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CHAPTER LXXVThat God in willing Himself wills also other things besides Himself153153Taken by itself, this chapter might seem to argue that God wills the existence of all things that He understands as possible, and that He necessarily wills the existence of things outside Himself, and so necessarily creates them. These conclusions are rejected in Chap. LXXXI. Though God understands all things possible, He does not will them all. If He willed them all, they would all be, which is absurd. It is impossible for all things severally possible ever to come to be conjunctively realised in actuality.

EVERY one desires the perfection of that which for its own sake he wills and loves: for the things which we love for their own sakes we wish to be excellent, and ever better and better, and to be multiplied as much as possible. But God wills and loves His essence for its own sake. Now that essence is not augmentable and multipliable in itself (Chap. XLII), but can be multiplied only in its likeness, which is shared by many. God therefore wills the multitude of things, inasmuch as He wills and loves His own perfection.

3. Whoever loves anything in itself and for itself, wills consequently all things in which that thing is found: as he who loves sweetness in itself must love all sweet things. But God wills and loves His own being in itself and for itself; and all other being is a sort of participation by likeness of His being.

6. The will follows the understanding. But God with His understanding understands Himself in the first place, and in Himself understands all other things: therefore in like manner He wills Himself in the first place, and in willing Himself wills all other things.

This is confirmed by the authority of Holy Scripture: Thou lovest all things that are, and hatest nothing of the things that thou hast made (Wisd. xi, 25)


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