A Manual Of Catholic Theology, Based On Scheeben's “Dogmatik”
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With A Preface By Cardinal Manning
VOLUME 1 Book III -- Part I


CREATION AND THE SUPERNATURAL ORDER

[pp. 355-388]

Division of this Book.

GOD, One in Substance and Three in Person, infinitely perfect and infinitely happy in Himself of His own goodness and almighty power, not to increase His happiness, not to acquire but to manifest His perfection freely made out of nothing spiritual and material beings, and man composed of both matter and spirit. These creatures He endowed with every perfection required by their various natures. Angels and men, however, received gifts far surpassing all that their nature could claim. God raised them to a supernatural order of existence, making them not merely creatures but His adopted children, and destining them to a supernatural union with Him. Hence this book will be divided into two parts. In the first part, entitled Creation, we shall speak of the origin and the natural end and endowments of creatures. In the second part we shall speak of the Supernatural Order to which angels and men were raised;

PART I. CREATION

ALL things outside God have God for their origin and end. They may be grouped, as already noticed, under three heads: spiritual, material, and composite. We shall therefore divide this part into five chapters: The Universe created by God (ch. i.) and for God (ch. ii.); Angels (ch. iii.), the Material World (ch. iv.), and Man (ch. v.).


CHAPTER I. The Universe Created by God.

The Fathers treat of Creation in their writings against the pagans and Manichaeans. Among the Schoolmen, see St. Anselm, Monol, cc. 5-9; Peter Lomb., ii., Dist. i, and the commentaries thereon by AEgidius and Estius; St. Thom., I., q. 45, and Contra Gentes, ii., I sqq.; Suarez, Metaph., disp. 20; Kleutgen, Phil., diss. ix., chap. .

Sect. 111 --The Origin of all things by Creation out of nothing.

I. Our conception of God as the only Being existing necessarily, implies that all other beings must, in some way or other, owe their existence to Him. It also implies that these other beings owe their whole substance, with all its accidents and modifications, mediately or immediately, to God. Again, the Divine Substance being simple and indivisible, things outside God cannot be produced from or made out of it: they can only be called into existence out of their nothingness, by the power of God. “God exists of Himself” is the fundamental dogma concerning God; the fundamental dogma concerning all things else is that “they are produced out of nothing by God.” Thus the Vatican Council, following the Fourth Lateran Council, says, “This one God, of His own goodness and almighty power,. . .at the very beginning of time made out of nothing both kinds of creatures, spiritual and corporal“ (sess. iii., c. i). And again, “If any one doth not confess that the world and all things contained therein, both spiritual and material, have been, as to their whole substance, produced out of nothing by God: let him be anathema “(can. 5). This definition is merely an explanation of the first words of the Apostles' Creed, by which, from the very earliest ages, the Church confessed the Almighty God to be the Maker, (Greek) of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. The Latin Church has always attached to the verb creare the meaning of “production out of nothing;“ the Greek Church possessed no such specific name, whereas in Hebrew the verb (in Greek) already had the fixed signification which the Latin creare afterwards acquired.

When Creation is described as a production from, or out of, nothing (de nihilo or ex nihilo, (Greek), the “nothing“ is not, of course, the matter out of which things are made. It means, “out of no matter,” or, “not out of anything,” or, starting from absolute non-being and replacing it by being. The formula is also amplified into, Productio rei ex nihilo sui et subjecti; by the Greek Fathers, often, (as in this Greek phrasing).

II. Holy Scripture, both in the Old and in the New Testament, gives abundant and decisive testimony to the dogma of the creation of all things out of nothing.

1. This dogma is implicitly contained in the scriptural descriptions of the Divine Essence, of the Divine Power, and of God's absolute dominion over the world. If God in His external works were dependent on pre-existing matter, He could not be described as Being pure and simple, as Almighty pure and simple, as entirely self-sufficient; God would not be “the First and the Last,” “the Beginning and the End,” pure and simple --that is, of all things --if outside of Him anything existed independently of Him.

2. Over and over again Holy Writ represents God as the Principle of all that is, never mentioning any exception. He is the Founder (e.g. Ps. Ixxvii. 69, Ixxxviii. 12, cii. 26), the Supporter, and Conservator of heaven and earth; He is the Author of the spiritual as well as of the material world (Col. i. 16). Pre-existing matter, which, indeed, in the case of simple beings like spirits, would be impossible, is nowhere spoken of. Many scriptural expressions, e.g. Heb. xi. 3, can be understood of the fashioning of unformed matter already existing; yet this operation is described as entering into the very substance, so that it supposes a dominion over matter which can belong to none but its Creator.

3. Creation is further clearly contained in the narrative of the first chapter of Genesis. The narrative purposes to give a full account of the origin of the world; had any matter existed previously to the Divine operation, it ought certainly to have been mentioned. Yet the production of heaven and earth is given as the first creative action, as the foundation of the subsequent operations, and, besides, we are told that the earth “was void and empty.” This clearly indicates that before the creation of heaven and earth no finite thing whatever existed. Again, the Hebrew verb (shown here), although not necessarily designating a production out of nothing, is never used except to express an action proper to God alone, notably the operations of His sovereignty, absolute independence, and infinity. In the narrative of Gen. i. this verb is used to describe the first production; it does not occur again in the account of the subsequent operations except at the creation of man, ver. 27, because the soul of man is produced out of nothing, and in ver. 21, possibly to indicate that the animals are not the product of water and air but of the almighty Word of God. If we compare the first words of Genesis, “In the beginning God created,” with the first words of the Gospel of St. John, “In the beginning was the Word,” and also with Prov. viii. 22 sqq., we are forced to conclude that time itself began with the creation of heaven and earth, and consequently that, before this creative act, nothing whatsoever existed outside of God. Hence the sense of Gen. i. i, is undoubtedly expressed correctly by the mother of the Machabees when speaking to her son: “Look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing ((Greek text) 2 Mach. vii. 28).

III. To the unprejudiced mind the dogma of creation is as plain as the dogma of a self-existing, personal God. The two notions are correlative. Things outside of God must, from the fact that they do not exist necessarily, depend for their existence on some other being, which can be no other than the self-existing God. The notion of creation, or production out of nothing, is free from even a shadow of contradiction, whereas every other notion concerning the origin of things involves a contradiction. It is, we admit, quite a peculiar conception, without any analogy in the operations of creatures; yet our reason plainly tells us that creative power is a necessary attribute of God. Cf. Book II., § 76.

The axiom, Ex nihilo nihil fit (Out of nothing, nothing is made), cannot be urged against the dogma of creation. It is true, indeed, that by nature or art nothing can be made out of nothing, but it is certainly not proved that no being whatever can produce things out of nothing. Scientists who reject the true axiom, Omne vivum ex vivo, and hold that matter endows itself with life, ought to be the last to raise such an objection.

IV. Active creation, implying, as it does, infinite power, is an attribute of God alone. Consequently, all beings outside of God are created directly by Him and by Him alone, without the intervention of any other creature. That no creature, even acting as an instrument of God, has ever actually created anything, was defined by the Fourth Council of the Lateran: “There is one true God,. . .the Creator of all things visible and invisible.” It is also theologically certain that no creature has the power to create, because this power has ever been asserted by the Church and by the Fathers to be an exclusive attribute of God, in the same way as eternity and omnipresence. The question “whether a creature could be used as an instrument in the act of creation“ is answered differently by different theologians. The best authorities and the best arguments are in favour of the negative. See Bannez, in I., q. 45; St. Thomas, De Pot., q. 3, a. 4.

Sect. 112. --Simultaneous Beginning of the World and of Time.

I. Holy Scripture implies throughout, and explicitly states over and over again, that all things created have a beginning in time. When the world was first called into being time was not yet, because there existed nothing capable of undergoing change. Hence time and the world began at the same moment; or, “the world was created in the beginning of time,” as it is usually expressed in the language of the Church; “God, at the very beginning of time, made both kinds of creatures“ (Vat. Council, sess. iii., c. i). Thus the formula “production out of nothing” has the twofold meaning, “Things not existing of themselves receive existence,” and “things not yet existing or not existing before, begin to be.” Holy Scripture points out the temporal beginning of the world, especially in order to contrast it with the eternity of God, of the Word of God, and of the election by grace. E.g. Ps. Ixxxix. 9; John xvii. 5; Eph. i. 4. “In the beginning was the Word“ (John i.1); that is, the Word was before things began to be (cf. Prov. viii. 22). In the narrative of Creation, Gen. i. 1, the words “in the beginning” evidently mean the very beginning of time. This meaning is an obvious one; it fits in with the context; it is admissible and is often insinuated in other texts, e.g. John i. 1.

II. If the World came into being with time, the external efficacy of the Divine act which caused it to be, had a beginning. From this, however, it does not follow that the creative act itself, as it is in God, had a beginning. The creative act, considered as existing in God, is nothing but the Divine decree to call the world into existence. This act is necessarily eternal, because it is part of the Divine Life; but it is also an act of the free Will of God, and therefore God is absolutely free to fix a time for its realization.

III. To defend the Catholic dogma that, as a matter of fact, the world had a beginning, it is certainly not necessary to demonstrate the impossibility of the opposite opinion. It is enough to show that a beginning in time is possible, and that the necessity of eternal existence cannot be proved. These two propositions are evident; for, if a thing does not exist necessarily, still less does it necessarily exist always; and God, in Whose power it is to determine all the conditions under which His works are to exist, can evidently determine a time for the beginning of their existence.

IV. Can our reason conceive a creation from all eternity? As the Catholic dogma just stated remains intact whichever way this vexed question be answered, we leave it to creation the disputations of philosophers. The reader will find it amply debated in St. Thomas, I., q. 46, art. 1, Contra Gentes, 1. ii., c. 31, sqq.; De Pot., q. iii., a. 17; Capreolus in 1 Sent., d. i.; Cajetan in I., q. 46, a. 2; Estius in 2 Sent., d. i., § II. These maintain the possibility of eternal creation. The following deny it: Albertus Magnus, Henry of Ghent, and most modern theologians. Greg, of Valentia, in I., disp. iii., q. 2, proposes an intermediate opinion.

Sect. 113. --God the Conservator of all things.

I. No created beings can continue to exist unless God sustains and preserves them. The Divine Conservation required for the continuance of created existence, is not merely negative, but positive: that is to say, it is not enough for God not to destroy creatures; He must exercise some active influence on them. Again, this positive conservation is not indirect i.e. a mere protection against destructive agencies but a direct Divine influence on the very being of the creature, such that, if this influence were withdrawn, the creature at once would return into nothing. Hence the Divine Conservation affects even the incorruptible substances of spirits; it affects matter and form, and the connection of both: in short, it is co-extensive with the creative act. Conservation, like creation, implies a direct action of the Divine Power and the immediate presence of God in all things that He conserves. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, and the generality of theologians explain the dogma by two familiar analogies: things depend for their continued existence on the preserving influence of God in the same manner as a non-luminous body depends for its light on the source of light, and as the life of the body depends on the influence of the soul.

We must not believe that God is the Creator and Maker of all things in such a way as to consider that, when the work was completed, all things made by Him could continue to exist without the action of His infinite power. For, just as it is by His supreme power, wisdom, and goodness that all things have been brought into being: in like manner, unless His continuous providence aided and conserved them with that same force whereby they were originally produced, they would at once fall back into nothing. And this Scripture declares when it says (Wisd. xi. 26), “How can anything endure, if Thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by Thee?“ (See also Roman Catechism, or Catechism of the Council of Trent, pt. i., chap. 2, n. 21.) Other passages of Holy Scripture bearing on the question are the following. “But if Thou turn away Thy face they shall be troubled; Thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall fail, and shall return to their dust” (Ps. ciii. 29); “Last of all hath spoken to us by His Son,. . .by Whom He made the world,. . .upholding all things by the word of His power“ (Heb. i. 2, 3); “My Father worketh until now, and I work” (John v. 17). St. Paul refers to the passive relation, the being upheld, in the words, “In Him we live, and move, and be.“ (Acts xvii. 28).

II. The necessity of positive Conservation and its peculiar character of a preserving activity result from the fact that the existence of creatures can in no way be due to the creatures themselves: what is not, cannot give itself being. The fact that a creature actually exists, does not change its contingent character; although it exists, it does not exist necessarily, but depends on an external cause as much for its continuous as for its initial existence. The “derivative existence” of creatures stands to the “self-existence of God in the same relation of dependence as the rays of light to the source of light, and as the acts of the soul to the substance of the soul. From this point of view, the preserving influence of God on His creatures at once appears as a continuous creation.

III. From the necessity and nature of this Divine serve c influence, it follows that God, absolutely speaking, can destroy His creatures by simply suspending His creative action (cf. Ps. ciii. 29). A creature, on the contrary, cannot destroy itself or any other creature as to its whole substance: neither by suspending a positive conserving influence, which the creature does not possess, at least as regards the substance of things; nor by a positive action opposed to and more powerful than the Divine conserving action. Created forces can only change the conditions upon which the preservation of substantial forms depends: when these conditions cease, God ceases His conserving influence. Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 104, a. 3, and De Potentia, q. 5, art. 3.

Although, speaking absolutely, God could annihilate His creatures, it is most probable that He never will destroy any of the direct and immediate products of His creative power. Of spiritual creatures, it can be demonstrated that their eternal conservation by God is a moral necessity; as to material things, however, our reason only leads us to presume that the Divine Will, which gave them existence and conserved them until now, will never change: no reason being known why it should. “God made not death, neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living; for He created all things that they might be; and He made the nations of the earth for health; and there is no poison of destruction in them (Wisd. i. 13, 14)

Sect. 114. --God the Principle of all Created Action.

The absolute and universal dependence of creatures on God implies that they can no more act as causes without a positive Divine influence than, without such influence, they can begin or continue to exist. God, Who conserves their substance, also concurs in their operations, so that all positive reality caused by the activity of creatures owes its being directly to the action of God co-operating and co-producing with the created cause.

I. Some notion of this Divine co-operation may be gathered from an explanation of the technical terms in which the Schoolmen describe it. They call it “Concurrence“ (concursus) to signify a participation in the motion (cursus) of another being; “physical“ co-operation, to distinguish it from moral co-operation, which consists in inducing another person to perform an action; “natural“ or “general,” as opposed to the supernatural and special concurrence required to elevate our actions to the supernatural order; “immediate” or “direct,” because the Concurrence in question directly bears upon the energy and action of creatures, and not merely upon their substance and faculties. It is further described as “a Concurrence in the operations and effects of the secondary causes,” because it embraces both the act and the effect of the cause, God working at the same time through and with the creature. The expression “the action of God in every thing that acts“ conveys the idea that God intrinsically animates the created cause, working with and by it as the soul animates the body. The Divine Concurrence must not, however, be thought of as a force added to, or operating side by side with the creature, but as the animating, Divine soul of its own powers and faculties.

I. Upon the whole, the above notion of the Divine Concurrence is admitted by all theologians, however much they may differ as to its further development. The Fathers find it in Holy Scripture; and it is a necessary consequence of the relation of dependence of the creature on God. “Not only does God watch over and administer every thing that exists: the things that are moved and that act He also impels by intrinsic power to motion and action in such a way that, without hindering the operation of secondary causes, He (as it were) goes before it (preveniat) since His hidden might belongs to each thing, and, as the Wise Man testifies, 'He reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly.' Wherefore it was said by the Apostle, when preaching to the Athenians the God Whom they worshipped unwittingly: 'He is not far from every one of us, for in Him we live and move and be'“ (Catechism of the Council of Trent, pt. i., ch. ii., n. 22). Holy Scripture refers to the Divine Concurrence in the texts which ascribe to God the operations of creatures, or which directly attribute to Him the effects of created activity. “There are diversities of operations, but the same God Who worketh all in all“ (expressed in Greek), I Cor. xii. 6); “My Father worketh until now, and I work” (John v. 17); “It is He Who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. . . . Although He be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live and move and be” (Acts xvii. 25, 28); “Of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things“ (in Greek scripture, Rom. xi. 36).

2. The intrinsic reason for the necessity of the Divine co-operation with secondary causes lies, speaking generally, in the absolute dependence of all derivative being on the Essential Being. Nothing in the creature that deserves the name of being can possibly be independent of the Creator. But if the effects of created activity were not directly and immediately attributable to God, they would, to some extent, be independent of Him. This appears most clearly in the generation of living things. Here new and substantial beings receive an existence, the commencement and continuation of which are so peculiarly and eminently the work of God, that they cannot be conceived independently of Him.

II. The principle which proves the necessity of the Extent of Divine Concurrence, defines also its measure and its extent.

I. Everything that exists, all positive and real being, all manifestations of a power good in itself, are dependent for existence on the direct operation or co-operation of God. But whatever is defective, inordinate, or morally wrong in other words, whatever is not-being connected with the effects produced or with the action of the created cause is not attributable to the Divine Concurrence: the defect or deficiency in either the act or its effect must be ascribed to some defect or deficiency in the secondary cause which God does not prevent or remove. In the production of effects physically or morally defective, God co-operates somewhat in the way that the soul co-operates in the imperfect motion of a lame foot. The motion, not the lameness, is the work of the soul; in like manner, the positive being or reality to which an imperfection attaches, is the work of God, but not the imperfection. Thus, sin comes from God in as far as it is a positive act and a real being, but not in as far as it is a deviation from justice. Cf. St. Thomas, De Malo, q. iii., a. 2; and the commentators on 2 Sent. dist. 37.

2. As to the nature of the Divine Concurrence and the manner in which God influences the activity of creatures, great controversies exist among Theologians. The burning question is how God influences free will. According to the followers of Molina, the Divine Concurrence is a mere co-operation, or an influence acting side by side with the created cause. The school of St. Thomas holds that it is a true moving of the creature --that is, an impulse given to the creature before it acts (impulsus ad agendum). St. Thomas himself resolves the Divine Concurrence into these four elements: “God is the cause of all and every action (1) inasmuch as He gives the power to act; (2) inasmuch as He conserves this power; (3) inasmuch as He applies it to the action; and (4) inasmuch as by His power all other powers act“ (De Pot., q. iii., a. 7). He borrows the notion of applying the power to act to the action, from the application of a tool to its work (“as the carpenter applies his saw to divide a log“). The application by God of the created power to its object differs greatly, however, from the application of a tool to its work. The latter action is merely external and accomplished by local motion, whereas the former is internal and proceeds from God as its life and its energizing principle. A better analogy is afforded by the impulse which the root gives to the life of the plant.

The theory of St. Thomas, as originally proposed by him, appears at first sight more in harmony with the language of Revelation and of the Church, and expresses better the dependence of the Creature on God, The mystical depth of the Thomistic theory and the difficulty of expounding its innermost nature in set sentences tell in its favour rather than against it, for the same difficulty and mystery are met with when we pass from a mere machine to a living organism. The only serious objection against the theory is that it seems to destroy the self-determining and self-acting power of creatures. But this objection draws all its force from a misconception, T he Divine motion is not external and mechanical, like the motion of a tool; but organic, like the motion imparted to a living plant by the action of its root. Such an organic action, far from destroying the self-acting power of the being to which it gives an impulse, is really the foundation and necessary condition of this power. To enter into a detailed discussion of the two conflicting systems would be beyond the scope of the present work. Further information may be found in the commentaries on I., q. 105.


CHAPTER II.

The Universe Created For God.

Sect. 115. --Essential relation of Creatures to God as the Final Object of Their Being, Activity, and Tendencies.

I. WE may here take it for granted that every creature has, in a way, its end in itself, Creatures are either good already or tend to be good; they possess and enjoy the good which is in them, and find the fulfilment of their tendencies in the union with the good to which they tend.

At the same time, however, dogma and reason alike show that the highest and final object of creatures as such is not in themselves, 'but in the glorification of the Creator.“ If any one shall say that the world was not created for the glory of God, let him be anathema” (Vat. Council, sess. iii., c. I, can. 5). The council, indeed, does not expressly define that the glory of God is the final object; but this is self-evident, For if the “world“ purely and simply --that is, with all its component parts and elements --is made for the glory of God, all its particular ends and objects must be subordinate to this one great end. Besides, God cannot be other than the highest and final object. If we consider in detail the essential relation of creatures to God as their final object, we find, first, that they are ordained to represent, by means of their own goodness and beauty, the supreme goodness and beauty of the Creator; secondly, that they exist for the service of God, Whose property they are, and on Whom they depend; thirdly, that God is the good to which they ultimately tend, and in which they find their rest, In each of these three respects the manifestation of the Divine glory appears in a particular form: the majesty of God's inner perfection and beauty is reflected in the being of creatures; the majesty of His power and dominion is manifested in their submission to Him; and the majesty and glory which accrue to Him from His being the good of all that is good and the centre of all being, shine forth in the union of creatures with Him as the resting-place of all their tendencies.

This doctrine is abundantly set forth in Holy Scripture, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God” (Apoc. i. 8); “Of Him, and by Him, and in (unto) Him, are all things” (Rom. xi. 36); “For Whom are all things, and by Whom all things” (Greek text), Heb. ii. 10), God's actual destination of everything for His own purpose is expressed in Prov. xvi. 4: “The Lord hath made all things for Himself.” The accomplishment and fulfilment of His purpose is that all should be most intimately united to Him: “Afterwards the end, . . . and when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all“ (Greek text), I Cor. xv. 24-28).

II. W'hat we have said of the relation of creatures generally to God as their Final Object, applies with greater force to rational creatures, These, even more than irrational creatures, have in themselves a final object; they cannot be used as mere means for the benefit of other creatures, but have a dignity of their own, and are, therefore, entitled to everlasting duration, They, as it were, belong to themselves, and they use for their own purposes what they are and possess; the beatitude towards which they tend is a perfection connatural to them, The salient point of their perfection consists in the fact that they cannot be subjected purely and simply to any other creature, so as to be used for its sole benefit, Their final or highest object, however, is in God, Without some relation to Him rational life would necessarily be imperfect, and, besides, the possession of God constitutes the beatitude of rational beings, Their whole being, their life and activity, and even their own beatitude, must be referred to the glory of God, Creatures endowed with reason ought, more than others, to publish, by means of their natural and supernatural likeness to God, the beauty of their Prototype, Their whole life should be spent in the service of their Master, and all their aspirations ought to tend to union with Him, They alone are able to give Him true honour and worship, based upon true knowledge and love.

The supreme felicity of rational creatures consists in the possession of God, This does not, however, imply that the felicity of the creature is the highest object, and that the fruition of God is a means thereto, The beatitude to be attained by the rational creature really consists in a perfect union with God by means of knowledge and love, which union contains at the same time the highest felicity of the creature and the most perfect glorification of the Creator; the highest happiness of the blessed is afforded precisely by the consciousness that their knowledge and love of the internal beauty of God are the means of His external glorification.

This doctrine also is expressed in countless passages of Holy Scripture. “The Lord hath chosen thee . . . to make thee higher than all nations which He hath created to His own praise, and name, and glory” (Deut. xxvi. 18, 19); “Filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. i. 11); “Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the purpose of His will, unto the praise of the glory of His grace“ (Eph. i. 5, 6); “Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power, because Thou hast created all things, and for Thy will they were and have been created” (Apoc. iv. 11).

Nothing shows better that the felicity of creatures is an object subordinate to the glory of God, than the fact that those who, through their own fault, fail to glorify Him by obtaining eternal felicity for themselves, are compelled to glorify Him by manifesting His justice, The glory of God is, then, the final object of all things, and to this end all others are subservient.

III. Besides glorifying God in their imperfect way, material things have also to serve rational creatures in the attainment of their perfection and final felicity, They belong not only to the kingdom of God, but also to the kingdom of man. “The world is made for man,” that man may use it for the glory of his Creator, The expression “All things in creation are made to reveal or manifest the glory of God,” must not be understood of rational creatures only. Creatures reflect in themselves and represent the Divine perfections just as a work of art itself represents and reveals the ideal of the artist, whether it be taken notice of by men or not, Hence worlds unknown to man and angels would still manifest the glory of their Maker and attain the final object of all things, the glorification of God.“ The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands“ (Ps. xviii. 2).

The hierarchy of creation, and of the ends of man in particular, is beautifully expressed by Lactantius, “The world was made,” he says, “that we might be born, We were born that we might know God, We know Him that we may worship Him, We worship Him that we may earn immortality, We are rewarded with immortality that, being made like unto the angels, we may serve our Father and Lord for ever and be the eternal kingdom of God“ (Instit. vii. 6).

Sect. 116. --The Providence of God.

I. A necessary consequence of the absolute dependence rules the of the world on its Maker is that the world must be governed by God, and conducted by Him to its final destination, He owes it to His wisdom so to govern the world as to attain the end which He Himself has ordained for it, (Supra, pp. 219 224.)

The government of the world by God is the function of Divine Providence, inasmuch as it consists in conducting all things to their end by providing for each and all of them the good to which they ultimately tend.

II. The existence of an all-governing Providence is a fundamental article of Faith, Our reason, our conscience, cannot separate the idea of an all-penetrating Providence from the idea of God, Holy Writ speaks of Providence almost on every page. (Cf., e.g., Ps. cxxxviii. and Matt. vi. 25 sqq.) The Vatican Council has also defined it in outline: “God watcheth over and governeth by His Providence all things that He hath made, reaching from end to end mightily and ordering all things sweetly“ (sess. iii., c. i).

III. We subjoin some characteristics of the Divine Government of the World, in its bearing upon the natural order of things.

1. The government of the world by God is both general and special; that is to say, it affects the world as a whole as well as every creature in particular. It is not carried out by intermediate agents: God Himself directly watches over, leads, and controls every single thing and its every motion. He takes a special care of personal beings whose end is supreme felicity and whose duration is everlasting. In virtue of His Wisdom and Infinite Power, He not only establishes general laws and provides the means for obeying them, but also regulates and arranges the particular circumstances and conditions under which every creature is to act. Thus no creature can be placed in a position or subjected to circumstances not foreseen, preordained, or at least permitted, by Divine Providence, or not in harmony with the general plan of the universe. Hence God's government of the world attains its end unerringly, with perfect certainty, in general as well as in particular: all things and events ultimately procure the glory of God, and nothing of what He absolutely intends fails to happen, nor does anything happen which He absolutely intends to prevent. This, however, does not interfere with the free will of rational creatures, because their freedom is itself part of the Divine plan and is governed by God in harmony with its nature.

2. Although God, in the government of the world, wills and promotes the good of every single creature, still, in order to attain the great final object of all, He permits and even intends individual creatures not to attain their own particular object, and thus to suffer for the general good. Even the greatest of evils, sin, which is in direct opposition to the glory of God, can be permitted by Him, because He is able to make it subservient to His ends and to glorify Himself by punishing it.

3. The action of God's Providence appears most strikingly in the organization and harmonious working of material nature. It is not so well seen in the government of personal beings, because free will is a disturbing element which prevents us from discerning uniform laws of conduct.

4. The greatest difficulty arises from the permission of evil, for which, in our limited sphere of knowledge, we can hardly account. We know, however, that all events are in the hand of God and that nothing happens without His knowledge and permission. Although, therefore, in particular cases we fail to see the reason of God's government, we must none the less bow down before His infinite Wisdom, Goodness, and Justice. Such humble submission and filial confidence are, in rational creatures, the best disposition for receiving the full benefit of God's loving Providence.

Sect. 117. --The World the Realization of the Divine Ideal.

I. The world is the realization of an artistic ideal, because God created it according to a well-conceived plan, with the intention, not of deriving profit from it, but of producing a work good and beautiful in itself. But the Divine ideal is God Himself; its external representation is, therefore, the representation and image of the Divine Majesty and Beauty.

II. Hence all things bear some likeness to God, and possess some degree of goodness and beauty. In as far as they come from God, they must be good and beautiful; but as they also come from nothing, their goodness and beauty are necessarily imperfect; they are perfect only as far as God has endowed them with being.

III. No single creature can adequately express the Divine Ideal. Hence the almost infinite variety and multiplicity of created forms, each of which reproduces and manifests something of the infinite perfection of God. Of the fundamental forms of being known to us, viz. the spiritual and the material, the former are a real image of their ideal, whilst the latter only contain obscure vestiges of it. Moreover, spiritual creatures, unlike material ones, are conscious of their likeness to God. In man the two forms of likeness to the Divine ideal are combined and concentrated in such a manner that the lower is completed and perfected by the higher, and offers it a wide field for the display of its activities. The soul of man animating the body is an image of the action of God on the world; the fecundity of man, resulting in the construction of a new being like unto himself, represents the inner fecundity of God. In pure spirits the likeness to God is purer and more sublime, but in man it is more complete and comprehensive.

IV. Notwithstanding their immense multiplicity and variety, all created beings are bound up into one whole, tending as it were in a mass to the one final object of all, and together representing a harmonious picture of the Divine Ideal.

V. Is this world, taken as a whole, the best of possible worlds? In the treatise on God, we have already shown that God was not bound to create the best of possible worlds, and that a world than which no other could be more perfect is an absurdity. Still we may safely say that this world is better than any which a creature could excogitate; that, by means of the Incarnation, it affords God the highest possible glorification, and thus attains its end better than any other; and, lastly, that, given the final object preordained by God and the component parts of the world, the arrangement of things and their government by God are the best conceivable.

CHAPTER III. The Angels

None of the Fathers has written a complete treatise on the Angels. The work De Caelesti Hierarchia, attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite, is the only one which deals with the subject, and it is the source and the model of all the speculations of the Schoolmen. Of these may be consulted with advantage Petr. Lomb., 2 Sent., dist. 2 sqq.; William of Paris, De Universo, par. ii. (very complete and deep); Alex, of Hales, 2. p., qq. 19-40, and St. Bonaventure on the Lombard, I.c.; St. Thomas, the Angelic doctor, /., qq. 50-64; Qq. Dispp. De Spirit. Creaturis; Contra Gentes, I. ii., cc. 46-55, 91-101; and Opusc. xv., De Substantiis Separatis. Suarez, De Angelis, is the most comprehensive work on the subject. The doctrine of the Fathers is summarized by Petavius, De Angelis (Dogm., tom. iii.).

Sect. 118. --The Nature, Existence, and Origin of the Angels.

I. The name “Angel,”(in Greek) --that is, messenger or envoy, --designates an office rather than a nature; and this office is not peculiar to the beings usually called Angels. Holy Scripture, however, and the Church have appropriated this name to them, because it represents them as standing between God and the rest of the universe, above man and nearer to God on account of their spiritual nature, and taking a share in the government of this world, although absolutely dependent on God. In this way the term “Angel“ is even more expressive of their nature than the terms “spirit,” or “pure spirit, ”because these latter, if not further determined, are applicable also to God. In order to prevent the belief that all superhuman beings are gods, the documents of Revelation, when speaking of these higher beings, always style them Angels, or Zebaoth --that is, the army of God. Evil spirits, being sufficiently distinguished from God by their wickedness, are often called “spirits,” “bad and wicked spirits,” and sometimes also “angels.” The Greek name (shown in Greek) (“the knowing or knowledge-giving“) is applied, in Holy Writ, exclusively to the spirits of wickedness, because they resemble God only in knowledge, and only offer knowledge to men in order to seduce them.

II. We conceive the Angels as spiritual beings of a higher kind than man, and more like to God; not belonging to this visible world, but composing an invisible world, ethereal and heavenly, from which they exercise, with and under God, a certain influence on our world.

III. The existence of Angels is an article of Faith, set forth alike in innumerable passages of Holy Scripture and in the Symbols of the Church. Scripture does not expressly mention the Angels in its narrative of Creation, but St. Paul (Col. i. 1 6) enumerates them among the things created through the Logos, and divides these “invisible beings“ into Thrones, Dominations, Principalities and Powers. From Genesis to the Apocalypse the sacred pages everywhere bear witness to the existence and activity of the Angels. It is most probable that their existence was part of the primitive revelation, the distorted remains of which are found in polytheism. Unaided reason can neither prove nor disprove the existence of pure spirits; but it can show the fittingness of their existence. Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 50, a. 1; C. Gentes, 1. ii., c. 46.

IV. It is likewise an article of Faith that the Angels were created by God. They are not emanations from His Substance, or the result of any act of generation or formation, but were made out of nothing. All other modes of origin are inconsistent with the spiritual nature of God and of the Angels themselves. Nor can they be eternal or without origin, because this is the privilege of the Infinite. Cf. Ps. cxlviii. 2 sqq.; Col. i. 16; Matt. xxii. 30. However, inasmuch as the real reason why Angels are not procreated by generation is their immateriality, and inasmuch as this immateriality is an article of Faith, it follows that we are bound to believe that no Angel has been generated.

V. The Fourth Lateran and the Vatican Councils have defined that Angels were not created from all eternity, but that they had a beginning. “God . . . at the very beginning of time made out of nothing both kinds of creatures, spiritual and corporal, angelic and mundane” (sess. iii., c. i).

That the creation of the Angels was contemporaneous with the creation of the world, is not defined so clearly, and, therefore, is not a matter of Faith. The words “simul ab initio temporis,” according to St. Thomas (Opusc. xxiii.), admit of another interpretation, and the definition of the Lateran Council was directed against errors not bearing directly on the time of the creation of the Angels. The probabilities, however, point in the direction of a simultaneous creation: the universe being the realization of one vast plan for the glory of God, it might be expected that all its parts were created together.

VI. It is not easy to decide where the Angels were created. Although their spiritual substance requires no bodily (corporeal) room, still, considering that they are part and parcel of the universe, it is probable that they were created within the limits of the space in which the material world is contained. As they are not bound or tied to any place, it is vain to imagine where they dwell. When Scripture makes heaven their abode, this only implies that they are not tied to the earth, like man, but that the whole of the universe is open to them.

Sect. 119. --Attributes of the Angels Incorruptibility and Relation to Space.

The attributes of the Angels, like the nature of their substance, are to be determined by a comparison with the attributes of God on the one hand, and with the attributes of man on the other. As creatures, the Angels partake of the imperfections of man; as pure spirits, they partake of the perfections of God.

I. The angelic substance is physically simple --that is, not composed of different parts; but it is not metaphysically simple, because it admits of potentiality and actuality, and also of accidents (§ 63). It is, moreover, essentially immutable or incorruptible; Angels cannot perish by dissolution of their substance, nor can any created cause destroy them. For this reason they are essentially immortal, not, indeed, that their destruction is in itself an impossibility, but because their substance and nature are such that, when once created, perpetual conservation is to them natural. As to accidental perfections, Angels can acquire and lose them. Observe, however, that the knowledge they once possess always remains, and that a loss of perfection can only consist in a deviation from goodness.

Angels differ from the human soul in this, that they neither are nor can be substantial forms informing a body. When they assume a body, their union with it is neither like that of soul and body, nor like the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ. The assumed body is, as it were, only an outer garment, or an instrument for a transitory purpose. Cf. St. Thomas, /., q. 51; Suarez, 1. iv., 33 sqq.

II. As regards relation to space, Angels, having like God no extended parts, cannot occupy a place so that the different portions of space correspond with different portions of their substance, nor do they require a corporal space to live in, nor can any such space enclose them. On the other hand, they differ from God in this, that they can be present in only one place at a time, and thus can move from place to place. Their motion is, however, unlike that of man; probably it is as swift as thought, or even instantaneous.

Sect. 120. --The Natural Life and Work of the Angels,

I. The life of the Angels is purely intellectual, without any animal or vegetative functions, and therefore more like the Divine Life than the life of the human soul. The whole substance of an Angel is alive, whereas, in man, one part is life-giving and another life-receiving. The angelic life is inferior to the Divine in this, that the Angel's life is not identical with its substance; and also in this, that it is susceptible of increase and decrease in perfection. So far all Theologians agree. But they differ very considerably as to how Angels live --that is, how and what they think and will. Leaving aside the abstruse speculations on this subject, we shall here only touch on the few points in which anything like certitude is attainable.

II. It is certain from Revelation that the natural intellect of Angels is essentially more perfect than the human, and essentially less perfect than the Divine Intellect. Thus Scripture makes the knowledge of Angels the measure of human knowledge, e.g. 2 Kings xiv. 20; and in Mark xiii. 32, Christ says that even the Angels much less man do not know the time of the last judgment. The Fathers call the angels (in Greek), intelligentias, --that is, beings possessed of immediate intuitive knowledge; but man they call (in Greek), rationalis --that is, a being whose knowledge is for the most part inferential: whence the superiority of angelic knowledge is manifest. Compared to the Divine Knowledge, the imperfection of the angelic, according to Scripture and the Fathers, consists in this, that the Angels cannot naturally see God as He is, by immediate, direct vision; that they cannot penetrate the secrets either of the Divine decrees, or of the hearts of man, or of each other; much less do they know future free actions. Cf. §§ 69 and 80.

III. As to the will of the Angels, we can only gather from Revelation that it naturally possesses the perfection of the human will, but at the same time also shares to some extent in the imperfections of the latter. The angelic will is free as to the choice of its acts, and is able to perform moral actions and to enjoy true happiness. But it is not, by virtue of its nature, directed to what is morally good; its choice may fall on evil. This much can be gathered from what is revealed on the fall of the Angels.

IV. It is evident that the Angels are able to perform all the actions of man, except those which are peculiar to man on account of his composite nature. Revelation, moreover, introduces Angels acting in various ways: they speak, exhort, enlighten, protect, move, and so forth. It is also beyond doubt that the power of Angels is superior to that of man, both as regards influence on material things, and on man himself. As to the mode of action, we know but little with certainty. The Angel acts by means of his will, like God; but he neither creates out of nothing, nor generates like man. The only immediate effect an Angel can produce by an act of his will, is to move bodies or forces so as to bring them into contact or separate them, and thus to influence their action. Bodies are moved from place to place locally; spirits or minds are only moved “intentionally;“ that is, the Angel who wishes to act upon our souls or upon other spirits, puts an object before them and directs their attention towards it. The power of Angels over matter exceeds that of man as regards the greater masses they are able to move and the velocity and exactness or appropriateness of the motion. These advantages enable them to produce effects supernatural in appearance, although entirely owing to a higher knowledge of the laws of nature and to superior force. As this power belongs to the angelic nature it is common to both good and bad Angels.

Angelic speech would seem to consist simply in this, that the speaker allows the listener to read so much of his thoughts as he wishes to communicate. Hence Angels can converse at any distance; the listener sees the thought of the speaker, and thus all possibility of error or deception is excluded.

V. Angels have over the body of man the same power as over other material bodies. Over the human mind, however, their power is circumscribed within narrow limits. They cannot speak to man as they speak to each other, because the mind of man is unable to grasp things purely spiritual. But, by their power over matter, they can exercise a great influence on the lower life of the soul, and thus indirectly on its intellectual life also. They can propose various objects to the senses, and also move the sense-organs internally; they can act on the imagination, and feed it with various fancies; and lastly, as the intellect takes its ideas from the imagination, Angels are enabled to guide and direct the noblest faculty of man cither for better or for worse.

Sect. 121—Number and Hierarchy of the Angels.

I. We are certain, from Revelation, that the number of Angels is exceedingly great, forming an army worthy of the greatness of God. This army of the King of heaven is mention in Deut. xxx. 2 (cf. Ps. Ixvii. 18); then in the vision of Daniel (vii. 10), and in many other places.

II. If the Angels can be numbered, there must exist between them at least personal differences; that is to say, each angel has his own personality. But whether they are all of the same kind, like man, or constitute several kinds, or are each of a different kind or species, is a question upon which Theologians differ.

III. The Fathers have divided the Angels into nine Orders or Choirs, the names of which are taken from Scripture. They are: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations (Greek spelling), Virtues (Greek spelling), Powers (in Greek), Principalities (Greek), Archangels and Angels. The first two and the last two orders are often named in Holy Writ; the five others are taken from Ephes. i. 21 and Col. i. 1 6. It seems clear enough, especially if we take into account the all but unanimous testimony of the Fathers, that these names designate various Orders of Angels; whence it follows that there are at least nine such Orders not, however, that there are only nine. Considering, however, that for the last thirteen centuries the number nine has been accepted as the exact number of angelical Choirs, we are justified in accepting it as correct.

It is impossible to determine the differences between the several Orders of Angels with anything like precision. The three highest Orders bear names which seem to point to constant relations with God, as if these Angels formed especially the heavenly court; the three lowest express relations to man; the three middle ones only point to might and power generally.

The fallen angels probably retain the same distinctions as the good ones, because these distinctions are, in all likelihood, founded upon differences in natural perfections. Scripture speaks of “the prince of demons“ (Matt. xii. 24), and applies some of the names of angelic Orders to bad angels (Eph. vi. 12).

On the supernatural life of the Angels, see infra, § 153.


CHAPTER IV. THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE.

Sect. 122. --Theological Doctrines concerning the Material World generally.

The things of this world come within the domain of Theology only in as far as they are the work of God, and have relations with Him and with man. The general truths bearing on this matter may be found out even by natural reason; but they have also been revealed to us, and have thus become the subject-matter of Theology. But Theology is concerned with the natural truths in question only in as far as they have a religious significance --that is, in as far as they express the relations of natural things to God or to man as their end and object. The general truths revealed, especially in Genesis, refer to the origin, the nature, and the end or final object of the material world.

I. The Material world owes its existence to a creative act of God; the several species of things, their differences, their position and functions in the universe, are, upon the whole, the direct work of God, Who has made them according to a well-defined plan. Neither the angels nor mere natural evolution made the world what it is. Organic beings, which now propagate themselves by means of generation, owe their existence neither to spontaneous generation nor to unconscious evolution of inorganic matter and forces; each species has been created to represent a Divine exemplar, and has received the power to perpetuate itself by producing individuals of the same species. This doctrine is most expressly contained in the narrative of creation in Genesis.

II. The material beings composing the universe are good in substance and nature, and are perfectly adapted to the ends for which they were created. This is the Catholic dogma opposed to Manichaeism, which held the things of the material world to be not only imperfect, but even bad. On this point the words of Genesis are plain enough: “God saw all things that He had made, and they were very good“ (i. 31).

III. The end or object of material beings is the glory of God and the service of man. Man is in no wise the servant of the inferior world; his will is not deprived of freedom and ruled by the laws of nature.

That God created the world, made it good, and made it for the service of man, is contained in the narrative of the origin of the world in the Book of Genesis. But the Church has never defined, and consequently has left open to discussion, how far the Mosaic narrative, besides these three points, is of a doctrinal character, and how far it is simply rhetorical or poetical. The scope of the present work forbids us to enter into a detailed discussion of this subject. In the following section we shall state briefly what appears to us to be the better opinion.

Sect. 123. --The Doctrinal Portions of the Mosaic Hexahemeron.

I. The work of the six days, the Hexahemeron, lies between the creation of the chaos, or first creation, and the commencement of the regular government of the world by God. It is the work of formation, or second creation described as “the making of the world out of formless matter” (as in the original Greek, Wisd. xi. 1 8), and alluded to by St. Paul: “By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God: that from invisible things visible things might be made“ (as shown in the Greek scriptures, Heb. xi. 3). In this sense the Hexahemeron is properly a “Cosmogony,” in the ancient meaning of the word, viz. the history of the formation and ornamentation of this visible universe, of which the earth is the centre and man the king. It is not a cosmogony in the modern sense, because it does not deal with the formation and ornamentation of other worlds than ours; nor a Geogony, because it deals only with the external aspect of the earth.

II. The object of the Mosaic narrative being to represent the Cosmos as a Divine work of art,-- made not with hands, but by the Word of God, Who is the expression and image of the Divine Power and Wisdom, --we must expect to find the particular productions represented as parts devised for the perfection of the whole work. And, in fact, in the order observed by Moses, the work of each day appears as part of a magnificent picture in which all the things of this visible world find their place. The first half of the narrative describes the formation and placing of the chief components of the Cosmos, which lay latent in the fluid chaotic mass. They are disposed in concentric spheres, beginning with the outermost: light, the atmosphere, and the solid earth. Then follows, in the second half, the adorning and filling in of this framework: the heavenly bodies shed their light on it; living things appear, beginning with the lowest and closing with man. The production of plants forms the transition between the work of formation and the work of ornamentation. The division of the six days' work into the work of separation during the first three days, and the work of ornamentation during the three last days, has been in favour since the Middle Ages.

The general plan of the Cosmos centres in the idea that the world is a dwelling-place for man. The Divine Architect first produces the raw material in an obscure and formless mass; He afterwards creates light, and spans the roof of the house, and gives it a solid floor; here He places the vegetable kingdom as an ornament and as a storehouse for the food of living creatures; then an inexhaustible supply of light is shed abroad; next come the beings destined for the service of man, having their abode in the waters and in the air; and lastly, the animals which dwell in the same house as man himself. The beauty of a work of art combined with the usefulness of a dwelling-place such is the character of the Cosmos.

III. The narrative is a genetic explanation of the work of creation --that is, an enumeration of its parts in the order in which they necessarily or naturally succeeded one another. Whether we consider the work of the six days as six separate creations or as six tableaux of one instantaneous creative act, the order of nature must be observed. If God made things successively, He could not make them otherwise than in the order which their nature requires; if He made them in one moment of time, the Sacred Writer had no other foundation for a successive narrative than this same order of nature. The more we study the separate parts of the Divine work, the better we see how they fit into each other, and how exactly the narrative gives to each the place it holds in nature.

IV. The best Catholic authorities on the present question are so persuaded that the intention of the writer of Genesis was to give a genetic account of the architectonic order of the world, that they deem it admissible that the whole act of creation occupied only one instant of time, and that the division of it into six days is but a way of presenting to the reader“ the order according to the connection of causes “rather than the order“ according to the intervals of time” (St. Aug., De Gen. ad Lit., 1. v.). Such is the opinion of St. Augustine, and St. Thomas thinks it highly probable (I., q. 66, a. i). Without examining what may be said for or against it, we may notice that St. Augustine has, until lately, found few followers. See Reusch, The Bible and Nature; Bp. Clifford, Dublin Review, April, 1883; Dr. Molloy, Geology and Revelation; Zahm, Bible, Science, and Faith, chap. iv.

V. It is quite possible and even probable that the Mosaic narrative is of a highly poetical character. In language simple and true, it puts before the reader a vivid and sublime picture of the artistic work of the Creator. Then according to Heb. xi. 3, its aim is to show how the component parts of the cosmos were brought by the Creator from darkness to light, i.e. made visible. This poetical conception finds expression in the “evening and morning” of which the days are composed. The Hebrew words for evening and morning are etymologically equivalent to confusio and apertio. At the very beginning of the narrative the opposition between darkness and light appears, and seems to point out that in all other works the same idea is adhered to. Again, the writer's intention of making the Creation week the model of the human week may have led him to give to the periods of the former the same number and name as those borne by the periods of the latter. Lastly, it is possible that the writer received his inspiration by means of a prophetic vision, in which the several phases of Creation were pictured before his mind. If so, his narrative would naturally be of a poetical character: the divisions he adopts and the name of days which he applies to them may be no more than a means of conveying to the reader the number and splendour of the visions of his mind. These and similar considerations, quite independently of natural science, have induced the theologians of all times to allow a very free interpretation of the six days' duration. See Dublin Review, April, 1883.

VI. Natural Science has also undertaken to give an account of the origin of things. The interest which Theology takes in this natural history of Creation is purely apologetic, and consequently does not come within our province.

Elaborate attempts have been made to reconcile the two accounts. Veith and Bosizio held that the six days were days of twenty-four hours; the destructions of flora and fauna, the remains of which are now found in the crust of the earth, are placed by them in the times between Adam and the Flood. Buckland, Wiseman, Westermaier, Vosen, and Molloy admit the destruction of a world .before the Hexahemeron. Others, as Pianciani, Hettinger, Holzammer, and Reusch, place the catastrophes within the six days of creation, but take the “days“ to be long periods. Reusch, however, in the third edition of his work, acknowledges the impossibility of thus establishing a harmony between natural and supernatural cosmogony, because natural science admits the simultaneous origin of plants and animals, and their continued simultaneous existence. Bishop Clifford and other Catholic writers cut the knot by considering the so-called Mosaic cosmogony, not as a narrative, but as a hymn in which various portions of creation are commemorated on the days of the See the Dublin Review, I.c. On this question, see also Proteus and Amadeus, letter viii.

It is best, however, to state frankly that it is not the object of Revelation to teach natural science. In the words of St. Augustine (quoted by Leo XIII., in the Encyc. Providentissimiis Deus) “The Holy Ghost, speaking through the Sacred Writers, did not wish to teach men matters which in no way concerned their salvation“ (De Gen. ad Litt., II. ix. 20). St. Jerome, too, declares that many things are related in Scripture according to the opinions prevalent at the time, and not according to actual fact (In Jerem. Proph. xxviii.). And St. Thomas distinctly states that Moses suited his narrative to the capacity of his readers, and therefore followed what seemed to be true (i q. 70, a. i). See supra, p. 56. Lagrange, Historical Criticism and the Old Testament, 3rd Lect.



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