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CHAPTER XCIXThat Intelligences subsisting apart know Material Things, that is to say, the Species of Things Corporeal

SINCE the mind of these intelligences is perfect with all natural endowments,501501There are evil angels, “clever devils” (Wellington), the type of heathenish intellectualism, as the great Duke saw. as being wholly actualised, it must comprehend its object, which is intelligible being, under all its aspects. Now under intelligible being are included the species also of things corporeal.

2. Since the species of things are distinguished like the species of numbers,502502Every whole number is taken to be a separate species. The maxim affords an insight into the scholastic view of the ideal immutability and distinct and necessary order of species. whatever is in the lower species must be contained somehow in the higher, as the larger number contains the smaller. Since then separately subsistent intelligences rank higher than corporeal substances, all properties that in a material way are in corporeal substances must be in these separately subsistent intelligences in an intelligible and spiritual way: for what is in a thing is in it according to the mode of the thing in which it is.503503There must be, for instance, a spiritual fragrance and an intellectual velocity. As the parables of the Gospel show — and indeed the whole scheme of bible exegesis supposes it — the things and the doings of this visible material world are types of invisible realities. Nature is constructed on hierarchical lines. Our mortal minds ascend feebly where the angels descend in their strength, by a sort of Jacob’s ladder, we by type from earth to heaven, they by antitype from heaven to earth.

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