QUESTION 43: THE MISSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS
We next consider the mission of the divine persons, concerning which
there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether it is suitable for a divine person to be sent?
(2) Whether mission is eternal, or only temporal?
(3) In what sense a divine person is invisibly sent?
(4) Whether it is fitting that each person be sent?
(5) Whether both the Son and the Holy Ghost are invisibly sent?
(6) To whom the invisible mission is directed?
(7) Of the visible mission
(8) Whether any person sends Himself visibly or invisibly?
Article 1: Whether a divine person can be properly sent?
Objection 1: It would seem that a divine person cannot be properly sent. For
one who is sent is less than the sender. But one divine person is not
less than another. Therefore one person is not sent by another.
Objection 2: Further, what is sent is separated from the sender; hence Jerome
says, commenting on Ezech. 16:53: "What is joined and tied in one body
cannot be sent." But in the divine persons there is nothing that is
separable, as Hilary says (De Trin. vii). Therefore one person is not
sent by another.
Objection 3: Further, whoever is sent, departs from one place and comes anew
into another. But this does not apply to a divine person, Who is
everywhere. Therefore it is not suitable for a divine person to be sent.
On the contrary, It is said (Jn. 8:16): "I am not alone, but I and the
Father that sent Me."
I answer that, the notion of mission includes two things: the habitude
of the one sent to the sender; and that of the one sent to the end
whereto he is sent. Anyone being sent implies a certain kind of
procession of the one sent from the sender: either according to command,
as the master sends the servant; or according to counsel, as an adviser
may be said to send the king to battle; or according to origin, as a tree
sends forth its flowers. The habitude to the term to which he is sent is
also shown, so that in some way he begins to be present there: either
because in no way was he present before in the place whereto he is sent,
or because he begins to be there in some way in which he was not there
hitherto. Thus the mission of a divine person is a fitting thing, as
meaning in one way the procession of origin from the sender, and as
meaning a new way of existing in another; thus the Son is said to be sent
by the Father into the world, inasmuch as He began to exist visibly in
the world by taking our nature; whereas "He was" previously "in the
world" (Jn. 1:1).
Reply to Objection 1: Mission implies inferiority in the one sent, when it means
procession from the sender as principle, by command or counsel; forasmuch
as the one commanding is the greater, and the counsellor is the wiser. In
God, however, it means only procession of origin, which is according to
equality, as explained above (Question , Articles ,6).
Reply to Objection 2: What is so sent as to begin to exist where previously it
did not exist, is locally moved by being sent; hence it is necessarily
separated locally from the sender. This, however, has no place in the
mission of a divine person; for the divine person sent neither begins to
exist where he did not previously exist, nor ceases to exist where He
was. Hence such a mission takes place without a separation, having only
distinction of origin.
Reply to Objection 3: This objection rests on the idea of mission according to
local motion, which is not in God.
Article 2: Whether mission is eternal, or only temporal?
Objection 1: It would seem that mission can be eternal. For Gregory says (Hom.
xxvi, in Ev.), "The Son is sent as He is begotten." But the Son's
generation is eternal. Therefore mission is eternal.
Objection 2: Further, a thing is changed if it becomes something temporally.
But a divine person is not changed. Therefore the mission of a divine
person is not temporal, but eternal.
Objection 3: Further, mission implies procession. But the procession of the
divine persons is eternal. Therefore mission is also eternal.
On the contrary, It is said (Gal. 4:4): "When the fullness of the time
was come, God sent His Son."
I answer that, A certain difference is to be observed in all the words
that express the origin of the divine persons. For some express only
relation to the principle, as "procession" and "going forth." Others
express the term of procession together with the relation to the
principle. Of these some express the eternal term, as "generation" and
"spiration"; for generation is the procession of the divine person into
the divine nature, and passive spiration is the procession of the
subsisting love. Others express the temporal term with the relation to
the principle, as "mission" and "giving." For a thing is sent that it may
be in something else, and is given that it may be possessed; but that a
divine person be possessed by any creature, or exist in it in a new mode,
Hence "mission" and "giving" have only a temporal significance in God;
but "generation" and "spiration" are exclusively eternal; whereas
"procession" and "giving," in God, have both an eternal and a temporal
signification: for the Son may proceed eternally as God; but temporally,
by becoming man, according to His visible mission, or likewise by
dwelling in man according to His invisible mission.
Reply to Objection 1: Gregory speaks of the temporal generation of the Son, not
from the Father, but from His mother; or it may be taken to mean that He
could be sent because eternally begotten.
Reply to Objection 2: That a divine person may newly exist in anyone, or be
possessed by anyone in time, does not come from change of the divine
person, but from change in the creature; as God Himself is called Lord
temporally by change of the creature.
Reply to Objection 3: Mission signifies not only procession from the principle,
but also determines the temporal term of the procession. Hence mission is
only temporal. Or we may say that it includes the eternal procession,
with the addition of a temporal effect. For the relation of a divine
person to His principle must be eternal. Hence the procession may be
called a twin procession, eternal and temporal, not that there is a
double relation to the principle, but a double term, temporal and eternal.
Article 3: Whether the invisible mission of the divine person is only according to the gift of sanctifying grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that the invisible mission of the divine person is
not only according to the gift of sanctifying grace. For the sending of a
divine person means that He is given. Hence if the divine person is sent
only according to the gift of sanctifying grace, the divine person
Himself will not be given, but only His gifts; and this is the error of
those who say that the Holy Ghost is not given, but that His gifts are
Objection 2: Further, this preposition, "according to," denotes the habitude
of some cause. But the divine person is the cause why the gift of
sanctifying grace is possessed, and not conversely, according to Rm. 5:5,
"the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Who
is given to us." Therefore it is improperly said that the divine person
is sent according to the gift of sanctifying grace.
Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 20) that "the Son, when
temporally perceived by the mind, is sent." But the Son is known not only
by sanctifying grace, but also by gratuitous grace, as by faith and
knowledge. Therefore the divine person is not sent only according to the
gift of sanctifying grace.
Objection 4: Further, Rabanus says that the Holy Ghost was given to the
apostles for the working of miracles. This, however, is not a gift of
sanctifying grace, but a gratuitous grace. Therefore the divine person is
not given only according to the gift of sanctifying grace.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4) that "the Holy Ghost
proceeds temporally for the creature's sanctification." But mission is a
temporal procession. Since then the creature's sanctification is by
sanctifying grace, it follows that the mission of the divine person is
only by sanctifying grace.
I answer that, The divine person is fittingly sent in the sense that He
exists newly in any one; and He is given as possessed by anyone; and
neither of these is otherwise than by sanctifying grace.
For God is in all things by His essence, power and presence, according
to His one common mode, as the cause existing in the effects which
participate in His goodness. Above and beyond this common mode, however,
there is one special mode belonging to the rational nature wherein God is
said to be present as the object known is in the knower, and the beloved
in the lover. And since the rational creature by its operation of
knowledge and love attains to God Himself, according to this special mode
God is said not only to exist in the rational creature but also to dwell
therein as in His own temple. So no other effect can be put down as the
reason why the divine person is in the rational creature in a new mode,
except sanctifying grace. Hence, the divine person is sent, and proceeds
temporally only according to sanctifying grace.
Again, we are said to possess only what we can freely use or enjoy: and
to have the power of enjoying the divine person can only be according to
sanctifying grace. And yet the Holy Ghost is possessed by man, and dwells
within him, in the very gift itself of sanctifying grace. Hence the Holy
Ghost Himself is given and sent.
Reply to Objection 1: By the gift of sanctifying grace the rational creature is
perfected so that it can freely use not only the created gift itself, but
enjoy also the divine person Himself; and so the invisible mission takes
place according to the gift of sanctifying grace; and yet the divine
person Himself is given.
Reply to Objection 2: Sanctifying grace disposes the soul to possess the divine
person; and this is signified when it is said that the Holy Ghost is
given according to the gift of grace. Nevertheless the gift itself of
grace is from the Holy Ghost; which is meant by the words, "the charity
of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost."
Reply to Objection 3: Although the Son can be known by us according to other
effects, yet neither does He dwell in us, nor is He possessed by us
according to those effects.
Reply to Objection 4: The working of miracles manifests sanctifying grace as also
does the gift of prophecy and any other gratuitous graces. Hence
gratuitous grace is called the "manifestation of the Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:7). So the Holy Ghost is said to be given to the apostles for the
working of miracles, because sanctifying grace was given to them with the
outward sign. Were the sign only of sanctifying grace given to them
without the grace itself, it would not be simply said that the Holy Ghost
was given, except with some qualifying term; just as we read of certain
ones receiving the gift of the spirit of prophecy, or of miracles, as
having from the Holy Ghost the power of prophesying or of working
Article 4: Whether the Father can be fittingly sent?
Objection 1: It would seem that it is fitting also that the Father should be
sent. For being sent means that the divine person is given. But the
Father gives Himself since He can only be possessed by His giving
Himself. Therefore it can be said that the Father sends Himself.
Objection 2: Further, the divine person is sent according to the indwelling of
grace. But by grace the whole Trinity dwells in us according to Jn.
14:23: "We will come to him and make Our abode with him." Therefore each
one of the divine persons is sent.
Objection 3: Further, whatever belongs to one person, belongs to them all,
except the notions and persons. But mission does not signify any person;
nor even a notion, since there are only five notions, as stated above
(Question , Article ). Therefore every divine person can be sent.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. ii, 3), "The Father alone is
never described as being sent."
I answer that, The very idea of mission means procession from another,
and in God it means procession according to origin, as above expounded.
Hence, as the Father is not from another, in no way is it fitting for Him
to be sent; but this can only belong to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, to
Whom it belongs to be from another.
Reply to Objection 1: In the sense of "giving" as a free bestowal of something,
the Father gives Himself, as freely bestowing Himself to be enjoyed by
the creature. But as implying the authority of the giver as regards what
is given, "to be given" only applies in God to the Person Who is from
another; and the same as regards "being sent."
Reply to Objection 2: Although the effect of grace is also from the Father, Who
dwells in us by grace, just as the Son and the Holy Ghost, still He is
not described as being sent, for He is not from another. Thus Augustine
says (De Trin. iv, 20) that "The Father, when known by anyone in time, is
not said to be sent; for there is no one whence He is, or from whom He
Reply to Objection 3: Mission, meaning procession from the sender, includes the
signification of a notion, not of a special notion, but in general; thus
"to be from another" is common to two of the notions.
Article 5: Whether it is fitting for the Son to be sent invisibly?
Objection 1: It would seem that it is not fitting for the Son to be sent
invisibly. For invisible mission of the divine person is according to the
gift of grace. But all gifts of grace belong to the Holy Ghost, according
to 1 Cor. 12:11: "One and the same Spirit worketh all things." Therefore
only the Holy Ghost is sent invisibly.
Objection 2: Further, the mission of the divine person is according to
sanctifying grace. But the gifts belonging to the perfection of the
intellect are not gifts of sanctifying grace, since they can be held
without the gift of charity, according to 1 Cor. 13:2: "If I should have
prophecy, and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I
should have all faith so that I could move mountains, and have not
charity, I am nothing." Therefore, since the Son proceeds as the word of
the intellect, it seems unfitting for Him to be sent invisibly.
Objection 3: Further, the mission of the divine person is a procession, as
expounded above (Articles ,4). But the procession of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost differ from each other. Therefore they are distinct missions if
both are sent; and then one of them would be superfluous, since one would
suffice for the creature's sanctification.
On the contrary, It is said of divine Wisdom (Wis. 9:10): "Send her from
heaven to Thy Saints, and from the seat of Thy greatness."
I answer that, The whole Trinity dwells in the mind by sanctifying
grace, according to Jn. 14:23: "We will come to him, and will make Our
abode with him." But that a divine person be sent to anyone by invisible
grace signifies both that this person dwells in a new way within him and
that He has His origin from another. Hence, since both to the Son and to
the Holy Ghost it belongs to dwell in the soul by grace, and to be from
another, it therefore belongs to both of them to be invisibly sent. As to
the Father, though He dwells in us by grace, still it does not belong to
Him to be from another, and consequently He is not sent.
Reply to Objection 1: Although all the gifts, considered as such, are attributed
to the Holy Ghost, forasmuch as He is by His nature the first Gift, since
He is Love, as stated above (Question , Article ), some gifts nevertheless, by
reason of their own particular nature, are appropriated in a certain way
to the Son, those, namely, which belong to the intellect, and in respect
of which we speak of the mission of the Son. Hence Augustine says (De
Trin. iv, 20) that "The Son is sent to anyone invisibly, whenever He is
known and perceived by anyone."
Reply to Objection 2: The soul is made like to God by grace. Hence for a divine
person to be sent to anyone by grace, there must needs be a likening of
the soul to the divine person Who is sent, by some gift of grace. Because
the Holy Ghost is Love, the soul is assimilated to the Holy Ghost by the
gift of charity: hence the mission of the Holy Ghost is according to the
mode of charity. Whereas the Son is the Word, not any sort of word, but
one Who breathes forth Love. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. ix 10): "The
Word we speak of is knowledge with love." Thus the Son is sent not in
accordance with every and any kind of intellectual perfection, but
according to the intellectual illumination, which breaks forth into the
affection of love, as is said (Jn. 6:45): "Everyone that hath heard from
the Father and hath learned, cometh to Me," and (Ps. 38:4): "In my
meditation a fire shall flame forth." Thus Augustine plainly says (De
Trin. iv, 20): "The Son is sent, whenever He is known and perceived by
anyone." Now perception implies a certain experimental knowledge; and
this is properly called wisdom [sapientia], as it were a sweet knowledge
[sapida scientia], according to Ecclus. 6:23: "The wisdom of doctrine is
according to her name."
Reply to Objection 3: Since mission implies the origin of the person Who is sent,
and His indwelling by grace, as above explained (Article ), if we speak of
mission according to origin, in this sense the Son's mission is
distinguished from the mission of the Holy Ghost, as generation is
distinguished from procession. If we consider mission as regards the
effect of grace, in this sense the two missions are united in the root
which is grace, but are distinguished in the effects of grace, which
consist in the illumination of the intellect and the kindling of the
affection. Thus it is manifest that one mission cannot be without the
other, because neither takes place without sanctifying grace, nor is one
person separated from the other.
Article 6: Whether the invisible mission is to all who participate grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that the invisible mission is not to all who
participate grace. For the Fathers of the Old Testament had their share
of grace. Yet to them was made no invisible mission; for it is said (Jn. 7:39): "The Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet
glorified." Therefore the invisible mission is not to all partakers in
Objection 2: Further, progress in virtue is only by grace. But the invisible
mission is not according to progress in virtue; because progress in
virtue is continuous, since charity ever increases or decreases; and thus
the mission would be continuous. Therefore the invisible mission is not
to all who share in grace.
Objection 3: Further, Christ and the blessed have fullness of grace. But
mission is not to them, for mission implies distance, whereas Christ, as
man, and all the blessed are perfectly united to God. Therefore the
invisible mission is not to all sharers in grace.
Objection 4: Further, the Sacraments of the New Law contain grace, and it is
not said that the invisible mission is sent to them. Therefore the
invisible mission is not to all that have grace.
On the contrary, According to Augustine (De Trin. iii, 4; xv, 27), the
invisible mission is for the creature's sanctification. Now every
creature that has grace is sanctified. Therefore the invisible mission is
to every such creature.
I answer that, As above stated (Articles ,4,5), mission in its very meaning
implies that he who is sent either begins to exist where he was not
before, as occurs to creatures; or begins to exist where he was before,
but in a new way, in which sense mission is ascribed to the divine
persons. Thus, mission as regards the one to whom it is sent implies two
things, the indwelling of grace, and a certain renewal by grace. Thus the
invisible mission is sent to all in whom are to be found these two
Reply to Objection 1: The invisible mission was directed to the Old Testament
Fathers, as appears from what Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 20), that the
invisible mission of the Son "is in man and with men. This was done in
former times with the Fathers and the Prophets." Thus the words, "the
Spirit was not yet given," are to be applied to that giving accompanied
with a visible sign which took place on the day of Pentecost.
Reply to Objection 2: The invisible mission takes place also as regards progress
in virtue or increase of grace. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 20),
that "the Son is sent to each one when He is known and perceived by
anyone, so far as He can be known and perceived according to the capacity
of the soul, whether journeying towards God, or united perfectly to Him."
Such invisible mission, however, chiefly occurs as regards anyone's
proficiency in the performance of a new act, or in the acquisition of a
new state of grace; as, for example, the proficiency in reference to the
gift of miracles or of prophecy, or in the fervor of charity leading a
man to expose himself to the danger of martyrdom, or to renounce his
possessions, or to undertake any arduous work.
Reply to Objection 3: The invisible mission is directed to the blessed at the
very beginning of their beatitude. The invisible mission is made to them
subsequently, not by "intensity" of grace, but by the further revelation
of mysteries; which goes on till the day of judgment. Such an increase is
by the "extension" of grace, because it extends to a greater number of
objects. To Christ the invisible mission was sent at the first moment of
His conception; but not afterwards, since from the beginning of His
conception He was filled with all wisdom and grace.
Reply to Objection 4: Grace resides instrumentally in the sacraments of the New
Law, as the form of a thing designed resides in the instruments of the
art designing, according to a process flowing from the agent to the
passive object. But mission is only spoken of as directed to its term.
Hence the mission of the divine person is not sent to the sacraments, but
to those who receive grace through the sacraments.
Article 7: Whether it is fitting for the Holy Ghost to be sent visibly?
Objection 1: It would seem that the Holy Ghost is not fittingly sent in a
visible manner. For the Son as visibly sent to the world is said to be
less than the Father. But the Holy Ghost is never said to be less than
the Father. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not fittingly sent in a visible
Objection 2: Further, the visible mission takes place by way of union to a
visible creature, as the Son's mission according to the flesh. But the
Holy Ghost did not assume any visible creature; and hence it cannot be
said that He exists otherwise in some creatures than in others, unless
perhaps as in a sign, as He is also present in the sacraments, and in all
the figures of the law. Thus the Holy Ghost is either not sent visibly at
all, or His visible mission takes place in all these things.
Objection 3: Further, every visible creature is an effect showing forth the
whole Trinity. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not sent by reason of those
visible creatures more than any other person.
Objection 4: Further, the Son was visibly sent by reason of the noblest kind
of creature---namely, the human nature. Therefore if the Holy Ghost is
sent visibly, He ought to be sent by reason of rational creatures.
Objection 5: Further, whatever is done visibly by God is dispensed by the
ministry of the angels; as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4,5,9). So
visible appearances, if there have been any, came by means of the angels.
Thus the angels are sent, and not the Holy Ghost.
Objection 6: Further, the Holy Ghost being sent in a visible manner is only
for the purpose of manifesting the invisible mission; as invisible things
are made known by the visible. So those to whom the invisible mission was
not sent, ought not to receive the visible mission; and to all who
received the invisible mission, whether in the New or in the Old
Testament, the visible mission ought likewise to be sent; and this is
clearly false. Therefore the Holy Ghost is not sent visibly.
On the contrary, It is said (Mt. 3:16) that, when our Lord was baptized,
the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the shape of a dove.
I answer that, God provides for all things according to the nature of
each thing. Now the nature of man requires that he be led to the
invisible by visible things, as explained above (Question , Article ). Wherefore
the invisible things of God must be made manifest to man by the things
that are visible. As God, therefore, in a certain way has demonstrated
Himself and His eternal processions to men by visible creatures,
according to certain signs; so was it fitting that the invisible missions
also of the divine persons should be made manifest by some visible
This mode of manifestation applies in different ways to the Son and to
the Holy Ghost. For it belongs to the Holy Ghost, Who proceeds as Love,
to be the gift of sanctification; to the Son as the principle of the Holy
Ghost, it belongs to the author of this sanctification. Thus the Son has
been sent visibly as the author of sanctification; the Holy Ghost as the
sign of sanctification.
Reply to Objection 1: The Son assumed the visible creature, wherein He appeared,
into the unity of His person, so that whatever can be said of that
creature can be said of the Son of God; and so, by reason of the nature
assumed, the Son is called less than the Father. But the Holy Ghost did
not assume the visible creature, in which He appeared, into the unity of
His person; so that what is said of it cannot be predicated of Him. Hence
He cannot be called less than the Father by reason of any visible
Reply to Objection 2: The visible mission of the Holy Ghost does not apply to the
imaginary vision which is that of prophecy; because as Augustine says (De
Trin. ii, 6): "The prophetic vision is not displayed to corporeal eyes by
corporeal shapes, but is shown in the spirit by the spiritual images of
bodies. But whoever saw the dove and the fire, saw them by their eyes.
Nor, again, has the Holy Ghost the same relation to these images that the
Son has to the rock, because it is said, "The rock was Christ" (1 Cor. 10:4). For that rock was already created, and after the manner of an
action was named Christ, Whom it typified; whereas the dove and the fire
suddenly appeared to signify only what was happening. They seem, however,
to be like to the flame of the burning bush seen by Moses and to the
column which the people followed in the desert, and to the lightning and
thunder issuing forth when the law was given on the mountain. For the
purpose of the bodily appearances of those things was that they might
signify, and then pass away." Thus the visible mission is neither
displayed by prophetic vision, which belongs to the imagination, and not
to the body, nor by the sacramental signs of the Old and New Testament,
wherein certain pre-existing things are employed to signify something.
But the Holy Ghost is said to be sent visibly, inasmuch as He showed
Himself in certain creatures as in signs especially made for that purpose.
Reply to Objection 3: Although the whole Trinity makes those creatures, still
they are made in order to show forth in some special way this or that
person. For as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are signified by diverse
names, so also can They each one be signified by different things;
although neither separation nor diversity exists amongst Them.
Reply to Objection 4: It was necessary for the Son to be declared as the author
of sanctification, as explained above. Thus the visible mission of the
Son was necessarily made according to the rational nature to which it
belongs to act, and which is capable of sanctification; whereas any other
creature could be the sign of sanctification. Nor was such a visible
creature, formed for such a purpose, necessarily assumed by the Holy
Ghost into the unity of His person, since it was not assumed or used for
the purpose of action, but only for the purpose of a sign; and so
likewise it was not required to last beyond what its use required.
Reply to Objection 5: Those visible creatures were formed by the ministry of the
angels, not to signify the person of an angel, but to signify the Person
of the Holy Ghost. Thus, as the Holy Ghost resided in those visible
creatures as the one signified in the sign, on that account the Holy
Ghost is said to be sent visibly, and not as an angel.
Reply to Objection 6: It is not necessary that the invisible mission should
always be made manifest by some visible external sign; but, as is said (1
Cor. 12:7)---"the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto
profit"---that is, of the Church. This utility consists in the
confirmation and propagation of the faith by such visible signs. This has
been done chiefly by Christ and by the apostles, according to Heb. 2:3,
"which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by
them that heard."
Thus in a special sense, a mission of the Holy Ghost was directed to
Christ, to the apostles, and to some of the early saints on whom the
Church was in a way founded; in such a manner, however, that the visible
mission made to Christ should show forth the invisible mission made to
Him, not at that particular time, but at the first moment of His
conception. The visible mission was directed to Christ at the time of His
baptism by the figure of a dove, a fruitful animal, to show forth in
Christ the authority of the giver of grace by spiritual regeneration;
hence the Father's voice spoke, "This is My beloved Son" (Mt. 3:17), that
others might be regenerated to the likeness of the only Begotten. The
Transfiguration showed it forth in the appearance of a bright cloud, to
show the exuberance of doctrine; and hence it was said, "Hear ye Him"
(Mt. 17:5). To the apostles the mission was directed in the form of
breathing to show forth the power of their ministry in the dispensation
of the sacraments; and hence it was said, "Whose sins you shall forgive,
they are forgiven" (Jn. 20:23): and again under the sign of fiery tongues
to show forth the office of teaching; whence it is said that, "they began
to speak with divers tongues" (Acts 2:4). The visible mission of the Holy
Ghost was fittingly not sent to the fathers of the Old Testament, because
the visible mission of the Son was to be accomplished before that of the
Holy Ghost; since the Holy Ghost manifests the Son, as the Son manifests
the Father. Visible apparitions of the divine persons were, however,
given to the Fathers of the Old Testament which, indeed, cannot be called
visible missions; because, according to Augustine (De Trin. ii, 17), they
were not sent to designate the indwelling of the divine person by grace,
but for the manifestation of something else.
Article 8: Whether a divine person is sent only by the person whence He proceeds eternally?
Objection 1: It would seem that a divine person is sent only by the one whence
He proceeds eternally. For as Augustine says (De Trin. iv), "The Father
is sent by no one because He is from no one." Therefore if a divine
person is sent by another, He must be from that other.
Objection 2: Further, the sender has authority over the one sent. But there
can be no authority as regards a divine person except from origin.
Therefore the divine person sent must proceed from the one sending.
Objection 3: Further, if a divine person can be sent by one whence He does not
proceed, then the Holy Ghost may be given by a man, although He proceeds
not from him; which is contrary to what Augustine says (De Trin. xv).
Therefore the divine person is sent only by the one whence He proceeds.
On the contrary, The Son is sent by the Holy Ghost, according to Is.
48:16, "Now the Lord God hath sent Me and His Spirit." But the Son is not
from the Holy Ghost. Therefore a divine person is sent by one from Whom
He does not proceed.
I answer that, There are different opinions on this point. Some say that the divine person is sent only by the one whence He proceeds eternally; and so, when it is said that the Son of God is sent by the Holy Ghost, this is to be explained as regards His human nature, by reason of which He was sent to preach by the Holy Ghost. Augustine, however, says (De Trin. ii, 5) that the Son is sent by Himself, and by the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost is sent by Himself, and by the Son; so that to be sent in God does not apply to each person, but only to the person proceeding from
another, whereas to send belongs to each person.
There is some truth in both of these opinions; because when a person is
described as being sent, the person Himself existing from another is
designated, with the visible or invisible effect, applicable to the
mission of the divine person. Thus if the sender be designated as the
principle of the person sent, in this sense not each person sends, but
that person only Who is the principle of that person who is sent; and
thus the Son is sent only by the Father; and the Holy Ghost by the Father
and the Son. If, however, the person sending is understood as the
principle of the effect implied in the mission, in that sense the whole
Trinity sends the person sent. This reason does not prove that a man can
send the Holy Ghost, forasmuch as man cannot cause the effect of grace.
The answers to the objections appear from the above.