Scriptum Super Sententiis IV
Commentary on Sentences IV
Psalm 107 :20
Misit verbum suum, et sanavit eos, et eripuit eos de interitionibus eorum.
He sent his Word and healed them, and delivered them from all their destructions.
Ex peccato primi hominis humanum genus duo incurrerat, scilicet mortem, et infirmitatem. Mortem propter separationem a vitae principio, de quo in Psalm. 35, 10, dicitur: apud te est fons vitae; et qui separatur ab hoc principio, de necessitate moritur: et hoc factum est per primum hominem. Unde dicitur Rom. 5, 12: per unum hominem peccatum in mundum intravit, et per peccatum mors. Infirmitatem vero propter destitutionem gratiae, quae est hominis sanitas, quae petitur Hierem. 17, 14: sana me Domine, et sanabor; et ideo in Psalm. 6, 3, dicitur: miserere mei Domine, quoniam infirmus sum.
By the sin of the first man, the human race incurred two things, namely, death and infirmity. Death, because of its separation from the principle of life, of which it is said, with you is the font of life (Ps 36 :9); whoever is separated from this principle necessarily dies, and this happened through the first man. Hence it is said, by one man sin entered the world, and by sin, death (Rom 5:12). But the human race incurred infirmity because it forsook grace, which is man’s health. Jeremiah seeks this health when he says: heal me, Lord, and I shall be healed (Jer 17:14); and similarly the Psalm says, have mercy on me, Lord, for I am weak (Ps 6:2).
Ad hoc autem sufficiens remedium haberi non poterat, nisi ex verbo Dei, quod est fons sapientiae in excelsis, Eccli. 1, et per consequens vitae: quia sapientia vitam tribuit possessori, Eccli. 7; unde dicitur Joan. 5, 21: sicut pater suscitat mortuos et vivificat; sic filius quos vult, vivificat.
But a sufficient remedy could be obtained for this only from the word of God, which is the font of wisdom on high (Sir 1:5) and, accordingly, the source of life: for wisdom endows its possessor with life (cf. Sir 7). Thus it is said, as the Father raises up the dead and gives life, so the Son also gives life to whom he will (Jn 5:20).
Ipsum etiam est virtus Dei, quo omnia portantur; Hebr. 1, 3: portans omnia verbo virtutis suae; et ideo est efficax ad infirmitatem tollendam. Unde in Psalm. 32, 6, dicitur: verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt; et Sap. 16, 12: neque herba neque malagma sanavit eos, sed sermo tuus, Domine, qui sanat omnia. Sed quia vivus est sermo Dei et efficax, et penetrabilior omni gladio ancipiti, ut dicitur Heb. 4, 12, necessarium fuit ad hoc quod nobis medicina tam violenta proficeret, quod ei carnis nostrae infirmitas adjungeretur, ut nobis magis congrueret. Hebr. 11, 17: debuit per omnia fratribus assimilari, ut misericors fieret. Et propter hoc, verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis; Joan. 1, 14. Sed quia haec medicina tantae est efficaciae ut omnes sanare possit (virtus enim exibat de illo, et sanabat omnes, ut dicitur Luc. 6, 19), ideo ab hac universali medicina et prima aliae particulares medicinae procedunt universali medicinae conformes, quibus mediantibus virtus universalis medicinae proveniat ad infirmos: et haec sunt sacramenta, in quibus sub tegumento rerum visibilium divina virtus secretius operatur salutem, ut Augustinus dicit.
The word is the power of God, by which all things are upheld: upholding all things by the word of his power (Heb 1:3). And this is why it is efficacious for removing infirmity. Thus it is said, by the word of the Lord the heavens were established (Ps 33 :6); and neither herb nor poultice cured them, but your word, O Lord, which heals all things (Wis 16:12). But because the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12), for a treatment so violent to be effective for us it was necessary that the infirmity of our flesh might be joined to it, so that it might be more suited to us; therefore, he had to become like his brethren in all things, so that he could be a merciful and faithful high priest (Heb 2:17). And for this reason, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14). But because this treatment is so powerful that it can cure all men (for power went out from him and he cured all, as it says in Luke 6:19), therefore from this universal medicine come forth other particular medicines resembling the universal medicine, and by these intermediaries the power of the universal medicine reaches the sick: and these are the sacraments, in which, under the cover of visible things, divine power works our healing in a hidden way, as Augustine says.
Sic ergo in verbis propositis tria tanguntur: scilicet confectio medicinae, sanatio ab infirmitate, et liberatio a morte.
Therefore in this way three things are touched upon in the words above: namely, the preparation of this medicine, healing from infirmity, and liberation from death.
Confectio medicinae tangitur in hoc quod dicit: misit verbum suum; quod quidem referendum est et ad Verbi incarnationem, quod dicitur a Deo missum, quia caro factum; Gal. 4, 4: misit Deus filium suum factum ex muliere; et ad sacramentorum institutionem, in quibus accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum, ut sic sit conformitas sacramenti ad Verbum incarnatum. Sanctificatur enim creatura sensibilis per Verbum Dei et orationem; 1 Timoth., 4.
The preparation of the medicine is touched upon when it says, he sent his word. This should be understood as referring to the Incarnation of the Word, who is said to be sent by God because he became flesh: God sent his Son, born of a woman (Gal 4:4). It should also be understood as referring to the institution of the sacraments, in which the word is combined with the element and the sacrament is made; so that in this way a sacrament is similar to the Incarnate Word. For sensible creation is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (1 Tim 4:5).
Sanatio autem ab infirmitate peccati et reliquiarum ejus, tangitur in hoc quod dicitur: et sanavit eos; quae quidem sanatio per sacramenta fit: unde ipsa sunt unguenta sanitatis, quae Christus quasi unguentarius confecit; unde et in Psalm. 102, 3, dicitur: qui propitiatur omnibus iniquitatibus tuis, quantum ad peccata; qui sanat omnes infirmitates tuas, quantum ad peccatorum reliquias.
But healing from the infirmity of sin and all it leaves behind is referred to when it says, and healed them. This healing happens indeed through the sacraments, and so they are themselves the ointments of healing, which Christ, like an apothecary, prepared. Hence it also says, who forgives all your iniquities, as to sin, and who heals all your infirmities, as to the effects of sin (Ps 103 :3).
Liberatio autem a morte tangitur in hoc quod dicitur: et eripuit eos de interitionibus eorum. Et quia interitus in mortem violentam sonare videtur, ideo congrue ad poenalem mortem referri potest: quia ratio poenae est ut contra voluntatem sit, sicut ratio culpae ut sit voluntaria; et ideo culpa ad infirmitatem reducitur, poena ad mortem: quia via ad poenam est culpa, sicut infirmitas ad mortem. Non solum autem separatio animae a corpore mors dici potest, sed etiam omnes praesentis vitae poenalitates: et ideo pluraliter interitiones nominantur, sicut et 2 Cor. 11, 23: in mortibus frequenter. A morte ergo corruptionis naturae eripiet Verbum incarnatum per resurrectionem: quia in Christo omnes vivificabuntur; 1 Corinth. 25, 22, Isai. 26, 19: vivent interfecti mei etc.; sed a mortibus poenalitatum per gloriam: tunc enim absorpta erit mors per victoriam; 1 Corinth. 25; et de his in Psalm. 102, 4, dicitur: qui redimit de interitu vitam tuam, quantum ad primum: qui coronat te in misericordia, quantum ad secundum.
But deliverance from death is referred to when it says, and delivered them from all their destructions. And since ‘destruction’ suggests violent death, this text can be taken as referring to penal death, for the notion of punishment is that it is against one’s will, just as the notion of fault is that it is voluntary; and thus fault is related to infirmity and punishment to death, for fault is the way to punishment just as infirmity is the way to death. But besides the separation of the soul from the body all the punishments of this present life can also be called death, and therefore it says destructions in the plural, just as it says in 2 Cor 11:23, often in deaths. Therefore, from the death of nature’s corruption the Incarnate Word will deliver us by his resurrection: for in Christ all will be made alive (1 Cor 15:22); and my slain shall rise again (Isa 26:19). But from deaths of punishment the Incarnate Word will deliver us through glory, for then death will be swallowed up by victory (cf. 1 Cor 15); and concerning this the Psalm says, who redeems your life from destruction, with regard to the first (Ps 103 :4); who crowns you with mercy, with regard to the second.
Sic ergo ex verbis propositis tria possumus accipere circa hunc quartum librum, qui prae manibus habetur, scilicet materiam: quia in eo agitur de sacramentis, et de resurrectione et gloria resurgentium.
And so from the words quoted we can gather three things concerning this fourth book, which is now at hand. First, the matter: for it is about the sacraments, the resurrection, and the glory of those rising again.
Item continuationem ad tertium librum: quia in tertio agebatur de missione Verbi in carnem, in hoc autem libro de effectibus Verbi incarnati; ut quartus respondeat tertio, sicut secundus primo.
Next, that it is a continuation of the third book: for the third was about the sending forth of the Word in flesh, but this book is about the effects of the Incarnate Word, so that the fourth book corresponds to the third just as the second does to the first.
Item divisionem istius libri. Dividitur enim in partes duas: in prima determinat de sacramentis; in secunda determinat de resurrectione, et gloria resurgentium, 43 distinct., ibi: postremo de conditione resurrectionis et modo resurgentium . . . breviter disserendum est. Item prima dividitur in duas. In prima determinat de sacramentis in generali; in secunda descendit ad sacramenta novae legis, 2 dist., ibi: jam ad sacramenta novae legis accedamus.
Lastly, the division of this book, for it is divided into two parts: in the first, the sacraments are examined; in the second, the resurrection and the glory of the resurrected, as it says at Distinction 43: lastly, we must briefly discuss the condition of the resurrection and the manner of the risen. Likewise, the first part is divided into two parts. In the first, he defines the sacraments in general; in the second, he moves to the sacraments of the New Law at Distinction 2: let us now proceed to the sacraments of the New Law.
De sacramentis in generali
Sacraments in General
Prima in duas: in prima dicitur de quo est intentio: in secunda prosequitur, ibi: sacramentum est sacrae rei signum. Circa primum duo facit: primo proponit materiam de qua agendum est. Secundo ostendit quid de ea primo dicendum sit, ibi: de quibus quattuor primo consideranda sunt.
The first part is divided into two: in the first, the intention is stated; in the second, it is pursued, at a sacrament is a sign of a sacred thing. Concerning this he does two things. First, he proposes the matter to be discussed. Second, he shows what will be said about it: first, at: concerning which, four things must first be considered.
Sacramentum est sacrae rei signum. Hic determinare incipit de sacramentis in communi; et dividitur in partes duas: in prima determinat de sacramentis secundum se; in secunda de divisione sacramenti in suas partes, ibi: duo autem sunt in quibus sacramentum consistit. Prima in duas: in prima ostendit quid est sacramentum; in secunda necessitatem institutionis sacramentorum, ibi, triplici autem ex causa sacramenta instituta sunt. Prima in duas: in prima venatur genus sacramenti; in secunda differentias, ibi: signorum vero alia sunt naturalia . . . alia data. Circa primum duo facit: primo ponit sacramentum in genere signi; secundo definit signum, ibi: signum vero est res praeter speciem quam ingerit sensibus, aliquid aliud ex se faciens in cognitionem venire.
A sacrament is a sign of a sacred thing. Here he begins to define the sacraments in general, and it is divided into two parts: in the first, he defines the sacraments in themselves; in the second, he divides the sacraments into their parts, at: a sacrament consists of two elements. The first is in two parts: in the first, he shows what a sacrament is; in the second, the necessity of the institution of the sacraments, at: The sacraments were instituted for a threefold cause. The first is in two parts: in the first, he seeks out the genus of sacraments; in the second, the differences, at: But some signs are natural . . . others are conventional. Concerning the first point he does two things: first, he places the sacrament in the genus of signs; second, he defines signs, at: A sign is a thing which, over and above the form which it impresses on the senses, causes something else to come into the mind through itself.
Signorum vero alia sunt naturalia . . . alia data. Hic venatur differentias: et primo unam differentiam communem omnibus sacramentis, quae est ut imaginem gerat; secundo aliam quae est propria sacramentorum novae legis, in quibus est perfecta ratio sacramenti, scilicet ut causa existat, ibi: sacramentum enim proprie dicitur, quod ita signum est gratiae Dei, et invisibilis gratiae forma, ut ipsius imaginem gerat et causa existat.
But some signs are natural . . . others are conventional. Here he delineates the differences: first, one difference common to every sacrament, which is that it bears an image; second, another difference which is proper to sacraments of the New Law, in which the nature of a sacrament is perfectly realized, namely, that it acts as a cause, at: For a sacrament is properly so called because it is a sign of God’s grace and a form of invisible grace in such a manner that it bears its image and is its cause.
Duo autem sunt in quibus sacramentum consistit. Hic dividit sacramentum in duas partes: et primo in partes integrales; secundo in partes subjectivas, ibi: jam videre restat differentiam sacramentorum veterum, et novorum. Et circa haec, duo facit: primo ostendit differentiam inter sacramenta veteris et novae legis; secundo determinat de quodam sacramento veteris legis, quod maxime cum sacramentis novae legis communicat, ibi: fuit autem inter illa sacramenta sacramentum quoddam, scilicet circumcisionis, idem conferens remedium contra peccatum quod nunc baptismus praestat. Quarum prima pars cum praecedentibus est de lectione praesenti.
A sacrament consists of two elements. Here he divides a sacrament into two parts: the first is essential parts, and the second, subjective parts, at: it now remains to note the difference between the old and new sacraments. And concerning these, he does two things: first, he shows the difference between the sacraments of the Old Law and of the New Law; second, he examines a certain sacrament of the Old Law which shares the most with the sacraments of the New Law, at: And yet there was one among those sacraments, namely circumcision, which conferred the same remedy against sin as baptism does now. The first of these parts with everything preceding it is the topic of the present lecture.
The Essence of the Sacraments
Hic quaeruntur quinque:
Here five questions arise:
Primo, quid sit sacramentum;
first, what is a sacrament;
secundo, de necessitate sacramentorum;
second, on the necessity of the sacraments;
tertio, ex quibus consistat sacramentum;
third, what a sacrament consists of;
quarto, de efficacia sacramentorum novae legis;
fourth, on the efficacy of the sacraments of the New Law;
quinto, de efficacia sacramentorum veteris legis.
fifth, on the efficacy of the sacraments of the Old Law.
Quid sit sacramentum
What is a sacrament
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter definiatur sacramentum per hoc quod dicitur: sacramentum est sacrae rei signum. Sacramenta enim sunt alligamenta sanitatis, ut dicitur in Glossa super illud Psalm. 146, 3: qui sanat contritos corde. Sed de ratione medicamenti non est ut aliquid significet, sed solum ut efficiat sanitatem. Ergo sacramentum non est signum.
To the first we proceed thus. It seems that ‘sacrament’ is unfittingly defined by saying a sacrament is a sign of a sacred thing. For sacraments are bonds of health, as it says in the Gloss on the Psalm: who heals the broken-hearted (Ps 147 :3). But the idea of medicine is not that it signifies something, but only that it brings about health. Therefore, a sacrament is not a sign.
Praeterea, omnes creaturae sensibiles sunt signa invisibilium divinorum, ut patet Rom. 1, nec tamen dici possunt sacramenta. Ergo male definitur sacramentum sacrae rei signum.
Obj. 2: Furthermore, all sensible creatures are signs of invisible divine things, as is clear from Romans 1:20, but nevertheless they cannot be called sacraments. Therefore, sacrament is wrongly defined as a sign of a sacred thing.
Praeterea, serpens aeneus, de quo dicitur Num. 21, signum fuit sacrae rei, scilicet crucis Christi: nec tamen fuit sacramentum. Ergo definitio praedicta est male data.
Obj. 3: Furthermore, the brass serpent that is spoken of in Numbers 21 was a sign of a sacred thing, namely, the cross of Christ, but it was still not a sacrament. Therefore, the definition mentioned is badly written.
Praeterea, triplex est signum; scilicet demonstrativum, quod est de praesenti; rememorativum, quod est de praeterito; prognosticum, quod est de futuro. Sed nullum istorum competit sacramento, cum quandoque recipiens sacramentum, gratiam non habeat, nec habuit, nec in posterum habiturus sit. Ergo non omne sacramentum est signum.
Obj. 4: Furthermore, there are three kinds of sign, namely the demonstrative, which concerns the present; the commemorative, which concerns the past; and the prognostic, which concerns the future. But none of these corresponds to a sacrament, since sometimes the person receiving the sacrament does not have grace, nor has had it, nor ever will have it afterward. Therefore, not every sacrament is a sign.
Praeterea, signum contra causam dividitur. Sed aliquod sacramentum est causa. Ergo non omne sacramentum est signum.
Obj. 5: Furthermore, sign is not in the same genus as cause. But some sacraments are causes. Therefore, not every sacrament is a sign.