De Moor IV:37: God's Knowledge of Vision, and of Simple Intelligence



The Knowledge of God is either of Vision, or of Simple Intelligence. In this manner the Knowledge of God, perfectly Simple in itself, is distinguished,


1. With respect to its Objects; while the Knowledge of Vision is concerned with things Future or non-future: the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence is concerned with God Himself and those things that flow from the divine Sufficiency immediately of themselves, mere Possibilities.



2. With respect to its Foundations: For, God is conscious of Possibilites as such, since He is conscious of His own Sufficiency, as the principium from which is able to proceed whatever does not involve a contradiction. But God knows thing Future and non-future by power of His Decree, since the entire mass of Possible Things was divied into those two classes of future and non-future by the sole will of the decreeing God.


3. With respect to its Order according to our manner of conception. Since the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence precedes, as founded in God’s altogether Perfect Nature itself, and supposing no determination of the divine Decree; which is not a prerequisite for God’s knowledge of Himself, nor for His knowledge of Possible things; seeing that God understands Himself to be Sufficient without relation to the Decree. On the other hand, the Knowledge of Vision follows, in a sign of reason, the acto of the divine Will most freely determining the futurition or non-futurition of things.



That is called the Knowledge of Vision, which concerns Future Things, inasmuch as by it God from all eternity foresees the things that are going to happen in whatever diversity of time by virtue of His Decree, or are absolutely not going to happen.


It is also called Free, on account of the good pleasure of His Will, upon which it depends; because what things God knows in this manner, if He had willed to determine something else by His Decree, had also been able to have been set before the divine mind under a state other than that whereby they are now in fact set before the divine mind.


That is called the Knowledge of Simple Intelligence, which concerns God and things merely Possible, and does not require an intervening act of the divine Will: or more restrictively Natural Knowledge regarded relatively to its secondary object, namley, Possible Things; because this concerns the simple non-repugnance of this to existence, with no determination made, whether in this or that manner, at this or that time, they are going to be or not.


This Knowledge is also called Natural, because it is founded in the altogether Perfect Nature of God itself; and from His consummately rational Being the Knowledge and Cognition both of Himself, and of all His Essential Attributes, and, among those, of His Omnisufficiency as the foundation of the production of all Possible Things, is not able in any manner to be removed.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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