|E1: PROP. 21. All things which follow from the absolute nature of any attribute of God must always exist and be infinite, or, in other words, are eternal and infinite through the said attribute.|
|Proof.--Conceive, if it be
possible (supposing the proposition to be
denied), that something in some
attribute of God can follow from the
absolute nature of the said attribute, and that at the same time it is
and has a conditioned existence or
duration; for instance, the
idea of God expressed in the
attribute thought. Now thought, in so far as
it is supposed to be an attribute of God, is necessarily
(by E1P11) in
its nature infinite.
But, in so far as it possesses the idea of God, it is
It cannot, however, be conceived as finite, unless it be
limited by thought (by E1D2); but it is
not limited by thought itself,
in so far as it has constituted the idea of God (for so far it is supposed
to be finite);
therefore, it is limited by thought, in so far as it has
not constituted the idea of God, which nevertheless
(by E1P11) must
We have now granted, therefore, thought not constituting the idea of God, and, accordingly, the idea of God does not naturally follow from its nature in so far as it is absolute thought (for it is conceived as constituting, and also as not constituting, the idea of God), which is against our hypothesis. Wherefore, if the idea of God expressed in the attribute thought, or, indeed, anything else in any attribute of God (for we may take any example, as the proof is of universal application) follows from the necessity of the absolute nature of the said attribute, the said thing must necessarily be infinite, which was our first point.
Furthermore, a thing which thus follows from the necessity of the nature of any attribute cannot have a limited duration. For if it can, suppose a thing, which follows from the necessity of the nature of some attribute, to exist in some attribute of God, for instance, the idea of God expressed in the attribute thought, and let it be supposed at some time not to have existed, or to be about not to exist.
Now thought being an attribute of God, must necessarily exist unchanged (by E1P11, and E1P20C2); and beyond the limits of the duration of the idea of God (supposing the latter at some time not to have existed, or not to be going to exist) thought would perforce have existed without the idea of God, which is contrary to our hypothesis, for we supposed that, thought being given, the idea of God necessarily flowed therefrom. Therefore the idea of God expressed in thought, or anything which necessarily follows from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, cannot have a limited duration, but through the said attribute is eternal, which is our second point. Bear in mind that the same proposition may be affirmed of anything, which in any attribute necessarily follows from God's absolute nature.
|Referenced in: E1P22,- E1P23,- E1P29,- E1APND,- E2P11,- E2P30,- E4P4,- E5P40CN|
|E1: PROP. 22. Whatsoever follows from any attribute of God, in so far as it is modified by a modification, which exists necessarily and as infinite, through the said attribute, must also exist necessarily and as infinite.|
|Proof.--The proof of this proposition is similar to that of the preceding one [E1P21].|
|Referenced in: E1P23,- E1P28,- E1APND,- E2P11|
|E1: PROP. 23. Every mode, which exists both necessarily and as infinite, must necessarily follow either from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, or from an attribute modified by a modification which exists necessarily, and as infinite.|
|Proof.--A mode exists in something else, through which it must be conceived (E1D5), that is (E1P15), it exists solely in God, and solely through God can be conceived. If therefore a mode is conceived as necessarily existing and infinite, it must necessarily be inferred or perceived through some attribute of God, in so far as such attribute is conceived as expressing the infinity and necessity of existence, in other words (E1D8) eternity; that is [E1D6 and E1P19], in so far as it is considered absolutely. A mode, therefore, which necessarily exists as infinite, must follow from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, either immediately (E1P21) or through the means of some modification, which follows from the absolute nature of the said attribute; that is (by E1P22), which exists necessarily and as infinite.|
|Referenced in: E1P32,- E1APND|
|E1: PROP. 24. The essence of things produced by God does not involve existence.|
|Proof.--This proposition is evident from E1D1 For that of which the nature (considered in itself) involves existence is self-caused, and exists by the sole necessity of its own nature.|
|E1: PROP. 24, Corollary.--Hence it follows that God is not only the cause of things coming into existence, but also of their continuing in existence, that is, in scholastic phraseology, God is cause of the being of things (essendi rerum).|
|For whether things exist, or do not exist, whenever we contemplate their essence, we see that it involves neither existence nor duration; consequently, it cannot be the cause of either the one or the other. God must be the sole cause, inasmuch as to him alone does existence appertain. (E1P14C1) Q.E.D.|
|Referenced in: E1P28,- E1P28N,- E1P29,- E2P45N,- E4P4|
|E1: PROP. 25. God is the efficient cause not only of the existence of things, but also of their essence.|
|Proof.--If this be denied, then God is not the cause of the essence of things; and therefore the essence of things can (by E1A4) be conceived without God. This (by E1P15) is absurd. Therefore, God is the cause of the essence of things. Q.E.D.|
|Referenced in: E1P26,- E5P22|
|E1: PROP. 25, Note. --This proposition follows more clearly from E1P16 For it is evident thereby that, given the divine nature, the essence of things must be inferred from it, no less than their existence--in a word, God must be called the cause of all things, in the same sense as he is called the cause of himself. This will be made still clearer by the following corollary E1P25C.|
|Referenced in: Let66-P04|
|E1: PROP. 25, Corollary.-- Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner.|
|The proof appears from E1P15 and E1D5.|
|Referenced in: E1P28,- E1P36,- E2D1,- E2P1,- E2P5,- E2P10C,- E3P6,- E5P24,- E5P36,- Let66-P04|
|E1: PROP. 26. A thing which is conditioned to act in a particular manner, has necessarily been thus conditioned by God; and that which has not been conditioned by God cannot condition itself to act.|
|Proof.--That by which things are said to be conditioned to act in a particular manner is necessarily something positive (this is obvious); therefore both of its essence and of its existence God by the necessity of his nature is the efficient cause (E1P25 and E1P16); this is our first point. Our second point is plainly to be inferred therefrom. For if a thing, which has not been conditioned by God, could condition itself, the first part of our proof would be false, and this, as we have shown, is absurd.|
|Referenced in: E1P28,- E1P29|
|E1: PROP. 27. A thing, which has been conditioned by God to act in a particular way, cannot render itself unconditioned.|
|Proof.--This proposition is evident from the third axiom E1A3.|
|Referenced in: E1P29|
|E1: PROP. 28.--Every individual thing, or everything which is finite and has a conditioned existence, cannot exist or be conditioned to act, unless it be conditioned for existence and action by a cause other than itself, which also is finite, and has a conditioned existence; and likewise this cause cannot in its turn exist, or be conditioned to act, unless it be conditioned for existence and action by another cause, which also is finite, and has a conditioned existence, and so on to infinity.|
conditioned to exist and act, has been thus
conditioned by God (by E1P26 and E1P24C)
But that which is finite, and has a conditioned existence, cannot be produced by the absolute nature of any attribute of God; for whatsoever follows from the absolute nature of any attribute of God is infinite and eternal (by E1P21). It must, therefore, follow from some attribute of God, in so far as the said attribute is considered as in some way modified; for substance and modes make up the sum total of existence (by E1A1 and E1D3, E1D5), while modes [E1P25C] are merely modifications of the attributes of God. But from God, or from any of his attributes, in so far as the latter is modified by a modification infinite and eternal, a conditioned thing cannot follow [E1P22]. Wherefore it must follow from, or be conditioned for, existence and action by God or one of his attributes, in so far as the latter are modified by some modification which is finite, and has a conditioned existence. This is our first point.
Again, this cause or this modification (for the reason by which we established the first part of this proof) must in its turn be conditioned by another cause, which also is finite, and has a conditioned existence, and, again, this last by another (for the same reason); and so on (for the same reason) to infinity. Q.E.D.
|Referenced in: E1P32,- E2P9,- E2P13L3,- E2P30,- E2P31,- E2P48,- E4P29,- E5P6|
| E1: PROP. 28, Note.
--As certain things must be produced immediately by God, namely those
things which necessarily follow from his absolute nature, through the
means of these primary attributes [certain things],
which, nevertheless, can neither exist
nor be conceived without God, it follows:--
1. That God is absolutely the proximate cause of those things immediately produced by him. I say absolutely, not after his kind, as is usually stated. For the effects of God cannot either exist or be conceived without a cause (E1P15 and E1P24C).
2. That God cannot properly be styled the remote cause of individual things, except for the sake of distinguishing these from what he immediately produces, or rather from what follows from his absolute nature. For, by a remote cause, we understand a cause which is in no way conjoined to the effect. But all things which are, are in God, and so depend on God, that without him they can neither be nor be conceived.
|E1: PROP. 29. Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature.|
|Proof.--Whatsoever is, is in God (E1P15). But God cannot be called a thing contingent. For (by E1P11) he exists necessarily, and not contingently. Further, the modes of the divine nature follow therefrom necessarily, and not contingently (E1P16); and they thus follow, whether we consider the divine nature absolutely [E1P21], or whether we consider it as in any way conditioned to act (E1P27). Further, God is not only the cause of these modes, in so far as they simply exist (by E1P24C), but also in so far as they are considered as conditioned for operating in a particular manner (E1P26). If they be not conditioned by God (E1P26), it is impossible, and not contingent, that they should condition themselves; contrariwise, if they be conditioned by God, it is impossible, and not contingent, that they should render themselves unconditioned. Wherefore all things are conditioned by the necessity of the divine nature, not only to exist, but also to exist and operate in a particular manner, and there is nothing that is contingent. Q.E.D.|
|Referenced in: E1P32C2,- E1P33,- E1APND,- E2P31C,- E2P44,- E3P7,- E5P6|
| E1: PROP. 29, Note.
--Before going any further, I wish here to explain, what we should
understand by nature viewed as active
(natura naturans), and nature viewed
(natura naturata). I say to explain, or rather call attention
to it, for I think that, from what has been said, it is sufficiently
by nature viewed as active we should understand that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself, or those attributes of substance, which express eternal and infinite essence, in other words (E1P14C1, and E1P17C2) God, in so far as he is considered as a free cause.
By nature viewed as passive I understand all that which follows from the necessity of the nature of God, or of any of the attributes of God, that is, all the modes of the attributes of God, in so far as they are considered as things which are in God, and which without God cannot exist or be conceived.
|Referenced in: E1P31|