Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q165

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Q164 Q166



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IIª-IIae q. 165 pr. Deinde considerandum est de tentatione primorum parentum. Circa quam quaeruntur duo. Primo, utrum fuerit conveniens quod homo a Diabolo tentaretur. Secundo, de modo et ordine illius tentationis. Question 165. Our first parents' temptation 1. Was it fitting for man to be tempted by the devil? 2. The manner and order of that temptation
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non fuerit conveniens ut homo a Diabolo tentaretur. Eadem enim poena finalis debetur peccato Angeli et peccato hominis, secundum illud Matth. XXV, ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum, qui paratus est Diabolo et Angelis eius. Sed primum peccatum Angeli non fuit ex aliqua tentatione exteriori. Ergo nec primum peccatum hominis debuit esse ex aliqua tentatione exteriori. Objection 1. It would seem that it was not fitting for man to be tempted by the devil. For the same final punishment is appointed to the angels' sin and to man's, according to Matthew 25:41, "Go [Vulgate: 'Depart from Me'] you cursed into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." Now the angels' first sin did not follow a temptation from without. Therefore neither should man's first sin have resulted from an outward temptation.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Deus, praescius futurorum, sciebat quod homo per tentationem Daemonis in peccatum deiiceretur, et sic bene sciebat quod non expediebat ei quod tentaretur. Ergo videtur quod non fuerit conveniens quod permitteret eum tentari. Objection 2. Further, God, Who foreknows the future, knew that through the demon's temptation man would fall into sin, and thus He knew full well that it was not expedient for man to be tempted. Therefore it would seem unfitting for God to allow him to be tempted.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, quod aliquis impugnatorem habeat, ad poenam pertinere videtur, sicut et e contrario ad praemium pertinere videtur quod impugnatio subtrahatur, secundum illud Prov. XVI, cum placuerint domino viae hominis, inimicos quoque eius convertet ad pacem. Sed poena non debet praecedere culpam. Ergo inconveniens fuit quod homo ante peccatum tentaretur. Objection 3. Further, it seems to savor of punishment that anyone should have an assailant, just as on the other hand the cessation of an assault is akin to a reward. Now punishment should not precede fault. Therefore it was unfitting for man to be tempted before he sinned.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Eccli. XXXIV, qui non est tentatus, qualia scit? On the contrary, It is written (Sirach 34:11): "He that hath not been tempted [Douay: 'tried'], what manner of things doth he know?"
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod divina sapientia disponit omnia suaviter, ut dicitur Sap. VIII, inquantum scilicet sua providentia singulis attribuit quae eis competunt secundum suam naturam; quia, ut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., providentiae non est naturam corrumpere, sed salvare. Hoc autem pertinet ad conditionem humanae naturae, ut ab aliis creaturis iuvari vel impediri possit. Unde conveniens fuit ut Deus hominem in statu innocentiae et tentari permitteret per malos Angelos, et iuvari eum faceret per bonos. Ex speciali autem beneficio gratiae hoc erat ei collatum, ut nulla creatura exterior ei posset nocere contra propriam voluntatem, per quam etiam tentationi Daemonis resistere poterat. I answer that, God's wisdom "orders all things sweetly" (Wisdom 8:1), inasmuch as His providence appoints to each one that which is befitting it according to its nature. For as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv), "it belongs to providence not to destroy, but to maintain, nature." Now it is a condition attaching to human nature that one creature can be helped or impeded by another. Wherefore it was fitting that God should both allow man in the state of innocence to be tempted by evil angels, and should cause him to be helped by good angels. And by a special favor of grace, it was granted him that no creature outside himself could harm him against his own will, whereby he was able even to resist the temptation of the demon.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod supra naturam humanam est aliqua natura in qua potest malum culpae inveniri, non autem supra naturam angelicam. Tentare autem inducendo ad malum, non est nisi iam depravati per culpam. Et ideo conveniens fuit ut homo per Angelum malum tentaretur ad peccandum, sicut etiam, secundum naturae ordinem, per Angelum bonum promovetur ad perfectionem. Angelus autem a suo superiori, scilicet a Deo, in bono perfici potuit, non autem ad peccandum induci, quia, sicut dicitur Iac. I, Deus intentator malorum est. Reply to Objection 1. Above the human nature there is another that admits of the possibility of the evil of fault: but there is not above the angelic nature. Now only one that is already become evil through sin can tempt by leading another into evil. Hence it was fitting that by an evil angel man should be tempted to sin, even as according to the order of nature he is moved forward to perfection by means of a good angel. An angel could be perfected in good by something above him, namely by God, but he could not thus be led into sin, because according to James 1:13, "God is not a tempter of evils."
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Deus sciebat quod homo per tentationem in peccatum esset deiiciendus, ita etiam sciebat quod per liberum arbitrium resistere poterat tentatori. Hoc autem requirebat conditio naturae ipsius, ut propriae voluntati relinqueretur, secundum illud Eccli. XV, Deus reliquit hominem in manu consilii sui. Unde Augustinus dicit, XI super Gen. ad Litt., non mihi videtur magnae laudis futurum fuisse hominem, si propterea posset bene vivere quia nemo male vivere suaderet, cum et in natura posse, et in potestate haberet velle non consentire suadenti. Reply to Objection 2. Just as God knew that man, through being tempted, would fall into sin, so too He knew that man was able, by his free will, to resist the tempter. Now the condition attaching to man's nature required that he should be left to his own will, according to Sirach 15:14, "God left" man "in the hand of his own counsel." Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xi, 4): "It seems to me that man would have had no prospect of any special praise, if he were able to lead a good life simply because there was none to persuade him to lead an evil life; since both by nature he had the power, and in his power he had the will, not to consent to the persuader."
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod impugnatio cui cum difficultate resistitur, poenalis est. Sed homo in statu innocentiae poterat absque omni difficultate tentationi resistere. Et ideo impugnatio tentatoris poenalis ei non fuit. Reply to Objection 3. An assault is penal if it be difficult to resist it: but, in the state of innocence, man was able, without any difficulty, to resist temptation. Consequently the tempter's assault was not a punishment to man.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non fuerit conveniens modus et ordo primae tentationis. Sicut enim ordine naturae Angelus erat superior homine, ita et vir erat perfectior muliere. Sed peccatum pervenit ab Angelo ad hominem. Ergo, pari ratione, debuit pervenire a viro in mulierem, ut scilicet mulier per virum tentaretur, et non e converso. Objection 1. It would seem that the manner and order of the first temptation was not fitting. For just as in the order of nature the angel was above man, so was the man above the woman. Now sin came upon man through an angel: therefore in like manner it should have come upon the woman through the man; in other words the woman should have been tempted by the man, and not the other way about.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, tentatio primorum parentum fuit per suggestionem. Potest autem Diabolus suggerere homini etiam absque aliqua exteriori sensibili creatura. Cum ergo primi parentes essent spirituali mente praediti, minus sensibilibus quam intelligibilibus inhaerentes, convenientius fuisset quod solum spirituali tentatione homo tentaretur quam exteriori. Objection 2. Further, the temptation of our first parents was by suggestion. Now the devil is able to make suggestions to man without making use of an outward sensible creature. Since then our first parents were endowed with a spiritual mind, and adhered less to sensible than to intelligible things, it would have been more fitting for man to be tempted with a merely spiritual, instead of an outward, temptation.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, non potest convenienter aliquis malum suggerere nisi per aliquid quod appareat bonum. Sed multa alia animalia habent maiorem apparentiam boni quam serpens. Non ergo convenienter tentatus fuit homo a Diabolo per serpentem. Objection 3. Further, one cannot fittingly suggest an evil except through some apparent good. But many other animals have a greater appearance of good than the serpent has. Therefore man was unfittingly tempted by the devil through a serpent.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, serpens est animal irrationale. Sed animali irrationali non competit sapientia nec locutio, nec poena. Ergo inconvenienter inducitur serpens esse callidior cunctis animalibus, vel, prudentissimus omnium bestiarum, secundum aliam translationem. Inconvenienter etiam inducitur fuisse mulieri locutus, et a Deo punitus. Objection 4. Further, the serpent is an irrational animal. Now wisdom, speech, and punishment are not befitting an irrational animal. Therefore the serpent is unfittingly described (Genesis 3:1) as "more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth," or as "the most prudent of all beasts" according to another version [the Septuagint]: and likewise is unfittingly stated to have spoken to the woman, and to have been punished by God.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod id quod est primum in aliquo genere, debet esse proportionatum his quae in eodem genere consequuntur. Sed in quolibet peccato invenitur ordo primae tentationis, inquantum videlicet praecedit in sensualitate, quae per serpentem significatur, peccati concupiscentia; in ratione inferiori, quae significatur per mulierem, delectatio; in ratione superiori, quae significatur per virum, consensus peccati; ut Augustinus dicit, XII de Trin. Ergo congruus fuit ordo primae tentationis. On the contrary, That which is first in any genus should be proportionate to all that follow it in that genus. Now in every kind of sin we find the same order as in the first temptation. For, according to Augustine (De Trin. xii, 12), it begins with the concupiscence of sin in the sensuality, signified by the serpent; extends to the lower reason, by pleasure, signified by the woman; and reaches to the higher reason by consent in the sin, signified by the man. Therefore the order of the first temptation was fitting.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod homo compositus est ex duplici natura, intellectiva scilicet et sensitiva. Et ideo Diabolus in tentatione hominis usus est incitamento ad peccandum dupliciter. Uno quidem modo, ex parte intellectus, inquantum promisit divinitatis similitudinem per scientiae adeptionem, quam homo naturaliter desiderat. Alio modo, ex parte sensus. Et sic usus est his sensibilibus rebus quae maximam habent affinitatem ad hominem, partim quidem in eadem specie, tentans virum per mulierem; partim vero in eodem genere, tentans mulierem per serpentem; partim vero ex genere propinquo, proponens pomum ligni vetiti ad edendum. I answer that, Man is composed of a twofold nature, intellective and sensitive. Hence the devil, in tempting man, made use of a twofold incentive to sin: one on the part of the intellect, by promising the Divine likeness through the acquisition of knowledge which man naturally desires to have; the other on the part of sense. This he did by having recourse to those sensible things, which are most akin to man, partly by tempting the man through the woman who was akin to him in the same species; partly by tempting the woman through the serpent, who was akin to them in the same genus; partly by suggesting to them to eat of the forbidden fruit, which was akin to them in the proximate genus.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in actu tentationis Diabolus erat sicut principale agens, sed mulier assumebatur quasi instrumentum tentationis ad deiiciendum virum. Tum quia mulier erat infirmior viro, unde magis seduci poterat. Tum etiam, propter coniunctionem eius ad virum, maxime per eam Diabolus poterat virum seducere. Non autem est eadem ratio principalis agentis et instrumenti. Nam principale agens oportet esse potius, quod non requiritur in agente instrumentali. Reply to Objection 1. In the act of tempting the devil was by way of principal agent; whereas the woman was employed as an instrument of temptation in bringing about the downfall of the man, both because the woman was weaker than the man, and consequently more liable to be deceived, and because, on account of her union with man, the devil was able to deceive the man especially through her. Now there is no parity between principal agent and instrument, because the principal agent must exceed in power, which is not requisite in the instrumental agent.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod suggestio qua spiritualiter Diabolus aliquid homini suggerit, ostendit Diabolus plus habere potestatis in homine quam suggestio exterior, quia per suggestionem interiorem immutatur a Diabolo saltem hominis phantasia, sed per suggestionem exteriorem immutatur sola exterior creatura. Diabolus autem minimum potestatis habebat in homine ante peccatum et ideo non potuit eum interiori suggestione, sed solum exteriori tentare. Reply to Objection 2. A suggestion whereby the devil suggests something to man spiritually, shows the devil to have more power against man than outward suggestion has, since by an inward suggestion, at least, man's imagination is changed by the devil [Cf. I, 91, 3]; whereas by an outward suggestion, a change is wrought merely on an outward creature. Now the devil had a minimum of power against man before sin, wherefore he was unable to tempt him by inward suggestion, but only by outward suggestion.
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XI super Gen. ad Litt., non debemus opinari quod serpentem sibi, per quem tentaret, Diabolus eligeret. Sed, cum esset in illo decipiendi cupiditas, non nisi per illud animal potuit per quod posse permissus est. Reply to Objection 3. According to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xi, 3), "we are not to suppose that the devil chose the serpent as his means of temptation; but as he was possessed of the lust of deceit, he could only do so by the animal he was allowed to use for that purpose."
IIª-IIae q. 165 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XI super Gen. ad Litt., serpens dictus est astutus, vel callidus, sive prudens, propter astutiam Diaboli, quae in illo agebat dolum, sicut dicitur prudens vel astuta lingua quam prudens vel astutus movet ad aliquid prudenter vel astute suadendum. Neque etiam serpens verborum sonos intelligebat qui ex illo fiebant ad mulierem, neque enim conversa credenda est anima eius in naturam rationalem. Quandoquidem nec ipsi homines, quorum rationalis natura est, cum Daemon in eis loquitur, sciunt quid loquantur. Sic ergo locutus est serpens homini sicut asina in qua sedebat Balaam, locuta est homini, nisi quod illud fuit opus diabolicum, hoc angelicum. Unde serpens non est interrogatus cur hoc fecerit, quia non in sua natura ipse id fecerat, sed Diabolus in illo, qui iam ex peccato suo igni destinatus fuerat sempiterno. Quod autem serpenti dicitur, ad eum qui per serpentem operatus est, refertur. Et sicut Augustinus dicit, in libro super Gen. contra Manichaeos, nunc quidem eius poena, idest Diaboli, dicitur qua nobis cavendus est, non ea quae ultimo iudicio reservatur. Per hoc enim quod ei dicitur, maledictus es inter omnia animantia et bestias terrae, pecora illi praeponuntur, non in potestate, sed in conservatione naturae suae, quia pecora non amiserunt beatitudinem aliquam caelestem, quam nunquam habuerunt, sed in sua natura quam acceperunt, peragunt vitam. Dicitur etiam ei, pectore et ventre repes, secundum aliam litteram. Ubi nomine pectoris significatur superbia, quia ibi dominatur impetus animae, nomine autem ventris significatur carnale desiderium, quia haec pars mollior sentitur in corpore. His autem rebus serpit ad eos quos vult decipere. Quod autem dicitur, terram comedes cunctis diebus vitae tuae, duobus modis intelligi potest. Vel, ad te pertinebunt quos terrena cupiditate deceperis, idest peccatores, qui terrae nomine significantur. Vel tertium genus tentationis his verbis figuratur, quod est curiositas, terram enim qui manducat, profunda et tenebrosa penetrat. Per hoc autem quod inimicitiae ponuntur inter ipsum et mulierem, ostenditur non posse nos a Diabolo tentari nisi per illam animalem partem quae quasi mulieris imaginem in homine ostendit. Semen autem Diaboli est perversa suggestio, semen mulieris, fructus boni operis, quod perversae suggestioni resistit. Et ideo observat serpens plantam mulieris, ut, si quando in illicita illabitur, delectatio illam capiat, et illa observat caput eius, ut eum in ipso initio malae suasionis excludat. Reply to Objection 4. According to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xi, 29), "the serpent is described as most prudent or subtle, on account of the cunning of the devil, who wrought his wiles in it: thus, we speak of a prudent or cunning tongue, because it is the instrument of a prudent or cunning man in advising something prudently or cunningly. Nor indeed (Gen. ad lit. xi, 28) did the serpent understand the sounds which were conveyed through it to the woman; nor again are we to believe that its soul was changed into a rational nature, since not even men, who are rational by nature, know what they say when a demon speaks in them. Accordingly (Gen. ad lit. xi, 29) the serpent spoke to man, even as the ass on which Balaam sat spoke to him, except that the former was the work of a devil, whereas the latter was the work of an angel. Hence (Gen. ad lit. xi, 36) the serpent was not asked why it had done this, because it had not done this in its own nature, but the devil in it, who was already condemned to everlasting fire on account of his sin: and the words addressed to the serpent were directed to him who wrought through the serpent." Moreover, as again Augustine says (Super Gen. contra Manich. ii, 17,18), "his, that is, the devil's, punishment mentioned here is that for which we must be on our guard against him, not that which is reserved till the last judgment. For when it was said to him: 'Thou art cursed among all cattle and beasts of the earth,' the cattle are set above him, not in power, but in the preservation of their nature, since the cattle lost no heavenly bliss, seeing that they never had it, but they continue to live in the nature which they received." It is also said to him: "'Upon thy breast and belly shalt thou creep,'" according to another version [the Septuagint] "Here the breast signifies pride, because it is there that the impulse of the soul dominates, while the belly denotes carnal desire, because this part of the body is softest to the touch: and on these he creeps to those whom he wishes to deceive." The words, "'Earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life' may be understood in two ways. Either 'Those shall belong to thee, whom thou shalt deceive by earthly lust,' namely sinners who are signified under the name of earth, or a third kind of temptation, namely curiosity, is signified by these words: for to eat earth is to look into things deep and dark." The putting of enmities between him and the woman "means that we cannot be tempted by the devil, except through that part of the soul which bears or reflects the likeness of a woman. The seed of the devil is the temptation to evil, the seed of the woman is the fruit of good works, whereby the temptation to evil is resisted. Wherefore the serpent lies in wait for the woman's heel, that if at any time she fall away towards what is unlawful, pleasure may seize hold of her: and she watches his head that she may shut him out at the very outset of the evil temptation."

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