St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

 

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OF THE MORAL PRECEPTS OF THE OLD LAW (TWELVE ARTICLES)

Deinde considerandum est de singulis generibus praeceptorum veteris legis.
  • Et primo, de praeceptis moralibus;
  • secundo, de caeremonialibus;
  • tertio, de iudicialibus.
   We must now consider each kind of precept of the Old Law: and
  • (1) the moral precepts,
  • (2) the ceremonial precepts,
  • (3) the judicial precepts.
Circa primum quaeruntur duodecim. Under the first head there are twelve points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum omnia praecepta moralia veteris legis sint de lege naturae.     (1) Whether all the moral precepts of the Old Law belong to the law of nature?
Secundo, utrum praecepta moralia veteris legis sint de actibus omnium virtutum.     (2) Whether the moral precepts of the Old Law are about the acts of all the virtues?
Tertio, utrum omnia praecepta moralia veteris legis reducantur ad decem praecepta Decalogi.     (3) Whether all the moral precepts of the Old Law are reducible to the ten precepts of the decalogue?
Quarto, de distinctione praeceptorum Decalogi.     (4) How the precepts of the decalogue are distinguished from one another?
Quinto, de numero eorum.     (5) Their number;
Sexto, de ordine.     (6) Their order;
Septimo, de modo tradendi ipsa.     (7) The manner in which they were given;
Octavo, utrum sint dispensabilia.     (8) Whether they are dispensable?
Nono, utrum modus observandi virtutem cadat sub praecepto.     (9) Whether the mode of observing a virtue comes under the precept of the Law?
Decimo, utrum modus caritatis cadat sub praecepto.     (10) Whether the mode of charity comes under the precept?
Undecimo, de distinctione aliorum praeceptorum moralium.     (11) The distinction of other moral precepts;
Duodecimo, utrum praecepta moralia veteris legis iustificent.     (12) Whether the moral precepts of the Old Law justified man?

 

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Whether all the moral precepts of the Old Law belong to the law of nature?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non omnia praecepta moralia pertineant ad legem naturae. Dicitur enim Eccli. XVII, addidit illis disciplinam, et legem vitae haereditavit illos. Sed disciplina dividitur contra legem naturae, eo quod lex naturalis non addiscitur, sed ex naturali instinctu habetur. Ergo non omnia praecepta moralia sunt de lege naturae.   Objection 1: It would seem that not all the moral precepts belong to the law of nature. For it is written (Ecclus. 17:9): "Moreover He gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance." But instruction is in contradistinction to the law of nature; since the law of nature is not learnt, but instilled by natural instinct. Therefore not all the moral precepts belong to the natural law.
Praeterea, lex divina perfectior est quam lex humana. Sed lex humana superaddit aliqua ad bonos mores pertinentia his quae sunt de lege naturae, quod patet ex hoc quod lex naturae est eadem apud omnes, huiusmodi autem morum instituta sunt diversa apud diversos. Ergo multo fortius divina lex aliqua ad bonos mores pertinentia debuit addere supra legem naturae.   Objection 2: Further, the Divine law is more perfect than human law. But human law adds certain things concerning good morals, to those that belong to the law of nature: as is evidenced by the fact that the natural law is the same in all men, while these moral institutions are various for various people. Much more reason therefore was there why the Divine law should add to the law of nature, ordinances pertaining to good morals.
Praeterea, sicut ratio naturalis inducit ad aliquos bonos mores, ita et fides, unde etiam dicitur ad Galat. V, quod fides per dilectionem operatur. Sed fides non continetur sub lege naturae, quia ea quae sunt fidei, sunt supra rationem naturalem. Ergo non omnia praecepta moralia legis divinae pertinent ad legem naturae.   Objection 3: Further, just as natural reason leads to good morals in certain matters, so does faith: hence it is written (Gal. 5:6) that faith "worketh by charity." But faith is not included in the law of nature; since that which is of faith is above nature. Therefore not all the moral precepts of the Divine law belong to the law of nature.
Sed contra est quod dicit apostolus, Rom. II, quod gentes, quae legem non habent, naturaliter ea quae legis sunt, faciunt, quod oportet intelligi de his quae pertinent ad bonos mores. Ergo omnia moralia praecepta legis sunt de lege naturae.   On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 2:14) that "the Gentiles, who have not the Law, do by nature those things that are of the Law": which must be understood of things pertaining to good morals. Therefore all the moral precepts of the Law belong to the law of nature.
Respondeo dicendum quod praecepta moralia, a caeremonialibus et iudicialibus distincta, sunt de illis quae secundum se ad bonos mores pertinent. Cum autem humani mores dicantur in ordine ad rationem, quae est proprium principium humanorum actuum, illi mores dicuntur boni qui rationi congruunt, mali autem qui a ratione discordant. Sicut autem omne iudicium rationis speculativae procedit a naturali cognitione primorum principiorum, ita etiam omne iudicium rationis practicae procedit ex quibusdam principiis naturaliter cognitis, ut supra dictum est. Ex quibus diversimode procedi potest ad iudicandum de diversis. Quaedam enim sunt in humanis actibus adeo explicita quod statim, cum modica consideratione, possunt approbari vel reprobari per illa communia et prima principia. Quaedam vero sunt ad quorum iudicium requiritur multa consideratio diversarum circumstantiarum, quas considerare diligenter non est cuiuslibet, sed sapientum, sicut considerare particulares conclusiones scientiarum non pertinet ad omnes, sed ad solos philosophos. Quaedam vero sunt ad quae diiudicanda indiget homo adiuvari per instructionem divinam, sicut est circa credenda.   I answer that, The moral precepts, distinct from the ceremonial and judicial precepts, are about things pertaining of their very nature to good morals. Now since human morals depend on their relation to reason, which is the proper principle of human acts, those morals are called good which accord with reason, and those are called bad which are discordant from reason. And as every judgment of speculative reason proceeds from the natural knowledge of first principles, so every judgment of practical reason proceeds from principles known naturally, as stated above (Question [94], Articles [2],4): from which principles one may proceed in various ways to judge of various matters. For some matters connected with human actions are so evident, that after very little consideration one is able at once to approve or disapprove of them by means of these general first principles: while some matters cannot be the subject of judgment without much consideration of the various circumstances, which all are not competent to do carefully, but only those who are wise: just as it is not possible for all to consider the particular conclusions of sciences, but only for those who are versed in philosophy: and lastly there are some matters of which man cannot judge unless he be helped by Divine instruction; such as the articles of faith.
Sic igitur patet quod, cum moralia praecepta sint de his quae pertinent ad bonos mores; haec autem sunt quae rationi congruunt; omne autem rationis humanae iudicium aliqualiter a naturali ratione derivatur, necesse est quod omnia praecepta moralia pertineant ad legem naturae, sed diversimode. Quaedam enim sunt quae statim per se ratio naturalis cuiuslibet hominis diiudicat esse facienda vel non facienda, sicut honora patrem tuum et matrem tuam, et, non occides, non furtum facies. Et huiusmodi sunt absolute de lege naturae. Quaedam vero sunt quae subtiliori consideratione rationis a sapientibus iudicantur esse observanda. Et ista sic sunt de lege naturae, ut tamen indigeant disciplina, qua minores a sapientioribus instruantur, sicut illud, coram cano capite consurge, et honora personam senis, et alia huiusmodi. Quaedam vero sunt ad quae iudicanda ratio humana indiget instructione divina, per quam erudimur de divinis, sicut est illud, non facies tibi sculptile neque omnem similitudinem; non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum.    It is therefore evident that since the moral precepts are about matters which concern good morals; and since good morals are those which are in accord with reason; and since also every judgment of human reason must needs by derived in some way from natural reason; it follows, of necessity, that all the moral precepts belong to the law of nature; but not all in the same way. For there are certain things which the natural reason of every man, of its own accord and at once, judges to be done or not to be done: e.g. "Honor thy father and thy mother," and "Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal": and these belong to the law of nature absolutely. And there are certain things which, after a more careful consideration, wise men deem obligatory. Such belong to the law of nature, yet so that they need to be inculcated, the wiser teaching the less wise: e.g. "Rise up before the hoary head, and honor the person of the aged man," and the like. And there are some things, to judge of which, human reason needs Divine instruction, whereby we are taught about the things of God: e.g. "Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of anything; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta.    This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

 

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Whether the moral precepts of the Law are about all the acts of virtue?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praecepta moralia legis non sint de omnibus actibus virtutum. Observatio enim praeceptorum veteris legis iustificatio nominatur, secundum illud Psalmi CXVIII, iustificationes tuas custodiam. Sed iustificatio est executio iustitiae. Ergo praecepta moralia non sunt nisi de actibus iustitiae.   Objection 1: It would seem that the moral precepts of the Law are not about all the acts of virtue. For observance of the precepts of the Old Law is called justification, according to Ps. 118:8: "I will keep Thy justifications." But justification is the execution of justice. Therefore the moral precepts are only about acts of justice.
Praeterea, id quod cadit sub praecepto, habet rationem debiti. Sed ratio debiti non pertinet ad alias virtutes nisi ad solam iustitiam, cuius proprius actus est reddere unicuique debitum. Ergo praecepta legis moralia non sunt de actibus aliarum virtutum, sed solum de actibus iustitiae.   Objection 2: Further, that which comes under a precept has the character of a duty. But the character of duty belongs to justice alone and to none of the other virtues, for the proper act of justice consists in rendering to each one his due. Therefore the precepts of the moral law are not about the acts of the other virtues, but only about the acts of justice.
Praeterea, omnis lex ponitur propter bonum commune, ut dicit Isidorus. Sed inter virtutes sola iustitia respicit bonum commune, ut philosophus dicit, in V Ethic. Ergo praecepta moralia sunt solum de actibus iustitiae.   Objection 3: Further, every law is made for the common good, as Isidore says (Etym. v, 21). But of all the virtues justice alone regards the common good, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1). Therefore the moral precepts are only about the acts of justice.
Sed contra est quod Ambrosius dicit, quod peccatum est transgressio legis divinae, et caelestium inobedientia mandatorum. Sed peccata contrariantur omnibus actibus virtutum. Ergo lex divina habet ordinare de actibus omnium virtutum.   On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Paradiso viii) that "a sin is a transgression of the Divine law, and a disobedience to the commandments of heaven." But there are sins contrary to all the acts of virtue. Therefore it belongs to Divine law to direct all the acts of virtue.
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum praecepta legis ordinentur ad bonum commune, sicut supra habitum est, necesse est quod praecepta legis diversificentur secundum diversos modos communitatum, unde et philosophus, in sua politica, docet quod alias leges oportet statuere in civitate quae regitur rege, et alias in ea quae regitur per populum, vel per aliquos potentes de civitate. Est autem alius modus communitatis ad quam ordinatur lex humana, et ad quam ordinatur lex divina. Lex enim humana ordinatur ad communitatem civilem, quae est hominum ad invicem. Homines autem ordinantur ad invicem per exteriores actus, quibus homines sibi invicem communicant. Huiusmodi autem communicatio pertinet ad rationem iustitiae, quae est proprie directiva communitatis humanae. Et ideo lex humana non proponit praecepta nisi de actibus iustitiae; et si praecipiat actus aliarum virtutum, hoc non est nisi inquantum assumunt rationem iustitiae; ut patet per philosophum, in V Ethic.   I answer that, Since the precepts of the Law are ordained to the common good, as stated above (Question [90], Article [2]), the precepts of the Law must needs be diversified according to the various kinds of community: hence the Philosopher (Polit. iv, 1) teaches that the laws which are made in a state which is ruled by a king must be different from the laws of a state which is ruled by the people, or by a few powerful men in the state. Now human law is ordained for one kind of community, and the Divine law for another kind. Because human law is ordained for the civil community, implying mutual duties of man and his fellows: and men are ordained to one another by outward acts, whereby men live in communion with one another. This life in common of man with man pertains to justice, whose proper function consists in directing the human community. Wherefore human law makes precepts only about acts of justice; and if it commands acts of other virtues, this is only in so far as they assume the nature of justice, as the Philosopher explains (Ethic. v, 1).
Sed communitas ad quam ordinat lex divina, est hominum ad Deum, vel in praesenti vel in futura vita. Et ideo lex divina praecepta proponit de omnibus illis per quae homines bene ordinentur ad communicationem cum Deo. Homo autem Deo coniungitur ratione, sive mente, in qua est Dei imago. Et ideo lex divina praecepta proponit de omnibus illis per quae ratio hominis est bene ordinata. Hoc autem contingit per actus omnium virtutum, nam virtutes intellectuales ordinant bene actus rationis in seipsis; virtutes autem morales ordinant bene actus rationis circa interiores passiones et exteriores operationes. Et ideo manifestum est quod lex divina convenienter proponit praecepta de actibus omnium virtutum, ita tamen quod quaedam, sine quibus ordo virtutis, qui est ordo rationis, observari non potest, cadunt sub obligatione praecepti; quaedam vero, quae pertinent ad bene esse virtutis perfectae, cadunt sub admonitione consilii.    But the community for which the Divine law is ordained, is that of men in relation to God, either in this life or in the life to come. And therefore the Divine law proposes precepts about all those matters whereby men are well ordered in their relations to God. Now man is united to God by his reason or mind, in which is God's image. Wherefore the Divine law proposes precepts about all those matters whereby human reason is well ordered. But this is effected by the acts of all the virtues: since the intellectual virtues set in good order the acts of the reason in themselves: while the moral virtues set in good order the acts of the reason in reference to the interior passions and exterior actions. It is therefore evident that the Divine law fittingly proposes precepts about the acts of all the virtues: yet so that certain matters, without which the order of virtue, which is the order of reason, cannot even exist, come under an obligation of precept; while other matters, which pertain to the well-being of perfect virtue, come under an admonition of counsel.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod adimpletio mandatorum legis etiam quae sunt de actibus aliarum virtutum, habet rationem iustificationis, inquantum iustum est ut homo obediat Deo. Vel etiam inquantum iustum est quod omnia quae sunt hominis, rationi subdantur.   Reply to Objection 1: The fulfilment of the commandments of the Law, even of those which are about the acts of the other virtues, has the character of justification, inasmuch as it is just that man should obey God: or again, inasmuch as it is just that all that belongs to man should be subject to reason.
Ad secundum dicendum quod iustitia proprie dicta attendit debitum unius hominis ad alium, sed in omnibus aliis virtutibus attenditur debitum inferiorum virium ad rationem. Et secundum rationem huius debiti, philosophus assignat, in V Ethic., quandam iustitiam metaphoricam.   Reply to Objection 2: Justice properly so called regards the duty of one man to another: but all the other virtues regard the duty of the lower powers to reason. It is in relation to this latter duty that the Philosopher speaks (Ethic. v, 11) of a kind of metaphorical justice.
Ad tertium patet responsio per ea quae dicta sunt de diversitate communitatis.    The Reply to the Third Objection is clear from what has been said about the different kinds of community.

 

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Whether all the moral precepts of the Old Law are reducible to the ten precepts of the decalogue?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non omnia praecepta moralia veteris legis reducantur ad decem praecepta Decalogi. Prima enim et principalia legis praecepta sunt, diliges dominum Deum tuum, et, diliges proximum tuum, ut habetur Matth. XXII. Sed ista duo non continentur in praeceptis Decalogi. Ergo non omnia praecepta moralia continentur in praeceptis Decalogi.   Objection 1: It would seem that not all the moral precepts of the Old Law are reducible to the ten precepts of the decalogue. For the first and principal precepts of the Law are, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor," as stated in Mt. 22:37,39. But these two are not contained in the precepts of the decalogue. Therefore not all the moral precepts are contained in the precepts of the decalogue.
Praeterea, praecepta moralia non reducuntur ad praecepta caeremonialia, sed potius e converso. Sed inter praecepta Decalogi est unum caeremoniale, scilicet, memento ut diem sabbati sanctifices. Ergo praecepta moralia non reducuntur ad omnia praecepta Decalogi.   Objection 2: Further, the moral precepts are not reducible to the ceremonial precepts, but rather vice versa. But among the precepts of the decalogue, one is ceremonial, viz. "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day." Therefore the moral precepts are not reducible to all the precepts of the decalogue.
Praeterea, praecepta moralia sunt de omnibus actibus virtutum. Sed inter praecepta Decalogi ponuntur sola praecepta pertinentia ad actus iustitiae; ut patet discurrenti per singula. Ergo praecepta Decalogi non continent omnia praecepta moralia.   Objection 3: Further, the moral precepts are about all the acts of virtue. But among the precepts of the decalogue are only such as regard acts of justice; as may be seen by going through them all. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue do not include all the moral precepts.
Sed contra est quod, Matth. V, super illud, beati estis cum maledixerint etc., dicit Glossa quod Moyses, decem praecepta proponens, postea per partes explicat. Ergo omnia praecepta legis sunt quaedam partes praeceptorum Decalogi.   On the contrary, The gloss on Mt. 5:11: "Blessed are ye when they shall revile you," etc. says that "Moses, after propounding the ten precepts, set them out in detail." Therefore all the precepts of the Law are so many parts of the precepts of the decalogue.
Respondeo dicendum quod praecepta Decalogi ab aliis praeceptis legis differunt in hoc, quod praecepta Decalogi per seipsum Deus dicitur populo proposuisse; alia vero praecepta proposuit populo per Moysen. Illa ergo praecepta ad Decalogum pertinent, quorum notitiam homo habet per seipsum a Deo. Huiusmodi vero sunt illa quae statim ex principiis communibus primis cognosci possunt modica consideratione, et iterum illa quae statim ex fide divinitus infusa innotescunt. Inter praecepta ergo Decalogi non computantur duo genera praeceptorum, illa scilicet quae sunt prima et communia, quorum non oportet aliam editionem esse nisi quod sunt scripta in ratione naturali quasi per se nota, sicut quod nulli debet homo malefacere, et alia huiusmodi; et iterum illa quae per diligentem inquisitionem sapientum inveniuntur rationi convenire, haec enim proveniunt a Deo ad populum mediante disciplina sapientum. Utraque tamen horum praeceptorum continentur in praeceptis Decalogi, sed diversimode. Nam illa quae sunt prima et communia, continentur in eis sicut principia in conclusionibus proximis, illa vero quae per sapientes cognoscuntur, continentur in eis, e converso, sicut conclusiones in principiis.   I answer that, The precepts of the decalogue differ from the other precepts of the Law, in the fact that God Himself is said to have given the precepts of the decalogue; whereas He gave the other precepts to the people through Moses. Wherefore the decalogue includes those precepts the knowledge of which man has immediately from God. Such are those which with but slight reflection can be gathered at once from the first general principles: and those also which become known to man immediately through divinely infused faith. Consequently two kinds of precepts are not reckoned among the precepts of the decalogue: viz. first general principles, for they need no further promulgation after being once imprinted on the natural reason to which they are self-evident; as, for instance, that one should do evil to no man, and other similar principles: and again those which the careful reflection of wise men shows to be in accord with reason; since the people receive these principles from God, through being taught by wise men. Nevertheless both kinds of precepts are contained in the precepts of the decalogue; yet in different ways. For the first general principles are contained in them, as principles in their proximate conclusions; while those which are known through wise men are contained, conversely, as conclusions in their principles.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illa duo praecepta sunt prima et communia praecepta legis naturae, quae sunt per se nota rationi humanae, vel per naturam vel per fidem. Et ideo omnia praecepta Decalogi ad illa duo referuntur sicut conclusiones ad principia communia.   Reply to Objection 1: Those two principles are the first general principles of the natural law, and are self-evident to human reason, either through nature or through faith. Wherefore all the precepts of the decalogue are referred to these, as conclusions to general principles.
Ad secundum dicendum quod praeceptum de observatione sabbati est secundum aliquid morale, inquantum scilicet per hoc praecipitur quod homo aliquo tempore vacet rebus divinis; secundum illud Psalmi XLV, vacate, et videte quoniam ego sum Deus. Et secundum hoc, inter praecepta Decalogi computatur. Non autem quantum ad taxationem temporis, quia secundum hoc est caeremoniale.   Reply to Objection 2: The precept of the Sabbath observance is moral in one respect, in so far as it commands man to give some time to the things of God, according to Ps. 45:11: "Be still and see that I am God." In this respect it is placed among the precepts of the decalogue: but not as to the fixing of the time, in which respect it is a ceremonial precept.
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio debiti in aliis virtutibus est magis latens quam in iustitia. Et ideo praecepta de actibus aliarum virtutum non sunt ita nota populo sicut praecepta de actibus iustitiae. Et propter hoc actus iustitiae specialiter cadunt sub praeceptis Decalogi, quae sunt prima legis elementa.   Reply to Objection 3: The notion of duty is not so patent in the other virtues as it is in justice. Hence the precepts about the acts of the other virtues are not so well known to the people as are the precepts about acts of justice. Wherefore the acts of justice especially come under the precepts of the decalogue, which are the primary elements of the Law.

 

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Whether the precepts of the decalogue are suitably distinguished from one another?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter praecepta Decalogi distinguantur. Latria enim est alia virtus a fide. Sed praecepta dantur de actibus virtutum. Sed hoc quod dicitur in principio Decalogi, non habebis deos alienos coram me, pertinet ad fidem, quod autem subditur, non facies sculptile etc., pertinet ad latriam. Ergo sunt duo praecepta, et non unum, sicut Augustinus dicit.   Objection 1: It would seem that the precepts of the decalogue are unsuitably distinguished from one another. For worship is a virtue distinct from faith. Now the precepts are about acts of virtue. But that which is said at the beginning of the decalogue, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," belongs to faith: and that which is added, "Thou shalt not make . . . any graven thing," etc. belongs to worship. Therefore these are not one precept, as Augustine asserts (Qq. in Exod. qu. lxxi), but two.
Praeterea, praecepta affirmativa in lege distinguuntur a negativis, sicut, honora patrem et matrem, et, non occides. Sed hoc quod dicitur, ego sum dominus Deus tuus, est affirmativum, quod autem subditur, non habebis deos alienos coram me, est negativum. Ergo sunt duo praecepta, et non continentur sub uno, ut Augustinus ponit.   Objection 2: Further, the affirmative precepts in the Law are distinct from the negative precepts; e.g. "Honor thy father and thy mother," and, "Thou shalt not kill." But this, "I am the Lord thy God," is affirmative: and that which follows, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," is negative. Therefore these are two precepts, and do not, as Augustine says (Qq. in Exod. qu. lxxi), make one.
Praeterea, apostolus, ad Rom. VII, dicit, concupiscentiam nesciebam, nisi lex diceret, non concupisces. Et sic videtur quod hoc praeceptum, non concupisces, sit unum praeceptum. Non ergo debet distingui in duo.   Objection 3: Further, the Apostle says (Rm. 7:7): "I had not known concupiscence, if the Law did not say: 'Thou shalt not covet.'" Hence it seems that this precept, "Thou shalt not covet," is one precept; and, therefore, should not be divided into two.
Sed contra est auctoritas Augustini, in Glossa super Exod., ubi ponit tria praecepta pertinentia ad Deum, et septem ad proximum.   On the contrary, stands the authority of Augustine who, in commenting on Exodus (Qq. in Exod. qu. lxxi) distinguishes three precepts as referring to God, and seven as referring to our neighbor.
Respondeo dicendum quod praecepta Decalogi diversimode a diversis distinguuntur. Hesychius enim, Levit. XXVI, super illud, decem mulieres in uno clibano coquunt panes, dicit praeceptum de observatione sabbati non esse de decem praeceptis, quia non est observandum, secundum litteram, secundum omne tempus. Distinguit tamen quatuor praecepta pertinentia ad Deum, ut primum sit, ego sum dominus Deus tuus; secundum sit, non habebis deos alienos coram me (et sic etiam distinguit haec duo Hieronymus, Osee X, super illud, propter duas iniquitates tuas); tertium vero praeceptum esse dicit, non facies tibi sculptile; quartum vero, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum. Pertinentia vero ad proximum dicit esse sex, ut primum sit, honora patrem tuum et matrem tuam; secundum, non occides; tertium, non moechaberis; quartum, non furtum facies; quintum, non falsum testimonium dices; sextum, non concupisces.   I answer that, The precepts of the decalogue are differently divided by different authorities. For Hesychius commenting on Lev. 26:26, "Ten women shall bake your bread in one oven," says that the precept of the Sabbath-day observance is not one of the ten precepts, because its observance, in the letter, is not binding for all time. But he distinguishes four precepts pertaining to God, the first being, "I am the Lord thy God"; the second, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," (thus also Jerome distinguishes these two precepts, in his commentary on Osee 10:10, "On thy" [Vulg.: "their"] "two iniquities"); the third precept according to him is, "Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing"; and the fourth, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." He states that there are six precepts pertaining to our neighbor; the first, "Honor thy father and thy mother"; the second, "Thou shalt not kill"; the third, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; the fourth, "Thou shalt not steal"; the fifth, "Thou shalt not bear false witness"; the sixth, "Thou shalt not covet."
Sed primo hoc videtur inconveniens, quod praeceptum de observatione sabbati praeceptis Decalogi interponatur, si nullo modo ad Decalogum pertineat. Secundo quia, cum scriptum sit Matth. VI, nemo potest duobus dominis servire, eiusdem rationis esse videtur, et sub eodem praecepto cadere, ego sum dominus Deus tuus, et, non habebis deos alienos. Unde Origenes, distinguens etiam quatuor praecepta ordinantia ad Deum, ponit ista duo pro uno praecepto; secundum vero ponit, non facies sculptile; tertium, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum; quartum, memento ut diem sabbati sanctifices. Alia vero sex ponit sicut Hesychius.    But, in the first place, it seems unbecoming for the precept of the Sabbath-day observance to be put among the precepts of the decalogue, if it nowise belonged to the decalogue. Secondly, because, since it is written (Mt. 6:24), "No man can serve two masters," the two statements, "I am the Lord thy God," and, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me" seem to be of the same nature and to form one precept. Hence Origen (Hom. viii in Exod.) who also distinguishes four precepts as referring to God, unites these two under one precept; and reckons in the second place, "Thou shalt not make . . . any graven thing"; as third, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"; and as fourth, "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day." The other six he reckons in the same way as Hesychius.
Sed quia facere sculptile vel similitudinem non est prohibitum nisi secundum hoc, ut non colantur pro diis (nam et in tabernaculo Deus praecepit fieri imaginem Seraphim, ut habetur Exod. XXV); convenientius Augustinus ponit sub uno praecepto, non habebis deos alienos, et, non facies sculptile. Similiter etiam concupiscentia uxoris alienae ad commixtionem, pertinet ad concupiscentiam carnis; concupiscentiae autem aliarum rerum, quae desiderantur ad possidendum, pertinent ad concupiscentiam oculorum; unde etiam Augustinus ponit duo praecepta de non concupiscendo rem alienam, et uxorem alienam. Et sic ponit tria praecepta in ordine ad Deum, et septem in ordine ad proximum. Et hoc melius est.    Since, however, the making of graven things or the likeness of anything is not forbidden except as to the point of their being worshipped as gods—for God commanded an image of the Seraphim [Vulg.: Cherubim] to be made and placed in the tabernacle, as related in Ex. 25:18—Augustine more fittingly unites these two, "Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me," and, "Thou shalt not make . . . any graven thing," into one precept. Likewise to covet another's wife, for the purpose of carnal knowledge, belongs to the concupiscence of the flesh; whereas, to covet other things, which are desired for the purpose of possession, belongs to the concupiscence of the eyes; wherefore Augustine reckons as distinct precepts, that which forbids the coveting of another's goods, and that which prohibits the coveting of another's wife. Thus he distinguishes three precepts as referring to God, and seven as referring to our neighbor. And this is better.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod latria non est nisi quaedam protestatio fidei, unde non sunt alia praecepta danda de latria, et alia de fide. Potius tamen sunt danda de latria quam de fide, quia praeceptum fidei praesupponitur ad praecepta Decalogi, sicut praeceptum dilectionis. Sicut enim prima praecepta communia legis naturae sunt per se nota habenti rationem naturalem, et promulgatione non indigent; ita etiam et hoc quod est credere in Deum, est primum et per se notum ei qui habet fidem, accedentem enim ad Deum oportet credere quia est, ut dicitur ad Heb. XI. Et ideo non indiget alia promulgatione nisi infusione fidei.   Reply to Objection 1: Worship is merely a declaration of faith: wherefore the precepts about worship should not be reckoned as distinct from those about faith. Nevertheless precepts should be given about worship rather than about faith, because the precept about faith is presupposed to the precepts of the decalogue, as is also the precept of charity. For just as the first general principles of the natural law are self-evident to a subject having natural reason, and need no promulgation; so also to believe in God is a first and self-evident principle to a subject possessed of faith: "for he that cometh to God, must believe that He is" (Heb. 11:6). Hence it needs no other promulgation that the infusion of faith.
Ad secundum dicendum quod praecepta affirmativa distinguuntur a negativis, quando unum non comprehenditur in alio, sicut in honoratione parentum non includitur quod nullus homo occidatur, nec e converso. Sed quando affirmativum comprehenditur in negativo vel e converso, non dantur super hoc diversa praecepta, sicut non datur aliud praeceptum de hoc quod est, non furtum facies, et de hoc quod est conservare rem alienam, vel restituere eam. Et eadem ratione non sunt diversa praecepta de credendo in Deum, et de hoc quod non credatur in alienos deos.   Reply to Objection 2: The affirmative precepts are distinct from the negative, when one is not comprised in the other: thus that man should honor his parents does not include that he should not kill another man; nor does the latter include the former. But when an affirmative precept is included in a negative, or vice versa, we do not find that two distinct precepts are given: thus there is not one precept saying that "Thou shalt not steal," and another binding one to keep another's property intact, or to give it back to its owner. In the same way there are not different precepts about believing in God, and about not believing in strange gods.
Ad tertium dicendum quod omnis concupiscentia convenit in una communi ratione, et ideo apostolus singulariter de mandato concupiscendi loquitur. Quia tamen in speciali diversae sunt rationes concupiscendi, ideo Augustinus distinguit diversa praecepta de non concupiscendo, differunt enim specie concupiscentiae secundum diversitatem actionum vel concupiscibilium, ut philosophus dicit, in X Ethic.   Reply to Objection 3: All covetousness has one common ratio: and therefore the Apostle speaks of the commandment about covetousness as though it were one. But because there are various special kinds of covetousness, therefore Augustine distinguishes different prohibitions against coveting: for covetousness differs specifically in respect of the diversity of actions or things coveted, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. x, 5).

 

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Whether the precepts of the decalogue are suitably set forth?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter praecepta Decalogi enumerentur. Peccatum enim, ut Ambrosius dicit, est transgressio legis divinae, et caelestium inobedientia mandatorum. Sed peccata distinguuntur per hoc quod homo peccat vel in Deum, vel in proximum, vel in seipsum. Cum igitur in praeceptis Decalogi non ponantur aliqua praecepta ordinantia hominem ad seipsum, sed solum ordinantia ipsum ad Deum et proximum; videtur quod insufficiens sit enumeratio praeceptorum Decalogi.   Objection 1: It would seem that the precepts of the decalogue are unsuitably set forth. Because sin, as stated by Ambrose (De Paradiso viii), is "a transgression of the Divine law and a disobedience to the commandments of heaven." But sins are distinguished according as man sins against God, or his neighbor, or himself. Since, then, the decalogue does not include any precepts directing man in his relations to himself, but only such as direct him in his relations to God and himself, it seems that the precepts of the decalogue are insufficiently enumerated.
Praeterea, sicut ad cultum Dei pertinebat observatio sabbati, ita etiam observatio aliarum solemnitatum, et immolatio sacrificiorum. Sed inter praecepta Decalogi est unum pertinens ad observantiam sabbati. Ergo etiam debent esse aliqua pertinentia ad alias solemnitates, et ad ritum sacrificiorum.   Objection 2: Further, just as the Sabbath-day observance pertained to the worship of God, so also did the observance of other solemnities, and the offering of sacrifices. But the decalogue contains a precept about the Sabbath-day observance. Therefore it should contain others also, pertaining to the other solemnities, and to the sacrificial rite.
Praeterea, sicut contra Deum peccare contingit periurando, ita etiam blasphemando, vel alias contra doctrinam divinam mentiendo. Sed ponitur unum praeceptum prohibens periurium, cum dicitur, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum. Ergo peccatum blasphemiae, et falsae doctrinae, debent aliquo praecepto Decalogi prohiberi.   Objection 3: Further, as sins against God include the sin of perjury, so also do they include blasphemy, or other ways of lying against the teaching of God. But there is a precept forbidding perjury, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Therefore there should be also a precept of the decalogue forbidding blasphemy and false doctrine.
Praeterea, sicut homo naturalem dilectionem habet ad parentes, ita etiam ad filios. Mandatum etiam caritatis ad omnes proximos extenditur. Sed praecepta Decalogi ordinantur ad caritatem; secundum illud I Tim. I, finis praecepti caritas est. Ergo sicut ponitur quoddam praeceptum pertinens ad parentes, ita etiam debuerunt poni aliqua praecepta pertinentia ad filios et ad alios proximos.   Objection 4: Further, just as man has a natural affection for his parents, so has he also for his children. Moreover the commandment of charity extends to all our neighbors. Now the precepts of the decalogue are ordained unto charity, according to 1 Tim. 1:5: "The end of the commandment is charity." Therefore as there is a precept referring to parents, so should there have been some precepts referring to children and other neighbors.
Praeterea, in quolibet genere peccati contingit peccare corde et opere. Sed in quibusdam generibus peccatorum, scilicet in furto et adulterio, seorsum prohibetur peccatum operis, cum dicitur, non moechaberis, non furtum facies; et seorsum peccatum cordis, cum dicitur, non concupisces rem proximi tui, et, non concupisces uxorem proximi tui. Ergo etiam idem debuit poni in peccato homicidii et falsi testimonii.   Objection 5: Further, in every kind of sin, it is possible to sin in thought or in deed. But in some kinds of sin, namely in theft and adultery, the prohibition of sins of deed, when it is said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal," is distinct from the prohibition of the sin of thought, when it is said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods," and, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife." Therefore the same should have been done in regard to the sins of homicide and false witness.
Praeterea, sicut contingit peccatum provenire ex inordinatione concupiscibilis, ita etiam ex inordinatione irascibilis. Sed quibusdam praeceptis prohibetur inordinata concupiscentia, cum dicitur, non concupisces. Ergo etiam aliqua praecepta in Decalogo debuerunt poni per quae prohiberetur inordinatio irascibilis. Non ergo videtur quod convenienter decem praecepta Decalogi enumerentur.   Objection 6: Further, just as sin happens through disorder of the concupiscible faculty, so does it arise through disorder of the irascible part. But some precepts forbid inordinate concupiscence, when it is said, "Thou shalt not covet." Therefore the decalogue should have included some precepts forbidding the disorders of the irascible faculty. Therefore it seems that the ten precepts of the decalogue are unfittingly enumerated.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. IV, ostendit vobis pactum suum, quod praecepit ut faceretis; et decem verba quae scripsit in duabus tabulis lapideis.   On the contrary, It is written (Dt. 4:13): "He shewed you His covenant, which He commanded you to do, and the ten words that He wrote in two tablets of stone."
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, sicut praecepta legis humanae ordinant hominem ad communitatem humanam, ita praecepta legis divinae ordinant hominem ad quandam communitatem seu rempublicam hominum sub Deo. Ad hoc autem quod aliquis in aliqua communitate bene commoretur, duo requiruntur, quorum primum est ut bene se habeat ad eum qui praeest communitati; aliud autem est ut homo bene se habeat ad alios communitatis consocios et comparticipes. Oportet igitur quod in lege divina primo ferantur quaedam praecepta ordinantia hominem ad Deum; et deinde alia praecepta ordinantia hominem ad alios proximos simul conviventes sub Deo.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [2]), just as the precepts of human law direct man in his relations to the human community, so the precepts of the Divine law direct man in his relations to a community or commonwealth of men under God. Now in order that any man may dwell aright in a community, two things are required: the first is that he behave well to the head of the community; the other is that he behave well to those who are his fellows and partners in the community. It is therefore necessary that the Divine law should contain in the first place precepts ordering man in his relations to God; and in the second place, other precepts ordering man in his relations to other men who are his neighbors and live with him under God.
Principi autem communitatis tria debet homo, primo quidem, fidelitatem; secundo, reverentiam; tertio, famulatum. Fidelitas quidem ad dominum in hoc consistit, ut honorem principatus ad alium non deferat. Et quantum ad hoc accipitur primum praeceptum, cum dicitur, non habebis deos alienos. Reverentia autem ad dominum requiritur ut nihil iniuriosum in eum committatur. Et quantum ad hoc accipitur secundum praeceptum, quod est, non assumes nomen domini Dei tui in vanum. Famulatus autem debetur domino in recompensationem beneficiorum quae ab ipso percipiunt subditi. Et ad hoc pertinet tertium praeceptum, de sanctificatione sabbati in memoriam creationis rerum.    Now man owes three things to the head of the community: first, fidelity; secondly, reverence; thirdly, service. Fidelity to his master consists in his not giving sovereign honor to another: and this is the sense of the first commandment, in the words "Thou shalt not have strange gods." Reverence to his master requires that he should do nothing injurious to him: and this is conveyed by the second commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Service is due to the master in return for the benefits which his subjects receive from him: and to this belongs the third commandment of the sanctification of the Sabbath in memory of the creation of all things.
Ad proximos autem aliquis bene se habet et specialiter, et generaliter. Specialiter quidem, quantum ad illos quorum est debitor, ut eis debitum reddat. Et quantum ad hoc accipitur praeceptum de honoratione parentum. Generaliter autem, quantum ad omnes, ut nulli nocumentum inferatur, neque opere neque ore neque corde. Opere quidem infertur nocumentum proximo, quandoque quidem in personam propriam, quantum ad consistentiam scilicet personae. Et hoc prohibetur per hoc quod dicitur, non occides. Quandoque autem in personam coniunctam quantum ad propagationem prolis. Et hoc prohibetur cum dicitur, non moechaberis. Quandoque autem in rem possessam, quae ordinatur ad utrumque. Et quantum ad hoc dicitur, non furtum facies. Nocumentum autem oris prohibetur cum dicitur, non loqueris contra proximum tuum falsum testimonium. Nocumentum autem cordis prohibetur cum dicitur, non concupisces.    To his neighbors a man behaves himself well both in particular and in general. In particular, as to those to whom he is indebted, by paying his debts: and in this sense is to be taken the commandment about honoring one's parents. In general, as to all men, by doing harm to none, either by deed, or by word, or by thought. By deed, harm is done to one's neighbor—sometimes in his person, i.e. as to his personal existence; and this is forbidden by the words, "Thou shalt not kill": sometimes in a person united to him, as to the propagation of offspring; and this is prohibited by the words, "Thou shalt not commit adultery": sometimes in his possessions, which are directed to both the aforesaid; and with this regard to this it is said, "Thou shalt not steal." Harm done by word is forbidden when it is said, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor": harm done by thought is forbidden in the words, "Thou shalt not covet."
Et secundum hanc etiam differentiam possent distingui tria praecepta ordinantia in Deum. Quorum primum pertinet ad opus, unde ibi dicitur, non facies sculptile. Secundum ad os, unde dicitur, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum. Tertium pertinet ad cor, quia in sanctificatione sabbati, secundum quod est morale praeceptum, praecipitur quies cordis in Deum. Vel, secundum Augustinum, per primum praeceptum reveremur unitatem primi principii; per secundum, veritatem divinam; per tertium, eius bonitatem, qua sanctificamur, et in qua quiescimus sicut in fine.    The three precepts that direct man in his behavior towards God may also be differentiated in this same way. For the first refers to deeds; wherefore it is said, "Thou shalt not make . . . a graven thing": the second, to words; wherefore it is said, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain": the third, to thoughts; because the sanctification of the Sabbath, as the subject of a moral precept, requires repose of the heart in God. Or, according to Augustine (In Ps. 32: Conc. 1), by the first commandment we reverence the unity of the First Principle; by the second, the Divine truth; by the third, His goodness whereby we are sanctified, and wherein we rest as in our last end.
Ad primum ergo potest responderi dupliciter. Primo quidem, quia praecepta Decalogi referuntur ad praecepta dilectionis. Fuit autem dandum praeceptum homini de dilectione Dei et proximi, quia quantum ad hoc lex naturalis obscurata erat propter peccatum, non autem quantum ad dilectionem sui ipsius, quia quantum ad hoc lex naturalis vigebat. Vel quia etiam dilectio sui ipsius includitur in dilectione Dei et proximi, in hoc enim homo vere se diligit, quod se ordinat in Deum. Et ideo etiam in praeceptis Decalogi ponuntur solum praecepta pertinentia ad proximum et ad Deum.   Reply to Objection 1: This objection may be answered in two ways. First, because the precepts of the decalogue can be reduced to the precepts of charity. Now there was need for man to receive a precept about loving God and his neighbor, because in this respect the natural law had become obscured on account of sin: but not about the duty of loving oneself, because in this respect the natural law retained its vigor: or again, because love of oneself is contained in the love of God and of one's neighbor: since true self-love consists in directing oneself to God. And for this reason the decalogue includes those precepts only which refer to our neighbor and to God.
Aliter potest dici quod praecepta Decalogi sunt illa quae immediate populus recepit a Deo, unde dicitur Deut. X, scripsit in tabulis, iuxta id quod prius scripserat, verba decem, quae locutus est ad vos dominus. Unde oportet praecepta Decalogi talia esse quae statim in mente populi cadere possunt. Praeceptum autem habet rationem debiti. Quod autem homo ex necessitate debeat aliquid Deo vel proximo, hoc de facili cadit in conceptione hominis, et praecipue fidelis. Sed quod aliquid ex necessitate sit debitum homini de his quae pertinent ad seipsum et non ad alium, hoc non ita in promptu apparet, videtur enim primo aspectu quod quilibet sit liber in his quae ad ipsum pertinent. Et ideo praecepta quibus prohibentur inordinationes hominis ad seipsum, perveniunt ad populum mediante instructione sapientum. Unde non pertinent ad Decalogum.    Secondly, it may be answered that the precepts of the decalogue are those which the people received from God immediately; wherefore it is written (Dt. 10:4): "He wrote in the tables, according as He had written before, the ten words, which the Lord spoke to you." Hence the precepts of the decalogue need to be such as the people can understand at once. Now a precept implies the notion of duty. But it is easy for a man, especially for a believer, to understand that, of necessity, he owes certain duties to God and to his neighbor. But that, in matters which regard himself and not another, man has, of necessity, certain duties to himself, is not so evident: for, at the first glance, it seems that everyone is free in matters that concern himself. And therefore the precepts which prohibit disorders of a man with regard to himself, reach the people through the instruction of men who are versed through the instruction of men who are versed in such matters; and, consequently, they are not contained in the decalogue.
Ad secundum dicendum quod omnes solemnitates legis veteris sunt institutae in commemorationem alicuius divini beneficii vel praeteriti commemorati, vel futuri praefigurati. Et similiter propter hoc omnia sacrificia offerebantur. Inter omnia autem beneficia Dei commemoranda, primum et praecipuum erat beneficium creationis, quod commemoratur in sanctificatione sabbati, unde Exod. XX pro ratione huius praecepti ponitur, sex enim diebus fecit Deus caelum et terram et cetera. Inter omnia autem futura beneficia, quae erant praefiguranda, praecipuum et finale erat quies mentis in Deo, vel in praesenti per gratiam, vel in futuro per gloriam, quae etiam figurabatur per observantiam sabbati; unde dicitur Isaiae LVIII, si averteris a sabbato pedem tuum, facere voluntatem tuam in die sancto meo, et vocaveris sabbatum delicatum, et sanctum domini gloriosum. Haec enim beneficia primo et principaliter sunt in mente hominum, maxime fidelium. Aliae vero solemnitates celebrantur propter aliqua particularia beneficia temporaliter transeuntia, sicut celebratio phase propter beneficium praeteritae liberationis ex Aegypto, et propter futuram passionem Christi, quae temporaliter transivit, inducens nos in quietem sabbati spiritualis. Et ideo, praetermissis omnibus aliis solemnitatibus et sacrificiis, de solo sabbato fiebat mentio inter praecepta Decalogi.   Reply to Objection 2: All the solemnities of the Old Law were instituted in celebration of some Divine favor, either in memory of past favors, or in sign of some favor to come: in like manner all the sacrifices were offered up with the same purpose. Now of all the Divine favors to be commemorated the chief was that of the Creation, which was called to mind by the sanctification of the Sabbath; wherefore the reason for this precept is given in Ex. 20:11: "In six days the Lord made heaven and earth," etc. And of all future blessings, the chief and final was the repose of the mind in God, either, in the present life, by grace, or, in the future life, by glory; which repose was also foreshadowed in the Sabbath-day observance: wherefore it is written (Is. 58:13): "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in My holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious." Because these favors first and chiefly are borne in mind by men, especially by the faithful. But other solemnities were celebrated on account of certain particular favors temporal and transitory, such as the celebration of the Passover in memory of the past favor of the delivery from Egypt, and as a sign of the future Passion of Christ, which though temporal and transitory, brought us to the repose of the spiritual Sabbath. Consequently, the Sabbath alone, and none of the other solemnities and sacrifices, is mentioned in the precepts of the decalogue.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut apostolus dicit, ad Heb. VI, homines per maiorem sui iurant, et omnis controversiae eorum finis ad confirmationem est iuramentum. Et ideo, quia iuramentum est omnibus commune, propter hoc prohibitio inordinationis circa iuramentum, specialiter praecepto Decalogi prohibetur. Peccatum vero falsae doctrinae non pertinet nisi ad paucos, unde non oportebat ut de hoc fieret mentio inter praecepta Decalogi. Quamvis etiam, quantum ad aliquem intellectum, in hoc quod dicitur, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum, prohibeatur falsitas doctrinae, una enim Glossa exponit, non dices Christum esse creaturam   Reply to Objection 3: As the Apostle says (Heb. 6:16), "men swear by one greater than themselves; and an oath for confirmation is the end of all their controversy." Hence, since oaths are common to all, inordinate swearing is the matter of a special prohibition by a precept of the decalogue. According to one interpretation, however, the words, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain," are a prohibition of false doctrine, for one gloss expounds them thus: "Thou shalt not say that Christ is a creature."
Ad quartum dicendum quod statim ratio naturalis homini dictat quod nulli iniuriam faciat, et ideo praecepta prohibentia nocumentum, extendunt se ad omnes. Sed ratio naturalis non statim dictat quod aliquid sit pro alio faciendum, nisi cui homo aliquid debet. Debitum autem filii ad patrem adeo est manifestum quod nulla tergiversatione potest negari, eo quod pater est principium generationis et esse, et insuper educationis et doctrinae. Et ideo non ponitur sub praecepto Decalogi ut aliquod beneficium vel obsequium alicui impendatur nisi parentibus. Parentes autem non videntur esse debitores filiis propter aliqua beneficia suscepta, sed potius e converso. Filius etiam est aliquid patris; et patres amant filios ut aliquid ipsorum, sicut dicit philosophus, in VIII Ethic. Unde eisdem rationibus non ponuntur aliqua praecepta Decalogi pertinentia ad amorem filiorum, sicut neque etiam aliqua ordinantia hominem ad seipsum.   Reply to Objection 4: That a man should not do harm to anyone is an immediate dictate of his natural reason: and therefore the precepts that forbid the doing of harm are binding on all men. But it is not an immediate dictate of natural reason that a man should do one thing in return for another, unless he happen to be indebted to someone. Now a son's debt to his father is so evident that one cannot get away from it by denying it: since the father is the principle of generation and being, and also of upbringing and teaching. Wherefore the decalogue does not prescribe deeds of kindness or service to be done to anyone except to one's parents. On the other hand parents do not seem to be indebted to their children for any favors received, but rather the reverse is the case. Again, a child is a part of his father; and "parents love their children as being a part of themselves," as the Philosopher states (Ethic. viii, 12). Hence, just as the decalogue contains no ordinance as to man's behavior towards himself, so, for the same reason, it includes no precept about loving one's children.
Ad quintum dicendum quod delectatio adulterii, et utilitas divitiarum, sunt propter seipsa appetibilia, inquantum habent rationem boni delectabilis vel utilis. Et propter hoc oportuit in eis prohiberi non solum opus, sed etiam concupiscentiam. Sed homicidium et falsitas sunt secundum seipsa horribilia, quia proximus et veritas naturaliter amantur, et non desiderantur nisi propter aliud. Et ideo non oportuit circa peccatum homicidii et falsi testimonii prohibere peccatum cordis, sed solum operis.   Reply to Objection 5: The pleasure of adultery and the usefulness of wealth, in so far as they have the character of pleasurable or useful good, are of themselves, objects of appetite: and for this reason they needed to be forbidden not only in the deed but also in the desire. But murder and falsehood are, of themselves, objects of repulsion (since it is natural for man to love his neighbor and the truth): and are desired only for the sake of something else. Consequently with regard to sins of murder and false witness, it was necessary to proscribe, not sins of thought, but only sins of deed.
Ad sextum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, omnes passiones irascibilis derivantur a passionibus concupiscibilis. Et ideo in praeceptis Decalogi, quae sunt quasi prima elementa legis, non erat mentio facienda de passionibus irascibilis, sed solum de passionibus concupiscibilis.   Reply to Objection 6: As stated above (Question [25], Article [1]), all the passions of the irascible faculty arise from the passions of the concupiscible part. Hence, as the precepts of the decalogue are, as it were, the first elements of the Law, there was no need for mention of the irascible passions, but only of the concupiscible passions.

 

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Whether the ten precepts of the decalogue are set in proper order?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter ordinentur decem praecepta Decalogi. Dilectio enim proximi videtur esse praevia ad dilectionem Dei, quia proximus est nobis magis notus quam Deus; secundum illud I Ioan. IV, qui fratrem suum, quem videt, non diligit, Deum, quem non videt, quomodo potest diligere? Sed tria prima praecepta pertinent ad dilectionem Dei, septem vero alia ad dilectionem proximi. Ergo inconvenienter praecepta Decalogi ordinantur.   Objection 1: It would seem that the ten precepts of the decalogue are not set in proper order. Because love of one's neighbor is seemingly previous to love of God, since our neighbor is better known to us than God is; according to 1 Jn. 4:20: "He that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, Whom he seeth not?" But the first three precepts belong to the love of God, while the other seven pertain to the love of our neighbor. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue are not set in proper order.
Praeterea, per praecepta affirmativa imperantur actus virtutum, per praecepta vero negativa prohibentur actus vitiorum. Sed secundum Boetium, in commento praedicamentorum, prius sunt extirpanda vitia quam inserantur virtutes. Ergo inter praecepta pertinentia ad proximum, primo ponenda fuerunt praecepta negativa quam affirmativa.   Objection 2: Further, the acts of virtue are prescribed by the affirmative precepts, and acts of vice are forbidden by the negative precepts. But according to Boethius in his commentary on the Categories [*Lib. iv, cap. De Oppos.], vices should be uprooted before virtues are sown. Therefore among the precepts concerning our neighbor, the negative precepts should have preceded the affirmative.
Praeterea, praecepta legis dantur de actibus hominum. Sed prior est actus cordis quam oris vel exterioris operis. Ergo inconvenienti ordine praecepta de non concupiscendo, quae pertinent ad cor, ultimo ponuntur.   Objection 3: Further, the precepts of the Law are about men's actions. But actions of thought precede actions of word or outward deed. Therefore the precepts about not coveting, which regard our thoughts, are unsuitably placed last in order.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Rom. XIII, quae a Deo sunt, ordinata sunt. Sed praecepta Decalogi sunt immediate data a Deo, ut dictum est. Ergo convenientem ordinem habent.   On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 13:1): "The things that are of God, are well ordered" [Vulg.: 'Those that are, are ordained of God']. But the precepts of the decalogue were given immediately by God, as stated above (Article [3]). Therefore they are arranged in becoming order.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, praecepta Decalogi dantur de his quae statim in promptu mens hominis suscipit. Manifestum est autem quod tanto aliquid magis a ratione suscipitur, quanto contrarium est gravius et magis rationi repugnans. Manifestum est autem quod, cum rationis ordo a fine incipiat, maxime est contra rationem ut homo inordinate se habeat circa finem. Finis autem humanae vitae et societatis est Deus. Et ideo primo oportuit per praecepta Decalogi hominem ordinare ad Deum, cum eius contrarium sit gravissimum. Sicut etiam in exercitu, qui ordinatur ad ducem sicut ad finem, primum est quod miles subdatur duci, et huius contrarium est gravissimum; secundum vero est ut aliis coordinetur.   I answer that, As stated above (Articles [3],5, ad 1), the precepts of the decalogue are such as the mind of man is ready to grasp at once. Now it is evident that a thing is so much the more easily grasped by the reason, as its contrary is more grievous and repugnant to reason. Moreover, it is clear, since the order of reason begins with the end, that, for a man to be inordinately disposed towards his end, is supremely contrary to reason. Now the end of human life and society is God. Consequently it was necessary for the precepts of the decalogue, first of all, to direct man to God; since the contrary to this is most grievous. Thus also, in an army, which is ordained to the commander as to its end, it is requisite first that the soldier should be subject to the commander, and the opposite of this is most grievous; and secondly it is requisite that he should be in coordination with the other soldiers.
Inter ipsa autem per quae ordinamur in Deum, primum occurrit quod homo fideliter ei subdatur, nullam participationem cum inimicis habens. Secundum autem est quod ei reverentiam exhibeat. Tertium autem est quod etiam famulatum impendat. Maiusque peccatum est in exercitu si miles, infideliter agens, cum hoste pactum habeat, quam si aliquam irreverentiam faciat duci, et hoc est etiam gravius quam si in aliquo obsequio ducis deficiens inveniatur.    Now among those things whereby we are ordained to God, the first is that man should be subjected to Him faithfully, by having nothing in common with His enemies. The second is that he should show Him reverence: the third that he should offer Him service. Thus, in an army, it is a greater sin for a soldier to act treacherously and make a compact with the foe, than to be insolent to his commander: and this last is more grievous than if he be found wanting in some point of service to him.
In praeceptis autem ordinantibus ad proximum, manifestum est quod magis repugnat rationi, et gravius peccatum est, si homo non servet ordinem debitum ad personas quibus magis est debitor. Et ideo inter praecepta ordinantia ad proximum, primo ponitur praeceptum pertinens ad parentes. Inter alia vero praecepta etiam apparet ordo secundum ordinem gravitatis peccatorum. Gravius est enim, et magis rationi repugnans, peccare opere quam ore, et ore quam corde. Et inter peccata operis, gravius est homicidium, per quod tollitur vita hominis iam existentis, quam adulterium, per quod impeditur certitudo prolis nasciturae; et adulterium gravius quam furtum, quod pertinet ad bona exteriora.    As to the precepts that direct man in his behavior towards his neighbor, it is evident that it is more repugnant to reason, and a more grievous sin, if man does not observe the due order as to those persons to whom he is most indebted. Consequently, among those precepts that direct man in his relations to his neighbor, the first place is given to that one which regards his parents. Among the other precepts we again find the order to be according to the gravity of sin. For it is more grave and more repugnant to reason, to sin by deed than by word; and by word than by thought. And among sins of deed, murder which destroys life in one already living is more grievous than adultery, which imperils the life of the unborn child; and adultery is more grave than theft, which regards external goods.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, quamvis secundum viam sensus proximus sit magis notus quam Deus, tamen dilectio Dei est ratio dilectionis proximi, ut infra patebit. Et ideo praecepta ordinantia ad Deum, fuerunt praeordinanda.   Reply to Objection 1: Although our neighbor is better known than God by the way of the senses, nevertheless the love of God is the reason for the love of our neighbor, as shall be declared later on (SS, Question [25], Article [1]; SS, Question [26], Article [2]). Hence the precepts ordaining man to God demanded precedence of the others.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut Deus est universale principium essendi omnibus, ita etiam pater est principium quoddam essendi filio. Et ideo convenienter post praecepta pertinentia ad Deum, ponitur praeceptum pertinens ad parentes. Ratio autem procedit quando affirmativa et negativa pertinent ad idem genus operis. Quamvis etiam et in hoc non habeat omnimodam efficaciam. Etsi enim in executione operis, prius extirpanda sint vitia quam inserendae virtutes, secundum illud Psalmi XXXIII, declina a malo, et fac bonum, et Isaiae I, quiescite agere perverse, discite benefacere; tamen in cognitione prior est virtus quam peccatum, quia per rectum cognoscitur obliquum, ut dicitur in I de anima. Per legem autem cognitio peccati, ut Rom. III dicitur. Et secundum hoc, praeceptum affirmativum debuisset primo poni. Sed non est ista ratio ordinis, sed quae supra posita est. Quia in praeceptis pertinentibus ad Deum, quae sunt primae tabulae, ultimo ponitur praeceptum affirmativum, quia eius transgressio minorem reatum inducit.   Reply to Objection 2: Just as God is the universal principle of being in respect of all things, so is a father a principle of being in respect of his son. Therefore the precept regarding parents was fittingly placed after the precepts regarding God. This argument holds in respect of affirmative and negative precepts about the same kind of deed: although even then it is not altogether cogent. For although in the order of execution, vices should be uprooted before virtues are sown, according to Ps. 33:15: "Turn away from evil, and do good," and Is. 1:16,17: "Cease to do perversely; learn to do well"; yet, in the order of knowledge, virtue precedes vice, because "the crooked line is known by the straight" (De Anima i): and "by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Rm. 3:20). Wherefore the affirmation precept demanded the first place. However, this is not the reason for the order, but that which is given above. Because in the precepts regarding God, which belongs to the first table, an affirmative precept is placed last, since its transgression implies a less grievous sin.
Ad tertium dicendum quod peccatum cordis etsi sit prius in executione, tamen eius prohibitio posterius cadit in ratione.   Reply to Objection 3: Although sin of thought stands first in the order of execution, yet its prohibition holds a later position in the order of reason.

 

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Whether the precepts of the decalogue are suitably formulated?

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praecepta Decalogi inconvenienter tradantur. Praecepta enim affirmativa ordinant ad actus virtutum, praecepta autem negativa abstrahunt ab actibus vitiorum. Sed circa quamlibet materiam opponuntur sibi virtutes et vitia. Ergo in qualibet materia de qua ordinat praeceptum Decalogi, debuit poni praeceptum affirmativum et negativum. Inconvenienter igitur ponuntur quaedam affirmativa et quaedam negativa.   Objection 1: It would seem that the precepts of the decalogue are unsuitably formulated. Because the affirmative precepts direct man to acts of virtue, while the negative precepts withdraw him from acts of vice. But in every matter there are virtues and vices opposed to one another. Therefore in whatever matter there is an ordinance of a precept of the decalogue, there should have been an affirmative and a negative precept. Therefore it was unfitting that affirmative precepts should be framed in some matters, and negative precepts in others.
Praeterea, Isidorus dicit quod omnis lex ratione constat. Sed omnia praecepta Decalogi pertinent ad legem divinam. Ergo in omnibus debuit ratio assignari, et non solum in primo et tertio praecepto.   Objection 2: Further, Isidore says (Etym. ii, 10) that every law is based on reason. But all the precepts of the decalogue belong to the Divine law. Therefore the reason should have been pointed out in each precept, and not only in the first and third.
Praeterea, per observantiam praeceptorum meretur aliquis praemia a Deo. Sed divinae promissiones sunt de praemiis praeceptorum. Ergo promissio debuit poni in omnibus praeceptis, et non solum in primo et quarto.   Objection 3: Further, by observing the precepts man deserves to be rewarded by God. But the Divine promises concern the rewards of the precepts. Therefore the promise should have been included in each precept, and not only in the second and fourth.
Praeterea, lex vetus dicitur lex timoris, inquantum per comminationes poenarum inducebat ad observationes praeceptorum. Sed omnia praecepta Decalogi pertinent ad legem veterem. Ergo in omnibus debuit poni comminatio poenae, et non solum in primo et secundo.   Objection 4: Further, the Old Law is called "the law of fear," in so far as it induced men to observe the precepts, by means of the threat of punishments. But all the precepts of the decalogue belong to the Old Law. Therefore a threat of punishment should have been included in each, and not only in the first and second.
Praeterea, omnia praecepta Dei sunt in memoria retinenda, dicitur enim Prov. III, describe ea in tabulis cordis tui. Inconvenienter ergo in solo tertio praecepto fit mentio de memoria. Et ita videntur praecepta Decalogi inconvenienter tradita esse.   Objection 5: Further, all the commandments of God should be retained in the memory: for it is written (Prov. 3:3): "Write them in the tables of thy heart." Therefore it was not fitting that mention of the memory should be made in the third commandment only. Consequently it seems that the precepts of the decalogue are unsuitably formulated.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Sap. XI, quod Deus omnia fecit in numero, pondere et mensura. Multo magis ergo in praeceptis suae legis congruum modum tradendi servavit.   On the contrary, It is written (Wis. 11:21) that "God made all things, in measure, number and weight." Much more therefore did He observe a suitable manner in formulating His Law.
Respondeo dicendum quod in praeceptis divinae legis maxima sapientia continetur, unde dicitur Deut. IV, haec est vestra sapientia et intellectus coram populis. Sapientis autem est omnia debito modo et ordine disponere. Et ideo manifestum esse debet quod praecepta legis convenienti modo sunt tradita.   I answer that, The highest wisdom is contained in the precepts of the Divine law: wherefore it is written (Dt. 4:6): "This is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of nations." Now it belongs to wisdom to arrange all things in due manner and order. Therefore it must be evident that the precepts of the Law are suitably set forth.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod semper ad affirmationem sequitur negatio oppositi, non autem semper ad negationem unius oppositi sequitur affirmatio alterius. Sequitur enim, si est album, non est nigrum, non tamen sequitur, si non est nigrum, ergo est album, quia ad plura sese extendit negatio quam affirmatio. Et inde est etiam quod non esse faciendum iniuriam, quod pertinet ad praecepta negativa, ad plures personas se extendit, secundum primum dictamen rationis, quam esse debitum ut alicui obsequium vel beneficium impendatur. Inest autem primo dictamen rationis quod homo debitor est beneficii vel obsequii exhibendi illis a quibus beneficia accepit, si nondum recompensavit. Duo autem sunt quorum beneficiis sufficienter nullus recompensare potest, scilicet Deus et pater, ut dicitur in VIII Ethic. Et ideo sola duo praecepta affirmativa ponuntur, unum de honoratione parentum; aliud de celebratione sabbati in commemorationem divini beneficii   Reply to Objection 1: Affirmation of one thing always leads to the denial of its opposite: but the denial of one opposite does not always lead to the affirmation of the other. For it follows that if a thing is white, it is not black: but it does not follow that if it is not black, it is white: because negation extends further than affirmation. And hence too, that one ought not to do harm to another, which pertains to the negative precepts, extends to more persons, as a primary dictate of reason, than that one ought to do someone a service or kindness. Nevertheless it is a primary dictate of reason that man is a debtor in the point of rendering a service or kindness to those from whom he has received kindness, if he has not yet repaid the debt. Now there are two whose favors no man can sufficiently repay, viz. God and man's father, as stated in Ethic. viii, 14. Therefore it is that there are only two affirmative precepts; one about the honor due to parents, the other about the celebration of the Sabbath in memory of the Divine favor.
Ad secundum dicendum quod illa praecepta quae sunt pure moralia, habent manifestam rationem, unde non oportuit quod in eis aliqua ratio adderetur. Sed quibusdam praeceptis additur caeremoniale, vel determinativum praecepti moralis communis, sicut in primo praecepto, non facies sculptile; et in tertio praecepto determinatur dies sabbati. Et ideo utrobique oportuit rationem assignari.   Reply to Objection 2: The reasons for the purely moral precepts are manifest; hence there was no need to add the reason. But some of the precepts include ceremonial matter, or a determination of a general moral precept; thus the first precept includes the determination, "Thou shalt not make a graven thing"; and in the third precept the Sabbath-day is fixed. Consequently there was need to state the reason in each case.
Ad tertium dicendum quod homines ut plurimum actus suos ad aliquam utilitatem ordinant. Et ideo in illis praeceptis necesse fuit promissionem praemii apponere, ex quibus videbatur nulla utilitas sequi, vel aliqua utilitas impediri. Quia vero parentes sunt iam in recedendo, ab eis non expectatur utilitas. Et ideo praecepto de honore parentum additur promissio. Similiter etiam praecepto de prohibitione idololatriae, quia per hoc videbatur impediri apparens utilitas quam homines credunt se posse consequi per pactum cum Daemonibus initum.   Reply to Objection 3: Generally speaking, men direct their actions to some point of utility. Consequently in those precepts in which it seemed that there would be no useful result, or that some utility might be hindered, it was necessary to add a promise of reward. And since parents are already on the way to depart from us, no benefit is expected from them: wherefore a promise of reward is added to the precept about honoring one's parents. The same applies to the precept forbidding idolatry: since thereby it seemed that men were hindered from receiving the apparent benefit which they think they can get by entering into a compact with the demons.
Ad quartum dicendum quod poenae praecipue necessariae sunt contra illos qui sunt proni ad malum, ut dicitur in X Ethic. Et ideo illis solis praeceptis legis additur comminatio poenarum, in quibus erat pronitas ad malum. Erant autem homines proni ad idololatriam, propter generalem consuetudinem gentium. Et similiter sunt etiam homines proni ad periurium, propter frequentiam iuramenti. Et ideo primis duobus praeceptis adiungitur comminatio.   Reply to Objection 4: Punishments are necessary against those who are prone to evil, as stated in Ethic. x, 9. Wherefore a threat of punishment is only affixed to those precepts of the law which forbade evils to which men were prone. Now men were prone to idolatry by reason of the general custom of the nations. Likewise men are prone to perjury on account of the frequent use of oaths. Hence it is that a threat is affixed to the first two precepts.
Ad quintum dicendum quod praeceptum de sabbato ponitur ut commemorativum beneficii praeteriti. Et ideo specialiter in eo fit mentio de memoria. Vel quia praeceptum de sabbato habet determinationem adiunctam quae non est de lege naturae; et ideo hoc praeceptum speciali admonitione indiguit.   Reply to Objection 5: The commandment about the Sabbath was made in memory of a past blessing. Wherefore special mention of the memory is made therein. Or again, the commandment about the Sabbath has a determination affixed to it that does not belong to the natural law, wherefore this precept needed a special admonition.

 

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Whether the precepts of the decalogue are dispensable?

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praecepta Decalogi sint dispensabilia. Praecepta enim Decalogi sunt de iure naturali. Sed iustum naturale in aliquibus deficit, et mutabile est, sicut et natura humana, ut philosophus dicit, in V Ethic. Defectus autem legis in aliquibus particularibus casibus est ratio dispensandi, ut supra dictum est. Ergo in praeceptis Decalogi potest fieri dispensatio.   Objection 1: It would seem that the precepts of the decalogue are dispensable. For the precepts of the decalogue belong to the natural law. But the natural law fails in some cases and is changeable, like human nature, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 7). Now the failure of law to apply in certain particular cases is a reason for dispensation, as stated above (Question [96], Article [6]; Question [97], Article [4]). Therefore a dispensation can be granted in the precepts of the decalogue.
Praeterea, sicut se habet homo ad legem humanam, ita se habet Deus ad legem datam divinitus. Sed homo potest dispensare in praeceptis legis quae homo statuit. Ergo, cum praecepta Decalogi sint instituta a Deo, videtur quod Deus in eis possit dispensare. Sed praelati vice Dei funguntur in terris, dicit enim apostolus, II ad Cor. II, nam et ego, si quid donavi, propter vos donavi in persona Christi. Ergo etiam praelati possunt in praeceptis Decalogi dispensare   Objection 2: Further, man stands in the same relation to human law as God does to Divine law. But man can dispense with the precepts of a law made by man. Therefore, since the precepts of the decalogue are ordained by God, it seems that God can dispense with them. Now our superiors are God's viceregents on earth; for the Apostle says (2 Cor. 2:10): "For what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ." Therefore superiors can dispense with the precepts of the decalogue.
Praeterea, inter praecepta Decalogi continetur prohibitio homicidii. Sed in isto praecepto videtur dispensari per homines, puta cum, secundum praeceptum legis humanae, homines licite occiduntur, puta malefactores vel hostes. Ergo praecepta Decalogi sunt dispensabilia.   Objection 3: Further, among the precepts of the decalogue is one forbidding murder. But it seems that a dispensation is given by men in this precept: for instance, when according to the prescription of human law, such as evil-doers or enemies are lawfully slain. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue are dispensable.
Praeterea, observatio sabbati continetur inter praecepta Decalogi. Sed in hoc praecepto fuit dispensatum, dicitur enim I Machab. II, et cogitaverunt in die illa dicentes, omnis homo quicumque venerit ad nos in bello die sabbatorum, pugnemus adversus eum. Ergo praecepta Decalogi sunt dispensabilia.   Objection 4: Further, the observance of the Sabbath is ordained by a precept of the decalogue. But a dispensation was granted in this precept; for it is written (1 Macc. 2:4): "And they determined in that day, saying: Whosoever shall come up to fight against us on the Sabbath-day, we will fight against him." Therefore the precepts of the decalogue are dispensable.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Isaiae XXIV, quidam reprehenduntur de hoc quod mutaverunt ius, dissipaverunt foedus sempiternum, quod maxime videtur intelligendum de praeceptis Decalogi. Ergo praecepta Decalogi mutari per dispensationem non possunt.   On the contrary, are the words of Is. 24:5, where some are reproved for that "they have changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant"; which, seemingly, apply principally to the precepts of the decalogue. Therefore the precepts of the decalogue cannot be changed by dispensation.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, tunc in praeceptis debet fieri dispensatio, quando occurrit aliquis particularis casus in quo, si verbum legis observetur, contrariatur intentioni legislatoris. Intentio autem legislatoris cuiuslibet ordinatur primo quidem et principaliter ad bonum commune; secundo autem, ad ordinem iustitiae et virtutis, secundum quem bonum commune conservatur, et ad ipsum pervenitur. Si qua ergo praecepta dentur quae contineant ipsam conservationem boni communis, vel ipsum ordinem iustitiae et virtutis; huiusmodi praecepta continent intentionem legislatoris, et ideo indispensabilia sunt. Puta si poneretur hoc praeceptum in aliqua communitate, quod nullus destrueret rempublicam, neque proderet civitatem hostibus, sive quod nullus faceret aliquid iniuste vel male; huiusmodi praecepta essent indispensabilia. Sed si aliqua alia praecepta traderentur ordinata ad ista praecepta, quibus determinantur aliqui speciales modi, in talibus praeceptis dispensatio posset fieri; inquantum per omissionem huiusmodi praeceptorum in aliquibus casibus, non fieret praeiudicium primis praeceptis, quae continent intentionem legislatoris. Puta si, ad conservationem reipublicae, statueretur in aliqua civitate quod de singulis vicis aliqui vigilarent ad custodiam civitatis obsessae; posset cum aliquibus dispensari propter aliquam maiorem utilitatem.   I answer that, As stated above (Question [96], Article [6]; Question [97], Article [4]), precepts admit of dispensation, when there occurs a particular case in which, if the letter of the law be observed, the intention of the lawgiver is frustrated. Now the intention of every lawgiver is directed first and chiefly to the common good; secondly, to the order of justice and virtue, whereby the common good is preserved and attained. If therefore there by any precepts which contain the very preservation of the common good, or the very order of justice and virtue, such precepts contain the intention of the lawgiver, and therefore are indispensable. For instance, if in some community a law were enacted, such as this—that no man should work for the destruction of the commonwealth, or betray the state to its enemies, or that no man should do anything unjust or evil, such precepts would not admit of dispensation. But if other precepts were enacted, subordinate to the above, and determining certain special modes of procedure, these latter precepts would admit of dispensation, in so far as the omission of these precepts in certain cases would not be prejudicial to the former precepts which contain the intention of the lawgiver. For instance if, for the safeguarding of the commonwealth, it were enacted in some city that from each ward some men should keep watch as sentries in case of siege, some might be dispensed from this on account of some greater utility.
Praecepta autem Decalogi continent ipsam intentionem legislatoris, scilicet Dei. Nam praecepta primae tabulae, quae ordinant ad Deum, continent ipsum ordinem ad bonum commune et finale, quod Deus est; praecepta autem secundae tabulae continent ipsum ordinem iustitiae inter homines observandae, ut scilicet nulli fiat indebitum, et cuilibet reddatur debitum; secundum hanc enim rationem sunt intelligenda praecepta Decalogi. Et ideo praecepta Decalogi sunt omnino indispensabilia.    Now the precepts of the decalogue contain the very intention of the lawgiver, who is God. For the precepts of the first table, which direct us to God, contain the very order to the common and final good, which is God; while the precepts of the second table contain the order of justice to be observed among men, that nothing undue be done to anyone, and that each one be given his due; for it is in this sense that we are to take the precepts of the decalogue. Consequently the precepts of the decalogue admit of no dispensation whatever.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod philosophus non loquitur de iusto naturali quod continet ipsum ordinem iustitiae, hoc enim nunquam deficit, iustitiam esse servandam. Sed loquitur quantum ad determinatos modos observationis iustitiae, qui in aliquibus fallunt.   Reply to Objection 1: The Philosopher is not speaking of the natural law which contains the very order of justice: for it is a never-failing principle that "justice should be preserved." But he is speaking in reference to certain fixed modes of observing justice, which fail to apply in certain cases.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut apostolus dicit, II ad Tim. II, Deus fidelis permanet, negare seipsum non potest. Negaret autem seipsum, si ipsum ordinem suae iustitiae auferret, cum ipse sit ipsa iustitia. Et ideo in hoc Deus dispensare non potest, ut homini liceat non ordinate se habere ad Deum, vel non subdi ordini iustitiae eius, etiam in his secundum quae homines ad invicem ordinantur.   Reply to Objection 2: As the Apostle says (2 Tim. 2:13), "God continueth faithful, He cannot deny Himself." But He would deny Himself if He were to do away with the very order of His own justice, since He is justice itself. Wherefore God cannot dispense a man so that it be lawful for him not to direct himself to God, or not to be subject to His justice, even in those matters in which men are directed to one another.
Ad tertium dicendum quod occisio hominis prohibetur in Decalogo secundum quod habet rationem indebiti, sic enim praeceptum continet ipsam rationem iustitiae. Lex autem humana hoc concedere non potest, quod licite homo indebite occidatur. Sed malefactores occidi, vel hostes reipublicae, hoc non est indebitum. Unde hoc non contrariatur praecepto Decalogi, nec talis occisio est homicidium, quod praecepto Decalogi prohibetur, ut Augustinus dicit, in I de Lib. Arb. Et similiter si alicui auferatur quod suum erat, si debitum est quod ipsum amittat, hoc non est furtum vel rapina, quae praecepto Decalogi prohibentur.   Reply to Objection 3: The slaying of a man is forbidden in the decalogue, in so far as it bears the character of something undue: for in this sense the precept contains the very essence of justice. Human law cannot make it lawful for a man to be slain unduly. But it is not undue for evil-doers or foes of the common weal to be slain: hence this is not contrary to the precept of the decalogue; and such a killing is no murder as forbidden by that precept, as Augustine observes (De Lib. Arb. i, 4). In like manner when a man's property is taken from him, if it be due that he should lose it, this is not theft or robbery as forbidden by the decalogue.
Et ideo quando filii Israel praecepto Dei tulerunt Aegyptiorum spolia, non fuit furtum, quia hoc eis debebatur ex sententia Dei. Similiter etiam Abraham, cum consensit occidere filium, non consensit in homicidium, quia debitum erat eum occidi per mandatum Dei, qui est dominus vitae et mortis. Ipse enim est qui poenam mortis infligit omnibus hominibus, iustis et iniustis, pro peccato primi parentis, cuius sententiae si homo sit executor auctoritate divina, non erit homicida, sicut nec Deus. Et similiter etiam Osee, accedens ad uxorem fornicariam, vel ad mulierem adulteram, non est moechatus nec fornicatus, quia accessit ad eam quae sua erat secundum mandatum divinum, qui est auctor institutionis matrimonii.    Consequently when the children of Israel, by God's command, took away the spoils of the Egyptians, this was not theft; since it was due to them by the sentence of God. Likewise when Abraham consented to slay his son, he did not consent to murder, because his son was due to be slain by the command of God, Who is Lord of life and death: for He it is Who inflicts the punishment of death on all men, both godly and ungodly, on account of the sin of our first parent, and if a man be the executor of that sentence by Divine authority, he will be no murderer any more than God would be. Again Osee, by taking unto himself a wife of fornications, or an adulterous woman, was not guilty either of adultery or of fornication: because he took unto himself one who was his by command of God, Who is the Author of the institution of marriage.
Sic igitur praecepta ipsa Decalogi, quantum ad rationem iustitiae quam continent, immutabilia sunt. Sed quantum ad aliquam determinationem per applicationem ad singulares actus, ut scilicet hoc vel illud sit homicidium, furtum vel adulterium, aut non, hoc quidem est mutabile, quandoque sola auctoritate divina, in his scilicet quae a solo Deo sunt instituta, sicut in matrimonio, et in aliis huiusmodi; quandoque etiam auctoritate humana, sicut in his quae sunt commissa hominum iurisdictioni. Quantum enim ad hoc, homines gerunt vicem Dei, non autem quantum ad omnia.    Accordingly, therefore, the precepts of the decalogue, as to the essence of justice which they contain, are unchangeable: but as to any determination by application to individual actions—for instance, that this or that be murder, theft or adultery, or not—in this point they admit of change; sometimes by Divine authority alone, namely, in such matters as are exclusively of Divine institution, as marriage and the like; sometimes also by human authority, namely in such matters as are subject to human jurisdiction: for in this respect men stand in the place of God: and yet not in all respects.
Ad quartum dicendum quod illa excogitatio magis fuit interpretatio praecepti quam dispensatio. Non enim intelligitur violare sabbatum qui facit opus quod est necessarium ad salutem humanam; sicut dominus probat, Matth. XII.   Reply to Objection 4: This determination was an interpretation rather than a dispensation. For a man is not taken to break the Sabbath, if he does something necessary for human welfare; as Our Lord proves (Mt. 12:3, seqq.).

 

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Whether the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law?

Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod modus virtutis cadat sub praecepto legis. Est enim modus virtutis ut aliquis iuste operetur iusta, et fortiter fortia, et similiter de aliis virtutibus. Sed Deut. XVI praecipitur, iuste quod iustum est exequeris. Ergo modus virtutis cadit sub praecepto.   Objection 1: It would seem that the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law. For the mode of virtue is that deeds of justice should be done justly, that deeds of fortitude should be done bravely, and in like manner as to the other virtues. But it is commanded (Dt. 26:20) that "thou shalt follow justly after that which is just." Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept.
Praeterea, illud maxime cadit sub praecepto quod est de intentione legislatoris. Sed intentio legislatoris ad hoc principaliter fertur ut homines faciat virtuosos, sicut dicitur in II Ethic. Virtuosi autem est virtuose agere. Ergo modus virtutis cadit sub praecepto.   Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the intention of the lawgiver comes chiefly under the precept. But the intention of the lawgiver is directed chiefly to make men virtuous, as stated in Ethic. ii: and it belongs to a virtuous man to act virtuously. Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept.
Praeterea, modus virtutis proprie esse videtur ut aliquis voluntarie et delectabiliter operetur. Sed hoc cadit sub praecepto legis divinae, dicitur enim in Psalmo XCIX, servite domino in laetitia; et II ad Cor. IX, non ex tristitia aut ex necessitate, hilarem enim datorem diligit Deus; ubi Glossa dicit, quidquid boni facis, cum hilaritate fac, et tunc bene facis, si autem cum tristitia facis, fit de te, non tu facis. Ergo modus virtutis cadit sub praecepto legis.   Objection 3: Further, the mode of virtue seems to consist properly in working willingly and with pleasure. But this falls under a precept of the Divine law, for it is written (Ps. 99:2): "Serve ye the Lord with gladness"; and (2 Cor. 9:7): "Not with sadness or necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver"; whereupon the gloss says: "Whatever ye do, do gladly; and then you will do it well; whereas if you do it sorrowfully, it is done in thee, not by thee." Therefore the mode of virtue falls under the precept of the law.
Sed contra, nullus potest operari eo modo quo operatur virtuosus, nisi habeat habitum virtutis; ut patet per philosophum, in II et V Ethic. Quicumque autem transgreditur praeceptum legis, meretur poenam. Sequeretur ergo quod ille qui non habet habitum virtutis, quidquid faceret, mereretur poenam. Hoc autem est contra intentionem legis, quae intendit hominem, assuefaciendo ad bona opera, inducere ad virtutem. Non ergo modus virtutis cadit sub praecepto.   On the contrary, No man can act as a virtuous man acts unless he has the habit of virtue, as the Philosopher explains (Ethic. ii, 4; v, 8). Now whoever transgresses a precept of the law, deserves to be punished. Hence it would follow that a man who has not the habit of virtue, would deserve to be punished, whatever he does. But this is contrary to the intention of the law, which aims at leading man to virtue, by habituating him to good works. Therefore the mode of virtue does not fall under the precept.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, praeceptum legis habet vim coactivam. Illud ergo directe cadit sub praecepto legis, ad quod lex cogit. Coactio autem legis est per metum poenae, ut dicitur X Ethic., nam illud proprie cadit sub praecepto legis, pro quo poena legis infligitur. Ad instituendam autem poenam aliter se habet lex divina, et lex humana. Non enim poena legis infligitur nisi pro illis de quibus legislator habet iudicare, quia ex iudicio lex punit. Homo autem, qui est legis lator humanae, non habet iudicare nisi de exterioribus actibus, quia homines vident ea quae parent, ut dicitur I Reg. XVI. Sed solius Dei, qui est lator legis divinae est iudicare de interioribus motibus voluntatum; secundum illud Psalmi VII, scrutans corda et renes Deus.   I answer that, As stated above (Question [90], Article [3], ad 2), a precept of law has compulsory power. Hence that on which the compulsion of the law is brought to bear, falls directly under the precept of the law. Now the law compels through fear of punishment, as stated in Ethic. x, 9, because that properly falls under the precept of the law, for which the penalty of the law is inflicted. But Divine law and human law are differently situated as to the appointment of penalties; since the penalty of the law is inflicted only for those things which come under the judgment of the lawgiver; for the law punishes in accordance with the verdict given. Now man, the framer of human law, is competent to judge only of outward acts; because "man seeth those things that appear," according to 1 Kgs. 16:7: while God alone, the framer of the Divine law, is competent to judge of the inward movements of wills, according to Ps. 7:10: "The searcher of hearts and reins is God."
Secundum hoc igitur dicendum est quod modus virtutis quantum ad aliquid respicitur a lege humana et divina; quantum ad aliquid autem, a lege divina sed non a lege humana; quantum ad aliquid vero, nec a lege humana nec a lege divina. Modus autem virtutis in tribus consistit, secundum philosophum, in II Ethic. Quorum primum est, si aliquis operetur sciens. Hoc autem diiudicatur et a lege divina et a lege humana. Quod enim aliquis facit ignorans, per accidens facit. Unde secundum ignorantiam aliqua diiudicantur ad poenam vel ad veniam, tam secundum legem humanam quam secundum legem divinam.    Accordingly, therefore, we must say that the mode of virtue is in some sort regarded both by human and by Divine law; in some respect it is regarded by the Divine, but not by the human law; and in another way, it is regarded neither by the human nor by the Divine law. Now the mode of virtue consists in three things, as the Philosopher states in Ethic. ii. The first is that man should act "knowingly": and this is subject to the judgment of both Divine and human law; because what a man does in ignorance, he does accidentally. Hence according to both human and Divine law, certain things are judged in respect of ignorance to be punishable or pardonable.
Secundum autem est ut aliquis operetur volens, vel eligens et propter hoc eligens; in quo importatur duplex motus interior, scilicet voluntatis et intentionis, de quibus supra dictum est. Et ista duo non diiudicat lex humana, sed solum lex divina. Lex enim humana non punit eum qui vult occidere et non occidit, punit autem eum lex divina, secundum illud Matth. V, qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio.    The second point is that a man should act "deliberately," i.e. "from choice, choosing that particular action for its own sake"; wherein a twofold internal movement is implied, of volition and of intention, about which we have spoken above (Questions [8], 12): and concerning these two, Divine law alone, and not human law, is competent to judge. For human law does not punish the man who wishes to slay, and slays not: whereas the Divine law does, according to Mt. 5:22: "Whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment."
Tertium autem est ut firme et immobiliter habeat et operetur. Et ista firmitas proprie pertinet ad habitum, ut scilicet aliquis ex habitu radicato operetur. Et quantum ad hoc, modus virtutis non cadit sub praecepto neque legis divinae neque legis humanae, neque enim ab homine neque a Deo punitur tanquam praecepti transgressor, qui debitum honorem impendit parentibus, quamvis non habeat habitum pietatis.    The third point is that he should "act from a firm and immovable principle": which firmness belongs properly to a habit, and implies that the action proceeds from a rooted habit. In this respect, the mode of virtue does not fall under the precept either of Divine or of human law, since neither by man nor by God is he punished as breaking the law, who gives due honor to his parents and yet has not the habit of filial piety.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod modus faciendi actum iustitiae qui cadit sub praecepto, est ut fiat aliquid secundum ordinem iuris, non autem quod fiat ex habitu iustitiae.   Reply to Objection 1: The mode of doing acts of justice, which falls under the precept, is that they be done in accordance with right; but not that they be done from the habit of justice.
Ad secundum dicendum quod intentio legislatoris est de duobus. De uno quidem, ad quod intendit per praecepta legis inducere, et hoc est virtus. Aliud autem est de quo intendit praeceptum ferre, et hoc est id quod ducit vel disponit ad virtutem, scilicet actus virtutis. Non enim idem est finis praecepti et id de quo praeceptum datur, sicut neque in aliis rebus idem est finis et quod est ad finem.   Reply to Objection 2: The intention of the lawgiver is twofold. His aim, in the first place, is to lead men to something by the precepts of the law: and this is virtue. Secondly, his intention is brought to bear on the matter itself of the precept: and this is something leading or disposing to virtue, viz. an act of virtue. For the end of the precept and the matter of the precept are not the same: just as neither in other things is the end the same as that which conduces to the end.
Ad tertium dicendum quod operari sine tristitia opus virtutis, cadit sub praecepto legis divinae, quia quicumque cum tristitia operatur, non volens operatur. Sed delectabiliter operari, sive cum laetitia vel hilaritate, quodammodo cadit sub praecepto, scilicet secundum quod sequitur delectatio ex dilectione Dei et proximi, quae cadit sub praecepto, cum amor sit causa delectationis, et quodammodo non, secundum quod delectatio consequitur habitum; delectatio enim operis est signum habitus generati, ut dicitur in II Ethic. Potest enim aliquis actus esse delectabilis vel propter finem, vel propter convenientiam habitus.   Reply to Objection 3: That works of virtue should be done without sadness, falls under the precept of the Divine law; for whoever works with sadness works unwillingly. But to work with pleasure, i.e. joyfully or cheerfully, in one respect falls under the precept, viz. in so far as pleasure ensues from the love of God and one's neighbor (which love falls under the precept), and love causes pleasure: and in another respect does not fall under the precept, in so far as pleasure ensues from a habit; for "pleasure taken in a work proves the existence of a habit," as stated in Ethic. ii, 3. For an act may give pleasure either on account of its end, or through its proceeding from a becoming habit.

 

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Whether the mode of charity falls under the precept of the Divine law?

Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod modus caritatis cadat sub praecepto divinae legis. Dicitur enim Matth. XIX, si vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata, ex quo videtur quod observatio mandatorum sufficiat ad introducendum in vitam. Sed opera bona non sufficiunt ad introducendum in vitam, nisi ex caritate fiant, dicitur enim I ad Cor. XIII, si distribuero in cibos pauperum omnes facultates meas, et si tradidero corpus meum ita ut ardeam, caritatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest. Ergo modus caritatis est in praecepto.   Objection 1: It would seem that the mode of charity falls under the precept of the Divine law. For it is written (Mt. 19:17): "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments": whence it seems to follow that the observance of the commandments suffices for entrance into life. But good works do not suffice for entrance into life, except they be done from charity: for it is written (1 Cor. 13:3): "If I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Therefore the mode of charity is included in the commandment.
Praeterea, ad modum caritatis proprie pertinet ut omnia fiant propter Deum. Sed istud cadit sub praecepto, dicit enim apostolus, I ad Cor. X, omnia in gloriam Dei facite. Ergo modus caritatis cadit sub praecepto.   Objection 2: Further, the mode of charity consists properly speaking in doing all things for God. But this falls under the precept; for the Apostle says (1 Cor. 10:31): "Do all to the glory of God." Therefore the mode of charity falls under the precept.
Praeterea, si modus caritatis non cadit sub praecepto, ergo aliquis potest implere praecepta legis non habens caritatem. Sed quod potest fieri sine caritate, potest fieri sine gratia, quae semper adiuncta est caritati. Ergo aliquis potest implere praecepta legis sine gratia. Hoc autem est Pelagiani erroris; ut patet per Augustinum, in libro de haeresibus. Ergo modus caritatis est in praecepto.   Objection 3: Further, if the mode of charity does not fall under the precept, it follows that one can fulfil the precepts of the law without having charity. Now what can be done without charity can be done without grace, which is always united to charity. Therefore one can fulfil the precepts of the law without grace. But this is the error of Pelagius, as Augustine declares (De Haeres. lxxxviii). Therefore the mode of charity is included in the commandment.
Sed contra est quia quicumque non servat praeceptum, peccat mortaliter. Si igitur modus caritatis cadat sub praecepto, sequitur quod quicumque operatur aliquid et non ex caritate, peccet mortaliter. Sed quicumque non habet caritatem, operatur non ex caritate. Ergo sequitur quod quicumque non habet caritatem, peccet mortaliter in omni opere quod facit, quantumcumque sit de genere bonorum. Quod est inconveniens.   On the contrary, Whoever breaks a commandment sins mortally. If therefore the mode of charity falls under the precept, it follows that whoever acts otherwise than from charity sins mortally. But whoever has not charity, acts otherwise than from charity. Therefore it follows that whoever has not charity, sins mortally in whatever he does, however good this may be in itself: which is absurd.
Respondeo dicendum quod circa hoc fuerunt contrariae opiniones. Quidam enim dixerunt absolute modum caritatis esse sub praecepto. Nec est impossibile observare hoc praeceptum caritatem non habenti, quia potest se disponere ad hoc quod caritas ei infundatur a Deo. Nec quandocumque aliquis non habens caritatem facit aliquid de genere bonorum, peccat mortaliter, quia hoc est praeceptum affirmativum, ut ex caritate operetur, et non obligat ad semper, sed pro tempore illo quo aliquis habet caritatem. Alii vero dixerunt quod omnino modus caritatis non cadit sub praecepto.   I answer that, Opinions have been contrary on this question. For some have said absolutely that the mode of charity comes under the precept; and yet that it is possible for one not having charity to fulfil this precept: because he can dispose himself to receive charity from God. Nor (say they) does it follow that a man not having charity sins mortally whenever he does something good of its kind: because it is an affirmative precept that binds one to act from charity, and is binding not for all time, but only for such time as one is in a state of charity. On the other hand, some have said that the mode of charity is altogether outside the precept.
Utrique autem quantum ad aliquid, verum dixerunt. Actus enim caritatis dupliciter considerari potest. Uno modo, secundum quod est quidam actus per se. Et hoc modo cadit sub praecepto legis quod de hoc specialiter datur, scilicet, diliges dominum Deum tuum, et, diliges proximum tuum. Et quantum ad hoc, primi verum dixerunt. Non enim est impossibile hoc praeceptum observare, quod est de actu caritatis, quia homo potest se disponere ad caritatem habendam, et quando habuerit eam, potest ea uti. Alio modo potest considerari actus caritatis secundum quod est modus actuum aliarum virtutum, hoc est secundum quod actus aliarum virtutum ordinantur ad caritatem, quae est finis praecepti, ut dicitur I ad Tim. I, dictum est enim supra quod intentio finis est quidam modus formalis actus ordinati in finem. Et hoc modo verum est quod secundi dixerunt, quod modus caritatis non cadit sub praecepto, hoc est dictu, quod in hoc praecepto, honora patrem, non includitur quod honoretur pater ex caritate, sed solum quod honoretur pater. Unde qui honorat patrem, licet non habens caritatem, non efficitur transgressor huius praecepti, etsi sit transgressor praecepti quod est de actu caritatis, propter quam transgressionem meretur poenam.    Both these opinions are true up to a certain point. Because the act of charity can be considered in two ways. First, as an act by itself: and thus it falls under the precept of the law which specially prescribes it, viz. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor." In this sense, the first opinion is true. Because it is not impossible to observe this precept which regards the act of charity; since man can dispose himself to possess charity, and when he possesses it, he can use it. Secondly, the act of charity can be considered as being the mode of the acts of the other virtues, i.e. inasmuch as the acts of the other virtues are ordained to charity, which is "the end of the commandment," as stated in 1 Tim. i, 5: for it has been said above (Question [12], Article [4]) that the intention of the end is a formal mode of the act ordained to that end. In this sense the second opinion is true in saying that the mode of charity does not fall under the precept, that is to say that this commandment, "Honor thy father," does not mean that a man must honor his father from charity, but merely that he must honor him. Wherefore he that honors his father, yet has not charity, does not break this precept: although he does break the precept concerning the act of charity, for which reason he deserves to be punished.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod dominus non dixit, si vis ad vitam ingredi, serva unum mandatum, sed, serva omnia mandata. Inter quae etiam continetur mandatum de dilectione Dei et proximi.   Reply to Objection 1: Our Lord did not say, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep one commandment"; but "keep" all "the commandments": among which is included the commandment concerning the love of God and our neighbor.
Ad secundum dicendum quod sub mandato caritatis continetur ut diligatur Deus ex toto corde, ad quod pertinet ut omnia referantur in Deum. Et ideo praeceptum caritatis implere homo non potest, nisi etiam omnia referantur in Deum. Sic ergo qui honorat parentes, tenetur ex caritate honorare, non ex vi huius praecepti quod est, honora parentes, sed ex vi huius praecepti, diliges dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo. Et cum ista sint duo praecepta affirmativa non obligantia ad semper, possunt pro diversis temporibus obligare. Et ita potest contingere quod aliquis implens praeceptum de honoratione parentum, non tunc transgrediatur praeceptum de omissione modi caritatis.   Reply to Objection 2: The precept of charity contains the injunction that God should be loved from our whole heart, which means that all things would be referred to God. Consequently man cannot fulfil the precept of charity, unless he also refer all things to God. Wherefore he that honors his father and mother, is bound to honor them from charity, not in virtue of the precept, "Honor thy father and mother," but in virtue of the precept, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart." And since these are two affirmative precepts, not binding for all times, they can be binding, each one at a different time: so that it may happen that a man fulfils the precept of honoring his father and mother, without at the same time breaking the precept concerning the omission of the mode of charity.
Ad tertium dicendum quod observare omnia praecepta legis homo non potest, nisi impleat praeceptum caritatis, quod non fit sine gratia. Et ideo impossibile est quod Pelagius dixit, hominem implere legem sine gratia.   Reply to Objection 3: Man cannot fulfil all the precepts of the law, unless he fulfil the precept of charity, which is impossible without charity. Consequently it is not possible, as Pelagius maintained, for man to fulfil the law without grace.

 

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Whether it is right to distinguish other moral precepts of the law besides the decalogue?

Ad undecimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter distinguantur alia moralia praecepta legis praeter Decalogum. Quia ut dominus dicit, Matth. XXII, in duobus praeceptis caritatis pendet omnis lex et prophetae. Sed haec duo praecepta explicantur per decem praecepta Decalogi. Ergo non oportet alia praecepta moralia esse.   Objection 1: It would seem that it is wrong to distinguish other moral precepts of the law besides the decalogue. Because, as Our Lord declared (Mt. 22:40), "on these two commandments" of charity "dependeth the whole law and the prophets." But these two commandments are explained by the ten commandments of the decalogue. Therefore there is no need for other moral precepts.
Praeterea, praecepta moralia a iudicialibus et caeremonialibus distinguuntur, ut dictum est. Sed determinationes communium praeceptorum moralium pertinent ad iudicialia et caeremonialia praecepta, communia autem praecepta moralia sub Decalogo continentur, vel etiam Decalogo praesupponuntur, ut dictum est. Ergo inconvenienter traduntur alia praecepta moralia praeter Decalogum.   Objection 2: Further, the moral precepts are distinct from the judicial and ceremonial precepts, as stated above (Question [99], Articles [3],4). But the determinations of the general moral precepts belong to the judicial and ceremonial precepts: and the general moral precepts are contained in the decalogue, or are even presupposed to the decalogue, as stated above (Article [3]). Therefore it was unsuitable to lay down other moral precepts besides the decalogue.
Praeterea, praecepta moralia sunt de actibus omnium virtutum, ut supra dictum est. Sicut igitur in lege ponuntur praecepta moralia praeter Decalogum pertinentia ad latriam, liberalitatem et misericordiam, et castitatem; ita etiam deberent poni aliqua praecepta pertinentia ad alias virtutes, puta ad fortitudinem, sobrietatem, et alia huiusmodi. Quod tamen non invenitur. Non ergo convenienter distinguuntur in lege alia praecepta moralia quae sunt praeter Decalogum.   Objection 3: Further, the moral precepts are about the acts of all the virtues, as stated above (Article [2]). Therefore, as the Law contains, besides the decalogue, moral precepts pertaining to religion, liberality, mercy, and chastity; so there should have been added some precepts pertaining to the other virtues, for instance, fortitude, sobriety, and so forth. And yet such is not the case. It is therefore unbecoming to distinguish other moral precepts in the Law besides those of the decalogue.
Sed contra est quod in Psalmo XVIII dicitur, lex domini immaculata, convertens animas. Sed per alia etiam moralia quae Decalogo superadduntur, homo conservatur absque macula peccati, et anima eius ad Deum convertitur. Ergo ad legem pertinebat etiam alia praecepta moralia tradere.   On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 18:8): "The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls." But man is preserved from the stain of sin, and his soul is converted to God by other moral precepts besides those of the decalogue. Therefore it was right for the Law to include other moral precepts.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex dictis patet, praecepta iudicialia et caeremonialia ex sola institutione vim habent, quia antequam instituerentur, non videbatur differre utrum sic vel aliter fieret. Sed praecepta moralia ex ipso dictamine naturalis rationis efficaciam habent, etiam si nunquam in lege statuantur. Horum autem triplex est gradus. Nam quaedam sunt certissima, et adeo manifesta quod editione non indigent; sicut mandata de dilectione Dei et proximi, et alia huiusmodi, ut supra dictum est, quae sunt quasi fines praeceptorum, unde in eis nullus potest errare secundum iudicium rationis. Quaedam vero sunt magis determinata, quorum rationem statim quilibet, etiam popularis, potest de facili videre; et tamen quia in paucioribus circa huiusmodi contingit iudicium humanum perverti, huiusmodi editione indigent, et haec sunt praecepta Decalogi. Quaedam vero sunt quorum ratio non est adeo cuilibet manifesta, sed solum sapientibus, et ista sunt praecepta moralia superaddita Decalogo, tradita a Deo populo per Moysen et Aaron.   I answer that, As is evident from what has been stated (Question [99], Articles [3],4), the judicial and ceremonial precepts derive their force from their institution alone: since before they were instituted, it seemed of no consequence whether things were done in this or that way. But the moral precepts derive their efficacy from the very dictate of natural reason, even if they were never included in the Law. Now of these there are three grades: for some are most certain, and so evident as to need no promulgation; such as the commandments of the love of God and our neighbor, and others like these, as stated above (Article [3]), which are, as it were, the ends of the commandments; wherefore no man can have an erroneous judgment about them. Some precepts are more detailed, the reason of which even an uneducated man can easily grasp; and yet they need to be promulgated, because human judgment, in a few instances, happens to be led astray concerning them: these are the precepts of the decalogue. Again, there are some precepts the reason of which is not so evident to everyone, but only the wise; these are moral precepts added to the decalogue, and given to the people by God through Moses and Aaron.
Sed quia ea quae sunt manifesta, sunt principia cognoscendi eorum quae non sunt manifesta; alia praecepta moralia superaddita Decalogo reducuntur ad praecepta Decalogi, per modum cuiusdam additionis ad ipsa. Nam in primo praecepto Decalogi prohibetur cultus alienorum deorum, cui superadduntur alia praecepta prohibitiva eorum quae ordinantur in cultum idolorum; sicut habetur Deut. XVIII, non inveniatur in te qui lustret filium suum aut filiam, ducens per ignem, nec sit maleficus atque incantator, nec Pythones consulat neque divinos, et quaerat a mortuis veritatem. Secundum autem praeceptum prohibet periurium. Superadditur autem ei prohibitio blasphemiae, Levit. XXIV; et prohibitio falsae doctrinae, Deut. XIII. Tertio vero praecepto superadduntur omnia caeremonialia. Quarto autem praecepto, de honore parentum, superadditur praeceptum de honoratione senum, secundum illud Levit. XIX, coram cano capite consurge, et honora personam senis; et universaliter omnia praecepta inducentia ad reverentiam exhibendam maioribus, vel ad beneficia exhibenda vel aequalibus vel minoribus. Quinto autem praecepto, quod est de prohibitione homicidii, additur prohibitio odii et cuiuslibet violationis contra proximum, sicut illud Levit. XIX, non stabis contra sanguinem proximi tui; et etiam prohibitio odii fratris, secundum illud, ne oderis fratrem tuum in corde tuo. Praecepto autem sexto, quod est de prohibitione adulterii, superadditur praeceptum de prohibitione meretricii, secundum illud Deut. XXIII, non erit meretrix de filiabus Israel, neque fornicator de filiis Israel; et iterum prohibitio vitii contra naturam, secundum illud Levit. XVIII, cum masculo non commisceberis, cum omni pecore non coibis. Septimo autem praecepto, de prohibitione furti adiungitur praeceptum de prohibitione usurae, secundum illud Deut. XXIII, non foenerabis fratri tuo ad usuram; et prohibitio fraudis, secundum illud Deut. XXV, non habebis in sacculo diversa pondera; et universaliter omnia quae ad prohibitionem calumniae et rapinae pertinent. Octavo vero praecepto, quod est de prohibitione falsi testimonii, additur prohibitio falsi iudicii, secundum illud Exod. XXIII, nec in iudicio plurimorum acquiesces sententiae, ut a veritate devies; et prohibitio mendacii, sicut ibi subditur, mendacium fugies; et prohibitio detractionis, secundum illud Levit. XIX, non eris criminator et susurro in populis. Aliis autem duobus praeceptis nulla alia adiunguntur, quia per ea universaliter omnis mala concupiscentia prohibetur.    But since the things that are evident are the principles whereby we know those that are not evident, these other moral precepts added to the decalogue are reducible to the precepts of the decalogue, as so many corollaries. Thus the first commandment of the decalogue forbids the worship of strange gods: and to this are added other precepts forbidding things relating to worship of idols: thus it is written (Dt. 18:10,11): "Neither let there be found among you anyone that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: . . . neither let there by any wizard nor charmer, nor anyone that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune-tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead." The second commandment forbids perjury. To this is added the prohibition of blasphemy (Lev. 24:15, seqq) and the prohibition of false doctrine (Dt. 13). To the third commandment are added all the ceremonial precepts. To the fourth commandment prescribing the honor due to parents, is added the precept about honoring the aged, according to Lev. 19:32: "Rise up before the hoary head, and honor the person of the aged man"; and likewise all the precepts prescribing the reverence to be observed towards our betters, or kindliness towards our equals or inferiors. To the fifth commandment, which forbids murder, is added the prohibition of hatred and of any kind of violence inflicted on our neighbor, according to Lev. 19:16: "Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor": likewise the prohibition against hating one's brother (Lev. 19:17): "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart." To the sixth commandment which forbids adultery, is added the prohibition about whoredom, according to Dt. 23:17: "There shall be no whore among the daughters of Israel, nor whoremonger among the sons of Israel"; and the prohibition against unnatural sins, according to Lev. 28:22,23: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind . . . thou shalt not copulate with any beast." To the seventh commandment which prohibits theft, is added the precept forbidding usury, according to Dt. 23:19: "Thou shalt not lend to thy brother money to usury"; and the prohibition against fraud, according to Dt. 25:13: "Thou shalt not have divers weights in thy bag"; and universally all prohibitions relating to peculations and larceny. To the eighth commandment, forbidding false testimony, is added the prohibition against false judgment, according to Ex. 23:2: "Neither shalt thou yield in judgment, to the opinion of the most part, to stray from the truth"; and the prohibition against lying (Ex. 23:7): "Thou shalt fly lying," and the prohibition against detraction, according to Lev. 19:16: "Thou shalt not be a detractor, nor a whisperer among the people." To the other two commandments no further precepts are added, because thereby are forbidden all kinds of evil desires.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ad dilectionem Dei et proximi ordinantur quidem praecepta Decalogi secundum manifestam rationem debiti, alia vero secundum rationem magis occultam.   Reply to Objection 1: The precepts of the decalogue are ordained to the love of God and our neighbor as pertaining evidently to our duty towards them; but the other precepts are so ordained as pertaining thereto less evidently.
Ad secundum dicendum quod praecepta caeremonialia et iudicialia sunt determinativa praeceptorum Decalogi ex vi institutionis, non autem ex vi naturalis instinctus, sicut praecepta moralia superaddita.   Reply to Objection 2: It is in virtue of their institution that the ceremonial and judicial precepts "are determinations of the precepts of the decalogue," not by reason of a natural instinct, as in the case of the superadded moral precepts.
Ad tertium dicendum quod praecepta legis ordinantur ad bonum commune, ut supra dictum est. Et quia virtutes ordinantes ad alium directe pertinent ad bonum commune; et similiter virtus castitatis, inquantum actus generationis deservit bono communi speciei; ideo de istis virtutibus directe dantur praecepta et Decalogi et superaddita. De actu autem fortitudinis datur praeceptum proponendum per duces exhortantes in bello, quod pro bono communi suscipitur, ut patet Deut. XX, ubi mandatur sacerdoti, nolite metuere, nolite cedere. Similiter etiam actus gulae prohibendus committitur monitioni paternae, quia contrariatur bono domestico, unde dicitur Deut. XXI, ex persona parentum, monita nostra audire contemnit, comessationibus vacat et luxuriae atque conviviis.   Reply to Objection 3: The precepts of a law are ordained for the common good, as stated above (Question [90], Article [2]). And since those virtues which direct our conduct towards others pertain directly to the common good, as also does the virtue of chastity, in so far as the generative act conduces to the common good of the species; hence precepts bearing directly on these virtues are given, both in the decalogue and in addition thereto. As to the act of fortitude there are the order to be given by the commanders in the war, which is undertaken for the common good: as is clear from Dt. 20:3, where the priest is commanded (to speak thus): "Be not afraid, do not give back." In like manner the prohibition of acts of gluttony is left to paternal admonition, since it is contrary to the good of the household; hence it is said (Dt. 21:20) in the person of parents: "He slighteth hearing our admonitions, he giveth himself to revelling, and to debauchery and banquetings."

 

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Whether the moral precepts of the Old Law justified man?

Ad duodecimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod praecepta moralia veteris legis iustificarent. Dicit enim apostolus, Rom. II, non enim auditores legis iusti sunt apud Deum, sed factores legis iustificabuntur. Sed factores legis dicuntur qui implent praecepta legis. Ergo praecepta legis adimpleta iustificabant.   Objection 1: It would seem that the moral precepts of the Old Law justified man. Because the Apostle says (Rm. 2:13): "For not the hearers of the Law are justified before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified." But the doers of the Law are those who fulfil the precepts of the Law. Therefore the fulfilling of the precepts of the Law was a cause of justification.
Praeterea, Levit. XVIII dicitur, custodite leges meas atque iudicia, quae faciens homo vivet in eis. Sed vita spiritualis hominis est per iustitiam. Ergo praecepta legis adimpleta iustificabant.   Objection 2: Further, it is written (Lev. 18:5): "Keep My laws and My judgments, which if a man do, he shall live in them." But the spiritual life of man is through justice. Therefore the fulfilling of the precepts of the Law was a cause of justification.
Praeterea, lex divina efficacior est quam lex humana. Sed lex humana iustificat, est enim quaedam iustitia in hoc quod praecepta legis adimplentur. Ergo praecepta legis iustificabant.   Objection 3: Further, the Divine law is more efficacious than human law. But human law justifies man; since there is a kind of justice consisting in fulfilling the precepts of law. Therefore the precepts of the Law justified man.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, II ad Cor. III, littera occidit. Quod secundum Augustinum, in libro de spiritu et littera, intelligitur etiam de praeceptis moralibus. Ergo praecepta moralia non iustificabant.   On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Cor. 3:6): "The letter killeth": which, according to Augustine (De Spir. et Lit. xiv), refers even to the moral precepts. Therefore the moral precepts did not cause justice.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut sanum proprie et primo dicitur quod habet sanitatem, per posterius autem quod significat sanitatem, vel quod conservat sanitatem; ita iustificatio primo et proprie dicitur ipsa factio iustitiae; secundario vero, et quasi improprie, potest dici iustificatio significatio iustitiae, vel dispositio ad iustitiam. Quibus duobus modis manifestum est quod praecepta legis iustificabant, inquantum scilicet disponebant homines ad gratiam Christi iustificantem, quam etiam significabant; quia sicut dicit Augustinus, contra Faustum, etiam vita illius populi prophetica erat, et Christi figurativa.   I answer that, Just as "healthy" is said properly and first of that which is possessed of health, and secondarily of that which is a sign or a safeguard of health; so justification means first and properly the causing of justice; while secondarily and improperly, as it were, it may denote a sign of justice or a disposition thereto. If justice be taken in the last two ways, it is evident that it was conferred by the precepts of the Law; in so far, to wit, as they disposed men to the justifying grace of Christ, which they also signified, because as Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 24), "even the life of that people foretold and foreshadowed Christ."
Sed si loquamur de iustificatione proprie dicta, sic considerandum est quod iustitia potest accipi prout est in habitu, vel prout est in actu, et secundum hoc, iustificatio dupliciter dicitur. Uno quidem modo, secundum quod homo fit iustus adipiscens habitum iustitiae. Alio vero modo, secundum quod opera iustitiae operatur, ut secundum hoc iustificatio nihil aliud sit quam iustitiae executio. Iustitia autem, sicut et aliae virtutes potest accipi et acquisita et infusa, ut ex supradictis patet. Acquisita quidem causatur ex operibus, sed infusa causatur ab ipso Deo per eius gratiam. Et haec est vera iustitia, de qua nunc loquimur, secundum quam aliquis dicitur iustus apud Deum; secundum illud Rom. IV, si Abraham ex operibus legis iustificatus est, habet gloriam, sed non apud Deum. Haec igitur iustitia causari non poterat per praecepta moralia, quae sunt de actibus humanis. Et secundum hoc, praecepta moralia iustificare non poterant iustitiam causando.    But if we speak of justification properly so called, then we must notice that it can be considered as in the habit or as in the act: so that accordingly justification may be taken in two ways. First, according as man is made just, by becoming possessed of the habit of justice: secondly, according as he does works of justice, so that in this sense justification is nothing else than the execution of justice. Now justice, like the other virtues, may denote either the acquired or the infused virtue, as is clear from what has been stated (Question [63], Article [4]). The acquired virtue is caused by works; but the infused virtue is caused by God Himself through His grace. The latter is true justice, of which we are speaking now, and in this respect of which a man is said to be just before God, according to Rm. 4:2: "If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God." Hence this justice could not be caused by moral precepts, which are about human actions: wherefore the moral precepts could not justify man by causing justice.
Si vero accipiatur iustificatio pro executione iustitiae, sic omnia praecepta legis iustificabant, aliter tamen et aliter. Nam praecepta caeremonialia continebant quidem iustitiam secundum se in generali, prout scilicet exhibebantur in cultum Dei, in speciali vero non continebant secundum se iustitiam, nisi ex sola determinatione legis divinae. Et ideo de huiusmodi praeceptis dicitur quod non iustificabant nisi ex devotione et obedientia facientium. Praecepta vero moralia et iudicialia continebant id quod erat secundum se iustum vel in generali, vel etiam in speciali. Sed moralia praecepta continebant id quod est secundum se iustum secundum iustitiam generalem quae est omnis virtus, ut dicitur in V Ethic. Praecepta vero iudicialia pertinebant ad iustitiam specialem, quae consistit circa contractus humanae vitae, qui sunt inter homines ad invicem.    If, on the other hand, by justification we understand the execution of justice, thus all the precepts of the Law justified man, but in various ways. Because the ceremonial precepts taken as a whole contained something just in itself, in so far as they aimed at offering worship to God; whereas taken individually they contained that which is just, not in itself, but by being a determination of the Divine law. Hence it is said of these precepts that they did not justify man save through the devotion and obedience of those who complied with them. On the other hand the moral and judicial precepts, either in general or also in particular, contained that which is just in itself: but the moral precepts contained that which is just in itself according to that "general justice" which is "every virtue" according to Ethic. v, 1: whereas the judicial precepts belonged to "special justice," which is about contracts connected with the human mode of life, between one man and another.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod apostolus accipit ibi iustificationem pro executione iustitiae.   Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle takes justification for the execution of justice.
Ad secundum dicendum quod homo faciens praecepta legis dicitur vivere in eis, quia non incurrebat poenam mortis, quam lex transgressoribus infligebat. In quo sensu inducit hoc apostolus, Gal. III.   Reply to Objection 2: The man who fulfilled the precepts of the Law is said to live in them, because he did not incur the penalty of death, which the Law inflicted on its transgressors: in this sense the Apostle quotes this passage (Gal. 3:12).
Ad tertium dicendum quod praecepta legis humanae iustificant iustitia acquisita, de qua non quaeritur ad praesens, sed solum de iustitia quae est apud Deum.   Reply to Objection 3: The precepts of human law justify man by acquired justice: it is not about this that we are inquiring now, but only about that justice which is before God.

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