St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

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OF OBEDIENCE (SIX ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de obedientia. Et circa hoc quaeruntur sex. We must now consider obedience, under which head there are six points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum homo debeat homini obedire. (1) Whether one man is bound to obey another?
Secundo, utrum obedientia sit specialis virtus. (2) Whether obedience is a special virtue?
Tertio, de comparatione eius ad alias virtutes. (3) Of its comparison with other virtues;
Quarto, utrum Deo sit in omnibus obediendum. (4) Whether God must be obeyed in all things?
Quinto, utrum subditi suis praelatis teneantur in omnibus obedire. (5) Whether subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things?
Sexto, utrum fideles teneantur saecularibus potestatibus obedire. (6) Whether the faithful are bound to obey the secular power?

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Whether one man is bound to obey another?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod unus homo non teneatur alii obedire. Non enim est aliquid faciendum contra institutionem divinam. Sed hoc habet divina institutio, ut homo suo consilio regatur, secundum illud Eccli. XV, Deus ab initio constituit hominem, et reliquit illum in manu consilii sui. Ergo non tenetur unus homo alteri obedire. Objection 1: It seems that one man is not bound to obey another. For nothing should be done contrary to the divine ordinance. Now God has so ordered that man is ruled by his own counsel, according to Ecclus. 15:14, "God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel." Therefore one man is not bound to obey another.
Praeterea, si aliquis alicui teneretur obedire, oporteret quod haberet voluntatem praecipientis tanquam regulam suae actionis. Sed sola divina voluntas, quae semper est recta, est regula humanae actionis. Ergo non tenetur homo obedire nisi Deo. Objection 2: Further, if one man were bound to obey another, he would have to look upon the will of the person commanding him, as being his rule of conduct. Now God's will alone, which is always right, is a rule of human conduct. Therefore man is bound to obey none but God.
Praeterea, servitia, quanto sunt magis gratuita, tanto sunt magis accepta. Sed illud quod homo ex debito facit non est gratuitum. Si ergo homo ex debito teneretur aliis obedire in bonis operibus faciendis, ex hoc ipso redderetur minus acceptabile opus bonum quod ex obedientia fieret. Non ergo tenetur homo alteri obedire. Objection 3: Further, the more gratuitous the service the more is it acceptable. Now what a man does out of duty is not gratuitous. Therefore if a man were bound in duty to obey others in doing good deeds, for this very reason his good deeds would be rendered less acceptable through being done out of obedience. Therefore one man is not bound to obey another.
Sed contra est quod praecipitur ad Heb. ult., obedite praepositis vestris, et subiacete eis. On the contrary, It is prescribed (Heb. 13:17): "Obey your prelates and be subject to them."
Respondeo dicendum quod sicut actiones rerum naturalium procedunt ex potentiis naturalibus, ita etiam operationes humanae procedunt ex humana voluntate. Oportuit autem in rebus naturalibus ut superiora moverent inferiora ad suas actiones, per excellentiam naturalis virtutis collatae divinitus. Unde etiam oportet in rebus humanis quod superiores moveant inferiores per suam voluntatem, ex vi auctoritatis divinitus ordinatae. Movere autem per rationem et voluntatem est praecipere. Et ideo, sicut ex ipso ordine naturali divinitus instituto inferiora in rebus naturalibus necesse habent subdi motioni superiorum, ita etiam in rebus humanis, ex ordine iuris naturalis et divini, tenentur inferiores suis superioribus obedire. I answer that, Just as the actions of natural things proceed from natural powers, so do human actions proceed from the human will. In natural things it behooved the higher to move the lower to their actions by the excellence of the natural power bestowed on them by God: and so in human affairs also the higher must move the lower by their will in virtue of a divinely established authority. Now to move by reason and will is to command. Wherefore just as in virtue of the divinely established natural order the lower natural things need to be subject to the movement of the higher, so too in human affairs, in virtue of the order of natural and divine law, inferiors are bound to obey their superiors.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deus reliquit hominem in manu consilii sui, non quia liceat ei facere omne quod velit, sed quia ad id quod faciendum est non cogitur necessitate naturae, sicut creaturae irrationales, sed libera electione ex proprio consilio procedente. Et sicut ad alia facienda debet procedere proprio consilio, ita etiam ad hoc quod obediat suis superioribus, dicit enim Gregorius, ult. Moral., quod dum alienae voci humiliter subdimur, nosmetipsos in corde superamus. Reply to Objection 1: God left man in the hand of his own counsel, not as though it were lawful to him to do whatever he will, but because, unlike irrational creatures, he is not compelled by natural necessity to do what he ought to do, but is left the free choice proceeding from his own counsel. And just as he has to proceed on his own counsel in doing other things, so too has he in the point of obeying his superiors. For Gregory says (Moral. xxxv), "When we humbly give way to another's voice, we overcome ourselves in our own hearts."
Ad secundum dicendum quod divina voluntas est prima regula, qua regulantur omnes rationales voluntates, cui una magis appropinquat quam alia, secundum ordinem divinitus institutum. Et ideo voluntas unius hominis praecipientis potest esse quasi secunda regula voluntatis alterius obedientis. Reply to Objection 2: The will of God is the first rule whereby all rational wills are regulated: and to this rule one will approaches more than another, according to a divinely appointed order. Hence the will of the one man who issues a command may be as a second rule to the will of this other man who obeys him.
Ad tertium dicendum quod aliquid potest iudicari gratuitum dupliciter. Uno modo, ex parte ipsius operis, quia scilicet ad id homo non obligatur. Alio modo, ex parte operantis, quia scilicet libera voluntate hoc facit. Opus autem redditur virtuosum et laudabile et meritorium praecipue secundum quod ex voluntate procedit. Et ideo, quamvis obedire sit debitum, si prompta voluntate aliquis obediat, non propter hoc minuitur eius meritum, maxime apud Deum, qui non solum exteriora opera, verum etiam interiorem voluntatem videt. Reply to Objection 3: A thing may be deemed gratuitous in two ways. In one way on the part of the deed itself, because, to wit, one is not bound to do it; in another way, on the part of the doer, because he does it of his own free will. Now a deed is rendered virtuous, praiseworthy and meritorious, chiefly according as it proceeds from the will. Wherefore although obedience be a duty, if one obey with a prompt will, one's merit is not for that reason diminished, especially before God, Who sees not only the outward deed, but also the inward will.

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Whether obedience is a special virtue?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod obedientia non sit specialis virtus. Obedientiae enim inobedientia opponitur. Sed inobedientia est generale peccatum, dicit enim Ambrosius quod peccatum est inobedientia legis divinae. Ergo obedientia non est specialis virtus, sed generalis. Objection 1: It seems that obedience is not a special virtue. For disobedience is contrary to obedience. But disobedience is a general sin, because Ambrose says (De Parad. viii) that "sin is to disobey the divine law." Therefore obedience is not a special virtue.
Praeterea, omnis virtus specialis aut est theologica, aut moralis. Sed obedientia non est virtus theologica, quia neque continetur sub fide, neque sub spe, neque sub caritate. Similiter etiam non est virtus moralis, quia non est in medio superflui et diminuti; quanto enim aliquis est magis obediens, tanto magis laudatur. Ergo obedientia non est specialis virtus. Objection 2: Further, every special virtue is either theological or moral. But obedience is not a theological virtue, since it is not comprised under faith, hope or charity. Nor is it a moral virtue, since it does not hold the mean between excess and deficiency, for the more obedient one is the more is one praised. Therefore obedience is not a special virtue.
Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, ult. Moral., quod obedientia tanto magis est meritoria et laudabilis quanto minus habet de suo. Sed quaelibet specialis virtus tanto magis laudatur quanto magis habet de suo, eo quod ad virtutem requiritur ut sit volens et eligens, sicut dicitur in II Ethic. Ergo obedientia non est specialis virtus. Objection 3: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience is the more meritorious and praiseworthy, the less it holds its own." But every special virtue is the more to be praised the more it holds its own, since virtue requires a man to exercise his will and choice, as stated in Ethic. ii, 4. Therefore obedience is not a special virtue.
Praeterea, virtutes differunt specie secundum obiecta. Obiectum autem obedientiae esse videtur superioris praeceptum, quod multipliciter diversificari videtur, secundum diversos superioritatis gradus. Ergo obedientia est virtus generalis sub se multas virtutes speciales comprehendens. Objection 4: Further, virtues differ in species according to their objects. Now the object of obedience would seem to be the command of a superior, of which, apparently, there are as many kinds as there are degrees of superiority. Therefore obedience is a general virtue, comprising many special virtues.
Sed contra est quod obedientia a quibusdam ponitur pars iustitiae, ut supra dictum est On the contrary, obedience is reckoned by some to be a part of justice, as stated above (Question [80]).
Respondeo dicendum quod ad omnia opera bona quae specialem laudis rationem habent, specialis virtus determinatur, hoc enim proprie competit virtuti, ut opus bonum reddat. Obedire autem superiori debitum est secundum divinum ordinem rebus inditum, ut ostensum est, et per consequens est bonum, cum bonum consistat in modo, specie et ordine, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro de Nat. boni. Habet autem hic actus specialem rationem laudis ex speciali obiecto. Cum enim inferiores suis superioribus multa debeant exhibere, inter cetera hoc est unum speciale, quod tenentur eius praeceptis obedire. Unde obedientia est specialis virtus, et eius speciale obiectum est praeceptum tacitum vel expressum. Voluntas enim superioris, quocumque modo innotescat, est quoddam tacitum praeceptum, et tanto videtur obedientia promptior quanto praeceptum expressum obediendo praevenit, voluntate superioris intellecta. I answer that, A special virtue is assigned to all good deeds that have a special reason of praise: for it belongs properly to virtue to render a deed good. Now obedience to a superior is due in accordance with the divinely established order of things, as shown above (Article [1]), and therefore it is a good, since good consists in mode, species and order, as Augustine states (De Natura Boni iii) [*Cf. FP, Question [5], Article [5] ]. Again, this act has a special aspect of praiseworthiness by reason of its object. For while subjects have many obligations towards their superiors, this one, that they are bound to obey their commands, stands out as special among the rest. Wherefore obedience is a special virtue, and its specific object is a command tacit or express, because the superior's will, however it become known, is a tacit precept, and a man's obedience seems to be all the more prompt, forasmuch as by obeying he forestalls the express command as soon as he understands his superior's will.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nihil prohibet duas speciales rationes, ad quas duae speciales virtutes respiciunt, in uno et eodem materiali obiecto concurrere, sicut miles, defendendo castrum regis, implet opus fortitudinis non refugiens mortis pericula propter bonum, et opus iustitiae debitum servitium domino suo reddens. Sic igitur ratio praecepti, quam attendit obedientia, concurrit cum actibus omnium virtutum, non tamen cum omnibus virtutum actibus, quia non omnes actus virtutum sunt in praecepto, ut supra habitum est. Similiter etiam quaedam quandoque sub praecepto cadunt quae ad nullam aliam virtutem pertinent, ut patet in his quae non sunt mala nisi quia prohibita. Sic ergo, si obedientia proprie accipiatur, secundum quod respicit per intentionem formalem rationem praecepti, erit specialis virtus et inobedientia speciale peccatum. Secundum hoc ad obedientiam requiretur quod impleat aliquis actum iustitiae, vel alterius virtutis, intendens implere praeceptum, et ad inobedientiam requiretur quod actualiter contemnat praeceptum. Si vero obedientia large accipiatur pro executione cuiuscumque quod potest cadere sub praecepto, et inobedientia pro omissione eiusdem ex quacumque intentione, sic obedientia erit generalis virtus, et inobedientia generale peccatum. Reply to Objection 1: Nothing prevents the one same material object from admitting two special aspects to which two special virtues correspond: thus a soldier, by defending his king's fortress, fulfils both an act of fortitude, by facing the danger of death for a good end, and an act of justice, by rendering due service to his lord. Accordingly the aspect of precept, which obedience considers, occurs in acts of all virtues, but not in all acts of virtue, since not all acts of virtue are a matter of precept, as stated above (FS, Question [96], Article [3]). Moreover, certain things are sometimes a matter of precept, and pertain to no other virtue, such things for instance as are not evil except because they are forbidden. Wherefore, if obedience be taken in its proper sense, as considering formally and intentionally the aspect of precept, it will be a special virtue, and disobedience a special sin: because in this way it is requisite for obedience that one perform an act of justice or of some other virtue with the intention of fulfilling a precept; and for disobedience that one treat the precept with actual contempt. On the other hand, if obedience be taken in a wide sense for the performance of any action that may be a matter of precept, and disobedience for the omission of that action through any intention whatever, then obedience will be a general virtue, and disobedience a general sin.
Ad secundum dicendum quod obedientia non est virtus theologica. Non enim per se obiectum eius est Deus, sed praeceptum superioris cuiuscumque, vel expressum vel interpretativum, scilicet simplex verbum praelati eius indicans voluntatem, cui obedit promptus obediens, secundum illud Tit. III, dicto obedire. Reply to Objection 2: Obedience is not a theological virtue, for its direct object is not God, but the precept of any superior, whether expressed or inferred, namely, a simple word of the superior, indicating his will, and which the obedient subject obeys promptly, according to Titus 3:1, "Admonish them to be subject to princes, and to obey at a word," etc.
Est autem virtus moralis, cum sit pars iustitiae, et est medium inter superfluum et diminutum. Attenditur autem eius superfluum non quidem secundum quantum, sed secundum alias circumstantias, inquantum scilicet aliquis obedit vel cui non debet vel in quibus sicut etiam supra de religione dictum est. Potest etiam dici quod sicut in iustitia superfluum est in eo qui retinet alienum, diminutum autem in eo cui non redditur quod debetur, ut philosophus dicit, in V Ethic.; ita etiam obedientia medium est inter superfluum quod attenditur ex parte eius qui subtrahit superiori obedientiae debitum, quia superabundat in implendo propriam voluntatem, diminutum autem ex parte superioris cui non obeditur. Unde secundum hoc, obedientia non erit medium duarum malitiarum, sicut supra de iustitia dictum est. It is, however, a moral virtue, since it is a part of justice, and it observes the mean between excess and deficiency. Excess thereof is measured in respect, not of quantity, but of other circumstances, in so far as a man obeys either whom he ought not, or in matters wherein he ought not to obey, as we have stated above regarding religion (Question [92], Article [2]). We may also reply that as in justice, excess is in the person who retains another's property, and deficiency in the person who does not receive his due, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 4), so too obedience observes the mean between excess on the part of him who fails to pay due obedience to his superior, since he exceeds in fulfilling his own will, and deficiency on the part of the superior, who does not receive obedience. Wherefore in this way obedience will be a mean between two forms of wickedness, as was stated above concerning justice (Question [58], Article [10]).
Ad tertium dicendum quod obedientia, sicut et quaelibet virtus, debet habere promptam voluntatem in suum proprium obiectum, non autem in id quod repugnans est ei. Proprium autem obiectum obedientiae est praeceptum, quod quidem ex alterius voluntate procedit. Unde obedientia reddit promptam hominis voluntatem ad implendam voluntatem alterius, scilicet praecipientis. Si autem id quod ei praecipitur sit propter se ei volitum, etiam absque ratione praecepti, sicut accidit in prosperis; iam ex propria voluntate tendit in illud, et non videtur illud implere propter praeceptum, sed propter propriam voluntatem. Sed quando illud quod praecipitur nullo modo est secundum se volitum, sed est, secundum se consideratum, propriae voluntati repugnans, sicut accidit in asperis; tunc omnino manifestum est quod non impletur nisi propter praeceptum. Et ideo Gregorius dicit, in libro Moral., quod obedientia quae habet aliquid de suo in prosperis, est nulla vel minor, quia scilicet voluntas propria non videtur principaliter tendere ad implendum praeceptum, sed ad assequendum proprium volitum, in adversis autem vel difficilibus est maior, quia propria voluntas in nihil aliud tendit quam in praeceptum. Sed hoc intelligendum est secundum illud quod exterius apparet. Secundum tamen Dei iudicium, qui corda rimatur, potest contingere quod etiam in prosperis obedientia, aliquid de suo habens, non propter hoc sit minus laudabilis, si scilicet propria voluntas obedientis non minus devote tendat ad impletionem praecepti. Reply to Objection 3: Obedience, like every virtue requires the will to be prompt towards its proper object, but not towards that which is repugnant to it. Now the proper object of obedience is a precept, and this proceeds from another's will. Wherefore obedience make a man's will prompt in fulfilling the will of another, the maker, namely, of the precept. If that which is prescribed to him is willed by him for its own sake apart from its being prescribed, as happens in agreeable matters, he tends towards it at once by his own will and seems to comply, not on account of the precept, but on account of his own will. But if that which is prescribed is nowise willed for its own sake, but, considered in itself, repugnant to his own will, as happens in disagreeable matters, then it is quite evident that it is not fulfilled except on account of the precept. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience perishes or diminishes when it holds its own in agreeable matters," because, to wit, one's own will seems to tend principally, not to the accomplishment of the precept, but to the fulfilment of one's own desire; but that "it increases in disagreeable or difficult matters," because there one's own will tends to nothing beside the precept. Yet this must be understood as regards outward appearances: for, on the other hand, according to the judgment of God, Who searches the heart, it may happen that even in agreeable matters obedience, while holding its own, is nonetheless praiseworthy, provided the will of him that obeys tend no less devotedly [*Cf. Question [82], Article [2]] to the fulfilment of the precept.
Ad quartum dicendum quod reverentia directe respicit personam excellentem, et ideo secundum diversam rationem excellentiae, diversas species habet. Obedientia vero respicit praeceptum personae excellentis, et ideo est unius rationis. Sed quia propter reverentiam personae obedientia debetur eius praecepto, consequens est quod obedientia omnis sit eadem specie, ex diversis tamen specie causis procedens. Reply to Objection 4: Reverence regards directly the person that excels: wherefore it admits a various species according to the various aspects of excellence. Obedience, on the other hand, regards the precept of the person that excels, and therefore admits of only one aspect. And since obedience is due to a person's precept on account of reverence to him, it follows that obedience to a man is of one species, though the causes from which it proceeds differ specifically.

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Whether obedience is the greatest of the virtues?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod obedientia sit maxima virtutum. Dicitur enim I Reg. XV, melior est obedientia quam victimae. Sed oblatio victimarum pertinet ad religionem, quae est potissima inter omnes virtutes morales, ut ex supra dictis patet. Ergo obedientia est potissima inter virtutes. Objection 1: It seems that obedience is the greatest of the virtues. For it is written (1 Kgs. 15:22): "Obedience is better than sacrifices." Now the offering of sacrifices belongs to religion, which is the greatest of all moral virtues, as shown above (Question [81], Article [6]). Therefore obedience is the greatest of all virtues.
Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, ult. Moral., quod obedientia sola virtus est quae virtutes ceteras menti inserit, insertasque custodit. Sed causa est potior effectu. Ergo obedientia est potior omnibus virtutibus. Objection 2: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience is the only virtue that ingrafts virtues in the soul and protects them when ingrafted." Now the cause is greater than the effect. Therefore obedience is greater than all the virtues.
Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, ult. Moral., quod nunquam per obedientiam malum fieri, aliquando autem debet per obedientiam bonum quod agitur intermitti. Sed non praetermittitur aliquid nisi pro meliori. Ergo obedientia, pro qua praetermittuntur bona aliarum virtutum, est virtutibus aliis melior. Objection 3: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "evil should never be done out of obedience: yet sometimes for the sake of obedience we should lay aside the good we are doing." Now one does not lay aside a thing except for something better. Therefore obedience, for whose sake the good of other virtues is set aside, is better than other virtues.
Sed contra est quod obedientia habet laudem ex eo quod ex caritate procedit, dicit enim Gregorius, ult. Moral., quod obedientia non servili metu, sed caritatis affectu servanda est, non timore poenae, sed amore iustitiae. Ergo caritas est potior virtus quam obedientia. On the contrary, obedience deserves praise because it proceeds from charity: for Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience should be practiced, not out of servile fear, but from a sense of charity, not through fear of punishment, but through love of justice." Therefore charity is a greater virtue than obedience.
Respondeo dicendum quod sicut peccatum consistit in hoc quod homo, contempto Deo, commutabilibus bonis inhaeret; ita meritum virtuosi actus consistit e contrario in hoc quod homo, contemptis bonis creatis, Deo inhaeret. Finis autem potior est his quae sunt ad finem. Si ergo bona creata propter hoc contemnantur ut Deo inhaereatur, maior est laus virtutis ex hoc quod Deo inhaeret quam ex hoc quod bona terrena contemnit. Et ideo illae virtutes quibus Deo secundum se inhaeretur, scilicet theologicae, sunt potiores virtutibus moralibus, quibus aliquid terrenum contemnitur ut Deo inhaereatur. I answer that, Just as sin consists in man contemning God and adhering to mutable things, so the merit of a virtuous act consists in man contemning created goods and adhering to God as his end. Now the end is greater than that which is directed to the end. Therefore if a man contemns created goods in order that he may adhere to God, his virtue derives greater praise from his adhering to God than from his contemning earthly things. And so those, namely the theological, virtues whereby he adheres to God in Himself, are greater than the moral virtues, whereby he holds in contempt some earthly thing in order to adhere to God.
Inter virtutes autem morales, tanto aliqua potior est quanto maius aliquid contemnit ut Deo inhaereat. Sunt autem tria genera bonorum humanorum quae homo potest contemnere propter Deum, quorum infimum sunt exteriora bona; medium autem sunt bona corporis; supremum autem sunt bona animae, inter quae quodammodo praecipuum est voluntas, inquantum scilicet per voluntatem homo omnibus aliis bonis utitur. Et ideo, per se loquendo, laudabilior est obedientiae virtus, quae propter Deum contemnit propriam voluntatem, quam aliae virtutes morales, quae propter Deum aliqua alia bona contemnunt. Among the moral virtues, the greater the thing which a man contemns that he may adhere to God, the greater the virtue. Now there are three kinds of human goods that man may contemn for God's sake. The lowest of these are external goods, the goods of the body take the middle place, and the highest are the goods of the soul; and among these the chief, in a way, is the will, in so far as, by his will, man makes use of all other goods. Therefore, properly speaking, the virtue of obedience, whereby we contemn our own will for God's sake, is more praiseworthy than the other moral virtues, which contemn other goods for the sake of God.
Unde Gregorius dicit, in ult. Moral., quod obedientia victimis iure praeponitur, quia per victimas aliena caro, per obedientiam vero voluntas propria mactatur. Unde etiam quaecumque alia virtutum opera ex hoc meritoria sunt apud Deum quod sint ut obediatur voluntati divinae. Nam si quis etiam martyrium sustineret, vel omnia sua pauperibus erogaret, nisi haec ordinaret ad impletionem divinae voluntatis, quod recte ad obedientiam pertinet, meritoria esse non possent, sicut nec si fierent sine caritate, quae sine obedientia esse non potest. Dicitur enim I Ioan. II, quod qui dicit se nosse Deum, et mandata eius non custodit, mendax est, qui autem servat verba eius, vere in hoc caritas Dei perfecta est. Et hoc ideo est quia amicitia facit idem velle et nolle. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xxxv) that "obedience is rightly preferred to sacrifices, because by sacrifices another's body is slain whereas by obedience we slay our own will." Wherefore even any other acts of virtue are meritorious before God through being performed out of obedience to God's will. For were one to suffer even martyrdom, or to give all one's goods to the poor, unless one directed these things to the fulfilment of the divine will, which pertains directly to obedience, they could not be meritorious: as neither would they be if they were done without charity, which cannot exist apart from obedience. For it is written (1 Jn. 2:4,5): "He who saith that he knoweth God, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar... but he that keepeth His word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected": and this because friends have the same likes and dislikes.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod obedientia procedit ex reverentia, quae exhibet cultum et honorem superiori. Et quantum ad hoc, sub diversis virtutibus continetur, licet secundum se considerata, prout respicit rationem praecepti, sit una specialis virtus. Inquantum ergo procedit ex reverentia praelatorum, continetur quodammodo sub observantia. Inquantum vero procedit ex reverentia parentum, sub pietate. Inquantum vero procedit ex reverentia Dei, sub religione, et pertinet ad devotionem, quae est principalis actus religionis. Unde secundum hoc, laudabilius est obedire Deo quam sacrificium offerre. Et etiam quia in sacrificio immolatur aliena caro, per obedientiam autem propria voluntas, ut Gregorius dicit. Specialiter tamen in casu in quo loquebatur Samuel, melius fuisset Sauli obedire Deo quam animalia pinguia Amalecitarum in sacrificium offerre, contra Dei mandatum. Reply to Objection 1: Obedience proceeds from reverence, which pays worship and honor to a superior, and in this respect it is contained under different virtues, although considered in itself, as regarding the aspect of precept, it is one special virtue. Accordingly, in so far as it proceeds from reverence for a superior, it is contained, in a way, under observance; while in so far as it proceeds from reverence for one's parents, it is contained under piety; and in so far as it proceeds from reverence for God, it comes under religion, and pertains to devotion, which is the principal act of religion. Wherefore from this point of view it is more praiseworthy to obey God than to offer sacrifice, as well as because, "in a sacrifice we slay another's body, whereas by obedience we slay our own will," as Gregory says (Moral. xxxv). As to the special case in which Samuel spoke, it would have been better for Saul to obey God than to offer in sacrifice the fat animals of the Amalekites against the commandment of God.
Ad secundum dicendum quod ad obedientiam pertinent omnes actus virtutum prout sunt in praecepto. Inquantum ergo actus virtutum operantur causaliter vel dispositive ad earum generationem et conservationem, intantum dicitur quod obedientia omnes virtutes menti inserit et custodit. Nec tamen sequitur quod obedientia sit simpliciter omnibus virtutibus prior, propter duo. Primo quidem, quia licet actus virtutis cadat sub praecepto, tamen potest aliquis implere actum virtutis non attendens ad rationem praecepti. Unde si aliqua virtus sit cuius obiectum sit naturaliter prius quam praeceptum, illa virtus dicitur naturaliter prior quam obedientia, ut patet de fide, per quam nobis divinae auctoritatis sublimitas innotescit, ex qua competit ei potestas praecipiendi. Secundo, quia infusio gratiae et virtutum potest praecedere, etiam tempore, omnem actum virtuosum. Et secundum hoc, neque tempore neque natura est obedientia omnibus aliis virtutibus prior. Reply to Objection 2: All acts of virtue, in so far as they come under a precept, belong to obedience. Wherefore according as acts of virtue act causally or dispositively towards their generation and preservation, obedience is said to ingraft and protect all virtues. And yet it does not follow that obedience takes precedence of all virtues absolutely, for two reasons. First, because though an act of virtue come under a precept, one may nevertheless perform that act of virtue without considering the aspect of precept. Consequently, if there be any virtue, whose object is naturally prior to the precept, that virtue is said to be naturally prior to obedience. Such a virtue is faith, whereby we come to know the sublime nature of divine authority, by reason of which the power to command is competent to God. Secondly, because infusion of grace and virtues may precede, even in point of time, all virtuous acts: and in this way obedience is not prior to all virtues, neither in point of time nor by nature.
Ad tertium dicendum quod duplex est bonum. Quoddam ad quod faciendum homo ex necessitate tenetur, sicut amare Deum, vel aliquid huiusmodi. Et tale bonum nullo modo debet propter obedientiam praetermitti. Est autem aliud bonum ad quod homo non tenetur ex necessitate. Et tale bonum debet homo quandoque propter obedientiam praetermittere, ad quam ex necessitate homo tenetur, quia non debet homo aliquid bonum facere culpam incurrendo. Et tamen, sicut ibidem Gregorius dicit, qui ab uno quolibet bono subiectos vetat, necesse est ut multa concedat, ne obedientis mens funditus intereat, si a bonis omnibus penitus repulsa ieiunet. Et sic per obedientiam et alia bona potest damnum unius boni recompensari. Reply to Objection 3: There are two kinds of good. There is that to which we are bound of necessity, for instance to love God, and so forth: and by no means may such a good be set aside on account of obedience. But there is another good to which man is not bound of necessity, and this good we ought sometimes to set aside for the sake of obedience to which we are bound of necessity, since we ought not to do good by falling into sin. Yet as Gregory remarks (Moral. xxxv), "he who forbids his subjects any single good, must needs allow them many others, lest the souls of those who obey perish utterly from starvation, through being deprived of every good." Thus the loss of one good may be compensated by obedience and other goods.

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Whether God ought to be obeyed in all things?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non in omnibus sit Deo obediendum. Dicitur enim Matth. IX, quod dominus duobus caecis curatis praecepit dicens, videte ne quis sciat. Illi autem, exeuntes, diffamaverunt eum per totam terram illam. Nec tamen ex hoc inculpantur. Ergo videtur quod non teneamur in omnibus obedire Deo. Objection 1: It seems that God need not be obeyed in all things. For it is written (Mt. 9:30,31) that our Lord after healing the two blind men commanded them, saying: "See that no man know this. But they going out spread His fame abroad in all that country." Yet they are not blamed for so doing. Therefore it seems that we are not bound to obey God in all things.
Praeterea, nullus tenetur aliquid facere contra virtutem. Sed inveniuntur quaedam praecepta Dei contra virtutem, sicut quod praecepit Abrahae quod occideret filium innocentem, ut habetur Gen. XXII, et Iudaeis ut furarentur res Aegyptiorum, ut habetur Exod. XI, quae sunt contra iustitiam; et Osee quod acciperet mulierem adulteram, quod est contra castitatem. Ergo non in omnibus est obediendum Deo. Objection 2: Further, no one is bound to do anything contrary to virtue. Now we find that God commanded certain things contrary to virtue: thus He commanded Abraham to slay his innocent son (Gn. 22); and the Jews to steal the property of the Egyptians (Ex. 11), which things are contrary to justice; and Hosea to take to himself a woman who was an adulteress (Hosea 3), and this is contrary to chastity. Therefore God is not to be obeyed in all things.
Praeterea, quicumque obedit Deo, conformat voluntatem suam voluntati divinae etiam in volito. Sed non quantum ad omnia tenemur conformare voluntatem nostram voluntati divinae in volito, ut supra habitum est. Ergo non in omnibus tenetur homo Deo obedire. Objection 3: Further, whoever obeys God conforms his will to the divine will even as to the thing willed. But we are not bound in all things to conform our will to the divine will as to the thing willed, as stated above (FS, Question [19], Article [10]). Therefore man is not bound to obey God in all things.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Exod. XXIV, omnia quae locutus est dominus faciemus, et erimus obedientes. On the contrary, It is written (Ex. 24:7): "All things that the Lord hath spoken we will do, and we will be obedient."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, ille qui obedit movetur per imperium eius cui obedit, sicut res naturales moventur per suos motores. Sicut autem Deus est primus motor omnium quae naturaliter moventur, ita etiam est primus motor omnium voluntatum, ut ex supra dictis patet. Et ideo sicut naturali necessitate omnia naturalia subduntur divinae motioni, ita etiam quadam necessitate iustitiae omnes voluntates tenentur obedire divino imperio. I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), he who obeys is moved by the command of the person he obeys, just as natural things are moved by their motive causes. Now just a God is the first mover of all things that are moved naturally, so too is He the first mover of all wills, as shown above (FS, Question [9], Article [6]). Therefore just as all natural things are subject to the divine motion by a natural necessity so too all wills, by a kind of necessity of justice, are bound to obey the divine command.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dominus caecis dixit ut miraculum occultarent, non quasi intendens eos per virtutem divini praecepti obligare, sed, sicut Gregorius dicit, XIX Moral., servis suis se sequentibus exemplum dedit, ut ipsi quidem virtutes suas occultare desiderent; et tamen, ut alii eorum exemplo proficiant, prodantur inviti. Reply to Objection 1: Our Lord in telling the blind men to conceal the miracle had no intention of binding them with the force of a divine precept, but, as Gregory says (Moral. xix), "gave an example to His servants who follow Him that they might wish to hide their virtue and yet that it should be proclaimed against their will, in order that others might profit by their example."
Ad secundum dicendum quod sicut Deus nihil operatur contra naturam, quia haec est natura uniuscuiusque rei quod in ea Deus operatur, ut habetur in Glossa Rom. XI, operatur tamen aliquid contra solitum cursum naturae; ita etiam Deus nihil potest praecipere contra virtutem, quia in hoc principaliter consistit virtus et rectitudo voluntatis humanae quod Dei voluntati conformetur et eius sequatur imperium, quamvis sit contra consuetum virtutis modum. Secundum hoc ergo, praeceptum Abrahae factum quod filium innocentem occideret, non fuit contra iustitiam, quia Deus est auctor mortis et vitae. Similiter nec fuit contra iustitiam quod mandavit Iudaeis ut res Aegyptiorum acciperent, quia eius sunt omnia, et cui voluerit dat illa. Similiter etiam non fuit contra castitatem praeceptum ad Osee factum ut mulierem adulteram acciperet, quia ipse Deus est humanae generationis ordinator, et ille est debitus modus mulieribus utendi quem Deus instituit. Unde patet quod praedicti nec obediendo Deo, nec obedire volendo, peccaverunt. Reply to Objection 2: Even as God does nothing contrary to nature (since "the nature of a thing is what God does therein," according to a gloss on Rm. 11), and yet does certain things contrary to the wonted course of nature; so to God can command nothing contrary to virtue since virtue and rectitude of human will consist chiefly in conformity with God's will and obedience to His command, although it be contrary to the wonted mode of virtue. Accordingly, then, the command given to Abraham to slay his innocent son was not contrary to justice, since God is the author of life and death. Nor again was it contrary to justice that He commanded the Jews to take things belonging to the Egyptians, because all things are His, and He gives them to whom He will. Nor was it contrary to chastity that Hosea was commanded to take an adulteress, because God Himself is the ordainer of human generation, and the right manner of intercourse with woman is that which He appoints. Hence it is evident that the persons aforesaid did not sin, either by obeying God or by willing to obey Him.
Ad tertium dicendum quod etsi non semper teneatur homo velle quod Deus vult, semper tamen tenetur velle quod Deus vult eum velle. Et hoc homini praecipue innotescit per praeceptum divinum. Et ideo tenetur homo in omnibus divinis praeceptis obedire. Reply to Objection 3: Though man is not always bound to will what God wills, yet he is always bound to will what God wills him to will. This comes to man's knowledge chiefly through God's command, wherefore man is bound to obey God's commands in all things.

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Whether subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod subditi teneantur suis superioribus in omnibus obedire. Dicit enim apostolus, ad Coloss. III, filii, obedite parentibus per omnia. Et postea subdit, servi, obedite per omnia dominis carnalibus. Ergo, eadem ratione, alii subditi debent suis praelatis in omnibus obedire. Objection 1: It seems that subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. For the Apostle says (Col. 3:20): "Children, obey your parents in all things," and farther on (Col. 3:22): "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh." Therefore in like manner other subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things.
Praeterea, praelati sunt medii inter Deum et subditos, secundum illud Deut. V, ego sequester et medius fui inter Deum et vos in tempore illo, ut annuntiarem vobis verba eius. Sed ab extremo in extremum non pervenitur nisi per medium. Ergo praecepta praelati sunt reputanda tanquam praecepta Dei. Unde et apostolus dicit, Gal. IV, sicut Angelum Dei accepistis me, sicut Christum Iesum; et I ad Thess. II, cum accepissetis a nobis verbum auditus Dei, accepistis illud non ut verbum hominum, sed, sicut vere est, verbum Dei. Ergo sicut Deo debet homo in omnibus obedire, ita etiam et praelatis. Objection 2: Further, superiors stand between God and their subjects, according to Dt. 5:5, "I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you at that time, to show you His words." Now there is no going from extreme to extreme, except through that which stands between. Therefore the commands of a superior must be esteemed the commands of God, wherefore the Apostle says (Gal. 4:14): "You... received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus" and (1 Thess. 2:13): "When you had received of us the word of the hearing of God, you received it, not as the word of men, but, as it is indeed, the word of God." Therefore as man is bound to obey God in all things, so is he bound to obey his superiors.
Praeterea, sicut religiosi profitendo vovent castitatem et paupertatem, ita et obedientiam. Sed religiosus tenetur quantum ad omnia servare castitatem et paupertatem. Ergo similiter quantum ad omnia tenetur obedire. Objection 3: Further, just as religious in making their profession take vows of chastity and poverty, so do they also vow obedience. Now a religious is bound to observe chastity and poverty in all things. Therefore he is also bound to obey in all things.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Act. V, obedire oportet Deo magis quam hominibus. Sed quandoque praecepta praelatorum sunt contra Deum. Ergo non in omnibus praelatis est obediendum. On the contrary, It is written (Acts 5:29): "We ought to obey God rather than men." Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, obediens movetur ad imperium praecipientis quadam necessitate iustitiae, sicut res naturalis movetur ex virtute sui motoris necessitate naturae. Quod autem aliqua res naturalis non moveatur a suo motore, potest contingere dupliciter. Uno modo, propter impedimentum quod provenit ex fortiori virtute alterius moventis, sicut lignum non comburitur ab igne si fortior vis aquae impediat. Alio modo, ex defectu ordinis mobilis ad motorem, quia etsi subiiciatur eius actioni quantum ad aliquid, non tamen quantum ad omnia, sicut humor quandoque subiicitur actioni caloris quantum ad calefieri, non autem quantum ad exsiccari sive consumi. Et similiter ex duobus potest contingere quod subditus suo superiori non teneatur in omnibus obedire. Uno modo, propter praeceptum maioris potestatis. Ut enim dicitur Rom. XIII, super illud, qui resistunt, ipsi sibi damnationem acquirunt, dicit Glossa, si quid iusserit curator, numquid tibi faciendum est si contra proconsulem iubeat? Rursum, si quid ipse proconsul iubeat, et aliud imperator, numquid dubitatur, illo contempto, illi esse serviendum? Ergo, si aliud imperator, aliud Deus iubeat, contempto illo, obtemperandum est Deo. Alio modo, non tenetur inferior suo superiori obedire, si ei aliquid praecipiat in quo ei non subdatur. Dicit enim Seneca, in III de Benefic., errat si quis existimat servitutem in totum hominem descendere. Pars eius melior excepta est. Corpora obnoxia sunt et adscripta dominis, mens quidem est sui iuris. Et ideo in his quae pertinent ad interiorem motum voluntatis, homo non tenetur homini obedire, sed solum Deo. I answer that, As stated above (Articles [1],4), he who obeys is moved at the bidding of the person who commands him, by a certain necessity of justice, even as a natural thing is moved through the power of its mover by a natural necessity. That a natural thing be not moved by its mover, may happen in two ways. First, on account of a hindrance arising from the stronger power of some other mover; thus wood is not burnt by fire if a stronger force of water intervene. Secondly, through lack of order in the movable with regard to its mover, since, though it is subject to the latter's action in one respect, yet it is not subject thereto in every respect. Thus, a humor is sometimes subject to the action of heat, as regards being heated, but not as regards being dried up or consumed. In like manner there are two reasons, for which a subject may not be bound to obey his superior in all things. First on account of the command of a higher power. For as a gloss says on Rm. 13:2, "They that resist [Vulg.: 'He that resisteth'] the power, resist the ordinance of God" (cf. St. Augustine, De Verb. Dom. viii). "If a commissioner issue an order, are you to comply, if it is contrary to the bidding of the proconsul? Again if the proconsul command one thing, and the emperor another, will you hesitate, to disregard the former and serve the latter? Therefore if the emperor commands one thing and God another, you must disregard the former and obey God." Secondly, a subject is not bound to obey his superior if the latter command him to do something wherein he is not subject to him. For Seneca says (De Beneficiis iii): "It is wrong to suppose that slavery falls upon the whole man: for the better part of him is excepted." His body is subjected and assigned to his master but his soul is his own. Consequently in matters touching the internal movement of the will man is not bound to obey his fellow-man, but God alone.
Tenetur autem homo homini obedire in his quae exterius per corpus sunt agenda. In quibus tamen etiam, secundum ea quae ad naturam corporis pertinent, homo homini obedire non tenetur, sed solum Deo, quia omnes homines natura sunt pares, puta in his quae pertinent ad corporis sustentationem et prolis generationem. Unde non tenentur nec servi dominis, nec filii parentibus obedire de matrimonio contrahendo vel virginitate servanda, aut aliquo alio huiusmodi. Sed in his quae pertinent ad dispositionem actuum et rerum humanarum, tenetur subditus suo superiori obedire secundum rationem superioritatis, sicut miles duci exercitus in his quae pertinent ad bellum; servus domino in his quae pertinent ad servilia opera exequenda; filius patri in his quae pertinent ad disciplinam vitae et curam domesticam; et sic de aliis. Nevertheless man is bound to obey his fellow-man in things that have to be done externally by means of the body: and yet, since by nature all men are equal, he is not bound to obey another man in matters touching the nature of the body, for instance in those relating to the support of his body or the begetting of his children. Wherefore servants are not bound to obey their masters, nor children their parents, in the question of contracting marriage or of remaining in the state of virginity or the like. But in matters concerning the disposal of actions and human affairs, a subject is bound to obey his superior within the sphere of his authority; for instance a soldier must obey his general in matters relating to war, a servant his master in matters touching the execution of the duties of his service, a son his father in matters relating to the conduct of his life and the care of the household; and so forth.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hoc quod apostolus dixit, per omnia, intelligendum est quantum ad illa quae pertinent ad ius patriae vel dominativae potestatis. Reply to Objection 1: When the Apostle says "in all things," he refers to matters within the sphere of a father's or master's authority.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Deo subiicitur homo simpliciter quantum ad omnia, et interiora et exteriora, et ideo in omnibus ei obedire tenetur. Subditi autem non subiiciuntur suis superioribus quantum ad omnia, sed quantum ad aliqua determinate. Et quantum ad illa, medii sunt inter Deum et subditos. Quantum ad alia vero, immediate subduntur Deo, a quo instruuntur per legem naturalem vel scriptam. Reply to Objection 2: Man is subject to God simply as regards all things, both internal and external, wherefore he is bound to obey Him in all things. On the other hand, inferiors are not subject to their superiors in all things, but only in certain things and in a particular way, in respect of which the superior stands between God and his subjects, whereas in respect of other matters the subject is immediately under God, by Whom he is taught either by the natural or by the written law.
Ad tertium dicendum quod religiosi obedientiam profitentur quantum ad regularem conversationem, secundum quam suis praelatis subduntur. Et ideo quantum ad illa sola obedire tenentur quae possunt ad regularem conversationem pertinere. Et haec est obedientia sufficiens ad salutem. Si autem etiam in aliis obedire voluerint, hoc pertinebit ad cumulum perfectionis, dum tamen illa non sint contra Deum, aut contra professionem regulae; quia talis obedientia esset illicita. Reply to Objection 3: Religious profess obedience as to the regular mode of life, in respect of which they are subject to their superiors: wherefore they are bound to obey in those matters only which may belong to the regular mode of life, and this obedience suffices for salvation. If they be willing to obey even in other matters, this will belong to the superabundance of perfection; provided, however, such things be not contrary to God or to the rule they profess, for obedience in this case would be unlawful.
Sic ergo potest triplex obedientia distingui, una sufficiens ad salutem, quae scilicet obedit in his ad quae obligatur; alia perfecta, quae obedit in omnibus licitis; alia indiscreta, quae etiam in illicitis obedit. Accordingly we may distinguish a threefold obedience; one, sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey: secondly, perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful: thirdly, indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.

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Whether Christians are bound to obey the secular powers?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christiani non teneantur saecularibus potestatibus obedire. Quia super illud Matth. XVII, ergo liberi sunt filii, dicit Glossa, si in quolibet regno filii illius regis qui regno illi praefertur sunt liberi, tunc filii regis cui omnia regna subduntur, in quolibet regno liberi esse debent. Sed Christiani per fidem Christi facti sunt filii Dei, secundum illud Ioan. I, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, his qui credunt in nomine eius. Ergo non tenentur potestatibus saecularibus obedire. Objection 1: It seems that Christians are not bound to obey the secular power. For a gloss on Mt. 17:25, "Then the children are free," says: "If in every kingdom the children of the king who holds sway over that kingdom are free, then the children of that King, under Whose sway are all kingdoms, should be free in every kingdom." Now Christians, by their faith in Christ, are made children of God, according to Jn. 1:12: "He gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in His name." Therefore they are not bound to obey the secular power.
Praeterea, Rom. VII dicitur, mortificati estis legi per corpus Christi, et loquitur de lege divina veteris testamenti. Sed minor est lex humana, per quam homines potestatibus saecularibus subduntur, quam lex divina veteris testamenti. Ergo multo magis homines, per hoc quod sunt facti membra corporis Christi, liberantur a lege subiectionis qua saecularibus principibus adstringebantur. Objection 2: Further, it is written (Rm. 7:4): "You... are become dead to the law by the body of Christ," and the law mentioned here is the divine law of the Old Testament. Now human law whereby men are subject to the secular power is of less account than the divine law of the Old Testament. Much more, therefore, since they have become members of Christ's body, are men freed from the law of subjection, whereby they were under the power of secular princes.
Praeterea, latronibus, qui per violentiam opprimunt, homines obedire non tenentur. Sed Augustinus dicit, IV de Civ. Dei, remota iustitia, quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia? Cum igitur dominia saecularia principum plerumque cum iniustitia exerceantur, vel ab aliqua iniusta usurpatione principium sumpserint, videtur quod non sit principibus saecularibus obediendum a Christianis. Objection 3: Further, men are not bound to obey robbers, who oppress them with violence. Now, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei iv): "Without justice, what else is a kingdom but a huge robbery?" Since therefore the authority of secular princes is frequently exercised with injustice, or owes its origin to some unjust usurpation, it seems that Christians ought not to obey secular princes.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Tit. III, admone illos principibus et potestatibus subditos esse; et I Pet. II, subiecti estote omni humanae creaturae propter Deum, sive regi, quasi praecellenti; sive ducibus, tanquam ab eo Missis. On the contrary, It is written (Titus 3:1): "Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers," and (1 Pt. 2:13,14): "Be ye subject... to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him."
Respondeo dicendum quod fides Christi est iustitiae principium et causa, secundum illud Rom. III, iustitia Dei per fidem Iesu Christi. Et ideo per fidem Christi non tollitur ordo iustitiae, sed magis firmatur. Ordo autem iustitiae requirit ut inferiores suis superioribus obediant, aliter enim non posset humanarum rerum status conservari. Et ideo per fidem Christi non excusantur fideles quin principibus saecularibus obedire teneantur. I answer that, Faith in Christ is the origin and cause of justice, according to Rm. 3:22, "The justice of God by faith of Jesus Christ:" wherefore faith in Christ does not void the order of justice, but strengthens it." Now the order of justice requires that subjects obey their superiors, else the stability of human affairs would cease. Hence faith in Christ does not excuse the faithful from the obligation of obeying secular princes.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, servitus qua homo homini subiicitur ad corpus pertinet, non ad animam, quae libera manet. Nunc autem, in statu huius vitae, per gratiam Christi liberamur a defectibus animae, non autem a defectibus corporis, ut patet per apostolum, Rom. VII, qui dicit de seipso quod mente servit legi Dei, carne autem legi peccati. Et ideo illi qui fiunt filii Dei per gratiam, liberi sunt a spirituali servitute peccati, non autem a servitute corporali, qua temporalibus dominis tenentur adstricti, ut dicit Glossa, super illud I ad Tim. VI, quicumque sunt sub iugo servi, et cetera. Reply to Objection 1: As stated above (Article [5]), subjection whereby one man is bound to another regards the body; not the soul, which retains its liberty. Now, in this state of life we are freed by the grace of Christ from defects of the soul, but not from defects of the body, as the Apostle declares by saying of himself (Rm. 7:23) that in his mind he served the law of God, but in his flesh the law of sin. Wherefore those that are made children of God by grace are free from the spiritual bondage of sin, but not from the bodily bondage, whereby they are held bound to earthly masters, as a gloss observes on 1 Tim. 6:1, "Whosoever are servants under the yoke," etc.
Ad secundum dicendum quod lex vetus fuit figura novi testamenti, et ideo debuit cessare, veritate veniente. Non autem est simile de lege humana, per quam homo subiicitur homini. Et tamen etiam ex lege divina homo tenetur homini obedire. Reply to Objection 2: The Old Law was a figure of the New Testament, and therefore it had to cease on the advent of truth. And the comparison with human law does not stand because thereby one man is subject to another. Yet man is bound by divine law to obey his fellow-man.
Ad tertium dicendum quod principibus saecularibus intantum homo obedire tenetur, inquantum ordo iustitiae requirit. Et ideo si non habeant iustum principatum sed usurpatum, vel si iniusta praecipiant, non tenentur eis subditi obedire, nisi forte per accidens, propter vitandum scandalum vel periculum. Reply to Objection 3: Man is bound to obey secular princes in so far as this is required by order of justice. Wherefore if the prince's authority is not just but usurped, or if he commands what is unjust, his subjects are not bound to obey him, except perhaps accidentally, in order to avoid scandal or danger.

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