Authors/Augustine/De libero arbitrio/L3

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LIBER TERTIUS > BOOK THREE THE CAUSE OF SIN LIES IN THE WILL
3.1.1.1
EVODIUS. Quoniam satis mihi manifestatum est inter bona et ea quidem non minima numerandam esse liberam voluntatem ex quo etiam fateri cogimur eam divinitus datam esse darique oportuisse, iam si oportunum existimas cupio per te cognoscere unde ille motus existat quo ipsa voluntas avertitur a communi atque incommutabili bono et ad propria vel aliena vel infima atque omnia commutabilia bona convertitur. E.It is fairly clear to me that free will must be counted among goods, and not among the least of them, and therefore we are bound to agree that God gave it, and that it was rightly given. If you think this is a convenient time, I should like you to tell me what is the cause of that movement by which this will turns away from the unchangeable good which is common to all, and turns towards private goods, whether belonging to others or below it, indeed to all changeable goods. 1
3.1.1.2
AUGUSTINUS. Quid enim opus est hoc scire? A. What need is there to know this?
EVODIUS. Quia si ita data est ut naturalem habeat istum motum, iam necessitate ad haec convertitur, neque ulla culpa deprehendi potest ubi natura necessitasque dominatur. E. Because, if the will which we are given, of its very nature moves as it does, it cannot help turning in this direction. There cannot be any fault, if nature and necessity compel it.
AUGUSTINUS. Placetne tibi iste motus an displicet? A. Do you like this movement, or dislike it?
EVODIUS. Displicet. E. I dislike it.
AUGUSTINUS. Reprehendis ergo eum. A. Then you blame it.
EVODIUS. Utique reprehendo. E. Yes, I blame it.
AUGUSTINUS. Reprehendis igitur animi motum inculpabilem. A. So you blame an inculpable movement of the soul.
EVODIUS. Inculpabilem animi motum non reprehendo, sed nescio an ulla culpa sit relicto incommutabili bono ad commutabilia converti. E. I do not blame an inculpable movement of the soul. I do not know whether there is any fault when it leaves the unchangeable good, and turns to changeable goods.
AUGUSTINUS. Reprehendis ergo quod nescis. A. Then you blame what you do not know. >
EVODIUS. Noli verbo premere. ita enim dixi 'nescio an ulla culpa sit,, ut intellegi voluerim sine dubio culpam esse. Nam hoc verbo quod dixi 'nescio', satis profecto inrisi dubitationem de re manifesta. E. Do not quibble about a phrase. Though I said: I do not know whether there is any fault, yet I really meant that undoubtedly there is a fault. By my way of saying it I ridiculed any doubt about a matter so clear.
3.1.1.3
AUGUSTINUS. Vide quid sit certissima veritas, quae te coegit tam cito oblivisci quod paulo ante dixisti. Si cnim natura vel necessitate iste motus existit, culpabilis esse nullo pacto potest. Tu vero esse culpabilem ita firmissime tenes ut dubitationem de hac re tam certa etiam inridendam putaveris. Cur ergo tibi vel affirmandum vel certe cum aliqua dubitatione dicendum visum est, quod perspicue falsum esse ipse convincis? 3.1.1.4 Dixisti enim: Si ita data est voluntas libera ut naturalem habeat istum motum, iam necessitate ad haec convertitur, neque ulla culpa deprehendi potest ubi natura necessitasque dominatur. Nullo modo autem dubitare debuisti non esse ita datam, quando istum motum culpabilem esse non dubitas. A .You see what a certain truth it is, since it makes you forget so quickly what you just said. If that movement is due to nature or necessity, it cannot deserve any blame whatever; but you hold so firmly that it does deserve blame, that you think doubt is absurd about a matter so clear. Why then do you think you ought to assert, even perhaps with some doubt, what you yourself demonstrate to be plainly false? You said: c lf the free will we are given of its very nature moves as it does, it cannot help turning in this direction. There cannot be any fault if nature and necessity compel it.' You should have known for certain that the movement is not due to the will's nature, since you are certain it deserves blame.
3.1.1.5
EVODIUS. Ego ipsum motum culpabilem dixi et ideo mihi displicere, et reprehendendum esse dubitare non possum. Animam vero quae isto motu ab incommutabili bono ad commutabilia detrahitur nego esse culpandam, si eius natura talis est ut eo necessario moveatur. E. I said that the movement deserved blame, and therefore that I disliked it, and I have no doubt it ought to be blamed. But I deny that the soul deserves blame, when this movement draws it from the unchangeable good to changeable goods, if its nature is such that the movement is necessary.
3.1.2.6
AUGUSTINUS. Cuius est iste motus quem profecto culpandum esse concedis? A.Whose is that movement, which you agree is certainly worthy of blame?
EVODIUS. Iam animo eum video, sed cuius sit nescio. E. l see it is in the soul, 3 but I do not know whose it is.
AUGUSTINUS. Numquid negas eo motu animum moveri? A. Do you deny that the soul moves with that movement? >
EVODIUS. Non nego. E.-No.
AUGUSTINUS. Negas ergo motum, quo movetur lapis, motum esse lapidis? Neque enim illum dico motum quo eum nos movemus vel aliqua vi aliena movetur, veluti cum in caelum iacitur sed eo quo ad terram nutu suo vergit et cadit. A. Then do you deny that a movement by which a stone moves is a movement of the stone? I am not speaking of the movement by which we move it, or by which any other force moves it, as for instance if it is thrown up in the air, but I am speaking of the movement by which of its own accord it falls back on the ground.
3.1.2.7
EVODIUS. Non equidem nego motum, quo ita ut dicis inclinatur et ima petit, motum esse lapidis, sed naturalem. Si autem hoc modo etiam illum motum habet anima, profecto etiam ipse naturalis est, nec ex eo quod naturaliter movetur recte vituperari potest, quia etiam si ad perniciem movetur, naturae suae tamen necessitate compellitur. Porro quia istum motum non dubitamus esse culpabilem, omnimodo negandum est esse naturalem, et ideo non est similis illi motui quo naturaliter movetur lapis. E. I do not deny that the movement by which, as you say, it turns and comes down to the ground again is a movement of the stone, but I say it is due to its nature. If the soul has the same kind of movement, it is certainly natural, and it cannot rightly be blamed for a natural movement. Even if the movement leads to its destruction, this is forced by necessity of nature. Thus, since we do not hesitate to call this movement culpable, we must absolutely deny that it is natural. Therefore it is not like the natural movement by which the stone moves.
3.1.2.8
AUGUSTINUS. Egimusne aliquid superioribus duabus disputationibus? A. Have we established anything in our two earlier discussions?
EVODIUS. Egimus sane. E. Certainly, we have.
AUGUSTINUS. Credo ergo meminisse te in prima disputatione satis esse compertum nulla re fieri mentem servam libidinis nisi propria voluntate; nam neque a superiore neque ab aequali eam posse ad hoc dedecus cogi, quia iniustum est, neque ab inferiore, quia non potest. 3.1.2.9 Restat igitur ut eius sit proprius iste motus quo fruendi voluntatem ad creaturam a creatore convertit. Qui motus si culpae deputatur -- unde qui dubitat inrisione dignus tibi visus est -- non est utique naturalis sed voluntarius, in eoque similis est illi motui quo deorsum versus lapis fertur, quod sicut iste proprius est lapidis sic ille animi; verum tamen in eo dissimilis, quod in potestate non habet lapis cohibere motum quo fertur inferius, animus vero dum non vult non ita movetur ut superioribus desertis inferiora diligat. 3.1.2.10 Et ideo lapidi naturalis est ille motus, animo vero iste voluntarius. Hinc est quod lapidem si quis dicat peccare quod pondere suo tendit in infima, non dicam ipso lapide stolidior sed profecto demens iudicatur; animum vero peccati arguimus cum eum convincimus superioribus desertis ad fruendum inferiora praeponere. 3.1.2.11 Propterea quid opus est quaerere unde iste motus existat quo voluntas avertitur ab incommutabili bono ad commutabile bonum, cum eum non nisi animi et voluntarium et ob hoc culpabilem esse fateamur omnisque de hac re disciplina utilis ad id valeat, ut eo motu improbato atque cohibito voluntatem nostram ad fruendum sempiterno bono a lapsu temporalium convertamus? A. I think you remember we were fairly satisfied in the first discussion that the mind becomes the slave of passion only through its own will. 4 It cannot be forced to a shameful act by anything above it, nor by anything equal, for this would be unjust, nor by anything below it, for this would be impossible. The movement, therefore, must be due to itself, by which it turns its will to enjoyment of the creature from enjoyment of the Creator. If > this movement is called culpableand to doubt this is, in your opinion, absurdit is certainly not natural, but voluntary. In one respect it is like the movement by which the stone comes down to the ground again, because, as the one belongs to the stone, so the other belongs to the soul; but in another respect it is unlike, because the stone is not able to check the movement by which it comes down, whereas the soul does not move against its will to leave the higher and choose the lower. 5 Hence the movement is natural to the stone, but voluntary to the soul Consequently if anyone says the stone sins because it falls down through its own weight, he is not perhaps more stupid than the stone but he is certainly considered mad. But we convict the soul of sin, when we prove that it abandons what is higher and prefers the enjoyment of what is lower. So what need is there to ask the source of that movement by which the will turns from the unchangeable good to the changeable good? We agree that it belongs only to the soul, and is voluntary and therefore culpable; and the whole value of teaching in this matter consists in its power to make us censure and check this movement, and turn our wills away from temporal things below us to enjoyment of the everlasting good. 6
3.1.3.12
EVODIUS. Video et quodam modo tango ae teneo vera esse quae dicis. Non enim quicquam tam firme atque intime sentio quam me habere voluntatem eaque me moveri ad aliquid fruendum; quid autem meum dicam prorsus non invenio si voluntas qua volo et nolo non est mea. Quapropter cui tribuendum est si quid per illam male facio nisi mihi? Cum enim bonus deus me fecerit nec bene aliquid faciam nisi per voluntatem, ad hoc potius datam esse a bono deo satis apparet. 3.1.3.13 Motus autem quo huc aut illuc voluntas convertitur, nisi esset voluntarius atque in nostra positus potestate, neque laudandus cum ad superiora neque culpandus homo esset cum ad inferiora detorquet quasi quendam cardinem voluntatis; neque omnino monendus esset ut istis neglectis aeterna vellet adipisci atque ut male nollet vivere, vellet autem bene. Hoc autem monendum non esse hominem quisquis existimat, de hominum numero exterminandus est. E.I see; I almost feel and grasp the truth of what you say. I am aware of nothing more surely and deeply than that I have a will, and by it move to enjoy something. Indeed I do not know what I > can call my own, if the will is not mine by which I assert myself for or against something. So, if I do wrong through my will, who is responsible except myself? Since a good God has made me, and I cannot do any good action except by my will, it is fairly clear that it was given for this purpose by the good God. If the movement by which the will turns in different directions were not voluntary and under our control, a man would not deserve praise or blame, when he, as it were, turns the hinge of his will up or down. 7 Nor would, it be at all necessary to warn him to leave temporal and gain eternal good, or to try to live well and not ill. Yet whoever thinks that such advice should not be given to men, ought to be banished from among men.
3.2.4.14 GOD'S FOREKNOWLEDGE
Quae cum ita sint ineffabiliter me movet quo modo fieri possit ut et deus praescius sit omnium futurorum et nos nulla necessitate peccemus. Quisquis enim dixerit aliter evenire aliquid posse quam deus ante praescivit, praescientiam dei destruere insanissima impietate molitur. 3.2.4.15 Quapropter, si praescivit deus peccaturum esse bonum hominem -- quod necesse est concedat mihi quisquis mecum omnium futurorum praescium fatetur deum -- si ergo ita est, non dico non eum faceret -- bonum enim fecit nec obesse quicquam deo posset peccatum eis quem bonum ipse fecit, immo in quo faciendo bonitatem suam ostenderat, ostendit etiam in puniendo iustitiam et liberando misericordiam -- non itaque dico, non eum faceret, sed hoc dico, quoniam peccaturum esse praesciverat, necesse erat id fieri quod futurum esse praesciebat deus. Quo modo est igitur voluntas libera ubi tam inevitabilis apparet necessitas? This being so, I am troubled exceedingly by the question how God can have foreknowledge of all future events, and yet how there can be no necessity for us to sin. If anyone says an event can happen contrary to God's foreknowledge, he is attempting to destroy the foreknowledge of God, and this is most inane and blasphemous. Hence, if God foreknew that the first man would sin and this must be granted by anyone who agrees with me that God has foreknowledge of all future events if, therefore, this is so, I do not say that God should not have created him, for He created him good, nor that his sin could in any > way be prejudicial to God, seeing that He created him good. No, in creating him God showed His goodness, and in punishing him He showed His justice, and in saving him He showed His mercy. So I do not say God should not have created him, but I say this: since God had foreknowledge that he would sin, it must have happened of necessity, because God foreknew it would happen. How, then, is the will free, when the necessity seems so inescapable?
3.2.5.16
AUGUSTINUS. Pulsasti vehementer misericordiam dei. Adsit aperiatque pulsantibus. Verumtamen maximam partem hominum ista quaestione torqueri non ob aliud crediderim nisi quia non Pie quaerunt velocioresque sunt ad excusationem quam ad confessionem peccatorum suorum. 3.2.5.17 Aut enim nullam divinam providentiam praeesse rebus humanis libenter opinantur, dumque fortuitis committunt casibus et animos et corpora sua, tradunt, se feriendos et dilaniandos libidinibus divina iudicia negantes, humana fallentes, eos a quibus accusantur fortunae patrocinio propulsare se putant, quam tamen caecam effingere ac pingere consuerunt, ut aut meliores ea sint a qua se regi arbitrantur, aut se quoque cum eadem caecitate et sentire ista fateantur et dicere. Nec enim talibus absurde etiam conceditur casibus eos agere omnia, quando agendo cadunt. Sed adversus hanc opinionem plenam stultissimi et dementissimi erroris satis, ut arbitror, secunda nostra sermocinatione dissertum est. 3.2.5.18 Alii vero quamquam negare non audeant praesidere humanae vitae providentiam dei, malunt tamen eam vel infirmam vel iniustam vel malam nefario errore credere quam sua peccata pietate supplici confiteri. 3.2.5.19 Qui omnes si persuaderi sibi paterentur ut, cum de optimo et iustissimo et potentissimo cogitant, bonitatem et iustitiam et potentiam dei longe maiorem superioremque esse crederent quam quicquid cogitatione concipiunt, considerantesque semet ipsos gratias deo se debere intellegerent, etiam si aliquid inferius eos voluisset esse quam sunt, omnibusque ossibus et medullis conscientiae suae clamarent: "Ego dixi, domine, miserere mei, cura animam meam, quoniam peccavi tibi", ita certis itineribus divinae misericordiae in sapientiam ducerentur, ut neque inventis rebus inflati neque non inventis turbulenti et cognoscendo instructiores fierent ad videndum et ad quaerendum ignorando mitiores. 3.2.5.20 Tibi vero cui hoc iam persuasum esse non dubito, vide quam facile de tam magna quaestione respondeam, cum prior interroganti pauca responderis. A. You have knocked vigorously. I hope God in His mercy will come to the door and open it as we stand knocking. 8 I think, however, that the greater part of mankind is troubled by this question only because they do not inquire in the right spirit, and are quicker to excuse their sins than to confess them. Some 9 are glad to suppose that no divine providence presides over human affairs, and, abandoning soul and body to mere chance, they deliver themselves to be buffeted and torn by passions. They deny divine justice and cheat the justice of man; they think they can get rid of their accusers through the help of Fortune. Yet they are accustomed to mould or paint Fortune as blind, so that they may be superior to her whom they believe is their ruler, or may admit that these words and feelings of theirs are equally blind. We can agree without absurdity that all their actions fall out by chance, since each is indeed a fall. However, I think we argued sufficiently in our second discussion against this foolish and unbalanced error. 10 > Others, on the other hand, while not daring to deny that God's providence governs men's lives, prefer to commit the crime and the blunder of supposing it is weak or unjust or evil, rather than humbly to confess their sins. All these people should let themselves be persuaded, when they think of that Being who is most good, just, and powerful, that the goodness, justice, and power of God are far greater than anything they can conceive. They should understand, when they reflect on themselves, that it would be their duty to thank God, even if He had willed them to be a lower kind of being than they are, and they should cry out from the very depths of their hearts: I said, O Lord, be Thou merctful to me. Heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee.^ Thus they would be led to wisdom by the sure paths of God's mercy; they would not be puffed up by success, nor depressed by failure in their inquiries; knowledge would make them more capable of seeing, 12 and ignorance more restrained in the search. I am sure that you are already persuaded of this; but notice how easily I answer so profound a problem, after you have made a few answers to my questions.
3.3.6.21
Certe enim hoc te movet et hoc miraris, quo modo non sint contraria et repugnantia, ut et deus praescius sit omnium futurorum et nos non necessitate, sed voluntate peccemus. Si enim praescius est deus, inquis, peccaturum esse hominem, llecesse est ut peccet; si autem necesse est, non ergo est in peccando voluntatis arbitrium, sed potius inevitabilis et fixa necessitas. 3.3.6.22 Qua ratiocinatione hoc videlicet ne conficiatur times, ut aut deus futurorum omnium praescius impie negetur aut, si hoc negare non possumus, fateamur non voluntate sed necessitate peccari. An aliquid aliud te movet? 3.6 This is no doubt what puzzles and troubles you,  :he apparent contradiction between saying that God has foreknowledge of all future events, and that we sin freely and not of necessity. If God has foreknowledge that man will sin, then, you say, man must necessarily sin. But if he must do so, > his sin is not a result of choice, but is rather a fixed and inevitable necessity. You fear that the conclusion of this reasoning will be either blasphemous denial of God's foreknowledge of all future events, or, if this is impossible, admission that we sin of necessity and not freely. Is there any other point which troubles you?
EVODIUS. Nihil interim aliud. E. Nothing else at present.
AUGUSTINUS. Res ergo universas quarum deus est praescius non voluntate sed necessitate fieri putas. A. So in your opinion everything foreknown by God comes about of necessity, and not freely.
EVODIUS. Omnino ita puto. E. I certainly think so.
3.3.6.23
AUGUSTINUS. Expergiscere tandem teque ipsum paululum intuere et dic mihi, si potes, qualem sis habiturus cras voluntatem, utrum peccandi an recte faciendi. A. Pay attention, then, reflect and tell me, if you can, what will be your will tomorrow to do wrong or right?
EVODIUS. Nescio. E.I do not know.
AUGUSTINUS. Quid? deum itidem nescire hoc putas? A. But do you think God does not know?
EVODIUS. Nullo modo id putaverim. E. Certainly not.
AUGUSTINUS. Si ergo voluntatem tuam crastinam novit et omnium hominum, sive qui sunt sive qui futuri sunt, et futuras praevidet voluntates, multo magis praevidet quid de iustis impiisque facturus sit. A. Then, if He knows what you will will tomorrow, and foresees what all men will will in the future, whether they exist now or will exist, far more does He foresee what He will do to the just and to the unjust.
EVODIUS. Prorsus si meorum operum praescium deum dico, multo fidentius eum dixerim praescire opera sua et quid sit facturus certissime praevidere. E.Of course, if I say God foreknows my actions, I should say much more confidently that He foreknows His own actions, and foresees clearly what He will do.
3.3.6.24
AUGUSTINUS. Nonne igitur caves ne tibi dicatur etiam ipsum quaecumque facturus est non voluntate sed necessitate facturum, si omnia quorum praescius deus est necessitate fiunt, non [vo?]luntate? A. Then are you not afraid of the retort that He too will act of necessity and not freely, if everything that God foreknows happens of necessity and not freely?
EVODIUS. Ego cum dicerem necessitate universa fieri quae deus futura praescivit, ea sola intuebar quae in creatura eius fiunt, non autem quae in ipso. Non enim ea fiunt, sed sunt sempiterna. E. When I said that everything happened of necessity which God foreknew, I was referring > only to what happens in creation, not to what happens in God Himself. Things do not happen in God, but have eternal being.
AUGUSTINUS. Nihil ergo in sua creatura operatur deus. A. So God does nothing in His creation?
3.3.6.25
EVODIUS. Iam semel statuit quem ad modum feratur ordo eius universitatis quam condidit; neque enim aliquid noua voluntate administrat. E. He has fixed once for all the order of events in the created universe; He does not make new decisions.
AUGUSTINUS. Numquid neminem beatum facit? A. Does He not make anyone happy?
EVODIUS. Facit vero. E. -Certainly He does.
AUGUSTINUS. Tunc utique facit quando ille fit. A .Then He is responsible, when the man becomes happy.
EVODIUS. Ita est. E.-Yes.
AUGUSTINUS. Si igitur verbi gratia post annum beatus futurus es, post annum te beatum facturus est. A. Then, if, for instance, you will be happy a year from now, He will make you happy a year hence.
EVODIUS. Etiam. E.-Yes.
AUGUSTINUS. Iam ergo praescit hodie quod post annum facturus est. A So He foreknows now what He will do in a year,
EVODIUS. Semper hoc praescivit; nunc quoque hoc eum praescire consentio, si est ita futurum. E. He has always foreknown it. Now again I agree that He foreknows this, if this is what will happen.
3.3.7.26
AUGUSTINUS. Dic, quaeso, num tu creatura eius non es aut tua beatitudo non in te fiet? A. Tell me, please: are you not His creature, or will your happiness not occur in you?
EVODIUS. Immo et creatura eius sum et in me fiet quod beatus ero. E.Of course I am His creature, and my happiness will occur in me.
AUGUSTINUS. Non ergo voluntate, sed necessitate in te fiet beatitudo tua deo faciente. A. Therefore your happiness will occur in you of necessity and not freely through God's action.
EVODIUS. Voluntas illius mihi est necessitas. E. His will is my necessity.
AUGUSTINUS. Tu itaque inuitus beatus eris. A. So you will be happy against your will.
EVODIUS. Mihi si esset potestas ut essem beatus, iam profecto essem. Volo enim etiam nunc et non sum, quia non ego sed ille me beatum facit. E. If it was in my power to be happy, I should be happy now. I wish to be happy now, and am not, because it is not I but God who makes me happy. >
3.3.7.27
AUGUSTINUS. Optime de te veritas clamat. Non enim posses aliud sentire esse in potestate nostra, nisi quod cum volumus facimus. Quapropter nihil tam in nostra potestate quam ipsa voluntas est. Ea enim prorsus nullo interuallo mox ut volumus praesto est. Et ideo recte possumus dicere: 'non voluntate senescimus, sed necessitate' aut: 'non voluntate infirmamur, sed necessitate' aut: 'non voluntate morimur, sed necessitate' et si quid aliud huius modi; 'non voluntate autem volumus' quis vel delirus audeat dicere? 3.3.7.28 Quam ob rem, quamvis praesciat deus nostras voluntates futuras, non ex eo tamen conficitur ut non voluntate aliquid velimus. Nam et de beatitudine quod dixisti, non abs te ipso beatum fieri ita dixisti quasi hoc ego negaverim; sed dico, cum futurus es beatus non te inuitum, sed volentem futurum. Cum igitur praescius sit deus futurae beatitudinis tuae -- nec aliter aliquid fieri possit quam ille praescivit, alioquin nulla praescientia est -- non tamen ex eo cogimur sentire, quod absurdissimum est et longe a veritate seclusum, non te volentem beatum futurum. 3.3.7.29 Sicut autem voluntatem beatitudinis, cum esse coeperis beatus, non tibi aufert praescientia dei quae hodieque de tua futura beatitudine certa est, sic etiam voluntas cupabilis, si qua in te futura est, non propterea voluntas non erit, quoniam deus eam futuram esse praescivit. A. The voice of truth speaks clearly in what you say. You could not be aware of anything in our power, if not of our actions when we will. Nothing is so fully in our power as the will itself, for it is ready at once and without delay to act as we will. 13 We can truly say, we grow old 14 of necessity and not of our own will; or, we are ill of necessity and not of our own will; 15 or, we die of necessity and not of our own will; and so in other matters of the sort; but no one would be so mad as to venture to say, we do not will of our own will. Therefore, though God foreknows what we shall will in the future, this does not imply that we do not make use of our will. With regard to happiness, you said you do not make yourself happy, as if I denied it. I say that when you will be happy, you will be happy through your will and not against it. Because God foreknows your future happiness, and because nothing can happen otherwise than as He has foreknown to deny this would be to deny His foreknowledge it does not follow that we must suppose you will not be happy through your own will. This would be absurd, and very far from true. The foreknowledge of God, which is certain even to-day of your future happiness, does not take away your will to be happy, when you begin to be happy. So too, if your will in the future is sinful, it will not cease to be your will, because God has foreknown what will happen.
3.3.8.30
Attende enim, quaeso, quanta caecitate dicatur: 'Si praescivit deus futuram voluntatem meam, quoniam nihil potest aliter fieri quam praescivit, necesse est ut velim quod ille praescivit; si autem necesse est, non iam voluntate, sed necessitate id me velle fatendum est'. O stultitiam singularem! Quo modo ergo non potest aliud fieri quam praescivit deus, si voluntas non erit, quam voluntatem futuram ille praesciverit? 3.3.8.31 Omitto illud aeque monstruosum quod paulo ante dixi eundem hominem dicere: 'necesse est ut ita velim', qui necessitate supposita auferre nititur voluntatem. Si enim necesse est ut velit, unde volet cum voluntas non erit? I want you to realise how blind we should be if > we said: If God has foreknown my future will, because nothing can happen contrary to His forev knowledge, I must necessarily will what He has foreknown. But, if this is necessary, I must admit that I will of necessity, and not through my will. How utterly foolish this would be! How could it be true that nothing happens contrary to God's foreknowledge, if He foreknows that something will be willed, when nothing will be willed? I pass over the equally monstrous assertion, which I attributed just now to the same speaker: I am bound to will in this way. He assumes necessity, and tries to eliminate will. If he is bound to will, how can he will, if there is no will?
3.3.8.32
Quod si non hoc modo dixerit, sed dixerit se, quia necesse est ut velit, ipsam voluntatem in potestate non habere, occurretur ex eo quod ipse dixisti cum quaererem utrum inuitus beatus futurus sis. Respondisti enim, quod i am esses beatus si potestas esset, velle enim te, sed nondum posse dixisti. Vbi ego subieci de te clamasse veritatem. Non enim negare possumus habere nos potestatem, nisi dum nobis non adest quod volumus; dum autem volumus, si voluntas ipsa deest nobis, non utique volumus. 3.3.8.33 Quod si fieri non potest ut dum volumus non velimus, adest utique voluntas volentibus nec aliud quicquam est in potestate nisi quod volentibus adest. Voluntas igitur nostra nec voluntas esset nisi esset in nostra potestate. Porro quia est in potestate, libera est nobis. Non enim est nobis liberum quod in potestate non habemus, aut potest non esse quod habemus. 3.3.8.34 Ita fit ut et deum non negemus esse praescium omnium futurorum et nos tamen velimus quod volumus. Cum enim sit praescius voluntatis nostrae, cuius est praescius ipsa erit. Voluntas ergo erit, quia voluntatis est praescius. Nec voluntas esse poterit si in potestate non erit. Ergo et potestatis est praescius. 3.3.8.35 Non igitur per eius praescientiam mihi potestas adimitur; quae propterea mihi certior aderit, quia ille cuius praescienta non fallitur affuturam mihi esse praescivit. If, instead of saying this, he says his will itself is not in his power, because he is bound to will, we shall confront him with your own words, when I asked whether you would be happy against your will. You replied that you would be happy already, if it were in your power, for you said you willed it, but could not yet achieve it. I pointed out that the voice of truth spoke in you, for we cannot deny that we have the power, unless the will is absent. But when we will, if the will itself is absent, we do not will. If it is impossible that we should not will when we will, the will must be present when we will. Nothing else is in our power, if not what is present to us when we will. Our will would not be a will, if it were not in our power. Moreover, since it is in our power, it is free. What is not in our power, or may not be in our power, is not fre$ to u$ t > Hence we do not deny that God has foreknowledge of all future events, and yet that we will what we will. Since He has foreknowledge of our will, that will must exist, of which he has foreknowledge. It will be a will, because He has foreknowledge of a will. Nor could it be a will, if it were not in our power. So He has foreknowledge also of our power over it. My power is not taken away by His foreknowledge, but I shall have it all the more certainly because He whose foreknowledge is not mistaken has foreknown that I shall have it. 16
EVODIUS. Ecce iam non nego ita necesse esse fieri quaecumque praescivit deus, et ita eum peccata nostra praescire ut maneat tamen nobis voluntas libera atque in nostra posita potestate. E.l do not deny any longer that all God has foreknown comes about necessarily, and that He forethat our will remains free and in our power.
3.4.9.36 TO FORESEE SIN IS NOT TO CAUSE IT
AUGUSTINUS. Quid ergo te movet? an forte oblitus, quid prima disputatio nostra peregit, negabis nullo cogente aut superiore aut inferiore aut aequali, sed ea nos voluntate peccare? A. What, then, is your difficulty? Have you forgotten what we decided in our first discussion? Will you deny that no one compels us to sin, either above us or below us or equal to us, but that we do so through our own will?
3.4.9.37
EVODIUS. Nihil horum prorsus audeo negare. Sed tamen, fateor, nondum video quo modo sibi non adversentur haec duo, praescientia dei de peccatis nostris et nostrum in peccando liberum arbitrium. Nam et iustum deum necesse est fateamur et praescium. Sed scire vellem qua iustitia puniat peccata quae necesse est fieri, aut quo modo non sit necesse fieri quae futura esse praescivit, aut quo modo non creatori. deputandum est quidquid in eius creatura fieri necesse est. E. I do not venture to deny any of this. Yet, I admit, I do not yet see how these two, God's foreknowledge of our sins and our free will in sinning, knows our sins, yet at the same time in such a way do not contradict one another. We must admit God is just and has foreknowledge. But I should like to know how it can be just to punish sins which are bound to occur, or how future events which He has foreknown, are not bound to occur, > or how we can avoid holding the Creator responsible for what is bound to happen in His creature. 10
3.4.9.38
AUGUSTINUS. Unde tibi videtur adversum esse liberum arbitrium nostrum praescientiae dei? quia praescientia est an quia dei praescientia est? A. On what grounds do you think our free will contradicts God's foreknowledge? Because it is foreknowledge or because it is God's foreknowledge?
EVODIUS. Quia dei potius. E. More because it is God's foreknowledge.
AUGUSTINUS. Quid ergo? si tu praescires peccaturum esse aliquem, non esset necesse ut peccaret? A. Is that so? If you foreknew someone would sin, would he be bound to sin?
EVODIUS. Immo necesse esset ut peccaret. Non enim aliter esset praescientia mea nisi certa praescirem. E. Yes, he would be bound to sin. I should not have foreknowledge, unless what I foreknew was certain.
AUGUSTINUS. Non igitur quia dei praescientia est necesse est fieri quae praescierit, sed tantum modo quia praescientia est, quae si non certa praenoscit utique nulla est. A. Then it is not because God foreknows it that what He foreknows is bound to happen, but only because it is foreknowledge. If what is foreknown is not certain, there is no foreknowledge.
EVODIUS. Consentio. Sed quorsum ista? E. I agree. But what does this imply?
3.4.9.39
AUGUSTINUS. Quia, nisi fallor, non continuo tu peccare cogeres quem peccaturum esse praesclres, neque ipsa praescientia tua peccare eum cogeret quamvis sine dubio peccaturus esset; non enlm aliter id futurum esse praescires. Sicut itaque non sibi adversantur haec duo, ut tu praescientia tua noveris quod alius sua voluntate facturus est, ita deus, neminem ad peccandum cogens, praevidet tamen eos qui propria voluntate peccabunt. A. It implies, unless I am mistaken, that you would not necessarily compel a man to sin by foreknowing his sin. Your foreknowledge would not be the cause of his sin, though undoubtedly he would sin; otherwise you would not foreknow that this would happen. Therefore these two are not contradictory, your foreknowledge and someone else's free act. So too God compels no one to sin, though He foresees those who will sin by their own will.
3.4.11.40
Cur ergo non vindicet iustus quae fieri non cogit praescius? Sicut enim tu ememoria tua non cogis facta esse quae praterierunt, sic deus praescientia sua non cogit facienda quae futura sunt. Et sicut tu quaedam quae fecisti meministi nec tamen quae meministi omnia fecisti, ita deus omnia quorum ipse auctor est praescit, nec tamen omnium quae praescit ipse auctor est. Quorum autem non est malus auctor, iustus est ultor. Hinc ergo iam intellege qua iustitia deus peccata puniat, quia quae novit futura non facit. 3.4.11.41 Nam si propterea non debet retribuere supplicium peccantibus quia praevidet peccaturos, nec recte facientibus debet praemia retribuere, quia et recte facturos nihilominus praevidet. Immo vero fateamur et ad praescientiam eius pertinere ne quid eum lateat futurorum, et ad iustitiam ut peccatum, quia voluntate committitur, ita iudicio eius inpune non fiat, sicut praescientia non cogitur fieri. Why, then, should not one who is just punish what he does not compel, though he foreknows it? Wheg^yetrfememSer past events you do not compel them to have happened, and in the same way God does not compel future events to happen by > His foreknowledge of them. You remember actions you have performed, but you have not done all the actions you remember, and in the same way God foreknows everything of which He is the cause, but He is not Himself the cause of everything He foreknows. He is not the cause of evil actions, but He is their just avenger. So you may now understand how justly God punishes sin, for He does not do what He knows will happen. If He ought not to punish sinners because He foresees they will sin, neither ought He to reward those who act rightly, because equally He foresees they will act rightly. Let us then admit that His foreknowledge is such that He is aware of all future events, and His justice is such that sin, being voluntarily committed and not brought about by His foreknowledge, is judged and punished.
3.5.12.42
Iam illud quod tertio loco posuisti, quo modo non creatori deputandum sit quidquid in eius creatura fieri necesse est, regulam illam pietatis facile non movebit, quam meminisse nos convenit, gratiarum actionem nos debere creatori nostro. Cuius profecto largissima bonitas iustissime laudaretur, etiamsi aliquo inferiore creaturae gradu nos condidisset. 3.5.12.43 Quamvis enim anima nostra peccatis tabefacta sit, sublimior est tamen et melior quam si in hanc lucem visibilem verteretur. Et vides profecto de huius lucis eminentia, quantum laudent animae deum ctiam corporis sensibus deditae. Quapropter non te iam moveat quod vituperantur animae peccatrices, ut dicas in corde tuo melius fuisse si non essent. 3.5.12.44 In sui enim comparatione vituperantur, dum cogitatur quales essent si peccare noluissent. Institutor tamen earum deus praeclarissime pro humana facultate laudandus est, non solum quoniam peccantes eas iuste ordinat, sed etiam quia tales instituit ut etiam peccatis sordidatae nullo modo lucis corporalis dignitate superentur, de qua tamen laudatur. E. Let us turn to the third point you raised, why we must not hold the Creator responsible for what happens necessarily in His creation. 17 We should remember that principle of religion which tells us clearly that we ought to give thanks to our Creator. 18 It would be most just to praise His profuse generosity, even if we had been placed in a lower rank of creation. Our soul, though corrupted with sin, is higher and better than if it were changed into the light seen by our eyes. And yet you see how greatly souls, even when they have surrendered to the bodily senses, praise God for this glorious light. Therefore, do not be troubled by the blame > accorded to sinful souls, and do not say in your heart it would have been better had they never existed. They are blamed in comparison with themselves, when it is realised what they would be, if they had chosen not to sin. God, their Creator, deserves the highest praise that men can render, not only because He treats them justly when they sin, but also because He has created them with so noble a nature that, even when stained with sin, they are in no way surpassed in dignity by bodily light, for which He is also justly praised.
3.5.13.45
Illud quoque moneo caveas, ne forte non dicas quidem melius fuisse ut non essent, sed dicas aliter eas fieri debuisse. Quicquid enim tibi vera ratione melius occurrerit scias fecisse deum tamquam bonorum omnium conditorem. Non est autem vera ratio, sed inuida infirmitas, cum aliquid melius faciendum fuisse cogitaveris, iam nihil aliud inferius velle fieri, tamquam si perspecto caelo nolles terram factam esse. inique omnino. 3.5.13.46 Recte enim reprehenderes si praetermisso caelo terram factam videres, quoniam diceres ita eam fieri debuisse sicuti posses cogitare caelum. Cum ergo etiam illud ad cuius speciem volebas terram perducere factum esse perspiceres, non autem hoc terram sed caelum vocari credo quod re meliore non fraudatus, ut inferior quoque aliqua fieret et terra esset, nequaquam inuidere deberes. 3.5.13.47 In qua terra rursus secundum partes eius tanta est varietas, ut nihil quod ad terrae pertinet speciem cogitanti occurrat, quod non in tota eius mole deus omnium conditor fecerit. Namque a terra feracissima et amoenissima usque ad salsissimam et infecundissimam ita gradatim per medias pervenitur ut nullam reprehendere audeas nisi in conparatione melioris atque ita per omnes gradus laudis ascendas ut quod summum genus terrae inveneris solum tamen esse nolis. 3.5.13.48 Iam vero lnter totam terram et caelum quanta distantia est! Interponuntur enim umida flabilisque natura atque ex his quattuor elementis aliae innumerabiles nobis, numeratae autem deo rerum species formaeque variantur. I want you to be careful, too, while perhaps not going so far as to say that it would have been better had they not lived, not to say that they ought to have been made differently. For whatever reason shows you with truth to be better, be assured that God has made this, He who is the Creator of all good things/ 9 It is not good reason but the vice of envy, if you wish that the lower should not exist, because you think something higher should be created. It is as though, because you saw the heavens, you wished there should be no earth. This would be utterly wrong. You would rightly complain, if you saw the earth had been created and the heavens left out, because then you might say that it should have been made in accordance with the idea you could form of the heavens. Having seen that the design you wished to produce for the earth has been carried out, but is called the heavens instead of the earth, I think that, as you have not been deprived of something better, you should by no means feel envious, when a lesser thing is made, and earth exists. > Again there is such variety in the different parts of the earth that we can think of no earthly beauty, in its full extent, which God the Creator of all has not produced, From the fairest and richest land to the most barren and infertile, we pass so gradually from one to another, that none can be called bad except in comparison with that which is better. So you climb through all the degrees of excellence, until you reach the supreme kind of land, yet you would not wish this to exist alone. 20 Now, what a difference there is between the earth in all its expanse and heaven! Between them come liquid and air, and from these four elements are composed all the many kinds and forms of things, countless to us, but all numbered by God.
3.5.13.49
Potest ergo esse aliquid in rerum natura quod tua ratione non cogitas. Non esse autem quod vera ratione cogitas non potest. Neque enim tu potes aliquid melius in creatura cogitare quod creaturae artihcem fugerit. Humana quippe anima naturaliter divinis ex quibus pendet conexa rationibus, cum dicit: 'melius hoc fieret quam illud,, si verum dicit et videt quod dicit, in illis quibus conexa est rationibus videt. 3.5.13.50 Credat ergo deum fecisse quod vera ratione ab eo faciendum fuisse cognovit, etiam si hoc in rebus factis non videt quia etiam si caelum oculis videre non posset et tamen ratione vera tale aliquid faciendum fuisse colligeret, credere debuit factum esse, quamvis id oculis non videret. Non enim cogitatione videret fuisse faciendum, nisi in his rationiblls quibus facta sunt omnia. Quod autem ibi non est, tamen nemo potest veraci cogitatione videre quam non est verum. There may be something in nature which your reason cannot conceive, but it is impossible that a thing should not exist which you conceive truly. You cannot conceive anything better in creation, which has escaped the Creator's thought. The human soul is by nature in contact with the divine types on which it depends. When it says, this would be better than that, it sees this in the type with which it is in contact, provided it tells the truth and sees what it says it sees. It should believe, therefore, that God has done what through true reason it knows He ought to have done, even though it does not see this in actual fact. Even though man could not see the heavens with his eyes, and yet by true reason concluded that a thing of this kind ought to have been made, he should believe this had happened, though he did not see it with his eyes. He would 'not see in his thoughts > that it ought to have been done, unless he saw it in those types through which all is accomplished. What does not exist in them, one can no more truly see in his thoughts than it can have true existence.
3.5.14.51 In eo plerique homines errant, quia meliora cum mente conspexerint, non in sedibus congruis ea oculis quaerunt, velut si quisquam perfectam rotunditatem ratione conprehendens stomachetur quod talem nucem non invenit, si nullum umquam rotundum corpus praeter huiusce modi poma conspexit. 3.5.14.52 Nam ita quidam cum ratione verissima videant meliorem esse creaturam quae, quamvis habeat liberam voluntem, deo tamen semper infixa numquam peccaverit, intuentes peccata hominum non ut peccare desinant sed quia facti sunt dolent, dicentes: 'tales nos faceret ut semper incommutabili eius veritate perfrui, numquam autem peccare vellemus'. 3.5.14.53 Non clament, non suscenseant, quia neque ipsos ideo coegit peccare quia fecit quibus potestatem utrum vellent dedit, et sunt tales angeli quidam qui neque peccaverunt umquam neque peccaturi sunt. Quam ob rem is te delectat creatura quae perseuerantissima voluntate non peccat, non est dubitandum quod eam peccanti recta ratione praeponas. 3.5.14.54 Sed sicut eam tu cogitatione praeponis, sic eam creator deus ordinatione praeposuit. Crede esse talem in superioribus sedibus et in sublimitate caelorum, quia si bonitatem conditor praebuit ad eam condendam cuius praevidit futura peccata, nullo modo non praeberet eam bonitatem ut creaturam conderet quam peccaturam non esse praescivit. It is a common mistake, when something better is conceived in the mind, not to look for it in the right place. It is as though a man, grasping with his reason perfect roundness, should be annoyed not to find it in a nut, having never seen any round object except this fruit. In the same way some people see with perfect truth that a creature is better if, while possessing free will, it remains always fixed upon God and never sins; then, reflecting on men's sins, they are grieved, not because they continue to sin, but because they were created. They say: He should have made us such that we never willed to sin, but always to enjoy the unchangeable truth. They should not lament or be angry. God has not compelled men to sin just because He created them and gave them the power to choose between sinning and not sinning. There are angels who have never sinned and never will sin. If you are pleased by the creature which perseveres in the will not to sin, you must not doubt that you are right in preferring this creature to that which is sinful. But, just as you prefer it in thought, so God the Creator has preferred it in His ordering of things. You must believe that such a being exists on high in heaven. For if the Creator has shown His goodness in creating that being whose future sins He > foresees, He will certainly have shown His goodness in creating a being whom He foreknew would not sin.
3.5.15.55
Habet enim illa sublimis perpetuam beatitudinem suam in perpetuum fruens creatore suo, quam perpetua tenendae iustitiae voluntate promeretur. Habet deinde ordinem suum etiam ista peccatrix, amissa in peccatis beatitudine, sed non dimissa recuperandae beatitudinis facultate. Quae profecto superat eam quam peccandi perpetua Voluntas tenet; inter quam et illam priorem permanentem in voluntate iustitiae haec medietatem quandam demonstrat quae penitendi humilitate altitudinem suam recipit. 3.5.15.56 Nam neque ab illa creatura, quam praescivit deus non solum peccaturam, sed etiam in peccandi voluntate mansuram, abstinuit largitatem bonitatis suae, ut eam non conderet. Sicut enim melior est vel aberrans equus quam lapis propterea non oberrans quia proprio motu et sensu caret, ita est excellentior creatura quae libera voluntate peccat quam quae propterea non peccat quia non habet liberam voluntatem. 3.5.15.57 Et sicut laudarem vinum in suo genere bonum in quo vino inebriatum hominem vituperarem, et tamen eundem hominem iam vituperatum et adhuc ebrium laudato illi vino de quo ebrius factus est anteponerem, ita corporalis creatura in suo gradu iure laudanda est, cum illi vituperandi sint qui eius inmoderato usu a veritatis perceptione avertuntur; quamvis idem rursus iam peruersi et quodam modo temulenti eidem creaturae in ordine suo laudabili cuius aviditate euanuerunt non iam merito vitiorum sed adhuc naturae dignitate praeferunt. A sublime creature such as this has everlasting happiness, enjoying forever its Creator, and deserving this by its constant will to uphold justice. Then too the sinful creature has its appointed place, for, though it has lost happiness through its sin, it has not given up the power to recover happiness. It excels indeed the creature possessed forever by a will to sin; between the latter and that other which is constant in its will for justice, this stands in the middle, recovering its position through the humility of penance. Such is the generosity of God's goodness that He has not refrained from creating even that creature which He foreknew would not only sin, but remain in the will to sin. 21 As a runaway horse is better than a stone which does not run away because it lacks self-movement and sense perception, so the creature is more excellent which sins by free will than that which does not sin only because it has no free will. I should praise wine as a thing good of its kind, and I should blame a man who was drunk with this wine, and yet, while praising the wine through which he was drunk, I should rank higher the man whom I had blamed and while he was drunk. So that which has been created a bodily thing, deserves praise in its proper rank, while those deserve blame who, through immoderate use of it, turn away from the perception of truth. Yet even these, depraved and drunken, are > nobler than this other thing, laudable in its own rank, greediness for which caused their ruin; but not owing to their vices, but to the dignity of their lasting nature.
3.5.16.58
Quia igitur omnis anima omni corpore omnisque peccatrix anima quocumque ceciderit nulla commutatione corpus efficitur nec omnino illi aufertur quod anima est et ideo nulla pacto amittit quod corpore est melior, in corporibus autem lux tenet primum locum, consequens est ut primo corpori anima extrema praeponatur fierique possit, ut corpori alicuius animae aliquod aliud corpus anteferatur, ut autem ipsi animae, nullo modo. 3.5.16.59 Cur ergo non laudetur deus et ineffabili praedicatione laudetur, qui, cum fecerit eas quae in legibus essent iustitiae permansurae, fecit etiam alias animas, quas vel peccaturas vel in peccatis etiam perseueraturas esse praevidebat? cum adhuc et tales meliores sint eis quae, quoniam nullum habent rationale ac liberum voluntatis arbitrium, peccare non possunt. Quae tamen adhuc etiam ipsae meliores sunt quam corporum quorumlibet quamlibet splendidissimus fulgor, quem pro ipsius summi dei substantia quidam, quamvis cum magno errore, venerantur. 3.5.16.60 Quod si in ordine corporearum creaturarum ab ipsis sidereis choris usque ad numerum capillorum nostrorum ita gradatim bonarum rerum pulchritudo contexitur ut inperitissime dicatur: 'quid est hoc? utquid hoc?' -- omnia enim in ordine suo creata sunt -- quantum inperitius de quacumque anima dicitur, quae, ad quantamlibet sui decoris deminutionem defectumque peruenerit, omnium corporum dignitatem sine ulla dubitatione superabit! Therefore the soul is always superior to the body, and no sinful soul, whatever its fall, is ever changed into a body; its nature as a soul is never entirely taken away, and so it never ceases to be superior to a body. Among bodies light holds the first place. Consequently the lowest soul should be ranked above the highest body, and while it is possible that some other body ranks higher than the body united to a soul, no body ranks higher than the soul itself. Why, then, should not God be praised, praised indeed beyond utterance, since He has made souls which will abide by the laws of justice, and has made other souls which He has foreseen will sin or even persevere in sin, for even these latter are better than those creatures which cannot sin because they have no rational and free choice of will? These latter again are better than the brightest splendour of any bodily thing whatever, a splendour which some men worship, most erroneously, as the substance of Almighty God Himself. 22 In the order of bodily creatures, from the choirs of the stars to the number of our hairs, the beauty of these good things is so graduated that it would be foolish to ask why this or that exists. All things are created in their proper order. How much more foolish would it be to ask the same question about a soul, since, in whatever degree its > beauty is lessened or maimed, without doubt it will always 23 surpass in dignity any bodily thing!
3.5.17.61
Aliter enim aestimat ratio aliter usus. Ratio aestimat luce veritatis, ut recto iudicio subdat minora maioribususus autem consuetudine commoditatis plerumque inclinatur, ut ea pluris aestimet quae veritas minora esse convincit. Cum enim corpora caelestia corporibus terrestribus magna differentia ratio praeponat, quis tamen carnalium hominum non mallet vel plura deesse in caelo sidera quam unam arbusculam in agro suo aut uaccam in armento? [[[#n62|3.5.17.62]] Sed sicut aetate maiores homines vel omnino contemnunt vel certe patienter corrigenda exspectant iudicia paruulorum, qui exceptis quibusdam quorum amore laetantur quemlibet hominum caeterorum mori malunt quam passerem suum -- et multo magis si homo sit ille terribilis, passer autem canorus et pulcher -- ita hi qui provectu animi ad sapientiam profecerunt, inperitos rerum existimatores cum invenerint deum laudantes in creaturis minoribus, qui eas carnalibus suis sensibus accomodatius adhibent, in superioribus vero atque melioribus partim eum non laudantes minusue laudantes, partim etiam vituperare aut emendare conantes, partim non credentes quod earum ille sit conditor, talium iudicia vel omnino contemnere, si corrigere nequeunt, vel donec corrigant aequo animo tolerare ac sustinere consuescant. Reason and utility have different standards of judgment. Reason judges by the light of truth, and with right judgment it puts the lesser below the greater. Utility is influenced for the most part by habitual convenience, and judges that to be higher which truth proves to be of less value. Reason ranks the heavenly bodies far above the earthly bodies. Yet what carnal man would not prefer that many stars should be lacking in heaven, rather than that a single bush should be lacking in his field or a single cow in his herd? Grown-up people either disregard, or at least patiently await the correction of, the judgments of children who prefer the death of anybody and everybody, with the exception of some few near and dear to them, to the death of their sparrow; and that all the more if the person in question frightens them, and a sparrow is beautiful and sings. So too those who judge ignorantly, praise God for lesser creatures, since they appreciate them better with their bodily senses, and praise Him little, if at all, for higher and better creatures, or even try to blame Him and suggest improvements, or believe He is not their Creator. When men, who with the growth of the soul have advanced towards wisdom, find this, they should accustom themselves either to disregard such judgments altogether, if they cannot correct them, or to endure them calmly until they can correct them.
3.6.18.63
Quae cum ita sese habeant, tantum abest a vero quod creatori deputanda existimantur peccata creaturae, quamvis necesse est fiant quae ipse futura praescivit, ut cum, tu dixeris non te invenire quomodo non ei deputetur quicquid in eius creatura fieri necesse est, ego contra non in veniam modum neque inveniri posse atque omnino non esse confirmem, quo ei deputetur quicquid in eius creatura ita fieri necesse est ut voluntate peccantium fiat. 3.6.18.64 Si enim quis dixerit: 'Non esse quam miserum esse me mallem' respondebo: 'Mentiris. Nam et nunc miser es nec ob aliud mori non vis nisi ut sis, ita cum miser nolis esse, esse vis tamen. Age igitur gratias ex eo quod es volens, ut quod inuitus es auferatur. Volens enim es et miser inuitus es. Quod si ingratus es in eo quod esse vis, iure cogeris esse quod non vis. Ex illo igitur quod etiam ingratus habes quos vis, creatoris laudo bonitatem; ex illo autem quod ingratus pateris quod non vis, ordinatoris laudo iustitiam.' This being so, we are far from the truth if we > hold the Creator responsible for the sins of the creature, even though what He foreknows is bound to happen. You say you do not see how you can help holding Him responsible for what is bound to happen in His creature: but I on the contrary do not find any ground and I assert none can be found, indeed, none exists for holding Him responsible for what is bound to happen in His creature, coming about as it does through a sinful will. If anyone should say, I should prefer to have no existence rather than an unhappy existence, I answer: That is a lie. You are unhappy now, yet you do not wish to die, only because you wish to exist. Though you do not wish to be unhappy, nevertheless you wish to exist. Be thankful that you have your wish to exist, in order that you may be delivered from the existence you have against your wish. You exist according to your will, and you exist unhappily against your will. But if you are ungrateful for being granted your wish to exist, you are rightly compelled to exist as you do not wish. Therefore I praise the goodness of the Creator because you have what you wish, though you are ungrateful for it; I praise the justice of what He ordains, in that you endure ungratefully what you do not wish.
3.6.19.65
Si dixerit: 'Non ideo mori nolo quod malim miseresse quam omnino non esse, sed ne post mortem miserior sim', respondebo: 'Si hoc iniustum est, non sic eris, si autem hoc iustum est, laudemus eum cuius legibus sic eris.' Si dixerit: 'Unde praesumam quod si hoc iniustum est non sic ero?' respondebo: 'Quia si eris in tua potestate, aut miser non eris aut tu ipse te iniuste regendo iuste eris miser. 3.6.19.66 Aut volendo et non valendo te iuste regere non eris in tua potestate, et aut in nullius eris aut in alterius, si in nullius aut inuitus aut volens; sed inuitus esse nihil potes nisi te vis aliqua superaverit, porro nulla vi superari potest qui est in nullius potestate; si autem volens in nullius eris potestate ad hoc ratio recurrit ut sis in tua et aut te iniuste regendo iuste miser sis, aut quolliam quodlibet volens eris habes adhuc unde gratias agas bonitati conditoris tui. 3.6.19.67 Quod si in tua potestate non eris, aut potentior profecto aut infirmior te habebit in potestate. Quod si infirmior, tua culpa et iusta miseria, poteris enim infirmiorem superare si voles , si autem potentior te infirmiorem habebit in potestate, nullo modo tam rectam ordinationem recte iniustam putabis.' Verissime igitur dictum est: 'Si hoc iniustum est, non sic eris, si autem iustum, laudemus eum cuius legibus sic eris.' If he should say, I do not wish to die because I prefer to exist unhappily than not to exist at all, but because I do not wish to be still more unhappy after death, I reply: If this is unjust, you will not > be unhappy; but if it is just, let us praise Him by whose law this will be the case. If he says: How am I to know that I shall not be unhappy, if this is unjust, I answer: If you have power over yourself, either you will not be unhappy, or you will be unhappy justly, because you have governed yourself unjustly. Or else, having the will and not the strength to govern yourself justly, you are not in your own power, but in that of no one at all or of someone else. If you are in no one's power, this is either against your will or according to your will; but it cannot be against your will, unless some force has conquered you, yet no force can conquer you if you are in no one's power. And if through your own will you are in no one's power, again we must conclude that you are in your own. Thus, either you are unhappy justly by governing yourself unjustly, or whatever happens to you is according to your will, and you have cause to give thanks to the goodness of your Creator. If you are not in your own power, either a stronger power or a weaker controls you. If a weaker, it is your own fault, and your unhappiness is just, for you could overcome a weaker power if you wished. If a stronger power controls you and you are weaker, by no means will you be right in thinking so rightful a disposition unjust. Hence it is quite true to say: If this is unjust, you will not be unhappy; but if it is just, let us praise Him by whose law this will be the case.
3.7.20.68
Si dixerit: 'Ideo magis volo vel miser esse quam omnino non esse quia iam sum, si autem priusquam essem possem consuli, eligerem non esse potius quam ut essem miser. Nunc enim quod timeo non esse cum miser sim ad ipsam miseriam pertinet qua non id volo quod velle deberem; magis enim non esse quam miser esse velle deberem. 3.7.20.69 Nunc vero fateor me quidem malle vel miserum esse quam nihil; sed tanto stultius id volo quanto miserius, tanto autem miserius quanto verius video non hoc me velle debuisse,' respondebo: 'Cave potius ne hic erres ubi te videre verum putas. Nam si beatus esse, utique esse quam non esse malles; et nunc miser cum sis, mavis tamen esse vel miser quam omnino non esse, cum esse nolis miser. 3.7.20.70 Considera igitur, quantum potes, quam magnum bonum sit ipsum esse, quod et beati et miseri volunt. Nam si hoc bene consideraveris, videbis in tantum te esse miserum in quantum non propinquas ei quod summe est, in tantum autem putare melius esse ut quisque non sit quam ut miser sit in quantum non vides quod summe est, et ideo tamen esse te velle quoniam ab illo es qui summe est.' Let us suppose that he says: I prefer to be unhappy than not to exist at all, because I already > exist. But if I could have been consulted before I existed, I should have chosen not to exist rather than to exist unhappily. Now it contributes to my unhappiness that, although unhappy, I am afraid of not existing. I am actually not wishing what I ought to wish, for I ought to wish not to be rather than to be unhappy. I admit that now I prefer to be unhappy than not to exist; but the more foolish this wish is, the more unhappy it is, and the more unhappy, the more clearly I see I ought not to wish it. I reply: Be all the more careful not to make a mistake when you think you see the truth. If you were happy, you would certainly prefer to exist rather than not to exist. Now, however, when you are unhappy, you prefer even to exist unhappily than not to exist at all, while at the same time not wishing to be unhappy. So do your best to consider how great a good is existence, which both the happy and the unhappy desire. If you consider this carefully, you will realise that you are unhappy in the degree in which you fail to approach that which exists supremely, that you prefer non-existence to unhappy existence in the degree in which you fail to see that which exists supremely, and therefore that you wish to exist in spite of this because you depend upon Him who supremely is.
3.7.21.71
Si vis itaque miseriam fugere, ama in te hoc ipsum quia esse vis. Si enim magis magisque esse volueris, ei quod summe est propinquabis; et gratias age nunc quia es. Quamvis eIllm Sls beatus inferior, superior tamen es quam ea quae non habent vel beatitudinis voluntatem, quorum tamen multa etiam a miseris laudantur. Omnia tamen eo ipso quo sunt iure laudanda sunt, quia eo ipso quo sunt bona sunt. 3.7.21.72 Quanto enim amplius esse amaveris, tanto amplius vitam aeternam desiderabis teque ita formari exoptabis ut affectiones tuae non sint temporales, de temporalium rerum amoribus inustae et inpressae; quae temporalia et antequam sint non sunt, et cum sunt fugiunt, et cum fugerint non erunt. Itaque cum futura sunt, nondum sunt, cum autem praeterita sunt, iam non sunt. 3.7.21.73 Quo modo igitur tenebuntur ut maneant, quibus hoc est incipere ut sint, quod est pergere ut non sint? Qui autem amat esse probat ista in quantum sunt et amat quod semper est. Et si variabatur in amore istorum, munitur in illius; et si diffluebat in amore transeuntium, in permanentis amore solidabitur et stabit et obtinebit ipsum esse, quod volebat cum timebat non esse et stare non poterat inretitus amore fugientum. 3.7.21.74 Non ergo tibi displiceat, immo maxime placeat, quod mavis esse vel miser quam propterea miser non esse quia nihil eris. Huic enim exordio quo esse vis si adicias magis magisque esse, consurgis atque exstrueris in id quod summe est, atque ita te ab omni labe cohibebis, qua transit ut non sit quod infime est et secum amantis vires subruit. 3.7.21.75 Hinc fiet ut qui mauult non esse ne miser sit, quia non esse non potest, restet ut miser sit, qui autem plus amat esse quam odit miser esse, adiciendo ad id quod amat quod odit excludat; cum enim in suo genere perfecte esse coeperit miser non erit. If, then, you wish to avoid unhappiness, love within yourself this wish to exist. The more you wish to exist, the closer you will approach to that which exists supremely; so give thanks now that you exist. Granted that you are lower than the > happy: but you are higher than those things which do not have even the will to be happy, though many of these are praised by the unhappy. Everything is rightly praised for the very fact that it exists, for from the very fact that it exists, it is good. The more you love to exist, the more will you desire eternal life and the more you will wish to be so disposed that your inclinations be not temporal, be not marked and branded with love for temporal things. These temporal things have no existence before they exist, and while they exist they pass away, and when they have passed away they will exist no more. When they are still in the future, they do not yet exist, and when they are past, they are now no more. How then shall we hold them lastingly, seeing that the beginning of their existence is their passage into non-existence? 24 But he who loves existence appreciates these things so far as they exist, and loves that which has eternal existence. If his love of the former rendered him unstable, he will be given constancy through his love of the latter; and if he was weak through the love of passing things, he will be made strong in the love of what is lasting. He will stand firm, and he will gain that very existence which he desired when he feared non-existence, and when he could not stand firm, being caught in the love of passing things. You should, therefore, be very pleased, and by no means displeased, when you prefer even to be unhappy than not to be unhappy, because then you > would cease to exist. If to this elementary will to exist little by little you add further existence you will rise upwards towards that which exists supremely, and thus you will check any such fall as that by which the lowest in the scale of existence passes into non-existence, carrying with it the strength of its lover. Hence he who prefers not to exist rather than to exist unhappily, since his nonexistence is impossible, must exist unhappily. But he who has more love for existence than hatred for unhappiness, should get rid of what he hates by adding to it what he loves. When he begins to exist in the perfection of his nature, he will not be unhappy.
3.8.22.76
Nam illud vide quam absurde atque inconvenienter dicatur: 'Mallem non esse quam miser esse.' Qui enim dicit: 'Mallem hoc quam illud', eligit aliquid. Non esse autem non est aliquid sed nihil et ideo nullo pacto potes recte eligere, quando quod eligas non est. Dicis velle te quidem esse, cum sis miser, sed non hoc velle debuise. Quid igitur velle debuisti? 'Non esse', inquis, 'potius.' Si hoc velle debuisti, hoc est melius. 3.8.22.77 Quod autem non est melius esse non potest, non ergo id velle debuisti veraciorque sensus est quo id non vis quam opinatio per quam te id velle debuisse arbitraris. Deinde quod quisque recte eligit appetendum, cum ad id peruenerit necessc est melior fiat. Melior autem esse non poterit qui non erit, nemo igitur recte potest eligere ut non sit. 3.8.22.78 Neque enim moveri nos oportet eorum iudieio qui urguente miseria sese interemerunt. Aut enim eo confugerunt ubi melius sibi fore putarunt, et non est contrarium rationi nostrae, quoquo modo putaverint; aut si nullos se futuros omnino crediderunt, multo minus falsa electio nihil eligentium commovebit. Quo modo enim sequar eligentem, a quo si quaeram quid eligat, respondebit: 'Nihil'? Nam qui eligit non esse, profecto se nihil eligere, etiam si hoc nolit respondere, convincitur. Notice how absurd and contradictory it is to say: I should prefer not to exist rather than to exist unhappily. A man who says, I should prefer this to that, chooses something. But non-existence is not something; it is nothing. Therefore you cannot possibly make a real choice, when there is nothing for you to choose. You say you wish to exist, though you are unhappy, but that you ought not to have this wish. What, then, should you wish? Rather, you say, non-existence. If this is what you should wish, it is better; but what does not exist, cannot be better. Therefore you ought not to wish it; and the feeling by which you do not wish it, is truer than the supposition by which you think you ought to wish it. Moreover, that which a man chooses rightly as an object of desire, when attained, must make him better. But he cannot > become better if he does not exist, so that no one can be right in choosing non-existence. Nor should we be troubled by the judgment of those who through the stress of unhappiness have killed themselves. Either they have sought to find refuge where they supposed they would be better off, and this is not unreasonable, whatever view they may have held; or if they thought they would cease to exist altogether, the false choice of people choosing nothing will concern us much less. How am I to follow a man who makes a choice, and when I ask what he chooses replies, nothing? If he chooses non-existence, he is certainly proved to choose nothing, even though he be unwilling to make this answer.
3.8.23.79
Verum tamen ut de hac tota re, si potero, dicam quod sentio, nemo mihi videtur, cum se ipsum necat aut quolibet modo emori cupit, habere in sensu quod post mortem non sit futurus, tametsi aliquantum hoc in opinione habeat. Nam opinio aut in errore aut in veritate ratiocinantis est vel credentis, sensus autem aut consuetudine aut natura valet. 3.8.23.80 Posse autem fieri ut aliud sit in opinione aliud in sensu vel ex hoc cognoscere facile est, quod plerumque aliud faciendum esse credimus et aliud facere delectat. Et al iquando veracior est sensus quam opinio, si illa de errore ille de natura est, velut cum aeger plerumque aqua frigida conducibiliter delectatur, quam tamen credit si biberit esse nocituram. 3.8.23.81 Aliquando veracior opinio quam sensus, si credat arti medicinae obesse frigidam, cum re vera oberit et tamen bibere delectet. Aliquando utrumque in veritate est, cum id quod prodest non solum ita creditur sed etiam libet; aliquando utrumque in errare, cum id, quod nocet, et prodesse creditur et libere non desinet. 3.8.23.82 Solet autem et recta opinio prauam corrigere consuetudinem et praua opinio rectam deprauare naturam; tanta vis est in dominatu et principatu rationis. Cum ergo quisque credens quod post mortem non erit intolerabilibus tamen molestiis ad totam cupiditatem mortis impellitur et decernit atque arripit mortem, in opinione habet errorem omnimodae defectionis, in sensu autem naturale desiderium quietis. 3.8.23.83 Quod autem quietum est non est nihil, immo etiam magis est quam id quod inquietum est. Inquietudo enim variat affectiones ut altera alteram perimat, quies autem habet constantiam in qua maxime intellegitur quod dicitur Est. Omnis itaque ille appetitus in voluntate mortis non ut qui moritur non sit sed ut requiescat intenditur. 3.8.23.84 Ita cum errore credat non se futurum, natura tamen quietus esse, hoc est, magis esse desiderat. Quapropter sicut nullo pacto fieri potest ut non esse aliquem libeat, ita, nullo pacto fieri oportet ut ex eo quod est quisque bonitati creatoris ingratus sit. However, let me try to tell you my view on this whole matter. No one, when he kills himself or wishes to die by any other means, really feels, I think, that he will not exist after death, even though he may have some kind of opinion in the matter. But opinion is derived from the error or truth of reasoning or belief, whereas feeling takes its strength from custom or nature. We can see at once that a man's opinion may be different from his feeling, because we often think we ought to do one thing, while we should like to do something else. Further, sometimes feeling is truer than opinion, when the latter is derived from error and feeling is based on nature. For example, often a sick man likes cold water and finds it a relief, but believes it will do him harm to drink it. Sometimes opinion is truer than feeling, as when he believes > the doctor's warning that cold water is harmful, and yet likes to drink it. Sometimes both are true, when something is good for you and you not only believe this, but also like to have it. Sometimes both are wrong, when something is harmful and you believe it is good for you and you like to have it. Right opinion usually corrects a wrong custom, and wrong opinion usually harms what is naturally right; such is the power of the control and supremacy of reason. So when a man believes that he will not exist after death, yet unbearable troubles make him long heart and soul for death and he is determined to embrace death, his opinion is false and utterly wrong, but his feeling is a natural desire for rest. But what is restful is not nothing; indeed it has truer being than what is restless. Restlessness changes our inclinations, so that one inclination destroys another. But rest brings permanence, and this is especially implied by saying a thing exists. Thus when a man wills to die, all that he desires is not non-existence after death, but rest. Though he falsely believes he will cease to exist, his nature seeks rest, that is, increase of existence. Hence, just as it is utterly impossible that anyone should take pleasure in non-existence, so it is utterly wrong that anyone should be ungrateful to the Creator's goodness for his existence. 25
3.9.24.85 > WHY DOES GOD NOT PREVENT UNHAPPINESS?
Si dixerit: 'Non erat tamen difficile aut laboriosum omnipotenti deo ut omnia quaecumque fecit sic haberent ordinem suum ut nulla creatura usque ad miseriam perveniret; non enim hoc aut omnipotens non potuit aut bonus inuidit', respondebo ordinem creaturarum a summa usque ad infimam gradibus iustis ita decurrere ut ille inuideat qui dixerit: 'Ista non esset', inuideat etiam ille qui dixerit: 'Ista talis esset.' 3.9.24.86 Si enim talem vult esse qualis est superior, iam illa est et tanta est ut addi ei non oporteat, quia perfecta est. Qui ergo dicit: 'Etiam ista talis esset', aut perfectae superiori vult addere et erit immoderatus et iniustus aut istam vult interimere et erit malus et inuidus. 3.9.24.87 Qui autem dixerit: 'Ista non esset', nihilominus erit malus atque inuidus, cum eam non vult esse quam inferiorem laudare adhuc cogitur, velut si dicat: 'Non esset luna', cum etiam lucernae claritatem longe inferiorem, in suo tamen genere pulchram et terrenis tenebris decoram atque aptam nocturnis usibus atque in his omnibus pro suo modulo utique laudabilem aut fateatur aut stultissime vel contentiose neget. 3.9.24.88 Quo modo ergo recte dicere audebit: 'Luna non esset in rebus', qui si diceret: 'Lucerna non esset', deridendum se esse sentiret? Quodsi non dicit: 'Luna non esset', sed qualem solem videt talem dicit lunam esse debuisse, non intellegit nihil aliud se dicere quam: 'Non esset luna, sed essent soles duo.' In quo dupliciter errat quod rerum perfectioni et addere aliquid cupit, cum desiderat alterum solem, et minvere, cum lunam vult detrahi. A man says: It would not have been difficult or laborious for Almighty God to see to it that everything He created should possess what its nature requires, and no creature should be rendered unhappy. Being almighty, He did not lack the power to do this, and being good, He would not grudge it. I answer that creatures are arranged so perfectly in order from the highest to the lowest, that envy alone would cause a man to say: That creature should not exist; and it is envy if he says: That should be different. For if he wishes it to be like a thing of higher rank, it already exists, and is such that nothing ought to be added, for it is perfect. If he says, I should like this too to have that excellence, either he wishes to add to the higher creature, though it is already perfect, and then he will be extravagant and unjust; or he wishes to destroy it, and then he will be evil and envious. But if he says, I wish this did not exist, he will still be evil and envious, since he wishes a thing not to exist, though he is forced to praise what is lower. 26 He might as well say, I wish there were no moon, while he must admit that even the light of a lamp, though far inferior, is beautiful of its own kind, pleasant in the surrounding darkness, convenient for use at night, and in view of all this excellent in its own small way. To deny this would be folly or obstinacy. How then can he rightly go so far as to say, I wish there were no > moon, when he knows he would be making himself absurd were he to say, I wish there were no lamp? If instead of saying, I wish there were no moon, he said the moon ought to have been like the sun, he fails to realise that he is only saying, I wish there were no moon, but two suns. In this he makes a double mistake: he wishes to add to the perfection of things by desiring a second sun, and to detract from their perfection by wishing to do away with the moon.
3.9.25.89
Hic fortasse dicat ideo nihil se de luna conqueri quia splendor eius ita minor est ut miser non sit, de animarum autem non obscuritate, sed miseria se dolere. Sedulo cogitet ita lunae splendorem non esse miserum ut nec splendor solis sit beatus. 3.9.25.90 Quamvis enim corpora caelestia sint corpora sunt tamen quantum ad lucem istam pertinet quae per oculos corporeos sentiri potest. Nulla autem corpora quantum ad sese adtinet, vel beata possunt esse vel misera, quamquam beatorum aut miserorum corpora possint esse. 3.9.25.91 Sed de illis luminibus similitudo adhibita id docet, ut, quem ad modum corporum differentias contemplando videns alia clariora iniuste petis auferri quae obscuriora conspexeris aut clarioribus adaequari, sed ad perfectionem universitatis referens omnia quanto magis minusue inter se clara sunt tanto magis cernis esse omnia, nec tibi occurrit perfecta universitas, nisi ubi maiora sic praesto sunt ut minora non desint, sic etiam differentias animarum cogites in quibus hoc quoque invenies, ut miseriam quam doles ad id quoque valere cognoscas, ut universitatis perfectioni nec illae desint animae quae miserae fieri debuerunt quia peccatrices esse voluerunt. Tantumque abest llt deus tales facere non debuerit, ut etiam caeteras creaturas laudabiliter fecerit longe inferiores animis miseris. Here he may remark that he makes no complaint about the moon, because its lesser degree of brightness does not make it unhappy; but in the case of souls he is distressed not by the darkness of them, but by their unhappiness. Let him carefully consider that while the brightness of the moon does not involve unhappiness, the brightness of the sun is not concerned with happiness either. For though they are heavenly bodies, yet bodies they are in respect to this light, light which can be seen by bodily eyes. But no bodily things in themselves can be happy or unhappy, though they may be the bodies of happy or unhappy people. The comparison drawn from the heavenly bodies nevertheless teaches this lesson. When you reflect on the difference in these bodies and see that some are brighter than others, you are wrong to wish the darker to be removed or made equal to the brighter. If you look at each thing in its relation to the perfection of the whole, you find that this very variety of brightness helps you to see the existence of everything. You find the perfection > of the whole is derived from the presence of both great and small. So too consider the differences between souls. You will find the unhappiness which grieves you has this value: that those souls which have rightly become unhappy because they willed to be sinful, are not lacking to the perfection of the whole. It is wrong to say that God ought not to have made them unhappy; indeed He deserves to be praised for making other creatures far lower than unhappy souls.
3.9.26.92
Sed adhuc videtur minus intellegens quod dictumn est habere quod contradicat. Dicit enim: 'Si universitatis perfectionem complet etiam nostra miseria, defuisset aliquid huic perfectioni si beati semper essemus. Quapropter si ad miseriam nisi peccando non pervenit anima, etiam peccata nostra necessaria sunt perfectioni universitatis quam condidit deus. Quo modo ergo iuste punit peccata quae si defuissent creatura eius plena et perfecta non esset?' 3.9.26.93 Hic respondetur non ipsa peccata vel ipsam miseriam perfectioni universitatis esse necessaria, sed animas in quantum animae sunt, quae si velint peccant, si peccaverint miserae fiunt. Si enim peccatis earum detractis miseria perseuerat aut etiam peccata praecedat, recte deformari dicitur ordo atque administratio universitatis. Rursus si peccata fiant et desit miseria, nihilominus dehonestat ordinem iniquitas. 3.9.26.94 Cum autem non peccantibus adest beatitudo, perfecta est universitas; cum vero peccantibus adest miseria, nihilominus perfecta est universitas. Quod autem ipsae non desunt animae quas vel peccantes sequitur miseria vel recte facientes beatitudo, semper naturis omnibus universitas plena atque perfecta est. Non enim peccatum et supplicium peccati naturae sunt quaedam, sed affectiones naturarum, illa voluntaria, ista poenalis. 3.9.26.95 Sed voluntaria quae in peccato fit turpis affectio est. Cui propterea poenalis adhibetur ut ordinet eam ubi talem esse non turpe sit, et decori universitatis congruere cogat, ut peccati dedecus emendet poena peccati. 26 But one may not understand fully what I have said and make this objection: If our unhappiness completes the perfection of the whole, there would be a lack of perfection if we were always happy. Hence, if the soul only becomes unhappy through sin, our sins must be necessary for the perfection of the whole creation which God has made. How then is it just that He punish sins when without these sins God's creation would not attain its full perfection? The answer is as follows. The sins themselves or the unhappiness itself are not necessary for the perfection of the whole; but the souls are necessary as souls. If they so will, they sin; if they sin, they become unhappy. If their unhappiness continues after their sins have been removed, or if it even precedes their sins, the proper order and direction of the whole is truly said to be impaired. Again, if sins are committed and there is no unhappiness, the order of things is also stained with injustice. When those who do not sin enjoy happiness, the whole is perfect. When sinners are unhappy, the > whole is perfect in spite of this. Provided that souls themselves are not lacking, whether those which are made unhappy when they sin or those which are made happy when they do right, the whole, having beings of every kind, is always complete and perfect. For sin and the punishment of sin are not themselves substantial things, but they are states of substantial things, the former voluntary, the latter penal.
3.9.27.96
Hinc fit ut peccans creaturasuperiorcreaturis inferioribus puniatur, quia illae tam sunt infimae ut ornari, etiam a turpibus animis possint atque ita decori universitatis congruere. Quid enim tam magnum in domo est quam homo? et quid tam abiectum et infimum quam cloaca domus? Seruus tamen in tali peccato detectus ut mundandae cloacae dignus habeatur ornat eam etiam turpitudine sua. 3.9.27.97 Et utrumque horum, id est turpitudo serui et mundatio cloacae, iam coniunctum et redactum in quandam sui generis unitatem ita dispositae domui coaptatur atque subtextiur ut eius universitati ordinatissimo decore conveniat. Qui tamen seruus si peccare noluisset, non defuisset domesticae disciplinae alia provisio qua necessaria mundarentur. Quid itaque tam infimum in rebus quam corpus omne terrenum? 3.9.27.98 Hanc tamen corruptibilem carnem etiam peccatrix anima sic ornat ut ei speciem decentissimam praebeat motumque vitalem. Habitationi ergo caelesti talis anima non congruit per peccatum, terrestri autem congruit per supplicium, ut quodlibet elegerit semper sit pulchra universitas decentissimis partibus ordinata, cuius est conditor et administrator deus. 3.9.27.99 Namque optimae animae cum in infimis creaturis habitant, non eas ornant miseria sua, quam non habent, sed usa earum bono. Si autem peccatrices animae permittantur habitare in sublimibus locis, inhonestum est, quia non conveniunt illis, quibus nec bene uti possunt nec ornamenti aliquid conferunt. Now the voluntary state when sin is committed is a shameful state. Therefore to this is applied a penal state, to set it where such may fitly be, and to make it harmonise with the beauty of the whole, so that the sin's punishment may make up for its shamefulness. 27 Hence it comes about that the higher creature which sins is punished by lower creatures, because these latter are so low that they can be raised in honour even by wicked souls, and so can harmonise with the beauty of the whole. What is so noble in the house as man? And what so ignoble and low as its drain? Yet a slave, found guilty of some fault and set as a punishment to clean the drain, gives it honour by his disgrace. Both of these things, the slave's disgrace and the cleaning of the drain, thus joined together and reduced to a special kind of unity, have their part in the proper management of the house, and combine to give the whole the beauty of good order. If the slave had not willed to do wrong, the work of the house would have been carried on by other means, and the necessary cleaning would have been done. There is nothing lower in the scale of things > than an earthly body. Yet even a sinful soul gives such honour to corruptible flesh that it conveys to it a becoming beauty, and living movement. Such a soul on account of its sin is not fit to dwell in heaven, but is fit to dwell on earth for its punishment. Whatever choice the soul makes, the whole is beautiful and well ordered, each part fitting its own place, whose Creator and Governor is God. The noblest souls, when they dwell in the lowest created things, honour them not by being unhappy, for this they are not, but by their good use of them. But if sinful souls were allowed to dwell on high, it would be wrong, for they are not fitted for things of which they cannot make a good use and on which they cannot confer honour.
3.9.28.100
Ideo quamquam orbis iste terrenus rebus corruptibilibus deputatus sit, tamen servans quantum potest imaginem superiorum exempla nobis et indicia quaedam demonstrare non cessat. Si enim bonum et magnum aliquem virum hortante honestatis officio, videamus ignibus, quantum ad corpus adtinet, concremari, non hoc vocamus poenam peccati, sed fortitudinis et patientiae documentum, eumque magis diligimus cum foedissima corruptio corporea membra eius absumat quam si nihil eius modi pateretur; miramur quippe animi naturam mutabilitate corporis non mutari. 3.9.28.101 At vero crudelissimi latronis membra cum tali supplicio confici aspicimus, approbamus ordinem legum. ornant ergo ambo illa tormenta, sed ille merito virtutis, iste peccati. At si post illos ignes vel etiam ante illos optimum illum virum commutatum ad congruentiam caelestis habitationis ad sidera videremus adtolli, utique laetaremur. Si autem sceleratum latronem sive ante supplicium sive post supplicium cum eadem malitia voluntatis ad sedem honoris sempiternam leuari videremus in caelum, quis non offenderetur? 3.9.28.102 Ita fit ut inferiores creaturas ambo ornare potuerint, superiores autem unus illorum. Ex quo admonemur advertere mortalitatem carnis huius et primum hominem ornasse, ut peccato poena congrueret, et dominum nostrum, ut a peccato misericordia liberaret. Non autem sicut iustus potuit in ipsa iustitia permanens corpus habere mortale, ita iniquus potest dum iniquus est ad immortalitatem pervenire sanctorum, scilicet sublimem et angelicam, non eorum angelorum de quibus apostolus ait: "Nescitis quia angelos sumus iudicaturi?" sed eorum de quibus dominus ait: "Et erunt aequales angelis dei." 3.9.28.103 Qui enim aequalitatem angelorum desiderant propter inanem, gloriam suam non ideo volunt aequales esse angelis, sed sibi. Itaque in tali voluntate perseuerantes aequabuntur supplicio praeuaricatoribus angelis, potestatem suam potius quam dei omnipotentis diligentibus. Talibus enim ad sinistram constitutis, quia non quaesiverunt deum per humilitatis ianuam, quam in se ipso dominus Iesus Christus ostendit, et inmisericorditer sllperbeque vixerunt, dicetur: "Ite in ignem aeternum, qui praeparatus est diabolo et angelis eius." Therefore, though this orb of the earth is appointed to be the place of corruptible things, yet it preserves as far as possible the image of what is higher, and continues to show examples and traces of this. If we see some great and good man, obeying the call of honour and duty, allow his body to be burned by fire, we do not call this a penalty for sin, but a proof of courage and endurance. Though the most horrible corruption consumes the members of his body, we love him more than if he suffered nothing of the kind. We are amazed that the nature of his soul is not changed with the changing body. When, however, we see the body of a cruel robber consumed as a punishment in the same way, we approve the lawful enforcement of public order. Both men make these sufferings > honourable, but one does so by his virtue, the other by his sin. If we saw the good man, after being consumed by fire or even before it, rendered fit to dwell in heaven and raised to the stars, we should certainly rejoice. But if we saw the robber and criminal, whether before or after his punishment, still keeping his evil will, raised to dwell in eternal glory in heaven, should we not all be shocked? Hence both of them can give honour to lower creatures, but only one to creatures which are higher. This bids us to notice that our mortal flesh has been honoured both by the first man when he suffered the punishment his sin deserved, and by Our Lord, when in His mercy He delivered us from sin. The just man, still abiding in justice itself, could have a mortal body, but the wicked man cannot, if he remains wicked, gain the immortality of the saints, which is that of the angels in heaven. I do not mean those angels of whom the Apostle says Know you not that nve shall judge angels? 7 but those about whom Our Lord says. , . for they shall be equal to the angels of God. 28 Those who desire to be equal with the angels through vainglory, wish the angels to be equal with them, not themselves with the angels. 29 If they persist in so willing, their punishment will be equal to that of the apostate angels, since they love their own power more than that of Almighty God. Because such men have not sought God by the gate of humility which the Lord Jesus Christ has shown in Himself, but have lived in pride and without > mercy, they will be set upon the left side and it will be said to them: Depart . . . into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.


3.10.29.104
Cum enim duae sint origines peccatorum, una spontanea cogitatione, alia persuasione alterius, quo pertineret arbitror quod propheta dicit: Ab occultis meis munda xle, domine, et ab alienis parce seruo tuo, utrumque voluntarium est quidemÑnam sicut propria cogitatione non peccat inuitus, ita dum consentit male suadenti non utique nisi voluntate consentitÑ, sed tamen gravius est non solum nullo suadente propria cogitatione peccare, sed etiam peccatum alteri per inuidentiam dolumque suadere, quam ad peccandum alterius suasione traduci. 3.10.29.105 Servata est ergo in utroque Peccato iustitia domini punientis. Nam et illud appensum est aequitatis examine ut nec ipsius diaboli potestati negaretur homo quem sibi male suadendo subiecerat. Iniquum enim erat ut ei quem ceperat non dominaretur. Nec fieri ullo modo potest ut dei summi et veri perfecta iustitia, quae usquequaque pertenditur, deserat etiam ordinandas ruinas peccantium. 3.10.29.106 Et tamen quia minus peccaverat homo quam diabolus, id ipsum ei valuit ad reparandam salutem, quod principi huius mundi, partis rerum scilicet huius mortalis atque infimae, hoc est principi omnium peccatorum et praeposito mortis, usque ad mortalitatem carnis addictus est. 3.10.29.107 Ita enim conscientia mortalitatis timidus et a vilissimis atque abiectissimis bestiis vel etiam minutissimis molestias atque interitum reformidans incertusque futurorum, et inlicitas cohibere laetitias ex maxime superbiam, cuius persuasione deiectus est et quo uno vitio misericordiae medicina respuitur, frangere consuevit. Quid enim tam opus habens misericordia quam miser? Et quid tam indignum misericordia quam superbus miser? 30 10.29 Sins arise from two sources, from a man's own thoughts and from the persuasion of another, and to this I think the words of the Prophet refer: From my secret ones cleanse me, O Lord, and from those of others spare thy servant. 51 Both are voluntary, for our own thoughts do not lead to sin against our will, while our consent to the evil persuasion of another is also due to our own will. Yet to sin as a consequence of our own thoughts without the persuasion of someone else, and, still more, to persuade another to sin through envy and treachery is graver than to be led into sin by another's influence. The justice of the Lord is observed when both sins are punished. The matter was weighed in the balance of justice when man was given into the power of the devil himself, after the devil had subdued him by his evil persuasion. It would have been unjust that he should not rule over his captive. 32 The perfect justice of the supreme and true God, which extends everywhere, could not possibly leave fallen sinners outside the scope of its government. Because man sinned less grievously than the devil, his salvation and restoration were furthered by the very fact that he was delivered to the prince of this world, that is, the lowest and mortal part of creation to the prince of all sinners and the lord of death, unto the mortality of the flesh. Thus, frightened by his consciousness of > mortality, in fear of trouble and death from vile and miserable beasts, even the very smallest, and uncertain of the future, man has accustomed himself to check unlawful joys, and especially to crush pride, by the seduction of which he was cast down and which is the only vice to prevent the healing power of mercy. What indeed has such need of mercy as one who is unhappy, and what is so unworthy of mercy as one who is at once unhappy and proud?
3.10.30.108
Ex quo factum est ut illud dei verbum, per quod facta sunt omnia et quo fruitur omnis angelica beatitudo, usque ad miseriam nostram clementiam suam porrigeret et verbum caro fieret et habitaret in nobis. Sic enim posset panem angelorum homo manducare, nondum angelis adaequatus, si panis ipse angelorum hominibus dignaretur aequari. 3.10.30.109 Nec sic descendit ad nos ut illos desereret, sed simul integer illis integer nobis, illos intrinsecus pascens per id quod deus est, nos forinsecus admonens per id quod nos sumus, idoneos facit per fidem quos per speciam pascat aequaliter. Quia enim rationalis creatura verbo illo tamquam optimo cibo , suo pascitur, humana autem anima rationalis est -- quae mortalibus vinculis peccati poena tenebatur, ad hoc diminutionis redacta, ut per coniecturas rerum visibilium ad intellegenda inuisibilia niteretur -- cibus rationalis creaturae factus est visibilis, non commutatione naturae suae sed habitu nostrae, ut visibilia sectantes ad se inuisibilem revocaret. Sic eum anima quem superbiens intus reliquerat foris humilem invenit, imitatura eius humilitatem visibilem et ad inuisibilem altitudinem reditura. 30 Hence it has happened that the Word of God, through whom all things have been made, and in whom all the happiness of the angels consists, has stretched forth His mercy to our unhappiness, and that the Word has become flesh and has dwelt among us. 33 Thus it was to be possible for man to eat the bread of angels, though himself not yet equal to the angels, if the bread of angels should itself deign to become equal with men. Nor did it abandon the angels when it came down to us: at the same time wholly theirs and wholly ours, it feeds them from within by that which God is, and teaches us from without by that which we are. Thus we also are made fit by faith to receive it like them as our food in the vision face to face. The rational creature finds in the Word its most excellent food and feeds upon it. The human soul is rational. But it was held in mortal bonds in punishment of sin, and was reduced to such low condition that it strives to understand invisible things by conclusions drawn from visible things. The food of rational creatures has been made vis> ible, not by changing its nature, but by putting on ours, that it may recall us, who pursue visible things, to itself invisible. Thus the soul which in its inward pride had deserted Him, finds Him outside in His humility. By imitating His visible humility it will return to Him invisible and on high.
3.10.31.110
Atque verbum dei unicus dei filius diabolum, quem semper sub legibus suis habuit et habebit, homine indutus etiam homini subiugavit, nihil ei extorquens violento dominatu sed superans eum lege iustitiae, ut, quoniam femina decepta et deiecto per feminam viro omnem prolem primi hominis tamquam peccatricem legibus mortis, malitiosa quidem nocendi cupiditate sed tamen iure aequissimo, vindicabat, tam diu potestas eius valeret donec interficeret iustum, in quo nihil dignum morte posset ostendere, non solum quia sine crimine occisus est sed etiam quia sine libidine natus, cui subiugaverat ille quos ceperat, ut quicquid inde nasceretur tamquam suae arboris fructus praua quidem habendi cupiditate sed tamen non iniquo possidendi iure retineret. 3.10.31.111 Iustissime itaque dimittere cogitur credentes in eum quem iniustissime occidit, ut et quod temporaliter moriuntur debitum exsolvant et quod semper vivunt in illo vivant qui pro eis quod non debebat exsolvit, quibus autem infidelitatis perseuerantiam persuasisset iuste secum haberet in perpetua damnatione consortes. 3.10.31.112 Ita factum est ut neque diabolo per vim eriperetur homo quem nec ipse vi sed persuasione cederat, et qui iuste plus humiliatus est ut seruiret cui ad malum consenserat, iuste per eum cui ad bonum consensit liberaretur, quia minus iste in consentiendo quam ille in male suadendo peccaverat. 31 The Word of God, God's only Son, clothed with man's nature, has subdued under man the devil whom He has ever held, and ever will hold, under His law. He has wrested nothing from the devil by force, but has overcome him by the law of justice. Having deceived the woman and overthrown the man by the woman, the devil claimed all the descendants of the first man as sinful, and therefore as subject to the law of death. He did this from the wicked desire to harm them, yet by lawful right. He claimed them so long as his power held, until he slew the Just Man, in whom he could point to nothing which deserved death, not only because He was slain in spite of His innocence, but also because He was born free from passion. To passion the devil had made his prisoners slaves, so that he might keep in his power whatever was born of it, as the fruit of his own tree, through a wicked desire to hold them, but by a genuine right of possession. Therefore he is compelled with full justice to let free those who believe in Him and whom he has most unjustly killed. By temporal death they pay their debt, and by everlasting life they live in Him who paid on their behalf a debt He himself did not owe. The devil, however, could justly > have, as sharers with him in his everlasting damnation, those whom he had persuaded to persist in infidelity. Thus man, who had become the devil's captive by persuasion, and not by force, was not snatched away from the devil by force; and man had justly to endure the further humiliation of serving him to whom he had given a wicked consent, but was justly set free by him to whom he had given a good consent. Man sinned less greatly by consenting than the devil by persuading him to evil.
3.11.32.113
Naturas igitur omnes deus fecit, non solum in virtute atque iustitia permansuras sed etiam peccaturas, non ut peccarent sed ut essent ornaturae universum, sive peccare sive non peccare voluissent. Si enim rebus deessent animae quae ipsum fastigium ordinis in universa creatura sic optinerent ut si peccare voluissent infirmaretur et labefactaretur universitas, magnum quiddam deesset creaturae; illud enim deesset quo remoto stabilitas rerum atque conexio turbaretur. 3.11.32.114 Tales sunt optimae et sanctae et sublimes creaturae caelestium vel supercaelestium potestatum, quibus solus deus imperat, universus autem mundus subiectus est. Sine istarum officiis iustis atque perfectis esse universitas non potest. Item si deessent quae sive peccarent sive non peccarent nihil universitatis ordini minveretur, etiam sic plurimum deesset. Animae sunt enim rationales, et illis superioribus officio quidem impares sed natura pares, quibus adhuc inferiores sunt multi et tamen laudabiles a summo deo constitutarum rerum gradus. God therefore made all natures, not only those which were to abide in virtue and justice, but also those that were to sin. He created them not that they might sin, but that they might add beauty to the whole, whether they willed to sin or not. If there had been no souls at the very summit of the whole created order, such that if they chose to sin, they would weaken and shatter the whole, a great element would be lacking in creation; for that would be lacking which would upset, if taken away, the stability and harmony of things. Such are the excellent, holy, sublime creatures, the powers of heaven or above it, whom God alone commands, and to whom the whole world is subject. If these creatures did not perform their just and perfect duties, the whole could not exist. Again, if there were no souls whose decision to sin or not to sin would in no way alter the order of the whole, an important element would also be lacking. So there are rational souls, lower than the higher souls in their function, but equal in nature. > There are many ranks still lower than these, but worthy of praise, among the creatures of God most high.
3.11.33.115
Illa ergo natura sublimioris officii est quae non solum si non esset sed etiam si peccaret minveret ordinem universitatis. Inferioris officii est ista quae tantum modo si non esset, non autem si peccaret, aliquid minus haberet universitas. Illi data est potentia omnia continendi officio proprio, quod rerum ordini deesse non possit. Nec ideo in bona voluntate permanet quia hoc accepit ofscium, sed ideo accepit quoniam ab illo qui dedit permansura praevisa est. 3.11.33.116 Nec tamen sua maiestate continet omnia, sed inherendo illius maiestati et eius imperiis deuotissime optemperando a quo et per quem et in quo facta sunt omnia. Huic autem datum est quidem non peccanti potentissimum officium continendi omnia, non tamen proprium sed cum illa, tamquam ei quae peccatura praecognita est. 3.11.33.117 Habent sane spiritalia quaeque inter se et coniunctionem sine cumulo et seiunctionem sine diminutione, ut neque adivuaretur illa in actionis suae facilitate, cum haec sibi coniungeretur, neque difficilior illi actio fieret, si haec officium suum peccando desereret. Non enim locis et mole corporum sed parilitate affectuum iungi et disparilitate seiungi possunt creaturae spiritales, quamvis corpora sua quaeque possideant. Therefore that kind of being has a higher function, whose sin and also whose non-existence would impair the whole. That has a lower function, whose non-existence, but not whose sin, would impair the whole. To the former is given power to maintain all things, as its special function necessary for the order of the whole. It does not possess unchanging good will because it has been given this function; but it has been given the function because He who gave it foresaw that its good will would persist. It does not maintain everything by its own authority, but by fidelity and scrupulous obedience to the authority and commands of Him from whom and through whom and in whom all things have been made. 34 To the latter was also given, provided it did not sin, the great function of maintaining all things. But it was given this function, not as peculiar to itself, but as shared with the former, since its own future sin was foreknown. All spiritual beings can join together without gain and separate without loss. Thus the higher being would not find its action made easier by this partnership, nor made more difficult, should the other desert its function by committing sin. Spiritual creatures, though each may possess its own body, cannot be joined or separated by position and physical association, but by likeness or unlikeness of their inclinations.
3.11.34.118
In corporibus autem inferioribus atque mortalibus post peccatum ordinata regit corpus suum, non omnimodo pro arbitrio sed sicut leges universitatis sinunt. Nec ideo tamen talis anima inferior est corpore caelesti, cui corpori etiam corpora terrena subiecta sunt. Pannosa quippe uestis damnati serui multo est inferior ueste bene meriti et in honore magno apud dominum constituti, sed ipse seruus melior est qualibet ueste pretiosa, quia homo est. 3.11.34.119 Illa ergo inheret deo et in caelesti corpore angelica potestate etiam terrestre corpus ornat et regit, sicut iubet ille cuius nutum ineffabiliter intuetur. Ista vero mortalibus membris onerata vix hoc ipsum quo premitur administrat intrinsecus et tamen ornat quantum potest; caetera vero extrinsecus adiacentia longe infirmiore operatione extrinsecus afficit sicut potest. 34 The soul which is given its place, after sinning, > among the lower, mortal bodies, governs its body, not altogether at its own choice, but so far as the laws of the whole permit. Yet such a soul is not for this reason lower than the heavenly body to which even earthly bodies are subject. The ragged garment of a condemned slave is much inferior to the garment of a slave who has served well and is highly regarded by his master; but the slave himself is better than any fine garment, for he is a man. The higher being, then, keeps close to God, and in a heavenly body, through its angelic power, it also honours and governs an earthly body, obeying the order of Him whose will it beholds in a manner beyond expression. The lower being, burdened with mortal limbs, directs with difficulty within itself the body by which it is pressed down, and yet honours it as much as it can. Upon other bodies with which it comes in contact, it exercises from outside a far weaker power, so far as it can.
3.12.35.120
Unde colligitur non defuturum fuisse ornatum congruentissimum infimae corporeae creaturae, etiam si ista peccare noluisset, quoniam quae totum potest regere etiam partem regit, quae autem minus potest non continuo potest ampliora. Perfectus enim medicus etiam scabiem sanat efficaciter, at non continuo qui scabioso utiliter consulit universae humanae valetudini mederi potest. 3.12.35.121 Et ratio quidem si certa conspicitur qua manifestum fiat esse oportuisse creaturam quae numquam peccaverit numquam peccatura, sit etiam illud eadem ratio renuntiat a peccato illam libera voluntate abstinere neque coactam non peccare sed sponte. 3.12.35.122 Verum tamen etiam si peccaret -- quamquam non peccavit, sicut eam non peccaturam praescivit deus -- tamen si etiam ipsa peccaret, sufficeret dei potestas ineffabilis potentiae ad regendam istam universitatem, ut omnibus congrua et condigna retribuens nihll in toto imperio suo turpe atque indecorum esse permitteret, 3.12.35.123 quia sive per nullas ad hoc ipsum conditas potestates, si omnis angelica natura ab eius praeceptis peccando defecisset, maiestate sua decentissime atque optime regeret omnia -- nec sic inuidens creaturae spi tali ut esset, qui etiam corporalem peccantibus quoque spiritalibus longe inferiorem tanta largitate bonitatis instituit, ut nullus sit caelum terramque rationabiliter intuens omnesque naturas visibiles in suis generibus moderatas formatas ordinatas, qui vel alium credat artificem omnium esse quam deum vel non eum ineffabiliter laudandum esse fateatur -- sive nulla est melior rerum ordinatio, nisi potestas angelica naturae excellentia et bonitate voluntatis in dispositione universitatis superemineat, etiam si omnes peccassent angeli, nullam inopiam facerent ad regendum imperium suum creatori angelorum. 3.12.35.124 Non enim vel bonitas eius quasi aliquo taedio vel omnipotentia difficultate deficeret ad creandos alios, quos in eis sedibus collocaret quas peccando alii deseruissent, aut creatura spiritalis quantilibet numeri si pro suis meritis damnaretur angustare posset ordinem qui convenienter et decenter excipit quoscumque damnatas. Quacumque se igitur consideratio nostra converterit, ineffabiliter laudandum invenit deum naturarum omnium conditorem optimum et administratorem iustissimum. We conclude from this that the lowest bodily creature would not have lacked fitting adornment, even though the being of which we have just spoken, had not willed to sin. For that which can govern the whole, governs also a part; but that which can do less, cannot necessarily do more. The skilful physician cures even the scab thoroughly; but, because he can deal with the scab effectively, it does not follow that he can heal every human ailment. Indeed, if we see a cogent reason for holding that there ought to have been a creature which never sinned and never will sin, this same reason shows us also that it abstains from > sin through its free will, of its own accord and unforced. Nevertheless, if it should sin though it has not sinned, in accordance with God's foreknowledge of its sinlessness-yet, should it sin, the inexpressible force of God's power would be strong enough so to govern the whole that, by rendering to all what is due and fitting, He would allow nothing shameful or unbecoming to exist in His whole dominion. For, if the whole angelic creation had fallen by sinning against His commands, without using any of the powers created for this purpose, God would govern all things by His own authority in a supremely befitting way. He would not on this account view with hatred the existence of a spiritual creature. Even towards bodily creatures, far lower than spiritual creatures even when sinful, He has shown such profusion of goodness that no one can reasonably contemplate heaven and earth and all visible things, so harmoniously formed and ordered according to their natures, without believing God to be their author, and confessing that He deserves ineffable praise. On the other hand, even though there is no better government for creation than when by the excellence of their nature and the goodness of their will the power of the angels governs all things, even so the fall of all the angels would not have deprived the Creator of the angels of means to govern His dominion. His goodness would not find it wearisome nor His omnipotence find it hard to create others to set in the places deserted by > those who had sinned. If spiritual creatures, whatever their number, 35 were justly condemned, this could not disturb that order of things which allows for the condemnation of all who deserve it, in the manner which is right and proper. Therefore, wherever we turn our thoughts, we find that God deserves ineffable praise the most good Creator of all beings and their most just Ruler.
HAPPINESS AND UNHAPPINESS IN THE END ARE BOTH JUST
3.12.36.125 Postremo, ut relinquamus contemplationem pulchritudinis rerum his, qui eam divino munere videre possunt, nec eos ad ineffabilia contuenda verbis cone mur adducere et tamen propter loquaces aut infirmos aut insidiosos homines tantam quaestionem brevissima complexione peragamus. 36 Finally, let us leave the contemplation of the beauty of things to those to whom God has granted the power to see it, and let us not presume by mere words to bring them se to contemplation of the ineffable. And yet, because of men who are loquacious or weak or deceitful, 37 let us examine briefly this important question.
3.13.36.126
Omnis natura quae minus bona fieri potest bona est, et omnis natura dum corrumpitur minus bona fit. Aut enim non ei nocet corruptio et non corrumpitur, aut si corrumpitur nocet ei corruptio, et si nocet minuit aliquid de bono eius et eam minus bonam facit. Nam si penitus eam privat omni bono quicquid eius remanebit iam corrumpi non poterit, quia nullum erit bonum cuius ademptione possit nocere corruptio; cui autem non potest nocere corruptio non corrumpitur. 3.13.36.127 Porro natura quae non corrumpitur incorruptibilis est; erit ergo natura -- quod absurdissimum est dicere -- corruptione facta incorruptibilis. Quapropter, quod verissime dicitur, omnis natura in quantum natura est bona est, quia si est incorruptibilis, melior est quam corruptibilis, si autem corruptibilis est, quoniam dum corrumpitur minus bona fit, sine dubitatione bona est. 3.13.36.128 Omnis autem natura aut corruptibilis est aut incorruptibilis. Omnis ergo natura bona est. Naturam voco quae et substantia dici solet; omnis igitur substantia aut deus aut ex deo, quia omne bonum aut deus aut ex deo. 13 Every nature which can become less good, is good. A nature becomes less good when it is corrupted. Either corruption does not harm it and it does not become corrupt; or, if it is corrupted, corruption harms it. If it harms, it takes away some of its goodness and makes it less good. If it deprives it entirely of all its good, what remains of it cannot be corrupted, because there will be no good left which corruption can remove; corruption cannot harm it in this way. That which corruption cannot harm cannot become corrupt. That nature which does not suffer corruption is incorruptible, and hence there will be a nature, > absurd though this is, which corruption makes incorruptible. Therefore it is true to say that every nature, so far as it is a nature, is good. For, if it is incorruptible it is better than the corruptible, while, if it is corruptible, since corruption makes it less good, undoubtedly it is good. Every nature is either corruptible or incorruptible. Hence every nature is good. By a nature I mean what we usually call substance. Therefore every substance is either God or derived from God, for every good thing is either God or derived from God.
3.13.37.129
Quibus constitutis atque firmatis tamquam in capite ratiocinationis nostrae adtende quod dicam. Omnis natura rationalis cum libero voluntatis arbitrio condita, si manet in fruendo summo atque incommutabili bono, procul dubio laudanda est; et omnis quae tendit ut maneat etiam ipsa laudanda est. omnis autem quae non in eo manet et non vult agere ut maneat, in quantum ibi non est et in quantum non id agit ut ibi sit, vituperanda est. 3.13.37.130 Si ergo laudatur rationalis natura quae facta est, nemo dubitat laudandum esse qui fecit; et si vituperatur, nemo dubitat eius conditorem in ipsa eius, vitaperatione laudari. Cum enim propterea vituperamus hanc, quoniam summo et incommutabili bono id est creatore suo frui non vult, illum sine ulla dubitatione laudamus. Quantum ergo bonum et quam vel ineffabiliter linguis omnibus vel ineffabiliter cogitationibus omnibus praedicandus et honorandus est creator omnium deus sine cuius laude nec laudari possumus nec vituperari! 3.13.37.131 Non enim vituperari possumus quia in eo non manemus nisi quia magnum et summum et primum nostrum bonum est manere in illo. Unde autem hoc, nisi quia ille ineffabile bonum est? Quid ergo inveniri potest in nostris peccatis unde ille vituperetur, quando vituperatio peccatorum nostrorum nulla est nisi ille laudetur? Having firmly established this as the principle of our reasoning, listen to what I have to say. Every rational nature, created with free will, if it abides in the enjoyment of the supreme, unchangeable good, is undoubtedly worthy of praise, and every nature which strives to so abide is also worthy of praise. But every nature which does not abide in this and does not will to aim at this end, in so far as it does not attain the end and does not aim at it, is worthy of blame. If, therefore, a created rational nature is praised, no one doubts that its Creator deserves praise; and if the creature is blamed, no one doubts that its Creator is praised when it is blamed. For when we blame the creature, because it does not will to enjoy the supreme and unchangeable good, its Creator, without any doubt we praise the Creator. What a good, then, is God! How far beyond expression should every tongue, and how far beyond expression should every thought, extol and > honour Him, the Creator of all, without praise of whom we can neither be praised or blamed! We cannot be blamed for not abiding in Him, unless to abide in Him is our great, supreme, and principal good. How can this be so unless it is because He is beyond expression good? What cause can be found in our sins to blame Him, when there is no blame for our sins which is not praise for Him?
3.13.38.132
Quid, quod etiam in ipsis rebus quae vituperantur nullius vituperatur nisi vitium? Nullius autem vituperatur vitium nisi cuius natura laudatur. Aut enim secundum naturam est quod vituperas et non est vitium tuque magis emendandus es ut recte vituperare noveris quam illud quod non recte vituperas, aut si vitium est ut recte vituperari possit, etiam contra naturam sit necesse est. 3.13.38.133 omne quippe vitium, eo ipso quo vitium est, contra naturam est. Si enim naturae non nocet, nec vitium est; si autem quia nocet ideo vitium est, ideo vitium est quia contra naturam est. Quodsi non suo sed alieno vitio natura corrumpitur, iniuste vituperatur, et quaerendum est utrum illa natura non corrumpatur vitio suo, cuius vitio potuit alia natura corrumpi. Sed quid est aliud vitiari nisi vitio corrumpi? 3.13.38.134 Porro natura quae non vitiatur caret vitio, cuius autem vitio alia natura corrumpitur habet utique vitium. Prior ergo vitiosa est et prior corrumpitur vitio suo, cuius vitio alia quoque corrumpi potest. Ex quo colligitur contra naturam esse omne vitium, etiam eius rei cuius est vitium. Quapropter, quoniam in quacumque re non vituperatur nisi vitium, ideo autem vitium est quia contra naturam eius rei est cuius est vitium, nullius rei recte vituperatur vitium nisi cuius natura laudatur. Non enim tibi recte in vitio displicet nisi quia vitiat quod in natura placet. Again, in the very things which are blamed it is only the vice which is blamed; and there is no blaming a vice without praising its nature. If what is blamed is according to nature, it is not vice; it is you who should be corrected, rather than what you wrongly blame, that you may learn to give blame rightly. Or if it is a vice and can be rightly blamed, it must be against nature. All vice, from the very fact that it is vice, is against nature. If it does not harm nature, it is not vice; if it is vice because it does harm, it is vice because it is against nature. But, if a nature is corrupted by another's vice, and not by its own, it is unjustly blamed, and we must ask whether that other nature is not corrupted by its own vice, when its vice could corrupt another's nature. What else is it to be vitiated than to be corrupted by vice? A nature which is not vitiated is free from vice, but that which corrupts by its vice another's nature certainly has vice. That nature is vicious, and is corrupted by its own vice, by the vice of which another nature can also be corrupted. Hence we conclude that all vice is against > nature, even against the nature of that thing which has the vice. Therefore, since it is only vice that is blamed in anything, and since it is vice because it is against the nature of that thing which has the vice, nothing is rightly blamed for vice, unless its nature is praised. Vice is only rightly displeasing to you, because it makes vicious what pleases you in the nature.
3.14.39.135
Videndum est etiam illud, utrum vere dicatur aliquam naturam naturae alterius vitio corrumpi, nullo ad iuncto vitio suo. Si enim natura quae accedit cum vitio suo ad aliam corrumpendam non in ea corruptibile aliquid invenit, non eam corrumpit; si autem invenit, adiuncto eius vitio corruptionem eius operatur. Potentior enim ab infirmiore si cor rumpi nolit non corrumpitur; si autem velit, prius incipit vitio suo corrumpi quam alieno. Aequalis autem ab aequali nihilominus corrumpi si nolit, non potest. 3.14.39.136 Nam quaecumque natura cum vitio ad eam quae sine vitio est ut corrumpat accedit, eo ipso non aequalis accedit sed infirmior vitio suo. Si vero potentior inualidiorem corrumpit, aut utriusque vitio fit si utriusque praua cupiditate fit, aut vitio potentioris si naturae tanta praestantia est ut inferiorem quam corrumpit etiam vitiosa praecedat. 3.14.39.137 Quis enim recte vituperaverit fructus terrae quod homines non utantur bene corruptique vitio suo corrumpant eos abutendo ad luxuriam, cum tamen dubitare dementis sit praestantiorem potentioremque esse hominis naturam etiam vitiosam quam non vitiosas quasque fruges? We must also notice this question: is it true that a nature is subject to corruption by the vice of another nature without any vice of its own? If a nature with its vice approaches another nature with a view to corrupting it, and finds in it nothing corruptible, it does not corrupt it. But if it does find something corruptible it effects the corruption of the other nature by the vice it finds in it. The stronger is not corrupted by the weaker if it refuses to be corrupted, but if it wills to be corrupted its corruption begins from its own vice rather than another's. Nor can an equal be corrupted by an equal if it refuses. When a vicious nature approaches another which is without vice in order to corrupt it, by that very fact it does not approach as equal, but as weaker on account of its vice. But if a stronger corrupts a weaker, either this occurs through the vice of both, if it occurs through the evil desire of both; or through the vice of the stronger, if such is the superiority of its nature that, even though vicious, it is still superior to the lesser nature which it corrupts. Who would be right in blaming the fruits of the earth, because men do not use them well, but corrupted by their own vice corrupt them by abusing them > for the purpose of luxury? Nevertheless it would be folly to doubt that human nature, even when vicious, is nobler and stronger than any fruit, even when free from vice.
3.14.40.138
Potest etiam fieri ut aliquam inferiorem potentior natura corrumpat et hoc nullius earum vitio fiat, si quidem vitium dicimus quod vituperatione dignum est. Quis autem vel frugalem hominem nihil aliud de frugibus quam supplementa naturae quaeritantem vituperare audeat aut easdem fruges quod usu ciborum eius corrumpuntur? Talis enim nec visitate corruptio dicitur, quia maxime vitii nomen solet esse corruptio. 3.14.40.139 Nam et illud in rebus facile animadverti potest, quod plerumque in nullos usus explendae indigentiae suae natura potentior inferiorem corrumpit, vel iustitiae ordine dum vindicat culpam -- ex qua regula illud ab apostolo dictum est: Si quis templum dei corruperit, corrumpit illum deus -- vel ordine mutabilium rerum sibi cedentium secundum leges congruentissimas pro valentia cuiusque partis universitatis datas. 3.14.40.140 Neque enim, si cuiusquam oculos pro naturae suae modulo ferendae lucis inualidos sol fulgore corrumpat, aut ad explendam indigentiam sui luminis eos commutare putandus est aut id facere ullo vitio suo aut saltem ipsi oculi vituperandi sunt, quia et domino suo cesserunt ut contra lucem aperirentur et ipsi luci ut corrumperentur. 3.14.40.141 Omnium igitur corruptionum sola quae vitiosa est corruptio recte vituperatur, caeterae autem aut ne corruptiones quidem dicendae sunt aut certe quia vitiosae non sunt dignae vituperatione esse non possunt. Nam et ipsa vituperatio, quod soli vitio parata, id est apta et debita sit, inde traxisse vocabulum creditur ut vituperatio diceretur. 40 It is possible too for a stronger to corrupt a weaker nature, and for this to happen through no vice of either of them if by vice we mean what is deserving of blame. Who, for instance, would dare to blame a thrifty man who sought nothing more from the fruits of the earth than support of nature, or to blame these fruits themselves for being corrupted when used as his food? We do not, as a rule, use the word 'corruption' to express this, because 'corruption' is a term used to denote a vice. It is easy to note this as of common occurrence, that the stronger nature corrupts the weaker without using it to satisfy its own needs. A case in point is when in the order of justice guilt is punished. This is the principle expressed by the Apostle when he says: If any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. 38 Or, again, in the order of changeable things one gives way to another according to the most suitable laws given to the whole and adapted to the strength of each part. If a man's eyes were too weak by nature to bear the light and the sun's brightness should injure them, we should not suppose the sun did this in order to make up any deficiency in its own light, or through any vice on its part. Nor would the eyes themselves deserve blame because they obeyed their master and were opened in face > of the light, or because they succumbed to the light itself and were injured. Therefore, of all forms of corruption only that which is vicious is rightly blamed. Other forms either should not be called corruption, or, not being vicious, certainly ought not to be blamed. As a matter of fact, the word vituperatio (blame) is thought to be derived from the words vitium and paratum, and to mean, what is prepared for, that is, suitable for, and due to, vice alone.
3.14.41.142
Vitium autem, ut dicere coeperam, non aliunde malum est nisi quia naturae adversatur eius ipsius rei cuius est vitium. Unde manifestum est hanc eandem rem cuius vitium vituperatur naturam esse laudabilem, ita ut omnino hanc ipsam vituperationem vitiorum naturarum laudem esse fateamur, earum scilicet quarum vitia vituperantur. Quia enim vitium naturae adversatur, tantum additur malitiae vitiorum quantum naturarum integritati minuitur. 3.14.41.143 Cum ergo vituperas vitium, id profecto laudas cuius integritatem desideras. Cuius autem nisi naturae integritatem? Natura enim perfecta non solum nulla vituperatione sed etiam laude in suo genere digna est. Quod ergo perfectioni naturae deesse perspexeris, id vocas vitium, satis tibi eam placere contestans quam vituperatione imperfectionis eius velles esse perfectam. Vice, I began to say, is only evil because it is opposed to the nature of the thing which has the vice. Hence it is clear that the nature of this same thing whose vice is blamed is worthy of praise. Thus we must agree that to blame the vice is nothing else than to praise the nature of that thing whose vice is blamed. Because vice is opposed to nature, the malice of vice increases in proportion to the decreased soundness of the nature. Therefore, when you blame vice, you obviously praise the thing whose soundness you wish for. And to what should the soundness belong except to the nature? A perfect nature, far from deserving blame, deserves praise in accordance with the kind of nature it is. What you see to be lacking in the perfection of a nature, you call vice, showing plainly enough that the nature pleases you, since you blame its imperfection on account of your will for its perfection.
3.15.42.144
Si igitur vituperatio vitiorum ipsarum etiam quarum sunt vitia naturarum decus dignitatemque commendat, quanto magis deus conditor omnium naturarum etiam in earum vitiis laudandus est! cum et hoc ab illo habeant quod naturae sunt, et in tantum vitiosae sint in quantum ab eius qua factae sunt arte discedunt, et in tantum vituperentur in quantum earum vituperator artem qua factae sunt videt, ut hoc in eis vituperet quod ibi non videt. 3.15.42.145 Et si ars ipsa per quam facta sunt omnia, hoc est summa et incommutabilis sapientia dei, vere summeque est, sicuti est, respice quo tendat quidquid ab illa discedit. Qui tamen defectus non esset vituperatione dignus nisi esset voluntarius. Adtende enim, quaeso, utrum recte vituperes quod ita est sicuti esse debuit; non opinor, sed utique quod non ita est ut debuit. Nemo autem debet quod non accepit. Et quisquis debet, cui debet, nisi a quo accepit ut debeat? 3.15.42.146 Nam et quae redduntur tralegando ei redduntur qui tralegaverit, et quod creditorum iustis successoribus redditur, ipsis utique redditur quibus isti iure succedunt; aliter non redditio, sed cessio vel amissio vel si quid aliud huius modi nominanda est. Quapropter omnia temporalia quae in hoc rerum ordine ita locata sunt ut nisi deficiant non possint praeteritis futura succedere, ut tota temporum in suo genere pulchritudo peragatur, absurdissime dicimus non debere deficere. 3.15.42.147 Quantum enim acceperunt, tantum agunt, et tantum reddunt ei cui debent quod sunt in quantumcumque sunt. Qui enim dolet ea deficere sermonem suum oportet adtendat, eum certe ipsum quo ista conqueritur, si iustum et a prudentia profectum esse arbitratur. Cuius ser monis quod ad sonum eius attinet si quis unam particulam diligat nec eam velit caeteris deficiendo locum dare, quibus decedentibus et succedentibus totus sermo ille contexitur, mirabilis dementiae iudicabitur. So, if to blame vices is also to commend the beauty and dignity of the natures which have the vices, how much more is God, the Creator of all > natures, worthy of praise even in their vices! From Him they derive their possession of a nature; they are vicious in so far as they depart from the art with which He made them, and they are rightly blamed in so far as he who blames them sees the art with which they have been made, and blames them for what he does not see in them. And if the very art by which all things have been made, that is, the supreme unchangeable Wisdom of God, truly and supremely exists as in fact it doesyou can see whither that thing is bound which departs from His art. The defect, however, would not deserve blame, unless it were voluntary. Please consider whether you are right in blaming what is as it ought to be: I think not; but rather what is not as it ought to be. No one owes as a debt what he has not received, 40 and to whom does the debtor owe anything, except to him from whom he has received it, and to whom he therefore owes it? What is paid when money is transferred to the heirs, is paid to him who made the will. And what is paid to the lawful heirs of creditors, is paid to the creditors themselves to whom the heirs lawfully succeed. Otherwise it would not be a payment, but a transfer or grant, or something of this kind. Consequently it would be most absurd to say that temporal things ought not to decay. They are placed in an order of things such that, unless they decay the future cannot follow the past, nor can the beauty of the ages unfold itself in its natural course. They act in accordance with what they > have received, and they pay their debt to Him to whom they owe their being, in accordance with the measure of their being. If anyone expresses grief at their decay, he should notice what he is sayingyes, what he is saying in making that complaintif he thinks it is just and prudently said. In pronouncing those words, if he takes pleasure in one part of the sound and refuses to let it go and make the way for the rest (it is by sounds which die out and are followed by others that speech is composed), he will be considered a sheer madman.
3.15.43.148
In his igitur rebus quae ideo deficiunt quia non ultra esse acceperunt, ut suis temporibus omnia peragantur, nemo defectum recte vituperat, quia nemo potest dicere: 'Debuit permanere', cum acceptas metas transire non posset. 3.15.43.149 In creaturis autem rationalibus, quibus sive peccantibus sive non peccantibus universalis pulchritudo modis congruentissimis terminatur, aut nulla peccata suntÑquod absurdissimum est dicere; peccat enim saltim qui vel damnat quasi peccata quae nulla sunt -- aut non sunt vituperanda peccataÑquod nihilominus absurdum est; incipient quippe nec recte facta laudari et tota turbabitur humanae mentis intentio vitamque subuertet -- aut vituperabitur factum quod ita factum est ut debuit, et exsecrabilis insania vel, ut mitius loquar, error miserrimus orietur; 3.15.43.150 aut si cogit verissima ratio, sicuti cogit, ut et vituperentur peccata et quicquid recte vituperatur ideo vituperetur quia non ita est ut esse debuit, quaere quid debeat natura peccatrix et invenies recte factum, quaere cui debeat et invenies deum. A quo enim accepit posse recte facere cum velit, ab eo accepit ut sit etiam misera, si non fecerit, et beata, si fecerit. Therefore no one rightly blames a failure in these things which thus decay. They have received no further being, in order that everything may occur at its proper time. No one can say: It ought to have lasted longer; for it could not pass the limits assigned to it. But it is in rational creatures that the beauty of the whole creation reaches its fitting climax, whether they sin or not. Now either they do not sin, which it is quite absurd to say, for a sin is committed even by condemning as a sin what is no sin; or their sins do not deserve blame, which is equally absurd, for then we shall be on the way to praise wrong actions and the whole purpose of the human mind will be upset and life thrown into confusion; or we shall blame an action performed as it ought to be performed, and execrable madness will overtake us, or, in milder language, most unfortunate error; or, if we are forced, as we are, by true reasoning to blame sins, and to blame a thing rightly only because it is not as it ought to be, then ask > what a sinful nature owes and you will find it owes right action; ask to whom it owes this, and you will find it owes it to God. For He who has given it the power to act rightly if it wishes, has also given it the power to be unhappy if it does not act rightly, and to be happy if it does.
3.15.43.151
Quia enim nemo superat leges omnipotentis creatoris, non sinitur anima non reddere debitum. Aut enim reddit bene utendo quod accepit aut reddit amittendo quod uti noluit bene. Itaque si non reddit faciendo iustitiam, reddet patiendo miseriam, quia in utroque verbum illud debiti sonat. Hoc enim modo dici potuit quod dictum est: 'Si non reddet faciendo quod debet, reddet patiendo quod debet. 3.15.43.152 Nullo autem interuallo temporis ista dividuntur -- ut quasi alio tempore non faciat quod debet et alio patiatur quod debet -- ne vel puncto temporis universalis pulchritudo turpetur, ut sit in ea peccati dedecus sine decore vindictae; sed in futurum iudicium servatur ad manifestationem atque ad acerrimum sensum miseriae quicquid nunc occultissime vindicatur. 3.15.43.153 Sicut enim qui non vigilat dormit, sic quisquis non facit quod debet sine interuallo patitur quod debet, quoniam tanta est beatitudo iustitiae ut nemo ab ea nisi ad miseriam possit abscedere. In omnibus ergo defectibus aut non acceperunt ultra esse quae deficiunt et nulla culpa est -- sicut etiam cum sunt, quia non acceperunt amplius esse quam sunt, nihilominus nulla culpa est -- aut nolunt esse, quod, si vellent, esse acceperunt, et quia bonum est, reatus est si nolint. Since no one is above the laws of the almighty Creator, the soul is bound to pay what is due. Either it pays this by the good use of what it has received, or else by the loss of what it refuses to use well. Hence if it does not pay by acting justly, it will pay by suffering unhappiness, for the word 'debt' applies to both. Thus what has been said could also have been formulated as follows: If a soul does not pay by doing what it ought to do, it will pay by suffering what it ought to suffer. There is no interval of time between these two; the soul does not do what it ought at one time, and suffer what it ought at another time. The beauty of the whole must not be impaired even for a moment; it must not contain the shame of sin without the beauty of punishment. But the manifestation of what is now punished in secret, and the terrible sense of unhappiness this involves, is reserved for the future judgment. Just as one sleeps if he is not awake, so the man who does not do what he ought to do, suffers immediately what he ought to suffer, because so great is the happiness derived from justice that to depart from it is to enter upon unhappiness. There is no alternative. Therefore, when as a result of deficiency of being things decay, either they have not received > any further being and there is no fault (in the same way that there is no fault if, while they exist, they receive no further being), or else they refuse to be what they had the power to be if they chose. Since what they might have possessed is good, they are guilty if they refuse it.
3.16.45.154
Deus autem nulli debet aliquid, quia omnia gratuito praestat. Et si quisquam dicet aliquid ab illo deberi meritis suis, certe ut esset non ei debebatur; non enim erat cui deberetur. Et tamen, quod meritum est converti ad eum ex quo es, ut ex ipso etiam melior sis ex quo habes ut sis? Quid ergo ei praerogas ut tamquam debitum poscas? quando si nolles ad eum converti nihil ei deesset, tibi autem ipse, sine quo nihil esses et ex quo ita es aliquid, ut, nisi convertendo te ad illum reddideris ei quod ab ipso es, non quidem nihil, sed miser tamen eris. 3.16.45.155 Omnia ergo illi debent: primo quidquid sunt in quantum naturae sunt, deinde quidquid melius possunt esse si velint quaecumque acceperunt, ut velint, et quidquid oportet eas esse. Ex eo igitur quod non accepit, nullus reus est; ex eo vero quod non facit quod debet, iuste reus est. Debet autem, si accepit voluntatem liberam et sufficientissimam facultatem. God owes no debt to anyone, because He gives everything freely. If anyone should say God owed him a debt for his merits, certainly existence is not owed to him, for he did not exist to be owed a debt. And what merit is there in turning to Him from whom you derive your being, in order that you may obtain further perfection from the source of your very being? What payment have you made beforehand, which you can demand back as a debt? If you refuse to turn towards Him, He loses nothing, while on your part, unless you turn to Him and pay back the existence you have received from Him, you lose Him without whom you would be nothing and from whom you receive your existence. If this happens, though you will not cease to exist, will you not suffer unhappiness? Everything owes to Him first, its existence as a nature; secondly, the further perfection it can gain if it wills what it has received the power to will, all that it ought to be. No one is responsible for what he has not received; but he is justly responsible for not doing what he ought to do, and he has a duty to perform if he has received a free will and sufficient powers.
3.16.46.156
Usque adeo autem dum non facit quisque quod debet nulla culpa est conditoris, ut et laus sit quoniam quod debet patitur, et in eo ipso quod vituperatur non faciendo quod debet non nisi laudetur ille cui debet. Si enim tu laudaris videndo quid facere debeas, cum id non videas nisi in illo qui est incommutabilis veritas, quanto magis ille qui et velle praecepit et posse praebuit et non inpune nolle permisit! 3.16.46.157 Si enim hoc debet quisque quod accepit, et sic homo factus est ut necessario peccet, hoc debet ut peccet. Cum ergo peccat, quod debet facit. Quod si scelus est dicere, neminem natura sua cogit ut peccet, sed nec aliena. Non enim quisque dum id quod non vult patitur peccat. 3.16.46.158 Nam si iuste patitur, non in eo peccat quod patitur inuitus, sed in eo peccavit quod ita fecit volens ut quod nollet iure pateretur. Si autem iniuste patitur, quo modo peccat? Non enim iniuste aliquid pati sed iniuste aliquid facere peccatum est. Quod si neque sua neque aliena natura peccare quis cogitur, restat ut propria voluntate peccetur. 159] Quod si tribuere volueris conditori, peccantem purgabis, qui nihil praeter sui conditoris instituta commisit; qui si recte defenditur non peccavit; non ergo est quod tribuas conditori. Laudemus ergo conditorem si potest defendi peccator, laudemus si non potest. Si enim iuste defenditur, non est peccator; lauda ergo creatorem; si autem defendi non potest, in tantum peccator est in quantum a creatore se avertit; lauda ergo creatorem. 3.16.46.160 Omnino igitur non invenio nec inveniri posse et prorsus non esse confirmo, quo modo tribuantur peccata nostra creatori nostro deo, quando et in ipsis eum laudabilem invenio, non solum quod ea punit, sed etiam quod tunc iiunt cum ab eius veritate receditur. 46 Therefore, when a man does not do what he ought, this certainly is no fault of the Creator; > rather, it is a matter for His praise that the man suffers what he ought. The blame the man receives for not doing what he ought is nothing else than praise to the Creator to whom he owes the debt. If you are praised when you see what you ought to do, though you only see this in Him who is unchangeable truth, how much more should He be praised who has ordered you to will what you ought to do, and has given you the power to carry it out, and has not allowed you to refuse it unpunished! If everyone owes that which he has received, and if man has been so made that he sins necessarily, then his duty is to sin. 41 Therefore, when he sins, he does what he ought to do. But if it is wicked to say this, then no one is forced by his own nature to sin, nor is he forced by the nature of anyone else. No one sins by suffering what he does not will. If he suffers justly, he does not sin by that which he suffers against his will; but he did sin by that which he willed to do, and by deserving to suffer thereby what he did not will. If he suffers unjustly, how does he sin? It is not a sin to suffer unjustly but to act unjustly. But if a man is compelled to sin neither by his own nature nor by that of someone else, it remains that he sins through his own will. If you wish to attribute the sin to the Creator, you will clear the sinner because he did nothing against the ordinance of his Creator. But if your defence is sound, he did not sin, and there is nothing to attribute to the Creator. Let us then praise > the Creator, if the sinner can be defended; let us also praise Him, if he cannot. If he is defended justly, he is no sinner, and so praise the Creator. If he cannot be defended, he is a sinner in so far as he turns away from the Creator, so praise the Creator. Therefore, I can find no reason at all for attributing our sins to God, our Creator, and I assert that no such reason can be found, and indeed that it does not exist. I find that in these very sins He is to be praised, not only because He punishes them, but also because they are committed by departing from His truth.
EVODIUS. Accipio ista libentissime ac probo; et omnino verum esse consentio nullo modo fieri posse ut creatori nostro recte peccata nostra tribuantur. E. I accept most gladly what you say and approve it. I agree it is quite true that our sins can in no manner at all be rightly attributed to our Creator.
3.17.47.161 PERVERTED WILL IS THE CAUSE OF EVIL, AND IT IS USELESS TO LOOK FURTHER
Sed tamen scire vellem, si fieri posset, quare illa natura non peccet quam non peccaturam praescivit deus, et quare ista peccet quae ab illo peccatura praevisa est. Non enim iam puto ipsa dei praescientia vel illam non peccare vel istam peccare cogi. 3.17.47.162 Sed tamen si nulla causa esset, non ita dispertiretur creatura rationalis ut alia numquam peccet et alia in peccando perseueret, alia quasi media inter utramque aliquando peccet aliquando ad recte faciendum convertatur. Quae causa in has tres partes eam distribuit? 3.17.47.163 Sed nolo mihi respondeatur: 'Voluntas'. ego enim causam quaero ipsius voluntatis. Non enim sine causa numquam vult illa peccare, numquam ista non vult, quaedam vero aliquando vult aliquando non vult, cum eiusdem generis omnes sint. Hoc solum enim mihi videre videor, non sine causa esse istam tripartitam voluntatem rationalis creaturae; sed quae causa sit nescio. But I should like to know, if possible, why that nature does not sin which God has foreknown will not sin, and why that nature sins which God has foreseen will sin. I do not now think that through God's foreknowledge the one is forced to sin and the other not to sin. Nevertheless, if there is no cause, rational creatures would not be divided into those which never sin, those which persist in sin, and those between these extremes who sometimes sin and sometimes turn to doing good. What cause is there for their division into these three classes? > I do not want you to reply that it is the will: it is the cause behind the will that I am asking about. There must be some cause which brings it about that some never will to sin, that others always do so, and that others do so on occasion, though all have the same nature. The one point which seems clear to me is that there must be a cause for this threefold division of will in the rational creature; but what the cause is I do not know.
3.17.48.164
AUGUSTINUS. Quoniam voluntas est causa peccati, tu autem causam ipsius voluntatis inquiris, si hanc invenire potuero, nonne causam etiam eius causae quae inventa fuerit quaesiturus es? Et quis quaerendi modus, quis finis percontandi ac disserendi, cum te ultra radicem quaerere nihil oporteat? 3.17.48.165 Cave enim putes quicquam potuisse dici verius quam id quod dictum est, radicem omnium malorum esse auaritiam hoc est plus velle quam sat est. Tantum autem sat est quantum sibi exigit naturae in suo genere conservandae modus. 3.17.48.166 Auaritia enim, quae graece filarguriva dicitur, non in solo argento vel in nummis magis unde nomen duxisse resonat -- argento enim nummi aut mixto argento frequentius apud ueteres fiebant -- sed in omnibus rebus quae inmoderate cupiuntur intellegenda est, ubicumque omnino plus vult quisque quam sat est. Haec autem auaritia cupiditas est, cupiditas porro inproba voluntas est. 3.17.48.167 Ergo inproba voluntas malorum omnium causa est. Quae si secundum naturam esset, conservaret utique naturam nec ei perniciosa esset et ideo non esset inproba. Unde colligitur radicem omnium malorum non esse secundum naturam, quod sufficit adversus omnes qui volunt accusare naturas. Tu autem si huius radicis causam requiris, quo modo erit ista radix omnium malorum? Illa enim erit quae huius est causa. Quam cum inveneris, ut dixi, etiam ipsius causam quaesiturus es et quaerendi nullum habebis modum. A. Since the will is the cause of sin, and you are looking for a cause of the will, if I can find this, will you not look for a cause of the cause I have found? What will satisfy these questions, what will put an end to our hesitation and discussion? You ought not to look further than the root. Do not suppose that anything can be truer than the sentence: The desire of money is the root of all evil 42 that is, the desire for more than sufficiency. That amount is sufficiency which each nature demands for its preservation. Avaricetermed philarguria in Greek, which echoes better the origin of the word, for in olden times coins were made of silver or more frequently an alloy of silver does not apply only to silver or money; but it must be understood to apply to everything which is desired to excess, whenever a man wills more than is enough. Such avarice is cupidity, and cupidity is perverted will. Perverted will, then, is the cause of all evil If the will followed nature, it would preserve, and would not harm nature, and so would not be perverted. Hence, we conclude, the root of all > evil is not according to nature, and this is sufficient answer to those who would accuse nature. But if you look for the cause of this root, how can it be the root of all evil? Such cause would be the root cause, and if you found it, you will, as I said, look for a further cause, and the inquiry will be endless.
3.17.49.168
Sed quae tandem esse poterit ante voluntatem causa voluntatis? Aut enim et ipsa voluntas est et a radice ista voluntatis non recedtur, aut non est voluntas et peccatum nullum habet. Aut igitur voluntas est prima causa peccandi aut nullum peccatum est prima causa peccandi. Nec est cui recte inputetur peccatum nisi peccanti. 3.17.49.169 Non ergo est cui recte inputetur nisi volenti -- sed nescio cur aliud te quaerere libeat. Deinde quaecumque illa causa est voluntatis, aut iusta profecto est aut iniusta. Si iusta, quisquis ei optemperaverit non peccabit; si iniusta, non ei optemperet et non peccabit. Now what could precede the will and be its cause? Either it is the will itself, and nothing else than the will is the root, 43 or it is not the will which is not sinful. Either the will itself is the original cause of sin, or no sin is the original cause of sin. Sin cannot be attributed to anything except to the sinner. It cannot rightly be attributed to anything except to him who wills it: 44 I do not know why you should wish to look for anything further. Again, whatever is the cause of the will, is either just or unjust. If just, we shall not sin by submitting to it; if unjust, let us not submit to it, and we shall not sin.
3.18.50.170
An forte violenta est et cogit inuitum? Num eadem totiens replicaturi sumus? Reminiscere superiorum quae a nobis tam multa de peccato et voluntate libera dicta sunt. Sed si laboriosum est omnia mandare memoriae, hoc brevissimum tene. Quaecumque ista causa est voluntatis si non ei potest resisti, sine peccato ei ceditur; si autem potest, non ei cedatur et non peccabitur. 3.18.50.171 An forte fallit incautum? Ergo caveat ne fallatur. An tanta fallacia est ut caveri omnino non possit? Si ita est, nulla peccata sunt. Quis enim peccat in eo quod nullo modo caveri potest? Peccatur autem, caveri igitur potest. 18.50 But perhaps it uses compulsion and forces a man against his will? Need we repeat ourselves over and over again? Remember all that we said before about sin and free will. If it is difficult to keep it all in mind, do remember this summary. Whatever is the cause of the will, if we cannot resist it, we do not sin by yielding to it; if we can resist, we must not yield and we shall not sin. Perhaps it tricks us when off our guard? We must be careful not to be tricked. Or is the trickery such that we cannot possibly be on our guard against it? If so, there is no sin, for no one sins when he cannot guard against it. Yet sin is committed, and therefore we can guard against it. 45 >
3.18.51.172
Et tamen etiam per ignorantiam facta quaedam inprobantur et corrigenda iudicantur, sicut in divinis auctoritatibus legimus. Ait enim apostolus: "Misericordiam consecutus sum, quia ignorans feci", ait et propheta: "Delicta ivuentutis et ignorantiae meae ne memineris". Sunt etiam necessitate facta inprobanda, ubi vult homo recte facere et non potest. 3.18.51.173 Nam unde sunt illae voces: "Non enim, quod volo facio bonum, sed quod odi malum, hoc ago", et illud: "Velle adiacet mihi perficere autem bonum non invenio"; et illud: "Caro concupiscit adversus spiritum et spiritus adversus carnem; haec enim invicem adversantur, ut non ea quae uultis faciatis?" Sed haec omnia hominum sunt ex illa mortis damnatione venientium nam si non est ista poena hominis sed natura, nulla ista peccata sunt. 3.18.51.174 Si enim non receditur ab eo modo quo naturaliter factus est ita ut melius esse non possit, ea quae debet facit cum haec facit. Si autem bonus homo esset, aliter esset. Nunc autem quia ita est, non est bonus nec habet in potestate ut bonus sit, sive non videndo qualis esse debeat, sive videndo et non valendo esse qualem debere esse se videt. 3.18.51.175 Poenam istam esse quis dubitet? omnis autem poena si iusta est peccati poena est et supplicium nominatur; si autem iniusta poena est, quoniam poenam esse nemo ambigit, iniusto aliquo dominante homini imposita est; porro quia de omnipotentia dei et iustitia dubitare dementis est, iusta haec poena est et pro peccato aliquo penditur. 3.18.51.176 Non enim quisquam iniustus dominator aut subripere hominem potuit velut ignoranti deo aut extorquere inuito tamquam inualidiori vel terrendo vel confligendo, ut hominem iniusta poena cruciaret. Relinquitur ergo ut haec poena iusta de damnatione hominis veniat. 51 Nevertheless, some actions done in ignorance are judged to be wrong and in need of correction, as we read in the divine documents. For example, the Apostle says: / obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly; * 6 and the Prophet says: The sins of my youth and my Ignorance do not remember? 7 Actions done of necessity when a man wills to act rightly and cannot, are also judged wrong. Hence the words: For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do; and, To will is present with me, but to accomplish that which is good, I find not; 4S and, The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not the things that you would. 49 But all this applies to men as they appear on the scene after the condemnation of death; for if this does not stand for man's punishment, but his natural condition, then there is no question of sin. If man has not lost his natural kind of being, and if he cannot become better, he is doing what he ought when he acts in this way. But if man would be good if he were constituted differently, and he is not good because he is in his present condition; if he has not the power to become good, whether because he does not see what he ought to be, or because he sees and yet cannot be what he sees he ought to be, then this is surely a punishment. Now every punishment is a punishment for sin, if it is just, and is called a penalty; but if the punishment is unjust, since no one doubts it is a punishment, it is imposed on man by an unjust ruler. > But it would be folly to doubt the omnipotence and justice of God, and therefore this punishment must be just, and be exacted for some sin. No unjust ruler could have snatched man away from God without His knowledge or taken him by force against God's will, \vhether by threat or violence, in order to inflict torture on him as an unjust punishment. No one can frighten God, or struggle with Him. It remains, therefore, that this is a just punishment resulting from man's condemnation.
3.18.52.177
Nec mirandum est quod vel ignorando non habet arbitrium liberum voluntatis ad eligendum quod recte faciat, vel resistente carnali consuetudine, quae violentia mortalis successionis quodam modo naturaliter inolevit, videat quid recte faciendum sit et velit nec possit implere. 3.18.52.178 Illa est enim peccati poena iustissima, ut amittat quisque quod bene uti noluit cum sine ulla posset difficultate si vellet; id est autem ut qui sciens recte non facit amittat scire quid rectum sit, et qui recte facere cum posset noluit amittat posse cum velit. Nam sunt re vera omni peccanti animae duo ista poenalia, ingorantia et difficultas. Ex ignorantia dehonestat error, ex difficultate cruciatus affligit. 3.18.52.179 Sed approbare falsa pro veris ut erret inuitus, et resistente atque torquente dolore carnalis vinculi non posse a libidinosis operibus temperare, non est natura instituti hominis sed poena damnati. Cum autem de libera voluntate recte faciendi loquimur, de illa scilicet in qua homo factus est loquimur. It is not surprising that man, through his ignorance, does not have free choice of will to determine what he ought to do; or that, through the resistance of carnal habits, which have become second nature as a result of the element of unrestraint handed on in human heredity, he sees what he ought to do and wills it, but cannot accomplish it. It is an absolutely just punishment for sin that a man should lose what he refuses to use rightly, when he could do so without any difficulty if he wished. Thus a man who knows what he ought to do and does not do it, loses the knowledge of what is right, and the man who has refused to act rightly when he could, loses the power when he wishes to have it. Indeed for every sinful soul there are the two punishments, ignorance and difficulty. As a result of ignorance error shames us, and as a result of difficulty pain torments us. But to approve false for true, so as to err unwillingly, and to be unable to refrain from acts of passion on account of the resistance and pain of the bonds of the flesh, are > not natural to man in his original state, but are a punishment after his condemnation. When we speak of a will free to act rightly, we speak of the will with which man was created.
3.19.53.180
Hic occurrit illa quaestio quam inter se murmurantes homines rodere consuerunt qui quodlibet aliud in peccando quam se accusare parati sunt. Dicunt enim: 'Si Adam et Eua peccaverunt, quid nos miseri fecimus, ut cum ignorantiae caecitate et difficultatis cruciatibus nasceremur et primo erraremus nescientes quid nobis esset faciendum, deinde ubi nobis inciperent aperiri praecepta iustitiae, vellemus ea facere et retinente carnalis concupiscentiae nescio qua necessitate non valeremus?' 3.19.53.181 Quibus breviter respondetur ut quiescant et adversus deum murmurare desistant. Recte enim fortasse quererentur si erroris et libidinis nullus hominum victor existeret. Cum vero ubique sit praesens qui multis modis per creaturam sibi domino seruientem aversum vocet doceat credentem consoletur sperantem diligentem adhortetur conantem adivuet exaudiat deprecantem, non tibi deputatur ad culpam quod inuitus ignoras, sed quod neglegis quaerere quod ignoras, neque illud quod uulnerata membra non colligis, sed quod volentem sanare contemnis; ista tua propria peccata sunt. 3.19.53.182 Nulli enim homini ablatum est scire utiliter quaeri quod inutiliter ignoratur, et humiliter confitendam esse inbecillitatem, ut quaerenti et confitenti ille subveniat qui nec errat dum subvenit nec laborat. Here that problem raises itself, which is often brought up with murmurings and mutterings: men are ready to accuse anything else for their sins rather than themselves. Thus they say: If Adam and Eve sinned, what have we unhappy people done, to be born in the blindness of ignorance and amid the torments of difficulty, 50 first to err not knowing our duty, and then, when the commands of justice begin to be revealed to us, to will to follow them, and to be powerless to do so because some urge of fleshly concupiscence fights against it? My answer in brief is that these people should keep quiet and cease to murmur against God. They might perhaps be justified in complaining if no one had ever conquered error and passion. There is, however, everywhere present One who in so many ways uses His creatures to call back the servant who has abandoned Him, who teaches him when he believes, consoles him when he hopes, encourages him when he loves, helps him when he strives, and hears him when he prays. It is not counted to you as a fault that you are ignorant against your will, but that you fail to seek the knowledge you do not possess. Nor is it a fault that you do not tend your wounded members, but that you despise Him who wishes to heal them. These are your own sins. No one is prevented > from knowing how valuable it is to seek the knowledge which it is valueless not to possess, and from knowing the duty humbly to confess his weakness, so that when he seeks and when he confesses he may be helped by Him who neither errs when He gives help nor becomes weary of giving it.
3.19.54.183
Nam illud quod ignorans quisque non recte facit et quod recte volens facere non potest, ideo dicuntur peccata quia de peccato illo liberae voluntatis originem ducunt; illud enim praecedens meruit ista sequentia. 184] Nam sicut linguam dicimus non solum membrum quod movemus in ore dum loquimur, sed etiam illud quod huius membri motum consequitur -- id est formam tenoremque verborum secundum quem modum dicitur alia lingua graeca alia latina -- sic non solum peccatum illud dicimus quod proprie peccatum vocatur -- libera enim voluntate et ab sciente committitur -- sed etiam illud quod iam de huius supplicio consequatur necesse est. 3.19.54.185 Sic etiam ipsam naturam aliter di proprie loquimur naturam hominis in qua primum in suo genere inculpabilis factus est, aliter istam in qua ex illius damnati poena et mortales et ignari et carni subditi nascimur, iuxta quem modum dicit apostolus: "Fuimus enim et nos naturaliter filii irae sicut et caeteri". The wrong actions which are done in ignorance, and the right actions which cannot be done in spite of a good will, are called sins because they draw their origin from the first sin which was committed freely, and which brought about these effects as a due consequence. By 'tongue' we mean not only the member we move in our mouth when we speak, but also the results of the movement of this member, namely, the form and connection of words. Thus we call one the Greek tongue and another the Latin tongue. In the same way by sin we do not only mean what is properly speaking a sin, a sin committed freely and deliberately, but also what is bound to follow as a punishment of such sin. So too we use the word 'nature' properly speaking of the nature which men share in common, and with which at first man was created in a state of innocence. We also use nature to mean that nature with which we are born mortal, ignorant, and slaves of the flesh, after sentence has been pronounced on the first man. In the words of the Apostle: We were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
3.20.55.186
Ut autem de illo primo coniugio et cum ignorantia et cum difficultate et cum mortalitate nascamur, quoniam illi cum peccavissent et in errorem et in erumnam et in mortem praecipitati sunt, rerum moderatori deo iustissime placuit, ut et in ortu hominis originaliter appareret iustitia punientis et in provectu misericordia liberantis. Non enim damnato primo homini sic adempta est beatitudo ut etiam fecunditas adimeretur; poterat enim et de prole eius quamvis carnali et mortali aliquod in suo genere fieri decus ornamentumque terrarum. 3.20.55.187 Iam vero ut meliores gigneret quam ipse esset non erat aequitatis. Sed ex conversione ad deum ut vinceret quisque supplicium quod origo eius ex aversione meruerat, non solum volentem non prohiberi sed etiam adivuari oportebat. Etiam sic enim rerum creator ostendit quanta facilitate potuisset homo, si voluisset, retinere quod factus est, cum proles eius potuit etiam superare quod nata est. God, the supreme Ruler of creation, justly de> creed that from the first pair we should inherit ignorance, difficulty, and death, because they, as a result of their sin, fell into error, tribulation, and death. This was done that just punishment might be made manifest at man's first origin, and merciful deliverance at a later time. When the first man was condemned, he was not deprived of the happiness of having children. He was permitted to have descendants, though carnal and mortal, that the human race might in its own way be a beauty and honour to the earth. It was not equitable that the first man should beget children better than himself. But if his descendants converted to God, it was but proper that, showing this will, they should not be hindered, but receive aid in overcoming the punishment which the perversion of their origin had deserved. Thus too the Creator of things showed how easily man could have kept his first condition, if he had wished to do so, for his offspring was even able to rise above the state in which he was born.
3.20.56.188
Deinde si una anima facta est ex qua omnium trahuntur nascentium, quis potest dicere non se peccasse cum primus ille peccavit? Si autem singillatim fiunt in uno quoque nascentium, non est peruersum, immo convenientissimum et ordinatissimum apparet ut malum meritum prioris natura sequentis sit et bonum meritum sequentis natura prioris sit. 3.20.56.189 Quid enim indignum si etiam sic voluit creator ostendere usque adeo excellere creaturis corporeis animae dignitatem ut ab eo gradu possit esse ortus alterius ad quem alterius est perductus occasus? Nam cum ad ignorantiam difficultatemque peruenerit illa peccatrix, ideo poena recte dicitur quia melior ante hanc poenam fuit. 3.20.56.190 Si ergo altera talis esse coepit, non solum ante peccatum sed ante omnem vitam suam, qualis alia post vitam culpabilem facta est, non paruum bonum habet unde conditori suo gratias agat, quia ipse ortus eius et inchoatio quovis perfecto corpore est melior. Non enim mediocria bona sunt non solum quod anima est, qua natura iam corpus omne praecedit, sed etiam quod facultatem habet ut adivuante creatore se ipsam excolat et pio studio possit omnes adquirere et capere virtutes per quas et a difficultate cruciante et ab ignorantia caecante liberetur. 3.20.56.191 Quod si ita est, non erit nascentibus animis ignorantia et difficultas supplicium peccati, sed proficiendi admonitio et perfectionis exordium. Non enim ante omne meritum boni operis parum est accepisse naturale iudicium quo sapientiam praeponat errori et quietem difficultati, ut ad haec non nascendo sed studendo perveniat. Quod si agere noluerit, peccati rea iure tenebitur, tamquam quae non bene usa sit ea facultate quam accepit. 3.20.56.192 Quamquam enim in ignorantia et difficultate nata sit, non tamen ad permanendum in eo quod nata est aliqua necessitate conprimitur. Neque omnino potuit nisi deus omnipotens esse etiam talium creator animarum quas et non dilectus ipse faciat et dilectus ipse perficiat, qui et non existentibus praestat ut sint et amantibus eum a quo sunt praestat ut beatae sint. 56 Again, if only one soul was made from which are derived the souls of all men who are born, who can say that he himself did not sin when the first man sinned? If, however, a soul is created separately at the birth of each man, it does not seem wrong, but indeed quite reasonable and proper, that the evil merited by the earlier soul should belong by nature to the later, and the good merited by the later should belong by nature to the earlier. How was it unworthy of the Creator, if, in spite of all, He wished to show that a soul so far > surpasses a bodily creature in excellence, that the highest degree of the bodily creature only reaches the lowest degree to which the soul has fallen? For the sinful soul became involved in ignorance and difficulty, and this is rightly called punishment because the soul was better before the punishment. Even if, not only before sinning but from the very beginning of life, a soul should have that state of being to which another was reduced after living wickedly, it still has no small good for which to give thanks to the Creator, for even in its first beginning its state is better than any bodily thing however perfect. These are not ordinary blessings not only that it is a soul, the nature of which is more excellent than any bodily thing; but, more than this, that it is capable, with the help of the Creator, of developing itself, and, if it does its duty earnestly, of acquiring and possessing the virtues which will free it from painful difficulty and blind ignorance. If this is so, ignorance and difficulty will not be a punishment for sin to souls at their birth, but an encouragement to progress and a beginning of perfection. It is no small matter, before any meritorious action, to receive a natural power of judgment by which wisdom is preferred to error, and rest to difficulty, so that the soul may attain these ends not indeed at birth but as a result of effort. But if a soul refuses to do this, it will rightly be held guilty of sin, because it has not made good use of the power it received. Though born in a state of ignorance and difficulty, yet it is not forced by any > necessity to remain in the state in which it was born. Only Almighty God, and no one else, could create such souls. For, though not loved by them He gives them being, and because He loves them He repairs their being, 52 and when loved by them He perfects their being. He who gives being to what has no being, gives happiness to those who love the author of their being.
3.20.57.193
Si vero in dei aliquo secreto iam existentes animae mittuntur ad inspiranda et regenda corpora singulorum quorumque nascentium, ad hoc utique mittuntur officium, ut corpus, quod de poena peccati, hoc est mortalitate primi hominis nascitur, bene administrando, id est castigando per virtutes, et ordinatissimae atque legitimae seruituti subiciendo, etiam ipsi comparent ordine ac tempore oportuno caelestis incorruptionis locum. 3.20.57.194 Quae cum introeunt in hanc vitam subeuntque gestanda membra mortalia, subeant etiam necesse est et oblivionem vitae prioris et praesentis laborem. unde illa ignorantia et difficultas consequetur, quod in primo homine supplicium mortalitatis fuit ad animi expendendam miseriam, in istis autem ianua ministerii ad reparandam corporis incorruptionem. 3.20.57.195 Nam hoc quoque modo non dicuntur ista peccata nisi quia caro de propagine veniens peccatoris venientibus ad se animis hanc ignorantiam et difficultatem facit, quae neque his neque creatori tamquam culpanda tribuatur. 3.20.57.196 Dedit enim ille et facultatem bene operandi in laboriosis officiis et viam fidei in oblivionis caecitate, iudicium illud vel maxime, quod anima omnis et quaerendum esse concedit quod inutiliter nescit et perseueranter in officiosis laboribus enitendum ad evincendam recte faciendi difficultatem et opem a creatore inplorandam ut conantem adivuet, qui vel extrinsecus lege vel in intimis cordis allocutione conandum essc praecepit et praeparat civitatis beatissimae gloriam triumphantibus de illo qui primum hominem ad istam miseriam perduxit victum pessima suasione; quam miseriam isti suscipiunt ad eum vincendum optima fide. 3.20.57.197 Non enim paruae gloriae militia est diabolum vincere eodem suscepto supplicio quo se ille hominem victum perduxisse gloriatur. Quisquis autem hoc istius vitae captus amore neglexerit, nullo pacto iuste flagitium desertionis suae regis imperio deputabit, sed erit potius sub omnium domino in eius partibus ordinatus cuius turpe stipendium ut castra sua desereret adamavit. If, however, souls pre-existing in some secret place assigned by God are sent to animate and govern the bodies of all the different persons who are born, they are sent for the following purpose. They are to govern rightly the body which is born subject to the punishment of the first man's sin, namely, liability to death, by using the virtues to keep it in check, and by subjecting it to a proper and lawful servitude, in order that they may prepare for it a place where in due order and time it may dwell incorrupt in heaven. When these souls enter this life and endure the putting on of mortal limbs, they must also endure the f orgetfulness of their former life and the toil of their present life. Ignorance and difficulty result, 53 which were the first man's penalty when death was laid upon him that he might realise the misery of his soul. These souls, however, find here a door to their work of restoring incorruption to the body. Thus, again, we only speak of this as sin because the flesh, derived from a sinful forefather, brings this ignorance and difficulty to the souls who enter into it. Neither they nor the Creator can be held responsible for these evils. > The Creator has given them the power to carry out their burdensome duties well, and the path of faith to guide the blindness arising from their lack of memory. Above all He has given them the power to make the following judgment. For every soul agrees that it must strive to enlighten a vain ignorance, and unceasingly endeavour to carry the burden of its duty, to overcome the difficulty of doing right, and to implore the help of the Creator in all its efforts. Whether from without by law or from within by speaking directly to the heart, He has ordered men to do their best. He prepares the glory of the City of bliss for those who vanquish him who led the first man into unhappiness, overcoming by wicked temptation. Such men submit to this unhappiness in order to conquer the devil by the excellence of their faith. For there is no small glory in the struggle, if the devil is conquered and submits to the very punishment by which he boasts he led man captive. If a man is induced by love of this life to give up the struggle, he will have no right to attribute the shame of his desertion to the command of his king. Rather, the Lord of all will set him where the devil dwells, whose shameful service he so loved that he deserted his true camp.
3.20.58.198
Si autem alibi animae constituae non mittuntur a domino deo, sed sua sponte ad inhabitanda corpora veniunt facile est iam hoc videre, quicquid ignorantiae difficultatisque secutum fuerit earum propriam voluntatem, nullo modo creatorem hinc esse culpandum, quandoquidem, etiam si eas ipse misisset, quibus etiam in ipsa ignorantia et difficultate liberam voluntatem petendi et quaerendi et conandi non abstulit daturus petentibus demonstraturus quaerentibus pulsantibus aperturus, omnino extra culpam esset. 3.20.58.199 Hanc enim ignorantiam et difficultatem studiosis et beneuolis evincendam ad coronam gloriae valere praestaret, neglegentibus autem et peccata sua de infirmitate defendere volentibus non ipsam ignorantiam difficultatemque pro crimine obiceret, sed, quia in eis potius permanere quam studio quaerendi atque discendi et humilitate confitendi atque orandi ad veritatem ac facilitatem pervenire voluerunt, iusto supplicio vindicaret. But if souls existing elsewhere are not sent by the Lord God, but of their own accord come to dwell in bodies, we can easily see that whatever ignorance and difficulty result from the action of their own will, the Creator is in no way to blarne. Even if He had sent them Himself, since He did > not deprive them, despite their ignorance and difficulty, of their freedom to beg, and seek and strive, but was ready to give to those who beg, to show light to those who seek, and to open to those who knock, He would therefore be utterly without blame. To zealous souls of good will He would grant power to conquer ignorance and difficulty and to gain the crown of glory. To the negligent who wished to defend their sins on the ground of weakness, He would not impute their ignorance or difficulty. Because, however, they chose to remain in that state rather than by zealous seeking and learning and by humble confession and prayer to gain truth and strength, He would assign them just punishment.
3.21.59.200
Harum autem quatuor de anima sententiarum, utrum de propagine veniant an in singulis quibusque nascentibus nouae fiant an in corpora nascentium iam alicubi existentes vel mittantur divinitus vel sua sponte labantur, nullam temere affirmare oportebit. Aut enim nondum ista quaestio a divinorum librorum catholicis tractatoribus pro merito suae obscuritatis et perplexitatis euoluta atque inlustrata est, aut si iam factum est nondum in manus nostras huiuscemodi litterae peruenerunt. 3.21.59.201 Tantum adsit fides nihil de substantia creatoris falsum indignumque sentiendi. Ad illum enim tendimus itinere pietatis. Si ergo aliud de illo senserimus quam est, intentio nostra non in beatitatem sed in uanitatem nos ire conpellet. De creatura vero si quid aliter quam sese habet senserimus, dummodo id non pro cognito perceptoque teneamus, nullum periculum est. 3.21.59.202 Non enim ad creaturam iubemur tendere ut efficiamur beati, sed ad ipsum creatorem, de quo si aliud quam oportet ac sese res habet nobis persuadetur, perniciosissimo errore decipimur. Ad hoc enim pergendo quod aut non est aut, si est, non facit beatos, ad beatam vitam pervenire nullus potest. There are these four opinions about the soul: that it comes by generation, that it is newly created when each person is born, that souls which pre-exist elsewhere are sent by God into the bodies of those who are born, or that they come down of their own will. 54 We should not lightly accept any of these opinions. Either this question has not yet been worked out and decided by Catholic commentators on Scripture, because of its obscurity and difficulty, or if this has been done, these works have not yet come into my hands. 55 At all events, our faith must keep us from holding anything about the substance of the Creator which is false or unworthy of Him. For we journey to Him by the path of pious devotion. If we hold any false opinion about Him, we shall be carried in the direction of vanity and not of happiness. If > we hold any false opinion about a creature, provided we do not accept it as known for certain, there is no danger. We are not commanded to seek the creature in order to become happy, but the Creator Himself. If we hold any opinion about Him which is wrong or false, we are deceived by a pernicious error. For no one, if he journeys towards what does not exist, or towards what does not make him happy even if it does exist, can reach the life of happiness.
3.21.60.203 IT IS OUR FUTURE DESTINY WHICH IS IMPORTANT
Sed ad contemplandam veritatis aeternitatem, ut ea perfrui eique inherere valeamus, infirmitati nostrae via de temporalibus procurata est ut, quantum itineri sufficit ad aeterna tendentium, praeterita et futura credamus -- quae fidei disciplina ut auctoritate praepolleat divina misericordia gubernatur -- praesentia vero, quantum ad creaturam pertinet, in corporis et animi mutabilitate et mobilitate quasi transeuntia sentiuntur, in quibus quicquid non experimur cognitione qualicumque tenere non possumus. 3.21.60.204 Quaecumque ergo nobis de quibuscumque creaturis vel praeterita vel futura divina auctoritate credenda narrantur, quamvis partim priusquam ea sentire potuerimus praeterierint, partim in nostros sensus peruenerint, tamen quia plurimum valent ad roborandam spem nostram et exhortandam dilectionem, dum nobis commendant per ordinatissimam temporum seriem quam non neglegat liberationem nostram deus, sine ulla dubitatione credenda sunt. 3.21.60.205 Sed quisquis error personam sibi divinae auctoritatis adsumit, ea maxime ratione refellitur si aut aliquam vel mutabilem speciem praeter creaturam dei aut aliquam mutabilem speciem in substantia dei credere aut affirmare convincitur eamque substantiam dei vel plus vel minus quam trinitatem esse contendit; cui trinitati pie sobrieque intellegendae omnis excubat vigilantia christiana et omnis eius provectus intenditur. 3.21.60.206 De cuius trinitatis unitate et aequalitate et singularum in ea personarum quadam proprietate non hic locus est disserendi. Nam commemorare quaedam de domino deo auctore et formatore et ordinatore rerum omnium, quae ad saluberrimam fidem pertineant et quibus lactens atque a terrenis in caelestia sese attollere incipiens utiliter adminiculetur intentio, et factu facillimum et a plerisque iam factitatum est. 3.21.60.207 Pertractare autem totam istam atque ita versare quaestionem ut perspicuae rationi, quantum in hac vita datur, omnis humana intellegentia subiugetur, non modo eloquio sed ne cogitatione quidem vel cuiquam hominum vel certe nobis satis expeditum et facile adgrediendum videri potest. For the contemplation of eternal truth, that we may be able to enjoy it and cling to it, a path has been provided through temporal things adapted to our weakness: we must believe past and future events, so far as is required by those who journey to the eternal. This discipline of faith is authoritative, being governed by divine mercy. Present events, so far as they concern creatures, are perceived as transitory, through the movements and changes of body and soul. We cannot have any knowledge of these things, except in so far as we experience them. We should believe whatever we are told about past or future on God's authority, with regard to any creature. Some of these events happened before we could perceive them, some we have not yet perceived with our senses. Nevertheless we must believe them without any hesitation because they > help greatly to strengthen our hope and excite our love, while they remind us of our salvation which God does not neglect throughout the ordered succession of temporal events. If any error puts on the mask of divine authority, it can be refuted by the following test: is it proved to believe or affirm that any beauty, even though changeable, exists apart from God's creatures, or that any changeable beauty exists in the substance of God? Does it maintain that the substance of God is more or less than the Trinity? The whole energy of the Christian is at work with devotion and restraint to understand the Trinity, and all his progress is concerned with doing so. This is not the place to discuss the unity and equality of the Trinity, and that which is proper to each Person. To mention certain facts about the Lord God, the author of all things, the source of their forms, 56 and their governor, facts which pertain to sound faith and which form a useful support to the purpose of one who is a child in these matters and is only beginning to rise from things of earth to those of heaven this is easy to do and many have already done it. But to cover the whole of this question, and so to treat of it that every human intelligence will, so far as is possible in this life, be satisfied with the clear reasoning, does not seem a task which we ourselves, or indeed anyone, would find easy, or lightly to be attempted even in thought and far less in word.
3.21.60.208
Nunc ergo ut quod instituimus, quantum adivuamur et quantum sinimur peragamus: quaecumque nobis quantum ad creaturam pertinet vel narrantur praeterita vel praenuntiantur futura, quae ad commendandam valeant integram religionem excitando nos ad sincerissimam dilectionem dei et proximi, sine dubitatione credenda sunt, 3.21.60.209 adversus incredulos autem hactenus defendenda ut vel mole auctoritatis infidelitas eorum obteratur vel eis ostendatur, quantum potest, primo quam non sit stultum talia credere, deinde quam sit stultum talia non credere. Verum tamen falsam doctrinam non tam de praeteritis et futuris quam de praesentibus et maxime de incommutabilibus oportet refellere et quantum datur perspicua ratione convincere Now let us carry out our plan of discussion so far as God helps us and allows us to do so. With > regard to creatures, we must believe without any hesitation whatever is told us concerning the past or is prophesied concerning the future, if this can foster sound religion and rouse us to sincere love of God and our neighbour. We must defend it against unbelievers, so that either their infidelity may be crushed by the weight of authority, or that they may shown so far as possiblefirst, that it is not foolish to believe these things, secondly, that it is foolish not to believe them. But we ought to refute false teaching not so much about the past and future as about the present, and especially about unchangeable realities, and, so far as possible, we ought to give clear proofs.
3.21.61.210
Sane in serie temporalium inquisitioni praeteritorum futurorum exspectatio praeferenda est, quandoquidem etiam in divinis libris ea, quae praeterita narrantur, vel prae figurationem futurorum vel pollicitationem vel testificationem prae se gerunt. Et re vera in his etiam, quae ad hanc vitam pertinent prosperis adversisue rebus, quid quisque fuerit non satis curat; in id vero quod futurum speratur sese omnis curarum aestus adglomerat. 3.21.61.211 Nescio quo quippe intimo naturalique sensu ea quae nobis acciderunt, quoniam transacta sunt, sic habentur ad momentum felicitatis et miseriae quasi numquam accidissent. Quid ergo mihi obest si esse quando coeperim nescio, cum esse me noverim nec futurum esse desperem? Non enim in praeterita me adtendo, ut tamquam errorem perniciossimum verear si aliter de his sensero quam fuerunt; sed in id quod futurus sum cursum dirigo duce misericordia conditoris mei. 3.21.61.212 De hoc igitur quod futurus sum et de illo apud quem futurus sum si aliter quam veritas sese habet credidero aut sensero, uehementer cavendus est error, ne mihi aut necessaria non praeparem aut ad eum ipsum finem propositi mei, dum aliud pro alio mihi videtur, pervenire non possim. Quam ob rem, sicut ad comparandam uestem nihil mihi obesset si praeteritae hiemis oblitus essem, obesset autem si futurum frigus imminere non crederem, ita nihil oberit animae meae si oblita est quid forte pertulerit si modo diligenter advertat et teneat quo se deinceps parare moneatur. 3.21.61.213 Et sicut verbi gratia Romam naviganti nihil noceret si excidisset animo a quo litore navem soluerit, dum tamen ab eo loco ubi esset non ignoraret quo proram dirigeret, nihil autem prodesset meminisse litoris unde iter exorsus sit si de Romano portu falsum aliquid existimans in saxa incidisset, ita neque si non tenuero initium temporis vitae meae quicquam mihi oberit scienti quo fine requiescam, nec prodesset aliquid illa sive memoria sive coniectura inchoatae vitae si de ipso deo qui unus laborum animae finis est aliter quam dignum est opinatus in scopulos erroris in ruerem. Certainly in the series of temporal events 5T we should prefer looking forward to the future to inquiry into the past. In the Divine Books too the story of past events prefigures, or promises, or witnesses to, the future. Indeed, even in matters which concern this present life, whether favourable or unfavourable, no one troubles about his earlier state, but all anxiety concentrates upon hopes for the future. As a result of some feeling in the depth of our natures, past events, being over and done with, are regarded as moments of happiness or misery, as though they had never occurred. What disadvantage is it to me not to know when I began to exist, if I know that I exist now and hope to exist in the future? I do not trouble about the past, or think a false opinion about the past a disastrous error. I direct my course to my future, led by the mercy of my Creator, If, therefore, I be> lieve or think falsely about my future state, or about Him with whom I shall be in the future, I must be most careful to guard against this error. The danger is that I may not make the necessary preparation, or may be unable to reach the end I have in view, if I confuse one thing with another. If I were buying a coat, it would not affect me adversely to have forgotten last winter, but such would be the case, were I not to believe that cold weather will be coming on. So too it will be no hindrance to my soul if it forgets what it may have endured in the past, provided it keeps carefully in mind all for which it is urged to prepare in the future. If, for example, a man was sailing for Rome, it would not matter if he forgot the land from which he set sail, so long as he knew whither to steer from the place at which he was. It would not help him to remember the land from which he set out, if he made a mistake about the port of Rome and was wrecked. In the same way it will do no harm to me to forget the beginning of my life, if I know the end where I can find rest. It will not help me to remember or to guess the beginning of my life, if I have an unworthy notion of God Himself who is the sole end of the soul's labours, and run upon the reefs of error.
3.21.62.214
Nec iste sermo ad id valuerit ut quisquam nos prohibere arbitretur ut quaerant qui poterunt secundum scripturas divinitus inspiratas, utrum anima de anima propagetur an suo cuique animanti singulae in ipso fiant an ad regendum animandumque corpus divino nutu alicunde mittantur vel propria voluntate se insinvent, si vel alicuius expediendae necessariae quaestionis ratio flagitat ista considerare atque discutere vel a rebus magis necessariis otium ad haec quaerenda et disserenda conceditur; 3.21.62.215 verum ad id potius ista dixerim, ne quis in re tali vel temere succenseat ei qui suae opinioni humaniore fortasse dubitatione non cedit, aut etiam si quid hinc certi quisquam et liquidi conprehenderit ideo putet alium spem perdidisse futurorum quia praeterita exorsa non recolit. These words should not make anyone think that we are warning competent critics against consulting the divinely inspired Scriptures whether soul is generated from soul, or whether each soul is created separately for the person whom it animates, or whether souls are sent by divine command from > elsewhere to govern and animate a body, or whether they put themselves there by their own will. To examine an important question, reason may demand that we consider and discuss these things, or else leisure from more important matters may be granted for study and research in these fields. I have mentioned this rather to prevent, on so grave a question, unreasonable exasperation against those who question one's opinion through doubt which is perhaps too human. Also, if anyone can find any clear evidence, he should not suppose another person has abandoned hope of the future, because he has forgotten his origins in the past.
3.22.63.216
Quoquo modo autem se istuc habeat, sive omnino omittendum sive nunc differendum et alias considerandum sit, praesens tamen quaestio non impeditur quominus appareat integerrima et iustissima et inconcussa atque incommutabili maiestate et substantia creatoris supplicia peccatorum suorum animas luere. Quae peccata, ut iam diu disserimus, non nisi propriae voluntati earum tribuenda sunt nec ulla ulterior peccatorum causa quaerenda. 22.63 Whatever the truth about this matter, whether we must leave it aside altogether, or whether we must put off its consideration to another time, we are not prevented from seeing the answer to the problem under discussion. We see that souls pay the penalty for their sins, and that the majesty and substance of the Creator remains unimpaired, just, unshakeable, and unchangeable. Sins, as we have already explained, are to be attributed to nothing but to their own wills, and we must not look for any further 5S cause of sins.
3.22.64.217
Ignorantia vero et difficultas si naturalis est, inde incipit anima proficere et ad cognitionem et requiem, donec in ea perficiatur vita beata, promoveri. Quem profectum in studiis optimis atque pietate, quorum facultas ei non negata est, si propria voluntate neglexerit, iuste in graviorem quae iam poenalis est ignorantiam difficultatemque praecipitatur, decentissimo et convenientissimo rerum moderamine in inferioribus ordinata. 3.22.64.218 Non enim quod naturaliter nescit et naturaliter non potest, hoc animae deputatur in reatum, sed quod scire non studuit et quod dignam facilitati conparandae ad recte faciendum operam non dedit. Loqui enim non nosse atque non posse infanti naturale est; quae ignorantia difficultasque sermonis non modo inculpabilis sub grammaticorum legibus sed etiam humanis affectibus blanda atque grata est. non enim ullo vitio illam facultatem comparare neglexit aut ullo vitio quam compararat amisit. 3.22.64.219 Itaque si nobis in eloquentia esset beatitudo constituta atque ita crimini duceretur cum peccatur in linguae sonis quem ad modum cum peccatur in actibus vitae, nullus utique argueretur infantiae quod ab ea esset exorsus ad consequendam eloqnentiam, sed plane merito damnaretur si suae voluntatis peruersitate vel ad eam recidisset vel in ea remansisset. 3.22.64.220 Sic etiam nunc si ignorantia veri et difficultas recti naturalis est homini unde incipiat in sapientiae quietisque beatitudinem surgere, nullus hanc ex initio naturali recte arguit; sed si proficere noluerit aut a profectu retrorsum relabi voluerit, iure meritoque poenas luet. If, however, ignorance and difficulty are according to nature, the soul starts from this condition to advance and move towards knowledge and a state of rest, until it reaches perfection in the life of happiness. If of its own will it neglects its progress in the study of higher things and in devotion, though the opportunity for this is not denied it, it > is justly precipitated into worse ignorance and difficulty, which is already punishment, and is placed among lower beings by a right and proper disposition of affairs. A soul is not held guilty if its ignorance and incapacity result from its nature, but only if it does not attempt to acquire knowledge, and if it makes no sufficient effort to gain the power to act rightly. It is natural for a child not to know how to speak and to be unable to do so. Its ignorance of, and difficulty in, speaking are no crime against the laws of grammar; we even regard such things with pleasure and affection. The child did not fail to gain this power through any fault, nor did it possess this power and then lose it through any fault. If our happiness consisted in eloquence, and it were a crime to make a mistake in speaking, in the same sense as in life certain actions are sinful, no one would be blamed for childhood, because that was the starting point in the acquirement of eloquence. Clearly, however, he could be justly blamed if through perversity of will he fell back into childhood or remained in it. So too if ignorance of the truth and difficulty in doing right are natural to man, and if this is the condition from which he starts in his progress to the happiness of wisdom and the state of rest, no one has any right to blame happiness for its natural origin. Yet, if a man refuses to make progress or wilfully falls back from progress, it is right and just that he should be punished.
3.22.65.221
Creator vero eius ubique laudatur, vel quod ab ipsis exordiis ad summi boni capacitatem inchoaverit vel, quod eius profectum adivuet vel quod impleat proficientem atque perficiat vel quod peccantem, id est aut ab initiis suis sese ad perfectionem adtollere recusantem aut iam ex profectu aliquo relabentem, iustissima damnatione pro meritis ordinat. 3.22.65.222 Non enim propterea malam creavit quia nondum tanta est quanta ut proficiendo esse posset accepit, cum eius exordio perfectiones omnes corporum longe inferiores sint, quas tamen in suo genere laudabiles esse iudicat quisquis sanissime iudicat. Quod ergo ignorat quid sibi agendum sit, ex eo est quod nondum accepit; sed hoc quoque accipiet, si hoc quod accepit bene usa fuerit. Accepit autem ut diligenter et pie quaerat si volet. Et quod agnoscens quid sibi agendum sit non continuo valet implere, hoc quoque nondum accepit. 3.22.65.223 Praecessit enim pars quaedam eius sublimior ad sentiendum recte facti bonum, sed quaedam tardior atque carnalis non consequenter in sententiam ducitur, ut ex ipsa difficultate admoneatur eundem implorare adiutorem perfectionis suae quem inchoationis sentit allctorem, ut ex hoc ei fiat carior dum non suis viribus, sed, cuius bonitate habet ut sit, eius misericordia sublevatur ut beata sit. Quanto autem carior illi est a quo est, tanto in eo firmis adquiescit et tanto uberius eius aeternitate perfruitur. The Creator of the soul always deserves praise, > for endowing it from its first beginning with the capacity of gaining the supreme good, for helping it to advance, for finishing and perfecting its progress, for justly condemning it according to its deserts when it sins, that is, when it refuses to raise itself from its original state to its perfection, or when it falls back again after it has made progress. The fact that at first it was not as perfect as it received the power to become at a later stage, does not mean that it was created evil. All the perfections of bodily things are far inferior to the soul in its first condition, though a sound judgment would count even these praiseworthy in their own way. The fact that the soul does not know what it ought to do arises from the fact that it has not yet received this knowledge; but it will receive this, if it makes good use of what it has already received; and it has been endowed sufficiently to seek devoutly and diligently if it wills to do so. If through ignorance of what it ought to do it is unable at present to fulfil its duty, this also is a perfection it has not yet been granted. One part of it has advanced to the higher stage of perceiving the good it ought to do, 59 but another part is slower and carnal and is not prevailed upon to share this judgment. Thus difficulty itself urges the soul to pray for help in the work of perfection from Him who, it realises, caused the work to begin. Thus it loves Him more, since not by its own strength but by the mercy of Him whose goodness gave it existence, it is raised to enjoy happiness. The > more it loves the author of its being, the more firmly it rests in Him, and the more plentifully it enjoys His eternity.
3.22.65.224
Si enim arboris novellum et rude virgultum nullo modo recte sterile dicimus, quamvis aliquot aestates sine fructibus traiciat donec oportuno tempore expromat feracitatem suam, cur non auctor animae debita pietate laudetur si ei tale tribuit exordium, ut studendo ac proficiendo ad frugem sapientiae iustitiaeque perveniat, tantumque illi praestitit dignitatis, ut in eius etiam potestate poneret, si vellet, ad beatitudinem tendere? If the young plant of a tree should not be called barren, though for some summers it bears no fruit until in due time it becomes fruitful, why should not the Creator of the soul be praised with due devotion, if He has granted it an early period during which by zeal and progress it may come to bear the fruit of wisdom and justice, and if He has bestowed on it the honour of having the power, if it wills, to tend towards happiness?


3.23.66.225 THE SUFFERINGS OF YOUNG CHILDREN
Huic autem disputationi obici ab imperitis solet guaedam calumnia de mortibus parvulorum et de quibusdam cruciatibus corporis quibus eos saepe videmus affligi. Dicunt enim: 'Quid opus erat ut nasceretur qui anteguam iniret ullum vitae meritum excessit e vita? Aut qualis in futuro iudicio deputabitur cui neque inter iustos locus est, quoniam nihil recte fecit, neque inter malos, quoniam nihil peccavit?' Those who do not understand these matters like to bring forward the deaths of young children and the bodily suffering with which we frequently see them afflicted, as a means of discrediting the above argument. What need was there of the child being born, they ask, since it has departed from life before it could gain any merit in life? How is it to be counted in the judgment to come, seeing that it neither finds a place among the just, having performed no good action, nor among the wicked, having committed no sin?
3.23.66.226 Quibus respondetur ad universitatis complexum et totius creaturae vel per locos vel per tempora ordinatissimam conexionem non posse superfluum creari qualemcumque hominem, ubi folium arboris nullum superfluo crearetur, sed sane superfluo quaeri de meritis eius qui nihil meruerit. Non enim metuendum est ne vita esse potuerit media quaedam inter recte factum atque peccatum et sententia iudicis media esse non possit inter praemium atque supplicium. We reply as follows. In relation to the whole, to the ordered connection of all creation in space and time, no one whatever can be created without a purpose. Not even the leaf of a tree is created without a purpose. It is, however, purposeless to ask about the merits of one who has gained no > merit. We need not fear that there may be a life halfway between virtue and vice, a sentence of the judge halfway between reward and punishment.
3.23.67.227
Quo loco etiam illud perscrutari homines solent, sacramentum baptismi Christi quid paruulis prosit, cum eo accepto plerumclue monuntur priusquam ex eo quicquam cognoscere potuerint. Qua in re satis pie recteque creditur prodesse paruulo eorum fidem a quibus consecrandus offertur. 3.23.67.228 Et hoc ecclesiae commendat saluberrima auctoritas, ut ex eo quisque sentiat quid sibi prosit fides sua, quando in aliorum quoque beneficium qui propriam nondum habent potest a te commodari. Quid enim filio viduae profuit fides sua, quam utique mortuus non habebat, cui tamen profuit matris ut resurgeret? Quanto ergo potius fides aliena potest consulere paruulo, cui sua perfidia non potest imputari! 67 In this connection, too, people will raise the question: What benefit do children gain from the sacrament of Christ's baptism, since they often die after receiving it and before they can derive any knowledge from it? About this there is a good pious belief that the child is benefitted by the faith of those who bring it for baptism. This belief is supported by the salutary authority of the Church, so that we may all realise what benefit we have in our own faith, seeing that it 60 can be used to do good to others who do not yet have faith of their own. What benefit did the widow's son gain from his own faith, since, being dead, he had none? Yet the faith of his mother helped to bring about his resurrection. 61 How much more probable is it that the faith of another can help a child, whose lack of faith cannot be imputed to it!
3.23.68.229
De cruciatibus autem corporis quibus affliguntur paruuli quorum per aetatem nulla peccata slmt, si animae quibus animantur non prius quam ipsi homines esse coeperunt, maior querela et quasi misericors deponi solet, cum dicitur: 'Quid mali fecemnt ut ista paterentur?' Quasi possit esse innocentiae meritum antequam quisque nocere aliquid possit! 3.23.68.230 Cum autem boni aliquid operatur deus in emendatione maiorum, cum paruulorum suorum qui eis cari sunt doloribus ac mortibus flagellantur, eur ista non fiant, quando cum transierint pro non factis erunt in quibus facta sunt, propter quos autem faeta sunt, aut meliores erunt, si temporalibus incommodis emendati rectius elegerint vivere, aut exeusationem in futuri iudicii supplicio non habebunt, si vitae huius angoribus ad aeternam vitam desiderium convertere noluerunt? 3.23.68.231 Quis autem novit quid paruulis, de quorum cruciatibus duritia maiorum eontunditur aut exercetur fides aut misericordia probatur, quis ergo novit quid ipsis paruulis in secreto iudiciorum suorum bonae conpensationis reseruet deus, quoniam, quamquam nihil recte fecerint, tamen nec peccantes aliquid ista perpessi sunt? Non enim frustra etiam infantes illos, qui, cum dominus Iesus Christus necandus ab Herode quaereretur, occisi sunt, in honore martyrum receptos commendat ecclesia. 68 A more serious objection on the ground of cruelty is often raised concerning the bodily sufferings of children who have never committed sin during their lives. If the souls which animate them had no existence prior to their becoming human beings, the question is asked, what evil they have done to deserve suffering. As though innocence could have any merit before a person has power to do wrong! But God does good in correcting adults when their children whom they love suffer pain and death. Why should not this be done, since, when > the suffering is past, it is as nothing to those who have endured it? Those, on the other hand, for whose sake this has happened, will either be better men if they make use of their temporal ills and choose to live better lives, or they will have no excuse when they are punished at the future judgment, if in spite of the sufferings of this life they refuse to turn their hearts to eternal life. Moreover, when the hearts of parents are softened by the sufferings of children, or when their faith is stirred, or their pity roused, who knows what ample compensation God reserves for these children in the secret of His judgments? They have not, it is true, performed right actions; yet they have suffered without having sinned. Nor is it to no purpose that the Church urges us to honour as martyrs the children who were slain when Herod sought the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3.23.69.232 THE SUFFERINGS OF ANIMALS
Quamquam isti calumniosi et talium quaestionum non studiosissimi examinatores sed loquacissimi ventilatores etiam de peconlm doloribus et laboribus solent minus eruditorum fidem sollieitare, cum dieunt: 'Quid etiam pecora vel meruerunt mali ut tanta patiantur incommoda vel sperant boni quia tantis exercentur incommodis?' 3.23.69.233 Sed haec dicunt vel sentiunt qui iniquissime de rebus existimant, qui, cum summum bonum quod et quantum sit aspicere nequeant, talia volunt esse omnia quale putant esse summum bonum. Praeter enim summa corpora quae caelestia sunt minusque corruptioni subiacent summum bonum cogitare non possunt ideoque inordinatissime flagitant ut nec mortem nec ullam corruptionem patiantur corpora bestiarum, quasi non sint mortalia, cum sint infima, aut ideo mala sint quia sunt caelestia meliora. 3.23.69.234 Dolor autem quem bestiae sentiunt animarum etiam bestialium vim quandam in suo genere mirabilem laudabilemque commendat. Hoc ipso enim satis apparet in regendis animandisque suis corporibus quam sint appententes unitatis. Quid est enim aliud dolor nisi sensus divisiones vel corruptionis inpatiens? 3.23.69.235 Unde luce clarius apparet quam sit illa anima in sui corporis universitate avida unitatis et tenax, quae nec libenter nec indifferenter sed potius renitenter et reluctanter intenditur in eam passionem corporis sui qua eius unitatem atque integritatem labefactari moleste accipit. 3.23.69.236 Non ergo appareret quantus inferioribus creaturis animalibus esset appetitus unitatis nisi dolore bestiarum. Quod si non appareret, minus quam opus esset admoneremur ab illa summa et sublimi et ineffabili unitate creatoris esse ista omnia constituta. Those who put these specious questions, guided by no zeal to examine such problems, but raising trouble from the sheer desire to talk, will also disturb the faith of the more simple by questions about the pain and distress of animals. They ask what wrong animals have committed, to deserve such evils, or what good they can hope for, when they are afflicted in this way. They say this or have such thoughts because they have no sense of justice in these matters. They cannot appreciate the nature or the excel> lence of the supreme good, and want everything to correspond with their notion of what it is. Apart from the highest celestial bodies which are subject but little to corruption, they have no idea of a supreme good. Therefore they make the unreasonable demand that the bodies of beasts shall suff er neither death nor corruption, as if they were not mortal, though they are in the lowest rank, or were evil because the heavenly bodies are better. Moreover, the pain suffered by animals enables us to see a power in the souls of beasts, which is in its way wonderful and admirable. It shows us how their souls strive for unity in governing and animating their bodies. For what else is pain but a feeling which resists division or corruption? Hence it is clearer than day that such a soul craves for unity and is tenacious of it throughout the whole of its body. Neither willingly nor with indifference, but reluctantly and with a struggle, it meets bodily suffering, and is distressed by the collapse of its unity and soundness. Only the pain of beasts makes us realise the striving for unity in the lower living creatures. If we did not realise this, we should not be sufficiently reminded that everything is constituted by that supreme, sublime, and ineffable unity of the Creator.
3.23.70.237
Et re vera si pie ac diligenter attendas, omnis creaturae species et motus qui in animi humani considerationem cadit eruditionem nostram loquitur, diversis motibus et affectionibus quasi quadam varietate linguarum undique clamans atque increpans cognoscendum esse creatorem. Nulla enim res est earum quae nec dolorem nec voluptatem sentiunt quae non aliqua unitate decus proprii generis adsequitur vel omnino naturae suae qualemcumque stabilitatem. 3.23.70.238 Nulla item res est earum quae vel doloris molestias vel blanditias sentiunt voluptatis, quae non, eo ipso quo dolorem fugiunt voluptatemque appetunt, diremptionem se fugere unitatemque appetere fatentur. Inque ipsis rationalibus animis omnis appetitus cognitionis, qua illa natura laetatur, et ad unitatem refert omne quod percipit et in errore nil fugit aliud quam incomprehensibili ambiguitate confundi. Omne autem ambiguum unde molestum est, nisi quia certam non habet unitatem? 3.23.70.239 Ex quo apparet omnia, sive cum offendunt vel offenduntur sive cum delectant vel delectantur, unitatem insinuare atque praedicare creatoris. Si autem ignorantia et difficultas, a quibus istam vitam necesse est incipere, non sunt animis naturales, restat ut aut officio susceptae sint aut inrogatae supplicio. De quibus iam satis esse arbitror disputatum. Indeed, if you consider the matter reverently and with care, all beauty and every movement in the creature claiming the attention of the human mind, speaks to us and instructs us. With its various movements and tendencies, as with many dif> ferent tongues, it hails us on all sides and bids us recognise the Creator. Of all the things that have no sense of pain or pleasure, there is none that does not acquire through a certain unity the beauty characteristic of its type, or at least in some degree stability of its nature. So too of the things that are sensitive to the annoyance of pain or the attraction of pleasure, there is none that does not by the very act of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure, confess that it shuns division and seeks unity. In rational souls every desire of knowledge, in which their nature takes pleasure, refers all it perceives to the test of unity, and, when shunning error, shuns nothing else than confusion and meaningless inconsistency. What is it that troubles us in inconsistency but that it has no sure unity? Hence it is clear that everything, whether it inflicts harm or suffers harm, whether it causes pleasure or is given pleasure, suggests and proclaims the unity of the Creator. But if ignorance and difficulty with which this life must necessarily begin, are not natural to souls, it follows that either they have been undertaken as a duty or imposed as a punishment. Now I think we have sufficiently discussed this subject.
3.24.71.240 THE FIRST MAN'S SIN
Quapropter ipse primus homo qualis factus sit magis quaerendum est quam quo modo eius posteritas propagata sit. Multum enim sibi videntur acute proponere quaestionem qui dicunt: 'Si sapiens factus est primus homo, cur seductus est? Si autem stultus factus est, quo modo non est deus auctor vitiorum, cum sit stultitia maximum vitium?' 3.24.71.241 Quasi vero natura humana praetcr stultitiam et sapientiam nullam mediam recipiat affectionem quae nec stultitia nec sapientia dici possit. Tunc enim homo incipit aut stultus esse aut sapiens ut alterum horum necessario appelletur, cum iam posset nisi neglegeret; habere sapientiam, ut vitiosae stultitiae sit voluntas rea. 3.24.71.242 Non enim quisquam ita desipit ut stultum appellet infantem, quamvis sit absurdior si velit appellare sapientem. Ut ergo infans nec stultus nec sapiens dici potest quamvis iam homo Sit -- ex quo apparet naturam hominis recipere aliquid medium quod neque stultitiam neque sapientiam recte vocaris -- ita etiam si quisquam tali affectione animatus esset qualem habent illi qui per neglegentiam sapientia carent, nemo eum stultum recte diceret quem non vitio sed natura talem videret. 3.24.71.243 Est enim stultitia rerum appetendarum et vitandarum non quaelibet sed vitiosa ignorantia. Unde neque animal inrationale stultum dicimus, quia non accepit ut sapiens esse posset. Appellamus tamen plerumque ex similitudine aliquid non proprie. Nam et caecitas cum maximum vitium sit oculorum, non tamen in catulis nascentibus vitium est nec proprie caecitas dici potest. It is more important to inquire in what state the first man was created than how his descendants have been propagated. Those who put the 'problem as follows think > they are framing it very cleverly. If the first man was created wise, how was he seduced? If he was created foolish, why is not God the cause of vice, since folly is the greatest vice? As if human nature might not receive some condition midway between folly and wisdom, which could be called neither folly nor wisdom! Only then does a man begin to be foolish or wise and really deserve to be called one or the other, when it becomes possible for him to possess wisdom and when his will is guilty of wicked folly if he neglects to gain it. No one is so stupid as to call an infant foolish, though it would be more absurd to want to call it wise. An infant can be called neither wise nor foolish, though it is already a human being. Hence it is clear that human nature receives a middle state which cannot rightly be called either folly or wisdom. And thus if anyone were born in the same state as those have who lack wisdom through their own neglect, no one would be right in calling him foolish, seeing that it was due to nature and not to vice. Folly is not any kind of ignorance of what we should seek and what we should avoid, but it is vicious ignorance. We do not call an irrational animal foolish, because it has not been given the power to become wise. Often, however, we apply terms in a similar, but not in the same, sense. Blindness is the worst affliction of the eye, but it is not an affliction to young puppies, and blindness is not the right term to use.
3.24.72.244
Si ergo ita factus est homo ut, quamvis sapiens nondum esset, praeceptum tamen posset accipere cui utique optemperare deberet, nec illud iam mirum est quod seduci potuit, nec illud iniustum quod praecepto non obtemperans poenas luit; nec creator eius auctor vitiorum est, quia non habere sapientiam nondum erat vitium hominis, si nondum ut habere posset acceperat. 3.24.72.245 Sed tamen habebat aliquid quo si bene uti vellet ad id quod non habebat ascenderet. Aliud est enim esse rationalem aliud esse sapicntem. Itatione fit quisque praecepti capax, cui fidem debet, ut quod praecipitur faciat. Sicut autem natura rationis praeceptum capit, sic praecepti observatio sapientiam. Quod est autem natura ad capiendum praeceptum, hoc est voluntas ad observandum. 3.24.72.246 Et sicut rationalis natura tamquam meritum est praecepti accipiendi, sic praecepti observatio meritum est accipiendae sapientiae. Ex quo autem incipit homo praecepti esse capax, ex illo incipit posse peccare. Duobus autem modis peccat antequam fiat sapiens: si aut non se accommodet ad accipiendum praeceptum aut cum accepcrit non obseruet. 3.24.72.247 Sapiens autem peccat si se allerterit a sapientia. Sicut enim praeceptum non est ab illo cui praecipitur sed ab illo qui praecipit, sic et sapientia non est ab illo qui inluminatur sed ab illo qui inluminat. Quid ergo est unde non laudandus sit hominis creator? 3.24.72.248 Bonum est cnim aliquod homo et melius quam pecus ex eo quod praecepti capax et hoc melius cum praeceptum iam cepit, rursus hoc melius cum praecepto paruit et his omnibus melius cum aetcrno lumine sapientiae beatus est. l'eccatum autem malum est in neglegentia vel ad accipiendum praeceptum vel ad observandum vel ad Cllstodiendam contemplationem sapientiae. 3.24.72.249 Ex quo intellegitur etiam si sapiens primus homo factus est potuisse tamen seduci, guod peccatum cum esset in libero arbitrio, iustam divina legc poenam consecutam. Ita dicit etiam apostolus Paulus: "Dicentes se esse sapientes stulti facti sunt". Superbia enim avertit a sapientia, aversionem autem stultitia consequitur. Stultitia quippe caecitas quaedam est, sicut idem dicit: "Et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum". 3.24.72.250 Unde autem haec obscuratio nisi ex aversione a lumine sapientiae? Unde autem haec aversio nisi dum ille cui bonum est deus, sibi ipse vult esse bonum suum, sicuti sibi est deus? Itaque "Ad me ipsum" inquit "conturbata est anima mea" et "Gustate et eritis sicut dii". If, therefore, man was created such that, al> though he was not yet wise, he could yet be given a command with the obligation of obeying it, it is not surprising that he could be led into sin. Neither was it unjust that he should be punished if he disobeyed the command, nor is His Creator the cause of his vices, because the absence of wisdom was not yet a vice in man, if he had not yet received the power to possess it. Nevertheless man had the means by which, if he used them well, he could rise to what he did not possess. To be rational is different from being wise. By reason every man is made able to recognise the command to which he ought to be faithful and so carry out what is commanded. As reason of its very nature makes us recognise the command, so the observance of the command makes us gain wisdom; and what nature does in making us recognise the command, this will does in making us observe it. As the rational nature is, in a sense, the merit of receiving the command, so observance of the command is the merit of receiving wisdom. Now, from the time when man begins to be capable of receiving the command, from this time he begins to be capable of sinning. He sins in two ways before he becomes wise, either by failing to make himself fit to receive the command, or by not observing it when he has received it. When he is wise, a man sins by turning away from wisdom. As a command is not received from him to whom the command is given but from him who gives the command, so wisdom is not received from him > who is enlightened but from him who gives the enlightenment. So, why should not man's Creator be praised? Man is something good. He is better than a beast because he is capable of receiving a command. Man is still better when he has already accepted the command, and better again when he has obeyed it. He is best of all when he is happy with the eternal light of wisdom. The evil of sin consists in neglect either to grasp the command, or to observe it, or to practise the contemplation of wisdom. Hence we can understand how the first man could be led into sin even though he was created wise. Since this sin arose from free will, punishment followed by a just law of God. 62 Thus too the apostle Paul says: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. For pride turns from wisdom, and folly follows from this. Folly is a kind of blindness, as the same says, . . . and their foolish heart was darkened. And how is it darkened, if not by turning away from the light of wisdom? How does it come to turn away, except because man, whose good God is, wills to be his own good as God is His own good? Therefore Scripture says: My soul is troubled within myself and, Taste, and you shall be as gods. 65
3.24.73.251
Turbat autem considerantes quod ita quaerunt: 'Stultitia primus homo recessit a deo an recedendo stultus factus est?' quia si responderis eum stultitia recessisse a sapientia, videbitur stultus fuisse antequam recederet a sapientia, ut stultitia illi esset causa recedendi. Item si responderis recedendo eum stultum esse factum, quaerunt utrum stulte an sapienter fecerit qxlod recessit. 'Si enim sapienter fecit, recte fecit nihilque peccavit; si stulte, iam erat', inquiunt, 'in eo stultitia qua factum est ut recederet. Non enim stulte aliquid sine stultitia facere poterat.' 3.24.73.252 Ex quo apparet esse quiddam medium quo ad stultitiam a sapientia transitur, quod neque stulte neque sapienter factum dici potest, quod ab hominibus in hac vita constitutis non nisi ex contrario datur intellegi. 3.24.73.253 Sicut enim nullus mortalium fit sapiens nisi ab stultitia in sapientiam transeat -- ipse autem transitus si stulte fit non utique bene fit, quod dementissimum est dicere; si autem sapienter fit iam erat sapientia in homine antequam transisset ad sapientiam, quod nihilominus absurdum est; ex quo intellegitur esse medium quod neutrum dici potest -- ita et ex arce sapientiae ut ad stultitiam primus homo transiret, nec stultus nec sapiens ille transitus fuit. 3.24.73.254 Velut in somno et vigiliis neque id est dormire quod obdormiscere neque id est vigilare quod expergisci, sed transitus quidam ex altero in alterum. verum hoc interest quod sine voluntate plerumque ista fiunt, illa autem numquam nisi per voluntatem, unde iustissimae retributiones consecuntur. Some who consider this matter are troubled by this questiondid the first man fall from God through folly, or was lie made foolish by falling? If you reply that folly made him fall from wisdom, he will appear to have been foolish before he fell > from wisdom, so that folly was the cause of his falling. Again, if you reply that he was made foolish by falling, they ask whether he was foolish or wise in causing himself to fall. If he was wise in doing so, he acted rightly and committed no sin; if he was foolish, folly, they say, possessed him already and made him fall. Without folly he could not act foolishly. Hence it is clear that there is a state between those two by which a man passes from wisdom to folly; and an act done in this state cannot be called an act either of folly or of wisdom. In the present life man can only understand this through what contradicts it. For no mortal man becomes wise unless he passes from folly to wisdom. If he makes this passage foolishly, it would be most absurd to call it a good action, while if he makes it wisely, it is also absurd to say that he already possessed wisdom before he passed to wisdom. Hence we see that there is a state between the two which can be described in neither way. Thus when the first man left the citadel of wisdom and passed to folly, the passage was neither foolish nor wise. We find something similar to this in sleep and waking: to go to sleep is not the same as to be asleep, nor is to begin to wake up the same as to be awake, but there is a passage from one to the other. There is this difference, however, that the latter actions are for the most part involuntary, while the former is always voluntary. It is for this reason that it justly deserves punishment.
3.25.74.255
Sed quia voluntatem non allicit ad faciendum quodlibet nisi aliquod visum, quid autem qelisque vel sumat vel respuat est in potestate, sed quo viso tangatur nulla potestas est, fatendum est et es superioribus et ex inferioriblls visis animum tangi ut rationalis substantia ex utroque sumat quod voluerit et ex merito sumendi vel miseria vel beatitas subsequatur. 3.25.74.256 Velut in paradiso visum e[s]t ex superioribus praeceptum dei, visum ex inferioribus suggestio serpentis. Nam neque quid sibi praeciperetur a domino neque quid a serpente suggereretur fuit in hominis potestate. 3.25.74.257 Quam sit autem liberum et ab omnibus difficultatis vinculis expeditum in ipsa sapientiae sanitate constituto non cedere visis inferioris illecebrae, vel hinc intellegi potest, quod etiam stulti ea superant ad sapientiam transituri, etiam cum molestia carendi perniciosarum consuetudinum pestilentiosa dulcedine. The will is not drawn to perform an action ex> cept when an object is perceived. We have it in our power to accept or reject something, but we have no power to decide what the eye shall light on. We must agree that the soul comes into contact with both higher and lower objects in such a way that a rational person takes what it chooses from both, and deserves unhappiness or happiness in accordance with its choice. Thus in Paradise among the higher objects perceived was the command of God, among the lower objects, the temptation of the serpent. It was not in man's power to determine what the Lord should command, or what the serpent should suggest as a temptation. But if he is established in the sound state of wisdom, he is unshackled by any bond of difficulty and free not to yield to the seduction of the lower object perceived. We know this because the foolish themselves conquer such temptations when they are about to pass over to wisdom, even though it is painful to renounce the deadly pleasure of wicked habits.
3.25.75.258 THE DEVIL'S SIN
Quaeri autem hoc loco potest, si homini praesto fuerunt ex utraque parte visa, unum ex praecepto dei, alterum ex suggestione serpentis, unde ipsi diabolo suggestum sit appetendae impietatis consilillm quo de sublimibus sedibus laberetur. Si enim nullo viso tangeretur, non eligeret facere quod fecit, nam si non ei aliquid venisset in mentem, nullo modo intentionem convertisset in nefas. 3.25.75.259 Unde igitur venit in mentem quicquid illud est quod venit in mentem, ut ea moliretur quibus ex bono angelo diabolus fieret? Qui enim vult, profecto aliquid vult, quod, nisi aut extrinsecus per sensum corporis admoneatur aut occultis modis in mentem veniat, velle non potest. Discernenda igitur sunt genera visorum, quorum unum est quod proficiscitur a voluntate suadentis, quale illud est diaboli cui homo consentiendo peccavit, altemm a subiacentibus rebus vel intentioni animi vel sensibus corporis. 3.25.75.260 Intentioni animi subiacet -- excepta incommutabilitate trinitatis, quae quidem non subiacet sed eminet potius -- subiacet ergo intentioni animi prius ipse animus unde nos etiam vivere sentimus, deinde corpus quod administrat, unde ad quodlibet operandum membrum quod opus est cum opus est movet. Subiacent autem sensibus corporis quaecumque corporea. The question may be asked at this point: If two objects were presented to man's consciousness on either side, one the commandment of God, the other the temptation of the serpent, how did the suggestion come to the devil himself to do the wrong which brought about his fall from his place on high? Had no object appeared to his sight, he would not have chosen to do what he did. If no > such idea had occurred to his mind, he could not possibly have turned his thoughts to wickedness. Wherefore, how did that thought, whatever it was, come into his mind, of striving for what was to change him from a good angel to a devil? The will, if it wills at all, must will some object. It cannot do this unless the object is presented from outside through the bodily senses, or comes into the mind in some hidden way. Therefore, we must distinguish two kinds of objects which are perceived. One comes from the persuasion of a will, as when man sinned by consenting to the devil; the other comes from things which are presented in the natural course to the attention of the soul, or the bodily senses. If we ask what is presented to the attention of the soul, it is not the unchangeable Trinity, for this cannot be subject to examination but rather transcends the mind. First, the soul itself is presented to the attention of the soul, and so we become conscious that we are alive. Secondly, the body, which the mind governs, is presented; and that is why for any action the soul moves the required member at the required time. Finally, bodily things of every sort are presented to the bodily senses.
3.25.76.261
Ut autem in contemplatione summae sapientiae -- quae utique animus non est, nam est incommutabilis -- etiam se ipsum qui est commutabilis animus intueatur et sibi ipse quodam modo veniat in mentem, non fit nisi differentia qua non est quod deus et tamen aliquid est quod possit placere post deum. 3.25.76.262 Melior est autem cum obliviscitur sui prae caritate incommutabilis dei vel se ipsum penitus in illius comparatione contemnit. Si autem tamquam obuius sibi placet sibi ad peruerse imitandum deum ut potestate sua frui velit, tanto fit minor quanto se cupit esse maiorem. 3.25.76.263 Et hoc est "Initium omnis peccati superbia" et "Initium superbiae hominis apostatare a deo". Superbiae autem diaboli accessit maleuolentissima inuidia, ut hanc superbiam homini persuaderet per quam sentiebat se esse damnatum. 3.25.76.264 Unde factum est ut poena hominem susciperet emendatoria potius quam interfectoria, ut, cui se diabolus ad imitationem suyerbiae praebuerat, ei se dominus ad imitationem humilitatis praeberet; per quem nobis aeterna vita promittitur, ut praerogato nobis Christi sanguine post labores miseriasque ineffabiles tanta caritate liberatori nostro adhereamus et tanta eius in eum claritate rapiamur ut nulla nos visa ex inferioribus a conspectu superiore detorqueant; quamquam et si aliquid hinc intentioni nostrae suggereretur, ab appetitu inferiorum sempiterna nos diaboli damnatio cruciatusque reuocarent. The soul in contemplating supreme wisdom which, being unchangeable, cannot be identified with the soul also looks at its changeable self and in some sense comes into its own mind. The reason is simply that it is distinct from God, and yet is something capable of causing itself pleasure after God. It is better if it forgets itself through love > of the unchangeable God, or despises itself utterly in comparison with Him. But if, so to speak, it goes out of its way to produce a false imitation of God, and to will to take pleasure in its own power, then the greater it wishes to become the less it becomes in fact. And that is pride, the beginning of all sin; and the beginning of the pride of man is to jail off from God. The devil added malevolent envy to his pride when he persuaded man to share his pride, through which he knew he was damned. Hence it was that man suffered a punishment designed to correct him rather than to destroy him, so that while the devil showed himself a model of pride, the Lord should show Himself a model of humility, through whom we are promised eternal life. Thus the blood of Christ having been offered for us after unutterable distress and pain, we ought to follow Our Saviour with such love, and be so enraptured by His brightness, that no lower object may detach us from so sublime a spectacle. If our attention should be distracted by any lower desire, the everlasting damnation and torment of the devil ought to call us back.
3.25.77.265 THE SUPREME WORTH OF JUSTICE, TRUTH, AND WISDOM
Tanta est autem pulchritudo iustitiae, tante iocunditas lucis aeternae, hoc est incommutabilis veritatis atque sapientiae, ut, etiam si non liceret amplius in ea manere quam unius diei mora, propter hoc solum innumerabilis anni huius vitae pleni deliciis et circumfluentia temporalium bonorum recte meritoque contemnerentur. 3.25.77.266 Non enim falso aut paruo affectu dictum est: Quoniam melior dies uniis in atriis tuis super milia. Quamquam et alio sensu possit intellegi ut milia dierum in temporis mutabilitate intellegantur, unius autem diei nomine incommutabilitas aeternitatis vocetur. So beautiful is justice, so delightful is eternal light, that is to say, unchangeable truth and wisdom, that, even though we were permitted to abide in it only for one day, for this alone it would be > right and proper to despise countless years of this life, though filled with pleasures and abundant temporal goods. Real truth and feeling are expressed in the words, Far better is one day in Thy courts above thousands. They may also be taken in another sense: a thousand days might mean time and its changes, while one day means unchangeable eternity.
3.25.77.267
Nescio me aliquid praetermisisse quod ex nostra responsione, quantum dominus praebere dignatus est, tuis interrogationibus desit. Quamquam et si aliquid tibi occurrit, modus libri nos iam finem facere et ab hac disputatione requiescere aliquando compellit. I do not know whether I have failed to answer any of your questions, so far as the Lord has deigned to grant me power. Even if anything occurs to you, the limits of this book compel me to come to an end and to take some rest after our discussion.

Notes


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