Praeterea, generare hominem est actus vitae. Sed hoc competit angelis in assumptis corporibus, dicitur enim Gen. VI, postquam ingressi sunt filii Dei ad filias hominum, illaeque genuerunt, isti sunt potentes a saeculo viri famosi. Ergo angeli exercent opera vitae in corporibus assumptis.
Obj. 6: Further, to beget offspring is a vital act. But this has befallen the angels in their assumed bodies; for it is related: After the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown (Gen 6:4). Consequently the angels exercised vital functions in their assumed bodies.
Sed contra, corpora assumpta ab angelis non vivunt, ut supra dictum est. Ergo nec opera vitae per ea exerceri possunt.
On the contrary, The bodies assumed by angels have no life, as was stated in the previous article (ad 3). Therefore they cannot exercise functions of life through assumed bodies.
Respondeo dicendum quod quaedam opera viventium habent aliquid commune cum aliis operibus, ut locutio, quae est opus viventis, convenit cum aliis sonis inanimatorum, inquantum est sonus; et progressio cum aliis motibus, inquantum est motus. Quantum ergo ad id quod est commune utrisque operibus, possunt opera vitae fieri ab angelis per corpora assumpta. Non autem quantum ad id quod est proprium viventium, quia secundum Philosophum, in libro de Somn. et Vig., cuius est potentia, eius est actio; unde nihil potest habere opus vitae, quod non habet vitam, quae est potentiale principium talis actionis.
I answer that, Some functions of living subjects have something in common with other operations; just as speech, which is the function of a living creature, agrees with other sounds of inanimate things, in so far as it is sound; and walking agrees with other movements, in so far as it is movement. Consequently vital functions can be performed in assumed bodies by the angels, as to that which is common in such operations; but not as to that which is special to living subjects; because, according to the Philosopher (De Somn. et Vig. i), that which has the faculty has the action. Hence nothing can have a function of life except what has life, which is the potential principle of such action.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut non est contra veritatem quod in Scriptura intelligibilia sub figuris sensibilibus describuntur, quia hoc non dicitur ad adstruendum quod intelligibilia sint sensibilia, sed per figuras sensibilium proprietates intelligibilium secundum similitudinem quandam dantur intelligi; ita non repugnat veritati sanctorum angelorum quod corpora ab eis assumpta videntur homines viventes, licet non sint. Non enim assumuntur nisi ut per proprietates hominis et operum hominis spirituales proprietates angelorum et eorum spiritualia opera designentur. Quod non ita congrue fieret, si veros homines assumerent, quia proprietates eorum ducerent in ipsos homines, non in angelos.
Reply Obj. 1: As it is in no wise contrary to truth for intelligible things to be set forth in Scripture under sensible figures, since it is not said for the purpose of maintaining that intelligible things are sensible, but in order that properties of intelligible things may be understood according to similitude through sensible figures; so it is not contrary to the truth of the holy angels that through their assumed bodies they appear to be living men, although they are really not. For the bodies are assumed merely for this purpose, that the spiritual properties and works of the angels may be manifested by the properties of man and of his works. This could not so fittingly be done if they were to assume true men; because the properties of such men would lead us to men, and not to angels.
Ad secundum dicendum quod sentire est totaliter opus vitae, unde nullo modo est dicendum quod angeli per organa assumptorum corporum sentiant. Nec tamen superflue sunt formata. Non enim ad hoc sunt formata, ut per ea sentiatur, sed ad hoc ut per huiusmodi organa virtutes spirituales angelorum designentur; sicut per oculum designatur virtus cognitiva angeli, et per alia membra aliae eius virtutes, ut Dionysius docet, ult. cap. Cael. Hier.
Reply Obj. 2: Sensation is entirely a vital function. Consequently it can in no way be said that the angels perceive through the organs of their assumed bodies. Yet such bodies are not fashioned in vain; for they are not fashioned for the purpose of sensation through them, but to this end, that by such bodily organs the spiritual powers of the angels may be made manifest; just as by the eye the power of the angel’s knowledge is pointed out, and other powers by the other members, as Dionysius teaches (Coel. Hier.).
Ad tertium dicendum quod motus qui est a motore coniuncto, est proprium opus vitae. Sic autem non moventur corpora assumpta ab eis, quia angeli non sunt eorum formae. Moventur tamen angeli per accidens, motis huiusmodi corporibus, cum sint in eis sicut motores in mobilibus, et ita sunt hic quod non alibi, quod de Deo dici non potest. Unde licet Deus non moveatur, motis his in quibus est, quia ubique est; angeli tamen moventur per accidens ad motum corporum assumptorum. Non autem ad motum corporum caelestium, etiamsi sint in eis sicut motores in mobilibus, quia corpora caelestia non recedunt de loco secundum totum; nec determinatur spiritui moventi orbem locus secundum aliquam determinatam partem substantiae orbis, quae nunc est in oriente, nunc in occidente; sed secundum determinatum situm, quia semper est in oriente virtus movens, ut dicitur in VIII Physic.
Reply Obj. 3: Movement coming from a united mover is a proper function of life; but the bodies assumed by the angels are not thus moved, since the angels are not their forms. Yet the angels are moved accidentally, when such bodies are moved, since they are in them as movers are in the moved; and they are here in such a way as not to be elsewhere, which cannot be said of God. Accordingly, although God is not moved when the things are moved in which He exists, since He is everywhere; yet the angels are moved accidentally according to the movement of the bodies assumed. But they are not moved according to the movement of the heavenly bodies, even though they be in them as the movers in the thing moved, because the heavenly bodies do not change place in their entirety; nor for the spirit which moves the world is there any fixed locality according to any restricted part of the world’s substance, which now is in the east, and now in the west, but according to a fixed quarter; because the moving energy is always in the east, as stated in Phys. viii, text 84.
Ad quartum dicendum quod angeli proprie non loquuntur per corpora assumpta, sed est aliquid simile locutioni, inquantum formant sonos in aere similes vocibus humanis.
Reply Obj. 4: Properly speaking, the angels do not talk through their assumed bodies; yet there is a semblance of speech, in so far as they fashion sounds in the air like to human voices.
Ad quintum dicendum quod nec etiam comedere, proprie loquendo, angelis convenit, quia comestio importat sumptionem cibi convertibilis in substantiam comedentis.
Reply Obj. 5: Properly speaking, the angels cannot be said to eat, because eating involves the taking of food convertible into the substance of the eater.
Et quamvis in corpus Christi post resurrectionem cibus non converteretur, sed resolveretur in praeiacentem materiam, tamen Christus habebat corpus talis naturae in quod posset cibus converti, unde fuit vera comestio. Sed cibus assumptus ab angelis neque convertebatur in corpus assumptum, neque corpus illud talis erat naturae in quod posset alimentum converti, unde non fuit vera comestio, sed figurativa spiritualis comestionis. Et hoc est quod angelus dixit, Tob. XII, cum essem vobiscum, videbar quidem manducare et bibere, sed ego potu invisibili et cibo utor.
Although after the Resurrection food was not converted into the substance of Christ’s body, but resolved into pre-existing matter; nevertheless Christ had a body of such a true nature that food could be changed into it; hence it was a true eating. But the food taken by angels was neither changed into the assumed body, nor was the body of such a nature that food could be changed into it; consequently, it was not a true eating, but figurative of spiritual eating. This is what the angel said to Tobias: When I was with you, I seemed indeed to eat and to drink; but I use an invisible meat and drink (Tob 12:19).
Abraham autem obtulit eis cibos, existimans eos homines esse; in quibus tamen Deum venerabatur, sicut solet Deus esse in prophetis, ut Augustinus dicit, XVI de Civ. Dei.
Abraham offered them food, deeming them to be men, in whom, nevertheless, he worshipped God, as God is wont to be in the prophets, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xvi).
Ad sextum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XV de Civ. Dei, multi se expertos, vel ab expertis audisse confirmant, Silvanos et Faunos, quos vulgus incubos vocat, improbos saepe extitisse mulieribus et earum expetisse atque peregisse concubitum. Unde hoc negare impudentiae videtur. Sed angeli Dei sancti nullo modo sic labi ante diluvium potuerunt. Unde per filios Dei intelliguntur filii Seth, qui boni erant, filias autem hominum nominat Scriptura eas quae natae erant de stirpe Cain. Neque mirandum est quod de eis gigantes nasci potuerunt, neque enim omnes gigantes fuerunt, sed multo plures ante diluvium quam post.
Reply Obj. 6: As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xv): Many persons affirm that they have had the experience, or have heard from such as have experienced it, that the Satyrs and Fauns, whom the common folk call incubi, have often presented themselves before women, and have sought and procured intercourse with them. Hence it is folly to deny it. But God’s holy angels could not fall in such fashion before the deluge. Hence by the sons of God are to be understood the sons of Seth, who were good; while by the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain. Nor is it to be wondered at that giants should be born of them; for they were not all giants, albeit there were many more before than after the deluge.
Si tamen ex coitu daemonum aliqui interdum nascuntur, hoc non est per semen ab eis decisum, aut a corporibus assumptis, sed per semen alicuius hominis ad hoc acceptum, utpote quod idem daemon qui est succubus ad virum, fiat incubus ad mulierem; sicut et aliarum rerum semina assumunt ad aliquarum rerum generationem, ut Augustinus dicit, III de Trin.; ut sic ille qui nascitur non sit filius daemonis, sed illius hominis cuius est semen acceptum.
Still if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor from their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterwards of a man; just as they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii), so that the person born is not the child of a demon, but of a man.
De loco angeli
Angels in Relation to Place
Deinde quaeritur de loco angeli. Et circa hoc quaeruntur tria.
We now inquire into the place of the angels. Touching this there are three subjects of inquiry:
Primo, utrum angelus sit in loco.
(1) Is the angel in a place?
Secundo, utrum possit esse in pluribus locis simul.
(2) Can he be in several places at once?
Tertio, utrum plures angeli possint esse in eodem loco.
(3) Can several angels be in the same place?
Utrum angelus sit in loco
Whether an angel is in a place?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod angelus non sit in loco. Dicit enim Boetius, in libro de Hebd., communis animi conceptio apud sapientes est, incorporalia in loco non esse. Et Aristoteles, in IV Physic., dicit quod non omne quod est, est in loco, sed mobile corpus. Sed angelus non est corpus, ut supra ostensum est. Ergo angelus non est in loco.
Objection 1: It would seem that an angel is not in a place. For Boethius says (De Hebdom.): The common opinion of the learned is that things incorporeal are not in a place. And again, Aristotle observes (Phys. iv, 48,57) that it is not everything existing which is in a place, but only a movable body. But an angel is not a body, as was shown above (Q. 50). Therefore an angel is not in a place.
Praeterea, locus est quantitas positionem habens. Omne ergo quod est in loco, habet aliquem situm. Sed habere situm non potest convenire angelo, cum substantia sua sit immunis a quantitate, cuius propria differentia est positionem habere. Ergo angelus non est in loco.
Obj. 2: Further, place is a quantity having position. But everything which is in a place has some position. Now to have a position cannot befit an angel, since his substance is devoid of quantity, the proper difference of which is to have a position. Therefore an angel is not in a place.
Praeterea, esse in loco est mensurari loco et contineri a loco, ut patet per Philosophum in IV Physic. Sed angelus non potest mensurari neque contineri a loco, quia continens est formalius contento, sicut aer aqua, ut dicitur in IV Physic. Ergo angelus non est in loco.
Obj. 3: Further, to be in a place is to be measured and to be contained by such place, as is evident from the Philosopher (Phys. iv, 14,119). But an angel can neither be measured nor contained by a place, because the container is more formal than the contained; as air with regard to water (Phys. iv, 35,49). Therefore an angel is not in a place.
Sed contra est quod in collecta dicitur, Angeli tui sancti, habitantes in ea, nos in pace custodiant.
On the contrary, It is said in the Collect: Let Thy holy angels who dwell herein, keep us in peace.
Respondeo dicendum quod angelo convenit esse in loco, aequivoce tamen dicitur angelus esse in loco, et corpus. Corpus enim est in loco per hoc, quod applicatur loco secundum contactum dimensivae quantitatis. Quae quidem in angelis non est; sed est in eis quantitas virtualis. Per applicationem igitur virtutis angelicae ad aliquem locum qualitercumque, dicitur angelus esse in loco corporeo.
I answer that, It is befitting an angel to be in a place; yet an angel and a body are said to be in a place in quite a different sense. A body is said to be in a place in such a way that it is applied to such place according to the contact of dimensive quantity; but there is no such quantity in the angels, for theirs is a virtual one. Consequently an angel is said to be in a corporeal place by application of the angelic power in any manner whatever to any place.
Et secundum hoc patet quod non oportet dicere quod angelus commensuretur loco; vel quod habeat situm in continuo. Haec enim conveniunt corpori locato, prout est quantum quantitate dimensiva. Similiter etiam non oportet propter hoc, quod contineatur a loco. Nam substantia incorporea sua virtute contingens rem corpoream, continet ipsam, et non continetur ab ea, anima enim est in corpore ut continens, et non ut contenta. Et similiter angelus dicitur esse in loco corporeo, non ut contentum, sed ut continens aliquo modo.
Accordingly there is no need for saying that an angel can be deemed commensurate with a place, or that he occupies a space in the continuous; for this is proper to a located body which is endowed with dimensive quantity. In similar fashion it is not necessary on this account for the angel to be contained by a place; because an incorporeal substance virtually contains the thing with which it comes into contact, and is not contained by it: for the soul is in the body as containing it, not as contained by it. In the same way an angel is said to be in a place which is corporeal, not as the thing contained, but as somehow containing it.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta.
And hereby we have the answers to the objections.
Utrum angelus possit esse in pluribus locis simul
Whether an angel can be in several places at once?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod angelus possit esse in pluribus locis simul. Angelus enim non est minoris virtutis quam anima. Sed anima est simul in pluribus locis, quia est tota in qualibet parte corporis, ut Augustinus dicit. Ergo angelus potest esse in pluribus locis simul.
Objection 1: It would seem that an angel can be in several places at once. For an angel is not less endowed with power than the soul. But the soul is in several places at once, for it is entirely in every part of the body, as Augustine says (De Trin. vi). Therefore an angel can be in several places at once.
Praeterea, angelus est in corpore assumpto; et cum assumat corpus continuum, videtur quod sit in qualibet eius parte. Sed secundum partes eius considerantur diversa loca. Ergo angelus est simul in pluribus locis.
Obj. 2: Further, an angel is in the body which he assumes; and, since the body which he assumes is continuous, it would appear that he is in every part thereof. But according to the various parts there are various places. Therefore the angel is at one time in various places.
Praeterea, Damascenus dicit quod ubi angelus operatur, ibi est. Sed aliquando operatur simul in pluribus locis, ut patet de angelo subvertente Sodomam, Gen. XIX. Ergo angelus potest esse in pluribus locis simul.
Obj. 3: Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii) that where the angel operates, there he is. But occasionally he operates in several places at one time, as is evident from the angel destroying Sodom (Gen 19:25). Therefore an angel can be in several places at the one time.
Sed contra est quod Damascenus dicit, quod angeli, dum sunt in caelo, non sunt in terra.
On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii) that while the angels are in heaven, they are not on earth.
Respondeo dicendum quod angelus est virtutis et essentiae finitae. Divina autem virtus et essentia infinita est, et est universalis causa omnium, et ideo sua virtute omnia contingit, et non solum in pluribus locis est, sed ubique. Virtus autem angeli, quia finita est, non se extendit ad omnia, sed ad aliquid unum determinatum. Oportet enim quidquid comparatur ad unam virtutem, ut unum aliquid comparari ad ipsam. Sicut igitur universum ens comparatur ut unum aliquid ad universalem Dei virtutem, ita et aliquod particulare ens comparatur ut aliquid unum ad angeli virtutem. Unde cum angelus sit in loco per applicationem virtutis suae ad locum, sequitur quod non sit ubique, nec in pluribus locis, sed in uno loco tantum.
I answer that, An angel’s power and nature are finite, whereas the Divine power and essence, which is the universal cause of all things, is infinite: consequently God through His power touches all things, and is not merely present in some places, but is everywhere. Now since the angel’s power is finite, it does not extend to all things, but to one determined thing. For whatever is compared with one power must be compared therewith as one determined thing. Consequently since all being is compared as one thing to God’s universal power, so is one particular being compared as one with the angelic power. Hence, since the angel is in a place by the application of his power to the place, it follows that he is not everywhere, nor in several places, but in only one place.
Circa hoc tamen aliqui decepti sunt. Quidam enim, imaginationem transcendere non valentes, cogitaverunt indivisibilitatem angeli ad modum indivisibilitatis puncti, et inde crediderunt quod angelus non posset esse nisi in loco punctali. Sed manifeste decepti sunt. Nam punctum est indivisibile habens situm, sed angelus est indivisibile extra genus quantitatis et situs existens. Unde non est necesse quod determinetur ei unus locus indivisibilis secundum situm; sed vel divisibilis vel indivisibilis, vel maior vel minor, secundum quod voluntarie applicat suam virtutem ad corpus maius vel minus. Et sic totum corpus cui per suam virtutem applicatur, correspondet ei ut unus locus.
Some, however, have been deceived in this matter. For some who were unable to go beyond the reach of their imaginations supposed the indivisibility of the angel to be like that of a point; consequently they thought that an angel could be only in a place which is a point. But they were manifestly deceived, because a point is something indivisible, yet having its situation; whereas the angel is indivisible, and beyond the genus of quantity and situation. Consequently there is no occasion for determining in his regard one indivisible place as to situation: any place which is either divisible or indivisible, great or small suffices, according as to his own free-will he applies his power to a great or to a small body. So the entire body to which he is applied by his power, corresponds as one place to him.
Nec tamen oportet quod si aliquis angelus movet caelum, quod sit ubique. Primo quidem, quia non applicatur virtus eius nisi ad id quod primo ab ipso movetur, una autem pars caeli est in qua primo est motus, scilicet pars orientis, unde etiam Philosophus, in VIII Physic., virtutem motoris caelorum attribuit parti orientis. Secundo, quia non ponitur a philosophis quod una substantia separata moveat omnes orbes immediate. Unde non oportet quod sit ubique.
Neither, if any angel moves the heavens, is it necessary for him to be everywhere. First of all, because his power is applied only to what is first moved by him. Now there is one part of the heavens in which there is movement first of all, namely, the part to the east: hence the Philosopher (Phys. viii, 84) attributes the power of the heavenly mover to the part which is in the east. Second, because philosophers do not hold that one separate substance moves all the spheres immediately. Hence it need not be everywhere.