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Metaphysical Thoughts: Part 2, Chapter 6.
Concerning the Life of God.

What Philosophers in general understand by life.
    In order that we may rightly understand this attribute of the life of God, it is necessary that we explain in general what is meant by this term. Here we may examine first the opinion of the Peripatetics. They understood by life the continuance of support to the soul by means of heat (Vid. Aristotle, Bk. 1., de Respirat. 8). And, because they had three classes of minds, viz., vegetative, sensative and intellectual, which they attribute to plants, animals and men respectively, it follows that they assume that other objects do not have life. But they did not dare to say that minds and God do not possess life. They feared perhaps lest if they denied life to them they must also deny death as well. Therefore, Aristotle, Metaphysics, Bk. II., chap. 7, gives another definition of life peculiar to minds, namely: "Life is the operation of the intellect." In this sense he attributes life to God who is a cognitive being and is pure activity. We will not be delayed long to refute these conceptions, for what pertains to these three kinds of life which they attribute to plants and animals and men, we have already shown to be mere fiction. For we showed that there is nothing in matter except mechanical form and action. Moreover, what pertains to the life of God relates no more to an act of the understanding than to an act of will or any other faculty. But since I expect no response to what I have said, I pass on and endeavor to explain what life really is.

To what things life may be attributed.
    Although this term life, by a transference of meaning, is often taken to signify the customs of a people or of an individual, we shall briefly explain its correct philosophical use. It should be noted that if life is attributed to corporeal things, then nothing is void of life; but if only to those objects where spirit is united to body, then only to men or perhaps also to the lower animals, but not to minds or to God. In truth, since the term is a broad one, it should doubtlessly be attributed to corporeal objects, to minds united to, and to minds separated from corporeal body.

What life is in general, and what it is in God.
    Therefore we will understand by this term life, the power through which an object preserves its own being. And although that power in different objects is very different, we still very properly say that those objects have life. Moreover, the power by which God preserves His being is nothing else than His essence. Therefore they speak most truly, who say that God is Life. Nor are there wanting theologians who believe that it was for this very reason that the Jews when they made a vow swore by living Jehovah, not by the life of Jehovah, as did Joseph when he swore by the life of Pharaoh and said the "life of Pharaoh."
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