Introduction to Disputation 1
         Even though divine and supernatural theology relies on the divine light and on principles revealed by God, still, because it is perfected by human discourse and reasoning, it is aided as well by truths known by the natural light.  And it uses those truths as helpers and, so to speak, instruments in perfecting its own discourses and in illuminating divine truths. 

         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. 
          For when these metaphysical doctrines would come up in discussions of the divine mysteries--doctrines that are such that without a knowledge and understanding of them it is hardly, or not at all, possible to discuss those higher mysteries in a suitable manner--I was often forced to mix in less sublime questions with divine and supernatural matters (which my readers find unwelcome and not very useful), or else, in order to avoid this problem, I was forced to briefly propound my own opinion on these matters and to demand from my readers sheer faith, as it were, in those opinions.  This was troubling to me and could have justifiably seemed importunate to them as well.  For these metaphysical principles and truths fit together with theological conclusions and arguments in such a way that if one takes away knowledge and complete understanding of the former, then knowlege of the latter must likewise be greatly undermined. 

         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 and roles.