Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part III/Q36

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Q35 Q37



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IIIª q. 36 pr. Deinde considerandum est de manifestatione Christi nati. Et circa hoc quaeruntur octo. Primo, utrum nativitas Christi debuerit omnibus esse manifesta. Secundo, utrum debuerit aliquibus manifestari. Tertio, quibus manifestari debuerit. Quarto, utrum ipse se debuerit manifestare, vel potius manifestari per alios. Quinto, per quae alia manifestari debuerit. Sexto, de ordine manifestationum. Septimo, de stella per quam manifestata fuit eius nativitas. Octavo, de veneratione magorum, qui per stellam nativitatem Christi cognoverunt. Question 36. The manifestation of the newly born Christ 1. Should Christ's birth have been made known to all? 2. Should it have been made known to some? 3. To whom should it have been made known? 4. Should He have made Himself known, or should He rather have been manifested by others? 5. By what other means should it have been made known? 6. The order of these manifestations 7. The star by means of which His birth was made known 8. The adoration of the Magi, who were informed of Christ's nativity by means of the star
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christi nativitas debuerit omnibus esse manifesta. Impletio enim debet promissioni respondere. Sed de promissione adventus Christi dicitur in Psalmo, Deus manifeste veniet. Venit autem per carnis nativitatem. Ergo videtur quod eius nativitas debuit esse toti mundo manifesta. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ's birth should have been made known to all. Because fulfilment should correspond to promise. Now, the promise of Christ's coming is thus expressed (Psalm 49:3): "God shall come manifestly. But He came by His birth in the flesh." Therefore it seems that His birth should have been made known to the whole world.
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, I ad Tim. I dicitur, Christus in hunc mundum venit peccatores salvos facere. Sed hoc non fit nisi inquantum eis gratia Christi manifestatur, secundum illud Tit. II, apparuit gratia salvatoris nostri Dei omnibus hominibus, erudiens nos ut, abnegantes impietatem et saecularia desideria, sobrie et pie et iuste vivamus in hoc saeculo. Ergo videtur quod Christi nativitas debuerit esse omnibus manifesta. Objection 2. Further, it is written (1 Timothy 1:15): "Christ came into this world to save sinners." But this is not effected save in as far as the grace of Christ is made known to them; according to Titus 2:11-12: "The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men, instructing us, that denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world." Therefore it seems that Christ's birth should have been made known to all.
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, Deus super omnia pronior est ad miserendum, secundum illud Psalmi, miserationes eius super omnia opera eius. Sed in secundo adventu, quo iustitias iudicabit, veniet omnibus manifestus, secundum illud Matth. XXIV, sicut fulgur exit ab oriente et paret usque in occidentem, ita erit adventus filii hominis. Ergo multo magis primus, quo natus est in mundo secundum carnem, debuit omnibus esse manifestus. Objection 3. Further, God is most especially inclined to mercy; according to Psalm 144:9: "His tender mercies are over all His works." But in His second coming, when He will "judge justices" (Psalm 70:3), He will come before the eyes of all; according to Matthew 24:27: "As lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." Much more, therefore, should His first coming, when He was born into the world according to the flesh, have been made known to all.
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Isaiae XLV, tu es Deus absconditus, sanctus Israel, salvator. Et Isaiae LIII, quasi absconditus est vultus eius et despectus. On the contrary, It is written (Isaiah 45:15): "Thou art a hidden God, the Holy [Vulgate: 'the God] of Israel, the Saviour." And, again (Isaiah 43:3): "His look was, as it were, hidden and despised."
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nativitas Christi non debuit omnibus communiter esse manifesta. Primo quidem, quia per hoc impedita fuisset humana redemptio, quae per crucem eius peracta est, quia, ut dicitur I ad Cor. II, si cognovissent, nunquam dominum gloriae crucifixissent. Secundo, quia hoc diminuisset meritum fidei, per quam venerat homines iustificare, secundum illud Rom. III, iustitia Dei per fidem Iesu Christi. Si enim manifestis indiciis, Christo nascente, eius nativitas omnibus appareret, iam tolleretur ratio fidei, quae est argumentum non apparentium, ut dicitur Heb. XI. Tertio, quia per hoc venisset in dubium veritas humanitatis ipsius. Unde Augustinus dicit, in epistola ad Volusianum, si nullas ex parvulo in iuventutem mutaret aetates, nullos cibos, nullos caperet somnos, nonne opinionem confirmaret erroris, nec hominem verum ullo modo suscepisse crederetur, et, dum omnia mirabiliter facit, auferret quod misericorditer fecit? I answer that, It was unfitting that Christ's birth should be made known to all men without distinction. First, because this would have been a hindrance to the redemption of man, which was accomplished by means of the Cross; for, as it is written (1 Corinthians 2:8): "If they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory." Secondly, because this would have lessened the merit of faith, which He came to offer men as the way to righteousness. according to Romans 3:22: "The justice of God by faith of Jesus Christ." For if, when Christ was born, His birth had been made known to all by evident signs, the very nature of faith would have been destroyed, since it is "the evidence of things that appear not," as stated, Hebrews 11:1. Thirdly, because thus the reality of His human nature would have come into doubt. Whence Augustine says (Ep. ad Volusianum cxxxvii): "If He had not passed through the different stages of age from babyhood to youth, had neither eaten nor slept, would He not have strengthened an erroneous opinion, and made it impossible for us to believe that He had become true man? And while He is doing all things wondrously, would He have taken away that which He accomplished in mercy?"
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod auctoritas illa intelligitur de adventu Christi ad iudicium, secundum quod Glossa ibidem exponit. Reply to Objection 1. According to the gloss, the words quoted must be understood of Christ's coming as judge.
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod de gratia Dei salvatoris erudiendi erant omnes homines ad salutem, non in principio nativitatis eius, sed postea, tempore procedente, postquam operatus esset salutem in medio terrae. Unde, post passionem et resurrectionem suam, dixit discipulis, Matth. ult., euntes, docete omnes gentes. Reply to Objection 2. All men were to be instructed unto salvation, concerning the grace of God our Saviour, not at the very time of His birth, but afterwards, in due time, after He had "wrought salvation in the midst of the earth" (Psalm 73:12). Wherefore after His Passion and Resurrection, He said to His disciples (Matthew 28:19): "Going . . . teach ye all nations."
IIIª q. 36 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ad iudicium requiritur quod auctoritas iudicis cognoscatur, et propter hoc oportet quod adventus Christi ad iudicium sit manifestus. Sed primus adventus fuit ad omnium salutem, quae est per fidem, quae quidem est de non apparentibus. Et ideo adventus Christi primus debuit esse occultus. Reply to Objection 3. For judgment to be passed, the authority of the judge needs to be known: and for this reason it behooves that the coming of Christ unto judgment should be manifest. But His first coming was unto the salvation of all, which is by faith that is of things not seen. And therefore it was fitting that His first coming should be hidden.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod nativitas Christi nulli debuerit manifestari. Quia, ut dictum est, hoc erat congruum humanae saluti, ut primus Christi adventus esset occultus. Sed Christus venerat ut omnes salvaret, secundum illud I Tim. IV, qui est salvator omnium hominum, maxime fidelium. Ergo nativitas Christi nulli debuit manifestari. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ's birth should not have been made known to anyone. For, as stated above (1, ad 3), it befitted the salvation of mankind that Christ's first coming should be hidden. But Christ came to save all; according to 1 Timothy 4:10: "Who is the Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful." Therefore Christ's birth should not have been made known to anyone.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, ante nativitatem Christi, manifestata erat beatae virgini et Ioseph futura Christi nativitas. Non ergo erat necessarium, Christo nato, eandem aliis manifestari. Objection 2. Further, before Christ was born, His future birth was made known to the Blessed Virgin and Joseph. Therefore it was not necessary that it should be made known to others after His birth.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, nullus sapiens manifestat id ex quo turbatio nascitur et detrimentum aliorum. Sed, manifestata Christi nativitate, subsecuta est turbatio, dicitur enim Matth. II quod, audiens rex Herodes Christi nativitatem, turbatus est, et omnis Ierosolyma cum illo. Cessit etiam hoc in detrimentum aliorum, quia ex hac occasione Herodes occidit pueros in Bethlehem et in finibus eius a bimatu et infra. Ergo videtur quod non fuerit conveniens Christi nativitatem aliquibus manifestari. Objection 3. Further, no wise man makes known that from which arise disturbance and harm to others. But, when Christ's birth was made known, disturbance arose: for it is written (Matthew 2:3) that "King Herod, hearing" of Christ's birth, "was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Moreover, this brought harm to others; because it was the occasion of Herod's killing "all the male children that were in Bethlehem . . . from two years old and under." Therefore it seems unfitting for Christ's birth to have been made known to anyone.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Christi nativitas nulli fuisset proficua si omnibus esset occulta. Sed oportebat Christi nativitatem esse proficuam, alioquin frustra natus fuisset. Ergo videtur quod aliquibus manifestari debuerit Christi nativitas. On the contrary, Christ's birth would have been profitable to none if it had been hidden from all. But it behooved Christ's birth to be profitable: else He were born in vain. Therefore it seems that Christ's birth should have been made known to some.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut apostolus dicit, Rom. XIII, quae a Deo sunt, ordinata sunt. Pertinet autem ad divinae sapientiae ordinem ut Dei dona, et secreta sapientiae eius, non aequaliter ad omnes, sed immediate ad quosdam perveniant, et per eos ad alios deriventur. Unde et quantum ad resurrectionis mysterium dicitur, Act. X, quod Deus dedit Christum resurgentem manifestum fieri, non omni populo, sed testibus praeordinatis a Deo. Unde hoc etiam debuit circa ipsius nativitatem observari, ut non omnibus Christus manifestaretur, sed quibusdam, per quos posset ad alios devenire. I answer that, As the Apostle says (Romans 13:1) "what is of God is well ordered." Now it belongs to the order of Divine wisdom that God's gifts and the secrets of His wisdom are not bestowed on all equally, but to some immediately, through whom they are made known to others. Wherefore, with regard to the mystery of the Resurrection it is written (Acts 10:40-41): "God . . . gave" Christ rising again "to be made manifest, not to all the people, but to witnesses pre-ordained by God." Consequently, that His birth might be consistent with this, it should have been made known, not to all, but to some, through whom it could be made known to others.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut fuisset in praeiudicium salutis humanae si omnibus hominibus Dei nativitas innotuisset, ita etiam et si nulli nota fuisset. Utroque enim modo tollitur fides, tam scilicet per hoc quod aliquid est totaliter manifestum; quam etiam per hoc quod a nullo cognoscitur a quo possit testimonium audiri; fides enim est ex auditu, ut dicitur Rom. X. Reply to Objection 1. As it would have been prejudicial to the salvation of mankind if God's birth had been made known to all men, so also would it have been if none had been informed of it. Because in either case faith is destroyed, whether a thing be perfectly manifest, or whether it be entirely unknown, so that no one can hear it from another; for "faith cometh by hearing" (Romans 10:17).
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Maria et Ioseph instruendi erant de Christi nativitate antequam nasceretur, quia ad eos pertinebat reverentiam habere prolis conceptae in utero, et obsequi nasciturae. Eorum autem testimonium, propter hoc quod erat domesticum, fuisset habitum suspectum circa magnificentiam Christi. Et ideo oportuit ut aliis manifestaretur extraneis, quorum testimonium suspectum esse non posset. Reply to Objection 2. Mary and Joseph needed to be instructed concerning Christ's birth before He was born, because it devolved on them to show reverence to the child conceived in the womb, and to serve Him even before He was born. But their testimony, being of a domestic character, would have aroused suspicion in regard to Christ's greatness: and so it behooved it to be made known to others, whose testimony could not be suspect.
IIIª q. 36 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ipsa turbatio subsecuta ex nativitate Christi manifestata congruebat Christi nativitati. Primo quidem, quia per hoc manifestatur caelestis Christi dignitas. Unde Gregorius dicit, in homilia, caeli rege nato, rex terrae turbatur, quia nimirum terrena altitudo confunditur cum celsitudo caelestis aperitur. Secundo, quia per hoc figurabatur iudiciaria Christi potestas. Unde Augustinus dicit, in quodam sermone Epiphaniae, quid erit tribunal iudicantis, quando superbos reges cuna terrebat infantis? Tertio, quia per hoc figurabatur deiectio regni Diaboli. Quia, ut Leo Papa dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae, non tantum Herodes in semetipso turbatur, quantum Diabolus in Herode. Herodes enim hominem aestimabat, sed Diabolus Deum. Et uterque regni sui successorem timebat, Diabolus caelestem, sed Herodes terrenum. Superflue tamen, quia Christus non venerat regnum terrenum in terra habere, ut Leo Papa dicit, Herodi loquens, non capit Christum regia tua, nec mundi dominus potestatis tuae sceptri est contentus angustiis. Quod autem Iudaei turbantur, qui tamen magis gaudere debuerant, aut hoc est quia, ut Chrysostomus dicit, de adventu iusti non poterant gaudere iniqui, aut volentes favere Herodi, quem timebant; populus enim plus iusto favet eis quos crudeles sustinet. Quod autem pueri ab Herode sunt interfecti, non cessit in eorum detrimentum, sed in eorum profectum. Dicit enim Augustinus, in sermone quodam de Epiphania, absit ut, ad liberandos homines Christus veniens, de illorum praemio qui pro eo interficerentur nihil egerit, qui, pendens in ligno, pro eis a quibus interficiebatur oravit. Reply to Objection 3. The very disturbance that arose when it was known that Christ was born was becoming to His birth. First, because thus the heavenly dignity of Christ is made manifest. Wherefore Gregory says (Hom. x in Evang.): "After the birth of the King of heaven, the earthly king is troubled: doubtless because earthly grandeur is covered with confusion when the heavenly majesty is revealed." Secondly, thereby the judicial power of Christ was foreshadowed. Thus Augustine says in a sermon (30 de Temp.) on the Epiphany: "What will He be like in the judgment-seat; since from His cradle He struck terror into the heart of a proud king?" Thirdly, because thus the overthrow of the devil's kingdom was foreshadowed. For, as Pope Leo says in a sermon on the Epiphany (Serm. v [Opus Imperfectum in Matth., Hom. ii, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom): "Herod was not so much troubled in himself as the devil in Herod. For Herod thought Him to be a man, but the devil thought Him to be God. Each feared a successor to his kingdom: the devil, a heavenly successor; Herod, an earthly successor." But their fear was needless: since Christ had not come to set up an earthly kingdom, as Pope Leo says, addressing himself to Herod: "Thy palace cannot hold Christ: nor is the Lord of the world content with the paltry power of thy scepter." That the Jews were troubled, who, on the contrary, should have rejoiced, was either because, as Chrysostom says, "wicked men could not rejoice at the coming of the Holy one," or because they wished to court favor with Herod, whom they feared; for "the populace is inclined to favor too much those whose cruelty it endures." And that the children were slain by Herod was not harmful to them, but profitable. For Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (66 de Diversis): "It cannot be questioned that Christ, who came to set man free, rewarded those who were slain for Him; since, while hanging on the cross, He prayed for those who were putting Him to death."
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sunt convenienter electi illi quibus est Christi nativitas manifestata. Dominus enim, Matth. X, mandavit discipulis, in viam gentium ne abieritis, ut scilicet prius manifestaretur Iudaeis quam gentilibus. Ergo videtur quod multo minus a principio fuerit revelanda Christi nativitas gentibus, qui ab oriente venerunt, ut habetur Matth. II. Objection 1. It would seem that those to whom Christ's birth was made known were not suitably chosen. For our Lord (Matthew 10:5) commanded His disciples, "Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles," so that He might be made known to the Jews before the Gentiles. Therefore it seems that much less should Christ's birth have been at once revealed to the Gentiles who "came from the east," as stated Matthew 2:1.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, manifestatio divinae veritatis praecipue debet fieri ad Dei amicos, secundum illud Iob XXXVII, annuntiat de ea amico suo. Sed magi videntur esse Dei inimici, dicitur enim Levit. XIX, non declinetis ad magos, nec ab ariolis aliquid sciscitemini. Non ergo debuit Christi nativitas magis manifestari. Objection 2. Further, the revelation of Divine truth should be made especially to the friends of God, according to Job 36:33: "He sheweth His friend concerning it." But the Magi seem to be God's foes; for it is written (Leviticus 19:31): "Go not aside after wizards [magi], neither ask anything of soothsayers." Therefore Christ's birth should not have been made known to the Magi.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, Christus venerat mundum totum a potestate Diaboli liberare, unde dicitur Malach. I, ab ortu solis usque ad occasum magnum est nomen meum in gentibus. Non ergo solum in oriente positis manifestari debuit, sed etiam ubique terrarum debuit aliquibus manifestari. Objection 3. Further, Christ came in order to set free the whole world from the power of the devil; whence it is written (Malachi 1:11): "From the rising of the sun even to the going down, My name is great among the Gentiles." Therefore He should have been made known, not only to those who dwelt in the east, but also to some from all parts of the world.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 arg. 4 Praeterea, omnia sacramenta veteris legis erant Christi figura. Sed sacramenta veteris legis dispensabantur per ministerium sacerdotum legalium. Ergo videtur quod magis debuerit Christi nativitas manifestari sacerdotibus in templo, quam pastoribus in agro. Objection 4. Further, all the sacraments of the Old Law were figures of Christ. But the sacraments of the Old Law were dispensed through the ministry of the legal priesthood. Therefore it seems that Christ's birth should have been made known rather to the priests in the Temple than to the shepherds in the fields.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 arg. 5 Praeterea, Christus ex virgine matre natus est, et aetate parvulus erat. Convenientius ergo videtur fuisse quod Christus manifestaretur iuvenibus et virginibus, quam senibus et coniugatis vel viduis, sicut Simeoni et Annae. Objection 5. Further, Christ was born of a Virgin-Mother, and was as yet a little child. It was therefore more suitable that He should be made known to youths and virgins than to old and married people or to widows, such as Simeon and Anna.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Ioan. XIII, ego scio quos elegerim. Quae autem fiunt secundum Dei sapientiam, convenienter fiunt. Ergo convenienter sunt electi illi quibus est manifestata Christi nativitas. On the contrary, It is written (John 13:18): "I know whom I have chosen." But what is done by God's wisdom is done becomingly. Therefore those to whom Christ's birth was made known were suitably chosen.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod salus quae erat futura per Christum, ad omnem diversitatem hominum pertinebat, quia, sicut dicitur Coloss. III, in Christo non est masculus et femina, gentilis et Iudaeus, servus et liber, et sic de aliis huiusmodi. Et ut hoc in ipsa Christi nativitate praefiguraretur, omnibus conditionibus hominum est manifestatus. Quia, ut Augustinus dicit, in sermone de Epiphania, pastores erant Israelitae, magi gentiles. Illi prope, isti longe. Utrique tanquam ad angularem lapidem concurrerunt. Fuit etiam inter eos alia diversitas, nam magi fuerunt sapientes et potentes, pastores autem simplices et viles. Manifestatus est etiam iustis, Simeoni et Annae, et peccatoribus, scilicet magis; manifestatus est etiam et viris et mulieribus, scilicet Annae; ut per hoc ostenderetur nullam conditionem hominum excludi a Christi salute. I answer that, Salvation, which was to be accomplished by Christ, concerns all sorts and conditions of men: because, as it is written (Colossians 3:11), in Christ "there is neither male nor female, [These words are in reality from Galatians 3:28] neither Gentile nor Jew . . . bond nor free," and so forth. And in order that this might be foreshadowed in Christ's birth, He was made known to men of all conditions. Because, as Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (32 de Temp.), "the shepherds were Israelites, the Magi were Gentiles. The former were nigh to Him, the latter far from Him. Both hastened to Him together as to the cornerstone." There was also another point of contrast: for the Magi were wise and powerful; the shepherds simple and lowly. He was also made known to the righteous as Simeon and Anna; and to sinners, as the Magi. He was made known both to men, and to women--namely, to Anna--so as to show no condition of men to be excluded from Christ's redemption.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illa manifestatio nativitatis Christi fuit quaedam praelibatio plenae manifestationis quae erat futura. Et sicut in secunda manifestatione primo annuntiata est gratia Christi per Christum et eius apostolos Iudaeis, et postea gentilibus; ita ad Christum primo pervenerunt pastores, qui erant primitiae Iudaeorum, tanquam prope existentes; et postea venerunt magi a remotis, qui fuerunt primitiae gentium, ut Augustinus dicit. Reply to Objection 1. That manifestation of Christ's birth was a kind of foretaste of the full manifestation which was to come. And as in the later manifestation the first announcement of the grace of Christ was made by Him and His Apostles to the Jews and afterwards to the Gentiles, so the first to come to Christ were the shepherds, who were the first-fruits of the Jews, as being near to Him; and afterwards came the Magi from afar, who were "the first-fruits of the Gentiles," as Augustine says (Serm. 30 de Temp. cc.).
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in sermone de Epiphania, sicut praevalet imperitia in rusticitate pastorum, ita praevalet impietas in sacrilegiis magorum. Utrosque tamen sibi ille lapis angularis attribuit, quippe qui venit stulta eligere ut confunderet sapientes, et non vocare iustos, sed peccatores; ut nullus magnus superbiret, nullus infirmus desperaret. Quidam tamen dicunt quod isti magi non fuerunt malefici, sed sapientes astrologi, qui apud Persas vel Chaldaeos magi vocantur. Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (Serm. 30 de Temp.): "As unskilfulness predominates in the rustic manners of the shepherd, so ungodliness abounds in the profane rites of the Magi. Yet did this Corner-Stone draw both to Itself; inasmuch as He came 'to choose the foolish things that He might confound the wise,' and 'not to call the just, but sinners,'" so that "the proud might not boast, nor the weak despair." Nevertheless, there are those who say that these Magi were not wizards, but wise astronomers, who are called Magi among the Persians or Chaldees.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, ab oriente venerunt magi, quia, unde dies nascitur, inde initium fidei processit, quia fides lumen est animarum. Vel, quia omnes qui ad Christum veniunt, ab ipso et per ipsum veniunt, unde dicitur Zach. VI, ecce vir, oriens nomen eius. Dicuntur autem ab oriente, ad litteram, venisse, vel quia de ultimis orientis partibus venerunt, secundum quosdam, vel quia de aliquibus vicinis partibus Iudaeae venerunt, quae tamen sunt regioni Iudaeorum ad orientem. Credibile tamen est etiam in aliis partibus mundi aliqua indicia nativitatis Christi apparuisse, sicut Romae fluxit oleum; et in Hispania apparuerunt tres soles paulatim in unum coeuntes. Reply to Objection 3. As Chrysostom says [Hom. ii in Matth. in the Opus Imperf., among the supposititious works of Chrysostom]: "The Magi came from the east, because the first beginning of faith came from the land where the day is born; since faith is the light of the soul." Or, "because all who come to Christ come from Him and through Him": whence it is written (Zechariah 6:12): "Behold a Man, the Orient is His name." Now, they are said to come from the east literally, either because, as some say, they came from the farthest parts of the east, or because they came from the neighboring parts of Judea that lie to the east of the region inhabited by the Jews. Yet it is to be believed that certain signs of Christ's birth appeared also in other parts of the world: thus, at Rome the river flowed with oil [Eusebius, Chronic. II, Olymp. 185]; and in Spain three suns were seen, which gradually merged into one [Cf. Eusebius, Chronic. II, Olymp. 184].
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, Angelus manifestans Christi nativitatem non ivit Ierosolymam, non requisivit Scribas et Pharisaeos, erant enim corrupti, et prae invidia cruciabantur. Sed pastores erant sinceri, antiquam conversationem patriarcharum et Moysen colentes. Per hos etiam pastores significabantur doctores Ecclesiae, quibus Christi mysteria revelantur, quae latebant Iudaeos. Reply to Objection 4. As Chrysostom observes (Theophylact., Enarr. in Luc. ii, 8), the angel who announced Christ's birth did not go to Jerusalem, nor did he seek the Scribes and Pharisees, for they were corrupted, and full of ill-will. But the shepherds were single-minded, and were like the patriarchs and Moses in their mode of life. Moreover, these shepherds were types of the Doctors of the Church, to whom are revealed the mysteries of Christ that were hidden from the Jews.
IIIª q. 36 a. 3 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod, sicut Ambrosius dicit, generatio domini non solum a pastoribus, sed etiam a senioribus et iustis accipere debuit testimonium, quorum etiam testimonio, propter iustitiam, magis credebatur. Reply to Objection 5. As Ambrose says (on Luke 2:25): "It was right that our Lord's birth should be attested not only by the shepherds, but also by people advanced in age and virtue": whose testimony is rendered the more credible by reason of their righteousness.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christus per seipsum suam nativitatem manifestare debuerit. Causa enim quae est per se, semper est potior ea quae est per aliud, ut dicitur in VIII Physic. Sed Christus suam nativitatem manifestavit per alios, puta pastoribus per Angelos et, magis per stellam. Ergo multo magis per seipsum debuit suam nativitatem manifestare. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ should have Himself made His birth known. For "a direct cause is always of greater power than an indirect cause," as is stated Phys. viii. But Christ made His birth known through others--for instance, to the shepherds through the angels, and to the Magi through the star. Much more, therefore, should He Himself have made His birth known.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, Eccli. XX dicitur, sapientia abscondita, et thesaurus invisus, quae utilitas in utrisque? Sed Christus a principio conceptionis suae plene habuit sapientiae et gratiae thesaurum. Nisi ergo hanc plenitudinem manifestasset per opera et verba, fuisset frustra ei data sapientia et gratia. Quod est inconveniens, quia Deus et natura nihil frustra facit, ut dicitur in I de caelo. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Sirach 20:32): "Wisdom that is hid and treasure that is not seen; what profit is there in them both?" But Christ had, to perfection, the treasure of wisdom and grace from the beginning of His conception. Therefore, unless He had made the fulness of these gifts known by words and deeds, wisdom and grace would have been given Him to no purpose. But this is unreasonable: because "God and nature do nothing without a purpose" (De Coelo i).
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, in libro de infantia salvatoris legitur quod Christus in sua pueritia multa miracula fecit. Et ita videtur quod suam nativitatem per seipsum manifestaverit. Objection 3. Further, we read in the book De Infantia Salvatoris that in His infancy Christ worked many miracles. It seems therefore that He did Himself make His birth known.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod Leo Papa dicit, quod magi invenerunt puerum Iesum nulla ab infantiae humanae generalitate discretum. Sed alii infantes non manifestant seipsos. Ergo neque decuit quod Christus per seipsum suam nativitatem manifestaret. On the contrary, Pope Leo says (Serm. xxxiv) that the Magi found the "infant Jesus in no way different from the generality of human infants." But other infants do not make themselves known. Therefore it was not fitting that Christ should Himself make His birth known.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nativitas Christi ad humanam salutem ordinabatur, quae quidem est per fidem. Fides autem salutaris divinitatem et humanitatem Christi confitetur. Oportebat igitur ita manifestari nativitatem Christi ut demonstratio divinitatis eius fidei humanitatis ipsius non praeiudicaret. Hoc autem factum est dum Christus in seipso similitudinem infirmitatis humanae exhibuit, et tamen per Dei creaturas divinitatis virtutem in se monstravit. Et ideo Christus non per seipsum suam nativitatem manifestavit, sed per quasdam alias creaturas. I answer that, Christ's birth was ordered unto man's salvation, which is by faith. But saving faith confesses Christ's Godhead and humanity. It behooved, therefore, Christ's birth to be made known in such a way that the proof of His Godhead should not be prejudicial to faith in His human nature. But this took place while Christ presented a likeness of human weakness, and yet, by means of God's creatures, He showed the power of the Godhead in Himself. Therefore Christ made His birth known, not by Himself, but by means of certain other creatures.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in via generationis et motus oportet per imperfecta ad perfectum perveniri. Et ideo Christus prius manifestatus est per alias creaturas, et postea manifestavit se per seipsum manifestatione perfecta. Reply to Objection 1. By the way of generation and movement we must of necessity come to the imperfect before the perfect. And therefore Christ was made known first through other creatures, and afterwards He Himself manifested Himself perfectly.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, licet sapientia abscondita inutilis sit, non tamen ad sapientem pertinet ut quolibet tempore manifestet seipsum, sed tempore congruo, dicitur enim Eccli. XX, est tacens non habens sensum loquelae, et est tacens sciens tempus apti temporis. Sic ergo sapientia Christo data non fuit inutilis, quia seipsam tempore congruo manifestavit. Et hoc ipsum quod tempore congruo abscondebatur, est sapientiae indicium. Reply to Objection 2. Although hidden wisdom is useless, yet there is no need for a wise man to make himself known at all times, but at a suitable time; for it is written (Sirach 20:6): "There is one that holdeth his peace because he knoweth not what to say: and there is another that holdeth his peace, knowing the proper time." Hence the wisdom given to Christ was not useless, because at a suitable time He manifested Himself. And the very fact that He was hidden at a suitable time is a sign of wisdom.
IIIª q. 36 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod liber ille de infantia salvatoris est apocryphus. Et Chrysostomus, super Ioan., dicit quod Christus non fecit miracula antequam aquam converteret in vinum, secundum illud quod dicitur Ioan. II, hoc fecit initium signorum Iesus. Si enim secundum primam aetatem miracula fecisset, non indiguissent Israelitae alio manifestante eum, cum tamen Ioannes Baptista dicat, Ioan. I, ut manifestetur Israeli, propterea veni in aqua baptizans. Decenter autem non incoepit facere signa in prima aetate. Aestimassent enim phantasiam esse incarnationem, et ante opportunum tempus eum cruci tradidissent, livore liquefacti. Reply to Objection 3. The book De Infantia Salvatoris is apocryphal. Moreover, Chrysostom (Hom. xxi super Joan.) says that Christ worked no miracles before changing the water into wine, according to John 2:11: "'This beginning of miracles did Jesus.' For if He had worked miracles at an early age, there would have been no need for anyone else to manifest Him to Israelites; whereas John the Baptist says (John 1:31): 'That He may be made manifest in Israel; therefore am I come baptizing with water.' Moreover, it was fitting that He should not begin to work miracles at an early age. For people would have thought Incarnation to be unreal, and, out of sheer spite, would have crucified Him before the proper time."
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non debuerit manifestari per Angelos Christi nativitas. Angeli enim sunt spirituales substantiae, secundum illud Psalmi, qui facit Angelos suos spiritus. Sed Christi nativitas erat secundum carnem, non autem secundum spiritualem eius substantiam. Ergo non debuit per Angelos manifestari. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ's birth should not have been manifested by means of the angels. For angels are spiritual substances, according to Psalm 103:4: "Who maketh His [Vulgate: 'makest Thy'] angels, spirits." But Christ's birth was in the flesh, and not in His spiritual substance. Therefore it should not have been manifested by means of angels.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, maior est affinitas iustorum ad Angelos quam ad quoscumque alios, secundum illud Psalmi, immittet Angelus domini in circuitu timentium eum, et eripiet eos. Sed iustis, scilicet Simeoni et Annae, non est manifestata Christi nativitas per Angelos. Ergo nec pastoribus per Angelos manifestari debuit. Objection 2. Further, the righteous are more akin to the angels than to any other, according to Psalm 33:8: "The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him, and shall deliver them." But Christ's birth was not announced to the righteous, viz. Simeon and Anna, through the angels. Therefore neither should it have been announced to the shepherds by means of the angels.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 arg. 3 Item, videtur quod nec magis debuit manifestari per stellam. Hoc enim videtur esse erroris occasio quantum ad illos qui existimant sidera nativitatibus hominum dominari. Sed occasiones peccandi sunt hominibus auferendae. Non ergo fuit conveniens quod per stellam Christi nativitas manifestaretur. Objection 3. Further, it seems that neither ought it to have been announced to the Magi by means of the star. For this seems to favor the error of those who think that man's birth is influenced by the stars. But occasions of sin should be taken away from man. Therefore it was not fitting that Christ's birth should be announced by a star.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 arg. 4 Praeterea, signum oportet esse certum, ad hoc quod per ipsum aliquid manifestetur. Sed stella non videtur esse signum certum nativitatis Christi. Ergo inconvenienter fuit Christi nativitas per stellam manifestata. Objection 4. Further, a sign should be certain, in order that something be made known thereby. But a star does not seem to be a certain sign of Christ's birth. Therefore Christ's birth was not suitably announced by a star.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. XXXII, Dei perfecta sunt opera. Sed talis manifestatio fuit opus divinum. Ergo per convenientia signa fuit effecta. On the contrary, It is written (Deuteronomy 32:4): "The works of God are perfect." But this manifestation is the work of God. Therefore it was accomplished by means of suitable signs.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut manifestatio syllogistica fit per ea quae sunt magis nota ei cui est aliquid manifestandum, ita manifestatio quae fit per signa, debet fieri per ea quae sunt familiaria illis quibus manifestatur. Manifestum est autem quod viris iustis est familiare et consuetum interiori spiritus sancti edoceri instinctu, absque signorum sensibilium demonstratione, scilicet per spiritum prophetiae. Alii vero, corporalibus rebus dediti, per sensibilia ad intelligibilia adducuntur. Iudaei tamen consueti erant divina responsa per Angelos accipere, per quos etiam legem acceperant, secundum illud Act. VII, acceptis legem in dispositione Angelorum. Gentiles vero, et maxime astrologi, consueti sunt stellarum cursus aspicere. Et ideo iustis, scilicet Simeoni et Annae, manifestata est Christi nativitas per interiorem instinctum spiritus sancti, secundum illud Luc. II responsum accepit a spiritu sancto non visurum se mortem nisi prius videret Christum domini. Pastoribus autem et magis, tanquam rebus corporalibus deditis, manifestata est Christi nativitas per apparitiones visibiles. Et quia nativitas non erat pure terrena, sed quodammodo caelestis, ideo per signa caelestia utrisque nativitas Christi revelatur, ut enim Augustinus dicit, in sermone de Epiphania, caelos Angeli habitant, et sidera ornant, utrisque ergo caeli enarrant gloriam Dei. Rationabiliter autem pastoribus, tanquam Iudaeis, apud quos frequenter factae sunt apparitiones Angelorum, revelata est nativitas Christi per Angelos, magis autem, assuetis in consideratione caelestium corporum, manifestata est per signum stellae. Quia, ut Chrysostomus dicit, per consueta eos dominus vocare voluit, eis condescendens. Est autem et alia ratio. Quia, ut Gregorius dicit, Iudaeis, tanquam ratione utentibus, rationale animal, idest Angelus, praedicare debuit. Gentiles vero, qui uti ratione nesciebant ad cognoscendum Deum, non per vocem, sed per signa perducuntur. Et sicut dominum iam loquentem annuntiaverunt gentibus praedicatores loquentes, ita eum nondum loquentem elementa muta praedicaverunt. Est autem et alia ratio. Quia, ut Augustinus dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae, Abrahae innumerabilis erat promissa successio non carnis semine, sed fidei fecunditate generanda. Et ideo stellarum multitudini est comparata, ut caelestis progenies speraretur. Et ideo gentiles, in sideribus designati, ortu novi sideris excitantur ut perveniant ad Christum, per quem efficiuntur semen Abrahae. I answer that, As knowledge is imparted through a syllogism from something which we know better, so knowledge given by signs must be conveyed through things which are familiar to those to whom the knowledge is imparted. Now, it is clear that the righteous have, through the spirit of prophecy, a certain familiarity with the interior instinct of the Holy Ghost, and are wont to be taught thereby, without the guidance of sensible signs. Whereas others, occupied with material things, are led through the domain of the senses to that of the intellect. The Jews, however, were accustomed to receive Divine answers through the angels; through whom they also received the Law, according to Acts 7:53: "You [Vulgate: 'who'] . . . have received the Law by the disposition of angels." And the Gentiles, especially astrologers, were wont to observe the course of the stars. And therefore Christ's birth was made known to the righteous, viz. Simeon and Anna, by the interior instinct of the Holy Ghost, according to Luke 2:26: "He had received an answer from the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord." But to the shepherds and Magi, as being occupied with material things, Christ's birth was made known by means of visible apparitions. And since this birth was not only earthly, but also, in a way, heavenly, to both (shepherds and Magi) it is revealed through heavenly signs: for, as Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cciv): "The angels inhabit, and the stars adorn, the heavens: by both, therefore, do the 'heavens show forth the glory of God.'" Moreover, it was not without reason that Christ's birth was made known, by means of angels, to the shepherds, who, being Jews, were accustomed to frequent apparitions of the angels: whereas it was revealed by means of a star to the Magi, who were wont to consider the heavenly bodies. Because, as Chrysostom says (Hom. vi in Matth.): "Our Lord deigned to call them through things to which they were accustomed." There is also another reason. For, as Gregory says (Hom. x in Evang.): "To the Jews, as rational beings, it was fitting that a rational animal [Cf. I, 51, 1, ad 2]," viz. an angel, "should preach. Whereas the Gentiles, who were unable to come to the knowledge of God through the reason, were led to God, not by words, but by signs. And as our Lord, when He was able to speak, was announced by heralds who spoke, so before He could speak He was manifested by speechless elements." Again, there is yet another reason. For, as Augustine [Pope Leo] says in a sermon on the Epiphany: "To Abraham was promised an innumerable progeny, begotten, not of carnal propagation, but of the fruitfulness of faith. For this reason it is compared to the multitude of stars; that a heavenly progeny might be hoped for." Wherefore the Gentiles, "who are thus designated by the stars, are by the rising of a new star stimulated" to seek Christ, through whom they are made the seed of Abraham.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illud manifestatione indiget quod de se est occultum, non autem illud quod de se est manifestum. Caro autem eius qui nascebatur erat manifesta, sed divinitas erat occulta. Et ideo convenienter manifestata est illa nativitas per Angelos, qui sunt Dei ministri. Unde et cum claritate Angelus apparuit, ut ostenderetur quod ille qui nascebatur erat splendor paternae gloriae. Reply to Objection 1. That which of itself is hidden needs to be manifested, but not that which in itself is manifest. Now, the flesh of Him who was born was manifest, whereas the Godhead was hidden. And therefore it was fitting that this birth should be made known by angels, who are the ministers of God. Wherefore also a certain "brightness" (Luke 2:9) accompanied the angelic apparition, to indicate that He who was just born was the "Brightness of" the Father's "glory."
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod iusti non indigebant visibili apparitione Angelorum, sed eis sufficiebat interior instinctus spiritus sancti, propter eorum perfectionem. Reply to Objection 2. The righteous did not need the visible apparition of the angel; on account of their perfection the interior instinct of the Holy Ghost was enough for them.
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod stella quae nativitatem Christi manifestavit, omnem occasionem erroris subtraxit. Ut enim Augustinus dicit, contra Faustum, nulli astrologi constituerunt ita nascentium hominum fata sub stellis, ut aliquam stellarum, homine aliquo nato, circuitus sui ordinem reliquisse, et ad eum qui natus est perrexisse asseverent, sicut accidit circa stellam quae demonstravit nativitatem Christi. Et ideo per hoc non confirmatur error eorum qui sortem nascentium hominum astrorum ordini colligari arbitrantur, non autem credunt astrorum ordinem ad hominis nativitatem posse mutari. Similiter etiam, ut Chrysostomus dicit, non est hoc astronomiae opus, a stellis scire eos qui nascuntur, sed ab hora nativitatis futura praedicere. Magi autem tempus nativitatis non cognoverunt, ut, hinc sumentes initium, a stellarum motu futura cognoscerent, sed potius e converso. Reply to Objection 3. The star which manifested Christ's birth removed all occasion of error. For, as Augustine says (Contra Faust. ii): "No astrologer has ever so far connected the stars with man's fate at the time of his birth as to assert that one of the stars, at the birth of any man, left its orbit and made its way to him who was just born": as happened in the case of the star which made known the birth of Christ. Consequently this does not corroborate the error of those who "think there is a connection between man's birth and the course of the stars, for they do not hold that the course of the stars can be changed at a man's birth." In the same sense Chrysostom says (Hom. vi in Matth.): "It is not an astronomer's business to know from the stars those who are born, but to tell the future from the hour of a man's birth: whereas the Magi did not know the time of the birth, so as to conclude therefrom some knowledge of the future; rather was it the other way about."
IIIª q. 36 a. 5 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus refert, in quibusdam scriptis apocryphis legitur quod quaedam gens in extremo orientis, iuxta Oceanum, quandam Scripturam habebat, ex nomine Seth, de hac stella et muneribus huiusmodi offerendis. Quae gens diligenter observabat huius stellae exortum, positis exploratoribus duodecim, qui certis temporibus devote ascendebant in montem. In quo postmodum viderunt eam habentem in se quasi parvuli formam, et super se similitudinem crucis. Vel dicendum quod, sicut dicitur in libro de quaest. Nov. et Vet. Test., magi illi traditionem Balaam sequebantur, qui dixit, orietur stella ex Iacob. Unde, videntes stellam extra ordinem mundi, hanc esse intellexerunt quam Balaam futuram indicem regis Iudaeorum prophetaverat. Vel dicendum, sicut Augustinus dicit, in sermone de Epiphania, quod ab Angelis aliqua monitione revelationis audierunt magi quod stella Christum natum significaret. Et probabile videtur quod a bonis, quando in Christo adorando salus eorum iam quaerebatur. Vel, sicut Leo Papa dicit, in sermone de Epiphania, praeter illam speciem quae corporeum incitavit obtutum, fulgentior veritatis radius eorum corda perdocuit quod ad illuminationem fidei pertinebat. Reply to Objection 4. Chrysostom relates (Hom. ii in Matth.) that, according to some apocryphal books, a certain tribe in the far east near the ocean was in the possession of a document written by Seth, referring to this star and to the presents to be offered: which tribe watched attentively for the rising of this star, twelve men being appointed to take observations, who at stated times repaired to the summit of a mountain with faithful assiduity: whence they subsequently perceived the star containing the figure of a small child, and above it the form of a cross. Or we may say, as may be read in the book De Qq. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. lxiii, that "these Magi followed the tradition of Balaam," who said, "'A star shall rise out of Jacob.' Wherefore observing this star to be a stranger to the system of this world, they gathered that it was the one foretold by Balaam to indicate the King of the Jews." Or again, it may be said with Augustine, in a sermon on the Epiphany (ccclxxiv), that "the Magi had received a revelation through the angels" that the star was a sign of the birth of Christ: and he thinks it probable that these were "good angels; since in adoring Christ they were seeking for salvation." Or with Pope Leo, in a sermon on the Epiphany (xxxiv), that "besides the outward form which aroused the attention of their corporeal eyes, a more brilliant ray enlightened their minds with the light of faith."
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienti ordine Christi nativitas fuit manifestata. Illis enim debuit primo manifestari Christi nativitas qui Christo propinquiores fuerunt, et qui magis Christum desiderabant, secundum illud Sap. VI, praeoccupat eos qui se concupiscunt, ut se priorem illis ostendat. Sed iusti propinquissimi erant Christo per fidem, et maxime eius adventum desiderabant, unde dicitur Luc. II de Simeone quod erat homo iustus et timoratus, expectans redemptionem Israel. Ergo prius debuisset manifestari Christi nativitas Simeoni quam pastoribus et magis. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ's birth was made known in an unbecoming order. For Christ's birth should have been made known to them first who were nearest to Christ, and who longed for Him most; according to Wisdom 6:14: "She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first showeth herself unto them." But the righteous were nearest to Christ by faith, and longed most for His coming; whence it is written (Luke 2:25) of Simeon that "he was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel." Therefore Christ's birth should have been made known to Simeon before the shepherds and Magi.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, magi fuerunt primitiae gentium Christo crediturarum. Sed primo plenitudo gentium intrat ad fidem, et postmodum omnis Israel salvus fiet, ut dicitur Rom. XI. Ergo primo debuit manifestari Christi nativitas magis quam pastoribus. Objection 2. Further, the Magi were the "first-fruits of the Gentiles," who were to believe in Christ. But first the "fulness of the Gentiles . . . come in" unto faith, and afterwards "all Israel" shall "be saved," as is written (Romans 11:25). Therefore Christ's birth should have been made known to the Magi before the shepherds.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, Matth. II dicitur quod Herodes occidit omnes pueros qui erant in Bethlehem et in omnibus finibus eius a bimatu et infra, secundum tempus quod exquisierat a magis, et sic videtur quod per duos annos post Christi nativitatem magi ad Christum pervenerunt. Inconvenienter igitur post tantum tempus fuit gentilibus Christi nativitas manifestata. Objection 3. Further, it is written (Matthew 2:16) that "Herod killed all the male children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired from the wise men": so that it seems that the Magi were two years in coming to Christ after His birth. It was therefore unbecoming that Christ should be made known to the Gentiles so long after His birth.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Dan. II, ipse mutat tempora et aetates. Et ita tempus manifestationis nativitatis Christi videtur congruo ordine esse dispositum. On the contrary, It is written (Daniel 2:21): "He changes time and ages." Consequently the time of the manifestation of Christ's birth seems to have been arranged in a suitable order.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod Christi nativitas primo quidem manifestata est pastoribus, ipso die nativitatis Christi. Ut enim dicitur Luc. II, erant pastores in eadem regione vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis super gregem suum. Et, ut discesserunt ab eis Angeli in caelum, loquebantur ad invicem, transeamus usque in Bethlehem. Et venerunt festinantes. Secundo autem magi pervenerunt ad Christum, tertiadecima die nativitatis eius, quo die festum Epiphaniae celebratur. Si enim revoluto anno, aut etiam duobus annis pervenissent, non invenissent eum in Bethlehem, cum scriptum sit Luc. II quod, postquam perfecerunt omnia secundum legem domini, offerentes scilicet puerum Iesum in templum, reversi sunt in Galilaeam, in civitatem suam, scilicet Nazareth. Tertio autem manifestata est iustis in templo, quadragesimo die a nativitate, ut habetur Luc. II. Et huius ordinis ratio est quia per pastores significantur apostoli et alii credentes ex Iudaeis, quibus primo manifestata est fides Christi, inter quos non fuerunt multi potentes nec multi nobiles, ut dicitur I Cor. I. Secundo autem fides Christi pervenit ad plenitudinem gentium, quae est praefigurata per magos. Tertio autem pervenit ad plenitudinem Iudaeorum, quae est praefigurata per iustos. Unde etiam in templo Iudaeorum est eis Christus manifestatus. I answer that, Christ's birth was first made known to the shepherds on the very day that He was born. For, as it is written (Luke 2:8-16): "There were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night-watches over their flock . . . And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven they [Vulgate: 'the shepherds'] said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem . . . and they came with haste." Second in order were the Magi, who came to Christ on the thirteenth day after His birth, on which day is kept the feast of the Epiphany. For if they had come after a year, or even two years, they would not have found Him in Bethlehem, since it is written (Luke 2:39) that "after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord"--that is to say, after they had offered up the Child Jesus in the Temple--"they returned into Galilee, to their city"--namely, "Nazareth." In the third place, it was made known in the Temple to the righteous on the fortieth day after His birth, as related by Luke (2:22). The reason of this order is that the shepherds represent the apostles and other believers of the Jews, to whom the faith of Christ was made known first; among whom there were "not many mighty, not many noble," as we read 1 Corinthians 1:26. Secondly, the faith of Christ came to the "fulness of the Gentiles"; and this is foreshadowed in the Magi. Thirdly it came to the fulness of the Jews, which is foreshadowed in the righteous. Wherefore also Christ was manifested to them in the Jewish Temple.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut apostolus dicit, Rom. IX, Israel, sectando legem iustitiae, in legem iustitiae non pervenit, sed gentiles, qui non quaerebant iustitiam, Iudaeos communiter in iustitia fidei praevenerunt. Et in huius figuram, Simeon, qui expectabat consolationem Israel, ultimo Christum natum cognovit, et praecesserunt eum magi et pastores, qui Christi nativitatem non ita sollicite expectabant. Reply to Objection 1. As the Apostle says (Romans 9:30-31): "Israel, by following after the law of justice, is not come unto the law of justice": but the Gentiles, "who followed not after justice," forestalled the generality of the Jews in the justice which is of faith. As a figure of this, Simeon, "who was waiting for the consolation of Israel," was the last to know Christ born: and he was preceded by the Magi and the shepherds, who did not await the coming of Christ with such longing.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, licet plenitudo gentium prius intraverit ad fidem quam plenitudo Iudaeorum, tamen primitiae Iudaeorum praevenerunt in fide primitias gentium. Et ideo pastoribus primo manifestata est Christi nativitas quam magis. Reply to Objection 2. Although the "fulness of the Gentiles came in" unto faith before the fulness of the Jews, yet the first-fruits of the Jews preceded the first-fruits of the Gentiles in faith. For this reason the birth of Christ was made known to the shepherds before the Magi.
IIIª q. 36 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod de apparitione stellae quae apparuit magis, est duplex opinio. Chrysostomus enim dicit, super Matth., et Augustinus, in sermone Epiphaniae, stella magis apparuit per biennium ante Christi nativitatem, et tunc primo, meditantes et se ad iter praeparantes, a remotissimis partibus orientis pervenerunt ad Christum tertiadecima die a sua nativitate. Unde et Herodes statim post recessum magorum, videns se ab eis illusum, mandavit occidi pueros a bimatu et infra, dubitans ne tunc Christus natus esset quando stella apparuit, secundum quod a magis audierat. Alii vero dicunt stellam apparuisse primo cum Christus est natus, et statim magi visa stella iter arripientes, longissimum iter in tredecim diebus peregerunt, partim quidem adducti divina virtute, partim autem dromedariorum velocitate. Et hoc dico, si venerunt ex extremis partibus orientis. Quidam tamen dicunt eos venisse de regione propinqua, unde fuerat Balaam, cuius doctrinae successores fuerunt. Dicuntur autem ab oriente venisse, quia terra illa est ad Orientalem partem terrae Iudaeorum. Et secundum hoc, Herodes non statim recedentibus magis, sed post biennium interfecit pueros. Vel quia dicitur interim accusatus Romam ivisse, vel, aliquorum periculorum terroribus agitatus, a cura interficiendi puerum interim destitisse. Vel quia potuit credere magos, fallaci stellae visione deceptos, postquam non invenerunt quem natum putaverunt, erubuisse ad se redire, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro de consensu Evangelist. Ideo autem non solum bimos interfecit sed etiam infra, quia, ut Augustinus dicit, in quodam sermone innocentum, timebat ne puer cui sidera famulantur, speciem suam paulo super aetatem vel infra transformaret. Reply to Objection 3. There are two opinions about the apparition of the star seen by the Magi. For Chrysostom (Hom. ii in Matth. [Opus Imperf. in Matth., falsely ascribed to Chrysostom], and Augustine in a sermon on the Epiphany (cxxxi, cxxxii), say that the star was seen by the Magi during the two years that preceded the birth of Christ: and then, having first considered the matter and prepared themselves for the journey, they came from the farthest east to Christ, arriving on the thirteenth day after His birth. Wherefore Herod, immediately after the departure of the Magi, "perceiving that He was deluded by them," commanded the male children to be killed "from two years old and under," being doubtful lest Christ were already born when the star appeared, according as he had heard from the Magi. But others say that the star first appeared when Christ was born, and that the Magi set off as soon as they saw the star, and accomplished a journey of very great length in thirteen days, owing partly to the Divine assistance, and partly to the fleetness of the dromedaries. And I say this on the supposition that they came from the far east. But others, again, say that they came from a neighboring country, whence also was Balaam, to whose teaching they were heirs; and they are said to have come from the east, because their country was to the east of the country of the Jews. In this case Herod killed the babes, not as soon as the Magi departed, but two years after: and that either because he is said to have gone to Rome in the meanwhile on account of an accusation brought against him, or because he was troubled at some imminent peril, and for the time being desisted from his anxiety to slay the child, or because he may have thought that the Magi, "being deceived by the illusory appearance of the star, and not finding the child, as they had expected to, were ashamed to return to him": as Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. ii). And the reason why he killed not only those who were two years old, but also the younger children, would be, as Augustine says in a sermon on Innocents, because he feared lest a child whom the stars obey, might make himself appear older or younger.
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod stella quae magis apparuit, fuerit una de caelestibus stellis. Dicit enim Augustinus, in quodam sermone Epiphaniae, dum pendet ad ubera et vilium patitur Deus involumenta pannorum, repente novum de caelo sidus effulsit. Fuit igitur stella caelestis quae magis apparuit. Objection 1. It would seem that the star which appeared to the Magi belonged to the heavenly system. For Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cxxii): "While God yet clings to the breast, and suffers Himself to be wrapped in humble swaddling clothes, suddenly a new star shines forth in the heavens." Therefore the star which appeared to the Magi belonged to the heavenly system.
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in sermone quodam Epiphaniae, pastoribus Angeli, magis stella Christum demonstrat. Utrisque loquitur lingua caelorum, quia lingua cessaverat prophetarum. Sed Angeli pastoribus apparentes fuerunt vere de caelestibus Angelis. Ergo et stella magis apparens fuit vere de caelestibus stellis. Objection 2. Further, Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cci): "Christ was made known to the shepherds by angels, to the Magi by a star. A heavenly tongue speaks to both, because the tongue of the prophets spoke no longer." But the angels who appeared to the shepherds were really angels from heaven. Therefore also the star which appeared to the Magi was really a star from the heavens.
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, stellae quae non sunt in caelo, sed in aere, dicuntur stellae comatae, quae non apparent in nativitatibus regum, sed magis sunt indicia mortis eorum. Sed illa stella designabat regis nativitatem, unde magi dicunt, Matth. II, ubi est qui natus est rex Iudaeorum? Vidimus enim stellam eius in oriente. Ergo videtur quod fuerit de caelestibus stellis. Objection 3. Further, stars which are not in the heavens but in the air are called comets, which do not appear at the birth of kings, but rather are signs of their approaching death. But this star was a sign of the King's birth: wherefore the Magi said (Matthew 2:2): "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east." Therefore it seems that it was a star from the heavens.
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro contra Faustum, non ex illis erat stellis quae ab initio creaturae itinerum suorum ordinem sub creatoris lege custodiunt, sed, novo virginis partu, novum sidus apparuit. On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Faust. ii): "It was not one of those stars which since the beginning of the creation observe the course appointed to them by the Creator; but this star was a stranger to the heavens, and made its appearance at the strange sight of a virgin in childbirth."
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., quod illa stella quae magis apparuit non fuerit una caelestium stellarum, multipliciter manifestum est. Primo quidem, quia nulla alia stellarum hac via incedit. Haec enim stella ferebatur a Septentrione in meridiem, ita enim iacet Iudaea ad Persidem, unde magi venerunt. Secundo, apparet hoc ex tempore. Non enim solum apparebat in nocte, sed etiam in media die. Quod non est virtutis stellae, sed nec etiam lunae. Tertio, quia quandoque apparebat et quandoque occultabatur. Cum enim intraverunt Ierosolymam, occultavit seipsam, deinde, ubi Herodem reliquerunt, monstravit seipsam. Quarto, quia non habebat continuum motum, sed, cum oportebat ire magos, ibat; quando autem oportebat stare, stabat; sicut et de columna nubis erat in deserto. Quinto, quia non sursum manens partum virginis demonstrabat, sed deorsum descendens hoc faciebat. Dicitur enim Matth. II quod stella quam viderant in oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum veniens staret supra ubi erat puer. Ex quo patet quod verbum magorum dicentium, vidimus stellam eius in oriente, non est sic intelligendum quasi ipsis in oriente positis stella apparuerit existens in terra Iuda, sed quia viderunt eam in oriente existentem, et praecessit eos usque in Iudaeam (quamvis hoc a quibusdam sub dubio relinquatur). Non autem potuisset distincte domum demonstrare nisi esset terrae vicina. Et, sicut ipse dicit, hoc non videtur proprium esse stellae, sed virtutis cuiusdam rationalis. Unde videtur quod haec stella virtus invisibilis fuisset in talem apparentiam transformata. Unde quidam dicunt quod, sicut spiritus sanctus descendit super baptizatum dominum in specie columbae, ita apparuit magis in specie stellae. Alii vero dicunt quod Angelus qui apparuit pastoribus in specie humana, apparuit magis in specie stellae. Probabilius tamen videtur quod fuerit stella de novo creata, non in caelo, sed in aere vicino terrae, quae secundum Dei voluntatem movebatur. Unde Leo Papa dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae, tribus magis in regione orientis stella novae claritatis apparuit, quae, illustrior ceteris pulchriorque sideribus, in se intuentium oculos animosque converteret, ut confestim adverteretur non esse otiosum quod tam insolitum videbatur. I answer that, As Chrysostom says (Hom. vi in Matth.), it is clear, for many reasons, that the star which appeared to the Magi did not belong to the heavenly system. First, because no other star approaches from the same quarter as this star, whose course was from north to south, these being the relative positions of Persia, whence the Magi came, and Judea. Secondly, from the time [at which it was seen]. For it appeared not only at night, but also at midday: and no star can do this, not even the moon. Thirdly, because it was visible at one time and hidden at another. For when they entered Jerusalem it hid itself: then, when they had left Herod, it showed itself again. Fourthly, because its movement was not continuous, but when the Magi had to continue their journey the star moved on; when they had to stop the star stood still; as happened to the pillar of a cloud in the desert. Fifthly, because it indicated the virginal Birth, not by remaining aloft, but by coming down below. For it is written (Matthew 2:9) that "the star which they had seen in the east went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was." Whence it is evident that the words of the Magi, "We have seen His star in the east," are to be taken as meaning, not that when they were in the east the star appeared over the country of Judea, but that when they saw the star it was in the east, and that it preceded them into Judea (although this is considered doubtful by some). But it could not have indicated the house distinctly, unless it were near the earth. And, as he [Chrysostom] observes, this does not seem fitting to a star, but "of some power endowed with reason." Consequently "it seems that this was some invisible force made visible under the form of a star." Wherefore some say that, as the Holy Ghost, after our Lord's Baptism, came down on Him under the form of a dove, so did He appear to the Magi under the form of a star. While others say that the angel who, under a human form, appeared to the shepherds, under the form of a star, appeared to the Magi. But it seems more probable that it was a newly created star, not in the heavens, but in the air near the earth, and that its movement varied according to God's will. Wherefore Pope Leo says in a sermon on the Epiphany (xxxi): "A star of unusual brightness appeared to the three Magi in the east, which, through being more brilliant and more beautiful than the other stars, drew men's gaze and attention: so that they understood at once that such an unwonted event could not be devoid of purpose."
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod caelum in sacra Scriptura quandoque dicitur aer, secundum illud, volucres caeli et pisces maris. Reply to Objection 1. In Holy Scripture the air is sometimes called the heavens--for instance, "The birds of the heavens [Douay: 'air'] and the fishes of the sea."
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ipsi caelestes Angeli ex suo officio habent ut ad nos descendant, in ministerium missi. Sed stellae caelestes suum situm non mutant. Unde non est similis ratio. Reply to Objection 2. The angels of heaven, by reason of their very office, come down to us, being "sent to minister." But the stars of heaven do not change their position. Wherefore there is no comparison.
IIIª q. 36 a. 7 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut stella non est secuta motum stellarum caelestium, ita nec stellarum comatarum, quae nec de die apparent, nec cursum suum ordinatum mutant. Et tamen non omnino aberat significatio cometarum. Quia caeleste regnum Christi comminuit et consumpsit universa regna terrae, et ipsum stabit in aeternum, ut dicitur Dan. II. Reply to Objection 3. As the star did not follow the course of the heavenly stars, so neither did it follow the course of the comets, which neither appear during the daytime nor vary their customary course. Nevertheless in its signification it has something in common with the comets. Because the heavenly kingdom of Christ "shall break in pieces, and shall consume all the kingdoms" of the earth, "and itself shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod magi non convenienter venerunt ad Christum adorandum et venerandum. Unicuique enim regi reverentia debetur a suis subiectis. Magi autem non erant de regno Iudaeorum. Ergo, cum ex visione stellae cognoverunt natum esse regem Iudaeorum, videtur quod inconvenienter venerunt ad eum adorandum. Objection 1. It would seem that it was unbecoming that the Magi should come to adore Christ and pay homage to Him. For reverence is due to a king from his subjects. But the Magi did not belong to the kingdom of the Jews. Therefore, since they knew by seeing the star that He that was born was the "King of the Jews," it seems unbecoming that they should come to adore Him.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, stultum est, vivente rege aliquo, extraneum regem annuntiare. Sed in regno Iudaeae regnabat Herodes. Ergo stulte fecerunt magi regis nativitatem annuntiantes. Objection 2. Further, it seems absurd during the reign of one king to proclaim a stranger. But in Judea Herod was reigning. Therefore it was foolish of the Magi to proclaim the birth of a king.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, certius est caeleste indicium quam humanum. Sed magi ducatu caelestis indicii ab oriente venerant in Iudaeam. Stulte ergo egerunt praeter ducatum stellae humanum indicium requirendo, dicentes, ubi est qui natus est rex Iudaeorum? Objection 3. Further, a heavenly sign is more certain than a human sign. But the Magi had come to Judea from the east, under the guidance of a heavenly sign. Therefore it was foolish of them to seek human guidance besides that of the star, saying: "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?"
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 arg. 4 Praeterea, munerum oblatio, et adorationis reverentia, non debetur nisi regibus iam regnantibus. Sed magi non invenerunt Christum regia dignitate fulgentem. Ergo inconvenienter ei munera et reverentiam regiam exhibuerunt. Objection 4. Further, the offering of gifts and the homage of adoration are not due save to kings already reigning. But the Magi did not find Christ resplendent with kingly grandeur. Therefore it was unbecoming for them to offer Him gifts and homage.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Isaiae LX, ambulabunt gentes in lumine tuo, et reges in splendore ortus tui. Sed qui divino lumine ducuntur, non errant. Ergo magi absque errore Christo reverentiam exhibuerunt. On the contrary, It is written (Isaiah 60:3): "[The Gentiles] shall walk in the light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising." But those who walk in the Divine light do not err. Therefore the Magi were right in offering homage to Christ.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, magi sunt primitiae gentium in Christo credentium, in quibus apparuit, sicut in quodam praesagio, fides et devotio gentium venientium a remotis ad Christum. Et ideo, sicut devotio et fides gentium est absque errore per inspirationem spiritus sancti, ita etiam credendum est magos, a spiritu sancto inspiratos, sapienter Christo reverentiam exhibuisse. I answer that, As stated above (3, ad 1), the Magi are the "first-fruits of the Gentiles" that believed in Christ; because their faith was a presage of the faith and devotion of the nations who were to come to Christ from afar. And therefore, as the devotion and faith of the nations is without any error through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, so also we must believe that the Magi, inspired by the Holy Ghost, did wisely in paying homage to Christ.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae, cum multi reges Iudaeorum nati fuissent atque defuncti, nullum eorum magi adorandum quaesierunt. Non itaque regi Iudaeorum quales illic esse solebant, hunc tam magnum honorem longinqui, alienigenae, et ab eodem regno prorsus extranei, a se deberi arbitrabantur. Sed talem natum esse didicerunt in quo adorando se salutem quae secundum Deum est consecuturos minime dubitarent. Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cc.): "Though many kings of the Jews had been born and died, none of them did the Magi seek to adore. And so they who came from a distant foreign land to a kingdom that was entirely strange to them, had no idea of showing such great homage to such a king as the Jews were wont to have. But they had learnt that such a King was born that by adoring Him they might be sure of obtaining from Him the salvation which is of God."
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod per illam Annuntiationem magorum praefigurabatur constantia gentium Christum usque ad mortem confitentium. Unde Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., quod, dum considerabant regem futurum, non timebant regem praesentem. Adhuc non viderant Christum, et iam parati erant pro eo mori. Reply to Objection 2. By proclaiming [Christ King] the Magi foreshadowed the constancy of the Gentiles in confessing Christ even until death. Whence Chrysostom says (Hom. ii in Matth.) that, while they thought of the King who was to come, the Magi feared not the king who was actually present. They had not yet seen Christ, and they were already prepared to die for Him.
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae, stella quae magos perduxit ad locum ubi erat cum matre virgine Deus infans, poterat eos ad ipsam perducere civitatem Bethlehem, in qua natus est Christus. Sed tamen subtraxit se, donec de civitate in qua Christus nasceretur, etiam Iudaei testimonium perhiberent, ut sic, geminato testimonio confirmati, sicut Leo Papa dicit, ardentiori fide expeterent quem et stellae claritas, et prophetiae manifestabat auctoritas. Ita ipsi annuntiant Christi nativitatem, et interrogant locum, credunt et quaerunt, tanquam significantes eos qui ambulant per fidem et desiderant speciem, ut Augustinus dicit, in sermone Epiphaniae. Iudaei autem, indicantes eis locum nativitatis Christi, similes facti sunt fabris arcae Noe, qui aliis ubi evaderent praestiterunt, et ipsi diluvio perierunt. Audierunt et abierunt inquisitores, dixerunt et remanserunt doctores, similes lapidibus miliariis, qui viam ostendunt, nec ambulant. Divino etiam nutu factum est ut, aspectu stellae subtracto, magi humano sensu irent in Ierusalem, quaerentes in civitate regia regem natum, ut in Ierusalem primo nativitas Christi publice annuntiaretur, secundum illud Isaiae II, de Sion exibit lex, et verbum domini de Ierusalem, et ut etiam studio magorum de longe venientium damnaretur pigritia Iudaeorum prope existentium. Reply to Objection 3. As Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cc.): "The star which led the Magi to the place where the Divine Infant was with His Virgin-Mother could bring them to the town of Bethlehem, in which Christ was born. Yet it hid itself until the Jews also bore testimony of the city in which Christ was to be born: so that, being encouraged by a twofold witness," as Pope Leo says (Serm. xxxiv), "they might seek with more ardent faith Him, whom both the brightness of the star and the authority of prophecy revealed." Thus they "proclaim" that Christ is born, and "inquire where; they believe and ask, as it were, betokening those who walk by faith and desire to see," as Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (cxcix). But the Jews, by indicating to them the place of Christ's birth, "are like the carpenters who built the Ark of Noah, who provided others with the means of escape, and themselves perished in the flood. Those who asked, heard and went their way: the teachers spoke and stayed where they were; like the milestones that point out the way but walk not" (Augustine, Serm. cclxxiii). It was also by God's will that, when they no longer saw the star, the Magi, by human instinct, went to Jerusalem, to seek in the royal city the new-born King, in order that Christ's birth might be publicly proclaimed first in Jerusalem, according to Isaiah 2:3: "The Law shall come forth from Sion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem"; and also "in order that by the zeal of the Magi who came from afar, the indolence of the Jews who lived near at hand, might be proved worthy of condemnation" (Remig., Hom. in Matth. ii, 1).
IIIª q. 36 a. 8 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut Chrysostomus dicit, super Matth., si magi regem terrenum quaerentes venissent, fuissent confusi, quia tanti itineris laborem sine causa suscepissent. Unde nec adorassent, nec munera obtulissent. Nunc autem, quia caelestem regem quaerebant, etsi nihil regalis excellentiae in eo viderunt, tamen, solius stellae testimonio contenti, adoraverunt, vident enim hominem, et agnoscunt Deum. Et offerunt munera dignitati Christi congruentia, aurum quidem, quasi regi magno; thus, quod in Dei sacrificio ponitur immolant ut Deo; myrrha, qua mortuorum corpora condiuntur, praebetur tanquam pro salute omnium morituro. Et, ut Gregorius dicit, instruimur ut nato regi aurum, per quod significatur sapientia, offeramus, in conspectu eius sapientiae lumine splendentes; thus autem, per quod exprimitur orationis devotio, offerimus Deo si per orationum studia Deo redolere valeamus; myrrham, quae significat mortificationem carnis, offerimus si carnis vitia per abstinentiam mortificamus. Reply to Objection 4. As Chrysostom says (Hom. ii in Matth. [From the supposititious Opus Imperfectum): "If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly King, though they found in Him no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God." Moreover, they offer gifts in keeping with Christ's greatness: "gold, as to the great King; they offer up incense as to God, because it is used in the Divine Sacrifice; and myrrh, which is used in embalming the bodies of the dead, is offered as to Him who is to die for the salvation of all" (Gregory, Hom. x in Evang.). And hereby, as Gregory says (Hom. x in Evang.), we are taught to offer gold, "which signifies wisdom, to the new-born King, by the luster of our wisdom in His sight." We offer God incense, "which signifies fervor in prayer, if our constant prayers mount up to God with an odor of sweetness"; and we offer myrrh, "which signifies mortification of the flesh, if we mortify the ill-deeds of the flesh by refraining from them."

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