Utrum aliquod ens ab alio possit esse aeternum
Whether that which is from another can be eternal
Decimotertio quaeritur utrum aliquod ens ab alio possit esse aeternum.
The thirteenth point of inquiry is whether that which is from another can be eternal.
Et videtur quod non. Nihil enim quod est semper, indiget aliquo ad hoc quod sit. Omne autem quod est ab aliquo, indiget eo a quo est, ut sit. Ergo nihil quod est ab alio, est semper.
Obj. 1: And seemingly it cannot. For nothing that always is needs something that it may be. Therefore, nothing that is from another is always.
Praeterea, nihil accipit quod iam habet. Ergo quod semper est, semper esse habet; ergo quod est semper, non accipit esse. Sed omne quod est ab alio, accipit esse ab eo a quo est. Ergo nihil quod est ab alio, est semper.
Obj. 2: Nothing receives what it has already. Now, that which always is always has being; and hence, that which is always does not receive being. But, that which is from another receives its being from that whence it is. Therefore, nothing that is from another is always.
Praeterea, quod est, non generatur neque fit, neque aliquo modo in esse producitur; quia quod fit, non est. Ergo oportet quod omne quod generatur vel fit, vel producitur, aliquando non esset. Omne autem quod est ab alio, est huiusmodi. Ergo omne quod est ab alio aliquando non est. Quod autem aliquando non est, non semper est. Ergo nihil quod est ab alio, est sempiternum.
Obj. 3: That which is already is not generated or made or in a way brought into being. Because whatsoever is in a state of becoming is not yet. Consequently, whatsoever is generated, made, or brought into being must at one time not have been. Now, such is whatsoever is from another. Therefore, whatsoever is from another at some time is not. But, that which at some time is not, is not always. Therefore, nothing that is from another, is eternal.
Praeterea, quod non habet esse nisi ab alio, in se consideratum, non est. Huiusmodi autem oportet aliquando non esse. Ergo oportet quod omne quod est ab alio, aliquando non esset, et per consequens non esse sempiternum.
Obj. 4: That which has not being save from another, considered in itself is not, and such a thing must not be at some time or other. Therefore, whatsoever is from another must at some time have not been, and thus, it is not eternal.
Praeterea, omnis effectus est posterior sua causa. Quod autem est ab alio, est effectus eius a quo est. Ergo est posterius eo a quo est; et ita non potest esse sempiternum.
Obj. 5: Every effect is posterior to its cause. Now, that which is from another is the effect of that from which it is. Therefore, it is posterior to that from which it is, and thus, it cannot be eternal.
Sed contra est quod Hilarius dicit, quod ab aeterno a patre natum, aeternum esse habet quod natum est. Sed Filius Dei natus est ab aeterno Patre. Ergo aeternum habet quod natum est; ergo est aeternum.
On the contrary according to Hilary, that which was born of the eternal Father has eternal being from his birth. Now, the Son of God was born of the eternal Father. Therefore, he has eternal being from his birth, and consequently, he is eternal.
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum ponamus Filium Dei naturaliter a Patre procedere, oportet quod ita sit a Patre, quod tamen sit ei coaeternus: quod quidem hoc modo apparet.
I answer that since we affirm that the Son of God proceeds from the Father naturally, it follows that he must proceed from the Father in such wise as to be coeternal with him. This may be made clear as follows.
Inter voluntatem enim et naturam hoc interest, quod natura determinata est ad unum, quantum ad id quod virtute naturae producitur, et quantum ad hoc quod est producere vel non producere; voluntas vero quantum ad neutrum determinata invenitur. Potest tamen aliquis hoc vel illud per voluntatem facere, sicut artifex scamnum vel arcam, et iterum facere ea et a faciendo cessare; ignis vero non potest nisi calefacere, si subiectum suae actionis adsit; nec potest aliud inducere in materiam quam effectum similem sibi.
There is this difference between will and nature, that nature is determined to one thing, both as regards what is produced by the power of nature, and as regards producing or not producing, although the will is not determined in either respect. Thus, a man is enabled by his will to do this or that, for instance, a carpenter can make a bench or a box, and again make, and cease from making them, while fire cannot but heat if the subject-matter of its action be present nor can it produce in matter any effect other than its like.
Unde etsi de creaturis, quae divina voluntate ab ipso procedunt, dici possit quod potuit creaturam talem vel talem facere et tunc vel tunc facere, de Filio tamen, qui naturaliter procedit, hoc dici non potest. Non enim potuit alterius modi esse Filius secundum naturam, quam se habet Patris natura. Nec potuit vel prius vel posterius Filius esse nisi quando fuit Patris natura: non enim potest dici, quod divinae naturae aliquando perfectio naturae defuerit, qua adveniente virtute naturae, Filius Dei sit generatus; cum divina natura sit simplex et immutabilis. Neque potest dici, quod huiusmodi generatio dilata fuerit propter materiae absentiam vel indispositionem, cum omnino haec generatio immutabilis sit. Unde relinquitur, quod cum natura Patris ab aeterno fuerit, et Filius sit a Patre aeternaliter generatus, ac per consequens Patri coaeternus.
Consequently, although it may be said of creatures which proceed from God by his will, that he could make a creature of this or that fashion, and at this or that time, this cannot be said of the Son who proceeds naturally. For the Son proceeding naturally could not be of a fashion different from the nature of the Father. Nor could the Son be sooner or later in relation to the Father’s nature. For, it cannot be said that the divine nature was ever lacking in natural perfection, on the advent of which by virtue of the nature God’s Son was begotten, since the divine nature is simple and unchangeable. Nor can it be said that this begetting was delayed through lack or indisposition of matter, seeing that it is altogether void of change. It follows then that, since the Father’s nature is eternal, that the Son was begotten of the Father from eternity and that he is coeternal with the Father.
Ariani vero, quia ponebant Filium non naturaliter a Patre procedere, ponebant Filium neque Patri coaequalem neque coaeternum, sicut contingit in aliis quae a Deo procedunt secundum arbitrium voluntatis ipsius. Fuit autem difficile considerare generationem Filii Patri coaeternam, propter assuefactionem humanae cognitionis in consideratione productionis rerum naturalium, in quibus una res ab alia per motum producitur; res autem producta per motum in esse prius esse incipit in principio quam in termino motus. Cum autem principium motus de necessitate terminum motus duratione praecedat, quod necesse est propter motus successionem, nec possit esse motus principium vel initium sine causa ad producendum movente; necesse est ut causa movens ad aliquid producendum praecedat duratione id quod ab ea producitur.
The Arians, through holding that the Son does not proceed naturally from the Father, said that, like other things that proceed from God according to the decree of his will, he was neither coequal nor coeternal with the Father. The difficulty of regarding the begetting of the Son as coeternal with the Father arose from the fact that. in our human observation of nature’s works. one thing proceeds from another by movement, and a thing brought into being by movement begins to be at the beginning sooner than at the end of the movement. And, since the beginning of a movement must in point of time precede the end on account of movement implying succession, and again since movement cannot have a beginning without a moving cause to produce it, it follows that the moving cause in the production of anything must precede in point of duration that which it produces.
Unde quod ab aliquo sine motu procedit, simul est duratione cum eo a quo procedit, sicut splendor in igne vel in sole: nam splendor subito et non successive a corpore lucido procedit, cum illuminatio non sit motus, sed terminus motus. Relinquitur ergo quod in divinis, ubi omnino motus locum non habet, procedens sit simul duratione cum eo a quo procedit; et ideo cum Pater sit aeternus, Filius et Spiritus Sanctus ab eo procedentes sunt ei coaeterni.
Consequently, that which proceeds from another without movement is in point of duration coexistent with that from which it proceeds, such is the flash of the fire or the sun, because the flash of light proceeds from the body of light suddenly and not gradually, for illumination is not a movement but the terminus of a movement. It follows, then, that in God in whom there is absolutely no movement, the proceeding one is coexistent with him from whom he proceeds, and thus, since the Father is eternal, the Son and the Holy Spirit who proceed from him are coeternal with him.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod si indigentia importet defectum vel carentiam eius quo indigetur, quod semper est non indiget aliquo ad hoc quod sit. Si vero importet solum ordinem originis ad id a quo est, sic nihil prohibet id quod semper est, aliquo indigere ad hoc quod sit, in quantum non a se ipso, sed ab alio esse habet.
Reply Obj. 1: If need denotes a defect or lack of what is needed, then that which is always, needs not another in order that it may exist. But, if it denotes nothing more than the order of origin in reference to that whence a thing is, nothing hinders a thing that always is from needing another in order that it may exist, insofar as it has being not from itself but from another.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod accipiens aliquid non habet illud ante acceptionem, habet vero illud quando iam accepit; unde si ad aeterno accipit, ab aeterno habet.
Reply Obj. 2: Before receiving it the recipient has not what he receives, but he has it when he has received it; consequently, if he received it from eternity, he had it from eternity.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ratio illa procedit in generatione quae est per motum; quia quod movetur ad esse, non est. Et pro tanto dicitur quod id quod generatur non est, sed quod est generatum est: unde ubi non est aliud generari et generatum esse, ibi non oportet quod generatur, aliquando non esse.
Reply Obj. 3: This argument applies to generation in which there is movement, since that which is being moved to existence does not exist yet, which is true in the sense that what is being generated is not, while what has been generated, is. Consequently, where there is no distinction between being generated and having been generated, it does not follow that what is generated is from another.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod illud quod habet esse ab alio, in se consideratum, est non ens, si ipsum sit aliud quam ipsum esse quod ab alio accipit; si autem sit ipsum esse quod ab alio accipit, sic non potest in se consideratum, esse non ens; non enim potest in esse considerari non ens, licet in eo quod est aliud quam esse, considerari possit. Quod enim est, potest aliquid habere permixtum; non autem ipsum esse, ut Boetius dicit in libro de hebdomadibus. Prima quidem conditio est creaturae, sed secunda est conditio Filii Dei.
Reply Obj. 4: It is true that what has its being from another is nothing considered in itself, if it be distinct from the being that it receives from another, but if it be the very same being that it receives from another, then considered in itself it cannot be nothing, for it is not possible to consider non-being in being itself, although it is possible to consider something besides being in that which is. Because that which is may have a mixed being, but being itself cannot, according to Boethius. The first part of this distinction applies to creatures, the second to the Son of God.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod Filius Dei non potest dici effectus: quia non fit, sed generatur. Hoc enim fit cuius esse est diversum a faciente; unde nec Patrem proprie loquendo causam Filii dicimus, sed principium. Nec oportet omnem causam effectum duratione praecedere, sed natura tantum sicut patet in sole et splendore.
Reply Obj. 5: The Son of God cannot be called an effect, because he is not made but begotten, since that is said to be made whose being is distinct from its maker. Therefore, neither can the Father be called the cause of the Son properly speaking, but his principle. Nor is it necessary for every cause to precede its effect in point of duration, but only by priority of nature, as in the case of the sun and its shining.
Utrum id quod est a Deo diversum in essentia, possit semper fuisse
Whether it is possible for that which differs essentially from God to have existed always
Decimoquarto quaeritur utrum id quod est a Deo diversum in essentia, possit semper fuisse.
The fourteenth point of inquiry is whether it is possible for that which differs essentially from God to have existed always.
Et videtur quod sic. Non enim est minor potestas causae producentis totam rei substantiam super effectum suum, quam causae producentis formam tantum. Sed causa producens formam tantum, potest producere eam ab aeterno, si ab aeterno esset; quia splendor qui gignitur ab igne atque diffunditur coaeternus est illi; et esset coaeternus, si ignis esset aeternus, ut Augustinus dicit. Ergo multo fortius Deus, potest producere effectum sibi coaeternum.
Obj. 1: And it would seem possible. For, the cause that produces the whole substance of a thing has not less power over its effect than the cause which produces the form alone. Now, if the cause which produces the form alone be eternal, it can produce it from eternity; thus, the light produced and diffused by fire is coexistent with it and would be coeternal if the fire were eternal, according to Augustine. Much more reason then is there why God who produces the whole substance of a thing, should be able to produce a coeternal effect.
Sed dices, quod hoc est impossibile; quia sequitur inconveniens, scilicet quod creatura parificetur creatori in duratione.
Obj. 2: It will be said perhaps that this is impossible because it leads to the false position of equalling a creature to God in point of duration.
—Sed contra, duratio quae non est tota simul, sed successiva, non potest aequiparari durationi quae est tota simul. Sed si mundus semper fuisset, eius duratio non semper tota simul esset; quia tempore mensuraretur, ut etiam Boetius dicit in fine de Consol. Ergo adhuc Deo non aequipararetur creatura in duratione.
On the contrary, a duration that is not wholly simultaneous but successive cannot be equalled to one that is wholly simultaneous. Now, if the world had always been, its duration would not have been wholly simultaneous, since it would have been measured by time according to Boethius. Therefore, a creature would not be equalled to God in point of duration.
Praeterea, sicut divina persona procedit a Deo sine motu, ita et creatura. Sed divina persona potest esse Deo coaeterna, a quo procedit. Ergo similiter et creatura.
Obj. 3: As a divine person proceeds from God without movement, so does a creature. Now, a divine person can be coeternal with God from whom he proceeds. Therefore, a creature can be likewise.
Praeterea, quod semper eodem modo se habet, semper potest idem facere. Sed Deus semper eodem modo se habet ab aeterno. Ergo ab aeterno potest idem facere. Si ergo aliquando produxit creaturam et ab aeterno producere potuit.
Obj. 4: That which is unchangeable in its being can always do the same thing. Now, God is unchangeable from eternity. Therefore, from eternity, he can do the same thing, and consequently, if he produced a creature at any time he could do so from eternity.
Sed dices, quod ratio ista procedit de agente per naturam, non autem de agente per voluntatem.—Contra, voluntas Dei non dirimit virtutem ipsius. Sed si non ageret per voluntatem, sequeretur quod ab aeterno creaturam produxisset. Ergo posito quod per voluntatem agat, non removetur quia ab aeterno producere potuerit.
Obj. 5: You will say perhaps that the above argument applies to a natural, but not to a voluntary agent. On the contrary, God’s power is not nullified by his will. Now, if he did not work by his will it would follow that he produced the creature from eternity, Therefore, even given that he works by his will, it does not remove the possibility of his having created from eternity.
Praeterea, si Deus in aliquo tempore vel instanti creaturam produxit, et eius potentia non est augmentata; potuit etiam ante illud tempus vel instans creaturam producere; et eadem ratione ante illud, et sic in infinitum. Ergo potuit ab aeterno producere.
Obj. 6: If God produced a creature at a certain time or instant, and if his power does not increase, he could have produced the creature at a previous time or instant, and for the same reason, before that, and so on indefinitely. Therefore, he could have produced it from eternity.
Praeterea, plus potest facere Deus quam humanus intellectus possit intelligere; propter quod dicitur Luc. I, 37: non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. Sed Platonici intellexerunt aliquid esse factum a Deo, quod tamen semper fuit; unde Augustinus dicit: de mundo, et de his quos in mundo deos a Deo factos, scribit Plato, apertissime dicit eos esse coepisse, et habere initium; finem tamen non habituros, sed per conditoris potentissimam voluntatem perhibet in aeternum esse mansuros. Verum id quomodo intelligat, Platonici invenerunt, non esse hoc, videlicet temporis, sed institutionis initium. Sicut enim, inquiunt, si pes ab aeternitate fuisset in pulvere, semper subesset vestigium: quod tamen a calcante factum nemo dubitaret: sic mundus semper fuit semper existente qui fecit; et tamen factus est. Ergo Deus potuit facere aliquid quod semper fuit.
Obj. 7: God can do more than the human intellect can understand; therefore, it is said: no word shall be impossible with God (Luke 1:37). Now, the Platonists understood God to have made something that had always existed. Thus, Augustine says: Plato, writing about the world and of the gods made by God in the world, asserts most explicitly that they came into existence and had a beginning; yet they will not have an end, and he states that through the all-powerful will of their maker they will live forever. In explaining, however, what he meant by 'beginning,' the Platonists affirm that he meant the beginning not of time but of their formation. For, they say, even as if a foot had pressed on the dust from eternity, there would always have been the footprint underneath, which no one would doubt to have been made by the walker, so the world always existed and he who made it always existed, and yet it was made. Therefore, God could make something that always was.
Praeterea, quidquid non est contra rationem creaturae, Deus potest in creatura facere; alias non esset omnipotens. Sed semper fuisse non est contra rationem creaturae in quantum est facta; alias idem esset dicere creaturam semper fuisse et factam non esse; quod patet esse falsum. Nam Augustinus, distinguit duas opiniones; quarum una est quod mundus ita fuerit semper quod non sit a Deo factus; alia est, quod ita mundus sit semper quod tamen a Deo sit factus. Ergo Deus hoc potest facere, quod aliquid ab eo factum, sit semper.
Obj. 8: God can do in the creature whatever is not inconsistent with the notion of a created thing, else he were not omnipotent. Now, it is not inconsistent with the notion of a created thing, considered as made, that it should always have existed, otherwise to say that creatures always existed would be the same as to say that they were not made, which is clearly false. For Augustine distinguishes two opinions, one asserting that the world always existed in such wise that it was not made by God; the other stating that the world always was and that nevertheless God made it. Therefore, God can do this so that something made by him should always have been.
Praeterea, sicut natura statim potest producere effectum suum, ita et agens voluntarium non impeditum. Sed Deus est agens voluntarium quod impediri non potest. Ergo creaturae quae per eius voluntatem producuntur in esse, ab aeterno produci potuerunt, sicut et Filius qui naturaliter a Patre procedit.
Obj. 9: Just as nature can produce its effect in an instant, so also can a voluntary agent if unhindered. Now, God is a voluntary agent that cannot be hindered. Therefore, the creatures brought into being by his will, could be produced from eternity, even as the Son who proceeds from the Father naturally.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, quia omnino incommutabilis est illa natura Trinitatis, ob hoc ita est aeterna, ut ei aliquid coaeternum esse non possit.
On the contrary (1), Augustine says: seeing that the nature of the Trinity is altogether uncommunicable, it is so exclusively eternal that nothing can be coeternal with it.
Praeterea, Damascenus dicit, in I libro: quod ex non ente ad esse deducitur, non est aptum natum esse coaeternum ei quod sine principio et semper est. Sed creatura de non esse ad esse producitur. Ergo non potest fuisse semper.
Furthermore (2), Damascene says: that which is brought into being from nothingness by its very nature is incapable of being coeternal with one who has no beginning and is eternal. Now, the creature is brought from nothingness into being. Therefore, it cannot have been always.
Praeterea, omne aeternum est invariabile. Sed creatura non potest esse invariabilis; quia si sibi relinqueretur, in nihilum decideret. Ergo non potest esse aeterna.
Furthermore (3), whatsoever is eternal is unchangeable. But, a creature cannot be unchangeable, because were it left to itself it would fall back into nothingness. Therefore, it cannot be eternal.
Praeterea, nihil quod dependet ab alio est necessarium, et per consequens nec aeternum; cum omne aeternum sit necessarium. Sed omne quod est factum, dependet ab alio. Ergo nullum factum potest esse aeternum.
Furthermore (4), nothing that depends on another is necessary, nor consequently eternal, since all that is eternal is necessary. Now, that which is made depends on another. Therefore, nothing made can be eternal.