I Sentences, Distinction 37, Question 1

ARTICULUS II
Utrum Deus sit in omnibus per potentiam, praesentiam et essentiam; in sanctis per gratiam, in Christo per esse.
Second Article
Whether God is in all things by power, presence, and essence; in the saints by grace; in Christ by being.
Ad secundum sic proceditur. 1. Videtur quod inconvenienter assignentur modi isti, quibus Deus in rebus esse dicitur. Cum enim dicimus Deum esse in rebus, significamus qualiter Deus ad res se habeat. Sed Deus uno modo se habet ad omnia, quamvis non omnia uno modo ad ipsum se habeant, ut dicit Dionysius, III cap. De div nom. Ergo videtur quod non debeat esse nisi unus modus existendi Deum in rebus.We proceed thus to the second issue. 1. It seems that those ways by which God is said to be in things are assigned unfittingly. For, when we say that God is in things, we mean as God is related to things. But God is related to all things in one way, although not all things are related to him in one way, as Dionysius says in Chapter 3 of On the Divine Names. It seems, therefore, that there must be only one way that God exists in things.
2. Si dicas, quod isti modi diversificantur secundum diversas habitudines creaturae ad Deum. ­ Contra, quilibet effectus in creatura causat aliquam habitudinem creaturae ad Deum. Sed quasi infiniti sunt effectus Dei in creaturis. Ergo infinitis modis dicetur Deus esse in creaturis, et non quinque tantum.2. You may say that those ways are distinguished according to a creature's different relations to God. On the contrary, every effect in a creature causes some relation of the creature to God. But there are, as it were, infinite effects of God in creatures. It will, therefore, be said that God is in creatures in infinite ways, and not only five.
3. Praeterea, ea secundum quae diversimode creaturae ad Deum referuntur, non inveniuntur in omnibus creaturis. Sed quidam istorum modorum conveniunt omni creaturae, scilicet per essentiam, praesentiam et potentiam. Ergo videtur quod modi isti non differant secundum diversam habitudinem creaturae ad Deum.3. Furthermore, the things according to which creatures are differently referred to God are not found in all creatures. But some of those ways are applicable to every creature, namely, by essence, presence, and power. It seems, therefore, that those ways do not differ according to a creature's different relation to God.
4. Si dicas, quod distinguuntur secundum diversas rationes attributorum. ­ Contra, non plus differt potentia ab essentia, quam scientia et voluntas. Sed esse in rebus per essentiam et potentiam constituit duos modos. Ergo et similiter diversificabuntur secundum omnia attributa.4. You may say that they are distinguished according to the different accounts of God's attributes. On the contrary, God's power no more differs from his essence than do his knowledge and will. But to be in things by essence and power constitutes two ways. They will therefore be diversified, in a similar way, according to all the attributes.
In contrarium est quod in Littera dicitur, et auctoritatibus confirmatur.In contrast to this is what is said in this text of the Sentences and is confirmed by authorities.
SOLUTIO. Respondeo dicendum, quod distinctio istorum modorum partim sumitur ex parte creaturae, partim ex parte Dei. Ex parte creaturae, inquantum diverso modo ordinatur in Deum et conjungitur ei, non diversitate rationis tantum, sed realiter. Cum enim Deus in rebus esse dicatur secundum quod eis aliquo modo applicatur, oportet ut ubi est diversus conjunctionis vel applicationis modus, ibi sit diversus modus essendi. Conjungitur autem creatura Deo tripliciter. Primo modo secundum similitudinem tantum, inquantum invenitur in creatura aliqua similitudo divinae bonitatis, non quod attingat ipsum Deum secundum substantiam: et ista conjunctio invenitur in omnibus creaturis per essentiam, praesentiam et potentiam.Solution: I answer that it should be said that the distinction of those ways is taken partly from the side of a creature and partly from the side of God. It is taken from the side of a creature insofar as a creature is ordered in a different way to God and is united to him, not by a difference of thought only, but in reality. For, when God is said to be in things insofar as he is joined to them in some manner, it is necessary that there be a different way of being where there is a different way of union or accommodation. A creature, however, is united to God in three ways. In the first way, according to likeness only, insofar as some likeness of the divine goodness is found in a creature, not because it attains God himself according to substance. That union is found in all creatures by essence, presence, and power.
Secundo creatura attingit ad ipsum Deum secundum substantiam suam consideratum, et non secundum similitudinem tantum; et hoc est per operationem: scilicet quando aliquis fide adhaeret ipsi primae veritati, et caritate ipsi summae bonitati: et sic est alius modus quo Deus specialiter est in sanctis per gratiam. Tertio creatura attingit ad ipsum Deum non solum secundum operationem, sed etiam secundum esse: non quidem prout esse est actus essentiae, quia creatura non potest transire in naturam divinam: sed secundum quod est actus hypostasis vel personae, in cujus unionem creatura assumpta est: et sic est ultimus modus quo Deus est in Christo per unionem. Ex parte autem Dei non invenitur diversitas in re, sed ratione tantum, secundum quod distinguitur in ipso essentia, virtus et operatio. Essentia autem ejus cum sit absoluta ab omni creatura, non est in creatura nisi in quantum applicatur sibi per operationem: et secundum hoc quod operatur in re, dicitur esse in re per praesentiam, secundum quod oportet operans operato aliquo modo praesens esse; et quia operatio non deserit virtutem divinam a qua exit, ideo dicitur esse in re per potentiam; et quia virtus est ipsa essentia, ideo consequitur ut in re etiam per essentiam sit.In the second way, a creature attains God himself according to a consideration of its own substance, and not according to a likeness only. This occurs by an operation, namely, when someone clings by faith to the first truth itself and clings by charity to the highest goodness itself. And so, there is another way by which God is particularly in the saints by grace. In the third way, a creature attains God himself not only according to an operation but also according to being, not indeed insofar as being is the act of an essence, because a creature cannot change into the divine nature, but insofar as it is the act of a hypostasis or person, in whose union a creature is assumed. And so, there is the last way by which God is in Christ by union. From the side of God, however, difference is not found in reality, but in thought only, insofar as there is distinguished in him essence, power, and operation. Since, however, it is independent from every creature, his essence is in a creature only insofar as it is joined to a creature by an operation. Insofar as he operates in a thing, he is said to be in a thing by presence inasmuch as an operating thing must be present in some manner to the thing operated on. And because an operation does not abandon the divine power from which it goes forth, he is said, for this reason, to be in a thing by power. And because power is his essence itself, it therefore follows that he is also in a thing by essence.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod si loquamur de unitate et diversitate secundum rem, sic Deus uno modo se habet ad res: sed quia res diversimode se habent ad ipsum, contingit Deum significari in diversa habitudine ad res, inquantum relationes fundatae in creaturis reliquerunt diversas habitudines secundum rationem in Deo. Si autem consideretur unitas et distinctio secundum rationem tantum, sic Deus pluribus modis se habet ad res, ut sciens, ut potens, et sic de aliis.To the first, therefore, it should be said that, if we are speaking about unity and difference in reality, then God is related to things in one way. But because things are related differently to him, it happens that God is signified in a different relation to things insofar as the relations located in creatures left behind different relations in God according to thought. If, however, unity and difference are considered only according to thought, then God is related to things in many ways, for example, as knowing, as powerful, and so on concerning the others.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod divisio essentialis semper est per differentias quae per se dividunt aliquod commune; sicut habens pedes, per se dividitur per bipes et quadrupes; non autem per album et nigrum. Similiter dico, quod Deum esse in creaturis per se dividitur secundum diversos modos quibus creaturae attingunt Deum: et haec est divisio essentialis et formalis. Sed si accipiantur diversi effectus in creaturis per se in quibus est Deus per naturales effectus tantum, non invenietur nisi unus modus attingendi in Deum quo est communiter in omnibus creaturis; et ideo non est divisio nisi per accidens et materialis, quae ab omni arte praetermittitur.To the second, it should be said that an essential distinction always arises through differences that essentially divide something that is common, as having feet is essentially divided by two-footed and four-footed, not however by white and black. I say similarly that God being in creatures is essentially divided according to the different ways by which creatures attain God, and this is an essential and formal distinction. But if the different effects in which God is in creatures are considered essentially as natural effects only, there will be found only one way of attaining God in what is in all creatures in common. And there is, for this reason, only an accidental and material distinction, which is overlooked by every art.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod illi tres modi non sumuntur ex diversitate creaturae, sed ex parte ipsius Dei operantis in rebus: et ideo omnem creaturam consequuntur, et praesupponuntur etiam in aliis modis. In quo enim est Deus per unionem, etiam est per gratiam; et in quo est per gratiam, est per essentiam, praesentiam et potentiam.To the third, it should be said that those three ways are not taken from the difference of a creature, but from the side of God himself operating in things. They, therefore, accompany every creature, and they are also presupposed in the other ways. For, in what God is by union, he is also in by grace; and in what he is by grace, he is in by essence, presence, and power.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod divina attributa non considerantur nisi secundum triplicem ordinem ad res: vel secundum operationem, vel secundum virtutem, vel secundum essentiam; et ideo non sunt nisi tres modi essendi Deum in rebus, qui sumuntur secundum diversum ordinem comparationis Dei ad res.To the fourth, it should be said that the divine attributes are considered only according to a threefold order to things: either according to operation, or according to power, or according to essence. There are, therefore, only three ways that God has being in things that are understood according to a different order of relation of God to things.

© John Laumakis
(jlamakis@hilltop.ic.edu)



The Aquinas Translation Project
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