Quod Deus sit
That God exists
Circa essentiae quidem divinae unitatem, primo quidem tenendum est Deum esse; quod ratione conspicuum est. Videmus enim omnia quae moventur ab aliis moveri: inferiora quidem per superiora, sicut elementa per corpora caelestia; et in elementis quod fortius est movet id quod debilius est; et in corporibus etiam caelestibus inferiora a superiori aguntur. Hoc in infinitum procedere impossibile est. Cum enim omne quod movetur ab aliquo sit quasi instrumentum quoddam primi moventis, si primum movens non sit, quaecumque movent instrumenta erunt. Oportet autem, si in infinitum procedatur in moventibus et motis, primum movens non esse; omnia igitur infinita moventia et mota erunt instrumenta. Ridiculum est autem, etiam apud indoctos, ponere instrumenta moveri, nisi ab aliquo principali agente: simile enim est hoc ac si aliquis circa constitutionem arcae vel lecti ponat serram vel securim absque carpentario operante. Oportet igitur primum movens esse quod sit omnibus supremum; et hoc dicimus Deum.
Regarding the unity of the divine essence, we must first believe that God exists. This is a truth clearly known by reason. For we observe that all things that move are moved by other things. Lower things are moved by higher things, as the elements are moved by heavenly bodies; and among the elements themselves, the stronger moves the weaker; and even among the heavenly bodies, the lower are driven by the higher. This cannot go on to infinity. For since everything that is moved by another is a sort of instrument of the first mover, if a first mover is lacking, then all things that move will be instruments. Now if one goes on to infinity with movers and things moved, there can be no first mover. In such a case, these infinitely many movers and moved things will all be instruments. But even the unlearned perceive how ridiculous it is to suppose that instruments are moved without some principal agent. This would be like fancying that, when a chest or a bed is being built, the saw or the hatchet performs its functions without the carpenter. Accordingly, there must be a first mover that is above everything else; and this we call God.
Quod Deus est immobilis
That God is immovable
Ex hoc autem apparet quod necesse est Deum omnino immobilem esse. Cum enim sit primum movens, si moveretur, necesse esset se ipsum vel a se ipso vel ab alio moveri. Ab alio quidem moveri non potest: oporteret enim esse aliud movens prius eo, quod est contra rationem primi moventis.
From this it is clear that God must be immovable. For, since he is the first mover, if he were moved he would have to be moved either by himself or by another. He cannot indeed be moved by another, for then there would have to be another mover prior to him, which is against the very idea of a first mover.
A se ipso autem si movetur, hoc potest esse dupliciter: aut quod secundum idem sit movens et motum, aut ita quod secundum aliquid sui sit movens et secundum aliquid motum. Horum quidem primum esse non potest. Cum enim omne quod movetur, inquantum huiusmodi, sit in potentia, quod autem movet sit in actu, si secundum idem esset movens et motum, oporteret quod secundum idem esset in potentia et actu: quod est impossibile. Secundum etiam esse non potest. Si enim esset aliud movens et alterum motum, non esset ipsum secundum se primum movens, sed ratione partis quae movet. Quod autem est per se, est prius eo quod non est secundum se; non potest igitur esse primum movens, si ratione suae partis hoc ei conveniat. Oportet igitur primum movens omnino immobile esse.
If he is moved by himself, this can be conceived in two ways: either that he is mover and moved according to the same respect, or that he is a mover according to one aspect of him and is moved according to another aspect. Now the first of these alternatives is impossible. For since everything that is moved is, to that extent, in potency, and whatever moves is in act, if God were both mover and moved according to the same respect then he would have to be in potency and in act according to the same respect, which is impossible. The second alternative is also impossible. If one part were moving and another were moved, he would not be the first mover essentially, but by reason of that part of him which moves. But what is essential is prior to that which is not essential. Hence there cannot be a first mover at all, if being the first mover belongs to him by reason of one of his parts. Accordingly, the first mover must be altogether immovable.
Ex his etiam quae moventur et movent hoc ipsum considerari potest. Omnis enim motus videtur ab aliquo immobili procedere, quod scilicet non movetur secundum illam speciem motus: sicut videmus quod alterationes et generationes et corruptiones, quae sunt in istis inferioribus, reducuntur sicut in primum movens in corpus caeleste, quod secundum hanc speciem motus omnino non movetur, cum sit ingenerabile et incorruptibile et inalterabile. Illud ergo quod est primum principium omnis motus, oportet esse immobile.
The same thing can be investigated based on things that move and are moved. For every motion is observed to proceed from something immobile, namely, from something that is not moved according to that species of motion. Thus we see that alterations and generations and corruptions occurring in lower bodies are traced back (as to a first mover) to a heavenly body that is in no way moved according to this species of motion, since it is incapable of being generated, corrupted, or altered. Therefore, the first principle of all motion must be immoveable.
Quod Deus est aeternus
That God is eternal
Ex hoc autem apparet ulterius Deum esse aeternum. Omne enim quod incipit esse vel desinit, per motum vel per mutationem hoc patitur; ostensum est autem quod Deus est omnino immobilis: est ergo aeternus.
From this, it is furthermore evident that God is eternal. For everything that begins to be or that ceases to be undergoes this through motion or change. But we have just shown that God is absolutely immoveable. Therefore, he is eternal.
Quod Deum esse per se est necessarium
That God’s existence is necessary in itself
Per hoc autem ostenditur quod Deum esse est necessarium. Omne enim quod possibile est esse et non esse, est mutabile; sed Deus est omnino immutabilis, ut ostensum est: ergo Deum non est possibile esse et non esse. Omne autem quod est, et non est possibile ipsum non esse, necesse est ipsum esse, quia necesse esse et non possibile non esse idem significant: ergo Deum esse est necesse.
The same line of reasoning shows that it is necessary for God to exist. For everything that has the possibility of existing and not existing is mutable. But God is absolutely immutable, as has been demonstrated. Therefore, God does not have the possibility of existing and not existing. But anything that exists, and does not have the possibility of not existing, exists necessarily, since to exist necessarily and to be unable not to exist mean the same thing. Therefore, it is necessary for God to exist.
Item, omne quod est possibile esse et non esse, indiget aliquo alio quod faciat ipsum esse, quia quantum est in se, se habet ad utrumque. Quod autem facit aliquid esse, est prius eo; omni igitur eo quod est possibile esse et non esse, est aliquid prius. Deo autem non est aliquid prius; ergo non est possibile ipsum esse et non esse, sed necesse est eum esse. Et quia aliqua necessaria sunt quae suae necessitatis causam habent, quam oportet eis esse priorem, Deus qui est omnium primum non habet causam suae necessitatis; unde Deum esse per se ipsum est necesse.
Moreover, everything that has the possibility of existing and of not existing needs something else to make it exist, for in itself it stands indifferently toward either alternative. But that which causes another thing to exist is prior to that thing. Hence there is something prior to anything that has the possibility of existing and of not existing. However, nothing is prior to God. Therefore, he does not have the possibility of existing and of not existing, but he must necessarily exist. And since there are some necessary things that have a cause of their necessity, which cause must be prior to them, God, who is the first of all, has no cause of his own necessity. Hence God’s existence is necessary by his very nature.
Quod Deus semper est
That God always is
Ex his autem manifestum est quod Deus est semper. Omne enim quod est necesse esse, est semper, quia quod non possibile est non esse impossibile est non esse, et ita numquam non est; sed necesse est Deum esse, ut ostensum est: ergo Deus semper est.
From all this it is evident that God exists always. For whatever necessarily exists, always exists, because it is impossible for a thing that has no possibility of not being, not to be. Hence it never does not exist. But it is necessary for God to exist, as has been shown. Therefore, God exists always.
Adhuc, nihil incipit esse aut desinit nisi per motum vel mutationem; Deus autem est omnino immutabilis, ut probatum est: impossibile est igitur quod esse inceperit vel quod esse desinat.
Again, nothing begins to be or ceases to be except through motion or change. But God is entirely immutable, as has been proved. Therefore, it is impossible for him ever to have begun to be or to cease to be.
Item, omne quod non semper fuit, si esse incipiat, indiget aliquo quod sit ei causa essendi; nihil enim se ipsum educit de potentia in actum vel de non esse in esse. Deo autem nulla potest esse causa essendi, cum sit primum ens; causa enim prior est causato. Necesse est igitur Deum semper fuisse.
Likewise, anything that has not always existed, if it begins to exist, needs some cause for its existence. For nothing brings itself forth from potency to act or from non-being to being. But God can have no cause of his being, since he is the first being, for a cause is prior to what is caused. Of necessity, therefore, God must always have existed.
Amplius, quod convenit alicui non ex aliqua causa extrinseca, convenit ei per se ipsum; esse autem Deo non convenit ex aliqua causa extrinseca, quia illa causa esset eo prior; Deus igitur habet esse per se ipsum. Sed ea quae per se sunt, semper sunt, et ex necessitate; igitur Deus semper est.
Furthermore, whatever pertains to anyone not from an external cause, pertains to him of himself, essentially. But existence does not come to God from any external cause, since such a cause would have to be prior to him. Therefore, God has existence of himself, essentially. But what exists of itself exists always and necessarily. Therefore, God exists always.
Quod in Deo non est aliqua successio
That there is no succession in God
Successio enim non invenitur nisi in illis quae sunt aliqualiter motui subiecta; prius enim et posterius in motu causant temporis successionem. Deus autem nullo modo est motui subiectus, ut ostensum est; non igitur est in eo aliqua successio, sed eius esse est totum simul.
Succession is only found in things that are in some way subject to motion; for prior and posterior in motion cause the succession of time. God, however, is in no sense subject to motion, as has been shown. Accordingly, there is no succession in God, but his existence is simultaneously whole.
Item, si alicuius esse non est totum simul, oportet quod ei aliquid deperire possit et aliquid advenire; deperit enim ei illud quod transit, et advenire ei potest illud quod in futurum expectatur. Deo autem nihil deperit nec accrescit, quia immobilis est; igitur eius esse est totum simul.
Again, if a being’s existence is not simultaneously whole, something can be lost to it and something can accrue to it. For that which passes is lost, and what is expected in the future can be acquired. But nothing is lost to God or accrues to him, since he is immutable. Therefore, his existence is simultaneously whole.
Ex his autem duobus apparet quod proprie est aeternus; illud enim proprie est aeternum quod semper est et eius esse totum est simul, secundum quod Boetius dicit quod aeternitas est interminabilis vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio.
From these two observations the proper meaning of eternity emerges. That is properly eternal which always exists and whose existence is simultaneously whole, in accord with what Boethius says: Eternity is the simultaneously whole and perfect possession of endless life.
Quod Deus est simplex
That God is simple
Inde etiam apparet quod oportet primum movens simplex esse. Nam in omni compositione oportet esse duo quae ad invicem se habeant sicut potentia ad actum; in primo autem movente, si est omnino immobile, impossibile est esse potentiam cum actu, nam unumquodque ex hoc quod est in potentia mobile est: impossibile est igitur primum movens compositum esse.
Hence it is also clear that the first mover must be simple. For any composite being must contain two factors that are related to each other as potency to act. But in the first mover, which is altogether unmoveable, all combination of potency and act is impossible, because whatever is in potency is, by that very fact, movable. Accordingly, the first mover cannot be composite.
Adhuc, omni composito necesse est esse aliquid prius, nam componentia naturaliter sunt priora composito; illud igitur quod est omnium entium primum, impossibile est esse compositum. Videmus etiam in ordine eorum quae sunt, supra composita simplicia esse: nam elementa naturaliter sunt priora corporibus mixtis; inter ipsa etiam elementa primum est ignis, quod est subtilissimum; omnibus autem elementis prius est caeleste corpus, quod in maiori simplicitate constitutum est, cum ab omni contrarietate sit purum. Relinquitur igitur quod primum entium oportet omnino simplex esse.
Moreover, something has to exist prior to any composite, since composing elements are naturally prior to a composite. Hence the first of all beings cannot be composite. We also observe that, in the order of things that exist, simpler things are before composite things. Thus elements are naturally prior to mixed bodies. Likewise, among the elements themselves, the first is fire, which is the simplest of all. Prior to all elements is the heavenly body, which has an even simpler construction since it is free from all contrariety. Hence the truth remains that the first of beings must be absolutely simple.
Quod Deus est sua essentia
That God is his own essence
Sequitur autem ulterius quod Deus sit sua essentia. Essentia enim uniuscuiusque rei est illud quod significat definitio eius. Hoc autem est idem cum re cuius est definitio, nisi per accidens, inquantum scilicet definito accidit aliquid quod est praeter definitionem ipsius: sicut homini accidit album praeter id quod est animal rationale et mortale, unde animal rationale et mortale est idem homini, sed non idem homini albo inquantum est album. In quocumque igitur non est invenire duo quorum unum est per se et aliud per accidens, oportet quod essentia eius sit omnino idem cum eo. In Deo autem, cum sit simplex, ut ostensum est, non est invenire duo quorum unum sit per se et aliud per accidens; oportet igitur quod essentia eius sit omnino idem quod ipse.
The further conclusion follows that God is his own essence. The essence of anything is that which its definition signifies. This is identical with the thing of which it is the definition, except accidentally, namely, insofar as something is added to the thing defined over and above its definition. Thus whiteness is added to man, over and above the fact that he is a rational and mortal animal. Hence ‘rational and mortal animal’ is the same as man, but not the same as a white man, insofar as he is white. In any being, therefore, in which there are not found two factors, of which one is essential and the other accidental, its essence must be altogether identical with it. In God, however, since he is simple (as has been shown), there are not found two factors whereof one is essential and the other accidental. Therefore, his essence must be absolutely the same as he himself.
Item, in quibuscumque essentia non est omnino idem cum re cuius est essentia, est invenire aliquid per modum potentiae et aliquid per modum actus; nam essentia formaliter se habet ad rem cuius est essentia, sicut humanitas ad hominem. In Deo autem non est invenire potentiam et actum, sed est actus purus; est igitur ipse sua essentia.
Moreover, whenever an essence is not absolutely identical with the thing of which it is the essence, something is found in that thing by way of potency and something else by way of act. For an essence is formally related to the thing of which it is the essence as humanity is related to a man. In God, however, one does not find potency and act: he is pure act. Therefore, he is his essence.
Quod Dei essentia non est aliud quam suum esse
That God’s essence is not other than his existence