Nevertheless, since there are many who admit and believe in this
conserving power of God, but in a different sense from us, we
shall recall what has already been proven in order that we
may detect this fallacy. We have already clearly shown that
present time has no connection with future time (Vid. Ax. 10, Pt. 1.).
Provided we consistently remember this we shall be able without
difficulty to reply to all the objections of these philosophers.
MT211-P02. PREV - NEXT - THIS - UPPER - TOPBut lest we take up this subject without result we will reply in passing to the inquiry whether an additional element of God's power is needed to begin some action in things. When speaking of motion this same question appeared and we then gave our answer. For we said that God constantly preserves the same amount of motion in nature. If, therefore, we consider the total amount of matter in motion nothing is added. But in respect to particular things there is an additional element given. It does not seem, however, that the same thing can be said of mental phenomena. For it does not appear that they are related the one to the other in this way. Then, finally, since the parts of duration do not have a casual connection, we speak more truly to say then that God continually procreates than to say that he conserves them. Therefore, if man at a particular moment is free to choose some course of action it must be said that God at the present time so creates him. To this it is no objection that the human will is often determined by external influences, and that all nature is inter-related and mutually determining. For this also is so ordained of God. Indeed, nothing determines the will nor does the will determine anything except through the power of God. We confess that we are ignorant of how this may not be opposed to human freedom, or how God can ordain this and still preserve the freedom of man. This we have already admitted.
How this conservation acts in determining things to act.
MT211-P03. PREV - NEXT - THIS - UPPER - TOPThese are the things I had decided to say concerning the attributes of God. No satisfactory division of them has yet been made. The division given by some, who divide God's attributes into incommunicable and communicable attributes seems more nominal than real. For the knowledge of God is no more like human knowledge than the Dogstar is like a barking dog, and perhaps it is even less similar.
The ordinary division of the attributes, is more of name than of reality.