Distinction 40, single question: Whether the Predestined can be Damned [VI 309-12]
Concerning distinction forty I ask whether the predestined can be damned.
That he cannot:
Everything past is of absolute necessity, because – according to the Philosopher in VI Ethics – “God is deprived of this alone, to make ungenerated those things which are made”; but the predestination of this one having been predestinated has passed into the past, because God predestined him from eternity; therefore it is of absolute necessity. Therefore God is not able not to predestine, and consequently that one cannot be condemned.
Furthermore, if the predestined can be damned, this would not be unless by his own act; therefore through an actof the created will the act of the divine will could be impeded, which is impossible.
If not, then there would not be any care taken by anyone about the observence of the precepts and counsels, because howsoever one acted, he would be saved if he was predestined – and howsoever one acted, if he was foreknown he would be damned. Therefore the entire divine law would be posited in vain!
[To the question...Scotus’s own opinion]
To that question. “Predestination” properly means [dicit] an act of divine will, namely an ordering of the election of some intellectual or rational creature by the divine will to grace and glory, although it can be understood for the act of the intellect accompanying that election. Therefore just as it is said in general about the liberty and contingency of the divine will with respect to any special secondary object, so it must said in respect of this secondary object, that is ‘to will this one to grace and glory’.
And from this I say (on account of those things which are said in the preceding question [i.e. regarding synchronic contingency, which the vatican editors have placed in an appendex due to the marginal notation in MS A that the Liber Scoti is blank]) that God contingently predestines that one whom predestined, and is able not to predestine – not both at the same time nor successively, but each dividedly, in the instant of eternity.
In a similar manner I say to the question in itself that that one who is predestined, is able to be damned: for not, on account of his predestination, is his will confirmed – and so he is able to sin, and so for the same reason to remain in sin finally and so justly to be damned; but just as he can be damned, so he is able not to be predestined.
As far as the logic of the current question, one must distinguish between composition and division: and in the sense of composition per se, an extreme is man or the predestined person, under that determination ‘predestinated’, - and that sense is false; and in the sense also of division are two categories, and are enunciated of some person able to be beatified in one category ‘to be predestined’ and in another, ‘to be damned’, - and those two are true of the same subject. Neither are they true because they cam be opposted at the same time, nor also because one can suceed the other (because both are in eternity), but it is true at the same time insofar as the divine volition is considered as prior naturally in the process [transitu] over that object which is ‘the glory of that man’; it is not naturally repugnant to itself in that prior to be of the opposite object, rather it can equally be of the oppoiste, although not simultaneously of both.
[II. To the principal arguments]
To the first argument I say that it proceeds from a false imagination, the understanding of this imagination aids for understanding the truth of the proposed quesiton. For if per impossibile we would understand God still not to have determined his will to the other part, but to quasi deliberate whetehr wh should will to predestine that one or not, our intellect would well seize that he would predestine or not predestine him contingently, just as appears in an act of our will; but because we always recurr to the act of divine will as if it is past, therefore it is as if we do not conceive liberty in that will to the act as if it is now posited by the will. But that imagination is false: for that ‘now’ of eternity, in which there is that act, is alwasy present; and so it must be understood about the divine will or his volition as it is of this object, just as if per impossible now God would begin to have to will in that ‘now’ – and so freely God is able to will what he wills in the ‘now’ of eternity, just as if his will was determinaed to nothing.
Then I say to the form of the argument that predestination of this sort does not pass into the past. For although it coexists with the past, which has passed away, nevetheless it itself has not passed away – but the other has passed away, which coexisted with it. Hence, just as was said in distinction 9, words of diverse tenses said of God – inasmuch as most truly they are suited to him – do not signify parts of time measuring that act, but they co-signify the ‘now’ of eternity quasi measruing that act, insoffar as coexisting to those many parts; and therefore it is the same for God to predestine and to have predestined, and to be about to predestine, and so one is contingent just like the other, because nothing except the ‘now’ of eternity measuring that act, - which neither is present nor past nor future, but coexists with all those.
To the second I say that the created will cannot impded the ordering of the divine will, for ‘to impede’ would not be unless the proposition of the divine will would remain and the opposite come about by another will; but this is impossible, because just as the created will can merit damnation, so also it can concomitantly follow that the divine will does not preorder him to glory. Hence it was said in the preceding distinction (in the solution of the first argument to the second question) that God cannot be mistaken, because his intellection with respect to another cannot stand with the opposite of it; so also his will cannot be impeded, because an ordering of it cannot stand with the opposite of that which he ordained.