Of God and His Creatures

That God has a particular Knowledge of all things

EVERY agent that acts by understanding has a knowledge of what it does, reaching to the particular nature of the thing produced; because the knowledge of the maker determines the form of the thing made. But God is cause of things by His understanding, seeing that in Him to be and to understand are one. But everything acts inasmuch as it is in actuality. God therefore knows in particular, as distinct from other things, whatever He causes to be.*

3. The collocation of things, distinct and separate, cannot be by chance, for it is in regular order. This collocation of things, then, distinct and separate from one another, must be due to the intention of some cause. It cannot be due to the intention of any cause that acts by physical necessity, because physical nature is determined to one line of acton. Thus of no agent, that acts by physical necessity, can the intention reach to many distinct effects, inasmuch as they are distinct.* The distinct arrangement and collocation of things must proceed from the intention of some knowing cause.* Indeed it seems the proper function of intellect to remark the distinction of things. It belongs therefore to the First Cause, which of itself is distinct from all others, to intend the distinct and separate collocation of all the materials of the Universe.

4. Whatever God knows, He knows most perfectly: for there is in Him all perfection (Chap. XXVIII). Now what is known only in general is not known perfectly: the main points of the thing are not known, the finishing touches of its perfection, whereby its proper being is completely realised and brought out. Such mere general knowledge is rather a perfectible than a perfect knowledge of a thing. If therefore God in knowing His essence knows all things in their universality, He must also have a particular knowledge of things.

8. Whoever knows any nature, knows whether that nature be communicable: for he would not know perfectly the nature of 'animal,' who did not know that it was communicable to many. But the divine nature is communicable by likeness. God therefore knows in how many ways anything may exist like unto His essence. Hence arises the diversity of types, inasmuch as they imitate in divers ways the divine essence. God therefore has a knowledge of things according to their several particular types.* This also we are taught by the authority of canonical Scripture. God saw all things that he had made, and they were very good (Gen. i, 31). Nor is there any creature invisible in his sight, but all things are naked and open to his eyes (Heb. iv, 13).

1.49 : That God knows other things besides Himself
1.51 : Some Discussion of the question how there is in the Divine Understanding a Multitude of Objects