CHAPTER I—Connexion of what follows with what has gone before.
THERE can be no perfect knowledge of anything unless its activity be known: for
from the mode of activity proper to a thing, and the species to which it belongs,
the measure and quality of its power is estimated; and the power shows the nature
of the thing, for each thing is naturally active according to the nature with which
it is actually endowed.199199Hence ‘nature’ is defined in the school ‘the principle
But there is a twofold activity:200200‘Immanent’ and ‘transient,’ as presently described.
one immanent in the agent, and a perfection of his, as feeling, understanding and
willing; the other passing out to an exterior thing, and a perfection of the thing
made and constituted thereby, as warming, cutting and building. Both of these acts
are proper to God: the first, inasmuch as he understands, wills, rejoices and loves;
the second inasmuch as He produces and brings things into being, conserves and governs
them. Of the first act of God we have spoken in the previous book, treating of the
divine knowledge and will. It remains now to treat of the second action, whereby
things are produced and governed by God.