Hic est liberThis is the BookPars 1Part 1Commendatio sacrae ScripturaeThe Commendation of Sacred ScriptureHic est liber mandatorum Dei, et lex quae est in aeternum: omnes qui tenent eam pervenient ad vitam: qui autem dereliquerunt eam, in mortem.This is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that is forever: all they that keep it shall come to life: but they that have forsaken it, to death.Baruch 4:1Baruch 4:1Secundum Augustinum, in IV de doctrina Christiana, eruditus eloquens ita eloqui debet ut doceat, ut delectet, ut flectat: ut doceat ignaros; ut delectet tediosos; ut flectat tardos. Haec tria completissime sacrae Scripturae eloquium. Docet enim firmiter aeterna sua veritate, Psalm.: in aeternum, Domine, permanet verbum tuum. Delectat suaviter sua utilitate, Psalm.: quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua. Flectit efficaciter sua auctoritate, Ier. XXIII: nunquid non verba mea sunt quasi ignis, dicit Dominus?According to Augustine, in On Christian Doctrine, 4: a skilled speaker should speak to teach, to delight and to motivate: to teach the ignorant, to delight the bored, and to motivate the lazy. The speech of sacred Scripture does these three things most completely. For it teaches steadfastly with its eternal truth: forever, O Lord, thy word stands firm in heaven (Ps 118:89). It delights pleasantly with its usefulness: how sweet are thy words to my mouth (Ps 118:03). It motivates effectively with its authority: are not my words as a fire, says the Lord? (Jer 23:29).Et ideo sacra Scriptura in verbo proposito commendatur a tribus: primo ab auctoritate qua flectit, cum dicit: hic est liber mandatorum Dei. Secundo, ab aeterna veritate qua instruit, cum dicit: et lex quae est in aeternum. Tertio, ab utilitate qua allicit, cum dicit: omnes qui tenent eam pervenient ad vitam.Therefore, in the text above, sacred Scripture is commended for three things: first, for the authority by which it motivates, when it says: this is the book of the commandments of God. Second, for the eternal truth by which it instructs, when it says: and the law that is forever. Third, for the usefulness by which it allures us, when it says: all they that keep it shall come to life.Auctoritas autem huius Scripturae ex tribus ostenditur efficax. Primo ex origine; quia Deus origo eius est. Unde dicit: mandatorum Dei; Baruch III: hic adinvenit omnem viam disciplinae; Hebr. II: quae cum initium accepisset enarrari per Dominum, ab eis qui audierunt, in nos confirmata est. Cui quidem auctori infallibiliter credendum est; tum propter naturae suae conditionem, quia veritas est, Ioan. XIV: ego sum via, veritas et vita; tum propter scientiae plenitudinem, Rom. XI: o altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei; tum propter verborum virtutem, Hebr. IV: vivus est sermo Dei et efficax, et penetrabilior omni gladio ancipiti.The authority of these Scriptures is shown to be effective from three things. First, from its origin; because God is its origin. Hence, it says: the commandments of God; he found out all the way of knowledge (Bar 3:37); which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him (Heb 2:3). Certainly, such an author should be believed infallibly, both because of the condition of his nature, which is truth: I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); and because of the fullness of his knowledge: O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God (Rom 11:33); and because of the power of his words: the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12).Secundo, ostenditur efficax ex necessitate quam scilicet imponit, Marc. ult.: qui autem non crediderit condemnabitur, et cetera. Unde per modum praecepti veritas sacrae Scripturae proponitur; unde dicit: mandatorum Dei. Quae quidem mandata intellectum per fidem dirigunt, Ioan. XIV: creditis in Deum et in me credite; per dilectionem affectum informant, Ioan. XV: hoc est praeceptum meum ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos; quod ad actum et executionem inducunt: hoc fac, et vives.Second, it is shown to be effective from the necessity with which it is imposed: he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16). Hence the truth of sacred Scripture is proposed as a precept; hence it says: the commandments of God. These commandments direct the intellect by faith: you believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1); they shape the affection by love: this is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you (John 15:12); and they lead us to take action: do this, and you will live (Luke 10:28).Tertio, ostenditur efficax ex dictorum uniformitate, quia omnes qui sacram doctrinam tradiderunt, idem docuerunt, I Cor. XV: sive autem ego, sive illi sic praedicamus, et sic credidistis. Et hoc necesse est quia omnes habuerunt unum magistrum, Matth. XXIII: unus est magister vester, etc.; unum habuerunt spiritum, II Cor. XII: nonne eodem spiritu ambulavimus? Unum insuper affectum, Act. IV: multitudinis credentium una erat anima et cor unum in Deo. Et ideo in signum uniformitatis doctrinae dicitur singulariter: hic est liber.Third, it is shown to be effective from the consistency of its message, because all who teach sacred doctrine teach the same doctrine: whether I, or they, so we preach, and so you have believed (1 Cor 15:11). And this is necessary because all had one teacher: for one is your teacher etc. (Matt 23:8); all had one spirit: did we not walk with the same spirit? (2 Cor 12:18); and all had also one affection: and the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul in God (Acts 4:32). Therefore, as a sign of the consistency of the teaching, it says particularly: this is the book.Veritas Scripturae huius doctrinae est immutabilis et aeterna. Unde sequitur: et lex quae est in aeternum. Luc. XXI: caelum et terra transibunt; verba autem mea non transibunt. Permanet autem in aeternum haec lex propter tria: primo, propter legislatoris potestatem, Isa. XIV: Deus exercituum decrevit, et quis poterit infirmare? Secundo, propter eius immutabilitatem, Malach. III: ego Deus et non mutor. Num. XXIII: non est Dominus quasi homo ut mentiatur; nec ut filius hominis ut mutetur. Tertio, propter legis veritatem, Psal.: omnia mandata tua veritas. Prov. XII: labium veritatis firmum erit in perpetuum. III Esdr. IV: veritas manet et invalescit in aeternum.The truth of this teaching of Scripture is immutable and eternal. Hence it follows: and the law that is forever. Heaven and earth will pass away; but my words will not pass away (Luke 21:33). This law will endure in eternity because of three things: first, because of the power of the lawgiver: for the Lord of hosts has decreed, and who can annul it? (Isa 14:27). Second, because of his immutability: I am the Lord, and I change not (Mal 3:6); God is not a man, that he should lie, nor as the son of man, that he should be changed (Num 23:19). Third, because of the truth of the law: all your commandments are truth (Ps 118:86); the lip of truth will be steadfast forever (Prov 12:19); truth remains and grows stronger eternally (3 Ezra 4:38).Utilitas autem huius Scripturae est maxima, Isai. XLVIII: ego dominus Deus tuus docens te utilia. Unde sequitur: omnes qui tenent eam pervenient ad vitam; quae quidem triplex est. Prima est vita gratiae, ad quam sacra Scriptura disponit, Ioan. VI: verba quae ego locutus sum vobis, spiritus et vita sunt. Per hanc enim vitam spiritus Deo vivit, Gal. II: vivo autem, iam non ego: vivit vero in me Christus. Secunda est vita iustitiae in operibus consistens, ad quam sacra Scriptura dirigit, Psal.: in aeternum non obliviscar iustificationes tuas; quia in eis vivificasti me. Tertia est vita gloriae, quam sacra Scriptura promittit et ad eam perducit, Ioan. VI: domine, ad quem ibimus? Verba vitae aeternae habes. Eodem, XX: haec autem scripta sunt ut credatis; et ut credentes vitam habeatis in nomine ipsius.But the usefulness of this Scripture is the greatest: I am the Lord your God who teaches you useful things (Isa 48:17). Hence it follows: all they that keep it shall come to life. Indeed, this happens in three ways. First, there is the life of grace, to which sacred Scripture disposes: the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life (John 6:64). For through this life the spirit lives in God: and I live, now not I; but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20). Second, there is the life of justice consisting in works, to which sacred Scripture directs: your decrees I will never forget: for by them you have given me life (Ps 118:93). Third, there is the life of glory, which sacred Scripture promises and to which it leads: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:69); but these are written, that you may believe; and that believing, you may have life in his name (John 20:31).Pars 2Part 2Partitio sacrae ScripturaeThe Division of Sacred ScriptureAd hanc autem vitam sacra Scriptura perducit dupliciter: scilicet, praecipiendo et adiuvando. Praecipiendo per mandata quae proponit, quod pertinet ad vetus testamentum, Eccli. XXIV: legem mandavit nobis Moyses. Adiuvando autem per donum gratiae quod legislator largitur, quod pertinet ad novum testamentum. Ioan. I: lex per Moysen data est, gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est. Unde tota sacra Scriptura in duas partes principaliter dividitur, scilicet, in vetus et novum testamentum; quae duo tanguntur Matth. XIII: omnis Scriba doctus in regno caelorum similis est ei qui profert de thesauro suo nova et vetera. Et Cant. VII: omnia poma, nova et vetera, dilecte mi, servavi tibi.But sacred Scripture leads to this life in two ways: namely, by commanding and by helping. Commanding, by the commands that it sets forth, which pertains to the Old Testament: Moses commanded a law to us (Sir 24:33). Helping, by the gift of grace that the lawgiver gives, which pertains to the New Testament: the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Hence, the whole of sacred Scripture is principally divided into two parts, namely, the Old and New Testaments, which are mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew: Every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a man who brings forth out of his treasure new things and old (Matt 13:52). And: all fruits, the new and the old, my beloved, I have kept for you (Song 7:13).Vetus testamentumThe Old TestamentVetus autem testamentum dividitur secundum doctrinam mandatorum, est enim duplex mandatum, scilicet coactorium et monitorium. Coactorium est mandatum regis qui potest transgressores punire, Prov. XX: sicut rugitus leonis, ita et terror regis. Sed monitorium est praeceptum patris qui habet erudire, Eccli. VII: filii tibi sunt? Erudi illos. Praeceptum autem regis est duplex, scilicet unum, quo legem statuit; aliud quod ad observantiam statutae legis inducit, quod consuevit per suos praecones et nuntios promulgare. Et sic distinguuntur tria praecepta, scilicet regis, praeconis et patris. Et secundum haec tria vetus testamentum dividitur in tres partes, secundum Hieronymum in prologo libri regum.The Old Testament is divided according to the teaching of the commandments, because the commandment has two kinds, namely, the coercive and the warning. The coercive is the command of a king who can punish transgressors: as the roaring of a lion, so also is the dread of a king (Prov 20:2). The warning is the precept of a father who must instruct: have you children? Instruct them (Sir 7:25). The precepts of the king have two kinds, namely, one that establishes law; and another that induces one to observe the statutes of the law, which is usually done through the proclamation of his heralds and ambassadors. Hence, three kinds of precepts are distinguished, namely, the king’s, the herald’s, and the father’s. And according to these three, the Old Testament is divided into three parts, as Jerome says in his prologue to the book of Kings.Prima pars continetur in lege, quae est quasi praeceptum ab ipso rege propositum, Isai. XXXIII: Dominus rex noster, Dominus legifer noster. Secunda continetur in prophetis, qui fuerunt quasi nuntii et praecones Dei ex persona Dei populo loquentes et ad observantiam legis inducentes, Aggaei I: dixit Aggaeus, de nuntiis Domini. Tertia continetur in Agiographis, qui spiritu sancto inspirati locuti sunt non tamen ex parte Domini, sed quasi ex se ipsis. Unde Agiographi dicuntur quasi sacri scriptores, vel quasi sacra scribentes, ab agios quod est sacrum et graphia quod est Scriptura: et sic praecepta quae in eis continentur sunt quasi paterna. Ut patet Prov. VI: fili mi, custodi praecepta patris tui, et cetera.The first part is contained in the law, which is as it were a precept proposed by the king himself: the Lord is our king, the Lord is our lawgiver (Isa 33:22). The second part is contained in the prophets, who were like messengers and heralds of God, speaking to the people in the person of God and inducing them to the keeping of the law: Haggai spoke, the messenger of the Lord (Hag 1:13). The third part is contained in the works of the hagiographers, who inspired by the Holy Spirit, spoke not on behalf of the Lord, but on their own behalf. Hence the hagiographers are called sacred writers or sacred scribes, from ‘agios’ (that is, sacred) and ‘graphia’ (that is, writings). And thus the precepts contained in them are as it were paternal: my son, keep the commandments of your father etc. (Prov 6:20).Ponit tamen Hieronymus quartum librorum ordinem, scilicet, apocryphos: et dicuntur apocryphi ab apo, quod est valde et cryphon, quod est obscurum, quia de eorum sententiis vel auctoribus dubitatur. Ecclesia vero Catholica quosdam libros recepit in numero sanctarum Scripturarum, de quorum sententiis non dubitatur, sed de auctoribus. Non quod nesciatur qui fuerint illorum librorum auctores, sed quia homines illi non fuerunt notae auctoritatis. Unde ex auctoritate auctorum robur non habent, sed magis ex Ecclesiae receptione. Quia tamen idem modus loquendi in eis et in Agiographis observatur, ideo simul cum eis computentur ad praesens.Jerome adds a fourth book as well, namely, the apocrypha, which is called apocrypha from ‘apo’ (that is, ‘greatly’) and ‘cryphon’ (that is, ‘obscure’) because there is doubt regarding their claims or authors. Indeed, the Catholic Church receives some books in the number of sacred Scriptures, whose claims are not doubted, but whose authors are. It is not that we are ignorant of who the authors of these books were, but because these men were not of noted authority. Therefore, they have their strength not from the authority of the authors, but more from the reception by the Church. Also because the same manner of speech is seen in them and in the hagiographies, they are reckoned with the same for the present.Prima autem pars, quae legem continet, in duas partes dividitur; secundum quod duplex est lex, scilicet, publica et privata.The first part, that which contains law, is divided into two parts, according to the two types of law, namely, public and private.Privata lex est quae uni personae vel familiae imponitur observanda. Et talis lex in Genesi continetur, ut patet de primo praecepto homini dato, Gen. II 17: de ligno scientiae boni et mali ne comedas; et Noe, Gen. IX 4: carnem cum sanguine non comedetis; et Abrahae: Gen. XVII 9: custodies pactum meum et semen tuum post te in generationibus suis.A private law is that which one person or one family is made to observe. And such is the law contained in Genesis, which is clear from the first command given to man: of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat (Gen 2:17); and to Noah: flesh with blood you shall not eat (Gen 9:4); and to Abraham: you shall keep my covenant and your seed after you in their generations (Gen 17:9).Lex autem publica est quae populo traditur. Lex enim divina populo Iudaeorum tradita est per mediatorem, quia non erat idoneus populus ut immediate a Deo susciperet, Deut. V, unde: ego sequester fui et medius inter vos et dominum. Gal. III: lex ordinata est per Angelos in manu mediatoris. Et ideo in legislatione duplex gradus attenditur. Unus quo lex a Domino ad mediatorem pervenit, et hoc pertinet ad tres libros, scilicet: Exodum, Leviticum, numeros. Unde frequenter in illis libris legitur: locutus est Deus ad Moysen. Secundus gradus est quo lex per mediatorem populo exponitur; et hoc pertinet ad Deuteronomium, ut patet ex hoc quod in eius principio dicitur: locutus est Moyses, et cetera. Tres autem libri praedicti distinguuntur secundum tria in quibus oportebat populum ordinari: primo in praeceptis quantum ad iudicii aequitatem, et hoc fit in Exodo; secundo in sacramentis quantum ad cultus exhibitionem, et hoc fit in Levitico; tertio in officiis, quantum ad rei publicae administrationem, et hoc fit in libro numerorum.But the public law is that which is given to the people. For the divine law was given to the people of the Jews by a mediator, because it was not suitable for the people to receive it directly from God: I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you (Deut 5:5); the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator (Gal 3:19). And, hence, in the legislation, two steps are found. First, the law comes from the Lord to the mediator, and this is contained in three books, namely, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Hence, in those books we frequently read: God said to Moses. The second step is that by which the law is expounded to the people by the mediator, and this is contained in Deuteronomy, which is clear from its beginning, which says: These are the words, which Moses spoke, etc. (Deut 1:1). The three books just mentioned are distinguished according to the three ways in which people should be organized. First, in precepts related to the equity of judgment, and this is in Exodus; second, in sacraments related to the display of worship, and this is in Leviticus; third, in offices related to public administration, and this is in the book of Numbers.Secunda autem pars, quae est prophetarum, dividitur in duas partes, secundum quod nuntius duo debet facere. Debet enim exponere regis beneficium ut inclinentur homines ad obediendum; et debet proponere legis edictum.The second part, which is the prophets, is divided into two parts, according to the two tasks that a herald ought to perform. For he should expound the goodness of the king to incline men to obedience; and he should declare the rule of the law.Triplex autem beneficium divinum prophetae populo exposuerunt: primo haereditatis consecutionem, et hoc in Iosue, de quo Eccli. XLVI: fortis in bello Iosue; secundo hostium destructionem, et hoc in libro Iudicum, de quorum destructione in Psalmo: fiat illis sicut Madian et Sisarae; tertio populi exaltationem; quae quidem est duplex, scilicet: privata unius personae, et de hoc in Ruth; et publica quae est totius populi, usque ad regiam dignitatem, et de hoc in libro regum: quod beneficium Deus improperat eis Ezech. XVI: decora facta es vehementer. Hi enim libri, secundum Hieronymum in ordine prophetarum ponuntur.There is a threefold divine goodness that the prophets show to the people: first, the result of heredity, and this is in Joshua: valiant in war was Joshua (Sir 46:1); second, the destruction of armies, and this is in the book of Judges: do to them as you did to Madian and to Sisara (Ps 82:10); third, the exaltation of the people, which is twofold, namely, privately of one person, and this is in Ruth, and publicly of all the people, even to the royal dignity, and this is in the book of Kings, which benefice God grants them: and you were made exceeding beautiful (Ezek 16:13). For these books are placed according to Jerome among the prophetic works.In aliis autem libris qui communiter prophetarum dicuntur, prophetae posuerunt divina edicta ad legis observationem. Et hoc dicitur, primo in communi; et hoc in prophetis maioribus qui ad totum populum mittebantur et ad totius legis observantiam inducebant; secundo in particulari; et hoc in prophetis minoribus, quorum diversi, propter diversa ad speciales gentes mittebantur, sicut Osee ad decem tribus; Ioel ad senes Israel; Ionas ad Ninivitas; et sic de aliis.In other books which are commonly called prophetic, the prophets declared divine rules for the observance of the law. And this is said first, in general; and this is in the major prophets who were sent to the whole people to call them to observe the whole law; second, in particular, and this is in the minor prophets, different ones of whom were sent for different reasons to special peoples, as Hosea to the ten tribes; Joel to the elders of Israel; Jonah to the Ninevites; and so with the others.Prophetae autem maiores dividuntur secundum ea quibus ad observantiam legis prophetae populum induxerunt: scilicet blandiendo per promissiones beneficiorum; terrendo per comminationem paenarum; arguendo per vituperationes peccatorum. Quamvis haec tria in singulis prophetarum inveniantur, tamen Isaias principaliter blanditur; de quo dicitur Eccli. XLVIII: consolatus est lugentes in Sion; Ieremias vero comminatur, unde dicebat: de industria dissolvit manus virorum bellantium Ier. XXXVIII; sed Ezechiel arguit et vituperat, Ezech. XVI: pater tuus Amorrhaeus et mater tua Cethaea.The major prophets are divided according to the ways that the prophets led the people to observe the law; namely, by coaxing with promises of goodness; by frightening with the threat of punishment; and by arguing through the condemnation of sins. Although these three are all found in each prophet, nevertheless, Isaiah principally coaxes: he comforted the mourners in Sion (Sir 48:27); Jeremiah threatens: he weakened the hands of the men of war (Jer 38:4); and Ezekiel argues and condemns: your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite (Ezek 16:3).Potest tamen aliter distingui, ut dicatur quod Isaias praenunciat principaliter incarnationis mysterium, unde tempore adventus in Ecclesia legitur; Ieremias vero mysterium passionis, unde legitur tempore passionis; Ezechiel mysterium resurrectionis, unde in resurrectione ossium et templi reparatione librum suum finit; Daniel autem secundum quod inter prophetas computatur ex hoc quod spiritu prophetico praedixit futura, quamvis non ex persona Domini populo loqueretur, prosequitur de divinitate Christi, ut quatuor prophetae quatuor Evangelistis respondeant, vel etiam de advocatione ad iudicium.They can also be distinguished in another way, as it is said that Isaiah principally foretells the mystery of the Incarnation, whence the Church reads him during the time of Advent; Jeremiah the mystery of the passion, whence he is read during Passiontide; Ezekiel the mystery of the resurrection, whence his book concludes with the resurrection of bones and the repair of the temple. Daniel, however, is counted among the prophets from the prophetic spirit by which he predicts the future. Although he did not speak to the people from the person of the Lord, he described the divinity of Christ. Hence, the four prophets correspond to the four evangelists, and also the call to judgment.Tertia autem pars, quae continet Agiographos et apocryphos libros, in duo distinguitur, secundum duo quibus patres instruunt filios ad virtutem, scilicet verbo et facto; quia exempla in moralibus non minus valent quam verba. Quaedam autem instruunt facto tantum; quaedam verbo tantum; quaedam verbo et facto.The third part, which contains the hagiographic and the apocryphal books, is divided in two, according to the two ways fathers train their sons in virtue, namely, by word and by deed; because in morality examples are no less important than words. Hence, there are some who teach by deeds alone; there are some who teach by words alone; and there are some who teach by word and deed.Facto autem dupliciter. Uno modo instruendo de futuro ad cautelam; et hoc est in Iosue, quem Hieronymus inter Agiographos ponit. Quamvis enim propheta ex dono prophetiae esset, non tamen ex officio; quia non fuit a Domino missus ad prophetandum populo. Unde quod Sap. VIII dicitur, de eo intelligi potest: signa et monstra scit antequam fiant. Alio modo narrando ad exemplum virtutis praeterita. Virtutes autem principales sunt quattuor, scilicet: iustitia, qua est bonum commune, cuius exemplum ponitur in Paralipomenis, in quo totius populi status describitur qui per iustitiam gubernatur. Secunda est temperantia, cuius exemplum ponitur in Iudith; unde Hieronymus: accipite Iudith viduam castitatis exemplum. Iudith XV: fecisti viriliter eo quod castitatem amaveris. Tertia est fortitudo, cui duo competunt, scilicet, aggredi; et quantum ad hoc ponitur exemplum in libro Machabaeorum; et sustinere et quantum ad hoc ponitur exemplum in Thobia, Thob. II: hanc autem tentationem ideo permisit dominus evenire illi, ut posteris daretur exemplum patientiae eius. Quarta est prudentia, cuius est obviare insidiis; et quantum ad hoc ponitur exemplum eius in Esdra. In illo enim libro ostenditur quomodo Esdras et Neemias et alii principes prudenter caverunt insidias inimicorum volentium impedire aedificationem templi et civitatis. Est etiam prudentiae sagaciter repellere violentias; et quantum ad hoc datur eius exemplum in libro Hester: ubi ostenditur quomodo Mardocheus et Hester Aman potentissimi fraudes eliserunt.By deeds, however, in two ways. In one way, by instructing about the future through warning; and this is in Joshua, whom Jerome puts in the hagiographies. For although one is a prophet because of the gift of prophecy, this is not his office, because he was not sent by the Lord to prophesy to the people. Hence what is said in Wisdom can be understood of him: she knows signs and wonders before they be done (Wis 8:8). In another way, by speaking about the past as examples of virtue. There are four principal virtues, namely: justice, which is the common good, an example of which is in Chronicles, in which the state of the whole people who are governed by justice is described. Secondly, temperance, an example of which is in Judith; hence, Jerome says: take Judith as the example of the chaste widow. You have done manfully because you have loved chastity (Jdt 15:11). Thirdly, fortitude, which is composed of two things, namely, to attack; and an example of this is in the book of Maccabees; and to endure, and an example of this is in the book of Tobit: now this trial the Lord therefore permitted to happen to him, that an example might be given to posterity of his patience (Tob 2:12). Fourthly, prudence, by which an dangers are avoided; and an example of this is in Ezra because in that book is shown the way that Ezra and Nehemiah and the other leaders prudently took precaution against the plans of the enemies who wanted to prevent the building of the temple and the city. Prudence also involves wisely rebuffing the violent, and an example of this is given in the book of Esther, which shows the way Mordecai and Esther destroy the deceptions of the very powerful Haman.Libri autem Agiographi et apocryphi, qui tantum instruunt verbo, distinguuntur secundum quod verbum dupliciter ad instructionem operatur: uno modo petendo sapientiae donum, Sap. VII: optavi et datus est mihi sensus, invocavi et venit in me spiritus sapientiae. Et ad instructionem operatur Psalterium, per modum orationis Deo loquens. Secundo modo sapientiam docendo, et hoc dupliciter, secundum duplex opus sapientis; quorum unum est mentientem manifestare posse: et quantum ad hoc est liber Iob, qui per modum disputationis errores elidit, Iob XIII: disputare cum Deo cupio prius vos ostendens fabricatores mendacii et cultores perversorum dogmatum. Aliud opus eius est non mentiri de quibus novit; et sic dupliciter instruimur: quia vel commendatur nobis sapientia, et hoc in libro sapientiae; vel sapientiae praecepta proponuntur, et hoc in tribus libris Salomonis: qui quidem distinguuntur secundum tres gradus virtutum quos Plotinus distinguit; quia praecepta sapientiae non nisi de actibus virtutum esse debent. In primo gradu, secundum eum, sunt virtutes politicae, quibus homo moderate rebus mundi utitur et inter homines conversatur; et secundum hoc est liber proverbiorum. In secundo gradu sunt virtutes purgatoriae, quibus homo se a rebus mundi exuit per contemptum; et secundum hoc est Ecclesiastes qui ad contemptum mundi ordinatur, ut patet per Hieronymum in prologo. In tertio gradu sunt virtutes purgati animi, quibus homo, saeculi curis penitus calcatis, in sola sapientiae contemplatione delectatur; et quantum ad hoc sunt cantica. In quarto autem gradu sunt virtutes exemplares in Deo existentes, de quibus praecepta sapientiae non dantur, sed magis derivantur ab eis.Those hagiographic and apocryphal books that instruct by words are distinguished according to the two ways in which words work for instruction: in one way, by asking for the gift of wisdom: I wished and understanding was given me, I asked and the spirit of wisdom came upon me (Wis 7:7). And this is how the Psalms teach, by the mode of speaking to God in prayer. The second way is by teaching wisdom, and this is twofold, according to the two works of wisdom: one of which is to disclose the liar: and such is the book of Job, which by the way of disputation destroyed errors: I desire to dispute with God, first showing that you are forgers of lies and maintainers of perverse opinions (Job 13:3-4). The other work is not to lie about that which it knows, and thus we are taught in two ways: because either wisdom is commended to us, and this is in the book of Wisdom; or the precepts of wisdom are explained, and this is in the three books of Solomon, which indeed are divided according to the three levels of virtue that Plotinus distinguishes, because the principles of wisdom should be nothing but the acts of virtue. In the first level, according to him, are the political virtues, by which a man uses the things of this world with moderation and dwells among men, and this accords with the book of Proverbs. In the second level, there are the purgative virtues, by which a men sets the things of this world aside with contempt, and this accords with Ecclesiastes which is ordered to contempt of the world, as Jerome states in his prologue. In the third level, are virtues of the purged soul, by which a man, having thoroughly spurned the cares of the world, delights in only the contemplation of wisdom, and such an account is the Song of Songs. In the fourth level, there are the exemplar virtues that exist in God, the precepts of which are not given but instead are derived from him.Verbo autem simul et facto instruit Ecclesiasticus. Unde praecepta sapientiae qui proposuit, in laude patrum librum suum terminavit, ut patet a XLIV capitulo et deinceps.Sirach instructs in both word and deed. Hence, the precepts of wisdom which it proposes in praise of fathers end his book, which are found in chapter 44 and what follows.Novum testamentumThe New TestamentNovum autem testamentum, quod ad vitam aeternam ordinat, non solum per praecepta, sed per gratiae dona, dividitur in tres partes. In prima agitur de gratiae origine: et hoc in Evangeliis. In secunda de gratiae virtute: et hoc in epistolis Pauli; unde in principio a virtute Evangelii incipit dicens: virtus Dei est in salutem omni credenti. Rom. I. In tertia agitur de virtutis praedictae executione: et hoc in reliquis libris novi testamenti.The New Testament, which is ordered to eternal life, not only by precepts, but through the gifts of grace, is divided into three parts. In the first, the origin of grace is treated, and this is in the Gospels. In the second, the strength of grace, and this is in the letters of Paul; hence, from the beginning the strength of the Gospel begins to be told: the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes (Rom 1:16). In the third, the carrying out of the aforesaid power is discussed: and this is in the remaining books of the New Testament.Origo autem gratiae Christus est, Ioan. I: de plenitudine eius omnes accepimus, gratiam pro gratia, quia lex per Moysen data est, gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est. In Christo autem est considerare duplicem naturam, scilicet: divinam: et de hoc est principaliter Evangelium Ioannis, unde incipit: in principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat verbum; et humanam: et de hac principaliter tractant alii Evangelistae, qui distinguuntur secundum tres dignitates, quae Christo homini competunt. De ipso enim quantum ad dignitatem regiam determinat Matthaeus; unde in principio sui Evangelii eum secundum carnem a regibus descendisse ostendit et a magis regibus adoratum. Sed quantum ad dignitatem propheticam determinat de eo Marcus; unde a praedicatione eius Evangelium incipit. Quantum vero ad sacerdotalem dignitatem determinat de eo Lucas; unde a templo incipit et a sacerdotio, et in templo finit Evangelium, et frequenter circa templum versatur, ut dicit quaedam Glossa Luc. II super illud: invenerunt eum in templo sedentem in medio doctorum.Now, the origin of grace is Christ: of his fullness, we have all received, grace for grace, because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth are brought by Jesus Christ (John 1:16-17). In Christ two natures are to be considered, namely, a divine; and the Gospel of John is principally concerned with this. Hence, it begins: in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). And, a human; and the other Evangelists principally treat of this, which are distinguished according to the triple dignity that belongs to Christ as man. Matthew designates his royal dignity; hence, in the beginning of his Gospel he shows that he descended from kings according to the flesh and was adored by the Magi kings. Mark designates his prophetic dignity; hence, he begins with the preaching of the Gospel. Luke designates his priestly dignity; hence, he begins with the temple and the priesthood, and he concludes his Gospel in the temple, and frequently returns to the temple, as the Gloss says on Luke 2:46: they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers.Vel aliter, ut dicatur quod Matthaeus determinat de Christo principaliter quantum ad mysterium incarnationis; et ideo in figura hominis describitur; Lucas quantum ad mysterium passionis; et ideo describitur in figura bovis, quod est animal immolatitium; Marcus vero quantum ad victoriam resurrectionis; et ideo describitur in figura leonis; Iohannes vero, qui ad alta divinitatis eius volat, per aquilam designatur.Or alternatively, Matthew might be said to designate Christ principally in terms of the mystery of the Incarnation; and thus he is depicted in the figure of a man; Luke in terms of the mystery of the passion; and thus he depicted in the figure of a bull; Mark in terms of the victory of the resurrection, and thus he is depicted in the figure of a lion; but John, who flies to the heights of his divinity, is depicted as an eagle.Executio autem virtutis gratiae ostenditur in progressu Ecclesiae, in quo est tria considerare. Primo Ecclesiae initium; et de hoc agitur in actibus apostolorum; unde dicit Hieronymus: actus apostolorum nudam videntur sonare historiam et nascentis Ecclesiae infantiam texere. Secundo Ecclesiae profectum; et ad hunc ordinatur instructio apostolica in epistolis canonicis. Tertio Ecclesiae terminum; in quo totius sacrae Scripturae continentiam Apocalypsis concludit, quousque sponsa in thalamum Iesu Christi ad vitam gloriosam participandam; ad quam nos perducat ipse Iesus Christus, benedictus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.The carrying out of the power of grace is shown in the progress of the Church, in which there are three things to consider. First, the beginning of the Church; and this is treated in the Acts of the Apostles; hence, Jerome says: the Acts of the Apostles seems to give the bare history and to cloth the infancy of the nascent Church. Second, the progress of the Church; and the apostolic teaching in the canonical epistles is ordered to this. Third, the end of the Church, in which the content of the whole of sacred Scripture concludes in the Apocalypse, with the spouse in the chamber of Jesus Christ sharing in the life of glory, to which Jesus Christ himself conducts us. May he be blessed forever and ever. Amen.