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Grand Rapids. Theology BT110 Doctrinal theology God Doctrine of the Trinity . Early Church.About The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods by Boethius Title: URL: Author(s): Publisher: Rights: CCEL Subjects: LC Call no: LC Subjects: The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods http://www.org/ccel/boethius/trinity. MI Copyright Christian Classics Ethereal Library All.html Boethius Christian Classics Ethereal Library.ccel.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii p. . . .. . . . . . . . . Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 p. . .. . . . . . . V. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treatise. . . . . . . 7 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 p. . . . . . 3 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 p. . . . . . . . . VI. . . . 6 p. . . . . . . . . 1 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 p. . . . . . . . . . . Title Page. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 14 iii . . I. Note on the Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Indexes. . . . . . . . . . . . IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius Table of Contents About This Book. . . . . . . . . . Latin Words and Phrases. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius iv .
OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF EX-CONSULS. OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF EX-CONSULS.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius THE TRINITY IS ONE GOD NOT THREE GODS A TREATISE BY ANICIUS MANLIUS SEVERINUS BOETHIUS MOST HONOURABLE. QUINTUS AURELIUS MEMMIUS SYMMACHUS MOST HONOURABLE. PATRICIAN . PATRICIAN TO HIS FATHER-IN-LAW.
as I know in the case of the Tegernseensis. R. E. no distant date. is intimately connected with that of the Consolatio. since his reports. The history of the text of the Opuscula Sacra. as I shall attempt to show elsewhere. in certain orthographical details. K. The text of the Opuscula Sacra is based on my own collations of all the important manuscripts of these works. the opinions of Engelbrecht in his admirable article. We look to August Engelbrecht for the first critical edition of the Consolatio at. An edition with complete apparatus criticis will be ready before long for the Vienna corpis Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum. 2 . has been constructed from only part of the material with which an editor should reckon. though the reader may at least assume that every reading in the text has. are generally accurate and complete. unless otherwise stated. not always but usually. nearly all of which I have at least examined. cxliv. The present text.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius NOTE ON THE TEXT IN preparing the text of the Consolatio I have used the apparatus in Peiper's edition (Teubner. the authority of some manuscript of the ninth or tenth century. (1902) 1–60. 1871). Die Consolatio Philosophiae des Boethius in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy. and I have also followed. then. I have depended also on my own collations or excerpts from various of the important manuscripts. we hope. evidence from the text of the Opuscula Sacra has been used without special mention of this fact.
in Rome. who at the end cast off the faith which he had worn in times of peace. were joint consuls in 522. Emperor of the East. His father was an ex-consul. His brief and busy life was marked by great literary achievement. a pagan. as is sometimes done. founded on various Greek authorities. His five theological Tractates are here. He translated the E of Porphyry. Aurelius Symmachus. and wrapped himself in the philosophic cloak which properly belonged to him. The present volume serves to prove the truth of both these assertions. as Gibbon called it. Rather it is the supreme essay of one who throughout his life had found his highest solace in the dry light of reason. the transmitter of a distorted Aristotelianism. It was the habit of a former generation to regard Boethius as an eclectic. was born about 480 A. and the whole of Aristotle's Organon." To belittle its originality and sincerity. His public career was splendid and honourable. He adapted the arithmetic of Nicomachus. He wrote a double commentary on the E. His chief source of refreshment. it is all his own. The development of the argument is anything but Neoplatonic. he himself was consul under Theodoric the Ostrogoth in 510. and his two sons. Boethius was the last of the Roman philosophers and the first of the scholastic theologians. with view to saving the Christianity of the writer. To form the idea was a silent judgment on the learning of his day. and the reconciliation of their apparently divergent views. of the famous Praenestine family of the Anicii. and on the Topica of Cicero.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius INTRODUCTION ANICIUS MANLIUS SEVERINUS BOETHIUS. and character. The Consolatio is not. His learning was vast. his industry untiring. He also composed original treatises on the categorical and hypothetical syllogism. and commentaries on the Categories and the De Interpretatione of Aristotle. "a golden volume. was a memory well stocked with the poetry and thought of former days. children of a great granddaughter of the renowned Q. We know better now. and he was as brutally put to death in 524. to realize it was more than one man could accomplish. and his textbook on music. Thomas. The Consolation of Philosophy is indeed. a mere patchwork of translations from Aristotle and the Neoplatonists. his object unattainable—nothing less than the transmission to his countrymen of all the works of Plato and Aristotle. together with the Consolation of Philosophy to speak for themselves. is to misunderstand his mind and his method. as has been maintained. where he wrote the Consolation of Philosophy. The discovery by Alfred 3 . The authenticity of the Tractates was freely denied. was in use at Oxford and Cambridge until modern times. the theological Tractates mark him as the forerunner of St. But he fell under the displeasure of Theodoric. not unworthy of the leisure of Plato or of Tully. And if the Consolation of Philosophy admits Boethius to the company of Cicero or even of Plato. or at best a luke-warm Christian. attainments. He was thrown into prison at Pavia. in the dungeon to which his beloved library had not accompanied him. as befitted a man of his race. and was charged with conspiring to deliver Rome from his rule.D. and with corresponding treasonably to this end with Justin. but Boethius accomplished much. on Division and on Topical Differences.
a Doctor and perhaps a martyr. Philosophy belongs to one order. vi. even Trinity. Philosophy states the problem in unequivocal terms. On the question of the genuineness of Tr. at most. he put away his faith. Thomas himself.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius Holder. So St. in the Tractates he is writing theology. and to show its 1 2 Anecdoton Holderi. to vindicate the ways of Providence. Thomas himself. apart from the work of scholars who have sought to justify that tradition from internal evidence. Leipzig. de WuIf. In the Tractates Reason is called in to give to the claims of Faith the support which it does not really lack. was to harmonize and codify all the answers to all the questions that philosophy raises. In the Consolation he is writing philosophy. In the Consolation he gives Reason her range and suffers her. He set out. unaided. They have different objects. Nor is it necessary to think that. He observes what Pascal calls the orders of things. the answer is simple. at least desires to correct the one by the other. to go behind all the other systems. he concludes. and a book against Nestorius. Boethius comes back to the question of the substantiality of the divine Persons which he has discussed in Tr. In that fragment Cassiodorus definitely ascribes to his friend Boethius "a book on the Trinity. first to translate. to discover what truth is common to both. and there is. 4 . fidem si poterit rationemque coniunge. and then to reconcile. even the latest and the most in vogue. has still a right to be heard. IV. De Trin. In the second especially it is drawn with a clearness worthy of St. from a fresh point of view. One object of the scholastics. But the treatment is philosophical and extremely bold. See below. De fide catholica see note ad loc. when in prison. and is. Theology is required to say whether they commend themselves. of course the implication that the higher authority resides with fides. Scripsil librum de sancta trinitate et capita quaedam dogmatica et librum contra Nestorium. The distinction between fides and ratio is proclaimed in the first two Tractates .1 of a fragment of Cassiodorus are sufficient confirmation of the manuscript tradition. The ambition of Bonethius was not so soaring. p. not out of harmony with Christianity. I. Histoire de la Philosophie medieval (Louvain and Paris 1915). 1877.3 and the corresponding difference in the function of Faith and Reason. the object of theology is to understand and explain doctrines delivered by divine revelation. Once more he decides that the Persons are predicated relatively. anterior to the final con-ordination of the two sciences. theology to another. back to the two great masters. 332. is not predicated substantially of deity. and the illuminating discussion by Hermann Usener. ad fin. 3 4 Cp. The scholastics recognized the distinction. Meanwhile Boethius helps to prepare the way.4 Reason. H."2 Boethius was without doubt a Christian. Their final aim was to co-ordinate the two but this was not possible before the thirteenth century. but it was sufficiently bold. and are in substantial accord. however. some dogmatic chapters. If it is asked why the Consolation of Philosophy contains no conscious or direct reference to the doctrines which are traced in the Tractates with so sure a hand. Plato and Aristotle. and to show that they have the truth. Does this square with catholic doctrine? It is possible to hear a note of challenge in his words to John the Deacon. The object of philosophy is to understand and explain the nature of the world around us. if he cannot reconcile the teaching of Plato and Aristotle.
who was part author of A Mirror for Magistrates and Gorboduc and who. Rand in Traube's Quellen und Untersuchungen.'s preface. He not only put into circulation many precious philosophical notions. T. 5 Cp. widow of Thomas Sackville. K. L. and handed down to them a definite Aristotelian method for approaching the problem of faith.R. for the rendering is most exact. Munster. 624). meditated similar work. I. E. though the theological and practical parts may be within her scope." nothing is known. been translated. H. and the requirements of modern scholarship. Thomas of Emmanuel College. but we do not often get from him such loyalty to the original as is here displayed. might have attempted something of the kind. when it is finally accepted and defended by St. 5 .K. This in a translation of that date is not a little remarkable. does not unduly flatter h patroness. 1906). the other by Gilbert de la Porree (printed in Migne. we learn from I. Of the author "I. He may have been John Thorie. Gundissalinus: de divisione. and a noted poet of his times " (Wood. In reading and rendering them we have been greatly helped by two mediaeval commentaries: one by John the Scot (edited by E. and a B. T. Thorie "was a person well skilled in certain tongues. Thomas in his commentary on the De Trinitate. It is reasonable to conjecture that Boethius. Our translator dedicates his "Five books on Philosophical Comfort" to the Dowager Countes of Dorset.5 The uniform distribution into natural sciences. and he tells her plainly that she will not understand the philosophy of the book. mathematics and theology which he recommends may be traced in the work of various teachers up to the thirteenth century. Munich. The Opuscucla Sacra have never before. There was. We also desire to record our indebtedness in many points of scholarship and philosophy to Mr. P. if he had lived. served as channel through which various works of Aristotle passed into the schools. We look for fine English and poetry in an Elizabethan. lxiv.A. indeed not much to do. In yet one more respect Boethius belongs to the company of the schoolmen. Athenae Oxon ed. he might feel more in tune with the best of the pagans than with most contemporary philosophic thought.F.L. Bliss. 1905. but his known translations are apparently all from the Spanish. a Fleming born in London in 1568. T. vol. i.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius correspondence with Christian doctrine.V. i. 2. to our knowledge. Baur. A seventeenth-century translation of the consolatio Philosophiae is here presented with such alterations as are demanded by a better text. he also supplied material for that classification of the various sciences which is an essential accompaniment of every philosophical movement. E. Pt. 1586. Were he alive today. and of which the Middle Ages felt the value. of Christ Church.
numerus. e. Difference is the necessary correlative of sameness. Augustine's writings7 have borne fruit.g. wherever I turn my eyes. s. And now let us begin our inquiry. So with the other arts. are used expertly. You will readily understand what I feel whenever I try to write down what I think if you consider the difficulty of the topic and the fact that I discuss it only with the few—I may say with no one but yourself. It is indeed no desire for fame or empty popular applause that prompts my pen. break it up and convert it to Plurality. having set it forth in logical order and cast it into literary form. a part from yourself. not three Gods.g. as would be expected of the author of the In Isag. and a man who casts his thoughts before the common herd—I will not say to consider but to trample under foot. Commenta. v. and because the worship in which they are expressed has spread throughout the world. I. does not always bring health to the sick. that is. and therefore do not deserve to read. we may not look for more warmth in the Verdict than the subject itself arouses. and Holy Spirit are one God. I venture to submit it to your judgment. The discussion of human ratio and divine intellegetia in Cons. who. but that form of faith is valid and only valid which. Porph. for which I care as much as for the results of my own research. The cause of this union is absence of difference:8 difference cannot be avoided by those who add to or take from the Unity. as for instance the Arians. Sameness is predicated in three ways: By genus.6 In all the liberal arts some limit is set beyond which reason may not reach. Now. for instance. For the essence of plurality is otherness. You must however examine whether the seeds sown in my mind by St. 4 and 5. the Holy Spirit is God. by graduating the Trinity according to merit. species. both on account of the universal character of the rules and doctrines affirming its authority. is called catholic or universal. 6 .The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius I HAVE long pondered this problem with such mind as I have and all the light that God has lent me. So I purposely use brevity and wrap up the ideas I draw from the deep questionings of philosophy in new and unaccustomed words which speak only to you and to myself. Aug. 6 7 8 Cf. Brandt's edition of that work (in the Vienna Corpus. pr. The rest of the world I simply disregard: they cannot understand. We should not of course press our inquiry further than man's wit and reason are allowed to climb the height of heavenly knowledge. In the present case the very difficulty of the quest claims a lenient judgment.v. De Trin. In fact. Son. etc. differencia. would seem to bring discredit on the study of divinity. For. 1906). they fall on either the apathy of the dullard or the jealousy of the shrewd. Therefore Father. e. The terms differentia. See S. Medicine. the Son is God. apart from otherness plurality is unintelligible. The belief of this religion concerning the Unity of the Trinity is as follows: the Father is God. if you deign to look at them. if there be any external reward. the difference between three or more things lies in genus or species or number. though the doctor will not be to blame if he has left nothing undone which he ought to do. a man and a horse. There are many who claim as theirs the dignity of the Christian religion.
but will simply apprehend that Form which is pure form and no image. In Physics. species. being connected with matter cannot be really separated from bodies. Sb. however. Theology does not deal with motion and is abstract and separable. Speculative Science may he divided into three kinds:11 Physics. and therefore apart from movement. Cf. e.g. (vide infra. Similarly. man. 7 . and Theology. for if we mentally remove from them all other accidents. We will now begin a careful consideration of each several point. tending downwards. ed. which is very Being and the source of Being For everything owes its being to Form. for it has been wisely said. which forms cannot be separated in reality from their bodies. 10 11 12 By Cicero (Tusc. systematical. pr. which forms. By species. pp 7 ff. v. then. Now numerical difference is caused by variety of accidents.12 As the bodies are in motion—the earth. e. Tully and Cicero. and in Theology we will not let ourselves be diverted to play with imaginations. and number. Brandt. 44) and in Cons. Thus a statue is not a statue on account of the brass which is its matter. where the notion of divine foreknowledge is abstracted in imagination. form takes on the movement of the particular thing to which it is annexed. Mathematics. since two bodies cannot occupy the same place. Mathematics does not deal with motion and is not abstract.10 in my opinion. By number. for it is concerned with the forms of bodies together with their constituent matter. II.e. Cato and Cicero. for time Divine Substance is without either matter or motion. ). that it is a scholar's duty to study the real nature of anything before he formulates his belief about it. Physics deals with motion and is not abstract or separable (i. for it investigates forms of bodies apart from matter. because of their common species. Porph. Though they may be separated in thought. we are bound to use scientific. Likewise earth is not earth by reason of 9 This method of mental abstraction is employed more elaborately in Tr. for instance. in Theology. Wherefore it is because men are plural by their accidents that they are plural in number. difference is expressed by genus. as far as they can be grasped and understood. iii. 19). 7.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius because of their common genus. p. the similar division of philosophy in Isag. in Mathematics.g.9 still each one occupies a different place which cannot possibly be regarded as the same for each. intellectual concepts. three men differ neither by genus nor species but by their accidents. but because of its form. because they are one and the same man. animal. v. and fire tending upwards. 4. but on account of the form whereby the likeness of a living thing is impressed upon it: the brass itself is not brass because of the earth which is its matter. and place is an accident.
In Porph. and cannot have its essence in matter. 26 ff. it does not receive accidents through the fact that it exists. for each thing has its being from the things of which it is composed. "quorum diiudicare sententias aptum esse non duxi" (cp. and pure Forms cannot be substrates. in which nothing is present except its own essence. and is therefore One. since he consists of soul and body. 124. that is. 77). pr. Cf. but only of This. from its parts. Isag. has ipsas quinque res uere intellectas esse non dubites". Wherefore that is truly One in which is no number. 17. is without matter cannot be a substrate. he merely postpones the question. pp. he settles. they only resemble those forms which are not incorporate in matter.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius unqualified matter. like other forms. lxiv. Nam cum res omnes quae uere sunt sine his quinque (i. Haureau. here. So nothing is said to be because it has matter. which in the De Trin. if we think of what we count instead 13 14 of Aristotle. Nor can it become the substrate of anything. But Form which. there is no sort of plurality and accordingly no number. but through the fact that matter is subjected to it. (id. As a fact in the Comment. It is This and That. In Porphyr. This is Realism. Cf.14 For if humanity. therefore he is not his own essence. separately. although in his Comment. We misname the entities that reside in bodies when we call them forms. Brandt. 17). 8 . and is its own essence. A se translatum he holds the scales between Plato and Aristotle. "Sed si rerum ueritatem atque integritatem perpendas. That on the other hand which does not consist of This and That. is unity alone. for it is pure Form. no multiplicity arising out of accidents. 120).e. (M. P. i. these three unities do not produce a plurality of number in their own essences. is no difference. and is altogether beautiful and stable because it is not grounded in any alien element. ed. The two passages show that Boethius is definitly commited to the Realistic position. it is the totality of its parts in conjunction. Hist. in Porph. is really its own essence.L. De Anima. For from those forms which are outside matter come the forms which are in matter and produce bodies. no plurality arising out of difference. for instance. De anima libri mantissa. genus species differentia propria accidentia) esse non possint. In Him. non est dubium quin uere sint. then. De la philosophie scolastique. i. therefore. 19. and accordingly no number. is soul and body. which are forms. III. they are mere images. Boethius was ridiculed in the Middle Ages for his caution. Col.). For whereas we say God thrice when we name the Father. else it would not be form but a reflexion. But the Divine Substance is Form without matter. but because it has a distinctive form.13 but by reason of dryness and weight. But other things are not simply their own essences. it is not This or That taken apart. and Holy Spirit. Earthly man. Son. i. But where there is no difference. not soul or body. (Alexander Aphrod. Now God differs from God in no respect for there cannot lie divine essences distinguished either by accidents or by substantial differences belonging to a substrate. is a substrate for accidents. Humanity appears indeed to appropriate the accident which in reality belongs to the matter underlying the conception Humanity.e.
Situation." we are not using Synonymous terms. There is not." "Is the One the same as the Other?" The answer is in the negative. and sun are one sun. in Arist. allowing no difference of merit in God. Activity. if I say "one." not as an enumeration of different things but as a reiteration of one and the same thing. duality is merely that whereby two men or two stones are denoted. attends only on those who distinguish Them according to merit. and so on. Place. Again " two "belongs to the class of things as men or stones. Quality. Sun. Son. There are in all ten categories which can be universally predicated of things. rightly regard the statement "the Father is God. 2nd ed. but "Father. and Holy Spirit'' though the same. the threefold predication does not result in plural number. Their meaning 15 16 e. "blade and brand are one sword" or "sun."16 It is easy to see that each of these names denotes a sword. and so number does come in—number which we explained was the result of diversity of substrates. Condition. This point deserves a moment's consideration. For in the case of abstract number a repetition of single items does produce plurality. one brand. Quantity. The risk of that. if I say of one and the same thing. namely. blade. one. assuming Him to be Pure Form and believing Him to he nothing else than His own essence." I reiterate the one thing and do not enumerate several different things any more than I produce three suns instead of merely mentioning one thing thrice when I say "Sun. There is the number with which we count (abstract) and the number inherent in the things counted (concrete). Sun. complete indifference between Them. but in the case of concrete number the repetition and plural use of single items does not by any means produce numerical difference in the objects counted. Still in saying "Father. Relation. one. There are as a fact two kinds of number. like the statement. Son. Therefore a repetition of unities15 produces plurality when it is a question of abstract. and this Trinity is one God. but not when it is a question of concrete things. When they ask. brand. (Meiser) 56. 12. Substance." So then if God be predicated thrice of Father. But Catholic Christians. we have done examining how particular predicates can be applied to God. The same words are used to illustrate the same matter in the Comment. IV. sun. and Holy Spirit. are not identical. the Son is God the Holy Spirit is God. 9 . as. as has been said. Sun." I enounce three unities. one blade. "One" is a thing—the thing counted. and in saying "sword. We will briefly debate this point when. "Brand and blade " are the same and identical.g. Time. "Is the Father the same s the Son ?" Catholics answer "No. Unity is that by which oneness is denoted. "one sword.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius of what we count with. I am not numbering unities but simply repeating one thing. but not so duality. Passivity. therefore. and Holy Spirit. for example." Let this be enough for the present to establish my meaning and to show that not every repetition of units produces number and plurality.
for instance. God. a quality. concerning His Form. not an accidental quality—rather a substantial and. non est subiectionis ratione quod dicitur. But man is merely great. for He cannot be in any place at all—but that every place is present to Him for Him to occupy. But God is simply and entirely God. with God. The categories we have mentioned are such that they give to the thing to which they are applied the character which they express. God is greatness. "A man came 17 Gilbert de la Porree in his commentary on the De Trin. and therefore is. P. 1283). in created things they express divided being. through simple existence. if we say "a just man or just God." or. although He Himself can be received by no place. lxiv. of course. Again we apply just. and therefore He cannot anywhere be in a place." we mention a quality. for substance in Him is not really substantial but super-substantial. but it is a substance that is supersubstantial. 10. this predicate of place simply declares how far his substance is given a particular setting amid other things. "He is everywhere" does not mean that He is in every place. Cf. since He is everywhere but in no place. it seems as though that of which the predication is made were itself substance.L. "He is great or the greatest. When we say God. 18 i. Aug. and another thing because He is just. as man or God is substance. cannot be predicated at all of God. encompassed and determined by some property which enables him to be described in terms of his substance. for He is nothing else than what He is. To say "A man is in the market" is quite a different thing from saying "he is white or long. God is everywhere—but in neither case is the predicate identical with the object of predication. in God. according to their substance. Relation. 10 . but it is a quantity similar to this substance which we have declared to be supersubstantial. and a just man is another thing. But there is a difference: since man is not simply and entirely man. we have already shown that He is Form.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius is determined by the contingent subject. in fact. others belong to the class of accidental attributes. When we name a substance. "He is just. But God is justice itself. De Trin. So with quality and the other possible attributes. with Him to be just and to be God are one and the same. and truly One without Plurality. But there is a difference. conjoined and united being—in the following manner. But when these categories are applied to God they change their meaning entirely.18 For place is predicated of man or of God—a man is in the market-place. vii. So when we say. for with Him to be great and to be God are all one. "Quad igitur in illo substantiam nominamus. for some of them denote real substantive attributes of created things. as man or God. It is the same with the category of time." we assert that man or God is just. that is. and it would appear that man is substantially great or that God is substantially great.17 For God is not one thing because He is. The remaining categories are not predicable of God nor yet of created things. For what man is he owes to other things which are not man. as though it were that of which it is predicated. so to speak. absque omnibus quae possunt accidere solitaria omnino" (Migne. So a man or God is said to be great. It is otherwise. as. of which we must add examples for the sake of clearness. sed ultra omnem quae accidentibus est subiecta substantiam est essentia. When we say of Him. a supersubstantial quality. Again. and therefore is not substance after all. we seem to predicate quantity. Makes Boethius's meaning clear.e. we seem to denote a substance. for man is one thing.
" I am applying the category of place. like "just" in virtue of justice. and there is this great difference between "now. Thus." Here again nothing substantial is asserted of either subject. it is only possible to employ the category of substance. cf. we say "A man runs. No other category save substance. that is to say. De Ciu. If I say of one "he is in the market" or "everywhere. and all of them. and the divine present. uses sempiternitas as Boethius uses aeternitas. but something happening in terms of time. He is ever. For example. e. But the expression "God is ever" denotes a single Present..'' I make reference to activity or time—if indeed God's "ever" can be described as time—but not to a category of substance. just." "God rules. Cf. 11 . The difference between the categories is easily seen by an example. Our present connotes changing time and sempiternity. when they apply to things as subjects they are called accidents. so to speak. because "ever" is with Him a term of present time. Have I now made clear the difference between the categories? Some denote the reality of a thing. and immoveable. He is ever. clothed.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius yesterday. but Boethius's use of sempiternitas. On Boethius's distinction between time and eternity see Cons. others its accidental circumstances. 1902. So if I say. in all the present —however that term be used—and in all the future. De Statu Animae i. but simply attach to it. as well as his word-building. De fide." which is our present. sempiternity. 19. pp. unmoved. viz. viz. xi. In reference to God. possessing all things. 6. which is not a category of the substance. and quantity refer to the substance of the subject. Claudianus Mamertus.g. 6. 147. Der dem B. connotes eternity. in fact all the categories we have hitherto named arise from what lies outside substance. Philosophers say that "ever" may be applied to the life of the heavens and other immortal bodies. Dei. The term "just " refers to the quality in virtue of which the subject is something. the term "great" to the quantity in virtue of which He is something. and Brandt in Theol.19 It is just the same with the categories of condition and activity. He rules. for they simply are not to be found in Him." Here again the predicate of "coming yesterday" denotes not something substantial. God is ever. and Rand. the latter say nothing about its being anything. something external. Those categories which describe a thing in terms of its substance may be called substantial categories. incessant and thereby perpetual course of our present time. 425 ff. "he runs. v. xii. seem to be peculiar to himself. refer to something other than substance. 29–31. Asclep. zugeschr. speaking of applying the categories to God. great. we must not look for the categories of situation and passivity in God. But as applied to God it has a different meaning. God's present. Littzg. he is now. Trakt. 19 The doctrine is Augustine's. the former declare that a thing is something. like "great" in virtue of greatness. p. Apuleius seems to use both terms interchangeably. the terms "man'' and "God" refer to the substance in virtue of which the subject is—man or God. quality. pr. summing up His continual presence in all the past. 16. Finally. who is not a subject at all. Add semper to eternity and you get the constant. so to speak.
Let us now consider the category of relation. it will effect no real difference in its subject.21 you simultaneously suppress the term master. lxiv. In Cat. but is an adventitious augmentation arising from the possession of slaves. has nothing to do with the substance of the subject. have no other difference but that of relation. and if relation is not asserted of its subject as though it were time subject itself and its substantial quality. for qualities which obviously arise from the association of another term do not appear to predicate anything concerning the substance of a subject. is relative. For it is a canon of absolute truth that distinctions in incorporeal things are established by differences and not by spatial separation. For suppose a man standing. but sometimes to the subject itself. as such. the term master disappears. which is external to the master. (Migne. Accordingly those predicates which do not denote the essential property of a thing cannot alter. And if we bear in mind all the propositions made God in the previous discussion. if you suppress the term slave. for he never began to be Father. and that They cannot possibly be 20 21 22 Dominus and seruus are similarly used as illustration. but. you do not suppress some white thing. then. which is external to the whitened thing. the thing disappears as soon as you suppress the accidental quality whiteness. But slave is not an accidental quality of master. If I go up to him on my right and stand beside him. of course. as whiteness is of a white thing. It cannot therefore be affirmed that a category of relation increases. On the other hand. if I come up to him on my left. Now since the power goes when the slave is removed. if the particular whiteness inhere as an accident in the thing. we shall admit that God the Son proceeded from God the Father.L. however. But in the case of master. but because I have come up to him on my right. and. For instance. 12 . It cannot be said that God became Father by the addition to His substance of some accident. Again. change or disturb its nature in any way. time predicate father. i. it denotes the power which the master has over the slave. What he is depends entirely on me. Wherefore if Father and Son are predicates of relation. let us see whether either of them are predicates of substance. decreases. though you suppress the term whiteness. but because he is right in virtue of my approach. and that not necessarily to something else. he becomes right in relation to me. not because he is right in himself. i.e. and not in the least on the essence of his being. in relation to me. If you suppress the term slave. 217). to which all the foregoing remarks have been preliminary.22 though. The category of relation. and the Holy Ghost from both. as we have said.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius V. as he may be white or long. master and slave20 are relative terms. it is plain that power is no accident to the substance of master. he will be left. in a phrase which aims at interpreting what we can hardly understand. or alters in any way the substance of the thing to which it is applied. a difference of persons.e. it simply denotes a condition of relativity. P. since the begetting of the Son belongs to His very substance. not because he is left in himself.
Again. Cons. each with other. A relation of this kind is not to be found in created things. He differs from none of the Others. your authority will pronounce whether I have seen a straight path to the goal. and the Holy Spirit is God. the manifoldness of the category of relation. and the Unity is maintained through the fact that there is no difference of substance. we must let the Faculty of pure Knowledge lift us up and teach us to know all things as far as they may be known.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius spatially different. in concrete enumerations the repetition of units does not produce plurality. 5 the passage "quare in illius summae intellegentiae acumen si possumus erigamur. So then. Hence only terms belonging to relation may be applied singly to Each. God helping me. But since no relation can be affirmed of one subject alone." 13 . But if human nature has failed to reach beyond its limits. and the relation of Father to Son. like are like. If. We must not in speaking of God let imagination lead us astray. in greatness. I have furnished some support in argument to an article which stands by itself on the firm foundation of Faith. Son. and of both to Holy Spirit is a relation of identicals. Yet Father. and lastly. and in everything that can he predicated of substance. and Holy Spirit are each the same God. but that is because of the difference which we know attaches to transient objects. where is no plurality there is Unity. 23 Cf. For the Father is not the same as the Son. or operation. or generally of any substantial predicate. nor is either of Them the same as the Holy Spirit. The exactness of my reasoning awaits the standard of your judgment. inasmuch as a predicate wanting relation is a predicate of substance. nothing but God can be begotten of God. and since there are in God no points of difference distinguishing Him from God. the divine substance preserves the Unity. I shall render joyous praise for the finished work to Him from whom the invitation comes. the same in justice. as slave involves master. where the two terms are different. whatever is lost through my infirmity must be made good by my intention. Thus the Unity of the Three is suitably established. since They are incorporeal. especially in pr. 4 and 5. v. But where there are no differences there is no plurality. the Son is God. pr. in goodness. Trinity is secured through the category of relation. But since the Father is God. For equals are equal. identicals are identical. the divine relations bring about the Trinity. VI.23 I have now finished the investigation which I proposed. One must not forget that predicates of relativity do not always involve relation to something other than the subject.
Nam cum res omnes quae uere sunt sine his quinque (i. absque omnibus quae possunt accidere solitaria omnino: 1 •Sed si rerum ueritatem atque integritatem perpendas. non est subiectionis ratione quod dicitur. sed ultra omnem quae accidentibus est subiecta substantiam est essentia.The Trinity is One God Not Three Gods Boethius Indexes Index of Latin Words and Phrases •Dominus: 1 •Quad igitur in illo substantiam nominamus. species: 1 •fidem si poterit rationemque coniunge. non est dubium quin uere sint.e. : 1 •quorum diiudicare sententias aptum esse non duxi: 1 •sempiternitas: 1 2 •seruus: 1 14 .: 1 •aeternitas: 1 •differencia: 1 •differentia. numerus.