De veritate EN 49



As pointed out previously, the closer a being is to the first principle, the higher is its place in the order of providence. Now, among all things, spiritual substances stand closest to the first principle; this is why they are said to be stamped will Godís image. Consequently, by Godís providence they are not only provided for, but they are provident themselves. This is why these substances can exercise a choice in their actions while other creatures cannot. The latter are provided for, but they themselves are not provident.

Now, since providence is concerned will directing to an end, it must take place will the end as its norm; and since the first provider is Himself the end of His providence, He has the norm of providence within Himself. Consequently, it is impossible that any of the failures in those things for which He provides should be due to Him; the failures in these things can be due only to the objects of His providence. Now, creatures to whom His providence has been communicated are not the ends of their own providence. They are directed to another end, namely, God. Hence, it is necessary that they draw the rectitude of their own providence from Godís norm. Consequently, in the providence exercised by creatures failures may take place that are due, not only to the objects of their providence, but also to the providers themselves.

However, the more faithful a creature is to the norm of the first provider, the firmer will be the rectitude of his own providence. Consequently, it is because creatures of this sort can fail in their actions and are the cause of their actions, that their failures are culpableó something which is not true of the failures of other creatures. More over, because these spiritual creatures are incorruptible even as individuals, they are provided for on their own account as individuals. Hence, defects that take place in them are destined to a reward or punishment which will belong to these individuals themselvesóarid not to them only as they are ordered to other things.

Now, man is numbered among these creatures, because his form ó that is, his souló is a spiritual being, the root of all his human acts, and that by which even his body has a relation to immortality. Consequently, human acts come under divine providence according as men themselves have providence over their own acts; and the defects in these acts are ordained according to what belongs to these men them selves, not only according w what belongs to others. For example, when a man sins, God orders the sin to the sinnerís good, so that after his fall, upon rising again, he may be a more humble person; or it is ordered at least to a good which is brought about in him by divine justice when he is punished for his sin. The defects happening in sensible creatures, however, are directed only to what belongs to others; for example, the corruption of some particular fire is directed w the generation of some particular air. Consequently, to designate this special manner of providence which God exercises over human acts, Wisdom (12: 18) says: "Thou will great favour disposest of us."

Answers to Difficulties:

1. The statement of Damascene does not mean that the things in us (that is, in our power to choose) are entirely outside of Godís providence, but it means rather that our choice is not determined to one course of action by divine providence, as are the actions of those beings which do not possess freedom.

2. Natural things lacking sensation are provided for by God alone. Consequently, no failure here is possible on the part of the one who provides, but only on the part of the objects of His providence. But human acts can be defective because of human providence. For this reason, we find more failures and deordinations in human acts than we do in the acts of natural things. Yet, the fact that man has providence over his own acts is part of his nobility. Consequently, the number of his failures does not keep man from holding a higher place under Godís providence.

3. God loves a thing more if it is a greater good. Consequently, He wills the presence of a greater good more than He wills the absence of a lesser evil (for even the absence of an evil is a certain good). So, in order that certain greater goods may be had, He permits certain persons to fall even into the evils of sin, which, taken as a class, are most hateful, even though one of them may be more hateful to Him than another. Consequently, to cure a man of one sin, God sometimes permits him to fall into another.

4. "God leaves man in the hand of his own counsel" in the sense that He gives him providence over his own acts. Manís providence over his acts, however, does not exclude Godís providence over them, just as the active power of creatures does not exclude the active power of God.

5. Even though many of our human acts are the result of chance if we consider only lower causes, still, if we consider the providence which God has over all things, there is nothing that results from chance. Indeed, the very fact that so many things happen in human affairs when, if we consider merely lower causes, just the opposite should happen, proves that human actions are governed by Godís providence. Hence, the powerful frequently fail, for this shows that one is victorious because of Godís providence and not because of any human power. The same can be said of other cases.

6. Even though it may seem to us that all things happen equally to the good and to the evil since we are ignorant of the reasons for Godís providence in allotting these things, there is no doubt that in all these good and evil things happening to the good or to the evil there is operative a well worked out plan by which Godís providence directs all things. It is because we do not know His reasons that we think many things happen without order or plan. We are like a man who enters a carpenter shop and thinks that there is a useless multiplication of tools because he does not know how each one is used; but one who knows the trade will see that this number of tools exists for a very good reason.


Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 2. See also readings given for q. 5, a. 2.


It seems that they are not, for

1. In the first Epistle to the Corinthians (I:9) we read: "Doth God take care for oxen?" Consequently, God does not take care of other animals for the same reason.

2. In the Book of Habacuc (1: 14) we read: "Thou will make men as the fishes of the sea..." In this passage, the prophet is lamenting the troubling of the order which seems to happen in menís actions. It seems, therefore, that the acts of irrational creatures are not governed by divine providence.

3. If a man is punished for no fault of his own, and this punishment does not help him in any way, it would not seem that human affairs were ruled by providence. Now, brute animals cannot commit a fault, and, when they are killed, their death is not directed to their good, because there is no reward for them after death. Their lives, therefore, are not ruled by providence.

4. A thing is not ruled by Godís providence unless it is ordained to the end which He intends; and this end is nothing other than God Himself. Brutes, however, cannot attain to any participation in God, since they are not capable of beatitude. Consequently, it seems that divine providence does not rule them.

To the Contrary:

1'. In the Gospel according to Matthew (10:29) we read: "not one sparrow shah fall on the ground without our heavenly Fatherís permission."

2í. Brutes are more noble than creatures that lack sensation. But these other creatures and all their actions come under Godís providence. Even more, then, will brutes come under His providence.



In this matter two errors have been made. Some have said that brutes are not ruled by providence except as they participate in the nature of their species, which alone is provided for and directed by God. It is to this kind of providence, they say, that all the passages in Scripture refer when they seem to imply Godís providence over brutes, for example: "Who giveth to beasts their food: and to the young..." (Ps 146,9); "The young lions roaring..."(Ps 103,21); and many similar passages. This error, however, attributes a very great imperfection to God. Moreover, it is not possible that God should know the individual acts of brutes and not direct them, since He is most good and, because He is good, pours out His goodness upon all things. Consequently, the error we have mentioned belittles either Godís knowledge by denying that He knows individual things or His goodness by denying that He directs individual things as individuals.

For this reason, others have said that the acts of brutes, also, fall under providence in the same way in which the acts of rational beings do. Consequently, no evil would be found in the acts of brutes that would not be directed to their good. This position, however, is also far from reasonable, for punishment and reward is due only to those who have free choice.

It must be said, therefore, that brutes and their acts, taken even individually, fail under Godís providence, but not in the same way in which men and their actions do. For providence is exercised over men, even as individuals, for their own sake; but individual brutes are provided for merely for the sake of something else just as other corruptible creatures are, as mentioned previously. Hence, the evil that happens to a brute is not ordered to the good of the brute but to the good of something else, just as the death of an ass is ordered to the good of a lion or that of a wolf. But the death of a man killed by a lion is directed not merely to the good of the lion, but principally to the manís punishment or to the increase of his merit; for his merit can grow if he accepts his sufferings.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. The Apostle does not intend to remove brutes entirely from Godís care. He simply means to say that God does not care so much for brutes that He would impose a law upon men for the sake of brutes, commanding men to be good to them or not to kill them; for brutes have been made for manís use. Consequently, providence is not exercised over them for their own sake but for the sake of men.

2. God has so ordered fishes and brutes that the weak are subject to the strong. This was done without any consideration of merits or demerits, but only for the conservation of the good of nature. The prophet wondered, therefore, if human affairs were governed in the same way. For this to be true, of course, would be unreasonable.

3. A different order of providence is required for human affairs than is required for brutes. Consequently, if the ordering of human affairs were only that proper to brutes, human affairs would seem to be entirely without providence. Yet, that order is sufficient for the providence of brutes.

4. God Himself is the end of all creatures, but in different ways. He is said to be the end of some creatures inasmuch as they participate somewhat in Godís image. This participation is common to all creatures. However, He is said to be the end of certain creatures inasmuch as they can attain God Himself through their own actions. This is the end only of rational creatures, who can know and love God in whom their beatitude lies.


Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 22, 2, ad Contra Gentiles III, cc. 71, 73, 113.


It seems that they are not, for

1. What is left to its own devices is not ruled. But the evil are left to themselves: "So I let them go according to the desires of their heart: they shall walk..."(Psalms 8o: 13). The evil, therefore, are not governed by providence.

2. It is part of the providence by which God rules over men that they are guarded by angels. But guardian angels sometimes abandon men. From their own lips we have these words: "We would have cured Babylon, but she is not healed: let us forsake her..." (Jr 51,9). The evil, therefore, are not governed by Godís providence.

3. What is given as a reward to the good should not be given to the evil. But government by God is promised as a reward to the good:

"The eyes of the Lord are upon the just" (Ps 33,16). Therefore.

To the Contrary:

No one justly punishes those who are not under his rule. But God punishes the evil for the sins they commit. Therefore, they are under His rule.



Divine providence extends to men in two ways: first, in so far as men are provided for; second, in so far as they themselves become providers. If they fail in their own providence they are called evil; but if they observe the demands of justice they are called good. Moreover, in so far as they come under providence they are given both good and evil. Now, men are provided for in different ways according to the different ways they have of providing for themselves. For, if they keep the right order in their own providence, Godís providence in their regard will keep an ordering that is congruent will their human dignity; that is, nothing will happen to them that is not for their own good, and everything that happens to them will be to their own ad vantage, according to what is said in the Epistle to the Romans (8:28): "To them that love God, all things work together unto good." How ever, if in their own providence men do not keep that order which is congruent will their dignity as rational creatures, but provide after the manner of brute animals, then Godís providence will dispose of them according to the order that belongs to brutes, so that their good and evil acts will not be directed to their own profit but to the profit of others, according to the words of the Psalmist: "And man when he was in honour did not understand; he is compared..."(Ps 48,13). From this it is evident that Godís providence governs the good in a higher way than it governs the evil. For, when the evil leave one order of providence, that is, by not doing the will of God, they fail into an other order, an order in which the will of God is done to them. The good, however, are in the true order of His providence in both respects.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. God is said to abandon the wicked, not because they are entirely alien to His providence, but because their acts are not directed to their own profit. This is especially true of the depraved.

2. The angels in charge of guarding men never leave a man entirely. They are merely said to leave a man when, according to Godís just judgment, they permit a man to fall into sin or into some punishment.

3. A special kind of providence is promised to the good as a reward. As we mentioned above, this does not belong to the wicked.


Parallel readings; Summa Theol., I, 22, 3; 103, 6; Contra Gentiles III, CC. 76-78, 83, 94, 124-25; De Subst. sep., C. 13 (Perr. I:n. 8o); Comp. Theol., I, cc. 130-3l.


It seems that they are not, for

1. In Job (34:13) we read: "What other hath he appointed over the earth? or whom bath he set over the world which he bath made?" In his commentary on this passage, Gregory says: "By Himself, indeed, He rules that world who has created it by Himself." Consequently, God does not rule material creatures through the mediation of spirits.

2. Damascene says that it is inconsistent to say that one person makes a thing and another rules over it. But, without any medium, God alone creates material creatures. Therefore, He governs them without any intermediaries.

3. Hugh of St. Victor says that Godís providence is His predestination, which is the highest wisdom and goodness. Now, the highest good or wisdom is not communicated to any creature. Therefore, neither is providence. Hence, God does not provide for material creatures through the mediation of spiritual creatures.

4. Material creatures are ruled by providence in so far as they are directed to an end. But bodies are ordained to their end through their natural operations in accordance will their own determinate natures. Therefore, since the natures of natural bodies are made determinate, not by spiritual creatures, but directly by God, it seems that they are not governed through the mediation of spiritual substances.

5. Augustine distinguishes4 between two types of providential operations: "natural and voluntary." The former he calls natural because it makes trees and plants grow; the latter he calls voluntary because it takes place through the deeds of angels and men. It is clear, therefore, that all material things are ruled by the natural operation of providence, not through the mediation of angels, as would be true were they ruled by voluntary operation.

6. What is attributed to one person because of his dignity does not belong to another who does not have a similar dignity. Now, Jerome writes: "Great is the dignity of souls, each of whom has an angel appointed to guard it." This dignity, however, is not found in material creatures; consequently, they are not committed to the providence and direction of angels.

7. The effects and due courses of these material bodies are frequently hindered. This would not happen if they were governed by the mediation of angels, because these obstacles would then occur either will the consent of the angels and this is impossible, since it would be contrary to that for which angels were appointed, namely, the govern merit of natures according to its due orderóor they would occur against the angels willóand this, too, is impossible, since the angels would not be in the state of beatitude if something could happen to them which they did not want to happen. Therefore, material creatures are not ruled through the mediation of spiritual creatures.

8. The more noble and powerful a cause is, the more perfect is its effect. Now, lower causes can produce such effects as can be kept in existence even after the operation of their efficient cause ceases; for example, a knife continues in existence even after the work of the cutler has ceased. Much more so, then, will the effects of Godís power be able to exist by themselves without being provided for by any efficient cause. Consequently, they do not need to be ruled through angels.

. The divine goodness has created the whole world in order to manifest itself; for, as we read in Proverbs (16:4): "The Lord hath made all things for himself..." Now, Godís goodness, as Augustine also says, is manifested more by a diversity of natures than by a number of things all possessing the same nature. For this reason, God did not make all creatures rational or all of them to exist in themselves. He made some creatures irrational, and some, like accidents, that exist in others. Consequently, it seems that for the greater manifestation of Himself God created not only creatures that needed the rule of an other, but also some creatures that needed no rule at all. Hence, our position stands.

10. There are two types of acts in creatures, first act and second act.

First act is the form and the act of existence that a form gives. Form is called the primarily first act, existence, the secondarily first act. Second act, however, is operation. Now, the first act of corporeal things comes directly from God. Therefore, their second acts are also caused directly by God. But the only way in which one thing governs an other is by being in some manner the cause of its operations. There fore, material creatures of this sort are not governed through the instrumentality of spirits.

11. According to Augustine, God simultaneously created a world that was perfect in all its parts in order that His power might be better shown. The praiseworthiness of His providence would similarly be even better shown if He were to govern all things directly. Therefore, He does not govern material things through the mediation of spirits.

12. There are two ways of governing. One way is to impart light or knowledge; this is the way in which a teacher rules his class, and a ruler, his city. The other way is to impart motion to a thing; this is the way in which a pilot guides his ship. Now, spiritual creatures do not govern material creatures by imparting light or knowledge, because these material things cannot receive knowledge, nor do they govern them by imparting motion, because, as is proved in the Physics, a mover must be joined to what he moves, and spiritual substances are not joined to these lesser material bodies. Consequently, the latter are not governed in any way through their mediation.

13. Boethius says: "Through Himself alone God disposes all things." His disposition of material things, therefore, does not take place through spirits.

To the Contrary:

1í. Gregory says: "In this visible world, nothing can be disposed except through invisible creatures."

2'. Augustine writes: "all material things are ruled in a definite order through the spirit of life."

3í. Augustine also says: "God does certain things Himself, as illuminating and beatifying souls. Other things He does through creatures who serve Him. These, in proportion to their merit and according to inviolable laws, are ordained to care even for sparrows, even for the beauty of the grass of the fiends, indeed, even for the number of hairs on our headsóand to all this divine providence extends." Now, the creatures ordained to serve Godís inviolable decrees are the angels; consequently, it is through them that He governs material things.

4í. Origen writes: "The world needs the angels, who rule over beasts, preside over the birth of animals, and over the growth of bushes, plants, and other things."

5'. Hugh of St. Victor says: "The ministry of angels rules not only over the life of men but also over the things that are related to their life." Now, all material things are ordained for menís use. Consequently, all things are governed through the mediation of angels.

6í. In a co-ordinated series, the earlier members act on the later members. The later do not act on the earlier. But spiritual substances are prior to material, since they are closer to the first principle. There fore, the action of spiritual substances governs material actions, and the opposite is not true.

7í. Man is said to be a "microcosm" because the soul rules the human body as God rules the whole universe. In this respect, the soul is called "an image of God" more than angels are. Now, our soul governs the body through the mediation of certain spirits which are spiritual in comparison will the body, although material in comparison will the soul. Consequently, God also rules material creatures through the mediation of spiritual creatures.

8í. Our soul exercises certain operations directly, for example, understanding and willing; but it exercises other operations mediately by using bodily organs as instruments, as, for example, in the operations of the sensitive and vegetative soul. God also exercises certain operations directly, such as the beatifying of souls and the other actions He performs in relation to the highest substances. Consequently, some of Godís operations will also take place in the lowest substances through the mediation of the highest ones.

9í. The first cause does not take away the operation of a second cause, but, as is clear from what is said in The Causes, it strengthens it. Now, if God were to govern all things immediately, second causes would have no operations of their own. God, therefore, rules lower beings through higher beings.

10'. In the universe there is something, such as the ultimate constituents of bodies, which is ruled but does not rule. There is something, such as God, which is not ruled but rules. Therefore, there will exist something that both rules and is ruledóa medium between both types. Consequently, God mules lower creatures through the mediation of higher.



As Dionysius and Augustine say, the divine goodness is the cause of things being brought into existence, for God wished to communicate His goodness to others as far as this was possible to creatures. Godís goodness, however, has a twofold perfection. We can consider it in itself as it contains all perfections in itself in a super eminent way, or we can consider it as it flows into things, that is, as it is the cause of things. It was fitting, therefore, that Godís divine goodness should be communicated to creatures in both ways so that because of this good ness created things not only would exist and possess goodness but also would give existence and goodness to other things, just like the sunís outpoured rays, which not only illumine other bodies but also make them to be sources of light, too. However, the following order is kept:

Those that most resemble the sun receive the most of its light and, consequently, have sufficient light not only for themselves but also to pour out on other things.

Similarly, in the ordering of the universe, as a result of the outpouring of Godís goodness, superior creatures have not only that by which they are good in themselves, but also that by which they are the cause of goodness for other things which participate the least in Godís good ness. These last-named things participate in the divine goodness merely in order to existónot to be the cause of other things. And this is the reason, as Augustine and the Philosopher say, why that which is active is always more noble than that which is passive.

Now, among the superior creatures, the closest to God are those rational ones that exist, live, and understand in the likeness of God. Consequently, God in His goodness gives them the power not only of pouring out upon other things but also of having the same manner of outpouring that He Himself hasóthat is, according to their will, and not according to any necessity of their nature. Hence, God governs inferior creatures both through spiritual creatures and through the more noble material creatures. He provides through material creatures, not by making them provident themselves, but by making them active. He governs through spiritual creatures, however, by making them provident themselves.

But even in rational creatures an order can be found. Rational souls hold the lowest place among these, and their light is shadowy in comparison will that of the angels. Consequently, as Dionysius says, their knowledge is more restricted, and their providence is likewise restricted to a few things, namely, to human affairs and practical matters of human life. But the providence of angels is universal and extends to all material creation. Consequently, both saints and philosophers say that all corporeal things are governed by divine providence through the mediation of angels. We must differ will the philosophers, however, in this, that some of them say that corporeal things are not only cared for by angels but are also created by them. This opinion is contrary to faith. We should follow, instead, the opinion of the saints who hold that corporeal things of this sort are administered by the providence of angels through motion only; that is, the angels move the higher bodies, and these motions cause the motions of the lower.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. An exclusive statement regarding an agent does not exclude the operation of an instrument; it merely excludes another principal agent. Hence, if one were to say, "Socrates alone makes a knife," not the operation of his hammer but only the operation of another carpenter is excluded. Similarly, when it is said that God governs the world by Himself, this does not exclude the operation of inferior causes, which God uses as instrumental means. All that is excluded is government by another principal ruler.

2. The governing of a thing pertains to its direction to an end. The ordination of a thing to an end, however, presupposes its act of existing; but its act of existing presupposes nothing else. Consequently, creation, by which all things are brought into existence, is the operation of the only cause that presupposes no other cause by which it is kept in existence. Government, however, can be one of those causes that do presuppose other causes, so it is not necessary for God to create through the mediation of certain causes through whose instrumentality He governs.

3. What creatures receive from God cannot exist in them in the same manner in which it exists in Him. Consequently, this difference be comes apparent when names are applied to Him. Those names that express some perfection absolutely are common also to creatures; but those that express both a perfection and its manner of existing in God are not common to creatures, for example, omnipotence, supreme wisdom, and supreme goodness. It is clear, therefore, that even though supreme goodness is not communicated to a creature, providence can be communicated to it.

4. Even though that establishment of nature by which material things receive a tendency to an end comes directly from God, their motion and action can take place through the instrumentality of an gels, just as natures in seeds possess their undeveloped nature from God alone but, by the providence of a farmer, are helped to develop into act. Consequently, just as a farmer supervises the growth of the crops in his fields, so do angels direct the entire activity of material creation.

5. Augustine divides the operation of natural providence from that of voluntary providence by considering the proximate principles of their operations; and nature is the proximate principle of some operations of divine providence, while the will is that of others. But the remote principle of all providential action is the will, at least the divine will. The argument, therefore, proves nothing.

6. Just as all material bodies lie under Godís providence but Godís care is nevertheless said to be only for men because of the special kind of providence He has for them, so also, even though all material bodies are subject to the rule of angels, nevertheless, because of the dignity of menís souls, angels are appointed to guard men in a very special way.

7. Just as the will of God as a ruler is not opposed to defects in things but, instead, allows or permits them, so is the same entirely true of the wills of angels, which are perfectly confirmed to the divine will.

8. As Avicenna says, no effect can remain if its proper cause is removed. Now, certain inferior causes are causes of becoming; others are causes of existing. A cause of becoming is that which educes a form from the potentiality of matter by means of motion, such as a cutler who is the efficient cause of a knife. A cause of a thingís existing, how ever, is that upon which the act of existence of a thing essentially depends, as the existence of light in the air depends upon the sun. Now, if the cutler is removed, the becoming of the knife ceases, but not its existence. However, if the sun is taken away, there ceases the very existence of the light in the air. Similarly, if Godís action ceases, the existence of a creature utterly ceases, since God is the cause not only of a thingís becoming but also of its existence.

9. That condition cannot possibly be in a creature; that is, a creature cannot have an act of existence without someone keeping it in that act. It is repugnant to the very notion of a creature; for a creature, because it is a creature, has an act of existence that is caused, and, consequently, it depends on something else.

10. More things are required for second act than for first act. Hence, it is not unreasonable that something should be the cause of anotherís motion and operation, even though it is not the cause of its act of existence.

The breadth of Godís providence and goodness is manifested more clearly in His governance of inferior beings through superior beings than if He were to govern all things directly. For in this kind of government, as is clear from what has been said, the perfection of Godís goodness is communicated in more than one regard.

12. A spiritual creature governs a material one by giving it motion. This does not necessitate that spiritual creatures be joined to all bodies, but only to those which they move directly, namely, the first bodies. Spiritual creatures, moreover, are not joined to these bodies by being their forms, as some have held, but by being their movers.

13. When something is said to take place through another, the preposition through implies that it is a cause of the operation. Now, since an operation stands halfway between the one doing the work and the work that is done, through can imply a cause of the operation in so far as this cause issues in a result. In this sense it is said that some thing takes place through an instrument. Through can also, however, signify a cause of the operation in so far as the operation comes from the one operating. In this sense we say that something takes place through the form of the agent. Now, here it is not the instrument which is the cause of the agentís action, but his form or some superior agent is the cause. However, an instrument can be the cause of the result which receives the agentís action.

Consequently, when we read that God disposes all things through Himself alone, through denotes the cause of His divine disposition in so far as it comes from God who is disposing. In this sense, God is said to dispose through Himself alone, because He is not moved by any superior disposing Him; and He disposes, not through any extrinsic form, but only through His own goodness.


Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 22, 3; 115, 3 II Sentences 15, 1, 2; Contra Gentiles III, 82; Comp. Theol., I, C. 127.


It seems not, for

1. Speaking of celestial bodies, Damascene writes as follows: "We say, however, that they do not cause generation or corruption." Since bodies here below are subject to generation and corruption, they are consequently not disposed through celestial bodies.

2. It was said, however, that the celestial bodies are not called the causes of bodies here below merely because they do not introduce any necessity into them.óOn the contrary, if an effect of a heavenly body on bodies here below is impeded, this must have been caused by some condition in the lower bodies. Now, if the lower bodies are ruled by the heavenly bodies, then that obstructing condition must be traced to some influence of a heavenly body. Consequently, no impediment could arise from bodies here below unless it were due to an exigency of the celestial bodies. Therefore, if the celestial bodies rule the lower, and if the motions of the celestial bodies are necessary, they will introduce necessity into the lower bodies.

3. For an action to be completed, all that is needed is something active and something passive. Now, both active and passive natural powers are found in bodies here below. Therefore, no power of a celestial body is needed for their actions. Consequently, bodies here below are not ruled through the instrumentality of celestial bodies.

4. According to Augustine, there are three types of things: first, things that are acted upon but do not act (e.g., bodies); second, things that act but are not acted upon (e.g., God); third, things that both act and are acted upon (e.g., spiritual substances). Now, celestial bodies are simply corporeal. Consequently, they do not have the power of acting upon bodies here below. Hence, the latter are not disposed through their instrumentality.

5. If a celestial body acts upon bodies here below, either it acts upon them in so far as it is a body, that is, through its material form, or it acts upon them through something else. Now, a celestial body does not act in so far as it is a body, because this kind of action can be found in all bodies; and this explanation seems unlikely from what Augustine says. Consequently, if it does act upon lower bodies, its action is due to something else; and, in this case, it should be attributed to an immaterial power and not to the heavenly bodies. Hence, the conclusion is the same as before.

6. What does not belong to what is prior does not belong to what is subsequent. Now, as the Commentator says, material forms pre suppose indeterminate dimensions in matter. However, dimensions are not active, because quantity is not an active principle. Therefore, material forms are not active principles, and so no body can do anything except through an immaterial power existing within it. Consequently, the conclusion is the same as before.

7. Explaining this statement made in The Causes, "Every noble soul has three operations," a commentator declares that the soul acts on nature by means of a divine power existing within it. A soul, however, is much more noble than a body. Hence, neither can a body do any thing to the soul except by means of a divine power within it. Consequently, our original position stands.

8. That which is more simple is not moved by what is less simple. But seminal principles in the matter of bodies here below are more simple than the material power of the heavens, because the power of the latter is diffused in matter while that of the seminal principles is not. Therefore, the seminal principles in bodies here below cannot be moved by the power of a celestial body. Hence, bodies here below are not governed in their motions by celestial bodies.

9. Augustine writes as follows: "Nothing pertains to the body more than the bodyís sex. Yet, twins of different sexes can be conceived when the stars are in the same position." Therefore, celestial bodies have no influence even on material things, and our original position stands.

10. As we read in The Causes: "The first cause has more effect on what is caused by a second cause than the second cause itself has." Now, if bodies here below are disposed by celestial bodies, then will respect to the powers in bodies here below the powers of the celestial bodies are in a relation similar to that of the first cause; and the powers in bodies here below are then like second causes. Hence, effects taking place in bodies here below are determined more by the disposition of the celestial spheres than they are by the powers of the bodies them selves. However, there is necessity in the celestial bodies, since they always remain the same. Therefore, their effects below will also be necessary. But this is not true. Consequently, the first statement óthat bodies here below are disposed by heavenly bodies óis also not true.

11. As we read in The Heavens, the motion of the heavens is natural. Consequently, it can hardly be voluntary or the result of a choice. The things that are caused by it, therefore, are not caused as the result of a choice, and so do not come under providence. It would be unreasonable, however, to suppose that bodies here below are not governed by providence. Therefore, it is unreasonable for the motion of celestial bodies to be the cause of bodies here below.

12. When a cause is placed, an effect is placed. Therefore, the act of existence of a cause is, as it were, antecedent to that of an effect. Now, if an antecedent is necessary, the consequent is also necessary. Therefore, if a cause is necessary, the effect is likewise necessary.

However, the effects taking place in bodies here below are not necessary but contingent. Consequently, they are not caused by the motion of the heavens, which is necessary because natural. Therefore, our original position stands.

13. The final cause of a thingís becoming is more noble than the thing. But all things were made for the sake of manóeven heavenly bodies. For we read the following in Deuteronomy (4:19): "Lest per haps lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error thou adore them, which the Lord thy God created for the service of all the nations that are under heaven." Therefore, man is more noble than the celestial bodies. Now, what is less noble does not influence what is more noble. Consequently, celestial bodies have no influence on a human body, and, for the same reason, none on other bodies such as elements that are prior to the human body.

14. It was said, however, that man is more noble than the heavenly bodies because of his soul, not because of his body.óOn the contrary, a nobler perfection is proper to a nobler subject. Now, the body of a man has a more noble form than a heavenly body has; for the form of the heavens is purely material, and a rational soul is much more noble than matter. Therefore, even the body of a man is nobler than a heavenly body.

15. A contrary is not the cause of its contrary. Now, occasionally, the power of a celestial body is opposed to the introduction of certain effects into lower bodies. For example, sometimes a celestial body starts to cause dampness, while a doctor is trying to dispose of some matter by drying it up in order to restore health; and he often succeeds in doing this even though a heavenly body is exerting a contrary influence. Therefore, heavenly bodies do not cause physical effects in bodies here below.

16. Since all action takes place through contact, what makes no contact does not act. Heavenly bodies, however, do not touch bodies here below. Consequently, they do not act upon them; and the original position stands.

17. But it was said that heavenly bodies contact lower bodies through a medium.óOn the contrary, whenever there is contact and action through a medium, the medium must receive the effect of the agent before the end-term does. For example, fire heats the air before it heats us. Now, the effects of the sun and of the stars cannot be received in the lower spheres because these have the nature of the fifth essence and consequently cannot be affected by heat, cold, or any of the other states found in bodies here below. Therefore, no action can come from the heavenly bodies through the lower spheres to bodies here below.

18. Providence is communicated to what is an instrument of providence. But providence cannot be communicated to heavenly bodies, since they lack intelligence. Therefore, they cannot be an instrument for providing for things.

To the Contrary:

1'. Augustine says: "Bodies will weaker and grosser natures are ruled in a definite order by those that are more subtle and powerful." Now, the heavenly bodies are more subtle and powerful than bodies here below. Therefore, they rule the bodies here below.

2í. Dionysius says that the rays of the sun "enable visible bodies to generate and give them life, nourishment, and growth." Now, these are the more noble effects to be found in bodies here below. Consequently, all the other physical effects also are produced by the providence of God through the mediation of celestial bodies.

3'. According to the Philosopher, that which is first in any genus is the cause of the others that come afterwards in that genus. But the heavenly bodies are first in the genus of bodies, and their motions are first of all material motions. They are, therefore, the cause of material bodies that are moved here below. Hence, the conclusion is the same as before.

4'. According to the Philosopher, the movement of the sun along an inclined circle causes generation and corruption in bodies here be low. Consequently, generations and corruptions are measured by this movement. Aristotle also says that all the variety found in concepts is due to the heavenly bodies. Therefore, bodies here below are disposed through their mediation.

5'. Rabbi Moses says that the heavens are in the universe as a heart is in an animal. But all the other members are ruled by the soul through the instrumentality of the heart. Therefore, all material things are ruled by God through the instrumentality of the heavens.

De veritate EN 49