JOST on the physical presence of the temporal in the eternal (cont.) ¶ 6-9

6b.) There are both a priori and a posteriori reason for this.

A posteriori: eternity is a superior and more uniform duration with the rest of the durations depending on it, at least when the things actually exist in the proper domain where they are measured. Eternity is thus really and of itself the measure of created things, and whatever falls away from the duration of a created thing also ceases to be measured by eternity, though this does not occur from a defect in eternity but from the thing measured. To explain the antecedent: God exists first with created things when the created thing exists in itself, since God exists simultaneously with it by causing and conserving it, thus having existence and duration simultaneously with it. It is clear that this duration is superior, more uniform, and the cause of created duration since it is a duration both infinitely exceeding in loftiness, immutability and regularity and upon which the lower motions of the celestial heaven are derived and depend…

7.) The a priori reason is that the measure of uncreated duration measures the very action by which God produces created things in their esse and conserves them in their duration, and his action is simpler and more uniform than the duration of any of his effects while also containing that duration. And so we can reduce created duration to the measure that it has in eternal duration, from which it follows that eternity is a measure, both truly and properly speaking, of created things….

Still, you might object to this: how does eternity measure the effect of God when it measures his action? There are two options:

(a) We might consider creatures as interior to God so far as they are in the intellect and power of God or in the very divine substance containing all creatures within its perfection. But considering them in this way stops short of the divine action, so that the things will not be measured by eternal being according to their real created being but only as essences that are fit for creation of objectively possible or known things, which would not make them measured in their real duration.

(b) Or we might consider the creatures as already produced in being by a divine action. So taken, they are able either to exist or not and so are not measured by eternity that measures in an immobile way but by the measure allowed in their own mutable domain of measurability. The way this mode of being measured by by eternity is opposed to being measured by created duration because of its mutability.

9.) We respond: when we say that eternity is the measure of created things, we are not talking about creatures as within God, i.e. so far as they are God himself, nor are we only talking about how they are in the objective power or knowledge of God, but as they are things outside of divinity to which the divine action reaches (attinguntur). Two things can be considered in this action: (i) the changeable passive term which the divine action brings forth in time, although it is eternal in itself since all things are created in the beginning of time, or (ii) the relation to the very divine action that takes the created thing as a term from all eternity, and not just in its possible existence but as being made in fact, and supposing the divine decree about the production of creation.

If we consider the creature as changeable and passive in the divine production, this establishes the proper domain of created measure, even though the subject is caused from eternity. Considered in the second way, however, God’s action elevates the term by relating it to himself as measure. It is in this way that the action, inasmuch as it is a process and the causality or the development is the effect itself, measures the thing or term of action along with the motion of tendency and flux, for the very term of the action is nothing but the thing as tending and becoming. This action of God, moreover, causes without any motion, as wholly unchanging, even while producing a thing subject to motion in time.

It follows that created actions, due to their being in process, with a tendency, and in flux, have a less perfect existence than the terminus itself existing in fact, and the actions are ordered to this as to something more perfect. The divine action is more perfect in being than its terminus, and is so not ordered to that terminus, but more gives order to the terminus. So the terminus, considered precisely as conjoined with and relating back to the action as an eternal action, is elevated to its measure in that action, sc. eternity. On the other hand, so far as it is changed passively in itself and comes to exist in time, it is established in its own domain of created measure, which we will speak of more in the following article.

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