says (De Fide Orth. ii), that the highest of those who sinned was set
over the terrestrial order. This opinion seems to agree with the view
of the Platonists, which Augustine quotes (De Civ. Dei vii, 6, 7; x,
9, 10, 11). For they said that all the gods were good; whereas some
of the demons were good, and some bad; naming as 'gods' the
intellectual substances which are above the lunar sphere, and calling
by the name of "demons" the intellectual substances which are beneath
it, yet higher than men in the order of nature. Nor is this opinion
to be rejected as contrary to faith; because the whole corporeal
creation is governed by God through the angels, as Augustine says (De
Trin. iii, 4,5). Consequently there is nothing to prevent us from
saying that the lower angels were divinely set aside for presiding
over the lower bodies, the higher over the higher bodies; and the
highest to stand before God. And in this sense Damascene says (De
Fide Orth. ii) that they who fell were of the lower grade of angels;
yet in that order some of them remained good.
But if the motive for sinning be considered, we find that it existed
in the higher angels more than in the lower. For, as has been said
(A. 2), the demons' sin was pride; and the motive of pride is
excellence, which was greater in the higher spirits. Hence Gregory
says that he who sinned was the very highest of all. This seems to be
the more probable view: because the angels' sin did not come of any
proneness, but of free choice alone. Consequently that argument seems
to have the more weight which is drawn from the motive in sinning. Yet
this must not be prejudicial to the other view; because there might be
some motive for sinning in him also who was the chief of the lower
Reply Obj. 1: Cherubim is interpreted "fulness of knowledge," while
"Seraphim" means "those who are on fire," or "who set on fire."
Consequently Cherubim is derived from knowledge; which is compatible
with mortal sin; but Seraphim is derived from the heat of charity,
which is incompatible with mortal sin. Therefore the first angel who
sinned is called, not a Seraph, but a Cherub.
Reply Obj. 2: The Divine intention is not frustrated either in those
who sin, or in those who are saved; for God knows beforehand the end
of both; and He procures glory from both, saving these of His
goodness, and punishing those of His justice. But the intellectual
creature, when it sins, falls away from its due end. Nor is this
unfitting in any exalted creature; because the intellectual creature
was so made by God, that it lies within its own will to act for its
Reply Obj. 3: However great was the inclination towards good in the
highest angel, there was no necessity imposed upon him: consequently
it was in his power not to follow it.
EIGHTH ARTICLE [I, Q. 63, Art. 8]
Whether the Sin of the Highest Angel Was the Cause of the Others
Objection 1: It would seem that the sin of the highest angel was not
the cause of the others sinning. For the cause precedes the effect.
But, as Damascene observes (De Fide Orth. ii), they all sinned at
one time. Therefore the sin of one was not the cause of the others'
Obj. 2: Further, an angel's first sin can only be pride, as was
shown above (A. 2). But pride seeks excellence. Now it is more
contrary to excellence for anyone to be subject to an inferior than
to a superior; and so it does not appear that the angels sinned by
desiring to be subject to a higher angel rather than to God. Yet the
sin of one angel would have been the cause of the others sinning, if
he had induced them to be his subjects. Therefore it does not appear
that the sin of the highest angel was the cause of the others sinning.
Obj. 3: Further, it is a greater sin to wish to be subject to
another against God, than to wish to be over another against God;
because there is less motive for sinning. If, therefore, the sin of
the foremost angel was the cause of the others sinning, in that he
induced them to subject themselves to him, then the lower angels would
have sinned more deeply than the highest one; which is contrary to a
gloss on Ps. 103:26: "This dragon which Thou hast formed - He who was
the more excellent than the rest in nature, became the greater in
malice." Therefore the sin of the highest angel was not the cause of
the others sinning.
_On the contrary,_ It is said (Apoc. 12:4) that the dragon "drew"
with him "the third part of the stars of heaven."
_I answer that,_ The sin of the highest angel was the cause of the
others sinning; not as compelling them, but as inducing them by a kind
of exhortation. A token thereof appears in this, that all the demons
are subjects of that highest one; as is evident from our Lord's words:
"Go [Vulg. 'Depart from Me'], you cursed, into everlasting fire, which
was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). For the order
of Divine justice exacts that whosoever consents to another's evil
suggestion, shall be subjected to him in his punishment; according to
(2 Pet. 2:19): "By whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the
Reply Obj. 1: Although the demons all sinned in the one instant, yet
the sin of one could be the cause of the rest sinning. For the angel
needs no delay of time for choice, exhortation, or consent, as man,
who requires deliberation in order to choose and consent, and vocal
speech in order to exhort; both of which are the work of time. And it
is evident that even man begins to speak in the very instant when he
takes thought; and in the last instant of speech, another who catches
his meaning can assent to what is said; as is especially evident with
regard to primary concepts, "which everyone accepts directly they are
heard" [*Boethius, De Hebdom.].
Taking away, then, the time for speech and deliberation which is
required in us; in the same instant in which the highest angel
expressed his affection by intelligible speech, it was possible for
the others to consent thereto.
Reply Obj. 2: Other things being equal, the proud would rather be
subject to a superior than to an inferior. Yet he chooses rather to
be subject to an inferior than to a superior, if he can procure an
advantage under an inferior which he cannot under a superior.
Consequently it was not against the demons' pride for them to wish to
serve an inferior by yielding to his rule; for they wanted to have
him as their prince and leader, so that they might attain their
ultimate beatitude of their own natural powers; especially because in
the order of nature they were even then subject to the highest angel.
Reply Obj. 3: As was observed above (Q. 62, A. 6), an angel has
nothing in him to retard his action, and with his whole might he is
moved to whatsoever he is moved, be it good or bad. Consequently
since the highest angel had greater natural energy than the lower
angels, he fell into sin with intenser energy, and therefore he
became the greater in malice.
NINTH ARTICLE [I, Q. 63, Art. 9]
Whether Those Who Sinned Were As Many As Those Who Remained Firm?
Objection 1: It would seem that more angels sinned than stood firm.
For, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6): "Evil is in many, but
good is in few."
Obj. 2: Further, justice and sin are to be found in the same way
in men and in angels. But there are more wicked men to be found than
good; according to Eccles. 1:15: "The number of fools is infinite."
Therefore for the same reason it is so with the angels.
Obj. 3: Further, the angels are distinguished according to
persons and orders. Therefore if more angelic persons stood firm, it
would appear that those who sinned were not from all the orders.
_On the contrary,_ It is said (4 Kings 6:16): "There are more with us
than with them": which is expounded of the good angels who are with us
to aid us, and the wicked spirits who are our foes.
_I answer that,_ More angels stood firm than sinned. Because sin is
contrary to the natural inclination; while that which is against the
natural order happens with less frequency; for nature procures its
effects either always, or more often than not.
Reply Obj. 1: The Philosopher is speaking with regard to men, in whom
evil comes to pass from seeking after sensible pleasures, which are
known to most men, and from forsaking the good dictated by reason,
which good is known to the few. In the angels there is only an
intellectual nature; hence the argument does not hold.
And from this we have the answer to the second difficulty.
Reply Obj. 3: According to those who hold that the chief devil
belonged to the lower order of the angels, who are set over earthly
affairs, it is evident that some of every order did not fall, but
only those of the lowest order. According to those who maintain that
the chief devil was of the highest order, it is probable that some
fell of every order; just as men are taken up into every order to
supply for the angelic ruin. In this view the liberty of free-will is
more established; which in every degree of creature can be turned to
evil. In the Sacred Scripture, however, the names of some orders, as
of Seraphim and Thrones, are not attributed to demons; since they are
derived from the ardor of love and from God's indwelling, which are
not consistent with mortal sin. Yet the names of Cherubim, Powers,
and Principalities are attributed to them; because these names are
derived from knowledge and from power, which can be common to both
good and bad.
THE PUNISHMENT OF THE DEMONS
(In Four Articles)
It now remains as a sequel to deal with the punishment of the demons;
under which heading there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Of their darkness of intellect;
(2) Of their obstinacy of will;
(3) Of their grief;
(4) Of their place of punishment.
FIRST ARTICLE [I, Q. 64, Art. 1]
Whether the Demons' Intellect Is Darkened by Privation of the
Knowledge of All Truth?
Objection 1: It would seem that the demons' intellect is darkened by
being deprived of the knowledge of all truth. For if they knew any
truth at all, they would most of all know themselves; which is to
know separated substances. But this is not in keeping with their
unhappiness: for this seems to belong to great happiness, insomuch as
that some writers have assigned as man's last happiness the knowledge
of the separated substances. Therefore the demons are deprived of all
knowledge of truth.
Obj. 2: Further, what is most manifest in its nature, seems to be
specially manifest to the angels, whether good or bad. That the same
is not manifest with regard to ourselves, comes from the weakness of
our intellect which draws its knowledge from phantasms; as it comes
from the weakness of its eye that the owl cannot behold the light of
the sun. But the demons cannot know God, Who is most manifest of
Himself, because He is the sovereign truth; and this is because they
are not clean of heart, whereby alone can God be seen. Therefore
neither can they know other things.
Obj. 3: Further, according to Augustine (Gen. ad lit. iv, 22), the
proper knowledge of the angels is twofold; namely, morning and
evening. But the demons have no morning knowledge, because they do
not see things in the Word; nor have they the evening knowledge,
because this evening knowledge refers the things known to the
Creator's praise (hence, after "evening" comes "morning" [Gen. 1]).
Therefore the demons can have no knowledge of things.
Obj. 4: Further, the angels at their creation knew the mystery of the
kingdom of God, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. v, 19; De Civ. Dei
xi). But the demons are deprived of such knowledge: "for if they had
known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory," as is
said 1 Cor. 2:8. Therefore, for the same reason, they are deprived of
all other knowledge of truth.
Obj. 5: Further, whatever truth anyone knows is known either
naturally, as we know first principles; or by deriving it from
someone else, as we know by learning; or by long experience, as the
things we learn by discovery. Now, the demons cannot know the truth
by their own nature, because, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 33),
the good angels are separated from them as light is from darkness;
and every manifestation is made through light, as is said Eph. 5:13.
In like manner they cannot learn by revelation, nor by learning from
the good angels: because "there is no fellowship of light with
darkness [*Vulg.: 'What fellowship hath . . . ?']" (2 Cor. 6:14). Nor
can they learn by long experience: because experience comes of the
senses. Consequently there is no knowledge of truth in them.
_On the contrary,_ Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that, "certain gifts
were bestowed upon the demons which, we say, have not been changed at
all, but remain entire and most brilliant." Now, the knowledge of
truth stands among those natural gifts. Consequently there is some
knowledge of truth in them.
_I answer that,_ The knowledge of truth is twofold: one which comes
of nature, and one which comes of grace. The knowledge which comes of
grace is likewise twofold: the first is purely speculative, as when
Divine secrets are imparted to an individual; the other is effective,
and produces love for God; which knowledge properly belongs to the
gift of wisdom.
Of these three kinds of knowledge the first was neither taken away nor
lessened in the demons. For it follows from the very nature of the
angel, who, according to his nature, is an intellect or mind: since on
account of the simplicity of his substance, nothing can be withdrawn
from his nature, so as to punish him by subtracting from his natural
powers, as a man is punished by being deprived of a hand or a foot or
of something else. Therefore Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that the
natural gifts remain entire in them. Consequently their natural
knowledge was not diminished. The second kind of knowledge, however,
which comes of grace, and consists in speculation, has not been
utterly taken away from them, but lessened; because, of these Divine
secrets only so much is revealed to them as is necessary; and that is
done either by means of the angels, or "through some temporal workings
of Divine power," as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix, 21); but not in
the same degree as to the holy angels, to whom many more things are
revealed, and more fully, in the Word Himself. But of the third
knowledge, as likewise of charity, they are utterly deprived.
Reply Obj. 1: Happiness consists in self-application to something
higher. The separated substances are above us in the order of nature;
hence man can have happiness of a kind by knowing the separated
substances, although his perfect happiness consists in knowing the
first substance, namely, God. But it is quite natural for one
separate substance to know another; as it is natural for us to know
sensible natures. Hence, as man's happiness does not consist in
knowing sensible natures; so neither does the angel's happiness
consist in knowing separated substances.
Reply Obj. 2: What is most manifest in its nature is hidden from us
by its surpassing the bounds of our intellect; and not merely because
our intellect draws knowledge from phantasms. Now the Divine
substance surpasses the proportion not only of the human intellect,
but even of the angelic. Consequently, not even an angel can of his
own nature know God's substance. Yet on account of the perfection of
his intellect he can of his nature have a higher knowledge of God
than man can have. Such knowledge of God remains also in the demons.
Although they do not possess the purity which comes with grace,
nevertheless they have purity of nature; and this suffices for the
knowledge of God which belongs to them from their nature.
Reply Obj. 3: The creature is darkness in comparison with the
excellence of the Divine light; and therefore the creature's
knowledge in its own nature is called "evening" knowledge. For the
evening is akin to darkness, yet it possesses some light: but when
the light fails utterly, then it is night. So then the knowledge of
things in their own nature, when referred to the praise of the
Creator, as it is in the good angels, has something of the Divine
light, and can be called evening knowledge; but if it be not referred
to God, as is the case with the demons, it is not called evening, but
"nocturnal" knowledge. Accordingly we read in Gen. 1:5 that the
darkness, which God separated from the light, "He called night."
Reply Obj. 4: All the angels had some knowledge from the very
beginning respecting the mystery of God's kingdom, which found its
completion in Christ; and most of all from the moment when they were
beatified by the vision of the Word, which vision the demons never
had. Yet all the angels did not fully and equally apprehend it; hence
the demons much less fully understood the mystery of the Incarnation,
when Christ was in the world. For, as Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei
ix, 21), "It was not manifested to them as it was to the holy angels,
who enjoy a participated eternity of the Word; but it was made known
by some temporal effects, so as to strike terror into them." For had
they fully and certainly known that He was the Son of God and the
effect of His passion, they would never have procured the crucifixion
of the Lord of glory.
Reply Obj. 5: The demons know a truth in three ways: first of all by
the subtlety of their nature; for although they are darkened by
privation of the light of grace, yet they are enlightened by the
light of their intellectual nature: secondly, by revelation from the
holy angels; for while not agreeing with them in conformity of will,
they do agree, nevertheless, by their likeness of intellectual
nature, according to which they can accept what is manifested by
others: thirdly, they know by long experience; not as deriving it
from the senses; but when the similitude of their innate intelligible
species is completed in individual things, they know some things as
present, which they previously did not know would come to pass, as we
said when dealing with the knowledge of the angels (Q. 57, A. 3, ad
SECOND ARTICLE [I, Q. 64, Art. 2]
Whether the Will of the Demons Is Obstinate in Evil?
Objection 1: It would seem that the will of the demons is not
obstinate in evil. For liberty of will belongs to the nature of an
intellectual being, which nature remains in the demons, as we said
above (A. 1). But liberty of will is directly and firstly ordained
to good rather than to evil. Therefore the demons' will is not so
obstinate in evil as not to be able to return to what is good.
Obj. 2: Further, since God's mercy is infinite, it is greater than
the demons' malice, which is finite. But no one returns from the
malice of sin to the goodness of justice save through God's mercy.
Therefore the demons can likewise return from their state of malice
to the state of justice.
Obj. 3: Further, if the demons have a will obstinate in evil, then
their will would be especially obstinate in the sin whereby they
fell. But that sin, namely, pride, is in them no longer; because the
motive for the sin no longer endures, namely, excellence. Therefore
the demon is not obstinate in malice.
Obj. 4: Further, Gregory says (Moral. iv) that man can be reinstated
by another, since he fell through another. But, as was observed
already (Q. 63, A. 8), the lower demons fell through the highest one.
Therefore their fall can be repaired by another. Consequently they
are not obstinate in malice.
Obj. 5: Further, whoever is obstinate in malice, never performs any
good work. But the demon performs some good works: for he confesses
the truth, saying to Christ: "I know Who Thou art, the holy one of
God" (Mark 1:24). "The demons" also "believe and tremble" (James
2:19). And Dionysius observes (Div. Nom. iv), that "they desire what
is good and best, which is, to be, to live, to understand." Therefore
they are not obstinate in malice.
_On the contrary,_ It is said (Ps. 73:23): "The pride of them that
hate Thee, ascendeth continually"; and this is understood of the
demons. Therefore they remain ever obstinate in their malice.
_I answer that,_ It was Origen's opinion [*Peri Archon i. 6] that
every will of the creature can by reason of free-will be inclined to
good and evil; with the exception of the soul of Christ on account of
the union of the Word. Such a statement deprives angels and saints of
true beatitude, because everlasting stability is of the very nature
of true beatitude; hence it is termed "life everlasting." It is also
contrary to the authority of Sacred Scripture, which declares that
demons and wicked men shall be sent "into everlasting punishment,"
and the good brought "into everlasting life." Consequently such an
opinion must be considered erroneous; while according to Catholic
Faith, it must be held firmly both that the will of the good angels
is confirmed in good, and that the will of the demons is obstinate
We must seek for the cause of this obstinacy, not in the gravity of
the sin, but in the condition of their nature or state. For as
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii), "death is to men, what the fall is
to the angels." Now it is clear that all the mortal sins of men, grave
or less grave, are pardonable before death; whereas after death they
are without remission and endure for ever.
To find the cause, then, of this obstinacy, it must be borne in mind
that the appetitive power is in all things proportioned to the
apprehensive, whereby it is moved, as the movable by its mover. For
the sensitive appetite seeks a particular good; while the will seeks
the universal good, as was said above (Q. 59, A. 1); as also the
sense apprehends particular objects, while the intellect considers
universals. Now the angel's apprehension differs from man's in this
respect, that the angel by his intellect apprehends immovably, as we
apprehend immovably first principles which are the object of the habit
of "intelligence"; whereas man by his reason apprehends movably,
passing from one consideration to another; and having the way open by
which he may proceed to either of two opposites. Consequently man's
will adheres to a thing movably, and with the power of forsaking it
and of clinging to the opposite; whereas the angel's will adheres
fixedly and immovably. Therefore, if his will be considered before its
adhesion, it can freely adhere either to this or to its opposite
(namely, in such things as he does not will naturally); but after he
has once adhered, he clings immovably. So it is customary to say that
man's free-will is flexible to the opposite both before and after
choice; but the angel's free-will is flexible either opposite before
the choice, but not after. Therefore the good angels who adhered to
justice, were confirmed therein; whereas the wicked ones, sinning, are
obstinate in sin. Later on we shall treat of the obstinacy of men who
are damned (Suppl., Q. 98, AA. 1, 2).
Reply Obj. 1: The good and wicked angels have free-will, but
according to the manner and condition of their state, as has been
Reply Obj. 2: God's mercy delivers from sin those who repent. But
such as are not capable of repenting, cling immovably to sin, and
are not delivered by the Divine mercy.
Reply Obj. 3: The devil's first sin still remains in him according to
desire; although not as to his believing that he can obtain what he
desired. Even so, if a man were to believe that he can commit murder,
and wills to commit it, and afterwards the power is taken from him;
nevertheless, the will to murder can stay with him, so that he would
he had done it, or still would do it if he could.
Reply Obj. 4: The fact that man sinned from another's suggestion, is
not the whole cause of man's sin being pardonable. Consequently the
argument does not hold good.
Reply Obj. 5: A demon's act is twofold. One comes of deliberate will;
and this is properly called his own act. Such an act on the demon's
part is always wicked; because, although at times he does something
good, yet he does not do it well; as when he tells the truth in order
to deceive; and when he believes and confesses, yet not willingly,
but compelled by the evidence of things. Another kind of act is
natural to the demon; this can be good and bears witness to the
goodness of nature. Yet he abuses even such good acts to evil purpose.
THIRD ARTICLE [I, Q. 64, Art. 3]
Whether There Is Sorrow in the Demons?
Objection 1: It would seem that there is no sorrow in the demons. For