Of God and His Creatures

That God does not of necessity love other things than Himself

A WILL does not of necessity tend to the means to an end, if the end can be had without those means. Since then the divine Goodness can be without other beings, -- nay, other beings make no addition to it, -- God is under no necessity of willing other things from the fact of His willing His own goodness.

2. Since good, understood to be such, is the proper object of the will, the will may fasten on any object conceived by the intellect in which the notion of good is fulfilled. Hence though the being of anything, as such, is good, and its not-being, as such, is evil; still the very not- being of a thing may become an object to the will, though not of necessity, by reason of some notion of good fulfilled: for it is good for a thing to be, even though some other thing is not.* The only good then which the will by the terms of its constitution cannot wish not to be, is the good whose non-existence would destroy the notion of good altogether. Such a good is no other than God. The will then by its constitution can will the non-existence of anything else except of God.* But in God there is will according to the fulness of the power of willing. God then can will the non-existence of any other being besides Himself.

3. God in willing His own goodness wills also other things than Himself as sharing His goodness. But since the divine goodness is infinite, and partakable in infinite ways, if by the willing of His own goodness He of necessity willed the beings that partake of it, the absurdity would follow that He must will the existence of infinite creatures sharing His goodness in infinite ways: because, if He willed them, those creatures would exist, since His will is the principle of being to creatures. We must consider therefore why God of necessity knows other beings than Himself, and yet does not of necessity will them to exist, notwithstanding that His understanding and willing of Himself involves His understanding and willing other beings. The reason of it is this: an intelligent agent's understanding anything arises from a certain condition of the understanding, -- for by a thing being actually understood its likeness is in the mind: but a volitional agent's willing anything arises from a certain condition of the object willed, -- for we will a thing either because it is an end, or because it is a means to an end. Now the divine perfection necessarily requires that all things should so be in God as to be understood in Him. But the divine goodness does not of necessity require that other things should exist to be referred to Him as means to an end; and therefore it is necessary that God should know other things, but not that He should will other things.* Hence neither does He will all things that are referable to His goodness: but He knows all things which are in any way referable to His essence, whereby He understands.

1.80 : That God of necessity wills His own Being and His own Goodness
1.82 : Arguments against the aforesaid Doctrine, and Solution of the same