Quod intelligere Dei est sua essentia
That God’s act of intelligence is his essence
Ex hoc autem quod Deus est intelligens, sequitur quod suum intelligere sit sua essentia.
From the fact that God is intelligent it follows that his act of intelligence is his essence.
Intelligere enim est actus intelligentis in ipso existens, non in aliud extrinsecum transiens, sicut calefactio transit in calefactum: non enim aliquid patitur intelligibile ex hoc quod intelligitur, sed intelligens perficitur. Quicquid autem est in Deo, est divina essentia. Intelligere ergo Dei est divina essentia, et divinum esse, et ipse Deus: nam Deus est sua essentia et suum esse.
For intelligence is the act of an intelligent being, existing within that being and not passing on to something outside of it, as heating passes into the thing heated: for the intelligible suffers nothing through being understood, but the one who understands is perfected. Now, whatever is in God is the divine essence (ch. 23). Therefore, God’s act of intelligence is the divine essence, the divine existence, and God himself, since God is his essence and his existence (ch. 21, 22).
Praeterea. Intelligere comparatur ad intellectum sicut esse ad essentiam. Sed esse divinum est eius essentia, ut supra probatum est. Ergo et intelligere divinum eius intellectus. Intellectus autem divinus est Dei essentia: alias esset accidens Deo. Oportet igitur quod intelligere divinum sit eius essentia.
Further. The act of intelligence is compared to the intellect as existence to essence. But God’s existence is his essence, as proved above (ch. 22). Therefore, God’s act of intelligence is his intellect. Now the divine intellect is God’s essence, otherwise it would be accidental to God (cf. ch. 23). Therefore, the divine act of intelligence must be his essence.
Amplius. Actus secundus est perfectior quam actus primus: sicut consideratio quam scientia. Scientia autem vel intellectus Dei est ipsa eius essentia, si est intelligens, ut ostensum est: cum nulla perfectio conveniat ei participative, sed per essentiam, ut ex superioribus patet. Si igitur sua consideratio non sit sua essentia, aliquid erit sua essentia nobilius et perfectius. Et sic non erit in fine perfectionis et bonitatis. Unde non erit primum.
Moreover. Second act is more perfect than first act, for example, as consideration is more perfect than knowledge. Now God’s knowledge or intellect is his very essence if he is intelligent, as shown above (ch. 44), since no perfection belongs to him by participation, but by essence, as already proved (ch. 23). If, therefore, his act of consideration be not his essence, something will be more noble and perfect than his essence. And thus he will not be in the summit of perfection and goodness (cf. ch. 28), and consequently he will not be first.
Adhuc. Intelligere est actus intelligentis. Si igitur Deus intelligens non sit suum intelligere, oportet quod comparetur ad ipsum sicut potentia ad actum. Et ita in Deo erit potentia et actus. Quod est impossibile, ut supra probatum est.
Again. Intelligence is the act of the intelligent. If, then, God, being intelligent, is not his act of intelligence, he must be compared to it as potency to act, and so there will be potency and act in God, which is impossible, as we have proved above (ch. 16).
Item. Omnis substantia est propter suam operationem. Si igitur operatio Dei sit aliud quam divina substantia, erit finis eius aliquid aliud a se. Et sic Deus non erit sua bonitas: cum bonum cuiuslibet sit finis eius.
Again. Every substance is for the sake of its operation. If, therefore, God’s operation is other than the divine substance, his end will be other than himself. And thus God will not be his own goodness, since the good of a thing is its end (cf. ch. 37, 38).
Si autem divinum intelligere est eius esse, necesse est quod intelligere eius sit simplex, aeternum et invariabile, et actu tantum existens, et omnia quae de divino esse probata sunt. Non est igitur Deus in potentia intelligens, aut de novo aliquid intelligere incipiens, vel quamcumque mutationem aut compositionem in intelligendo habens.
If, however, God’s act of intelligence is his existence, his act of intelligence must be simple, eternal, unchangeable, existing only in act, and all those things which have been proved about the divine existence. Therefore, God is not in potency to intelligence, nor does he begin to understand a thing anew, nor is his act of intelligence subject to any change or composition whatsoever.
Quod Deus per nihil aliud intelligit quam per suam essentiam
That God understands by nothing else than his essence
Ex his autem quae supra ostensa sunt, evidenter apparet quod intellectus divinus nulla alia specie intelligibili intelligat quam sua essentia.
From what has been proved above it is made evident that the divine intellect understands by no other intelligible species but the divine essence.
Species enim intelligibilis principium formale est intellectualis operationis: sicut forma cuiuslibet agentis principium est propriae operationis. Divina autem operatio intellectualis est eius essentia, ut ostensum est. Esset igitur aliquid aliud divinae essentiae principium et causa si alia intelligibili specie quam sua essentia intellectus divinus intelligeret. Quod supra ostensis repugnat.
For the intelligible species is the formal principle of the intellectual operation, even as the form of every agent is the principle of that agent’s proper operation. Now, the intellectual operation of God is his essence, as we have shown (ch. 45). Therefore, something else would be the principle and cause of the divine essence, if the divine intellect understood by some intelligible species other than his essence, and this is in contradiction with what has been shown above (ch. 13).
Adhuc. Per speciem intelligibilem fit intellectus intelligens actu: sicut per speciem sensibilem sensus actu sentiens. Comparatur igitur species intelligibilis ad intellectum sicut actus ad potentiam. Si igitur intellectus divinus aliqua alia specie intelligibili intelligeret quam seipso, esset in potentia respectu alicuius. Quod esse non potest, ut supra ostensum est.
Again. The intellect is made actually intelligent by the intelligible species, just as sense is made actually sentient by the sensible species. Hence the intelligible species is compared to the intellect as act to potency. And consequently if the divine intellect were to understand by a species other than itself, it would be in potency with respect to something: and this is impossible, as we have proved above (ch. 16).
Amplius. Species intelligibilis in intellectu praeter essentiam eius existens esse accidentale habet: ratione cuius scientia nostra inter accidentia computatur. In Deo autem non potest aliquod esse accidens, ut supra ostensum est. Igitur non est in intellectu eius aliqua species praeter ipsam divinam essentiam.
Moreover. An intelligible species that is other than the essence of the intellect in which it is has an accidental being: for which reason our knowledge is reckoned among the accidents. Now, there can be no accident in God, as proved above (ch. 23). Therefore, there is no species in his intellect besides the divine essence.
Adhuc. Species intelligibilis similitudo est alicuius intellecti. Si igitur in intellectu divino sit aliqua intelligibilis species praeter essentiam ipsius, similitudo alicuius intellecti erit. Aut igitur divinae essentiae: aut alterius rei. Ipsius quidem divinae essentiae non potest esse: quia sic divina essentia non esset intelligibilis per seipsam, sed illa species faceret eam intelligibilem. Nec etiam potest esse in intellectu divino species alia praeter essentiam ipsius quae sit alterius rei similitudo. Illa enim similitudo imprimeretur ei ab aliquo. Non autem a seipso: quia sic idem esset agens et patiens; essetque aliquod agens quod non suam sed alterius similitudinem induceret patienti, et sic non omne agens sibi simile ageret. Nec ab alio: esset enim aliquod agens prius eo. Ergo impossibile est quod in ipso sit aliqua species intelligibilis praeter ipsius essentiam.
Further. An intelligible species is the image of something understood. Therefore, if there be an intelligible species besides its essence in the divine intellect, it will be the image of something understood. Either, therefore, it will be the image of the divine essence or of some other thing. But it cannot be the image of the divine essence: for then the divine essence would not be intelligible by itself, and this species would make it intelligible. Nor again can there be in the divine intellect a species distinct from its essence and representative of some other thing. For this image would be imprinted on it by something. Not, however, by the divine intellect itself, because then the same thing would be agent and patient, and there would be an agent which imprints not its own but another’s image on the patient, and thus not every agent would produce its like. Nor again by another, for then there would be an agent prior to the divine intellect. Therefore, there cannot possibly be in it an intelligible species besides its essence.
Praeterea. Intelligere Dei est eius esse, ut ostensum est. Si igitur intelligeret per aliquam speciem quae non sit sua essentia, esset per aliquod aliud a sua essentia. Quod est impossibile. Non igitur intelligit per aliquam speciem quae non sit sua essentia.
Moreover. God’s act of intelligence is his essence, as we have proved (ch. 45). Therefore, if he understood by a species that is not his essence, it would be by something other than his essence. But this is impossible (ch. 22). Therefore, he does not understand by a species that is not his essence.
Quod Deus intelligit perfecte seipsum
That God understands himself perfectly
Ex hoc autem ulterius patet quod ipse seipsum perfecte intelligit.
It is furthermore clear from the above that God understands himself perfectly.
Cum enim per speciem intelligibilem intellectus in rem intellectam feratur, ex duobus perfectio intellectualis operationis dependet. Unum est ut species intelligibilis perfecte rei intellectae conformetur. Aliud est ut perfecte intellectui coniungatur: quod quidem tanto fit amplius quanto intellectus in intelligendo maiorem efficaciam habet. Ipsa autem divina essentia quae est species intelligibilis qua intellectus divinus intelligit, est ipsi Deo penitus idem; estque intellectui ipsius idem omnino. Seipsum igitur Deus perfectissime cognoscit.
For, since the intellect is directed by the intelligible species to the thing understood, the perfection of intellectual operation depends on two things. One is that the intelligible species be perfectly conformed to the thing understood. The other is that it be perfectly united to the intellect; and this is all the more so according as the intellect is endowed with greater efficacy in understanding. Now, the divine essence, which is the intelligible species by which the divine intellect understands, is absolutely the same as God himself, and is altogether identified with his intellect. Therefore, God understands himself most perfectly.
Adhuc. Res materialis intelligibilis efficitur per hoc quod a materia et materialibus conditionibus separatur. Quod ergo est per sui naturam ab omni materia et materialibus conditionibus separatum, hoc est intelligibile secundum suam naturam. Sed omne intelligibile intelligitur secundum quod est unum actu cum intelligente. Ipse autem Deus intelligens est, ut probatum est. Igitur, cum sit immaterialis omnino, et sibi ipsi maxime sit unum, maxime seipsum intelligit.
Further. A material thing is made intelligible by being abstracted from matter and from material conditions. Therefore, that which by its nature is severed from matter and from material conditions is intelligible by its very nature. Now, every intelligible is understood according as it is actually one with the intelligent, and God is himself intelligent, as we have proved (ch. 44). Therefore, since he is altogether immaterial, and is absolutely one with himself, he understands himself most perfectly.
Item. Ex hoc aliquid actu intelligitur quod intellectus in actu et intellectum in actu unum sunt. Divinus autem intellectus est semper intellectus in actu: nihil enim est in potentia et imperfectum in Deo. Essentia autem Dei secundum seipsam perfecte intelligibilis est, ut ex dictis patet. Cum igitur intellectus divinus et essentia divina sint unum, ex dictis, manifestum est quod Deus perfecte seipsum intelligat: Deus enim est et suus intellectus et sua essentia.
Again. A thing is actually understood through the unification of the intellect in act and the intelligible in act. Now the divine intellect is always intellect in act, since nothing is in potency and imperfect in God. And God’s essence is by itself perfectly intelligible, as shown above. Since, then, the divine intellect and the divine essence are one, as stated above (ch. 45), it is evident that God understands himself perfectly, for God is both his own intellect and his own essence.
Adhuc. Omne quod est in aliquo per modum intelligibilem, intelligitur ab eo. Essentia autem divina est in Deo per modum intelligibilem: nam esse naturale Dei et esse intelligibile unum et idem est, cum esse suum sit suum intelligere. Deus igitur intelligit essentiam suam. Ergo seipsum: cum ipse sit sua essentia.
Moreover. Whatever is in anyone in an intelligible manner is understood by him. Now the divine essence is in God in an intelligible manner, for God’s natural being and his intelligible being are one and the same, since his being is his act of intelligence (ch. 45). Therefore, God understands his essence. Therefore, he understands himself, since he is his very essence.
Amplius. Actus intellectus, sicut et aliarum animae potentiarum, secundum obiecta distinguuntur. Tanto igitur erit perfectior intellectus operatio quanto erit perfectius intelligibile. Sed perfectissimum intelligibile est essentia divina: cum sit perfectissimus actus et prima veritas. Operatio autem intellectus divini est etiam nobilissima: cum sit ipsum esse divinum, ut ostensum est. Deus igitur seipsum intelligit.
Further. The acts of the intellect, as of the other powers of the soul, are distinguished according to their objects. Hence the more perfect the intelligible, the more perfect will the operation of the intellect be. Now the most perfect intelligible is the divine essence, since it is the most perfect act and the first truth. And the operation of the divine intellect is also the most excellent, since it is the divine being itself, as we have shown (ch. 45). Therefore, God understands himself.
Adhuc. Rerum omnium perfectiones in Deo maxime inveniuntur. Inter alias autem perfectiones in rebus creatis inventas maxima est intelligere Deum: cum natura intellectualis aliis praemineat, cuius perfectio est intelligere; nobilissimum autem intelligibile Deus est. Deus igitur maxime seipsum intelligit.
Again. All the perfections of things are found eminently in God (ch. 28). Now among other perfections found in created things, the greatest is that of understanding God, for the intellectual nature whose perfection it is to understand is preeminent among the others: and God is the most excellent intelligible. Therefore, God understands himself most of all.
Hoc autem auctoritate divina confirmatur. Ait namque apostolus, I Cor. 2:10, quod spiritus Dei scrutatur etiam profunda Dei.
This is confirmed by divine authority. For the Apostle says that the Spirit searches even the depths of God (1 Cor 2:10).
Quod Deus primo et per se solum seipsum cognoscit
That God knows only himself first and essentially
Ex praemissis autem apparet quod Deus primo et per se solum seipsum cognoscit.
From the foregoing it follows that God first and essentially knows himself alone.
Illa enim solum res est primo et per se ab intellectu cognita cuius specie intelligit: operatio enim formae quae est operationis principium proportionatur. Sed id quod Deus intelligit nihil est aliud quam sua essentia, ut probatum est. Igitur intellectum ab ipso primo et per se nihil est aliud quam ipsemet.
For that thing alone is known first and essentially by whose species the intellect understands, because the operation is proportionate to the form which is the principle of the operation. Now, that by which God understands is nothing else than his essence, as we have proved (ch. 46). Therefore, that which is understood by him first and essentially is nothing else than himself.
Adhuc. Impossibile est simul multa primo et per se intelligere: una enim operatio non potest simul multis terminari. Deus autem seipsum quandoque intelligit, ut probatum est. Si igitur intelligat aliquid aliud quasi primo et per se intellectum, oportet quod intellectus eius mutetur de consideratione sui in considerationem illius. Illud autem est eo ignobilius. Sic igitur intellectus divinus mutatur in peius. Quod est impossibile.
Again. It is impossible to understand simultaneously several things first and essentially, since one operation cannot terminate simultaneously in several things. Now God understands himself sometimes, as we have proved (ch. 47). Therefore, if he understands something else by way of an object understood first and essentially, it follows that his intellect is changed from consideration to consideration of that thing. But this thing is less excellent than he. Therefore, the divine intellect would be changed for the worse, which is impossible.
Amplius. Operationes intellectus distinguuntur penes obiecta. Si igitur Deus intelligit se et aliud a se quasi principale obiectum, habebit plures operationes intellectuales. Ergo vel sua essentia erit in plura divisa: vel aliquam operationem intellectualem habebit quae non est sua substantia. Quorum utrumque impossibile esse monstratum est. Restat igitur nihil a Deo esse cognitum quasi primo et per se intellectum, nisi suam essentiam.
Moreover. The operations of the intellect are distinguished in relation to their objects. If, therefore, God understands himself and something other than himself as principal object, he will have several intellectual operations. Therefore, either his essence will be divided into several parts, or he will have an intellectual operation that is not his substance, both of which have been proved to be impossible (ch. 18, 23, 45). Therefore, it follows that nothing is known by God as understood first and essentially, except his essence.
Item. Intellectus, secundum quod est differens a suo intellecto, est in potentia respectu illius. Si igitur aliquid aliud sit intellectum a Deo primo et per se, sequetur quod ipse sit in potentia respectu alicuius alterius. Quod est impossibile, ut ex dictis patet.
Again. The intellect, insofar as it is distinct from the object of its intelligence, is in potency in its regard. If, then, something else is understood by God first and essentially, it will follow that he is in potency in respect of something else: and this is impossible, as we have shown above (ch. 16).
Praeterea. Intellectum est perfectio intelligentis: secundum enim hoc intellectus perfectus est quod actu intelligit; quod quidem est per hoc quod est unum cum eo quod intelligitur. Si igitur aliquid aliud a Deo sit primo intellectum ab ipso, erit aliquid aliud perfectio ipsius, et eo nobilius. Quod est impossibile.
Further. The thing understood is the perfection of the one who understands, because the intellect is perfect insofar as it actually understands, and this is through its being one with the thing understood. Therefore, if something other than God be first understood by him, something else will be his perfection and more excellent than he. But this is impossible.
Amplius. Ex multis intellectis intelligentis scientia integratur. Si igitur sunt multa scita a Deo quasi principaliter cognita et per se, sequitur quod scientia Dei sit ex multis composita. Et sic vel erit divina essentia composita: vel scientia erit accidens Deo. Quorum utrumque impossibile esse ex dictis manifestum est. Relinquitur igitur quod id quod est primo et per se intellectum a Deo, nihil est aliud quam sua substantia.
Moreover. The knowledge of one who understands is the product of many things understood. Accordingly, if many things are known by God as known principally and essentially, it follows that God’s knowledge is composed of many: and thus either God’s essence will be composite, or knowledge will be accidental to God. But either of these is clearly impossible from what has been said (ch. 18, 23, 45). It remains, therefore, that that which is understood by God first and essentially is nothing else than his substance.