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On Belief and Faith

(c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti

1. The principal objects of belief. Cf. The Roman Catechism:


The Catechism of the Council of Trent, known as the Roman Catechism (and so called throughout this book), thus introduces the explanation of the twelve Articles of the Creed: The Christian religion proposes to the faithful many truths which either singly or all together must be held with a certain and firm faith. That which must first and necessarily be believed by all is that which God Himself has taught us as the foundation of truth and its summary concerning the unity of the Divine Essence, the distinction of Three Persons, and the actions which are by particular reason attributed to each. The pastor should teach that the Apostles Creed briefly sets forth the doctrine of these mysteries. ... The Apostles Creed is divided into three principal parts. The first part describes the First Person of the Divine Nature and the marvellous work of the creation. The second part treats of the Second Person and the mystery of mans redemption. The third part concludes with the Third Person, the head and source of our sanctification. The varied and appropriate propositions of the Creed are called Articles, after a comparison often made by the Fathers; for just as the members of the body are divided by joints (articuli), so in this profusion of faith whatever must be distinctly and separately believed from everything else is rightly and aptly called an Article 1 (Part I, Chapter I, 4). (emphasis added)

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., IIa-IIae, q. 1, art. 6 (tr. English Dominican Fathers):
Reply to Objection: 1. Some things are proposed to our belief are in themselves of faith, while others are of faith, not in themselves but only in relation to others: even as in sciences certain propositions are put forward on their own account, while others are put forward in order to manifest others. Now, since the chief object of faith consists in those things which we hope to see, according to He 11,2: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, it follows that those things are in themselves of faith, which order us directly to eternal life. Such are the Trinity of Persons in Almighty God [*The Leonine Edition reads: The Three Persons, the omnipotence of God, etc.], the mystery of Christs Incarnation, and the like: and these are distinct articles of faith . On the other hand certain things in Holy Writ are proposed to our belief, not chiefly on their own account, but for the manifestation of those men-tioned above: for instance, that Abraham had two sons, that a dead man rose again at the touch of Eliseus bones, and the like, which are related in Holy Writ for the purpose of manifesting the Divine mystery or the Incarnation of Christ: and such things should not form distinct articles. (emphasis added)

Cf. ibid., art. 7, c.:

For the meaning of article here, see my paper, Sundesmos and Arthron: Aristotle on the Connective Parts of Speech (Papers In Poetics 11).

I answer that The articles of faith stand in the same relation to the doctrine of faith, as self-evident principles to a teaching based on natural reason . Among these principles there is a certain order, so that some are contained implicitly in others; thus all principles are reduced, as to their first principle, to this one: The same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time, as the Philosopher states (Metaph. iv, text. 9). In like manner all the articles are contained implicitly in certain primary matters of faith, such as Gods existence, and His providence over the salvation of man, according to He 11: He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him . For the existence of God includes all that we believe to exist in God eternally, and in these our happiness consists; while belief in His providence includes all those things which God dispenses in time, for mans salvation, and which are the way to that happiness: and in this way, again, some of those articles which follow from these are contained in others: thus faith in the Redemption of mankind includes belief in the Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth.2 (emphasis added)

2. On the division of the Creed into articles. Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., IIa-IIae, q. 1, art. 8, c. (tr. English Dominican Fathers):
I answer that, As stated above (Articles [4],6), to faith those things in themselves belong, the sight of which we shall enjoy in eternal life, and by which we are brought to eternal life. Now two things are proposed to us to be seen in eternal life: viz. the secret of the Godhead, to see which is to possess happiness; and the mystery of Christs Incarnation, by Whom we have access to the glory of the sons of God, according to Rm 5,2. Hence it is written (Jn 17,3): This is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the . . . true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. Wherefore the first distinction in matters of faith is that some concern the majesty of the Godhead, while others pertain to the mystery of Christs human nature, which is the mystery of godliness (1Tm 3,16). Now with regard to the majesty of the Godhead, three things are proposed to our belief: first, the unity of the Godhead, to which the first article refers; secondly, the trinity of the Persons, to which three articles refer, corresponding to the three Persons; and thirdly, the works proper to the Godhead, the first of which refers to the order of nature, in relation to which the article about the creation is proposed to us; the second refers to the order of grace, in relation to which all matters concerning the sanctification of man are included in one article; while the third refers to the order of glory, and in relation to this another article is proposed to us concerning the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. Thus there are seven articles referring to the Godhead. In like manner, with regard to Christs human nature, there are seven articles, the first of which refers to Christs incarnation or conception; the second, to His virginal birth; the third, to His Passion, death and burial; the fourth, to His descent into hell; the fifth, to His resurrection; the sixth, to His ascension; the seventh, to His coming for the judgment, so that in all there are fourteen articles. Some, however, distinguish twelve articles, six pertaining to the Godhead, and six to the humanity. For they include in one article the three about the three Persons; because we have one knowledge of the three Persons: while they divide the article referring to the work of glorification into two, viz. the resurrection of the body, and the glory of the soul. Likewise they unite the conception and nativity into one article. (emphasis added)

Consequently, as St. Thomas explains (Cf. Super Boethium De Trinitate by Thomas Aquinas, q. 5, art. 4, ad 6), faith, which is in a way the habit of the principles of theology, has for its object the First Truth itself, and yet the articles of faith contain certain other things relating to creatures insofar as they have some connection with the First Truth, (emphasis added)

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Super Primam Decretalem (On the First Decretal of Gregory IX) (tr. B.A.M.):
In the last place one must consider that the articles of the Christian Faith are reckoned by some to be fourteen, but by others, twelve. For according to those who reckon them to be fourteen, seven articles pertain to the Godhead, but seven to the humanity [of Christ]. But those which pertain to the Godhead are distinguished as follows: There is one article on the unity of the divine essence, which the Symbol touches on when he says: I believe in one God. A second concerns the Person of the Father, which is touched on when it says: the Father, the Almighty. A third concerns the Person of the Son, which is touched on when it says: and in Jesus Christ His Son. A fourth concerns the Person of the Holy Spirit, which is touched on when it says: And in the Holy Spirit. A fifth concerns the effect by which we are created in nature, which is touched on when it says: Creator of heaven and earth. A sixth concerns Gods effect according as we are created again in grace, which is touched on when it says: the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins; the reason being that by grace we are gathered into the unity of the Church, we communicate in the sacraments, and we obtain the forgiveness of sins. A seventh article concerns Gods effect by which we are perfected in the being of glory both with respect to the body and with respect to the soul; and this is touched on when it says: the resurrection of the flesh, the life everlasting. But the seven articles pertaining to the Incarnation are distinguished as follows: The first concerns the conception of Christ, which is touched on when it says: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. But the second concerns His birth, which is touched one when it says: born of the Virgin Mary. The third concerns His passion, which is touched on when it says: suffered, died, and was buried. The fourth concerns his descent into hell [: he descended into hell]; the fifth His resurrection [: the third day he rose again from the dead]; the sixth His ascension: he ascended into Heaven; the seventh His return in judgment: He will come again to judge the living and the dead. But others holding there to be twelve articles, put down one article concerning the Three Persons; and the article concerning the effect of glory they divide into two, so that there is one article concerning the resurrection of the flesh, and another concerning eternal life: and thus the articles pertaining to divinity are six. Again, they include the conception and birth of Christ under one article; and so the articles concerning His humanity are also six, so that all told they are twelve.

3. On the definition of faith according to Hebrews 11:1. Cf. Hebrews 11:1 (Douay-Rheims):
1 Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

Cf. idem (AV):


1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Cf. idem (RSV):


1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Cf. idem (NIV):


1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Ia-IIae, q. 67, art. 3, c. (tr. English Dominican Fathers):
Now it is clear that imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: for it is included in its definition; faith being defined as the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not (Heb. 11: 1). Wherefore Augustine says ( Tract. xl in Joan.): Where is faith? Believing without seeing. But it is an imperfect knowledge that is of things unapparent or unseen. Consequently imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: therefore it is clear that the knowledge of faith cannot be perfect and remain identically the same.

Cf. also St. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones disputatae de veritate, q. 14, art. 2, obj. 1 (tr. Alfred J. Freddoso):
In Hebrews 11:1 the Apostle says that faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the argument (argumentum) of things that are not apparent.

Cf. Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by Saint Thomas Aquinas translated by Fabian R. Larcher, O.P., Lesson on Heb 11-1:
11-1 Heb. 11:1 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 551. Above, the Apostle showed Christs superiority in many ways by preferring Him to the angels, to Moses and to Aaron, and advised the faithful to be united to Christ. Since this union consists principally in faith and begins with faith: That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts (Eph. 3:17), the Apostle proceeds to recommend this faith and does three things: first he describes faith; secondly, he gives various examples of it (v. 2); thirdly, he exhorts them to the things which pertain to faith (chap. 12).

552. He gives a definition of faith which is complete but obscure. Hence, it should be noted that in attempting to define any virtue perfectly, one must mention its proper matter with which it deals, and its end; because habits are recognized by their acts, and acts by their objects. Therefore, it is necessary to mention the act and its order to its object and end. Thus, the definition of courage must mention its proper matter with which it deals, namely, fears and aggressions, and its end, which is the good of the republic. Now, since faith is a theological virtue, its object and end are the same, namely, God. First, he mentions its order to the end; secondly, its proper matter (v. 1b). 553. But it should be noted that the act of faith is to believe, because it is an act of the intellect narrowed to one thing by the command of the will. Hence, to believe is to cogitate with assent, as Augustine says in The Predestination of the Saints. Therefore, the object of faith and of the will must coincide. But the object of faith is the first truth, in which the end of the will consists, namely, happiness. But it is present one way on earth, and another way in heaven, because on earth the first truth is not possessed and, consequently, not seen: for in regard to things that are above the soul, to possess and to see are the same, as Augustine says in Book of 83 Questions. Hence, they are only hoped for: But hope that is sees in not hope. For what a man sees, why does he hope for? (Rom. 8:24). Therefore, the first truth, not seen but hoped for, is the end of the will on earth and, consequently, is the object of faith, because its end and object are the same. But the ultimate end of faith in heaven, which we tend toward by faith, is happiness, which consists in the clear vision of God: This is eternal life: to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (Jn. 17:3). But such is the hope of believers: He has regenerated us unto a lively hope (1 Pt. 1:3). The end, therefore, of faith on earth is the attainment of the thing hoped for, namely, of eternal happiness; hence, he says, of things hoped for. 554. But a question arises: since faith is prior to hope, why is it defined in terms of hope? For it is customary to define the later by the previous, and not vice versa. I answer that the answer should be obvious from what has been said, namely, that the object and end of faith are the same. Therefore, since the attainment of the things hoped for is its end, it must also be its object. For it has been stated above that a habit must be defined by the order of its act to its object. But the true and the good, even though when considered in themselves are convertible as far as their supposits are concerned, differ in conception. Hence, they are diversely related to each other, because the true is a good and a good is true. In like manner, the intellect and will, which are distinguished on the basis of the distinction between the true and the good, have a diverse relationship to each other. For inasmuch as the intellect apprehends truth and anything contained in it, the true is a good; hence, the good is under the true: but inasmuch as the will moves, the true is under the good. Therefore, in the order of knowing, the intellect is prior; but in the order of moving, the will is prior. Therefore, because the intellect is moved to the act of faith by the command of the will, in the order of moving, the will is prior. Therefore, the prior is not being defined in terms of the later, because, as has been stated, in the definition of faith, the order of the act to its object, which is the same as the end, must be mentioned. But the end and the good are the same, as it says in Phys. II. But in the order to the good, the will, which is the subject of hope, is prior. 555. But why not say, of things to be loved, rather than of things to be hoped for? The reason is because charity is concerned with things that are present or absent. Therefore, because the unpossessed end is the object of faith, he says, of things to be hoped for. Nor does it make any difference that the thing to be hoped for is also the object of hope, because it is necessary that faith be ordained to an end, which coincides with the object of those virtues by which the will is made perfect; since faith pertains to the will as moved by the intellect.

556. But since faith is one virtue, because it is called one habit (for its object is one), why not say of the thing to be hoped for, instead of things to be hoped for? I answer that happiness, which is essentially one thing in itself, because it consists in the vision of God, is the principle and root from which the many good things contained under it are derived: for example, the characteristics of the body, companionship with the saints, and many other good things. Therefore, in order to show that all these pertain to faith, he speaks in the plural. 557. The word, substance, which appears in the definition, can be explained in a number of ways: in one way, causally, and then it has two senses: one which is substance [??], i.e., making the things hoped for be present in us. This it does in two ways: in one way, by meriting, as it were; for from the fact that a person makes his intellect captive and submissive to the things of faith, he deserves some day to see the things he hopes for: for vision is the reward of faith. In another way, as though by its property, bringing it about that what is believed really to lie in the future, be somehow already possessed, provided one believe in God. In another way, we can explain the word, substance, essentially, as if faith is the substance, i.e., the essence of things to be hoped for. Hence, in Greek it is defined as the hypostasis of things to be hoped for. For the essence of happiness is no less than the vision of God: This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (Jn. 17:3). Hence, in the book, On the Trinity, Augustine says: This contemplation is promised to us; the end of all actions. Therefore, the full vision of God is the essence of happiness. We also see this in the liberal sciences, which, if a person wishes to learn them, he must first accept its principles, which he must believe when they are delivered to him by the teacher. For a learner must believe, as it is stated in 1 Posterior Analytics. And in those principles the entire science is somehow contained, as conclusions are contained in their principles, and an effect in its cause . Therefore, one who has the principles of a science, say geometry, has its substance. And if geometry were the substance of happiness, a person who possessed the principles of geometry would, in a sense, have the substance of happiness. But our faith consists in believing that the blessed will see and enjoy God. Therefore, if we will to reach that state, it is necessary that we believe the principles of that knowledge. And these principles are the articles of faith, which contain the summary of this knowledge, because the vision of the triune God makes us happy. And this is one article; hence we believe this. Consequently, he says, the assurance [substance] of things to be hoped for: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to fact (1 Cor. 13:12). As if to say: we shall be happy when we see face to face that which we now see in a glass and in a dark manner. In these words is shown the relationship of the act of faith to its end, because faith is ordained to things to be hoped for, being, as it were, a beginning in which the whole is, as it were, virtually contained, as conclusions in principles. 558. Then when he says, the conviction [evidence] of things that appear not, he touches the act of faith in regard to its proper matter. But the act proper to faith, even though it is in relation to the will, as has been said, is nevertheless in the intellect, as in a subject, because its object is the true, which properly pertains to the intellect. But there is a difference among the acts of the intellect: for some are habits of the intellect which imply complete certitude and perfect understanding of that which is understood, as is clear in the habit of understanding, which is the habit of first principles, because one who understands that every whole is great than its part sees this and is certain. But the habit of science also does this: thus the habits of understanding and of science will produce certitude and vision. But there are others which beget neither, namely, doubt and opinion. But faith is midway between these: because, as has been stated, faith produces assent in the intellect which can be caused in two ways: in one way, because the intellect is moved to assent because of the evidence of the object which is per se knowable, as in the habit of principles, or known through something else, which is per se knowable, as in the science of astronomy. In another way, it

assents to something not because of the evidence of the object, by which it is not sufficiently moved (hence it is not certain), but it either doubts, namely, when there is no more evidence for one side than for the other; or it opines, if it does have reason for one side, but without satisfying the intellect, so that there is fear in regard to the opposite side. But faith does not suggest either of these absolutely: because there is no evidence, as there is in understanding and science, nor is there doubt, as in doubt and opinion; but it fixes on one side with certainty and firm adherence by a voluntary choice. But this choice rests on Gods authority, and by it the intellect is fixed, so that it clings firmly to the things of faith and assents to them with the greatest of certainty. Therefore, to believe is to know with assent. Therefore, the proper matter of the habit of faith are things that appear not. For appearance has knowledge, but not faith, as Gregory says. But the act of faith is certain adherence, which the Apostle calls evidence, taking the cause for the effect, because evidence produces faith about a doubtful matter. For evidence is the reason for believing a doubted thing. Or if we follow the etymology of the word, evidence (argument), which means arguing the mind, then he is taking the effect for the cause, because the mind is compelled to assent because of the things certainty. Hence, it is called the evidence of things that appear not, i.e., a sure and certain apprehension of things it does not see. Now, if someone were to reduce those words to their correct form, he could say that faith is a habit of the mind by which eternal life is begun in us and makes the intellect assent to things that it does not see. Therefore, it is obvious that the Apostle has defined faith completely, but not clearly. [Where we have evidence another version has conviction, because on Gods authority the intellect is convinced about things it does not see]. 559. By that definition, faith is distinguished from all the other habits of the intellect. For the fact that it is called evidence, faith is distinguished from opinion, doubt and suspicion, because these three do not cause the intellect to adhere to something firmly. By the words, of things to be hoped for, it is distinguished from ordinary faith which is not ordained to happiness. For by proper definition a thing is made known and distinguished from all else, as in this case; hence, all the others are reduced to it. 560. But it seems incorrect to say, of things that appear not, as it says in Jn (20:26): Thomas saw and believed. Furthermore, we believe that there is one God, a fact which is demonstrated by philosophers. I answer that faith is taken in two senses: in the proper sense, it is concerned with things not seen and not known, as is clear from the above. But inasmuch as there cannot be greater certainty of a conclusion than of the principle from which it is drawn, because principles are always more certain than the conclusions, it follows that since the principles of faith are not evident, neither are its conclusions. Hence, the intellect does not assent to the conclusions as to things known or seen. But taken in a general sense, it excludes all knowledge that is certain; that is the sense in which it is taken by Augustine in the Gospel Questions, when he says that faith is concerned with things that are seen. But the Apostle is speaking in the first sense. Furthermore, it must be said of Thomas that, as Gregory says, he saw one thing and believed something else: for he saw the humanity and believed the divinity. To the objection based on demonstration, the answer is that nothing prohibits one thing being seen by one person and believed by another, as is obvious in diverse states. For what is not seen on earth is seen by the angels. Therefore, what I believe, an angel sees. Similarly, what is seen by the prophets, for example, that God is one and incorporeal, must be believed by the illiterate; just as an illiterate person believes in an eclipse which an astronomer sees. However, in such matters faith is taken in a different sense. But there are some things which absolutely transcend the state of the present life; and in regard to these there is faith in the strict sense. (emphasis added)

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas: Quaestiones disputatae de veritate, q. 14 (On faith) (tr. Alfred J. Freddoso).
Article 1: What is it to believe? Now it is claimed by Augustine in On the Predestination of the Saints [chap. 2], and it is maintained in the Gloss on the passage Not that we are sufficient to think (2 Cor 3:5), that to believe is to cogitate with assent.
HOWEVER, IT SEEMS INAPPROPRIATE TO SAY THIS:

1. One who knows is distinct from one who believes, as is evident from Augustine in On Seeing God [letter 147, chaps. 2 and 3]. But one who knows, insofar as he knows, cogitates about something and assents to it. Therefore, believing is inappropriately described when one claims that to believe is to cogitate with assent. 2. Further, cogitating conveys a sort of investigation. For to cogitate is, as it were, to agitate [the mind] with, i.e., to reason discursively and to compare one thing with another. But investigation is ruled out by the nature of faith. For as Damascene says [in On the Orthodox Faith II, chap. 2], faith is not an examined consent. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that to believe is to cogitate with assent. 3. Further, to believe is an act of the intellect. But to assent seems to pertain to desiring; for we are said to consent to something by means of desire. Therefore, assent does not pertain to believing. 4. Further, no one is said to be cogitating unless he is actually considering something, as is evident from Augustine, On the Trinity [chap. 7]. But one is said to believe even if he is not actually cogitating about anythinge.g., a believer who is sleeping. Therefore, to believe is not to cogitate. 5. Further, a simple light is a principle of a simple cognition. But faith is a sort of simple light, as is evident from Dionysius in On the Divine Names, chap. 7. Therefore, the believing that arises from faith is a simple cognition, and so it is not the sort of cogitation which bespeaks a comparing cognition. 6. Further, faith as it is commonly spoken of assents to a first truth because of that truth itself. But one who assents to something by means of a comparison assents to it not because of itself but because of something else to which he compares it. Therefore, in believing there is no comparing and hence no cogitating. 7. Further, faith is called more certain than every science and every cognition. But because of their certitude principles are cognized in the absence of cogitating and comparing. Therefore, believing occurs in the absence of cogitating. 8. Further, a spiritual power is more efficacious than a corporeal power; therefore, a spiritual light is more powerful than a corporeal light. But an external corporeal light perfects the eye so that it immediately cognizes visible bodies when its innate light was not sufficient for this. Therefore, it is in the absence of any cogitating or comparing that the spiritual light which comes from God will perfect the intellect so that it cognizes even those things for which natural reason is not sufficient. And so believing occurs in the absence of cogitating. 9. Further, philosophers locate the cogitative power in the sentient part [of the soul]. But to believe belongs only to the mind, as Augustine says. Therefore, to believe is not to cogitate.

I REPLY:

One should reply that Augustine adequately describes believing. For the essence of believing, along with its differences from all the other acts of the intellect, can be demonstrated through this sort of definition of it. This is evident as follows: I. According to the Philosopher [Aristotle] in On the Soul [III, 5], there are two operations of our intellect. The first is an operation by which the intellect formulates the simple quiddities of things, e.g., what it is to be a human being or what it is to be an animal. Now neither the true nor the false per se are found in this operation, just as they are not found in noncomplex spoken words. The second operation of the intellect is that in accord with which it composes and divides by affirming and denying. And it is in this operation that the true and the false are found, just as they are also found in a spoken complex, which is a sign of this operation. Now believing is found not in the first operation but rather in the second. For we believe things that are true and disbelieve things that are false. This is why among the Arabs the first operation of the intellect is called imagination, whereas the second is called faith, as is evident from the words of the Commentator [Averroes] in On the Soul III, [comment 21]. II. Now since the possible intellect is, taken by itself, in potency with respect to all intelligible formsin just the way that primary matter is in potency with respect to all sensible formsit is also, taken by itself, no more determined to adhering to a composition than to adhering to [the corresponding] division, or vice versa. However, anything that is determined to two things is such that it is determined to one of the two only through something that moves it. But the possible intellect is moved by only two things, viz., (i) by its proper object, which is an intelligible form, viz., what a thing is, as is claimed in On the Soul III, and (ii) by the will, which moves all the other powers, as Anselm says [in On Similitudes, chap. 2]. So it follows that our possible intellect is related in diverse ways to the parts of a contradiction. A. For sometimes it is not inclined more to the one part than to the other. This is either (i) because of an absence of things that move it, as in the case of those problematic matters concerning which we have no arguments [one way or the other], or (ii) because of an apparent equality of the things that move it to the one part and the other. And this is the condition of one who is in doubt [dubitare], i.e., one who fluctuates between the two parts of the contradiction. B. On the other hand, it is sometimes the case that (i) the intellect is inclined more to one part than to the other, but that (ii) that which inclines the intellect does not move it sufficiently to determine it totally to the one part. Thus the intellect accepts the one part and yet is always in doubt with respect to the opposite part. And this is the condition of one who opines [opinari], i.e., one who accepts the one part of the contradiction with a wariness about the other. C. Now sometimes the possible intellect is determined in such a way that it adheres totally to one part. But it is determined in this way sometimes by the intelligible object and sometimes by the will.

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i. It is determined in this way by the intelligible object sometimes mediately and sometimes immediately. It is determined immediately when the truth of intelligible propositions is infallibly apparent at once on the basis of the intelligible things themselves. This is the condition of one who understands principles (intelligere), which are immediately known once their terms are grasped, as the Philosopher says [in Posterior Analytics I]. And so just on the basis of what a thing is the intellect is immediately determined to propositions of this sort. On the other hand, it is determined mediately when, after the definitions of the terms have been grasped, the intellect is determined to one part of a contradiction by the power of the first principles. And this is the condition of one who knows [scientifically] (scire). ii. But sometimes the intellect cannot be determined to one part of a contradiction either immediately through the definitions of the terms, as in the case of principles, or [mediately] by the power of the first principles, as in the case of demonstrated conclusions. Instead, it is determined by the will, which chooses to assent determinately and precisely to one part because of something that is sufficient to move the will but not sufficient to move the intellectand this because it seems good or fitting to assent to that part. And this is the condition of the one who believes, as when one believes what a man says because it seems proper or beneficial to do so. And it is also in this way that we are moved to believe what someone says because the reward of eternal life is promised to us if we believe; and the will is moved by this reward to assent to the things that are said, even though the intellect is not moved by what is understood. And this is why Augustine, [in Commentary on John, chap. 26, No one can come ...], says that an unwilling man is capable of other things, but only a willing man is capable of believing. III. From what has been said it is evident that assent is not found in the operation of the intellect by which it formulates the simple quiddities of things, since there is no truth or falsity there. For we are said to assent to something only when we cleave to it as true. Similarly, one who is in doubt does not have assent, since he does not cleave to the one part more than to the other. Similarly, one who opines does not have assent, since his acceptance is not fixed firmly with respect to one of the two parts. Rather, as Isaac and Avicenna claim, a fixed judgment (sententia) is a distinct or absolutely certain conception of one of the two parts of a contradiction; but to assent ( assentire) is taken from sententia. Now one who understands (intelligere) does have assent, since he cleaves with absolute certainty to one part; however, he does not have cogitation, since he is determined to one of the two parts in the absence of any comparison. On the other hand, one who knows (scire) has both cogitation and assent; however, the cogitation causes the assent and the assent terminates the cogitation. For on the basis of the very comparison of the principles with the conclusions he assents to the conclusions by tracing them back to the principles, and there the movement of the one who is cogitating is fixed and put to rest. For in knowledge ( scientia) the motion of reason begins from an understanding (intellectus) of the principles and is terminated in that same understanding by means of a tracing back. And so the person in question does not have the assent and the cogitation on equal footing, as it were; instead, the cogitation leads to the assent, and the assent puts the cogitation to rest. But in faith the assent and the cogitation are, as it were, on equal footing. For the assent is caused not by the cogitation but, as was said above, by the will. But because the intellect is not at all terminated in one part in such a way that it is brought to its proper terminus, which is the vision of something intelligible, it follows that its motion has not yet been put to rest. Instead, it still has cogitation and investigation concerning those things which it believes,

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even though it assents to them with absolute firmness. For just taken by itself, the intellect is not satisfied and it is not terminated in one part; rather, it is terminated only from the outside. And this is why the intellect of one who believes is said to be captivated. For it is being held fast by something elses terminus and not by its own proper terminus (2 Cor 10:5, ... bringing the intellect into captivity). This is also why it is the case that in one who believes, though not in one who understands or knows, there can arise a movement with respect to the contrary of that which he holds with absolute firmness. So, then, it is through assent that believing is separated off (i) from the operation by which the intellect sees simple forms, i.e., quiddities and (ii) from doubt (dubitatio) and (iii) from opinion (opinio); on the other hand, it is through cogitation that it is separated off from understanding (intellectus), whereas it is separated off from knowledge (scientia) by the fact that it has cogitation and assent on an equal footing, as it were.
REPLY TO OBJECTIONS POSED AT THE BEGINNING:

AD 1. The reply to the first objection is evident from this. AD 2. To the second objection one should reply that the reason why faith is not called an examined consent is that the assent (or consent) of faith is not caused by an investigation on the part of reason. However, this does not rule out its being the case that in the intellect of one who believes there remains some cogitation or investigation concerning the things which he believes. AD 3. To the third objection one should reply that the will, though not the intellect, is referred back to a preceding power, viz., to the intellect. And the reason why assent properly pertains to the intellect is that it conveys a certain absolute adherence to that to which one assents. On the other hand, consent properly belongs to the will, since to consent is to think together with another, and so consent is said to be ordered to or compared with something that precedes it. AD 4. To the fourth objection one should reply that because (i) habits are cognized through acts and because (ii) habits themselves are the principles of acts, habits are sometimes denominated by the names of their acts. And so the names of the acts are sometimes taken as proper names, as it were, for the acts themselves, and they are sometimes taken as names for the habits. So believing, insofar as it conveys the act of faith, always includes actual considering, but this is not the case insofar as believing is taken for the habit. So one who is sleeping is said believe insofar as he has the habit of faith. AD 5. To the fifth objection one should reply that faith includes something of perfection and something of imperfection. The firmness itself which pertains to assent bespeaks perfection, whereas what bespeaks imperfection is the lack of vision in virtue of which a movement of cogitation still remains in the mind of the one who believes. Therefore, that which bespeaks perfection, viz., assenting, is caused by the simple light, which is faith; but to the extent that that light is not perfectly participated in, the imperfection of the intellect is not totally removed, and so the movement of cogitation remains in the intellect without being put to rest. AD 6. To the sixth objection one should reply that this argument proves or establishes that cogitation* is not a cause of the assent of faith, but it does not prove that cogitation* does not accompany the assent of faith.

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AD 7. To the seventh objection one should reply that certitude can convey two things. One is a firmness of adherence, and in this sense faith is more certain than any understanding or knowledge, since the first truth, which causes the assent of faith, is a more powerful cause than is the light of reason, which causes the assent of understanding and of knowledge. But certitude also conveys the evidentness of that to which one assents, and faith does not have certitude in this sense, whereas understanding and knowledge do. And this is why understanding does not involve cogitation. AD 8. To the eighth objection one should reply that the argument would go through straightforwardly if we participated perfectly in the spiritual light in questionwhich will happen in heaven, where we will see perfectly those things which we now believe. But the fact that the things which that light perfects us to know do not appear manifestly [in our present state] derives from our defective participation in that light and not from the efficacy of the spiritual light itself. AD 9. To the ninth objection one should reply that the cogitative power is that which is the highest in the sentient part [of the soul], where the sentient part attains to the intellective part in a certain way, so that it participates in that which is lowest in the intellective part, viz., discursive reasoningand this according to the rule of Dionysius in On the Divine Names, chap. 2, that the beginnings of the secondary things are conjoined to the ends of the primary things. Thus this cogitative power is called particular reason, as is evident from the Commentator in On the Soul III, [comment 58]. But this is the case only in human beings. In brute animals natural judgment takes the place [of particular reason]. And so universal reason itself, which is in the intellective part of the soul, is called cogitation because of a similarity in these operations. Translated by Alfred J. Freddoso University of Notre Dame

St. Thomas Aquinas: Quaestiones disputatae de veritate, q. 14 (On faith)


Article 2: What is faith? In Hebrews 11:1 the Apostle says that faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the argument (argumentum) of things that are not apparent.
IT SEEMS THAT IT IS INCORRECT TO SAY THIS:

1. No quality is a substance. Faith is a quality, since it is a virtue, i.e., a good quality of the mind, etc. Therefore, faith is not a substance. 2. Further, spiritual being is added to natural being and is its perfection; hence, it must be similar to it. But in the natural being of a human being the substance is said to be the very essence of the soul, which is a first act, but not the power of the soul, which is the principle of a second act. Therefore, in a spiritual being one should not say that the essence itself is faith or any other virtue, since a virtue is a proximate principle of an operation and hence perfects a power. Rather, one should say that the essence is grace, from which (i) spiritual being derives as from a first act and which (ii) perfects the very essence of the soul. 3. Someone will claim that faith is called a substance because it is the first among the different virtues. Against this one should reply that virtues are considered in three ways,

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viz., (i) as regards their habits, (ii) as regards their objects, and (iii) as regards their powers. But as regards their habits, faith is not prior to the others. For the definition under discussion seems to be a definition of faith only insofar as faith is formed, since it is only in this sense that it is the foundation, as Augustine says; but all the gratuitous virtues are infused simultaneously. Similarly, as regards their objects, faith does not seem to be prior to the other virtues. For it is not the case that faith tends toward the true itself, which seems to be its proper object, more than charity tends toward the highest good or more than hope tends toward what is most difficult thing or toward the Gods supreme liberality. Similarly, as regards their powers, faith does not seem to be prior to the other virtues, since all the gratuitous virtues seem to be referred back to desire. Therefore, faith is in no way prior to the other virtues, and so faith should not be called the foundation or the substance of the other virtues. 4. Further, things to be hoped for subsist in us more through charity than through faith. Therefore, the definition under discussion seems to belong to charity rather than to faith. 5. Further, hope is generated from faith, as is evident in the Gloss on Matthew 1:2, since faith is posited in the definition of hope. But hope is posited in the definition of a thing to be hoped for. Therefore, if a thing to be hoped for is posited in the definition of faith, there will be a circularity in the definitionswhich is absurd, since in that case there will be something that is prior to and better known than itself. For it will be possible for the same thing to be posited in the definition of itself when the definitions are substituted for the names [defined], and it will also be possible for the definitions to be infinite. 6. Further, diverse habits have diverse objects. But a theological virtue has the same thing for both its end and its object. Therefore, among the theological virtues it is necessary that the diverse virtues have diverse ends. But a thing to be hoped for is the proper end of hope. Therefore, a thing to be hoped for should not be posited in the definition of faith either as an object or as an end. 7. Further, faith is perfected more by charity than by hope; that is why it is said to be formed by charity. Therefore, in the definition of faith one ought to posit the object of charity, which is a good or a thing to be loved, rather than the object of hope, which is a thing to be hoped for. 8. Further, faith is related precisely to the articles themselves. But the articles do not all pertain to things to be hoped for just one or two do, viz., the resurrection of the flesh and life everlasting. Therefore, a thing to be hoped for should not be posited in the definition of faith. 9. Further, arguing is an act of reason. But faith pertains to things that are beyond reason. Therefore, it should not be called an argument. 10. Further, in the soul there are two movements, viz., toward the soul and from the soul. Now in a movement toward the soul the principle is extrinsic, whereas in a movement from the soul the principle is intrinsic. But it is impossible for the same thing to be both an intrinsic principle and an extrinsic principle. Therefore, it is impossible for the same movement to be both toward the soul and from the soul. But cogitation is perfected in a movement toward the soul, whereas desire is perfected in a movement from the soul. Therefore, neither faith nor anything else can be both a principle of desire and a principle of cogitation. Therefore, in the definition of faith it is incorrect to posit both something that pertains to desire, viz., the substance of things to be hoped for, and something that pertains to cogitation, viz., the argument of things that are not apparent.

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11. Further, a single habit cannot belong to diverse powers. But the affective power and the intellective power are diverse powers. Therefore, since faith is a single habit, it cannot pertain both to cognition and affection; and so the same conclusion follows as before. 12. Further, a single habit has a single act. Therefore, since two acts are being posited in the definition of faith, viz., (i) to make the things that are hoped for subsist in us, in accord with which act one says the substance of things to be hoped for, and (ii) to convince the mind, in accord with which one says the argument of things that are not apparent, it seems that faith is not being correctly described. 13. Further, understanding is prior to desire. But the phrase the substance of things to be hoped for pertains to desire, whereas what is afterwards joined to it, viz., the argument of things that are not apparent, pertains to understanding. Therefore, the parts of the definition in question are incorrectly ordered. 14. Further, what is called an argument is that which induces the mind to assent to something. But the mind is induced to assent to given things because those things are apparent to it. Therefore, there seems to be an opposition in the phrase that it is added, when one says the argument of things that are not apparent. 15. Further, faith is a kind of cognition. But every cognition is about something that is apparent to the one who is cognizing. For by means of a cognition something is apparent both in the sentient part of the soul and in the intellective part of the soul. Therefore, it is inappropriate to say that faith is of things that are not apparent.
I REPLY:

One should reply that, according to some people, the Apostle intended by this definition to show not what faith is but rather what faith does. However, it seems better to reply that this explanation of faith is the most complete definition of it not in the sense that it is rendered in the form appropriate to a definition, but rather because it adequately touches upon all the things that are required for a definition of faith. For sometimes it is sufficient for even philosophers themselves to touch upon the principles of [given] syllogisms and definitions, and once these principles are had, it is not difficult to reduce them to forms that are in keeping with the doctrine of the art [of logic]. Now there are three indications of this point. I. The first is the fact that all the principles on which the existence of faith depends are touched upon in the definition under discussion. For since, as was said above, the condition of one who believes is such that his intellect is determined to something by his will, whereas the will does nothing except insofar as it is moved by its object, which is a desirable good and an end, [it follows that] two principles are required for the end. One [A] is the good that moves the will, and the second [B] is that to which the intellect assents when the will makes it [assent]. A. Now there are two ultimate goods of a human being which move the will primarily as ultimate ends.

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One of these goods is proportionate to human nature, since natural powers are sufficient to obtain it. And this is the happiness that philosophers have spoken about, be it (i) contemplative happiness, which consists in the act of wisdom, or (ii) active happiness, which consists primarily in the act of prudence and derivatively in the acts of the other moral virtues. The other good for a human being exceeds a proportion to human nature, since natural powers are not sufficient to obtain it, or even to cogitate about it or desire it; instead, this good is promised to a human being by Gods liberality alone1 Corinthians 2:9: Without you, O God, eye has not seen the things which you have prepared for those who await youand this good is eternal life. And it is by this good that the will is inclined toward assenting to those things which it holds on faith; thus it is said in John 6:40, Whoever sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life. Now nothing can be ordered to an end unless some sort of proportion to the end preexists in it, a proportion from which there arises in it a desire for the end. And this happens insofar as a sort of inception of the end comes to exist in it, since it desires nothing except to the extent that it desires some likeness of that [inception] . And so it is that in human nature itself there is a sort of inception of that good which is proportionate to [human] nature. For in human nature there naturally preexist (i) principles of demonstration, known per se, which are seeds of wisdom, and (ii) certain principles of the natural law, which are seeds of the moral virtues. Hence, in order for a human being to be ordered toward the good of eternal life, it is also necessary that a sort of inception of that good should come to exist in the one who is promised eternal life. But eternal life consists in the full cognition of God, as is evident from John 17:3: This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God. Hence, it is necessary that some inception of this supernatural cognition should come to exist in us. And this inception comes through faith, which on the basis of an infused light holds fast to things that by nature exceed our cognition. Now in wholes that have ordered parts it is customary for the first part, in which there exists an inception of the whole, to be called the substance of the whole, e.g., the foundation of a house and the keel of a ship. This is why the Philosopher claims in Metaphysics II that if being were a single whole, its first part would be substance. And so it is that faith, insofar as it is a sort of inception within us of the eternal life that we hope for because of Gods promise, is called the substance of things to be hoped for. And so here one touches upon the relation of faith to the good that moves the will when it determines the intellect. B. Now the will, moved by the aforementioned good, proposes something that is not apparent to the intellect as being worthy of its assent, and it determines the intellect to that which is not apparent in such a way that [the intellect] assents to it. Therefore, just as an intelligible thing that is seen by the intellect determines the intellect and because of this is said to convince the mind, so too something that is not apparent to the intellect determines it and induces it necessarily to assent to it by the very fact that it is accepted by the will. This is why another reading has conviction ( convictio), since it convinces the intellect in the way just explained. And so in saying the argument of things that are not apparent one touches upon the relation of faith to that which the intellect assents to. So, then, we have (i) the matter or object of faith from the fact that he says about things that are not apparent, (ii) the act of faith from the fact that he says the argument, and (iii) the ordering of faith to its end from the fact that he says the substance of things to be hoped for. Now on the basis of the act one also grasps (i) the genus, viz., habit, which is known through the act, as well as (ii) the subject [of the habit], viz., the mind. And nothing further is required for the definition of a virtue.

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Hence, in accord with what has been said it is easy to formulate the definition in an artful way. So we may say that faith is a habit of the mind by which eternal life begins in us, a habit which makes the intellect assent to things that are not apparent. II. The second indication is that through the definition in question faith is distinguished from all other things. For by saying of things that are not apparent one distinguishes faith from knowledge (scientia) and understanding (intellectus). Again, by saying the argument one distinguishes faith from (i) opinion (opinio) and doubt (dubitatio), in which the mind is not convinced, i.e., not determined to some one thing, and also from (ii) all habits which are not cognitive. Again, by saying the substance of things to be hoped for one distinguishes [faith in the proper sense] from (i) faith as it is commonly understood ( fides communiter accepta), in accord with which we are said either to believe that which we strongly opine or to believe in the testimony of some human being, and also from (ii) prudence ( prudentia) and the other cognitive habits, which are not ordered toward the things to hoped for or which, if they are so ordered, are not such that a proper inception of the things to be hoped for comes to exist in us through them. III. The third indication is the fact that none of those who have wanted to define faith has been able to define it otherwise than by positing this whole definition or some part of it in different terms. For when Damascene says, viz., Faith is the hypostasis of things that are hoped for and the proof of things that are not seen, it is manifestly obvious that this is the same thing that the Apostle says. On the other hand, when Damascene goes on to add, The unshakable and unquestionable hope in the things that have been announced to us by God and in the efficacy of our prayers, this is a sort of explication of what the Apostle had said, viz., the substance of things to be hoped for. For the things to be hoped for are, first of all, the rewards that have been promised to us by God and, secondly, any other things we seek from God as necessary for [obtaining] those rewards, things with respect to which a firm hope is had through faith. This hope cannot fail, and this is why it is called unshakable; nor can it be justifiably be reprehended as a vain hope, and this is why it is called unquestionable. Now when Augustine says, Faith is a virtue by which things that are not seen are believed, and, again, when Damascene says, Faith is not an examined consent, and when Hugo of St. Victor says, Faith is a sort of certitude of the soul with respect to absent, a certitude that is superior to opinion and inferior to knowledge, this is the same thing that the Apostle means by the argument of things that are not apparent. For faith is said to be inferior to knowledge because, unlike knowledge, it does not include vision, even though it does include firm adherence; on the other hand, faith is said to be superior to opinion because of the firmness of the assent. And so faith is said to be inferior to knowledge to the extent that it is of things that are not apparent, and superior to opinion to the extent that it is an argument. And from what has been said it is evident [what one should say] about the other [authorities]. Moreover, when Dionysius says, Faith is the enduring foundation of those who believe, putting them in the truth and putting the truth in them, this is the same thing that the Apostle means by the substance of things to be hoped for. For the cognition of truth is a thing to be hoped for, since beatitude is nothing other than a rejoicing in the truth, as Augustine says in the Confessions. AD 1. To the first objection one should reply that faith is called a substance not because it is in the genus of substance, but because it bears a certain similarity to a substance, viz.,

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insofar as it is a first inception of and, as it were, a sort of foundation for the whole spiritual life in just the way that a substance is the foundation of all beings . AD 2. To the second objection one should reply that the Apostle means to be comparing faith not to those things that are within us but to those things that are outside us. Now even though in natural being it is the essence of the soul that is the first thing and the substance with respect to the powers and the habits and all the resulting things which are in [the soul], one nonetheless finds a relation to external things not in the essence but primarily in the power; and, similarly, one finds a relation to external things not in grace [itself] but in virtue, and primarily in faith. This is why he was not able to say that grace, rather than faith, is the substance of things to be hoped for. AD 3. To the third objection one should reply that faith is prior to the other virtues (i) on the part of its object and (ii) on the part of its power and (iii) on the part of its habit. It is prior on the part of its object not because it tends toward its object more than the other virtues do, but because its object naturally moves [the soul] before the object of charity and the objects of the other virtues do. This is evident from the fact that what is good never moves the appetite except through the intellect, as is said in On the Soul III. By contrast, in order for what is true to move the intellect, it does not need any movement on the part of the appetite. And this is why the act of faith is naturally prior to the act of charity; and the same holds for the habit of faith, even though [the habit of faith and the habit of charity] exist together when the faith is formed faith. And for this same reason a cognitive power is naturally prior to an affective power. Now faith exists in a cognitive power. This is evident from the fact that the proper object of faith is the true and not the good. However, faith does in a certain sense have its completion in the will, as will be explained below in articles 4 and 9. AD 4. To the fourth objection one should reply that it is already evident from what has been said that the first inception of the things to be hoped for comes to exist in us not through charity but through faith. Nor, again, is charity an argument. Thus, the description under discussion does not in any way belong to charity. AD 5. To the fifth objection one should reply that since the good that inclines us toward faith exceeds reason, it does not have a name. And so by a sort of circumlocution one substitutes things to be hoped for for [this good]. This frequently happens in definitions. AD 6. To the sixth objection one should reply that even though every power has an end, which is its good, nonetheless not every power, but only the will, is related to the nature of an end or a good insofar as it is good. And this is why the will moves all the other powers; for every motion begins with the intending of the end. Therefore, even though the true is the end of faith, still the true does not express the nature of an end; hence, it is not the true, but rather something pertaining to desire, that should be posited as the end of faith. AD 7. To the seventh objection one should reply that a thing to be loved can be either present or absent, whereas only what is absent is a thing to be hoped for. Romans 8:24: For who hopes for what he sees? Hence, since faith is of absent things, its end is more properly expressed by thing to be hoped for than by thing to be loved. AD 8. To the eighth objection one should reply that an article [of the faith] is, as it were, the matter of faith, whereas a thing to be hoped for is posited not as the matter but as the end. Hence, the argument does not follow.

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AD 9. To the ninth objection one should reply that argument ( argumentum) is said in many ways. For (i) sometimes it signifies the very act of reason by which one reasons discursively from principles to conclusions. And (ii) because the whole force of an argument consists in the middle term, the middle term is also sometimes called an argument. Further, (iii) it is also the case that the introductions to books, which contain a sort of foretaste of the work that follows, are called arguments. And (iv) because something is made manifest through an argument, the principle of manifestation, as well as the very light by which something is cognized, can be called an argument. And faith can be called an argument in each of these four ways. It can be called an argument in the first way to the extent that reason assents to something because it is said by God. And so because of the authority of the speaker an assent is effected in the one who believes, since in dialectics it is also the case that some arguments are taken from authority. Now in the second sense faith is called the argument of things that are not apparent either (i) to the extent that the faith of believers is a middle term for proving that things that are not apparent exist, or (ii) to the extent that the faith of our fathers is for us a middle term that induces us to believe, or (iii) to the extent that faith with respect to one article is a middle term for faith with respect to another article, in the way that Christs resurrection is a middle term with respect to the general resurrection, as is evident from 1 Corinthians 16:12. Faith is called an argument in the third sense to the extent that faith is a sort of meager foretaste of the cognition that we will have in the future. And faith is called an argument in the fourth sense as regards the light of faith itself, through which the things believed are cognized. Now faith is said to be beyond reason not because faith does not involve an act of reason but rather because the reason involved in faith cannot lead one to see the things which pertain to faith. AD 10. To the tenth objection one should reply that the act of faith consists essentially in cognition, and therein lies its perfection as regards its form and species. This is evident from its object, as was explained in the body of this article. But it is in affection that faith is perfected as regards its end, since it is because of charity that faith is meritorious with respect to the end. The inception of faith also lies in affection to the extent that the will determines the intellect to assent to the things which pertain to faith. But that act of will is neither an act of charity nor a species of charity, but is instead a certain desire for the promised good. And so it is evident that faith does not exist in two powers as in a subject. AD 11. The reply to the eleventh objection is evident from this. AD 12. To the twelfth objection one should reply that in saying the substance of things to be hoped for one touches upon not the act of faith but only upon its relation to the end. One touches upon the act of faith when one relates faith to its object by saying the argument of things that are not apparent. AD 13. To the thirteenth objection one should reply that that to which the intellect assents moves the intellect not because of its own power but because of the inclination of the will.

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Hence, the good which moves the desire is like a first mover in the act of faith, whereas that to which the intellect assents is like a moved mover. And this is why in the definition of faith the relation of faith to the good of the desire is posited before its relation to its proper object. AD 14. To the fourteenth objection one should reply that faith convinces or induces the mind not because of the evidentness of the matter but rather because of the wills inclination, as was explained in the body of this article. Hence, the argument does not follow. AD 15. To the fifteenth objection one should reply that cognition can convey two things, viz., (i) vision and (ii) assent. Insofar as it conveys vision, cognition is distinguished from faith. This is why Gregory says that things that are seen have cognition rather than faith. According to Augustine in On Seeing God, those things are said to be seen which are present to the senses or to the intellect. But things that are said to be present to the intellect do not exceed its capacity. However, as far as the certitude of the assent is concerned, faith is a cognition, a cognition by virtue of which it can be called a knowledge and a vision, according to 1 Corinthians 13:12: We see now darkly through a mirror. And this is what Augustine says in On Seeing God: If it is not improper to say that we know that which we believe most certainly, then from this it follows that we are rightly said to see with the mind the things that are believed, even though they are not present to our senses. Translated by Alfred J. Freddoso University of Notre Dame

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4. On things not seen as the end of faith. Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones disputatae de veritate , q. 14, art. 2, obj. 1 (tr. Alfred J. Freddoso):
In Hebrews 11:1 the Apostle says that faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the argument (argumentum) of things that are not apparent.

Cf. also St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Ia-IIae, q. 67, art. 3, c. (tr. English Dominican Fathers):
Now it is clear that imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: for it is included in its definition; faith being defined as the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not (Heb. 11: 1). Wherefore Augustine says ( Tract. xl in Joan.): Where is faith? Believing without seeing. But it is an imperfect knowledge that is of things unapparent or unseen. Consequently imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: therefore it is clear that the knowledge of faith cannot be perfect and remain identically the same.

Cf. the first article of the Nicene Creed:


I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth: of all that is, seen and unseen.

Now as St. Paul teaches, Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear notthat is, of things unseen. But as the Apostle also teaches, By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear. (Hebrews 11:3) That is to say, the world was made by the word of God out of nothing in accordance with the exemplars of each thing, which pre-existed in the Word. Now the things which do not appear are the invisible things of God, in accordance with which we read, From the creation of the world, the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:20). Hence, ...we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (2 Cor. 4:18). But chief among these things is eternal life; for, as St. Thomas states:
1 Corinthians 2:9: Without you, O God, eye has not seen the things which you have prepared for those who await youand this good is eternal life. And it is by this good that the will is inclined toward assenting to those things which it holds on faith; thus it is said in John 6:40, Whoever sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life.

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5. The order of nature as pointing to the existence of God. Cf. Dionysius the Areopagite, Ep. IX, To Titus, Pseudo-Dionysius, The Complete Works, tr. Colm Luibheid, p. 284:
2. As Paul said and as true reason has said, the ordered arrangement of the whole visible realm makes known the invisible things of God.3
3

Rom 1:20. [= From the creation of the world, the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.]

Cf. Wisd.13:1-2:
But all men are vain, in whom there is not the knowledge of God: and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman: but have imagined either the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world.

Cf. Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) Book III, Chapter XIV:
So great is the dissonance of the first physical philosophers: such too is their opinion concerning first principles, assuming, as they did, no god, no maker, no artificer, nor any cause of the universe, nor yet gods, nor incorporeal powers, no intelligent natures, no rational essences, nor anything at all beyond the reach of the senses, in their first principles. In fact Anaxagoras alone is mentioned as the first of the Greeks who declared in his discourses about first principles that mind is the cause of all things. They say at least that this philosopher had a great admiration for natural science beyond all who were before him: and was the first of the Greeks who stated clearly the doctrine of first principles. For he not only pronounced, like those before him, on the essence of all things, but also on the cause which set it in motion. For in the beginning, he said, all things were mingled together in confusion: but mind came in, and brought them out of confusion into order. (emphasis added)

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Suppl., q. 74, art. 2, obj. 3 (tr. English Dominican Fathers):
Objection 3: Further, this cleansing would seem to consist in purifying the parts of the world by separating them from one another. Now the separation of the parts of the world from one another at the worlds beginning was effected by Gods power alone, for the work of distinction was carried out by that power: wherefore Anaxagoras asserted that the separation was effected by the act of the intellect which moves all things (cf. Aristotle, Phys. viii, 9).3 Therefore it would seem that at the end of the world the cleansing will be done immediately by God and not by fire. (emphasis added)

On the other hand, Instead of defining this intellect, which he considered to be separate, as the universal principle of being, he makes it to be only a distinguishing principle, for he did not hold that the bodies that were mixed with one another, received being ( esse) from the separate intellect; they received from it only distinctions. (St. Thomas Aquinas. Treatise on Separate Substances. Translated by F. J. Lescoe (West Hartford, CT, 1959), Chapter I, n. 3) (emphasis added)

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Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Apostles Creed. In The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas . Translated with a Commentary by Rev. Joseph B. Collins, S.S., D.D., Ph.D. Introduction by Rev. Rudolph G. Bandas, Ph.D., S.T.D. et M. (Baltimore, 1939), What is Faith?, pp 5-8:
The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas The Apostles Creed WHAT IS FAITH? The Nature and Effects of Faith.The first thing that is necessary for every Christian is faith, without which no one is truly called a faithful Christian.[1] Faith brings about four good effects. The first is that through faith the soul is united to God, and by it there is between the soul and God a union akin to marriage. I will espouse thee in faith.[2] When a man is baptized the first question that is asked him is: Do you believe in God?[3] This is because Baptism is the first Sacrament of faith. Hence, the Lord said: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.[4] Baptism without faith is of no value. Indeed, it must be known that no one is acceptable before God unless he have faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.[5] St. Augustine explains these words of St. Paul, All that is not of faith is sin,[6] in this way: Where there is no knowledge of the eternal and unchanging Truth, virtue even in the midst of the best moral life is false. The second effect of faith is that eternal life is already begun in us; for eternal life is nothing else than knowing God. This the Lord announced when He said: This is eternal life, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.[7] This knowledge of God begins here through faith, but it is perfected the future life when we shall know God as He is. Therefore, St. Paul says: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for.[8] No one then can arrive at perfect happiness of heaven, which is the true knowledge of God, unless first he knows God through faith. Blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.[9] The third good that comes from faith is that right direction which it gives to our present life. Now, in order that one live a good life, it is necessary that he know what is necessary to live rightly; and if he depends for all this required knowledge on his own efforts alone, either he will never attain such knowledge, or if so, only after a long time. But faith teaches us all that is necessary to live a good life. It teaches us that there is one God who is the rewarder of good and the punisher of evil; that there is a life other than this one, and other like truths whereby we are attracted to live rightly and to avoid what evil. The just man liveth by faith.[10] This is evident in that no one of the philosophers before the coming of Christ could, through his own powers, know God and the means necessary for salvation as well as any old woman since Christs coming knows Him through faith. And, therefore, it is said in Isaias that the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord.[11] The fourth effect of faith is that by it we overcome temptations: The holy ones by faith conquered kingdoms.[12] We know that every temptation is either from the world or the flesh or the devil. The devil would have us disobey God and not be subject to Him. This is removed by faith, since through it we know that He is the Lord of all things and must therefore be obeyed. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith.[13] [5-6]

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The world tempts us either by attaching us to it in prosperity, or by filling us with fear of adversity. But faith overcomes this in that we believe in a life to come better than this one, and hence we despise the riches of this world and we are not terrified in the face of adversity. This is the victory which overcometh the world: our faith.[14] The flesh, however, tempts us by attracting us to the swiftly passing pleasures of this present life. But faith shows us that, if we cling to these things inordinately, we shall lose eternal joys. In all things taking the shield of faith.[15] We see from this that it is very necessary to have faith. The Evidence of Things that Appear Not.But someone will say that it is foolish to believe what is not seen, and that one should not believe in things that he cannot see. I answer by saying that the imperfect nature of our intellect takes away the basis of this difficulty. For if man of himself could in a perfect manner know all things visible and invisible, it would indeed be foolish to believe what he does not see. But our manner of knowing is so weak that no philosopher could perfectly investigate the nature of even one little fly. We even read that a certain philosopher spent thirty years in solitude in order to know the nature of the bee. If, therefore, our intellect is so weak, it is foolish to be willing to believe concerning God only that which man can know by himself alone. And against this is the word of Job: Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge.[16] One can also answer this question by supposing that a certain master had said something concerning his own special branch of knowledge, and some uneducated person would contradict him for no other reason than that he could not understand what the master said! Such a person would be considered very foolish. So, the intellect of the Angels as greatly exceeds the intellect of the greatest philosopher as much as that of the greatest philosopher exceeds the intellect of the uneducated man. Therefore, the philosopher is foolish if he refuses to believe what an Angel says, and far greater fool to refuse to believe what God says. Against such are these words: For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of men.[17] Then, again, if one were willing to believe only those things which one knows with certitude, one could not live in this world. How could one live unless one believed others? How could one know that this man is ones own father? Therefore, it is necessary that one believe others in matters which one cannot know perfectly for oneself. But no one is so worthy of belief as is God, and hence they who do not believe the words of faith are not wise, but foolish and proud. As the Apostle says: He is proud, knowing nothing.[18] And also: I know whom I have believed; and I am certain.[19] And it is written: Ye who fear the Lord, believe Him and your reward shall not be made void.[20] Finally, one can say also that God proves the truth of the things which faith teaches. Thus, if a king sends letters signed with his seal, no one would dare to say that those letters did not represent the will of the king. In like manner, everything that the Saints believed and handed down to us concerning the faith of Christ is signed with the seal of God. This seal consists of those works which no mere creature could accomplish; they are the miracles by which Christ confirmed the sayings of the apostles and of the Saints. If, however, you would say that no one has witnessed these miracles, I would reply in this manner. It is a fact that the entire world worshipped idols and that the faith of Christ was persecuted, as the histories of the pagans also testify. But now all are turned to Christwise men and noble and rich converted by the words of the poor and simple preachers of Christ. Now, this fact was either miracle or it was not. If it is miraculous, you have what you asked for, a visible fact; if it is not, then there could not be a greater miracle than that the whole world should have been converted without [6-7] miracles. And we need go no further. We are more certain, therefore, in believing the things of faith than those things which can be seen, because Gods knowledge never deceives us, but the visible sense of man is often in error.[21] (For Questions for Discussion see Chapter 6.)

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ENDNOTES 1. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, known as the Roman Catechism (and so called throughout this book), thus introduces the explanation of the twelve Articles of the Creed: The Christian religion proposes to the faithful many truths which either singly or all together must be held with a certain and firm faith. That which must first and necessarily be believed by all is that which God Himself has taught us as the foundation of truth and its summary concerning the unity of the Divine Essence, the distinction of Three Persons, and the actions which are by particular reason attributed to each. The pastor should teach that the Apostles Creed briefly sets forth the doctrine of these mysteries. . . . The Apostles Creed is divided into three principal parts. The first part describes the First Person of the Divine Nature and the marvellous work of the creation. The second part treats of the Second Person and the mystery of mans redemption. The third part concludes with the Third Person, the head and source of our sanctification. The varied and appropriate propositions of the Creed are called Articles, after a comparison often made by the Fathers; for just as the members of the body are divided by joints (articuli), so in this profusion of faith whatever must be distinctly and separately believed from everything else is rightly and aptly called an Article (Part I, Chapter I, 4). 2. Osee, ii. 20 3. In the ceremony of administering The Sacrament of Baptism, the priest asks the Sponsor: N., do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? 4. Mark, xvi. 16. 5. Heb., xi. 6. 6. Rom., xiv. 23. 7. John, xvii. 3. 8. Heb., xi. 1. 9. John, xx. 29. 10. Hab., ii. 4. 11. Isa., xi. 9. [7-8] 12 Heb., xi. 33. 13. I Peter v. 8. 14. I John, v. 4. 15. Eph., vi. 16. 16. Job, xxxvi. 26. 17. Ecclus., iii. 25. 18. I Tim., vi. 4. 19. II Tim., i. 12. 20. Ecclus., ii. 8. 21. For the meaning of the word faith see the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. V. The necessity of faith is explained in St. Thomas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. ii., 3, 4.

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Cf. IIa-IIae, q. 1
Article One Whether the Object of Faith is the First Truth We proceed to the first article thus: 1. It seems that the object of faith is not the first truth. For whatever is proposed for our belief would seem to be the object of faith, and there are proposed for our belief not only things pertaining to the Godhead, which is the first truth, but also things pertaining to the humanity of Christ, to the sacraments of the Church, and to the condition of creatures. Hence not only the first truth is the object of faith. 2. Again, faith and unbelief have the same object, since they are opposites. Now there can be unbelief concerning everything in sacred Scripture, since a man is called an unbeliever if he disbelieves anything which is therein contained. It follows that faith is likewise concerned with everything in sacred Scripture, which contains many things relating to men, and to other creatures also. Hence the object of faith is not only the first truth, but also the truth about creatures. 3. Again, it was said in 12ae, Q. 62, Art. 3, that faith is condivided with charity. Now by charity we not only love God, who is the supreme good, but love our neighbour also. Hence the object of faith is not only the first truth. On the other hand: Dionysius says ( In Div. Nom., lect. 5): Faith is in the simple and eternal truth. Now this is the first truth. The object of faith is therefore the first truth. I answer: the object of any cognitive habit is twofold. It includes what is known materially as a material object, and also that through which it is known, this being the formal meaning of its object. In the science of geometry, for example, the conclusions are known materially, while the principles of demonstration whereby the conclusions are known are the formal meaning of the science. Now if we are thinking of the formal meaning of the object of faith, this is nothing other than the first truth. For the faith of which we are speaking does not assent to anything except on the ground that it is revealed by God . The ground upon which faith stands is therefore divine truth. But if we are thinking in a concrete way about the things to which faith gives its assent, these include not only God himself, but many other things. Such other things, however, are held in faith only because they relate to God in some way, that is to say, in so far as certain effects of the Godhead are an aid to man in his endeavour after the enjoyment of God. Thus the object of faith is still in a sense the first truth, since nothing is an object of faith unless it relates to God; just as the object of medicine is health, since nothing is considered to be medicine unless it relates to health. On the first point: the things which pertain to the humanity of Christ, or to the sacraments of the Church, or to any creature whatsoever, are included in the object of faith in so far as we are directed by them to God, and in so far as we assent to them on account of the divine truth. The second point, concerning all the matters related in sacred Scripture, is answered in the same way.

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On the third point: by charity we love our neighbour for Gods sake. Hence the object of charity is properly God, as we shall affirm later.

Article 2
Whether the object of faith is something complex, by way of a proposition? Objection: 1. It would seem that the object of faith is not something complex by way of a proposition. For the object of faith is the First Truth, as stated above (Article [1]). Now the First Truth is something simple. Therefore the object of faith is not something complex. 2. Further, the exposition of faith is contained in the symbol. Now the symbol does not contain propositions, but things: for it is not stated therein that God is almighty, but: I believe in God . . . almighty. Therefore the object of faith is not a proposition but a thing. 3. Further, faith is succeeded by vision, according to 1Co 13,12: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. But the object of the heavenly vision is something simple, for it is the Divine Essence. Therefore the faith of the wayfarer is also. On the contrary Faith is a mean between science and opinion. Now the mean is in the same genus as the extremes. Since, then, science and opinion are about propositions, it seems that faith is likewise about propositions; so that its object is something complex. I answer that The thing known is in the knower according to the mode of the knower. Now the mode proper to the human intellect is to know the truth by synthesis and analysis, as stated in the FP, Question [85], Article [5]. Hence things that are simple in themselves, are known by the intellect with a certain amount of complexity, just as on the other hand, the Divine intellect knows, without any complexity, things that are complex in themselves. Accordingly the object of faith may be considered in two ways. First, as regards the thing itself which is believed, and thus the object of faith is something simple, namely the thing itself about which we have faith. Secondly, on the part of the believer, and in this respect the object of faith is something complex by way of a proposition. Hence in the past both opinions have been held with a certain amount of truth. Reply to Objection: 1. This argument considers the object of faith on the part of the thing believed. 2. The symbol mentions the things about which faith is, in so far as the act of the believer is terminated in them, as is evident from the manner of speaking about them. Now the act of the believer does not terminate in a proposition, but in a thing. For as in science we do not form propositions, except in order to have knowledge about things through their means, so is it in faith. 2. The object of the heavenly vision will be the First Truth seen in itself, according to 1Jn 3,2: We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him: because we shall see Him as He is: hence that vision will not be by way of a proposition but by way of a simple understanding. On the other hand, by faith, we do not apprehend the First Truth as it is in itself. Hence the comparison fails.

Article 3 27

Whether anything false can come under faith? Objection: 1. It would seem that something false can come under faith. For faith is condivided with hope and charity. Now something false can come under hope, since many hope to have eternal life, who will not obtain it. The same may be said of charity, for many are loved as being good, who, nevertheless, are not good. Therefore something false can be the object of faith. 2. Further, Abraham believed that Christ would be born, according to Jn 8,56: Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it, and was glad. But after the time of Abraham, God might not have taken flesh, for it was merely because He willed that He did, so that what Abraham believed about Christ would have been false. Therefore the object of faith can be something false. 3. Further, the ancients believed in the future birth of Christ, and many continued so to believe, until they heard the preaching of the Gospel. Now, when once Christ was born, even before He began to preach, it was false that Christ was yet to be born. Therefore something false can come under faith. 4. Further, it is a matter of faith, that one should believe that the true Body of Christ is contained in the Sacrament of the altar. But it might happen that the bread was not rightly consecrated, and that there was not Christs true Body there, but only bread. Therefore something false can come under faith. On the contrary No virtue that perfects the intellect is related to the false, considered as the evil of the intellect, as the Philosopher declares ( Ethic. vi, 2). Now faith is a virtue that perfects the intellect, as we shall show further on (Question [4], Articles [2],5). Therefore nothing false can come under it. I answer that Nothing comes under any power, habit or act, except by means of the formal aspect of the object: thus color cannot be seen except by means of light, and a conclusion cannot be known save through the mean of demonstration. Now it has been stated (Article [1]) that the formal aspect of the object of faith is the First Truth; so that nothing can come under faith, save in so far as it stands under the First Truth, under which nothing false can stand, as neither can non-being stand under being, nor evil under goodness. It follows therefore that nothing false can come under faith. Reply to Objection: 1. Since the true is the good of the intellect, but not of the appetitive power, it follows that all virtues which perfect the intellect, exclude the false altogether, because it belongs to the nature of a virtue to bear relation to the good alone. On the other hand those virtues which perfect the appetitive faculty, do not entirely exclude the false, for it is possible to act in accordance with justice or temperance, while having a false opinion about what one is doing. Therefore, as faith perfects the intellect, whereas hope and charity perfect the appetitive part, the comparison between them fails. Nevertheless neither can anything false come under hope, for a man hopes to obtain eternal life, not by his own power (since this would be an act of presumption), but with the help of grace; and if he perseveres therein he will obtain eternal life surely and infallibly. In like manner it belongs to charity to love God, wherever He may be; so that it matters not to charity, whether God be in the individual whom we love for Gods sake. 2. That God would not take flesh, considered in itself was possible even after Abrahams time, but in so far as it stands in Gods foreknowledge, it has a certain necessity of infal-

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libility, as explained in the FP, Question [14], Articles [13],15: and it is thus that it comes under faith. Hence in so far as it comes under faith, it cannot be false. 3. After Christs birth, to believe in Him, was to believe in Christs birth at some time or other. The fixing of the time, wherein some were deceived was not due to their faith, but to a human conjecture. For it is possible for a believer to have a false opinion through a human conjecture, but it is quite impossible for a false opinion to be the outcome of faith. 3. The faith of the believer is not directed to such and such accidents of bread, but to the fact that the true body of Christ is under the appearances of sensible bread, when it is rightly consecrated. Hence if it be not rightly consecrated, it does not follow that anything false comes under faith.

Article 4
Whether the object of faith can be something seen? Objection: 1. It would seem that the object of faith is something seen. For our Lord said to Thomas (Jn 20,29): Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed. Therefore vision and faith regard the same object. 2. Further, the Apostle, while speaking of the knowledge of faith, says ( 1Co 13,12): We see now through a glass in a dark manner. Therefore what is believed is seen. 3. Further, faith is a spiritual light. Now something is seen under every light. Therefore faith is of things seen. 4. Further, Every sense is a kind of sight, as Augustine states ( De Verb. Domini, Serm. xxxiii). But faith is of things heard, according to Rm 10,17: Faith . . . cometh by hearing. Therefore faith is of things seen. On the contrary The Apostle says (He 11,1) that faith is the evidence of things that appear not. I answer that Faith implies assent of the intellect to that which is believed. Now the intellect assents to a thing in two ways. First, through being moved to assent by its very object, which is known either by itself (as in the case of first principles, which are held by the habit of understanding), or through something else already known (as in the case of conclusions which are held by the habit of science). Secondly the intellect assents to something, not through being sufficiently moved to this assent by its proper object, but through an act of choice, whereby it turns voluntarily to one side rather than to the other: and if this be accompanied by doubt or fear of the opposite side, there will be opinion, while, if there be certainty and no fear of the other side, there will be faith. Now those things are said to be seen which, of themselves, move the intellect or the senses to knowledge of them. Wherefore it is evident that neither faith nor opinion can be of things seen either by the senses or by the intellect. Reply to Objection: 1. Thomas saw one thing, and believed another [*St. Gregory: Hom. xxvi in Evang.]: he saw the Man, and believing Him to be God, he made profession of his faith, saying: My Lord and my God. 2. Those things which come under faith can be considered in two ways. First, in particular;

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and thus they cannot be seen and believed at the same time, as shown above. Secondly, in general, that is, under the common aspect of credibility; and in this way they are seen by the believer. For he would not believe unless, on the evidence of signs, or of something similar, he saw that they ought to be believed. 3. The light of faith makes us see what we believe. For just as, by the habits of the other virtues, man sees what is becoming to him in respect of that habit, so, by the habit of faith, the human mind is directed to assent to such things as are becoming to a right faith, and not to assent to others. 4. Hearing is of words signifying what is of faith, but not of the things themselves that are believed; hence it does not follow that these things are seen.

Article 5
Whether those things that are of faith can be an object of science [*Science is certain knowledge of a demonstrated conclusion through its demonstration]? Objection: 1. It would seem that those things that are of faith can be an object of science. For where science is lacking there is ignorance, since ignorance is the opposite of science. Now we are not in ignorance of those things we have to believe, since ignorance of such things savors of unbelief, according to 1Tm 1,13: I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Therefore things that are of faith can be an object of science. 2. Further, science is acquired by reasons. Now sacred writers employ reasons to inculcate things that are of faith. Therefore such things can be an object of science. 3. Further, things which are demonstrated are an object of science, since a demonstration is a syllogism that produces science. Now certain matters of faith have been demonstrated by the philosophers, such as the Existence and Unity of God, and so forth. Therefore things that are of faith can be an object of science. 4. Further, opinion is further from science than faith is, since faith is said to stand between opinion and science. Now opinion and science can, in a way, be about the same object, as stated in Poster. i. Therefore faith and science can be about the same object also. On the contrary Gregory says (Hom. xxvi in Evang.) that when a thing is manifest, it is the object, not of faith, but of perception. Therefore things that are of faith are not the object of perception, whereas what is an object of science is the object of perception. Therefore there can be no faith about things which are an object of science. I answer that All science is derived from self-evident and therefore seen principles; wherefore all objects of science must needs be, in a fashion, seen. Now as stated above (Article [4]), it is impossible that one and the same thing should be believed and seen by the same person. Hence it is equally impossible for one and the same thing to be an object of science and of belief for the same person. It may happen, however, that a thing which is an object of vision or science for one, is believed by another: since we hope to see some day what we now believe about the Trinity, according to 1Co 13,12: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face: which vision the angels possess already; so that what we believe, they see. In like manner it may happen that what is an object of vision or scientific knowledge for one man, even in the state of a wayfarer, is, for another man, an object of faith, because he does not know it by demonstration. Nevertheless that which is

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proposed to be believed equally by all, is equally unknown by all as an object of science: such are the things which are of faith simply. Consequently faith and science are not about the same things. Reply to Objection: 1. Unbelievers are in ignorance of things that are of faith, for neither do they see or know them in themselves, nor do they know them to be credible. The faithful, on the other hand, know them, not as by demonstration, but by the light of faith which makes them see that they ought to believe them, as stated above (Article [4], ad 2,3). 2. The reasons employed by holy men to prove things that are of faith, are not demonstrations; they are either persuasive arguments showing that what is proposed to our faith is not impossible, or else they are proofs drawn from the principles of faith, i.e. from the authority of Holy Writ, as Dionysius declares ( Div. Nom. ii). Whatever is based on these principles is as well proved in the eyes of the faithful, as a conclusion drawn from selfevident principles is in the eyes of all. Hence again, theology is a science, as we stated at the outset of this work (FP, Question [1], Article [2]). 3. Things which can be proved by demonstration are reckoned among the articles of faith, not because they are believed simply by all, but because they are a necessary presupposition to matters of faith, so that those who do not known them by demonstration must know them first of all by faith. 4. As the Philosopher says (Poster. i), science and opinion about the same object can certainly be in different men, as we have stated above about science and faith; yet it is possible for one and the same man to have science and faith about the same thing relatively, i.e. in relation to the object, but not in the same respect. For it is possible for the same person, about one and the same object, to know one thing and to think another: and, in like manner, one may know by demonstration the unity of the Godhead, and, by faith, the Trinity. On the other hand, in one and the same man, about the same object, and in the same respect, science is incompatible with either opinion or faith, yet for different reasons. Because science is incompatible with opinion about the same object simply, for the reason that science demands that its object should be deemed impossible to be otherwise, whereas it is essential to opinion, that its object should be deemed possible to be otherwise. Yet that which is the object of faith, on account of the certainty of faith, is also deemed impossible to be otherwise; and the reason why science and faith cannot be about the same object and in the same respect is because the object of science is something seen whereas the object of faith is the unseen, as stated above.

Article 6
Whether those things that are of faith should be divided into certain articles? Objection: 1. It would seem that those things that are of faith should not be divided into certain articles. For all things contained in Holy Writ are matters of faith. But these, by reason of their multitude, cannot be reduced to a certain number. Therefore it seems superfluous to distinguish certain articles of faith.

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2. Further, material differences can be multiplied indefinitely, and therefore art should take no notice of them. Now the formal aspect of the object of faith is one and indivisible, as stated above (Article [1]), viz. the First Truth, so that matters of faith cannot be distinguished in respect of their formal object. Therefore no notice should be taken of a material division of matters of faith into articles. 3. Further, it has been said by some [*Cf. William of Auxerre, Summa Aurea] that an article is an indivisible truth concerning God, exacting [arctans] our belief. Now belief is a voluntary act, since, as Augustine says ( Tract. xxvi in Joan.), no man believes against his will. Therefore it seems that matters of faith should not be divided into articles. On the contrary Isidore says: An article is a glimpse of Divine truth, tending thereto. Now we can only get a glimpse of Divine truth by way of analysis, since things which in God are one, are manifold in our intellect. Therefore matters of faith should be divided into articles. I answer that the word article is apparently derived from the Greek; for the Greek (arthron) [*Cf. William of Auxerre, Summa Aurea] which the Latin renders articulus, signifies a fitting together of distinct parts: wherefore the small parts of the body which fit together are called the articulations of the limbs. Likewise, in the Greek grammar, articles are parts of speech which are affixed to words to show their gender, number or case. Again in rhetoric, articles are parts that fit together in a sentence, for Tully says ( Rhet. iv) that an article is composed of words each pronounced singly and separately, thus: Your passion, your voice, your look, have struck terror into your foes. Hence matters of Christian faith are said to contain distinct articles, in so far as they are divided into parts, and fit together. Now the object of faith is something unseen in connection with God, as stated above (Article [4]). Consequently any matter that, for a special reason, is unseen, is a special article; whereas when several matters are known or not known, under the same aspect, we are not to distinguish various articles. Thus one encounters one difficulty in seeing that God suffered, and another in seeing that He rose again from the dead, wherefore the article of the Resurrection is distinct from the article of the Passion. But that He suffered, died and was buried, present the same difficulty, so that if one be accepted, it is not difficult to accept the others; wherefore all these belong to one article. Reply to Objection: 1. Some things are proposed to our belief are in themselves of faith, while others are of faith, not in themselves but only in relation to others: even as in sciences certain propositions are put forward on their own account, while others are put forward in order to manifest others. Now, since the chief object of faith consists in those things which we hope to see, according to He 11,2: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, it follows that those things are in themselves of faith, which order us directly to eternal life. Such are the Trinity of Persons in Almighty God [*The Leonine Edition reads: The Three Persons, the omnipotence of God, etc.], the mystery of Christs Incarnation, and the like: and these are distinct articles of faith . On the other hand certain things in Holy Writ are proposed to our belief, not chiefly on their own account, but for the manifestation of those mentioned above: for instance, that Abraham had two sons, that a dead man rose again at the touch of Eliseus bones, and the like, which are related in Holy Writ for the purpose of manifesting the Divine mystery or the Incarnation of Christ: and such things should not form distinct articles. 4 2. The formal aspect of the object of faith can be taken in two ways: first, on the part of the thing believed, and thus there is one formal aspect of all matters of faith, viz. the First Truth:
4

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, In I Sent., q. 1, art. 3: Whether this science is speculative or practical (tr. Br. Alexis Bugnolo): [cont.]

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and from this point of view there is no distinction of articles. Secondly, the formal aspect of matters of faith, can be considered from our point of view; and thus the formal aspect of a matter of faith is that it is something unseen; and from this point of view there are various distinct articles of faith, as we saw above. 3. This definition of an article is taken from an etymology of the word as derived from the Latin, rather than in accordance with its real meaning, as derived from the Greek: hence it does not carry much weight. Yet even then it could be said that although faith is exacted of no man by a necessity of coercion, since belief is a voluntary act, yet it is exacted of him by a necessity of end, since he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and without faith it is impossible to please God, as the Apostle declares (He 11,6).

Article 7
Whether the articles of faith have increased in course of time? Objection: 1. It would seem that the articles of faith have not increased in course of time. Because, as the Apostle says ( He 11,1), faith is the substance of things to be hoped for. Now the same things are to be hoped for at all times. Therefore, at all times, the same things are to be believed. 2. Further, development has taken place, in sciences devised by man, on account of the lack of knowledge in those who discovered them, as the Philosopher observes ( Metaph. ii). Now the doctrine of faith was not devised by man, but was delivered to us by God, as stated in Ep 2,8: It is the gift of God. Since then there can be no lack of knowledge in God, it seems that knowledge of matters of faith was perfect from the beginning and did not increase as time went on. 3. Further, the operation of grace proceeds in orderly fashion no less than the operation of nature. Now nature always makes a beginning with perfect things, as Boethius states (De Consol. iii). Therefore it seems that the operation of grace also began with perfect things, so that those who were the first to deliver the faith, knew it most perfectly. 4. Further, just as the faith of Christ was delivered to us through the apostles, so too, in the Old Testament, the knowledge of faith was delivered by the early fathers to those who came later, according to Dt 32,7: Ask thy father, and he will declare to thee. Now the apostles were most fully instructed about the mysteries, for they received them more fully than others, even as they received them earlier, as a gloss says on Rm 8,23: Ourselves also who have the first fruits of the Spirit. Therefore it seems that knowledge of matters of faith has not increased as time went on. On the contrary Gregory says (Hom. xvi in Ezech.) that the knowledge of the holy fathers increased as time went on . . . and the nearer they were to Our Saviors coming, the more fully did they received the mysteries of salvation. I answer that The articles of faith stand in the same relation to the doctrine of faith, as self-evident principles to a teaching based on natural reason. Among these principles
And as for what is raised in objection, that this science concerns itself with particulars, it is to be said that it is not concerned with particulars insofar as they are particulars, but insofar as they are examples of how actions should be done: and this is also used in moral science; because the operations of particulars are concerned with particulars; hence things pertaining to morals are shown more clearly by way of particular examples.

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there is a certain order, so that some are contained implicitly in others; thus all principles are reduced, as to their first principle, to this one: The same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time, as the Philosopher states ( Metaph. iv, text. 9). In like manner all the articles are contained implicitly in certain primary matters of faith, such as Gods existence, and His providence over the salvation of man, according to He 11: He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him. For the existence of God includes all that we believe to exist in God eternally, and in these our happiness consists; while belief in His providence includes all those things which God dispenses in time, for mans salvation, and which are the way to that happiness: and in this way, again, some of those articles which follow from these are contained in others: thus faith in the Redemption of mankind includes belief in the Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth. Accordingly we must conclude that, as regards the substance of the articles of faith, they have not received any increase as time went on: since whatever those who lived later have believed, was contained, albeit implicitly, in the faith of those Fathers who preceded them. But there was an increase in the number of articles believed explicitly, since to those who lived in later times some were known explicitly which were not known explicitly by those who lived before them. Hence the Lord said to Moses (Ex 6,2-3): I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob [*Vulg.: I am the Lord that appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob] . . . and My name Adonai I did not show them: David also said ( Ps 118,100): I have had understanding above ancients: and the Apostle says (Ep 3,5) that the mystery of Christ, in other generations was not known, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets. Reply to Objection: 1. Among men the same things were always to be hoped for from Christ. But as they did not acquire this hope save through Christ, the further they were removed from Christ in point of time, the further they were from obtaining what they hoped for. Hence the Apostle says (He 11,13): All these died according to faith, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off. Now the further off a thing is the less distinctly is it seen; wherefore those who were nigh to Christs advent had a more distinct knowledge of the good things to be hoped for. 2. Progress in knowledge occurs in two ways. First, on the part of the teacher, be he one or many, who makes progress in knowledge as time goes on: and this is the kind of progress that takes place in sciences devised by man. Secondly, on the part of the learner; thus the master, who has perfect knowledge of the art, does not deliver it all at once to his disciple from the very outset, for he would not be able to take it all in, but he condescends to the disciples capacity and instructs him little by little. It is in this way that men made progress in the knowledge of faith as time went on. Hence the Apostle ( Ga 3,24) compares the state of the Old Testament to childhood. 2. Two causes are requisite before actual generation can take place, an agent, namely, and matter. In the order of the active cause, the more perfect is naturally first; and in this way nature makes a beginning with perfect things, since the imperfect is not brought to perfection, except by something perfect already in existence. On the other hand, in the order of the material cause, the imperfect comes first, and in this way nature proceeds from the imperfect to the perfect. Now in the manifestation of faith, God is the active cause, having perfect knowledge from all eternity; while man is likened to matter in receiving the influx of Gods action. Hence, among men, the knowledge of faith had to proceed from imperfection to perfection; and, although some men have been after the manner of active causes, through being doctors of faith, nevertheless the manifestation of the Spirit is given to such men for the common good, according to 1Co 12,7; so that the knowledge of faith was imparted to the Fathers who were instructors in the faith, so far as was necessary at the time for the instruction of the people, either openly or in figures.

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3. The ultimate consummation of grace was effected by Christ, wherefore the time of His coming is called the time of fulness [*Vulg.: fulness of time] ( Ga 4,4). Hence those who were nearest to Christ, wherefore before, like John the Baptist, or after, like the apostles, had a fuller knowledge of the mysteries of faith; for even with regard to mans state we find that the perfection of manhood comes in youth, and that a mans state is all the more perfect, whether before or after, the nearer it is to the time of his youth.

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Cf. IIa-IIae, q. 4
OF THE VIRTUE ITSELF OF FAITH (EIGHT ARTICLES) We must now consider the virtue itself of faith, and, in the first place, faith itself; secondly, those who have faith; thirdly, the cause of faith; fourthly, its effects. Under the first head there are eight points of inquiry: (1) What is faith? (2) In what power of the soul does it reside? (3) Whether its form is charity? (4) Whether living [formata] faith and lifeless [informis] faith are one identically? (5) Whether faith is a virtue? (6) Whether it is one virtue? (7) Of its relation to the other virtues; (8) Of its certitude as compared with the certitude of the intellectual virtues. Article 1 Whether this is a fitting definition of faith: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not? Objection 1: It would seem that the Apostle gives an unfitting definition of faith (Heb. 11:1) when he says: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For no quality is a substance: whereas faith is a quality, since it is a theological virtue, as stated above (FS, Q[62], A[3]). Therefore it is not a substance. Objection 2: Further, different virtues have different objects. Now things to be hoped for are the object of hope. Therefore they should not be included in a definition of faith, as though they were its object. Objection 3: Further, faith is perfected by charity rather than by hope, since charity is the form of faith, as we shall state further on (A[3]). Therefore the definition of faith should have included the thing to be loved rather than the thing to be hoped for. Objection 4: Further, the same thing should not be placed in different genera. Now substance and evidence are different genera, and neither is subalternate to the other. Therefore it is unfitting to state that faith is both substance and evidence. Objection 5: Further, evidence manifests the truth of the matter for which it is adduced. Now a thing is said to be apparent when its truth is already manifest. Therefore it seems to imply a contradiction to speak of evidence of things that appear not: and so faith is unfittingly defined. On the contrary, The authority of the Apostle suffices. I answer that, Though some say that the above words of the Apostle are not a definition of faith, yet if we consider the matter aright, this definition overlooks none of the points in reference to which faith can be defined, albeit the words themselves are not arranged in the form of a definition, just as the philosophers touch on the principles of the syllogism, without employing the syllogistic form.

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In order to make this clear, we must observe that since habits are known by their acts, and acts by their objects, faith, being a habit, should be defined by its proper act in relation to its proper object. Now the act of faith is to believe, as stated above (Q[2], AA[2],3), which is an act of the intellect determinate to one object of the wills command. Hence an act of faith is related both to the object of the will, i.e. to the good and the end, and to the object of the intellect, i.e. to the true. And since faith, through being a theological virtue, as stated above (FS, Q[62], A[2]), has one same thing for object and end, its object and end must, of necessity, be in proportion to one another. Now it has been already stated (Q[1], AA[1],4) that the object of faith is the First Truth, as unseen, and whatever we hold on account thereof: so that it must needs be under the aspect of something unseen that the First Truth is the end of the act of faith, which aspect is that of a thing hoped for, according to the Apostle (Rom. 8:25): We hope for that which we see not: because to see the truth is to possess it. Now one hopes not for what one has already, but for what one has not, as stated above (FS, Q[67], A[4]). Accordingly the relation of the act of faith to its end which is the object of the will, is indicated by the words: Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for. For we are wont to call by the name of substance, the first beginning of a thing, especially when the whole subsequent thing is virtually contained in the first beginning; for instance, we might say that the first self-evident principles are the substance of science, because, to wit, these principles are in us the first beginnings of science, the whole of which is itself contained in them virtually. In this way then faith is said to be the substance of things to be hoped for, for the reason that in us the first beginning of things to be hoped for is brought about by the assent of faith, which contains virtually all things to be hoped for. Because we hope to be made happy through seeing the unveiled truth to which our faith cleaves, as was made evident when we were speaking of happiness (FS, Q[3], A[8]; FS, Q[4], A[3]). The relationship of the act of faith to the object of the intellect, considered as the object of faith, is indicated by the words, evidence of things that appear not, where evidence is taken for the result of evidence. For evidence induces the intellect to adhere to a truth, wherefore the firm adhesion of the intellect to the non-apparent truth of faith is called evidence here. Hence another reading has conviction, because to wit, the intellect of the believer is convinced by Divine authority, so as to assent to what it sees not. Accordingly if anyone would reduce the foregoing words to the form of a definition, he may say that faith is a habit of the mind, whereby eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent. In this way faith is distinguished from all other things pertaining to the intellect. For when we describe it as evidence, we distinguish it from opinion, suspicion, and doubt, which do not make the intellect adhere to anything firmly; when we go on to say, of things that appear not, we distinguish it from science and understanding, the object of which is something apparent; and when we say that it is the substance of things to be hoped for, we distinguish the virtue of faith from faith commonly so called, which has no reference to the beatitude we hope for. Whatever other definitions are given of faith, are explanations of this one given by the Apostle. For when Augustine says (Tract. xl in Joan.: QQ. Evang. ii, qu. 39) that faith is a virtue whereby we believe what we do not see, and when Damascene says ( De Fide Orth. iv, 11) that faith is an assent without research, and when others say that faith is that certainty of the mind about absent things which surpasses opinion but falls short of science, these all amount to the same as the Apostles words: Evidence of things that appear not; and when Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii) that faith is the solid foundation of the believer, establishing him in the truth, and showing forth the truth in him, comes to the same as substance of things to be hoped for.

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Reply to Objection 1: Substance here does not stand for the supreme genus condivided with the other genera, but for that likeness to substance which is found in each genus, inasmuch as the first thing in a genus contains the others virtually and is said to be the substance thereof. Reply to Objection 2: Since faith pertains to the intellect as commanded by the will, it must needs be directed, as to its end, to the objects of those virtues which perfect the will, among which is hope, as we shall prove further on (Q[18], A[1]). For this reason the definition of faith includes the object of hope. Reply to Objection 3: Love may be of the seen and of the unseen, of the present and of the absent. Consequently a thing to be loved is not so adapted to faith, as a thing to be hoped for, since hope is always of the absent and the unseen. Reply to Objection 4: Substance and evidence as included in the definition of faith, do not denote various genera of faith, nor different acts, but different relationships of one act to different objects, as is clear from what has been said. Reply to Objection 5: Evidence taken from the proper principles of a thing, make it apparent, whereas evidence taken from Divine authority does not make a thing apparent in itself, and such is the evidence referred to in the definition of faith. Whether faith resides in the intellect? Article 2 Objection 1: It would seem that faith does not reside in the intellect. For Augustine says ( De Praedest. Sanct. v) that faith resides in the believers will. Now the will is a power distinct from the intellect. Therefore faith does not reside in the intellect. Objection 2: Further, the assent of faith to believe anything, proceeds from the will obeying God. Therefore it seems that faith owes all its praise to obedience. Now obedience is in the will. Therefore faith is in the will, and not in the intellect. Objection 3: Further, the intellect is either speculative or practical. Now faith is not in the speculative intellect, since this is not concerned with things to be sought or avoided, as stated in De Anima iii, 9, so that it is not a principle of operation, whereas faith . . . worketh by charity (Gal. 5:6). Likewise, neither is it in the practical intellect, the object of which is some true, contingent thing, that can be made or done. For the object of faith is the Eternal Truth, as was shown above (Q[1], A[1]). Therefore faith does not reside in the intellect. On the contrary, Faith is succeeded by the heavenly vision, according to 1 Cor. 13:12: We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now vision is in the intellect. Therefore faith is likewise. I answer that, Since faith is a virtue, its act must needs be perfect. Now, for the perfection of an act proceeding from two active principles, each of these principles must be perfect: for it is not possible for a thing to be sawn well, unless the sawyer possess the art, and the saw be well fitted for sawing. Now, in a power of the soul, which is related to opposite objects, a disposition to act well is a habit, as stated above (FS, Q[49], A[4], ad 1,2,3). Wherefore an act that proceeds from two such powers must be perfected by a habit residing in each of them. Again, it has been stated above (Q[2], AA[1],2) that to believe is an act of the intellect

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inasmuch as the will moves it to assent. And this act proceeds from the will and the intellect, both of which have a natural aptitude to be perfected in this way. Consequently, if the act of faith is to be perfect, there needs to be a habit in the will as well as in the intellect: even as there needs to be the habit of prudence in the reason, besides the habit of temperance in the concupiscible faculty, in order that the act of that faculty be perfect. Now, to believe is immediately an act of the intellect, because the object of that act is the true, which pertains properly to the intellect. Consequently faith, which is the proper principle of that act, must needs reside in the intellect. Reply to Objection 1: Augustine takes faith for the act of faith, which is described as depending on the believers will, in so far as his intellect assents to matters of faith at the command of the will. Reply to Objection 2: Not only does the will need to be ready to obey but also the intellect needs to be well disposed to follow the command of the will, even as the concupiscible faculty needs to be well disposed in order to follow the command of reason; hence there needs to be a habit of virtue not only in the commanding will but also in the assenting intellect. Reply to Objection 3: Faith resides in the speculative intellect, as evidenced by its object. But since this object, which is the First Truth, is the end of all our desires and actions, as Augustine proves (De Trin. i, 8), it follows that faith worketh by charity just as the speculative intellect becomes practical by extension (De Anima iii, 10). Whether charity is the form of faith? Article 3 Objection 1: It would seem that charity is not the form of faith. For each thing derives its species from its form. When therefore two things are opposite members of a division, one cannot be the form of the other. Now faith and charity are stated to be opposite members of a division, as different species of virtue (1 Cor. 13:13). Therefore charity is not the form of faith. Objection 2: Further, a form and the thing of which it is the form are in one subject, since together they form one simply. Now faith is in the intellect, while charity is in the will. Therefore charity is not the form of faith. Objection 3: Further, the form of a thing is a principle thereof. Now obedience, rather than charity, seems to be the principle of believing, on the part of the will, according to Rom. 1:5: For obedience to the faith in all nations. Therefore obedience rather than charity, is the form of faith. On the contrary, Each thing works through its form. Now faith works through charity. Therefore the love of charity is the form of faith. I answer that, As appears from what has been said above (FS, Q[1], A[3]; FS, Q[18], A[6]), voluntary acts take their species from their end which is the wills object. Now that which gives a thing its species, is after the manner of a form in natural things. Wherefore the form of any voluntary act is, in a manner, the end to which that act is directed, both because it takes its species therefrom, and because the mode of an action should correspond proportionately to the end. Now it is evident from what has been said (A[1]), that the act of

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faith is directed to the object of the will, i.e. the good, as to its end: and this good which is the end of faith, viz. the Divine Good, is the proper object of charity. Therefore charity is called the form of faith in so far as the act of faith is perfected and formed by charity. Reply to Objection 1: Charity is called the form of faith because it quickens the act of faith. Now nothing hinders one act from being quickened by different habits, so as to be reduced to various species in a certain order, as stated above (FS, Q[18], AA[6],7; FS, Q[61], A[2]) when we were treating of human acts in general. Reply to Objection 2: This objection is true of an intrinsic form. But it is not thus that charity is the form of faith, but in the sense that it quickens the act of faith, as explained above. Reply to Objection 3: Even obedience, and hope likewise, and whatever other virtue might precede the act of faith, is quickened by charity, as we shall show further on (Q[23], A[8]), and consequently charity is spoken of as the form of faith. Whether lifeless faith can become living, or living faith, lifeless? Article 4 Objection 1: It would seem that lifeless faith does not become living, or living faith lifeless. For, according to 1 Cor. 13:10, when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. Now lifeless faith is imperfect in comparison with living faith. Therefore when living faith comes, lifeless faith is done away, so that they are not one identical habit. Objection 2: Further, a dead thing does not become a living thing. Now lifeless faith is dead, according to James 2:20: Faith without works is dead. Therefore lifeless faith cannot become living. Objection 3: Further, Gods grace, by its advent, has no less effect in a believer than in an unbeliever. Now by coming to an unbeliever it causes the habit of faith. Therefore when it comes to a believer, who hitherto had the habit of lifeless faith, it causes another habit of faith in him. Objection 4: Further, as Boethius says (In Categ. Arist. i), accidents cannot be altered. Now faith is an accident. Therefore the same faith cannot be at one time living, and at another, lifeless. On the contrary, A gloss on the words, Faith without works is dead (James 2:20) adds, by which it lives once more. Therefore faith which was lifeless and without form hitherto, becomes formed and living. I answer that, There have been various opinions on this question. For some [*William of Auxerre, Sum. Aur. III, iii, 15] have said that living and lifeless faith are distinct habits, but that when living faith comes, lifeless faith is done away, and that, in like manner, when a man sins mortally after having living faith, a new habit of lifeless faith is infused into him by God. But it seems unfitting that grace should deprive man of a gift of God by coming to him, and that a gift of God should be infused into man, on account of a mortal sin.

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Consequently others [*Alexander of Hales, Sum. Theol. iii, 64] have said that living and lifeless faith are indeed distinct habits, but that, all the same, when living faith comes the habit of lifeless faith is not taken away, and that it remains together with the habit of living faith in the same subject. Yet again it seems unreasonable that the habit of lifeless faith should remain inactive in a person having living faith. We must therefore hold differently that living and lifeless faith are one and the same habit. The reason is that a habit is differentiated by that which directly pertains to that habit. Now since faith is a perfection of the intellect, that pertains directly to faith, which pertains to the intellect. Again, what pertains to the will, does not pertain directly to faith, so as to be able to differentiate the habit of faith. But the distinction of living from lifeless faith is in respect of something pertaining to the will, i.e. charity, and not in respect of something pertaining to the intellect. Therefore living and lifeless faith are not distinct habits. Reply to Objection 1: The saying of the Apostle refers to those imperfect things from which imperfection is inseparable, for then, when the perfect comes the imperfect must needs be done away. Thus with the advent of clear vision, faith is done away, because it is essentially of the things that appear not. When, however, imperfection is not inseparable from the imperfect thing, the same identical thing which was imperfect becomes perfect. Thus childhood is not essential to man and consequently the same identical subject who was a child, becomes a man. Now lifelessness is not essential to faith, but is accidental thereto as stated above. Therefore lifeless faith itself becomes living. Reply to Objection 2: That which makes an animal live is inseparable from an animal, because it is its substantial form, viz. the soul: consequently a dead thing cannot become a living thing, and a living and a dead thing differ specifically. On the other hand that which gives faith its form, or makes it live, is not essential to faith. Hence there is no comparison. Reply to Objection 3: Grace causes faith not only when faith begins anew to be in a man, but also as long as faith lasts. For it has been said above (FP, Q[104], A[1]; FS, Q[109], A[9]) that God is always working mans justification, even as the sun is always lighting up the air. Hence grace is not less effective when it comes to a believer than when it comes to an unbeliever: since it causes faith in both, in the former by confirming and perfecting it, in the latter by creating it anew. We might also reply that it is accidental, namely on account of the disposition of the subject, that grace does not cause faith in one who has it already: just as, on the other hand, a second mortal sin does not take away grace from one who has already lost it through a previous mortal sin. Reply to Objection 4: When living faith becomes lifeless, faith is not changed, but its subject, the soul, which at one time has faith without charity, and at another time, with charity. Article 5 Whether faith is a virtue? Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not a virtue. For virtue is directed to the good, since it is virtue that makes its subject good, as the Philosopher states ( Ethic. ii, 6). But faith is directed to the true. Therefore faith is not a virtue.

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Objection 2: Further, infused virtue is more perfect than acquired virtue. Now faith, on account of its imperfection, is not placed among the acquired intellectual virtues, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. vi, 3). Much less, therefore, can it be considered an infused virtue. Objection 3: Further, living and lifeless faith are the same species, as stated above (A[4]). Now lifeless faith is not a virtue, since it is not connected with the other virtues. Therefore neither is living faith a virtue. Objection 4: Further, the gratuitous graces and the fruits are distinct from the virtues. But faith is numbered among the gratuitous graces (1 Cor. 12:9) and likewise among the fruits (Gal. 5:23). Therefore faith is not a virtue. On the contrary, Man is justified by the virtues, since justice is all virtue, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. v, 1). Now man is justified by faith according to Rom. 5:1: Being justified therefore by faith let us have peace, etc. Therefore faith is a virtue. I answer that, As shown above, it is by human virtue that human acts are rendered good; hence, any habit that is always the principle of a good act, may be called a human virtue. Such a habit is living faith. For since to believe is an act of the intellect assenting to the truth at the command of the will, two things are required that this act may be perfect: one of which is that the intellect should infallibly tend to its object, which is the true; while the other is that the will should be infallibly directed to the last end, on account of which it assents to the true: and both of these are to be found in the act of living faith. For it belongs to the very essence of faith that the intellect should ever tend to the true, since nothing false can be the object of faith, as proved above (Q[1], A[3]): while the effect of charity, which is the form of faith, is that the soul ever has its will directed to a good end. Therefore living faith is a virtue. On the other hand, lifeless faith is not a virtue, because, though the act of lifeless faith is duly perfect on the part of the intellect, it has not its due perfection as regards the will: just as if temperance be in the concupiscible, without prudence being in the rational part, temperance is not a virtue, as stated above (FS, Q[65], A[1]), because the act of temperance requires both an act of reason, and an act of the concupiscible faculty, even as the act of faith requires an act of the will, and an act of the intellect. Reply to Objection 1: The truth is itself the good of the intellect, since it is its perfection: and consequently faith has a relation to some good in so far as it directs the intellect to the true. Furthermore, it has a relation to the good considered as the object of the will, inasmuch as it is formed by charity. Reply to Objection 2: The faith of which the Philosopher speaks is based on human reasoning in a conclusion which does not follow, of necessity, from its premisses; and which is subject to be false: hence such like faith is not a virtue. On the other hand, the faith of which we are speaking is based on the Divine Truth, which is infallible, and consequently its object cannot be anything false; so that faith of this kind can be a virtue. Reply to Objection 3: Living and lifeless faith do not differ specifically, as though they belonged to different species. But they differ as perfect and imperfect within the same species. Hence lifeless faith, being imperfect, does not satisfy the conditions of a perfect virtue, for virtue is a kind of perfection (Phys. vii, text. 18). Reply to Objection 4: Some say that faith which is numbered among the gratuitous graces is lifeless faith. But this is said without reason, since the gratuitous graces, which are

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mentioned in that passage, are not common to all the members of the Church: wherefore the Apostle says: There are diversities of graces, and again, To one is given this grace and to another that. Now lifeless faith is common to all members of the Church, because its lifelessness is not part of its substance, if we consider it as a gratuitous gift. We must, therefore, say that in that passage, faith denotes a certain excellency of faith, for instance, constancy in faith, according to a gloss, or the word of faith. Faith is numbered among the fruits, in so far as it gives a certain pleasure in its act by reason of its certainty, wherefore the gloss on the fifth chapter to the Galatians, where the fruits are enumerated, explains faith as being certainty about the unseen. Whether faith is one virtue? Article 6 Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not one. For just as faith is a gift of God according to Eph. 2:8, so also wisdom and knowledge are numbered among Gods gifts according to Is. 11:2. Now wisdom and knowledge differ in this, that wisdom is about eternal things, and knowledge about temporal things, as Augustine states ( De Trin. xii, 14,15). Since, then, faith is about eternal things, and also about some temporal things, it seems that faith is not one virtue, but divided into several parts. Objection 2: Further, confession is an act of faith, as stated above (Q[3], A[1]). Now confession of faith is not one and the same for all: since what we confess as past, the fathers of old confessed as yet to come, as appears from Is. 7:14: Behold a virgin shall conceive. Therefore faith is not one. Objection 3: Further, faith is common to all believers in Christ. But one accident cannot be in many subjects. Therefore all cannot have one faith. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Eph. 4:5): One Lord, one faith. I answer that, If we take faith as a habit, we can consider it in two ways. First on the part of the object, and thus there is one faith. Because the formal object of faith is the First Truth, by adhering to which we believe whatever is contained in the faith. Secondly, on the part of the subject, and thus faith is differentiated according as it is in various subjects. Now it is evident that faith, just as any other habit, takes its species from the formal aspect of its object, but is individualized by its subject. Hence if we take faith for the habit whereby we believe, it is one specifically, but differs numerically according to its various subjects. If, on the other hand, we take faith for that which is believed, then, again, there is one faith, since what is believed by all is one same thing: for though the things believed, which all agree in believing, be diverse from one another, yet they are all reduced to one. Reply to Objection 1: Temporal matters which are proposed to be believed, do not belong to the object of faith, except in relation to something eternal, viz. the First Truth, as stated above (Q[1], A[1]). Hence there is one faith of things both temporal and eternal. It is different with wisdom and knowledge, which consider temporal and eternal matters under their respective aspects.

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Reply to Objection 2: This difference of past and future arises, not from any difference in the thing believed, but from the different relationships of believers to the one thing believed, as also we have mentioned above (FS, Q[103], A[4]; FS, Q[107], A[1], ad 1). Reply to Objection 3: This objection considers numerical diversity of faith. Whether faith is the first of the virtues? Article 7 Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not the first of the virtues. For a gloss on Lk. 12:4, I say to you My friends, says that fortitude is the foundation of faith. Now the foundation precedes that which is founded thereon. Therefore faith is not the first of the virtues. Objection 2: Further, a gloss on Ps. 36, Be not emulous, says that hope leads on to faith. Now hope is a virtue, as we shall state further on (Q[17], A[1]). Therefore faith is not the first of the virtues. Objection 3: Further, it was stated above (A[2]) that the intellect of the believer is moved, out of obedience to God, to assent to matters of faith. Now obedience also is a virtue. Therefore faith is not the first virtue. Objection 4: Further, not lifeless but living faith is the foundation, as a gloss remarks on 1 Cor. 3:11 [*Augustine, De Fide et Oper. xvi.]. Now faith is formed by charity, as stated above (A[3]). Therefore it is owing to charity that faith is the foundation: so that charity is the foundation yet more than faith is (for the foundation is the first part of a building) and consequently it seems to precede faith. Objection 5: Further, the order of habits is taken from the order of acts. Now, in the act of faith, the act of the will which is perfected by charity, precedes the act of the intellect, which is perfected by faith, as the cause which precedes its effect. Therefore charity precedes faith. Therefore faith is not the first of the virtues. On the contrary, The Apostle says (Heb. 11:1) that faith is the substance of things to be hoped for. Now the substance of a thing is that which comes first . Therefore faith is first among the virtues. I answer that, One thing can precede another in two ways: first, by its very nature; secondly, by accident. Faith, by its very nature, precedes all other virtues. For since the end is the principle in matters of action, as stated above (FS, Q[13], A[3]; FS, Q[34], A[4], ad 1), the theological virtues, the object of which is the last end, must needs precede all the others. Again, the last end must of necessity be present to the intellect before it is present to the will, since the will has no inclination for anything except in so far as it is apprehended by the intellect. Hence, as the last end is present in the will by hope and charity, and in the intellect, by faith, the first of all the virtues must, of necessity, be faith, because natural knowledge cannot reach God as the object of heavenly bliss, which is the aspect under which hope and charity tend towards Him. On the other hand, some virtues can precede faith accidentally. For an accidental cause precedes its effect accidentally. Now that which removes an obstacle is a kind of accidental cause, according to the Philosopher ( Phys. viii, 4): and in this sense certain virtues may be said to precede faith accidentally, in so far as they remove obstacles to belief. Thus fortitude

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removes the inordinate fear that hinders faith; humility removes pride, whereby a man refuses to submit himself to the truth of faith. The same may be said of some other virtues, although there are no real virtues, unless faith be presupposed, as Augustine states ( Contra Julian. iv, 3). This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection. Reply to Objection 2: Hope cannot lead to faith absolutely. For one cannot hope to obtain eternal happiness, unless one believes this possible, since hope does not tend to the impossible, as stated above (FS, Q[40], A[1]). It is, however, possible for one to be led by hope to persevere in faith, or to hold firmly to faith; and it is in this sense that hope is said to lead to faith. Reply to Objection 3: Obedience is twofold: for sometimes it denotes the inclination of the will to fulfil Gods commandments. In this way it is not a special virtue, but is a general condition of every virtue; since all acts of virtue come under the precepts of the Divine law, as stated above (FS, Q[100], A[2]); and thus it is requisite for faith. In another way, obedience denotes an inclination to fulfil the commandments considered as a duty. In this way it is a special virtue, and a part of justice: for a man does his duty by his superior when he obeys him: and thus obedience follows faith, whereby man knows that God is his superior, Whom he must obey. Reply to Objection 4: To be a foundation a thing requires not only to come first, but also to be connected with the other parts of the building: since the building would not be founded on it unless the other parts adhered to it. Now the connecting bond of the spiritual edifice is charity, according to Col. 3:14: Above all . . . things have charity which is the bond of perfection. Consequently faith without charity cannot be the foundation: and yet it does not follow that charity precedes faith. Reply to Objection 5: Some act of the will is required before faith, but not an act of the will quickened by charity. This latter act presupposes faith, because the will cannot tend to God with perfect love, unless the intellect possesses right faith about Him. Article 8 Whether faith is more certain than science and the other intellectual virtues? Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not more certain than science and the other intellectual virtues. For doubt is opposed to certitude, wherefore a thing would seem to be the more certain, through being less doubtful, just as a thing is the whiter, the less it has of an admixture of black. Now understanding, science and also wisdom are free of any doubt about their objects; whereas the believer may sometimes suffer a movement of doubt, and doubt about matters of faith. Therefore faith is no more certain than the intellectual virtues. Objection 2: Further, sight is more certain than hearing. But faith is through hearing according to Rom. 10:17; whereas understanding, science and wisdom imply some kind of intellectual sight. Therefore science and understanding are more certain than faith. Further, in matters concerning the intellect, the more perfect is the more certain. Now understanding is more perfect than faith, since faith is the way to understanding, according to another version [*The Septuagint] of Is. 7:9: If you will not believe, you shall not understand [Vulg.: continue]: and Augustine says ( De Trin. xiv, 1) that faith is

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strengthened by science. Therefore it seems that science or understanding is more certain than faith. On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Thess. 2:15): When you had received of us the word of the hearing, i.e. by faith . . . you received it not as the word of men, but, as it is indeed, the word of God. Now nothing is more certain than the word of God. Therefore science is not more certain than faith; nor is anything else. I answer that, As stated above (FS, Q[57], A[4], ad 2) two of the intellectual virtues are about contingent matter, viz. prudence and art; to which faith is preferable in point of certitude, by reason of its matter, since it is about eternal things, which never change, whereas the other three intellectual virtues, viz. wisdom, science [*In English the corresponding gift is called knowledge] and understanding, are about necessary things, as stated above (FS, Q[57], A[5], ad 3). But it must be observed that wisdom, science and understanding may be taken in two ways: first, as intellectual virtues, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 2,3); secondly, for the gifts of the Holy Ghost. If we consider them in the first way, we must note that certitude can be looked at in two ways. First, on the part of its cause, and thus a thing which has a more certain cause, is itself more certain. In this way faith is more certain than those three virtues, because it is founded on the Divine truth, whereas the aforesaid three virtues are based on human reason. Secondly, certitude may be considered on the part of the subject, and thus the more a mans intellect lays hold of a thing, the more certain it is. In this way, faith is less certain, because matters of faith are above the human intellect, whereas the objects of the aforesaid three virtues are not. Since, however, a thing is judged simply with regard to its cause, but relatively, with respect to a disposition on the part of the subject, it follows that faith is more certain simply, while the others are more certain relatively, i.e. for us. Likewise if these three be taken as gifts received in this present life, they are related to faith as to their principle which they presuppose: so that again, in this way, faith is more certain. Reply to Objection 1: This doubt is not on the side of the cause of faith, but on our side, in so far as we do not fully grasp matters of faith with our intellect. Reply to Objection 2: Other things being equal sight is more certain than hearing; but if (the authority of) the person from whom we hear greatly surpasses that of the seers sight, hearing is more certain than sight: thus a man of little science is more certain about what he hears on the authority of an expert in science, than about what is apparent to him according to his own reason: and much more is a man certain about what he hears from God, Who cannot be deceived, than about what he sees with his own reason, which can be mistaken. Reply to Objection 3: The gifts of understanding and knowledge are more perfect than the knowledge of faith in the point of their greater clearness, but not in regard to more certain adhesion: because the whole certitude of the gifts of understanding and knowledge, arises from the certitude of faith, even as the certitude of the knowledge of conclusions arises from the certitude of premisses. But in so far as science, wisdom and understanding are intellectual virtues, they are based upon the natural light of reason, which falls short of the certitude of Gods word, on which faith is founded.

Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol., Ia-IIae, q. 67, art. 3. (tr. English Dominican Fathers):

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Whether faith remains after this life? Objection 1: It would seem that faith remains after this life. Because faith is more excellent than science. Now science remains after this life, as stated above (Article [2]). Therefore faith remains also. Objection 2: Further, it is written (1 Cor. 3: 11): Other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus, i.e. faith in Jesus Christ. Now if the foundation is removed, that which is built upon it remains no more. Therefore, if faith remains not after this life, no other virtue remains. Objection 3: Further, the knowledge of faith and the knowledge of glory differ as perfect from imperfect. Now imperfect knowledge is compatible with perfect knowledge: thus in an angel there can be evening and morning knowledge [*Cf. FP, Question [58], Article [6]]; and a man can have science through a demonstrative syllogism, together with opinion through a probable syllogism, about one same conclusion. Therefore after this life faith also is compatible with the knowledge of glory. On the contrary, The Apostle says (2 Cor. 5: 6,7): While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord: for we walk by faith and not by sight. But those who are in glory are not absent from the Lord, but present to Him. Therefore after this life faith does not remain in the life of glory. I answer that, Opposition is of itself the proper cause of one thing being excluded from another, in so far, to wit, as wherever two things are opposite to one another, we find opposition of affirmation and negation. Now in some things we find opposition in respect of contrary forms; thus in colors we find white and black. In others we find opposition in respect of perfection and imperfection: wherefore in alterations, more and less are considered to be contraries, as when a thing from being less hot is made more hot ( Phys. v, text. 19). And since perfect and imperfect are opposite to one another, it is impossible for perfection and imperfection to affect the same thing at the same time. Now we must take note that sometimes imperfection belongs to a things very nature, and belongs to its species: even as lack of reason belongs to the very specific nature of a horse and an ox. And since a thing, so long as it remains the same identically, cannot pass from one species to another, it follows that if such an imperfection be removed, the species of that thing is changed: even as it would no longer be an ox or a horse, were it to be rational. Sometimes, however, the imperfection does not belong to the specific nature, but is accidental to the individual by reason of something else; even as sometimes lack of reason is accidental to a man, because he is asleep, or because he is drunk, or for some like reason; and it is evident, that if such an imperfection be removed, the thing remains substantially. Now it is clear that imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: for it is included in its definition; faith being defined as the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not (Heb. 11: 1). Wherefore Augustine says ( Tract. xl in Joan.): Where is faith? Believing without seeing. But it is an imperfect knowledge that is of things unapparent or unseen. Consequently imperfect knowledge belongs to the very nature of faith: therefore it is clear that the knowledge of faith cannot be perfect and remain identically the same. But we must also consider whether it is compatible with perfect knowledge: for there is nothing to prevent some kind of imperfect knowledge from being sometimes with perfect knowledge. Accordingly we must observe that knowledge can be imperfect in three ways: first, on the part of the knowable object; secondly, on the part of the medium; thirdly, on the

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part of the subject. The difference of perfect and imperfect knowledge on the part of the knowable object is seen in the morning and evening knowledge of the angels: for the morning knowledge is about things according to the being which they have in the Word, while the evening knowledge is about things according as they have being in their own natures, which being is imperfect in comparison with the First Being. On the part of the medium, perfect and imperfect knowledge are exemplified in the knowledge of a conclusion through a demonstrative medium, and through a probable medium. On the part of the subject the difference of perfect and imperfect knowledge applies to opinion, faith, and science. For it is essential to opinion that we assent to one of two opposite assertions with fear of the other, so that our adhesion is not firm: to science it is essential to have firm adhesion with intellectual vision, for science possesses certitude which results from the understanding of principles: while faith holds a middle place, for it surpasses opinion in so far as its adhesion is firm, but falls short of science in so far as it lacks vision. Now it is evident that a thing cannot be perfect and imperfect in the same respect; yet the things which differ as perfect and imperfect can be together in the same respect in one and the same other thing. Accordingly, knowledge which is perfect on the part of the object is quite incompatible with imperfect knowledge about the same object; but they are compatible with one another in respect of the same medium or the same subject: for nothing hinders a man from having at one and the same time, through one and the same medium, perfect and imperfect knowledge about two things, one perfect, the other imperfect, e.g. about health and sickness, good and evil. In like manner knowledge that is perfect on the part of the medium is incompatible with imperfect knowledge through one and the same medium: but nothing hinders them being about the same subject or in the same subject: for one man can know the same conclusions through a probable and through a demonstrative medium. Again, knowledge that is perfect on the part of the subject is incompatible with imperfect knowledge in the same subject. Now faith, of its very nature, contains an imperfection on the part of the subject, viz. that the believer sees not what he believes: whereas bliss, of its very nature, implies perfection on the part of the subject, viz. that the Blessed see that which makes them happy, as stated above (Question [3], Article [8]). Hence it is manifest that faith and bliss are incompatible in one and the same subject. Reply to Objection 1: Faith is more excellent than science, on the part of the object, because its object is the First Truth. Yet science has a more perfect mode of knowing its object, which is not incompatible with vision which is the perfection of happiness, as the mode of faith is incompatible. Reply to Objection 2: Faith is the foundation in as much as it is knowledge: consequently when this knowledge is perfected, the foundation will be perfected also. The Reply to the Third Objection is clear from what has been said.

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Introduction to Theology Si non philosophandum, philosophandum est The present anthology serves as an introduction to the science of Sacra Doctrina, in this way bridging and continuing the method and knowledge already obtained in the study of philosophy with that of theology. Both disciplines are not only compatible but necessary as faith and reason. Popes, Councils, and even Founders of Religious Institutes have often extolled the importance and perennial value of St Thomas writings; most recently the Encyclical Fides et Ratio (n.43) pinpoints Divus Thomas as a perennial teacher, having a very particular and relevant role to play in doctrine and method. To ensure a greater audience the texts are in English, with all the technical drawbacks which that may imply. Societas pro doctrinae divulgatione Sancti Thomae TM Index 1. Faith is not demonstrative knowledge: S.Th., I, 46, 2. 2. Why should one believe: Sermon on the Creed, Prologue. 3. Why Faith is necessary for mankind: In Boethii de Trin., III, 1. 4. Theology goes beyond philosophy: Compedium of Theology, I, c.36. 5. Procedural distinction between philosophy and theology: In Boethii de Trin., Prologue. 6. On the use of philosophy by the theologian: In Boethii de Trin., II, 3. 7. All things are created by God: Disputed Questions on the Power of God, III, 5. 8. On Sacred Doctrine: S.Th., I, 1. Faith is not demonstrative knowledge S.Th.,I, 46,2,c. By faith alone do we hold, and by no demonstration can it be proved, that the world did not always exist, as was said above of the mystery of the Trinity (Q32, A1). The reason of this is that the newness of the world cannot be demonstrated on the part of the world itself. For the principle of demonstration is the essence of a thing. Now everything according to its species is abstracted from here and now; whence it is said that universals are everywhere and always. Hence it cannot be demonstrated that man, or heaven, or a stone were not always. Likewise neither can it be demonstrated on the part of the efficient cause, which acts by will. For the will of God cannot be investigated by reason, except as regards those things which God must will of necessity; and what He wills about creatures is not among these, as was said above (Q19, A3). But the divine will can be manifested by revelation, on which faith rests. Hence that the world began to exist is an object of faith, but not of demonstration or science. And it is useful to consider this, lest anyone, presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, should bring forward reasons that are not cogent, so as to give occasion to unbelievers to laugh, thinking that on such grounds we believe things that are of faith. Why one should believe Sermon on the Creed, Prologue. The Evidence of Things that Appear Not.-But someone will say that it is foolish to believe what is not seen, and that one should not believe in things that he cannot see. I answer by saying that the imperfect nature of our intellect takes away the basis of this difficulty. For if man of himself could in a perfect manner know all things visible and invisible, it would indeed be foolish to believe what he does not see. But our manner of knowing is so weak

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that no philosopher could perfectly investigate the nature of even one little fly. We even read that a certain philosopher spent thirty years in solitude in order to know the nature of the bee. If, therefore, our intellect is so weak, it is foolish to be willing to believe concerning God only that which man can know by himself alone. And against this is the word of Job: Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge. One can also answer this question by supposing that a certain master had said something concerning his own special branch of knowledge, and some uneducated person would contradict him for no other reason than that he could not understand what the master said! Such a person would be considered very foolish. So, the intellect of the Angels as greatly exceeds the intellect of the greatest philosopher as much as that of the greatest philosopher exceeds the intellect of the uneducated man. Therefore, the philosopher is foolish if he refuses to believe what an Angel says, and far greater fool to refuse to believe what God says. Against such are these words: For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of men. Then, again, if one were willing to believe only those things which one knows with certitude, one could not live in this world. How could one live unless one believed others? How could one know that this man is ones own father? Therefore, it is necessary that one believe others in matters which one cannot know perfectly of oneself. But no one is so worthy of belief as is God, and hence they who do not believe the words of faith are not wise, but foolish and proud. As the Apostle says: He is proud, knowing nothing. And also: I know whom I have believed; and I am certain. And it is written: Ye who fear the Lord, believe Him and your reward shall not be made void. Finally, one can say also that God proves the truth of the things which faith teaches. Thus, if a king sends letters signed with his seal, no one would dare to say that those letters did not represent the will of the king. In like manner, everything that the Saints believed and handed down to us concerning the faith of Christ is signed with the seal of God. This seal consists of those works which no mere creature could accomplish; they are the miracles by which Christ confirmed the sayings of the Apostles and of the Saints. If, however, you would say that no one has witnessed these miracles, I would reply in this manner. It is a fact that the entire world worshipped idols and that the faith of Christ was persecuted, as the histories of the pagans also testify. But now all are turned to Christwise men and noble and richconverted by the words of the poor and simple preachers of Christ. Now, this fact was either a miracle or it was not. If it is miraculous, you have what you asked for, a visible fact; if it is not, then there could not be a greater miracle than that the whole world should have been converted without miracles. And we need go no further. We are more certain, therefore, in believing the things of faith than those things which can be seen, because Gods knowledge never deceives us, but the visible sense of man is often in error. Faith behooves mankind In Boethii de Trin., III, 1. Faith has something in common with opinion and also with science and understanding; so Hugh of St. Victor places it between science and opinion. With science and understanding it has in common unerring and firm assent. In this respect it differs from opinion, which accepts one of two contraries but fears the other might be correct, and also from doubt, which hesitates between two contraries. With opinion it shares the fact that it has to do with matters that are not clear to the mind, in which respect it differs from science and understanding. Now, as the Metaphysics says there can be two reasons why something is not evident to human knowledge: because of something wanting on the part of the knowable objects themselves, and because of some deficiency on the part of our mind. Examples of something wanting on the part of objects are individual and contingent things that are remote

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

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this knowledge not by anything due to our nature but only by divine grace. So, even for this perfect knowledge certain presuppositions must be offered at the beginning for our belief, and from these we are led to the full knowledge of the things we believe from the beginning. As has been said, the same thing happens in the other sciences. Thus it is said in Isaiah (7:9), according to another version: Unless you shall have believed you will not understand. Presuppositions of this sort are objects of belief for everyone; in this life no one knows or understands them. Theology goes beyond philosophy Compedium of Theology, I, c.36. The truths about God thus far proposed have been subtly discussed by a number of pagan philosophers, although some of them erred concerning these matters. And those who propounded true doctrine in this respect were scarcely able to arrive at such truths even after long and painstaking investigation. But there are other truths about God revealed to us in the teaching of the Christian religion, which were beyond the reach of the philosophers. These are truths about which we are instructed, in accord with the norm of Christian faith, in a way that transcends human perception. The teaching is this: although God is one and simple, as has been explained, God is Father, God is Son, and God is Holy Ghost. And these three are not three gods, but are one God. We now turn to a consideration of this truth, so far as is possible to us Procedural distinction between philosophy and theology In Boethii de Trin., Prologue. Consequently, just as our natural knowledge begins with the knowledge of creatures obtained by the senses, so the knowledge imparted from above begins with the cognition of the first Truth bestowed on us by faith. As a result the order of procedure is different in the two cases. Philosophers, who follow the order of natural knowledge, place the science of creatures before the science of God, that is to say, natural philosophy before metaphysics, but theologians follow the opposite path, placing the consideration of the creator before that of creatures. On the use of philosophy by the theologian In Boethii de Trin., II, 3. Now just as sacred doctrine is based on the light of faith, so philosophy is based on the natural light of reason. So it is impossible that the contents of philosophy should be contrary to the contents of faith, but they fall short of them. The former, however, bear certain likenesses to the latter and also contain certain preambles to them, just as nature itself is a preamble to grace. If anything, however, is found in the sayings of the philosophers contrary to faith, this is not philosophy but rather an abuse of philosophy arising from faulty reasoning. Therefore it is possible to refute an error of this sort by philosophical principles, either by showing that it is entirely impossible or that it is not necessary. For, as matters of faith cannot be demonstratively proved, so some assertions contrary to them cannot be demonstratively shown to be false; it can, however, be shown that they lack necessity. Accordingly we can use philosophy in sacred doctrine in three ways. First, in order to demonstrate the preambles of faith, which we must necessarily know in [the act of] faith. Such are the truths about God that are proved by natural reason, for example, that God exists, that he is one, and other truths of this sort about God or creatures proved in philosophy and presupposed by faith.

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Second, by throwing light on the contents of faith by analogies, as Augustine uses many analogies drawn from philosophical doctrines in order to elucidate the Trinity. Third, in order to refute assertions contrary to the faith, either by showing them to be false or lacking in necessity. Those, however, who use philosophy in sacred doctrine can err in two ways. In one way by making use of teachings that are contrary to the faith, which consequently do not belong to philosophy but are a corruption and abuse of it. Origen was guilty of this. In another way by including the contents of faith within the bounds of philosophy, as would happen should somebody decide to believe nothing but what could be established by philosophy. All things are created by God Disputed Questions on the Power of God, III, 5. I answer that the ancients in their investigations of nature proceeded in accordance with the order of human knowledge. Wherefore as human knowledge reaches the intellect by beginning with the senses, the early philosophers were intent on the domain of the senses, and thence by degrees reached the realm of the intellect. And seeing that accidental forms are in themselves objects of sense, whereas substantial forms are not, the early philosophers said that all forms are accidental, and that matter alone is a substance. And because substance suffices to cause accidents that result from the substantial elements, the early philosophers held that there is no other cause besides matter, and that matter is the cause of whatever we observe in the sensible world: and consequently they were forced to state that matter itself has no cause, and to deny absolutely the existence of an efficient cause. The later philosophers, however, began to take some notice of substantial forms: yet they did not attain to the knowledge of universals, and they were wholly intent on the observation of special forms; and so they posited indeed certain active causes, not such as give being to things in their universality, but which transmute matter to this or that form: these causes they called intelligence, attraction and repulsion, which they held responsible for adhesion and separation. Wherefore according to them not all beings came from an efficient cause, and matter was in existence before any efficient cause came into action. Subsequent to these the philosophers as Plato, Aristotle and their disciples, attained to the study of universal being: and hence they alone posited a universal cause of things, from which all others came into being, as Augustine states ( De Civ. Dei viii, 4). This is in agreement with the Catholic Faith; and may be proved by the three arguments that follow. First, if in a number of things we find something that is common to all, we must conclude that this something was the effect of some one cause: for it is not possible that to each one by reason of itself this common something belong, since each one by itself is different from the others: and diversity of causes produces a diversity of effects. Seeing then that being is found to be common to all things, which are by themselves distinct from one another, it follows of necessity that they must come into being not by themselves, but by the action of some cause. Seemingly this is Platos argument, since he required every multitude to be preceded by unity not only as regards number but also in reality.

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The second argument is that whenever something is found to be in several things by participation in various degrees, it must be derived by those in which it exists imperfectly from that one in which it exists most perfectly: because where there are positive degrees of a thing so that we ascribe it to this one more and to that one less, this is in reference to one thing to which they approach, one nearer than another: for if each one were of itself competent to have it, there would be no reason why one should have it more than another. Thus fire, which is the extreme of heat, is the cause of heat in all things hot. Now there is one being most perfect and most true: which follows from the fact that there is a mover altogether immovable and absolutely perfect, as philosophers have proved. Consequently all other less perfect beings must needs derive being therefrom. This is the argument of the Philosopher (Metaph. ii, 1). The third argument is based on the principle that whatsoever is through another is to be reduced to that which is of itself. Wherefore if there were a per se heat, it would be the cause of all hot things, that have heat by way of participation. Now there is a being that is its own being: and this follows from the fact that there must needs be a being that is pure act and wherein there is no composition. Hence from that one being all other beings that are not their own being, but have being by participation, must needs proceed. This is the argument of Avicenna (in Metaph. viii, 6; ix, 8). Thus reason proves and faith holds that all things are created by God. On Sacred Doctrine S.Th., Prologus et Q.1.

Cf. Michael Augros, Spring 1993 Scrapbook, n. 9 (Scrapboo.1):


9) A Christian must say it is more certain that there are three persons in God than that three is an odd number. Whence comes the certitude? ...it must be said that certitude is nothing else than the determination of the intellect to one thing. ( In III Sent., d23 q2 a2 sol3) ...it must be said that the firmness of the adherence of the cognitive power to its knowable object is properly called certitude. ( In III Sent., d26 q2 a4) And opinion is when reason leans completely to one side of a contradiction, but with fear of the other side ( Proemium to the Commentary on the Posterior Analytics), so that certitude would be the cleaving of reason to one side of a contradiction without fear of the other side. To be certain of the things of faith, then, is for human reason to be completely and firmly determined to one side of a contradiction (i.e. to a revealed proposition) without fear of the other side. Human reason is obviously not determined to these propositions by resolution to principles which are certain to us in themselves, since then there would not be faith, but knowledge simply speaking. But there is no certitude where there is no truth, nor even when there is truth but the cause for the assent to the truth is extrinsic to the truth, e.g. if I believe a true geometrical proposition because my teacher claimed it is so (here there is only probability). Notice these two requirements, namely that the thing adhered to be true, and that the cause of adherence be intrinsic to the truth, are found in science and in faith, but in different ways. First, in science, the conclusions follow from the principles, whose truth and necessity directly move the intellect to assent. E.g. nothing causes me to assent to the truth of the statement every whole is greater than any of its parts other than the truth of that statement itselfand nothing is extrinsic to itself, so that in the case of science, the truth itself immediately causes the intellect to cleave to it. Hence science is certain.

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Second, in faith, it is because God has said it to be so that we believe what we believe. But God is (as can be known by the natural power of reason) unable to err or to deceive, so that what He says must be true. God Himself is the cause of our assent to His revelation, and He is the truth itself (which can also be known by the natural power of reason). But do we believe God directly or through another? If we believe God through what another says He said, then since that other who is not God is able to err or to deceive, the cause of our adherence to the truth is not simply the truth itself (as God is the Truth itself), and hence we lose our certitude. That is why fides est ex auditu (Romans 10:17), and yet it is also true to say fides...est a Deo interius movente per gratiam (II-II Q6 A1). I.e. faith requires that something believable (true but not knowable by reason either simply or by the reason of most men) be proposed, and that it be assented to interiorly. Now God alone can propose something believable (since such a thing is above reason), and He can do so directly to some (such as the prophets), and indirectly to others, who hear what God has said through others (such as those who hear the prophets). In this regard, God must be the first cause of faith, but men can be secondary and sufficient causes of faith. But on the side of assent, the witnessing of miracles or the hearing of persuasive arguments can be external causes of faith, but neither is sufficient, since seeing these, some men believe and some men do not. Hence there must be something else in addition which causes faith in men. The Pelagians said freewill, but this cannot be so, since by assenting to things of faith, man is lifted above his own nature, which freewill, being a natural power, cannot do. Hence, there must be some supernatural power working inwardly in man moving him to assent to the things of faith, i.e. God. That is, God Himself moves the intellect of man, through grace, to believe Him. Hence nothing other than the Truth itself, namely God, causes us to assent to the truth about Himself, so that in the case of faith, the Truth itself immediately causes the intellect to cleave to it. Hence faith is certain. One may be disposed to believe, i.e. disposed for Gods internal work, by outward things such as miracles and arguments. This is perhaps something like dialectic, which disposes the mind for resolution in science by tying the problems and finding the likelihood in things, but which does not present the truth itself and coerce the intellect, or as the authority of an expert might dispose someone previously ill disposed to hear your argument. The difference between the cause of certitude in faith and science is that in the case of science, the truth moves the intellect directly, whereas in the case of faith, God moves the intellect by means of moving the will: intellectus credentis determinatur ad unum non per rationem, sed per voluntatem. Et ideo assensus hic accipitur pro actu intellectus secundum quod a voluntate determinatur ad unum. (II-II Q2 A1 Ad6) If God were to move the intellect directly to see the truths above reason, He would be doing so by showing the truths above reason to the human mind, which pertains to knowledge and vision, not faith. Hence faith is like the habits of science and understanding insofar as credere habet firmam adhesionem ad unam partem (II-II Q2 A1), but it is like doubting or suspecting or opining insofar as cognitio non est perfecta per manifestam visionem. Faith is like the intellectual virtues of necessary things with regard to its certitude, but like opinion with regard to its lack of vision and clarity: perfectio intellectus et scientiae excedit cognitionem fidei quantum ad maiorem manifestationem: non tamen quantum ad certiorem inhaesionem. (II-II Q4 A8 Ad3). This last consideration brings us to the opening statement. We have seen how faith is certain, but how can it be more certain than the sciences and things known by the natural power of reason? In II-II Q4 A8 (whether faith is more certain than science and the other intellectual virtues?), St Thomas distinguishes the habits of understanding, science, and wisdom which are natural from those which are supernatural (the gifts of the Holy Spirit).

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We are concerned with the natural virtues. Now knowledge is more certain either on the part of its object (or cause), or on the part of its subject, i.e. something can be more certain in itself or to us. Hence the cause of something is more certain in itself (since it is simpler than the effects), but the effects are more certain to us (since they are closer to sense experience), and the demonstration is more certain in itself, but the induction is more certain to most, and metaphysics (since it is about unchangeable and immaterial things) is more certain than physics, but physics is more certain to us. On the part of the object, clearly faith is more certain than any of the natural intellectual virtues, since its object is the First Truth as He reveals Himself, and it is impossible for Him to err or to deceive, whereas the object of the intellectual virtues is the truth of things as known by reason, which can fail and be deceived. On the part of the subject, something is said to be more certain to the human mind which follows more naturally the motion of reason, or fits its capacity more naturally, as natural philosophy does because it most of all proceeds in the way natural to reason, i.e. from the more universal to the less universal. In this regard, faith is less certain than the natural intellectual virtues, since it is about things above the mind of man, whereas even metaphysics, though not nearly so well proportioned to the human mind as mathematics, is about things that can be reasoned out by the natural power of the human mind. Which way of being more certain deserves to be called more certain simply speaking? The way of being more certain on the part of the object (or cause), since everything is judged simply from its object (or cause). E.g. knowledge is better either on the part of its object or its subject, but the knowledge having a better object is better simply speaking (see In De Anima I, lectio 1, n 5). So faith is more certain than the intellectual virtues simply speaking. Faith, then, is less certain to us, but more certain simply speaking, than all natural knowledge. Hence it is more certain simply speaking that God is triune, than that three is an odd number (since the trinity is the first cause of every truth), but it is less certain to us. Of course, that the faith is less certain to us does not mean that it has a little bit of uncertainty or doubt, any more than saying virtue is better than health means that health is a little bit bad. Faith, then, is a little like a vocation to the religious life in its cause. One might be called to that life exteriorly by the example and encouragement of others, yet this is not a sufficient cause since some respond and many do not, so that there must be an interior calling as well; God must move interiorly and directly the will of those whom He calls to that life.

(c) 2013 Bart A. Mazzetti. All rights reserved.

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