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


["III," "Tertia Pars"]

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

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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.

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* Numbered topics, set forth at the beginning of each question and
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* 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 the Fitness of the Incarnation
2. Of the Mode of Union of the Word Incarnate
3. Of the Mode of Union on the Part of the Person Assuming
4. Of the Mode of Union on the Part of the Human Nature
5. Of the Parts of Human Nature Which Were Assumed
6. Of the Order of Assumption
7. Of the Grace of Christ as an Individual Man
8. Of the Grace of Christ as He Is the Head of the Church
9. Of Christ's Knowledge in General
10. Of the Beatific Knowledge of Christ's Soul
11. Of the Knowledge Imprinted or Infused on the Soul of Christ
12. Of the Acquired or Empiric Knowledge of Christ's Soul
13. Of the Power of Christ's Soul
14. Of the Defects of Body Assumed by the Son of God
15. Of the Defects of Soul Assumed by Christ
16. Of Those Things Which Are Applicable to Christ in His Being
and Becoming
17. Of Christ's Unity of Being
18. Of Christ's Unity of Will
19. Of the Unity of Christ's Operation
20. Of Christ's Subjection to the Father
21. Of Christ's Prayer
22. Of the Priesthood of Christ
23. Of Adoption as Befitting to Christ
24. Of the Predestination of Christ
25. Of the Adoration of Christ
26. Of Christ as Called the Mediator of God and Man
- Editorial Note: St. Thomas and the Immaculate Conception
27. Of the Sanctification of the Blessed Virgin
28. Of the Virginity of the Mother of God
29. Of the Espousals of the Mother of God
30. Of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin
31. Of the Matter From Which the Saviour's Body Was Conceived
32. Of the Active Principle in Christ's Conception
33. Of the Mode and Order of Christ's Conception
34. Of the Perfection of the Child Conceived
35. Of Christ's Nativity
36. Of the Manifestation of the Newly Born Christ
37. Of Christ's Circumcision, and of the Other Legal Observances
Accomplished in Regard to the Child Christ
38. Of the Baptism of John
39. Of the Baptizing of Christ
40. Of Christ's Manner of Life
41. Of Christ's Temptation
42. Of Christ's Doctrine
43. Of the Miracles Worked by Christ, in General
44. Of Christ's Miracles Considered Specifically
45. Of Christ's Transfiguration
46. The Passion of Christ
47. Of the Efficient Cause of Christ's Passion
48. Of the Efficiency of Christ's Passion
49. Of the Effects of Christ's Passion
50. Of the Death of Christ
51. Of Christ's Burial
52. Of Christ's Descent into Hell
53. Of Christ's Resurrection
54. Of the Quality of Christ Rising Again
55. Of the Manifestation of the Resurrection
56. Of the Causality of Christ's Resurrection
57. Of the Ascension of Christ
58. Of Christ's Sitting at the Right Hand of the Father
59. Of Christ's Judiciary Power
60. What Is a Sacrament?
61. Of the Necessity of the Sacraments
62. Of the Sacraments' Principal Effect, Which Is Grace
63. Of the Other Effect of the Sacraments, Which Is a Character
64. Of the Causes of the Sacraments
65. Of the Number of the Sacraments
66. Of the Sacrament of Baptism
67. Of the Ministers by Whom the Sacrament of Baptism Is Conferred
68. Of Those Who Receive Baptism
69. Of the Effects of Baptism
70. Of Circumcision
71. Of the Preparations That Accompany Baptism
72. Of the Sacrament of Confirmation
73. Of the Sacrament of the Eucharist
74. Of the Matter of This Sacrament
75. Of the Change of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ
76. Of the Way in Which Christ Is in This Sacrament
77. Of the Accidents Which Remain in This Sacrament
78. Of the Form of This Sacrament
79. Of the Effects of This Sacrament
80. Of the Use or Receiving of This Sacrament in General
81. Of the Use Which Christ Made of This Sacrament at Its Institution
82. Of the Minister of This Sacrament
83. Of the Rite of This Sacrament
84. Of the Sacrament of Penance
85. Of Penance as a Virtue
86. Of the Effect of Penance, As Regards the Pardon of Mortal Sin
87. Of the Remission of Venial Sin
88. Of the Return of Sins Which Have Been Taken Away by Penance
89. Of the Recovery of Virtue by Means of Penance
90. Of the Parts of Penance, in General


["III," "Tertia Pars"]


Forasmuch as our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to "save His
people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21), as the angel announced, showed
unto us in His own Person the way of truth, whereby we may attain to
the bliss of eternal life by rising again, it is necessary, in order
to complete the work of theology, that after considering the last end
of human life, and the virtues and vices, there should follow the
consideration of the Saviour of all, and of the benefits bestowed by
Him on the human race.

Concerning this we must consider (1) the Saviour Himself; (2) the
sacraments by which we attain to our salvation; (3) the end of
immortal life to which we attain by the resurrection.

Concerning the first, a double consideration occurs: the first, about
the mystery of the Incarnation itself, whereby God was made man for
our salvation; the second, about such things as were done and
suffered by our Saviour - i.e. God incarnate.



(In Six Articles)

Concerning the first, three things occur to be considered: first, the
fitness of the Incarnation; secondly, the mode of union of the Word
Incarnate; thirdly, what follows this union.

Under the first head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it was fitting for God to become incarnate?

(2) Whether it was necessary for the restoration of the human race?

(3) Whether if there had been no sin God would have become incarnate?

(4) Whether He became incarnate to take away original sin rather than

(5) Whether it was fitting for God to become incarnate from the
beginning of the world?

(6) Whether His Incarnation ought to have been deferred to the end of
the world?


Whether It Was Fitting That God Should Become Incarnate?

Objection 1: It would seem that it was not fitting for God to become
incarnate. Since God from all eternity is the very essence of
goodness, it was best for Him to be as He had been from all eternity.
But from all eternity He had been without flesh. Therefore it was
most fitting for Him not to be united to flesh. Therefore it was not
fitting for God to become incarnate.

Obj. 2: Further, it is not fitting to unite things that are
infinitely apart, even as it would not be a fitting union if one were
"to paint a figure in which the neck of a horse was joined to the
head of a man" [*Horace, Ars. Poet., line 1]. But God and flesh are
infinitely apart; since God is most simple, and flesh is most
composite - especially human flesh. Therefore it was not fitting that
God should be united to human flesh.

Obj. 3: Further, a body is as distant from the highest spirit as evil
is from the highest good. But it was wholly unfitting that God, Who
is the highest good, should assume evil. Therefore it was not fitting
that the highest uncreated spirit should assume a body.

Obj. 4: Further, it is not becoming that He Who surpassed the
greatest things should be contained in the least, and He upon Whom
rests the care of great things should leave them for lesser things.
But God - Who takes care of the whole world - the whole universe of
things cannot contain. Therefore it would seem unfitting that "He
should be hid under the frail body of a babe in swathing bands, in
comparison with Whom the whole universe is accounted as little; and
that this Prince should quit His throne for so long, and transfer the
government of the whole world to so frail a body," as Volusianus
writes to Augustine (Ep. cxxxv).

_On the contrary,_ It would seem most fitting that by visible things
the invisible things of God should be made known; for to this end was
the whole world made, as is clear from the word of the Apostle (Rom.
1:20): "For the invisible things of God . . . are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made." But, as Damascene says (De
Fide Orth. iii, 1), by the mystery of the Incarnation are made known
at once the goodness, the wisdom, the justice, and the power or might
of God - "His goodness, for He did not despise the weakness of His own
handiwork; His justice, since, on man's defeat, He caused the tyrant
to be overcome by none other than man, and yet He did not snatch men
forcibly from death; His wisdom, for He found a suitable discharge
for a most heavy debt; His power, or infinite might, for there is
nothing greater than for God to become incarnate . . ."

_I answer that,_ To each thing, that is befitting which belongs to it
by reason of its very nature; thus, to reason befits man, since this
belongs to him because he is of a rational nature. But the very
nature of God is goodness, as is clear from Dionysius (Div. Nom. i).
Hence, what belongs to the essence of goodness befits God. But it
belongs to the essence of goodness to communicate itself to others,
as is plain from Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv). Hence it belongs to the
essence of the highest good to communicate itself in the highest
manner to the creature, and this is brought about chiefly by "His so
joining created nature to Himself that one Person is made up of these
three - the Word, a soul and flesh," as Augustine says (De Trin.
xiii). Hence it is manifest that it was fitting that God should
become incarnate.

Reply Obj. 1: The mystery of the Incarnation was not completed
through God being changed in any way from the state in which He had
been from eternity, but through His having united Himself to the
creature in a new way, or rather through having united it to Himself.
But it is fitting that a creature which by nature is mutable, should
not always be in one way. And therefore, as the creature began to be,
although it had not been before, so likewise, not having been
previously united to God in Person, it was afterwards united to Him.

Reply Obj. 2: To be united to God in unity of person was not fitting
to human flesh, according to its natural endowments, since it was
above its dignity; nevertheless, it was fitting that God, by reason
of His infinite goodness, should unite it to Himself for man's

Reply Obj. 3: Every mode of being wherein any creature whatsoever
differs from the Creator has been established by God's wisdom, and is
ordained to God's goodness. For God, Who is uncreated, immutable, and
incorporeal, produced mutable and corporeal creatures for His own
goodness. And so also the evil of punishment was established by God's
justice for God's glory. But evil of fault is committed by
withdrawing from the art of the Divine wisdom and from the order of
the Divine goodness. And therefore it could be fitting to God to
assume a nature created, mutable, corporeal, and subject to penalty,
but it did not become Him to assume the evil of fault.

Reply Obj. 4: As Augustine replies (Ep. ad Volusian. cxxxvii): "The
Christian doctrine nowhere holds that God was so joined to human
flesh as either to desert or lose, or to transfer and as it were,
contract within this frail body, the care of governing the universe.
This is the thought of men unable to see anything but corporeal
things . . . God is great not in mass, but in might. Hence the
greatness of His might feels no straits in narrow surroundings. Nor,
if the passing word of a man is heard at once by many, and wholly by
each, is it incredible that the abiding Word of God should be
everywhere at once?" Hence nothing unfitting arises from God becoming


Whether It Was Necessary for the Restoration of the Human Race That
the Word of God Should Become Incarnate?

Objection 1: It would seem that it was not necessary for the
reparation of the human race that the Word of God should become
incarnate. For since the Word of God is perfect God, as has been said
(I, Q. 4, AA. 1, 2), no power was added to Him by the assumption of
flesh. Therefore, if the incarnate Word of God restored human nature.
He could also have restored it without assuming flesh.

Obj. 2: Further, for the restoration of human nature, which had
fallen through sin, nothing more is required than that man should
satisfy for sin. Now man can satisfy, as it would seem, for sin; for
God cannot require from man more than man can do, and since He is
more inclined to be merciful than to punish, as He lays the act of
sin to man's charge, so He ought to credit him with the contrary act.
Therefore it was not necessary for the restoration of human nature
that the Word of God should become incarnate.

Obj. 3: Further, to revere God pertains especially to man's
salvation; hence it is written (Mal. 1:6): "If, then, I be a father,
where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear?" But men
revere God the more by considering Him as elevated above all, and far
beyond man's senses, hence (Ps. 112:4) it is written: "The Lord is
high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens"; and farther
on: "Who is as the Lord our God?" which pertains to reverence.
Therefore it would seem unfitting to man's salvation that God should
be made like unto us by assuming flesh.

_On the contrary,_ What frees the human race from perdition is
necessary for the salvation of man. But the mystery of the
Incarnation is such; according to John 3:16: "God so loved the world
as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may
not perish, but may have life everlasting." Therefore it was
necessary for man's salvation that God should become incarnate.

_I answer that,_ A thing is said to be necessary for a certain end in
two ways. First, when the end cannot be without it; as food is
necessary for the preservation of human life. Secondly, when the end
is attained better and more conveniently, as a horse is necessary for
a journey. In the first way it was not necessary that God should
become incarnate for the restoration of human nature. For God with
His omnipotent power could have restored human nature in many other
ways. But in the second way it was necessary that God should become
incarnate for the restoration of human nature. Hence Augustine says
(De Trin. xii, 10): "We shall also show that other ways were not
wanting to God, to Whose power all things are equally subject; but
that there was not a more fitting way of healing our misery."

Now this may be viewed with respect to our "furtherance in good."
First, with regard to faith, which is made more certain by believing
God Himself Who speaks; hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xi, 2): "In
order that man might journey more trustfully toward the truth, the
Truth itself, the Son of God, having assumed human nature,
established and founded faith." Secondly, with regard to hope, which
is thereby greatly strengthened; hence Augustine says (De Trin.
xiii): "Nothing was so necessary for raising our hope as to show us
how deeply God loved us. And what could afford us a stronger proof of
this than that the Son of God should become a partner with us of
human nature?" Thirdly, with regard to charity, which is greatly
enkindled by this; hence Augustine says (De Catech. Rudib. iv): "What
greater cause is there of the Lord's coming than to show God's love
for us?" And he afterwards adds: "If we have been slow to love, at
least let us hasten to love in return." Fourthly, with regard to
well-doing, in which He set us an example; hence Augustine says in a
sermon (xxii de Temp.): "Man who might be seen was not to be
followed; but God was to be followed, Who could not be seen. And
therefore God was made man, that He Who might be seen by man, and
Whom man might follow, might be shown to man." Fifthly, with regard
to the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of
man and end of human life; and this is bestowed upon us by Christ's
humanity; for Augustine says in a sermon (xiii de Temp.): "God was
made man, that man might be made God."

So also was this useful for our _withdrawal from evil._ First,
because man is taught by it not to prefer the devil to himself, nor
to honor him who is the author of sin; hence Augustine says (De Trin.
xiii, 17): "Since human nature is so united to God as to become one
person, let not these proud spirits dare to prefer themselves to man,
because they have no bodies." Secondly, because we are thereby taught
how great is man's dignity, lest we should sully it with sin; hence
Augustine says (De Vera Relig. xvi): "God has proved to us how high a
place human nature holds amongst creatures, inasmuch as He appeared
to men as a true man." And Pope Leo says in a sermon on the Nativity
(xxi): "Learn, O Christian, thy worth; and being made a partner of
the Divine nature, refuse to return by evil deeds to your former
worthlessness." Thirdly, because, "in order to do away with man's
presumption, the grace of God is commended in Jesus Christ, though no
merits of ours went before," as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17).
Fourthly, because "man's pride, which is the greatest stumbling-block
to our clinging to God, can be convinced and cured by humility so
great," as Augustine says in the same place. Fifthly, in order to
free man from the thraldom of sin, which, as Augustine says (De Trin.
xiii, 13), "ought to be done in such a way that the devil should be
overcome by the justice of the man Jesus Christ," and this was done
by Christ satisfying for us. Now a mere man could not have satisfied
for the whole human race, and God was not bound to satisfy; hence it
behooved Jesus Christ to be both God and man. Hence Pope Leo says in
the same sermon: "Weakness is assumed by strength, lowliness by
majesty, mortality by eternity, in order that one and the same
Mediator of God and men might die in one and rise in the other - for
this was our fitting remedy. Unless He was God, He would not have
brought a remedy; and unless He was man, He would not have set an

And there are very many other advantages which accrued, above man's

Reply Obj. 1: This reason has to do with the first kind of necessity,
without which we cannot attain to the end.

Reply Obj. 2: Satisfaction may be said to be sufficient in two
ways - first, perfectly, inasmuch as it is condign, being adequate to
make good the fault committed, and in this way the satisfaction of a
mere man cannot be sufficient for sin, both because the whole of
human nature has been corrupted by sin, whereas the goodness of any
person or persons could not be made up adequately for the harm done
to the whole of the nature; and also because a sin committed against
God has a kind of infinity from the infinity of the Divine majesty,
because the greater the person we offend, the more grievous the
offense. Hence for condign satisfaction it was necessary that the act
of the one satisfying should have an infinite efficiency, as being of
God and man. Secondly, man's satisfaction may be termed sufficient,
imperfectly - i.e. in the acceptation of him who is content with it,
even though it is not condign, and in this way the satisfaction of a
mere man is sufficient. And forasmuch as every imperfect presupposes
some perfect thing, by which it is sustained, hence it is that
satisfaction of every mere man has its efficiency from the
satisfaction of Christ.

Reply Obj. 3: By taking flesh, God did not lessen His majesty; and in
consequence did not lessen the reason for reverencing Him, which is
increased by the increase of knowledge of Him. But, on the contrary,
inasmuch as He wished to draw nigh to us by taking flesh, He greatly
drew us to know Him.


Whether, If Man Had Not Sinned, God Would Have Become Incarnate?

Objection 1: It would seem that if man had not sinned, God would
still have become incarnate. For the cause remaining, the effect also
remains. But as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 17): "Many other
things are to be considered in the Incarnation of Christ besides
absolution from sin"; and these were discussed above (A. 2).
Therefore if man had not sinned, God would have become incarnate.

Obj. 2: Further, it belongs to the omnipotence of the Divine power to
perfect His works, and to manifest Himself by some infinite effect.
But no mere creature can be called an infinite effect, since it is
finite of its very essence. Now, seemingly, in the work of the
Incarnation alone is an infinite effect of the Divine power
manifested in a special manner by which power things infinitely
distant are united, inasmuch as it has been brought about that man is
God. And in this work especially the universe would seem to be
perfected, inasmuch as the last creature - viz. man - is united to the
first principle - viz. God. Therefore, even if man had not sinned, God
would have become incarnate.

Obj. 3: Further, human nature has not been made more capable of grace
by sin. But after sin it is capable of the grace of union, which is
the greatest grace. Therefore, if man had not sinned, human nature
would have been capable of this grace; nor would God have withheld

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