Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Q104 A4: Whether anything is annihilated?

No. Nothing at all will be annihilated because the divine power and goodness of God are manifested more by the preservation of things in be-ing.

Simpliciter dicendum est quod nihil omnino in nihilum redigetur quia magis per hoc divina potentia et bonitas ostendatur, quod res in esse conservat.

This fact that things are brought into be-ing, after they have not been, clearly shows the power of Him Who made them. But that they should be reduced to nothing would hinder this sort of manifestation, since the power of God is conspicuously shown in this fact that He preserves all things in be-ing, according to the Apostle: "Upholding all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3).

Hoc quod res in esse productae sunt, postquam non fuerunt, declarat potentiam producentis. Sed quod in nihilum redigerentur, huiusmodi manifestationem impediret, cum Dei potentia in hoc maxime ostendatur, quod res in esse conservat, secundum illud apostoli Heb. I, "portans omnia verbo virtutis suae".

The natures of creatures show this fact that none of them is annihilated: for, either they are immaterial, and therefore there is in them no potentiality to non-be-ing; or they are material, and thus in all events they remain at least in matter, which is incorruptible, since it is the existing subject of generation and corruption. Moreover, the annihilation of things does not pertain to the manifestation of grace.

Creaturarum autem naturae hoc demonstrant, ut nulla earum in nihilum redigatur: quia vel sunt immateriales, et sic in eis non est potentia ad non esse; vel sunt materiales, et sic saltem remanent semper secundum materiam, quae incorruptibilis est, utpote subiectum existens generationis et corruptionis. Redigere etiam aliquid in nihilum, non pertinet ad gratiae manifestationem.

A creature's potentiality to be-ing a being is receptive only; but the active potentiality belongs to God Himself, from Whom there is the in-flow of the be-ing of a being. Wherefore the infinite duration of things is a consequence of the infinity of the Divine power.

Potentia creaturae ad essendum est receptiva tantum; sed potentia activa est ipsius Dei, a quo est influxus essendi. Unde quod res in infinitum durent, sequitur infinitatem divinae virtutis.

Forms and accidents are not complete beings, since they do not subsist: but each one of them is something "of a being"; for it is called a being, because by it something is.

Formae et accidentia non sunt entia completa, cum non subsistant: sed quodlibet eorum est aliquid "entis", sic enim ens dicitur, quia eo aliquid est.

Yet so far as the way in which they are is concerned, they are not entirely reduced to nothingness: not that any part of them survives, but they remain in the potentiality of the matter, or of the subject.

Et tamen eo modo quo
sunt, non omnino in nihilum rediguntur: non quia aliqua pars eorum remaneat, sed remanent in potentia materiae vel subiecti.

It is written (Ecclesiastes 3:14): "I have learned that all the works that God hath made continue for ever."

Dicitur Eccle. III. "Didici quod omnia opera quae fecit Deus, perseverant in aeternum."