varies in the constellations, which are continually
transformed; it befalls that from the human seed and
from these virtues or powers the Soul is produced
more or less pure; and according to its purity there
descends into it the virtue or power of the possible
or passive intellect, as it is called, and as it has
been spoken of. And if it happen that through
the purity of the receptive Soul the intellectual
power is indeed separate and absolute, free from all
corporeal shadow, the Divine Goodness multiplies in
it, as in a thing sufficient to receive that good
gift; and then it multiplies in the Soul of this intelligent
being, according as it can receive it; and this is
that seed of Happiness of which we speak at present.
And this is in harmony with the opinion of Tullius
in that book on Old Age when, speaking personally
of Cato, he says: “For this reason a celestial
spirit descended into us from the highest habitation,
having come into a place which is adverse to the Divine
Nature and to Eternity.” And in such a
Soul as this there is its own individual power, and
the intellectual power, and the Divine power; that
is to say, that influence which has been mentioned.
Therefore it is written in the book On Causes:
“Each Noble Soul has three operations, that is
to say, the animal, the intellectual, and the Divine.”
And there are some men who hold such opinions that
they say, if all the preceding powers were to unite
in the production of a Soul in their best disposition,
arrangement, order, that into that Soul would descend
so much of the Deity that it would be as it were another
God Incarnate; and this is almost all that it is possible
to say concerning the Natural way.
By the Theological way it is possible to say that,
when the Supreme Deity, that is, God, sees His creature
prepared to receive His good gift, so freely He imparts
it to His creature in proportion as it is prepared
or qualified to receive it. And because these
gifts proceed from ineffable Love, and the Divine
Love is appropriate to the Holy Spirit, therefore
it is that they are called the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
which, even as the Prophet Isaiah distinguishes them,
are seven, namely, Wisdom, Intelligence, Counsel,
Courage, Knowledge, Pity, and the Fear of God.
O, good green blades, and good and wonderful the seed!
And O, admirable and benign Sower of the seed, who
dost only wait for human nature to prepare the ground
for Thee wherein to sow! O, blessed are those
who till the land to fit it to receive such seed!
Here it is to be known that the first noble shoot
which germinates from this seed that it may be fruitful,
is the desire or appetite of the mind, which in Greek
is called “hormen;” and if this is not
well cultivated and held upright by good habits, the
seed is of little worth, and it would be better if
it had not been sown.
And therefore St. Augustine urges, and Aristotle also
in the second book of Ethics, that man should accustom
himself to do good, and to bridle in his passions,
in order that this shoot which has been mentioned
may grow strong through good habits, and be confirmed
in its uprightness, so that it may fructify, and from
its fruit may issue the sweetness of Human Happiness.