De veritate EN 60
That predestination can be helped by the prayers of the saints can be understood in two ways. First, it can mean that the prayers of the saints help one to be predestined. This, however, cannot be true of prayers, either as they exist in their own proper condition, which is temporal while predestination is eternal, or as they exist in Godís fore knowledge, because, as explained above, foreknowledge of merits is not the cause of predestination, whether the merits be oneís own or those of another. On the other hand, that predestination is furthered by the prayers of the saints can mean that their prayers help us obtain the effect of predestination as an instrument helps one in finishing his work. The problem has been considered in this way by all those who have studied Godís providence over human affairs. Their answers, however, have been different.
Attending only to the immutability of Godís decrees, some have declared that prayer, sacrifice, and similar actions help in no way at all. This is said to have been the opinion of the Epicureans, who taught that all things happened necessarily because of the influence of celestial bodies, which they called gods.
Others said that sacrifices and prayers help to this extent, that they change the preordination made by those who have the power to determine human acts. This is said to have been the opinion of the Stoics, who taught that all things are ruled by certain spirits whom they called gods; and, even though something had been pre-established by them, according to the Stoics, such a pre-arrangement could be changed by placating their souls through prayers and sacrifices. Avicenna seems to have fallen into this error, too; for he asserts that all human actions whose principle is the human will can be reduced to the wills of celestial souls. He thought that the heavenly bodies had souls, and, just as a heavenly body influences a human body, so, according to him, the celestial souls influence human souls. In fact, what takes place in things here below is according to the notions of these celestial souls. Consequently, he thought that sacrifices and prayers helped these souls to conceive what we wished to take place.
These theories, however, are opposed to the Faith. For the first destroys freedom of choice; the second, the certainty of predestination. Consequently, we must answer the problem differently, and must say that, while Godís predestination never changes, prayers and other good works are nevertheless effective in obtaining the effect of pre destination. Now, when considering any order of causes, we must consider not only the order of the first cause to the effect but also the order of the second cause to the effect and the order of the first cause to the second cause, since the second cause is ordered to an effect only through the direction of the first cause. For, as is clear from The Causes, the first cause gives to the second cause the power of influencing the effect.
I say, therefore, that the effect of predestination is manís salvation, and this comes from it as from its first cause. It can have, however, many other proximate and, as it were, instrumental causes, which are ordered by divine predestination for manís salvation, as tools are used by a craftsman for completing a product of his craft. Consequently, the effect of Godís predestination is not only that an individual person be saved but also that he be saved by certain prayers or certain merits. Gregory also said this: "What holy men effect by their prayers is predestined to be obtained by prayer." Consequently, Boethius says: "If we pray well, our prayers cannot be without effect."
Answers to Difficulties:
1. There is nothing that can check the ordering of predestination. Consequently, predestination cannot be impeded. Many things, how ever, are related to the ordering of predestination as intermediate causes; and these are said to further predestination in the manner de scribed.
2. From the fact that it is predestined that a certain man will be saved because of certain prayers, these prayers cannot be omitted without detriment to his predestination. The same is true of manís salvation, which is the effect of predestination.
3. That argument proves that prayer does not help predestination by being, as it were, its cause. This we concede.
4. The effects of predestination, which are grace and glory, are not, as it were, basic perfections but secondary perfections. Now, even though the members of a natural body do not help each other in acquiring their basic perfections, they nevertheless do help each other to acquire their secondary perfections. There is, moreover, a member in the body which, having been formed first, helps in the formation of other members namely, the heart. Consequently, the argument proceeds on a false assumption.
Answers to Contrary Difficulties:
1'. We concede this argument.
2'. Paul was never reprobated according to the disposition made by divine election, because this is unchangeable. He was reprobated, how ever, according to a [provisional] judgment of God in harmony will lower causes, a judgment which sometimes changes. It follows, therefore, not that prayer was the cause of predestination, but that it furthered only the effect of predestination.
3í. Although predestination and final grace are interchangeable, it does not necessarily follow that whatever is the cause of final grace
in any manner whatsoever is also the cause of predestination. This is 13 clear from what has been said previously.
4í. Although Trajan was in the place of the damned, he was not damned absolutely; for he was predestined to be saved by the prayers of Gregory.
5í. We concede the fifth argument.
Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 24, aa. 1-21; Sentences 40, 1, 2, ad 5; III Sentences 31, 1,2, sols. Ió2; In Philip., C. 4, lectura I (P. i In Heb., C. 12, lectura (P. 13:78oa).
It seems that it is, for
1. Explaining that line in the Apocalypse (20:12), "and another book was opened, which was the book of life," the Gloss says: "The book of life is Christ, who will then appear in His power and give life to His own." Now, at the final judgment, Christ will appear in human form, which is not something uncreated. Consequently, the book of life does not mean anything uncreated.
2. Gregory says: "Our future judge Himself is called the book of life, because whoever sees Him will at once remember all he has done." Now, judgment has been given to Christ as man. This is clear from the words of John (5:27): "And he hath given him power to do judgment, because he is the son of man." Therefore, Christ as man is the book of life, and the same must be said as before.
3. A thing is called a book because it has received writing. But a thing is said to be receptive in so far as it contains material potency, which cannot exist in God. Therefore, nothing uncreated is called the book of life.
4. Since book means a kind of collection, it signifies distinction and difference. But, being most simple, an uncreated nature contains no diversity. Therefore, nothing in such a nature can be called a book.
5. In every book, the writing is something other than the book. Now, the writing in a book is made up of figures, and by means of these we know the things which are read in the book. However, the ideas by which God knows things do not differ from the divine essence. Consequently, His uncreated nature cannot be called a book.
6. But it was said that even though there is no real difference in the divine nature, there is nevertheless a conceptual difference.óOn the contrary, a merely conceptual difference exists only in our mi. Consequently, if the difference which this book involves is only a conceptual difference, the book of life must exist only in our intellects, and hence will not be something uncreated.
7. The book of life seems to be Godís knowledge of those who are to be saved. Moreover, the knowledge of the elect is contained in Godís knowledge of vision. Now, since the soul of Christ sees in the Word all the things that God knows will His knowledge of vision, it seems that it also knows the number of the elect and all those who have been chosen. Therefore, the soul of Christ can be called the book of life; hence, the book of life means something created.
8. We read in Ecclesiasticus (24:32): "all these are the book of life..."; and the Gloss on this passage adds: "That is, the new and old testament." Now, the Old and New Testament are created. There fore, the book of life means something created.
9. A book seems to get its name from the fact that something is written in it. Writing, however, involves some imperfection; hence, in its initial purity, our intellect is compared to "a page on which nothing has been written." But Godís nature is far more pure and simple than our intellect. Hence, it cannot be called a book.
10. A book exists for someone to read. But Godís nature cannot be said to be a book in the sense that He reads it. This is evident from Augustineís statement that its title, "Book of Life," does not mean that God has to read it in order to know something which He did not know previously. Similarly, it cannot be called a book in the sense that someone other than God reads it, because no one can read anything unless he finds some diversity of markingsófor example, no one can read a blank piece of paper, because it is undifferentiated. Therefore, Godís uncreated nature cannot be called a book.
11. From a book one does not receive knowledge of things as from their cause but as from a sign of them. Now, God does not receive
His knowledge of things, as it were, from a sign, but, as it were, from a cause. Therefore, Godís knowledge cannot be called the book of life.
12. Nothing can be merely a sign of itself. Now, a book is a sign of truth. Consequently, since God is truth itself, He Himself cannot be called a book.
13. A book and a teacher are principles of knowledge in different ways. Now, all wisdom is said to come from God as from a teacher. Therefore, it does not come from Him as from a book.
14. A thing is represented differently in a mirror and in a book. Now, 'Wisdom (7:26) calls God a mirror because all things are represented in Him. Consequently, He cannot and should not be called a book.
15. Even those books that are copied from the original are called books. But the minds of men and angels, in some sense, copy Godís mind when they receive knowledge of things from it. Consequently, if the divine mind is called the book of life, created minds should be similarly called; and thus it is not always something uncreated that is called the book of life.
16. The book of life seems to imply a representation of life and an exercise of causality over it. Now, all this belongs to Christ as man, because in Him, as in a pattern, is represented all life, both that of grace and that of glory. For this reason it was said to Moses (Ex 25,40): "Look and make it according to the pattern that was shown thee in the mount." Moreover, Christ merited life for us. Therefore, Christ Himself, as man, can be called the book of life.
To the Contrary:
1'. Augustine says: "We should know that there is a divine force which causes each one to remember his deeds, good or bad. Indeed, this divine power is called a book." Now, a divine force is something uncreated. Therefore, something uncreated is also called the book of life.
2í. In the same work, Augustine says: "The book of life is Godís foreknowledge, which cannot be mistaken." But His foreknowledge is something uncreated. Therefore, the book of life is also something uncreated.
Applied to God, book can be used only metaphorically; thus, it is in this sense that the representation of life is called the book of life.
In this connection, it should be noted that life can be represented in two ways: first, as it is in itself, or, secondly, as it can be participated in by certain individuals. Furthermore, life taken in itself can be represented in two ways. This can be done, first, by means of instruction; and this kind of representation pertains to the sense of hearing, which, as said in The Senses and the Sensed, is the chief sense for learning. Taken in this meaning, therefore, the book of life signifies that which contains instructions on how one should live. Consequently, the Old and New Testaments are called the book of life. The second way of representing life in itself is by giving a model; and this kind of representation pertains to the sense of sight. Consequently, Christ Himself is called the book of life, because, by looking at Him as at a model, we can see how we must live in order to attain eternal life.
We are not speaking of the book of life in these senses, however, but only in the sense that the book of life is said to be the representation of those who are to attain eternal life, and whose names, according to a comparison drawn from human affairs, are said to be written down in this book.
For, in a state that is wisely ruled, anyone who becomes a citizen must do so according to the ordinances of its ruler. Hence, those who are to be admitted to citizenship are enrolled as being, as it were, participants in the state. By using this enrolment, the ruler of the state is guided in rejecting persons from and in admitting them to the fellowship of the citizens subject to him. Now, the citizens who are ruled most perfectly by divine providence form the society of the Church triumphant, which is also called the City of God in Scripture. Hence, the enrolment or representation of those who are to be admitted to that society is called the book of life. This is clear from Scriptureís manner of speaking. For example, Luke (10:20) says: "Rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven," that is, in the book of life; Isaias (4:3): "Everyone...shah be called holy... that is written in life in Jerusalem"; and in the Epistle to the Hebrews (12:22-23) we read: "But you are come...to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels, and to the church of the first-born who are written in the heavens." It is necessary, therefore, to carry out the metaphor and say that from this enrolment the ruler of the society shah know those who are to be given life. The bestowal of life, of course, belongs to God alone. However, God is not guided by anything created, for He is a rule that is directed by nothing extrinsic to Himself. Consequently, the book of life, in the sense in which we are now using it, means some thing uncreated.
Answers to Difficulties:
1-2. Our answer is clear from what we have said above. For the Gloss and Gregoryís statement concern the book of life in another sense, namely, as it means a model for living: any one who looks at it can tell whether or not he confirms to it.
3. When terms are applied to God, the general rule should be ob served that in no respect can imperfection be contained in predicates applied to the divinity. Consequently, whatever implies matter, privation, or time must be removed. Now, that it receives markings from something extrinsic belongs to a book in so far as it is temporal and newly written. These notes are not included in the predicate when it is applied to God.
4. The very notion of book implies a difference existing between the things known by its means, because a book hands down the knowledge of many things. But that a book must have diversity to hand down knowledge of many things is a defect in the book. It would be much more perfect if it could teach by means of one thing all that it now explains by means of many things. Consequently, since God is most perfect, the book of life is such that it shows many things by means of that which is one in the highest degree.
5. That the letters written in a book differ from the pages on which they are written is due to a defect of material books. For, because books are composite things, that which has is not the same as that which is had. Consequently, in God these ideas differ from His essence, not really, but only conceptually.
6. Although the distinction between the writing and that in which it is written is merely conceptual, the representation, which completes the notion of a book, is not only in our mind but also in God. Hence, the book of life is really in God.
7. As indicated above, the book of life directs God, who gives life, in His giving of life. Now, even though the soul of Christ knows all the elect, God is directed, not by Christís human knowledge, but by His own uncreated knowledge, which is Himself. Hence, the knowledge possessed by the soul of Christ cannot be called the book of life in the sense in which we are speaking of it.
8. The reply is clear from what has been said.
9. Although there is no diversity but only the greatest purity in God, He is nonetheless compared to a book that has been written in, and not to the blank page to which our intellect has been compared. For our intelligence is compared to a blank page because it is in potency to all intelligible forms, and as yet has none of them actually. In Godís intellect, however, all the forms of things exist in act, and in Him they are one. Consequently, in God the formal character of writing is compatible will His oneness.
10. God Himself reads the book of life, and others can read it in so far as they are allowed to do so. Augustine does not mean to deny that God reads the book of life; he denies only that He reads it in order to know what He previously did not know. Moreover, others can read the book of life, even though it is entirely simple, since it is possible for one and the same reality to be the intelligible character of many things.
11. One thing is a likeness of another in two ways. In the first way, it is the model for the other thing and thus its cause; second, it itself can be modeled upon the other, and thus be its effect and sign. Now, in the case of men, a book confirms to their knowledge, which, in turn, is caused by things. Consequently, they receive knowledge of things from a book, not as from a cause, but as from a sign. However, Godís knowledge is the cause of things, since it contains the archetypes of all things. Hence, knowledge is received from the book of life as from a cause, and not as from as a sign.
12. The book of life is uncreated truth itself as well as a likeness of created truth, just as a created book is a sign of truth.
13. In God, exemplary and efficient causality come to the same thing. Consequently, from the fact that He is an exemplary cause He can be called a book, and from the fact that He is the efficient cause of wisdom He can be called a teacher.
14. The representation a mirror gives differs from that which a book gives, because it refers directly to things while that of a book refers to things through the medium of knowledge. For the letters contained in a book are only signs of words, and these, in turn, are signs of concepts, which are likenesses of things. A mirror, however, reflects the forms of things. Yet in God the species of things are reflected in both ways, because He knows things and He knows that He knows them. Consequently, in God both the notion of mirror and the notion of book can be verified.
15. The minds of the saints can also be called books. This is clear from the Apocalypse (20:12): "And the books were opened"ówhich Augustine explains as meaning the hearts of the just. However, the saints minds cannot be called books of life in the sense in which we are taking this term. This is clear from what has been said.
16. Although Christ as man is an archetype and, in some sense, the cause of life, as man He is not the cause of the life of glory through His authority nor an archetype directing God in His bestowal of life. Consequently, Christ as man cannot be called the book of life.
Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 8. See also readings given for preceding article.
It seems that it is predicated personally, for
1. In the Psalms (39:8) we read: "In the head of the book it is writ ten of me..."and the Gloss explains: "That is, in the Father, who is my head." Now, in God nothing has a head except that which has a principle. But that which has a principle is a personal predicate in matters pertaining to God. Therefore, the book of life is a personal predication.
2. Just as word signifies knowledge proceeding from another, book also signifies this, because the writing in a book proceeds from a writer. Now, for the reason already given, word is predicated personally of God. Consequently, the book of life is also a personal predication.
3. It was said, however, that word implies a real procession, whereas book implies a procession only according to our way of understanding.óOn the contrary, we can name God only from the things that exist here below. But, in our experience, a word coming from a speaker is really distinct from him, and so is a book really distinct from its author. For this reason, therefore, both terms imply a real distinction in God.
4. There is greater distance between one who speaks and his oral word than there is between him and the word within his heart; and an even greater distance is between him and a written word signifying the word within his heart. Consequently, if the divine Word, which, as Augustine says, resembles the word within the heart, is really distinct from the one who utters it, much more distinct will be a book, since this implies writing.
5. That which is attributed to a thing should belong to it according to all that belongs to its nature. Now, the notion of a book demands not only that it represent something but also that it be written by someone. Consequently, in matters concerning God, the word book is taken according as a book is something by another. Hence, it is predicated personally.
6. Just as the notion of a book includes its being read, so does it also include its being written. But, in so far as it is written, it is by another, and in so far as it is read, it is directed to another. Therefore, it belongs to the notion of a book to be to another and by another. Hence, the book of life is predicated personally.
7. Book of life signifies knowledge expressed by another. But what is expressed by another has its origin in another. Consequently, the book of life implies a relation of origin, and thus is a personal predication.
To the Contrary:
The book of life is predestination itself. This is clear from Augustine and the Gloss. But predestination is predicated of the divine essence, never of the divine Persons. Consequently, the book of life is similarly predicated.
Some say that the book of life is sometimes a personal, sometimes an essential predication: in so far as it is used of God according to the notion of writing, it is predicated personally, and in this usage it implies origin from another, for a book has to be written by another; but, in so far as it implies a representation of the things written in the book, it is predicated essentially.
This distinction, however, does not seem reasonable, because a term used of God is not predicated personally unless its meaning in connection will God implies a relation of origin. Moreover, will regard to words used in a transferred sense, a metaphor is not to be understood as indicating complete resemblance, but only some agreement in a characteristic belonging to the nature of the thing whose name is being applied. For example, the word lion is applied to God, not because of a resemblance between two natures possessing sensation, but because of a resemblance based on one property of the lion. Consequently, the book of life is not predicated of God according to what is common to all products of art, but only according to that which is proper to a book as a book. Now, to come from an author does not belong to a book as a book but only as it is a product of art; and, in a similar manner, a house is from a builder, and a knife is from a cutler. On the other hand, to represent the things written about in the book belongs to the notion of a book as such. Consequently, as long as this representation remains, the book remains a book, even though it is not written by another and is not a product of art. From this it is clear that bock is applied to God, not in so far as a book is written by another, but in so far as a book represents the things which are written in it. There fore, since representation is common to the entire Trinity, bock is predicated, not personally of God, but only essentially.
Answers to Difficulties
1. W that are predicated essentially of God sometimes stand for the persons. Hence, God sometimes stands for the person of the Father, sometimes for the person of the Son, as when we say "God begets" or "God begotten." Similarly, even though book is predicated essentially, it can sometimes stand for the person of the Son. In this sense, in matters pertaining to divinity, the book of life can be said to have a head or principle.
2. According to its intelligible character, the term word when used of God implies origin from another. This has already been discussed. But book does not imply the notion of origin when the term is applied to God. Hence, no parallel can be drawn.
3. Although in the case of creatures a book really proceeds from a writer, just as a word does from a speaker, nevertheless, that procession is not implied by book as it is implied by word. For procession from a writer is not implied any more by book than a procession from a builder is implied by house.
4. That argument would hold if the notion of the written word be longed to the very notion of book. This, however, is not true. Hence, the argument proves nothing.
5. That argument holds for words that are used literally. But when words are used metaphorically, as book is used here, it is not necessary that the term predicated express of its subject everything implied by that term taken literally. Otherwise, God, who is called a lion in the metaphorical sense, would have to have claws and a mane.
6. The reply to this difficulty is clear from what has been said.
7. The same holds for the seventh difficulty.
Parallel readings: Summa Theol., I, 8; III Sentences 31, 2, 2, sol. 1.
It seems not, for
1. The book of life pertains to life. But life is attributed in Scripture to the Holy Spirit, as, for example, in John (6:64): "It is the spirit that quickened." Hence, the book of life should be appropriated to the Holy Spirit, not to the Son.
2. In everything, the beginning is the most important. But the Father is called the head or the beginning of the book, as is clear in the Psalms (39:8), where we read: "In the head of the book it is written of me..." Therefore, the term book should be appropriated to the Father.
3. That in which something is written has the proper nature of a book. Now, a thing is said to be written in the memory; hence, the memory has the nature of a book. But memory is appropriated to the Father, just as intelligence is to the Son, and will is to the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the book of life should be appropriated to the Father.
4. The Father is the head of the book. But, as we read in the Psalms (39:8), in the head of the book there is writing about the Son. Consequently, the Father is the book of the Son. Therefore, the book [of life] should be appropriated to the Father.
To the Contrary:
1í.Augustine says that the book of life is Godís foreknowledge. But knowledge is appropriated to the Son: "... Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians I: 24). Therefore, the book of life is also appropriated to the Son.
2í. Book implies a representation, just as mirror, image, stamp, and, figure. But all these terms are attributed to the Son. Consequently, the book of life should also be appropriated to Him.
To appropriate means nothing else than to contract something common, making it something proper. Now, what is common to the en- tire Trinity cannot be appropriated to a single Person on the grounds that this belongs more to this Person than it does to another. Such an action would deny the equality of the Persons. However, appropriation may be made on the grounds that what is common nevertheless has a greater resemblance to what is proper to one person than it has to what is proper to another. For example, goodness resembles what is proper to the Holy Spirit, who proceeds as love, because goodness is the object of love, and so is appropriated to the Holy Spirit. Again, power is appropriated to the Father because power as such is a principle, and being the principle of all divinity is proper to the Father. Similarly, wisdom is appropriated to the Son, because it resembles what is proper to the Son, since the Son proceeds from the Father as His Word, and word describes an intellectual procession. Consequently, because the book of life pertains to knowledge, it should be appropriated to the Son.
Answers to Difficulties:
1. Although life is appropriated to the Holy Spirit, knowledge of life is appropriated to the Son; and it is this that the book of life implies.
2. The Father is called the head of the book, not because the notion of book has more in common will Him than will the Son, but because the Son, to whom the name of book of life is appropriated, has His origin from the Father.
3. There is no inconsistency in something being appropriated to different persons if this is done under different formalities. For example, the gift of wisdom is appropriated to the Holy Spirit in so far as it is a gift, because love is the reason for all gifts, but it is also appropriated to the Son in so far as it is wisdom. Similarly, memory is appropriated to the Father in so far as it is a principle of understanding; but, in so far as it is a power of knowing, it is appropriated to the Son. Now, it is in the memory as a knowing power that a thing is said to be written in it. Hence, in this sense, memory can have the nature of a book. Consequently, being the book of life is appropriated more to the Son than to the Father.
4. Although being the book of life is appropriated to the Son, this also belongs to the Father, since it is a property of all the Persons, not of only one of them. Hence, there is no inconsistency in saying that something is written in the Father.
Parallel readings: See readings given for q. 7, a. I.
It seems that it is, for
1. Augustine says that the book of life is the predestination of those to whom eternal life is due.
2. We know Godís attributes through their effects. But the effect of predestination is the same as that of the book of life, namely, final grace and glory. Therefore, predestination and the book of life are the same.
3. Whatever is predicated metaphorically of God should be reduced to what is predicated literally. Now, the book of life is predicated metaphorically of God, as is clear from what has been said. There fore, it should be reduced to something predicated literally of Him. However, it cannot be reduced to anything else except predestination. Therefore, the book of life is the same as predestination.
To the Contrary:
1'. A thing is called a book because something is written in it. But the notion of writing does not pertain to predestination. Consequently, predestination and the book of life are not the same.
2í. A book, of its very nature, implies no causality regarding the things to which it is referred. Predestination, however, implies causality. Therefore, it is not the same as the book of life.
De veritate EN 60