Introduction to Theology

Introduction to Theology
Si non philosophandum,
philosophandum est
Haec scientiae Sacrae Doctrinae, si eam quaeseris, anthologia introductionem praestat, et sic philosophiae doctrinam et methodologiam cum theologia iungit. Utraque simul non tantum sicut fidem et rationem oportent sed necesse sunt. Pretium perennis a Sancti Thomae scriptis Summi Pontifici, Concillia Ecclesiae Sanctae, et Conditores religionum institutionum saepenumero magni fecerunt, et sic nuper in Fide et Ratione Encyclica (n.43) dicitur: Locus omnino singularis hoc in longo itinere sancto Thomae reservatur, non tantum ob ea quae in eius doctrina continentur, verum etiam ob habitudinem dialogicam quam ille tunc temporis interserere scivit cum Arabica et Hebraica doctrina. Illa quidem aetate, qua christiani disputatores reperiebant veteres thesauros philosophiae, et immediatius philosophiae Aristotelicae, summum eius exstitit meritum quod eminere fecerit concordiam inter rationem et fidem. Utriusque lumen, rationis scilicet et fidei, a Deo procedit, ille ratiocinatus est, idcirco inter se opponere nequeunt.

The present anthology serves as an introduction to the science of Sacra Doctrina, in this way bridging and continuing the method and knowledge already obtained in the study of philosophy with that of theology. Both disciplines are not only compatible but necessary as faith and reason. Popes, Councils, and even Founders of Religious Institututes have often extolled the importance and perennial value of St Thomas’ writings; most recently the Encyclical Fides et Ratio (n.43) pinpoints Divus Thomas as a perennial teacher, having a very particular and relevant role to play in doctrine and method. To ensure a greater audience the texts are in English, with all the technical drawbacks which that may imply.

Societas pro doctrinae divulgatione Sancti Thomae TM 



Faith is not demonstrative knowledge

S.Th.,I, 46,2,c.
By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist, as was said above of the mystery of the Trinity (Q32, A1). The reason of this is that the newness of the world cannot be demonstrated on the part of the world itself. For the principle of demonstration is the essence of a thing. Now everything according to its species is abstracted from "here" and "now"; whence it is said that universals are everywhere and always. Hence it cannot be demonstrated that man, or heaven, or a stone were not always. Likewise neither can it be demonstrated on the part of the efficient cause, which acts by will. For the will of God cannot be investigated by reason, except as regards those things which God must will of necessity; and what He wills about creatures is not among these, as was said above (Q19, A3). But the divine will can be manifested by revelation, on which faith rests. Hence that the world began to exist is an object of faith, but not of demonstration or science. And it is useful to consider this, lest anyone, presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, should bring forward reasons that are not cogent, so as to give occasion to unbelievers to laugh, thinking that on such grounds we believe things that are of faith.

Why one should believe

Sermon on the Creed, Prologue.
"The Evidence of Things that Appear Not."-But someone will say that it is foolish to believe what is not seen, and that one should not believe in things that he cannot see. I answer by saying that the imperfect nature of our intellect takes away the basis of this difficulty. For if man of himself could in a perfect manner know all things visible and invisible, it would indeed be foolish to believe what he does not see. But our manner of knowing is so weak that no philosopher could perfectly investigate the nature of even one little fly. We even read that a certain philosopher spent thirty years in solitude in order to know the nature of the bee. If, therefore, our intellect is so weak, it is foolish to be willing to believe concerning God only that which man can know by himself alone. And against this is the word of Job: "Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge." One can also answer this question by supposing that a certain master had said something concerning his own special branch of knowledge, and some uneducated person would contradict him for no other reason than that he could not understand what the master said! Such a person would be considered very foolish. So, the intellect of the Angels as greatly exceeds the intellect of the greatest philosopher as much as that of the greatest philosopher exceeds the intellect of the uneducated man. Therefore, the philosopher is foolish if he refuses to believe what an Angel says, and far greater fool to refuse to believe what God says. Against such are these words: "For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of men."
Then, again, if one were willing to believe only those things which one knows with certitude, one could not live in this world. How could one live unless one believed others? How could one know that this man is one's own father? Therefore, it is necessary that one believe others in matters which one cannot know perfectly of oneself. But no one is so worthy of belief as is God, and hence they who do not believe the words of faith are not wise, but foolish and proud. As the Apostle says: "He is proud, knowing nothing." And also: "I know whom I have believed; and I am certain." And it is written: "Ye who fear the Lord, believe Him and your reward shall not be made void." Finally, one can say also that God proves the truth of the things which faith teaches. Thus, if a king sends letters signed with his seal, no one would dare to say that those letters did not represent the will of the king. In like manner, everything that the Saints believed and handed down to us concerning the faith of Christ is signed with the seal of God. This seal consists of those works which no mere creature could accomplish; they are the miracles by which Christ confirmed the sayings of the Apostles and of the Saints.
If, however, you would say that no one has witnessed these miracles, I would reply in this manner. It is a-fact that the entire world worshipped idols and that the faith of Christ was persecuted, as the histories of the pagans also testify. But now all are turned to Christ--wise men and noble and rich--converted by the words of the poor and simple preachers of Christ. Now, this fact was either a miracle or it was not. If it is miraculous, you have what you asked for, a visible fact; if it is not, then there could not be a greater miracle than that the whole world should have been converted without miracles. And we need go no further. We are more certain, therefore, in believing the things of faith than those things which can be seen, because God's knowledge never deceives us, but the visible sense of man is often in error.

Faith behooves mankind

In Boethii de Trin., III, 1.
Faith has something in common with opinion and also with science and understanding; so Hugh of St. Victor places it between science and opinion. With science and understanding it has in common unerring and firm assent. In this respect it differs from opinion, which accepts one of two contraries but fears the other might be correct, and also from doubt, which hesitates between two contraries. With opinion it shares the fact that it has to do with matters that are not clear to the mind, in which respect it differs from science and understanding. Now, as the Metaphysics says there can be two reasons why something is not evident to human knowledge: because of something wanting on the part of the knowable objects themselves, and because of some deficiency on the part of our mind. Examples of something wanting on the part of objects are individual and contingent things that are remote from our senses, for example, our actions, words and thoughts, which are such that they can be known to one person and unknown to another. And because in human society one person must make use of another just as he does himself in matters in which he is not self-sufficient, he must take his stand on what another knows and is unknown to himself, just as he does on what he himself knows. As a consequence, faith is necessary in human society, one person believing what another says. As Cicero remarks, this is the basis of justice. That is why there is no lie without moral fault, for every lie does some harm to this so essential faith.
Owing to a deficiency on our part, divine and necessary realities, which are most knowable by nature, are not apparent to us. We are not adapted to examine them from the outset, because we have to arrive at what is more knowable and prior by nature beginning with what is less knowable and posterior by nature. But what we first know is known on the strength of what we eventually come to know; so from the very beginning we must have some knowledge of those things which are more knowable in themselves, and this is possible only by faith. The sequence of the sciences makes this clear, for the science that concerns the highest causes, namely metaphysics, comes last in human knowledge, and yet the sciences that precede it must presuppose certain truths that are more fully elucidated in that science. As a result, every science has presuppositions which the learner must believe. Consequently, since the goal of human life is perfect happiness, which consists in the full knowledge of divine realities, the direction of human life toward perfect happiness from the very beginning requires faith in the divine, the complete knowledge of which we look forward to in our final state of perfection.
Even in the present life it is possible for us to arrive by reasoning at a full knowledge of some divine things. But even though we can have knowledge of them, and some persons actually achieve it, faith is still necessary, and this for five reasons given by Rabbi Moses.
First, owing to the depth and subtlety of the subject matter, which conceals the divine from human minds. Consequently, lest the human race be without any knowledge of things divine, provision was made that it might know them at least by faith. As Ecclesiastes says (7:25). "It is a great depth, and who shall find it out?" The second reason is the initial weakness of the human mind, which reaches its perfection only at the end. So, in order that it should at no time lack a knowledge of God, it needs faith, through which it may accept divine things from the very beginning. Third, because of the many preliminary items of knowledge that are needed to reach a knowledge of God by human reasoning. Indeed a knowledge of almost all the sciences is required for this, since the purpose of all of them is the knowledge of God. And yet, very few persons reach these preliminaries. So, in order that a large portion of the human race will not be left without a knowledge of God, he has provided the way of faith for them. Fourth, because many persons by their physical dispositions are unsuited to reach perfection of mind by the use of reason, the way of faith has been provided so that these also may not be wanting in divine knowledge. Fifth, because of the many occupations in which we must be engaged. This makes it impossible for everyone to acquire the necessary knowledge about God by way of reasoning. For this reason the way of faith has been provided, and here we are concerned with those matters which are known by some people but are proposed to others for belief.
There are, however, some aspects of the divinity that human reason is utterly incapable of knowing fully; we await their clear knowledge in the life to come, where our happiness will be complete. An example is the unity and trinity of the one God. We shall be advanced to this knowledge not by anything due to our nature but only by divine grace. So, even for this perfect knowledge certain presuppositions must be offered at the beginning for our belief, and from these we are led to the full knowledge of the things we believe from the beginning. As has been said, the same thing happens in the other sciences. Thus it is said in Isaiah (7:9), according to another version: "Unless you shall have believed you will not understand". Presuppositions of this sort are objects of belief for everyone; in this life no one knows or understands them.

Theology goes beyond philosophy

Compedium of Theology, I, c.36.
The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number of pagan philosophers, although some of them erred concerning these matters. And those who propounded true doctrine in this respect were scarcely able to arrive at such truths even after long and painstaking investigation. But there are other truths about God revealed to us in the teaching of the Christian religion, which were beyond the reach of the philosophers. These are truths about which we are instructed, in accord with the norm of Christian faith, in a way that transcends human perception. The teaching is this: although God is one and simple, as has been explained, God is Father, God is Son, and God is Holy Ghost. And these three are not three gods, but are one God. We now turn to a consideration of this truth, so far as is possible to us

Procedural distinction between philosophy and theology

In Boethii de Trin., Prologue.
Consequently, just as our natural knowledge begins with the knowledge of creatures obtained by the senses, so the knowledge imparted from above begins with the cognition of the first Truth bestowed on us by faith. As a result the order of procedure is different in the two cases. Philosophers, who follow the order of natural knowledge, place the science of creatures before the science of God, that is to say, natural philosophy before metaphysics, but theologians follow the opposite path, placing the consideration of the creator before that of creatures.

On the use of philosophy by the theologian

In Boethii de Trin., II, 3.
Now just as sacred doctrine is based on the light of faith, so philosophy is based on the natural light of reason. So it is impossible that the contents of philosophy should be contrary to the contents of faith, but they fall short of them. The former, however, bear certain likenesses to the latter and also contain certain preambles to them, just as nature itself is a preamble to grace. If anything, however, is found in the sayings of the philosophers contrary to faith, this is not philosophy but rather an abuse of philosophy arising from faulty reasoning. Therefore it is possible to refute an error of this sort by philosophical principles, either by showing that it is entirely impossible or that it is not necessary. For, as matters of faith cannot be demonstratively proved, so some assertions contrary to them cannot be demonstratively shown to be false; it can, however, be shown that they lack necessity.
Accordingly we can use philosophy in sacred doctrine in three ways.
First, in order to demonstrate the preambles of faith, which we must necessarily know in [the act of] faith. Such are the truths about God that are proved by natural reason, for example, that God exists, that he is one, and other truths of this sort about God or creatures proved in philosophy and presupposed by faith.
Second, by throwing light on the contents of faith by analogies, as Augustine uses many analogies drawn from philosophical doctrines in order to elucidate the Trinity.
Third, in order to refute assertions contrary to the faith, either by showing them to be false or lacking in necessity.
Those, however, who use philosophy in sacred doctrine can err in two ways. In one way by making use of teachings that are contrary to the faith, which consequently do not belong to philosophy but are a corruption and abuse of it. Origen was guilty of this. In another way by including the contents of faith within the bounds of philosophy, as would happen should somebody decide to believe nothing but what could be established by philosophy.

All things are created by God

Disputed Questions on the Power of God, III, 5.
I answer that the ancients in their investigations of nature proceeded in accordance with the order of human knowledge. Wherefore as human knowledge reaches the intellect by beginning with the senses, the early philosophers were intent on the domain of the senses, and thence by degrees reached the realm of the intellect. And seeing that accidental forms are in themselves objects of sense, whereas substantial forms are not, the early philosophers said that all forms are accidental, and that matter alone is a substance. And because substance suffices to cause accidents that result from the substantial elements, the early philosophers held that there is no other cause besides matter, and that matter is the cause of whatever we observe in the sensible world: and consequently they were forced to state that matter itself has no cause, and to deny absolutely the existence of an efficient cause. The later philosophers, however, began to take some notice of substantial forms: yet they did not attain to the knowledge of universals, and they were wholly intent on the observation of special forms; and so they posited indeed certain active causes, not such as give being to things in their universality, but which transmute matter to this or that form: these causes they called intelligence, attraction and repulsion, which they held responsible for adhesion and separation. Wherefore according to them not all beings came from an efficient cause, and matter was in existence before any efficient cause came into action. Subsequent to these the philosophers as Plato, Aristotle and their disciples, attained to the study of universal being: and hence they alone posited a universal cause of things, from which all others came into being, as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei viii, 4). This is in agreement with the Catholic Faith; and may be proved by the three arguments that follow.
First, if in a number of things we find something that is common to all, we must conclude that this something was the effect of some one cause: for it is not possible that to each one by reason of itself this common something belong, since each one by itself is different from the others: and diversity of causes produces a diversity of effects. Seeing then that being is found to be common to all things, which are by themselves distinct from one another, it follows of necessity that they must come into being not by themselves, but by the action of some cause. Seemingly this is Plato's argument, since he required every multitude to be preceded by unity not only as regards number but also in reality. The second argument is that whenever something is found to be in several things by participation in various degrees, it must be derived by those in which it exists imperfectly from that one in which it exists most perfectly: because where there are positive degrees of a thing so that we ascribe it to this one more and to that one less, this is in reference to one thing to which they approach, one nearer than another: for if each one were of itself competent to have it, there would be no reason why one should have it more than another. Thus fire, which is the extreme of heat, is the cause of heat in all things hot. Now there is one being most perfect and most true: which follows from the fact that there is a mover altogether immovable and absolutely perfect, as philosophers have proved. Consequently all other less perfect beings must needs derive being therefrom. This is the argument of the Philosopher (Metaph. ii, 1).
The third argument is based on the principle that whatsoever is through another is to be reduced to that which is of itself. Wherefore if there were a per se heat, it would be the cause of all hot things, that have heat by way of participation. Now there is a being that is its own being: and this follows from the fact that there must needs be a being that is pure act and wherein there is no composition. Hence from that one being all other beings that are not their own being, but have being by participation, must needs proceed. This is the argument of Avicenna (in Metaph. viii, 6; ix, 8). Thus reason proves and faith holds that all things are created by God.

On Sacred Doctrine

S.Th., Prologus et Q.1.
To place our purpose within proper limits, we first endeavor to investigate the nature and extent of this sacred doctrine. Concerning this there are ten points of inquiry.

(1) Whether it is necessary?
(2) Whether it is a science?
(3) Whether it is one or many?
(4) Whether it is speculative or practical?
(5) How it is compared with other sciences?
(6) Whether it is the same as wisdom?
(7) Whether God is its subject-matter?
(8) Whether it is a matter of argument?
(9) Whether it rightly employs metaphors and similes?
(10) Whether the Sacred Scripture of this doctrine may be expounded in different senses?

A.1. Whether, besides philosophy, any further doctrine is required?

OBJ 1: It seems that, besides philosophical science, we have no need of any further knowledge. For man should not seek to know what is above reason: "Seek not the things that are too high for thee" (Ecclus. 3:22). But whatever is not above reason is fully treated of in philosophical science. Therefore any other knowledge besides philosophical science is superfluous.
OBJ 2: Further, knowledge can be concerned only with being, for nothing can be known, save what is true; and all that is, is true. But everything that is, is treated of in philosophical science---even God Himself; so that there is a part of philosophy called theology, or the divine science, as Aristotle has proved (Metaph. vi). Therefore, besides philosophical science, there is no need of any further knowledge.
On the contrary, It is written (2 Tim. 3:16): "All Scripture, inspired of God is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice." Now Scripture, inspired of God, is no part of philosophical science, which has been built up by human reason. Therefore it is useful that besides philosophical science, there should be other knowledge, i.e. inspired of God.
I answer that, It was necessary for man's salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God besides philosophical science built up by human reason. Firstly, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: "The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that wait for Thee" (Is. 66:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation. Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man's whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation. It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation.
Reply OBJ 1: Although those things which are beyond man's knowledge may not be sought for by man through his reason, nevertheless, once they are revealed by God, they must be accepted by faith. Hence the sacred text continues, "For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of man" (Ecclus. 3:25). And in this, the sacred science consists.
Reply OBJ 2: Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.

A.2. Whether sacred doctrine is a science?

OBJ 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not a science. For every science proceeds from self-evident principles. But sacred doctrine proceeds from articles of faith which are not self-evident, since their truth is not admitted by all: "For all men have not faith" (2 Thess. 3:2). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
OBJ 2: Further, no science deals with individual facts. But this sacred science treats of individual facts, such as the deeds of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and such like. Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 1) "to this science alone belongs that whereby saving faith is begotten, nourished, protected and strengthened." But this can be said of no science except sacred doctrine. Therefore sacred doctrine is a science.
I answer that, Sacred doctrine is a science. We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from a principle known by the natural light of intelligence, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of perspective proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. So it is that sacred doctrine is a science because it proceeds from principles established by the light of a higher science, namely, the science of God and the blessed. Hence, just as the musician accepts on authority the principles taught him by the mathematician, so sacred science is established on principles revealed by God.
Reply OBJ 1: The principles of any science are either in themselves self-evident, or reducible to the conclusions of a higher science; and such, as we have said, are the principles of sacred doctrine.
Reply OBJ 2: Individual facts are treated of in sacred doctrine, not because it is concerned with them principally, but they are introduced rather both as examples to be followed in our lives (as in moral sciences) and in order to establish the authority of those men through whom the divine revelation, on which this sacred scripture or doctrine is based, has come down to us.

A.3. Whether sacred doctrine is one science?

OBJ 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not one science; for according to the Philosopher (Poster. i) "that science is one which treats only of one class of subjects." But the creator and the creature, both of whom are treated of in sacred doctrine, cannot be grouped together under one class of subjects. Therefore sacred doctrine is not one science.
OBJ 2: Further, in sacred doctrine we treat of angels, corporeal creatures and human morality. But these belong to separate philosophical sciences. Therefore sacred doctrine cannot be one science.
On the contrary, Holy Scripture speaks of it as one science: "Wisdom gave him the knowledge [scientiam] of holy things" (Wis. 10:10).
I answer that, Sacred doctrine is one science. The unity of a faculty or habit is to be gauged by its object, not indeed, in its material aspect, but as regards the precise formality under which it is an object. For example, man, ass, stone agree in the one precise formality of being colored; and color is the formal object of sight. Therefore, because Sacred Scripture considers things precisely under the formality of being divinely revealed, whatever has been divinely revealed possesses the one precise formality of the object of this science; and therefore is included under sacred doctrine as under one science.
Reply OBJ 1: Sacred doctrine does not treat of God and creatures equally, but of God primarily, and of creatures only so far as they are referable to God as their beginning or end. Hence the unity of this science is not impaired.
Reply OBJ 2: Nothing prevents inferior faculties or habits from being differentiated by something which falls under a higher faculty or habit as well; because the higher faculty or habit regards the object in its more universal formality, as the object of the "common sense" is whatever affects the senses, including, therefore, whatever is visible or audible. Hence the "common sense," although one faculty, extends to all the objects of the five senses. Similarly, objects which are the subject-matter of different philosophical sciences can yet be treated of by this one single sacred science under one aspect precisely so far as they can be included in revelation. So that in this way, sacred doctrine bears, as it were, the stamp of the divine science which is one and simple, yet extends to everything.

A.4. Whether sacred doctrine is a practical science?

OBJ 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is a practical science; for a practical science is that which ends in action according to the Philosopher (Metaph. ii). But sacred doctrine is ordained to action: "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only" (James 1:22). Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
OBJ 2: Further, sacred doctrine is divided into the Old and the New Law. But law implies a moral science which is a practical science. Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
On the contrary, Every practical science is concerned with human operations; as moral science is concerned with human acts, and architecture with buildings. But sacred doctrine is chiefly concerned with God, whose handiwork is especially man. Therefore it is not a practical but a speculative science.
I answer that, Sacred doctrine, being one, extends to things which belong to different philosophical sciences because it considers in each the same formal aspect, namely, so far as they can be known through divine revelation. Hence, although among the philosophical sciences one is speculative and another practical, nevertheless sacred doctrine includes both; as God, by one and the same science, knows both Himself and His works. Still, it is speculative rather than practical because it is more concerned with divine things than with human acts; though it does treat even of these latter, inasmuch as man is ordained by them to the perfect knowledge of God in which consists eternal bliss. This is a sufficient answer to the Objections.

A.5. Whether sacred doctrine is nobler than other sciences?

OBJ 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not nobler than other sciences; for the nobility of a science depends on the certitude it establishes. But other sciences, the principles of which cannot be doubted, seem to be more certain than sacred doctrine; for its principles---namely, articles of faith---can be doubted. Therefore other sciences seem to be nobler.
OBJ 2: Further, it is the sign of a lower science to depend upon a higher; as music depends on arithmetic. But sacred doctrine does in a sense depend upon philosophical sciences; for Jerome observes, in his Epistle to Magnus, that "the ancient doctors so enriched their books with the ideas and phrases of the philosophers, that thou knowest not what more to admire in them, their profane erudition or their scriptural learning." Therefore sacred doctrine is inferior to other sciences.
On the contrary, Other sciences are called the handmaidens of this one: "Wisdom sent her maids to invite to the tower" (Prov. 9:3).
I answer that, Since this science is partly speculative and partly practical, it transcends all others speculative and practical. Now one speculative science is said to be nobler than another, either by reason of its greater certitude, or by reason of the higher worth of its subject-matter. In both these respects this science surpasses other speculative sciences; in point of greater certitude, because other sciences derive their certitude from the natural light of human reason, which can err; whereas this derives its certitude from the light of divine knowledge, which cannot be misled: in point of the higher worth of its subject-matter because this science treats chiefly of those things which by their sublimity transcend human reason; while other sciences consider only those things which are within reason's grasp. Of the practical sciences, that one is nobler which is ordained to a further purpose, as political science is nobler than military science; for the good of the army is directed to the good of the State. But the purpose of this science, in so far as it is practical, is eternal bliss; to which as to an ultimate end the purposes of every practical science are directed. Hence it is clear that from every standpoint, it is nobler than other sciences.
Reply OBJ 1: It may well happen that what is in itself the more certain may seem to us the less certain on account of the weakness of our intelligence, "which is dazzled by the clearest objects of nature; as the owl is dazzled by the light of the sun" (Metaph. ii, lect. i). Hence the fact that some happen to doubt about articles of faith is not due to the uncertain nature of the truths, but to the weakness of human intelligence; yet the slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things, as is said in de Animalibus xi.
Reply OBJ 2: This science can in a sense depend upon the philosophical sciences, not as though it stood in need of them, but only in order to make its teaching clearer. For it accepts its principles not from other sciences, but immediately from God, by revelation. Therefore it does not depend upon other sciences as upon the higher, but makes use of them as of the lesser, and as handmaidens: even so the master sciences make use of the sciences that supply their materials, as political of military science. That it thus uses them is not due to its own defect or insufficiency, but to the defect of our intelligence, which is more easily led by what is known through natural reason (from which proceed the other sciences) to that which is above reason, such as are the teachings of this science.


A.6. Whether this doctrine is the same as wisdom?

OBJ 1: It seems that this doctrine is not the same as wisdom. For no doctrine which borrows its principles is worthy of the name of wisdom; seeing that the wise man directs, and is not directed (Metaph. i). But this doctrine borrows its principles. Therefore this science is not wisdom.
OBJ 2: Further, it is a part of wisdom to prove the principles of other sciences. Hence it is called the chief of sciences, as is clear in Ethic. vi. But this doctrine does not prove the principles of other sciences. Therefore it is not the same as wisdom.
OBJ 3: Further, this doctrine is acquired by study, whereas wisdom is acquired by God's inspiration; so that it is numbered among the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Is. 11:2). Therefore this doctrine is not the same as wisdom.
On the contrary, It is written (Dt. 4:6): "This is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of nations."
I answer that, This doctrine is wisdom above all human wisdom; not merely in any one order, but absolutely. For since it is the part of a wise man to arrange and to judge, and since lesser matters should be judged in the light of some higher principle, he is said to be wise in any one order who considers the highest principle in that order: thus in the order of building, he who plans the form of the house is called wise and architect, in opposition to the inferior laborers who trim the wood and make ready the stones: "As a wise architect, I have laid the foundation" (1 Cor. 3:10). Again, in the order of all human life, the prudent man is called wise, inasmuch as he directs his acts to a fitting end: "Wisdom is prudence to a man" (Prov. 10: 23). Therefore he who considers absolutely the highest cause of the whole universe, namely God, is most of all called wise. Hence wisdom is said to be the knowledge of divine things, as Augustine says (De Trin. xii, 14). But sacred doctrine essentially treats of God viewed as the highest cause---not only so far as He can be known through creatures just as philosophers knew Him---"That which is known of God is manifest in them" (Rm. 1:19)---but also as far as He is known to Himself alone and revealed to others. Hence sacred doctrine is especially called wisdom.

Reply OBJ 1: Sacred doctrine derives its principles not from any human knowledge, but from the divine knowledge, through which, as through the highest wisdom, all our knowledge is set in order.
Reply OBJ 2: The principles of other sciences either are evident and cannot be proved, or are proved by natural reason through some other science. But the knowledge proper to this science comes through revelation and not through natural reason. Therefore it has no concern to prove the principles of other sciences, but only to judge of them. Whatsoever is found in other sciences contrary to any truth of this science must be condemned as false: "Destroying counsels and every height that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:4,5).
Reply OBJ 3: Since judgment appertains to wisdom, the twofold manner of judging produces a twofold wisdom. A man may judge in one way by inclination, as whoever has the habit of a virtue judges rightly of what concerns that virtue by his very inclination towards it. Hence it is the virtuous man, as we read, who is the measure and rule of human acts. In another way, by knowledge, just as a man learned in moral science might be able to judge rightly about virtuous acts, though he had not the virtue. The first manner of judging divine things belongs to that wisdom which is set down among the gifts of the Holy Ghost: "The spiritual man judgeth all things" (1 Cor. 2:15). And Dionysius says (Div. Nom. ii): "Hierotheus is taught not by mere learning, but by experience of divine things." The second manner of judging belongs to this doctrine which is acquired by study, though its principles are obtained by revelation.


A.7. Whether God is the object of this science?

OBJ 1: It seems that God is not the object of this science. For in every science, the nature of its object is presupposed. But this science cannot presuppose the essence of God, for Damascene says (De Fide Orth. i, iv): "It is impossible to define the essence of God." Therefore God is not the object of this science.
OBJ 2: Further, whatever conclusions are reached in any science must be comprehended under the object of the science. But in Holy Writ we reach conclusions not only concerning God, but concerning many other things, such as creatures and human morality. Therefore God is not the object of this science.
On the contrary, The object of the science is that of which it principally treats. But in this science, the treatment is mainly about God; for it is called theology, as treating of God. Therefore God is the object of this science.
I answer that, God is the object of this science. The relation between a science and its object is the same as that between a habit or faculty and its object. Now properly speaking, the object of a faculty or habit is the thing under the aspect of which all things are referred to that faculty or habit, as man and stone are referred to the faculty of sight in that they are colored. Hence colored things are the proper objects of sight. But in sacred science, all things are treated of under the aspect of God: either because they are God Himself or because they refer to God as their beginning and end. Hence it follows that God is in very truth the object of this science. This is clear also from the principles of this science, namely, the articles of faith, for faith is about God. The object of the principles and of the whole science must be the same, since the whole science is contained virtually in its principles. Some, however, looking to what is treated of in this science, and not to the aspect under which it is treated, have asserted the object of this science to be something other than God---that is, either things and signs; or the works of salvation; or the whole Christ, as the head and members. Of all these things, in truth, we treat in this science, but so far as they have reference to God.
Reply OBJ 1: Although we cannot know in what consists the essence of God, nevertheless in this science we make use of His effects, either of nature or of grace, in place of a definition, in regard to whatever is treated of in this science concerning God; even as in some philosophical sciences we demonstrate something about a cause from its effect, by taking the effect in place of a definition of the cause.
Reply OBJ 2: Whatever other conclusions are reached in this sacred science are comprehended under God, not as parts or species or accidents but as in some way related to Him.


A.8. Whether sacred doctrine is a matter of argument?

OBJ 1: It seems this doctrine is not a matter of argument. For Ambrose says (De Fide 1): "Put arguments aside where faith is sought." But in this doctrine, faith especially is sought: "But these things are written that you may believe" (Jn. 20:31). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.
OBJ 2: Further, if it is a matter of argument, the argument is either from authority or from reason. If it is from authority, it seems unbefitting its dignity, for the proof from authority is the weakest form of proof. But if it is from reason, this is unbefitting its end, because, according to Gregory (Hom. 26), "faith has no merit in those things of which human reason brings its own experience." Therefore sacred doctrine is not a matter of argument.
On the contrary, The Scripture says that a bishop should "embrace that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers" (Titus 1:9).
I answer that, As other sciences do not argue in proof of their principles, but argue from their principles to demonstrate other truths in these sciences: so this doctrine does not argue in proof of its principles, which are the articles of faith, but from them it goes on to prove something else; as the Apostle from the resurrection of Christ argues in proof of the general resurrection (1 Cor. 15). However, it is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. Hence Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation; thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another. If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections---if he has any---against faith. Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.
Reply OBJ 1: Although arguments from human reason cannot avail to prove what must be received on faith, nevertheless, this doctrine argues from articles of faith to other truths.
Reply OBJ 2: This doctrine is especially based upon arguments from authority, inasmuch as its principles are obtained by revelation: thus we ought to believe on the authority of those to whom the revelation has been made. Nor does this take away from the dignity of this doctrine, for although the argument from authority based on human reason is the weakest, yet the argument from authority based on divine revelation is the strongest. But sacred doctrine makes use even of human reason, not, indeed, to prove faith (for thereby the merit of faith would come to an end), but to make clear other things that are put forward in this doctrine. Since therefore grace does not destroy nature but perfects it, natural reason should minister to faith as the natural bent of the will ministers to charity. Hence the Apostle says: "Bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Hence sacred doctrine makes use also of the authority of philosophers in those questions in which they were able to know the truth by natural reason, as Paul quotes a saying of Aratus: "As some also of your own poets said: For we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28). Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors. Hence Augustine says (Epis. ad Hieron. xix, 1): "Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true, merely on account of their having so thought and written, whatever may have been their holiness and learning."


A.9. Whether Holy Scripture should use metaphors?

OBJ 1: It seems that Holy Scripture should not use metaphors. For that which is proper to the lowest science seems not to befit this science, which holds the highest place of all. But to proceed by the aid of various similitudes and figures is proper to poetry, the least of all the sciences. Therefore it is not fitting that this science should make use of such similitudes.
OBJ 2: Further, this doctrine seems to be intended to make truth clear. Hence a reward is held out to those who manifest it: "They that explain me shall have life everlasting" (Ecclus. 24:31). But by such similitudes truth is obscured. Therefore, to put forward divine truths by likening them to corporeal things does not befit this science.
OBJ 3: Further, the higher creatures are, the nearer they approach to the divine likeness. If therefore any creature be taken to represent God, this representation ought chiefly to be taken from the higher creatures, and not from the lower; yet this is often found in Scriptures.
On the contrary, It is written (Osee 12:10): "I have multiplied visions, and I have used similitudes by the ministry of the prophets." But to put forward anything by means of similitudes is to use metaphors. Therefore this sacred science may use metaphors.
I answer that, It is befitting Holy Writ to put forward divine and spiritual truths by means of comparisons with material things. For God provides for everything according to the capacity of its nature. Now it is natural to man to attain to intellectual truths through sensible objects, because all our knowledge originates from sense. Hence in Holy Writ, spiritual truths are fittingly taught under the likeness of material things. This is what Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. i): "We cannot be enlightened by the divine rays except they be hidden within the covering of many sacred veils." It is also befitting Holy Writ, which is proposed to all without distinction of persons---"To the wise and to the unwise I am a debtor" (Rm. 1:14)---that spiritual truths be expounded by means of figures taken from corporeal things, in order that thereby even the simple who are unable by themselves to grasp intellectual things may be able to understand it.
Reply OBJ 1: Poetry makes use of metaphors to produce a representation, for it is natural to man to be pleased with representations. But sacred doctrine makes use of metaphors as both necessary and useful.
Reply OBJ 2: The ray of divine revelation is not extinguished by the sensible imagery wherewith it is veiled, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. i); and its truth so far remains that it does not allow the minds of those to whom the revelation has been made, to rest in the metaphors, but raises them to the knowledge of truths; and through those to whom the revelation has been made others also may receive instruction in these matters. Hence those things that are taught metaphorically in one part of Scripture, in other parts are taught more openly. The very hiding of truth in figures is useful for the exercise of thoughtful minds and as a defense against the ridicule of the impious, according to the words "Give not that which is holy to dogs" (Mt. 7:6).
Reply OBJ 3: As Dionysius says, (Coel. Hier. i) it is more fitting that divine truths should be expounded under the figure of less noble than of nobler bodies, and this for three reasons. Firstly, because thereby men's minds are the better preserved from error. For then it is clear that these things are not literal descriptions of divine truths, which might have been open to doubt had they been expressed under the figure of nobler bodies, especially for those who could think of nothing nobler than bodies. Secondly, because this is more befitting the knowledge of God that we have in this life. For what He is not is clearer to us than what He is. Therefore similitudes drawn from things farthest away from God form within us a truer estimate that God is above whatsoever we may say or think of Him. Thirdly, because thereby divine truths are the better hidden from the unworthy.


A.10. Whether in Holy Scripture a word may have several senses?

OBJ 1: It seems that in Holy Writ a word cannot have several senses, historical or literal, allegorical, tropological or moral, and anagogical. For many different senses in one text produce confusion and deception and destroy all force of argument. Hence no argument, but only fallacies, can be deduced from a multiplicity of propositions. But Holy Writ ought to be able to state the truth without any fallacy. Therefore in it there cannot be several senses to a word.
OBJ 2: Further, Augustine says (De util. cred. iii) that "the Old Testament has a fourfold division as to history, etiology, analogy and allegory." Now these four seem altogether different from the four divisions mentioned in the first objection. Therefore it does not seem fitting to explain the same word of Holy Writ according to the four different senses mentioned above.
OBJ 3: Further, besides these senses, there is the parabolical, which is not one of these four.
On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xx, 1): "Holy Writ by the manner of its speech transcends every science, because in one and the same sentence, while it describes a fact, it reveals a mystery."
I answer that, The author of Holy Writ is God, in whose power it is to signify His meaning, not by words only (as man also can do), but also by things themselves. So, whereas in every other science things are signified by words, this science has the property, that the things signified by the words have themselves also a signification. Therefore that first signification whereby words signify things belongs to the first sense, the historical or literal. That signification whereby things signified by words have themselves also a signification is called the spiritual sense, which is based on the literal, and presupposes it. Now this spiritual sense has a threefold division. For as the Apostle says (Heb. 10:1) the Old Law is a figure of the New Law, and Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. i) "the New Law itself is a figure of future glory." Again, in the New Law, whatever our Head has done is a type of what we ought to do. Therefore, so far as the things of the Old Law signify the things of the New Law, there is the allegorical sense; so far as the things done in Christ, or so far as the things which signify Christ, are types of what we ought to do, there is the moral sense. But so far as they signify what relates to eternal glory, there is the anagogical sense. Since the literal sense is that which the author intends, and since the author of Holy Writ is God, Who by one act comprehends all things by His intellect, it is not unfitting, as Augustine says (Confess. xii), if, even according to the literal sense, one word in Holy Writ should have several senses.
Reply OBJ 1: The multiplicity of these senses does not produce equivocation or any other kind of multiplicity, seeing that these senses are not multiplied because one word signifies several things, but because the things signified by the words can be themselves types of other things. Thus in Holy Writ no confusion results, for all the senses are founded on one---the literal---from which alone can any argument be drawn, and not from those intended in allegory, as Augustine says (Epis. 48). Nevertheless, nothing of Holy Scripture perishes on account of this, since nothing necessary to faith is contained under the spiritual sense which is not elsewhere put forward by the Scripture in its literal sense.
Reply OBJ 2: These three---history, etiology, analogy---are grouped under the literal sense. For it is called history, as Augustine expounds (Epis. 48), whenever anything is simply related; it is called etiology when its cause is assigned, as when Our Lord gave the reason why Moses allowed the putting away of wives---namely, on account of the hardness of men's hearts; it is called analogy whenever the truth of one text of Scripture is shown not to contradict the truth of another. Of these four, allegory alone stands for the three spiritual senses. Thus Hugh of St. Victor (Sacram. iv, 4 Prolog.) includes the anagogical under the allegorical sense, laying down three senses only---the historical, the allegorical, and the tropological.
Reply OBJ 3: The parabolical sense is contained in the literal, for by words things are signified properly and figuratively. Nor is the figure itself, but that which is figured, the literal sense. When Scripture speaks of God's arm, the literal sense is not that God has such a member, but only what is signified by this member, namely operative power. Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Writ.


Fides non est scientia demonstrativa

S.Th., I, 46, 2.
Respondeo dicendum quod mundum non semper fuisse, sola fide tenetur, et demonstrative probari non potest, sicut et supra de mysterio trinitatis dictum est.
Et huius ratio est, quia novitas mundi non potest demonstrationem recipere ex parte ipsius mundi. Demonstrationis enim principium est quod quid Est. Unumquodque autem, secundum rationem suae speciei, abstrahit ab hic et nunc, propter quod dicitur quod universalia sunt ubique et semper. Unde demonstrari non potest quod homo, aut caelum, aut lapis non semper fuit. Similiter etiam neque ex parte causae agentis, quae agit per voluntatem. Voluntas enim dei ratione investigari non potest, nisi circa ea quae absolute necesse est deum velle, talia autem non sunt quae circa creaturas vult, ut dictum est.
Potest autem voluntas divina homini manifestari per revelationem, cui fides innititur. Unde mundum incoepisse est credibile, non autem demonstrabile vel scibile. Et hoc utile est ut consideretur, ne forte aliquis, quod fidei est demonstrare praesumens, rationes non necessarias inducat, quae praebeant materiam irridendi infidelibus, existimantibus nos propter huiusmodi rationes credere quae fidei sunt.

Quare credere?

In Symbolum, Prologus
Sed dicit aliquis: stultum est credere quod non videtur, nec sunt credenda quae non videntur.
Respondeo. Dicendum, quod hoc dubium primo tollit imperfectio intellectus nostri: nam si homo posset perfecte per se cognoscere omnia visibilia et invisibilia, stultum esset credere quae non videmus; sed cognitio nostra est adeo debilis quod nullus philosophus potuit unquam perfecte investigare naturam unius muscae: unde legitur, quod unus philosophus fuit triginta annis in solitudine, ut cognosceret naturam apis. Si ergo intellectus noster est ita debilis, nonne stultum est nolle credere de deo, nisi illa tantum quae homo potest cognoscere per se? et ideo contra hoc dicitur iob XXXVI, 26: ecce deus magnus, vincens scientiam nostram.
Secundo potest responderi, quia dato quod aliquis magister aliquid diceret in sua scientia, et aliquis rusticus diceret non esse sicut magister doceret, eo quod ipse non intelligeret, multum reputaretur stultus ille rusticus. Constat autem quod intellectus Angeli excedit magis intellectum optimi philosophi, quam intellectus optimi philosophi intellectum rustici. Et ideo stultus est philosophus si nolit credere ea quae Angeli dicunt; et multo magis si nolit credere ea quae deus dicit. Et contra hoc dicitur Eccli. III, 25: plurima supra sensum hominum ostensa sunt tibi.
Tertio responderi potest, quia si homo nollet credere nisi ea quae cognosceret, certe non posset vivere in hoc mundo. Quomodo enim aliquis vivere posset nisi crederet alicui? quomodo etiam crederet quod talis esset pater suus? et ideo est necesse quod homo credat alicui de iis quae perfecte non potest scire per se. Sed nulli est credendum sicut deo: et ideo illi qui non credunt dictis fidei, non sunt sapientes, sed stulti et superbi, sicut dicit apostolus I ad Tim. VI, 4: superbus est, nihil sciens. Propterea dicebat II Tim. I, 12: scio cui credidi et certus sum. Eccli. II, 8: qui timetis deum, credite illi.
Quare potest etiam responderi, quia deus probat quod ea quae docet fides, sunt vera.
Si enim rex mitteret litteras cum sigillo suo sigillatas, nullus auderet dicere quod illae litterae non processissent de regis voluntate.
Constat autem quod omnia quae sancti crediderunt et tradiderunt nobis de fide christi, signata sunt sigillo dei: quod sigillum ostendunt illa opera quae nulla pura creatura facere potest: et haec sunt miracula, quibus christus confirmavit dicta apostolorum et sanctorum.
Si dicas, quod miracula nullus vidit fieri: respondeo ad hoc. Constat enim quod totus mundus colebat idola, et fidem christi persequebatur, sicut Paganorum etiam historiae tradunt; sed modo omnes conversi sunt ad christum, et sapientes et nobiles et divites et potentes et magni ad praedicationem simplicium et pauperum et paucorum praedicantium christum.
Aut ergo hoc est miraculose factum, aut non. Si miraculose, habes propositum.
Si non, dico quod non potuit esse maius miraculum quam quod mundus totus sine miraculis converteretur. Non ergo quaerimus aliud.
Sic ergo nullus debet dubitare de fide, sed credere ea quae fidei sunt magis quam ea quae videt: quia visus hominis potest decipi, sed dei scientia nunquam fallitur.

Fides hominibus oportet

In Boethii de Trin., III, 1.
Dicendum quod fides habet aliquid commune cum opinione et aliquid cum scientia et intellectu, ratione cuius ponitur media inter scientiam et opinionem ab Hugone de sancto victore. Cum scientia siquidem et intellectu commune habet certum et fixum assensum, in quo ab opinione differt, quae accipit alterum contrariorum cum formidine alterius, et a dubitatione quae fluctuat inter duo contraria.
Sed cum opinione commune habet quod est de rebus quae non sunt intellectui pervia, in quo differt a scientia et intellectu. Quod autem aliquid non sit patens humanae cognitioni, potest ex duobus contingere, ut dicitur in II metaphysicae, scilicet ex defectu ipsarum rerum cognoscibilium et ex defectu intellectus nostri. Ex defectu quidem rerum, sicut in rebus singularibus et contingentibus quae a nostris sensibus sunt remotae, sicut sunt facta hominum et dicta et cogitata, quae quidem talia sunt, ut uni homini possint esse nota et alii incognita. Et quia in convictu hominum oportet quod unus utatur altero sicut se ipso in his, in quibus sibi non sufficit, ideo oportet ut stet illis quae alius scit et sun sibi ignota, sicut his quae ipse cognoscit. Et exinde est quod in conversation hominum est fides necessaria, qua unus homo dictis alterius credat, et hoc est iustitiae fundamentum, ut tullius dicit in libro de officiis. Et inde est quod mendacium nullum sine peccato est, cum per omne mendacium huic fidei tam necessariae derogetur. 
Ex defectu vero nostro sunt non apparentia res divinae et necessariae, quae sunt secundum naturam maxime notae. Unde ad harum inspectionem non sumus statim a principio idonei, cum oporteat nos ex minus notis et posterioribus secundum naturam in magis nota et priora naturaliter pervenire. Sed quia ex VI illorum, quae ultimo cognoscimus, sunt nota illa quae primo cognoscimus, oportet etiam a principio aliquam nos habere notitiam de illis quae sunt per se magis nota; quod fieri non potest nisi credendo. Et etiam hoc patet in ordine scientiarum, quia scientia quae est de causis altissimis, scilicet metaphysica, ultimo occurrit homini ad cognoscendum, et tamen in scientiis praeambulis oportet quod supponantur quaedam quae in illa plenius innotescunt; unde quaelibet scientia habet suppositiones, quibus oportet addiscentem credere. Cum ergo finis humanae vitae sit beatitudo, quae consistit in plena cognitione divinorum, necessarium est ad humanam vitam in beatitudinem dirigendam statim a principio habere fidem divinorum, quae plene cognoscenda exspectantur in ultima perfectione humana. 
Ad quorum quaedam plene cognoscenda possibile est homini pervenire per viam rationis etiam in statu huius vitae. Et horum quamvis possit haberi scientia et a quibusdam habeatur, tamen necessarium est habere fidem propter quinque rationes, quas Rabbi Moyses ponit. Prima scilicet propter profunditatem et subtilitatem materiae, per quam occultantur divina ab hominum intellectu. Unde ne sit homo sine eorum qualicumque cognitione, provisum est ei ut saltem per fidem divina cognoscat, Eccl. 7: alta profunditas, quis cognoscet illam? secunda propter imbecillitatem intellectus humani a principio. Non enim provenit ei sua perfectio nisi in fine; et ideo ut nullum tempus sit ei vacuum a divina cognitione, indiget fide, per quam ab ipso principio divina accipiat. Tertio propter multa praeambula, quae exiguntur ad habendam cognitionem de deo secundum viam rationis. Requiritur enim ad hoc fere omnium scientiarum cognitio, cum omnium finis sit cognitio divinorum; quae quidem praeambula paucissimi consequuntur. Unde ne multitudo hominum a divina cognitione vacua remaneret, provisa est ei divinitus via fidei. Quarto, quia multi hominum ex naturali complexione sunt indispositi ad perfectionem intellectus consequendam per viam rationis; unde ut hi etiam divina cognitione non careant, provisa est fidei via. Quinto propter occupationes plurimas, quibus oportet homines occupari; unde impossibile est quod omnes consequantur per viam rationis illud quod est de deo necessarium ad cognoscendum, et propter hoc est via fidei procurata, et hoc quantum ad illa quae sunt ab aliquibus scita et aliis proponuntur ut credenda. 
Quaedam vero divinorum sunt, ad quae plene cognoscenda nullatenus ratio humana sufficit, sed eorum plena cognitio exspectatur in futura vita, ubi erit plena beatitudo, sicut unitas et trinitas unius dei. Et ad hanc cognitionem homo perducetur non ex debito suae naturae, sed ex sola divina gratia. Unde oportet quod huius etiam perfectae scientiae quaedam suppositiones primo ei credendae proponantur, ex quibus dirigatur in plenam cognitionem eorum quae a principio credit, sicut et in aliis scientiis accidit, ut dictum est; et ideo dicitur Is. 7 secundum aliam litteram: nisi credideritis, non intelligetis. Et huiusmodi suppositiones sunt illa quae sunt credita quantum ad omnes et a nullo in hac vita scita vel intellecta.

Sacra Doctrina philosophiam superat

Compedium. Theologiae, I, C.36.
Haec autem quae in superioribus de deo tradita sunt, a pluribus quidem gentilium philosophis subtiliter considerata sunt, quamvis nonnulli eorum circa praedicta erraverint: et qui in iis verum dixerunt, post longam et laboriosam inquisitionem ad veritatem praedictam vix pervenire potuerunt.
Sunt autem et alia nobis de deo tradita in doctrina christianae religionis, ad quam pervenire non potuerunt, circa quae secundum christianam fidem ultra humanum sensum instruimur. Est autem hoc: quod cum sit deus unus et simplex, ut ostensum est, est tamen deus pater, et deus filius, et deus spiritus sanctus, et II tres non tres dii, sed unus deus est: quod quidem, quantum possibile nobis est, considerare intendimus.

Distinctio methodologica inter theologiam et philosophiam

In Boethii de Trin., Prooemium.
Sicut ergo naturalis cognitionis principium est creaturae notitia a sensu accepta, ita cognitionis desuper datae principium est primae veritatis notitia per fidem infusa. Et hinc est quod diverso ordine hinc inde proceditur philosophi enim, qui naturalis cognitionis ordinem sequuntur, praeordinant scientiam de creaturis scientiae divinae, scilicet naturalem metaphysicae. Sed apud theologos proceditur e converso, ut creatoris consideratio considerationem praeveniat creaturae.

De usu philosophiae ab sacrae scientiae doctore

In Boethii de Trin., II, 3.

Sicut autem sacra doctrina fundatur supra lumen fidei, ita philosophia fundatur supra lumen naturale rationis; unde impossibile est quod ea, quae sunt philosophiae, sint contraria his quae sunt fidei, sed deficiunt ab eis. Continent tamen aliquas eorum similitudines et quaedam ad ea praeambula, sicut natura praeambula est ad gratiam. Si quid autem in dictis philosophorum invenitur contrarium fidei, hoc non est philosophia, sed magis philosophiae abusus ex defectu rationis. Et ideo possibile est ex principiis philosophiae huiusmodi errorem refellere vel ostendendo omnino esse impossibile vel ostendendo non esse necessarium. Sicut enim ea quae sunt fidei non possunt demonstrative probari, ita quaedam contraria eis non possunt demonstrative ostendi esse falsa, sed potest ostendi ea non esse necessaria. 
Sic ergo in sacra doctrina philosophia possumus tripliciter uti. Primo ad demonstrandum ea quae sunt praeambula fidei, quae necesse est in fide scire, ut ea quae naturalibus rationibus de deo probantur, ut deum esse, deum esse unum et alia huiusmodi vel de deo vel de creaturis in philosophia probata, quae fides supponit. Secundo ad notificandum per aliquas similitudines ea quae sunt fidei, sicut Augustinus in libro de trinita utitur multis similitudinibus ex doctrinis philosophicis sumptis ad manifestandum trinitatem. Tertio ad resistendum his quae contra fidem dicuntur sive ostendendo ea esse falsa sive ostendendo ea non esse necessaria. 
Tamen utentes philosophia in sacra doctrina possunt dupliciter errare.
Uno modo in hoc quod utantur his quae sunt contra fidem, quae non sunt philosophiae, sed corruptio vel abusus eius, sicut Origenes fecit.
Alio modo, ut ea quae sunt fidei includantur sub metis philosophiae, ut scilicet si aliquis credere nolit nisi quod per philosophiam haberi potest, cum e converso philosophia sit ad metas fidei redigenda, secundum illud apostoli 2 Cor. 10: in captivitatem redigentes omnem intellectum in obsequium christi. 

Omnia a Deo creata sunt

Q.D. De Pot. Dei, III, 5.
Respondeo. Dicendum, quod secundum ordinem cognitionis humanae processerunt antiqui in consideratione naturae rerum. Unde cum cognitio humana a sensu incipiens in intellectum perveniat priores philosophi circa sensibilia fuerunt occupati, et ex his paulatim in intelligibilia pervenerunt. Et quia accidentales formae sunt secundum se sensibiles, non autem substantiales, ideo primi philosophi omnes formas accidentia esse dixerunt, et solam materiam esse substantiam. Et quia substantia sufficit ad hoc quod sit accidentium causa, quae ex principiis substantiae causantur, inde est quod primi philosophi, praeter materiam, nullam aliam causam posuerunt; sed ex ea causari dicebant omnia quae in rebus sensibilibus provenire videntur; unde ponere cogebantur materiae causam non esse, et negare totaliter causam efficientem.
Posteriores vero philosophi, substantiales formas aliquatenus considerare coeperunt; non tamen pervenerunt ad cognitionem universalium, sed tota eorum intentio circa formas speciales versabatur: et ideo posuerunt quidam aliquas causas agentes, non tamen quae universaliter rebus esse conferrent, sed quae ad hanc vel ad illam formam, materiam permutarent; sicut intellectum et amicitiam et litem, quorum actionem ponebant in segregando et congregando; et ideo etiam secundum ipsos non omnia entia a causa efficiente procedebant, sed materia actioni causae agentis praesupponebatur.
Posteriores vero philosophi, ut Plato, Aristoteles et eorum sequaces, pervenerunt ad considerationem ipsius esse universalis; et ideo ipsi soli posuerunt aliquam universalem causam rerum, a qua omnia alia in esse prodirent, ut patet per Augustinum.
Cui quidem sententiae etiam catholica fides consentit. Et hoc triplici ratione demonstrari potest: quarum prima est haec. Oportet enim, si aliquid unum communiter in pluribus invenitur, quod ab aliqua una causa in illis causetur; non enim potest esse quod illud commune utrique ex se ipso conveniat, cum utrumque, secundum quod ipsum est, ab altero distinguatur; et diversitas causarum diversos effectus producit. Cum ergo esse inveniatur omnibus rebus commune, quae secundum illud quod sunt, ad invicem distinctae sunt, oportet quod de necessitate eis non ex se ipsis, sed ab aliqua una causa esse attribuatur.
Et ista videtur ratio Platonis, qui voluit, quod ante omnem multitudinem esset aliqua unitas non solum in numeris, sed etiam in rerum naturis.
Secunda ratio est, quia, cum aliquid invenitur a pluribus diversimode participatum oportet quod ab eo in quo perfectissime invenitur, attribuatur omnibus illis in quibus imperfectius invenitur. Nam ea quae positive secundum magis et minus dicuntur, hoc habent ex accessu remotiori vel propinquiori ad aliquid unum: si enim unicuique eorum ex se ipso illud conveniret, non esset ratio cur perfectius in uno quam in alio inveniretur; sicut videmus quod ignis, qui est in fine caliditatis, est caloris principium in omnibus calidis. Est autem ponere unum ens, quod est perfectissimum et verissimum ens: quod ex hoc probatur, quia est aliquid movens omnino immobile et perfectissimum, ut a philosophis est probatum. Oportet ergo quod omnia alia minus perfecta ab ipso esse recipiant. Et haec est probatio philosophi.
Tertia ratio est, quia illud quod est per alterum, reducitur sicut in causam ad illud quod est per se. Unde si esset unus calor per se existens, oporteret ipsum esse causam omnium calidorum, quae per modum participationis calorem habent. Est autem ponere aliquod ens quod est ipsum suum esse: quod ex hoc probatur, quia oportet esse aliquod primum ens quod sit actus purus, in quo nulla sit compositio. Unde oportet quod ab uno illo ente omnia alia sint, quaecumque non sunt suum esse, sed habent esse per modum participationis.
Haec est ratio Avicennae.
Sic ergo ratione demonstratur et fide tenetur quod omnia sint a deo creata.

De Sacra Doctrina

S.Th., Prologus et Q.1.
Quia catholicae veritatis doctor non solum provectos debet instruere, sed ad eum pertinet etiam incipientes erudire, secundum illud apostoli I ad corinth. III, tanquam parvulis in christo, lac vobis potum dedi, non escam; propositum nostrae intentionis in hoc opere est, ea quae ad christianam religionem pertinent, eo modo tradere, secundum quod congruit ad eruditionem incipientium. Consideravimus namque huius doctrinae novitios, in his quae a diversis conscripta sunt, plurimum impediri, partim quidem propter multiplicationem inutilium quaestionum, articulorum et argumentorum; partim etiam quia ea quae sunt necessaria talibus ad sciendum, non traduntur secundum ordinem disciplinae, sed secundum quod requirebat librorum expositio, vel secundum quod se praebebat occasio disputandi; partim quidem quia eorundem frequens repetitio et fastidium et confusionem generabat in animis auditorum. Haec igitur et alia huiusmodi evitare studentes, tentabimus, cum confidentia divini auxilii, ea quae ad sacram doctrinam pertinent, breviter ac dilucide prosequi, secundum quod materia patietur. 
Quaestio 1
Et ut intentio nostra sub aliquibus certis limitibus comprehendatur, necessarium est primo investigare de ipsa sacra doctrina, qualis sit, et ad quae se extendat. Circa quae quaerenda sunt decem.

Articulus 1

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit necessarium, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, aliam doctrinam haberi. Ad ea enim quae supra rationem sunt, homo non debet conari, secundum illud Eccli. III, altiora te ne quaesieris.
Sed ea quae rationi subduntur, sufficienter traduntur in philosophicis disciplinis. Superfluum igitur videtur, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, aliam doctrinam haberi. 
Praeterea, doctrina non potest esse nisi de ente, nihil enim scitur nisi verum, quod cum ente convertitur. Sed de omnibus entibus tractatur in philosophicis disciplinis, et etiam de deo, unde quaedam pars philosophiae dicitur theologia, sive scientia divina, ut patet per philosophum in VI metaphys..
Non fuit igitur necessarium, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, aliam doctrinam haberi. 
Sed contra est quod dicitur II ad Tim. III, omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est ad docendum, ad arguendum, ad corripiendum, ad erudiendum ad iustitiam.
Scriptura autem divinitus inspirata non pertinet ad philosophicas disciplinas, quae sunt secundum rationem humanam inventae. Utile igitur est, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, esse aliam scientiam divinitus inspiratam. 
Respondeo dicendum quod necessarium fuit ad humanam salutem, esse doctrinam quandam secundum revelationem divinam, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, quae ratione humana investigantur.
Primo quidem, quia homo ordinatur ad deum sicut ad quendam finem qui comprehensionem rationis excedit, secundum illud Isaiae LXIV, oculus non vidit deus absque te, quae praeparasti diligentibus te.
Finem autem oportet esse praecognitum hominibus, qui suas intentiones et actiones debent ordinare in finem. Unde necessarium fuit homini ad salutem, quod ei nota fierent quaedam per revelationem divinam, quae rationem humanam excedunt.
Ad ea etiam quae de deo ratione humana investigari possunt, necessarium fuit hominem instrui revelatione divina. Quia veritas de deo, per rationem investigata, a paucis, et per longum tempus, et cum admixtione multorum errorum, homini proveniret, a cuius tamen veritatis cognitione dependet tota hominis salus, quae in deo Est. Ut igitur salus hominibus et convenientius et certius proveniat, necessarium fuit quod de divinis per divinam revelationem instruantur. Necessarium igitur fuit, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, quae per rationem investigantur, sacram doctrinam per revelationem haberi. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet ea quae sunt altiora hominis cognitione, non sint ab homine per rationem inquirenda, sunt tamen, a deo revelata, suscipienda per fidem.
Unde et ibidem subditur, plurima supra sensum hominum ostensa sunt tibi.
Et in huiusmodi sacra doctrina consistit. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod diversa ratio cognoscibilis diversitatem scientiarum inducit. Eandem enim conclusionem demonstrat astrologus et naturalis, puta quod terra est rotunda, sed astrologus per medium mathematicum, idest a materia abstractum; naturalis autem per medium circa materiam consideratum.
Unde nihil prohibet de eisdem rebus, de quibus philosophicae disciplinae tractant secundum quod sunt cognoscibilia lumine naturalis rationis, et aliam scientiam tractare secundum quod cognoscuntur lumine divinae revelationis. Unde theologia quae ad sacram doctrinam pertinet, differt secundum genus ab illa theologia quae pars philosophiae ponitur. 

Articulus 2

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit scientia. Omnis enim scientia procedit ex principiis per se notis.
Sed sacra doctrina procedit ex articulis fidei, qui non sunt per se noti, cum non ab omnibus concedantur, non enim omnium est fides, ut dicitur II thessalon. III.
Non igitur sacra doctrina est scientia. 
Praeterea, scientia non est singularium. Sed sacra doctrina tractat de singularibus, puta de gestis Abrahae, Isaac et Iacob, et similibus. Ergo sacra doctrina non est scientia. 
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XIV de trinitate, huic scientiae attribuitur illud tantummodo quo fides saluberrima gignitur, nutritur, defenditur, roboratur.
Hoc autem ad nullam scientiam pertinet nisi ad sacram doctrinam.
Ergo sacra doctrina est scientia. 
Respondeo dicendum sacram doctrinam esse scientiam. Sed sciendum est quod duplex est scientiarum genus. Quaedam enim sunt, quae procedunt ex principiis notis lumine naturali intellectus, sicut arithmetica, geometria, et huiusmodi.
Quaedam vero sunt, quae procedunt ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiae, sicut perspectiva procedit ex principiis notificatis per geometriam, et musica ex principiis per arithmeticam notis. Et hoc modo sacra doctrina est scientia, quia procedit ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiae, quae scilicet est scientia dei et beatorum. Unde sicut musica credit principia tradita sibi ab arithmetico, ita doctrina sacra credit principia revelata sibi a deo. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod principia cuiuslibet scientiae vel sunt nota per se, vel reducuntur ad notitiam superioris scientiae.
Et talia sunt principia sacrae doctrinae, ut dictum Est. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod singularia traduntur in sacra doctrina, non quia de eis principaliter tractetur, sed introducuntur tum in exemplum vitae, sicut in scientiis moralibus; tum etiam ad declarandum auctoritatem virorum per quos ad nos revelatio divina processit, super quam fundatur sacra Scriptura seu doctrina. 

Articulus 3

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit una scientia.
Quia secundum philosophum in I poster., una scientia est quae est unius generis subiecti.
Creator autem et creatura, de quibus in sacra doctrina tractatur, non continentur sub uno genere subiecti.
Ergo sacra doctrina non est una scientia. 
Praeterea, in sacra doctrina tractatur de Angelis, de creaturis corporalibus, de moribus hominum. Huiusmodi autem ad diversas scientias philosophicas pertinent.
Igitur sacra doctrina non est una scientia. 
Sed contra est quod sacra Scriptura de ea loquitur sicut de una scientia, dicitur enim Sap. X, dedit illi scientiam sanctorum. 
Respondeo dicendum sacram doctrinam unam scientiam esse. Est enim unitas potentiae et habitus consideranda secundum obiectum, non quidem materialiter, sed secundum rationem formalem obiecti, puta homo, asinus et lapis conveniunt in una formali ratione colorati, quod est obiectum visus. Quia igitur sacra Scriptura considerat aliqua secundum quod sunt divinitus revelata, secundum quod dictum est, omnia quaecumque sunt divinitus revelabilia, communicant in una ratione formali obiecti huius scientiae. Et ideo comprehenduntur sub sacra doctrina sicut sub scientia una. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sacra doctrina non determinat de deo et de creaturis ex aequo, sed de deo principaliter, et de creaturis secundum quod referuntur ad deum, ut ad principium vel finem. Unde unitas scientiae non impeditur. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod nihil prohibet inferiores potentias vel habitus diversificari circa illas materias, quae communiter cadunt sub una potentia vel habitu superiori, quia superior potentia vel habitus respicit obiectum sub universaliori ratione formali. Sicut obiectum sensus communis est sensibile, quod comprehendit sub se visibile et audibile, unde sensus communis, cum sit una potentia, extendit se ad omnia obiecta quinque sensuum. Et similiter ea quae in diversis scientiis philosophicis tractantur, potest sacra doctrina, una existens, considerare sub una ratione, inquantum scilicet sunt divinitus revelabilia, ut sic sacra doctrina sit velut quaedam impressio divinae scientiae, quae est una et simplex omnium. 

Articulus 4

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina sit scientia practica. Finis enim practicae est operatio, secundum philosophum in II metaphys..
Sacra autem doctrina ad operationem ordinatur, secundum illud Iac. I, estote factores verbi, et non auditores tantum.
Ergo sacra doctrina est practica scientia. 
Praeterea, sacra doctrina dividitur per legem veterem et novam.
Lex autem pertinet ad scientiam moralem, quae est scientia practica. Ergo sacra doctrina est scientia practica. 
Sed contra, omnis scientia practica est de rebus operabilibus ab homine; ut moralis de actibus hominum, et aedificativa de aedificiis. Sacra autem doctrina est principaliter de deo, cuius magis homines sunt opera. Non ergo est scientia practica, sed magis speculativa. 
Respondeo dicendum quod sacra doctrina, ut dictum est, una existens, se extendit ad ea quae pertinent ad diversas scientias philosophicas, propter rationem formalem quam in diversis attendit, scilicet prout sunt divino lumine cognoscibilia. Unde licet in scientiis philosophicis alia sit speculativa et alia practica, sacra tamen doctrina comprehendit sub se utramque; sicut et deus eadem scientia se cognoscit, et ea quae facit. Magis tamen est speculativa quam practica, quia principalius agit de rebus divinis quam de actibus humanis; de quibus agit secundum quod per eos ordinatur homo ad perfectam dei cognitionem, in qua aeterna beatitudo consistit. 
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta. 

Articulus 5

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit dignior aliis scientiis. Certitudo enim pertinet ad dignitatem scientiae. Sed aliae scientiae, de quarum principiis dubitari non potest, videntur esse certiores sacra doctrina, cuius principia, scilicet articuli fidei, dubitationem recipiunt.
Aliae igitur scientiae videntur ista digniores. 
Praeterea, inferioris scientiae est a superiori accipere, sicut musicus ab arithmetico. Sed sacra doctrina accipit aliquid a philosophicis disciplinis, dicit enim Hieronymus in epistola ad magnum oratorem urbis Romae, quod doctores antiqui intantum philosophorum doctrinis atque sententiis suos resperserunt libros, ut nescias quid in illis prius admirari debeas, eruditionem saeculi, an scientiam Scripturarum.
Ergo sacra doctrina est inferior aliis scientiis. 
Sed contra est quod aliae scientiae dicuntur ancillae huius, Prov. IX, misit ancillas suas vocare ad arcem. 
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum ista scientia quantum ad aliquid sit speculativa, et quantum ad aliquid sit practica, omnes alias transcendit tam speculativas quam practicas. Speculativarum enim scientiarum una altera dignior dicitur, tum propter certitudinem, tum propter dignitatem materiae. Et quantum ad utrumque, haec scientia alias speculativas scientias excedit.
Secundum certitudinem quidem, quia aliae scientiae certitudinem habent ex naturali lumine rationis humanae, quae potest errare, haec autem certitudinem habet ex lumine divinae scientiae, quae decipi non potest. Secundum dignitatem vero materiae, quia ista scientia est principaliter de his quae sua altitudine rationem transcendunt, aliae vero scientiae considerant ea tantum quae rationi subduntur. Practicarum vero scientiarum illa dignior est, quae ad ulteriorem finem ordinatur, sicut civilis militari, nam bonum exercitus ad bonum civitatis ordinatur.
Finis autem huius doctrinae inquantum est practica, est beatitudo aeterna, ad quam sicut ad ultimum finem ordinantur omnes alii fines scientiarum practicarum. Unde manifestum est, secundum omnem modum, eam digniorem esse aliis. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod nihil prohibet id quod est certius secundum naturam, esse quoad nos minus certum, propter debilitatem intellectus nostri, qui se habet ad manifestissima naturae, sicut oculus noctuae ad lumen solis, sicut dicitur in II metaphys..
Unde dubitatio quae accidit in aliquibus circa articulos fidei, non est propter incertitudinem rei, sed propter debilitatem intellectus humani. Et tamen minimum quod potest haberi de cognitione rerum altissimarum, desiderabilius est quam certissima cognitio quae habetur de minimis rebus, ut dicitur in XI de animalibus. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod haec scientia accipere potest aliquid a philosophicis disciplinis, non quod ex necessitate eis indigeat, sed ad maiorem manifestationem eorum quae in hac scientia traduntur. Non enim accipit sua principia ab aliis scientiis, sed immediate a deo per revelationem. Et ideo non accipit ab aliis scientiis tanquam a superioribus, sed utitur eis tanquam inferioribus et ancillis; sicut architectonicae utuntur subministrantibus, ut civilis militari. Et hoc ipsum quod sic utitur eis, non est propter defectum vel insufficientiam eius, sed propter defectum intellectus nostri; qui ex his quae per naturalem rationem (ex qua procedunt aliae scientiae) cognoscuntur, facilius manuducitur in ea quae sunt supra rationem, quae in hac scientia traduntur. 

Articulus 6

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod haec doctrina non sit sapientia. Nulla enim doctrina quae supponit sua principia aliunde, digna est nomine sapientiae, quia sapientis est ordinare, et non ordinari (i metaphys.)p sed haec doctrina supponit principia sua aliunde, ut ex dictis patet.
Ergo haec doctrina non est sapientia. 
Praeterea, ad sapientiam pertinet probare principia aliarum scientiarum, unde ut caput dicitur scientiarum, ut VI ethic. Patet.
Sed haec doctrina non probat principia aliarum scientiarum.
Ergo non est sapientia. 
Praeterea, haec doctrina per studium acquiritur. Sapientia autem per infusionem habetur, unde inter septem dona spiritus sancti connumeratur, ut patet Isaiae XI.
Ergo haec doctrina non est sapientia. 
Sed contra est quod dicitur Deut. IV, in principio legis, haec est nostra sapientia et intellectus coram populis. 
Respondeo dicendum quod haec doctrina maxime sapientia est inter omnes sapientias humanas, non quidem in aliquo genere tantum, sed simpliciter. Cum enim sapientis sit ordinare et iudicare, iudicium autem per altiorem causam de inferioribus habeatur; ille sapiens dicitur in unoquoque genere, qui considerat causam altissimam illius generis. Ut in genere aedificii, artifex qui disponit formam domus, dicitur sapiens et architector, respectu inferiorum artificum, qui dolant ligna vel parant lapides, unde dicitur I Cor. III, ut sapiens architector fundamentum posui.
Et rursus, in genere totius humanae vitae, prudens sapiens dicitur, inquantum ordinat humanos actus ad debitum finem, unde dicitur Prov. X, sapientia est viro prudentia.
Ille igitur qui considerat simpliciter altissimam causam totius universi, quae deus est, maxime sapiens dicitur, unde et sapientia dicitur esse divinorum cognitio, ut patet per Augustinum, XII de trinitate.
Sacra autem doctrina propriissime determinat de deo secundum quod est altissima causa, quia non solum quantum ad illud quod est per creaturas cognoscibile (quod philosophi cognoverunt, ut dicitur Rom. I, quod notum est dei, manifestum est illis); sed etiam quantum ad id quod notum est sibi soli de seipso, et aliis per revelationem communicatum. Unde sacra doctrina maxime dicitur sapientia. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sacra doctrina non supponit sua principia ab aliqua scientia humana, sed a scientia divina, a qua, sicut a summa sapientia, omnis nostra cognitio ordinatur. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod aliarum scientiarum principia vel sunt per se nota, et probari non possunt, vel per aliquam rationem naturalem probantur in aliqua alia scientia. Propria autem huius scientiae cognitio est, quae est per revelationem, non autem quae est per naturalem rationem. Et ideo non pertinet ad eam probare principia aliarum scientiarum, sed solum iudicare de eis, quidquid enim in aliis scientiis invenitur veritati huius scientiae repugnans, totum condemnatur ut falsum, unde dicitur II Cor. X, consilia destruentes, et omnem altitudinem extollentem se adversus scientiam dei. 
Ad tertium dicendum quod, cum iudicium ad sapientem pertineat, secundum duplicem modum iudicandi, dupliciter sapientia accipitur.
Contingit enim aliquem iudicare, uno modo per modum inclinationis, sicut qui habet habitum virtutis, recte iudicat de his quae sunt secundum virtutem agenda, inquantum ad illa inclinatur, unde et in X ethic. Dicitur quod virtuosus est mensura et regula actuum humanorum.
Alio modo, per modum cognitionis, sicut aliquis instructus in scientia morali, posset iudicare de actibus virtutis, etiam si virtutem non haberet. Primus igitur modus iudicandi de rebus divinis, pertinet ad sapientiam quae ponitur donum spiritus sancti secundum illud I Cor. II, spiritualis homo iudicat omnia, etc., et dionysius dicit, II cap. De divinis nominibus, Hierotheus doctus est non solum discens, sed et patiens divina.
Secundus autem modus iudicandi pertinet ad hanc doctrinam, secundum quod per studium habetur; licet eius principia ex revelatione habeantur. 

Articulus 7

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod deus non sit subiectum huius scientiae. In qualibet enim scientia oportet supponere de subiecto quid est, secundum philosophum in I poster..
Sed haec scientia non supponit de deo quid est, dicit enim Damascenus, in deo quid est, dicere impossibile est.
Ergo deus non est subiectum huius scientiae. 
Praeterea, omnia quae determinantur in aliqua scientia, comprehenduntur sub subiecto illius scientiae. Sed in sacra Scriptura determinatur de multis aliis quam de deo, puta de creaturis, et de moribus hominum.
Ergo deus non est subiectum huius scientiae. 
Sed contra, illud est subiectum scientiae, de quo est sermo in scientia. Sed in hac scientia fit sermo de deo, dicitur enim theologia, quasi sermo de deo.
Ergo deus est subiectum huius scientiae. 
Respondeo dicendum quod deus est subiectum huius scientiae.
Sic enim se habet subiectum ad scientiam, sicut obiectum ad potentiam vel habitum. Proprie autem illud assignatur obiectum alicuius potentiae vel habitus, sub cuius ratione omnia referuntur ad potentiam vel habitum, sicut homo et lapis referuntur ad visum inquantum sunt colorata, unde coloratum est proprium obiectum visus. Omnia autem pertractantur in sacra doctrina sub ratione dei, vel quia sunt ipse deus; vel quia habent ordinem ad deum, ut ad principium et finem. Unde sequitur quod deus vere sit subiectum huius scientiae. Quod etiam manifestum fit ex principiis huius scientiae, quae sunt articuli fidei, quae est de deo, idem autem est subiectum principiorum et totius scientiae, cum tota scientia virtute contineatur in principiis.
Quidam vero, attendentes ad ea quae in ista scientia tractantur, et non ad rationem secundum quam considerantur, assignaverunt aliter subiectum huius scientiae, vel res et signa; vel opera reparationis; vel totum christum, idest caput et membra. De omnibus enim istis tractatur in ista scientia, sed secundum ordinem ad deum. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet de deo non possimus scire quid est, utimur tamen eius effectu, in hac doctrina, vel naturae vel gratiae, loco definitionis, ad ea quae de deo in hac doctrina considerantur, sicut et in aliquibus scientiis philosophicis demonstratur aliquid de causa per effectum, accipiendo effectum loco definitionis causae. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod omnia alia quae determinantur in sacra doctrina, comprehenduntur sub deo, non ut partes vel species vel accidentia, sed ut ordinata aliqualiter ad ipsum. 

Articulus 8

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod haec doctrina non sit argumentativa.
Dicit enim Ambrosius in libro I de fide catholica, tolle argumenta, ubi fides quaeritur.
Sed in hac doctrina praecipue fides quaeritur, unde dicitur Ioan. XX, haec scripta sunt ut credatis.
Ergo sacra doctrina non est argumentativa. 
Praeterea, si sit argumentativa, aut argumentatur ex auctoritate, aut ex ratione. Si ex auctoritate, non videtur hoc congruere eius dignitati, nam locus ab auctoritate est infirmissimus, secundum boetium.
Si etiam ex ratione, hoc non congruit eius fini, quia secundum Gregorium in homilia, fides non habet meritum, ubi humana ratio praebet experimentum.
Ergo sacra doctrina non est argumentativa. 
Sed contra est quod dicitur ad titum I, de episcopo, amplectentem eum qui secundum doctrinam est, fidelem sermonem, ut potens sit exhortari in doctrina sana, et eos qui contradicunt arguere. 
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut aliae scientiae non argumentantur ad sua principia probanda, sed ex principiis argumentantur ad ostendendum alia in ipsis scientiis; ita haec doctrina non argumentatur ad sua principia probanda, quae sunt articuli fidei; sed ex eis procedit ad aliquid aliud ostendendum; sicut apostolus, I ad Cor. XV, ex resurrectione christi argumentatur ad resurrectionem communem probandam.
Sed tamen considerandum est in scientiis philosophicis, quod inferiores scientiae nec probant sua principia, nec contra negantem principia disputant, sed hoc relinquunt superiori scientiae, suprema vero inter eas, scilicet metaphysica, disputat contra negantem sua principia, si adversarius aliquid concedit, si autem nihil concedit, non potest cum eo disputare, potest tamen solvere rationes ipsius. Unde sacra Scriptura, cum non habeat superiorem, disputat cum negante sua principia, argumentando quidem, si adversarius aliquid concedat eorum quae per divinam revelationem habentur; sicut per auctoritates sacrae doctrinae disputamus contra haereticos, et per unum articulum contra negantes alium. Si vero adversarius nihil credat eorum quae divinitus revelantur, non remanet amplius via ad probandum articulos fidei per rationes, sed ad solvendum rationes, si quas inducit, contra fidem. Cum enim fides infallibili veritati innitatur, impossibile autem sit de vero demonstrari contrarium, manifestum est probationes quae contra fidem inducuntur, non esse demonstrationes, sed solubilia argumenta. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet argumenta rationis humanae non habeant locum ad probandum quae fidei sunt, tamen ex articulis fidei haec doctrina ad alia argumentatur, ut dictum Est. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod argumentari ex auctoritate est maxime proprium huius doctrinae, eo quod principia huius doctrinae per revelationem habentur, et sic oportet quod credatur auctoritati eorum quibus revelatio facta Est. Nec hoc derogat dignitati huius doctrinae, nam licet locus ab auctoritate quae fundatur super ratione humana, sit infirmissimus; locus tamen ab auctoritate quae fundatur super revelatione divina, est efficacissimus.
Utitur tamen sacra doctrina etiam ratione humana, non quidem ad probandum fidem, quia per hoc tolleretur meritum fidei; sed ad manifestandum aliqua alia quae traduntur in hac doctrina.
Cum enim gratia non tollat naturam, sed perficiat, oportet quod naturalis ratio subserviat fidei; sicut et naturalis inclinatio voluntatis obsequitur caritati.
Unde et apostolus dicit, II ad Cor. X, in captivitatem redigentes omnem intellectum in obsequium christi.
Et inde est quod etiam auctoritatibus philosophorum sacra doctrina utitur, ubi per rationem naturalem veritatem cognoscere potuerunt; sicut Paulus, actuum XVII, inducit verbum arati, dicens, sicut et quidam poetarum vestrorum dixerunt, genus dei sumus.
Sed tamen sacra doctrina huiusmodi auctoritatibus utitur quasi extraneis argumentis, et probabilibus. Auctoritatibus autem canonicae Scripturae utitur proprie, ex necessitate argumentando.
Auctoritatibus autem aliorum doctorum ecclesiae, quasi arguendo ex propriis, sed probabiliter. Innititur enim fides nostra revelationi apostolis et prophetis factae, qui canonicos libros scripserunt, non autem revelationi, si qua fuit aliis doctoribus facta.
Unde dicit Augustinus, in epistola ad Hieronymum, solis eis Scripturarum libris qui canonici appellantur, didici hunc honorem deferre, ut nullum auctorem eorum in scribendo errasse aliquid firmissime credam. Alios autem ita lego, ut, quantalibet sanctitate doctrinaque praepolleant, non ideo verum putem, quod ipsi ita senserunt vel scripserunt. 

Articulus 9

Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra Scriptura non debeat uti metaphoris. Illud enim quod est proprium infimae doctrinae, non videtur competere huic scientiae, quae inter alias tenet locum supremum, ut iam dictum est.
Procedere autem per similitudines varias et repraesentationes, est proprium poeticae, quae est infima inter omnes doctrinas. Ergo huiusmodi similitudinibus uti, non est conveniens huic scientiae. 
Praeterea, haec doctrina videtur esse ordinata ad veritatis manifestationem, unde et manifestatoribus eius praemium promittitur, Eccli. XXIV, qui elucidant me, vitam aeternam habebunt.
Sed per huiusmodi similitudines veritas occultatur. Non ergo competit huic doctrinae divina tradere sub similitudine corporalium rerum. 
Praeterea, quanto aliquae creaturae sunt sublimiores, tanto magis ad divinam similitudinem accedunt. Si igitur aliquae ex creaturis transumerentur ad deum, tunc oporteret talem transumptionem maxime fieri ex sublimioribus creaturis, et non ex infimis. Quod tamen in Scripturis frequenter invenitur. 
Sed contra est quod dicitur Osee XII, ego visionem multiplicavi eis, et in manibus prophetarum assimilatus sum.
Tradere autem aliquid sub similitudine, est metaphoricum.
Ergo ad sacram doctrinam pertinet uti metaphoris. 
Respondeo dicendum quod conveniens est sacrae Scripturae divina et spiritualia sub similitudine corporalium tradere.
Deus enim omnibus providet secundum quod competit eorum naturae. Est autem naturale homini ut per sensibilia ad intelligibilia veniat, quia omnis nostra cognitio a sensu initium habet. Unde convenienter in sacra Scriptura traduntur nobis spiritualia sub metaphoris corporalium.
Et hoc est quod dicit dionysius, I cap. Caelestis hierarchiae, impossibile est nobis aliter lucere divinum radium, nisi varietate sacrorum velaminum circumvelatum.
Convenit etiam sacrae Scripturae, quae communiter omnibus proponitur (secundum illud ad Rom. I, sapientibus et insipientibus debitor sum), ut spiritualia sub similitudinibus corporalium proponantur; ut saltem vel sic rudes eam capiant, qui ad intelligibilia secundum se capienda non sunt idonei. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod poeta utitur metaphoris propter repraesentationem, repraesentatio enim naturaliter homini delectabilis Est. Sed sacra doctrina utitur metaphoris propter necessitatem et utilitatem, ut dictum Est. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod radius divinae revelationis non destruitur propter figuras sensibiles quibus circumvelatur, ut dicit dionysius, sed remanet in sua veritate; ut mentes quibus fit revelatio, non permittat in similitudinibus permanere, sed elevet eas ad cognitionem intelligibilium; et per eos quibus revelatio facta est, alii etiam circa haec instruantur.
Unde ea quae in uno loco Scripturae traduntur sub metaphoris, in aliis locis expressius exponuntur. Et ipsa etiam occultatio figurarum utilis est, ad exercitium studiosorum, et contra irrisiones infidelium, de quibus dicitur, Matth. VII, nolite sanctum dare canibus. 
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut docet dionysius, cap. II cael. Hier., magis est conveniens quod divina in Scripturis tradantur sub figuris vilium corporum, quam corporum nobilium.
Et hoc propter tria. Primo, quia per hoc magis liberatur humanus animus ab errore. Manifestum enim apparet quod haec secundum proprietatem non dicuntur de divinis, quod posset esse dubium, si sub figuris nobilium corporum describerentur divina; maxime apud illos qui nihil aliud a corporibus nobilius excogitare noverunt. Secundo, quia hic modus convenientior est cognitioni quam de deo habemus in hac vita. Magis enim manifestatur nobis de ipso quid non est, quam quid est, et ideo similitudines illarum rerum quae magis elongantur a deo, veriorem nobis faciunt aestimationem quod sit supra illud quod de deo dicimus vel cogitamus. Tertio, quia per huiusmodi, divina magis occultantur indignis. 

Articulus 10

Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra Scriptura sub una littera non habeat plures sensus, qui sunt historicus vel litteralis, allegoricus, tropologicus sive moralis, et anagogicus.
Multiplicitas enim sensuum in una Scriptura parit confusionem et deceptionem, et tollit arguendi firmitatem, unde ex multiplicibus propositionibus non procedit argumentatio, sed secundum hoc aliquae fallaciae assignantur. Sacra autem Scriptura debet esse efficax ad ostendendam veritatem absque omni fallacia. Ergo non debent in ea sub una littera plures sensus tradi. 
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit in libro de utilitate credendi, quod Scriptura quae testamentum vetus vocatur, quadrifariam traditur, scilicet, secundum historiam, secundum aetiologiam, secundum analogiam, secundum allegoriam.
Quae quidem quatuor a quatuor praedictis videntur esse aliena omnino. Non igitur conveniens videtur quod eadem littera sacrae Scripturae secundum quatuor sensus praedictos exponatur. 
Praeterea, praeter praedictos sensus, invenitur sensus parabolicus, qui inter illos sensus quatuor non continetur. 
Sed contra est quod dicit Gregorius, XX Moralium, sacra Scriptura omnes scientias ipso locutionis suae more transcendit, quia uno eodemque sermone, dum narrat gestum, prodit mysterium. 
Respondeo dicendum quod auctor sacrae Scripturae est deus, in cuius potestate est ut non solum voces ad significandum accommodet (quod etiam homo facere potest), sed etiam res ipsas.
Et ideo, cum in omnibus scientiis voces significent, hoc habet proprium ista scientia, quod ipsae res significatae per voces, etiam significant aliquid. Illa ergo prima significatio, qua voces significant res, pertinet ad primum sensum, qui est sensus historicus vel litteralis. Illa vero significatio qua res significatae per voces, iterum res alias significant, dicitur sensus spiritualis; qui super litteralem fundatur, et eum supponit.
Hic autem sensus spiritualis trifariam dividitur.
Sicut enim dicit apostolus, ad Hebr. VII, lex vetus figura est novae legis, et ipsa nova lex, ut dicit dionysius in ecclesiastica hierarchia, est figura futurae gloriae, in nova etiam lege, ea quae in capite sunt gesta, sunt signa eorum quae nos agere debemus. Secundum ergo quod ea quae sunt veteris legis, significant ea quae sunt novae legis, est sensus allegoricus, secundum vero quod ea quae in christo sunt facta, vel in his quae christum significant, sunt signa eorum quae nos agere debemus, est sensus moralis, prout vero significant ea quae sunt in aeterna gloria, est sensus anagogicus. Quia vero sensus litteralis est, quem auctor intendit, auctor autem sacrae Scripturae deus est, qui omnia simul suo intellectu comprehendit, non est inconveniens, ut dicit Augustinus XII confessionum, si etiam secundum litteralem sensum in una littera Scripturae plures sint sensus. 
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod multiplicitas horum sensuum non facit aequivocationem, aut aliam speciem multiplicitatis, quia, sicut iam dictum est, sensus isti non multiplicantur propter hoc quod una vox multa significet; sed quia ipsae res significatae per voces, aliarum rerum possunt esse signa. Et ita etiam nulla confusio sequitur in sacra Scriptura, cum omnes sensus fundentur super unum, scilicet litteralem; ex quo solo potest trahi argumentum, non autem ex his quae secundum allegoriam dicuntur, ut dicit Augustinus in epistola contra vincentium donatistam.
Non tamen ex hoc aliquid deperit sacrae Scripturae, quia nihil sub spirituali sensu continetur fidei necessarium, quod Scriptura per litteralem sensum alicubi manifeste non tradat. 
Ad secundum dicendum quod illa tria, historia, aetiologia, analogia, ad unum litteralem sensum pertinent. Nam historia est, ut ipse Augustinus exponit, cum simpliciter aliquid proponitur, aetiologia vero, cum causa dicti assignatur, sicut cum dominus assignavit causam quare Moyses permisit licentiam repudiandi uxores, scilicet propter duritiam cordis ipsorum, Matt. XIX, analogia vero est, cum veritas unius Scripturae ostenditur veritati alterius non repugnare. Sola autem allegoria, inter illa quatuor, pro tribus spiritualibus sensibus ponitur.
Sicut et Hugo de sancto victore sub sensu allegorico etiam anagogicum comprehendit, ponens in tertio suarum sententiarum solum tres sensus, scilicet historicum, allegoricum et tropologicum. 
Ad tertium dicendum quod sensus parabolicus sub litterali continetur, nam per voces significatur aliquid proprie, et aliquid figurative; nec est litteralis sensus ipsa figura, sed id quod est figuratum. Non enim cum Scriptura nominat dei brachium, est litteralis sensus quod in deo sit membrum huiusmodi corporale, sed id quod per hoc membrum significatur, scilicet virtus operativa. In quo patet quod sensui litterali sacrae Scripturae nunquam potest subesse falsum.

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