Thomas Aquinas

"...whatever perfection exists in an effect must be found in the effective cause: either in the same formality, if it is a univocal agent (...) thus in the sun is the likeness of whatever is generated by the sun's power. Now it is plain that the effect pre-exists virtually in the efficient cause: and although to pre-exist in the potentiality of a material cause is to pre-exist in a more imperfect way, since matter as such is imperfect, and an agent as such is perfect; still to pre-exist virtually in the efficient cause is to pre-exist not in a more imperfect, but in a more perfect way. ..." [1]

[1] Summa Theologica [I, Q. 14, Art. 6]