John K. Hale and J. Donald Cullington (eds), The Complete Works of John Milton, Vol. 8: De Doctrina Christiana, Vol. 1
pg 280Caput 7.timum De Creatione.1
Secunda species externae efficientiae vulgò dicitur Creatio. Sed ante mundum conditum quid egerit Deus, insipiens nimis sit qui quaerat; nec qui respondeat multo sapientior: nam quod rationem reddidisse se plerique arbitrantur, cum dicunt eum, 1. Cor. 2. 7. sapientiam in mysterio latentem ante saecula praefinisse, elegisse nimirum, reprobasse, aliaque eò2 spectantia decrevisse, parum profecto hoc esset Deum ab aeterno in iis decernendis totum fuisse occupatum, quae spatio sex dierum perficienda, paucis annorum millibus variè gubernanda, tum demum immutabili statu in omne aevum vel ad se recipienda, vel ab se reiicienda erant.
Creatum autem fuisse mundum in articulis fidei ponendum est: Heb: 11. 3. per fidem intelligimus compactum fuisse mundum verbo Dei.
Creatio est qua Deus Pater verbo et spiritu suo, hoc est, sua voluntate quicquid est rerum produxit ad patefaciendam potentiae, et bonitatis suae gloriam.3
Qua Deus Pater:4 Iob. 9. 8. Qui extendit coelos solus. Esa. 44. 24. ego Iehova facio omnia; extendo coelos solus, expando terram à meipso. et 45. 6. 7. ut cognoscant gentes ab ortu solis, et ab occasu eius, nullum esse praeter me, me Iehovam, et nullum praeterea; formantem lucem et creantem tenebras. Haec, si quis est communis sensus, si quis loquendi usus, excludunt omnem alium non modo Deum, sed etiam, quicquid id esse potest, personam aequalem. Neh. 9. 6. tu ille Iehova solus es, tu fecisti coelos, coelos coelorum. Mal. 2. 10. nonne pater unus omnibus nobis est? nonne Deus fortis unicus creavit nos? Hinc ipse Christus Matt. 11. 25. pater Domine coeli ac terrae. et apostoli omnes: Art. 4. 24. cum 27. Domine tu es Deus ille qui fecisti coelum et terram, mare et omnia quae in iis sunt-. adversus filium tuum. Rom. 11. 36. ex eo et per eum, et in ipsum sunt omnia. 1. Cor. 8. 6.5 unus Deus pg 282 pater à quo omnia. et 2. ep. 4. 6. quoniam Deus qui dixit, ut è tenebris lux splendesceret, est qui splenduit in cordibus nostris ad praebendum6 lucem notitiae gloriae Dei in facie Iesu Christi. Heb. 2. 10. ipse propter quem, et per [MS 112] quem sunt haec omnia. et 3. 4. qui vero haec | omnia construxit est Deus.
Verbo: Gen. 1. per totum caput, dixit-. Psal. 33. 6. verbo Iehovae, v. 9. ipso dicente. Psal. 148. 5. ipso praecipiente. 2. Pet. 3. 5. per Dei sermonem. i, e, ut aliis in locis docetur, per filium, qui hinc ut videtur, sermo dicitur. Ioan. 1. 3. 10. omnia per hunc facta sunt. mundus per eum factus est. 1. Cor. 8. 6. unus Deus pater à7 quo omnia. et unus Dominus Iesus Christus per quem omnia. Eph. 3. 9. qui omnia haec condidit per Iesum Christum. Coloss. 1. 16. per eum condita sunt omnia-. Heb. 1. 2. per quem etiam mundum condidit. hinc v. 10. tu creasti. Et per quidem praepositio nunc principalem denotat causam, ut8 Mat. 12. 28. per spiritum Dei eiicio9 daemonia, 1. Cor. 1. 9. per quem vocati estis-: nunc instrumentalem, seu minus principem, ut his superioribus locis. non principalem, quia tum pater ipse à quo solo omnia non esset principalis: non sociam, quia tum non diceretur, pater verbo et spiritu, sed cum verbo et spiritu creavit; vel pater, verbum, et spiritus crearunt: quae formulae loquendi in scriptura nusquam inveniuntur. deinde esse à patre et esse per filium, non eandem notant efficientis causae speciem. Si non eandem, non sociam: Si non sociam, certè principalior erit causa pater à quo quam filius per quem omnia: est enim pater non solum à quo, sed etiam ex quo, in quem, per quem, et propter quem sunt omnia, quod supra demonstratum est, ut qui omnes causas inferiores in se complectatur: filius duntaxat est per quem omnia: causa igitur minus principalis, saepe itaque occurrit, mundum creavit pater per filium; at nusquam eodem sensu, filius creavit mundum per patrem. Quod autem filium nonnulli causam cum patre sociam immo principalem fuisse creationis probare ex Apoc. 3. 14. conantur, principium creationis Dei, activum scilicet, ut ipsi ex Aristotele interpretantur; primum Hebraea lingua, unde ista elocutio desumpta est, istiusmodi usum vocis principii nusquam agnoscit; sed potius contrarium, ut Gen. 49. 3. Reuben, pg 284 principium potentiae meae. Deinde locus unus atque alter Pauli de ipso Christo planissimum facit passivè hîc principium significari: Col.10 1. 15. 18. primogenitus omnis rei creatae. principium, primogenitus ex mortuis. [MS 113] ubi et accentus graecus, idemque verbale11 passivum πρωτότοκοϛ12 | declarat non alia ratione fuisse filium Dei primogenitum omnis rei creatae, atque filius hominis fuit πρωτότοκοϛ sive primogenitus13 Mariae, Mat. 1. 25. et primogenitus inter multos fratres, Rom. 8. 29. i, e, passivè. Neque hoc denique omittendum est, non dici simpliciter principium creationis, sed creationis Dei: quod quid est aliud nisi earum rerum primum quas Deus creavit? qui pote ergo ipse Deus? Neque vero admittendum est illud à patribus quibusdam pro ratione excogitatum, cur dicatur primogenitus omnis creaturae, Col. 1. 15. quia per eum nempe condita sunt omnia, v. 16: ad id enim significandum dixisset, qui erat ante omnem creaturam14 (quod illi Patres, violenter licet, iis verbis significari contendunt) non, qui erat primogenitus omnis creaturae: quae vox in se disertissimè vim habet, ut superlativam, ita quodam in genere partitivam; quatenus productio genus quoddam videtur esse generationis et creationis; minime omnium quatenus homo primogenitus hic dici potest, cum non dignitate solum, sed etiam tempore primogenitus dicatur, v. 16. Nam per eum condita sunt omnia quae in coelis sunt-.
Nec firmior est ille locus Prov. 8. 22. 23. etiamsi de Christo interpretandum esse caput illud concederemus: Iehova possedit me principium viae suae; ante seculum inuncta fui-: Quae enim possessa est, quae inuncta, principalis esse non potuit. Principium autem viarum Dei creatura etiam dicitur: Iob. 40. 1415. ille principium viarum Dei. Ad illud autem Proverbiorum cap. 8 quod attinet, crediderim, non filium Dei, sed Sapientiam, more poetico, quasi personam illic induci, ut Iob. 28. à v. 20 ad 27. illa igitur sapientia, unde-? iam tum videbat eam-.
Alterum argumentum ex Esa. 45. 12. 23. petitur: ego feci terram-, mihi incurvabit. Haec volunt à Christo dici, teste Paulo: Rom: 14. 10. 11. omnes sistemur ad tribunal Christi: scriptum est enim, vivo ego, Dicit Dominus; pg 286 mihi se flectet omne genu-. Atqui manifestum est ex loco Parallelo, Philip. 2. 9. 10. 11. haec dici à Deo patre, qui tribunal illud omneque iudicium dedit filio, ut ad nomen Iesu omne genu se flectet-; ad gloriam Dei patris; vel quod idem hîc valet, omnis lingua confitebitur Deo. |
[MS 114] Et Spiritu Dei. Gen. 1. 2. Spiritus Dei incubabat. id est virtus potius divina, quàm persona aliqua, ut suprà ostendimus cap. 6. de spiritu Sancto.16 Nam si persona erat, cur spiritus nominatur, filius reticetur, cuius opera factum esse mundum toties legimus; nisi potius Christus is fuit, quem Spiritum in vetere testamento aliquoties dictum suprà ostendimus. Ut ut sit, si personam omnino17 volumus, non alia tamen quàm ministra duntaxat videtur fuisse: postea enim quàm Deus coelum et terram creaverat18, spiritus tantummodo incubabat, superficiei aquarum iam creatarum. Sic Iob. 26. 13. spiritu suo coelos ornavit. Psal. 33. 6. verbo Iehovae coeli facti sunt, et spiritu oris eius totus exercitus eorum. certe non magis ex ore Dei persona spiritus videtur processisse, quam ex ore Christi, qui spiritu oris sui antichristum absumet, 2. Thessal. 2. 8. cum Esa. 11. 4. virga oris sui.
Sua Voluntate. Psal. 135. 6. quicquid placet Tibi. Apocal. 4. 11. propter voluntatem tuam.
Ad Patefaciendam. Gen. 1. 31. quicquid fecerat, bonum erat valdè. 1. Tim. 4. 4. idem. Psal. 19. 2. 319. coeli enarrant gloriam Dei. Prov. 16. 4. omnia operatus est propter se. Act. 14. 15. ut a vanis istis rebus convertatis vos ad Deum illum vivum, qui fecit coelum et terram et mare et omnia quae in eis sunt. et 17. 24. Deus ille qui fecit mundum &c. Rom. 1. 20. pervidentur aeterna eius tum potentia tum divinitas. Hactenus constat Deum Patrem causam esse primam rerum omnium efficientem.
Materia autem prima quae fuerit, variè disputatur. Moderni plerique volunt ex nihilo emersisse omnia; unde et ipsorum credo sententia20 orta est. Primum autem constat, neque Hebraeo verbo בָּרָא, neque graeco21 κτίζϵιν, neque Latino Creare22, idem quod ex nihilo facere significari: immo vero unumquodque horum idem quod ex materia facere passim pg 288 significat. Gen. 1. 21. 27. creavit Deus- quae abundè progenuerunt aquae, marem et foeminam creavit eos. Esa. 5423. 16. creavi fabrum, creavi interfectorem. Qui dicit ergo creare est ex nihilo producere neque exemplo probat [MS 115] principium, quod aiunt Dialectici. Nam et Scripturae | quae afferuntur loca receptam hanc sententiam nullo modo confirmant, sed contrarium potius innuunt24, nempe non ex nihilo facta esse omnia. 2. Cor. 4. 6. Deus qui dixit ut è tenebris lux splendesceret. At has tenebras nequaquam fuisse nihil patet ex Esa: 45. 6. 7.25 me Iehovam &c. formantem lucem et creantem tenebras; Si tenebrae sunt nihil, Deus certe creando tenebras26 creavit nihil, id est, creavit et non creavit, quae contradicentia sunt. Et Heb: 11. 3. nihil aliud requiritur quod de saeculis id est de mundo, per fidem intelligamus, nisi hoc, non ex apparentibus fuisse compacta quae conspiciuntur.27 Non apparentia autem non sunt pro nihilo habenda, (Neque enim pluralem admittit nihil, neque compingi ex nihilo tanquam ex multis quicquam potest28) sed pro non apparentibus qualia nunc sunt. Addam et Apocryphos authoritate Scripturae proximos. Sapient. 11. 1729. Qui creavit mundum ex informi materia. 2. Macc. 7. 28. ex rebus quae non erant. At Rachelis liberi non sunt Mat. 2. 18. Nec tamen sunt nihil, quod in lingua Hebraea frequenter occurrit, id est, in vivis non sunt.
Ex materia igitur quacunque mundum fuisse conditum palam est. Actio enim et passio relata cum sint, nullumque agens extra se possit agere, nisi sit quod pati queat, materia nimirum, Deus ex nihilo creare hunc mundum videtur non potuisse;30 non ob virium, aut omnipotentiae defectum, sed quia necesse fuit aliquid iam tum fuisse, quod vim eius agendi potentissimam patiendo reciperet. Cumque itaque non ex nihilo sed ex materia esse facta haec omnia, et Scriptura Sacra et ratio ipsa suggerat, necesse est materiam, vel fuisse semper extra Deum, pg 290 vel aliquando ex Deo.31 ††32ut extra33 Deum semper fuerit materia, quamvis Principium tantummodo passivum sit, à Deo pendeat, eique subserviat;34 quamvis ut numero35,36 Ita et aevi vel sempiterni nulla vis, nulla apud se efficacia sit;37 tamen ut ab aeterno inquam38 per se materia extiterit intelligi non potest, nec, si ab aeterno non fuit, unde tandem [MS 116] fuerit intellectu est facilius, Restat Igitur39 hoc solum, praeeunte | praesertim Scriptura, fuisse omnia ex Deo. Rom. 11. 36. ex eo et per eum et in eum sunt omnia. 1. Cor. 8. 6. unus Deus Pater ex quo omnia, ut in graeco utrobique legitur. Heb. 2. 11. nam et qui sanctificat, et qui sanctificantur40, ex uno sunt omnes.
Primum hoc omnibus notissimum est quatuor esse genera causarum, efficientem, materialem, formalem et finalem. Deus cum prima, absoluta et sola rerum omnium causa sit, Quis dubitet quin omnes causas in pg 292 se contineat et complectatur?41 Materialis igitur causa erit aut Deus aut nihil; nihil autem nulla causa est, et tamen formas etiam maximè humanas ex nihilo volunt:42 Materia autem et forma velut causae internae rem ipsam constituunt; adeoque omnia aut duas tantummodo causas habuerint, easque externas, aut Deus perfecta et absoluta rerum causa non fuerit. Deinde omnimodam, multiformem, et inexhaustam virtutem in Deo esse, eamque substantialem (non enim accidentalem, quae pro voluntate eius et gradus quosdam et quasi Impensionem43 quandam et remissionem admittat)44 virtutem hanc omnimodam et substantialem inquam45 non intra se comprimere, sed emittere, propagare, atque extendere quatenus et quo modo ipse vult, quid aliud nisi summae potentiae summaeque benignitatis est: neque enim materia illa res mala est, aut vilis existimanda, sed bona, omnisque boni postmodum producendi seminarium; Substantia erat, nec aliunde quàm ex fonte omnis substantiae derivanda, indigesta modo et incomposita, quam Deus postea digessit et ornavit.
Quod si quos offendit, quod imperfecta fuisse videatur, offendat eosdem quod Deus ex nihilo imperfectam primò et informem produxit. Quid autem interest, utrum ex nihilo imperfectam an ex se produxerit? quam enim imperfectionem à substantiâ ex Deo productâ remotam volunt, eandem in efficientiam Dei transferunt: Cur non enim ex nihilo Deus perfectissima prima omnia? sed materia non erat in suo genere imperfecta, accessione duntaxat formarum (quae et ipsae materiales [MS 117] quoque sunt) facta ornatior. | At corruptibile ex incorruptibili prodire quî potest?46 idem de virtute et efficientiâ Dei ex nihilo obiici poterit. Verum Materia, uti et forma et natura ipsa Angelorum incorruptibilis ex Deo prodiit, post peccatum etiam quoad essentiam incorruptibilis manet.
At manet eadem difficultas, immo maior; quî possit peccabile, ut ita dicam, ex Deo egredi? identidem quaero, quî possit ex virtute et efficientiâ, quae ex Deo egressa est, tale quippiam exire? sed nec materia nec forma peccat; egressa tamen ex Deo, et alterius facta,47 quid vetat, pg 294 quin iam mutabilis per ratiocinia Diaboli atque hominis ab ipsis prodeuntia contagionem contrahat et polluatur?48 At corpus è spiritu emanare non potest; multo minus inquam ex nihilo: Spiritus enim, ut substantia excellentior, substantiam utique inferiorem virtualiter, quod aiunt, et eminenter in se continet; ut facultas facultatem spiritualis49 et rationalis corpoream, sentientem nempe et vegetativam. Nam neque virtus et efficientia divina potuisset iuxta communem sententiam corpora ex nihilo producere, nisi vis corporea quaedam in substantia Dei fuisset; nemo enim dat quod non habet. Quin et corporale quiddam Deo attribuere non ipse dubitavit Paulus Coloss. 2. 950. in eo habitat omnis plenitudo Deitatis corporaliter. Nec minus credibile est posse vim corpoream ex spirituali substantia emitti, quàm spirituale quicquam posse ex corpore fieri; id quod et nostris corporibus in Resurrectione tandem futurum speramus. Intelligi denique non potest, quo pacto Deus verè dicatur infinitus, si quicquam Deo potest accedere; accederet autem, si quid in natura rerum existeret, quod non ex Deo et in Deo prius fuerit.
Cum igitur Deum omnia non ex nihilo, sed ex se produxisse, Scriptura Duce, videar mihi probasse, progrediendum censeo ad id quod necessariò sequitur, cum non solum à Deo, sed ex Deo sint omnia, non posse quicquam rerum creatarum in nihilum interire;51 Et quoniam annihilationis52 huius nulla in sacris literis omnino fit mentio, cur penitus explodenda sit, [MS 118] | ad illam supradictam et firmissimam rationem alias quasdam53 adiiciam. Primum quia prorsus annihilari quicquam Deus nec velle nec proprie videatur posse. non vult, quia facit omnia propter finem; nihil autem neque Dei, neque rei cuiuspiam finis esse potest. Non Dei, quia ipse suimet finis est; Non rei cuiuspiam, quia rerum omnium finis est bonum aliquid. Nihil autem neque bonum est neque aliquid: Ens omne est bonum, non ens non bonum. ex ente igitur et bono non bonum facere sive nihil, nec bonitati nec sapientiae Dei consentaneum est. Non potest autem Deus, quia nihil faciendo, faceret simul et non faceret, quod contradictionem infert; immo, inquis, facit, ut quod est non sit; at inquam, in omni actione perfecta, duo sunt, motus et res motu facta; Motus est actio pg 296 abolendi; res motu facta est nulla, id est, nihil, effectum nullum; Nullius autem effecti nullus est efficiens.
Creatio est invisibilium vel visibilium.
Partitio haec est Apostoli Coloss. 1. 16. Invisibilium si non origini, attamen dignitati prior debetur locus. Coelum enim supremum veluti summa arx et habitaculum Dei, (de quo Deut. 26. 15. 1. Reg. 8. 27. 30. coeli coelorum —, Nehem. 9. 6. idem. Esa. 63. 15.) longe supra omnes coelos est Eph. 4. 10: ubi Deus quem nemo potest videre, lucem habitat inaccessam. 1. Tim. 6. 16. ex qua quidem luce amoenitatem et gloriam et quasi perenne quoddam coelum emanasse et extitisse videtur, iuxta illud, psalm. 16. 11. voluptates aeternae ad dexteram tuam, Esa. 5756. 15.57 cuius nomen est inhabitans aeternitatem, et sanctus; qui in sublimi et sancto habito.
Et tale quidem Maiestatis suae domicilium, non nisi nudius tertiusi ab initio scilicet mundi aedificasse sibi Deum verisimile non est. profectò si est ulla Dei habitatio, ubi is gloriam et fulgorem Maiestatis suae eximium in modum diffundit, cur potius cum hac tandem mundi fabrica [MS 119] fundatam, quàm | longè prius extructam existimem? Nec tamen sequitur coelum esse aeternum, nec aeternum si sit, esse Deum; semper enim potuit Deus effectum quod libet, et quandocunque voluit, et quo ipse voluit modo producere. Lucem sine lumine concipere animo non possumus; nec58 ideo lumen idem esse quod lucem, aut par dignitate arbitramur. Sic etiam illa Dei quae vocantur posteriora Exod. 33. nec esse proprie Deum censemus, neque tamen non esse aeterna. Simile quiddam de coelo illo coelorum, Dei solio et habitaculo crediderim potius, quam ante primum hexameri diem Deum sine coelo fuisse. Verùm haec eò à me dicta sunt, non quo ausim hâc59 in re quicquam statuere, sed ut alios audacter nimium statuisse ostendam, qui coelum illud invisibile ac supremum simul cum hoc aspectabili conditum primo die affirmare solent: de quo duntaxat scribendum cùm proposuisset sibi Moses, deque hoc tantum visibili mundo universo, quid attinebat dicere quae supra mundum erant?
Coelum beatorum seu Paradisus de quo Luc. 23. 43. 602 Cor. 12. 2. 4. et sinus Abrahae Luc. 16. 22. cum Matt. 8. 11. (ubi etiam Deus angelis et pg 298 sanctis quantum illi capiunt, se praebet61 conspiciendum, et post finem saeculi maiorem in modum praebebit 1. Cor. 13. 12) huius coeli supremi videtur pars esse: Ioan. 14. 2. 3. in domo patris mei mansiones multae sunt. Heb. 11. 10. 16. expectabat civitatem illam-. potiorem expetunt, hoc est coelestem. paravit62 enim eis urbem.
In Creatione mundi angelos plerique sub coeli nomine creatos debere etiam intelligi contendunt. et creatos quidem aliquando fuisse angelos facile credimus ex Num. 16. 22; Deus spirituum. et 27. 16. idem. Heb. 1. 7. Coloss. 1. 16. per eum condita sunt invisibilia, sive throni-. Quod autem die primo aut sex dierum aliquo creati fuerint, fidentius ut solet, quàm solidius à vulgo Theologorum asseritur ex illa maximè repetitione Gen. 2. 1. itaque perfecti sunt coeli et terra, omnisque exercitus eorum; Nisi plus in conclusione ponere quam in praemissis, et angelos coeli aspectabilis exercitus atque indigenas facere voluerint: Nam quòd eos Deo creatori tum applausisse legimus Iob. 38. 7. creatos iam tum fuisse [MS 120] probat, non tum primum. | Multi certè ex Patribus Graecis, et nonnulli ex Latinis, angelos, utpote spiritus corporeo hoc Mundo longe prius extitisse censuerunt: immo Apostasiam illam, ob quam tot eorum myriades coeleste solum pulsi verterunt, ante ipsa mundi primordia contigisse verisimilius est. Certè motum et tempus, quae mensura motus est, secundum prius et posterius, ante mundum hunc conditum esse non potuisse, quod vulgò creditur, nihil cogit assentiri; cum Aristoteles63 in hoc mundo, quem64 aeternum esse statuit, dari nihilominus motum atque tempus docuerit.
Angeli sunt Spiritus Mat. 8. 16. et 12. 45. Unum quippe hominem legio daemonum insederat Luc. 8. 30. Heb. 1. 14. Spiritus qui-. Sunt natura aetherea 1. Reg. 22. 21. Psal. 104. 4. cum Mat. 8. 31. Heb. 1. 7. Tanquam fulgur65 Luc. 10. 18. unde et Seraphim dicti. Sunt immortales Luc. 20. 36. mori non possunt. Sapientia insignes 2. Sam. 14. 20. Viribus potentissimi Psal. 103. 20. 2 Pet. 2. 11. 2 Reg. 19. 35. 2 Thess. 1. 7. Sunt velocitate summa quasi alis induti Ezech. 1. 6. sunt numero penè innumerabili Deut. 33. 2, Iob. 25. 3, Dan. 7. 10, Mat. 26. 53,66 Heb. 12. 22, Apoc. 5. 11. 12. Creati sunt sanctitate et iustitia integri Luc. 9. 26, pg 300 Ioan. 8. 44, 2 Cor. 11: 14. 1567. angeli lucis, ministri iustitiae; Mat. 6. 10. fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelis; et 2568. 31. sancti angeli. Hinc et filii Dei sunt dicti Iob. 1. 6, et 38. 7. Dan. 3. 25. cum v. 28. etiam Dii Psalm. 8. 669. et 97. 7. Cum Deo autem non conferendi: Iob. 4. 18. angelis suis appositurus lucem: et 15. 15. coelites non sunt mundi in oculis eius: et 25. 5. etiam sidera non pura essent in oculis eius: Esa. 6. 2. binis tegebat faciem suam. Distinguuntur70 inter se officiis et gradibus Mat. 25. 41. Rom. 8. 38. Coloss. 1. 16. Eph. 1. 21. et 3. 10. 1. Pet. 3. 22. Apoc. 12. 7. Cherubim Gen. 3. 24. Seraphim. Esa. 6. 2. et nominibus propriis Dan. 8. 16. et 9. 21. et 10. 13. Luc. 1. 19. Michael Iudae 9; Apoc. 12. 7. 1. Thess. 4. 16. cum voce Archangeli. Ios. 6. 271. Caetera de angelis infra cap. 9.no Plura de angelorum natura qui commentati sunt iam olim Apostoli reprehensionem commeruere Coloss. 2. 18. Pedem inferens in ea quae non vidit; [MS 121] et temerè inflatus carnis suae intelligentiâ. |
Visibilia sunt, mundus hic visibilis, quaeque in eo continentur; et prae caeteris omnibus Humanum Genus.
Mundi eiusque singularum partium creatio narratur Gen. 1. Describitur Iob. 26. 7. &c. et 38. et passim in psalmis et prophetis: Psalm. 33. 6. 9. et 104. et 148. 5, prov. 8. 26.72 &c. Arnos. 4. 13. 2 Pet. 3: 5. facturus autem hominem Deus tanquam maius adhuc opus, consultanti similis praefatur Gen. 1. 26. postea dixit Deus, faciamus hominem ad imaginem nostram, secundum similitudinem nostram. Tam ergo animam quam corpus tunc fecit, qua maximè Deo similes sumus; ne quis factas tum animas praeextitisse putet, quod quidam somniant et refutantur Gen. 2. 7. finxit vero hominem Deus ex pulvere terrae, sufflavitque in nares ipsius halitum vitae. Sic factus est homo anima vivens.73 Iob. 32. 8; certè spiritus hic in homine, et halitus omnipotentis facit eos intelligentes. Nec inflavit duntaxat illum spiritum, sed in ipso quoque homine formavit,74 penitùs indidit, suisque facultatibus ornavit atque distinxit Zach. 12. 1.75 formans spiritum hominis in medio eius.
Ex inspirato autem illo vitae halitu non divinum quidpiam, quasi essentiae divinae partem, sed humanum tantummodo quod erat pro rata virtutis divinae portione impertitum esse homini à Deo, ex aliis Scripturae locis uberrimè cognoscas licet: Nam et ceteris quoque pg 302 animantibus vitae halitum inspiravit, ut facile ex psalm. 104. 29. 30. perspicitur; te recipiente spiritum eorum, expirant: te emittente spiritum tuum, recreantur. ex eodem igitur vitae ac spiritus fonte omnia vivere animantia docemur; sicuti illum spiritum sive halitum vitae recipiente ad se Deo, expirant. Eccl. 3. 19. spiritum eundem omnibus ipsis esse. Neque aliud vox illa Spiritus nisi aut halitum vitae, quem ducimus, aut facultatem vitalem, aut sensitivam aut rationalem, aut earum actum aliquem, aut affectum in sacris codicibus notat.
Creato in hunc modum homine, tandem dicitur, sic factus est homo anima vivens. ex quo intelligitur (nisi ab ethnicis authoribus quid sit anima doceri malumus) hominem esse animal per se ac propriè unum et [MS 122] individuum, | non duplex aut separabile, aut ex duabus naturis inter se specie diversis atque distinctis, anima nempe et corpore, ut vulgo statuunt, conflatum atque compositum; sed totum hominem esse animam, et animam hominem; corpus nempe sive substantiam individuam, animatam, sensitivam, rationalem; halitumque illum vitae nec divinae partem essentiae, nec animam quidem fuisse, sed auram quandam sive virtutem divinam efflatam, potentiae tantum vitae et rationis habilem corpore organico infusam; cum ipse homo factus denique, ipse, inquam, totus homo anima vivens disertis verbis dicatur. Hinc illa vox Anima interprete Apostolo, 1. Cor. 15. 45. animal redditur. Quicquid etiam corpori, idem animae tribuitur: tactus, Lev. 5. 2. cùm anima tetigerit rem ullam immundam; et passim: comedere, cap. 7. 18. anima quae comederit ex ea; v. 20, anima quae comederit carnem; et saepius: esurire, prov.76 13. 25. et 27. 7: et sitire, prov. 25. 25. ut aquae frigidae erga animam fessam; Esa. 29. 8. et capi, 1. Sam. 24. 11.77 quamvis tu venêris78 animam meam ut capias eam; Psal. 7. 679 et persequatur animam meam, et capiat.
Quoties autem de corpore tanquam de trunco loquimur, tum anima vel idem quod spiritus, vel facultates eius minus principes, vitalem puta vel sensitivam significat; haud rarius itaque à spiritu quàm à corpore distinguitur; ut Luc. 1. 46. 47. 1. Thess. 5. 23. integer spiritus, anima et corpus; Heb. 4. 1280. usque ad divisionem et animae et spiritus. Separari autem spiritum hominis à corpore, ita ut alicubi seorsim integer et intelligens existat, nec in scriptura sacra usquam legitur, et naturae ac pg 304 rationi plane repugnat; ut infra plenius ostendetur. Quin et de omni genere animalium dicitur Gen. 1. 30. in quibus est anima vivens; et 7. 22. omne in cuius naribus halitus spiritus vitae, ex omnibus quae in sicco, interiit; Nec tamen idcirco separatam alicubi existere brutorum animam creditur.
Deus die septimo creare desiit, et universum opus creationis consummavit. Gen. 2. 2. 3.81
Videtur itaque Anima82 humana à parentibus naturali ordine propagari, [MS 123] | non immediatè à Deo indies creari; quae Sententia cum83 Tertulliano et Apollinario, tum Augustino quoque et universae ecclesiae occidentali, tempore Hieronymi,84 ut ipse, Tom. 2. Epist. 82. Greg. Nyssenus lib. de animâ testatur, visa est verior. Ingens profecto opus et quodammodo servile die85 sexto reliquum erat Deo, et etiamnum restaret, à quo nec septimo quoque die posset requiescere, si adhuc quotidie tot animas crearet, quot nefaria saepe hominum libido orbe toto terrarum procrearet86 humana corpora. Sed nec vis minor divinae benedictionis in homine, quàm in reliquis extitit animantibus, ut sui similem procrearet: Gen. 1. 22. 28. Itaque et ex simplici costa matrem viventium sine afflatu repetito fabricavit Deus Gen. 2. 22: et ipse Adamus ad similitudinem suam, ad imaginem suam filium genuit, cap. 5. 3. 1 Cor. 15: 49. sicut gessimus imaginem terreni; atque hoc non corpore solum sed anima, sicuti Adamus ad imaginem Dei ratione animae potissimum erat factus: Sic Gen. 46. 26. omnes animae egressae à foemore Iacobi. Heb. 7. 10. Levi erat in foemore Abrahami.87 hinc in Scriptura Soboles vocatur semen: et Christus dicitur semen mulieris. ero Deus tuus et seminis tui, Gen. 17. 7. 1. Cor. 15. 44. seritur corpus animale. v. 46. spirituale non est prius, sed animale.
Accedunt etiam rationes. Qui in peccato genitus sive formatus est et conceptus, (sicuti sumus omnes, non solus utique Davides psalm. 51. 788.) is animam à Deo immediatè quî potuit accipere, quin in peccato animam quoque à Deo acceperit? nam gigni et concipi quid aliud est nisi animam cum corpore accipere? si animam à Deo immediatè accepimus, certè puram: impuram enim quis ausit dicere? quòd si puram, quo modo puram accipiendo, quae potius impurum corpus sanctificet, in peccato pg 306 concipimur? quo suo merito pura anima peccati corporalis rea facta est? At impuras, inquiunt, non creat Deus animas; sed tamen illa primitiva iustitia defectas ac deminutas. Respondeo, creare puras animas primitiva [MS 124] iustitia carentes, tum in corpora polluta | ac vitiosa immittere, et in carcerem innocentes atque inermes corpori tanquam hosti tradere, cum intellectu caecutiente, voluntate non libera, id est, iis planè viribus destitutas quae ad resistendum vitiis corporum sufficiant, eiusdem esset iniustitiae89 atque impuras creasse, impuritatis fuisset; eiusdem iniustitiae atque ipsum primum hominem Adamum primitiva illa iustitia defectum ac deminutum creasse.
Deinde, si peccatum ingeneratur atque traducitur à parentibus ad filium, necesse est id quoque ab iisdem generari, quod est peccati subiectum primum seu πρῶτον δϵκτικὸν, nempe Animam rationalem; peccatum enim omne ab anima primo esse profectum nemo non fatebitur. Postremò, quo iure anima facta rea est in Adamo, quae neque in Adamo neque ab Adamo unquam fuit? Addo et illud Aristotelicum, et puto verissimum: Si anima est tota in toto, et tota in qualibet parte, quî potest intelligi pars illa intima et nobilissima, semen scilicet humanum, parentum, vel saltem patris anima destitutum et vacuum, cum gignendo filio impertitur? omnem certè formam, cuius generis et anima humana est, ex potentia materiae produci omnes ferè consentiunt.
Huiusmodi puto argumenta Augustinum eò redegerunt, ut negaret se vel legendo vel orando vel ratiocinando invenire potuisse, quo pacto cum animarum creatione peccatum originis defendatur: epist. 28. ad Hieron, et 157 ad Optat. Quae autem obiici solent loca, Eccles. 12. 7. Esa. 57. 2090. Zach. 12. 1.91 indicant quidem nobiliorem illam animae originem ex ore spirantis Dei; immediatam verò singularum creationem non magis probant, quàm haec sequentia corpus cuiusque in utero immediate à Deo efformari demonstrant: Iob. 10. 8. 9. 10. manus tuae fecerunt me. sicut lac fudisti. Psal. 33. 15 formator cordis. Iob. 31. 15. in utero fecit me. Esa. 44. 24. Iehova, formator tuus ex utero. Act. 17. 26. fecit ex uno sanguine totam gentem hominum; non enim hinc sequitur, causas naturales vim suam solitam92 ad corpus procreandum non contulisse: nec ideo animam pg 308 per patrem non esse traductam, quòd in morte diversa tandem à corpore [MS 125] elementa pro origine sua repetit. |
Ad illud Heb. 12. 9. ubi patres carnis patri spirituum in antithesi opponuntur, respondemus, hoc fieri sensu Theologico, non physico, ac si pater corporis opponeretur patri animae; non enim caro hic sumitur, ut nec alibi credo, pro corpore anima carente, nec pater spirituum pro patre animae, quoad opus generationis, sed pater carnis nihil aliud hic est quàm pater terrenus, naturalis, qui in peccato genuit; pater spirituum vel est pater coelestis, qui spiritus omnes, cùm angelos tum hominum genus olim creavit, vel pater spiritualis, quòd fideles etiam regenerat: iuxta illud Ioan. 3. 6.93 natum ex carne, caro; natum ex spiritu, spiritus94. Et argumentum sic firmius procedit à castigationis fine non à generatione; neque enim docetur hic quis nos quidve nostrum generaverit, sed quis utilius castiget atque erudiat: eadem ratione hortari potuisset apostolus, ut se patrem spiritualem etiam reprehendentem ferrent. Deus quidem tam carnis est pater quàm spirituum carnis, Num: 16. 22. sed hoc loco id non agitur; ab agente aliud Scriptura infirma ferè argumenta exprimuntur.
De anima autem Christi, satis erit respondisse, generationem illam supra naturam fuisse, ad hanc proinde controversiam discutiendam accommodari non posse. Verùm et ille semen mulieris, semen Davidis secundum carnem dicitur, id est proculdubio, secundum humanam naturam.
Homo ad imaginem Dei cùm esset formatus, necesse est naturali quoque sapientia, sanctitate, atque iustitia fuisse praeditum: Gen. 1. 27. 31. et 2. 25. Eccl. 7. 29. Eph. 4. 24. Coloss. 3. 10. 2 Cor. 3: 18. Sine permagna autem sapientia ita subito nomina animalibus dedisse non potuit: Gen. 2. 20. Cur animam humanam exciperet quisquam, nescio. Nam et halitum vitae caeteris quoque animantibus, ut supra, Deus inspiravit, et inspiratum ita materiae penitus immiscuit, ut non secus atque formae caeterae, humana quoque forma ex potentia materiae à Deo indita propagaretur et produceretur.95
pg 281Chapter Seven On Creation
The secondi species of external efficiency is commonly termed Creation. But anyone who asked what God did before the world was founded would be very foolish, and anyone who answered would be not much wiser; for as to most people's belief that they have given an explanation when they say that before the ages he preordained his wisdom, hiding in a mystery (1 Cor. 2: 7), meaning doubtless that he was occupied with election and reprobation, and with decreeing other related matters, it would be utterly inadequate to think God was fully occupied from eternity in decreeing things which were to be accomplished in six days, then to be governed in various ways for a few thousand years, then finally and immutably for ever to be either taken back to himself, or else cast away from him!ii
That the world was created must be set among the articles of faith: Heb. 11: 3: through faith we understand that the world was constructed by the word of God.
Creation is that act by which God the Father brought forth everything that exists by his word and spirit, that is, by his will, in order to make manifest the glory of his power and goodness.
By which God the Father: Job 9: 8: who alone spreads out the heavens; Isa. 44: 24: I, Jehovah, make all things; I alone spread out the heavens; I stretch out the earth from my own power; and 45: 6–7: in order that from the sun's rising and from its setting the nations may know that there is none besides me, that I am Jehovah and there is none else; forming the light and creating the darkness. If any common sense or universal idiom exists, these words preclude the possibility not only of there being any other God but also of any person equal to God, of any possible kind whatever.iii Neh. 9: 6: you alone are that Jehovah, you have made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens; Mal. 2: 10: have we not all of us one father? Has not one mighty and unparalleled God created us? Hence Christ himself says, Matt. 11: 25: father, Lord of heaven and earth. And all the apostles:iv Acts 4: 24, with 27: Lord, you are the God who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything that is in them … [Herod and Pontius Pilate conspired] against your son; Rom. 11: 36: out of him and through him and into him are all things; 1 Cor. 8: 6: one God, the father, from whom are all things; pg 283 and 2 Cor. 4: 6: since God who spoke, in order that out of darkness light might shine forth, is he who shone in our hearts to provide the light of the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus Christ; Heb. 2: 10: he himself because of [MS 112] whom and through whom all these things exist; and 3: 4: but he who built all these things is God.
By his word. Gen. 1: throughout the chapter: 'he said …'; Ps. 33: 6: by the word of Jehovah; v. 9: when he speaks; Ps. 148: 5: when he commands; 2 Pet. 3: 5: through the word of God, that is, as is taught in other passages, through the son, who appears to derive from this his title of 'the word'. John 1: 3, 10: all things were made through this [Word]; the world was made through him [i.e. Jesus]; 1 Cor. 8: 6: one God, the father, from whom are all things, … and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things; Eph. 3: 9: who established all these things through Jesus Christ; Col. 1: 16: through him all things were established …; Heb. 1: 2: through whom he also established the world; hence v. 10: you created. And indeed the preposition per ['through'] sometimes denotes the principal cause,v as in Matt. 12: 28: through the spirit of God I cast out demons; 1 Cor. 1: 9: through whom you were called …; sometimes the instrumental or less primary cause, as in the passages quoted above; not the principal cause, because then the father himself from whom alone are all things would not be the principal cause; not the joint cause, because then it would not be said that the father created by the word and the spirit but with the word and the spirit, or that together the father, the word, and the spirit created. No such phrases are found anywhere in scripture. Again, to be 'from the father' and to be 'through the son' do not denote the same kind of efficient cause. If not the same, then not joint; if not joint, then the father 'from' whom all things are will certainly be a more principal cause than the son 'through' whom they are; for the father is not only he 'from' whom all things are but also he 'out of' whom, and 'into' and 'through' and 'because of' whom, all things are, as has been proved above, seeing that he comprehends within himself all lesser causes. The son is only he 'through' whom all things are, and therefore the less principal cause. Thus it is often written that the father created the world through the son, but nowhere, in the same sense, that the son created the world through the father. Yet some try to prove that the son was the joint cause of creation with the father, or even the principal cause, from Rev. 3: 14: the beginning of God's creation, which they interpret from Aristotlevi as meant in the active [sense of 'initiator']. But in the first place the Hebrew language, from which that expression has been taken, nowhere recognizes such a use of the word beginning, but rather a contrary one, as at Gen. 49: 3: Reuben, the beginning of my [i.e. Jacob's] pg 285 strength [qua first-born]. Secondly, Paul has two passages about Christ himself which make it very clear that beginning is here meant in the passive [not active] sense: Col. 1: 15, 18: the first-begotten of everything created […] the beginning, the first-begotten from the dead. Here the Greek accent also makes it clear, along with the passive verbal form of prōtotokos, [MS 113] that the son of God was the first-begotten of everything created in exactly the same sense as the son of man was the prōtotokos or first-born of Mary, Matt. 1: 25.vii [The other passage is] Rom. 8: 29: the first-begotten among many brothers, where 'first-begotten' has the passive sense. Nor, lastly, must one omit to mention that Christ is not called simply the beginning of creation but of God's creation; what else does that mean but that he was the first of the things which God created? How then can he be God himself?viii Nor indeed can one allow the reason thought up by some of the Fathers for his being called at Col. 1: 15 'the first-begotten of every creature'; namely that through him all things were established, v. 16; for if Paul had meant this, he would have said 'who existed before every creature' (as those Fathers insist the words mean, though that does violence to the sense), not who was the first-begotten of every creature, which clearly has in it the force of a superlative, but also in some sense a partitive force, in so far as production is seen as some kind of generation and of creation, yet by no means in so far as Christ can here be called the first-begotten human, seeing that he is called first-begotten not only in dignity but in time also, v. 16: for through him all things were established that are in the heavens …ix
No more secure is that passage of Prov. 8: 22–3, even if we were to concede that the chapter should be understood with reference to Christ: Jehovah possessed me as the beginning of his way […] before an age ago I was anointed …; for she who has been possessed, and anointed,x could not have been the principal [cause]. Besides, even a creature is termed the beginning of God's ways, at Job 40: 19: he [Behemoth] is the beginning of God's ways. But as for Prov. ch. 8, I should think it is not the son of God but personified Wisdom who in accordance with poetical customxi is being brought in there as speaker, as at Job 28: 20–7: whence, then, that wisdom …? Then he saw her …
Another proof is sought from Isa. 45: 12, 23: it was I [i.e. God] who made the earth …; [every knee] shall bow to me. My opponents want these words to be said by Christ, with testimony from Paul at Rom. 14: 10–11: we shall all be made to stand at Christ's judgement-seat; for it is written, As I pg 287 live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend to me … But it is plain from the Parallel passage, Phil. 2: 9–11, that this is being said by God the father, who gave that 'judgement-seat' and all judgement to the son, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend …; to the glory of God the father, or (which means the same thing here), every tongue shall confess to God. [MS 114]
And by God's Spirit.xii Gen. 1: 2: the Spirit of God brooded, that is, God's divine power rather than some person, as we demonstrated above in ch. 6, 'On the Holy spirit'.xiii For if it was a person, why is the spirit named and the son not mentioned, by whose labour as we so often read the world was made?—unless, rather, the spirit was Christ, who we have shown above was sometimes called the Spirit in the Old Testament. However that may be, if we do want it to be a person anyway, it still seems to have been just a mere minister, because after God had created heaven and earth the spirit only brooded on the surface of waters which had already been created. So Job 26: 13: by his spirit he made the heavens beautiful; Ps. 33: 6: by the word of Jehovah the heavens were made, and the entire host of them by the spirit of his mouth. Certainly the person of the spirit does not seem to have issued more from God's mouth than from Christ's, who shall consume the antichrist with the spirit of his mouth, 2 Thess. 2: 8, taken with Isa. 11: 4: [he shall smite the earth] with the rod of his mouth.
By his will. Ps. 135: 6: whatever pleases You; Rev. 4: 11: because of your will.
In order to make manifest [his glory]. Gen. 1: 31: whatever he had made, it was surpassingly good; 1 Tim. 4: 4, the same; Ps. 19: 1–2: the heavens proclaim God's glory; Prov. 16: 4: he wrought all things for his own ends; Acts 14: 15: in order that you may turn from those vain things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them; and 17: 24: the God who made the world, etc.; Rom. 1: 20: his eternal power and divinity are clearly seen. Thus far, then, it is settled that God the Father is the first efficient cause of all things.
As to what the original matter was, however, there are various arguments. Most moderns contend that everything emerged out of nothing (out of which nothing, I reckon their own opinion originates!). In the first place it is certain that neither the Hebrew word bara' nor the Greek word ktizein nor the Latin creare means 'to make out of nothing'. On the contrary, each of them regularly means 'to make something out of pg 289 matter'. Gen. 1: 21, 27: God created … what the maters brought forth in abundance […] he created them male and female. Isa. 54: 16: I have created the smith […] I have created the destroyer. So one who says that to create is to bring forth from nothing is also, as Logicians say, urging a premisexiv [MS 115] unsupported. For even the passages of Scripture which are adduced in no way confirm this received opinion, but tend to imply the contrary, namely that all things were not made out of nothing: 2 Cor. 4: 6: God, who spoke, in order that out of darkness light might shine forth. But that this darkness was by no means nothing is clear from Isa. 45: 6–7: I am Jehovah, etc., forming the light and creating the darkness. If the darkness is nothing, then God surely created nothing by creating darkness, that is, he did and did not create, which is a self-contradiction. Again at Heb. 11: 3, all that we are required to understand through faith about the ages, that is, about the world, is that the things which are seen were not constructed out of the things which are visible.xv 'Things which are not visible' are not to be held synonymous with nothing—for one thing, 'nothing' admits of no plural, nor can anything be constructed out of nothing in the way it could from a number of components—but with things that are not visible such as they are now. Let me add the Apocryphal writers too, as closest in authority to scripture: Wisd. 11: 17: who created the world out of formless matter; 2 Macc. 7: 28: out of things which were not.xvi But Matt. 2: 18 says: the children of Rachel are not. Yet they are not nothing, because this frequent Hebrew idiom means 'they are not among the living'.
So it is clear that the world was established out of some kind of matter. For since 'activity' and 'passivity' are relational terms, and since no agent can act outside itself unless there exists something to be acted upon, which doubtless is matter, it seems that God could not have created this world out of nothing—'could not', not from any lack of power or omnipotence, but because there had to be something already in existence which by being acted upon might receive the almighty force of his efficacy. And so, since both Holy Scripture and reason itself suggest that all these things were not made from nothing but from matter, it necessarily follows that matter either always existed outside God or at some time originated pg 291 from God. That matter should have always existed outside God— although it is only a passive Principle, depends on God, and subserves him, [and] although as with number so also no force [and] no inherent efficacy is possessed by time or eternity either—that nevertheless from eternity, I say, matter should have existed by itself is not intelligible; nor, if it did not exist from eternity, is it any easier to understand where it eventually came from:xvii There remains therefore only this [idea], [MS 116] especially as scripture guides us to it, that all things came out of God: see Rom. 11: 36: out of him, and through him, and into him are all things; and 1 Cor. 8: 6: one God, the Father, out of whom are all things—['out of', ex], as the Greek reads in both cases; and Heb. 2: 11: for both he who sanctifies [Jesus] and those who are sanctified are all out of one.
First,xviii everyone knows full well that there are four kinds of causes: efficient, material, formal, and final.xix Since God is the first, absolute, and sole cause of all things, who would doubt that he contains and pg 293 comprehends within himself all causes? Therefore the material cause will be either God or else nothing. Now nothing is no cause at all, and yet my opponents contend that forms, even especially human ones, came out of nothing. But matter and form are as it were internal causes and make the thing what it is; and likewise either all things will have had only two [not four] causes—and those external ones—or else God will not have been the perfect and absolute cause of things. Secondly,xx what else is it but a sign of [God's] supreme power and supreme bounteousness that such heterogeneous, multiform, and inexhaustible virtue should exist in God and that, substantial as it is (for that virtue cannot be accidental which admits both of certain degrees, and as it were of giving outxxi and withdrawing according to his will), [that] he does not, I say, enclose this heterogeneous and substantial virtue within himself but sends it out, propagates it, and extends it as far as and in whatever way he himself wills. For indeed that original matter is not to be thought of as an evil or worthless thing, but as a good thing, a seed bank of every subsequent good. It was a substance, and derivable from no other source than from the fountain-head of all substance; at first unarranged and disorganized, but afterwards God arranged it and made it beautiful.
But if it upsets some people that [on this theory] matter seems to have been imperfect, let it also upset them that God produced it from nothing in an imperfect and formless primary state. What difference does it make whether he produced the imperfect matter from nothing or from himself? For they are transferring to God's efficiency the same imperfection which they maintain is alien to a substance produced from God; for why did he not create all the first things out of nothing in absolute perfection? But in fact matter was not imperfect in its nature; only by the addition of forms (which, indeed, are themselves material) was it made [MS 117] more beautiful. But how can something corruptible proceed from something incorruptible? The same objection will be possible in regard to God's virtue and efficiency [coming] out of nothing. The fact is, Matter like both the form and the very nature of Angels proceeded incorruptible from God: even since the fall it remains incorruptible as far as concerns its essence.
Yet the same difficulty—no, an even greater one—remains: how could something liable to sin issue, if I may so speak, from God? I keep on asking in reply how could any such thing come out of a virtue and efficiency which themselves issued from God? But in truth it is neither matter nor form which sins, but yet, when either of them has issued from God and become another's property, what prevents it (being now pg 295 mutable) from becoming infected and polluted through the calculations of the Devil and of mankind, which proceed from matter and form? It is objected that body cannot emanate from spirit. I reply, much less can it emanate from nothing; for Spirit, being the more excellent substance, virtually (as they say) and eminentlyxxii contains within itself what is undoubtedly the inferior substance—just as the spiritual and rational faculty contains the corporeal one, that is, the sentient and vegetative faculty. For not even God's virtue and efficiency could have produced bodies from nothing as the conventional wisdom says he did, unless there had been some corporeal power in his own substance; for no one gives what he does not have. Besides, Paul himself did not hesitate to attribute something corporeal to God, Col. 2: 9: in him dwells all the fullness of Deity corporeally.xxiii Nor is it less credible that a corporeal power can issue from a spiritual substance than that anything spiritual can be made out of a body, which is what we hope will also happen to our own bodies at last, at the Resurrection. Nor, lastly, is it intelligible how God can truthfully be called infinite if anything can be added to him; but it would be added if anything existed in the nature of things which was not first from God and in God.
Since, therefore, I consider that with Scripture as my Guidexxiv I have proved that God did not produce all things out of nothing but out of himself, I think we must proceed to the necessary consequence of this, [which] is that, since all things are not only from God but out of God, no created thing can perish into nothing.xxv And since no mention whatever is made in scripture of this annihilation, as to why this idea should be [MS 118] altogether exploded, to the reason just suggested, which is the strongest one, let me add some others.xxvi First, because it seems that God is neither willing nor properly speaking able to annihilate anything utterly. He is not willing to, because he does everything for some end; yet nothing cannot be an end either of God or of any thing whatever. Not of God, because he is himself his own end; not of any thing whatever, because the end of all things is some kind of good, whereas nothing is neither some kind of good nor anything at all.xxvii Every entity is good; a non-entity is not good. To make what is not good or is nothing out of what is an entity and good, therefore, squares neither with the goodness nor with the wisdom of God. Moreover, God cannot [annihilate] because by making a nothing he would be making and not making at the same time, which brings in a contradiction. No, you say, he does make when he makes what exists cease to exist. But I say, that in every completed action there are two things: motion and something brought about by motion; the motion is the action pg 297 of abolishing, but no thing is brought about by that motion, that is, nothing, there is no effect; and of no effect, there is no efficient agent.
Creation is of things invisible or visible.xxviii
Of things invisible at least to us, which include the highest heaven, which is God's throne and dwelling-place, and heaven's denizens or Angels.
This is the division made by the Apostle in Col. 1: 16. First place is owed, if not to the origin, nevertheless to the dignity of invisible things. For highest heavens, as being God's supreme citadel and dwelling-place (on which [see] Deut. 26: 15; 1 Kgs 8: 27, 30: the heavens of heavens …; Neh. 9: 6, the same; Isa. 63: 15), is far above all the heavens, Eph. 4: 10; where God whom no one can see, dwells in inapproachable light, 1 Tim. 6: 16; from which light indeed it seems that loveliness and glory and some sort of perpetual heaven emanated and emerged, according to that phrase in Ps. 16: 11: eternal pleasures at your right hand; Isa. 57: 15: whose name is 'dweller in eternity and holy'; I who dwell in a lofty and holy place.
And indeed it is not likely that God built himself such a home of his Majesty only the day before yesterday, that is, as from the beginning of the world. Surely, if God has any dwelling, where he spreads abroad the glory and splendour of his Majesty to an exceptional degree, why should I suppose that it was finally constructed at the same time as this fabric of [MS 119] the world rather than erected far earlier? And yet it does not follow that heaven is eternal or that, if it be eternal, it is God; for God has always been able to produce what effect he pleases both whenever and however he himself wished. We cannot imagine light without a light-source, but we do not therefore think that a light-source is the same as light, or equal in dignity. So also with what is called God's 'back' in Exod. 33:xxix we neither consider it as being, properly speaking, God, nor yet as not being eternal. I would rather believe something similar about that heaven of heavens, God's seat and dwelling-place, than that before the first of the six days God was without a heaven. But these things have been said by me not because I would dare to pass any judgement in this matter, but in order to show that others all too daringly did pass judgement, those who habitually declare that that invisible and highest heaven was established on the first day simultaneously with this heaven that can be seen: since Moses had set himself the task of writing solely about the latter, and merely about this whole visible world, what was the relevance of speaking about things that were above the world?
The heaven of the blessed or Paradise—described in Luke 23: 43, in 2 Cor. 12: 2, 4, and, as 'Abraham's bosom', in Luke 16: 22, with Matt. 8: 11 (where also God offers himself to be seen by angels and saints so far pg 299 as they are capable, and after the end of the age will offer himself to a greater degree, 1 Cor. 13: 12)—seems to be part of this highest heaven: John 14: 2–3: in my father's house are many abodes; Heb. 11: 10, 16: he [i.e. Abraham] was awaiting that city [… whose designer and maker is God …;] they [i.e. those who died in faith] long for a better [homeland,] that is, a heavenly one […] for he [i.e. God] prepared a city for them.
Most people argue that at the Creation of the world, under the name of 'heaven', the angels should also be understood to have been created. And indeed we readily believe that the angels had at some time been created, on the basis of Num. 16: 22: God of the spirits; and 27: 16, the same; Heb. 1: 7; Col. 1: 16: through him were established […] invisible things, whether thrones … But that they were created on the first day,xxx or on any one of the six days, is asserted with—as usual—more confidence than substance by the common run of Theologians, mainly on the basis of that repetition in Gen. 2: 1: and so were completed the heavens and the earth, and the whole host of them; unless they should wish to place more weight on that conclusion than on the preceding statements, and to take the hosts and inhabitants of the visible heaven as the angels. For the fact that, as we read in Job 38: 7, they then acclaimed God the creator proves that they were created [MS 120] already then, not first then. Certainly many of the Greek Fathers, and quite a few of the Latin ones, thought that angels, as being spirits, existed long before this physical World.xxxi Indeed, it is rather likely that that Apostasy, because of which so many myriads of them were forced into exile from heaven,xxxii happened even before the first beginnings of the world. Certainly nothing compels agreement to the common belief that motion and time (which is the measure of motion) could not, according to the ideas of 'earlier' and 'later', have existed before this world was established; since Aristotle taught that in this world, which he judged to be eternal, motion and time were nonetheless givens.xxxiii
Angels are spirits, Matt. 8: 16 and 12: 45. Indeed, a legion of demons had occupied one person, Luke 8: 30; Heb. 1: 14: [are not all angels] spirits who [are sent out to minister …?]. They are of ethereal nature: 1 Kgs 22: 21; Ps. 104: 4, with Matt. 8: 31; Heb. 1: 7; like lightning, Luke 10: 18; whence they are also called Seraphim. They are immortal, Luke 20: 36: they cannot die. [They are] conspicuous for wisdom, 2 Sam. 14: 20. Most mighty in strength, Ps. 103: 20; 2 Pet. 2: 11; 2 Kgs 19: 35; 2 Thess. 1: 7. They are of supreme swiftness, as if endowed with wings, Ezek. 1: 6; they are of an almost numberless number, Deut. 33: 2; Job 25: 3; Dan. 7: 10; Matt. 26: 53; Heb. 12: 22; Rev. 5: 11–12. They were created sound in holiness and righteousness, Luke 9: 26; John 8: 44; 2 Cor. 11: pg 301 14–15: angels of light, ministers of righteousness; Matt. 6: 10: may your will be done, just as in the heavens; and 25: 31: the holy angels. Hence they were also called the sons of God, Job 1: 6 and 38: 7; Dan. 3: 25, with v. 28; even Gods, Ps. 8: 5 and 97: 7. But they are not to be compared with God: Job 4: 18: about to bring light to his angels; and 15: 15: heaven's denizens are not clean in his eyes;xxxiv and 25: 5: even the stars mould not be pure in his eyes; Isa. 6: 2: with two [wings] he [i.e. each seraph] covered his face. They are distinguished from each other by their functions and ranks: Matt. 25: 41; Rom. 8: 38; Col. 1: 16; Eph. 1: 21 and 3: 10; 1 Pet. 3: 22; Rev. 12: 7. Cherubim, Gen. 3: 24. Seraphim, Isa. 6: 2. Also by proper names: Dan. 8: 16 and 9: 21 and 10: 13; Luke 1: 19. Michael, Jude 9; Rev. 12: 7; 1 Thess. 4: 16: [the Lord himself will come down] with the Archangel's voice. Josh. 5: 14. For the other points about angels, see below, in ch. 9. They who have thought up more things about the nature of angels long since earned the Apostle's reproof, Col. 2: 18: setting foot on those things which he [MS 121] has not seen, and senselessly puffed up by his own fleshly intelligence.
Things Visible are this visible world and the things contained in it; and, superior to all the rest, the Human Race.
The creation of the world and of its individual parts is related in Gen. 1. It is described in Job 26: 7, etc., and [chapter] 38, and frequently in the psalms and the prophets: Ps. 33: 6, 9, and [Ps.] 104, and 148: 5; Prov. 8: 26, etc.; Amos 4: 13; 2 Pet. 3: 5. But when God is about to make man, as though that were a still greater work, he first speaks like someone deliberating, Gen. 1: 26: afterwards God said, Let us make man after our own image, according to our own likeness. It was, therefore, the soul as much as the body that he made then, the soul which renders us most like God; lest anyone think that the souls made then existed before. Some people dream of this, and are refuted by Gen. 2: 7: but God fashioned man out of the dust of the earth, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. So man became a living soul; Job 32: 8: surely this spirit is in man, and the breath of the almighty makes them intelligent. Nor did he merely blow that spirit in, but in each actual person he shaped it, inwardly implanted it, and enhanced and distinguished it with its own faculties, Zech. 12: 1: shaping man's spirit inside him.
But that from that infused breath of life it was not something divine— part of the divine essence, as it were—that was imparted to man by God, but only something human, representing a fixed portion of divine virtue, you may learn most abundantly from other passages of Scripture. For he infused the breath of life even into the other animate creatures too, pg 303 as is easily perceived from Ps. 104: 29–30: when you take back their spirit, they expire […] When you send out your spirit, they are made anew; from the same source of life and spirit, therefore, we are taught that all animate creatures receive life, just as, when God takes back to himself that spirit or breath of life, they perish, Eccles. 3: 19: that there is the same spirit for them all. Nor in the sacred books does that word Spirit denote anything else except either the breath of life which we take in, or the vital or sensitive or rational faculty, or some action or affection belonging to them.
When man had been created in this way, it is at last said: so man became a living soul [anima]; from which it is understood (unless we prefer to be taught what the soul is by pagan authors) that man is an animate [MS 122] being [animal], inherently and properly one and individual, not twofold or separable—or, as is commonly declared, combined or composed from two mutually and generically different and distinct natures, namely soul and body—but that the whole man is soul, and the soul is man; namely a body or substance which is individual, animated, sensitive, and rational; and that that breath of life was neither part of the divine essence, nor was it even the soul, but a certain breeze or divine power wafted out, suitable only for the power of life and reason and instilled in an organic body; since man himself when finally made—the whole man himself, I say—is in distinct words called 'a living soul'. Hence that word Soul [Anima] in the Apostle's interpretation, 1 Cor. 15: 45, is rendered as 'animate being' [animal]. Also, whatever is assigned to the body, the same is assigned to the soul: touch, Lev. 5: 2: when the soulxxxv has touched anything unclean, and throughout; eating, ch. 7: 18: the soul which has eaten of it; v. 20: the soul which has eaten flesh, and quite often; being hungry, Prov. 13: 25 and 27: 7; and being thirsty, Prov. 25: 25: as cool waters for a tired soul; Isa. 29: 8; and being captured, 1 Sam. 24: 11: although you [Saul] hunt my [i.e. David's] soul in order to capture it; Ps. 7: 5: and may he [the enemy] pursue my soul and capture it.
But whenever we speak of the body as though of a torso, then 'soul' means either the same as 'spirit', or its less primary faculties: the vital or sensitive faculty, say; and so it is no less often distinguished from the spirit than from the body: as in Luke 1: 46–7; 1 Thess. 5: 23: [may your] spirit, soul, and body [be kept] whole; Heb. 4: 12: [God's word … penetrates] right to the division of both soul and spirit. But the idea of man's spirit being separated from his body, so as to exist somewhere apart, entire and intelligent, is not only not found anywhere in holy scripture, but pg 305 also plainly clashes with nature and reason, as will be more fully shown below. And furthermore, it is said of every kind of animate being in Gen. 1: 30: in which is a living soul; and 7: 22: everything in whose nostrils is the breath of the spirit of life, of all those on dry land, died. And yet it is not for that reason believed that the soul of beasts exists separately somewhere.
God ceased to create on the seventh day, and brought to completion the whole work of creation, Gen. 2: 2–3.
And so the human Soul seems to be propagated by parents in the [MS 123] natural order, not directly created each day by God; this Opinion seemed truer not only to Tertullian and Apollinarius, but to Augustinexxxvi as well, and to the whole western church at the time of Jerome, as he himself attests, Bk. 2, Epist. 82; [and] Gregory of Nyssa in his book on the soul.xxxvii A truly gigantic task, and in a way a menial one, was left for God on the sixth day, and would even now remain—a task from which he could not rest even on each seventh day—if he were still creating as many souls every day as the often wicked lust of humankind procreated human bodies throughout the world! And yet no lesser force of divine blessing existed in the case of man than in that of the remaining animate creatures, to ensure that he procreated someone like himself: Gen. 1: 22, 28. And so from a simple rib God fashioned the mother of living things, without a repeated emission of breath, Gen. 2: 22; and Adam himself begot a son after his own likeness, after his own image, ch. 5: 3; 1 Cor. 15: 49: just as we bore the image of the earthly man; and this not only in the body but in the soul, just as Adam was made after God's image principally by reason of his soul. So Gen. 46: 26: all the souls who issued from Jacob's thigh; Heb. 7: 10: Levi was in Abraham's thigh. Hence in Scripture an Offspring is termed 'seed', and Christ is called the seed of a woman.xxxviii I shall be your God and the God of your seed, Gen. 17: 7. 1 Cor. 15: 44: it is sown an animate body; v. 46: the spiritual [body] is not first, but the animate.
Logical arguments also present themselves. He who has been begotten in sin, or shaped and conceived in it (just as we all have been, certainly not David alone, Ps. 51: 5), how could he have received his soul directly from God without also receiving it in sin from God? For what else is being begotten and being conceived but receiving a soul with a body? If we have received a soul directly from God, surely it is pure: for who would dare to call it impure? But if it is pure, how, by receiving a pure one, which would pg 307 tend rather to sanctify an impure body, are we conceived in sin? By what deserts of its own has a pure soul become guilty of bodily sin? But, my opponents say,xxxix God does not create souls impure, but does nevertheless create them deprived and denuded of that pristine righteousness. I answer, to create pure souls lacking the pristine righteousness, and then [MS 124] to insert them into polluted and vicious bodies, and to commit them, blameless and defenceless, to the body, as though to an enemy, for imprisonment, with intellect blinded and will unfree—that is, utterly bereft of that strength which would suffice to resist the vices of their bodies—would involve just as much unrighteousness as to have created them impure would have involved impurity; just as much unrighteousness as to have created the first man himself, Adam, deprived and denuded of that pristine righteousness.xl
Next, if sin is engendered and transmitted by the parents to the son, then that which is the first subject of sin or prōton dektikon,xli namely the rational Soul, must also be generated by them; for no one will deny that all sin first originated from the soul. Finally, by what law has the soul become guilty in Adam, when it was never either in Adam or from Adam? I also add that dictum of Aristotle—a very true one too, I think—that if the soul is wholly within the whole body, and wholly in whatever part of it,xlii how can that inmost and noblest part—the human seed, I mean—be understood as bereft and devoid of its parents', or at least its father's, soul at the time when it is imparted to the child by generation? Surely almost everyone agrees that all form—to which category the human soul also belongsxliii—is produced from the power of matter.xliv
Suchlike arguments, I think, brought Augustine to the point where he said that he had been unable to discover, either by reading or by praying or by reasoning, how the idea of original sin may be defended together with that of the creation of souls: Letter 28 to Jerome, and 157 to Optatus.xlv And in fact the passages usually cited as obstacles—Eccles. 12: 7, Isa. 57: 16, Zech. 12: 1—do indeed point out that nobler origin of the soul, coming out of God's mouth as he breathed; yet they no more prove the direct creation of individual souls than the texts now following show that each person's body is directly shaped in the womb by God:xlvi Job 10: 8–10: your hands made me […] you poured me just like milk; Ps. 33: 15: the shaper of the heart; Job 31: 15: he made me in the womb; Isa. 44: 24: Jehovah, your shaper from the womb; Acts 17: 26: he made the whole race of humankind out of one blood. For it does not follow from this that natural causes have not brought their usual force to bear on the procreation of the body, nor that the soul has not been transmitted pg 309 through the father just because at death, separatexlvii from the body at [MS 125] last, it reverts to its own elements in accordance with its origin.
As to that phrase in Hebrews 12: 9 where 'the fathers of the flesh' are antithetically opposed to 'the father of the spirits', we answer that this occurs in a Theological sense, not in a physical sense as if the father of the body were being opposed to the father of the soul: for flesh is not taken here—nor elsewhere either, I trust—to mean the body without the soul, nor is 'the father of the spirits' taken to mean the father of the soul with respect to the work of generation, but 'the father of the flesh' here is nothing else than the earthly, natural father who has begotten in sin; 'the father of the spirits' is either the heavenly father who long ago created all spirits, both angels and the race of humankind, or the spiritual father, because he also regenerates the faithful, according to that phrase in John 3: 6: [what has been] born of the flesh [is] flesh; [what has been] born of the spirit [is] spirit. And the argument [of Heb. 12: 9] proceeds more securely thus, from the purpose of chastisement, not from generation; for indeed the teaching here is not about who generated us, or what bit of us he generated, but about who more usefully chastises and educates us. By the same reasoning the apostle could have urged his readers to tolerate himself, their spiritual father, even when he reproved them. God, in fact, is as much the father of the flesh as he is of the spirits of the flesh, Num. 16: 22, but that is not dealt with in this passage; arguments forced out of Scripture that deals with another topic are generally insecure!
Regarding the soul of Christ, it will be enough to have answered that that act of generation was beyond nature, so that it cannot be adapted to the discussion of this dispute. But he too is called the seed of a woman, the seed of David according to the flesh,xlviii that is, undoubtedly, according to his human nature.
When man had been shaped after God's image, he must also have been endowed with natural wisdom, holiness, and righteousness: Gen. 1: 27, 31 and 2: 25; Eccles. 7: 29; Eph. 4: 24; Col. 3: 10; 2 Cor. 3: 18. And indeed without very great wisdom he could not have given names to the animate beings so instantaneously: Gen. 2: 20.xlix Why anyone would make the human soul an exception, I do not know. For not only did God infuse the breath of life into the other animate creatures too, as above, but also, having infused it, he mixed it in matter so thoroughly that, no differently from the other forms, human form too would be propagated and produced from the power implanted in matter by God.l