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Of God and His Creatures
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CHAPTER XCVIIIThat God is His own Life

IN living things, to live is to be: for a living thing is said to be alive inasmuch as it has a soul; and by that soul, as by its own proper form, it has being: living in fact is nothing else than living being, arising out of a living form.192192Hence of a dead man we say truly: ‘He is no more.’ But, in God, Himself is His own being (Chap. XXII): Himself therefore is His own life.

2. To understand is to live: but God is His own act of understanding (Chap. XLV).

3. If God is living, there must be life in Him. If then He is not His own life, there will be something in Him that is not Himself,193193Not Himself, that is, not His whole self. It might be part of Himself, but then He would have parts. and thus He will be compound, — a rejected conclusion (Chap. XVIII).

And this is the text: I am life (John xiv, 6).194194    This text may be not so immediately applicable as it seems, if it be the utterance, not of God as God, ad intra, but of God made Man, communicator of a divine life to His elect, ad extra. See my notes on St John i, 3, 4; xi, 25; xiv, 6.
   Be that application as it may, the conclusion of this chapter, and so many similar conclusions in this book, amount to this: that God is one self-conscious act, the realisation of the whole ideal order, of life, of wisdom, of power, of goodness, of necessary being, — what Plato was groping after (Acts xvii, 27) in his theory of Ideas, — gathered all in one, living, conscious, pure actuality.


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