I Sentences, Distinction 37, Question 2

ARTICULUS II
Utrum esse ubique soli Deo conveniat
Second Article
Whether to be everywhere belongs to God alone.
Ad secundum sic proceditur. 1. Videtur quod esse ubique non soli Deo conveniat. Ponere enim materiam primam esse Deum, vel etiam ens universale, ut quidam posuerunt, est haereticum. Sed universale est ubique et semper, secundum Philosophum, et similiter materia prima, quae est in omni corpore, quo omnis locus impletur, cum nihil sit vacuum, ut philosophi probant, IV Phys. Ergo esse ubique non tantum Deo convenit.We proceed thus to the second issue. 1. It seems that to be everywhere does not belong to God alone. For it is heretical to maintain, as some maintained, that God is prime matter or universal being. But what is universal is everywhere and always, according to the Philosopher, and similarly so is prime matter, which is in every body by which every place is filled, since there is no vacuum, as the philosophers prove in Book 4 of the Physics. Therefore, to be everywhere does not belong to God alone.
2. Praeterea, in omnibus numeratis est aliquis numerus. Sed omnes partes universi sunt numeratae. Ergo numerus collectus est in toto universo, et ita est ubique.2. Furthermore, some number is in all numbered things. But all parts of the universe are numbered. Therefore, number is amassed in the whole universe, and it is, accordingly, everywhere.
3. Praeterea, secundum Augustinum, De immort. animae, cap. XVI, anima tota est in singulis partibus. Sed potuisset Deus tantum creare unum corpus animatum. Ergo anima ejus ubique esset. Sed quod soli Deo convenit, nulli creaturae communicatur. Ergo esse ubique non convenit soli Deo.3. Moreover, according to Augustine in Chapter 16 of On the Immortality of the Soul, the soul is whole in each part of the body. But God could have created only one animated body. Its soul, therefore, would be everywhere. But what belongs to God alone is communicated to no creature. Therefore, to be everywhere does not belong to God alone.
Sed contra, Ambrosius, in Littera, probat Spiritum sanctum esse Deum quia ubique est. Sed probatio nihil valeret, nisi esse ubique soli Deo conveniret. Ergo esse ubique soli Deo convenit.But, on the contrary, Ambrose proves in this text of the Sentences that the Holy Spirit is God because he is everywhere. But this proof would be to no avail unless to be everywhere belonged to God alone. Therefore, to be everywhere belongs to God alone.
SOLUTIO. Respondeo dicendum, quod esse ubique si per se sumatur, soli Deo convenit nec alicui creaturae communicabile est; sed per accidens potest alicui convenire. Hoc autem accidens potest dupliciter considerari: vel ex parte ejus quod in loco est; vel ex parte loci. Si ex parte ejus quod in loco est, sic cum per accidens vel per posterius conveniat toti quod attribuitur sibi ratione suae partis, constat quod illud quod secundum diversas suas partes est in diversis locis, non primo et per se est in illis; immo est in uno loco tantum. Unde si esset unum corpus infinitum, illud esset ubique per accidens, secundum quod diceretur esse ubi sunt suae partes et non per se, quia ipsum non esset per se ubi est sua pars. Si ex parte loci, tunc accidit alicui ubique esse, eo quod non est alius locus quam ille in quo est; sed si fuerint multa alia loca, non esset ubique; sicut si ponatur unus tantum locus in quo unus homo est. Deo autem per se convenit ubique esse: quia ipse totus est in quolibet loco; et infinitis aliis locis existentibus, in omnibus esset; et hoc non est communicabile alicui creaturae nisi communicaretur sibi esse virtutis infinitae.Solution: I answer that it should be said that, if to be everywhere is understood essentially, it belongs to God alone, and it cannot be communicated to any creature. But accidentially it can belong to some creature. This accidental manner of being, however, can be considered in two ways: either on the part of what is in place or on the part of place. If it is considered on the part of what is in place, then, since what is attributed to something by reason of a part of it belongs to the whole thing accidentally or later on, it is established that that which is in different places according to its different parts is not first of all and essentially in those places; on the contrary, it is in one place only. Hence, if there were one infinite body, it would be everywhere accidentally insofar as it would be said to be where its parts are; it would not be everywhere essentially, because it itself would not be essentially where its part is. If this accidental manner of being is considered on the part of place, then it befalls some creature to be everywhere by the fact that there is not another place than the one in which it is, but if there were many other places, it would not be everywhere. This is the case, for example, if we assume that there is only one place in which there is one human being. It essentially belongs to God, however, to be everywhere. For he is whole in any place, and if an infinite number of other places existed, he would be in all of them. And this cannot be communicated to any creature unless being of infinite power were communicated to it.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad ea quae objecta sunt; quia omnibus illis convenit esse ubique per accidens, vel quia secundum diversas partes sunt, vel quia plura loca non sunt, vel quia secundum unum esse non sunt in pluribus, sicut universale et prima materia, quae secundum aliud et aliud esse sunt in diversis. Numerus vero per se non est in loco; et tamen secundum quod in loco est, non est totus in uno loco, sed in diversis secundum diversas partes.Consequently, the response to the things that were objected is clear. For, in all of them, to be everywhere belongs to something accidentally, or according to the different parts of a thing, or because there are not many places for a thing, or because, according to one being, the things are not in many places, as, for example, a universal and prime matter, which are in different places according to one being and another being. Number, to be sure, is not essentially in a place, and nonetheless, insofar as it is in a place, it is not whole in one place but in different places according to different parts.

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



The Aquinas Translation Project
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