Quod Deus est intelligens
That God must be intelligent
Ulterius autem ostendendum est quod Deus est intelligens. Ostensum est enim quod in ipso praeexistunt omnes perfectiones quorumlibet entium superabundanter; inter omnes autem perfectiones entium ipsum intelligere praecellere videtur, cum res intellectuales sint omnibus aliis potiores: oportet igitur Deum esse intelligentem.
We must go on to demonstrate that God is intelligent. We have already proved that all perfections of all beings whatsoever preexist in God superabundantly. Now, among all the perfections found in beings, intelligence is seen to possess a special preeminence, since intellectual beings are more powerful than all others. Therefore, God must be intelligent.
Item, ostensum est supra quod Deus est actus purus absque potentialitatis permixtione; materia autem est ens in potentia: oportet igitur Deum esse omnino immunem a materia. Immunitas autem a materia est causa intellectualitatis, cuius signum est quod formae materiales efficiuntur intelligibiles actu per hoc quod abstrahuntur a materia et a materialibus conditionibus: est igitur Deus intelligens.
Moreover, we pointed out above that God is pure act without any admixture of potentiality. But matter is a being in potency. Therefore, God must be utterly free from matter. But freedom from matter is the cause of intellectuality. An indication of this is that material forms are rendered intelligible in act by being abstracted from matter and from material conditions. Therefore, God is intelligent.
Item, ostensum est Deum esse primum movens; hoc autem videtur esse proprium intellectus, nam intellectus omnibus aliis videtur uti quasi instrumentis ad motum: unde et homo suo intellectu utitur quasi instrumentis et animalibus et plantis et rebus inanimatis. Oportet igitur Deum, qui est primum movens, esse intelligentem.
We proved, further, that God is the first mover. This very perfection appears to be a property of intellect, for we observe that the intellect uses all other things as instruments, so to speak, for movement. Thus man, by his intellect, uses animals and plants and inanimate objects as instruments of a sort. Consequently, God, the first mover, must be intelligent.
Quod in Deo non est intellectus in potentia nec in habitu sed in actu
That in God there is understanding neither in potency nor in habit, but in act
Cum autem in Deo non sit aliquid in potentia sed in actu tantum, ut ostensum est, oportet quod Deus non sit intelligens neque in potentia aut habitu, sed actu tantum. Ex quo patet quod nullam in intelligendo patitur successionem aut vicissitudinem. Cum enim aliquis intellectus successive multa intelligit, oportet quod, dum unum intelligit actu, alterum intelligat in potentia; si igitur Deus nihil intelligit in potentia, absque omni successione est eius intelligentia. Unde sequitur quod omnia quaecumque intelligit simul intelligat, inter ea enim quae simul sunt non est aliqua successio; et iterum quod nihil de novo intelligat, intellectus enim de novo aliquid intelligens prius fuit intelligens in potentia.
Since in God nothing is in potency but all is in act, as has been shown, God cannot be intelligent either potentially or habitually but only actually. An evident consequence of this is that he undergoes no succession or change in understanding. For the intellect that understands many things successively must understand one thing actually while understanding another only potentially. So if God understands nothing in potency, his understanding is free from all succession. Accordingly, whatever he understands, he understands simultaneously, for among things that are simultaneous there is no succession. It also follows that he does not begin to understand anything. For the intellect that begins to understand something was previously in potency to understanding.
Inde etiam patet quod intellectus eius non est discursivus, ut ex uno in cognitionem alterius deveniat, sicut intellectus noster in ratiocinando patitur: discursus enim talis in intellectu nostro est, dum ex noto pervenimus in cognitionem ignoti vel eius quod prius actu non considerabamus: quae in intellectu divino accidere non possunt.
It is likewise evident that God’s intellect does not understand discursively, proceeding from one truth to the knowledge of another, as is the case with our intellect in reasoning. A discursive process of this sort takes place in our intellect when we advance from the known to a knowledge of the unknown, or of what we had not actually thought of before. Such processes cannot occur in the divine intellect.
Quod Deus non intelligit per aliam speciem quam per essentiam suam
That God understands through no other species than his own essence
Patet etiam ex praedictis quod Deus non intelligit per aliam speciem quam per essentiam suam. Omnis enim intellectus intelligens per speciem aliam a se, comparatur ad illam speciem intelligibilem sicut potentia ad actum, cum species intelligibilis sit perfectio eius faciens ipsum intelligentem actu; si igitur in Deo nihil est in potentia sed est actus purus, oportet quod non per aliam speciem sed per essentiam suam intelligat. Et inde sequitur quod directe et principaliter se ipsum intelligat. Essentia enim rei non ducit proprie et directe in cognitionem alicuius nisi eius cuius est essentia: nam per definitionem hominis proprie cognoscitur homo, et per definitionem equi equus. Si igitur Deus est per essentiam suam intelligens, oportet quod id quod est intellectum ab eo directe et principaliter sit ipse Deus; et cum ipse sit sua essentia, sequitur quod in eo intellectus et quo intelligit et intellectum sit omnino idem.
The foregoing exposition makes it clear that God understands through no other species than through his essence. For any intellect that understands through a species other than itself is related to that intelligible species as potency to act, since an intelligible species is a perfection of the intellect that causes it to understand in act. Therefore, if nothing in God is in potency, but he is pure act, he must understand through his own essence, and not through any other kind of species. From this it follows that he directly and principally understands himself. For the essence of a thing does not properly and directly lead to the knowledge of anything else than of that being whose essence it is. Thus what is properly known through the definition of man is man, and what is properly known through the definition of horse is horse. Therefore, if God understands through his essence, that which is directly and principally understood by him must be God himself. And, since God is his own essence, it follows that, in him, understanding and that whereby he understands and that which is understood are absolutely identical.
Quod Deus est suum intelligere
That God is his own act of understanding
Oportet etiam quod ipse Deus sit suum intelligere. Cum enim ‘intelligere’ sit actus secundus ut considerare, primus enim actus est intellectus vel scientia, omnis intellectus qui non est suum intelligere comparatur ad suum intelligere sicut potentia ad actum; nam semper in ordine potentiarum et actuum quod est prius est potentiale respectu sequentis, et ultimum est completivum, loquendo in uno et eodem, licet in diversis sit e converso: nam movens et agens comparatur ad motum et actum sicut agens ad potentiam. In Deo autem, cum sit actus purus, non est aliquid quod comparetur ad alterum sicut potentia ad actum; oportet ergo quod ipse Deus sit suum intelligere.
God must also be his own act of understanding. Since ‘to understand’ is second act (as, for example ‘to consider’), whereas the corresponding first act is intellect or knowledge, any intellect that is not its own understanding is related to its understanding as potency to act. For in the order of potencies and acts, what is first is always potential with respect to what follows, and what is last is perfective. This is true only with reference to one and the same being, for among different beings the converse obtains; thus a mover and an agent are related to the thing moved and actuated as act to potency. In God, however, since he is pure act, there is nothing that is related to anything else as potency to act. Accordingly, God must be his own act of understanding.
Item, eodem modo comparantur intellectus ad intelligere et essentia ad esse; sed Deus est intelligens per essentiam suam, essentia autem sua est suum esse: ergo eius intellectus est suum intelligere. Et sic per hoc quod est intelligens nulla compositio in eo ponitur, cum in eo non sit aliud intellectus, intelligere et species intelligibilis; et haec non sunt aliud quam eius essentia.
Furthermore, the intellect is related to its act of understanding as essence is related to existence. But God understands through his essence, and his essence is his existence. Therefore, his intellect is his act of understanding. And thus the fact that God is intelligent implies no composition in him, since in him intellect and act of understanding and intelligible species are not distinct; and these in turn are nothing else than his essence.
Quod oportet Deum esse volentem
That there must be will in God
Ulterius autem manifestum est quod necesse est Deum esse volentem. Ipse enim se ipsum intelligit qui est bonum perfectum, ut ex dictis patet; bonum autem intellectum ex necessitate diligitur, hoc autem fit per voluntatem: necesse est igitur Deum volentem esse.
We perceive, further, that God must have will. For he understands himself, who is perfect good, as is clear from what has been said. But the good apprehended is necessarily loved, and this happens through the will. Consequently, God must have will.
Item, ostensum est supra quod Deus est primum movens per intellectum; intellectus autem non movet nisi mediante appetitu, appetitus autem sequens intellectum est voluntas: oportet igitur Deum esse volentem.
Moreover, we showed above that God is the first mover through intellect. But the intellect only moves through the intermediary of appetite, and the appetite that follows intellectual apprehension is the will. Therefore, God must have will.
Quod ipsam Dei voluntatem oportet nihil aliud esse quam eius intellectum
That the very will of God must be nothing other than his intellect
Patet autem quod oportet ipsam Dei voluntatem nihil aliud esse quam eius intellectum. Bonum enim intellectum, cum sit obiectum voluntatis, movet voluntatem et est actus et perfectio eius; in Deo autem non differt movens et motum, actus et potentia, perfectio et perfectibile, ut ex superioribus patet: oportet igitur voluntatem divinam esse ipsum bonum intellectum. Hoc autem est intellectus divinus et essentia divina; voluntas igitur Dei non est aliud quam intellectus divinus et essentia eius.
Moreover, it is clear that God’s will cannot be anything other than his intellect. For a good apprehended by the intellect, since it is the object of the will, moves the will and is the will’s act and perfection. In God, however, there is no distinction between mover and moved, act and potency, perfection and perfectible, as is clear from the foregoing. Therefore, it is necessary that the divine will be the good apprehended by the intellect. But this is the divine intellect and the divine essence. Therefore, the will of God is not other than the divine intellect and God’s essence.
Item, inter alias perfectiones rerum praecipuae sunt intellectus et voluntas, cuius signum est quod inveniuntur in rebus nobilioribus; perfectiones autem omnium rerum sunt in Deo unum quod est eius essentia, ut supra ostensum est: intellectus igitur et voluntas sunt in Deo idem quod essentia.
Again, among the various perfections of things, the chief are intellect and will. A sign of this is that they are found in the nobler beings. But the perfections of all things are one in God, and this is his essence, as we showed above. In God, therefore, intellect and will are identical with his essence.
Quod voluntas Dei est ipsum eius velle
That God’s will and willing are the same
Hinc etiam apparet quod voluntas divina est ipsum velle Dei. Ostensum enim est quod voluntas in Deo est idem quod bonum volitum ab ipso; hoc autem esse non posset nisi velle esset idem quod voluntas, cum velle sit voluntati ex volito: est igitur Dei voluntas suum velle.
Hence it is also clear that the divine will is the very act of willing in God. As has been shown, God’s will is identical with the good willed by him. But this would be impossible if his willing were not the same as his will; for willing is in the will because of the object willed. Accordingly, God’s will is his willing.
Item, voluntas Dei est idem quod eius intellectus et eius essentia; intellectus autem Dei est suum intelligere, et essentia est suum esse: ergo oportet quod voluntas sit suum velle. Et sic patet quod voluntas Dei simplicitati non repugnat.
Again, God’s will is the same as his intellect and his essence. But God’s intellect is his act of understanding, and his essence is his existence. Therefore, his will must be his act of willing. And so we see clearly that God’s will is not opposed to his simplicity.
Quod omnia supradicta uno fidei articulo comprehenduntur
That all the aforesaid truths are gathered into one article of faith
Ex his autem omnibus quae supra dicta sunt, colligere possumus quod Deus est unus, simplex, perfectus, infinitus, intelligens et volens. Quae quidem omnia in Symbolo Fidei brevi articulo comprehenduntur, cum nos profitemur credere in Deum unum omnipotentem. Cum enim hoc nomen Deus a nomine Graeco quod dicitur theos dictum videatur, quod quidem a theaste dicitur, quod est ‘videre’ vel ‘considerare’, in ipso nomine Dei manifestatur quod sit intelligens, et per consequens volens. In hoc autem quod dicimus eum unum, excluditur deorum pluralitas et omnis compositio: non enim est simpliciter unum nisi quod est simplex. Per hoc autem quod dicimus omnipotentem, ostenditur quod sit infinitae virtutis cui nihil subtrahi possit; in quo etiam includitur quod sit infinitus et perfectus, nam virtus rei perfectionem essentiae eius consequitur.
From everything that has been said above, we can gather that God is one, simple, perfect, infinite, intelligent, and has will. All these truths are assembled in a brief article of our Creed, wherein we profess to believe in one God, almighty. For, since this name God (Deus), is apparently derived from the Greek name Theos, which comes from theasthai, meaning ‘to see’ or ‘to consider’, the very name of God indicates that he is intelligent and consequently that he wills. In proclaiming that he is one, we exclude a plurality of gods, and also all composition; for a thing is not simply one unless it is simple. The fact that we say almighty shows that he possesses infinite power, from which nothing can be taken away. And this includes the further truth that he is infinite and perfect; for the power of a thing follows on the perfection of its essence.
Quod haec omnia a philosophis posita sunt
That all these things were laid down by the philosophers
Haec quidem quae in superioribus de Deo sunt tradita, a pluribus etiam gentilium philosophis subtiliter considerata sunt, quamvis nonnulli eorum circa praedicta erraverunt; et qui in his verum dixerunt, post longam et laboriosam inquisitionem ad veritatem praedictam pervenire vix potuerunt. Sunt alia nobis de Deo tradita in doctrina Christianae religionis ad quae pervenire non potuerunt, circa quae per Christianam fidem ultra humanum sensum instruimur. Est autem hoc quod, cum sit Deus unus et simplex, ut ostensum est, est tamen Deus Pater, Deus Filius et Deus Spiritus Sanctus, et hi tres non tres dii sed unus Deus est. Quod quidem quantum possibile nobis est, considerare intendimus.
The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number even of the pagan philosophers, although many of them erred concerning these matters. And those who propounded the truth regarding these matters were scarcely able to arrive at such truths even after long and painstaking investigation. There are other truths about God, handed down to us in the teaching of the Christian religion which were beyond the reach of the philosophers. These are truths about which we are instructed through Christian faith in a way that exceeds human perception. The teaching is this: although God is one and simple, as has been shown, he is nevertheless God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; and these three are not three gods, but are one God. We now turn to a consideration of this truth, so far as is possible to us.
The persons of the Trinity