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CHAPTER XCVIThat God hates nothing

AS love is to good, so is hatred to evil; we wish good to them whom we love, and evil to them whom we hate. If then the will of God cannot be inclined to evil, as has been shown (Chap. XCV), it is impossible for Him to hate anything.

2. The will of God tends to things other than Himself inasmuch as, by willing and loving His own being and goodness, He wishes it to be diffused as far as is possible by communication of His likeness. This then is what God wills in beings other than Himself, that there be in them the likeness of His goodness. Therefore God wills the good of everything, and hates nothing.

4. What is found naturally in all active causes, must be found especially in the Prime Agent. But all agents in their own way love the effects which they themselves produce, as parents their children, poets their own poems, craftsmen their works. Much more therefore is God removed from hating anything, seeing that He is cause of all.188188God loves all the works of His hands antecedently. His first disposition to every creature is one of good will. This much these arguments may be said to evince. But how the will of God may stand to certain creatures consequently upon certain events, is not here considered.

Hence it is said: Thou lovest all things that are, and hatest nothing of the things that Thou hast made (Wisd. xi, 25).

Some things however God is said, to hate figuratively (similitudinarie), and that in two ways. The first way is this, that God, in loving things and willing their good to be, wills their evil not to be: hence He is said to have hatred of evils, for the things we wish not to be we are said to hate. So it is said: Think no evil in your hearts every one of you against his friend, and love no lying oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord (Zach. viii, 17). But none of these things are effects of creation: they are not as subsistent 72things, to which hatred or love properly attaches. The other way is by God’s wishing some greater good, which cannot be without the privation of a lesser good; and thus He is said to hate, whereas it is more properly love. Thus inasmuch as He wills the good of justice, or of the order of the universe, which cannot be without the punishment or perishing of some, He is said to hate those beings whose punishment or perishing He wills, according to the text, Esau I have hated (Malach. i, 3); and, Thou hatest all who work Iniquity, thou wilt destroy all who utter falsehood: the man of blood and deceit the Lord shall abominate (Ps. v, 7).189189In this view, the wicked and their punishment form part of the order of the universe, one side of the eternal antithesis of good and evil. St Thomas’s exposition is succinct enough. Further elucidations must be sought from theologians; who, even when orthodox, are far from consentient here. Who has found the answer to Job’s question: Why then do the wicked live? (Job xxi, 7.)

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