divina bonitate confertur ut super alia influant, sed etiam ut eumdem modum influendi retineant quo influit Deus; scilicet per voluntatem, et non per necessitatem naturae. Unde Deus inferiores creaturas gubernat et per creaturas spirituales, et per corporales digniores; sed per creaturas corporales hoc modo providet quod eas non facit providentes, sed agentes tantum; per spirituales autem hoc modo providet quod eas providentes facit. Now, among the superior creatures, the closest to God are those rational ones that exist, live and understand in the likeness of God. Consequently, God in His goodness gives them the power not only of pouring out upon other things but also of having the same manner of outpouring that He Himself has—that is, according to their will, and not according to any necessity of their nature. Hence, God governs inferior creatures both through spiritual creatures and through the more noble material creatures. He provides through material creatures, not by making them provident themselves, but by making them active. He governs through spiritual creatures, however, by making them provident themselves. Sed in creaturis etiam rationalibus ordo invenitur. Ultimum enim gradum in eis rationales animae tenent, et earum lumen est obumbratum respectu luminis quod est in Angelis; unde et particulariorem cognitionem habent, ut Dionysius dicit; et inde est quod eorum providentia coarctatur ad pauca, scilicet ad res humanas, et ea quae in usum humanae vitae venire possunt. Sed providentia Angelorum universalis est, et extenditur super totam creaturam corporalem; et ideo tam a sanctis quam a philosophis dicitur, quod omnia corporalia mediantibus Angelis a divina providentia gubernantur. In hoc tamen oportet nos a philosophis differre, quod quidam eorum ponunt Angelorum providentia non solum administrari corporalia, sed etiam et creata esse; quod est a fide alienum. Unde oportet ponere, secundum sanctorum sententias, quod administrentur mediantibus Angelis huiusmodi corporalia per viam motus tantum; inquantum scilicet movent superiora corpora, ex quorum motibus causantur inferiorum corporum motus. But even in rational creatures an order can be found. Rational souls hold the lowest place among these, and their light is shadowy in comparison with that of the angels. Consequently, as Dionysius says, their knowledge is more restricted, and their providence is likewise restricted to a few things, namely, to human affairs and practical matters of human life. But the providence of angels is universal and extends to all material creation. Consequently, both saints and philosophers say that all corporeal things are governed by divine providence through the mediation of angels. We must differ with the philosophers, however, in this, that some of them say that corporeal things are not only cared for by angels but are also created by them. This opinion is contrary to faith. We should follow, instead, the opinion of the saints who hold that corporeal things of this sort are administered by the providence of angels through motion only; that is, the angels move the higher bodies, and these motions cause the motions of the lower. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod dictio exclusiva non excludit ab operatione instrumentum, sed aliud principale agens: ut si dicatur: solus Socrates facit cultellum; non excluditur operatio martelli, sed alterius fabri. Ita etiam quod dicitur, quod Deus per se mundum gubernat, non excludit operationem inferiorum causarum, quibus quasi mediis instrumentis Deus agit, sed excluditur regimen alterius principaliter gubernantis. 1. An exclusive statement regarding an agent does not exclude the operation of an instrument; it merely excludes another principal agent. Hence, if one were to say, “Socrates alone makes a knife,” not the operation of his hammer but only the operation of another carpenter is excluded. Similarly, when it is said that God governs the world by Himself, this does not exclude the operation of inferior causes, which God uses as instrumental means. All that is excluded is government by another principal ruler. Ad secundum dicendum, quod gubernatio rei pertinet ad ordinem eius in finem. Ordo autem rei ad finem praesupponit esse eius; sed esse nihil aliud praesupponit; et ideo creatio, secundum quam res ad esse deductae sunt, est illius solius causae quae nullam aliam praesupponit qua sustinetur; sed gubernatio potest esse illarum causarum quae alias praesupponunt; et ideo non oportet quod Deus mediantibus aliquibus creaverit, quibus mediantibus gubernat. 2. The governing of a thing pertains to its direction to an end. The ordination of a thing to an end, however, presupposes its act of existing; but its act of existing presupposes nothing else. Consequently, creation, by which all things are brought into existence, is the operation of the only cause that presupposes no other cause by which it is kept in existence. Government, however, can be one of those causes that do presuppose other causes, so it is not necessary for God to create through the mediation of certain causes through whose instrumentality He governs. Ad tertium dicendum, quod illa quae a Deo in creaturis recipiuntur, non possunt esse in creaturis eo modo quo in Deo sunt; et ideo inter nomina quae de Deo dicuntur, talis apparet differentia; quod illa quae absolute aliquam perfectionem exprimunt, sunt creaturis communicabilia; illa vero quae exprimunt cum perfectione modum quo inveniuntur in Deo, creaturae communicari non possunt; ut omnipotentia, summa sapientia et summa bonitas; et ideo patet quod quamvis summum bonum creaturae non communicetur, providentia tamen communicari potest. 3. What creatures receive from God cannot exist in them in the same manner in which it exists in Him. Consequently, this difference becomes apparent when names are applied to Him. Those names that express some perfection absolutely are common also to creatures; but those that express both a perfection and its manner of existing in God are not common to creatures, for example, omnipotence, supreme wisdom, and supreme goodness. It is clear, therefore, that even though supreme goodness is not communicated to a creature, providence can be communicated to it. Ad quartum dicendum, quod quamvis institutio naturae, per quam res corporales inclinantur in finem, sit immediate a Deo; tamen eorum motus et actio potest esse mediantibus Angelis; sicut etiam rationes seminales sunt in natura inferiori a Deo tantum, sed per providentiam agricolae adiuvantur, ut in actum exeant; unde, sicut agricola gubernat pullulationem agri, ita per Angelos omnis operatio creaturae corporalis administratur. 4. Even though that establishment of nature by which material things receive a tendency to an end comes directly from God, their motion and action can take place through the instrumentality of angels, just as natures in seeds possess their undeveloped nature from God alone but, by the providence of a farmer, are helped to develop into act. Consequently, just as a farmer supervises the growth of the crops in his fields, so do angels direct the entire activity of material creation. Ad quintum dicendum, quod naturalis operatio providentiae dividitur contra voluntariam ab Augustino secundum considerationem proximorum principiorum operationis, quia alicuius operationis divinae providentiae subiacentis proximum principium est natura, alicuius vero voluntas; sed remotum principium omnium est voluntas, ad minus divina; unde ratio non procedit. 5. Augustine divides the operation of natural providence from that of voluntary providence by considering the proximate principles of their operations; and nature is the proximate principle of some operations of divine providence, while the will is that of others. But the remote principle of all providential action is the will, at least the divine will. The argument, therefore, proves nothing. Ad sextum dicendum, quod sicut omnia corporalia divinae providentiae subiacent, et tamen cura dicitur esse ei de hominibus tantum, propter specialem providentiae modum; ita etiam quamvis omnia corporalia Angelorum gubernationi sint subdita, quia tamen specialius ad hominum custodiam deputantur, hoc attribuitur animarum dignitati. 6. Just as all material bodies lie under God’s providence but God’s care is nevertheless said to be only for men because of the special kind of providence He has for them, so also, even though all material bodies are subject to the rule of angels, nevertheless, because of the dignity of men’s souls, angels are appointed to guard men in a very special way. Ad septimum dicendum, quod sicut voluntas Dei gubernantis non est contra defectus qui in rebus accidunt, sed concedit sive permittit eos; ita etiam omnino est de voluntatibus Angelorum, quae divinae voluntati conformantur perfecte. 7. Just as the will of God as ruler is not opposed to defects in things but, instead, allows or permits them, so is the same entirely true of the wills of angels, which are perfectly conformed to the divine will. Ad octavum dicendum, quod, sicut dicit Avicenna in sua metaphysica, nullus effectus potest remanere, si auferatur id quod erat causa eius inquantum huiusmodi. Sed in causis inferioribus quaedam sunt causae fiendi, quaedam vero essendi: et dicitur causa fiendi quod educit formam de potentia materiae per motum, sicut faber est causa efficiens cultelli; causa vero essendi rem est illud a quo per se esse rei dependet, sicut esse luminis in aere dependet a sole. Ablato ergo fabro, cessat fieri cultelli, non autem esse eius; absente vero sole, cessat esse luminis in aere; et similiter actione divina cessante, esse creaturae omnino deficeret, cum Deus non sit solum causa fiendi rebus, sed etiam essendi. 8. As Avicenna says, no effect can remain if its proper cause is removed. Now, certain inferior causes are causes of becoming; others are causes of existing. A cause of becoming is that which educes a form from the potentiality of matter by means of motion, such as a cutler who is the efficient cause of a knife. A cause of a thing’s existing, however, is that upon which the act of existence of a thing essentially depends, as the existence of light in the air depends upon the sun. Now, if the cutler is removed, the becoming of the knife ceases, but not its existence. However, if the sun is taken away, there ceases the very existence of the light in the air. Similarly, if God’s action ceases, the existence of a creature utterly ceases, since God is the cause not only of a thing’s becoming but also of its existence. Ad nonum dicendum, quod ista conditio non est in creatura possibilis, ut habeat esse sine aliquo conservante: hoc enim rationi creaturae repugnat, quae, inquantum huiusmodi, esse causatum habet, ac per hoc ab alio dependens. 9. That condition cannot possibly be in a creature; that is, a creature cannot have an act of existence without someone keeping it in that act. It is repugnant to the very notion of a creature; for a creature, because it is a creature, has an act of existence that is caused, and, consequently, it depends on something else. Ad decimum dicendum, quod plura requiruntur ad actum secundum quam ad actum primum: et ideo non est inconveniens ut aliquid sit causa alicuius quantum ad motum et operationem, quod non sit causa eius quantum ad esse. 10. More things are required for second act than for first act. Hence, it is not unreasonable that something should be the cause of another’s motion and operation, even though it is not the cause of its act of existence. Ad undecimum dicendum, quod spiritualis creatura gubernat corporalem per influentiam motus; nec oportet, propter hoc, quod omnibus corporibus coniungantur, sed eis solum quae immediate movent, scilicet corporibus primis; nec eis coniunguntur ut formae, sicut quidam posuerunt, sed sicut motores tantum. 11. The breadth of God’s providence and goodness is manifested more clearly in His governance of inferior beings through superior beings than if He were to govern all things directly. For in this kind of government, as is clear from what has been said, the perfection of God’s goodness is communicated in more than one regard. Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod divinae providentiae et bonitatis magnitudo magis manifestatur in hoc quod inferiora per superiora gubernat, quam si omnia gubernaret immediate: quia secundum hoc, quantum ad plura divinae bonitatis perfectio creaturis communicatur, ut ex dictis patet. 12. A spiritual creature governs a material one by giving it motion. This does not necessitate that spiritual creatures be joined to all bodies, but only to those which they move directly, namely, the first bodies. Spiritual creatures, moreover, are not joined to these bodies by being their forms, as some have held, but by being their movers. Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod cum dicitur per alterum aliquid fieri, haec praepositio per importat causam operationis. Sed cum operatio sit media inter operantem et operatum, potest importare causam operationis secundum quod terminatur ad operatum; et sic per instrumentum dicitur aliquid fieri: vel secundum quod exit ab operante; et sic dicitur aliquid fieri per formam agentis (non enim instrumentum est causa agenti, quod agat; sed forma agentis solum vel aliquis superior agens); instrumentum vero est causa operato quod actionem agentis suscipiat. 13. When something is said to take place through another, the preposition through implies that it is a cause of the operation. Now, since an operation stands halfway between the one doing the work and the work that is done, through can imply a cause of the operation in so far as this cause issues in a result. In this sense it is said that something takes place through an instrument. Through can also, however, signify a cause of the operation in so far as the operation comes from the one operating. In this sense we say that something takes place through the form of the agent. Now, here it is not the instrument which is the cause of the agent’s action, but his form or some superior agent is the cause. However, an instrument can be the cause of the result which receives the agent’s action. Cum ergo dicitur, quod Deus per se solum cuncta disponit, ly per denotat causam dispositionis divinae secundum quod exit a Deo disponente; et sic per se solum dicitur disponere, quia nec ab alio superiori disponente movetur, nec per formam extraneam disponit, sed per propriam bonitatem. Consequently, when we read that God disposes all things through Himself alone, through denotes the cause of His divine disposition in so far as it comes from God who is disposing. In this sense, God is said to dispose through Himself alone, because He is not moved by any superior disposing Him; and He disposes, not through any extrinsic form, but only through His own goodness.
In the ninth article we ask:
Does divine providence dispose bodies here below by means of the celestial bodies?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 3; 115, 3; II Sent., 15,1, 2; C.G., III, 82; Comp. Theol., I, c. 127.]
Nono quaeritur utrum per corpora caelestia disponat divina providentia inferiora corpora Difficulties: Et videtur quod non. It seems not, for Quia ut dicit Damascenus in II Lib.: nos autem dicimus, quoniam ipsa, scilicet superiora corpora, non sunt causa alicuius eorum quae fiunt, neque corruptionis eorum quae corrumpuntur. Ergo, cum haec inferiora sint generabilia et corruptibilia, non disponuntur per superiora corpora. 1. Speaking of celestial bodies, Damascene writes as follows: “We say, however, that they do not cause generation or corruption.”’ Since bodies here below are subject to generation and corruption, they are consequently not disposed through celestial bodies. Sed dicebat, quod dicuntur non esse causa horum, quia non inducunt in his inferioribus necessitatem.- Sed contra, si effectus caelestis corporis impeditur in his inferioribus hoc non potest esse nisi propter aliquam dispositionem in his inventam. Sed si haec inferiora per illa superiora gubernantur, oportet etiam illam dispositionem impedientem in aliquam virtutem corporis caelestis reducere. Ergo impedimentum non potest esse in his inferioribus nisi secundum exigentiam superiorum; et ita, si superiora habent necessitatem in suis motibus, etiam in inferiora necessitatem inducent, si a superioribus gubernantur. 2. It was said, however, that the celestial bodies are not called the causes of bodies here below merely because they do not introduce any necessity into them.—On the contrary, if an effect of a heavenly body on bodies here below is impeded, this must have been caused by some condition in the lower bodies. Now, if the lower bodies are ruled by the heavenly bodies, then that obstructing condition must be traced to some influence of a heavenly body. Consequently, no impediment could arise from bodies here below unless it were due to an exigency of the celestial bodies. Therefore, if the celestial bodies rule the lower, and if the motions of the celestial bodies are necessary, they will introduce necessity into the lower bodies. Praeterea, ad completionem alicuius actionis sufficit agens et patiens. Sed in istis inferioribus inveniuntur virtutes activae naturales, et etiam virtutes passivae. Ergo ad eorum actiones non exigitur virtus corporis caelestis; ergo non gubernantur mediantibus corporibus caelestibus. 3. For an action to be completed, all that is needed is something active and something passive. Now, both active and passive natural powers are found in bodies here below. Therefore, no power of a celestial body is needed for their actions. Consequently, bodies here below are not ruled through the instrumentality of celestial bodies. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, quod in rebus invenitur aliquid actum et non agens, sicut sunt corpora; aliquid vero agens et non actum, sicut Deus; aliquid vero agens et actum, sicut spirituales substantiae. Sed caelestia corpora sunt corporalia pura. Ergo non habent virtutem agendi in haec inferiora; et sic inferiora non disponuntur eis mediantibus. 4. According to Augustine, there are three types of things: first, things that are acted upon but do not act (e.g., bodies); second, things that act but are not acted upon (e.g., God); third, things that both act and are acted upon (e.g., spiritual substances). Now, celestial bodies are simply corporeal. Consequently, they do not have the power of acting upon bodies here below. Hence, the latter are not disposed through their instrumentality. Praeterea, si corpus caeleste agit aliquid in haec inferiora: aut agit inquantum est corpus, per formam scilicet corporalem; aut per aliquid aliud. Sed non inquantum est corpus, quia sic agere cuilibet corpori conveniret; quod non videtur secundum Augustinum. Ergo si agunt, agunt per aliquid aliud; et sic illi incorporeae virtuti debet attribui actio et non ipsis caelestibus corporibus; et sic idem quod prius. 5. If a celestial body acts upon bodies here below, either it acts upon them in so far as it is a body, that is, through its material form, or it acts upon them through something else. Now, a celestial body does not act in so far as it is a body, because this kind of action can be found in all bodies; and this explanation seems unlikely from what Augustine says. Consequently, if it does act upon lower bodies, its action is due to something else; and, in this case, it should be attributed to an immaterial power and not to the heavenly bodies. Hence, the conclusion is the same as before. Praeterea, quod non convenit priori, non convenit etiam posteriori. Sed, sicut dicit Commentator in Lib. de substantia orbis, formae corporales praesupponunt dimensiones interminatas in materia; dimensiones autem non agunt, quia quantitas nullius actionis principium est. Ergo nec corporales formae sunt principia actionum; et sic nullum corpus aliquid agit nisi per virtutem incorporalem in eo existentem; et sic idem ut prius. 6. What does not belong to what is prior does not belong to what is subsequent. Now, as the Commentator says, material forms presuppose indeterminate dimensions in matter. However, dimensions are not active, because quantity is not an active principle. Therefore, material forms are not active principles, and so no body can do anything except through an immaterial power existing within it. Consequently, the conclusion is the same as before. Praeterea, in libro II de causis, super illam propositionem: omnis anima nobilis tres habet operationes etc., dicit Commentator, quod anima agit in naturam cum divina virtute quae est in ea. Sed anima est multo nobilior quam corpus. Ergo nec corpus potest aliquid agere in animam nisi per aliquam virtutem divinam in eo existentem; et sic idem quod prius. 7. Explaining this statement made in The Causes, “Every noble soul has three operations,” a Commentator declares that the soul acts on nature by means of a divine power existing within it. A soul, however, is much more noble than a body. Hence, neither can a body do anything to the soul except by means of a divine power within it. Consequently, our original position stands. Praeterea, illud quod est simplicius, non movetur ab eo quod est minus simplex. Sed rationes seminales quae sunt in materia inferiorum corporum, sunt simpliciores quam virtus corporalis ipsius caeli; quia virtus illa est extensa in materia, quod de rationibus seminalibus dici non potest. Ergo rationes seminales inferiorum corporum non possunt moveri per virtutem corporis caelestis: et ita non gubernantur haec inferiora in suis motibus per corpora caelestia. 8. That which is more simple is not moved by what is less simple. But seminal principles in the matter of bodies here below are more simple than the material power of the heavens, because the power of the latter is diffused in matter while that of the seminal principles is not. Therefore, the seminal principles in bodies here below cannot be moved by the power of a celestial body. Hence, bodies here below are not governed in their motions by celestial bodies. Praeterea, Augustinus dicit in V de civitate Dei: nihil tam ad corpus pertinet quam ipse corporis sexus; et tamen sub eadem positione siderum diversi sexus in geminis concipi potuerunt. Ergo etiam in corporalia superiora corpora influxum non habent; et sic idem quod prius. 9. Augustine writes as follows: “Nothing pertains to the body more than the body’s sex. Yet, twins of different sexes can be conceived when the stars are in the same position.” Therefore, celestial bodies have no influence even on material things, and our original position stands. Praeterea, causa prima plus influit in causatum causae secundae quam etiam causa secunda, ut dicitur in principio de causis. Sed si inferiora corpora per superiora disponantur, tunc virtutes superiorum corporum erunt sicut causae primae respectu inferiorum virtutum, quae erunt sicut causae secundae. Ergo effectus in his inferioribus contingentes magis dispositionem corporum caelestium sequentur quam virtutem corporum inferiorum. Sed in illis invenitur necessitas, quia semper eodem modo se habent. Ergo et effectus inferiores necessarii erunt. Hoc autem est falsum. Ergo et primum; scilicet quod inferiora per superiora corpora disponantur. 10. As we read in The Causes: “The first cause has more effect on what is caused by a second cause than the second cause itself has.” Now, if bodies here below are disposed by celestial bodies, then with respect to the powers in bodies here below the powers of the celestial bodies are in a relation similar to that of the first cause; and the powers in bodies here below are then like second causes. Hence, effects taking place in bodies here below are determined more by the disposition of the celestial spheres than they are by the powers of the bodies themselves. However, there is necessity in the celestial bodies, since they always remain the same. Therefore, their effects below will also be necessary. But this is not true. Consequently, the first statement—that bodies here below are disposed by heavenly bodies—is also not true. Praeterea, motus caeli est naturalis, ut in I caeli et mundi dicitur; et ita non videtur esse voluntarius vel electivus; et ita quae per ipsum causantur, non causantur ex electione; et ita non subduntur providentiae. Sed inconveniens est quod inferiora corpora non gubernentur providentia. Ergo inconveniens est quod corporum superiorum motus sit causa inferiorum. i 1. As we read in The Heavens, the motion of the heavens is natural. Consequently, it can hardly be voluntary or the result of a choice The things that are caused by it, therefore, are not caused as the result of a choice, and so do not come under providence. It would be unreasonable, however, to suppose that bodies here below are not governed by providence. Therefore, it is unreasonable for the motion of celestial bodies to be the cause of bodies here below. Praeterea, posita causa ponitur effectus. Ergo esse causae est sicut antecedens ad esse effectus. Sed si antecedens est necessarium, et consequens est necessarium. Ergo si causa est necessaria, et effectus. Sed effectus qui in inferioribus corporibus accidunt non sunt necessarii, sed contingentes. Ergo non causantur a motu caeli, qui est necessarius, cum sit naturalis; et sic idem quod prius. 12. When a cause is placed, an effect is placed. Therefore, the act of existence of a cause is, as it were, antecedent to that of an effect. Now, if an antecedent is necessary, the consequent is also necessary. Therefore, if a cause is necessary, the effect is likewise necessary. However, the effects taking place in bodies here below are not necessary but contingent. Consequently, they are not caused by the motion of the heavens, which is necessary because natural. Therefore, our original position stands. Praeterea, illud propter quod fit aliud, est eo nobilius. Sed omnia facta sunt propter hominem, etiam corpora caelestia, ut dicitur Deuteronom. IV, 19: ne forte, oculis elevatis ad caelum, videas solem et lunam et omnia astra caeli, et errore deceptus adores ea quae creavit dominus Deus tuus in ministerium cunctis gentibus quae sub caelo sunt. Ergo homo est dignior creaturis caelestibus. Sed vilius non influit in nobilius. Ergo corpora caelestia non influunt in corpus humanum; et eadem ratione, nec in alia corpora, quae sunt priora humano corpore, sicut sunt elementa. 13. The final cause of a thing’s becoming is more noble than the thing. But all things were made for the sake of man—even heavenly bodies. For we read the following in Deuteronomy (4:19): “Lest perhaps lifting up your eyes to heaven,yousee the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by erroryouadore them, which the Lord your God created for the service of all the nations that are under heaven.” Therefore, man is more noble than the celestial bodies. Now, what is less noble does not influence what is more noble. Consequently, celestial bodies have no influence on a human body, and, for the same reason, none on other bodies such as elements that are prior to the human body. Sed dicebat, quod homo est nobilior caelestibus corporibus quantum ad animam, sed non quantum ad corpus.- Sed contra, nobilioris perfectibilis nobilior est perfectio. Sed corpus hominis habet nobiliorem formam quam corpus caeli; forma enim caeli est pure corporalis, qua est multo nobilior rationalis anima. Ergo et corpus humanum est nobilius caelesti corpore. 14. It was said, however, that man is more noble than the heavenly bodies because of his soul, not because of his body.—On the contrary, a nobler perfection is proper to a nobler subject. Now, the body of a man has a more noble form than a heavenly body has; for the form of the heavens is purely material, and a rational soul is much more noble than matter. Therefore, even the body of a man is nobler than a heavenly body. Praeterea, contrarium non est causa sui contrarii. Sed virtus corporis caelestis quandoque contrariatur effectibus in istis inferioribus inducendis; sicut corpus caeleste quandoque ad humiditatem movet, cum medicus intendit materiam digerere desiccando ad sanitatem inducendam, quam etiam quandoque inducit existente corpore caelesti in contraria dispositione. Ergo corpora caelestia non sunt causa effectuum corporalium in his inferioribus. 15. A contrary is not the cause of its contrary. Now, occasionally, the power of a celestial body is opposed to the introduction of certain effects into lower bodies. For example, sometimes a celestial body starts to cause dampness, while a doctor is trying to dispose of some matter by drying it up in order to restore health; and he often succeeds in doing this even though a heavenly body is exerting a contrary influence. Therefore, heavenly bodies do not cause physical effects in bodies here below. Praeterea, cum omnis actio fiat per contactum, quod non tangit, non agit. Sed corpora caelestia non tangunt ista inferiora. Ergo non agunt in ea; et sic idem quod prius. 16. Since all action takes place through contact, what makes no contact does not act. Heavenly bodies, however, do not touch bodies here below. Consequently, they do not act upon them; and the original position stands. Sed dicebat, quod corpora caelestia tangunt, haec per medium.- Sed contra, quandocumque est contactus et actio per medium, oportet quod medium prius recipiat effectum agentis quam ultimum; sicut ignis prius calefacit aerem quam nos. Sed effectus stellarum et solis non possunt recipi in orbibus inferioribus, qui sunt de natura quintae essentiae, et ita non sunt susceptivi caloris aut frigoris, aut aliarum dispositionum quae in his inferioribus inveniuntur. Ergo non potest, eis mediantibus, a supremis corporibus actio in haec infima pervenire. 17. But it was said that heavenly bodies contact lower bodies through a medium.—On the contrary, whenever there is contact and action through a medium, the medium must receive the effect of the agent before the end-term does. For example, fire heats the air before it heats us. Now, the effects of the sun and of the stars cannot be received in the lower spheres because these have the nature of the fifth essence and consequently cannot be affected by heat, cold, or any of the other states found in bodies here below. Therefore, no action can come from the heavenly bodies through the lower spheres to bodies here below. Praeterea, ei quod est medium providentiae, providentia communicatur. Sed providentia communicari non potest corporibus caelestibus, cum ratione careant. Ergo non possunt esse medium in provisione rerum. 18. Providence is communicated to what is an instrument of providence. But providence cannot be communicated to heavenly bodies, since they lack intelligence. Therefore, they cannot be an instrument for providing for things. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod Augustinus dicit Lib. III de Trinit.: corpora crassiora et infirmiora per subtiliora et potentiora quodam ordine reguntur. Sed corpora caelestia sunt subtiliora et potentiora quam inferiora. Haec ergo inferiora reguntur per illa. l. Augustine says: “Bodies with weaker and grosser natures are ruled in a definite order by those that are more subtle and powerful.” Now, the heavenly bodies are more subtle and powerful than bodies here below. Therefore, they rule the bodies here below. Praeterea, Dionysius dicit IV cap. de Divin. Nomin., quod radius solaris generationem visibilium corporum confert, et ad vitam ipsa movet, et nutrit et auget. Hi autem sunt nobiliores effectus in his inferioribus. Ergo et omnes alii effectus corporales producuntur a divina providentia mediantibus corporibus caelestibus. 2. Dionysius says that the rays of the sun “enable visible bodies to generate and give them life, nourishment, and growth.” Now, these are the more noble effects to be found in bodies here below. Consequently, all the other physical effects also are produced by the providence of God through the mediation of celestial bodies. Praeterea, secundum philosophum in Lib. II Metaph., illud quod est primum in aliquo genere, est causa eorum quae sunt post in illo genere. Sed corpora caelestia sunt prima in genere corporum, et motus eorum sunt primi inter alios motus corporales: ergo sunt causa corporalium quae hic aguntur; et sic idem quod prius. 3. According to the Philosopher, that which is first in any genus is the cause of the others that come afterwards in that genus. But the heavenly bodies are first in the genus of bodies, and their motions are first of all material motions. They are, therefore, the cause of material bodies that are moved here below. Hence, the conclusion is the same as before. Praeterea, philosophus dicit in II de generatione quod allatio solis in circulo declivi est causa generationis et corruptionis in his inferioribus; unde et generationes et corruptiones mensurantur per motum praedictum. In libro etiam de animalibus dicit, quod omnes diversitates quae sunt in conceptibus, sunt ex corporibus caelestibus. Ergo eis mediantibus, haec inferiora disponuntur. 4. According to the Philosopher, the movement of the sun along an inclined circle causes generation and corruption in bodies here below. Consequently, generations and corruptions are measured by this movement. Aristotle also says that all the variety found in concepts is due to the heavenly bodies. Therefore, bodies here below are disposed through their mediation. Praeterea, Rabbi Moyses dicit, quod caelum est in mundo sicut cor in animali. Sed omnia alia membra gubernantur ab anima mediante corde. Ergo omnia corpora alia gubernantur a Deo mediante caelo. 5. Rabbi Moses says that the heavens are in the universe as a heart is in an animal. But all the other members are ruled by the soul through the instrumentality of the heart. Therefore, all material things are ruled by God through the instrumentality of the heavens. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod communis intentio omnium fuit reducere multitudinem in unitatem, et varietatem in uniformitatem, secundum quod possibile esset. Et ideo antiqui, considerantes diversitatem actionum in istis inferioribus, tentaverunt ea reducere in aliqua principia pauciora et simpliciora, scilicet in elementa, multa aut unum, et in qualitates elementares. Sed ista positio non est rationabilis. Qualitates enim elementares inveniuntur se habere in actionibus rerum naturalium sicut instrumentalia principia. Cuius signum est, quod non eumdem modum actionis habent in omnibus, nec ad eumdem terminum perveniunt actiones ipsorum; alium enim effectum habent in auro et in ligno, et animalis carne; quod non esset, nisi agerent inquantum essent ab alio regulata. Actio autem principalis agentis non reducitur, sicut in principium, in actionem instrumenti, sed potius e converso; sicut effectus artis non debet attribui serrae sed artifici: unde et effectus naturales non possunt reduci in qualitates elementares sicut in prima principia. The common intention of all philosophers was to reduce multitude to unity and variety to uniformity as much as possible. Consequently, after considering the diversity of actions to be found in bodies here below, the ancient philosophers attempted to reduce these bodies to some fewer and more simple principles, that is, to elements, one or many, and to elementary qualities. But their position is not logical; for, in the actions of natural things, elementary qualities are like instrumental principles. An indication of this is the fact that they do not have the same way of acting in all things, nor do their actions always arrive at the same term. They have different effects in gold, in wood, and in the flesh of an animal. Now, this would not happen unless their actions were controlled by something else. Moreover, the action of the principal agent is not reduced to the action of an instrument as to its principle. Rather, the opposite is true, as, for example, a product of handicraft ought not be attributed to the saw but to the craftsman. Therefore, neither can natural effects be reduced to elementary qualities as to their first principles. Unde alii, scilicet Platonici, reduxerunt eos in formas simplices et separatas, sicut in prima principia: ex quibus, ut dicebant, erat esse et generatio in istis inferioribus, et omnis proprietas naturalis. Sed hoc etiam non potest stare. A causa enim eodem modo se habente est effectus semper eodem modo se habens: formae autem illae ponebantur esse immobiles: unde oporteret ut semper ab eis generatio esset uniformiter in istis inferioribus; cuius contrarium videmus ad sensum. Consequently, others (the Platonists) made simple and separated forms the first principles of natural effects. These were the origin, they said, of the existence, genera on, and every natural property of bodies here below. This opinion also, however, is false; for, if a cause remains always the same, then the effect is always the same. Now, the forms they posited were immovable. Consequently, any generation resulting from them would always have to happen in bodies here below in a constant manner. But we see with our own eyes that what happens is quite the contrary. Unde oportet ponere, principia generationis et corruptionis et aliorum motuum consequentium in his inferioribus, esse aliqua quae non semper eodem modo se habeant: oportet tamen ea semper manere quasi prima generationis principia ut generatio continua esse possit: et ideo oportet ea esse invariabilia secundum substantiam, moveri autem solum secundum locum; ut, per accessum et recessum contrarios et diversos motus in his inferioribus efficiant; et huiusmodi sunt corpora caelestia; et ideo omnes effectus corporales oportet reducere in ea sicut in causas. It is therefore necessary to say that in bodies here below the principles of generation, of corruption, and of the other motions that depend upon these do not always remain the same; but they nevertheless always remain as the first principles of generation, and thereby make continual generation possible. Moreover, they must be unchangeable in their substance, and subject only to local motion. Consequently, as a result of their approach or withdrawal, they bring about diverse and contrary motions in bodies here below. Now, the heavenly bodies are of just such a nature. Consequently, all material effects should be reduced to them as to their cause. Sed in hac reductione duplex error fuit. Quidam enim haec inferiora in corpora caelestia reduxerunt sicut in causas simpliciter primas, eo quod nullas substantias incorporeas arbitrabantur; unde priora in corporibus dixerunt esse prima inter entia. Sed hoc manifeste apparet esse falsum. Omne quod enim movetur, oportet in principium immobile reduci, cum nihil a seipso moveatur, et non sit abire in infinitum. Corpus autem caeleste, quamvis non varietur secundum generationem et corruptionem, aut secundum aliquem motum qui variet aliquid quod insit substantiae eius, movetur tamen secundum locum: unde oportet in aliquod prius principium reductionem fieri, ut sic ea quae alterantur, quodam ordine reducantur in alterans non alteratum, motum tamen secundum locum; et ulterius in id quod nullo modo movetur. In this reduction, however, two errors have been made. Some have reduced the bodies here below to heavenly bodies, as though the latter were their absolute first cause, for these philosophers denied that immaterial substances exist. Consequently, they said that what is prior among bodies is first among beings. This, however, is clearly false. Whatever is moved must be reduced to a first immovable principle, since nothing is moved by itself, and one cannot keep going back into infinity. Now, even though a heavenly body does not undergo change by generation or corruption or by a motion which would alter what belongs to its substance, it is nevertheless moved locally. Consequently, the reduction must be made to some prior principle so that things undergoing qualitative change are traced back by a definite order to that which causes this change in other things but is not so changed itself, although it is moved locally; and then further back to that which does not change in any way at all. Quidam vero posuerunt corpora caelestia esse causas istorum inferiorum non solum quantum ad motum, sed etiam quantum ad primam eorum institutionem; sicut Avicenna dicit in sua Metaphys., quod ex eo quod est commune omnibus corporibus caelestibus, scilicet natura motus circularis, causatur in his inferioribus id quod est eis commune, scilicet materia prima; et ex his in quibus corpora caelestia differunt ad invicem, causatur diversitas formarum in his inferioribus: ut sic caelestia corpora sint media inter Deum et ista inferiora etiam in via creationis quodammodo. Sed hoc est alienum a fide, quae ponit omnem naturam immediate esse a Deo conditam secundum sui primam institutionem. Unam autem creaturam moveri ab altera, praesuppositis virtutibus naturalibus utrique creaturae ex divino opere attributis; et ideo ponimus corpora caelestia esse causas inferiorum per viam motus tantum; et sic esse media in opere gubernationis, non autem in opere creationis. Others have asserted that the heavenly bodies cause not only the motion of bodies here below but also their very beginning. For example, Avicenna says that, as a result of what is common to all heavenly bodies, that is, their circular motion, there is caused the common element of bodies here below, namely, first matter; and, as a result of those things which differentiate one heavenly body from another, there is caused the difference in their forms. Thus, the heavenly bodies are media, to some extent, between God and things here below even in the line of creation. This position, however, is contrary to faith, which teaches that the whole of nature in its first beginning was created directly by God. But that one creature should be moved by another, presupposing that natural powers of each creature are given it as a result of God’s work, is not contrary to faith. Consequently, we say that the heavenly bodies are the causes of bodies here below merely in the line of motion. Thus, these heavenly bodies are instruments in the work of governing, but not in the work of creating. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod Damascenus intendit a corporibus caelestibus excludere respectu horum inferiorum causalitatem primam, vel etiam necessitatem inducentem. Corpora enim caelestia etsi semper eodem modo agant, eorum tamen effectus recipitur in inferioribus secundum modum inferiorum corporum, quae in contrariis dispositionibus frequenter inveniuntur; unde virtutes caelestes non semper inducunt effectus suos in his inferioribus propter impedimentum contrariae dispositionis. Et hoc est quod philosophus dicit in Lib. de somno et vigilia quod frequenter fiunt signa imbrium et ventorum, quae tamen non eveniunt propter contrarias dispositiones fortiores. 1. Damascene intends to exclude from heavenly bodies only first causality or any causality which would introduce necessity into bodies here below. For, even if heavenly bodies always act in the same way, their effects are received in lower bodies according to the manner of these lower bodies, which are frequently seen to be in a contrary state. Consequently, the forces exercised by the heavenly bodies are not always able to bring about their effects in the bodies here below, because a contrary disposition prevents them from doing so. This is why the Philosopher says that signs of storms and winds frequently appear, but the storms and winds do not take place because the contrary dispositions are stronger. Ad secundum dicendum, quod dispositiones istae quae contrariantur caelesti virtuti, non sunt ex prima institutione causatae a corpore caelesti, sed ex divina operatione, per quam ignis effectus est calidus, et aqua frigida, et sic de aliis; et sic non oportet omnia impedimenta huiusmodi in causas caelestes reducere. 2. Those dispositions that resist the force of the celestial bodies are caused in their original creation, not by a heavenly body, but by God’s operation, which has made fire to be hot, water to be cold, and so forth. Consequently, we should not reduce all impediments of this kind to the celestial bodies. Ad tertium dicendum, quod virtutes activae in his inferioribus sunt instrumentales tantum; unde, sicut instrumentum non movet nisi motum a principali agente, ita nec virtutes activae inferiores agere possunt nisi motae a corporibus caelestibus. 3. The active powers in these lower bodies are merely instrumental. Consequently, like an instrument which does not move unless it is moved by a first agent, the active powers of inferior bodies cannot operate unless moved by celestial bodies. Ad quartum dicendum, quod obiectio illa tangit quamdam opinionem quae habetur in Lib. fontis vitae, qui ponit quod nullum corpus ex virtute corporali agit; sed quantitas quae in est materia, impedit formam ab actione; et omnis actio quae attribuitur corpori, est alicuius virtutis spiritualis operantis in ipso corpore. Et hanc opinionem Rabbi Moyses dicit esse loquentium in lege Maurorum: dicunt enim, quod ignis non calefacit, sed Deus in igne. Sed haec positio stulta est cum auferat rebus omnibus naturales operationes; et contrariatur dictis philosophorum et sanctorum. Unde dicimus, quod corpora per virtutem corporalem agunt, nihilominus tamen Deus operatur in omnibus rebus sicut causa prima operatur in causa secunda. 4. That objection touches a certain opinion found in The Fount of Life to the effect that no body acts because of any power that it has as a body, because the quantity found in matter prevents the form from acting. Hence, every action we attribute to a body is really the action of some spiritual power operating in it. According to Rabbi Moses, this opinion was held by certain teachers among the Moors who said that fire does not heat, but God heats in the fire. This position, however, is foolish, since it denies all things their natural operations. Moreover, it is contrary to what philosophers and saints have said. Consequently, we say that bodies act by means of their material power; nevertheless, God operates in all things as a first cause operating in a second cause. Quod igitur inducitur, quod corpora aguntur tantum et non agunt, debet intelligi secundum hoc quod illud dicitur agere quod habet dominium super actionem suam; secundum quem modum loquendi dicit Damascenus, quod animalia bruta non agunt, sed aguntur. Per hoc tamen non excluditur quin agant secundum quod agere est aliquam actionem exercere. Therefore, the statement made to the effect that bodies are only acted upon but do not act should be understood in this sense: only that is said to act which has dominion over its action. It was in this sense that Damascene asserted: “Brute animals do not act but are only acted upon.” But this does not mean that animals do not act if act is taken to mean simply the performance of an action. Ad quintum dicendum, quod agens semper est diversum vel contrarium patienti, ut dicitur in I de generatione; et ideo corpori non competit agere in aliud corpus, secundum hoc quod habet commune cum eo, sed secundum id in quo ab eo distinguitur. Et ideo corpus non agit inquantum est corpus, sed inquantum est tale corpus; sicut etiam animal non ratiocinatur inquantum est animal, sed inquantum est homo; et similiter ignis non calefacit inquantum est corpus, sed inquantum est calidus; et similiter etiam est de corpore caelesti. 5. As we read in Generation and Corruption, that which is active is always other than or contrary to that which is passive. Consequently, it does not belong to a body to act upon another body with respect to that which it has in common with that body, but only with respect to that in which it is different from it. A body, therefore, does not act in so far as it is a body, but in so far as it is a certain kind of body. For example, no animal reasons inasmuch as it is simply animal, but some animals reason inasmuch as they are also men. Similarly, fire does not heat in so far as it is a body, but in so far as it is hot. The same is true of a celestial body. Ad sextum dicendum, quod dimensiones praeintelliguntur in materia, non in actu completo ante formas naturales, sed in actu incompleto; et ideo sunt prius in via materiae et generationis; sed forma est prior in via complementi. Secundum hoc autem aliquid agit quod completum est et ens actu, non secundum quod est in potentia; secundum hoc enim patitur; et ideo non sequitur, si materia vel dimensiones in materia praeexistentes non agunt, quod forma non agat; sed e converso. Sequeretur autem quod si non patiuntur, quod forma non patiatur; et tamen forma corporis caelestis non inest ei mediantibus huiusmodi dimensionibus, ut Commentator dicit ibidem. 6. Before the advent of natural forms, dimensions are presupposed as existing in matter in a state of incomplete act, not of complete act. Consequently, they are first in the line of matter and of generation. Form, however, is first in the line of completion. Now, a thing acts in so far as it is completed and is an actual being, not in so far as it is in potency. As a being in potency it is merely passive. Hence, it does not follow from the fact that matter or dimensions pre-existing in matter are not active that form is likewise inactive. Instead, the opposite follows. It would follow, however, if these dimensions were not passive, that the form would not be passive. But, as the Commentator says, the form of a heavenly body is not in it through the mediation of dimensions of the sort described. Ad septimum dicendum, quod ordo effectuum debet respondere ordini causarum. In causis autem, secundum auctorem illius libri, talis ordo invenitur, quod primum est causa prima, scilicet Deus; secundum autem intelligentia; tertium vero anima: unde et primus effectus, qui est esse, proprie attribuitur causae primae; et secundus, qui est cognoscere, attribuitur intelligentiae; et tertius, qui est movere, attribuitur animae. 7. The order of effects should correspond to the order of causes. According to the author of that book, however, the following order of causes exists: first, the first cause, God; second, the intelligence; third, the soul. Consequently, the first effect, the act of existence, is properly attributed to the first cause; the second effect, knowing, is attributed to intelligence; the third effect, moving, is attributed to the soul. Sed tamen causa secunda semper agit in virtute causae primae, et sic aliquid habet de operatione eius; sicut etiam inferiores orbes habent aliquid de motu primi orbis; unde et intelligentia, secundum ipsum, non solum intelligit, sed et dat esse; et anima, quae est effecta ab intelligentia secundum eum, non solum movet, quod est actio animalis, sed etiam intelligit, quod est actio intellectualis, et dat esse, quod est actio divina; et hoc dico de anima nobili, quam intelligit ille esse animam caelestis corporis, vel quamlibet aliam rationalem animam. A second cause, however, always acts in virtue of the first cause, and, consequently, possesses something of its operation (like the lower spheres which possess something of the motion of the highest). According to the author, however, the intelligence not only knows but also gives existence; and the soul, which he holds to be caused by the intelligence, has not only the motion of the soul, which is to move, but also that of an intellect, which is to understand, and that of God, which is to give existence. I admit these to be the actions of a noble soul, but he understands such a soul to be the soul of a heavenly body or any other rational soul whatsoever. Sic ergo non oportet quod sola virtus divina immediate moveat, sed etiam inferiores causae per virtutes proprias, secundum quod participant virtutem superiorum causarum. Therefore, it is not necessary that the divine power be the only one to move all things without any intermediary. The lower causes can also move through their own powers in so far as they participate in the power of superior causes. Ad octavum dicendum, quod secundum Augustinum rationes seminales dicuntur omnes vires activae et passivae a Deo creaturis collatae, quibus mediantibus naturales effectus in esse producit; unde ipse dicit in III de Trinitate, quod sicut matres gravidae sunt foetibus, sic ipse mundus gravidus est causis nascentium; exponens quod supra de rationibus seminalibus dixerat, quas etiam vires et facultates rebus distributas nominaverat. 8. According to Augustine, seminal principles are all the active and passive powers given to creatures by God; and through their instrumentality natural effects are brought into existence. He writes in The Trinity: “Like a mother pregnant with her unborn infant, the world is pregnant with the causes of unborn things.” While explaining what he said above about seminal principles, he also called them “the powers and faculties” that are allotted to things. Unde inter has rationes seminales continentur etiam virtutes activae corporum caelestium, quae sunt nobiliores virtutibus activis inferiorum corporum, et ita possunt eas movere; et dicuntur rationes seminales inquantum in causis activis sunt omnes effectus originaliter sicut in quibusdam seminibus. Si tamen intelligantur rationes seminales inchoationes formarum quae sunt in materia prima, secundum quod est in potentia ad omnes formas, ut quidam volunt; quamvis non multum conveniat dictis Augustini, tamen potest dici, quod earum simplicitas est propter earum imperfectionem, sicut et materia prima est simplex; et ideo ex hoc non habent quod non moveantur, sicut nec materia prima. Consequently, included in these seminal principles are the active powers of celestial bodies, which are more noble than the active powers of bodies here below and, consequently, able to move them. They are called seminal principles inasmuch as all effects are originally in their active causes in the manner of seeds. But if, as some hold, seminal principles are understood as being the beginnings of forms in first matter, inasmuch as first matter is in potency to all forms, then, even though this does not agree very much with the words of Augustine, it can be said that the simplicity of these principles, like the simplicity of first matter, is caused by their imperfection, and, because of it, they cannot be moved, just as first matter cannot be. Ad nonum dicendum, quod oportet sexuum diversitatem in aliquas causas caelestes reducere. Omne enim agens intendit assimilare sibi patiens, secundum quod potest; unde vis activa quae est in semine maris, intendit conceptum semper ducere ad sexum masculinum, qui perfectior est; unde sexus femineus accidit praeter intentionem naturae particularis agentis. Nisi ergo esset aliqua virtus quae intenderet femineum sexum, generatio feminae esset omnino a casu, sicut et aliorum monstrorum; et ideo dicitur, quod quamvis sit praeter intentionem naturae particularis, ratione cuius dicitur femina mas occasionatus, tamen de intentione est naturae universalis, quae est vis corporis caelestis, ut Avicenna dicit. 9. Differentiation of the sexes must be attributed to celestial causes. Our reason for saying this is as follows: Every agent tends to form to its own likeness, as far as possible, that which is passive in its respect. Accordingly, the active principle in the male seed always tends toward the generation of a male offspring, which is more perfect than the female. From this it follows that conception of female offspring is something of an accident in the order of nature-in so far, at least, as it is not the result of the natural causality of the particular agent. Therefore, if there were no other natural influence at work tending toward the conception of female offspring, such conception would be wholly outside the design of nature, as is the case with what we call “monstrous” births. And so it is said that, although the conception of female offspring is not the natural result of the efficient causality of the particular nature at work—for which reason the female is sometimes spoken of as an “accidental male”—nevertheless, the conception of female offspring is the natural result of universal nature; that is, it is due to the influence of a heavenly body, as Avicenna suggests. Sed potest esse impedimentum ex parte materiae, quod nec virtus caelestis nec particularis consequitur effectum suum, productionem scilicet masculini sexus; unde quandoque femina generatur etiam existente dispositione in corpore caelesti ad contrarium, propter materiae indispositionem; vel e contrario generabitur sexus masculinus contra dispositionem caelestis corporis, propter particularis virtutis victoriam super materiam. Contingit ergo quod in conceptione geminorum, operatione naturae materia separatur, cuius una pars magis obedit virtuti agenti quam altera, propter alterius indigentiam; et ideo in una parte generatur sexus femineus, in altera masculinus, sive corpus caeleste disponat ad unum, sive ad alterum; magis tamen hoc potest accidere, quando corpus caeleste disponit ad femineum sexum. Matter, however, can cause an impediment which will prevent both the celestial force and the particular nature from attaining their effect, namely, the production of a male. And so, sometimes, as a result of an improper disposition in matter, a female is conceived even when the celestial influence tends to the contrary; or the opposite may happen, and, despite the influence of the celestial body, a male will sometimes be conceived because the formative influence of the particular agent is strong enough to overcome the defect in the material. In the conception of twins, the matter is separated by the operation of nature; and one part of the matter yields to the active principle more than the other part does because of the latter’s deficiency. Consequently, in one part a female is generated, in the other, a male—independently of the dispositions of the celestial spheres one way or the other. The generation of a female twin, however, happens more often when a celestial body disposes to the female sex. Ad decimum dicendum, quod causa prima magis dicitur influere quam secunda inquantum eius effectus est intimior et permanentior in causato, quam effectus causae secundae; effectus tamen magis similatur causae secundae, quia per eam determinatur quodammodo actio primae causae ad hunc effectum. 10. A first cause is said to have more influence than a second cause in so far as its effect is deeper and more permanent in what is caused than the effect of the second cause is. Nevertheless, the effect has more resemblance to the second cause, since the action of the first cause is in some way determined to this particular effect by means of the second cause. Ad undecimum dicendum, quod quamvis motus caelestis, secundum quod est actus mobilis corporis, non sit motus voluntarius, secundum tamen quod est actus moventis, est voluntarius, id est ab aliqua voluntate causatus; et secundum hoc, ea quae ex motu illo causantur, sub providentia cadere possunt. 11. Although a movement in the heavens, as it is the act of a movable body, is not a voluntary motion, nevertheless, as it is the act of a mover, it is voluntary; that is to say, it is caused by a will. And in this respect the things which are caused by this movement may come under providence. Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod effectus non sequitur ex causa prima, nisi posita causa secunda; unde necessitas causae primae non inducit necessitatem in effectu nisi posita necessitate in causa secunda. 12. An effect does not follow from a first cause unless the second cause has already been placed. Consequently, the necessity of a first cause does not introduce necessity into its effect unless the second cause is also necessary. Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod corpus caeleste non est factum propter hominem sicut propter principalem finem; sed finis principalis eius est bonitas divina. Et iterum, quod homo sit nobilius caelesti corpore, non est ex natura corporis, sed ex natura animae rationalis. Et praeterea, dato quod etiam corpus hominis esset simpliciter nobilius quam corpus caeli, nihil prohiberet corpus caeli secundum aliquid esse nobilius humano corpore, inquantum illud scilicet, habet virtutem activam, hoc autem passivam, et sic poterit agere in ipsum; et sic etiam ignis, inquantum est actu calidus, agit in corpus humanum, inquantum est potentia calidum. 13. The celestial bodies are not made for man in the sense that man is their principal end. Their principal end is the divine goodness. Moreover, that man is nobler than a heavenly body is not due to the nature of his body but to the nature of his rational soul. Besides, even granting that man’s body were, speaking absolutely, nobler than a celestial body, this would not prevent a celestial body from being nobler than a human body under a certain aspect, namely, as it has active power while the latter has merely passive power; and in this respect, a celestial body can act upon the human body. Similarly, fire as it is actually hot can act upon a human body in so far as the latter is potentially hot. Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod anima rationalis, et est substantia quaedam, et est corporis actus. Inquantum ergo est substantia, est nobilior forma caelesti; non autem inquantum est corporis actus. Vel potest dici, quod anima est perfectio corporis humani et ut forma, et ut motor; corpus autem caeleste, quia perfectum est, non requirit aliquam substantiam spiritualem quae perficiat ipsum ut forma, sed quae perficit ipsum ut motor tantum; et haec perfectio secundum naturam est nobilior quam anima humana. 14. The rational soul is a substance as well as the act of a body. As a substance, therefore, it is nobler than the form of a celestial body; but it is not nobler as the act of a body. Or it could be said that the soul is a perfection of the human body both as a form and as a mover. But, since a celestial body is more perfect, it does not need a spiritual substance to perfect it as a form, but only to perfect it as a mover. This self-sufficiency makes it naturally more noble than [man who needs] a human soul. Quamvis etiam quidam posuerint motores coniunctos orbium esse formas eorum; quod sub dubio ab Augustino relinquitur super Genes. ad Litt. Hieronymus etiam asserere videtur, Eccle. I, 6, super illud: lustrans universa in circuitu, etc., Glossa: spiritum solem nominavit, quod animal sit, spiret et vigeat. Damascenus tamen in Lib. II contrarium dicit: nullus, inquit, animatos caelos vel luminaria existimet: inanimati sunt enim et insensibiles. Even though some have asserted that the movers of the heavenly spheres are joined to them as forms, Augustine left the matter in doubt. In his commentary on the words of Ecclesiastes (1:6), “The spirit goes forward surveying all places round about,” Jerome seems to follow the affirmative position; for he says: “He calls the sun a spirit because it breathes and lives like an animal.” Damascene, however, holds the contrary: “Let no one think that the heavens or the stars are living. They lack both life and feeling.” Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod actio etiam contrarii, quod repugnat virtuti activae alicuius corporis caelestis, habet aliquam causam in caelo: per motum enim primum ponitur a philosophis quod res inferiores conservantur in suis actionibus; et ita illud contrarium, quod agit impediendo effectum alicuius corporis caelestis, utpote calidum quod impedit humectationem lunae, habet etiam aliquam causam caelestem; et sic etiam sanitas quae consequitur, non omnino contrariatur actioni caelestis corporis, sed habet ibi aliquam radicem. 15. Even the action of a contrary which resists the active influence of a celestial body has some cause in the heavens; for, as the philosophers say, things here below are sustained in their actions by the first motion. Consequently, a contrary whose action impedes the effect of a celestial body, like the hot remedy which impedes moistening by the moon, nevertheless has a cause in the heavens. Similarly, the health that follows is not entirely contrary to the action of the celestial body but has some roots there. Ad decimumsextum dicendum, quod corpora caelestia tangunt inferiora, sed non tanguntur ab eis, ut dicitur in I de Gener.; nec quodlibet eorum tangit quodlibet istorum immediate, sed per medium, ut dicebatur. 16. As is said in Generation and Corruption, heavenly bodies contact bodies here below, but are not contacted by them. Moreover, as was mentioned, no heavenly body immediately contacts a body here below. The contact is through a medium. Ad decimumseptimum dicendum, quod actio agentis recipitur in medio per modum medii; et ideo quandoque alio modo recipitur in medio quam in ultimo; sicut virtus magnetis attrahentis defertur ad ferrum per medium aerem, qui non attrahitur; et virtus piscis stupefacientis manum defertur ad manum mediante rete quod non stupescit, ut dicit Commentator in VIII physicorum. Corpora autem caelestia habent quidem omnes qualitates existentes in his inferioribus suo modo, scilicet originaliter, et non prout sunt in his; unde et actiones supremorum corporum non recipiuntur in mediis orbibus, ut alterentur sicut haec inferiora. 17. The action of the agent is received in the medium according to the manner of the medium. Consequently, it is sometimes received in a different way in the medium than in the ultimate term. For example, the force of a magnet attracting iron passes to the iron through the medium of air, which is not attracted; and, as the Commentator says, the force of a fish that shocks the hand is transmitted to the hand through a net which is not shocked. Moreover, heavenly bodies do have all the qualities found in bodies below, but in their own way (which is that of a source) and not as in these lower bodies. Consequently, their actions are not received in the intermediate spheres in such a way that these are changed as the lower bodies are. Ad decimumoctavum dicendum, quod huiusmodi inferiora gubernantur a divina providentia per superiora corpora; non ita quod divina providentia illis corporibus communicetur, sed quia efficiuntur divinae providentiae instrumenta; sicut ars non communicatur martello, quod est instrumentum artis. 18. Bodies f this kind here below are ruled by divine providence through the h her bodies, but not in such a way that divine providence is communicated to them. They are made merely the instruments by which God’s providence is carried out—just as art is not communicated to a hammer, which is merely an instrument of the art.
In the tenth article we ask:
Are human acts governed by God’s providence through the instrumentality of celestial bodies?
[ARTICLE S.T., I, 22, 3; 115, 4; I-II, 9, 5; II-II, 95, 5; II Sent., 15, 1, 3; In Matth., c. 2 (P. 10:21a); C.G., III, cc. 84-85,87; III De anima, lect. 4, n. 621; I Perih., lect. 14, n. 14 seq.; VI Metaph., lect. 3, nn. 1203-05,1213-17; Comp. Theol., 1, cc. 127-28.]
Decimo quaeritur utrum humani actus gubernentur a divina providentia mediantibus corporibus caelestibus Difficulties Et videtur quod sic. It seems that they are, for Dicit enim Damascenus, quod corpora caelestia constituunt in nobis complexiones et habitus et dispositiones. Sed habitus et dispositiones pertinent ad intellectum et voluntatem, quae sunt principia humanorum actuum. Ergo humani actus mediantibus corporibus caelestibus disponuntur a Deo. 1. According to Damascene, heavenly bodies “are responsible for our habits, temperament, and disposition.” Now, habits and dispositions belong to the intellect and the will, which are the principles of human acts. Consequently, human acts are disposed by God through the mediation of celestial bodies. Praeterea, dicitur in sex principiis, quod anima coniuncta corpori corporis complexionem imitatur. Sed corpora caelestia imprimunt in complexionem humanam. Ergo et in ipsam animam; et ita possunt esse causa humanorum actuum. 2. We read in The Six Principles: That the soul when joined to a body, imitates the temperament of that body. But, since the celestial bodies leave their impression on a man’s temperament, they thereby influence his soul. Hence, they can cause human acts. Praeterea, omne illud quod agit in prius, agit in posterius. Sed essentia animae est prius quam eius potentiae, scilicet voluntas et intellectus, cum ex essentia animae oriantur. Cum igitur corpora caelestia imprimant in ipsam essentiam animae rationalis (imprimunt enim in eam secundum quod est corporis actus, quod ei per essentiam suam convenit), videtur quod corpora caelestia imprimant in intellectum et voluntatem; et sic sunt principia humanorum actuum. 3. Whatever acts upon a prior member of a series also acts upon a subsequent member. Now, the essence of the soul exists before its powers of intellect and will exist, because these have their origin in the essence of the soul. Therefore, since the celestial bodies leave their impression on the essence of the rational soul, which they do inasmuch as the soul is the act of a body—a function belonging to it by its very essence, it seems that they leave their impression on the intellect and will, and, consequently, are principles of human acts. Praeterea, instrumentum non solum agit in virtute propria, sed in virtute principalis agentis. Sed corpus caeli, cum sit movens motum, est instrumentum spiritualis substantiae moventis; et motus eius non solum est actus corporis moti, sed actus spiritus moventis. Ergo motus eius non solum agit in virtute corporis moti, sed etiam in virtute spiritus moventis. Sed sicut corpus illud caeleste praeeminet humano corpori, ita spiritus ille praeeminet humano spiritui. Ergo, sicut motus ille imprimit in corpus humanum, ita imprimit in animam humanam; et ita videtur quod sint principia humanorum actuum. 4. An instrument acts, not only because of its own power, but also because of the power of the principal agent. Now, since a heavenly body is a moved mover, it is the instrument of the spiritual substance moving it. Consequently, its motion is not that of a body alone but it is also the act of the spirit moving it. Therefore, its motion takes place, not only by reason of the body moved, but also by reason of the spirit moving it. Now, just as that celestial body is superior to a human body, so is that spiritual substance superior to a human spirit. Consequently, that motion leaves its impression on a man’s soul as well as on his body. It seems, therefore, that they are the principles of his acts of intellect and will. Praeterea, experimentaliter invenitur aliquos homines a sua nativitate esse dispositos ad addiscenda vel exercenda aliqua artificia; quidam ad hoc quod sint fabri, quidam ad hoc quod sint medici et sic de aliis; nec hoc potest reduci sicut in causam in principia proxima generationis, quia quandoque nati inveniuntur dispositi ad quaedam ad quae parentes non inclinabantur. Ergo oportet quod haec diversitas dispositionum reducatur sicut in causam in corpora caelestia. Sed non potest dici, quod huiusmodi dispositiones sint in animabus, mediantibus corporibus, quia ad has inclinationes nihil operantur corporeae qualitates, sicut operantur ad iram et gaudium, et huiusmodi animae passiones. Ergo corpora caelestia immediate et directe in animas humanas imprimunt; et ita humani actus mediantibus ipsis caelestibus corporibus disponuntur. 5. By experience we know that from their birth some men have talents for learning or exercising certain crafts. Hence, some become carpenters, others become doctors, and so forth. Now, this proclivity cannot be reduced to the proximate principles of generation as its cause, for children are often found to have a bent to certain things which their parents did not have. This difference in talent, therefore, should be reduced to the celestial bodies as its cause. Moreover, it cannot be said that this sort of talent is in men’s souls through the mediation of their bodies, because the physical qualities of the body do not contribute to these inclinations as they actually do to anger, joy, and similar passions of the soul. Celestial bodies, therefore, leave their impression on men’s souls immediately and directly. Consequently, human acts are disposed through the instrumentality of the celestial bodies. Praeterea in humanis actibus isti videntur caeteris praeeminere, scilicet regnare, gerere bella, et huiusmodi. Sed, sicut dicit Isaac in Lib. I de definitionibus, Deus fecit regnare orbem super regna et super bella. Ergo multo fortius alii humani actus mediantibus corporibus caelestibus disponuntur. 6. Of all human acts, the following seem to be superior to all others: ruling, waging wars, and similar actions. But, as Isaac says: “God made a sphere to rule over kingdoms and wars.” Much more, then, are other human acts disposed through the mediation of heavenly bodies. Praeterea, facilius est transmovere partem quam totum. Sed ex virtute corporum caelestium quandoque commovetur tota multitudo unius provinciae ad bellandum, ut philosophi dicunt. Ergo multo fortius virtute corporum caelestium commovetur aliquis homo particularis. 7. It is easier to transfer a part than a whole. But, according to philosophers, the influence of the celestial bodies sometimes moves the entire population of a province to launch a war. Much more, then, can the power of these celestial bodies affect some particular man. Sed contra. To the Contrary Est quod dicit Damascenus in libro II: nostrorum actuum nequaquam sunt causa, scilicet corpora caelestia: nos enim liberi arbitrii a conditore facti, domini nostrorum existimus actuum. 1. Damascene writes of the heavenly bodies that they never cause our acts: “We have been given free choice by our Maker, and we are the masters of our conduct.” Praeterea, ad hoc etiam facit quod Augustinus determinat in V de civitate Dei, et in fine super Genes. ad litteram, et quod Gregorius determinat in homilia Epiphaniae. 2. Both Augustine and Gregory support this contrary view. Responsio. REPLY Dicendum, quod ad huius quaestionis evidentiam, oportet scire qui dicantur actus humani. Dicuntur enim proprie illi actus humani quorum ipse homo est dominus; est autem homo dominus suorum actuum per voluntatem sive per liberum arbitrium; unde circa actus voluntatis et liberi arbitrii quaestio ista versatur. Actus enim alii qui sunt in homine non subiacentes imperio voluntatis, sicut actus nutritivae et generativae potentiae, eodem modo subiacent virtutibus caelestibus sicut et alii corporales actus. To get a clear understanding of this question, we must first understand what is meant by human acts. Human acts, properly speaking, are those over which a man is master. A man, however, is the master of his acts through his will or free choice. Consequently, this question is concerned with the acts of the will and of free choice. There are, of course, other acts in man that do not lie under the command of his will, for example, the acts of his nutritive and generative powers. These acts lie under the influence of celestial forces, just as other physical acts do. De actibus autem humanis praedictis multiplex fuit error. Quidam enim posuerunt, actus humanos ad divinam providentiam non pertinere, nec reduci in aliquam causam nisi in providentiam nostram. Et huius positionis videtur fuisse Tullius, ut dicit Augustinus in V de Civit. Dei. Sed istud non potest esse. Voluntas enim est movens motum, ut in III de anima probatur; unde oportet eius actum reducere in aliquod primum principium, quod est movens non motum. There have been many errors regarding human acts. Some have said that human acts do not come under God’s providence and cannot be reduced to any cause other than our own providence. As Augustine says, this seems to have been the position of Cicero. The position, however, is untenable; for, as proved in The Soul, our will is a moved mover. Consequently, its act must be reduced to some first principle that is an unmoved mover. Et ideo quidam omnes actus voluntatis reduxerunt in corpora caelestia, ponentes sensum et intellectum idem esse in nobis, et per consequens omnes virtutes animae corporales esse, et ita actionibus caelestium corporum subdi. Sed hanc positionem philosophus destruit in III de anima, ostendens quod intellectus est vis immaterialis, et quod actio eius non est corporalis: et, sicut dicitur in XVI de animalibus, quorum principiorum actiones sunt sine corpore, oportet principia incorporea esse; unde non potest esse quod actiones intellectus et voluntatis, per se loquendo, in aliqua principia corporalia reducantur. For this reason, some have reduced all the acts of the will to the celestial bodies; for, since they asserted that our senses and intellect are the same, it followed that all the powers of the soul are material and, therefore, subject to the action of the heavenly bodies. The Philosopher, however, destroys this position by showing that the intellect is an immaterial power and that its action is not material. As he says in The Generation of Animals, if the actions of principles are immaterial, the principles themselves must be immaterial. Consequently, it is impossible for the actions of the will and intellect of themselves to be reduced to any material principles. Et ideo Avicenna posuit in sua metaphysica, quod sicut homo compositus est ex anima et corpore, ita etiam corpus caeleste; et sicut actiones corporis humani et motus reducuntur in corpora caelestia, ita actiones animae omnes reducuntur in animas caelestes sicut in principia; ita quod omnis voluntas quae est in nobis, causatur a voluntate animae caelestis. Et istud quidem potest esse conveniens secundum opinionem suam quam habet de fine hominis, quem ponit esse in coniunctione animae humanae ad animam caelestem, vel ad intelligentiam. Cum enim perfectio voluntatis sit finis et bonum, quod est obiectum eius, sicut visibile est obiectum visus; oportet quod illud quod agit in voluntatem, habeat etiam rationem finis, quia efficiens non agit, nisi secundum quod imprimit in susceptibili formam eius. Avicenna, therefore, declared that heavenly bodies were made, like man, of a soul and body, and that, just as the actions and motion of a human body are reduced to celestial bodies, so all the actions of the soul are reduced to celestial souls as to their principles. Consequently, whatever will we have is caused by the will of a celestial soul. This position is consistent with his opinion on the end of man, which he holds to be the union of the human soul with a celestial soul or intelligence. For, since the perfection of the will is its end and its good—and this is its object, just as the visible is the object of sight—then that which acts upon the will should have the nature of an end, because an efficient cause acts only in so far as it impresses its form on a recipient. Secundum autem sententiam fidei, ipse Deus immediate est finis humanae vitae; eius enim visione perfruentes beatificabimur; et ideo ipse solus imprimere potest in voluntatem nostram. Oportet autem ordinem mobilium respondere ordini moventium. In ordine autem ad finem, quem providentia respicit, primum in nobis invenitur voluntas ad quam primo pertinet ratio boni et finis, et omnibus quae sunt in nobis, utitur sicut instrumentis ad consecutionem finis, quamvis in aliquo alio respectu intellectus voluntatem praecedat. Propinquius autem voluntati est intellectus, et remotiora sunt corporales vires. Et ideo ipse Deus, qui est simpliciter primus providens, imprimit solus in voluntatem nostram. Angelus autem, qui eum sequitur in ordine causarum, imprimit in intellectum nostrum, secundum quod per Angelos illuminamur, purgamur et perficimur ut Dionysius dicit. Sed corpora, quae sunt inferiora agentia, imprimere possunt in vires sensibiles, et alias organis affixas. Secundum vero quod motus unius potentiae animae redundat in aliam, contingit quod impressio corporis caelestis redundat in intellectum quasi per accidens, et ulterius in voluntatem; et similiter impressio Angeli in intellectum redundat in voluntatem per accidens. Faith, however, teaches that God is the direct end of man’s life, and that we will be beatified and enjoy the vision of God. Consequently, He alone can leave an impression on our will. Now, the order of what is moved should correspond to the order of the movers. But in our ordination to our end, with which providence is concerned, the first thing that is in us is our will; and the characters of the good and of an end primarily pertain to the will, which uses everything we have as instruments toward achieving our end. However, in a certain respect the intellect precedes the will, and is, moreover, more closely related to it than our bodily powers are. Consequently, God alone, who is the first provider in all respects, leaves His imprint on our will; the angels, who follow Him in the order of causes, leave their imprint on our intellect in so far as we are enlightened, cleansed, and perfected by them, as Dionysius says. But the celestial bodies, which are inferior agents, can leave their imprint only upon our sensible powers and the other powers in our organs. Of course, inasmuch as the movement of one power of the soul flows over into another, it happens that the impression made by a celestial body will, as it were, accidentally flow over into the intellect and finally into the will. Similarly, the impression made by an angel upon our intellect also accidentally flows over into our will. Sed tamen quantum ad hoc diversa est dispositio intellectus et voluntatis ad vires sensitivas; intellectus enim noster naturaliter movetur a sensitiva apprehensiva per modum quo obiectum movet potentiam, quia phantasma se habet ad intellectum possibilem sicut color ad visum, ut dicitur in III de anima; et ideo, perturbata vi sensitiva interiori, de necessitate perturbatur intellectus; sicut videmus quod laeso organo phantasiae, de necessitate impeditur actio intellectus. Et secundum hunc modum in intellectum potest redundare actio vel impressio corporis caelestis, quasi per viam necessitatis; per accidens tamen, sicut in corpora per se; et dico necessitatem, nisi sit contraria dispositio ex parte mobilis, sicut appetitus sensitivus non est naturaliter motivus voluntatis, sed e converso; quia appetitus superior movet appetitum inferiorem, sicut sphaera sphaeram, ut dicitur in III de anima. Et quantumcumque appetitus inferior perturbetur per aliquam passionem ut irae vel concupiscentiae, non oportet quod voluntas perturbetur; immo habet potentiam repellendi huiusmodi perturbationem, ut dicitur Genes. IV, 7: subter te erit appetitus tuus. Et ideo ex corporibus caelestibus non inducitur aliqua necessitas, nec ex parte recipientium nec ex parte agentium, in actibus humanis; sed inclinatio sola, quam etiam voluntas repellere potest per virtutem acquisitam vel infusam. But the relation of the intellect and of the will to the sensitive powers is different in the following respect: the intellect is naturally moved by the sensitive apprehension in the way in which a potency is moved by an object, because, as is said in The Soul, the phantasm is related to the possible intellect as color is to sight. Consequently, whenever an interior sensitive power is disturbed, the intellect is necessarily also disturbed. We see, for example, that when the organ of the imagination is injured the action of the intellect is necessarily impeded. By this means, therefore, the action or influence of a celestial body can flow over into the intellect with a kind of necessity; but this influence is accidental, because what it directly influences is the body. I say necessity” flows over—unless there is a contrary disposition in what is affected. But the sensitive appetite is not the natural mover of the will. Instead, the opposite is true, because, as is said in The Soul, a higher appetite moves a lower “as one sphere” moves another. And no matter how much a lower appetite is troubled by the passion, as of anger or of concupiscence, the will need not be disturbed. Indeed, the will has the power to repel a disturbance of this kind; for, as we read in Genesis (4:7): “The lust thereof shall be under thee.” Consequently, no necessity is introduced into human acts by the influence of celestial bodies, either by the celestial bodies themselves or by those things which receive their influence. The celestial bodies introduce only an inclination, which the will can resist by means of an acquired or infused power. Answers to Difficulties Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod Damascenus intelligit de dispositionibus et habitibus corporalibus. 1. Damascene is thinking of bodily habits and dispositions. Ad secundum dicendum, quod, sicut ex dictis patet, anima quantum ad actum voluntatis non de necessitate sequitur corporis dispositionem, sed ex corporis complexione est inclinatio tantum ad ea quae voluntatis sunt. 2. From what was said above, it is clear that an act of the will in the soul does not necessarily follow the disposition of the body. From the temperament of the body, only an inclination arises to those things which are the object of the will. Ad tertium dicendum, quod ratio illa recte procederet, si corpus caeleste posset imprimere in essentiam animae per se; impressio autem corporis caelestis non pervenit ad animae essentiam nisi per accidens; scilicet per corporis mutationem, cuius ipsa est actus. Voluntas autem non oritur ex essentia animae secundum quod est corpori coniuncta; et ideo ratio non sequitur. 3. That argument would proceed correctly if a heavenly body could leave its impression on the essence of the soul directly. But the influence of a heavenly body reaches to the essence of the soul only indirectly, that is, only in so far as the soul is united to a body, whose act the soul is. The will, however, does not have its origin in the essence of the soul in so far as the soul is joined to a body. Consequently, the argument proves nothing. Ad quartum dicendum, quod instrumentum spiritualis agentis non agit secundum virtutem spiritualem nisi ex hoc quod agit secundum virtutem corporalem. Secundum autem virtutem corporalem corpus caeleste non potest agere nisi in corpus; et ideo etiam actio quae est secundum virtutem spiritualem, non potest pertingere ad animam nisi per accidens, scilicet corpore mediante. Sed in corpus utroque modo actio eius pervenit; ex virtute enim corporali movet qualitates elementares, scilicet calidum et frigidum, et huiusmodi; sed ex virtute spirituali movet ad speciem, et ad effectus consequentes totam speciem, qui non possunt in qualitates elementares reduci. 4. An instrument of a spiritual agent acts through a spiritual power only as it acts through its own material power. Because of its material power, however, a heavenly body can act upon our bodies only. Consequently, the action that arises from its spiritual power can arrive at the soul only indirectly, that is, through the mediation of man’s body. However, the material and spiritual power of a heavenly body can influence man’s body directly. Because of its material power it moves elementary qualities, such as hot, cold, and so forth; and because of its spiritual power it moves to species and to those effects following the entire species which cannot be reduced to elementary qualities. Ad quintum dicendum, quod aliquis effectus est a corporibus caelestibus in istis corporibus, qui non causatur ex calido et frigido, sicut magnes attrahit ferrum; et per hunc modum ex corpore caelesti aliqua dispositio in corpore humano relinquitur, ex qua contingit ut anima ei coniuncta inclinetur ad hoc vel illud artificium. 5. There are in those bodies some effects of the heavenly bodies which are not caused by heat or cold, such as the attraction of iron by a magnet. In this way some disposition is left in a human body by a celestial body; and by reason of this disposition the soul that is joined to such a body is inclined to this or that craft. Ad sextum dicendum, quod verbum Isaac, si debet salvari, est intelligendum secundum inclinationem tantum, modo praedicto. 6. If we must “save” the words of Isaac, we have to understand them to mean merely an inclination in the manner described above. Ad septimum dicendum, quod multitudo ut in pluribus sequitur inclinationes naturales, inquantum homines multitudinis acquiescunt passionibus; sed sapientes ratione superant passiones et inclinationes praedictas. Et ideo magis est probabile de aliqua multitudine quod operetur id ad quod inclinat corpus caeleste, quam de uno singulari, qui forte per rationem superat inclinationem praedictam. Et simile esset, si una multitudo hominum cholericorum poneretur, non de facili contingeret quin ad iracundiam moverentur, quamvis de uno posset magis accidere. 7. For the most part, a large group follows its natural inclinations, for, as members of a group, men give in to the passions of the group. But by using their intelligence wise men overcome these passions and inclinations. Consequently, it is more probable that a large group will do what a celestial body inclines it to do than that one individual will; for he may use his reason to overcome this inclination. Similarly, if there is a large group of hot-tempered men, it is unlikely that they will not be angered, although it is more likely that an individual will not.