De veritate EN 123

123

REPLY:

When two things combine to make up something, and one of them is more important than the other in the composite which they constitute, we can consider grades of comparison according to that which is primary and according 10 that which is secondary. But a high degree of that which is primary shows an absolute pre-eminence, whereas a high degree of that which is secondary shows a pre-eminence in some respect and not absolutely, unless the high degree of that which is secondary is a sign of a high degree of that which is primary.

Thus, for human merit, charity, as that which is primary, unites will an external work, as that which is secondary. However, absolutely speaking, that is to say, will reference to the essential reward, we judge merit to be greater when it proceeds from greater charity. And the magnitude of the work makes for greater merit in so far as it refers to some accidental reward, but not absolutely, except in so far as it shows intensity of charity, according to what Gregory says: "Love of God, if it exists, does great things."

Therefore, since prophecy is achieved through the joint activity of both the sight of understanding and that of imagination, the former functioning as the principal factor, and the latter in a secondary capacity, it follows that pre-eminence of the sight of understanding should be the basis for judging one grade of prophecy as absolutely superior. However, pre-eminence of the sight of imagination shows grade of prophecy to be higher in some respect, and not absolutely, unless to the extent that perfection of the sight of imagination exhibits perfection of the sight of understanding.

But we cannot perceive determinate grades of the sight of under standing, because the fullness of the light of understanding is displayed only through certain signs. Hence, we must distinguish grades of prophecy according to those signs. And in this way there are four bases on which we can distinguish grades of prophecy.

The first is according to the elements which are necessary for prophecy. Now, prophecy has two acts: sight and declaration. For sight, however, two things are needed: judgment, which is in the understanding, and reception, which is sometimes in the understanding and sometimes in the imagination. But for declaration something is needed in the one declaring, namely, a certain boldness so that he will not be afraid to speak the truth because of the opponents of the truth. In this sense the Lord said to Ezechiel (3:8-9): "Behold I have made thy face stronger than their faces: and thy forehead harder than their foreheadsÖ, fear them not, neither be thou dismayed at their presence." And something else is needed in the thing to be declared, namely, a sign through which the truth of the thing declared is made known. Thus, Moses received a sign from God in order that he might be believed.

But, since the place of declaration in prophecy is not primary but only secondary, the lowest grade of prophecy exists in one in whom there is a certain boldness or readiness to say or do something without having a revelation. This would be the case if we say that there was a grade of prophecy in Samson, taking prophecy in a broad sense in which every supernatural influx is reduced to prophecy. The second grade will be that in which the prophet has the sight of understanding only according to judgment, as in Solomon. The third grade is that in which one has the sight of understanding together will that of imagination, as in Isaias and Jeremias. The fourth is that in which the prophet has the very fullness of the sight of understanding in judgment and reception, as in David.

A second basis on which grades of prophecy can be distinguished is the disposition of the one prophesying. Thus, since prophecy takes place in a dream or in a vision when one is awake, as we read in Numbers (12:6), the grade of prophecy which takes place when one is awake is more perfect than that which takes place in a dream. This is so both because the understanding is better disposed for judging when one is awake and because the transport from sensible things does not take place naturally, but comes from the perfect concentration of the inner powers on the things which God is disclosing.

A third basis is the manner of perceiving these things, for the more distinctly the things prophesied are signified, the higher is the grade of prophecy. But no signs portray anything more distinctly than words. Therefore, when one perceives words expressly indicating the thing prophesied, as we read of Samuel in the first Book of Kings (3:1) the grade of prophecy is higher than when certain figures which are likenesses of the things are shown to us, as the boiling caldron which was shown to Jeremias (1:13). From this it is clearly shown that the prophetic light is better grasped in its power when the things to be prophesied are exhibited according to more distinct likenesses.

The fourth basis is the one who makes the revelation. For the grade of prophecy is higher when he who speaks is seen than when one only hears the words, whether in a dream or in a vision. For this shows that the prophet approaches closer to the knowledge of him who reveals. And the grade of prophecy is higher when he who speaks is seen under the guise of an angel than when he is seen in the form of a man, and even higher if he should be seen in the image of God, as in Isaias (6: 1): "I saw the Lord sitting..."For, since revelation of prophecy descends from God to an angel and from the angel to man, the reception of prophecy is manifestly fuller, the more it approaches the first source of prophecy.

Answers to Difficulties:

We must concede the arguments which show that grades of prophecy are distinguished according to sight of imagination in the manner we have explained. And we must not say that diversity of grade re quires distinction of species.

Answers to Contrary Difficulties:

1í. The answer to the first difficulty is clear from what has been said.

2í. When something is distinguished according to species, the distinction must be made according to that which is formal. But if there is distinction of grades within the same species, it can be according to that which is material, as animal is distinguished according to male and female, which are material differences, as is said in the Metaphysics.

3'. Since prophetic light is not something abiding in the prophet, but a kind of transient impression, it is not necessary for the prophet always to possess the same grade of prophecy. In fact, revelation comes to him sometimes according to one grade and sometimes according to another.

4í. Since some things which are more noble are at times known less perfectly, as when there is opinion about things divine and scientific knowledge about creatures, we cannot derive grades of prophecy from the things prophesied. This is especially true when the things which are to be declared are revealed to the prophet according to the demands of the disposition of those for whose sake the prophecy is given.

Still, it can be said that grades of prophecy are distinguished according to the things prophesied, but, because of their great diversity, we cannot thus assign definite grades of prophecy, except perhaps in a general way, as if we should say that the grade is higher when some thing about God is revealed than when something about creatures is revealed.

5'. The words and deeds treated in this objection do not belong to the revelation of prophecy, but to the declaration which takes place according to the disposition of those to whom it is declared. Consequently, we cannot distinguish grades of prophecy according to this.

6í. The grace of working miracles differs from prophecy, yet it can be reduced to prophecy inasmuch as the truth of the prophet is shown forth through miracles. Hence, in this respect the grace of working miracles is better than prophecy, just as scientific knowledge which gives the reason is better than scientific knowledge which gives the fact. For this reason the grace of working miracles is put before the grace of prophecy in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (12: 10).

Therefore, he is the most distinguished prophet who has prophetic revelation and also works miracles. However, if he works miracles without prophetic revelation, he is not more noble in what belongs to the nature of prophecy, although, perhaps, all things considered, he is more noble. But such a one is numbered among those in the lowest grade of prophecy, just as one who has only the boldness to do some thing.



ARTICLE XIV: WAS MOSES MORE OUTSTANDING THAN OTHER PROPHETS?



Parallel readings: De veritate, 12,, ad 1; In Isaiam., 6; Summa Theol., II-II, 174, 4.

Difficulties:

It seems that he was not, for

1. Gregory says: "As there has been a growth age by age, there has been an increase in the knowledge about God." Therefore, the later prophets were more outstanding than Moses.

2. The Gloss reads: "David was the most outstanding of the prophets." Therefore, Moses was not the most outstanding.

3. Greater miracles were worked through Josue, who made the sun and the moon stand still (Jos 10,13), than through Moses. Greater miracles were also worked through Isaias, who made the sun go back ward (Is 38,8). Therefore, Moses was not the greatest prophet.

4. In Ecclesiasticus (48:4ó5) there is this said of Elias: "Who can glory like to thee who raisedst up a dead man from below...?" Thus, we conclude as before.

5. In Matthew (11:11), we read of John the Baptist: "There bath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist." Therefore, Moses was not greater than he. Thus, we conclude as before.

To the Contrary:

1'. Deuteronomy (34:10) says: "And there arose no more a prophet in Israel like unto Moses."

2í. Numbers (12:6ó7) says: "If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream. But it is not so will my servant Moses who is most faithful in all my house." From this it is clear that he is given preference over the other prophets.

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REPLY:

Among the prophets, eminence can, according to various criteria, be attributed to some in a qualified way, but speaking without qualification, Moses was the greatest of them all. For in him the four things necessary for prophecy were present in a most outstanding manner. First, the sight of understanding was most eminent in him, and through this he was lifted up to see the very essence of God, as is said in Numbers (12:8): "And plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord." Moreover, this sight of his did not take place through the mediation of an angel, as it did in other prophetic visions. Hence, in the same place in Numbers (12:8) we read: "For I speak to him mouth to mouth." And Augustine says this plainly.

Second, the sight of imagination existed in Moses most perfectly because he had it, as it were, at will. Hence, we read in Exodus (33:11): "And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man is wont to speak to his friend." We can also note in this another excellence will reference to the sight of imagination, that he not only heard the words of the one revealing, but saw Him, and this not in the shape of a man or an angel, but as God Himself; not in a dream, but when awake. We read this of none of the other prophets.

Third, his declaration was most outstanding because all who were before him taught their families as one teaches a lesson, but Moses was the first who spoke for the Lord, saying: "The Lord says this." And he spoke to the whole people and not to one family. Nor did he declare something for the Lord in such a way that his hearers should give heed to what another previous prophet said, as the prophets by their preaching led the people to observe the law of Moses. Hence, the preaching of previous prophets was a preparation for the law of Moses, and this law was the foundation of the preaching of subsequent prophets. Fourth, he was more outstanding in the matters which refer to the declaration of prophecy. For, as regards miracles, he worked signs for the conversion and teaching of a whole race, whereas other prophets worked particular miracles for special persons and special tasks. Hence, we read in Deuteronomy (34: 10): "And there arose no more a prophet in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord knew face to face"; as for pre-eminence of revelation: "In all the signs and wonders, which he sent by him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharao, and to all his servants" (Dt 34,11); and "Great miracles, which Moses did before all Israel" (Dt 34,12). He also showed himself most outstanding in boldness, for will only a rod he went down into Egypt, not only to preach the words of the Lord, but also to scourge Egypt and to free his people.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. We should take what Gregory says as referring to the things which pertain to the mystery of the Incarnation. Later prophets received more explicit revelations about these than Moses did. However, they did not receive more explicit revelations of the Divinity, about which Moses was most fully taught.

2. David is called the most outstanding of the prophets because he prophesied most clearly about Christ without any vision of imagination.

3. Although those miracles were greater than the miracles of Moses in the substance of what was done, the miracles of Moses were greater in the manner in which they were performed because they were per formed for the whole people and for the instruction of the people in a new law and for their liberation. These other miracles were for particular tasks.

4. The pre-eminence of Elias is noted especially in this, that he was preserved from death and was more outstanding than many other prophets in boldness, by reason of which he did not fear the rulers of his times, and in greatness of miracles, as appears from the same place in Ecciesiasticus (48:4).

5. When Moses is put before the other prophets, we should under stand this as referring to prophets of the Old Testament, for, at that time especially, when the world awaited the coming of Christ, to whom all prophecy was ordained, prophecy was in its proper environ- merit. John, however, belongs to the New Testament. Hence, Matthew (11:13) has: "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." However, there is a clearer revelation in the New Testament; the second Epistle to the Corinthians (3:18) has: "But we all, beholding the glory of the Lord will open face..."Here, the Apostle distinctly puts himself and the other apostles ahead of Moses. Nevertheless, granted that no man was greater than John the Baptist, it does not follow from this that no prophet had a higher grade of prophecy than he, for one can be greater in prophecy and less in merit, since prophecy is not a gift of sanctifying grace.



QUESTION 13: Rapture





ARTICLE 1: WHAT IS RAPTURE?



Parallel readings: De veritate, 13, 2, ad 9; 2 Cor., c. 12, lectura 1; Summa Theol., IL-II, 175, 1.



The Masters describe it in this way: "Rapture is elevation, by the power of a higher nature, from that which is according to nature to that which is contrary to nature."

Difficulties:

It seems that rapture is unsuitably described, for

1. Augustine says: "Manís understanding knows God naturally." But, in rapture, manís understanding is raised to a knowledge of God. Therefore, it is not raised to that which is contrary to nature, but to that which is according to nature.

2. A created spirit depends more on the uncreated spirit than a lower body depends on a higher body. But impressions from higher bodies are natural to lower bodies, as the Commentator says. Therefore, elevation of the human spirit, even though it takes place in virtue of a higher nature, is only natural.

3. The Gloss on Romans (1 1:24), "Contrary to nature [thou] wert grafted into the good olive tree," reads that God, the author of nature, "does nothing contrary to nature," since that which each one receives from the source of all rule and order of nature is the nature for it. But the elevation of rapture is from God, who is the creator of human nature. Therefore, it is not against nature but according to it.

4. It was said that it is against nature because it is done in a divine manner and not in the manner of human spirit.óOn the contrary, Dionysius says: "We see the justice of God in this that He distributes [His goods] to all things according to the measure of their worth." But God cannot do anything contrary to His justice. Therefore, He does not give a thing something which is not according to its mariner of being.

5. If manís mariner is changed in some respect, it is not changed in such a way that manís proper good would be taken away. For, as Augustine says, God is not the cause of manís deterioration. But manís proper good is to live according to reason and to act in a voluntary way, as is clear in Dionysius. Therefore, since violence is contrary to what is voluntary and does away will the good of reason (for necessity causes sorrow since it is contrary to the will, as is said in the Meta physics it seems that God brings about no violent elevation in man contrary to nature. Now, this is what seems to take place in rapture, as the very name implies, arid as the previously mentioned description points out in the words, "by the power of a higher nature."

6. According to the Philosopher, excessive intensity of sensible objects destroys the senses, but excessive intensity of intelligible objects does not destroy the understanding. Now, the senses fail of knowledge of intense sensible objects because they are destroyed by them. There fore, the understanding can know intelligible objects naturally no matter how intense they are. Hence, no matter to what intelligible objects the mind of man is raised up, the elevation will not be contrary to nature.

7. Augustine says that angels and souls have similar natures but dissimilar duties. Now, it is not contrary to the nature of an angel to know the things to which man is raised in rapture. Therefore, for man, the elevation of rapture is not contrary to nature.

8. If any movement is natural, arrival at the term of the movement will also be natural, since no movement is infinite. But the mind of man is naturally moved toward God. This is clear from the fact that it rests only when it has reached God. Hence, Augustine says: "You made us for Thee, Lord; and our heart is not at rest until it rests in Thee." Therefore, the elevation by which the mind reaches God, as happens in rapture, is not contrary to nature.

9. It was said that it is not natural for the human mind to be drawn to God by reason of the mind itself, but by reason of an ordination of God. Thus, it is not natural simply.óOn the contrary, a lower nature does not engage in activity or tend toward any end except by reason of a divine ordination. It is for this reason that every natural work is called a work of intelligence. Nevertheless, we say that the movements and activities of natural things are simply natural. There fore, to be drawn toward God should also be judged simply natural if it is natural to the mind by reason of a divine ordination.

10. The soul, in so far as it exists in itself and is thus called a spirit, is prior to the soul as joined to the body and, accordingly, called a soul. But the activity of the soul as a spirit is to know God and the other separated substances. But, in so far as it is joined to the body, its activity is to know corporeal and sensible things. Therefore, the capacity of the soul to know intelligible things is prior to that to know sensible things. Since, therefore, it is natural for the soul to know sensible things, it is also natural for it to know divine intelligible things. Thus, we conclude as before.

11. The ordination of a thing to its final end is more natural than the ordination to the means, for the ordination to the means exists because of the ordination to the final end. But sensible things are the means by which we reach the knowledge of God, as we see in Romans (1:20): "For the invisible things of him...are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." But the knowledge of sensible things is natural to man. Therefore, knowledge of intelligible things is also natural. We conclude as before.

Nothing that takes place by a natural power can be said to be unconditionally contrary to nature. But certain things, as herbs or stones, have natural powers to release the mind from the senses, so that wonderful visions are beheld. This is what seems to happen in rapture. Therefore, rapture is not an elevation contrary to nature.

To the Contrary:

The Gloss on the passage in the second Epistle to the Corinthians (12: 2), "I know a man in Christ," says: "Rapture, that is exaltation contrary to nature..."Therefore, rapture is an elevation contrary to nature.

125

REPLY:

Just as everything else has a certain activity which is natural to it in so far as it is this thing, fire or a stone, for example; so, too, man as man has a certain activity which is natural to him.

Now, in physical reality the natural activity of a thing may be modified in two ways. In one, the change arises from a deficiency of its proper power, whatever be the source of such a deficiency, whether an extrinsic or an intrinsic cause. Thus, an abnormal fetus is produced because of a lack of formative power in the seed. In the other way, the change arises from the activity- of the divine power, whose will all nature obeys. This happens in miracles, as when a virgin conceives or a blind man is made to see. Similarly, manís natural and proper activity can be modified in two ways.

Manís proper activity, however, is to understand through the mediation of sense and imagination. For the activity by which he fixes on intellectual things alone, passing over all lower things, does not belong to man as man, but in so far as something divine exists in him, as is said in the Ethics. Moreover, the activity by means of which he grasps only sensible things apart from understanding and reasoning does not belong to him as man, but according to the nature which he has in common will the brute animals. Therefore, when man is transported out of his senses and sees things beyond sense, his natural mode of knowing is modified.

Sometimes, this change takes place because of some deficiency in manís proper power, as happens will insane people and others who are mentally deranged. This kind of transport out of their senses is not an elevation but rather a debasing of man. Sometimes, however, such transport takes place through the divine power, and then it is properly an elevation. For, since the agent makes that which is passive like itself, the transport which takes place by the divine power, and which is above man, has an ordination to something higher than that which is natural to man.

Thus, in the foregoing description of rapture, which defines it as movement, "elevation" gives its genus, and "by the power of a higher nature" gives the efficient cause. "From that which is according to nature to that which is contrary to nature" gives the starting point and the term of the movement.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. One can know God in many ways: through His essence, through sensible things, or through intelligible effects. We have to make a similar distinction about that which is natural to man. For something is contrary to nature and according to nature for one and the same thing according to its different states, because the nature of the thing is not the same when it is in the state of becoming and when it has complete existence, as Rabbi Moses says. Thus, full stature and other things of the kind are natural to man when he has reached maturity, but it would be contrary to nature for a boy to have full stature at birth.

Thus, it must be said that to know God in some fashion is natural for the human intelligence according to any state. But in the beginning, that is, in this life, it is natural for it to know God through sensible creatures. It is also natural for it to reach the knowledge of God through Himself when it reaches its full perfection, that is, in heaven. Thus, if in this life it is raised to the knowledge of God which it will have in heaven, this will be contrary to nature, just as it would be contrary to nature for a baby boy to have a beard.

2. Nature can be taken in two ways: in particular, as proper to each thing, and in general, as embracing the whole order of natural causes. For this reason a thing is said to be according to nature or contrary to nature in two ways: in one, will reference to nature in particular; in the other, will reference to nature in general. Thus, every deficiency, decay, and the weakness of old age is contrary to nature in particular, but, according to nature in general, it is natural for everything which is composed of contraries to decay.

Therefore, since the universal order of causes is so ordained that lower things should be moved by those which are higher, all move merit which takes place in lower nature because of the impressions of what is higher, whether this be in physical or in spiritual things, is natural according to universal nature, but not according to particular nature unless the impression made on the lower nature by the higher nature is such that the very impression is its nature. Thus, it is clear how the effects which God brings about in creatures can be called according to nature or contrary to nature.

3. The answer to the third difficulty is clear from this. Or else we should say that that elevation is called contrary to nature because it is contrary to the ordinary course of nature, as the Gloss explains.

4. Although God never acts contrary to justice, He sometimes does do something beyond justice. For a thing is contrary to justice when something one deserves is taken away from him. This is clear in human dealings when someone robs another. But, if out of liberality one gives what is not deserved, this is not contrary to justice, but beyond it. Accordingly, when in this life God raises a human mind above its proper level, He does not act contrary to justice, but beyond it.

5. By the very fact that a manís work has a meritorious value it must be under the direction of reason and the will. But the good which is imparted to a work in rapture is not of this sort. Hence, it is not necessary that it proceed from the human will, but only from the divine power. Nevertheless, we cannot call it violence in every respect, un less in the sense that we say there is violent movement when a stone is thrown down faster than it would fail by its natural motion. Nevertheless, properly speaking, "that is violent in which that which is passive contributes nothing," as is said in the Ethics.

6. Understanding and sense have this in common, that both fail of perfect perception of an excessively intense object, although both perceive something of it. The difference lies in this, that sense is destroyed by an excessively intense sensible object, so that afterwards it cannot know lesser sensibles, but understanding is strengthened through reception of an excessively intense intelligible object, so that afterwards it can know lesser intelligible objects better. Hence, the authoritative statement of the Philosopher cited above is not to the point.

7. Angels and souls are said to be equal in nature only in relation to the state of final perfection in which men will be like angels in heaven, as is said in Matthew (22:30), or in so far as they share in intellectual nature, although it is more perfect in the angels.

8. Arrival at the term of natural movement is natural, not in the beginning or middle of the movement, but at the end. Hence, the argument does not follow.

9. Activities of physical things which come from a divine ordination are said to be natural when the sources of these activities are implanted in things in the way in which their natures are. However, God does not ordain the elevation of rapture for man in this way. Hence, they are not alike in this respect.

10. That which is prior in the intention of nature is sometimes sub sequent in time, as actuality relates to potentiality in the same receiving subject, for to be in act is prior in nature, although in time one and the same thing is first in potentiality before it is in actuality. In like manner, the activity of the soul, in so far as it is a spirit, is prior relative to the intention of nature, but subsequent in time. Hence, if one activity takes place at the lime for another activity, this is contrary to nature.

11. Although the ordination to the means is because of the ordination to the final end, it is only through the means that one arrives naturally at the final end. If it happens otherwise, the arrival is not natural. And it is thus in the case in question.

12. The transport out of the senses which is brought about by the power of physical things is classified will that transport which takes place because of a deficiency of the proper power. For the nature of those things is such that they can effect a transport out of the senses only in so far as they deaden the senses. Hence, it is clear that such transport from sense is foreign to rapture.



ARTICLE II: DID PAUL SEE GOD THROLIGH HIS ESSENCE WHEN HE WAS ENRAPTURED?



Parallel readings: IV Sentences 49, 2, 7, ad 2 Cor., c. 12, lectura 1-2; Summa Theol., I, 12, I ad 2; II-II, 175, 3.

Difficulties:

It seems that he did not, for

1. The Gloss on Ephesians (4: i8), "Having their understanding darkened...,"says: "Everyone who understands is enlightened will an inner light." Therefore, if the understanding is raised up to see God, it must be enlightened by some light proportionate to this kind of sight. But the only such light is the light of glory, of which Psalms (35: 10) says: "In thy light we shah see light." Therefore, God can be seen through His essence only by an intellect enjoying beatitude. And, since Paul was not glorified when he was enraptured, he could not see God through His essence.

2. It was said that in that state Paul did enjoy beatitude.óOn the contrary, perpetuity is of the nature of beatitude, as Augustine says. But that state did not remain in Paul forever. Therefore, he did not enjoy beatitude in that state.

. From the glory in the soul glory overflows into the body. But Paulís body was not glorified. Therefore, neither was his mind en lightened by the light of glory. And, so, he did not see God through His essence.

4. It was said that by seeing God through His essence in that state he was made blessed, not without qualification, but only in a qualified way. On the contrary, all that is needed for one to be blessed in all respects is the act of glory and the gift of glory, which is the principle of that act. Thus, Peterís body would have been glorified if, along will being held up on the water, he had also had within him agility, which is the principle of this act. But splendor, the principle of the vision of God, which is the act of glory, is the gift of glory. Therefore, if Paulís mind saw God through His essence and was en lightened by the light which is the source of this vision, he was glorified without qualification.

5. While he was enraptured Paul had faith arid hope. But these are incompatible will the vision of God through His essence, for faith concerns things that appear not, as is said in Hebrews (1 n 1), and: "What a man seeth, why doth he hope for?" as is said in Romans (8:24). Therefore, he did not see God through His essence.

6. In heaven, charity is not a principle of merit. But in his rapture Paul was capable of meriting, since his soul had not yet been separated from the corruptible body, as Augustine says a Therefore, he did not have the charity proper to heaven. But where there is the Vision proper to heaven, which is perfect, there also is the charity proper to heaven, which is perfect, for one loves God to the extent that he knows about God. Therefore, Paul did not see God through His essence.

7. The divine essence cannot be seen without joy, as Augustine says. Therefore, if Paul saw God through His essence, he took delight in that sight. Accordingly, he did not will to be separated from it, nor, on the other hand, did God cut him off from it against his wishes. For, since God is most generous, He docs not on His part withdraw His gifts. Therefore, Paul would never have been cut off from that state. But he was cut off. Therefore, he did not see God through His essence.

8. No one who has a good because of merit loses it without sin. Therefore, since to see God through His essence is a good which one has because of merit, no one who sees God through His essence can be cut off from this sight unless he should happen to sin. But this can not be said of Paul, who says in Romans (8:38, 39): "For I am sure that neither death, nor life,... shall... separate us..." We conclude as before.

9. 'When Paul is said to be enraptured, there is also question of the difference between his rapture and the deep sleep of Adam and the rapture of John the Evangelist, in which he says he "was in the spirit" (Apocalypse I: 10), and the "ecstasy of mind" which Peter had (Acts 1).

To the Contrary:

From what Augustine says and from the 0 we see clearly that Paul saw God through His essence when he was enraptured.


De veritate EN 123