MT203-P01. PREV - NEXT - THIS - UPPER - TOPWe said above that finite or imperfect being cannot be conceived, except we first have some concept of infinite and perfect being, i.e., of God. Therefore God alone can be said to be absolutely infinite, since He alone possesses an infinite perfection. He may be called great, however, or interminable, so far as we think that there is no being able to impose limitations upon Him. From which it follows that the infinity of God --an inapt expression --is something essentially positive. For, so far as we conceive Him to be infinite, so far we have reference to His essence or His absolute perfection. The greatness of God is but a relative term; it is not used when we consider God as an absolute or perfect being, but only so far as He is considered as a "first cause." Here, although He may not be perfect except in respect to the creation of the world, nevertheless He is to be considered great. For no being can be conceived, and consequently there is no being more perfect than God by which He can be limited or measured. (Concerning this see Ax. 9, Pt. 1.).
In what sense God is called infinite, in what sense great.
MT203-P06. PREV - NEXT - THIS - UPPER - TOPOthers affirm the same thing more openly when they say that God is everywhere in power, but not in essence. As if God's power could be distinguished from His other attributes or from His infinite essence, when it is nothing else but this. For if it were anything but this it would either be something created or some accident of the divine essence, without which He could still be conceived. But these suppositions are both absurd. If it were something created it would need God's power to be conserved, and so a progression to infinity would be given. But if it were some accident of His being, God would not be a simple being, which is contrary to what was demonstrated above.
God's power is not to be distinguished from his essence.