Appendix to the preceding disputation
1. After the appearance of the first edition of this Concordia there was not wanting someone [Francesco Zumel] who, even though he had to a great extent copied our teaching on this matter and accommodated it to his own purposes, nonetheless attacked several points and disagreed with us in the matters which I will now append to our discussion.
2. First of all, for every natural action in general that is not morally evil, whether it be an action of free will or of some natural agent, he posits without hesitation two sorts of general concurrence or influence on God's part: the first is a concurrence by which God acts immediately, with an immediacy of the suppositum, on the action and effect, e.g., on the action of heating by which the fire heats the water and on the heat itself which it induces in the water, because, as he puts it, God is present everywhere; whereas the second is a concurrence by which God acts immediately on the agent itself and directs it to act, as when He directs the fire to produce heat. Now unless I am mistaken, he multiplies these general concurrences and immediate influences of God's beyond what everyone else believes in order to introduce and defend the sort of divine predeterminations vis-a-vis non-evil actions which do no little prejudice to freedom of choice; the last disputation [Disputation 53] will deal with this matter.
3. I have said that for every natural action in general which is not evil he posits a twofold general concurrence or influence of this sort, since just as in other places in the same work he rejects a divine predetermination with respect to the morally evil actions or sins of free choice, so too (again copying our views) he rejects a general concurrence on God's part by which our will would be directed and moved to elicit such actions, and he agrees with us that sin, even taken materially, must not be attributed to God as to a cause; for an action does not have the character of being the material element of a sin from the fact that God acts on it immediately by a general concurrence which is of itself indifferent as to whether this or some far different action should ensue. Rather, it has this character only insofar as the will itself by its particular influence acts on it and determines it to be an action contrary to God's law and thus to be a sin taken materially. But God neither directs nor moves free choice to act in such a way, nor does He will this; rather, He only permits it, as the Council of Trent taught in session 6, canon 6. And God would will that it not act in this way if free choice did not by its freedom resolve so to act.
4. Now the claim that the general concurrences or influences which this author posits for all non-evil natural actions differ from one another and are distinct actions produced immediately by God is manifest from the fact that God's immediate influence on the action and effect (e.g., on the action of heating by which the fire heats the water and on the heat which it induces in the water) is not in the fire as in a subject, but is in the water in which the action of heating is received, as this author correctly acknowledges. And with regard to this sort of universal influence or concurrence on God's part he rightly affirms with us that it is not an action distinct from the action of the secondary cause, but is rather one and the same action, which, insofar as it is from God, is called God's general concurrence, and which, insofar as it is from the fire, is called the fire's particular concurrence, a concurrence by which the action is determined to that particular species of action. But that other universal influence and concurrence of God's, by which, according to this author, the fire is directed and moved immediately by God to produce heat, in a way not unlike that in which the instruments of the artist are moved and directed by the artist in the making of an artifact--that concurrence is indeed in the fire as in a subject and cannot in any way be said either (i) to be the same action as the action of the fire which is received in the water or (ii) to be channelled by the fire's influence to a species of action. Thus, this author is not very consistent when, in responding to our third argument [Disputation 26, § 8] (which he presents as the second argument, somewhat different from ours), he denies that given his position it must be conceded that there are two sorts of universal concurrence or influence on God's part with respect to the action of the secondary cause: one an immediate influence on the cause and through the cause on the action and effect, and the other an immediate influence on the action and effect.
5. In addition to what was said in the preceding disputation, this author's position can be satisfactorily impugned on the ground that (i), contrary to everyone's opinion, he multiplies God's general concurrences and God's immeditate influences or actions on the non-evil actions of secondary causes, and that (ii) in light of our objections he wants to conjoin our position on God's general concurrence with the position of those who contend that God's general concurrence is an influence of God's on the cause, which cause is thus directed and moved to act.
6. Likewise, by the expression 'God's general concurrence' everyone means, of course, that influence of God's which is altogether necessary for every action of a secondary cause, even a sinful action. Therefore, since in the case of sinful actions, he (i) acknowledges only an immediate influence of God's on the action and effect of the secondary cause, an influence which is channelled by the particular concurrence of free choice to a species of action and to the material element of a sin, and (ii) rejects that other influence by which the cause would be moved and directed to that action, it clearly follows that the only one which is a general concurrence is the one we speak of, whereas that other concurrence by which causes are directed and moved to act is fictitious and not at all necessary.
7. Furthermore, just as free will is able, without God's previous motion and direction, to elicit a consent to sexual intercourse with a woman with whom there has been no previous marriage contract, and likewise to elicit consent to the killing of someone with whom there is no just war--as this author admits, because actions of this sort are sins--so too it would have been able to elicit numerically the same acts of consent if there had been a previous marriage contract with that same woman or if there had been a just war with that other person, and thus if the acts in question had been morally good--as we will show below in this work. For these acts would have been numerically identical in the order of nature, and the same powers would have been sufficient to produce them in those changed circumstances--it being the circumstances alone which effect differences in the moral order, as will be explained in the same place. Thus, in order for free will to act in a morally good way, it does not need that premotion and direction through an antecedent general concurrence; and such concurrence is all the less needed by non-free natural causes, which are by their very nature determined to one thing, i.e., to those operations of theirs which are to be exercised, in just the way in which they bring them about. Therefore, this sort of general concurrence on God's part with secondary causes is fictitious and not at all necessary; and what suffices is that other concurrence of ours, a concurrence which is altogether necessary for all the actions of secondary causes in general.
8. Again, those premotions and directings of secondary causes to their operations are extremely prejudicial to our freedom of choice, as we will show in the appropriate place; and those who champion them are never able to explain what they are and how they are brought about, and they are unable to respond adequately to the objections raised against such premotions, objections which we will now take up in part.
9. Clearly, the fact that our will is able without these premotions to elicit all its evil operations is a manifest indication that created secondary causes do not essentially depend in their operations on premotions and directings of this sort in the way that they do depend on God's general concurrence via an immediate influence on the action, an influence without which they would not be able to exercise any operation at all. For when one cause essentially depends upon another in its operations, then it is not able to exercise any operation at all without that other.
10. Nor is it the case (as this author claims) that the reason why natural philosophers assert that the works of nature are the works of intelligence is that God moves and directs secondary causes to their operations by means of His general concurrence; this is just false and those philosophers were altogether ignorant of such a thing. Rather, the reason why they make this assertion is that God has conferred on these causes natural powers and natural means which are so well accommodated to the particular ends of each thing and to the end of the whole universe that nothing more could be desired by even the wisest craftsman--as was explained at length in Summa Theologiae 1, q. 2, a. 3, and will be repeated below.
11. In my judgment, he clearly does not respond with sufficient consistency to what we said in our first argument [Disputation 26, § 6], viz., that (i) the fire, absolutely unmoved in itself, heats the water brought near to it, and that (ii) it is impossible to understand just what motion it might be by which the fire is directed and moved anew by God to act while it is heating the water. For he says that (i) the fire, without any change in itself, produces the heat, that (ii) even though it does not do so without God's influence received in it in the transeunt mode, still this influence is always in the fire, since the fire is always actually acting, and so that (iii) this is not to posit any change in the fire.
12. First of all, since an influence of this sort is something real--indeed, it is an immediate action of God's, received in the fire as in a subject, by which the fire is directed to act--it cannot be denied that because of it the fire is different now (i.e., when it receives it and is directed to act) from what it was before it received it and acted; and so it cannot be denied that the fire is changed by it, especially since it is claimed that the fire receives it in the transeunt mode.
13. But perhaps it might be claimed (as seems to be added in his response) that because the fire is continuously acting and never desists from its action, it is always receiving the same invariant influence and for this reason is never different from what it was at a prior time; for even though it is always affected and modified by that same influence, still this happens without a "newness of being", in the way in which we are wont to speak of the conservation and creation of an angel without a "newness of being", as was explained in q. 10.
14. But if he responds in this way, then, first of all, this is not for God to direct the fire to each action in particular in the way that an artist directs the brush to each of the things to be painted and to each part of the picture, but instead it is for God only to direct the fire to heating in general; whereas the fact that the fire produces heat here and now by numerically distinct heatings derives from the different applications of the heatable or combustible things accomplished through secondary causes, i.e., either by the approach of the heatable things toward the fire or by the approach of the fire toward the heatable things--and not from different divine applications, since such applications cannot be understood except as different influences by which the fire would be directed to this or that action in particular. And since the same argument holds both for the fire and for any other thing which does its acting or directing by a necessity of nature, it will follow that through the application by which God directs the fire or any other natural agent to act, God does not intend this particular action any more than that one, and that He does not direct the agent more toward this one than toward that one. But this is incompatible with what this author intends to claim about (i) God's predeterminations, which are based on His directing all things individually, and about (ii) God's providence, which has to do with all things individually, and not just according to genus or according to species.
15. Second, he will similarly have to claim that if free choice elicits some morally good act, then it is, to be sure, directed by God to elicit it, whereas if it perseveres in that act and at the same time either elicits another act or extends its volition to other objects that are similarly good, then it is not directed anew by God with respect to that new action or with respect to the extension of the first action, but instead free choice does all these things through that prior influence, not at all changed and not at all augmented--which he will not admit. For in that case, the new action or the extension of the previous action would not exist because of a special direction and application on God's part, and thus neither would it exist because of a special predetermination, in the way in which he wants to claim it does.
16. Furthermore, whoever acknowledges God's general concurrence with secondary causes affirms that (i) for each numerically distinct action, there has to be a numerically distinct general concurrence or influence on God's part, and that (ii) God is able to suspend that influence with respect to one action without suspending it with respect to the other actions of the same agent--as is convincingly established by the arguments we presented at the end of the last disputation. Therefore, if the influence in question is an influence on the cause by which God moves it and directs it to act, then it has to be conceded that (i) for each single action of heating which emanates from the fire, God produces a peculiar influence in the fire by which He moves it and directs it to produce that particular action of heating here and now in such-and-such a subject, and that (ii) this influence ceases by the very fact that the action ends; and so even if it should be said that the fire acts perpetually on whatever subject is brought near to it, it would still have to be conceded that the fire is changed as the particular influences of this sort come and go.
17. Likewise, if by the divine power a fire is placed in a vacuum, then it will desist from all action; and since the influence on the fire by which it is directed to act is in it in the transeunt mode and is in it for just as long as the action emanates from it, it follows that in this case there will be no such influence in it. Therefore, if God afterwards left the surrounding air to its own nature, so that it rushed in to fill the vacuum, then, clearly, as the air reached the fire, the fire, which was entirely unmoved up to the instant of the arrival of the air, would begin to heat the air. Thus, if the fire needs an influence of God's by which, while remaining unmoved according to place, it is directed and begins to heat, then clearly it will produce the heat by means of a change in itself.
18. Likewise, if a particle of fire which is next to the crescent of the moon and is not acting is taken from there and directed to something combustible, or if an angel directs something combustible to it next to the crescent, then clearly in order to act it will first need to be moved by an action and motion by which it is directed de novo to produce heat.
19. Furthermore, since water above water does not sink, if someone takes the lower water away, the higher water will begin to sink. Therefore, if it needs an action of God's by which it is directed to sink and to impress its force on some particular thing, then it will have to be said that in order to sink and to impress such a force it is first changed by God; but all changes of this sort are such that it is impossible to explain what they are, or how they come to be, or what species of change they belong to--as I will soon argue.
20. We added in that same first argument [Disputation 26, § 6] that since by every motion or change some terminus is produced which is not at all distinct from the thing itself, and since it is impossible to imagine any terminus of this change or application other than a quality, it is clearly necessary to concede that as often as the fire produces heat, some quality is produced by God in the fire along with that motion. But this seems implausible.
21. As for this point, the author in question explains in the first place that God's influence on the cause (e.g., His influence on the fire to produce heat) is similar to that by which an artist acts on the brush when he moves and directs it in order to paint. Then he responds that it is not necessary that this influence have a terminus in the secondary cause, e.g., in the fire, just as it does not have a terminus in the action by which the fire produces the heat and with which it concurs--as, he claims, we ourselves also concede; rather, it suffices that it have a terminus in the effect which is intended through such an action and influence, viz., in the heat produced in the water.
22. In order that we might proceed more perspicuously, we have to explain the changes, and also their termini, which normally come into play when a painter uses a brush in painting. So let us imagine a motion of the forearm and of the brush directed by the fingers, a motion by which the painter directs the brush to the place where the ink is, moistens it with the ink and then again directs the wet brush to the tablet on which the painting is to be done--and we will be speaking only of the application of the brush to the painting.
Now, clearly, through his will and sentient appetite the painter, first of all, commands the movement of his hand and of the joints by which he is holding the brush, and at the same time the movement of his forearm as well, in order that there might be a motion of the sort required for the painting of an image according to the principles of art. But in order to bring about this movement by means of the moving power and sentient spirits and by means of the contraction and relaxation of nerves and muscles, he impresses the force on his joints, hand and forearm, so that from this a local motion results on the part of those same bodily parts, a local motion of the sort required for the painting of an image. Now this impetus or force which is thus impressed on the joints, hands and forearm is a certain quality impressed by means of the sentient spirits and the contraction or relaxation of the nerves and muscles, and it is very much like the force which is normally impressed upon a rock when it is thrown, a force by means of which, after leaving the hand, the rock is wont to be carried upward until the force weakens in such a way that it no longer offsets the weight of the rock. Now, clearly, the impression of this impetus, granted that it comes to exist in the rock by means of the motion of the forearm and hand, and in the fingers, hand and forearm by means of the motion and application of the sentient spirits and by means of the constriction and dilation of the nerves and muscles, is a kind of alteration, since it is the production of a certain quality; and it is none other than the very quality impressed, since it exists because of the efficient causation of (i) the moving power via those instruments and (ii) the motion of those things by which it is efficiently impressed. It follows that the proper terminus of this alteration is that which is produced through it as through an action, viz., that impetus and impressed force. But from a force of this sort impressed on the joints of the fingers, hand and forearm, as from an immediate efficient principle, there follows a local motion of the joints and hand or even of the forearm, a local motion of the type necessary to make an image with a brush. Clearly, this motion also has its own terminus, viz., the acquisition by the joints of different modes of being in space with the brush, modes accommodated to the picture.
Moreover, from the force and motion of the joints, hand and forearm there follows, as from an efficient principle, an impetus and motion in the brush which is adapted to the picture by the joints. But the impression of this impetus on the brush is an alteration having the impetus itself as its terminus. On the other hand, the local motion of the brush has for its terminus the attainment of various places and contact points on the tablet accommodated to expressing the image. From these contact points, in turn, given the quality of ink which is apt to adhere to the tablet, there follows the expression of an image having for a terminus the image itself to which, as to an ultimate end and terminus, the other preceding actions were ordered.
23. Now let us examine this author's response. Clearly, since (i) God's influence on the fire, an influence by which he claims that the fire is moved and directed by God to produce heat, is in the fire as in a subject and not in the water, in which the heating and the heat produced by the fire exist, and since (ii) it is thus an action which is not only really, subjectively and numerically, but even specifically distinct from the action of heating (for it is not an action of heating but is rather an application and motion of the fire to produce heat), it is incredible that it should have the heat existing in the water as the terminus which is immediately produced by it and with which it is really identical, in the way that an action is identical with its terminus! Therefore, if through every action there is always something immediately produced which is its terminus and with which the action is really identical (though formally distinct from it), it will be necessary to concede that there is something produced in the fire by that influence and application; and since that action and influence is neither a substantial change nor a change of place nor an augmentation, there is nothing left for that other action to be except an alteration (understood in the broadest sense) through which a quality is produced immediately in the fire.
24. Now as for his claim that even on our view God's general concurrence has its terminus not in the action of heating but only in the heat produced by the action of heating, it should be replied that according to our position God's general concurrence is not an influence on the fire but an influence with the fire on the action, an action by which the heat is produced and which as an action emanates immediately from God as from a universal cause and from the fire as from a particular cause and thus from both as from one altogether complete and immediate cause. Therefore, since God's general influence and the fire's particular influence are not on our view two actions, but instead are one absolutely simple action of heating which, insofar as it is from God, is the universal influence of God, and, insofar as it is from the fire, is the particular influence of the fire, it is not necessary that the general influence which we have defended should have its terminus in the action of heating. For an action does not have its terminus in itself, but has it instead in the thing produced by it; but it is far different with the influence which he posits in the fire, since a terminus has to be conceded which is immediately produced by that influence as by an action.
25. In that same first argument we added that if the fire needed that antecedent motion and direction for every action, then it would follow that there are as many motions by which the fire is moved and directed by God at one time to the numerically distinct actions of heating emanating from it as there are nearby subjects which it would be simultaneously heating; but this seems implausible.
26. He responds to this by denying that it follows that the fire is moved and directed by as many motions as there are numerically distinct actions of heating emanating from it. For, he says, on the part of the principle and influence which is manifold in power there would be only one action and one influence which is manifold in power, whereas on the part of the ends and subjects there would be said to be many actions, but not numerically distinct ones, since there would be only one action which is manifold power, as has been said.
27. This response is arbitrary, since it does not explain how and in what sense this influence is a single action which is manifold in power. Moreover, as was said above, whenever they admit a general concurrence on God's part with secondary causes for any particular action and effect, they posit a special general concurrence on God's part, distinct from all the others by which He concurs for the other actions and effects; and they admit that God can suspend that concurrence for one action or one part of an action without suspending it for the other actions of the same agent--as is also convincingly established by the arguments we will present at the end of the next disputation.
28. Likewise, as was also said above, according to this way of speaking God only moves and directs the fire to heating in general. And the fact that this or that particular action of heating follows from such-and-such an application stems not from an application to that action of heating in particular, but rather from the multiplication of the heatable things which that fire finds itself proximate to. But, as was said, this does not at all support what this author wants to say concerning predeterminations based on such applications of agents to their actions.
29. Likewise, it was shown that (i) the influence by which the fire would be so moved and directed to produce the heat does not have for its proper terminus the heat produced in the subject, but that this latter terminus is proper to the action of heating which is numerically multiplied according to the numerical diversity of such termini, and that (ii) it would be necessary to posit a proper terminus for that application and influence, a terminus which is received in the fire and by which the unity or multiplicity of such an action might be attended--especially since it is not normally the case that the action is in one subject and the terminus produced by it as by an action is in another subject. Hence, if such an influence and motion were to admitted in the fire, then clearly as far as concerns the action of heating which later emanates from it into the water, the influence would be related to it not as an action but as its efficient principle along with the heat of the fire, in the way in which the impetus and local motion of the fingers are an efficient principle of the impetus and motion by which the brush is moved and directed to the paint, and in the way in which acts of virtue and knowledge are an efficient principle of the habits that are generated from them, as we have shown elsewhere.
30. This author should be asked whether God's influencing and directing the fire to the action of heating is the same action as the action of heating by which heat is induced in the subject. If he responds that it is the same, then he should be asked again what sort of influence there could be which is such that it is one action in the fire as in a subject and another in the water. And, likewise, he should be asked what sort of influence there could be which is such that the action of heating is numerically multiplied in accordance with the number of termini which are received in the subjects, while the influence itself is not likewise multiplied. On the other hand, if he responds that they are different actions, then clearly they will have different termini and they will be numerically and even specifically distinct from one another in accordance with these termini.
31. Our fourth argument [Disputation 26, § 9] (which this author sets forth as the third) goes like this: "Suppose that God's general concurrence with secondary causes were an influence on the very causes themselves, an influence by which He moved them, directed them and rendered them more capable of acting. Then, since such an influence in a secondary cause, along with whatever would be produced in it by the action, would be something created and would supplement the proper power of the cause, e.g., the power of the fire to produce heat in the water, certainly the action itself would be no less a secondary cause than that very power of heating had by the fire. Thus, it would need another concurrence on God's part no less than the power of the fire does, since the need for God's general concurrence in order to act is something common to all secondary causes, even supernatural ones, with no exceptions. Hence, either an infinite regress among concurrences of this sort would have to be countenanced, in which case no effect of this sort could be produced, or else it would have to be acknowledged that God's general concurrence is not an influence on the cause, but instead acts immediately with the cause on the action and effect."
32. In response to this argument he denies that influence of the sort in question should be called a secondary cause, just as the action by which an agent acts is not called a secondary cause.
33. Now just a little while ago we showed that if such an influence is to be countenanced, then it cannot have the character of an action in relation to the action of heating and to the heat, both of which follow afterwards and are received into the water; we showed that instead it has the character of an efficient principle along with the heat of the fire, which is directed by that principle to act, and that the same does not hold for the action itself insofar as it is called an efficient principle in relation to its own terminus, with which it is really identical and from which it is only formally distinct.
34. This author adds that in the same way it should not be said that an influence of this sort requires another concurrence on God's part--just as we claim, according to him, that an efficacious supernatural grace which is received in a free will and premoves it to supernatural acts and works does not require another concurrence on God's part, or else there would have to be an infinite regress among concurrences of this sort.
35. This author is not reading our Concordia attentively enough when he attributes this claim to us. For we have frequently and very clearly taught that in addition to the assistance of prevenient grace, which concurs as an efficient cause with free choice for supernatural works of faith, hope, charity or contrition, there has to be a general concurrence on God's part by which God acts immediately, by an immediacy of suppositum, on those same works. For that which consists of free will and prevenient grace is a secondary cause, even if one of its parts is supernatural, and no secondary cause, even if it is supernatural, is able to do anything without a general concurrence on God's part by which God acts at the same time. However, since we maintain that God's general concurrence is an action of God's on the effect of the secondary cause and not an action on the cause itself, clearly an infinite regress does not follow from our teaching, in the way that an infinite regress does follow from the teaching of those who contend that the general concurrence is an influence on the secondary cause by which God moves it and directs it to act.
36. This author does not respond to the rest of our arguments, since along with a general concurrence of God's on the cause by which He moves and directs it, he acknowledges a general concurrence of God's immediately with the cause on the action and effect, a concurrence of the sort that our arguments convincingly establish.
37. This author disagrees with us also in that he finds it distressing that at the end of the preceding disputation [Disputation 26, § 15] and at the end of Disputation 25 [§ 19] we claimed that if we use the term "complete cause" in a sense that includes every cause necessary for an action, be it universal or particular, then God through His general concurrence constitutes with the secondary causes one complete cause consisting of a plurality of causes that are non-complete with respect to a given effect, so that neither God through just His universal concurrence without the secondary causes, nor the secondary causes without God's universal concurrence is sufficient to produce the effect. Yet it is not because of the dividedness of the effect that they are partial causes in the way described, as though there were something in the effect that is from the one cause and not from the other; it is rather because of the dividedness of the cause, since the effect is from neither of them except insofar as each acts at the same time as part of an altogether complete cause of such an effect. But we added that if we are speaking of a complete or total cause, not absolutely but within a certain category of cause, then through His general concurrence God is a complete cause in the category of maximally universal causes, since no other cause concurs with Him in that category of cause, and likewise the various secondary causes are complete causes of the same effect in their own category and order of causes. This doctrine, I repeat, our author finds distressing, claiming that neither God nor such a secondary cause is a partial cause in the aforesaid way, but that each should be called only a total cause; and elsewhere he makes the same claim about (i) the intellect and the intelligible species, which concur for intellection, and about (ii) the intellect and the light of glory, which concur for the beatific vision, and about (iii) prevenient grace and free will, which concur for acts of faith, hope, contrition or charity, and so on for other similar cases.
38. Now notice, prudent reader, that among the causes which concur for the same effect there are some which act on the effect by exactly the same influence--e.g., (i) the fire, its substantial form, and the heat residing in it, in relation to the action of heating which emantes from them, (ii) the human being, the soul and the intellect, in relation to intellection, (iii) the fire, the glowing iron and heat in the glowing iron, in relation to the action of heating which emanates from the glowing iron, (iv) the artist and the brush, in relation to the picture, and (v) almost all the instruments of the artist, in relation to the artifact, when there is in the instrument no particular power to act, but only an aptitude for being such that the artist might act by means of it and might by his action induce the effect of the art via the instrument. But there are other causes concurring for numerically the same effect which are such that they do not act by the same influence, but rather each of them makes its own proper and distinct contribution which is necessary for the effect--e.g., (i) God with His general concurrence and the secondary cause, for any effect proper to a secondary cause, (ii) the intellect and the intelligible species, for intellection, (iii) the intellect and the light of glory, for the beatific vision, (iv) free choice and prevenient grace, for acts of faith, hope, contrition and other acts of charity, and other similar causes. Yet even though among these causes it must be conceded that each is a total cause in its own order and category, still it cannot be denied that each is a partial cause, which acts partially and not by the total influence necessary for the effect, as long as we are talking of complete causes, absolutely speaking.
However, this way of speaking, which is absolutely veridical and is taken and drawn from the very nature of things and causes, is unsavory to some. For it quite clearly destroys the arguments by which they support the sort of predeterminations with respect to the supernatural and natural acts of free choice that completely destroy free choice, along with the arguments by which they conjure up composed and divided senses of a sort that renders us free in name only; and, finally, this way of speaking draws the truth out of the shadows and sheds a marvelous light on many extremely difficult questions, questions on which they have convinced themselves of the contrary positions.
39. Let them see whether they dare to concede either that God does not concur by His general concurrence with the material element of a sin, or that He is the total cause of that sin (given that He concurs for it as a universal cause) without adding, "in the genus and category of maximally universal causes"? For it would be wrong for them to concede that the secondary cause is the absolutely total cause of that effect which emanates from it; for it should not even be conceded that it is a total cause in the category of particular causes, except when such an effect emanates from it alone as from a particular cause.
40. May it suffice to have said these things here, and let us hope that it has not been useless to repeat them. For just as we have assumed them as absolutely true up till now, so too we will continue to assume them in what follows, whenever the occasion presents itself.