Of God and His Creatures

So the imperfect and fickle beauties on earth are reduced to the Self-Beauty. Upon this axiom Plato constructed his theory of Ideas. And though the Ideas were exaggerated and then discarded, the axiom held its ground throughout the Middle Ages, and often appears in St Thomas. The axiom has little vogue in modern philosophy. It may be stated thus: 'There is ever some perfect being somewhere at the back of the imperfect.' The axiom is enforced with reference to the Old Covenant, as compared with the New, in the Epistle to the Hebrews ix and x. If I may add a criticism, I should say that the axiom is more readily apparent in exemplar causes than in efficient causes, -- not that I deny it of the latter. See note [3.66b].

Of God and His Creatures: 3.91