Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q98

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Q97 Q99



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Iª-IIae q. 98 pr. Consequenter considerandum est de lege veteri. Et primo, de ipsa lege; secundo, de praeceptis eius. Circa primum quaeruntur sex. Primo, utrum lex vetus sit bona. Secundo, utrum sit a Deo. Tertio, utrum sit ab eo mediantibus Angelis. Quarto, utrum data sit omnibus. Quinto, utrum omnes obliget. Sexto, utrum congruo tempore fuerit data. Question 98. The old law Was the Old Law good? Was it from God? Did it come from Him through the angels? Was it given to all? Was it binding on all? Was it given at a suitable time?
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex vetus non fuerit bona. Dicitur enim Ezech. XX dedi eis praecepta non bona, et iudicia in quibus non vivent. Sed lex non dicitur bona nisi propter bonitatem praeceptorum quae continet. Ergo lex vetus non fuit bona. Objection 1. It would seem that the Old Law was not good. For it is written (Ezekiel 20:25): "I gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments in which they shall not live." But a law is not said to be good except on account of the goodness of the precepts that it contains. Therefore the Old Law was not good.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad bonitatem legis pertinet ut communi saluti proficiat sicut Isidorus dicit. Sed lex vetus non fuit salutifera, sed magis mortifera et nociva. Dicit enim apostolus, Rom. VII, sine lege peccatum mortuum erat. Ego autem vivebam sine lege aliquando, sed cum venisset mandatum, peccatum revixit, ego autem mortuus sum; et Rom. V, lex subintravit ut abundaret delictum. Ergo lex vetus non fuit bona. Objection 2. Further, it belongs to the goodness of a law that it conduce to the common welfare, as Isidore says (Etym. v, 3). But the Old Law was not salutary; rather was it deadly and hurtful. For the Apostle says (Romans 7:8, seqq.): "Without the law sin was dead. And I lived some time without the law. But when the commandment came sin revived; and I died." Again he says (Romans 5:20): "Law entered in that sin might abound." Therefore the Old Law was not good.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, ad bonitatem legis pertinet quod sit possibilis ad observandum et secundum naturam, et secundum humanam consuetudinem. Sed hoc non habuit lex vetus, dicit enim Petrus, Act. XV, quid tentatis imponere iugum super cervicem discipulorum, quod neque nos, neque patres nostri, portare potuimus? Ergo videtur quod lex vetus non fuerit bona. Objection 3. Further, it belongs to the goodness of the law that it should be possible to obey it, both according to nature, and according to human custom. But such the Old Law was not: since Peter said (Acts 15:10): "Why tempt you (God) to put a yoke on the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" Therefore it seems that the Old Law was not good.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. VII, itaque lex quidem sancta est, et mandatum sanctum et iustum et bonum. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Romans 7:12): "Wherefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod absque omni dubio lex vetus bona fuit. Sicut enim doctrina ostenditur esse vera ex hoc quod consonat rationi rectae, ita etiam lex aliqua ostenditur esse bona ex eo quod consonat rationi. Lex autem vetus rationi consonabat. Quia concupiscentiam reprimebat, quae rationi adversatur; ut patet in illo mandato, non concupisces rem proximi tui, quod ponitur Exod. XX. Ipsa etiam omnia peccata prohibebat, quae sunt contra rationem. Unde manifestum est quod bona erat. Et haec est ratio apostoli, Rom. VII, condelector, inquit, legi Dei secundum interiorem hominem; et iterum, consentio legi, quoniam bona est. Sed notandum est quod bonum diversos gradus habet, ut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., est enim aliquod bonum perfectum, et aliquod bonum imperfectum. Perfecta quidem bonitas est, in his quae ad finem ordinantur, quando aliquid est tale quod per se sufficiens est inducere ad finem, imperfectum autem bonum est quod operatur aliquid ad hoc quod perveniatur ad finem, non tamen sufficit ad hoc quod ad finem perducat. Sicut medicina perfecte bona est quae hominem sanat, imperfecta autem est quae hominem adiuvat, sed tamen sanare non potest. Est autem sciendum quod est alius finis legis humanae, et alius legis divinae. Legis enim humanae finis est temporalis tranquillitas civitatis, ad quem finem pervenit lex cohibendo exteriores actus, quantum ad illa mala quae possunt perturbare pacificum statum civitatis. Finis autem legis divinae est perducere hominem ad finem felicitatis aeternae; qui quidem finis impeditur per quodcumque peccatum, et non solum per actus exteriores, sed etiam per interiores. Et ideo illud quod sufficit ad perfectionem legis humanae, ut scilicet peccata prohibeat et poenam apponat, non sufficit ad perfectionem legis divinae, sed oportet quod hominem totaliter faciat idoneum ad participationem felicitatis aeternae. Quod quidem fieri non potest nisi per gratiam spiritus sancti, per quam diffunditur caritas in cordibus nostris, quae legem adimplet, gratia enim Dei vita aeterna, ut dicitur Rom. VI. Hanc autem gratiam lex vetus conferre non potuit, reservabatur enim hoc Christo, quia, ut dicitur Ioan. I, lex per Moysen data est; gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est. Et inde est quod lex vetus bona quidem est, sed imperfecta; secundum illud Heb. VII, nihil ad perfectum adduxit lex. I answer that, Without any doubt, the Old Law was good. For just as a doctrine is shown to be good by the fact that it accords with right reason, so is a law proved to be good if it accords with reason. Now the Old Law was in accordance with reason. Because it repressed concupiscence which is in conflict with reason, as evidenced by the commandment, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods" (Exodus 20:17). Moreover the same law forbade all kinds of sin; and these too are contrary to reason. Consequently it is evident that it was a good law. The Apostle argues in the same way (Romans 7): "I am delighted," says he (verse 22), "with the law of God, according to the inward man": and again (verse 16): "I consent to the law, that is good." But it must be noted that the good has various degrees, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv): for there is a perfect good, and an imperfect good. In things ordained to an end, there is perfect goodness when a thing is such that it is sufficient in itself to conduce to the end: while there is imperfect goodness when a thing is of some assistance in attaining the end, but is not sufficient for the realization thereof. Thus a medicine is perfectly good, if it gives health to a man; but it is imperfect, if it helps to cure him, without being able to bring him back to health. Again it must be observed that the end of human law is different from the end of Divine law. For the end of human law is the temporal tranquillity of the state, which end law effects by directing external actions, as regards those evils which might disturb the peaceful condition of the state. On the other hand, the end of the Divine law is to bring man to that end which is everlasting happiness; which end is hindered by any sin, not only of external, but also of internal action. Consequently that which suffices for the perfection of human law, viz. the prohibition and punishment of sin, does not suffice for the perfection of the Divine law: but it is requisite that it should make man altogether fit to partake of everlasting happiness. Now this cannot be done save by the grace of the Holy Ghost, whereby "charity" which fulfilleth the law . . . "is spread abroad in our hearts" (Romans 5:5): since "the grace of God is life everlasting" (Romans 6:23). But the Old Law could not confer this grace, for this was reserved to Christ; because, as it is written (John 1:17), the law was given "by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Consequently the Old Law was good indeed, but imperfect, according to Hebrews 7:19: "The law brought nothing to perfection."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dominus loquitur ibi de praeceptis caeremonialibus; quae quidem dicuntur non bona, quia gratiam non conferebant, per quam homines a peccato mundarentur, cum tamen per huiusmodi se peccatores ostenderent. Unde signanter dicitur, et iudicia in quibus non vivent, idest per quae vitam gratiae obtinere non possunt; et postea subditur, et pollui eos in muneribus suis, idest pollutos ostendi, cum offerrent omne quod aperit vulvam, propter delicta sua. Reply to Objection 1. The Lord refers there to the ceremonial precepts; which are said not to be good, because they did not confer grace unto the remission of sins, although by fulfilling these precepts man confessed himself a sinner. Hence it is said pointedly, "and judgments in which they shall not live"; i.e. whereby they are unable to obtain life; and so the text goes on: "And I polluted them," i.e. showed them to be polluted, "in their own gifts, when they offered all that opened the womb, for their offenses."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod lex dicitur occidisse, non quidem effective, sed occasionaliter, ex sua imperfectione, inquantum scilicet gratiam non conferebat, per quam homines implere possent quod mandabat, vel vitare quod vetabat. Et sic occasio ista non erat data, sed sumpta ab hominibus. Unde et apostolus ibidem dicit, occasione accepta peccatum per mandatum seduxit me, et per illud occidit. Et ex hac etiam ratione dicitur quod lex subintravit ut abundaret delictum, ut ly ut teneatur consecutive, non causaliter, inquantum scilicet homines, accipientes occasionem a lege, abundantius peccaverunt; tum quia gravius fuit peccatum post legis prohibitionem; tum etiam quia concupiscentia crevit, magis enim concupiscimus quod nobis prohibetur. Reply to Objection 2. The law is said to have been deadly, as being not the cause, but the occasion of death, on account of its imperfection: in so far as it did not confer grace enabling man to fulfil what is prescribed, and to avoid what it forbade. Hence this occasion was not given to men, but taken by them. Wherefore the Apostle says (Romans 5:11): "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, seduced me, and by it killed me." In the same sense when it is said that "the law entered in that sin might abound," the conjunction "that" must be taken as consecutive and not final: in so far as men, taking occasion from the law, sinned all the more, both because a sin became more grievous after law had forbidden it, and because concupiscence increased, since we desire a thing the more from its being forbidden.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod iugum legis servari non poterat sine gratia adiuvante, quam lex non dabat, dicitur enim Rom. IX, non est volentis neque currentis, scilicet velle et currere in praeceptis Dei, sed miserentis Dei. Unde et in Psalmo CXVIII dicitur, viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, cum dilatasti cor meum, scilicet per donum gratiae et caritatis. Reply to Objection 3. The yoke of the law could not be borne without the help of grace, which the law did not confer: for it is written (Romans 9:16): "It is not him that willeth, nor of him that runneth," viz. that he wills and runs in the commandments of God, "but of God that showeth mercy." Wherefore it is written (Psalm 118:32): "I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou didst enlarge my heart," i.e. by giving me grace and charity.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex vetus non fuerit a Deo. Dicitur enim Deut. XXXII, Dei perfecta sunt opera. Sed lex fuit imperfecta, ut supra dictum est. Ergo lex vetus non fuit a Deo. Objection 1. It would seem that the Old Law was not from God. For it is written (Deuteronomy 32:4): "The works of God are perfect." But the Law was imperfect, as stated above (Article 1). Therefore the Old Law was not from God.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Eccle. III dicitur, didici quod omnia opera quae fecit Deus, perseverent in aeternum. Sed lex vetus non perseverat in aeternum, dicit enim apostolus, ad Heb. VII, reprobatio fit quidem praecedentis mandati, propter infirmitatem eius et inutilitatem. Ergo lex vetus non fuit a Deo. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Ecclesiastes 3:14): "I have learned that all the works which God hath made continue for ever." But the Old Law does not continue for ever: since the Apostle says (Hebrews 7:18): "There is indeed a setting aside of the former commandment, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof." Therefore the Old Law was not from God.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, ad sapientem legislatorem pertinet non solum mala auferre, sed etiam occasiones malorum. Sed vetus lex fuit occasio peccati, ut supra dictum est. Ergo ad Deum, cui nullus est similis in legislatoribus, ut dicitur Iob XXXVI, non pertinebat legem talem dare. Objection 3. Further, a wise lawgiver should remove, not only evil, but also the occasions of evil. But the Old Law was an occasion of sin, as stated above (1, ad 2). Therefore the giving of such a law does not pertain to God, to Whom "none is like among the lawgivers" (Job 36:22).
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, I ad Tim. II, dicitur quod Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri. Sed lex vetus non sufficiebat ad salutem hominum, ut supra dictum est. Ergo ad Deum non pertinebat talem legem dare. Lex ergo vetus non est a Deo. Objection 4. Further, it is written (1 Timothy 2:4) that God "will have all men to be saved." But the Old Law did not suffice to save man, as stated above (Article 1). Therefore the giving of such a law did not appertain to God. Therefore the Old Law was not from God.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Matth. XV, loquens Iudaeis, quibus erat lex vetus data, irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditiones vestras. Et paulo ante praemittitur, honora patrem tuum et matrem tuam, quod manifeste in lege veteri continetur. Ergo lex vetus est a Deo. On the contrary, Our Lord said (Matthew 15:6) while speaking to the Jews, to whom the Law was given: "You have made void the commandment of God for your tradition." And shortly before (verse 4) He had said: "Honor thy father and mother," which is contained expressly in the Old Law (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16). Therefore the Old Law was from God.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod lex vetus a bono Deo data est, qui est pater domini nostri Iesu Christi. Lex enim vetus homines ordinabat ad Christum dupliciter. Uno quidem modo, testimonium Christo perhibendo, unde ipse dicit, Lucae ult., oportet impleri omnia quae scripta sunt in lege et Psalmis et prophetis de me; et Ioan. V, si crederetis Moysi, crederetis forsitan et mihi, de me enim ille scripsit. Alio modo, per modum cuiusdam dispositionis, dum, retrahens homines a cultu idololatriae, concludebat eos sub cultu unius Dei, a quo salvandum erat humanum genus per Christum, unde apostolus dicit, ad Gal. III, priusquam veniret fides, sub lege custodiebamur conclusi in eam fidem quae revelanda erat. Manifestum est autem quod eiusdem est disponere ad finem et ad finem perducere, et dico eiusdem per se vel per suos subiectos. Non enim Diabolus legem tulisset per quam homines adducerentur ad Christum, per quem erat eiiciendus; secundum illud Matth. XII, si Satanas Satanam eiicit, divisum est regnum eius. Et ideo ab eodem Deo a quo facta est salus hominum per gratiam Christi, lex vetus data est. I answer that, The Old Law was given by the good God, Who is the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Old Law ordained men to Christ in two ways. First by bearing witness to Christ; wherefore He Himself says (Luke 24:44): "All things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law . . . and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me": and (John 5:46): "If you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe Me also; for he wrote of Me." Secondly, as a kind of disposition, since by withdrawing men from idolatrous worship, it enclosed [concludebat] them in the worship of one God, by Whom the human race was to be saved through Christ. Wherefore the Apostle says (Galatians 3:23): "Before the faith came, we were kept under the law shut up [conclusi], unto that faith which was to be revealed." Now it is evident that the same thing it is, which gives a disposition to the end, and which brings to the end; and when I say "the same," I mean that it does so either by itself or through its subjects. For the devil would not make a law whereby men would be led to Christ, Who was to cast him out, according to Matthew 12:26: "If Satan cast out Satan, his kingdom is divided" [Vulgate: 'he is divided against himself']. Therefore the Old Law was given by the same God, from Whom came salvation to man, through the grace of Christ.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nihil prohibet aliquid non esse perfectum simpliciter, quod tamen est perfectum secundum tempus, sicut dicitur aliquis puer perfectus non simpliciter, sed secundum temporis conditionem. Ita etiam praecepta quae pueris dantur, sunt quidem perfecta secundum conditionem eorum quibus dantur, etsi non sint perfecta simpliciter. Et talia fuerunt praecepta legis. Unde apostolus dicit, ad Gal. III, lex paedagogus noster fuit in Christo. Reply to Objection 1. Nothing prevents a thing being not perfect simply, and yet perfect in respect of time: thus a boy is said to be perfect, not simply, but with regard to the condition of time. So, too, precepts that are given to children are perfect in comparison with the condition of those to whom they are given, although they are not perfect simply. Hence the Apostle says (Galatians 3:24): "The law was our pedagogue in Christ."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod opera Dei perseverant in aeternum, quae sic Deus fecit ut in aeternum perseverent, et haec sunt ea quae sunt perfecta. Lex autem vetus reprobatur tempore perfectionis gratiae, non tanquam mala, sed tanquam infirma et inutilis pro isto tempore, quia, ut subditur, nihil ad perfectum adduxit lex. Unde ad Gal. III, dicit apostolus, ubi venit fides, iam non sumus sub paedagogo. Reply to Objection 2. Those works of God endure for ever which God so made that they would endure for ever; and these are His perfect works. But the Old Law was set aside when there came the perfection of grace; not as though it were evil, but as being weak and useless for this time; because, as the Apostle goes on to say, "the law brought nothing to perfection": hence he says (Galatians 3:25): "After the faith is come, we are no longer under a pedagogue."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, Deus aliquando permittit aliquos cadere in peccatum, ut exinde humilientur. Ita etiam voluit talem legem dare quam suis viribus homines implere non possent, ut sic dum homines de se praesumentes peccatores se invenirent, humiliati recurrerent ad auxilium gratiae. Reply to Objection 3. As stated above (Question 79, Article 4), God sometimes permits certain ones to fall into sin, that they may thereby be humbled. So also did He wish to give such a law as men by their own forces could not fulfill, so that, while presuming on their own powers, they might find themselves to be sinners, and being humbled might have recourse to the help of grace.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, quamvis lex vetus non sufficeret ad salvandum hominem, tamen aderat aliud auxilium a Deo hominibus simul cum lege, per quod salvari poterant, scilicet fides mediatoris, per quam iustificati sunt antiqui patres, sicut etiam nos iustificamur. Et sic Deus non deficiebat hominibus quin daret eis salutis auxilia. Reply to Objection 4. Although the Old Law did not suffice to save man, yet another help from God besides the Law was available for man, viz. faith in the Mediator, by which the fathers of old were justified even as we were. Accordingly God did not fail man by giving him insufficient aids to salvation.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex vetus non fuerit data per Angelos, sed immediate a Deo. Angelus enim nuntius dicitur, et sic nomen Angeli ministerium importat, non dominium; secundum illud Psalmi CII, benedicite domino, omnes Angeli eius, ministri eius. Sed vetus lex a domino tradita esse perhibetur, dicitur enim Exod. XX, locutusque est dominus sermones hos, et postea subditur, ego enim sum dominus Deus tuus. Et idem modus loquendi frequenter repetitur in Exodo, et in libris consequentibus legis. Ergo lex est immediate data a Deo. Objection 1. It seems that the Old Law was not given through the angels, but immediately by God. For an angel means a "messenger"; so that the word "angel" denotes ministry, not lordship, according to Psalm 102:20-21: "Bless the Lord, all ye His Angels . . . you ministers of His." But the Old Law is related to have been given by the Lord: for it is written (Exodus 20:1): "And the Lord spoke . . . these words," and further on: "I am the Lord Thy God." Moreover the same expression is often repeated in Exodus, and the later books of the Law. Therefore the Law was given by God immediately.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut dicitur Ioan. I, lex per Moysen data est. Sed Moyses immediate accepit a Deo, dicitur enim Exod. XXXIII, loquebatur dominus ad Moysen facie ad faciem, sicut loqui solet homo ad amicum suum. Ergo lex vetus immediate data est a Deo. Objection 2. Further, according to John 1:17, "the Law was given by Moses." But Moses received it from God immediately: for it is written (Exodus 33:11): "The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man is wont to speak to his friend." Therefore the Old Law was given by God immediately.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, ad solum principem pertinet legem ferre, ut supra dictum est. Sed solus Deus est princeps salutis animarum, Angeli vero sunt administratorii spiritus, ut dicitur ad Heb. I. Ergo lex vetus per Angelos dari non debuit, cum ordinaretur ad animarum salutem. Objection 3. Further, it belongs to the sovereign alone to make a law, as stated above (Question 90, Article 3). But God alone is Sovereign as regards the salvation of souls: while the angels are the "ministering spirits," as stated in Hebrews 1:14. Therefore it was not meet for the Law to be given through the angels, since it is ordained to the salvation of souls.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicit apostolus, ad Gal. III, lex data est per Angelos in manu mediatoris. Et Act. VII, dicit Stephanus, accepistis legem in dispositione Angelorum. On the contrary, The Apostle said (Galatians 3:19) that the Law was "given [Vulgate: 'ordained'] by angels in the hand of a Mediator." And Stephen said (Acts 7:53): "(Who) have received the Law by the disposition of angels."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod lex data est a Deo per Angelos. Et praeter generalem rationem, quam Dionysius assignat, in IV cap. Cael. Hier., quod divina debent deferri ad homines mediantibus Angelis, specialis ratio est quare legem veterem per Angelos dari oportuit. Dictum est enim quod lex vetus imperfecta erat, sed disponebat ad salutem perfectam generis humani, quae futura erat per Christum. Sic autem videtur in omnibus potestatibus et artibus ordinatis, quod ille qui est superior, principalem et perfectum actum operatur per seipsum; ea vero quae disponunt ad perfectionem ultimam, operatur per suos ministros; sicut navifactor compaginat navem per seipsum, sed praeparat materiam per artifices subministrantes. Et ideo conveniens fuit ut lex perfecta novi testamenti daretur immediate per ipsum Deum hominem factum; lex autem vetus per ministros Dei, scilicet per Angelos, daretur hominibus. Et per hunc modum apostolus, in principio ad Heb., probat eminentiam novae legis ad veterem, quia in novo testamento locutus est nobis Deus in filio suo, in veteri autem testamento est sermo factus per Angelos. I answer that, The Law was given by God through the angels. And besides the general reason given by Dionysius (Coel. Hier. iv), viz. that "the gifts of God should be brought to men by means of the angels," there is a special reason why the Old Law should have been given through them. For it has been stated (1,2) that the Old Law was imperfect, and yet disposed man to that perfect salvation of the human race, which was to come through Christ. Now it is to be observed that wherever there is an order of powers or arts, he that holds the highest place, himself exercises the principal and perfect acts; while those things which dispose to the ultimate perfection are effected by him through his subordinates: thus the ship-builder himself rivets the planks together, but prepares the material by means of the workmen who assist him under his direction. Consequently it was fitting that the perfect law of the New Testament should be given by the incarnate God immediately; but that the Old Law should be given to men by the ministers of God, i.e. by the angels. It is thus that the Apostle at the beginning of his epistle to the Hebrews (1:2) proves the excellence of the New Law over the Old; because in the New Testament "God . . . hath spoken to us by His Son," whereas in the Old Testament "the word was spoken by angels" (Hebrews 2:2).
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Gregorius dicit, in principio Moral., Angelus qui Moysi apparuisse describitur, modo Angelus, modo dominus memoratur. Angelus videlicet, propter hoc quod exterius loquendo serviebat; dominus autem dicitur, quia interius praesidens loquendi efficaciam ministrabat. Et inde est etiam quod quasi ex persona domini Angelus loquebatur. Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory says at the beginning of his Morals (Praef. chap. i), "the angel who is described to have appeared to Moses, is sometimes mentioned as an angel, sometimes as the Lord: an angel, in truth, in respect of that which was subservient to the external delivery; and the Lord, because He was the Director within, Who supported the effectual power of speaking." Hence also it is that the angel spoke as personating the Lord.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., in Exodo dicitur, locutus est dominus Moysi facie ad faciem; et paulo post subditur, ostende mihi gloriam tuam. Sentiebat ergo quid videbat; et quod non videbat, desiderabat. Non ergo videbat ipsam Dei essentiam, et ita non immediate ab eo instruebatur. Quod ergo dicitur quod loquebatur ei facie ad faciem, secundum opinionem populi loquitur Scriptura, qui putabat Moysen ore ad os loqui cum Deo, cum per subiectam creaturam, idest per Angelum et nubem, ei loqueretur et appareret. Vel per visionem faciei intelligitur quaedam eminens contemplatio et familiaris, infra essentiae divinae visionem. Reply to Objection 2. As Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 27), it is stated in Exodus that "the Lord spoke to Moses face to face"; and shortly afterwards we read, "Show me Thy glory. Therefore He perceived what he saw and he desired what he saw not." Hence he did not see the very Essence of God; and consequently he was not taught by Him immediately. Accordingly when Scripture states that "He spoke to him face to face," this is to be understood as expressing the opinion of the people, who thought that Moses was speaking with God mouth to mouth, when God spoke and appeared to him, by means of a subordinate creature, i.e. an angel and a cloud. Again we may say that this vision "face to face" means some kind of sublime and familiar contemplation, inferior to the vision of the Divine Essence.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod solius principis est sua auctoritate legem instituere, sed quandoque legem institutam per alios promulgat. Et ita Deus sua auctoritate instituit legem, sed per Angelos promulgavit. Reply to Objection 3. It is for the sovereign alone to make a law by his own authority; but sometimes after making a law, he promulgates it through others. Thus God made the Law by His own authority, but He promulgated it through the angels.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex vetus non debuerit dari soli populo Iudaeorum. Lex enim vetus disponebat ad salutem quae futura erat per Christum, ut dictum est. Sed salus illa non erat futura solum in Iudaeis, sed in omnibus gentibus; secundum illud Isaiae XLIX, parum est ut sis mihi servus ad suscitandas tribus Iacob et faeces Israel convertendas, dedi te in lucem gentium, ut sis salus mea usque ad extremum terrae. Ergo lex vetus dari debuit omnibus gentibus, et non uni populo tantum. Objection 1. It would seem that the Old Law should not have been given to the Jews alone. For the Old Law disposed men for the salvation which was to come through Christ, as stated above (2,3). But that salvation was to come not to the Jews alone but to all nations, according to Isaiah 49:6: "It is a small thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold I have given thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation, even to the farthest part of the earth." Therefore the Old Law should have been given to all nations, and not to one people only.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut dicitur Act. X, non est personarum acceptor Deus, sed in omni gente qui timet Deum et facit iustitiam, acceptus est illi. Non ergo magis uni populo quam aliis viam salutis debuit aperire. Objection 2. Further, according to Acts 10:34-35, "God is not a respecter of persons: but in every nation, he that feareth Him, and worketh justice, is acceptable to Him." Therefore the way of salvation should not have been opened to one people more than to another.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, lex data est per Angelos, sicut iam dictum est. Sed ministeria Angelorum Deus non solum Iudaeis, sed omnibus gentibus semper exhibuit, dicitur enim Eccli. XVII, in unamquamque gentem praeposuit rectorem. Omnibus etiam gentibus temporalia bona largitur, quae minus sunt curae Deo quam spiritualia bona. Ergo etiam legem omnibus populis dare debuit. Objection 3. Further, the law was given through the angels, as stated above (Article 3). But God always vouchsafed the ministrations of the angels not to the Jews alone, but to all nations: for it is written (Sirach 17:14): "Over every nation He set a ruler." Also on all nations He bestows temporal goods, which are of less account with God than spiritual goods. Therefore He should have given the Law also to all peoples.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Rom. III, quid ergo amplius est Iudaeo? Multum quidem per omnem modum. Primum quidem, quia credita sunt illis eloquia Dei. Et in Psalmo CXLVII dicitur, non fecit taliter omni nationi, et iudicia sua non manifestavit eis. On the contrary, It is written (Romans 3:1-2): "What advantage then hath the Jew? . . . Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them": and (Psalm 147:9): "He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and His judgments He hath not made manifest unto them."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod posset una ratio assignari quare potius populo Iudaeorum data sit lex quam aliis populis, quia, aliis ad idololatriam declinantibus, solus populus Iudaeorum in cultu unius Dei remansit; et ideo alii populi indigni erant legem recipere, ne sanctum canibus daretur. Sed ista ratio conveniens non videtur, quia populus ille etiam post legem latam, ad idololatriam declinavit, quod gravius fuit, ut patet Exod. XXXII; et Amos V, numquid hostias et sacrificium obtulistis mihi in deserto quadraginta annis, domus Israel? Et portastis tabernaculum Moloch vestro, et imaginem idolorum vestrorum, sidus Dei vestri, quae fecistis vobis. Expresse etiam dicitur Deut. IX, scito quod non propter iustitias tuas dominus Deus tuus dedit tibi terram hanc in possessionem, cum durissimae cervici sis populus. Sed ratio ibi praemittitur, ut compleret verbum suum dominus, quod sub iuramento pollicitus est patribus tuis, Abraham, Isaac et Iacob. Quae autem promissio eis sit facta, ostendit apostolus, ad Galat. III, dicens, Abrahae dictae sunt promissiones, et semini eius. Non dicit, seminibus, quasi in multis, sed quasi in uno, et semini tuo, qui est Christus. Deus igitur et legem et alia beneficia specialia illi populo exhibuit propter promissionem eorum patribus factam ut ex eis Christus nasceretur. Decebat enim ut ille populus ex quo Christus nasciturus erat, quadam speciali sanctificatione polleret; secundum illud quod dicitur Levit. XIX, sancti eritis, quia ego sanctus sum. Nec etiam fuit propter meritum ipsius Abrahae ut talis promissio ei fieret, ut scilicet Christus ex eius semine nasceretur, sed ex gratuita electione et vocatione. Unde dicitur Isaiae XLI, quis suscitavit ab oriente iustum, vocavit eum ut sequeretur se? Sic ergo patet quod ex sola gratuita electione patres promissionem acceperunt, et populus ex eis progenitus legem accepit; secundum illud Deut. IV, audistis verba illius de medio ignis, quia dilexit patres, et elegit semen eorum post illos. Si autem rursus quaeratur quare hunc populum elegit ut ex eo Christus nasceretur, et non alium, conveniet responsio Augustini, quam dicit super Ioan., quare hunc trahat et illum non trahat, noli velle diiudicare, si non vis errare. I answer that, It might be assigned as a reason for the Law being given to the Jews rather than to other peoples, that the Jewish people alone remained faithful to the worship of one God, while the others turned away to idolatry; wherefore the latter were unworthy to receive the Law, lest a holy thing should be given to dogs. But this reason does not seem fitting: because that people turned to idolatry, even after the Law had been made, which was more grievous, as is clear from Exodus 32 and from Amos 5:25-26: "Did you offer victims and sacrifices to Me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel? But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves." Moreover it is stated expressly (Deuteronomy 9:6): "Know therefore that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this excellent land in possession for thy justices, for thou art a very stiff-necked people": but the real reason is given in the preceding verse: "That the Lord might accomplish His word, which He promised by oath to thy fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." What this promise was is shown by the Apostle, who says (Galatians 3:16) that "to Abraham were the promises made and to his seed. He saith not, 'And to his seeds,' as of many: but as of one, 'And to thy seed,' which is Christ." And so God vouchsafed both the Law and other special boons to that people, on account of the promised made to their fathers that Christ should be born of them. For it was fitting that the people, of whom Christ was to be born, should be signalized by a special sanctification, according to the words of Leviticus 19:2: "Be ye holy, because I . . . am holy." Nor again was it on account of the merit of Abraham himself that this promise was made to him, viz. that Christ should be born of his seed: but of gratuitous election and vocation. Hence it is written (Isaiah 41:2): "Who hath raised up the just one form the east, hath called him to follow him?" It is therefore evident that it was merely from gratuitous election that the patriarchs received the promise, and that the people sprung from them received the law; according to Deuteronomy 4:36-37: "Ye did [Vulgate: 'Thou didst'] hear His words out of the midst of the fire, because He loved thy fathers, and chose their seed after them." And if again it asked why He chose this people, and not another, that Christ might be born thereof; a fitting answer is given by Augustine (Tract. super Joan. xxvi): "Why He draweth one and draweth not another, seek not thou to judge, if thou wish not to err."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, quamvis salus futura per Christum, esset omnibus gentibus praeparata; tamen oportebat ex uno populo Christum nasci, qui propter hoc prae aliis praerogativas habuit; secundum illud Rom. IX, quorum, scilicet Iudaeorum, est adoptio filiorum Dei, et testamentum et legislatio; quorum patres; ex quibus Christus est secundum carnem. Reply to Objection 1. Although the salvation, which was to come through Christ, was prepared for all nations, yet it was necessary that Christ should be born of one people, which, for this reason, was privileged above other peoples; according to Romans 9:4: "To whom," namely the Jews, "belongeth the adoption as of children (of God) . . . and the testament, and the giving of the Law . . . whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ according to the flesh."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod acceptio personarum locum habet in his quae ex debito dantur, in his vero quae ex gratuita voluntate conferuntur, acceptio personarum locum non habet. Non enim est personarum acceptor qui ex liberalitate de suo dat uni et non alteri, sed si esset dispensator bonorum communium, et non distribueret aequaliter secundum merita personarum, esset personarum acceptor. Salutaria autem beneficia Deus humano generi confert ex sua gratia. Unde non est personarum acceptor si quibusdam prae aliis conferat. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Praedest. Sanct., omnes quos Deus docet, misericordia docet, quos autem non docet, iudicio non docet. Hoc enim venit ex damnatione humani generis pro peccato primi parentis. Reply to Objection 2. Respect of persons takes place in those things which are given according to due; but it has no place in those things which are bestowed gratuitously. Because he who, out of generosity, gives of his own to one and not to another, is not a respecter of persons: but if he were a dispenser of goods held in common, and were not to distribute them according to personal merits, he would be a respecter of persons. Now God bestows the benefits of salvation on the human race gratuitously: wherefore He is not a respecter of persons, if He gives them to some rather than to others. Hence Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct. viii): "All whom God teaches, he teaches out of pity; but whom He teaches not, out of justice He teaches not": for this is due to the condemnation of the human race for the sin of the first parent.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod beneficia gratiae subtrahuntur homini propter culpam, sed beneficia naturalia non subtrahuntur. Inter quae sunt ministeria Angelorum, quae ipse naturarum ordo requirit, ut scilicet per media gubernentur infima; et etiam corporalia subsidia, quae non solum hominibus, sed etiam iumentis Deus administrat, secundum illud Psalmi XXXV, homines et iumenta salvabis, domine. Reply to Objection 3. The benefits of grace are forfeited by man on account of sin: but not the benefits of nature. Among the latter are the ministries of the angels, which the very order of various natures demands, viz. that the lowest beings be governed through the intermediate beings: and also bodily aids, which God vouchsafes not only to men, but also to beasts, according to Psalm 35:7: "Men and beasts Thou wilt preserve, O Lord."
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod omnes homines obligarentur ad observandam veterem legem. Quicumque enim subditur regi, oportet quod subdatur legi ipsius. Sed vetus lex est data a Deo, qui est rex omnis terrae, ut in Psalmo XLVI dicitur. Ergo omnes habitantes terram tenebantur ad observantiam legis. Objection 1. It would seem that all men were bound to observe the Old Law. Because whoever is subject to the king, must needs be subject to his law. But the Old Law was given by God, Who is "King of all the earth" (Psalm 46:8). Therefore all the inhabitants of the earth were bound to observe the Law.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, Iudaei salvari non poterant nisi legem veterem observarent, dicitur enim Deut. XXVII, maledictus qui non permanet in sermonibus legis huius, nec eos opere perficit. Si igitur alii homines sine observantia legis veteris potuissent salvari, peior fuisset conditio Iudaeorum quam aliorum hominum. Objection 2. Further, the Jews could not be saved without observing the Old Law: for it is written (Deuteronomy 27:26): "Cursed be he that abideth not in the words of this law, and fulfilleth them not in work." If therefore other men could be saved without the observance of the Old Law, the Jews would be in a worse plight than other men.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, gentiles ad ritum Iudaicum et ad observantias legis admittebantur, dicitur enim Exod. XII, si quis peregrinorum in vestram voluerit transire coloniam, et facere phase domini, circumcidetur prius omne masculinum eius, et tunc rite celebrabit, eritque simul sicut indigena terrae. Frustra autem ad observantias legales fuissent extranei admissi ex ordinatione divina, si absque legalibus observantiis salvari potuissent. Ergo nullus salvari poterat nisi legem observaret. Objection 3. Further, the Gentiles were admitted to the Jewish ritual and to the observances of the Law: for it is written (Exodus 12:48): "If any stranger be willing to dwell among you, and to keep the Phase of the Lord, all his males shall first be circumcised, and then shall he celebrate it according to the manner; and he shall be as he that is born in the land." But it would have been useless to admit strangers to the legal observances according to Divine ordinance, if they could have been saved without the observance of the Law. Therefore none could be saved without observing the Law.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod Dionysius dicit, IX cap. Cael. Hier., quod multi gentilium per Angelos sunt reducti in Deum. Sed constat quod gentiles legem non observabant. Ergo absque observantia legis poterant aliqui salvari. On the contrary, Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. ix) that many of the Gentiles were brought back to God by the angels. But it is clear that the Gentiles did not observe the Law. Therefore some could be saved without observing the Law.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod lex vetus manifestabat praecepta legis naturae, et superaddebat quaedam propria praecepta. Quantum igitur ad illa quae lex vetus continebat de lege naturae, omnes tenebantur ad observantiam veteris legis, non quia erant de veteri lege, sed quia erant de lege naturae. Sed quantum ad illa quae lex vetus superaddebat, non tenebantur aliqui ad observantiam veteris legis nisi solus populus Iudaeorum. Cuius ratio est quia lex vetus, sicut dictum est, data est populo Iudaeorum ut quandam praerogativam sanctitatis obtineret, propter reverentiam Christi, qui ex illo populo nasciturus erat. Quaecumque autem statuuntur ad specialem aliquorum sanctificationem, non obligant nisi illos, sicut ad quaedam obligantur clerici, qui mancipantur divino ministerio, ad quae laici non obligantur; similiter et religiosi ad quaedam perfectionis opera obligantur ex sua professione, ad quae saeculares non obligantur. Et similiter ad quaedam specialia obligabatur populus ille, ad quae alii populi non obligabantur. Unde dicitur Deut. XVIII, perfectus eris, et absque macula, cum domino Deo tuo. Et propter hoc etiam quadam professione utebantur; ut patet Deut. XXVI, profiteor hodie coram domino Deo tuo et cetera. I answer that, The Old Law showed forth the precepts of the natural law, and added certain precepts of its own. Accordingly, as to those precepts of the natural law contained in the Old Law, all were bound to observe the Old Law; not because they belonged to the Old Law, but because they belonged to the natural law. But as to those precepts which were added by the Old Law, they were not binding on save the Jewish people alone. The reason of this is because the Old Law, as stated above (Article 4), was given to the Jewish people, that it might receive a prerogative of holiness, in reverence for Christ Who was to be born of that people. Now whatever laws are enacted for the special sanctification of certain ones, are binding on them alone: thus clerics who are set aside for the service of God are bound to certain obligations to which the laity are not bound; likewise religious are bound by their profession to certain works of perfection, to which people living in the world are not bound. In like manner this people was bound to certain special observances, to which other peoples were not bound. Wherefore it is written (Deuteronomy 18:13): "Thou shalt be perfect and without spot before the Lord thy God": and for this reason they used a kind of form of profession, as appears from Deuteronomy 26:3: "I profess this day before the Lord thy God," etc.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod quicumque subduntur regi, obligantur ad legem eius observandam quam omnibus communiter proponit. Sed si instituat aliqua observanda a suis familiaribus ministris, ad haec ceteri non obligantur. Reply to Objection 1. Whoever are subject to a king, are bound to observe his law which he makes for all in general. But if he orders certain things to be observed by the servants of his household, others are not bound thereto.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod homo quanto Deo magis coniungitur, tanto efficitur melioris conditionis. Et ideo quanto populus Iudaeorum erat adstrictus magis ad divinum cultum, dignior aliis populis erat. Unde dicitur Deut. IV, quae est alia gens sic inclyta, ut habeat caeremonias, iustaque iudicia, et universam legem? Et similiter etiam quantum ad hoc sunt melioris conditionis clerici quam laici, et religiosi quam saeculares. Reply to Objection 2. The more a man is united to God, the better his state becomes: wherefore the more the Jewish people were bound to the worship of God, the greater their excellence over other peoples. Hence it is written (Deuteronomy 4:8): "What other nation is there so renowned that hath ceremonies and just judgments, and all the law?" In like manner, from this point of view, the state of clerics is better than that of the laity, and the state of religious than that of folk living in the world.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod gentiles perfectius et securius salutem consequebantur sub observantiis legis quam sub sola lege naturali, et ideo ad eas admittebantur. Sicut etiam nunc laici transeunt ad clericatum, et saeculares ad religionem, quamvis absque hoc possint salvari. Reply to Objection 3. The Gentiles obtained salvation more perfectly and more securely under the observances of the Law than under the mere natural law: and for this reason they were admitted to them. So too the laity are now admitted to the ranks of the clergy, and secular persons to those of the religious, although they can be saved without this.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod lex vetus non convenienter fuerit data tempore Moysi. Lex enim vetus disponebat ad salutem quae erat futura per Christum, sicut dictum est. Sed statim homo post peccatum indiguit huiusmodi salutis remedio. Ergo statim post peccatum lex vetus debuit dari. Objection 1. It would seem that the Old Law was not suitably given at the time of Moses. Because the Old Law disposed man for the salvation which was to come through Christ, as stated above (2,3). But man needed this salutary remedy immediately after he had sinned. Therefore the Law should have been given immediately after sin.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, lex vetus data est propter sanctificationem eorum ex quibus Christus nasciturus erat. Sed Abrahae incoepit fieri promissio de semine, quod est Christus, ut habetur Gen. XII. Ergo statim tempore Abrahae debuit lex dari. Objection 2. Further, the Old Law was given for the sanctification of those from whom Christ was to be born. Now the promise concerning the "seed, which is Christ" (Galatians 3:16) was first made to Abraham, as related in Genesis 12:7. Therefore the Law should have been given at once at the time of Abraham.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut Christus non est natus ex aliis descendentibus ex Noe nisi ex Abraham, cui facta est promissio; ita etiam non est natus ex aliis filiis Abrahae nisi ex David, cui est promissio renovata, secundum illud II Reg. XXIII, dixit vir cui constitutum est de Christo Dei Iacob. Ergo lex vetus debuit dari post David, sicut data est post Abraham. Objection 3. Further, as Christ was born of those alone who descended from Noah through Abraham, to whom the promise was made; so was He born of no other of the descendants of Abraham but David, to whom the promise was renewed, according to 2 Samuel 23:1: "The man to whom it was appointed concerning the Christ of the God of Jacob . . . said." Therefore the Old Law should have been given after David, just as it was given after Abraham.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, ad Gal. III, quod lex propter transgressionem posita est, donec veniret semen cui promiserat, ordinata per Angelos in manu mediatoris, idest ordinabiliter data, ut Glossa dicit. Ergo congruum fuit ut lex vetus illo temporis ordine traderetur. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Galatians 3:19) that the Law "was set because of transgressions, until the seed should come, to whom He made the promise, being ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator": ordained, i.e. "given in orderly fashion," as the gloss explains. Therefore it was fitting that the Old Law should be given in this order of time.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod convenientissime lex vetus data fuit tempore Moysi. Cuius ratio potest accipi ex duobus, secundum quod quaelibet lex duobus generibus hominum imponitur. Imponitur enim quibusdam duris et superbis, qui per legem compescuntur et domantur, imponitur etiam bonis, qui, per legem instructi, adiuvantur ad implendum quod intendunt. Conveniens igitur fuit tali tempore legem veterem dari, ad superbiam hominum convincendam. De duobus enim homo superbiebat, scilicet de scientia, et de potentia. De scientia quidem, quasi ratio naturalis ei posset sufficere ad salutem. Et ideo ut de hoc eius superbia convinceretur permissus est homo regimini suae rationis absque adminiculo legis scriptae, et experimento homo discere potuit quod patiebatur rationis defectum, per hoc quod homines usque ad idololatriam et turpissima vitia circa tempora Abrahae sunt prolapsi. Et ideo post haec tempora fuit necessarium legem scriptam dari in remedium humanae ignorantiae, quia per legem est cognitio peccati, ut dicitur Rom. III. Sed postquam homo est instructus per legem, convicta est eius superbia de infirmitate, dum implere non poterat quod cognoscebat. Et ideo, sicut apostolus concludit, ad Rom. VIII, quod impossibile erat legi, in qua infirmabatur per carnem, misit Deus filium suum, ut iustificatio legis impleretur in nobis. Ex parte vero bonorum, lex data est in auxilium. Quod quidem tunc maxime populo necessarium fuit, quando lex naturalis obscurari incipiebat propter exuberantiam peccatorum. Oportebat autem huiusmodi auxilium quodam ordine dari, ut per imperfecta ad perfectionem manuducerentur. Et ideo inter legem naturae et legem gratiae, oportuit legem veterem dari. I answer that, It was most fitting for the Law to be given at the time of Moses. The reason for this may be taken from two things in respect of which every law is imposed on two kinds of men. Because it is imposed on some men who are hard-hearted and proud, whom the law restrains and tames: and it is imposed on good men, who, through being instructed by the law, are helped to fulfil what they desire to do. Hence it was fitting that the Law should be given at such a time as would be appropriate for the overcoming of man's pride. For man was proud of two things, viz. of knowledge and of power. He was proud of his knowledge, as though his natural reason could suffice him for salvation: and accordingly, in order that his pride might be overcome in this matter, man was left to the guidance of his reason without the help of a written law: and man was able to learn from experience that his reason was deficient, since about the time of Abraham man had fallen headlong into idolatry and the most shameful vices. Wherefore, after those times, it was necessary for a written law to be given as a remedy for human ignorance: because "by the Law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). But, after man had been instructed by the Law, his pride was convinced of his weakness, through his being unable to fulfil what he knew. Hence, as the Apostle concludes (Romans 8:3-4), "what the Law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent [Vulgate: 'sending'] His own Son . . . that the justification of the Law might be fulfilled in us." With regard to good men, the Law was given to them as a help; which was most needed by the people, at the time when the natural law began to be obscured on account of the exuberance of sin: for it was fitting that this help should be bestowed on men in an orderly manner, so that they might be led from imperfection to perfection; wherefore it was becoming that the Old Law should be given between the law of nature and the law of grace.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod statim post peccatum primi hominis non competebat legem veterem dari, tum quia nondum homo recognoscebat se ea indigere, de sua ratione confisus. Tum quia adhuc dictamen legis naturae nondum erat obtenebratum per consuetudinem peccandi. Reply to Objection 1. It was not fitting for the Old Law to be given at once after the sin of the first man: both because man was so confident in his own reason, that he did not acknowledge his need of the Old Law; because as yet the dictate of the natural law was not darkened by habitual sinning.
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod lex non debet dari nisi populo, est enim praeceptum commune, ut dictum est. Et ideo tempore Abrahae data sunt quaedam familiaria praecepta, et quasi domestica, Dei ad homines. Sed postmodum, multiplicatis eius posteris intantum quod populus esset, et liberatis eis a servitute, lex convenienter potuit dari, nam servi non sunt pars populi vel civitatis, cui legem dari competit, ut philosophus dicit, in III Polit. Reply to Objection 2. A law should not be given save to the people, since it is a general precept, as stated above (90, A2,3); wherefore at the time of Abraham God gave men certain familiar, and, as it were, household precepts: but when Abraham's descendants had multiplied, so as to form a people, and when they had been freed from slavery, it was fitting that they should be given a law; for "slaves are not that part of the people or state to which it is fitting for the law to be directed," as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 2,4,5).
Iª-IIae q. 98 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, quia legem oportebat alicui populo dari, non solum illi ex quibus Christus natus est, legem acceperunt; sed totus populus consignatus signaculo circumcisionis, quae fuit signum promissionis Abrahae factae et ab eo creditae, ut dicit apostolus, Rom. IV. Et ideo etiam ante David oportuit legem dari tali populo iam collecto. Reply to Objection 3. Since the Law had to be given to the people, not only those, of whom Christ was born, received the Law, but the whole people, who were marked with the seal of circumcision, which was the sign of the promise made to Abraham, and in which he believed, according to Romans 4:11: hence even before David, the Law had to be given to that people as soon as they were collected together.

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