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CHAPTER LXXIIIThat the Will of God is His Essence

GOD has will inasmuch as He has understanding. But He has understanding by His essence (Chap. XLIV, XLV), and therefore will in like manner.

2. The act of will is the perfection of the agent willing. But the divine being is of itself most perfect, and admits of no superadded perfection (Chap. XXIII): therefore in God the act of His willing is the act of His being.

3. As every agent acts inasmuch as it is in actuality, God, being pure actuality, must act by His essence. But to will is an act of God: therefore God must will by His essence.

4. If will were anything superadded to the divine substance, that substance being complete in being, it would follow that will was something adventitious to it as an accident to a subject; also that the divine substance stood to the divine will as potentiality to actuality; and that there was composition in God: all of which positions have been rejected (Chap. XVI, XVIII, XXIII).152152Does not this argument prove too much, either that in man too essence and will are the same, or that the human will is an accident to human substance? St Thomas would reply by a distinction between act and faculty. In God, the distinction does not obtain. Act and faculty are one in Him, one with His essence. But in man act and faculty are distinct. The act of volition is accidental in man, it comes and it goes: but the faculty or power of willing is not an accident to human substance, it is in essential property of the same.

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