Thursday, January 15, 2009

Q70 A1: Whether the lights ought to have been produced on the fourth day?

Yes. The lights were produced on the fourth day because just as distinction of certain things is made most evident by their local movement, as separating one from another, so the work of adornment is set forth by the production of things having movement in the heavens, and upon the earth.

Luminaria sunt facta quarta die. Distinctio autem aliquorum maxime manifestatur per motum localem, quo ab invicem separantur. Et ideo ad opus ornatus pertinet productio illarum rerum quae habent motum in caelo et in terra.

In Augustine's opinion there is no difficulty here; for he does not hold a succession of time in these works, and so there was no need for the matter of the lights to exist under another form. Nor is there any difficulty in the opinion of those who hold the heavenly bodies to be of the nature of the four elements, for it may be said that they were formed out of matter already existing, as animals and plants were formed. For those, however, who hold the heavenly bodies to be of another nature from the elements, and naturally incorruptible, the answer must be that the lights were substantially created at the beginning, but that their substance, at first formless, is formed on this day, by receiving not its substantial form, but a determination of power.

Secundum Augustinum, nulla difficultas ex hoc oritur. Non enim ponit successionem temporis in istis operibus, et ideo non oportet dicere quod materia luminarium fuerit sub alia forma. Secundum etiam eos qui ponunt caelestia corpora ex natura quatuor elementorum, nulla difficultas accidit, quia potest dici quod sunt formata ex praeiacenti materia, sicut animalia et plantae. Sed secundum eos qui ponunt corpora caelestia esse alterius naturae ab elementis et incorruptibilia per naturam, oportet dicere quod substantia luminarium a principio fuit creata; sed prius erat informis, et nunc formatur; non quidem forma substantiali, sed per collationem determinatae virtutis.

Three things are recorded as created, namely, the heaven, the water, and the earth; and these three received their form from the three days' work of distinction, so that heaven was formed on the first day; on the second day the waters were separated; and on the third day, the earth was divided into sea and dry land.

De tribus fit mentio in creatione, scilicet de caelo et aqua et terra. Et haec tria etiam formantur per opus distinctionis tribus diebus, primo die, caelum; secundo die distinguuntur aquae; tertio die fit distinctio in terra, maris et aridae.

So also is it in the work of adornment; on the first day of this work, which is the fourth of creation, are produced the lights, to adorn the heaven by their movements; on the second day, which is the fifth, birds and fishes are called into being, to make beautiful the intermediate element, for they move in air and water, which are here taken as one; while on the third day, which is the sixth, animals are brought forth, to move upon the earth and adorn it.

Et similiter in opere ornatus, primo die, qui est quartus, producuntur luminaria, quae moventur in caelo, ad ornatum ipsius. Secundo die, qui est quintus, aves et pisces, ad ornatum medii elementi, quia habent motum in aere et aqua, quae pro uno accipiuntur. Tertio die, qui est sextus, producuntur animalia quae habent motum in terra, ad ornatum ipsius.

It must also here be noted that Augustine's opinion (Gen. ad lit. v, 5) on the production of lights is not at variance with that of other holy writers, since he says that they were made actually, and not merely virtually, for the firmament has not the power of producing lights, as the earth has of producing plants. Wherefore Scripture does not say: "Let the firmament produce lights," though it says: "Let the earth bring forth the green herb."

Sed sciendum est quod in productione luminarium non discordat Augustinus ab aliis sanctis. Dicit enim luminaria esse facta in actu, non in virtute tantum, non enim habet firmamentum virtutem productivam luminarium, sicut habet terra virtutem productivam plantarum. Unde Scriptura non dicit, producat firmamentum luminaria; sicut dicit, germinet terra herbam virentem.