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De Moor IV:35: God's Knowledge, a Most Pure Act

Johannes a Marck

Our AUTHOR expounds the Mode of the Divine Knowledge, § 35, and its Object, § 36. God knows:

1. By a Most Simple Act, such that there is here no place for Habit as distinct from Act, with the Habit now resting, now passing again into act. α. Indeed, the Knowledge of an altogether perfect Being also ought to be altogether perfect, such that His consummate Perfection always ought to be present. β. By a transition from Habit to Act Immutability would also fall, which, as it is agreeable to the divine Essence, is thus also agreeable to the Essential Perfection of God. γ. Composition would thus obtain in God, all which we demonstrated above to be rejected by His Altogether Simple Essence. δ. The Act of exercising Knowledge would thus be in Potency, which sort of state we taught above to be repugnant to the Independence of the first Being, which as Pure Act ought always to be in the utmost actuality; since however much potency as opposed to act there is in each Being, there is just so much dependency in it.

And, as a Composition of Habit and Act is unworthy of God, so God’s Simplicity, Immutability, Independence, and Infinite Perfection also reject multiple Acts of Knowledge, whether simultaneous or successive. Therefore, in the same instant of mind God knows all things that are, that were, and are coming, after the likeness of the Sun, illuminating all things with one dispersion of rays.

And so Discursive Reasoning, through which from the agreement and dissimilarly of things He might construct relations, and from causes draw conclusions, is not able to be ascribed to God, except ἀνθρωποπαθῶς/anthropopathically and to point out the nexus/ connections of things. For, although this is a great perfection in man above brutes, that from one known truth he might elicit another hitherto less apparent; it nevertheless includes and supposes multiple imperfections, namely, Ignorance, Uncertainty, and Knowledge acquired, all which are altogether foreign to the altogether perfect Knowledge of God: since man makes use of Discursive Reasoning as an Instrument, to support the weakness of his Mind, and to learn truth, which had hitherto been hidden.

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