The fifth and last book takes up the question of man's free will and God's foreknowledge, and, by an exposition of the nature of God, attempts to show that these doctrines are not subversive of each other; and the conclusion is drawn that God remains a foreknowing spectator of all events, and the ever-present eternity of his vision agrees with the future quality of our actions, dispensing rewards to the good and punishments to the wicked.
In return for her kindness, being entrusted with foreknowledge by the visitation of God, they prophesied that God had decreed an end of rule for Herod and his line and that the sovereignty devolved upon her and Pheroras and their children.
In the Bornean cult of the hawk it seems that the divine bird itself was regarded as having a foreknowledge of the future.
Molina tried to reconcile the doctrine of predestination with the freedom of the human will by saying that the predestination is consequent upon God's foreknowledge of the free determination of man's will, which is therefore in no way affected by the fact of such predestination.
Of these Maitland of Lethington was consenting to Darnley's murder; the earl of Morton had, at least, guilty foreknowledge; the regent Moray (Mary's natural brother) had "looked through his fingers" at the crime, and for months remained on intimate terms with the criminals.
For this cause therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the aforesaid, and afterwards gave a further injunction (1rwou17v has now the further evidence of the Latin legem) that, if these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed to their ministry..
Man is predetermined to act freely, and Divine foreknowledge foresees human actions as contingent.
But the subjects dealt with concern more or less all the great problems of thought on what may be called the theological side of metaphysics - the sufficiency of reason, the trustworthiness of experience, the admissibility of revelation, free will, foreknowledge, and the rest.
The timeless foreknowledge of the Deity foresees human actions as contingent, not as causally determined.
And though in a certain sense Divine foreknowledge is compatible upon his view with human freedom, the freedom with which men act is itself the product of Divine determination.
He states the various proofs for the existence of an immaterial, infinite, supreme Being, asserts that this Being is the author of the visible universe, and strongly defends the doctrine of the foreknowledge and particular providence of God.
The "reprobation" of the wicked is not the cause of their sin; God's foreknowledge does not make the sin necessary; how reprobation and foreknowledge are related is not made plain.
He denied that foreknowledge or predestination as temporal relations could be properly predicated of God as eternal; he described sin and its consequences as negations, neither caused by nor known to God; he maintained that as evil is only a stage in the development of good, there will ultimately be a universal return to God.
The omniscient God, by means of His "scientia media" (the phrase is Molina's invention, though the idea is also to be found in his older contemporary Fonseca), or power of knowing future contingent events, foresees how we shall employ our own free-will and treat His proffered grace, and upon this foreknowledge He can found His predestinating decrees.
One of the greatest of all ethical controversies, that concerning the freedom of the will, arose directly out of what was in reality a theological problem - the necessity, namely, of reconciling God's foreknowledge with human freedom.
And he finds in the existence of divine foreknowledge no argument for the impotence or determined character of human acts of will.
From the theological standpoint every individual is predestined either by his natural birthright to evil or by Divine Grace to good, and the absolute foreknowledge and omnipotence of God excludes even the possibility of any initiative on the part of the individual by means of which he might influence God's timeless choice.