De veritate EN 236



As is clear from what has been said, grace is so called either be cause it is gratuitously given or because it puts us in Godís good graces. Now it is evident that there are different graces gratuitously given. For there are different gifts which are conferred upon man by God gratuitously and above the merit and capability of human nature, such as prophecy, the working of miracles, and the like, of which the Apostle says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians (12:4): "Now there are diversities of graces." But our present inquiry is not concerned will these. But as can be gathered from what has been said, the grace that puts us in Godís good graces, or ingratiatory grace, is taken in two ways: (1) for the divine acceptance itself, which is the gratuitous will of God, and (2) for a created gift which formally perfects a man and makes him worthy of eternal life.

Now if we take grace in this second sense, it is impossible for more than one grace to be in one man. The reason for this is that grace is spoken of inasmuch as by it man is destined for eternal life, and adequately. For to have grace means to be accepted by God will a view to having eternal life. Now anything held to direct things adequately to one term must itself be only one, because if there were many such, either no one of them would be adequate or every other would be superfluous.

But it is not necessary on this account for grace to be one simple thing. For it is possible that no one thing would sufficiently make a man worthy of eternal life, but that man would be made worthy of it by many things, as by many virtues. But if that were the case, no one of those many things would be called grace, but all taken together would be called one grace, because from all of them there would arise in the man only one worthiness will regard to eternal life. Grace is, however, not one in this way, but rather as one simple habit. This is so because habits in the soul are differentiated in relation to different acts. The acts themselves, however, are not the reason for the divine acceptance; but first the man is accepted by God and then his acts, as is indicated in Genesis (4:4): "And the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings."

That gift, then, which God grants to those whom He accepts into His kingdom and glory is presupposed to the perfections or habits by which human acts are perfected so as to be worthy of acceptance by God. Thus the habit of grace must remain undivided, as preceding the things by which the differentiation of habits takes place in the soul.

If, on the other hand, grace is taken in the first sense, namely, for Godís gratuitous will, then it is evident that from the viewpoint of God who does the accepting there is only one grace of God, not only in regard to one man, but also in regard to all, because whatever is in Him cannot be distinct. But from the viewpoint of its effects it can be multiple. As a result we say that every effect which God works in us by His gratuitous will accepting us into His kingdom, pertains to ingratiatory grace, such as giving us good thoughts and holy affections.

In so far, then, as grace is a habitual gift within us, it is only one; but in so far as it refers to an effect of God within us destined for our salvation, there can be said to be many graces in us.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Operating and cooperating grace can be distinguished from the Truth point of view of Godís gratuitous will and from that of the gift conferred upon us. Grace is called operating in regard to an effect which the will of God brings about in us, whereas grace is called cooperating in regard to an effect which Godís will does not produce alone, but will the cooperation of our free choice.

From the point of view of Godís gratuitous will, therefore, the very justification of a sinner, which is brought about by means of the infusion of a gratuitous gift, will be called operating grace. For only Godís gratuitous will causes this gift in us, and free choice is in no way its cause except as a disposition, and that is inadequate. From the same point of view grace will be called cooperating inasmuch as it works in our free choice, causing its movement, removing the obstacles to the execution of the external act, and giving perseverance, in all of which our free choice plays a part. Thus it is clear that operating grace is distinct from cooperating grace.

From the point of view of the gratuitous gift essentially the same grace will be called operating and cooperating. It will be called operating grace in so far as it informs the soul, so that the term operating will be understood formally, in the way in which we speak of whiteness making a wall white. For this information it is nowise the act of our free choice. It will be called cooperating, however, in so far as it in curies us to the internal and the external act and supplies the ability to persevere to the end.

2. The different effects which are attributed to operating and to cooperating grace cannot differentiate the habit. For the effects which are attributed to operating grace are the causes of the effects which are attributed to cooperating grace. As a consequence of being in formed by a habit, the will passes into the act of willing, and from the act of willing the external act is caused. Moreover the resistance which we offer to sin is caused by the firmness of the habit. Thus it is one and the same habit which informs the soul, elicits the internal and the external act, and in a sense accounts for perseverance inasmuch as it resists temptations.

3. However much a man has the habit of grace, he still has need of the divine operation working in us in the ways mentioned above. This is because of the infirmity of our nature and the multiplicity of impediments, which were of course not found in the state of nature as it was created. Man was accordingly better able to stand by himself then than even those who have grace can now, not because of any deficiency in the grace but because of the infirmity of our nature, though even then men needed divine providence to guide and help them. One who has grace therefore has the necessity of asking for divine help, which is a form of cooperating grace.

4. The answer is clear from what has just been said.

5. Grace is not called the form of the virtues as being an essential part of the virtues. Were that the case, when the virtues are multi plied, grace would have to be multiplied. But it is called the form of the virtues as formally completing the act of virtue.

Now an act of virtue is given form in three ways. This is done first of all in so far as the due conditions for the substance of the act are placed, setting limits to the act and establishing it in the mean of virtue. The act of virtue has this from prudence; for the mean of virtue is determined by a correct norm, as is said in the Ethics. In this sense prudence is called the form of all the moral virtues. But the act of virtue thus established in the mean is, as it were, material in regard to the ordination to the last end. This order is conferred upon the act of virtue by the command of charity. In this sense charity is said to be the form of all the other virtues. And furthermore grace contributes efficacy for meriting. For no value on the part of our works would be held to be deserving of eternal glory unless divine acceptance were presupposed. In this sense grace is said to be the form both of charity and of the other virtues.

6. Antecedent and subsequent grace are distinguished on the basis of the sequence of factors found in gratuitous existence. The first of these is the information of the subject by grace or the justification of a sinner (which is the same thing). The second is the act of the will. The third is the external act. The fourth is spiritual progress and per severance in good. The fifth is the obtaining of oneís reward.

Antecedent and subsequent grace are therefore distinguished in the following ways: (1) The grace by which sinners are justified is called antecedent; that by which those already justified operate is called sub sequent. (2) That by which a person wills correctly is called antecedent; that by which he carries out his correct will in the external act is called subsequent. (3) Antecedent grace is referred to all of these; subsequent grace, to perseverance in the foregoing. (4) Antecedent grace is referred to the whole state of merit; subsequent grace, to reward.

In the first three distinctions it is clear from what was said about operating grace and cooperating grace, in what sense antecedent grace and subsequent grace are the same or different, because in these ways antecedent and subsequent grace seem to be the same as operating and cooperating grace. According to the fourth distinction too, if the gratuitous gift which is called grace is taken in itself, antecedent grace and subsequent grace are found to be the same thing. For just as the charity of this present life is not taken away but remains and is increased in our heavenly home because it involves no defect in its essence; in the same way grace too, involving no defect in its essence, when increased becomes glory. Nor is the perfection of nature in the present life and in heaven said to be different in point of grace because of any difference in the perfecting form but because of a difference in the measure of perfection. But if we take grace along will all the virtues to which it gives form, then grace and glory are not the same thing, because some virtues, such as faith and hope, are voided in heaven.

7. Although the external act and the internal act are distinct subjects of perfection, they are nevertheless subordinated, because one is the cause of the other, as has been explained.í

8. There are two aspects to be taken into account in sin: turning towards creatures and turning away from God. As regards turning toward creatures sins are distinguished from one another, but as regards turning away from God they are linked, inasmuch as by any mortal sin a man is turned away from the unchangeable good. Virtues are therefore opposed to sins from the standpoint of turning toward creatures, and in this sense different sins are driven out by different virtues, as different types of ignorance by different sciences. From the standpoint of turning away from God, however, all sins are forgiven by one and the same thing, grace. But different types of ignorance are not linked in any one thing; and so the case is not the same.

9. One type of guilt is not found to be the formal completion of all types of guilt as one habit of virtue or of grace completes all the virtues. For this reason one type of guilt does not infect all the powers as one grace perfects themónot, of course, in such a way that it is in all as its subject, but as giving form to the acts of all the powers.

10. The grace which follows means either another effect of the divine gratuitous will or the same habit of grace referred to another effect, as is clear from what has been said above.

11. To have the habit and the operation firmly and unchangeably is a condition which is required for every virtue, as is made clear by the Philosopher. That manner, then, does not require a special habit.

12. Just as different virtues and different gifts of the Holy Spirit are directed to different actions, so too the different effects of the sacraments are like different medicines for sin and different shares in the efficacy of our Lordís passion, which depend upon sanctifying grace, as do the virtues and gifts.

The virtues and gifts have a special name, however, because the acts to which they are directed are evident. They are accordingly distinguished from grace in name also. But the defects of sin, against which the sacraments are instituted, are hidden. Hence the effects of the sacraments do not have a proper name but go by the name of grace; for they are called sacramental graces, and the sacraments are distinguished on the basis of these graces as their proper effects. Those effects, moreover, belong to ingratiatory grace, which also is joined to those effects. Thus along will their proper effects they have a common effect, ingratiatory grace, which is given by means of the sacraments to one who does not have it and increased by them in one who does.

13ó14. The answer is clear from the above.

15. From the point of view of turning away from God all sins inflict a single wound, as has been said, and so are healed by a single gift of grace. But from the point of view of turning towards creatures they inflict different wounds, which are healed by different virtues and by the different effects of the sacraments.

i 6. Even though there is no cooperating grace in infants actually, there is nonetheless virtually; for the operating grace which they have received will be sufficient to cooperate will free choice when they have its use.

17. Just as the essence of the soul is immediately the principle of being but, through the mediation of the powers, the principle of acting; in the same way the immediate effect of grace is to confer spiritual existence. This concerns the information of the subject or the justification of sinners and is the effect of operating grace. But the effect of grace through the mediation of the virtues and gifts is to elicit meritorious acts, and this has reference to cooperating grace.

18. Two acts which are distinct operations not subordinated to one another cannot be caused at one and the same time by one habit. But two acts of which one is an operation and the other the information of a subject, or even two operations of which one is the cause of the other, as an internal act is the cause of an external, can be caused by one habit. It is in this way that operating and cooperating grace are related, as appears from what has been said.


Parallel readings: II Sentences 26, a. 3; IV Sentences, 1, sol. s; sol. 3 ad s; Sum. Theol., I-II, 110, 4.


It seems that it is not, for

1. A habit or perfection which is in the essence of the soul has the same relation to the effect of the essence as a habit which is in a power has to the effect of the power. But a habit which is in a power perfects the power for its act, as charity perfects the will for willing. But the proper effect of the essence is to be, which the soul confers upon the body, because the soul in its essence is the form of the body. Now since grace does not perfect the soul will regard to the natural act of being which the soul confers upon the body, it will not be in the essence of the soul as its subject.

2. Opposites are by their nature concerned will the same thing. Now grace and guilt are opposed. But guilt is not in the essence of the soul, as is evident from the fact that the essence of the soul suffers no privation, though according to Augustine sin or guilt is "the privation of measure, species, and order." it therefore seems that grace is not in the essence of the soul as its subject.

3. Gratuitous gifts presuppose natural ones. But the powers are natural properties of the soul according to Avicenna. Grace is there fore not in the essence of the soul unless a power is presupposed. Thus it is immediately in the power as its subject.

4. A habit or form is there where its effect is found. But any effect of grace, whether operating or cooperating, is found in the powers, as can be seen from an enumeration of the effects. Grace therefore has the powers of the soul as its subject.

5. "The image of re-creation" corresponds to "the image of creation." These two sorts of image are distinguished in the Gloss in its comment upon the words of the Psalm (4:7): "The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us." But the image of creation is taken will reference to the powers, memory, intelligence, and will, which are three faculties of the soul, as the Master says. Then grace also refers to the powers of the soul.

6. Acquired habits are distinguished from infused habits. But all acquired habits are in the powers of the soul. Then so is grace, which is a habitual infused gift.

7. According to Augustine "the good will of man is prepared" by means of grace. But this is done only in so far as the will is perfected by means of grace. Grace is therefore a perfection of the will, and so it has as its subject the will and not the essence of the soul.

To the Contrary:

1í. Grace is in the soul in that respect in which the soul is ordained to God. But the whole soul is ordained to God as being in potency to receive something from Him. The soul in its totality is therefore capable of receiving grace. But in the soul the whole is the substance itself, whereas the parts are powers. The soul in its substance is there fore the subject of grace.

2í. The first gift of God is in that which is in us first and is closest to God. But grace is the first gift of God in us, "for it precedes both faith and charity" and other such gifts, as Augustine brings out. But what is first and nearest to God in us is the essence of the soul, from which the powers flow. Grace therefore has its subject in the essence of the soul.

3'. The same created thing cannot be in distinct subjects. But grace is something created. It therefore cannot be in distinct powers. But since grace extends to the aces of all the powers inasmuch as they are meritorious, it is either in the essence of the soul or in all the powers. But it is not in all. Therefore it is in the essence of the soul as its subject.

4'. A secondary cause receives the influence of the first cause be fore the effect of the secondary cause does. But the soulís essence is the principle of its powers, and so it is the secondary cause of the powers, whose first cause is God. The soulís essence therefore receives the influence of grace before its powers do.



As was said above, there are two opinions about grace. There is one which says that grace and virtue are the same essentially. According to this opinion it is necessary to say that in reality grace is in a power as its subject. This is because a virtue, which perfects for operating, cannot be anywhere but in a power, the principle of operation. But according to this opinion, by a sort of appropriation it can be said that grace look to the essence, and virtue to a power, in so far as grace and virtue differ conceptually though not essentially; for being constituted in grace refers to the soul itself before it refers to its act, since the soul is not accepted by God on account of its acts but vice versa, as has been said.

The other opinion, which we hold, is that grace and virtue are not the same essentially. According to this opinion it is necessary to say that grace has as its subject the essence of the soul and not the powers; for in view of the ordination of powers as such to operations, the perfection of powers according to their proper character must be ordained to operation. Now what constitutes the formal character of a virtue is that it proximately perfects a power to act rightly. Consequently, if grace were in a power of the soul, it would have to be the same as some virtue. If, then, this is not maintained, it is necessary to say that grace is in the essence of the soul, perfecting it inasmuch as it gives it a spiritual existence and makes it by a certain assimilation "a partaker of the divine nature," in the words of the second Epistle of St. Peter (1:4), just as virtues perfect the powers to operate rightly.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Even though grace is not the principle of natural existence, it nevertheless perfects natural existence inasmuch as it adds to it a spiritual existence.

2. Actual guile can be only in a power, which is the principle of an ace, but original guilt is in the soul as to its essence; through its essence it is joined to flesh as its form, and from the flesh the original infection is contracted in the soul. And even though none of its essentials are taken away, nevertheless the ordination of the soulís essence to grace is hindered by a sort of remoteness, as contrary dispositions make the potency of the matter remote from the ace of the form.

3. Gratuitous gifts presuppose natural ones if both kinds are taken proportionally. Thus virtue, which is the gratuitous principle of operation, presupposes a power, which is the natural principle of the same thing; and grace, which is the principle of spiritual existence, presupposes the essence of the soul, which is the principle of natural existence.

4. The first and immediate effect of grace is found in the essence of the soul, namely, information in the lime of spiritual existence.

5. "The image of creation" is situated in both the essence and the powers according as the unity of the divine essence is represented by the essence of the soul, and the distinction of the divine persons by the distinction of the powers. Similarly "the image of re-creation" is found in grace and the virtues.

6. Acquired habits are caused by our acts, and so they do not be long to the soul except through the mediation of the powers of which they are the acts. But grace is from the divine influence, and so there is no parallel.

7. Grace prepares the will by means of charity, of which grace is the form.


Parallel readings: I Sentences i g, i sol. r ad 2; IV Sentences 1, 1, 4 sol. Sum. Theol., 1, 6 ad 4; III, 6; 3.


It seems that it is not, for

1. Guilt is opposed to grace. But guilt is not anything corporeal. Then neither is grace in the sacraments, which are "material elements" according to Hugh of St. Victor.

2. Grace is subordinated to glory. But only a rational nature is capable of glory. Consequently, in it alone can there be grace, and there fore not in the sacraments.

3. Grace is counted among the greatest goods. But the greatest goods are in intermediate goods as their subject. Now since the intermediate goods are the soul and its powers, it seems that grace cannot be in any other subject, and therefore not in the sacraments.

4. A spiritual subject stands to a spiritual accident as a corporeal subject to a corporeal accident. Then by transposition, a spiritual subject stands to a corporeal accident as a corporeal subject to a spiritual accident. But a corporeal accident cannot be in any spiritual subject. Then neither can the spiritual accident, grace, be in the corporeal elements of the sacraments.

To the Contrary:

1í. Hugh of St. Victor says: "From their sanctification the sacraments contain an invisible grace."

2í. In his Epistle to the Galatians (l.:9) the Apostle says that the sacraments of the Law are "weak and needy elements," and this is because they do not contain grace, as the Gloss explains. Then if grace were not in the sacraments of the New Law, they also would be "weak and needy elements" themselves. But that is absurd.

3í. On the words of the Psalm (17:12): "And he made darkness his covert," the Gloss comments: "The forgiveness of sins has been placed in baptism." Now the forgiveness of sins is had through grace. Grace is therefore in the sacrament of baptism, and for like reason in the other sacraments.



Grace is in the sacraments, not as an accident in a subject, but as an effect in a causeóin the manner in which the sacraments can be the cause of grace. Now an effect can be said to be in its cause in two ways. In one way it is in the cause inasmuch as the cause has control over the effect, as our acts are said to be in us. In this sense no effect is in an instrumental cause, which does not move except when moved. Consequently neither is grace in the sacraments. In another way it is in the cause by means of its own likeness, inasmuch as the cause produces an effect like itself. This happens in four ways:

(1) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause as regards its natural existence and in the same manner, as it is in univocal effects. In this way it can be said that the heat of the air is in the lire which heats it.

(2) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause as regards its natural existence but not in the same manner, as is the case will equivocal effects. In this way the heat of the air is in the sun.

(3) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause not as regards its natural existence but as regards a spiritual existence, and yet statically, as the likenesses of works of art are in the mind of the artist; for the form of a house in the builder is not a real being, like the heating power in the sun or heat in a fire, but it is an intellectual intention at repose in the soul.

(4) When the likeness of the effect is in the cause not in the same manner nor as a real being nor statically, but as a dynamic influence, as the likenesses of effects are in instruments, through the mediation of which forms flow from the principal causes into their effects. It is in this way that grace is in the sacraments, and even less, seeing that the sacraments do not arrive directly and immediately at the grace of which we are now speaking in itself, but at their proper effects, called sacramental graces, upon which the infusion or increase of ingratiatory grace follows.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. Even guilt is in something purely corporeal as its cause; that is, original sin is in the seed.

2-3. These difficulties conclude that grace is not in the sacraments as its subject.††††††††††

4. Something spiritual cannot be the instrument of a corporeal thing, as a corporeal thing may be of a spiritual. Thus the transposed proportion does not hold in the case at hand.

Contrary Difficulties:††††††††††

We concede these arguments, yet will the understanding that grace is in the sacraments as its instrumental and disposing causes, and this by reason of the power through which they work toward the production of grace.

QUESTION 28: Justification of Sinners


Parallel readings: IV Sentences 17, 1, x sol. i & g; Sum. Theol., I-II, 11 1 & 6; Comp. I, 239.


It seems that it is not, for

1. Justification gets its name from justice, which is one of the virtues. But the forgiveness of sins is not effected by one virtue alone, for sins are not opposed to just one virtue but to all. Justification is there fore not the forgiveness of sins.

2. The answer was given that the forgiveness of sins is effected by generic justice the contrary, generic justice is the same as all virtue, according to the Philosopher.1 But the forgiveness of sins is not the effect of virtue but of grace. The forgiveness of sins should there fore not be called justification but rather the conferring of grace.

3. If the forgiveness of sins is effected by any virtue, it should be by that one in particular which cannot coexist will sin. But this is charity, which is never unformed. The forgiveness of sins should therefore not be attributed to justice but rather to charity.

4. The same is seen from the words of Proverbs (10: 12): "Charity covered all sins."

5. Sin is the spiritual death of the soul. Now life 15 opposed to death. Since in Holy Scripture spiritual life is especially attributed w faith, as in Habacuc (2:4) and the Epistle to the Romans (1:17): "The just man lived by faith," it therefore seems that the forgiveness of sins should be ascribed to faith and not to justice.

6. The same is seen from the words of the Acts (15:9): "purifying their hearts by faith."

7. Justification precedes grace just as a motion precedes its term. But the forgiveness of sins follows grace as an effect follows its cause. Justification is therefore prior to the forgiveness of sins, and so the two are not die same.

8. The act of justice is to return what is due. But what is due to n sinner is not pardon but rather punishment. The forgiveness of sins should therefore not be attributed to justice.

9. "Justice is concerned will merit; mercy, will misery," as Bernard says. But a sinner has no merit but is rather in a state of misery, because "sin maketh nations miserable," as is written in Proverbs (:4:34). The forgiveness of sins should therefore not be attributed to justice but rather to mercy.

10. The answer was given that, although there is no condign merit in the sinner, there is congruous merit. -On the contrary-, justice demands equality. But congruous merit is not equal to the reward. Then congruous merit is not sufficient for the notion of justice.

11. The forgiveness of sins is one of four prerequisites for the justification of sinners. The justification of sinners is therefore not the forgiveness of sins.

12. Whoever becomes just is justified. But some have become just without having had any sins forgiven, as Christ and (if he had grace) the first man while in the state of innocence. Justification is therefore not the forgiveness of sins.

To the Contrary:

In commenting upon the words of the Epistle to die Romans (8:30): "Whom he called, them he also justified," the Glass adds "by the forgiveness of sins." The forgiveness of sins is therefore justification.



There is n difference between motion and change. For a single motion is that by which something signified affirmatively is lost and something else signified affirmatively is acquired. "Motion is from a subject to a subject," as is said in the Physics. By subject is meant here something affirmatively designated, as white or black. Hence there is n single motion of alteration by which white is lost and black is acquired. But it is otherwise will becoming and perishing, which are types of change. For becoming is a change from a non-subject to subject, as from non-white to white; and perishing is n change from a subject to a non-subject, as from white to non-white. Thus in the loss of one thing that is affirmed and in the acquisition of another two changes must be understood, one of which is becoming and the other perishing, in either an unrestricted or a restricted sense. If, then, in the passage from whiteness to blackness we consider the motion itself, the very same motion is designated by the removal of the one and the introduction of the other. But the same change is not designated, but rather different ones which are nevertheless associated, because the becoming of the one does not take place without the perishing of the other.

Now justification means a motion to justice, just as whitening means a motion to whiteness, though justification could also signify the for mal effect of justice; for justice justifies in the same way as whiteness makes white.

If, then, justification is taken as a motion, since we must mean the same motion by which sin is removed and justice is introduced, justification will be the same as the forgiveness of sins. They will differ only in. concept, seeing that both names apply to the same motion, but one designates it will reference to the starting point, the other will reference w the final term. If, however, justification is taken in the lime of change, then justification will signify one change, namely, the coming of justice into being, and the forgiveness of sins will signify another, the perishing of guilt. From this point of view justification and the forgiveness of sins will not be the same except by association. But in whichever way justification is taken, it must get its name from a justice which is opposed to any sin whatever; for not only is motion from contrary to contrary, but also becoming and perishing, when taken in a common reference, apply to contraries Justice is used, however, in three different ways:

(1) As a specific virtue distinguished from the other cardinal virtues, in this sense justice is spoken of as the virtue by which man is directed in acts which contribute to community life, such as the different types of contracts. Now this virtue is not contrary to every sin, but only to those sins which are concerned will such inter- changes, as theft, robbery, and the like. Justice cannot, therefore, be taken in this sense in the present context.

(2) It is used of le gal justice, identified by the Philosopher will all virtue, as differing from virtue only in concept. In so far as virtue directs its act to the common good, which is also the aim of the legislator, it is called legal justice because it upholds the law, as when a brave man lights valiantly on the field of battle for the safety of the commonwealth. It is thus evident that, although every virtue is in some sense legal justice, yet not every act of virtue is an act of legal justice, but only one which is directed to the common good, as can be true of the act of any virtue. Consequently, neither is every act of sin opposed to legal justice. Then neither can the justification which is identified will the forgiveness of sins be so designated from legal justice.

(3) Justice designates a distinctive state in which man stands in the right relation to God, to his neighbour, and to himself, so that his lower powers are subject to the higher. This is what the Philosopher calls "justice taken metaphorically," since it is viewed as between different powers of the same person, whereas justice in the proper sense is always between different persons. To justice in this sense every sin is opposed, since some of the order mentioned is destroyed by every sin. Consequently it is from this sort of justice that justification gets its name, whether it is taken as a motion from a starting point or as the formal effect of a form.

Answers to Difficulties:

1. That objection is based upon specific justice.

2. Justification is not so called from legal justice, which is all virtue, but from the justice which means a general good order in the soul; for it is from this good order rather than from grace that justification gets its name, because every sin is opposed directly and immediately to this good order, involving as it does all the soulís powers, whereas grace is in the essence of the soul.

3. Charity is called the cause of the forgiveness of sins because by le man is united to God, from whom he had been turned away in sinning. Yet not every sin is directly and immediately opposed to charity, but rather to the justice mentioned above.

4. The answer is clear from what has just been said.

5. Spiritual life is attributed to faith because in the act of faith spiritual life is first manifested. Life is said in The Soul8 to be in living beings by reason of the vegetative soul, not because every act of physical life is due to the vegetative soul, but because in its act life first appears. In the same way not every act of spiritual life is an act of faith, but it may be of the other virtues as well. Hence not every sin is directly and immediately opposed to faith.

6. The purifying of hearts is attributed to faith in so far as the move merit of faith first appears in the said purification, as is expressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11: 6): "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is."

7. Not only justification but also the forgiveness of guilt can be taken either as the motion to justice or as the formal effect of justice; for justice not only formally justifies but also formally casts out guilt, just as whiteness formally casts out blackness. Thus the forgiveness of guilt, as the formal effect of justice, like justification, follows grace; but taken as a motion, it is, like justification, understood prior to grace.

8. An operation can get its name in two ways: either from its principle or from its end. Thus the action by which a physician acts upon a sick person is called medication from the point of view of the principle, because it is the effect of medicine; but it is called healing from the point of view of the end, because it is the way to health. The forgiveness of sins is accordingly called justification from the term or end. It is also called having mercy from the principle, inasmuch as it is a work of divine mercy. Nevertheless in the forgiveness of sins a sort of justice is observed, since "all the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth" (Ps 24,10). This is especially true on the part of God, since in forgiving sins He does what befits Him, as Anselm says: "When You pardon sinners it is just, for it does befit You." And that is what is said in the Psalm (30: 1): "Deliver me in thy justice." From another point of view also, but not adequately, justice appears on the part of the one whose sin is forgiven inasmuch as there is found in him some disposition for grace, though inadequate.

9-10. The answer to these is clear from what has just been said.

11. The forgiveness of sins is in some sense distinguished from justification either in reality or in concept, and so it is differentiated from the infusion of grace and listed as one of the four prerequisites for the justification of sinners.

12. The conferring of justice belongs to justification as such, but the forgiveness of sins pertains to it as the justification of sinners. In this sense it is not referable to Christ or even to man in the state of innocence.


Parallel readings; IV Sentences 17, I, 3 sol. 1; in Ephes., C. 5, lectura 5; Sum. Theol., I-II,


It seems that there can, for

1. It is easier to tear down than to build up. But man is able to build up sin by himself. He is therefore able to tear it down by himself, and so the forgiveness of sins can take place without grace.

2. Contrary sins cannot be in the same subject at the same time. But a person who has been in sin of one kind can by himself pass to its contrary, as a man who has been a miser can by himself become a spendthrift. A person can therefore free himself from a sin in which he has been; and so grace is apparently not required for the forgive ness of sins.

3. It was said in answer that sins are contrary as contrary acts, not as contrary forms.óOn the contrary, as Augustine says, sin still re mains when its act has passed; and it is not enough for the forgiveness of sin that the act of sin has passed. Something therefore remains from the sin which needs forgiveness. But contraries have contrary effects. The remnants of contrary sins are therefore contrary and so cannot coexist. Thus the same conclusion follows as before.

4. One mediated contrary can be removed without introducing the other, as blackness can be driven out independently of the introduction of whiteness. But between the state of guilt and the state of grace there is a mean, the state of created nature, in which according to some man had neither grace nor guilt. It is therefore not necessary for the forgiveness of sins that a person receive grace.

5. God can repair more than man can spoil. But man was able to plunge from the state of nature, in which he did not have grace, to the state of guilt. Consequently without grace God can lead man back from the state of guilt to the state of nature.

6. After the act of sin has passed its guilt is said to remain, according to Augustine, in the sense that the past act of a sin is laid to the account of the sinner for punishment. Then contrariwise it is said to be forgiven in the sense that it is not laid to his account for punish merit, according to the words of the Psalm (31: 2): "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord hath not imputed sin." But to impute or not to impute implies something positive only in God, who imputes or does not. For the forgiveness of sin grace is therefore not required in the one whose sin is forgiven.

7. Whoever is the complete cause of anything has complete power over it both to tear it down and to set it up, because the effect ceases when the operation of the cause ceases. But man is the complete cause of sin. He therefore has complete power over the tearing down or the setting up of sin, and so man seemingly does not need grace for the forgiveness of sin.

8. Since sin is in the soul, the forgiveness of sins can be brought about only by something which enters into the soul. But according to Augustine4 only God enters into the soul. Consequently only God can forgive sin by Himself and without grace.

9. If grace removes guilt it is either a grace which exists or one which does not. Now it is not a grace which does not exist, because what does not exist does nothing. But neither is it a grace which exists, because it is an accident and its existence is to exist in something. 'When, however, grace is in the soul, guilt is not there; and so it can not be driven out. Grace is therefore not required for the forgiveness of guilt.

10. Grace and guilt cannot be in the soul together. If, then, grace is infused for the forgiveness of guilt, the guilt must first have been in the soul when grace was not. Now since the guilt has ceased to be, a last instant can be designated in which the guilt existed. Similarly, since the grace begins to be, a first instant can be designated in which grace exists in the soul. But these must be two distinct instants, be cause grace and guilt cannot exist in the soul at the same time, as has been said. Between any two instants, however, there is an intervening time, as is proved in the Physics. There will therefore be a time in which man has neither guilt nor grace, and so grace is seemingly not necessary for the forgiveness of guilt.

11. Augustine says that God gives us gifts because He loves us, and not the other way about. The gift of grace therefore presupposes divine love. But that divine love by which God the Father loves His only-begotten Son and His members, is not had for a man in the state of guilt. The forgiveness of guilt therefore precedes grace in the order of nature; and so grace is not required for the forgiveness of sins.

12. In the Old Law original sin was forgiven by circumcision, as Bede makes clear. Circumcision, however, did not confer grace, because, since the least grace is sufficient for resisting any temptation, man in the state of the Law would have had the means of conquering concupiscence. Then the Old Law would not have killed by giving occasion, as it is said to have done in the Epistle to the Romans (7: 1).

The death of Christ, moreover, would not have been necessary, be cause "if justice be by the law, then Christ dies in vain" (Ga 2,21). But this cannot be admitted. It therefore seems inadmissible that circumcision conferred grace. Thus the forgiveness of sins can take place without grace.

To the Contrary:

1'. The words of the Psalm (77: 39): "He remembered that they are flesh: a will that goeth and returned not," are explained in the Gloss as meaning "a will that of itself goeth into sin and of itself returned not from sin; therefore God calls men back because of themselves they cannot return."

2í. In the Epistle to the Romans (3:24) it is written: "Being justified freely by his grace..."

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