Furthermore, an effect cannot exceed the perfection of its cause, though sometime it falls short of it. Hence, since our knowledge comes to us from things, it happens at times that we know what is necessary not according to the mode of necessity but according to that of probability. Now, just as in us things are the cause of knowledge, so the divine knowledge is the cause of the things known. Therefore, nothing prevents those things from being contingent in themselves of which God has a necessary knowledge.
 Again, an effect whose cause is contingent cannot be a necessary one; otherwise, the effect could be even though the cause were removed. Now, of the most remote effect there is both a proximate and a remote cause. If, then, the proximate cause were contingent, its effect would have to be contingent even though the remote cause is necessary. Thus, plants do not bear fruit of necessity, even though the motion of the sun is necessary, because the intermediate causes are contingent. But the knowledge of God, though it is the cause of the things known through it, is yet a remote cause. Therefore, the contingency of the things known is not in conflict with this necessity, since it may be that the intermediate causes are contingent.
 The knowledge of God, furthermore, would not be true and perfect if things did not happen in the way in which God knows them to happen. Now, since God knows all being, and is its source, He knows every effect not only in itself but also in its order to each of its causes. But the order of contingent things to their proximate causes is that they come forth from these causes in a contingent way. Hence, God knows that some things are taking place, and this contingently. Thus, therefore, the certitude and truth of the divine knowledge does not remove the contingency of things.
 From what has been said, it is therefore clear bow the objection impugning a knowledge of contingents in God is to be repulsed. For change in that which comes later does not induce change in that which has preceded; for it is possible that from prime necessary causes there proceed ultimate contingent effects. Now, the things that are known by God are not prior to His knowledge, as is the case with us, but, rather, subsequent to it. It does not therefore follow that, if something known by God can change, His knowledge of it can be deceived or in any way changed. We shall be deceived in the consequent therefore, if, because our knowledge of changeable things is itself changeable, we suppose on this account that such is necessarily the case in all knowledge.