Now among all the natural sciences, the one that ranks first of all and goes by the name of First Philosophy is especially useful to sacred and supernatural theology. This is so, both because it comes closest of all of them to the cognition of divine matters, and also because it explains and confirms those natural principles which comprehend all things in general and which in some sense support and undergird every doctrine.
For this reason, despite the fact that I have
been engaged in working out and publishing more important commentaries
and disputations in sacred theology, I have been forced to interrupt that
work for a while (or, rather, slow it down), in order at least to review
and enhance at a later time what I had worked out and publicly taught in
my more youthful years concerning this natural wisdom--so that for public
benefit it could be shared with everyone.
Therefore, induced by these considerations, as well as by the urging of many, I have decided to write this work, in which I bring together all these metaphysical disuputations in accord with the method of teaching, which is more appropriate for the comprehension of these matters as well as for brevity, and which better serves revealed wisdom. For this reason, it will not be necessary to distribute or partition this work into many books. For all the matters which are proper to this doctrine, or which belong to the subject under the concept which is studied in this doctrine, can be included and exhausted in a small number of disputations. But we will cut out, as foreign to the present doctrine, matters that pertain to pure philosophy or to dialectic (on which other metaphysical authors tarry at length).
Now before I begin to talk about the subject
matter of this doctrine, I will first, with God as my protector, examine
wisdom or metaphysics itself, and its object, usefulness, necessity, attributes