The Summa Theologica

Published 1267-1273

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274)

Selected Questions on God’s Will, Providence & Free Will

Translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province
See for writings of all church fathers


Aquinas is was known as the “Dumb Ox” because was slow in manner and stout of stature.  But his lectures were clear and his use of logic and Latin became legend in clarity and exactness.  He became the principal figure in Scholasticism, one of the principal saints in Roman Catholicism;  Pope Leo XIII in encyclical Aeterni Patris 1879 made his system the official Catholic Philosophy.  He became known as the Doctor of the Church and the Angelic Doctor.  The following containts only questions 19, 22, 23, 82 and 83.  In parentheses are references to previous or following questions and articles (e.g., “Q1:A1” refers to “Question 1, Article 1”).


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Question 19:   The Will of God

12 Articles

Question 22:   The Providence of God

4 Articles

Question 23:   Of the Predestination

8 Articles

Question 82:   Of the Will of Man

5 Articles

Question 83:   Of the Free Will of Man

4 Articles


Question 19:   The Will of God – 12 Articles

After considering the things belonging to the divine knowledge, we consider what belongs to the divine will.  The first consideration is about the divine will itself;  the second about what belongs strictly to His will;  the third about what belongs to the intellect in relation to His will.  About His will itself there are twelve points of inquiry:


1.  Whether there is will in God?

2.  Whether God wills things apart from Himself?

3.  Whether whatever God wills He wills necessarily?

4.  Whether the will of God is the cause of things?

5.  Whether any cause can be assigned to the divine will?

6.  Whether the will of God is always fulfilled?

7.  Whether the will of God is changeable?

8.  Whether the will of God imposes necessity on the things willed?

9.  Whether God wills evils?

10.  Whether God has free-will?

11.  Whether the will of expression is to be distinguished in God?

12.  Whether five expressions of will are rightly assigned to the divine will?


19_1.  Whether there is will in God?

  Objection 1:  It seems that there is not will in God.  For the object of will is the end and the good.  But we cannot assign to God any end.  Therefore there is not will in God.

  Objection 2:  Further, will is a kind of appetite.  But appetite, as it is directed to things not possessed, implies imperfection, which cannot be imputed to God.  Therefore there is not will in God.

  Objection 3:  Further, according to the Philosopher (De Anima iii, 54), the will moves, and is moved.  But God is the first cause of movement, and Himself is unmoved, as proved in Phys. viii, 49.  Therefore there is not will in God.

  On the contrary, The Apostle says:  “That you may prove what is the will of God.”[1]

  I answer that, There is will in God, as there is intellect:  since will follows upon intellect.  For as natural things have actual existence by their form, so the intellect is actually intelligent by its intelligible form.  Now everything has this aptitude towards its natural form, that when it has it not, it tends towards it;  and when it has it, it is at rest therein.  It is the same with every natural perfection, which is a natural good.  This aptitude to good in things without knowledge is called natural appetite.  Whence also intellectual natures have a like aptitude as apprehended through its intelligible form;  so as to rest therein when possessed, and when not possessed to seek to possess it, both of which pertain to the will.  Hence in every intellectual being there is will, just as in every sensible being there is animal appetite.  And so there must be will in God, since there is intellect in Him.  And as His intellect is His own existence, so is His will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Although nothing apart from God is His end, yet He Himself is the end with respect to all things made by Him.  And this by His essence, for by His essence He is good, as shown above (Q6:Ar3):  for the end has the aspect of good.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Will in us belongs to the appetitive part, which, although named from appetite, has not for its only act the seeking what it does not possess;  but also the loving and the delighting in what it does possess.  In this respect will is said to be in God, as having always good which is its object, since, as already said, it is not distinct from His essence.

  Reply to Objection 3:  A will of which the principal object is a good outside itself, must be moved by another;  but the object of the divine will is His goodness, which is His essence.  Hence, since the will of God is His essence, it is not moved by another than itself, but by itself alone, in the same sense as understanding and willing are said to be movement.  This is what Plato meant when he said that the first mover moves itself.

19_2.  Whether God wills things apart from Himself?

  Objection 1:  It seems that God does not will things apart from Himself.  For the divine will is the divine existence.  But God is not other than Himself.  Therefore He does not will things other than Himself.

  Objection 2:  Further, the willed moves the willer, as the appetible the appetite, as stated in De Anima iii, 54.  If, therefore, God wills anything apart from Himself, His will must be moved by another;  which is impossible.

  Objection 3:  Further, if what is willed suffices the willer, he seeks nothing beyond it.  But His own goodness suffices God, and completely satisfies His will.  Therefore God does not will anything apart from Himself.

  Objection 4:  Further, acts of will are multiplied in proportion to the number of their objects.  If, therefore, God wills Himself and things apart from Himself, it follows that the act of His will is manifold, and consequently His existence, which is His will.  But this is impossible.  Therefore God does not will things apart from Himself.

  On the contrary, The Apostle says:  “This is the will of God, your sanctification.”[2]

  I answer that, God wills not only Himself, but other things apart from Himself.  This is clear from the comparison which we made above (Ar1).  For natural things have a natural inclination not only towards their own proper good, to acquire it if not possessed, and, if possessed, to rest therein;  but also to spread abroad their own good amongst others, so far as possible.  Hence we see that every agent, in so far as it is perfect and in act, produces its like.  It pertains, therefore, to the nature of the will to communicate as far as possible to others the good possessed;  and especially does this pertain to the divine will, from which all perfection is derived in some kind of likeness.  Hence, if natural things, in so far as they are perfect, communicate their good to others, much more does it appertain to the divine will to communicate by likeness its own good to others as much as possible.  Thus, then, He wills both Himself to be, and other things to be;  but Himself as the end, and other things as ordained to that end;  inasmuch as it befits the divine goodness that other things should be partakers therein.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The divine will is God’s own existence essentially, yet they differ in aspect, according to the different ways of understanding them and expressing them, as is clear from what has already been said (Q13:Ar4).  For when we say that God exists, no relation to any other object is implied, as we do imply when we say that God wills.  Therefore, although He is not anything apart from Himself, yet He does will things apart from Himself.

  Reply to Objection 2:  In things willed for the sake of the end, the whole reason for our being moved is the end, and this it is that moves the will, as most clearly appears in things willed only for the sake of the end.  He who wills to take a bitter draught, in doing so wills nothing else than health;  and this alone moves his will.  It is different with one who takes a draught that is pleasant, which anyone may will to do, not only for the sake of health, but also for its own sake.  Hence, although God wills things apart from Himself only for the sake of the end, which is His own goodness, it does not follow that anything else moves His will, except His goodness.  So, as He understands things apart from Himself by understanding His own essence, so He wills things apart from Himself by willing His own goodness.

  Reply to Objection 3:  From the fact that His own goodness suffices the divine will, it does not follow that it wills nothing apart from itself, but rather that it wills nothing except by reason of its goodness.  Thus, too, the divine intellect, though its perfection consists in its very knowledge of the divine essence, yet in that essence knows other things. 

  Reply to Objection 4:  As the divine intellect is one, as seeing the many only in the one, in the same way the divine will is one and simple, as willing the many only through the one, that is, through its own goodness.

19_3.  Whether whatever God wills He wills necessarily?

  Objection 1:  It seems that whatever God wills He wills necessarily.  For everything eternal is necessary.  But whatever God wills, He wills from eternity, for otherwise His will would be mutable.  Therefore whatever He wills, He wills necessarily.

  Objection 2:  Further, God wills things apart from Himself, inasmuch as He wills His own goodness.  Now God wills His own goodness necessarily.  Therefore He wills things apart from Himself necessarily.

  Objection 3:  Further, whatever belongs to the nature of God is necessary, for God is of Himself necessary being, and the principle of all necessity, as above shown.  But it belongs to His nature to will whatever He wills;  since in God there can be nothing over and above His nature as stated in Metaph.  v, 6.  Therefore whatever He wills, He wills necessarily.

  Objection 4:  Further, being that is not necessary, and being that is possible not to be, are one and the same thing.  If, therefore, God does not necessarily will a thing that He wills, it is possible for Him not to will it, and therefore possible for Him to will what He does not will.  And so the divine will is contingent upon one or the other of two things, and imperfect, since everything contingent is imperfect and mutable.

  Objection 5:  Further, on the part of that which is indifferent to one or the other of two things, no action results unless it is inclined to one or the other by some other power, as the Commentator [*Averroes] says in Phys.  ii.  If, then, the Will of God is indifferent with regard to anything, it follows that His determination to act comes from another;  and thus He has some cause prior to Himself.

  Objection 6:  Further, whatever God knows, He knows necessarily.  But as the divine knowledge is His essence, so is the divine will.  Therefore whatever God wills, He wills necessarily.

  On the contrary, The Apostle says:  “Who worketh all things according to the counsel of His will.[3]  Now, what we work according to the counsel of the will, we do not will necessarily.  Therefore God does not will necessarily whatever He wills.

  I answer that, There are two ways in which a thing is said to be necessary, namely, absolutely, and by supposition.  We judge a thing to be absolutely necessary from the relation of the terms, as when the predicate forms part of the definition of the subject:  thus it is absolutely necessary that man is an animal.  It is the same when the subject forms part of the notion of the predicate;  thus it is absolutely necessary that a number must be odd or even.  In this way it is not necessary that Socrates sits:  wherefore it is not necessary absolutely, though it may be so by supposition;  for, granted that he is sitting, he must necessarily sit, as long as he is sitting.  Accordingly as to things willed by God, we must observe that He wills something of absolute necessity:  but this is not true of all that He wills.  For the divine will has a necessary relation to the divine goodness, since that is its proper object.  Hence God wills His own goodness necessarily, even as we will our own happiness necessarily, and as any other faculty has necessary relation to its proper and principal object, for instance the sight to color, since it tends to it by its own nature.  But God wills things apart from Himself in so far as they are ordered to His own goodness as their end.  Now in willing an end we do not necessarily will things that conduce to it, unless they are such that the end cannot be attained without them;  as, we will to take food to preserve life, or to take ship in order to cross the sea.  But we do not necessarily will things without which the end is attainable, such as a horse for a journey which we can take on foot, for we can make the journey without one.  The same applies to other means.  Hence, since the goodness of God is perfect, and can exist without other things inasmuch as no perfection can accrue to Him from them, it follows that His willing things apart from Himself is not absolutely necessary.  Yet it can be necessary by supposition, for supposing that He wills a thing, then He is unable not to will it, as His will cannot change.

  Reply to Objection 1:  From the fact that God wills from eternity whatever He wills, it does not follow that He wills it necessarily;  except by supposition.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Although God necessarily wills His own goodness, He does not necessarily will things willed on account of His goodness;  for it can exist without other things.

  Reply to Objection 3:  It is not natural to God to will any of those other things that He does not will necessarily;  and yet it is not unnatural or contrary to His nature, but voluntary.

  Reply to Objection 4:  Sometimes a necessary cause has a non-necessary relation to an effect;  owing to a deficiency in the effect, and not in the cause.  Even so, the sun’s power has a non-necessary relation to some contingent events on this earth, owing to a defect not in the solar power, but in the effect that proceeds not necessarily from the cause.  In the same way, that God does not necessarily will some of the things that He wills, does not result from defect in the divine will, but from a defect belonging to the nature of the thing willed, namely, that the perfect goodness of God can be without it;  and such defect accompanies all created good.

  Reply to Objection 5:  A naturally contingent cause must be determined to act by some external power.  The divine will, which by its nature is necessary, determines itself to will things to which it has no necessary relation.

  Reply to Objection 6:  As the divine essence is necessary of itself, so is the divine will and the divine knowledge;  but the divine knowledge has a necessary relation to the thing known;  not the divine will to the thing willed.  The reason for this is that knowledge is of things as they exist in the knower;  but the will is directed to things as they exist in themselves.  Since then all other things have necessary existence inasmuch as they exist in God;  but no absolute necessity so as to be necessary in themselves, in so far as they exist in themselves;  it follows that God knows necessarily whatever He wills, but does not will necessarily whatever He wills.

19_4.  Whether the will of God is the cause of things?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the will of God is not the cause of things.  For Dionysius says (Div.  Nom.  iv, 1):  “As our sun, not by reason nor by pre-election, but by its very being, enlightens all things that can participate in its light, so the divine good by its very essence pours the rays of goodness upon everything that exists.”  But every voluntary agent acts by reason and pre-election.  Therefore God does not act by will;  and so His will is not the cause of things.

  Objection 2:  Further, The first in any order is that which is essentially so, thus in the order of burning things, that comes first which is fire by its essence.  But God is the first agent.  Therefore He acts by His essence;  and that is His nature.  He acts then by nature, and not by will.  Therefore the divine will is not the cause of things.

  Objection 3:  Further, Whatever is the cause of anything, through being “such” a thing, is the cause by nature, and not by will.  For fire is the cause of heat, as being itself hot;  whereas an architect is the cause of a house, because he wills to build it.  Now Augustine says (De Doctr.  Christ.  i, 32), “Because God is good, we exist.”  Therefore God is the cause of things by His nature, and not by His will.

  Objection 4:  Further, Of one thing there is one cause.  But the created things is the knowledge of God, as said before (Q14:Ar8).  Therefore the will of God cannot be considered the cause of things.

  On the contrary, It is said (Wis.  11:26), “How could anything endure, if Thou wouldst not?”

  I answer that, We must hold that the will of God is the cause of things;  and that He acts by the will, and not, as some have supposed, by a necessity of His nature.

   This can be shown in three ways:  First, from the order itself of active causes.  Since both intellect and nature act for an end, as proved in Phys.  ii, 49, the natural agent must have the end and the necessary means predetermined for it by some higher intellect;  as the end and definite movement is predetermined for the arrow by the archer.  Hence the intellectual and voluntary agent must precede the agent that acts by nature.  Hence, since God is first in the order of agents, He must act by intellect and will.

   This is shown, secondly, from the character of a natural agent, of which the property is to produce one and the same effect;  for nature operates in one and the same way unless it be prevented.  This is because the nature of the act is according to the nature of the agent;  and hence as long as it has that nature, its acts will be in accordance with that nature;  for every natural agent has a determinate being.  Since, then, the Divine Being is undetermined, and contains in Himself the full perfection of being, it cannot be that He acts by a necessity of His nature, unless He were to cause something undetermined and indefinite in being:  and that this is impossible has been already shown (Q7:Ar2).  He does not, therefore, act by a necessity of His nature, but determined effects proceed from His own infinite perfection according to the determination of His will and intellect.

   Thirdly, it is shown by the relation of effects to their cause.  For effects proceed from the agent that causes them, in so far as they pre-exist in the agent;  since every agent produces its like.  Now effects pre-exist in their cause after the mode of the cause.  Wherefore since the Divine Being is His own intellect, effects pre-exist in Him after the mode of intellect, and therefore proceed from Him after the same mode.  Consequently, they proceed from Him after the mode of will, for His inclination to put in act what His intellect has conceived appertains to the will.  Therefore the will of God is the cause of things.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Dionysius in these words does not intend to exclude election from God absolutely;  but only in a certain sense, in so far, that is, as He communicates His goodness not merely to certain things, but to all;  and as election implies a certain distinction.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Because the essence of God is His intellect and will, from the fact of His acting by His essence, it follows that He acts after the mode of intellect and will.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Good is the object of the will.  The words, therefore, “Because God is good, we exist,” are true inasmuch as His goodness is the reason of His willing all other things, as said before (Article [2], ad 2).

  Reply to Objection 4:  Even in us the cause of one and the same effect is knowledge as directing it, whereby the form of the work is conceived, and will as commanding it, since the form as it is in the intellect only is not determined to exist or not to exist in the effect, except by the will.  Hence, the speculative intellect has nothing to say to operation.  But the power is cause, as executing the effect, since it denotes the immediate principle of operation.  But in God all these things are one.

19_5.  Whether any cause can be assigned to the divine will?

  Objection 1:  It seems that some cause can be assigned to the divine will.  For Augustine says (Qq.  lxxxiii, 46):  “Who would venture to say that God made all things irrationally?”  But to a voluntary agent, what is the reason of operating, is the cause of willing.  Therefore the will of God has some cause.

  Objection 2:  Further, in things made by one who wills to make them, and whose will is influenced by no cause, there can be no cause assigned except by the will of him who wills.  But the will of God is the cause of all things, as has been already shown (Ar4).  If, then, there is no cause of His will, we cannot seek in any natural things any cause, except the divine will alone.  Thus all science would be in vain, since science seeks to assign causes to effects.  This seems inadmissible, and therefore we must assign some cause to the divine will.

  Objection 3:  Further, what is done by the willer, on account of no cause, depends simply on his will.  If, therefore, the will of God has no cause, it follows that all things made depend simply on His will, and have no other cause.  But this also is not admissible.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (Qq.  lxxxiii, 28):  “Every efficient cause is greater than the thing effected.”  But nothing is greater than the will of God.  We must not then seek for a cause of it.

  I answer that, In no wise has the will of God a cause.  In proof of which we must consider that, since the will follows from the intellect, there is cause of the will in the person who wills, in the same way as there is a cause of the understanding, in the person that understands.  The case with the understanding is this:  that if the premiss and its conclusion are understood separately from each other, the understanding the premiss is the cause that the conclusion is known.  If the understanding perceive the conclusion in the premiss itself, apprehending both the one and the other at the same glance, in this case the knowing of the conclusion would not be caused by understanding the premisses, since a thing cannot be its own cause;  and yet, it would be true that the thinker would understand the premisses to be the cause of the conclusion.  It is the same with the will, with respect to which the end stands in the same relation to the means to the end, as do the premisses to the conclusion with regard to the understanding.

   Hence, if anyone in one act wills an end, and in another act the means to that end, his willing the end will be the cause of his willing the means.  This cannot be the case if in one act he wills both end and means;  for a thing cannot be its own cause.  Yet it will be true to say that he wills to order to the end the means to the end.  Now as God by one act understands all things in His essence, so by one act He wills all things in His goodness.  Hence, as in God to understand the cause is not the cause of His understanding the effect, for He understands the effect in the cause, so, in Him, to will an end is not the cause of His willing the means, yet He wills the ordering of the means to the end.  Therefore, He wills this to be as means to that;  but does not will this on account of that.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The will of God is reasonable, not because anything is to God a cause of willing, but in so far as He wills one thing to be on account of another.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Since God wills effects to proceed from definite causes, for the preservation of order in the universe, it is not unreasonable to seek for causes secondary to the divine will.  It would, however, be unreasonable to do so, if such were considered as primary, and not as dependent on the will of God.  In this sense Augustine says (De Trin.  iii, 2):  “Philosophers in their vanity have thought fit to attribute contingent effects to other causes, being utterly unable to perceive the cause that is shown above all others, the will of God.”

  Reply to Objection 3:  Since God wills effects to come from causes, all effects that presuppose some other effect do not depend solely on the will of God, but on something else besides:  but the first effect depends on the divine will alone.  Thus, for example, we may say that God willed man to have hands to serve his intellect by their work, and intellect, that he might be man;  and willed him to be man that he might enjoy Him, or for the completion of the universe.  But this cannot be reduced to other created secondary ends.  Hence such things depend on the simple will of God;  but the others on the order of other causes.

19_6.  Whether the will of God is always fulfilled?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the will of God is not always fulfilled.  For the Apostle says:  “God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”[4]  But this does not happen.  Therefore the will of God is not always fulfilled.

  Objection 2:  Further, as is the relation of knowledge to truth, so is that of the will to good.  Now God knows all truth.  Therefore He wills all good.  But not all good actually exists;  for much more good might exist.  Therefore the will of God is not always fulfilled.

  Objection 3:  Further, since the will of God is the first cause, it does not exclude intermediate causes.  But the effect of a first cause may be hindered by a defect of a secondary cause;  as the effect of the motive power may be hindered by the weakness of the limb.  Therefore the effect of the divine will may be hindered by a defect of the secondary causes.  The will of God, therefore, is not always fulfilled.

  On the contrary, It is said:  “God hath done all things, whatsoever He would.[5]

  I answer that, The will of God must needs always be fulfilled.  In proof of which we must consider that since an effect is conformed to the agent according to its form, the rule is the same with active causes as with formal causes.  The rule in forms is this:  that although a thing may fall short of any particular form, it cannot fall short of the universal form.  For though a thing may fail to be, for example, a man or a living being, yet it cannot fail to be a being.  Hence the same must happen in active causes.  Something may fall outside the order of any particular active cause, but not outside the order of the universal cause;  under which all particular causes are included:  and if any particular cause fails of its effect, this is because of the hindrance of some other particular cause, which is included in the order of the universal cause.  Therefore an effect cannot possibly escape the order of the universal cause.  Even in corporeal things this is clearly seen.  For it may happen that a star is hindered from producing its effects;  yet whatever effect does result, in corporeal things, from this hindrance of a corporeal cause, must be referred through intermediate causes to the universal influence of the first heaven.  Since, then, the will of God is the universal cause of all things, it is impossible that the divine will should not produce its effect.  Hence that which seems to depart from the divine will in one order, returns into it in another order;  as does the sinner, who by sin falls away from the divine will as much as lies in him, yet falls back into the order of that will, when by its justice he is punished.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The words of the Apostle, “God will have all men to be saved,” etc.  can be understood in three ways.  First, by a restricted application, in which case they would mean, as Augustine says (De praed.  sanct.  i, 8:  Enchiridion 103), “God wills all men to be saved that are saved, not because there is no man whom He does not wish saved, but because there is no man saved whose salvation He does not will.”  Secondly, they can be understood as applying to every class of individuals, not to every individual of each class;  in which case they mean that God wills some men of every class and condition to be saved, males and females, Jews and Gentiles, great and small, but not all of every condition.  Thirdly, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth.  ii, 29), they are understood of the antecedent will of God;  not of the consequent will.  This distinction must not be taken as applying to the divine will itself, in which there is nothing antecedent nor consequent, but to the things willed.

   To understand this we must consider that everything, in so far as it is good, is willed by God.  A thing taken in its primary sense, and absolutely considered, may be good or evil, and yet when some additional circumstances are taken into account, by a consequent consideration may be changed into the contrary.  Thus that a man should live is good;  and that a man should be killed is evil, absolutely considered.  But if in a particular case we add that a man is a murderer or dangerous to society, to kill him is a good;  that he live is an evil.  Hence it may be said of a just judge, that antecedently he wills all men to live;  but consequently wills the murderer to be hanged.  In the same way God antecedently wills all men to be saved, but consequently wills some to be damned, as His justice exacts.  Nor do we will simply, what we will antecedently, but rather we will it in a qualified manner;  for the will is directed to things as they are in themselves, and in themselves they exist under particular qualifications.  Hence we will a thing simply inasmuch as we will it when all particular circumstances are considered;  and this is what is meant by willing consequently.  Thus it may be said that a just judge wills simply the hanging of a murderer, but in a qualified manner he would will him to live, to wit, inasmuch as he is a man.  Such a qualified will may be called a willingness rather than an absolute will.  Thus it is clear that whatever God simply wills takes place;  although what He wills antecedently may not take place.

  Reply to Objection 2:  An act of the cognitive faculty is according as the thing known is in the knower;  while an act of the appetite faculty is directed to things as they exist in themselves.  But all that can have the nature of being and truth virtually exists in God, though it does not all exist in created things.  Therefore God knows all truth;  but does not will all good, except in so far as He wills Himself, in Whom all good virtually exists.

  Reply to Objection 3:  A first cause can be hindered in its effect by deficiency in the secondary cause, when it is not the universal first cause, including within itself all causes;  for then the effect could in no way escape its order.  And thus it is with the will of God, as said above.

19_7.  Whether the will of God is changeable?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the Will of God is changeable.  For the Lord says:  “It repenteth Me that I have made man.”[6] But whoever repents of what he has done, has a changeable will.  Therefore God has a changeable will.

  Objection 2:  Further, it is said in the person of the Lord:  “I will speak against a nation and against a kingdom, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy it;  but if that nation shall repent of its evil, I also will repent of the evil that I have thought to do to them.”[7]  Therefore God has a changeable will.

  Objection 3:  Further, whatever God does, He does voluntarily.  But God does not always do the same thing, for at one time He ordered the law to be observed, and at another time forbade it.  Therefore He has a changeable will. 

  Objection 4:  Further, God does not will of necessity what He wills, as said before (Ar3).  Therefore He can both will and not will the same thing.  But whatever can incline to either of two opposites, is changeable substantially;  and that which can exist in a place or not in that place, is changeable locally.  Therefore God is changeable as regards His will.

  On the contrary, It is said:  “God is not as a man, that He should lie, nor as the son of man, that He should be changed.[8]

  I answer that, The will of God is entirely unchangeable.  On this point we must consider that to change the will is one thing;  to will that certain things should be changed is another.  It is possible to will a thing to be done now, and its contrary afterwards;  and yet for the will to remain permanently the same:  whereas the will would be changed, if one should begin to will what before he had not willed;  or cease to will what he had willed before.  This cannot happen, unless we presuppose change either in the knowledge or in the disposition of the substance of the willer.  For since the will regards good, a man may in two ways begin to will a thing.  In one way when that thing begins to be good for him, and this does not take place without a change in him.  Thus when the cold weather begins, it becomes good to sit by the fire;  though it was not so before.  In another way when he knows for the first time that a thing is good for him, though he did not know it before;  hence we take counsel in order to know what is good for us.  Now it has already been shown that both the substance of God and His knowledge are entirely unchangeable (Q9:Ar1;   Q14:Ar15).  Therefore His will must be entirely unchangeable.

  Reply to Objection 1:  These words of the Lord are to be understood metaphorically, and according to the likeness of our nature.  For when we repent, we destroy what we have made;  although we may even do so without change of will;  as, when a man wills to make a thing, at the same time intending to destroy it later.  Therefore God is said to have repented, by way of comparison with our mode of acting, in so far as by the deluge He destroyed from the face of the earth man whom He had made.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The will of God, as it is the first and universal cause, does not exclude intermediate causes that have power to produce certain effects.  Since however all intermediate causes are inferior in power to the first cause, there are many things in the divine power, knowledge and will that are not included in the order of inferior causes.  Thus in the case of the raising of Lazarus, one who looked only on inferior causes might have said:  “Lazarus will not rise again,” but looking at the divine first cause might have said:  “Lazarus will rise again.”  And God wills both:  that is, that in the order of the inferior cause a thing shall happen;  but that in the order of the higher cause it shall not happen;  or He may will conversely.  We may say, then, that God sometimes declares that a thing shall happen according as it falls under the order of inferior causes, as of nature, or merit, which yet does not happen as not being in the designs of the divine and higher cause.  Thus He foretold to Ezechias:  “Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die, and not live.”[9]  Yet this did not take place, since from eternity it was otherwise disposed in the divine knowledge and will, which is unchangeable.  Hence Gregory says (Moral.  xvi, 5):  “The sentence of God changes, but not His counsel”—that is to say, the counsel of His will.  When therefore He says, “I also will repent,” His words must be understood metaphorically.  For men seem to repent, when they do not fulfill what they have threatened.

  Reply to Objection 3:  It does not follow from this argument that God has a will that changes, but that He sometimes wills that things should change.

  Reply to Objection 4:  Although God’s willing a thing is not by absolute necessity, yet it is necessary by supposition, on account of the unchangeableness of the divine will, as has been said above (Ar3).

19_8.  Whether the will of God imposes necessity on the things willed?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the will of God imposes necessity on the things willed.  For Augustine says (Enchiridion 103):  “No one is saved, except whom God has willed to be saved.  He must therefore be asked to will it;  for if He wills it, it must necessarily be.”

  Objection 2:  Further, every cause that cannot be hindered, produces its effect necessarily, because, as the Philosopher says (Phys.  ii, 84) “Nature always works in the same way, if there is nothing to hinder it.”  But the will of God cannot be hindered.  For the Apostle says:  “Who resisteth His will?”[10]  Therefore the will of God imposes necessity on the things willed.

  Objection 3:  Further, whatever is necessary by its antecedent cause is necessary absolutely;  it is thus necessary that animals should die, being compounded of contrary elements.  Now things created by God are related to the divine will as to an antecedent cause, whereby they have necessity.  For the conditional statement is true that if God wills a thing, it comes to pass;  and every true conditional statement is necessary.  It follows therefore that all that God wills is necessary absolutely.

  On the contrary, All good things that exist God wills to be.  If therefore His will imposes necessity on things willed, it follows that all good happens of necessity;  and thus there is an end of free will, counsel, and all other such things.

  I answer that, The divine will imposes necessity on some things willed but not on all.  The reason of this some have chosen to assign to intermediate causes, holding that what God produces by necessary causes is necessary;  and what He produces by contingent causes contingent.

   This does not seem to be a sufficient explanation, for two reasons.  First, because the effect of a first cause is contingent on account of the secondary cause, from the fact that the effect of the first cause is hindered by deficiency in the second cause, as the sun’s power is hindered by a defect in the plant.  But no defect of a secondary cause can hinder God’s will from producing its effect.  Secondly, because if the distinction between the contingent and the necessary is to be referred only to secondary causes, this must be independent of the divine intention and will;  which is inadmissible.  It is better therefore to say that this happens on account of the efficacy of the divine will.  For when a cause is efficacious to act, the effect follows upon the cause, not only as to the thing done, but also as to its manner of being done or of being.  Thus from defect of active power in the seed it may happen that a child is born unlike its father in accidental points, that belong to its manner of being.  Since then the divine will is perfectly efficacious, it follows not only that things are done, which God wills to be done, but also that they are done in the way that He wills.  Now God wills some things to be done necessarily, some contingently, to the right ordering of things, for the building up of the universe.  Therefore to some effects He has attached necessary causes, that cannot fail;  but to others defectible and contingent causes, from which arise contingent effects.  Hence it is not because the proximate causes are contingent that the effects willed by God happen contingently, but because God prepared contingent causes for them, it being His will that they should happen contingently.

  Reply to Objection 1:  By the words of Augustine we must understand a necessity in things willed by God that is not absolute, but conditional.  For the conditional statement that if God wills a thing it must necessarily be, is necessarily true.

  Reply to Objection 2:  From the very fact that nothing resists the divine will, it follows that not only those things happen that God wills to happen, but that they happen necessarily or contingently according to His will.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Consequents have necessity from their antecedents according to the mode of the antecedents.  Hence things effected by the divine will have that kind of necessity that God wills them to have, either absolute or conditional.  Not all things, therefore, are absolute necessities.

19_9.  Whether God wills evils?

  Objection 1:  It seems that God wills evils.  For every good that exists, God wills.  But it is a good that evil should exist.  For Augustine says (Enchiridion 95):  “Although evil in so far as it is evil is not a good, yet it is good that not only good things should exist, but also evil things.”  Therefore God wills evil things.

  Objection 2:  Further, Dionysius says (Div.  Nom.  iv, 23):  “Evil would conduce to the perfection of everything,” i.e.  the universe.  And Augustine says (Enchiridion 10,11):  “Out of all things is built up the admirable beauty of the universe, wherein even that which is called evil, properly ordered and disposed, commends the good more evidently in that good is more pleasing and praiseworthy when contrasted with evil.”  But God wills all that appertains to the perfection and beauty of the universe, for this is what God desires above all things in His creatures.  Therefore God wills evil.

  Objection 3:  Further, that evil should exist, and should not exist, are contradictory opposites.  But God does not will that evil should not exist;  otherwise, since various evils do exist, God’s will would not always be fulfilled.  Therefore God wills that evil should exist.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (Q83:A3):  “No wise man is the cause of another man becoming worse.  Now God surpasses all men in wisdom.  Much less therefore is God the cause of man becoming worse;  and when He is said to be the cause of a thing, He is said to will it.”  Therefore it is not by God’s will that man becomes worse.  Now it is clear that every evil makes a thing worse.  Therefore God wills not evil things.

  I answer that, Since the ratio of good is the ratio of appetibility, as said before (Q5:Ar1), and since evil is opposed to good, it is impossible that any evil, as such, should be sought for by the appetite, either natural, or animal, or by the intellectual appetite which is the will.  Nevertheless evil may be sought accidentally, so far as it accompanies a good, as appears in each of the appetites.  For a natural agent intends not privation or corruption, but the form to which is annexed the privation of some other form, and the generation of one thing, which implies the corruption of another.  Also when a lion kills a stag, his object is food, to obtain which the killing of the animal is only the means.  Similarly the fornicator has merely pleasure for his object, and the deformity of sin is only an accompaniment.  Now the evil that accompanies one good, is the privation of another good.  Never therefore would evil be sought after, not even accidentally, unless the good that accompanies the evil were more desired than the good of which the evil is the privation.  Now God wills no good more than He wills His own goodness;  yet He wills one good more than another.  Hence He in no way wills the evil of sin, which is the privation of right order towards the divine good.  The evil of natural defect, or of punishment, He does will, by willing the good to which such evils are attached.  Thus in willing justice He wills punishment;  and in willing the preservation of the natural order, He wills some things to be naturally corrupted.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Some have said that although God does not will evil, yet He wills that evil should be or be done, because, although evil is not a good, yet it is good that evil should be or be done.  This they said because things evil in themselves are ordered to some good end;  and this order they thought was expressed in the words “that evil should be or be done.”  This, however, is not correct;  since evil is not of itself ordered to good, but accidentally.  For it is beside the intention of the sinner, that any good should follow from his sin;  as it was beside the intention of tyrants that the patience of the martyrs should shine forth from all their persecutions.  It cannot therefore be said that such an ordering to good is implied in the statement that it is a good thing that evil should be or be done, since nothing is judged of by that which appertains to it accidentally, but by that which belongs to it essentially.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Evil does not operate towards the perfection and beauty of the universe, except accidentally, as said above (A1).  Therefore Dionysius in saying that “evil would conduce to the perfection of the universe,” draws a conclusion by reduction to an absurdity.

  Reply to Objection 3:  The statements that evil exists, and that evil exists not, are opposed as contradictories;  yet the statements that anyone wills evil to exist and that he wills it not to be, are not so opposed;  since either is affirmative.  God therefore neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills to permit evil to be done;  and this is a good.

19_10.  Whether God has free-will?

  Objection 1:  It seems that God has not free-will.  For Jerome says, in a homily on the prodigal son [*Ep.  146, ad Damas.];  “God alone is He who is not liable to sin, nor can be liable:  all others, as having free-will, can be inclined to either side.”

  Objection 2:  Further, free-will is the faculty of the reason and will, by which good and evil are chosen.  But God does not will evil, as has been said (Ar9).  Therefore there is not free-will in God.

  On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Fide ii, 3):  “The Holy Spirit divideth unto each one as He will, namely, according to the free choice of the will, not in obedience to necessity.”

  I answer that, We have free-will with respect to what we will not of necessity, nor be natural instinct.  For our will to be happy does not appertain to free-will, but to natural instinct.  Hence other animals, that are moved to act by natural instinct, are not said to be moved by free-will.  Since then God necessarily wills His own goodness, but other things not necessarily, as shown above (Ar3), He has free will with respect to what He does not necessarily will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Jerome seems to deny free-will to God not simply, but only as regards the inclination to sin.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Since the evil of sin consists in turning away from the divine goodness, by which God wills all things, as above shown (De Fide ii, 3), it is manifestly impossible for Him to will the evil of sin;  yet He can make choice of one of two opposites, inasmuch as He can will a thing to be, or not to be.  In the same way we ourselves, without sin, can will to sit down, and not will to sit down.

19_11.  Whether the will of expression is to be distinguished in God?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the will of expression is not to be distinguished in God.  For as the will of God is the cause of things, so is His wisdom.  But no expressions are assigned to the divine wisdom.  Therefore no expressions ought to be assigned to the divine will.

  Objection 2:  Further, every expression that is not in agreement with the mind of him who expresses himself, is false.  If therefore the expressions assigned to the divine will are not in agreement with that will, they are false.  But if they do agree, they are superfluous.  No expressions therefore must be assigned to the divine will.

  On the contrary, The will of God is one, since it is the very essence of God.  Yet sometimes it is spoken of as many, as in the words of Ps.  110:2:  “Great are the works of the Lord, sought out according to all His wills.”  Therefore sometimes the sign must be taken for the will.

  I answer that, Some things are said of God in their strict sense;  others by metaphor, as appears from what has been said before (Q13:Ar3).  When certain human passions are predicated of the Godhead metaphorically, this is done because of a likeness in the effect.  Hence a thing that is in us a sign of some passion, is signified metaphorically in God under the name of that passion.  Thus with us it is usual for an angry man to punish, so that punishment becomes an expression of anger.  Therefore punishment itself is signified by the word anger, when anger is attributed to God.  In the same way, what is usually with us an expression of will, is sometimes metaphorically called will in God;  just as when anyone lays down a precept, it is a sign that he wishes that precept obeyed.  Hence a divine precept is sometimes called by metaphor the will of God, as in the words:  “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”[11]  There is, however, this difference between will and anger, that anger is never attributed to God properly, since in its primary meaning it includes passion;  whereas will is attributed to Him properly.  Therefore in God there are distinguished will in its proper sense, and will as attributed to Him by metaphor.  Will in its proper sense is called the will of good pleasure;  and will metaphorically taken is the will of expression, inasmuch as the sign itself of will is called will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Knowledge is not the cause of a thing being done, unless through the will.  For we do not put into act what we know, unless we will to do so.  Accordingly expression is not attributed to knowledge, but to will.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Expressions of will are called divine wills, not as being signs that God wills anything;  but because what in us is the usual expression of our will, is called the divine will in God.  Thus punishment is not a sign that there is anger in God;  but it is called anger in Him, from the fact that it is an expression of anger in ourselves.

19_12.  Whether five expressions of will are rightly assigned to the divine will?

  Objection 1:  It seems that five expressions of will—namely, prohibition, precept, counsel, operation, and permission—are not rightly assigned to the divine will.  For the same things that God bids us do by His precept or counsel, these He sometimes operates in us, and the same things that He prohibits, these He sometimes permits.  They ought not therefore to be enumerated as distinct.

  Objection 2:  Further, God works nothing unless He wills it, as the Scripture says (Wis.  11:26).  But the will of expression is distinct from the will of good pleasure.  Therefore operation ought not to be comprehended in the will of expression.

  Objection 3:  Further, operation and permission appertain to all creatures in common, since God works in them all, and permits some action in them all.  But precept, counsel, and prohibition belong to rational creatures only.  Therefore they do not come rightly under one division, not being of one order.

  Objection 4:  Further, evil happens in more ways than good, since “good happens in one way, but evil in all kinds of ways,” as declared by the Philosopher (Ethic.  ii, 6), and Dionysius (Div.  Nom.  iv, 22).  It is not right therefore to assign one expression only in the case of evil—namely, prohibition—and two—namely, counsel and precept—in the case of good.

  I answer that, By these signs we name the expression of will by which we are accustomed to show that we will something.  A man may show that he wills something, either by himself or by means of another.  He may show it by himself, by doing something either directly, or indirectly and accidentally.  He shows it directly when he works in his own person;  in that way the expression of his will is his own working.  He shows it indirectly, by not hindering the doing of a thing;  for what removes an impediment is called an accidental mover.  In this respect the expression is called permission.  He declares his will by means of another when he orders another to perform a work, either by insisting upon it as necessary by precept, and by prohibiting its contrary;  or by persuasion, which is a part of counsel.  Since in these ways the will of man makes itself known, the same five are sometimes denominated with regard to the divine will, as the expression of that will.  That precept, counsel, and prohibition are called the will of God is clear from the words of Mt.  6:10:  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  That permission and operation are called the will of God is clear from Augustine (Enchiridion 95), who says:  “Nothing is done, unless the Almighty wills it to be done, either by permitting it, or by actually doing it.”

   Or it may be said that permission and operation refer to present time, permission being with respect to evil, operation with regard to good.  Whilst as to future time, prohibition is in respect to evil, precept to good that is necessary and counsel to good that is of supererogation.

  Reply to Objection 1:  There is nothing to prevent anyone declaring his will about the same matter in different ways;  thus we find many words that mean the same thing.  Hence there is not reason why the same thing should not be the subject of precept, operation, and counsel;  or of prohibition or permission.

  Reply to Objection 2:  As God may by metaphor be said to will what by His will, properly speaking, He wills not;  so He may by metaphor be said to will what He does, properly speaking, will.  Hence there is nothing to prevent the same thing being the object of the will of good pleasure, and of the will of expression.  But operation is always the same as the will of good pleasure;  while precept and counsel are not;  both because the former regards the present, and the two latter the future;  and because the former is of itself the effect of the will;  the latter its effect as fulfilled by means of another.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Rational creatures are masters of their own acts;  and for this reason certain special expressions of the divine will are assigned to their acts, inasmuch as God ordains rational creatures to act voluntarily and of themselves.  Other creatures act only as moved by the divine operation;  therefore only operation and permission are concerned with these.

  Reply to Objection 4:  All evil of sin, though happening in many ways, agrees in being out of harmony with the divine will.  Hence with regard to evil, only one expression is assigned, that of prohibition.  On the other hand, good stands in various relations to the divine goodness, since there are good deeds without which we cannot attain to the fruition of that goodness, and these are the subject of precept;  and there are others by which we attain to it more perfectly, and these are the subject of counsel.  Or it may be said that counsel is not only concerned with the obtaining of greater good;  but also with the avoiding of lesser evils.


Question 22:   The Providence of God – 4 Articles

   Having considered all that relates to the will absolutely, we must now proceed to those things which have relation to both the intellect and the will, namely providence, in respect to all created things;  predestination and reprobation and all that is connected with these acts in respect especially of man as regards his eternal salvation.  For in the science of morals, after the moral virtues themselves, comes the consideration of prudence, to which providence would seem to belong.  Concerning God’s providence there are four points of inquiry:


1.  Whether providence can suitably be attributed to God?

2.  Whether everything is subject to the providence of God?

3.  Whether God has immediate providence over all things?

4.  Whether divine providence imposes any necessity on things foreseen?


22_1.  Whether providence can suitably be attributed to God?

  Objection 1:  It seems that providence is not becoming to God.  For providence, according to Tully (De Invent.  ii), is a part of prudence.  But prudence, since, according to the Philosopher (Ethic.  vi, 5,9,18), it gives good counsel, cannot belong to God, Who never has any doubt for which He should take counsel.  Therefore providence cannot belong to God.

  Objection 2:  Further, whatever is in God, is eternal.  But providence is not anything eternal, for it is concerned with existing things that are not eternal, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth.  ii, 29).  Therefore there is no providence in God.

  Objection 3:  Further, there is nothing composite in God.  But providence seems to be something composite, because it includes both the intellect and the will.  Therefore providence is not in God.

  On the contrary, It is said (Wis.  14:3):  “But Thou, Father, governest all things by providence [*Vulg.  But ‘Thy providence, O Father, governeth it.’].”

  I answer that, It is necessary to attribute providence to God.  For all the good that is in created things has been created by God, as was shown above (Q6:Ar4).  In created things good is found not only as regards their substance, but also as regards their order towards an end and especially their last end, which, as was said above, is the divine goodness (Q21:Ar4).  This good of order existing in things created, is itself created by God.  Since, however, God is the cause of things by His intellect, and thus it behooves that the type of every effect should pre-exist in Him, as is clear from what has gone before (Q19:Ar4), it is necessary that the type of the order of things towards their end should pre-exist in the divine mind:  and the type of things ordered towards an end is, properly speaking, providence.  For it is the chief part of prudence, to which two other parts are directed—namely, remembrance of the past, and understanding of the present;  inasmuch as from the remembrance of what is past and the understanding of what is present, we gather how to provide for the future.  Now it belongs to prudence, according to the Philosopher (Ethic.  vi, 12), to direct other things towards an end whether in regard to oneself—as for instance, a man is said to be prudent, who orders well his acts towards the end of life--or in regard to others subject to him, in a family, city or kingdom;  in which sense it is said, “a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath appointed over his family.”[12]  In this way prudence or providence may suitably be attributed to God.  For in God Himself there can be nothing ordered towards an end, since He is the last end.  This type of order in things towards an end is therefore in God called providence.  Whence Boethius says (De Consol.  iv, 6) that “Providence is the divine type itself, seated in the Supreme Ruler;  which disposeth all things”:  which disposition may refer either to the type of the order of things towards an end, or to the type of the order of parts in the whole.

  Reply to Objection 1:  According to the Philosopher (Ethic.  vi, 9,10), “Prudence is what, strictly speaking, commands all that ‘ebulia’ has rightly counselled and ‘synesis’ rightly judged” [*Cf.  FS, Question [57], Article [6]].  Whence, though to take counsel may not be fitting to God, from the fact that counsel is an inquiry into matters that are doubtful, nevertheless to give a command as to the ordering of things towards an end, the right reason of which He possesses, does belong to God, according to Ps.  148:6:  “He hath made a decree, and it shall not pass away.”  In this manner both prudence and providence belong to God.  Although at the same time it may be said that the very reason of things to be done is called counsel in God;  not because of any inquiry necessitated, but from the certitude of the knowledge, to which those who take counsel come by inquiry.  Whence it is said:  “Who worketh all things according to the counsel of His will.”[13].

  Reply to Objection 2:  Two things pertain to the care of providence—namely, the “reason of order,” which is called providence and disposition;  and the execution of order, which is termed government.  Of these, the first is eternal, and the second is temporal.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Providence resides in the intellect;  but presupposes the act of willing the end.  Nobody gives a precept about things done for an end;  unless he will that end.  Hence prudence presupposes the moral virtues, by means of which the appetitive faculty is directed towards good, as the Philosopher says.  Even if Providence has to do with the divine will and intellect equally, this would not affect the divine simplicity, since in God both the will and intellect are one and the same thing, as we have said above (Q19).

22_2.  Whether everything is subject to the providence of God?

  Objection 1:  It seems that everything is not subject to divine providence.  For nothing foreseen can happen by chance.  If then everything was foreseen by God, nothing would happen by chance.  And thus hazard and luck would disappear;  which is against common opinion.

  Objection 2:  Further, a wise provider excludes any defect or evil, as far as he can, from those over whom he has a care.  But we see many evils existing.  Either, then, God cannot hinder these, and thus is not omnipotent;  or else He does not have care for everything.

  Objection 3:  Further, whatever happens of necessity does not require providence or prudence.  Hence, according to the Philosopher (Ethic.  vi, 5,9, 10,11):  “Prudence is the right reason of things contingent concerning which there is counsel and choice.”  Since, then, many things happen from necessity, everything cannot be subject to providence.

  Objection 4:  Further, whatsoever is left to itself cannot be subject to the providence of a governor.  But men are left to themselves by God in accordance with the words:  “God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel” (Ecclus.  15:14).  And particularly in reference to the wicked:  “I let them go according to the desires of their heart.”[14].  Everything, therefore, cannot be subject to divine providence.

  Objection 5:  Further, the Apostle says:  “God doth not care for oxen [*Vulg.  ‘Doth God take care for oxen?’]”[15]:  and we may say the same of other irrational creatures.  Thus everything cannot be under the care of divine providence.

  On the contrary, It is said of Divine Wisdom:  “She reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly” (Wis.  8:1).

  I answer that, Certain persons totally denied the existence of providence, as Democritus and the Epicureans, maintaining that the world was made by chance.  Others taught that incorruptible things only were subject to providence and corruptible things not in their individual selves, but only according to their species;  for in this respect they are incorruptible.  They are represented as saying:  “The clouds are His covert;  and He doth not consider our things;  and He walketh about the poles of heaven.”[16]  Rabbi Moses, however, excluded men from the generality of things corruptible, on account of the excellence of the intellect which they possess, but in reference to all else that suffers corruption he adhered to the opinion of the others.

   We must say, however, that all things are subject to divine providence, not only in general, but even in their own individual selves.  This is mad evident thus.  For since every agent acts for an end, the ordering of effects towards that end extends as far as the causality of the first agent extends.  Whence it happens that in the effects of an agent something takes place which has no reference towards the end, because the effect comes from a cause other than, and outside the intention of the agent.  But the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles;  not only of things incorruptible, but also of things corruptible.  Hence all things that exist in whatsoever manner are necessarily directed by God towards some end;  as the Apostle says:  “Those things that are of God are well ordered [*Vulg.’Those powers that are, are ordained of God’:  ‘Quae autem sunt, a Deo ordinatae sunt.’  St.  Thomas often quotes this passage, and invariably reads:  ‘Quae a Deo sunt, ordinata sunt.’].”[17]  Since, therefore, as the providence of God is nothing less than the type of the order of things towards an end, as we have said;  it necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence.  It has also been shown (Q14:Ar6 & 11) that God knows all things, both universal and particular.  And since His knowledge may be compared to the things themselves, as the knowledge of art to the objects of art, all things must of necessity come under His ordering;  as all things wrought by art are subject to the ordering of that art.

  Reply to Objection 1:  There is a difference between universal and particular causes.  A thing can escape the order of a particular cause;  but not the order of a universal cause.  For nothing escapes the order of a particular cause, except through the intervention and hindrance of some other particular cause;  as, for instance, wood may be prevented from burning, by the action of water.  Since then, all particular causes are included under the universal cause, it could not be that any effect should take place outside the range of that universal cause.  So far then as an effect escapes the order of a particular cause, it is said to be casual or fortuitous in respect to that cause;  but if we regard the universal cause, outside whose range no effect can happen, it is said to be foreseen.  Thus, for instance, the meeting of two servants, although to them it appears a chance circumstance, has been fully foreseen by their master, who has purposely sent to meet at the one place, in such a way that the one knows not about the other.

  Reply to Objection 2:  It is otherwise with one who has care of a particular thing, and one whose providence is universal, because a particular provider excludes all defects from what is subject to his care as far as he can;  whereas, one who provides universally allows some little defect to remain, lest the good of the whole should be hindered.  Hence, corruption and defects in natural things are said to be contrary to some particular nature;  yet they are in keeping with the plan of universal nature;  inasmuch as the defect in one thing yields to the good of another, or even to the universal good:  for the corruption of one is the generation of another, and through this it is that a species is kept in existence.  Since God, then, provides universally for all being, it belongs to His providence to permit certain defects in particular effects, that the perfect good of the universe may not be hindered, for if all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe.  A lion would cease to live, if there were no slaying of animals;  and there would be no patience of martyrs if there were no tyrannical persecution.  Thus Augustine says (Enchiridion 2):  “Almighty God would in no wise permit evil to exist in His works, unless He were so almighty and so good as to produce good even from evil.”  It would appear that it was on account of these two arguments to which we have just replied, that some were persuaded to consider corruptible things—e.g.  casual and evil things—as removed from the care of divine providence.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Man is not the author of nature;  but he uses natural things in applying art and virtue to his own use.  Hence human providence does not reach to that which takes place in nature from necessity;  but divine providence extends thus far, since God is the author of nature.  Apparently it was this argument that moved those who withdrew the course of nature from the care of divine providence, attributing it rather to the necessity of matter, as Democritus, and others of the ancients.

  Reply to Objection 4:  When it is said that God left man to himself, this does not mean that man is exempt from divine providence;  but merely that he has not a prefixed operating force determined to only the one effect;  as in the case of natural things, which are only acted upon as though directed by another towards an end;  and do not act of themselves, as if they directed themselves towards an end, like rational creatures, through the possession of free will, by which these are able to take counsel and make a choice.  Hence it is significantly said:  “In the hand of his own counsel.”  But since the very act of free will is traced to God as to a cause, it necessarily follows that everything happening from the exercise of free will must be subject to divine providence.  For human providence is included under the providence of God, as a particular under a universal cause.  God, however, extends His providence over the just in a certain more excellent way than over the wicked;  inasmuch as He prevents anything happening which would impede their final salvation.  For “to them that love God, all things work together unto good.”[18]  But from the fact that He does not restrain the wicked from the evil of sin, He is said to abandon them:  not that He altogether withdraws His providence from them;  otherwise they would return to nothing, if they were not preserved in existence by His providence.  This was the reason that had weight with Tully, who withdrew from the care of divine providence human affairs concerning which we take counsel.

  Reply to Objection 5:  Since a rational creature has, through its free will, control over its actions, as was said above (Q19:Ar10), it is subject to divine providence in an especial manner, so that something is imputed to it as a fault, or as a merit;  and there is given it accordingly something by way of punishment or reward.  In this way, the Apostle withdraws oxen from the care of God:  not, however, that individual irrational creatures escape the care of divine providence;  as was the opinion of the Rabbi Moses.

22_3.  Whether God has immediate providence over all things?

  Objection 1:  It seems that God has not immediate providence over all things.  For whatever is contained in the notion of dignity, must be attributed to God.  But it belongs to the dignity of a king, that he should have ministers;  through whose mediation he provides for his subjects.  Therefore much less has God Himself immediate providence over all things.

  Objection 2:  Further, it belongs to providence to order all things to an end.  Now the end of everything is its perfection and its good.  But it appertains to every cause to direct its effect to good;  wherefore every active cause is a cause of the effect of providence.  If therefore God were to have immediate providence over all things, all secondary causes would be withdrawn.

  Objection 3:  Further, Augustine says (Enchiridion 17) that, “It is better to be ignorant of some things than to know them, for example, vile things”:  and the Philosopher says the same (Metaph.  xii, 51).  But whatever is better must be assigned to God.  Therefore He has not immediate providence over bad and vile things.

  On the contrary, It is said:  “What other hath He appointed over the earth?  or whom hath He set over the world which He made?[19]  On which passage Gregory says (Moral.  xxiv, 20):  “Himself He ruleth the world which He Himself hath made.”

  I answer that, Two things belong to providence—namely, the type of the order of things foreordained towards an end;  and the execution of this order, which is called government.  As regards the first of these, God has immediate providence over everything, because He has in His intellect the types of everything, even the smallest;  and whatsoever causes He assigns to certain effects, He gives them the power to produce those effects.  Whence it must be that He has beforehand the type of those effects in His mind.  As to the second, there are certain intermediaries of God’s providence;  for He governs things inferior by superior, not on account of any defect in His power, but by reason of the abundance of His goodness;  so that the dignity of causality is imparted even to creatures.  Thus Plato’s opinion, as narrated by Gregory of Nyssa (De Provid.  viii, 3), is exploded.  He taught a threefold providence.  First, one which belongs to the supreme Deity, Who first and foremost has provision over spiritual things, and thus over the whole world as regards genus, species, and universal causes.  The second providence, which is over the individuals of all that can be generated and corrupted, he attributed to the divinities who circulate in the heavens;  that is, certain separate substances, which move corporeal things in a circular direction.  The third providence, over human affairs, he assigned to demons, whom the Platonic philosophers placed between us and the gods, as Augustine tells us (De Civ.  Dei, 1, 2:  viii, 14).

  Reply to Objection 1:  It pertains to a king’s dignity to have ministers who execute his providence.  But the fact that he has not the plan of those things which are done by them arises from a deficiency in himself.  For every operative science is the more perfect, the more it considers the particular things with which its action is concerned.

  Reply to Objection 2:  God’s immediate provision over everything does not exclude the action of secondary causes;  which are the executors of His order, as was said above (Q19:Ar5 & 8).

  Reply to Objection 3:  It is better for us not to know low and vile things, because by them we are impeded in our knowledge of what is better and higher;  for we cannot understand many things simultaneously;  because the thought of evil sometimes perverts the will towards evil.  This does not hold with God, Who sees everything simultaneously at one glance, and whose will cannot turn in the direction of evil.

22_4.  Whether divine providence imposes any necessity on things foreseen?

  Objection 1:  It seems that divine providence imposes necessity upon things foreseen.  For every effect that has a “per se” cause, either present or past, which it necessarily follows, happens from necessity;  as the Philosopher proves (Metaph.  vi, 7).  But the providence of God, since it is eternal, pre-exists;  and the effect flows from it of necessity, for divine providence cannot be frustrated.  Therefore divine providence imposes a necessity upon things foreseen.

  Objection 2:  Further, every provider makes his work as stable as he can, lest it should fail.  But God is most powerful.  Therefore He assigns the stability of necessity to things provided.

  Objection 3:  Further, Boethius says (De Consol.  iv, 6):  “Fate from the immutable source of providence binds together human acts and fortunes by the indissoluble connection of causes.”  It seems therefore that providence imposes necessity upon things foreseen.

  On the contrary, Dionysius says that (Div.  Nom.  iv, 23) “to corrupt nature is not the work of providence.”  But it is in the nature of some things to be contingent.  Divine providence does not therefore impose any necessity upon things so as to destroy their contingency.

  I answer that, Divine providence imposes necessity upon some things;  not upon all, as some formerly believed.  For to providence it belongs to order things towards an end.  Now after the divine goodness, which is an extrinsic end to all things, the principal good in things themselves is the perfection of the universe;  which would not be, were not all grades of being found in things.  Whence it pertains to divine providence to produce every grade of being.  And thus it has prepared for some things necessary causes, so that they happen of necessity;  for others contingent causes, that they may happen by contingency, according to the nature of their proximate causes.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow;  but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency.  Therefore whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity;  and that happens from contingency, which the plan of divine providence conceives to happen from contingency.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The order of divine providence is unchangeable and certain, so far as all things foreseen happen as they have been foreseen, whether from necessity or from contingency.

  Reply to Objection 3:  That indissolubility and unchangeableness of which Boethius speaks, pertain to the certainty of providence, which fails not to produce its effect, and that in the way foreseen;  but they do not pertain to the necessity of the effects.  We must remember that properly speaking ‘necessary’ and “contingent” are consequent upon being, as such.  Hence the mode both of necessity and of contingency falls under the foresight of God, who provides universally for all being;  not under the foresight of causes that provide only for some particular order of things.

Question 23:   Of the Predestination – 8 Articles

   After consideration of divine providence, we must treat of predestination and the book of life.  Concerning predestination there are eight points of inquiry:


1.  Whether men are predestined by God?

2.  Whether predestination places anything in the predestined?

3.  Whether God reprobates any man?

4.  Whether the predestined are chosen by God?  [*”Eligantur.”]

5.  Whether the foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination?

6.  Whether predestination is certain?

7.  Whether the number of the predestined is certain?

8.  Whether predestination can be furthered by the prayers of the saints?


23_1.  Whether men are predestined by God?

  Objection 1:  It seems that men are not predestined by God, for Damascene says (De Fide Orth.  ii, 30):  “It must be borne in mind that God foreknows but does not predetermine everything, since He foreknows all that is in us, but does not predetermine it all.”  But human merit and demerit are in us, forasmuch as we are the masters of our own acts by free will.  All that pertains therefore to merit or demerit is not predestined by God;  and thus man’s predestination is done away.

  Objection 2:  Further, all creatures are directed to their end by divine providence, as was said above (Q22:Ar1 & 2).  But other creatures are not said to be predestined by God.  Therefore neither are men.

  Objection 3:  Further, the angels are capable of beatitude, as well as men.  But predestination is not suitable to angels, since in them there never was any unhappiness (miseria);  for predestination, as Augustine says (De praedest.  sanct.  17), is the “purpose to take pity [miserendi]” [*See Question [22], Article [3]].  Therefore men are not predestined.

  Objection 4:  Further, the benefits God confers upon men are revealed by the Holy Ghost to holy men according to the saying of the Apostle:  “Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God:  that we may know the things that are given us from God.”[20]  Therefore if man were predestined by God, since predestination is a benefit from God, his predestination would be made known to each predestined;  which is clearly false.

  On the contrary, It is written:  “Whom He predestined, them He also called.[21]

  I answer that, It is fitting that God should predestine men.  For all things are subject to His providence, as was shown above (Q22:Ar2).  Now it belongs to providence to direct things towards their end, as was also said (Q22:Ar1 & 2).  The end towards which created things are directed by God is twofold;  one which exceeds all proportion and faculty of created nature;  and this end is life eternal, that consists in seeing God which is above the nature of every creature, as shown above (Q12:Ar4).  The other end, however, is proportionate to created nature, to which end created being can attain according to the power of its nature.  Now if a thing cannot attain to something by the power of its nature, it must be directed thereto by another;  thus, an arrow is directed by the archer towards a mark.  Hence, properly speaking, a rational creature, capable of eternal life, is led towards it, directed, as it were, by God.  The reason of that direction pre-exists in God;  as in Him is the type of the order of all things towards an end, which we proved above to be providence.  Now the type in the mind of the doer of something to be done, is a kind of pre-existence in him of the thing to be done.  Hence the type of the aforesaid direction of a rational creature towards the end of life eternal is called predestination.  For to destine, is to direct or send.  Thus it is clear that predestination, as regards its objects, is a part of providence.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Damascene calls predestination an imposition of necessity, after the manner of natural things which are predetermined towards one end.  This is clear from his adding:  “He does not will malice, nor does He compel virtue.”  Whence predestination is not excluded by Him.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Irrational creatures are not capable of that end which exceeds the faculty of human nature.  Whence they cannot be properly said to be predestined;  although improperly the term is used in respect of any other end.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Predestination applies to angels, just as it does to men, although they have never been unhappy.  For movement does not take its species from the term “wherefrom” but from the term “whereto.”  Because it matters nothing, in respect of the notion of making white, whether he who is made white was before black, yellow or red.  Likewise it matters nothing in respect of the notion of predestination whether one is predestined to life eternal from the state of misery or not.  Although it may be said that every conferring of good above that which is due pertains to mercy;  as was shown previously (Q21:Ar3 & 4).

  Reply to Objection 4:  Even if by a special privilege their predestination were revealed to some, it is not fitting that it should be revealed to everyone;  because, if so, those who were not predestined would despair;  and security would beget negligence in the predestined.

23_2.  Whether predestination places anything in the predestined?

  Objection 1:  It seems that predestination does place something in the predestined.  For every action of itself causes passion.  If therefore predestination is action in God, predestination must be passion in the predestined.

  Objection 2:  Further, Origen says on the text, “He who was predestined,” etc.:  “Predestination is of one who is not;  destination, of one who is.”[22]  And Augustine says (De Praed.  Sanct.):  “What is predestination but the destination of one who is?”  Therefore predestination is only of one who actually exists;  and it thus places something in the predestined.

  Objection 3:  Further, preparation is something in the thing prepared.  But predestination is the preparation of God’s benefits, as Augustine says (De Praed.  Sanct.  ii, 14).  Therefore predestination is something in the predestined.

  Objection 4:  Further, nothing temporal enters into the definition of eternity.  But grace, which is something temporal, is found in the definition of predestination.  For predestination is the preparation of grace in the present;  and of glory in the future.  Therefore predestination is not anything eternal.  So it must needs be that it is in the predestined, and not in God;  for whatever is in Him is eternal.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (De Praed.  Sanct.  ii, 14) that “predestination is the foreknowledge of God’s benefits.”  But foreknowledge is not in the things foreknown, but in the person who foreknows them.  Therefore, predestination is in the one who predestines, and not in the predestined.

  I answer that, Predestination is not anything in the predestined;  but only in the person who predestines.  We have said above that predestination is a part of providence.  Now providence is not anything in the things provided for;  but is a type in the mind of the provider, as was proved above (Q22:Ar1).  But the execution of providence which is called government, is in a passive way in the thing governed, and in an active way in the governor.  Whence it is clear that predestination is a kind of type of the ordering of some persons towards eternal salvation, existing in the divine mind.  The execution, however, of this order is in a passive way in the predestined, but actively in God.  The execution of predestination is the calling and magnification;  according to the Apostle:  “Whom He predestined, them He also called and whom He called, them He also magnified [Vulg.  ‘justified’].”[23]

  Reply to Objection 1:  Actions passing out to external matter imply of themselves passion—for example, the actions of warming and cutting;  but not so actions remaining in the agent, as understanding and willing, as said above (Q14:Ar2;  Q18:Ar3).  Predestination is an action of this latter class.  Wherefore, it does not put anything in the predestined.  But its execution, which passes out to external things, has an effect in them.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Destination sometimes denotes a real mission of someone to a given end;  thus, destination can only be said of someone actually existing.  It is taken, however, in another sense for a mission which a person conceives in the mind;  and in this manner we are said to destine a thing which we firmly propose in our mind.  In this latter way it is said that Eleazar “determined not to do any unlawful things for the love of life” (2 Macc.  6:20).  Thus destination can be of a thing which does not exist.  Predestination, however, by reason of the antecedent nature it implies, can be attributed to a thing which does not actually exist;  in whatsoever way destination is accepted.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Preparation is twofold:  of the patient in respect to passion and this is in the thing prepared;  and of the agent to action, and this is in the agent.  Such a preparation is predestination, and as an agent by intellect is said to prepare itself to act, accordingly as it preconceives the idea of what is to be done.  Thus, God from all eternity prepared by predestination, conceiving the idea of the order of some towards salvation.

  Reply to Objection 4:  Grace does not come into the definition of predestination, as something belonging to its essence, but inasmuch as predestination implies a relation to grace, as of cause to effect, and of act to its object.  Whence it does not follow that predestination is anything temporal.

23_3.  Whether God reprobates any man?

  Objection 1:  It seems that God reprobates no man.  For nobody reprobates what he loves.  But God loves every man, according to (Wis.  11:25):  “Thou lovest all things that are, and Thou hatest none of the things Thou hast made.”  Therefore God reprobates no man.

  Objection 2:  Further, if God reprobates any man, it would be necessary for reprobation to have the same relation to the reprobates as predestination has to the predestined.  But predestination is the cause of the salvation of the predestined.  Therefore reprobation will likewise be the cause of the loss of the reprobate.  But this false.  For it is said (Osee 13:9):  “Destruction is thy own, O Israel;  Thy help is only in Me.”  God does not, then, reprobate any man.

  Objection 3:  Further, to no one ought anything be imputed which he cannot avoid.  But if God reprobates anyone, that one must perish.  For it is said:  “Consider the works of God, that no man can correct whom He hath despised.”[24]  Therefore it could not be imputed to any man, were he to perish.  But this is false.  Therefore God does not reprobate anyone.

  On the contrary, It is said:  “I have loved Jacob, but have hated Esau.”[25]

  I answer that, God does reprobate some.  For it was said above (Ar1) that predestination is a part of providence.  To providence, however, it belongs to permit certain defects in those things which are subject to providence, as was said above (Q22:Ar2).  Thus, as men are ordained to eternal life through the providence of God, it likewise is part of that providence to permit some to fall away from that end;  this is called reprobation.  Thus, as predestination is a part of providence, in regard to those ordained to eternal salvation, so reprobation is a part of providence in regard to those who turn aside from that end.  Hence reprobation implies not only foreknowledge, but also something more, as does providence, as was said above (Q22:Ar1).  Therefore, as predestination includes the will to confer grace and glory;  so also reprobation includes the will to permit a person to fall into sin, and to impose the punishment of damnation on account of that sin.

  Reply to Objection 1:  God loves all men and all creatures, inasmuch as He wishes them all some good;  but He does not wish every good to them all.  So far, therefore, as He does not wish this particular good—namely, eternal life—He is said to hate or reprobated them.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Reprobation differs in its causality from predestination.  This latter is the cause both of what is expected in the future life by the predestined—namely, glory—and of what is received in this life—namely, grace.  Reprobation, however, is not the cause of what is in the present—namely, sin;  but it is the cause of abandonment by God.  It is the cause, however, of what is assigned in the future—namely, eternal punishment.  But guilt proceeds from the free-will of the person who is reprobated and deserted by grace.  In this way, the word of the prophet is true—namely, “Destruction is thy own, O Israel.”

  Reply to Objection 3:  Reprobation by God does not take anything away from the power of the person reprobated.  Hence, when it is said that the reprobated cannot obtain grace, this must not be understood as implying absolute impossibility:  but only conditional impossibility:  as was said above (Q19:Ar3), that the predestined must necessarily be saved;  yet a conditional necessity, which does not do away with the liberty of choice.  Whence, although anyone reprobated by God cannot acquire grace, nevertheless that he falls into this or that particular sin comes from the use of his free-will.  Hence it is rightly imputed to him as guilt.

23_4.  Whether the predestined are chosen by God?  [*”Eligantur.”]

  Objection 1:  It seems that the predestined are not chosen by God.  For Dionysius says (Div.  Nom.  iv, 1) that as the corporeal sun sends his rays upon all without selection, so does God His goodness.  But the goodness of God is communicated to some in an especial manner through a participation of grace and glory.  Therefore God without any selection communicates His grace and glory;  and this belongs to predestination. 

  Objection 2:  Further, election is of things that exist.  But predestination from all eternity is also of things which do not exist.  Therefore, some are predestined without election.

  Objection 3:  Further, election implies some discrimination.  Now God “wills all men to be saved.”[26]  Therefore, predestination which ordains men towards eternal salvation, is without election.

  On the contrary, It is said:  “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.[27]

  I answer that, Predestination presupposes election in the order of reason;  and election presupposes love.  The reason of this is that predestination, as stated above (Ar1), is a part of providence.  Now providence, as also prudence, is the plan existing in the intellect directing the ordering of some things towards an end;  as was proved above (Q22:Ar2).  But nothing is directed towards an end unless the will for that end already exists.  Whence the predestination of some to eternal salvation presupposes, in the order of reason, that God wills their salvation;  and to this belong both election and love:—love, inasmuch as He wills them this particular good of eternal salvation;  since to love is to wish well to anyone, as stated above (Q20:Ar2 & 3):   election, inasmuch as He wills this good to some in preference to others;  since He reprobates some, as stated above (Ar3).  Election and love, however, are differently ordered in God, and in ourselves:  because in us the will in loving does not cause good, but we are incited to love by the good which already exists;  and therefore we choose someone to love, and so election in us precedes love.  In God, however, it is the reverse.  For His will, by which in loving He wishes good to someone, is the cause of that good possessed by some in preference to others.  Thus it is clear that love precedes election in the order of reason, and election precedes predestination.  Whence all the predestinate are objects of election and love.

  Reply to Objection 1:  If the communication of the divine goodness in general be considered, God communicates His goodness without election;  inasmuch as there is nothing which does not in some way share in His goodness, as we said above (Q6:Ar4).  But if we consider the communication of this or that particular good, He does not allot it without election;  since He gives certain goods to some men, which He does not give to others.  Thus in the conferring of grace and glory election is implied.

  Reply to Objection 2:  When the will of the person choosing is incited to make a choice by the good already pre-existing in the object chosen, the choice must needs be of those things which already exist, as happens in our choice.  In God it is otherwise;  as was said above (Q20:Ar2).  Thus, as Augustine says (De Verb.  Ap.  Serm.  11):  “Those are chosen by God, who do not exist;  yet He does not err in His choice.”

  Reply to Objection 3:  God wills all men to be saved by His antecedent will, which is to will not simply but relatively;  and not by His consequent will, which is to will simply.

23_5.  Whether the foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination?

  Objection 1:  It seems that foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination.  For the Apostle says:  “Whom He foreknew, He also predestined.”[28]  Again a gloss of Ambrose on Rm.  9:15:  “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy” says:  “I will give mercy to him who, I foresee, will turn to Me with his whole heart.”  Therefore it seems the foreknowledge of merits is the cause of predestination.

  Objection 2:  Further, Divine predestination includes the divine will, which by no means can be irrational;  since predestination is “the purpose to have mercy,” as Augustine says (De Praed.  Sanct.  ii, 17).  But there can be no other reason for predestination than the foreknowledge of merits.  Therefore it must be the cause of reason of predestination.

  Objection 3:  Further, “There is no injustice in God.”[29]  Now it would seem unjust that unequal things be given to equals.  But all men are equal as regards both nature and original sin;  and inequality in them arises from the merits or demerits of their actions.  Therefore God does not prepare unequal things for men by predestinating and reprobating, unless through the foreknowledge of their merits and demerits.

  On the contrary, The Apostle says:  “Not by works of justice which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.[30]  But as He saved us, so He predestined that we should be saved.  Therefore, foreknowledge of merits is not the cause or reason of predestination.

  I answer that, Since predestination includes will, as was said above (Ar4), the reason of predestination must be sought for in the same way as was the reason of the will of God.  Now it was shown above (Q19:Ar5), that we cannot assign any cause of the divine will on the part of the act of willing;  but a reason can be found on the part of the things willed;  inasmuch as God wills one thing on account of something else.  Wherefore nobody has been so insane as to say that merit is the cause of divine predestination as regards the act of the predestinator.  But this is the question, whether, as regards the effect, predestination has any cause;  or what comes to the same thing, whether God pre-ordained that He would give the effect of predestination to anyone on account of any merits.

   Accordingly there were some who held that the effect of predestination was pre-ordained for some on account of pre-existing merits in a former life.  This was the opinion of Origen, who thought that the souls of men were created in the beginning, and according to the diversity of their works different states were assigned to them in this world when united with the body.  The Apostle, however, rebuts this opinion where he says:  “For when they were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil .  .  .  not of works, but of Him that calleth, it was said of her:  The elder shall serve the younger.”[31]

   Others said that pre-existing merits in this life are the reason and cause of the effect of predestination.  For the Pelagians taught that the beginning of doing well came from us;  and the consummation from God:  so that it came about that the effect of predestination was granted to one, and not to another, because the one made a beginning by preparing, whereas the other did not.  But against this we have the saying of the Apostle, that “we are not sufficient to think anything of ourselves as of ourselves.”[32]  Now no principle of action can be imagined previous to the act of thinking.  Wherefore it cannot be said that anything begun in us can be the reason of the effect of predestination.

   And so others said that merits following the effect of predestination are the reason of predestination;  giving us to understand that God gives grace to a person, and pre-ordains that He will give it, because He knows beforehand that He will make good use of that grace, as if a king were to give a horse to a soldier because he knows he will make good use of it.  But these seem to have drawn a distinction between that which flows from grace, and that which flows from free will, as if the same thing cannot come from both.  It is, however, manifest that what is of grace is the effect of predestination;  and this cannot be considered as the reason of predestination, since it is contained in the notion of predestination.  Therefore, if anything else in us be the reason of predestination, it will outside the effect of predestination.  Now there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination;  as there is not distinction between what flows from a secondary cause and from a first cause.  For the providence of God produces effects through the operation of secondary causes, as was above shown (Q22:Ar3).  Wherefore, that which flows from free-will is also of predestination.  We must say, therefore, that the effect of predestination may be considered in a twofold light—in one way, in particular;  and thus there is no reason why one effect of predestination should not be the reason or cause of another;  a subsequent effect being the reason of a previous effect, as its final cause;  and the previous effect being the reason of the subsequent as its meritorious cause, which is reduced to the disposition of the matter.  Thus we might say that God pre-ordained to give glory on account of merit, and that He pre-ordained to give grace to merit glory.  In another way, the effect of predestination may be considered in general.  Thus, it is impossible that the whole of the effect of predestination in general should have any cause as coming from us;  because whatsoever is in man disposing him towards salvation, is all included under the effect of predestination;  even the preparation for grace.  For neither does this happen otherwise than by divine help, according to the prophet Jeremias:  “convert us, O Lord, to Thee, and we shall be converted.”[33]  Yet predestination has in this way, in regard to its effect, the goodness of God for its reason;  towards which the whole effect of predestination is directed as to an end;  and from which it proceeds, as from its first moving principle.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The use of grace foreknown by God is not the cause of conferring grace, except after the manner of a final cause;  as was explained above.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Predestination has its foundation in the goodness of God as regards its effects in general.  Considered in its particular effects, however, one effect is the reason of another;  as already stated.

  Reply to Objection 3:  The reason for the predestination of some, and reprobation of others, must be sought for in the goodness of God.  Thus He is said to have made all things through His goodness, so that the divine goodness might be represented in things.  Now it is necessary that God’s goodness, which in itself is one and undivided, should be manifested in many ways in His creation;  because creatures in themselves cannot attain to the simplicity of God.  Thus it is that for the completion of the universe there are required different grades of being;  some of which hold a high and some a low place in the universe.  That this multiformity of grades may be preserved in things, God allows some evils, lest many good things should never happen, as was said above (Q22:Ar2).  Let us then consider the whole of the human race, as we consider the whole universe.  God wills to manifest His goodness in men;  in respect to those whom He predestines, by means of His mercy, as sparing them;  and in respect of others, whom he reprobates, by means of His justice, in punishing them.  This is the reason why God elects some and rejects others.  To this the Apostle refers, saying:  “What if God, willing to show His wrath [that is, the vengeance of His justice], and to make His power known, endured [that is, permitted] with much patience vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction;  that He might show the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He hath prepared unto glory”[34];   and “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver;  but also of wood and of earth;  and some, indeed, unto honor, but some unto dishonor.”[35]  Yet why He chooses some for glory, and reprobates others, has no reason, except the divine will.  Whence Augustine says (Tract.  xxvi.  in Joan.):  “Why He draws one, and another He draws not, seek not to judge, if thou dost not wish to err.”  Thus too, in the things of nature, a reason can be assigned, since primary matter is altogether uniform, why one part of it was fashioned by God from the beginning under the form of fire, another under the form of earth, that there might be a diversity of species in things of nature.  Yet why this particular part of matter is under this particular form, and that under another, depends upon the simple will of God;  as from the simple will of the artificer it depends that this stone is in part of the wall, and that in another;  although the plan requires that some stones should be in this place, and some in that place.  Neither on this account can there be said to be injustice in God, if He prepares unequal lots for not unequal things.  This would be altogether contrary to the notion of justice, if the effect of predestination were granted as a debt, and not gratuitously.  In things which are given gratuitously, a person can give more or less, just as he pleases (provided he deprives nobody of his due), without any infringement of justice.  This is what the master of the house said:  “Take what is thine, and go thy way.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will?”[36]

23_6.  Whether predestination is certain?

  Objection 1:  It seems that predestination is not certain.  Because on the words “Hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown,”[37] Augustine says (De Corr.  et Grat.  15):  “Another will not receive, unless this one were to lose it.”  Hence the crown which is the effect of predestination can be both acquired and lost.  Therefore predestination cannot be certain.

  Objection 2:  Further, granted what is possible, nothing impossible follows.  But it is possible that one predestined—e.g.  Peter—may sin and then be killed.  But if this were so, it would follow that the effect of predestination would be thwarted.  This then, is not impossible.  Therefore predestination is not certain.

  Objection 3:  Further, whatever God could do in the past, He can do now.  But He could have not predestined whom He hath predestined.  Therefore now He is able not to predestine him.  Therefore predestination is not certain.

  On the contrary, A gloss on Rm.  8:29:  “Whom He foreknew, He also predestinated”, says:  “Predestination is the foreknowledge and preparation of the benefits of God, by which whosoever are freed will most certainly be freed.”

  I answer that, Predestination most certainly and infallibly takes effect;  yet it does not impose any necessity, so that, namely, its effect should take place from necessity.  For it was said above (Ar1), that predestination is a part of providence.  But not all things subject to providence are necessary;  some things happening from contingency, according to the nature of the proximate causes, which divine providence has ordained for such effects.  Yet the order of providence is infallible, as was shown above (Q22:Ar4).  So also the order of predestination is certain;  yet free-will is not destroyed;  whence the effect of predestination has its contingency.  Moreover all that has been said about the divine knowledge and will (Q14:Ar13;   Q19:Ar4) must also be taken into consideration;  since they do not destroy contingency in things, although they themselves are most certain and infallible.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The crown may be said to belong to a person in two ways;  first, by God’s predestination, and thus no one loses his crown:  secondly, by the merit of grace;  for what we merit, in a certain way is ours;  and thus anyone may lose his crown by mortal sin.  Another person receives that crown thus lost, inasmuch as he takes the former’s place.  For God does not permit some to fall, without raising others;  according to Job 34:24:  “He shall break in pieces many and innumerable, and make others to stand in their stead.”  Thus men are substituted in the place of the fallen angels;  and the Gentiles in that of the Jews.  He who is substituted for another in the state of grace, also receives the crown of the fallen in that in eternal life he will rejoice at the good the other has done, in which life he will rejoice at all good whether done by himself or by others.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Although it is possible for one who is predestinated considered in himself to die in mortal sin;  yet it is not possible, supposed, as in fact it is supposed.  that he is predestinated.  Whence it does not follow that predestination can fall short of its effect.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Since predestination includes the divine will as stated above (Ar4):  and the fact that God wills any created thing is necessary on the supposition that He so wills, on account of the immutability of the divine will, but is not necessary absolutely;  so the same must be said of predestination.  Wherefore one ought not to say that God is able not to predestinate one whom He has predestinated, taking it in a composite sense, thought, absolutely speaking, God can predestinate or not.  But in this way the certainty of predestination is not destroyed.

23_7.  Whether the number of the predestined is certain?

  Objection 1:  It seems that the number of the predestined is not certain.  For a number to which an addition can be made is not certain.  But there can be an addition to the number of the predestined as it seems;  for it is written:  “The Lord God adds to this number many thousands,”[38] and a gloss adds, “fixed by God, who knows those who belong to Him.”  Therefore the number of the predestined is not certain.

  Objection 2:  Further, no reason can be assigned why God pre-ordains to salvation one number of men more than another.  But nothing is arranged by God without a reason.  Therefore the number to be saved pre-ordained by God cannot be certain.

  Objection 3:  Further, the operations of God are more perfect than those of nature.  But in the works of nature, good is found in the majority of things;  defect and evil in the minority.  If, then, the number of the saved were fixed by God at a certain figure, there would be more saved than lost.  Yet the contrary follows from Mt.  7:13,14:  “For wide is the gate, and broad the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.  How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life;  and few there are who find it!” Therefore the number of those pre-ordained by God to be saved is not certain.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (De Corr.  et Grat.  13):  “The number of the predestined is certain, and can neither be increased nor diminished.”

  I answer that, The number of the predestined is certain.  Some have said that it was formally, but not materially certain;  as if we were to say that it was certain that a hundred or a thousand would be saved;  not however these or those individuals.  But this destroys the certainty of predestination;  of which we spoke above (Ar6).  Therefore we must say that to God the number of the predestined is certain, not only formally, but also materially.  It must, however, be observed that the number of the predestined is said to be certain to God, not by reason of His knowledge, because, that is to say, He knows how many will be saved (for in this way the number of drops of rain and the sands of the sea are certain to God);  but by reason of His deliberate choice and determination.  For the further evidence of which we must remember that every agent intends to make something finite, as is clear from what has been said above when we treated of the infinite (Q7:Ar2 & 3).  Now whosoever intends some definite measure in his effect thinks out some definite number in the essential parts, which are by their very nature required for the perfection of the whole.  For of those things which are required not principally, but only on account of something else, he does not select any definite number “per se”;  but he accepts and uses them in such numbers as are necessary on account of that other thing.  For instance, a builder thinks out the definite measurements of a house, and also the definite number of rooms which he wishes to make in the house;  and definite measurements of the walls and roof;  he does not, however, select a definite number of stones, but accepts and uses just so many as are sufficient for the required measurements of the wall.  So also must we consider concerning God in regard to the whole universe, which is His effect.  For He pre-ordained the measurements of the whole of the universe, and what number would befit the essential parts of that universe—that is to say, which have in some way been ordained in perpetuity;  how many spheres, how many stars, how many elements, and how many species.  Individuals, however, which undergo corruption, are not ordained as it were chiefly for the good of the universe, but in a secondary way, inasmuch as the good of the species is preserved through them.  Whence, although God knows the total number of individuals, the number of oxen, flies and such like, is not pre-ordained by God “per se”;  but divine providence produces just so many as are sufficient for the preservation of the species.  Now of all creatures the rational creature is chiefly ordained for the good of the universe, being as such incorruptible;  more especially those who attain to eternal happiness, since they more immediately reach the ultimate end.  Whence the number of the predestined is certain to God;  not only by way of knowledge, but also by way of a principal pre-ordination.

   It is not exactly the same thing in the case of the number of the reprobate, who would seem to be pre-ordained by God for the good of the elect, in whose regard “all things work together unto good.”[39]  Concerning the number of all the predestined, some say that so many men will be saved as angels fell;  some, so many as there were angels left;  others, as many as the number of angels created by God.  It is, however, better to say that, “to God alone is known the number for whom is reserved eternal happiness [*From the ‘secret’ prayer of the missal, ‘pro vivis et defunctis.’]”

  Reply to Objection 1:  These words of Deuteronomy must be taken as applied to those who are marked out by God beforehand in respect to present righteousness.  For their number is increased and diminished, but not the number of the predestined.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The reason of the quantity of any one part must be judged from the proportion of that part of the whole.  Thus in God the reason why He has made so many stars, or so many species of things, or predestined so many, is according to the proportion of the principal parts to the good of the whole universe.

  Reply to Objection 3:  The good that is proportionate to the common state of nature is to be found in the majority;  and is wanting in the minority.  The good that exceeds the common state of nature is to be found in the minority, and is wanting in the majority.  Thus it is clear that the majority of men have a sufficient knowledge for the guidance of life;  and those who have not this knowledge are said to be half-witted or foolish;  but they who attain to a profound knowledge of things intelligible are a very small minority in respect to the rest.  Since their eternal happiness, consisting in the vision of God, exceeds the common state of nature, and especially in so far as this is deprived of grace through the corruption of original sin, those who are saved are in the minority.  In this especially, however, appears the mercy of God, that He has chosen some for that salvation, from which very many in accordance with the common course and tendency of nature fall short.

23_8.  Whether predestination can be furthered by the prayers of the saints?

  Objection 1:  It seems that predestination cannot be furthered by the prayers of the saints.  For nothing eternal can be preceded by anything temporal;  and in consequence nothing temporal can help towards making something else eternal.  But predestination is eternal.  Therefore, since the prayers of the saints are temporal, they cannot so help as to cause anyone to become predestined.  Predestination therefore is not furthered by the prayers of the saints.

  Objection 2:  Further, as there is no need of advice except on account of defective knowledge, so there is not need of help except through defective power.  But neither of these things can be said of God when He predestines.  Whence it is said:  “Who hath helped the Spirit of the Lord?  [*Vulg.:  ‘Who hath known the mind of the Lord?’] Or who hath been His counsellor?”[40]  Therefore predestination cannot be furthered by the prayers of the saints. 

  Objection 3:  Further, if a thing can be helped, it can also be hindered.  But predestination cannot be hindered by anything.  Therefore it cannot be furthered by anything.

  On the contrary, It is said that “Isaac besought the Lord for his wife because she was barren;  and He heard him and made Rebecca to conceive.[41]  But from that conception Jacob was born, and he was predestined.  Now his predestination would not have happened if he had never been born.  Therefore predestination can be furthered by the prayers of the saints.

  I answer that, Concerning this question, there were different errors.  Some, regarding the certainty of divine predestination, said that prayers were superfluous, as also anything else done to attain salvation;  because whether these things were done or not, the predestined would attain, and the reprobate would not attain, eternal salvation.  But against this opinion are all the warnings of Holy Scripture, exhorting us to prayer and other good works.

   Others declared that the divine predestination was altered through prayer.  This is stated to have the opinion of the Egyptians, who thought that the divine ordination, which they called fate, could be frustrated by certain sacrifices and prayers.  Against this also is the authority of Scripture.  For it is said:  “But the triumpher in Israel will not spare and will not be moved to repentance”[42];  and that “the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.”[43]

   Wherefore we must say otherwise that in predestination two things are to be considered—namely, the divine ordination;  and its effect.  As regards the former, in no possible way can predestination be furthered by the prayers of the saints.  For it is not due to their prayers that anyone is predestined by God.  As regards the latter, predestination is said to be helped by the prayers of the saints, and by other good works;  because providence, of which predestination is a part, does not do away with secondary causes but so provides effects, that the order of secondary causes falls also under providence.  So, as natural effects are provided by God in such a way that natural causes are directed to bring about those natural effects, without which those effects would not happen;  so the salvation of a person is predestined by God in such a way, that whatever helps that person towards salvation falls under the order of predestination;  whether it be one’s own prayers or those of another;  or other good works, and such like, without which one would not attain to salvation.  Whence, the predestined must strive after good works and prayer;  because through these means predestination is most certainly fulfilled.  For this reason it is said:  “Labor more that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.”[44]

  Reply to Objection 1:  This argument shows that predestination is not furthered by the prayers of the saints, as regards the preordination. 

  Reply to Objection 2:  One is said to be helped by another in two ways;  in one way, inasmuch as he receives power from him:  and to be helped thus belongs to the weak;  but this cannot be said of God, and thus we are to understand, “Who hath helped the Spirit of the Lord?”  In another way one is said to be helped by a person through whom he carries out his work, as a master through a servant.  In this way God is helped by us;  inasmuch as we execute His orders, according to 1 Cor.  3:9:  “We are God’s co-adjutors.”  Nor is this on account of any defect in the power of God, but because He employs intermediary causes, in order that the beauty of order may be preserved in the universe;  and also that He may communicate to creatures the dignity of causality.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Secondary causes cannot escape the order of the first universal cause, as has been said above (Q19:Ar6), indeed, they execute that order.  And therefore predestination can be furthered by creatures, but it cannot be impeded by them.

Question 82:   Of the Will of Man – 5 Articles

   We next consider the will.  Under this head there are five points of inquiry:


1.  Whether the will desires something of necessity?

2.  Whether the will desires of necessity, whatever it desires?

3.  Whether the will is a higher power than the intellect?

4.  Whether the will moves the intellect?

5.  Whether we should distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts in the superior appetite?


82_1.  Whether the will desires something of necessity?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that the will desires nothing.  For Augustine says (De Civ.  Dei v, 10) that it anything is necessary, it is not voluntary.  But whatever the will desires is voluntary.  Therefore nothing that the will desires is desired of necessity.

  Objection 2:  Further, the rational powers, according to the Philosopher (Metaph.  viii, 2), extend to opposite things.  But the will is a rational power, because, as he says (De Anima iii, 9), “the will is in the reason.”  Therefore the will extends to opposite things, and therefore it is determined to nothing of necessity.

  Objection 3:  Further, by the will we are masters of our own actions.  But we are not masters of that which is of necessity.  Therefore the act of the will cannot be necessitated.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin.  xiii, 4) that “all desire happiness with one will.”  Now if this were not necessary, but contingent, there would at least be a few exceptions.  Therefore the will desires something of necessity.

  I answer that, The word “necessity” is employed in many ways.  For that which must be is necessary.  Now that a thing must be may belong to it by an intrinsic principle—either material, as when we say that everything composed of contraries is of necessity corruptible—or formal, as when we say that it is necessary for the three angles of a triangle to be equal to two right angles.  And this is “natural” and “absolute necessity.”  In another way, that a thing must be, belongs to it by reason of something extrinsic, which is either the end or the agent.  On the part of the end, as when without it the end is not to be attained or so well attained:  for instance, food is said to be necessary for life, and a horse is necessary for a journey.  This is called “necessity of end,” and sometimes also “utility.”  On the part of the agent, a thing must be, when someone is forced by some agent, so that he is not able to do the contrary.  This is called “necessity of coercion.”

   Now this necessity of coercion is altogether repugnant to the will.  For we call that violent which is against the inclination of a thing.  But the very movement of the will is an inclination to something.  Therefore, as a thing is called natural because it is according to the inclination of nature, so a thing is called voluntary because it is according to the inclination of the will.  Therefore, just as it is impossible for a thing to be at the same time violent and natural, so it is impossible for a thing to be absolutely coerced or violent, and voluntary. 

   But necessity of end is not repugnant to the will, when the end cannot be attained except in one way:  thus from the will to cross the sea, arises in the will the necessity to wish for a ship.

   In like manner neither is natural necessity repugnant to the will.  Indeed, more than this, for as the intellect of necessity adheres to the first principles, the will must of necessity adhere to the last end, which is happiness:  since the end is in practical matters what the principle is in speculative matters.  For what befits a thing naturally and immovably must be the root and principle of all else appertaining thereto, since the nature of a thing is the first in everything, and every movement arises from something immovable.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The words of Augustine are to be understood of the necessity of coercion.  But natural necessity “does not take away the liberty of the will,” as he says himself (De Civ.  Dei v, 10).

  Reply to Objection 2:  The will, so far as it desires a thing naturally, corresponds rather to the intellect as regards natural principles than to the reason, which extends to opposite things.  Wherefore in this respect it is rather an intellectual than a rational power.

  Reply to Objection 3:  We are masters of our own actions by reason of our being able to choose this or that.  But choice regards not the end, but “the means to the end,” as the Philosopher says (Ethic.  iii, 9).  Wherefore the desire of the ultimate end does not regard those actions of which we are masters.

82_2.  Whether the will desires of necessity, whatever it desires?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that the will desires all things of necessity, whatever it desires.  For Dionysius says (Div.  Nom.  iv) that “evil is outside the scope of the will.”  Therefore the will tends of necessity to the good which is proposed to it.

  Objection 2:  Further, the object of the will is compared to the will as the mover to the thing movable.  But the movement of the movable necessarily follows the mover.  Therefore it seems that the will’s object moves it of necessity.

  Objection 3:  Further, as the thing apprehended by sense is the object of the sensitive appetite, so the thing apprehended by the intellect is the object of the intellectual appetite, which is called the will.  But what is apprehended by the sense moves the sensitive appetite of necessity:  for Augustine says (Gen.  ad lit.  ix, 14) that “animals are moved by things seen.”  Therefore it seems that whatever is apprehended by the intellect moves the will of necessity.

  On the contrary, Augustine says (Retract.  i, 9) that “it is the will by which we sin and live well,” and so the will extends to opposite things.  Therefore it does not desire of necessity all things whatsoever it desires.

  I answer that, The will does not desire of necessity whatsoever it desires.  In order to make this evident we must observe that as the intellect naturally and of necessity adheres to the first principles, so the will adheres to the last end, as we have said already (Ar1).  Now there are some things intelligible which have not a necessary connection with the first principles;  such as contingent propositions, the denial of which does not involve a denial of the first principles.  And to such the intellect does not assent of necessity.  But there are some propositions which have a necessary connection with the first principles:  such as demonstrable conclusions, a denial of which involves a denial of the first principles.  And to these the intellect assents of necessity, when once it is aware of the necessary connection of these conclusions with the principles;  but it does not assent of necessity until through the demonstration it recognizes the necessity of such connection.  It is the same with the will.  For there are certain individual goods which have not a necessary connection with happiness, because without them a man can be happy:  and to such the will does not adhere of necessity.  But there are some things which have a necessary connection with happiness, by means of which things man adheres to God, in Whom alone true happiness consists.  Nevertheless, until through the certitude of the Divine Vision the necessity of such connection be shown, the will does not adhere to God of necessity, nor to those things which are of God.  But the will of the man who sees God in His essence of necessity adheres to God, just as now we desire of necessity to be happy.  It is therefore clear that the will does not desire of necessity whatever it desires.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The will can tend to nothing except under the aspect of good.  But because good is of many kinds, for this reason the will is not of necessity determined to one.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The mover, then, of necessity causes movement in the thing movable, when the power of the mover exceeds the thing movable, so that its entire capacity is subject to the mover.  But as the capacity of the will regards the universal and perfect good, its capacity is not subjected to any individual good.  And therefore it is not of necessity moved by it.

  Reply to Objection 3:  The sensitive power does not compare different things with each other, as reason does:  but it simply apprehends some one thing.  Therefore, according to that one thing, it moves the sensitive appetite in a determinate way.  But the reason is a power that compares several things together:  therefore from several things the intellectual appetite—that is, the will—may be moved;  but not of necessity from one thing.

82_3.  Whether the will is a higher power than the intellect? 

  Objection 1:  It would seem that the will is a higher power than the intellect.  For the object of the will is good and the end.  But the end is the first and highest cause.  Therefore the will is the first and highest power.

  Objection 2:  Further, in the order of natural things we observe a progress from imperfect things to perfect.  And this also appears in the powers of the soul:  for sense precedes the intellect, which is more noble.  Now the act of the will, in the natural order, follows the act of the intellect.  Therefore the will is a more noble and perfect power than the intellect.

  Objection 3:  Further, habits are proportioned to their powers, as perfections to what they make perfect.  But the habit which perfects the will—namely, charity—is more noble than the habits which perfect the intellect:  for it is written:  “If I should know all mysteries, and if I should have all faith, and have not charity, I am nothing.”[45]  Therefore the will is a higher power than the intellect.

  On the contrary, The Philosopher holds the intellect to be the higher power than the intellect.

  I answer that, The superiority of one thing over another can be considered in two ways:  “absolutely” and “relatively.”  Now a thing is considered to be such absolutely which is considered such in itself:  but relatively as it is such with regard to something else.  If therefore the intellect and will be considered with regard to themselves, then the intellect is the higher power.  And this is clear if we compare their respective objects to one another.  For the object of the intellect is more simple and more absolute than the object of the will;  since the object of the intellect is the very idea of appetible good;  and the appetible good, the idea of which is in the intellect, is the object of the will.  Now the more simple and the more abstract a thing is, the nobler and higher it is in itself;  and therefore the object of the intellect is higher than the object of the will.  Therefore, since the proper nature of a power is in its order to its object, it follows that the intellect in itself and absolutely is higher and nobler than the will.  But relatively and by comparison with something else, we find that the will is sometimes higher than the intellect, from the fact that the object of the will occurs in something higher than that in which occurs the object of the intellect.  Thus, for instance, I might say that hearing is relatively nobler than sight, inasmuch as something in which there is sound is nobler than something in which there is color, though color is nobler and simpler than sound.  For as we have said above (Q16:Ar1;   Q27:Ar4), the action of the intellect consists in this—that the idea of the thing understood is in the one who understands;  while the act of the will consists in this—that the will is inclined to the thing itself as existing in itself.  And therefore the Philosopher says in Metaph.  vi (Did.  v, 2) that “good and evil,” which are objects of the will, “are in things,” but “truth and error,” which are objects of the intellect, “are in the mind.”  When, therefore, the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood;  by comparison with such a thing, the will is higher than the intellect.  But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with that thing the intellect is higher than the will.  Wherefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God;  but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love thereof.  Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The aspect of causality is perceived by comparing one thing to another, and in such a comparison the idea of good is found to be nobler:  but truth signifies something more absolute, and extends to the idea of good itself:  wherefore even good is something true.  But, again, truth is something good:  forasmuch as the intellect is a thing, and truth its end.  And among other ends this is the most excellent:  as also is the intellect among the other powers.

  Reply to Objection 2:  What precedes in order of generation and time is less perfect:  for in one and in the same thing potentiality precedes act, and imperfection precedes perfection.  But what precedes absolutely and in the order of nature is more perfect:  for thus act precedes potentiality.  And in this way the intellect precedes the will, as the motive power precedes the thing movable, and as the active precedes the passive;  for good which is understood moves the will.

  Reply to Objection 3:  This reason is verified of the will as compared with what is above the soul.  For charity is the virtue by which we love God.

82_4.  Whether the will moves the intellect?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that the will does not move the intellect.  For what moves excels and precedes what is moved, because what moves is an agent, and “the agent is nobler than the patient,” as Augustine says (Gen.  ad lit.  xii, 16), and the Philosopher (De Anima iii, 5).  But the intellect excels and precedes the will, as we have said above (Article [3]).  Therefore the will does not move the intellect.

  Objection 2:  Further, what moves is not moved by what is moved, except perhaps accidentally.  But the intellect moves the will, because the good apprehended by the intellect moves without being moved;  whereas the appetite moves and is moved.  Therefore the intellect is not moved by the will.

  Objection 3:  Further, we can will nothing but what we understand.  If, therefore, in order to understand, the will moves by willing to understand, that act of the will must be preceded by another act of the intellect, and this act of the intellect by another act of the will, and so on indefinitely, which is impossible.  Therefore the will does not move the intellect.

  On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth.  ii, 26):  “It is in our power to learn an art or not, as we list.”  But a thing is in our power by the will, and we learn art by the intellect.  Therefore the will moves the intellect.

  I answer that, A thing is said to move in two ways:  First, as an end;  for instance, when we say that the end moves the agent.  In this way the intellect moves the will, because the good understood is the object of the will, and moves it as an end.  Secondly, a thing is said to move as an agent, as what alters moves what is altered, and what impels moves what is impelled.  In this way the will moves the intellect and all the powers of the soul, as Anselm says (Eadmer, De Similitudinibus).  The reason is, because wherever we have order among a number of active powers, that power which regards the universal end moves the powers which regard particular ends.  And we may observe this both in nature and in things politic.  For the heaven, which aims at the universal preservation of things subject to generation and corruption, moves all inferior bodies, each of which aims at the preservation of its own species or of the individual.  The king also, who aims at the common good of the whole kingdom, by his rule moves all the governors of cities, each of whom rules over his own particular city.  Now the object of the will is good and the end in general, and each power is directed to some suitable good proper to it, as sight is directed to the perception of color, and the intellect to the knowledge of truth.  Therefore the will as agent moves all the powers of the soul to their respective acts, except the natural powers of the vegetative part, which are not subject to our will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The intellect may be considered in two ways:  as apprehensive of universal being and truth, and as a thing and a particular power having a determinate act.  In like manner also the will may be considered in two ways:  according to the common nature of its object—that is to say, as appetitive of universal good—and as a determinate power of the soul having a determinate act.  If, therefore, the intellect and the will be compared with one another according to the universality of their respective objects, then, as we have said above (Ar3), the intellect is simply higher and nobler than the will.  If, however, we take the intellect as regards the common nature of its object and the will as a determinate power, then again the intellect is higher and nobler than the will, because under the notion of being and truth is contained both the will itself, and its act, and its object.  Wherefore the intellect understands the will, and its act, and its object, just as it understands other species of things, as stone or wood, which are contained in the common notion of being and truth.  But if we consider the will as regards the common nature of its object, which is good, and the intellect as a thing and a special power;  then the intellect itself, and its act, and its object, which is truth, each of which is some species of good, are contained under the common notion of good.  And in this way the will is higher than the intellect, and can move it.  From this we can easily understand why these powers include one another in their acts, because the intellect understands that the will wills, and the will wills the intellect to understand.  In the same way good is contained in truth, inasmuch as it is an understood truth, and truth in good, inasmuch as it is a desired good.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The intellect moves the will in one sense, and the will moves the intellect in another, as we have said above.

  Reply to Objection 3:  There is no need to go on indefinitely, but we must stop at the intellect as preceding all the rest.  For every movement of the will must be preceded by apprehension, whereas every apprehension is not preceded by an act of the will;  but the principle of counselling and understanding is an intellectual principle higher than our intellect—namely, God—as also Aristotle says (Eth.  Eudemic.  vii, 14), and in this way he explains that there is no need to proceed indefinitely.

82_5.  Whether we should distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts in the superior appetite?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that we ought to distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts in the superior appetite, which is the will.  For the concupiscible power is so called from “concupiscere” [to desire], and the irascible part from “irasci” [to be angry].  But there is a concupiscence which cannot belong to the sensitive appetite, but only to the intellectual, which is the will;  as the concupiscence of wisdom, of which it is said (Ws.  6:21):  “The concupiscence of wisdom bringeth to the eternal kingdom.”  There is also a certain anger which cannot belong to the sensitive appetite, but only to the intellectual;  as when our anger is directed against vice.  Wherefore Jerome commenting on Mt.  13:33 warns us “to have the hatred of vice in the irascible part.”  Therefore we should distinguish irascible and concupiscible parts of the intellectual soul as well as in the sensitive.

  Objection 2:  Further, as is commonly said, charity is in the concupiscible, and hope in the irascible part.  But they cannot be in the sensitive appetite, because their objects are not sensible, but intellectual.  Therefore we must assign an irascible and concupiscible power to the intellectual part.

  Objection 3:  Further, it is said (De Spiritu et Anima) that “the soul has these powers”—namely, the irascible, concupiscible, and rational—”before it is united to the body.”  But no power of the sensitive part belongs to the soul alone, but to the soul and body united, as we have said above (Q78:Ar5 & 8).  Therefore the irascible and concupiscible powers are in the will, which is the intellectual appetite.

  On the contrary, Gregory of Nyssa (Nemesius, De Nat.  Hom.) says “that the irrational” part of the soul is divided into the desiderative and irascible, and Damascene says the same (De Fide Orth.  ii, 12).  And the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 9) “that the will is in reason, while in the irrational part of the soul are concupiscence and anger,” or “desire and animus.”

  I answer that, The irascible and concupiscible are not parts of the intellectual appetite, which is called the will.  Because, as was said above (Q59:Ar4;   Q79:Ar7), a power which is directed to an object according to some common notion is not differentiated by special differences which are contained under that common notion.  For instance, because sight regards the visible thing under the common notion of something colored, the visual power is not multiplied according to the different kinds of color:  but if there were a power regarding white as white, and not as something colored, it would be distinct from a power regarding black as black.

   Now the sensitive appetite does not consider the common notion of good, because neither do the senses apprehend the universal.  And therefore the parts of the sensitive appetite are differentiated by the different notions of particular good:  for the concupiscible regards as proper to it the notion of good, as something pleasant to the senses and suitable to nature:  whereas the irascible regards the notion of good as something that wards off and repels what is hurtful.  But the will regards good according to the common notion of good, and therefore in the will, which is the intellectual appetite, there is no differentiation of appetitive powers, so that there be in the intellectual appetite an irascible power distinct from a concupiscible power:  just as neither on the part of the intellect are the apprehensive powers multiplied, although they are on the part of the senses.

  Reply to Objection 1:  Love, concupiscence, and the like can be understood in two ways.  Sometimes they are taken as passions—arising, that is, with a certain commotion of the soul.  And thus they are commonly understood, and in this sense they are only in the sensitive appetite.  They may, however, be taken in another way, as far as they are simple affections without passion or commotion of the soul, and thus they are acts of the will.  And in this sense, too, they are attributed to the angels and to God.  But if taken in this sense, they do not belong to different powers, but only to one power, which is called the will.

  Reply to Objection 2:  The will itself may be said to irascible, as far as it wills to repel evil, not from any sudden movement of a passion, but from a judgment of the reason.  And in the same way the will may be said to be concupiscible on account of its desire for good.  And thus in the irascible and concupiscible are charity and hope—that is, in the will as ordered to such acts.  And in this way, too, we may understand the words quoted (De Spiritu et Anima);  that the irascible and concupiscible powers are in the soul before it is united to the body (as long as we understand priority of nature, and not of time), although there is no need to have faith in what that book says.  Whence the answer to the third objection is clear. 

Question 83:   Of Free Will of Man – 4 Articles

   We now inquire concerning free-will.  Under this head there are four points of inquiry:


1.  Whether man has free-will?

2.  Whether free-will is a power?

3.  Whether free-will is an appetitive power?

4.  Whether free-will is a power distinct from the will?


83_1.  Whether man has free-will?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that man has not free-will.  For whoever has free-will does what he wills.  But man does not what he wills;  for it is written:  “For the good which I will I do not, but the evil which I will not, that I do.”[46]  Therefore man has not free-will.

  Objection 2:  Further, whoever has free-will has in his power to will or not to will, to do or not to do.  But this is not in man’s power:  for it is written:  “It is not of him that willeth”—namely, to will—”nor of him that runneth”—namely, to run.[47] Therefore man has not free-will.

  Objection 3:  Further, what is “free is cause of itself,” as the Philosopher says (Metaph.  i, 2).  Therefore what is moved by another is not free.  But God moves the will, for it is written:  “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord;  whithersoever He will He shall turn it”[48];   and “It is God Who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish.”[49]  Therefore man has not free-will.

  Objection 4:  Further, whoever has free-will is master of his own actions.  But man is not master of his own actions:  for it is written:  “The way of a man is not his:  neither is it in a man to walk.”[50]  Therefore man has not free-will.

  Objection 5:  Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic.  iii, 5):  “According as each one is, such does the end seem to him.”  But it is not in our power to be of one quality or another;  for this comes to us from nature.  Therefore it is natural to us to follow some particular end, and therefore we are not free in so doing.

  On the contrary, It is written (Ecclus.  15:14):  “God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel”;  and the gloss adds:  “That is of his free-will.”

  I answer that, Man has free-will:  otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would be in vain.  In order to make this evident, we must observe that some things act without judgment;  as a stone moves downwards;  and in like manner all things which lack knowledge.  And some act from judgment, but not a free judgment;  as brute animals.  For the sheep, seeing the wolf, judges it a thing to be shunned, from a natural and not a free judgment, because it judges, not from reason, but from natural instinct.  And the same thing is to be said of any judgment of brute animals.  But man acts from judgment, because by his apprehensive power he judges that something should be avoided or sought.  But because this judgment, in the case of some particular act, is not from a natural instinct, but from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore he acts from free judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various things.  For reason in contingent matters may follow opposite courses, as we see in dialectic syllogisms and rhetorical arguments.  Now particular operations are contingent, and therefore in such matters the judgment of reason may follow opposite courses, and is not determinate to one.  And forasmuch as man is rational is it necessary that man have a free-will.

  Reply to Objection 1:  As we have said above (Q81:Ar3), the sensitive appetite, though it obeys the reason, yet in a given case can resist by desiring what the reason forbids.  This is therefore the good which man does not when he wishes—namely, “not to desire against reason,” as Augustine says.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Those words of the Apostle are not to be taken as though man does not wish or does not run of his free-will, but because the free-will is not sufficient thereto unless it be moved and helped by God.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Free-will is the cause of its own movement, because by his free-will man moves himself to act.  But it does not of necessity belong to liberty that what is free should be the first cause of itself, as neither for one thing to be cause of another need it be the first cause.  God, therefore, is the first cause, Who moves causes both natural and voluntary.  And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary:  but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them;  for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.

  Reply to Objection 4:  “Man’s way” is said “not to be his” in the execution of his choice, wherein he may be impeded, whether he will or not.  The choice itself, however, is in us, but presupposes the help of God.

  Reply to Objection 5:  Quality in man is of two kinds:  natural and adventitious.  Now the natural quality may be in the intellectual part, or in the body and its powers.  From the very fact, therefore, that man is such by virtue of a natural quality which is in the intellectual part, he naturally desires his last end, which is happiness.  Which desire, indeed, is a natural desire, and is not subject to free-will, as is clear from what we have said above (Q82:Ar1 & 2).  But on the part of the body and its powers man may be such by virtue of a natural quality, inasmuch as he is of such a temperament or disposition due to any impression whatever produced by corporeal causes, which cannot affect the intellectual part, since it is not the act of a corporeal organ.  And such as a man is by virtue of a corporeal quality, such also does his end seem to him, because from such a disposition a man is inclined to choose or reject something.  But these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason, which the lower appetite obeys, as we have said (Q81:Ar3).  Wherefore this is in no way prejudicial to free-will.

   The adventitious qualities are habits and passions, by virtue of which a man is inclined to one thing rather than to another.  And yet even these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason.  Such qualities, too, are subject to reason, as it is in our power either to acquire them, whether by causing them or disposing ourselves to them, or to reject them.  And so there is nothing in this that is repugnant to free-will.

83_2.  Whether free-will is a power?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that free-will is not a power.  For free-will is nothing but a free judgment.  But judgment denominates an act, not a power.  Therefore free-will is not a power.

  Objection 2:  Further, free-will is defined as “the faculty of the will and reason.”  But faculty denominates a facility of power, which is due to a habit.  Therefore free-will is a habit.  Moreover Bernard says (De Gratia et Lib.  Arb.  1,2) that free-will is “the soul’s habit of disposing of itself.”  Therefore it is not a power.

  Objection 3:  Further, no natural power is forfeited through sin.  But free-will is forfeited through sin;  for Augustine says that “man, by abusing free-will, loses both it and himself.”  Therefore free-will is not a power.

  On the contrary, Nothing but a power, seemingly, is the subject of a habit.  But free-will is the subject of grace, by the help of which it chooses what is good.  Therefore free-will is a power.

  I answer that, Although free-will [*Liberum arbitrium—i.e.  free judgment] in its strict sense denotes an act, in the common manner of speaking we call free-will, that which is the principle of the act by which man judges freely.  Now in us the principle of an act is both power and habit;  for we say that we know something both by knowledge and by the intellectual power.  Therefore free-will must be either a power or a habit, or a power with a habit.  That it is neither a habit nor a power together with a habit, can be clearly proved in two ways.  First of all, because, if it is a habit, it must be a natural habit;  for it is natural to man to have a free-will.  But there is not natural habit in us with respect to those things which come under free-will:  for we are naturally inclined to those things of which we have natural habits—for instance, to assent to first principles:  while those things which we are naturally inclined are not subject to free-will, as we have said of the desire of happiness (Q82:Ar1 & 2).  Wherefore it is against the very notion of free-will that it should be a natural habit.  And that it should be a non-natural habit is against its nature.  Therefore in no sense is it a habit.

   Secondly, this is clear because habits are defined as that “by reason of which we are well or ill disposed with regard to actions and passions” (Ethic.  ii, 5);  for by temperance we are well-disposed as regards concupiscences, and by intemperance ill-disposed:  and by knowledge we are well-disposed to the act of the intellect when we know the truth, and by the contrary ill-disposed.  But the free-will is indifferent to good and evil choice:  wherefore it is impossible for free-will to be a habit.  Therefore it is a power.

  Reply to Objection 1:  It is not unusual for a power to be named from its act.  And so from this act, which is a free judgment, is named the power which is the principle of this act.  Otherwise, if free-will denominated an act, it would not always remain in man.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Faculty sometimes denominates a power ready for operation, and in this sense faculty is used in the definition of free-will.  But Bernard takes habit, not as divided against power, but as signifying a certain aptitude by which a man has some sort of relation to an act.  And this may be both by a power and by a habit:  for by a power man is, as it were, empowered to do the action, and by the habit he is apt to act well or ill.

  Reply to Objection 3:  Man is said to have lost free-will by falling into sin, not as to natural liberty, which is freedom from coercion, but as regards freedom from fault and unhappiness.  Of this we shall treat later in the treatise on Morals in the second part of this work (Q85 & 109). 

83_3.  Whether free-will is an appetitive power?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that free-will is not an appetitive, but a cognitive power.  For Damascene (De Fide Orth.  ii, 27) says that “free-will straightway accompanies the rational nature.”  But reason is a cognitive power.  Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

  Objection 2:  Further, free-will is so called as though it were a free judgment.  But to judge is an act of a cognitive power.  Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

  Objection 3:  Further, the principal function of free-will is to choose.  But choice seems to belong to knowledge, because it implies a certain comparison of one thing to another, which belongs to the cognitive power.  Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

  On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic.  iii, 3) that choice is “the desire of those things which are in us.”  But desire is an act of the appetitive power:  therefore choice is also.  But free-will is that by which we choose.  Therefore free-will is an appetitive power.

  I answer that, The proper act of free-will is choice:  for we say that we have a free-will because we can take one thing while refusing another;  and this is to choose.  Therefore we must consider the nature of free-will, by considering the nature of choice.  Now two things concur in choice:  one on the part of the cognitive power, the other on the part of the appetitive power.  On the part of the cognitive power, counsel is required, by which we judge one thing to be preferred to another:  and on the part of the appetitive power, it is required that the appetite should accept the judgment of counsel.  Therefore Aristotle (Ethic.  vi, 2) leaves it in doubt whether choice belongs principally to the appetitive or the cognitive power:  since he says that choice is either “an appetitive intellect or an intellectual appetite.”  But (Ethic.  iii, 3) he inclines to its being an intellectual appetite when he describes choice as “a desire proceeding from counsel.”  And the reason of this is because the proper object of choice is the means to the end:  and this, as such, is in the nature of that good which is called useful:  wherefore since good, as such, is the object of the appetite, it follows that choice is principally an act of the appetitive power.  And thus free-will is an appetitive power.

  Reply to Objection 1:  The appetitive powers accompany the apprehensive, and in this sense Damascene says that free-will straightway accompanies the rational power.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Judgment, as it were, concludes and terminates counsel.  Now counsel is terminated, first, by the judgment of reason;  secondly, by the acceptation of the appetite:  whence the Philosopher (Ethic.  iii, 3) says that, “having formed a judgment by counsel, we desire in accordance with that counsel.”  And in this sense choice itself is a judgment from which free-will takes its name.

  Reply to Objection 3:  This comparison which is implied in the choice belongs to the preceding counsel, which is an act of reason.  For though the appetite does not make comparisons, yet forasmuch as it is moved by the apprehensive power which does compare, it has some likeness of comparison by choosing one in preference to another.

83_4.  Whether free-will is a power distinct from the will?

  Objection 1:  It would seem that free-will is a power distinct from the will.  For Damascene says (De Fide Orth.  ii, 22) that {thelesis} is one thing and {boulesis} another.  But {thelesis} is the will, while {boulesis} seems to be the free-will, because {boulesis}, according to him, is will as concerning an object by way of comparison between two things.  Therefore it seems that free-will is a distinct power from the will.

  Objection 2:  Further, powers are known by their acts.  But choice, which is the act of free-will, is distinct from the act of willing, because “the act of the will regards the end, whereas choice regards the means to the end” (Ethic.  iii, 2).  Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.

  Objection 3:  Further, the will is the intellectual appetite.  But in the intellect there are two powers—the active and the passive.  Therefore, also on the part of the intellectual appetite, there must be another power besides the will.  And this, seemingly, can only be free-will.  Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.

  On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth.  iii, 14) free-will is nothing else than the will.

  I answer that, The appetitive powers must be proportionate to the apprehensive powers, as we have said above (Q64:Ar2).  Now, as on the part of the intellectual apprehension we have intellect and reason, so on the part of the intellectual appetite we have will, and free-will which is nothing else but the power of choice.  And this is clear from their relations to their respective objects and acts.  For the act of “understanding” implies the simple acceptation of something;  whence we say that we understand first principles, which are known of themselves without any comparison.  But to “reason,” properly speaking, is to come from one thing to the knowledge of another:  wherefore, properly speaking, we reason about conclusions, which are known from the principles.  In like manner on the part of the appetite to “will” implies the simple appetite for something:  wherefore the will is said to regard the end, which is desired for itself.  But to “choose” is to desire something for the sake of obtaining something else:  wherefore, properly speaking, it regards the means to the end.  Now, in matters of knowledge, the principles are related to the conclusion to which we assent on account of the principles:  just as, in appetitive matters, the end is related to the means, which is desired on account of the end.  Wherefore it is evident that as the intellect is to reason, so is the will to the power of choice, which is free-will.  But it has been shown above (Q79:Ar8) that it belongs to the same power both to understand and to reason, even as it belongs to the same power to be at rest and to be in movement.  Wherefore it belongs also to the same power to will and to choose:  and on this account the will and the free-will are not two powers, but one.

  Reply to Objection 1:  {Boulesis} is distinct from {thelesis} on account of a distinction, not of powers, but of acts.

  Reply to Objection 2:  Choice and will—that is, the act of willing—are different acts:  yet they belong to the same power, as also to understand and to reason, as we have said.

  Reply to Objection 3:  The intellect is compared to the will as moving the will.  And therefore there is no need to distinguish in the will an active and a passive will.


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[1] Rm.  12:2.

[2] 1 Thess.  4:3.

[3] Eph.  1:11.

[4] 1 Tim.  2:4.

[5] Ps.  113:11.

[6] Gen.  6:7.

[7] Jer.  18:7-8.

[8] Num.  23:19.

[9] Is.  38:1.

[10] Rom.  9:19.

[11] Mt.  6:10.

[12] Mt.  24:45.

[13] Eph.  1:11.

[14] Ps.  80:13.

[15] 1 Cor.  9:9.

[16] Job 22:14.

[17] Rm.  13:1

[18] Rm.  8:28.

[19] Job.  34:13.

[20] 1 Cor.  2:12.

[21] Rom.  8:30.

[22] Rom.  1:4.

[23] Rom.  8:30.

[24] Eccles.  7:14.

[25] Mal.  1:2-3.

[26] 1 Tim.  2:4.

[27] Eph.  1:4.

[28] Rom.  8:29.

[29] Rom.  9:14.

[30] Titus 3:5.

[31] Rom.  9:11-12.

[32] 2 Cor.  3:5.

[33] Lam.  5:21.

[34] Rom.  9:22-23.

[35] 2 Tim.  2:20.

[36] Matt.  20:14-15.

[37] Rev.  3:11.

[38] Deut.  1:11.

[39] Rom.  8:28.

[40] Rom.  11:34.

[41] Gen.  25:21.

[42] 1 Kings 15:29.

[43] Rom.  11:29.

[44] 2 Pet.  1:10.

[45] 1 Cor.  13:2.

[46] Rom.  7:19.

[47] Rom.  9:16.

[48] Prov.  21:1.

[49] Phil.  2:13.

[50] Jer.  10:23.