Of God and His Creatures

That the things that are said God and Creatures are said analogously

THUS then from the foregoing arguments the conclusion remains that things said alike of God and of other beings are not said either in quite the same sense, or in a totally different sense, but in an analogous sense, that is, in point of order or regard to some one object. And this happens in two ways: in one way inasmuch as many things have regard to one particular, as in regard to the one point of health an animal is called 'healthy' as being the subject of health medicine is called 'healthful' as being productive of health; food is 'healthy,' being preservative of health; urine, as being a sign of health: in another way, inasmuch as we consider the order or regard of two things, not to any third thing, but to one of the two, as 'being' is predicated of substance and accident inasmuch as accident is referred to substance, not that substance and accident are referred to any third thing. Such names then as are predicated of God and of other beings are not predicated analogously in the former way of analogy -- for then we should have to posit something before God -- but in the latter way.*

In this matter of analogous predication we find sometimes the same order in point of name and in point of thing named, sometimes not the same. The order of naming follows the order of knowing, because the name is a sign of an intelligible concept. When then that which is prior in point of fact happens to be also prior in point of knowledge, there is one and the same priority alike in point of the concept answering to the name and of the nature of the thing named. Thus substance is prior to accident by nature, inasmuch as substance is the cause of accident;* and prior also in knowledge, inasmuch as substance is put in the definition of accident; and therefore 'being' is predicated of substance before it is predicated of accident, alike in point of the nature of the thing and in point of the concept attaching to the name.* But when what is prior in nature is posterior in knowledge, in such cases of analogy there is not the same order alike in point of the thing named and in point of the concept attaching to the name. Thus the power of healing, that is in healing remedies, is prior by nature to the health that is in the animal, as the cause is prior to the effect: but because this power is known from its effect, it is also named from its effect: hence, though 'healthful' or 'health- producing,' is prior in order of fast, yet the application of the predicate 'healthy' to the animal is prior in point of the concept attaching to the name. Thus then, because we arrive at the knowledge of God from the knowledge of other realities, the thing signified by the names that we apply in common to God and to those other realities -- the thing signified, I say, is by priority in God, in the mode proper to God: but the concept attaching to the name is posterior in its application to Him: hence He is said to be named from the effects which He causes.*

1.33 : That it is not at all true that the application of common Predicates to God and to Creatures involves nothing beyond a mere Identity of Name
1.35 : That the several Names predicated of God are not synonymous