Question Fourteen: Faith

  1. Primo quid sit credere.
  2. Secundo quid sit fides.
  3. Tertio utrum fides sit virtus.
  4. Quarto in quo sit fides sicut in subiecto.
  5. Quinto utrum fidei forma sit caritas.
  6. Sexto utrum fides informis sit virtus.
  7. Septimo utrum sit idem habitus fidei informis et formatae.
  8. Octavo utrum obiectum fidei proprium sit veritas prima.
  9. Nono utrum fides possit esse de rebus scitis.
  10. Decimo utrum necessarium sit homini habere fidem.
  11. Undecimo utrum sit necessarium explicite credere.
  12. Duodecimo utrum una sit fides modernorum et antiquorum.
  1. What is belief?
  2. What is faith?
  3. Is faith a virtue?
  4. What is the subject in which faith exists?
  5. Is charity the form of faith?
  6. Is formless faith a virtue?
  7. Is the habit of formless faith the same as that of formed faith?
  8. Is first truth the proper object of faith?
  9. Can faith deal with things which are known as scientific conclusions?
  10. Is it necessary for man to have faith?
  11. Is it necessary to believe explicitly?
  12. Is there one faith for moderns and ancients?

ARTICLE I

The question treats of faith,
and in the first article we ask:
What is belief?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23, 2, 2, sol. 1; Ad Hebr., c. 11, lect. 1; S.T., II-II, 2, 1.]

Quaestio est de fide. Et primo quaeritur quid sit credere Difficulties
Dicitur autem ab Augustino in libro de praedestinatione sanctorum, et habetur in Glossa II Corinth. cap. III, 5, super illud: non quod sufficientes simus etc., quod credere est cum assensione cogitare. Videtur autem quod inconvenienter. Augustine says, and the Gloss on the second Epistle to the Corinthians (3:5), “Not that we are sufficient to think repeats: “to believe is to think with assent.” But this description does not seem to fit in with our other knowledge, for
Sciens enim a credente distinguitur, ut patet per Augustinum in Lib. de videndo Deum. Sed sciens inquantum scit, cogitat aliquid et assentit. Ergo inconvenienter describitur credere, cum dicitur quod credere est cum assensione cogitare. 1. The knower is distinguished from the believer, as is clear from Augustine. But the knower, precisely as knowing, thinks something over and gives assent to it. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that “belief is thought with assent.”
Praeterea, cogitatio inquisitionem quamdam importat: dicitur enim cogitare quasi coagitare, id est discutere, et conferre unum cum altero. Sed inquisitio removetur a fidei ratione; quia dicit Damascenus quod fides est non inquisitus consensus. Ergo male dicitur, quod credere sit cum assensione cogitare. 2. Such thought (cogitatio) implies some inquiry, for so to think (cogitare) is, as it were, to shake together (coagitare), that is, to separate and compare one thing with another. But inquiry is not part of the concept of faith, for Damascene says: “Faith is consent without inquiry.”Therefore, it is wrong to say that “belief is thought with assent.”
Praeterea, credere est actus intellectus. Sed assensio videtur ad affectum pertinere: dicimur enim affectu in aliquid consentire. Ergo assensio ad credere non pertinet. 3. Belief is an act of the understanding. But assent seems to belong to the affections, for we are said to consent to something with the affections. Therefore, assent has no place in belief.
Praeterea, nullus cogitare dicitur nisi quando actualiter aliqua considerat, ut patet per Augustinum, XIV de Trin. Sed etiam qui non actualiter aliquid cogitat, dicitur credere, sicut fidelis dormiens. Ergo credere non est cogitare. 4. We do not say that a person is thinking [discursively] unless he is actually considering something, as is clear from Augustine. But even one who is not actually considering something is said to believe, for example, one of the faithful who is asleep. Therefore, to believe is not to think in this way.
Praeterea, simplex lumen simplicis cognitionis principium est. Sed fides est quoddam simplex lumen, ut patet per Dionysium, cap. VII de divinis Nomin. Ergo credere quod est ex fide, est simplex cognitio; et sic non est cogitare, quod dicit cognitionem collativam. 5. A simple light is the principle of simple knowledge. But faith is a kind of simple light, as is clear from Dionysius. Therefore, belief, which is from faith, is simple knowledge, and so it is not [discursive] thought, which means knowledge involving comparison.
Praeterea, fides, ut communiter dicitur, primae veritati propter seipsam assentit. Sed qui assentit alicui conferendo, non assentit ei propter seipsum, sed propter aliud ad quod confert. Ergo in credendo non est aliqua collatio, et ita nec cogitatio. 6. Faith, as is commonly said, assents to the first truth because of itself. But one who gives assent to something after comparison does not accept it because of itself, but because of the other thing with which he compared it. Therefore, in the act of believing there is no comparison and, consequently, no [discursive] thought.
Praeterea, fides dicitur certior omni scientia et omni cognitione. Sed principia, propter sui certitudinem, sine cogitatione vel collatione cognoscuntur. Ergo et credere sine cogitatione est. 7. Faith is said to be more certain than every science and all knowledge. But principles, because of their certitude, are known without [discursive] thought or comparison. Therefore, belief, also, takes place without such thought.
Praeterea, virtus spiritualis est potentior corporali. Ergo et lux spiritualis est efficacior quam corporalis. Sed lux corporalis exterior perficit oculum ad hoc quod statim cognoscat visibilia corporalia, ad quod non sufficiebat lux innata. Ergo lux spiritualis divinitus adveniens perficiet intellectum ad cognoscendum ea etiam ad quae non sufficit ratio naturalis sine aliqua collatione et cogitatione; et sic credere sine cogitatione est. 8. A spiritual power has greater efficacy than a bodily power. Therefore, a spiritual light has greater efficacy than a bodily light. But an external bodily light gives the eye the perfection immediately to perceive visible bodies for which the inborn light was insufficient. So the spiritual light, coming from on high, gives the intellect the perfection to know without comparison and [discursive] thought even those things which our natural reason cannot reach. And, so, in belief there is no [discursive] thought.
Praeterea, cogitativa potentia a philosophis ponitur in parte sensitiva. Sed credere non est nisi mentis, ut Augustinus dicit. Ergo credere non est cogitare. 9. Philosophers assign the cogitative power to the sensitive part of man. But belief belongs only to the mind, as Augustine says. Therefore, belief is not thought.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod Augustinus, sufficienter describit credere; cum per huiusmodi definitionem eius esse demonstretur, et distinctio ab omnibus aliis actibus intellectus: quod sic patet. Intellectus enim nostri, secundum philosophum in Lib. de anima, duplex est operatio. Una qua format simplices rerum quidditates; ut quid est homo, vel quid est animal: in qua quidem operatione non invenitur verum per se et falsum, sicut nec in vocibus incomplexis. Alia operatio intellectus est secundum quam componit et dividit, affirmando vel negando: et in hac iam invenitur verum et falsum, sicut et in voce complexa, quae est eius signum. Non autem invenitur credere in prima operatione, sed solum in secunda: credimus enim vero, et discredimus falsum. Unde etiam et apud Arabes prima intellectus operatio vocatur imaginatio intellectus, secunda autem vocatur fides, ut patet ex verbis Commentatoris in III de anima. Augustine has given a satisfactory description of belief, since such a definition shows forth the nature of belief and distinguishes it from all other acts of understanding. This is clear in the following. For, according to the Philosopher, our understanding has a twofold operation. There is one by which it forms the simple quiddities of things, as what man is, or what animal is. This operation of itself does not involve truth or falsity, just as phrases do not. The second operation of the understanding is that by which it joins and divides concepts by affirmation or denial. Now, in this operation we do find truth and falsity, just as we do in the proposition, which is its sign. Belief, however, does not occur in the first operation, but only in the second, for we believe what is true and disbelieve what is false. For this reason, also, the first operation of the understanding is called imagination of the understanding and the second faith, even among the Arabians, as is clear from the words of the Commentator.
Intellectus autem possibilis, cum, quantum est de se, sit in potentia respectu omnium intelligibilium formarum, sicut et materia prima respectu omnium sensibilium formarum; est etiam, quantum est de se, non magis determinatus ad hoc quod adhaereat compositioni quam divisioni, vel e converso. Omne autem quod est indeterminatum ad duo, non determinatur ad unum eorum nisi per aliquid movens ipsum. Intellectus autem possibilis non movetur nisi a duobus; scilicet a proprio obiecto, quod est forma intelligibilis, scilicet quod quid est, ut dicitur in III de anima, et a voluntate, quae movet omnes alias vires, ut Anselmus dicit. Sic igitur intellectus noster possibilis respectu partium contradictionis se habet diversimode. The possible intellect, however, as far as its own nature is concerned, is in potency to all intelligible forms, just as first matter of itself is in potency to all sensible forms. Therefore, it has no intrinsic determination which necessitates joining rather than dividing concepts, or the converse. Now, everything which is undetermined with reference to two things is not limited to one of them unless by something which moves it. But only two things move the possible intellect: its proper object, which is an intelligible form, that is, a quiddity, as is said in The Soul, and the will, which moves all the other powers, as Anselm says. In this way, then, our possible intellect is related differently to the extremes of a contradictory proposition.
Quandoque enim non inclinatur ad unum magis quam ad aliud, vel propter defectum moventium, sicut in illis problematibus de quibus rationes non habemus; vel propter apparentem aequalitatem eorum quae movent ad utramque partem. Et ista est dubitantis dispositio, qui fluctuat inter duas partes contradictionis. For, sometimes, it does not tend toward one rather than the other, either because of a lack of evidence, as happens in those problems about which we have no reasons for either side, or because of an apparent equality of the motives for both sides. This is the state of one in doubt, who wavers between the two members of a contradictory proposition.
Quandoque vero intellectus inclinatur magis ad unum quam ad alterum; sed tamen illud inclinans non sufficienter movet intellectum ad hoc quod determinet ipsum in unam partium totaliter; unde accipit quidem unam partem, semper tamen dubitat de opposita. Et haec est dispositio opinantis, qui accipit unam partem contradictionis cum formidine alterius. Sometimes, however, the understanding tends more to one side than the other; still, that which causes the inclination does not move the understanding enough to determine it fully to one of the members. Under this influence, it accepts one member, but always has doubts about the other. This is the state of one holding an opinion, who accepts one member of the contradictory proposition with some fear that the other is true.
Quandoque vero intellectus possibilis determinatur ad hoc quod totaliter adhaereat uni parti; sed hoc est quandoque ab intelligibili, quandoque a voluntate. Ab intelligibili quidem quandoque quidem mediate, quandoque autem immediate. Immediate quidem quando ex ipsis intelligibilibus statim veritas propositionum intellectui infallibiliter apparet. Et haec est dispositio intelligentis principia, quae statim cognoscuntur notis terminis, ut philosophus dicit. Et sic ex ipso quod quid est, immediate intellectus determinatur ad huiusmodi propositiones. Mediate vero, quando cognitis definitionibus terminorum, intellectus determinatur ad alteram partem contradictionis, virtute primorum principiorum. Et ista est dispositio scientis. Sometimes, again, the possible intellect is so determined that it adheres to one member without reservation. This happens sometimes because of the intelligible object and sometimes because of the will. Furthermore, the intelligible object sometimes acts mediately, sometimes immediately. It acts immediately when the truth of the propositions is unmistakably clear immediately to the intellect from the intelligible objects themselves. This is the state of one who understands principles, which are known as soon as the terms are known, as the Philosopher says. Here, the very nature of the thing itself immediately determines the intellect to propositions of this sort. The intelligible object acts mediately, however, when the understanding, once it knows the definitions of the terms, is determined to one member of the contradictory proposition in virtue of first principles. This is the state of one who has science.
Quandoque vero intellectus non potest determinari ad alteram partem contradictionis neque statim per ipsas definitiones terminorum, sicut in principiis, nec etiam virtute principiorum, sicut est in conclusionibus demonstrationis; determinatur autem per voluntatem, quae eligit assentire uni parti determinate et praecise propter aliquid, quod est sufficiens ad movendum voluntatem, non autem ad movendum intellectum, utpote quia videtur bonum vel conveniens huic parti assentire. Et ista est dispositio credentis, ut cum aliquis credit dictis alicuius hominis, quia videtur ei decens vel utile. Sometimes, however, the understanding can be determined to one side of a contradictory proposition neither immediately through the definitions of the terms, as is the case with principles, nor yet in virtue of principles, as is the case with conclusions from a demonstration. And in this situation our understanding is determined by the will, which chooses to assent to one side definitely and precisely because of something which is enough to move the will, though not enough to move the understanding, namely, since it seems good or fitting to assent to this side. And this is the state of one who believes. This may happen when someone believes what another says because it seems fitting or useful to do so.
Et sic etiam movemur ad credendum dictis Dei, inquantum nobis repromittitur, si crediderimus, praemium aeternae vitae: et hoc praemio movetur voluntas ad assentiendum his quae dicuntur, quamvis intellectus non moveatur per aliquid intellectum. Et ideo dicit Augustinus, quod cetera potest homo nolens, credere non nisi volens. Thus, too, we are moved to believe what God says because we are promised eternal life as a reward if we believe. And this reward moves the will to assent to what is said, although the intellect is not moved by anything which it understands. Therefore, Augustine says: “Man can do other things unwillingly, but he can believe only if he wills it.”
Patet ergo ex dictis, quod in illa operatione intellectus qua format simplices rerum quidditates, non invenitur assensus, cum non sit ibi verum et falsum; non enim dicimur alicui assentire nisi quando inhaeremus ei quasi vero. Similiter etiam dubitans non habet assensum, cum non inhaereat uni parti magis quam alteri. Similiter etiam nec opinans, cum non firmetur eius acceptio circa alteram partem. Sententia autem, ut dicit Isaac et Avicenna, est conceptio distincta vel certissima alterius partis contradictionis; assentire autem a sententia dicitur. Intelligens habet quidem assensum, quia certissime alteri parti inhaeret; non autem habet cogitationem, quia sine aliqua collatione determinatur ad unum. Sciens vero habet et cogitationem, et assensum; sed cogitationem causantem assensum, et assensum terminantem cogitationem. Ex ipsa enim collatione principiorum ad conclusiones, assentit conclusionibus resolvendo eas in principia, et ibi figitur motus cogitantis et quietatur. In scientia enim motus rationis incipit ab intellectu principiorum, et ad eumdem terminatur per viam resolutionis; et sic non habet assensum et cogitationem quasi ex aequo: sed cogitatio inducit ad assensum, et assensus cogitationem quietat. It is clear from what has just been said that assent is not to be found in that operation of the understanding by which it forms the simple quiddities of things, for there is no truth or falsity there. For we are not said to assent to anything unless we hold it as true. Likewise, one who doubts does not have assent, because he does not hold to one side rather than the other. Thus, also, one who has an opinion does not give assent, because his acceptance of the one side is not firm. The Latin word sententia (judgment), as Isaac and Avicenna say, is a clear or very certain comprehension of one member of a contradictory proposition. And assentire (assent) is derived from sententia. Now, one who understands gives assent, because he holds with great certainty to one member of a contradictory proposition. Such a one, however does not employ discursive thought, because he fixes on one side without any process of comparison. One who has scientific knowledge, however, does use discursive thought and gives assent, but the thought causes the assent, and the assent puts an end to the discursive thought. For by the very act of relating the principles to the conclusions he assents to the conclusions by reducing them to the principles. There, the movement of the one who is thinking is halted and brought to rest. For in scientific knowledge the movement of reason begins from the understanding of principles and ends there after it has gone through the process of reduction. Thus, its assent and discursive thought are not Parallel, but the discursive thought leads to assent, and the assent brings thought to rest.
Sed in fide est assensus et cogitatio quasi ex aequo. Non enim assensus ex cogitatione causatur, sed ex voluntate, ut dictum est. Sed quia intellectus non hoc modo terminatur ad unum ut ad proprium terminum perducatur, qui est visio alicuius intelligibilis; inde est quod eius motus nondum est quietatus, sed adhuc habet cogitationem et inquisitionem de his quae credit, quamvis eis firmissime assentiat. Quantum enim est ex seipso, non est ei satisfactum, nec est terminatus ad unum; sed terminatur tantum ex extrinseco. Et inde est quod intellectus credentis dicitur esse captivatus, quia tenetur terminis alienis, et non propriis. II Corinth. X, 5: in captivitatem redigentes omnem intellectum et cetera. Inde est etiam quod in credente potest insurgere motus de contrario eius quod firmissime tenet, quamvis non in intelligente vel sciente. But, in faith, the assent and the discursive thought are more or less parallel. For the assent is not caused by the thought, but by the will, as has just been said. However, since the understanding does not in this way have its action terminated at one thing so that it is conducted to its proper term, which is the sight of some intelligible object, it follows that its movement is not yet brought to rest. Rather, it still thinks discursively and inquires about the things which it believes, even though its assent to them is unwavering. For, in so far as it depends on itself alone, the understanding is not satisfied and is not limited to one thing; instead, its action is terminated only from without. Because of this the understanding of the believer is said to be “held captive,” since, in place of its own proper determinations, those of something else are imposed on it: “bringing into captivity every understanding...” (2 Cor. 10:5). Due to this, also, a movement directly opposite to what the believer holds most firmly can arise in him, although this cannot happen to one who understands or has scientific knowledge.
Sic igitur per assensum separatur credere ab operatione qua intellectus inspicit formas simplices quidditates, et a dubitatione, et opinione; per cogitationem vero ab intellectu; sed per hoc quod habet assensum et cogitationem quasi ex aequo et simul a scientia. Accordingly, it is thus by assent that belief is distinguished from the operation through which the understanding sees simple forms, that is, quiddities; thus, too, it is distinguished from doubt and opinion. It is by discursive thought, however, that it is distinguished from understanding, and by the fact that assent and discursive thought are, as it were, parallel and simultaneous, that it is distinguished from scientific knowledge.
Answers to Difficulties
Et per hoc patet responsio ad primum. 1. The answer to the first difficulty is clear from the reply.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod fides dicitur non inquisitus consensus, in quantum consensus fidei vel assensus non causatur ex inquisitione rationis; tamen non excluditur per hoc quin in intellectu credentis remaneat aliqua cogitatio vel collatio de his quae credit. 2. Faith is called a consent without inquiry in so far as the consent of faith, or assent, is not caused by an investigation of the understanding. Nonetheless, this does not prevent the understanding of one who believes from having some discursive thought or comparison about those things which he believes.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod voluntas respicit aliquam praecedentem potentiam, scilicet intellectum, non autem intellectus. Et ideo assentire proprie pertinet ad intellectum, quia importat absolutam adhaerentiam ei cui assentitur; sed consentire est proprie voluntatis, quia consentire est simul cum alio sentire; et sic dicitur in ordine vel per comparationem ad aliquid praecedens. 3. The will looks to a power which precedes it, namely, the intellect, but the intellect does not. Therefore, assent properly belongs to the intellect, because it means an absolute adherence to that to which assent is given. Consent (consentire) belongs properly to the will, because to consent is to think something (sentire) along with something else (simul cum alio). And it is so called in relation to, or in comparison with, something which went before.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod quia habitus per actus cognoscuntur, et actuum principia sunt ipsi habitus; inde est quod interdum habitus nominibus actuum nominantur; et sic nomina actuum quandoque sumuntur proprie id est pro actibus ipsis, quandoque vero pro habitibus. Credere igitur, secundum quod actum fidei importat, semper habet actualem considerationem; non autem secundum quod credere accipitur pro habitu: sic autem credere dicitur dormiens, in quantum habitum fidei habet. 4. Since habits are known through their acts, and are themselves the source of their acts, habits are thus sometimes given the names of the acts. For this reason the names of acts sometimes are taken in their proper sense, that is, as referring to the acts themselves, and sometimes as referring to the habits. Belief, therefore, as meaning the act of faith, always includes actual consideration. However, when it is taken for the habit of belief, it does not. It is in this sense that one who is asleep is said to believe, in so far as he has the habit of faith.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod fides habet aliquid perfectionis, et aliquid imperfectionis. Perfectionis quidem est ipsa firmitas, quae pertinet ad assensum; sed imperfectionis est carentia visionis, ex qua remanet adhuc motus cogitationis in mente credentis. Ex lumine igitur simplici, quod est fides, causatur id quod perfectionis est, scilicet assentire; sed in quantum illud lumen non perfecte participatur, non totaliter tollitur imperfectio intellectus: et sic motus cogitationis in ipso remanet inquietus. 5. In faith there is some perfection and some imperfection. The firmness which pertains to the assent is a perfection, but the lack of sight, because of which the movement of discursive thought still remains in the mind of one who believes, is an imperfection. The perfection, namely, the assent, is caused by the simple light which is faith. But, since the participation in this light is not perfect, the imperfection of the understanding is not completely removed. For this reason the movement of discursive thought in it stays restless.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod ratio illa probat vel concludit, quod cognitio non est causa assensus fidei; non autem quin assensum fidei concomitetur. 6. The argument given proves or concludes that discursive thought is not the cause of the assent of faith, but not that it does not accompany the assent of faith.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod certitudo duo potest importare: scilicet firmitatem adhaesionis; et quantum ad hoc fides est certior etiam omni intellectu et scientia, quia prima veritas, quae causat fidei assensum, est fortior causa quam lumen rationis, quae causat assensum intellectus vel scientiae. Importat etiam evidentiam eius cui assentitur; et sic fides non habet certitudinem, sed scientia et intellectus: et exinde est quod intellectus cogitationem non habet. 7. Certitude can mean two things. The first is firmness of adherence, and with reference to this, faith is more certain than any understanding [of principles] and scientific knowledge. For the first truth, which causes the assent of faith, is a more powerful cause than the light of reason, which causes the assent of understanding or scientific knowledge. The second is the evidence of that to which assent is given. Here, faith does not have certainty, but scientific knowledge and understanding do. It is because of this, too, that understanding has no discursive thought.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod ratio illa recte procederet, si lux illa spiritualis perfecte participaretur a nobis: quod erit in patria, ubi ea quae nunc credimus, perfecte videbimus. Nunc autem quod non manifeste appareant ea ad quae lux illa cognoscenda perficit, est ex defectiva participatione ipsius, non ex efficacia ipsius spiritualis luminis. 8. The argument given would conclude correctly if we had perfect participation in that spiritual light, as we will in heaven, where we shall see perfectly the things which we now believe. But now, the things which are known because of that light do not clearly appear, because of our defective participation in that light, and not because of the power of the spiritual light itself.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod potentia cogitativa est id quod est altissimum in parte sensitiva, unde attingit quodammodo ad partem intellectivam ut aliquid participet eius quod est in intellectiva parte infimum, scilicet rationis discursum, secundum regulam Dionysii quam dicit, VII cap. de Divin. Nomin., quod principia secundorum coniunguntur finibus primorum. Unde etiam ipsa vis cogitativa vocatur particularis ratio, ut patet a Commentatore in III de anima: nec est nisi in homine, loco cuius in aliis brutis est aestimatio naturalis. Et ideo quandoque ipsa etiam universalis ratio, quae est in parte intellectiva, propter similitudinem operationis, a cogitatione nominatur. 9. The cogitative power is that which is highest in the sensitive part of man, and, thus, sense in some way comes in contact with the intellective part so that it participates in something of that which is lowest in the intellective part, namely, discursive reason. This is in accord with the rule of Dionysius that contact is established where the lower begins and the higher leaves off. For this reason, also, the cogitative power is called the particular reason, as is clear from the Commentator. This exists only in man; in brutes, its place is taken by the natural judgment [of instinct]. Therefore, reason as a faculty, which is in the intellective part, sometimes receives its name from discursive thought because of the similarity of operation.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE II

In the second article we ask:
What is faith?


[ARTICLE S.T., II-II, 4, 1.]
Secundo quaeritur quid sit fides Difficulties
Et dicit apostolus, Hebr. XI, 1, quod substantia rerum sperandarum, argumentum non apparentium. Et videtur quod male dicat. The Apostle says (Hebrews 11:1) that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence [ argumentum ] of things that appear not.” This seems to be incorrect, for
Quia nulla qualitas est substantia. Fides est qualitas, cum sit virtus, quae est bona qualitas et cetera. Ergo fides non est substantia. 1. No quality is a substance, but faith is a quality since it is a virtue, which is a good quality.... Therefore, faith is not a substance.
Praeterea, esse spirituale superadditur ad esse naturale, et est perfectio eius; unde et debet ei esse simile. Sed in esse naturali hominis dicitur esse substantia ipsa essentia animae, quae est actus primus; non autem potentia, quae est principium actus secundi. Ergo et in esse spirituali non debet dici substantia ipsa fides, vel alia aliqua virtus, quae est proximum operationis principium, unde et potentiam perficit; sed magis gratia, a qua est ipsum esse spirituale sicut ab actu primo, et quae ipsam essentiam animae perficit. 2. Spiritual being is added to natural being and is its perfection. For this reason it should be similar to it. But in man’s natural being the substance of his being is called the very essence of the soul, which is first act. But a power, which is the principle of second act, is not called the essence. So, also, in spiritual being neither faith nor any virtue should be called the essence, for a virtue is a proximate principle of operation and so perfects the power. Grace should rather be called the essence, for spiritual being comes from grace as from its first act, and grace perfects the very essence of the soul.
Sed dicebat, quod fides dicitur substantia in quantum est prima inter alias virtutes. Sed contra, virtutes considerantur tripliciter: scilicet quantum ad habitus et quantum ad obiecta et quantum ad potentias. Sed quantum ad habitus fides non est aliis prior. Non enim haec definitio videtur dari de fide nisi secundum quod est formata; sic enim solummodo fundamentum est, ut Augustinus dicit: habitus autem gratuiti omnes simul infunduntur. Similiter etiam nec quantum ad obiecta fides prior aliis videtur esse. Non enim magis fides tendit in primum verum, quod videtur esse proprium eius obiectum, quam caritas in summum bonum, vel spes in summum arduum, vel in summam Dei liberalitatem. Similiter nec quantum ad potentias, quia omnis virtus gratuita videtur respicere affectum. Ergo fides nullo modo est aliis prior; et sic non debet dici aliarum fundamentum vel substantia. 3 It was said that faith is called substance because it is first among the virtues.—On the contrary, virtues can be considered in three ways: with reference to their habits, to their objects, and to their powers. But with reference to their habits faith is not prior to the others, for this definition seems to give the definition of faith only in so far as it is formed (formata) . For it is only in this way that it is a foundation, as Augustine says. All freely given habits, however, are infused at the same time. Likewise, faith seems to have no priority over the others with reference to their objects. For faith does not strive more for the true itself, which seems to be its proper object, than charity does for the highest good, or hope does for that which is hardest to attain, or for God’s greatest generosity. Nor is faith prior with reference to their powers, for every freely given virtue seems to look to the affections. Therefore, faith is in no way prior to the others, and so it should not be called the foundation or the substance of the others.
Praeterea, res sperandae magis subsistunt in nobis per caritatem quam per fidem. Ergo haec definitio magis videtur convenire caritati quam fidei. 4. Things to be hoped for exist in us through charity rather than through faith. Therefore, this definition seems to fit charity better than faith.
Praeterea, cum spes generetur ex fide, ut patet in Glossa, Matth. I, 2, si quis recte spem diffiniat oportet quod fides in eius definitione ponatur; spes autem ponitur in definitione rei sperandae. Si ergo res speranda ponitur in definitione fidei, erit circulus in definitionibus; quod est inconveniens, quia sic erit aliquid prius et notius seipso. Continget enim idem in definitione sui ipsius poni, definitionibus loco nominum acceptis; continget etiam definitiones infinitas esse. 5. Since hope is begotten of faith, as is clear from the Gloss, if one defines hope correctly, faith must be included in its definition. Hope, however, is included in the definition of the thing to be hoped for. Now, if the thing hoped for is included in the definition of faith, we shall have a circle in our definitions; but this is illogical because thus something would be prior to, and better known than, itself. For the thing itself would then be put in its own definition, since definitions are used in place of the names of things. Hence, in defining a thing there would be an unending process.
Praeterea, diversorum habituum diversa sunt obiecta. Sed virtutes theologicae habent idem pro fine et obiecto. Ergo in virtutibus theologicis oportet quod diversarum virtutum sint diversi fines. Sed res speranda est proprius finis spei. Ergo non debet in definitione fidei poni neque ut finis neque ut obiectum. 6. Different habits have different objects. But the theological virtues have the same thing for their end and object. Therefore, in the theological virtues there must be different ends for the different virtues. But the thing to be hoped for is the proper end of hope. Therefore, it should not be included in the definition of faith either as its end or its object.
Praeterea, fides magis perficitur per caritatem quam per spem; unde et per caritatem formari dicitur. Ergo in definitione fidei magis debet poni obiectum caritatis, quod est bonum vel diligendum, quam obiectum spei, quod est res speranda. 7. Faith is brought to perfection through charity rather than through hope, and so it is said to be formed through charity. Therefore, in the definition of faith we should include the object of charity, which is the good or what is to be loved, rather than the object of hope, which is the thing to be hoped for.
Praeterea, fides praecipue respicit ipsos articulos. Sed articuli non omnes pertinent ad res sperandas, sed solum unus vel duo, scilicet carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Non ergo res speranda in definitione fidei poni debuit. 8. Faith refers especially to the articles of faith. However, not all these articles, but only one or two, “the resurrection of the body and life everlasting,” refer to things to be hoped for. Therefore, the thing to be hoped for should not be included in the definition of faith.
Praeterea, argumentum est actus rationis. Sed fides est eorum quae sunt supra rationem. Ergo fides non debet dici argumentum. 9. Argument (argumentum) is an act of reason. But faith pertains to those things which are above reason. Therefore, faith should not be called an argument.
Praeterea, in anima est duplex motus: scilicet ab anima, et ad animam. In motu autem ad animam est principium extrinsecum; in motu autem ab anima est intrinsecum. Sed non potest esse idem intrinsecum et extrinsecum principium. Ergo non potest esse idem principium motus qui est ad animam et qui est ab anima. Sed cognitio perficitur in motu ad animam; affectio autem in motu ab anima. Ergo nec fides nec aliquid aliud potest esse principium affectionis et cognitionis; ergo in definitione fidei inconvenienter ponitur aliquid pertinens ad affectionem, scilicet substantia rerum sperandarum, et aliquid pertinens ad cognitionem, scilicet argumentum non apparentium. 10. In the soul there is a twofold movement, one from the soul and one to the soul. In the movement to the soul the principle is extrinsic; in that from the soul, it is intrinsic. Now, the same principle cannot be intrinsic and extrinsic. Therefore, the same principle of movement cannot be to the soul and from the soul. However, cognition takes place through a movement to the soul, but affection through a movement from the soul. Therefore, neither faith nor anything else can be the principle of affection and cognition. For this reason it is illogical to put in the definition of faith something pertaining to affection: “the substance of things hoped for,” and something pertaining to cognition: “evidence of things that appear not.”
Praeterea, unus habitus non potest esse diversarum potentiarum. Sed affectiva et intellectiva sunt diversae potentiae. Cum ergo fides sit unus habitus, non potest ad cognitionem et affectionem pertinere; et sic idem quod prius. 11. One habit cannot belong to different powers. But the affective and the intellective are different powers. Since, then, faith is one habit, it cannot pertain to cognition and affection. We conclude as before.
Praeterea, unius habitus unus est actus. Cum ergo in definitione fidei ponantur duo actus: scilicet facere res sperandas substare in nobis, secundum quem actum dicitur substantia rerum sperandarum, et arguere mentem, secundum quem dicitur argumentum non apparentum, videtur quod inconvenienter describatur. 12. Each habit has one act. Since, therefore, two acts are included in the definition of faith, namely, to make things hoped for subsist in us, in so far as it is called “the substance of things hoped for,” and to convince the mind, in so far as it is called “the evidence of things that appear not,” this does not seem a satisfactory description.
Praeterea, intellectus est prior affectu. Sed hoc quod dicitur substantia rerum sperandarum pertinet ad affectum; quod vero subiungitur argumentum non apparentium, pertinet ad intellectum. Ergo male ordinantur partes descriptionis praedictae. 13. Understanding is prior to the affections. But that which is called “the substance of things hoped for” pertains to the affections, while that which is added in the words, “evidence of things that appear not,” belongs to understanding. Therefore, the parts of the aforesaid definition are not in their proper order.
Praeterea, argumentum dicitur quia arguit mentem ad assentiendum alicui. Sed mens arguitur ad assentiendum aliquibus ex hoc quod illa fiunt ei apparentia. Ergo videtur esse oppositio in adiecto, quod dicitur argumentum non apparentium. 14. Evidence is said to be that which convinces the mind to assent to something. But the mind is convinced to give assent to things because they become apparent to it. Therefore, the object, which is said to be “evidence of things that appear not,” seems to involve a contradiction.
Praeterea, fides cognitio quaedam est. Sed omnis cognitio est secundum quod aliquid apparet cognoscenti; tam enim in sensitiva quam in intellectiva cognitione aliquid apparet. Ergo inconvenienter dicitur quod fides sit non apparentium. 15. Faith is a sort of knowledge. But all knowledge takes place in so far as something appears to the knower, for something appears in sensitive as well as in intellectual knowledge. Therefore, it is illogical to say that faith is “of things that appear not.”
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod secundum quosdam, apostolus per hanc definitionem non intendit ostendere quid sit fides, sed quid faciat fides. Videtur autem potius esse dicendum quod haec fidei notificatio sit completissima eius definitio: non ita quod sit secundum debitam formam definitionis tradita, sed quia in ea sufficienter tanguntur omnia quae exiguntur ad fidei definitionem. Quandoque enim ipsis etiam philosophis sufficit tangere principia syllogismorum et definitionum, quibus habitis, non est difficile in formam debitam reducere secundum artis doctrinam. Huius autem signum est ex tribus. According to some, when the Apostle gave this definition, he did not want to show what faith is, but what faith does. However, it seems that we should rather say that this description is a very complete definition. It is such, not in the sense that it is given according to the required form of a definition, but because in it there is sufficient mention of everything which is necessary for a definition of faith. For, sometimes, even when dealing with philosophers themselves, it is enough to mention the principles of syllogisms and definitions because, once they have them, it is a simple matter to reduce them to due form according to the rules of the art. This is clear from three considerations.
Primo ex hoc quod omnia principia ex quibus esse fidei dependet, in hac definitione tanguntur. Cum enim dispositio credentis, ut supra dictum est, talis sit, quod intellectus determinetur ad aliquid per voluntatem; voluntas autem nihil facit nisi secundum quod est mota per suum obiectum, quod est bonum appetibile, et finis; requiritur ad finem duplex principium: unum primum quod est bonum movens voluntatem; et secundo id cui intellectus assentit voluntate faciente. First, from the fact that it mentions all the principles on which the nature of faith depends. For the state of the believer, as has been said above, is such that the intellect is determined to something through the will, and the will does nothing except in so far as it is moved by its object, which is the good to be sought for and its end. In view of this, faith needs a twofold principle, a first which is the good that moves the will, and a second which is that to which the understanding gives assent under the influence of the will.
Est autem duplex hominis bonum ultimum, quod primo voluntatem movet quasi ultimus finis. Quorum unum est proportionatum naturae humanae, quia ad ipsum obtinendum vires naturales sufficiunt; et hoc est felicitas de qua philosophi locuti sunt: vel contemplativa, quae consistit in actu sapientiae; vel activa, quae consistit primo in actu prudentiae, et consequenter in actibus aliarum virtutum moralium. Man, however, has a twofold final good, which first moves the will as a final end. The first of these is proportionate to human nature since natural powers are capable of attaining it. This is the happiness about which the philosophers speak, either as contemplative, which consists in the act of wisdom, or active, which consists first of all in the act of prudence, and in the acts of the other moral virtues as they depend on prudence.
Aliud est bonum hominis naturae humanae proportionem excedens, quia ad ipsum obtinendum vires naturales non sufficiunt, nec etiam ad cognoscendum vel desiderandum; sed ex sola divina liberalitate homini repromittitur; I Corinth. II, 9: oculus non vidit etc., et hoc est vita aeterna. Et ex hoc bono voluntas inclinatur ad assentiendum his quae per fidem tenet; Ioan. VI, 40, omnis qui videt filium et credit in eum, habet vitam aeternam. The other is the good which is out of all proportion with man’s nature because his natural powers are not enough to attain to it either in thought or desire. It is promised to man only through the divine liberality: “The eye has not seen...” (1 Cor. 2:9). This is life everlasting. It is because of this good that the will is inclined to give assent to those things which it holds by faith. Thus the Gospel according to St. John (6:40) reads: “Everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him may have life everlasting.”
Nihil autem potest ordinari in aliquem finem nisi praeexistat in ipso quaedam proportio ad finem, ex qua proveniat in ipso desiderium finis; et hoc est secundum quod aliqua finis inchoatio fit in ipso, quia nihil appetit bonum nisi in quantum habet aliquam illius boni similitudinem. Et inde est quod in ipsa natura humana est quaedam inchoatio ipsius boni quod est naturae proportionatum: praeexistunt enim naturaliter in ipso principia demonstrationum per se nota, quae sunt semina quaedam contemplationis sapientiae; et principia iuris naturalis quae sunt semina virtutum moralium. But nothing can be directed to any end unless there pre-exists in it a certain proportion to the end, and it is from this that the desire of the end arises in it. This happens in so far as, in a certain sense, the end is made to exist inchoatively within it, because it desires nothing except in so far as it has some likeness of the end. This is why there is in human nature a certain initial participation of the good which is proportionate to that nature. For self-evident principles of demonstrations, which are seeds of the contemplation of wisdom, naturally preexist in that good, as do principles of natural law, which are seeds of the moral virtues.
Unde oportet etiam quod ad hoc quod homo ordinetur in bonum vitae aeternae, quod quaedam inchoatio ipsius fiat in eo cui repromittitur. Vita autem aeterna consistit in plena Dei cognitione, ut patet Ioan. XVII, 3: haec est vita etc.; unde oportet huius cognitionis supernaturalis aliquam inchoationem in nobis fieri; et hoc est per fidem, quae ea tenet ex infuso lumine, quae naturalem cognitionem excedunt. For this reason also, for man to be ordained to the good which is eternal life, there must be some initial participation of it in him to whom it is promised. However, eternal life consists in the full knowledge of God, as is clear from John (17:3): “Now this is eternal life....” Consequently, we must have within us some initial participation of this supernatural knowledge. We have it through faith, which by reason of an infused light holds those things which are beyond our natural knowledge.
Consuevit autem in totis quae habent partes ordinatas, prima pars, in qua est totius inchoatio, dici totius substantia, ut fundamentum domus, et carina navis; unde et philosophus dicit in XI Metaph., quod si ens esset unum totum, quod prima pars eius esset substantia. Et sic fides, in quantum est in nobis inchoatio quaedam vitae aeternae, quam ex divina repromissione speramus, dicitur substantia rerum sperandarum: et sic in hoc tangitur comparatio fidei ad bonum quod movet voluntatem determinantem intellectum. Now, in composite things whose parts have an order, it is customary to call the first part the substance of the whole thing, for in that part there is a beginning of the whole. Examples of this are the foundation of a house and the hull of a ship. In keeping with this, the Philosopher says: “If being were one whole, its first part would be substance.” Similarly, faith is called “the substance of things hoped for,” inasmuch as it is for us an initial participation of the eternal life for which we hope by reason of the divine promise. And in this way mention is made of the relation between faith and the good which moves the will in its determination of the intellect.
Voluntas autem mota a bono praedicto proponit aliquid intellectui naturali non apparens, ut dignum cui assentiatur; et sic determinat ipsum ad illud non apparens, ut scilicet ei assentiat. Sicut igitur intelligibile quod est visum ab intellectu, determinat intellectum, et ex hoc dicitur mentem arguere; ita etiam et aliquid non apparens intellectui determinat ipsum, et arguit mentem ex hoc ipso quod est a voluntate acceptatum, ut cui assentiatur. Unde secundum aliam litteram dicitur convictio, quia convincit intellectum modo praedicto; et ita in hoc quod dicitur argumentum non apparentium, tangitur comparatio fidei ad id cui assentit intellectus. But the will, under the movement of this good, proposes as worthy of assent something which is not evident to the natural understanding. In this way it gives the understanding a determination to that which is not evident, the determination, namely, to assent to it. Therefore, just as the intelligible thing which is seen by the understanding determines the understanding, and for this reason is said to give conclusive evidence (arguere) to the mind; so also, something which is not evident to the understanding determines it and convinces (arguere) the mind because the will has accepted it as something to which assent should be given. For this reason another reading has proof (convictio) [in place of evidence (argumentum)], for it convinces the intellect in the aforesaid manner. So, in the words, “evidence of things that appear not,” mention is made of the relation of faith to that to which the understanding assents.
Sic ergo habemus fidei materiam sive obiectum in hoc quod dicit non apparentium; actum in hoc quod dicit argumentum; ordinem ad finem in hoc quod dicit substantia rerum sperandarum. Ex actu autem datur intelligi et genus, scilicet habitus, qui per actum cognoscitur, et subiectum, scilicet mens; nec plura requiruntur ad alicuius virtutis definitionem. Unde facile est definitionem secundum dicta, artificialiter formare: ut dicamus quod fides est habitus mentis, qua inchoatur vita aeterna in nobis, faciens intellectum non apparentibus assentire. And, so, in the words, “of things that appear not,” we have the subject matter or object of faith; in “evidence” we have the act; and in “the substance of things to be hoped for” we have the ordination to the end. From the act we can understand the genus, that is, habit, which is known through the act, and the subject, that is, the mind. And nothing else is needed for the definition of a virtue. Consequently, from what has been said, we can establish a definition scientifically, and say: “Faith is a habit of our mind, by which eternal life begins in us, and which makes our understanding assent to things which are not evident.”
Secundum signum est quod per hanc definitionem distinguitur fides ab omnibus aliis. Per hoc enim quod dicitur non apparentium, distinguitur fides a scientia et intellectu. Per hoc autem quod dicitur argumentum, distinguitur ab opinione et dubitatione, in quibus mens non arguitur, id est non determinatur ad aliquid unum; et similiter ab omnibus habitibus qui non sunt cognitivi. Per hoc autem quod dicit substantia rerum sperandarum, distinguitur a fide communiter accepta, secundum quam dicimur credere id quod vehementer opinamur vel testimonio alicuius hominis; et iterum a prudentia, et ab aliis habitibus cognitivis, qui non ordinantur ad res sperandas; vel si ordinantur, non fit per eos propria inchoatio rerum sperandarum in nobis. The second sign that this is a good definition is that through it we can distinguish faith from everything else. For by the words, “of those things that appear not,” faith is distinguished from scientific knowledge and understanding. By the word “evidence” it is distinguished both from opinion and doubt, in which the mind is not convinced, that is, is not determined to one thing. This also distinguishes it from all habits which are not cognitive. By the words, “substance of things to be hoped for,” it is distinguished from faith in the wide sense, namely, that by which we are said to believe that about which we have an opinion which we hold tenaciously, or to believe on the testimony of some man. This also distinguishes it from prudence and from the other cognitive habits, which are either not ordained to things hoped for, or, if so ordained, do not include an initial participation in us of the things hoped for.
Tertium signum est ex hoc quod quicumque fidem definire voluerunt, non potuerunt aliter definire, nisi vel ponendo totam definitionem sub aliis verbis, vel aliquam partem eius. Quod enim dicit Damascenus, fides est eorum quae sperantur, hypostasis, et redargutio eorum quae non videntur, expresse patet idem esse cum hoc quod apostolus dicit. Sed quod Damascenus ulterius addit: indistabilis et iniudicabilis spes eorum quae nobis a Deo annuntiata sunt, et petitionum nostrarum functionis; est quaedam explicatio huius quod dixerat rerum sperandarum substantia. Res enim sperandae principaliter sunt praemia nobis divinitus promissa; et secundario quaecumque alia a Deo petimus ad hoc necessaria, de quibus habetur per fidem certa spes; quae nec potest deficere, et propter hoc dicitur indistabilis; nec potest merito reprehendi tamquam vana, et propter hoc dicitur iniudicabilis. The third sign that this is a good definition derives from this, that anyone wanting to define faith will have to include the whole definition or some part of it in other words. For, when Damascene says: “Faith is the substance [ hypostasis ] of those things that are hoped for, and the proof of those things which are not seen,” he obviously is saying the same thing as the Apostle. When he adds: “Unshakeable and irreproachable hope of those things which have been announced to us by God, and of the fulfillment of our petitions,” he is explaining what had been included in the words, “substance of things to be hoped for.” For the things primarily to be hoped for are the rewards promised us by God, and, secondarily, whatever else we seek from God which is necessary for the former and about which our faith gives us certain hope. This hope cannot fail, and so it is called “unshakeable.” Nor can it be justly censured as vain, and so it is called “irreproachable.”
Quod vero Augustinus dicit, fides est virtus qua creduntur quae non videntur; et quod dicit iterum Damascenus: fides est non inquisitus consensus; et quod dicit Hugo de s. Victore: fides est certitudo quaedam animi de absentibus, supra opinionem, et infra scientiam; idem est ei quod apostolus dicit argumentum non apparentium. Dicitur tamen esse infra scientiam, quia non habet visionem sicut scientia, quamvis habeat ita firmam adhaesionem. Supra opinionem autem dicitur, propter firmitatem assensus. Et sic infra scientiam dicitur, in quantum est non apparentium; supra opinionem, in quantum est argumentum. De aliis autem patet per praedicta. Augustine’s statement: “Faith is the virtue by which what is not seen is believed”; and Damascene’s: “Faith is a consent without inquiry”;” and Hugh of St. Victor’s: “Faith is a certainty of the mind about things absent which is more than opinion, but less than scientific knowledge,” all mean the same as the Apostle’s words: “Evidence of things that appear not.” Yet, it is said to be “less than scientific knowledge” because faith does not have vision as science does, although it has the same firm adherence. And yet it is said to be “more than opinion” because of the firmness of the assent. Thus, it is said to be “less than science” in so far as it refers to “things that appear not,” and “more than opinion” in so far as it refers to conviction (argumentum) . For the rest, what we have said is explanation enough.
Quod vero dicit Dionysius VII cap. de divinis nominibus fides est manens credentium fundamentum, collocans eos in veritate, et in ipsis veritatem; idem est ei quod dicitur ab apostolo, substantia rerum sperandarum. Cognitio enim veritatis est res speranda, cum beatitudo nihil aliud sit quam gaudium de veritate, ut dicit Augustinus in libro confessionum. Moreover, when Dionysius says: “Faith is the solid foundation of those who believe, establishing them in the truth, and the truth in them,” he is saying the same thing that the Apostle says in the words: “substance of things to be hoped for.” For knowledge of the truth is a thing to be hoped for, since “beatitude is nothing else than rejoicing over the truth,” as Augustine says.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod fides dicitur substantia, non quia sit in genere substantiae, sed per quamdam similitudinem substantiae; in quantum scilicet est prima inchoatio et quasi quoddam fundamentum totius spiritualis vitae, sicut substantia est fundamentum omnium entium. 1. Faith is called a substance, not because it is in the category of substance, but because it has a certain similarity to substance, namely, in so far as it is the initial participation and a kind of foundation of the whole spiritual life, just as substance is the foundation of all beings.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod apostolus intendit comparare fidem non ad ea quae sunt intus, sed ad ea quae sunt extra. Quamvis autem essentia animae in esse naturali sit primum et substantia respectu potentiarum et habituum, et omnium consequentium quae insunt, non tamen in essentia invenitur habitudo ad res exteriores, sed in potentia primo; et similiter nec in gratia, sed in virtute, et primo in fide. Unde non potuit dici quod gratia esset substantia rerum sperandarum, sed fides. 2. The Apostle wanted to compare faith with those things which are outside of us, and not with what is within us. However, even though the essence of the soul in its natural being is that which is first and is substance with reference to the powers, habits, and everything consequent upon substance which inheres in it, nevertheless, the relation to external things is not primarily in the essence but in the powers. Likewise, this relation is not found in grace, but in virtue, and primarily in faith. Hence, it could not be said that grace was the substance of things to be hoped for, but that faith was.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod fides praecedit alias virtutes et ex parte obiecti, et ex parte potentiae, et ex parte habitus. Ex parte quidem obiecti, non propter hoc quod ipsa magis tendat in suum obiectum quam aliae virtutes in suum; sed quia suum obiectum naturaliter primo movet quam obiectum caritatis et aliarum virtutum. Quod patet, quia bonum nunquam movet nisi praeintellectum, ut dicitur in III de anima. Sed verum ad hoc quod moveat intellectum, non indiget aliquo motu appetitus: et inde est etiam quod actus fidei naturaliter est prior quam actus caritatis; et similiter etiam habitus, quamvis tempore sint simul, cum fides est formata; et eadem ratione potentia cognoscitiva est naturaliter prior quam affectiva. Fides autem est in cognitiva: quod patet ex hoc quod proprium obiectum fidei est verum, non autem bonum; sed quodammodo habet complementum in voluntate, ut infra dicetur. 3. Faith precedes the other virtues, with reference to its object, the power in which it inheres, and its habit. With reference to its object it takes precedence, not because it has a stronger inclination toward its object than the other virtues toward theirs, but because it is natural for its object to cause movement before the objects of charity and the other virtues. This is evident because it is only through understanding that a good causes movement, as is said in The Soul, but the true does not need any movement of appetite to set the understanding in motion. Consequently, the act of faith is naturally prior to the act of charity. Similarly, the habit is also prior, although, when faith is formed (formata), they are simultaneous. For the same reason the cognitive power is naturally prior to the affective. Now, faith belongs to the cognitive part, as is clear from the fact that its proper object is the true and not the good. But faith does in a certain sense have its fulfillment in the will, as will be shown later.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod patet iam ex dictis quod prima inchoatio rerum sperandarum non fit in nobis per caritatem, sed per fidem; nec etiam caritas est argumentum; unde haec descriptio nullo modo ei competit. 4. As is clear from what has already been said, the initial participation of things to be hoped for is not produced in us by means of charity, but by faith. Besides, charity is not evidence, so this description does not fit it at all.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod quia illud bonum quod inclinat ad fidem, excedit rationem, ideo etiam est innominatum; et ideo apostolus per quamdam circumlocutionem loco eius posuit rem sperandam; quod frequenter in definitionibus accidit. 5. Since that good which inclines us to faith surpasses reason, it has no name. Therefore, the Apostle used the circumlocution, that which is to be hoped for, in its stead. This happens frequently in definitions.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod quaelibet potentia habet aliquem finem, qui est bonum ipsius; non tamen quaelibet potentia respicit ad rationem finis vel boni ut bonum est, sed sola voluntas. Et inde est quod voluntas movet omnes alias vires, quia ex finis intentione inchoatur omnis motus. Licet ergo verum sit finis fidei, tamen verum non dicit rationem finis; unde non debuit poni quasi finis fidei, sed aliquid pertinens ad affectum. 6. Every power has an end, which is its own good, but not every power refers to the character of end or good in so far as it is good. Only the will does this. Hence it is that the will moves all the other powers, because all movement begins from an intending of the end. Therefore, although the true is the end of faith, the true does not express the character of end. Consequently, not the true, but something pertaining to the affections ought to be taken as the end of faith.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod res diligenda potest esse et praesens et absens; sed res speranda non est nisi absens. Rom. VIII, 24; quod enim videt quis, quid sperat? Unde cum fides sit de absentibus, eius finis magis proprie exprimitur per rem sperandam quam per rem diligendam. 7. A thing to be loved can be present or absent, but a thing to be hoped for must be absent. Romans (8:24) says: “For what a man sees, why does he hope for?” Since, then, faith concerns what is absent, its end is more properly characterized by the thing to be hoped for than by the thing to be loved.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod articulus est quasi materia fidei; res autem speranda non ponitur ut materia, sed ut finis; unde ratio non sequitur. 8. An article [of faith] is the subject matter of faith. But the thing to be hoped for should be considered not as its subject matter, but as its end. Thus, the reasoning does not follow.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod argumentum multipliciter dicitur. Quandoque enim significat ipsum actum rationis discurrentis de principiis in conclusiones; et quia tota vis argumenti consistit in medio termino, ideo quandoque etiam medius terminus dicitur argumentum. Et inde etiam est quod quandoque librorum proemia argumenta vocantur, in quibus est quaedam praelibatio brevis totius operis sequentis. Et quia per argumentum aliquid manifestatur, et principium manifestationis est lumen, ipsum lumen, quo aliquid cognoscitur, potest dici argumentum. 9. Evidence (argumentum) has many meanings. Sometimes it means the very act of reason proceeding from principles to conclusions. And since the whole force of the proof (argumentum) consists in the middle term, the middle term is therefore sometimes called the argument (argumentum) . Thence it is that the preface of a book is sometimes called the argument, because in it there is a sort of brief foretaste of the whole work that follows. Again, since something is made to appear through evidence and the principle by which something appears is light, the light itself, by which it is known, can be called evidence.
Et his quatuor modis fides potest dici argumentum. Primo quidem modo, in quantum ratio assentit alicui ex hoc quod est a Deo dictum; et sic ex auctoritate dicentis efficitur assensus in credente, quia etiam in dialecticis aliquod argumentum ab auctoritate sumitur. Secundo vero modo fides dicitur argumentum non apparentium, in quantum fides fidelium est medium ad probandum non apparentia esse; vel in inquantum fides patrum est nobis medium inducens nos ad credendum; vel inquantum fides unius articuli est medium ad fidem alterius, sicut resurrectio Christi ad resurrectionem generalem, ut patet I Cor. XVI, 12. Tertio vero modo, in quantum ipsa fides est quaedam praelibatio brevis cognitionis quam in futuro habebimus. Quarto vero modo quantum ad ipsum lumen fidei, per quod credibilia cognoscuntur. Dicitur autem fides esse supra rationem, non quod nullus actus rationis sit in fide, sed quia ratio non potest perducere ad videndum ea quae sunt fidei. And faith is called evidence in these four ways. It is used in the first sense, in so far as reason assents to something because it was said by God. Thus, assent in the believer is caused by the authority of the speaker, since even in dialectical matters there is a proof (argumentum) from authority. In the second way, faith is called the evidence of those things which do not appear, in so far as the faith of the faithful is a means of proving the existence of what does not appear, or in so far as the faith of our fathers is a means of making us believe, or in so far as faith in one article is the means to faith in another, as the resurrection of Christ is to the general resurrection, as is clear from the first Epistle to the Corinthians (15:12). In the third way, faith is a brief foretaste of the knowledge which we shall have in the future. In the fourth way, faith is evidence with reference to the light of faith through which we know what is to be believed. Faith, however, is said to surpass reason, not because there is no act of reason in faith, but because reasoning about faith cannot lead to the sight of those things which are matters of faith.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod actus fidei essentialiter consistit in cognitione, et ibi est eius perfectio quantum ad formam vel speciem; quod patet ex obiecto, ut dictum est; sed quantum ad finem perficitur in affectione, quia ex caritate habet quod sit meritoria finis. Inchoatio etiam fidei est in affectione, in quantum voluntas determinat intellectum ad assentiendum his quae sunt fidei. Sed illa voluntas nec est actus caritatis nec spei, sed quidam appetitus boni repromissi. Et sic patet quod fides non est in duabus potentiis sicut in subiecto. 10. The act of faith consists essentially in knowledge, and there we find its formal or specific perfection. This is clear from its object, as has been said. But, with reference to its end, faith is perfected in the affections, because it is by reason of charity that it can merit its end. The beginning of faith, too, is in the affections, in so far as the will determines the intellect to assent to matters of faith. But that act of the will is an act neither of charity nor of hope, but of the appetite seeking a promised good. From this it is clear that faith is not in two powers as in its subjects.
Unde patet responsio ad undecimum. 11. The answer to the eleventh difficulty is clear from the answer to the tenth.
Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod in hoc quod dicit substantia rerum sperandarum, non tangitur actus fidei, sed solum relatio in finem. Actus autem eius tangitur per comparationem ad obiectum in hoc quod dicitur argumentum non apparentium. 12. When we say “substance of things to be hoped for,” we are not dealing with the act of faith, but only with its relation to its end. The act is indicated by the reference to the object, when we say “evidence of things that appear not.”
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod illud cui assentit intellectus, non movet intellectum ex propria virtute, sed ex inclinatione voluntatis. Unde bonum quod movet affectum, se habet in assensu fidei sicut primum movens; id autem cui intellectus assentit, sicut movens motum. Et ideo primo ponitur in definitione fidei comparatio eius ad bonum affectus quam ad proprium obiectum. 13. That to which the understanding gives assent does not move the understanding by its own power, but by the influence of the will. As a result, the good which moves the affective part has the role of first mover in the act of faith, but that to which the understanding gives assent is like a mover which is moved. Therefore, in the definition of faith we first give its reference to the good of the affections before the reference to its proper object.
Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod fides non convincit sive arguit mentem ex rei evidentia, sed ex inclinatione voluntatis, ut dictum est, unde ratio non sequitur. 14. Faith does not convince the mind or satisfy (arguere) it so as to assent because of the evidence of the thing, but because of the influence of the will, as was said. Therefore, the reasoning does not follow.
Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod cognitio duo potest importare: scilicet visionem et assensum. Et quantum ad visionem contra fidem distinguitur; unde Gregorius dicit, quod visa non habent fidem, sed agnitionem; dicuntur autem videri, secundum Augustinum in Lib. de videndo Deum, quae praesto sunt sensui vel intellectui. Intellectui autem praesto esse dicuntur quae eius capacitatem non excedunt. 15. Knowledge can have two meanings: sight or assent. When it refers to sight, it is distinguished from faith. Thus, Gregory says: “Things seen are the object not of faith, but of knowledge.” According to Augustine, those things “which are present to the senses or the understanding” are said to be seen. But those things are said to be present to the understanding which are not beyond its capacity.
Sed quantum ad certitudinem assensus, fides est cognitio ratione cuius potest dici etiam scientia et visio, secundum illud I Cor. XIII, 12: videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate. Et hoc est quod Augustinus dicit in Lib. de videndo Deum: si scire non incongruenter dicimur etiam illud quod certissimum credimus, hinc factum est ut etiam credita recte, etsi non adsint sensibus nostris, videre mente dicamur. But, in so far as there is certainty of assent, faith is knowledge, and as such can be called certain knowledge and sight. This appears in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (13:12): “We see now through a glass in a dark manner.” And this is what Augustine says: “If it is not unfitting to say that we know that also which we believe to be most certain, it follows from this that it is correct to say that we see with our minds the things which we believe, even though they are not present to our senses.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE III

In the third article we ask:
Is faith a virtue?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23, 2, 4, sol. 1; 3, 1, sol. 2.; Ad Rom., c. 1, lect. 6; S.T., I-II, 65, 41, II-II, 4, 5; Q.D. de virt. in comm., 7.]
Tertio quaeritur utrum fides sit virtus Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for
Virtus enim contra cognitionem dividitur; unde scientia et virtus ponuntur diversa genera, ut patet in IV Top. Sed fides continetur sub cognitione. Ergo non est virtus. 1. Virtue is distinguished from knowledge. So, virtue and knowledge are classified in different genera, as is clear from the Topics. But faith is contained under the genus of knowledge. Therefore, it is not a virtue.
Sed dicebat, quod sicut ignorantia est vitium ex hoc quod causatur ex quadam negligentia sciendi, ita etiam fides est virtus ex hoc quod in voluntate credentis consistit.- Sed contra, ex hoc solo quod ex culpa causatur, non potest aliquid rationem culpae habere; alias poena in quantum huiusmodi rationem culpae haberet. Ergo nec ignorantia potest dici vitium ex hoc quod ex vitio negligentiae oritur; ergo eadem ratione nec fides per hoc quod consequitur voluntatem, potest dici virtus. 2. It was said that, as ignorance is a vice because it is caused by a neglect of knowledge, so faith is a virtue because it resides in the will of the believer.—On the contrary, the mere fact that something is the result of guilt does not make it possible to put guilt in its definition. Otherwise, punishment, as such, would have guilt in its definition. Therefore, ignorance cannot be called a vice because it arises from the vice of neglect. For the same reason, faith cannot be called a virtue because it is consequent upon the will.
Praeterea, virtus dicitur per comparationem ad bonum; virtus enim est quae bonum facit habentem, et opus eius bonum reddit, ut dicitur in II Ethicorum. Sed fidei obiectum est verum, non autem bonum. Ergo fides non est virtus. 3. Virtue is so called because of its relation to the good. For virtue is “that which makes its possessor good, and makes his work good,” as is said in the Ethics. But the object of faith is the true, not the good. Therefore, faith is not a virtue.
Sed dicebat, quod verum quod est obiectum fidei, est primum verum, quod item etiam est summum bonum; et sic fides habet rationem virtutis.- Sed contra, distinctio habituum et actuum attenditur penes distinctionem obiectorum formalem, non autem materialem: alias visus et auditus essent eaedem potentiae, quia contingit esse idem audibile et visibile. Sed quantumcumque sit idem re id quod est bonum et id quod est verum, alia tamen est ratio veri et alia ratio boni formaliter. Ergo habitus qui tendit in verum secundum rationem veri, distinguitur ab illo habitu qui tendit in bonum sub ratione boni; et sic fides a virtute distinguetur. 4. It was said that the true which is the object of faith is the first truth, which is also the highest good, and, so, faith fulfills the definition of virtue.—On the contrary, in the distinction of habits and acts we must consider the formal distinction of objects, not their material distinction. Otherwise, sight and hearing would be the same power because the same thing happens to be audible and visible. But, no matter how much the good and the true are identified in reality; formally, one aspect founds the concept of its truth and another of its goodness. Therefore, a habit which is directed toward the true, as such, is distinguished from that habit which is directed toward the good as such. Thus, faith is distinguished from virtue.
Praeterea, in eodem genere sunt medium et extrema, ut patet per philosophum in X Metaph. Sed fides est medium inter scientiam et opinionem; dicit enim Hugo de sancto Victore, quod fides est certitudo quaedam animi supra opinionem et infra scientiam constituta. Sed neque opinio neque scientia est virtus. Ergo etiam neque fides. 5. The mean and the extremes are in the same genus, as is clear from the Philosopher. But faith is a mean between scientific knowledge and opinion, for Hugh of St. Victor says that faith is “a certainty of mind which is more than opinion and less than scientific knowledge. But neither opinion nor science is a virtue. So, neither is faith.
Praeterea, praesentia obiecti non tollit habitum virtutis. Sed obiectum fidei est veritas prima, quae cum praesto erit menti nostrae ut videamus eam, non erit tunc fides, sed visio. Ergo fides non est virtus. 6. The presence of the object does not destroy the habit of a virtue. But, when the object of faith, which is first truth, is present to Our minds so that we see it, we will not have faith but vision. Therefore, faith is not a virtue.
Praeterea, virtus est ultimum potentiae, ut dicitur in I caeli et mundi. Sed fides non est ultimum potentiae humanae; quia potest in aliquid amplius, scilicet in visionem apertam. Ergo fides non est virtus. 7. “Virtue is the fullest development of a power,” as is said in Heaven and Earth. But faith is not the fullest development of a human power, because it is capable of something fuller, plain sight. Therefore, faith is not a virtue.
Praeterea, secundum Augustinum, in Lib. de bono coniugali, per virtutes expediuntur potentiae ad actus suos. Sed fides non expedit intellectum, sed magis impedit: quia per eam intellectus captivatur, ut patet II Corinth. cap. X, 5. Ergo fides non est virtus. 8. According to Augustine, through the virtues the acts of powers are made easier. Faith, however, does not make the act of understanding easier, but rather hinders it, because by it our understanding is made captive, as is said in the second Epistle to the Corinthians (10:5). Therefore, faith is not a virtue.
Praeterea, a philosopho virtus dividitur per intellectualem et moralem. Et est divisio per immediata, quia intellectualis est quae est in rationali per essentiam, moralis autem quae est in rationali per participationem: nec potest aliter rationale accipi, nec virtus humana potest esse nisi in rationali, aliquo modo dicto. Sed fides non est virtus moralis, quia sic eius materia essent actiones et passiones. Similiter nec intellectualis, cum non sit aliqua illarum quinque quas philosophus in VI Ethic. ponit: non enim est sapientia nec intellectus nec scientia nec ars nec prudentia. Ergo fides nullo modo est virtus. 9. The Philosopher divides virtues into intellectual and moral. This division is made according to immediate differences, because the intellectual is that which is in the part which is essentially rational, and the moral is that which is in the part which is rational by participation. There is no other sense in which we can understand rational; nor can human virtue be in any but the rational part taken in some sense. But faith is not a moral virtue, because, then, its subject matter would be actions and emotions. Nor is it an intellectual virtue, because it is not any of those five virtues which the Philosopher gives. For it is not wisdom, or understanding, or science, or art, or prudence. Therefore, faith is not a virtue at all.
Praeterea, quod convenit alicui ex extrinseco, non inest ei essentialiter, sed accidentaliter. Fidei autem non convenit esse virtutem nisi ex alio, ut dicebatur: scilicet ex voluntate. Ergo hoc accidit fidei quod sit virtus; et ita non potest poni species virtutis. 10. That which belongs to a thing because of something extrinsic to it is not in that thing essentially, but accidentally. Faith, however, is not fittingly called a virtue except because of something else, as has been said, namely, because of the will. Therefore, to be a virtue belongs accidentally to faith; hence, faith cannot be classified as a species of virtue.
Praeterea, in prophetia est perfectior cognitio quam in fide. Prophetia autem non ponitur esse virtus. Ergo nec fides debet virtus dici. 11. There is more perfect knowledge in prophecy than in faith. But prophecy is not classified as a virtue. Therefore, neither should faith be called a virtue.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Virtus est dispositio perfecti ad optimum. Sed hoc convenit fidei; disponit enim hominem ad beatitudinem, quae est optimum. Ergo fides est virtus. 1. Virtue is a disposition of something perfect to that which is best. But this fits faith, for faith orders man to beatitude, which is that which is best. Therefore, faith is a virtue.
Praeterea, omnis habitus quo aliquis roboratur in agendo et fortificatur in patiendo, est virtus. Fides autem est huiusmodi: fides enim per dilectionem operatur; Gal. V, 6. Ipsa etiam fortificatur fideles ad resistendum Diabolo, ut dicitur I Petri, V, 9. Ergo ipsa est virtus. 21. Every habit by which one is given strength to act and endurance to suffer is a virtue. But faith is of this nature, for “faith works by charity” (Gal 5:6). Faith also makes the faithful strong in resisting the devil, as is said in the first Epistle of Peter (5:9). Therefore, faith is a virtue.
Praeterea, Hugo de sancto Victore dicit, quod tres sunt virtutes sacramentales, quibus initiamur; scilicet fides, spes, caritas; et sic idem quod prius. 3. Hugh of St. Victor says that there are three sacramental virtues by which we receive our initiation [into the Church]: faith, hope, and charity. We conclude as before.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod fides ab omnibus ponitur esse virtus. Ad cuius evidentiam notandum est, quod virtus ex sui impositione nominis significat complementum activae potentiae. Activa autem potentia duplex est: quaedam quidem cuius actio terminatur ad aliquid actum extra, sicut aedificativae actio terminatur ad aedificatum; quaedam vero est cuius actio non terminatur ad extra, sed consistit in ipso agente ut visio in vidente, ut habetur ex philosopho in IX Metaph. In his autem duabus potentiis diversimode sumitur complementum. Quia enim actus primarum potentiarum, ut, ibidem, philosophus dicit, non sunt in faciente, sed in facto: ideo complementum potentiae ibi accipitur penes id quod fit. Unde et virtus deferentis pondera dicitur esse in hoc quod maximum pondus defert, ut patet in I caeli et mundi; et similiter virtus aedificatoris in hoc quod facit domum optimam. Sed quia alterius potentiae actus consistit in agente, non in aliquo actu, ideo complementum illius potentiae accipitur secundum modum agendi; ut scilicet bene et convenienter operetur, ex quo habet eius actus quod bonus dicatur. Et inde est quod in huiusmodi potentiis virtus dicitur quae opus bonum reddit. Everybody agrees that faith is a virtue. For a proof of this we should note that virtue by its very name means the completion of an active power. Now, there are two kinds of active powers, one whose action terminates in something performed outside the agent, as the action of the power of building terminates in the edifice; and the other, whose action does not terminate outside of the agent, but remains within him’ as sight remains within one who sees, as the Philosopher says. In these two kinds of powers completion is taken in different senses. Since acts of the first type of power are not in the maker, but in what is made, as the Philosopher says, the completion of the power is to be considered in reference to that which is done. Thus, the power of one who carries burdens is said to consist in this, that he carries a very heavy burden, as is evident from Heaven and Earth; and the power of one who builds consists in this, that he makes a very good house. However, since the act of the other type of power remains in the agent and not in anything produced, the completion of that type of power is conceived according to its mode of acting, namely, that it act well and fittingly. And it is because of this that its act is called good. And so it is that in this type of power we call virtue that which makes the work good.
Aliud autem est bonum ultimum quod considerat philosophus et theologus. Philosophus enim considerat quasi bonum ultimum quod est humanis viribus proportionatum, et consistit in actu ipsius hominis; unde felicitatem dicit esse operationem quamdam. Et ideo secundum philosophum actus bonus, cuius principium virtus dicitur, dicitur absolute in quantum est conveniens potentiae ut perficiens ipsam. Unde quemcumque habitum invenit philosophus talem actum elicientem, dicit eum esse virtutem; sive sit in parte intellectiva, ut scientia et intellectus et huiusmodi virtutes intellectuales, quarum actus est bonum ipsius potentiae, scilicet considerare verum; sive in parte affectiva, ut temperantia, et fortitudo, et aliae virtutes morales. But the philosopher considers one thing as final good and the theologian another. For the philosopher considers as final good that which has a proportion to the human powers and exists in the act of man himself. Thus, he says that happiness is an activity. Therefore, according to the philosopher, a good act, whose principle is called a virtue, is said to be good without qualification in so far as it is in conformity with the potency as that which perfects it. Consequently, when the philosopher finds any habit which elicits such an act, he calls it a virtue, whether it be in the intellective part, as science, understanding of principles, and intellectual virtues of this sort, whose acts are the good of the power itself, namely, to consider the true; or whether it be in the affective part, as temperance, bravery, and the other moral virtues.
Sed theologus considerat quasi bonum ultimum id quod est naturae facultatem excedens, scilicet vitam aeternam, ut supra dictum est. Unde bonum in actibus humanis non considerat absolute, quia ibi non ponit finem, sed in ordine ad illud bonum quod ponit finem: asserens illum actum tantummodo esse bonum complete qui de proximo ad bonum finale ordinatur, id est qui est meritorius vitae aeternae; et omnem talem actum dicit esse actum virtutis; et quicumque habitus proprie elicit talem actum, ab ipso virtus appellatur. But the theologian considers as the final good that which is beyond the capacity of nature, namely, everlasting life, as has been said. Thus, he does not consider the good in human acts without qualification, because he puts the end not in the acts themselves, but in the disposition to that good which he makes the end. He says that only that act is completely good which has a proximate relation to the final good, that is, an act which merits eternal life. He says that every such act is an act of virtue, and every habit properly eliciting such an act he calls a virtue.
Aliquis autem actus meritorius dici non potest nisi secundum quod est in potestate operantis constitutus: quia qui meretur, oportet quod aliquid exhibeat; nec exhibere potest nisi quod aliquo modo suum est, id est ex ipso. Actus autem aliquis in potestate nostra consistit, secundum quod est voluntatis: sive sit eius ut ab ipsa elicitus, ut diligere et velle: sive ut ab ipsa imperatus, ut ambulare et loqui. Unde respectu cuiuslibet talis actus potest poni aliqua virtus, eliciens actus perfectos in tali genere actuum. However, an act can be called meritorious only if it lies within the power of the agent. For it is necessary for one who merits to present something. Nor can he present something unless it is in some way his own, that is, from himself. Now, an act lies within our power, in so far as it belongs to our will, whether as elicited by the will, as to love and to wish, or as commanded by the will, as to walk and to talk. Hence, with reference to any such act, we can posit as a virtue that which elicits perfect acts of this type.
Credere autem, ut supra dictum est, non habet assensum nisi ex imperio voluntatis; unde, secundum id quod est, a voluntate dependet. Et inde est quod ipsum credere potest esse meritorium; et fides, quae est habitus eliciens ipsum, est secundum theologum virtus. As has been said above, there is assent in belief only by reason of the command of the will. Therefore, it depends on the will according to its very nature. It is for this reason that to believe can be meritorious, and that faith, which is the habit eliciting the act of believing, is a virtue for the theologian.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod cognitio et scientia non dividitur contra virtutem simpliciter, sed contra virtutem moralem, quae communius virtus dicitur. 1. Knowledge and science are not distinguished from virtue taken simply, but from moral virtue, which is more commonly called virtue.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis non sufficiat ad rationem vitii vel virtutis quod aliquid sit causatum ex vitio vel virtute, sufficit tamen, ad hoc quod aliquis actus sit actus vitii vel virtutis, quod imperatus a vitio vel virtute possit esse. 2. Although the fact that something is caused by a virtue or a vice is not enough to put virtue or vice in its definition, the fact that it can be commanded by a virtue or a vice is enough to make an act be the act of a vice or virtue.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod bonum illud ad quod virtus ordinat, non est accipiendum quasi aliquod obiectum alicuius actus; sed illud bonum est ipse actus perfectus, quem virtus elicit. Licet autem verum ratione a bono differat; tamen hoc ipsum quod est considerare verum, est quoddam bonum intellectus; et hoc ipsum quod est assentire primae veritati propter seipsam est quoddam bonum meritorium. Unde fides, quae ad hunc actum ordinatur, dicitur esse virtus. 3. The good toward which a virtue gives an ordination should not be taken as the object of some act; rather, that good is the perfect act itself, which the virtue elicits. And, although the true differs from the good in its intelligible content, the act of considering the true is a good of the understanding, and to give assent to first truth on its own account is a good worthy of merit. Consequently, faith, which is ordained to this act, is called a virtue.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad quartum. 4. The answer to the fourth difficulty is clear from the third response.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod secundum quod nunc loquimur de virtute, neque scientia neque opinio virtus dici potest; sed sola fides: quae quantum ad id quod voluntatis est, prout modo praedicto in genus virtutis cadit, non est media inter scientiam et opinionem, quia in scientia vel opinione non est aliqua inclinatio ex voluntate, sed ex ratione tantum. Si autem loqueremur de eis quantum ad id quod est cognitionis tantum, sic neque opinio neque fides esset virtus, cum non habeant completam cognitionem, sed tantummodo scientia. 5. Neither scientific knowledge nor opinion, but only faith, can be called a virtue in the sense in which we are now speaking of virtue. For faith is not a mean between science and opinion with reference to that which concerns the will, and it is according to this that it is classified as a virtue in the way we have mentioned. For in science and opinion there is no inclination because of the will, but only because of reason. If, however, we are talking about them with reference only to knowledge, neither opinion nor faith would be a virtue, since they do not have perfect knowledge. Only science has this.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod veritas prima non est obiectum proprium fidei nisi sub hac ratione prout est non apparens; quod patet ex definitione apostoli, ubi proprium obiectum fidei ponitur non apparens. Unde quando veritas prima praesto erit, amittet rationem obiecti. 6. First truth is the proper object of faith only under the character of non-appearing, as is clear from the definition of the Apostle, where it is said that the proper object of faith is that which does not appear. Consequently, when first truth is present, it loses its character of object.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod fides secundum hoc dicitur esse ultimum potentiae, quod complet potentiam ad eliciendum actum bonum et meritorium. Non autem requiritur ad rationem virtutis quod per eam eliciatur optimus actus qui potest elici a potentia illa; cum contingat in eadem potentia esse plures virtutes, quarum una alia nobiliorem actum elicit, sicut magnificentia liberalitate. 7. Faith is said to be the fullest development of a power in so far as it adds to the power that which is needed to elicit a good and meritorious act. For a virtue really to be a virtue, however, it does not have to elicit the best act possible from that power, for in the same power there may be several virtues, one of which elicits an act more noble than another, as magnificence over liberality.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod in quibuslibet duobus ordinatis ad invicem, perfectio inferioris est ut subdatur superiori; sicut concupiscibilis, quod subdatur rationi. Unde habitus virtutis non dicitur expedire concupiscibilem ad actum ut faciat eam libere effluere in concupiscibilia; sed quia facit eam perfecte subiectam rationi. Similiter etiam bonum ipsius intellectus est ut subdatur voluntati adhaerenti Deo: unde fides dicitur intellectum expedire, in quantum sub tali voluntate ipsum captivat. 8. In any two things which are ordained to each other the perfection of the lower is for it to be subject to the higher, as the concupiscible which is subject to reason. Because of this, the habit of a virtue is said to make it easy for the concupiscible power to act, not in the sense so that it makes it pursue concupiscible objects without restraint, but because it brings it perfectly under the dominion of reason. Similarly, the good of understanding itself is to be subject to the will which adheres to God. Thus, faith is said to help the understanding in so far as it makes it captive under such a will.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod fides neque est virtus moralis neque intellectualis; sed est virtus theologica. Virtutes autem theologicae, quamvis conveniant subiecto cum intellectualibus vel moralibus, differunt tamen obiecto. Obiectum enim virtutum theologicarum est ipse finis ultimus; obiectum vero aliarum ea quae sunt ad finem. Ideo autem a theologis (ponuntur) quaedam virtutes circa finem ipsum, non autem a philosophis, quia finis humanae vitae quem philosophi considerant, non excedit facultatem naturae: unde ex naturali inclinatione homo tendit in illud; et sic non oportet quod per aliquos habitus elevetur ad tendendum in illum finem, sicut oportet quod elevetur ad tendendum in finem qui facultatem naturae excedit, quem theologi considerant. 9. Faith is not an intellectual or moral virtue, but a theological virtue. And, although the theological virtues have the same subject as moral and intellectual virtues, they have a different object. For the object of the theological virtues is the last end itself, whereas the object of the other virtues is the means to the end. Therefore, the theologians propose certain virtues which concern the end itself. But the philosophers do not do this, because the end of human life which the philosophers study does not transcend the power of nature. Hence, man's pursuit of that end is the result of a natural inclination, and to pursue that end he does not need to be elevated by any habits, as he does to pursue the end considered by the theologians, which transcends the power of nature.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod fides non est in intellectu nisi secundum quod imperatur a voluntate, ut ex dictis patet. Unde, quamvis illud quod est ex parte voluntatis possit dici accidentale intellectui, est tamen fidei essentiale, sicut id quod est rationis, est accidentale concupiscibili, essentiale autem temperantiae. 10. Faith is in the intellect only in so far as it is commanded by the will, as is clear from what has been said. Hence, although that which comes from the will can be said to be accidental to the intellect, it is still essential to faith. The same holds for the rational element, which is accidental to the concupiscible, but essential to temperance.
Ad undecimum dicendum, quod prophetia non dependet ex voluntate prophetantis, ut dicitur II Petri, I, 21; fides autem est quodammodo ex voluntate credentis; et ideo prophetia non potest dici virtus sicut fides. 11. Prophecy does not depend on the will of the prophet, as is said in the second Epistle of St. Peter(1:21). Faith, however, is to some extent dependent on the will of the believer. Therefore, prophecy cannot be called a virtue as faith can.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE IV

In the fourth article we ask:
What is the subject in which faith exists?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23, 2, 3, sol. 1; S.T., II-II, 4, 2.]
Quarto quaeritur in quo sit fides sicut in subiecto Difficulties
Et videtur quod non sit in parte cognoscitiva, sed affectiva. It seems to be not the cognitive, but the affective, part, for
Virtus enim in parte affectiva esse videtur, cum virtus sit quidam amor ordinatus, ut dicit Augustinus in Lib. de moribus Ecclesiae. Sed fides virtus est. Ergo est in parte affectiva. 1. All virtue seems to exist in the affective part, since virtue is a kind of “well-ordered love,” as Augustine says. But faith is a virtue. Therefore, it exists in the affective part.
Praeterea, virtus quamdam perfectionem importat; est enim dispositio perfecti ad optimum, ut dicitur in VII Physic. Sed cum fides habeat aliquid perfectionis et aliquid imperfectionis: id quod est imperfectionis, est ex parte cognitionis; quod autem est perfectionis est ex voluntate, ut scilicet invisibilibus firmiter adhaereat. Ergo secundum quod est virtus, est in affectiva. 2. Virtue implies some perfection, since it is “the disposition of something perfect to that which is best,” as is said in the Physics. But, since faith has some perfection and some imperfection, the imperfection derives from the cognitive element and the perfection derives from the volitional element, namely, that it hold firmly to things invisible. Therefore, in so far as it is a virtue, it is in the affective part.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit ad Consentium, quod parvulus etsi fidem non habeat quae consistit in credentium voluntate, habet tamen fidei sacramentum; ex quo expresse habetur quod fides in voluntate sit. 3. Augustine says: “Although a child does not have the faith which is in the will of those who believe, he has the sacrament of faith.” From this we clearly see that faith is in the will.
Praeterea, in Lib. de praedestinatione sanctorum, dicit Augustinus quod ad fidem quae in credentium voluntate consistit, pertinet illud apostoli: quid habes quod non accepisti? Et sic idem quod prius. 4. Augustine says: “The Apostle’s words, ‘Or what have you that you have not received’ (1 Cor 4:7), refer to the faith which is in the wills of those who believe.” We conclude as before.
Praeterea, eiusdem videtur esse dispositio et perfectio. Sed fides disponit ad gloriam, quae etiam est in affectiva. Ergo et fides in affectiva consistit. 5. A disposition and its perfection seem to belong to the same thing. But faith is a disposition for glory, which is in the affective part. Therefore, faith, also, is in the affective part.
Praeterea, meritum in voluntate consistit, quia sola voluntas est domina sui actus. Sed actus fidei est meritorius. Ergo est actus voluntatis; et ita videtur quod in voluntate consistat. 6. Merit resides in the will, because only the will is master of its acts. But the act of faith is meritorious. Therefore, it is an act of the will, and so it would seem that faith resides in the will.
Sed dicebat, quod est simul in affectiva et cognitiva.- Sed contra, unus habitus non potest esse duarum potentiarum. Fides autem est unus habitus. Ergo non potest esse in affectiva et cognitiva, quae sunt duae potentiae. 7. It was said that faith is in both the affective and the cognitive parts. —On the contrary, one habit cannot belong to two powers. Faith, however, is one habit. Therefore, it cannot be in the affective and cognitive parts, which are two powers.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Habitus perficiens aliquam potentiam, cum ea convenit in obiecto: alias non posset esse unus actus potentiae et habitus. Sed fides non convenit in obiecto cum affectiva, sed cum cognitiva tantum, quia obiectum utriusque est verum. Ergo fides est in cognitiva. 1. A habit which perfects a power has the same object as the power. Otherwise, the act of the power and of the habit could not be one. But faith has the same object, not as the affective part, but as the cognitive part, since the object of both is the true. Therefore, faith is in the cognitive part.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in Epist. ad Consentium, quod fides est illuminatio mentis ad primam veritatem. Sed illuminari ad cognitivam pertinet. Ergo fides est in parte cognitiva. 2. Augustine says that faith is the “enlightening” of the mind for the first truth. But to be enlightened pertains to the cognitive part. Therefore, faith is in the cognitive part.
Praeterea, si fides dicatur esse in voluntate, hoc non erit nisi quia credimus volentes. Sed similiter omnia opera virtutum operamur cognoscentes, ut patet II Ethic. Ergo, eadem ratione, omnes virtutes essent in parte cognoscitiva; quod patet esse falsum. 3. If faith is said to be in the will, it is so only because we believe willingly. But, in like manner, all the activities of the virtues take place in us knowingly, as is clear from the Ethics. Therefore, for the same reason all the virtues would be in the cognitive part, which is obviously false.
Praeterea, per gratiam quae est in virtutibus, reformatur imago, quae in tribus potentiis consistit: scilicet memoria, intelligentia, et voluntate. Tres autem virtutes quae primo habent respectum ad gratiam, sunt fides, spes et caritas. Ergo aliqua earum erit in intelligentia. Constat autem quod non spes nec caritas. Ergo fides. 4. Through grace, which is in the virtues, the image which is in the three powers of memory, intelligence, and will is refashioned. But the three virtues which primarily have reference to grace are faith, hope, and charity. Therefore, one of these is in the intelligence. It is evident, however, that neither hope nor charity is there. So, faith is there.
Praeterea, sicut se habet vis affectiva ad probabile et reprobabile, ita se habet vis cognitiva ad probabile et improbabile. Sed virtus illa per quam approbatur reprobabile, secundum rationem humanam, scilicet caritas qua inimicus diligitur, qui videtur naturaliter reprobabilis esse, est in affectiva. Ergo fides qua probatur sive asseritur id quod videtur rationi improbabile esse, erit in cognoscitiva. 5. The cognitive power has the same relation to that which can or cannot be proved, as the affective power has to that which can or cannot be approved. But the virtue by reason of which we approve that which, according to human reason, should not be approved is in the affective part. This virtue is charity, by which we love our enemies, a thing which naturally seems something not to be approved. Therefore, faith, by which we prove or assert that which to reason seems incapable of proof, is in the cognitive part.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod circa hanc quaestionem multipliciter aliqui opinati sunt. Quidam enim dixerunt, fidem esse in utraque vi, scilicet affectiva et cognitiva. Quod nullo modo potest esse, si intelligatur quod in utraque sit ex aequo. Unius enim habitus oportet esse unum actum; nec potest esse unus actus ex aequo duarum potentiarum. Unde dicunt quidam eorum, quod est principaliter in affectiva. Sed istud non videtur esse verum, cum ipsum credere cogitationem quamdam importet, ut patet per Augustinum. Cogitatio autem est actus cognitivae; fides etiam scientia et visio quodammodo dicitur, ut supra dictum est, quae omnia ad cognitivam pertinent. There are many, different opinions about this question. For some have said that faith is in both the affective and cognitive powers. But this cannot be true at all if it means that it is in both equally. For each habit must have one act, and one act cannot belong equally to two powers. Seeing this, some of these people” say that faith is principally in the affective power. But this does not seem to be true, since to believe implies some “thought,” as is clear from Augustine. Thought, however, is an act of the cognitive part. Faith is also in some sense called scientific knowledge and sight, as was said above. And all of these belong to the cognitive power.
Alii autem dicunt, quod fides est in intellectu, sed practico: quia practicum intellectum dicunt esse ad quem inclinat affectio, vel quem affectio sequitur, vel qui ad opus inclinat; quae tria inveniuntur in fide. Nam ex affectione quis inclinatur ad fidem: credimus enim quia volumus. Ipsa etiam affectio fidem sequitur, secundum quod actus fidei generat quodammodo caritatis actum. Ipsa etiam ad opus dirigit: nam fides per dilectionem operatur; Galat. V, 6. Others” say that faith is in the understanding, but the practical understanding, because they say the practical understanding is that to which desire tends, or which desire follows, or which inclines to a work. And these three are found in faith. It is because of desire that one is inclined to faith, for we believe what we will. Desire itself also follows faith, inasmuch as the act of faith in some sense produces the act of charity. It also leads to a work, for “faith... works by charity” (Gal 5:6).
Sed hi non videntur intelligere quid sit intellectus practicus. Intellectus enim practicus idem est quod intellectus operativus: unde sola extensio ad opus facit aliquem intellectum esse practicum. Relatio autem ad affectionem vel antecedentem vel consequentem, non trahit ipsum extra genus speculativi intellectus. Nisi enim aliquis ad ipsam speculationem veritatis afficeretur, nunquam in actu intellectus speculativi esset delectatio: quod est contra philosophum in X Ethic., qui ponit purissimam delectationem esse in actu speculativi. But these people do not seem to understand what the practical understanding is. For the practical understanding is the same as the operative understanding. Hence, only extension to a work makes an understanding practical. Reference to desire, however, either antecedent or consequent, does not withdraw the understanding from the category of speculative understanding. For, unless one were attracted to speculating about the truth, there would never be any pleasure in the act of speculative understanding. And this is contrary to the Philosopher, who says that the purest pleasure is in the act of speculative understanding.
Nec quaelibet relatio ad opus facit intellectum esse practicum: quia simplex speculatio potest esse alicui remota occasio aliquid operandi; sicut philosophus speculatur animam esse immortalem, et exinde sicut a causa remota sumit occasionem aliquid operandi. Sed intellectum practicum oportet esse proximam regulam operis, utpote quo consideretur ipsum operabile, et rationes operandi, sive causae operis. Constat autem quod obiectum fidei non est verum operabile, sed verum increatum, in quod non potest esse nisi actus intellectus speculativi. Unde fides est in intellectu speculativo, quamvis fides sit ut occasio remota aliquid operandi: unde etiam sibi non attribuitur operatio nisi mediante dilectione. Nor does every reference to a work make the understanding practical, because simple speculation can be for someone the remote occasion of doing something. Thus, a philosopher contemplates the immortality of the soul, and from this, as from a remote cause, he takes occasion to do something. But, to be practical, the understanding must be the proximate rule of action, as that by which one studies the thing to be done, the methods of operation, and the causes of the work. It is evident, however, that the object of faith is not a truth which can be produced, but the uncreated truth, which can be an object only of speculative understanding. Consequently, faith is in the speculative understanding, although it is the remote occasion of doing something. For this reason, also, activity is attributed to it only through the mediation of charity.
Sciendum tamen, quod non est in intellectu speculativo absolute, sed secundum quod subditur imperio voluntatis; sicut etiam et temperantia est in concupiscibili secundum quod participat aliqualiter rationem. Cum enim ad bonitatem actus alicuius potentiae requiratur quod illa potentia subdatur alicui potentiae superiori, sequendo eius imperium, non solum requiritur quod potentia superior tantum sit perfecta ad hoc quod recte imperet vel dirigat, sed etiam inferior ad hoc quod prompte obediat. Unde ille qui habet rationem rectam, sed concupiscibilem indomitam, non habet temperantiae virtutem, quia infestatur passionibus, quamvis non deducatur: et sic non facit actum virtutis faciliter et delectabiliter, quod exigitur ad virtutem; sed oportet ad hoc quod temperantia insit, quod ipsamet concupiscibilis sit per habitum perfecta, ut sine aliqua difficultate voluntati subdatur; et secundum hoc habitus temperantiae dicitur esse in concupiscibili. Et similiter (oportet) ad hoc quod intellectus prompte sequatur imperium voluntatis, quod sit aliquis habitus in ipso intellectu speculativo; et hic est habitus fidei divinitus infusus. We must bear in mind, nevertheless, that it is not in the speculative understanding absolutely, but only in so far as it is subject to the will. Similarly, temperance is in the concupiscible power only in so far as it participates to some extent in reason. For, since the good of the act of a power requires its subjection to a higher power by following its command, it is necessary not only that the higher have the perfection to command or direct correctly, but that the lower have the perfection to obey promptly. Hence, he who has right reason, but an uncontrolled concupiscible appetite, does not have the virtue of temperance, because he is harassed by his passions, even though he is not led astray by them. Consequently, he does not perform the act of virtue with the ease and pleasure which are needed for virtue. But, to have temperance, the concupiscible appetite itself must be perfected by a habit so that it is subject to the will without any difficulty. It is in this way that the habit of temperance is said to be in the concupiscible appetite. Similarly, for the understanding promptly to follow the command of the will, there must be a habit in the speculative understanding itself. This is the divinely infused habit of faith.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod verbum illud Augustini intelligitur de virtutibus moralibus, de quibus ibi loquitur. Vel potest dici quod loquitur de virtutibus quantum ad formam earum, quae est caritas. 1. That passage of Augustine should be understood of the moral virtues, about which he is there speaking. Or it can be said that we are speaking of the virtues with reference to their form, which is charity.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod in hoc quaedam perfectio cognitivae est, ut voluntati obtemperet Deo inhaerenti. 2. The cognitive part has some perfection in so far as it obeys a will which clings to God.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod Augustinus loquitur de actu fidei, qui quidem dicitur esse in voluntate non sicut in subiecto, sed sicut in causa, in quantum est a voluntate imperatus. 3. Augustine is talking about the act of faith, which, indeed, is said to be in the will not as in a subject, but as in a cause, in so far as it is commanded by the will.
Et similiter dicendum ad quartum. 4. The same holds for the fourth difficulty.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod in eodem esse dispositionem et habitum, non est necesse, nisi quando ipsa dispositio fit habitus; sicut patet in membris corporis, in quo ex dispositione unius membri relinquitur aliquis effectus in alio membro; et similiter in viribus animae; quia ex bona dispositione phantasiae sequitur perfectio cognitionis in intellectu. 5. It is not necessary for disposition and habit to be in the same subject except when the disposition itself becomes the habit. This is evident in members of the body, in which an effect results in one member because of the disposition in another member. Something similar happens in the powers of the soul, for the perfection of knowledge in the understanding follows from a good disposition of the imagination.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod actus voluntatis dicitur esse non solum quem voluntas elicit, sed etiam quem voluntas imperat; et ideo in utroque meritum consistere potest, ut ex dictis, patet. 6. Not only the act which the will elicits, but also that which it commands, is called an act of the will. Therefore, there can be merit in both, as is clear from what has been said.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod duarum potentiarum non potest esse unus habitus ex aequo; sed potest esse unius secundum quod habet ordinem ad aliam; et sic est de fide. 7. There cannot be one habit belonging equally to two powers, but there can be a habit of one power in so far as it has an ordination to another. And this is the case with faith.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE V

In the fifth article we ask:
Is charity the form of faith?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23,3, 1, sol. 1; S.T., II-II, 4, 3; 23, 8; Q.D. de car., 3.]
Quinto quaeritur utrum fidei forma sit caritas Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. And it seems that it is not, for
Eorum enim quae ex opposito dividuntur, non potest esse unum forma alterius. Sed fides et caritas ex opposito dividuntur. Ergo caritas non est forma fidei. 1. One of two things which are distinguished from each other as opposites cannot be the form of the other. But faith and charity arc distinguished from each other as opposites. Therefore, charity is not the form of faith.
Sed dicebat, quod secundum se consideratae ex opposito dividuntur; prout autem ordinantur ad unum finem, quem suis actibus merentur, sic caritas est forma fidei.- Sed contra, inter causas duae causae sunt extrinsecae, scilicet agens et finis; duae vero intrinsecae, scilicet forma et materia. Possunt autem duo ad invicem diversa convenire in uno principio extrinseco, non autem propter hoc conveniunt in uno principio intrinseco. Ergo ex hoc quod fides et caritas ordinantur in unum finem, non potest esse quod caritas sit forma fidei. 2. It was said that they are distinguished from each other as opposites in so far as they are considered in themselves, but that charity is the form of faith in so far as they are directed to the one end which they merit by their acts.—On the contrary, two of the causes are extrinsic, namely, agent and end; and two are intrinsic, form and matter. Now, two diverse things can have one common extrinsic principle, but they do not on this account have one common intrinsic principle. Therefore, we cannot conclude from the ordination of faith and charity to one end that charity is the form of faith.
Sed dicebat, quod caritas non est forma fidei intrinseca, sed extrinseca, quasi exemplaris.- Sed contra, exemplatum recipit speciem ab exemplari; unde Hilarius dicit quod imago est rei ad quam imaginatur, species indifferens. Sed fides non recipit speciem caritatis. Ergo caritas non potest esse forma exemplaris fidei. 3. It was said that charity is not an intrinsic but an extrinsic form, a kind of exemplary form.—On the contrary: The facsimile takes its species from the exemplar. Hence, Hilary says: “The image is not of a different species from the thing which is represented.” But faith does not take its species from charity. Therefore, charity cannot be the exemplary form of faith.
Praeterea, forma omnis vel est substantialis, vel accidentalis, vel exemplaris. Sed caritas non est forma substantialis fidei, quia sic esset de integritate eius; nec iterum forma accidentalis, quia sic fides esset nobilior caritate, sicut subiectum accidente; nec iterum exemplaris, quia sic caritas posset esse sine fide, sicut exemplar sine exemplato. Ergo caritas non est forma fidei. 4. Every form is either substantial, or accidental, or exemplary. But charity is not the substantial form of faith, for, if it were, it would be an integral part of faith. Nor is it an accidental form, for faith thus would be more noble than charity, since the subject is more noble than the accident. Nor is it the exemplary form, because charity then would be able to exist without faith, since the exemplar can exist without the facsimile. Therefore, charity is not the form of faith.
Praeterea, praemium respondet merito. Sed praemium consistit principaliter in tribus dotibus; scilicet in visione, quae succedet fidei, tentione, quae succedet spei, fruitione, quae respondet caritati. Sed praemium principaliter dicitur consistere in visione; unde dicit Augustinus quod visio est tota merces. Ergo et meritum (sicut) praemium debent attribui fidei; et ita, secundum quod ordinantur ad merendum, magis videtur fides esse forma caritatis quam e converso. 5. Reward is proportionate to merit. But our reward consists principally in three gifts: vision, which takes the place of faith; possession, which takes the place of hope; and enjoyment, which corresponds to charity. However, our reward consists mainly in vision, and, so, Augustine says: “Vision is the whole reward.” Therefore, merit and reward should both be attributed to faith. Therefore, in so far as they are ordained to acquiring merit, faith seems rather to be the form of charity, rather than charity that of faith.
Praeterea, unius perfectibilis una est perfectio. Sed fidei forma est gratia. Ergo non est eius forma caritas, cum caritas non sit idem quod gratia. 6. For every subject of perfectibility there is one corresponding perfection. But the form of faith is grace. Therefore, charity is not its form, since charity is not the same as grace.
Praeterea, Matth. I, 2, super illud: Abraham genuit Isaac etc., dicit Glossa: fides spem, et spes caritatem; quod intelligitur quantum ad actus non quantum ad habitus. Ergo actus caritatis dependet ex actu fidei. Sed forma non dependet ab eo cuius est forma, sed e converso. Ergo caritas non est forma fidei secundum quod ordinantur ad actum meritorium. 7. The Gloss on “Abraham begot Isaac” (Matt. 1:2) says: “Faith begot hope, and hope, charity.” This is taken as referring to acts, not to habits. Therefore, the act of charity depends on the act of faith. Now, a form does not depend on that of which it is the form, but the opposite. Therefore, charity is not the form of faith in so far as faith is ordained to a meritorious act.
Praeterea, habitus penes obiecta distinguuntur. Sed obiecta fidei et caritatis sunt diversa scilicet bonum et verum. Ergo et habitus formaliter distinguuntur. Sed omnis actus est a forma. Ergo horum habituum diversi sunt actus: et ita etiam in ordine ad actum non potest esse quod caritas sit forma fidei. 8. Habits are distinguished through their objects. But the objects of faith and charity are diverse, namely, the good and the true. Therefore, the habits are formally distinct, too. But every act is from a form. Therefore, the acts of those habits are diverse. Consequently, charity cannot be the form of faith even in its ordination to act.
Praeterea, secundum hoc caritas est forma fidei quod fidem informat; si igitur caritas non informat fidem nisi per ordinem ad actus, non erit caritas forma fidei, sed actus fidei. 9. Charity is the form of faith in so far as it forms faith; therefore, if it forms faith only through an ordination to its act, charity will not be the form of faith, but its act.
Praeterea, I Corinth. XIII, 13, dicit apostolus: nunc autem manent fides, spes, caritas, tria haec; ibi fides, spes et caritas ex opposito dividuntur. Videtur autem quod loquatur de fide formata, quia fides informis non ponitur esse virtus, ut dicetur. Ergo fides formata contra caritatem dividitur; non ergo potest esse caritas fidei forma. 10. The Apostle says: “And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three” (1 Cor. 13:13). Here, faith, hope, and charity are distinguished as opposed to each other. But he seems to be talking about formed faith, for formless faith is not considered to be a virtue, as will be said later. Therefore, formed faith is distinguished from charity, and, so, charity cannot be the form of faith.
Praeterea, ad actum virtutis requiritur quod sit rectus et quod sit voluntarius. Sed sicut voluntarii actus principium est voluntas, ita recti actus principium est ratio. Ergo, sicut ad actum virtutis requiritur id quod est voluntatis, ita id quod est rationis. Et ita, sicut caritas, quae est in voluntate, est forma virtutum, ita et fides, quae est in ratione. Et ita unum non debet dici forma alterius. 11. For an act to be an act of virtue it must be morally good and voluntary. But reason is the principle of a morally good action, just as the will is the principle of a voluntary action. Therefore, something from reason is needed for an act of virtue, just as something from the will is needed. Therefore, just as charity, which is in the will, is the form of the virtues, so faith, which is in the reason, is also their form. Therefore, one should not be called the form of the other.
Praeterea, ab eodem aliquid vivificatur et formatur. Sed vita spiritualis attribuitur fidei, ut patet Habacuc II, 4: iustus autem meus ex fide vivit. Ergo et formatio virtutum magis debet attribui fidei quam caritati. 12. The same source gives a thing both life and its form. But spiritual life is attributed to faith, as is clear in Habakkuk (2:4): “But my just man lives by faith.” Therefore faith, rather than charity, should be said to form the virtues.
Praeterea, in eo qui habet gratiam, actus fidei formatus est. Sed possibile est actum fidei talis hominis nullum habere ad caritatem ordinem. Ergo actus fidei potest esse formatus non per caritatem; et ita non videtur quod etiam in ordine ad actum caritas sit forma fidei. 13. The act of faith is formed in one who has grace. But it is possible for the act of faith of such a man to have no relation to charity. Therefore, the act of faith can be formed without charity. So, charity does not seem to be the form of faith even with reference to its act.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Illud est forma fidei sine quo fides est informis. Sed fides sine caritate est informis. Ergo caritas est forma fidei. 1. That without which faith is formless is the form of faith. But without charity faith is formless. Therefore, charity is the form of faith.
Praeterea, Ambrosius dicit, quod caritas est mater omnium virtutum, quae omnes informat. 2. Ambrose says: “Charity is the mother of all the virtues and forms all of them.”
Praeterea, secundum hoc aliqua virtus dicitur esse formata quod actum meritorium elicere potest. Sed nullus actus potest esse meritorius et Deo acceptus, nisi ex amore procedat. Ergo caritas est omnium virtutum forma. 3. A virtue is said to be formed in so far as it is able to elicit a meritorious act. But no act can be meritorious and acceptable to God unless it proceeds from love. Therefore, charity is the form of all the virtues.
Praeterea, id a quo res habet efficaciam operandi, est forma eius. Sed fides habet efficaciam operandi a caritate, quia fides per dilectionem operatur; Gal. V, 6. Ergo caritas est forma fidei. 4. The form of a thing is that from which it gets its power to act. But faith gets its power to act from charity, for “faith... works by charity” (Gal. 5:6). Therefore, charity is the form of faith.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod circa hanc quaestionem sunt diversae opiniones. Quidam enim dixerunt, quod ipsa gratia est forma fidei et aliarum virtutum, non autem aliqua alia virtus, nisi quatenus ponunt gratiam esse idem per essentiam cum virtute. Sed hoc esse non potest. Sive enim gratia et virtus per essentiam differant, sive ratione tantum; gratia ad essentiam animae respicit, virtus autem ad potentiam. Quamvis autem essentia sit radix omnium potentiarum, tamen non ex aequo omnes potentiae ab essentia fluunt; cum quaedam potentiae sint naturaliter aliis priores, et alias moveant. Unde etiam oportet quod habitus qui sunt in inferioribus viribus formentur per habitus qui sunt in superioribus; et sic ab aliqua virtute superiori debet esse inferiorum virtutum formatio, non a gratia immediate. On this question there are different opinions. Some have said that grace itself is the form of faith and of the other virtues, but no other virtue is a form except in so far as, in their opinion, grace is essentially identified with virtue. But this cannot be. For, whether grace and virtue differ essentially or only conceptually, grace refers to the essence of the soul and virtue to a power. And, although the essence is the root of all the powers, all the powers do not proceed from the essence in the same way. For some powers are naturally prior to others and move them. Consequently, it is necessary for habits in the lower powers to be formed through the habits which are in the higher powers. Thus, the formation of the lower virtues should come from some higher virtue and not immediately from grace.
Unde quasi communiter dicitur, quod caritas, quasi praecipua virtutum, sit aliarum virtutum forma, non solum in quantum vel est idem quod gratia, vel habet gratiam inseparabiliter annexam, sed etiam ex hoc ipso quod est caritas; et sic etiam fidei forma dicitur esse. Hence, it is commonly admitted that charity, as a sort of preeminent virtue, is the form of the other virtues, not only in so far as it is the same as grace or is inseparably connected with it, but also from the very fact that it is charity. And in this way, also, it is said to be the form of faith.
Quomodo autem fides per caritatem formetur, sic intelligendum est. Quandocumque enim duo sunt duo principia moventia vel agentia ad invicem ordinata, illud quod in effectu est ab agente superiori est sicut formale; quod vero est ab inferiori agente, est sicut materiale. Et hoc patet tam in naturalibus quam in moralibus. We should understand the manner in which faith is formed by charity in the following way. For, whenever there are two principles of motion or action with an ordination to each other, that in the effect which is due to the higher agent is, as it were, formal, and that which is from the lower agent is, as it were, material. This is clear in both physical things and moral matters.
In actu enim nutritivae potentiae est vis animae sicut agens primum; calor vero igneus sicut agens instrumentale, ut dicitur in II de anima; quod autem in carne, quae aggeneratur per nutritionem, est ex parte caloris ignei, utpote aggregatio partium, vel siccitas, aut aliquid huiusmodi, est materiale respectu speciei carnis, quae est ex VI animae. Similiter etiam cum ratio inferioribus potentiis imperet, utpote irascibili et concupiscibili; in habitu concupiscibilis, id quod est ex parte concupiscibilis, utpote pronitas quaedam ad utendum aliqualiter concupiscibilibus, est quasi materiale in temperantia; ordo vero, qui est rationis, et rectitudo, est quasi forma eius. Et sic est etiam in aliis virtutibus moralibus; unde quidam philosophi omnes virtutes scientias appellabant, ut dicitur in VI Ethicorum. For in the act of the nutritive power the power of the soul acts as first agent, and fiery heat acts as an instrumental agent, as is said in The Soul. And in flesh, which is produced by nutrition, the assembling of the parts, or dryness, or something of this sort, which comes from fiery heat, is material with reference to the species of flesh, which comes from the power of the soul. Similarly, when reason commands the lower powers, such as the irascible and concupiscible appetites, that in the habit of the concupiscible appetite which is from that appetite, namely, a certain inclination to some use of desirable things, is, as it were, material in temperance; whereas the order, which is of reason, and the rectitude, are formal. And the same holds in the other moral virtues. For this reason some philosophers have called all virtues, sciences, as is said in the Ethics.
Cum igitur fides sit in intellectu secundum quod est motus et imperatus a voluntate; id quod est ex parte cognitionis, est quasi materiale in ipsa; sed ex parte voluntatis accipienda est sua formatio. Et ita cum caritas sit perfectio voluntatis, a caritate fides informatur. Et eadem ratione omnes aliae virtutes prout a theologo considerantur; prout scilicet sunt principia actus meritorii. Non autem potest aliquis actus esse meritorius nisi sit voluntarius, ut supra dictum est. Et sic patet quod omnes virtutes quas theologus considerat, sunt in viribus animae, prout sunt a voluntate motae. Since, therefore, faith is in the understanding in so far as the understanding is moved and commanded by the will, that which is from knowledge is material in faith, but its formation must be received from the will. Accordingly, since charity is a perfection of the will, faith is formed by charity. And for the same reason so are all the other virtues, in so far as they are studied by the theologian, that is, in so far as they are principles of meritorious acts. Now, no act can be meritorious unless it is voluntary, as has been said. And, so, it is evident that all the virtues with which the theologian is concerned are in the powers of the soul in so far as they are moved by the will.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod non dicitur esse forma fidei caritas per modum quo forma est pars essentiae; sic enim contra fidem dividi non posset; sed in quantum aliquam perfectionem fides a caritate consequitur; sicut etiam in universo elementa superiora dicuntur esse ut forma inferiorum, ut aer aquae et aqua terrae, ut dicitur in IV Physicor. 1. Charity is not called the form of faith in the way in which a form is part of an essence. For in that way it could not be distinguished from faith. It is called form in so far as faith acquires some perfection from charity. This is also the manner in which the higher elements in the universe are said to be the form of the lower elements, as air of water and water of earth, as is said in the Physics.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad secundum. 2. The answer to the second difficulty is clear from the first response.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod modus quo caritas dicitur forma, appropinquat ad modum illum quo exemplar formam dicimus; quia id quod est perfectionis in fide, a caritate deducitur; ita quod caritas habeat illud essentialiter, fides vero et ceterae virtutes, participative. 3. The manner in which charity is called form approximates the manner in which we call an exemplar a form. For what there is of perfection in faith is derived from charity, so that charity has essentially what faith and the other virtues have by participation.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod ipse habitus caritatis cum non sit intrinsecus fidei, non potest dici neque forma substantialis neque accidentalis eius; potest autem aliquo modo dici exemplaris forma. Nec tamen oportet quod caritas sine fide esse possit. Non enim fides exemplatur a caritate secundum id quod est fides: sic enim fides caritatem praecedit ex parte eius quod cognitionis est in fide, sed solum secundum hoc quod est perfecta. Et sic nihil prohibet ut fides quantum ad aliquid sit prior caritate, ut sine ea caritas esse non possit; et quantum ad aliud sit exemplar fidei, quam semper format utpote semper sibi praesentem. Sed id quod ex caritate in fide relinquitur, est fidei intrinsecum, et hoc quomodo sit fidei accidentale vel substantiale, infra dicetur. 4 Since the habit of charity is not intrinsic to faith, it cannot be called either its substantial or its accidental form. But it can in a certain way be called an exemplary form. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that charity be able to exist without faith. For faith is not patterned on charity in so far as that which constitutes it faith is concerned, for in this way faith precedes charity in regard to the merely cognitional element of faith; rather, it is patterned on charity only in so far as faith is perfect. Hence, nothing prevents faith from being prior to charity in this regard, and charity from being unable to exist without it, while in some other respect charity may be the exemplar of faith which it always informs, in so far as faith is always present to it. But that which results in faith from charity is intrinsic to faith. We shall say later in what way this is accidental or substantial to faith.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod voluntas et intellectus diversimode invicem se praecedunt. Intellectus enim praecedit voluntatem in via receptionis: ad hoc enim quod aliquid voluntatem moveat oportet quod prius in intellectu recipiatur, ut patet in III de anima. Sed in movendo sive agendo voluntas est prior: quia omnis actio vel motus est ex intentione boni; et inde est quod voluntas omnes inferiores vires movere dicitur, cuius obiectum proprium est bonum sub ratione boni. 5. Will and understanding precede each other in different ways. For the understanding precedes the will in the process of reception, since, if something is to move the will, it must first be received into the understanding, as is clear in The Soul. But, in causing motion or in acting, the will is prior, for every action or motion comes from a striving for a good. It is for this reason that the will, whose proper object is the good in its character as good, is said to move all the lower powers.
Praemium autem dicitur per modum receptionis, sed meritum per modum actionis; et inde est quod totum praemium principaliter attribuitur intellectui; et dicitur visio tota merces, quia inchoatur merces in intellectu et consumatur in affectu. Meritum autem attribuitur caritati, quia primum quod movet ad operandum opera meritoria est voluntas, quam caritas perficit. Reward, however, expresses the idea of reception, but merit expresses the idea of action. Hence it is that the whole reward is attributed mainly to the understanding, and vision is called the whole reward, because the reward begins in the understanding and is brought to completion in the affections. Merit, however, is attributed to charity, because the will, which charity perfects, is the first mover in the performance of meritorious works.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod plures esse perfectiones unius rei eodem ordine, est impossibile. Gratia autem est sicut perfectio prima virtutum, sed caritas sicut perfectio proxima. 6. It is impossible for one thing to have many perfections in the same order. Now, grace is the first [that is, remote] perfection of the virtues, but charity is their proximate perfection.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod actus fidei qui caritatem praecedit, est actus imperfectus, a caritate perfectionem expectans; fides enim, quantum ad aliquid est prior caritate et quantum ad aliquid posterior, ut dictum est. 7. The act of faith which precedes charity is an imperfect act awaiting completion from charity. For faith is prior to charity in one respect and subsequent to it in another, as has been said.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod obiectio illa procedit de actu fidei qui est secundum se, non prout est a caritate perfectus. 8. This difficulty proceeds correctly for the act of faith as it is in itself, but not as it is perfected by charity.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod quando superior vis perfecta est, ex eius perfectione relinquitur aliqua perfectio in inferiori; et sic, cum caritas est in voluntate, eius perfectio aliquo modo redundat in intellectum: et sic caritas non solum actum fidei, sed ipsam etiam fidem format. 9. When a higher power is perfect, some of its perfection is found in the lower power. And, so, when charity is in the will, its perfection in some manner flows over into the intellect. So, charity forms not only the act of faith, but faith itself.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod apostolus in verbis illis videtur loqui de istis habitibus, non attendens in eis rationem virtutis, sed magis quod sunt quaedam dona et perfectiones. Unde in eadem contextione sermonis facit mentionem de prophetia et quibusdam aliis gratiis datis gratis, quae virtutes non ponuntur. 10. In those words the Apostle seems to be speaking of these habits without considering the character of virtue in them, but, rather, looking at them in so far as they are certain gifts and perfections. For this reason, in the same context he mentions prophecy and certain other charisms, which are not classified as virtues.
Si tamen de eis (loquitur) in quantum sunt virtutes quaedam, adhuc ratio non sequitur. Contingit enim aliqua ex opposito dividi, quorum tamen unum est alterius causa vel perfectio; sicut motus localis dividitur contra alios motus, cum tamen sit causa eorum; et sic caritas contra alias virtutes dividitur, quamvis sit forma earum. Even if he is speaking of them in so far as they are virtues, the reasoning does not proceed correctly. For division into opposites sometimes takes place between things, one of which is the cause or perfection of the other. Thus, local motion is distinguished from other types of motion, although it is, nevertheless, the cause of the others. So, charity is distinguished from the other virtues, although it is their form.
Ad undecimum dicendum, quod ratio potest dupliciter considerari: uno modo secundum se, alio modo secundum quod regit inferiores vires. In quantum igitur est inferiorum virium regitiva, perficitur per prudentiam. Et inde est quod omnes aliae virtutes morales, quibus inferiores vires perficiuntur, per prudentiam formantur sicut per proximam formam. Sed fides perficit rationem in se consideratam, prout est speculativa veri; unde eius non est formare inferiores virtutes, sed formari a caritate, quae etiam alias format, et ipsam prudentiam: in quantum ipsa etiam prudentia propter finem, qui est caritatis obiectum, circa ea quae sunt ad finem, ratiocinatur. 11. Reason can be considered in two ways. In one, it is taken in itself; in the other, in so far as it regulates the lower powers. In so far as it regulates the lower powers it is perfected through prudence. Thus it is that all the other moral virtues, by which the lower powers are perfected, are formed through prudence as by a proximate form. But faith perfects reason taken in itself, in so far as it considers the truth. Consequently, it does not belong to faith to form the lower virtues, but itself to be formed by charity, which forms the other virtues, even prudence itself, inasmuch as prudence itself, because of the end which is the object of charity, reasons about means to the end.
Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod aliquid commune attribuitur alicui specialiter, dupliciter: vel quia sibi perfectissime convenit, sicut si cognoscere attribuamus intellectui; vel quia in eo primo invenitur, sicut vivere attribuitur animae vegetabili, ut patet in I de anima, quia in actibus eius primo apparet vita. Vita ergo spiritualis attribuitur fidei, quia in eius actu primo apparet, quamvis eius complementum sit in caritate, et ex hoc ipsa est forma aliarum virtutum. 12. Something common is especially attributed to a thing in two ways, either because it is most perfectly appropriate to it, as we attribute knowledge to the understanding; or because it is first found there, as life is attributed to the plant soul, as is clear in The Soul, because life makes its first appearance in its acts. Spiritual life is, therefore, attributed to faith because spiritual life makes its first appearance in the act of faith, although its completion comes from charity, which for this reason is the form of the other virtues.
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod in habente caritatem non potest esse aliquis actus virtutis nisi a caritate formatus. Aut enim actus ille erit in finem debitum ordinatus, et hoc non potest esse nisi per caritatem in habente caritatem; aut non est ordinatus in debitum finem, et sic non erit actus virtutis. Unde non potest esse quod actus fidei sit formatus a gratia, et non a caritate: quia gratia non habet ordinem ad actum nisi mediante caritate. 13. In one who has charity there can be no act of virtue not formed by charity. For, either the act will be directed to the proper end, and this can be only through charity in one who has charity, or the act is not directed to the proper end, and so is not an act of virtue. Consequently, it is not possible for an act of faith to be formed by grace and not by charity, since grace has no ordination to act except through the mediation of charity.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE VI

In the sixth article we ask:
Is formless faith a virtue?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23, 3, 1, sol. 2; S.T., II-II, 4, 4-5.]
Sexto quaeritur utrum fides informis sit virtus Difficulties
Et videtur quod sic. It seems that it is, for
Illud enim quod fides a caritate consequitur non potest esse ipsi fidei essentiale, cum sine eo fides esse possit. Sed per id quod est alicui accidentale non collocatur aliquid in genere. Ergo fides per id quod est formata a caritate, non collocatur in genere virtutis: ergo sine forma caritatis est virtus. 1. That which faith obtains from charity cannot be essential to faith itself, since faith can exist without it. But a thing is not put in a genus by reason of something accidental to it. Therefore, faith is not put in the genus of virtue by reason of its formation by charity. So, it is a virtue without the form of charity.
Praeterea, vitio nihil opponitur nisi virtus vel vitium. Sed infidelitas, quae vitium est, opponitur fidei informi non ut vitio; ergo ut virtuti; et sic idem quod prius. 2. Only a virtue or a vice is opposed to a vice. But the vice of unbelief is not opposed to formless faith as to a vice. Therefore, it is opposed to it as to a virtue. We conclude as before.
Sed dicebat, quod infidelitas opponitur solum fidei formatae.- Sed contra, habitus oportet esse oppositos quorum sunt actus oppositi. Sed fidei informis et infidelitatis sunt actus oppositi, scilicet assentire et dissentire. Ergo fides informis infidelitati opponitur. 3. It was said that unbelief is opposed only to formed faith.—On the contrary, habits must be opposed whose acts are opposed. But the acts of formless faith and unbelief, namely, assent and dissent, are opposed. Therefore, formless faith is opposed to unbelief.
Praeterea, virtus nihil aliud esse videtur quam habitus alicuius potentiae perfectivus. Sed per fidem informem intellectus perficitur. Ergo est virtus. 4. A virtue seems to be nothing else but a habit which tends to perfect some power. But our understanding is perfected through formless faith. Therefore, it is a virtue.
Praeterea, habitus infusi sunt nobiliores habitibus acquisitis. Sed habitus acquisiti, scilicet politici, dicuntur virtutes etiam sine caritate, sicut a philosophis ponuntur. Ergo multo fortius fides quae est habitus informis, cum sit habitus infusus, virtus est. 5. Infused habits are more noble than acquired habits. But acquired habits, such as the habits of life in a society, are called virtues even apart from charity according to their classification by the philosophers. Therefore, the formless habit of faith, since it is an infused habit, is a virtue with much greater reason.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, quod ceterae virtutes, praeter caritatem, possunt esse sine gratia. Ergo etiam fides informis quae est sine gratia, virtus est. 6. Augustine says that all the virtues except charity can exist without grace. Therefore, unformed faith, which exists without grace, is a virtue.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Omnes virtutes sunt connexae, ut qui habet unam, omnes habeat, sicut dicit Augustinus. Sed fides informis non est aliis annexa. Ergo non est virtus. 1. All the virtues are connected with each other, so that a person who has one of them has all of them, as Augustine says. But formless faith is not connected with the others. Therefore, it is not a virtue.
Praeterea, nulla virtus est in Daemonibus. Fides informis est in Daemonibus; nam Daemones credunt; Iacob. II, 19. Ergo fides informis non est virtus. 2. There are no virtues in the evil spirits. But there is formless faith in the evil spirits, for “the devils also believe” (James 2:19). Therefore, formless faith is not a virtue.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod loquendo proprie de virtute, fides informis non est virtus. If we take virtue in its proper sense, formless faith is not a virtue.
Cuius ratio est, quia virtus, proprie loquendo, est habitus potens elicere actum perfectum. Quando autem aliquis actus dependet ex duabus potentiis, non potest dici perfectus nisi in utraque potentia perfectio inveniatur: et hoc patet tam in virtutibus moralibus quam intellectualibus. Cognitio enim conclusionum duo exigit; scilicet principiorum intellectum, et rationem deducentem principia in conclusiones. Sive ergo aliquis circa principia erret vel dubitet, sive in ratiocinando deficiat, aut vim ratiocinationis non comprehendat, non erit in eo perfecta conclusionum cognitio; unde nec scientia, quae virtus intellectualis est. Similiter etiam debitus actus concupiscibilis et ex ratione et ex concupiscibili dependet. Unde, si ratio non sit perfecta per prudentiam, non potest esse actus concupiscibilis perfectus, quaecumque pronitas insit concupiscibili ad bonum; propter quod nec temperantia nec aliqua virtus moralis sine prudentia esse potest, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. The reason for this is that virtue, properly speaking, is a habit capable of eliciting a perfect act. However, when an act depends on two powers, it cannot be said to be perfect unless the perfection is found in both powers. This is evident in the moral as well as the intellectual virtues. For knowledge of conclusions requires two things: an understanding of principles, and reasoning, which draws the conclusions from the principles. Therefore, whether one is mistaken or has doubts about principles, or whether there is some defect in his reasoning, or he does not grasp the force of the reasoning, in all these cases he will not know the conclusions perfectly. Consequently, he will not have scientific knowledge, which is an intellectual virtue. Similarly, the proper act of the concupiscible power depends on reason and the concupiscible power. Hence, if reason is not perfected by prudence, no matter what inclination to the good is in the concupiscible power, it cannot have its perfect act. For this reason there can be neither temperance nor any other moral virtue without prudence, as is said in the Ethics.
Cum ergo credere dependeat et ex intellectu et voluntate, ut ex supra dictis patet, non potest esse talis actus perfectus, nisi et voluntas sit perfecta per caritatem, et intellectus per fidem. Et inde est quod fides informis non potest esse virtus. Since, therefore, the act of believing depends on the understanding and the will, as is clear from what has been said such an act cannot be perfect unless the will is made perfect by charity and the understanding by faith. Thus, formless faith cannot be a virtue.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod aliquid potest esse accidentale alicui prout est in genere naturae, quod est sibi essentiale prout refertur ad genus moris, scilicet ad vitium et virtutem; sicut finis debitus comestioni, vel quaelibet alia circumstantia debita. Et similiter id quod fides ex caritate recipit, est sibi accidentale secundum genus naturae, sed essentiale prout refertur ad genus moris; et ideo per hoc ponitur in genere virtutis. 1. Something can be accidental to a thing in so far as its natural constitution is concerned and essential to it with reference to its morality, that is, in so far as it is a virtue or a vice. Such a relation exists between eating and its due end or any other proper circumstance. Similarly, that which faith receives from charity is accidental to faith in its natural constitution, but essential to it with reference to its morality. Therefore, through charity it is put in the genus of virtue.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod vitium non solum opponitur virtuti perfectae, sed etiam ei quod imperfectum est in genere virtutis, sicut intemperantia naturali habilitati quae inest concupiscibili ad bonum; et sic infidelitas informi fidei opponitur. 2. Vice is opposed not only to perfect virtue, but also to that which is imperfect among the virtues. Thus, intemperance is contrary to the natural aptitude for good which is in the appetite. And, so, unbelief is opposed to formless faith.
Tertium concedimus. 3 We concede the third difficulty.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod per fidem informem intellectus non perducitur in perfectionem sufficientem virtuti, ut ex dictis patet. 4. Formless faith does not bring the understanding to a perfection sufficient for virtue, as is clear from what has been said.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod philosophi non considerant virtutes secundum quod sunt principia actus meritorii: et ideo secundum eos habitus non formati caritate possunt dici virtutes; non autem secundum theologum. 5. The philosophers do not consider virtues as the principles of meritorious acts. Therefore, habits not formed by charity can be virtues for them, though not for the theologian.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod Augustinus accipit large virtutes, omnes habitus perficientes ad actus laudabiles. Vel potest dici, quod non intelligit Augustinus quod habitus sine gratia existentes virtutes dicantur, sed quia aliqui habitus qui sunt virtutes quando sunt cum gratia, remanent sine gratia, non tamen tunc sunt virtutes. 6. Augustine takes virtue in the broad meaning of all habits which give the perfection needed for praiseworthy acts. We can also say that Augustine did not mean that habits existing without grace should be called virtues, but that, although some habits, which are virtues when grace is present, remain after grace leaves, it does not follow that they are then virtues.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE VII

In the seventh article we ask:
Is the habit of formless faith the same as that of formed faith?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 23, 3, 4, sol. 1, sol. 3; Ad Rom., c. 1, lect. 6; S.T., II-II, 4, 4.]
Septimo quaeritur utrum sit idem habitus fidei informis et formatae Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for
Gratia enim adveniens non habet minorem efficaciam in fideli quam in infideli. Sed in infideli, cum convertitur, cum gratia simul habitus fidei infunditur. Ergo et similiter in fideli; et ita habitus fidei formatae est alius ab habitu fidei informis. 1. When grace comes, it has as much influence on one who believes as on one who does not believe. But, when the unbeliever is converted, the habit of faith is infused in him together with grace. Therefore, there is a similar infusion in the believer [that is, when he is reinstated in grace]; hence, the habit of formed faith is different from the habit of formless faith.
Praeterea, fides informis est principium timoris servilis; fides autem formata timoris casti vel initialis. Sed adveniente timore filiali vel casto, timor servilis expellitur. Ergo et adveniente fide formata, fides informis expellitur et sic non est idem habitus utrique. 2. Formless faith is the principle of servile fear. But formed faith is the principle of holy or initial fear. But, when holy or filial fear arrives, servile fear is driven out. Therefore, also, when formed faith comes, formless faith is driven out. So, it is not the same habit for both.
Praeterea, sicut dicit Boetius, accidentia corrumpi possunt, alterari autem minime. Sed habitus fidei informis est quoddam accidens. Ergo non potest alterari, ut fiat ipsemet formatus. 3. As Boethius says, accidents can cease to exist, but they can in no wise undergo alteration. But the habit of formless faith is an accident. Therefore, it cannot undergo alteration so that it becomes itself the formed habit.
Praeterea, adveniente vita recedit mortuum. Fides autem informis quae est sine operibus mortua est, ut dicitur Iacob. II, 26. Ergo adveniente caritate, quae est principium vitae, tollitur fides informis, et ita non fit formata. 4. When life comes, what is dead leaves. But formless faith, which is “without works is dead,” as is said in James (2:26). Therefore, when charity, which is the principle of life, comes, formless faith is removed, and, so, does not become formed.
Praeterea, ex duobus accidentibus non fit unum. Sed fides informis est quoddam accidens. Ergo non potest esse quod ex ea et caritate fiat unum; quod videretur oportere si ipsamet fides informis formaretur. 5. One thing does not result from two accidents. But formless faith is an accident. Therefore, it cannot unite with charity to make one thing, as would seem to be necessary if formless faith itself became formed.
Praeterea, quaecumque differunt genere, differunt et specie et numero. Sed fides informis et formata differunt genere, cum una sit virtus, non autem alia. Ergo et differunt specie et numero. 6. Any things which differ generically also differ specifically and numerically. But formless faith and formed faith differ generically, since one is a virtue and the other is not. Therefore, they also differ specifically and numerically.
Praeterea, habitus penes actus distinguuntur. Sed fidei formatae et informis sunt diversi actus: scilicet credere in Deum, et credere Deo, vel Deum. Ergo sunt diversi habitus. 7. Habits are distinguished according to their acts. But formless faith and formed faith have different acts: to tend toward God by faith, to believe on God’s word, or in God. Therefore, they are different habits.
Praeterea, diversi habitus diversis vitiis tolluntur, cum unumquodque tollatur per suum contrarium, et unum uni sit contrarium. Sed fides formata tollitur per peccatum fornicationis; non autem fides informis, sed solum per peccatum infidelitatis. Ergo fides informis et formata sunt diversi habitus. 8. Different habits are lost by different vices, since each is lost because of its opposite, and each thing has only one opposite. But formed faith is lost through the sin of fornication, but formless faith is not, for it is lost only through the sin of unbelief. Therefore, formed and formless faith are different habits.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Iac. II, 26, dicitur: fides sine operibus mortua est; Glossa, quibus reviviscit. Ergo ipsamet fides informis, quae mortua fuit, formatur et reviviscit. 1. James (2:20, 26) says: “Faith without works is dead” and the Gloss adds: “by which [works] it lives once more.” Therefore, the very formless faith which was dead is formed and comes to life again.
Praeterea, res non diversificantur per ea quae sunt extra essentiam rerum. Sed caritas est extra essentiam fidei. Ergo ex hoc quod est sine caritate vel cum caritate, non diversificatur habitus fidei. 2. Things are not differentiated except by those things which are outside of their essences. But charity is outside of the essence of faith. Therefore, the habit of faith is not differentiated because it has or does not have charity.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod circa hoc sunt diversae opiniones. Quidam enim dicunt, quod habitus qui fuit informis, nunquam fit formatus; sed cum ipsa gratia infunditur quidam novus habitus, qui est fides formata; et eo adveniente, habitus fidei informis discedit. Sed hoc non potest esse, quia nihil expellitur nisi per suum oppositum. Si igitur per habitum fidei formatae expellitur habitus fidei informis, cum non opponatur ei nisi ratione informitatis, oportebit ipsam informitatem esse de essentia fidei informis, et sic erit per essentiam suam malus habitus, nec poterit esse donum Dei. There are different opinions on this matter, for some say that a habit which was formless never becomes formed, but that a new habit, formed faith, is infused with grace. When it arrives, the habit of formless faith leaves. But this cannot be, for a thing is expelled only by its opposite. If, therefore, the habit of formed faith drove out the habit of formless faith, since it is not contrary to it except by reason of its formlessness, it would be necessary that the very formlessness belong to the essence of formless faith. Thus, it would be essentially an evil habit and could not be a gift of God.
Et praeterea, quando peccat aliquis mortaliter, tollitur gratia et fides formata, tamen videmus fidem remanere. Nec est probabile quod dicunt, quod tunc iterum donum fidei informis ei infundatur: quia sic ex hoc ipso quod aliquis peccat disponeretur ad recipiendum aliquod donum a Deo. Furthermore, when someone sins mortally, grace and formed faith are taken away. Still, we see that faith remains. Nor can it be shown that, as they say, the gift of formless faith is given them again, because then, from the very fact that someone had sinned, he would be made fit to receive a gift from God.
Et ideo alii dicunt, quod non tollitur habitus, sed tantum actus fidei informis, adveniente caritate. Sed etiam hoc non potest stare; quia sic habitus remaneret otiosus. Et praeterea, cum actus fidei informis non habeat essentialem contrarietatem ad actum fidei formatae, non potest per eum impediri. Nec potest iterum dici, quod uterque actus et habitus simul sit: quia omnem actum quem facit fides informis, potest facere fides formata. Unde idem actus esset a duobus habitibus; quod non convenit. Others therefore say that the habit is not taken away, but just the act of formless faith is removed with the coming of charity. But neither can this stand, for thus the habit would remain idle. Furthermore, since the act of formless faith has no essential contrariety to the act of formed faith, it cannot be hindered by it. Nor, again, can it be said that both acts and habits are there together, for formed faith can perform every act which formless faith performs. Thus, the same act would come from the two powers, which is not reasonable.
Et ideo dicendum est cum aliis, quod fides informis manet adveniente caritate, et ipsamet formatur; et sic sola informitas tollitur. Quod sic potest videri. In potentiis enim vel habitibus, ex duobus attenditur diversitas: scilicet ex obiectis, et ex diverso modo agendi. Diversitas autem obiectorum diversificat potentias et habitus essentialiter, sicut visus differt ab auditu, et castitas a fortitudine. Sed quantum ad modum agendi non diversificantur potentiae vel habitus per essentiam, sed secundum completum et incompletum. Quod enim aliquis clarius vel minus clare videat, vel opus castitatis promptius vel minus prompte exerceat, non diversificat potentiam visivam, vel habitum castitatis; sed ostendit potentiam et habitum esse perfectiorem, et minus perfectum. Hence, we must say with the others that formless faith stays when charity comes, and is itself formed. In this way only the formlessness is removed. This can be seen from what follows. For in powers or habits we can see two sources of differentiation: objects and different ways of acting. Diversity of objects differentiates habits essentially, in the manner sight differs from hearing, and chastity from bravery. But, with reference to their manner of acting, powers or habits are not differentiated according to their essence, but according to completeness and incompleteness. For the fact that one sees more or less clearly, or performs chaste actions more or less readily, does not differentiate the power of sight or the habit of chastity, but does show that the power and habit are more perfect and less perfect.
Fides autem formata et informis non differunt in obiecto, sed solum in modo agendi. Fides enim formata perfecta voluntate assentit primae veritati; fides autem informis imperfecta voluntate. Unde fides formata et informis non distinguuntur sicut duo diversi habitus, sed sicut habitus perfectus et imperfectus. Unde, cum idem habitus qui prius fuit imperfectus, possit fieri perfectus, ipse habitus fidei informis postea fit formatus. Now, formed faith and formless faith do not have different objects, but only different ways of acting. For formed faith, assents to first truth with a perfect will, whereas formless faith does the same with an imperfect will. So, formed faith and formless faith are not distinguished as two different habits, but as a perfect habit and an imperfect habit. Consequently, since the same habit, which formerly was imperfect, becomes perfect, the very habit of formless faith later becomes formed.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod gratia non habet minorem efficaciam cum infunditur fideli quam cum infunditur infideli; sed hoc est per accidens: quod in eo qui habet fidem, non causat alium habitum fidei, quia ipsum invenit; sicut ex doctrina alicuius docentis docetur inscius; sed scius non acquirit novum habitum, sed in scientia prius habita fortificatur. 1. Grace does not have less effectiveness when infused into one who has faith than when infused into one who has not faith. But the fact that it does not cause another habit of faith in one who already has faith is due to an extrinsic reason, namely, because it finds the habit already there. This is like the case in which one who is ignorant is taught by the instruction of the teacher, while one who knows does not acquire a new habit but is strengthened in the knowledge he had before.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod timor servilis non excluditur adveniente caritate quantum ad substantiam doni, sed solum quantum ad servilitatem. Et sic etiam fides solum quantum ad informitatem tollitur adveniente gratia. 2. The arrival of charity does not expel servile fear in its substance as a gift, but only with reference to its servility. Similarly, it is only with reference to its formlessness that faith is formed when grace arrives.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod quamvis accidens non possit alterari, subiectum tamen accidentis secundum aliquod accidens alteratur; et sic illud accidens variari dicitur, sicut albedo fit maior vel minor, subiecto secundum albedinem alterato. 3. Although an accident cannot undergo alteration, the subject of the accident can be altered with reference to some accident. That accident is said to be altered in this way, as whiteness increases or decreases when the subject is altered with reference to whiteness.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod adveniente vita, non oportet quod tollatur mortuum, sed mors; et ita non tollitur fides informis, sed informitas, per caritatem. 4. When life comes, it is not necessary for that which is dead to leave, but for death to leave. Hence, not formless faith but only the formlessness is removed through charity.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod quamvis ex duobus accidentibus non fiat unum, tamen unum accidens potest per aliud perfici, sicut color per lucem; et sic fides per caritatem perficitur. 5. Although one thing cannot arise from two accidents, one accident can be perfected through another, as color through light. In this way faith is perfected through charity.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod fides informis et formata non dicuntur diversa in genere quasi in diversis generibus existentia; sed sicut perfectum quod attingit ad rationem generis, et imperfectum quod nondum attingit. Unde non oportet quod numero differant, sicut nec embryo et animal. 6. Formless and formed faith are not said to differ according to genus, as though they were things existing in different genera. Rather, they are as the perfect, which attains to the character of the genus, and the imperfect, which has not yet attained to it. Thus, it is not necessary that they differ numerically, just as the embryo and the animal do not have to differ numerically.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod credere Deo et credere Deum et credere in Deum non nominant diversos actus, sed diversas circumstantias eiusdem actus virtutis. In fide enim est aliquid ex parte cognitionis, prout fides est argumentum. Et sic, quantum ad huius argumentationis principium, actus fidei dicitur credere Deo: ex hoc enim movetur ad assentiendum credens alicui, quia est divinitus dictum. Sed quantum ad conclusionem cui assentit, dicitur credere Deum: veritas enim prima est proprium obiectum fidei. Sed quantum ad id quod est voluntatis, dicitur actus fidei credere in Deum. Non est autem actus virtutis perfecte, nisi has omnes circumstantias habeat. 7. To believe on God’s word, to believe in God, and to tend toward God by faith do not indicate different acts, but different circumstances of the same act of virtue. For in faith something derives from knowledge, inasmuch as faith is evidence. In this way the act of faith is said to believe on God’s word when there is question of the principle of this evidence. For one who believes something is moved to assent because it was said by God. But, when there is question of the conclusion to which he assents, he is said to believe in God. For first truth is the proper object of faith. With reference to what derives from the will, the believer in his act of faith is said to tend toward God by faith. Moreover, it is not completely an act of virtue unless it has all three of these circumstances.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod fides formata tollitur fornicatione et aliis peccatis, praeter infidelitatem, non quantum ad substantiam habitus, sed quantum ad formam tantum. 8. By fornication and other sins except unbelief formed faith is lost, not with reference to the substance of the habit, but only with reference to its form.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE VIII

In the eighth article we ask:
Is first truth the proper object of faith?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 74, 1, sol. 1; S.T., II-II, 1, 1; Q.D. de spe, 1.]
Octavo quaeritur utrum obiectum fidei proprium sit veritas prima Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for
In symbolo enim fides explicatur. Sed in symbolo ponuntur multa quae ad creaturas pertinent. Ergo non tantum veritas prima est fidei obiectum. 1. Faith is explained in the Creed. But in the creed there are included many things which refer to creatures. Therefore, first truth is not the only object of faith.
Sed dicebat, quod ea quae ad creaturas pertinent, in symbolo posita, se habent ad fidem quasi per accidens et secundario.- Sed contra, consideratio alicuius scientiae ad omnia illa se per se extendit ad quae extenditur efficacia proprii medii ex quo procedit. Sed medium fidei est hoc quod credit Deo aliquid dicenti; ex hoc enim movetur fidelis ad assentiendum, quod putat aliquid a Deo esse dictum. Deo autem credendum est non tantum de veritate prima, sed de qualibet veritate. Ergo quaelibet veritas est per se materia et obiectum fidei. 2. It was said that those things in the Creed which refer to creatures belong to faith non-essentially and secondarily.—On the contrary, by its nature the consideration of a science extends to everything within the power of the proper means from which it proceeds. But the means of faith is belief in God when He says something. For a believer is moved to assent because he thinks something was said by God. But we should believe God’s word not only about first truth, but about any truth. Therefore, any truth is of itself the subject matter and object of faith.
Praeterea, actus penes obiecta distinguuntur. Sed actus fidei et visio Dei per speciem, sunt actus diversi. Cum ergo obiectum visionis praedictae sit ipsa veritas prima, non erit obiectum actus fidei. 3. Acts are distinguished through their objects. But the act of faith and the vision of God in Himself are different acts. Therefore, since the object of the aforesaid vision is first truth itself, that will not be the object of the act of faith.
Praeterea, veritas prima sic se habet ad fidem sicut lumen ad visum. Lumen autem non est per se obiectum visus, sed magis color in actu, ut Ptolomaeus dicit. Ergo nec veritas prima est per se fidei obiectum. 4. First truth is related to faith as light is to sight. But, of itself, light is not an object of sight; rather, color in act is, as the Philosopher says. Therefore, first truth is not the essential object of faith.
Praeterea, fides est complexorum; his enim solis tamquam veris aliquis assentire potest. Sed veritas prima est veritas incomplexa. Ergo obiectum fidei non est veritas prima. 5. Faith deals with propositions, for these alone can be true and an object of someone’s assent. But first truth is not a proposition. Therefore, the object of faith is not first truth.
Praeterea, si per se obiectum fidei esset veritas prima, nihil quod pure ad creaturam pertinet, pertineret ad fidem. Sed resurrectio carnis pure ad creaturam pertinet; et tamen inter articulos fidei computatur. Ergo non est per se tantum obiectum fidei veritas prima. 6. If first truth were the essential object of faith, nothing which refers entirely to creatures would pertain to faith. But the resurrection of the body refers entirely to creatures, and still is numbered among the articles of faith. Therefore, first truth is not the only essential object of faith.
Praeterea, sicut visibile est obiectum visus, ita credibile est obiectum fidei. Sed multa alia sunt credibilia quam veritas prima. Ergo veritas prima non est per se fidei obiectum. 7. Just as the visible is the object of sight, so the credible is the object of faith. But many other things besides first truth are credible. Therefore, first truth is not the essential object of faith.
Praeterea, relativorum est eadem cognitio, propter hoc quod unum clauditur in intellectu alterius. Sed creator et creatura relative dicuntur. Ergo cuiuscumque habitus cognitivi est obiectum creator eius etiam erit obiectum creatura; et ita non potest esse quod veritas prima solummodo sit fidei obiectum. 8. Things related are known with the same act of knowledge because one is included in the understanding of the other. But Creator and creature are thus related. Therefore, any cognitive habit which has the Creator as its object will have the creature as its object. So, first truth cannot alone be the object of faith.
Praeterea, in qualibet cognitione illud in quod deducimur, obiectum est; illud autem per quod in ipsum deducimur, medium est. Sed in fide deducimur ad assentiendum aliquibus veritatibus et de Deo et de creaturis per veritatem primam, in quantum credimus Deum esse veracem. Ergo veritas prima non se habet in fide ut cognitionis obiectum sed magis ut medium. 9. In any knowledge the object is that to which the process leads us. That through which the process leads us to the object is the means. But in faith, by reason of first truth we are led to assent to certain truths about God and creatures, in so far as we believe God to be truthful. Therefore, first truth does not have the role of object of knowledge, but of means to knowledge.
Praeterea, sicut caritas est virtus theologica, ita et fides. Sed caritas non solum habet pro obiecto Deum, sed etiam proximum; unde et de dilectione Dei et proximi duo praecepta caritatis dantur. Ergo et fides habet pro obiecto non solum veritatem primam, sed etiam veritatem creatam. 10. Faith, like charity, is a theological virtue. But charity has not only God, but also the neighbor, for its object. Hence, there are two commandments of charity concerning love of God and of the neighbor. Therefore, faith, also, has for its object not only first truth but also created truth.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, quod in patria videbimus res ipsas, hic autem intuemur rerum imagines. Sed visio fidei ad statum viae pertinet. Ergo visio fidei est per imagines. Sed imagines per quas intellectus noster videt, sunt res creatae. Ergo fidei obiectum est veritas creata. 11. Augustine says that in heaven we shall see things themselves, though here we look at the images of things. But the sight of faith belongs to this life. Therefore, the sight of faith takes place through images. But the images through which our understanding sees are created things. Therefore, the object of faith is created truth.
Praeterea, fides est media inter scientiam et opinionem, ut patet per definitionem Hugonis de sancto Victore. Sed scientia et opinio est de complexo. Ergo et fides; et ita non potest eius obiectum esse veritas prima, quae est simplex. 12. Faith is a mean between scientific knowledge and opinion, as is clear from the definition of Hugh of St. Victor. But scientific knowledge and opinion deal with a proposition. Therefore, faith does, also. Hence, first truth, which is a concept, cannot be its object.
Praeterea, principium fidei videtur esse revelatio prophetica, per quam nobis divina annuntiata sunt. Sed prophetiae obiectum non est veritas prima, immo magis res creatae, quae sub certa differentia temporis cadunt. Ergo nec fidei obiectum est veritas prima. 13. Prophetic revelation, through which things divine are announced to us, seems to be a source of faith. But the object of prophecy is not first truth, but, rather, created things, which are subject to determinate temporal differences. Therefore, first truth is not the object of faith.
Praeterea, veritas contingens non est veritas prima. Sed aliqua veritas fidei est veritas contingens; Christum enim pati contingens fuit, cum esset dependens a libero arbitrio suo et etiam occidentium, et tamen de passione Christi est fides. Ergo veritas prima non est proprium fidei obiectum. 14. Contingent truth is not first truth. But at least one truth of faith is a contingent truth. For it was contingent that Christ suffer, since it depended on His free will and that of those who killed Him. Nevertheless, we have faith in the passion of Christ. Therefore, first truth is not the proper object of faith.
Praeterea fides, proprie loquendo, non est nisi complexorum. Sed in articulis fidei quibusdam veritas prima cadit ut incomplexum; ut cum dicimus Deum passum vel mortuum. Non ergo tangitur ibi veritas prima ut fidei obiectum. 15. Faith, properly speaking, is concerned only with propositions. But first truth is in certain articles of faith without the complexity of a proposition, as when we say: God, who suffered, or God, who died. Therefore, first truth is not there considered as the object of faith.
Praeterea, veritas prima comparatur ad fidem dupliciter: scilicet ut testificans, et ut id de quo est fides. Sed non potest poni ut obiectum fidei in quantum est testificans, sic enim est extra fidei essentiam; nec iterum ut id de quo est fides, quia sic quaecumque enuntiabilia formarentur, de veritate prima essent credibilia; quod patet esse falsum. Ergo veritas prima non est proprium obiectum fidei. 16. First truth has a double relation to faith: as that which bears witness, and as that with which faith is concerned. In so far as it bears witness, it cannot be called the object of faith, for under this aspect it is outside the essence of faith. Nor is it the object of faith in so far as it is that with which faith is concerned, for, thus, any proposition formed about first truth would be an object of faith. And this is evidently false. Therefore, first truth is not the proper object of faith.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Est quod Dionysius dicit, quod fides est circa simplicem et semper eodem modo se habentem veritatem. Sed talis non est nisi veritas prima; ergo et cetera. 1. Dionysius says that faith is “concerned with the simple and never changing truth. But only first truth is such. Therefore.
Praeterea, virtus theologica idem habet pro fine et obiecto. Sed fidei finis est veritas prima, cuius apertam visionem fides meretur. Ergo et obiectum eius est veritas prima. 2. A theological virtue has the same thing for its end and its object. But the end of faith is first truth, the plain sight of which faith merits. Therefore, its object, too, is first truth.
Praeterea, Isidorus dicit, quod articulus est perceptio divinae veritatis. Sed fides in articulis continetur. Ergo divina veritas est fidei obiectum. 3. Isidore says that an article [of the Creed] is the perception of divine truth. But faith is contained in the articles [of the Creed]. Therefore, divine truth is the object of faith.
Praeterea, sicut se habet caritas ad bonum, ita fides ad verum. Sed caritatis per se obiectum est summum bonum; quia caritas Deum diligit, et proximum propter Deum. Ergo et obiectum fidei est veritas prima. 4. As charity is related to the good, so faith is related to the true. But the essential object of charity is the highest good, because charity loves God and the neighbor because of God. Therefore, the object of faith is first truth.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod per se obiectum fidei veritas prima est. Quod sic accipi potest. Nullus enim habitus rationem virtutis habet nisi ille cuius actus semper est bonus; aliter enim non esset perfectio potentiae. Cum igitur actus intellectus sit bonus ex hoc quod verum considerat, oportet quod habitus in intellectu existens virtus esse non possit, nisi sit talis quo infallibiliter verum dicatur; ratione cuius opinio non est virtus intellectualis, sed scientia et intellectus, ut dicitur in VI Ethic. The essential object of faith is first truth. This should be understood from the following. Only that habit has the character of virtue whose act is always good. Otherwise, a virtue would not be the perfection of a power. Accordingly, since the act of our understanding is good because it considers the true, it must be impossible for a habit existing in the understanding to be a virtue unless it is such that by it one infallibly speaks the truth. For this reason opinion is not an intellectual virtue, whereas scientific knowledge and understanding of principles are, as is said in the Ethics.
Hoc autem fides non potest habere quae virtus ponitur ex ipsa rerum evidentia, cum sit non apparentium. Oportet igitur quod hoc habeat ex hoc quod adhaeret alicui testimonio, in quo infallibiliter veritas invenitur. Sicut autem omne esse creatum, quantum est de se, vanum est et defectibile, nisi ab ente increato contineretur; ita etiam omnis creata veritas defectibilis est, nisi quatenus per veritatem increatam rectificatur. Unde neque hominis neque Angeli testimonio assentire infallibiliter in veritatem duceret, nisi in quantum in eis loquentis Dei testimonium consideratur. Unde oportet quod fides, quae virtus ponitur, faciat intellectum hominis adhaerere illi veritati quae in divina cognitione consistit, transcendendo proprii intellectus veritatem. Et sic fidelis per simplicem et semper eodem modo se habentem veritatem liberatur ab instabili erroris varietate, ut dicit Dionysius, capit. VII de divinis Nomin. However, faith cannot thus stand as a virtue, deriving from the evidence of things, since it deals with things which do not appear. Consequently, it must derive this infallibility from its adherence to some testimony in which the truth is infallibly found. But, just as every created being of itself is empty and liable to fail, unless it is supported by uncreated being, so all created truth is liable to fail except in so far as it is regulated by uncreated truth. Hence, to assent to the testimony of a man or an angel would lead infallibly to the truth only in so far as we considered the testimony of God speaking in them. Consequently, faith, which is classified as a virtue, must surpass the truth of man’s own understanding and thus make it embrace that truth which is in the divine knowledge. In this way, through the simple and never-changing truth the believer is freed from the instability and multiplicity of error, as Dionysius says.
Veritas autem divinae cognitionis hoc modo se habet, quod primo et principaliter est ipsius rei increatae; creaturarum vero quodammodo consequenter, in quantum Deus cognoscendo seipsum alia omnia cognoscit. Et ita fides, quae hominem divinae cognitioni coniungit per assensum, ipsum Deum habet sicut principale obiectum; alia vero quaecumque sicut consequenter adiuncta. Now, the truth of the divine knowledge is so constituted that it belongs first and foremost to the uncreated thing itself, but to creatures somehow subsequently, in so far as by knowing itself it knows everything else. Hence, faith, which through assent unites man to divine knowledge, has God as its principal object, and anything else as a consequent addition.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod omnia illa quae in symbolo ponuntur ad creaturas pertinentia, non sunt materia fidei, nisi secundum quod eis aliquid veritatis primae adiungitur; ipsa enim passio non cadit sub fide nisi in quantum credimus Deum passum nec resurrectio nisi in quantum eam credimus divina virtute fieri. 1. All those things included in the Creed which refer to creatures are matters of faith only in so far as something of first truth is connected with them. For the passion itself is not an object of faith except in so far as we believe that God suffered, nor is the resurrection an object of faith except in so far as we believe that it took place through divine power.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis divino testimonio sit de omnibus credendum, tamen divinum testimonium, sicut et cognitio, primo et principaliter est de seipso, et consequenter de aliis; Ioan. VIII, 14, 18: ego testimonium perhibeo de meipso et testimonium perhibet de me qui misit me, pater; unde et fides principaliter (est) de Deo, consequenter vero de aliis. 2. Although we must believe everything because of the divine testimony, the divine testimony, like the divine knowledge, first and foremost refers to itself, and subsequently to other things. As is said in John (8:18): “I am one that gives testimony of myself, and the Father that sent me gives testimony of me.” Thus, faith is principally about God, and about other things in consequence of this.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod veritas prima est obiectum visionis patriae ut in sua specie apparens, fidei autem ut non apparens; unde etsi idem sit re utriusque actus obiectum, non tamen est idem ratione. Et sic formaliter differens obiectum diversam speciem actus facit. 3. First truth, in so far as it appears in its proper form, is the object of the vision of heaven. But, in so far as it does not appear, it is the object of faith. So, although the object of both acts is the same thing in reality, it differs in intelligible aspect. The object thus formally different makes the species of the act different.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod lumen quodammodo est obiectum visus et quodammodo non. In quantum enim lux non videtur nostris visibus nisi per hoc quod ad aliquod corpus terminatum, per reflexionem, vel alio modo coniungitur, dicitur non esse per se visus obiectum, sed magis color, qui semper est in corpore terminato. In quantum autem nihil nisi per lucem videri potest, lux primum visibile esse dicitur, ut idem Ptolomaeus dicit. Et sic etiam veritas prima est primo et per se fidei obiectum. 4. In some sense light is the object of sight and in another sense not. For, since light is seen by our sight only if through reflection or in sonic other way it is united to a body having a surface, it is not called the essential object of sight. This is, rather, color, which is always in a body having a surface. However, in so far as nothing can be seen except by reason of light, light itself is said to be the first visible thing, as the Philosopher says. Similarly, first truth is primarily and essentially the object of faith.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod res cognita dicitur esse cognitionis obiectum, secundum quod est extra cognoscentem in seipsa subsistens, quamvis de re tali non sit cognitio nisi per id quod de ipsa est in cognoscente; sicut color lapidis, qui est visus obiectum, non cognoscitur nisi per speciem eius in oculo. Veritas igitur prima, quae simplex est in seipsa, est fidei obiectum; sed eam intellectus noster accipit modo suo per viam compositionis. Et sic, per hoc quod compositioni factae assentit tamquam verae, in veritatem primam tendit ut in obiectum; et sic nihil prohibet fidei obiectum esse veritatem primam, quamvis sit complexorum. 5. The thing known in so far as it exists in itself outside the knower is said to be the object of knowledge, although knowledge of such a thing takes place only through that which arises from it in the knower. In this way, the color of a stone, which is the object of sight, is known only through its species in the eye. Accordingly, first truth, which is in itself simple, is the object of faith. But our understanding receives it in its own manner by means of the composition [of judgment]. Thus, our understanding, by giving assent as true to the composition which is made in judgment, tends toward first truth as toward its object. Thus, nothing prevents first truth from being the object of faith, although faith treats of propositions.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod resurrectio carnis, et alia huiusmodi, pertinent etiam ad veritatem primam, in quantum divina virtute fiunt. 6. The resurrection of the body and other things of this sort also pertain to first truth in so far as they are caused by divine power.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod omnia credibilia ex hoc quod a Deo sunt testificata, oportet principaliter esse de veritate prima, et secundario de rebus creatis, ut ex dictis, in corp. art., patet. Alia vero credibilia non sunt huius fidei obiectum de qua nunc loquimur. 7. Everything worthy of belief must belong primarily to first truth and, secondarily, to created things because God bears witness to them, as is evident from what has been said. Other things worthy of belief are not the object of the faith with which we are now dealing.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod creator non est obiectum fidei sub ratione creatoris, sed ut est veritas prima. Unde non oportet quod fidei per se obiectum sit creatura: non enim quia eadem cognitio est domini et servi, in quantum huiusmodi, propter hoc quicumque novit aliquid circa dominum, novit aliquid circa servum. 8. The Creator is not the object of faith under the aspect of Creator, but under the aspect of first truth. Consequently, it is not necessary for creatures to be an essential object of faith. For it does not follow, from the fact that the knowledge of master and slave, as such, is the same, that whoever knows something about the master knows something about the slave.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod quamvis per veritatem primam deducamur in creaturas, principaliter tamen per eam deducimur in seipsam, quia ipsa principaliter de se testificatur; unde veritas prima se habet in fide et ut medium et ut obiectum. 9. Although we are led to creatures by reason of first truth, through it we are led mainly to first truth itself, since it gives witness primarily about itself. So, in faith, first truth acts both as means and object.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod caritas in proximo non diligit nisi Deum; unde ex hoc non sequitur quod caritatis obiectum sit aliquid aliud quam summum bonum. 10. In the neighbor, charity loves only God. Therefore, it does not follow from this that the object of charity is anything other than the highest good.
Ad undecimum dicendum, quod imagines per quas fides aliquid intuetur, non sunt fidei obiectum, sed id per quod fides in suum obiectum tendit. 11. The representations through which faith looks at something are not the object of faith, but that through which faith tends toward its object.
Ad decimumsecundum dicendum, quod quamvis fides sit de complexo quantum ad id quod in nobis est; tamen quantum ad id in quod per fidem ducimur sicut in obiectum, est de simplici veritate. 12. Although faith deals with a proposition in so far as we are concerned, it nevertheless deals with a simple truth in so far as there is question of the object to which we are led through faith.
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod quamvis prophetia pro materia habeat res creatas et temporales, tamen pro fine habet rem increatam. Ad hoc enim omnes propheticae revelationes ordinantur, etiam illae quae de rebus creatis fiunt, ut Deus cognoscatur a nobis. Et ideo prophetia inducit ad fidem sicut ad finem; nec oportet quod sit idem prophetiae et fidei obiectum vel materia. Sed etsi aliquando sit de eodem fides et prophetia, non tamen secundum idem; sicut de passione Christi fuit prophetia antiquorum et fides: sed prophetia quantum ad id quod erat in ea temporale, fides autem quantum ad id quod erat in ea aeternum. 13. Although prophecy has for its subject matter created and temporal things, it has the uncreated reality for its end. For all the prophetic revelations, even those made about created things, are ordained to make us know God. Therefore, prophecy leads to faith as to its end. Nor is it necessary for faith and prophecy to have the same object or subject matter. And if at times faith and prophecy deal with the same thing, still they do not treat it under the same aspect. Thus, the ancients had prophecy and faith about the passion of Christ. However, the prophecy had reference to that which was temporal in it, and faith to that which was eternal in it.
Ad decimumquartum dicendum, quod de passione non est fides nisi secundum quod coniungitur veritati aeternae, prout passio circa Deum consideratur. Ipsa etiam passio, quamvis in se considerata sit contingens, tamen secundum quod divinae praescientiae substat, prout est de ea fides et prophetia, immobilem veritatem habet. 14. Faith does not concern the passion except in so far as it is connected with eternal truth, as the passion is considered with reference to God. For, although the passion, considered in itself, is contingent, still, as it falls under the divine foreknowledge, and as faith and prophecy concern it, it has changeless truth.
Ad decimumquintum dicendum, quod subiectum se habet ad totam propositionem sicut materia; unde quamvis in talibus propositionibus, cum dicimus: Deus est passus; solummodo subiectum nominet quid increatum, tota tamen propositio dicitur esse de re increata sicut de materia: et sic non removetur quin fides habeat veritatem primam pro obiecto. 15. The subject of a proposition acts as matter for the whole proposition. So, although in such propositions, when we say that God has suffered, only the subject denotes something uncreated, the whole proposition is said to have something uncreated as its subject matter. Thus, it does not deny that faith has first truth for its object.
Ad decimumsextum dicendum, quod pro tanto veritas prima dicitur esse fidei obiectum, quia de ea est fides: nec tamen oportet quod quodlibet enuntiabile de Deo formatum sit credibile, sed illud solum de quo veritas divina testificatur; sicut etiam corpus mobile est subiectum naturalis philosophiae, nec tamen omnia enuntiabilia quae de corpore mobili possunt formari, sunt scibilia, sed illa solum quae ex principiis naturalis philosophiae manifestantur. Ipsum autem testimonium veritatis primae se habet in fide ut principium in scientiis demonstrativis. 16. First truth is called the object of faith only in so far as faith concerns it. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that every proposition made about God be something to be believed, but only that to which divine truth bears witness. Similarly, mobile body is the subject of the philosophy of nature, yet not every proposition that can be formed about mobile body is subject to scientific knowledge, but only those which are proved from the principles of the philosophy of nature. Moreover, in faith the witness of first truth acts as a principle does in scientific demonstrations.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE IX

In the ninth article we ask:
Can faith deal with things which are known as scientific conclusions?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 24, 2, sol. 2; Ad Hebr., c. 11, lect. 1; S.T., I-II, 67, 3; II-II, 1, 5.]
Nono quaeritur utrum fides possit esse de rebus scitis Difficulties
Et videtur quod sic. It seems that it can, for
Unumquodque enim potest esse scitum quod necessaria ratione potest probari. Sed secundum Richardum de sancto Victore, ad omnia quae credere oportet, non deest ratio non solum probabilis, sed etiam necessaria. Ergo de rebus creditis scientia haberi potest. 1. Anything which can be proved by a necessary argument can be known as a scientific conclusion. But, according to Richard of St. Victor, everything which must be believed has not only a probable argument, but also a necessary argument. Therefore, we can have scientific knowledge about things believed.
Praeterea, lumen gratiae divinitus infusum, est efficacius quam lumen naturae. Sed ea quae nobis manifestantur per lumen naturale rationis, sunt a nobis scita vel intellecta, et non solum credita. Ergo et ea quae innotescunt nobis per lumen fidei divinitus infusum, sunt a nobis scita, non solum credita. 2. The divinely infused light of grace is more powerful than the light of nature. But we do not only believe, but know and understand, those things which are shown to us through the natural light of reason. Therefore, we also know and do not only believe those things which are made known to us through the divinely infused light of faith.
Praeterea, certius et efficacius est Dei testimonium quam hominis, quantumcumque scientis. Sed eum qui procedit ex suppositione dicti alicuius scientis contingit habere scientiam: sicut patet in scientiis subalternatis, quae sua principia supponunt a scientiis subalternantibus. Ergo multo fortius de his quae sunt fidei, habetur scientia, cum supponantur ex testimonio divino. 3. The testimony of God is more certain and effective than that of a man, no matter how much he knows. But one who proceeds [to conclusions] on the basis of the statement of someone who has scientific knowledge, himself achieves scientific knowledge, as is clear in the subalternate sciences, which borrow their principles from the subalternating sciences. Therefore, with much greater reason we have scientific knowledge of matters of faith, since they are based on divine testimony.
Praeterea, quandocumque intellectus necessitate cogitur ad assentiendum, habet scientiam de his quibus assentit: processus enim ex necessariis scientiam facit. Sed his quae sunt fidei, aliquis credens, ex necessitate assentit: dicitur enim Iacob. II 19, quod Daemones credunt et contremiscunt; quod non potest eorum voluntate fieri, cum laudabilis eorum voluntas esse non possit: et sic relinquitur quod ex necessitate his quae sunt fidei, consentiant. Ergo de his quae sunt fidei, potest esse scientia. 4. Whenever the understanding is forced of necessity to assent to something, it has scientific knowledge of those things to which it assents. For inference from what is necessary produces scientific knowledge. But one who believes necessarily assents to matters of faith, for St. James says (2:19): “The devils also believe and tremble.” This cannot be due to their will, since their will cannot do anything praiseworthy. So, they must necessarily give assent to matters of faith. Therefore, there can be scientific knowledge about matters of faith.
Praeterea, ea quae sunt naturaliter cognita, sunt scita, vel certius cognita quam scita. Sed cognitio Dei naturaliter est omnibus inserta, ut Damascenus dicit. Fides autem est ad cognoscendum Deum. Ergo ea quae sunt fidei, possunt esse scita. 5. Those things which are known naturally are objects of scientific knowledge or are known with greater certainty than such objects. But “the knowledge of God is naturally implanted in us,” as Damascene says. Faith, however, is ordained to knowledge of God. Therefore, matters of faith can be objects of scientific knowledge.
Praeterea, plus distat opinio a scientia quam fides. Sed de eodem potest esse scientia et opinio; ut si aliquis unam et eamdem conclusionem sciat et per syllogismum demonstrativum et per syllogismum dialecticum. Ergo et potest de eodem esse scientia et fides. 6. Opinion is farther from scientific knowledge than faith is. But we can have scientific knowledge and opinion about the same thing, as happens when one knows one and the same conclusion through a demonstrative and a dialectical syllogism. Therefore, there can be scientific knowledge and faith about the same thing.
Praeterea, Christum esse conceptum, est articulus fidei. Sed hoc beata virgo per experimentum scivit. Ergo potest idem esse simul scitum et creditum. 7. That Christ was conceived is an article of faith. But the Blessed Virgin knew this from experience. Therefore, the same thing can be known and believed.
Praeterea, Deum esse unum, ponitur inter credibilia. Sed hoc demonstrative probatur a philosophis; et ita potest esse scitum. Ergo de eodem potest esse fides et scientia. 8. That God is one is included among objects of faith. But philosophers give demonstrative proof of this. Therefore, it can be known scientifically. So, we can have faith and scientific knowledge about the same thing.
Praeterea, Deum esse, est quoddam credibile. Non autem credimus hoc eo quod sit Deo acceptum: quia nullus potest exstimare aliquid esse Deo acceptum, nisi prius existimet esse Deum qui acceptat; et sic existimatio qua quis existimat Deum esse, praecedit existimationem qua quis putat aliquid esse Deo acceptum, nec potest ex ea causari. Sed ad credendum ea quae nescimus, ducimur per hoc quod hoc credimus esse Deo acceptum. Ergo Deum esse, est creditum et scitum. 9. That God exists is an object of faith. However, we do not believe this because it is acceptable to God, for no one can think that something is pleasing to God unless he first thinks that there is a God to whom it is pleasing. Hence, the judgment by which one thinks that God exists precedes the judgment by which he thinks something is pleasing to God. Nor can the former cause the latter. But we are led to believe something which we do not know through that which we believe is pleasing to God. Therefore, that God exists is believed and known.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Materia vel obiectum fidei principale est veritas prima. Sed de prima veritate, id est de Deo, non potest esse homini scientia, ut videtur per Dionysium, I cap. de Divin. Nomin. Ergo non potest esse de eodem fides et scientia. 1. First truth is the principal subject matter or object of faith. But man cannot have scientific knowledge about first truth, that is, about God, as we see from Dionysius. Therefore, we cannot have faith and scientific knowledge about the same thing.
Praeterea, scientia per rationem perficitur. Ratio autem vim fidei evacuat: fides enim non habet meritum, cui humana ratio praebet experimentum. Ergo fides et scientia non concurrunt in idem. 2. It is by reason that scientific knowledge is made perfect. But reason destroys faith, “for faith deserves no merit when human reason offers it proof. Therefore, faith and scientific knowledge do not engage the same object.
Praeterea, I Cor., XIII, 10: cum venerit quod perfectum est, evacuabitur quod ex parte est. Sed cognitio fidei est ex parte, idest imperfecta; cognitio autem scientiae est perfecta. Ergo scientia fidem evacuat. 3. The first Epistle to the Corinthians (13:10) says: “But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be put away.” The knowledge of faith is in part, that is, is imperfect; but the knowledge of science is perfect. Therefore, science destroys faith.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod secundum Augustinum in Lib. de videndo Deum, creduntur illa quae absunt a sensibus nostris, si videtur idoneum testimonium quod eis perhibetur; videntur autem quae praesto sunt vel animi vel corporis sensibus. According to Augustine: “We believe those things which are not present to our senses, if the witness which is offered for them seems suitable. However, we see those things which are present either to the senses of the mind or of the body.”
Quae quidem differentia evidens est in his quae praesto sunt corporis sensibus; in quibus manifestum est quid praesto sit sensibus, et quid non sit praesto. Sed in sensibus animi quid praesto esse dicatur, magis latet. Illa tamen praesto esse dicuntur intellectui quae capacitatem eius non excedunt, ut intuitus intellectus in eis figatur: talibus enim aliquis assentit non propter testimonium alienum, sed propter testimonium proprii intellectus. Illa vero quae facultatem intellectus excedunt, absentia esse dicuntur a sensibus animi, unde intellectus in eis figi non potest; unde eis non possumus assentire propter proprium testimonium, sed propter testimonium alienum: et haec proprie credita esse dicuntur. This difference is quite clear with reference to the things which are present to the senses of the body, for among these it is evident what is present to them and what is not. But it is more obscure when we say something is present to the senses of the mind. Yet those things are said to be present to the understanding which do not exceed its capacity, so that the gaze of understanding may be fixed on them. For a person gives assent to such things because of the witness of his own understanding and not because of someone else’s testimony. Those things, however, which are beyond the power of our understanding are said to be absent from the senses of the mind. Hence, our understanding cannot be fixed on them. As a result, we cannot assent to them on our own witness, but on that of someone else. These things are properly called the objects of faith.
Unde fidei obiectum proprie est id quod est absens ab intellectu. Creduntur enim absentia, sed videntur praesentia, ut in eodem Lib. Augustinus dicit, vel etiam res non apparens, id est res non visa: quia, ut dicitur Hebr., XI, 1, fides est argumentum non apparentium. Quandocumque autem deficit ratio proprii obiecti, oportet quod et actus deficiat; unde, quam cito incipit aliquid esse praesens vel apparens, non potest ut obiectum subesse actui fidei. Quaecumque autem sciuntur, proprie accepta scientia, cognoscuntur per resolutionem in prima principia, quae per se praesto sunt intellectui; et sic omnis scientia in visione rei praesentis perficitur. Unde impossibile est quod de eodem sit fides et scientia. Consequently, the object of faith is that which is absent from our understanding. (We believe that which is absent, but we see that which is present, as Augustine says.) For “not present” we can say “the thing which does not appear,” that is, the thing not seen, for, as Hebrews (11:1) says: “faith is... the evidence of things that appear not.” Now, whenever the determinate principle of the proper object is lacking, the act also must necessarily cease. Hence, as soon as something begins to be present or to appear, it cannot be an object of an act of faith. Whatever things we know with scientific knowledge properly so called we know by reducing them to first principles which are naturally present to the understanding. In this way, all scientific knowledge terminates in the sight of a thing which is present. Hence, it is impossible to have faith and scientific knowledge about the same thing.
Sciendum tamen, quod aliquid est credibile dupliciter. Uno modo simpliciter, quod scilicet excedit facultatem intellectus omnium hominum in statu viae existentium; sicut Deum esse trinum, et unum et huiusmodi. Et de his impossibile est ab aliquo homine scientiam haberi; sed quilibet fidelis assentit huiusmodi propter testimonium Dei, cui haec sunt praesto et cognita. We must note, however, that a thing can be the object of belief in two ways. In one it is such absolutely, that is, it exceeds the intellectual capacity of all men who exist in this life, for instance, that there is trinity and unity in God, and so on. Now, it is impossible for any man to have scientific knowledge of these. Rather, every believer assents to such doctrines because of the testimony of God to whom these things are present and by whom they are known.
Aliquid vero est credibile non simpliciter, sed respectu alicuius: quod quidem non excedit facultatem omnium hominum, sed aliquorum tantum; sicut illa quae de Deo demonstrative sciri possunt, ut Deum esse unum aut incorporeum, et huiusmodi. Et de his nihil prohibet quin sint ab aliquibus scita, qui horum habent demonstrationes; et ab aliis credita, qui horum demonstrationes non perceperunt. Sed impossibile est quod sint ab eodem scita et credita. A thing is, however, an object of belief not absolutely, but in some respect, when it does not exceed the capacity of all men, but only of some men. In this class are those things which we can know about God by means of a demonstration, as that God exists, or is one, or has no body, and so forth. There is nothing to prevent those who have scientific proofs of these things from knowing them scientifically, and others who do not understand the proofs from believing them. But it is impossible for the same person to know and believe them.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod de omni quod oportet credi, si non est per se notum, habetur ratio non solum probabilis, sed necessaria, quamvis eam nostram prudentiam contingat latere, ut ibidem Richardus subdit: unde rationes credibilium sunt ignotae nobis, sed notae Deo et beatis, qui de his non fidem, sed visionem habent. 1. For everything which must be believed, if it is not self-evident, there is an argument which is not only probable but necessary, “yet our diligence may not uncover that argument,” as Richard adds. So, for us, the arguments for matters of faith are unknown, although they are known to God and to the blessed who have vision and not faith about these things.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis lumen divinitus infusum sit efficacius quam lumen naturale, non tamen in statu isto participatur a nobis perfecte, sed imperfecte. Et ideo, ex imperfecta participatione eius, contingit quod non ducimur per illud lumen infusum in visionem eorum propter quorum cognitionem datur; sed hoc erit in patria, quando perfecte illud lumen participabimus ubi in lumine Dei videbimus lumen. 2. Although the divinely infused light is more powerful than natural light, in our present state we do not share it perfectly, but imperfectly. Therefore, because of this defective participation, through that infused light itself we are not brought to the vision of those things for the knowledge of which it was given us. But we will have it in heaven when we will share that light perfectly and in the light of God we will see light.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ille qui habet scientiam subalternatam, non perfecte attingit ad rationem sciendi, nisi in quantum eius cognitio continuatur quodammodo cum cognitione eius qui habet scientiam subalternantem. Nihilominus tamen inferior sciens non dicitur de his quae supponit habere scientiam, sed de conclusionibus, quae ex principiis suppositis de necessitate concluduntur. Et sic etiam fidelis potest dici habere scientiam de his quae concluduntur ex articulis fidei. 3. One who has a subalternate science does not perfectly possess the character of knowing unless his knowledge is united in some way with the knowledge of one who has the subalternating science. Nonetheless, the one who knows on the lower level is not said to have scientific knowledge about those things which he presupposes, but about the necessary conclusions which are drawn from the presupposed principles. In this sense, also, one who believes can be said to have scientific knowledge about those things which he concludes from the articles of faith.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod Daemones non voluntate assentiunt his quae credere dicuntur, sed coacti evidentia signorum, ex quibus convincitur verum esse quod fideles credunt; quamvis illa signa non faciant apparere id quod creditur, ut per hoc possint dici visionem eorum quae creduntur, habere. Unde et credere quasi aequivoce dicitur de hominibus fidelibus et Daemonibus: nec est in eis fides ex aliquo lumine gratiae infuso sicut est in fidelibus. 4. It is not their wills which bring demons to assent to what they are said to believe. Rather, they are forced by the evidence of signs which convince them that what the faithful believe is true. However, these signs do not cause the appearance of what is believed so that the demons could on this account be said to see those things which are believed. Therefore, belief is predicated equivocally of men who believe and of the demons. And faith does not result in them from any infused light of grace as it does in the faithful.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod de Deo non est fides quantum ad illud quod de Deo naturaliter est cognitum, sed quantum ad illud quod naturalem cognitionem excedit. 5. God is an object of faith, not with reference to what is naturally known about God, but with reference to that which surpasses natural knowledge.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod non videtur esse possibile quod aliquis de eodem simul habeat scientiam et opinionem: quia opinio est cum formidine alterius partis quam formidinem scientia excludit. Et similiter non est possibile quod sit de eodem fides et scientia. 6. It does not seem possible for a person simultaneously to have scientific knowledge and opinion about the same thing, for opinion includes a fear that the other part [of the contradiction] is true, and scientific knowledge excludes such fear. Similarly, it is impossible to have faith and scientific knowledge about the same thing.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod beata virgo poterat quidem scire quod filium non ex virili commixtione conceperat: qua autem virtute conceptio illa facta fuerit, non potuit scire, sed credidit Angelo dicenti: spiritus sanctus superveniet in te et cetera. 7. The Blessed Virgin could know that her Son was not conceived as a result of sexual intercourse. She could not, however, know what power caused that conception, but believed the angel who said: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee (Luke 1:3 5).
Ad octavum dicendum, quod Deum esse unum prout est demonstratum, non ponitur articulus fidei, sed praesuppositum ad articulos: cognitio enim fidei praesupponit cognitionem naturalem, sicut et gratia naturam. Sed unitas divinae essentiae talis qualis ponitur a fidelibus, scilicet cum omnipotentia et omnium providentia, et aliis huiusmodi, quae probari non possunt, articulum constituit. 8. We do not say that the proposition, God is one, in so far as it is proved by demonstration, is an article of faith, but something presupposed before the articles. For the knowledge of faith presupposes natural knowledge, just as grace presupposes nature. But the unity of the divine essence such as is conceived by the faithful, that is to say, together with omnipotence, providence over all things, and the other attributes of this sort, which cannot be proved, makes up the article of faith.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod aliquis potest incipere credere illud quod prius non credebat, sed debilius existimabat; unde possibile est quod aliquis antequam credat Deum esse, exstimaverit Deum esse, et hoc esse ei placitum quod credatur eum esse. Et sic aliquis potest credere Deum esse, eo quod sit placitum Deo, quamvis etiam hoc non sit articulus; sed antecedens articulum, quia demonstrative probatur. 9. Someone can begin to believe what he did not believe before but which he held with some hesitation. Thus, it is possible that, before believing in God, someone might think that God exists, and that it would be pleasing to God to have him believe that He exists. In this way a man can believe that God exists because such a belief pleases God, although this is not an article of faith, but preliminary to the article, since it can be proved by a demonstration.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE X

In the tenth article we ask:
Is it necessary for man to have faith?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 24, 3, sol. 1; In Boet. De Trinit., 3, 1; C.G., I, 5; III, 118, 15 2; S.T., II-II, 2, 3; Expos. symb. ]
Decimo quaeritur utrum necessarium sit homini habere fidem Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for
Ut enim dicitur Deuter. XXXII, vers. 4, Dei perfecta sunt opera. Sed non est aliquid perfectum nisi provideatur ei de his quae sunt sibi necessaria ad finem proprium consequendum. Ergo unicuique rei ex conditione suae naturae provisa sunt illa quae sufficiunt ad ultimum finem consequendum. Sed ea quae sunt fidei, sunt supra cognitionem homini ex naturali conditione competentem. Ergo fides per quam huiusmodi accipiuntur sive cognoscuntur, non est homini necessaria ad suum finem consequendum. 1. As is said in Deuteronomy (32:4): “The works of God are perfect.” But nothing is perfect unless it is provided with those things which it must have to attain its proper end. Therefore, sufficient means to attain its final end are given to each thing when God creates its nature. But matters of faith are beyond the knowledge which belongs to men by reason of the constitution of their nature. Therefore, to reach his end man does not need faith, through which these things are perceived or known.
Sed dicebat, quod homini ex sua conditione naturali sunt provisa illa quae sunt necessaria ad finem naturalem consequendum, cuiusmodi est felicitas viae, quae ponitur a philosophis; non autem ad consequendum finem supernaturalem, qui est beatitudo aeterna.- Sed contra, homo ex natura conditionis suae ad hoc factus est ut sit particeps aeternae beatitudinis: ad hoc enim Deus rationalem naturam capacem sui instituit, ut habetur in II sententiarum, dist. 1. Ergo in ipsa natura hominis debuerunt sibi esse indita principia per quae ipsum finem consequi posset. 2. It was said that by reason of the constitution of his nature man receives those things which are necessary to reach his natural end, such as the happiness of life of which the philosophers speak, but does not receive the things needed to reach the supernatural end, which is everlasting happiness.—On the contrary, man, because of his essential constitution, is made to be a sharer of eternal happiness. It was for this that God created a rational nature which could know Him, as we see in the Sentences. Therefore, the principles through which he can reach that end should be innate in man’s very nature.
Praeterea, sicut ad consequendum finem est necessaria cognitio, ita et operatio. Sed ad consequendum finem supernaturalem non dantur nobis habitus virtutum ordinantes in alia opera quam in quae ordinamur per naturalem rationem; sed ad eadem opera perfectiori modo facienda: castitas enim infusa et acquisita eumdem actum habere videntur, scilicet a delectationibus venereis refrenare. Ergo nec propter consequendum finem supernaturalem oportuit nobis aliquem habitum cognitivum infundi ordinatum ad alia cognoscenda quam naturaliter cognoscere possumus, sed ad eadem perfectiori modo: et sic videtur quod habere fidem non apparentium rationi, non fuit necessarium ad salutem. 3. We have to have activity as well as knowledge to reach our end. But the habits of virtue given us to attain our supernatural end do not give us an ordination to works other than those toward which we are ordered by natural reason, but, rather, to a more perfect performance of those same works. For acquired and infused chastity seem to have the same act, namely, to control venereal pleasure. Therefore, to reach a supernatural end we do not need the infusion of a cognitive habit ordained to knowledge of something besides what we naturally know, but only to a more perfect knowledge of these same natural objects. Hence, it seems that to have faith in things which are not evident to reason would not be necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, potentia non indiget habitu propter id ad quod naturaliter determinatur; sicut patet de potentiis irrationabilibus, quae sine habitu medio sua opera perficiunt, ut cum ergo homo sit eis perfectior, videtur quod cognitio naturalis sit sibi sufficiens ad Deum. Ergo non indiget habitu fidei ad hoc quod in cognitionem Dei ducatur. 4. A power has no need of a habit for that to which it has a natural determination, as is evident in irrational powers, as the nutritive and the generative, which carry on their activity without the mediation of a habit. Now, the human understanding is naturally directed to knowledge of God. Therefore, it does not need a habit to lead it to this knowledge.
Praeterea, perfectius est quod per seipsum potest consequi finem quam quod non potest per seipsum. Sed alia animalia ex principiis naturalibus possunt consequi fines suos. Unde, cum homo sit eis perfectior, videtur quod cognitio naturalis sit ei sufficiens ad consequendum finem suum; et sic non indiget fide. 5. That which can reach its final end by itself is more perfect than that which cannot do so. But brute animals can attain their ends by means of natural principles. Therefore, since man is more perfect than they, it seems that natural knowledge should be enough for him to reach his end. Thus, he does not need faith.
Praeterea, illud quod reputatur in vitium non videtur esse necessarium ad salutem. Sed quod aliquis sit credulus, reputatur in vitium; unde dicitur Eccli. XIX, 4: qui cito credit, levis est corde. Ergo credere non est necessarium ad salutem. 6. What is considered to be a vice does not seem necessary for salvation. But credulity is considered to be a vice. Thus, in Sirach (19:4) we read: “He that is hasty to give credit is light of heart.” Therefore, belief is not necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, cum Deo summe sit credendum, illi magis debemus credere per quem magis constat Deum esse locutum. Sed magis constat Deum loqui per naturalem rationis instinctum quam per aliquem prophetam vel apostolum; cum hoc certissimum sit Deum esse auctorem totius naturae. Ergo his quae dictat ratio, magis debemus adhaerere quam his quae praedicantur per apostolos vel prophetas, de quibus est fides. Cum igitur huiusmodi videantur interdum dissonare ab his quae ratio naturalis dictat, sicut cum dicunt Deum trinum et unum, vel virginem concepisse, et alia huiusmodi; videtur quod non sit conveniens fidem habere de huiusmodi. 7. Since God must be believed above all else, our belief should be greater in one through whom it is clearer that God is speaking. But it is clearer that God has spoken through the natural instinct of reason than through any prophet or apostle, since by this it is most certain that God is the author of all nature. Therefore, we should hold more firmly the things which reason proposes than those which the prophets and apostles preach, and which are the objects of faith. Therefore, since these latter sometimes seem to conflict with what natural reason dictates, as when they say that God is three and one, or that a virgin conceived, and so on, it does not seem reasonable to put faith in such things.
Praeterea, illud quod evacuatur altero adveniente, non videtur esse propter illud necessarium: non enim evacuaretur, nisi haberet aliquam oppositionem ad ipsum; oppositum autem non inducit ad suum oppositum, sed magis abducit. Sed fides evacuatur, gloria adveniente. Ergo non est necessaria propter gloriam consequendam. 8. That which is rendered useless by the arrival of another thing does not seem to be needed for that thing. For it would not become useless unless there were some opposition between it and the other. Now, a thing does not incline toward its opposite; rather, it withdraws from it. But faith becomes useless when glory arrives. Therefore, faith is not necessary to obtain glory.
Praeterea, nihil indiget, ad suum finem consequendum, eo per quod destruitur. Sed fides destruit rationem; ut enim dicit Gregorius, fides non habet meritum cui humana ratio praebet experimentum. Ergo ratio fide non indiget ad suum finem consequendum. 9. Nothing in order to reach its end needs that which destroys it. But faith destroys reason, for, as Gregory says: “Faith deserves no merit when human reason offers it proof.” Therefore, reason does not need faith to reach its end.
Praeterea, haereticus non habet habitum fidei. Sed contingit quod haereticus aliqua vera credit quae sunt supra facultatem rationis; sicut credit filium Dei incarnatum, quamvis non credat eum passum. Ergo non est necessarius habitus fidei ad cognoscendum ea quae sunt supra rationem. 10. A heretic does not have the habit of faith. But, sometimes, a heretic believes in certain truths which are beyond the reach of reason. Thus, he may believe that the Son of God was made flesh, although he does not believe that He suffered. Therefore, the habit of faith is not needed to know things which are above reason.
Praeterea, quando aliquid confirmatur per plura media, si unum illorum non habet firmitatem, tota confirmatio efficacia caret; ut patet in deductionibus syllogismorum, in quibus una de multis propositionibus falsa vel dubia existente, probatio inefficax est. Sed ea quae sunt fidei, in nos per multa media devenerunt. A Deo enim dicta sunt apostolis vel prophetis, a quibus in successores eorum, et deinceps in alios et sic usque ad nos pervenerunt per media diversa. Non autem in omnibus istis mediis certum est esse infallibilem veritatem: quia cum homines fuerint et decipi et decipere potuerunt. Ergo nullam certitudinem habere possumus de his quae sunt fidei; et ita stultum videtur his assentire. 11. When something is proved by means of many middle terms, the whole proof is ineffective if one of the middle terms is weak. This is evident in syllogistic deductions, where the existence of one false or doubtful proposition makes the whole proof ineffectual. But the truths of faith reach us through many intermediaries. For God told them to the apostles or prophets, who related them to their followers. These men in turn told others, and in this way they finally reached us through various intermediaries. Now, it is not certain that there was infallible truth in all of these intermediaries. For, since they were men, they could deceive and be deceived. Therefore, we can have no certainty about matters of faith, and so it seems foolish to assent to them.
Praeterea, illud non videtur necessarium ad vitam aeternam consequendam quod meritum vitae aeternae diminuit. Sed cum difficultas operetur ad meritum, habitus, qui facilitatem facit, meritum diminuit. Ergo habitus fidei non est necessarius ad salutem. 12. That in a work which lessens the merit for eternal life does not seem necessary to obtain eternal life. But, since difficulty makes for merit, habit, which brings facility, lessens merit. Therefore, the habit of faith is not necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, potentiae rationales sunt nobiliores quam naturales. Sed naturales non indigent habitibus ad suos actus. Ergo nec intellectus indiget habitu fidei ad suos actus. 13. The powers of reason are more noble than the powers of physical nature. But physical powers do not need habits for their acts. Therefore, understanding does not need the habit of faith for its acts.
Sed contra. To the Contrary
Est quod dicitur Hebr. XI, 6: sine fide impossibile est placere Deo. 1. In Hebrews (11:6) we read: “But without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Praeterea, illud est necessarium ad salutem, quo non habito, homo damnatur. Sed fides est huiusmodi; Marci ultimo: qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur. Ergo fides est necessaria ad salutem. 2. That without which man is damned is necessary for salvation. But faith is so needed, as appears in Mark (16:16): “He that believes not shall be condemned.” Therefore, faith is necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, altior vita altiori cognitione indiget. Sed vita gratiae altior (est) quam vita naturae. Ergo indiget aliqua cognitione supernaturali, quae est cognitio fidei. 3. A higher life needs a higher knowledge. But the life of grace is higher than the life of nature. Therefore, it needs some supernatural knowledge, which is the knowledge of faith.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod habere fidem de his quae sunt supra rationem, necessarium est ad vitam aeternam consequendam. Quod hinc accipi potest. Non enim contingit aliquid de imperfecto ad perfectum adduci nisi per actionem alicuius perfecti. Nec perfecti actio ab imperfecto statim in principio perfecte recipitur; sed primo quidem imperfecte et postmodum perfectius, et sic inde quousque ad perfectionem perveniat. To obtain eternal life it is necessary to have faith in those things which are beyond the grasp of reason. We can understand this from what follows. For a thing is brought from imperfection to perfection only through the activity of something perfect. Nor does the imperfect thing at once in the very beginning fully receive the action of that which is perfect; at first it receives it imperfectly and, later, more perfectly. And it continues in this way until it reaches perfection. This is evident in all physical things, which acquire a perfection gradually.
Et hoc quidem manifestum est in omnibus rebus naturalibus quae per successionem temporis perfectionem aliquam consequuntur. Et similiter etiam videmus in operibus humanis, et praecipue in disciplinis. In principio enim homo imperfectus est in cognitione. Ad hoc autem quod perfectionem scientiae consequatur, indiget aliquo instruente, qui eum ad perfectionem scientiae ducat; quod facere non posset, nisi ipse perfecte scientiam haberet, utpote comprehendens rationes eorum quae sub scientia cadunt. Non autem in principio suae doctrinae statim ei qui instruitur, tradit rationes scibilium de quibus instruere intendit: quia tunc statim in principio perfecte scientiam haberet qui instruitur; sed tradit ei quaedam, quorum rationes tunc, cum primo instruitur discipulus, nescit; sciet autem post profectum in scientia. Et ideo dicitur, quod oportet addiscentem credere: et aliter ad perfectam scientiam pervenire non posset, nisi scilicet supponeret ea quae sibi in principio traduntur, quorum rationes tunc capere non potest. We see the same thing in human works, especially in the learning process. For in the beginning a man has incomplete knowledge, and, if he is to reach the perfection of scientific knowledge, needs an instructor to bring him to that perfection. Nor could the teacher do this unless he himself had full knowledge of the science, that is unless he understood the intelligible principles of the things which form the subject matter of the science. At the outset of his teaching, however, he does not explain to his pupil the intelligible principles of the things to be known which he intends to teach, because then, at the very beginning, the pupil would [have to] know the science perfectly. Instead, the teacher proposes some things, the principles of which the pupil does not understand when first taught, but will know later when he has made some progress in the science. For this reason it is said that the learner must believe. And he could not acquire mastery of the science in any other way unless he accepted without proof those things which he is taught at first and the arguments for which he cannot then understand.
Ultima autem perfectio ad quam homo ordinatur, consistit in perfecta Dei cognitione: ad quam quidem pervenire non potest nisi operatione et quasi instructione divina, qui est sui perfectus cognitor. Huius autem perfectae cognitionis statim homo in sui principio capax non est; unde oportet ut accipiat per viam credendi aliqua, per quae manuducatur ad perveniendum in perfectam cognitionem. The final perfection toward which man is ordained consists in the perfect knowledge of God, which, indeed, man can reach only if God, who knows Himself perfectly, undertakes to teach him. Early in his life, however, man is not capable of receiving perfect knowledge. So, he has to accept certain things on faith and by means of these he is led on till he arrives at perfect knowledge.
Quorum quaedam talia sunt, quod in hac vita perfecta cognitio de eis haberi non potest, quae totaliter vim humanae rationis excedunt: et ista oportet credere quamdiu in statu viae sumus; videbimus autem ea perfecte in statu patriae. Now, some of these things are such that they can never be perfectly known in this life, for they wholly transcend the power of human reason. These we must believe as long as we are in this life. However, we shall see them perfectly in heaven.
Quaedam vero sunt ad quae etiam in hac vita perfecte cognoscenda possumus pervenire, sicut illa quae de Deo demonstrative probari possunt; quae tamen a principio necesse est credere, propter quinque rationes, quas Rabbi Moyses ponit. Quarum prima est profunditas et subtilitas istorum cognoscibilium, quae sunt remotissima a sensibus: unde homo non est idoneus in principio perfecte ea cognoscere. Secunda causa est debilitas humani intellectus in sui principio. Tertia vero est multitudo eorum quae praeexiguntur ad istorum demonstrationem, quae homo non nisi in longissimo tempore addiscere potest. Quarta est indispositio ad sciendum, quae inest quibusdam propter pravitatem complexionis. Quinta est necessitas occupationum ad providendum necessaria vitae. There are others which we can know perfectly in this life, as, for instance, the things which we can prove conclusively about God. Still, in the beginning, we have to believe these for five reasons, which Rabbi Moses gives. The first reason is the depth and subtlety of these objects of knowledge which are farthest removed from the senses. Hence, at the very beginning, man is not qualified to know them perfectly. The second reason is the weakness of human understanding when it begins to operate. The third is the number of things needed for a conclusive proof of these. And a man can learn them all only after a long time. The fourth reason is the disinclination for scientific investigation which some men have because they lack the proper temperament. The fifth is the need of engaging in other occupations to provide the necessities of life.
Ex quibus omnibus apparet quod, si oporteret per demonstrationem solummodo accipere ea quae necessarium est cognoscere de Deo, paucissimi ad hoc pervenire possent, et hi etiam non nisi post longum tempus. Unde patet quod salubriter est via fidei hominibus provisa, per quam patet omnibus facilis aditus ad salutem secundum quodcumque tempus. From all this it is clear that, if it were necessary to use a strict demonstration as the only way to reach a knowledge of the things which we must know about God, very few could ever construct such a demonstration and even these could do it only after a long time. From this it is evident that the provision of the way of faith, which gives all easy access to salvation at any time, is beneficial to man.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod homini in conditione suae naturae perfecte providetur in quantum ad finem illum consequendum qui est in potestate naturae, dantur principia sufficientia ut sint causa illius finis. Ad finem autem qui facultatem naturae excedit, dantur principia, non quae sint causae finis, sed quibus homo est capax eorum per quae pervenitur ad finem; ut enim dicit Augustinus, posse habere fidem et caritatem naturae est hominum; habere autem, est gratia fidelium. 1. In the constitution of man’s nature full provision is made for him, in so far as, to attain the end which is within the power of nature, he is given principles which are capable of causing that end. However, for the end which is beyond his natural ability man is given principles which are not a cause of the end, but which give him a capacity for those things which do bring him to his end. For this reason Augustine says: “The capacity to have faith and charity is due to man’s nature, but their actual possession is due to the grace which the faithful receive.”
Ad secundum dicendum, quod ab ipsa prima institutione natura humana est ordinata in finem beatitudinis, non quasi in finem debitum homini secundum naturam eius, sed ex sola divina liberalitate. Et ideo non oportet quod principia naturae sufficiant ad finem illum consequendum, nisi fuerint adiuta donis superadditis ex divina liberalitate. 2. In the very beginning of creation, human nature was ordained to beatitude, not as to an end proper to man by reason of his nature, but given him solely by divine liberality. Therefore, there is no need for the principles of nature to have sufficient power to achieve that end without the aid of special gifts with which God in His generosity supplements them.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ille qui distat a fine, potest habere cognitionem finis, et affectionem; non autem operari circa finem, sed solum circa ea quae sunt ad finem. Et ideo ad perveniendum in finem supernaturalem in statu viae indigemus fide, qua ipsum finem cognoscamus, ad quem cognitio naturalis non attingit. Sed ad ea quae sunt ad finem, virtus naturalis attingit, non tamen prout sunt ordinata in finem illum. Et ideo non indigemus habitibus infusis ad operandum alia quam quae dictat ratio naturalis, sed ad eadem perfectiori modo facienda; non sic autem est ex parte cognitionis, ratione iam dicta. 3. One who is some distance from an end can know the end and desire it; however, he cannot engage in activity which directly concerns the end, but only in that which is connected with the means to the end. Therefore, if we are to reach our supernatural end, we need faith in this life to know the end, for natural knowledge does not go that far. But our natural powers do extend to the means to the end, although not precisely as ordained to that end. Therefore, we do not need infused habits for any other activity than that which natural reason dictates, but just for a more perfect performance of the same activity. However, this is not the case with knowledge for the reason given above.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod ad ea quae sunt fidei, non naturaliter determinatur intellectus quasi ea naturaliter cognoscat; sed quodammodo naturaliter ordinatur in ipsa cognoscenda, sicut natura dicitur ordinari ad gratiam ex divina institutione. Unde hoc non removet quin habitu fidei indigeamus. 4. Our understanding does not have a natural determination to matters of faith in the sense that it should know them naturally, but it does in some sense have a natural ordination to a knowledge of them in so far as nature is said to have an ordination to grace by reason of a divine decree. Consequently, this does not remove the need we have for the habit of faith.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod homo perfectior est aliis animalibus, nec tamen determinata sunt sibi ab ipsa natura ea quae sunt necessaria ad finem consequendum, sicut aliis animalibus, propter duas rationes. Primo, quia homo ad altiorem finem ordinatur; et ideo etiam si pluribus auxiliis indigeat ad ipsum consequendum, et sibi naturalia principia non sufficiant, nihilominus perfectior erit. Secundo, quia hoc ipsum est in homine perfectionis, quia multiplices vias potest habere ad consequendum suum finem. Unde non poterat ei una via naturalis determinari, sicut aliis animalibus; sed loco omnium, quae natura aliis animalibus providit, data est homini ratio, per quam et necessaria huius vitae sibi praeparare potest, et disponere se ad recipienda divinitus auxilia futurae vitae. 5. Man is more perfect than the other animals. However, nature does not determine what is necessary for him to reach his end as it does for other animals, and this for two reasons. First, since man is ordained to a higher end, therefore, even though he needs more helps to reach that end and natural principles are not enough for him, he is nonetheless more perfect. Second, the very fact that he can have many ways to reach his end is a perfection in man. For this reason he cannot be limited to one natural way as other animals are. But, instead of all the means which nature provides for other animals, man is given reason, through which he can take care of the necessities of this life and make himself fit to receive the divine helps for the future life.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod esse credulum in vitium sonat, quia designat superfluitatem in credendo, sicut esse bibulum superfluitatem in bibendo. Ille autem qui credit Deo, non excedit modum in credendo, quia ei non potest nimis credi; unde ratio non sequitur. 6. Credulity is called a vice because it means an excess of belief, just as to be a drinker means an excess in drinking. However, one who believes God does not believe immoderately, because we cannot put too much faith in Him. So, the conclusion does not follow.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod per apostolos et prophetas nunquam divinitus dicitur aliquid quod sit contrarium his quae naturalis ratio dictat. Dicitur tamen aliquid quod comprehensionem rationis excedit; et pro tanto videtur rationi repugnare, quamvis non repugnet; sicut et rustico videtur repugnans rationi quod sol sit maior terra et quod diameter sit asimeter costae; quae tamen sapienti rationabilia apparent. 7. The apostles and prophets under divine inspiration have never said anything contrary to the dictates of natural reason. Nevertheless, they have said things which are beyond the comprehension of reason, and so to this extent seem to contradict reason, although they do not really oppose it. In a similar way, to an unlettered person it seems contrary to reason to say that the sun is larger than the earth and the diagonal is incommensurable with the side. However, these appear reasonable to those who are educated.
Ad octavum dicendum, quod fides evacuatur in gloria propter id quod est imperfectionis in ipsa: et secundum hoc habet aliquam oppositionem ad perfectionem gloriae; sed quantum ad id quod est cognitionis in fide, est necessaria ad salutem. Hoc enim non est inconveniens ut aliqua imperfecta quae ordinantur ad perfectionem finis, cessent fine veniente, sicut motus veniente quiete, quae est eius finis. 8. It is because of its imperfection that faith is rendered useless when glory arrives. And on this account it has a certain opposition to the perfection of glory. But, as far as the knowledge of faith is concerned, faith is necessary for salvation. For there is nothing unreasonable in the fact that something imperfect, which is directed to the perfection of the end, ceases to exist when the end is reached, as motion ceases to be when rest, which is its end, is reached.
Ad nonum dicendum, quod fides non destruit rationem, sed excedit eam et perficit, ut dictum est. 9. Faith does not destroy reason, but goes beyond it and perfects it, as has been said above.
Ad decimum dicendum, quod haereticus non habet habitum fidei, etiamsi unum solum articulum discredat; habitus enim infusi per unum actum contrarium tolluntur. Fidei etiam habitus hanc efficaciam habet, ut per ipsum intellectus fidelis detineatur ne contrariis fidei assentiat; sicut et castitas refrenat a contrariis castitati. Quod autem haereticus aliqua credat quae sunt supra naturalem cognitionem, non est ex aliquo habitu infuso, quia ille habitus dirigeret eum in omnia credibilia aequaliter; sed est ex quadam aestimatione humana, sicut etiam Pagani aliqua supra naturam credunt de Deo. 10. A heretic does not have the habit of faith even if it is only one article of faith which he refuses to believe. For infused habits are lost through one contrary act. And the habit of faith has this power, that through it the understanding of the believer is withheld from giving assent to things contrary to faith, just as chastity restrains us from acts opposed to chastity. Now, when a heretic believes something which is beyond the scope of natural knowledge, he does this not by reason of an infused habit, for such a habit would direct him equally to all objects of belief, but by reason of some human judgment, as happens also with pagans who believe certain things surpassing nature about God.
Ad undecimum dicendum, quod omnia media per quae ad nos fides venit, suspicione carent. Prophetis enim et apostolis credimus ex hoc quod Deus eis testimonium perhibuit miracula faciendo, ut dicitur Marc., cap. XVI, 20: sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis. Successoribus autem apostolorum et prophetarum non credimus nisi in quantum nobis ea annuntiant quae illi in scriptis reliquerunt. 11. All the intermediaries through which faith comes to us are above suspicion. We believe the prophets and apostles because the Lord has been their witness by performing miracles, as Mark (16:20) says: “...and confirming the word with signs that followed.” And we believe the successors of the apostles and prophets only in so far as they tell us those things which the apostles and prophets have left in their writings.
Ad duodecimum dicendum, quod duplex est difficultas: quaedam ex ipsius conditione operis; et talis difficultas operatur ad meritum; alia est ex indispositione vel tarditate voluntatis; et talis potius diminuit meritum; et hanc aufert habitus, et non primam. 12. There are two kinds of difficulty, one arising from the nature of the work itself, and such difficulty has value for merit; the other arising from the disorder or sluggishness of the will. This latter rather lessens merit, and habit destroys it but not the former.
Ad decimumtertium dicendum, quod potentiae naturales sunt determinatae ad unum, et non indigent habitu determinante, sicut rationabiles, quae sunt ad opposita. 13. Natural powers have a determination to one object, and so do not need a habit to give them this determination as do the rational powers, which are related equally to things opposed to each other.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE XI

In the eleventh article we ask:
Is it necessary to believe explicitly?


[ARTICLE I Sent., 33, 5; III Sent., 25, 2, 1, sol. 1, 2; S.T., II-II, 2, 5.]
Undecimo quaeritur (utrum) sit necessarium explicite credere Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that it is not, for
Illud enim non est ponendum, quo posito sequitur inconveniens. Sed si ponamus quod sit necessarium ad salutem quod aliquid explicite credatur, sequitur inconveniens. Possibile est enim aliquem nutriri in silvis, vel etiam inter lupos; et talis non potest explicite aliquid de fide cognoscere. Et sic erit aliquis homo qui de necessitate damnabitur. Quod est inconveniens; et sic non videtur quod sit necessarium explicite aliquid credere. 1. We should not posit any proposition from which an untenable conclusion follows. But, if we claim that explicit belief is necessary for salvation, an untenable conclusion follows. For it is possible for someone to be brought up in the forest or among wolves, and such a one cannot have explicit knowledge of any matter of faith. Thus, there will be a man who will inevitably be damned. But this is untenable. Hence, explicit belief in something does not seem necessary.
Praeterea, ad illud quod non est in potestate nostra, non tenemur. Sed ad hoc quod explicite aliquid credamus, indigemus auditu interiori vel exteriori: fides enim est ex auditu, ut dicitur Rom., X, 17: et audire non est in potestate alicuius, nisi sit qui loquatur. Et sic non est de necessitate salutis quod aliquid explicite credatur. 2. We have no obligation to that which is not within our power. But to believe something explicitly we have to hear it from within or without, for “faith comes by hearing,” as is said in Romans (10:17). However, hearing is within the power of a person only if there is someone to speak. Thus, to believe something explicitly is not necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, illa quae sunt subtilissima, non sunt rudibus tradenda. Sed nulla sunt subtiliora et altiora his quae rationem excedunt, qualia sunt articuli fidei. Ergo talia non sunt populo tradenda. Et sic non omnes saltem tenentur, ad explicite aliquid credendum. 3. Very subtle matters should not be taught to the uneducated. But there is nothing more subtle or more exalted than things which are beyond reason, such as the articles of faith. Therefore, such things should not be taught to the people. Therefore, at least not everybody is required to believe something explicitly.
Praeterea, homo non tenetur ad cognoscendum illud quod etiam Angeli nesciunt. Sed Angeli ante incarnationem mysterium incarnationis ignoraverunt, ut videtur Hieronymus dicere. Ergo homines saltem tunc non tenebantur ad sciendum aliquid vel credendum explicite de redemptore. 4. Man is not bound to know that which even the angels do not know. But before the Incarnation the angels did not know the mystery of the Incarnation, as Jerome seems to say. Therefore, the men of those times, at least, were not bound to know or believe something explicitly about the Redeemer.
Praeterea, multi gentiles ante Christi adventum salvati sunt, ut dicit Dionysius, IX cap. Cael. Hierarch. Ipsi autem non poterant aliquid explicitum de redemptore cognoscere, cum ad eos prophetae non pervenerint. Ergo credere explicite articulos de redemptore, non videtur necessarium ad salutem. 5. Many Gentiles were saved before the coming of Christ, as Dionysius says. However, they could know nothing explicitly about the Redeemer, since the prophets had not come to them. Therefore, explicit belief in the articles about the Redeemer does not seem necessary for salvation.
Praeterea, inter articulos de redemptore unus est de descensu ad Inferos. Sed de hoc articulo Ioannes dubitavit, secundum Gregorium, cum quaesivit: tu es qui venturus es? Matth., XI, 3. Cum igitur ipse fuerit de maioribus, quia nullus eo maior inter natos mulierum, ut ibidem dicitur, videtur quod nec etiam maiores teneantur ad cognoscendum explicite articulos de redemptore. 6. One of the articles of faith about the Redeemer concerns the descent into hell [that is, limbo]. But, according to Gregory, John doubted about this article when he asked: “Are you he that is to come? “ (Mat 11:3). Therefore, since he is one of the greater men, for no one is greater than he, as is said in the same passage, it seems that even the greater men are not bound to know explicitly the articles about the Redeemer.
Sed e contra. To the Contrary
Videtur quod sit de necessitate salutis explicite omnia credere; eodem enim modo omnia ad fidem pertinent. Ergo qua ratione oportet unum explicite credere, eadem ratione oportet et omnia. 1. Explicit belief in everything seems necessary for salvation, for everything pertains to faith in the same way. So, everything has to be believed explicitly for the same reason that one truth has to be believed explicitly.
Praeterea, unusquisque tenetur ad vitandum omnes errores qui sunt contra fidem. Sed hoc facere non potest nisi explicite omnes articulos cognoscat, contra quos sunt errores. Ergo oportet omnes explicite credere. 2. Everyone is bound to avoid all errors which are against the faith. This can be done only by having explicit knowledge of all the articles which the errors oppose. Therefore, we have to have explicit belief in all the articles.
Praeterea, sicut mandata dirigunt in operandis, ita articuli in credendis. Sed quilibet tenetur scire omnia mandata Decalogi; non enim excusaretur, si per ignorantiam eorum aliquid committeret. Ergo et quilibet tenetur omnes articulos explicite credere. 3. As commands direct our action, so articles direct our belief. But everyone is bound to know all the commandments of the Decalogue, for a man is not excused if he commits some sin through ignorance of the commandments. Therefore, everyone is also bound to believe all the articles explicitly.
Praeterea, sicut Deus est obiectum fidei, ita et caritatis. Sed nihil debet implicite diligi in Deo. Ergo nec etiam aliquid implicite credi de eo. 4. just as God is the object of faith, so, also, He is the object of charity. But we should not love anything implicitly in God. Therefore, neither should we believe anything implicitly about Him.
Praeterea, haereticus, quantumcumque simplex, examinatur de omnibus articulis fidei; quod non esset, nisi omnes explicite credere teneretur. Et sic idem quod prius. 5. A heretic, however uneducated, is questioned about all the articles of faith. This would not be done if he were not bound to believe all of them explicitly. This brings us to the same conclusion as before.
Praeterea, habitus fidei est idem specie in omnibus fidelibus. Si igitur aliqui fideles tenentur ad omnia quae sunt fidei explicite credenda, videtur quod etiam ad hoc omnes teneantur. 6. The habit of faith is specifically the same in all believers. If, then, some of the faithful must believe everything explicitly, all are bound to the same thing.
Praeterea, credere informiter non sufficit ad salutem. Sed credere implicite est credere informiter; quia frequenter praelati, in quorum fide nititur fides simplicium, qui implicite credunt, habent fidem informem. Ergo credere implicite non sufficit ad salutem. 7. Formless faith is not enough for salvation. But to believe implicitly is to have formless faith, for superiors on whose faith depends the faith of uneducated people, who believe implicitly, often have formless faith. Therefore, to believe implicitly is not enough for salvation.
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum, quod implicitum proprie dicitur esse illud in quo quasi in uno multa continentur; explicitum autem in quo unumquodque ipsorum in se consideratur. Et transferuntur haec nomina a corporalibus ad spiritualia. Unde quando aliqua multa, virtute continentur in aliquo uno, dicuntur esse in illo implicite, sicut conclusiones in principiis. Explicite autem continetur in aliquo quod in eo actu existit: unde ille qui cognoscit aliqua principia universalia, habet implicitam cognitionem de omnibus conclusionibus particularibus: qui autem conclusiones actu considerat, dicitur eas explicite cognoscere. Unde et explicite dicimur aliqua credere, quando eis actu cogitatis adhaeremus; implicite vero quando adhaeremus quibusdam, in quibus sicut in universalibus principiis ista continentur: sicut qui credit fidem Ecclesiae esse veram, in hoc quasi implicite credit singula quae sub fide Ecclesiae continentur. Properly speaking, that is called implicit in which many things are contained as in one, and that is called explicit in which each of the things is considered in itself. These appellations are transferred from bodily to spiritual things. When a number of things are contained virtually in one thing, we say they are there implicitly, as, for instance, conclusions in principles. A thing is contained explicitly in another if it actually exists in it. Consequently, one who knows some general principles has implicit knowledge of all the particular conclusion. One, however, who actually considers the conclusions is said to know them explicitly. Hence, we are also said explicitly to believe certain things when we affirm those things about which we are actually thinking. We believe these same things implicitly when we affirm certain other things in which they are contained as in general principles. Thus, one who believes that the faith of the Church is true, implicitly in this believes the individual points which are included in the faith of the Church.
Sciendum est igitur, quod aliquid est in fide ad quod omnes et omni tempore explicite credendum tenentur; quaedam vero sunt in ea, quae omni tempore sunt explicite credenda, sed non ab omnibus; quaedam vero ab omnibus, sed non omni tempore; quaedam vero nec ab omnibus nec omni tempore. We must note, accordingly, that there are some matters of faith which everyone is bound to believe explicitly in every age. Other matters of faith must be believed explicitly in every age but not by everyone. Still other matters everyone must believe explicitly, but not in every age. And, finally, there are things that need not be believed explicitly by everyone nor in every age.
Quod enim oporteat omni tempore aliquid explicite credi ab quolibet fideli, ex hoc apparet, quia acceptio fidei se habet in nobis respectu ultimae perfectionis, sicut acceptio discipuli de his quae sibi primo a magistro traduntur, per quae in anteriora dirigitur. Non posset autem dirigi, nisi actu aliqua consideraret. Unde oportet quod discipulus aliquid actualiter aliquid considerandum accipiat; et similiter oportet quod fidelis quilibet aliquid explicite credat. Et haec sunt duo illa quae apostolus dicit Hebr., XI, 6: accedentem ad Deum oportet credere quia est, et inquirentibus se remunerator est. Unde quilibet tenetur explicite credere, et omni tempore, Deum esse, et habere providentiam de rebus humanis. That all the faithful in every age must believe something explicitly is evident from the fact that there is a parallel between the reception of faith with reference to our ultimate perfection and a pupil’s reception of those things which his master first teaches him, and through which he is guided to prior principles. However, he could not be so guided unless he actually considered something. Hence, the pupil must receive something for actual consideration; likewise, the faithful must explicitly believe something. And these are the two things which the Apostle tells us must be believed explicitly: “For he that comes to God must believe that He is, and is the rewarder to them that love Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, everyone in every age is bound explicitly to believe that God exists and exercises providence over human affairs.
Non est autem possibile ut aliquis in statu viae explicite cognoscat omnem illam scientiam quam Deus habet, in qua nostra beatitudo consistit; sed possibile est aliquem in statu viae explicite cognoscere omnia illa quae proponuntur humano generi in hoc statu ut rudimenta quaedam quibus se in finem dirigat: et talis dicitur habere perfectam fidem quantum ad explicationem. Sed haec perfectio non est omnium; unde et gradus in Ecclesia constituuntur, ut quidam aliis praeponantur ad erudiendum in fide. Unde non tenentur omnes explicite credere omnia quae sunt fidei; sed solum illi qui eruditores fidei instituuntur: sicut sunt praelati et habentes curam animarum. Nec tamen isti etiam secundum omne tempus tenentur omnia explicite credere. However, it is not possible for anyone in this life to know explicitly the whole of God’s knowledge, in which our beatitude consists. Yet it is possible for someone in this life to know all those things which are proposed to the human race in its present state as first principles with which to direct itself to its final end. Such a person is said to have faith which is completely explicit. But not all believers have this completeness; hence, there are levels of belief in the Church, so that some are placed over others to teach them in matters of faith. Consequently, not all are required explicitly to believe all matters of faith, but only those are so bound who are appointed teachers in matters of faith, such as superiors and those who have pastoral duties.
Sicut enim est profectus unius hominis in fide per successiones temporum, ita etiam et totius humani generis: unde dicit Gregorius: per successiones temporum crevit divinae cognitionis augmentum. And even these are not bound to believe everything explicitly in every age. For there is a gradual progress in faith for the whole human race just as there is for individual men. This is why Gregory says that down the ages there has been a growing development of divine knowledge.
Plenitudo autem temporis, quasi perfectio aetatis humani generis, est in tempore gratiae; unde in hoc tempore maiores, omnia quae sunt fidei, explicite credere tenentur. Sed temporibus praecedentibus etiam maiores non tenebantur ad credendum omnia explicite; plura autem explicite credebantur post tempus legis et prophetarum quam ante. Now, the fullness of time, which is the prime of life of the human race, is in the age of grace. So, in this age, the leaders are bound to believe all matters of faith explicitly. But, in earlier ages, the leaders were not bound to believe everything explicitly. However, more had to be believed explicitly after the age of the law and the prophets than before that time.
In statu igitur ante peccatum non tenebantur explicite credere ea quae sunt de redemptore, quia adhuc necessitas redemptoris non erat; implicite tamen haec credebant in divina providentia; in quantum scilicet Deum credebant diligentibus se provisurum de omnibus necessariis ad salutem. Sed ante peccatum et post, omni tempore necessarium fuit a maioribus explicitam fidem de Trinitate habere; non autem a minoribus post peccatum usque ad tempus gratiae; ante peccatum enim forte talis distinctio non fuisset, ut quidam per alios erudirentur de fide. Et similiter etiam post peccatum usque ad tempus gratiae maiores tenebantur habere fidem de redemptore explicite; minores vero implicite, vel in fide patriarcharum et prophetarum, vel in divina providentia. Accordingly, before sin came into the world, it was not necessary to believe explicitly the matters concerning the Redeemer, since there was then no need of the Redeemer. Nevertheless, this was implicit in their belief in divine providence, in so far as they believed that God would provide everything necessary for the salvation of those who love Him. Before and after the fall, the leaders in every age had to have explicit faith in the Trinity. Between the fall and the age of grace, however, the ordinary people did not have to have such explicit belief. Perhaps before the fall there was not such a distinction of persons that some had to be taught the faith by others. Likewise, between the fall and the age of grace, the leading men had to have explicit faith in the Redeemer, and the ordinary people only implicit faith. This was contained either in their belief in the faith of the patriarchs and prophets or in their belief in divine providence.
Tempore vero gratiae omnes, maiores et minores, de Trinitate et de redemptore tenentur explicitam fidem habere. Non tamen omnia credibilia circa Trinitatem vel redemptorem minores explicite credere tenentur, sed soli maiores. Minores autem tenentur explicite credere generales articulos, ut Deum esse trinum et unum, filium Dei esse incarnatum, mortuum, et resurrexisse, et alia huiusmodi, de quibus Ecclesia festa facit. However, in the time of grace, everybody, the leaders and the ordinary people, have to have explicit faith in the Trinity and in the Redeemer. However, only the leaders, and not the ordinary people, are bound to believe explicitly all the matters of faith concerning the Trinity and the Redeemer. The ordinary people must, however, believe explicitly the general articles, such as that God is triune, that the Son of God was made flesh, died, and rose from the dead, and other like matters which the Church commemorates in her feasts.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum igitur dicendum, quod non sequitur inconveniens posito quod quilibet teneatur aliquid explicite credere etiam si in silvis vel inter bruta animalia nutriatur: hoc enim ad divinam providentiam pertinet ut cuilibet provideat de necessariis ad salutem, dummodo ex parte eius non impediatur. Si enim aliquis taliter nutritus, ductum rationis naturalis sequeretur in appetitu boni et fuga mali, certissime est tenendum, quod Deus ei vel per internam inspirationem revelaret ea quae sunt necessaria ad credendum, vel aliquem fidei predicatorem ad eum dirigeret, sicut misit Petrum ad Cornelium, Act. X. 1. Granted that everyone is bound to believe something explicitly, no untenable conclusion follows even if someone is brought up in the forest or among wild beasts. For it pertains to divine providence to furnish everyone with what is necessary for salvation, provided that on his part there is no hindrance. Thus, if someone so brought up followed the direction of natural reason in seeking good and avoiding evil, we must most certainly hold that God would either reveal to him through internal inspiration what had to be believed, or would send some preacher of the faith to him as he sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10:20).
Ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis non sit in potestate nostra cognoscere ea quae sunt fidei, ex nobis ipsis; tamen, si nos fecerimus quod in nobis est, ut scilicet ductum rationis naturalis sequamur, Deus non deficiet nobis ab eo quod est nobis necessarium. 2. Although it is not within our power to know matters of faith by ourselves alone, still, if we do what we can, that is, follow the guidance of natural reason, God will not withhold from us that which we need.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod ea quae sunt fidei, non proponuntur simplicibus ut particulatim exponenda, sed in quadam generalitate: sic enim ea explicite credere tenentur, ut dictum est. 3. Matters of faith are not presented to the uneducated for minute explanation, but in a general way, for in this way they have to believe them explicitly as has been said.
Ad quartum dicendum quod Angeli, secundum Dionysium et Augustinum, primo sciverunt incarnationis Christi mysterium quam etiam homines, cum de ipso per Angelos prophetae etiam sint instructi; sed a Hieronymo dicuntur per Ecclesiam hoc mysterium discere, in quantum, praedicantibus apostolis, mysterium salutis gentium implebatur; et sic quantum ad aliquas circumstantias plenius sciebant, iam praesens videntes quod futurum ante praeviderant. 4. According to Dionysius and Augustine, the angels knew the mystery of the Incarnation of Christ before men did, since it was through the angels that the prophets were told of the Incarnation. But Jerome says that the angels learned this mystery through the Church, in so far as the mystery of the salvation of the Gentiles was fulfilled through the preaching of the Apostles. In this way, their knowledge was more complete with reference to certain circumstances, since they now saw as present what they had foreseen as future.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod gentiles non ponebantur ut instructores divinae fidei. Unde, quantumcumque essent sapientes sapientia saeculari, inter minores computandi sunt: et ideo sufficiebat eis habere fidem de redemptore implicite, vel in fide legis et prophetarum, vel etiam in ipsa divina providentia. Probabile tamen est multis etiam gentilibus ante Christi adventum mysterium redemptionis nostrae fuisse divinitus revelatum, sicut patet ex sibyllinis vaticiniis. 5. The Gentiles were not established as teachers of divine faith. Hence, no matter how well versed they were in secular wisdom, they should be counted as ordinary people. Therefore, it was enough for them to have implicit faith in the Redeemer, either as part of their belief in the faith of the law and the prophets, or as part of their belief in divine providence itself. Nevertheless, it is likely that the mystery of our redemption was revealed to many Gentiles before Christ’s coming, as is clear from the Sibylline prophecies.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod Ioannes Baptista, quamvis suo tempore inter maiores fuerit computandus, quia praeco veritatis fuit a Deo institutus, non tamen oportebat quod explicite crederet omnia quae post Christi passionem et resurrectionem tempore gratiae revelatae explicite creduntur: nondum enim suo tempore veritatis cognitio ad suum complementum pervenerat, quod praecipue factum est in adventu spiritu sancti. Quidam tamen dicunt, quod Ioannes hoc quaesivit non ex persona sua, sed ex persona discipulorum, qui dubitabant de Christo. Quidam etiam dicunt quod non fuit quaestio dubitantis, sed pie admirantis humilitatem Christi, si dignaretur ad Inferos descendere. 6. Although John the Baptist should be counted among the greater persons of his time because God made him a herald of truth, it was not necessary for him to believe explicitly all the matters of revelation which are explicitly believed after Christ’s passion and resurrection in the age of grace. For, in his time, the knowledge of the truth had not reached the fullness which it received especially with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Some, however, say that in this passage John did not ask personally for himself, but for his disciples who doubted about Christ. Some also say that this was the question not of one who doubted but of one who had a holy admiration for the humility of Christ, that He would deign to descend into hell.
Answers to Contrary Difficulties
Ad primum autem in contrarium dicendum, quod non est eadem ratio de omnibus quae ad fidem pertinent (quaedam enim sunt aliis obscuriora, et quaedam aliis sunt necessariora) ad hoc quod homo dirigatur in finem: et ideo quosdam articulos prae aliis oportet explicite credere. 1. All things which pertain to faith do not have the same rational connection with the direction of man to his final end, for some are more obscure than others and some are more necessary to it than others. Therefore, some articles rather than others must be believed explicitly.
Ad secundum dicendum, quod ille etiam qui non credit explicite omnes articulos, potest omnes errores vitare: quia ex habitu fidei retardatur ne assentiat contrariis articulorum, quos etiam solum implicite novit; ut scilicet cum sibi proponuntur, quasi insolita, suspecta habeat, et assensum differat quousque instruatur per eum cuius est dubia in fide determinare. 2. One who does not believe all the articles explicitly can still avoid all errors because the habit of faith keeps him from giving assent to things against the articles which he knows only implicitly. Thus, for instance, if something unusual is proposed, he is suspicious of it and delays assent until he gets instruction from him whose duty it is to decide about doubtful matters of faith.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod mandata Decalogi sunt de his quae naturalis ratio dictat; et ideo quilibet tenetur ea explicite cognoscere, nec est similis ratio de articulis fidei, qui sunt supra rationem. 3. The commandments of the Decalogue deal with things that are dictated by natural reason. Therefore, everyone is required to know them explicitly. A similar argument cannot be used for the articles of faith, which are above reason.
Ad quartum dicendum, quod diligere non distinguitur per implicite et explicite, nisi quatenus dilectio fidem sequitur, eo quod dilectio terminatur ad rem ipsam quae est extra animam, quae in particulari subsistit. Cognitio vero terminatur ad id quod est in apprehensione animae, quae potest apprehendere aliquid vel in universali vel in particulari; et ideo non est simile de fide et caritate. 4. Love is distinguished into implicit and explicit only in so far as it follows faith. For love terminates at some individual thing existing outside the soul, whereas knowledge terminates at that which is within the perception of the soul, which can perceive something in general or in particular. Therefore, faith and charity do not work in the same way.
Ad quintum dicendum, quod aliquis simplex, qui accusatur de haeresi, non examinatur de omnibus articulis quia teneatur omnes explicite credere, sed quia tenetur non assentire pertinaciter contrario alicuius articulorum. 5. An uneducated person who is accused of heresy is not examined on all the articles of faith because he must believe them all explicitly, but because he must not obstinately maintain the opposite of any of the articles.
Ad sextum dicendum, quod non est propter differentiam ex habitu fidei explicite credere quae aliis sufficit implicite credere, sed propter officium diversum. Nam ille qui ponitur ut doctor fidei, debet explicite nosse ea quae debet vel tenetur docere; et secundum quod est altior in officio, debet etiam perfectiorem scientiam habere de his quae sunt fidei. 6. That some of the faithful must believe explicitly what others have to believe only implicitly does not come from a difference in the habit of faith, but from different duties. For one who is made a teacher of the faith should know explicitly those things which he must or ought to teach. And the higher his position is, the more perfect a knowledge of matters of faith he should have.
Ad septimum dicendum, quod minores non habent fidem implicitam in fide aliquorum hominum particularium; sed in fide Ecclesiae, quae non potest esse informis. Et praeterea, unus non dicitur habere fidem implicitam in fide alterius propter hoc quod conveniat in modo credendi formate vel informiter, sed propter convenientiam in credito. 7. Ordinary people do not have implicit faith in the faith of some particular men, but in the faith of the Church, which cannot be formless. Furthermore, one is said to have implicit faith in the faith of another, because of an agreement in belief, and not because they have the same mode of informed or formless faith.

Q. 14: Faith

ARTICLE XII

In the twelfth article we ask:
Is there one faith for moderns and ancients?


[ARTICLE III Sent., 25, 2, 2, sol. 1; S.T., II-II, 1, 7; 2, 7; 174, 6.]
Duodecimo quaeritur utrum una sit fides modernorum et antiquorum Difficulties
Et videtur quod non. It seems that there is not, for
Scientia enim universalis differt a scientia particulari. Sed antiqui cognoscebant ea quae sunt fidei, quasi in universali, implicite credentes; moderni autem in particulari credentes explicite. Ergo non est eadem fides modernorum et antiquorum. 1. Universal knowledge differs from particular knowledge. But the ancients knew the matters of faith as it were in general, believing them implicitly, whereas moderns believe them explicitly and in particular. Therefore, the faith of the ancients and moderns is not the same.
Praeterea, fides est de enuntiabili. Sed non sunt eadem enuntiabilia quae nos credimus et illi crediderunt; ut Christum nasciturum, et Christum natum. Ergo non est eadem fides nostra et antiquorum. 2. Faith concerns a proposition. But the propositions which we believe are not the same as the ones they believed, as, for instance, Christ will be born, and Christ has been born. Therefore, our faith is not the same as that of the ancients.
Praeterea, determinatum tempus in his quae sunt fidei, est de necessariis ad credendum: aliquis enim infidelis reputatur ex hoc quod credit Christum nondum venisse, sed esse venturum. Sed in fide nostra et antiquorum sunt tempora variata: nos enim credimus de praeterito quod ipsi credebant de futuro. Ergo non est eadem fides nostra et antiquorum. 3. In matters of faith a definite time is a necessary element of belief. Thus, a man would be called an unbeliever if he believed that Christ had not yet come, but would come. But there is temporal variation in our faith and that of the ancients, for we believe about the past what they believed about the future. Hence, our faith and that of the ancients is not the same.
Sed contra, To the Contrary
Ephes., IV, 5: unus dominus, una fides. 1. In Ephesians (4:5) we read: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Responsio. REPLY
Dicendum quod hoc pro firmo est tenendum, unam esse fidem antiquorum et modernorum: alias non esset una Ecclesia. Ad hoc autem sustinendum, quidam dixerunt, esse idem enuntiabile de praeterito quod nos credimus, et de futuro quod antiqui crediderunt. Sed hoc non videtur esse conveniens, ut variatis essentialibus compositionis partibus, eadem compositio maneat; videmus etiam compositiones per alia accidentia verbi et nominis variari. We must firmly hold that there is one faith for ancients and moderns; otherwise, there would not be one Church. To support this position some have said that the proposition about the past which we believe and the one about the future which the ancients believed is the same proposition. But it does not seem right that the proposition should remain the same when its essential parts are changed. For we see that propositions are changed by reason of changes in the subject and verb.
Unde alii dixerunt, quod enuntiabilia sunt diversa quae nos credimus et illi crediderunt; sed fides non est de enuntiabili sed de re. Res autem est eadem, quamvis enuntiabilia sint diversa. Dicunt enim, quod hoc per se convenit fidei ut credat resurrectionem Christi; sed hoc est quasi accidentale, ut credat eam esse vel fuisse. Sed hoc etiam falsum apparet: quia credere, cum dicat assensum, non potest esse nisi de compositione, in qua verum et falsum invenitur. Unde, cum dico, credo resurrectionem, oportet intelligi aliquam compositionem; et hoc secundum aliquod tempus, quod anima semper adiungit in dividendo et componendo, ut dicitur in III de anima; ut scilicet sensus (sit), credo resurrectionem, id est credo resurrectionem esse, vel fuisse, vel futuram esse. For this reason, others have said that the propositions which we believe and which they believed are different, but that faith does not concern propositions but things. The thing, however, is the same, although the propositions are different. For they say that it belongs intrinsically to faith to believe in the resurrection of Christ, but only accidentally to faith to believe that it is or was. But this is obviously false, for, since belief is called assent, it can only be about a proposition, in which truth or falsity is found. Thus, when I say: “I believe in the resurrection,” I must understand some union [of subject and predicate]. And I must do this with reference to some time which the soul always adds in affirmative and negative propositions, as is said in The Soul. Accordingly, the sense of “I believe in the resurrection” is this: “I believe that the resurrection is, was, or will be.”
Et ideo dicendum est, quod obiectum fidei dupliciter potest considerari. Vel secundum se, prout est extra animam; et sic proprie habet rationem obiecti, et ab eo accipit habitus multitudinem vel unitatem. Vel secundum quod est participatum in cognoscente. Dicendum est igitur, quod si accipiatur id quod est obiectum fidei, scilicet res credita, prout est extra animam, sic est una quae refertur ad nos et antiquos: et ideo ex eius unitate fides unitatem recipit. Si autem consideretur secundum quod est in acceptione nostra, sic plurificatur per diversa enuntiabilia; sed ab hac diversitate non diversificatur fides. Unde patet quod fides omnibus modis est una. Therefore, we must say that the object of faith can be considered in two ways. First, we have the object in itself as it exists outside the soul. And it is properly in this sense that it has the character of object and is the reason why habits are one or many. Second, we have the object as it exists in the knower as participated by him. Accordingly, we have to say that, if we take as the object of faith the thing believed as it exists outside the soul, it is in this way that each thing is related to us and to the ancients. And faith gets its unity from the oneness of the object. However, if we consider faith as it is in our perception of it, it is multiplied according to different propositions. But faith is not differentiated by this diversity. From this it is evident that faith is one in every way.
Answers to Difficulties
Ad primum ergo dicendum, quod scire in ad primum igitur dicendum, quod scire in universali et in particulari non diversificat scientiam autem quantum ad rem scitam, a qua habitus habet unitatem. 1. To know in general and in particular differentiates knowledge only with reference to the manner of knowing, not with reference to the thing known, from which the habit has its unity.
Ad secundum patet responsio ex dictis. 2. The answer to the second difficulty is clear from what has been said.
Ad tertium dicendum, quod tempus non variatur secundum quod est in re, sed secundum diversum ordinem ad nos vel illos: unum enim est tempus in quo Christus passus fuit; sed secundum diversos respectus ad aliquos dicitur praeteritum vel futurum, respectu praecedentium vel sequentium. 3. Time does not change because of something in the thing, but because of relation to us or the ancients. For there is one time in which Christ suffered. Under different aspects it is called past or future for some people in comparison with things which precede or follow.