A Manual Of Catholic Theology, Based On Scheeben's “Dogmatik”
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.With A Preface By Cardinal Manning
Vol. 1. The Sources Of Theological Knowledge, God, Creation And The Supernatural OrderThird Edition, Revised, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Lt.New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Benziger Bros.1906[Pp. 154-174]BOOK II. GOD.The natural and usual division of the treatise on God is founded upon the Unity of the DivineSubstance and the Trinity of the Divine Persons. While, however, opposing the Unity to the Trinity, as
is done in the division “Of God as One,” and “Of God as Three” (
De Deo Uno, De Deo Trino
), we shallhere connect them organically by first studying the Existence and Nature of God, then the Divine Life,and, lastly, the Divine Internal Activity, whereby the One Substance is communicated to the ThreeDivine Persons.PART I.GOD CONSIDERED AS ONE IN SUBSTANCE.The Fathers treat of God as One when they speak of Creation against pagans and Manichaeans.They enter more into detail in their polemical writings on the Trinity and Incarnation, especially againstthe Arians;
St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa,
; St. Hilary,
and, aboveall, St. Augustine,
The completest patristic treatise on God as One is that of Dionysiusthe Areopagite (so-called),
De Divinis Norninibus,
with the commentary by St. Maximus theConfessor. The best collections of texts from the Fathers on this question are those of John ofCyprus,
Expositio materiaria eorum quae de Deo a theologis dicuntur
Bibl. Patrum, Lugd.,
tom. xxi.),Petavius, Thomassinus, and Frassen,
and Theophil. Reynaud,
In the MiddleAges St. Anselm's
was an epoch-making work. Alexander of Hales and St. Thomas
qq. 2-26) contain copious materials. Of the countless modern writers we need only name Lessius,
De Perfectionibus Moribusque Divinis.
Among theologians of the present time the best treatises are byStaudenmaier, Berlage, Kuhn, Schwetz, Kleutgen, Franzelin, Pesch, Billot, and Janssen.CHAPTER I.OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.A.
NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.SECT. 54.
Natural Knowledge of God considered generally.
I. The Catholic doctrine on ma
n's natural knowledge of God was defined by the Vatican Council: “Holy
Mother Church doth hold and teach that God, the beginning and end of all things, can certainly beknown from created things by the natural light of reason ; 'for the invisible things of Him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made' (Rom. i. 20). … If
any one shall say that the One true God, our Creator and Lord, cannot be certainly known by thenatural light of human reason from the th
ings that are made, let him be anathema” (sess. iii.,
De Fide Catholica,
ch. 2 and the corresponding can. ii. I.).