Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q173

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Q172 Q174



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IIª-IIae q. 173 pr. Deinde considerandum est de modo cognitionis propheticae. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum prophetae videant ipsam Dei essentiam. Secundo, utrum revelatio prophetica fiat per influentiam aliquarum specierum, vel per solam influentiam luminis. Tertio, utrum prophetica revelatio semper sit cum alienatione a sensibus. Quarto, utrum prophetia semper sit cum cognitione eorum quae prophetantur. Question 173. The manner in which prophetic knowledge is conveyed 1. Do the prophets see God's very essence? 2. Is the prophetic revelation effected by the infusion of certain species, or by the infusion of Divine light alone? 3. Is prophetic revelation always accompanied by abstraction from the sense? 4. Is prophecy always accompanied by knowledge of the things prophesied?
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prophetae ipsam Dei essentiam videant. Quia super illud Isaiae XXXVIII, dispone domui tuae etc., dicit Glossa, prophetae in ipso libro praescientiae Dei, in quo omnia scripta sunt, legere possunt. Sed praescientia Dei est ipsa eius essentia. Ergo prophetae vident ipsam Dei essentiam. Objection 1. It would seem that the prophets see the very essence of God, for a gloss on Isaiah 38:1, "Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die and not live," says: "Prophets can read in the book of God's foreknowledge in which all things are written." Now God's foreknowledge is His very essence. Therefore prophets see God's very essence.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in IX de Trin., quod in illa aeterna veritate, ex qua temporalia facta sunt omnia, formam secundum quam sumus, et secundum quam operamur, visu mentis aspicimus. Sed prophetae altissimam inter omnes homines habent divinorum cognitionem. Ergo ipsi maxime divinam essentiam vident. Objection 2. Further, Augustine says (De Trin. ix, 7) that "in that eternal truth from which all temporal things are made, we see with the mind's eye the type both of our being and of our actions." Now, of all men, prophets have the highest knowledge of Divine things. Therefore they, especially, see the Divine essence.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, futura contingentia praecognoscuntur a prophetis secundum immobilem veritatem. Sic autem non sunt nisi in ipso Deo. Ergo prophetae ipsum Deum vident. Objection 3. Further, future contingencies are foreknown by the prophets "with unchangeable truth." Now future contingencies exist thus in God alone. Therefore the prophets see God Himself.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod visio divinae essentiae non evacuatur in patria. Prophetia autem evacuatur, ut habetur I ad Cor. XIII. Ergo prophetia non fit per visionem divinae essentiae. On the contrary, The vision of the Divine essence is not made void in heaven; whereas "prophecy is made void" (1 Corinthians 13:8). Therefore prophecy is not conveyed by a vision of the Divine essence.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod prophetia importat cognitionem divinam ut procul existentem, unde et de prophetis dicitur, Heb. XI, quod erant a longe aspicientes. Illi autem qui sunt in patria, in statu beatitudinis existentes, non vident ut a remotis, sed quasi ex propinquo, secundum illud Psalmi, habitabunt recti cum vultu tuo. Unde manifestum est quod cognitio prophetica alia est a cognitione perfecta, quae erit in patria. Unde et distinguitur ab ea sicut imperfectum a perfecto, et ea adveniente evacuatur, ut patet per apostolum, I ad Cor. XIII. Fuerunt autem quidam qui, cognitionem propheticam a cognitione beatorum distinguere volentes, dixerunt quod prophetae viderunt ipsam divinam essentiam, quam vocant speculum aeternitatis, non tamen secundum quod est obiectum beatorum, sed secundum quod sunt in ea rationes futurorum eventuum. Quod quidem est omnino impossibile. Deus enim est obiectum beatitudinis secundum ipsam sui essentiam, secundum id quod Augustinus dicit, in V Confess., beatus est qui te scit, etiam si illa, idest creaturas, nesciat. Non est autem possibile quod aliquis videat rationes creaturarum in ipsa divina essentia, ita quod eam non videat. Tum quia ipsa divina essentia est ratio omnium quae fiunt, ratio autem idealis non addit super divinam essentiam nisi respectum ad creaturam. Tum etiam quia prius est cognoscere aliquid in se, quod est cognoscere Deum ut est obiectum beatitudinis, quam cognoscere illud per comparationem ad alterum, quod est cognoscere Deum secundum rationes rerum in ipso existentes. Et ideo non potest esse quod prophetae videant Deum secundum rationes creaturarum, et non prout est obiectum beatitudinis. Et ideo dicendum est quod visio prophetica non est visio ipsius divinae essentiae, nec in ipsa divina essentia vident ea quae vident, sed in quibusdam similitudinibus, secundum illustrationem divini luminis. Unde Dionysius dicit, IV cap. Cael. Hier., de visionibus propheticis loquens, quod sapiens theologus visionem illam dicit esse divinam quae fit per similitudinem rerum forma corporali carentium, ex reductione videntium in divina. Et huiusmodi similitudines divino lumine illustratae magis habent rationem speculi quam Dei essentia. Nam in speculo resultant species ab aliis rebus, quod non potest dici de Deo. Sed huiusmodi illustratio mentis prophetice potest dici speculum, inquantum resultat ibi similitudo veritatis divinae praescientiae et propter hoc dicitur speculum aeternitatis, quasi repraesentans Dei praescientiam, qui in sua aeternitate omnia praesentialiter videt, ut dictum est. I answer that, Prophecy denotes Divine knowledge as existing afar off. Wherefore it is said of the prophets (Hebrews 11:13) that "they were beholding . . . afar off." But those who are in heaven and in the state of bliss see, not as from afar off, but rather, as it were, from near at hand, according to Psalm 139:14, "The upright shall dwell with Thy countenance." Hence it is evident that prophetic knowledge differs from the perfect knowledge, which we shall have in heaven, so that it is distinguished therefrom as the imperfect from the perfect, and when the latter comes the former is made void, as appears from the words of the Apostle (1 Corinthians 13:10). Some, however, wishing to discriminate between prophetic knowledge and the knowledge of the blessed, have maintained that the prophets see the very essence of God (which they call the "mirror of eternity") [Cf. De Veritate, xii, 6; Sent. II, D, XI, part 2, art. 2, ad 4, not, however, in the way in which it is the object of the blessed, but as containing the types [Cf. I, 15] of future events. But this is altogether impossible. For God is the object of bliss in His very essence, according to the saying of Augustine (Confess. v, 4): "Happy whoso knoweth Thee, though he know not these," i.e. creatures. Now it is not possible to see the types of creatures in the very essence of God without seeing It, both because the Divine essence is Itself the type of all things that are made--the ideal type adding nothing to the Divine essence save only a relationship to the creature--and because knowledge of a thing in itself--and such is the knowledge of God as the object of heavenly bliss--precedes knowledge of that thing in its relation to something else--and such is the knowledge of God as containing the types of things. Consequently it is impossible for prophets to see God as containing the types of creatures, and yet not as the object of bliss. Therefore we must conclude that the prophetic vision is not the vision of the very essence of God, and that the prophets do not see in the Divine essence Itself the things they do see, but that they see them in certain images, according as they are enlightened by the Divine light. Wherefore Dionysius (Coel. Hier. iv), in speaking of prophetic visions, says that "the wise theologian calls that vision divine which is effected by images of things lacking a bodily form through the seer being rapt in divine things." And these images illumined by the Divine light have more of the nature of a mirror than the Divine essence: since in a mirror images are formed from other things, and this cannot be said of God. Yet the prophet's mind thus enlightened may be called a mirror, in so far as a likeness of the truth of the Divine foreknowledge is formed therein, for which reason it is called the "mirror of eternity," as representing God's foreknowledge, for God in His eternity sees all things as present before Him, as stated above (Question 172, Article 1).
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod prophetae dicuntur inspicere in libro praescientiae Dei, inquantum ex ipsa Dei praescientia resultat veritas in mentem prophetae. Reply to Objection 1. The prophets are said to read the book of God's foreknowledge, inasmuch as the truth is reflected from God's foreknowledge on the prophet's mind.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod in prima veritate dicitur homo videre propriam formam, qua existit, inquantum primae veritatis similitudo refulget in mente humana, ex quo anima habet quod seipsam cognoscat. Reply to Objection 2. Man is said to see in the First Truth the type of his existence, in so far as the image of the First Truth shines forth on man's mind, so that he is able to know himself.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ex hoc ipso quod in Deo futura contingentia sunt secundum immobilem veritatem, potest imprimere menti prophetae similem cognitionem, absque eo quod prophetae Deum per essentiam videant. Reply to Objection 3. From the very fact that future contingencies are in God according to unalterable truth, it follows that God can impress a like knowledge on the prophet's mind without the prophet seeing God in His essence.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in prophetica revelatione non imprimantur divinitus menti prophetae novae rerum species, sed solum novum lumen. Quia sicut dicit Glossa Hieronymi, Amos I, prophetae utuntur similitudinibus rerum in quibus conversati sunt. Sed si visio prophetica fieret per aliquas species de novo impressas, nihil operaretur ibi praecedens conversatio. Ergo non imprimuntur aliquae species de novo in animam prophetae, sed solum propheticum lumen. Objection 1. It would seem that in prophetic revelation no new species of things are impressed on the prophet's mind, but only a new light. For a gloss of Jerome on Amos 1:2 says that "prophets draw comparisons from things with which they are conversant." But if prophetic vision were effected by means of species newly impressed, the prophet's previous experience of things would be inoperative. Therefore no new species are impressed on the prophet's soul, but only the prophetic light.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., visio imaginaria non facit prophetam, sed solum visio intellectualis, unde etiam Dan. X dicitur quod intelligentia opus est in visione. Sed visio intellectualis, sicut in eodem libro dicitur, non fit per aliquas similitudines, sed per ipsam rerum veritatem. Ergo videtur quod prophetica revelatio non fiat per impressionem aliquarum specierum. Objection 2. Further, according to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xii, 9), "it is not imaginative but intellective vision that makes the prophet"; wherefore it is declared (Daniel 10:1) that "there is need of understanding in a vision." Now intellective vision, as stated in the same book (Gen. ad lit. xii, 6) is not effected by means of images, but by the very truth of things. Therefore it would seem that prophetic revelation is not effected by impressing species on the soul.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, per donum prophetiae spiritus sanctus exhibet homini id quod est supra facultatem naturae. Sed formare quascumque rerum species potest homo ex facultate naturali. Ergo videtur quod in prophetica revelatione non infundantur aliquae species rerum, sed solum intelligibile lumen. Objection 3. Further, by the gift of prophecy the Holy Ghost endows man with something that surpasses the faculty of nature. Now man can by his natural faculties form all kinds of species of things. Therefore it would seem that in prophetic revelation no new species of things are impressed, but merely an intellectual light.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Osee XII, ego visiones multiplicavi eis, et in manibus prophetarum assimilatus sum. Sed multiplicatio visionum non fit secundum lumen intelligibile, quod est commune in omni prophetica visione, sed solum secundum diversitatem specierum, secundum quas etiam est assimilatio. Ergo videtur quod in prophetica revelatione imprimuntur novae species rerum, et non solum intelligibile lumen. On the contrary, It is written (Hosea 12:10): "I have multiplied" their "visions, and I have used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets." Now multiplicity of visions results, not from a diversity of intellectual light, which is common to every prophetic vision, but from a diversity of species, whence similitudes also result. Therefore it seems that in prophetic revelation new species of things are impressed, and not merely an intellectual light.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., cognitio prophetica maxime ad mentem pertinet. Circa cognitionem autem humanae mentis duo oportet considerare, scilicet acceptionem, sive repraesentationem rerum; et iudicium de rebus praesentatis. Repraesentantur autem menti humanae res aliquae secundum aliquas species, et secundum naturae ordinem, primo oportet quod species praesententur sensui; secundo, imaginationi; tertio, intellectui possibili, qui immutatur a speciebus phantasmatum secundum illustrationem intellectus agentis. In imaginatione autem non solum sunt formae rerum sensibilium secundum quod accipiuntur a sensu, sed transmutatur diversimode, vel propter aliquam transmutationem corporalem, sicut accidit in dormientibus et furiosis; vel etiam secundum imperium rationis disponuntur phantasmata in ordine ad id quod est intelligendum. Sicut enim ex diversa ordinatione earundem litterarum accipiuntur diversi intellectus, ita etiam secundum diversam dispositionem phantasmatum resultant in intellectu diversae species intelligibiles. Iudicium autem humanae mentis fit secundum vim intellectualis luminis. Per donum autem prophetiae confertur aliquid humanae menti supra id quod pertinet ad naturalem facultatem, quantum ad utrumque, scilicet et quantum ad iudicium, per influxum intellectualis luminis; et quantum ad acceptionem seu repraesentationem rerum, quae fit per aliquas species. Et quantum ad hoc secundum, potest assimilari doctrina humana revelationi propheticae, non autem quantum ad primum, homo enim suo discipulo repraesentat aliquas res per signa locutionum, non autem potest interius illuminare, sicut facit Deus. Horum autem duorum primum principalius est in prophetia, quia iudicium est completivum cognitionis. Et ideo, si cui fiat divinitus repraesentatio aliquarum rerum per similitudines imaginarias, ut Pharaoni et Nabuchodonosor; aut etiam per similitudines corporales, sicut Baltassar, non est talis censendus propheta, nisi illuminetur eius mens ad iudicandum; sed talis apparitio est quiddam imperfectum in genere prophetiae, unde a quibusdam vocatur casus prophetiae, sicut et divinatio somniorum. Erit autem propheta si solummodo intellectus eius illuminetur ad diiudicandum etiam ea quae ab aliis imaginarie visa sunt, ut patet de Ioseph, qui exposuit somnium Pharaonis. Sed sicut Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., maxime propheta est qui utroque praecellit, ut videat in spiritu corporalium rerum significativas similitudines; et eas vivacitate mentis intelligat. Repraesentantur autem divinitus menti prophetae quandoque quidem mediante sensu exterius, quaedam formae sensibiles, sicut Daniel vidit Scripturam parietis, ut legitur Dan. V. Quandoque autem per formas imaginarias, sive omnino divinitus impressas, non per sensum acceptas, puta si alicui caeco nato imprimerentur in imaginatione colorum similitudines; vel etiam divinitus ordinatas ex his quae a sensibus sunt acceptae, sicut Ieremias vidit ollam succensam a facie Aquilonis, ut habetur Ierem. I. Sive etiam imprimendo species intelligibiles ipsi menti, sicut patet de his qui accipiunt scientiam vel sapientiam infusam, sicut Salomon et apostoli. Lumen autem intelligibile quandoque quidem imprimitur menti humanae divinitus ad diiudicandum ea quae ab aliis visa sunt, sicut dictum est de Ioseph; et sicut patet de apostolis, quibus dominus aperuit sensum ut intelligerent Scripturas, ut dicitur Luc. XXIV; et ad hoc pertinet interpretatio sermonum. Sive etiam ad diiudicandum secundum divinam veritatem ea quae cursu naturali homo apprehendit. Sive etiam ad diiudicandum veraciter et efficaciter ea quae agenda sunt, secundum illud Isaiae LXIII, spiritus domini ductor eius fuit. Sic igitur patet quod prophetica revelatio quandoque quidem fit per solam luminis influentiam, quandoque autem per species de novo impressas, vel aliter ordinatas. I answer that, As Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 9), "prophetic knowledge pertains most of all to the intellect." Now two things have to be considered in connection with the knowledge possessed by the human mind, namely the acceptance or representation of things, and the judgment of the things represented. Now things are represented to the human mind under the form of species: and according to the order of nature, they must be represented first to the senses, secondly to the imagination, thirdly to the passive intellect, and these are changed by the species derived from the phantasms, which change results from the enlightening action of the active intellect. Now in the imagination there are the forms of sensible things not only as received from the senses, but also transformed in various ways, either on account of some bodily transformation (as in the case of people who are asleep or out of their senses), or through the coordination of the phantasms, at the command of reason, for the purpose of understanding something. For just as the various arrangements of the letters of the alphabet convey various ideas to the understanding, so the various coordinations of the phantasms produce various intelligible species of the intellect. As to the judgment formed by the human mind, it depends on the power of the intellectual light. Now the gift of prophecy confers on the human mind something which surpasses the natural faculty in both these respects, namely as to the judgment which depends on the inflow of intellectual light, and as to the acceptance or representation of things, which is effected by means of certain species. Human teaching may be likened to prophetic revelation in the second of these respects, but not in the first. For a man represents certain things to his disciple by signs of speech, but he cannot enlighten him inwardly as God does. But it is the first of these two that holds the chief place in prophecy, since judgment is the complement of knowledge. Wherefore if certain things are divinely represented to any man by means of imaginary likenesses, as happened to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-7) and to Nabuchodonosor (Daniel 4:1-2), or even by bodily likenesses, as happened to Balthasar (Daniel 5:5), such a man is not to be considered a prophet, unless his mind be enlightened for the purpose of judgment; and such an apparition is something imperfect in the genus of prophecy. Wherefore some [Rabbi Moyses, Doct. Perplex. II, xxxvi] have called this "prophetic ecstasy," and such is divination by dreams. And yet a man will be a prophet, if his intellect be enlightened merely for the purpose of judging of things seen in imagination by others, as in the case of Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh's dream. But, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 9), "especially is he a prophet who excels in both respects, so," to wit, "as to see in spirit likenesses significant of things corporeal, and understand them by the quickness of his intellect." Now sensible forms are divinely presented to the prophet's mind, sometimes externally by means of the senses--thus Daniel saw the writing on the wall (Daniel 5:25)--sometimes by means of imaginary forms, either of exclusively Divine origin and not received through the senses (for instance, if images of colors were imprinted on the imagination of one blind from birth), or divinely coordinated from those derived from the senses--thus Jeremiah saw the "boiling caldron . . . from the face of the north" (Jeremiah 1:13)--or by the direct impression of intelligible species on the mind, as in the case of those who receive infused scientific knowledge or wisdom, such as Solomon or the apostles. But intellectual light is divinely imprinted on the human mind--sometimes for the purpose of judging of things seen by others, as in the case of Joseph, quoted above, and of the apostles whose understanding our Lord opened "that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45); and to this pertains the "interpretation of speeches"--sometimes for the purpose of judging according to Divine truth, of the things which a man apprehends in the ordinary course of nature--sometimes for the purpose of discerning truthfully and efficaciously what is to be done, according to Isaiah 63:14, "The Spirit of the Lord was their leader." Hence it is evident that prophetic revelation is conveyed sometimes by the mere infusion of light, sometimes by imprinting species anew, or by a new coordination of species.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, quando in prophetica revelatione divinitus ordinantur species imaginariae praeacceptae a sensu secundum congruentiam ad veritatem revelandam, tunc conversatio praecedens aliquid operatur ad ipsas similitudines, non autem quando totaliter ab extrinseco imprimuntur. Reply to Objection 1. As stated above, sometimes in prophetic revelation imaginary species previously derived from the senses are divinely coordinated so as to accord with the truth to be revealed, and then previous experience is operative in the production of the images, but not when they are impressed on the mind wholly from without.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod visio intellectualis non fit secundum aliquas similitudines corporales et individuales, fit tamen secundum aliquam similitudinem intelligibilem, unde Augustinus dicit, IX de Trin., quod habet animus nonnullam speciei notae similitudinem. Quae quidem similitudo intelligibilis in revelatione prophetica aliquando immediate a Deo imprimitur, aliquando autem ex formis imaginatis resultat secundum adiutorium prophetici luminis; quia ex eisdem formis imaginatis subtilior conspicitur veritas secundum illustrationem altioris luminis. Reply to Objection 2. Intellectual vision is not effected by means of bodily and individual images, but by an intelligible image. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. ix, 11) that "the soul possesses a certain likeness of the species known to it." Sometimes this intelligible image is, in prophetic revelation, imprinted immediately by God, sometimes it results from pictures in the imagination, by the aid of the prophetic light, since a deeper truth is gathered from these pictures in the imagination by means of the enlightenment of the higher light.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quascumque formas imaginatas naturali virtute homo potest formare, absolute huiusmodi formas considerando, non tamen ut sint ordinatae ad repraesentandas intelligibiles veritates quae hominis intellectum excedunt, sed ad hoc necessarium est auxilium supernaturalis luminis. Reply to Objection 3. It is true that man is able by his natural powers to form all kinds of pictures in the imagination, by simply considering these pictures, but not so that they be directed to the representation of intelligible truths that surpass his intellect, since for this purpose he needs the assistance of a supernatural light.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod visio prophetica semper fiat cum abstractione a sensibus. Dicitur enim Num. XII, si quis fuerit inter vos propheta domini, in visione apparebo ei, vel per somnium loquar ad illum. Sed sicut Glossa dicit, in principio Psalterii, visio quae est per somnia et visiones, est per ea quae videntur dici vel fieri. Cum autem aliqua videntur dici vel fieri quae non dicuntur vel fiunt, est alienatio a sensibus. Ergo prophetia semper fit cum alienatione a sensibus. Objection 1. It would seem that the prophetic vision is always accompanied by abstraction from the senses. For it is written (Numbers 12:6): "If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream." Now a gloss says at the beginning of the Psalter, "a vision that takes place by dreams and apparitions consists of things which seem to be said or done." But when things seem to be said or done, which are neither said nor done, there is abstraction from the senses. Therefore prophecy is always accompanied by abstraction from the senses.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, quando una virtus multum intenditur in sua operatione, alia potentia abstrahitur a suo actu, sicut illi qui vehementer intendunt ad aliquid audiendum, non percipiunt visu ea quae coram ipsis fiunt. Sed in visione prophetica maxime intellectus elevatur et intenditur in suo actu. Ergo videtur quod semper fiat cum abstractione a sensibus. Objection 2. Further, when one power is very intent on its own operation, other powers are drawn away from theirs; thus men who are very intent on hearing something fail to see what takes place before them. Now in the prophetic vision the intellect is very much uplifted, and intent on its act. Therefore it seems that the prophetic vision is always accompanied by abstraction from the senses.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, impossibile est idem simul ad oppositas partes converti. Sed in visione prophetica mens convertitur ad accipiendum a superiori. Ergo non potest simul converti ad sensibilia. Necessarium ergo videtur quod revelatio prophetica semper fit cum abstractione a sensibus. Objection 3. Further, the same thing cannot, at the same time, tend in opposite directions. Now in the prophetic vision the mind tends to the acceptance of things from above, and consequently it cannot at the same time tend to sensible objects. Therefore it would seem necessary for prophetic revelation to be always accompanied by abstraction from the senses.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur I ad Cor. XIV, spiritus prophetarum prophetis subiecti sunt. Sed hoc esse non posset, si propheta non esset sui compos, a sensibus alienatus existens. Ergo videtur quod prophetica visio non fiat cum alienatione a sensibus. Objection 4.On the contrary, It is written (1 Corinthians 14:32): "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." Now this were impossible if the prophet were not in possession of his faculties, but abstracted from his senses. Therefore it would seem that prophetic vision is not accompanied by abstraction from the senses.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, prophetica revelatio fit secundum quatuor, scilicet secundum influxum intelligibilis luminis, secundum immissionem intelligibilium specierum, secundum impressionem vel ordinationem imaginabilium formarum, et secundum expressionem formarum sensibilium. Manifestum est autem quod non fit abstractio a sensibus quando aliquid repraesentatur menti prophetae per species sensibiles, sive ad hoc specialiter formatas divinitus, sicut rubus ostensus Moysi, et Scriptura ostensa Danieli; sive etiam per alias causas productas, ita tamen quod secundum divinam providentiam ad aliquid prophetice significandum ordinetur, sicut per arcam Noe significabatur Ecclesia. Similiter etiam non est necesse ut fiat alienatio ab exterioribus sensibus per hoc quod mens prophetae illustratur intelligibili lumine, aut formatur intelligibilibus speciebus, quia in nobis perfectum iudicium intellectus habetur per conversionem ad sensibilia, quae sunt prima nostrae cognitionis principia, ut in primo habitum est. Sed quando fit revelatio prophetica secundum formas imaginarias, necesse est fieri abstractionem a sensibus, ut talis apparitio phantasmatum non referatur ad ea quae exterius sentiuntur. Sed abstractio a sensibus quandoque fit perfecte, ut scilicet nihil homo sensibus percipiat. Quandoque autem imperfecte, ut scilicet aliquid percipiat sensibus, non tamen plene discernat ea quae exterius percipit ab his quae imaginabiliter videt, unde Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., sic videntur quae in spiritu fiunt imagines corporum, quemadmodum corpora per corpus, ita ut simul cernatur et homo aliquis praesens, et absens alius spiritu, tanquam oculis. Talis tamen alienatio a sensibus non fit in prophetis cum aliqua inordinatione naturae, sicut in arreptitiis vel furiosis, sed per aliquam causam ordinatam, vel naturalem, sicut per somnum; vel animalem, sicut per vehementiam contemplationis, sicut de Petro legitur, Act. X, quod, cum oraret in caenaculo, factus est in excessu mentis; vel virtute divina rapiente, secundum illud Ezech. I, facta est super eum manus domini. I answer that, As stated in the foregoing Article, the prophetic revelation takes place in four ways: namely, by the infusion of an intelligible light, by the infusion of intelligible species, by impression or coordination of pictures in the imagination, and by the outward presentation of sensible images. Now it is evident that there is no abstraction from the senses, when something is presented to the prophet's mind by means of sensible species--whether these be divinely formed for this special purpose, as the bush shown to Moses (Exodus 3:2), and the writing shown to Daniel (Daniel 5)--or whether they be produced by other causes; yet so that they are ordained by Divine providence to be prophetically significant of something, as, for instance, the Church was signified by the ark of Noah. Again, abstraction from the external senses is not rendered necessary when the prophet's mind is enlightened by an intellectual light, or impressed with intelligible species, since in us the perfect judgment of the intellect is effected by its turning to sensible objects, which are the first principles of our knowledge, as stated in I, 84, 6. When, however, prophetic revelation is conveyed by images in the imagination, abstraction from the senses is necessary lest the things thus seen in imagination be taken for objects of external sensation. Yet this abstraction from the senses is sometimes complete, so that a man perceives nothing with his senses; and sometimes it is incomplete, so that he perceives something with his senses, yet does not fully discern the things he perceives outwardly from those he sees in imagination. Hence Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 12): "Those images of bodies which are formed in the soul are seen just as bodily things themselves are seen by the body, so that we see with our eyes one who is present, and at the same time we see with the soul one who is absent, as though we saw him with our eyes." Yet this abstraction from the senses takes place in the prophets without subverting the order of nature, as is the case with those who are possessed or out of their senses; but is due to some well-ordered cause. This cause may be natural--for instance, sleep--or spiritual--for instance, the intenseness of the prophets' contemplation; thus we read of Peter (Acts 10:9) that while he was praying in the supper-room [Vulgate: 'the house-top' or 'upper-chamber'] "he fell into an ecstasy"--or he may be carried away by the Divine power, according to the saying of Ezekiel 1:3: "The hand of the Lord was upon him."
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod auctoritas illa loquitur de prophetis quibus imprimebantur vel ordinabantur imaginariae formae, vel in dormiendo, quod significatur per somnium; vel in vigilando, quod significatur per visionem. Reply to Objection 1. The passage quoted refers to prophets in whom imaginary pictures were formed or coordinated, either while asleep, which is denoted by the word "dream," or while awake, which is signified by the word "vision."
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod quando mens intenditur in suo actu circa absentia, quae sunt a sensibus remota, tunc propter vehementiam intentionis sequitur alienatio a sensibus. Sed quando mens intenditur in suo actu circa dispositionem vel iudicium sensibilium, non oportet quod a sensibus abstrahatur. Reply to Objection 2. When the mind is intent, in its act, upon distant things which are far removed from the senses, the intensity of its application leads to abstraction from the senses; but when it is intent, in its act, upon the coordination of or judgment concerning objects of sense, there is no need for abstraction from the senses.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod motus mentis prophetice non est secundum virtutem propriam, sed secundum virtutem superioris influxus. Et ideo, quando ex superiori influxu mens prophetae inclinatur ad iudicandum vel disponendum aliquid circa sensibilia, non fit alienatio a sensibus, sed solum quando elevatur mens ad contemplandum aliqua sublimiora. Reply to Objection 3. The movement of the prophetic mind results not from its own power, but from a power acting on it from above. Hence there is no abstraction from the senses when the prophet's mind is led to judge or coordinate matters relating to objects of sense, but only when the mind is raised to the contemplation of certain more lofty things.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 3 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod spiritus prophetarum dicuntur esse subiecti prophetis, quantum ad propheticam enuntiationem, de qua ibi apostolus loquitur; quia scilicet ex proprio sensu loquuntur ea quae viderunt, non mente perturbata, sicut arreptitii, ut dixerunt Priscilla, et Montanus. Sed in ipsa prophetica revelatione potius ipsi subiiciuntur spiritui prophetiae, idest dono prophetico. Reply to Objection 4. The spirit of the prophets is said to be subject to the prophets as regards the prophetic utterances to which the Apostle refers in the words quoted; because, to wit, the prophets in declaring what they have seen speak their own mind, and are not thrown off their mental balance, like persons who are possessed, as Priscilla and Montanus maintained. But as regards the prophetic revelation itself, it would be more correct to say that the prophets are subject to the. spirit of prophecy, i.e. to the prophetic gift.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod prophetae semper cognoscant ea quae prophetant. Quia, ut Augustinus dicit, XII super Gen. ad Litt., quibus signa per aliquas rerum corporalium similitudines demonstrabantur in spiritu, nisi accessisset mentis officium ut etiam intelligerentur, nondum erat prophetia. Sed ea quae intelliguntur, non possunt esse incognita. Ergo propheta non ignorat ea quae prophetat. Objection 1. It would seem that the prophets always know the things which they prophesy. For, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 9), "those to whom signs were shown in spirit by means of the likenesses of bodily things, had not the gift of prophecy, unless the mind was brought into action, so that those signs were also understood by them." Now what is understood cannot be unknown. Therefore the prophet is not ignorant of what he prophesies.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, lumen prophetiae est excellentius quam lumen rationis naturalis. Sed quicumque lumine naturali habet scientiam, non ignorat ea quae scit. Ergo quicumque lumine prophetico aliqua enuntiat, non potest ea ignorare. Objection 2. Further, the light of prophecy surpasses the light of natural reason. Now one who possesses a science by his natural light, is not ignorant of his scientific acquirements. Therefore he who utters things by the prophetic light cannot ignore them.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, prophetia ordinatur ad hominum illuminationem, unde dicitur II Pet. I. Habetis propheticum sermonem, cui bene facitis attendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco. Sed nihil potest alios illuminare nisi in se sit illuminatum. Ergo videtur quod propheta prius illuminatur ad cognoscendum ea quae aliis enuntiat. Objection 3. Further, prophecy is directed for man's enlightenment; wherefore it is written (2 Peter 1:19): "We have the more firm prophetical word, whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place." Now nothing can enlighten others unless it be lightsome in itself. Therefore it would seem that the prophet is first enlightened so as to know what he declares to others.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Ioan. XI. Hoc autem a semetipso Caiphas non dixit, sed, cum esset pontifex anni illius, prophetavit quia Iesus moriturus erat pro gente, et cetera. Sed hoc Caiphas non cognovit. Ergo non omnis qui prophetat cognoscit ea quae prophetat. On the contrary, It is written (John 11:51): "And this he" (Caiphas) "spoke, not of himself, but being the High Priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation," etc. Now Caiphas knew this not. Therefore not every prophet knows what he prophesies.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in revelatione prophetica movetur mens prophetae a spiritu sancto sicut instrumentum deficiens respectu principalis agentis. Movetur autem mens prophetae non solum ad aliquid apprehendendum, sed etiam ad aliquid loquendum vel ad aliquid faciendum, et quandoque quidem ad omnia tria simul, quandoque autem ad duo horum, quandoque vero ad unum tantum. Et quodlibet horum contingit esse cum aliquo cognitionis defectu. Nam cum mens prophetae movetur ad aliquid aestimandum vel apprehendendum, quandoque quidem inducitur ad hoc quod solum apprehendat rem illam, quandoque autem ulterius ad hoc quod cognoscat haec sibi esse divinitus revelata. Similiter etiam quandoque movetur mens prophetae ad aliquid loquendum, ita quod intelligat id quod per haec verba spiritus sanctus intendit, sicut David, qui dicebat, II Reg. XXIII, spiritus domini locutus est per me, quandoque autem ille cuius mens movetur ad aliqua verba depromenda, non intelligit quid spiritus sanctus per haec verba intendat, sicut patet de Caipha, Ioan. XI. Similiter etiam cum spiritus sanctus movet mentem alicuius ad aliquid faciendum quandoque quidem intelligit quid hoc significet, sicut patet de Ieremia, qui abscondit lumbare in Euphraten, ut habetur Ierem. XIII, quandoque vero non intelligunt, sicut milites dividentes vestimenta Christi non intelligebant quid significaret. Cum ergo aliquis cognoscit se moveri a spiritu sancto ad aliquid aestimandum, vel significandum verbo vel facto, hoc proprie ad prophetiam pertinet. Cum autem movetur, sed non cognoscit, non est perfecta prophetia, sed quidam instinctus propheticus. Sciendum tamen quod, quia mens prophetae est instrumentum deficiens, sicut dictum est et veri prophetae non omnia cognoscunt quae in eorum visis aut verbis aut etiam factis spiritus sanctus intendit. I answer that, In prophetic revelation the prophet's mind is moved by the Holy Ghost, as an instrument that is deficient in regard to the principal agent. Now the prophet's mind is moved not only to apprehend something, but also to speak or to do something; sometimes indeed to all these three together, sometimes to two, sometimes to one only, and in each case there may be a defect in the prophet's knowledge. For when the prophet's mind is moved to think or apprehend a thing, sometimes he is led merely to apprehend that thing, and sometimes he is further led to know that it is divinely revealed to him. Again, sometimes the prophet's mind is moved to speak something, so that he understands what the Holy Ghost means by the words he utters; like David who said (2 Samuel 23:2): "The Spirit of the Lord hath spoken by me"; while, on the other hand, sometimes the person whose mind is moved to utter certain words knows not what the Holy Ghost means by them, as was the case with Caiphas (John 11:51). Again, when the Holy Ghost moves a man's mind to do something, sometimes the latter understands the meaning of it, like Jeremias who hid his loin-cloth in the Euphrates (Jeremiah 13:1-11); while sometimes he does not understand it--thus the soldiers, who divided Christ's garments, understood not the meaning of what they did. Accordingly, when a man knows that he is being moved by the Holy Ghost to think something, or signify something by word or deed, this belongs properly to prophecy; whereas when he is moved, without his knowing it, this is not perfect prophecy, but a prophetic instinct. Nevertheless it must be observed that since the prophet's mind is a defective instrument, as stated above, even true prophets know not all that the Holy Ghost means by the things they see, or speak, or even do.
IIª-IIae q. 173 a. 4 ad arg. Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta. Nam primae rationes loquuntur de veris prophetis, quorum mens divinitus illustratur perfecte. And this suffices for the Replies to the Objections, since the arguments given at the beginning refer to true prophets whose minds are perfectly enlightened from above.

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