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CHAPTER XIn what manner Power is said to be in God

SINCE the divine action is nothing else than the divine power, it is manifest that power is not said to be in God as a principle of His action (for nothing is the principle of itself), but as a principle of the thing made or done: also that when power is said to be in God in respect of the things made or done by Him, this is a predication of objective fact: but when it is said to be in Him in respect of His own action, such predication regards only our way of viewing things, inasmuch as our understanding views under two different concepts God’s power and God’s action.205205Writing in Mind for November, 1902, Mr Bradley refuses to allow the term ‘will’ in man to bear any other meaning than that of actual ‘volition.’ He merges ‘power,’ or ‘faculty,’ in ‘act,’ an identification which, St Thomas says, holds only in God. This is in keeping with Mr Bradley’s steady and uncompromising repudiation of all potential being. Potential being, if it be at all, is the undoing of his philosophy. But see Appearance and Reality, pp. 384-7. Hence if there be any actions proper to God, that do not pass into anything made or done, but are immanent in the agent, in respect of these actions there is not said to be power in God except in our way of viewing things, not in objective fact. There are such actions, namely, understanding and willing. Properly speaking, the power of God does not regard these actions, but only effects produced in the world external to Him. Intellect and will, then, are in God, not as ‘faculties,’ or ‘powers,’ but only as actions. It is also clear from the aforesaid that the multitude of actions which are attributed to God, as understanding, 82willing, producing creatures, and the like, are not different things, since each one of these actions in God is His own being, which is one and the same.


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