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
Qualiter ponatur Verbum in divinis
How a Word is attributed to God
Accipiendum est autem ex his quae supra dicta sunt quod Deus se ipsum intelligit et diligit; item quod intelligere in ipso et velle non sit aliud quam eius esse. Quia ergo Deus se ipsum intelligit, omne autem intellectum in intelligente est, oportet Deum in se ipso esse sicut intellectum in intelligente. Intellectum autem prout est in intelligente, est verbum quoddam intellectus; hoc enim exteriori verbo significamus quod interius intellectu comprehendimus: sunt enim, secundum Philosophum, voces signa intellectuum. Oportet igitur in Deo ponere Verbum ipsius.
We take from the things said above that God understands and loves himself; likewise, that understanding and willing in him are not something other than his being. Since God understands himself, and since everything understood is in the one understanding, it is necessary that God be in himself as the thing understood in the one understanding. But the thing understood, so far as it is in the one understanding, is a certain word of the intellect; for we signify by an exterior word what we comprehend interiorly in our intellect. For words, according to the Philosopher, are signs of things understood. Hence we must posit in God his Word.
Quod Verbum in divinis conceptio dicitur
That Word in God is called a conception
Id autem quod in intellectu continetur, ut interius verbum, etiam communi usu loquendi conceptio intellectus dicitur. Nam corporaliter aliquid concipi dicitur quod in utero animalis viventis vivifica virtute formatur, mare agente et femina patiente in qua fit conceptio, ita quod ipsum conceptum pertinet ad naturam utriusque, quasi secundum speciem conforme.
What is contained in the intellect, as an interior word, is by common usage also said to be a concept or conception of the intellect. For something is said to be conceived in a bodily way if it is formed in the womb of a living animal by a life-giving power, in virtue of the active function of the male and the passive function of the female, in whom the conception takes place. The being thus conceived shares in the nature of both parents and conforms to them in appearance.
Quod autem intellectus comprehendit in intellectu formatur, intelligibili quasi agente et intellectu quasi patiente. Et ipsum quod intellectu comprehenditur, intra intellectum existens, conforme est et intelligibili moventi, cuius quaedam similitudo est, et intellectui quasi patienti secundum quod esse intelligibile habet. Unde id quod intellectu comprehenditur non immerito conceptio intellectus vocatur.
Now, what the intellect comprehends is formed in the intellect, with the intelligible object being, as it were, the active principle, and the intellect the passive principle. That which is thus comprehended by the intellect, existing within the intellect, is conformed both to the moving intelligible object of which it is a certain likeness, and to the intellect as the passive principle, so to speak, in accord with which it has intelligible existence. Hence what is comprehended by the intellect is not unfittingly called the conception of the intellect.
Quomodo Verbum comparatur ad Patrem
How the Word stands to the Father
In hoc autem consideranda est differentia. Nam cum id quod in intellectu concipitur sit similitudo rei intellectae, eius speciem repraesentans, quaedam proles ipsius esse videtur. Quando igitur intellectus intelligit aliud a se, res intellecta est sicut pater verbi in intellectu concepti; ipse autem intellectus magis gerit similitudinem matris, cuius est ut in ea fiat conceptio. Quando vero intellectus intelligit se ipsum, verbum conceptum comparatur ad intelligentem sicut proles ad patrem; cum igitur de Verbo loquamur secundum quod Deus se ipsum intelligit, oportet quod ipsum Verbum comparetur ad Deum, cuius est Verbum, sicut filius ad patrem.
But here a point of difference must be considered. For since that which is conceived in the intellect is a likeness of the thing understood, representing its species, it seems to be a kind of offspring of the thing understood. Therefore, when the intellect understands something other than itself, the thing understood is, so to speak, the father of the word conceived; while the intellect itself resembles a mother, to whom it belongs that conception should take place in her. But when the intellect understands itself, the word conceived is related to the one understanding as offspring to father. Since, therefore, we are speaking of the Word according as God understands himself, it is necessary that this Word must be compared to God, whose Word it is, as son to father.
Quomodo intelligitur generatio in divinis
How generation in God is understood
Hinc est quod in regula Catholicae fidei Patrem et Filium in divinis confiteri docemur, cum dicitur: Credo in Deum Patrem et Filium eius. Et ne aliquis, audiens nomen Patris et Filii, carnalem generationem suspicaretur secundum quam apud nos pater dicitur et filius, evangelista Iohannes, cui revelata sunt secreta caelestia, loco Filii Verbum posuit ut generationem intelligibilem agnoscamus.
Hence in the rule of Catholic faith we are taught to profess belief in the Father and Son in God by saying: I believe in God the Father, and in his Son. And lest anyone, hearing Father and Son mentioned, should have any notion of carnal generation, according to which father and son receive their designation among us, John the Evangelist, to whom were revealed heavenly mysteries, substitutes Word for Son (John 1:14), so that we may understand that the generation is intellectual.
Quod Verbum quod est Filius idem esse habet cum Deo Patre et eandem essentiam
That the Word, which is the Son, has the same existence and essence as the Father
Considerandum est autem quod, cum in nobis aliud sit esse naturale et intelligere, oportet quod verbum in nostro intellectu conceptum, quod habet esse intelligibile tantum, alterius naturae et essentiae sit quam intellectus noster, qui habet esse naturale. In Deo autem idem est esse et intelligere. Verbum igitur Dei, quod est in Deo cuius est Verbum secundum esse intelligibile, idem esse habet cum Deo cuius est Verbum; et per hoc oportet quod sit eiusdem essentiae et naturae cum ipso, et omnia quaecumque de Deo dicuntur Verbo Dei conveniant.
It must be considered that, since in us natural being and the act of understanding are distinct, it is necessary that the word conceived in our intellect, which has intelligible being only, differ in nature and essence from our intellect, which has natural existence. In God, however, to be and to understand are the same. Therefore, the Word of God, which is in God (whose Word he is according to intellectual existence), has the same being as God, whose Word he is. And because of this, it is necessary that he be of the same essence and nature as God himself, and everything whatsoever that is said of God must belong also to the Word of God.