Table of Contents | Words: Alphabetical - Frequency - Inverse - Length - Statistics | Help | IntraText Library
St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

IntraText CT - Text

  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT FS Prologue Para. 1/1 - FIRST PART OF THE SECOND PART (FS) (QQ[1]-114)
      • Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE LAW OF THE GOSPEL, CALLED THE NEW LAW, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF (FOUR ARTICLES)
Previous - Next

Click here to hide the links to concordance


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE LAW OF THE GOSPEL, CALLED THE NEW LAW, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF (FOUR ARTICLES)

In proper sequence we have to consider now the Law of the Gospel which
is called the New Law: and in the first place we must consider it in
itself; secondly, in comparison with the Old Law; thirdly, we shall treat
of those things that are contained in the New Law. Under the first head
there are four points of inquiry:

(1) What kind of law is it? i.e. Is it a written law or is it instilled
in the heart?

(2) Of its efficacy, i.e. does it justify?

(3) Of its beginning: should it have been given at the beginning of the
world?

(4) Of its end: i.e. whether it will last until the end, or will another
law take its place?


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the New Law is a written law?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the New Law is a written law. For the New Law
is just the same as the Gospel. But the Gospel is set forth in writing,
according to Jn. 20:31: "But these are written that you may believe."
Therefore the New Law is a written law.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the law that is instilled in the heart is the natural
law, according to Rm. 2:14,15: "(The Gentiles) do by nature those things
that are of the law . . . who have [Vulg.: 'show'] the work of the law
written in their hearts." If therefore the law of the Gospel were
instilled in our hearts, it would not be distinct from the law of nature.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the law of the Gospel is proper to those who are in the
state of the New Testament. But the law that is instilled in the heart is
common to those who are in the New Testament and to those who are in the
Old Testament: for it is written (Wis. 7:27) that Divine Wisdom "through
nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God
and prophets." Therefore the New Law is not instilled in our hearts.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The New Law is the law of the New Testament. But the
law of the New Testament is instilled in our hearts. For the Apostle,
quoting the authority of Jeremias 31:31,33: "Behold the days shall come,
saith the Lord; and I will perfect unto the house of Israel, and unto the
house of Judah, a new testament," says, explaining what this statement is
(Heb. 8:8,10): "For this is the testament which I will make to the house
of Israel . . . by giving [Vulg.: 'I will give'] My laws into their mind,
and in their heart will I write them." Therefore the New Law is instilled
in our hearts.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, "Each thing appears to be that which preponderates in
it," as the Philosopher states (Ethic. ix, 8). Now that which is
preponderant in the law of the New Testament, and whereon all its
efficacy is based, is the grace of the Holy Ghost, which is given through
faith in Christ. Consequently the New Law is chiefly the grace itself of
the Holy Ghost, which is given to those who believe in Christ. This is
manifestly stated by the Apostle who says (Rm. 3:27): "Where is . . . thy
boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of
faith": for he calls the grace itself of faith "a law." And still more
clearly it is written (Rm. 8:2): "The law of the spirit of life, in
Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and of death." Hence
Augustine says (De Spir. et Lit. xxiv) that "as the law of deeds was
written on tables of stone, so is the law of faith inscribed on the
hearts of the faithful": and elsewhere, in the same book (xxi): "What
else are the Divine laws written by God Himself on our hearts, but the
very presence of His Holy Spirit?"

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] Body Para. 2/2

Nevertheless the New Law contains certain things that dispose us to
receive the grace of the Holy Ghost, and pertaining to the use of that
grace: such things are of secondary importance, so to speak, in the New
Law; and the faithful need to be instructed concerning them, both by word
and writing, both as to what they should believe and as to what they
should do. Consequently we must say that the New Law is in the first
place a law that is inscribed on our hearts, but that secondarily it is a
written law.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The Gospel writings contain only such things as pertain to
the grace of the Holy Ghost, either by disposing us thereto, or by
directing us to the use thereof. Thus with regard to the intellect, the
Gospel contains certain matters pertaining to the manifestation of
Christ's Godhead or humanity, which dispose us by means of faith through
which we receive the grace of the Holy Ghost: and with regard to the
affections, it contains matters touching the contempt of the world,
whereby man is rendered fit to receive the grace of the Holy Ghost: for
"the world," i.e. worldly men, "cannot receive" the Holy Ghost (Jn.
14:17). As to the use of spiritual grace, this consists in works of
virtue to which the writings of the New Testament exhort men in divers
ways.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: There are two ways in which a thing may be instilled into
man. First, through being part of his nature, and thus the natural law is
instilled into man. Secondly, a thing is instilled into man by being, as
it were, added on to his nature by a gift of grace. In this way the New
Law is instilled into man, not only by indicating to him what he should
do, but also by helping him to accomplish it.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: No man ever had the grace of the Holy Ghost except through
faith in Christ either explicit or implicit: and by faith in Christ man
belongs to the New Testament. Consequently whoever had the law of grace
instilled into them belonged to the New Testament.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the New Law justifies?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the New Law does not justify. For no man is
justified unless he obeys God's law, according to Heb. 5:9: "He," i.e.
Christ, "became to all that obey Him the cause of eternal salvation." But
the Gospel does not always cause men to believe in it: for it is written
(Rm. 10:16): "All do not obey the Gospel." Therefore the New Law does not
justify.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Apostle proves in his epistle to the Romans that the
Old Law did not justify, because transgression increased at its advent:
for it is stated (Rm. 4:15): "The Law worketh wrath: for where there is
no law, neither is there transgression." But much more did the New Law
increase transgression: since he who sins after the giving of the New Law
deserves greater punishment, according to Heb. 10:28,29: "A man making
void the Law of Moses dieth without any mercy under two or three
witnesses. How much more, do you think, he deserveth worse punishments,
who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God," etc.? Therefore the New Law,
like the Old Law, does not justify.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, justification is an effect proper to God, according to
Rm. 8:33: "God that justifieth." But the Old Law was from God just as the
New Law. Therefore the New Law does not justify any more than the Old Law.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rm. 1:16): "I am not ashamed of the
Gospel: for it is in the power of God unto salvation to everyone that
believeth." But there is no salvation but to those who are justified.
Therefore the Law of the Gospel justifies.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (A[1]), there is a twofold element in the
Law of the Gospel. There is the chief element, viz. the grace of the Holy
Ghost bestowed inwardly. And as to this, the New Law justifies. Hence
Augustine says (De Spir. et Lit. xvii): "There," i.e. in the Old
Testament, "the Law was set forth in an outward fashion, that the ungodly
might be afraid"; "here," i.e. in the New Testament, "it is given in an
inward manner, that they may be justified." The other element of the
Evangelical Law is secondary: namely, the teachings of faith, and those
commandments which direct human affections and human actions. And as to
this, the New Law does not justify. Hence the Apostle says (2 Cor. 3:6)
"The letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth": and Augustine explains
this (De Spir. et Lit. xiv, xvii) by saying that the letter denotes any
writing external to man, even that of the moral precepts such as are
contained in the Gospel. Wherefore the letter, even of the Gospel would
kill, unless there were the inward presence of the healing grace of faith.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This argument holds true of the New Law, not as to its
principal, but as to its secondary element: i.e. as to the dogmas and
precepts outwardly put before man either in words or in writing.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Although the grace of the New Testament helps man to avoid
sin, yet it does not so confirm man in good that he cannot sin: for this
belongs to the state of glory. Hence if a man sin after receiving the
grace of the New Testament, he deserves greater punishment, as being
ungrateful for greater benefits, and as not using the help given to him.
And this is why the New Law is not said to "work wrath": because as far
as it is concerned it gives man sufficient help to avoid sin.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The same God gave both the New and the Old Law, but in
different ways. For He gave the Old Law written on tables of stone:
whereas He gave the New Law written "in the fleshly tables of the heart,"
as the Apostle expresses it (2 Cor. 3:3). Wherefore, as Augustine says
(De Spir. et Lit. xviii), "the Apostle calls this letter which is written
outside man, a ministration of death and a ministration of condemnation:
whereas he calls the other letter, i.e. the Law of the New Testament, the
ministration of the spirit and the ministration of justice: because
through the gift of the Spirit we work justice, and are delivered from
the condemnation due to transgression."


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the New Law should have been given from the beginning of the
world?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the New Law should have been given from the
beginning of the world. "For there is no respect of persons with God"
(Rm. 2:11). But "all" men "have sinned and do need the glory of God" (Rm.
3:23). Therefore the Law of the Gospel should have been given from the
beginning of the world, in order that it might bring succor to all.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, as men dwell in various places, so do they live in
various times. But God, "Who will have all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4),
commanded the Gospel to be preached in all places, as may be seen in the
last chapters of Matthew and Mark. Therefore the Law of the Gospel should
have been at hand for all times, so as to be given from the beginning of
the world.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, man needs to save his soul, which is for all eternity,
more than to save his body, which is a temporal matter. But God provided
man from the beginning of the world with things that are necessary for
the health of his body, by subjecting to his power whatever was created
for the sake of man (Gn. 1:26-29). Therefore the New Law also, which is
very necessary for the health of the soul, should have been given to man
from the beginning of the world.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 15:46): "That was not first
which is spiritual, but that which is natural." But the New Law is highly
spiritual. Therefore it was not fitting for it to be given from the
beginning of the world.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, Three reasons may be assigned why it was not fitting for
the New Law to be given from the beginning of the world. The first is
because the New Law, as stated above (A[1]), consists chiefly in the
grace of the Holy Ghost: which it behoved not to be given abundantly
until sin, which is an obstacle to grace, had been cast out of man
through the accomplishment of his redemption by Christ: wherefore it is
written (Jn. 7:39): "As yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was
not yet glorified." This reason the Apostle states clearly (Rm. 8:2,
seqq.) where, after speaking of "the Law of the Spirit of life," he adds:
"God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, of sin* hath
condemned sin in the flesh, that the justification of the Law might be
fulfilled in us." [*St. Thomas, quoting perhaps from memory, omits the
"et" (and), after "sinful flesh." The text quoted should read thus: "in
the likeness of sinful flesh, and a sin offering ({peri hamartias}),
hath," etc.]

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Body Para. 2/3

A second reason may be taken from the perfection of the New Law. Because
a thing is not brought to perfection at once from the outset, but through
an orderly succession of time; thus one is at first a boy, and then a
man. And this reason is stated by the Apostle (Gal. 3:24,25): "The Law
was our pedagogue in Christ that we might be justified by faith. But
after the faith is come, we are no longer under a pedagogue."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] Body Para. 3/3

The third reason is found in the fact that the New Law is the law of
grace: wherefore it behoved man first of all to be left to himself under
the state of the Old Law, so that through falling into sin, he might
realize his weakness, and acknowledge his need of grace. This reason is
set down by the Apostle (Rm. 5:20): "The Law entered in, that sin might
abound: and when sin abounded grace did more abound."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Mankind on account of the sin of our first parents deserved
to be deprived of the aid of grace: and so "from whom it is withheld it
is justly withheld, and to whom it is given, it is mercifully given," as
Augustine states (De Perfect. Justit. iv) [*Cf. Ep. ccvii; De Pecc. Mer.
et Rem. ii, 19]. Consequently it does not follow that there is respect of
persons with God, from the fact that He did not offer the Law of grace to
all from the beginning of the world, which Law was to be published in due
course of time, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The state of mankind does not vary according to diversity
of place, but according to succession of time. Hence the New Law avails
for all places, but not for all times: although at all times there have
been some persons belonging to the New Testament, as stated above (A[1],
ad 3).

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Things pertaining to the health of the body are of service
to man as regards his nature, which sin does not destroy: whereas things
pertaining to the health of the soul are ordained to grace, which is
forfeit through sin. Consequently the comparison will not hold.


Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the New Law will last till the end of the world?

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the New Law will not last until the end of
the world. Because, as the Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:10), "when that which
is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away." But the
New Law is "in part," since the Apostle says (1 Cor. 13:9): "We know in
part and we prophesy in part." Therefore the New Law is to be done away,
and will be succeeded by a more perfect state.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Our Lord (Jn. 16:13) promised His disciples the
knowledge of all truth when the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, should come.
But the Church knows not yet all truth in the state of the New Testament.
Therefore we must look forward to another state, wherein all truth will
be revealed by the Holy Ghost.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, just as the Father is distinct from the Son and the Son
from the Father, so is the Holy Ghost distinct from the Father and the
Son. But there was a state corresponding with the Person of the Father,
viz. the state of the Old Law, wherein men were intent on begetting
children: and likewise there is a state corresponding to the Person of
the Son: viz. the state of the New Law, wherein the clergy who are intent
on wisdom (which is appropriated to the Son) hold a prominent place.
Therefore there will be a third state corresponding to the Holy Ghost,
wherein spiritual men will hold the first place.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, Our Lord said (Mt. 24:14): "This Gospel of the kingdom
shall be preached in the whole world . . . and then shall the
consummation come." But the Gospel of Christ is already preached
throughout the whole world: and yet the consummation has not yet come.
Therefore the Gospel of Christ is not the Gospel of the kingdom, but
another Gospel, that of the Holy Ghost, is to come yet, like unto another
Law.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Our Lord said (Mt. 24:34): "I say to you that this
generation shall not pass till all (these) things be done": which passage
Chrysostom (Hom. lxxvii) explains as referring to "the generation of
those that believe in Christ." Therefore the state of those who believe
in Christ will last until the consummation of the world.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, The state of the world may change in two ways. In one
way, according to a change of law: and thus no other state will succeed
this state of the New Law. Because the state of the New Law succeeded the
state of the Old Law, as a more perfect law a less perfect one. Now no
state of the present life can be more perfect that the state of the New
Law: since nothing can approach nearer to the last end than that which is
the immediate cause of our being brought to the last end. But the New Law
does this: wherefore the Apostle says (Heb. 10:19-22): "Having therefore,
brethren, a confidence in the entering into the Holies by the blood of
Christ, a new . . . way which He hath dedicated for us . . . let us draw
near." Therefore no state of the present life can be more perfect than
that of the New Law, since the nearer a thing is to the last end the more
perfect it is.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

In another way the state of mankind may change according as man stands
in relation to one and the same law more or less perfectly. And thus the
state of the Old Law underwent frequent changes, since at times the laws
were very well kept, and at other times were altogether unheeded. Thus,
too, the state of the New Law is subject to change with regard to various
places, times, and persons, according as the grace of the Holy Ghost
dwells in man more or less perfectly. Nevertheless we are not to look
forward to a state wherein man is to possess the grace of the Holy Ghost
more perfectly than he has possessed it hitherto, especially the apostles
who "received the firstfruits of the Spirit, i.e. sooner and more
abundantly than others," as a gloss expounds on Rm. 8:23.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. v), there is a threefold
state of mankind; the first was under the Old Law; the second is that of
the New Law; the third will take place not in this life, but in heaven.
But as the first state is figurative and imperfect in comparison with the
state of the Gospel; so is the present state figurative and imperfect in
comparison with the heavenly state, with the advent of which the present
state will be done away as expressed in that very passage (1 Cor. 13:12):
"We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: As Augustine says (Contra Faust. xix, 31), Montanus and
Priscilla pretended that Our Lord's promise to give the Holy Ghost was
fulfilled, not in the apostles, but in themselves. In like manner the
Manicheans maintained that it was fulfilled in Manes whom they held to be
the Paraclete. Hence none of the above received the Acts of the Apostles,
where it is clearly shown that the aforesaid promise was fulfilled in the
apostles: just as Our Lord promised them a second time (Acts 1:5): "You
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence": which we
read as having been fulfilled in Acts 2. However, these foolish notions
are refuted by the statement (Jn. 7:39) that "as yet the Spirit was not
given, because Jesus was not yet glorified"; from which we gather that
the Holy Ghost was given as soon as Christ was glorified in His
Resurrection and Ascension. Moreover, this puts out of court the
senseless idea that the Holy Ghost is to be expected to come at some
other time.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2

Now the Holy Ghost taught the apostles all truth in respect of matters
necessary for salvation; those things, to wit, that we are bound to
believe and to do. But He did not teach them about all future events: for
this did not regard them according to Acts 1:7: "It is not for you to
know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power."

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1
Reply OBJ 3: The Old Law corresponded not only to the Father, but also
to the Son: because Christ was foreshadowed in the Old Law. Hence Our
Lord said (Jn. 5:46): "If you did believe Moses, you would perhaps
believe me also; for he wrote of Me." In like manner the New Law
corresponds not only to Christ, but also to the Holy Ghost; according to
Rm. 8:2: "The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," etc. Hence we
are not to look forward to another law corresponding to the Holy Ghost.

Aquin.: SMT FS Q[106] A[4] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Since Christ said at the very outset of the preaching of
the Gospel: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt. 4:17), it is most
absurd to say that the Gospel of Christ is not the Gospel of the kingdom.
But the preaching of the Gospel of Christ may be understood in two ways.
First, as denoting the spreading abroad of the knowledge of Christ: and
thus the Gospel was preached throughout the world even at the time of the
apostles, as Chrysostom states (Hom. lxxv in Matth.). And in this sense
the words that follow - "and then shall the consummation come," refer to
the destruction of Jerusalem, of which He was speaking literally.
Secondly, the preaching of the Gospel may be understood as extending
throughout the world and producing its full effect, so that, to wit, the
Church would be founded in every nation. And in these sense, as Augustine
writes to Hesychius (Epist. cxcix), the Gospel is not preached to the
whole world yet, but, when it is, the consummation of the world will come.




Previous - Next

Table of Contents | Words: Alphabetical - Frequency - Inverse - Length - Statistics | Help | IntraText Library

Best viewed with any browser at 800x600 or 768x1024 on Tablet PC
IntraText® (V89) - Some rights reserved by Èulogos SpA - 1996-2007. Content in this page is licensed under a Creative Commons License