St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

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


Index  [<< | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 90  [<< | >>]


Deinde considerandum est de assumptione divini nominis per modum adiurationis. Et circa hoc quaeruntur tria.    We must now consider the taking of God's name by way of adjuration: under which head there are three points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum liceat adiurare homines.     (1) Whether it is lawful to adjure a man?
Secundo, utrum liceat adiurare Daemones.     (2) Whether it is lawful to adjure the demons?
Tertio, utrum liceat adiurare irrationales creaturas.     (3) Whether it is lawful to adjure irrational creatures?


Index  [<< | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 90  [<< | >>]
Article: 1  [<< | >>]

Whether it is lawful to adjure a man?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat hominem adiurare. Dicit enim Origenes, super Matth., aestimo quoniam non oportet ut vir qui vult secundum Evangelium vivere, adiuret alterum. Si enim iurare non licet, quantum ad evangelicum Christi mandatum, notum est quia nec adiurare alterum licet. Propterea manifestum est quoniam princeps sacerdotum Iesum illicite adiuravit per Deum vivum.   Objection 1: It would seem that it is not lawful to adjure a man. Origen says (Tract. xxxv super Matth.): "I deem that a man who wishes to live according to the Gospel should not adjure another man. For if, according to the Gospel mandate of Christ, it be unlawful to swear, it is evident that neither is it lawful to adjure: and consequently it is manifest that the high-priest unlawfully adjured Jesus by the living God."
Praeterea, quicumque adiurat aliquem, quodammodo ipsum compellit. Sed non licet alium invitum cogere. Ergo videtur quod nec liceat aliquem adiurare.   Objection 2: Further, whoever adjures a man, compels him after a fashion. But it is unlawful to compel a man against his will. Therefore seemingly it is also unlawful to adjure a man.
Praeterea, adiurare est aliquem ad iurandum inducere. Sed inducere aliquem ad iurandum est superiorum, qui inferioribus iuramenta imponunt. Ergo inferiores superiores suos non possunt adiurare.   Objection 3: Further, to adjure is to induce a person to swear. Now it belongs to man's superior to induce him to swear, for the superior imposes an oath on his subject. Therefore subjects cannot adjure their superiors.
Sed contra est quod etiam Deum obsecramus per aliqua sacra eum obtestantes. Apostolus etiam fideles obsecrat per misericordia Dei, ut patet Rom. XII, quod videtur ad quandam adiurationem pertinere. Ergo licitum est alios adiurare.   On the contrary, Even when we pray God we implore Him by certain holy things: and the Apostle too besought the faithful "by the mercy of God" (Rm. 12:1): and this seems to be a kind of adjuration. Therefore it is lawful to adjure.
Respondeo dicendum quod ille qui iurat iuramento promissorio, per reverentiam divini nominis, quod ad confirmationem suae promissionis inducit, seipsum obligat ad faciendum quod promittit, quod est seipsum immobiliter ordinare ad aliquid agendum. Sicut autem homo seipsum ordinare potest ad aliquid agendum, ita etiam et alios, superiores quidem deprecando, inferiores autem imperando, ut ex supradictis patet. Cum igitur utraque ordinatio per aliquod divinum confirmatur, est adiuratio. In hoc tamen differt, quod homo est suorum actuum dominus, non autem est dominus eorum quae sunt ab alio agenda. Et ideo sibi ipsi potest necessitatem imponere per divini nominis invocationem, non autem hanc necessitatem potest aliis imponere, nisi subditis, quos potest ex debito praestiti iuramenti compellere.   I answer that, A man who utters a promissory oath, swearing by his reverence for the Divine name, which he invokes in confirmation of his promise, binds himself to do what he has undertaken, and so orders himself unchangeably to do a certain thing. Now just as a man can order himself to do a certain thing, so too can he order others, by beseeching his superiors, or by commanding his inferiors, as stated above (Question [83], Article [1]). Accordingly when either of these orderings is confirmed by something Divine it is an adjuration. Yet there is this difference between them, that man is master of his own actions but not of those of others; wherefore he can put himself under an obligation by invoking the Divine name, whereas he cannot put others under such an obligation unless they be his subjects, whom he can compel on the strength of the oath they have taken.
Si igitur aliquis per invocationem divini nominis, vel cuiuscumque rei sacrae, alicui non sibi subdito adiurando necessitatem agendi aliquid imponere intendat, sicut imponit sibi ipsi iurando, talis adiuratio illicita est, quia usurpat potestatem in alium quam non habet. Tamen propter aliquam necessitatem superiores suos inferiores tali genere adiurationis constringere possunt.    Therefore, if a man by invoking the name of God, or any holy thing, intends by this adjuration to put one who is not his subject under an obligation to do a certain thing, in the same way as he would bind himself by oath, such an adjuration is unlawful, because he usurps over another a power which he has not. But superiors may bind their inferiors by this kind of adjuration, if there be need for it.
Si vero intendat solummodo per reverentiam divini nominis, vel alicuius rei sacrae, aliquid ab alio obtinere absque necessitatis impositione, talis adiuratio licita est respectu quorumlibet.    If, however, he merely intend, through reverence of the Divine name or of some holy thing, to obtain something from the other man without putting him under any obligation, such an adjuration may be lawfully employed in respect of anyone.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Origenes loquitur de adiuratione qua aliquis alicui necessitatem imponere intendit, sicut imponit sibi ipsi iurando, sic enim princeps sacerdotum praesumpsit dominum Iesum Christum adiurare.   Reply to Objection 1: Origen is speaking of an adjuration whereby a man intends to put another under an obligation, in the same way as he would bind himself by oath: for thus did the high-priest presume to adjure our Lord Jesus Christ [*Mt. 26:63].
Ad secundum dicendum quod illa ratio procedit de adiuratione quae necessitatem imponit.   Reply to Objection 2: This argument considers the adjuration which imposes an obligation.
Ad tertium dicendum quod adiurare non est aliquem ad iurandum inducere, sed per quandam similitudinem iuramenti a se inducti, alium ad aliquid agendum provocare.   Reply to Objection 3: To adjure is not to induce a man to swear, but to employ terms resembling an oath in order to provoke another to do a certain thing.
Aliter tamen adiuratione utimur ad hominem, et aliter ad Deum. Nam adiurando hominis voluntatem per reverentiam rei sacrae immutare intendimus, quod quidem non intendimus circa Deum, cuius voluntas est immutabilis; sed quod a Deo per aeternam eius voluntatem aliquid obtineamus, non est ex meritis nostris, sed ex eius bonitate.    Moreover, we adjure God in one way and man in another; because when we adjure a man we intend to alter his will by appealing to his reverence for a holy thing: and we cannot have such an intention in respect of God Whose will is immutable. If we obtain something from God through His eternal will, it is due, not to our merits, but to His goodness.


Index  [<< | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 90  [<< | >>]
Article: 2  [<< | >>]

Whether it is lawful to adjure the demons?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat Daemones adiurare. Dicit enim Origenes, super Matth., non est secundum potestatem datam a salvatore adiurare Daemonia, Iudaicum enim est hoc. Non autem debemus Iudaeorum ritus imitari, sed potius uti potestate a Christo data. Ergo non est licitum Daemones adiurare.   Objection 1: It would seem unlawful to adjure the demons. Origen says (Tract. xxxv, super Matth.): "To adjure the demons is not accordance with the power given by our Saviour: for this is a Jewish practice." Now rather than imitate the rites of the Jews, we should use the power given by Christ. Therefore it is not lawful to adjure the demons.
Praeterea, multi nigromanticis incantationibus Daemones per aliquid divinum invocant, quod est adiurare. Si igitur licitum est Daemones adiurare, licitum est nigromanticis incantationibus uti. Quod patet esse falsum. Ergo et primum.   Objection 2: Further, many make use of necromantic incantations when invoking the demons by something Divine: and this is an adjuration. Therefore, if it be lawful to adjure the demons, it is lawful to make use of necromantic incantations, which is evidently false. Therefore the antecedent is false also.
Praeterea, quicumque adiurat aliquem, ex hoc ipso aliquam societatem cum ipso facit. Sed non licet cum Daemonibus societatem facere, secundum illud I Cor. X, nolo vos socios fieri Daemoniorum. Ergo non licet Daemones adiurare.   Objection 3: Further, whoever adjures a person, by that very fact associates himself with him. Now it is not lawful to have fellowship with the demons, according to 1 Cor. 10:20, "I would not that you should be made partakers with devils." Therefore it is not lawful to adjure the demons.
Sed contra est quod dicitur Marc. ult., in nomine meo Daemonia eiicient. Sed inducere alium ad aliquid agendum propter nomen divinum, hoc est adiurare. Ergo licitum est Daemones adiurare.   On the contrary, It is written (Mk. 16:17): "In My name they shall cast out devils." Now to induce anyone to do a certain thing for the sake of God's name is to adjure. Therefore it is lawful to adjure the demons.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, duplex est adiurandi modus, unus quidem per modum deprecationis vel inductionis ob reverentiam alicuius sacri; alius autem per modum compulsionis. Primo autem modo non licet Daemones adiurare, quia ille modus adiurandi videtur ad quandam benevolentiam vel amicitiam pertinere, qua non licet ad Daemones uti. Secundo autem adiurationis modo, qui est per compulsionem, licet nobis ad aliquid uti, et ad aliquid non licet. Daemones enim in cursu huius vitae nobis adversarii constituuntur, non autem eorum actus nostrae dispositioni subduntur, sed dispositioni divinae et sanctorum Angelorum; quia, ut Augustinus dicit, in III de Trin., spiritus desertor regitur per spiritum iustum. Possumus ergo Daemones, adiurando, per virtutem divini nominis tanquam inimicos repellere, ne nobis noceant vel spiritualiter vel corporaliter, secundum potestatem datam a Christo, secundum illud Luc. X, ecce, dedi vobis potestatem calcandi supra serpentes et scorpiones, et supra omnem virtutem inimici, et nihil vobis nocebit.   I answer that, As stated in the preceding article, there are two ways of adjuring: one by way of prayer or inducement through reverence of some holy thing: the other by way of compulsion. In the first way it is not lawful to adjure the demons because such a way seems to savor of benevolence or friendship, which it is unlawful to bear towards the demons. As to the second kind of adjuration, which is by compulsion, we may lawfully use it for some purposes, and not for others. For during the course of this life the demons are our adversaries: and their actions are not subject to our disposal but to that of God and the holy angels, because, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 4), "the rebel spirit is ruled by the just spirit." Accordingly we may repulse the demons, as being our enemies, by adjuring them through the power of God's name, lest they do us harm of soul or body, in accord with the Divine power given by Christ, as recorded by Lk. 10:19: "Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you."
Non tamen licitum est eos adiurare ad aliquid ab eis addiscendum, vel etiam ad aliquid per eos obtinendum, quia hoc pertineret ad aliquam societatem cum ipsis habendam, nisi forte ex speciali instinctu vel revelatione divina, aliqui sancti ad aliquos effectus Daemonum operatione utantur; sicut legitur de beato Iacobo quod per Daemones fecit Hermogenem ad se adduci.    It is not, however, lawful to adjure them for the purpose of learning something from them, or of obtaining something through them, for this would amount to holding fellowship with them: except perhaps when certain holy men, by special instinct or Divine revelation, make use of the demons' actions in order to obtain certain results: thus we read of the Blessed James [*the Greater; cf. Apocrypha, N.T., Hist. Certam. Apost. vi, 19] that he caused Hermogenes to be brought to him, by the instrumentality of the demons.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Origenes loquitur de adiuratione quae non fit protestative per modum compulsionis, sed magis per modum cuiusdam benevolae deprecationis.   Reply to Objection 1: Origen is speaking of adjuration made, not authoritatively by way of compulsion, but rather by way of a friendly appeal.
Ad secundum dicendum quod nigromantici utuntur adiurationibus et invocationibus Daemonum ad aliquid ab eis adipiscendum vel addiscendum, et hoc est illicitum, ut dictum est. Unde Chrysostomus dicit, Marc. I, exponens illud verbum domini, quod spiritui immundo dixit, obmutesce, et exi de homine, salutiferum hic nobis dogma datur, ne credamus Daemonibus, quantumcumque denuntient veritatem.   Reply to Objection 2: Necromancers adjure and invoke the demons in order to obtain or learn something from them: and this is unlawful, as stated above. Wherefore Chrysostom, commenting on our Lord's words to the unclean spirit (Mk. 1:25), "Speak no more, and go out of the man," says: "A salutary teaching is given us here, lest we believe the demons, however much they speak the truth."
Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de adiuratione qua imploratur auxilium Daemonum ad aliquid agendum vel cognoscendum, hoc enim videtur ad quandam societatem pertinere. Sed quod aliquis adiurando Daemones repellat, hoc est ab eorum societate recedere.   Reply to Objection 3: This argument considers the adjuration whereby the demon's help is besought in doing or learning something: for this savors of fellowship with them. On the other hand, to repulse the demons by adjuring them, is to sever oneself from their fellowship.


Index  [<< | >>]
Second Part of the Second Part  [<< | >>]
Question: 90  [<< | >>]
Article: 3  [<< | >>]

Whether it is lawful to adjure an irrational creature?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat adiurare irrationalem creaturam. Adiuratio enim fit per locutionem. Sed frustra sermo dirigitur ad eum qui non intelligit, qualis est irrationalis creatura. Ergo vanum est et illicitum irrationalem creaturam adiurare.   Objection 1: It would seem unlawful to adjure an irrational creature. An adjuration consists of spoken words. But it is useless to speak to one that understands not, such as an irrational creature. Therefore it is vain and unlawful to adjure an irrational creature.
Praeterea, ad eum videtur competere adiuratio ad quem pertinet iuratio. Sed iuratio non pertinet ad creaturam irrationalem. Ergo videtur quod ad eam non liceat adiuratione uti.   Objection 2: Further, seemingly wherever adjuration is admissible, swearing is also admissible. But swearing is not consistent with an irrational creature. Therefore it would seem unlawful to employ adjuration towards one.
Praeterea, duplex est adiurationis modus, ut ex supradictis patet. Unus quidem per modum deprecationis, quo non possumus uti ad irrationalem creaturam, quae non est domina sui actus. Alia autem est adiuratio per modum compulsionis, qua etiam, ut videtur, ad eam uti non possumus; quia non est nostrum creaturis irrationalibus imperare, sed solum illius de quo dicitur, Matth. VIII, quia venti et mare obediunt ei. Ergo nullo modo, ut videtur, licet uti adiuratione ad irrationales creaturas.   Objection 3: Further, there are two ways of adjuring, as explained above (Articles [1],2). One is by way of appeal; and this cannot be employed towards irrational creatures, since they are not masters of their own actions. The other kind of adjuration is by way of compulsion: and, seemingly, neither is it lawful to use this towards them, because we have not the power to command irrational creatures, but only He of Whom it was said (Mt. 8:27): "For the winds and the sea obey Him." Therefore in no way, apparently, is it lawful to adjure irrational creatures.
Sed contra est quod Simon et Iudas leguntur adiurasse dracones, et eis praecepisse ut in desertum locum discederent.   On the contrary, Simon and Jude are related to have adjured dragons and to have commanded them to withdraw into the desert. [*From the apocryphal Historiae Certam. Apost. vi. 19.]
Respondeo dicendum quod creaturae irrationales ab alio aguntur ad proprias operationes. Eadem autem actio est eius quod agitur et movetur, et eius quod agit et movet, sicut motus sagittae est etiam quaedam operatio sagittantis. Et ideo operatio irrationalis creaturae non solum ipsi attribuitur, sed principaliter Deo, cuius dispositione omnia moventur. Pertinet etiam ad Diabolum, qui, permissione divina, utitur aliquibus irrationalibus creaturis ad nocendum hominibus.   I answer that, Irrational creatures are directed to their own actions by some other agent. Now the action of what is directed and moved is also the action of the director and mover: thus the movement of the arrow is an operation of the archer. Wherefore the operation of the irrational creature is ascribed not only to it, but also and chiefly to God, Who disposes the movements of all things. It is also ascribed to the devil, who, by God's permission, makes use of irrational creatures in order to inflict harm on man.
Sic ergo adiuratio qua quis utitur ad irrationalem creaturam, potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo, ut adiuratio referatur ad ipsam creaturam irrationalem secundum se. Et sic vanum esset irrationalem creaturam adiurare. Alio modo, ut referatur ad eum a quo irrationalis creatura agitur et movetur. Et sic dupliciter adiuratur irrationalis creatura. Uno quidem modo, per modum deprecationis ad Deum directae, quod pertinet ad eos qui divina invocatione miracula faciunt. Alio modo, per modum compulsionis, quae refertur ad Diabolum, qui in nocumentum nostrum utitur irrationabilibus creaturis, et talis est modus adiurandi in Ecclesiae exorcismis, per quos Daemonum potestas excluditur ab irrationalibus creaturis. Adiurare autem Daemones ab eis auxilium implorando, non licet.    Accordingly the adjuration of an irrational creature may be of two kinds. First, so that the adjuration is referred to the irrational creature in itself: and in this way it would be vain to adjure an irrational creature. Secondly, so that it be referred to the director and mover of the irrational creature, and in this sense a creature of this kind may be adjured in two ways. First, by way of appeal made to God, and this relates to those who work miracles by calling on God: secondly, by way of compulsion, which relates to the devil, who uses the irrational creature for our harm. This is the kind of adjuration used in the exorcisms of the Church, whereby the power of the demons is expelled from an irrational creature. But it is not lawful to adjure the demons by beseeching them to help us.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta.    This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

This document converted to HTML on Fri Jan 02 19:10:32 1998.