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if it be delayed a long time, it is more difficult. Secondly,
because the very delay of the good we hope for, is of a nature
to cause sorrow, according to Prov. xiii. 12, Hope that is
deferred afflicteth the soul. Hence there may be patience
in bearing this trial, as in enduring any other sorrows.
Accordingly longanimity and constancy are both comprised
under patience, in so far as both the delay of the hoped for
good (which regards longanimity) and the toil which man
endures in persistently accomplishing a good work (which
regards constancy) may be considered under the one aspect
of grievous evil.

For this reason Tully {De Inv. Rhet. ii.) in defining patience,
says that patience is the voluntary and prolonged endurance
of arduous and difficult things for the sake of virtue or profit.
By saying arduous he refers to constancy in good; when he
says difficult he refers to the grievousness of evil, which is
the proper object of patience; and by adding continued or
long lasting, he refers to longanimity, in so far as it has
something in common with patience.

This suffices for the Replies to the First and Second Objec-

Reply Obj. 3. That which is a long way off as to place,
though distant from us, is not simply distant from things
in nature, as that which is a long way off in point of time :

Q. 136. Art. 5 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 316

hence the comparison fails. Moreover, what is remote as
to place offers no difficulty save in the point of time, since
what is placed a long way from us is a long time coming to us.
We grant the fourth argument. We must observe,
however, that the reason for the difference assigned by this
gloss is that it is hard to bear with those who sin through
weakness, merely because they persist a long time in
evil, wherefore it is said that they are borne with longa-
nimity : whereas the very fact of sinning through pride seems
to be unendurable; for which reason those who sin through
pride are stated to be borne with patience.



{In Four Articles.)

We must now consider perseverance and the vices opposed
to it. Under the head of perseverance there are four
points of inquiry : (i) Whether perseverance is a virtue ?
(2) Whether it is a part of fortitude ? (3) Of its relation to
constancy: (4) Whether it needs the help of grace ?

First Article,
whether perseverance is a virtue ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that perseverance is not a virtue.
For, according to the Philosopher {Ethic, vii. 7), continency
is greater than perseverance. But continency is not a
virtue, as stated in Ethic, iv. 9. Therefore perseverance is
not a virtue.

Ohj. 2. Further, By virtue man lives aright, according to
Augustine {De Lib. Arh. ii. 19). Now according to the same
authority {De Per sever, i.), no one can he said to have per-
severance while living, unless he persevere until death. There-
fore perseverance is not a virtue.

Ohj. 3. Further, It is requisite of every virtue that one
should persist unchangeably in the work of that virtue, as
stated in Ethic, ii. 4. But this is what we understand by
perseverance: for Tully says {De Inv. Rhet. ii.) that perse-
verance is the fixed and continued persistence in a well-con-
sidered purpose. Therefore perseverance is not a special
virtue, but a condition of every virtue.


Q. 137. Art. i THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 318

On the contrary, Andronicus* says that perseverance is a
habit regarding things to which we ought to stand, and those
to which we ought not to stand, as well as those that are in-
different. Now a habit that directs us to do something
well, or to omit something, is a virtue. Therefore perse-
verance is a virtue.

/ answer that, According to the Philosopher [Ethic, ii. 3),
virtue is about the difficult and the good; and so where there is
a special kind of difficulty or goodness, there is a special
virtue. Now a virtuous deed may involve goodness or
difficulty on two counts. First, from the act's very species,
which is considered in respect of the proper object of that
act : secondly, from the length of time, since to persist long
in something difficult involves a special difficulty. Hence
to persist long in something good until it is accompHshed
belongs to a special virtue.

Accordingly just as temperance and fortitude are special
virtues, for the reason that the one moderates pleasures of
touch (which is of itself a difficult thing), while the other
moderates fear and daring in connexion with dangers of
death (which also is something difficult in itself), so persever-
ance is a special virtue, since it consists in enduring delays in
the above or other virtuous deeds, so far as necessity requires.

Reply Obj. i. The Philosopher is taking perseverance
there, as it is found in one who bears those things which are
most difficult to endure long. Now it is difficult to endure,
not good, but evil. And evils that involve danger of death,
for the most part are not endured for a long time, because
often they soon pass away : wherefore it is not on this account
that perseverance has its chief title to praise. Among
other evils foremost are those which are opposed to pleasures
of touch, because evils of this kind affect the necessaries of
life: such are the lack of food and the like, which at times
call for long endurance. Now it is not difficult to endure
these things for a long time for one who grieves not much
at them, nor delights much in the contrary goods ; as in the
case of the temperate man, in whom these passions are not
violent. But they are most difficult to bear for one who is
* Chrysippus : in De Affect.

319 PERSEVERANCE Q. 137- Art. i

strongly affected by such things, through lacking the perfect
virtue that moderates these passions. Wherefore if perse-
verance be taken in this sense it is not a perfect virtue, but
something imperfect in the genus of virtue. On the other
hand, if we take perseverance as denoting long persistence
in any kind of difficult good, it is consistent in one who has
even perfect virtue : for even if it is less difficult for him to
persist, yet he persists in the more perfect good. Where-
fore suchlike perseverance may be a virtue, because virtue
derives perfection from the aspect of good rather than from
the aspect of difficulty.

Reply Obj. 2. Sometimes a virtue and its act go by the
same name: thus Augustine says {Trad, in Joan. Ixxix.):
Faith is to believe without seeing. Yet it is possible to have
a habit of virtue without performing the act: thus a poor
man has the habit of magnificence without exercising the
act. Sometimes, however, a person who has the habit,
begins to perform the act, yet does not accomplish it, for
instance a builder begins to build a house, but does not
complete it. Accordingly we must reply that the term
perseverance is sometimes used to denote the habit whereby
one chooses to persevere, sometimes for the act of perse-
vering: and sometimes one who has the habit of perseverance
chooses to persevere and begins to carry out his choice by
persisting for a time, yet completes not the act, through not
persisting to the end. Now the end is twofold : one is the
end of the work, the other is the end of human life. Properly
speaking it belongs to perseverance to persevere to the end
of the virtuous work, for instance that a soldier persevere
to the end of the fight, and the magnificent man until his
work be accomplished. There are, however, some virtues
whose acts must endure throughout the whole of life, such
as faith, hope, and charity, since they regard the last end
of the entire life of man. Wherefore as regards these which
are the principal virtues, the act of perseverance is not
accomplished until the end of life. It is in this sense that
Augustine speaks of perseverance as denoting the consum-
mate act of perseverance.

Q. 137. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA ' 320

Reply Ohj. 3. Unchangeable persistence may belong to
a virtue in two ways. First, on account of the intended end
that is proper to that virtue ; and thus to persist in good for
a long time until the end, belongs to a special virtue called
perseverance, which intends this as its special end. Secondly,
by reason of the relation of the habit to its subject : and thus
unchangeable persistence is consequent upon every virtue,
inasmuch as virtue is a quality difficult to change.

Second Article,
whether perseverance is a part of fortitude ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that perseverance is not a part of
fortitude. For, according to the Philosopher [Ethic, viii. 7),
perseverance is about pains of touch. But these belong to
temperance. Therefore perseverance is a part of temper-
ance rather than of fortitude.

Obj. 2. Further, Every part of a moral virtue is about
certain passions which that virtue moderates. Now perse-
verance does not imply moderation of the passions: since
the more violent the passions, the more praiseworthy is it
to persevere in accordance with reason. Therefore it seems
that perseverance is a part not of a moral virtue, but rather
of prudence which perfects the reason.

Obj. 3. Further, Augustine says (De Persev. i.) that no
one can lose perseverance; whereas one can lose the other
virtues. Therefore perseverance is greater than all the
other virtues. Now a principal virtue is greater than its
part. Therefore perseverance is not a part of a virtue,
but is itself a principal virtue.

On the contrary, Tully (De Inv. Rhet. ii.) reckons perse-
verance as a part of fortitude.

/ answer that, As stated above (Q. CXXIIL, A. 2: I. II.,
Q. LXL, A A. 3, 4), a principal virtue is one to which is
principally ascribed something that lays claim to the praise
of virtue, inasmuch as it practises it in connexion with its
own matter, wherein it is most difficult of accomplishment.

321 PERSEVERANCE Q. 137. Art. 2

In accordance with this it has been stated (Q. CXXIIL, A. 2)
that fortitude is a principal virtue, because it observes
firmness in matters wherein it is most difficult to stand firm,
namely in dangers of death. Wherefore it follows of neces-
sity that every virtue which has a title to praise for the firm
endurance of something difficult must be annexed to forti-
tude as secondary to principal virtue. Now the endurance
of difficulty arising from delay in accomplishing a good
work gives perseverance its claim to praise: nor is this so
difficult as to endure dangers of death. Therefore perse-
verance is annexed to fortitude, as secondary to principal

Reply Ohj. i. The annexing of secondary to principal
virtues depends not only on the matter,* but also on the
mode, because in everything form is of more account than
matter. Wherefore although, as to matter, perseverance
seems to have more in common with temperance than
with fortitude, yet, in mode, it has more in common with
fortitude, in the point of standing firm against the difficulty
arising from length of time.

Reply Ohj. 2. The perseverance of which the Philosopher
speaks {Ethic, vii. 4, 7) does not moderate any passions, but
consists merely in a certain firmness of reason and will.
But perseverance, considered as a virtue, moderates certain
passions, namely fear of weariness or failure on account of
the delay. Hence this virtue, like fortitude, is in the

Reply Ohj. 3. Augustine speaks there of perseverance, as
denoting, not a virtuous habit, but a virtuous act sustained
to the end, according to Matth. xxiv. 13, He that shall perse-
vere to the end, he shall he saved. Hence it is incompatible
with suchlike perseverance for it to be lost, since it would no
longer endure to the end.

* Cf. Q. CXXXVI., A. 4 ad 2.

II. ii. 4 21

Q. 137- Art. 3 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 322

Third Article,
whether constancy pertains to perseverance ?

We proceed thus to the Third Article : —

Objection i. It seems that constancy does not pertain to
perseverance. For constancy pertains to patience, as
stated above (Q. CXXXVIL, A. 5): and patience differs
from perseverance. Therefore constancy does not pertain
to perseverance.

Obj. 2. Further, Virtue is about the difficult and the good.
Now it does not seem difficult to be constant in Httle works,
but only in great deeds, which pertain to magnificence.
Therefore constancy pertains to magnificence rather than
to perseverance.

Obj. 3. Further, If constancy pertained to perseverance,
it would seem nowise to differ from it, since both denote
a kind of unchangeableness. Yet they differ: for Macro-
bius [De Somn. Scip. i.) condivides constancy with firm-
ness by which he indicates perseverance, as stated above
(Q. CXXVIII., A. 6). Therefore constancy does not pertain
to perseverance.

On the contrary, One is said to be constant because one
stands to a thing. Now it belongs to perseverance to stand
to certain things, as appears from the definition given by
Andronicus. Therefore constancy belongs to perseverance.

/ answer that, Perseverance and constancy agree as to
end, since it belongs to both to persist firmly in some good :
but they differ as to those things which make it difficult to
persist in good. Because the virtue of perseverance properly
makes man persist firmly in good, against the difficulty that
arises from the very continuance of the act: whereas con-
stancy makes him persist firmly in good against difficulties
arising from any other external hindrances. Hence perse-
verance takes precedence of constancy as a part of fortitude,
because the difficulty arising from continuance of action
is more intrinsic to the act of virtue than that which arises
from external obstacles.

323 PERSEVERANCE Q. 137. Art. 4

Reply Obj. 1. External obstacles to persistence in good
are especially those which cause sorrow. Now patience is
about sorrow, as stated above (Q. CXXXVL, A. i). Hence
constancy agrees with perseverance as to end : while it agrees
with patience as to those things which occasion difficulty.
Now the end is of most account : wherefore constancy per-
tains to perseverance rather than to patience.

Reply Obj. 2. It is more difficult to persist in great deeds :
yet in little or ordinary deeds, it is difficult to persist for any
length of time, if not on account of the greatness of the deed
which magnificence considers, yet from its very continuance
which perseverance regards. Hence constancy may pertain
to both.

Reply Obj. 3. Constancy pertains to perseverance in so
far as it has something in common with it : but it is not the
same thing in the point of their difference, as stated in the

Fourth Article,
whether perseverance needs the help of grace ?*

We proceed thus to the Fourth Article : —

Objection i. It seems that perseverance does not need the
help of grace. For perseverance is a virtue, as stated above
(A. i). Now according to Tully (De Inv, Rhef. ii.) virtue
acts after the manner of nature. Therefore the sole inclina-
tion of virtue suffices for perseverance. Therefore this does
not need the help of grace.

Obj. 2. Further, The gift of Christ's grace is greater than
the harm brought upon us by Adam, as appears from
Rom. V. 15 seq. Now before sin man was so framed that
he could persevere by means of what he had received, as Augus-
tine says {De Correp. et Grat. xi.). Much more therefore
can man, after being repaired by the grace of Christ, perse-
vere without the help of a further grace.

Obj. 3. Further, Sinful deeds are sometimes more difficult
than deeds of virtue: hence it is said in the person of the
wicked (Wis. v, 7) : We . . . have walked through hard ways.
* Cf. I.-IL. Q. CIX.. A. 10.

Q. 137. Art. 4 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 324

Now some persevere in sinful deeds without the help of
another. Therefore man can also persevere in deeds of
virtue without the help of grace.

On the contrary, Augustine says [De Persev. i.): We hold
that perseverance is a gift of God, whereby we persevere unto
the end, in Christ.

I answer that, As stated above (A. 1, ad 2: A. 2, ad 3),
perseverance has a twofold signification. First, it denotes
the habit of perseverance, considered as a virtue. In this
way it needs the gift of habitual grace, even as the other
infused virtues. Secondly, it may be taken to denote the
act of perseverance enduring until death: and in this sense
it needs not only habitual grace, but also the gratuitous
help of God sustaining man in good until the end of life, as
stated above (I.-II., Q. CIX., A. 10), when we were treating
of grace. Because, since the free-will is changeable by its
very nature, which changeableness is not taken away from
it by the habitual grace bestowed in the present life, it is
not in the power of the free-will, albeit repaired by grace,
to abide unchangeably in good, though it is in its power to
choose this : for it is often in our power to choose yet not to

Reply Obj. i. The virtue of perseverance, so far as it is
concerned, inclines one to persevere: yet since it is a habit,
and a habit is a thing one uses at will, it does not follow
that a person who has the habit of virtue uses it unchange-
ably until death.

Reply Obj. 2. As Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. xi.),
it was given to the first man, not to persevere, but to be able to
persevere of his free-will: because then no corruption was in
human nature to make perseverance difficult. Now, however,
by the grace of Christ, the predestined receive not only the
possibility of persevering, but perseverance itself. Wherefore
the first man whom no man threatened, of his own free-will
rebelling against a threatening God, forfeited so great a hap-
piness and so great a facility of avoiding sin: whereas these,
although the world rage against their constancy, have persevered
in faith.

325 PERSEVERANCE Q. 137. Art. 4

Reply Obj. 3. Man is able by himself to fall into sin, but
he cannot by himself arise from sin without the help of
grace. Hence by faUing into sin, so far as he is concerned
man makes himself to be persevering in sin, unless he be
delivered by God's grace. On the other hand, by doing
good he does not make himself to be persevering in good,
because he is able, by himself, to sin: wherefore he needs
the help of grace for that end



{In Two Articles.)

We must now consider the vices opposed to perseverance;
under which head there are two points of inquiry: (i) Of
effeminacy; (2) Of pertinacity.

First Article,
whether effeminacy* is opposed to perseverance ?

We proceed thus to the First Article : —

Objection i. It seems that effeminacy is not opposed to
perseverance. For a gloss on i Cor. vi. 9, 10, Nor adulterers,
nor the effeminate, nor Hers with mankind, expounds the text
thus: Effeminate — ^i.e. erotic, subject to womanish complaints.
But this is opposed to chastity. Therefore effeminacy is
not a vice opposed to perseverance.

Obj. 2. Further, The Philosopher says {Ethic, vii. 7) that
delicacy is a kind of effeminacy. But to be delicate seems
akin to intemperance. Therefore effeminacy is not opposed
to perseverance but to temperance.

Obj. 3. Further, The Philosopher says [ibid.) that the
man who is fond of amusement is effeminate. Now im-
moderate fondness of amusement is opposed to evrpaTreXla,
which is the virtue about pleasures of play, as stated in
Ethic, iv. 8. Therefore effeminacy is not opposed to perse-

On the contrary, The Philosopher says {Ethic, vii. 7) that
the persevering man is opposed to the effeminate.

* MoUities, literally softness,

327 EFFEMINACY Q. 138. Art. i

I answer that, As stated above (Q. CXXXVII., AA. i, 2),
perseverance is deserving of praise because thereby a man
does not forsake a good on account of long endurance of
difficulties and toils: and it is directly opposed to this,
seemingly, for a man to be ready to forsake a good on account
of difficulties which he cannot endure. This is what we
understand by effeminacy, because a thing is said to be
soft if it readily yields to the touch. Now a thing is not
declared to be soft through yielding to a heavy blow, for
walls yield to the battering-ram. Wherefore a man is not
said to be effeminate if he yields to heavy blows. Hence
the Philosopher says {Ethic, vii. 7) that it is no wonder, if
a person is overcome by strong and overwhelming pleasures
or sorrows; hut he is to be pardoned if he struggles against
them. Now it is evident that fear of danger is more impel-
ling than the desire of pleasure: wherefore Tully says
(De Offic. i.) under the heading True magnanimity consists
of two things: It is inconsistent for one who is not cast down
by fear, to be defeated by lust, or who has proved himself
unbeaten by toil, to yield to pleasure. Moreover, pleasure
itself is a stronger motive of attraction than sorrow, for the
lack of pleasure is a motive of withdrawal, since lack of
pleasure is a pure privation. Wherefore, according to the
Philosopher [loc. cit.), properly speaking an effeminate man is
one who withdraws from good on account of sorrow caused
by lack of pleasure, yielding as it were to a weak motion.

Reply Obj. 1. This effeminacy is caused in two ways.
In one way, by custom: for where a man is accustomed to
enjoy pleasures, it is more difficult for him to endure the
lack of them. In another way, by natural disposition,
because, to wit, his mind is less persevering through the
frailty of his temperament. This is how women are com-
pared to men, as the Philosopher says {Ethic, vii., loc. cit.):
wherefore those who are subject to womanish complaints
are said to be effeminate, being womanish themselves, as it

Reply Obj. 2. Toil is opposed to bodily pleasure : wherefore
it is only toilsome things that are a hindrance to pleasures.

Q. 13S. Art. 2 THE " SUMMA THEOLOGICA " 328

Now the delicate are those who cannot endure toils, nor
anything that diminishes pleasure. Hence it is written
(Deut. xxviii. 56) : The tender and delicate woman, that could
not go upon the ground, nor set down her foot for . . . softness
(Douay, — niceness). Thus delicacy is a kind of effeminacy.
But properly speaking effeminacy regards lack of pleasures,
while delicacy regards the cause that hinders pleasure, for
instance toil or the like.

Reply Obj. 3. In play two things may be considered.
In the first place there is the pleasure, and thus inordinate
fondness of play is opposed to evrpaireXla. Secondly,
we may consider the relaxation or rest which is opposed to
toil. Accordingly just as it belongs to effeminacy to be
unable to endure toilsome things, so too it belongs thereto
to desire play or any other relaxation inordinately.

Second Article,
whether pertinacity is opposed to perseverance ?

We proceed thus to the Second Article : —

Objection i. It seems that pertinacity is not opposed to
perseverance. For Gregory says {Moral, xxxi.) that perti-
nacity arises from vainglory. But vainglory is not opposed
to perseverance but to magnanimity, as stated above
(Q. CXXXII., A. 2). Therefore pertinacity is not opposed
to perseverance.

Obj. 2. Further, If it is opposed to perseverance, this is so
either by excess or by deficiency. Now it is not opposed by
excess : because the pertinacious also yield to certain pleasure
and sorrow, since according to the Philosopher {Ethic, vii. 9)
they rejoice when they prevail, and grieve when their opinions
are rejected. And if it be opposed by deficiency, it will be
the same as effeminacy, which is clearly false. Therefore
pertinacity is nowise opposed to perseverance.

Ohj. 3. Further, Just as the persevering man persists
in good against sorrow, so too do the continent and the
temperate against pleasures, the brave against fear, and
the meek against anger. But pertinacity is over-persistence

329 PERTINACITY Q. 138. Art. 2

in something. Therefore pertinacity is not opposed to
perseverance more than to other virtues.

On the contrary, Tully says [De Inv. Rhet. ii.) that perti-
nacity is to perseverance as superstition is to religion. But
superstition is opposed to reHgion, as stated above (Q. XCIL,
A. i). Therefore pertinacity is opposed to perseverance.

/ answer that, As Isidore says [Etym. x.) a person is said to
be pertinacious who holds on impudently, as being utterly
tenacious. Pervicacious has the same meaning, for it sig-
nifies that a man perseveres in his purpose until he is vic-
torious : for the ancients called ' vicia ' what we call victory.
These the Philosopher (Ethic, vii. 9) calls lauxpo'yvoifiove^,
that is head-strong, or i^io<yva)^ove^, that is self-opinionated,

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