Front Page Titles (by Subject) AQUINAS ETHICUS, OR THE MORAL TEACHING OF ST. THOMAS. A translation of the principal portions of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes.: First Division of the Second Part, Commonly called Prima Secundæ. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1)
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AQUINAS ETHICUS, OR THE MORAL TEACHING OF ST. THOMAS. A translation of the principal portions of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes.: First Division of the Second Part, Commonly called Prima Secundæ. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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AQUINAS ETHICUS, OR THE MORAL TEACHING OF ST. THOMAS.
First Division of the Second Part,
OF THE LAST END OF MAN IN GENERAL.
Article I.—Is it proper to man to act for an end?
R. Of the actions done by man, those alone are properly called human, which are proper to man as man. Now man differs from irrational creatures in this, that he is master of his own acts. Wherefore those acts alone are properly called human, whereof man is master. But man is master of his own acts by reason and will: hence free-will is said to be a function of will and reason. Those actions, therefore, are properly called human, which proceed from a deliberate will. Any other actions attributable to man may indeed be styled actions of man, but not properly human actions, since they are not of man as he is man. Now it is clear that all the actions that proceed from any power are caused by that power acting in reference to its object. But the object of the will is some end in the shape of good. Therefore all human actions must be for an end.
§ 1. The end, though it is last in execution, is first in the intention of the agent, and in this way stands as a cause.
§ 3. Such actions as when man moves foot or hand, while thinking of other things, or strokes his beard, are not properly human, because they do not proceed from the deliberation of the reason, which is the proper principle of human actions.
Article IV.—Is there any last end of human conduct?
R. In ends there is found a twofold order, to wit, the order of intention and the order of execution, and in both orders there must be some first point. That which is first in the order of intention is a sort of principle moving the desire: take that principle away, and desire would have nothing to move it. The moving principle of the execution is that from whence the work begins: take away that moving principle, and none would begin to work at anything. Now the moving principle of the intention is the last end: the moving principle of the execution is the first step in the way of means to the end. Thus, then, on neither side is it possible to go on to infinity: because, if there were no last end, nothing would be desired, nor any action have a term, nor would the intention of the agent rest. On the other hand, if there were no first step in the means to the end, no one would begin to work at anything, and deliberation would never terminate, but go on to infinity.
Article V.—Can one man have several ultimate ends?
R. It is impossible for the will of one man at the same time to go out to several diverse objects as to so many different last ends. The reason may be assigned thus. Since every being seeks its own perfection, a man seeks that as his last end which he seeks as his perfect and crowning good. The last end therefore must so fill the whole of the man’s desire as to leave nothing to be desired beyond it. This cannot be, if anything further is required to the perfection of that end. Therefore desire cannot go out to two things as if each were its perfect good.
§ 1. To Augustine’s saying, “Some have placed the last end of man in four things, pleasure, repose, the goods of nature, and virtue,” it is to be said that all these several objects are regarded in the light of one perfect good constituted out of them, by those who have placed in them their last end.
§ 3. The power of the will does not extend to making things opposite and irreconcilable coexist, as they would coexist, if the will could tend to several diverse objects as to so many last ends.
§ 4. That wherein a man rests as in his last end dominates his desire, because therefrom he takes rules of conduct for his whole life: whence it is said of gluttons, “Whose god is their belly,”1 because they place their last end in the pleasures of the table. But, as is said: “No man can serve two masters,”2 two, that is, not in concert with one another. Therefore it is impossible for one man to have several ultimate ends not in harmony with one another.
Article VI.—Is everything that a man wills, willed for the sake of the last end?
R. It needs must be that all things that a man desires are desired for the sake of the last end. Whatever a man desires, he desires in the light of a good thing. If it is not desired as perfect good, which is the last end, it must be desired as tending to perfect good, because always the commencement of a thing is directed to the completion thereof, as is apparent both in things of nature and in things of art, and thus every commencement of perfection is directed to the attainment of perfection in its full measure, which is the achievement of the last end.
§ 1. Actions done in jest are not referred to any external end, but are simply directed to the good of the author of the jest, his delight or recreation. But the full measure of the good of man is found in his last end.
§ 2. Speculative science, being desired as some sort of good by the student of it, is comprehended under that complete and perfect good which is the last end.
§ 3. It is not necessary for one to be always thinking of the last end in every desire and in every work; but the efficacy of the first intention, which is made in view of the last end, remains in every desire of everything, even without any actual thought of the last end: just as it is not necessary in walking along a road to think at every step of the place whither you are going.
§ 4. Augustine says: “That is our final good, which is loved for its own sake, and all other things for the sake of it.”
Article VII.—Is the last end of all men one and the same?
R. We may speak of the last end in two ways: in one way, of the last end itself; in another way, of that in which the character of the last end is found. As regards the last end itself, all agree in desiring the last end, because all desire the fulness of their own well-being, in which full well-being the last end consists. But as regards that in which the character of the last end is found, all men do not agree in their last end. Some seek riches as their complete and final good; others seek pleasure; others other things; just as to every taste deliciousness is pleasant, but to some men most pleasant is the deliciousness of wine, to others the deliciousness of honey, and so of the rest. Nevertheless, that must absolutely be most pleasant, with which he is best pleased who has the best taste; and in like manner that good must be most complete, which is pursued as his last end by him whose affections are best in order.
§ 1. They who sin turn away from that in which the character of the last end is truly found, but not from the simple intention of the last end, which they mistakenly seek in the wrong things.
§ 2. The difference of interests and pursuits in life between man and man is due to the diversity of things in which the character of the final good is sought.
OF THE OBJECT IN WHICH MAN’S HAPPINESS CONSISTS.
Article I.—Does happiness consist in riches?
R. It is impossible for the happiness of man to consist in riches. For riches are of two sorts, as the Philosopher1 says, natural and artificial. Natural riches are all those aids which go to the supply of natural wants, like meat and drink, clothing, means of transport, habitation, and the rest. Artificial riches take the form of money, something that is no aid to nature in itself, but is an invention of human contrivance for the convenience of exchange, as a measure of things saleable. Now clearly the happiness of man cannot be in the possession of natural riches. For such riches are eligible for the sustenance of man’s nature, and therefore cannot be themselves the last end of man, but rather man is the end to which they are referred. Whence in the order of nature all such things are below man, and are made for man, as it is said: “Thou hast subjected all things beneath his feet.”1Artificial riches, on the other hand, are not eligible except for the sake of those that are natural. They would not be sought at all except for the fact that with them things are bought that are necessary for the uses of life. Much less therefore can they bear the character of a final end.
§ 1. “All” material “things obey money,”2 so far as the multitude of fools is concerned, who know only material things, which can be acquired by money. But an estimate of human goods should not be taken by the judgment of fools, but by that of wise men, as an estimate of palatable and unpalatable food is taken by the judgment of those whose sense of taste is in good order.
§ 2. To the words of the Philosopher, “Money was invented on purpose to be a sort of surety for having in exchange for it whatever man can desire,” it is to be said that all saleable articles may be had for money, but not spiritual goods: they cannot be sold. Hence it is said: “What doth it profit a fool to have money, when he cannot buy wisdom?”3
§ 3. The desire of natural riches is not boundless, because a certain measure of riches is sufficient for nature: but the desire of artificial riches is boundless, not however in the same way as the desire of the supreme good. For the more perfectly the supreme good is possessed, the more it is loved, and all things else despised. But with the desire of riches and all other temporal goods the contrary is the case: for when they are got, what is already in hand is despised, and something else desired, because their insufficiency is better recognized when they are possessed. And this very fact is a proof of their imperfection, and that the supreme good consists not in them.
Article II.—Does man’s happiness consist in honours?
R. It is impossible that happiness should consist in honour. For honour is paid to a person for some excellence of his, and so is a sign and testimony of that excellence which is in the person honoured. Now a man’s excellence is taken to obtain especially in point of happiness, which is the perfect good of man, and of the parts of happiness, that is, in point of those goods which are some participation of happiness. Therefore honour may indeed follow upon happiness, but happiness cannot consist principally in honour.
§ 1. Honour is not the reward of virtue for which the virtuous work, but they receive honour from men in lieu of a reward, inasmuch as men have nothing greater to give them. But the true reward of virtue is happiness itself, and for that the virtuous work; whereas, if they worked for honour, it would not be virtue but rather ambition.
§ 2. Honour is due to God, and to beings of high excellence, as a sign or testimony of pre-existent excellence, not that the mere honour makes them excellent.
§ 3. As honour attends upon happiness, it follows from the natural desire of happiness that men have a prevailing desire of honour; hence they seek especially to be honoured by the wise, upon whose judgment they believe themselves to be excellent or fortunate.
Article III.—Does man’s happiness consist in fame and glory?1
R. It is impossible for the happiness of man to consist in fame or human glory. For glory is nothing else than “clear notoriety with praise,” as Augustine says. Now the thing known stands in different relations to divine and to human knowledge. Human knowledge is caused by the things known, but divine knowledge is the cause of the things known. Hence the perfection of human good, which is called happiness, cannot be caused by human knowledge or notoriety amongst men, but rather men’s knowledge of another man’s happiness proceeds from and is in a manner caused by that same happiness, either in its initial or in its perfect state. But the good of man depends upon the knowledge of God as upon its cause; and therefore upon the glory which is with God human happiness depends as upon its cause. It is further to be considered that human knowledge is liable to many deceptions, especially as to points of detail in such a matter as human acts; and therefore human glory is frequently fallacious. But because God cannot be deceived, the glory that is of Him is ever true; therefore it is said: “He is approved whom God commendeth.”1
§ 2. As for that good which comes of fame and glory in the knowledge of many, we say that, if the knowledge be true, the good thereof must be derived from a previous good, existing in the man himself, and so presupposes perfect happiness, or at least the commencement of it. But if the knowledge be a false impression, it is not in harmony with fact, and in the man celebrated and famous at that rate no good is found.
Article IV.—Does man’s happiness consist in power?
R. It is impossible for happiness to consist in power, and that for two reasons. First, because power is an initiative, but happiness a last and final end. Secondly, because power is susceptible of good and evil, but happiness is the proper and perfect good of man. Hence it were more possible for some happiness to consist in the good use of power, which is by virtue, than in power itself.
§ 1. The divine power is its own goodness: hence God cannot use His power otherwise than well. But this is not the case in men. Hence it is not sufficient for happiness that man be likened unto God in power, unless he be likened to Him also in goodness.
§ 2. As it is the height of good that one should use power well in the government of many, so it is the lowest depth of evil if one uses power ill. Thus power is susceptible of good and of evil.
§ 3. Slavery is an obstacle to the good use of power, and therefore men naturally shun it, not as though the highest good consisted in power.
Four general reasons may be brought to show that in none of the above-mentioned exterior goods does happiness consist.
The first is that, happiness being the supreme good of man, no evil is compatible with it, but all the aforesaid things may be found in good men and evil men alike.
The second reason is that, whereas it is of the essence of happiness to be all in all by itself, it needs must be that, happiness once gained, no needful good is wanting to man; but after the gaining of each of the advantages above-mentioned, there may still be many needful good things wanting to man, as wisdom, bodily health, and the like.
Third reason, because whereas happiness is perfect good, it is impossible for any evil to come to any one from happiness, which is not true of the things in question, for it is said, “Riches are sometimes kept to the sorrow of their owner,”1 and in like manner of the other things.
The fourth reason is, because man is directed to happiness by interior principles, since he is directed to it by nature, but all the four goods above-mentioned are rather from exterior causes, and generally from fortune, whence they are called “goods of fortune.” Hence it is manifest that happiness nowise consists in the aforesaid things.
Article V.—Does man’s happiness consist in any good of the body?
R. It is impossible for the happiness of man to consist in goods of the body, for two reasons. First of all because it is impossible for that which is referred to something else as to its last end, to have its end in the preservation of its own being. Hence a captain does not intend as a last end the preservation of the ship entrusted to him, because the ship is referred to something else as its end, namely, navigation. But as a ship is given over to the captain to direct its course, so man is given over to his own will and reason, as is said: “God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel.”1 But it is clear that man is referred to something as to an end, for man is not the supreme good. Hence it is impossible that the last end of human reason and will should be the preservation of human existence.
Secondly because, granted that the end of human reason and will were the preservation of human existence, still it could not be said that the end of man was any good of the body. For the being of man consists of soul and body, and while the being of the body depends on the soul, at the same time the being of the human soul does not depend on the body: indeed, the body is for the soul, as the matter is for the form, and as instruments are for him that uses them to do his work with: hence all goods of the body are referred to goods of the soul as to their end. Hence it is impossible that happiness, the ultimate end, should consist in goods of the body.
Article VI.—Does man’s happiness consist in pleasure?
R. Because bodily delights are better known, they have arrogated to themselves the name of pleasures. Still happiness does not consist principally in them. In everything, what belongs to the essence is distinguished from the proprium consequent upon the essence, as in man his being a mortal rational animal is distinguished from his being risible. We must notice accordingly that every delight is a sort of proprium consequent upon happiness, or upon some portion of happiness. For a man is delighted at this, that he has hold either in reality, or in hope, or at least in memory, of some good that suits him. Now that suitable good, if it is perfect, is none other than the happiness of man: but if it is imperfect, it is a participation in happiness, proximate, or remote, or at least apparent. Hence it is manifest that not even the delight which follows perfect good is the essence and core of happiness, but is consequent upon happiness after the manner of a proprium.
But bodily pleasure cannot follow perfect good even in the aforesaid way, for it follows that good which is apprehended by sense; but no bodily good apprehended by sense can be the perfect good of man, but is a trifle in comparison with the good of the soul. Thus bodily pleasure is neither happiness itself nor a proprium of happiness.
§ 1. The desire of good and the desire of delight stand on the same footing, delight being nothing else than the repose of desire in good. Hence, as good is desired for itself, so also is delight desired for itself, if by for we mean the final cause: but if we consider the motive cause, delight is desirable for something else, namely, for the good which is the object of delight, and which consequently is the principle that starts it and gives it its form. For by this is delight desirable, that it is a repose in a longed for good.
§ 2. The vehemence of the desire of sensible delight arises from the operations of the senses being more readily perceptible, as being the beginnings of our knowledge: hence also sensible delights are gone after by the greater number of men.
§ 3. All men desire delights in the same way in which they desire good; and yet the delight is desired by reason of the good, and not the other way about. Hence it does not follow that delight is good of itself and the greatest of goods; but that every delight is consequent upon some good, and some delight is consequent upon that which is good of itself and the greatest of goods.
§ 3. Happiness itself, being a perfection of the soul, is a good inherent in the soul: but that in which happiness consists, or the object that makes one happy, is something outside the soul.
Article VIII.—Does man’s happiness consist in any created good?
R. It is impossible for the happiness of man to be in any created good. For happiness is perfect good, which entirely appeases desire: otherwise it would not be the last end, if something still remained to be desired. But the object of the will is universal good, as the object of the intellect is universal truth. Hence it is clear that nothing can set the will of man to rest but universal good, which is not found in anything created, but in God alone. Hence God alone can fill the heart of man.
§ 3. Created good is not less than what a man is capable of as a good intrinsic to and inherent in him; but it is less than the good that he is capable of as an object, for that is infinite.
WHAT IS HAPPINESS?
Article I.—Is happiness something uncreated?
R. The word end has two meanings. In one meaning it stands for the thing itself which we desire to gain: thus the miser’s end is money. In another meaning it stands for the mere attainment, or possession, or use, or enjoyment of the thing desired, as if one should say that the possession of money is the miser’s end, or the enjoyment of something pleasant the end of the sensualist. In the first meaning of the word, therefore, the end of man is the Uncreated Good, namely God, who alone of His infinite goodness can perfectly satisfy the will of man. But according to the second meaning the last end of man is something created, existing in himself, which is nothing else than the attainment or enjoyment of the last end. Now the last end is called happiness. If therefore the happiness of man is considered in its cause or object, in that way it is something uncreated; but if it is considered in essence, in that way happiness is a created thing.
§ 2. Happiness is said to be the sovereign good of man, because it is the attainment or enjoyment of the sovereign good.
Article II.—Is happiness an activity?1
R. So far as the happiness of man is something created, existing in the man himself, we must say that the happiness of man is an act. For happiness is the last perfection of man. But everything is perfect so far as it is in act; for potentiality without actuality is imperfect. Happiness therefore must consist in the last and crowning act of man. But it is manifest that activity is the last and crowning act of an active being: whence also it is called by the Philosopher “the second act.” And hence it is that each thing is said to be for the sake of its activity. It needs must be therefore that the happiness of man is a certain activity.
§ 1.Life has two meanings. One way it means the very being of the living, and in that way happiness is not life; for of God alone can it be said that His own being is His happiness. In another way life is taken to mean the activity on the part of the living thing by which activity the principle of life is reduced to act. Thus we speak of an active or contemplative life, or of a life of pleasure; and in this way the last end is called life everlasting, as is clear from the text: “This is life everlasting, that they know Thee, the only true God.”2
§ 2. By the definition of Boethius, that happiness is “a state made perfect by the aggregate sum of all things good,” nothing else is meant than that the happy man is in a state of perfect good. But Aristotle has expressed the proper essence of happiness, showing by what it is that man is constituted in such a state, namely, by a certain activity.
§ 3. Action is twofold. There is one variety that proceeds from the agent to exterior matter, as the action of cutting and burning, and such an activity cannot be happiness, for such activity is not an act and perfection of the agent, but rather of the patient.1 There is another action immanent, or remaining in the agent himself, as feeling, understanding, and willing. Such action is a perfection and act of the agent, and an activity of this sort possibly may be happiness.
§ 4. Since happiness means some manner of final perfection, happiness must have different meanings according to the different grades of perfection that there are attainable by different beings capable of happiness. In God is happiness by essence, because His very being is His activity, because He does not enjoy any other thing than Himself. In the angels final perfection is by way of a certain activity, whereby they are united to the Uncreated Good; and this activity is in them one and everlasting. In men, in the state of the present life, final perfection is by way of an activity whereby they are united to God. But this activity cannot be everlasting or continuous, and by consequence it is not one, because an act is multiplied by interruption; and therefore, in this state of the present life, perfect happiness is not to be had by man. Hence the Philosopher, placing the happiness of man in this life, says that it is imperfect, and after much discussion he comes to this conclusion: “We call them happy, so far as happiness can be predicated of men.” But we have a promise from God of perfect happiness, when we shall be “like the angels in Heaven.”1 As regards this perfect happiness, the objection drops, because in this state of happiness the mind of man is united to God by one continuous and everlasting activity. But in the present life, so far as we fall short of the unity and continuity of such an activity, so much do we lose of the perfection of happiness. There is, however, granted us a certain participation in happiness, and the more continuous and undivided the activity can be, the more will it come up to the idea of happiness. And therefore in the active life, which is busied with many things, there is less of the essence of happiness than in the contemplative life, which is busy with the one occupation of the contemplation of truth. Though at times the contemplative man is not actually engaged in contemplation, still, because he has it ready to hand, he is always able to engage in it; moreover, the very cessation for purposes of sleep or other natural occupation is ordered in his mind towards the aforesaid act of contemplation, and therefore that act seems in a manner continual.
Article III.—Is happiness an activity of sense or of pure intellect?
R. A thing may belong to happiness in three ways, essentially, antecedently, and consequently. Essentially indeed the activity of sense cannot belong to happiness. For man’s happiness consists essentially in his conjunction with the Uncreated Good, which is his last end, an end wherewith he cannot be conjoined by any activity of sense. The like conclusion follows from the fact that man’s happiness does not consist in goods of the body, which however are the only goods that we attain by the activity of sense. But activities of sense may belong to happiness both antecedently and consequently. Antecedently, in respect of imperfect happiness, such as can be had in this life: for the activity of intellect presupposes the activity of sense. Consequently, in the perfect happiness which is looked for in Heaven, because after the resurrection, “from the happiness of the soul,” as Augustine says, “there will be a certain reaction on the body and the senses of the body to perfect them in their activities.” But even then the activity whereby the human mind is united with God will not depend on sense.
Article IV.—Supposing happiness to belong to the intellectual faculty, is it an activity of the understanding or of the will?1
R. For happiness two things are requisite, one which is the essence of happiness, another which is a sort of proprium of it, namely, the delight attaching to it. I say then that as for that which is the very essence of happiness, it cannot possibly consist in an act of the will. For manifestly happiness is the gaining of the last end; but the gaining of the last end does not consist in any mere act of the will. The will reaches out both to an absent end, desiring it, and to a present end, resting in it with delight. But plainly the mere desire of an end is not the gaining of an end, but a movement in that direction. As for delight, that comes over the will from the fact of the end being present, but not conversely, i.e., a thing does not become present by the mere fact of the will delighting in it. It must therefore be by something else than the act of the will that the end itself becomes present to the will. And this manifestly appears in the case of sensible ends; for if it were possible to gain money by an act of the will, a covetous man would have made his money from the first, the instant that he wished to have it; but the fact is, at first the money is away from him, and he gets it by seizing it with his hand, or by some such means, and then he is at once delighted with the money got. So then it happens also in the case of an end of the intellectual order. For from the beginning we wish to gain this intellectual end; but we actually do gain it only by this, that it becomes present to us by an act of understanding, and then the will rests delighted in the end already gained. So therefore the essence of happiness consists in an act of understanding. But the delight that follows upon happiness belongs to the will. So Augustine says: “Happiness is joy in truth,” joy being properly the crown and complement of happiness.
§ 1. Peace belongs to the last end of man, not as being the very essence of happiness, but because it stands in relation to happiness as well antecedently as consequently. Antecedently, inasmuch as all perturbing and impeding causes are already removed from the way of the last end: consequently, inasmuch as man, when he has gained his last end, remains at peace with his desire at rest.
§ 2. The first object of the will is not its own act, as neither is the first object of sight vision, but a visible thing. Therefore from the fact that happiness belongs to the will as its first object, it follows that it does not belong to it as being its own act.
§ 4. Love ranks above knowledge in moving, but knowledge goes before love in attaining; for nothing is loved but what is known, and therefore an end of understanding is first attained by the action of understanding, even as an end of sense is first attained by the action of sense.
§ 5. To Augustine’s words, “He is happy, who has all that he wishes, and wishes nothing amiss,” it is to be said that he who has all that he wishes, is happy by having what he wishes, and that he has by something else than an act of the will. But to wish nothing amiss is required for happiness as a certain due disposition thereto.
Article V.—Is happiness an activity of the speculative or of the practical understanding?
R. Happiness consists rather in the activity of the speculative understanding than of the practical, as is evident from three considerations. First from this, that if the happiness of man is an activity, it must be the best activity of man. Now the best activity of man is that of the best power working upon the best object: but the best power is the understanding, and the best object thereof is the Divine Good, which is not the object of the practical understanding, but of the speculative. Secondly, the same appears from this, that contemplation is especially sought after for its own sake. But the act of the practical understanding is not sought after for its own sake, but for the sake of the action, and the actions themselves are directed to some end. Hence it is manifest that the last end cannot consist in the active life that is proper to the practical understanding. Thirdly, the same appears from this, that in the contemplative life man is partaker with his betters, namely, with God and the angels, to whom he is assimilated by happiness: but in what concerns the active life other animals also after a fashion are partakers with men, albeit imperfectly. And therefore the last and perfect happiness which is expected in the world to come, must consist mainly in contemplation. But imperfect happiness, such as can be had here, consists primarily and principally in contemplation, but secondarily in the activity of the practical understanding directing human actions and passions.
§ 2. The practical understanding has a good which is outside of itself, but the speculative understanding has good within itself, to wit, the contemplation of truth; and if that good be perfect, the whole man is perfected thereby and becomes good. This good within itself the practical understanding has not, but directs a man towards it.
Article VIII.—Does man’s happiness consist in the vision of the Divine Essence?
R. The last and perfect happiness of man cannot be otherwise than in the vision of the Divine Essence. In evidence of this statement two points are to be considered: first, that man is not perfectly happy, so long as there remains anything for him to desire and seek; secondly, that the perfection of every power is determined by the nature of its object. Now the object of the intellect is the essence of a thing: hence the intellect attains to perfection so far as it knows the essence of what is before it. And therefore, when a man knows an effect, and knows that it has a cause, there is in him an outstanding natural desire of knowing the essence of the cause. If therefore a human intellect knows the essence of a created effect without knowing aught of God beyond the fact of His existence, the perfection of that intellect does not yet adequately reach the First Cause, but the intellect has an outstanding natural desire of searching into the said Cause: hence it is not yet perfectly happy. For perfect happiness, therefore, it is necessary that the intellect shall reach as far as the very essence of the First Cause.1
OF THINGS REQUISITE FOR HAPPINESS.
Article I.—Is delight requisite for happiness?
R. In four ways one thing is requisite for another. In one way as a preamble or preparation for it, as instruction is for knowledge. In another way as perfecting the thing, as the soul is requisite for the life of the body. In a third way as cooperating from without, as friends are requisite for carrying out an enterprise. In a fourth way as a concomitant, as if we were to say that heat is requisite for fire. And in this last way delight is requisite for happiness. For delight is caused by the fact of desire resting in attained good. Hence since happiness is nothing else than the attainment of the Sovereign Good, there cannot be happiness without concomitant delight.
§ 1. To Augustine’s words, that “vision is the whole reward of faith,” it is to be said that by the very fact of reward rendered, the will of him who earns it is at rest, which is to have delight.
§ 2. He who sees God cannot want for delight.
§ 3. The delight that accompanies the activity of the understanding, does not impede, but rather strengthens that activity: for acts done with delight are done with more attention and perseverance. But an extraneous delight would impede activity by distracting the attention.
Article II.—Is vision rather than delight the main element in happiness?1
R. It must needs be that vision, the activity of the understanding, is better than delight. For delight consists in a certain repose of the will: but the fact of the will’s reposing in anything is only for the goodness of that wherein it reposes. If therefore the will reposes in any activity, it is from the goodness of the activity that the repose of the will proceeds. Nor does the will seek good for the sake of repose; for at that rate the end of the will would be its own act, which is against former conclusions.2 But the reason why the will seeks to repose in an activity, is because such an activity is the will’s own proper good. Hence it is manifest that the activity itself in which the will reposes, is more of a principal good than the repose which the will finds therein.
§ 1. As the Philosopher says, “Delight perfects activity as beauty does youth,” which beauty is consequent upon youth. Hence delight is a perfection concomitant upon vision, not a perfection that makes vision to be perfect in its kind.
§ 2. The apprehension of sense does not attain to the general notion of good, but to some particular good which affords delight. And therefore according to the procedure of the sensitive appetite, which is in animals, activities are sought for the sake of delight. But the intellect grasps the universal idea of good, upon the attainment of which there follows delight: hence the intellect intends good pre-eminently above delight. Hence also it is that the Divine Intellect, which has the ordering of nature, has appended delights to activities for the sake of the activity. Our estimates of things must not be made simply by the ruling of the sensitive appetite, but rather by the ruling of the intellectual appetite.
Article IV.—Is rectitude of will requisite for happiness?
R. Rectitude of will is requisite for happiness both antecedently and concomitantly. Antecedently, because rectitude of will is an attitude of due regard to the last end. As matter cannot take its form unless it be duly disposed unto the same, so nothing gains its end unless it be in due regard to it. And therefore none can arrive at happiness unless he have rectitude of will. Again concomitantly, because happiness ultimately consists in the vision of the Divine Essence, which is the very essence of goodness; and thus whatever the will of him who sees the Essence of God loves, it necessarily loves it in subordination to God, as whatever the will of him who does not see the Essence of God loves, it loves it necessarily under the common idea of good which it knows; and this subordination it is that keeps the will right. Hence it is manifest that happiness cannot be without a right will.
Article VI.—Is any perfection of the body requisite for happiness?
R. If we speak of human happiness such as can be had in this life, it is manifest that a good habit of body is requisite thereto of necessity; and that by ill-health of body man may be impeded in every virtuous activity. But speaking of perfect happiness, some have laid it down that no disposition of body is requisite for happiness: nay, that it is requisite thereto for the soul to be altogether separated from the body. Augustine quotes some words of Porphyry to this effect: “That the soul may be happy, everything corporeal must be avoided.” But this is unreasonable: for as it is natural to the soul to be united to a body, it cannot be that the perfection of the soul excludes this its natural perfection. And therefore we must say that for happiness in every way perfect there is requisite a perfect disposition of body, as well antecedently as consequently. Antecedently, because as Augustine says, “If the body be such that the conduct of it becomes a difficult and burdensome task, as in the case of the flesh that is corrupted and weighs down the spirit, the mind is turned away from the vision of the highest heaven;” hence he concludes that “when this body shall be no longer animal but spiritual, then man shall be equal to the angels, and what was his load shall be his glory.” Consequently, because from the happiness of the soul there shall be an overflow on to the body, that the body too may attain its proper perfection. Hence Augustine says: “God has made the soul of so potent a nature, that out of its full and abounding happiness there overflows upon the lower nature the freshness of incorruption.”
§ 1. Bodily good, though not the object of happiness, may yet be some ornament or complement of happiness.
§ 3. For the perfect activity of the understanding there is requisite indeed a withdrawal from this corruptible body, which weighs down the soul, but not from the spiritual body, which will be wholly subject to the spirit.
Article VII.—Are any exterior goods requisite for happiness?
R. For imperfect happiness, such as can be had in this life, exterior goods are requisite, not as being of the essence of happiness, but as instrumental to happiness: for man needs in this life the necessaries of the body for the exercise as well of contemplative as of active virtue. But for perfect happiness, which consists in the vision of God, such goods are nowise requisite. The reason is this, that whereas all such exterior goods are either requisite for the support of the animal body, or requisite for certain activities which we exercise through the animal body, perfect happiness in the vision of God will either be in the soul without the body, or will be in a soul united to a body no longer animal but spiritual; and therefore in no way are exterior goods requisite for that happiness, bearing as they do upon animal life.
§ 2. Exterior goods, subservient as they are to animal life, are not proper to the spiritual life in which the happiness of man consists. And yet there shall be in that happiness an assemblage of all things good; because whatever good is found in those exterior things will be all possessed in the supreme source and fountain of goodness.
Article VIII.—Is the company of friends requisite for happiness?
R. If we speak of the happiness of the present life, to be happy, man needs friends, both in the active and in the contemplative life. But if we speak of the perfect happiness that will be in our heavenly country, the company of friends is not a necessary requisite of happiness: because man has all the fulness of his perfection in God. But the company of friends makes for the well-being of happiness. Hence Augustine says: “The only aid to happiness in spiritual creatures is intrinsic from the eternity, truth, and charity of the Creator: but if they are to be said to receive any extrinsic aid at all, perhaps it is in this alone, that they see one another and enjoy one another’s company.”
§ 3. The perfection of charity is essential to happiness as regards the love of God, not as regards the love of our neighbour. Hence, if there were only one soul enjoying God, it would be happy, without having any neighbour to love.1 But supposing the existence of a neighbour, the love of that neighbour follows from the perfect love of God. Hence friendship is a sort of concomitant of perfect happiness.
OF THE ATTAINMENT OF HAPPINESS.
Article I.—Can man attain to happiness?
R. Whoever is capable of perfect good, can attain to happiness. That man is capable of perfect good, appears from the fact of his intellect being able to grasp universal and perfect good, and his will to desire it; and therefore man can attain to happiness.1
§ 1. The way that the rational nature exceeds the sensitive is not like the way that the intellectual nature exceeds the rational.2 For the rational nature exceeds the sensitive in point of the object of its knowledge, because sense can nowise be cognisant of the universal, whereof reason is cognisant. But the intellectual nature exceeds the rational in point of the manner of knowing an intelligible truth. For the intellectual nature immediately apprehends the truth, whereunto the rational nature arrives by the inquiry of reason; and therefore what intellect apprehends, reason attains by a process of making its way thither. Hence a rational nature can attain to happiness, which is the perfection of an intellectual nature, yet after another fashion than the angels: for the angels gained it immediately after the beginning of their creation, but men take time to arrive at it. But a sensitive nature can never reach this goal at all.
§ 3. To none of the Blessed is there wanting any good that he can desire, since he has the Infinite Good itself, which is “the good of all good,” as Augustine says. But one of them is said to be happier than another according to different degrees of partaking of the same good. The addition of other goods to this does not increase happiness.
Article III.—Can any one be happy in this life?
“Man born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries.”1
R. Some manner of participation in happiness may be had in this life, but not perfect and true happiness, as may be seen from two considerations. First, from the general notion of happiness: for happiness, being a perfect and sufficient good, excludes all evil and satisfies all desire: but in this life all evil cannot be excluded. The present life is liable to many evils that cannot be avoided, ignorance on the part of the intellect, inordinate affection on the part of the desire, and manifold penal inflictions on the part of the body. In like manner also the desire of good cannot be satisfied in this life. For naturally man desires permanence in the good that he has. But the goods of this life are transient, as life itself is transient, which we naturally desire, and would wish permanently to hold, since every man naturally shrinks from death. Secondly, if we consider that wherein particularly happiness consists, to wit, the vision of the Divine Essence, that cannot be the portion of man in this life.
Article IV.—Can happiness once attained be ever lost?
R. If we speak of imperfect happiness, such as can be had in this life, happiness thus considered can be lost. And this is apparent in the happiness of study and contemplation, which is lost either by forgetfulness, as in sickness, which makes havoc of a man’s learning, or by occupations that entirely withdraw a man from study. The same is apparent in the case of the happiness of practical life: for the will of man may alter so as to degenerate from that virtue, the exercise of which is the principal element of happiness. But if we speak of the perfect happiness which is looked for after this life, we must observe that Origen, following the error of some Platonists, laid it down as possible for man to fall into misery after the attainment of the final goal of happiness. But that is evidently an error, as appears from two considerations. First, from the general notion of happiness. For happiness, being a perfect and sufficient good, must set man’s desire at rest and exclude all evil. Now naturally man desires to retain the good which he has got, and to obtain security for retaining it: otherwise he must needs be afflicted by fear of losing it, or grief at the certainty of the loss. It is requisite therefore for true happiness that man shall have sure ground for thinking that the good which he has got, he never shall be dispossessed of. If his thinking so is correct, it follows that he never shall lose his happiness. But if he is mistaken in thinking so, that by itself is an evil, to have a false opinion: for falsehood is the evil of the intellect, as truth is its good. He will not then be truly happy, if there is any evil upon him. Secondly, the same appears from the consideration of the notion of happiness in special detail. It has been shown above that the perfect happiness of man consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. Now it is impossible that any one seeing the Divine Essence should wish not to see it: because every good gift which one is willing to go without, is either insufficient, so that something else more sufficing is sought in its place, or has some inconvenience annexed to it, whereby it comes to excite disgust. But the vision of the Divine Essence fills the soul with all good things, since it unites to it the Source of all good. Hence it is said, “I shall be satisfied when Thy glory shall appear;”1 and, “All good things have come to me along with it,”2 that is, with the contemplation of wisdom. In like manner also that vision has no inconvenience annexed: as it is said of the contemplation of wisdom: “Her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness.”3 Thus it is evident that of his own will the happy being cannot forsake happiness. In like manner also he cannot lose it by God withdrawing it; because, since the withdrawal of happiness is a punishment, such withdrawal cannot come from God, the just Judge, except for some fault: but he who sees the Essence of God cannot fall into any fault, seeing that rectitude of will necessarily follows upon such vision.4
Article V.—Can man acquire happiness by the exercise of his own natural powers?
R. Imperfect happiness, which can be had in this life, can be acquired by man through the exercise of his own natural powers. But the perfect happiness of man consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. Now to see God by essence is above the nature, not only of man, but even of every creature. For the natural knowledge of every creature whatever is according to the mode of its substance. But every knowledge that is according to the mode of a created substance, falls short of the vision of the Divine Essence, which infinitely exceeds every created substance. Hence neither man nor any creature can gain final happiness by the exercise of his own natural powers.
§ 1. As nature is not wanting to man in things necessary, though it has not given him weapons and clothing as to other animals, because it has given him reason and hands whereby he can acquire these things for himself, so neither is it wanting to man in necessaries, albeit it give him not anything to set him on his way to attain to happiness for himself—for that were impossible: but it has given him free-will whereby he can turn to God to make him happy. For what we can do by the aid of friends, we can in a certain manner do of ourselves.
§ 2. The nature that can attain to perfect good, although it needs exterior aid to attain it, is of a nobler sort than the nature which cannot attain to perfect good, but gains an imperfect good independently of aid from without: as he is better disposed for health who can gain perfect health by the aid of medicine, than he who can get tolerably well without the aid of medicine. And therefore the rational creature, which can gain the perfect good of happiness, needing the divine assistance thereto, is more perfect than the irrational creation, which is not capable of such a good, but gains some manner of imperfect good by the effort of its own natural powers.
Article VII.—Are good works requisite for man to obtain happiness of God?
R. Rectitude of the will is requisite for happiness, being nothing else than a right order of the will towards the last end: which is needful for the attainment of the last end in the same way that a due disposition of the matter is needed for the attainment of the form. But hereby it is not shown that any activity of man need go before his happiness. For God might produce a will at once rightly tending to the end, and gaining the end, as sometimes He at once disposes the matter and introduces the form. But the orderly course of Divine Wisdom requires that this be not done. For of beings naturally apt to have perfect good, one has it without movement, another by one movement, and another by several. To have perfect good without any movement befits a being which has it naturally. But to have happiness naturally is proper to God alone. Hence it is proper to God alone not to travel towards happiness by any previous activity. But whereas happiness exceeds every created nature, no pure creature fitly gains happiness without some movement of activity tending to it. The angel, who is higher in the order of nature than man, gained happiness according to the orderly course of Divine Wisdom by one movement of meritorious activity, but men gain it by many movements of activity, which are called merits.
Article VIII.—Does every man desire happiness?
R. Happiness may be viewed in two aspects: in one way according to the general notion of happiness, and under that aspect it needs must be that every man wishes for happiness. The general notion of happiness is that of perfect good. Now as good is the object of the will, a man’s perfect good is that which entirely satisfies his will. Hence to desire happiness is nothing else than to desire that the will may be satisfied, a thing which every one wants. In another way we may speak of happiness in special detail, having regard to that wherein happiness consists; and in that regard not all men have knowledge of happiness, because they do not know to what thing the general notion of happiness applies; and consequently so far forth not all men wish for happiness.
§ 2. Since the will follows the apprehension of the intellect or reason, the same reality may be desired in one way, and in another way not desired, according to the different lights in which reason looks at it. Happiness therefore may be considered in the light of final and perfect good, which is the general notion of happiness; and, looked at in this light, the will tends to it naturally and of necessity. It may also be considered under other special points of view, as a special activity, or as conversant with a special object, and from these points of view the will is under no necessity of tending to it.1
OF THE VOLUNTARY AND THE INVOLUNTARY.
Article I.—Is there anything voluntary in human acts?
R. There must be a voluntary element in human acts. In evidence of this position, we must consider that, in order to anything being done for an end, there is requisite some sort of knowledge of the end. Whatever agent, therefore, acts from an intrinsic principle with a knowledge of the end before it, has in itself the principle of its own action, not only to act, but to act for an end. On the other hand, when an agent has no knowledge of the end before it, then, though there be in it a principle of action, still there is in it no principle of acting for an end; but that resides in some other being from whence it receives a determination to move towards an end. Hence such things are not said to guide themselves, but to be guided by others: whereas beings that have a knowledge of an end before them are said to guide themselves, because there is in them the principle not only of action, but of action for an end. And therefore, since their acting and their acting for an end are both from an intrinsic principle, their movements and actions are said to be voluntary. This is the meaning of the word voluntary, that the movement and action is of the agent’s own inclination. Hence the voluntary is defined to be not merely “that the beginning of which is within the agent,” but the addition is made, “with knowledge.” Hence, as man especially knows the end of his work, and sets himself in motion thereto, it is in his acts especially that the voluntary element is found.
§ 1. Not every beginning is a first beginning. Though therefore it is of the essence of a voluntary act that its beginning be within, yet it is not against the essence of a voluntary act for that internal beginning to be caused or started by some external principle: because it is not of the essence of voluntariness that the intrinsic principle be the first principle. A principle of motion may be the first principle of its kind without being the first absolutely. Thus then the faculty of knowledge and desire, which is the intrinsic principle of a voluntary act, is the first principle of its kind, as a principle of a motion of desire, albeit it is moved according to other species of motion by something exterior.
Article II.—Is there anything voluntary in the behaviour of dumb animals?
R. To the notion of the voluntary it is requisite that the act be originated from within, with some knowledge of the end. Now there is a twofold knowledge of the end, perfect and imperfect. Perfect knowledge of the end is when there is apprehended, not only the thing which is the end, but also the fact of its being the end, and the bearing of the means upon the end; and such knowledge is within the competence of a rational nature only. Imperfect knowledge of the end is that which consists in the mere apprehension of the end, without any idea of the end as such, or of the bearing of the act upon the end; and such knowledge of the end is found in dumb animals. Perfect knowledge of the end is attended by voluntariness in its perfection, inasmuch as from apprehension of the end a man can deliberate about the end and the means thereto, and so bestir himself or not, to gain the end. Imperfect knowledge of the end is attended by voluntariness of an imperfect sort, inasmuch as the agent apprehending the end does not deliberate, but suddenly sets itself in motion towards it. Hence voluntariness in its perfection is within the competence of the rational nature alone, but in an imperfect sort of way it is within the competence even of dumb animals.
§ 1.Will is the name of the rational appetite; and therefore in creatures devoid of reason there can be no will. But the term voluntary may be extended to agents in which there is some approach to will: and in this way voluntariness is attributed to the actions of dumb animals, inasmuch as they are guided to their end by a sort of knowledge.
Article III.—Can there be voluntariness in total inaction?
R. That is said to be voluntary which is from the will. One thing is said to be from another in two ways: in one way directly, as proceeding from the action of another thing; in another way indirectly,1 as arising from something else not acting, as the sinking of a ship is said to arise from the steersman ceasing to steer. But we must observe that what follows from a thing’s not acting cannot always be set down to that thing as a cause, but only in the case when the agent can and ought to act. For if the steersman could not control the way of the ship, or if the steering of the vessel were not entrusted to him, the sinking of the ship for lack of a steersman would not be imputed to him. Since then the will by willing and acting can hinder not willing and not acting, and sometimes ought to hinder it, this not willing and not acting is imputed to the will as proceeding from it. Thus there may be voluntariness in inaction, sometimes with exterior inaction joined to an interior act, as when one wills to remain inactive: at other times, where the inaction extends to the interior as well, as when one has no will to act.
Article IV.—Can violence be done to the will?
R. There is a twofold act of the will, one immediately belonging to and elicited by the will itself; another commanded by the will and exercised through the medium of some other power, as walking and speaking, which are commanded by the will and exercised by means of the motive power. As regards then acts that are commanded by the will, the will can suffer violence, inasmuch as the exterior members may be impeded by violence from fulfilling the behest of the will. But as regards the proper act of the will itself, no violence can be done it. It is contrary to the essential notion of the act of the will, that it should be forced or violent. A man may be dragged by violence, but his being so dragged of his own will is inconsistent with the idea of violence.
§ 1. God, who is more powerful than the human will, can move the human will, as the text has it: “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord: whithersoever he will he shall turn it.”1 But if this were done by violence, it would not be with an act of the will; nor would the will itself be moved, but something against the will.
§ 3. Though that to which the will tends in sinning be in reality evil and against nature, still it is apprehended as good and suitable to nature, inasmuch as it is suitable to man in respect of some pleasure of sense or some vicious habit.
§ 1. Not only the act which is immediately proper to the will itself is called voluntary, but also the act which is commanded by the will. As regards this act commanded, the will may suffer violence; and to that extent violence causes involuntariness.
Article VI.—Does fear cause absolute involuntariness?
R. Rightly considered, actions done through fear are rather voluntary than involuntary: they are voluntary absolutely, but in a restricted sense involuntary. A thing is absolutely what it is in act, but what it is in apprehension alone it is in a restricted sense. Now what is done through fear is in act according as it is done. Acts do not take place in general, but in particular; and a particular act as such is here and now. What is done, therefore, is in act according as it is here and now, and under other individualizing conditions. It follows that what is done through fear is voluntary inasmuch as it is here and now, that is to say, inasmuch as under the circumstances it is a hindrance to a greater evil of which there was otherwise fear. Thus the throwing of merchandise into the sea comes to be voluntary at the time of the storm for fear of the danger. Hence it is manifest that the act is absolutely voluntary—voluntary, because the origin of it is within. But if what is done through fear is viewed in the light in which the act stands apart from the circumstances of the case, inasmuch as it goes against the will, such as aspect we observe is arrived at in thought only; and therefore the act is involuntary in a restricted sense, namely, when considered apart from the actual circumstances of the case.
§ 1. Things that are done through fear and things that are done through force differ not only in respect of present and future time, but also in this, that in what is done through force or violence the will does not consent, but the thing done is altogether against the motion of the will: but what is done through fear is done voluntarily, because the motion of the will is carried towards it, although not for the thing itself, but for something else, to wit, for the repelling of the evil that is feared. The idea of voluntariness is sufficiently fulfilled in that which is voluntary for the sake of something else: or in other words, in that which is voluntary as a means, though not as an end. It is clear, then, that in what is done through violence, the inner will is quiescent, but in what is done through fear the will is active. And therefore in the definition of violence, it is not merely affirmed that “the violent is that, the origin whereof is from without,” but it is added, “without any concurrence on the part of him to whom the force is applied.”
§ 3. What is done through fear is voluntary without condition, that is, according as it is actually done; but involuntary under a condition, that is, on the supposition that such a fear were not imminent.
Article VIII.—Does ignorance cause involuntariness?
Ignorance has in it to cause involuntariness, as robbing the mind of knowledge, the necessary preliminary to a voluntary act. Still it is not every sort of ignorance that robs the mind of such knowledge. Therefore we must observe that ignorance stands in three relations to the act of the will, in one way concomitantly, in another way consequently, in a third way antecedently. Concomitantly, when there is ignorance of what is done, yet so that if it were known, it still would be done. Ignorance in that case does not induce the agent to will the particular act, but the doing and the ignorance go together, as in the stock example, when some one wished indeed to kill an enemy, but killed him in ignorance, thinking to kill a stag. Such ignorance does not make an act involuntary, because the outcome of it is not against the will, but it makes an act not voluntary, because that cannot be actually willed which is unknown.
Ignorance stands consequently to the will, when the ignorance is itself voluntary; and this happens in two ways. One way when the act of the will is directed to ignorance, as when a man wishes to be ignorant, either to have excuse in his sin, or not to be withdrawn from sinning, according to the saying, “We desire not the knowledge of thy ways;”1 and this is called affected (affectionated) ignorance. In another way ignorance is said to be voluntary, when it is of that which you can and ought to know, either when you do not actually consider what you might and ought to consider, which is the ignorance of evil election, arising either from passion or from habit, or when you do not care to acquire the knowledge which you ought to have, and in this way ignorance of the general principles of law, which every one is bound to know, is voluntary, as arising through negligence. Now when ignorance is itself voluntary in any of these ways, it cannot cause involuntariness absolutely, but it causes involuntariness in a restricted sense, inasmuch as it precedes the movement of the will to act, which movement would not be, if knowledge were there present.
Ignorance stands antecedently to the will, when it is not voluntary, and still is the cause of the agent’s willing what otherwise he would not will, as when a man is ignorant of some circumstances attending his act, which he was not bound to know, and thence does something which he would not have done if he had known. Such ignorance causes involuntariness absolutely.
OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HUMAN ACTS.
Article I.—Is a circumstance an accident of a human act?
In local relations that is said to stand round about (circumstare), which, though extrinsic to the thing, yet touches it, or approaches it locally. And therefore whatever conditions are outside the substance of an act, and yet touch somehow the human act, are called circumstances. But that which is outside the substance of a thing, and yet is belonging to the thing, is called an accident of it. Hence the circumstances of human acts are to be called accidents of the same.
Article II.—Should the theologian take account of the circumstances of human acts?
R. The theologian considers human acts according as by them man is directed to happiness. Now all that is directed to an end must be proportioned to that end, but acts are proportioned to an end by a certain commensurateness, which depends on due circumstances. Hence the consideration of circumstances belongs to the theologian.
§ 3. The consideration of circumstances belongs to the moralist, to the politician, and to the rhetorician. To the moralist, inasmuch as the finding or the neglect of the golden mean of virtue in human acts and passions is a question of circumstances. To the politician and rhetorician, inasmuch as it is by circumstances that acts are rendered praiseworthy or blameworthy, excusable or criminal. Yet in different ways, for the persuasion of the rhetorician furnishes matter for the judgment of the politician. But to the theologian, to whom all other arts minister, this consideration belongs in all the aforesaid ways. For he has to consider virtuous and vicious acts with the moralist, and with the rhetorician and politician he considers acts according as they deserve punishment or reward.
Article III.—Is the received enumeration of circumstances a fit and proper one?
Tully, in his Rhetoric, enumerates seven circumstances, which are contained in this verse:
Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando.
For we must consider in acts who did it, by what aids or instruments he did it, what he did, where he did it, why he did it, how he did it, and when he did it. But Aristotle, in his Third Book of Ethics, adds another circumstance about what, which by Tully is included under what. And the principle of this enumeration may be determined thus. A circumstance is so called as being outside the substance of the act and yet in some way touching it. There are three possible cases of this. The first is the case of its touching the act itself: the second, of its touching the cause of the act; the third, of its touching the effect. It may touch the act itself either by way of a measure, as time and place, or by way of a quality of the act, as the manner of doing it. It touches the effect, when we consider what one has done. Touching the cause of the act, for the final cause we have the circumstance why; touching the material cause, or object, we have about what; touching the cause that acts as principal agent, we have who; touching the cause that acts as an instrument, we have by what aids.1
OF THE WILL AND ITS OBJECTS.
Article III.—Is the will moved by one and the same act to the end and to the means?
R. Since the end is willed in itself, but the means as such are willed only for the sake of the end, clearly the will can tend to the end as such without tending to the means. But to the means as such the will cannot tend without tending to the end. Thus then the will tends to the end in two ways, in one way to the end absolutely and in itself, in another way to the end as to a reason for willing the means. It is plain then that one and the same movement of the will tends at once to the means and to the end as a reason for willing the means. But the act by which the will tends to the end as it is in itself absolutely, is different from the act of tending to the means, and sometimes precedes it in time, as when a man first wills to have his health, and afterwards deliberating on the means of cure, wills to call in a doctor.
§ 3. In the execution of a work, what makes for the end is as the intervening ground: the end is the terminus.
Article II.—Is intention only of the last end?
R. Intention regards the end as the terminus of the motion of the will. Now a terminus may be either a final terminus and point of rest, the terminus of the whole movement, or it may be some intermediate stage, the beginning of one portion of the movement, and the end or terminus of another. Thus in the movement from A to C via B, C is the final terminus and B is a terminus, but not the final one, and of both the one and the other terminus there may be intention. Hence intention is always of an end, but it need not be always of the last end.1
OF ELECTION, OR CHOICE OF MEANS.
Article III.—Is election only of the means to the end, or sometimes also of the end itself?
R. That falls under election which stands as the conclusion in a practical syllogism. But the end in practical matters stands as a principle, and not as a conclusion. Therefore the end as such falls not under election. But as in matters of speculation the principle of one demonstration or science may be the conclusion of another, and yet a first principle is indemonstrable and cannot be the conclusion of any demonstration or science; so what in one operation is the end may be directed to something further as to an end, and thus fall under election. Thus in a surgeon’s operation health is the end: hence health falls not under the election of the surgeon, but he supposes it as a principle. But the health of the body is directed to the health of the soul, hence with him who has care of his soul’s health it may fall under election whether he will be in health or sickness,1 for the Apostle says: “When I am weak, then am I powerful.”1 But the last end in no way falls under election.
Article IV.—Is election only of our own actions?
R. As intention is of the end, so election is of the means.2 Now the end is either an action or a thing. When the end is a thing, some human action must intervene, either producing that thing, as the physician produces health, which is his end, or using or enjoying that thing, as in the case of the miser’s end, which is money. And of the means in the same way; the means must be either an action or a thing, in which latter case some action intervenes, producing or using it. Thus election is always of human acts.
OF THE GOOD OR EVIL OF HUMAN ACTS IN GENERAL.
Article I.—Is every human action good, or is there such a thing as an evil action?
R. We must speak of good and evil in actions as of good and evil in things; because as everything is in itself, such is the action that it produces. In things each has so much good as it has of being, because being and goodness are convertible terms. God alone has the whole fulness of His Being in one single simple perfection; but to every creature various measures of fulness of being are due in various respects. Hence we find creatures that have being in one way, and yet something is wanting to the fulness of being due to them. For instance, to the fulness of human being it is requisite that it be a compound of soul and body, having all powers and instruments of knowledge and motion: hence if any of these be wanting to any man, there is wanting to him something of the fulness of his being. As much then as the man has of being, so much has he of goodness: but forasmuch as he is wanting in any portion of the fulness of being due to him, to that extent there is in him a falling short of goodness, which deficiency is called evil. Thus it is some goodness in a blind man that he lives, but it is evil in him that he lacks sight. A thing that had no being nor goodness in it, could be called neither evil nor good. But because this same fulness of being is of the essence of good, anything that has aught wanting to it of its due fulness of being, will not be called absolutely good, but good in a restricted sense, inasmuch as it is in being. So then we must say that every action has so much goodness as it has of being; and so far falls short of goodness, and is called evil accordingly, as it is wanting in any point of the fulness of being that is due to a human action: for instance, if it wants either quantity determined according to reason, or due place, or anything of that sort.
§ 1. The act that anything evil puts forth is due to the strength of goodness, but a deficient goodness. For if there were nothing of good there, neither would there be any being, nor any action: again, if the goodness were not deficient, neither would there be any evil. Hence also the action caused is a certain deficient good, because it is good in a restricted sense, but evil absolutely.
§ 2. A thing may be in order and ready to act in one way, and out of order and unready in another. Thus a blind man has his walking power in order and is able to walk: but wanting sight to guide his steps, his walking suffers defect in that he goes stumbling.1
§ 3. An evil action may have some effect of itself in that there is some quality of goodness and being in the thing evil. Thus adultery is a cause of human generation inasmuch as it involves the union of male and female, not inasmuch as it is a departure from the order of reason.
Article II.—Does the action of man receive the quality of good or evil from its object?
R. The good and evil of an action, as of any other thing, depends upon its fulness or lack of fulness of being. Now the first element of fulness of being seems to be what gives the thing its species. But as a physical thing has its species from its form, so an action has its species from its object, as motion has from its term.
§ 1. Though exterior things are good in themselves, still they have not always a due proportion to this or that action: and therefore, considered as objects of such actions, they bear not the character of goodness.
§ 4. It is said in Osee ix. 10: “They became abominable as those things were which they loved.” Therefore the evil of an action is according to the evil objects which a man loves; and in like manner the goodness of an action.
Article III.—Is man’s action good or bad according to its adaptation to circumstances?
R. In natural things the whole fulness of perfection due to them does not come from the substantial form alone, which gives the species, but much additional perfection is added by supervening accidents, as in man by figure, colour, and so of the rest: whereof if any point be wanting to the becoming condition of the subject, evil ensues. So is it also with action. The fulness of the perfection of an action lies not wholly in its species, but some additional perfection is conferred by what supervenes in the way of accidents, or due circumstances. Hence, if anything be wanting that is requisite in point of due circumstances, the action will be evil.
Article IV.—Is a human action good or evil according to the end in view?
R. There are some things, the being of which does not depend on another; and in these it is enough to consider their being absolutely. There are other things, the being of which does depend on something else, hence they must be considered with reference to the cause on which they depend. Human actions, and other things, the goodness of which depends on some other thing, have a character of goodness from the end on which they depend, besides the absolute goodness that is in them.
§ 3. An action may have one element of goodness, and be wanting in another. In this way an action that is good in its species, or in its circumstances, may be directed to an evil end, and conversely. Still it is not simply a good action, unless it combine all the elements of good, “for any single defect makes evil, but good supposes the soundness of the whole case,” as Dionysius says.
Article V.—Is the difference of good or evil in a human action a difference of species?
R. Every act takes its species from its object. Hence it must be that some difference of object makes a difference of species in acts. But we must observe that a difference of object makes a difference of species in acts when they are referred to one active principle, whereas if they were referred to another active principle, the same difference of object would make no difference of species. The reason is, because nothing that is accidental constitutes a species, but only what is essential: now a difference of object may be essential in relation to one active principle, and accidental in relation to another: as the perceptions of colour and of sound differ essentially in relation to sense, but not in relation to intellect.1 Now of acts, good and evil is predicated in relation to reason: because, as Dionysius says, “the good of man is being in accord with reason, and his evil is whatever is against reason.” For that is good for every being which suits it in regard of its form; and that is evil for every being which is in conflict with its form. It is clear, therefore, that the difference of good and evil in an object is founded upon an essential relation to reason, according as the object is in agreement or in conflict with reason. Evidently then good and evil make a difference of species in moral acts: for essential differences make a difference of species.
§ 3. The conjugal act and adultery, as compared with reason, do differ in species, and have specifically different effects; because one of them deserves praise and reward, the other blame and punishment. But as compared with the generative power, they do not differ in species, and have one specific effect.
Article VI.—Is an act good or bad in species according to the end in view?
R. In a voluntary act there is found a twofold act, namely, the interior act of the will and the exterior act; and each of these acts has its own object. The end in view is properly the object of the interior voluntary act: that about which the exterior act is conversant is the object of the exterior act. As then the exterior act receives its species from the object about which it is conversant, so the interior act of the will receives its species from the end in view as from its proper object. What comes of the will is the formal element as compared with what belongs to the exterior act: because the will uses the limbs to act as instruments: nor have exterior acts any character of morality except in so far as they are voluntary. And therefore the species of a human act is determined formally by the end in view, but materially by the object of the exterior act. Hence the Philosopher says that “he who steals to commit adultery, is more of an adulterer than a thief.”
§ 3. When many acts of different species are referred to one end, there is a difference of species in regard of the exterior acts, but a unity of species in regard of the interior act.
Article VIII.—Is any act indifferent in its species?
R. Every act takes its species from its object. The human act which is called moral takes its species from its object, as that object stands related to the principle of human acts, which is reason. Hence if the object of the act embraces something that enters into the order of reason, the act will be good according to its species, such an act for example as the giving of alms to the needy. If, on the other hand, the object includes anything that militates against the order of reason, the act will be evil in its species, as stealing. But it happens sometimes that the object of the act does not include anything belonging to the order of reason, as lifting a straw from the earth, going into the country, and the like; and such acts are indifferent in their species.
Article IX.—Is any act indifferent in the individual?
R. It happens sometimes that an act is indifferent according to its species, which nevertheless is good or evil as considered in the individual: and that, because a moral act has not only goodness from its object, from which it has its species, but also from its circumstances, which are a sort of accidents; in the same way that attributes attach to a man as individual accidents, which do not attach to him by virtue of his specific nature. And it needs must be that every individual act has some circumstance by which it is drawn to good or to evil, at least in respect of the intention of the end. For whereas it belongs to reason to direct, an act proceeding from deliberate reason, if it be not directed to a due end, is by that fact alone in contradiction with reason and bears the character of evil: while if it is directed to a due end, it agrees with the order of reason, and hence bears the character of good. But an action needs must be either directed or not directed to a due end. Hence it must be that every act of man, proceeding from deliberate reason, as considered in the individual, is good or evil. But if the act does not proceed from deliberate reason, but from some working of the imagination, as when one strokes his beard, or moves his hand or foot, such an act is not properly speaking moral or human, since an act gets that character from reason; and so the act will be indifferent, as being out of the category of moral acts.
§ 1. For an act to be indifferent in its species is conceivable in more ways than one. One way would be, if it were due to the act in virtue of its species that it should be indifferent, and at that rate the objection holds, that there is no species but what contains, or is capable of containing, under itself some individual: only no object is indifferent in virtue of its species in that way; for there is no object of human action but what may be directed either to evil or else to good through the end in view or some circumstance of the case. There is another way in which an act may be said to be indifferent in its species; that is, inasmuch as the species itself does not make the act good or evil: hence goodness or evil may accrue to it from some other source; in the same way that a man has it not of his species to be either white or black, yet neither has he it of his species not to be white or black; for whiteness or blackness can supervene upon a man otherwise than from specific principles.
§ 3. Every end intended by deliberate reason belongs to the good of some virtue or to the evil of some vice. The mere taking of orderly action towards the sustenance or repose of the body, is referred to the good of virtue in him who refers his body to the good of virtue.
Article X.—Does any circumstance place a moral act in the species of good or evil?
R. In physical things an accident cannot be taken as a specific difference. But the process of reason has no fixed term, but can proceed further beyond any given point; and therefore what in one act is taken as a circumstance superadded to the object that determines the species of the act, may be taken again, reason so referring it, for the principal condition of the object, and determinant of the species of the act. Thus the taking what belongs to another has its species from the fact of the object belonging to another: for thereby the act of taking is placed in the species of theft. Now, if we further consider the fact of place or time, that will stand in the rank of a circumstance. But because reason can give directions also about place and time, it may very well be that the condition of place, as it affects the object, carries with it something contrary to the order of reason. Thus reason directs that wrong must not be done in a holy place: wherefore to take what belongs to another in a holy place is an addition of special divergence from the order of reason; and in that way place, which was formerly considered as a circumstance, is now considered as a principal condition of the object, and one at variance with reason. Thus so often as a circumstance has regard to a special order of reason for or against, that circumstance must specify the moral act as good or evil.
§ 2. A circumstance remaining in the rank of an accident does not mark a species; but inasmuch as it passes into a principal condition of the object, in that position it marks a species.
§ 3. Not every circumstance constitutes a moral act in the species of good or evil: since it is not every circumstance that carries with it any accordance or discordance with reason.
Article XI.—Does every circumstance that makes an act better or worse, make in it a specific difference of good or evil?
R. A circumstance gives a species of good or evil to a moral act according as it regards a special order of reason. Now it happens sometimes that a circumstance does not regard any order of reason in point of good or evil except on the previous supposition of another circumstance, from whence the moral act has the species of good or evil. For example, the carrying away of anything in great or small quantity does not regard any order of reason in point of good or evil, except on the previous supposition of some other condition, whereby the act has the quality of malice or goodness, for instance, the fact of the thing being another’s, which sets the act at variance with reason. Hence the amount, great or small, of another’s property that one carries away, does not make a different species of sin: yet may it aggravate or diminish the sin. Hence not every circumstance that makes an addition in point of goodness or malice, alters the species of the act.
§ 3. It is not every circumstance that induces a distinct and separate defect of its own, or superadds a new perfection, otherwise than as bearing upon something else. Though a circumstance may augment goodness or malice to the extent of that bearing, still it does not always alter the species of good or evil.
§ 4.More or less does not make a difference of species.
OF THE GOOD AND EVIL OF THE INTERIOR ACT OF THE WILL.
Article II.—Does the goodness of the will depend on the object alone?
R. The goodness of the will depends on that alone which of itself makes goodness in act; and that is the object,1 and not the circumstances, which are mere accidents of the act.
§ 1. The end in view is the object of the will, though not of the other powers. Hence, so far as the act of the will is concerned, the goodness that is of the object does not differ from the goodness that is of the end.
§ 2. On the supposition that the will is fixed on good, no circumstance can render the volition evil.2 When it is said then that one wishes for something good at a time when he ought not, if that circumstance when is referred to the thing wished for, the will in that case is not fixed on good: because to wish to do a thing at a time when it ought not to be done, is not to will what is good.
Article IV.—Does the goodness of the will depend on the Eternal Law?1
R. In all causes subordinate one to another, the effect depends more on the first cause than on the second cause, because the second cause does not act except in the strength of the first cause. But it is from the Eternal Law, which is the Divine Reason, that human reason has the gift of being the rule of the human will and measure of its goodness. Hence it is said:2 “Many say, Who showeth us good things? The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us:” as though he said: The light which is in us can so far show us good things and regulate our will, inasmuch as it is the light of thy countenance, that is, derived from thy light. Hence it is manifest that the goodness of the human will depends much more on the Eternal Law than on human reason; and where human reason fails, we must have recourse to the Eternal Reason.
Article V.—Is it an evil will that is at variance with an erroneous reason?
R. It is one and the same thing to inquire whether the will, when it is at variance with anerroneous reason, is evil, as to inquire whether an erroneous conscience is binding. On this matter some have drawn a distinction of three sorts of acts. Some acts are good of their kind; some are indifferent; some are evil of their kind. They say then that if reason or conscience tells us to do anything which is good of its kind, there is no error: in like manner also if it tells us not to do something which is evil of its kind. But if reason or conscience tells any man that he is bound by precept to do things which are evil of themselves, or forbidden to do things that are good of themselves, that, they say, will be an erroneous reason or conscience; as also if reason or conscience tells any one that what is in itself indifferent, as to pick up a straw from the ground, is forbidden or commanded. They say then that an erroneous reason or conscience touching indifferent matters, whether in the way of precept or of prohibition, is binding, so that a will at variance with such an erroneous reason will be evil and sinful; but that an erroneous reason or conscience commanding things that are of themselves evil, or forbidding things that are of themselves good and necessary to salvation, is not binding: so that in such cases a will at variance with an erroneous reason or conscience is not evil.
But this exposition is devoid of reason. For a will at variance with an erroneous reason or conscience in indifferent things is evil in some way on account of the object—not, to be sure, on account of the object as that object is in its own nature, but as it is accidentally apprehended by reason as good or evil, as a thing to do or to avoid. And because the object of the will is that which is set before it by reason, once a thing is set forward by reason as evil, the will tending thereto receives an impress of evil. But this happens not only in indifferent things, but in things of themselves good or evil. For not only what is indifferent may receive a character of good or evil accidentally, but even what is good may receive a character of evil, or what is evil a character of good, reason so apprehending it. Thus to abstain from fornication is good, yet the will tends not to this good except inasmuch as it is set forth by reason. If therefore it comes to be set forth as evil by an erroneous reason, the will tends to it in the light of an evil thing. Hence the will will be evil, because it wishes evil, not indeed that which is evil of itself, but that which is evil accidentally, reason so apprehending it. And in like manner to believe in Christ is of itself good and necessary to salvation; but the will does not tend to it except inasmuch as it is set forth by reason. Hence if it chances to be set forth by reason as an evil thing, the will will tend to it as to evil, not that it is evil in itself, but because it is evil accidentally, reason so apprehending it. Hence we must say that absolutely every will at variance with reason, whether right or erroneous reason, must always be an evil will.1
§ 2. To Augustine’s remark that “the precept of an inferior power does not bind, if it is contrary to the precept of a superior power; as if the Proconsul were to command something which the Emperor forbids,” it is to be said that the observation holds good when it is known that the inferior power is commanding something contrary to the precept of the superior power. But if one believed that the precept of the Proconsul was the precept of the Emperor, in contemning the precept of the Proconsul he would be contemning the precept of the Emperor. And in like manner, if a man knew that human reason was dictating something against the precept of God, he would not be bound to follow reason; but then reason would not be totally in error. But when an erroneous reason proposes something as the precept of God, then it is the same thing to despise the dictate of reason as to despise the precept of God.
§ 3. Reason, when it apprehends anything as evil, always apprehends it under some aspect of evil, e.g., as contrary to a divine command, or as a scandal, or something of that sort; and then the said evil will is reducible to the said species of malice.
§ 4. Conscience is nothing else than the application of knowledge (science) to a given act. But knowledge is in the reason. A will therefore at variance with an erroneous reason is against conscience. But every such will is evil; for it is said: “All that is not of faith is sin,”1i.e., all that is against conscience.
Article VI.—Is it a good will that is in agreement with an erroneous reason?
R. As the previous question is the same with that, whether an erroneous question binds; so this question is the same with that other, whether an erroneous conscience excuses. The question depends on what has been said above of ignorance, to the effect that ignorance sometimes causes an act to be involuntary, and sometimes not. It was also said above that the ignorance which is in some manner voluntary, whether directly or indirectly, does not cause an act to be involuntary. I call that ignorance directly voluntary, to which the act of the will tends, and that indirectly so, which comes of negligence, the person not wishing to know what he is bound to know. If therefore reason or conscience errs with an error that is voluntary, either directly, or indirectly through negligence, being an error touching that which one is bound to know, then such an error of reason or conscience does not excuse a man, and a will in agreement with a reason or conscience so erring is evil. But if it be such an error as to make the act involuntary; if it be an ignorance of some circumstance, an ignorance not due to negligence; that error of reason or conscience excuses a man, and a will in accordance with such an erroneous reason is not evil.
§ 3. As in syllogistic disputation, given one absurdity, others must follow, so in moral discussions, lay down one absurdity, and others follow of necessity. Thus, supposing one goes after vainglory, whether he does his duty for vainglory or leaves it undone, he will sin in either case; and yet he is not caught in a predicament, because he can lay aside his evil intention. And in like manner, supposing an error of reason or conscience proceeding from ignorance, such ignorance I mean as does not excuse, then evil must needs follow in the will; and yet the man is not caught in a predicament, because he can abandon his error, as his ignorance is vincible and voluntary.
Article X.—Is it necessary for the human will, in order to be a good will, to be conformable to the divine will in point of the thing willed?
R. The will tends to its object, according as that object is set forth by reason. But it happens sometimes that a thing is considered by reason in different ways, so that under one aspect of reason it is good, and under another aspect of reason not good. And therefore, if any one’s will wishes that thing to be according as it has an aspect of goodness, that will is good; and if the will of another wishes that same thing not to be according as it has an aspect of evil, that will also will be good. So a judge has a good will in willing the death of a robber, because it is just; while the will of another, say, the robber’s wife or child, who wills him not to be put to death, inasmuch as killing is a natural evil, is also good. But since the will follows the apprehension of reason or intellect, the good to which the will tends is more of a general good, according as the aspect of goodness apprehended is more general, as is evident in the example alleged. For the judge has care of the common good, which is justice, and therefore wishes the putting to death of the robber, which has an aspect of good in relation to the common estate: but the robber’s wife has to consider the private good of the family, and from this point of view wishes her husband, the robber, not to be put to death. But the good of the whole universe is that which is apprehended by God, who is Maker and Governor of all. Hence, whatever He wishes, He wishes in the light of the general good; and that is His own goodness, which is the good of the whole universe. But the apprehension of a creature according to its nature is of some particular good proportioned to its nature. But it happens sometimes that a thing is good under a particular aspect of reason, which is not good under a general aspect, or conversely. And therefore it comes about that a will is good in willing something from a particular point of view, which nevertheless God does not will on general considerations, and conversely. And hence it is that the different wills of different men regarding opposite conclusions may be good, according as under different particular aspects of reason they wish this to be or not to be. But the will of man is not right in willing any particular good, unless he refers it finally to the general good: since also the natural appetite of every part is directed to the common good of the whole. Now it is the end that determines what we may call the formal reason of willing that which is directed to the end. Hence in order that one may will any particular good with a right will, that particular good must be willed materially, but the general and divine good must be willed formally. The human will therefore is bound to be conformable to the divine will in point of the thing willed, formally—for it is bound to will the divine and general good; but not materially, for the reason already assigned. Still in both respects the human will is in some degree conformable to the divine will: because inasmuch as it is conformable to the divine will in the general aspect of the thing willed, it is conformable to it in point of the last end: while inasmuch as it is not conformable to it in point of the thing willed, taken materially, it is conformable to it in point of its being the efficient cause; because this special inclination following upon nature, or upon the particular apprehension of this thing, is derived to the thing from God as from an efficient cause. Hence it is a customary saying that a man’s will is conformable to the divine will in this, that he wills what God wishes him to will.
§ 1. To the objection that we cannot will what we are ignorant of; but we are ignorant of what God wills in most cases: it is to be said that we can know the general character of the thing that God wills; for we know that whatever God wills, He wills in the light of something good, and therefore whoever wills anything under any aspect of goodness, has a will conformable to the divine will in point of the thing willed. But we do not know what God wills in particular, and in this respect we are not bound to conform our will to the divine will.
§ 2. God does not will the damnation of any one under the precise view of damnation, nor the death of any one inasmuch as it is death, because He “wisheth all men to be saved;” but He wishes those things under the aspect of justice. Hence it is enough with regard to such cases that a man wishes the justice of God and the order of nature to be upheld.
OF THE GOOD AND EVIL OF EXTERIOR HUMAN ACTS.
Article II.—Is the entire good and evil of the exterior act dependent upon the good and evil of the will?
R. In an exterior act there may be considered a twofold good or evil; one in point of due matter and circumstances, another with respect to the end. That which is with respect to the end depends entirely on the will: but that which comes of due matter or circumstances depends on the reason; and on this goodness depends the goodness of the will according as the will tends towards it. We must further observe that, for a thing to be evil, one single defect suffices: but for a thing to be absolutely good, one single good point suffices not, but there is required an entirety of goodness. If therefore the will be good both in point of having a proper object and of having a proper end in view, the exterior act is consequently good. But for the exterior act to be good, the goodness of will, which comes of the intention of the end, does not suffice: but if the will be evil either from the intention of the end or from the act willed, the exterior act is consequently evil.
§ 1. A good will, as signified1 by a good tree, must be taken as having goodness at once from the act willed and from the end intended.
§ 2. Not only does a man sin by the will when he wills an evil end, but also when he wills an evil act.
§ 3. Not only the interior act of the will is designated as voluntary, but exterior acts also as proceeding from the will and reason.
Article III.—Is the goodness of the interior and exterior act one and the same?
R. The interior act of the will and the exterior act, are morally one act. But an act which is one in the subject in which it resides, may have one or several aspects of good or evil. So therefore we must say that in some cases the good and evil of the interior and of the exterior act is one and the same, and in other cases it is different. For these two specimens of good or evil, the one belonging to the interior and the other to the exterior act, are related one to the other. But of the things related one to the other, sometimes one is good only in relation to the other, as a bitter draught is good only as it is conducive to the recovery of health: hence it is not a different goodness, that of the health and that of the draught, but one and the same. Sometimes, on the other hand, that which is related to another has in itself a character of goodness, even apart from its relation to another good: as a palatable medicine has a character of pleasurable goodness over and above its being conducive to the recovery of health. So therefore we must say that when the exterior act is good or evil only in relation to the end, then it is altogether one and the same goodness, that of the act of the will, which of itself regards the end, and that of the exterior act, which regards the end through the medium of the act of the will. But when the exterior act has a goodness or evil of its own, in point of matter or of circumstances, then the goodness of the exterior act is one, and the goodness of the will, which is of the end, is another goodness: yet so that the goodness of the end redounds from the will on to the exterior act, and the goodness of the matter and circumstances redounds on to the act of the will.
§ 1. The interior act and the exterior are physically different in kind: but out of these different constituents there results a moral unity.
§ 4. The act of the will is the formal element in regard of the exterior act. But out of the formal element and the material, unity results.
Article IV.—Does the exterior act make any addition of good or evil to the interior act?
R. If we speak of that goodness of the exterior act which it has from the goodness of the end, then to such goodness the exterior act adds nothing except it happen that the will itself becomes better in good actions or worse in evil ones. That may happen in three ways: first in point of number,—say, when one wishes to do a thing for a good or evil end, and does not do it for the nonce, but afterwards wills and does it; the action of the will is doubled, and so a double good is done or a double evil. In another way, in point of extension,—say, when one wishes to do a thing for a good or evil end and leaves off on account of some obstacle, while another man keeps up the motion of his will until he carries the work through; it is manifest that such a will is longer continued in good or evil, and in that respect is worse or better. Thirdly, in point of intensity: for there are some exterior acts which, as being pleasurable or painful, are naturally calculated to intensify the will or to make it remiss. But it is clear that the more intensely a will tends to good or evil, the better or worse it is.
If, however, we speak of the goodness of the exterior act, which it has in point of matter and due circumstances, in that way it stands to the will as a term and end, and thus it adds to the goodness or evil of the will: because every inclination or movement is perfected by gaining its end or attaining its term. Hence the will is not perfect unless it be a will to go to work when the opportunity is given. But failing possibility, where the will remains perfect to go to work if it could, the lack of that perfection which comes of the exterior act is simply involuntary. But involuntariness, as it merits neither reward nor punishment in doing a good or an evil work, so neither does it take away aught of the reward or punishment, if a man of sheer involuntariness fails to do good or evil.
§ 1. Chrysostom’s saying, “It is the will which is either rewarded for good or condemned for evil,” is to be understood of the case when the will is perfect and complete, and only stops short of action for want of power to act.
§ 2. The goodness of the exterior act which it has from the matter and circumstances is different from the goodness of the will which is of the end, but not different from the goodness of the will which is of the act willed, but stands to that as the reason and cause thereof.1
Article VI.—Can the same exterior act be at once good and evil?
R. There is nothing to hinder a thing being one according as it is in one species, and multiple as referred to another species; one as referred to its physical species, and not one as referred to its moral species. For continuous walking is one act in physical species; and yet it may involve several acts in moral species, if there be a change in the will of the walker, since the will is the principle of moral acts. If then we consider an act that is one in moral species, such an act cannot be at once morally good and morally evil: but an act that is one in point of physical unity and not in point of moral unity, may be at once good and evil.
OF THE PROPERTIES CONSEQUENT UPON HUMAN ACTS CONSIDERED AS GOOD OR EVIL.
R. In acts of the will, the proximate rule is human reason, the supreme rule is the Eternal Law. Whenever then the act of man proceeds to the end according to the order of reason and of the Eternal Law, the act is right: when it swerves from this rectitude, it is then called a sin.
§ 2. Moral acts stand in a different category from the performances of art. In the performances of art reason is directed to a particular end, which is something devised by reason: in moral performances it is directed to the general end of all human life. But the particular end is subordinated to the general end. Now as wrong-doing is by departure from subordination to the end, there comes to be wrong-doing in a performance of art in two ways: in one way by departure from the particular end intended by the artist, and that will be a sin peculiar to the art,—say, if an artist intending to make a good work, makes a bad one; or intending to make a bad one, makes a good one: in another way by departure from the general end of human life; and in that way he will be said to sin, if he intends to make an evil work and makes it, so that another is deceived thereby.1 But this is not a sin proper to an artist as an artist, but as a man. Hence for the former sin the artist is blamed as an artist: but for the latter the man is blamed as a man.2
Article III.—Is a human act meritorious or demeritorious according as it is good or evil?
R.Merit and demerit are predicated in view of retribution, which is rendered according to justice. Retribution according to justice is rendered to one for doing something to the profit or hurt of another. Now every one living in a community is in a manner a part and member of the community; and any evil or good done him redounds to the whole body. A double character therefore of merit or demerit attaches to any good or evil done to another individual. There is in the first place retribution due to the doer from the individual whom he helps or offends; and again retribution is due to him from the whole body corporate. Again, when one addresses his act directly to the good or evil of the whole body corporate, retribution is due to him primarily and principally from the whole body, and secondarily from all the members of the said body. But when one does what turns to his own good or evil, retribution is still due to him, inasmuch as even this good or evil goes to the common account, in so far as he is himself a member of the body corporate, but not inasmuch as it is his own individual good or evil,—except such sort of retribution as may be due from himself, so far as there is any likeness of justice of a man towards himself.
Article IV.—Is a human act meritorious or demeritorious before God according as it is good or evil?
R. As has been said, the act of a man has a character of merit or demerit so far as it is referred to another, either on his own account or on account of the community. In both these ways good and evil acts have a character of merit or demerit before God. On His own account,—inasmuch as He is the last end of man, and there is a duty of referring all acts to the last end: hence he who does an evil act not referable to God, does not observe the honour of God, due to the last end. Again, on the part of the whole community of the universe,—because in every community he who governs the community has especial care of the common good: hence it belongs to him to deal out retribution for the things that are done well or ill in the community. But God is Governor and Ruler of the whole universe, and especially of rational creatures: hence it is manifest that human acts have a character of merit or demerit in relation to Him: else it would follow that God had no care of human acts.
§ 1. By the act of man nothing can come in or be lost to God as He is in Himself: but still man, so far as in him lies, withdraws something from God, or affords Him something, when he keeps or does not keep the order which God has instituted.
§ 3. Man is not referred to the civil community to the extent of his whole self and of all his belongings; and therefore it is not necessary that his every act be meritorious or demeritorious in reference to the civil community. But all that man is and can and has, must be referred to God; and therefore every act of man, good or bad, has a character of merit or demerit before God, so far as is of the mere nature of the act.1
OF THE SUBJECT OF THE PASSIONS.
Article III.—Is passion rather in the sensitive appetite, or in the intellectual appetite, otherwise called the will?
R. Passion is properly found where there is a bodily alteration; and that takes place in the acts of the sensitive appetite; whereas in the act of the intellectual appetite there is not required any bodily alteration, because that appetite is not a function of any bodily organ.1
§ 3. Love and joy and other such affections, when they are ascribed to God, or to the angels, or to men in their intellectual appetite, signify a simple act of the will, with a similarity of effect to that of passion, but without passion.
§ 4. Damascene says, describing the passions: “Passion is a movement of the sensible appetitive power under the imagination of good or evil;” and otherwise: “Passion is a movement of the irrational soul at the thought of good or evil.”
OF THE DIFFERENCE OF PASSIONS ONE FROM ANOTHER.
Article I.—Are the passions in the concupiscible faculty different from those in the irascible faculty?1
R. To know which passions are in the irascible part and which in the concupiscible, we must take the object of each faculty. The object of the concupiscible faculty is sensible good and evil, absolutely apprehended as such, that is, pleasure and pain. But because it must happen sometimes that the soul feels a difficulty or a struggle in gaining some such good, or in shunning some such evil, inasmuch as the good or evil is in a manner raised above the ready ability of one’s animal being, therefore this same good and evil, inasmuch as it bears a character of arduousness or difficulty, is the object of the irascible faculty. Whatsoever passions therefore regard absolutely good or evil, belong to the concupiscible faculty, as joy, sadness, love, hatred, and the like: while whatever passions regard good or evil in the light of something arduous, inasmuch as it is attainable or avoidable with a certain difficulty, belong to the irascible faculty, as fiery daring and fear, hope, and the like.
§ 3. The delight of a good thing moves the concupiscible faculty. But any difficulty of attainment of the same goes against the concupiscible faculty. And therefore it was necessary that there should be another faculty to tend to such arduous good; and that is the irascible faculty.
Article II.—Is the contrariety of passions in the irascible faculty founded upon the contrariety of good and evil?
R. Passion is a kind of motion: hence we must take the contrariety of passions according to the contrariety of motions. Now there is a twofold contrariety of motion, one in the way of approach to and retirement from the same term, which is the contrariety of generation—that is, motion or change to being—and corruption—that is, motion or change from being; another in the way of contrariety of terms, as whitewashing, which is motion or change from black to white, is opposed to blackening, which is motion or change from white to black. So therefore in the passions of the soul a twofold contrariety is found—one founded on contrariety of objects, namely, of good and evil, another founded on approach to and retirement from the same term. In the passions of the concupiscible faculty we find the first contrariety only, namely, that founded on a difference of object: but in the passions of the irascible we find both contrarieties. The reason is, because the object of the concupiscible faculty is sensible good or evil taken absolutely: now good, as good, cannot be the term of motion from which, but only of motion to which, because no being shuns good as good, but all things seek it. In like manner no being seeks evil as such, but all things shun it: and therefore evil has not the character of a term to which, but only of a term from which. So therefore every passion of the concupiscible faculty in respect of good goes on the up line to it, as love, desire, joy; while every passion in respect of evil goes on the down line from it, as hatred, abhorrence (or abomination), sadness. Hence in the passions of the concupiscible faculty there cannot be contrariety in the way of approach to and retirement from the same object. But the object of the irascible faculty is sensible good or evil, not absolutely, but under the aspect of difficulty or arduousness. But arduous or difficult good offers a reason why we should tend to it, inasmuch as it is good, which tendency belongs to the passion of hope; and again, a reason why we should recede from it, inasmuch as it is arduous and difficult; and so to recede belongs to the passion of despair. In like manner arduous evil offers a reason why it should be avoided, inasmuch as it is evil, which avoidance belongs to the passion of fear. It likewise presents some reason why we should tend to it, as matter of an arduous effort, the means of escape from subjection to evil, and so to tend is the part of fiery daring. There is found therefore in the passions of the irascible faculty one contrariety founded upon the contrariety of good and evil, as that between hope and fear; and other contrariety founded on approach to and retirement from the same term, as that between fiery daring and fear.
Article III.—Is there any passion that has got no contrary?
R. It is the peculiarity of the passion of anger not to have any contrary, either in the way of approach and retirement, or according to the contrariety of good and evil. The motion of anger can have no motion contrary to it: its only opposite is cessation from motion.1
OF GOOD AND EVIL IN PASSIONS.
Article I.—Is moral good and evil to be found in the passions?
R. The passions may be considered in two ways: in one way in themselves; in another way as subject to the control of reason and the will. If, therefore, they are considered in themselves, as certain movements of the irrational appetite, in that way there is no moral good or evil in them, for that depends on reason. But if they are considered as subject to the control of reason and the will, in that way there is moral good or evil in them. For the sensitive appetite is nearer to reason and to the will than are the outward members, the movements and acts whereof are nevertheless good or evil morally, according as they are voluntary: much more therefore may the passions, according as they are voluntary, be called good or evil morally. The passions are called voluntary either from their being commanded by the will, or from their being not prevented by the will.1
§ 3. The Philosopher says, “We are not praised or blamed for our passions,” that is, absolutely considered: but he does not reject the possibility of their becoming praiseworthy or blameworthy according as they are directed by reason. Hence he adds: “He is not praised or blamed who fears or grows angry, but he who does so in a certain way:” that is, according to or against reason.
Article II.—Is every passion morally evil?
R. On this question the opinions of the Stoics and Peripatetics differed: for the Stoics said that all the passions were bad, while the Peripatetics said that moderate passions were good. This difference, though it seems great in words, is nevertheless little or nothing in reality, if you consider what was meant on both sides. For the Stoics did not distinguish between sense and intellect, and consequently neither between the intellectual and the sensitive appetite. Hence neither did they distinguish the passions of the soul from the movements of the will, in that the passions are in the sensitive appetite, while the simple movements of the will are in the intellectual appetite; but every rational movement of the appetitive part they called the will, while they gave the name of passions to movements transgressing beyond the limits of reason. And therefore Tully, following their opinion, calls all passions diseases of the soul: whence he argues that they who are diseased are not sound, and they who are not sound are unwise. But the Peripatetics understand by the name passions all movements of the sensitive appetite. Hence they reckon them good when they are checked by reason, and bad when they escape that check. Hence it appears that it was absurd of Tully to find fault with the Peripatetics, who approved of a golden mean in the passions. He says that every evil even in a moderate degree is to be avoided; for as a body even moderately ill is not healthy, so this golden mean of diseases or passions of the soul is not healthy. This argumentation is absurd: for the passions are not called diseases or perturbations of the soul except when they go without the check of reason.1
Article III.—Is passion any addition to or diminution of the good or evil of an act?
R. As the Stoics laid it down that every passion is evil, so they also, consistently enough, laid it down that every passion diminishes the goodness of the act done under its influence. And this is true if we give the name of passions only to inordinate movements of the sensitive appetite, regarded as disturbances or diseases of the moral system. But if we call absolutely all the movements of the sensitive appetite passions, in that acceptation of the term it belongs to the perfection of human goodness to have passions, so that they be held in check by reason. For since the good of man rests on reason as its root, that good will be all the more perfect the wider the ground of action proper to man that it covers. Hence it is an unquestioned fact, that it belongs to the perfection of moral goodness to have the acts of the exterior members directed by the law of reason. And since the sensitive appetite is capable of obeying reason, it likewise belongs to the perfection of moral or human goodness to have the passions that are regulated by reason. As therefore it is better that man should both will good and do it in outward act, so also it belongs to the perfection of moral good that man should be moved unto good, not only in his will, but likewise in his sensitive appetite, according to the text:1 “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God:” understanding there by heart the intellectual appetite, and by flesh the sensitive appetite.
§ 1. The passions may stand in two relations to the judgment of reason. They may stand to it antecedently; and so blinding the judgment of reason, whence depends the goodness of the moral act, they diminish the goodness of the act: for it is more praiseworthy to do a work of charity on the judgment of reason than on the mere passion of pity. Or they may stand to that judgment consequently, and that in a twofold manner. One manner would be by way of redundance, because when the superior part of the soul is intensely moved to anything, the inferior part follows the movement also; and thus the passion existing consequently in the sensitive appetite is a sign of a more intense will and a greater moral goodness. The other manner would be by way of election, when a man by the judgment of his reason chooses to be affected by some passion, that he may work more readily with the co-operation of the sensitive appetite: and thus again passion adds to the goodness of the action.
Article II.—Is love a passion?
R. The first impression made on appetite by its object is called love, which is nothing else than a complacency taken in an object of appetite; and from this complacency follows movement towards the said object, which movement is desire; and finally comes rest, which is joy. So then, since love consists in a certain impression made on appetite by its object, manifestly love is a passion, and that in the strict sense of the word, inasmuch as it is in the concupiscible faculty; and generally, and by extension of the name, inasmuch as it is in the will.
Article IV.—Is love fitly divided into love of friendship and love of desire?
R. As the Philosopher says, “to love is to wish good to another.” So therefore the movement of love tends to two objects, to the good which one wishes for a person, either oneself or another; and to the person for whom one wishes the good. Towards the good then which one wishes for some one the love of desire is entertained: but towards the person for whom one wishes that good, there is entertained the love of friendship. What is loved with a love of friendship is loved absolutely and by itself; but what is loved with a love of desire is not loved absolutely and by itself, but is loved for another. The love wherewith an object is loved that good may accrue to it, is love absolutely; but the love wherewith a thing is loved that it may be the good of another, is love in a restricted sense.
§ 1. Love is not divided into friendship and desire, but into love of friendship and of desire: for he is properly called a friend, to whom we wish any good; and that we are said to desire which we wish for ourselves.
OF THE CAUSE OF LOVE.
§ 1. Evil is never loved except under an aspect of good, inasmuch as it is good in a restricted sense, and is apprehended as being good absolutely; and thus some love is evil as tending to that which is not absolutely true good. And after this fashion a man loves iniquity, inasmuch as by iniquity he gains a certain good, pleasure, money, or the like.
§ 3.The beautiful is the same as the good, but from a different point of view. For good being “that which all things seek,” it is of the essence of good that the appetite should rest therein. But it belongs to the essence of beauty that the appetite should rest in the sight or knowledge of the object regarded as beautiful; hence those senses especially regard the beautiful which are the best avenues of knowledge, to wit, sight and hearing as subservient to reason. We speak of “beautiful sights” and “beautiful sounds;” but in reference to the objects of the other senses we do not use the designation: for we do not say “beautiful tastes,” or “beautiful odours.” And thus it is clear that beauty superadds to good a certain hold upon the knowing faculty: so that that is called good which is matter of simple complacency to the appetite; but that is called beautiful the mere apprehension whereof is pleasing.
Article III.—Is likeness a cause of love?
R. Likeness, properly speaking, is a cause of love. But we must observe that there may be likeness between things in two ways. One way would be by each thing having the same attribute actually, as two things having the attribute of whiteness. Another way would be by one thing having potentially and in inclination what the other has actually. Potentiality has a certain likeness to actuality, for in the promise and potency the actuality is in a manner contained. The first mode of likeness causes the love of friendship, or of benevolence: for from the fact of two things being alike, as having one form, they are in a manner one in that form; and therefore the affection of the one tends to the other as being one thing with itself, and wishes it good as to itself. The second mode of likeness causes the love of desire, or the friendship that is founded on the utility or pleasure that the friend affords. For wherever there is potentiality, there is a craving after its realization, and a delight in the gaining thereof, if the gainer be a sentient and cognitive being.
In the love of desire the lover, properly speaking, loves himself, wishing for himself the good that he desires. But every one loves himself more than he loves his neighbour: because he is one with himself substantially, but one with his neighbour only in a certain likeness of form. And therefore if his neighbour’s likeness to him in the participation of that form hinders him from gaining the good that he loves, such a neighbour becomes odious to him, not for being like him, but for being in his way in the gaining of his own proper good. And for this reason, “potter quarrels with potter,”1 because they get in one another’s way in their peculiar line of gain; and “among the proud there are always contentions,”2 because they hinder one another in the attainment of that special pre-eminence which they covet.
§ 2. Even in the case of a man loving in another what he loves not in himself, there is found an element of likeness according to proportion. For as that other is to what is loved in him, so is the man himself to what he loves in himself: for instance, if a good singer loves a good writer, there comes out there a likeness of proportion, inasmuch as each has the gift that befits him in his own profession.
§ 3. He who loves what he needs, has a likeness to what he loves, as a capacity bears a likeness to the actuality of which it is a capacity.
§ 4. Though not all men have the virtues in their complete habit, still they have them to the extent of certain seminal principles of reason, according to which he who has not virtue loves a virtuous man as being in conformity with his own natural reason.
OF THE EFFECTS OF LOVE.
§ 2. There are three regards of union to love. One union is the cause of love: in the love with which one loves oneself this is a substantial union; while in the love with which one loves other beings, it is a union of likeness. Another union is essentially love itself; and this is union of hearts: which is likened to substantial union, inasmuch as the lover is to the object of his love as to himself in the love of friendship; as to something belonging to himself in the love of desire. A third union is the effect of love; and this is a real union which the lover seeks with the object of his love, that they should live together, converse together, and in other relations be conjoined.
Article IV.—Is zeal an effect of love?
R. Zeal, whichever way we look at it, comes of intensity of love. For clearly, the greater the intensity wherewith any power tends to an end, the more vigorously does it bear down all opposition or resistance. Since therefore love is a certain movement towards the object loved, intense love seeks to banish all opposition, but in different ways, according as it is the love of desire or of friendship. In the love of desire, he who desires intensely, is moved against all that stands in the way of his gaining or quietly enjoying the object of his love; and in this way those who seek pre-eminence are moved against men of seeming eminence as being hindrances to their pre-eminence; and this is the zeal of envy. But the love of friendship seeks the good of the friend: hence, when it is intense, it makes a man bestir himself against all that conflicts with the good of his friend. And in this way we are said to be zealous on behalf of a friend, when if anything is said or done against our friend’s good, we endeavour to repel it. In this way also we are zealous for God, when we endeavour according to our power to repel what goes against the honour and will of God, according to the text, “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.”1 And on the text, “The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up,” the gloss (on St. John ii. 17) says: “He is eaten up with a good zeal, who endeavours to correct all the evil that he sees; and if he cannot, tolerates and laments it.”
Article V.—Is love a passion that wastes away the lover?
R. Love denotes a certain conformation of the appetitive power to some good. Now nothing is wasted away or injured by simple conformation to an object suited to itself, but rather, if possible, it is perfected and bettered thereby: whereas what is conformed to an object not suited to it is thereby wasted and altered for the worse. The love of a proper good is therefore apt to perfect and better the lover: while the love of a good that is not proper to the lover is apt to waste away the lover and alter him for the worse. Hence a man is perfected and improved most of all by the love of God; and wasted and altered for the worse by the love of sin, according to the text: “They became abominable as those things were which they loved.”1 This is said of love in respect of its formal element, which is on the part of the appetite. But in respect of the material element, which is some bodily alteration, we do find that love wastes and wears a man away on account of the excess of the alteration: as happens in every act of a spiritual faculty which is exercised by alteration of a bodily organ.
Article VI.—Is love the cause of all that the lover does?
R. Every agent acts for some end. But the end is the good desired and loved by each. Hence it is manifest that every agent, whatever it be, does its every action from some love.
§ 1. The objection that love is a passion, and that not all things which a man does are done from passion, is valid, touching that love which is a passion existing in the sensitive appetite; but we are speaking now of love in the general sense of the term, including under itself intellectual, rational, animal, and physical love.
Article I.—Is evil the cause and object of hatred?
R. Love is a certain attuning of the appetite to that which is apprehended as suitable; while hatred is a sort of dissonance of the appetite from that which is apprehended as unsuitable and hurtful. But as everything suitable, as such, bears the stamp of good: so everything unsuitable, as such, bears the stamp of evil; and therefore as good is the object of love, so evil is the object of hatred.
§ 1. Being, as being, has nothing in it of variance, but only of concord, because all things agree in being: but being, inasmuch as it is this determinate being, is at variance with some other determinate being; and in this way one being is hateful to another, and is evil, not in itself, but in relation to another.
§ 2. As things are apprehended as good, which are not really good, so things are apprehended as evil which are not really evil: hence it happens sometimes that neither hatred of evil nor love of good is good.
Article II.—Is hatred caused by love?
R. In every case we should consider what agrees with a thing before we consider what disagrees with it: for to disagree with a thing is to mar or hinder what agrees with it. Hence love must be prior to hatred; and nothing can be hated except what is contrary to some agreeable thing that is loved. And thus all hatred is caused by love.
§ 2. Love and hatred are contraries when they both turn on the same object; but when they are about contrary objects, they are not contraries, but consequences one of the other: for it is on one and the same ground that a thing is loved and its contrary hated; and thus the love of one thing is the cause of its contrary being hated.
Article IV.—Is it possible for any one to hate himself?
R. Properly speaking, it is impossible for any one to hate himself. For naturally everything seeks good, and cannot seek for itself anything except in the light of good. But to love any one is to wish him good. Hence a man needs must love himself, and cannot possibly hate himself, properly speaking. Accidentally, however, it comes about that a man hates himself, and this in two ways: in one way in regard of the good which he wishes for himself; for it happens sometimes that what is sought as being in a certain respect good is simply evil; and in this way one accidentally wishes evil to himself, which is to hate. The same may happen in another way in regard of the being to whom he wishes good, namely, himself. Every being is that especially which is the leading element in its composition: hence the State is said to do what the King does, as though the King were the whole State.1 It is clear then that man is especially the mind of man. But it happens that some men take themselves to be that especially which they are in their bodily and sensitive nature. Hence they love themselves according to that which they take themselves to be, but hate that which they really are, in that they will things contrary to reason. And in both of these ways “he that loveth iniquity, hateth” not only “his own soul,”2 but also himself.
Article I.—Is desire in the sensitive appetite only?
R. Desire is a craving after something pleasant. Now there are two sorts of pleasure: one in intellectual good, which is the good of reason; another in good according to sense. The former pleasure seems to belong to the soul only; but the latter is of soul and body together, because sense is a power resident in a bodily organ. Hence sensible good is good of the whole compound of soul and body. The craving after this pleasure of sense seems to be desire, belonging at once to soul and body. Hence desire, properly speaking, is in the sensitive appetite, and in the concupiscible faculty, so called from desiring (concupiscence).
Article II.—Is there a special passion of desire?
R. Good delightful to sense is the common object of the concupiscible faculty. Hence the different passions of the concupiscible faculty are distinguished according to the differences of that good. The motive power of the said good bears a different character according as the good is really present or absent. As it is present, it makes the appetite rest therein: as it is absent, it makes the appetite move thereto. Hence the said object of sensible delight, inasmuch as it shapes and conforms the appetite to itself, causes love: inasmuch as, when absent, it attracts to itself, it causes desire: inasmuch as, when present, it induces rest in itself, it causes pleasure, or delight. Thus therefore desire is a passion, differing in species both from love and from delight; but the desire of this or that delightful object makes desires different in number.
Article III.—Are there desires physical and desires not physical?
R. A thing is pleasurable in two ways: in one way, because it is suited to the animal nature, as meat and drink and the like: the desire of a pleasurable object of this sort is called physical. In another way, a thing is called pleasurable, because it is fixed upon by some mental apprehension as suitable to the thinker: such a desire is said to be not physical. The first sort of desires, those which are physical, are common to men and other animals; and in these all men agree. Hence the Philosopher calls them common and necessary. But the second sort of desires are proper to men; to whom it is proper to excogitate something as good and suitable, beyond what nature requires.1
§ 1. The same thing that is the object of physical appetite may be the object also of psychical appetite, once it is apprehended by the mind; and in this way there may be a psychical desire of meat and drink and objects of physical appetite.
Article IV.—Is desire unlimited?
R. There are two sorts of desire, one physical, and another not physical. Physical desire cannot be actually unlimited: for it is of that which nature requires; now nature always points her desires at some fixed and definite amount: hence no man ever desires unlimited meat or unlimited drink. But as in nature a thing may be potentially infinite in succession, so a physical craving may be unlimited in succession, inasmuch as man, after getting food, craves for it yet another time and again; and so of everything else that nature requires: because the good things of the body do not stay when they come. Hence it was said: “Whosoever drinketh of this water, shall thirst again.”1 But the desire that is not physical is altogether unlimited, for it belongs to reason; and reason is competent to go on to infinity. Hence he who desires riches, may desire them beyond any fixed limit, desiring simply to be a rich man, as rich as possible.
Another reason may be assigned according to the Philosopher, why one desire should be limited, and another unlimited. For the desire of the end in view is always unlimited, since the end is desirable by itself, as health: hence more health is more desired, and so on to infinity. But the desire of the means to the end is unlimited, if those means are sought in the measure that befits the end. Hence they who place their end in riches have a desire of riches to infinity; but they who seek riches for the necessaries of life, desire limited wealth, sufficient for the necessaries of life, as the Philosopher says.
OF DELIGHT, OR PLEASURE.
§ 2. In an animal a twofold movement may be considered: one in point of the intention of the end, which belongs to the appetite; the other in point of execution, which belongs to the exterior working. Though, therefore, in him who has already gained the good in which he delights, there ceases the movement of execution, whereby he tends to the end, still there ceases not the movement of the appetitive part, which, as it previously desired the end when it had it not, so afterwards delights in having it. For though pleasure be a certain repose of the appetite in consideration of the presence of a pleasurable good which satisfies the appetite, yet there still remains an impression wrought upon the appetite by its object, by reason whereof pleasure is a sort of movement.
Article III.—Does pleasure differ from joy?
R. Joy is a species of pleasure. As there are some desires which are physical, and others which are not physical, but follow upon an exercise of reason; so of pleasures, some are physical, and some not physical, being accompanied by an exercise of reason: or, as Damascene and Gregory of Nyssa say, “these are pleasures of the soul, those of the body:” which comes to the same thing. For we take pleasure in gaining as well the objects of physical desire as the objects of rational desire: but the name of joy has place only as applied to that delight which follows upon reason. Hence we do not attribute joy to dumb animals, but only pleasure. All that we physically desire, we may desire also with the guidance of reason: but not conversely. Hence for all things that give pleasure, there may be joy felt by creatures that have reason, though it is not always that joy is felt for them all; for sometimes one feels some pleasure in his body, for which nevertheless he rejoices not in his rational soul. And by this it is clear that pleasure is of wider extension than joy.
Article IV.—Does pleasure find place in the intellectual appetite?
R. There is one sort of pleasure that follows the apprehension of reason. Now at the apprehension of reason there is stirred, not only the sensitive appetite by application to some particular object, but also the intellectual appetite, which is called the will. And in this way there is in the intellectual appetite, or will, a pleasure which is called joy, but not a bodily pleasure. There is, however, this difference between the pleasure of the one appetite and that of the other, that the pleasure of the sensitive appetite is attended by a certain bodily alteration, while the pleasure of the intellectual appetite is nothing else than a simple movement of the will.
§ 3. In us there is not only a pleasure which we share with the brutes, but also one which we share with the angels.1
Article V.—Are bodily and sensible pleasures greater than spiritual and intellectual pleasures?
R. Pleasures arise from union with a suitable object, when that is felt and known. Now in the operations of the soul, particularly of the sensitive and intellectual soul, there is this to be considered, that, not passing on to any exterior matter, they are mere acts or perfections of the agent; whereas the actions which pass on to exterior matter are rather actions and perfections of the matter that is transformed.2 So therefore the aforesaid actions of the sensitive and intellectual soul are themselves a certain good of the agent, and are also known by sense and intellect: hence even from them in themselves pleasure arises, and not only from their objects. If therefore the comparison of intellectual pleasures with sensible pleasures is made in point of the pleasure that we take in the actions themselves, say, in the knowledge of sense and in the knowledge of intellect, there is no doubt that intellectual pleasures are much greater than those of sense. For a man is much more pleased at knowing a thing by understanding it, than at knowing it by feeling it;1 because the intellectual knowledge is both more perfect and better known, inasmuch as intellect reflects on its own act more than sense. Intellectual knowledge is also more loved; for there is none that would not rather forego his bodily sight than his mental vision.
But if intellectual and spiritual pleasures are compared with sensible and bodily pleasures, in that comparison spiritual pleasures are in themselves and absolutely the greater. And this appears from consideration of the three requisites of pleasure, namely, the good that is conjoined, the being to whom it is conjoined, and the conjunction itself. For spiritual good is both greater than bodily good and is more loved: a sign whereof is the fact that men abstain from the greatest bodily pleasures that they may not lose honour, which is an intellectual good. In like manner also the intellectual faculty is much nobler and more knowing than the sensitive faculty. The conjunction also of the good with the faculty is more intimate, and more perfect, and more firm. More intimate, because while sense rests on the exterior accidents of a thing, intellect penetrates to the thing’s essence. More perfect, because sensible pleasures are not all realized at once, but some portion of them is passing away, while another portion is looked forward to as coming on; but objects of intellect are without motion: hence the pleasures of intellect are all realized together.1 More firm, because the objects of bodily pleasure are corruptible and quickly fail; but spiritual goods are incorruptible.
But in relation to us bodily pleasures are the more vehement, and that for three reasons. First, because things of sense are more known to us than things of intellect. Secondly, because sensible pleasures, being passions of the sensitive appetite, are attended with a certain bodily alteration, which does not occur in spiritual pleasures except by a sort of overflow from the higher appetite to the lower. Thirdly, because bodily pleasures are sought after as medicines against bodily defects or annoyances, whence sundry griefs ensue: hence bodily pleasures, supervening upon such griefs, are more sensible, and consequently more welcome, than spiritual pleasures which have no contrary griefs.
§ 1. Therefore do more people follow bodily pleasures, because sensible goods are known better and more widely than spiritual goods. Another reason is because men need pleasures as medicines against manifold griefs and sorrows; and whereas the greater number of men are not able to attain to spiritual pleasures, which are proper to the virtuous, the consequence is that they turn aside to those of the body.
Article VII.—Is there any pleasure that is not natural?
That is called natural which is according to nature. Now nature in man may be taken in two ways. In one way, considering that intellect and reason is the principal part of man’s nature, and the specific mark of man among animals, we may call those pleasures natural to human kind, which belong to man in point of his having reason. Such are the pleasures of contemplating truth and doing acts of virtue. In another way nature in man may be considered as something marked off from reason, namely, that element which is common to man and other animals, especially that which is not subject to reason; and in this way what appertains to the preservation of the body, either in the individual, as food, drink, sleep, and the like, or in the species, as the intercourse of the sexes, is said to be naturally pleasant to man.
Under each of these heads of pleasure there are found some pleasures which are unnatural, absolutely speaking, but connatural in a limited sense. For it happens occasionally in an individual that some of the principles of the species are corrupted; and thus what is against the nature of the species becomes accidentally natural to this individual. Thus then it happens that what is against the nature of man, either as regards his reason or as regards the preservation of his body, becomes connatural to this man on account of some corruption of nature found in him. This corruption of nature may be either on the part of the body, from some sickness, as to fever-patients sweet things seem bitter; or from an evil temperament, as some find pleasure in eating earth or coals;1 or again on the part of the soul, as from custom some delight in cannibalism, or in unnatural lusts, things which are not according to human nature.
OF THE CAUSE OF PLEASURE.
Article I.—Is activity the proper cause of pleasure?
R. For pleasure two things are requisite, the attainment of a fitting good, and the knowledge of that attainment. Both these requisites consist in a certain activity, for actual knowledge is an activity. In like manner we gain fitting good by some activity; also the very activity itself that is proper to the agent is a certain fitting good. Hence all pleasure must follow upon some activity.
§ 1. The objects on which our activities are exercised are not pleasurable to us except inasmuch as they are conjoined to us either by knowledge, as when we take pleasure in looking at things, or in some other way along with knowledge, as when a man takes pleasure in knowing that he has some good possession, as riches, or honour, or the like, which would not give him pleasure but for the fact of his apprehending it as his possession. But possession here means nothing else than the use of the thing, or the power to use it, and that is by a certain activity. Hence it is clear that every pleasure is reducible to activity as to its cause.
§ 2. Even in cases where not the activities, but the products of activity, are the ends in view, those products of activity are pleasant inasmuch as they are possessed: which possession has reference to some use or activity.
§ 3. Activities are pleasant inasmuch as they are proportionate and connatural to the agent. But since human strength is limited, activity is proportionate to it according to a certain measure. Hence any activity exceeding that measure ceases to be proportionate or pleasant, and becomes rather laborious and wearisome. And in this way ease and play and other things that belong to rest, are pleasant, inasmuch as they take away the distress that is of labour.
§ 4. The Philosopher says: “Pleasure is a connatural activity, unimpeded.”
Article II.—Is change a cause of pleasure?
R. There are three requisites of pleasure: a pleasurable good, the conjunction of the pleasurable object with the subject, and the knowledge of this conjunction. And under these three heads change is made out to be pleasant. On the part of us who are the subjects of pleasure, change is rendered pleasant to us, because our nature is changeable, and therefore what is suitable to us now, afterwards will not be suitable: as warming oneself at the fire suits a man in winter, not in summer. On the part also of the pleasurable good that is brought into conjunction with us, change becomes pleasant, because the continued action of anything increases its effect, as the longer one keeps near a fire the more he is warmed and dried. But a natural frame of being consists in a certain fixed measure; and therefore when the continued presence of a pleasurable object goes beyond the measure of one’s natural frame of being, the removal of that object becomes pleasurable. On the part of the knowledge itself—because man desires a perfect whole; when therefore things cannot be apprehended as a whole, change in them is pleasant, so that one part may pass, and another part succeed, and thus the whole be appreciated. If therefore there be any Being the nature of which is unchangeable, a Being the natural proportion of which cannot be outdone by the continuance of any delightful object, a Being which can behold the whole object of its delight at once,—to that Being change will not be agreeable. And the more any pleasures approach the condition of this pleasure, the more capable are they of continuance.
§ 3. What is customary becomes pleasant by becoming natural, for custom is a second nature. But the change that is pleasant is not that change which departs from custom, but rather the change that prevents the spoiling of a natural frame of being, that might ensue from holding on too long in some one activity. And thus from the same cause of connaturalness it is that custom is rendered pleasant and change delightful.
Article VI.—Is beneficence a cause of pleasure?
R. So far as we reckon the good of another to be as it were our own good, on account of the union of love, we take pleasure as in our own good in the good which accrues through us to others, especially to friends. In another way beneficence becomes pleasant, inasmuch as thereby a man gets an imagination of an overflowing source of good existing in himself, whence he is able also to impart to others, which is the reason why men take pleasure in their children and in their own works, as imparting to them their own good.
§ 3. To conquer, confute, and punish is not pleasant in that it makes for the evil of another, but in that it belongs to one’s own good, which a man loves more than he hates another’s evil. For it is naturally pleasant to conquer, inasmuch as thereby an idea is formed of one’s own excellence; and therefore all games into which rivalry enters, and where victory is possible, are especially pleasant; and generally all contests according as they hold out hope of victory. To confute and rebuke may be a cause of pleasure in two ways: in one way in that it gives a man an imagination of his own wisdom and excellence, for rebuke and correction is the function of wise men and elders; in another way in that by rebuke and reprehension one does good to another, which is pleasant. But to an angry man it is pleasant to punish, in that he thinks himself to be removing an apparent slight, coming of a previous offence; for when one is offended by another, he thinks himself slighted thereby, and therefore he desires to be rid of this slight by paying back the offence that he has sustained. And thus it is clear that beneficence can be of itself pleasant; but maleficence is not pleasant, except in so far as it seems to belong to one’s own good.
OF THE EFFECTS OF PLEASURE.
Article III.—Does pleasure hinder the use of reason?
R. As is said in the Ethics [of Aristotle]: “The pleasures that properly belong to the activities in exercise, increase those activities, but pleasures foreign to them hinder them.” There is therefore a certain pleasure that is taken in the very act of reason, as when one takes pleasure in contemplation or discussion; and such pleasure does not hinder the act of reason, but helps it, because we do that more attentively in which we take pleasure, and attention helps activity. But bodily pleasures hinder the use of reason in three ways. The first is the way of distraction, because we attend much to the things in which we find pleasure. Now when the attention is strongly fixed upon anything, it is weakened in respect of all other objects, or even totally called away from them; and thus if the bodily pleasure is great, it will either totally hinder or much impede the use of reason by drawing the mind’s attention to itself. The second is the way of contrariety; for some pleasures, especially when they come in excess, are against the order of reason; and in this sense the Philosopher says that “bodily pleasures mar the reckoning of prudence,” but not the speculative reckoning. Thus no pleasure gets in the way of our understanding the truth that the three angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles. The third way is the way of impediment, inasmuch as there follows on bodily pleasure a certain bodily alteration, greater in pleasure than in the other passions, by how much more vehemently the appetite is affected towards a present than towards an absent thing. But such bodily disturbances hinder the use of reason, as is evident in drunkards, who have their use of reason fettered or impeded.
Article IV.—Does pleasure make activity perfect?
R. Pleasure makes activity perfect in two ways. First, as an end; not in the sense in which we mean by an end the purpose for which a thing exists, but in the sense in which any good may be called an end that supervenes by way of complement. In this sense the Philosopher says that “pleasure makes activity perfect as a sort of supervening end,”1 that is to say, inasmuch as upon the good of activity there supervenes the other good of pleasure, which carries with it repose of the appetite in the good presupposed as won. In another way pleasure perfects activity as an active cause, not indeed directly, for the Philosopher says that “pleasure makes activity perfect, not as a physician makes a man whole, but as health does,” but indirectly, in that the agent, being pleased with his action, attends to it more earnestly, and works at it more diligently.
OF GOOD AND EVIL IN PLEASURES.
Article I.—Is all pleasure evil?
R. Some have laid it down that all pleasures are evil. The reason of their saying so seems to have been their giving their attention exclusively to sensible and bodily pleasures, which are more manifest; for in other respects also the old philosophers did not distinguish things of intellect from things of sense. These bodily pleasures they thought should all be written down bad, that so men, prone as they are to immoderate pleasures, might withdraw themselves from pleasures and arrive at the proper mean of virtue. But this judgment was mistaken. For since none can live without some sensible and bodily pleasure, if they who teach that all pleasures are bad are caught in the act of taking some pleasures, men will be more inclined to pleasures by the example of their works, letting go the doctrine of their words. We must say, then, that some pleasures are good, and some are evil. For pleasure is a repose of the appetitive faculty in some loved good, and is consequent upon some activity. Hence there are two ways of looking at it. One way is to see what the good is in which the man reposes with pleasure. Good or evil in moral matters means agreement with or divergence from reason. There is a morally good pleasure in either the higher or lower appetite reposing in what is in agreement with reason. There is also an evil pleasure, when the repose is taken in what diverges from reason. Another way is to look at the activities that yield the pleasure, whereof some are evil and some good. Now there is a closer connection between activities and pleasures, which go along with them, than between activities and desires, which precede them in time. Hence, since the desires of good activities are good, and of evil activities evil, much more are the pleasures of good activities good, and those of evil activities evil.
§ 1. The pleasures which come of the act of reason do not hinder reason or mar prudence; but extrinsic pleasures, as the pleasures of the body, do. These hinder reason, either by the contrariety of the appetite reposing upon what is repugnant to reason, which makes the pleasure morally bad; or by carrying the accompanying bodily alteration so far as to hamper and impede reason, though the pleasure itself is in accordance with reason. The pleasure in this latter case does not go the length of moral evil, as neither is there any moral evil in sleep taken according to reason, though that too impedes the use of reason: for reason herself requires that the use of reason be sometimes interrupted.
OF PAIN AND SORROW IN THEMSELVES.
Article II.—Is sorrow the same as pain?
R. Pleasure and pain may be caused by a twofold apprehension, either by the apprehension of the exterior sense, or by the apprehension of the interior, whether intellect or imagination. But the interior apprehension reaches further than the exterior, because whatever things fall under the exterior apprehension fall under the interior, but not conversely. Therefore that pleasure alone which is caused by an interior apprehension is called joy; and that pain alone which is caused by an interior apprehension is called sorrow. And as that pleasure which is caused by an exterior apprehension is called pleasure indeed, but not joy, so that pain which is caused by an exterior apprehension is called pain, but not sorrow. Thus then sorrow is a species of pain, as joy is a species of pleasure.
Article V.—Is there any sorrow set over against the pleasure of contemplation?
R. The pleasure of contemplation has no sorrow annexed to it, as bodily pleasures have, which are like medicines against certain annoyances; as one takes pleasure in drinking because he is troubled with thirst, but when the thirst is wholly driven away, the pleasure of drinking likewise ceases.1 For the pleasure of contemplation is not caused by the exclusion of any annoyance, but by the fact that the contemplation is pleasurable of itself. But because the human mind in the act of contemplation makes use of the sensory powers of apprehension, and weariness is incident to their acts, therefore some affliction or pain comes incidentally to be mingled with contemplation.
Article VII.—Is exterior pain greater than interior?
R. Exterior pain follows the apprehension of sense. Interior pain follows an interior apprehension either of imagination or of reason. Interior pain comes of something going against the appetite itself. Exterior pain comes of something going against the appetite because it goes against the body. But what is of itself is always prior to that which is through something else. Hence from this point of view interior pain rises above exterior pain. In like manner also on the side of apprehension: for the apprehension of reason and imagination is more profound than the apprehension of sense. Hence absolutely and of itself interior pain weighs heavier than exterior pain; a sign whereof is the fact of exterior pain being voluntarily entered upon to avoid that which is interior; and in so far as the exterior pain goes not against the interior appetite, it becomes in a manner pleasant and agreeable in the way of inward joy. Sometimes, however, exterior pain is accompanied by interior pain, and then the pain is increased. For not only is interior pain greater than exterior, but it is also more universal. For whatever goes against the body may go against the interior appetite, and whatever is apprehended by sense may be apprehended by imagination and reason, but the converse does not hold.
OF THE CAUSES OF PAIN.
Article III.—Is the yearning after unity a cause of pain?
R. In the way that the desire of good is a cause of pain, the yearning after unity must also be set down as a cause of pain. For the good of everything consists in a certain unity, inasmuch as everything has united in itself all the elements of its perfect well-being. Hence naturally everything yearns after unity as after goodness; and therefore, in the same way that the yearning after good is a cause of pain, so also is the yearning after unity.
§ 4. Augustine says: “From the pain that dumb animals feel, it is plain what lovers they are of unity in the guidance and animation of their bodies. For what else is pain but a feeling of impatience of division or corruption?”
OF REMEDIES FOR SORROW OR PAIN.
Article II.—Is sorrow assuaged by weeping?
R. Tears and groans naturally assuage sorrow, and that in two ways. First, because everything hurtful is more afflicting for being shut up within, because the attention that the soul pays to it is thereby intensified many times over; but when the soul is poured out upon exterior things, then its attention is parted among them, and thus the inward grief is lessened. And on this account, when men who are in sorrow of one kind or another manifest their sorrow externally, either by weeping or groaning or even by word, the sorrow is assuaged. Secondly, because an activity that suits a man according to the disposition in which he is, is always pleasing to him; but weeping and groaning are activities that suit a man in sorrow or pain, and therefore they are rendered pleasing to such persons. Since, then, all pleasure is some assuagement of sorrow or pain, it follows that sorrow is assuaged by lamentation and groaning.
Article IV.—Are pain and sorrow assuaged by the contemplation of truth?
R. Every pleasure assuages pain, and therefore the contemplation of truth assuages it, and the more so, the more perfectly one is a lover of wisdom. And therefore men rejoice in tribulations from the contemplation of divine things and future blessedness, and, what is more, even in the midst of bodily tortures such joy is found; as the martyr Tiburtius, when he was walking barefoot on hot coals, said: “Methinks I am walking on rose-flowers in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Article V.—Are pain and sorrow assuaged by sleep and baths?
R. Sorrow, from its specific nature, goes against the vital motion of the body; and therefore those agents which correct the bodily nature and reduce it to the due state of vital motion, operate against sorrow and assuage it. Also such remedies are causes of pleasure, by reducing nature to its normal state: for this reduction is pleasure.1 Hence, as all pleasure assuages sorrow, sorrow is assuaged by the use of bodily remedies like these.
§ 4. Augustine says in the ninth book of his Confessions: “I had heard that a bath (balneum) was so called because it drives (βάλλει) anxiety from the mind;” and further on: “I slept, and awoke, and found my grief not a little assuaged.”
OF THE GOOD AND EVIL OF SORROW OR PAIN.
Article I.—Is all sorrow evil?
R. A thing may be good or evil in two ways: in one way absolutely and by itself, and so all sorrow is a certain evil: for the mere fact of the appetite being uneasy at the presence of evil has a character of evil, since it is a hindrance to the repose of the appetite in good. In another way a thing is said to be good or evil on the supposition of something else: as shame is termed good on the supposition of a shameful deed done. So then, supposing something apt to sadden or give pain, it is a point of goodness that one should be in sorrow or pain about the evil that is present: for the absence of sorrow or pain then could only arise either from insensibility or from not reckoning the thing to be aught against oneself; and both of these conditions are manifestly evil.
Article II.—Can sorrow be a virtuous good?
R. From the point of view in which sorrow is good, it may be a virtuous good. Sorrow is good in point of its being a recognition of and shrinking from evil. These two elements in bodily pain attest the goodness of nature, from whence it comes that sense feels and nature shuns the hurtful agent which causes pain. Again, in interior sorrow the recognition of evil is sometimes the act of a right judgment of reason, and the shrinking from evil is the act of a will well disposed and detesting evil. But all virtuous good proceeds from these two sources, rectitude of reason and of will. Hence it is manifest that sorrow may have the character of virtuous good.
§ 3. Some things happen which do not come about by God’s will, but by God’s permission, as sins; hence a will going against sin, as existent in self or in another, is not out of agreement with the will of God. But penal evils come to be in the present, even by the will of God. Yet it is not requisite to the rectitude of man’s will that he should will those things in themselves, but only that he should not gainsay the order of divine justice.
Article IV.—Is bodily pain the extreme of evils?
R. It cannot be that any sorrow or pain is the extreme evil of man. For every sorrow or pain is either at some real evil, or at some apparent evil which is really good. Now, no pain or sorrow at real evil can possibly be the extreme of evils: for there is something worse than that, namely, either not to take that for evil which is really evil, or not to reject it. Again, sorrow or pain at what is apparently evil, but is really good, cannot be the extreme of evils, because it would be worse to be altogether estranged from real good. Hence it is impossible for any sorrow or pain to be the extreme evil of man.
Article I.—Is hope the same as desire?
R. Touching the object of hope, four conditions are to be considered. First, it must be good; and hereby hope differs from fear, which is of evil. Secondly, it must be future; for there is no hoping for that which is already in hand; and hereby hope differs from joy, which is in present good. The third requisite is that it be something arduous and with difficulty attainable: for one is not said to hope for a trifle which it is in his power to have at any moment; and hereby hope differs from desire, which is of future good absolutely: hence desire belongs to the concupiscible faculty, but hope to the irascible. Fourthly, that arduous good must be possible of attainment: for one does not hope for what he cannot at all get; and in this hope differs from despair.
Article V.—Is experience a cause of hope?
R. The object of hope is future good, arduous, but possible of attainment. A thing therefore may be a cause of hope either because it makes something possible to man, or because it makes him think something possible. In the first way everything is a cause of hope that increases a man’s power, as riches and strength, and among the rest also experience: for by experience a man acquires a faculty of doing a thing easily; and on that follows hope. In another way everything is a cause of hope that raises in a man’s mind the expectation that something is possible to him: and in this way learning, or any firm conviction, may be a cause of hope; and so also experience is a cause of hope, inasmuch as by experience a man gets the idea that something is possible to him which previously he counted impossible. But in this way experience may also be a cause of lack of hope, because conversely by experience a man is convinced that something is not possible to him which he used to think possible. Thus then experience is a cause of hope in two ways, and in one way a cause of failure of hope; therefore on the whole we may say rather that it is a cause of hope.
Article VI.—Does hope abound in young men and in drunkards?
R. Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons, which may be fixed according to the three conditions of good, which is the object of hope, namely, that it is future, arduous, and possible. For young men have much of the future before them, and little of the past at their back; and therefore, because memory is of the past and hope of the future, they have little of memory, and live a great deal in hope. Youths also, through the heat of their nature, have high spirits, and so the heart in them is dilated; and from the dilatation of the heart it is that one tends to things arduous, and therefore youths are courageous and of good hope. In like manner also they who have not suffered defeat, nor experienced obstacles to their efforts, easily count a thing possible to them. Hence for their inexperience of obstacles and deficiencies young men easily count a thing possible, and therefore are of good hope.
Two of these causes, namely, heat and high spirits, and disregard of dangers and deficiencies, are found also in men under the excitement of drink.
Article VII.—Is hope a cause of love?
R. The object that hope regards is the good hoped for. But because the good hoped for is something arduous and possible, and it happens at times that what is arduous becomes possible to us, not by ourselves, but by means of others, therefore hope also regards that being by means whereof something becomes possible to us. Inasmuch then as hope regards the hoped for good, hope is caused by love, for hope is of good desired and loved. But inasmuch as hope regards the person by means of whom something becomes possible to us, love in that respect is caused by hope, and not conversely. For from the fact of our hoping that good may accrue to us through some one’s instrumentality, we are moved towards him as towards our good, and so we begin to love him. But the fact of our loving any one does not lead us to hope for anything from him except incidentally, inasmuch as we believe that we are loved by him in return. Hence to be loved by any one makes us hope for something from him; but the love that we bear to any one is caused by the hope that we have of something to come from him.1
§ 1.Hope regards the attainment of good; security regards the avoidance of evil. Hence security seems rather to be opposed to fear than to belong to hope. And yet security does not cause negligence, except inasmuch as it diminishes the idea of arduousness, wherein is diminished also the character of hope; for the things in which a man fears no let or hindrance are no longer regarded as arduous.
§ 3. The desperate in war are dangerous on account of a certain hope attaching to their despair. For they who despair of flight are weakened in their efforts to fly, but hope to avenge their death; and therefore in this hope they fight the harder. Hence they prove dangerous to the enemy.
OF FEAR IN ITSELF.
Article II.—Is fear a special passion?
R. The passions of the soul are specified by their objects: hence that is a special passion which has a special object. But fear has a special object, as also hope; for as the object of hope is a good in the future, arduous, but possible, so the object of fear is evil in the future, difficult, and irresistible. Hence fear is a special passion.
OF THE OBJECT OF FEAR.
Article II.—Is the evil that comes by nature an object of fear?
R. Whereas fear arises from the imagination of evil to come, what removes the imagination of evil to come excludes also fear. Now it may be brought about in two ways that an evil loses the appearance of a thing to come: in one way from its being remote and distant: for on account of the distance we imagine it as not coming at all. So the Philosopher says: “Things a great way off are not feared; for all know that they shall die, but because death is not near, they do not care.” In another way an evil ceases to count as a thing to come, by reason of its inevitableness, which makes us reckon it as already present. Hence the Philosopher says: “Persons undergoing execution are not afraid, seeing the inevitable nature of the death that is close upon them.”1 But for a man to be afraid, there must be at hand some hope of safety. Therefore the evil that comes by nature is not feared, in so far as it is not apprehended as a thing to come. But if it is apprehended as near, and yet with some hope of escape, then it will be feared.
Article III.—Is it possible to have fear of moral evil?
R. As the object of hope is future good, arduous, but possible, so fear is of future evil, arduous, and hardly avoidable. Hence it may be gathered that what is entirely subject to our power and will has not the character of being terrible; but that alone is terrible which has an exterior cause. But moral evil has for its proper cause the human will, and therefore has not properly the character of being terrible. However, since the will may be inclined to sin by an exterior cause, and by the power of a strong inclination, in that respect there may be fear of moral evil, as proceeding from an exterior cause; as when one fears to dwell in the company of the wicked, lest by them he be led to sin. But, properly speaking, a man in such a disposition rather fears seductive influence than moral guilt in its own proper essence, that is, as a voluntary act: for as a voluntary act, it is not matter of fear to the doer.
§ 2. Sorrow and fear agree in one point, that they are both about evil; but they differ in two points. First in this, that sorrow is about present evil, but fear about evil to come. Then again in this, that sorrow, being in the concupiscible faculty, regards evil absolutely: hence it can be about any evil, great or small; whereas fear, being in the irascible faculty, regards evil as attended with a certain arduousness or difficulty, which difficulty disappears in so far as a thing is subject to the will. And therefore it is not all things at which we grieve when they are present, that we fear when they are to come, but only some things, namely, things that are fraught with difficulty.
§ 3. Hope is of attainable good, attainable that is either of oneself or through another. And therefore hope may be of an act of virtue which lies in our own power; but fear is of an evil that is not subject to our power. And therefore the evil that is feared is always from an external cause, but the good that is hoped for may be as well from an internal as from an external cause.
Article VI.—Are those evils more feared, against which there is no remedy?
R. The object of fear is evil. Hence whatever makes for the increase of evil, makes for the increase of fear. Now evil is increased, not only in the species of evil itself, but also in point of circumstances. But among other circumstances length or perpetuity of time seems particularly to make for the increase of evil. For the things that are in time are measured in a manner by the duration of time. Hence if to suffer a thing for such a time is an evil, to suffer it for twice that time is twice the evil; and at that rate to suffer the same thing for infinite time, which is to suffer perpetually, involves in a manner an increase to infinity. But evils which, after they have come, can have no remedy, or no easy remedy, are counted as perpetual or long enduring; and therefore they are chief objects of fear.
OF THE EFFECTS OF FEAR.
Article IV.—Does fear hinder work?
R. The exterior work of man is caused by the soul as prime mover, but by the bodily members as instruments. Now work may be hindered both by the defect of the instrument and by the defect of the prime mover. On the part of the bodily instruments fear is always calculated to hinder exterior work. But on the part of the soul, if the fear be moderate, without much perturbation of the reason, it is a help to good work, inasmuch as it causes a certain solicitude, and makes a man more intently take counsel and be up and doing. If, however, fear increases so much as to perturb the reason, it hinders work even on the part of the soul. But of such a fear the Apostle1 does not speak.
§ 3. Every man in fear shuns that which he fears; and therefore, as laziness is a fear of work itself as being toilsome, laziness hinders work, withdrawing the will from it. But fear of other objects helps work on, so far forth as it inclines the will to work at that whereby a man escapes what he fears.
§ 4. The Apostle says:1 “With fear and trembling work out your salvation;” which he would not say if fear hindered good work.
OF FIERY DARING.2
Article I.—Is fiery daring the contrary of fear?
R. It is of the essence of contraries to be the furthest removed from one another. But what is furthest removed from fear is fiery daring. For fear shuns hurt in the future because of the victory that the hurt obtains over him who fears it; but fiery daring faces a threatened danger because of its own victory over that same danger. Hence manifestly fiery daring is the contrary of fear.
Article II.—Does fiery daring follow upon hope?
R. All the passions belong to the appetitive faculty. Now every movement of the appetitive faculty is reducible either to seeking or avoidance; which seeking or avoidance may be either ordinary or incidental. Ordinary seeking is of good; and ordinary avoidance of evil. But there may be incidental seeking of evil for some good that attaches to it; and incidental avoidance of good for some evil that attaches to the good. Now the incidental follows upon the ordinary; and therefore the seeking of evil follows the seeking of good, as also the avoidance of good follows the avoidance of evil. But these four things belong to four passions; for the seeking of good belongs to hope, the avoidance of evil to fear: the seeking of formidable evil belongs to fiery boldness, while the avoidance of good belongs to despair. Hence it appears that fiery boldness follows on hope; for it is in the hope of overcoming an object of instant terror that one makes for it boldly. But despair follows on fear, for the reason of a person’s despairing is his fear of the difficulty which attaches to what is in itself a good to hope for.
Article IV.—Are the fiery daring more forward in the beginning than in the end of the fray?
R. Fiery daring, being a motion of the sensitive appetite, follows the apprehension of the sensitive faculty. Now the sensitive faculty makes no comparisons, nor inquires into circumstances, but judges on the spur of the moment. Now it happens at times that the facts which make the situation difficult cannot be all taken in at a glance. Hence there arises a motion of fiery daring to face the danger. After that, when the assailants come to have experience of the danger as it really is, they feel the difficulty to be greater than they had reckoned on, and accordingly give way.1 But reason is discursive, and runs over all the circumstances which create difficulty in the business. And therefore the men of fortitude, who face dangers according to the judgment of reason, in the beginning seem remiss, because it is not from passion but with deliberation that they address themselves to their duty: but in the hour of danger they meet with no unforeseen experience, but frequently find the difficulty less than they had anticipated; and therefore they hold on their way more steadily. Moreover, it is for the good which in virtue lies that they face danger: the will to gain which good abides in them, however great the dangers prove.
OF ANGER AS IT IS IN ITSELF.
Article I.—Is anger a special passion?
R. Anger may be called a general passion inasmuch as it is caused by a concurrence of many passions: for the movement of anger does not arise except on account of some grief inflicted; and unless there be desire and hope of revenge.
Article II.—Is good or evil the object of anger?
R. The motion of anger tends in two directions—to the vengeance which is desired and hoped for and delighted in as a good thing; and also to the person upon whom vengeance is sought, considering him as something contrary and noxious, or evil. And therefore the passion of anger may be said to be made up of contrary passions.
Article III.—Is anger in the concupiscible faculty?
R. The passions of the irascible faculty differ from the passions of the concupiscible faculty in this, that the objects of the passions of the concupiscible faculty are good and evil absolutely: but the objects of the passions of the irascible faculty are good and evil of a certain elevation and arduousness. Now anger regards two objects, the vengeance that it seeks, and the person on whom it seeks vengeance; and in the case of both one and the other anger requires a certain arduousness: for the movement of anger does not arise unless there be some magnitude about both the person and the vengeance to be taken on him: for the things that are naught, or very slight, we nowise reckon worthy matter of anger. Hence it is manifest that anger is not in the concupiscible but in the irascible faculty.
Article IV.—Does reason go along with anger?
R. Anger is a desire of vengeance. That supposes a comparison between the penalty to be inflicted and the hurt done. Hence the Philosopher says that the angry man “in a manner by syllogism argues that he must go to war with such a one.”1 But to compare and conclude is an act of reason, and therefore in some manner reason goes along with anger.
§ 1. The movement of the appetitive faculty may be attended with reason in two ways: in one way with reason commanding, and so the will is with reason, hence it is called the rational appetite: in another way with reason notifying, and so anger is with reason: for the Philosopher says: “Anger is with reason as manifesting the injury:” for the sensitive appetite does not obey reason immediately, but mediately through the will.
§ 2. Dumb animals have a natural instinct put into them from the Divine Reason, whereby they have movements interior and exterior similar to the movements of reason.
§ 3. Anger listens in some degree to reason as announcing the injury done, but does not listen perfectly, because it does not observe the rule of reason in the meting out of vengeance. Therefore there is required for anger some act of reason, along with an impediment to reason. Hence the Philosopher says: “They who are very drunk do not get angry, as having nothing left of the use of reason; but when only slightly intoxicated, men get angry, as having the use of reason, though impeded.”
Article VI.—Is anger more gricvous than hatred?
R. The species of a passion and its essential character is estimated according to its object. Now the object of anger and of hatred is the same in substance, for as the hater wishes evil to him whom he hates, so does the angry man to him with whom he is angry, but the way of looking at it is not the same, for the hater wishes evil to his enemy as evil, but the angry man wishes evil to him with whom he is angry, not inasmuch as it is evil, but inasmuch as it bears a character of goodness, that is, inasmuch as he reckons it to be a piece of just vengeance. Hence hatred is by way of application of evil to evil, but anger by way of application of good to evil. But it is manifest that to seek evil under the aspect of a just infliction is a proceeding of less evil character than wishing another’s evil absolutely: for to wish another’s evil under the aspect of a just infliction may even be according to the virtue of justice, if it is in obedience to the precept of reason. The only point where anger is at fault is in not hearkening to the precept of reason in the vengeance that it takes. Hence it is manifest that hatred is much worse and more grievous than anger.
§ 1. On the text, “Anger hath no mercy, nor fury when it breaketh forth,”1 it is to be said that in anger and hatred two things may be considered, the thing itself that is desired, and the intensity of the desire. As regards the thing that is desired, anger has more mercy than hatred. For hatred, seeking another’s evil for its own sake as such, is satisfied with no limited measure of evil: since things that are sought for their own sake are sought without end or measure, just as the Philosopher says the miser seeks riches. Hence it is said: “An enemy, if he find opportunity, will not be satisfied with blood.”2 But anger does not seek evil except in the light of just vengeance: hence, when the evil inflicted exceeds the measure of justice in the estimate of the angry man, then he has mercy. Hence the Philosopher says that “the angry man, if much is done, will have mercy; but not the hater on any consideration.” But as regards intensity of desire, anger more than hatred excludes mercy, because the movement of anger is more impetuous: hence it is added: “Who can bear the violence of one provoked?”1
§ 2. It is of the nature of punishment to be contrary to the will, and to be distressing, and to be inflicted for some fault; and therefore the angry man desires that the person whom he is proceeding to hurt may feel it, and be in pain, and may know that this pain has come upon him for the injury that he has done to the other. But the hater cares nothing for all this, because he seeks another’s evil as such. It is not, however, the worse thing that is always the more distressing; for injustice and imprudence, evil things as they are, yet being voluntary, do not distress the subject of them, as the Philosopher remarks.
§ 4. Augustine in his Rule compares hatred to a “beam,” and anger to a “mote.”2
Article VII.—Is anger towards those only with whom we have relations of justice?
R. Anger seeks evil inasmuch as that evil is clothed in the character of vindictive justice, and therefore anger holds towards the same persons towards whom justice and injustice hold: for the taking of vengeance belongs to justice, and the injuring of any one belongs to injustice. Hence as well on the part of the cause of anger, which is injury inflicted by another, as on the part of the vengeance which the angry man seeks, it is manifest that anger is felt towards the same persons with whom we have relations of justice and injustice.
§ 1. Anger, though it goes with reason, nevertheless may be in dumb animals that are destitute of reason, inasmuch as by natural instinct through the imagination they are moved to something resembling the works of reason. So then, since there is reason and imagination in man, the movement of anger may arise in man in two ways. In one way, from the mere imagination notifying offence given; and thus arises a certain movement of anger even against irrational and inanimate things, like the motion that there is in dumb animals against anything that hurts them. In another way, from reason notifying hurt, and in this way there can be no anger against insensible things, nor against the dead, because they feel no pain, and there is no such thing as vengeance in their regard.
§ 2. There is a certain metaphorical justice and injustice of a man towards himself, inasmuch as reason rules the irascible and concupiscible faculties; and in this way a man is said to take vengeance on himself, and to be angry with himself: but properly, looking at things exactly as they are, no man is ever angry with himself.
§ 3. The Philosopher assigns as one difference between hatred and anger, that hatred may be felt towards a class, as we hate all the class of robbers, but anger is pointed only at an individual. The reason is, that hatred is caused by the quality of something apprehended as disagreeing with our disposition; and that disagreement may be either general or particular. But anger is caused by some one having injured us by his act: now acts are always the acts of individuals, and therefore anger always turns on some individual. When a whole community has injured us, the whole community counts as one individual.
OF THE EFFICIENT CAUSE OF ANGER.
§ 1. The anger that we speak of in God is not a passion, but a judgment of justice, inasmuch as it is His will to take vengeance on sin. The sinner by sinning can do no effective hurt to God; yet so far as in him lies he acts against God in a twofold way: first, as despising God in His commandments; secondly, as doing hurt to some person, either himself or another, which hurt redounds to God, inasmuch as the sufferer lies within the scope of God’s providence and guardianship.
Article II.—Is the offering of slight and contempt the sole provocative of anger?
R. All the causes of anger are reduced to offering slight. Anger seeks vengeance inasmuch as that seems to be just. Now just vengeance is not taken except for that which is unjustly done; hence the provoking cause of anger is always something that appears in the light of an injustice. Wherefore the Philosopher says that “if men think that they justly suffer at the hands of those who give them pain, they are not angry; for there is no anger at justice.”
Hurt may be done to another in three ways, by ignorance, by passion, and by choice. We are most of all angry with those whom we think have hurt us of set purpose. For if we think that any persons have done us an injury either out of ignorance or out of passion, we are either not angry at all with them, or our anger is much less. For the doing of a thing out of ignorance or out of passion takes off from the notion of its being an injury, and is a circumstance in some measure apt to call for mercy and pardon. But those who do hurt of set purpose, seem to sin from contempt; and therefore it is with them that we are most of all angry.
OF THE EFFECTS OF ANGER.
Article I.—Does anger cause pleasure?
R. Pleasures, sensible and bodily pleasures especially, are medicines against sorrow, and therefore the greater the sorrow or distress that is remedied by a pleasure, the greater the pleasure that is felt, as is manifest in the case of thirst enhancing the pleasure of drinking. Now the motion of anger arises from a wrong done, causing grief, which grief is remedied by vengeance. And therefore upon the presence of vengeance pleasure ensues, and all the greater the greater was the grief. If therefore vengeance has come to be really present, there ensues perfect pleasure, which totally excludes grief, and thereby lays to rest the motion of anger. But before vengeance comes to be present really, it is present to the angry man in two ways: in one way by hope, because none is angry unless he hopes for vengeance; in another way by continual thinking of it, for to every one that has a desire it is delightful to dwell on the thought of what he desires. And therefore, when the angry muses much upon vengeance in his heart, he is pleased thereby: yet the pleasure is not perfect enough to take away grief, and consequently remove anger.
§ 2. Everything must necessarily be weakened by time, the cause of which is impaired by time. Now it is manifest that the memory of events is impaired by time, for events of ancient date easily drop from memory. But anger is caused by memory of wrong done, a cause which is gradually impaired by time, until it altogether disappears. A wrong also seems greater when it is first felt; and gradually the estimate of it is diminished the further we recede from the present sense of wrong. And it is the same case with love, if the cause of love remain in memory alone. Hence the Philosopher says that “if the friend’s absence lasts long, it seems to produce forgetfulness of the friendship.” But in the presence of the friend the cause of friendship is multiplied by time, and therefore the friendship grows. And the same would be the case with anger, if the cause of it were continually multiplied. Yet this very fact of anger quickly burning itself out attests the vehemence of its fury. For as a great fire is soon out, having consumed all the fuel, so anger soon dies away.
OF HABITS IN GENERAL.
§ 2. To the objection that a habit is in order to action: but powers without habits are principles of action; and therefore there was no need for habits being at all; it is to be said that sometimes a power may act in many directions, and therefore must be determined by something other than itself; but if there be any power that has no variety of actions open to it, such a power has no need of a determining habit: and therefore physical forces do not operate through the medium of any habits, because of themselves they are determined to one line of action.
OF THE SUBJECT OF HABITS.
Article III.—Can there be any habit in the powers of the sensitive faculty?
R. The sensitive powers may be considered either as working under the instinct of nature, or as working under the command of reason. Inasmuch as they work under the instinct of nature, they are guided in one fixed line of action; and therefore, as there are no habits in the physical powers, so neither in the sensitive powers, so far as the latter work on the instinct of nature. But so far as they work under the command of reason, they may be guided in various lines; and thus there may be sundry habits in them whereby they are disposed well or ill towards a given object.
§ 2. Since dumb animals are disposed by the reason of man through a certain habituation of them to such and such a mode of action, habits may in some sort be affirmed to exist in dumb animals. Hence Augustine says: “We see the most unwieldy beasts deterred from the greatest pleasures by the fear of pain; and when this has turned into a custom with them, they are said to be broken in and tame.” Still, the character of habit is wanting as regards the use of the will, because they have not the dominion of using or not using, which seems to be part of the essential notion of a habit. And therefore, properly speaking, habits cannot be in them.
Article V.—Is there any habit in the will?
R. Every power that is capable of being directed into a variety of lines of action, needs a habit in order to be well disposed to act in the way proper to itself. But the will, being a rational power, may be directed to diverse courses of action; and therefore we must place some habit in the will for it to act in the way that the will should act. Moreover, from the essential notion of a habit it is manifest that it bears a primary reference to the will, seeing that a habit is something that one uses at will.
OF THE GENERATING CAUSE OF HABITS.1
Article II.—Is any habit caused by acts?
R. Sometimes in an agent there is only the active principle of its act; and in such an agent there cannot be caused by its own action any habit. Hence it is that physical things, as it is said, “can neither grow accustomed nor unaccustomed.” But there is found an agent wherein there is an active and a passive principle of its act, as is manifest in human acts. For the act of the appetitive faculty proceeds from the appetitive power, inasmuch as that power is impressed by the apprehensive power representing the object; and further, the intellectual power, so far as it reasons about conclusions, has for active principle some self-evident proposition. Hence from such acts certain habits may be caused in the agents, not indeed as to the first active principle, but as to the principle of the act, which transmits an impression which it has itself first received. For everything that is acted on and impressed by another receives a disposition from the act of that which acts upon it. Hence by multiplication of acts there is generated a certain quality in the passive power that receives the impression, which quality is named a habit. Thus the habits of moral virtues are caused in the appetitive powers, inasmuch as they are impressed by reason; and the habits of sciences are caused in the intellect, inasmuch as that is impressed by primary propositions.
OF THE INCREASE OF HABITS.
Article III.—Does every act increase the habit?
R. Like acts cause like habits. Now likeness and unlikeness may be considered not only in point of sameness or diversity of quality, but also in point of sameness or diversity of the degree in which the quality is shared. For not only is black unlike white, but also the less white is unlike the more white. But because the use of habits rests with the will of man, it may happen that one who has a habit uses it not, or even does the contrary act: it may also happen that he uses the habit unto an act not proportional to the intensity of the habit. If, therefore, the intensity of the act is proportionally equal to the intensity of the habit, or even goes beyond it, every act either increases the habit or disposes towards the increase of it—to speak of the increase of habits after the likeness of the increase of an animal. For it is not every morsel of food taken that actually increases the animal, as neither is it every drop that hollows the stone: but when food has been accumulated, at last there comes an increase; so also when acts have been multiplied, the habit grows. But if the intensity of the act falls short of the proportion of the intensity of the habit, such an act does not dispose towards the increase of the habit, but rather towards its diminution.1
OF THE DESTRUCTION AND DIMINUTION OF HABITS.
Article III.—Is a habit destroyed or diminished by merely ceasing to exercise it?
R. A cause may induce a change, either by its own ordinary power or incidentally. An instance of incidental working would be the removal of an obstacle that there was to the action of another cause. In this second way cessation of exercise causes the destruction or diminution of habits, by removing the obstacle that stood in the way of the causes which make for the destruction or diminution of the habit. Habits are ordinarily destroyed or diminished by action to the contrary. Hence when habits are opposed by contrary agents which grow strong in course of time, and need to be put away by an act proceeding from the habit—such habits are diminished or even entirely removed by long cessation of exercise, as is clear in the case of science and of virtue. A habit of moral virtue makes a man prompt to choose the golden mean in actions and passions. But when a man does not use the habit of virtue to moderate his passions or actions, many passions and actions must arise beyond the bounds of virtue, owing to the inclination of the sensitive appetite and solicitations from without. Hence a virtue is destroyed or diminished by the ceasing of the act. In like manner on the part of the intellectual habits, by which a man is prompt rightly to judge of the presentations of imagination—when he ceases from the use of the intellectual habit, extraneous imaginations arise, and occasionally some even of a contrary tendency; so that unless by the use of the intellectual habit these are cut down or repressed, the man is rendered less fit to form a right judgment, and is sometimes entirely disposed to the contrary. Thus by the cessation of exercise is an intellectual habit diminished or even destroyed.
OF VIRTUES IN THEIR ESSENCE.
Article I.—Is human virtue a habit?
R. Virtue denotes some perfection of a power. The perfection of everything is estimated chiefly in regard to its end: now the end of power is action: hence a power is said to be perfect inasmuch as it is determined to its act. Now there are powers which are determined of themselves to their acts, as the active powers of physical nature. But the rational powers, which are proper to man, are not determined to one line of action, but are open indeterminately to many, and are determined to acts by habits. And therefore human virtues are habits.
§ 3. We are said to merit by a thing in two ways: in one way as by the merit itself, in the same way that we are said to run by running; and in this way we merit by acts. In another way we are said to merit by a thing as by a principle of merit, as we are said to run by motive power; and thus we are said to merit by virtues and habits.
OF THE SUBJECT OF VIRTUE.
Article III.—Can the intellect be the subject of virtue?
R. There are two ways in which a habit is directed to a good act: in one way inasmuch as by such a habit a man acquires a readiness for a good act, as by a habit of grammar a man acquires a readiness in speaking correctly: still grammar does not always make a man speak correctly, for a grammarian may use a barbarism, or make a solecism, and the same is the case with other sciences and arts. In another way a habit not only produces a readiness for well-doing, but also makes one use the readiness duly, as justice not only makes a man prompt of will for just deeds, but also makes him act justly.1 And because goodness is not predicated of a thing absolutely for what it potentially is, but for what it actually is, therefore it is from habits of this latter sort that a man is said absolutely to do good and to be good—for instance, because he is just and temperate. And because virtue is what makes its possessor good and renders his work good, habits of this sort are called virtues absolutely and without qualification, because they render a work actually good, and make their possessor good absolutely. But the former habits are not called virtues absolutely and without qualification, because they do not render a work good except in point of a certain readiness, neither do they make their possessor good absolutely; for a man is not called absolutely good from the mere fact of his being a man of science or art; but he is called good only in a restricted sense, for instance, a good grammarian or a good smith; and therefore generally science and art are marked off as distinct from virtue, though they are called virtues sometimes. Therefore the intellect—not only the practical, but even the speculative intellect away from all reference to the will—may be the subject of a habit that is called a virtue in a restricted sense. Thus the Philosopher lays down knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, and also art, to be intellectual virtues. But the subject of a habit, called virtue absolutely, cannot be aught else than the will, or some power inasmuch as it is moved by the will. The reason of this is, that the will moves to their proper acts all the other powers that are in any way rational. And therefore that a man does well in act comes of his having a good will. Hence the virtue that causes a man to do well in act, and not merely be in preparedness for well-doing, must either be in the will itself, or in some power so far forth as that power is moved by the will.
Article IV.—Are the irascible and concupiscible faculties the subject of virtue?
R. The irascible and concupiscible faculties may be considered in two ways: in one way in themselves, as they are parts of the sensitive appetite, and in this way they are not competent to be the subject of virtue. In another way they may be considered as partaking in reason by the fact of their being naturally apt to obey reason; and thus the irascible or concupiscible faculty may be the subject of human virtue; for in so far as it partakes of reason, it is the mainspring of a human act.
Again, it is evident that some virtues are in the irascible and concupiscible faculties: for an act which proceeds from one power, inasmuch as that is moved by another power, cannot be perfect, unless both powers are well disposed to act, as the act of an artificer cannot be what it should be, unless at once the artificer be well disposed to act and also the tool. In the operations therefore of the irascible and concupiscible faculties, so far as they are under the initiative of reason, some perfecting habit in order to well-doing must be not only in the reason, but also in the irascible and concupiscible faculties. And because the good disposition of a power which has to pass on a stimulus that it has itself received lies in its adaptability to the original stimulating power, therefore the virtue which is in the irascible and concupiscible faculties is nothing else than an habitual conformity of these powers to reason.
§ 1. The irascible and concupiscible faculties, considered in themselves as parts of the sensitive appetite, are common to us and brutes; but inasmuch as they are rational by participation, as obeying reason, they are proper to man, and in this way they may be the subject of human virtue.
§ 3. To the objection that virtue is not in the body, but in the soul, because the body is ruled by the soul: but as the soul rules the body, so also does reason rule the sensitive appetite: therefore it is entirely due to the rational part that the irascible and concupiscible portions are well directed: it is to be said that the body is ruled by the soul in another way from that in which the irascible and concupiscible faculties are ruled by reason. For the body obeys the least command of the soul without contradiction, in the things wherein it is naturally apt to be moved by the soul. Hence the Philosopher says that “the soul rules the body with a despotic command,” that is to say, as a master rules a slave, and therefore the whole movement of the body is referable to the soul; and on that account there is no virtue in the body, but only in the soul. But the irascible and concupiscible faculties do not obey reason’s least command, but have proper motions of their own, which sometimes go against reason. Hence the Philosopher says that “reason rules the irascible and concupiscible faculties with a constitutional command,” such as that with which children are ruled, who have in them a will of their own in some respects. And therefore there must also be in the irascible and concupiscible faculties certain virtues whereby they may be well disposed to act.
Article VI.—Can the will be the subject of virtue?
R. Since it is by habit that power is perfected unto action, a habit perfecting to well-doing—which habit is virtue—is there necessary where the proper nature of the power suffices not to that end. Now the proper nature of every power is seen in reference to its object. Hence as the object of the will is rational good proportionate to the will, to compass such good the will needs no perfecting of virtue. But if any good is held out to human volition which is beyond the capacity of the will, either for the whole human species—such as Divine good, which transcends the limits of human nature—or for the individual, as the good of a neighbour: there the will needs a virtue. And therefore such virtues as direct man’s affections to God or to his neighbour, as charity, justice, and the like, are in the will as in their subject.1
§ 3. To the objection that if there is a virtue in the will in respect of some human acts, by parity of reasoning there must be a virtue in the will in respect of all human acts: either therefore in no other power can there be any virtue, or two virtues will be directed to the same act, which seems absurd: it is to be said that some virtues are directed to the good of moderate passion, which is the personal good of this or that man; and in such cases it is not necessary for there to be any virtue in the will, since the nature of the power is sufficient for the purpose; but it is necessary only with those virtues which are directed to some good extrinsic to the agent.
OF THE VARIOUS INTELLECTUAL VIRTUES.
Article I.—Are speculative habits of intellect virtues?
R. A habit is called a virtue in two ways: in one way because it produces a readiness for well-doing; in another way because along with the readiness it produces the use of the same to the actual doing of good. This latter characteristic belongs only to those habits which regard the appetitive faculty: because the appetitive faculty it is that brings about the use of all powers and habits. Since then speculative habits of intellect do not perfect the appetitive faculty, nor regard it at all, but only the intellectual faculty, such habits may indeed be called virtues, inasmuch as they make a readiness to that good work, the consideration of truth, which is the good work of the intellect. They are not however called virtues in the second sense of the term, as causing one to put a power or habit to actual good use. For a man is not inclined to use the habit of speculative science by the mere fact of possessing it: he simply has the ability of contemplating the truth in the matters upon which his science turns. But his using the science that he has comes of the motion of his will. And therefore a virtue which perfects the will, as charity or justice, also causes one to make good use of speculative habits.
Article II.Are there only three speculative habits of intellect, namely wisdom, science, and intuition?
R. The virtue of the speculative intellect is that which perfects the said intellect for the consideration of truth, such being the good work proper to it. Now truth offers itself to consideration in two shapes: in the shape of something known of itself, and in the shape of something known through something else. What is known of itself is a principle perceived by the intellect at a glance; and therefore the habit that perfects the intellect for the consideration of such truth is called intellect, or intuition, which is a hold upon principles.1 The truth that is known through something else is not taken in by the intellect at a glance, but is gathered by inquiry of reason, and stands as the termination of a reasoning process. This may be in two ways: either that the goal is final in some particular kind; or that it is final in respect of all human knowledge. About the latter goal wisdom is conversant, which considers the highest causes, and hence is apt to judge and ordain on all points, because a perfect and universal judgment cannot be got except by carrying matters back to their first causes. Science on the other hand perfects the intellect in regard of what is a final goal in this or that kind of knowable things; and therefore there are different sciences, according to the different kinds of things to be known, but only one wisdom.1
Article III.Is the habit of intellect called art a virtue?
R. Art is nothing else than a right method of doing certain works, the goodness of which works consists not in any disposition of the appetitive powers of man, but in the excellence of the work itself as turned out. It is nothing to the praise of the artificer as such, with what will he goes to work, but what sort of work he produces.2 Thus then art, properly speaking, is a habit of external activity. And yet it has this point in common with speculative habits, that speculative habits also are occupied with the quality of the things they consider, and not with the quality of the human appetite in regard of those things. So long as the geometrical demonstration is correct, it matters not how the geometer stands in his appetitive faculty, whether he be in joy or in anger, as neither does it matter in the artificer. And therefore art is a virtue on the same footing as speculative habits: that is to say, neither art nor speculative habits produce a good work in actual exercise, for that is proper to the virtue that perfects the appetite, but only in point of preparedness for well-doing.
Article IV.Is prudence a distinct virtue from art?
R. Art is a right method of production; while prudence is a right method of conduct. Now production and conduct differ: for production is an act passing into exterior matter, as building, cutting, and the like; but conduct is an act abiding in the agent, as seeing, willing, and so forth.1 Prudence then stands to human acts of this latter sort, which are uses of powers and habits, as art stands to exterior productions: each being a perfect method in respect of the operations to which it refers. Now in speculation the perfection and correctness of the procedure depends on the principles whence reason argues. In human acts the ends in view are as the principles in speculation. And therefore for prudence, which is a right method of conduct, it is requisite that a man be well disposed in respect of the ends and aims of his action; and he is so disposed by having his appetitive faculty right. And therefore for prudence there is required moral virtue, which is the rectification of appetite. The goodness of works of art, on the other hand, is not any goodness of the human appetite, but of the works in themselves; and therefore art does not presume the rectification of appetite. Hence it is that an artist is more praised who does wrong voluntarily than another who does wrong involuntarily: but it is more against prudence to do wrong voluntarily than involuntarily: because rectitude of will is of the essence of prudence, but not of the essence of art.
§ 3. Prudence is apt to give advice on points that appertain to the whole life of man and to the last end of human life: while in any given arts there is the office of advising on points that appertain to the proper ends of the said arts. Hence some persons, as being fitted to give advice on matters of war or seamanship, are called prudent commanders, or prudent navigators, but not prudent absolutely; but they alone are prudent absolutely who give good advice for the main conduct of life.1
Article V.—Is prudence a virtue necessary to man?
R. Prudence is a virtue especially necessary to human life. For to live well is to work well, or display a good activity. Now for activity to be good, care must be taken not only of what the agent does, but of how he does it: to wit, that he go to work according to a right election, not by the mere impetus of passion. But since election is of means to the end, rightness of election requires two things, a due end and a proper direction of means to that due end. Now to the due end man is properly disposed by the virtue which perfects the appetitive part of the soul, the object whereof is that which is good and that which ranks as an end. But towards the proper direction of means to a due end a man must be positively disposed by a habit of reason: because deliberation and election, which are about means to the end, are acts of reason. And therefore there must be in the reason some intellectual virtue, whereby the reason may be perfected so as suitably to regard the means to the end; and that virtue is prudence.
§ 1. Artistic goodness is looked for, not in the artist himself, but rather in the thing wrought by art, since art is a right method of production: for production, passing as it does on to exterior matter, is not a perfection of the producer, but of the thing produced. Art then is about matters of production. But the goodness of prudence is looked for in the agent himself, whose action and conduct is his perfection; for prudence is a right method of conduct. And therefore for art it is not requisite that the artist’s own activity should be good, but that he should turn out a good piece of work. And therefore art is not necessary for the artist to live well, but only to make the thing wrought by art good and to preserve the same; but prudence is necessary for a man to live well, not only for him to become good.
OF THE DISTINCTION OF MORAL VIRTUES FROM INTELLECTUAL.1
Article I.—Is all virtue moral?
R. We must consider what the (Latin) word mos means; for so we shall be able to know what moral virtue is. Mos has two meanings: sometimes it means custom; sometimes it means a sort of natural or quasi-natural inclination to do a thing. These two meanings are distinguished in Greek, ἔθος, ἠ̂θος. Moral virtue is so called from mos, inasmuch as the word signifies a certain natural or quasi-natural inclination to do a thing. And to this meaning the other meaning of custom is allied: for custom in a manner turns into nature, and makes an inclination like to that which is natural. But it is manifest that the inclination to act is properly to be attributed to the appetitive faculty, the function whereof is to move the other powers to action. And therefore not every virtue is called moral, but that only which is in the appetitive faculty.
Article II.—Is moral virtue distinct from intellectual?
R. Reason is the first principle of all human acts: all other principles obey reason, though in different degrees. Some obey reason’s every beck without any contradiction, as do the limbs of the body if they are in their normal state. Hence the Philosopher says that “the soul rules the body with a despotic command,” as the master rules the slave, who has no right to contradict. Some authorities have laid it down that all the active principles in man stand in this way subordinate to reason. If that were true, it would suffice for well-doing to have the reason perfect. Hence as virtue is a habit whereby we are perfected towards well-doing, it would follow that virtue was in reason alone; and thus there would be no virtue but that which is intellectual. Such was the opinion of Socrates, who said that all virtues were modes of prudence. Hence he laid it down that man, while knowledge was present in him, could not sin, but that whoever sinned, sinned through ignorance. This argumentation, however, goes on a false supposition: for the appetitive part is obedient to reason, not to every beck, but with some contradiction. Hence the Philosopher says that “reason commands appetite with a constitutional command,” like to that authority which a parent has over his children, who have in some respect the right of contradiction. Hence Augustine says, that “sometimes understanding goes before, and tardy or none the affection that follows after:” inasmuch as, owing to passions or habits in the appetitive faculty, the use of reason on some particular point is impeded. And to this extent it is in some sort true what Socrates said, that “in the presence of knowledge sin is not,” provided that the knowledge here spoken of be taken to include the use of reason on the particular point that is matter of choice. Thus then for well-doing it is required that not only reason be well disposed by the habit of intellectual virtue, but also that the appetitive power be well disposed by the habit of moral virtue. As then appetite is distinct from reason, so is moral virtue distinct from intellectual. Hence as appetite is a principle of human action by being in a manner partaker of reason, so a moral habit has the character of a human virtue by being conformable to reason.
Article III.—Is the division of virtues into moral and intellectual an exhaustive division?
R. Human virtue is a habit perfecting man unto well-doing. Now the principle of human acts in man is only twofold, namely, intellect or reason, and appetite. Hence every human virtue must be perfective of one or other of these two principles. If it is perfective of the speculative or practical intellect towards a good human act, it will be intellectual virtue: if it is perfective of the appetitive part, it will be moral virtue.
§ 1. Prudence in its essence is an intellectual virtue: but in its subject-matter it falls in with the moral virtues, being a right method of conduct; and in this respect it is counted among the moral virtues.
§ 2. Continence and perseverance are not perfections of the sensitive appetite, as is evident from this, that in the continent and in the persevering man there are inordinate passions to excess, which would not be the case if the sensitive appetite were perfected by any habit conforming it to reason. But continence, or perseverance, is a perfection of the rational faculty, holding out against passion so as not to be carried away. Nevertheless it falls short of the character and rank of virtue; because that intellectual virtue which makes the reason stand well in moral matters supposes the appetitive faculty to be rightly bent upon the end, which is not the case with the continent and with the persevering man. For no operation proceeding from two powers can be perfect, unless each of the two powers be perfected by the due habit: as there does not follow a perfect action on the part of one acting through an instrument, if the instrument be not well disposed, however perfect be the principal agent. Hence if the sensitive appetite, which the rational faculty moves, be not perfect, however perfect be the rational faculty itself, still the action ensuing will not be perfect: hence the principle of action will not be a virtue. And therefore continence from pleasures and perseverance in the midst of sorrows are not virtues, but something less than virtue, as the Philosopher says.1
§ 3. Faith, hope, and charity are above human virtues; for they are the virtues of man as he is made partaker of divine grace.
Article IV.—Can there be moral virtue without intellectual?
R. Moral virtue may be without some intellectual virtues, as without wisdom, science, and art, but it cannot be without intuition1 and prudence. Moral virtue cannot be without prudence, because moral virtue is an elective habit, making a good election. Now to the goodness of an election two things are requisite: first, a due intention of the end—and that is secured by moral virtue, which inclines the appetitive powers to good in accordance with reason, which is the due end; secondly, it is required that the person make a right application of means to the end, and this cannot be except by the aid of reason, rightly counselling, judging, and prescribing: all which offices belong to prudence and the virtues annexed thereto. Hence moral virtue cannot be without prudence, and consequently not without intuition either: for by the aid of intuition principles are apprehended, such principles as are naturally knowable, both in speculative and in practical matters. Hence as right reason in matters of speculation, proceeding on principles naturally known, presupposes the intuition of principles, so also does prudence, being right reason applied to conduct, presuppose the same intuition or insight.
§ 2. In a virtuous person it is not necessary for the use of reason to be vigorous on all points, but only in those things that are to be done according to virtue, and to this extent the use of reason is vigorous in all virtuous persons. Hence even they who seem to be simple, and to lack worldly wisdom, may be prudent persons for all that, according to the text: “Be ye wise as serpents and simple as doves.”1
§ 3. A natural inclination to the good that is in virtue is a beginning of virtue, but it is not perfect virtue. For the more perfect such inclination is, the more dangerous may it prove, unless right reason be conjoined with it, to make a right election of proper means to a due end. Thus a blind horse runs amuck; and the higher its speed, the more it hurts itself.
Article V.—Can there be intellectual virtue without moral?
R. Other intellectual virtues can be without moral virtue, but prudence cannot. The reason is because prudence is right reason applied to conduct, and that not only in general, but also in particular, as actions are particular. But right reason demands pre-established principles, and on them it proceeds. Now in particular matters reason must proceed not only on general but also on particular principles. As for general principles of conduct, man is kept right on these points by his natural insight into principles, whereby he knows that no evil is to be done, or again by some piece of practical knowledge. But this is not sufficient for reasoning aright in particular cases. For it happens sometimes that a general principle of this sort, ascertained by intuition or by science, is set aside in a particular case by some passion. Thus when desire gets the better of a man, that seems good which he desires, though it be against the general judgment of reason. And therefore as man is disposed by natural insight, or by a habit of science, to hold himself aright in respect of general principles, so, to keep right in respect of particular principles of conduct, which are ends of action, he must be perfected by certain habits that make it in a manner connatural to him to judge rightly of the end. And this is done by moral virtue: for the virtuous man judges rightly of the end that virtue should aim at, because “as each one is, so does the end appear to him.” And therefore for prudence, or the application of right reason to conduct, it is requisite for man to have moral virtue.
OF MORAL VIRTUES IN THEIR RELATION TO THE PASSIONS.
Article I.—Is moral virtue a passion?
R. Moral virtue cannot be a passion. First, because a passion is a movement of the sensitive appetite; but moral virtue is not any movement, but rather a guiding principle of the movement of appetite, and exists as a habit. Secondly, because passions of themselves have no character of good or evil. For the good or evil of man is according to reason: hence passions in themselves are neutral, convertible to good or to evil, according as they are capable of according with reason or not according with it. But nothing of that sort can be virtue, seeing that virtue is applicable to good alone.
§ 2. If by vice is meant a habit whereby one does amiss, it is manifest that no passion is a vice. But if by vice is meant sin, which is a vicious act, at that rate there is nothing to prevent passion from being a vice; and, on the other hand, there is nothing to prevent its concurring to an act of virtue, according as passion either opposes reason or follows the act of reason.
Article III.—Is sorrow compatible with moral virtue?
R. The Stoics denied that there could be anything answering to sorrow or sadness in the mind of the sage, for two reasons. Their first reason is drawn from the fact that sorrow is for evil which has already happened; now they reckon that no evil can happen to the sage: for their tenet is that as the only good of man is virtue, and bodily goods are in no way the goods of man, so the only evil of man is moral turpitude, which cannot be in the virtuous person. But this is an irrational view to advocate. For seeing that man is a compound of soul and body, whatever tends to the preservation of the life of the body is some sort of good to man—though not his greatest good, because it may be put by man to an ill use. Hence the evil opposite to this good may be in the wise man, and induce a moderate sorrow. Besides, though the virtuous man may be without grievous sin, still none is found who goes through life without some light sins, according to the text: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.”1 Thirdly, the virtuous man, though he has no sin, perhaps has had sin on his conscience at some time, and it is praiseworthy of him to grieve over that, according to the text: “The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation.”1 Fourthly, he may also laudably grieve at the sin of another. Hence moral virtue is compatible with sorrow in the same way as it is compatible with other passions moderated by reason.
The Stoics were moved, in the second place, by the consideration that sorrow is for evil present, while fear is of evil to come, as pleasure is at good present, but desire of good to come. Now, they argued, it may be a point of virtue for a man to enjoy a good thing when he has it, or to desire it when he has it not, or else to beware of evil to come; but for man’s mind to be upset by present evil, as happens in sorrow, seems to be altogether contrary to reason: hence it cannot stand with virtue. But this discourse again is irrational. For there is an evil which can be present to a virtuous man, and at the same time is detested by reason. Hence, in sorrowing over such evil, the sensitive appetite is following the lead of reason, which detests it, provided the sorrow be in moderation according to the judgment of reason. It is, in fact, a point of virtue that the sensitive appetite should be conformable to reason, and hence that it grieve moderately at due causes of sorrow. And this is also useful for the avoidance of evils: for as good things are sought more promptly for the pleasure that attaches to them, so evil things are more vigorously avoided for sorrow and grief and pain. So then we must say that sadness at what it befits virtue to do cannot go along with virtue, because virtue takes delight in going her own way; but over that which is in any way repugnant to virtue, virtue grieves in moderation.
Article IV.—Is every moral virtue occupied about the passions?
R. Moral virtue perfects the appetitive part of the soul by directing it to rational good, that is, good controlled by reason. Hence moral virtue is apt to be occupied about everything that is controllable by reason. But reason controls not only the passions of the sensitive appetite, but also the operations of the intellectual appetite, or will, which is not the subject of passion. Hence not every moral virtue is occupied about passions, but some are about passions, and some about actions.
Article V.—Can any moral virtue exist without passion?
R. If by passions we mean inordinate affections, as the Stoics laid down, at that rate it is manifest that perfect virtue is without passions. But if by passions we mean all the movements of the sensitive appetite, at that rate it is plain that moral virtues, which are about passions as about their proper matter, cannot be without passions; because otherwise it would follow that moral virtue made the sensitive appetite altogether idle, its occupation gone. Now it is no point of virtue that the powers subject to reason should cease from their proper acts; but that they should follow out the command of reason in doing their proper acts. Hence as virtue directs the limbs of the body to due external acts, so it directs also the sensitive appetite to its proper movements under regulation. But those moral virtues that are not concerned with passions, but with actions, may be without passions. Such a virtue is justice, whereby the will is applied to the proper act of the will, which is not a passion. Still, on the act of justice there follows joy, at least in the will; and though this joy is not a passion, still if this joy be multiplied by the perfection of justice, there will be an overflow of the same on to the sensitive appetite. And thus by such an overflow, the more perfect justice is, the more is it a cause of passion.
§ 1. Virtue overcomes passions in their inordination, and produces them in moderation.
§ 3. Good in every being must be determined according to the condition of the nature of the being. Now in God and the angels there is no sensitive appetite, as in man; and therefore the good act of God and of an angel is altogether without passion, as it is also without a body; but that of man is with passion, as it is with the ministry of the body.1
OF THE CARDINAL VIRTUES.1
Article II.—Are there four cardinal virtues?
R. The formal principle of virtue is rational good; and that may be considered in two ways—in one way as consisting in the mere consideration of reason; and in that way there will be one principal virtue, which is called prudence: in another way according as a rational order is established in some matter, and that, either in the matter of actions, and so there is justice; or in the matter of passions, and so there must be two virtues. For rational order must be established in the matter of the passions with regard to their repugnance to reason. Now this repugnance may be in two ways: in one way by passion impelling to something contrary to reason; and for that, passion must be tempered, or repressed: hence temperance takes its name; in another way by passion holding back from that which reason dictates; and for that, man must put his foot down there where reason places him, not to budge from thence: and so fortitude gets its name. And in like manner according to subjects the same number is found. For we observe a fourfold subject of this virtue whereof we speak: to wit, the part rational by essence, which prudence perfects; and the part rational by participation, which is divided into three, namely, the will, the subject of justice; the concupiscible faculty, the subject of temperance; and the irascible faculty, the subject of fortitude.
Article IV.—Do the four cardinal virtues differ one from another?
R. The four virtues above-mentioned are differently understood by different authors. Some take them as meaning certain general conditions of the human mind which are found in all virtues, so that prudence is nothing else than a certain correctness of discernment in any acts or matters whatsoever; justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in any matter; temperance is a disposition of mind, which sets bounds to all manner of passions or actions, that they may not exceed; while fortitude is a disposition of the soul whereby it is strengthened in what is according to reason against all manner of assaults of passion or toil of active labours. This fourfold distinction does not involve any difference of virtuous habits so far as justice, temperance, and fortitude are concerned. For to every virtue by the fact of its being a habit there attaches a certain firmness, so that it may not be moved by any impulse to the contrary; and this has been said to be a point of fortitude. Also from the fact of its being a virtue it has a direction towards good, wherein is involved the notion of something right and due, which was said to be a point of justice. Again, by the fact of its being a moral virtue partaking in reason, it has that which makes it observe the bounds of reason in all things, and not go beyond, which was said to be a point of temperance. Only the having of discretion, which was attributed to prudence, seems to be distinguished from the other three points, inasmuch as this belongs to reason essentially so called, whereas the other three involve only a certain participation in reason by way of application thereof to passions or acts. Thus then on the foregoing reckoning, prudence would be a virtue distinct from the other three; but the other three would not be virtues distinct from one another. For it is manifest that one and the same virtue is at once a habit, and a virtue, and is moral.
Others better understand these four virtues as being determined to special matters, each of them to one matter,1 so that every virtue which produces that goodness which lies in the consideration of reason, is called prudence; and every virtue which produces that goodness which consists in what is due and right in action, is called justice; and every virtue which restrains and represses the passions, is called temperance; and every virtue which produces a firmness of soul against all manner of sufferings, is called fortitude. On this arrangement it is manifest that the aforesaid virtues are different habits, distinct according to the diversity of their objects.
OF THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES.
Article I.—Are there any theological virtues?
R. By virtue man is perfected unto the acts whereby he is set in the way to happiness. Now there is a twofold happiness of man: one proportionate to human nature, whereunto man can arrive by the principles of his own nature. Another happiness there is exceeding the nature of man, whereunto man can arrive only by a divine virtue involving a certain participation in the Deity, according as it is said that by Christ we are made “partakers of the divine nature.”1 And because this manner of happiness exceeds the capacities of human nature, the natural principles of human action, on which man proceeds to such well-doing as is in proportion with himself, suffice not to direct man unto the aforesaid happiness. Hence there must be superadded to man by the gift of God certain principles, whereby he may be put on the way to supernatural happiness, even as he is directed to his connatural end by natural principles, yet not without the divine aid. Such principles are called theological virtues: both because they have God for their object, inasmuch as by them we are directed aright to God; as also because it is only by divine revelation in Holy Scripture that such virtues are taught.
Article II.—Are theological virtues distinct from virtues intellectual and moral?
R. Habits are specifically distinct according to the formal difference of their objects. But the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, the last end of all things, as He transcends the knowledge of our reason: whereas the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something that can be comprehended by human reason. Hence theological virtues are specifically distinct from virtues moral and intellectual.
§ 1. The intellectual and moral virtues perfect the intellect and appetite of man according to the capacity of human nature, but the theological virtues supernaturally.
Article III.—Are faith, hope, and charity fitly assigned as the theological virtues?
R. The theological virtues set man in the way of supernatural happiness, as he is directed to his connatural end by a natural inclination. This latter direction is worked out in two ways: first, by way of the reason or intellect, as that power holds in its knowledge the general principles of rational procedure, theoretical and practical, known by the light of nature: secondly, by the rectitude of the will naturally tending to rational good. But both these agencies fall short of the order of supernatural good. Hence for both of them some supernatural addition was necessary to man, to direct him to a supernatural end. On the side of the intellect man receives the addition of certain supernatural principles, which are perceived by divine light; and these are the objects of belief, with which faith is conversant. Secondly, there is the will, which is directed to the supernatural end, both by way of an affective movement directed thereto as to a point possible to gain, and this movement belongs to hope; and by way of a certain spiritual union, whereby the will is in a manner transformed into that end, which union and transformation is wrought by charity. For the appetite of every being has a natural motion and tendency towards an end connatural to itself; and that movement arises from some sort of conformity of the thing to its end.
§ 2. Faith and hope denote a certain imperfection: because faith is of the things that are seen not, and hope of the things that are possessed not. Hence to have faith in and hope of the things that are amenable to human power, is a falling short of the character of virtue. But to have faith in and hope of the things that are beyond the ability of human nature, transcends all virtue proportionate to man, according to the text: “The weakness of God is stronger than men.”1
OF THE CAUSE OF VIRTUES.
Article I.—Is virtue in us by nature?
R. As regards sciences and virtues some have laid it down that they are totally from within, meaning that all virtues and sciences naturally preexist in the soul, and that discipline and exercise do no more than remove the obstacles to virtue and science, which arise in the soul from the lumpishness of the body, as when iron is polished by filing; and this was the opinion of the Platonists. Others, on the contrary, have said that they are totally from without. Others again have said that in aptitude the sciences and virtues are in us by nature, but not in perfection. So says the Philosopher, and this is the more correct thing to say. In evidence whereof we must consider that a thing is said to be natural to man in two ways: in one way according to the nature of the species, in another way according to the nature of the individual. And because everything has its species according to its form, and is individualized according to its matter; and man’s form is his rational soul, and his matter his body: therefore that which belongs to man by virtue of his rational soul is natural to him in point of his species; while that which is natural to him by his having a given complexion of body is natural to him according to his nature as an individual. Now in both these ways a rudimentary phase of virtue is natural to man. First, as regards his specific nature, in this way, that there are by nature in the reason of man certain naturally known principles, theoretical and practical, which are seminal1 principles of virtues intellectual and moral; and again inasmuch as there is in the will a natural craving after the good that is according to reason. Secondly, as regards his individual nature, inasmuch as by conformation of body some are better and some worse disposed to certain virtues: the explanation being this, that the sensitive powers are energies of corresponding parts of the body; and according to the disposition of those parts the said powers are helped or hindered in their operations; and consequently the rational powers also, which these sensitive powers serve, are helped or hindered in like manner. Thus one man has a natural aptitude for knowledge, another for fortitude, another for temperance. And in these ways the virtues, as well intellectual as moral, are in us by nature to the extent of a certain rudimentary aptitude, but not in their perfect completeness: the reason being that nature is limited to one fixed course of action, whereas the perfection of the said virtues does not lead to one fixed course of action, but is varied according to the diversity of matters wherein the virtues operate, and the diversity of circumstances. It appears then that virtues are in us by nature, in aptitude, and in a rudimentary phase, but not in their perfection—except the theological virtues, which are wholly from without.1
§ 2. Virtue divinely infused, considered in its perfection, is incompatible with any mortal sin. But virtue humanly acquired is compatible with an act even of mortal sin, because the use of a habit in us is subject to our will. Nor is a habit of acquired virtue destroyed by one act of sin: for the direct contrary of a habit is not an act, but another habit. And therefore, though without grace a man cannot avoid mortal sin so as never to sin mortally, still there is nothing to hinder him from acquiring a habit of virtue, enough to keep him from evil acts for the most part, and especially from those that are very much opposed to reason. There are, however, some mortal sins that man can nowise avoid without grace, to wit, the sins that are directly contrary to the theological virtues which are in us by the gift of grace.
OF THE MEAN OF VIRTUES.1
Article I.—Are moral virtues in a mean?
R. The proper function of moral virtue is to perfect the appetitive part of the soul with regard to some determinate matter. Now the measure and rule of the movement of the appetite towards its object is reason. But the goodness of everything that comes under measure and rule consists in its being conformed to its rule. Consequently, evil in these things lies in departure from rule or measure either by excess or defect. And therefore it is clear that the good of moral virtue consists in being up to the level of the measure of reason: which condition of being up to the level, or of conformity to rule, evidently lies in the mean between excess and defect.
§ 2. The mean and the extremes in actions and passions are determined according to circumstances; and circumstances differ. Hence there is nothing to hinder a virtue exhibiting what is an extreme according to one circumstance, and yet is a mean according to other circumstances by conformity to reason; and such is the case with munificence and magnanimity. For if we consider the absolute quantity of that unto which the munificent and magnanimous man tends, it will be called an extreme and a maximum: but if this same degree is considered in respect of other circumstances, at that rate it has the character of a mean, because the said virtues tend to this maximum according to the rule of reason, where they ought, and when they ought, and for the motive for which they ought: whereas excess would be to tend to this maximum when one ought not, or where one ought not, or for a motive for which one ought not; and defect would be not to tend to this maximum where one ought and when one ought.
§ 3. The same is the explanation of virginity and of evangelical poverty as of magnanimity. Virginity abstains from all sexual pleasure, and evangelical poverty from all riches, for the motive for which and according to the rule by which they ought, that is, according to the command of God and for life everlasting.1
Article II.—Is the mean of moral virtue the mean of the objective thing or the mean of reason?
R. The mean of reason may be understood in two ways: in one way as a mean existing in the act itself of reason, as though it were the act of reason itself that was reduced to a mean. In that sense the mean of moral virtue is not the mean of reason: because moral virtue does not perfect the act of reason, but the act of the appetitive faculty. In another way, by the mean of reason may be understood that mean which is fixed by reason in any matter. In that sense every mean of moral virtue is the mean of reason; because moral virtue is said to stand in a mean by conformity to right reason. But sometimes it happens that the mean of reason is also the mean of the objective thing; and then the mean of moral virtue must also be the mean of the objective thing, as in the case of justice. Sometimes, again, the mean of reason is not the mean of the objective thing, but is taken in reference to ourselves; and such is the mean in all the other moral virtues. The explanation of this is, that justice deals with acts that are about exterior things; and there the standard of right must be set up simply and objectively, as things are in themselves. And therefore the mean of reason in justice is the same as the mean of the objective thing, inasmuch as justice renders to every man his due, no more and no less. But the other moral virtues are concerned with interior passions, in which the right measure cannot be fixed in the same way, because different men stand differently towards the passions. And therefore the right measure of reason in the passions must be determined in reference to us who are moved by passion.1
Article IV.—Do the theological virtues observe the golden mean?
R. There are two measures of a theological virtue: one with regard to the virtue itself, and the other in our regard. The measure and rule of the theological virtue in itself, is God. For our faith is ruled by God’s truth, our charity by His goodness, and our hope is measured by the greatness of His omnipotence and loving kindness. But this is a measure exceeding all human ability; and therefore never can man love God so much as He ought to be loved; nor believe or hope in Him as much as is due. Much less can there be excess there; and therefore the goodness of such virtue does not consist in any observance of a golden mean, but the observance is all the better the more it is carried to a height.
The other rule or measure of a theological virtue is in regard of ourselves: because though we cannot go out to God as we ought, still we ought to go out to Him, believing in Him, hoping in Him, and loving Him, according to the measure of our condition. Hence a mean and extremes may be made out in a theological virtue incidentally, in regard of ourselves.
OF THE CONNEXION OF VIRTUE WITH VIRTUE.
Article I.—Are the moral virtues connected one with another?
R. Moral virtue may be considered either in its perfect or in its imperfect state. Imperfect moral virtue is nothing else than an inclination in us to do some act that is good in its kind, whether such inclination be in us by nature or by routine. Taken in this way, moral virtues are not connected one with another: for we see a man from natural complexion, or out of routine, forward to acts of liberality, and at the same time not forward to acts of chastity.1 But perfect moral virtue is a habit inclining to do good acts well. Taking moral virtues this way, we must say that there is a connexion between them. For which fact a twofold reason is assigned, according to the different ways of distinguishing the cardinal virtues. For some distinguish them as certain general conditions of virtue, assigning discretion to prudence, rectitude to justice, moderation to temperance, firmness to fortitude, in whatever matter they may be viewed. Under this understanding the nature of the connexion manifestly appears: for firmness has none of the praise of virtue if it be without moderation or rectitude or discretion; and so of the rest. And this is the nature of the connexion as laid down by Gregory, saying: “The virtues, if separated, cannot be perfect in the nature of virtue: for that is no true prudence which is not just, and temperate, and brave.” Others distinguish the aforesaid virtues according to their subject-matters. On this ground the reason of the connexion is stated by Aristotle to lie in the fact that no moral virtue can be had without prudence: because it belongs to moral virtue, as being an elective habit, to make a right election. Now the mere inclination to a due end, which comes immediately of moral virtue, suffices not to a right election, but there is further required a positive choice of the means to that end; which choice is brought about by prudence, that virtue being apt to advise, and judge, and prescribe concerning means to the end. In like manner also prudence cannot be had without having the moral virtues: because prudence is a right method of conduct; and has for the principles on which it proceeds the ends of conduct, to which ends one becomes duly affected through the moral virtues.
§ 1. Of moral virtues some perfect a man in the common state, with regard to the duties that are commonly incumbent in all human life. Hence a man must be exercised in the matters of all these moral virtues together. And if he be exercised in well-doing in all these matters, he will acquire the habits of all these moral virtues: but if he be exercised in well-doing in one matter and not in another—for instance, in behaving well in fits of anger, but not in fits of desire, he will acquire a certain habit of checking fits of anger, which habit, however, will not amount to a virtue for lack of prudence, that being lost over desires. But there are other moral virtues, as munificence and magnanimity, which make a man perfect in an eminent state. And because exercise in the matters of these virtues does not fall to the common lot of all men, one may have the habits of the other moral virtues without having the habits of these virtues actually. Still, by acquiring the other virtues a person gets these virtues also in proximate potentiality. For when by practice one has gained liberality in moderate donations and expenses, if money afterwards comes in abundance, the habit of munificence will be acquired with little practice: as a geometer with a little study acquires the knowledge of a conclusion which he has never before considered. But we are said to have that which lies ready to our hand to have.
Article II.—Can the moral virtues be without charity?
R. The moral virtues, as they are operative in man to an end which does not exceed the natural faculty of man, may be acquired by human acts; and so acquired, they may be without charity, as they have been in many heathens. But as they are operative of good in order to a supernatural last end, thus considered, they have the perfect and true character of virtue, and cannot be acquired by human acts, but are infused by God; and such moral virtues cannot be without charity.1
§ 2. It happens sometimes that one who has a habit finds a difficulty in exercising it, and consequently takes no pleasure and complacency in the act, owing to some extrinsic impediment supervening: as he who has a habit of science finds a difficulty in understanding through sleepiness or some infirmity. And in like manner the habits of the infused moral virtues are liable to a difficulty in the working of them through sundry contrary dispositions, the relics of previous acts:2 which difficulty does not so much stand in the way of the acts of the acquired moral virtues, because the acts by which those virtues are acquired tend to clear away all obstacles to their exercise.
OF VICES AND SINS IN THEMSELVES.
Article I.—Is vice contrary to virtue?
R. The goodness of any given thing consists in its being disposed suitably to the manner of its nature. A good action is the effect whereunto virtue is ordained to lead. Sin is opposed to virtue in respect of that whereunto virtue is ordained to lead: for sin means an inordinate act, just as an act of virtue is an act well-ordered and due. But in respect of that which is directly of the essence of virtue, the opposite of virtue is vice: for a vice, or flaw, in any given thing seems to be its not being in a disposition suitable to its nature.
Article II.—Is vice against nature?
R. The virtue or proper excellence of everything consists in its being well disposed according to its kind and nature: hence vice must signify a disposition contrary to nature. But we must observe that the nature of everything is principally the form whereby the thing receives its species. But man is constituted in his species by a rational soul. And therefore what is against the order of reason is peculiarly against the nature of man, as man; and what is according to reason is according to the nature of man, as such. “The good of man is in being according to reason, and the evil of man is in being astray from reason,” as Dionysius says. Hence human virtue, which makes man and the act of man good, is so far forth according to the nature of man inasmuch as it is in accordance with reason; and vice is against the nature of man inasmuch as it is against the order of reason.
§ 3. In man there is a double nature, rational and sensitive. And because it is through the act of sense that man arrives at acts of reason, therefore more men follow the inclination of sensitive nature than the order of reason, as there are more who attain to the commencement of a thing than who attain to its consummation and completion.
Article III.—Is a vice more of an evil thing than a vicious act?
R. Habit is something intermediate between power and act. But for good and for evil alike the act stands above the power: for well-doing is better than the power of well-doing, and evil-doing more to blame than the power of doing evil. Hence as a good or evil habit stands above the power in point of goodness or evil, so also does it rank below the act. The same is further evidenced by this consideration, that a habit is not called good or evil except for its inclining to a good or evil act; hence the act for good and for evil goes beyond the habit: because that by which any given thing has any given attribute, has itself more of that attribute.
§ 1. There is nothing to hinder a thing absolutely ranking above another thing, while in a certain respect it falls short of it. Now from the very nature of an act and of a habit, an act ranks both for good and evil above a habit. As for the habit being more lasting than the act, that comes from both of them being found in a nature that cannot be active perpetually, and whose action consists in a passing movement. Hence absolutely an act ranks higher both for good and for evil: but a habit ranks higher in a certain respect.
§ 2. Absolutely, a habit is not a plurality of acts, but only in a certain respect, that is, virtually. Hence we cannot conclude that a habit ranks absolutely higher in good or evil than an act.
§ 4. A person is justly punished for a vicious act, but not for a vicious habit, if it does not proceed to act.
Article IV.—Can sin exist along with virtue?
R. A habit in the soul does not of necessity produce its act: but the man uses his habit when he will. Hence he may forbear the use of a habit that he has, or do an act contrary to it. Thus one who has a virtue may proceed to an act of sin. Now an act of sin, considered in its bearings on the virtue itself as a habit, cannot destroy the habit, if it is one act only. For as a habit is not engendered by one act, so neither is it by one act destroyed. But if we consider the bearings of an act of sin upon the cause of virtues, we shall see that it is possible for some virtues to be destroyed by one act of sin. For every mortal sin is contrary to charity, which is the root of all the infused virtues, so far as they are virtues. And therefore as by one act of mortal sin charity is excluded, with it are excluded all the infused virtues, so far as they are virtues. And this I say on account of faith and hope, the habits of which remain formless after mortal sin, and so are not virtues. Venial sin, not being contrary to charity, neither excludes it, nor, consequently, the other virtues either. But the acquired virtues are not taken away by one act of any sin whatever. So then mortal sin cannot be with the infused virtues; but it can be with the acquired virtues: while venial sin can be as well with the infused virtues as with the acquired.
§ 1. Sin is contrary, not to virtue in itself, but to virtue in its act. And therefore sin cannot be along with the act of virtue, but it may be along with the habit.
§ 2. Vice is the direct contrary of virtue, as sin is of a virtuous act; and therefore vice excludes virtue, as sin excludes the act of virtue.
Article V.—Is there some act in every sin?
R. This question is raised principally on account of sins of omission, on which there are different opinions. Some say that in every sin of omission there is some act, either interior or exterior: interior in such a case as when a person makes up his mind not to go to church when he is bound to go; exterior when a person at the time that he is bound to go to church, or even before, applies himself to occupations that hinder his going to church. This latter case seems to fall back upon the former: for he who makes up his mind to anything with which something else cannot be at the same time, consequently makes up his mind to go without that other thing; unless he happens not to reflect that he is being thereby hindered from doing what he is bound to do, in which case he might be judged to be to blame for negligence. Others say that in a sin of omission no act is requisite, for the mere failure to do what one is bound to do is sinful. Both opinions have something of truth in them. For if we consider in a sin of omission purely and solely that which of itself essentially bears the character of sin; so considered, the sin of omission is sometimes committed with an interior act, as when a person makes up his mind not to go to church; and sometimes again it is without any act either exterior or interior, as when a person at the hour that he is bound to go to church, has no thought of going or of not going to church. But if in the sin of omission we consider also the cause or occasions of the omission, in that aspect there must be some act in the sin of omission. The sin of omission is then only when a person leaves out an act that he is competent to do or not to do. Now a person’s swerving to the side of not doing what he is competent to do or not to do, must come from some cause or occasion at the time or going before. If that cause is beyond the man’s control, the omission is not sinful: as when one fails to go to church through sickness. But if the cause or occasion of the omission lies under the control of the will, the omission is sinful;1 and the cause in that case, inasmuch as it is voluntary, involves some act, at least an interior act of the will. This act sometimes falls directly upon the omission itself; as when a person makes up his mind not to go to church, to save himself trouble. The act in that case belongs ordinarily and of itself to the omission: for the will to commit any sin belongs ordinarily to the sin, because voluntariness is of the essence of sin. Sometimes, on the other hand, the act of the will lights directly upon something else, that hinders the man from the performance of the act which it is his duty to perform. The matter on which the will lights may be something coexistent with the omission, as when one wills to play when he ought to be going to church; or, again, it may be something in time past, as when one chooses to sit up late at night, the consequence being that he does not go at the morning hour to church.2 In that case the interior act is incidental to the omission, because the omission follows beside the intention; and we call that incidental, which is beside the intention. Clearly in that case the sin of omission has some act attached to it either at the time or going before, which act, however, is only incidental to the sin of omission. But we must pronounce judgment upon things according to what is ordinary in them and properly belongs to them, not according to what is incidental. And therefore the more correct thing to say is, that there may be some sin without any act; otherwise adjacent acts and occasions would belong also to the essence of other sins.1
Article VI.—Is sin aptly defined to be any word, deed, or desire against the eternal law?
R. Sin is nothing else than an evil human act. An act is human by being voluntary, whether voluntary as elicited by the will—like the act itself of willing or choosing—or as commanded by the will—like the outward acts of speaking or working. Now a human act is evil for want of due proportion to some measure. But the measure or rule of the human will is twofold, one proximate and homogeneous to the will itself, namely, human reason; the other is the first rule, namely, the eternal law, which is as it were the reason of God. And therefore Augustine has inserted in his definition of sin two elements, one which is as the material element of sin, any word, deed, or desire; the other appertaining to the idea of evil, and being as it were the formal element of sin, against the eternal law.1
§ 5. By theologians sin is considered principally as an offence against God; but by the moral philosopher, as an act contrary to reason.2 And therefore Augustine more fitly defines sin by its being against the eternal law than by its being against reason, especially since we are regulated by the eternal law in many things which exceed human reason, as in matters of faith.
OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SIN AND SIN.
Article I.—Do sins differ in species according to their objects?
R. Two things go to make up a sin, the voluntary act and the inordination thereof, which inordination is by departure from the law of God. Of these two elements the one attaches ordinarily and properly to the sinner, who intends to do such a voluntary act in such a matter. The other, that is to say, the inordination of the act, is merely incidental to the intention of the sinner: for “no one is active unto evil intending it as such,” as Dionysius says. But everything has its species according to what is ordinary about it, not according to what is incidental. And therefore sins differ in species in regard of the voluntary acts that they involve, rather than in regard of the inordination that there is in the sin. But voluntary acts differ in species according to their objects: and therefore sins properly differ in species according to their objects.
§ 1. The end in view bears the character of a principal good; and stands as object to the act of the will, which takes the initiative in every sin. Hence it comes to the same thing whether we say that sins differ according to objects or according to ends in view.
§ 2. A sin is not a pure privation, but an act having a privation of due order.
Article II.—Is it proper to make a distinction between sins of the spirit and sins of the flesh?
R. Every sin consists in a craving for some perishable good, which is sought inordinately, and in which consequently, when it comes to be possessed, inordinate pleasure is taken. Now there is a twofold pleasure, one psychical, which is complete in the mere mental apprehension of the thing desired and won, and this may also be called pleasure of the spirit: as when one takes pleasure in human praise. Another sort of pleasure there is, bodily, or physical, which results from bodily contact; and this may be called also pleasure of the flesh. Thus therefore those sins, in the doing of which there is pleasure of the spirit, are called sins of the spirit; and those others, in the doing of which there is pleasure of the flesh, are called sins of the flesh; as gluttony, in the commission of which there is the pleasure of food, and lust, or luxury, in the commission of which there is sexual pleasure. Hence the Apostle says: “Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit.”1
§ 1. Idolatry and witchcraft are called “works of the flesh,”2 not because there is fleshly pleasure in the doing of them, but the flesh is there taken for the man, who living according to his own liking, is said to live according to the flesh. The reason of this is, because all defect of reason in man has somehow its beginning in some fleshly view of things.
Article IV.—Is that a proper division of sin, into sin against God, sin against self, and sin against one’s neighbour?
R. Sin is an inordinate act. Now there ought to be a threefold order in man: one in reference to the rule of reason, by which all our actions and passions should be regulated; another in reference to the rule of the divine law, by which man should be guided in all things. And if man were by nature a solitary animal, this twofold order would suffice. But because man is naturally a political and social animal, therefore there must be a third order to direct man in his dealings with other men in whose society he has to live. Of these orders the first1 contains the second, and goes beyond it. For whatever is contained under the order of reason, is contained under the order of God; but there are things contained under the order of God that go beyond human reason, as the things of faith. Hence he who sins against such things, is said to sin against God, as does the heretic, and the sacrilegious person, and the blasphemer. In like manner also the second order includes the third and goes beyond it:1 because in all things in which we have relations with our neighbour we must be guided by the rule of reason; but in some things we are guided by reason to our own concerns only, and not to those of our neighbour; and any sin committed in such matters is said to be committed by a man against self, as with the glutton, the debauchee, and the spendthrift. When again a man sins in matters in which he has relations with his neighbour, he is said to sin against his neighbour, as does the thief and the murderer.
This is a distinction according to objects, which make different species of sins. The virtues also are thus distinguished in species. For it is obvious that by the theological virtues man is put in relation with God; by temperance and fortitude he deals with himself, and by justice with his neighbour.
§ 1. To sin against God, in so far as the order of relation to God includes every human relation, is common to all sin: but in so far as the order of relation to God goes beyond the other two orders, in that way sin against God is a special kind of sin.
Article V.—Does the division of sins according to the punishment they incur make a difference of species?
R. The difference of venial or mortal sin, or any other difference in point of punishment deserved, cannot be a difference constituting a diversity of species. For no incidental circumstance ever constitutes a species; and what is beside the intention of the agent is incidental; and obviously punishment is beside the intention of the agent, and is an incidental circumstance of the sin in so far as the sinner himself is concerned. Still it is directed upon sin from without by the justice of the Judge, who inflicts different punishments for sin according to their different conditions. Hence a difference in point of punishment incurred may follow from a specific difference of sins, but it does not constitute such a specific difference.1
The difference of venial and mortal sin follows upon the diversity of inordination that enters into and makes up sin. For there is a twofold inordination: one by the withdrawal of the principle of order; another where the principle of order is maintained, but some inordination occurs in what follows upon the principle. Now the principle of all order in morals is the last end. Hence when a soul is disordered by sin to the extent of turning away from its last end, that is, from God, to whom it is united by charity, then is the sin mortal; but when the disorder stops short of turning away from God, the sin is venial. For as in animal bodies the disorder of death, which is the removal of the principle of life, is irreparable in nature, while the disorder of sickness can be repaired, because the principle of life is safe, so it is in the things of the soul. For in speculative matters he who errs in principle is beyond the reach of persuasion; but he who errs indeed, but adheres to first principles, may be recalled by the aid of those same principles. And so in matters of conduct, he who by sinning turns away from his last end, suffers a fall that is, so far as the nature of the sin goes, beyond repair, and exposes himself to be punished everlastingly. But he whose sin stops short of turning away from God, is under a disorder that by the very nature of the sin admits of repair; and therefore he is said to sin venially, because he does not so sin as to deserve never-ending punishment.
§ 1. Mortal sin and venial sin differ infinitely, as to the turning away, which the former involves, from the divine good that perishes not, but not as to the turning to the created good that perishes. Now it is this turning to created good that puts the sin in relation with the object, whence it derives its species. Hence it is quite possible for a mortal sin and a venial sin to be found in the same species.
R. Where there comes in another motive for sinning, there we have another species of sin; because the motive for sinning is the end and object of the sin.
OF THE COMPARISON OF SIN WITH SIN.
Article I.—Are all sins connected one with another?
R. A person acting according to virtue in pursuance of reason, has a different intention from the person who sins and wanders wide of reason. For the intention of every one who acts according to virtue is to follow the rule of reason; and therefore intention in all virtues makes for the same point; and on this account all the virtues have a common connexion one with another in a right method of conduct, which is prudence. But the intention of him who sins is not to recede from what is according to reason, but rather to tend to some desirable good, from whence the sin has its species. But these sort of goods to which the intention of the sinner tends when it recedes from reason, are different, mutually unconnected, nay, sometimes even contrary. Since therefore vices and sins are specified according to the objects to which they turn, it is manifest that sins have no connexion one with another. For sin is not committed by passing from multitude to unity, which transition is made in virtues, and causes their connexion; but rather by receding from unity to multitude.1
§ 1. St. James (ii. 10) speaks of sin, not on the part of the turning to the good that perishes, on which is founded the distinction of sins, but on the part of the turning from the good that perishes not, inasmuch as man by sinning recedes from the commandment of the law. Now all the commandments of the law are from one and the same lawgiver; and therefore the same God is despised in every sin; and in this respect the text says that “whosoever shall offend in one point is become guilty of all:” because in committing one sin he incurs a debt of punishment by slighting God; and it is from the slight put upon God that the debt of punishment in all sins is grounded.
Article II.—Are all sins equal?
It was the opinion of the Stoics that all sins are equal. They were led to it by considering sin merely as a privation, or a departure from reason: hence absolutely reckoning that no privation admitted of more or less, they laid it down that all sins were equal. But looking at the matter carefully, we find two sorts of privations. There is one absolute and pure privation, which consists, so to speak, in destruction as an accomplished fact; and such privations do not admit of more or less, because there is nothing left of the opposite habit. Thus a man is not less dead the first day after death, and on the third or fourth, than a year after, when the corpse is fallen to decomposition; and the house is not more dark if the light is covered with many screens, than if it is covered with one only screen enough to cut off all the light. But there is another privation, not absolute, but retaining something of the opposite habit: which privation consists rather in a process of destruction than in destruction as an accomplished fact. Thus sickness is a privation of the due commixture of the humours, yet so that something of that commixture remains, else the animal would not keep alive; and so of ugliness and the like. Privations of this sort admit of more or less on the part of what remains of the contrary habit. So of vices and sins: the privation of due reasonableness that they carry with them does not go the length of a total eclipse of the order of reason: for the substance of the act, or affection of the agent, could not endure unless there were something left of the order of reason. And therefore it makes a great difference to the gravity of the sin, whether the departure from right reason be more or less; as it makes a great difference in point of sickness or ugliness, how far the departure from the due commixture of the humours or due proportion of the limbs extends. Thus not all sins are equal.
Article III.—Does the gravity of sins vary with their objects?
R. Because sins have their species from their objects, the difference of gravity considered in the objects is the first and principal difference, as following upon the species.
§ 2. It is from undue turning to some good that perishes that there ensues a turning away from the good that perishes not: which turning away makes the essence of evil. And therefore, according to the difference of objects turned to, there ensues a difference of gravity of malice in sins.
Article V.—Are sins of the flesh less culpable than sins of the spirit?
R. Sins of the spirit are more culpable than sins of the flesh. This is not to be understood as though any and every sin of the spirit were more culpable than any and every sin of the flesh; but we mean that, considering for the present this only difference of belonging to the spirit or to the flesh, sins of the spirit are graver than other sins, other conditions being equal. For this position a triple reason may be assigned. First, on the part of the subject: for spiritual sins belong to the spirit, in whose choice it rests either to turn to God or to turn away from Him; while sins of the flesh arise out of the pleasure of the fleshly appetite, to which appetite the turning to bodily good principally belongs; and therefore the sin of the flesh, as such, has more of the turning to the good that perishes, and more of positive adherence about it; but the sin of the spirit has more of the turning from the good that perishes not, from which turning away the essential element of culpability springs; and therefore the sin of the spirit, as such, has the greater culpability. A second reason may be drawn from the consideration of what it is that is sinned against; for a sin of the flesh, as such, is against the sinner’s own body, which is less to be loved in the order of charity than God and our neighbour, against whom sins of the spirit are committed; and therefore sins of the spirit, as such, are more culpable. A third reason may be drawn on the part of the motive: because the stronger the impulse to sin, the less is the sin; but sins of the flesh are committed under a stronger impulse, namely, that very concupiscence of the flesh which is born in us; and therefore the sins of the spirit, as such, are the more culpable.
Article VI.—Does the gravity of sin vary with the cause of sin?
R. Of sin, as of anything else, we observe two manner of causes: one the ordinary and proper cause of sin; and that is the mere will to sin. The greater the will to sin, the more grievous the sin. Other causes of sin may be observed, extrinsic and remote, whereby the will is inclined to sin; and over these causes we must make a further distinction. Some of them induce the will to sin, following the nature of the will itself, as does the end in view, which is the proper object of the will; and by the operation of such a cause the sin is increased: for he sins more grievously whose will is inclined to sin by the intention of a worse end. Others incline the will to sin quite beside the natural course that the will takes of itself, it being the nature of the will to move freely by its own determination according to the judgment of reason. Hence the causes that impair the judgment of reason, as ignorance, or abridge the free motion of the will, as infirmity, or violence, or fear, diminish the sin as they diminish voluntariness; so much so that, if the act be altogether involuntary, it has no longer the character of sin.
§ 2. If under the head of concupiscence is included also the motion of the will, at that rate the greater the concupiscence, the greater the sin. But if by concupiscence is meant a passion which is a movement of the concupiscible faculty, at that rate the greater the concupiscence antecedent to the judgment of reason and the motion of the will, the less is the sin: because he who sins under the incitement of greater concupiscence falls under severer temptation; hence less is imputed to him. But if this concupiscence be consequent upon the judgment of reason and the motion of the will, then the greater the concupiscence, the greater the sin. For concupiscence is sometimes heightened by the will bursting through all restraint in pursuit of its object.
Article VII.—Is sin aggravated by circumstances?
R. “It is the nature of everything to be increased by that whereby it is caused,” as the Philosopher says. But manifestly sin is caused by defect of circumstance: for one departs from the order of reason by acting in disregard of due circumstances. Hence it is manifest that it is in the nature of things for sin to be aggravated by circumstances. This happens in three ways. In one way in so far as circumstance transfers a sin to a new kind: as the sin of fornication consists in a man cohabiting with a woman who is not his wife; but by the addition of the circumstance of the woman with whom he cohabits being the wife of another, the sin is transferred to a new kind, namely, injustice, inasmuch as he takes to his own use what belongs to another; and in this way adultery is a more grievous sin than fornication. Sometimes again circumstances do not aggravate the sin by drawing it over to a new kind of sin, but by multiplying its sinfulness: as if a spendthrift gives when he ought not and to whom he ought not, he sins in a more manifold way, but in the same kind of sin as if he only gave to whom he ought not; and so his sin is more grievous, just as that sickness is more grievous which affects more parts of the body. In a third way circumstance aggravates sin by increasing the deformity that arises out of another circumstance: as taking what belongs to another constitutes a sin of theft; but the additional circumstance of taking much of another’s property will make the sin more grievous: though of itself taking much or little bears no character of good or evil.
Article VIII.—Does the gravity of sin vary with the harm that it does?1
R. There are three possible relations of harmfulness to sin. Sometimes the harm that arises out of sin is foreseen and intended, as when one does anything with a mind to harm another, as a murderer or a thief does; and then the quantity of the harm directly increases the gravity of the sin, because then the harm is of itself the object of the sin. Sometimes, again, the harm is foreseen, but not intended: as when one passing through a field to go by a short cut to commit fornication, knowingly does harm to the crop sown in the field, though not with a mind to harm it; and in this way also the quantity of damage done aggravates the sin, but indirectly, inasmuch as it comes of a will so strongly bent upon sinning that the sinner sticks not to do damage to himself or to another, which absolutely he would not wish to do. Lastly, sometimes the harm is neither foreseen nor intended; and then if the harm is only accidentally connected with the sin, it does not aggravate the sin directly: but on account of the agent’s want of consideration of the damages that might possibly follow from his action, the evil that does ensue apart from the man’s intention is imputed to him as matter of a legal penalty, if he was compassing an unlawful purpose. But if the harm follows as the natural and ordinary consequence of the act of sin, howbeit it be not intended nor foreseen, it directly aggravates the sin: because all the ordinary consequences of a sin belong in some sort to the very species of the sin: for instance, if one commits fornication in public, there results the scandal of many; and though the sinner does not intend this result, nor perchance foresee it, the sin is directly aggravated thereby.1
§ 2. Though harm done aggravates sin, it does not follow that sin is aggravated only by the harm done. The harm done aggravates sin by making the act more inordinate. Hence it does not follow that sins against our neighbour are the most grievous: for there is much greater inordinateness found in sins against God and in some sins against self. At the same time it may be observed that, though none can hurt or harm God in His substance, still men may go about to harm the things of God, as by extirpating the faith or violating what is sacred, which are most grievous sins. A man also sometimes knowingly and willingly does harm to himself, as in cases of suicide.
§ 3. The argument that seduction should be a more grievous sin than murder, as doing greater harm, is inconclusive for two reasons: first, because the murderer directly intends his neighbour’s hurt, while the fornicator who tempts the woman intends not hurt but pleasure; secondly, because the murderer is of himself a sufficient cause of the death of the body, but of the death of the soul none can be to another of himself a sufficient cause of that, because none dies the death of the soul except by his own will in sinning.
Article IX.—Does sin increase in gravity according to the condition of the person sinned against?
R. The principal ends of human acts are God, the agent himself, and his neighbour. In respect of these three ends we may distinguish a greater or less gravity in sin according to the condition of the person sinned against. First of all in respect of God, sin is more grievous by being committed against a person more united to God, whether by virtue or by office. In respect of the agent himself, it is manifest that sin is more grievous for being committed against a person more united to the sinner, by the tie of kindred, or of benefactions, or any other tie whatever: because the sin seems to be committed more against self, and to be therefore the more grievous, according to the text: “He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good?”1 In respect of our neighbour sin is more grievous, the more persons it touches; and therefore a sin against a public personage, a king, or a prince, who bears the person of a whole multitude, is more grievous than a sin against a private individual; hence it is said expressly: “The prince of thy people thou shalt not curse.”2
§ 1. He who does an injury to a virtuous man, does what in him lies to trouble that man’s peace, both within and without. The fact that the sufferer’s inward peace is not troubled, is to be set down to his goodness; but that is no diminution of the sin of the other who does him wrong.
§ 2. The harm that a person does himself in matters subject to the dominion of his own will, as in matters of property, is less sinful: but in matters not subject to the dominion of the person’s own will, such as natural and spiritual goods, it is a more grievous sin to harm oneself than to harm another. Thus suicide is a more grievous sin than murder.
§ 3. It is no “respect of persons”1 if God punishes more severely any one who offends against persons of greater distinction: the reason being that such offence redounds to the harm of the greater number.
Article X.—Does the greatness of the person sinning aggravate the sin?
R. There are two sorts of sin. There is a sin of surprise, arising from the infirmity of human nature; and such a sin is less imputed to him who is greater in virtue, because he is less negligent in repressing such sins, of which however the infirmity of human nature does not allow him to go entirely free. Other sins there are that come of deliberation; and these sins are more imputable to any one the greater he is. And this may be for four reasons: first, because greater persons, as excelling in knowledge and virtue, can more easily resist sin: hence our Lord says, “That servant who knew the will of his lord, and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.”2 Secondly, for ingratitude; because every good gift whereby any man is made great is a benefit of God, to whom man is ungrateful by sinning; and in this respect any greatness above the common, even in temporal goods, aggravates the sin, according to the text: “The mighty shall be mightily tormented.”1 Thirdly, on account of the special inconsistency of the act of sin with the greatness of the person; as if a prince should violate justice, who is set up as the guardian of justice. Fourthly, on account of the example or scandal: for the sins of great people come to the knowledge of more persons, and men are more shocked thereat.
§ 3. To the objection that no one ought to reap disadvantage from a good thing—but a great man would reap disadvantage from his greatness, if his actions were the more imputable to him on that account for blame—it is to be said that the great man does not reap disadvantage from the good that he has, but from the evil use of it.
OF THE SUBJECT OF SINS.
Article I.—Is the will the subject of sin?
R. There are some acts which are not transient to any exterior matter, but are immanent in the agent; of this nature are all moral acts, whether acts of virtue or sins. Hence the proper subject of an act of sin must be the power that is the originator of the act. And since it is proper to moral acts to be voluntary, the will must be the originator of sins. And therefore sin must be in the will as in its subject.
§ 1. Evil is said to be “beside the will,” because the will does not tend to it under the aspect of evil. But because some evil is apparent good, therefore the will sometimes desires some evil; and in this way sin is in the will.
§ 2. To the objection that this wishing for apparent good which is not really good, seems to be traceable rather to a want of power of apprehension than to a defect of will, it is to be said that, if the failure of apprehensive power were a thing in no way under the control of the will, there would be no sin either in the will or in the apprehensive power: as appears in persons labouring under invincible ignorance. The alternative is, that even the failure of apprehensive power, being as it is a thing subject to the control of the will, should be reputed unto sin.1
Article II.—Is the will alone the subject of sin?
R. Every originating principle of a voluntary act is a subject of sin. Now by voluntary acts we mean not only acts elicited by the will, but also acts commanded by the will. Hence not only the will can be a subject of sin, but also all those powers that are liable to be incited to their acts or to be restrained from their acts by the will. These same powers are also the subjects of moral habits, good and bad: because acts and habits lie at the same door.
§ 1. Augustine says that “sin is never committed except by the will:” that is to say, by the will as prime mover; but it is committed by other powers as moved by the will.
Article V.—Can there be sin in the reason?
R. The sin of every power is found in its act. Now there is a twofold act of reason. There is first the ordinary act of reason in regard of its proper object, which is the knowledge of truth: then there is the act of reason as directing the other powers. In both ways there may be sin in the reason. First, when reason strays from the knowledge of truth: which straying is imputed to it as sinful, when it involves ignorance or error on points that the reason could and should know. Secondly, when reason either commands the inordinate acts of the lower powers, or after deliberation does not repress them.
§ 1. A defect of reason about what one cannot know, is not a sin, but an excuse from sin. But a defect of reason about what a man can and ought to know, is not at all an excuse from sin, but is imputed as sinful. Again, a defect merely in the direction of the other powers is always imputed as sinful, because such a defect is capable of being met by reason’s own act.
Article VI.—Is the sin of lingering delectation in the reason?1
R. Sin occurs in the reason, not only in respect of the own proper act of reason, but also forasmuch as reason is the directrix of human acts, as well of exterior actions as of interior passions. And therefore, when reason fails in the direction of the interior passions, there is said to be sin in reason; as also when it fails in the direction of the exterior actions. But it fails in the direction of the interior passions in two ways: in one way when by command it calls forth unlawful passions, as when a man deliberately incites himself to a movement of anger or concupiscence; in another way when it does not repress an unlawful movement of passion, as when a man, after having made up his mind that a rising movement of passion is inordinate, nevertheless dwells upon it and does not cast it out. In this latter sense it is that the sin of lingering delectation is said to be in the reason.
§ 3. Delectation is called lingering, not from the length of time that it stays, but because reason deliberating lingers about it, and still does not reject it, “holding to and turning over with pleasure what should have been rejected as soon as it touched the mind,” as Augustine says.
Article VII.—Does the sin of consent to an act lie in the upper reason?
R. Consent implies a judgment on that which is consented to. The practical reason judges and passes sentence on things to be done, as the speculative reason judges and passes sentence on things to be understood. Now in every judgment the final sentence belongs to the supreme court. Thus in speculative matters the final sentence is given by reduction to first principles: for so long as there is a higher principle still left, the matter in question may be examined by it, and judgment stands reserved. But human acts are capable of regulation by the rule of human reason, taken from created things, which man naturally knows,1 and above that, by the rule of the divine law. Hence, as the rule of the divine law is the higher rule, the final sentence, which closes the question, must belong to the higher reason, which attends to eternal truths. But when there is question of several things, the final sentence passes upon that which last occurs. But in human acts the last thing to occur is the act itself, the preamble to which is the delectation leading on to the act. And therefore to the higher reason properly belongs the consent to the act; but the judgment in the first instance on the delectation belongs to the lower reason, because that has the lower judgment. At the same time the higher reason can also judge of the delectation: because whatever is subject to the judgment of the lower court, is also subject to the judgment of the higher court, but not conversely.
§ 2. From the mere fact of the higher reason not directing human acts according to the divine law and hindering the act of sin, it is said to consent to the sin, whether it thinks of the eternal law or not. For when it does think of the eternal law, it contemns it actually: when it does not think of it, it neglects it by way of omission.1
Article VIII.—Is consent to delectation1a mortal sin?
R. A person thinking about fornication may take delight in two things: in the thought itself, and in the fornication thought about. Now the delight taken in the thought itself follows the inclination of the affection to the thought itself. But the thought itself in itself is not a mortal sin. Sometimes it is a venial sin, as when one thinks of the matter to no useful purpose,—sometimes no sin at all, as when one thinks of it to a useful purpose; for example, if he wishes to preach or dispute about it. Consequently the affection and delight thus felt about the thought of fornication, has not the character of a mortal sin, but is sometimes a venial sin, sometimes no sin. Hence consent to such delectation is not a mortal sin either. But when one thinking about fornication takes delight in the very action thought of, this happens because his affection is inclined to the action. Hence to consent to such delectation is nothing else than to consent to the inclination of his affection towards fornication: for no one takes delight except in what is conformable to his desire. But for any one deliberately to choose to have his affection conformed to those things that are in themselves mortal sins, is a mortal sin. Hence such consent to the delectation of mortal sin is a mortal sin.
R. Though unbelief is a mortal sin of its kind, still a sudden movement of unbelief is a venial sin, because a mortal sin is only that which is against the law of God.1 Some article of faith may suddenly occur to the thinking mind under another aspect, before the eternal reason, that is, the law of God, is consulted or can be consulted on the point; as when one suddenly pictures to himself the resurrection of the body as impossible according to nature, and upon that notion he is set against the doctrine before he has time deliberately to consider that it is delivered to us to be believed according to the divine law. But if the movement of unbelief continues after deliberation, then it is a mortal sin.2
OF THE CAUSES OF SIN IN GENERAL.
Article I.—Has sin any cause?
R. The will, apart from the guidance of the rule of reason and of the divine law, bent upon some good that perishes, causes the act of sin in the way of ordinary causation, but the inordinateness of the act it causes incidentally and beside the intention of the agent; for the failure of order in the act arises from the failure of guidance in the will.
§ 1. Sin means not merely the privation of good, which is the inordinateness of the act, but further the act under that privation.
Article III.—Has sin any outward cause?
R. The inward cause of sin is at once the will as carrying through the act of sin, and the reason as working apart from the due rule, and the sensitive appetite as inclining to the sin. So then an extrinsic agency might possibly be the cause of sin in three ways, either as immediately moving the will, or as moving the reason, or as moving the sensitive appetite. Now as to the will, no one can inwardly move that except God, who cannot be the cause of sin. It remains then that no external agency can be the cause of sin otherwise than either by moving the reason, as a man or a devil persuading to sin, or by moving the sensitive appetite, as certain sensible exterior things do. But neither does exterior persuasion necessarily move the reason in matters of conduct, nor do things outwardly set before it necessarily move the sensitive appetite, unless it happen to be somehow predisposed thereunto; and even then the sensitive appetite does not necessarily move the reason and the will. Hence an outward agency may be a cause moving to sin, but not with sufficient power of itself to induce to sin; but the sole cause sufficient to bring sin to full effect is the will alone.
Article IV.—Is sin the cause of sin?
R. One sin may be the cause of another, as one human act may be the cause of another; and that may be in four ways, according to the four kinds of causes. First, after the manner of an efficient or moving cause, as well ordinary as incidental. Incidentally,1 by removing an obstacle, which is called moving incidentally; for when by one act of sin a man loses grace, or charity, or shame, or anything else that went towards withdrawing him from sin, he falls thereby into another sin; and so the first sin is the cause of the second incidentally. Again, ordinarily,1 when by committing one sin a man is disposed more easily to commit another sin like the first; for of acts are caused dispositions and habits inclining to other similar acts. In the genus of material cause, one sin is the cause of another, by preparing matter for it; as avarice prepares matter for litigation. In the genus of final cause, one sin is the cause of another, inasmuch as for the end and aim of one sin a person goes and commits another sin; as when one commits simony for some aim of ambition. And because in moral things it is the end in view that gives the form, it follows that the one sin is the formal cause of the other: for in an act of theft committed as a means to fornication as an end, theft is the material element, and fornication the formal.1
§ 3. Not every cause of sin is another sin: hence there is no running to infinity; but it is possible to arrive at a sin, the cause of which is not any other sin.
§ 4. Gregory says: “The sin that is not quickly blotted out by repentance, is at once a sin and a cause of sin.”
OF THE CAUSES OF SIN IN PARTICULAR.
Article I.—Can ignorance be a cause of sin?1
R. A moving cause is of two sorts: one ordinary, and another incidental. The ordinary cause moves by its own power; the incidental cause by removing the obstacle to the action of another. In this latter way it is that ignorance may be a cause of sin; for ignorance is a privation of that knowledge that perfects the reason and hinders a sinful act, inasmuch as reason has the guidance of human acts, which guidance we must observe takes effect through a twofold knowledge, one general and one particular. For, thinking over a course of action to be adopted, a man uses a syllogism, the conclusion of which is a judgment, or choice, or activity: but actions are singular: hence the conclusion of the syllogism of conduct is singular. But a singular proposition is not drawn as a conclusion from a general one except by means of another singular proposition. Thus a man is kept from a deed of parricide by knowing that a father ought not to be killed, and by further knowing that this individual is his father. Ignorance of either the general principle or of the particular circumstance may cause a deed of parricide. Hence clearly it is not any and every ignorance on the part of the sinner that causes sin, but that ignorance only which takes away the knowledge that was a bar to the act of sin.
§ 3. The will cannot go out to that which is altogether unknown, but it can will what is partly known and partly unknown; and in this way ignorance is a cause of sin, as when one knows that the person whom he is killing is a man, but does not know that it is his father;1 or as when one knows that some action is pleasurable, but does not know that it is a sin.
Article II.—Is ignorance a sin?
R. Ignorance differs from nescience in this, that nescience means a simple negation of knowledge; but ignorance denotes a privation of knowledge in the case of a person lacking knowledge of matters which he is naturally apt to know. Of these matters there are some which a man is bound to know, those, namely, without the knowledge of which he cannot fulfil his duty. Hence all alike are bound to know the articles of faith and the general precepts of law: particular individuals are bound also to know what concerns their special state or office. But there are some things which a man is not bound to know, though a man has a natural aptitude to know them, as the theorems of geometry. Now it is manifest that whoever neglects to have or to do what he is bound to have or to do, sins by a sin of omission. Hence ignorance through negligence of what a man is bound to know, is a sin; but it is not imputed to a man as negligence if he does not know what he could not have known. This ignorance is called invincible, because it cannot be overcome by an effort. Such ignorance is not a sin; but vincible ignorance is a sin, if it is of what one is bound to know, not if it is of what one is not bound to know.
§ 1. Under the head of word, deed, or desire against the law of God, are to be understood also the opposite negations, in so far as omission bears the character of sin; and thus negligence, by which ignorance is sinful, is contained under the definition of sin, inasmuch as something is omitted which ought to have been said, done, or desired, in order to the acquiring of due knowledge.
§ 3. As in a sin of transgression the sin consists not only in the act of the will, but also in the act willed, which is commanded by the will, so in a sin of omission not only the act of the will is a sin, but also the omission itself, inasmuch as it is in some sort voluntary; and in this way mere neglect to know, or mere inconsiderateness, is a sin.
§ 5. As in other sins of omission a man sins for that time only for which the affirmative precept obliges him to act, so is it also with the sin of ignorance. An ignorant person is not in the act of sinning continually, but then only when it is time to acquire a knowledge which he is bound to have.
Article IV.—Does ignorance diminish sin?
R. Because all sin is voluntary, ignorance is capable of diminishing sin so far as it diminishes voluntariness: but if it does not diminish voluntariness, it will in no way diminish sin. Now, as for the ignorance that is a total excuse from sin, as being a total taking away of voluntariness, plainly that does not diminish sin, but takes it away altogether. Again, the ignorance which is not a cause of sin, but a concomitant of sin, neither diminishes sin nor increases it.1 That ignorance then alone can diminish sin, which is a cause of sin and yet not a total excuse from sin. Such ignorance is sometimes directly and of itself voluntary, as when one of his own choice remains in ignorance upon some point, in order that he may sin more freely. Such ignorance seems to increase the voluntariness and the sinfulness of the action: for by reason of the will being bent on sinning, the man is ready to endure the disadvantage of ignorance to gain freedom to sin. Sometimes, however, the ignorance which is a cause of sin is not directly voluntary, but indirectly and incidentally: as when one will not labour at study, and thence comes to be ignorant; or when one will drink wine to excess, and thereby gets drunk and wants discretion: such ignorance diminishes voluntariness and consequently sinfulness. For when a thing is not known to be a sin, it cannot be said that the will directly and of itself goes out upon the sin, but only incidentally; hence there is less contempt and consequently less sin.
§ 2. Sin added to sin makes more sins, but not always greater sin; because it may be that the two sins do not coincide to make one and the same sin, but keep their plurality. It may also happen, if the first diminishes the second, that both together are not so grievous as the one alone would have been. Thus homicide is a more grievous sin if committed by a sober man than by a drunken man, notwithstanding that in the latter case there are two sins: because drunkenness takes off more than the amount of its own gravity from the gravity of the sin that ensues upon it.
§ 4. As the Philosopher says, “the drunkard deserves to be fined double,” for the double sin that he commits of drunkenness and the sin thence ensuing. Nevertheless, on account of the ignorance that goes along with it, drunkenness diminishes the ensuing sin, and that, perhaps, to a greater amount than is represented by the gravity of the drunkenness itself. Or it may be answered that the saying is adapted to the enactment of a certain lawgiver, Pittacus, who ordered an assault to be punished the more if it was committed in drunkenness, not considering the allowance that should be made for drunkards, but going upon expediency; because more breaches of the peace are committed by drunken men than by sober men, as is evident from the Philosopher.
OF THE CAUSE OF SIN ON THE PART OF THE SENSITIVE APPETITE.
Article I.—Is the will moved by passion that is in the sensitive appetite?
R. Since all the powers of the soul have their root in the one essence of the soul, it must be that when the activity of one power becomes intense, the activity of another must grow slack, or be wholly stopped, because every energy becomes less at any given point for being scattered in several directions. Thus by a sort of distraction, when the movement of the sensitive appetite becomes strong in passion, the proper motion of the rational appetite, which is the will, must be retarded, or hindered entirely.1
Article II.—Can reason be overcome by passion so far as to go against its own knowledge?2
R. It was the opinion of Socrates that knowledge could never be overcome by passion: hence he made out all virtues to be habits of knowledge, and all sins to be acts done in ignorance. In this he was to some extent right: for since the will is of good or apparent good, the will never travels towards evil, except where what is really not good, still makes some appearance of good to the reason; and therefore the will never can tend to evil except with some attendant ignorance or error of reason. Hence it is said: “They err that work evil.”1
But because experience shows that many men act in the teeth of truths of which they have knowledge—and the same is confirmed by divine authority, according to the texts: “That servant who knew the will of his lord and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes;”2 and “To him who knoweth to do good and doth it not, to him it is sin”3 —Socrates’s assertion is not absolutely true, but needs distinguishing. For whereas there are two sorts of knowledge directing man to right action, namely, general and particular knowledge, the failure of either is sufficient to hinder the rectitude of the will and of the work. Sometimes then it happens that one has knowledge in general of such a truth as that fornication ought never to be committed, and yet does not know in particular that this act, which is fornication, ought not to be committed; and this ignorance is sufficient to keep the will from following the general knowledge of reason. Again, we must observe that a thing may very well be known habitually, and yet actually be not considered; and then there seems no difficulty in a man acting contrary to what he actually does not consider. This case of a man not considering in a particular instance what he habitually knows, arises sometimes out of mere want of concentration of mind, as when a man who knows geometry does not apply himself to consider geometrical conclusions which, if he did apply himself, would readily occur to him. At other times it is some supervening obstacle, such as exterior occupation or bodily infirmity, that prevents a man from considering what he has habitual knowledge of. In this way it is that under the influence of passion a man does not consider in particular what he knows in general, the passion hindering such consideration.
This hindering is done in three ways. Sometimes it is by distraction,1 sometimes by contrariety, because passion commonly inclines to the contrary of what the general knowledge directs; sometimes again by physical change in the body, which hampers the soul, and hinders its act from having free vent. And thus passion draws the reason to judge in a particular instance contrary to the knowledge which it has in general.
§ 3. For any one to have together in act knowledge or true opinion of a universal affirmative, and a false opinion of a particular negative, would be impossible; but it is quite possible to have habitually a true knowledge of a universal affirmative, and at the same time in act a false opinion of a particular negative; for an act is not the direct contrary of a habit, but of an act.
§ 4. Having general knowledge, a man is hindered by passion from subsuming under that general knowledge and arriving at a conclusion; but he subsumes under another general proposition, which the inclination of passion suggests, and under that he draws his conclusion. Hence the Philosopher says that the syllogism of the incontinent man has four propositions, two particular and two general. One of these general propositions is given by reason, as that fornication ought never to be committed; another is given by passion, as that pleasure must be run after. Passion then hampers reason so that it may not subsume and conclude under the former proposition: hence, while passion lasts, reason subsumes and concludes under the second.
§ 5. As a drunken man may sometimes utter words that signify profound ideas, which however his mind is quite incapable of appreciating, because drunkenness hinders it: so though a man under passion utters the declaration with his lips that such and such a thing ought not to be done, still in his inward heart he is of opinion that it is a thing to do.
Article IV.—Is self-love the beginning of all sin?
R. Every act of sin proceeds from an inordinate craving after some temporal good. This again proceeds from an inordinate love of self; for to love any one is to wish him good. Therefore inordinate love of self is the cause of all sin.
§ 1. There is a well-ordered self-love, due and natural, whereby a man wishes for himself the good that befits him; but the love that is set down as a cause of sin is an inordinate self-love, leading to a contempt of God.
§ 4. Augustine says that “self-love reaching to contempt of God makes the city of Babylon.”
Article V.—Are the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life appropriately assigned as causes of sins?1
R. Good is the object of the sensible appetite in two ways: in one way absolutely, as it is the object of the concupiscible part; in another way under an aspect of difficulty, as it is the object of the irascible part. And there is a twofold form of craving, one physical, of objects whereby nature is kept up, as well that of the individual as that of the race; and the inordinate craving after these objects is called the concupiscence of the flesh: another craving there is that is psychical, of the things that are delightful to imagine, as money, fine clothes, and the like; and this psychical craving is called the concupiscence of the eyes. But the inordinate craving after difficult good belongs to the pride of life, pride being an inordinate craving after excellence. Thus to these three heads may be reduced all the passions that are a cause of sin: for to the two first are reduced all the passions of the concupiscible faculty, to the third all the passions of the irascible.
§ 2. The concupiscence of the eyes does not mean here the concupiscence of all things that can be seen with the eyes, but only of those things in which there is not sought any delight of the flesh that comes by sensible contact, but solely the delight of the eye, that is, of any apprehensive faculty.
Article VI.—Is passion an extenuating circumstance of sin?
R. Sin essentially consists in an act of free choice, which is a function of the will and of the reason. Passion is a movement of the sensitive appetite. Now the sensitive appetite may stand to free-will either antecedently or consequently. Antecedently, inasmuch as a passion in the sensitive appetite draws or inclines the reason or will. Consequently, inasmuch as the movements of the superior powers, if they are vehement, redound upon the inferior: for the will cannot move intensely towards any object without the excitement of a passion in the sensitive appetite. Passion considered as preceding the act of the will must necessarily diminish sin. For an act is a sin so far as it is voluntary and existing in us. Now a thing is said to be in us through reason and will. Hence when reason and will act of themselves, not under any impulse of passion, the act is more voluntary and more truly existent in us. And thus passion diminishes sin by diminishing voluntariness. Consequent passion however does not diminish sin but rather increases it, or rather is a sign of its magnitude, inasmuch as it shows the intentness of the will upon the act of sin. And thus it is true that the greater the lust or concupiscence with which one sins, the greater the sin.
§ 1. To the objection that passion is a cause of sin, and that an augmentation of the cause augments the effect, it is to be said that passion is a cause of sin in respect of the turning to the good that perishes. But the gravity of sin is measured rather in respect of the turning away from the good that perishes not, which turning away follows upon the turning to incidentally, that is, beside the intention of the sinner. Now effects are not heightened by the incidental augmentation of causes, but only by their ordinary proper augmentation.
§ 2. A good passion following the judgment of reason augments merit; but if it forestalls that judgment, so that the man is moved to well-doing rather by passion than by the judgment of reason, such a passion diminishes the goodness and credit of the act.
§ 3. Though the motion of the will is more intense when it is urged on by passion, nevertheless the motion is not so proper to the will as if it were moved to sin by reason only.
Article VII.—Is passion a complete excuse from sin?
R. An act bad of its kind can be totally excused from sin only by being rendered totally involuntary. Hence, given a passion that renders the act that follows upon it totally involuntary, there is a total excuse from sin: otherwise the excuse is not total. A thing may be voluntary either in itself or in its cause. Again, a thing may be voluntary directly or indirectly. That is directly voluntary to which the will goes out and tends: that is indirectly voluntary which the will might have prevented and does not. Passion then is sometimes so great as totally to take away the use of reason, as in those who go mad through love or anger. In that case, if the passion was voluntary to begin with, the act is imputed as sinful, because it is voluntary in its cause. But if the cause was not voluntary but physical, as when one from sickness or other such cause falls under a passion which totally takes away the use of reason, the act is rendered entirely involuntary and is totally excused from sin. But sometimes the passion is not so great as totally to bar the use of reason; and then reason can shut out the passion by turning aside to other thoughts, or may hinder the passion from taking effect in action, seeing that the limbs are not set to work without the consent of reason: hence passion of this sort does not totally excuse from sin.
OF MALICE AS A CAUSE OF SIN.
Article I.—Does any one sin of deliberate malice?
R. Man, like every other being, has a natural appetite for good: hence the declining of his appetite to evil comes from some perversion or disorder in one or other of the originating principles within a man. Now the originating principles of human acts are understanding and appetite, as well the rational appetite, which is called the will, as the sensitive. As then sin happens in human acts sometimes from a defect of understanding, in the case when one sins from ignorance, or from a defect in the sensitive appetite, when one sins from passion; so also does it happen from a defect in the will, that is, from an inordinate will. Now the will is inordinate, when it loves the lesser good the more, and elects accordingly to suffer loss in the good less loved in order to gain the enjoyment of the good more loved. Thus when any inordinate will loves a temporal good, like riches or pleasure, more than the order of reason and the divine law, or the charity of God, it is willing consequently to suffer damage and detriment in spiritual goods for the securing of good that is temporal. But evil is nothing else than privation of good. Thus it is that a man knowingly wills a spiritual evil to gain a temporal good. Hence he is said to sin of deliberate malice, or on purpose, as knowingly choosing evil.
§ 2. Evil cannot be intended in itself as such, but it may be intended for the avoiding of evil or the gaining of good elsewhere. In such a case the agent would fain choose the good, which he intends in itself, without suffering the loss of another good; as the libertine would wish to enjoy his pleasure without offence of God: but with the alternatives before him he chooses to incur the displeasure of God by sinning rather than go without his gratification.
Article II.—Does every one who sins by habit, sin of deliberate malice?
R. It is not the same thing to sin with a habit and to sin by habit. For the use of a habit is not necessary, but is under the control of the will of him who has it. Hence also a habit is defined to be “something that you use when you will.” And therefore, as it may happen that one having a vicious habit may break out into an act of virtue, because reason is not totally spoilt by the evil habit, but some part of it remains entire: so it may also happen that some one having a vicious habit may act by passion, or by ignorance, instead of by the habit. But whenever one does use a vicious habit, he must necessarily sin of deliberate malice: because to every man having a habit that procedure is of itself acceptable, which befits him according to his proper habit, becoming thus to him as it were connatural, because custom is a second nature. But what befits a man according to a vicious habit, excludes spiritual good. Hence it follows that the man chooses spiritual evil to gain the good that befits him according to his habit; and this is to sin by deliberate malice. Hence it is manifest that whoever sins by habit, sins of deliberate malice.1
§ 3. In sins committed of deliberate malice, the sinner rejoices after committing them, according to the text: “Who are glad when they have done evil, and rejoice in most wicked things.”2 As for any sorrow after sinning felt by persons who sin by habit, that generally arises not because sin displeases them in itself, but because of some unpleasant consequence that they incur by committing it.
Article IV.—Is sin committed of deliberate malice more grievous than sin committed from passion?
R. The sin that is of deliberate malice is more grievous than the sin that is of passion, for three reasons. First, because, since sin has place principally in the will, the more proper and peculiar to the will the sin is, the graver is the sin, other things being equal. Now when sin is committed of deliberate malice, the movement of sin is more proper to the will than when it is committed out of passion, seeing that in the former case the will moves of itself towards evil, whereas in the latter it is impelled to sin by a sort of extrinsic cause. Hence sin is aggravated by the mere fact of its being of malice; and the more vehement the malice, the greater the aggravation: whereas when sin is of passion, it is diminished the more, the more vehement the passion has been. Secondly, because the passion which inclines the will to sin quickly passes away, and so the man speedily returns to his good purposes, repenting of his sin; but the habit whereby a man sins of malice is a permanent quality: and therefore he who sins of malice goes on longer in sin. Thirdly, because he who sins of malice is badly disposed in respect of the very end he has in view, which is the guiding principle in matters of conduct; and so his defect is more dangerous than the defect of him who sins by passion, as the will of this latter tends to a good end, though his purpose is interrupted by passion for a season. The worst defect is a defect of principle.
§ 3. It is one thing to choose to sin and another thing to sin by choice. He who sins by passion, chooses indeed to sin, but not by choice; because choice is not in him the prime origin of the sin, but he is induced by passion to choose that which, passion apart, he would not choose.
OF ONE SIN BEING THE CAUSE OF ANOTHER SIN.1
Article IV.—Are the seven capital vices fitly so called?
R. Those vices are called capital, out of which other vices spring, especially in the way of final causation. Now the personal predilection of the individual sinner for some one end of pursuit above all others, and his falling in that pursuit into many sins, is a thing that cannot be treated scientifically, because the particular dispositions of particular individuals are infinite. But if we look at the natural mutual relations of various ends of pursuit, and the origin of vice from vice according to those natural relations, there we have something that does admit of scientific investigation. In this respect then those vices are called capital, the ends and objects whereof have certain primary ways of moving the appetite; and the capital vices are distinguished according to the distinction of these ways.
Now the appetite is either moved directly and ordinarily, to pursue good and shun evil; or indirectly and occasionally, to pursue some evil for good annexed, or to shun some good for evil annexed. Again, the good of man is threefold. First, there is the good of the soul, which has the quality of being desirable for the mere thought of it, as excellence of praise or honour; and this good vainglory inordinately pursues. There is another good which belongs to the body, either to the preservation of the individual, as meat and drink, and this good gluttony inordinately pursues; or to the preservation of the species, as the intercourse of the sexes, and to this luxury is directed. A third good is external, namely, riches, and to this covetousness tends.
Or to look at the matter in another light—the special power of good to move desire comes from its partaking somewhat of the proper attributes of happiness, which all men naturally desire. Now the first element of happiness is perfection: for happiness is perfect good, to which belongs excellence or brilliancy; and that is what pride or vainglory craves. The second element is sufficiency, which covetousness craves in the riches that promise it. The third element is delight, without which happiness cannot be; and this gluttony and lust seek after.
But the avoidance of good on account of evil annexed to it happens in two ways. Either it happens in respect of the agent’s own good: and then sloth appears, which grows sad over spiritual good on account of the bodily labour attached to it; or this avoidance happens over the good of another: and if this be without any active rising up against that good, the movement belongs to envy, which grows sad over another’s good as being a hindrance to one’s own pre-eminence; or it is along with an active rising up to take vengeance, and in that case it is anger.
OF THE STAIN OF SIN.
Article I.—Does sin cause any stain on the soul?
R. A stain properly so called is spoken of in material things, when some lustrous body loses its lustre by contact with another body, as in the case of clothes, gold and silver, and the like. This is the image that must be kept to when we speak of a stain in spiritual things. Now the soul of man has a twofold lustre, one from the shining of the natural light of reason, whereby it is guided in its acts; the other from the shining of the divine light of wisdom and grace, whereby man is further perfected unto good and seemly action. Now there is a sort of contact of the soul, when it clings to any objects by love. But when it sins, it clings to objects in despite of the light of reason and of the divine law. It is just this loss of lustre, arising from such a contact, that is called metaphorically a stain on the soul.
Article II.—Does the stain remain upon the soul after the act of sin?
R. The stain of sin remains on the soul even when the act of sin passes. The reason is, because this stain signifies a certain lack of lustre, consequent upon a departure from reason or from the divine law. Wherefore, so long as the man remains out and away from this light, the stain of sin remains on him; but when he returns to the light of reason and the light divine, which return is the work of grace, then the stain ceases. But the mere cessation of the act of sin, whereby the man departed from the light of reason and of the divine law, does not involve his immediate return to the state in which he had been, but some movement of the will contrary to the first movement is required: just as when one has moved away to a distance from another, he does not become near him again the instant the movement ceases, but has to come back by a contrary movement.1
OF LIABILITY TO PUNISHMENT.
Article I.—Is liability to punishment an effect of sin?
R. The rule passes from the domain of physical nature to human affairs, that what rises up against anything, suffers loss from the same. For we see in physics that of two contraries the one acts more violently when the other supervenes.1 Hence in men this is found in accordance with natural inclination, that every one tries to put down the man that rises up against him. But since sin is an inordinate act, it is manifest that whoever sins acts against some order, and consequently must be put down and degraded from that order, which degradation is punishment. Hence man may be punished with a threefold punishment, according to the three orders to which the human will is subject. Human nature is subject in the first place to the order of its own reason; secondly, to the order of human government, spiritual or temporal, political or domestic; thirdly, to the general order of divine government. Each of these orders is upset by sin, in that the sinner acts against reason and against human law and against divine law. Hence he incurs a triple penalty: one from himself, which is remorse of conscience; another from man, and a third from God.1
§ 3. On Augustine’s words, “Every inordinate mind is its own punishment,” it is to be said that this punishment, consisting in an inordinate mind, is due to sin, as sin is a perversion of the order of reason. But the sinner becomes liable to another punishment by his perversion of the order of divine or human law.
§ 4. It is said: “Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil.”2
Article III.—Does any sin make a man liable to everlasting punishment?
R. Sin incurs liability to punishment by this, that it is the subversion of some order. Now, while the cause remains, the effect remains; hence so long as the subversion of order remains, the liability to punishment must remain. But order is subverted sometimes reparably, sometimes irreparably. For in all cases a defect that means the withdrawal of a principle is irreparable; but if only the principle is safe, by virtue thereof other defects may be repaired. Thus, if the principle of sight is lost, the restoration of sight cannot take place but by the power of God alone; whereas if the principle of sight is kept, and some hindrances to vision occur, they may be set to rights by nature or by art. Now in every order there is some principle whereby one becomes partaker of that order. And therefore if by sin the principle of order be destroyed, whereby the human will is subject to God, an inordinateness will ensue of itself irreparable, though it can be repaired by the power of God. Now the principle of this order is the last end, whereunto man clings by charity. And therefore whatsoever sins turn men away from God by taking away charity, do of themselves bring on liability to everlasting punishment.
§ 1. In no court is it required that the punishment should be adapted to the fault in point of duration. For though adultery or murder is committed in a moment, it is not on that account punished with the penalty of a moment, but sometimes with perpetual imprisonment or exile, sometimes also with death: in which latter case we must consider, not the time taken in executing the offender, but the fact that he is cut off for all time to come from the fellowship of the living, and so represents after his fashion the eternity of punishment inflicted by God.
§ 2. Even the penalty that is inflicted according to human laws is not always medicinal to him that is punished, but to others, as when a robber is hung, not for his own amendment, but according to the text: “The wicked man being scourged, the fool shall be wiser.”1 So then also the everlasting punishments of the reprobate, inflicted by God, are medicinal to those who upon consideration of these punishments abstain from sins, according to the text: “Thou hast given a warning to them that fear thee, that they may flee from before the bow, that thy beloved may be delivered.”1
Article IV.—Is the punishment due to sin infinite in amount?
R. There are two elements in sin: one is the turning away from the good that perishes not; and that element is infinite: hence in this respect sin is infinite. The other is the inordinate turning to the good that perishes; and in this respect sin is finite, both because the good that perishes is itself finite, and because the act of turning to it is finite, for the acts of a creature cannot be infinite. On the part of the turning away then there answers to sin the pain of loss, which also is infinite: for it is the loss of the infinite good of God. But on the part of the inordinate turning to there answers to it the pain of sense, which is finite.
Article VI.—Does the liability to punishment remain after the sin?
R. In sin there are two things to consider, the culpable act and the stain ensuing. It is plain that on the cessation of the act of sin liability to punishment remains. For an act of sin makes a man liable as a transgressor of the order of divine justice, to which order he returns not otherwise than by a certain penal compensation, which brings him back to the equilibrium of justice; so that he who has indulged his own will beyond due bounds, acting against the commandment of God, suffers according to the order of divine justice, either spontaneously or reluctantly, something contrary to what he would wish. And the same is observed also in injuries done to men. Hence it is clear that when the act of sin or of injury done is at an end, the debt of punishment still remains. But if we speak of the taking away of sin as to the stain of it, evidently the stain of sin cannot be taken away from the soul except by the soul being united to God; as it was in separation from Him that the soul incurred that loss of its own lustre which is the meaning of a stain. Now the soul is united to God by the will. Hence the stain of sin cannot be taken out of man, unless the will of man accepts the order of divine justice, by either spontaneously taking upon itself punishment in compensation for the past fault, or patiently bearing the punishment inflicted by God; for in both ways punishment bears the character of satisfaction. Now the fact of being satisfactory takes off something of the nature of punishment. For it is of the nature of punishment to be against the will. But satisfactory punishment, although, absolutely considered, it is against the will, yet is not actually against it as things actually stand; wherefore the punishment here is absolutely voluntary, but involuntary in a restricted sense.1 We must say then that after the removal of the stain of sin, there may remain a liability, not to punishment absolutely, but to punishment inasmuch as it is satisfactory.
§ 2. Punishment absolutely so called is not due to the virtuous: still there may be due to them punishment in its satisfactory aspect; for this is also a point of virtue to make satisfaction for offences to God or to man.
Article VII.—Is all punishment for some fault?
R. Satisfactory punishment is in some sort voluntary. And because those who differ in deservingness of punishment may be one in will by the union of love, it sometimes happens that one who has not sinned, voluntarily bears the punishment of another in his stead; as we see that sometimes one man takes upon himself another man’s debt. But if we speak of punishment absolutely so called, as bearing the proper character of punishment, then punishment always has reference to the sufferer’s own fault, sometimes his actual sin, and sometimes original sin. Primarily the punishment of original sin is that human nature is left to itself, deprived of the aid of original justice: consequently upon this come all the penalties that befall men from the defect and shortcoming of nature.
It is to be noted, however, that sometimes a thing wears the look of a penal infliction, and yet has not the absolute character of punishment. For punishment is a species of evil, that is, of privation of good. Now a man may suffer loss in a less good, to have increase in a greater; for instance, loss of money to gain health of body, or loss of both for salvation of his soul and the glory of God. The loss in that case is not absolutely an evil to the man, but only an evil in a restricted sense. Hence it has not the absolute character of punishment, but of medicine; for physicians also give bitter potions for the recovery of health. And because these sort of evils are not properly punishments, they are not reducible to any fault as their cause, except inasmuch as the mere necessity of the administration to human nature of medicinal inflictions arises from the corruption of nature, which is the punishment of original sin: for in the state of innocence it would not have been necessary to lead any one to advance in virtue by exercises that could be described as inflictions. Hence whatever there is of the character of a penal infliction here, is reducible to original sin as its cause.
§ 2. Temporal and material goods are indeed some good to man, but they are petty goods; the grand goods of man are spiritual. It is part of divine justice, therefore, to give spiritual goods to virtuous people; and of temporal goods or evils, so much as serves the purpose of virtue. For as Dionysius says: “It is the care of divine justice not to soften the fortitude of heroes by gifts of material things.” But with other men this very bestowal of temporal goods turns to their spiritual evil: hence the conclusion drawn, “Therefore pride hath held them fast.”1
Article VIII.—Is any one punished for another’s sin?
R. Loss of material goods, or even detriment to the body itself, is a manner of medicinal infliction ordained to the salvation of the soul. Hence there is nothing to hinder one being punished with such penalties for the sin of another either by God or man, as children for parents, and subjects for their lords and masters, in so far as they are in a manner the chattels of the same;1 yet so that if the son or subject be a partaker in the fault of his principal, this manner of penal deprivation bears the character of punishment for both parties; but if he is not a partaker in the fault, it bears the character of punishment as regards him for whom the other is punished, but as regards him who is punished, the character of medicine only.
OF VENIAL AND MORTAL SIN.
Article I.—Is it proper to divide sin into venial and mortal?
R. The principle of spiritual life is reference to the last end. If this reference is set aside, the defect cannot be made good by any intrinsic principle, but only by the power of God; and therefore such sins are called mortal, as being irreparable. But those sins are reparable, the inordinateness of which is in regard of means to the end, while the due order of reference to the end is preserved; and such are called venial sins. Mortal sin then and venial sin are opposed to one another, as being the one reparable and the other irreparable. This irreparability must be understood as regards all principles of action within the culprit, but not in regard of the power of God, which can repair the ravages of any disease, corporal or spiritual.
§ 1. The perfect character of sin attaches to mortal sin only. Venial sin is called sin as bearing the character of sin in an imperfect degree, and as being related to mortal sin, in the same way that an accident is called a being in relation to substance, as possessing an imperfect character of being. For venial sin is not in the teeth of the law, since he who sins venially does not do what the law [substantially] forbids, nor omit to do that to which the law [substantially] binds him by precept to do; but his action is wide of the law, since he does not observe the measure of reason which the law intends.
§ 2. The precept of the Apostle, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever else you do, do all to the glory of God,”1 is affirmative: hence it does not bind us to be discharging it every moment. Hence it is not against this precept, if a man fails actually to refer all that he does to the glory of God. It is sufficient then for one habitually to refer himself and all his ongoings to the glory of God, to escape sinning mortally every time that he does not actually refer an action to the glory of God.2 But venial sin does not exclude an habitual reference of human conduct to the glory of God, but only an actual reference; because it does not exclude charity which directs a man to God habitually.
§ 3. He who sins venially, adheres to a temporal good, not by way of fruition, since he does not set up his rest therein, but by way of use, referring to God not actually but habitually.
Article II.—Do mortal sin and venial differ in kind?
R. It being by charity that man is adapted to his last end, when the will is carried to that which of itself is repugnant to charity, that sin is mortal in point of its object, and hence is mortal of its kind; whether it be against the love of God, as blasphemy, perjury, and the like, or against the love of our neighbour, as murder and adultery: hence such sins are mortal of their kind. But sometimes in sinning the will is carried to that which contains in itself a certain inordinateness, but yet is not contrary to the love of God and our neighbour, as in the case of an idle word or excess of laughter; and such sins are venial of their kind. But because moral acts take a colour of good or evil, not only from their object, but also from the dispositions of the agent, it happens occasionally that what is a venial sin of its kind so far as its object goes, becomes mortal on the part of the agent: it may be because he directs it to something which is mortal of its kind, as when one puts out an idle word as a step towards the commission of adultery. In like manner on the part of the agent it may happen that a sin which is mortal of its kind becomes venial on account of the imperfection of the act, it being not fully deliberate.1
Article I.—Is law a function of reason?
R. A law is a rule and measure of acts, whereby one is induced to act or is restrained from action. Now the rule and measure of human acts is reason: it being the part of reason to direct to the end, which is the first principle of conduct. Hence a law must be some function of reason.
Article II.—Is law always directed to the general good?
R. As reason is the principle of human acts, so in reason itself there is something which acts as a principle or mainspring in regard of all the rest; and upon this something law must mainly and chiefly bear. Now in matters of conduct, which are the domain of practical reason, the prime mainspring is the last end in view; and that is happiness. Hence law must especially regard the order that is to be followed in the attainment of happiness.
Again, seeing that every part is referred to the whole as the imperfect to the perfect, and one man is a part of a perfect community, it needs must be that law peculiarly regards the order that is to be followed in view of the general happiness.
Since the name of law denotes something bearing upon the general good; every other precept prescribing a particular work lacks the character of law, except inasmuch as it is referred to the general good of the community.
Article III.—Has the reason of any and every man the power of making laws?
R. Law properly regards first and foremost the order that is to be taken towards the general good. Now to order anything towards the general good belongs either to the whole people, or to some one who is the vicegerent of the whole people. And therefore the framing of a law either belongs to the whole people or belongs to a public personage who has care of the whole people: because in all other things also the ordering of means to the end belongs to him to whom the end belongs as his special concern.
§ 1. To the text, “These are a law to themselves,”1 it is to be said that a law is in a person, not only as in one regulating, but also by participation as in one regulated. In this latter way every man is a law to himself, inasmuch as he participates in the direction given by one who regulates him. Hence it is added in the same text: “Who show the work of the law written in their hearts.”
§ 2. A private person cannot induce another to virtue efficaciously: for he can only admonish; but if his admonition is not received, he has no coercive power, which the law must have, if it is to induce people to virtue efficaciously. This coercive power is held by the multitude, or by a public personage, to whom it belongs to inflict penalties; and therefore it is for the holder of this power alone to make laws.
§ 3. As the individual is part of the household, so the household is part of the State; and the State is a perfect community. And therefore, as the good of one individual is not the last end, but is directed to the general good, so also the good of one single household is directed to the good of one single State, which is a perfect community. Hence he who governs a family, may make regulations or standing orders, not however such as to have the character of law.
Article IV.—Is promulgation of the essence of law?
R. A law is imposed on others by way of a rule and measure. Now a rule and measure is imposed by its application to the subjects ruled and measured. Hence, for a law to have the binding force which is proper to a law, it must be applied to the men who are to be regulated by it. Such application is made by the law being brought under their notice by promulgation. Hence promulgation is necessary for the law to have force.
And thus from the four preceding articles may be gathered the definition of a law, which is nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the general good, emanating from him who has the care of the community, and promulgated.
OF THE VARIETY OF LAWS.
Article I.—Is there any Eternal Law?
R. A law is nothing else than the dictate of practical reason in the sovereign who governs a perfect community. Now it is manifest, supposing that the world is ruled by Divine Providence, that the whole community of the universe is governed by Divine Reason. And therefore the plan of government of things, as it is in God the Sovereign of the universe, bears the character of a law. And because the Divine Reason conceives nothing according to time, but has an eternal concept, therefore it is that this manner of law must be called eternal.
§ 1. To the objection that there was no subject from eternity on whom a law could be imposed, it is to be said that the things that are not in themselves exist with God, as being known and pre-ordained by Him, according to the text: “Who calleth those things that are not, as those that are.”1
Article II.—Is there in us any natural law?
R. Law being a rule and measure, may be in a thing in two ways: in one way as in one ruling and measuring, in another way as in one that is ruled and measured. Hence since all things subject to Divine Providence are ruled and measured by the Eternal Law, it is manifest that they all participate to some extent in the Eternal Law, inasmuch by the stamp of that law upon them they have their inclinations to their several acts and ends. But among the rest the rational creature is subject to Divine Providence in a more excellent way, being itself a partaker in Providence, providing for itself and others. Hence there is in it a participation of the Eternal Law, whereby it has a natural inclination to a due act and end: such participation in the Eternal Law in the rational creature is called the natural law. Hence when the Psalmist had said:1 “Offer up the sacrifice of justice,” as if in answer to some inquiry what the works of justice are, he adds: “Many say, Who showeth us good things?” Answering this question, he says: “The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us,” signifying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what evil, which is the effect of the natural law, is nothing else than an impression of the divine light upon us. Hence it is clear that the natural law is nothing else than a participation of the Eternal Law in the rational creature.2
§ 3. Even irrational animals share in the Eternal Law in their own way, as also does the rational creature. But because the rational creature shares in it intellectually and rationally, therefore the participation of the Eternal Law in the rational creature is properly called a law; for law is a function of reason: but in the irrational creature it is not shared rationally; hence it cannot be called a law except by a similitude.
Article IV.—Was it necessary that there should be any divine law?1
R. Besides the natural law and human law it was necessary for the guidance of human life to have a divine law. And this for four reasons: First, because it is by law that man is guided to the performance of proper acts in view of his last end. And if indeed man were ordained to an end that did not exceed the measure of the natural faculties of man, there would be no need of man’s having any guidance on the part of reason beyond that of the natural law, and human law which is derived from it. But because man is ordained to an end of eternal blessedness, which exceeds the measure of the natural human faculties, therefore it was necessary that, over and above natural law and human law, he should be further guided to his end by a law given from God. Secondly, because of the uncertainty of human judgment, especially on contingent and particular matters, whence it is that different men come to form different judgments on human acts; whence also different and contrary laws arise. In order then that man might know without a doubt what to do and what to avoid, it was necessary for him to be guided in his acts by a law given from God, which can be relied upon for certain not to err. Thirdly, because man can make a law only upon matters of which he can be a judge. Now the judgment of man cannot pass upon interior acts, which are hidden, but only upon exterior movements which appear: and yet for the perfection of virtue rectitude in both sorts of acts is necessary. And therefore human law could not sufficiently restrain and direct interior acts: but to this end it was necessary for a divine law to supervene. Fourthly, because human law cannot punish or prevent all evil doings; for in the wish to take away all evils many good things would be taken away, and the profit of the public good would be impeded, which is necessary for the preservation of society. In order then that no evil might go unforbidden and unpunished, the supervening of the divine law was necessary, whereby all sins are prohibited. And these four causes are touched upon in the Psalm, where it is said: “The law of the Lord is unspotted,”1 allowing no turpitude of sin: “converting souls,” because it directs not only exterior but also interior acts: “the testimony of the Lord is faithful,” for the certain knowledge of truth and right: “giving wisdom to little ones,” in that it directs man to an end supernatural and divine.
§ 1. By the natural law the Eternal Law is sufficiently shared in according to the measure of the capacity of human nature. But to his supernatural last end man needs to be directed in some higher way. And therefore there is given by God an additional law, which is a higher participation of the Eternal Law.
OF THE EFFECTS OF LAW.
Article I.—Is it an effect of law to make men good?
R. If the intention of the lawgiver is fixed upon true good, which is public good regulated according to divine justice, it follows that the working of the law is towards making men good absolutely. But if the lawgiver’s intention is carried to that which is not absolutely good, but is expedient or pleasurable to himself, even in opposition to divine justice, then the law does not make men good absolutely, but only in a restricted sense: good, that is, for the purposes of such a government. In this way good is found even in what is to be styled properly bad: as one is called a good robber, because he operates in a manner calculated to gain his end.1
§ 1. Virtue is twofold, acquired and infused. Habituation contributes to both, but in different ways. It causes acquired virtue: it disposes to infused virtue; and where infused virtue exists, it preserves it and advances it. Hence the Philosopher says that “legislators make people good by habituating them.”
§ 3. The goodness of every part is estimated in reference to the whole to which it belongs. Hence Augustine says: “Unseemly is every part that befits not the whole.” Since, then, every man is a part of the State, it is impossible for any man to be good, unless his behaviour is well calculated to serve the common good: nor can the whole be in a good condition, unless it is made up of parts well adapted to it. Hence it is impossible for the common weal to flourish unless the citizens are virtuous, at least they who exercise the sovereignty. But is enough for the good of the community, that the others be virtuous to the extent of obeying the commands of those in power. And therefore the Philosopher says: “The virtue of a sovereign and of a good man is the same: but the virtue of any common citizen and of a good man is not the same.”
§ 4. A tyrannical law, not being according to reason, is not, absolutely speaking, a law, but rather a perversion of law; and yet inasmuch as it has something of a law about it, it intends that the citizens should be good: its aim being to make them obedient, or good for the purposes of such a government.1
§ 5. It is a saying of the Philosopher, that “the wish of every legislator is to make men good.”
§ 4. To Augustine’s words, “Of servile fear, which is the fear of punishment, though one do good, yet he does not do it well,” it is to be said that from becoming accustomed to avoid evil and fulfil what is good through fear of punishment, a man is sometimes led on to do the same with delight and of his own will; and in this way the law even by punishment leads men on to goodness.
OF THE ETERNAL LAW.
Article I.—Is the Eternal Law the Sovereign Plan existing in the mind of God?1
R. As with every artificer there pre-exists the plan of the things that are set up by art, so in every governor there must pre-exist a plan of the order of the things that are to be done by those who are subject to his government. And as the plan of things to be done by art is called a pattern or exemplar, so the plan of him who governs subjects has the character of a law, if the other conditions are observed, which we have said to be essential to a law. Now God by His wisdom is the Creator of all things, and stands to them as the artificer to the products of his art. He is also the governor and controller of all the acts and movements that are found in any creature. And as the plan of divine wisdom has the character of an exemplar, pattern, or idea, inasmuch as by it all things are created, so the plan of divine wisdom moving all things to their due end has the character of a law. And thus the Eternal Law is nothing else than the plan of divine wisdom, as director of all acts and movements.
Article II.—Is the Eternal Law known to all?
R. A thing may be known either in itself, or in its effects, wherein some likeness of the thing itself is found: as one not seeing the sun in its substance knows it in its refulgence. Thus then the Eternal Law none can know as it is in itself, except God alone, and the Blessed who see God in His essence: but every rational creature knows the law in some reflection or refulgence of it, greater or less. For every knowledge of truth is some sort of refulgence and participation of the Eternal Law, which is the unchangeable truth. Now all men do know the truth to a certain extent, at least to the extent of the common principles of the natural law. For the rest, some men partake more and some less, in the knowledge of truth; and thus they also know the Eternal Law more or less.
Article III.—Is every law derived from the Eternal Law?
R. The plan of what is to be done in the State is derived from the King, by his precept issued to inferior administrators. Also in things of art the plan of what has to be done by art is derived from the architect or designer to the inferior artificers and handicraftsmen. Since therefore the Eternal Law is the plan of government in the mind of the Supreme Governor, all the plans of government in the minds of inferior governors must be derived from the Eternal Law. But these plans of inferior governors are all other laws besides the Eternal. Therefore all laws, exactly to the extent to which they partake of right reason, are derived from the Eternal Law.
§ 2. A human law bears the character of law so far as it is in conformity with right reason; and in that point of view it is manifestly derived from the Eternal Law. But inasmuch as any human law recedes from reason, it is called a wicked law; and to that extent it bears not the character of law, but rather of an act of violence. And yet in so far as something of the likeness of law is retained even in this wicked law, on account of the order of power in him who made the law, in this respect it is still derived from the Eternal Law: for all power is of the Lord God, as is said.1
§ 3. Augustine says: “The law which is written for the guidance of a people, rightly permits many things which are punished by Divine Providence.” Human law is said to permit some things, not as approving of them, but as being unable to rectify them. Many things are set straight by divine law, which cannot be set straight by human law: for more comes under the action of a higher cause than under that of a lower. Hence this very abstinence of human law from meddling with what it cannot rectify, springs from the order of the Eternal Law. It would be otherwise if the human law approved of what the Eternal Law reprobates. Hence we have not got the conclusion that human law is not derived from the Eternal Law, but only that it cannot perfectly come up to it.
Article IV.—Are things necessary and eternal subject to the Eternal Law?
R. The Eternal Law is the system of divine government. Whatever things, therefore, are subject to divine government, are subject also to the Eternal Law: but as for what is not subject to divine government, neither is it subject to the Eternal Law. For those things are subject to human government which can be done by men: but what appertains to the nature of man is not subject to human government, as that man should have a soul, or a hand, or feet. Thus then all that is in the things created by God, be it contingent or be it necessary, is subject to the Eternal Law: but what belongs to the Divine Nature or Essence is not subject to the Eternal Law, but is really the Eternal Law itself.
Article V.—Are natural contingent things subject to the Eternal Law?1
R. We must speak in one way of the law of man, and in another way of the Eternal Law, which is the law of God. For the law of man does not extend except to rational creatures subject to man. The reason is, because law has the direction of acts which are proper to the subjects of some government: hence, strictly speaking, none imposes a law upon his own acts. Now whatever is done touching the use of irrational things subject to man, is done by the act of man himself moving such things. And therefore man cannot impose a law upon irrational things, however much they be subject to him:1 but on rational beings subject to him he can impose a law, inasmuch as by his precept or proclamation he impresses on their minds a rule, which is a principle of action. Now as man by his proclamation impresses an inward principle of action upon the man that is subject to him, so God impresses upon all nature principles of proper action; and therefore in this way God is said to give His precept to all nature, according to the saying of the Psalmist: “He hath set a precept, and it shall not pass away.”2 And this reasoning shows how all the movements and actions of all nature are subject to the Eternal Law. Hence in some way irrational creatures are subject to the Eternal Law, as being set in motion by Divine Providence; but not by any understanding of the divine precept, as rational creatures are.
§ 2. Irrational creatures are not partakers in human reason, nor do they obey it: but they are partakers in divine reason in the way of obedience: for the power of divine reason extends to more objects than the power of human reason. And as the members of the human body move at the command of reason, and yet are not partakers of reason, so are irrational creatures moved by God, and yet are not on that account rational.
Article VI.—Are all things human subject to the Eternal Law?
R. There are two ways in which a being is subject to the Eternal Law. The one is a participation of it by way of knowledge; the other by way of an interior motive principle; and it is in this second way that irrational creatures are subject to the Eternal Law. But because the rational creature, along with what it has in common with all creatures, has also something proper to itself inasmuch as it is rational, it is therefore subject to the Eternal Law in both ways: because on the one hand it has some notion of the Eternal Law; and on the other hand there is in every rational creature some natural inclination to a line of conduct in harmony with the Eternal Law: for “we are born to have virtues,” as is said in the Ethics [of Aristotle]. But both ways are imperfect and more or less destroyed in the wicked; in whom the natural inclination to virtue is corrupted by vicious habits, and again, the natural knowledge of good in them is darkened by passions and habits of sin. But in the good both ways are found in greater perfection: because in them, over and above the natural knowledge of good, there is superadded the knowledge that comes of faith and wisdom; and over and above the natural inclination to good, there is superadded in them the inward motive of grace and virtue. Thus then the good are perfectly subject to the Eternal Law, as ever acting according to it: while the wicked are subject to the Eternal Law but imperfectly as to their actions, seeing that their knowledge of good is imperfect, and imperfect their inclination to it. But what is wanting on the side of action is made up on the side of suffering, in that they suffer what the Eternal Law dictates concerning them to that exact extent to which they fail to do what is in accordance with that law.
§ 2. The wisdom of the flesh cannot be subject to the law of God1 so far as action goes, because it inclines to actions contrary to the divine law: still it is subject to the law of God for the matter of suffering, because it deserves to suffer punishment according to the law of divine justice. Nevertheless in no man is the wisdom of the flesh so predominant as to spoil the whole good of his nature; and therefore there remains in man some inclination to comply with the enactments of the Eternal Law.
OF THE NATURAL LAW.
Article II.—Does the natural law contain several precepts or one only?
R. A certain order is found in the things that fall under human apprehension. What first falls under apprehension is being, the idea of which is included in all things whatsoever any one apprehends. And therefore the first principle requiring no proof is this, that there is no affirming and denying of the same thing at the same time; a principle which is founded on the notion of being and not-being; and upon this principle all the rest are founded. As being is the first thing that falls under apprehension absolutely, so good is the first thing that falls under the apprehension of the practical reason. For every agent acts for an end, which end has a character of goodness. And therefore the first principle of practical reason is one founded on the nature of good, good being that which all things seek after. This then is the first precept of law, that good is to be done and gone after, and evil is to be avoided. All the other precepts of the natural law are founded upon this: so that all those things belong to the precepts of the law of nature as things to be done, or avoided, which practical reason naturally apprehends and recognizes as human goods [or evils]. But because good has the character of an end of action, and evil the contrary character, hence all those things to which man has a natural inclination are apprehended by reason as good, and consequently as things to be gone after, and followed out in act; and their contraries are apprehended as evils to be avoided. According then to the order of natural inclinations is the order of the precepts of the law of nature. First of all there is in man an inclination to that natural good which he shares along with all substances, inasmuch as every substance seeks the preservation of its own being, according to its nature. In virtue of this inclination there belongs to the natural law the taking of those means whereby the life of man is preserved, and things contrary thereto are kept off. Secondly, there is in man an inclination to things more specially belonging to him, in virtue of the nature which he shares with other animals. In this respect those things are said to be of the natural law, which nature has taught to all animals, as the intercourse of the sexes, the education of offspring, and the like. In a third way there is in man an inclination to good according to the rational nature which is proper to him; as man has a natural inclination to know the truth about God, and to live in society. In this respect there belong to the natural law such natural inclinations as to avoid ignorance, to shun offending other men, and the like.
Article III.—Are all acts of virtue prescribed by the law of nature?
R. To the law of nature belongs everything to which man is inclined according to his nature. Now every being is naturally inclined to an activity befitting itself according to its form. Hence as the proper form of man is his rational soul, there is a natural inclination in every man to act according to reason; that is, to act according to virtue. Hence from this point of view all acts of virtue are according to nature: for every one’s own reason naturally dictates to him to act virtuously.
But if we speak of virtuous acts in detail, not all virtuous acts are prescribed by natural law: for many things are virtuously done, to which nature at first does not incline, but rational inquiry has found them conducive to human happiness.1
Article V.—Can the law of nature be changed?
R. A change in the natural law may be understood in two ways. One way is the way of addition; and in that way there is nothing to hinder the natural law being changed: for many enactments useful to human life have been added over and above the natural law, as well by the divine law as by human laws. Another conceivable way in which the natural law might be changed is the way of substraction, that something should cease to be of the natural law that was of it before. Understanding change in this sense, the natural law is absolutely immutable in its first principles: but as to secondary precepts, which are certain detailed conclusions closely related to the first principles, the natural law is not so changed as that its dictate is not right in most cases steadily to abide by: it may, however, be changed in some particular case, and in rare instances, through some special causes impeding the observance of these secondary precepts, as has been said above.1
§ 3. There are two ways in which a thing may be said to be of natural law, in one way because nature inclines thereto, as to the axiom that wrong must not be done to another: in another way because nature does not induce the contrary—as we might say that for man to be naked is of natural law, because nature has not given him clothes, but art has invented that addition. Hence Isidore’s saying: “A common possession of all things and one liberty is of natural law:” because slavery and the separation of properties were not induced by nature, but by the reason of men for the utility of human life; and so also in this the law of nature has not been changed except by addition.1
Article VI.—Can the natural law be abolished from the heart of man?
R. Belonging to the natural law are, first, certain most general precepts, which are known to all: secondly, secondary precepts of a more special nature, being conclusions following upon primary principles. As to those general precepts, the natural law can in no way be blotted out from the human heart in the abstract: still it is blotted out in its application to a particular question of practice, inasmuch as reason is hindered from applying the abstract principle to a particular case by concupiscence or some other passion.2 But as to the other, the secondary precepts, the natural law may be blotted out of the hearts of men by evil persuasions, or by vicious customs and corrupt habits, as among some men the note of sin was not attached to robbery, or even to unnatural vice, as the Apostle says.3
OF HUMAN LAW.
Article I.—Was there any use in laws being enacted by men?
R. Man has a certain innate aptitude for virtue, but the perfection of virtue must accrue to him by discipline and training: as we see that he is aided by industry in his necessities, notably in food and clothing. Nature has given him the beginnings of the satisfaction of his wants in these respects, in giving him reason and a pair of hands; but not complete satisfaction, as to other animals, to whom she has given in sufficiency clothing and food. For the purposes of this training and discipline it is not easy to find a man who suffices for himself: because the perfection of virtue principally consists in withdrawing man from undue pleasures, to which all men are prone, and especially the young, with whom discipline goes further. And therefore one man must receive from another this training and discipline whereby virtue is arrived at. Now for those young people who are prone to acts of virtue by a good natural disposition, or by custom, or rather by the gift of Heaven, the paternal discipline suffices, which is by admonitions. But because of wanton and saucy spirits, prone to vice, who cannot easily be moved by words, it was found necessary to provide means of restraining them from evil by force and fear, that so at least they might desist from evil-doing, allow others to live in quiet, and themselves at length be brought by habituation of this sort to do willingly what formerly they accomplished out of fear, and thus might become virtuous. This discipline, coercive by fear of punishment, is the discipline of the laws.
§ 2. The Philosopher says: “It is better for all things to be regulated by law than to be left to the judges’ discretion;” and that for three reasons. First, because it is easier to find a few wise men capable of framing right laws, than to find the many who would be requisite to judge rightly of particular cases. Secondly, because the framers of laws consider long beforehand what is to be enacted: but judgments are framed on particular facts from cases that have arisen on a sudden. Now it is easier to see what is right from the consideration of many instances than from one only. Thirdly, because lawgivers judge in the general and with an eye to futurity: but men sitting in judgment judge of the present, which they regard with love or hate or other passion; and thus their judgment is warped.
Article II.—Is every law framed by man derived from the natural law?
R. Every law framed by man bears the character of a law exactly to that extent to which it is derived from the law of nature. But if on any point it is in conflict with the law of nature, it at once ceases to be a law: it is a mere perversion of law. But there are two modes of derivation from the law of nature. Some enactments are derived by way of conclusion from the common principles of the law of nature; as the prohibition of killing may be derived from the prohibition of doing harm to any man. Other enactments are derived by way of determination of what was in the vague: for instance, the law of nature has it that he who does wrong should be punished; but that he should be punished with this or that punishment, is a determination of the law of nature. Both sort of enactments are found in human law. But the former are not mere legal enactments, but have some force also of natural law. The latter sort have force of human law only.
OF THE AUTHORITY OF HUMAN LAW.
Article II.—Does it belong to human law to repress all vices?
R. A law is laid down as a rule or measure of human acts. Now a measure ought to be homogeneous with the thing measured. Hence laws also must be imposed upon men according to their condition. As Isidore says: “A law ought to be possible both according to nature and according to the custom of the country.” Now the power or faculty of action proceeds from interior habit or disposition. The same thing is not possible to him who has no habit of virtue, that is possible to a virtuous man; as the same thing is not possible to a boy and to a grown man; and therefore the same law is not laid down for children as for adults. Many things are allowed to children, that in adults are visited with legal punishment or with blame; and in like manner many things must be allowed to men not perfect in virtue, which would be intolerable in virtuous men. But a human law is laid down for a multitude, the majority of whom consists of men not perfect in virtue. And therefore not all the vices from which the virtuous abstain are prohibited by human law, but only those graver excesses from which it is possible for the majority of the multitude to abstain, and especially those excesses which are to the hurt of other men, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained, as murder, theft, and the like.1
§ 2. Human law aims at leading men on to virtue, not suddenly, but step by step; and therefore it does not impose upon a multitude of imperfect men the practice of those who are already virtuous, to abstain from all things evil. Otherwise these imperfect persons, unable to bear such precepts, would break out into evils still worse, as is said: “He that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood;”2 and again we read that if “new wine,” that is, precepts of a perfect life, is “put into old bottles,” that is, into imperfect men, “the bottles break, and the wine runneth out,”3 that is, the precepts are contemned, and the men out of contempt rush into worse evils.
Article III.—Does human law enjoin acts of all virtues?
R. There is no virtue, the acts of which the law may not enjoin. Nevertheless, human law does not enjoin all acts of all virtues, but only those acts which are referable to the general good, whether immediately or mediately.
§ 1. Human law prohibits some acts of every vice, and also enjoins some acts of every virtue.
Article IV.—Is the obligation imposed on man by human law binding in the court of conscience?1
R. Laws enacted by men are either just or unjust. If they are just, they have a binding force in the court of conscience from the Eternal Law, whence they are derived. Laws are said to be just in respect of the end, when they are ordained to the general good; in respect of the author, when the law does not exceed the competence of the legislator; and in respect of the form, when burdens are laid upon subjects in proportionate equality in order to the general good. For as one man is a part of a multitude, all that every man is and has belongs to the multitude,2 as all that every part is, is of the whole: hence also nature inflicts loss on the part to save the whole. Under this consideration, the laws that impose these burdens according to proportion are just, and binding in the court of conscience, and are legal laws.
Laws are unjust in two ways: in one way by being contrary to human good either in respect of the end, as when one in authority imposes on his subjects burdensome laws, that have no bearing on the general good, but make rather for the gratification of his own cupidity or vainglory: or in respect of the author, as when one makes a law beyond the scope of the power committed to him; or in respect of the form, as when burdens are laid unevenly on the multitude, though the end of the imposition is the public good. Such proceedings are rather acts of violence than laws: because, as Augustine says: “A law that is not just, goes for no law at all.” Hence such laws are not binding in the court of conscience, except perhaps for the avoiding of scandal or turmoil, for which cause a man ought to abate something of his right, according to the text: “If a man will take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him; and whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two.”1 In another way laws may be unjust by being in conflict with the good that is of God, like the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry; or to anything else that is against the divine law; and such laws it is nowise lawful to observe, because, as is said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”2
Article V.—Are all subject to the law?
R. There are two essential elements in law; one that it is a rule of human actions; another that it is fraught with coercive power. In two ways then a man may be subject to law: in one way as the regulated to the regulator; and in this way all who are subject to authority are subject to the law which authority frames. It may happen in two ways that one is not subject to an authority: in one way by being altogether free from subjection to him: hence persons of one city or kingdom are not subject to the laws of the sovereign of another city or kingdom; in another way by being under the direction of a higher law: for instance, the subject of a proconsul should be ruled by his command, but not on those points on which the subject has a dispensation from the emperor. In another way one is said to be subject to a law as the coerced to the coercer; and in this way virtuous and just men are not subject to the law, but only bad men. For what is constrained and violent is contrary to the will: but the will of the good is in harmony with the law, from which the will of the wicked is at discord; and therefore in this respect good men are not under the law, but only bad men.
§ 2. The law of the Holy Ghost1 is superior to all law laid down by man; and therefore spiritual men, inasmuch as they are led by the law of the Holy Ghost, are not subject to the law in particulars that disagree with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. But this very provision is part of the guidance of the Holy Ghost, that spiritual men should be subject to human laws, according to the text: “Be ye subject to every human creature for God’s sake.”2
§ 3. The sovereign is said to be “released from the laws” as regards their coercive force: for no one properly is coerced by himself; and the law has no coercive force except from the authority of the sovereign. Thus then the sovereign is said to be “released from the law,” because none can pass judgment of condemnation upon him if he acts against the law. But as regards the directive force of the law, the sovereign is subject to the law by his own will, as the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian wrote to the Prefect Volusian: “It is a saying worthy of the majesty of the ruler, for the Emperor to profess himself bound by the laws.” They also are reproached by the Lord, who “say and do not,” and who “bind heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but with a finger of their own they will not move them.”1 Hence, in the judgment of God, the sovereign is not released from the law as regards its directive force, but ought voluntarily, and not of constraint, to fulfil the law. The sovereign is also above the law, inasmuch as, if expedient, he can change the law; and dispense in it according to place and season.
Article VI.—Is any deviation from the letter of the law permissible to one who is under the law?
R. Every law is ordained to the common welfare of men, and has so far the essence and force of law; and failing this, it has no binding power. Hence the Lawyer says: “No reason of law, or bounty of equity, allows us to take the wholesome measures that are enacted for the welfare of men, and by a harsh interpretation draw them over to the side of severity to the grievance of the subject.” Now it happens many times that a point of observance is profitable to the common welfare generally, but in some cases is decidedly hurtful. Since then the legislator cannot have all individual cases in his view, he puts forward a law on the basis of the circumstances that generally occur, his aim being the public utility. Hence if a case arises in which the observance of such a law would be hurtful to the public welfare, it is not to be observed. But this caution is to be taken note of, that if the observance of the law to the letter involves no sudden danger that has to be met at once, it does not belong to every one at pleasure to interpret and decide what is useful and what is harmful to the State, but this interpretation is reserved to the men in power, who have authority for such cases to dispense from the laws. But if the danger is sudden, and brooks not the delay of having recourse to higher powers, the mere necessity carries a dispensation with it, because necessity is not amenable to law.1
OF CHANGE OF LAWS.
Article I.—Ought human law ever to be changed at all?
R. Human law is a dictate of reason for the direction of human acts. Thus two manner of causes may appear for a proper alteration of human law: one on the part of reason, another on the part of the people whose acts are regulated by the law. On the part of reason we have this cause, that it seems natural to human reason to travel by degrees from imperfection to perfection. Hence we see in speculative science that the imperfect teaching of early philosophers has given place to the more perfect teaching of a later age. So also in matters of practice: the first who applied their minds to discover something useful for the commonwealth, were not able to take everything into consideration; and accordingly their institutions were defective on many points, which points later ages have altered, and set up other institutions, which it is hoped may prove less defective in view of the public welfare.
On the part of the people whose acts are regulated by law, a law may be changed for the changed condition of the people, as their expediency varies with their condition. Augustine furnishes an example. “If the people,” he says, “are observant of moderation and of principle, and carefully watch over the common interest, it is right to enact a law allowing such a people to appoint their own magistrates and carry on the government. If in course of time the same people become gradually corrupt, sell their votes, and place atrocious criminals in office, the power of conferring offices of State is rightly taken away from the people, and returns to the discretion of a few good men.”
Article II.—Ought human law always to be changed when anything better occurs?
R. The alteration of a human law is right exactly so far as the alteration is conducive to the public interest. But the mere change of itself is in some measure prejudicial to that interest, because custom goes a long way towards getting the laws observed, so much so that enactments running counter to common custom, though light in themselves, seem burdensome. Hence, when the law is changed, the binding power of the law is diminished, inasmuch as a custom is set aside. And therefore human law never ought to be changed, unless the gain to the public advantage on the other side be enough to balance the loss on this head.
§ 1. Rules of art have force by reason only; and therefore the old arrangement is to be altered for every improvement that occurs. But laws gather greatest weight by custom, and therefore they ought not lightly to be changed.1
Article III.—Can custom obtain the force of law?
R. Every law emanates from the reason and will of the lawgiver: divine and natural law from the reasonable will of God; human law from the will of man regulated by reason. Now the reason and will of man concerning things to be done may be manifested in deed no less than in word: for a man is always supposed to choose that as good which he carries into effect in act. But clearly the law may be both altered and expounded by the word of man, manifesting the inward motion and concept of human reason. Hence also by repeatedly multiplied acts, which make a custom, the law may be altered and expounded, and also something be established that shall have the force of law; inasmuch as the multiplication of exterior acts is a most effectual declaration of the inward motion of the will and concept of the reason; for when a thing is done many times over, it seems to come of the deliberate judgment of the reason. And in this way custom at once has the force of law, and abolishes law, and is the interpreter of the laws.
§ 2. Human laws break down in some cases. Hence it is possible to act against the law, in a case where the law breaks down, without the act being therefore evil. When cases like this multiply on account of some change in the circumstances of the people, then the law is declared by custom to be no longer useful, as it might be declared by the express promulgation of a law to the contrary. But if the same reason sitll remains for which the law was first useful, then it is not the custom that should prevail against the law, but the law against the custom; unless perchance the law should be adjudged useless on this mere ground, that it is not possible according to the custom of the country, which possibility was one of the conditions of the law. For it is difficult to set aside the custom of the multitude.
§ 3. The people amongst whom a custom is introduced may be of two conditions. If they are a free people that can make a law for themselves, the consent of the whole people goes for more in favour of the observance indicated by the custom than does the authority of the prince, who has no power of framing a law, except inasmuch as he personates the people. Hence, though individuals cannot make a law, the whole people can make one. But if the people have not the unrestricted power of making a law for themselves, or setting aside a law enacted by higher authority, still the custom prevailing in such a people has the force of law, in so far as it is tolerated by them to whom it belongs to impose a law upon the people: for this tolerance of theirs is taken as an approval of the practice which the custom has brought in.1
Article IV.—Can the rulers of the people dispense from human laws?
R. A dispensation properly means a measuring out to individuals of something held in common. Hence the ruler of a household is called a dispenser, inasmuch as he allots to every one in the household in due weight and measure both duties and the necessaries of life. So then in every community one is said to dispense, in that he ordains how some common precept is to be fulfilled by individuals. But it happens sometimes that a precept which is to be advantage of the community generally, is not adapted to a particular person or to a particular case, either because it would hinder some greater good, or would even bring on some evil. Now it would be dangerous to leave this issue to be settled by individual judgments, except perchance for an evident and sudden emergency. And therefore he who has the ruling of a community has the power of dispensing from the human law that rests on his authority, so that he can give leave for the precept of the law not to be observed by certain persons, or in certain cases, when the law fails in its application to them. But if without this reason he gives leave of his mere will and pleasure, he will be unfaithful in his dispensation, or even imprudent: unfaithful, if he has not an eye to the common good; imprudent, if he is ignorant of the principle on which dispensations should be granted. Wherefore our Lord says: “Who (thinkest thou) is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord setteth over his family?”1
§ 1. When any one is dispensed from the observance of the general law, it ought not to be to the prejudice of the general good, but to the advancement of the same.
§ 2. It is not a respecting of persons if equal measure is not kept with persons who are unequal. Hence when the condition of any person reasonably requires that some special regard should be had for him, it is not a respecting of persons if a special favour is done him.
§ 3. So far as the natural law contains general precepts that never fail, it does not admit of dispensation. But in its other precepts, that follow as conclusions from the general precepts, a dispensation is sometimes given by man, as that a loan should not be paid back to a traitor, or something of that sort. But in the precepts of the divine law, which are from God, none can dispense but God, or the man whom God may empower for that special purpose.2
OF THE MORAL PRECEPTS OF THE OLD LAW.
Article II.—Do the moral precepts of the Old Law prescribe all acts of virtue?
R. Since the precepts of law are ordained to the common good, these precepts must be different according to the different kinds of communities that they are given to. Now the kind of community for which human law is meant is different from that for which divine law is meant. Human law is meant for the civil community of man with man. Now men are put in mutual relation by outward acts, or dealings with one another. These dealings are matter of justice, which is the proper guiding principle of a human community. And therefore human law proposes no precepts except of acts of justice; or if it does enjoin acts of other virtues, that is only inasmuch as they assume the character of justice. But the community to which the divine law refers is that of men with God, either in the present or in the future life. And therefore the divine law proposes precepts of all those things whereby men are duly led on to hold communion with God. But this is done by acts of all the virtues. And therefore the divine law proposes precepts of the acts of all virtues, yet so that some things, without which the order of virtue, which is the order of reason, cannot be observed, fall under an obligation of precept; while other things, which belong to the well-being of perfect virtue, fall under an admonition of counsel.
Article V.—Is the decalogue a suitable enumeration of precepts?
R. As the precepts of human law adapt man to a human community, so the precepts of divine law adapt him to a community or commonwealth of men under God. Now two things are requisite for any person to dwell to advantage in a community: the first is that he should behave well to the head of the community; the second is that he should behave well to the rest, his associates and partners in the community. There must then in the divine law be enacted, first, some precepts directing a man in his behaviour towards God; and after that, other precepts directing a man in his behaviour towards other men his neighbours, living with him under God. Now to the Sovereign of the community man owes three things: first, fidelity; secondly, reverence; thirdly, service. Fidelity to his Lord consists in this, that he should not pay sovereign honours to any other; and this is the idea of the first commandment, when it is said, Thou shalt not have strange gods. Reverence to his Lord requires that he should do no injurious act towards Him; and such is the import of the second commandment, which is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Service is due to the Lord in recompense for the benefits which His subjects receive from Him; and to this belongs the third commandment, of the sanctification of the Sabbath in memory of the creation of the world. To his neighbours a man has to behave well both in particular and in general. In particular towards those to whom he is indebted, to pay them the debt; and in this light is to be taken the commandment of honouring parents. In general towards all men, to hurt none, whether in deed, word, or desire. A neighbour is hurt in deed, sometimes in his own person as to the continuance of that person; and this hurt is prohibited by the utterance, Thou shalt not kill: sometimes in a person allied to him as to the propagation of offspring; and this hurt is prohibited when it is said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: sometimes again in his possessions, which are directed both to the good of his own person and to that of persons allied to him; and in respect of these it is said, Thou shalt not steal. Hurt in word is prohibited when it is said, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Hurt in desire is prohibited when it is said, Thou shalt not covet.
Article VIII.—Do the commandments of the decalogue admit of dispensation?
R. A dispensation from precepts ought then to be given when there occurs some particular case in which, if the letter of the law were observed, the intention of the legislator would be defeated. Now the intention of every legislator is directed first and foremost to the general good; secondly to the order of justice and virtue whereby the general good is preserved and attained. If therefore any precepts be given which contain precisely the preservation of the general good, or precisely the order of justice and virtue, such precepts contain the intention of the legislator, and therefore admit of no dispensation. But if, subordinate to these precepts, other precepts were given determining special modes of procedure, in such precepts a dispensation would be possible, since from the omission of these precepts in certain cases no prejudice would ensue to the primary precepts, which contain the intention of the legislator. For instance, if it were enacted in any city for the preservation of the common weal, that out of every ward some persons should keep watch as sentries in a siege, some might be dispensed from this in view of a greater utility.
Now the commandments of the decalogue contain precisely the intention of the lawgiver, who is God. For the commandments of the first table, which refer to God, contain precisely the order that leads to the general and final good, God; while the precepts of the second table contain the order of justice to be observed amongst men, that nothing undue be done to any man, and that to every man may be rendered his due. And therefore the precepts of the decalogue are altogether beyond dispensation.
§ 3. The killing of a man is prohibited in the decalogue in so far as it bears the character of an undue act: for thus understood, the commandment contains the essential idea of justice. Human law cannot allow as lawful the killing of a man unduly. But there is nothing undue in the killing of male-factors or enemies of the commonwealth. Hence such killing is not the murder that is forbidden by the decalogue. Therefore also when any one has that which was his own taken away from him, if it was due that he should lose it, that is not the theft or robbery forbidden in the decalogue.1 And therefore when the children of Israel by God’s command took the spoils of the Egyptians, that was not theft, because what they took was due to them by the sentence of God. In like manner when Abraham consented to slay his son, he did not consent to murder, because it was due for that son to be slain by the command of God, who is Lord of life and death; for He it is who inflicts the punishment of death on all men, just and unjust, for the sin of their first parent; and if a man by divine authority shall be the executor of this sentence, he shall be no murderer, no more than God is. And in like manner also Osee, taking to himself a wife of fornications, or an adulterous woman, committed neither adultery nor fornication, because he took her to himself by the command of God, who is the author of the institution of marriage.1 Thus then the commandments of the decalogue, for the essence of justice that they contain, are unchangeable in themselves; but for the way that they are determined by application to particular acts—as that this or that should be murder, theft, or adultery, or not—that is a thing changeable, sometimes by divine authority alone, in points which are of purely divine institution, as marriage, and the like; sometimes also by human authority in matters committed to human jurisdiction; for herein men hold the place of God, but not for all purposes.
Article IX.—Does the mode of virtue fall under the precept of the law?2
R. That falls properly under the precept of the law, for which the penalty of the law is inflicted. Now the penalty of the law is inflicted only for what the legislator is competent to judge of: for law punishes in pursuance of a judicial sentence. Now man, the legislator of human law, can judge only of overt acts, “for man seeth those things that appear.”3 It is for God alone, the legislator of the divine law, to judge of the interior motions of wills,—“God searcher of hearts and reins.”1 Thereupon it is to be said that the mode of virtue is in some sort regarded both by human and divine law; in some sort again by divine law, but not by human law; and lastly in some sort neither by human law nor divine law.
The first point of the mode of virtue, that the agent should have knowledge of what he is doing, comes under the judgment of both divine and human law: for in both courts the question of ignorance is gone into for infliction of penalty or admission of excuse. The second point, that the agent should act by choice, and by choice for the proper motives of the virtue, is regarded by the divine law only, for human law does not punish the mere wish to murder.2 The third point, that the agent should act steadily and resolutely, which steadiness properly belongs to the habit of virtue, and means action proceeding from a rooted habit, this point falls under the precept of neither law; for neither by man nor by God is he punished as an offender who pays due honour to his parents, albeit he has not the habit of filial piety.
§ 4. If the mode of virtue fell under precept, it would follow that he who had not the habit of virtue would deserve punishment, whatever he did, as not fulfilling the mode which is impossible without the habit.
Article XI.—Is it well to specify other moral precepts of the law, besides the decalogue?
R. The judicial and ceremonial precepts of the law1 have force only by positive institution; prior to that, it might not appear to matter whether the thing in question were done one way or another. Moral precepts have validity from the mere dictate of natural reason, even if they were nowhere enacted in the law. Of these there are three grades. Some are of the widest generality, and so plain as to need no publishing, as the commandments of the love of God and our neighbour; over these no man’s rational judgment can err. Some precepts go more into detail: any ordinary man can at once see the reason of them; and yet because in some exceptional cases human judgment happens to go astray on them, precepts like these require publishing: such are the precepts of the decalogue. Some precepts there are again, the reason of which is not so manifest to every one, but only to the wise; and these are moral precepts superadded to the decalogue; they were taught by God to the people through Moses and Aaron. But because the truths that are manifest are principles leading to the knowledge of others not manifest, these other moral precepts superadded to the decalogue are reducible to the decalogue as corollaries thereto.2
[1 ]Philipp. iii. 19.
[2 ]St. Matt. vi. 24.
[1 ]When St. Thomas says “the Philosopher,” he means Aristotle, as when he says “the Apostle,” he means St. Paul. (Trl.)
[1 ]Psalm viii. 8.
[2 ]Eccles. x. 19.
[3 ]Prov. xvii. 16.
[1 ]Fame and glory attach to the absent and even the dead: honour is paid to a man living and present to receive it. This article is useful in considering the “eternal life” of fame and glory which is the Positivist substitute for Heaven. (Trl.)
[1 ]2 Cor. x. 18.
[1 ]Eccles. v. 12.
[1 ]Ecclus. xv. 14.
[1 ]St. Thomas’s actus and operatio I have Englished usually as act and activity. The surgical associations that hang about our word operation are too strong to allow us ever to say that happiness consists in an operation. At the same time, as the English language is very deficient in the technicalities of philosophy, an English word must at times be used rather in an arbitrary and constrained sense, to make it equivalent to a technical term of scholastic Latin. See note on II-II. q. 37. art. 1. (Trl.)
[2 ]St. John xvii. 4.
[1 ]This sort of action is called transient. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Matt. xii. 30.
[1 ]This is a much vexed question between Thomists and Scotists. St. Thomas certainly has Aristotle with him. See the Aristotelian definition of happiness explained and applied, Moral Philosophy, or Ethics and Natural Law, Stonyhurst Series, pp. 6—26. (Trl.)
[1 ]The reader should compare q. 5. art. 5, and consult theologians on the difficulties of this passage. For the natural end of man, the highest that he could have attained to by his unaided natura powers, see Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 23—26. (Trl.)
[1 ]This article is really a continuation of art. 4 of the previous question. (Trl.)
[2 ]Q. 3. art. 4.
[1 ]“Only one soul.” Such hypotheses are often met with. We may be cognisant one day, we may hazard a conjecture now, of an intrinsic absurdity, visible to the mind of Him who said, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. ii. 18), rendering it impossible for creatures to be called into existence otherwise than in species and hierarchies. Many arrangements intrinsically impossible may be conceivable to us solely on account of the imperfection of our ideas, as the squaring of the circle is conceivable to the unmathematical mind. See Dr. Mivart, On Truth, pp. 468, 469. The actual state of the blessed is one of social happiness in “the holy city Jerusalem” (Apoc. xxi. 10), as the way leading to it is life in the society of the Church on earth. The blessed in Heaven and the faithful upon earth are essentially a body, consisting of Christ the Head with His members. Hence we should hesitate to pronounce the “communion of saints” a mere accidental element in happiness. Cf. Aristotle, Ethics, IX. ix. 10. (Trl.)
[1 ]This argument, a very difficult one, is developed in Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 14—21. (Trl.)
[2 ]That is, the superiority of man over brute is different from the superiority of angel over man. (Trl.)
[1 ]Job xiv. 1.
[1 ]Psalm xvi. 15.
[2 ]Wisdom vii. 11.
[3 ]Wisdom viii. 16.
[4 ]Q. 4. art. 4.
[1 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 4, n. 5, and p. 6, n. 1 (Trl.)
[1 ]For this directly and indirectly modern text-books say positively and negatively. The use of directly and indirectly in De Lugo, De justitia et jure, disp. 10, n. 125, whom the modern text-books follow (see Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 203—205), does not coincide with St. Thomas’s use of the distinction, a discrepancy worth noticing. (Trl.)
[1 ]Prov. xxi. 1.
[1 ]Job xxi. 14.
[1 ]Of the following qq. viii.—xvii. the greater part is omitted as belonging rather to Psychology than to Moral Science (Trl.)
[1 ]Railway men must excuse the translator here for calling that a terminus which is only a station on the line Terminus is St. Thomas’s own word, and the modern associations that have gathered round it form a convenient illustration of his meaning. What he does mean precisely by intention and election is a nice point to observe, and has important bearings See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 208—211. (Trl.)
[1 ]At least under election in his prayers Compare the story of King Alfred’s malady Knight’s Life of King Alfred (Quarterly Series), p. 31. (Trl.)
[1 ]2 Cor. xii 10.
[2 ]Aristotle calls intention βούλησις (wish), and election προαίρεσις (choice). He says (Ethics, III ii 9) “Wish is rather of the end, but choice of the means Thus we wish for health, and choose the means thereto, and we wish to be happy and say that we are, but we choose to say: ‘This does not suit’ In a word, choice seems to be of the things that are in our power” (Trl.)
[1 ]Stumbling, cespitando. Ducange’s Glossary gives from the Chronicon Mellicense the following illustration of this word of mediæval Latin: Equus super quem sedi fatigatus cespitavit in quodam ponte, et ego primo cecidi per caput equi ad pontem, postea de ponte ad aquam. (Trl.)
[1 ]The scientific concept of wave-motion has done much, since St. Thomas wrote, to put colour and sound in one category “in relation to the intellect.” (Trl.)
[1 ]By object here St. Thomas seems to mean the thing willed—the whole complexus of end, means, and modifying circumstances, as set forth in Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 31—35. Hence in the textbooks that speak of the morality of an act as determined by “object, end, and circumstances,” the word object cannot be taken in the sense of this article. It must stand for what is called (q. 18. art. 6) “the object of the exterior act,” that is, the means. One school has found it vastly conducive to clearness to discard the word object altogether, and speak simply of means and end. (Trl.)
[2 ]See Ethics and Natural Law pp. 36, 37, n. 13. (Trl.)
[1 ]What the Eternal Law is, see q. 93; and Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 126, seq. (Trl.)
[2 ]Psalm iv. 6.
[1 ]This and the following article is of the first importance to the historian. One day we shall know what amount of the moral aberrations of mankind is excusable under the justification here alleged. See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 136, 137, n. 4; pp. 150, 151, n. 4. (Trl.)
[1 ]Romans xiv. 23.
[1 ]St. Matt. vii. 18.
[1 ]For what is called the effect consequent of an act, see Ethics and Natural Law, p. 39. n. 17. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Thomas, when a youth, is said to have broken a speaking-machine, the work of his master, Albertus Magnus, taking it to be a fraud upon humanity. The translator has always fancied that these words are a reminiscence of some such incident. (Trl.)
[2 ]The one is a technical sin, or blunder, and no more: the other is a sin in the ordinary sense of the word, morally and theologically. See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 74. (Trl.)
[1 ]This clause seems to be added to cover the case of an act being good in itself, and therefore meritorious, “so far as is of the mere nature of the act” (cf. q. 18. art. 9. § 3), and yet meriting nothing of God, because it is the act of one who by sin unrepented of is and remains God’s enemy. St. Thomas in this article treats merely of natural merit, which is all the concern of the ethical standpoint. In q. 114 (not translated), he deals with the theological question “of merit as an effect of co-operating grace.” (Trl.)
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 41, 42. (Trl.)
[1 ]“In the sensitive part there must be two appetitive faculties: one whereby the soul is absolutely inclined to take to whatever suits it in point of sense, and to shun what hurts it; and this is called the concupiscible faculty: another whereby the living creature resists assailants, that make assault upon what suits and pleases it, and threaten to do it hurt; and this is called the irascible faculty: hence its object is said to be arduous matter, because this faculty aims at overcoming and triumphing over opposition.” (St. Thomas, p. 1. q. 81. art. 2.) This distinction of τὸ ἐπιθυμητικόν and τὸ θυμοειδές was first laid down by Plato in his Republic, p. 440, and forms a leading feature in that work. It appears also in his Phaedrus. See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 85, 86, n. 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]The practical corollary is that you cannot extinguish anger by exciting a contrary passion, and that the best thing to do with an angry man is to wait till he cools down. (Trl.)
[1 ]In the first way St. Thomas would call them directly voluntary, in the second indirectly, q. 6. art. 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]For a further and very real ground of debate between Stoic and Peripatetic on the subject of passion, see Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 44—47. (Trl.)
[1 ]Psalm lxxxiii. 3.
[1 ]The Greek version of our “Two of a trade can never agree.” (Trl.)
[2 ]Prov. xiii. 10.
[1 ]3 Kings xix. 14.
[1 ]Osee ix. 10.
[1 ]An anticipation of Louis XIV. (Trl.)
[2 ]Psalm x. 6.
[1 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 49—53. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. John iv. 13.
[1 ]At the same time it must be admitted that there are pleasures in the intellectual appetite or will, the pleasure of malevolence, for instance, which we do not share with any good angels. (Trl.)
[2 ]See q. 3. art. 2. § 3. for this distinction of immanent and transient acts. (Trl.)
[1 ]Carlyle’s “pig philosophy,” as “Ginger is hot.” (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Thomas (see art. 1. of this question, not translated) got the notion of pleasure being “all realized together,” from the celebrated definition of pleasure in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, i. 11: “A sensible settling down all at once to one’s natural equilibrium;” where for κατάστασιν ἀθρόαν his version gave the not very intelligible constitution simul tota. (Trl.)
[1 ]In comestione terræ vel carbonum.
[1 ]οἷον τοɩ̂ς ἀκμαίοις ἡ ὥρα, the Philosopher goes on (Ethics, X. iv. 8), which is exactly rendered by Shakespeare’s phrase (Sonnet lx.): “Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth.” (Trl.)
[1 ]Bodily pleasures, in fact, as Aristotle says (quoted on q. 31. art. 5.), are restorations of equilibrium, and presuppose some disturbance of equilibrium which is more or less painful—a fact that Socrates philosophized upon in his last hours. See Plato, Phaedo, 60 b, c. (Trl.)
[1 ]Q. 31. art. 5. note. (Trl.)
[1 ]Still there is a love of friendship as well as a love of desire. (q. 26. art. 4.) St. Thomas is an author peculiarly liable to misrepresentation by taking his words in one place to the neglect of what he says on the same subject elsewhere. No one is safe in quoting him who has not read much of him. (Trl.)
[1 ]The Greek ἀνήκεστον κακόν, the “bootless bale,” for which the Countess in the old Yorkshire legend replied that the only remedy was “endless sorrow.” (Trl.)
[1 ]Philipp. ii. 12.
[1 ]Philipp. ii. 12.
[2 ]Audacia, the French élan. One would like to call it daredevildom, if ever the English language would bear such a word. Meanwhile fiery daring seems the nearest attainable rendering. (Trl.)
[1 ]These people are called by Aristotle (Ethics, III. vii. 9) θρασύδειλοι, “bold poltroons.” (Trl.)
[1 ]So in the original, Ethics, VII. vi. 1. (Trl.)
[1 ]Prov. xxvii. 4.
[2 ]Ecclus. xii. 16.
[1 ]Prov. xxvii. 4.
[2 ]The words are: “As for altercations, either have ye none, or end them as soon as may be, lest anger grow into hatred, and of a mote make a beam.” (Trl.)
[1 ]The substance of Article I., otherwise a very important article, will be found in q. 63. art. 1. (Trl.)
[1 ]That is to say, by doing a thing carelessly and without heart, which you were wont at one time to put your heart into, you gradually undo the habit of diligence which you had in that matter. On habits, see Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 64—69. (Trl.)
[1 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 73—76. (Trl.)
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, p. 86, n. 4. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Thomas calls it intellect: its modern name is intuition or insight (Trl.)
[1 ]Cf. q. 74 art. 7. note. It is evident that perfect wisdom is beyond the reach of man. Revelation has put much wisdom within our reach that we otherwise could not have had. See St. Paul, 1 Cor. ii. 6—16. In a minister of the Gospel, wisdom is indispensable, science is an accessory. (Trl.)
[2 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 185. (Trl.)
[1 ]See above, q. 3. art. 2. § 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]Prudence differs from wisdom in this, that wisdom is speculative, prudence practical, much as dogmatic and moral theology differ. In common parlance, of course, wisdom is often put for prudence.
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 73—77. (Trl.)
[1 ]We may gather from the Seventh Book of Aristotle’s Ethics here referred to, a fourfold enumeration.
[1 ]For intuition, see q. 57. art. 2. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Matt. x. 16.
[1 ]1 St. John i. 8
[1 ]2 Cor. vii. 10.
[1 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 45. (Trl.)
[1 ]Question LX. omitted, is a first sketch and outline of the enumeration of virtues that is worked out minutely in the Second Division (Secunda Secundæ) of this work. (Trl.)
[1 ]The rest of the sentence is from art. iii. preceding. (Trl.)
[1 ]2 St. Peter i. 4.
[1 ]1 Cor. i. 25.
[1 ]For seminaria read seminalia, as in the corresponding passage, q. 51 art. 1. (Trl.)
[1 ]A theological virtue is a sort of faculty of supernatural action, and is said to be infused by God. (See q. 65. art. 2.) For the matter of this important article see Ethics and Natural Law, p. 68. n. 7. It is important to observe that in this article natural is opposed, not to supernatural, but to acquired.
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 77—84. (Trl.)
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, p. 84, n. 8. (Trl.)
[1 ]The golden mean must be taken in relation to ourselves. (See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 80.) In justice alone there is question, not of ourselves, but of our neighbour’s right, and of any contract we have made with him. The mean then must be fixed, not by what suits us, but by the objective letter of the contract, so far as justice alone is concerned. (Trl.)
[1 ]Routine here means a mechanical way of doing a good action, irrespectively of any virtuous motive for doing it, e.g., the way in which a relieving officer may relieve the necessities of the poor; or the way in which young people, at the call of their elders, sometimes say their prayers. (Trl.)
[1 ]Cf. II-II. q. 23. art. 7. (Trl.)
[2 ]Thus by a good confession the penitent receives, along with sanctifying grace, the infused habit of temperance; and yet, if he was a drunkard before, he will find it hard to keep sober, until by repeated acts of resistance to his craving he has got the acquired habit of temperance as well. (Trl.)
[1 ]That is, it may be sinful; and will be, if the motive for placing the cause of the omission be not enough to justify the omission. (Trl.)
[2 ]It is beside the intention, properly so called, q. 12. art. 2. and beside the election, q. 13. art. 3; but not wholly beside the will. It is indirectly willed. Ethics and Natural Law, p. 204, n. 4. (Trl.)
[1 ]The instance given above of a sin without any act is “when a person at the hour that he is bound to go to church, has no thought of going or of not going to church” In that case he can hardly be said to contract the guilt of sin just at that hour, but any sinfulness there may be is the sinfulness of some previous volition, which is the cause why he now has no thought of his obligation. But there is another case conceivable: the person remembers that it is church-time, and that he is bound to go; and without making up his mind not to go, he fails to make up his mind that he will go, till the time is past. Is not that a sin of omission without any act of the will? The matter has been previously treated, q. 6. art. 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]This idea of the composite nature of sin is fundamental in the theory of morals. See Ethics and Natural Law, c. vi. pp. 109—125. (Trl.)
[2 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 124, 125 (Trl.)
[1 ]2 Cor. vii. 1.
[2 ]Galat. v. 19.
[1 ]St. Thomas means the first mentioned in the title of the article, that is, the order of relation to God (Trl.)
[1 ]Taking second and third as they are in the title of the article. (Trl.)
[1 ]See below, q. 88. art. 2. with note. (Trl.)
[1 ]The idea seems to be borrowed from a line of poetry quoted by Aristotle, Ethics, ii. 6: ἐσθλοὶ μὲν γὰρ ἁπλω̂ς, παντοδαπω̂ς δὲ κακοί—“Good way, narrow and one: all manner of ways of evil.” (Trl.)
[1 ]This article bears on the question of Utilitarianism. Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 183—187. (Trl.)
[1 ]This observation holds, so far as the tribunal of conscience is concerned, in all those cases, and in those alone, in which it can be truly said that the sinner wilfully failed to trouble himself about these consequences. (See q. 74. art. 5. § 1.) The exterior tribunal always presumes that a man has before his eyes the natural and ordinary consequences of his actions in doing them. (Trl.)
[1 ]Ecclus. xiv. 5.
[2 ]Exodus xxii. 28.
[1 ]Coloss. iii. 25.
[2 ]St. Luke xii. 47.
[1 ]Wisdom vi. 7.
[1 ]See St. Thomas, Contra Gentiles, iii. 10. a medio. (Trl.)
[1 ]“Lingering delectation” is the ordinary form of what Catholics making their confession call a “bad thought.” (Trl.)
[1 ]In Part I. q. 79. art. 9. St. Thomas tells us that the upper and lower reason are one and the same power, but are distinguished in acts and habits, inasmuch as the upper reason attends to eternal truths, but the lower reason to temporal things. In the upper reason is wisdom, in the lower science. See above, q. 57. art. 2. (Trl.)
[1 ]The Holy See has condemned the proposition (Denzinger, n. 1157) that “philosophical sin, or a human act out of accordance with natural reason, in one who either knows not God, or is not actually thinking of God, is not an offence of God or a mortal sin.” St. Thomas here explicitly denies the proposition, at least for the case of him who knows God, but does not think of God at the time when he does wrong. As for the case of ignorance of God, we should have to consider whether such ignorance is consequent, voluntary and imputable, or antecedent and involuntary. (See q. 6. art. 8.) Theologians commonly hold that antecedent, or invincible, ignorance of God cannot last for a long time, not at least in his case who has wit enough to commit what he recognizes to be a grave offence against the exigences of human reason and propriety. See Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 119—125. (Trl.)
[1 ]Delectation as explained above, art. 6. (Trl.)
[1 ]A venial sin is said to be not against, but beside the law, q. 88. art. 1. § 1. (Trl.)
[2 ]We must beware, however, of supposing that whatever has an ugly look, and yet is not a mortal sin, must necessarily be a venial sin. It may be a temptation and nothing more. Without some voluntary malice, or some voluntary negligence, there can be no sin, neither mortal nor venial. For “voluntariness is of the essence of sin,” q. 76. art 3. And “even the first motion of sensuality has not the character of sin except inasmuch as it is capable of being checked by the judgment of reason; and therefore when the judgment of reason is taken away, the character of sin is taken away.” II-II. q. 154. art. 5. (Trl.)
[1 ]Incidentally and ordinarily here stand respectively for per accidens and per se. On the rendering of these terms in English, see note on II-II. q. 37. art. 1 (Trl.)
[1 ]Incidentally and ordinarily here stand respectively for per accidens and per se. On the rendering of these terms in English, see note on II-II. q. 37. art. 1 (Trl.)
[1 ]A stock example, taken from Aristotle In the original, the means and end here change places. Elsewhere they figure as in this translation. (Trl.)
[1 ]That is, of material sin, or objective transgression. How far the sin done in ignorance may be formal and imputable to the agent, is inquired in art. 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]The Roman soldiers, of whom our Saviour said, “They know not what they do,” knew that they were carrying out the sentence on Him with needless cruelty, but not, perhaps, that He was a just man; others, who knew Him to be a just man, did not know that He was the Son of God; which the priests and elders of the people were in a position to know Him to be, were it not that their eyes were blinded that they should not see (St. John xii. 40), through their own culpable ignorance. (Trl.)
[1 ]See q 6. art. 8. (Trl.)
[1 ]This reads not unlike Hamilton’s “inverse relation between sensation and perception.” (Trl.)
[2 ]See above, q. 58. art. 2.; and Ethics and Natural Law, pp 70—76. (Trl.)
[1 ]Prov. xiv. 22.
[2 ]St. Luke xii. 47.
[3 ]St. James iv. 17.
[1 ]Art. 1.
[1 ]1 St John
[1 ]By habit, i.e. on principle. He who sins by habit, has got in him a vice, which of course works all the opposite effects to virtue. Multitudes dwell in the border-land between virtue and vice. See above, q. 58. art. 3. § 2. (Trl.)
[2 ]Prov. ii. 14.
[1 ]The intervening questions deal with original sin and other theological matters. (Trl.)
[1 ]The utilitarian sees no stain in sin. See Grote’s Plato, ii. p. 108, where this notion of a stain is distinctly repudiated. See too Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 186, 187. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Thomas’s illustration here is from Aristotle, that “water freezes more after it has been warmed.” We might perhaps quote Newton’s law, that “action and reaction are equal.” (Trl.)
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 171, nn. 4, seq.
[2 ]Romans ii. 9.
[1 ]Prov. xix. 25.
[1 ]Psalm lix. 6.
[1 ]Cf. above, q. 6. art. 6. (Trl.)
[1 ]Psalm lxxii. 6.
[1 ]Filius est ves parentis was a maxim of the Roman law. On the doctrine of this and the preceding article, cf. II-II. q 108. art. 4. (Trl.)
[1 ]1 Cor. x. 31.
[2 ]The mere omission of the actual reference of the action to God is no sin at all, not even a venial sin. But as such actual reference is a bar for the moment to venial sin, so venial sin may find an entry where such reference is omitted. (Trl.)
[1 ]Mortal sin and venial sin, as such, do not differ in kind (I-II. q. 72. art. 5.); but some kinds of sin are mortal, objectively considered, and some kinds are objectively venial. In other words, the difference of mortal and venial is not itself a specific difference, but it follows upon specific differences, though it may also be found where there is no specific difference. So St. Thomas says himself in the above art. 5. § 2. (in the Latin). (Trl.)
[1 ]For the definition of law, see Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 126—128. (Trl.)
[1 ]Romans ii 14.
[1 ]Romans iv. 17.
[1 ]Psalm iv. 6.
[2 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 133, 134. (Trl.)
[1 ]What St. Thomas calls the divine law, is the Eternal Law as known by revelation and as applied to the state of the Christian. (Trl.)
[1 ]Psalm xviii. 8.
[1 ]It follows that where the mass of the citizens are not good, democracy makes an unhappy government. So of course does oligarchy also, where the ruling few are unprincipled men. (Trl.)
[1 ]This applies not to monarchical governments only The Social Democracy may be, and likely enough will be, the fruitful mother of many such tyrannical laws. (Trl.)
[1 ]Understand the plan of government, not of creation. (Trl.)
[1 ]Romans xiii. 1.
[1 ]That is contingent, which is but might not have been. Contingent is opposed to necessary. (Trl.)
[1 ]“Man in his operation can only apply or withdraw natural bodies; nature, internally, performs the rest.” Bacon, Novum Organon, Aphorism 4. Cf. Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 129—132. (Trl.)
[2 ]Psalm cxlviii. 6.
[1 ]Romans viii. 7.
[1 ]Thus nature does not prescribe exactly the conduct of a virtuous bankrupt, in what order and proportion he shall pay his various creditors. This and many like points nature rules only in the gross: they need to be further determined by positive law, which therefore is indispensable to humanity. See below, q. 95. art. 2.; and II-II. q. 81. art. 2. § 3. and q. 85. art. 1. § 1. (Trl.)
[1 ]The passage referred to is (art. preced.) as follows: “With all men it is right and meet to act reasonably. From this principle the proper conclusion follows, that deposits are to be restored. And such indeed is the right thing to do in most cases: but it may happen in a particular case that it would be harmful, and consequently unreasonable, if deposits were restored: for instance, if the owner asked them back to assail his country therewith.” See, however, Suarez, De Legibus, l. ii. c. 13. nn. 5—8; and Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 147—152, sect. iii., which follows Suarez. Also II-II. q. 88. art. 10. § 2.; q. 89. art. 9. § 1. (Trl.)
[1 ]See Ethics and Natural Law, pp 280, 281, n. 4: the explanation is important: also p. 360, n. 3. St. Thomas has a similar passage, II-II. q. 66. art. 2. § 1. (Trl.)
[2 ]See above, q. 77. art. 2. (Trl.)
[3 ]Romans i. Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 144—147. (Trl.)
[1 ]The further perfection of man is not the concern of the State, but of the Church. Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 355—357. (Trl.)
[2 ]Prov. xxx. 33.
[3 ]St. Matt. ix. 17.
[1 ]Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 360—361. n. 4. (Trl.)
[2 ]Compare however I-II. q 21. art. 4. § 3. (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Matt. v. 40, 41.
[2 ]Acts v. 29.
[1 ]Romans viii. 14.
[2 ]1 St. Peter ii. 13. Cf II-II. q. 104. art. 6 (Trl.)
[1 ]St. Matt. xxiii. 3, 4.
[1 ]See further, II-II. q. 120. (Trl.)
[1 ]Another reason would be, that the value of a new improvement in art or manufactures is at once tested commercially: the value of a new law is not. (Trl.)
[1 ]Therefore, according to St. Thomas (cf. q. 90. art. 3.), sovereignty either may or may not rest with the people. He is opposed at once to intolerant monarchism, and to the “inalienable sovereignty of the people,” as taught by Rousseau. Cf. Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 330, 339, 340. (Trl.)
[1 ]St Luke xii 42
[2 ]The “divine law” is the Christian law (I-II. q 91. art. 4.), and so far as dispensation is possible, the positive part of that law. For the alleged dispensations in the natural law, see above, q 94 art. 5. note (Trl.)
[1 ]A further consideration, not noticed here, but insisted on (II-II. q. 64. art. 3.), is whether the taking away of life or property is due, not merely in itself, but as an act coming from you. (Trl.)
[1 ]Cf. II-II. q. 104. art. 4. § 2. These difficulties cannot be fairly dealt with by any one who is unacquainted with the difference between a dispensation, strictly so called, and a change in the matter of the law; and between God’s power of dominion, and His power of jurisdiction. See Suarez, De Legibus, l. ii. c. 15; Ethics and Natural Law, pp. 128, 129. n. 2. (Trl.)
[2 ]The mode of virtue is, “first, if the agent have knowledge of what he is doing: secondly, if he do it by choice, and by choice for the proper motives of the virtue; thirdly, if he do it steadily and resolutely.” Aristotle, Ethics, II. iv. 3. (Trl.)
[3 ]1 Kings xvi. 7.
[1 ]Psalm vii. 10.
[2 ]Human law does not punish the absence of a virtuous intention, where the exterior conduct is correct; nor the presence of a vicious intention, that does not proceed to any overt act. (Trl.)
[1 ]The judicial and ceremonial precepts of the Old Law regulated by positive enactment civil procedure and divine worship respectively. (Trl.)
[2 ]The remainder of the Prima Secundæ is scriptural and theological. (Trl.)