Utrum voluntatis divinae sit assignare aliquam causam
Whether any cause can be assigned to the divine will?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntatis divinae sit assignare aliquam causam. Dicit enim Augustinus, libro octoginta trium quaest., quis audeat dicere Deum irrationabiliter omnia condidisse? Sed agenti voluntario, quod est ratio operandi, est etiam causa volendi. Ergo voluntas Dei habet aliquam causam.
Objection 1: It seems that some cause can be assigned to the divine will. For Augustine says (Qq. lxxxiii, 46): Who would venture to say that God made all things irrationally? But to a voluntary agent, what is the reason of operating, is the cause of willing. Therefore the will of God has some cause.
Praeterea, in his quae fiunt a volente qui propter nullam causam aliquid vult, non oportet aliam causam assignare nisi voluntatem volentis. Sed voluntas Dei est causa omnium rerum, ut ostensum est. Si igitur voluntatis eius non sit aliqua causa, non oportebit in omnibus rebus naturalibus aliam causam quaerere, nisi solam voluntatem divinam. Et sic omnes scientiae essent supervacuae, quae causas aliquorum effectuum assignare nituntur, quod videtur inconveniens. Est igitur assignare aliquam causam voluntatis divinae.
Obj. 2: Further, in things made by one who wills to make them, and whose will is influenced by no cause, there can be no cause assigned except by the will of him who wills. But the will of God is the cause of all things, as has been already shown (A. 4). If, then, there is no cause of His will, we cannot seek in any natural things any cause, except the divine will alone. Thus all science would be in vain, since science seeks to assign causes to effects. This seems inadmissible, and therefore we must assign some cause to the divine will.
Praeterea, quod fit a volente non propter aliquam causam, dependet ex simplici voluntate eius. Si igitur voluntas Dei non habeat aliquam causam, sequitur quod omnia quae fiunt, dependeant ex simplici eius voluntate, et non habeant aliquam aliam causam. Quod est inconveniens.
Obj. 3: Further, what is done by the willer, on account of no cause, depends simply on his will. If, therefore, the will of God has no cause, it follows that all things made depend simply on His will, and have no other cause. But this also is not admissible.
Sed contra est quod dicit Augustinus, in libro octoginta trium quaest., omnis causa efficiens maior est eo quod efficitur; nihil tamen maius est voluntate Dei; non ergo causa eius quaerenda est.
On the contrary, Augustine says (Qq. lxxxiii, 28): Every efficient cause is greater than the thing effected. But nothing is greater than the will of God. We must not then seek for a cause of it.
Respondeo dicendum quod nullo modo voluntas Dei causam habet. Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod, cum voluntas sequatur intellectum, eodem modo contingit esse causam alicuius volentis ut velit, et alicuius intelligentis ut intelligat. In intellectu autem sic est quod, si seorsum intelligat principium, et seorsum conclusionem, intelligentia principii est causa scientiae conclusionis. Sed si intellectus in ipso principio inspiceret conclusionem, uno intuitu apprehendens utrumque, in eo scientia conclusionis non causaretur ab intellectu principiorum, quia idem non est causa sui ipsius. Sed tamen intelligeret principia esse causas conclusionis. Similiter est ex parte voluntatis, circa quam sic se habet finis ad ea quae sunt ad finem, sicut in intellectu principia ad conclusiones.
I answer that, In no way has the will of God a cause. In proof of which we must consider that, since the will follows from the intellect, there is cause of the will in the person who wills, in the same way as there is a cause of the understanding in the person that understands. The case with the understanding is this: that if the premise and its conclusion are understood separately from each other, the understanding the premise is the cause that the conclusion is known. If the understanding perceive the conclusion in the premise itself, apprehending both the one and the other at the same glance, in this case the knowing of the conclusion would not be caused by understanding the premises, since a thing cannot be its own cause; and yet, it would be true that the thinker would understand the premises to be the cause of the conclusion. It is the same with the will, with respect to which the end stands in the same relation to the means to the end, as do the premises to the conclusion with regard to the understanding.
Unde, si aliquis uno actu velit finem, et alio actu ea quae sunt ad finem, velle finem erit ei causa volendi ea quae sunt ad finem. Sed si uno actu velit finem et ea quae sunt ad finem, hoc esse non poterit, quia idem non est causa sui ipsius. Et tamen erit verum dicere quod velit ordinare ea quae sunt ad finem, in finem. Deus autem, sicut uno actu omnia in essentia sua intelligit, ita uno actu vult omnia in sua bonitate. Unde, sicut in Deo intelligere causam non est causa intelligendi effectus, sed ipse intelligit effectus in causa; ita velle finem non est ei causa volendi ea quae sunt ad finem, sed tamen vult ea quae sunt ad finem, ordinari in finem. Vult ergo hoc esse propter hoc, sed non propter hoc vult hoc.
Hence, if anyone in one act wills an end, and in another act the means to that end, his willing the end will be the cause of his willing the means. This cannot be the case if in one act he wills both end and means; for a thing cannot be its own cause. Yet it will be true to say that he wills to order to the end the means to the end. Now as God by one act understands all things in His essence, so by one act He wills all things in His goodness. Hence, as in God to understand the cause is not the cause of His understanding the effect, for He understands the effect in the cause, so, in Him, to will an end is not the cause of His willing the means, yet He wills the ordering of the means to the end. Therefore, He wills this to be as means to that; but does not will this on account of that.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod voluntas Dei rationabilis est, non quod aliquid sit Deo causa volendi, sed inquantum vult unum esse propter aliud.
Reply Obj. 1: The will of God is reasonable, not because anything is to God a cause of willing, but in so far as He wills one thing to be on account of another.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, cum velit Deus effectus sic esse, ut ex causis certis proveniant, ad hoc quod servetur ordo in rebus; non est supervacuum, etiam cum voluntate Dei, alias causas quaerere. Esset tamen supervacuum, si aliae causae quaererentur ut primae, et non dependentes a divina voluntate. Et sic loquitur Augustinus in III De Trin., placuit vanitati philosophorum etiam aliis causis effectus contingentes tribuere, cum omnino videre non possent superiorem ceteris omnibus causam, idest voluntatem Dei.
Reply Obj. 2: Since God wills effects to proceed from definite causes, for the preservation of order in the universe, it is not unreasonable to seek for causes secondary to the divine will. It would, however, be unreasonable to do so, if such were considered as primary, and not as dependent on the will of God. In this sense Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 2): Philosophers in their vanity have thought fit to attribute contingent effects to other causes, being utterly unable to perceive the cause that is shown above all others, the will of God.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, cum Deus velit effectus esse propter causas, quicumque effectus praesupponunt aliquem alium effectum, non dependent ex sola Dei voluntate, sed ex aliquo alio. Sed primi effectus ex sola divina voluntate dependent. Utpote si dicamus quod Deus voluit hominem habere manus, ut deservirent intellectui, operando diversa opera, et voluit eum habere intellectum, ad hoc quod esset homo, et voluit eum esse hominem, ut frueretur ipso, vel ad complementum universi. Quae quidem non est reducere ad alios fines creatos ulteriores. Unde huiusmodi dependent ex simplici voluntate Dei, alia vero ex ordine etiam aliarum causarum.
Reply Obj. 3: Since God wills effects to come from causes, all effects that presuppose some other effect do not depend solely on the will of God, but on something else besides: but the first effect depends on the divine will alone. Thus, for example, we may say that God willed man to have hands to serve his intellect by their work, and intellect, that he might be man; and willed him to be man that he might enjoy Him, or for the completion of the universe. But this cannot be reduced to other created secondary ends. Hence such things depend on the simple will of God; but the others on the order of other causes.
Utrum voluntas Dei semper impleatur
Whether the will of God is always fulfilled?
Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas Dei non semper impleatur. Dicit enim Apostolus, I ad Tim. II, quod Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri, et ad agnitionem veritatis venire. Sed hoc non ita evenit. Ergo voluntas Dei non semper impletur.
Objection 1: It seems that the will of God is not always fulfilled. For the Apostle says (1 Tim 2:4): God wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. But this does not happen. Therefore the will of God is not always fulfilled.
Praeterea, sicut se habet scientia ad verum, ita voluntas ad bonum. Sed Deus scit omne verum. Ergo vult omne bonum. Sed non omne bonum fit, multa enim bona possunt fieri, quae non fiunt. Non ergo voluntas Dei semper impletur.
Obj. 2: Further, as is the relation of knowledge to truth, so is that of the will to good. Now God knows all truth. Therefore He wills all good. But not all good actually exists; for much more good might exist. Therefore the will of God is not always fulfilled.
Praeterea, voluntas Dei, cum sit causa prima, non excludit causas medias, ut dictum est. Sed effectus causae primae potest impediri per defectum causae secundae, sicut effectus virtutis motivae impeditur propter debilitatem tibiae. Ergo et effectus divinae voluntatis potest impediri propter defectum secundarum causarum. Non ergo voluntas Dei semper impletur.
Obj. 3: Further, since the will of God is the first cause, it does not exclude intermediate causes. But the effect of a first cause may be hindered by a defect of a secondary cause; as the effect of the motive power may be hindered by the weakness of the limb. Therefore the effect of the divine will may be hindered by a defect of the secondary causes. The will of God, therefore, is not always fulfilled.
Sed contra est quod dicitur in Psalmo CXIII, omnia quaecumque voluit Deus, fecit.
On the contrary, It is said (Ps 113:11): God hath done all things, whatsoever He would.
Respondeo dicendum quod necesse est voluntatem Dei semper impleri. Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod, cum effectus conformetur agenti secundum suam formam, eadem ratio est in causis agentibus, quae est in causis formalibus. In formis autem sic est quod, licet aliquid possit deficere ab aliqua forma particulari, tamen a forma universali nihil deficere potest, potest enim esse aliquid quod non est homo vel vivum, non autem potest esse aliquid quod non sit ens. Unde et hoc idem in causis agentibus contingere oportet. Potest enim aliquid fieri extra ordinem alicuius causae particularis agentis, non autem extra ordinem alicuius causae universalis, sub qua omnes causae particulares comprehenduntur. Quia, si aliqua causa particularis deficiat a suo effectu, hoc est propter aliquam aliam causam particularem impedientem, quae continetur sub ordine causae universalis, unde effectus ordinem causae universalis nullo modo potest exire. Et hoc etiam patet in corporalibus. Potest enim impediri quod aliqua stella non inducat suum effectum, sed tamen quicumque effectus ex causa corporea impediente in rebus corporalibus consequatur, oportet quod reducatur per aliquas causas medias in universalem virtutem primi caeli.
I answer that, The will of God must needs always be fulfilled. In proof of which we must consider that since an effect is conformed to the agent according to its form, the rule is the same with agent causes as with formal causes. The rule in forms is this: that although a thing may fall short of any particular form, it cannot fall short of the universal form. For though a thing may fail to be, for example, a man or a living being, yet it cannot fail to be a being. Hence the same must happen in agent causes. Something may fall outside the order of any particular agent cause, but not outside the order of the universal cause; under which all particular causes are included: and if any particular cause fails of its effect, this is because of the hindrance of some other particular cause, which is included in the order of the universal cause. Therefore an effect cannot possibly escape the order of the universal cause. Even in corporeal things this is clearly seen. For it may happen that a star is hindered from producing its effects; yet whatever effect does result, in corporeal things, from this hindrance of a corporeal cause, must be referred through intermediate causes to the universal influence of the first heaven.
Cum igitur voluntas Dei sit universalis causa omnium rerum, impossibile est quod divina voluntas suum effectum non consequatur. Unde quod recedere videtur a divina voluntate secundum unum ordinem, relabitur in ipsam secundum alium, sicut peccator, qui, quantum est in se, recedit a divina voluntate peccando, incidit in ordinem divinae voluntatis, dum per eius iustitiam punitur.
Since, then, the will of God is the universal cause of all things, it is impossible that the divine will should not produce its effect. Hence that which seems to depart from the divine will in one order, returns into it in another order; as does the sinner, who by sin falls away from the divine will as much as lies in him, yet falls back into the order of that will, when by its justice he is punished.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illud verbum Apostoli, quod Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri etc., potest tripliciter intelligi. Uno modo, ut sit accommoda distributio, secundum hunc sensum, Deus vult salvos fieri omnes homines qui salvantur, non quia nullus homo sit quem salvum fieri non velit, sed quia nullus salvus fit, quem non velit salvum fieri, ut dicit Augustinus. Secundo potest intelligi, ut fiat distributio pro generibus singulorum, et non pro singulis generum, secundum hunc sensum, Deus vult de quolibet statu hominum salvos fieri, mares et feminas, Iudaeos et gentiles, parvos et magnos; non tamen omnes de singulis statibus. Tertio, secundum Damascenum, intelligitur de voluntate antecedente, non de voluntate consequente. Quae quidem distinctio non accipitur ex parte ipsius voluntatis divinae, in qua nihil est prius vel posterius; sed ex parte volitorum.
Reply Obj. 1: The words of the Apostle, God will have all men to be saved, etc. can be understood in three ways. First, by a restricted application, in which case they would mean, as Augustine says (De praed. sanct. i, 8: Enchiridion 103), God wills all men to be saved that are saved, not because there is no man whom He does not wish saved, but because there is no man saved whose salvation He does not will. Second, they can be understood as applying to every class of individuals, not to every individual of each class; in which case they mean that God wills some men of every class and condition to be saved, males and females, Jews and Gentiles, great and small, but not all of every condition. Third, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 29), they are understood of the antecedent will of God; not of the consequent will. This distinction must not be taken as applying to the divine will itself, in which there is nothing antecedent nor consequent, but to the things willed.
Ad cuius intellectum, considerandum est quod unumquodque, secundum quod bonum est, sic est volitum a Deo. Aliquid autem potest esse in prima sui consideratione, secundum quod absolute consideratur, bonum vel malum, quod tamen, prout cum aliquo adiuncto consideratur, quae est consequens consideratio eius, e contrario se habet. Sicut hominem vivere est bonum, et hominem occidi est malum, secundum absolutam considerationem, sed si addatur circa aliquem hominem, quod sit homicida, vel vivens in periculum multitudinis, sic bonum est eum occidi, et malum est eum vivere. Unde potest dici quod iudex iustus antecedenter vult omnem hominem vivere; sed consequenter vult homicidam suspendi. Similiter Deus antecedenter vult omnem hominem salvari; sed consequenter vult quosdam damnari, secundum exigentiam suae iustitiae. Neque tamen id quod antecedenter volumus, simpliciter volumus, sed secundum quid. Quia voluntas comparatur ad res, secundum quod in seipsis sunt, in seipsis autem sunt in particulari, unde simpliciter volumus aliquid, secundum quod volumus illud consideratis omnibus circumstantiis particularibus, quod est consequenter velle. Unde potest dici quod iudex iustus simpliciter vult homicidam suspendi, sed secundum quid vellet eum vivere, scilicet inquantum est homo. Unde magis potest dici velleitas, quam absoluta voluntas. Et sic patet quod quidquid Deus simpliciter vult, fit; licet illud quod antecedenter vult, non fiat.
To understand this we must consider that everything, in so far as it is good, is willed by God. A thing taken in its primary sense, and absolutely considered, may be good or evil, and yet when some additional circumstances are taken into account, by a consequent consideration may be changed into the contrary. Thus that a man should live is good; and that a man should be killed is evil, absolutely considered. But if in a particular case we add that a man is a murderer or dangerous to society, to kill him is a good; that he live is an evil. Hence it may be said of a just judge, that antecedently he wills all men to live; but consequently wills the murderer to be hanged. In the same way God antecedently wills all men to be saved, but consequently wills some to be damned, as His justice exacts. Nor do we will simply, what we will antecedently, but rather we will it in a qualified manner; for the will is directed to things as they are in themselves, and in themselves they exist under particular qualifications. Hence we will a thing simply inasmuch as we will it when all particular circumstances are considered; and this is what is meant by willing consequently. Thus it may be said that a just judge wills simply the hanging of a murderer, but in a qualified manner he would will him to live, to wit, inasmuch as he is a man. Such a qualified will may be called a willingness rather than an absolute will. Thus it is clear that whatever God simply wills takes place; although what He wills antecedently may not take place.
Ad secundum dicendum quod actus cognoscitivae virtutis est secundum quod cognitum est in cognoscente, actus autem virtutis appetitivae est ordinatus ad res, secundum quod in seipsis sunt. Quidquid autem potest habere rationem entis et veri, totum est virtualiter in Deo; sed non totum existit in rebus creatis. Et ideo Deus cognoscit omne verum, non tamen vult omne bonum, nisi inquantum vult se, in quo virtualiter omne bonum existit.
Reply Obj. 2: An act of the cognitive faculty is according as the thing known is in the knower; while an act of the appetite faculty is directed to things as they exist in themselves. But all that can have the nature of being and truth virtually exists in God, though it does not all exist in created things. Therefore God knows all truth; but does not will all good, except in so far as He wills Himself, in Whom all good virtually exists.
Ad tertium dicendum quod causa prima tunc potest impediri a suo effectu per defectum causae secundae, quando non est universaliter prima, sub se omnes causas comprehendens, quia sic effectus nullo modo posset suum ordinem evadere. Et sic est de voluntate Dei, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 3: A first cause can be hindered in its effect by deficiency in the secondary cause, when it is not the universal first cause, including within itself all causes; for then the effect could in no way escape its order. And thus it is with the will of God, as said above.
Utrum voluntas Dei sit mutabilis
Whether the will of God is changeable?
Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod voluntas Dei sit mutabilis. Dicit enim Dominus Genes. VI, poenitet me fecisse hominem. Sed quemcumque poenitet de eo quod fecit, habet mutabilem voluntatem. Ergo Deus habet mutabilem voluntatem.
Objection 1: It seems that the will of God is changeable. For the Lord says (Gen 6:7): It repenteth Me that I have made man. But whoever repents of what he has done, has a changeable will. Therefore God has a changeable will.
Praeterea, Ierem. XVIII, ex persona Domini dicitur, loquar adversus gentem et adversus regnum, ut eradicem et destruam et disperdam illud; sed si poenitentiam egerit gens illa a malo suo, agam et ego poenitentiam super malo quod cogitavi ut facerem ei. Ergo Deus habet mutabilem voluntatem.
Obj. 2: Further, it is said in the person of the Lord: I will speak against a nation and against a kingdom, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it; but if that nation shall repent of its evil, I also will repent of the evil that I have thought to do to them (Jer 18:7, 8). Therefore God has a changeable will.
Praeterea, quidquid Deus facit, voluntarie facit. Sed Deus non semper eadem facit, nam quandoque praecepit legalia observari, quandoque prohibuit. Ergo habet mutabilem voluntatem.
Obj. 3: Further, whatever God does, He does voluntarily. But God does not always do the same thing, for at one time He ordered the law to be observed, and at another time forbade it. Therefore He has a changeable will.
Praeterea, Deus non ex necessitate vult quod vult, ut supra dictum est. Ergo potest velle et non velle idem. Sed omne quod habet potentiam ad opposita, est mutabile, sicut quod potest esse et non esse, est mutabile secundum substantiam; et quod potest esse hic et non esse hic, est mutabile secundum locum. Ergo Deus est mutabilis secundum voluntatem.
Obj. 4: Further, God does not will of necessity what He wills, as said before (A. 3). Therefore He can both will and not will the same thing. But whatever can incline to either of two opposites, is changeable substantially; and that which can exist in a place or not in that place, is changeable locally. Therefore God is changeable as regards His will.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Num. XXIII, non est Deus, quasi homo, ut mentiatur; neque ut filius hominis, ut mutetur.
On the contrary, It is said: God is not as a man, that He should lie, nor as the son of man, that He should be changed (Num 23:19).
Respondeo dicendum quod voluntas Dei est omnino immutabilis. Sed circa hoc considerandum est, quod aliud est mutare voluntatem; et aliud est velle aliquarum rerum mutationem. Potest enim aliquis, eadem voluntate immobiliter permanente, velle quod nunc fiat hoc, et postea fiat contrarium. Sed tunc voluntas mutaretur, si aliquis inciperet velle quod prius non voluit, vel desineret velle quod voluit. Quod quidem accidere non potest, nisi praesupposita mutatione vel ex parte cognitionis, vel circa dispositionem substantiae ipsius volentis. Cum enim voluntas sit boni, aliquis de novo dupliciter potest incipere aliquid velle. Uno modo sic, quod de novo incipiat sibi illud esse bonum. Quod non est absque mutatione eius, sicut adveniente frigore, incipit esse bonum sedere ad ignem, quod prius non erat. Alio modo sic, quod de novo cognoscat illud esse sibi bonum, cum prius hoc ignorasset, ad hoc enim consiliamur, ut sciamus quid nobis sit bonum. Ostensum est autem supra quod tam substantia Dei quam eius scientia est omnino immutabilis. Unde oportet voluntatem eius omnino esse immutabilem.
I answer that, The will of God is entirely unchangeable. On this point we must consider that to change the will is one thing; to will that certain things should be changed is another. It is possible to will a thing to be done now, and its contrary afterwards; and yet for the will to remain permanently the same: whereas the will would be changed, if one should begin to will what before he had not willed; or cease to will what he had willed before. This cannot happen, unless we presuppose change either in the knowledge or in the disposition of the substance of the willer. For since the will regards good, a man may in two ways begin to will a thing. In one way when that thing begins to be good for him, and this does not take place without a change in him. Thus when the cold weather begins, it becomes good to sit by the fire; though it was not so before. In another way when he knows for the first time that a thing is good for him, though he did not know it before; hence we take counsel in order to know what is good for us. Now it has already been shown that both the substance of God and His knowledge are entirely unchangeable (QQ. 9, A. 1; 14, A. 15). Therefore His will must be entirely unchangeable.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illud verbum Domini metaphorice intelligendum est, secundum similitudinem nostram, cum enim nos poenitet, destruimus quod fecimus. Quamvis hoc esse possit absque mutatione voluntatis, cum etiam aliquis homo, absque mutatione voluntatis, interdum velit aliquid facere, simul intendens postea illud destruere. Sic igitur Deus poenituisse dicitur, secundum similitudinem operationis, inquantum hominem quem fecerat, per diluvium a facie terrae delevit.
Reply Obj. 1: These words of the Lord are to be understood metaphorically, and according to the likeness of our nature. For when we repent, we destroy what we have made; although we may even do so without change of will; as, when a man wills to make a thing, at the same time intending to destroy it later. Therefore God is said to have repented, by way of comparison with our mode of acting, in so far as by the deluge He destroyed from the face of the earth man whom He had made.
Ad secundum dicendum quod voluntas Dei, cum sit causa prima et universalis, non excludit causas medias, in quarum virtute est ut aliqui effectus producantur. Sed quia omnes causae mediae non adaequant virtutem causae primae, multa sunt in virtute et scientia et voluntate divina, quae non continentur sub ordine causarum inferiorum; sicut resuscitatio Lazari. Unde aliquis respiciens ad causas inferiores, dicere poterat, Lazarus non resurget, respiciens vero ad causam primam divinam, poterat dicere, Lazarus resurget. Et utrumque horum Deus vult, scilicet quod aliquid quandoque sit futurum secundum causam inferiorem, quod tamen futurum non sit secundum causam superiorem; vel e converso. Sic ergo dicendum est quod Deus aliquando pronuntiat aliquid futurum, secundum quod continetur in ordine causarum inferiorum, ut puta secundum dispositionem naturae vel meritorum; quod tamen non fit, quia aliter est in causa superiori divina. Sicut cum praedixit Ezechiae, dispone domui tuae, quia morieris et non vives, ut habetur Isaiae XXXVIII; neque tamen ita evenit, quia ab aeterno aliter fuit in scientia et voluntate divina, quae immutabilis est. Propter quod dicit Gregorius, quod Deus immutat sententiam, non tamen mutat consilium, scilicet voluntatis suae. Quod ergo dicit, poenitentiam agam ego, intelligitur metaphorice dictum, nam homines quando non implent quod comminati sunt, poenitere videntur.
Reply Obj. 2: The will of God, as it is the first and universal cause, does not exclude intermediate causes that have power to produce certain effects. Since however all intermediate causes are inferior in power to the first cause, there are many things in the divine power, knowledge and will that are not included in the order of inferior causes. Thus in the case of the raising of Lazarus, one who looked only on inferior causes might have said: Lazarus will not rise again, but looking at the divine first cause might have said: Lazarus will rise again. And God wills both: that is, that in the order of the inferior cause a thing shall happen; but that in the order of the higher cause it shall not happen; or He may will conversely. We may say, then, that God sometimes declares that a thing shall happen according as it falls under the order of inferior causes, as of nature, or merit, which yet does not happen as not being in the designs of the divine and higher cause. Thus He foretold to Ezechias: Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live (Isa 38:1). Yet this did not take place, since from eternity it was otherwise disposed in the divine knowledge and will, which is unchangeable. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xvi, 5): The sentence of God changes, but not His counsel—that is to say, the counsel of His will. When therefore He says, I also will repent, His words must be understood metaphorically. For men seem to repent, when they do not fulfill what they have threatened.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ex ratione illa non potest concludi quod Deus habeat mutabilem voluntatem; sed quod mutationem velit.
Reply Obj. 3: It does not follow from this argument that God has a will that changes, but that He sometimes wills that things should change.
Ad quartum dicendum quod, licet Deum velle aliquid non sit necessarium absolute, tamen necessarium est ex suppositione, propter immutabilitatem divinae voluntatis, ut supra dictum est.
Reply Obj. 4: Although God’s willing a thing is not by absolute necessity, yet it is necessary by supposition, on account of the unchangeableness of the divine will, as has been said above (A. 3).