Bernardino da Balvano: Doctrinal sermon on predestination

Translated by Patrick Colbourne OFM Cap

Translator’s note:

This translation is based on the introduction, text and footnotes which were published by P. Costanzo Cargnoni O.F.M. Cap. in I Frati Cappuccini: Documenti e testimonianze dell primo secolo, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, vol III/1, pp.2306-2321. The only additions to the notes made by the translator are references to Francis of Assisi: The Early Documents, edited by Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., J. A. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. and William J. Short O.F.M. Conv., New York City Press, New York, London, Manila, for an English version of quotations from the Writings or Biographies of St Francis.

Introduction by Costanzo Cargnoni OFM Cap

Among the few sermons by Capuchin friars that were printed before 1570 the ones of Bernardino da Balvano printed in Messina in 1562 deserve special consideration. These were made up of seven sermons that were preached in Palermo on the subject of predestination, a topic that was the subject of much debate at the time. The topic was a controversial part of the anti-Lutheran controversy. Thus it was really a scholastic treatise that was cast in lucid, popular language. This was highly doctrinal, biblical and theological preaching. Why would subject matter like this be included in a collection of Capuchin documents? It might appear to be out of place, whereas any conscientious reading has persuaded us to reproduce at least a fragment of this learned and theological preaching, both because of the rarity of the text, of which there are only a few known copies and because of the ease with which the author has transformed exalted and abstruse theological concepts into a language that echoed the spirituality that was common among the Capuchins at the time. It also shows how the Capuchins were able to deal with the contemporary debates with a strong sense of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, joined with a commitment to contemporary culture that was attentive to the religious sensitivity of the day.


Concerning the etymology of predestination, that is, what is the meaning, the importance and connotation of the word or term predestination?

Vobis datum est nosse mysterium regni Dei

[To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God]

3811 Once the uncreated Wisdom of the eternal Father had been clothed in our mortal apparel, he did not keep anything a secret that was necessary for human salvation that he did not reveal to his dear friends no matter how marvellous or exalted it might have been. Among other things he revealed the profound mystery of eternal predestination saying: to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. [1] We shall speak about this now and in other sermons. Because it is such a profound sign let us all firstly devoutly beg for divine help by praying to the Queen of heaven humbly offering her the angelic salutation together with Gabriel, saying; Hail Mary.[2]

When the royal prophet David had been enlightened by the light of the divine spirit and while contemplating the marvellous excellence of the divine Majesty that established and governed the order of the universe he exclaimed: O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.[3] The voice of the Holy Spirit said something like this: The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the depths broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.[4] The great, stupendous God is present in all of his works, as the great lawgiver Moses affirms: Who is like you, Lord, among the gods? Who is like you majestic in holiness, awesome in splendour, doing wonders?[5] However, this is shown more clearly in the hidden sign and inner guidance given to the sons of men. Amazed by all of this the prophet David proclaimed to the world in great admiration: Come behold the works of the Lord, what wonders he has worked on the sons of men.[6] This reaches beyond all human thought. The Holy Spirit testifies to this: What man indeed can know the intentions of God? Who can divine the will of the Lord? The reasoning of mortals is unsure, and our intentions unstable.[7] Even though such exalted secrets are hidden from mortal eyes and beyond investigating because of their depth, nevertheless because of his goodness the great God has promised that he will reveal them in the last days to his faithful as the Holy Spirit has said: Who has been present at the council of Yahweh? Who paid attention to his word and heard it? You will be given to understand his word on the last days.[8] The words of the Gospel agree with this: to you it is given to understand mysteries.

5812 When the famous propagator of heavenly doctrine, the instrument of the Holy Spirit, the most faithful ambassador[9] of the eternal Father and of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, was taken up into the third heaven and saw God’s most secret things that mortal men were unable to speak about,[10] because they were not capable, he admits that he did not come by his Gospel by means of human study but by divine revelation received from Christ. He says: Brothers I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you. It was not a human message that I was given by men. It is something that I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ.[11] In all truth he was made the teacher of the Gentiles to reveal divine secrets to people and to call the entire world to penance. With regard to him the Saviour used these beautiful words: This man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before pagans and pagan kings and before the people of Israel.[12] Nevertheless, when this Apostle came to discuss the most exalted sign of predestination he went beyond himself and filled with wonder he exclaimed: How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge – and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods! Who would ever know the mind of the Lord? Who would ever be his councillor? Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything? All that exists comes from him; all is made by him and for him. To him be glory forever, Amen.[13]

5813 It is just as he says it is. Since the divine mysteries are so illustrious, and all of the gifts of the deep abyss come to us by means of the mercy of the divine goodness, let us put aside all inquisitive discourse and give ourselves over completely to humbly thanking the merciful and generous sponsor of such grace. Let us not turn our attention to what surpasses the capability of our faculties, but try to know and diligently seek as much as the greatest of Lords commands us to seek and what we are able to observe in events and be happy with him in the long run in the way that the Holy Spirit has taught us: Do not try to discover what is beyond your powers. Concentrate on what has been assigned to you, you have no need to worry over mysteries. Do not meddle with matters that are beyond you; what you have been taught already exceeds the scope of your inner mind. For many have been misled by their own presumption; and false opinions have contaminated their ideas.[14]

From what has been said above it may certainly appear that it is not appropriate to discuss predestination. However, the Angel said to Tobias: It is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right too to reveal in worthy fashion the works of God.[15] When debating against Pelagius the heretic ,St Augustine wrote: Charity towards God and neighbour ought to be proclaimed so that he who has ears to hear may hear. So too the predestination of God’s gifts ought to be proclaimed so that he who has ears may hear, not to glory about himself, but to give glory to God.[16] Therefore, it is not out of place to respond to the demands of many people and discuss the mystery of predestination so that we may more readily pay honour and glory to the divine majesty and gain happiness and reward in the hope of receiving them both through the gift of grace.

5814 Rise all of you, gather your inner selves and lift up your minds and I shall try, as far as possible, to treat the mystery and reveal the secret.

The Saviour said to his disciples: To you it is given to know the secrets of God’s kingdom. O my Christian, remember here that the word “predestination” is not used very often in Sacred Scripture. Throughout all of his Epistles the Apostle Paul only uses it four times. First he uses it in relation to Christ, who was predestined the Son of God in power;[17] second, when speaking about us he says the God predestined us to be made conformable to the image of his Son, to achieve which he called us whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be made conformable to the image of his Son. Those whom he predestined he also called.[18] Third, in a similar way he wrote that God had predestined us to be saints in his sight and his adoptive children: he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. He has predestined us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ.[19] He also asserts that the eternal Father predestined Christ, his infinite Wisdom, to bring about our eternal glory. We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God predestined before the world unto our glory.[20] Because of this the matter of predestination has caused difficulty in the Church. Therefore, many do not understand how it occurs and because they do not know how to speak about what they do not understand many bad things have arisen. Thus, not wanting to be humble disciples of truth, they taught errors because of their pride.

5815 In order to understand this well we should firstly know what is meant and intended by the word “predestination”. Holy theologians as wells as philosophers refer to words as “terms” so as to distinguish them from anything else that might convey concepts or genuine secrets of the heart. Thus, as a certain wise man put it,[21] only a human being is a political animal, a member of society, a sociable being and gifted with intellect. This label is a sign of the passions that reside in the soul. They leave aside discussing mental terms, such as how a similitude conveys ideas, even though they are commonplace. So a person can distinguish what is bread from what is a stone. And so on. However, let us speak about terms and words that are expressed outside the mind, both those that are spoken or written down. These identify things by means of concepts that assess their similarity to the way they are conceptualised in the mind. These are of two kinds: those that are simple and those that are composite.

Those that are simple stand for what can be identified without any blending such as man or stone etc. Those that are composite embrace more things in the one word as when we say white or black or the like. By saying white you indicate the white quality of something. When you say “preacher” you indicate the office of one who is preaching. This may lead to unintended mistakes that may deceive those who are ignorant when a term or word can mean more than one thing. It may be true now that the preacher is seated and at another time it may be true that the preacher is not seated. Both are not true at the same time. When a preacher is seated, he does so as a man; when he is a preacher his is performing an office. Some may see a contradiction is this. However, an educated person knows clearly that there is no contradiction in the term or word “predestination” in that it has various meanings. Firstly, it means that God is the one who predestines; secondly, it refers to what has been predestined; thirdly, it applies to the objective of predestination and fourthly, to the means of predestination.

The reason for all the errors (note well) is that some have understood predestination according to one meaning and neglected the others. Because of this they have never been able to understand it, or to unravel the apparent contradictions in the Scriptures. However, when predestination is clearly understood according to its four meanings one can see that the Scriptures are clear and that the doctors are in agreement.[22]

5816 Take an example. A four-sided column has four surfaces or sides which contain four images one on each surface. On the first side there is an image of the Pope, on the second that of the Emperor, on the third that of the King of France and on the fourth that of the King of England. Whoever wants to discuss the whole column properly has to view all four images, otherwise if he has only seen the image of the Pope or of the Emperor or of the King of France or of the King of England when he comes to discuss the column he will never be able to compare one with the other since he has only seen one and not the others. He has not comprehensively examined anyone of them. By adopting this method, the Scriptures would never be harmonised and without taking into account the four aspects of predestination, who is the author of predestination, what is predestined, the objective and the means of predestination, the doctors who consider predestination will not come to agreement. Let us examine firstly the etymology of predestination, the original meaning of the word.

It is a word that comes from a verb: destino –as. This means to plan in an orderly manner, or to direct towards an objective. Thus the person who throws the dart towards the target is said to: destinare sagittam (aim the arrow). The appendage prae has been added to indicate what looks towards the future. Thus predestination means to arrange things in an orderly manner, make a decision in one’s mind to direct them towards their intended objective using means that are suitable to achieving the effect. What we say is praedestino –sa, the Greeks know it as “proorizo”, which is the same as saying to plan and arrange things. This is how Augustine explains the etymology of predestination in his Hypomnesticon contra Pelagianos et Caelestinanos: Therefore, we shall first explain what the word predestination means. He then goes on to say: Predestination come from the word to foreknow, to prearrange, and to preordain the future.[23] In this way since God is the prime artificer, he arranged and ordained ab aeterno, all things to their proper end providing them with fitting means. We can say that everything has been predestined, that is ad aeterno in God’s mind as it would take place in time.

5817 Take an example. The father of a family has children and, in his mind, decides: “I want my children to study medicine”. At the right time he finds a teacher, gives them the proper books and leaves then an inheritance. However, if they do not want to study, he will deprive them of all these things. This arrangement or disposition or proposition was in the father’s mind before it would happen. To have such things carried out required “predestination”. The best Father and creator of the universe in his Nunc aeternitatis (Eternal now)[24] decided in his free goodness to produce creatures that differed in three ways. Some were quite like him, that is, those having the angelic nature. Others were quite different as if they were elements with skin, mere creatures that simply had bodies. Others were mixed, possessing both spirit and body which made up human nature. He provided for all of these, giving them appropriate ends and means. He decided to freely give himself to these creatures, bestowing on them the happy objective of glory and beatitude beyond that of the angels, if they lived in conformity to his will (which they would carry out freely). However, those who wanted to depart from his will and remained rebellious would receive appropriate punishment. This is how Augustine explains predestination in his Hypomnesticon.[25]

5818 To have more clarity and greater comprehension, with respect particularly to angels and humans, one ought to note (listen carefully) that holy theologians contemplate God as he is in himself. They consider the divine nature to be spiritual and infinite and per consequens (consequently) unable to be divided.[26] Because it is infinite it is complete in itself. They say that it has two properties. They call one the quality of seeing something in its perfection and the other the quality of producing something. According to the first the divine nature and therefore God himself, by definition, is perfect, knows himself, loves and enjoys himself in the act of producing. The Father generates the Son, bestowing on him all of his substance, but not sharing his personhood. Thus because it is infinite the divine nature is in both of them equally. The Father and the Son have the same will. They share the one breath which is the Holy Spirit. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one in substance and perfection.[27]

Listen to the Catholic Father, Athanasius: The Father is one person, the Son is another person and the Holy Spirit is another person, but the divine nature is one, having equal glory and coeternal majesty. [28] This is an example of the two acts, if you want to have some kind of image. Philosophers define atto perfettivo (unchangeable act) as taking place when something becomes perfect or reaches its fulfilment, as when the eye sees an object in perspective. For example, it sees a wall perfectly when it gathers the object into itself by beholding it and not adding anything it wishes onto the wall. The action is then completed.

5819 The atto productivo (productive action) occurs when someone gives with receiving, such as when a hand writes something on paper and does not receive anything in return. The divine nature is completely intelligent and perfect, indeed it is infinitely complete. It possesses both infinite intelligence and will. In order to be complete, it has to think and to love infinitely. Nothing else is infinite except God and his divine nature. Because of his divine nature God understands and loves to an infinite degree. This is what is called atto perfettivo (unchangeable act). The divine intellect is perfect because of the divine nature. The divine intellect contains perfect thought and the divine will contains infinite goodness and perfect divinity and thus it loves infinitely. It follows that the activity that it produces gives love without receiving anything in return.

With the divine essence as its object, the divine intellect, in addition to the perfect activity just mentioned, produces activities of infinite wisdom, which is a characteristic of the Father’s person, which automatically produces the infinite Word giving him his very existence and nature. Because this is infinite it means that it exists in its fullness. It cannot be divided or separated off. Therefore because of this nature there can be no division among them or separation within them. Therefore, in addition to the perfect action just mentioned, the will also produces infinite love.

Thus, the Father together with the Son, having the one essence and will, produce the infinite love which is the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The holy theologians declare that these activities, which are intrinsic to God, are essential and eternal, with a necessity that is not brought about by force since God cannot be constrained, or subjected to violence, because there is no power above him that can constrain him. They are said to be essential because of the requirement that they are unchangeable. They are essential and thus they cannot be changed or subjected to variation and are eternal. This is how the divine nature is shared. The divine nature is shared infinitely ab aeterno (from eternity) by the three divine Persons.[29]

5820 The first action, namely the action of what is complete within the divine nature, was dealt with by the philosophers. Trimegistis wrote about it at length in his first book.[30] The second act, which is the act of production, is only known to Christians by means of revelation in the brightness of the Catholic faith. Since Aristotle did not have this revelation, he thought that the world was eternal, claiming that the first cause could not remain idle, nor could the supreme good fail to communicate. However, the holy theologians knew and confessed that God was never lazy, but was active ab aeterno, in his intrinsic and incommunicable operations. The Father generates the Son, and the Father and the Son breath the Holy Spirit. The divine nature is shared by the three persons to an infinite degree, and so the world and all the other creatures are merely dependent beings, which were produced in time and together with time even though they had been conceived and willed ab aeterno in the mind of the supreme artificer and would subsequently be produced in time. When the theologians deal with creatures they speak of two operations, one in eternity and the other in time. The eternal operation happened within the Trinity. The operation that took place in time affected the creatures. The theologians consider creatures under two aspects: as they exist in reality, and as they exist in the divine mind and will.

5821 Before God brought things into external existence, which the theologians call existing in an external reality, they were designed and planned in his divine mind in according with the way in which they would eventually be produced. The theologians call this existing in the mind and will of God. God did this ab aeterno. Thus creatures have two kinds of existence, one in the knowledge and will of God and this is ab aeterno, and another which is within the creatures and this takes place within time.

An example: an artificer wishes to make an ocean. He firstly designs and plans how it is to be done in his mind. Once he has thought about the ocean and decided how to make it one may say that the ocean has been conceived and planned in the master’s mind even though it has not been produced, because the artificer has made up his mind about it and has decided to make it in time. After it has been made it will exist in time without changing the fact that it had been conceived and planned in the mind and will of the master. Because of this the holy theologians, guided by what God has revealed in Sacred Scripture, while they contemplated that the most high God is of himself most great, infinite, unchangeable and most pure act, nonetheless with respect to the many different kinds of relationships between God and creatures and creatures and God, were forced to develop many terms to describe such relationships and these included knowledge, foreknowledge, providence, predestination, choice, vocation justification, love, hatred, reproval and anger. They did all of this on the authority of the Sacred Scriptures, which needed to be properly interpreted in order to furnish enlightenment and clarity with regard to the mystery.[31] This is especially true with regard to the etymology of the term “predestination”. So listen carefully and understand.

5822 By using this term the holy theologians mean that the omnipotent God is referring in an infinite way to himself as well as all creatures present and future without any time differences but within his eternal existence as God knowing and willing all of their causes and origins. The Greeks call it the ideal pattern, that is, the basic image in the mind of the supreme artificer which means that God possesses knowledge, wisdom and infinite strength as the Psalm says: Great is our Lord, and of great power, his understanding is infinite.[32]

In so far as he is infinite and coexistent because of his Nunc aeternitas (in eternity it is always “now”) with every moment in time, he knows and sees ab aeterno whatever anyone is going to do whether this is good or evil. This is called foreknowledge. This is what God is aware of and knows concerning everything that is to happen before it takes place. Behold, O Lord, you know all things new and old, you made me and laid you hand upon me. Your knowledge is become wonderful to me, it is high and I cannot reach it.[33]

Because of this he preserves everything that he has produced or will produce on track to their objectives by natural forces that control them and provide what they require to work well, while permitting what does not work well. This is known as his providence. The supreme God rules, governs and preserves things with infinite wisdom with control over everything that he has made. When the captain Holofernes laid siege to Bethulia, Judith, who was very chaste and strong, said to the people: For all your ways are prepared, and in your providence you have placed your judgements.[34]

5823 Once God had decided to produce a creature having intelligence, namely an angelic or human person, who was capable of enjoying everlasting life, and who was designed for that and equipped with all the required and appropriate resources, he endowed them with sufficient and adequate time. Theologians allocate the term predestination to the plan in the divine mind according to which he wanted to confer grace on those who wished to accept it and to grant glory to those who persevered in obeying him, for no other motive than his goodness and mercy, and following that plan he would also lead them to a supernatural end. The Apostle wrote to the Romans: For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be made conformable to the image of his Son, that he might be the Firstborn among many brethren.[35]

Thus God offered grace to everyone and sufficient lenience for each one to be saved. He undertook that everyone who freely accepted it would be taken into his friendship and then if they did not fall away, to take them up to glory, casting aside, however, those who willingly persevered in rebellion. Theologians call this ‘choice’ or “election”. It was God’s plan from all eternity to receive those who voluntarily accepted grace into his friendship, and to cast the rebels aside into despair. As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.[36]

Because grace has a twofold effect in calling us back from sin and directing us towards what is good, the omnipotent God in his gracious goodness has determined the time when we are to be brought back and directs us in a process known as ‘vocation’. The Prince of the Apostles wrote: You are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people that you may declare his virtues, who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.[37] St Paul wrote: We testified to every one of you that you would walk worthily of God, who has called you into his kingdom and glory.[38]

5824 The process that takes place for those who are called by the supreme goodness through inner inspiration and for those who consent to and accept the infusion and gift of grace is called ‘justification’. This confers grace and makes a person justified. The Apostle wrote to the Romans: The justice of God, by faith in Jesus Christ, in all those who believe in him, knows no distinction, so that the person himself is just and is made just by faith.[39]

He wants to give grace to those who do not refuse it obstinately, but who readily consent to accepting their vocation. He gives glory and justification to those who persevere in doing good works. This is “love” or “appreciation” which is wishing what is good for the beloved. John says: For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son.[40] The Apostle said: The life that I live now in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.[41]

The fact that he decided ab aeterno, and always had the firm intention of punishing the rebels and of casting those who were obstinate away from him is called “rejection.” St Paul wrote to the Corinthians: I chastise my body and bring it into subjection lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway,[42] that is, deserve to be deprived of grace and castaway from friendship with the Lord.

5825 As a matter of justice he determined not to give grace to those who did not accept good inspirations, or to admit to glory those who remained obstinate to the end. This is called “hatred”. The prophet David sang: You hate all the workers of iniquity; you will destroy all who speak a lie.[43] This is how we understand what was said about Jacob and Esau: Before they had done any good or evil, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated, [44] that is before either one was born.

Out of his goodness God decided to will to confer grace on those who would accept it, and glory on those who were found to be following the divine will up to their last act (which God recognises as love), and did not wish to confer glory on those who obstinately refused grace. This was known as hatred. Thus, before Jacob and Esau had done any good or evil acts, God had firmly and independently determined within himself to confer grace and glory on Jacob who obeyed, and punish Esau the rebel. God wanted to reward those who obey and punish those who rebel. Such love or hatred exists from eternity, before we do good or evil things, but it takes effect in time after we have done good or evil things. It follows the actions of those who do good or evil.

At a time that is convenient to him the just God should carry out due punishment and chastise those who are evil. This is called “anger”. The Apostle says: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that disdain the truth of God in injustice.[45] This is the worthy and just punishment for sin. The Apostle says to the Ephesians: Know you this and understand. No fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is serving idols) has inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain words. God’s anger comes upon the children of unbelief because of this. Therefore, do not be associated with them.[46]

5826 We have seen the striking logic and most imposing treatment that the holy theologians developed regarding different topics and various aspects of them, as they unveiled many Scriptural expressions in order to teach the people the truth about the attributes of God as he is in himself and in everything else. This process is called “scienza’ (knowledge) or “sapienza” (wisdom). Knowing about something before it actually happens is “prescienza” (foreknowledge). Controlling and governing the universe so that it accomplishes its natural objectives is “providezia” (providence). Welcoming those who willingly accept his grace and casting aside those who are obstinate and rebellious in personal evil is “elezione” (making them the elect). To cleanse from sin and lead towards goodness is “vocazione” (calling them). Cleansing a person from sin and making him pleasing to God by the infusion of grace into those who accept it and the bestowal of glory on those who persevere in doing good is “amore” (love). On the other hand, the act of not wanting to have grace in those who refuse it, and not wanting glory in those who die obstinate is called “odio” (hatred). The firm purpose of punishing those who rebel and of casting aside those who are contumacious is “reprobazione” (reprisal). Carrying out such just punishment on those who are wicked is “ira” (anger). The eternal proposal to have mercy and to wish to confer grace and glory on intelligent creatures, that is on angels and men, by the use of appropriate means to lead them to perpetual happiness and a supernatural end is “predestinazione” (predestination).[47]

5827 In conclusion the term or word predestination is nothing but a manifestation of the eternal plan in the mind of the highest God by means of which he designed all intelligent creatures to achieve supreme glory by means of filial grace and obedience before they were made or produced in reality. This is how Lyra[48] interpreted this passage in the Apocalypse: Here predestination means God’s eternal plan of what would take place in time by means of grace. What he had ordained would be carried out by means of grace, and when he created us, he made us in his image, and he healed us by shedding his blood for each one of us. He destined all of us to be saved which is what the term predestination means. The enlightened doctor Francesco[49] said: Is predestination anything but the prior arrangement of something towards eternal life?

There is nothing more to be said except that we should not lose our way towards the supreme good and eternal riches through negligence or malice. Before we existed, the divine goodness directed us towards this by means of his grace and our obedience. Our Lord deigned to give us this because of his mercy, which we can gain by conforming to his eternal will, being faithful here in this world and living with him in the glory of heaven.


Endnotes:

  1. Lk 8: 10; Mk 4: 11; also Mt 13: 11
  2. Saying the Hail Mary before a sermon was a widespread practice among preachers.
  3. Ps 104: 24; 92: 6.
  4. Prov 3: 19-20.
  5. Ex 15: 11
  6. Ps 45:9 [Vulg]
  7. Wis 9: 13-14
  8. Jer 23: 18, 20b
  9. Legator in the text
  10. Cf 2 Cor 12: 2-4
  11. Cf 1 Cor 15:1; Gal 1: 11-12.
  12. Acts 9: 15
  13. Rom 11: 33-36
  14. Eccles 3: 22-26
  15. Tob 12: 7
  16. Cf S. Augustinus, Liber de dono perseverantiae, c. 20, n. 51: (PL 45, 1025)
  17. Rom 1:4
  18. Rom 8: 29, 30
  19. Eph 1: 4-5
  20. 1 Cor 2: 6-7.
  21. That is the Greek Philosopher Aristotle.
  22. Note the subtlety and clarity of the argumentation.
  23. Cf. S. Augustinus, Hypomnesticon contra Pelagianos et Caelestianos, lib. VI 1-2 (PL 45, 1657)
  24. That is his eternal presence or existence which is a useful definition of the eternal divine nature.
  25. Cf S. Augustinus, Hypomnesticon cit. c. 2 (PL 45, 1658)
  26. Here partire means dividere, separare.
  27. These concepts are the same as the reflections of Ripanti in the Circolo where that same theological and scholastic terminology can been seen again: atto perfettivo and produttivo. (see above section 1, doc. 3, nn. 3788, 3818).
  28. Cf S. Athanasius, Expositio fidei. (PL 25, 199-208).
  29. Here we have to admire the precision and clarity with which the author explains one of the most difficult points in theology. As we have said, this page offers a commentary on and very good explanation of the Trinitarian meditation that is contained in the Circolo by Francesco da Jesi.
  30. Cf. Corpus Hermeticum, t. I, Texte ètabli par A. D. Nock et traduit, par A. J. Festuglère, Paris 1945, 7-19; cf. also R. P. Festugière, La rèvèlatione d’Heermès Trimègiste, II; Le Dieu cosmique, Paris 1949.
  31. Another example of classical competence and simplicity of thought with respect to theological questions.
  32. Ps 147: 5
  33. Ps 138: 5-6 (Vulg.)
  34. Judith 9: 5
  35. Rom 8: 29
  36. Eph 1: 4
  37. 1 Pt 2: 9
  38. Thes 2: 12
  39. Rom 3: 22, 26.
  40. Jn 3: 16
  41. Gal 2: 20
  42. 1 Cor 9: 27
  43. Ps 5: 7
  44. Rom 9: 13; Mal 1: 2, 3.
  45. Rom 1: 18
  46. Eph 5: 5-7
  47. A splendid summary.
  48. Cf. Joannes de la Heye, Biblia maxima versionum XVI, Lutetiae Parisiorum 1660, 100s.
  49. That is Francesco di Mayronnes (Mayron) (c. 1288), who is known as Doctor acutus, or illuminatus, or Magister abstractionum.