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so by the gift of piety he pays worship and duty not only to
God, but also to all men on account of their relationship to
God. Hence it belongs to piety to honour the saints, and
not to contradict the Scriptures whether one understands
them or not, as Augustine says {De Doctr. Christ, ii.). Con-
sequently it also assists those who are in a state of unhappi-
ness. And although this act has no place in heaven,
especially after the Day of Judgement, yet piety will exer-
cise its principal act, which is to revere God with filial
affection: for it is then above all that this act will be ful-
filled, according to Wis. v. 5, Behold how they are numbered
among the children of God. The saints will also mutually
honour one another. Now, however, before the Judgement
Day, the saints have pity on those also who are living in
this unhappy state.



Q. 121. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 174



Second Article.

whether the second beatitude, " blessed are the
meek," corresponds to the gift of piety ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that the second beatitude, Blessed
are the meek, does not correspond to the gift of piety. For
piety is the gift corresponding to justice, to which rather
belongs the fourth beatitude. Blessed are they that hunger and
thirst after justice, or the fifth beatitude. Blessed are the
merciful, since, as stated above (A. i, Ohj. 3), the works of
mercy belong to piety. Therefore the second beatitude
does not pertain to the gift of piety.

Ohj. 2. Further, The gift of piety is directed by the gift
of knowledge, which is united to it in the enumeration of
the gifts (Isa. xi.). Now direction and execution extend
to the same matter. Since, then, the third beatitude, Blessed
are they that mourn, corresponds to the gift of knowledge,
it seems that the second beatitude corresponds to piety.

Ohj. 3. Further, The fruits correspond to the beatitudes
and gifts, as stated above (I. -II., Q. LXX., A. 2). Now
among the fruits, goodness and benignity seem to agree with
piety rather than mildness, which pertains to meekness.
Therefore the second beatitude does not correspond to the
gift of piety.

On the contrary, Augustine says [De Serm. Dom. in Monte
i.) : Piety agrees with the meek.

I answer that. In adapting the beatitudes to the gifts a
twofold congruity may be observed. One is according to
the order in which they are given, and Augustine seems to
have followed this : wherefore he assigns the first beatitude
to the lowest gift, namely, fear, and the second beatitude.
Blessed are the meek, to piety, and so on. Another congruity
may be observed in keeping with the special nature of each
gift and beatitude. In this way one must adapt the beati-
tudes to the gifts according to their objects and acts: and
thus the fourth and fifth beatitudes would correspond to



175 PIETY Q. 121. Art. 2

piety, rather than the second. Yet the second beatitude
has a certain congruity with piety, inasmuch as meekness
removes the obstacles to acts of piety.

This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply Ohj. 2. Taking the beatitudes and gifts according
to their proper natures, the same beatitude must needs
correspond to knowledge and piety : but taking them accord-
ing to their order, different beatitudes correspond to them,
although a certain congruity may be observed, as stated
above.

Reply Ohj. 3. In the fruits goodness and benignity may
be directly ascribed to piety; and mildness indirectly in so
far as it removes obstacles to acts of piety, as stated above.



QUESTION CXXII.

OF THE PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE.

{In Six Articles.)

We must now consider the precepts of justice, under which
head there are six points of inquiry : (i) Whether the precepts
of the decalogue are precepts of justice ? (2) Of the first
precept of the decalogue : (3) Of the second: (4) Of the
third: (5) Of the fourth: (6) Of the other six.

First Article.

whether the precepts of the decalogue are
precepts of justice ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that the precepts of the decalogue
are not precepts of justice. For the intention of a lawgiver
is to make the citizens virtuous in respect of every virtue, as
stated in Ethic, ii. i. Wherefore, according to Ethic, v. i, the
law prescribes about all acts of all virtues. Now the precepts
of the decalogue are the first principles of the whole Divine
Law. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue do not per-
tain to justice alone.

Obj. 2. Further, It would seem that to justice belong
especially the judicial precepts, which are condivided with
the moral precepts, as stated above (I.-IL, Q. XCIX., A. 4).
But the precepts of the decalogue are moral precepts, as
stated above (I.-IL, Q. C, A. 3). Therefore the precepts
of the decalogue are not precepts of justice.

Obj. 3. Further, The Law contains chiefly precepts about
acts of justice regarding the common good, for instance about
public officers and the like. But there is no mention of

176



177 PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE Q. 122. Art. i

these in the precepts of the decalogue. Therefore it seems
that the precepts of the decalogue do not properly belong
to justice.

Ohj. 4. Eurther, The precepts of the decalogue are divided
into two tables, corresponding to the love of God and the
love of our neighbour, both of which regard the virtue of
charity. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue belong to
charity rather than to justice.

On the contrary, Seemingly justice is the sole virtue whereby
we are directed to another. Now we are directed to another
by all the precepts of the decalogue, as is evident if one con-
sider each of them. Therefore all the precepts of the deca-
logue pertain to justice.

/ answer that, The precepts of the decalogue are the first
principles of the Law: and the natural reason assents to
them at once, as to principles that are most evident. Now
it is altogether evident that the notion of duty, which is
essential to a precept, appears in justice, which is of one
towards another. Because in those matters that relate to
himself it would seem at a glance that man is master of him-
self, and that he may do as he likes : whereas in matters that
refer to another it appears manifestly that a man is under
obligation to render to another that which is his due.
Hence the precepts of the decalogue must needs pertain to
justice. Wherefore the first three precepts are about acts
of religion, which is the chief part of justice; the fourth
precept is about acts of piety, which is the second part of
justice; and the six remaining are about justice commonly
so called, which is observed among equals.

Reply Ohj. i. The intention of the law is to make all men
virtuous, but in a certain order, namely, by first of all
giving them precepts about those things where the notion
of duty is most manifest, as stated above.

Reply Ohj. 2. The judicial precepts are determinations
of the moral precepts, in so far as these are directed to one's
neighbour, just as the ceremonial precepts are determinations
of the moral precepts in so far as these are directed to God.
Hence neither precepts are contained in the decalogue : and
II. ii. 4. 12



Q. 122. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 178

yet they are determinations of the precepts of the decalogue,
and therefore pertain to justice.

Reply Ohj. 3. Things that concern the common good
must needs be administered in different ways according to
the difference of men. Hence they were to be given a
place not among the precepts of the decalogue, but among
the judicial precepts.

Reply Ohj. 4. The precepts of the decalogue pertain to
charity as their end, according to i Tim. i. 5, The end of the
commandment is chanty: but they belong to justice, inasmuch
as they refer immediately to acts of justice.

Second Article.

whether the first precept of the decalogue
is fittingly expressed ?

We proceed thus to the Second A Hide : —

Objection i. It seems that the first precept of the deca-
logue is unfittingly expressed. For man is more bound
to God than to his father in the flesh, according to Heb. xii. 9,
How much more shall we (Vulg., — shall we not much more)
obey the Father of spirits and live? Now the precept of
piety, whereby man honours his father, is expressed affirma-
tively in these words: Honour thy father and thy mother.
Much more, therefore, should the first precept of religion,
whereby all honour God, be expressed affirmatively, espe-
cially as affirmation is naturally prior to negation.

Obj. 2. Further, The first precept of the decalogue per-
tains to religion, as stated above (A. i). Now religion,
since it is one virtue, has one act. Yet in the first precept
three acts are forbidden : since we read first : Thou shall not
have strange gods before Me; secondly, Thou shall not make
to thyself any graven thing ; and thirdly, Thou shall not adore
them nor serve them. Therefore the first precept is unfit-
tingly expressed.

Obj. 3. Further, Augustine says {De decem chord, ix.) that
the first precept forbids the sin of superstition. But there are
many wicked superstitions besides idolatry, as stated above



179 PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE Q. 122. Art. 2

(Q. XCIL, A. 2). Therefore it was insufficient to forbid
idolatry alone.

On the contrary, stands the authority of Scripture.

/ answer that, It pertains to law to make men good, where-
fore it behoved the precepts of the Law to be set in order
according to the order of generation, the order, to wit, of
man's becoming good. Now two things must be observed
in the order of generation. The first is that the first part
is the first thing to be established; thus in the generation of
an animal the first thing to be formed is the heart, and in
building a home the first thing to be set up is the foundation :
and in the goodness of the soul the first part is goodness of
the will, the result of which is that a man makes good use
of every other goodness. Now the goodness of the will
depends on its object, which is its end. Wherefore since
man was to be directed to virtue by means of the Law, the
first thing necessary was, as it were, to lay the foundation
of religion, whereby man is duly directed to God, Who is
the last end of man's will.

The second thing to be observed in the order of genera-
tion is that in the first place contraries and obstacles have
to be removed. Thus the farmer first purifies the soil, and
afterwards sows his seed, according to Jerem. iv. 3, Break
up anew your fallow ground, and sow not upon thorns. Hence
it behoved man, first of all to be instructed in religion, so as
to remove the obstacles to true religion. Now the chief
obstacle to religion is for man to adhere to a false god, accord-
ing to Matth. vi. 04, You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore in the first precept of the Law the worship of
false gods is excluded.

Reply Ohj. i. In point of fact there is one affirmative
precept about religion, namely. Remember that thou keep
holy the Sabbath Day. Still the negative precepts had to be
given first, so that by their means the obstacles to religion
might be removed. For though affirmation naturally pre-
cedes negation, yet in the process of generation negation,
whereby obstacles are removed, comes first, as stated in
the Article. Especially is this true in matters concerning



Q. 122. Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 180

God, where negation is preferable to affirmation, on account
of our insufficiency, as Dionysius observes {Div. Nom. ii.)

Reply Ohj. 2. People worshipped strange gods in two
ways. For some served certain creatures as gods without
having recourse to images. Hence Varro says that for a
long time the ancient Romans worshipped gods without using
images: and this worship is first forbidden by the words.
Thou shall not have strange gods. Among others the worship
of false gods was observed by using certain images: and so
the very making of images was fittingly forbidden by the
words, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing, as also
the worship of those same images, by the words, Thou shalt
not adore them, etc.

Reply Ohj. 3. All other kinds of superstition proceed from
some compact, tacit or explicit, with the demons; hence all
are understood to be forbidden by the words, Thou shalt not
have strange gods.

Third Article.

whether the second precept of the decalogue
is fittingly expressed ?

We proceed thus to the Third Article : —

Objection i. It seems that the second precept of the deca-
logue is unfittingly expressed. For this precept. Thou shalt
not take the name of thy God in vain is thus explained by a
gloss on Exod. xx. 7: Thou shalt not deem the Son of God to
he a creature, so that it forbids an error against faith. Again,
a gloss on the words of Deut. v. 11, Thou shalt not take the
name of . . . thy God in vain, adds, i.e. hy giving the name of
God to wood or stone, as though they forbade a false confes-
sion of faith, which, like error, is an act of unbelief. Now
unbelief precedes superstition, as faith precedes reHgion.
Therefore this precept should have preceded the first,
whereby superstition is forbidden.

Ohj. 2. Further, The name of God is taken for many
purposes — for instance, those of praise, of working miracles,
and generally speaking in conjunction with all we say or do,
according to^Col. iii. 17, All whatsoever you do in word or in



i8i PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE Q. 122. Art. 3

work . . . doye in the name of the Lord. Therefore the precept
forbidding the taking of God's name in vain seems to be
more universal than the precept forbidding superstition,
and thus should have preceded it.

Ohj. 3. Further, A gloss on Exod. xx. 7 expounds the
precept. Thou shalt not take the name of . . . thy God in vain,
namely, by swearing to nothing. Hence this precept would
seem to forbid useless swearing, that is to say, swearing
without judgement. But false swearing, which is without
truth, and unjust swearing, which is without justice, are
much more grievous. Therefore this precept should rather
have forbidden them.

Ohj. 4. Further, Blasphemy or any word or deed that is
an insult to God is much more grievous than perjury. There-
fore blasphemy and other like sins should rather have been
forbidden by this precept.

Ohj. 5. Further, God's names are many. Therefore it
should not have been said indefinitely: Thou shalt not take
the name of . . . thy God in vain.

On the contrary stands the authority of Scripture.

I answer that, In one who is being instructed in virtue
it is necessary to remove obstacles to true religion before
establishing him in true religion. Now a thing is opposed
to true religion in two ways. First, by excess, when, to
wit, that which belongs to rehgion is given to others than to
whom it is due, and this pertains to superstition. Secondly,
by lack, as it were, of reverence, when, to wit, God is con-
temned, and this pertains to the vice of irreligion, as stated
above (Q. XCVIL, in the preamble, and in the Article that
follows). Now superstition hinders rehgion by preventing
man from acknowledging God so as to worship Him: and
when a man's mind is engrossed in some undue worship,
he cannot at the same time give due worship to God, accord-
ing to Isa. xxviii. 20, The hed is straitened, so that one must
fall out, i.e. either the true God or a false god must fall out
from man's heart, and a short covering cannot cover hoth.
On the other hand, irreligion hinders religion by preventing
man from honouring God after he has acknowledged Him.



Q. 122. Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 182

Now one must first of all acknowledge God with a view to
worship, before honouring Him we have acknowledged.

For this reason the precept forbidding superstition is
placed before the second precept, which forbids perjury that
pertains to irreligion.

Reply 01 j. I. These expositions are mystical. The literal
explanation is that which is given Deut. v. 11: Thou shall
not take the name of . . . thy God in vain, namely, hy swearing
on that which is not.*'

Reply 01 j. 2. This precept does not forbid all taking of
the name of God, but properly the taking of God's name in
confirmation of a man's word by way of an oath, because
men are wont to take God's name more frequently in this
way. Nevertheless we may understand that in consequence
all inordinate taking of the Divine name is forbidden by
this precept : and it is in this sense that we are to take the
explanation quoted in the First Objection.

Reply Obj. 3. To swear to nothing means to swear to that
which is not. This pertains to false swearing, which is
chiefly called perjury, as stated above (Q.XCVIIL,A. i, ad^).
For when a man swears to that which is false, his swearing
is vain in itself, since it is not supported by the truth. On
the other hand, when a man swears without judgement,
through levity, if he swear to the truth, there is no vanity
on the part of the oath itself, but only on the part of the
swearer.

Reply Obj. 4. Just as when we instruct a man in some
science, we begin by putting before him certain general
maxims, even so the Law, which forms man to virtue by
instructing him in the precepts of the decalogue, which are
the first of all precepts, gave expression, by prohibition or
by command, to those things which are of most common
occurrence in the course of human life. Hence the precepts
of the decalogue include the prohibition of perjury, which is
of more frequent occurrence than blasphemy, since man does
not fall so often into the latter sin.

* Vulg., — for he shall not be unpunished that taketh His name upon
a vain thing.



i83 PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE Q. 122. Art. 4

Reply Ohj. 5. Reverence is due to the Divine names on
the part of the thing signified, which is one, and not on the
part of the signifying words, which are many. Hence it is
expressed in the singular : Thou shall not take the name of . . .
thy God in vain: since it matters not in which of God's names
perjury is committed.



Fourth Article.

whether the third precept of the decalogue, concern-
ing the hallowing of the sabbath, is fittingly
expressed ?

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article : —

Objection i. It seems that the third precept of the deca-
logue, concerning the hallowing of the Sabbath, is unfittingly
expressed. For this, understood spiritually, is a general
precept : since Bede in commenting on Luke xiii. 14, The ruler
of the synagogue being angry that He had healed on the Sabbath,
says {Comment, iv.): The Law forbids, not to heal man on
the Sabbath, but to do servile works, i.e. to burden oneself with
sin. Taken literally it is a ceremonial precept, for it is
written (Exod. xxxi. 13): See that you keep My Sabbath:
because it is a sign between Me and you in your generations.
Now the precepts of the decalogue are both spiritual and
moral. Therefore it is unfittingly placed among the precepts
of the decalogue.

Obj. 2i. Further, The ceremonial precepts of the Law
contain sacred things, sacrifices, sacraments and observances,
as stated above (I.-IL, Q. CL, A. 4). Now sacred things
comprised not only sacred days, but also sacred places and
sacred vessels, and so on. Moreover, there were many sacred
days other than the Sabbath. Therefore it was unfitting
to omit all other ceremonial observances and to mention
only that of the Sabbath.

Obj. 3. Further, Whoever breaks a precept of the deca-
logue, sins. But in the Old Law some who broke the obser-
vances of the Sabbath did not sin — for instance, those who
circumcised their sons on the eighth day, and the priests



Q. 122. Art. 4 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 184

who worked in the temple on the Sabbath. Also Elias
(3 Kings xix.), who journeyed for forty days unto the mount
of God, Horeb, must have travelled on a Sabbath : the priests
also who carried the ark of the Lord for seven days, as
related in Josue vii., must be understood to have carried it
on a Sabbath. Again it is written (Luke xiii. 15) : Doth not
every one of you on the Sabbath day loose his ox or his ass . . .
and lead them to water ? Therefore it is unfittingly placed
among the precepts of the decalogue.

Obj. 4. Further, The precepts of the decalogue have to
be observed also under the New Law. Yet in the New Law
this precept is not observed, neither in the point of the
Sabbath day, nor as to the Lord's day, on which men cook
their food, travel, fish, and do many like things. There-
fore the precept of the observance of the Sabbath is un-
fittingly expressed.

On the contrary stands the authority of Scripture.

/ answer that, The obstacles to true reKgion being removed
by the first and second precepts of the decalogue, as stated
above (AA. 2, 3), it remained for the third precept to be
given whereby man is established in true religion. Now it
belongs to religion to give worship to God: and just as the
Divine scriptures teach us the interior worship under the guise
of certain corporal similitudes, so is external worship given
to God under the guise of sensible signs. And since for
the most part man is induced to pay interior worship, con-
sisting in prayer and devotion, by the interior prompting
of the Holy Ghost, a precept of the Law was necessary re-
specting the exterior worship that consists in sensible signs.
Now the precepts of the decalogue are, so to speak, first and
common principles of the Law, and consequently the third
precept of the decalogue prescribes the exterior worship of
God as the sign of a universal boon that concerns all. This
universal boon was the work of the Creation of the world,
from which work God is stated to have rested on the seventh
day : and in sign of this we are commanded to keep holy the
seventh day — that is, to set it aside as a day to be given to God.
Hence after the precept about the hallowing of the Sabbath



i85 PRECEPTS OF JUSTICE Q. 122. Art. 4

the reason for it is given: For in six days the Lord made
heaven and earth . . . and rested on the seventh day.

Reply Obj. i. The precept about hallowing the Sabbath,
understood literally, is partly moral and partly ceremonial.
It is a moral precept in the point of commanding man to set
aside a certain time to be given to Divine things. For there
is in man a natural inclination to set aside a certain time for
each necessary thing, such as refreshment of the body, sleep,
and so forth. Hence according to the dictate of reason,
man sets aside a certain time for spiritual refreshment, by
which man's mind is refreshed in God. And thus to have a
certain time set aside for occupying oneself with Divine
things is the matter of a moral precept. But, in so far as
this precept specializes the time as a sign representing the
Creation of the world, it is a ceremonial precept. Again,
it is a ceremonial precept in its allegorical signification, as
representative of Christ's rest in the tomb on the seventh
day : as also in its moral signification, as representing cessation
from all sinful acts, and the mind's rest in God, in which sense,
too, it is a general precept. Again, it is a ceremonial precept
in its analogical signification, as foreshadowing the enjoy-
ment of God in heaven. Hence the precept about hallowing
the Sabbath is placed among the precepts of the decalogue,
as a moral, but not as a ceremonial precept.

Reply Obj. 2. The other ceremonies of the Law are signs
of certain particular Divine works: but the observance of
the Sabbath is representative of a general boon, namely,
the production of all creatures. Hence it was fitting that
it should be placed among the general precepts of the deca-
logue, rather than any other ceremonial precept of the Law.

Reply Obj. 3. Two things are to be observed in the hallow-
ing of the Sabbath. One of these is the end: and this is
that man occupy himself with Divine things, and is signified
in the words : Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
For in the Law those things are said to be holy which are
applied to the Divine worship. The other thing is cessation
from work, and is signified in the words (Exod. xx. 11), On
the seventh day . . . thou shall do no work. The kind of work



Q. 122. Art. 4 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA '' 186

meant appears from Levit. xxiii. 3, You shall do no servile*
work on that day. Now servile work is so called from servi-
tude : and servitude is threefold. One, whereby man is the
servant of sin, according to John viii. 34, Whosoever com-
mitteth sin is the servant of sin, and in this sense all sinful
acts are servile. Another servitude is whereby one man
serves another. Now one man serves another not with his
mind but with his body, as stated above (Q. CIV., AA. 5, 6,


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