Sentences Commentary: In III Sent., d. 5, q. 1, a. 2

Utrum unio sit facta in natura. Ad secundum sic proceditur."Whether the Union was Brought about in the Nature?"
Videtur quod unio sit facta in natura. Quod enim constat ex duabus naturis, videtur habere unam naturam mediam inter illa, sicut mixtum quod constat ex quatuor elementis. Sed Christus constat ex duabus naturis, secundum Augustinum, qui dicit, quod ex utraque substantia, scilicet divina et humana, est unus Dei et hominis Filius. Ergo videtur habere unam naturam ex utrisque compactam.1. It seems that the union was brought about in the nature. For what consists of two natures seems to have one nature in the middle between them, as a mixed thing which consists of the four elements. But Christ consists of two natures according to Augustine (Enchir. 35) who says, that from each substance, namely divine and human, there is one Son of God and of man. Therefore, he seems to have one nature composed from both.
Praeterea, natura, secundum quod hic loquimur, est unumquodque informans specifica differentia, ut dicit Boetius in lib. de duabus naturis. Sed Philosophus dicit, quod semper una differentia addita mutat speciem, sicut in numeris quaelibet unitas addita facit novam speciem numeri. Ergo humana natura addita divinae facit novam naturam secundum speciem. 2. Further, nature, in the sense we are speaking of here, is the specific difference informing each and every thing, as Boethius says in the book Concerning the Two Natures. But the Philosopher says (Metaphysics 8, 10) that one added difference always changes the species, as in numbers any added unity makes a new species of number. Therefore, human nature added to the divine nature makes a new nature according to species.
Si dicatur, quod non potest una natura constitui ex duabus, quia oportet utramque naturam servari in Incarnatione; contra. Anima et corpus constituunt humanam naturam. Utrumque tamen, scilicet corpus et anima, intransmutatum permanet in sua natura. Ergo ex duabus naturis potest tertia constitui, utraque remanente salva. 3. If it is said that one nature cannot be constituted from two because it is necessary that each nature be preserved in the Incarnation, then one may reply as follows. A soul and body constitute a human nature. Yet, each, namely soul and body, remains unchanged in its own nature. Therefore a third nature can be constituted from two natures, while each of the two is preserved.
Praeterea, proprietas sequitur naturam eius cuius est proprietas. Sed proprietates divinae naturae dicuntur de illo homine: dicitur enim, quod ille homo creavit stellas; et e converso dicitur, quod Filius Dei est passus. Ergo videtur quod aliquid divinae naturae est in humana natura, et aliquid humanae sit in divina; et sic videtur esse facta quaedam coniunctio naturarum in unam naturam. 4. A property follows the nature of that whose property it is. But, the properties of the divine nature are attributed to that man. For, it is said that that man created the stars and conversely, it is said that the Son of God suffered. Therefore, it seems that something of the divine nature is in the human nature, and that something of the human is in the divine; and so there seems to be a certain joining of natures in one nature.
Praeterea, quando aliqua duo coniunguntur quorum unum multum superat alterum, hoc quod superatur transit in naturam superantis, sicut si gutta vini in mille amphoras proiiciatur aquae. Sed natura divina in infinitum superat humanam. Ergo humana natura coniuncta divinae, tota convertitur in divinam.5. Further, when any two things are joined, one of which goes beyond the other, the one which is exceeded changes into the nature of the one which exceeds, just as if a drop of wine were thrown into a thousand vessels of water. But the divine nature infinitely exceeds the human nature. Therefore, [when] the human nature is joined to the divine, the whole is changed into the divine.
Praeterea, hoc videtur per hoc quod caro Christi dicitur deificata a sanctis, sicut Damascenus narrat. 6. Besides, this [natural union] seems to be the case because the flesh of Christ is called deified by the saints as Damascene reports (5,11).
Sed contra, filiatio requirit similitudinem in natura. Sed Christus dicitur Filius Dei Patris et Virginis matris. Ergo est similis in natura utrique. Sed Virgo et Deus Pater non communicant in aliqua natura. Ergo oportet Christum ponere duarum naturarum. To the contrary, filiation requires a similarity in nature. But Christ is called the Son of God the Father and of the Virgin mother. Therefore, he is similar in nature to both. But the Virgin and God the Father do not share in any nature. Therefore, it is necessary to posit a Christ of two natures.
Praeterea, per proprietates naturales in cognitionem naturae devenimus. Sed in Christo invenimus proprietates duarum naturarum, ut humanae et divinae. Ergo oportet Christum duarum naturarum ponere. Further, we arrive at an understanding of a nature through natural properties. But in Christ we find the properties of two natures, that of human nature and that of divine nature. Therefore, it is necessary to posit a Christ of two natures.
Respondeo dicendum, quod ad huius quaestionis evidentiam oportet scire, quid nomen naturae significet. Natura autem a nascendo nomen accepit; quae proprie dicitur generatio viventium ex similibus similia in specie producentium; unde secundum primam sui institutionem natura significat generationem ipsam viventium, scilicet nativitatem. Item translatum est nomen naturae ad significandum principium activum illius generationis: quia virtutes agentes ex actibus nominari consueverunt. Inde ulterius procedit nomen naturae ad significandum principium activum cuiuslibet motus naturalis: et ulterius ad significandum etiam principium materiale cuiuslibet generationis: et inde etiam ad significandum principium formale, quod est terminus generationis. Sed quia non solum generatio terminatur ad formam, sed ad substantiam compositam; ideo translatum est ad significandum quamlibet substantiam, secundum quod dicit Philosophus in 5 metaph., et ad significandum etiam quodlibet ens, sicut dicit Boetius. Solution: I answer that for a clear understanding of this question it is necessary to know what the name "nature" signifies. But, "nature" takes its name from being born (nascendo) and this is properly called the generation of living things producing things similar in species from similar things. Hence, according to the first institution [of the word] nature signifies the generation itself of living things, namely, nativity. Further, the name "nature" was transferred to signifying the active principle of that generation: because the agent powers are accustomed to be named from [their] acts. From this the name "nature" came to be used to signify the active principle of any natural motion: and further to signifying even the material principle of any generation: and from that to also signifying the formal principle, which is the terminus of generation. But because generation is not terminated merely at form, but at a composite substance, [the word nature] was thus transferred to signifying any substance, according to what the Philosopher says in 5 Metaphys. (text 5), and also for signifying any being (ens) as well, as Boethius says.
Substantia autem, praeter significationes quibus forma vel materia dicitur substantia, dicitur duobus modis, secundum Philosophum 5 metaph. Uno modo subiectum ipsum quod dicitur hoc aliquid, et de altero non praedicatur, ut hic homo, secundum quod substantia significatur nomine hypostasis; et secundum hanc significationem substantia dicitur natura secundum quod natura est quod agere vel pati potest, ut dicit Boetius in praedicto libro. Alio modo dicitur substantia quod quid erat esse, idest quidditas et essentia, quam significat definitio cuiuslibet rei, prout significatur nomine usiae; et sic etiam substantia dicitur natura, secundum quod Boetius dicit, quod natura est unumquodque informans specifica differentia: quia ultima differentia est quae definitionem complet. However, "substance", besides the significations by which form or matter are called substance, is used in two ways according to the Philosopher. In one way, substance is used of the subject itself which is called a "this something" and is not predicated of another, e.g. this man, insofar as a substance is signified by the name hypostasis; and according to this signification a substance is called a nature insofar as nature is what can act and be acted upon, as Boethius says in the aforementioned book. In another way substance is used of "that which it was to be", that is the quiddity and essence which the definition of anything signifies. This is the sense of substance signified by the name "ousia"; and so a substance is also called a nature, in accordance with what Boethius says, that "nature is the specific difference informing each and every thing"; since the ultimate difference is what completes the definition.
Relictis ergo omnibus aliis significationibus naturae, secundum hanc tantum significationem quaeritur, utrum in Christo sit una natura vel plures. Si autem sit una tantum, vel altera earum tantum, vel composita ex utrisque. Si altera earum tantum, hoc erit dupliciter. Uno modo nulla adiunctione interveniente unius ad alteram; et sic si sit divina tantum, nihil novum accidit in hoc quod Verbum caro factum est, et incarnatio nihil est. Si vero sit humana tantum, non differt Christus ab aliis hominibus, et perit incarnatio. Alio modo altera naturarum transeunte in alteram; quod non potest esse: quia quae non communicant in materia, non possunt in invicem transire; divina autem natura penitus est immaterialis, nedum ut communicet humanae in materia. Praeterea si divina natura transiret in humanam, tolleretur simplicitas et immutabilitas divinae naturae; si vero humana verteretur in divinam, tolleretur veritas passionis, et omnium quae corporaliter operatus est Christus. Leaving aside all other significations of nature, we ask, according to this signification alone, whether there is one nature in Christ or many. But, if there were only one [nature], then [there would be] either one of these [natures] alone or a nature composed from both. If one of these alone, this would come about in two ways. In one way, with no joining of one nature to another intervening; and thus if there were only the divine nature, nothing new would happen in this, that the Word was made flesh, and the incarnation is nothing. But, if it were only the human nature, Christ would not differ from other men, and the incarnation perishes. In the second way, one of the natures passes over into the other; which cannot be: since those things which do not share in matter are not able to pass over into one another. But, the divine nature is entirely immaterial, still less does it share a human nature in matter. Further, if the divine nature passed over into the human nature, the simplicity and immutability of the divine nature would be destroyed; but, if the human were changed into the divine, the truth of the passion and of everything which Christ did corporeally would be destroyed.
Si autem esset una natura composita ex duabus, hoc posset esse dupliciter. Uno modo quia tertia natura componeretur ex duabus naturis non manentibus, sicut ex quatuor elementis componitur mixtum; et secundum hoc poneretur divina natura passibilis et materialis, quia mixtio non est nisi eorum quae communicant in materia, et nata sunt agere et pati ad invicem; et tolleretur fides confitens Christum esse verum Deum et verum hominem. Alio modo quod componeretur ex duabus naturis manentibus: et hoc dupliciter. Uno modo secundum commensurationem vel continuationis vel contiguationis; et secundum hoc poneretur divina natura corporea: quia continuatio et contactus corporum est. Alio modo secundum informationem, sicut ex anima et corpore fit unum; et hoc etiam non potest esse: quia per modum istum non fit unum ex duobus actibus nec ex duabus potentiis, sed ex actu et potentia, secundum Philosophum: divina autem natura et humana, utraque est ens actu. Praeterea divina natura non habet aliquid potentialitatis, nec potest esse actus veniens in compositionem alicuius, cum sit esse primum infinitum per se subsistens. Patet igitur quod quocumque modo ponatur una natura in Christo, sequitur error: et ideo Eutyches, qui hoc posuit, ut haereticus condemnatus est. However, if one nature were composed from two, this could be in two ways. In one way, some third nature would be composed from two natures which do not remain, as a mixed thing is composed from the four elements; and according to this a passible and material divine nature would be posited, because there is no mixture except of those things which share in matter, and which they are fitted to act upon one another and to be acted upon; and the faith confessing Christ to be true God and true man would be destroyed. In another way, something is composed from two natures which remain; and this in two ways. In one way according to commensuration, either of succession or of contiguity; and according to this a corporeal divine nature would be posited: because succession and contact belong to bodily things. In another way, according to formation, as one thing comes out of a body and a soul, and this also cannot be, because through that way one thing does not come to be from two acts or two potencies, but from act and potency, according to the Philosopher, (De Anima, 2,2): but, the divine nature and the human nature are each a being in act. Moreover, the divine nature does not have any potentiality, nor can it be an act joining into the composition of another, since it is the first infinite being subsisting through itself. Therefore, it is obvious that in whatever way one nature is posited in Christ an error follows. Thus, Eutyches, who posited this, was condemned as a heretic.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod aliquid constat ex duabus naturis, non tamen ex duabus sicut mixtum ex elementis: quia et in talibus oportet quod sit media natura constituta ex duabus non manentibus. Christus autem constat ex duabus naturis ita quod in duabus naturis salvatis subsistit: est enim naturae divinae et humanae: et ideo ratio non sequitur. Resp. 1: Something consists of two natures, yet it is not from two natures as a mixed thing is from elements: because in such things it is necessary that there be a middle nature constituted from two which do not remain. But, Christ consists of two natures in such a way that he subsists in two remaining natures. For he is of human and divine nature. Therefore, the argument does not follow.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod, sicut dicit Avicenna, differentia nominat totam naturam speciei; alias non praedicaretur de specie; sed non nominat ex toto, sed ex parte, scilicet formali principio: dicitur enim rationale habens rationem. Genus autem e converso nominat totum ex principio materiali. Unde differentia non additur differentiae per hoc quod natura additur naturae, sed per hoc quod ulterius principium formale additur, sicut intellectivum supra sensitivum. Talis autem additio non est in Christo: non enim una natura additur alteri sicut formalis respectu illius, ut dictum est. Resp. 2: As Avicenna says the difference names the whole nature of the species; otherwise, it would not be predicated of the species; but it does not name from the whole, but from the part, namely, from the formal principle. For example, something is called rational as having reason. But conversely, the genus names the whole from the material principle. Hence the difference is not added to a difference through this, that the nature is added to a nature, but through this, that a further formal principle is added, as the intellective principle is added above the sensitive principle. But, there is not such an addition in Christ; for one nature is not added to another as if it were the formal principle of that thing, as was said.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod anima et corpus secundum quod sunt partes hominis, proprie loquendo, non sunt duae naturae, prout in proposito de natura loquimur; sed utrumque est pars naturae, alterum sicut forma, alterum autem sicut materia; unde non est instantia. Resp. 3: The soul and the body, insofar as they are parts of a man, are not, properly speaking, two natures, as we are speaking of nature in the matter under discussion; but each is part of a nature, the one as a form, the other as matter; hence there is no objection.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod proprietates humanae naturae nunquam dicuntur de divina, nec e converso, nisi secundum quamdam participationem; sed dicuntur utraeque de habente naturam, vel humanam vel divinam, quae significatur hoc nomine deus, et hoc nomine homo: idem enim est qui utrasque naturas habet. Resp. 4: Properties of the human nature are never said about the divine nature, nor conversely, except according to a certain participation. But, [the properties of] both [natures] are said of the thing which has a human or a divine [nature], which is signified both by the name "God" and by the name "man", for it is the same thing which has both natures.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod ratio ista procedit in illis quae communicant in materia, et agunt et patiuntur ad invicem: et ideo non est ad propositum.Resp. 5: That argument holds good in those things which share in matter, those which both act upon one another and are acted upon, and thus it is not to the point.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod caro dicitur deificata, non quia sit facta ipsa Divinitas, sed quia facta est Dei caro, et etiam quia abundantius dona Divinitatis participat ex hoc quod est unita Divinitati, et quia est quasi instrumentum per quod divina virtus salutem nostram operatur: tangendo enim leprosum carne sanavit per Divinitatis virtutem, et moriendo carne mortem vicit per virtutem Divinitatis. Virtus autem agentis aliquo modo est in instrumento, quo mediante aliquid agit. Resp. 6: The flesh is called deified not because it was made the Godhead, but because it was made the flesh of God, and also because it shares more abundantly the gifts of the Godhead from the fact that it was united to the Godhead, and because it is like an instrument through which the divine power accomplishes our salvation: for by touching the leper in the flesh he healed by the power of the Godhead, and by dying in the flesh he conquered death through the power of the Godhead. Now, the power of an agent is in some way in the instrument, by which means the agent does something.

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The Aquinas Translation Project
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