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Summa Theologica, Part I (Prima Pars), by St. Thomas Aquinas
   TREATISE ON THE CREATION (QQ. 44-49)
      QUESTION 44

THE PROCESSION OF CREATURES FROM GOD, AND OF THE FIRST CAUSE OF ALL THINGS (In Four Articles)

After treating of the procession of the divine persons, we must consider the procession of creatures from God. This consideration will be threefold:

(1) of the production of creatures;

(2) of the distinction between them;

(3) of their preservation and government.

Concerning the first point there are three things to be considered:

(1) the first cause of beings;

(2) the mode of procession of creatures from the first cause;

(3) the principle of the duration of things.

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether God is the efficient cause of all beings?

(2) Whether primary matter is created by God, or is an independent coordinate principle with Him?

(3) Whether God is the exemplar cause of beings or whether there are other exemplar causes?

(4) Whether He is the final cause of things?

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