De Sacramentis 1.2.6

1.2.6 “On the three things which are perfect and make all perfect.”

The foregoing chapter distinguished and correlated divine will and power and in the process implied a third attribute, that of divine predestination. In the present chapter Hugh addresses the three of these directly and concurrently: “these three were one; these three were eternal.” He observes that all three are operative in the production of every effect.

My summary of the previous chapter was that “goodness wills, wisdom, distills, and power fulfills.” The way Hugh himself correlates the three attributes here is in this fashion: “The will moves, knowledge disposes, power operates.” Hugh doesn’t draw the connection himself, but this formula puts us in a position to correlate the present discussion with chapter three’s treatment of the four causes of creation. First, the divine will moves, but as Hugh has shown, it moves as a final cause: the divine will is nothing other than the divine goodness, so that in willing creation, God is willing nothing other than his own goodness as that which is to be communicated to and shared in by his creation. Second, knowledge disposes, that is, it “directs,” as it were, the divine will to what specifically and formally it is that will, in creation, be partaking of the divine goodness. So in the divine knowledge we have the formal cause of creation. Finally, divine power operates and thus is the efficient cause of creation, a cause, incidentally, that does not diminish in its exercise of power because it does not have itself as the material cause of what it creates.

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