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d even as the grace of
man. Hence it is written (Gen. 39:21) that the Lord gave to Joseph
"grace [Douay: 'favor'] in the sight of the chief keeper of the
prison." Now when we say that a man has the favor of another, nothing
is implied in him who has the favor of the other, but an acceptance
is implied in him whose favor he has. Hence when we say that a man
has the grace of God, nothing is implied in his soul; but we merely
signify the Divine acceptance.
Obj. 2: Further, as the soul quickens the body so does God quicken
the soul; hence it is written (Deut. 30:20): "He is thy life." Now
the soul quickens the body immediately. Therefore nothing can come as
a medium between God and the soul. Hence grace implies nothing
created in the soul.
Obj. 3: Further, on Rom. 1:7, "Grace to you and peace," the gloss
says: "Grace, i.e. the remission of sins." Now the remission of sin
implies nothing in the soul, but only in God, Who does not impute the
sin, according to Ps. 31:2: "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord hath
not imputed sin." Hence neither does grace imply anything in the soul.
_On the contrary,_ Light implies something in what is enlightened.
But grace is a light of the soul; hence Augustine says (De Natura et
Gratia xxii): "The light of truth rightly deserts the prevaricator of
the law, and those who have been thus deserted become blind."
Therefore grace implies something in the soul.
_I answer that,_ According to the common manner of speech, grace is
usually taken in three ways. First, for anyone's love, as we are
accustomed to say that the soldier is in the good graces of the king,
i.e. the king looks on him with favor. Secondly, it is taken for any
gift freely bestowed, as we are accustomed to say: I do you this act
of grace. Thirdly, it is taken for the recompense of a gift given
"gratis," inasmuch as we are said to be "grateful" for benefits. Of
these three the second depends on the first, since one bestows
something on another "gratis" from the love wherewith he receives him
into his good "graces." And from the second proceeds the third, since
from benefits bestowed "gratis" arises "gratitude."
Now as regards the last two, it is clear that grace implies something
in him who receives grace: first, the gift given gratis; secondly,
the acknowledgment of the gift. But as regards the first, a
difference must be noted between the grace of God and the grace of
man; for since the creature's good springs from the Divine will, some
good in the creature flows from God's love, whereby He wishes the
good of the creature. On the other hand, the will of man is moved by
the good pre-existing in things; and hence man's love does not wholly
cause the good of the thing, but pre-supposes it either in part or
wholly. Therefore it is clear that every love of God is followed at
some time by a good caused in the creature, but not co-eternal with
the eternal love. And according to this difference of good the love
of God to the creature is looked at differently. For one is common,
whereby He loves "all things that are" (Wis. 11:25), and thereby
gives things their natural being. But the second is a special love,
whereby He draws the rational creature above the condition of its
nature to a participation of the Divine good; and according to this
love He is said to love anyone simply, since it is by this love that
God simply wishes the eternal good, which is Himself, for the
Accordingly when a man is said to have the grace of God, there is
signified something bestowed on man by God. Nevertheless the grace of
God sometimes signifies God's eternal love, as we say the grace of
predestination, inasmuch as God gratuitously and not from merits
predestines or elects some; for it is written (Eph. 1:5): "He hath
predestinated us into the adoption of children . . . unto the praise
of the glory of His grace."
Reply Obj. 1: Even when a man is said to be in another's good graces,
it is understood that there is something in him pleasing to the
other; even as anyone is said to have God's grace--with this
difference, that what is pleasing to a man in another is presupposed
to his love, but whatever is pleasing to God in a man is caused by
the Divine love, as was said above.
Reply Obj. 2: God is the life of the soul after the manner of an
efficient cause; but the soul is the life of the body after the
manner of a formal cause. Now there is no medium between form and
matter, since the form, of itself, _informs_ the matter or subject;
whereas the agent _informs_ the subject, not by its substance, but by
the form, which it causes in the matter.
Reply Obj. 3: Augustine says (Retract. i, 25): "When I said that
grace was for the remission of sins, and peace for our reconciliation
with God, you must not take it to mean that peace and reconciliation
do not pertain to general peace, but that the special name of grace
signifies the remission of sins." Not only grace, therefore, but many
other of God's gifts pertain to grace. And hence the remission of
sins does not take place without some effect divinely caused in us,
as will appear later (Q. 113, A. 2).
SECOND ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 110, Art. 2]
Whether Grace Is a Quality of the Soul?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not a quality of the soul.
For no quality acts on its subject, since the action of a quality is
not without the action of its subject, and thus the subject would
necessarily act upon itself. But grace acts upon the soul, by
justifying it. Therefore grace is not a quality.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, substance is nobler than quality. But grace is
nobler than the nature of the soul, since we can do many things by
grace, to which nature is not equal, as stated above (Q. 109, AA. 1,
2, 3). Therefore grace is not a quality.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, no quality remains after it has ceased to be in
its subject. But grace remains; since it is not corrupted, for thus
it would be reduced to nothing, since it was created from nothing;
hence it is called a "new creature"(Gal. 6:15).
_On the contrary,_ on Ps. 103:15: "That he may make the face cheerful
with oil"; the gloss says: "Grace is a certain beauty of soul, which
wins the Divine love." But beauty of soul is a quality, even as
beauty of body. Therefore grace is a quality.
_I answer that,_ As stated above (A. 1), there is understood to be an
effect of God's gratuitous will in whoever is said to have God's
grace. Now it was stated (Q. 109, A. 1) that man is aided by God's
gratuitous will in two ways: first, inasmuch as man's soul is moved
by God to know or will or do something, and in this way the
gratuitous effect in man is not a quality, but a movement of the
soul; for "motion is the act of the mover in the moved." Secondly,
man is helped by God's gratuitous will, inasmuch as a habitual gift
is infused by God into the soul; and for this reason, that it is not
fitting that God should provide less for those He loves, that they
may acquire supernatural good, than for creatures, whom He loves that
they may acquire natural good. Now He so provides for natural
creatures, that not merely does He move them to their natural acts,
but He bestows upon them certain forms and powers, which are the
principles of acts, in order that they may of themselves be inclined
to these movements, and thus the movements whereby they are moved by
God become natural and easy to creatures, according to Wis. 8:1: "she
. . . ordereth all things sweetly." Much more therefore does He
infuse into such as He moves towards the acquisition of supernatural
good, certain forms or supernatural qualities, whereby they may be
moved by Him sweetly and promptly to acquire eternal good; and thus
the gift of grace is a quality.
Reply Obj. 1: Grace, as a quality, is said to act upon the soul, not
after the manner of an efficient cause, but after the manner of a
formal cause, as whiteness makes a thing white, and justice, just.
Reply Obj. 2: Every substance is either the nature of the thing
whereof it is the substance or is a part of the nature, even as
matter and form are called substance. And because grace is above
human nature, it cannot be a substance or a substantial form, but is
an accidental form of the soul. Now what is substantially in God,
becomes accidental in the soul participating the Divine goodness, as
is clear in the case of knowledge. And thus because the soul
participates in the Divine goodness imperfectly, the participation of
the Divine goodness, which is grace, has its being in the soul in a
less perfect way than the soul subsists in itself. Nevertheless,
inasmuch as it is the expression or participation of the Divine
goodness, it is nobler than the nature of the soul, though not in its
mode of being.
Reply Obj. 3: As Boethius [*Pseudo-Bede, Sent. Phil. ex Artist.]
says, the "being of an accident is to inhere." Hence no accident is
called being as if it had being, but because by it something is;
hence it is said to belong to a being rather to be a being (Metaph.
vii, text. 2). And because to become and to be corrupted belong to
what is, properly speaking, no accident comes into being or is
corrupted, but is said to come into being and to be corrupted
inasmuch as its subject begins or ceases to be in act with this
accident. And thus grace is said to be created inasmuch as men are
created with reference to it, i.e. are given a new being out of
nothing, i.e. not from merits, according to Eph. 2:10, "created in
Jesus Christ in good works."
THIRD ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 110, Art. 3]
Whether Grace Is the Same As Virtue?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is the same as virtue. For
Augustine says (De Spir. et Lit. xiv) that "operating grace is faith
that worketh by charity." But faith that worketh by charity is a
virtue. Therefore grace is a virtue.
Obj. 2: Further, what fits the definition, fits the defined. But the
definitions of virtue given by saints and philosophers fit grace,
since "it makes its subject good, and his work good," and "it is a
good quality of the mind, whereby we live righteously," etc.
Therefore grace is virtue.
Obj. 3: Further, grace is a quality. Now it is clearly not in the
_fourth_ species of quality; viz. _form_ which is the "abiding figure
of things," since it does not belong to bodies. Nor is it in the
_third,_ since it is not a "passion nor a passion-like quality,"
which is in the sensitive part of the soul, as is proved in _Physic._
viii; and grace is principally in the mind. Nor is it in the _second_
species, which is "natural power" or "impotence"; since grace is
above nature and does not regard good and evil, as does natural
power. Therefore it must be in the _first_ species which is "habit"
or "disposition." Now habits of the mind are virtues; since even
knowledge itself is a virtue after a manner, as stated above (Q. 57,
AA. 1, 2). Therefore grace is the same as virtue.
_On the contrary,_ If grace is a virtue, it would seem before all to
be one of the three theological virtues. But grace is neither faith
nor hope, for these can be without sanctifying grace. Nor is it
charity, since "grace foreruns charity," as Augustine says in his
book on the _Predestination of the Saints_ (De Dono Persev. xvi).
Therefore grace is not virtue.
_I answer that,_ Some held that grace and virtue were identical in
essence, and differed only logically--in the sense that we speak of
grace inasmuch as it makes man pleasing to God, or is given
gratuitously--and of virtue inasmuch as it empowers us to act
rightly. And the Master seems to have thought this (Sent. ii, D 27).
But if anyone rightly considers the nature of virtue, this cannot
hold, since, as the Philosopher says (Physic. vii, text. 17), "virtue
is disposition of what is perfect--and I call perfect what is
disposed according to its nature." Now from this it is clear that the
virtue of a thing has reference to some pre-existing nature, from the
fact that everything is disposed with reference to what befits its
nature. But it is manifest that the virtues acquired by human acts of
which we spoke above (Q. 55, seqq.) are dispositions, whereby a man
is fittingly disposed with reference to the nature whereby he is a
man; whereas infused virtues dispose man in a higher manner and
towards a higher end, and consequently in relation to some higher
nature, i.e. in relation to a participation of the Divine Nature,
according to 2 Pet. 1:4: "He hath given us most great and most
precious promises; that by these you may be made partakers of the
Divine Nature." And it is in respect of receiving this nature that we
are said to be born again sons of God.
And thus, even as the natural light of reason is something besides
the acquired virtues, which are ordained to this natural light, so
also the light of grace which is a participation of the Divine Nature
is something besides the infused virtues which are derived from and
are ordained to this light, hence the Apostle says (Eph. 5:8): "For
you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as
children of the light." For as the acquired virtues enable a man to
walk, in accordance with the natural light of reason, so do the
infused virtues enable a man to walk as befits the light of grace.
Reply Obj. 1: Augustine calls "faith that worketh by charity" grace,
since the act of faith of him that worketh by charity is the first
act by which sanctifying grace is manifested.
Reply Obj. 2: Good is placed in the definition of virtue with
reference to its fitness with some pre-existing nature essential or
participated. Now good is not attributed to grace in this manner, but
as to the root of goodness in man, as stated above.
Reply Obj. 3: Grace is reduced to the first species of quality; and
yet it is not the same as virtue, but is a certain disposition which
is presupposed to the infused virtues, as their principle and root.
FOURTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 110, Art. 4]
Whether Grace Is in the Essence of the Soul As in a Subject, or in
One of the Powers?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not in the essence of the
soul, as in a subject, but in one of the powers. For Augustine says
(Hypognosticon iii [*Among the spurious works of St. Augustine]) that
grace is related to the will or to the free will "as a rider to his
horse." Now the will or the free will is a power, as stated above (I,
Q. 83, A. 2). Hence grace is in a power of the soul, as in a subject.
Obj. 2: Further, "Man's merit springs from grace" as Augustine says
(De Gratia et Lib. Arbit. vi). Now merit consists in acts, which
proceed from a power. Hence it seems that grace is a perfection of a
power of the soul.
Obj. 3: Further, if the essence of the soul is the proper subject of
grace, the soul, inasmuch as it has an essence, must be capable of
grace. But this is false; since it would follow that every soul would
be capable of grace. Therefore the essence of the soul is not the
proper subject of grace.
Obj. 4: Further, the essence of the soul is prior to its powers. Now
what is prior may be understood without what is posterior. Hence it
follows that grace may be taken to be in the soul, although we
suppose no part or power of the soul--viz. neither the will, nor the
intellect, nor anything else; which is impossible.
_On the contrary,_ By grace we are born again sons of God. But
generation terminates at the essence prior to the powers. Therefore
grace is in the soul's essence prior to being in the powers.
_I answer that,_ This question depends on the preceding. For if grace
is the same as virtue, it must necessarily be in the powers of the
soul as in a subject; since the soul's powers are the proper subject
of virtue, as stated above (Q. 56, A. 1). But if grace differs from
virtue, it cannot be said that a power of the soul is the subject of
grace, since every perfection of the soul's powers has the nature of
virtue, as stated above (Q. 55, A. 1; Q. 56, A. 1). Hence it remains
that grace, as it is prior to virtue, has a subject prior to the
powers of the soul, so that it is in the essence of the soul. For as
man in his intellective powers participates in the Divine knowledge
through the virtue of faith, and in his power of will participates in
the Divine love through the virtue of charity, so also in the nature
of the soul does he participate in the Divine Nature, after the
manner of a likeness, through a certain regeneration or re-creation.
Reply Obj. 1: As from the essence of the soul flows its powers, which
are the principles of deeds, so likewise the virtues, whereby the
powers are moved to act, flow into the powers of the soul from grace.
And thus grace is compared to the will as the mover to the moved,
which is the same comparison as that of a horseman to the horse--but
not as an accident to a subject.
And thereby is made clear the Reply to the Second Objection. For
grace is the principle of meritorious works through the medium of
virtues, as the essence of the soul is the principal of vital deeds
through the medium of the powers.
Reply Obj. 3: The soul is the subject of grace, as being in the
species of intellectual or rational nature. But the soul is not
classed in a species by any of its powers, since the powers are
natural properties of the soul following upon the species. Hence the
soul differs specifically in its essence from other souls, viz. of
dumb animals, and of plants. Consequently it does not follow that, if
the essence of the human soul is the subject of grace, every soul may
be the subject of grace; since it belongs to the essence of the soul,
inasmuch as it is of such a species.
Reply Obj. 4: Since the powers of the soul are natural properties
following upon the species, the soul cannot be without them. Yet,
granted that it was without them, the soul would still be called
intellectual or rational in its species, not that it would actually
have these powers, but on account of the essence of such a species,
from which these powers naturally flow.
OF THE DIVISION OF GRACE
(In Five Articles)
We must now consider the division of grace; under which head there
are five points of inquiry:
(1) Whether grace is fittingly divided into gratuitous grace and
(2) Of the division into operating and cooperating grace;
(3) Of the division of it into prevenient and subsequent grace;
(4) Of the division of gratuitous grace;
(5) Of the comparison between sanctifying and gratuitous grace.
FIRST ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 111, Art. 1]
Whether Grace Is Fittingly Divided into Sanctifying Grace and
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not fittingly divided into
sanctifying grace and gratuitous grace. For grace is a gift of God,
as is clear from what has been already stated (Q. 110, A. 1). But man
is not therefore pleasing to God because something is given him by
God, but rather on the contrary; since something is freely given by
God, because man is pleasing to Him. Hence there is no sanctifying
Obj. 2: Further, whatever is not given on account of preceding merits
is given gratis. Now even natural good is given to man without
preceding merit, since nature is presupposed to merit. Therefore
nature itself is given gratuitously by God. But nature is condivided
with grace. Therefore to be gratuitously given is not fittingly set
down as a difference of grace, since it is found outside the genus of
Obj. 3: Further, members of a division are mutually opposed. But even
sanctifying grace, whereby we are justified, is given to us
gratuitously, according to Rom. 3:24: "Being justified freely
(_gratis_) by His grace." Hence sanctifying grace ought not to be
divided against gratuitous grace.
_On the contrary,_ The Apostle attributes both to grace, viz. to
sanctify and to be gratuitously given. For with regard to the first
he says (Eph. 1:6): "He hath graced us in His beloved son." And with
regard to the second (Rom. 2:6): "And if by grace, it is not now by
works, otherwise grace is no more grace." Therefore grace can be
distinguished by its having one only or both.
_I answer that,_ As the Apostle says (Rom. 13:1), "those things that
are of God are well ordered [Vulg.: 'those that are, are ordained by
God]." Now the order of things consists in this, that things are led
to God by other things, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv). And hence
since grace is ordained to lead men to God, this takes place in a
certain order, so that some are led to God by others.
And thus there is a twofold grace: one whereby man himself is united
to God, and this is called "sanctifying grace"; the other is that
whereby one man cooperates with another in leading him to God, and
this gift is called "gratuitous grace," since it is bestowed on a man
beyond the capability of nature, and beyond the merit of the person.
But whereas it is bestowed on a man, not to justify him, but rather
that he may cooperate in the justification of another, it is not
called sanctifying grace. And it is of this that the Apostle says (1
Cor. 12:7): "And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every
man unto utility," i.e. of others.
Reply Obj. 1: Grace is said to make pleasing, not efficiently but
formally, i.e. because thereby a man is justified, and is made worthy
to be called pleasing to God, according to Col. 1:21: "He hath made
us worthy to be made partakers of the lot of the saints in light."
Reply Obj. 2: Grace, inasmuch as it is gratuitously given, excludes
the notion of debt. Now debt may be taken in two ways: first, as
arising from merit; and this regards the person whose it is to do
meritorious works, according to Rom. 4:4: "Now to him that worketh,
the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to
debt." The second debt regards the condition of nature. Thus we say
it is due to a man to have reason, and whatever else belongs to human
nature. Yet in neither way is debt taken to mean that God is under an
obligation to His creature, but rather that the creature ought to be
subject to God, that the Divine ordination may be fulfilled in it,
which is that a certain nature should have certain conditions or
properties, and that by doing certain works it should attain to
something further. And hence natural endowments are not a debt in the
first sense but in the second. But supernatural gifts are due in
neither sense. Hence they especially merit the name of grace.
Reply Obj. 3: Sanctifying grace adds to the notion of gratuitous
grace something pertaining to the nature of grace, since it makes man
pleasing to God. And hence gratuitous grace which does not do this
keeps the common name, as happens in many other cases; and thus the
two parts of the division are opposed as sanctifying and
SECOND ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 111, Art. 2]
Whether Grace Is Fittingly Divided into Operating and Cooperating
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not fittingly divided into
operating and cooperating grace. For grace is an accident, as stated
above (Q. 110, A. 2). Now no accident can act upon its subject.
Therefore no grace can be called operating.
Obj. 2: Further, if grace operates anything in us it assuredly brings
about justification. But not only grace works this. For Augustine
says, on John 14:12, "the works that I do he also shall do," says
(Serm. clxix): "He Who created thee without thyself, will not justify
thee without thyself." Therefore no grace ought to be called simply
Obj. 3: Further, to cooperate seems to pertain to the inferior agent,
and not to the principal agent. But grace works in us more than
free-will, according to Rom. 9:16: "It is not of him that willeth,
nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Therefore no
grace ought to be called cooperating.
Obj. 4: Further, division ought to rest on opposition. But to operate
and to cooperate are not opposed; for one and the same thing can both
operate and cooperate. Therefore grace is not fittingly divided into
operating and cooperating.
_On the contrary,_ Augustine says (De Gratia et Lib. Arbit. xvii):
"God by cooperating with us, perfects what He began by operating in
us, since He who perfects by cooperation with such as are willing,
begins by operating that they may will." But the operations of God
whereby He moves us to good pertain to grace. Therefore grace is
fittingly divided into operating and cooperating.
_I answer that,_ As stated above (Q. 110, A. 2) grace may be taken in
two ways; first, as a Divine help, whereby God moves us to will and
to act; secondly, as a habitual gift divinely bestowed on us.
Now in both these ways grace is fittingly divided into operating and
cooperating. For the operation of an effect is not attributed to the
thing moved but to the mover. Hence in that effect in which our mind
is moved and does not move, but in which God is the sole mover, the
operation is attributed to God, and it is with reference to this that
we speak of "operating grace." But in that effect in which our mind
both moves and is moved, the operation is not only attributed to God,
but also to the soul; and it is with reference to this that we speak
of "cooperating grace." Now there is a double act in us. First, there
is the interior act of the will, and with regard to this act the will
is a thing moved, and God is the mover; and especially when the will,
which hitherto willed evil, begins to will good. And hence, inasmuch
as God moves the human mind to this act, we speak of operating grace.
But there is another, exterior act; and since it is commanded by the
will, as was shown above (Q. 17, A. 9) the operation of this act is
attributed to the will. And because God assists us in this act, both
by strengthening our will interiorly so as to attain to the act, and
by granting outwardly the capability of operating, it is with respect
to this that we speak of cooperating grace. Hence after the aforesaid
words Augustine subjoins: "He operates that we may will; and when we
will, He cooperates that we may perfect." And thus if grace is taken
for God's gratuitous motion whereby He moves us to meritorious good,
it is fittingly divided into operating and cooperating grace.
But if grace is taken for the habitual gift, then again there is a
double effect of grace, even as of every other form; the first of
which is _being,_ and the second, _operation;_ thus the work of heat
is to make its subject hot, and to give heat outwardly. And thus
habitual grace, inasmuch as it heals and justifies the soul, or makes
it pleasing to God, is called operating grace; but inasmuch as it is
the principle of meritorious works, which spring from the free-will,
it is called cooperating grace.
Reply Obj. 1: Inasmuch as grace is a certain accidental quality, it
does not act upon the soul efficiently, but formally, as whiteness
makes a surface white.
Reply Obj. 2: God does not justify us without ourselves, because
whilst we are being justified we consent to God's justification
(_justitiae_) by a movement of our free-will. Nevertheless this
movement is not the cause of grace, but the effect; hence the whole
operation pertains to grace.
Reply Obj. 3: One thing is said to cooperate with another not merely
when it is a secondary agent under a principal agent, but when it
helps to the end intended. Now man is helped by God to will the good,
through the means of operating grace. And hence, the end being
already intended, grace cooperates with us.
Reply Obj. 4: Operating and cooperating grace are the same grace; but
are distinguished by their different effects, as is plain from what
has been said.
THIRD ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 111, Art. 3]
Whether Grace Is Fittingly Divided into Prevenient and Subsequent
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not fittingly divided into
prevenient and subsequent. For grace is an effect of the Divine love.
But God's love is never subsequent, but always prevenient, according
to 1 John 4:10: "Not as though we had loved God, but because He hath
first loved us." Therefore grace ought not to be divided into
prevenient and subsequent.
Obj. 2: Further, there is but one sanctifying grace in man, since it
is sufficient, according to 2 Cor. 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for
thee." But the same thing cannot be before and after. Therefore grace
is not fittingly divided into prevenient and subsequent.
Obj. 3: Further, grace is known by its effects. Now there are an
infinite number of effects--one preceding another. Hence if with
regard to these, grace must be divided into prevenient and
subsequent, it would seem that there are infinite species of grace.
Now no art takes note of the infinite in number. Hence grace is not
fittingly divided into prevenient and subsequent.
_On the contrary,_ God's grace is the outcome of His mercy. Now both
are said in Ps. 58:11: "His mercy shall prevent me," and again, Ps.
22:6: "Thy mercy will follow me." Therefore grace is fittingly
divided into prevenient and subsequent.
_I answer that,_ As grace is divided into operating and cooperating,
with regard to its diverse effects, so also is it divided into
prevenient and subsequent, howsoever we consider grace. Now there are
five effects of grace in us: of these, the first is, to heal the
soul; the second, to desire good; the third, to carry into effect the
good proposed; the fourth, to persevere in good; the fifth, to reach
glory. And hence grace, inasmuch as it causes the first effect in us,
is called prevenient with respect to the second, and inasmuch as it
causes the second, it is called subsequent with respect to the first
effect. And as one effect is posterior to this effect, and prior to
that, so may grace be called prevenient and subsequent on account of
the same effect viewed relatively to divers others. And this is what
Augustine says (De Natura et Gratia xxxi): "It is prevenient,
inasmuch as it heals, and subsequent, inasmuch as, being healed, we
are strengthened; it is prevenient, inasmuch as we are called, and
subsequent, inasmuch as we are glorified."
Reply Obj. 1: God's love signifies something eternal; and hence can
never be called anything but prevenient. But grace signifies a
temporal effect, which can precede and follow another; and thus grace
may be both prevenient and subsequent.
Reply Obj. 2: The division into prevenient and subsequent grace does
not divide grace in its essence, but only in its effects, as was
already said of operating and cooperating grace. For subsequent
grace, inasmuch as it pertains to glory, is not numerically distinct
from prevenient grace whereby we are at present justified. For even
as the charity of the earth is not voided in heaven, so must the same
be said of the light of grace, since the notion of neither implies
Reply Obj. 3: Although the effects of grace may be infinite in
number, even as human acts are infinite, nevertheless all are reduced
to some of a determinate species, and moreover all coincide in
this--that one precedes another.
FOURTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 111, Art. 4]
Whether Gratuitous Grace Is Rightly Divided by the Apostle?
Objection 1: It would seem that gratuitous grace is not rightly
divided by the Apostle. For every gift vouchsafed to us by God, may
be called a gratuitous grace. Now there are an infinite number of
gifts freely bestowed on us by God as regards both the good of the
soul and the good of the body--and yet they do not make us pleasing
to God. Hence gratuitous graces cannot be contained under any certain
Obj. 2: Further, gratuitous grace is distinguished from sanctifying
grace. But faith pertains to sanctifying grace, since we are
justified by it, according to Rom. 5:1: "Being justified therefore by
faith." Hence it is not right to place faith amongst the gratuitous
graces, especially since the other virtues are not so placed, as hope
Obj. 3: Further, the operation of healing, and speaking divers
tongues are miracles. Again, the interpretation of speeches pertains
either to wisdom or to knowledge, according to Dan. 1:17: "And to
these children God gave knowledge and understanding in every book and
wisdom." Hence it is not correct to divide the grace of healing and
kinds of tongues against the working of miracles; and the
interpretation of speeches against the word of wisdom and knowledge.
Obj. 4: Further, as wisdom and knowledge are gifts of the Holy Ghost,
so also are understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear, as
stated above (Q. 68, A. 4). Therefore these also ought to be placed
amongst the gratuitous gifts.
_On the contrary,_ The Apostle says (1 Cor. 12:8, 9, 10): "To one
indeed by the Spirit is given the word of wisdom; and to another the
word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another, the
working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the discerning
of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another
interpretation of speeches."
_I answer that,_ As was said above (A. 1), gratuitous grace is
ordained to this, viz. that a man may help another to be led to God.
Now no man can help in this by moving interiorly (for this belongs to
God alone), but only exteriorly by teaching or persuading. Hence
gratuitous grace embraces whatever a man needs in order to instruct
another in Divine things which are above reason. Now for this three
things are required: first, a man must possess the fullness of
knowledge of Divine things, so as to be capable of teaching others.
Secondly, he must be able to confirm or prove what he says, otherwise
his words would have no weight. Thirdly, he must be capable of
fittingly presenting to his hearers what he knows.
Now as regards the first, three things are necessary, as may be seen
in human teaching. For whoever would teach another in any science
must first be certain of the principles of the science, and with
regard to this there is _faith,_ which is certitude of invisible
things, the principles of Catholic doctrine. Secondly, it behooves
the teacher to know the principal conclusions of the science, and
hence we have the word of _wisdom,_ which is the knowledge of Divine
things. Thirdly, he ought to abound with examples and a knowledge of
effects, whereby at times he needs to manifest causes; and thus we
have the word of _knowledge,_ which is the knowledge of human things,
since "the invisible things of Him . . . are clearly seen, being
understood by the things that are made" (Rom. 1:20).
Now the confirmation of such things as are within reason rests upon
arguments; but the confirmation of what is above reason rests on what
is proper to the Divine power, and this in two ways: first, when the
teacher of sacred doctrine does what God alone can do, in miraculous
deeds, whether with respect to bodily health--and thus there is the
_grace of healing,_ or merely for the purpose of manifesting the
Divine power; for instance, that the sun should stand still or
darken, or that the sea should be divided--and thus there is the
_working of miracles._ Secondly, when he can manifest what God alone
can know, and these are either future contingents--and thus there is
_prophecy,_ or also the secrets of hearts--and thus there is the
_discerning of spirits._
But the capability of speaking can regard either the idiom in which a
person can be understood, and thus there is _kinds of tongues_; or it
can regard the sense of what is said, and thus there is the
_interpretation of speeches._
Reply Obj. 1: As stated above (A. 1), not all the benefits divinely
conferred upon us are called gratuitous graces, but only those that
surpass the power of nature--e.g. that a fisherman should be replete
with the word of wisdom and of knowledge and the like; and such as
these are here set down as gratuitous graces.
Reply Obj. 2: Faith is enumerated here under the gratuitous graces,
not as a virtue justifying man in himself, but as implying a
super-eminent certitude of faith, whereby a man is fitted for
instructing others concerning such things as belong to the faith.
With regard to hope and charity, they belong to the appetitive power,
according as man is ordained thereby to God.
Reply Obj. 3: The grace of healing is distinguished from the general
working of miracles because it has a special reason for inducing one
to the faith, since a man is all the more ready to believe when he
has received the gift of bodily health through the virtue of faith.
So, too, to speak with divers tongues and to interpret speeches have
special efficacy in bestowing faith. Hence they are set down as
special gratuitous graces.
Reply Obj. 4: Wisdom and knowledge are not numbered among the
gratuitous graces in the same way as they are reckoned among the
gifts of the Holy Ghost, i.e. inasmuch as man's mind is rendered
easily movable by the Holy Ghost to the things of wisdom and
knowledge; for thus they are gifts of the Holy Ghost, as stated above
(Q. 68, AA. 1, 4). But they are numbered amongst the gratuitous
graces, inasmuch as they imply such a fullness of knowledge and
wisdom that a man may not merely think aright of Divine things, but
may instruct others and overpower adversaries. Hence it is
significant that it is the "word" of wisdom and the "word" of
knowledge that are placed in the gratuitous graces, since, as
Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 1), "It is one thing merely to know
what a man must believe in order to reach everlasting life, and
another thing to know how this may benefit the godly and may be
defended against the ungodly."
FIFTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 111, Art. 5]
Whether Gratuitous Grace Is Nobler Than Sanctifying Grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that gratuitous grace is nobler than
sanctifying grace. For "the people's good is better than the
individual good," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. i, 2). Now
sanctifying grace is ordained to the good of one man alone, whereas
gratuitous grace is ordained to the common good of the whole Church,
as stated above (AA. 1, 4). Hence gratuitous grace is nobler than
Obj. 2: Further, it is a greater power that is able to act upon
another, than that which is confined to itself, even as greater is
the brightness of the body that can illuminate other bodies, than of
that which can only shine but cannot illuminate; and hence the
Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 1) "that justice is the most excellent of
the virtues," since by it a man bears himself rightly towards others.
But by sanctifying grace a man is perfected only in himself; whereas
by gratuitous grace a man works for the perfection of others. Hence
gratuitous grace is nobler than sanctifying grace.
Obj. 3: Further, what is proper to the best is nobler than what is
common to all; thus to reason, which is proper to man, is nobler than
to feel, which is common to all animals. Now sanctifying grace is
common to all members of the Church, but gratuitous grace is the
proper gift of the more exalted members of the Church. Hence
gratuitous grace is nobler than sanctifying grace.
_On the contrary,_ The Apostle (1 Cor. 12:31), having enumerated the
gratuitous graces, adds: "And I shew unto you yet a more excellent
way"; and as the sequel proves he is speaking of charity, which
pertains to sanctifying grace. Hence sanctifying grace is more noble
than gratuitous grace.
_I answer that,_ The higher the good to which a virtue is ordained,
the more excellent is the virtue. Now the end is always greater than
the means. But sanctifying grace ordains a man immediately to a union
with his last end, whereas gratuitous grace ordains a man to what is
preparatory to the end; i.e. by prophecy and miracles and so forth,
men are induced to unite themselves to their last end. And hence
sanctifying grace is nobler than gratuitous grace.
Reply Obj. 1: As the Philosopher says (Metaph. xii, text. 52), a
multitude, as an army, has a double good; the first is in the
multitude itself, viz. the order of the army; the second is separate
from the multitude, viz. the good of the leader--and this is better
good, since the other is ordained to it. Now gratuitous grace is
ordained to the common good of the Church, which is ecclesiastical
order, whereas sanctifying grace is ordained to the separate common
good, which is God. Hence sanctifying grace is the nobler.
Reply Obj. 2: If gratuitous grace could cause a man to have
sanctifying grace, it would follow that the gratuitous grace was the
nobler; even as the brightness of the sun that enlightens is more
excellent than that of an object that is lit up. But by gratuitous
grace a man cannot cause another to have union with God, which he
himself has by sanctifying grace; but he causes certain dispositions
towards it. Hence gratuitous grace needs not to be the more
excellent, even as in fire, the heat, which manifests its species
whereby it produces heat in other things, is not more noble than its
Reply Obj. 3: Feeling is ordained to reason, as to an end; and thus,
to reason is nobler. But here it is the contrary; for what is proper
is ordained to what is common as to an end. Hence there is no
OF THE CAUSE OF GRACE
(In Five Articles)
We must now consider the cause of grace; and under this head there
are five points of inquiry:
(1) Whether God alone is the efficient cause of grace?
(2) Whether any disposition towards grace is needed on the part of
the recipient, by an act of free-will?
(3) Whether such a disposition can make grace follow of necessity?
(4) Whether grace is equal in all?
(5) Whether anyone may know that he has grace?
FIRST ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 112, Art. 1]
Whether God Alone Is the Cause of Grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that God alone is not the cause of grace.
For it is written (John 1:17): "Grace and truth came by Jesus
Christ." Now, by the name of Jesus Christ is understood not merely
the Divine Nature assuming, but the created nature assumed. Therefore
a creature may be the cause of grace.
Obj. 2: Further, there is this difference between the sacraments of
the New Law and those of the Old, that the sacraments of the New Law
cause grace, whereas the sacraments of the Old Law merely signify it.
Now the sacraments of the New Law are certain visible elements.
Therefore God is not the only cause of grace.
Obj. 3: Further, according to Dionysius (Coel. Hier. iii, iv, vii,
viii), "Angels cleanse, enlighten, and perfect both lesser angels and
men." Now the rational creature is cleansed, enlightened, and
perfected by grace. Therefore God is not the only cause of grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Ps. 83:12): "The Lord will give
grace and glory."
_I answer that,_ Nothing can act beyond its species, since the cause
must always be more powerful than its effect. Now the gift of grace
surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing
short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other
nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause
grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing
a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is
impossible that anything save fire should enkindle.
Reply Obj. 1: Christ's humanity is an "organ of His Godhead," as
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 19). Now an instrument does not
bring forth the action of the principal agent by its own power, but
in virtue of the principal agent. Hence Christ's humanity does not
cause grace by its own power, but by virtue of the Divine Nature
joined to it, whereby the actions of Christ's humanity are saving
Reply Obj. 2: As in the person of Christ the humanity causes our
salvation by grace, the Divine power being the principal agent, so
likewise in the sacraments of the New Law, which are derived from
Christ, grace is instrumentally caused by the sacraments, and
principally by the power of the Holy Ghost working in the sacraments,
according to John 3:5: "Unless a man be born again of water and the
Holy Ghost he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Reply Obj. 3: Angels cleanse, enlighten, and perfect angels or men,
by instruction, and not by justifying them through grace. Hence
Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii) that "this cleansing and
enlightenment and perfecting is nothing else than the assumption of
SECOND ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 112, Art. 2]
Whether Any Preparation and Disposition for Grace Is Required on
Objection 1: It would seem that no preparation or disposition for
grace is required on man's part, since, as the Apostle says (Rom.
4:4), "To him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to
grace, but according to debt." Now a man's preparation by free-will
can only be through some operation. Hence it would do away with the
notion of grace.
Obj. 2: Further, whoever is going on sinning, is not preparing
himself to have grace. But to some who are going on sinning grace is
given, as is clear in the case of Paul, who received grace whilst he
was "breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples
of the Lord" (Act 9:1). Hence no preparation for grace is required on
Obj. 3: Further, an agent of infinite power needs no disposition in
matter, since it does not even require matter, as appears in
creation, to which grace is compared, which is called "a new
creature" (Gal. 6:15). But only God, Who has infinite power, causes
grace, as stated above (A. 1). Hence no preparation is required on
man's part to obtain grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Amos 4:12): "Be prepared to meet
thy God, O Israel," and (1 Kings 7:3): "Prepare your hearts unto the
_I answer that,_ As stated above (Q. 111, A. 2), grace is taken in
two ways: first, as a habitual gift of God. Secondly, as a help from
God, Who moves the soul to good. Now taking grace in the first sense,
a certain preparation of grace is required for it, since a form can
only be in disposed matter. But if we speak of grace as it signifies
a help from God to move us to good, no preparation is required on
man's part, that, as it were, anticipates the Divine help, but
rather, every preparation in man must be by the help of God moving
the soul to good. And thus even the good movement of the free-will,
whereby anyone is prepared for receiving the gift of grace, is an act
of the free-will moved by God. And thus man is said to prepare
himself, according to Prov. 16:1: "It is the part of man to prepare
the soul"; yet it is principally from God, Who moves the free-will.
Hence it is said that man's will is prepared by God, and that man's
steps are guided by God.
Reply Obj. 1: A certain preparation of man for grace is simultaneous
with the infusion of grace; and this operation is meritorious, not
indeed of grace, which is already possessed--but of glory which is
not yet possessed. But there is another imperfect preparation, which
sometimes precedes the gift of sanctifying grace, and yet it is from
God's motion. But it does not suffice for merit, since man is not yet
justified by grace, and merit can only arise from grace, as will be
seen further on (Q. 114, A. 2).
Reply Obj. 2: Since a man cannot prepare himself for grace unless God
prevent and move him to good, it is of no account whether anyone
arrive at perfect preparation instantaneously, or step by step. For
it is written (Ecclus. 11:23): "It is easy in the eyes of God on a
sudden to make the poor man rich." Now it sometimes happens that God
moves a man to good, but not perfect good, and this preparation
precedes grace. But He sometimes moves him suddenly and perfectly to
good, and man receives grace suddenly, according to John 6:45: "Every
one that hath heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to Me."
And thus it happened to Paul, since, suddenly when he was in the
midst of sin, his heart was perfectly moved by God to hear, to learn,
to come; and hence he received grace suddenly.
Reply Obj. 3: An agent of infinite power needs no matter or
disposition of matter, brought about by the action of something else;
and yet, looking to the condition of the thing caused, it must cause,
in the thing caused, both the matter and the due disposition for the
form. So likewise, when God infuses grace into a soul, no preparation
is required which He Himself does not bring about.
THIRD ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 112, Art. 3]
Whether Grace Is Necessarily Given to Whoever Prepares Himself for
It, or to Whoever Does What He Can?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is necessarily given to whoever
prepares himself for grace, or to whoever does what he can, because,
on Rom. 5:1, "Being justified . . . by faith, let us have peace,"
etc. the gloss says: "God welcomes whoever flies to Him, otherwise
there would be injustice with Him." But it is impossible for
injustice to be with God. Therefore it is impossible for God not to
welcome whoever flies to Him. Hence he receives grace of necessity.
Obj. 2: Further, Anselm says (De Casu Diaboli. iii) that the reason
why God does not bestow grace on the devil, is that he did not wish,
nor was he prepared, to receive it. But if the cause be removed, the
effect must needs be removed also. Therefore, if anyone is willing to
receive grace it is bestowed on them of necessity.
Obj. 3: Further, good is diffusive of itself, as appears from
Dionysius (Div. Nom. iv). Now the good of grace is better than the
good of nature. Hence, since natural forms necessarily come to
disposed matter, much more does it seem that grace is necessarily
bestowed on whoever prepares himself for grace.
_On the contrary,_ Man is compared to God as clay to the potter,
according to Jer. 18:6: "As clay is in the hand of the potter, so are
you in My hand." But however much the clay is prepared, it does not
necessarily receive its shape from the potter. Hence, however much a
man prepares himself, he does not necessarily receive grace from God.
_I answer that,_ As stated above (A. 2), man's preparation for grace
is from God, as Mover, and from the free-will, as moved. Hence the
preparation may be looked at in two ways: first, as it is from
free-will, and thus there is no necessity that it should obtain
grace, since the gift of grace exceeds every preparation of human
power. But it may be considered, secondly, as it is from God the
Mover, and thus it has a necessity--not indeed of coercion, but of
infallibility--as regards what it is ordained to by God, since God's
intention cannot fail, according to the saying of Augustine in his
book on the _Predestination of the Saints_ (De Dono Persev. xiv) that
"by God's good gifts whoever is liberated, is most certainly
liberated." Hence if God intends, while moving, that the one whose
heart He moves should attain to grace, he will infallibly attain to
it, according to John 6:45: "Every one that hath heard of the Father,
and hath learned, cometh to Me."
Reply Obj. 1: This gloss is speaking of such as fly to God by a
meritorious act of their free-will, already _informed_ with grace;
for if they did not receive grace, it would be against the justice
which He Himself established. Or if it refers to the movement of
free-will before grace, it is speaking in the sense that man's flight
to God is by a Divine motion, which ought not, in justice, to fail.
Reply Obj. 2: The first cause of the defect of grace is on our part;
but the first cause of the bestowal of grace is on God's according to
Osee 13:9: "Destruction is thy own, O Israel; thy help is only in Me."
Reply Obj. 3: Even in natural things, the form does not necessarily
ensue the disposition of the matter, except by the power of the agent
that causes the disposition.
FOURTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 112, Art. 4]
Whether Grace Is Greater in One Than in Another?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not greater in one than in
another. For grace is caused in us by the Divine love, as stated
above (Q. 110, A. 1). Now it is written (Wis. 6:8): "He made the
little and the great and He hath equally care of all." Therefore all
obtain grace from Him equally.
Obj. 2: Further, whatever is the greatest possible, cannot be more or
less. But grace is the greatest possible, since it joins us with our
last end. Therefore there is no greater or less in it. Hence it is
not greater in one than in another.
Obj. 3: Further, grace is the soul's life, as stated above (Q. 110,
A. 1, ad 2). But there is no greater or less in life. Hence, neither
is there in grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Eph. 4:7): "But to every one of us
is given grace according to the measure of the giving of Christ." Now
what is given in measure, is not given to all equally. Hence all have
not an equal grace.
_I answer that,_ As stated above (Q. 52, AA. 1, 2; Q. 56, AA. 1, 2),
habits can have a double magnitude: one, as regards the end or
object, as when a virtue is said to be more noble through being
ordained to a greater good; the other on the part of the subject,
which more or less participates in the habit inhering to it.
Now as regards the first magnitude, sanctifying grace cannot be
greater or less, since, of its nature, grace joins man to the Highest
Good, which is God. But as regards the subject, grace can receive
more or less, inasmuch as one may be more perfectly enlightened by
grace than another. And a certain reason for this is on the part of
him who prepares himself for grace; since he who is better prepared
for grace, receives more grace. Yet it is not here that we must seek
the first cause of this diversity, since man prepares himself, only
inasmuch as his free-will is prepared by God. Hence the first cause
of this diversity is to be sought on the part of God, Who dispenses
His gifts of grace variously, in order that the beauty and perfection
of the Church may result from these various degrees; even as He
instituted the various conditions of things, that the universe might
be perfect. Hence after the Apostle had said (Eph. 4:7): "To every
one of us is given grace according to the measure of the giving of
Christ," having enumerated the various graces, he adds (Eph. 4:12):
"For the perfecting of the saints . . . for the edifying of the body
Reply Obj. 1: The Divine care may be looked at in two ways: first, as
regards the Divine act, which is simple and uniform; and thus His
care looks equally to all, since by one simple act He administers
great things and little. But, secondly, it may be considered in those
things which come to be considered by the Divine care; and thus,
inequality is found, inasmuch as God by His care provides greater
gifts to some, and lesser gifts for others.
Reply Obj. 2: This objection is based on the first kind of magnitude
of grace; since grace cannot be greater by ordaining to a greater
good, but inasmuch as it more or less ordains to a greater or less
participation of the same good. For there may be diversity of
intensity and remissness, both in grace and in final glory as regards
the subjects' participation.
Reply Obj. 3: Natural life pertains to man's substance, and hence
cannot be more or less; but man partakes of the life of grace
accidentally, and hence man may possess it more or less.
FIFTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 112, Art. 5]
Whether Man Can Know That He Has Grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that man can know that he has grace. For
grace by its physical reality is in the soul. Now the soul has most
certain knowledge of those things that are in it by their physical
reality, as appears from Augustine (Gen. ad lit. xii, 31). Hence
grace may be known most certainly by one who has grace.
Obj. 2: Further, as knowledge is a gift of God, so is grace. But
whoever receives knowledge from God, knows that he has knowledge,
according to Wis. 7:17: The Lord "hath given me the true knowledge of
the things that are." Hence, with equal reason, whoever receives
grace from God, knows that he has grace.
Obj. 3: Further, light is more knowable than darkness, since,
according to the Apostle (Eph. 5:13), "all that is made manifest is
light." Now sin, which is spiritual darkness, may be known with
certainty by one that is in sin. Much more, therefore, may grace,
which is spiritual light, be known.
Obj. 4: Further, the Apostle says (1 Cor. 2:12): "Now we have
received not the Spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God;
that we may know the things that are given us from God." Now grace is
God's first gift. Hence, the man who receives grace by the Holy
Spirit, by the same Holy Spirit knows the grace given to him.
Obj. 5: Further, it was said by the Lord to Abraham (Gen. 22:12):
"Now I know that thou fearest God," i.e. "I have made thee know." Now
He is speaking there of chaste fear, which is not apart from grace.
Hence a man may know that he has grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Eccles. 9:1): "Man knoweth not
whether he be worthy of love or hatred." Now sanctifying grace maketh
a man worthy of God's love. Therefore no one can know whether he has
_I answer that,_ There are three ways of knowing a thing: first, by
revelation, and thus anyone may know that he has grace, for God by a
special privilege reveals this at times to some, in order that the
joy of safety may begin in them even in this life, and that they may
carry on toilsome works with greater trust and greater energy, and
may bear the evils of this present life, as when it was said to Paul
(2 Cor. 12:9): "My grace is sufficient for thee."
Secondly, a man may, of himself, know something, and with certainty;
and in this way no one can know that he has grace. For certitude
about a thing can only be had when we may judge of it by its proper
principle. Thus it is by undemonstrable universal principles that
certitude is obtained concerning demonstrative conclusions. Now no
one can know he has the knowledge of a conclusion if he does not know
its principle. But the principle of grace and its object is God, Who
by reason of His very excellence is unknown to us, according to Job
36:26: "Behold God is great, exceeding our knowledge." And hence His
presence in us and His absence cannot be known with certainty,
according to Job 9:11: "If He come to me, I shall not see Him; if He
depart I shall not understand." And hence man cannot judge with
certainty that he has grace, according to 1 Cor. 4:3, 4: "But neither
do I judge my own self . . . but He that judgeth me is the Lord."
Thirdly, things are known conjecturally by signs; and thus anyone may
know he has grace, when he is conscious of delighting in God, and of
despising worldly things, and inasmuch as a man is not conscious of
any mortal sin. And thus it is written (Apoc. 2:17): "To him that
overcometh I will give the hidden manna . . . which no man knoweth,
but he that receiveth it," because whoever receives it knows, by
experiencing a certain sweetness, which he who does not receive it,
does not experience. Yet this knowledge is imperfect; hence the
Apostle says (1 Cor. 4:4): "I am not conscious to myself of anything,
yet am I not hereby justified," since, according to Ps. 18:13: "Who
can understand sins? From my secret ones cleanse me, O Lord, and from
those of others spare Thy servant."
Reply Obj. 1: Those things which are in the soul by their physical
reality, are known through experimental knowledge; in so far as
through acts man has experience of their inward principles: thus when
we wish, we perceive that we have a will; and when we exercise the
functions of life, we observe that there is life in us.
Reply Obj. 2: It is an essential condition of knowledge that a man
should have certitude of the objects of knowledge; and again, it is
an essential condition of faith that a man should be certain of the
things of faith, and this, because certitude belongs to the
perfection of the intellect, wherein these gifts exist. Hence,
whoever has knowledge or faith is certain that he has them. But it is
otherwise with grace and charity and such like, which perfect the
Reply Obj. 3: Sin has for its principal object commutable good, which
is known to us. But the object or end of grace is unknown to us on
account of the greatness of its light, according to 1 Tim. 6:16: "Who
. . . inhabiteth light inaccessible."
Reply Obj. 4: The Apostle is here speaking of the gifts of glory,
which have been given to us in hope, and these we know most certainly
by faith, although we do not know for certain that we have grace to
enable us to merit them. Or it may be said that he is speaking of the
privileged knowledge, which comes of revelation. Hence he adds (1
Cor. 2:10): "But to us God hath revealed them by His Spirit."
Reply Obj. 5: What was said to Abraham may refer to experimental
knowledge which springs from deeds of which we are cognizant. For in
the deed that Abraham had just wrought, he could know experimentally
that he had the fear of God. Or it may refer to a revelation.
OF THE EFFECTS OF GRACE
(In Ten Articles)
We have now to consider the effect of grace; (1) the justification of
the ungodly, which is the effect of operating grace; and (2) merit,
which is the effect of cooperating grace. Under the first head there
are ten points of inquiry:
(1) What is the justification of the ungodly?
(2) Whether grace is required for it?
(3) Whether any movement of the free-will is required?
(4) Whether a movement of faith is required?
(5) Whether a movement of the free-will against sin is required?
(6) Whether the remission of sins is to be reckoned with the
(7) Whether the justification of the ungodly is a work of time or is
(8) Of the natural order of the things concurring to justification;
(9) Whether the justification of the ungodly is God's greatest work?
(10) Whether the justification of the ungodly is miraculous?
FIRST ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 1]
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly Is the Remission of Sins?
Objection 1: It would seem that the justification of the ungodly is
not the remission of sins. For sin is opposed not only to justice,
but to all the other virtues, as stated above (Q. 71, A. 1). Now
justification signifies a certain movement towards justice. Therefore
not even remission of sin is justification, since movement is from
one contrary to the other.
Obj. 2: Further, everything ought to be named from what is
predominant in it, according to _De Anima_ ii, text. 49. Now the
remission of sins is brought about chiefly by faith, according to
Acts 15:9: "Purifying their hearts by faith"; and by charity,
according to Prov. 10:12: "Charity covereth all sins." Therefore the
remission of sins ought to be named after faith or charity rather
Obj. 3: Further, the remission of sins seems to be the same as being
called, for whoever is called is afar off, and we are afar off from
God by sin. But one is called before being justified according to
Rom. 8:30: "And whom He called, them He also justified." Therefore
justification is not the remission of sins.
_On the contrary,_ On Rom. 8:30, "Whom He called, them He also
justified," the gloss says i.e. "by the remission of sins." Therefore
the remission of sins is justification.
_I answer that,_ Justification taken passively implies a movement
towards justice, as heating implies a movement towards heat. But
since justice, by its nature, implies a certain rectitude of order,
it may be taken in two ways: first, inasmuch as it implies a right
order in man's act, and thus justice is placed amongst the
virtues--either as particular justice, which directs a man's acts by
regulating them in relation to his fellowman--or as legal justice,
which directs a man's acts by regulating them in their relation to
the common good of society, as appears from _Ethic._ v, 1.
Secondly, justice is so-called inasmuch as it implies a certain
rectitude of order in the interior disposition of a man, in so far as
what is highest in man is subject to God, and the inferior powers of
the soul are subject to the superior, i.e. to the reason; and this
disposition the Philosopher calls "justice metaphorically speaking"
(Ethic. v, 11). Now this justice may be in man in two ways: first, by
simple generation, which is from privation to form; and thus
justification may belong even to such as are not in sin, when they
receive this justice from God, as Adam is said to have received
original justice. Secondly, this justice may be brought about in man
by a movement from one contrary to the other, and thus justification
implies a transmutation from the state of injustice to the aforesaid
state of justice. And it is thus we are now speaking of the
justification of the ungodly, according to the Apostle (Rom. 4:5):
"But to him that worketh not, yet believeth in Him that justifieth
the ungodly," etc. And because movement is named after its term
_whereto_ rather than from its term _whence,_ the transmutation
whereby anyone is changed by the remission of sins from the state of
ungodliness to the state of justice, borrows its name from its term
_whereto,_ and is called "justification of the ungodly."
Reply Obj. 1: Every sin, inasmuch as it implies the disorder of a
mind not subject to God, may be called injustice, as being contrary
to the aforesaid justice, according to 1 John 3:4: "Whosoever
committeth sin, committeth also iniquity; and sin is iniquity." And
thus the removal of any sin is called the justification of the
Reply Obj. 2: Faith and charity imply a special directing of the
human mind to God by the intellect and will; whereas justice implies
a general rectitude of order. Hence this transmutation is named after
justice rather than after charity or faith.
Reply Obj. 3: Being called refers to God's help moving and exciting
our mind to give up sin, and this motion of God is not the remission
of sins, but its cause.
SECOND ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 2]
Whether the Infusion of Grace Is Required for the Remission of Guilt,
i.e., for the Justification of the Ungodly?
Objection 1: It would seem that for the remission of guilt, which is
the justification of the ungodly, no infusion of grace is required.
For anyone may be moved from one contrary without being led to the
other, if the contraries are not immediate. Now the state of guilt
and the state of grace are not immediate contraries; for there is the
middle state of innocence wherein a man has neither grace nor guilt.
Hence a man may be pardoned his guilt without his being brought to a
state of grace.
Obj. 2: Further, the remission of guilt consists in the Divine
imputation, according to Ps. 31:2: "Blessed is the man to whom the
Lord hath not imputed sin." Now the infusion of grace puts something
into our soul, as stated above (Q. 110, A. 1). Hence the infusion of
grace is not required for the remission of guilt.
Obj. 3: Further, no one can be subject to two contraries at once. Now
some sins are contraries, as wastefulness and miserliness. Hence
whoever is subject to the sin of wastefulness is not simultaneously
subject to the sin of miserliness, yet it may happen that he has been
subject to it hitherto. Hence by sinning with the vice of
wastefulness he is freed from the sin of miserliness. And thus a sin
is remitted without grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Rom. 3:24): "Justified freely by
_I answer that,_ by sinning a man offends God as stated above (Q. 71,
A. 5). Now an offense is remitted to anyone, only when the soul of
the offender is at peace with the offended. Hence sin is remitted to
us, when God is at peace with us, and this peace consists in the love
whereby God loves us. Now God's love, considered on the part of the
Divine act, is eternal and unchangeable; whereas, as regards the
effect it imprints on us, it is sometimes interrupted, inasmuch as we
sometimes fall short of it and once more require it. Now the effect
of the Divine love in us, which is taken away by sin, is grace,
whereby a man is made worthy of eternal life, from which sin shuts
him out. Hence we could not conceive the remission of guilt, without
the infusion of grace.
Reply Obj. 1: More is required for an offender to pardon an offense,
than for one who has committed no offense, not to be hated. For it
may happen amongst men that one man neither hates nor loves another.
But if the other offends him, then the forgiveness of the offense can
only spring from a special goodwill. Now God's goodwill is said to be
restored to man by the gift of grace; and hence although a man before
sinning may be without grace and without guilt, yet that he is
without guilt after sinning can only be because he has grace.
Reply Obj. 2: As God's love consists not merely in the act of the
Divine will but also implies a certain effect of grace, as stated
above (Q. 110, A. 1), so likewise, when God does not impute sin to a
man, there is implied a certain effect in him to whom the sin is not
imputed; for it proceeds from the Divine love, that sin is not
imputed to a man by God.
Reply Obj. 3: As Augustine says (De Nup. et Concup. i, 26), if to
leave off sinning was the same as to have no sin, it would be enough
if Scripture warned us thus: "'My son, hast thou sinned? do so no
more?' Now this is not enough, but it is added: 'But for thy former
sins also pray that they may be forgiven thee.'" For the act of sin
passes, but the guilt remains, as stated above (Q. 87, A. 6). Hence
when anyone passes from the sin of one vice to the sin of a contrary
vice, he ceases to have the act of the former sin, but he does not
cease to have the guilt, hence he may have the guilt of both sins at
once. For sins are not contrary to each other on the part of their
turning from God, wherein sin has its guilt.
THIRD ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 3]
Whether for the Justification of the Ungodly Is Required a Movement
of the Free-will?
Objection 1: It would seem that no movement of the free-will is
required for the justification of the ungodly. For we see that by the
sacrament of Baptism, infants and sometimes adults are justified
without a movement of their free-will: hence Augustine says (Confess.
iv) that when one of his friends was taken with a fever, "he lay for
a long time senseless and in a deadly sweat, and when he was
despaired of, he was baptized without his knowing, and was
regenerated"; which is effected by sanctifying grace. Now God does
not confine His power to the sacraments. Hence He can justify a man
without the sacraments, and without any movement of the free-will.
Obj. 2: Further, a man has not the use of reason when asleep, and
without it there can be no movement of the free-will. But Solomon
received from God the gift of wisdom when asleep, as related in 3
Kings 3 and 2 Paral 1. Hence with equal reason the gift of
sanctifying grace is sometimes bestowed by God on man without the
movement of his free-will.
Obj. 3: Further, grace is preserved by the same cause as brings it
into being, for Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. viii, 12) that "so ought
man to turn to God as he is ever made just by Him." Now grace is
preserved in man without a movement of his free-will. Hence it can be
infused in the beginning without a movement of the free-will.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (John 6:45): "Every one that hath
heard of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to Me." Now to learn
cannot be without a movement of the free-will, since the learner
assents to the teacher. Hence, no one comes to the Father by
justifying grace without a movement of the free-will.
_I answer that,_ The justification of the ungodly is brought about by
God moving man to justice. For He it is "that justifieth the ungodly"
according to Rom. 4:5. Now God moves everything in its own manner,
just as we see that in natural things, what is heavy and what is
light are moved differently, on account of their diverse natures.
Hence He moves man to justice according to the condition of his human
nature. But it is man's proper nature to have free-will. Hence in him
who has the use of reason, God's motion to justice does not take
place without a movement of the free-will; but He so infuses the gift
of justifying grace that at the same time He moves the free-will to
accept the gift of grace, in such as are capable of being moved thus.
Reply Obj. 1: Infants are not capable of the movement of their
free-will; hence it is by the mere infusion of their souls that God
moves them to justice. Now this cannot be brought about without a
sacrament; because as original sin, from which they are justified,
does not come to them from their own will, but by carnal generation,
so also is grace given them by Christ through spiritual regeneration.
And the same reason holds good with madmen and idiots that have never
had the use of their free-will. But in the case of one who has had
the use of his free-will and afterwards has lost it either through
sickness or sleep, he does not obtain justifying grace by the
exterior rite of Baptism, or of any other sacrament, unless he
intended to make use of this sacrament, and this can only be by the
use of his free-will. And it was in this way that he of whom
Augustine speaks was regenerated, because both previously and
afterwards he assented to the Baptism.
Reply Obj. 2: Solomon neither merited nor received wisdom whilst
asleep; but it was declared to him in his sleep that on account of
his previous desire wisdom would be infused into him by God. Hence it
is said in his person (Wis. 7:7): "I wished, and understanding was
given unto me."
Or it may be said that his sleep was not natural, but was the sleep
of prophecy, according to Num. 12:6: "If there be among you a prophet
of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him
in a dream." In such cases the use of free-will remains.
And yet it must be observed that the comparison between the gift of
wisdom and the gift of justifying grace does not hold. For the gift
of justifying grace especially ordains a man to good, which is the
object of the will; and hence a man is moved to it by a movement of
the will which is a movement of free-will. But wisdom perfects the
intellect which precedes the will; hence without any complete
movement of the free-will, the intellect can be enlightened with the
gift of wisdom, even as we see that things are revealed to men in
sleep, according to Job 33:15, 16: "When deep sleep falleth upon men
and they are sleeping in their beds, then He openeth the ears of men,
and teaching, instructeth them in what they are to learn."
Reply Obj. 3: In the infusion of justifying grace there is a certain
transmutation of the human soul, and hence a proper movement of the
human soul is required in order that the soul may be moved in its own
manner. But the conservation of grace is without transmutation: no
movement on the part of the soul is required but only a continuation
of the Divine influx.
FOURTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 4]
Whether a Movement of Faith Is Required for the Justification of the
Objection 1: It would seem that no movement of faith is required for
the justification of the ungodly. For as a man is justified by faith,
so also by other things, viz. by fear, of which it is written
(Ecclus. 1:27): "The fear of the Lord driveth out sin, for he that is
without fear cannot be justified"; and again by charity, according to
Luke 7:47: "Many sins are forgiven her because she hath loved much";
and again by humility, according to James 4:6: "God resisteth the
proud and giveth grace to the humble"; and again by mercy, according
to Prov. 15:27: "By mercy and faith sins are purged away." Hence the
movement of faith is no more required for the justification of the
ungodly, than the movements of the aforesaid virtues.
Obj. 2: Further, the act of faith is required for justification only
inasmuch as a man knows God by faith. But a man may know God in other
ways, viz. by natural knowledge, and by the gift of wisdom. Hence no
act of faith is required for the justification of the ungodly.
Obj. 3: Further, there are several articles of faith. Therefore if
the act of faith is required for the justification of the ungodly, it
would seem that a man ought to think on every article of faith when
he is first justified. But this seems inconvenient, since such
thought would require a long delay of time. Hence it seems that an
act of faith is not required for the justification of the ungodly.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Rom. 5:1): "Being justified
therefore by faith, let us have peace with God."
_I answer that,_ As stated above (A. 3) a movement of free-will is
required for the justification of the ungodly, inasmuch as man's mind
is moved by God. Now God moves man's soul by turning it to Himself
according to Ps. 84:7 (Septuagint): "Thou wilt turn us, O God, and
bring us to life." Hence for the justification of the ungodly a
movement of the mind is required, by which it is turned to God. Now
the first turning to God is by faith, according to Heb. 11:6: "He
that cometh to God must believe that He is." Hence a movement of
faith is required for the justification of the ungodly.
Reply Obj. 1: The movement of faith is not perfect unless it is
quickened by charity; hence in the justification of the ungodly, a
movement of charity is infused together with the movement of faith.
Now free-will is moved to God by being subject to Him; hence an act
of filial fear and an act of humility also concur. For it may happen
that one and the same act of free-will springs from different
virtues, when one commands and another is commanded, inasmuch as the
act may be ordained to various ends. But the act of mercy counteracts
sin either by way of satisfying for it, and thus it follows
justification; or by way of preparation, inasmuch as the merciful
obtain mercy; and thus it can either precede justification, or concur
with the other virtues towards justification, inasmuch as mercy is
included in the love of our neighbor.
Reply Obj. 2: By natural knowledge a man is not turned to God,
according as He is the object of beatitude and the cause of
justification. Hence such knowledge does not suffice for
justification. But the gift of wisdom presupposes the knowledge of
faith, as stated above (Q. 68, A. 4, ad 3).
Reply Obj. 3: As the Apostle says (Rom. 4:5), "to him that . . .
believeth in Him that justifieth the ungodly his faith is reputed to
justice, according to the purpose of the grace of God." Hence it is
clear that in the justification of the ungodly an act of faith is
required in order that a man may believe that God justifies man
through the mystery of Christ.
FIFTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 5]
Whether for the Justification of the Ungodly There Is Required a
Movement of the Free-will Towards Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that no movement of the free-will towards
sin is required for the justification of the ungodly. For charity
alone suffices to take away sin, according to Prov. 10:12: "Charity
covereth all sins." Now the object of charity is not sin. Therefore
for this justification of the ungodly no movement of the free-will
towards sin is required.
Obj. 2: Further, whoever is tending onward, ought not to look back,
according to Phil. 3:13, 14: "Forgetting the things that are behind,
and stretching forth myself to those that are before, I press towards
the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation." But whoever is
stretching forth to righteousness has his sins behind him. Hence he
ought to forget them, and not stretch forth to them by a movement of
Obj. 3: Further, in the justification of the ungodly one sin is not
remitted without another, for "it is irreverent to expect half a
pardon from God" [*Cap., Sunt. plures: Dist. iii, De Poenit.]. Hence,
in the justification of the ungodly, if man's free-will must move
against sin, he ought to think of all his sins. But this is unseemly,
both because a great space of time would be required for such
thought, and because a man could not obtain the forgiveness of such
sins as he had forgotten. Hence for the justification of the ungodly
no movement of the free-will is required.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Ps. 31:5): "I will confess against
myself my injustice to the Lord; and Thou hast forgiven the
wickedness of my sin."
_I answer that,_ As stated above (A. 1), the justification of the
ungodly is a certain movement whereby the human mind is moved by God
from the state of sin to the state of justice. Hence it is necessary
for the human mind to regard both extremes by an act of free-will, as
a body in local movement is related to both terms of the movement.
Now it is clear that in local movement the moving body leaves the
term _whence_ and nears the term _whereto._ Hence the human mind
whilst it is being justified, must, by a movement of its free-will
withdraw from sin and draw near to justice.
Now to withdraw from sin and to draw near to justice, in an act of
free-will, means detestation and desire. For Augustine says on the
words "the hireling fleeth," etc. (John 10:12): "Our emotions are the
movements of our soul; joy is the soul's outpouring; fear is the
soul's flight; your soul goes forward when you seek; your soul flees,
when you are afraid." Hence in the justification of the ungodly there
must be two acts of the free-will--one, whereby it tends to God's
justice; the other whereby it hates sin.
Reply Obj. 1: It belongs to the same virtue to seek one contrary and
to avoid the other; and hence, as it belongs to charity to love God,
so likewise, to detest sin whereby the soul is separated from God.
Reply Obj. 2: A man ought not to return to those things that are
behind, by loving them; but, for that matter, he ought to forget
them, lest he be drawn to them. Yet he ought to recall them to mind,
in order to detest them; for this is to fly from them.
Reply Obj. 3: Previous to justification a man must detest each sin he
remembers to have committed, and from this remembrance the soul goes
on to have a general movement of detestation with regard to all sins
committed, in which are included such sins as have been forgotten.
For a man is then in such a frame of mind that he would be sorry even
for those he does not remember, if they were present to his memory;
and this movement cooperates in his justification.
SIXTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 6]
Whether the Remission of Sins Ought to Be Reckoned Amongst the Things
Required for Justification?
Objection 1: It would seem that the remission of sins ought not to be
reckoned amongst the things required for justification. For the
substance of a thing is not reckoned together with those that are
required for a thing; thus a man is not reckoned together with his
body and soul. But the justification of the ungodly is itself the
remission of sins, as stated above (A. 1). Therefore the remission of
sins ought not to be reckoned among the things required for the
justification of the ungodly.
Obj. 2: Further, infusion of grace and remission of sins are the
same; as illumination and expulsion of darkness are the same. But a
thing ought not to be reckoned together with itself; for unity is
opposed to multitude. Therefore the remission of sins ought not to be
reckoned with the infusion of grace.
Obj. 3: Further, the remission of sin follows as effect from cause,
from the free-will's movement towards God and sin; since it is by
faith and contrition that sin is forgiven. But an effect ought not to
be reckoned with its cause; since things thus enumerated together,
and, as it were, condivided, are by nature simultaneous. Hence the
remission of sins ought not to be reckoned with the things required
for the justification of the ungodly.
_On the contrary,_ In reckoning what is required for a thing we ought
not to pass over the end, which is the chief part of everything. Now
the remission of sins is the end of the justification of the ungodly;
for it is written (Isa. 27:9): "This is all the fruit, that the sin
thereof should be taken away." Hence the remission of sins ought to
be reckoned amongst the things required for justification.
_I answer that,_ There are four things which are accounted to be
necessary for the justification of the ungodly, viz. the infusion of
grace, the movement of the free-will towards God by faith, the
movement of the free-will towards sin, and the remission of sins. The
reason for this is that, as stated above (A. 1), the
justification of the ungodly is a movement whereby the soul is moved
by God from a state of sin to a state of justice. Now in the movement
whereby one thing is moved by another, three things are required:
first, the motion of the mover; secondly, the movement of the moved;
thirdly, the consummation of the movement, or the attainment of the
end. On the part of the Divine motion, there is the infusion of grace;
on the part of the free-will which is moved, there are two
movements--of departure from the term _whence,_ and of approach to
the term _whereto_; but the consummation of the movement or the
attainment of the end of the movement is implied in the remission of
sins; for in this is the justification of the ungodly completed.
Reply Obj. 1: The justification of the ungodly is called the
remission of sins, even as every movement has its species from its
term. Nevertheless, many other things are required in order to reach
the term, as stated above (A. 5).
Reply Obj. 2: The infusion of grace and the remission of sin
may be considered in two ways: first, with respect to the substance of
the act, and thus they are the same; for by the same act God bestows
grace and remits sin. Secondly, they may be considered on the part of
the objects; and thus they differ by the difference between guilt,
which is taken away, and grace, which is infused; just as in natural
things generation and corruption differ, although the generation of
one thing is the corruption of another.
Reply Obj. 3: This enumeration is not the division of a genus
into its species, in which the things enumerated must be simultaneous;
but it is division of the things required for the completion of
anything; and in this enumeration we may have what precedes and what
follows, since some of the principles and parts of a composite thing
may precede and some follow.
SEVENTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 7]
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly Takes Place in an Instant or
Objection 1: It would seem that the justification of the ungodly does
not take place in an instant, but successively, since, as already
stated (A. 3), for the justification of the ungodly, there is
required a movement of free-will. Now the act of the free-will is
choice, which requires the deliberation of counsel, as stated above
(Q. 13, A. 1). Hence, since deliberation implies a certain reasoning
process, and this implies succession, the justification of the
ungodly would seem to be successive.
Obj. 2: Further, the free-will's movement is not without actual
consideration. But it is impossible to understand many things
actually and at once, as stated above (I, Q. 85, A. 4). Hence, since
for the justification of the ungodly there is required a movement of
the free-will towards several things, viz. towards God and towards
sin, it would seem impossible for the justification of the ungodly to
be in an instant.
Obj. 3: Further, a form that may be greater or less, e.g. blackness
or whiteness, is received successively by its subject. Now grace may
be greater or less, as stated above (Q. 112, A. 4). Hence it is not
received suddenly by its subject. Therefore, seeing that the infusion
of grace is required for the justification of the ungodly, it would
seem that the justification of the ungodly cannot be in an instant.
Obj. 4: Further, the free-will's movement, which cooperates in
justification, is meritorious; and hence it must proceed from grace,
without which there is no merit, as we shall state further on (Q.
114, A. 2). Now a thing receives its form before operating by this
form. Hence grace is first infused, and then the free-will is moved
towards God and to detest sin. Hence justification is not all at once.
Obj. 5: Further, if grace is infused into the soul, there must be an
instant when it first dwells in the soul; so, too, if sin is forgiven
there must be a last instant that man is in sin. But it cannot be the
same instant, otherwise opposites would be in the same
simultaneously. Hence they must be two successive instants; between
which there must be time, as the Philosopher says (Phys. vi, 1).
Therefore the justification of the ungodly takes place not all at
once, but successively.
_On the contrary,_ The justification of the ungodly is caused by the
justifying grace of the Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit comes to
men's minds suddenly, according to Acts 2:2: "And suddenly there came
a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming," upon which the gloss
says that "the grace of the Holy Ghost knows no tardy efforts." Hence
the justification of the ungodly is not successive, but instantaneous.
_I answer that,_ The entire justification of the ungodly consists as
to its origin in the infusion of grace. For it is by grace that
free-will is moved and sin is remitted. Now the infusion of grace
takes place in an instant and without succession. And the reason of
this is that if a form be not suddenly impressed upon its subject, it
is either because that subject is not disposed, or because the agent
needs time to dispose the subject. Hence we see that immediately the
matter is disposed by a preceding alteration, the substantial form
accrues to the matter; thus because the atmosphere of itself is
disposed to receive light, it is suddenly illuminated by a body
actually luminous. Now it was stated (Q. 112, A. 2) that God, in
order to infuse grace into the soul, needs no disposition, save what
He Himself has made. And sometimes this sufficient disposition for
the reception of grace He makes suddenly, sometimes gradually and
successively, as stated above (Q. 112, A. 2, ad 2). For the reason
why a natural agent cannot suddenly dispose matter is that in the
matter there is a resistant which has some disproportion with the
power of the agent; and hence we see that the stronger the agent, the
more speedily is the matter disposed. Therefore, since the Divine
power is infinite, it can suddenly dispose any matter whatsoever to
its form; and much more man's free-will, whose movement is by nature
instantaneous. Therefore the justification of the ungodly by God
takes place in an instant.
Reply Obj. 1: The movement of the free-will, which concurs in the
justification of the ungodly, is a consent to detest sin, and to draw
near to God; and this consent takes place suddenly. Sometimes,
indeed, it happens that deliberation precedes, yet this is not of the
substance of justification, but a way of justification; as local
movement is a way of illumination, and alteration to generation.
Reply Obj. 2: As stated above (I, Q. 85, A. 5), there is nothing to
prevent two things being understood at once, in so far as they are
somehow one; thus we understand the subject and predicate together,
inasmuch as they are united in the order of one affirmation. And in
the same manner can the free-will be moved to two things at once in
so far as one is ordained to the other. Now the free-will's movement
towards sin is ordained to the free-will's movement towards God,
since a man detests sin, as contrary to God, to Whom he wishes to
cling. Hence in the justification of the ungodly the free-will
simultaneously detests sin and turns to God, even as a body
approaches one point and withdraws from another simultaneously.
Reply Obj. 3: The reason why a form is not received instantaneously
in the matter is not the fact that it can inhere more or less; for
thus the light would not be suddenly received in the air, which can
be illumined more or less. But the reason is to be sought on the part
of the disposition of the matter or subject, as stated above.
Reply Obj. 4: The same instant the form is acquired, the thing begins
to operate with the form; as fire, the instant it is generated moves
upwards, and if its movement was instantaneous, it would be
terminated in the same instant. Now to will and not to will--the
movements of the free-will--are not successive, but instantaneous.
Hence the justification of the ungodly must not be successive.
Reply Obj. 5: The succession of opposites in the same subject must be
looked at differently in the things that are subject to time and in
those that are above time. For in those that are in time, there is no
last instant in which the previous form inheres in the subject; but
there is the last time, and the first instant that the subsequent
form inheres in the matter or subject; and this for the reason, that
in time we are not to consider one instant, since neither do instants
succeed each other immediately in time, nor points in a line, as is
proved in _Physic._ vi, 1. But time is terminated by an instant.
Hence in the whole of the previous time wherein anything is moving
towards its form, it is under the opposite form; but in the last
instant of this time, which is the first instant of the subsequent
time, it has the form which is the term of the movement.
But in those that are above time, it is otherwise. For if there be
any succession of affections or intellectual conceptions in them (as
in the angels), such succession is not measured by continuous time,
but by discrete time, even as the things measured are not continuous,
as stated above (I, Q. 53, AA. 2, 3). In these, therefore, there is a
last instant in which the preceding is, and a first instant in which
the subsequent is. Nor must there be time in between, since there is
no continuity of time, which this would necessitate.
Now the human mind, which is justified, is, in itself, above time,
but is subject to time accidentally, inasmuch as it understands with
continuity and time, with respect to the phantasms in which it
considers the intelligible species, as stated above (I, Q. 85, AA. 1,
2). We must, therefore, decide from this about its change as regards
the condition of temporal movements, i.e. we must say that there is
no last instant that sin inheres, but a last time; whereas there is a
first instant that grace inheres; and in all the time previous sin
EIGHTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 8]
Whether the Infusion of Grace Is Naturally the First of the Things
Required for the Justification of the Ungodly?
Objection 1: It would seem that the infusion of grace is not what is
naturally required first for the justification of the ungodly. For we
withdraw from evil before drawing near to good, according to Ps.
33:15: "Turn away from evil, and do good." Now the remission of sins
regards the turning away from evil, and the infusion of grace regards
the turning to good. Hence the remission of sin is naturally before
the infusion of grace.
Obj. 2: Further, the disposition naturally precedes the form to which
it disposes. Now the free-will's movement is a disposition for the
reception of grace. Therefore it naturally precedes the infusion of
Obj. 3: Further, sin hinders the soul from tending freely to God. Now
a hindrance to movement must be removed before the movement takes
place. Hence the remission of sin and the free-will's movement
towards sin are naturally before the infusion of grace.
_On the contrary,_ The cause is naturally prior to its effect. Now
the infusion of grace is the cause of whatever is required for the
justification of the ungodly, as stated above (A. 7). Therefore it is
naturally prior to it.
_I answer that,_ The aforesaid four things required for the
justification of the ungodly are simultaneous in time, since the
justification of the ungodly is not successive, as stated above (A.
7); but in the order of nature, one is prior to another; and in their
natural order the first is the infusion of grace; the second, the
free-will's movement towards God; the third, the free-will's movement
towards sin; the fourth, the remission of sin.
The reason for this is that in every movement the motion of the mover
is naturally first; the disposition of the matter, or the movement of
the moved, is second; the end or term of the movement in which the
motion of the mover rests, is last. Now the motion of God the Mover
is the infusion of grace, as stated above (A. 6); the movement or
disposition of the moved is the free-will's double movement; and the
term or end of the movement is the remission of sin, as stated above
(A. 6). Hence in their natural order the first in the justification
of the ungodly is the infusion of grace; the second is the
free-will's movement towards God; the third is the free-will's
movement towards sin, for he who is being justified detests sin
because it is against God, and thus the free-will's movement towards
God naturally precedes the free-will's movement towards sin, since it
is its cause and reason; the fourth and last is the remission of sin,
to which this transmutation is ordained as to an end, as stated above
(AA. 1, 6).
Reply Obj. 1: The withdrawal from one term and approach to another
may be looked at in two ways: first, on the part of the thing moved,
and thus the withdrawal from a term naturally precedes the approach
to a term, since in the subject of movement the opposite which is put
away is prior to the opposite which the subject moved attains to by
its movement. But on the part of the agent it is the other way about,
since the agent, by the form pre-existing in it, acts for the removal
of the opposite form; as the sun by its light acts for the removal of
darkness, and hence on the part of the sun, illumination is prior to
the removal of darkness; but on the part of the atmosphere to be
illuminated, to be freed from darkness is, in the order of nature,
prior to being illuminated, although both are simultaneous in time.
And since the infusion of grace and the remission of sin regard God
Who justifies, hence in the order of nature the infusion of grace is
prior to the freeing from sin. But if we look at what is on the part
of the man justified, it is the other way about, since in the order
of nature the being freed from sin is prior to the obtaining of
justifying grace. Or it may be said that the term _whence_ of
justification is sin; and the term _whereto_ is justice; and that
grace is the cause of the forgiveness of sin and of obtaining of
Reply Obj. 2: The disposition of the subject precedes the reception
of the form, in the order of nature; yet it follows the action of the
agent, whereby the subject is disposed. And hence the free-will's
movement precedes the reception of grace in the order of nature, and
follows the infusion of grace.
Reply Obj. 3: As the Philosopher says (Phys. ii, 9), in movements of
the soul the movement toward the speculative principle or the
practical end is the very first, but in exterior movements the
removal of the impediment precedes the attainment of the end. And as
the free-will's movement is a movement of the soul, in the order of
nature it moves towards God as to its end, before removing the
impediment of sin.
NINTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 9]
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly Is God's Greatest Work?
Objection 1: It would seem that the justification of the ungodly is
not God's greatest work. For it is by the justification of the
ungodly that we attain the grace of a wayfarer. Now by glorification
we receive heavenly grace, which is greater. Hence the glorification
of angels and men is a greater work than the justification of the
Obj. 2: Further, the justification of the ungodly is ordained to the
particular good of one man. But the good of the universe is greater
than the good of one man, as is plain from _Ethic._ i, 2. Hence the
creation of heaven and earth is a greater work than the justification
of the ungodly.
Obj. 3: Further, to make something from nothing, where there is
nought to cooperate with the agent, is greater than to make something
with the cooperation of the recipient. Now in the work of creation
something is made from nothing, and hence nothing can cooperate with
the agent; but in the justification of the ungodly God makes
something from something, i.e. a just man from a sinner, and there is
a cooperation on man's part, since there is a movement of the
free-will, as stated above (A. 3). Hence the justification of the
ungodly is not God's greatest work.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Ps. 144:9): "His tender mercies are
over all His works," and in a collect [*Tenth Sunday after Pentecost]
we say: "O God, Who dost show forth Thine all-mightiness most by
pardoning and having mercy," and Augustine, expounding the words,
"greater than these shall he do" (John 14:12) says that "for a just
man to be made from a sinner, is greater than to create heaven and
_I answer that,_ A work may be called great in two ways: first, on the
part of the mode of action, and thus the work of creation is the
greatest work, wherein something is made from nothing; secondly, a
work may be called great on account of what is made, and thus the
justification of the ungodly, which terminates at the eternal good of
a share in the Godhead, is greater than the creation of heaven and
earth, which terminates at the good of mutable nature. Hence,
Augustine, after saying that "for a just man to be made from a sinner
is greater than to create heaven and earth," adds, "for heaven and
earth shall pass away, but the justification of the ungodly shall
Again, we must bear in mind that a thing is called great in two ways:
first, in an absolute quantity, and thus the gift of glory is greater
than the gift of grace that sanctifies the ungodly; and in this
respect the glorification of the just is greater than the
justification of the ungodly. Secondly, a thing may be said to be
great in proportionate quantity, and thus the gift of grace that
justifies the ungodly is greater than the gift of glory that beatifies
the just, for the gift of grace exceeds the worthiness of the ungodly,
who are worthy of punishment, more than the gift of glory exceeds the
worthiness of the just, who by the fact of their justification are
worthy of glory. Hence Augustine says: "Let him that can, judge
whether it is greater to create the angels just, than to justify the
ungodly. Certainly, if they both betoken equal power, one betokens
And thus the reply to the first [objection] is clear.
Reply Obj. 2: The good of the universe is greater than the
particular good of one, if we consider both in the same genus. But the
good of grace in one is greater than the good of nature in the whole
Reply Obj. 3: This objection rests on the manner of acting, in
which way creation is God's greatest work.
TENTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 113, Art. 10]
Whether the Justification of the Ungodly Is a Miraculous Work?
Objection 1: It would seem that the justification of the ungodly is a
miraculous work. For miraculous works are greater than
non-miraculous. Now the justification of the ungodly is greater than
the other miraculous works, as is clear from the quotation from
Augustine (A. 9). Hence the justification of the ungodly is a
Obj. 2: Further, the movement of the will in the soul is like the
natural inclination in natural things. But when God works in natural
things against their inclination of their nature, it is a miraculous
work, as when He gave sight to the blind or raised the dead. Now the
will of the ungodly is bent on evil. Hence, since God in justifying a
man moves him to good, it would seem that the justification of the
ungodly is miraculous.
Obj. 3: Further, as wisdom is a gift of God, so also is justice. Now
it is miraculous that anyone should suddenly obtain wisdom from God
without study. Therefore it is miraculous that the ungodly should be
justified by God.
_On the contrary,_ Miraculous works are beyond natural power. Now the
justification of the ungodly is not beyond natural power; for
Augustine says (De Praed. Sanct. v) that "to be capable of having
faith and to be capable of having charity belongs to man's nature;
but to have faith and charity belongs to the grace of the faithful."
Therefore the justification of the ungodly is not miraculous.
_I answer that,_ In miraculous works it is usual to find three
things: the first is on the part of the active power, because they
can only be performed by Divine power; and they are simply wondrous,
since their cause is hidden, as stated above (I, Q. 105, A. 7). And
thus both the justification of the ungodly and the creation of the
world, and, generally speaking, every work that can be done by God
alone, is miraculous.
Secondly, in certain miraculous works it is found that the form
introduced is beyond the natural power of such matter, as in the
resurrection of the dead, life is above the natural power of such a
body. And thus the justification of the ungodly is not miraculous,
because the soul is naturally capable of grace; since from its having
been made to the likeness of God, it is fit to receive God by grace,
as Augustine says, in the above quotation.
Thirdly, in miraculous works something is found besides the usual and
customary order of causing an effect, as when a sick man suddenly and
beyond the wonted course of healing by nature or art, receives
perfect health; and thus the justification of the ungodly is
sometimes miraculous and sometimes not. For the common and wonted
course of justification is that God moves the soul interiorly and
that man is converted to God, first by an imperfect conversion, that
it may afterwards become perfect; because "charity begun merits
increase, and when increased merits perfection," as Augustine says
(In Epist. Joan. Tract. v). Yet God sometimes moves the soul so
vehemently that it reaches the perfection of justice at once, as took
place in the conversion of Paul, which was accompanied at the same
time by a miraculous external prostration. Hence the conversion of
Paul is commemorated in the Church as miraculous.
Reply Obj. 1: Certain miraculous works, although they are less than
the justification of the ungodly, as regards the good caused, are
beyond the wonted order of such effects, and thus have more of the
nature of a miracle.
Reply Obj. 2: It is not a miraculous work, whenever a natural thing
is moved contrary to its inclination, otherwise it would be
miraculous for water to be heated, or for a stone to be thrown
upwards; but only whenever this takes place beyond the order of the
proper cause, which naturally does this. Now no other cause save God
can justify the ungodly, even as nothing save fire can heat water.
Hence the justification of the ungodly by God is not miraculous in
Reply Obj. 3: A man naturally acquires wisdom and knowledge
from God by his own talent and study. Hence it is miraculous when a
man is made wise or learned outside this order. But a man does not
naturally acquire justifying grace by his own action, but by God's.
Hence there is no parity.
(In Ten Articles)
We must now consider merit, which is the effect of cooperating grace;
and under this head there are ten points of inquiry:
(1) Whether a man can merit anything from God?
(2) Whether without grace anyone can merit eternal life?
(3) Whether anyone with grace may merit eternal life condignly?
(4) Whether it is chiefly through the instrumentality of charity that
grace is the principle of merit?
(5) Whether a man may merit the first grace for himself?
(6) Whether he may merit it for someone else?
(7) Whether anyone can merit restoration after sin?
(8) Whether he can merit for himself an increase of grace or charity?
(9) Whether he can merit final perseverance?
(10) Whether temporal goods fall under merit?
FIRST ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 1]
Whether a Man May Merit Anything from God?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man can merit nothing from God. For
no one, it would seem, merits by giving another his due. But by all
the good we do, we cannot make sufficient return to God, since yet
more is His due, as also the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 14).
Hence it is written (Luke 17:10): "When you have done all these
things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we
have done that which we ought to do." Therefore a man can merit
nothing from God.
Obj. 2: Further, it would seem that a man merits nothing from God, by
what profits himself only, and profits God nothing. Now by acting
well, a man profits himself or another man, but not God, for it is
written (Job 35:7): "If thou do justly, what shalt thou give Him, or
what shall He receive of thy hand." Hence a man can merit nothing
Obj. 3: Further, whoever merits anything from another makes him his
debtor; for a man's wage is a debt due to him. Now God is no one's
debtor; hence it is written (Rom. 11:35): "Who hath first given to
Him, and recompense shall be made to him?" Hence no one can merit
anything from God.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Jer. 31:16): "There is a reward for
thy work." Now a reward means something bestowed by reason of merit.
Hence it would seem that a man may merit from God.
_I answer that,_ Merit and reward refer to the same, for a reward
means something given anyone in return for work or toil, as a price
for it. Hence, as it is an act of justice to give a just price for
anything received from another, so also is it an act of justice to
make a return for work or toil. Now justice is a kind of equality, as
is clear from the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 3), and hence justice is
simply between those that are simply equal; but where there is no
absolute equality between them, neither is there absolute justice,
but there may be a certain manner of justice, as when we speak of a
father's or a master's right (Ethic. v, 6), as the Philosopher says.
And hence where there is justice simply, there is the character of
merit and reward simply. But where there is no simple right, but only
relative, there is no character of merit simply, but only relatively,
in so far as the character of justice is found there, since the child
merits something from his father and the slave from his lord.
Now it is clear that between God and man there is the greatest
inequality: for they are infinitely apart, and all man's good is from
God. Hence there can be no justice of absolute equality between man
and God, but only of a certain proportion, inasmuch as both operate
after their own manner. Now the manner and measure of human virtue is
in man from God. Hence man's merit with God only exists on the
presupposition of the Divine ordination, so that man obtains from
God, as a reward of his operation, what God gave him the power of
operation for, even as natural things by their proper movements and
operations obtain that to which they were ordained by God;
differently, indeed, since the rational creature moves itself to act
by its free-will, hence its action has the character of merit, which
is not so in other creatures.
Reply Obj. 1: Man merits, inasmuch as he does what he ought, by his
free-will; otherwise the act of justice whereby anyone discharges a
debt would not be meritorious.
Reply Obj. 2: God seeks from our goods not profit, but glory, i.e.
the manifestation of His goodness; even as He seeks it also in
His own works. Now nothing accrues to Him, but only to ourselves, by
our worship of Him. Hence we merit from God, not that by our works
anything accrues to Him, but inasmuch as we work for His glory.
Reply Obj. 3: Since our action has the character of merit, only on
the presupposition of the Divine ordination, it does not follow
that God is made our debtor simply, but His own, inasmuch as it
is right that His will should be carried out.
SECOND ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 2]
Whether Anyone Without Grace Can Merit Eternal Life?
Objection 1: It would seem that without grace anyone can merit
eternal life. For man merits from God what he is divinely ordained
to, as stated above (A. 1). Now man by his nature is ordained to
beatitude as his end; hence, too, he naturally wishes to be blessed.
Hence man by his natural endowments and without grace can merit
beatitude which is eternal life.
Obj. 2: Further, the less a work is due, the more meritorious it is.
Now, less due is that work which is done by one who has received
fewer benefits. Hence, since he who has only natural endowments has
received fewer gifts from God, than he who has gratuitous gifts as
well as nature, it would seem that his works are more meritorious
with God. And thus if he who has grace can merit eternal life to some
extent, much more may he who has no grace.
Obj. 3: Further, God's mercy and liberality infinitely surpass human
mercy and liberality. Now a man may merit from another, even though
he has not hitherto had his grace. Much more, therefore, would it
seem that a man without grace may merit eternal life.
_On the contrary,_ The Apostle says (Rom. 6:23): "The grace of God,
_I answer that,_ Man without grace may be looked at in two states, as
was said above (Q. 109, A. 2): the first, a state of perfect nature,
in which Adam was before his sin; the second, a state of corrupt
nature, in which we are before being restored by grace. Therefore, if
we speak of man in the first state, there is only one reason why man
cannot merit eternal life without grace, by his purely natural
endowments, viz. because man's merit depends on the Divine
pre-ordination. Now no act of anything whatsoever is divinely
ordained to anything exceeding the proportion of the powers which are
the principles of its act; for it is a law of Divine providence that
nothing shall act beyond its powers. Now everlasting life is a good
exceeding the proportion of created nature; since it exceeds its
knowledge and desire, according to 1 Cor. 2:9: "Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man." And
hence it is that no created nature is a sufficient principle of an
act meritorious of eternal life, unless there is added a supernatural
gift, which we call grace. But if we speak of man as existing in sin,
a second reason is added to this, viz. the impediment of sin. For
since sin is an offense against God, excluding us from eternal life,
as is clear from what has been said above (Q. 71, A. 6; Q. 113, A.
2), no one existing in a state of mortal sin can merit eternal life
unless first he be reconciled to God, through his sin being forgiven,
which is brought about by grace. For the sinner deserves not life,
but death, according to Rom. 6:23: "The wages of sin is death."
Reply Obj. 1: God ordained human nature to attain the end of eternal
life, not by its own strength, but by the help of grace; and in this
way its act can be meritorious of eternal life.
Reply Obj. 2: Without grace a man cannot have a work equal to a work
proceeding from grace, since the more perfect the principle, the more
perfect the action. But the objection would hold good, if we supposed
the operations equal in both cases.
Reply Obj. 3: With regard to the first reason adduced, the case is
different in God and in man. For a man receives all his power of
well-doing from God, and not from man. Hence a man can merit nothing
from God except by His gift, which the Apostle expresses aptly saying
(Rom. 11:35): "Who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be
made to him?" But man may merit from man, before he has received
anything from him, by what he has received from God.
But as regards the second proof taken from the impediment of sin, the
case is similar with man and God, since one man cannot merit from
another whom he has offended, unless he makes satisfaction to him and
THIRD ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 3]
Whether a Man in Grace Can Merit Eternal Life Condignly?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man in grace cannot merit eternal
life condignly, for the Apostle says (Rom. 8:18): "The sufferings of
this time are not worthy (_condignae_) to be compared with the glory
to come, that shall be revealed in us." But of all meritorious works,
the sufferings of the saints would seem the most meritorious.
Therefore no works of men are meritorious of eternal life condignly.
Obj. 2: Further, on Rom. 6:23, "The grace of God, life everlasting,"
a gloss says: "He might have truly said: 'The wages of justice, life
everlasting'; but He preferred to say 'The grace of God, life
everlasting,' that we may know that God leads us to life everlasting
of His own mercy and not by our merits." Now when anyone merits
something condignly he receives it not from mercy, but from merit.
Hence it would seem that a man with grace cannot merit life
Obj. 3: Further, merit that equals the reward, would seem to be
condign. Now no act of the present life can equal everlasting life,
which surpasses our knowledge and our desire, and moreover, surpasses
the charity or love of the wayfarer, even as it exceeds nature.
Therefore with grace a man cannot merit eternal life condignly.
_On the contrary,_ What is granted in accordance with a fair
judgment, would seem a condign reward. But life everlasting is
granted by God, in accordance with the judgment of justice, according
to 2 Tim. 4:8: "As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of
justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that
day." Therefore man merits everlasting life condignly.
_I answer that,_ Man's meritorious work may be considered in two
ways: first, as it proceeds from free-will; secondly, as it proceeds
from the grace of the Holy Ghost. If it is considered as regards the
substance of the work, and inasmuch as it springs from the free-will,
there can be no condignity because of the very great inequality. But
there is congruity, on account of an equality of proportion: for it
would seem congruous that, if a man does what he can, God should
reward him according to the excellence of his power.
If, however, we speak of a meritorious work, inasmuch as it proceeds
from the grace of the Holy Ghost moving us to life everlasting, it is
meritorious of life everlasting condignly. For thus the value of its
merit depends upon the power of the Holy Ghost moving us to life
everlasting according to John 4:14: "Shall become in him a fount of
water springing up into life everlasting." And the worth of the work
depends on the dignity of grace, whereby a man, being made a partaker
of the Divine Nature, is adopted as a son of God, to whom the
inheritance is due by right of adoption, according to Rom. 8:17: "If
sons, heirs also."
Reply Obj. 1: The Apostle is speaking of the substance of these
Reply Obj. 2: This saying is to be understood of the first cause of
our reaching everlasting life, viz. God's mercy. But our merit is a
Reply Obj. 3: The grace of the Holy Ghost which we have at present,
although unequal to glory in act, is equal to it virtually as the
seed of a tree, wherein the whole tree is virtually. So likewise by
grace of the Holy Ghost dwells in man; and He is a sufficient cause
of life everlasting; hence, 2 Cor. 1:22, He is called the "pledge" of
FOURTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 4]
Whether Grace Is the Principle of Merit Through Charity Rather Than
the Other Virtues?
Objection 1: It would seem that grace is not the principle of merit
through charity rather than the other virtues. For wages are due to
work, according to Matt. 20:8: "Call the laborers and pay them their
hire." Now every virtue is a principle of some operation, since
virtue is an operative habit, as stated above (Q. 55, A. 2). Hence
every virtue is equally a principle of merit.
Obj. 2: Further, the Apostle says (1 Cor. 3:8): "Every man shall
receive his own reward according to his labor." Now charity lessens
rather than increases the labor, because as Augustine says (De Verbis
Dom., Serm. lxx), "love makes all hard and repulsive tasks easy and
next to nothing." Hence charity is no greater principle of merit than
any other virtue.
Obj. 3: Further, the greatest principle of merit would seem to be the
one whose acts are most meritorious. But the acts of faith and
patience or fortitude would seem to be the most meritorious, as
appears in the martyrs, who strove for the faith patiently and
bravely even till death. Hence other virtues are a greater principle
of merit than charity.
_On the contrary,_ Our Lord said (John 14:21): "He that loveth Me,
shall be loved of My Father; and I will love him and will manifest
Myself to him." Now everlasting life consists in the manifest
knowledge of God, according to John 17:3: "This is eternal life: that
they may know Thee, the only true" and living "God." Hence the merit
of eternal life rests chiefly with charity.
_I answer that,_ As we may gather from what has been stated above (A.
1), human acts have the nature of merit from two causes: first and
chiefly from the Divine ordination, inasmuch as acts are said to
merit that good to which man is divinely ordained. Secondly, on the
part of free-will, inasmuch as man, more than other creatures, has
the power of voluntary acts by acting by himself. And in both these
ways does merit chiefly rest with charity. For we must bear in mind
that everlasting life consists in the enjoyment of God. Now the human
mind's movement to the fruition of the Divine good is the proper act
of charity, whereby all the acts of the other virtues are ordained to
this end, since all the other virtues are commanded by charity. Hence
the merit of life everlasting pertains first to charity, and
secondly, to the other virtues, inasmuch as their acts are commanded
by charity. So, likewise, is it manifest that what we do out of love
we do most willingly. Hence, even inasmuch as merit depends on
voluntariness, merit is chiefly attributed to charity.
Reply Obj. 1: Charity, inasmuch as it has the last end for object,
moves the other virtues to act. For the habit to which the end
pertains always commands the habits to which the means pertain, as
was said above (Q. 9, A. 1).
Reply Obj. 2: A work can be toilsome and difficult in two ways:
first, from the greatness of the work, and thus the greatness of the
work pertains to the increase of merit; and thus charity does not
lessen the toil--rather, it makes us undertake the greatest toils,
"for it does great things, if it exists," as Gregory says (Hom. in
Evang. xxx). Secondly, from the defect of the operator; for what is
not done with a ready will is hard and difficult to all of us, and
this toil lessens merit and is removed by charity.
Reply Obj. 3: The act of faith is not meritorious unless "faith . . .
worketh by charity" (Gal. 5:6). So, too, the acts of patience and
fortitude are not meritorious unless a man does them out of charity,
according to 1 Cor. 13:3: "If I should deliver my body to be burned,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
FIFTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 5]
Whether a Man May Merit for Himself the First Grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man may merit for himself the first
grace, because, as Augustine says (Ep. clxxxvi), "faith merits
justification." Now a man is justified by the first grace. Therefore
a man may merit the first grace.
Obj. 2: Further, God gives grace only to the worthy. Now, no one is
said to be worthy of some good, unless he has merited it condignly.
Therefore we may merit the first grace condignly.
Obj. 3: Further, with men we may merit a gift already received. Thus
if a man receives a horse from his master, he merits it by a good use
of it in his master's service. Now God is much more bountiful than
man. Much more, therefore, may a man, by subsequent works, merit the
first grace already received from God.
_On the contrary,_ The nature of grace is repugnant to reward of
works, according to Rom. 4:4: "Now to him that worketh, the reward is
not reckoned according to grace but according to debt." Now a man
merits what is reckoned to him according to debt, as the reward of
his works. Hence a man may not merit the first grace.
_I answer that,_ The gift of grace may be considered in two ways:
first in the nature of a gratuitous gift, and thus it is manifest
that all merit is repugnant to grace, since as the Apostle says (Rom.
11:6), "if by grace, it is not now by works." Secondly, it may be
considered as regards the nature of the thing given, and thus, also,
it cannot come under the merit of him who has not grace, both because
it exceeds the proportion of nature, and because previous to grace a
man in the state of sin has an obstacle to his meriting grace, viz.
sin. But when anyone has grace, the grace already possessed cannot
come under merit, since reward is the term of the work, but grace is
the principle of all our good works, as stated above (Q. 109). But of
anyone merits a further gratuitous gift by virtue of the preceding
grace, it would not be the first grace. Hence it is manifest that no
one can merit for himself the first grace.
Reply Obj. 1: As Augustine says (Retract. i, 23), he was deceived on
this point for a time, believing the beginning of faith to be from
us, and its consummation to be granted us by God; and this he here
retracts. And seemingly it is in this sense that he speaks of faith
as meriting justification. But if we suppose, as indeed it is a truth
of faith, that the beginning of faith is in us from God, the first
act must flow from grace; and thus it cannot be meritorious of the
first grace. Therefore man is justified by faith, not as though man,
by believing, were to merit justification, but that, he believes,
whilst he is being justified; inasmuch as a movement of faith is
required for the justification of the ungodly, as stated above (Q.
113, A. 4).
Reply Obj. 2: God gives grace to none but to the worthy, not that
they were previously worthy, but that by His grace He makes them
worthy, Who alone "can make him clean that is conceived of unclean
seed" (Job 14:4).
Reply Obj. 3: Man's every good work proceeds from the first grace as
from its principle; but not from any gift of man. Consequently, there
is no comparison between gifts of grace and gifts of men.
SIXTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 6]
Whether a Man Can Merit the First Grace for Another?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man can merit the first grace for
another. Because on Matt. 9:2: "Jesus seeing their faith," etc. a
gloss says: "How much is our personal faith worth with God, Who set
such a price on another's faith, as to heal the man both inwardly and
outwardly!" Now inward healing is brought about by grace. Hence a man
can merit the first grace for another.
Obj. 2: Further, the prayers of the just are not void, but
efficacious, according to James 5:16: "The continued prayer of a just
man availeth much." Now he had previously said: "Pray one for
another, that you may be saved." Hence, since man's salvation can
only be brought about by grace, it seems that one man may merit for
another his first grace.
Obj. 3: Further, it is written (Luke 16:9): "Make unto you friends of
the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail they may receive you
into everlasting dwellings." Now it is through grace alone that
anyone is received into everlasting dwellings, for by it alone does
anyone merit everlasting life as stated above (A. 2; Q. 109, A. 5).
Hence one man may by merit obtain for another his first grace.
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Jer. 15:1): "If Moses and Samuel
shall stand before Me, My soul is not towards this people"--yet they
had great merit with God. Hence it seems that no one can merit the
first grace for another.
_I answer that,_ As shown above (AA. 1, 3, 4), our works are
meritorious from two causes: first, by virtue of the Divine motion;
and thus we merit condignly; secondly, according as they proceed from
free-will in so far as we do them willingly, and thus they have
congruous merit, since it is congruous that when a man makes good use
of his power God should by His super-excellent power work still
higher things. And therefore it is clear that no one can merit
condignly for another his first grace, save Christ alone; since each
one of us is moved by God to reach life everlasting through the gift
of grace; hence condign merit does not reach beyond this motion. But
Christ's soul is moved by God through grace, not only so as to reach
the glory of life everlasting, but so as to lead others to it,
inasmuch as He is the Head of the Church, and the Author of human
salvation, according to Heb. 2:10: "Who hath brought many children
into glory [to perfect] the Author of their salvation."
But one may merit the first grace for another congruously; because a
man in grace fulfils God's will, and it is congruous and in harmony
with friendship that God should fulfil man's desire for the salvation
of another, although sometimes there may be an impediment on the part
of him whose salvation the just man desires. And it is in this sense
that the passage from Jeremias speaks.
Reply Obj. 1: A man's faith avails for another's salvation by
congruous and not by condign merit.
Reply Obj. 2: The impetration of prayer rests on mercy, whereas
condign merit rests on justice; hence a man may impetrate many things
from the Divine mercy in prayer, which he does not merit in justice,
according to Dan. 9:18: "For it is not for our justifications that we
present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy
Reply Obj. 3: The poor who receive alms are said to receive others
into everlasting dwellings, either by impetrating their forgiveness
in prayer, or by meriting congruously by other good works, or
materially speaking, inasmuch as by these good works of mercy,
exercised towards the poor, we merit to be received into everlasting
SEVENTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 7]
Whether a Man May Merit Restoration After a Fall?
Objection 1: It would seem that anyone may merit for himself
restoration after a fall. For what a man may justly ask of God, he
may justly merit. Now nothing may more justly be besought of God than
to be restored after a fall, as Augustine says [*Cf. Ennar. i super
Ps. lxx.], according to Ps. 70:9: "When my strength shall fail, do
not Thou forsake me." Hence a man may merit to be restored after a
Obj. 2: Further, a man's works benefit himself more than another. Now
a man may, to some extent, merit for another his restoration after a
fall, even as his first grace. Much more, therefore, may he merit for
himself restoration after a fall.
Obj. 3: Further, when a man is once in grace he merits life
everlasting by the good works he does, as was shown above (A. 2; Q.
109, A. 5). Now no one can attain life everlasting unless he is
restored by grace. Hence it would seem that he merits for himself
_On the contrary,_ It is written (Ezech. 18:24): "If the just man
turn himself away from his justice and do iniquity . . . all his
justices which he hath done shall not be remembered." Therefore his
previous merits will nowise help him to rise again. Hence no one can
merit for himself restoration after a fall.
_I answer that,_ No one can merit for himself restoration after a
future fall, either condignly or congruously. He cannot merit for
himself condignly, since the reason of this merit depends on the
motion of Divine grace, and this motion is interrupted by the
subsequent sin; hence all benefits which he afterwards obtains from
God, whereby he is restored, do not fall under merit--the motion of
the preceding grace not extending to them. Again, congruous merit,
whereby one merits the first grace for another, is prevented from
having its effect on account of the impediment of sin in the one for
whom it is merited. Much more, therefore, is the efficacy of such
merit impeded by the obstacle which is in him who merits, and in him
for whom it is merited; for both these are in the same person. And
therefore a man can nowise merit for himself restoration after a fall.
Reply Obj. 1: The desire whereby we seek for restoration after a fall
is called just, and likewise the prayer whereby this restoration is
besought is called just, because it tends to justice; and not that it
depends on justice by way of merit, but only on mercy.
Reply Obj. 2: Anyone may congruously merit for another his first
grace, because there is no impediment (at least, on the part of him
who merits), such as is found when anyone recedes from justice after
the merit of grace.
Reply Obj. 3: Some have said that no one _absolutely_ merits life
everlasting except by the act of final grace, but only
_conditionally,_ i.e. if he perseveres. But it is unreasonable to say
this, for sometimes the act of the last grace is not more, but less
meritorious than preceding acts, on account of the prostration of
illness. Hence it must be said that every act of charity merits
eternal life absolutely; but by subsequent sin, there arises an
impediment to the preceding merit, so that it does not obtain its
effect; just as natural causes fail of their effects on account of a
EIGHTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 8]
Whether a Man May Merit the Increase of Grace or Charity?
Objection 1: It would seem that a man cannot merit an increase of
grace or charity. For when anyone receives the reward he merited no
other reward is due to him; thus it was said of some (Matt. 6:2):
"They have received their reward." Hence, if anyone were to merit the
increase of charity or grace, it would follow that, when his grace
has been increased, he could not expect any further reward, which is
Obj. 2: Further, nothing acts beyond its species. But the principle
of merit is grace or charity, as was shown above (AA. 2, 4).
Therefore no one can merit greater grace or charity than he has.
Obj. 3: Further, what falls under merit a man merits by every act
flowing from grace or charity, as by every such act a man merits life
everlasting. If, therefore, the increase of grace or charity falls
under merit, it would seem that by every act quickened by charity a
man would merit an increase of charity. But what a man merits, he
infallibly receives from God, unless hindered by subsequent sin; for
it is written (2 Tim. 1:12): "I know Whom I have believed, and I am
certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto
Him." Hence it would follow that grace or charity is increased by
every meritorious act; and this would seem impossible since at times
meritorious acts are not very fervent, and would not suffice for the
increase of charity. Therefore the increase of charity does not come
_On the contrary,_ Augustine says (super Ep. Joan.; cf. Ep. clxxxvi)
that "charity merits increase, and being increased merits to be
perfected." Hence the increase of grace or charity falls under merit.
_I answer that,_ As stated above (AA. 6, 7), whatever the motion of
grace reaches to, falls under condign merit. Now the motion of a
mover extends not merely to the last term of the movement, but to the
whole progress of the movement. But the term of the movement of grace
is eternal life; and progress in this movement is by the increase of
charity or grace according to Prov. 4:18: "But the path of the just
as a shining light, goeth forward and increaseth even to perfect
day," which is the day of glory. And thus the increase of grace falls
under condign merit.
Reply Obj. 1: Reward is the term of merit. But there is a double term
of movement, viz. the last, and the intermediate, which is both
beginning and term; and this term is the reward of increase. Now the
reward of human favor is as the last end to those who place their end
in it; hence such as these receive no other reward.
Reply Obj. 2: The increase of grace is not above the virtuality of
the pre-existing grace, although it is above its quantity, even as a
tree is not above the virtuality of the seed, although above its
Reply Obj. 3: By every meritorious act a man merits the increase of
grace, equally with the consummation of grace which is eternal life.
But just as eternal life is not given at once, but in its own time,
so neither is grace increased at once, but in its own time, viz. when
a man is sufficiently disposed for the increase of grace.
NINTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 9]
Whether a Man May Merit Perseverance?
Objection 1: It would seem that anyone may merit perseverance. For
what a man obtains by asking, can come under the merit of anyone that
is in grace. Now men obtain perseverance by asking it of God;
otherwise it would be useless to ask it of God in the petitions of
the Lord's Prayer, as Augustine says (De Dono Persev. ii). Therefore
perseverance may come under the merit of whoever has grace.
Obj. 2: Further, it is more not to be able to sin than not to sin.
But not to be able to sin comes under merit, for we merit eternal
life, of which impeccability is an essential part. Much more,
therefore, may we merit not to sin, i.e. to persevere.
Obj. 3: Further, increase of grace is greater than perseverance in
the grace we already possess. But a man may merit an increase of
grace, as was stated above (A. 8). Much more, therefore, may he merit
perseverance in the grace he has already.
_On the contrary,_ What we merit, we obtain from God, unless it is
hindered by sin. Now many have meritorious works, who do not obtain
perseverance; nor can it be urged that this takes place because of
the impediment of sin, since sin itself is opposed to perseverance;
and thus if anyone were to merit perseverance, God would not permit
him to fall into sin. Hence perseverance does not come under merit.
_I answer that,_ Since man's free-will is naturally flexible towards
good and evil, there are two ways of obtaining from God perseverance
in good: first, inasmuch as free-will is determined to good by
consummate grace, which will be in glory; secondly, on the part of
the Divine motion, which inclines man to good unto the end. Now as
explained above (AA. 6, 7, 8), that which is related as a term to the
free-will's movement directed to God the mover, falls under human
merit; and not what is related to the aforesaid movement as
principle. Hence it is clear that the perseverance of glory which is
the term of the aforesaid movement falls under merit; but
perseverance of the wayfarer does not fall under merit, since it
depends solely on the Divine motion, which is the principle of all
merit. Now God freely bestows the good of perseverance, on whomsoever
He bestows it.
Reply Obj. 1: We impetrate in prayer things that we do not merit,
since God hears sinners who beseech the pardon of their sins, which
they do not merit, as appears from Augustine [*Tract. xliv in Joan.]
on John 11:31, "Now we know that God doth not hear sinners,"
otherwise it would have been useless for the publican to say: "O God,
be merciful to me a sinner," Luke 18:13. So too may we impetrate of
God in prayer the grace of perseverance either for ourselves or for
others, although it does not fall under merit.
Reply Obj. 2: The perseverance which is in heaven is compared as term
to the free-will's movement; not so, the perseverance of the
wayfarer, for the reason given in the body of the article.
In the same way may we answer the third objection which concerns the
increase of grace, as was explained above.
TENTH ARTICLE [I-II, Q. 114, Art. 10]
Whether Temporal Goods Fall Under Merit?
Objection 1: It would seem that temporal goods fall under merit. For
what is promised to some as a reward of justice, falls under merit.
Now, temporal goods were promised in the Old Law as the reward of
justice, as appears from Deut. 28. Hence it seems that temporal goods
fall under merit.
Obj. 2: Further, that would seem to fall under merit, which God
bestows on anyone for a service done. But God sometimes bestows
temporal goods on men for services done for Him. For it is written
(Ex. 1:21): "And because the midwives feared God, He built them
houses"; on which a gloss of Gregory (Moral. xviii, 4) says that
"life everlasting might have been awarded them as the fruit of their
goodwill, but on account of their sin of falsehood they received an
earthly reward." And it is written (Ezech. 29:18): "The King of
Babylon hath made his army to undergo hard service against Tyre . . .
and there hath been no reward given him," and further on: "And it
shall be wages for his army . . . I have given hi