Utrum angeli proficiant in visione Dei
Whether the angels progress in the vision of God?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod angeli in visione Dei proficiant. Perfectio enim virtutis non tollit sed auget efficaciam merendi. Sed in angelis beatis est perfecta caritas, quae est radix merendi, qua omnes eorum actus informantur. Ergo videtur quod semper magis et magis mereantur divinam visionem in eis augeri.
Obj. 1: To the fifth we proceed as follows. It seems that the angels progress in the vision of God. For perfection of virtue does not take away but rather increases one's power to merit. But the blessed angels have perfect charity, which is the root of all merit, and this charity informs all their acts. Therefore it seems that they are always meriting more and more that the divine vision be increased in them.
Praeterea, secundum Avicennam, omnis actio creaturae est ad aliquod commodum agentis; unde liberalitatem puram solius Dei propriam dicit. Sed angeli creati sunt. Ergo ex actibus eorum circa nos aliquid eis accrescit; et ita videtur quod eorum bonum semper magis ac magis augeatur.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, according to Avicenna, every action of a created thing results in some benefit to the agent; hence he says that pure liberality is proper to God alone. But the angels are created. Therefore something accrues to them from their acts concerning us. And thus it seems that their good is always increasing more and more.
Praeterea, quanto aliquis intellectus est clarior, tanto perspicacius intuetur. Sed inferiores angeli continue a superioribus illuminantur. Ergo videtur quod semper limpidius Deum contemplentur.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, the clearer the intellect, the more perspicaciously it perceives. But the lower angels are continuously illuminated by the higher. Therefore it seems that they always contemplate God with greater lucidity.
Praeterea, si non possunt proficere in Dei visione, aut hoc est quia pervenerunt ad summam perfectionem, aut quia majoris perfectionis capaces non sunt. Sed primum esse non potest, quia summa perfectio solius Dei est, quia seipsum comprehendendo videt: similiter nec secundum, quia sic homines essent capaciores inferioribus angelis: quia homines, ut dictum est, possunt pervenire ad modum contemplationis supremorum ordinum. Ergo videtur quod angeli etiam in divina contemplatione proficere possunt.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, if they cannot progress in the vision of God, this is either because they have arrived at the height of perfection, or because they are not capable of greater perfection. But the first cannot be, because the height of perfection belongs to God alone, since he sees himself comphrehensively. Likewise, the second cannot be, since in this case men would be more capable than the lower angels because men, as has been said, can arrive at the mode of contemplation of the higher orders. Therefore it seems that the angels can also progress in divine contemplation.
Sed contra, Magister supra dixit, quod perfectio naturae glorificatae est, quando habet quidquid nata est habere. Sed angeli sunt glorificati. Ergo totum id quod nati sunt habere, habent.
On the contrary, the Master said above that the perfection of glorified nature is when it possesses whatever it was born to possess. But the angels are glorified. Therefore they possess the entirety of what they were born to possess.
Praeterea, in termino motus non contingit esse motum. Sed angeli non sunt in statu viae, cui competit motus, sed in termino. Ergo videtur quod ipsi proficere non possint, cum profectus sit motus quidam.
Furthermore, at the terminus of motion, motion does not occur. But the angels are not in the wayfaring state, to which motion belongs, but rather at their term. Therefore it seems that they cannot progress, since progress is a sort of motion.
Respondeo dicendum, quod secundum philosophum, operatio et motus differunt: operatio enim est actus perfecti, ut lucidi lucere, et intellectus in actu, intelligere; sed motus est actus imperfecti tendentis in perfectionem: et ideo id quod est in sua ultima perfectione, habet operationem sine motu, sicut Deus; quod autem distat ab ultima perfectione, habet operationem conjunctam motui: quia proficere in beatitudine est quidam motus naturae tendentis in perfectionem: ideo quandocumque angelus vel homo ponitur in ultima sua perfectione, operatio ejus non est meritoria nec proficiens.
I answer that, according to the Philosopher, activity and motion differ. For activity is the act of the perfect, for example, as is the shining of a light, and the understanding of an intellect in act. But motion is the act of the imperfect and tending to perfection. And thus what is in its ultimate perfection has activity without motion, as God does. But what is at a distance from its ultimate perfection has an activity joined to a motion, since to progress in beatitude is a certain motion of a nature tending to perfection. Thus whenever an angel or a man is established in his ultimate perfection, his activity is neither meritorious nor makes progress.
Sed in hoc, quando scilicet angelus sit in sua ultima perfectione, est duplex opinio. Una quam Magister approbat, scilicet quod erit in die judicii. Alia est quae in littera tangitur, quod hoc fuit in prima eorum confirmatione; et haec videtur mihi probabilior: tum quia ultima perfectio rei est in termino suae viae; terminus autem viae angelorum fuit eorum confirmatio: non enim nunc viatores dicuntur, nisi forte secundum quid, inquantum circa viatores operantur: tum quia idem judicium est de hominibus post mortem, et de angelis post confirmationem vel casum. Homini autem statim post mortem ultima sua perfectio confertur, nisi forte aliquid purgandum repugnet, nec differtur usque ad diem judicii, ut Graeci errantes dicunt; et ideo dicimus, quod angeli statim in confirmatione ultimam perfectionem beatitudinis consecuti sunt, nec postmodum in visione Dei proficiunt, in qua eorum beatitudo essentialiter consistit.
But with respect to the question of when an angel is in its ultimate perfection, there are two opinions. One the Master approves, namely, that it will be on judgment day. The other he touches on in the text, namely, that it was at the beginning of their confirmation. And this seems more probable to me. First, because the ultimate perfection of a thing is at the terminus of its way, and the terminus of the angels' way was their confirmation, for they are not now called "wayfarers," unless perhaps in a qualified sense inasmuch as they carry out operations concerning wayfarers. And second, because the same judgment applies to men after death and to angels after their confirmation or fall. But the ultimate perfection of a man is conferred on him immediately after death, unless perhaps further need of purgation delays this, and is not deferred to judgment day, as the Greeks erroneously say. And thus we say that the angels at their confirmation obtained the ultimate perfection of beatitude and henceforth do not progress in the vision of God, in which their beatitude essentially consists.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod perfectio virtutis includens finem, tollit rationem meriti et motus, qui repugnat fini; sed in via ad finem auget efficaciam meriti.
Reply Obj. 1: The perfection of a virtue that includes the end takes away the notion of merit and of motion, which is incompatible with the end. But while on the way to the end, it increases the efficacy of merit.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod omnis operatio creaturae ordinata est ad perfectionem ejus; sed quandoque operatio non est ad alium finem, sed ipsamet est finis, ut in 1 Ethic. dicitur; et sic dico, quod illuminare inferiores, in angelis est dignitas eorum: quia in hoc maxime consequuntur Dei similitudinem: et ideo non oportet quod per hujusmodi operationes aliquid mereantur.
Reply Obj. 2: Every activity of a created thing is ordered to its perfection. Now, sometimes an activity is not directed toward another end, but is, rather, itself the end, as is said in Ethics 1. And in this case I say that in the angels to illuminate those who are lower is their dignity, since in this they most of all obtain likeness to God. And thus it is not necessary that they merit anything through activities of this sort.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod unus angelus non illuminat alium, ut dictum est, de his quae ad essentiam beatitudinis pertinent, sed de aliis; et ideo non oportet quod propter hoc limpidius videant Deum, sed ea de quibus illuminantur.
Reply Obj. 3: As has been said, one angel does not illuminate another about those things that pertain to the essence of beatitude, but rather about other things. And thus it is not necessary that on this account they see God with greater lucidity, but rather those things about which they are illuminated.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod angeli summum gradum contemplationis non attingunt; sed propter hoc dicuntur non proficere, quia tota eorum capacitas plena est: nec ampliari potest illa capacitas angelorum per meritum, sicut in hominibus qui sunt in statu viae.
Reply Obj. 4: The angels do not attain to the highest degree of contemplation. But they are said not to progress for the reason that their whole capacity is full. Nor can the capacity of the angels be expanded through merit, as it can in the case of men who are in the wayfaring state.
Utrum angeli inferiores illuminentur a superioribus
Whether the lower angels are illuminated by the higher?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod angeli inferiores per superiorum illuminationem in cognitionem rerum sive divinorum effectuum non proficiant. Omnis enim operatio angeli aut pertinet ad naturam aut ad praemium. Sed in naturali cognitione non proficiunt, quam totam simul in creatione receperunt; nec etiam in merito aut in praemio proficiunt. Ergo videtur quod in eis cognitio divinorum effectuum non crescat.
Obj. 1: To the second we proceed as follows. It seems that the lower angels do not progress in the knowledge of things or divine effects through the illumination of the higher. For every activity of an angel either pertains to its nature or to its reward. But they do not progress in the natural knowledge that they received all at once at their creation, nor do they progress in merit or reward. Therefore it seems that the knowledge of divine effects does not grow in them.
Praeterea, Deus est causa rerum per essentiam suam. Ergo in hoc quod videtur essentia sua, cognoscitur ipse esse causa. Sed quando cognoscitur aliquid inquantum est causa, cognoscitur etiam effectus ejus. Ergo videtur, cum angeli beati essentiam divinam videant, quod etiam in ipsa effectus ejus cognoscant; et sic in cognitione divinorum effectuum non crescunt.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, God is the cause of things through his essence. Therefore in the fact that his essence is seen, he himself is known to be the cause. But when something is known precisely as a cause, its effect is also known. Therefore, since the blessed angels see the divine essence, it seems that they also know its effects in it. And so they do not grow in the knowledge of divine effects.
Praeterea, nihil est cujus ratio non sit in Dei scientia, sive Verbo ejus, quod est ars plena rationum viventium, ut dicit Augustinus. Sed angeli beati vident Dei verbum. Ergo cognoscunt omnes divinos effectus; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, there is nothing whose notion is not contained in God's knowledge, that is, his Word, which is his art full of living notions, as Augustine says. But the blessed angels see the Word of God. Therefore they know all divine effects. And so the same follows as before.
Praeterea, qui videt speculum, necessario videt formas relucentes in speculo, nisi diversitas partium speculi impediat, ut dum intuetur unam partem speculi, formas resultantes in alia parte non videat. Sed Dei Verbum, quod est sapientia genita, est speculum sine macula, ut dicitur Sap. 7, in quo omnes rerum rationes resplendent. Ergo cum Verbum sit indivisibile, angeli intuentes Verbum omnia in eo cognoscunt; et sic idem quod prius.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, one who sees a mirror necessarily sees the forms reflected in the mirror, unless variance among the parts of the mirror impedes this, such that when he looks at one part of the mirror he does not see the forms reflected in the other part. But the Word of God, which is begotten wisdom, is a mirror without blemish, as is said in Wisdom 7:26, in which all the natures of things are clearly reflected. Therefore since the Word is indivisible, the angels by perceiving the Word know all things in it. And so the same follows as before.
Praeterea, secundum philosophum, intellectus cum intelligit difficilia, non minus intelligit infima, sed magis: altissimum autem intelligibile est essentia divina. Sed eam angeli vident. Ergo videtur quod omnia alia cognoscere possunt; et ita eorum cognitio non crescit.
Obj. 5: Furthermore, according to the Philosopher, the intellect, when it understands difficult things, does not understand lower things less but rather more. But the highest intelligible thing is the divine essence, and the angels see it. Therefore it seems that they can know all other things. And thus their knowledge does not grow.
Sed contra est quod dicit Dionysius in fine Cael. Hierar. quod multae rationes sacramentorum latent supernas essentias, idest angelos. Sed quaecumque latent aliquem, ipse potest in cognitionem eorum proficere. Ergo angeli in cognitione proficere possunt.
On the contrary, Dionysius says at the end of The Celestial Hierarchy that many notions of the mysteries are hidden to the heavenly essences, that is, angels. But someone can progress to greater knowledge of whatever things are hidden to him. Therefore the angels can progress in knowledge.
Praeterea, in 6 cap. ejusdem libri dicit, quod angeli inferiores per superiores a nescientia purgantur. Sed non liberatur aliquis a nescientia nisi per scientiae acquisitionem. Ergo videtur quod angeli in acquirendo scientiam proficiant.
Furthermore, in chapter 6 of the same book he says that the lower angels are purged of unknowing through the higher. But no one is freed from unknowing except by acquiring knowledge. Therefore it seems that the angels progress in acquiring knowledge.
Respondeo dicendum, quod angeli proficiunt in cognitione divinorum effectuum per illuminationes in inferiores a superioribus descendentes: et hoc patet sic. Cum enim Deus sit universalissima causa omnium entium, in visione essentiae ejus non cognoscuntur omnes effectus ipsius de necessitate, nisi intellectus totam virtutem ejus comprehendat: et quanto aliquis intellectus limpidius eam videt, tanto plura in ea cognoscere potest; sicut in principiis primis speculativis, qui perspicacioris intellectus est, plures conclusiones in eis videt: et ita superiores angeli plures effectus in essentia divina cognoscunt quam inferiores, et de illis superiores inferiores illuminare et instruere possunt: et tamen aliqui effectus sunt quos omnes immediate in visione divinae essentiae percipiunt, quamvis etiam hos superiores perfectius cognoscant, sicut et divinam essentiam clarius intuentur; et unusquisque ordo ex illo nomen et rationem recipit, quod est ultimum suae virtutis ad capiendam rerum cognitionem immediate in visione divinae essentiae.
I answer that the angels progress in the knowledge of divine effects through illuminations coming down to the lower from the higher. And this is clear in the following way. Since God is the most universal cause of all beings, in the vision of his essence not all his effects are known of necessity, unless the intellect comprehends the entirety of his power. And to the degree that an intellect sees it with greater lucidity, the more things it can know in it, just as with first speculative principles, one who has a more perspicacious intellect can see more conclusions in them. And thus the higher angels know more effects in the divine essence than the lower and the higher can illuminate and instruct the lower about them. Even so, there are some effects that they all perceive immediately in the vision of the divine essence, though even these are known more perfectly by the higher angels, just as they also perceive the divine essence more clearly. And each order receives its name and notion from what is ultimate in its power to gain knowledge of things immediately in the vision of the divine essence.
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod revelationes divinorum effectuum pertinent ad praemium, non quidem essentiale, sed accidentale: et dicitur praemium accidentale ad quod merita directe non ordinantur, sed superadditur ex liberalitate retribuentis.
Reply Obj. 1: Revelations of divine effects pertain to the reward, not the essential reward, but the incidental reward. "Incidental reward" means that to which merits are not directly ordered, but that is added over and above, due to the liberality of the one who rewards.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod per hanc rationem probat Algazel, Deum creaturarum scientiam habere, inquantum suam essentiam cognoscit; non tamen sequitur quod videns essentiam ejus omnia sciat, nisi ipsam perfecta cognitione comprehendat; et hoc angelis non convenit.
Reply Obj. 2: Algazel proves by this argument that God has knowledge of created things inasmuch as he knows his own essence. But it does not then follow that one who sees his essence knows all things, unless he comprehends it with perfect knowledge. And this is not true of the angels.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad tertium: quia quamvis Verbum videant, non tamen ipsum secundum modum rei cognitae vident, sed secundum modum cognoscentium, idest sui ipsorum; et ideo non oportet quod omnia quae in Verbo sunt cognoscant.
Reply Obj. 3: And in this way the reply to the third objection is clear. For even though they see the Word, they do not see it after the mode of the thing known, but rather after the mode of the ones knowing, that is, their own mode. And thus it is not necessary that they know everything that is in the Word.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod, sicut dicit Boetius in Lib. de Trinit., in divinis non oportet ad imaginationem deduci. Unde non est imaginandum rationes rerum resplendere in speculo aeterno sicut formae visibiles in speculo materiali; sed magis sicut causatorum rationes praeexistunt in sua causa, ut Dionysius dicit in Lib. de divinis Nom. Non est autem necessarium ut qui causam videt, hoc ipso omnes rationes effectuum in ea cognoscat, ut dictum est; et ideo ratio non procedit. Vel dicendum, ut communiter dicitur, quod speculum aeternum voluntarium est: quia in eo non videtur nisi quod ipse vult ostendere. Secus est autem de speculo materiali, quod ex necessitate naturae repraesentat formas in eo relucentes.
Reply Obj. 4: As Boethius says in On the Trinity, in divine matters we should not allow ourselves to be misled by the imagination. Hence we must not imagine that the notions of things are reflected in the eternal mirror as visible forms are in a material mirror, but rather as the notions of caused things pre-exist in their cause, as Dionysius says in On the Divine Names. Now, as has been said, it is not necessary that one knows all the notions of the effects in a cause by the very fact of seeing the cause. And thus the argument does not proceed. Or we may say, as is commonly said, that the eternal mirror is voluntary, since in it is seen only what it wishes to show. But it is otherwise in the case of a material mirror, which by a necessity of nature represents the forms reflected in it.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod quia nostra cognitio a sensu incipit, ideo de minus notis in magis nota secundum naturam devenimus; et ideo manifestissima naturae sunt nobis ultimo nota, et difficillima ad cognoscendum, scilicet res immateriales, ut Deus et angeli. Sed in angelis est e converso: quia ea quae sunt magis nota simpliciter, sunt etiam notiora quo ad eos; et ideo licet essentiam divinam maxime cognoscant, non tamen ex hoc sequitur quod omnia alia cognoscant; sed secundum quod perfectius ipsam vident, ex ea in plurium effectuum cognitionem procedere possunt.
Reply Obj. 5: Because our knowledge begins from the senses, we arrive at things more known by nature from things less known. And thus the most manifest things of nature are known to us last and are the most difficult things to know, namely immaterial things, such as God and the angels. But in angels the converse is true. For the things that are more known simply are also better known to them. And thus, granted that they know the divine essence most of all, it does not then follow from this that they know all other things. But rather to the extent that they see it more perfectly, they can proceed from it to knowledge of more effects.
Utrum angeli cognoscant aliqua per mutuam locutionem
Whether the angels know anything through mutual locution?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod angeli non accipiant cognitionem aliquorum per mutuam locutionem. Dicit enim Basilius: si nuda et intecta anima viveremus, ex solis nutibus intentionum cogitationes alterutrum panderentur. Sed angeli habent intellectum non obtectum corpore. Ergo unus alterius cogitationes videt; et ideo mutua locutione non egent.
Obj. 1: To the third we proceed as follows. It seems that the angels do not receive knowledge of anything through mutual locution. For Basil says, if we lived with an exposed and uncovered soul, the thoughts of our hearts would be opened to one another by our merely wishing it so. But the angels have an intellect that is not obscured by a body. Therefore one sees the thoughts of another. And thus they do not require mutual locution.
Praeterea, in omni locutione oportet esse aliquod signum, quod mentis occultum conceptum exprimat. Sed tale signum in angelis sensibile esse non potest, nec intellectuale: non sensibile, quia sensitivam cognitionem non habent; nec etiam manens in intellectu tantum, quia hoc esset aequaliter ignotum cum alio conceptu mentis qui manifestandus esset. Ergo videtur quod in angelis manifestatio per locutionem esse non possit.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, in every locution there must be a sign that expresses the mind's hidden concept. But such a sign in the angels can be neither sensible nor intellectual. It cannot be sensible because they do not have sense knowledge. Nor can it remain in the intellect alone because this would be just as unknown as the other concept of the mind that was supposed to be manifested. Therefore it seems that in the angels there cannot be manifestation by way of locution.
Praeterea, in omni locutione oportet esse aliquod medium, per quod intentio loquentis ad audientem deferatur. Sed tale medium in angelis inveniri non potest. Ergo nec locutio.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, in every locution there must be a medium through which the intention of the speaker is borne to the hearer. But no such medium can be found in the angels. Therefore neither can locution.
Praeterea, in locutione corporali sonus ad aures perveniens excitat audientem ad audiendum. Sed in angelis non potest poni aliquod tale excitativum, cum nihil sit in uno postmodum in altero factum; et tamen necessaria esset excitatio ad attendendum, si esset locutio; quia unus angelus non semper alterum considerat. Ergo non est ibi locutio.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, in physical locution, a sound reaching the ears stimulates the hearer to hear. But in the angels we can posit no such stimulus, since there is nothing in one that then produces anything in another. Yet stimulation would be necessary for gaining attention if there were locution, since one angel is not always considering another. Therefore there is no locution in them.
Praeterea, a loquente recipitur aliquid in audiente. Sed superiores ab inferioribus nihil recipiunt. Ergo videtur quod ad minus inferiores superioribus loqui non possint.
Obj. 5: Furthermore, something is received from the speaker in the hearer. But the higher angels receive nothing from the lower. Therefore it seems at least that the lower cannot speak to the higher.