Quodlibetal Questions, IX, q. 2, a. 2[3]: "Whether there is only one being in Christ?"

Ad secundum sic proceditur: videtur quod in Christo non sit unum tantum esse.It seems that there is not only one being in Christ:
Vivere enim, secundum Philosophum in II de Anima, viventibus est esse. Sed in Christo non est tantum unum vivere, cum duplex sit in eo vita: creata scilicet vita, qua vivit corpus per animam, quae morte privatur; et vita increata, qua vivit per seipsum. Ergo nec in Christo est tantum unum esse.Objection 1: For, according to the Philosopher in book II of De Anima, living is being in living things; but there is not only one act of living in Christ, since there is in him both a created life, by which a body lives through a soul, which is lost in death, and an uncreated life, by which the Word lives through himself: therefore, there is not only one being in Christ.
Praeterea, sicut esse est suppositi, ita et operatio. Sed unitas suppositi non facit quin in Christo sint plures operationes. Ergo nec faciet quod in Christo sit tantum unum esse.Objection 2: Further, just as being is of a suppositum, so too is operation; but the unity of a suppositum does not entail that there are not many operations in Christ; therefore neither does it entail that there is only one being.
Praeterea, generatio est mutatio ad esse. Sed in Christo est quaedam generatio temporalis, de qua Matth. I, 18: Christi autem generatio sic erat: quae non potest terminari ad esse aeternum. Ergo terminatur ad aliquod esse temporale et creatum. Ergo in Christo est duplex esse, cum in ipso maxime sit esse increatum. Objection 3: Further, "generation is a change towards being"; but in Christ there is a kind of temporal generation, about which Matthew says: "Now the generation of Christ was thus...", which cannot be terminated at an eternal being; therefore it is terminated at some temporal and created being; therefore there is a two-fold being in Christ, since there is most specially an uncreated being in him.
Praeterea, unicuique est attribuendum esse de quo convenienter quaeri potest an est. Sed de humana natura potest quaeri an est. Ergo humana natura habet esse proprium in Christo; et sic est in eo duplex esse, cum etiam humana natura suum esse habeat. Objection 4: Further, being must be attributed to each and every thing, about which we can fittingly ask "does it exist?"; but it is possible to ask whether human nature exists; therefore human nature has its own being in Christ, and thus there is a two-fold being in him, since the divine nature also has its own being.
Sed contra, quaecumque sunt distincta secundum esse, sunt in supposito distincta. Sed in Christo est unum tantum suppositum. ergo et unum tantum esse. To the contrary, whatever things are distinct according to being, are distinct according to suppositum; but there is only one suppositum in Christ; therefore there is also only one being.
Respondeo. Dicendum, quod esse, dupliciter dicitur, ut patet per Philosophum in V Metaph., et in quadam glossa Origenis super principium Ioan. Uno modo, secundum quod est copula verbalis significans compositionem cuiuslibet enuntiationis quam anima facit: unde hoc esse non est aliquid in rerum natura, sed tantum in actu animae componentis et dividentis. Et sic esse attribuitur omni ei de quo potest propositio formari, sive sit ens, sive privatio entis; dicimus enim caecitatem esse. Alio modo esse dicitur actus entis in quantum est ens, idest quo denominatur aliquid ens actu in rerum natura. Et sic esse non attribuitur nisi rebus ipsis quae in decem generibus continentur; unde ens a tali esse dictum per decem genera dividitur. I answer that the term 'being' is used in two ways, as is obvious from Aristotle in book V of the Metaphysics and in a certain gloss of Origen on the beginning of John. It is used in one way, insofar as it is a verbal copula signifying the composition of any enunciation which the mind produces, hence being [taken] in this way does not signify something in the nature of things, but only in the mind's act of composing and dividing; and in this sense being [esse] is attributed to everything about which a proposition can be formed, whether it is a being [ens] or a privation of being: for we say that there is blindness. In another way being means the act of a being insofar as it is a being [actus entis in quantum est ens], i.e. that by which something is called an actual being in reality; and thus being is only attributed to real things which are contained amongst the ten categories, hence a being [ens] said to have being [esse] in this way falls under the ten categories.
Sed hoc esse attribuitur alicui dupliciter. But being in this sense is attributed to something in two ways.
Uno modo ut sicut ei quod proprie et vere habet esse vel est. Et sic attribuitur soli substantiae per se subsistenti: unde quod vere est, dicitur substantia in I Physic.. Omnia vero quae non per se subsistunt, sed in alio et cum alio, sive sint accidentia sive formae substantiales aut quaelibet partes, non habent esse ita ut ipsa vere sint, sed attribuitur eis esse alio modo, idest ut quo aliquid est; sicut albedo dicitur esse, non quia ipsa in se subsistat, sed quia ea aliquid habet esse album. Esse ergo proprie et vere non attribuitur nisi rei per se subsistenti.In one way, as [it is attributed] to that which truly and properly has being or is; and in this way it is only attributed to substances subsisting through themselves, hence "what truly is" is called substance in book 1 of the Physics. Now, all these things which do not subsist through themselves, but [subsist] in another and with another, whether they are accidents, substantial forms, or any parts, do not have being in such a way that they truly are, but being is attributed to them in another way, i.e. as that by which something is. Just as whiteness is said to be, not because it subsists, but because it has something that is white. Therefore, being is not truly and properly attributed to a thing unless it is subsisting per se.
Huic autem attribuitur esse duplex. Unum scilicet esse resultans ex his ex quibus eius unitas integratur, quod proprium est esse suppositi substantiale. Aliud esse est supposito attributum praeter ea quae integrant ipsum, quod est esse superadditum, scilicet accidentale; ut esse album attribuitur Socrati cum dicitur: Socrates est albus. But being is attributed to such a thing in two ways. One is of course being which results from those things from which a thing's unity is brought about and this is the substantial being proper to a suppositum. Being in the other sense is attributed [to things] beyond those which constitute the suppositum, that is super-added , i.e. accidental, being, as being white is attributed to Socrates when we say: Socrates is white.
Quia ergo in Christo ponimus unam rem subsistentem tantum, ad cuius integritatem concurrit etiam humanitas, quia unum suppositum est utriusque naturae; ideo oportet dicere quod esse substantiale, quod proprie attribuitur supposito, in Christo est unum tantum; habet autem unitatem ex ipso supposito, et non ex naturis. Si tamen ponatur humanitas a divinitate separari, tunc humanitas suum esse habebit aliud ab esse divino. Non enim impediebat quin proprium esse haberet nisi hoc quod non erat per se subsistens; sicut si arca esset quoddam individuum naturale, ipsa tota non haberet nisi unum esse; quaelibet tamen partium haberet nisi unum esse; quaelibet tamen partium eius ab arca separata proprium esse habebit. Et sic patet quod secundum opinionem secundam oportet dicere quod in Christo est unum esse substantiale, secundum quod esse est suppositi proprie, quamvis sit in eo multiplex esse accidentale.Therefore, since we only posit one subsisting thing [res] in Christ, to whose completeness his humanity accompanies, since there is one suppositum of both natures, thus we must say that the substantial being which is properly attributed to the suppositum, is only one in Christ, but it has unity from its suppositum, not from the natures. Yet, if it is posited that the humanity is separated from the divinity, then humanity will possess its being other than the divine being: for Christ's humanity was not impeded from having its own being except by the fact that it was not subsisting per se: just as if a box were a kind of natural individual, its whole would have just one being, yet any of its parts separated from the box will have their own being. And in this way it is evident that according to the second opinion [described by Peter Lombard], we must say that there is only one substantial being in Christ, insofar as being is properly of a suppositum, although there is a multiplicity of accidental being in him.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod vivere dicit esse quoddam specificatum per speciale essendi principium; et ideo diversitas vitae consequitur diversitatem principiorum vivendi, sed magis respicit ad suppositum subsistens.Reply 1: Living means a certain specified being through a special principle of being, and thus diversity in a living thing follows upon the diversity of principles of living; but being looks more to the subsisting suppositum.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod operatio suppositi non est de integritate unitatis eius, sed consequitur eius unitatem; unde unius suppositi invenimus multas operationes secundum diversa operationum principia, quae supposito insunt: sicut homo aliud operatur lingua et manu; sed esse est id in quo fundatur unitas suppositi: unde esse multiplex praeiudicat unitati essendi.Reply 2: The operation of a suppositum is not to do with the integrity of its unity, but follows upon its unity, hence we find many operations of one suppositum according to the diverse principles of the operations which are present in the suppositum, just as a man uses his mouth and his hand differently; but being is that in which the unity of the suppositum is founded, hence multiple being is injurious to unity.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod generatio temporalis terminatur non ad esse suppositi aeterni, ut simpliciter per eam esse incipiat; sed quod incipiat esse suppositum, habens illud esse suppositi humanae naturae.Reply 3: A temporal generation is not terminated in the being of an eternal suppositum so that it begins to be through it simply, but it begins to be a suppositum possessing that property, [i.e.] to be the suppositum of a human nature.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod obiectio illa procedit de esse quod in actu animae consistit; quia an est, etiam de caecitate quaeri potest.Reply 4: That objection proceeds from being which consists in an act of the mind, insofar as those things are only said with respect to mental being, since it is also possible to ask "does it exist?" of blindness.

© Mr. Jason Lewis Andrew West
(jason.west@newman.edu)



The Aquinas Translation Project
(http://www4.desales.edu/~philtheo/loughlin/ATP/index.html)