Whether the Predestined are Chosen by God
We proceed to the fourth article thus:
1. It seems that the predestined are not chosen by God. For Dionysius says: |just as the corporeal sun sheds its light upon all bodies without discrimination, so does God bestow his goodness' (4 Div. Nom., lect.1). Now it is especially God's goodness that we receive when we share in grace and glory. It follows that God bestows grace and goodness without discrimination, and this belongs to predestination.
2. Again, election is of those who exist. But predestination is also of those who do not exist, since predestination is from eternity. There must therefore be some who are predestined without being elected.
3. Again, election implies discrimination. But it is said in 1 Tim.2:4: |Who will have all men to be saved.| Thus predestination preordains all men to salvation. It is therefore without election.
On the other hand: it is said in Eph.1:4: |according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.|
I answer: predestination presupposes election by its very nature, and election presupposes love. The reason for this is that predestination is part of providence, as we observed in Art.1. We also said that providence, like prudence, is the reason preconceived in the mind for the ordination of things to an end (Q.22, Art.2). Now the ordination of something to an end cannot be preconceived unless the end is already willed. The predestination of some to eternal salvation therefore means that God has already willed their salvation. This involves both election and love. It involves love, because God wills the good of eternal salvation for them, to love being the same as to will good for someone (Q.20, Arts.2, 3). It involves election, because he wills this good for some in preference to others, some being rejected, as we said in Art.3. But election and love are not the same in God as they are in ourselves. Our will is not the cause of the good in what we love. We are induced to love by good which exists already. We thus choose someone whom we shall love, and our choice precedes our love. With God, it is the reverse. When God wills some good to one whom he loves, his will is the cause of this good being in him, rather than in any other. It is plain, then, that the very meaning of election presupposes love, and that predestination presupposes election. All who are predestined are therefore elected, and loved also.
On the first point: we said in Q.6, Art.4, that there is nothing which does not share something of God's goodness. There is therefore no election in the universal bestowal of God's goodness, if this is what we have in mind. But if we are thinking of the bestowal of one particular good or another, this is not without election, since God gives certain good things to some which he does not give to others. Election is likewise involved in the bestowal of grace and glory.
On the second point: election is bound to be concerned with the existent when the will of the chooser is decided by a good which already exists in something. So it is with our own will. But it is otherwise with God, as we said in Q.20, Art.2. In Augustine's words, |they who do not exist are elect of God, and his choice does not err| (De Verb. Apost., Sermo 11).
On the third point: antecedently, God wills that all men should be saved (Q.19, Art.6). But this is to will conditionally, not absolutely. God does not will this consequentially, which would be to will it absolutely.