Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part I/Q24

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Q23 Q25



Latin English
Iª q. 24 pr. Deinde considerandum est de libro vitae. Et circa hoc quaeruntur tria. Primo, quid sit liber vitae. Secundo, cuius vitae sit liber. Tertio, utrum aliquis possit deleri de libro vitae.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod liber vitae non sit idem quod praedestinatio. Dicitur enim Eccli. XXIV, haec omnia liber vitae; Glossa, idest novum et vetus testamentum. Hoc autem non est praedestinatio. Ergo liber vitae non est idem quod praedestinatio. Objection 1. It seems that the book of life is not the same thing as pre-destination. For it is said, "All things are the book of life" (Sirach 4:32)--i.e. the Old and New Testament according to a gloss. This, however, is not predestination. Therefore the book of life is not predestination.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Augustinus, in libro XX de Civ. Dei, ait quod liber vitae est quaedam vis divina, qua fiet ut cuique opera sua bona vel mala in memoriam reducantur. Sed vis divina non videtur pertinere ad praedestinationem, sed magis ad attributum potentiae. Ergo liber vitae non est idem quod praedestinatio. Objection 2. Further, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 14) that "the book of life is a certain divine energy, by which it happens that to each one his good or evil works are recalled to memory." But divine energy belongs seemingly, not to predestination, but rather to divine power. Therefore the book of life is not the same thing as predestination.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, praedestinationi opponitur reprobatio. Si igitur liber vitae esset praedestinatio, inveniretur liber mortis, sicut liber vitae. Objection 3. Further, reprobation is opposed to predestination. So, if the book of life were the same as predestination, there should also be a book of death, as there is a book of life.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur in Glossa, super illud Psalmi LXVIII, deleantur de libro viventium, liber iste est notitia Dei, qua praedestinavit ad vitam, quos praescivit. On the contrary, It is said in a gloss upon Ps. 68:29, "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living. This book is the knowledge of God, by which He hath predestined to life those whom He foreknew."
Iª q. 24 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod liber vitae in Deo dicitur metaphorice, secundum similitudinem a rebus humanis acceptam. Est enim consuetum apud homines, quod illi qui ad aliquid eliguntur, conscribuntur in libro; utpote milites vel consiliarii, qui olim dicebantur patres conscripti. Patet autem ex praemissis quod omnes praedestinati eliguntur a Deo ad habendum vitam aeternam. Ipsa ergo praedestinatorum conscriptio dicitur liber vitae. Dicitur autem metaphorice aliquid conscriptum in intellectu alicuius, quod firmiter in memoria tenet, secundum illud Prov. III, ne obliviscaris legis meae, et praecepta mea cor tuum custodiat; et post pauca sequitur, describe illa in tabulis cordis tui. Nam et in libris materialibus aliquid conscribitur ad succurrendum memoriae. Unde ipsa Dei notitia, qua firmiter retinet se aliquos praedestinasse ad vitam aeternam, dicitur liber vitae. Nam sicut Scriptura libri est signum eorum quae fienda sunt ita Dei notitia est quoddam signum apud ipsum, eorum qui sunt perducendi ad vitam aeternam; secundum illud II Tim. II, firmum fundamentum Dei stat, habens signaculum hoc, novit dominus qui sunt eius. I answer that, The book of life is in God taken in a metaphorical sense, according to a comparison with human affairs. For it is usual among men that they who are chosen for any office should be inscribed in a book; as, for instance, soldiers, or counsellors, who formerly were called "conscript" fathers. Now it is clear from the preceding (23, 4) that all the predestined are chosen by God to possess eternal life. This conscription, therefore, of the predestined is called the book of life. A thing is said metaphorically to be written upon the mind of anyone when it is firmly held in the memory, according to Prov. 3:3: "Forget not My Law, and let thy heart keep My commandments," and further on, "Write them in the tables of thy heart." For things are written down in material books to help the memory. Whence, the knowledge of God, by which He firmly remembers that He has predestined some to eternal life, is called the book of life. For as the writing in a book is the sign of things to be done, so the knowledge of God is a sign in Him of those who are to be brought to eternal life, according to 2 Tim. 11:19: "The sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal; the Lord knoweth who are His."
Iª q. 24 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod liber vitae potest dici dupliciter. Uno modo, conscriptio eorum qui sunt electi ad vitam, et sic loquimur nunc de libro vitae. Alio modo potest dici liber vitae, conscriptio eorum quae ducunt in vitam. Et hoc dupliciter. Vel sicut agendorum, et sic novum et vetus testamentum dicitur liber vitae. Vel sicut iam factorum, et sic illa vis divina, qua fiet ut cuilibet in memoriam reducantur facta sua, dicitur liber vitae. Sicut etiam liber militiae potest dici, vel in quo scribuntur electi ad militiam, vel in quo traditur ars militaris, vel in quo recitantur facta militum. Reply to Objection 1. The book of life may be understood in two senses. In one sense as the inscription of those who are chosen to life; thus we now speak of the book of life. In another sense the inscription of those things which lead us to life may be called the book of life; and this also is twofold, either as of things to be done; and thus the Old and New Testament are called a book of life; or of things already done, and thus that divine energy by which it happens that to each one his deeds will be recalled to memory, is spoken of as the book of life. Thus that also may be called the book of war, whether it contains the names inscribed of those chosen for military service; or treats of the art of warfare, or relates the deeds of soldiers.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 ad 2 Unde patet solutio ad secundum. Reply to Objection 2. Hence the solution of the Second Objection.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod non est consuetum conscribi eos qui repudiantur, sed eos qui eliguntur. Unde reprobationi non respondet liber mortis, sicut praedestinationi liber vitae. Reply to Objection 3. It is the custom to inscribe, not those who are rejected, but those who are chosen. Whence there is no book of death corresponding to reprobation; as the book of life to predestination.
Iª q. 24 a. 1 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod secundum rationem differt liber vitae a praedestinatione. Importat enim notitiam praedestinationis, sicut etiam ex Glossa inducta apparet. Reply to Objection 4. Predestination and the book of life are different aspects of the same thing. For this latter implies the knowledge of predestination; as also is made clear from the gloss quoted above.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod liber vitae non sit solum respectu vitae gloriae praedestinatorum. Liber enim vitae est notitia vitae. Sed Deus per vitam suam cognoscit omnem aliam vitam. Ergo liber vitae praecipue dicitur respectu vitae divinae; et non solum respectu vitae praedestinatorum. Objection 1. It seems that the book of life does not only regard the life of glory of the predestined. For the book of life is the knowledge of life. But God, through His own life, knows all other life. Therefore the book of life is so called in regard to divine life; and not only in regard to the life of the predestined.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut vita gloriae est a Deo, ita vita naturae. Si igitur notitia vitae gloriae dicitur liber vitae, etiam notitia vitae naturae dicetur liber vitae. Objection 2. Further, as the life of glory comes from God, so also does the life of nature. Therefore, if the knowledge of the life of glory is called the book of life; so also should the knowledge of the life of nature be so called.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, aliqui eliguntur ad gratiam, qui non eliguntur ad vitam gloriae; ut patet per id quod dicitur Ioan. VI, nonne duodecim vos elegi, et unus ex vobis Diabolus est? Sed liber vitae est conscriptio electionis divinae, ut dictum est. Ergo etiam est respectu vitae gratiae. Objection 3. Further, some are chosen to the life of grace who are not chosen to the life of glory; as it is clear from what is said: "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (John 6:71). But the book of life is the inscription of the divine election, as stated above (1). Therefore it applies also to the life of grace.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod liber vitae est notitia praedestinationis, ut dictum est. Sed praedestinatio non respicit vitam gratiae, nisi secundum quod ordinatur ad gloriam, non enim sunt praedestinati, qui habent gratiam et deficiunt a gloria. Liber igitur vitae non dicitur nisi respectu gloriae. On the contrary, The book of life is the knowledge of predestination, as stated above (1). But predestination does not regard the life of grace, except so far as it is directed to glory; for those are not predestined who have grace and yet fail to obtain glory. The book of life altogether is only so called in regard to the life of glory.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod liber vitae, ut dictum est, importat conscriptionem quandam sive notitiam electorum ad vitam. Eligitur autem aliquis ad id quod non competit sibi secundum suam naturam. Et iterum, id ad quod eligitur aliquis, habet rationem finis, non enim miles eligitur aut conscribitur ad hoc quod armetur, sed ad hoc quod pugnet; hoc enim est proprium officium ad quod militia ordinatur. Finis autem supra naturam existens, est vita gloriae, ut supra dictum est. Unde proprie liber vitae respicit vitam gloriae. I answer that, The book of life, as stated above (1), implies a conscription or a knowledge of those chosen to life. Now a man is chosen for something which does not belong to him by nature; and again that to which a man is chosen has the aspect of an end. For a soldier is not chosen or inscribed merely to put on armor, but to fight; since this is the proper duty to which military service is directed. But the life of glory is an end exceeding human nature, as said above (23, 1). Wherefore, strictly speaking, the book of life regards the life of glory.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod vita divina, etiam prout est vita gloriosa, est Deo naturalis. Unde respectu eius non est electio, et per consequens neque liber vitae. Non enim dicimus quod aliquis homo eligatur ad habendum sensum, vel aliquid eorum quae consequuntur naturam. Reply to Objection 1. The divine life, even considered as a life of glory, is natural to God; whence in His regard there is no election, and in consequence no book of life: for we do not say that anyone is chosen to possess the power of sense, or any of those things that are consequent on nature.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 ad 2 Unde per hoc etiam patet solutio ad secundum. Respectu enim vitae naturalis non est electio, neque liber vitae. From this we gather the Reply to the Second Objection. For there is no election, nor a book of life, as regards the life of nature.
Iª q. 24 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod vita gratiae non habet rationem finis, sed rationem eius quod est ad finem. Unde ad vitam gratiae non dicitur aliquis eligi, nisi inquantum vita gratiae ordinatur ad gloriam. Et propter hoc, illi qui habent gratiam et excidunt a gloria, non dicuntur esse electi simpliciter, sed secundum quid. Et similiter non dicuntur esse scripti simpliciter in libro vitae sed secundum quid; prout scilicet de eis in ordinatione et notitia divina existit, quod sint habituri aliquem ordinem ad vitam aeternam, secundum participationem gratiae. Reply to Objection 3. The life of grace has the aspect, not of an end, but of something directed towards an end. Hence nobody is said to be chosen to the life of grace, except so far as the life of grace is directed to glory. For this reason those who, possessing grace, fail to obtain glory, are not said to be chosen simply, but relatively. Likewise they are not said to be written in the book of life simply, but relatively; that is to say, that it is in the ordination and knowledge of God that they are to have some relation to eternal life, according to their participation in grace.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod nullus deleatur de libro vitae. Dicit enim Augustinus, in XX de Civ. Dei, quod praescientia Dei, quae non potest falli, liber vitae est. Sed a praescientia Dei non potest aliquid subtrahi, similiter neque a praedestinatione. Ergo nec de libro vitae potest aliquis deleri. Objection 1. It seems that no one may be blotted out of the book of life. For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 15): "God's foreknowledge, which cannot be deceived, is the book of life." But nothing can be taken away from the foreknowledge of God, nor from predestination. Therefore neither can anyone be blotted out from the book of life.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, quidquid est in aliquo, est in eo per modum eius in quo est. Sed liber vitae est quid aeternum et immutabile. Ergo quidquid est in eo, est ibi non temporaliter, sed immobiliter et indelebiliter. Objection 2. Further, whatever is in a thing is in it according to the disposition of that thing. But the book of life is something eternal and immutable. Therefore whatsoever is written therein, is there not in a temporary way, but immovably, and indelibly.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, deletio Scripturae opponitur. Sed aliquis non potest de novo scribi in libro vitae. Ergo neque inde deleri potest. Objection 3. Further, blotting out is the contrary to inscription. But nobody can be written a second time in the book of life. Neither therefore can he be blotted out.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur in Psalmo LXVIII, deleantur de libro viventium. On the contrary, It is said, "Let them be blotted out from the book of the living" (Psalm 68:29).
Iª q. 24 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod quidam dicunt quod de libro vitae nullus potest deleri secundum rei veritatem, potest tamen aliquis deleri secundum opinionem hominum. Est enim consuetum in Scripturis ut aliquid dicatur fieri, quando innotescit. Et secundum hoc, aliqui dicuntur esse scripti in libro vitae, inquantum homines opinantur eos ibi scriptos, propter praesentem iustitiam quam in eis vident. Sed quando apparet, vel in hoc seculo vel in futuro, quod ab hac iustitia exciderunt, dicuntur inde deleri. Et sic etiam exponitur in Glossa deletio talis, super illud Psalmi LXVIII, deleantur de libro viventium. Sed quia non deleri de libro vitae ponitur inter praemia iustorum, secundum illud Apoc. III, qui vicerit, sic vestietur vestimentis albis, et non delebo nomen eius de libro vitae; quod autem sanctis repromittitur, non est solum in hominum opinione; potest dici quod deleri vel non deleri de libro vitae, non solum ad opinionem hominum referendum est, sed etiam quantum ad rem. Est enim liber vitae conscriptio ordinatorum in vitam aeternam. Ad quam ordinatur aliquis ex duobus, scilicet ex praedestinatione divina, et haec ordinatio nunquam deficit; et ex gratia. Quicumque enim gratiam habet, ex hoc ipso est dignus vita aeterna. Et haec ordinatio deficit interdum, quia aliqui ordinati sunt ex gratia habita ad habendum vitam aeternam, a qua tamen deficiunt per peccatum mortale. Illi igitur qui sunt ordinati ad habendum vitam aeternam ex praedestinatione divina, sunt simpliciter scripti in libro vitae, quia sunt ibi scripti ut habituri vitam aeternam in seipsa. Et isti nunquam delentur de libro vitae. Sed illi qui sunt ordinati ad habendum vitam aeternam, non ex praedestinatione divina, sed solum ex gratia, dicuntur esse scripti in libro vitae, non simpliciter, sed secundum quid, quia sunt ibi scripti ut habituri vitam aeternam, non in seipsa, sed in sua causa. Et tales possunt deleri de libro vitae, ut deletio non referatur ad notitiam Dei, quasi Deus aliquid praesciat, et postea nesciat; sed ad rem scitam, quia scilicet Deus scit aliquem prius ordinari in vitam aeternam, et postea non ordinari, cum deficit a gratia. I answer that, Some have said that none could be blotted out of the book of life as a matter of fact, but only in the opinion of men. For it is customary in the Scriptures to say that something is done when it becomes known. Thus some are said to be written in the book of life, inasmuch as men think they are written therein, on account of the present righteousness they see in them; but when it becomes evident, either in this world or in the next, that they have fallen from that state of righteousness, they are then said to be blotted out. And thus a gloss explains the passage: "Let them be blotted out of the book of the living." But because not to be blotted out of the book of life is placed among the rewards of the just, according to the text, "He that shall overcome, shall thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life" (Apocalypse 3:5) (and what is promised to holy men, is not merely something in the opinion of men), it can therefore be said that to be blotted out, and not blotted out, of the book of life is not only to be referred to the opinion of man, but to the reality of the fact. For the book of life is the inscription of those ordained to eternal life, to which one is directed from two sources; namely, from predestination, which direction never fails, and from grace; for whoever has grace, by this very fact becomes fitted for eternal life. This direction fails sometimes; because some are directed by possessing grace, to obtain eternal life, yet they fail to obtain it through mortal sin. Therefore those who are ordained to possess eternal life through divine predestination are written down in the book of life simply, because they are written therein to have eternal life in reality; such are never blotted out from the book of life. Those, however, who are ordained to eternal life, not through divine predestination, but through grace, are said to be written in the book of life not simply, but relatively, for they are written therein not to have eternal life in itself, but in its cause only. Yet though these latter can be said to be blotted out of the book of life, this blotting out must not be referred to God, as if God foreknew a thing, and afterwards knew it not; but to the thing known, namely, because God knows one is first ordained to eternal life, and afterwards not ordained when he falls from grace.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod deletio, ut dictum est, non refertur ad librum vitae ex parte praescientiae, quasi in Deo sit aliqua mutabilitas, sed ex parte praescitorum, quae sunt mutabilia. Reply to Objection 1. The act of blotting out does not refer to the book of life as regards God's foreknowledge, as if in God there were any change; but as regards things foreknown, which can change.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, licet res in Deo sint immutabiliter, tamen in seipsis mutabiles sunt. Et ad hoc pertinet deletio libri vitae. Reply to Objection 2. Although things are immutably in God, yet in themselves they are subject to change. To this it is that the blotting out of the book of life refers.
Iª q. 24 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod eo modo quo aliquis dicitur deleri de libro vitae, potest dici quod ibi scribatur de novo; vel secundum opinionem hominum, vel secundum quod de novo incipit habere ordinem ad vitam aeternam per gratiam. Quod etiam sub divina notitia comprehenditur, licet non de novo. Reply to Objection 3. The way in which one is said to be blotted out of the book of life is that in which one is said to be written therein anew; either in the opinion of men, or because he begins again to have relation towards eternal life through grace; which also is included in the knowledge of God, although not anew.

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