2. What has dominion over its own act, is free in acting. For he is free, who is a cause to himself of what he does: whereas a power driven by another under necessity to work is subject to slavery. Thus the intellectual nature alone is free, while every other creature is naturally subject to slavery. But under every government the freemen are provided for for their own sakes, while of slaves this care is taken that they have being for the use of the free.
3. In a system making for an end, any parts of the system that cannot gain the end of themselves must be subordinate to other parts that do gain the end and stand in immediate relation to it. Thus the end of an army is victory, which the soldiers gain by their proper act of fighting: the soldiers alone are in request in the army for their own sakes; all others in other employments in the army, such as grooms or armourers, are in request for the sake of the soldiers. But the final end of the universe being God, the intellectual nature alone attains Him in Himself by knowing Him and loving Him (Chap. XXV). Intelligent nature therefore alone in the universe is in request for its own sake, while all other creatures are in request for the sake of it.*
6. Everything is naturally made to behave as it actually does behave in the course of nature. Now we find in the actual course of nature that an intelligent subsistent being converts all other things to his own use, either to the perfection of his intellect, by contemplating truth in them, or to the execution of works of his power and development of his science, as an artist develops the conception of his art in bodily material; or again to the sustenance of his body, united as that is to an intellectual soul.
Nor is it contrary to the conclusion of the aforesaid reasons, that all the parts of the universe are subordinate to the perfection of the whole. For that subordination means that one serves another: thus there is no inconsistency in saying that unintelligent natures serve the intelligent, and at the same time serve the perfection of the universe: for if those things were wanting which subsistent intelligence requires for its perfection, the universe would not be complete.
By saying that subsistent intelligences are guided by divine providence for their own sakes, we do not mean to deny that they are further referable to God and to the perfection of the universe. They are cared for for their own sakes, and other things for their sake, in this sense, that the good things which are given them by divine providence are not given them for the profit of any other creature:* while the gifts given to other creatures by divine ordinance make for the use of intellectual creatures.
Hence it is said: Look not on sun and moon and stars besides, to be led astray with delusion and to worship what the Lord thy God hath created for the service of all nations under heaven (Deut. iv, 19): Thou hast subjected all things under his feet, sheep and all oxen and the beasts of the field (Ps. viii, 8).
Hereby is excluded the error of those who lay it down that it is a sin for man to kill dumb animals: for by the natural order of divine providence they are referred to the use of man: hence without injustice man uses them either by killing them or in any other way: wherefore God said to Noe: As green herbs have I given you all flesh (Gen. ix, 3). Wherever in Holy Scripture there are found prohibitions of cruelty to dumb animals, as in the prohibition of killing the mother-bird with the young (Deut. xxii, 6, 7), the object of such prohibition is either to turn man's mind away from practising cruelty on his fellow-men, lest from practising cruelties on dumb animals one should go on further to do the like to men, or because harm done to animals turns to the temporal loss of man, either of the author of the harm or of some other; or for some ulterior meaning, as the Apostle (1 Cor. ix, 9) expounds the precept of not muzzling the treading ox.
3.108, 110 : Arguments seeming to prove that Sin is impossible to Spirits, with Solutions of the same
3.113 : That the acts of the Rational Creature are guided by God, not merely to the realisation of the Specific Type, but also to the realisation of the Individual