Summa Th. I EN Qu.94 a.4

Article: 4 Whether man in his first state could be deceived?

Objection: 1. It would seem that man in his primitive state could have been deceived. For the Apostle says (1Tm 2,14) that "the woman being seduced was in the transgression."

2. Further, the Master says (Sent. ii, D, xxi) that, "the woman was not frightened at the serpent speaking, because she thought that he had received the faculty of speech from God." But this was untrue. Therefore before sin the woman was deceived.

3. Further, it is natural that the farther off anything is from us, the smaller it seems to be. Now, the nature of the eyes is not changed by sin. Therefore this would have been the case in the state of innocence. Wherefore man would have been deceived in the size of what he saw, just as he is deceived now.

4. Further, Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xii, 2) that, in sleep the soul adheres to the images of things as if they were the things themselves. But in the state of innocence man would have eaten and consequently have slept and dreamed. Therefore he would have been deceived, adhering to images as to realities.

5. Further, the first man would have been ignorant of other men's thoughts, and of future contingent events, as stated above (Article [3]). So if anyone had told him what was false about these things, he would have been deceived.

On the contrary Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. iii, 18): "To regard what is true as false, is not natural to man as created; but is a punishment of man condemned."

I answer that in the opinion of some, deception may mean two things; namely, any slight surmise, in which one adheres to what is false, as though it were true, but without the assent of belief---or it may mean a firm belief. Thus before sin Adam could not be deceived in either of these ways as regards those things to which his knowledge extended; but as regards things to which his knowledge did not extend, he might have been deceived, if we take deception in the wide sense of the term for any surmise without assent of belief. This opinion was held with the idea that it is not derogatory to man to entertain a false opinion in such matters, and that provided he does not assent rashly, he is not to be blamed.

Such an opinion, however, is not fitting as regards the integrity of the primitive state of life; because, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10), in that state of life "sin was avoided without struggle, and while it remained so, no evil could exist." Now it is clear that as truth is the good of the intellect, so falsehood is its evil, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vi, 2). So that, as long as the state of innocence continued, it was impossible for the human intellect to assent to falsehood as if it were truth. For as some perfections, such as clarity, were lacking in the bodily members of the first man, though no evil could be therein; so there could be in his intellect the absence of some knowledge, but no false opinion.

This is clear also from the very rectitude of the primitive state, by virtue of which, while the soul remained subject to God, the lower faculties in man were subject to the higher, and were no impediment to their action. And from what has preceded (Question [85], Article [6]), it is clear that as regards its proper object the intellect is ever true; and hence it is never deceived of itself; but whatever deception occurs must be ascribed to some lower faculty, such as the imagination or the like. Hence we see that when the natural power of judgment is free we are not deceived by such images, but only when it is not free, as is the case in sleep. Therefore it is clear that the rectitude of the primitive state was incompatible with deception of the intellect.

Reply to Objection: 1. Though the woman was deceived before she sinned in deed, still it was not till she had already sinned by interior pride. For Augustine says (Gn ad lit. xi, 30) that "the woman could not have believed the words of the serpent, had she not already acquiesced in the love of her own power, and in a presumption of self-conceit."

2. The woman thought that the serpent had received this faculty, not as acting in accordance with nature, but by virtue of some supernatural operation. We need not, however, follow the Master of the Sentences in this point.

3. Were anything presented to the imagination or sense of the first man, not in accordance with the nature of things, he would not have been deceived, for his reason would have enabled him to judge the truth.

4. A man is not accountable for what occurs during sleep; as he has not then the use of his reason, wherein consists man's proper action.

5. If anyone had said something untrue as regards future contingencies, or as regards secret thoughts, man in the primitive state would not have believed it was so: but he might have believed that such a thing was possible; which would not have been to entertain a false opinion.

It might also be said that he would have been divinely guided from above, so as not to be deceived in a matter to which his knowledge did not extend.

If any object, as some do, that he was not guided, when tempted, though he was then most in need of guidance, we reply that man had already sinned in his heart, and that he failed to have recourse to the Divine aid.


We next consider what belongs to the will of the first man; concerning which there are two points of treatment: (1) the grace and righteousness of the first man; (2) the use of righteousness as regards his dominion over other things.

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the first man was created in grace?

(2) Whether in the state of innocence he had passions of the soul?

(3) Whether he had all virtues?

(4) Whether what he did would have been as meritorious as now?

Article: 1 Whether the first man was created in grace?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the first man was not created in grace. For the Apostle, distinguishing between Adam and Christ, says (1Co 15,45): "The first Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit." But the spirit is quickened by grace. Therefore Christ alone was made in grace.

2. Further, Augustine says (Questions. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. 123) [*Work of an anonymous author, among the supposititious works of St. Augustine] that "Adam did not possess the Holy Ghost." But whoever possesses grace has the Holy Ghost. Therefore Adam was not created in grace.

3. Further, Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. x) that "God so ordered the life of the angels and men, as to show first what they could do by free-will, then what they could do by His grace, and by the discernment of righteousness." God thus first created men and angels in the state of natural free-will only; and afterwards bestowed grace on them.

4. Further, the Master says (Sent. ii, D, xxiv): "When man was created he was given sufficient help to stand, but not sufficient to advance." But whoever has grace can advance by merit. Therefore the first man was not created in grace.

5. Further, the reception of grace requires the consent of the recipient, since thereby a kind of spiritual marriage takes place between God and the soul. But consent presupposes existence. Therefore man did not receive grace in the first moment of his creation.

6. Further, nature is more distant from grace than grace is from glory, which is but grace consummated. But in man grace precedes glory. Therefore much more did nature precede grace.

On the contrary Man and angel are both ordained to grace. But the angels were created in grace, for Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xii, 9): "God at the same time fashioned their nature and endowed them with grace." Therefore man also was created in grace.

I answer that Some say that man was not created in grace; but that it was bestowed on him subsequently before sin: and many authorities of the Saints declare that man possessed grace in the state of innocence.

But the very rectitude of the primitive state, wherewith man was endowed by God, seems to require that, as others say, he was created in grace, according to Qo 7,30, "God made man right." For this rectitude consisted in his reason being subject to God, the lower powers to reason, and the body to the soul: and the first subjection was the cause of both the second and the third; since while reason was subject to God, the lower powers remained subject to reason, as Augustine says [*Cf. De Civ. Dei xiii, 13; De Pecc. Merit. et Remiss. i, 16]. Now it is clear that such a subjection of the body to the soul and of the lower powers to reason, was not from nature; otherwise it would have remained after sin; since even in the demons the natural gifts remained after sin, as Dionysius declared (Div. Nom. iv). Hence it is clear that also the primitive subjection by virtue of which reason was subject to God, was not a merely natural gift, but a supernatural endowment of grace; for it is not possible that the effect should be of greater efficiency than the cause. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiii, 13) that, "as soon as they disobeyed the Divine command, and forfeited Divine grace, they were ashamed of their nakedness, for they felt the impulse of disobedience in the flesh, as though it were a punishment corresponding to their own disobedience." Hence if the loss of grace dissolved the obedience of the flesh to the soul, we may gather that the inferior powers were subjected to the soul through grace existing therein.

Reply to Objection: 1. The Apostle in these words means to show that there is a spiritual body, if there is an animal body, inasmuch as the spiritual life of the body began in Christ, who is "the firstborn of the dead," as the body's animal life began in Adam. From the Apostle's words, therefore, we cannot gather that Adam had no spiritual life in his soul; but that he had not spiritual life as regards the body.

2. As Augustine says in the same passage, it is not disputed that Adam, like other just souls, was in some degree gifted with the Holy Ghost; but "he did not possess the Holy Ghost, as the faithful possess Him now," who are admitted to eternal happiness directly after death.

3. This passage from Augustine does not assert that angels or men were created with natural free-will before they possessed grace; but that God shows first what their free-will could do before being confirmed in grace, and what they acquired afterwards by being so confirmed.

4. The Master here speaks according to the opinion of those who held that man was not created in grace, but only in a state of nature. We may also say that, though man was created in grace, yet it was not by virtue of the nature wherein he was created that he could advance by merit, but by virtue of the grace which was added.

5. As the motion of the will is not continuous there is nothing against the first man having consented to grace even in the first moment of his existence.

6. We merit glory by an act of grace; but we do not merit grace by an act of nature; hence the comparison fails.

Article: 2 Whether passions existed in the soul of the first man?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the first man's soul had no passions. For by the passions of the soul "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Ga 5,7). But this did not happen in the state of innocence. Therefore in the state of innocence there were no passions of the soul.

2. Further, Adam's soul was nobler than his body. But his body was impassible. Therefore no passions were in his soul.

3. Further, the passions of the soul are restrained by the moral virtues. But in Adam the moral virtues were perfect. Therefore the passions were entirely excluded from him.

On the contrary Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10) that "in our first parents there was undisturbed love of God," and other passions of the soul.

I answer that The passions of the soul are in the sensual appetite, the object of which is good and evil. Wherefore some passions of the soul are directed to what is good, as love and joy; others to what is evil, as fear and sorrow. And since in the primitive state, evil was neither present nor imminent, nor was any good wanting which a good-will could desire to have then, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10), therefore Adam had no passion with evil as its object; such as fear, sorrow, and the like; neither had he passions in respect of good not possessed, but to be possessed then, as burning concupiscence. But those passions which regard present good, as joy and love; or which regard future good to be had at the proper time, as desire and hope that casteth not down, existed in the state of innocence; otherwise, however, than as they exist in ourselves. For our sensual appetite, wherein the passions reside, is not entirely subject to reason; hence at times our passions forestall and hinder reason's judgment; at other times they follow reason's judgment, accordingly as the sensual appetite obeys reason to some extent. But in the state of innocence the inferior appetite was wholly subject to reason: so that in that state the passions of the soul existed only as consequent upon the judgment of reason.

Reply to Objection: 1. The flesh lusts against the spirit by the rebellion of the passions against reason; which could not occur in the state of innocence.

2. The human body was impassible in the state of innocence as regards the passions which alter the disposition of nature, as will be explained later on (Question [97], Article [2]); likewise the soul was impassible as regards the passions which impede the free use of reason.

3. Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions, but regulates them; for the temperate man desires as he ought to desire, and what he ought to desire, as stated in Ethic. iii, 11.

Article: 3 Whether Adam had all the virtues?

Objection: 1. It would seem that Adam had not all the virtues. For some virtues are directed to curb passions: thus immoderate concupiscence is restrained by temperance, and immoderate fear by fortitude. But in the state of innocence no immoderation existed in the passions. Therefore neither did these virtues then exist.

2. Further, some virtues are concerned with the passions which have evil as their object; as meekness with anger; fortitude with fear. But these passions did not exist in the state of innocence, as stated above (Article [2]). Therefore neither did those virtues exist then.

3. Further, penance is a virtue that regards sin committed. Mercy, too, is a virtue concerned with unhappiness. But in the state of innocence neither sin nor unhappiness existed. Therefore neither did those virtues exist.

4. Further, perseverance is a virtue. But Adam possessed it not; as proved by his subsequent sin. Therefore he possessed not every virtue.

5. Further, faith is a virtue. But it did not exist in the state of innocence; for it implies an obscurity of knowledge which seems to be incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state.

On the contrary Augustine says, in a homily (Serm. contra Judaeos): "The prince of sin overcame Adam who was made from the slime of the earth to the image of God, adorned with modesty, restrained by temperance, refulgent with brightness."

I answer that in the state of innocence man in a certain sense possessed all the virtues; and this can be proved from what precedes. For it was shown above (Article [1]) that such was the rectitude of the primitive state, that reason was subject to God, and the lower powers to reason. Now the virtues are nothing but those perfections whereby reason is directed to God, and the inferior powers regulated according to the dictate of reason, as will be explained in the Treatise on the Virtues (I-II 63,2). Wherefore the rectitude of the primitive state required that man should in a sense possess every virtue.

It must, however, be noted that some virtues of their very nature do not involve imperfection, such as charity and justice; and these virtues did exist in the primitive state absolutely, both in habit and in act. But other virtues are of such a nature as to imply imperfection either in their act, or on the part of the matter. If such imperfection be consistent with the perfection of the primitive state, such virtues necessarily existed in that state; as faith, which is of things not seen, and hope which is of things not yet possessed. For the perfection of that state did not extend to the vision of the Divine Essence, and the possession of God with the enjoyment of final beatitude. Hence faith and hope could exist in the primitive state, both as to habit and as to act. But any virtue which implies imperfection incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state, could exist in that state as a habit, but not as to the act; for instance, penance, which is sorrow for sin committed; and mercy, which is sorrow for others' unhappiness; because sorrow, guilt, and unhappiness are incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state. Wherefore such virtues existed as habits in the first man, but not as to their acts; for he was so disposed that he would repent, if there had been a sin to repent for; and had he seen unhappiness in his neighbor, he would have done his best to remedy it. This is in accordance with what the Philosopher says, "Shame, which regards what is ill done, may be found in a virtuous man, but only conditionally; as being so disposed that he would be ashamed if he did wrong" (Ethic. iv, 9).

Reply to Objection: 1. It is accidental to temperance and fortitude to subdue superabundant passion, in so far as they are in a subject which happens to have superabundant passions, and yet those virtues are 'per se' competent to moderate the passions.

2. Passions which have evil for their object were incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state, if that evil be in the one affected by the passion; such as fear and sorrow. But passions which relate to evil in another are not incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state; for in that state man could hate the demons' malice, as he could love God's goodness. Thus the virtues which relate to such passions could exist in the primitive state, in habit and in act. Virtues, however, relating to passions which regard evil in the same subject, if relating to such passions only, could not exist in the primitive state in act, but only in habit, as we have said above of penance and of mercy. But other virtues there are which have relation not to such passions only, but to others; such as temperance, which relates not only to sorrow, but also to joy; and fortitude, which relates not only to fear, but also to daring and hope. Thus the act of temperance could exist in the primitive state, so far as it moderates pleasure; and in like manner, fortitude, as moderating daring and hope, but not as moderating sorrow and fear.

3. appears from what has been said above.

4. Perseverance may be taken in two ways: in one sense as a particular virtue, signifying a habit whereby a man makes a choice of persevering in good; in that sense Adam possessed perseverance. In another sense it is taken as a circumstance of virtue; signifying a certain uninterrupted continuation of virtue; in which sense Adam did not possess perseverance.

5. appears from what has been said above.

Article: 4 Whether the actions of the first man were less meritorious than ours are?

Objection: 1. It would seem that the actions of the first man were less meritorious than ours are. For grace is given to us through the mercy of God, Who succors most those who are most in need. Now we are more in need of grace than was man in the state of innocence. Therefore grace is more copiously poured out upon us; and since grace is the source of merit, our actions are more meritorious.

2. Further, struggle and difficulty are required for merit; for it is written (2Tm 2,5): "He . . . is not crowned except he strive lawfully" and the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3): "The object of virtue is the difficult and the good." But there is more strife and difficulty now. Therefore there is greater efficacy for merit.

3. Further, the Master says (Sent. ii., D, xxiv) that "man would not have merited in resisting temptation; whereas he does merit now, when he resists." Therefore our actions are more meritorious than in the primitive state.

On the contrary if such were the case, man would be better off after sinning.

I answer that Merit as regards degree may be gauged in two ways. First, in its root, which is grace and charity. Merit thus measured corresponds in degree to the essential reward, which consists in the enjoyment of God; for the greater the charity whence our actions proceed, the more perfectly shall we enjoy God. Secondly, the degree of merit is measured by the degree of the action itself. This degree is of two kinds, absolute and proportional. The widow who put two mites into the treasury (Mc 12,41) performed a deed of absolutely less degree than the others who put great sums therein. But in proportionate degree the widow gave more, as Our Lord said; because she gave more in proportion to her means. In each of these cases the degree of merit corresponds to the accidental reward, which consists in rejoicing for created good.

We conclude therefore that in the state of innocence man's works were more meritorious than after sin was committed, if we consider the degree of merit on the part of grace, which would have been more copious as meeting with no obstacle in human nature: and in like manner, if we consider the absolute degree of the work done; because, as man would have had greater virtue, he would have performed greater works. But if we consider the proportionate degree, a greater reason for merit exists after sin, on account of man's weakness; because a small deed is more beyond the capacity of one who works with difficulty than a great deed is beyond one who performs it easily.

Reply to Objection: 1. After sin man requires grace for more things than before sin; but he does not need grace more; forasmuch as man even before sin required grace to obtain eternal life, which is the chief reason for the need of grace. But after sin man required grace also for the remission of sin, and for the support of his weakness.

2. Difficulty and struggle belong to the degree of merit according to the proportionate degree of the work done, as above explained. It is also a sign of the will's promptitude striving after what is difficult to itself: and the promptitude of the will is caused by the intensity of charity. Yet it may happen that a person performs an easy deed with as prompt a will as another performs an arduous deed; because he is ready to do even what may be difficult to him. But the actual difficulty, by its penal character, enables the deed to satisfy for sin.

3. The first man would not have gained merit in resisting temptation, according to the opinion of those who say that he did not possess grace; even as now there is no merit to those who have not grace. But in this point there is a difference, inasmuch as in the primitive state there was no interior impulse to evil, as in our present state. Hence man was more able then than now to resist temptation even without grace.


We next consider the mastership which belonged to man in the state of innocence. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether man in the state of innocence was master over the animals?

(2) Whether he was master over all creatures?

(3) Whether in the state of innocence all men were equal?

(4) Whether in that state man would have been master over men?

Article: 1 Whether Adam in the state of innocence had mastership over the animals?

Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence Adam had no mastership over the animals. For Augustine says (Gn ad lit. ix, 14), that the animals were brought to Adam, under the direction of the angels, to receive their names from him. But the angels need not have intervened thus, if man himself were master over the animals. Therefore in the state of innocence man had no mastership of the animals.

2. Further, it is unfitting that elements hostile to one another should be brought under the mastership of one. But many animals are hostile to one another, as the sheep and the wolf. Therefore all animals were not brought under the mastership of man.

3. Further, Jerome says [*The words quoted are not in St. Jerome's works. St. Thomas may have had in mind Bede, Hexaem., as quoted in the Glossa ordinaria on Gn 1,26]: "God gave man mastership over the animals, although before sin he had no need of them: for God foresaw that after sin animals would become useful to man." Therefore, at least before sin, it was unfitting for man to make use of his mastership.

4. Further, it is proper to a master to command. But a command is not given rightly save to a rational being. Therefore man had no mastership over the irrational animals.

On the contrary It is written (Gn 1,26): "Let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the earth" [Vulg."and the whole earth"].

I answer that As above stated (Question [95], Article [1]) for his disobedience to God, man was punished by the disobedience of those creatures which should be subject to him. Therefore in the state of innocence, before man had disobeyed, nothing disobeyed him that was naturally subject to him. Now all animals are naturally subject to man. This can be proved in three ways. First, from the order observed by nature; for just as in the generation of things we perceive a certain order of procession of the perfect from the imperfect (thus matter is for the sake of form; and the imperfect form, for the sake of the perfect), so also is there order in the use of natural things; thus the imperfect are for the use of the perfect; as the plants make use of the earth for their nourishment, and animals make use of plants, and man makes use of both plants and animals. Therefore it is in keeping with the order of nature, that man should be master over animals. Hence the Philosopher says (Polit. i, 5) that the hunting of wild animals is just and natural, because man thereby exercises a natural right. Secondly, this is proved by the order of Divine Providence which always governs inferior things by the superior. Wherefore, as man, being made to the image of God, is above other animals, these are rightly subject to his government. Thirdly, this is proved from a property of man and of other animals. For we see in the latter a certain participated prudence of natural instinct, in regard to certain particular acts; whereas man possesses a universal prudence as regards all practical matters. Now whatever is participated is subject to what is essential and universal. Therefore the subjection of other animals to man is proved to be natural.

Reply to Objection: 1. A higher power can do many things that an inferior power cannot do to those which are subject to them. Now an angel is naturally higher than man. Therefore certain things in regard to animals could be done by angels, which could not be done by man; for instance, the rapid gathering together of all the animals.

2. In the opinion of some, those animals which now are fierce and kill others, would, in that state, have been tame, not only in regard to man, but also in regard to other animals. But this is quite unreasonable. For the nature of animals was not changed by man's sin, as if those whose nature now it is to devour the flesh of others, would then have lived on herbs, as the lion and falcon. Nor does Bede's gloss on Gn 1,30, say that trees and herbs were given as food to all animals and birds, but to some. Thus there would have been a natural antipathy between some animals. They would not, however, on this account have been excepted from the mastership of man: as neither at present are they for that reason excepted from the mastership of God, Whose Providence has ordained all this. Of this Providence man would have been the executor, as appears even now in regard to domestic animals, since fowls are given by men as food to the trained falcon.

3. In the state of innocence man would not have had any bodily need of animals---neither for clothing, since then they were naked and not ashamed, there being no inordinate motions of concupiscence---nor for food, since they fed on the trees of paradise---nor to carry him about, his body being strong enough for that purpose. But man needed animals in order to have experimental knowledge of their natures. This is signified by the fact that God led the animals to man, that he might give them names expressive of their respective natures.

4. All animals by their natural instinct have a certain participation of prudence and reason: which accounts for the fact that cranes follow their leader, and bees obey their queen. So all animals would have obeyed man of their own accord, as in the present state some domestic animals obey him.

Article: 2 Whether man had mastership over all other creatures?

Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence man would not have had mastership over all other creatures. For an angel naturally has a greater power than man. But, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 8), "corporeal matter would not have obeyed even the holy angels." Much less therefore would it have obeyed man in the state of innocence.

2. Further, the only powers of the soul existing in plants are nutritive, augmentative, and generative. Now these doe not naturally obey reason; as we can see in the case of any one man. Therefore, since it is by his reason that man is competent to have mastership, it seems that in the state of innocence man had no dominion over plants.

3. Further, whosoever is master of a thing, can change it. But man could not have changed the course of the heavenly bodies; for this belongs to God alone, as Dionysius says (Ep ad Polycarp. vii). Therefore man had no dominion over them.

On the contrary It is written (Gn 1,26): "That he may have dominion over . . . every creature."

I answer that Man in a certain sense contains all things; and so according as he is master of what is within himself, in the same way he can have mastership over other things. Now we may consider four things in man: his "reason," which makes him like to the angels'; his "sensitive powers," whereby he is like the animals; his "natural forces," which liken him to the plants; and "the body itself," wherein he is like to inanimate things. Now in man reason has the position of a master and not of a subject. Wherefore man had no mastership over the angels in the primitive state; so when we read "all creatures," we must understand the creatures which are not made to God's image. Over the sensitive powers, as the irascible and concupiscible, which obey reason in some degree, the soul has mastership by commanding. So in the state of innocence man had mastership over the animals by commanding them. But of the natural powers and the body itself man is master not by commanding, but by using them. Thus also in the state of innocence man's mastership over plants and inanimate things consisted not in commanding or in changing them, but in making use of them without hindrance.

The answers to the objections appear from the above.

Article: 3 Whether men were equal in the state of innocence?

Objection: 1. It would seem that in the state of innocence all would have been equal. For Gregory says (Moral. xxi): "Where there is no sin, there is no inequality." But in the state of innocence there was no sin. Therefore all were equal.

2. Further, likeness and equality are the basis of mutual love, according to Si 13,19, "Every beast loveth its like; so also every man him that is nearest to himself." Now in that state there was among men an abundance of love, which is the bond of peace. Therefore all were equal in the state of innocence.

3. Further, the cause ceasing, the effect also ceases. But the cause of present inequality among men seems to arise, on the part of God, from the fact that He rewards some and punishes others; and on the part of nature, from the fact that some, through a defect of nature, are born weak and deficient, others strong and perfect, which would not have been the case in the primitive state. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary It is written (Rm 13,1): "The things which are of God, are well ordered" [Vulg."Those that are, are ordained of God"]. But order chiefly consists in inequality; for Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 13): "Order disposes things equal and unequal in their proper place." Therefore in the primitive state, which was most proper and orderly, inequality would have existed.

I answer that We must needs admit that in the primitive state there would have been some inequality, at least as regards sex, because generation depends upon diversity of sex: and likewise as regards age; for some would have been born of others; nor would sexual union have been sterile.

Moreover, as regards the soul, there would have been inequality as to righteousness and knowledge. For man worked not of necessity, but of his own free-will, by virtue of which man can apply himself, more or less, to action, desire, or knowledge; hence some would have made a greater advance in virtue and knowledge than others.

There might also have been bodily disparity. For the human body was not entirely exempt from the laws of nature, so as not to receive from exterior sources more or less advantage and help: since indeed it was dependent on food wherewith to sustain life.

So we may say that, according to the climate, or the movement of the stars, some would have been born more robust in body than others, and also greater, and more beautiful, and all ways better disposed; so that, however, in those who were thus surpassed, there would have been no defect or fault either in soul or body.

Reply to Objection: 1. By those words Gregory means to exclude such inequality as exists between virtue and vice; the result of which is that some are placed in subjection to others as a penalty.

2. Equality is the cause of equality in mutual love. Yet between those who are unequal there can be a greater love than between equals; although there be not an equal response: for a father naturally loves his son more than a brother loves his brother; although the son does not love his father as much as he is loved by him.

3. The cause of inequality could be on the part of God; not indeed that He would punish some and reward others, but that He would exalt some above others; so that the beauty of order would the more shine forth among men. Inequality might also arise on the part of nature as above described, without any defect of nature.

Summa Th. I EN Qu.94 a.4