Philosophia Perennis Vol. I: An Introduction to Philosophy as Wisdom

Appendix B

I. Creation

No pagan philosopher ever conceived that the universe was created from nothing. It is a truth revealed by God, and the foundation of a cosmology of Faith. This article of Faith implies many great truths:

a. The omnipotence of God.

b. The contingency of everything in the visible universe.

c. The necessity of a Divine purpose worthy of a Divine

Creator, etc.

1. Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium. (The Nicene Creed) I believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

2. In the beginning God created heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1)

3. He that liveth for ever created all things together. (Ecclesiasticus 18:1)

4. Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? (Job 38:4)

5. For he spoke and they were made. (Psalm 32:9)

6. If anyone does not admit that the world and everything in it, both spiritual and material, have been produced in their entire substance by God out of nothing, let him be anathema. (Vatican I)

II. The Counsels of Eternal Wisdom

1. The world was created freely: Whatsoever the Lord pleased he hath done. (Psalm 134:6)

2. But it was through the counsels of an Eternal Wisdom, and therefore, for an end worthy of a divine maker:

The Lord made all things for himself. (Proverbs 16:4)

3. And God saw all things which he had made and they were very good. (Genesis 1:31)

4. As he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)

5. She (wisdom) reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly. (Wisdom 8:1)

6. And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things… According to the eternal purpose, which he made in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:9)

III. Wisdom is Hidden in the Universe

1. And He poured her (wisdom) out upon all his works, and upon all flesh. (Ecclesiasticus 1:10)

2. I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world. (Psalm 77:2)

Our Lord applied this text to His parables. (Matthew 13:35)

3. Solomon, having prayed for wisdom, and having obtained it from God, said of himself through the Holy Ghost:

For he hath given me true knowledge of things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements. (Wisdom 7:17)

4. Solomon also said: I will speak of great things. (Proverbs 8:6)

5. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. (Matthew 6:28, 29)

6. All things were known to the Lord God, before they were created. (Ecclesiasticus 23:29)

IV. The Universe is Conserved in Existence by God

1. Upholding all things by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)

2. For Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things. (Romans 11:36)

3. For in Him we live and move and are. (Acts 17:28)

V. The World was Created Originally in a Paradisal State

1. And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning; wherein He placed man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:8)

2. For God created man incorruptible but by the envy of the devil, death came into the world. (Wisdom 2:23, 24)

3. The works of God are perfect. (Deuteronomy 32:4)

VI. The Fall

It is impossible to understand our universe, unless we know that it is in a fallen state.

The Fall of Angels

1. Our Lord, speaking as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, said: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven. (Luke 10:18)

2. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning … And thou saidst in thy heart… I will be like the most High. (Isaias 14:12, 14)

The Fall of Man

3. Cursed is the earth in thy works; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. (Genesis 3:17)

4. Holy Scripture calls the world in its fallen state, "the vale of tears." (Psalm 83:7) Also, "the valley of the shadow of death." (Isaias 9:2, Psalm 22:4)

VII. Man is the Principal Object of all Creation

1. The whole story of creation is in Genesis: Chapters 1, 2, 3; especially, "Fill the earth and subdue it." (Genesis 1:28)

2. And He gave man power over all things that are upon the earth. (Ecclesiasticus 17:3)

3. Thou hast set him over the works of thy hands. (Psalm 8:7)

4. My delights were to be with the children of men. (Proverbs 8:31)

5. Why dost thou set thy heart upon him. (Job 7:17)

6. The seasons ordered to man’s purposes: (Genesis 8:22, Ecclesiasticus 33:9)

7. Even the heavenly bodies were created for man (Genesis 1:14); …the sun, the moon, and the stars of heaven… which the Lord thy God created for the service of all nations, that are under heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)

8. The whole world groaneth with man (i.e., reflects an echo of man’s anxiety and man’s restlessness. Romans 8:22)

9. Even the angels — "for are they not ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation." (Hebrews 1:14)

10. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. (Nicene Creed)

11. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever. (I John 2:17)

VIII. The Incarnation is the Central Event of History

1. But when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman. (Galatians 4:4)

2. In these days He hath spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things. (Hebrews 1:2)

3. For in Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. (Colossians 1:16)

4. The beginning of the creation of God. (Principium creaturae Dei. Apocalypse 3:14)

5. The Alpha and the Omega. (Apocalypse 22:13)

6. And he hath subjected all things under His feet. (Ephesians 1:22)

7. The mystery which was kept secret from eternity. (Romans 16:25)

IX. God’s Providence and His Government of the Universe

1. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:30)

2. Chance is a reality to man (Ecclesiastes 9:11); but there is no chance before God, for "Lots are cast into the lap, but they are disposed of by the Lord." (Proverbs 16:33)

3. Say not before the angel: there is no providence; lest God be angry at thy words. (Ecclesiastes 5:5)

4. Lord, Lord, Almighty King, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel. (Esther 13:9)

5. Who hath numbered the sand of the sea? (Ecclesiasticus 1:2)

6. God condemns the philosophy of deism. (Job 22:14)

X. Order and Purpose

1. And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things… according to the eternal purpose, which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:9-11)

2. Thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight. (Wisdom 11:12)

3. And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto the good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be saints. (Romans 8:28)

4. That He might make known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Him, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)

XI. The Universe: One and Finite

1. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:18, 19)

2. And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose are called to be saints. (Romans 8:28)

3. She (wisdom) reacheth from end to end mightily and ordereth all things sweetly. (Wisdom 8:1)

XII. Miracles and the Economy of Salvation

1. Who is he that he commandeth both the winds and the sea, and they obey him? (Luke 8:25)

2. Who alone doth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 135:4)

3. Renew thy signs, and work new miracles. (Ecclus. 36:6)

That they may know thee, as we also have known thee, that there is no God beside thee, O Lord. (Ecclus 36:5)

4. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:11)

XIII. Time and Eternity

1. We have not here an abiding city. (Hebrews 13:14)

2. For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday which is past. (Psalms 89:4)

3. For things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:18)

4. There are many things hidden from us that are greater than these: for we have seen but a few of his works. (Ecclesiasticus 43:36)

5. Alas! Alas! that great city Babylon, that mighty city: for in one hour is thy judgment come. (Apocalypse 18:10)

6. Time is short. (I Corinthians 7:29)

7. The fashion of this world passeth away. (I Corinthians 7:31)

8. Till the day break and the shadows retire. (Canticle of Canticles 2:17)

XIV. Immortality, Resurrection, Glory

1. Now that the dead rise again, Moses also showed at the bush, when he called the Lord: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for he is not the God of the dead but of the living: for all live to him. (Luke 20:37, 38)

2. And the dust return to its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

3. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. (Apocalypse 21:1)

4. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. (Job 19:25)

5. I have learned that all the works which God hath made continue for ever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

6. Behold I make all things new. (Apocalypse 21:5)

7. In the beginning, O Lord, thou foundest the earth: and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish but thou remainest: and all of them shall grow old like a garment: and as a vesture, thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art always the selfsame, and thy years shall not fail. The children of thy servants shall continue: and their seed shall be directed for ever. (Psalm 101:26-29)

8. The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. (Wisdom 3:7)

9. And then shall the just shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43)

10. …concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question (Acts 23:6). Faith in the omnipotence of God spells the difference between the hope of the resurrection and the despair of nihilism.

XV. Our Lady the Crown of Creation

1. All generations shall call me blessed (Luke 1:48). All the generations of the faithful greet her as the Second Eve — the Mother of all those born to the life of grace, as Eve is of all those born to the life of nature (Genesis 3:20).

2. I shall put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel (Genesis 3:15). She is the prophesied issue of all history.

3. Hail, full of grace (Luke 1:28). The angel brought her the greeting from heaven.

4. It is not hard to guess the enigmatic hint in Heb. 1:5; for who of the angels could ever say to God: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (Psalm 2:7)

5. The Church applies to her:

a. "The Queen stood on thy right hand." (Psalm 44:10, and the rest of Psalm 44),

b. "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways." (Proverbs 8:1, and the rest of Proverbs 8),

c. "Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee." (Canticle of Canticles 4:7, and many other references in the Canticle of Canticles),

d. "I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope." (Ecclesiasticus 24:24)

6. They found the child with Mary his mother. (Matthew 2:11)

7. See ye that I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek out the truth. (Ecclesiasticus 24:47)