THE AQUINAS REVIEW
VOLUME IV (1997)

In Defence of Saint Thomas

Charles De Koninck

A Reply to Father Eschmann's Attack on the
Primacy of the Common Good

Originally published as In Defence of Saint Thomas: A Reply to Father Eschmann's Attack on the Primacy of the Common Good (Éditions de L'Université Laval, Québec, Volume 1, 1945, Numéro 2).


[CONTENTS]


I. On "convenient anonymity"
II. St. Thomas on part and whole
III. A Thomistic proof of a "revolting" statement
IV. Why did God make things many?
V. Quis ut Deus?
VI. Bonum universale in essendo and
bonum universale in causando
VII. "The chief 'personalist' text"
VIII. Beatitude, "the" common good
IX. "Fidelissimus discipulus ejus"
X. "Unusquisque seipsum in Deum ordinat sicut pars
ordinatur ad bonum commune"
XI. "Civitas homini, non homo Civitati existit"
XII. The private law of the Holy Ghost
XIII. "... The term 'personalism'
(in itself, no doubt, a bad one)...."
XIV. The Devil and the common good
... In eligendis opinionibus vel repudiandis, non debet duci homo amore vel odio introducentis opinionem, sed magis ex certitudine veritatis.-- St. Thomas.\fn{1}{In XII Metaphysicorum, lect. 9 (ed. Cathala) n. 2566.}

I
On "Convenient Anonymity"

Professor Yves Simon\fn{2}{On the Common Good, in The Review of Politics, vol. VI, Oct. 1944, n. 4, pp. 530-533.} seems to agree with the doctrine contained in my brief essay on the primacy of the common good\fn{3}{De la primauté du bien commun contre les personnalistes. Préface de S. E. le Cardinal Villeneuve. Éditions de l'Université Laval, Québec; Éditions Fides, Montréal 1943. I shall use the initials BC in my references to this work. The number following indicates the page.}:

... De Koninck has outlined, with unusual profundity and accuracy, the main aspects of a theory of the common good. It would be unfair to blame such a brief treatment for what we do not find in it. We do find in it a most valuable contribution to the definition of the common good and to the vindication of its primacy.\fn{4}{Yves Simon, On the Common Good, p. 530.}

The doctrine I outlined

calls for many specifications and further developments, but it constitutes a very sound foundation for any further development of the theory of the common good.\fn{5}{{Ibid.,} p. 531.

Insofar as De Koninck's essay vindicates the primacy of the common good and carries out the criticism of definite positions, it is entirely praiseworthy.\fn{6}{{Ibid.,} p. 533.}}

The positions and their necessary consequences which I consider representative of personalism and which I attack, he rightly qualifies as "vicious stupidities"\fn{7}{{Ibid.,} p. 532.} and "monstrosities".\fn{8}{{Ibid.,} p. 533.} When it comes to determining who are the personalists, Professor Simon has some understanding words to say:

Turning to the polemical side of the essay, we realize at once that the writer was confronted by a great difficulty. De Koninck's purpose is to vindicate the primacy of the common good against the personalists. It is a hard job, for the obvious reason that the term personalism covers a great variety of ill-defined doctrines and attitudes.\fn{9}{{Ibid.,} p. 531.}

While admitting there is some difficulty in identifying the personalists, Professor Simon is yet dissatisfied that my book should have named only those whose position was well-defined. And here is the reason for his dissatisfaction:

... On account of the very important part played by the concept of person in the work of Maritain, there is no reason why he [the reader] should not believe that the expression "the personalists" stands for Jacques Maritain.\fn{10}{Loc. cit., pp. 532-3.}}

Now it is glaringly obvious to Professor Simon that the ideas I describe as personalist are, with few exceptions and perhaps without any exception, just as odious to M. Maritain as they are to myself; that what I maintain concerning the primacy of the common good is just as dear to the latter as it is to myself. Hence, he does not hesitate to declare that, insofar as the reader might be left to believe that Jacques Maritain would disagree with any of the fundamental positions involved,

The net effect of the essay, insofar as Maritain is concerned, resembles that which could have been brought about--perhaps not so successfully--by plain calumny.\fn{11}{{Ibid.,} p. 533.}

Yves Simon is indeed a friend. He does not mince words. As one of M. Maritain's most esteemed and faithful disciples, he is sure the doctrines I condemn are not those of M. Maritain; and accordingly he gives me plainly to understand, that if I intended my readers to believe otherwise, I would be committing a simple calumny.

A second critic of my little work takes an astonishingly different view. For Father I. Th. Eschmann\fn{12}{In Defense of Jacques Maritain, in The Modern Schoolman, vol. XXII, May 1945, n. 4, pp. 183-208. I shall henceforth refer to this article by the initials DM.} it is just as obvious that the most fundamental position of the personalism I attack is beyond a doubt that of M. Maritain. As for my own position, it is "manifest error". He does not

in the least hesitate to say, that from the point of view of the littera Sancti Thomæ this book is a danger to every reader who has neither the time nor the sufficient training to discover for himself, in a problem of extreme subtlety, the genuine Thomistic truth.--DM, 163.

If that were true, my case would be sad enough. But there is much worse than that.

If they [Professor De K.'s doctrine and arguments] were true, then the personalists, and with them all the Christian Fathers and theologians and philosophers, should close their shops, go home and do penance, in cinere et cilicio, for having grossly erred and misled the Christian world throughout almost two thousand years.--DM, 141.

Let the reader be reminded of the sixth and seventh loci theologici to realize the predicament Father Eschmann has placed me in. And if such is indeed the case, the unshakable assurance and uninhibited violence of his article\fn{13}{Unless the reader is acquainted with Father Eschmann's own complete text, he will hardly appreciate the directness of this reply.} are quite understandable. Indeed one might even understand its sneering and irony if I actually used the facile device, and the absurd or dishonest methods which Father Eschmann lays to my charge:

Will it be granted that it is inadmissible to read St. Thomas with scissors and paste, by cutting the texts out of their literary and historical context and just quoting what, in a particular instance, seems to be suitable? Will it be granted that, if St. Thomas has explicitly stated and solved a given problem, a Thomist worthy of that name is obliged to take account of this fact and can not afford to refer to some other texts which either have nothing to do with the problem or, at best, refer to it in a distant and mediate fashion?--DM, 142-143.

My Opponent is not just making rash statements. The criterion he uses to defend the manifest truth of the position I attack is, as he frequently repeats, the littera Sancti Thomæ.

On page 138, my Opponent has inserted a note of personal character, which should add to the weight of his denunciation.

... I have the privilege to regard both Jacques Maritain and Charles De Koninck as dear friends. The job, therefore, of examining and determining the truth of their respective positions is very painful to me.--n. 9.

Since in spite of this protestation he discharges himself of his obligation with unconcealable gusto, it must be that Father Eschmann--who was for several years a professor in the Collegio Angelico, Rome, who taught at Laval University, Quebec, who is engaged at the Institut d'Études médiévales Albert-le-Grand of the University of Montreal, and is now a member of the staff of the Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies, Toronto--is entirely confident the position I attack is very definitely that of Jacques Maritain, that this position is true and that my own is a very dangerous one indeed.

Why did I not name M. Maritain? Father Eschmann has a very simple explanation. "The" personalists is

an all too convenient anonymity which permits every attack, and leaves every avenue of retreat wide open ...--DM, 134.

Compare now Professor Simon's judgment of my essay with that of Father Eschmann. Presumable both my critics are especially qualified to judge whether or not my own position concurs with that of Maritain. Professor Simon holds that my doctrine is true, that the personalist positions I attack are vicious stupidities and monstrosities and that the net effect of letting the reader believe my essay is aimed at Maritain resembles that which could have been brought about by plain calumny. Father Eschmann feels "obliged totally and categorically to reject De K.'s thesis" (DM, 138, n. 9) which, at one point, he claims is opposed to all the Christian Fathers, theologians and philosophers; he emphatically maintains that the doctrine I attack and he defends is that of Maritain; that "the personalists" is but a cowardly device "which permits every attack, and leaves every avenue of retreat wide open".

How is it then, that of these two critics, both especially qualified and presumably well acquainted with the writings of Jacques Maritain, the one can feel utterly confident that the latter is, while the other can feel quite as confident he definitely is not the true adversary at whom was directed La primauté du bien commun contre les personnalistes? Who is to blame for these contradictory judgments?

Has it occurred to anyone that I may have foreseen this very situation including the criticisms that would be heaped upon me? Or has it occurred to any one that if

The problem of Person and Society in the philosophy of St. Thomas, for many years past a favorite topic among European Thomists, has recently become an acute question on the continent of North America, owing, in no small measure, to the publication by the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at Laval University, Quebec, Professor Charles De Koninck, of a book entitled De la primauté du bien commun contre les personnalistes. Le principe de l'ordre nouveau.--DM, 133;

and if Jacques Maritain is so very obviously implicated in this debate, that Jacques Maritain is still among the living and may be presumed able to speak for himself?

But let us suppose that Jacques Maritain has spoken clearly and consistently on this subject (a supposition hardly reconcilable with the contradictory judgments of Father Eschmann and of Professor Simon), that he has treated it in philosophical fashion and that he really is the main target of my essay against the personalists. Could I have no justifiable reason for that failure to name my adversary which Father Eschmann calls "anonymity"? My Opponent cannot imagine any but this: "The" personalists is "an all too convenient anonymity which permits every attack, and leaves every avenue of retreat wide open" and this notwithstanding that in the same moment he finds the personalism I attack so very plainly and inescapably that "represented most prominently by Jacques Maritain" as to deprive my guilty anonymity of any sensible motive whatever.--DM, 134.

The reader is acquainted with certain polemical Opuscula, such as the De Æternitate mundi contra murmurantes, or the De Unitate intellectus contra averroistas parisienses. Of these works we may surely say that they too

comprise more than their objective, abstract content, more than the mere words in which they are written. They embrace all the circumstances of time, place, and occasion with which their publication is surrounded.--DM, 134.

Yet who are these anonymous Murmurantes who lay claim to such subtlety in perceiving contradictions, "as if they alone were men and wisdom born with them"?\fn{14}{"Et hoc etiam patet diligenter consideranti dictum eorum qui posuerunt mundum semper fuisse: quia nihilominus ponunt eum a Deo factum, nihil de hac repugnantia intellectuum sentientes. Ergo illi qui tam subtiliter eam percipiunt, soli sunt homines, et cum eis oritur sapientia".--De Æternitate mundi contra murmurantes, Opuscula Omnia, ed. Mandonnet, t. 1, p. 26.} Did St. Thomas resort to "the" Parisian Averroists as to a convenient anonymity which permits every attack, and leaves every avenue of retreat wide open? Who speaks "in angulis and before young people who cannot judge of such difficult matters"?\fn{15}{"Si quis autem gloriabundus de falsi nominis scientia velit contra hæc quæ scripsimus aliquid dicere; non loquatur in angulis, nec coram pueris, qui nesciunt de causis arduis judicare; sed contra hoc scriptum scribat, si audet: et inveniet non solum me, qui aliorum sum minimus, sed multos alios, qui veritatis sunt cultores, per quos ejus errori resistetur, vel ignorantiæ consuletur".--De Unitate intellectus contra averroistas parisienses, ibid., p. 69.} That he intended to attack Siger of Brabant is susceptible of strict proof.

Indeed the circumstances of writing and publication are contingent. More than that, they are the very own circumstances of the writer himself, the contingentia, variabilia, inenarrabilia of human actions. That is why they should be left to the inalienable prudential judgment of the individual person. Has it occurred to my Opponent that there are circumstances, even of my public action, which he does not know and which are most certainly none of his concern? Can he conceive of no circumstances in which he might be right in attacking an anonymous adversary, or in which he might even do so anonymously? If, in some given instance, Father Eschmann might say what he thinks I should have done, he cannot tyranically impose his judgment of what I should do, as the ultimate norm of my own. But it has pleased him to grant me only one motive. Qualis unusquisque est, talis ei finis videtur.

We have all heard the story of the thief who in order to distract the attention of the people about him, cried Thief! Thief! Everyone looked the other way, and so forth. But there is also the saying that 'you can't fool all the people all the time'. It will soon be clear that the Thief! Thief! device, quite unconsciously, I believe, is the keynote to my Opponent's whole article In Defense of Maritain.

Who would suspect Father Eschmann of himself exemplifying that very subterfuge of "convenient anonymity" which he lays to my charge and in the very section of his article in which he brands anonymity as permitting every attack and leaving every avenue of retreat wide open? Is it possible that the person he names is at the same time made the target for an adversary unnamed? That he also has in mind a person other than myself is indeed susceptible of the type of strict proof my Opponent avails himself of in such matters. Who, in connection with personalism, warns us against "a revival of the polycephalus monster of Pelagianism"?--DM, 136. Whom will the reader of my booklet, the Preface not excluded, have in mind when my Opponent refers to "a work which pretends to exhibit the pure wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas"?--DM, 142. (And in this connection, why did Father Eschmann add to the original "pure wisdom" his own words: "of St. Thomas Aquinas"?) Is his reader, unacquainted with my text, meant to believe that I claim to "exhibit the pure wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas"? If it is not deliberately planned, why does he condone with the ignominious ambiguity of jestingly referring to "a work which pretends to exhibit the pure wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas"? And yet while indulging in practices as offensive as this, he ventures to appeal to the charity of the reader:

Let us be charitable and forget that such a statement ("Les parties principales constituant matériellement l'univers ...") has ever been made in a work which pretends to exhibit the pure wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas.--DM, 142.

And at this very point my Opponent's kindly sentiments overflow into that footnote 12 of page 142, that unmistakable insinuation aimed at the anonymous target, again at the expense of his "dear friend".\fn{16}{Section I of Father Eschmann's article bears the title: "On censures, insinuations, and citations". See below, p. 101 n. 2.} But enough of this sort of thing.

\def\fnaaa{The reader is warned that he may find this paper difficult to follow because of its apparent lack of plan. In order to write a true rebuttal of my Opponent's attack I have felt obliged to forsake an order more in accordance with the nature of the subject and intend merely to follow him step by step through the pages of his own work. Now and then, to be sure, I may give a quotation from an earlier or later page when it seems to state more fully and clearly some point under discussion; and there are also certain passages towards the beginning of my Opponent's work (his handling of the words of the Encyclicals and his remark on "baroque-Scholastic controversy") which could be dealt with only at the close of my article for reasons the reader will discern by the time he reaches the last chapters. But my general procedure results inevitably in overlapping and repetition, and in abrupt transitions from one subject to the next, so that a considerable demand will be made on the attention. It is scarcely necessary to add that anyone seriously interested in this question should first read Father Eschmann's work and indeed keep a copy of it at hand as he studies this reply.

Since most of my Opponent's citations from St. Thomas are given in Latin only, I have not felt obliged to furnish translations of my own.}

II
St. Thomas on Part and Whole\fn{1}{\fnaaa}

It is of no concern to us why Father Eschmann completely overlooks what I had to say on the nature of the common good. However, this omission does allow him to convey to the reader unacquainted with my text, the impression that I share my Opponent's own conception of the good and of the common good. What he means by a common good is already clear from the way he quotes against me a passage from the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris (Father Eschmann does not mention that I faced an objection construed from that very text, BC, 62-64) and another from the Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi. The notion of common good which he has in mind throughout his attack is very distinctly the one I had emphatically and repeatedly denounced as totalitarian. To argue from his own notion most certainly leads to a "contradictory and unintelligible position".--DM, 135. But we shall return to section I of Father Eschmann's article in due course. Let us start from where he expressly claims to begin his "critique".--DM, 138, n. 9.

On page 32 Professor De Koninck states that even the personalists will not have great difficulty in admitting, with him, that individual persons are subordinated to that ultimate separate and extrinsic good of the universe which is God, nor that this subordination is formally motivated by the fact that God is the common good. But this will not suffice. It must be stressed, indeed--such is the author's thesis--that persons are subordinated to the intrinsic common good of the universe, i.e. its order. And they are thus subordinated because they are material parts materially composing and materially constituting that order and common good. For, is not the ultimate reason why God has created the intellectual beings or persons none other than exactly the order and common good of the universe?--DM, 139.

Then Father Eschmann quotes the passage in question:

Si l'on concède que les personnes singulières sont ordonnées au bien ultime séparé en tant que celui-ci a raison de bien commun, on ne concédera pas si volontiers que, dans l'univers même, les personnes ne sont voulues que pour le bien de l'ordre de l'univers, bien commun intrinsèque meilleur que les personnes singulières qui le constituent matériellement.--BC, 32.}

The complete omission of what I had to say on the very nature of the common good already insured Father Eschmann a great deal of freedom. The passage quoted above would be "revolting" indeed if we were to interpret it in the light of the notion of common good he would have the reader believe to be mine, just as revolting as would be statements such as: Quælibet autem persona singularis comparatur ad totam communitatem, sicut pars ad totum;\fn{2}{IIa IIæ, q. 64, a. 2, c.} or: ... Ipse totus homo ordinatur, ut ad finem, ad totam communitatem cujus est pars.\fn{3}{Ibid., q. 65, a. 1, c.} If such statements were to be read in the light of the totalitarian notion of common good Father Eschmann would force upon me, how could we possibly attribute them to St. Thomas? But my Opponent was not satisfied with the freedom he derived from mere omission. He saw fit to paraphrase my text before quoting it. The critical reader must have observed that "les personnes singulières qui le constituent matériellement" was introduced by my Opponent's: "they are material parts materially composing and materially constituting that order ..." Why does he add the word "material"? Is there no difference between "parts materially composing" and "material parts materially composing"? Lest there remain any doubt in the mind of the reader, let us see how he uses this difference.

Now that, thanks to his paraphrase, the persons have become material parts materially constituting the order of the universe, Father Eschmann proceeds to arrest the ambiguity of the word he himself has added, by substituting for my "order of the universe" the term "cosmos". Obviously, no one could possibly object to this substitution, since everyone should know that cosmos means "order of the universe"! But, at the same time, we also know that cosmos now definitely means the order of corporeal beings--the subject of what is called cosmology. Hence, how could anyone have the effrontery to object to Father Eschmann's inferring, from his own distorted paraphrase of my text, a position so coarse and unmistakably heretical that any Catholic will be shocked?

For, being material parts of the cosmos and subordinated, as material parts, to the stars and the spheres, they [the personalists, and with them all the Christian Fathers and theologians and philosophers] will have just as much responsibility, just as much choice, as the pistons in a steam engine.--DM, 141-142.

No wonder "Even Professor De K. somehow seems to feel that his is a 'revolting' statement (cf. p. 35)".--DM, 140. \fn{4}{Indeed on p. 35 of my essay I said: "Bien sûr qu'on se révoltera contre cette conception si ..." If Father Eschmann believes that the object of "on se révoltera" may, in this instance, be rendered by "revolting", he has been ill advised.}

I must again call attention to Father Eschmann's opening paragraph of section II, which we have already quoted: ("On page 32 Professor De Koninck states ...". In the first part of this paragraph he allows that I distinguish between the "ultimate separate and extrinsic good of the universe which is God" and the "intrinsic common good of the universe, i.e. its order". From this it should be clear, even to the reader unacquainted with my full text that, in my view, absolutely speaking, the former alone can be the ultimate reason why God has created the intellectual beings or persons. Nevertheless, in the last sentence of his paragraph, when my Opponent ironically states: "For, is not the ultimate reason why God has created the intellectual beings or persons none other than exactly the order and common good of the universe?" he gives the reader to understand that, in my view, the "ultimate reason intrinsic to the universe" must stand for the "ultimate reason" taken absolutely.

Having bridged the gulf between persons and "the pistons in a steam engine" by means of the "material parts of the cosmos", Father Eschmann immediately adds:

Let it be said, at once, that we simply refuse even to discuss this, Professor De K.'s own, private doctrine and thesis which is most patently erroneous. Let us be charitable and forget that such a statement ("Les parties principales constituant matériellement l'univers ...") has ever been made in a work which pretends to exhibit the pure wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas.--DM, 142.

Father Eschmann makes much of the phrase "principal parts materially constituting the universe". Indeed he will use it to deal a blow from which its author is never to recover. Let us see how he will go about this.

Would it not be desirable that an author who uses traditional philosophical notions knew exactly what they mean? In a recent work, Saint Joseph, Père vierge de Jésus (Montréal, 1944), Msgr. G. Breynat, a venerable missionary Bishop, in all seriousness and against the protest of a large group of theologians, defends the following definition of St. Joseph's paternity: It is "une causalité effective, négative, par abstention" of the child Jesus (pp. 84, 117ff.). Professor De K.'s notion of a principal part materially constituting the universe is of the same caliber.--DM, 142, n. 12.

In other words, to maintain that the principal or formal parts of a whole may be viewed in the line of material causality, as materially constitutive of that whole, is a grave misdemeanour deserving only ridicule. However, does not a part as part, whether principal or secondary, material or formal, corporeal or spiritual, belong to the genus of material cause? Is not any and every part "id ex quo"? Let us turn to St. Thomas' Comm. in II Physicorum, lect. 5, (ed. Leon.) n. 9. Aristotle's chapter 3 raises a doubt

de hoc quod dicit, quod partes sunt causæ materiales totius, cum supra partes definitionis reduxerit ad causam formalem. Et potest dici quod supra locutus est de partibus speciei, quæ cadunt in definitione totius: hic autem loquitur de partibus materiæ, in quarum definitione cadit totum, sicut circulus cadit in definitione semicirculi. Sed melius dicendum est quod licet partes speciei quæ ponuntur in definitione, comparentur ad suppositum naturæ per modum causæ formalis, tamen ad ipsam naturam cujus sunt partes comparantur ut materia: nam omnes partes comparantur ad totum ut imperfectum ad perfectum, quæ quidem est comparatio materiæ ad formam.

St. Thomas leaves no doubt as to the universality of this principle:

Manifestum est autem ex iis quæ dicta sunt in secundo (Physic.), quod totum habet rationem formæ, partes autem rationem materiæ.\fn{5}{In III Physic., lect. 12, n. 2.}

Now, whatever belongs to the very nature of a thing is inseparable from it. Will it be granted that a principal or formal part is still a part? If it does not have the ratio materiæ, why call it a part?

In that same footnote 12, page 142, Father Eschmann quotes with approval the following text taken from my essay, page 38:

Les créatures raisonnables peuvent atteindre elles-mêmes de manière explicite le bien auquel toutes choses sont ordonnées; elles diffèrent par là des créatures irraisonnables, qui sont de purs instruments, qui sont utiles seulement et qui n'atteignent pas elles-mémes de manière explicite le bien universel auquel elles sont ordonnées.

My Opponent then exclaims:

Very well! But how does this statement stand to the other one: "... les parties principales constituant matériellement l'univers ..."?

It is so utterly preposterous to consider the intellectual creatures as principal parts yet materially constituting the universe? Here is the littera Sancti Thomæ.\fn{6}{Ia, q. 65, a. 2, c.}

 
Considerandum est quod ex omnibus creaturis constituitur totum universum sicut totum ex partibus. Si autem alicujus totius et pertium ejus velimus finem assignare, inveniemus
primo quidem, quod singulæ partes sunt propter suos actus; sicut oculus ad videndum. (A) Sic igitur et in partibus universi, unaquæque creatura est propter suum proprium actum et perfectionem.
Secundo vero, quod pars ignobilior est propter nobiliorem; sicut sensus propter intellectum, et pulmo propter cor. (B) Secundo autem, creaturæ ignobiliores sunt propter nobiliores; sicut creaturæ quæ sunt infra hominem, sunt propter hominem.
Tertio vero, omnes partes sunt propter perfectionem totius, sicut et materia propter formam: partes enim sunt quasi materia totius. (C) Ulterius autem, singulæ creaturæ sunt propter perfectionem totius universi.
Ulterius autem, totus homo est propter aliquem finem extrinsecum, puta ut fruatur Deo. (D) Ulterius autem, totum universum, cum singulis suis partibus, ordinatur in Deum sicut in finem, inquantum in eis per quandam imitationem divina bonitas repræsentatur ad gloriam Dei:
  (E) quamvis creaturæ rationales speciali quodam modo supra hoc habeant finem Deum, quem attingere possunt sua operatione, cognoscendo et amando.\fn{7}{"... Quod si totum aliquod non sit ultimus finis, sed ordinetur ad finem ulteriorem, ultimus finis partis non est ipsum totum, sed aliquid aliud. Universitas autem creaturarum, ad quam comparatur homo ut pars ad totum, non est ultimus finis, sed ordinatur in Deum sicut in ultimum finem. Unde bonum universi non est ultimus finis hominis, sed ipse Deus".--Ia IIæ, q. 2, a. 8, ad 2.}
Et sic patet quod divina bonitas est finis omnium corporalium.

The "singulæ creaturæ (quæ) sunt propter perfectionem totius universi" (C) comprise the "creaturæ nobiliores" as well as the "creaturæ ignobiliores" (B), and all of them are "quasi materia totius" (C). In this perspective (C), the "creaturæ nobiliores" are not the "perfectio totius" which is as the form. For, the "forma ... universi consistit in distinctione et ordine partium ejus";\fn{8}{Contra Gentes, II, c. 39.} the good of this order is "formale respectu singularium sicut perfectio totius respectu partium".\fn{9}{Ibid., c. 45.} It is in the previous perspective (B)--"creaturæ ignobiliores sunt propter nobiliores"--that the intellectual creatures may be compared to the form. But with respect to the whole universe, the "creaturæ nobiliores" are still "quasi materia totius": "des parties principales constituant matériellement l'univers" for, to the order of the universe, "quælibet creatura ordinatur, sicut pars ad formam totius".\fn{10}{... "Aliter dicendum est de productione unius particularis creaturæ, et aliter de exitu totius universi a Deo. Cum enim loquimur de productione alicujus singularis creaturæ, potest assignari ratio quare talis sit, ex aliqua alia creatura, vel saltem ex ordine universi, ad quem quælibet creatura ordinatur, sicut pars ad formam totius. Cum autem de toto universo loquimur educendo in esse, non possumus ulterius aliquod creatum invenire ex quo possit sumi ratio quare sit tale vel tale; unde, cum nec etiam ex parte divinæ potentiæ quæ est infinita, nec divinæ bonitatis, quæ rebus non indiget, ratio determinatæ dispositionis universi sumi possit, oportet quod ejus ratio sumatur ex simplici voluntate producentis ut si quæratur, quare quantitas cæli sit tanta et non major, non potest hujus ratio reddi nisi ex voluntate producentis".--Q.D. de Potentia, q. 3, a. 17, c.} And now my Opponent might well ask how the latter statement of Ia, q. 65, a. 2, c.: "quamvis creaturæ rationales speciali quodam modo supra hoc habeant finem Deum, quem attingere possunt sua operatione, cognoscendo et amando", stands to the four preceding divisions.

While the head of the body is the principal part of the body, it is still a member, a part, of the body, and in this respect, it is "materially constitutive". Obviously this involves an imperfection. But is it an imperfection incompatible with the "partes nobiliores" of the universe? Is not Christ, Who is the Head of the Church, a member and a part according to His humanity? It is according to His divinity that he cannot be a part of the universe. And why not? Because, in this respect, He is the common good of the whole universe.

Estis membra dependentia de Christo membro, quod quidem dicitur membrum secundum humanitatem, secundum quam præcipue dicitur Ecclesiæ caput. Nam secundum divinitatem non habet rationem membri aut partis, cum sit commune bonum totius universi.\fn{11}{In I ad Corinthios, c. 12, lect. 3.}

Was it Father Eschmann who asked: "Would it not be desirable that an author who uses traditional philosophical notions knew exactly what they mean?" Would this be another instance of my Opponent's Thief! Thief! method?

III
A Thomistic Proof of a "Revolting" Statement

Let us now examine Father Eschmann's exposure of my "Thomistic proof" for a statement which, he says, even its author seems to find "revolting".--DM, 140. My Opponent is wholly unaware that what I had said already on the nature of the good and of the common good is essential to the problem at issue. The good, as I take it throughout my essay, is not the perfection of being that is formally identical with being, but the perfection of being as having the nature of an end.--BC, 14-15. For,

In quantum ... unum ens est secundum esse suum perfectivum alterius et conservativum, habet rationem finis respectu illius quod ab eo perficitur: et inde est quod omnes recte definientes bonum ponunt in ratione ejus aliquid quod pertineat ad habitudinem finis; unde Philosophus dicit in I Ethic. (in princip.), quod bonum optime definiunt dicentes, quod bonum est quod omnia appetunt.\fn{1}{Q.D. de Veritate, q. 21, a. 1, e.}

My Adversary might have been warned, too, by the adage: "the good is diffusive of itself".--BC, 14-15. And the good is diffusive of itself inquantum hujusmodi, secundum sui ipsius rationem. May we recall what this diffusion stands for in connection with the good taken formally?

... Diffundere, licet secundum proprietatem vocabuli videatur importare operationem causæ efficientis, tamen largo modo potest importare habitudinem cujuscumque causæ, sicut influere et facere, et alia hujusmodi. Cum autem dicitur quod bonum est diffusivum secundum sui rationem, non est intelligenda effusio secundum quod importat operationem causæ efficientis, sed secundum quod importat habitudinem causæ finalis; et talis diffusio non est mediante aliqua virtute superaddita. Dicit autem bonum diffusionem causæ finalis, et non causæ agentis: tum quia efficiens, in quantum hujusmodi, non est rei mensura et perfectio, sed magis initium; tum quia effectus participat causam efficientem secundum assimilationem formæ tantum; sed finem consequitur res secundum totum esse suum, et in hoc consistebat ratio boni.\fn{2}{Ibid., q. 21, a. 1, ad 4.}

And now we raise the question: Is it in the very being of the individual persons taken separately that we find most perfectly realized the good which God produces, that is, the good that is in the universe itself? or is it rather the total order of the universe which most perfectly represents and is closer to, the ultimate separated and extrinsic good which is God? It should be recalled that where this question is proposed in my book it is in face of the contention that the greatest perfection within the universe consists first and absolutely in the individual persons taken separately, whereas the perfection of the total order of the universe would be secondary. Immediately after the "revolting" statement, I said:

On voudrait plutôt que l'ordre de l'univers ne fût qu'une superstructure de personnes que Dieu veut, non pas comme parties, mais comme touts radicalement indépendants: et ce ne serait qu'en second que ces touts seraient des parties. En effet, les créatures raisonnables ne diffèrent-elles pas des créatures irraisonnables en ce qu'elles sont voulues et gouvernées pour elles-mémes, non seulement quant à l'espèce, mais aussi quant à l'individu? "Les actes ... de la créature raisonnable sont dirigés par la divine providence, non seulement en raison de leur appartenance à l'espèce, mais aussi en tant qu'ils sont des actes personnels". Donc, conclurait-on, les personnes individuelles sont elles-mémes des biens voulus d'abord pour soi et en soi supérieurs au bien du tout accidentel qu'elles constituent par voie de conséquence et de complément.--BC, 32.

So the problem is not whether the universe is some kind of super-individual to whom God wills the enjoyment of all the things that He makes and governs, but whether the good that is the universe is the most perfect final cause that God has made. Now, if such is the case, it follows, in this perspective, that any particular good, any part of the universe, whether it is a person or not, will be ordered to this good of the universe, insofar as "singulæ creaturæ sunt propter perfectionem totius universi".

Nor can we broach my Opponent's confusions without recalling, at this juncture, what I had earlier said about the common good. Since he has quoted against me a passage from the Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi (DM, 138) with particular emphasis on the words "... utpote personæ sunt", it must be that, in his mind--and his reader is apparently to be left with the same understanding--the common good whose primacy I defend is not attained by the persons, that this common good, indeed, is as the good of a natural body which so unites the parts that each lacks its own individual subsistence, so that the different members are destined solely to their good through the whole. Let me choose another, of several possible citations, to show that this is indeed the interpretation he makes:

The most essential and the dearest aim of Thomism is to make sure that the personal contact of all intellectual creatures with God, as well as their personal subordination to God, be in no way interrupted. Everything else--the whole universe and every social institution--must ultimately minister to this purpose; everything must foster and strengthen and protect the conversation of the soul, every soul, with God. It is characteristically Greek and pagan to interpose the universe between God and intellectual creatures. Is it necessary to remind Thomists that they should not, in any way whatever, revive the old pagan blasphemy of a divine cosmos?--DM, 146.

I think we have the right to presume that my Opponent has read my essay with care. How then can his understanding of the doctrine I defend be reconciled with even the first pages of my little book?

Dès lors, le bien commun n'est pas un bien qui ne serait pas le bien des particuliers, et qui ne serait que le bien de la collectivité envisagée comme une sorte de singulier. Dans ce cas, il serait commun par accident seulement, il serait proprement singulier, ou, si l'on veut, il différerait du bien singulier des particuliers en ce qu'il serait nullius. Or, quand nous distinguons le bien commun du bien particulier, nous n'entendons pas par là qu'il n'est pas le bien des particuliers: s'il n'était pas le bien des particuliers, il ne serait pas vraiment commun.

Le bien est ce que toutes choses désirent en tant qu'elles désirent leur perfection. Cette perfection est pour chacune d'elles son bien--bonum suum--, et, en ce sens, son bien bien est un bien propre. Mais alors, le bien propre ne s'oppose pas au bien commun. En effet, le bien propre auquel tend naturellement un être, le 'bonum suum', peut s'entendre de diverses manières, selon les divers biens dans lesquels il trouve sa perfection.--BC, 17.

In fact, the good that is proper to one person and distinguished from that of another person, is alien to the good of the other person. Likewise, the common good that is proper to one community, is alien to the common good that is proper to another community.

... Bonum commune est finis singularum personarum in communitate existentium; sicut bonum totius, finis est cujuslibet partium. Bonum autem unius personæ singularis non est finis alterius.\fn{3}{IIa IIæ, q. 58, a. 9, ad 3.}

That is why I insisted:

C'est ignorer spéculativement le bien commun que de le considérer comme un bien étranger, comme un 'bonum alienum' opposé au 'bonum suum': on limite, alors, le 'bonum suum' au bien singulier de la personne singulière. Dans cette position, la subordination du bien privé au bien commun voudrait dire subordination du bien le plus parfait de la personne, à un bien étranger; le tout et la partie seraient étrangers l'un à l'autre: le tout de la partie ne serait pas 'son tout'.--BC, 35.

Since my Opponent opposes to my position the "... utpote personæ sunt" of the above-mentioned Encyclical, why does he ignore the following passages of my essay:

Nous répondons que la communauté de ce bien ne doit pas s'entendre d'une communauté de prédication, mais d'une communauté de causalité. Le bien commun n'est pas commun comme 'animal' par rapport à 'homme' et 'brute', mais comme le moyen universel de conn{\acircumflex}itre, qui dans son unité atteint les connus dans ce qu'ils ont de plus propre. Il s'étend à plusieurs, non pas gr{\acircumflex}ce à une confusion, mais à cause de sa détermination très élevée qui s'étend principalement à ce qu'il y a de plus élevé dans les inférieurs: "une cause plus élevée a un effet propre plus élevé". Il s'étend à Pierre, non pas d'abord en tant que Pierre est animal, ni même en tant qu'il est nature raisonnable seulement, mais en tant qu'il est 'cette' nature raisonnable: il est le bien de Pierre envisagé dans sa personnalité la plus propre. C'est pourquoi le bien commun est aussi le lien le plus intime des personnes entre elles et le plus noble.--BC, 51.

L'indépendance des personnes les unes des autres dans la vision (béatifique) même n'exclut pas de l'objet cette universalité qui veut dire, pour toute intelligence créée, essentielle communicabilité à plusieurs. Loin de l'exclure, ou d'en faire abstraction, l'indépendance présuppose cette communicabilité.--BC, 58.\fn{4}{Father Eschmann quotes this passage (DM, 154-155) but ignores its implication.}

Comme les précédentes, cette objection suppose admise l'interprétation que les collectivistes font de notre conception de la société. Or, la société n'est pas une entité séparable de ses membres: elle est constituée de personnes qui sont à l'image de Dieu. Et c'est cette société, non pas une entité quasi abstraite, mais constituée de personnes, qui est de l'intention principale de Dieu.--BC, 59.

La cité n'est pas, ou ne peut pas être, un 'pour soi' figé et refermé sur soi, opposé comme un singulier à d'autres singuliers: son bien doit étre identiquement le bien de ses membres. Si le bien commun était le bien de la cité en tant que celle-ci est, sous un rapport accidentel, une sorte d'individu, il serait du coup bien particulier et proprement étranger aux membres de la société. Il faudrait mème accorder à l'organisation ainsi ravie à ses membres, intelligence et volonté. La cité serait alors comme un tyran anonyme qui s'assujettit l'homme. L'homme serait pour la cité. Ce bien ne serait ni commun ni bien de natures raisonnables. L'homme serait soumis à un bien étranger.--BC, 62-63.

En fait, le personnalisme fait sienne la notion totalitaire de l'Etat. Sous les régimes totalitaires, le bien commun s'est singularisé, et il s'oppose en singulier plus puissant à des singuliers purement et simplement assujettis. Le bien commun a perdu sa note distinctive, il devient bien étranger. Il a été subordonné à ce monstre d'invention moderne qu'on appelle l'Etat, non pas l'état pris comme synonyme de société civile ou de cité, mais l'Etat qui signifie une cité érigée en une sorte de personne physique.--BC, 66.

I am not aware that Father Eschmann has anywhere said that my notion of the common good is false, although he violently attacks its application to God as the object of created beatitude. But I think that, from the above quotations, it is unmistakably clear that his notion of the common good as such is not mine; that he hopelessly distorts my notion: that the doctrine he attributes to me is, in fact, his own distortion and that the texts just quoted from my essay are definitely opposed to his own notion of the common good. These citations make it plain, in short, that I must energetically reject all possibility of a subordination of the person to Father Eschmann's common good, or to anything like the common good as he understands it. Hence, when he says that

There is a proper and profound Thomistic doctrine of the relative superiority, within definite orders, of their respective common goods over the particular goods contained in those orders (DM, 135),

we may be certain that, even within definite orders, my Opponent's totalitarian common good could not possibly be accepted, by any Thomist, as superior in any sense over the particular good of persons.

No Thomist could accept Father Eschmann's unfortunate notion of part and whole. That it is not even applicable to the moral whole and part is obvious not only from what we have already quoted, but from what he calls the antecedens of the proof of personalism.

It seems to me--salvo meliore iudicio--that the bare essence of this doctrine might be summed up in the following enthymema: St. Thomas says: Ad rationem personæ exigitur quod sit totum completum; or again: Ratio partis contrariatur personæ. Hence, Jacques Maritain concludes, the person, qua person, is not a part of society: and if a person is such a part, this "being part" will not be based upon the metaphysical formality and precision of "being person".

The antecedens pertains to the littera Sancti Thomæ.--DM, 163-164.

Since Father Eschmann has asserted that I "read St. Thomas with scissors and paste, by cutting texts out of their literary and historical context and just quoting what, in a particular instance, seems to be suitable" (DM, 142), the reader will hardly be inclined to suspect him of doing just that with every single quotation from St. Thomas he brandishes against me. Let us examine the two phrases here brought to our attention. He refers the reader to "3 Sent., d. 5. III, 2". The article in question considers: Utrum anima separata sit persona. The immediate context of the first line quoted by my Opponent is:

Ad tertium dicendum quod anima rationalis dicitur hoc aliquid per modum quo esse subsistens est hoc aliquid, etiam si habeat naturam partis; sed ad rationem personæ exigitur ulterius quod sit totum completum.

The context of the four words which form his second quotation is:

Sed hæc opinio (Platonis) non potest stare: quia sic corpus animæ accidentaliter adveniret. Unde hoc nomen homo de cujus intellectu est anima et corpus, non significaret unum per se, sed per accidens; et ita non esset in genere substantiæ.

Alia opinio est Aristotelis, ... quam omnes moderni sequuntur, quod anima unitur corpori sicut forma materiæ. Unde anima est pars humanæ naturæ, et non natura quædam per se. Et quia ratio partis contrariatur rationi personæ, ut dictum est, ideo anima separata non potest dici persona; quia quamvis separata non sit pars actu, tamen habet naturam ut sit pars.

No person could be part of a substantial "unum per se". But the human soul is but a part of man. Therefore the soul alone is not the person. Now why should Father Eschmann confront me with these texts, in which the term 'part' is used exclusively of the soul as part of the human person, unless for him 'to be a part' means to be a part of such a whole as is implied in these phrases, namely, as "unum per se"? If we are to understand that his notion of part has a wider range than this, of what worth is his "enthymema"?

The whole of any society or of the universe is but an accidental unity.--BC, 52. When St. Thomas calls the intellectual creature a part of society,\fn{5}{"Sciendum est autem, quod hoc totum, quod est civilis multitudo, vel domestica familia, habet solam unitatem ordinis, secundum quam non est aliquid simpliciter unum. Et ideo pars ejus totius, potest habere operationem, quæ non est operatio totius, sicut miles in exercitu habet operationem quæ non est totius exercitus. Habet nihilominus et ipsum totum aliquam operationem, quæ non est propria alicujus partium, sed totius, puta conflictus totius exercitus. Et tractus navis est operatio multitudinis trahentium navem. Est autem aliquid totum, quod habet unitatem non solum ordine, sed compositione, aut colligatione, vel etiam continuitate, secundum quam unitatem est aliquid unum simpliciter; et ideo nulla est operatio partis, quæ non sit totius. In continuis enim simpliciter; et ideo nulla est operatio partis, quæ non sit totius. In continuis enim idem est motus totius et partis; et similiter in compositis, vel colligatis, operatio partis principaliter est totius; et ideo oportet, quod ad eamdem scientiam pertineat talis consideratio et totius et partis ejus. Non autem ad eamdem scientiam pertinet considerare totum quod habet solam ordinis unitatem, et partes ipsius".--In I Ethicorum, lect. 1, (ed. Pirotta) n. 5.} a part of the universe, or a part when compared with the divine good,\fn{6}{"... Unusquisque seipsum in Deum ordinat sicut pars ordinatur ad bonum totius, ...".--De Perfectione Vitæ spiritualis, c. 13.} he is obviously not using the term 'part' in the sense in which it is understood in the article referred to by Father Eschmann, i.e. as part of an "unum per se". Yet my Opponent allows the person to be a part in this latter, strictly totalitarian sense which contradicts the very nature of any person no matter how imperfect and limited. The reader will recall his argument:

Ratio partis contrariatur personæ. Hence, Jacques Maritain concludes, the person, qua person, is not a part of society: and if a person is such a part, this "being part" will not be based upon the metaphysical formality and precision of "being person".--DM, 163-164.

Since the argument calls for a consistent meaning of the term 'part', and since the 'part' of the antecedens means 'part of an unum per se', 'to be a part of society' must mean 'to be a part of an unum per se'. When my Opponent attempts to show just how obvious is his conclusion, he merely makes more clear his own error:

Maritain's conclusion is evident. Its necessity and intelligibility are exactly the same as the necessity and intelligibility of the following inferences: Act as such means pure and limitless perfection. Hence, if there is a limited or participated act, this limitation will not pertain to this act, qua act, but qua mixed with potency. Or again: The intellect as such is not capable of error. Hence, if there is an intellectual being which errs, this will not happen to it, insofar as it is an intellect but insofar as it is something else.--DM, 164.

A person, then, may be rendered capable of being 'such a part of society' by reason of some limitation. This is to say that a person, by some limitation, can be that which is contrary to the very nature of person: that is, a person, while person, can also be non-person. Does my Opponent realize that what is contrary to the very nature of a thing can in no case belong to it? It is for that very reason we hold no person, however imperfect, can possibly be a part in the sense in which St. Thomas uses the term in the passage cited by Father Eschmann.

But let us suppose for a moment that my Opponent is taking the notion of part in all its amplitude--which he decidedly could not do without destroying his own argument or distorting the meaning of the littera Sancti Thomæ. Even then, it would be very true that no person could be a part because of his being a person, for, if 'to be a part' were of the very nature of person, every person would necessarily be a part, including the Divine Persons. But granted no person is a part merely because a person, it surely does not follow that the created person, who is essentially and inalienably a finite person, cannot be a part secundum hoc ipsum quod est. What my Opponent overlooks is that the concept of person is an analogical concept, just as much as the concepts of act and of intellect. If his argument is to be at all conclusive, he must maintain that we created, finite persons do indeed possess the pure and limitless perfection of the person who is not a part; that insofar as we are in act, we possess the pure and limitless perfection of pure actuality. There is not the slightest doubt that this is what Father Eschmann must hold if his antecedens is to lead to his conclusion. How else could the pure and limitless perfection of personality, which precludes being a part in any real sense, and which is proper to the Divine Persons,\fn{7}{In I Sententiarum, d. 19, q. 4, a. 1; d. 24, q. 1. a. 1, ad 4.} have anything to do, in this connection with the persons that we are? Logically, he has no alternative. He must conceive the potency and limitation which make us finite beings and finite persons, as adventitious to pure actuality and pure personality. In this respect, that which was pure actuality should now become subject; and since it would have to be the subject of a being substantially one, it would have to be pure subject, that is, pure potentiality. In other words, if he carried through the inescapable implications of his argumentation, my Opponent would be faced with something like the position of David of Dinant "qui stultissime posuit Deum esse materiam primam".\fn{8}{Ia, q. 3, a. 8, c.--Cf. G. Théry, O.P., Essai sur David de Dinant d'après Albert le Grand et saint Thomas, Mélanges Thomistes, Le Saulchoir, Kain, Belgique, 1923, pp. 361-408.}

And now we shall return to Father Eschmann's criticism of my "Thomistic proof" of a "'revolting' statement".

Let us here for the moment consider the second part of this thesis, viz. the statement regarding the intrinsic common good of the universe and its relation to the intellectual beings or persons. Even Professor De K. somehow seems to feel that his is a "revolting" statement (cf. p. 35). He, therefore, makes every effort to be very careful in establishing a Thomistic proof of it. In fact, he asks, is not the same statement repeatedly implied in St. Thomas' discussions of the question: What is the end God has proposed to Himself in the production of all things? Four texts are cited by the author. Let us here reproduce, in Latin, the first two, taken from Contra Gentiles, III, 64; they will sufficiently show in what specific set of Thomistic texts Professor De K. has found a proof, satisfying to his mind, of his assertion. The italicized sentences are not held worthy of quotation, by the author:--DM, 140.

My Opponent then quotes the two paragraphs in question. The italicized sentence completing the first paragraph is:

Ipse igitur Deus omnia suo intellectu et voluntate gubernat.

The italicized sentence completing the second is:

Est igitur gubernator ipsius.

Just what did I want to prove by these texts? It is important to note that Father Eschmann opens his criticism by assailing "the second part of this thesis". Whether he uses this procedure willfully or not, it does obscure the issue and create a convenient confusion. Do I seek to prove that the order of the universe is the most profound and absolutely ultimate good of persons? On the contrary, I had spoken in the early part of my essay of this ultimate good of persons as being the absolute separated and extrinsic good of the universe, which is God. In "the second part of this thesis", however, I consider persons as parts of the universe, and I enquire what is their greatest good as parts of the universe. Now this is merely to ask what is the greatest good that God produces and that most perfectly imitates His own goodness. St. Thomas' answer leaves no doubt. Here are the two paragraphs I quoted (BC, 33) from Contra Gentes III, c. 64. to which I now add the concluding sentences which Father Eschmann says I hold "not ... worthy of quotation":

Deus res omnes in esse produxit, non ex necessitate naturæ, sed per intellectum et voluntatem. Intellectus autem et voluntatis ipsius non potest esse alius finis ultimus nisi bonitas eius, ut scilicet eam rebus communicaret, sicut ex præmissis (lib. I, capp. 75 sq.) apparet. Res autem participant divinam bonitatem per modum similitudinis, inquantum ipsæ sunt bonæ. Id autem quod est maxime bonum in rebus causatis, est bonum ordinis universi, quod est maxime perfectum, ut Philosophus dicit (XII Metaph., x, 1: 1075a): cui etiam consonat Scriptura divina, Gen. 1, cum dicitur (vers. 31), Vidit Deus cuncta quæ jecerat, et erant valde bona, cum de singulis operibus dixisset simpliciter quod erant bona. Bonum igitur ordinis rerum causatarum a Deo est id quod est præcipue volitum et causatum a Deo. Nihil autem aliud est gubernare aliqua quam eis ordinem imponere. Ipse igitur Deus omnia suo intellectu et voluntate gubernat.

Amplius. Unumquodque intendens aliquem finem, magis curat de eo quod est propinquius fini ultimo: quia hoc etiam est finis aliorum. Ultimus autem finis divinæ voluntatis est bonitas ipsius, cui propinquissimum in rebus creatis est bonum ordinis totius universi: cum ad ipsum ordinetur, sicut ad finem, omne particulare bonum huius vel illius rei, sicut minus perfectum ordinatur ad id quod est perfectius; unde et quælibet pars invenitur esse propter suum totum. Id igitur quod maxime curat Deus in rebus creatis, est ordo universi. Est igitur gubernator ipsius.

How the omission of those last sentences makes me guilty of my Opponent's practice of reading "St. Thomas with scissors and paste, by cutting the texts out of their literary and historical context and just quoting what, in a particular instance, seems to be suitable" (DM, 142), I fail to see. I quoted that part of the text which shows that St. Thomas expressly teaches the order of the universe to be the greatest good which God produces and that it is the præcipue volitum. It is from this truth that St. Thomas infers: Ipse igitur Deus omnia suo intellectu et voluntate gubernat: Est igitur gubernator ipsius (ordinis universi). In stating that these "sentences are not held worthy of quotation, by the author" (DM, 140) my Opponent may distract attention, but his accusation should not blind the critical reader to the fact that he is distorting the perspective by stressing those last sentences, as if the premises of St. Thomas' conclusion did not properly and immediately belong to the question I undertook to treat, or as if the truth of the premises were irrelevant to their conclusion.

Before examining Father Eschmann's interpretation of these quotations, let me recall again the latter four of the six texts I quoted to support the doctrine that, of all created goods, the good of the universe is the greatest. The third is taken from Ia, q. 47, a. 1: Utrum rerum multitudo et distinctio sit a Deo.

... Distinctio rerum et multitudo est ex intentione primi agentis, quod est Deus. Produxit enim res in esse propter suam bonitatem communicandam creaturis, et per eas repræsentandam. Et quia per unam creaturam sufficienter repræsentari non potest, produxit multas creaturas et diversas, ut quod deest uni ad repræsentandam divinam bonitatem, suppleatur ex alia: nam bonitas quæ in Deo est simpliciter et uniformiter, in creaturis est multipliciter et divisim. Unde perfectius participat divinam bonitatem, et repræsentat eam, totum universum, quam alia quæcumque creatura.--BC, 33-34.

The fourth text was taken from Ia, q. 15, a. 2, where St. Thomas proves that God has an idea of the order of the whole universe, because the bonum ordinis universi is the optimum in rebus existens.

... In quolibet effectu illud quod est ultimus finis, proprie est intentum a principali agente; sicut ordo exercitus a duce. Illud autem quod est optimum in rebus existens, est bonum ordinis universi, ut patet per Philosophum in XII Metaph. Ordo igitur universi est proprie a Deo intentus, et non per accidens proveniens secundum successionem agentium ... Sed ... ipse ordo universi est per se creatus ab eo, et intentus ab ipso.--BC, 34.

In the fifth text St. Thomas proves (Contra Gentes, II, c. 39) that the order of the parts of the universe and their distinction is the end of the production of the universe.

Id quod est bonum et optimum in effectu, est finis productionis ipsius. Sed bonum et optimum universi consistit in ordine partium eius ad invicem, qui sine distinctione esse non potest: per hunc enim ordinem universum in sua totalitate constituitur, quæ est optimum ipsius. Ipse igitur ordo partium universi et distinctio earum est finis productionis universi.--BC, 34.

From this St. Thomas further concludes: "non est igitur distinctio rerum a casu". These words I did not quote, because we are concerned with whether or not the good of the universe is the greatest of all created goods, and not with the various conclusions that must be drawn from this principle. However, the manifold conclusions St. Thomas does draw from this fundamental truth illustrate its importance and fecundity.

The sixth text is taken from the Q. D. de Spiritualibus Creaturis, q. un., a. 8, where St Thomas shows (secunda ratio) that the separated substances, occupying the suprema pars universi, constitute a per se order, differing in species, because, being the superior parts of the universe, they must have a greater participation in the good of the universe, which is its order.

Manifestum est enim quod duplex est bonum universi; quoddam separatum, scilicet Deus, qui est sicut dux in exercitu: et quoddam in ipsis rebus, et hoc est ordo partium universi, sicut ordo partium exercitus est bonum exercitus. Unde Apostolus dicit Rom. XIII, 1: Quae a Deo sunt, ordinata sunt. Oportet autem quod superiores universi partes magis de bono universi participent, quod est ordo. Perfectius autem participant ordinem ea in quibus est ordo per se, quam ea in quibus est ordo per accidens tantum.--BC, 37.}

My Opponent states that the group of texts involving this principle is a very large one. In view of his interpretation, we shall quote a few more.

Id quod est optimum in rebus causatis, reducitur ut in primam causam in id quod est optimum in causis: oportet enim effectus proportionales esse causis. Optimum autem in omnibus entibus causatis est ordo universi, in quo bonum universi consistit: sicut et in rebus humanis bonum gentis est divinius quam bonum unius (I Ethic., II, 8; 1094b). Oportet igitur ordinem universi sicut in causam propriam reducere in Deum, quem supra (lib. I, cap. 41) ostendimus esse summum bonum. Non igitur rerum distinctio, in qua ordo consistit universi, causatur ex causis secundis, sed magis ex intentione causæ primæ.

Adhuc. Absurdum ridetur id quod est optimum in rebus reducere sicut in causam in rerum defectum. Optimum autem in rebus causatis est distinctio et ordo ipsarum, ut ostensum est (arg. præe. et cap. 39). Inconveniens igitur est dicere quod talis distinctio ex hoc causetur quod secundæ causæ deficiunt a simplicitate causæ primæ.

Item. In omnibus causis agentibus ordinatis, ubi agitur propter finem, oportet quod fines causarum secundarum sint propter finem causæ primæ: sicut finis militaris et equestris et frenifactricis est propter finem civilis. Processus autem entium a primo ente est per actionem ordinatam ad finem: cum sit per intellectum, ut ostensum est (cap. 24); intellectus autem omnis propter finem agit. Si igitur in productione rerum sunt aliquæ causæ secundæ, oportet quod fines earum et actiones sint propter finem causæ primæ, qui est ultimus finis in rebus causatis. Hoc autem est distinctio et ordo partium universi, qui est quasi ultima forma. Non igitur est distinctio in rebus et ordo propter actiones secundarum causarum: sed magis actiones secundarum causarum sunt propter ordinem et distinctionem in rebus constituendam.

Adhuc. Si distinctio partium universi et ordo earum est proprius effectus causæ primæ, quasi ultima forma et optimum in universo, oportet rerum distinctionem et ordinem esse in intellectu causæ primæ: ....\fn{9}{Contra Gentes, II, c. 42.}

Quanto enim aliquid est melius in effectibus, tanto est prius in intentione agentis. Optimum autem in rebus creatis est perfectio universi, quæ consistit in ordine distinctarum rerum: in omnibus enim perfectio totius præminet perfectioni singularium partium. Igitur diversitas rerum ex principali intentione primi agentis provenit, non ex diversitate meritorum.\fn{10}{Ibid., c. 44.}

Item. cum bonum totius sit melius quam bonum partium singularium, non est optimi factoris diminuere bonum totius ut aliquarum partium augeat bonitatem: non enim ædificator fundamento tribuit eam bonitatem quam tribuit tecto, ne domum faciat ruinosam. Factor igitur omnium, Deus, non faceret totum universum in suo genere optimum, si faceret omnes partes æquales: quia multi gradus bonitatis in universo deessent, et sic esset imperfectum.\fn{11}{Ibid.}

Bonum ordinis universi nobilius est qualibet parte universi: cum partes singulæ ordinentur ad bonum ordinis qui est in toto sicut ad finem, ut per Philosophum patet, in XII Metaphysicæ (cap. x, 1; 1075a). Si igitur Deus cognoscit aliquam aliam naturam nobilem, maxime cognoscet ordinem universi. Hic autem cognosci non potest nisi cognoscantur et nobiliora et viliora, in quorum distantiis et habitudinibus ordo universi consistit. Relinquitur igitur quod Deus cognoscit non solum nobilia, sed etiam ea quæ vilia reputantur.\fn{12}{Ibid., I, c. 70.}

Si Deus cognoscit aliquid aliud a se, maxime cognoscet quod est optimum. Hoc autem est ordo universi, ad quem sicut ad finem omnia particularia bona ordinantur.\fn{13}{Ibid., c. 71.}

Providentia divina quibusdam rebus necessitatem imponit: non autem omnibus, ut quidam crediderunt. Ad providentiam enim pertinet ordinare res in finem. Post bonitatem autem divinam, quæ est finis a rebus separatus, principale bonum in ipsis rebus existens, est perfectio universi: quæ quidem non esset, si non omnes gradus essendi invenirentur in rebus. Unde ad divinam providentiam pertinet omnes gradus entium producere. Et ideo quibusdam effectibus præparavit causas necessarias, ut necessario evenirent: quibusdam vero causas contingentes, ut evenirent contingenter, secundum conditionem proximarum causarum.\fn{14}{Ia, q. 22, a. 4, c.}

... Malum quod in corruptione rerum aliquarum consistit, reducitur in Deum sicut in causam. Et hoc patet tam in naturalibus quam in voluntariis. Dictum est enim quod aliquod agens, inquantum sua virtute producit aliquam formam ad quam sequitur corruptio et defectus, causat sua virtute illam corruptionem et defectum. Manifestum est autem quod forma quam principaliter Deus intendit in rebus creatis, est bonum ordinis universi. Ordo autem universi requirit, ut supra dictum est, quod quædam sint quæ deficere possint, et interdum deficiant. Et sic Deus, in rebus causando bonum ordinis universi, ex consequenti, et quasi per accidens, causat corruptiones rerum; secundum illud quod dicitur I Reg. II: Dominus mortificat et vivificat. Sed quod dicitur Sap. I, quod Deus mortem non fecit, intelligitur quasi per se intentam. Ad ordinam autem universi pertinet etiam ordo justitiæ, qui requirit ut peccatoribus pœna inferatur. Et secundum hoc, Deus est auctor mali quod est pœna: non autem mali quod est culpa, ratione supra dicta.\fn{15}{Ia, q. 49, a. 2, c.}

... Providentia Dei, qua res gubernat, est similis, ut dictum est, art. præced., providentiæ qua paterfamilias gubernat domum, et rex civitatem aut regnum: in quibus gubernationibus hoc est commune, quod bonum commune est eminentius quam bonum singulare; sicut bonum gentis est eminentius quam civitatis vel familiæ vel personæ, ut habetur, in principio Ethic. (cap. II, in fin.). Unde quilibet provisor plus attendit quid communitati conveniat, si sapienter gubernat, quam quid conveniat uni tantum.

Hoc autem quidam non attendentes, considerantes in rebus corruptibilibus aliqua quæ possent meliora esse secundum seipsa considerata, non attendentes ordinem universi, secundum quem optime collocatur unumquodque in ordine suo, dixerunt ista corruptibilia non gubernari a Deo sed sola incorruptibilia: ex quorum persona dicitur Job, cap. XXII, 14: Nubes latibulum ejus, scilicet Deus, neque nostra considerat; sed circa cardines cæli perambulat. Hæc autem corruptibilia posuerunt vel omnino absque gubernatore esse et agi, vel a contrario principio gubernari. Quam opinionem Philosophus in XII Metaphysic. (com. 52 et seq.) reprobat per similitudinem exercitus, in quo invenimus duplicem ordinem: unum quo exercitus partes ordinantur ad invicem, alium quo ordinantur ad bonum exterius, scilicet ad bonum ducis: et ordo ille quo ordinantur partes exercitus ad invicem, est propter illum ordinem quo totus exercitus ordinatur ad ducem: unde si non esset ordo ad ducem, non esset ordo partium exercitus ad invicem. Quantumcumque ergo multitudinem invenimus ordinatam ad invicem, oportet eam ordinari ad exterius principium. Partes autem universi, corruptibiles et incorruptibiles, sunt ad invicem ordinatæ, non per accidens, sed per se: videmus enim ex corporibus cælestibus utilitates provenire in corporibus corruptibilibus vel semper vel in majori parte secundum eumdem modum; unde oportet omnia, corruptibilia et incorruptibilia, esse in uno ordine providentiæ principii exterioris, quod est extra universum. Unde Philosophus concludit, quod necesse est ponere in universo unum dominatum et non plures.

Sciendum tamen, quod aliquid provideri dicitur dupliciter: uno modo propter se, alio modo propter alia; sicut in domo propter se providentur ea in quibus essentialiter consistit bonum domus, sicut filii, possessiones, et hujusmodi: alia vero providentur ad horum utilitatem, ut vasa, animalia, et hujusmodi. Et similiter in universo illa propter se providentur in quibus essentialiter consistit perfectio universi; et hæc perpetuitatem habent, sicut et universum perpetuum est. Quæ vero perpetua non sunt, non providentur nisi propter alium: et ideo substantiæ spirituales et corpora cælestia, quæ sunt perpetua et secundum speciem, et secundum individuum, sunt provisa propter se et in specie et in individuo; sed corruptibilia perpetuitatem non possunt habere nisi in specie: unde species ipsæ sunt provisæ propter se, sed individua eorum non sunt provisa nisi propter perpetuum esse speciei conservandum.\fn{16}{De Ver., q. 5, a. 3, c.}

... Quamvis res corruptibilis melior esset si incorruptibilitatem haberet, melius tamen est universum quod ex corruptibilibus et incorruptibilibus constat, quam quod ex incorruptibilibus tantum constaret, quia utraque natura bona est, scilicet corruptibilis et incorruptibilis: melius autem est esse duo bona quam unum tantum. Neque multiplicatio individuorum in una natura posset æquivalere diversitati naturarum, cum bonum naturæ, quod est communicabile, præmineat bono individui, quod est singulare.\fn{17}{Ibid., ad 3.}

These form part of the body of texts I argue from. They prove that according to sound Thomistic doctrine, optimum in omnibus entibus creatis est ordo universi, in quo bonum universi consistit. Now, what does my Opponent have to say about this group of texts?

... Against Greco-Arabian necessitarianism St. Thomas states that there exists an intelligent and loving Creator, i.e. a personal God and a divine and all-embracing Providence. Were this not so, he argues, the universe would fall apart into so many unconnected and unconnectable bits, and it would be impossible to maintain the fact of the order of the universe on whose existence and sublime beauty both the Greeks, and especially the Christian Fathers, have so energetically insisted. In this group of texts--it is a very large one--St. Thomas frequently, and with obvious enjoyment, avails himself of two quotations from Aristotle, viz., (a) bonum commune est divinius ... , and, (b) quod est optimum in rebus existens est bonum universi.\fnasterisk{*}{"Eth. i. 1; 1094b 9; Metaph. xii, 1075a 11."--Footnotes preceded by an asterisk reproduce Father Eschmann's own references.} By these citations no proper doctrine on the common good is taught; and still less is anything said about the relations between the common good and the proper good of the intellectual substances. Their impact is clearly to show, against a Greek heresy, that, even in the Greek thinkers themselves, and above all in Aristotle, who was so fondly cherished in the Arabian world, there are principles upon which one may proceed to prove the fact of divine Providence.

This is the group of texts Professor De K. argues from. He should not have done so, because they do not properly and immediately belong to the question he undertook to treat.--DM, 145.

In other words, according to Father Eschmann, when St. Thomas says that God governs the order of the universe and bestows upon it His greatest care (maxime curat) because it is the maxime bonum in rebus causatis, the præcipue rolitum et causatum, and because the good of the order of the universe is the propinquissimum in rebus creatis to His own goodness, cum ad ipsum ordinetur, sicut ad finem, omne particulare bonum hujus vel illius rei, sicut minus perfectum ad id quod est perfectum, he does not really mean the reasons he gives to be taken as the true reasons. When St. Thomas exposes these reasons, and does so in language so unmistakable that even a reader who finds his view unacceptable must grant the obvious significance of these passages, still we are not to take the Angelic Doctor as meaning what he says. What he does mean, my Opponent explains, is that if there were no all-embracing Providence,

the universe would fall apart into so many unconnected and unconnectable bits, and it would be impossible to maintain the fact of the order of the universe on whose existence and sublime beauty both the Greeks, and especially the Christian Fathers, have so energetically insisted.--DM, 145.

Hence, according to my Opponent, the reason St. Thomas actually gives in the texts concerned, namely that the order of the universe is what is best in all creation, is not a universal, metaphysical, true reason at all, nor does the quotation from Genesis, I, 31, express a theological principle. The true reason is the mere

fact of the order of the universe on whose existence and sublime beauty both the Greeks, and especially the Christian Fathers, have so energetically insisted.--DM, 145.

In St. Thomas' arguments it is of no importance that this order of the universe--and by universe is meant the whole of creation and not just the cosmos--is what is best in all creation. True, he does infer: "Id igitur quod maxime curat Deus in rebus creatis est ordo universi", but that, presumably, is merely because he had used a premise designed to achieve a greater impact against a Greek heresy. Likewise, when St. Thomas declares that the bonum ordinis universi is the good which is closest to the divine goodness, quum ordinetur ad ipsum sicut ad finem omne particulare bonum hujus vel illius rei, sicut minus perfectum ordinatur ad id quod est perfectius, the omne bonum particulare here distinguished from the bonum ordinis universi, has no more to do with the proper doctrine on the common good than the bonum commune of St. Thomas' quotations from the Ethics, I, c. 1, and from the Metaphysics, XXII, c. 10.}

In this group of texts--it is a very large one--St. Thomas frequently, and with obvious enjoyment, avails himself of two quotations from Aristotle, viz., (a) bonum commune est divinius ... , and, (b) quod est optimum in rebus existens est bonum universi. By these citations no proper doctrine on the common good is taught; and still less is anything said about the relations between the common good and the proper good of the intellectual substances.--DM, 145.

Indeed, how could the intellectual substances be included here unless quælibet res or quælibet creatura actually means quælibet res or quælibet creatura? The addicts of the Historical Point of View know better: St. Thomas is not concerned here with strictly doctrinal truth, but with creating an impact against a Greek heresy, even at the cost of making false or misleading statements.

Their impact is clearly to show, against a Greek heresy, that, even in the Greek thinkers themselves, and above all in Aristotle, who was so fondly cherished in the Arabian world, there are principles upon which one may proceed to prove the fact of divine Providence.--DM, 145.

Is my Opponent insinuating that St. Thomas uses the wiles of sophistry? Of course not! For, is it not true that the quotations from Aristotle are actually in Aristotle? One cannot contradict historical fact. St. Thomas is merely using the true facts of history to get results. Whether or not what Aristotle actually held is also true, is another matter.

Father Eschmann says:

By these citations no proper doctrine on the common good is taught; and still less is anything said about the relations between the common good and the proper good of the intellectual substances.--DM, 145.

And why not? No justification is necessary, for it is only too obvious that the term bonum could not mean bonum i.e. perfectivum alterius; and it is just as obvious that the good to which ordinatur, sicut ad finem (and therefore as to what perfects), omne particulare bonum hujus vel illius rei, sicut minus perfectum ad id quod est perfectum, is a good which belongs to one creature to the exclusion of the other, and by no means to the one and the other as a good which is more perfect than their exclusive proper good. Why? Because Father Eschmann says so. It is for the same unquestionable reason that the following text (quoted BC, 21-22) has nothing to do with the common good, nor with the relations between the common good and the proper good of the intellectual substances:

Cum affectio sequatur cognitionem; quanto cognitio est universalior, tanto affectio eam sequens magis respicit commune bonum; et quanto cognitio est magis particularis, tanto affectio ipsam sequens magis respicit privatum bonum; unde et in nobis privata dilectio ex cognitione sensitiva exoritur; dilectio vero communis et absoluti boni ex cognitione intellectiva. Quia ergo angeli quanto sunt altiores, tanto habent scientiam magis universalem ... , ideo eorum dilectio maxime respicit commune bonum. Magis ergo diligunt se invicem, si specie differunt, quod magis pertinet ad perfectionem universi ... quam si specie convenirent, quod pertineret ad bonum privatum unius speciei.\fn{18}{De Spirit. Creat., a. 8, ad 5.}

IV
Why Did God Make Things Many?

The texts I quoted in this connection were to prove that "dans l'univers même", the greatest perfection of the created persons is the good of the universe. The question of the relation of the intellectual creature to God as He is in Himself apart from the universe, had already been treated in substance. The reader will recall Father Eschmann's complaint:

Will it be granted that it is inadmissible to read St. Thomas with scissors and paste, by cutting the texts out of their literary and historical context and just quoting what, in a particular instance, seems to be suitable? Will it be granted that, if St. Thomas has explicitly stated and solved a given problem, a Thomist worthy of that name is obliged to take account of this fact and can not afford to refer to some other texts which either have nothing to do with the problem or, at best, refer to it in a distant and mediate fashion?--DM, 142-143.

Faithful to his normal practice, my Opponent again proceeds to do just that. Not only does he cloud the distinction between the two questions (that of the relation of the person to the ultimate good and that of his relation to the intrinsic good of the universe) but he neglects to inform the reader that I had formulated and answered the very objection he levels against me.--BC, 58-60. Just what is the problem we are to have in mind when Father Eschmann says: "Here is the problem as stated by St. Thomas" (DM, 143), is conveniently undetermined, but let us allow him to quote it:

Videtur quod imago Dei inveniatur in irrationabilibus creaturis ... [for, and this is the third argumentum in contrarium] quanto aliquid est magis perfectum in bonitate, tanto magis est Deo simile. Sed totum universum est perfectius in bonitate quam homo, quia etsi bona sint singula, tamen simul omnia dicuntur "valde bona", Gen. 1 (St. Augustine). Ergo totum universum est ad imaginem Dei et non solum homo.

The objection is taken from Ia, q. 93, a. 2. The answer to this objection is:

Universum est perfectius in bonitate quam intellectualis creatura: extensive et diffusive. Sed intensive et collective similitudo divinæ perfectionis magis invenitur in intellectuali creatura, quæ est capax summi boni.--Vel dicendum, quod pars non dividitur contra totum, sed contra aliam partem. Unde cum dicitur quod sola natura intellectualis est ad imaginem Dei, non excluditur quin universum secundum aliquam sui partem sit ad imaginem Dei; sed excluduntur aliæ partes universi.--DM, 142-143.

If this quotation is directed against me, it must mean that the greatest created good of the person--of the person viewed within the order of the universe, is not that which was said to be closest to the divine good, namely, the order of the universe itself whose principal parts are the intellectual substances in all their manifold and variety; rather the greatest good of the person is held to be each individual person himself, taken separately, so that each and every one of them is, absolutely speaking, a greater good than any or all of the other persons. Each person, then, because he is in the image of God, is a better created good than any and all of the other created persons who are also in the image of God. If this is not what Father Eschmann means, where is his objection?

Immediately following the quotation of St. Thomas' answer, Father Eschmann adds:

St. Thomas' solution of the problem is so clear, so complete, and so perfectly balanced that it needs no explanation.--DM, 143.

Let us see, then, just how simple this matter is.

Why did God make things many and varied? Let us consider a few texts on the subject.

Cum enim omne agens intendat suam similitudinem in effectum inducere secundum quod effectus capere potest, tanto hoc agit perfectius quanto agens perfectius est: patet enim quod quanto aliquid est calidius, tanto facit magis calidum; et quanto est aliquis melior artifex, formam artis perfectius inducit in materiam. Deus autem est perfectissimum agens. Suam igitur similitudinem in rebus creatis ad Deum pertinebat inducere perfectissime, quantum naturæ creatæ convenit. Sed perfectam Dei similitudinem non possunt consequi res creatæ secundum unam solam speciem creaturæ: quia, cum causa excedat effectum, quod est in causa simpliciter et unite, in effectu invenitur composite et multipliciter, nisi effectus pertingat ad speciem causæ; quod in proposito dici non potest, non enim creatura posset esse Deo æqualis. Oportuit igitur esse multiplicitatem et varietatem in rebus creatis, ad hoc quod inveniretur in eis Dei similitudo perfecta secundum modum suum.\fn{1}{Contra Gentes, II, c. 45.}

Item. Plura bona uno bono finito sunt meliora: habent enim hoc et adhuc amplius. Omnis autem creaturæ bonitas finita est: est enim deficiens ab infinita Dei bonitate. Perfectius est igitur universum creaturarum si sunt plures, quam si esset unus tantum gradus rerum. Summo autem bono competit facere quod melius est. Ergo conveniens ei fuit ut plures faceret creaturarum gradus.\fn{2}{Ibid.}

Amplius. Operi a summe bono artifice facto non debuit deesse summa perfectio. Sed bonum ordinis diversorum est melius quolibet illorum ordinatorum per se sumpto: est enim formale respectu singularium, sicut perfectio totius respectu partium. Non debuit ergo bonum ordinis operi Dei deesse. Hoc autem bonum esse non posset si diversitas et inæqualitas creaturarum non fuisset. Est igitur diversitas et inæqualitas in rebus creatis non a casu (cap. 39); non ex materiæ diversitate (cap. 40); non propter interventum aliquarum causarum (capp. 41-43), vel meritorum (cap. 44); sed ex propria Dei intentione perfectionem creaturæ dare volentis qualem possibile erat eam habere. Hinc est quod dicitur Gen. I, 31: Vidit Deus cuncta quæ fecerat, et erant valde bona: cum de singulis dixisset quod sunt bona. Quia singula quidem sunt in suis naturis bona: simul autem omnia, valde bona, propter ordinem universi, quæ est ultima et nobilissima perfectio in rebus.\fn{3}{Ibid.}

Ostensum enim est quod Deus per suam providentiam omnia ordinat in divinam bonitatem sicut in finem (cap. 64): non autem hoc modo quod suæ bonitati aliquid per ea quæ fiunt accrescat, sed ut similitudo suæ bonitatis, quantum possibile est, imprimatur in rebus (capp. 18 sq.). Quia vero omnem creatam substantiam a perfectione divinæ bonitatis deficere necesse est, ut perfectius divinæ bonitatis similitudo rebus communicaretur, oportuit esse diversitatem in rebus, ut quod perfecte ab uno aliquo repræsentari non potest, per diversa diversimode perfectiori modo repræsentaretur: nam et homo, cum mentis conceptum uno vocali verbo videt sufficienter exprimi non posse, verba diversimode multiplicat ad exprimendam per diversa suæ mentis conceptionem. Et in hoc etiam divinæ perfectionis eminentia considerari potest, quod perfecta bonitas, quæ in Deo est unite et simpliciter, in creaturis esse non potest nisi secundum modum diversum et per plura. Res autem per hoc diversæ sunt, quod formas habent diversas, a quibus speciem sortiuntur. Sic igitur ex fine sumitur ratio diversitatis formarum in rebus.\fn{4}{Ibid., III, c. 97.}

In prædicto autem ordine, secundum quem ratio divinæ providentiæ attenditur, primum esse diximus divinam bonitatem, quasi ultimum finem, qui est primum principium in agendis; dehinc vero rerum numerositatem: ad quam constituendam necesse est gradus diversos in formis et materiis, et agentibus et patientibus, et actionibus et accidentibus esse. Sicut ergo prima ratio divinæ providentiæ simpliciter est divina bonitas, ita prima ratio in creaturis est earum numerositas, ad cuius institutionem et conservationem omnia alia ordinari videntur. Et secundum hoc rationabiliter videtur esse a Bœtio dictum, in principio suæ Arithmeticæ (lib. I, cap. ii), quod omnia quæcumque a primæva rerum natura constituta sunt, ex numerorum videntur ratione esse formata.\fn{5}{Contra Gentes, III, c. 97.}

Uterque enim error [scil. Manichæorum et Origenis] ordinem universi præterire videtur in sua consideratione, considerando tantummodo singulas partes ejus. Ex ipso enim ordine universi potuisset ejus ratio apparere, quod ab uno principio, nulla meritorum differentia præcedente, oportuit diversos gradus creaturarum institui, ad hoc quod universum esset completum (repræsentante universo per multiplices et varios modos creaturarum quod in divina bonitate simpliciter et indistincte præexistit) sicut et ipsa perfectio domus et humani corporis diversitatem partium requirit. Neutrum autem eorum esset completum si omnes partes unius conditionis existerent; sicut si omnes partes humani corporis essent oculus, aliarum enim partium deessent officia. Et similiter si omnes partes domus essent tectum, domus complementum et finem suum non consequeretur, ut scilicet ab imbribus et caumatibus defendere posset. Sic igitur dicendum est, quod ab uno primo multitudo et diversitas creaturarum processit, non propter materiæ necessitatem, nec propter potentiæ limitationem, nec propter bonitatem, nec propter bonitatis obligationem: sed ex ordine sapientiæ, ut in diversitate creaturarum perfectio consisteret universi.\fn{6}{De Potentia, q. 3, a. 16, c. See also Compendium Theologiæ, cc. 72, 73, 102.}

Hence, a single creature, unless it were equal to God, could never sufficiently express that which exists in God simpliciter et unite. If, then, according to God's actual design, the fullness of divine perfection is to be more profoundly represented by His work, divine wisdom must bring this about "perfectissime, quantum naturæ creatæ convenit", through multiplicity and variety. Therefore, it is what is realized in creation composite et multipliciter which imitates most perfectly what is in God simpliciter et unite. Hence, to deem secondary the perfection which in creation is accomplished by way of composition and multiplicity, is to deny value to that which most perfectly imitates what is in God simpliciter et unite.

In the context of this general problem, it would be true to say that, intensive, any single creature represents more perfectly the uniqueness of anything it has in common with God. Intensive, any single created intelligible species represents more perfectly than a multiplicity of species the unique intelligible species which is God's essence. However, the superabundance of whatever exists in God simpliciter et uniformiter, is more perfectly expressed by what exists in creation multipliciter et divisim. The inexhaustible richness of the divine intelligible species is, absolutely speaking, more perfectly represented by the multiplicity of created species. Thus, if the texts already quoted have any meaning, the single creature's imitation of God by intention could not possibly be more perfect absolutely than that realized by the manifold to which it belongs, unless a creature could be equal to God in perfection. This St. Thomas brings out clearly in his answers to the objections of De Potentia, q. 3, a. 16, from which our last quotation was taken.

1. Sextodecimo quæritur utrum ab uno primo possit procedere multitudo. Et videtur quod non. Sicuti enim Deus est per se bonum, et per consequens summum bonum; ita est per se et summe unum. Set ab eo in quantum est bonum, non potest procedere nisi bonum. Ergo nec ab eo procedere potest nisi unum.

Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod sicut Deus est unus, ita et unum produxit, non solum quia unumquodque in se est unum, sed etiam quia omnia quadammodo sunt unum perfectum, quæ quidem unitas diversitatem partium requirit, ut ostensum est.

 

2. Præterea, sicut bonum convertitur cum ente, ita et unum. Sed in his quæ sunt entia, oportet attendi assimilationem creaturæ ad Deum, ut supra, art. præced., dictum est. Ergo sicut in bonitate, ita et in unitate oportet Deo creaturam assimilari, ut scilicet sit una ab uno.

Ad secundum dicendum, quod creatura assimilatur Deo in unitate, in quantum unaquæque in se una est, et in quantum omnes unum sunt unitate ordinis, ut dictum est.

 

5. Præterea, uniuscujusque effectus est aliquam propriam causam accipere. Sed impossibile est unum esse proprium multorum. Ergo impossibile est quod unum sit causa multitudinis.

Ad quintum dicendum, quod appropriatio causæ ad effectum attenditur secundum assimilationem effectus ad causam. Assimilatio autem creaturæ ad Deum attenditur secundum hoc quod creatura implet id quod de ipsa est in intellectu et voluntate Dei; sicut artificiata similantur artifici in quantum in eis exprimitur forma artis, et ostenditur voluntas artificis de eorum constitutione. Nam sicut res naturalis agit per formam suam, ita artifex per suum intellectum et voluntatem. Sic igitur Deus propria causa est uniuscujusque creaturæ, in quantum intelligit et vult unamquamque creaturam esse. Quod autem dicitur idem non posse esse plurium proprium, intelligendum est quando fit propriatio per adæquationem; quod in proposito non contingit.--

 

7. Præterea, oportet esse conformitatem inter causam et effectum. Sed Deus est omnino unus et simplex. Ergo in creatura, quæ est ejus effectus, nec multitudo nec compositio debet inveniri.

Ad septimum dicendum, quod licet sit quædam similitudo creaturæ ad Deum, non tamen adæquatio; unde non oportet, si unitas Dei caret omni multitudine et compositione, quod propter hoc oporteat talem esse creaturæ unitatem.

 

10. Sed dices, quod universitas creaturarum est quodammodo unum secundum ordinem.--Sed contra, effectum oportet assimilari causæ. Sed unitas Dei non est unitas ordinis, quia in Deo non est prius nec posterius, nec superius et inferius. Ergo non sufficit unitas ordinis ad hoc quod ab uno Deo plura possint educi.

Ad decimum dicendum, quod non oportet, sicut dictum est, uniusmodi unitatem esse in creatura et in Deo; licet creatura Deum in unitate imitetur.

 

12. Præterea, creatura procedit a Deo, non solum sicut effectus a causa efficiente, sed etiam sicut exemplatum ab exemplari. Sed unius exemplati est unum exemplar proprium. Ergo a Deo non potest procedere nisi una creatura.

Ad decimumsecundum dicendum quod quando exemplatum perfecte repræsentat exemplar, ab uno exemplari non est nisi unum exemplatum, nisi per accidens, in quantum exemplata materialiter distinguuntur. Creaturæ vero non perfecte imitantur suum exemplar. Unde diversimode possunt ipsum imitari, et sic esse diversa exemplata. Perfectus autem modus imitandi est unus tantum: et propter hoc Filius, qui perfecte imitatur Patrem, non potest esse nisi unus.

 

13. Præterea, Deus est causa rerum per intellectum. Agens autem per intellectum agit per formam sui intellectus. Cum igitur in divino intellectu non sit nisi una forma, videtur quod ab eo non possit procedere nisi una creatura.

Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod licet forma intellectus divini sit una tantum secundum rem, est tamen multiplex ratione secundum diversos respectus ad creaturam, prout scilicet intelliguntur creaturæ diversimode formam divini intellectus imitari.

 

18. Præterea, unusquisque agens propter finem, facit effectum suum propinquiorem fini quantum potest. Sed Deus producendo creaturam ordinat eam in finem. Ergo facit eam propinquissimam fini quantum potest. Sed hoc non potest nisi uno modo fieri. Ergo Deus non producit nisi unam creaturam.

Ad decimumoctavum dicendum, quod ratio illa tenet quando id quod est ad finem potest totaliter et perfecte consequi finem per modum adæquationis; quod in proposito non contingit.

22. Præterea, quidquid Deus facit, est unum. Ergo ab eo non est nisi unum; et ita ipse non erit causa multitudinis.

Ad vicesimum secundum dicendum, quod licet quidquid Deus facit, in se sit unum, tamen hæc unitas, ut dictum est, non removet omnem multitudinem, sed manet illa cujus unum est pars.

My Opponent's simplistic understanding of the terms intensive and extensive shows itself to be a defence of the doctrines St. Thomas consistently attacks, namely, that the ordered manifold of creation is, at best, only secondarily intended by God. Of course, intensive, any indivisible part of a creature is, as to the formality "indivisible", a better imitation of divine simplicity than any created whole; in this respect, even the per se unity of any single created being is inferior to that of any of its parts. However, absolutely speaking,

apud nos composita sunt meliora simplicibus, quia perfectio bonitatis creaturæ non invenitur in uno simplici, sed in multis. Sed perfectio divinæ bonitatis invenitur in uno simplici....\fn{7}{Ia, q. 3 a. 7, ad 2.}

The imperfection of intensive imitation is compensated by extension, by the manifold. By manifold, we do not mean the mere homogeneous multiplicity of predicamental quantity:\fn{8}{The latitude of the terms intensive and extensive may be shown from the following text of St. Thomas. In I Sent., d. 44, q. 1, a. 2, in answer to the question: Utrum Deus potuerit facere universum melius.

"Respondeo dicendum, quod, secundum Philosophum. in XI Metaphys., text. 52, bonum universi consistit in duplici ordine: scilicet in ordine partium universi ad invicem, et in ordine totius universi ad finem, qui est ipse Deus; sicut etiam est in exercitu ordo partium exercitus ad invicem, secundum diversa officia, et est ordo ad bonum ducis, quod est victoria; et hic ordo est præcipuus, propter quem est primus ordo. Accipiendo ergo bonum ordinis qui est in partibus universi ad invicem, potest considerari, vel quantum ad partes ipsas ordinatas, vel quantum ad ordinem partium. Si quantum ad partes ipsas, tunc potest intelligi universum tieri melius, vel per additionem plurium partium, ut scilicet crearentur multæ aliæ species, et implerentur multi gradus bonitatis qui possunt esse, cum etiam inter summam creaturam et Deum infinita distantia sit: et sic Deus melius universum facere potuisset et posset: sed illud universum se haberet ad hoc sicut totum ad partem: et sic nec penitus esset idem, nec penitus diversum; et hæc additio bonitatis esset per modum quantitatis discretæ. Vel potest intelligi fieri melius quasi intensive, et hoc mutatis omnibus partibus ejus in melius, quia si aliquæ partes meliorarentur aliis non melioratis, non esset tanta bonitas ordinis; sicut patet in cithara, cujus si omnes chordæ meliorantur, fit dulcior harmonia, sed quibusdam tantum melioratis, fit dissonantia. Hæc autem melioratio omnium partium, vel potest intelligi secundum bonitatem accidentalem, et sic posset esse talis melioratio a Deo manentibus eisdem partibus et eodem universo; vel secundum bonitatem essentialem, et sic etiam esset Deo possibilis, qui infinitas alias species condere potest. Sed sic non essent eædem partes, et per consequens nec idem universum, ut ex prædictis patet. Si autem accipiatur ipse ordo partium, sic non potest esse melior per modum quantitatis discretæ, nisi fieret additio in partibus universi: quia in universo nihil est inordinatum, sed intensive posset esse melior manentibus eisdem partibus quantum ad ordinem qui sequitur bonitatem accidentalem: quanto enim aliquid in majus bonum redundat, tanto ordo melior est. Sed ordo qui sequitur bonitatem essentialem, non posset esse melior, nisi fierent aliæ partes et aliud universum. Similiter ordo qui est ad finem, potest considerari, vel ex parte ipsius finis; et sic non posset esse melior, ut scilicet in meliorem finem universum ordinaretur, sicut Deo nihil melius esse potest: vel quantum ad ipsum ordinem; et sic secundum quod cresceret bonitas partium universi et ordo earum ad invicem, posset meliorari ordo in finem, ex eo quod propinquius ad finem se haberent, quanto similitudinem divinæ bonitatis magis consequerentur, quæ est omnium finis.

Ad sextum dicendum, quod quamvis angelus absolute sit melior quam lapis, tamen utraque natura est melior quam altera tantum: et ideo melius est universum in quo sunt angeli et aliæ res, quam ubi essent angeli tantum, quia perfectio universi attenditur essentialiter secundum diversitatem naturarum, quibus implentur diversi gradus bonitatis, et non secundum multiplicationem individuorum in una natura".} nor do we mean that the manifold of creation is an end insofar as it is a manifold.

... Nullum agens intendit pluralitatem materialem ut finem: quia materialis multitudo non habet certum terminum, sed de se tendit in infinitum; infinitum autem repugnat rationi finis.\fn{9}{Ia, q. 47, a. 3, ad 2.}

Material multiplicity is for the sake of formal multiplicity.\fn{10}{Ia, q. 47, a. 2.}

As an intensive imitation of divine perfection, any single term of any manifold is admittedly more perfect than the manifold itself. Yet we cannot afford to take this facile observation as an adequate solution to our problem save at the cost of being led into the trap into which Father Eschmann has fallen. For it must be noted that, whereas any higher term of the formal manifold of creation is a more perfect intensive imitation of divine perfection than an inferior one, the lower groups of the ordered manifold nevertheless approach intensive imitation more perfectly than the higher, in that they have fewer members.\fn{11}{De Spirit. Creat., a. 8, ad 10; Contra Gentes, II, c. 92.--"Intensive et collective", a single created person is, absolutely, more perfect than the irrational parts of the universe; but this does not apply to a single person compared to the ensemble of other persons.} In other words, the more numerous the terms of the manifold, the less perfect it is from the viewpoint of intensive imitation. Hence, with respect to what is in God simpliciter et indivisim, if intensive imitation by the creature were absolutely better than that which is achieved through extension, the universe could not possibly be the præcipue intentum: and since in the higher regions of the universe, the spiritual creatures are more numerous than in the lower, those higher regions would be, absolutely speaking, less perfect than the lower. How would this compare with the doctrine of the texts already quoted? or with that of the following?

... Cum perfectio universi sit illud quod præcipue Deus intendit in creatione rerum, quanto aliqua sunt magis perfecta, tanto in maiori excessu sunt creata a Deo. Sicut autem in corporibus attenditur excessus secundum magnitudinem, ita in rebus incorporeis potest attendi escessus secundum multitudinem. Videmus autem quod corpora incorruptibilia, quæ sunt perfectiora inter corpora, excedunt quasi incomparabiliter secundum magnitudinem corpora corruptibilia: nam tota sphæra activorum et passivorum est aliquid modicum respectu corporum cælestium. Unde rationabile est quod substantiæ immateriales excedant secundum multitudinem substantias materiales, quasi incomparabiliter.\fn{12}{Ia, q. 50, a. 3, c.}

Father Eschmann's understanding of the distinction between intensive and extensive destroys the Thomistic doctrine concerning the reason why God made things many and varied. Like the Manicheans and Origen, "ordinem universi præterire videtur in sua consideratione, considerando tantummodo singulas partes ejus". In truth, the extensive perfection of the universe is not just a purely quantitative addition: extension is not intended for the mere sake of numerosity. The varied manifold of creation, its unity of order, is intended per se as the only manner in which what is in God simpliciter et unite can be more fully represented in His work. The divine "simpliciter et unite" is the principle and term of the created "composite et multipliciter". In comparison with the fullness of what is in God simpliciter et indivisim, the manifold of creation as a whole is more profoundly one, than any single part. "... Sicut Deus est unus, ita et unum produxit, non solum quia unumquodque est unus, sed etiam quia omnia quadammodo sunt unum perfectum, quæ quidem unitas diversitatem partium requirit".

The errors concerning the procession of the Many from the One, which St. Thomas attacks, follow from considering the Many as something absolute, which could not properly proceed from the One. But a deeper grasp of the problem reveals that, ultimately, the Many is but an imitation of the One. The ultimate principle of the unity of the manifold of creation is the identity of the superabundant unity of the divine essence.\fn{13}{De Divinis Nominibus, c. 13, lect. 2.} Only through the unity of the manifold can there be in creation that Dei similitudo perfecta secundum modum suum.\fn{14}{Contra Gentes, II, c. 45.}

If the manifold of the intellectual creatures were but the result of intending this person to be, and that person to be, and so on, God would be primarily the propria ratio of one and of the other, and only secondarily the ratio communis of the many. Indeed, God would be reduced to the status of a univocal cause, and the created person elevated to that of a perfect exemplatum, "quod non multiplicatur nisi materialiter".

... Ratio illa teneret de exemplato quod perfecte repræsentat exemplar, quod non multiplicatur nisi materialiter. Unde imago increata, quæ est perfecta, est una tantum. Sed nulla creatura repræsentat perfecte exemplar primum, quod est divina essentia.\fn{15}{Ia, q. 47, a. 1, ad 2.}

... Deus cognoscit omnia uno, quod est ratio plurium, scilicet essentia sua, quæ est similitudo rerum omnium: et quia essentia sua est propria ratio uniuscujusque rei, ideo de unoquoque propriam cognitionem habet. Qualiter autem unum possit esse multorum ratio propria et communis, sic considerari potest. Essentia enim divina secundum hoc est ratio alicujus rei, quod res illa divinam essentiam imitatur. Nulla autem res imitatur divinam essentiam ad plenum; sic enim non posset esse nisi una imitatio ipsius; nec sua essentia esset per modum istum nisi unius propria ratio, sicut una sola est imago Patris perfecte eum imitans, scilicet Filius. Sed quia res creata imperfecte imitatur divinam essentiam, contingit esse diversas res diversimode imitantes; in quarum nulla est aliquid quod non deducatur a similitudine divinæ essentiæ: et ideo illud quod est proprium unicuique rei, habet in divina essentia quod imitetur: et secundum hoc divina essentia est similitudo rei quantum ad proprium ipsius rei, et sic est propria ipsius ratio; et eadem ratione est propria alterius, et omnium aliorum. Est igitur communis omnium ratio, in quantum est res ipsa una, quam omnia imitantur: sed est propria hujus ratio vel illius, secundum quod res eam diversimode imitantur: et sic propriam cognitionem divina essentia facit de unaquaque re, in quantum est propria ratio uniuscujusque.\fn{16}{De ver., q. 2, a. 4, ad 2.}

Indeed, we would have to reverse the doctrine of the following passage from Ia, q. 15, a. 2: Utrum sint plures ideæ, which we have already quoted in part.

Respondeo dicendum quod necesse est ponere plures ideas. Ad cuius evidentiam, considerandum est quod in quolibet effectu illud quod est ultimus finis, proprie est intentum a principali agente; sicut ordo exercitus a duce. Illud autem quod est optimum in rebus existens, est bonum ordinis universi, ut patet per Philosophum in XII Metaphys. Ordo igitur universi est proprie a Deo intentus, et non per accidens proveniens secundum successionem agentium: prout quidam dixerunt quod Deus creavit primum creatum tantum, quod creatum creavit secundum creatum, et sic inde quousque producta est tanta rerum multitudo: secundum quam opinionem. Deus non haberet nisi ideam primi creati. Sed, si ipse ordo universi est per se creatus ab eo, et intentus ab ipso, necesse est quod habeat ideam ordinis universi. Ratio autem alicuius totius haberi non potest, nisi habeantur propriæ rationes eorum ex quibus totum constituitur: sicut ædificator speciem domus concipere non posset, nisi apud ipsum esset propria ratio cuiuslibet partium eius. Sic igitur oportet quod in mente divina sint propriæ rationes omnium rerum. Unde dicit Augustinus, in libro Octoginta trium Quaest., quod singula propriis rationibus a Deo creata sunt. Unde sequitur quod in mente divina sint plures ideæ.}

We may now apply this general doctrine to the more restricted problem of why God made the intellectual creatures, who are properly in His image, many and varied. Since their manifold qua manifold cannot constitute a single image; since to be in His image is proper to each intellectual creature taken separately; since, singly, any one of them is intensive a better expression of the uniue uncreated original, what then can it be that is added by the varied manifold of images? The answer is that no single created image is a perfect image of God; to achieve a fuller created representation of the uncreated original, divine wisdom has made the created images many and varied. Absolutely speaking, this manifold is more expressive of the fullness of the original than any single created image. The manifold was conceived by divine wisdom for that very purpose, and it remains the greatest perfection that God produced in all spiritual creation.

To demand that, in order to be better absolutely than any of its parts, the whole possess intensively the perfection of its parts, is to misunderstand the nature and purpose of the whole.

... Optimi agentis est producere totum effectum suum optimum: non tamen quod quamlibet partem totius faciat optimam simpliciter, sed optimam secundum proportionem ad totum: tolleretur enim bonitas animalis, si quælibet pars eius oculi haberet dignitatem. Sic igitur et Deus totum universum constituit optimum, secundum modum creaturæ: non autem singulas creaturas, sed unam alia meliorem. Et ideo de singulis creaturis dicitur Gen. I: Vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona, et similiter de singulis: sed de omnibus simul dicitur: Vidit Deus cuncta quæ fecerat, et erant valde bona.\fn{17}{Ia, q. 47, a. 2, ad 1.}

If the animal could not be better absolutely than its eye except by being better intensively, then, in order to be superior to this single organ, the entire animal would have to be an eye. Likewise, the universe itself would have to have an intellect and will; it would have to be a proper image of God. And since "nec per se de toto potest dici, et primo, quod non convenit sibi ratione omnium partium", even the irrational part of the universe would have to be in the image of God.

To this simplistic reasoning, St. Thomas answers:

Universum est perfectius in bonitate quam intellectualis creatura: extensive et diffusive. Sed intensive et collective similitudo divinæ perfectionis magis invenitur in intellectuali creatura, quæ est capax summi boni.

Let us now read Father Eschmann's paraphrase of this text.

St. Thomas' solution of the problem is so clear, so complete, and so perfectly balanced that it needs no explanation. Let us however try to paraphrase: Which is more like God, i.e. more to the image of God, the whole universe, or one single intellectual creature? The whole universe is more like God "extensively and diffusively." That is, if you consider God as the cause and fountain-head of the whole universe and of every creature pertaining to it, you will judge that there is quantitatively more likeness in the whole than in the parts. But before you consider God as cause, you must first look at Him as He is in Himself the supreme good by His essence. In this way a single intellectual creature is more perfectly likened to Him, because only the intellectual substance (every single intellectual substance) is capable of being, by knowledge and love, united with God as God is in Himself. "Intensively", thus, and "collectively", i.e. considering the fact that the essentially most perfect likeness is gathered together in one single point, a single intellectual substance by far surpasses everything that might, in a certain sense, be said to be like God. The intellectual substance is, indeed, the only proper image of God.--DM, 143-144.

Just what does my Opponent mean by: "there is quantitatively more likeness in the whole than in its parts"? Does he mean that whether God makes one image of Himself, or many, the difference is merely quantitative? That, absolutely speaking, there is no better expression of Himself when he produces images many and varied, than when He produces a single one? By his superficial understanding of the term "extensive"\fn{18}{Another application of this distinction (intensive, extensive) is to be found in the answer to the question: Utrum Deus principalius incarnatus fuerit in remedium actualium peccatorum quam in remedium originalis peccati.--IIIa, q. 1, a. 4. We shall quote the relevant part of the body of the article as well as the third objection and answer.

"Tanto autem principalius ad alicuius peccati deletionem Christus venit, quanto illud peccatum maius est. Dicitur autem maius aliquid dupliciter. Uno modo, intensive: sicut est maior albedo quæ est intensior. Et per hunc modum maius est peccatum actuale quam originale: quia plus habet de ratione voluntarii, ut in Secundo dictum est.--Alio modo dicitur aliquid maius extensive: sicut dicitur maior albedo quæ est in maiori superficie. Et hoc modo peccatum originale, per quod totum genus humanum inficitur, est maius quolibet peccato actuali, quod est proprium singularis personæ. Et quantum ad hoc. Christus principalius venit ad tollendum originale peccatum: inquantum bonum gentis divinius est quam bonum unius, ut dicitur in I Ethic."

The third argument in contrarium was:

"Præterea, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, in II de Compunctione Cordis, hic est affectus servi fidelis, ut beneficia domini sui quæ communiter omnibus data sunt, quasi sibi soli præstita reputet: quasi enim de se solo loquens Paulus ita scribit, ad Galat. II: Dilexit me, et tradidit semetipsum pro me. Sed propria peccata nostra sunt actualia: originale enim est commune peccatum. Ergo hunc affectum debemus habere, ut æstimemus eum principaliter propter actualia peccata venisse.

Ad tertium respondetur dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus ibidem inducit, verba illa dicebat Apostolus, non quasi diminuere volens amplissima et per orbem terrarum diffusa Christi munera: sed ut pro omnibus se solum indicaret obnoxium. Quid enim interest si et aliis præstitit, cum quæ tibi sunt præstita ita integra sunt et ita perfecta quasi nulli alii ex his aliquid fuerit præstitum? Ex hoc ergo quod aliquis debet sibi reputare beneficia Christi præstita esse, non debet existimare quod non sint præstita aliis. Et ideo non excluditur quin principalius venerit abolere peccatum totius naturæ quam peccatum unius personæ. Sed illud peccatum commune ita perfecte curatum est in unoquoque ac si in eo solo esset curatum.--Et præterea, propter unionem caritatis, totum quod omnibus est impensum, unusquisque debet sibi adscribere".

In his commentary on this article, Cajetan says: "...  Auctor, explicando secundam conclusionem et non primam, et addendo secundæ conclusioni rationem, scilicet, quia bonum gentis divinius et eminentius est quam bonum unius, insinuavit conclusionem responsivam quæsito simpliciter et absolute illam esse quam expressit in responsione ad tertium: Principalius venit abolere peccatum totius naturæ quam peccatum unius personæ".--See also F.C.R. Billuart, Summa Sancti Thomæ, tract. de Incarnatione, dissert. 3, a. 4.} Father Eschmann destroys the Thomistic doctrine of the reason why God made the intellectual creatures many and varied.

When we consider God "as He is in Himself the supreme good by His essence" and the intellectual creature as "capable of being, by knowledge and love, united with God as God is in Himself", the good in question is beyond that universe to which the intellectual creature is compared as a part to a whole. In this respect, the intellectual creature is not to be considered formally as a part of the universe at all. Father Eschmann has promised to

consider the second part of the thesis, viz. the statement regarding the intrinsic common good of the universe and its relation to the intellectual beings or persons.--DM, 140.

Now he suddenly shifts to the first part of the thesis and speaks as if I had maintained that the intrinsic common good of the universe is to be identified with the absolutely ultimate good of the intellectual creatures. Why does my Opponent do these things? He might have quoted Ia, IIæ, q. 2, a. 8, ad 2:

... Si totum aliquod non sit ultimus finis, sed ordinetur ad finem ulteriorem, ultimus finis partis non est ipsum totum, sed aliquid aliud. Universitas autem creaturarum, ad quam comparatur homo ut pars ad totum, non est ultimus finis, sed ordinatur in Deum sicut in ultimum finem. Unde bonum universi non est ultimus finis hominis, sed ipse Deus.}

But then it might be too obvious that, when stressing this aspect of the intellectual creature "capax summi boni", he is not confining himself to "the second part of this thesis".

Because the comparison between the perfection of the universe as a likeness to God and the perfection of the intellectual creature as "capax summi boni", called for by the objection, is not an adequate comparison, St. Thomas adds:

Vel dicendum, quod pars non dividitur contra totum, sed contra aliam partem. Unde cum dicitur quod sola natura intellectualis est ad imaginem Dei, non excluditur quin universum secundum aliquam sui partem sit ad imaginem Dei; sed excluduntur aliæ partes universi.

The universe may be said to be in the image of God, but only because of the rational natures.

... Similitudo divinæ bonitatis, quantum ad nobilissimas participationes ipsius, non resultat in universo nisi ratione nobilissimarum partium ejus, quæ sunt intellectuales naturæ: nec per se de toto potest dici, et primo, quod non convenit sibi ratione omnium partium, ut in VI Physic. dicitur frequenter: et ideo universum non potest dici imago Dei, sed intellectualis natura.\fn{19}{In II Sent., d. 16, q. 1, a. 2, ad 3.}

But here is Father Eschmann's paraphrase of the second part of St. Thomas' answer:

The Angelic Doctor then continues, not by proposing another solution, but by stressing a certain aspect of the same solution which in the foregoing has been left aside. Are not the intellectual substances parts, i.e. of course, principal, formal, constitutive, primary, parts of the universe? Are they not, as it were, the sons of that great family or economy of the universe of which God is the paterfamilias?\fnast{*}{"In Meta., xii, 12; De verit., 5.5; De Spirit. Cræturis, art. 8."} Are they not, just as sons are, very deeply interested in the vicissitudes of that which is their possession and heredity--and the possession and heredity of each one of them, according to Holy Scripture (Matth. 24:47): "Super omnia bona sua constituet eum"?\fnast{**}{"Expos. in Ep. ad Rom., c. 8, lect. 6."} The statement, therefore, that the intellectual substance alone is ad imaginem Dei, might be expanded by saying that the universe in one of its parts, and precisely in its first and foremost constitutive parts, is ad imaginem Dei. In this way a solution of the problem is obtained which is most properly "Thomistic" in that it takes account of every possible aspect of the problem.--DM, 144-145.

We shall not try to unravel in what sense this passage may be considered as a paraphrase of St. Thomas' text. But whatever it may be as a paraphrase, insofar as my Opponent turns it against the second part of my thesis, he is again exploiting his own confusion as I have already pointed out: he confuses the good of the persons that is the universe, with the good that is the persons; he confuses the persons as contributing to the essential perfection of the universe (which perfection is, within this order, their finis cujus gratia) with the persons considered as "for whom" (finis cui) is the perfection of the universe. Why did he overlook this distinction?

La substance intellectuelle étant "comprehensiva totius entis", étant une partie de l'univers dans laquelle peut exister, selon la connaissance, la perfection de l'univers tout entier, son bien le plus propre en tant qu'elle est une substance intellectuelle sera le bien de l'univers, bien essentiellement commun. La substance intellectuelle n'est pas ce bien comme elle est l'univers selon la connaissance. En effet, il convient de marquer ici la différence radicale entre la connaissance et l'appétit: 'le connu est dans le connaissant, le bien est dans les choses'. Si, comme le connu, le bien était dans l'aimant, nous serions à nous-mêmes le bien de l'univers.--BC, 19-20.

 

C'est donc tout autre chose de dire que les créatures raisonnables sont gouvernées et ordonnées pour elles-mèmes, et de dire qu'elles le sont à elles-mêmes et pour leur bien singulier: elles sont ordonnées pour elles-mêmes au bien commun. Le bien commun est pour elles, mais il est pour elles comme bien commun. Les créatures raisonnables peuvent atteindre elles-mêmes de manière explicite le bien auquel toutes choses sont ordonnées; elles diffèrent par là des créatures irraisonnables, qui sont de purs instruments, qui sont utiles seulement et qui n'atteignent pas elles-mêmes de manière explicite le bien universel auquel elles sont ordonnées. Et c'est en cela que consiste la dignité de la nature raisonnable.--BC, 38.

 

... La créature raisonnable, en tant qu'elle peut elle-même atteindre à la fin de la manifestation de Dieu au dehors, existe pour elle-même. Les créatures irraisonnables n'existent que pour cet être qui pourra lui-même atteindre à cette fin qui ne fut qu'implicitement la leur. L'homme est la dignité qui est leur fin. Mais, cela ne veut pas dire que la créature raisonnable existe pour la dignité de son être propre et qu'elle est elle-même la dignité pour laquelle elle esiste. Elle tire sa dignité de la fin à laquelle elle peut et doit atteindre; sa dignité consiste en ce qu'elle peut atteindre à la fin de l'univers, la fin de l'univers étant, sous ce rapport, pour les créatures raisonnables, à savoir, pour chacune d'elles. Cependant, le bien de l'univers n'est pas pour elles comme si celles-ci étaient la fin pour laquelle il est. Il est le bien de chacune d'elles en tant qu'il est leur bien commun.--BC, 39-40.

Since the good of the universe is the same "pour chacune d'elles", since it is a good which does not belong to one person to the exclusion of the other person, it is strictly a common good. In support of this position I might have quoted the very text my Opponent levels at me (DM, 144, n. 15):

Inter omnes ... partes universi excellunt sancti Dei, ad quorum quemlibet pertinet quod dicitur Matth. XXIV: Super omnia bona sua constituet eum. Et ideo quicquid accidit, vel circa ipsos vel alias res, totum in bonum eorum cedit: ...\fn{20}{In Ep. ad Romanos, c. 8, lect. 6.}

Let us now turn to section III of Father Eschmann's article, which he has seen fit to entitle: "Professor De Koninck's notion of God".

V
Quis ut Deus?

Let us be certain that we grasp clearly the distinction between a common good and a proper good. The proper good of one person is never the proper good of another person; the proper good of the one is never the proper good of another; if the good aimed at by one person be a proper good, it is impossible for it to be the proper good of another, for the good in these two cases differs by a numerical distinction. A proper good may indeed be spoken of as common to many persons, but we are then using the term "common" in the sense of "common according to predication".--BC, 51. The following objection and answer, taken from In IV Sent., d. 49, q. 1, a. 1, qa 1, obj. 3, and sol. 1, ad 3, are to the point:

Præterea, quanto aliquod bonum est communius, tanto divinius, ut patet in I Ethic., cap. 1. Sed bonum corporale communius est quam spirituale: quia corporale ad plantas et animalia bruta extendit, non autem spirituale. Ergo corporale bonum spirituali præeminet; et ita in corporalibus bonis magis est beatitudo quærenda.

Ad tertium dicendum, quod dupliciter aliquid dicitur esse commune. Uno modo per prædicationem; hujusmodi autem commune non est idem numero in diversis repertum; et hoc modo habet bonum corporis, communitatem. Alio modo est aliquid commune secundum participationem unius et ejusdem rei secundum numerum; et hæc communitas maxime potest in his quæ ad animam pertinent, inveniri; quia per ipsam attingitur ad id quod est commune bonum omnibus rebus, scilicet Deum; et ideo ratio non procedit.

When St. Thomas asserts that God is a common good, he means a good which is numerically one, yet which can be the end of many.

Bonum particulare ordinatur in bonum commune sicut in finem: esse enim partis est propter esse totius; unde et bonum gentis est divinius quam bonum unius hominis. Bonum autem summum, quod est Deus, est bonum commune, cum ex eo universorum bonum dependeat: bonum autem quo quælibet res bona est, est bonum particulare ipsius et aliorum quæ ab ipso dependent. Omnes igitur res ordinatur sicut in finem in unum bonum, quod est Deus.\fn{1}{Contra Gentes, III, c. 17.}

The most striking text my Opponent quotes (DM, 150) against the first part of my thesis, that namely, which maintains that with respect to any created person God is most properly a common good, consists undoubtedly in the nine words he has extracted from the Q.D. de Caritate, a. 5, ad 4:

Bonum commune non est objectum caritatis, sed summum bonum.

Does the expression bonum commune stand for a bonum commune in prædicando, or for a bonum commune in causando? That we can hardly know without taking a look at the context. The complete text, the objection and the answer, will settle this difficulty. The problem St. Thomas is discussing is: Utrum caritas sit virtus specialis.

4. Præterea, bonum est objectum generale omnium virtutum: nam virtus est quæ bonum facit habentem, et opus ejus bonum reddit. Sed bonum est objectum caritatis. Ergo caritas habet objectum generale; et ita est generalis virtus.

Hence, according to this objection, the object of the theological virtue of charity would be the general good sought by all the virtues, that is, the good which is predicable of the object of any virtue. To this St. Thomas answers:

Ad quartum dicendum, quod bonum commune non est objectum caritatis, sed summum bonum; et ideo non sequitur quod caritas sit generalis virtus, sed quod sit summa virtutum.

Concerning this text my Opponent commits several gross errors. Those nine words cannot be lifted from their context without rendering them hopelessly ambiguous. For, the "common good" of this text is to be taken, not as the common good of persons, but as the good common to the different virtues nor is it a commune in causando, but in prædicando and in essendo. If the "bonum commune" of this text were to be understood as a commune secundum virtutem or in causando (the objection shows that it is not), we should then conclude that charity is a general virtue.

A glance at the reply which St. Thomas elsewhere offers to a similar question will suffice to make this last point clear. Discussing the nature of general justice, (IIa IIæ, q. 58, a. 6, c.) he asks: Utrum justitia, secundum quod est generalis, sit idem per essentiam cum omni virtute. The first two objections of this article had referred to two statements from Ethics, V. c. 1: "virtus et justitia legalis est eadem omni virtuti, esse autem non est idem", and "justitia prædicta ... non est pars virtutis, sed tota virtus".

Respondeo dicendum quod generale dicitur aliquid dupliciter. Uno modo, per prædicationem: sicut animal est generale ad hominem et equum et ad alia hujusmodi. Et hoc modo generale oportet quod sit idem essentialiter cum his ad quæ est generale: quia genus pertinet ad essentiam speciei et cadit in definitione eius.--Alio modo dicitur aliquid generale secundum virtutem: sicut causa universalis est generalis ad omnes effectus, ut sol ad omnia corpora, quæ illuminantur vel immutantur per virtutem ipsius. Et hoc modo generale non oportet quod sit idem in essentia cum his ad quæ est generale: quia non est eadem essentia causæ et effectus.

Hoc autem modo, secundum prædicta, justitia legalis dicitur esse virtus generalis: inquantum scilicet ordinat actus aliarum virtutum ad suum finem, quod est movere per imperium omnes alias virtutes. Sicut enim caritas potest dici virtus generalis inquantum ordinat actus omnium virtutum ad bonum divinum, ita etiam justitia legalis inquantum ordinat actus omnium virtutum ad bonum commune. Sicut ergo caritas, quæ respicit bonum divinum ut proprium objectum, est quædam specialis virtus secundum suam essentiam: ita etiam justitia legalis est specialis virtus secundum suam essentiam, secundum quod respicit commune bonum ut proprium objectum. Et sic est in principe principaliter, et quasi architectonice; in subditis autem secundario et quasi ministrative.

Potest tamen quælibet virtus, secundum quod a prædicta virtute, speciali quidem in essentia, generali autem secundum virtutem, ordinatur ad bonum commune, dici justitia legalis. Et hoc modo loquendi justitia legalis est idem in essentia cum omni virtute, differt autem ratione. Et hoc modo loquitur Philosophus.

It should be noted that, even when we call the theological virtue of charity a general virtue in this sense, we do so, not because it has as its object a good communicable to many persons, but because charity "ordinat actus omnium virtutum ad bonum divinum". Hence Father Eschmann's quotation, if rightly understood, is not even concerned with the position he attacks.

Nor is this all, for it can be readily shown how his misinterpretation of the words "bonum commune" in this phrase of which he makes so much, leads him into impossible difficulties. That it may be quite clear the adversary is being done no injustice, let me make one or two preliminary remarks to establish beyond doubt that he does understand this term in the sense which we are attributing to him. I will ask the reader to recall that throughout my own essay I most unambiguously use the expression "common good" for a bonum commune in causando; let us note, moreover, that all my quotations from St. Thomas concern this good and that I maintain God is most formally a good in this sense. Now this is, of course, precisely the position Father Eschmann attacks: so that when he finally brings forth this text from De Caritate, a. 5, ad 4, as a climactic littera Sancti Thomæ, it is impossible that, in the phrase bonum commune non est objectum caritatis, sed summum bonum, he can be taking bonum commune to mean anything other than bonum commune in causando. Consequently, when St. Thomas elsewhere expressly says that every creature naturally loves God more than itself because He is their common good, and that this also holds true for love according to the theological virtue of charity, my Opponent is compelled to maintain that in such passages, God is understood to be a common good only "in a certain sense".--DM, 150.

Then to prove this interpretation by the littera Sancti Thomæ, Father Eschmann quotes three entire words from Ia, q. 60, a. 5, ad 5: "quoddam [!] bonum commune".\fn{2}{The exclamation point is Father Eschmann's.} Anyone sufficiently acquainted with Latin, will know that when those three words alone are taken, it is impossible to determine the meaning of "quoddam". It may be intended as an indefinite pronoun, "a certain one" or simply "a"--in which case we would translate "a common good"--or it may be taken as an adjective meaning "as it were", "so to speak", or "in a certain sense"?\fn{3}{See, for example, 'Bradley's Arnold' Latin Prose Composition. Edited and revised ... by J. F. Mountford, Longmans, Green and Co., London, New York, Toronto, 1938, p. 205, paragr. 361,--or any elementary Latin grammar.} The first is the principal meaning of "quoddam", and St. Thomas most frequently uses it in this sense, as any one familiar with his text must know.\fn{4}{I quoted a text (BC, 29) which should have been a warning: "Est autem quoddam bonum commune quod pertinet ad hunc vel ad illum inquantum est pars alicujus totius, sicut ad militem, inquantum est pars exercitus, et ad civem, inquantum est pars civitatis; ..."--De Caritate, a. 4, ad 2. Does St. Thomas mean that the common good of the citizen is a common good only in a certain sense? When St. Thomas says: "verum est quoddam bonum", does he mean that it is a good only in a certain sense, that is, not properly? My Opponent's faulty Latin would destroy the entire Aristotelian and Thomistic doctrine of the speculative and practical intellect, and more particularly the absolute primacy of the speculative. Cf. Ia, q. 82, a. 3, ad 3; (ibid., Cajetan, nn. 21-24); ibid., a. 4, ad 1; De Ver., q. 14, a. 4, c.; In III Sent., d. 23, q. 2, a 3, sol. 2, ad 3.} But let us turn to the context of this extremely succinct quotation which Father Eschmann has taken from the article: Utrum Angelus naturali dilectione diligat Deum plus quam seipsum.

Ad quintum dicendum quod, cum in Deo sit unum et idem ejus substantia et bonum commune, omnes qui vident ipsam Dei essentiam, eodem motu dilectionis moventur in ipsam Dei essentiam prout est ab aliis distincta, et secundum quod est quoddam bonum commune. Et quia inquantum est bonum commune, naturaliter amatur ab omnibus; quicumque videt eum per essentiam, impossibile est quin diligat ipsum. Sed illi qui non vident essentiam ejus, cognoscunt eum per aliquos particulares effectus, qui interdum eorum voluntati contrariantur. Et sic hoc modo dicuntur odio habere Deum: cum tamen, inquantum est bonum commune omnium, unumquodque naturaliter diligat plus Deum quam seipsum.

My Opponent does not realize that, besides making the gratuitous assumption that "quoddam" must mean "in a certain sense", he is implicitly accusing St. Thomas of constructing a syllogism with four terms.\fn{5}{Here is St. Thomas' proof in the body of the article: "Sed falsitas huius opinionis (scil. angelus naturali dilectione plus diligit se quam Deum), manifeste apparet, si quis in rebus naturalibus consideret ad quid res naturaliter moveatur: inclinatio enim naturalis in his quæ sunt sine ratione, demonstrat inclinationem naturalem in voluntate intellectualis naturæ. Unumquodque autem in rebus naturalibus, quod secundum naturam hoc ipsum quod est, alterius est, principalius et magis inclinatur in id cuius est, quam in seipsum. Et hæc inclinatio naturalis demonstratur ex his quæ naturaliter aguntur: quia unumquodque, sicut agitur naturaliter, sic aptum natum est agi, ut dicitur in II Physic. Videmus enim quod naturaliter pars se exponit, ad conservationem totius: sicut manus exponitur ictui, absque deliberatione, ad conservationem totius corporis. Et quia ratio imitatur naturam, huiusmodi inclinationem invenimus in virtutibus politicis: est enim virtuosi civis, ut se exponat mortis periculo pro totius reipublicæ conservatione; et si homo esset naturalis pars huius civitatis, hæc inclinatio esset ei naturalis".

"Quia igitur bonum universale est ipse Deus, et sub hoc bono continetur etiam angelus et homo et omnis creatura, quia omnis creatura naturaliter, secundum id quod est, Dei est; sequitur quod naturali dilectione etiam angelus et homo plus et principalius diligat Deum quam seipsum.--Alioquin, si naturaliter plus seipsum diligeret quam Deum, sequeretur quod naturalis dilectio esset perversa; et quod non perficeretur per caritatem, sed destrueretur".--The other answers to the arguments in contrarium are also relevant to our problem.

"Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio illa procedit in his quæ ex æquo dividuntur, quorum unum non est alteri ratio existendi et bonitatis: in talibus enim unumquodque diligit naturaliter magis seipsum quam alterum, inquantum est magis sibi ipsi unum quam alteri. Sed in illis quorum unum est tota ratio existendi et bonitatis alii, magis diligitur naturaliter tale alterum quam ipsum; sicut dictum est quod unaquæquæ pars diligit naturaliter totum plus quam se. Et quodlibet singulare naturaliter diligit plus bonum suæ speciei, quam bonum suum singulare. Deus autem non solum est bonum unius speciei, sed est ipsum universale bonum simpliciter. Unde unumquodque suo modo naturaliter diligit Deum plus quam seipsum".

"Ad tertium dicendum quod natura reflectitur in seipsam non solum quantum ad id quod est ei singulare, sed multo magis quantum ad commune: inclinatur enim unumquodque ad conservandum non solum suum individuum, sed etiam suam speciem. Et multo magis habet naturalem inclinationem unumquodque in id quod est bonum universale simpliciter".

"Ad quartum dicendum quod Deus, secundum quod est universale bonum, a quo dependet omne bonum naturale, diligitur naturali dilectione ab unoquoque. Inquantum vero est bonum beatificans naturaliter omnes supernaturali beatitudine, sic diligitur dilectione caritatis".} For unless "bonum universale" is a "bonum commune" in the strict sense ("cum in Deo sit unum et idem ejus substantia et bonum commune"), the whole proof of this article 5 is sophistical. The same holds for the following texts:

... Diligere Deum super omnia plus quam seipsum, est naturale non solum angelo et homini, sed etiam cuilibet creaturæ, secundum quod potest amare aut sensibiliter aut naturaliter. Inclinationes enim naturales maxime cognosci possunt in his quæ naturaliter aguntur absque rationis deliberatione; sic enim agit unumquodque in natura, sicut aptum natum est agi. Videmus autem quod unaquæque pars naturali quadam inclinatione operatur ad bonum totius, etiam cum periculo aut detrimento proprio: ut patet cum aliquis manum exponit gladio ad defensionem capitis, ex quo dependet salus totius corporis. Unde naturale est ut quælibet pars suo modo plus amet totum quam seipsam. Unde et secundum hanc naturalem inclinationem, et secundum politicam virtutem, bonus civis mortis periculo se exponit pro bono communi. Manifestum est autem quod Deus est bonum commune totius universi et omnium partium ejus; unde quælibet creatura suo modo naturaliter plus amat Deum quam seipsam; insensibilia quidem naturaliter, bruta vero animalia sensitive, creatura vero rationalis per intellectivum amorem, quæ dilectio dicitur.\fn{6}{Quodlibetum I, q. 4, a. 8, e.}

 

... Diligere autem Deum super omnia est quidem connaturale homini; et etiam cuilibet creaturæ non solum rationali, sed irrationali et etiam inanimatæ, secundum modum amoris qui unicuique creaturæ competere potest. Cujus ratio est quia unicuique naturale est quod appetat et amet aliquid, secundum quod aptum natum est esse: sic enim agit unumquodque, prout aptum natum est, ut dicitur in 2 Physic. Manifestum est autem quod bonum partis est propter bonum totius. Unde etiam naturali appetitu vel amore unaquæque res particularis amat bonum suum proprium propter bonum commune totius universi, quod est Deus. Unde et Dionysius dicit, in lib. de Divin. Nomin. quod Deus convertit omnia ad amorem sui ipsius. Unde homo in statu naturæ integræ dilectionem sui ipsius referebat ad amorem Dei sicut ad finem, et similiter dilectionem omnium aliarum rerum. Et ita Deum diligebat plus quam seipsum, et super omnia. Sed in statu naturæ corruptæ homo ab hoc deficit secundum appetitum voluntatis rationalis, quæ propter corruptionem naturæ sequitur bonum privatum, nisi sanetur per gratiam Dei.\fn{7}{Ia IIæ, q. 109, a. 3, c.}

To show that, according to charity, we must love God more than ourselves, St. Thomas uses the same reason.

Respondeo dicendum quod a Deo duplex bonum accipere possumus: scilicet bonum naturæ, et bonum gratiæ. Super communicatione autem bonorum naturalium nobis a Deo facta fundatur amor naturalis, quo non solum homo in suæ integritate naturæ super omnia diligit Deum et plus quam seipsum, sed etiam quælibet creatura suo modo, idest vel intellectuali, vel rationali vel animali, vel saltem naturali amore, sicut lapides et alia quæ cognitione carent: quia unaquæque pars naturaliter plus amat commune bonum totius quam particulare bonum proprium. Quod manifestatur ex opere: quælibet enim pars habet inclinationem principalem ad actionem communem utilitati totius. Apparet etiam hoc in politicis virtutibus, secundum quas cives pro bono communi et dispendia propriarum rerum et personarum interdum sustinent.--Unde multo magis hoc verificatur in amicitia caritatis, quæ fundatur super communicatione donorum gratiæ. Et ideo ex caritate magis debet homo diligere Deum, qui est bonum commune omnium, quam seipsum: quia beatitudo est in Deo sicut in communi et fontali omnium principio qui beatitudinem participare possunt.

Ad primum dicendum quod Philosophus ("amicabilia quæ sunt ad alterum veniunt ex amicabilibus quæ sunt ad seipsum")\fn{8}{Ethics, IX, c. 4.} loquitur de amicabilibus quæ sunt ad alterum in quo bonum quod est objectum amicitiæ invenitur secundum aliquem particularem modum: non autem de amicabilibus quæ sunt ad alterum in quo bonum prædictum invenitur secundum rationem totius.

Ad secundum dicendum quod bonum totius diligit quidem pars secundum quod est sibi conveniens: non autem ita quod bonum totius ad se referat, sed potius ita quod seipsam refert in bonum totius.

Ad tertium dicendum quod hoc quod aliquis velit frui Deo, pertinet ad amorem quo Deus amatur amore concupiscentiæ. Magis autem amamus Deum amore amicitiæ quam amore concupiscentiæ: quia maius est in se bonum Dei quam participare possumus fruendo ipso. Et ideo simpliciter homo magis diligit Deum ex caritate quam seipsum.\fn{9}{IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 3. See Cajetan's commentary.}

My Opponent simply does not realize that the notion of common good is an analogical notion. That is why, when we call God a common good, he will allow it to be a common good only "in a certain sense".

But we do maintain that, for any intellectual creature, God can never be aught than a common good. Nor need there be any hesitation in declaring that to prescind from the superabundant and inexhaustible communicability of divine goodness to other persons, amounts to prescinding from the infinite plenitude of divine goodness. There is a solid argument for this profound truth which it is not difficult to defend against the attack which Father Eschmann makes by means of a quotation taken from Ia IIæ, q. 4, a. 8, ad 3 (DM, 152, n. 20):

Si esset una sola anima fruens Deo, beata esset, non habens proximum quem diligeret.

My Opponent might have mentioned that I used this very objection, and might have tried to refute my answer:

4. La béatitude de la personne singulière ne dépend pas de la communication de cette béatitude à plusieurs. De plus, il faut aimer Dieu en premier lieu et le prochain ex consequenti. Donc le caractère commun de la béatitude est secondaire: celle-ci est d'abord et en premier le bien de la personne singulière.

Nous répondons que si de soi la béatitude de la personne singulière ne dépend pas de la communication actuelle de cette béatitude à plusieurs, elle n'en dépend pas moins de son essentielle communicabilité à plusieurs. Et la raison en est la surabondance de ce bien qu'est la béatitude, et son incommensurabilité au bien singulier de la personne. Le péché des anges consistait à vouloir tout bien commensurable à leur bien propre. L'homme pèche quand il veut le bien de l'intelligence commensurable au bien privé. Dès lors, quand même une seule personne jouirait de la béatitude, elle aurait toujours raison de partie en face de ce bien surabondant: même si en fait elle était seule pour en jouir, jamais la personne singulière ne pourrait considérer ce bien comme le sien singulier.--BC, 52.

Rappelons encore une fois que le bien commun est dit commun dans sa surabondance et dans son incommensurabilité au bien singulier. Or le bien proprement divin est si grand qu'il ne pourrait pas être le bien propre, même de la création tout entière: celle-ci gardera toujours en quelque façla;on raison de partie. Il est très vrai qu'en face du bien commun la personne singulière peut le dire 'mien', mais il n'est pas pour cela approprié à la personne comme bien singulier. Le bien qu'elle dit 'mien' n'est pas pour elle prise comme fin. S'il était tel, le bien qu'est la personne elle-même serait la fin pour laquelle il est voulu.--BC, 60.

Why is God so insistent that we love our neighbour? Why does our very salvation depend upon the love of our neighbour? If any man say: I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar.\fn{10}{I Jo., iv, 20.} It can surely be only because it is impossible to love God as He is in Himself without loving Him in His communicability to others. If God had created and beatified but a single intellectual creature, He would still have to be loved in His communicability to other intellectual creatures. God is the bonum universale simpliciter. There can never be a proportion of equality between this infinite good and the intellectual creature's capacity for beatitude. The divine good can never be other than a common good for the creature. To prescind from the inexhaustible communicability of the divine good to others, whether it is actually communicated or not, is to prescind from the bonum universale itself.

When St. Thomas says that God is a common good according to His substance, he does not mean that God is a common good with respect to Himself, nor that the actual diffusion of His goodness to others is of the very nature of God; the Angelic Doctor means that it is of the very nature of God to be a common good for any creature He freely chooses to create. A similar distinction must be made in connection with the following text from IIIa, q. 1, a. 1, c.: Utrum fuerit conveniens Deum incarnari:

Respondeo dicendum quod unicuique rei conveniens est illud quod competit sibi secundum rationem propriæ naturæ: sicut homini conveniens est ratiocinari quia hoc convenit sibi inquantum est rationalis secundum suam naturam. Ipsa autem natura Dei est bonitas: ut patet per Dionysium, I cap. de Div. Nom. Unde quidquid pertinet ad rationam boni, conveniens est Deo.

Pertinet autem ad rationem boni ut se aliis communicet: ut patet per Dionysium, IV cap. de Div. Nom. Unde ad rationem summi boni pertinet quod summo modo se creaturæ communicet. Quod quidem maxime fit per hoc quod naturam creatam sic sibi conjungit ut una persona fiat ex tribus, Verbo, anima et carne; sicut dicit Augustinus, XIII de Trin. Unde manifestum est quod conveniens fuit Deum incarnari.\fn{11}{See Cajetan's commentary, n. 6--Also Ia IIæ, q. 1, a. 4, ad 1, with commentary by the same.}

Just as we say that "ad rationem summi boni pertinet quod summo modo se creaturæ communicet", we say also that it is of the very nature of the divine good to be a common good. We cannot love the bonum universale except as the common good, that is, the good which incommensurably surpasses anything which might be the proper good of a creature and which, because of its very infinity, is communicable to others as bonum universale. If God could be the proper good (proper as opposed to common) of any created person, He could not be the good of another person. Bonum unius personæ singularis non est finis alterius.\fn{12}{IIa IIæ, q. 58, a. 9, ad 3.} If our ultimate end were a proper good, we ourselves would be our ultimate end. Why does my Opponent choose to overlook the text I quoted (BC, 29-30) from De Caritate, a. 4, ad 2? The objection was:

... Philosophus dicit in IX Ethic. (cap. VIII, parum a princ.), quod amicabilia quæ sunt ad alterum, venerunt ex amicabilibus quæ sunt ad seipsum. Sed id quod est principium et causa, est potissimum in unoquoque genere. Ergo homo ex caritate diligit seipsum tamquam principale objectum, et non Deum.

To this St. Thomas answers:

... Quod cum amor respiciat bonum, secundum diversitatem boni est diversitas amoris. Est autem quoddam bonum proprium alicujus hominis in quantum est singularis persona; et quantum ad dilectionem respicientem hoc bonum, unusquisque est sibi principale objectum dilectionis. Est autem quoddam bonum commune quod pertinet ad hunc vel ad illum in quantum est pars alicujus totius, sicut ad militem, in quantum est pars exercitus, et ad civem, in quantum est pars civitatis; et quantum ad dilectionem respicientem hoc bonum, principale objectum dilectionis est illud in quo principaliter illud bonum consistit, sicut bonum exercitus in duce, et bonum civitatis in rege; unde ad officium boni militis pertinet ut etiam salutem suam negligat ad conservandum bonum ducis, sicut etiam homo naturaliter ad conservandum caput, brachium exponit; et hoc modo caritas respicit sicut principale objectum, bonum divinum, quod pertinet ad unumquemque, secundum quod esse potest particeps beatitudinis; unde ea sola ex caritate diligimus quæ nobiscum beatitudinem participare possunt, ut Augustinus dicit in lib. de Doctrina Christiana.

What does "et hoc modo" stand for? Is it not unmistakably opposed to the love of the "bonum proprium alicujus hominis in quantum est singularis persona"? It is difficult to understand how Father Eschmann can manage so explicitly to contradict the littera Sancti Thomæ, and to be so unaware of destroying the very root of charity toward our neighbour, which is the divine good prout est beatitudinis objectum.

Let us now turn to his diatribe against my use of a text taken from De Caritate, a. 2, c.:

To prove his assertion by a text of St. Thomas, Professor De K. extracts a few words from the Q. D. De Caritate (art. 2). The content of these words is so important that we ask the patient reader to excuse us for transcribing the relevant text in its entirety. We shall italicize the words to which Professor De K. draws attention.

Si [? sicut] autem homo, inquantum admittitur ad participandum bonum alicuius civitatis et efficitur civis illius civitatis: Competunt ei virtutes quædam ad operandum ea quæ sunt civium, et amandum bonum illius civitatis, ita, cum homo per divinam gratiam admittatur in participationem cælestis beatitudinis, quæ in visione et fruitione Dei consistit, fit quasi civis et socius illius beatæ societatis, quæ vocatur Cælestis Jerusalem, secundum illud Eph. 2, 19: "Estis cives sanctorum et domestici Dei." Unde homini sic ad cælestia adscripto competunt quædam virtutes gratuitæ, quæ sunt virtutes infusæ, ad quarum debitam operationem præexigitur amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum.}

To begin our criticism of this whole position, let us first say a few words with regard to the author's exegetical methods. The word "præexigitur," extracted from St. Thomas' text, is at once commandeered by Professor De K. to supplement the arsenal of his own ammunition. Whereas, according to St. Thomas' text, there is something prerequisite for the exercise of the infused virtues, according to Professor De K. this something is made a prerequisite for a moral philosophy and a social metaphysics. A facile device to support one's own assertions by authority! The solemn gravity of an apparently authentic quotation, given in Latin, turns out to be an empty show. Was this quotation intended to impress the reader or is it possible that the author himself was impressed by his pseudo-discovery? Strictly speaking, the disclosure of such an inept method of dealing with a text would authorize us in taking no further account whatsoever either of this excerpt or of the teaching based upon it--DM, 148-149.

Father Eschmann has not quoted the relevant text in its entirety. Strangely enough, he omits the most important section. Here is the complete text of the passages I had already quoted both in French and in Latin:

Proprium autem bonum hominis oportet diversimode accipi, secundum quod homo diversimode accipitur. Nam proprium bonum hominis in quantum homo, est bonum rationis, eo quod homini esse est rationale esse. Bonum autem hominis secundum quod est artifex, est bonum artis; et sic etiam secundum quod est politicus, est bonum ejus bonum commune civitatis ... Ad hoc quod aliquis sit bonus politicus, requiritur quod amet bonum civitatis.\fnast{(*)}{Father Eschmann's quotation begins here.} Si autem homo, in quantum admittitur ad participandum bonum alicujus civitatis, et efficitur civis illius civitatis: competunt ei virtutes quædam ad operandum ea quæ sunt civium, et ad amandum bonum civitatis; ita cum homo per divinam gratiam admittatur in participationem cælestis beatitudinis, quæ in visione et fruitione Dei consistit, fit quasi civis et socius illius beatæ societatis, quæ vocatur cælestis Jerusalem secundum illud. Ephes. II, 19: Estis cives sanctorum et domestici Dei. Unde homini sic ad cælestia adscripto competunt quædam virtutes gratuitæ, quæ sunt virtutes infusæ; ad quarum debitam operationem præexigitur amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum.\fn{(**)}{His quotation ends here.} Amare autem bonum alicujus civitatis contingit dupliciter: uno modo ut habeatur: alio modo ut conservetur. Amare autem bonum alicujus civitatis ut habeatur et possideatur, non facit bonum politicum; quia sic etiam aliquis tyrannus amat bonum alicujus civitatis ut ei dominetur; quod est amare seipsum magis quam civitatem; sibi enim ipsi hoc bonum concupiscit, non civitati. Sed amare bonum civitatis ut conservetur et defendatur, hoc est vere amare civitatem; quod bonum politicum facit; in tantum quod aliqui propter bonum civitatis conservandum vel ampliandum, se periculis mortis exponant et negligant privatum bonum. Sic igitur amare bonum quod a beatis participatur ut habeatur vel possideatur, non facit hominem bene se habentem ad beatitudinem, quia etiam mali illud bonum concupiscunt: sed amare illud bonum secundum se, ut permaneat et diffundatur, et ut nihil contra illud bonum agatur, hoc facit hominem bene se habentem ad illam societatem beatorum; et hæc est caritas, quæ Deum per se diligit, et proximos qui sunt capaces beatitudinis, sicut seipsos.}

How could St. Thomas state more clearly that in order to love the "bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum", it is not enough to love it "ut habeatur et possideatur", for this is the way tyrants love the common good; we must love it "secundum se, ut permaneat et diffundatur". Even the wicked have the kind of love of the divine good which my Opponent advocates: "amare bonum quod a beatis participatur ut habeatur vel possideatur, non facit hominem bene se habentem ad beatitudinem, quia etiam mali illud bonum concupiscunt". To urge that God is to be loved as the object of beatitude, yet not loved as the divine good "secundum se, ut permaneat et diffundatur", would be to defend a most perverted form of selfishness.

And now for Father Eschmann's interpretation of as much of the "relevant text" as he quotes:

Is it true that St. Thomas taught, as Professor De K. would have us to believe, that the object of our beatitude, the very first and essential element of our ordination to God, is the divine good, insofar as this good is a common good, constituting, first and foremost, a society ("amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum")? By no means! This interpretation is false. St. Thomas' argument in the De Caritate, loco cit., proceeds a simili, i.e. by comparing two highest goods, each taken in its own order, not, properly speaking, two common goods. The highest good of the earthly city is called a common good. No description or definition of it is given in this text. St. Thomas is here not lecturing on social metaphysics or political philosophy, but on charity; and the example of the city is only used as an argumentum ad hominem. To the earthly city, referred to in the example, the Heavenly City corresponds as the thing exemplified; and, through the words "quasi [!] civis" (to which corresponds in the parallel text, Summa, I, 60, 5 ad 5, "quoddam [!] bonum commune"), St. Thomas takes care, at the outset, to keep us from over-extending the simile and, thus, getting on the wrong track. To confuse examples with formal teaching is quite inadmissible. Let us paraphrase the passage in question, in order to set its true significance in relief: Prerequisite to the exercise of infused virtues in the Heavenly City is the love of the highest good which is the divine good, the object of beatitude. In like manner, the love of the earthly city's highest good, i.e. its common good, is prerequisite to the exercise of natural virtues. In a certain sense, the divine good might also be called a common good (quoddam bonum commune). But the object of charity is, of course, not a common good; rather it is the divine good ("Bonum commune non est obiectum caritatis, sed summum bonum." Q. D. De Caritate, 5 ad 4). Considered as a common good, the highest good of the Heavenly City would be, indeed, the object of supernatural general justice, not of charity. Charity and justice must not be confused.--It is very significant that St. Thomas chooses to say bonum commune toti societati (cælesti) instead of bonum commune totius societatis, as he usually does when speaking in terms of political philosophy.--DM, 149-150.

Just what does my Opponent mean by a "common good, constituting, first and foremost, a society"? Is he again forcing upon me his own totalitarian notion of common good and society? From the section of the text which he does not quote, it is clear what St. Thomas means by "amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum". The article aims to show "quod caritas absque dubio virtus est". (Ibid., circa princ). A virtue requires the love of the good for which it operates. But the supernatural divine good cannot be reached by a natural virtue and hence the necessity of the infused virtues, "ad quarum debitam operationem præexigitur amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum". And this is the good which is the proper object of the virtue of charity. Now, because this divine good, prout est beatitudinis objectum, is a common good, it is not to be loved merely "ut habeatur et possideatur", for the evil, too, desire it in this manner, and such love of the divine good is not charity. If St. Thomas understood the expression "bonum commune toti societati" in Father Eschmann's sense, his reasoning, besides using four terms, would prove that charity is a virtue by means of a secondary object, namely, the love of our neighbour. Furthermore, the obligation to love our neighbour is not the reason why the divine good is a common good; nor does it become a common good because of the actual existence of the "beata societas", but because the object of charity is a common good, that is, a good which because of its very superabundance is communicable to others, and because it is "secundum se" communicable to others we must also love all those who are capable of beatitude. The principal object of charity is thus the reason of the secondary object. And this reason why we must love our neighbour is prior to our neighbour as well as to our act of loving him. Because the love of our neighbour follows from the true love of God, the former is, for us, a test of the latter. Unless we love God "secundum se, ut permaneat et diffundatur"--and this means to love Him as a common good, we simply do not love Him by charity. We must love the universal good as a common good, otherwise we shall not truly love the universal good; we shall love it merely "ut habeatur et possideatur", that is, in the manner in which "etiam mali illud bonum concupiscunt".

Father Eschmann suggests that "the example of the city is only used as an argumentum ad hominem". Setting aside the problem of the identity of the homo to whom it is said to be addressed, let us merely try to determine what St. Thomas is seeking to prove in this article. He is teaching that charity is a virtue: "quod caritas non solum est virtus, sed potissima virtutum". (Ibid., in fine). Now he plainly must have some reason for using the example of the city. The comparison between the earthly city and the heavenly must strengthen his argument in some way. It follows that, in his mind, the two have something in common; and, in fact, they must have something in common if his proof is to be valid. In a word, what St. Thomas establishes here is that the divine good, prout est beatitudinis objectum, must be loved as the good citizen loves the good of the earthly city; and this means that it must be loved "ut permaneat et diffundatur", and not, like the tyrant, "ut habeatur et possideatur".

My Opponent's "quoddam bonum commune" and his "bonum commune non est objectum caritatis" have been sufficiently exposed. So, let us pass immediately to what he says regarding supernatural general justice. When he writes off-hand: "Considered as a common good, the highest good of the Heavenly City would be, indeed, the object of supernatural general justice, not of charity", he reveals a strange understanding of the nature and object of infused moral virtues, "per quas homines bene se habent in ordine ad hoc quod sint cives sanctorum et domestici Dei".\fn{13}{Ia IIæ, q. 63, a. 4, c.} Since infused general justice is not a theological virtue, God could not possibly be that common good which is the object of justice. God is the norm and the ultimate end of infused justice, but this does not make Him its object. In the text under discussion, St. Thomas is speaking of the proper object of the theological virtue of charity, of the "amor boni communis toti societati, quod [bonum commune] est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum". By this virtue we love the divine good "secundum se, ut permaneat et diffundatur"--"et hæc est caritas, quæ Deum per se diligit, et proximos qui sunt capaces beatitudinis, sicut seipsos". And this has formally nothing to do with any kind of justice. Nor has charity toward our neighbour anything to do, in the present discussion, with the proper object of justice whether acquired or infused. Even in the love of our neighbour the divine good is the "ratio formalis objecti".

\it... Caritas in diligendo proximum habet Deum ut rationem formalem objecti, et non solum ut finem ultimum, ut ex supradictis, art. præc., patet: sed aliæ virtutes habent Deum non ut rationem formalem objecti, sed ut ultimum finem; et ideo, cum dicitur quod caritas diligit proximum propter Deum, illud propter denotat non solum causam materialem, sed quadammodo formalem. Cum autem dicitur de aliis virtutibus quod operantur propter Deum, illud propter denotat causam finalem tantum.\fn{14}{De Caritate, a. 5, ad 2.}

If, as my Opponent suggests, the distinction between "bonum commune toti societati" and "bonum commune totius societatis" is significant, its significance would be to bring out more clearly that we are treating of the separated common good which is the object of charity, and not of the intrinsic, created, finite common good of the heavenly city toward which we become well disposed by the infused moral virtues.

Was it the Thief! Thief! method which prompted my Opponent to say that,

Strictly speaking, the disclosure of such an inept method of dealing with a text would authorize us in taking no further account whatsoever either of this excerpt or of the teaching based upon it.--DM, 149.

Father Eschmann is ineffable.

Indeed I recognize the distinct though unenvied polemic advantage of his faulty Latin, his shallow acquaintance with philosophy and theology when allied to such unclouded confidence. His article has produced the proper rejoicing in personalist quarters, but what is more important, it has disturbed and poisoned by anticipation the mind of many an unsuspecting reader unable to see through the sham of his legerdemain with the littera Sancti Thomæ. After all, even if his cliché sneers are discreditable, who could still hold that the object of the virtue of charity is the divine good as a common good, now that Father Eschmann has produced the trenchant littera Sancti Thomæ: "Bonum commune non est objectum caritatis, sed summum bonum"? However, even if there were no point in trying to refute my Opponent for his own sake, it would be unfair to let the unsuspecting reader be misled by his pretence. My persistence in demolishing his criticisms, which I can hardly do without disclosing his own method, will be thought merciless perhaps and surely dull, yet I must pursue this course, lest I should seem to be evading difficulties and leaving unanswered such accusations as:

In setting up a "principle of the New Order" Professor De K. has done a work which is--shall we say--surprisingly radical and daring: he has at the same time taken in his stride a new foundation of Christian ethics and moral theology.--DM, 151.\fn{15}{Father Eschmann's quotation, "principle of the New Order", is an allusion to the title of the second part of my book which is mainly concerned with marxist radicalism and nihilism as a logical outcome of the exaltation of the self, and it is this I call Le principe de l'ordre nouveau, as opposed to the principle of the order of Redemption--humility and divine Mercy.}

We can all agree that the accusation is not lacking in gravity, at least insofar as it concerns the truth of the doctrine I defend. Let us examine his reasons.

VI
"Bonum Universale in Essendo"
and "Bonum Universale in Causando"

Immediately following his hopelessly muddled exegesis of St. Thomas' text (De Caritate, a. 2, c.) Father Eschmann goes on to say:

May the patient reader excuse the length to which this exegetical problem has obliged us to go. Let us now turn back to the substance of Prof. De K.'s teaching.

Is it not the most fundamental and absolutely unshakeable cornerstone of Christian ethics that the term of our ordination to God is God as He is in Himself, i.e. the Good by His essence and the essence of goodness (bonum universale in essendo)? Is it not the very first care of a Christian ethician to make sure that the conclusion of his very first argument directly reaches this bonum universale in essendo? This, at least, is the content and intention of that great argument which opens the pars moralis of the Summa (I-II, 1, 1-2, 8) and whose conclusion is: "Ex quo patet quod nihil potest quietare voluntatem hominis nisi bonum universale, quod non invenitur in aliquo creato, sed solum in Deo, quia omnis creatura habet bonitatem participatam" (ibid., 2, 8.). St. Thomas has here completely forgotten to speak about Professor De K.'s "common good" by which man's ordination to God is très formellement determined. I am afraid that on pages 29-30 of this book a suspicion which the expert reader has felt all the way along, from the first page on, becomes definite, namely that the author has pushed the "primacy of the common good" very far, so far indeed that, if the consequences of his position are made explicit, we must in our Christian ethics re-do our work from the beginning. In setting up a "principle of the New Order" Professor De K. has done a work which is--shall we say--surprisingly radical and daring: he has at the same time taken in his stride a new foundation of Christian ethics and moral theology.

Professor De K. has confused bonum universale in essendo and bonum universale in causando. "The creature," St. Thomas says (Summa, I, 103, 4), "is assimilated to God in two respects: first, with regard to this that God is good: and thus the creature becomes like Him by being good; and, secondly, with regard to this that God is the cause of goodness in others; and thus the creature becomes like God by causing others to be good."--The common good, and every common good, is formally bonum universale in causando: it is not, formally, bonum universale in essendo.

The very first and essential element of our ordination to God is not the fact that God is the first bonum universale in causando, the fountain of all communications, but that He is the bonum universale in essendo.--DM, 150-151.

 

When we first read that God is "the Good by His essence and the essence of goodness" and that this is the bonum universale in essendo, we might think we know what Father Eschmann is talking about. But when he opposes this to the bonum universale in causando we may well wonder whether he himself knows what he is talking about. My Opponent's argumentation is so confused that, in order to unravel it and arrest the possible meaning of his terms, we must beg leave to make several distinctions.

Let us first consider the more elementary distinction between bonum in essendo and bonum in causando. Bonum in essendo may be used to mean bonum per essentiam. And this in turn may be understood to mean bonum a se as opposed to bonum ab alio or per participationem; again it may mean bonum per se as opposed to bonum secundum quid. There is yet another meaning of bonum in essendo, namely, the good that a thing is in so far as it is. In this case, bonum in essendo is not opposed to bonum per se, unless we understand it to mean in essendo tantum. For, in the creature, the good that it is from the mere fact that it is and that it has substantial being, is only bonum secundum quid, whereas it will be good per se or simpliciter only according to added perfections which, from the viewpoint of being, are accidental.\fn{1}{For these distinctions as well as for their application to God, see, more particularly, Ia, q. 5, a. 1, ad 1; a. 3; De Div. Nom., c. 4, lect. 16; In Boetium de Hebdomadibus, o.; De Ver., q. 21, passim.}

Since Father Eschmann opposes bonum universale in essendo to bonum universale in causando, let us now consider what bonum in causando may mean.--In De Veritate, q. 1, a. 1, c., St. Thomas says:

[Modus generaliter consequens omne ens] dupliciter accipi potest: uno modo secundum quod consequitur unumquodque ens in se; alio modo secundum quod consequitur unumquodque ens in ordine ad aliud ... Si autem modus entis accipiatur secundo modo, scilicet secundum ordinem unius ad alterum, hoc potest esse dupliciter. Uno modo secundum divisionem unius ab altero: ... Alio modo secundum convenientiam unius entis ad aliud: et hoc quidem non potest esse nisi accipiatur aliquid quod natum sit convenire cum omni ente. Hoc autem est anima, quæ quodammodo est omnia, sicut dicitur in III De Anima (text. 37). In anima autem est vis cognitiva et appetitiva. Convenientiam ergo entis ad appetitum exprimit hoc nomen bonum, ut in principio Ethic. dicitur: Bonum est quod omnia appetunt. Convenientiam vero entis ad intellectum exprimit hoc nomen verum.

In q. 21, a. 1, c., of the same work, St. Thomas goes further into this matter:

... Verum et bonum super intellectum entis [addunt] respectum perfectivi. In quolibet autem ente est duo considerare: scilicet ipsam rationem speciei, et esse ipsum quo aliquid aliud subsistit in specie illa: et sic aliquod ens potest esse perfectum dupliciter. Uno modo secundum rationem speciei tantum: et sic ab ente perficitur intellectus, qui perficitur per rationem entis; nec tamen ens est in eo secundum esse naturale; et ideo hunc modum perficiendi addit verum super ens. Verum enim est in mente, ut Philosophus dicit in VI Metaph.; et unumquodque ens in tantum dicitur verum, in quantum conformatum est vel conformabile intellectui: et ideo omnes recte definientes verum, ponunt in ejus definitione intellectum. Alio modo ens est perfectivum alterius non solum secundum rationem speciei, sed etiam secundum esse quod habet in rerum natura; et per hunc modum est perfectivum bonum: bonum enim in rebus est, ut Philosophus dicit in VI Metaph. (com. 8). In quantum autem unum ens est secundum esse suum perfectivum alterius et conservativum, habet rationem finis respectu illius quod ab eo perficitur; et inde est quod omnes recte definientes bonum ponunt in ratione ejus aliquid quod pertineat ad habitudinem finis; unde Philosophus dicit in I Ethic. (in princip.), quod bonum optime definiunt dicentes, quod bonum est quod omnia appetunt.

And in the body of the following article he adds:

... Cum ratio boni in hoc consistat quod aliquid sit perfectivum alterius per modum finis, omne id quod invenitur habere rationem finis, habet et rationem boni.}

From this it should be clear that the most proper and profound meaning of the term "good" is: perfectivum alterius per modum finis. Now, if such is the very ratio boni, the divine good will be called good in the strict sense of the word only insofar as it is perfectivum alterius per modum finis, that is, because of the convenientia ad appetitum. As it is in itself, the divine good may be considered either with respect to the divine will, or with respect to a created will elevated by the infused virtue of charity. Obviously, when we consider the divine good with respect to the divine will, the term finis cannot be taken in the strict sense of final cause, since causality involves dependence. In this case, "perfectivum alterius per modum finis" or "aliquid quod pertineat ad rationem finis", merely express the proper perfection of the good which draws and attracts the will toward it as to its proper object. This "drawing toward" and "attracting" involves no potentiality on the part of the divine will. The first article of De Veritate, q. 23: Utrum Deo conveniat voluntatem habere, contains the following objection and answer:

3. Præterea, ei quod non habet aliquam causam, non competit aliquid quod importet respectum ad causam. Sed Deus, cum sit prima causa omnium, non habet aliquam causam. Ergo, cum voluntas importet habitudinem in causam finalem, quia voluntas est finis, secundum Philosophum in III Ethic. (c. II, ante med.), videtur quod voluntas Deo non competat.

Ad tertium dicendum, quod voluntas est alicujus dupliciter: uno modo principaliter, et alio modo secundario. Principaliter quidem voluntas est finis, qui est ratio volendi omnia alia: secundario autem est eorum quæ sunt ad finem, quæ propter finem volumus. Voluntas autem non habet habitudinem ad volitum quod est secundarium, sicut ad causam; sed tantummodo ad volitum principale, quod est finis. Sciendum est autem, quod voluntas et volitum aliquando distinguuntur secundum rem; et tunc volitum comparatur ad voluntatem sicut realiter causa finalis. Si autem voluntas et volitum distinguuntur tantum ratione, tunc volitum non erit causa finalis voluntatis nisi secundum modum significandi. Voluntas ergo divina comparatur, sicut ad finem, ad bonitatem suam, quæ secundum rem idem est quod sua voluntas; distinguitur autem solum secundum modum significandi. Unde relinquitur quod voluntatis divinæ nihil sit causa realiter, sed solum secundum modum significandi. Nec est inconveniens, in Deo significari aliquid per modum causæ: sic enim divinitas significatur in Deo ut habens se ad Deum per modum causæ formalis. Res vero creatæ, quas Deus vult, non se habent ad divinam voluntatem ut fines, sed ut ordinata ad finem: propter hoc enim Deus creaturas vult esse, ut in eis sua bonitas manifestetur, et ut sua bonitas, quæ per essentiam multiplicari non potest, saltem similitudinis participatione in plures effundatur.

Hence, when we consider the divine good with respect to the created will, it is an end in the strict sense of the word, a final cause attained as "ratio formalis objecti". Accordingly, to deny that the divine good is in this respect a good "sicut realiter causa finalis", is to imply that the created will is not merely on a plane with the divine will, but that it is identical with the divine good and will.

Again the good may be called bonum in causando in two ways: either to mean the good as a final cause, i.e. "perfectivum alterius per modum finis"; or to signify the good as an efficient and exemplary cause of another good. Both meanings apply to God. As the good of His will "per modum finis", He attracts all things as their ultimate end; and as the divine good to be attained as it is in itself by the rational creature, He is the "ratio formalis objecti" of charity. In the second sense, He is a bonum in causando as the exemplary and efficient cause of all created goodness. Hence, God may be loved as He is in Himself, or again we may love His goodness as exemplified in the finite good of which He is final, exemplary and efficient cause.\fn{2}{A similar distinction applies even to our present knowledge of God. Metaphysics can reach God only insofar as He is knowable through the creatures, whereas faith and theology concern God as He is in Himself. "Sacra autem doctrina propriissime determinat de Deo secundum quod est altissima causa: quia non solum quantum ad illud quod est per creaturas cognoscibile (quod philosophi cognoverunt, ut dicitur Rom.: quod notum est Dei, manifestum est illis); sed etiam quantum ad id quod notum est sibi soli de seipso, et aliis per revelationem communicatum".--Ia, q. 1, a. 6, c.}

When we oppose bonum in essendo to bonum in causando, the former can mean either of two things: the perfection of a being considered absolutely, as formally constitutive of that being, and this meaning prescinds from the good as "perfectivum alterius per modum finis" (for the good proper "non solum habet rationem perfecti, sed perfectivi");\fn{3}{De Ver., q. 21, a. 3, ad 2.} or it may mean the good that a being is from the mere fact that it is, and this signification prescinds from the distinction between bonum per se and bonum per accidens. When bonum in essendo is taken in the latter sense and opposed to bonum in causando, it can once more have only two possible meanings: the good as a commune in prædicando,\fn{4}{Ibid., q. 21, a. 4, c.} which is not the object of appetite and hence not a good at all in the proper sense; or it may mean bonum in essendo tantum as opposed to that bonum per se which is found in creatures, and which is really bonum per accidens of the created ens per se. Now this last significance of bonum in essendo does not permit it to be a good in the full sense of the word, either, for

secundum esse substantiale non dicitur aliquid bonum simpliciter et absolute, nisi superaddantur perfectiones aliæ debitæ: et ideo ipsum esse substantiale non est absolute appetibile nisi debitis perfectionibus adjunctis.\fn{5}{Ibid., q. 22, a. 1, ad 7.}

Let us now consider the expressions bonum universale in essendo and bonum universale in causando. The former may bear three distinct meanings: first, it may be taken to mean bonum universale in prædicando which is common to all things insofar as they are good in any way; secondly, it may mean the perfection of divine being considered in itself without formal reference to will; thirdly, it may mean bonum universale per essentiam, where the good is understood in the rigorous sense of "perfectivum alterius per modum finis", and this is the divine good, for God is good simpliciter by His very essence, "in quantum ejus essentia est suum esse".\fn{6}{Ibid., q. 21, a. 5, c.; Ia, q. 6, a. 3.}

Bonum universale in causando may mean the divine good considered according to the strict formality of the good, i.e. as "perfectivum alterius per modum finis". It has already been emphasized that, when so considered with respect to the divine will, the divine good is a final cause only "secundum modum significandi", because in God, "voluntas et volitum distinguuntur tantum ratione". However, unless we use this "modus significandi", we do not express the proper formality of the good. But the divine good becomes a final cause in the strict sense of "cause", when considered with respect to a will which is not identical with the divine good: "voluntas et volitum aliquando distinguuntur secundum rem; et tunc volitum comparatur ad voluntatem sicut realiter causa finalis". In either case, however, God is called bonum universale in causando, and this term is opposed to the second meaning of bonum universale in essendo. Finally, the same expression--bonum universale in causando, may also be used to signify the divine good as the universal effective and exemplary cause of all created goodness.

Hence, bonum universale in essendo understood in its third sense and bonum universale in causando taken in its first sense are the same thing, the only difference being that the former expresses the identity of divine goodness and divine being; the latter brings out the proper formality of the divine good as final cause, either "per modum significandi", or "sicut realiter causa finalis". When we oppose the two and apply them to God, then bonum universale in essendo must be taken in the second sense, which prescinds from the proper formality of the good as "perfectivum alterius per modum finis".

And now let us examine Father Eschmann's reasoning more closely. In forma, it amounts to this: The term of our ordination to God is bonum universale in essendo. But bonum universale in essendo is not bonum universale in causando. Therefore, the term of our ordination to God is not bonum universale in causando.

To this we answer that if bonum universale in essendo means bonum per essentiam, and bonum universale in causando means bonum universale per modum finis, the major of the argument is true, but the minor is false. If, on the contrary, bonum universale in essendo is taken to mean the perfection of divine being considered absolutely, i.e. prescinding from the formality: "perfectivum alterius per modum finis", the minor is true, but the major is false. In either case, the conclusion is null.--When Father Eschmann uses the expression bonum universale in causando to mean the divine good as exemplified in the goodness of which it is the cause, he evades the issue and is tilting at windmills.

Let us examine the text, together with its context, which my Opponent quotes in support of his distinction between bonum universale in essendo and bonum universale in causando. The problem is: Utrum effectus gubernationis sit unus tantum, et non plures.

Respondeo dicendum quod effectus cujuslibet actionis ex fine ejus pensari potest: nam per operationem efficitur ut pertingatur ad finem. Finis autem gubernationis mundi est bonum essentiale, ad cujus participationem et assimilationem omnia tendunt. Effectus igitur gubernationis potest accipi tripliciter. Uno modo, ex parte ipsius finis: et sic est unus effectus gubernationis, scilicet assimilari summo bono.--Alio modo potest considerari effectus gubernationis secundum ea quibus ad Dei assimilationem creatura perducitur. Et sic in generali sunt duo effectus gubernationis. Creatura enim assimilatur Deo quantum ad duo: scilicet quantum ad id quod Deus bonus est, inquantum creatura est bona; et quantum ad hoc quod Deus est aliis causa bonitatis, inquantum una creatura movet aliam ad bonitatem. Unde duo sunt effectus gubernationis: scilicet conservatio rerum in bono, et motio earum ad bonum.--Tertio modo potest considerari effectus gubernationis in particulari: et sic sunt nobis innumerabiles.\fn{7}{Ia, q. 103, a. 4, c.}

Obviously, our problem is related to the first consideration of the effect of divine government, that is, of the effect, "ex parte finis: ... scilicet assimilari summo bono", where the supreme good is bonum universale in causando per modum finis. We are not now concerned with the effect of divine government "secundum ea quibus ad Dei assimilationem creatura perducitur", that is, whereby the creature is assimilated to God insofar as the creature itself is a good, and by its own goodness is enabled to move another toward the good. The following text deals with the principle of this inherent goodness:

... Omne agens invenitur sibi simile agere; unde si prima bonitas sit effectiva omnium bonorum, oportet quod similitudinem suam imprimat in rebus effectis: et sic unumquodque dicetur bonum sicut forma inhærente per similitudinem summi boni sibi inditam, et ulterius per bonitatem primam, sicut per exemplar et effectivum omnia bonitatis creatæ.\fn{8}{De Ver., q. 21, a. 4, c.}

But we are concerned with an assimilation of the creature to God which is not mentioned in the portion of St. Thomas' text brought forth by Father Eschmann. The following passage from De Veritate, q. 20, a. 4, c., describes the latter assimilation (which had been briefly stated in that first portion of the text not quoted by my Opponent) while carefully distinguishing it from the former:

... Cum Deus sit principium omnium rerum et finis: duplex habitudo ipsius ad creaturas invenitur: una secundum quam omnia a Deo procedunt in esse; alia secundum quam ad eum ordinantur ut in finem; quædam per viam assimilationis tantum, sicut irrationales creaturæ: quædam vero tam per viam assimilationis, quam pertingendo ad ipsam divinam essentiam. Cuilibet enim creaturæ procedenti a Deo inditum est ut in bonum tendat per suam operationem. In cujuslibet autem boni consecutione creatura Deo assimilatur; sed creaturæ rationales super hoc habent ut ad ipsum Deum cognoscendum et amandum sua operatione pertingant; unde præ ceteris creaturis beatitudinis sunt capaces.

In utraque autem prædictarum habitudinum invenitur creaturas Creator excedere. Quantum ad primam quidem, quod super omnia quæ Deus fecit, adhuc possit alia dissimilia facere, et novas species et nova genera, et alios mundos; nec unquam id quod factum est, facientis virtutem adæquare potest. Quantum vero ad secundam, quia creatura quantumcumque fiat boni particeps, nunquam tamen pertingit ad hoc quod Dei bonitatem adæquet. Quantumcumque etiam creatura rationalis Deum cognoscat et amet, nunquam tamen ita perfecte eum cognoscit et amat, quantum ipse cognoscibilis et diligibilis est. Sicut autem creaturæ imperfectæ essent, si a Deo procederent, et ad Deum non reordinarentur: ita imperfectus esset creaturarum a Deo exitus, nisi reditio in Deum exitum adæquaret.

It is surely absurd to suggest that the ultimate end of the rational creature could be that similitude of divine goodness in which its own goodness consists and that highest operation in which it leads to or produces another created good. And yet, if Father Eschmann's quotation is to be relevant to the problem we are treating, he must interpret the quotation to mean exactly that. He cannot mean the divine goodness as it is in itself, since he does not allow the bonum universale in essendo to be "realiter causa finalis".

My Opponent allows us to call God a bonum universale in causando, but by this he means the divine good as the exemplary and efficient cause of the created good. He thereby denies that the divine good is good in the strict sense of the word as "perfectivum alterius per modum finis", and that the ultimate good of the rational creature is a final cause in the strict sense. It is this denial which determines his notion of common good.

The common good, and every common good, is formally bonum universale in causando: it is not, formally, bonum universale in essendo.--DM, 151.

Hence, according to Father Eschmann, a good is a common good only insofar as it produces a multiplicity of other goods, and not, formally, in that it is the end of this multiplicity, that is, a good communicable to many per modum finis--an exceedingly shallow understanding of the nature of the common good for a Thomist.

When my Opponent goes on to say that "God is the first bonum universale in causando, the fountain of all communications", what does he mean by "communication"? Clearly he must understand and restrict it to mean: "effusio secundum quod importat operationem causæ efficientis". Yet St. Thomas is quite intolerant of such a narrow concept of the diffusive power of the good, as we have seen in a text already quoted:

... Diffundere, licet secundum proprietatem vocabuli videatur importare operationem causæ efficientis, tamen largo modo potest importare habitudinem cujuscumque causæ sicut influere et facere, et alia hujusmodi. Cum autem dicitur quod bonum est diffusivum secundum sui rationem, non est intelligenda effusio secundum quod importat operationem causæ efficientis, sed secundum quod importat habitudinem causæ finalis; et talis diffusio non est mediante aliqua virtute superaddita. Dicit autem bonum diffusionem causæ finalis, et non causæ agentis: tum quia efficiens, in quantum hujusmodi, non est rei mensura et perfectio, sed magis initium: tum quia effectus participat causam efficientem secundum assimilationem formæ tantum: sed finem consequitur res secundum totum esse suum, et in hoc consistebat ratio boni.\fn{9}{De Ver., q. 21, a. 1, ad 4.}

It is not, formally, because God produces the good that is the universe or the good seen in any single creature that He is creation's final cause, but because He is the bonum universale in causando for all the good that He produces. His own goodness is the finis cujus gratia, and all being of which He is the efficient and exemplary cause is for this end. If God is a common good in producing the creature, "secundum quod importat operationem causæ efficientis", He is, a fortiori, a common good "secundum quod importat habitudinem causæ finalis", since the final cause is the causa causarum.

Let us now return to Father Eschmann's text. Immediately following the long passage quoted above, page 250, he writes:

From this it follows that our own (personal) good is a participated good. Through this participation a "certain common good" ("quoddam bonum commune") emerges, i.e. a good which, in a certain way, is common to God and the creature. Considering the supernaturally elevated creature, this common good is constitutive for a community or "society" between God and the supernaturally elevated creature, a society which is called, by St. Thomas, societas suæ (i.e. Dei) fruitionis.\fnast{*}{"2 Sent., d. 26, 1. 1 ad 2."} It is the divine friendship to whose essential constitution no multitude of creatures is required.\fnast{**}{"ST, I-II, 4. 8 ad 3."} The fact that there is such a multitude of creatures does not yet formally come into consideration.

This fact becomes only now, i.e. in the third place, relevant. For if\fnast{***}{"loc. cit."} there are several creatures sharing in the same participated good they will have something in common. Here, then, there will be a common good properly speaking, i.e. a good pertaining to a multitude of beings in such manner that each and everyone communicates in it. God is, as St. Thomas says, the last common good among men, i.e. that good in which they finally must or should unite: "Homines non uniuntur inter se nisi in eo quod est commune inter eos. Et hoc est maxime Deus."\fnast{****}{"In II Thess., c. 3, lect. 2."}

Professor De K. has, throughout his treatise, neglected these fundamental considerations.--DM, 151-152.}

Just what follows and how "it follows that our own (personal) good is a participated good" is not quite clear. What does my Opponent mean by "participated good"? If he uses the expression "our own (personal) good" in the strict sense, that is, for a good which belongs to the person as a personal, proper good and therefore to no other, then the "participated good" is necessarily a created good--created beatitude, the formal, essential beatitude of the created person as distinct from objective beatitude which is God Himself. This formal beatitude is indeed a good which belongs to the person as a purely personal good, in the strict sense, since it consists in the very operation of the intellect by which the divine essence is attained. If this were what Father Eschmann meant by "our own (personal) good is a participated good", then, when he says: "Through this participation a 'certain common good' ("quoddam bonum commune") emerges, i.e. a good which, in a certain way, is common to God and the creature", this "certain common good" could only be a bonum commune in essendo et in prædicando. Now, compared to the common good in the strict sense, that is, bonum commune in causando, the former is indeed a common good only in a certain sense. But such a good is not a good at all in the proper sense and it most certainly is not the good of the societas suæ (i.e. Dei) fruitionis.

If, on the contrary, the phrase "our own (personal) good is a participated good" is used by the author to mean something other than what these words should mean (namely, the imperfect participation "ex parte ipsius participantis, qui quidem ad ipsum objectum beatitudinis secundum seipsum attingit, scilicet Deum, sed imperfecte, per respectum ad modum quo Deus seipso fruitur"\fn{10}{Ia IIæ, q. 5, a. 3, ad 2.}), that is, if the objective beatitude is called "participated" (by purely extrinsic denomination) insofar as it is the object communicated to the created intellect, but imperfectly, though intuitively, attained by that intellect, it is formalissime a common good. The Summum Bonum, God, the objective beatitude of the supernaturally elevated creature, can never be anything else than a common good because our intellect and will are not identical with the divine intellect and will. What we must never lose sight of is that our formal beatitude is created and intrinsically participated and that "majus est in se bonum Dei quam participare possumus fruendo ipso". Objective beatitude, in short, is the proper good of God alone. It could not possibly be the common good of God and of the creature unless we used the expression to mean bonum commune in prædicando, which is indeed common good only "in a certain way" since its foundation lies in the identity of the object of the divine beatitudo per essentiam and of the created formal beatitude. Hence, whatever Father Eschmann means by "our own (personal) good", the "good which, in a certain way, is common to God and the creature" could be common only according to predication.

We now begin to understand what he means by his "quoddam bonum commune". I say "his", because the term as he uses it has absolutely nothing to do with the text from which it was lifted. The reader will recall the context:

... Cum in Deo sit unum et idem ejus substantia et bonum commune, omnes qui vident ipsam Dei substantiam, eodem motu dilectionis moventur in ipsam Dei essentiam prout est ab aliis distincta, et secundum quod est quoddam bonum commune. Et quia inquantum est bonum commune, naturaliter amatur ab omnibus; quicumque videt eum per essentiam, impossibile est quin diligat ipsum.\fn{11}{Ia, q. 60, a. 5, ad 5.}

And this St. Thomas states in connection with the problem: Utrum angelus naturali dilectione diligat Deum plus quam seipsum. The reader will also remember that he used the same principle ("unaquæque pars naturaliter plus amat commune bonum totius quam particular bonum proprium") to answer the question: Utrum homo debeat ex caritate plus Deum diligere quam seipsum.\fn{12}{IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 3.} Now if we understand St. Thomas' "quoddam bonum commune" in Father Eschmann's sense, the result will be that we will love God more than ourselves, not because He is the bonum universale, to which we are compared as a part, but because the divine good, "in a certain way, is common to God and the creature".--DM, 151. Surely no such reason has ever occurred to St. Thomas! Actually, it would mean that we love ourselves more than God. This alone (that we must love God more than ourselves because of such a community) should be enough to show how preposterous is my Opponent's confident understanding of the littera Sancti Thomæ. I shall not insult the reader's intelligence by drawing out all the ridiculous consequences which would necessarily follow this contradiction, that is, from Father Eschmann's type of "fundamental considerations".

On the basis of a text which he himself invokes and which the reader may recall as used above (page 41) to expose the shallowness of this concept of the common good, still another and perhaps more fatal attack may be made on Father Eschmann's view of what really constitutes the common good. Here are the words of St. Thomas:

... Perfectio caritatis est essentialis beatitudini quantum ad dilectionem Dei, non autem quantem ad dilectionem proximi. Unde si esset una sola anima fruens Deo, beata esset, non habens proximum quem diligeret. Sed supposito proximo, sequitur dilectio ejus ex perfecta dilectione Dei. Unde quasi concomitanter se habet amicitia ad beatitudinem perfectam.

In Father Eschmann's opinion, a good may be called common only when it is actually communicated to many; its being common depends upon its being actually imparted to a community. In other words, the denomination "common good" is founded, not on the superabundance and incommensurability of the divine good (which, for that very reason, can never be the proper good of any person) but on the fact of a manifold of persons who actually share in this good. According to my Opponent, God is a common good only supposito proximo. Now, since the existence of a neighbour and his sharing in the divine good is not essential to beatitude, it follows that, with respect to the objective beatitude of any single created person, God is a common good only per accidens. That God is a common good, then, merely follows from His decree to beatify, and from the fact of the existence of many persons. For any single person God is a common good only because there happen to be other created persons. The denomination is taken from the existing manifold of the Blessed; it is a purely extrinsic denomination.

This is, inescapably, Father Eschmann's position. It is an opinion wholly in keeping with what he calls "a common good properly speaking".--DM, 152. And it is equally inescapable that if, per impossibile, God were common good in such a sense, i.e. as the proper good of this person and the proper good of that person and so forth. He would be merely bonum commune in prædicando. Now, in this sense, He could not be loved by anyone as common good, since bonum commune in prædicando cannot be the object of love. Furthermore, when, in loving our neighbour, we want him to share in the divine good, in this respect God would be loved by us as a proper good for our neighbour. But the love of a proper good (which is always a particular good as opposed, not to a good common according to predication, but to a common good in the full sense) for our neighbour proceeds ex amicabilibus ad seipsum, and not from the common good. And this in turn implies that in loving our neighbour we would love ourselves more than we love God. The following objection and answer taken from IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 3, bear this out:

... Videtur quod homo non debeat ex caritate plus Deum diligere quam seipsum. Dicit enim Philosophus, in IX Ethic., quod amicabilia quæ sunt ad alterum veniunt ex amicabilibus quæ sunt ad seipsum. Sed causa est potior effectu. Ergo maior est amicitia hominis ad seipsum quam ad quemcumque alium. Ergo magis se debet diligere quam Deum.

Ad primum dicendum quod Philosophus loquitur de amicabilibus quæ sunt ad alterum in quo bonum quod est objectum amicitiæ invenitur secundum aliquem particularem modum; non autem de amicabilibus quæ sunt ad alterum in quo bonum prædictum invenitur secundum rationem totius.

St. Thomas is speaking of the theological virtue of charity whose object, even in the love of our neighbour, is God "ut ratio formalis objecti". The paper shortage notwithstanding, I shall again quote the answers to the other two objections from the same article:

Ad secundum dicendum quod bonum totius diligit quidem pars secundum quod est sibi conveniens: non autem ita quod bonum totius ad se referat, sed potius ita quod seipsam refert in bonum totius.

Ad tertium dicendum quod hoc quod aliquis velit frui Deo, pertinet ad amorem quo Deus amatur amore concupiscentiæ. Magis autem amamus Deum amore amicitiæ quam amore concupiscentiæ: quia maius est in se bonum Dei quam participare possumus fruendo ipso. Et ideo simpliciter homo magis diligit Deum ex caritate quam seipsum.

Supposito proximo, we love him by charity because we already love God as a common good. This love of neighbour presupposes the common good as common good. Obviously, our neighbour is not the formal reason why we love the common good as common good. This principle is true of any love toward our fellowman which has its root in a common good. If the common good is to be loved more than purely personal good.

Cela ne veut pas dire que les autres sont la raison de l'amabilité propre du bien commun: au contraire, sous ce rapport formel, les autres sont aimables en tant qu'ils peuvent participer à ce bien.--BC, 16-17.

The love of a good which presupposes our neighbour and which radically and formally proceeds from this presupposition alone, is not a love of our neighbour, for the sake of God, but for the sake of our neighbour.\fn{13}{De Perfectione Vitæ spiritualis, c. 13.} This love may be generous, but the good which properly depends upon this presupposition alone, "invenitur secundum aliquem particularem modum", it is not the "bonum commune totius": when thus isolated it has formally nothing to do with the divine common good prout est beatitudinis objectum.

If the divine good is to be loved as a common good only supposito proximo, why is it that we must love that good more than our proper good, and yet, at the same time, love ourselves more than our neighbour? The following objection and answer are taken from IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 4:

3. Præterea, I ad Cor. xiii dicitur quod caritas non quærit quæsua sunt. Sed illud maxime anamus cujus bonum maxime quærimus. Ergo per caritatem aliquis non amat seipsum magis quam proximum.

Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in Regula, quod dicitur, Caritas non quærit quæ sua sunt, sic intelligitur quia communia propriis anteponit. Semper autem commune bonum est magis amabile unicuique quam proprium bonum: sicut etiam ipsi parti est magis amabile bonum totius quam bonum partiale sui ipsius, ut dictum est.

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), in Das Wesen des Christenthums, produces the very text Father Eschmann quotes against me from Ia IIæ, q. 4, a. 8 ("Si esset una sola anima fruens Deo ...") in proof of the opinion held by my Opponent. I quoted this text in my book: Appendice IV, Ludwig Feuerbach interprète saint Thomas. Its complete agreement with Father Eschmann's interpretation is so striking that it is worth quoting again.

Aristoteles sagt bekanntlich aus drücklich in seiner Politik, dass der Einzelne, weil er für sich selbst nicht genüge, sich gerade so zum Staate verhalte, wie der Theil zum Ganzen, dass daher der Staat der Natur nach früher sei als die Familie und das Individuum, denn das Ganze sei nothwendig früher als der Theil.--Die Christen "opferten" wohl auch "das Individuum", d. h. hier den Einzelnen als Theil dem Ganzen, der Gattung, dem Gemeinwesen auf. Der Theil, sagt der heilige Thomas Aquino, einer der grössten christlichen Denker und Theologen, opfert sich selbst aus natürlichem Instinkt zur Erhaltung des Ganzen auf. "Jeder Theil liebt von Natur mehr das Ganze als sich selbst. Und jedes Einzelne liebt von natur mehr das Gut seiner Gattung, als sein einzelnes Gut oder Wohl. Jedes Wesen liebt daher auf seine Weise naturgemüss Gott, als das allgemeine Gut, mehr, als sich selbst." (Summæ P. I. Qu. 60. Art. V.) Die Christen denken daher in dieser Beziehung wie die Alten. Thomas A. preist (de Regim. Princip. 1, III, c. 4) die Römer, das sie ihr Vaterland uber alles setzten, seinem Wohl ihr Wohl aufopferten. Aber alle diese Gedanken und Gesinnungen gelten im Christenthum nur auf der Erde, nicht im Himmel, in der Moral, nicht in der Dogmatik, in der Anthropologie, nicht in der Theologie. Als Gegenstand der Theologie ist das Individuum, der Einzelne übernatürliches, unsterbliches, selbstgenüges, absolutes, göttliches Wesen. Der heidnische Denker Aristoteles erklärt die Freundschaft (Ethik 9, B. 9 k.) für nothwendig zur Glückseligkeit, der christliche Denker Thomas A. aber nicht. "Nicht gehört nothwendig, sagt er, Gesellschaft von Freunden zur Seligkeit, weil der Mensch die ganze Fülle seiner Vollkommenheit in Gott hat." "Wen daher auch eine Seele allein für sich im Genusse Gottes wäre, so wäre sie doch selig, wenn sie gleich keinen Nächsten hätte, den sie liebte." (Prima Secundæ, Qu. 4, 8.) Der Heide weiss sich also auch in der Glückseligkeit als Einzelnen, als Individuum und desswegen als bedürftig eines andern Wesens seines Gleichen, seiner Gattung, der Christ aber bedarf keines andern Ich, weil er als Individuum zugleich nicht Individuum, sondern Gattung, allgemeines wesen ist, weil er "die ganze Fülle seiner Vollkommenheit in Gott" d. h. in sich selbst hat".\fn{14}{Ludwig Feuerbach, Das Wesen des Christenthums, Dritte, umgearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage, Leipzig, Wigand, 1849. Dans S{\acircumflexmmtliche Werke,} t. VII, p. 212.}

Feuerbach, too, believes that when St. Thomas speaks of the ordination of the supernaturally elevated creature to the highest good, he means to deny the primacy of the common good which applies only in the natural order. Feuerbach seems never to have reached the IIa IIæ.

We have the right to presume that Father Eschmann read my book. Yet he has completely ignored those passages, some of which I have already quoted, in which I explained why God is a common good in the strict sense and why the created person can never be referred to this good except as a part. I repeated this explanation in connection with Feuerbach's interpretation of St. Thomas:

Feuerbach est obligé de recourir à cette distinction parce qu'il ne voit pas que c'est tout autre chose d'être sous la dépendance du tout et de ses parties pour atteindre le bien du tout, et d'atteindre le bien du tout. La raison fondamentale pour laquelle nous appelons toute personne créée partie, c'est que son plus grand bien est incommensurable au bien de la personne singulière prise comme telle; c'est bien plutôt comme individu que la personne humaine est un tout. Aucune personne créée n'est une nature proportionnée ni proportionnable au bien purement et simplement universel comme à son bien propre en tant que personne singulière. Autrement toute personne serait Dieu. Aussi, pour Feuerbach, l'homme est-il Dieu.--BC, 112-113.

In drawing this conclusion, the father of Marxist materialism was logical. He had confused bonum universale in causando with bonum universale in prædicando: (BC, 114) he was unaquainted with the proper formality of the good. In all fairness we must add that he did not claim to be a Thomist.

In this connection, Gabriel Vasquez' (c. 1551-1604) interpretation of St. Thomas may be of even greater interest. The object of his criticism is the following text from IIa IIæ, q. 25, a. 1, ad 2:

... Amor respicit bonum in communi, sed honor respicit proprium bonum honorati: defertur enim alicui in testimonium propriæ virtutis. Et ideo amor non diversificatur specie propter diversam quantitatem bonitatis diversorum, dummodo referuntur ad aliquod unum bonum commune: sed honor diversificatur secundum propria bona singulorum. Unde eodem amore caritatis diligimus omnes proximos, inquantum referuntur ad unum bonum commune, quod est Deus: sed diversos honores diversis deferimus, secundum propriam virtutem singulorum. Et similiter Deo singularem honorem latriæ exhibemus, propter ejus singularem virtutem.

Here is Vasquez' paraphrase of this text:

... S. Thomas in eo a. 1, ad 2, assignare nititur discrimen inter charitatem et religionem, ut defendat, etiamsi diligatur homo eadem charitate propter Deum, numquam coli eadem religione propter ipsum. Asserit ergo, amorem versari circa bonum in universum: honorem vero circa bonum proprium ejus, quem colimus: ideo amorem non esse speciei diversum, propter diversas bonitates particulares, dummodo omnes illæ referantur ad aliquod unum commune bonum. Quocirca, inquit, charitate eadem diligimus, Deum, et proximum, etiamsi respiciamus in proximo diversam bonitatem particularem. Quoniam bonum proximi, quod ei volumus, ad commune bonum, quod est Deus, refertur. Honor vero distinguitur ex diversis bonis particularibus eorum, quos honoramus: quia in bonum particulare semper tendit; ac proinde, cum latria respiciat bonum Dei, dulia autem bonum hominis particulare: fit, ut cultus Dei, et hominis, ad diversas virtutes, non ad unam religionem pertineat.

The relevant section of Vasquez' criticism immediately follows the above paraphrase:

Ego sane fateor meam ingenii tarditatem. Vix enim discrimen hoc mente concipere possum, nedum de illo judicium ferre, in ea tamen doctrina, primum illud mihi est difficile quod asserit, amorem tantum ferri in bonum universe, cum revera etiam particulate ipsius dilecti respicere possit. Deinde non satis apparet, quo pacto bonum particulare, quod volumus proximo, cum ipsum diligimus, referatur in bonum universum, quod est Deus: sed cultus particularis sancti in cultum et honorem ipsius Dei non referatur: cum verum sit, eum, qui martyrem adorat, ipsum quoque Deum et dominum martyris quodammodo adorare....\fn{15}{Commentariorum ac Disputationum in Tertiam Partem Sancti Thomæ Tomus Primus, Antverpiæ, apud Petrum et Joannem Belleros, 1621; q. 25, a. 5, d. 98, c. 2, p. 773.}

Vasquez does not seem to realize that when the expressions bonum commune or bonum in communi are used to mean bonum commune in prædicando. St. Thomas expressly denies that God is a common good. Father Eschmann attacked me with the text in which St. Thomas uses bonum commune in this sense (in prædicando): "Bonum commune non est objectum caritatis, sed summum bonum.--DM, 150. As I have already pointed out, my Opponent is using this text to deny that the object of charity is bonum commune in causando, must suppose that St. Thomas is taking the expression in the latter sense. By this interpretation he not only distorts the meaning of the littera Sancti Thomæ, but at the same time denies that "eodem amore caritatis diligimus omnes proximos, inquantum referuntur ad unum bonum commune, quod est Deus". When he does allow that God is bonum commune in causando--not however as the object of charity, he actually reduces even this common good to a bonum commune in prædicando, for, in his opinion, God is a common good only insofar as He is the proper good of this person and of that person.

John of St. Thomas' answer to Vasquez applies to my Opponent as well:

... Respondetur non dixisse S. Thomam, quod amor fertur in bonum universe, hoc est, in bonum universale in essendo, et prædicando (crassa est hæc intelligentia) sed fertur amor in bonum particulare singulare, imo ad personam cum qua habetur amicitia. Dicitur autem ferri in bonum in communi communitate causalitatis, non prædicationis, quatenus scilicet bonum est diffusivum sui, et potest esse ration formalis objectiva, non solum diligendi se, sed etiam aliud per respectum ad se.\fn{16}{Cursus theologicus, ed. Vivès, Parisiis, 1884, t. VII, d. 8, a. 3 n. 12, p. 423.}

Vasquez equally fails to distinguish the divine common good as the effective principle of the created goods, from the common good as that to which the created goods are referred as to their final cause. John of St. Thomas' answer is again to the point:

... Divinæ bonitatis communicatio dupliciter consideratur, et effective, et respective: effective quatenus se, vel dona sua creata communicat hominibus, et sic ponit in eis bonitatem intrinsecam, ratione cujus homo est diligibilis ex propria perfectione: respective quatenus homo præcise consideratur ut aliquid Dei, et quasi ab extrinseco diligibilis redditur; et hoc modo Deus non consideratur ut bonum concupitum homini, vel donatum illi, sed consideratur ut principale objectum diligibile, et per respectum ad illum diligitur proximus, sicut medicina diligitur ratione salutis, quatenus non attenditur ibi alia ratio diligendi, quam bonitas principalis objecti, et finis non communicata intrinsece mediis, sed respecta a mediis.\fn{17}{Ibid., no. 13, p. 424.}

It remains for us to consider the last lines of Father Eschmann's section III ("Professor De Koninck's Notion of God"). They are the continuation of the text quoted above, page 261-262:

Professor De K. has, throughout his treatise, neglected these fundamental considerations. On the very first page of the treatise proper (pp. 14-15) he has omitted to pay due attention to St. Thomas' words: "Dicitur autem hoc [scilicet bonum commune] esse 'divinius' eo quod magis pertinet ad similitudinem Dei, qui est ultima causa omnium bonorum."\fnask{*}{"In Eth., I, 2, ed. Pirotta n. 30. The next quotation in the article is from the same place."} Obviously the words "qui est ultima causa omnium bonorum" are, in St. Thomas' mind, restrictive; and if the famous principle, "Sanctus Thomas formalissime loquitur" ever finds its application, it surely does so here. Let us paraphrase: Aristotle gives to a common good the attribute "divine", because this good, being the cause of the particular goods contained in its order and sphere, is in this respect more like God insofar as God is the cause of any and every good. There is, however, another respect to which the above text gives no consideration. This is the likeness to God in linea essendi. And in this respect the speculative intellect being, in the beatific vision, informed by God and most intimately united with Him, is by far superior to anything which is like God in ordine causandi. St. Thomas explicitly states:

Similitudo intellectus practici ad Deum est secundum proportionalitatem, quia scilicet se habet ad suum cognitum [the highest object of the practical intellect is a common good--II-II, 47, 12], sicut Deus ad suum. Sed assimilatio intellectus speculativi ad Deum est secundum unionem vel informationem: QUÆ EST MULTO MAIOR ASSIMILATIO.}

These last words are the most concise and the most explicit statement of what we now call Personalism. For, is not this act and good of the speculative intellect a personal good?

Professor De K. has constantly bypassed this most essential thesis of Thomistic ethics and, indeed, of Thomism as a whole.--DM, 153.}

Father Eschmann cannot have read carefully "the very first page of the treatise proper", and has perhaps neglected to read in its entirety the text of St. Thomas to which he refers and which I also quoted. The very first lines of what my Opponent calls "the treatise proper" are:

Le bien est ce que toutes choses désirent en tant qu'elles désirent leur perfection. Donc, le bien a raison de cause finale. Donc, il est la première des causes, et par conséquent, diffusif de soi.--BC, 14.

And the first lines of St. Thomas' text are:

Manifestum est enim, quod unaquæque causa tanto prior est et potior quanto ad plura se extendit. Unde et bonum, quod habet rationem causæ finalis, tanto potius est quanto ad plura se extendit.\fn{18}{In I Ethic., lect. 2, n. 30.}

To overlook these texts is to neglect the fundamental consideration. Neither Aristotle nor St. Thomas are here speaking of the common good "secundum quod importat operationem causæ efficientis", but of the common good as a final cause, therefore, "secundum quod importat habitudinem causæ finalis". The "ultima causa omnium bonorum" cannot be taken as anything but the final cause of all created good.\fn{19}{"Sed adhuc alia differentia invenitur inter divinam bonitatem et creaturæ; bonitas enim habet rationem causæ finalis. Deus autem habet rationem causæ finalis cum sit omnium ultimus finis, sicut et primum principium; ex quo oportet ut omnis alius finis non habeat habitudinem vel rationem finis nisi secundum ordinem ad causam primam; quia causa secunda non influit in suum causatum nisi præsupposito influxu causæ primæ, ut patet in lib. de Causis (prop. 1); unde et bonum quod habet rationem finis non potest dici de creatura, nisi præsupposito ordine creatoris ad creaturam".--De Ver., q. 21, a. 5, c.

"... Cum ens dicatur absolute, bonum autem superaddat habitudinem causæ finalis; ipsa essentia rei absolute considerata sufficit ad hoc quod per eam dicatur aliquid ens, non autem ad hoc quod per eam dicatur aliquid bonum, sicut in aliis generibus causarum, habitudo secundæ causæ dependet ex habitudine causæ primæ; primæ vero causæ habitudo non dependet ex aliquo alio; ita est in causis finalibus, quia secundi fines participant habitudinem causæ finalis ex ordine ad ultimum finem, ipse autem ultimus finis habet hanc habitudinem ex seipso; et inde est quod essentia Dei, quæ est ultimus finis rerum, sufficit ad hoc quod per eam dicatur Deus bonus; sed essentia creaturæ posita non dicitur res bona nisi ex habitudine ad Deum, ex qua habet rationem causæ finalis. Et pro tanto dicitur quod creatura non est bona per essentiam, sed per participationem: uno modo scilicet in quantum ipsa essentia secundum rationem intelligendi consideratur ut aliud quid quam habitudo ad Deum, a qua habet rationem causæ finalis, et ad quem ordinatur ut ad finem; sed secundum alium modum creatura potest dici per essentiam bona, in quantum scilicet essentia creaturæ non invenitur sine habitudine ad Dei bonitatem; et hoc intendit Boetius in lib. de Hebdom".--Ibid., a. 1, ad 1.} The created common good is "more divine" than a proper good of the same order for the very reason that it is a more perfect imitation of the ultimate final cause which draws all things to itself.\fn{20}{Metaph., XII, c. 7.} To suit Father Eschmann's purpose, "the words 'qui est ultima causa omnium bonorum' are, in St. Thomas' mind, restrictive; and if the famous principle, 'Sanctus Thomas formalissime loquitur' ever finds its application, it surely does so here".--DM, 152. In other words, when St. Thomas, in this very text, speaks of the good "quod habet rationem causæ finalis", he actually means (just for the sake of speaking formalissime) something quite different, namely the good as an "effective" cause of other goods!

Nor does the next development of Father Eschmann's thought seem to represent much of an improvement. The ambiguity of the passage beginning: "There is, however ... another respect ..." makes it difficult to discuss, but whatever interpretation we put upon it, no acceptable doctrine emerges. If he means that formal beatitude, which is a purely personal proper good, is greater than any created good considered as the cause of another good, we emphatically agree: "beatitudo ... quantum ad actum, in creaturis beatis, est summum bonum, non simpliciter, sed in genere bonorum participabilium a creatura".\fn{21}{Ia, q. 26, a. 3, ad 1.} But what does this prove except that some created proper good may be better than some created common good? He surely cannot be turning this conclusion against me when I have so plainly exposed this particular brand of sophistry.

La plupart de ces objections jouent donc sur la transgression des genres, elles exploitent le par accident. De ce que quelque bien privé est meilleur que quelque bien commun, comme c'est le cas de la virginité meilleure que le mariage, on conclut que quelque bien privé pris comme bien privé est meilleur que quelque bien commun pris comme bien commun; que le bien privé comme tel peut avoir une éminence qui échappe au bien commun comme tel; qu'on peut dès lors préférer un bien privé à un bien commun, parce qu'il est privé. Nier par cette voie tous les premiers principes, quoi de plus facile?--BC, 64-65.

The good which we maintain is greater than the personal good of the Blessed is not a common good of an inferior order but the common good of objective beatitude.

... Il est très vrai que la vie spéculative est solitaire, mais il reste vrai aussi que, même la béatitude souveraine qui consiste dans la vision de Dieu, est essentiellement bien commun. Cette apparente opposition entre la vie solitaire et le bien commun qui est l'objet de cette vie s'explique du fait que cette félicité peut être considérée, soit de la part de ceux qui en jouissent, soit de la part de l'objet même de cette félicité. Or, cet objet est, de soi, communicable à plusieurs.--BC, 57-58.

If Father Eschmann should claim that this is not his argument against me, he would have but one alternative: an even more crass sophism. I maintain that objective beatitude can never be other than a common good of the supernaturally elevated person. He tries to prove that it is not. What is the reason he offers? Formal beatitude is a strictly proper good of the person. Does he infer from this that objective beatitude is also a proper good of the created person? This would be a wretched sophism begging a real identity of our formal and objective beatitude; their distinction would be one of reason only. It would mean that the formal beatitude of the creature is wholly commensurate with its objective beatitude; that its formal beatitude is identical with the formal beatitude of God Himself, and that in the beatific vision God and the creature are identified. Then, indeed, God would not be a bonum universale in causando in the strict sense of cause. His essence would not inform the created intellect as a formal extrinsic cause; His goodness would not be "realiter causa finalis" of the created will; He would not even be "quoddam bonum commune" in Father Eschmann's sense.

The reader will recall my Opponent's indictment:

In setting up a "principle of the New Order" Professor De K. has done a work which is--shall we say--surprisingly radical and daring: he has at the same time taken in his stride a new foundation of Christian ethics and moral theology.--DM, 151.

Should any doubt remain in the reader's mind, or should he feel, perhaps, that the absurd positions to which we have reduced our Opponent's principles are merely laborious inferences, let him weigh the following paragraphs:

Objectively, i.e. viewed from the part of its uncreated object, the vision is not a common good; it is not even God as Common Good (to speak of common good in a proper and adequate language) but it is God Himself, the Bonum universale in essendo, as has been shown above.

Formally, i.e. viewed as a created act and good, the vision is that supreme, personal good by which a created intellect, elevated by the light of glory, is most intimately united with, and most perfectly likened to, God.

With these two elements the essence of the vision and of final beatitude is fully circumscribed. No further element needs to be added. No further element pertains to the intrinsic nature of final beatitude.

Extrinsically, however, i.e. in virtue of the fact that there is a multitude of the Blessed sharing, as it were, in the same good, the vision might be called a certain common good which, then, is the constitutive of a certain "society", a society which St. Augustine has called societas fruendi Deo et invicem in Deo.\fnast{*}{"De Civ. Dei, XIX, 13."} With regard to this "society" all that St. Thomas has to say is that it quasi concomitanter se habet ... ad perfectam beatitudinem\fnast{**}{"ST, I-II, 4, 8 ad 3."} because, speaking of the essence of things, every single "member" of it has his full sufficiency in God and in God alone.--DM, 160-161.

A simplistic idea could hardly be more simply stated.

VII
"The Chief 'Personalist' Text"

Let us examine closely what Father Eschmann calls "the chief 'personalist' text" (DM, 165), "the most concise and the most explicit statement of what we now call Personalism" (DM, 153): quæ est multo major assimilatio. We must attempt to determine, first why this text is produced: why the parenthesis is inserted: what the composite of quotation and parenthesis proves; and, finally, how it may be taken to contradict my position. Father Eschmann desires to show that God, as the object of beatitude, cannot be a common good. Now, if such is to be his conclusion from the quotation and parenthesis, it can follow only from an argumentation which, simplified to its utmost, will go something like this:

I. The object of the practical intellect is an operable good.\fn{1}{This proposition must be taken formally.--That which is formally the object of the practical intellect is the operable qua operable, for the operable may be also an object of speculative knowledge: "ut puta si ædificator consideret domum definiendo et dividendo et considerando universalia prædicata ipsius. Hoc siquidem est operabilia modo speculativo considerare, et non secundum quod operabilia sunt...."--Ia, q. 14, a. 16, c. The term operabile must be taken for the genus divided into factibile and agibile.} But the common good is the highest object of the practical intellect. Therefore, the common good is an operable good.

II. The operable good is not an object of the speculative intellect. But the common good is an operable good. Therefore, the common good is not an object of the speculative intellect.

III. The common good is an operable good. But God is not an operable good.\fn{2}{When we say that God may be known practically, we do not mean, of course, that He can be a proper object of practical knowledge. As John of St. Thomas explains: "... Licet primarium objectum [theologiæ], quod est Deus, non sit operabile operatione factiva, est tamen attingibile operatione morali per amorem, tamquam finis ultimus et regula actionum nostrarum, et sic practice cognoscibilis".--Cursus theologicus, ed. Solesm., t. I, d. 2, a. 10, no. 18, p. 400.} Therefore, God is not a common good.

IV. The assimilation of the speculative intellect to God is not a common good. But beatitude is "assimilatio intellectus speculativi ad Deum". Therefore, beatitude is not a common good.

Our answer will be brief. We distinguish the minor of the first two arguments and contradistinguish their conclusion: The common good which is the highest object of the practical intellect is the common operable good, not the common good which is an intelligible end.\fn{3}{For the expression finis intelligibilis, see Ia IIæ, q. 3, a. 4.} The same distinction applies to the major of the third argument, and to its conclusion; the minor of this argument we concede. We concede the major of the last argument, and contradistinguish the minor and the conclusion: if beatitude is taken as it is in the major, i.e. formal beatitude, we agree; if taken to mean the objective beatitude of the creature, we deny.

Father Eschmann may object to the form in which the minor of the first argument is cast: for it states the common good to be the highest object of the practical intellect, whereas his parenthesis ran: "the highest object of the practical intellect is a common good". But the point is that unless he accepts this statement of his premise, he cannot possibly reach that conclusion. It is the interpretation he must put upon his own words.

The text in question might be used to show that formal beatitude is a proper personal good, since the assimilation to God is an operation of the intellect of the Blessed.\fn{4}{... Regnum Dei, quasi antonomastice, dupliciter dicitur: quandoque congregatio eorum qui per fidem ambulant; et sic Ecclesia militans regnum Dei dicitur: quandoque autrem illorum collegium qui jam in fine stabiliti sunt; et sic ipsa Ecclesia triumphans regnum Dei dicitur; et hoc modo esse in regno Dei idem est quod esse in beatitudine. Nec differt, secundum hoc, regnum Dei a beatitudine, nisi sicut differt bonum commune totius multitudinis a bono singulari uniuscujusque.--In IV Sent., d. 49, q. 1, a. 2, sol. 5.} But if my Opponent merely intends to prove that "this act and good of the speculative intellect [is] a personal good" (DM, 153), in using this text, he is following the most roundabout way one could imagine, and to no purpose, for no one has denied that formal beatitude is a purely personal inherent good of the Blessed. But this is not the end of the matter, for "Actus ... noster non ponitur esse beatitudo, nisi ratione suæ perfectionis, ex qua habet quod fini exteriori nobilissime conjungatur; et ideo nostræ beatitudinis non sumus nos causa, sed Deus".\fn{5}{In IV Sent., d. 49, q. 1, a. 2, sol. 2, ad 2.} It is that finis exterior, the formal and final cause of beatitude, that we are concerned to explain and defend. And it is this end which Father Eschmann does not want to be a common good.

While Father Eschmann's quotation proves absolutely nothing either for his position or against our own, there does exist a certain correspondence between this text and that on the preceding page which he takes from Ia, q. 103, a. 4, c. But the correspondence is a disturbing one for my Opponent's method as well as for his argument. Let us place side by side the two passages concerned: first that from which is drawn the excerpt he gives on page 196, and secondly the entire responsio of St. Thomas from which he has selected the quotation on page 197. But first we shall do well to read the objection relatively to this responsio:

... Videtur quod beatitudo consistat in operatione intellectus practici. Finis enim ultimus cujuslibet creaturæ consistit in assimilatione ad Deum. Sed homo magis assimilatur Deo per intellectum practicum, qui est cause rerum intellectarum, quam per intellectum speculativum, cujus scientia accipitur a rebus. Ergo beatitudo hominis magis consistit in operatione intellectus practici quam speculativi.

And now the above-mentioned texts:

Ia, q. 103, a. 4, c.: Ia IIæ, q. 3, a. 5:
Effectus igitur gubernationis potest accipi tripliciter. [a] Uno modo ex parte ipsius finis: et sic est unus effectus gubernationis, scilicet assimilari summo bono. [b]--Alio modo potest considerari effectus gubernationis secundum ea quibus ad Dei assimilationem creatura perduciter. Et sic in generali sunt duo effectus gubernationis. Creatura enim assimilatur Deo quantum ad duo: [i] scilicet quantum ad id quod Deus bonus est, inquantum creatura est bona: et [ii] quantum ad hoc quod Deus est aliis causa bonitatis, in quantum una creatura movet aliam ad bonitatem. Unde duo sunt effectus gubernationis: scilicet conservatio rerum in bono, et motio earum ad bonum. [c]--Tertio modo potest considerari effectus gubernationis in particulari: et sic sunt nobis innumerabiles. Ad primum ergo dicendum quod [a] similitudo prædicta intellectus practici ad Deum, est secundum proportionalitatem; quia scilicet se habet ad suum cognitum, sicut Deus ad suum. [b] Sed assimilatio intellectus speculativi ad Deum, est secundum unionem vel informationem; quæ est multo major assimilatio.--Et tamen dici potest, quod respectu principalis cogniti, quod est sua essentia, non habet Deus practicam cognitionem, sed speculativam sed speculativam tantum.

Clearly, the "similitudo secundum proportionalitatem" in part [a] of the second text is related to [b] of the first, and the practical intellect exemplifies what is said in its subdivision [ii]. It is also clear that the "assimilatio intellectus speculativi ad Deum secundum unionem vel informationem" in [b] of the second text is related to [a] of the first (the clause which our Opponent ignores) and not to subdivision [i] as Father Eschmann supposes when he says: "This is the likeness to God in linea essendi".--DM, 153.

Now, when my Opponent considers the likeness to God in linea essendi as opposed to what he understands by in ordine causandi,\fn{6}{I presume he opposes in linea essendi to causandi alone as understood in subdivision [ii] of the first text, and not to operandi, for, "cum Dei substantia sit ejus actio, summa assimilatio hominis ad Deum est secundum aliquam operationem. Unde, sicut supra dictum est [q. 3, a. 2], felicitas sive beatitudo, per quam homo maxime Deo conformatur, quæ est finis humanæ vitæ, in operatione consistit".--Ia IIæ, q. 55, a. 2, ad 3.} he cannot formally consider the assimilation of the speculative intellect to God "secundum unionem vel informationem"; he cannot be considering it under the formality of union and information, but rather under the formal aspect of inherent perfection of the creature. This consideration is quite legitimate.\fn{7}{... Bonum quod omnia concupiscunt, est esse, ut patet per Bœtium in lib. III De Consolat. [pros. x, Pat. lat. t. LXIII, col. 763 et seqq.]; unde ultimum desideratum ab omnibus est esse perfectum, secundum quod est possibile in natura illa. Omne autem quod habet esse ab alio, perfectionem sui esse ab alio habet: quia tanto perfectius esse recipit unumquodque, quanto verius conjungitur essendi principio; unde inferiora corpora propter longe distare a primo principio, esse corruptibile habent, ut patet II De Generation., text. 59. Et ideo ultimus finis cujuslibet rei habentis esse ab alio est duplex: unus exterius, secundum scilicet id quod est desideratæ perfectionis principium; alius interius, scilicet ipsa sua perfectio, quam facit conjunctio ad principium. Unde cum beatitudo sit ultimus hominis finis, duplex erit beatitudo: una quæ est in ipso, scilicet quæ est ultima ejus perfectio, ad quam possibile est ipsum pervenire; et hæc est beatitudo creata; alia vero est extra ipsum, per cujus conjunctionem præmissa beatitudo in ea causatur; et hæc est beatitudo increata, quæ est ipse Deus".--In IV Sent. d. 49, q. 1, a. 2, sol. 1.} But when we do consider this aspect of the likeness to God, there cannot be, in this precise respect (that is, in linea essendi), any question of assimilation to God "secundum unionem vel informationem", although it is because of the union or information that there is a likeness in linea essendi. In other words, the likeness to God is, in this respect, only a "similitudo secundum proportionalitatem", as in the case of the practical intellect. True, even in this respect, it is a much more perfect likeness to God than that of the practical intellect, yet as being merely proportional it is confined to the same genus. But we hasten to add that there remains still the most essential difference between the speculative and the practical intellect: whereas the practical intellect can be only a likeness to God "secundum proportionalitatem", the speculative intellect can be, profoundly and uniquely, a likeness "secundum unionem vel informationem". This is, indeed, the basis for St. Thomas' distinction in the second text. And we now see just what is meant by multo major assimilatio.

When we confine ourselves then to the assimilation to God in linea essendi (thus prescinding from the formal extrinsic cause which is absolutely essential in the strictest sense when we speak of assimilation "secundum unionem vel informationem), we remain within the genus of likeness "secundum proportionalitatem". Thus Father Eschmann has rather missed the point. Whereas his intention was to show the radical difference between the speculative intellect and the practical, he, in fact, does not use the distinction he quotes from St. Thomas. Although he does not seem to realize it, having confined himself to the linea essendi, he can never reach anything higher than the genus of likeness "secundum proportionalitatem".

Personalists have been deeply moved by my Opponent's "quæ est multo major assimilatio", printed in capital letters. Yet it is difficult to understand how this may be called "the chief 'personalist' text" and "the most concise and the most explicit statement of what we now call Personalism". It is very true that the "likeness to God in linea essendi" is a wholly personal good (such a likeness is common good only in prædicando). But this is completely beside the point. The question is: Is God a common good? Is objective beatitude a common good?

Yet, per accidens, Father Eschmann has made a distinct contribution. In misinterpreting the littera Sancti Thomæ and clouding the distinction between the object of beatitude and the act in its relevance to our problem, he has done a good deal to clarify the issue between "Personalism" and the primacy of the common good.

VIII
Beatitude, "The" Common Good

Section IV ("Professor De Koninck on Beatitude") of my Opponent's article is the one which breathes the most confidence, and which is obviously meant to deliver the coup de gr{\acircumflexce.} Given his notions of part and whole, of the good and of the common good, of charity and of beatitude, together with his remarkable ease in dealing with the littera Sancti Thomæ, we can appreciate that it is difficult for him to feel anything but invincible. I venture to add, though, and for the same reasons, that it is equally difficult for him to read my text, much less explain it.

I might further suggest a possible oversight. The Historical Point of View draws its life-blood from the safe absence of the authors it expounds and judges, this being the most imperative condition of its freedom. I, however, am still present to disclose and to protest against my Opponent's distortion of the position I uphold. It may be doubted whether such assurance as his can admit this distinction. But in any case, the misrepresentation of my position is of small consequence in comparison with the doctrine he continues to advance in the name of St. Thomas.

The reader will recall that according to Father Eschmann it is contrary to the very nature of person to be a part of society because a person cannot be part of what is substantially one. But, although contrary to its nature, a person can yet, somehow, be such a part of society. I quote again from DM, 163-164:

Ratio partis contrariatur personæ.\fnast{*}{"3 Sent., d. 5, III, 2."} Hence ... the person, qua person, is not a part of society: and if a person is such a part, this "being part" will not be based upon the metaphysical formality and precision of "being person".

As has been pointed out already, the ratio partis St. Thomas indicates in the text my Opponent quotes, is that of a natura per se.\fn{1}{In the sentence immediately preceding the phrase ratio partis contrariatur personæ (In III Sent., d. 5, q. 3, a. 2), St. Thomas says: "anima est pars humanæ naturæ, et non natura quædam per se. How are we to understand "natura quædam per se" here? Does it mean natura per se "in a certain sense"?} Our contention is that no person can be such a part because this, being contrary to the very nature of person, will imply an absolute contradiction. But what we should like to call attention to at this juncture is Father Eschmann's notion of society. If he understands and means what he says, he is maintaining that society is substantially one. And however preposterous this may sound, it is nevertheless quite in keeping with his strange notion of common good,\fn{2}{When we speak of my Opponent's "notion of common good", we must, of course, prescind from the contradictory statements he makes about the very nature of common good, lest we allow him the impossibility of an "equivocal notion". See below page 287, n. 3.} namely, that it is a good not immediately and personally possessed by him who shares in it.

Such being the case, it is strange he does not emphasize that my own notion of common good is contradictory since I insist that the perfect common good is immediately shared by each person of the community, that the one and the other attain it in its very universality; while I yet uphold such a good as a true common good.

... L'universalité même du bien est principe de béatitude pour la personne singulière. C'est, en effet, en raison de son universalité qu'il peut béatifier la personne singulière.--BC, 31.

Or at least he might have tried to show that the following statement is contradictory:

L'indépendance des personnes les unes des autres dans la vision même n'exclut pas de l'objet cette universalité qui veut dire, pour toute intelligence créée, essentielle communicabilité à plusieurs. Loin de l'exclure, ou d'en faire abstraction, l'indépendance présuppose cette communicabilité.--BC, 58.

While he holds that my notion is contradictory (which means, of course, that it is not a notion at all) he has nowhere even remotely tried to show this to be so. However, he persistently confuses my interpretation with his own, and this makes it quite easy to impose upon me the contradictions which follow from his understanding. Section IV of Father Eschmann's article is a striking instance of this procedure. He assumes that what I mean by part, whole, society and common good are what he means by these terms. As a result, my text, quite logically, is converted into a maze of contradictions.

The misinterpretations in this section IV deserve exposition in some detail. Its opening paragraph is the following:

Ever since the days when Plato stated the problem of the philosophers and kings, every occidental theory of society has ultimately proved its truth and its value by the regard it has paid to, and the place it has left open for, that which is not society nor action, viz. solitude and contemplation. The modern problem which we are now accustomed to state in terms of Person and Society is nothing but the continuation of the age-old discussion of Philosophers and Kings.--DM, 153.

In this connection my Opponent has failed to inform his readers that, not so speak of repeated assertions in the essay he attacks, the second part of my book is entirely devoted to showing the disastrous consequences of La négation de la primauté du spéculatif.--BC, 73-103. And even while quoting my own text, he will argue as if I denied these irrefutable truths: that the ultimate end of the person consists in the vision of God, that the speculative life is solitary, and that the persons are independent of one another in the vision.--BC, 57-58. At times one wonders what type of reader Father Eschmann has in mind. If he presumes, as he surely must, that his reader knows what I actually say (he quotes the text), then the only reasonable thing for him to do would be to point out, simply and clearly, that in maintaining these essential truths I utterly contradict my own position concerning the primacy of the common good. He should not speak as if I denied them. Obviously, the proper course would have been harder to follow than that which he has chosen--it would have compelled him to face the notion of common good.

Immediately following the first paragraph of section IV my Opponent proceeds:

Professor De Koninck will already have surprised the attentive reader by the statement quoted above, that our beatitude is a common good ("le bien commun qu'est la béatitude," p. 31). Let us have a closer look into this statement.\fn{3}{Father Eschmann here adds a footnote (DM, 154, n. 24): "Speaking of the Aristotelian eudaimonia, St. Thomas sometimes calls the felicity a common good: "Felicitas autem est finis humanæ speciei, cum omnes homines ipsam naturaliter desiderent. Felicitas igitur est quoddam commune bonum possibile provenire omnibus hominibus, nisi accidat aliquibus impedimentum quo sint 'orbati'" (Arist. Eth. i. 1099a).--Of course this is not what Professor De K. means by le bien commun qu'est la béatitude. The Thomistic notion of common good is an analogical and very elusive notion".--Indeed it is not what I mean by "le bien commun qu'est la béatitude". Aristotle's eudaimonia is formal felicity and hence a purely personal good. When this is called common, the community is one of predication. What, exactly, was Father Eschmann's design in quoting this text? To show that the notion of common good is analogical? If so, his example is the worst he could have chosen, for, if the analogical notion is to embrace what is signified in this text by the expression "quoddam commune bonum", then he must understand this good to be a common good in the proper sense, and therefore a good in the proper sense. In other words, unless he is using the term "analogy" in an improper sense, he implies that bonum commune in prædicando is perfectivum alterius per modum finis.--That the community in the text he quotes, is one of predication can be easily established. Presumably the passage is taken from Contra Gentes, III, c. 39, where St. Thomas shows that human felicity cannot consist in the knowledge of God acquired by demonstration. His first argument is as follows: "Ea enim quæ sunt alicujus speciei, perveniunt ad finem illius speciei ut in pluribus: ea enim quæ sunt a natura, sunt semper vel in pluribus, deficiunt autem in paucioribus propter aliquam corruptionem. Felicitas autem est finis humanæ speciei: cum omnes homines ipsam naturaliter desiderent. Felicitas igitur est quoddam commune bonum possibile provenire omnibus hominibus, nisi accidat aliquibus impedimentum quo sint orbati. Ad prædictam autem cognitionem de Deo habendam per viam demonstrationis pauci perveniunt, propter impedimenta hujus cognitionis, quæ in principio Libri tetigimus. Non est igitur talis Dei cognitio essentialiter ipsa humana felicitas". Hence, St. Thomas is speaking of formal felicity. It follows that the "commune bonum" is a bonum commune in prædicando. The sentence, "Felicitas igitur ... sint orbati", implies a reference to I Ethic., 1099b, where Aristotle says (versio antiqua used by St. Thomas): "Erit autem utique et multum commune. Possibile enim existere omnibus non orbatis ad virtutem per quamdam disciplinam et studium". Aristotle is speaking of the felicity whose definition he had established in a preceding chapter, and which St. Thomas expresses in the following terms: "felicitas est operatio propria hominis secundum virtutem in vita perfecta".--Lect. 10, n. 130. In the passage "Erit autem utique ..." the Philosopher proves that man himself is one of the causes of his own felicity. St. Thomas' commentary is as follows: "Ostendit idem [scil. tolerabiliter dici quod felicitas sit a causa humana] per hoc quod hæc positio conveniat felicitati id quod pertinet ad finem alicujus naturæ, ut scilicet sit commune aliquod his quæ habent naturam illam. Non enim natura deficit ab eo quod intendit, nisi in paucioribus. Et ita si felicitas est finis humanæ naturæ, oportet quod possit esse communis omnibus vel pluribus habentibus humanam naturam. Et illud salvatur si sit ex causa humana. Quia si sit per quamdam disciplinam et studium, poterit provenire omnibus non habentibus aliquod impedimentum ad operandum opera virtutis, vel per defectum naturæ sicut qui sunt naturaliter stulti, aut per malam consuetudinem quæ imitatur naturam".--Lect. 14, n. 170. All these texts concern the felicity which is an inherent, proper good. When this good is called something common, or "quoddam commune bonum", the community is one of predication, not of causality. But we have already learned that to Father Eschmann this distinction does not seem very important.--Regarding his last remark in the footnote we have quoted, we might suggest that the analogical notion of common good is even more elusive than he seems to realize. Unless he is using the term analogy in an improper sense, the analogical notion of common good could not possibly comprise both bonum commune in causando and bonum commune in prædicando, since the latter is not formally a good. When used for the one and for the other, the expression "common good" is equivocal, not analogical.}

On page 56-58 the author composes (one might be tempted to say concocts) the following "objection" against his thesis of the absolute primacy of "the" common good:

L'ordre pratique est tout entier ordonné à l'ordre spéculatif. Or, le bonheur parfait consiste dans la vie spéculative. Mais, la vie spéculative est solitaire. Donc, le bonheur pratique de la société est ordonné au bonheur spéculatif de la personne singulière.

Professor De K.'s answer to this "objection" is as follows:

Nous réspondons que le bonheur pratique de la communauté n'est pas, par soi, ordonné au bonheur spéculatif de la personne singulière, mais au bonheur spéculatif de la personne en tant que membre de la communauté. [Here is quoted Petrus de Alvernia, In VII Pol., lect. 2.]\fn{4}{To the reader unacquainted with my book, I should like to point out that Petrus de Alvernia is not quoted in the body of my writing, but in a footnote.--BC, 57, n. 60. My argument is not based on this footnote, as the reader may verify for himself. In proceeding as if it were, Father Eschmann avoids the true reason I give for my conclusion.} Il serait, en effet, contradictoire qu'un bien commun fût, de soi, ordonné à la personne singulière comme telle. Il est très vrai que la vie spéculative est solitaire, mais il reste vrai aussi que, même la béatitude souveraine qui consiste dans la vision de Dieu, est essentiellement bien commun. Cette apparente opposition entre la vie solitaire et le bien commun qui est l'objet de cette vie s'explique du fait que cette félicité peut être considérée, soit de la part de ceux qui en jouissent, soit de la part de l'objet même de cette félicité. Or, cet objet est, de soi, communicable à plusieurs. Sous ce rapport, il est le bien spéculatif de la communauté. Le bien commun pratique doit être ordonné à ce bien spéculatif qui s'étend comme bien commun aux personnes. L'indépendance des personnes les unes des autres dans la vision même n'exclut pas de l'objet cette universalité qui veut dire, pour toute intelligence créée, essentielle communicabilité à plusieurs. Loin de l'exclure, ou d'en faire abstraction, l'indépendance présuppose cette communicabilité.

Is this somehow "magisterial" Nous répondons in conformity with Master Thomas' famous Respondeo. Dicendum?--DM, 155.

I trust the reader will agree that in this passage I am stating as explicitly as I can that what I mean by the speculative good of the community, is none other than the object of beatitude; and that the apparent opposition between the solitude of the speculative life and the community of its object is due to a failure to distinguish beatitude on the part of those who enjoy it, from beatitude which is the very object. Father Eschmann, though he will mention the distinction, completely ignores its relevance to our problem.

Our formal felicity is not beatitudo per essentiam, but by participation and hence cannot be equal to its cause--objective beatitude. In its incommensurable communicability to many, objective beatitude is numerically one.\fn{5}{"Sicut autem ex modo visionis apparet diversus gradus gloriæ in Beatis, ita ex eo quod videtur apparet gloria eadem: nam cujuslibet felicitas ex hoc est quod Dei substantiam videt, ut probatum est. Idem ergo est quod omnes Beatos facit: non tamen ab eo omnes æqualiter beatitudinem capiunt".--Contra Gentes, III, c. 58. "In quo etiam considerandum est quod quodammodo contrarius est ordo corporalium et spiritualium motuum. Omnium enim corporalium motuum est idem numero primum subjectum, fines vero diversi. Spiritualium vero motuum, scilicet intellectualium apprehensionum et voluntatum, sunt quidem diversa subjecta prima, finis vero numero idem".--Ibid.} That it is actually communicated to many does not affect it intrinsically. Even for the creature, the respect of excedens et excessum remains entirely the same. It is for this reason that, as we have already shown, the divine good can only be compared to the creature as the good of the whole to the part, whether other creatures actually exist or not.

Let me attempt to convey this vital truth in terms more unmistakable still. When St. Thomas says that we must love God more than ourselves because He is the "bonum commune omnium", he does not mean that we must love God more than ourselves because He happens to be also the good of this person and of that person, but because He is, by His own goodness, "the" common good. And that is why St. Thomas can say in a text prescinding from the actual existence of any neighbour, that we must love God more than ourselves because He is the common good of all. It is for the same reason no created person dare think of the divine good as ordered to himself (which he most certainly should do if God were his proper good) but must rather see himself as ordered to God. Let me quote again the second answer from the article: Utrum homo debeat ex caritate plus Deum diligere quam seipsum. The objection is based on the assumption: "unumquodque diligitur inquantum est proprium bonum".

Ad secundum dicendum quod bonum totius diligit quidem pars secundum quod est sibi conveniens: non autem ita quod bonum totius in se referat, sed potius ita quod seipsam refert in bonum totius.\fn{6}{IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 3.}

Does this not make it plain that our own personal speculative felicity must be ordered to its object as to the common good?

The divine good is a common good, not in that it is communicated, but in that it is communicable, to many. It would be unspeakably foolish to think that, because there are many persons participating in the divine good, the object of beatitude and charity is in any way divided or altered, or the immediacy in attaining and loving it is in any way interrupted. Indeed, only because we already love God as the "bonum commune omnium", shall we, consequently, love this and that neighbour. If we did not love our neighbour; if the fact that he too shared in the same numerical good, perhaps to a much greater extent, were either indifferent or repugnant to us, it could only be because we did not love the divine good as a common good, that is, because we would be placing above all else our singularity, and hence, the proper good.

This is the consideration which sustains my answer to the objection which my Opponent terms "concocted". It is an objection which has been often made, however, and which is supposedly based on book X of the Ethics, where Aristotle holds that the man of wisdom, "even when by himself, can contemplate truth, and the better the wiser he is"; (c. 7, 1177a30) and also on the Thomistic acceptation of this teaching, which loyally follows the Philosopher. But the felicity in question here is formal felicity; while our problem turns on the one that Father Eschmann has chosen to ignore--objective felicity. Now the question to which we have been unceasingly trying to direct attention is simply, which of these two is the ultimate end? Must the person order himself to objective felicity, or objective felicity to himself? If he is to order himself to objective felicity, that will only be because the latter is not his proper good. If it is not a proper good and yet a good, it can only be a common good.

But when the principle is maintained that the person must order himself to his ultimate end as to a common good, in no way does it follow that this must be a mass movement, so to speak, by the community as a whole. Nothing obliges us to draw such an absurd conclusion, and I must once more protest against my Opponent's attribution of it to me. Throughout my work I have made it clear that our neighbour does not share in this ordering and that it is rather the task of each individual person. I leave it to my reader then to understand, if he can, how Father Eschmann, after my emphatic statement "Il est très vrai que la vie spéculative est solitaire" and my insistence on "l'indépendance des personnes les unes des autres dans la vision même" can proceed without making any distinction whatever (even after quoting my text!). He should at least, I repeat, allow that when I speak of solitude and independence I am right, although self-contradictory when I hold that these can have anything to do with the common good. But we shall search in vain for any such remark; he simply continues as if I maintained that the assecutio of this common good is an assecutio communis as opposed to the assecutio singularis of the speculative intellect.--DM, 157.

IX
"Fidelissimus Discipulus Ejus"

Let us return to Father Eschmann's text.

Is this somehow "magisterial" Nous répondons in conformity with Master Thomas' famous Respondeo. Dicendum?

The "Thomistic" basis for the author's answer is not St. Thomas but Peter of Auvergne. The quotation from this continuator of St. Thomas' Commentary on the Politics is here all the more surprising since for the point in question in rich and authentically Thomistic documentation was at hand. It is, indeed, a fact as un-understandable to any serious Thomistic scholar as it is characteristic for Professor De K.'s scientific methods that at a juncture where the most proper and important point of the whole discussion is under debate--hic Rhodus, hic salta!--the author completely forgets about St. Thomas. The reader is avid to get good Thomistic bread, but he must content himself with Ersatz.

Peter of Auvergne, as is well known, is a secular priest, a member, in the last decades of the thirteenth century, of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Paris and, at one time, a disciple of St. Thomas, whose lectures he attended in Paris, somewhere between 1269 and 1273. Although, because of his general doctrinal outlook, there is no doubt that he must be counted among the representatives of the oldest Thomist school, nevertheless, in every question of detail the quality of his Thomism is a matter, not of assumption, but of examination. For it is not impossible that the Averroistic atmosphere of the Parisian Artists might somehow have colored his doctrine, as it happened, not infrequently in those times, for instance and especially, in the case of another Parisian Artist, John Quidort, O.P. As long as the notion of a doctrinal source retains any proper and intelligible meaning, it is surely impossible to use Peter of Auvergne unqualifiedly as a Thomistic source; and, let it be noted, the same applies, of course, to Cajetan, John of St. Thomas, etc., commentators whom Professor De K. puts, without any distinction, on equal footing with St. Thomas himself.--DM, 155-156.}

But, as I have mentioned already, my reply to that "concocted" objection is in no sense dependent on the authority cited in the footnote. To give the proper argument for a doctrine, and to refer to an author as confirming it, are not quite the same thing. It is probably what Father Eschmann has already done with the littera Sancti Thomæ which now makes it necessary for him to believe that the text of Peter Auvergne is the only possible Thomistic basis for my reasoning; nevertheless, it is my duty to humbly and stubbornly maintain that this same reasoning is founded on nothing other than the plain words of the Angelic Doctor.

The first two paragraphs of the passage I have quoted need no remark. But a word on Peter of Auvergne, and a few observations on my use of other commentators may perhaps be called for. Who was this Peter of Auvergne? Let it be noted that he was not just another disciple who attended the lectures of St. Thomas. Ptolemy de Luca, the man who was both disciple and confessor of St. Thomas, calls him, with reference, as it happens, to this same commentary on the Politics, fidelissimus discipulus ejus.\fn{1}{"Hoc etiam tempore [Gregorii X. Thomas] scripsit etiam super Philosophiam, videlicet de Cælo, et de Generatione, sed non complevit; et similiter Politicam. Sed hos libros complevit Magister Petrus de Alvernia, fidelissimus discipulus ejus, Magister in Theologia, et magnus philosophus, et demum Episcopus Claromontensis". Hist. Ecclesiastica Rev. Ital. Script., t. XI, 1170".--Apud Pierre Mandonnet, O.P., Siger de Brabant, Louvain 1911, lère partie, p. 204.} As to my dependence on other authors, a scrutiny of the essay which Father Eschmann attacks will reveal that it contains a single quotation from Cajetan ( a mere paraphrase), and five quotations from John of St. Thomas. Of the latter, only two actually appear in my own text: the first being a passage which notes the obvious distinction between common good and alien good; the second to show even the temporal common good must be publicly ordained to God. But even if my references to such authorities were as numerous and as important as my critic seems to imply, I could not think myself obliged to apologize for them. Not only do I admit without hesitation a need for the assistance of these great minds, but in relying on them I think I am obeying an authority which not even Father Eschmann would be inclined to reject. In a later chapter we shall see why my Opponent has good reason for urging the reader to be on guard against these famous theologians.

Granted that I do not use the authority of Peter of Auvergne as the basis for my argument, there remains the question why I refer to him at all. The reason is simple enough. They who infer from Aristotle's Ethics that, since the speculative life is solitary, there can be no question of a common good of the speculative life, should be reminded of a passage in the Politics, VII, c. 3:

But if these things are well said, and if happiness is to be defined as well-doing, the active life is the best life both for the whole state collectively and for each man individually. But the active life is not necessarily active in relation to other men, as some people think, nor are only those processes of thought active that are pursued for the sake of the objects that result from action, but far more those speculations and thoughts that have their end in themselves and are pursued for their own sake; for the end is to do well, and therefore is a certain form of action. And even with actions done in relation to external objects we predicate action in the full sense chiefly of the master-craftsmen who direct the action by their thoughts.--1325b14-23.\fn{2}{Transl. H. Rackham, Lœb Classical Library.}

Yet this single passage remains obscure. A consideration made in chapter 2 of the same book will help to determine its meaning:

On the other hand it remains to say whether the happiness of a state is to be pronounced the same as that of each individual man or whether it is different. Here too the answer is clear: everybody would agree that it is the same; for all those who base the good life upon wealth in the case of the individual, also assign felicity to the state as a whole if it is wealthy; and all who value the life of the tyrant highest, would also say that the state which rules the widest empire is the happiest; and if anybody accepts the individual as happy on account of virtue, he will also say that the state which is the better morally is the happier ... Now it is clear that the best constitution is the system under which anybody whatsoever would be best off and would live in felicity; but the question is raised even on the part of those who agree that the life accompanied by virtue is the most desirable, whether the life of citizenship and activity is desirable or rather a life released from all external affairs, for example some form of contemplative life, which is said by some to be the only life that is philosophic. For it is manifest that these are the two modes of life principally chosen by the men most ambitious of excelling in virtue, both in past times and at the present day--I mean the life of politics and the life of philosophy. And it makes no little difference which way the truth lies: for assuredly the wise are bound to arrange their affairs in the direction of the better goal--and this applies to the state collectively as well as to the individual human being.--1324a5-35.

So we see that, in this work, while expressly repeating the doctrine of his Ethics, Aristotle nevertheless refers to a contemplative happiness of the community. He does not explain here how there can be such a thing; he does not state the principle. However, the principle which justifies his statement does exist, and it is my claim that upon that principle my own argument is founded.

Now, there exists a Thomistic commentary on this very text, a commentary by Peter of Auvergne, fidelissimus discipulus of St. Thomas whose lectures he attended. To my mind, it is distinctly "not impossible" that much of this commentary should reflect what he heard from St. Thomas himself.\fn{3}{It seems that besides this continuation of St. Thomas' commentary, Peter wrote his own commentary on the Politics. "Du commentaire des livres III-VIII de Pierre d'Auvergne, il faut bien distinguer ses Questions sur les livres I-V et VII de la Politique, qui se lisent dans le manuscrit lat. 16089ff. 274-318 de la Biblio. Nat.".--Msgr. A. Pelzer, Revue Néoscolastique, 1920. p. 219. Msgr. M. Grabmann refers to this conclusion in Die Werke des hl. Thomas von Aquin, Munster 1931, p. 86; see also Mittelalterliches Geistesleben, Munich 1936, t. II, p. 230; P. Glorieux, Répertoire des Ma{\icircumflextres en théologie de Paris au XIIIe siècle,} Paris 1933, t. I, p. 415; E. Hocedez, La vie et les œuvres de Pierre d'Auvergne, Gregorianum, 1933, pp. 23 and 29. If these Questiones are really a distinct commentary it would be interesting to compare the two. The whole matter is further complicated by the fact that there were two Peters of Auvergne, which raises a problem of authenticity for the many works attributed to the first, excluding of course those mentioned by Ptolemy. Here, however, we are concerned merely with the internal value of the present commentary which was intended as a continuation of St. Thomas' own.} Yet why should we go into such a matter? Whether the disciple is an authority or not, is surely no question to detain us; our real task is simply to inquire if what he teaches makes good sense. Let us examine what he has to offer us:

... Felicitas est operatio hominis secundum intellectum. In intellectu autem est considerare speculativum, cujus finis est cognitio veritatis, et practicum cujus finis est operatio. Et secundum hoc duplex felicitas assignatur hominis. Una speculativa quæ est operatio hominis secundum virtutem perfectam contemplativam quæ est sapientia. Alia autem practica quæ est perfectio hominis secundum perfectam virtutem hominis practicam quæ est prudentia. Est autem quædam operatio secundum prudentiam et speculatio secundum sapientiam hominis secundum seipsum solum. Et est quædam operatio prudentiæ et speculatio totius civitatis; et ideo est quædam felicitas practica et speculativa quædam hominis secundum seipsum, et est quædam felicitas practica 5totius civitatis et quædam contemplativa totius civitatis. Felicitas autem speculativa secundum unum hominem melior est practica quæ est secundum unum hominem, sicut evidenter docet Aristoteles in decimo Ethicorum; quoniam illa perfectio intellectus eligibilior est quæ est respectu objecti magis intelligibilis, quia ratio perfectionis sumitur ex objecto; talis autem est speculativa. Felicitas enim est perfectio intellectus respectu primi et maxime intelligibilis. Felicitas autem practica est perfectio intellectus respectu agibilis ab homine quod multo deficit a ratione intelligibilis primi; ergo felicitas contemplativa unius eligibilior est quam felicitas practica; et iterum magis est continua et sufficiens et delectabilis hæc quam illa. Et eadem ratione contemplativa totius civitatis eligibilior est quam politica seu civilis, et contemplativa totius civitatis simpliciter eligibilior est contemplativa quæ est secundum unum; similiter civilis practica quæ est secundum unum. Et hoc est quod intendebat dicere Aristoteles primo Ethicorum; si idem est uni et civitati, majusque et perfectius quod civitati videtur et suscipere et salvare. Amabile enim et uni; melius vero et divinius genti et civitati. Et ratio hujus potest esse, quia contemplativa et civilis civitatis comparantur ad contemplativam secundum unum, sicut totum ad partem: totum autem rationem magis perfecti et majoris boni habet quam pars; et ideo ista quam illa.--Lect. 2.

The reader will have noticed the most essential words of this text: "ration perfectionis sumitur ex objecto; talis autem est speculativa. Felicitas enim est perfectio intellectus respectu primi et maximi intelligibilis", as well as the quotation from the Ethics, I, c. 1, 1094b8. To overlook these phrases, which show us the crucial importance of the object in any analysis of beatitude, it to be led of necessity into a hopeless misunderstanding of the entire passage. Now, throughout his discussion Father Eschmann has missed the relevance of the object; furthermore, as we have already seen, in rejecting the universality of the principle from Ethics, I, he does not appear to have quite grasped its meaning. It was inevitable, then, that he should have nothing but hard words for our fidelissimus discipulus:

The clumsiness both of the notions themselves and of the whole procedure of combining and comparing them, is at once striking.--DM, 156.

Yet one cannot help thinking, however unlikely the possibility, that the writer of this harsh criticism cannot have read the whole of this second lesson. For Peter has already said:

... Ab illis qui dicunt optimam vitam hominis esse in optima operatione virtutis, dubitatur utrum vita civilis quæ consistit in communicatione civili et activa quæ consistit in directione vel ordine operationum quæ sunt ad alterum, sit eligibilior, vel illa quæ est absoluta a turbatione civili et actionibus exterioribus magis, quam dicimus contemplativam, quam solam intendimus Philosophos intendere.

In an earlier paragraph he has stated:

Cum sint duæ vitæ hominis magis principales, scilicet practica et speculativa, quæ istarum sit eligibilior; utrum illa quæ consistit in communicatione civili in simul vivendo civiliter, scilicet activa, vel illa quæ peregrina est et absoluta ab hujusmodi communicatione civili, scilicet contemplativa. Vocat autem vitam contemplativam absolutam et peregrinam, quia principaliter consistit in applicatione hominis secundum intellectum ad primum objectum ejus et optimum, quæ non potest esse sine sedatione motuum et perturbationum sine quibus non est vita civilis: et ideo oportet ipsam esse absolutam a communicatione civili; et per consequens peregrinam. Peregrinum enim dicitur quod longe ab habitudine consueta est. Magis autem consueta vita communiter est vita civilis.

There is also the following passage:

Optima autem vita hujusmodi injustitiam, quæ magis accidit in civili communicatione, non habet, quia optima vita nihil præter rationem habet: igitur optima vita non est civilis, sed absoluta magis.

And finally, in the same lesson, we read this admirable commentary on Aristotle's dictum that the free man is "cause of himself":\fn{4}{Metaph., I, c. 2, 982b25.}

... Sicut Philosophus dicit in primo Metaphysicæ, liber est qui est suiipsius causa. Quod non potest intelligi sic quod aliquis sit causa suiipsius primo: nihil enim est causa sui: sed est intelligendum quod liber sit ille, qui secundum aliquid proprium sibi est causa sibi operandi. Et tunc veritatem habet quod liber est suiipsius causa in duplici genere causæ: et in ratione agentis, et ratione finis. In ratione agentis, inquantum per aliquod principium quod est principale in eo operatur. In ratione autem finis, inquantum operatur ad finem sibi debitum secundum principium illud. Et quia homo maxime in esse constituitur per intellectum, est enim intellectus, vel maxime secundum intellectum secundum Aristotelem in decimo Ethicorum, et ideo homo liber dicitur, qui per virtutem intellectualem existentem in eo operatur non accipiens ab alio rationem operandi, nec impedimentum habens ex parte materiæ; et qui operatur ad finem qui debetur ei secundum naturam prædictam. Et quanto magis natus est operari secundum illud quod perfectius est in intellectu in eo, et ad finem excellentiorem secundum idipsum, tanto liberior est. Et ideo qui simpliciter operatur secundum virtutem intellectualem, et ad finem secundum intellectum, perfectissime liber est.}

Yet Father Eschmann, without an effort at the least distinction, can impose upon Peter, fidelissimus discipulus of St. Thomas, the stupid opinion that the contemplative life of the community is a "genuine social or common act", an "assecutio communis"!--DM, 157. But let us answer the question he raises:

The clumsiness both of the notions themselves and of the whole procedure of combining and comparing them, is at once striking. For, what is this operatio prudentiæ totius civitatis? And if, in spite of the manifest clumsiness of the terminology, an intelligible meaning might finally be discovered in this notion--what in the world can speculatio totius civitatis be?--DM, 156.

Since Peter's critic reluctantly allows that it is not impossible "an intelligible meaning might finally be discovered in this notion" or operatio prudentiæ totius civitatis, we may pass at once to the second question.\fn{5}{For the reader who may have a particular interest in this principle of the prudential operation of the City as a whole, here are a few considerations which may be helpful. First we should recall what is laid down in In I Ethic., Lect. 1, already quoted above, p. 17, n. 1. Let him note the lines: "Habet nihilominus et ipsum totum aliquam operationem, quæ non est propria alicujus partium, sed totius, puta conflictus totius exercitus. Et tractus navis est operatio multitudinis trahentium navem ... Non autem ad eamdem scientiam pertinet considerare totum quod habet solam ordinis unitatem, et partes ipsius". Hence, if there were no operation proper to the whole, there would be no distinct science of Politics. Immediately following this passage, St. Thomas gives the divisions of moral philosophy. "Et inde est, quod moralis philosophia in tres partes dividitur. Quarum prima considerat operationes unius hominis ordinatas ad finem, quæ vocatur monastica. Secunda autem considerat operationes multitudinis domesticæ, quae vocatur œconomica. Tertia autem considerat operationes multitudinis civilis, quæ vocatur politica". This should take care of the genus "operatio totius societatis". Now prudence is recta ratio agibilium. In regard to political society, there are two kinds of prudence: the one is called regnativa, that is, the prudence of the one who governs the community toward the common good; the other is called simply, politica, i.e. that prudence of the subjects governed, by which they, freely and in conformity with the government, direct their actions toward the common good.--In VI Ethic., lect. 7; IIa IIæ, q. 50, aa. 1, 2; In III Sent., d. 33, q. 3, a. 1, sol. 4. But prudence does not consist mainly in counsel and in judging what should be done, but in actually commanding what should be done.--IIa IIæ, q. 47, a. 8, c. Hence, the operatio prudentiæ totius civitatis will be the prudential operation of society as a whole, involving right reason both on the part of the governing power and of the governed. And to the degree that this is realized there is a chance that the community will enjoy what is, in Aristotelian terms, the practical felicity of the whole society.--On felicitas civitatis, see St. Thomas' own commentary In II Polit., lect. 2.} Since Father Eschmann attacks Peter's speculatio totius civitatis chiefly in connection with supernatural beatitude, we too shall confine ourselves to this application. But what we shall find is that only St. Thomas' own doctrine explains its meaning. The very letter of Peter's lesson 2 precludes an assecutio communis or "a genuine social or common act". In contemplation itself persons cannot share one another's ordination. The ultimate reason why such a thing is quite impossible must be found in the fundamental distinction between the practical and the speculative good: Intellectus practicus ordinatur ad bonum quod est extra ipsum: sed intellectus speculativus habet bonum in seipso, scilicet contemplationem veritatis.\fn{6}{Ia IIæ, q. 3, a. 5, ad 2.} In contemplation, considered as the act of the intellect, each person is more than anywhere else, suiipsius causa, as Peter explains. But the object of this act, be it noted, is not just any intelligible good, it is the very highest, the "primum et maxime intelligibile". Now, while the act of contemplation is proper to the knower, the object could not be proper to him, unless he himself were that object. Manifestly, this is out of the question; no finite intellect, not even the soul of Christ, could be thought of as adequate to the object of beatitude.\fn{7}{"... Aliquid dicitur perfectum dupliciter: absolute, et secundum quid. Perfectio quidem beatitudinis absoluta est solius Dei: quia solus ipse tantum cognoscit se et amat quantum cognoscibilis est et amabilis (infinite enim cognoscit, et amat infinitam veritatem et bonitatem suam): et quantum ad hoc, ipsum summum bonum, quod est beatitudinis objectum, et causa, non potest esse majus et minus: non enim est nisi unum summum bonum, quod est Deus. Secundum quid autem, idest secundum aliquas conditiones temporis, naturæ et gratiæ; et sic unus potest esse beatior alio secundum adeptionem hujus boni, et capacitatem uniuscujusque hominis: quia quanto homo magis est ejus capax, tanto magis participat ipsam, inquantum scilicet est melius dispositus et ordinatus ad ejus fruitionem".--In Joann., c. 14, lect. 1.}

And now we are again faced with a familiar problem: why did God in His goodness\fn{8}{We must not forget that for God the created persons are themselves operabilia, and that they have their root in divine goodness. "... Quamvis possit dici quod intueatur ea [quæ scil. tacere potest] in sua potentia, quia nihil est quod ipse non possit, tamen accommodatius dicitur quod intuetur ea in sua bonitate, quæ est finis omnium quæ ab eo fiunt".--De Ver., q. 2, a. 8, c.} and wisdom produce a manifold of intellects? The only acceptable reason is that He wished to communicate Himself abundantly, and that the communication of Himself to a single created intellect could not meet the greatness of His design. He has not chosen to manifest Himself merely to this person, but to many persons. In this respect it is the manifestation of Himself to the manifold which is His primary intention. This does not mean, however, that He manifests Himself to the manifold in such a way that, in this immediate manifestation, the many becomes, as it were one body reaching Him by an assecutio communis as opposed to assecutio singularis, for He obviously remains the object of this speculative intellect and that. But the Saints in their multitudes are not chosen by God merely that there may be a plurality. Each person in made for Him; no person is made for the other persons. He is not the good of a collectivist community. Yet He is the good of this and of that person. That He can be the good, the infinite good, of this and of that person is not accidental; it is His very nature, whether or not He makes only this person or only that. Hence, when He does make the one and the other, in no sense could He be called a common good per accidens. Yet such would be the case if the community of the divine good depended upon the existence of this and that person.

In domo Patris mei mansiones multæ sunt.\fn{9}{Jo., XIV, 2.} The many mansions represent the formal beatitude of the Blessed. But the mansions are the chambers of a single heavenly home. In the passage which follows, St. Thomas shows us how this house of God may be understood in two ways.

[a] ... Cum uniuscujusque domus sit in qua habitat, illa dicitur domus Dei in qua habitat Deus; Deus autem habitat in sanctis; Jer. xiv, vers. 9: Tu in nobis es, Domine etc. Sed in quibusdam quidem per fidem; II Cor. vi, vers. 16: Inhabitabo in illis, et inambulabo inter eos. In quibusdam vero per fruitionem perfectam; I Cor. xv, 28: Ut sit Deus omnia in omnibus. Duplex est ergo domus Dei. Una est militans Ecclesia, scilicet congregatio fidelium; I Tim. iii, 15: Ut scias quomodo oporteat te in domo Dei conversari, quæ est Ecclesia Dei vivi. Et hanc inhabitat Deus per fidem; Apoc. xxi, 3: Ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus, et habitabo in illis. Alia est triumphans, scilicet sanctorum collectio in gloria Patris; Ps. lxiv, 6: Replebimur in bonis domus tuæ. Sanctum est templum tuum, mirabile in æquitate.

[b] ... Sed domus Patris dicitur non solum illa quam ipse inhabitat, sed etiam ipsemet, quia ipse in seipso est. Et in hac domo nos colligit. Quod autem ipse Deus sit domus, habetur II Cor. v, 1: Domun habemus a Deo, non manufactam, æternam in cælis. Et hæc domus est gloriæ, quæ est ipse Deus; Jer. xvii, 12: Solium altitudinis gloriæ tuæ a principio, locus sanctificationis nostræ. Manet autem homo in hoc loco, scilicet Deo, quantum ad voluntatem et affectum per fruitionem caritatis: I Joan. iv, 16: Quia manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo: et quantum ad intellectum per notitiam veritatis; infra xvii, 17: Sanctifica eos in veritate. In hac ergo domo, idest in gloria, quæ Deus est, mansiones multæ sunt, idest diversæ participationes beatitudinis ipsius; quia qui plus cognoscit, majorem locum habebit. Diversæ ergo participationes divinæ cognitionis et fruitionis, sunt diversæ mansiones.\fn{10}{In Joann., c. 14, lect. 1.}

The mansions are mansions of the same house both in the first meaning of house and in the second, and anyone's formal beatitude is but a single mansion. God Himself dwells in each mansion, yet His dwelling in the house is more abundant than in any single chamber. It is because of the narrowness of the individual mansion that it cannot receive Him in the fullness with which He is received in the house. When He said to His disciples: Where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them, He did not mean that He is not then present to Peter as Peter, or to John as John; yet He is more fully present then to Peter and John than to either Peter or John alone. And this is the reason why, even in the present life, that is, in the house in which God dwells according to faith, if two of you shall consent upon earth concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.\fn{11}{Matth., xviii, 19-20.}

So it is in beatitude. Both Peter and John know that it is better that He be present to both together. They see the infinite greatness of God is such that, in truth, it can never be fully manifested neither to one nor the other, nor to both, nor even to all those whom He has chosen. Nor would they see God if they did not see that this goodness is incomprehensible, illimitable. They see that His indwelling in the house which is the Church, is, absolutely speaking, "eligibilior", because their viewpoint is truly divine. In seeing God, Peter sees what is greater than anything which could be his proper good for he knows that he is only Peter; he sees that God is infinitely more communicable than He is to Peter himself, and it is this infinity of goodness Peter loves, because he loves God in Himself and in that bounty which, of its very nature is diffusive of itself. For this diffusion is not what proceeds from Him, "secundum operationem causæ efficientis", it is His own goodness--"prout est beatitudinis objectum". And if there be also John to share the vision, Peter cannot fail to rejoice, because the superabundance of the divine good is his joy. And if the share of John be greater than his own, Peter will again rejoice, for the prime measure of their happiness is neither Peter nor John, but the immeasurable liberality of the divine good. Yet the one soul does not need the other, for their operation is their own; nor does the one aid the other to see, for God alone encompasses and draws them; and the very immediacy and freedom have their reason in the universality of divine truth and goodness. Even if Peter alone had been chosen, he would know that his is only a mansion in comparison with the House that is God Himself.

Now, the union between the mansions is twofold, according to the twofold meaning of the house of the Father. The first union is because of the identity of the House that is God. For, what the Blessed see and what they enjoy is the same. Et in hac domo nos colligit. This does not mean that the Blessed are present to one another in the primary object of the vision which can be nothing but God alone. Indeed their union would be infinitely less if the Deity Itself, quantum ad id quod notum est sibi soli de seipso, were not exclusively the primary object. This union is the most profound, for it is not merely an effect of the termination of the vision and love of the Blessed in the same object and good, but is founded also in the fact that the object and the good are attained and adhered to in their very universality.\fn{12}{"L'incommunicabilité des personnes dans l'acte de vision rompt-elle l'universalité del l'objet? Et l'amour que suscite cet objet, porte-il sur le bien universel comme tel, ou sur le bien pour son appropriation à la personne singulière? Et ce bien, est-il comme un bien commun inférieur dont la distribution entraine, par voie de conséquence, une division de lui-même et une particularisation où il est dû à la partie comme telle et où il perd sa raison de communauté?"--BC, 60. Bread would be an example of this lowest kind of common good. Its distribution involves division, particularisation, reduction to proper goods. Yet, in the Blessed Sacrament, under the appearances of this most tenuous form of common good, is really present the highest common good. "... Bonum commune spirituale totius Ecclesiæ continetur substantialiter in ipso Eucharistiæ sacramento".--IIIa, q. 65, a. 3, ad 1. We are reminded of the Lauda Sion: " A sumente non concisus, non confractus, non divisus: integer accipitur. Sumit unus, sumunt mille: quantum isti, tantum ille: nec sumptus consumitur ... Fracto demum sacramento, ne vacilles, sed memento tantum esse sub fragmento, quantum toto tegitur. Nulla rei fit scissura: signi tantum fit fractura, qua nec status nec statura signati minuitur". Again, we must weigh, in this connection, the words of St. Paul, I Cor. x, 17: Quoniam unus panis, unum corpus multi sumus, omnes, qui de uno pane participamus.} Hence, the union because of the identity of the object is incomparably greater than any conceivable union dependent on the Blessed themselves.

The second union of the mansions is in that house which is the Church. Christ, Who according to His divinity is the separated good of the Church, is, according to His humanity the head, the principal member and part of the Church. The mansions are strictly part of this house; the members are strictly members of this body. And in this they communicate directly among themselves extra Verbum. Yet, the ultimate principle of this communion is still the separated good, for, as we read in the Encyclical Mystici Corporis:

... In mystico, de quo agimus, Corpore conspirationi huic internum aliud adjungitur principium, quod tam in universa compage, quam in singulis ejus partibus reapse existens virtuteque pollens, talis est excellentiæ, ut ratione sui omnia unitatis vincula, quibus vel physicum vel morale corpus copuletur, in immensum prorsus evincat. Hoc est, ut supra diximus, aliquid non naturalis, sed superni ordinis, immo in semet ipso infinitum omnino atque increatum: Divinus nempe Spiritus, qui, ut ait Angelicus, "unus et idem numero, totam Ecclesiam replet et unit".\fn{13{Acta Apostolicæ Sedis, 20 Julii, 1943, p. 222. Reference to St. Thomas: De Ver., q. 29, a. 4, c.--Italics mine.}

We must note that, whether we compare the mansions to the House that is God or to the house that is the Church, in either case they are mansions, and the mansion of a house is a part. In the first comparison we have the speculatio totius civitatis as the greatest good which God has produced. Yet, we must not consider this speculatio or felicitas absolutely, that is, as the operation and inherent perfection of created persons. We must consider it in relation to its object and cause. The unity of the divine City is to be sought, not in an absolute comparison of its parts or in their interrelations, but in the identity and universality of the divine good of the City. If we merely consider the parts in their formal beatitude, the good that is common to them is common only according to predication.

And this should suffice to show what is meant by speculatio totius civitatis, and to vindicate Peter of Auvergne who, in this lesson 2 of Politics, VII, is a most faithful disciple of St. Thomas. To see that the common good of the entire heavenly city is "eligibilior", our eye must be fixed on God and on His purpose in creating and choosing, not Peter alone, but Peter and John, and all the mighty host of the Elect.

And now may I be forgiven if I set down once more a passage which Father Eschmann (DM, 147-148) has spared no effort to ridicule:

L'universalité même du bien est principe de béatitude pour la personne singulière. C'est, en effet, en raison de son universalité qu'il peut béatifier la personne singulière. Et cette communication au bien commun fonde la communication des personnes singulières entre elles extra verbum: le bien commun et tant que bien commun est la racine de cette communication qui ne serait pas possible si le bien divin n'était déjà aimé dans sa communicabilité aux autres: "præexigitur amor boni communis toti societati, quod est bonum divinum, prout est beatitudinis objectum".--BC, 31.

X
"Unusquisque Seipsum in Deum Ordinat
Sicut Pars Ordinatur ad Bonum Commune"

In large capital letters Father Eschmann repeats a text from St. Thomas: "ipse solus dirigitur in speculationis finem".--DM, 200. Let us first read the text as he reproduces it. Immediately following his question "... what in the world can speculatio totius civitatis be?", he has this:

It is exactly this notion which, most unfortunately, Professor De K. has picked out to be the cornerstone of his answer. St. Thomas speaks quite a different language:

Sicut bonum unius consistit in actione et contemplatione, ita et bonum multitudinis, secundum quod contingit multitudinem contemplationi vacare. Hoc est verum, quod ... assecutio finis quem intellectus practicus intendit, potest esse propria et communis, inquantum per intellectum practicum aliquis [!] se et alios dirigit in finem, ut patet in rectore multitudinis [!] Sed aliquis ex hoc, quod speculatur, ipse solus dirigitur in speculationis finem. Ipse autem finis intellectus speculativi tantum præeminet bono intellectus practici, quantum singularis assecutio ejus excedit communem assecutionem boni intellectus practici. Et ideo perfectissima beatitudo in intellectu speculativo consistit.\fn{1}{In footnote, Father Eschmann here gives his reference as follows, "3 Sent., d. 35, 1. 4, sol. 1 ad 2; 4 Sent., d. 49, 1. 1, sol. 3 ad 1."}

How conscientious, how realistic a thinker is young St. Thomas who wrote these passages already in or about 1255 to 1256! He, indeed, never indulges in combining his notions merely for the sake of obtaining some neat scheme, but he examines them with regard to their inner possibility and truth. In the first passage it seems to be evident that St. Thomas somehow inclines towards something like Peter of Auvergne's speculatio totius civitatis. Yet Aquinas at once checks himself by adding, with remarkable finesse: secundum quod contingit multitudinem contemplationi vacare. Is contemplation, as a genuine social or common act, possible at all? In the second text to the assecutio communis finis intellectus practici the right, personal subject is assigned, namely the rector multitudinis (cf. II-II, 47, 12). And St. Thomas now vigorously sets in relief the inner impossibility of an assecutio communis of the end of the speculative intellect. The words IPSE SOLUS DIRIGITUR IN SPECULATIONIS FINEM and the subsequent statement of the absolute pre-eminence of the SINGULARIS ASSECUTIO of the speculative good--deserve to be written as a motto at the head of a treatise of Thomistic social philosophy. And be it noted that this whole statement is the Thomistic answer to the following argumentum in contrarium which most exactly states the problem of the pretended absolute pre-eminence of the common good:

Videtur quod beatitudo magis consistat in actu intellectus practici quam speculativi. Quanto enim aliquod bonum est communius, tanto est divinius, ut patet in I Eth. Sed bonum intellectus speculativi est singulariter ejus qui speculatur. Bonum autem intellectus practici potest esse commune multorum. Ergo magis consistit beatitudo in intellectu practico quam speculativo.--DM, 156-157.

Overlooking the paper shortage a second time, we shall reproduce Father Eschmann's quotations in the context and order they have in St. Thomas. The first sentence of his first citation is taken from In III Sent., d. 35, q. 1, a. 4, sol. 1, ad 2. First let us read the objection, and then the answer:

Bonum gentis divinius est quam bonum unius. Sed vita contemplativa consistit in bono unius hominis, vita activa in bono multorum. Ergo vita activa est nobilior quam contemplativa.

Ad secundum dicendum quod sicut bonum unius consistit in actione et contemplatione; ita et bonum multitudinis, secundum quod contingit multitudinem contemplationi vacare. Sed ad bonum multitudinis pervenitur per regimen activæ vitæ; unde ex hoc non probatur quod activa sit dignior, sed utilior.

The important point about that reply is that St. Thomas does not distinguish the major. To do so would have been simple; he need only have conceded the major is true of the practical good, and denied that it applies to the speculative. But he did not do so. Why not? Father Eschmann will say that the major of the argumentum in contrarium is a dictum authenticum which, "to a medieval writer, is always true."--DM, 157-158, n. 27. We agree that in some circumstances St. Thomas will often concede a statement which he himself would not express in those terms and which, if understood in his own technical language, would mean something quite different. But it would be preposterous to believe that this caution applies here. For, if St. Thomas did not make the distinction defended by Father Eschmann, then, even from Father Eschmann's point of view, it could only be because of the "authority" of this major. Now: what accepted truth can this proposition have been thought to convey? What could it have been taken to mean? There seems no escape from the conclusion that it was understood in St. Thomas' day as meaning that the supremacy of the common good applies both to the practical and the speculative order. Not much remains, then, in the accusation that the "surprisingly radical and daring" work of providing "a new foundation of Christian ethics and moral theology" (DM, 152) by applying this principle to both the practical and the speculative, was undertaken, only toward the middle of the twentieth century.

And now let us revert to the second part of my Opponent's quotation. This time the text is complete. But he quotes first the second part of St. Thomas' reply to an objection quoted in second place, and finally, in a footnote, he produces the first part of the same reply. For the sake of convenience we will reproduce the text in its original order.

Videtur quod beatitudo magis consistat in actu intellectus practici quam speculativi. Quanto enim aliquod bonum est communius tanto est divinius, ut patet in I Ethic., cap. 1. Sed bonum intellectus speculativi est singulariter ejus qui speculatur; bonum autem intellectus practici potest esse commune multorum. Ergo magis consistit beatitudo in intellectu practico quam speculativo.

Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod bonum cui intellectus speculativus conjungitur per cognitionem, est communius bono cui conjungitur intellectus practicus, inquantum intellectus speculativus magis separatur a particulari quam intellectus practicus cujus cognitio in operatione perficitur, quæ in singularibus consistit. Sed hoc est verum quod assecutio finis, ad quem pervenit intellectus speculativus, inquantum hujusmodi, est propria assequenti; sed assecutio finis quem intellectus practicus intendit, potest esse propria et communis, inquantum per intellectum practicum aliquis se et alios dirigit in finem, ut patet in rectore multitudinis; sed aliquis ex hoc quod speculatur, ipse singulariter dirigitur in speculationis finem. Ipse autem finis intellectus speculativi tantum præeminet boni intellectus practici quantum singularis assecutio ejus excedit communem assecutionem boni intellectus practici; et ideo perfectissima beatitudo in intellectu speculativo consistit.\fn{2}{In IV Sent., d. 49, q. 1, qa 3, sol. 3.}

Again St. Thomas avoids distinguishing the major ("Quanto aliquod bonum est communius tanto est divinius"). On the contrary, he shows that the dictum authenticum applies more perfectly to the good of the speculative intellect than to that of the practical. And we must note carefully that St. Thomas calls "communius", not the good which consists in the act of the speculative intellect, but the "bonum cui intellectus speculativus conjungitur per cognitionem", and this is objective beatitude. The good of the speculative intellect as such is more common because it is formally more abstract, more separated from the singularity of the operable which involves potentiality, and hence more communicable.

His position having been plainly contradicted by the littera Sancti Thomæ, here is how Father Eschmann behaves: the embarrassing sentences are confined to a footnote, and in the footnote their meaning is also taken care of:

To understand this and similar texts (one of which is quoted by De K., p. 22)\fn{3}{The text Father Eschmann here disposes of (De Spirit. Creat., a. 8, ad 5) was quoted above, p. 209.} it must be noted, first, that the notion of common good is an analogical notion which St. Thomas has not always used in the same nor in its proper sense; and, secondly, that the Thomistic discussion of the primacy of the common good is frequently not, in the first place, a discussion of a doctrine, but of an "authority." A dictum authenticum, to a medieval writer, is always true. The only thing, therefore, that can be done about it, is to sustain it and to interpret it. A student of the Thomistic primacy of the common good must first of all know the characteristic medieval techniques of how to deal with a dictum authenticum.--DM, 157-158.

Thrusting into the back of our minds the nightmarish vision of a great doctrine degenerating into interminable historical controversies on the historical use of formulæ, we shall turn our attention to Father Eschmann's unusual notion of analogy, with which we already have some acquaintance. When an analogical notion is not being used in its proper sense, in what precise sense is it being used? The good St. Thomas speaks of is surely a good in the strict sense. There could be little doubt on this point. Father Eschmann's Latin, it is true, might allow him to object that beatitude is a good only "in a certain sense", since he could point out that St. Thomas' clear and precise littera expressly states: "beatitudo est quoddam bonum excedens naturam creatam".\fn{4}{Ia IIæ, q. 5, a. 6, c.} The very definition of beatitude ("bonum perfectum intellectualis naturæ") would be destroyed, of course, but further historical research of this kind could always manage to break down even this definition into a mere dictum authenticum.

Is St. Thomas' "bonum communius" really a common good? Not in the proper sense, Father Eschmann might reply. But this means raising a question of sophistry, for the bonum commune of the practical intellect is a common good in the strict sense, whereas the common good of the speculative intellect would be understood in an improper sense, and yet the latter is to be called "more common" than the former. Perhaps this should embarrass no one. When faced with a dictum authenticum, a sophisma æquivocationis is doubtless quite in order.

The reader will have noticed that the first proposition of the argumentum in contrarium was: "quod beatitudo magis consistat in actu intellectus practici quam speculativi". This means that, in this phrase, we have to do with formal felicity, which consists in the adeptio finis. The second part of St. Thomas' answer is also concerned with this operation and good: "Sed hoc est verum quod assecutio finis ..." The speculative assecutio is proper to the intellect of the individual person. St. Thomas now compares this assecutio singularis to the assecutio of the practical good which is outside the intellect. And this assecutio may be either singularis, or communis as in the one who directs both himself and the multitude toward the good. It is called common, not formally because of the community of the good involved (as my Opponent supposes when he defines the common good by the assecutio communis) but "inquantum per intellectum practicum aliquis se et alios dirigit in finem", which is quite a different matter.

But these distinctions are of slight importance to Father Eschmann. Just as from the fact that formal beatitude is a proper good he inferred that objective beatitude is also a proper good of the person, so now, from the assecutio singularis, that is, from the same formal beatitude, he infers, without troubling to explain how, that the good attained by this assecutio cannot be a common good.

On page 161, Father Eschmann again indulges in another historical observation. He is about to quote a text from chapter 13 of St. Thomas' opuscule De Perfectione Vitæ spiritualis. Between parentheses he makes the following remark:

(Let us note that this work was written against the pragmatism of Gerald of Abbéville whose main mistake was to have turned the relative primacy of the common good into an absolute one!)\fn{5}{I should like it understood that my remarks on such employment of "history" as this are not to be interpreted as a reflection on authentic historical research like that undertaken even on this continent, and whose quality could not be enhanced by any praise of mine.}

My Opponent's understanding of St. Thomas' words: "ipse solus dirigitur in speculationis finem", is quite obviously opposed to my central position, namely, that the intellectual creature is directed to God as a part to the good of the whole. Now, it is quite remarkable that in the very chapter Father Eschmann refers to, St. Thomas says just that. Speaking of the love of our neighbour, St. Thomas says:

[Dilectio proximi sancta dicitur] ex hoc quod ... ordinatur in Deum: sicut enim homines qui sunt unius civitatis consortes in hoc conveniunt, quod uni subduntur principi, cujus legibus gubernantur, ita et omnes homines in quantum naturaliter in beatitudinem tendunt, habent quamdam generalem convenientiam in ordine ad Deum, sicut ad summum omnium principem et beatitudinis fontem et totius justitiæ legislatorem. Considerandum est autem, quod bonum commune secundum rectam rationem est bono proprio præferendum: unde unaquæque pars naturali quodam instinctu ordinatur ad bonum totius. Cujus signum est, quod aliquis percussioni manum exponit, ut cor vel caput conservet, ex quibus totius hominis vita dependet. In prædicta autem communitate qua omnes homines in beatitudinis fine conveniunt, unusquisque homo, ut pars quædam consideratur, bonum autem commune totius est ipse Deus, in quo omnium beatitudo consistit. Sic igitur secundum rectam rationem et naturæ instinctum unusquisque seipsum in Deum ordinat sicut pars ordinatur ad bonum totius, quod quidem per charitatem perficitur, qua homo seipsum propter Deum amat. Cum igitur aliquis etiam proximum propter Deum amat, diligit eum sicut seipsum, et per hoc dilectio sancta efficitur. Unde dicitur, I Joan. iv: Hoc mandatum habemus a Deo, ut qui diligit Deum, diligat et fratrem suum.

The position Father Eschmann attacks could not be more clearly stated.

Now for the text my Opponent quotes from this same chapter of the opuscule. Immediately following the parenthesis given above he quotes:

"Proximus autem noster non est universale bonum supra nos existens, sed particulare bonum infra nos constitutum." Will Professor De K. be able to give us a fitting explanation of this "infra nos" of St. Thomas? I cannot help but think that he will not. According to the suppositions of his system he will protest (in fact, he does so, on similar occasions) that this is the "base abomination of egoism." We have no reason to recede even one iota from the clear and precise littera Sancti Thomæ. That it contains no egoism at all is clear to everyone who, with St. Thomas, knows how to distinguish between amor sui ordinatus and amor sui inordinatus.--DM, 161-162.

Does Father Eschmann mean that I hold our neighbour to be "bonum universale supra nos existens", and not "bonum particulare infra nos constitutum"? My Opponent's question reveals such "remarkable finesse" in dealing with this problem and such scrupulous care in reading my book, that I feel quite speechless. Yet, lest the reader believe I concede Father Eschmann's interpretation of this text this interpretation is unmistakably clear from his general doctrine and from his purpose in quoting it against me) I should like to add that it represents inescapably the position which I do not hesitate to qualify in those very terms he quotes from my essay.

Why should we love ourselves more than our neighbour? Obviously the reason cannot be that, absolutely speaking, we are better than our neighbour. He who would not be content to be the last to leave purgatory, to be the last in the kingdom of heaven and therefore the least of all the Blessed, would stand small chance of ever getting there. The reason why we must love ourselves more than our neighbour is not that we are better than our neighbour, but because, as St. Thomas says,

licet proximus melior sit Deo propinquior, quia tamen non est ita propinquus caritatem habenti sicut ipse sibi, non sequitur quod magis debeat aliquis proximum quam seipsum diligere.\fn{6}{IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 4, ad 1.}

It is essential for each one of us to realize in a most practical manner that certainly many, and possibly every one of our neighbours is better than our own person, and by "better" I mean better in the eyes of God and more lovable to Him. If we cannot love them according to their own, absolute amiability, it is because we cannot love them as God loves them.\fn{7}{In connection with St. Thomas' doctrine on humility, it might be well to ponder the following words. "... Aliquis absque falsitate potest se credere et pronuntiare omnibus viliorem, (Regula S. Benedicti) secundum defectus occultos quos in se recognoscit, et dona Dei quæ in aliis latent. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Virginit.: Existimate aliquos in occulto superiores, quibus estis in manifesto meliores".--IIa IIæ, q. 161, a. 6, ad 1.}

In the same article 4 (IIa IIæ, q. 26) St. Thomas adds something which, according to Father Eschmann, would be in open contradiction with the passage we have just quoted:

Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in Regula, quod dicitur, Caritas non quærit quæ sua sunt, sic intelligitur quia communia propriis anteponit. Semper autem commune bonum est magis amabile unicuique quam proprium bonum: sicut etiam ipsi parti est magis amabile bonum totius quam bonum partiale sui ipsius, ut dictum est. (Scil. a. 3)\fn{8}{"... Secundum ea quæ pertinent proprie ad propriam personam alicujus, plus debet exhibere dilectionis effectum parentibus quam extraneis; nisi forte in quantum in bono alicujus extranei penderet bonum commune, quod etiam sibi ipsi imponere quisque debet; ut cum aliquis seipsum periculo mortis exponit, ad salvandum in bello ducem exercitus, vel in civitate principem civitatis, in quantum ex eis dependet salus totius communitatis. Sed secundum ea quæ pertinent ad aliquid ratione alicujus adjuncti, utpote in quantum est civis vel miles, plus debet obedire rectori civitatis, vel duci, quam patri".--De Carit., a. 9, ad 15.}

Since Father Eschmann expressly maintains that my understanding of the primacy of the common good is something unheard of in "Christian ethics and theology", something "surprisingly radical and daring", I might quote an opinion of a seventeenth century theologian, perhaps the last of the greater disciples of St. Thomas:

Post Deum autem, unusquisque magis diligit se, quam proximum, debet enim diligere alios, sicut seipsum, unde ipsemet est quasi exemplar primum et diligendorum, quia se ut participem gloriæ divinæ, alios ut socios in participando. Excipio tamen Christum Dominum, etiam ut hominem, et Beatissimam Virginem matrem, eo quod participant quamdam rationem principii communicantis nobis gratiam, et beatitudinem, est enim Christus ut homo caput gloriæ, et Beatissima Virgo mater capitis, et collum per quod derivatur gratia, et ideo magis debemus ipsos diligere, quam nos.\fn{9}{John of St. Thomas, Curs. theol., ed. Vivès, t. VII, q. 23, p. 403.}

XI
"Civitas Homini, Non Homo Civitati Existit"

At the very beginning of his article, Father Eschmann quoted (DM, 137-138) a passage from the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris. The line most relevant to our problem is the following: Civitas homini, non homo Civitati existit. My Opponent's reader is, presumably, to understand that this text implies a negation of the primacy of the common good. The application is apparently so inevitable that Father Eschmann does not feel obliged to inform the reader that I had answered a current objection drawn from this very text.--BC, 62-65. It is surely clear, even from my Opponent's own paper, that I hold God to be the supreme common good. At the same time, quite inexplicably, Father Eschmann will speak as if I held the supreme common good, to which all else must be subordinated, was none other than the common good of mere political society. So again, in the section of his article we are now examining, we find him making this same implication. When, because of an emergency, the contemplative are called upon to share more fully in the active life, why do they obey?--my Opponent asks.

Is it because they have been enjoying the dulcedo contemplationis as parts of the community, and thus, already, in subordination to its interests and laws?--DM, 160.

I do not think that at this stage, it will be necessary to comment upon the above statement. We already know how freely Father Eschmann skips from one order to the other, as if the notion of common good were a univocal one. We have learned that his common good is a strange thing indeed: an efficient cause: an object of the practical intellect; and now, after the admission that there is a respect in which God is "a common good properly speaking", (DM, 152) we learn that the common good "is essentially a bonum utile, the highest bonum utile, but nothing more".--DM, 160. May we be pardoned if we cannot help murmuring like another: "Would it not be desirable than an author who uses traditional notions knew exactly what they mean?"--DM, 142, n. 12.

The main reason why many a personalist has been irked by my essay is that it took him off-guard. Instead of discussing the problem in terms of "person" and "society", I approach it in the fundamental terms of "proper good" and "common good". Ultimately, person and society are not to be judged by what they are absolutely, but by what is their perfection, i.e. by what is their good; that is the only way in which Aristotle and St. Thomas ever discussed this problem. To look upon the absolute comparison of person and society as the most basic consideration is distinctly modern. It is also distinctly modern to accord absolute priority to the subject and to believe, with Spinoza (who, in this respect, follows in the footsteps of David of Dinant) that "to be absolutely" is "to be good absolutely", i.e. that "ens simpliciter" is "bonum simpliciter".\fn{1}{"... Sicut ens est quoddam essentiale, et quoddam accidentale; ita et bonum quoddam essentiale, et quoddam accidentale: et eodem modo amittit aliquis bonitatem sicut esse substantiale et accidentale".--De Ver., q. 21, a. 1, ad 6. "Sicut ens multiplicatur per substantiale et accidentale, sic bonitas multiplicatur; sed tamen inter utrumque differt. Quia aliquid dicitur ens esse absolute propter suum esse substantiale, sed propter esse accidentale non dicitur esse absolute: unde cum generatio sit motus ad esse; cum aliquis accipit esse substantiale, dicitur generari simpliciter; cum vero accipit esse accidentale, dicitur generari secundum quid; et similiter est de corruptione, per quam esse amittitur. De bono autem est e converso. Nam secundum substantialem bonitatem dicitur aliquid bonum secundum quid, secundum vero accidentalem dicitur aliquid bonum simpliciter: unde hominem injustum non dicimus bonum simpliciter, sed secundum quid, in quantum est homo; hominem vero justum dicimus simpliciter bonum. Cujus diversitatis ista est ratio. Nam unumquodque dicitur esse ens in quantum absolute consideratur: bonum vero, ut ex dictis. art. 1, ad 6 argum., patet. secundum respectum ad alia. In seipso autem aliquid perficitur ut subsistat per essentialia principia: sed ut debito modo se habeat ad omnia quæ sunt extra ipsum, non perficitur nisi mediantibus accidentibus superadditis essentiæ; quia operationes quibus unum alteri conjungitur, ab essentia mediantibus virtutibus essentiæ superadditis progrediuntur: unde absolute bonitatem non obtinet nisi secundum quod completum est secundum substantialia et secundum accidentalia principia. Quidquid autem creatura perfectionis habet ex essentialibus et accidentalibus principiis simul conjunctis, hoc totum Deus habet per unum suum esse simplex: simplex enim ejus essentia est ejus sapientia et justitia et fortitudo, et omnia hujusmodi, quæ in nobis sunt essentiæ superaddita. Et ideo ipsa absoluta bonitas in Deo idem est quod ejus essentia: in nobis autem consideratur secundum ea quæ superadduntur essentiæ. Et pro tanto bonitas completa vel absoluta in nobis et augetur et minuitur et totaliter aufertur, non autem in Deo: quamvis substantialis bonitas in nobis semper maneat".--Ibid., a. 5, c. For other references, see above, p. 252, n. 1.} From this identification it follows quite logically: "Per finem, cujus gratia aliquid facimus, appetitum intelligo".\fn{2}{Spinoza, Ethica. pars IV, def. VII.--"Per virtutem et potentiam idem intelligo; hoc est (per Prop. 7, p. III), virtus quatenus ad hominem refertur, est ipsa hominis essentia seu natura, quatenus potestatem habet quædam efficiendi, quæ per solas ipsius naturæ leges possunt intelligi".--Ibid., def. viii.--"Causa autem, quæ finalis dicitur, nihil est præter ipsum humanum appetitum, quatenus is alicujus rei veluti principium seu causa primaria consideratur. Ex. gr. cum dicimus habitationem causam fuisse finalem hujus aut illius domus, nihil tum sane intelligimus aliud, quam quod homo ex eo, quod vitæ domesticæ commoda imaginatus est, appetitum habuit ædificandi domum. Quare habitatio, quatenus ut finalis causa consideratur, nihil est præter hunc singularem appetitum, qui revera causa est efficiens, quæ ut prima consideratur, quia homines suorum appetituum causas communiter ignorant".--Ibid., præfatio.} Finis cui becomes finis qui. From such a point of view, the problem of person and society quite naturally becomes the question: is the person better than society? instead of: is the proper good of the person better than his common good? When the problem itself has been so distorted, what can be expected in the solution?

The totalitarian solution is that the individual person is ordered and subjected to society. We are inclined, in rejecting this doctrine, to swing to the opposite extreme; but if we prescind from the common good of the persons which is the final, and therefore first cause of society, we are left with a mere aggregate of individuals. Now, in this formal consideration, each and every one of that group could never be more than an alter ego,\fn{3}{I will quote again a passage from the series of articles on The theory of Democracy by M. J. Adler and Father Walter Farrell: "... The intentions of natural justice are selfish. They do not regard the good of another man as such, but only as a part of the community which must be preserved for one's own good. Now just as natural justice and natural love are selfish, so neither is heroic. Neither leads men to martyrdom. Though natural love is less selfish than justice, in that it involves some genuine forgetfulness of self, and though natural love, unlike justice, impels men to the generosity of sacrifice, it remains, nevertheless, on the plane of imperfect action, in which the agent always seeks to perfect himself as well as another, and in fact regards the other as an extension of self--as an alter ego".--The Thomist, vol IV, April, 1942, n. 2, pp. 329-330. As I pointed out in my book (Appendice II, p. 129ff.), these authors are at least consistent; they have the candour and courage to go the full distance. "... With respect to the common good, it is necessary to reject as false [italics theirs] all the passages in which St. Thomas declares that the common good is supreme in the natural, temporal order; or, if this is not a fair interpretation of all those texts in which St. Thomas says that the common good takes precedence over the individual good because the good of the whole is greater than the good of its parts, then we must at least reject this false interpretation of what St. Thomas seems to say, even though it has prevailed among his commentators and followers to this day".--Ibid., pp. 336-337.} and the group itself could never be more than an aggregate, a mere unum coacervatione of alter ego's. Hence, in this perspective, the whole question of our relation to the common good and to our particular good becomes a problem entirely different from that over which the battle has raged until now, resolving itself into the simple question: must one love oneself more than one's neighbour? There is not the slightest doubt that we must love ourselves more. Even Aristotle expressly taught this fundamental truth. Indeed, St. Thomas used the Philosopher's doctrine for an objection against the primacy of the common good, which was reproduced by me:

On pourrait, tout en s'appuyant sur le Philosophe (IX Ethic., cc. 4 et 8), pousser plus loin l'objection: "Les témoignages d'amitié que l'on rend aux autres ne sont que des témoignages d'amitié rendus à soi-même".--A cette objection saint Thomas répond "que le Philosophe parle ici des témoignages d'amitié rendus à un autre chez qui le bien qui est objet de l'amitié se trouve selon un certain mode particulier: il ne parle pas des témoignages d'amitié rendus à un autre chez qui le bien en question se trouve sous la raison de bien du tout".--BC, 56.\fn{4}{The original was quoted above, p. 237-238.}

To love our neighbour more than ourselves would be contrary to nature, since we are more one with ourselves than with our neighbour.\fn{5}{IIa IIæ, q. 26, a. 4, c.--"... Unitate naturæ nihil est magis unum quam nos; sed unitate affectus, cujus objectum est bonum, summe bonum debet esse magis nobis unum quam nos".--De Carit., a. 9, ad 7.} Nor is there any doubt that for the very same reason we must love ourselves more than any society so considered. Only God, Christ even as man, and Mary who as truly universal sources dispense to us the divine good, can be loved by us more than ourselves.

Throughout my essay I repeatedly called attention to the simplistic confusion of these two problems: in fact, it was written mainly to dissipate the false assumption that the common good is an alien good, that is, either a personal good of our neighbour or the sum total of proper goods. When we state the fundamental problem in terms of person and society, it is quite natural that the subordination of the personal good to the common good should be interpreted as the collectivist and totalitarian subjection of the individual to the mass. But the truth is, as I sought to explain in the third chapter of my essay, that personalism and totalitarianism proceed from the same assumption.--BC, 65-71. When we say, in opposition to the personalists, that the individual person is subordinated to society, we do not mean, as they would have us mean, that the person and his proper good are subordinated to society considered absolutely, that is, to a mere aggregate of proper goods in which no aspect of a real common good is to be seen. We mean that, within a given order, the good of the individual person is subordinated to the common good of the community. If the political community has the right to execute a criminal citizen, it is not formally because it represents a number of persons, but rather "ut bonum commune conservetur".\fn{6}{IIa IIæ, q. 64, a. 2.} The condemned man does not become the victim of mob violence; he is destroyed because he has proved a responsible menace to the common good.

The reader can now see that Father Eschmann does not seem to be aware of the real problem, and therefore can easily impose upon me the ignominious positions which follow from his own misunderstandings. The very opening paragraph of my book was:

La société humaine est faite pour l'homme. Toute doctrine politique qui ignore la nature raisonnable de l'homme, qui nie, par conséquent, sa dignité et sa liberté, est viciée à la racine et soumet l'homme à des conditions inhumaines. C'est donc à bon droit qu'on s'insurge contre les doctrines totalitaires au nom de la dignité de l'homme.--BC, 11.}

And on the following page I said:

On peut à la fois affirmer la dignité de la personne et être en fort mauvaise compagnie. Suffirait-il d'exalter la primauté du bien commun? Non plus. Les régimes totalitaires saisissent le bien commun comme prétexte pour asservir les personnes de la façla;on la plus ignoble. Comparée à l'esclavage ou ils menacent de nous soumettre, la servitude des bêtes est liberté. Commettrons-nous la l{\acircumflex}cheté de concéder au totalitarisme ce pervertissement du bien commun et de sa primauté?}

If no more than Father Eschmann's misunderstandings and accusations were at stake, we should have had little to reply; but when he invokes "the clear and precise littera Sancti Thomæ" in support of a doctrine which, as far as we can see, is indistinguishable from the amor sui inordinatus, we must surely consider it a duty to rally to the defence of true Thomistic principles. Let it be added at once that we have no right to assume that Father Eschmann is conscious of all the implications of his position. And that this should be so is the more understandable because of the fact that his viewpoint, even as regards the primary notion of the good, is the modern one. It is not easy to escape erroneous tendencies when they are those of the age in which we actually live. Intus existens prohibet extraneum.

And now let us return to the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris. Pius XI precisely denounces the totalitarian conception of person and society. In the very next phrase he adds (and Father Eschmann himself quotes the passage):

Id tamen non ita intelligendum est, quemadmodum ob suam individualismi doctrinam Liberales, quos vocant, asserverant; qui quidem communitatem immoderatis singulorum commodis inservire jubent: ...\fn{7}{Acta Apost. Sedis. 31 Martii 1937, p. 79.}

Since my Opponent has so discreetly overlooked my answer to the objection drawn from this text, I will reproduce it in full.

"La cité existe pour l'homme, l'homme n'existe pas pour la cité".

Pour convertir ce texte en objection contre notre position, il faudrait le traduire: "Le bien commun de la cité existe pour le bien privé de l'homme". Nous pourrions, alors, citer le suite immédiate de ce même texte: "Ce qui ne veut point dire, comme le comprend le libéralisme individualiste, que la société est subordonnée à l'utilité égoïste de l'individu".

La cité existe pour l'homme. Cela doit s'entendre de deux manières. Premièrement, la cité, quand nous l'envisageons comme organisation en vue du bien commun, doit être entièrement soumise à ce bien en tant qu'il est commun. Envisagée sous ce rapport, elle n'a d'autre raison d'être que le bien commun. Or, ce bien commun lui-même est pour les membres de la société: non pas pour leur bien privé comme tel; il est pour les membres en tant que bien commun. Et, comme il s'agit d'un bien commun de natures raisonnables, il doit être conforme à la raison, il doit regarder les natures raisonnables en tant qu'elles sont raisonnables. La cité n'est pas, ou ne peut pas être, un 'pour soi' figé et refermé sur soi, opposé comme un singulier à d'autres singuliers: son bien doit être identiquement le bien de ses membres. Si le bien commun était le bien de cité en tant que celle-ci est, sous un rapport accidentel, une sorte d'individu, il serait du coup bien particulier et proprement étranger aux membres de la société. Il faudrait même accorder à l'organisation ainsi ravie à ses membres, intelligence et volonté. La cité serait alors comme un tyran anonyme qui s'assujettit l'homme. L'homme serait pour la cité. Ce bien ne serait ni commun ni bien de natures raisonnables. L'homme serait soumis à un bien étranger.--Deuxièmement, la cité, comme le bien commun de la cité, est pour l'homme en tant que celui-ci comprend des formalités qui l'ordonnent à des biens communs supérieurs, formalités qui sont, dans l'homme, supérieures à celle qui l'ordonne au bien commun de la cité. Or, l'identité du sujet de ces diverses formalités peut prêter à confusion. Le bien privé et le bien commun sont l'un et l'autre biens de l'homme. Et pourtant, tout bien de l'homme n'est pas bien de l'homme purement homme. Le Bien de l'homme purement homme, d'après sens que lui accorde saint Thomas dans les textes déjà cités, n'est autre chose que le bien qui lui convient en raison de l'individu. Le bien commun ne peut jamais être subordonné à cet homme purement homme. La formalité 'homme purement homme' ne peut pas être identifiée à la formalité 'citoyen', comme elle ne peut l'être au sujet 'homme'. Dès lors, quand nous disons un bien commun subordonné à l'homme, ce ne peut être qu'en raison d'une formalité qui regarde un bien commun supérieur. Seul le bien commun le plus parfait ne peut être subordonné à l'homme.

De plus, quand nous disons que le bien commun ne peut jamais être considéré comme une pure extension du bien de l'homme dans la ligne de son bien singulier, en sorte que le bien commun ne serait qu'un détour pour rejoindre le bien singulier, nous n'entendons pas par là que le bien singulier est méprisable, qu'il est néant, qu'il ne doit pas être respecté ou qu'il n'est pas en lui-même respectable. Cependant, un respect plus grand est dû à la personne quand nous envisageons celle-ci dans son ordination au bien commun. Même le bien singulier de la personne est meilleur quand nous le considérons comme ordonné au bien commun de la personne. Du reste, une cité qui ne respecte pas le bien privé ou le bien des familles, agit contrairement au bien commun. De même que l'intelligence dépend du sens bien disposé, ainsi le bien de la cité dépend de l'intégrité de la famille et de ses membres. Et de même qu'une nature sensible bien soumise à la raison est plus parfaite dans la ligne même de la nature sensible, de même, dans une cité bien ordonnée, le bien singulier de l'individu et le bien commun de la famille doivent être plus parfaitement réalisés et assurés. Cependant, si le bien commun de la cité était subordonné à ces derniers, il ne serait pas leur bien commun et l'homme serait privé de son bien temporel le plus grand; la cité ne serait pas cité. Elle serait comme une intelligence subordonnée au sens et réduite à la condition d'instrument pour le bien privé.--BC, 62-65.

The following objection and answer are related to the same problem:

"... L'homme n'est pas ordonné à la société politique selon tout lui-mème et tout ce qui est sien".\fn{8}{"... Homo non ordinatur ad communitatem politicam secundum se totum, et secundum omnia sua ..." Ia IIæ, q. 21, a. 4, ad 3.}

On a voulu conclure de ce texte isolé que la société politique est en dernière instance subordonnée à la personne singulière prise comme telle. Et quiconque ose contredire cette grossière inférence tournée en faveur du personnalisme, se fait traiter de totalitaire. Or, ainsi que nous l'avons vu, il est contraire à la nature même du bien commun d'être, comme tel, subordonné à un singulier, à moins que ce singulier n'ait lui-même raison de bien commun. Saint Thomas veut dire seulement que l'homme n'est pas ordonné à la seule société politique. Il n'est pas selon tout lui-même partie de la société politique, puisque le bien commun de celle-ci n'est qu'un bien commun subordonné. L'homme est ordonné à cette sociéte en tant que citoyen seulement. Bien que l'homme, l'individu, le membre de famille, le citoyen civil, le citoyen céleste, etc., soient le même sujet, ils sont formellement différents. Le totalitarisme identifie la formalité homme à la formalité citoyen. Pour nous, au contraire, non seulement ces formalités sont distinctes, mais elles sont subordonnées les unes aux autres selon l'ordre même des biens. Or, c'est l'ordre des biens, causes finales et premières, et non pas l'homme purement homme, qui est principe de l'ordre de ces formalités d'un même sujet. Le personnalisme renverse cet ordre des biens: il accorde le plus grand bien à la formalité la plus inférieure de l'homme. Ce que les personnalistes entendent par personne, c'est, en vérité, ce que nous entendons par pur individu, tout matériel et substantiel enfermé en soi, et ils réduisent la nature raisonnable à la nature sensible qui a pour objet le bien privé.

L'homme ne peut pas s'ordonner au seul bien de la société politique; il doit s'ordonner au bien du tout parfaitement universel, auquel tout bien commun inférieur doit être expressément ordonné. Le bien commun de la société politique doit être expressément ordonné à Dieu, tant par le citoyen-chef que par le citoyen-partie, chacun à sa manière. Ce bien commun demande, lui-même, cette ordination. Sans cette ordination expresse et publique, la société dégénère en Etat figé et refermé sur soi.--BC, 61-62.}

XII
The Private Law of the Holy Ghost

There remains one more objection deserving of our attention before we enter upon the final chapter of this article. This argument against our doctrine while hardly formidable in itself, makes a vivid appeal to one's piety and so has its danger for the person who may not have the leisure to examine it thoroughly. For the principle which inspires it Father Eschmann turns to the Canon Urbani:

To use (and extend) the language of an old and venerable papal document of the eleventh century, the so-called Canon Urbani--a document which has played an important role in the medieval canonist and theological discussions of our problem\fn{1}{In a footnote, Father Eschmann here refers to: Corpus Iuris Canonici, C. 19, Q. 2, c. 1: Ed. Lips. sec. (Friedberg), vol. I, col. 839f., and to his own paper: Bonum commune melius est quam bonum unius. Eine Studie ueber den Wertvorrang des Personalen bei Thomas von Aquin, Mediæval Studies, Toronto, vol. VI, 1944, pp. 62-120. His specific reference is to pp. 100ff., namely section IV: Das "Privileg des Heiligen Geistes" und der Thomistische Begriff des Personalen. He also refers to his rather incomplete and disorderly Glossary (Mediæval Studies, V, 1943, pp. 142ff.) as "A complete collection of the Thomistic texts regarding the dictum authenticum of the complete collection of the Thomistic texts regarding the dictum authenticum of the relative primacy of a common good ..." (DM, 201). A much more complete group of texts will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Laval théologique et philosophique.}--it is not the personalist contention that nobody dare resist the caprices of any given individual person, of Tom, Dick and Harry, but that nobody dare resist the Holy Ghost (Act. 7:51).--DM, 167.

We shall examine the actual words of the document in a moment or two; for the present let us merely note that from it our Opponent draws an argument based on the supremacy of the law of the Holy Ghost as written in the heart of the individual person, over any possible public law.

The whole objection then, turns on the notion of law, and yet reveals a curious failure to grasp what is most fundamental in that notion. Indeed we have only to bring our Opponent to admit that this private law of the Holy Ghost is truly a law to quite destroy his reasoning. For if it be true law, it must have what is essential to any law (meaning simply that without which no law would be a law); and St. Thomas most uncompromisingly tells us that this "nihil est aliud quam quædam rationis ordinatio ad bonum commune, ab eo qui curam communitatis habet, promulgata".\fn{2}{Ia IIæ, q. 90, a. 4, c.} If the private law of the Holy Ghost is a law, then, like any other law, it is a rationis ordinatio ad bonum commune.

Since any law "proprie, primo et principaliter respicit ordinem ad bonum commune"\fn{3}{Ibid., a. 3, c.} my Opponent could hardly have chosen a better example to defeat his own position. How untenable his position is might be best shown by reference to the second article of Ia IIæ, q. 90, which answers the question: Utrum lex ordinetur semper ad bonum commune. The whole article places us right in the middle of our problem. If anyone entertained the slightest doubt as the strict meaning of the bonum commune which is the end of the law, he may read in the reply to the second objection that St. Thomas means "bonum commune, non quidem communitate generis vel speciei, sed communitate causæ finalis, secundum quod bonum commune dicitur finis communis". Here is the body of the article:

Respondeo dicendum quod ... lex pertinet ad id quod est principium humanorum actuum, ex eo quod est regula et mensura. Sicut autem ratio est principium humanorum actuum, ita etiam in ipsa ratione est aliquid quod est principium respectu omnium aliorum. Unde ad hoc oportet quod principaliter et maxime pertineat lex.--Primum autem principium in operativis, quorum est ratio practica, est finis ultimus. Est autem ultimus finis humanæ vitæ felicitas vel beatitudo, ut supra habitum est. Unde oportet quod lex maxime respiciat ordinem qui est in beatitudinem.--Rursus, cum omnis pars ordinetur ad totum sicut imperfectum ad perfectum; unus autem homo est pars communitatis perfectæ: necesse est quod lex proprie respiciat ordinem ad felicitatem communem. Unde et Philosophus, in præmissa definitione legalium, mentionem facit et de felicitate et communione politica. Dicit enim, in V Ethic., quod legalia justa dicimus factiva et conservativa felicitatis et particularum ipsius, politica communicatione: perfecta enim communitas civitas est, ut dicitur in I Polit.

In quolibet autem genere id quod maxime dicitur, est principium aliorum, et alia dicuntur secundum ordinem ad ipsum: sicut ignis, qui est maxime calidus, est causa caliditatis in corporibus mixtis, quæ intantum dicuntur calida, inquantum participant de igne. Unde oportet quod, cum lex maxime dicatur secundum ordinem ad bonum commune, quodcumque aliud præceptum de particulari opere non habeat rationem legis nisi secundum ordinem ad bonum commune. Et ideo omnis lex ad bonum commune ordinatur.

To the central doctrine conveyed in these words we may add the main divisions of law laid down by St. Thomas in this same treatise, before proceeding to the actual document which our Adversary has invoked. By the eternal law St. Thomas means "ipsa ratio gubernationis rerum in Deo sicut in principe universitatis existens",\fn{4}{Ibid., q. 91, a. 1, c.} and the end of this divine government is "ipse Deus, nec ejus lex est aliud ab ipso".\fn{5}{Ibid., ad 3.} The natural law is a "participatio legis æternæ in rationali creatura".\fn{6}{Ibid., a. 2, c.} Now, since the precepts of natural law are very general--e.g. commit no evil, whereas action is in the singular, human reason must derive more particular directives from these naturally known principles, either by way of conclusion--e.g. one must not kill, or by way of further determination, e.g. life imprisonment for murder. Such conclusions or determinations constitute human law.\fn{7}{Ia IIæ, q. 91, a. 3; q. 95, a. 2--It should be noted, however, that the conclusions "habent etiam aliquid vigoris ex lege naturali", whereas the mere determinations "ex sola lege humana vigorem habent".--Ibid., q. 95, a. 2, c. The reader will observe that the instance of a lex publica (which is of course a human law) given by the Canon Urbani belongs to the latter kind of human law.} But because man is ordained to a supernatural end, "ideo superadditur lex divinitus data, per quam lex æterna participatur altiori modo".\fn{8}{Ibid., q. 91, a. 4, ad 1.} Finally, when a human law is contrary to human good, it does not bind in conscience, "nisi forte propter vitandum scandalum vel turbationem, propter quod etiam homo juri suo debet cedere....";\fn{9}{Ibid., q. 96, a. 4, c.} when opposed to the divine good, however, "nullo modo licet observare: quia sicut dicitur Act. v, obedire oportet Deo magis quam hominibus".\fn{10}{Ibid.}

Now, what does the Canon Urbani mean by the private law of the Holy Ghost? Let us look into the text as Father Eschmann himself quotes it:\fn{11}{Art. cit., p. 101.}

Duæ sunt, inquit (i.e. Urbanus Papa), leges: una publica, altera priuata. Publica lex est, que a sanctis Patribus scriptis est confirmata, ut lex est canonum, que quidem propter transgressiones est tradita. Verbi gratia: Decretum est in canonibus, clericum non debere de suo episcopatu ad alium transire sine commendatitiis litteris sui episcopi, quod propter criminosos constitutum est, ne uidelicet infames ab aliquo episcopo suscipiantur personæ. Solebant enim offitia sua, cum non in suo episcopatu poterant, in alio celebrare, quod iure preceptis et scriptis detestatum est. 1. Lex uero priuata est, que instinctu S. Spiritus in corde scribitur, sicut de quibusdam dicit Apostolus: "Qui habent legem Dei scriptam in cordibus suis." et alibi: "Cum gentes legem non habeant, si naturaliter ea, que legis sunt, faciunt, ipsi sibi sunt lex." Si quis horum in ecclesia sua sub episcopo populum retinet, et seculariter uiuit, si afflatus Spiritu sancto in aliquo monasterio uel regulari canonica salvare se (Variante: salvari se) sancto in aliquo monasterio uel regulari canonica salvare se (Variante: salvari se) uoluerit, quia (Variante: qui enim) lege priuata ducitur, nulla ratio exigit, ut a publica lege constringatur. Dignior est enim lex priuata quam publica. Spiritus quidem Dei lex est, et qui Spiritu Dei aguntur lege Dei ducuntur; et quis est, qui possit sancto Spiritui digne resistere? Quisquis igitur hoc Spiritu ducitur, etiam episcopo suo contradicente, eat liber nostra auctoritate. Iusto enim lex non est posita, sed ubi Spiritus Dei, ibi libertas, et si Spiritu Dei ducimini, non estis sub lege.

If this text is to furnish an argument against the primacy of the common good, it can only be on condition public law is taken to mean a law which is ordained to the common good, whereas the private law of the Holy Ghost would be that ordained to the private good. Such an interpretation seems inconceivable and yet if it be not that which my Opponent intends, what possible alternative can he find? Father Eschmann seems to have discovered an entirely new kind of law--a law which is neither eternal, nor natural, nor human, nor divine, nor even law in any strict sense of the word; it is an entity resembling, perhaps, his "quoddam bonum commune".

St. Thomas, like Pope Urban himself, has a quite different understanding of the distinction between public law and the private law of the Holy Ghost. In article 5 (Utrum omnes subjiciantur legi), q. 96, he formulates the following objection:

2. Præterea, Urbanus Papa dicit, et habetur in Decretis, XIX, qu. ii: Qui lege privata ducitur, nulla ratio exigit ut publica constringatur. Lege autem privata Spiritus Sancti ducuntur omnes viri spirituales, qui sunt filii Dei; secundum illud Rom. viii: Qui Spiritu Dei aguntur, hi filii Dei sunt. Ergo non omnes homines legi humanæ subjiciuntur.

His reply is:

Ad secundum dicendum quod lex Spiritus Sancti est superior omni lege humanitus posita. Et ideo viri spirituales, secundum hoc quod lege Spiritus Sancti ducuntur, non subduntur legi, quantum ad ea quæ repugnant ductioni Spiritus Sancti. Sed tamen hoc ipsum est de ductu Spiritus Sancti, quod homines spirituales legibus humanis subdantur; secundum illud I Pet. ii: Subjecti estote omni humanæ creaturæ, propter Deum.

In formulating this objection, Father Eschmann seems to have been under the impression that my obsession with the common good was such as to lead me to teach that the person, in his subjection to an inferior good, may obey a law which is opposed to the divine good. It is this which compels me to recall a rather lengthy paragraph from my essay:

On pourrait encore objecter que si la dignité de la créature raisonnable est liée à sa subordination à Dieu d'où la personne tient tout ce qu'elle est, sa dignité n'est pas liée à sa subordination à d'autres fins si supérieures soient-elles. Dès lors, cette dignité est antérieure à toute subordination autre qu'à Dieu, et indépendante de l'ordre dans les choses créées. En effet, "quand le bien propre d'un être est subordonné à plusieurs biens supérieurs, l'agent doué de volonté est libre de sortir de l'ordre qui se rattache à l'un de ces êtres supérieurs et de rester dans l'ordre qui se termine à un autre, que ce dernier soit plus ou moins élevé".\fn{12}{"Considerandum est etiam quod, cum proprium alicujus bonum habet ordinem ad plura superiora, liberum est volenti ut ab ordine alicujus superiorum recedat et alterius ordinem non derelinquat, sive sit superior sive inferior".--Contra Gentes, III, c. 109.}--A cela nous répondons que quand un agent doué de volonté doit subordonner son bien propre à un bien créé supérieur, ce ne peut être qu'en tant que celui-ci est lui-même conforme à l'ordre divin. Dès lors, quand l'inférieur doit se soustraire à ce qui lui est supérieur, c'est que ce supérieur s'est écarté de l'ordre où il devait lui-même se tenir. Mais, tant que ce supérieur se tient dans l'ordre, il est un bien supérieur auquel l'inférieur doit se soumettre. "Par exemple, le soldat qui est soumis au roi et au général de l'armée peut subordonner sa volonté au bien du général et non à celui du roi, et inversement; mais dans le cas où le général transgresserait l'ordre donné par le roi, la volonté du soldat serait bonne, s'il la détachait de la volonté du général pour la soumettre au roi; elle serait mauvaise s'il exécutait la volonté du général contrairement à la volonté du roi; car l'ordre d'un principe inférieur dépend de l'ordre du principe supéricur".\fn{13}{"Sicut miles, qui ordinatur sub rege et sub duce exercitus, potest voluntatem suam ordinare in bonum ducis et non regis, aut e converso. Sed si dux ab ordine regis recedat, bona erit voluntas militis recedentis a voluntate ducis et dirigentis voluntatem suam in regem, mala autem voluntas militis sequentis voluntatem ducis contra regis: ordo enim inferioris principii dependet ab ordine superioris".--Ibid.} Toutefois, "il y aurait péché dans les substances séparées si quelqu'une d'un rang inférieur sortait de l'ordre d'une substance supérieure qui reste soumise à l'ordre divin". Dès lors, la révolte de l'inférieur contre un supérieur insoumis est une révolte contre le désordre.--BC, 46-47.}

XIII
"... The Term 'Personalism'
(In Itself, No Doubt, a Bad One) ..."

Some people call themselves personalists but, when one brings to their attention what that term usually emphasizes, they will hasten to add that they do not mean it in such a sense. In their special acceptance of it, the term may represent nothing objectionable, but it is doubtful if that be enough to justify its common use. In a certain class of Catholic writers there has appeared a tendency to effect something like a theft of the adversary's thunder by using his own vocabulary in applications which, in the end, turn out to be quite different from the impositions given them in the original.\fn{1}{Thus we have our own doctrinal "Humanism". "Liberalism", "Naturalism", and even "Catholic Communism" has been suggested. Father Eschmann himself states that the term "personalism" is, "in itself, no doubt, a bad one"; that it must be "purged of the connotations it has through its sources in modern philosophy".--DM, 168-169. On this subject, Cardinal Villeneuve says, in the Preface to BC, 2-3: "Présentement, c'est le personnalisme qui est devenu à la mode. Des esprits très sincères le préconisent. On exalte la dignité de la personne humaine, on veut le respect de la personne, on écrit pour un ordre personnaliste, on travaille à créer une civilisation qui serait pour l'homme.... Tout cela est très bien, mais trop court, car la personne, l'homme, n'est pas sa fin à elle-même ni la tin de tout. Elle a Dieu pour fin, et à vouloir emprunter le langage des autres, même quand on parait le corriger par l'envoûtement des meilleurs des adjectifs (n'est-on pas allé jusqu'à parler du "matérialisme dialectique d'Aristote et de saint Thomas" pour désigner leur doctrine naturelle?), même si on n'exclut pas les sous-entendus que suppose l'orthodoxie, on laisse sous-entendre aussi la pensée des autres, une pensée naturaliste, athée, ne fût-ce que par son indifférence, radicalement humaniste, et on favorise le renversement de la civilisation parce qu'on renverse le langage et avec le langage la philosophie et la théologie. C'est contre quoi l'auteur s'élève. Il n'a pas tort. Il est temps plus que jamais, en effet, de crier casse-cou. Et de vouloir que les sociétés ne se réorganisent pas en fonction de la personne individuelle, mais en fonction du bien commun, à ses divers degrés, c'est-à-dire, de la fin souveraine, c'est-à-dire en fonction de Dieu.

"L'auteur s'attaque ouvertement aux personnalistes, mais pour défendre vraiment la dignité de la personne humaine. Son étude insiste sur la grandeur de la personne sans flatter les personnes. Elle s'oppose à toute doctrine qui, sous prétexte de la glorifier, diminue et atrophie la personne humaine et la prive de ses biens les plus divins".} The result is, of course, an ambiguity sufficient to mislead the most well-intentioned of readers.

That the tendency I mention is a pernicious one, may be convincingly demonstrated by the case of personalism. The writers who represent this theory reach an audience that is both large and important in the world of Catholic education. Whether or not their books are being correctly interpreted by this circle of readers is not the question which concerns us at the moment; the point is that a considerable number of people holding responsible posts in our institutions of higher learning are clearly taking the personalism expounded in such works to imply the negation of the primacy of the common good. In giving approval to an article like that of Father Eschmann, not only do they, quite unconsciously, welcome the central thesis of personalism in its most abject form, but they also prove the dangerous fruitfulness of ambiguity.

Had we read and obeyed the littera Sancti Thomæ we would have been spared this disastrous and widespread condition:

... Cum infidelibus nec nomina debemus habere communia, ne ex consortio nominum possit sumi erroris occasio; nomine fati non est a fidelibus utendum, ne videamur illis assentire qui male de fato senserunt, omnia necessitati siderum subjicientes. Unde Augustinus dicit, in V de Civitate Dei: Si quis voluntatem vel potestatem Dei fati nomine appellat, sententiam tenneat, linguam corrigat. Et Gregorius, secundum eundem intellectum, dicit: Absit a fidelium mentibus ut fatum aliquid esse dicant.\fn{2}{Contra Gentes, III, c. 93.--BC, 79, n. 94.}

... Sicut Hieronymus dicit, ex verbis inordinate prolatis incurritur hæresis. Unde cum hæreticis nec nomina debemus habere communia: ne eorum errori favere videamur.\fn{3}{IIIa, q. 16, a. 8, c. See Cajetan's commentary, n. 2.}

He who rightly believes that every human being is a person capable of, and immediately ordained to the supreme immutable common good and that in this consists his dignity, let him not assume that he must therefore call himself a personalist--sententiam teneat, linguam corrigat. Equivocation implies a grave risk and no matter how unwittingly one may have employed it, an inescapable duty may ensue. The following passage from a sermon of St. Thomas may be read in this connection:

Inveniuntur aliqui qui student in philosophia, et dicunt aliqua quæ non sunt vera secundum fidem; et cum dicitur eis quod hoc repugnat fidei, dicunt quod philosophus dicit hoc, sed ipsi non asserunt, imo solum recitant verba philosophi. Talis est falsus propheta, sive falsus doctor, quia idem est dubitationem movere et eam non solvere quod eam concedere; quod signatur in Exod. (xxi, 33), ubi dicitur quod si aliquis foderit puteum, et aperuerit cisternam et non cooperuerit eam, veniat bos vicini sui, et cadat in cisternam, ille qui aperuerit cisternam teneatur ad ejus restitutionem. Ille cisternam aperuit, qui dubitationem movet de his quæ faciunt ad fidem. Cisternam non cooperit, qui dubitationem non solvit, etsi ipse habeat intellectum sanum et limpidum, et non decipiatur. Alter tamen qui intellectum non habet ita limpidum bene decipitur, et ille qui dubitationem movit tenetur ad restitutionem, quia per eum ille cecidit in foveam.\fn{4}{Sermo III, "Attendite a falsis prophetis ...", Opera Omnia, ed. Fretté, Paris, Vivès, t. 32, p. 676.}

May I also remind the reader that the personalist conception of marriage\fn{5}{On the personalist conception of marriage, Cardinal Villeneuve has this to say: "Ce n'est donc pas dans une conception personnaliste du mariage, ni dans un soi-disant personnalisme chrétien et socialiste, qui résultent l'une et l'autre de concessions spéculatives et éthiques à l'erreur, qu'on pourra trouver la solution aux problèmes que soulèvent de plus en plus tragiquement les déviations de la vérité. C'est toujours la vérité qui doit nous délivrer. Or, ces conceptions ne visent qu'à pousser jusqu'à l'exaspération la périlleuse solitude où se trouve plongée la personne, une fois qu'on la détache et qu'on l'isole, sous prétexte de l'exalter, de son appui naturel, le bien commun".--BC, 6-7. Referring to H. Doms' successful Vom Sinn und Zweck der Ehe (Du sens et de la fin du mariage, Desclée De Brouwer, Paris 1937; The Meaning of Marriage, Sheed and Ward, New York 1939). I ventured the unpopular opinion that it presents a "deeply perverse conception of marriage".--BC, 59, n. 62.} has been condemned by the Suprema Sacra Congregatio S. Officii, in a decree published at the order of Pius XII, on April 1, 1944.\fn{6}{"De matrimonii finibus eorumque relatione et ordine his postremis annis nonnulla typis edita prodierunt, quæ vel asserunt finem primarium matrimonii non esse prolis generationem, vel fines secundarios non esse fini primario subordinatos, sed ab eo independentes.

Hisce in elucubrationibus primarius conjugii finis alius ab aliis designatur, ut ex. gr.: conjugum per omnimodam vitæ actionisque communionem complementum ac personalis perfectio: conjugum mutuus amor atque unio fovenda ac perficienda per psychicam et somaticam propriæ personæ traditionem; et hujusmodi alia plura.

... Proposito sibi dubio: "An admitti possit quorundam recentiorum sententia, qui vel negant finem primarium matrimonii esse prolis generationem et educationem, vel docent fines secundarios fini primario non esse essentialiter subordinatos, sed esse æque principales et independentes': respondendum decreverunt: Negative".--Acta Apost. Sedis, 20 Aprilis 1944; NCWC., August 20, 1944, p. 103.

Nor is the following passage from the Acta Tribunalium of the Sacra Romana Rota to be overlooked: "Recentissimis his nostris temporibus auctores quidam, de finibus matrimonii disserentes, hoc "mutuum adjutorium" alio modo explicant, inquantum scl. "esse personale" conjugum auxilium et complementum accipit. atque contendunt, non secundarium sed primarium finem matrimonii esse hanc "personæ" conjugum evolutionem atque perfectionem, quam tamen non omnes eodem, sed alii sub alio respectu considerant atque urgent. Hi novatores in re matrimoniali a vera certaque doctrina recedunt, quin solida et probata argumenta pro suis opinionibus afferre valeant".--Acta Apost. Sedis, 26 Junii 1944; NCWC., October 20, 1944, p. 188.}

I should like it understood that I do not at all accuse Father Eschmann of using the term "personalism" ambiguously. On the contrary, he employs it in its strict meaning, as may be clear from his fundamental position:

Objectively, i.e. viewed from the part of its uncreated object, the vision is not a common good; it is not even God as Common Good (to speak of common good in a proper and adequate language) but it is God Himself, the Bonum universale in essendo, as has been shown above.--DM, 160.

Nor could he have ever attacked my essay had I not been clear about what I mean by personalism and what I have against it.

XIV
The Devil and the Common Good

The rather flamboyant title of this final chapter might suggest that it is to contain doctrine of a novel and startling kind; its aim, however, is exactly the contrary. The fitting and proper close for any discussion in Christian Theology will always be an appeal to traditional and ancient teaching, and it is this indispensable support which we propose to seek in our last pages. If, prescinding now from the explicit littera Sancti Thomæ, there were any truth in the accusation, that the primacy of the divine common good is a modern innovation, then for that reason alone he who held it should feel uneasy. But we shall leave it to the reader to judge, after reading the testimony now to be described, whether or not our position draws its strength from the roots of tradition.

In a paragraph of my book which arouses Father Eschmann's amusement as recalling "by its style and bearing the 'heroic' ages of baroque-Scholastic controversy" (DM, 135), I refer to John of St. Thomas in support of my position. The note to this passage presented in full the actual words of this recognized theologian. This citation will receive fuller notice in a moment, but for the present let it be noted that the text of John of St. Thomas (1589-1644) is based in turn directly on the authority of St. Augustine (354-430--"a superiore communi omnium beatifico bono [mali angeli] ad propria defluxerunt"; and also on the authority of Pope St. Gregory (c. 540-604)--"... Dum [Leviathan] privatam celsitudinem superbe appetiit, jure perdidit participatam";\fn{1}{Sancti Gregorii Magni Moralium Lib. XXXIV, c. 21. Migne, Patrol. Lat., t. 76, col. 740, 1134 B.} and again on the authority of St. Bernard (1090-1153)--"[Homines] infirmiores sunt, inquit [diabolus], inferioresque natura, non decet esse concives, nec æquales in gloria";\fn{2}{Sermo XVII in Cantica, Patrol. Lat., t. 183, col. 857, 1319 C.} on the authority of St. Thomas (1224/5-1274)--"affectavit [diabolus] excellentiam singularem".\fn{3}{Ia, q. 63, a. 2, c.} The innovator Father Eschmann denounces was born in 1906.

The extraordinary thing is that all these mighty witnesses are as one in recognizing the denial of the Common Good as being the peculiar crime of Satan. Yet it is understandable that this be so, for the temptation could be for none more alluring than for persons as glorious as Lucifer and his followers before their fall. John of St. Thomas explains this in the passage I quoted.

... Quia videntes dignitatem suam, appetierunt singularitatem, quæ maxime est propria superborum ..(..) .. (recusat diabolum beatitudinem supernaturalem) habere sine singularitate propria, sed communem cum hominibus; ex quo consecutum est quod voluerit specialem super eos habere prælationem potius quam communicationem, ut etiam Divus Thomas fatetui in hac quæstione LXIII, a. 3, in calce. Accedit ad hoc auctoritas S. Gregorii papæ, ... : 'Angelos perdidisse participatam celsitudinem, quia privatam desideraverunt', id est, recusarunt cœlestem beatitudinem, quia participata, et communis erat multis, et solum voluerunt privatam, scilicet quatenus privatam, et propriam, quia prout sic habebat duas conditiones maxime opportunas superbiæ, scilicet singularitatem, seu nihil commune habere cum inferioribus, quod ipsis vulgare videbatur, etiamsi esset gloria supernaturalis, et non habere illam ex speciali beneficio, et gratia, et quasi precario: hoc enim maxime recusant superbi, et maxime recusavit angelus. Et ad hoc pertinet parabola illa Lucæ xiv, de homine qui fecit cœnam magnam, et vocavit multos, et cum vocasset invitatos cœperunt se excusare: ideo enim fortassis recusaverunt ad illam cœnam venire, quia magna erat, et pro multis, dedignantes consortium habere cum tanto numero, potiusque eligerunt suas privatas commoditates, licet longe inferiores, utpote naturalis ordinis, iste quia villam emit, ille quia juga bonum, alius quia uxorem duxerat, unusquisque propriam excusationem prætendens, et privatum bonum, quia proprium, recusans vero cœnam, quia magnam, et multis communem. Iste est propriissime spiritus superbiæ.\fn{4}{Curs. theol., ed Vivès, t. IV, d. 23, a. 3, nn. 34-35, pp. 950-951.--BC, 169??.}
[[??BC 169 does not exist, probable typog. error]]

Could one state more clearly that the fallen Angels refused supernatural beatitude because it can be achieved only as a common good and because they had to seek it qua common good? Yet, by their faith and their most perfect natural knowledge the Angels, who cannot err in matters of speculative science, knew, incomparably better than we, that the adeptio finis is an assecutio singularis. They knew that God Himself and God alone is the primary object of this happiness and that the vision is in no way interrupted by the existence of any neighbour nor by any number of them. Yet they prefer that lower good which is possessed as a privilege of their angelic nature or as wholly personal, to a good common to many and dispensed according to the free choice of God Himself Who can make the last first and the first last.\fn{5}{"... Naturam humanam assumptam a Dei Verbo in Persona Christi, secundum prædicta, Deus plus amat quam omnes angelos: et melior est, maxime ratione unionis. Sed loquendo de humana natura communiter, eam angelicæ comparando, secundum ordinem ad gratiam et gloriam, æqualitas invenitur; cum eadem sit mensura hominis et angeli, ut dicitur. Apoc. xxi; ita tamen quod quidam angeli quibusdam hominibus, et quidam homines quibusdam angelis, quantum ad hoc, potiores inveniuntur. Sed quantum ad conditionem naturæ, angelus est melior homine. Nec ideo naturam humanam assumpsit Deus, quia hominem absolute plus diligeret: sed quia plus indigebat. Sicut bonus paterfamilias aliquid pretiosius dat servo ægrotanti, quod non dat filio sano".--Ia, q, 20. a. 4, ad 2.} They may be compared to those who refused to attend the great supper, simply because it was a great one to which many were invited, and they scorned to take part with such a crowd. They preferred, accordingly, to turn to private affairs, even though these were far inferior and of a quite earthly nature. Nothing could be more characteristic of the proud. The Angels well knew the object of heavenly beatitude is the proper good of God alone which to angel or man can be only a common good. And in desiring to confine themselves to their personal good, we may think of them as pleading with great show of argument that, in so doing, they were only striving generously to be like to God in a more unique and personal fashion, since in this they would be less dependent upon His grace and favour, possessing their good by way of a strictly personal appropriation.\fn{6}{"... Nec enim nos dicimus peccatum superbiæ in Angelo processisse ex judicio intendente consecutionem beatitudinis sine gratia, seu ex viribus propriis: hujusmodi enim consecutio non potest esse intenta sine errore, sed orta fuit ex judicio recusandi quodlibet bonum, etiam gloriam ex gratia, et beneficio alieno, et sine singularitate aliqua, sed communicando cum inferioribus: hoc enim maxime dedignantur superbi. Et quia dæmones superbissimi fuerunt, ideo omnem communicationem cum aliis inferioribus, etiam in gloria, et omnem modum habendi aliquid ex gratuito beneficio, et non ut debitum, etiam gloriam ipsam recusarunt: unde virtualiter voluerunt illam, si non esset ex gratia, sed ex propria virtute assequibilis. Et sic nullo modo ex relatis in argumento voluerunt positive, et formaliter beatitudinem, sed efficaciter voluerunt illam recusare, quia erat ex gratia, et communicabilis omnibus, virtualiter autem volebant illam, si sic non esset: efficaciter vero, et positive adhærebant propriæ excellentiæ ut fini, quia ibi tales conditiones non inveniebant, sed erat propria, non communis, et non ex gratia speciali, sed solum jure creationis conveniens".--John of St. Thomas, Ibid., pp. 953-954.} In other words, they sought to be assimilated to God only with regard to this that God is good, thus aiming to be most like to Him by being good in themselves, instead of seeking the assimilation secundum unionem vel informationem to an object which is common and impossible to attain as a proper good. And so, as St. Augustine (354-430) says, from that higher and beatific good which was common to all, they lapsed to this private good of their own:

Angelorum bonorum et malorum inter se contrarios appetitus non naturis principiisque diversis, cum Deus omnium substantiarum bonus auctor et conditor utrosque creaverit: sed voluntatibus et cupiditatibus exstitisse, dubitare fas non est; dum alii constanter in communi omnibus bono, quod ipse illis Deus est, atque in ejus æternitate, veritate, charitate persistunt: alii sua potestate potius delectati, velut bonum suum sibi ipsi essent, a superiore communi omnium beatifico bono ad propria defluxerunt, et habentes elationis fastum pro excelsissima æternitate, vanitatis astutiam pro certissima veritate, studia partium pro individua charitate, superbi, fallaces, invidi effecti sunt.\fn{7}{De Civitate Dei, XII, c. 1.}

That, I believe, was authentic personalism in high places. Yet, it is quite different from contemporary doctrine. Before explaining what we mean let us quote from the second page of Father Eschmann's article:

This is the personalism which is at issue in a passage on pages thirteen and fourteen of Professor De Koninck's book, a passage which recalls by its style and bearing the "heroic" ages of baroque-Scholastic controversy:

Le péché des anges fut une erreur pratiquement personnaliste; ils ont préféré la dignité de leur propre personne à la dignité qui leur serait venue dans la subordination à un bien supérieur mais commun dans sa supériorité même. L'hérésie pélagienne, dit Jean de Saint Thomas, peut être considérée comme une étincelle de ce péché des anges. Elle n'en est qu'une étincelle, car, alors que l'erreur des anges fut purement pratique, l'erreur des pélagiens était en même temps spéculative. Nous croyons que le personnalisme moderne n'est qu'une réflexion de cette étincelle spéculativement encore plus faible. Il érige en doctrine spéculative une erreur qui fut à l'origine seulement pratique....

Nous n'entendons pas soutenir ici que l'erreur de tous ceux qui se disent aujourd'hui personnalistes est plus que spéculative. Qu'il n'y ait là-dessus aucune ambiguïté. Sans doute notre insistance pourra-t-elle blesser ceux des personnalistes qui ont identifié cette doctrine à leur personne. C'est là leur responsabilité très personnelle. Mais il y a aussi la nôtre--nous jugeons cette doctrine pernicieuse à l'extréme.--DM, 135.

The squib: "How many Angels can dance on a pin-point?" has been, perhaps, not without its effect even on learned Catholic circles. It is considered in bad taste to even mention the pure spirits--except, of course, in "objective" Historical Point of View research. In fact, we are led to wonder why God bothered to tell us of them, and why He has repeatedly warned us against those that move in the darkness. Yet, He seems to be of the opinion that Angel and Devil play a rather prominent role in His universe and concern us more than the Evil One would like us to believe. And is it not He who tells us: invidia autem diaboli mors introivit in orbem terrarum: imitantur autem illum qui sunt ex parte illius?\fn{8}{Liber Sapientiæ, ii, 24.} Christ Himself has said: Vos ex patre diabolo estis: et desideria patris vestri vultis facere. Ille homicida erat ab initio, et in veritate non stetit.\fn{9}{Joan., viii, 44.} We are warned that Satan will seduce the nations,\fn{10}{Apoc., xx, 7.} and in daily evening prayers the Church repeats the words of St. Peter: Sobrii estote et vigilate: quia adversarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit, quærens quem devoret.\fn{11}{{I Pet.,} v, 8.} The invidious personalism of the Devil is our concern, and on highest authority we must fear him and pay no heed to those who smile at our solicitude.

Now, in the first sentence of the citation which recalled to my Opponent, "by its style and bearing the 'heroic' ages of baroque-Scholastic controversy",\fn{12}{I readily admit that of all those who dare go into print, I have possibly the least skill as a writer. However, I cannot allow my shortcomings to prevent me from taking up so great a cause. For, as has been well said: If a thing is worth doing at all it is worth doing ill.} it is stated that the Angels could commit no speculative error--even Adam shared in this privilege.\fn{13}{"Adam non est seductus, sed mulier. Seductio autem duplex est, sc. in universali, et in particulari eligibili, quæ est ignorantia electionis. Quicumque ergo peccat, seducitur ignorantia electionis in particulari eligibili. Mulier autem fuit seducta, ignorantia in universali, quando sc. credidit quod serpens dixit; sed vir non credidit hoc, sed deceptus fuit in particulari, sc. quod gerendus esset mos uxori, et cum ea comedere deberet, et inexpertus divinæ severitatis credidit quod facile ei remitteretur".--In I ad Tim., c. 2, lect. 3.} The Angels knew, therefore, that divine beatitude could not possibly become their proper good. Their error could only have consisted in ignorantia electionis, a purely practical error. "The sin of the Angels was a practical personalist error: they preferred the dignity of their own person to that dignity which would come to them through their subordination to a good, higher but common in its very sovereignty".--BC, 13.

The Pelagians on the other hand, were guilty of simple speculative error when they taught that, absolutely speaking, the natural powers were adequate to achieve the supernatural end of man. To maintain that the Angels could entertain such crass speculative ignorance would be to ignore the power of their intelligence.

Nec oportet [diabolo] attribuere errorem Pelagii de habendo merita condigna ex propria natura, quia ipsi non volebant consequi formaliter, et de facto gloriam per sua naturalia, sed recusabant habere illam, si per gratiam consequenda erat, ut vere erat. Unde non habuerunt errorem speculativam Pelagii, sed habuerunt maximam superbiam, unde erupit scintilla erroris Pelagii.\fn{14}{John of St. Thomas, ibid., p. 954.}

Now the personalism I attack shows an even greater speculative debility than that of Pelagianism, since it mistakes not just the means of attaining supernatural beatitude, but bears directly on the nature of God Himself. It is deserving of more indulgence only because it is more stupid.\fn{15}{My Adversary says he "would never have come out with this judgment, had not Father Baisnée written his article".--DM, 138-139, n. 9. His reference is to Father Jules A. Baisnée's Two Catholic Critiques of Personalism, which appeared in The Modern Schoolman, Jan., 1945, XXII, 59-75. On page 135-136, Father Eschmann writes: "Father Baisnée reveals himself to be much impressed by the weight of the authorities which, according to him, Professor De Koninck's anti-personalist position commands". Father Baisnée had said: "Cardinal Villeneuve, Archbishop of Quebec, added the weight of his authority to this condemnation of the new theory in which he saw a real danger of revival of Pelagianism. [Art. cit., 50] ... Is there lurking in the movement of Personalism an opposite [of Totalitarianism] but equally serious danger of fostering 'by loose thinking which goes to evil to find good' what Cardinal Villeneuve does not hesitate to call 'a revival of the polycephalus monster of Pelagianism'?"--Ibid., 74; BC, 9. On the same page 136 Father Eschmann exclaims: "Pacem, amici! Would it not be better for us to stop short on the road of censuring and adding-up authorities, before it is too late and Catholic scholarship is once more made a laughing stock?" As many will remember, when I originally presented my paper on the common good at the annual meeting of the Académie canadienne saint Thomas d'Aquin, it was generally believed my position was not in agreement with the Cardinal's opinion. Yet, on the dignity of the person and the function of society, His Eminence had never said more nor less than what is repeated in the preface.}

That is what was meant by the first paragraph Father Eschmann quotes. The continuation of it is possibly even more "baroque-Scholastic" in style:

L'asservissement de la personne au nom du bien commun est comme une vengeance diabolique à la fois remarquable et cruelle, une attaque sournoise contre la communauté du bien à laquelle le démon avait refusé de se soumettre. La négation de la dignité supérieure que l'homme reçla;oit dans la subordination de son bien tout personnel au bien commun assurerait la négation de toute dignité humaine.--BC, 13-14.

And by the negation of all human dignity we mean the fruits of personalism. Quite logically the inordinate exaltation of the human person has a principle and term in contempt of the other person.

Ce refus de la primauté du bien commun procède, au fond, de la méfiance et du mépris des personnes.--BC, 25.

To grasp this we have only to recall what has been said already regarding the dual aspect, relative and absolute, in which we can consider the amiability of our neighbour. The created persons are amiable to God in the measure of the goodness He gratuitously bestows upon them. We, however, cannot love them according to their nearness to Him, but only according to their nearness to us. On the other hand, any created good, including ourselves, pales to nonentity before the divine good which in beatitude becomes our good--our common good. But to rejoice in the fact that our neighbour is only a particular good "infra nos constitutum" may be a rather doubtful attitude. Emphasis on the nos is definitely jeopardizing. Our Lord was rather insistent that some would be first and some last and what He said concerned beatitude. That is one point of view not to be ignored. In the end, His point of view must prevail. However, when our point of view (that of our neighbour's nearness to us) prevails over the former, then, of course, any common good, as well as any particular good except ourselves, becomes a mere bonum utile--i.e. a good only as a means, for the sake of that good which is our insatiable ego.

That the Devil exists, that he is envious of man, that he is a homicide, that in envy and revenge he craves our imitation of his initial deed, is uncreated truth. This may be called "baroque", yet it is truth divine. It is, absolutely speaking, more true than our own existence.

Such being the gravity of the error we attacked, the reader will understand why we were careful to add that in no way did we consider "the error of all those who call themselves personalists to be more than speculative. Let there be no ambiguity about that". For a man is good, not because of his science, but because of the rectitude of his appetite. Yet, we could hardly fail to disturb those personalists who have identified this speculative doctrine with their own person. And if personalism implied what we were certain it did imply (even before Father Eschmann made it rather explicit), the obligation was upon us to say just what that implication was. It would have been quite merciless not to say it.

And now let us turn to one more of my Opponent's statements. Immediately following the above quotation he proceeds:

There is a proper and profound Thomistic doctrine of the relative superiority, within definite orders, of their respective common goods over the particular goods contained in those orders. It is this doctrine which Professor De Koninck has distorted into the contradictory and unintelligible position of the absolute superiority of "the" common good over all and everything. This will be shown later in detail.--DM, 135.

We believe our Opponent had a fair chance to show that our position is "contradictory and unintelligible". Yet, having carefully read his article to the end, if we accepted his conclusion it could only be on his word. We must, however, appreciate his predicament, for, when a dictum authenticum is also a per se notum quoad sapientes,\fn{16}{"Ainsi veut-on détruire une proposition per se nota résultant de la seule notification du bíen commun".--BC, 65.} its rejection gives rise to endless difficulties.

Father Eschmann's denunciation calls to our mind an aptly phrased indictment by that "ravenously affectionate uncle Screwtape":

The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and, especially, that one self is not another self. My good is my good and your good is yours ...

Now the Enemy's\fn{17}{The "Enemy" is, of course, God.} philosophy is nothing more nor less than one continued attempt to evade this very obvious truth. He aims at a contradiction. Things are to be many, yet somehow also one. The good of one self is to be the good of another. This impossibility He calls love, and this same monotonous panacea can be detected under all He does and even all He is--or claims to be.\fn{18}{C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, S. J. Reginal Saunders, Toronto 1945, p. 92.}

* * *

The article I have written, long and difficult as it is, will doubtless tax the patience and energies of many of its readers. It has been composed with a threefold purpose: to vindicate the truth, to vindicate St. Thomas, and to utter a word in defence of the personage who so kindly wrote the preface of the little book which has been the occasion of so much controversy. While I hope my work will reveal a spirit of sincerity and devotion to truth, it is not difficult for me to believe that the task could have been done much better, that stronger arguments might have been found and, above all, that they might have been presented much more effectively. Still, I am convinced that the reasons here given are sufficient to establish the truth, and should they not succeed in convincing the adversaries, some other writer will surely appear with power to enlighten their ignorance.

Charles De Koninck