2. It belongs to divine providence to use things according to their several modes. But a thing's mode of action depends upon its form, which is the principle of action. But the form whereby a voluntary agent acts is not determinate: for the will acts through a form apprehended by the intellect; and the intellect has not one determined form of effect under its consideration, but essentially embraces a multitude of forms;* and therefore the will can produce multiform effects.
3. The last end of every creature is to attain to a likeness to God (Chap. XVII): therefore it would be contrary to providence to withdraw from a creature that whereby it attains the divine likeness. But a voluntary agent attains the divine likeness by acting freely, as it has been shown that there is free will in God (B. I, Chap. LXXXVIII).
4. Providence tends to multiply good things in the subjects of its government. But if free will were taken away, many good things would be withdrawn. The praise of human virtue would be taken away, which is nullified where good is not done freely: the justice of rewards and punishments would be taken away, if man did not do good and evil freely: wariness and circumspection in counsel would be taken away, as there would be no need of taking counsel about things done under necessity. It would be therefore contrary to the plan of providence to withdraw the liberty of the will.*
Hence it is said: God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel: before man is life and death, whatever he shall please shall be given him (Ecclus xv, 14-17).
Hereby is excluded the error of the Stoics, who said that all things arose of necessity, according to an indefeasible order, which the Greeks called ymarmene (heimarmenê).
3.72 : That Divine Providence is not inconsistent with an element of Contingency in Creation
3.74 : That Divine Providence is not inconsistent with Fortune and Chance