Quodlibetal Questions I
De Deo, angelo et homine
On God, an Angel, and Man
Quantum ad naturam divinam
As regards the divine nature
Quaesitum est de Deo, angelo et homine.
It was asked about God, an angel, and man.
De Deo quaesitum est et quantum ad divinam naturam et quantum ad naturam humanam assumptam.
Concerning God, it was asked both as regards the divine nature and as regards the assumed human nature.
Utrum beatus Benedictus in visione qua vidit totum mundum divinam essentiam viderit
Whether St. Benedict in the vision by which he saw the whole world saw the divine essence
Quantum ad divinam naturam quaesitum est utrum beatus Benedictus in visione qua vidit totum mundum divinam essentiam viderit? Et ostendebatur quod sic.
As regards the divine nature, it is asked whether St. Benedict in the vision by which he saw the whole world saw the divine essence. And it was shown that he did.
Dicit enim Gregorius, de hac visione loquens: Animae videnti Deum angusta fit omnis creatura; sed videre Deum est videre divinam essentiam; ergo beatus Benedictus vidit divinam essentiam.
Objection 1: For Gregory says, speaking concerning this vision: For the soul seeing God every creature is made narrow. But to see God is to see the divine essence. Therefore blessed Benedict saw the divine essence.
Praeterea. Ibidem subdit Gregorius quod totum mundum vidit in divino lumine; sed non est aliud lumen vel claritas Dei quam ipse Deus, ut idem Gregorius dicit, et habetur in Glossa Exodi XXXIII, super illud: Non videbit me homo, et vivet; ergo beatus Benedictus vidit Deum per essentiam.
Obj. 2: In the same place Gregory adds that he saw the whole world in the divine light; but there is no other light or clarity of God than God himself, as the same Gregory says, and is had in the gloss on Exodus 33:20: man shall not see me, and live; therefore blessed Benedict saw God through his essence.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Ioannis I: Deum nemo vidit unquam, ubi dicit Glossa quod nullus in mortali carne vivens Dei essentiam videre potest.
But on the contrary is that it is said in John 1:18: no one ever has seen God, where the gloss says that no one living in mortal flesh can see the essence of God.
Responsio. Dicendum quod corpus corruptibile aggravat animam, ut dicitur Sapientiae IX; summa autem elevatio mentis humanae est ut ad divinam essentiam videndam pertingat; unde impossibile est ut mens humana Dei essentiam videat, ut Augustinus dicit XII super Genesim ad litteram, nisi huic vitae mortali funditus homo intereat vel sic alienetur a sensibus ut nesciat utrum sit in corpore an extra corpus, sicut de Paulo legitur II ad Corinthios XII. Beatus autem Benedictus, quando illam visionem vidit, nec huic vitae funditus mortuus erat nec a corporeis sensibus alienatus, quod patet per hoc quod, dum adhuc in eadem visione persisteret, alium ad idem videndum advocavit, ut Gregorius refert. Unde manifestum est quod Dei essentiam non vidit.
Response. It must be said that a corruptible body weighs down the soul (Wis 9:15); yet the highest elevation of the human mind is that it should reach unto seeing the divine essence; whence it is impossible that the human mind should see the essence of God, as Augustine says, unless man should perish utterly for this mortal life or be so alienated from the senses that he should not know whether he is in the body or outside the body, just as it is read concerning Paul (2 Cor 12:2–3). Yet blessed Benedict, when he saw that vision, neither was utterly dead for this life nor alienated from bodily senses, which is clear through this: that, while he still was persisting in the same vision, he called another unto this same seeing, as Gregory relates. Whence it is manifest that he did not see the essence of God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Gregorius ex quadam proportione argumentari intendit in verbis illis: si enim videntes Dei essentiam, in eius comparatione totam creaturam reputant parvum quid ad videndum, non est mirum si beatus Benedictus per lumen divinum aliquid amplius videre potuit quam homines communiter videant.
Reply Obj. 1: It must be said, therefore, that Gregory intended to argue in those words out of a certain proportion: for if those seeing the essence of God, in comparison with him think the whole creation a small thing for seeing, it is no wonder if blessed Benedict through the divine light was able to see something greater than men commonly see.
Ad secundum dicendum quod lumen Dei quandoque dicitur ipse Deus, quandoque vero aliquod lumen derivatum ab ipso, secundum illud Psalmi: In lumine tuo videbimus lumen. Hic autem accipitur pro lumine derivato a Deo.
Reply Obj. 2: It must be said that the light of God sometimes is said for God himself, whereas sometimes for some light derived from him, according to Psalm 35:10: in your light we shall see light. Yet this is received for light derived from God.
Quantum ad naturam humanam assumptam
As regards the assumed human nature
Deinde quaerebantur duo circa humanam naturam in Christo;
Then there were asked two things about the human nature in Christ:
primo, utrum fuerit in Christo una filiatio qua referretur ad Patrem et matrem, an duae;
first, whether there was in Christ one filiation by which he was referred to Father and mother, or two;
secundo de morte eius, utrum in cruce mortuus fuerit.
second, concerning his death, whether he died on the cross.
Utrum fuerit in Christo una filiatio qua referretur ad Patrem et matrem, an duae
Whether there was in Christ one filiation or two by which he was referred to his Father and to his mother
Ad primum sic procedebatur. Videtur quod in Christo sint duae filiationes.
To the first it is proceeded thus. It seems that in Christ there are two filiations.
Multiplicata enim causa relationum, multiplicantur relationes; generatio autem est causa filiationis; cum igitur alia sit generatio qua Christus natus est aeternaliter a Patre, alia qua natus est temporaliter a matre, erit etiam alia filiatio qua refertur ad Patrem et alia qua refertur ad matrem.
Objection 1: For with the cause of relations multiplied, the relations are multiplied; yet generation is the cause of filiation; since therefore the generation by which Christ is born eternally from his Father is one thing, and that by which he is born temporally from his mother is another, there shall be also one filiation by which he is referred to his Father and another by which he is referred to his mother.
Praeterea. Quod recipit ex tempore aliquid absolutum absque sui mutatione, multo magis absque sui mutatione potest recipere temporaliter aliquam proprietatem relativam. Sed Filius Dei ex tempore recipit aliquid absolutum absque sui mutatione, quia super illud Lucae: Erit magnus et filius Altissimi vocabitur, dicit Ambrosius: Non ideo erit magnus quod ante partum Virginis magnus non fuerit, sed quia potentiam quam Dei Filius naturaliter habet, homo erat ex tempore accepturus. Ergo multo magis ex tempore potuit accipere Filius Dei absque sui mutatione novam filiationem, ut sic ei conveniant duae filiationes, una aeterna et alia temporalis.
Obj. 2: That which receives in time something absolute without change of itself, much more without change of itself can receive temporally some relative property. But the Son of God in time receives something absolute without change of himself, because upon Luke 1:32: he shall be great and shall be called the son of the Most High, Ambrose says: not for this reason shall he be great: that before the birth of the Virgin he was not great, but because the power which the Son of God naturally has, man was about to receive in time. Therefore much more in time could the Son of God receive without change of himself a new filiation, such that two filiations are fitting for him, one eternal and the other temporal.
Sed contra. A quo aliquid habet quod sit tale, ab eius unitate habet quod sit unum tale; sed filiatione aliquis habet quod sit filius; ergo una filiatione est unus filius. Sed Christus est unus filius, et non duo. Ergo in Christo non sunt duae filiationes, sed una tantum.
But on the contrary: That by which something has that it should be such, from the unity of this it has that it should be such a one; but by filiation someone has that he should be a son; therefore by one filiation he is one son. But Christ is one son, and not two. Therefore in Christ there are not two filiations, but one only.
Responsio. Dicendum quod relationes differunt in hoc ab omnibus aliis rerum generibus, quia ea quae sunt aliorum generum, ex ipsa ratione sui generis habent quod sint res naturae, sicut quantitates ex ratione quantitatis et qualitates ex ratione qualitatis. Sed relationes non habent quod sint res naturae ex ratione respectus ad alterum: inveniuntur enim quidam respectus qui non sunt reales, sed rationis tantum, sicut scibile refertur ad scientiam non aliqua reali relatione in scibile existente, sed potius quia scientia refertur ad ipsum, secundum Philosophum in V Metaphysicae. Sed relatio habet quod sit res naturae ex sua causa, per quam una res naturalem ordinem habet ad alteram, qui quidem naturalis et realis ordo est ipsa relatio; unde dextrum et sinistrum in animali sunt relationes reales, quia consequntur quasdam naturales virtutes, in columna autem sunt respectus rationis tantum, secundum ordinem animalis ad ipsam.
Response: It must be said that relations differ in this from all other genera of things, because those things which are of other genera, out of the very ratio of their genus have that they should be things of nature, just as quantities out of the ratio of quantity and qualities out of the ratio of quality. But relations do not have that they should be things of nature out of the ratio of respect unto another: for there are found certain respects which are not real, but of ratio only, just as the knowable is referred to knowledge not by some real relation existing in the knowable, but rather because knowledge is referred to it, according to the Philosopher in the fifth book of the Metaphysics. But relation has that it should be a thing of nature out of its cause, through which one thing has a natural order to another, which natural and real order indeed is relation itself; whence right and left in an animal are real relations, because they follow certain natural powers, yet in a column they are respects of ratio only, according to the order of an animal to it.
Ex eodem autem habet aliquid quod sit ens et quod sit unum, et ideo contingit quod est una relatio realis tantum propter unitatem causae. Sicut patet de aequalitate: propter unam enim quantitatem est in uno corpore una aequalitas tantum, quamvis sint multi respectus secundum quos diversis corporibus dicitur esse aequale; si autem secundum omnes illos respectus multiplicarentur realiter relationes in uno corpore, sequeretur quod in uno essent accidentia infinita vel indeterminata. Et similiter magister est una relatione magister omnium quos idem docet, quamvis sint multi respectus. Sic etiam et unus homo secundum unam realem relationem est filius patris sui et matris suae, quia una nativitate unam naturam ab utroque accepit.
Yet out of the same thing something has that it should be a being and that it should be one, and for this reason it happens that there is only one real relation on account of unity of cause. Just as is clear concerning equality: for on account of one quantity there is in one body only one equality, although there be many respects according to which it is said to be equal to diverse bodies; yet if according to all those respects real relations were to be multiplied in one body, it would follow that in one thing there would be infinite or indeterminate accidents. And similarly a master is by one relation master of all whom this same one teaches, although there be many respects. So also one man according to one real relation is the son of his father and of his mother, because by one nativity he has received one nature from both.
Sequendo igitur hanc rationem, videretur dicendum quod alia sit filiatio realis in Christo qua refertur ad Patrem et alia qua refertur ad matrem, quia alia generatione nascitur ab utroque, et alia est natura quam habet a Patre et alia quam habet a matre.
By following this ratio, therefore, it would seem that it must be said that the real filiation in Christ by which he is referred to his Father is one thing and that by which he is referred to his mother is another, because he is born from each by a different generation, and the nature which he has from his Father is one thing and that which he has from his mother is another.
Sed alia ratio reformat pactum.
But another ratio rescinds the bargain.
Hoc enim est universaliter tenendum quod nulla relatio Dei ad creaturam realiter in Deo existit, sed est respectus rationis tantum, quia Deus est supra omnem ordinem creaturae et mensura omnis creaturae, a qua dependet omnis creatura et non e converso, multo magis quam haec conveniant scibili respectu scientiae, in quo propter has causas non est relatio realis ad scientiam.
For this must be held universally: that no relation of God to a creature really exists in God, but it is a respect of ratio only, because God is above every order of a creature and the measure of every creature, upon which every creature depends and not conversely, much more than these things accord to the knowable with respect to knowledge, in which on account of these causes there is not a real relation unto knowledge.
Est autem considerandum quod subiectum filiationis non est natura vel naturae pars aliqua: non enim dicimus quod humanitas sit filia, vel caput aut oculus. In Christo autem non ponimus nisi unum suppositum et unam hypostasim, sicut et unam personam, quod est suppositum aeternum, in quo nulla relatio realis ad creaturam esse potest, ut iam dictum est. Unde relinquitur quod filiatio qua Christus refertur ad matrem est respectus rationis tantum. Nec propter hoc sequitur quod Christus non sit realiter filius Virginis: sicut enim Deus realiter est dominus propter realem potentiam qua continet creaturam, sic realiter est filius Virginis propter realem naturam quam accepit a matre. Si autem essent in Christo plura supposita, oporteret ponere in Christo duas filiationes; sed hoc reputo erroneum, et in Conciliis invenitur damnatum.
Yet it must be considered that the subject of filiation is not a nature or some part of a nature: for we do not say that humanity is a daughter, or a head or an eye. Yet in Christ we do not posit but one supposit and one hypostasis, just as also one person, which is the eternal supposit, in which there can be no real relation unto a creature, as has been said already. Whence it remains that the filiation by which Christ is referred to his mother is a respect of ratio only. Nor on account of this does it follow that Christ is not really the son of the Virgin: for just as God really is lord on account of the real power by which he sustains a creature, so really is he the son of the Virgin on account of the real nature which he received from his mother. Yet if there were many supposits in Christ, it would be necessary to posit in Christ two filiations; but this I think erroneous, and it is found damned in the councils.
Unde dico quod in Christo est una filiatio realis tantum, qua refertur ad Patrem.
Whence I say that in Christ there is only one real filiation, by which he is referred to his Father.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod non negamus non esse in Christo realem filiationem qua refertur ad matrem, quia causa relationis deficiat, sed quia deficit subiectum talis relationis, cum non sit in Christo aliquod suppositum creatum vel hypostasis.
Reply Obj. 1: It must be said, therefore, that we do not deny that there is not in Christ a real filiation by which he is referred to his mother, because the cause of the relation fails, but because the subject of such a relation fails, since there is not in Christ any created supposit or hypostasis.
Ad secundum dicendum quod eo modo quo ille homo accepit ex tempore Dei potentiam, eo modo accepit filiationem aeternam, in quantum scilicet factum est ut una esset persona Dei et hominis, ut Ambrosius ibidem subdit. Hoc autem non est factum per aliquid realiter absolutum vel relativum temporaliter inhaerens Filio Dei, sed per solam unionem quae realiter existit in natura creata, non autem realiter in ipsa persona assumente.
Reply Obj. 2: It must be said that in that mode in which as man he received in time the power of God, in that mode he received eternal filiation, namely inasmuch as this was done in order that there would be one person of God and of man, as Ambrose adds in the same place. Yet this was not done through something really absolute or relative temporally inhering in the Son of God, but through the union alone which really exists in created nature, yet not really in the person himself assuming.