Summa Th. I EN Qu.93 a.7

Article: 7 Whether the image of God is to be found in the acts of the soul?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the image of God is not found in the acts of the soul. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 26), that "man was made to God's image, inasmuch as we exist and know that we exist, and love this existence and knowledge." But to exist does not signify an act. Therefore the image of God is not to be found in the soul's acts.

2. Further, Augustine (De Trin. ix, 4) assigns God's image in the soul to these three things---mind, knowledge, and love. But mind does not signify an act, but rather the power or the essence of the intellectual soul. Therefore the image of God does not extend to the acts of the soul.

3. Further, Augustine (De Trin. x, 11) assigns the image of the Trinity in the soul to "memory, understanding, and will." But these three are "natural powers of the soul," as the Master of the Sentences says (1 Sent. D iii). Therefore the image of God is in the powers, and does not extend to the acts of the soul.

4. Further, the image of the Trinity always remains in the soul. But an act does not always remain. Therefore the image of God does not extend to the acts.

On the contrary Augustine (De Trin. xi, 2 seqq.) assigns the trinity in the lower part of the soul, in relation to the actual vision, whether sensible or imaginative. Therefore, also, the trinity in the mind, by reason of which man is like to God's image, must be referred to actual vision.

I answer that As above explained (Article [2]), a certain representation of the species belongs to the nature of an image. Hence, if the image of the Divine Trinity is to be found in the soul, we must look for it where the soul approaches the nearest to a representation of the species of the Divine Persons. Now the Divine Persons are distinct from each other by reason of the procession of the Word from the Speaker, and the procession of Love connecting Both. But in our soul word "cannot exist without actual thought," as Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 7). Therefore, first and chiefly, the image of the Trinity is to be found in the acts of the soul, that is, inasmuch as from the knowledge which we possess, by actual thought we form an internal word; and thence break forth into love. But, since the principles of acts are the habits and powers, and everything exists virtually in its principle, therefore, secondarily and consequently, the image of the Trinity may be considered as existing in the powers, and still more in the habits, forasmuch as the acts virtually exist therein.

Reply to Objection: 1. Our being bears the image of God so far as if is proper to us, and excels that of the other animals, that is to say, in so far as we are endowed with a mind. Therefore, this trinity is the same as that which Augustine mentions (De Trin. ix, 4), and which consists in mind, knowledge, and love.

2. Augustine observed this trinity, first, as existing in the mind. But because the mind, though it knows itself entirely in a certain degree, yet also in a way does not know itself---namely, as being distinct from others (and thus also it searches itself, as Augustine subsequently proves---De Trin. x, 3,4); therefore, as though knowledge were not in equal proportion to mind, he takes three things in the soul which are proper to the mind, namely, memory, understanding, and will; which everyone is conscious of possessing; and assigns the image of the Trinity pre-eminently to these three, as though the first assignation were in part deficient.

3. As Augustine proves (De Trin. xiv, 7), we may be said to understand, will, and to love certain things, both when we actually consider them, and when we do not thing of them. When they are not under our actual consideration, they are objects of our memory only, which, in his opinion, is nothing else than habitual retention of knowledge and love [*Cf. Question [79], Article [7], ad 1]. "But since," as he says, "a word cannot be there without actual thought (for we think everything that we say, even if we speak with that interior word belonging to no nation's tongue), this image chiefly consists in these three things, memory, understanding, and will. And by understanding I mean here that whereby we understand with actual thought; and by will, love, or dilection I mean that which unites this child with its parent." From which it is clear that he places the image of the Divine Trinity more in actual understanding and will, than in these as existing in the habitual retention of the memory; although even thus the image of the Trinity exists in the soul in a certain degree, as he says in the same place. Thus it is clear that memory, understanding, and will are not three powers as stated in the Sentences.

4. Someone might answer by referring to Augustine's statement (De Trin. xiv, 6), that "the mind ever remembers itself, ever understands itself, ever loves itself"; which some take to mean that the soul ever actually understands, and loves itself. But he excludes this interpretation by adding that "it does not always think of itself as actually distinct from other things." Thus it is clear that the soul always understands and loves itself, not actually but habitually; though we might say that by perceiving its own act, it understands itself whenever it understands anything. But since it is not always actually understanding, as in the case of sleep, we must say that these acts, although not always actually existing, yet ever exist in their principles, the habits and powers. Wherefore, Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 4): "If the rational soul is made to the image of God in the sense that it can make use of reason and intellect to understand and consider God, then the image of God was in the soul from the beginning of its existence."

Article: 8 Whether the image of the Divine Trinity is in the soul only by comparison with God as its object?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the image of the Divine Trinity is in the soul not only by comparison with God as its object. For the image of the Divine Trinity is to be found in the soul, as shown above (Article [7]), according as the word in us proceeds from the speaker; and love from both. But this is to be found in us as regards any object. Therefore the image of the Divine Trinity is in our mind as regards any object.

2. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 4) that "when we seek trinity in the soul, we seek it in the whole of the soul, without separating the process of reasoning in temporal matters from the consideration of things eternal." Therefore the image of the Trinity is to be found in the soul, even as regards temporal objects.

3. Further, it is by grace that we can know and love God. If, therefore, the image of the Trinity is found in the soul by reason of the memory, understanding, and will or love of God, this image is not in man by nature but by grace, and thus is not common to all.

4. Further, the saints in heaven are most perfectly conformed to the image of God by the beatific vision; wherefore it is written (2Co 3,18): "We . . . are transformed into the same image from glory to glory." But temporal things are known by the beatific vision. Therefore the image of God exists in us even according to temporal things.

On the contrary Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 12): "The image of God exists in the mind, not because it has a remembrance of itself, loves itself, and understands itself; but because it can also remember, understand, and love God by Whom it was made." Much less, therefore, is the image of God in the soul, in respect of other objects.

I answer that As above explained (Articles [2],7), image means a likeness which in some degree, however small, attains to a representation of the species. Wherefore we need to seek in the image of the Divine Trinity in the soul some kind of representation of species of the Divine Persons, so far as this is possible to a creature. Now the Divine Persons, as above stated (Articles [6],7), are distinguished from each other according to the procession of the word from the speaker, and the procession of love from both. Moreover the Word of God is born of God by the knowledge of Himself; and Love proceeds from God according as He loves Himself. But it is clear that diversity of objects diversifies the species of word and love; for in the human mind the species of a stone is specifically different from that of a horse, which also the love regarding each of them is specifically different. Hence we refer the Divine image in man to the verbal concept born of the knowledge of God, and to the love derived therefrom. Thus the image of God is found in the soul according as the soul turns to God, or possesses a nature that enables it to turn to God. Now the mind may turn towards an object in two ways: directly and immediately, or indirectly and mediately; as, for instance, when anyone sees a man reflected in a looking-glass he may be said to be turned towards that man. So Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 8), the "the mind remembers itself, understands itself, and loves itself. If we perceive this, we perceive a trinity, not, indeed, God, but, nevertheless, rightly called the image of God." But this is due to the fact, not that the mind reflects on itself absolutely, but that thereby it can furthermore turn to God, as appears from the authority quoted above (Arg. On the contrary).

Reply to Objection: 1. For the notion of an image it is not enough that something proceed from another, but it is also necessary to observe what proceeds and whence it proceeds; namely, that what is Word of God proceeds from knowledge of God.

2. In all the soul we may see a kind of trinity, not, however, as though besides the action of temporal things and the contemplation of eternal things, "any third thing should be required to make up the trinity," as he adds in the same passage. But in that part of the reason which is concerned with temporal things, "although a trinity may be found; yet the image of God is not to be seen there," as he says farther on; forasmuch as this knowledge of temporal things is adventitious to the soul. Moreover even the habits whereby temporal things are known are not always present; but sometimes they are actually present, and sometimes present only in memory even after they begin to exist in the soul. Such is clearly the case with faith, which comes to us temporally for this present life; while in the future life faith will no longer exist, but only the remembrance of faith.

3. The meritorious knowledge and love of God can be in us only by grace. Yet there is a certain natural knowledge and love as seen above (Question [12], Article [12]; Question [56], Article [3]; Question [60], Article [5]). This, too, is natural that the mind, in order to understand God, can make use of reason, in which sense we have already said that the image of God abides ever in the soul; "whether this image of God be so obsolete," as it were clouded, "as almost to amount to nothing," as in those who have not the use of reason; "or obscured and disfigured," as in sinners; or "clear and beautiful," as in the just; as Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 6).

4. By the vision of glory temporal things will be seen in God Himself; and such a vision of things temporal will belong to the image of God. This is what Augustine means (De Trin. xiv, 6), when he says that "in that nature to which the mind will blissfully adhere, whatever it sees it will see as unchangeable"; for in the Uncreated Word are the types of all creatures.

Article: 9 Whether "likeness" is properly distinguished from "image"?

Objection: 1. It would seem that "likeness" is not properly distinguished from "image." For "genus" is not properly distinguished from "species." Now, "likeness" is to "image" as genus to species: because, "where there is image, forthwith there is likeness, but not conversely" as Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 74). Therefore "likeness" is not properly to be distinguished from "image."

2. Further, the nature of the image consists not only in the representation of the Divine Persons, but also in the representation of the Divine Essence, to which representation belong immortality and indivisibility. So it is not true to say that the "likeness is in the essence because it is immortal and indivisible; whereas the image is in other things" (Sent. ii, D, xvi).

3. Further, the image of God in man is threefold---the image of nature, of grace, and of glory, as above explained (Article [4]). But innocence and righteousness belong to grace. Therefore it is incorrectly said (Sent. ii, D, xvi) "that the image is taken from the memory, the understanding and the will, while the likeness is from innocence and righteousness."

4. Further, knowledge of truth belongs to the intellect, and love of virtue to the will; which two things are parts of the image. Therefore it is incorrect to say (Sent. ii, D, xvi) that "the image consists in the knowledge of truth, and the likeness in the love of virtue."

On the contrary Augustine says (Questions. 83, qu. 51): "Some consider that these two were mentioned not without reason, namely "image" and "likeness," since, if they meant the same, one would have sufficed."

I answer that, Likeness is a kind of unity, for oneness in quality causes likeness, as the Philosopher says (Metaph. v, Did. iv, 15). Now, since "one" is a transcendental, it is both common to all, and adapted to each single thing, just as the good and the true. Wherefore, as the good can be compared to each individual thing both as its preamble, and as subsequent to it, as signifying some perfection in it, so also in the same way there exists a kind of comparison between "likeness" and "image." For the good is a preamble to man, inasmuch as man is an individual good; and, again, the good is subsequent to man, inasmuch as we may say of a certain man that he is good, by reason of his perfect virtue. In like manner, likeness may be considered in the light of a preamble to image, inasmuch as it is something more general than image, as we have said above (Article [1]): and, again, it may be considered as subsequent to image, inasmuch as it signifies a certain perfection of image. For we say that an image is like or unlike what it represents, according as the representation is perfect or imperfect. Thus likeness may be distinguished from image in two ways: first as its preamble and existing in more things, and in this sense likeness regards things which are more common than the intellectual properties, wherein the image is properly to be seen. In this sense it is stated (Questions. 83, qu. 51) that "the spirit" (namely, the mind) without doubt was made to the image of God. "But the other parts of man," belonging to the soul's inferior faculties, or even to the body, "are in the opinion of some made to God's likeness." In this sense he says (De Quant. Animae ii) that the likeness of God is found in the soul's incorruptibility; for corruptible and incorruptible are differences of universal beings. But likeness may be considered in another way, as signifying the expression and perfection of the image. In this sense Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 12) that the image implies "an intelligent being, endowed with free-will and self-movement, whereas likeness implies a likeness of power, as far as this may be possible in man." In the same sense "likeness" is said to belong to "the love of virtue": for there is no virtue without love of virtue.

Reply to Objection: 1. "Likeness" is not distinct from "image" in the general notion of "likeness" (for thus it is included in "image"); but so far as any "likeness" falls short of "image," or again, as it perfects the idea of "image."

2. The soul's essence belongs to the "image," as representing the Divine Essence in those things which belong to the intellectual nature; but not in those conditions subsequent to general notions of being, such as simplicity and indissolubility.

3. Even certain virtues are natural to the soul, at least, in their seeds, by reason of which we may say that a natural "likeness" exists in the soul. Nor it is unfitting to us the term "image" from one point of view and from another the term "likeness."

4. Love of the word, which is knowledge loved, belongs to the nature of "image"; but love of virtue belongs to "likeness," as virtue itself belongs to likeness.


We next consider the state or condition of the first man; first, as regards his soul; secondly, as regards his body. Concerning the first there are two things to be considered: (1) The condition of man as to his intellect; (2) the condition of man as to his will.

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the first man saw the Essence of God?

(2) Whether he could see the separate substances, that is, the angels?

(3) Whether he possessed all knowledge?

(4) Whether he could err or be deceived?

Article: 1 Whether the first man saw God through His Essence?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the first man saw God through His Essence. For man's happiness consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. But the first man, "while established in paradise, led a life of happiness in the enjoyment of all things," as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 11). And Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10): "If man was gifted with the same tastes as now, how happy must he have been in paradise, that place of ineffable happiness!" Therefore the first man in paradise saw God through His Essence.

2. Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, loc. cit.) that "the first man lacked nothing which his good-will might obtain." But our good-will can obtain nothing better than the vision of the Divine Essence. Therefore man saw God through His Essence.

3. Further, the vision of God is His Essence is whereby God is seen without a medium or enigma. But man in the state of innocence "saw God immediately," as the Master of the Sentences asserts (Sent. iv, D, i). He also saw without an enigma, for an enigma implies obscurity, as Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 9). Now, obscurity resulted from sin. Therefore man in the primitive state saw God through His Essence.

On the contrary The Apostle says (1Co 15,46): "That was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural." But to see God through His Essence is most spiritual. Therefore the first man in the primitive state of his natural life did not see God through His Essence.

I answer that The first man did not see God through His Essence if we consider the ordinary state of that life; unless, perhaps, it be said that he saw God in a vision, when "God cast a deep sleep upon Adam" (Gn 2,21). The reason is because, since in the Divine Essence is beatitude itself, the intellect of a man who sees the Divine Essence has the same relation to God as a man has to beatitude. Now it is clear that man cannot willingly be turned away from beatitude, since naturally and necessarily he desires it, and shuns unhappiness. Wherefore no one who sees the Essence of God can willingly turn away from God, which means to sin. Hence all who see God through His Essence are so firmly established in the love of God, that for eternity they can never sin. Therefore, as Adam did sin, it is clear that he did not see God through His Essence.

Nevertheless he knew God with a more perfect knowledge than we do now. Thus in a sense his knowledge was midway between our knowledge in the present state, and the knowledge we shall have in heaven, when we see God through His Essence. To make this clear, we must consider that the vision of God through His Essence is contradistinguished from the vision of God through His creatures. Now the higher the creature is, and the more like it is to God, the more clearly is God seen in it; for instance, a man is seen more clearly through a mirror in which his image is the more clearly expressed. Thus God is seen in a much more perfect manner through His intelligible effects than through those which are only sensible or corporeal. But in his present state man is impeded as regards the full and clear consideration of intelligible creatures, because he is distracted by and occupied with sensible things. Now, it is written (Qo 7,30): "God made man right." And man was made right by God in this sense, that in him the lower powers were subjected to the higher, and the higher nature was made so as not to be impeded by the lower. Wherefore the first man was not impeded by exterior things from a clear and steady contemplation of the intelligible effects which he perceived by the radiation of the first truth, whether by a natural or by a gratuitous knowledge. Hence Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xi, 33) that, "perhaps God used to speak to the first man as He speaks to the angels; by shedding on his mind a ray of the unchangeable truth, yet without bestowing on him the experience of which the angels are capable in the participation of the Divine Essence." Therefore, through these intelligible effects of God, man knew God then more clearly than we know Him now.

Reply to Objection: 1. Man was happy in paradise, but not with that perfect happiness to which he was destined, which consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. He was, however, endowed with "a life of happiness in a certain measure," as Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xi, 18), so far as he was gifted with natural integrity and perfection.

2. A good will is a well-ordered will; but the will of the first man would have been ill-ordered had he wished to have, while in the state of merit, what had been promised to him as a reward.

3. A medium (of knowledge) is twofold; one through which, and, at the same time, in which, something is seen, as, for example, a man is seen through a mirror, and is seen with the mirror: another kind of medium is that whereby we attain to the knowledge of something unknown; such as the medium in a demonstration. God was seen without this second kind of medium, but not without the first kind. For there was no need for the first man to attain to the knowledge of God by demonstration drawn from an effect, such as we need; since he knew God simultaneously in His effects, especially in the intelligible effects, according to His capacity. Again, we must remark that the obscurity which is implied in the word enigma may be of two kinds: first, so far as every creature is something obscure when compared with the immensity of the Divine light; and thus Adam saw God in an enigma, because he saw Him in a created effect: secondly, we may take obscurity as an effect of sin, so far as man is impeded in the consideration of intelligible things by being preoccupied with sensible things; in which sense Adam did not see God in an enigma.

Article: 2 Whether Adam in the state of innocence saw the angels through their essence?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Adam, in the state of innocence, saw the angels through their essence. For Gregory says (Dialog. iv, 1): "In paradise man was accustomed to enjoy the words of God; and by purity of heart and loftiness of vision to have the company of the good angels."

2. Further, the soul in the present state is impeded from the knowledge of separate substances by union with a corruptible body which "is a load upon the soul," as is written Sg 9,15. Wherefore the separate soul can see separate substances, as above explained (Question [89], Article [2]). But the body of the first man was not a load upon his soul; for the latter was not corruptible. Therefore he was able to see separate substances.

3. Further, one separate substance knows another separate substance, by knowing itself (De Causis xiii). But the soul of the first man knew itself. Therefore it knew separate substances.

On the contrary The soul of Adam was of the same nature as ours. But our souls cannot now understand separate substances. Therefore neither could Adam's soul.

I answer that The state of the human soul may be distinguished in two ways. First, from a diversity of mode in its natural existence; and in this point the state of the separate soul is distinguished from the state of the soul joined to the body. Secondly, the state of the soul is distinguished in relation to integrity and corruption, the state of natural existence remaining the same: and thus the state of innocence is distinct from the state of man after sin. For man's soul, in the state of innocence, was adapted to perfect and govern the body; wherefore the first man is said to have been made into a "living soul"; that is, a soul giving life to the body---namely animal life. But he was endowed with integrity as to this life, in that the body was entirely subject to the soul, hindering it in no way, as we have said above (Article [1]). Now it is clear from what has been already said (Question [84], Article [7]; Question [85], Article [1]; Question [89], Article [1]) that since the soul is adapted to perfect and govern the body, as regards animal life, it is fitting that it should have that mode of understanding which is by turning to phantasms. Wherefore this mode of understanding was becoming to the soul of the first man also.

Now, in virtue of this mode of understanding, there are three degrees of movement in the soul, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). The first is by the soul "passing from exterior things to concentrate its powers on itself"; the second is by the soul ascending "so as to be associated with the united superior powers," namely the angels; the third is when the soul is "led on" yet further "to the supreme good," that is, to God.

In virtue of the first movement of the soul from exterior things to itself, the soul's knowledge is perfected. This is because the intellectual operation of the soul has a natural order to external things, as we have said above (Question [87], Article [3]): and so by the knowledge thereof, our intellectual operation can be known perfectly, as an act through its object. And through the intellectual operation itself, the human intellect can be known perfectly, as a power through its proper act. But in the second movement we do not find perfect knowledge. Because, since the angel does not understand by turning to phantasms, but by a far more excellent process, as we have said above (Question [55], Article [2]); the above-mentioned mode of knowledge, by which the soul knows itself, is not sufficient to lead it to the knowledge of an angel. Much less does the third movement lead to perfect knowledge: for even the angels themselves, by the fact that they know themselves, are not able to arrive at the knowledge of the Divine Substance, by reason of its surpassing excellence. Therefore the soul of the first man could not see the angels in their essence. Nevertheless he had a more excellent mode of knowledge regarding the angels than we possess, because his knowledge of intelligible things within him was more certain and fixed than our knowledge. And it was on account of this excellence of knowledge that Gregory says that "he enjoyed the company of the angelic spirits."

This makes clear the reply to the first objection.

2. That the soul of the first man fell short of the knowledge regarding separate substances, was not owing to the fact that the body was a load upon it; but to the fact that its connatural object fell short of the excellence of separate substances. We, in our present state, fall short on account of both these reasons.

3. The soul of the first man was not able to arrive at knowledge of separate substances by means of its self-knowledge, as we have shown above; for even each separate substance knows others in its own measure.

Article: 3 Whether the first man knew all things?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the first man did not know all things. For if he had such knowledge it would be either by acquired species, or by connatural species, or by infused species. Not, however, by acquired species; for this kind of knowledge is acquired by experience, as stated in Metaph. i, 1; and the first man had not then gained experience of all things. Nor through connatural species, because he was of the same nature as we are; and our soul, as Aristotle says (De Anima iii, 4), is "like a clean tablet on which nothing is written." And if his knowledge came by infused species, it would have been of a different kind from ours, which we acquire from things themselves.

2. Further, individuals of the same species have the same way of arriving at perfection. Now other men have not, from the beginning, knowledge of all things, but they acquire it in the course of time according to their capacity. Therefore neither did Adam know all things when he was first created.

3. Further, the present state of life is given to man in order that his soul may advance in knowledge and merit; indeed, the soul seems to be united to the body for that purpose. Now man would have advanced in merit in that state of life; therefore also in knowledge. Therefore he was not endowed with knowledge of all things.

On the contrary Man named the animals (Gn 2,20). But names should be adapted to the nature of things. Therefore Adam knew the animals' natures; and in like manner he was possessed of the knowledge of all other things.

I answer that In the natural order, perfection comes before imperfection, as act precedes potentiality; for whatever is in potentiality is made actual only by something actual. And since God created things not only for their own existence, but also that they might be the principles of other things; so creatures were produced in their perfect state to be the principles as regards others. Now man can be the principle of another man, not only by generation of the body, but also by instruction and government. Hence, as the first man was produced in his perfect state, as regards his body, for the work of generation, so also was his soul established in a perfect state to instruct and govern others.

Now no one can instruct others unless he has knowledge, and so the first man was established by God in such a manner as to have knowledge of all those things for which man has a natural aptitude. And such are whatever are virtually contained in the first self-evident principles, that is, whatever truths man is naturally able to know. Moreover, in order to direct his own life and that of others, man needs to know not only those things which can be naturally known, but also things surpassing natural knowledge; because the life of man is directed to a supernatural end: just as it is necessary for us to know the truths of faith in order to direct our own lives. Wherefore the first man was endowed with such a knowledge of these supernatural truths as was necessary for the direction of human life in that state. But those things which cannot be known by merely human effort, and which are not necessary for the direction of human life, were not known by the first man; such as the thoughts of men, future contingent events, and some individual facts, as for instance the number of pebbles in a stream; and the like.

Reply to Objection: 1. The first man had knowledge of all things by divinely infused species. Yet his knowledge was not different from ours; as the eyes which Christ gave to the man born blind were not different from those given by nature.

2. To Adam, as being the first man, was due to a degree of perfection which was not due to other men, as is clear from what is above explained.

3. Adam would have advanced in natural knowledge, not in the number of things known, but in the manner of knowing; because what he knew speculatively he would subsequently have known by experience. But as regards supernatural knowledge, he would also have advanced as regards the number of things known, by further revelation; as the angels advance by further enlightenment. Moreover there is no comparison between advance in knowledge and advance in merit; since one man cannot be a principle of merit to another, although he can be to another a principle of knowledge.

Summa Th. I EN Qu.93 a.7