Respondeo dicendum quod videntium Deum per essentiam unus alio perfectius eum videbit. Quod quidem non erit per aliquam Dei similitudinem perfectiorem in uno quam in alio, cum illa visio non sit futura per aliquam similitudinem, ut ostensum est. Sed hoc erit per hoc, quod intellectus unius habebit maiorem virtutem seu facultatem ad videndum Deum, quam alterius. Facultas autem videndi Deum non competit intellectui creato secundum suam naturam, sed per lumen gloriae, quod intellectum in quadam deiformitate constituit, ut ex superioribus patet.
I answer that, Of those who see the essence of God, one sees Him more perfectly than another. This, indeed, does not take place as if one had a more perfect similitude of God than another, since that vision will not spring from any similitude; but it will take place because one intellect will have a greater power or faculty to see God than another. The faculty of seeing God, however, does not belong to the created intellect naturally, but is given to it by the light of glory, which establishes the intellect in a kind of deiformity, as appears from what is said above, in the preceding article.
Unde intellectus plus participans de lumine gloriae, perfectius Deum videbit. Plus autem participabit de lumine gloriae, qui plus habet de caritate, quia ubi est maior caritas, ibi est maius desiderium; et desiderium quodammodo facit desiderantem aptum et paratum ad susceptionem desiderati. Unde qui plus habebit de caritate, perfectius Deum videbit, et beatior erit.
Hence the intellect which has more of the light of glory will see God the more perfectly; and he will have a fuller participation of the light of glory who has more charity; because where there is the greater charity, there is the more desire; and desire in a certain degree makes the one desiring apt and prepared to receive the object desired. Hence he who possesses the more charity, will see God the more perfectly, and will be the more beatified.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, cum dicitur videbimus eum sicuti est, hoc adverbium sicuti determinat modum visionis ex parte rei visae, ut sit sensus, videbimus eum ita esse sicuti est, quia ipsum esse eius videbimus, quod est eius essentia. Non autem determinat modum visionis ex parte videntis, ut sit sensus, quod ita erit perfectus modus videndi, sicut est in Deo perfectus modus essendi.
Reply Obj. 1: In the words, We shall see Him as He is, the conjunction as determines the mode of vision on the part of the object seen, so that the meaning is, we shall see Him to be as He is, because we shall see His existence, which is His essence. But it does not determine the mode of vision on the part of the one seeing; as if the meaning was that the mode of seeing God will be as perfect as is the perfect mode of God’s existence.
Et per hoc etiam patet solutio ad secundum. Cum enim dicitur quod rem unam unus alio melius non intelligit, hoc habet veritatem si referatur ad modum rei intellectae, quia quicumque intelligit rem esse aliter quam sit, non vere intelligit. Non autem si referatur ad modum intelligendi, quia intelligere unius est perfectius quam intelligere alterius.
Thus appears the answer to the Second Objection. For when it is said that one intellect does not understand one and the same thing better than another, this would be true if referred to the mode of the thing understood, for whoever understands it otherwise than it really is, does not truly understand it, but not if referred to the mode of understanding, for the understanding of one is more perfect than the understanding of another.
Ad tertium dicendum quod diversitas videndi non erit ex parte obiecti, quia idem obiectum omnibus praesentabitur, scilicet Dei essentia, nec ex diversa participatione obiecti per differentes similitudines, sed erit per diversam facultatem intellectus, non quidem naturalem, sed gloriosam, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 3: The diversity of seeing will not arise on the part of the object seen, for the same object will be presented to all—viz. the essence of God; nor will it arise from the diverse participation of the object seen by different similitudes; but it will arise on the part of the diverse faculty of the intellect, not, indeed, the natural faculty, but the glorified faculty.
Utrum videntes Deum per essentiam ipsum comprehendant
Whether those who see the essence of God comprehend him?
Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod videntes Deum per essentiam ipsum comprehendant. Dicit enim Apostolus, Philipp. III, sequor autem si quo modo comprehendam. Non autem frustra sequebatur, dicit enim ipse, I Cor. IX, sic curro, non quasi in incertum. Ergo ipse comprehendit, et eadem ratione alii, quos ad hoc invitat, dicens, sic currite, ut comprehendatis.
Objection 1: It seems that those who see the divine essence, comprehend God. For the Apostle says (Phil. 3:12): But I follow after, if I may by any means comprehend. But the Apostle did not follow in vain; for he said (1 Cor 9:26): I . . . so run, not as at an uncertainty. Therefore he comprehended; and in the same way, others also, whom he invites to do the same, saying: So run that you may comprehend.
Praeterea, ut dicit Augustinus in libro de videndo Deum ad Paulinam, illud comprehenditur, quod ita totum videtur, ut nihil eius lateat videntem. Sed si Deus per essentiam videtur, totus videtur, et nihil eius latet videntem; cum Deus sit simplex. Ergo a quocumque videtur per essentiam, comprehenditur.
Obj. 2: Further, Augustine says (De Vid. Deum, Ep. cxlvii): That is comprehended which is so seen as a whole, that nothing of it is hidden from the seer. But if God is seen in His essence, He is seen whole, and nothing of Him is hidden from the seer, since God is simple. Therefore whoever sees His essence, comprehends Him.
Si dicatur quod videtur totus, sed non totaliter, contra, totaliter vel dicit modum videntis, vel modum rei visae. Sed ille qui videt Deum per essentiam, videt eum totaliter, si significetur modus rei visae, quia videt eum sicuti est, ut dictum est. Similiter videt eum totaliter, si significetur modus videntis, quia tota virtute sua intellectus Dei essentiam videbit. Quilibet ergo videns Deum per essentiam, totaliter eum videbit. Ergo eum comprehendet.
Obj. 3: Further, if we say that He is seen as a whole, but not wholly, it may be contrarily urged that wholly refers either to the mode of the seer, or to the mode of the thing seen. But he who sees the essence of God, sees Him wholly, if the mode of the thing seen is considered; forasmuch as he sees Him as He is; also, likewise, he sees Him wholly if the mode of the seer is meant, forasmuch as the intellect will with its full power see the Divine essence. Therefore all who see the essence of God see Him wholly; therefore they comprehend Him.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Ierem. XXXII, fortissime, magne, potens, dominus exercituum nomen tibi; magnus consilio, et incomprehensibilis cogitatu. Ergo comprehendi non potest.
On the contrary, It is written: O most mighty, great, and powerful, the Lord of hosts is Thy Name. Great in counsel, and incomprehensible in thought (Jer 32:18,19). Therefore He cannot be comprehended.
Respondeo dicendum quod comprehendere Deum impossibile est cuicumque intellectui creato, attingere vero mente Deum qualitercumque, magna est beatitudo, ut dicit Augustinus.
I answer that, It is impossible for any created intellect to comprehend God; yet for the mind to attain to God in some degree is great beatitude, as Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Serm. xxxviii).
Ad cuius evidentiam, sciendum est quod illud comprehenditur, quod perfecte cognoscitur. Perfecte autem cognoscitur, quod tantum cognoscitur, quantum est cognoscibile. Unde si id quod est cognoscibile per scientiam demonstrativam, opinione teneatur ex aliqua ratione probabili concepta, non comprehenditur. Puta, si hoc quod est triangulum habere tres angulos aequales duobus rectis, aliquis sciat per demonstrationem, comprehendit illud, si vero aliquis eius opinionem accipiat probabiliter, per hoc quod a sapientibus vel pluribus ita dicitur, non comprehendet ipsum, quia non pertingit ad illum perfectum modum cognitionis, quo cognoscibilis est.
In proof of this we must consider that what is comprehended is perfectly known; and that is perfectly known which is known so far as it can be known. Thus, if anything which is capable of scientific demonstration is held only by an opinion resting on a probable proof, it is not comprehended; as, for instance, if anyone knows by scientific demonstration that a triangle has three angles equal to two right angles, he comprehends that truth; whereas if anyone accepts it as a probable opinion because wise men or most men teach it, he cannot be said to comprehend the thing itself, because he does not attain to that perfect mode of knowledge of which it is intrinsically capable.
Nullus autem intellectus creatus pertingere potest ad illum perfectum modum cognitionis divinae essentiae, quo cognoscibilis est. Quod sic patet. Unumquodque enim sic cognoscibile est, secundum quod est ens actu. Deus igitur, cuius esse est infinitum, ut supra ostensum est, infinite cognoscibilis est. Nullus autem intellectus creatus potest Deum infinite cognoscere. Intantum enim intellectus creatus divinam essentiam perfectius vel minus perfecte cognoscit, inquantum maiori vel minori lumine gloriae perfunditur. Cum igitur lumen gloriae creatum, in quocumque intellectu creato receptum, non possit esse infinitum, impossibile est quod aliquis intellectus creatus Deum infinite cognoscat. Unde impossibile est quod Deum comprehendat.
But no created intellect can attain to that perfect mode of the knowledge of the Divine intellect whereof it is intrinsically capable. Which thus appears—Everything is knowable according to its actuality. But God, whose being is infinite, as was shown above (Q. 7), is infinitely knowable. Now no created intellect can know God infinitely. For the created intellect knows the Divine essence more or less perfectly in proportion as it receives a greater or lesser light of glory. Since therefore the created light of glory received into any created intellect cannot be infinite, it is clearly impossible for any created intellect to know God in an infinite degree. Hence it is impossible that it should comprehend God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod comprehensio dicitur dupliciter. Uno modo, stricte et proprie, secundum quod aliquid includitur in comprehendente. Et sic nullo modo Deus comprehenditur, nec intellectu nec aliquo alio, quia, cum sit infinitus, nullo finito includi potest, ut aliquid finitum eum infinite capiat, sicut ipse infinite est. Et sic de comprehensione nunc quaeritur.
Reply Obj. 1: Comprehension is twofold: in one sense it is taken strictly and properly, according as something is included in the one comprehending; and thus in no way is God comprehended either by intellect, or in any other way; forasmuch as He is infinite and cannot be included in any finite being; so that no finite being can contain Him infinitely, in the degree of His own infinity. In this sense we now take comprehension.
Alio modo comprehensio largius sumitur, secundum quod comprehensio insecutioni opponitur. Qui enim attingit aliquem, quando iam tenet ipsum, comprehendere eum dicitur. Et sic Deus comprehenditur a beatis, secundum illud Cant. III, tenui eum, nec dimittam. Et sic intelliguntur auctoritates Apostoli de comprehensione. Et hoc modo comprehensio est una de tribus dotibus animae, quae respondet spei; sicut visio fidei, et fruitio caritati. Non enim, apud nos, omne quod videtur, iam tenetur vel habetur, quia videntur interdum distantia, vel quae non sunt in potestate nostra. Neque iterum omnibus quae habemus, fruimur, vel quia non delectamur in eis; vel quia non sunt ultimus finis desiderii nostri, ut desiderium nostrum impleant et quietent. Sed haec tria habent beati in Deo, quia et vident ipsum; et videndo, tenent sibi praesentem, in potestate habentes semper eum videre; et tenentes, fruuntur sicut ultimo fine desiderium implente.
But in another sense comprehension is taken more largely as opposed to non-attainment; for he who attains to anyone is said to comprehend him when he attains to him. And in this sense God is comprehended by the blessed, according to the words, I held him, and I will not let him go (Cant. 3:4); in this sense also are to be understood the words quoted from the Apostle concerning comprehension. And in this way comprehension is one of the three prerogatives of the soul, responding to hope, as vision responds to faith, and fruition responds to charity. For even among ourselves not everything seen is held or possessed, forasmuch as things either appear sometimes afar off, or they are not in our power of attainment. Neither, again, do we always enjoy what we possess; either because we find no pleasure in them, or because such things are not the ultimate end of our desire, so as to satisfy and quell it. But the blessed possess these three things in God; because they see Him, and in seeing Him, possess Him as present, having the power to see Him always; and possessing Him, they enjoy Him as the ultimate fulfilment of desire.
Ad secundum dicendum quod non propter hoc Deus incomprehensibilis dicitur, quasi aliquid eius sit quod non videatur, sed quia non ita perfecte videtur, sicut visibilis est. Sicut cum aliqua demonstrabilis propositio per aliquam probabilem rationem cognoscitur, non est aliquid eius quod non cognoscatur, nec subiectum, nec praedicatum, nec compositio, sed tota non ita perfecte cognoscitur, sicut cognoscibilis est. Unde Augustinus, definiendo comprehensionem, dicit quod totum comprehenditur videndo, quod ita videtur, ut nihil eius lateat videntem; aut cuius fines circumspici possunt, tunc enim fines alicuius circumspiciuntur, quando ad finem in modo cognoscendi illam rem pervenitur.
Reply Obj. 2: God is called incomprehensible not because anything of Him is not seen; but because He is not seen as perfectly as He is capable of being seen; thus when any demonstrable proposition is known by probable reason only, it does not follow that any part of it is unknown, either the subject, or the predicate, or the composition; but that it is not as perfectly known as it is capable of being known. Hence Augustine, in his definition of comprehension, says the whole is comprehended when it is seen in such a way that nothing of it is hidden from the seer, or when its boundaries can be completely viewed or traced; for the boundaries of a thing are said to be completely surveyed when the end of the knowledge of it is attained.
Ad tertium dicendum quod totaliter dicit modum obiecti, non quidem ita quod totus modus obiecti non cadat sub cognitione; sed quia modus obiecti non est modus cognoscentis. Qui igitur videt Deum per essentiam, videt hoc in eo, quod infinite existit, et infinite cognoscibilis est; sed hic infinitus modus non competit ei, ut scilicet ipse infinite cognoscat, sicut aliquis probabiliter scire potest aliquam propositionem esse demonstrabilem, licet ipse eam demonstrative non cognoscat.
Reply Obj. 3: The word wholly denotes a mode of the object; not that the whole object does not come under knowledge, but that the mode of the object is not the mode of the one who knows. Therefore he who sees God’s essence, sees in Him that He exists infinitely, and is infinitely knowable; nevertheless, this infinite mode does not extend to enable the knower to know infinitely; thus, for instance, a person can have a probable opinion that a proposition is demonstrable, although he himself does not know it as demonstrated.
Utrum videntes Deum per essentiam omnia in Deo videant
Whether those who see the essence of God see all in God?
Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod videntes Deum per essentiam omnia in Deo videant. Dicit enim Gregorius, in IV Dialog. quid est quod non videant, qui videntem omnia vident? Sed Deus est videns omnia. Ergo qui vident Deum, omnia vident.
Objection 1: It seems that those who see the essence of God see all things in God. For Gregory says (Dialog. iv): What do they not see, who see Him Who sees all things? But God sees all things. Therefore those who see God see all things.
Item, quicumque videt speculum, videt ea quae in speculo resplendent. Sed omnia quaecumque fiunt vel fieri possunt, in Deo resplendent sicut in quodam speculo, ipse enim omnia in seipso cognoscit. Ergo quicumque videt Deum, videt omnia quae sunt et quae fieri possunt.
Obj. 2: Further, whoever sees a mirror, sees what is reflected in the mirror. But all actual or possible things shine forth in God as in a mirror; for He knows all things in Himself. Therefore whoever sees God, sees all actual things in Him, and also all possible things.
Praeterea, qui intelligit id quod est maius, potest intelligere minima, ut dicitur III de anima. Sed omnia quae Deus facitvel facere potest, sunt minus quam eius essentia. Ergo quicumque intelligit Deum, potest intelligere omnia quae Deus facit vel facere potest.
Obj. 3: Further, whoever understands the greater, can understand the least, as is said in De Anima iii. But all that God does, or can do, are less than His essence. Therefore whoever understands God, can understand all that God does, or can do.
Praeterea, rationalis creatura omnia naturaliter scire desiderat. Si igitur videndo Deum non omnia sciat, non quietatur eius naturale desiderium, et ita, videndo Deum non erit beata. Quod est inconveniens. Videndo igitur Deum, omnia scit.
Obj. 4: Further, the rational creature naturally desires to know all things. Therefore if in seeing God it does not know all things, its natural desire will not rest satisfied; thus, in seeing God it will not be fully happy; which is incongruous. Therefore he who sees God knows all things.
Sed contra est quod Angeli vident Deum per essentiam, et tamen non omnia sciunt. Inferiores enim Angeli purgantur a superioribus a nescientia, ut dicit Dionysius, VII cap. Cael. Hier. Ipsi etiam nesciunt futura contingentia et cogitationes cordium, hoc enim solius Dei est. Non ergo quicumque vident Dei essentiam, vident omnia.
On the contrary, The angels see the essence of God; and yet do not know all things. For as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii), the inferior angels are cleansed from ignorance by the superior angels. Also they are ignorant of future contingent things, and of secret thoughts; for this knowledge belongs to God alone. Therefore whosoever sees the essence of God, does not know all things.
Respondeo dicendum quod intellectus creatus, videndo divinam essentiam, non videt in ipsa omnia quae facit Deus vel facere potest. Manifestum est enim quod sic aliqua videntur in Deo, secundum quod sunt in ipso. Omnia autem alia sunt in Deo, sicut effectus sunt virtute in sua causa. Sic igitur videntur alia in Deo, sicut effectus in sua causa. Sed manifestum est quod quanto aliqua causa perfectius videtur, tanto plures eius effectus in ipsa videri possunt. Qui enim habet intellectum elevatum, statim uno principio demonstrativo proposito, ex ipso multarum conclusionum cognitionem accipit, quod non convenit ei qui debilioris intellectus est, sed oportet quod ei singula explanentur. Ille igitur intellectus potest in causa cognoscere omnes causae effectus, et omnes rationes effectuum, qui causam totaliter comprehendit. Nullus autem intellectus creatus totaliter Deum comprehendere potest, ut ostensum est. Nullus igitur intellectus creatus, videndo Deum, potest cognoscere omnia quae Deus facit vel potest facere, hoc enim esset comprehendere eius virtutem. Sed horum quae Deus facit vel facere potest, tanto aliquis intellectus plura cognoscit, quanto perfectius Deum videt.
I answer that, The created intellect, in seeing the divine essence, does not see in it all that God does or can do. For it is manifest that things are seen in God as they are in Him. But all other things are in God as effects are in the power of their cause. Therefore all things are seen in God as an effect is seen in its cause. Now it is clear that the more perfectly a cause is seen, the more of its effects can be seen in it. For whoever has a lofty understanding, as soon as one demonstrative principle is put before him can gather the knowledge of many conclusions; but this is beyond one of a weaker intellect, for he needs things to be explained to him separately. And so an intellect can know all the effects of a cause and the reasons for those effects in the cause itself, if it comprehends the cause wholly. Now no created intellect can comprehend God wholly, as shown above (A. 7). Therefore no created intellect in seeing God can know all that God does or can do, for this would be to comprehend His power; but of what God does or can do any intellect can know the more, the more perfectly it sees God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Gregorius loquitur quantum ad sufficientiam obiecti, scilicet Dei, quod, quantum in se est, sufficienter continet omnia et demonstrat. Non tamen sequitur quod unusquisque videns Deum omnia cognoscat, quia non perfecte comprehendit ipsum.
Reply Obj. 1: Gregory speaks as regards the object being sufficient, namely, God, who in Himself sufficiently contains and shows forth all things; but it does not follow that whoever sees God knows all things, for he does not perfectly comprehend Him.
Ad secundum dicendum quod videns speculum, non est necessarium quod omnia in speculo videat, nisi speculum visu suo comprehendat.
Reply Obj. 2: It is not necessary that whoever sees a mirror should see all that is in the mirror, unless his glance comprehends the mirror itself.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, licet maius sit videre Deum quam omnia alia, tamen maius est videre sic Deum quod omnia in eo cognoscantur, quam videre sic ipsum quod non omnia, sed pauciora vel plura cognoscantur in eo. Iam enim ostensum est quod multitudo cognitorum in Deo, consequitur modum videndi ipsum vel magis perfectum vel minus perfectum.
Reply Obj. 3: Although it is more to see God than to see all things else, still it is a greater thing to see Him so that all things are known in Him, than to see Him in such a way that not all things, but the fewer or the more, are known in Him. For it has been shown in this article that the more things are known in God according as He is seen more or less perfectly.
Ad quartum dicendum quod naturale desiderium rationalis creaturae est ad sciendum omnia illa quae pertinent ad perfectionem intellectus; et haec sunt species et genera rerum, et rationes earum, quae in Deo videbit quilibet videns essentiam divinam. Cognoscere autem alia singularia, et cogitata et facta eorum, non est de perfectione intellectus creati, nec ad hoc eius naturale desiderium tendit, nec iterum cognoscere illa quae nondum sunt, sed fieri a Deo possunt. Si tamen solus Deus videretur, qui est fons et principium totius esse et veritatis, ita repleret naturale desiderium sciendi, quod nihil aliud quaereretur, et beatus esset. Unde dicit Augustinus, V Confess., infelix homo qui scit omnia illa (scilicet creaturas), te autem nescit, beatus autem qui te scit, etiam si illa nesciat. Qui vero te et illa novit, non propter illa beatior est, sed propter te solum beatus.
Reply Obj. 4: The natural desire of the rational creature is to know everything that belongs to the perfection of the intellect, namely, the species and the genera of things and their types, and these everyone who sees the Divine essence will see in God. But to know other singulars, their thoughts and their deeds does not belong to the perfection of the created intellect nor does its natural desire go out to these things; neither, again, does it desire to know things that exist not as yet, but which God can call into being. Yet if God alone were seen, Who is the fount and principle of all being and of all truth, He would so fill the natural desire of knowledge that nothing else would be desired, and the seer would be completely beatified. Hence Augustine says (Confess. v): Unhappy the man who knoweth all these (i.e., all creatures) and knoweth not Thee! But happy whoso knoweth Thee although he know not these. And whoso knoweth both Thee and them is not the happier for them, but for Thee alone.
Utrum ea quae videntur in Deo, a videntibus divinam essentiam per aliquas similitudines videantur
Whether what is seen in God by those who see the divine essence, is seen through any similitude?
Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ea quae videntur in Deo, a videntibus divinam essentiam per aliquas similitudines videantur. Omnis enim cognitio est per assimilationem cognoscentis ad cognitum, sic enim intellectus in actu fit intellectum in actu, et sensus in actu sensibile in actu, inquantum eius similitudine informatur, ut pupilla similitudine coloris. Si igitur intellectus videntis Deum per essentiam intelligat in Deo aliquas creaturas, oportet quod earum similitudinibus informetur.
Objection 1: It seems that what is seen in God by those who see the Divine essence, is seen by means of some similitude. For every kind of knowledge comes about by the knower being assimilated to the object known. For thus the intellect in act becomes the actual intelligible, and the sense in act becomes the actual sensible, inasmuch as it is informed by a similitude of the object, as the eye by the similitude of color. Therefore if the intellect of one who sees the Divine essence understands any creatures in God, it must be informed by their similitudes.
Praeterea, ea quae prius vidimus, memoriter tenemus. Sed Paulus, videns in raptu essentiam Dei, ut dicit Augustinus XII super Gen. ad litteram, postquam desiit essentiam Dei videre, recordatus est multorum quae in illo raptu viderat, unde ipse dicit quod audivit arcana verba, quae non licet homini loqui, II Cor. XII. Ergo oportet dicere quod aliquae similitudines eorum quae recordatus est, in eius intellectu remanserint. Et eadem ratione, quando praesentialiter videbat Dei essentiam, eorum quae in ipsa videbat, aliquas similitudines vel species habebat.
Obj. 2: Further, what we have seen, we keep in memory. But Paul, seeing the essence of God whilst in ecstasy, when he had ceased to see the Divine essence, as Augustine says (Gen ad lit. xii, 28,34), remembered many of the things he had seen in the rapture; hence he said: I have heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter (2 Cor 12:4). Therefore it must be said that certain similitudes of what he remembered, remained in his mind; and in the same way, when he actually saw the essence of God, he had certain similitudes or ideas of what he actually saw in it.
Sed contra est quod per unam speciem videtur speculum, et ea quae in speculo apparent. Sed omnia sic videntur in Deo sicut in quodam speculo intelligibili. Ergo, si ipse Deus non videtur per aliquam similitudinem, sed per suam essentiam; nec ea quae in ipso videntur, per aliquas similitudines sive species videntur.
On the contrary, A mirror and what is in it are seen by means of one likeness. But all things are seen in God as in an intelligible mirror. Therefore if God Himself is not seen by any similitude but by His own essence, neither are the things seen in Him seen by any similitudes or ideas.
Respondeo dicendum quod videntes Deum per essentiam, ea quae in ipsa essentia Dei vident, non vident per aliquas species, sed per ipsam essentiam divinam intellectuieorum unitam. Sic enim cognoscitur unumquodque, secundum quod similitudo eius est in cognoscente. Sed hoc contingit dupliciter. Cum enim quaecumque uni et eidem sunt similia, sibi invicem sint similia, virtus cognoscitiva dupliciter assimilari potest alicui cognoscibili. Uno modo, secundum se, quando directe eius similitudine informatur, et tunc cognoscitur illud secundum se. Alio modo, secundum quod informatur specie alicuius quod est ei simile, et tunc non dicitur res cognosci in seipsa, sed in suo simili. Alia enim est cognitio qua cognoscitur aliquis homo in seipso, et alia qua cognoscitur in sua imagine. Sic ergo, cognoscere res per earum similitudines in cognoscente existentes, est cognoscere eas in seipsis, seu in propriis naturis, sed cognoscere eas prout earum similitudines praeexistunt in Deo, est videre eas in Deo. Et hae duae cognitiones differunt. Unde secundum illam cognitionem qua res cognoscuntura videntibus Deum per essentiam in ipso Deo, non videntur per aliquas similitudines alias; sed per solam essentiam divinam intellectui praesentem, per quam et Deus videtur.
I answer that, Those who see the divine essence see what they see in God not by any likeness, but by the divine essence itself united to their intellect. For each thing is known in so far as its likeness is in the one who knows. Now this takes place in two ways. For as things which are like one and the same thing are like to each other, the cognitive faculty can be assimilated to any knowable object in two ways. In one way it is assimilated by the object itself, when it is directly informed by a similitude, and then the object is known in itself. In another way when informed by a similitude which resembles the object; and in this way, the knowledge is not of the thing in itself, but of the thing in its likeness. For the knowledge of a man in himself differs from the knowledge of him in his image. Hence to know things thus by their likeness in the one who knows, is to know them in themselves or in their own nature; whereas to know them by their similitudes pre-existing in God, is to see them in God. Now there is a difference between these two kinds of knowledge. Hence, according to the knowledge whereby things are known by those who see the essence of God, they are seen in God Himself not by any other similitudes but by the Divine essence alone present to the intellect; by which also God Himself is seen.