Summa Th. I EN Qu.99 a.2
Objection: 1. It would seem that in the primitive state woman would not have been born. For the Philosopher says (De Gener. Animal. ii, 3) that woman is a "misbegotten male," as though she were a product outside the purpose of nature. But in that state nothing would have been unnatural in human generation. Therefore in that state women would not have been born.
2. Further, every agent produces its like, unless prevented by insufficient power or ineptness of matter: thus a small fire cannot burn green wood. But in generation the active force is in the male. Since, therefore, in the state of innocence man's active force was not subject to defect, nor was there inept matter on the part of the woman, it seems that males would always have been born.
3. Further, in the state of innocence generation is ordered to the multiplication of the human race. But the race would have been sufficiently multiplied by the first man and woman, from the fact that they would have lived for ever. Therefore, in the state of innocence, there was no need for women to be born.
On the contrary Nature's process in generation would have been in harmony with the manner in which it was established by God. But established male and female in human nature, as it is written (Gn 1,2). Therefore also in the state of innocence male and female would have been born.
I answer that Nothing belonging to the completeness of human nature would have been lacking in the state of innocence. And as different grades belong to the perfection of the universe, so also diversity of sex belongs to the perfection of human nature. Therefore in the state of innocence, both sexes would have been begotten.
Reply to Objection: 1. Woman is said to be a "misbegotten male," as being a product outside the purpose of nature considered in the individual case: but not against the purpose of universal nature, as above explained (Question , Article , ad 2).
2. The generation of woman is not occasioned either by a defect of the active force or by inept matter, as the objection proposes; but sometimes by an extrinsic accidental cause; thus the Philosopher says (De Animal. Histor. vi, 19): "The northern wind favors the generation of males, and the southern wind that of females": sometimes also by some impression in the soul (of the parents), which may easily have some effect on the body (of the child). Especially was this the case in the state of innocence, when the body was more subject to the soul; so that by the mere will of the parent the sex of the offspring might be diversified.
3. The offspring would have been begotten to an animal life, as to the use of food and generation. Hence it was fitting that all should generate, and not only the first parents. From this it seems to follow that males and females would have been in equal number.
We now have to consider the condition of the offspring as to righteousness. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Whether men would have been born in a state of righteousness?
(2) Whether they would have been born confirmed in righteousness?
Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence men would not have been born in a state of righteousness. For Hugh of St. Victor says (De Sacram. i): "Before sin the first man would have begotten children sinless; but not heirs to their father's righteousness."
2. Further, righteousness is effected by grace, as the Apostle says (Rm 5,16 Rm 5,21). Now grace is not transfused from one to another, for thus it would be natural; but is infused by God alone. Therefore children would not have been born righteous.
3. Further, righteousness is in the soul. But the soul is not transmitted from the parent. Therefore neither would righteousness have been transmitted from parents, to the children.
On the contrary Anselm says (De Concep. Virg. x): "As long as man did not sin, he would have begotten children endowed with righteousness together with the rational soul."
I answer that Man naturally begets a specific likeness to himself. Hence whatever accidental qualities result from the nature of the species, must be alike in parent and child, unless nature fails in its operation, which would not have occurred in the state of innocence. But individual accidents do not necessarily exist alike in parent and child. Now original righteousness, in which the first man was created, was an accident pertaining to the nature of the species, not as caused by the principles of the species, but as a gift conferred by God on the entire human nature. This is clear from the fact that opposites are of the same genus; and original sin, which is opposed to original righteousness, is called the sin of nature, wherefore it is transmitted from the parent to the offspring; and for this reason also, the children would have been assimilated to their parents as regards original righteousness.
Reply to Objection: 1. These words of Hugh are to be understood as referring, not to the habit of righteousness, but to the execution of the act thereof.
2. Some say that children would have been born, not with the righteousness of grace, which is the principle of merit, but with original righteousness. But since the root of original righteousness, which conferred righteousness on the first man when he was made, consists in the supernatural subjection of the reason to God, which subjection results from sanctifying grace, as above explained (Question , Article ), we must conclude that if children were born in original righteousness, they would also have been born in grace; thus we have said above that the first man was created in grace (Question , Article ). This grace, however, would not have been natural, for it would not have been transfused by virtue of the semen; but would have been conferred on man immediately on his receiving a rational soul. In the same way the rational soul, which is not transmitted by the parent, is infused by God as soon as the human body is apt to receive it.
From this the reply to the third objection is clear.
Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence children would have been born confirmed in righteousness. For Gregory says (Moral. iv) on the words of Jb 3,13: "For now I should have been asleep, etc.: If no sinful corruption had infected our first parent, he would not have begotten "children of hell"; no children would have been born of him but such as were destined to be saved by the Redeemer." Therefore all would have been born confirmed in righteousness.
2. Further, Anselm says (Cur Deus Homo i, 18): "If our first parents had lived so as not to yield to temptation, they would have been confirmed in grace, so that with their offspring they would have been unable to sin any more." Therefore the children would have been born confirmed in righteousness.
3. Further, good is stronger than evil. But by the sin of the first man there resulted, in those born of him, the necessity of sin. Therefore, if the first man had persevered in righteousness, his descendants would have derived from him the necessity of preserving righteousness.
4. Further, the angels who remained faithful to God, while the others sinned, were at once confirmed in grace, so as to be unable henceforth to sin. In like manner, therefore, man would have been confirmed in grace if he had persevered. But he would have begotten children like himself. Therefore they also would have been born confirmed in righteousness.
On the contrary Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10): "Happy would have been the whole human race if neither they---that is our first parents---had committed any evil to be transmitted to their descendants, nor any of their race had committed any sin for which they would have been condemned." From which words we gather that even if our first parents had not sinned, any of their descendants might have done evil; and therefore they would not have been born confirmed in righteousness.
I answer that It does not seem possible that in the state of innocence children would have been born confirmed in righteousness. For it is clear that at their birth they would not have had greater perfection than their parents at the time of begetting. Now the parents, as long as they begot children, would not have been confirmed in righteousness. For the rational creature is confirmed in righteousness through the beatitude given by the clear vision of God; and when once it has seen God, it cannot but cleave to Him Who is the essence of goodness, wherefrom no one can turn away, since nothing is desired or loved but under the aspect of good. I say this according to the general law; for it may be otherwise in the case of special privilege, such as we believe was granted to the Virgin Mother of God. And as soon as Adam had attained to that happy state of seeing God in His Essence, he would have become spiritual in soul and body; and his animal life would have ceased, wherein alone there is generation. Hence it is clear that children would not have been born confirmed in righteousness.
Reply to Objection: 1. If Adam had not sinned, he would not have begotten "children of hell" in the sense that they would contract from him sin which is the cause of hell: yet by sinning of their own free-will they could have become "children of hell." If, however, they did not become "children of hell" by falling into sin, this would not have been owing to their being confirmed in righteousness, but to Divine Providence preserving them free from sin.
2. Anselm does not say this by way of assertion, but only as an opinion, which is clear from his mode of expression as follows: "It seems that if they had lived, etc."
3. This argument is not conclusive, though Anselm seems to have been influenced by it, as appears from his words above quoted. For the necessity of sin incurred by the descendants would not have been such that they could not return to righteousness, which is the case only with the damned. Wherefore neither would the parents have transmitted to their descendants the necessity of not sinning, which is only in the blessed.
4. There is no comparison between man and the angels; for man's free-will is changeable, both before and after choice; whereas the angel's is not changeable, as we have said above in treating of the angels (Question , Article ).
We next consider the condition of the offspring as to knowledge. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Whether in the state of innocence children would have been born with perfect knowledge?
(2) Whether they would have had perfect use of reason at the moment of birth?
Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence children would have been born with perfect knowledge. For Adam would have begotten children like himself. But Adam was gifted with perfect knowledge (Question , Article ). Therefore children would have been born of him with perfect knowledge.
2. Further, ignorance is a result of sin, as Bede says (Cf. FS, Question , Article ). But ignorance is privation of knowledge. Therefore before sin children would have had perfect knowledge as soon as they were born.
3. Further, children would have been gifted with righteousness from birth. But knowledge is required for righteousness, since it directs our actions. Therefore they would also have been gifted with knowledge.
On the contrary The human soul is naturally "like a blank tablet on which nothing is written," as the Philosopher says (De Anima iii, 4). But the nature of the soul is the same now as it would have been in the state of innocence. Therefore the souls of children would have been without knowledge at birth.
I answer that As above stated (Question , Article ), as regards belief in matters which are above nature, we rely on authority alone; and so, when authority is wanting, we must be guided by the ordinary course of nature. Now it is natural for man to acquire knowledge through the senses, as above explained (Question , Article ; Question , Article ); and for this reason is the soul united to the body, that it needs it for its proper operation; and this would not be so if the soul were endowed at birth with knowledge not acquired through the sensitive powers. We must conclude then, that, in the state of innocence, children would not have been born with perfect knowledge; but in course of time they would have acquired knowledge without difficulty by discovery or learning.
Reply to Objection: 1. The perfection of knowledge was an individual accident of our first parent, so far as he was established as the father and instructor of the whole human race. Therefore he begot children like himself, not in that respect, but only in those accidents which were natural or conferred gratuitously on the whole nature.
2. Ignorance is privation of knowledge due at some particular time; and this would not have been in children from their birth, for they would have possessed the knowledge due to them at that time. Hence, no ignorance would have been in them, but only nescience in regard to certain matters. Such nescience was even in the holy angels, according to Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii).
3. Children would have had sufficient knowledge to direct them to deeds of righteousness, in which men are guided by universal principles of right; and this knowledge of theirs would have been much more complete than what we have now by nature, as likewise their knowledge of other universal principles.
Objection: 1. It would seem that children would have had perfect use of reason at birth. For that children have not perfect use of reason in our present state, is due to the soul being weighed down by the body; which was not the case in paradise, because, as it is written, "The corruptible body is a load upon the soul" (Sg 9,15). Therefore, before sin and the corruption which resulted therefrom, children would have had the perfect use of reason at birth.
2. Further, some animals at birth have the use of their natural powers, as the lamb at once flees from the wolf. Much more, therefore, would men in the state of innocence have had perfect use of reason at birth.
On the contrary In all things produced by generation nature proceeds from the imperfect to the perfect. Therefore children would not have had the perfect use of reason from the very outset.
I answer that As above stated (Question , Article ), the use of reason depends in a certain manner on the use of the sensitive powers; wherefore, while the senses are tired and the interior sensitive powers hampered, man has not the perfect use of reason, as we see in those who are asleep or delirious. Now the sensitive powers are situate in corporeal organs; and therefore, so long as the latter are hindered, the action of the former is of necessity hindered also; and likewise, consequently, the use of reason. Now children are hindered in the use of these powers on account of the humidity of the brain; wherefore they have perfect use neither of these powers nor of reason. Therefore, in the state of innocence, children would not have had the perfect use of reason, which they would have enjoyed later on in life. Yet they would have had a more perfect use than they have now, as to matters regarding that particular state, as explained above regarding the use of their limbs (Question , Article ).
Reply to Objection: 1. The corruptible body is a load upon the soul, because it hinders the use of reason even in those matters which belong to man at all ages.
2. Even other animals have not at birth such a perfect use of their natural powers as they have later on. This is clear from the fact that birds teach their young to fly; and the like may be observed in other animals. Moreover a special impediment exists in man from the humidity of the brain, as we have said above (Question , Article ).
We next consider man's abode, which is paradise. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether paradise is a corporeal place?
(2) Whether it is a place apt for human habitation?
(3) For what purpose was man placed in paradise?
(4) Whether he should have been created in paradise?
Objection: 1. It would seem that paradise is not a corporeal place. For Bede [*Strabus, Gloss on Gn 2,8] says that "paradise reaches to the lunar circle." But no earthly place answers that description, both because it is contrary to the nature of the earth to be raised up so high, and because beneath the moon is the region of fire, which would consume the earth. Therefore paradise is not a corporeal place.
2. Further, Scripture mentions four rivers as rising in paradise (Gn 2,10). But the rivers there mentioned have visible sources elsewhere, as is clear from the Philosopher (Meteor. i). Therefore paradise is not a corporeal place.
3. Further, although men have explored the entire habitable world, yet none have made mention of the place of paradise. Therefore apparently it is not a corporeal place.
4. Further, the tree of life is described as growing in paradise. But the tree of life is a spiritual thing, for it is written of Wisdom that "She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her" (Pr 3,18). Therefore paradise also is not a corporeal, but a spiritual place.
5. Further, if paradise be a corporeal place, the trees also of paradise must be corporeal. But it seems they were not; for corporeal trees were produced on the third day, while the planting of the trees of paradise is recorded after the work of the six days. Therefore paradise was not a corporeal place.
On the contrary Augustine says (Gn ad lit. viii, 1): "Three general opinions prevail about paradise. Some understand a place merely corporeal; others a place entirely spiritual; while others, whose opinion, I confess, hold that paradise was both corporeal and spiritual."
I answer that As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiii, 21): "Nothing prevents us from holding, within proper limits, a spiritual paradise; so long as we believe in the truth of the events narrated as having there occurred." For whatever Scripture tells us about paradise is set down as matter of history; and wherever Scripture makes use of this method, we must hold to the historical truth of the narrative as a foundation of whatever spiritual explanation we may offer. And so paradise, as Isidore says (Etym. xiv, 3), "is a place situated in the east, its name being the Greek for garden." It was fitting that it should be in the east; for it is to be believed that it was situated in the most excellent part of the earth. Now the east is the right hand on the heavens, as the Philosopher explains (De Coel. ii, 2); and the right hand is nobler than the left: hence it was fitting that God should place the earthly paradise in the east.
Reply to Objection: 1. Bede's assertion is untrue, if taken in its obvious sense. It may, however, be explained to mean that paradise reaches to the moon, not literally, but figuratively; because, as Isidore says (Etym. xiv, 3), the atmosphere there is "a continually even temperature"; and in this respect it is like the heavenly bodies, which are devoid of opposing elements. Mention, however, is made of the moon rather than of other bodies, because, of all the heavenly bodies, the moon is nearest to us, and is, moreover, the most akin to the earth; hence it is observed to be overshadowed by clouds so as to be almost obscured. Others say that paradise reached to the moon---that is, to the middle space of the air, where rain, and wind, and the like arise; because the moon is said to have influence on such changes. But in this sense it would not be a fit place for human dwelling, through being uneven in temperature, and not attuned to the human temperament, as is the lower atmosphere in the neighborhood of the earth.
2. Augustine says (Gn ad lit. viii, 7): "It is probable that man has no idea where paradise was, and that the rivers, whose sources are said to be known, flowed for some distance underground, and then sprang up elsewhere. For who is not aware that such is the case with some other streams?"
3. The situation of paradise is shut off from the habitable world by mountains, or seas, or some torrid region, which cannot be crossed; and so people who have written about topography make no mention of it.
4. The tree of life is a material tree, and so called because its fruit was endowed with a life-preserving power as above stated (Question , Article ). Yet it had a spiritual signification; as the rock in the desert was of a material nature, and yet signified Christ. In like manner the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a material tree, so called in view of future events; because, after eating of it, man was to learn, by experience of the consequent punishment, the difference between the good of obedience and the evil of rebellion. It may also be said to signify spiritually the free-will as some say.
5. According to Augustine (Gn ad lit. v, 5, viii, 3), the plants were not actually produced on the third day, but in their seminal virtues; whereas, after the work of the six days, the plants, both of paradise and others, were actually produced. According to other holy writers, we ought to say that all the plants were actually produced on the third day, including the trees of paradise; and what is said of the trees of paradise being planted after the work of the six days is to be understood, they say, by way of recapitulation. Whence our text reads: "The Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning" (Gn 2,8).
Objection: 1. It would seem that paradise was not a place adapted to be the abode of man. For man and angels are similarly ordered to beatitude. But the angels from the very beginning of their existence were made to dwell in the abode of the blessed---that is, the empyrean heaven. Therefore the place of man's habitation should have been there also.
2. Further, if some definite place were required for man's abode, this would be required on the part either of the soul or of the body. If on the part of the soul, the place would be in heaven, which is adapted to the nature of the soul; since the desire of heaven is implanted in all. On the part of the body, there was no need for any other place than the one provided for other animals. Therefore paradise was not at all adapted to be the abode of man.
3. Further, a place which contains nothing is useless. But after sin, paradise was not occupied by man. Therefore if it were adapted as a dwelling-place for man, it seems that God made paradise to no purpose.
4. Further, since man is of an even temperament, a fitting place for him should be of even temperature. But paradise was not of an even temperature; for it is said to have been on the equator---a situation of extreme heat, since twice in the year the sun passes vertically over the heads of its inhabitants. Therefore paradise was not a fit dwelling-place for man.
On the contrary Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 11): "Paradise was a divinely ordered region, and worthy of him who was made to God's image."
I answer that As above stated (Question , Article ), Man was incorruptible and immortal, not because his body had a disposition to incorruptibility, but because in his soul there was a power preserving the body from corruption. Now the human body may be corrupted from within or from without. From within, the body is corrupted by the consumption of the humors, and by old age, as above explained (Question , Article ), and man was able to ward off such corruption by food. Among those things which corrupt the body from without, the chief seems to be an atmosphere of unequal temperature; and to such corruption a remedy is found in an atmosphere of equable nature. In paradise both conditions were found; because, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 11): "Paradise was permeated with the all pervading brightness of a temperate, pure, and exquisite atmosphere, and decked with ever-flowering plants." Whence it is clear that paradise was most fit to be a dwelling-place for man, and in keeping with his original state of immortality.
Reply to Objection: 1. The empyrean heaven is the highest of corporeal places, and is outside the region of change. By the first of these two conditions, it is a fitting abode for the angelic nature: for, as Augustine says (De Trin. ii), "God rules corporeal creatures through spiritual creatures." Hence it is fitting that the spiritual nature should be established above the entire corporeal nature, as presiding over it. By the second condition, it is a fitting abode for the state of beatitude, which is endowed with the highest degree of stability. Thus the abode of beatitude was suited to the very nature of the angel; therefore he was created there. But it is not suited to man's nature, since man is not set as a ruler over the entire corporeal creation: it is a fitting abode for man in regard only to his beatitude. Wherefore he was not placed from the beginning in the empyrean heaven, but was destined to be transferred thither in the state of his final beatitude.
2. It is ridiculous to assert that any particular place is natural to the soul or to any spiritual substances, though some particular place may have a certain fitness in regard to spiritual substances. For the earthly paradise was a place adapted to man, as regards both his body and his soul---that is, inasmuch as in his soul was the force which preserved the human body from corruption. This could not be said of the other animals. Therefore, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 11): "No irrational animal inhabited paradise"; although, by a certain dispensation, the animals were brought thither by God to Adam; and the serpent was able to trespass therein by the complicity of the devil.
3. Paradise did not become useless through being unoccupied by man after sin, just as immortality was not conferred on man in vain, though he was to lose it. For thereby we learn God's kindness to man, and what man lost by sin. Moreover, some say that Enoch and Elias still dwell in that paradise.
4. Those who say that paradise was on the equinoctial line are of opinion that such a situation is most temperate, on account of the unvarying equality of day and night; that it is never too cold there, because the sun is never too far off; and never too hot, because, although the sun passes over the heads of the inhabitants, it does not remain long in that position. However, Aristotle distinctly says (Meteor. ii, 5) that such a region is uninhabitable on account of the heat. This seems to be more probable; because, even those regions where the sun does not pass vertically overhead, are extremely hot on account of the mere proximity of the sun. But whatever be the truth of the matter, we must hold that paradise was situated in a most temperate situation, whether on the equator or elsewhere.
Objection: 1. It would seem that man was not placed in paradise to dress and keep it. For what was brought on him as a punishment of sin would not have existed in paradise in the state of innocence. But the cultivation of the soil was a punishment of sin (Gn 3,17). Therefore man was not placed in paradise to dress and keep it.
2. Further, there is no need of a keeper when there is no fear of trespass with violence. But in paradise there was no fear of trespass with violence. Therefore there was no need for man to keep paradise.
3. Further, if man was placed in paradise to dress and keep it, man would apparently have been made for the sake of paradise, and not contrariwise; which seems to be false. Therefore man was not place in paradise to dress and keep it.
On the contrary It is written (Gn 2,15): "The Lord God took man and placed in the paradise of pleasure, to dress and keep it."
I answer that As Augustine says (Gn ad lit. viii, 10), these words in Genesis may be understood in two ways. First, in the sense that God placed man in paradise that He might Himself work in man and keep him, by sanctifying him (for if this work cease, man at once relapses into darkness, as the air grows dark when the light ceases to shine); and by keeping man from all corruption and evil. Secondly, that man might dress and keep paradise, which dressing would not have involved labor, as it did after sin; but would have been pleasant on account of man's practical knowledge of the powers of nature. Nor would man have kept paradise against a trespasser; but he would have striven to keep paradise for himself lest he should lose it by sin. All of which was for man's good; wherefore paradise was ordered to man's benefit, and not conversely.
Whence the Replies to the Objections are made clear.
Objection: 1. It would seem that man was created in paradise. For the angel was created in his dwelling-place---namely, the empyrean heaven. But before sin paradise was a fitting abode for man. Therefore it seems that man was created in paradise.
2. Further, other animals remain in the place where they are produced, as the fish in the water, and walking animals on the earth from which they were made. Now man would have remained in paradise after he was created (Question , Article ). Therefore he was created in paradise.
3. Further, woman was made in paradise. But man is greater than woman. Therefore much more should man have been made in paradise.
On the contrary It is written (Gn 2,15): "God took man and placed him in paradise."
I answer that, Paradise was a fitting abode for man as regards the incorruptibility of the primitive state. Now this incorruptibility was man's, not by nature, but by a supernatural gift of God. Therefore that this might be attributed to God, and not to human nature, God made man outside of paradise, and afterwards placed him there to live there during the whole of his animal life; and, having attained to the spiritual life, to be transferred thence to heaven.
Reply to Objection: 1. The empyrean heaven was a fitting abode for the angels as regards their nature, and therefore they were created there.
In the same way I reply to the second objection, for those places befit those animals in their nature.
3. Woman was made in paradise, not by reason of her own dignity, but on account of the dignity of the principle from which her body was formed. For the same reason the children would have been born in paradise, where their parents were already.
Having considered the creation of things and their distinction, we now consider in the third place the government thereof, and (1) the government of things in general; (2) in particular, the effects of this government. Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the world is governed by someone?
(2) What is the end of this government?
(3) Whether the world is governed by one?
(4) Of the effects of this government?
(5) Whether all things are subject to Divine government?
(6) Whether all things are immediately governed by God?
(7) Whether the Divine government is frustrated in anything?
(8) Whether anything is contrary to the Divine Providence?
Summa Th. I EN Qu.99 a.2