Thomas Aquinas.

Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province online

. (page 1 of 168)
Online LibraryThomas AquinasSumma Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province → online text (page 1 of 168)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Produced by Sandra K. Perry, with corrections and
supplementation by David McClamrock


PART II-II ("Secunda Secundae")

Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province



To the Blessed Virgin
Mary Immaculate
Seat of Wisdom


The text of this electronic edition was originally produced by Sandra
K. Perry, Perrysburg, Ohio, and made available through the Christian
Classics Ethereal Library . I have eliminated
unnecessary formatting in the text, corrected some errors in
transcription, and added the dedication, tables of contents,
Prologue, and the numbers of the questions and articles, as they
appeared in the printed translation published by Benziger Brothers.
Each article is now designated by part, question number, and article
number in brackets, like this:

> SECOND ARTICLE [I, Q. 49, Art. 2]

> Whether the Supreme Good, God, Is the Cause of Evil?

In a few places, where obvious errors appeared in the Benziger
Brothers edition, I have corrected them by reference to a Latin text
of the _Summa._ These corrections are indicated by English text in
brackets. For example, in Part I, Question 45, Article 2, the first
sentence in the Benziger Brothers edition begins: "Not only is it
impossible that anything should be created by God...." By reference
to the Latin, "non solum _non_ est impossibile a Deo aliquid creari"
(emphasis added), this has been corrected to "Not only is it [not]
impossible that anything should be created by God...."

This electronic edition also differs from the Benziger Brothers
edition in the following details (as well as the obvious lack of the
original page numbers and headers):

* The repetitive expression "We proceed thus to the [next] Article"
does not appear directly below the title of each article.

* Italics are represented by underscores at the beginning and end,
_like this._ Quotations and other "quotable" matter, however, are
ordinarily set off by quotation marks with no underscores in this
edition, in accordance with common English usage, even where they
were set in italics with no quotation marks in the Benziger Brothers
edition. Titles of books are set off by underscores when they appear
in the text with no parentheses, but not when the books are cited in

* Bible chapters and verses are cited with arabic numerals separated
by colons, like this: "Dan. 7:10" - not like this: "Dan. vii. 10."
Small roman numerals have been retained where they appear in
citations to books other than the Bible.

* Any matter that appeared in a footnote in the Benziger Brothers
edition is presented in brackets at the point in the text where the
footnote mark appeared.

* Greek words are presented in Roman transliteration.

* Paragraphs are not indented and are separated by blank lines.

* Numbered topics, set forth at the beginning of each question and
at certain other places, are ordinarily presented on a separate line
for each topic.

* Titles of questions are in all caps.

Anything else in this electronic edition that does not correspond to
the content of the Benziger Brothers edition may be regarded as a
defect in this edition and attributed to me (David McClamrock).





1. Of Faith
2. Of the Act of Faith
3. Of the Outward Act of Faith
4. Of the Virtue Itself of Faith
5. Of Those Who Have Faith
6. Of the Cause of Faith
7. Of the Effects of Faith
8. Of the Gift of Understanding
9. Of the Gift of Knowledge
10. Of Unbelief in General
11. Of Heresy
12. Of Apostasy
13. Of the Sin of Blasphemy, in General
14. Of Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost
15. Of the Vices Opposed to Knowledge and Understanding
16. Of the Precepts of Faith, Knowledge, and Understanding
17. Of Hope, Considered in Itself
18. Of the Subject of Hope
19. Of the Gift of Fear
20. Of Despair
21. Of Presumption
22. Of the Precepts Relating to Hope and Fear
23. Of Charity, Considered in Itself
24. Of the Subject of Charity
25. Of the Object of Charity
26. Of the Order of Charity
27. Of the Principal Act of Charity, Which Is to Love
28. Of Joy
29. Of Peace
30. Of Mercy
31. Of Beneficence
32. Of Almsdeeds
33. Of Fraternal Correction
34. Of Hatred
35. Of Sloth
36. Of Envy
37. Of Discord, Which Is Contrary to Peace
38. Of Contention
39. Of Schism
40. Of War
41. Of Strife
42. Of Sedition
43. Of Scandal
44. Of the Precepts of Charity
45. Of the Gift of Wisdom
46. Of Folly Which Is Opposed to Wisdom


47. Of Prudence Considered in Itself
48. Of the Parts of Prudence
49. Of Each Quasi-integral Part of Prudence
50. Of the Subjective Parts of Prudence
51. Of the Virtues Which Are Connected with Prudence
52. Of the Gift of Counsel
53. Of Imprudence
54. Of Negligence
55. Of Vices Opposed to Prudence by Way of Resemblance
56. Of the Precepts Relating to Prudence
57. Of Right
58. Of Justice
59. Of Injustice
60. Of Judgment
61. Of the Parts of Justice
62. Of Restitution
63. Of Respect of Persons
64. Of Murder
65. Of Injuries Committed on the Person
66. Of Theft and Robbery
67. Of the Injustice of a Judge, in Judging
68. Of Matters Concerning Unjust Accusation
69. Of Sins Committed Against Justice on the Part of the Defendant
70. Of Injustice with Regard to the Person of the Witness
71. Of Injustice in Judgment on the Part of Counsel
72. Of Reviling
73. Of Backbiting
74. Of Tale-Bearing
75. Of Derision
76. Of Cursing
77. Of Cheating, Which Is Committed in Buying and Selling
78. Of the Sin of Usury
79. Of the Quasi-integral Parts of Justice
80. Of the Potential Parts of Justice
81. Of Religion
82. Of Devotion
83. Of Prayer
84. Of Adoration
85. Of Sacrifice
86. Of Oblations and First-fruits
87. Of Tithes
88. Of Vows
89. Of Oaths
90. Of the Taking of God's Name by Way of Adjuration
91. Of Taking the Divine Name for the Purpose of Invoking It by
Means of Praise
92. Of Superstition
93. Of Superstition Consisting in Undue Worship of the True God
94. Of Idolatry
95. Of Superstition in Divinations
96. Of Superstition in Observances
97. Of the Temptation of God
98. Of Perjury
99. Of Sacrilege
100. On Simony
101. Of Piety
102. Of Observance, Considered in Itself, and of Its Parts
103. Of Dulia
104. Of Obedience
105. Of Disobedience
106. Of Thankfulness or Gratitude
107. Of Ingratitude
108. Of Vengeance
109. Of Truth
110. Of the Vices Opposed to Truth, and First of Lying
111. Of Dissimulation and Hypocrisy
112. Of Boasting
113. Of Irony
114. Of the Friendliness Which Is Called Affability
115. Of Flattery
116. Of Quarreling
117. Of Liberality
118. Of the Vices Opposed to Liberality, and in the First Place,
of Covetousness
119. Of Prodigality
120. Of "Epikeia" or Equity
121. Of Piety
122. Of the Precepts of Justice


123. Of Fortitude
124. Of Martyrdom
125. Of Fear
126. Of Fearlessness
127. Of Daring
128. Of the Parts of Fortitude
129. Of Magnanimity
130. Of Presumption
131. Of Ambition
132. Of Vainglory
133. Of Pusillanimity
134. Of Magnificence
135. Of Meanness
136. Of Patience
137. Of Perseverance
138. Of the Vices Opposed to Perseverance
139. Of the Gift of Fortitude
140. Of the Precepts of Fortitude
141. Of Temperance
142. Of the Vices Opposed to Temperance
143. Of the Parts of Temperance, in General
144. Of Shamefacedness
145. Of Honesty
146. Of Abstinence
147. Of Fasting
148. Of Gluttony
149. Of Sobriety
150. Of Drunkenness
151. Of Chastity
152. Of Virginity
153. Of Lust
154. Of the Parts of Lust
155. Of Continence
156. Of Incontinence
157. Of Clemency and Meekness
158. Of Anger
159. Of Cruelty
160. Of Modesty
161. Of Humility
162. Of Pride
163. Of the First Man's Sin
164. Of the Punishments of the First Man's Sin
165. Of Our First Parents' Temptation
166. Of Studiousness
167. Of Curiosity
168. Of Modesty as Consisting in the Outward Movements of the Body
169. Of Modesty in the Outward Apparel
170. Of the Precepts of Temperance


171. Of Prophecy
172. Of the Cause of Prophecy
173. Of the Manner in Which Prophetic Knowledge Is Conveyed
174. Of the Division of Prophecy
175. Of Rapture
176. Of the Grace of Tongues
177. Of the Gratuitous Grace Consisting in Words
178. Of the Grace of Miracles
179. Of the Division of Life into Active and Contemplative
180. Of the Contemplative Life
181. Of the Active Life
182. Of the Active Life in Comparison with the Contemplative Life
183. Of Man's Various Duties and States in General
184. Of the State of Perfection in General
185. Of Things Pertaining to the Episcopal State
186. Of Those Things in Which the Religious State Properly Consists
187. Of Those Things That Are Competent to Religious
188. Of the Different Kinds of Religious Life
189. Of the Entrance into Religious Life


["II-II," "Secunda Secundae"]



OF FAITH (In Ten Articles)

Having to treat now of the theological virtues, we shall begin with
Faith, secondly we shall speak of Hope, and thirdly, of Charity.

The treatise on Faith will be fourfold: (1) Of faith itself; (2) Of
the corresponding gifts, knowledge and understanding; (3) Of the
opposite vices; (4) Of the precepts pertaining to this virtue.

About faith itself we shall consider: (1) its object; (2) its act;
(3) the habit of faith.

Under the first head there are ten points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the object of faith is the First Truth?

(2) Whether the object of faith is something complex or incomplex,
i.e. whether it is a thing or a proposition?

(3) Whether anything false can come under faith?

(4) Whether the object of faith can be anything seen?

(5) Whether it can be anything known?

(6) Whether the things to be believed should be divided into a
certain number of articles?

(7) Whether the same articles are of faith for all times?

(8) Of the number of articles;

(9) Of the manner of embodying the articles in a symbol;

(10) Who has the right to propose a symbol of faith?


Whether the Object of Faith Is the First Truth?

Objection 1: It would seem that the object of faith is not the First
Truth. For it seems that the object of faith is that which is
proposed to us to be believed. Now not only things pertaining to the
Godhead, i.e. the First Truth, are proposed to us to be believed, but
also things concerning Christ's human nature, and the sacraments of
the Church, and the condition of creatures. Therefore the object of
faith is not only the First Truth.

Obj. 2: Further, faith and unbelief have the same object since they
are opposed to one another. Now unbelief can be about all things
contained in Holy Writ, for whichever one of them a man denies, he is
considered an unbeliever. Therefore faith also is about all things
contained in Holy Writ. But there are many things therein, concerning
man and other creatures. Therefore the object of faith is not only
the First Truth, but also created truth.

Obj. 3: Further, faith is condivided with charity, as stated above
(I-II, Q. 62, A. 3). Now by charity we love not only God, who is the
sovereign Good, but also our neighbor. Therefore the object of Faith
is not only the First Truth.

_On the contrary,_ Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii) that "faith is
about the simple and everlasting truth." Now this is the First Truth.
Therefore the object of faith is the First Truth.

_I answer that,_ The object of every cognitive habit includes two
things: first, that which is known materially, and is the material
object, so to speak, and, secondly, that whereby it is known, which is
the formal aspect of the object. Thus in the science of geometry, the
conclusions are what is known materially, while the formal aspect of
the science is the mean of demonstration, through which the
conclusions are known.

Accordingly if we consider, in faith, the formal aspect of the
object, it is nothing else than the First Truth. For the faith of
which we are speaking, does not assent to anything, except because it
is revealed by God. Hence the mean on which faith is based is the
Divine Truth. If, however, we consider materially the things to which
faith assents, they include not only God, but also many other things,
which, nevertheless, do not come under the assent of faith, except as
bearing some relation to God, in as much as, to wit, through certain
effects of the Divine operation, man is helped on his journey towards
the enjoyment of God. Consequently from this point of view also the
object of faith is, in a way, the First Truth, in as much as nothing
comes under faith except in relation to God, even as the object of
the medical art is health, for it considers nothing save in relation
to health.

Reply Obj. 1: Things concerning Christ's human nature, and the
sacraments of the Church, or any creatures whatever, come under
faith, in so far as by them we are directed to God, and in as much
as we assent to them on account of the Divine Truth.

The same answer applies to the Second Objection, as regards all
things contained in Holy Writ.

Reply Obj. 3: Charity also loves our neighbor on account of God, so
that its object, properly speaking, is God, as we shall show further
on (Q. 25, A. 1).


Whether the Object of Faith Is Something Complex, by Way of a

Objection 1: It would seem that the object of faith is not something
complex by way of a proposition. For the object of faith is the First
Truth, as stated above (A. 1). Now the First Truth is something
simple. Therefore the object of faith is not something complex.

Obj. 2: Further, the exposition of faith is contained in the symbol.
Now the symbol does not contain propositions, but things: for it is
not stated therein that God is almighty, but: "I believe in God . . .
almighty." Therefore the object of faith is not a proposition but a

Obj. 3: Further, faith is succeeded by vision, according to 1 Cor.
13:12: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to
face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known."
But the object of the heavenly vision is something simple, for it is
the Divine Essence. Therefore the faith of the wayfarer is also.

_On the contrary,_ Faith is a mean between science and opinion. Now
the mean is in the same genus as the extremes. Since, then, science
and opinion are about propositions, it seems that faith is likewise
about propositions; so that its object is something complex.

_I answer that,_ The thing known is in the knower according to the
mode of the knower. Now the mode proper to the human intellect is to
know the truth by synthesis and analysis, as stated in the First Part
(Q. 85, A. 5). Hence things that are simple in themselves, are known
by the intellect with a certain amount of complexity, just as on the
other hand, the Divine intellect knows, without any complexity,
things that are complex in themselves.

Accordingly the object of faith may be considered in two ways. First,
as regards the thing itself which is believed, and thus the object of
faith is something simple, namely the thing itself about which we
have faith. Secondly, on the part of the believer, and in this
respect the object of faith is something complex by way of a

Hence in the past both opinions have been held with a certain amount
of truth.

Reply Obj. 1: This argument considers the object of faith on the part
of the thing believed.

Reply Obj. 2: The symbol mentions the things about which faith is, in
so far as the act of the believer is terminated in them, as is
evident from the manner of speaking about them. Now the act of the
believer does not terminate in a proposition, but in a thing. For as
in science we do not form propositions, except in order to have
knowledge about things through their means, so is it in faith.

Reply Obj. 3: The object of the heavenly vision will be the First
Truth seen in itself, according to 1 John 3:2: "We know that when He
shall appear, we shall be like to Him: because we shall see Him as He
is": hence that vision will not be by way of a proposition but by way
of a simple understanding. On the other hand, by faith, we do not
apprehend the First Truth as it is in itself. Hence the comparison


Whether Anything False Can Come Under Faith?

Objection 1: It would seem that something false can come under faith.
For faith is condivided with hope and charity. Now something false can
come under hope, since many hope to have eternal life, who will not
obtain it. The same may be said of charity, for many are loved as
being good, who, nevertheless, are not good. Therefore something false
can be the object of faith.

Obj. 2: Further, Abraham believed that Christ would be born,
according to John 8:56: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might
see My day: he saw it, and was glad." But after the time of Abraham,
God might not have taken flesh, for it was merely because He willed
that He did, so that what Abraham believed about Christ would have
been false. Therefore the object of faith can be something false.

Obj. 3: Further, the ancients believed in the future birth of Christ,
and many continued so to believe, until they heard the preaching of
the Gospel. Now, when once Christ was born, even before He began to
preach, it was false that Christ was yet to be born. Therefore
something false can come under faith.

Obj. 4: Further, it is a matter of faith, that one should believe
that the true Body of Christ is contained in the Sacrament of the
altar. But it might happen that the bread was not rightly
consecrated, and that there was not Christ's true Body there, but
only bread. Therefore something false can come under faith.

_On the contrary,_ No virtue that perfects the intellect is related
to the false, considered as the evil of the intellect, as the
Philosopher declares (Ethic. vi, 2). Now faith is a virtue that
perfects the intellect, as we shall show further on (Q. 4, AA. 2, 5).
Therefore nothing false can come under it.

_I answer that,_ Nothing comes under any power, habit or act, except by
means of the formal aspect of the object: thus color cannot be seen
except by means of light, and a conclusion cannot be known save
through the mean of demonstration. Now it has been stated (A. 1)
that the formal aspect of the object of faith is the First Truth; so
that nothing can come under faith, save in so far as it stands under
the First Truth, under which nothing false can stand, as neither can
non-being stand under being, nor evil under goodness. It follows
therefore that nothing false can come under faith.

Reply Obj. 1: Since the true is the good of the intellect, but not of
the appetitive power, it follows that all virtues which perfect the
intellect, exclude the false altogether, because it belongs to the
nature of a virtue to bear relation to the good alone. On the other
hand those virtues which perfect the appetitive faculty, do not
entirely exclude the false, for it is possible to act in accordance
with justice or temperance, while having a false opinion about what
one is doing. Therefore, as faith perfects the intellect, whereas
hope and charity perfect the appetitive part, the comparison between
them fails.

Nevertheless neither can anything false come under hope, for a man
hopes to obtain eternal life, not by his own power (since this would
be an act of presumption), but with the help of grace; and if he
perseveres therein he will obtain eternal life surely and infallibly.

In like manner it belongs to charity to love God, wherever He may be;
so that it matters not to charity, whether God be in the individual
whom we love for God's sake.

Reply Obj. 2: That "God would not take flesh," considered in itself
was possible even after Abraham's time, but in so far as it stands in
God's foreknowledge, it has a certain necessity of infallibility, as
explained in the First Part (Q. 14, AA. 13, 15): and it is thus that
it comes under faith. Hence in so far as it comes under faith, it
cannot be false.

Reply Obj. 3: After Christ's birth, to believe in Him, was to believe
in Christ's birth at some time or other. The fixing of the time,
wherein some were deceived was not due to their faith, but to a human
conjecture. For it is possible for a believer to have a false opinion
through a human conjecture, but it is quite impossible for a false
opinion to be the outcome of faith.

Reply Obj. 4: The faith of the believer is not directed to such and
such accidents of bread, but to the fact that the true body of Christ
is under the appearances of sensible bread, when it is rightly
consecrated. Hence if it be not rightly consecrated, it does not
follow that anything false comes under faith.


Whether the Object of Faith Can Be Something Seen?

Objection 1: It would seem that the object of faith is something
seen. For Our Lord said to Thomas (John 20:29): "Because thou hast
seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed." Therefore vision and faith
regard the same object.

Obj. 2: Further, the Apostle, while speaking of the knowledge of
faith, says (1 Cor. 13:12): "We see now through a glass in a dark
manner." Therefore what is believed is seen.

Obj. 3: Further, faith is a spiritual light. Now something is seen
under every light. Therefore faith is of things seen.

Obj. 4: Further, "Every sense is a kind of sight," as Augustine
states (De Verb. Domini, Serm. xxxiii). But faith is of things heard,
according to Rom. 10:17: "Faith . . . cometh by hearing." Therefore
faith is of things seen.

_On the contrary,_ The Apostle says (Heb. 11:1) that "faith is the
evidence of things that appear not."

_I answer that,_ Faith implies assent of the intellect to that which
is believed. Now the intellect assents to a thing in two ways. First,
through being moved to assent by its very object, which is known
either by itself (as in the case of first principles, which are held
by the habit of understanding), or through something else already
known (as in the case of conclusions which are held by the habit of
science). Secondly the intellect assents to something, not through
being sufficiently moved to this assent by its proper object, but
through an act of choice, whereby it turns voluntarily to one side
rather than to the other: and if this be accompanied by doubt or fear
of the opposite side, there will be opinion, while, if there be
certainty and no fear of the other side, there will be faith.

Now those things are said to be seen which, of themselves, move the
intellect or the senses to knowledge of them. Wherefore it is evident
that neither faith nor opinion can be of things seen either by the
senses or by the intellect.

Reply Obj. 1: Thomas "saw one thing, and believed another" [*St.
Gregory: Hom. xxvi in Evang.]: he saw the Man, and believing Him to
be God, he made profession of his faith, saying: "My Lord and my God."

Reply Obj. 2: Those things which come under faith can be considered
in two ways. First, in particular; and thus they cannot be seen and
believed at the same time, as shown above. Secondly, in general, that
is, under the common aspect of credibility; and in this way they are
seen by the believer. For he would not believe unless, on the
evidence of signs, or of something similar, he saw that they ought to
be believed.

Reply Obj. 3: The light of faith makes us see what we believe. For
just as, by the habits of the other virtues, man sees what is
becoming to him in respect of that habit, so, by the habit of faith,
the human mind is directed to assent to such things as are becoming
to a right faith, and not to assent to others.

Reply Obj. 4: Hearing is of words signifying what is of faith, but
not of the things themselves that are believed; hence it does not
follow that these things are seen.


Online LibraryThomas AquinasSumma Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province → online text (page 1 of 168)