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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • FIRST PART (FP: QQ 1-119)
      • Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] Out. Para. 1/2 - OF THE PERSONS IN RELATION TO THE ESSENCE (EIGHT ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] Out. Para. 1/2 - OF THE PERSONS IN RELATION TO THE ESSENCE (EIGHT ARTICLES)

Those things considered which belong to the divine persons absolutely,
we next treat of what concerns the person in reference to the essence, to
the properties, and to the notional acts; and of the comparison of these
with each other.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] Out. Para. 2/2

As regards the first of these, there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the essence in God is the same as the person?

(2) Whether we should say that the three persons are of one essence?

(3) Whether essential names should be predicated of the persons in the
plural, or in the singular?

(4) Whether notional adjectives, or verbs, or participles, can be
predicated of the essential names taken in a concrete sense?

(5) Whether the same can be predicated of essential names taken in the
abstract?

(6) Whether the names of the persons can be predicated of concrete
essential names?

(7) Whether essential attributes can be appropriated to the persons?

(8) Which attributes should be appropriated to each person?


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether in God the essence is the same as the person?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that in God the essence is not the same as person.
For whenever essence is the same as person or "suppositum," there can be
only one "suppositum" of one nature, as is clear in the case of all
separate substances. For in those things which are really one and the
same, one cannot be multiplied apart from the other. But in God there is
one essence and three persons, as is clear from what is above expounded
(Q[28], A[3]; Q[30], A[2]). Therefore essence is not the same as person.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, simultaneous affirmation and negation of the same things
in the same respect cannot be true. But affirmation and negation are true
of essence and of person. For person is distinct, whereas essence is not.
Therefore person and essence are not the same.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, nothing can be subject to itself. But person is subject
to essence; whence it is called "suppositum" or "hypostasis." Therefore
person is not the same as essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 7): "When we say the
person of the Father we mean nothing else but the substance of the
Father."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, The truth of this question is quite clear if we consider
the divine simplicity. For it was shown above (Q[3], A[3]) that the
divine simplicity requires that in God essence is the same as
"suppositum," which in intellectual substances is nothing else than
person. But a difficulty seems to arise from the fact that while the
divine persons are multiplied, the essence nevertheless retains its
unity. And because, as Boethius says (De Trin. i), "relation multiplies
the Trinity of persons," some have thought that in God essence and person
differ, forasmuch as they held the relations to be "adjacent";
considering only in the relations the idea of "reference to another," and
not the relations as realities. But as it was shown above (Q[28], A[2])
in creatures relations are accidental, whereas in God they are the divine
essence itself. Thence it follows that in God essence is not really
distinct from person; and yet that the persons are really distinguished
from each other. For person, as above stated (Q[29], A[4]), signifies
relation as subsisting in the divine nature. But relation as referred to
the essence does not differ therefrom really, but only in our way of
thinking; while as referred to an opposite relation, it has a real
distinction by virtue of that opposition. Thus there are one essence and
three persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: There cannot be a distinction of "suppositum" in creatures
by means of relations, but only by essential principles; because in
creatures relations are not subsistent. But in God relations are
subsistent, and so by reason of the opposition between them they
distinguish the "supposita"; and yet the essence is not distinguished,
because the relations themselves are not distinguished from each other so
far as they are identified with the essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As essence and person in God differ in our way of thinking,
it follows that something can be denied of the one and affirmed of the
other; and therefore, when we suppose the one, we need not suppose the
other.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Divine things are named by us after the way of created
things, as above explained (Q[13], AA[1],3). And since created natures
are individualized by matter which is the subject of the specific nature,
it follows that individuals are called "subjects," "supposita," or
"hypostases." So the divine persons are named "supposita" or
"hypostases," but not as if there really existed any real "supposition"
or "subjection."


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it must be said that the three persons are of one essence?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem not right to say that the three persons are of one
essence. For Hilary says (De Synod.) that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost
"are indeed three by substance, but one in harmony." But the substance of
God is His essence. Therefore the three persons are not of one essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, nothing is to be affirmed of God except what can be
confirmed by the authority of Holy Writ, as appears from Dionysius (Div.
Nom. i). Now Holy Writ never says that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are
of one essence. Therefore this should not be asserted.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the divine nature is the same as the divine essence. It
suffices therefore to say that the three persons are of one nature.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, it is not usual to say that the person is of the
essence; but rather that the essence is of the person. Therefore it does
not seem fitting to say that the three persons are of one essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. vii, 6) that we do not say that
the three persons are "from one essence [ex una essentia]," lest we
should seem to indicate a distinction between the essence and the persons
in God. But prepositions which imply transition, denote the oblique
case. Therefore it is equally wrong to say that the three persons are "of
one essence [unius essentiae]."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, nothing should be said of God which can be occasion of
error. Now, to say that the three persons are of one essence or
substance, furnishes occasion of error. For, as Hilary says (De Synod.):
"One substance predicated of the Father and the Son signifies either one
subsistent, with two denominations; or one substance divided into two
imperfect substances; or a third prior substance taken and assumed by the
other two." Therefore it must not be said that the three persons are of
one substance.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Maxim. iii) that the word
{homoousion}, which the Council of Nicaea adopted against the Arians,
means that the three persons are of one essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As above explained (Q[13], AA[1],2), divine things are
named by our intellect, not as they really are in themselves, for in that
way it knows them not; but in a way that belongs to things created. And
as in the objects of the senses, whence the intellect derives its
knowledge, the nature of the species is made individual by the matter,
and thus the nature is as the form, and the individual is the
"suppositum" of the form; so also in God the essence is taken as the form
of the three persons, according to our mode of signification. Now in
creatures we say that every form belongs to that whereof it is the form;
as the health and beauty of a man belongs to the man. But we do not say
of that which has a form, that it belongs to the form, unless some
adjective qualifies the form; as when we say: "That woman is of a
handsome figure," or: "This man is of perfect virtue." In like manner, as
in God the persons are multiplied, and the essence is not multiplied, we
speak of one essence of the three persons, and three persons of the one
essence, provided that these genitives be understood as designating the
form.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Substance is here taken for the "hypostasis," and not for
the essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although we may not find it declared in Holy Writ in so
many words that the three persons are of one essence, nevertheless we
find it so stated as regards the meaning; for instance, "I and the Father
are one (Jn. 10:30)," and "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (Jn.
10:38)"; and there are many other texts of the same import.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Because "nature" designates the principle of action while
"essence" comes from being [essendo], things may be said to be of one
nature which agree in some action, as all things which give heat; but only those things can be said to be of "one essence" which have one
being. So the divine unity is better described by saying that the three
persons are "of one essence," than by saying they are "of one nature."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Form, in the absolute sense, is wont to be designated as
belonging to that of which it is the form, as we say "the virtue of
Peter." On the other hand, the thing having form is not wont to be
designated as belonging to the form except when we wish to qualify or
designate the form. In which case two genitives are required, one
signifying the form, and the other signifying the determination of the
form, as, for instance, when we say, "Peter is of great virtue [magnae
virtutis]," or else one genitive must have the force of two, as, for
instance, "he is a man of blood" - that is, he is a man who sheds much
blood [multi sanguinis]. So, because the divine essence signifies a form
as regards the person, it may properly be said that the essence is of the
person; but we cannot say the converse, unless we add some term to
designate the essence; as, for instance, the Father is a person of the
"divine essence"; or, the three persons are "of one essence."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: The preposition "from" or "out of" does not designate the
habitude of a formal cause, but rather the habitude of an efficient or
material cause; which causes are in all cases distinguished from those
things of which they are the causes. For nothing can be its own matter,
nor its own active principle. Yet a thing may be its own form, as appears
in all immaterial things. So, when we say, "three persons of one
essence," taking essence as having the habitude of form, we do not mean
that essence is different from person, which we should mean if we said,
"three persons from the same essence."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[2] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: As Hilary says (De Synod.): "It would be prejudicial to
holy things, if we had to do away with them, just because some do not
think them holy. So if some misunderstand {homoousion}, what is that to
me, if I understand it rightly? . . . The oneness of nature does not
result from division, or from union or from community of possession, but
from one nature being proper to both Father and Son."


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether essential names should be predicated in the singular of the three
persons?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that essential names, as the name "God," should not
be predicated in the singular of the three persons, but in the plural.
For as "man" signifies "one that has humanity," so God signifies "one
that has Godhead." But the three persons are three who have Godhead.
Therefore the three persons are "three Gods."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gn. 1:1, where it is said, "In the beginning God created
heaven and earth," the Hebrew original has "Elohim," which may be
rendered "Gods" or "Judges": and this word is used on account of the
plurality of persons. Therefore the three persons are "several Gods," and
not "one" God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1
OBJ 3: Further, this word "thing" when it is said absolutely, seems to
belong to substance. But it is predicated of the three persons in the
plural. For Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5): "The things that are
the objects of our future glory are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
Therefore other essential names can be predicated in the plural of the
three persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, as this word "God" signifies "a being who has Deity," so
also this word "person" signifies a being subsisting in an intellectual
nature. But we say there are three persons. So for the same reason we can
say there are "three Gods."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is said (Dt. 6:4): "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God
is one God."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Some essential names signify the essence after the manner
of substantives; while others signify it after the manner of adjectives.
Those which signify it as substantives are predicated of the three
persons in the singular only, and not in the plural. Those which signify
the essence as adjectives are predicated of the three persons in the
plural. The reason of this is that substantives signify something by way
of substance, while adjectives signify something by way of accident,
which adheres to a subject. Now just as substance has existence of
itself, so also it has of itself unity or multitude; wherefore the
singularity or plurality of a substantive name depends upon the form
signified by the name. But as accidents have their existence in a
subject, so they have unity or plurality from their subject; and
therefore the singularity and plurality of adjectives depends upon their
"supposita." In creatures, one form does not exist in several "supposita"
except by unity of order, as the form of an ordered multitude. So if the
names signifying such a form are substantives, they are predicated of
many in the singular, but otherwise if they adjectives. For we say that
many men are a college, or an army, or a people; but we say that many men
are collegians. Now in God the divine essence is signified by way of a
form, as above explained (A[2]), which, indeed, is simple and supremely
one, as shown above (Q[3], A[7]; Q[11], A[4]). So, names which signify
the divine essence in a substantive manner are predicated of the three
persons in the singular, and not in the plural. This, then, is the reason
why we say that Socrates, Plato and Cicero are "three men"; whereas we do
not say the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are "three Gods," but "one God";
forasmuch as in the three "supposita" of human nature there are three
humanities, whereas in the three divine Persons there is but one divine
essence. On the other hand, the names which signify essence in an
adjectival manner are predicated of the three persons plurally, by reason
of the plurality of "supposita." For we say there are three "existent" or
three "wise" beings, or three "eternal," "uncreated," and "immense"
beings, if these terms are understood in an adjectival sense. But if
taken in a substantive sense, we say "one uncreated, immense, eternal
being," as Athanasius declares.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Though the name "God" signifies a being having Godhead,
nevertheless the mode of signification is different. For the name "God"
is used substantively; whereas "having Godhead" is used adjectively.
Consequently, although there are "three having Godhead," it does not
follow that there are three Gods.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Various languages have diverse modes of expression. So as
by reason of the plurality of "supposita" the Greeks said "three
hypostases," so also in Hebrew "Elohim" is in the plural. We, however, do
not apply the plural either to "God" or to "substance," lest plurality be
referred to the substance.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This word "thing" is one of the transcendentals. Whence, so
far as it is referred to relation, it is predicated of God in the plural;
whereas, so far as it is referred to the substance, it is predicated in
the singular. So Augustine says, in the passage quoted, that "the same
Trinity is a thing supreme."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The form signified by the word "person" is not essence or
nature, but personality. So, as there are three personalities - that is,
three personal properties in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost - it is
predicated of the three, not in the singular, but in the plural.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the concrete essential names can stand for the person?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the concrete, essential names cannot stand for
the person, so that we can truly say "God begot God." For, as the
logicians say, "a singular term signifies what it stands for." But this
name "God" seems to be a singular term, for it cannot be predicated in
the plural, as above explained (A[3]). Therefore, since it signifies the
essence, it stands for essence, and not for person.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a term in the subject is not modified by a term in the
predicate, as to its signification; but only as to the sense signified in
the predicate. But when I say, "God creates," this name "God" stands for
the essence. So when we say "God begot," this term "God" cannot by reason
of the notional predicate, stand for person.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, if this be true, "God begot," because the Father
generates; for the same reason this is true, "God does not beget,"
because the Son does not beget. Therefore there is God who begets, and
there is God who does not beget; and thus it follows that there are two
Gods.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, if "God begot God," He begot either God, that is
Himself, or another God. But He did not beget God, that is Himself; for,
as Augustine says (De Trin. i, 1), "nothing begets itself." Neither did
He beget another God; as there is only one God. Therefore it is false to
say, "God begot God."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, if "God begot God," He begot either God who is the
Father, or God who is not the Father. If God who is the Father, then God
the Father was begotten. If God who is not the Father, then there is a
God who is not God the Father: which is false. Therefore it cannot be
said that "God begot God."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, In the Creed it is said, "God of God."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Some have said that this name "God" and the like,
properly according to their nature, stand for the essence, but by reason
of some notional adjunct are made to stand for the Person. This opinion
apparently arose from considering the divine simplicity, which requires
that in God, He "who possesses" and "what is possessed" be the same. So
He who possesses Godhead, which is signified by the name God, is the same
as Godhead. But when we consider the proper way of expressing ourselves,
the mode of signification must be considered no less than the thing
signified. Hence as this word "God" signifies the divine essence as in
Him Who possesses it, just as the name "man" signifies humanity in a
subject, others more truly have said that this word "God," from its mode
of signification, can, in its proper sense, stand for person, as does the
word "man." So this word "God" sometimes stands for the essence, as when
we say "God creates"; because this predicate is attributed to the subject
by reason of the form signified - that is, Godhead. But sometimes it
stands for the person, either for only one, as when we say, "God begets,"
or for two, as when we say, "God spirates"; or for three, as when it is
said: "To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God," etc. (1
Tim. 1:17).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Although this name "God" agrees with singular terms as
regards the form signified not being multiplied; nevertheless it agrees
also with general terms so far as the form signified is to be found in
several "supposita." So it need not always stand for the essence it
signifies.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This holds good against those who say that the word "God"
does not naturally stand for person.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The word "God" stands for the person in a different way
from that in which this word "man" does; for since the form signified by
this word "man" - that is, humanity - is really divided among its
different subjects, it stands of itself for the person, even if there is
no adjunct determining it to the person - that is, to a distinct subject.
The unity or community of the human nature, however, is not a reality,
but is only in the consideration of the mind. Hence this term "man" does
not stand for the common nature, unless this is required by some adjunct,
as when we say, "man is a species"; whereas the form signified by the
name "God" - that is, the divine essence - is really one and common. So
of itself it stands for the common nature, but by some adjunct it may be
restricted so as to stand for the person. So, when we say, "God
generates," by reason of the notional act this name "God" stands for the
person of the Father. But when we say, "God does not generate," there is
no adjunct to determine this name to the person of the Son, and hence the
phrase means that generation is repugnant to the divine nature. If,
however, something be added belonging to the person of the Son, this
proposition, for instance, "God begotten does not beget," is true.
Consequently, it does not follow that there exists a "God generator," and
a "God not generator"; unless there be an adjunct pertaining to the
persons; as, for instance, if we were to say, "the Father is God the
generator" and the "Son is God the non-generator" and so it does not
follow that there are many Gods; for the Father and the Son are one God,
as was said above (A[3]).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: This is false, "the Father begot God, that is Himself,"
because the word "Himself," as a reciprocal term, refers to the same
"suppositum." Nor is this contrary to what Augustine says (Ep. lxvi ad
Maxim.) that "God the Father begot another self [alterum se]," forasmuch
as the word "se" is either in the ablative case, and then it means "He
begot another from Himself," or it indicates a single relation, and thus
points to identity of nature. This is, however, either a figurative or an
emphatic way of speaking, so that it would really mean, "He begot another
most like to Himself." Likewise also it is false to say, "He begot
another God," because although the Son is another than the Father, as
above explained (Q[31], A[2]), nevertheless it cannot be said that He is
"another God"; forasmuch as this adjective "another" would be understood
to apply to the substantive God; and thus the meaning would be that there
is a distinction of Godhead. Yet this proposition "He begot another God"
is tolerated by some, provided that "another" be taken as a substantive,
and the word "God" be construed in apposition with it. This, however, is
an inexact way of speaking, and to be avoided, for fear of giving
occasion to error.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[4] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: To say, "God begot God Who is God the Father," is wrong,
because since the word "Father" is construed in apposition to "God," the
word "God" is restricted to the person of the Father; so that it would
mean, "He begot God, Who is Himself the Father"; and then the Father
would be spoken of as begotten, which is false. Wherefore the negative of
the proposition is true, "He begot God Who is not God the Father." If
however, we understand these words not to be in apposition, and require
something to be added, then, on the contrary, the affirmative proposition
is true, and the negative is false; so that the meaning would be, "He
begot God Who is God Who is the Father." Such a rendering however appears
to be forced, so that it is better to say simply that the affirmative
proposition is false, and the negative is true. Yet Prepositivus said
that both the negative and affirmative are false, because this relative
"Who" in the affirmative proposition can be referred to the "suppositum";
whereas in the negative it denotes both the thing signified and the
"suppositum." Whence, in the affirmative the sense is that "to be God the
Father" is befitting to the person of the Son; and in the negative sense
is that "to be God the Father," is to be removed from the Son's divinity
as well as from His personality. This, however, appears to be irrational;
since, according to the Philosopher (Peri Herm. ii), what is open to
affirmation, is open also to negation.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether abstract essential names can stand for the person?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that abstract essential names can stand for the
person, so that this proposition is true, "Essence begets essence." For
Augustine says (De Trin. vii, i, 2): "The Father and the Son are one
Wisdom, because they are one essence; and taken singly Wisdom is from
Wisdom, as essence from essence."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, generation or corruption in ourselves implies generation
or corruption of what is within us. But the Son is generated. Therefore
since the divine essence is in the Son, it seems that the divine essence
is generated.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, God and the divine essence are the same, as is clear
from what is above explained (Q[3], A[3]). But, as was shown, it is true
to say that "God begets God." Therefore this is also true: "Essence
begets essence."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, a predicate can stand for that of which it is
predicated. But the Father is the divine essence; therefore essence can
stand for the person of the Father. Thus the essence begets.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, the essence is "a thing begetting," because the essence
is the Father who is begetting. Therefore if the essence is not
begetting, the essence will be "a thing begetting," and "not begetting":
which cannot be.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 20): "The Father is the
principle of the whole Godhead." But He is principle only by begetting or
spirating. Therefore the Father begets or spirates the Godhead.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. i, 1): "Nothing begets
itself." But if the essence begets the essence, it begets itself only,
since nothing exists in God as distinguished from the divine essence.
Therefore the essence does not beget essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Concerning this, the abbot Joachim erred in asserting
that as we can say "God begot God," so we can say "Essence begot
essence": considering that, by reason of the divine simplicity God is
nothing else but the divine essence. In this he was wrong, because if we
wish to express ourselves correctly, we must take into account not only
the thing which is signified, but also the mode of its signification as
above stated (A[4]). Now although "God" is really the same as "Godhead,"
nevertheless the mode of signification is not in each case the same. For
since this word "God" signifies the divine essence in Him that possesses
it, from its mode of signification it can of its own nature stand for
person. Thus the things which properly belong to the persons, can be
predicated of this word, "God," as, for instance, we can say "God is
begotten" or is "Begetter," as above explained (A[4]). The word
"essence," however, in its mode of signification, cannot stand for
Person, because it signifies the essence as an abstract form.
Consequently, what properly belongs to the persons whereby they are
distinguished from each other, cannot be attributed to the essence. For
that would imply distinction in the divine essence, in the same way as
there exists distinction in the "supposita."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: To express unity of essence and of person, the holy Doctors
have sometimes expressed themselves with greater emphasis than the strict
propriety of terms allows. Whence instead of enlarging upon such
expressions we should rather explain them: thus, for instance, abstract
names should be explained by concrete names, or even by personal names;
as when we find "essence from essence"; or "wisdom from wisdom"; we
should take the sense to be, "the Son" who is essence and wisdom, is from
the Father who is essence and wisdom. Nevertheless, as regards these
abstract names a certain order should be observed, forasmuch as what
belongs to action is more nearly allied to the persons because actions
belong to "supposita." So "nature from nature," and "wisdom from wisdom"
are less inexact than "essence from essence."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: In creatures the one generated has not the same nature
numerically as the generator, but another nature, numerically distinct,
which commences to exist in it anew by generation, and ceases to exist by
corruption, and so it is generated and corrupted accidentally; whereas
God begotten has the same nature numerically as the begetter. So the
divine nature in the Son is not begotten either directly or accidentally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Although God and the divine essence are really the same,
nevertheless, on account of their different mode of signification, we
must speak in a different way about each of them.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The divine essence is predicated of the Father by mode of
identity by reason of the divine simplicity; yet it does not follow that
it can stand for the Father, its mode of signification being different.
This objection would hold good as regards things which are predicated of
another as the universal of a particular.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: The difference between substantive and adjectival names
consist in this, that the former carry their subject with them, whereas
the latter do not, but add the thing signified to the substantive. Whence
logicians are wont to say that the substantive is considered in the light
of "suppositum," whereas the adjective indicates something added to the
"suppositum." Therefore substantive personal terms can be predicated of the essence, because they are really the same; nor does it follow that a
personal property makes a distinct essence; but it belongs to the
"suppositum" implied in the substantive. But notional and personal
adjectives cannot be predicated of the essence unless we add some
substantive. We cannot say that the "essence is begetting"; yet we can
say that the "essence is a thing begetting," or that it is "God
begetting," if "thing" and God stand for person, but not if they stand
for essence. Consequently there exists no contradiction in saying that
"essence is a thing begetting," and "a thing not begetting"; because in
the first case "thing" stands for person, and in the second it stands
for the essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[5] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: So far as Godhead is one in several "supposita," it agrees
in a certain degree with the form of a collective term. So when we say,
"the Father is the principle of the whole Godhead," the term Godhead can
be taken for all the persons together, inasmuch as it is the principle in
all the divine persons. Nor does it follow that He is His own principle;
as one of the people may be called the ruler of the people without being
ruler of himself. We may also say that He is the principle of the whole
Godhead; not as generating or spirating it, but as communicating it by
generation and spiration.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the persons can be predicated of the essential terms?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the persons cannot be predicated of the
concrete essential names; so that we can say for instance, "God is three
persons"; or "God is the Trinity." For it is false to say, "man is every
man," because it cannot be verified as regards any particular subject.
For neither Socrates, nor Plato, nor anyone else is every man. In the
same way this proposition, "God is the Trinity," cannot be verified of
any one of the "supposita" of the divine nature. For the Father is not
the Trinity; nor is the Son; nor is the Holy Ghost. So to say, "God is
the Trinity," is false.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the lower is not predicated of the higher except by
accidental predication; as when I say, "animal is man"; for it is
accidental to animal to be man. But this name "God" as regards the three
persons is as a general term to inferior terms, as Damascene says (De
Fide Orth. iii, 4). Therefore it seems that the names of the persons
cannot be predicated of this name "God," except in an accidental sense.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says, in his sermon on Faith [*Serm. ii, in
coena Domini], "We believe that one God is one divinely named Trinity."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As above explained (A[5]), although adjectival terms,
whether personal or notional, cannot be predicated of the essence,
nevertheless substantive terms can be so predicated, owing to the real
identity of essence and person. The divine essence is not only really the
same as one person, but it is really the same as the three persons.
Whence, one person, and two, and three, can be predicated of the essence
as if we were to say, "The essence is the Father, and the Son, and the
Holy Ghost." And because this word "God" can of itself stand for the
essence, as above explained (A[4], ad 3), hence, as it is true to say,
"The essence is the three persons"; so likewise it is true to say, "God
is the three persons."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As above explained this term "man" can of itself stand for
person, whereas an adjunct is required for it to stand for the universal
human nature. So it is false to say, "Man is every man"; because it
cannot be verified of any particular human subject. On the contrary, this
word "God" can of itself be taken for the divine essence. So, although to
say of any of the "supposita" of the divine nature, "God is the Trinity,"
is untrue, nevertheless it is true of the divine essence. This was denied
by Porretanus because he did not take note of this distinction.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: When we say, "God," or "the divine essence is the Father,"
the predication is one of identity, and not of the lower in regard to a
higher species: because in God there is no universal and singular. Hence,
as this proposition, "The Father is God" is of itself true, so this
proposition "God is the Father" is true of itself, and by no means
accidentally.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2



Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the essential names should be appropriated to the persons?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the essential names should not be appropriated
to the persons. For whatever might verge on error in faith should be
avoided in the treatment of divine things; for, as Jerome says, "careless
words involve risk of heresy" [*In substance Ep. lvii.]. But to
appropriate to any one person the names which are common to the three
persons, may verge on error in faith; for it may be supposed either that
such belong only to the person to whom they are appropriated or that they
belong to Him in a fuller degree than to the others. Therefore the
essential attributes should not be appropriated to the persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the essential attributes expressed in the abstract
signify by mode of form. But one person is not as a form to another;
since a form is not distinguished in subject from that of which it is the
form. Therefore the essential attributes, especially when expressed in
the abstract, are not to be appropriated to the persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, property is prior to the appropriated, for property is
included in the idea of the appropriated. But the essential attributes,
in our way of understanding, are prior to the persons; as what is common
is prior to what is proper. Therefore the essential attributes are not to
be appropriated to the persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, the Apostle says: "Christ the power of God and the
wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24).

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, For the manifestation of our faith it is fitting that the
essential attributes should be appropriated to the persons. For although
the trinity of persons cannot be proved by demonstration, as was above
expounded (Q[32], A[1]), nevertheless it is fitting that it be declared
by things which are more known to us. Now the essential attributes of God
are more clear to us from the standpoint of reason than the personal
properties; because we can derive certain knowledge of the essential
attributes from creatures which are sources of knowledge to us, such as
we cannot obtain regarding the personal properties, as was above
explained (Q[32], A[1]). As, therefore, we make use of the likeness of
the trace or image found in creatures for the manifestation of the divine
persons, so also in the same manner do we make use of the essential attributes. And such a manifestation of the divine persons by the use of
the essential attributes is called "appropriation."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] Body Para. 2/2

The divine person can be manifested in a twofold manner by the essential
attributes; in one way by similitude, and thus the things which belong to
the intellect are appropriated to the Son, Who proceeds by way of
intellect, as Word. In another way by dissimilitude; as power is
appropriated to the Father, as Augustine says, because fathers by reason
of old age are sometimes feeble; lest anything of the kind be imagined of
God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The essential attributes are not appropriated to the
persons as if they exclusively belonged to them; but in order to make the
persons manifest by way of similitude, or dissimilitude, as above
explained. So, no error in faith can arise, but rather manifestation of
the truth.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: If the essential attributes were appropriated to the
persons as exclusively belonging to each of them, then it would follow
that one person would be as a form as regards another; which Augustine
altogether repudiates (De Trin. vi, 2), showing that the Father is wise,
not by Wisdom begotten by Him, as though only the Son were Wisdom; so
that the Father and the Son together only can be called wise, but not the
Father without the Son. But the Son is called the Wisdom of the Father,
because He is Wisdom from the Father Who is Wisdom. For each of them is
of Himself Wisdom; and both together are one Wisdom. Whence the Father is
not wise by the wisdom begotten by Him, but by the wisdom which is His
own essence.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1
Reply OBJ 3: Although the essential attribute is in its proper concept
prior to person, according to our way of understanding; nevertheless, so
far as it is appropriated, there is nothing to prevent the personal
property from being prior to that which is appropriated. Thus color is
posterior to body considered as body, but is naturally prior to "white
body," considered as white.


Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the essential attributes are appropriated to the persons in a
fitting manner by the holy doctors?

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the essential attributes are appropriated to
the persons unfittingly by the holy doctors. For Hilary says (De Trin.
ii): "Eternity is in the Father, the species in the Image; and use is in
the Gift." In which words he designates three names proper to the
persons: the name of the "Father," the name "Image" proper to the Son
(Q[35], A[2]), and the name "Bounty" or "Gift," which is proper to the
Holy Ghost (Q[38], A[2]). He also designates three appropriated terms.
For he appropriates "eternity" to the Father, "species" to the Son, and
"use" to the Holy Ghost. This he does apparently without reason. For
"eternity" imports duration of existence; "species," the principle of
existence; and 'use' belongs to the operation. But essence and operation
are not found to be appropriated to any person. Therefore the above terms
are not fittingly appropriated to the persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5): "Unity is in
the Father, equality in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost is the concord of
equality and unity." This does not, however, seem fitting; because one
person does not receive formal denomination from what is appropriated to
another. For the Father is not wise by the wisdom begotten, as above
explained (Q[37], A[2], ad 1). But, as he subjoins, "All these three are
one by the Father; all are equal by the Son, and all united by the Holy
Ghost." The above, therefore, are not fittingly appropriated to the
Persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, according to Augustine, to the Father is attributed
"power," to the Son "wisdom," to the Holy Ghost "goodness." Nor does this
seem fitting; for "strength" is part of power, whereas strength is found
to be appropriated to the Son, according to the text, "Christ the
strength [*Douay: power] of God" (1 Cor. 1:24). So it is likewise
appropriated to the Holy Ghost, according to the words, "strength
[*Douay: virtue] came out from Him and healed all" (Lk. 6:19). Therefore
power should not be appropriated to the Father.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Likewise Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 10): "What the Apostle
says, "From Him, and by Him, and in Him," is not to be taken in a
confused sense." And (Contra Maxim. ii) "'from Him' refers to the Father,
'by Him' to the Son, 'in Him' to the Holy Ghost.'" This, however, seems
to be incorrectly said; for the words "in Him" seem to imply the relation
of final cause, which is first among the causes. Therefore this relation
of cause should be appropriated to the Father, Who is "the principle from
no principle."

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Likewise, Truth is appropriated to the Son, according to Jn.
14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"; and likewise "the book of
life," according to Ps. 39:9, "In the beginning of the book it is written
of Me," where a gloss observes, "that is, with the Father Who is My
head," also this word "Who is"; because on the text of Is. 65:1, "Behold
I go to the Gentiles," a gloss adds, "The Son speaks Who said to Moses, I am Who am." These appear to belong to the Son, and are not appropriated.
For "truth," according to Augustine (De Vera Relig. 36), "is the supreme
similitude of the principle without any dissimilitude." So it seems that
it properly belongs to the Son, Who has a principle. Also the "book of
life" seems proper to the Son, as signifying "a thing from another"; for
every book is written by someone. This also, "Who is," appears to be
proper to the Son; because if when it was said to Moses, "I am Who am,"
the Trinity spoke, then Moses could have said, "He Who is Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost sent me to you," so also he could have
said further, "He Who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost sent
me to you," pointing out a certain person. This, however, is false;
because no person is Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Therefore it cannot be
common to the Trinity, but is proper to the Son.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 1/10

I answer that, Our intellect, which is led to the knowledge of God from
creatures, must consider God according to the mode derived from
creatures. In considering any creature four points present themselves to
us in due order. Firstly, the thing itself taken absolutely is considered
as a being. Secondly, it is considered as one. Thirdly, its intrinsic
power of operation and causality is considered. The fourth point of
consideration embraces its relation to its effects. Hence this fourfold
consideration comes to our mind in reference to God.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 2/10

According to the first point of consideration, whereby we consider God
absolutely in His being, the appropriation mentioned by Hilary applies,
according to which "eternity" is appropriated to the Father, "species" to
the Son, "use" to the Holy Ghost. For "eternity" as meaning a "being"
without a principle, has a likeness to the property of the Father, Who is
"a principle without a principle." Species or beauty has a likeness to
the property of the Son. For beauty includes three conditions,
"integrity" or "perfection," since those things which are impaired are by
the very fact ugly; due "proportion" or "harmony"; and lastly,
"brightness" or "clarity," whence things are called beautiful which have
a bright color.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 3/10

The first of these has a likeness to the property of the Son, inasmuch
as He as Son has in Himself truly and perfectly the nature of the Father.
To insinuate this, Augustine says in his explanation (De Trin. vi, 10):
"Where - that is, in the Son - there is supreme and primal life," etc.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 4/10

The second agrees with the Son's property, inasmuch as He is the express
Image of the Father. Hence we see that an image is said to be beautiful,
if it perfectly represents even an ugly thing. This is indicated by
Augustine when he says (De Trin. vi, 10), "Where there exists wondrous
proportion and primal equality," etc.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 5/10

The third agrees with the property of the Son, as the Word, which is the
light and splendor of the intellect, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth.
iii, 3). Augustine alludes to the same when he says (De Trin. vi, 10): "As the perfect Word, not wanting in anything, and, so to speak, the art
of the omnipotent God," etc.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 6/10

"Use" has a likeness to the property of the Holy Ghost; provided the
"use" be taken in a wide sense, as including also the sense of "to
enjoy"; according as "to use" is to employ something at the beck of the
will, and "to enjoy" means to use joyfully, as Augustine says (De Trin.
x, 11). So "use," whereby the Father and the Son enjoy each other, agrees
with the property of the Holy Ghost, as Love. This is what Augustine says
(De Trin. vi, 10): "That love, that delectation, that felicity or
beatitude, is called use by him" (Hilary). But the "use" by which we
enjoy God, is likened to the property of the Holy Ghost as the Gift; and
Augustine points to this when he says (De Trin. vi, 10): "In the Trinity,
the Holy Ghost, the sweetness of the Begettor and the Begotten, pours out
upon us mere creatures His immense bounty and wealth." Thus it is clear
how "eternity," "species," and "use" are attributed or appropriated to
the persons, but not essence or operation; because, being common, there
is nothing in their concept to liken them to the properties of the
Persons.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 7/10

The second consideration of God regards Him as "one." In that view
Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. i, 5) appropriates "unity" to the Father,
"equality" to the Son, "concord" or "union" to the Holy Ghost. It is
manifest that these three imply unity, but in different ways. For "unity"
is said absolutely, as it does not presuppose anything else; and for this
reason it is appropriated to the Father, to Whom any other person is not
presupposed since He is the "principle without principle." "Equality"
implies unity as regards another; for that is equal which has the same
quantity as another. So equality is appropriated to the Son, Who is the
"principle from a principle." "Union" implies the unity of two; and is
therefore appropriated to the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as He proceeds from
two. And from this we can understand what Augustine means when he says
(De Doctr. Christ. i, 5) that "The Three are one, by reason of the
Father; They are equal by reason of the Son; and are united by reason of
the Holy Ghost." For it is clear that we trace a thing back to that in
which we find it first: just as in this lower world we attribute life to
the vegetative soul, because therein we find the first trace of life. Now
"unity" is perceived at once in the person of the Father, even if by an
impossible hypothesis, the other persons were removed. So the other
persons derive their unity from the Father. But if the other persons be
removed, we do not find equality in the Father, but we find it as soon as
we suppose the Son. So, all are equal by reason of the Son, not as if the
Son were the principle of equality in the Father, but that, without the
Son equal to the Father, the Father could not be called equal; because
His equality is considered firstly in regard to the Son: for that the
Holy Ghost is equal to the Father, is also from the Son. Likewise, if the
Holy Ghost, Who is the union of the two, be excluded, we cannot
understand the oneness of the union between the Father and the Son. So
all are connected by reason of the Holy Ghost; because given the Holy
Ghost, we find whence the Father and the Son are said to be united.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 8/10

According to the third consideration, which brings before us the
adequate power of God in the sphere of causality, there is said to be a
third kind of appropriation, of "power," "wisdom," and "goodness." This
kind of appropriation is made both by reason of similitude as regards
what exists in the divine persons, and by reason of dissimilitude if we
consider what is in creatures. For "power" has the nature of a principle,
and so it has a likeness to the heavenly Father, Who is the principle of
the whole Godhead. But in an earthly father it is wanting sometimes by
reason of old age. "Wisdom" has likeness to the heavenly Son, as the
Word, for a word is nothing but the concept of wisdom. In an earthly son
this is sometimes absent by reason of lack of years. "Goodness," as the
nature and object of love, has likeness to the Holy Ghost; but seems
repugnant to the earthly spirit, which often implies a certain violent
impulse, according to Is. 25:4: "The spirit of the strong is as a blast
beating on the wall." "Strength" is appropriated to the Son and to the
Holy Ghost, not as denoting the power itself of a thing, but as sometimes
used to express that which proceeds from power; for instance, we say that
the strong work done by an agent is its strength.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 9/10

According to the fourth consideration, i.e. God's relation to His
effects, there arise appropriation of the expression "from Whom, by Whom,
and in Whom." For this preposition "from" [ex] sometimes implies a
certain relation of the material cause; which has no place in God; and
sometimes it expresses the relation of the efficient cause, which can be
applied to God by reason of His active power; hence it is appropriated to
the Father in the same way as power. The preposition "by" [per] sometimes
designates an intermediate cause; thus we may say that a smith works "by"
a hammer. Hence the word "by" is not always appropriated to the Son, but
belongs to the Son properly and strictly, according to the text, "All
things were made by Him" (Jn. 1:3); not that the Son is an instrument,
but as "the principle from a principle." Sometimes it designates the
habitude of a form "by" which an agent works; thus we say that an
artificer works by his art. Hence, as wisdom and art are appropriated to
the Son, so also is the expression "by Whom." The preposition "in"
strictly denotes the habitude of one containing. Now, God contains things
in two ways: in one way by their similitudes; thus things are said to be
in God, as existing in His knowledge. In this sense the expression "in
Him" should be appropriated to the Son. In another sense things are
contained in God forasmuch as He in His goodness preserves and governs
them, by guiding them to a fitting end; and in this sense the expression
"in Him" is appropriated to the Holy Ghost, as likewise is "goodness."
Nor need the habitude of the final cause (though the first of causes) be
appropriated to the Father, Who is "the principle without a principle":
because the divine persons, of Whom the Father is the principle, do not
proceed from Him as towards an end, since each of Them is the last end;
but They proceed by a natural procession, which seems more to belong to
the nature of a natural power.

Aquin.: SMT FP Q[39] A[8] Body Para. 10/10

Regarding the other points of inquiry, we can say that since "truth"
belongs to the intellect, as stated above (Q[16], A[1]), it is
appropriated to the Son, without, however, being a property of His. For
truth can be considered as existing in the thought or in the thing
itself. Hence, as intellect and thing in their essential meaning, are
referred to the essence, and not to the persons, so the same is to be
said of truth. The definition quoted from Augustine belongs to truth as
appropriated to the Son. The "book of life" directly means knowledge but
indirectly it means life. For, as above explained (Q[24], A[1]), it is
God's knowledge regarding those who are to possess eternal life.
Consequently, it is appropriated to the Son; although life is
appropriated to the Holy Ghost, as implying a certain kind of interior
movement, agreeing in that sense with the property of the Holy Ghost as
Love. To be written by another is not of the essence of a book considered
as such; but this belongs to it only as a work produced. So this does not
imply origin; nor is it personal, but an appropriation to a person. The
expression "Who is" is appropriated to the person of the Son, not by
reason of itself, but by reason of an adjunct, inasmuch as, in God's word
to Moses, was prefigured the delivery of the human race accomplished by
the Son. Yet, forasmuch as the word "Who" is taken in a relative sense,
it may sometimes relate to the person of the Son; and in that sense it
would be taken personally; as, for instance, were we to say, "The Son is
the begotten 'Who is,'" inasmuch as "God begotten is personal." But taken
indefinitely, it is an essential term. And although the pronoun "this"
[iste] seems grammatically to point to a particular person, nevertheless
everything that we can point to can be grammatically treated as a person,
although in its own nature it is not a person; as we may say, "this
stone," and "this ass." So, speaking in a grammatical sense, so far as
the word "God" signifies and stands for the divine essence, the latter
may be designated by the pronoun "this," according to Ex. 15:2: "This is
my God, and I will glorify Him."





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