Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q16

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Q15 Q17



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IIª-IIae q. 16 pr. Deinde considerandum est de praeceptis pertinentibus ad praedicta. Et circa hoc quaeruntur duo. Primo, de praeceptis pertinentibus ad fidem. Secundo, de praeceptis pertinentibus ad dona scientiae et intellectus. Question 16. The precepts of faith, knowledge and understanding The precepts concerning faith The precepts concerning the gifts of knowledge and understanding
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in veteri lege dari debuerint praecepta credendi. Praeceptum enim est de eo quod est debitum et necessarium. Sed maxime necessarium est homini quod credat, secundum illud Heb. XI, sine fide impossibile est placere Deo. Ergo maxime oportuit praecepta dari de fide. Objection 1. It would seem that, in the Old Law, there should have been given precepts of faith. Because a precept is about something due and necessary. Now it is most necessary for man that he should believe, according to Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Therefore there was very great need for precepts of faith to be given.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, novum testamentum continetur in veteri sicut figuratum in figura, ut supra dictum est. Sed in novo testamento ponuntur expressa mandata de fide, ut patet Ioan. XIV, creditis in Deum, et in me credite. Ergo videtur quod in veteri lege etiam debuerint aliqua praecepta dari de fide. Objection 2. Further, the New Testament is contained in the Old, as the reality in the figure, as stated above (I-II, 107, 3). Now the New Testament contains explicit precepts of faith, for instance John 14:1: "You believe in God; believe also in Me." Therefore it seems that some precepts of faith ought to have been given in the Old Law also.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, eiusdem rationis est praecipere actum virtutis et prohibere vitia opposita. Sed in veteri lege ponuntur multa praecepta prohibentia infidelitatem, sicut Exod. XX, non habebis deos alienos coram me; et iterum Deut. XIII mandatur quod non audient verba prophetae aut somniatoris qui eos de fide Dei vellet divertere. Ergo in veteri lege etiam debuerunt dari praecepta de fide. Objection 3. Further, to prescribe the act of a virtue comes to the same as to forbid the opposite vices. Now the Old Law contained many precepts forbidding unbelief: thus (Exodus 20:3): "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," and (Deuteronomy 13:1-3) they were forbidden to hear the words of the prophet or dreamer who might wish to turn them away from their faith in God. Therefore precepts of faith should have been given in the Old Law also.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 arg. 4 Praeterea, confessio est actus fidei, ut supra dictum est. Sed de confessione et promulgatione fidei dantur praecepta in veteri lege, mandatur enim Exod. XII quod filiis suis interrogantibus rationem assignent paschalis observantiae; et Deut. XIII mandatur quod ille qui disseminat doctrinam contra fidem occidatur. Ergo lex vetus praecepta fidei debuit habere. Objection 4. Further, confession is an act of faith, as stated above (Question 3, Article 1). Now the Old Law contained precepts about the confession and the promulgation of faith: for they were commanded (Exodus 12:27) that, when their children should ask them, they should tell them the meaning of the paschal observance, and (Deuteronomy 13:9) they were commanded to slay anyone who disseminated doctrine contrary to faith. Therefore the Old Law should have contained precepts of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 arg. 5 Praeterea, omnes libri veteris testamenti sub lege veteri continentur, unde dominus, Ioan. XV, dicit in lege esse scriptum, odio habuerunt me gratis, quod tamen scribitur in Psalmo. Sed Eccli. II dicitur, qui timetis dominum, credite illi. Ergo in veteri lege fuerunt praecepta danda de fide. Objection 5. Further, all the books of the Old Testament are contained in the Old Law; wherefore Our Lord said (John 15:25) that it was written in the Law: "They have hated Me without cause," although this is found written in Psalm 34 and 68. Now it is written (Sirach 2:8): "Ye that fear the Lord, believe Him." Therefore the Old Law should have contained precepts of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus, ad Rom. III, legem veterem nominat legem factorum, et dividit eam contra legem fidei. Ergo in lege veteri non fuerunt praecepta danda de fide. On the contrary, The Apostle (Romans 3:27) calls the Old Law the "law of works" which he contrasts with the "law of faith." Therefore the Old Law ought not to have contained precepts of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod lex non imponitur ab aliquo domino nisi suis subditis, et ideo praecepta legis cuiuslibet praesupponunt subiectionem recipientis legem ad eum qui dat legem. Prima autem subiectio hominis ad Deum est per fidem, secundum illud Heb. XI, accedentem ad Deum oportet credere quia est. Et ideo fides praesupponitur ad legis praecepta. Et propter hoc Exod. XX id quod est fidei praemittitur ante legis praecepta, cum dicitur, ego sum dominus Deus tuus, qui eduxi te de terra Aegypti. Et similiter Deut. VI praemittitur, audi, Israel, dominus Deus tuus unus est, et postea statim incipit agere de praeceptis. Sed quia in fide multa continentur ordinata ad fidem qua credimus Deum esse, quod est primum et principale inter omnia credibilia, ut dictum est; ideo, praesupposita fide de Deo, per quam mens humana Deo subiiciatur, possunt dari praecepta de aliis credendis, sicut Augustinus dicit, super Ioan., quod plurima sunt nobis de fide mandata, exponens illud, hoc est praeceptum meum. Sed in veteri lege non erant secreta fidei populo exponenda. Et ideo, supposita fide unius Dei, nulla alia praecepta sunt in veteri lege data de credendis. I answer that, A master does not impose laws on others than his subjects; wherefore the precepts of a law presuppose that everyone who receives the law is subject to the giver of the law. Now the primary subjection of man to God is by faith, according to Hebrews 11:6: "He that cometh to God, must believe that He is." Hence faith is presupposed to the precepts of the Law: for which reason (Exodus 20:2) that which is of faith, is set down before the legal precepts, in the words, "I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt," and, likewise (Deuteronomy 6:4), the words, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy [Vulgate: 'our'] God is one," precede the recording of the precepts. Since, however, faith contains many things subordinate to the faith whereby we believe that God is, which is the first and chief of all articles of faith, as stated above (1, 1,7), it follows that, if we presuppose faith in God, whereby man's mind is subjected to Him, it is possible for precepts to be given about other articles of faith. Thus Augustine expounding the words: "This is My commandment" (John 15:12) says (Tract. lxxxiii in Joan.) that we have received many precepts of faith. In the Old Law, however, the secret things of faith were not to be set before the people, wherefore, presupposing their faith in one God, no other precepts of faith were given in the Old Law.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod fides est necessaria tanquam principium spiritualis vitae. Et ideo praesupponitur ad legis susceptionem. Reply to Objection 1. Faith is necessary as being the principle of spiritual life, wherefore it is presupposed before the receiving of the Law.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ibi etiam dominus praesupponit aliquid de fide, scilicet fidem unius Dei, cum dicit, creditis in Deum, et aliquid praecipit, scilicet fidem incarnationis, per quam unus est Deus et homo; quae quidem fidei explicatio pertinet ad fidem novi testamenti. Et ideo subdit, et in me credite. Reply to Objection 2. Even then Our Lord both presupposed something of faith, namely belief in one God, when He said: "You believe in God," and commanded something, namely, belief in the Incarnation whereby one Person is God and man. This explanation of faith belongs to the faith of the New Testament, wherefore He added: "Believe also in Me."
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod praecepta prohibitiva respiciunt peccata, quae corrumpunt virtutem. Virtus autem corrumpitur ex particularibus defectibus, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo, praesupposita fide unius Dei, in lege veteri fuerunt danda prohibitiva praecepta, quibus homines prohiberentur ab his particularibus defectibus per quos fides corrumpi posset. Reply to Objection 3. The prohibitive precepts regard sins, which corrupt virtue. Now virtue is corrupted by any particular defect, as stated above (I-II, 18, 4, ad 3; I-II, 19, 6, ad 1, 7, ad 3). Therefore faith in one God being presupposed, prohibitive precepts had to be given in the Old Law, so that men might be warned off those particular defects whereby their faith might be corrupted.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod etiam confessio vel doctrina fidei praesupponit subiectionem hominis ad Deum per fidem. Et ideo magis potuerunt dari praecepta in veteri lege pertinentia ad confessionem et doctrinam fidei quam pertinentia ad ipsam fidem. Reply to Objection 4. Confession of faith and the teaching thereof also presuppose man's submission to God by faith: so that the Old Law could contain precepts relating to the confession and teaching of faith, rather than to faith itself.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 1 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod in illa etiam auctoritate praesupponitur fides per quam credimus Deum esse, unde praemittit, qui timetis Deum, quod non posset esse sine fide. Quod autem addit, credite illi, ad quaedam credibilia specialia referendum est, et praecipue ad illa quae promittit Deus sibi obedientibus. Unde subdit, et non evacuabitur merces vestra. Reply to Objection 5. In this passage again that faith is presupposed whereby we believe that God is; hence it begins, "Ye that fear the Lord," which is not possible without faith. The words which follow--"believe Him"--must be referred to certain special articles of faith, chiefly to those things which God promises to them that obey Him, wherefore the passage concludes--"and your reward shall not be made void."
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in veteri lege inconvenienter tradantur praecepta pertinentia ad scientiam et intellectum. Scientia enim et intellectus ad cognitionem pertinent. Cognitio autem praecedit et dirigit actionem. Ergo praecepta ad scientiam et intellectum pertinentia debent praecedere praecepta pertinentia ad actionem. Cum ergo prima praecepta legis sint praecepta Decalogi, videtur quod inter praecepta Decalogi debuerunt tradi aliqua praecepta pertinentia ad scientiam et intellectum. Objection 1. It would seem that the precepts referring to knowledge and understanding were unfittingly set down in the Old Law. For knowledge and understanding pertain to cognition. Now cognition precedes and directs action. Therefore the precepts referring to knowledge and understanding should precede the precepts of the Law referring to action. Since, then, the first precepts of the Law are those of the decalogue, it seems that precepts of knowledge and understanding should have been given a place among the precepts of the decalogue.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, disciplina praecedit doctrinam, prius enim homo ab alio discit quam alium doceat. Sed dantur in veteri lege aliqua praecepta de doctrina, et affirmativa, ut praecipitur Deut. IV, docebis ea filios ac nepotes tuos; et etiam prohibitiva, sicut habetur Deut. IV, non addetis ad verbum quod vobis loquor, neque auferetis ab eo. Ergo videtur quod etiam aliqua praecepta dari debuerint inducentia hominem ad addiscendum. Objection 2. Further, learning precedes teaching, for a man must learn from another before he teaches another. Now the Old Law contains precepts about teaching--both affirmative precepts as, for example, (Deuteronomy 4:9), "Thou shalt teach them to thy sons"--and prohibitive precepts, as, for instance, (Deuteronomy 4:2), "You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it." Therefore it seems that man ought to have been given also some precepts directing him to learn.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, scientia et intellectus magis videntur necessaria sacerdoti quam regi, unde dicitur Malach. II, labia sacerdotis custodiunt scientiam, et legem requirunt ex ore eius; et Osee IV dicitur, quia scientiam repulisti, repellam te et ego, ne sacerdotio fungaris mihi. Sed regi mandatur quod addiscat scientiam legis, ut patet Deut. XVII. Ergo multo magis debuit praecipi in lege quod sacerdotes legem addiscerent. Objection 3. Further, knowledge and understanding seem more necessary to a priest than to a king, wherefore it is written (Malachi 2:7): "The lips of the priest shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at his mouth," and (Hosea 4:6): "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee, that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to Me." Now the king is commanded to learn knowledge of the Law (Deuteronomy 17:18-19). Much more therefore should the Law have commanded the priests to learn the Law.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, meditatio eorum quae ad scientiam et intellectum pertinent non potest esse in dormiendo. Impeditur etiam per occupationes extraneas. Ergo inconvenienter praecipitur, Deut. VI, meditaberis ea sedens in domo tua, et ambulans in itinere, dormiens atque consurgens. Inconvenienter ergo traduntur in veteri lege praecepta ad scientiam et intellectum pertinentia. Objection 4. Further, it is not possible while asleep to meditate on things pertaining to knowledge and understanding: moreover it is hindered by extraneous occupations. Therefore it is unfittingly commanded (Deuteronomy 6:7): "Thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house, and walking on thy journey, sleeping and rising." Therefore the precepts relating to knowledge and understanding are unfittingly set down in the Law.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. IV, audientes universi praecepta haec, dicant, en populus sapiens et intelligens. On the contrary, It is written (Deuteronomy 4:6): "That, hearing all these precepts, they may say, Behold a wise and understanding people."
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod circa scientiam et intellectum tria possunt considerari, primo quidem, acceptio ipsius; secundo, usus eius; tertio vero, conservatio ipsius. Acceptio quidem scientiae vel intellectus fit per doctrinam et disciplinam. Et utrumque in lege praecipitur. Dicitur enim Deut. VI, erunt verba haec quae ego praecipio tibi, in corde tuo, quod pertinet ad disciplinam, pertinet enim ad discipulum ut cor suum applicet his quae dicuntur. Quod vero subditur, et narrabis ea filiis tuis, pertinet ad doctrinam. Usus vero scientiae vel intellectus est meditatio eorum quae quis scit vel intelligit. Et quantum ad hoc subditur, et meditaberis sedens in domo tua, et cetera. Conservatio autem fit per memoriam. Et quantum ad hoc subdit, et ligabis ea quasi signum in manu tua, eruntque et movebuntur inter oculos tuos, scribesque ea in limine et ostiis domus tuae. Per quae omnia iugem memoriam mandatorum Dei significat, ea enim quae continue sensibus nostris occurrunt, vel tactu, sicut ea quae in manu habemus; vel visu, sicut ea quae ante oculos mentis sunt continue; vel ad quae oportet nos saepe recurrere, sicut ad ostium domus; a memoria nostra excidere non possunt. Et Deut. IV manifestius dicitur, ne obliviscaris verborum quae viderunt oculi tui, et ne excidant de corde tuo cunctis diebus vitae tuae. Et haec etiam abundantius in novo testamento, tam in doctrina evangelica quam apostolica, mandata leguntur. I answer that, Three things may be considered in relation to knowledge and understanding: first, the reception thereof; secondly, the use; and thirdly, their preservation. Now the reception of knowledge or understanding, is by means of teaching and learning, and both are prescribed in the Law. For it is written (Deuteronomy 6:6): "These words which I command thee . . . shall be in thy heart." This refers to learning, since it is the duty of a disciple to apply his mind to what is said, while the words that follow--"and thou shalt tell them to thy children"--refer to teaching. The use of knowledge and understanding is the meditation on those things which one knows or understands. On reference to this, the text goes on: "thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house," etc. Their preservation is effected by the memory, and, as regards this, the text continues--"and thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be and shall move between thy eyes. And thou shalt write them in the entry, and on the doors of thy house." Thus the continual remembrance of God's commandments is signified, since it is impossible for us to forget those things which are continually attracting the notice of our senses, whether by touch, as those things we hold in our hands, or by sight, as those things which are ever before our eyes, or to which we are continually returning, for instance, to the house door. Moreover it is clearly stated (Deuteronomy 4:9): "Forget not the words that thy eyes have seen and let them not go out of thy heart all the days of thy life." We read of these things also being commanded more notably in the New Testament, both in the teaching of the Gospel and in that of the apostles.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut dicitur Deut. IV, haec est vestra sapientia et intellectus coram populis, ex quo datur intelligi quod scientia et intellectus fidelium Dei consistit in praeceptis legis. Et ideo primo sunt proponenda legis praecepta; et postmodum homines sunt inducendi ad eorum scientiam vel intellectum. Et ideo praemissa praecepta non debuerunt poni inter praecepta Decalogi, quae sunt prima. Reply to Objection 1. According to Deuteronomy 4:6, "this is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations." By this we are given to understand that the wisdom and understanding of those who believe in God consist in the precepts of the Law. Wherefore the precepts of the Law had to be given first, and afterwards men had to be led to know and understand them, and so it was not fitting that the aforesaid precepts should be placed among the precepts of the decalogue which take the first place.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod etiam in lege ponuntur praecepta pertinentia ad disciplinam, ut dictum est. Expressius tamen praecipitur doctrina quam disciplina, quia doctrina pertinet ad maiores, qui sunt sui iuris, immediate sub lege existentes, quibus debent dari legis praecepta, disciplina autem pertinet ad minores, ad quos praecepta legis per maiores debent pervenire. Reply to Objection 2. There are also in the Law precepts relating to learning, as stated above. Nevertheless teaching was commanded more expressly than learning, because it concerned the learned, who were not under any other authority, but were immediately under the law, and to them the precepts of the Law were given. On the other hand learning concerned the people of lower degree, and these the precepts of the Law have to reach through the learned.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod scientia legis est adeo annexa officio sacerdotis ut simul cum iniunctione officii intelligatur etiam et scientiae legis iniunctio. Et ideo non oportuit specialia praecepta dari de instructione sacerdotum. Sed doctrina legis Dei non adeo est annexa regali officio, quia rex constituitur super populum in temporalibus. Et ideo specialiter praecipitur ut rex instruatur de his quae pertinent ad legem Dei per sacerdotes. Reply to Objection 3. Knowledge of the Law is so closely bound up with the priestly office that being charged with the office implies being charged to know the Law: hence there was no need for special precepts to be given about the training of the priests. On the other hand, the doctrine of God's law is not so bound up with the kingly office, because a king is placed over his people in temporal matters: hence it is especially commanded that the king should be instructed by the priests about things pertaining to the law of God.
IIª-IIae q. 16 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod illud praeceptum legis non est sic intelligendum quod homo dormiendo meditetur de lege Dei, sed quod dormiens, idest vadens dormitum, de lege Dei meditetur; quia ex hoc etiam homines dormiendo nanciscuntur meliora phantasmata, secundum quod pertranseunt motus a vigilantibus ad dormientes, ut patet per philosophum, in I Ethic. Similiter etiam mandatur ut in omni actu suo aliquis meditetur de lege, non quod semper actu de lege cogitet, sed quod omnia quae facit secundum legem moderetur. Reply to Objection 4. That precept of the Law does not mean that man should meditate on God's law of sleeping, but during sleep, i.e. that he should meditate on the law of God when he is preparing to sleep, because this leads to his having better phantasms while asleep, in so far as our movements pass from the state of vigil to the state of sleep, as the Philosopher explains (Ethic. i, 13). On like manner we are commanded to meditate on the Law in every action of ours, not that we are bound to be always actually thinking about the Law, but that we should regulate all our actions according to it.

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