Contra id quod dixerat incorruptibilis, dicit corruptibilis. Ps. XXIX, 10: quae utilitas in sanguine meo dum descendo in corruptionem? Scilicet quod est amplius iam corruptum sive mortuum? Sap. XV, 17: cum sit mortalis, mortuum fingit, manibus iniquis.
In contrast to immortal he says corruptible: what profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? (Ps 30:9), i.e., what good is a dead thing? He is mortal, and what he makes with lawless hands is dead (Wis 15:17).
Contra id quod dixit Dei, ponit hominis. Iob XXXII, 21: non accipiam personam viri et Deum homini non aequabo.
In contrast to God he says man: I will not show partiality to any man and I will not equate God with man (Job 32:21).
Et, quod est abominabilius, homo gloriam Dei transtulit non solum in hominem, qui est ad imaginem Dei sed etiam ad ea quae sunt infra hominem, unde subdit et volucrum quantum ad volatilia, et quadrupedum quantum ad gressibilia, et serpentium quantum ad reptilia. Praetermittit autem pisces tamquam magis ab humana conversatione seiunctos. Haec autem omnia sunt a Deo homini supposita. Ps. VIII, 8: omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius. Ez. VIII, 9: ingredere et vide abominationes pessimas quas isti faciunt hic. Et ingressus vidi; et ecce omnis similitudo reptilium et animalium et cetera.
But what is more abominable, man exchanged God’s glory not only for man, who is made to the image of God, but even for things inferior to man. Hence, he adds of birds, things that fly, and of fourfooted beasts, things that walk, and of creeping things, things that crawl. He omits fish as being less familiar to ordinary human life. Now all these things were put under man by God: you have put all things under his feet (Ps 8:8); go in and see the vile abominations that they are committing here. So I went in and saw; and there, portrayed upon the wall round about were all kinds of creeping things and loathsome beasts (Ezek 8:9).
136. Est autem notandum quod, sicut dicit Glossa, ab adventu Aeneae consueverunt in Italia imagines hominum coli, puta Iovis, Herculis et similium. Sed tempore Caesaris Augusti, devicta Aegypto, eorum cultum Romani assumpserunt qui imagines animalium colebant, propter figuras animalium, quae notantur in caelo, quibus Aegypti, tamquam astrologiae dediti, cultum divinitatis impendebant. Unde et Dominus filios Israel in Aegypto nutritos ab huiusmodi cultu removet dicens Deut. IV, 19: ne forte elevatis oculis ad coelum videas solem et lunam et omnia astra caeli, etc.
136. It might be mentioned, as a Gloss says, that from the time of Aeneas’ arrival in Italy, images of men were cultivated, e.g., Jupiter, Hercules, and so on. But after the conquest of Egypt during the reign of Caesar Augustus, the Romans took up the worship of animal images (on account of the figures of animals discovered in the sky), to which the Egyptians, given to astrology, rendered divine worship. Hence, the Lord himself instructed the children of Israel raised in Egypt against such worship, when he said: beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, you be drawn away and worship them (Deut 4:19).
137. Deinde cum dicit propter quod tradidit, ponit poenam huiusmodi culpae respondentem.
137. Then when he says wherefore, God gave them up he mentions the punishment for such a sin.
Circa quod considerandum est quod homo medium locum obtinet inter Deum et animalia bruta, et cum utroque extremorum communicat: cum Deo quidem, secundum intellectualitatem; cum animalibus vero brutis, secundum sensualitatem. Sicut igitur homo, id quod est Dei, mutavit usque ad bestias, ita Deus, id quod est divinum in homine secundum rationem, subdidit ei quod est brutale in ipso, scilicet desiderio sensualitatis, secundum illud Ps. XLVIII, 21: homo cum in honore esset non intellexit, similitudinem scilicet divinae imaginis propter rationem, comparatus est iumentis insipientibus. Hoc est ergo quod dicit propter quod tradidit illos Deus in desideria cordis, ut eorum ratio subderetur desideriis cordis, scilicet sensualis affectus, de quibus dicitur infra XIII, 14: carnis curam ne feceritis in desideriis. Quod quidem est contra naturalem ordinem hominis, secundum quem ratio appetitui sensibili dominatur. Gen. IV, 7: sub te erit appetitus eius, et tu dominaberis illius.
Here it should be noted that man holds a place midway between God and the beasts and has something in common with both: with God, intellectuality; with animals, sensibility. Therefore, just as man exchanged that which was of God for what is bestial, so God subjected the divine in man, namely reason, to what is of the beast in him, his sensual desire, as it is stated: man cannot abide in his pomp (Ps 49:20), i.e., understand the likeness of the divine image in him through reason, he is like the beasts that perish. This, therefore, is why he says wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart, so that their reason would be ruled by the desires of the heart, namely, lustful affections, about which he says below: make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences (Rom 13:14). But this is contrary to man’s natural order, in which reason dominates the sense appetites: its desire is under you and you must master it (Gen 4:7).
Inducit ergo homines in desideria cordis eorum sicut in manu dominorum crudelium. Is. XIX, 4: tradam Aegyptum in manu dominorum crudelium.
Consequently, he releases men to the desires of the heart as to cruel masters: I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master (Isa 19:4).
138. Praecipue tamen circa appetitum sensitivum bestialis quaedam deordinatio pertinet ad peccata carnalia. Nam delectationes tactus, circa quas sunt gula et luxuria, manifeste sunt communes nobis et brutis. Et ideo sunt magis exprobrabiles quasi magis brutales, ut dicit Philosophus in III Ethicorum.
138. It is chiefly with respect to the sense appetite that a certain bestial derangement is present in carnal sins. For the pleasures of touch, which delight gluttony and lust, are common to us and to beasts. Hence, they are more detestable, being more brutish, as the Philosopher says in Ethics III.
Et hoc designatur cum subdit in immunditiam quae ad peccata carnalia pertinet, secundum illud Eph. V, 5: omnis fornicator aut immundus, quia scilicet homo, per huiusmodi peccata, maxime convertitur et trahitur ad id quod est infra ipsum. Unumquodque enim dicitur esse impurum sive immundum ex commixtione vilioris, sicut argentum ex commixtione plumbi. Unde exponens subdit ut contumeliis, id est turpibus et immundis actibus, afficiant, id est inficiant, corpora sua in semet ipsis, id est non quasi ab aliis coacti, puta a barbaris, sed a semetipsis hoc agunt, propria sponte. Infra IX, 21: an non habet potestatem figulus luti ex eodem luto facere aliud vas in honorem, aliud in contumeliam? Scilicet in turpem usum.
This is designated when he says unto uncleanness, which refers to sins of the flesh, as is clear from Ephesians: every fornicator or impure man (Eph 5:5); because it is especially through such sins that man turns to and is drawn to what is beneath him. For a thing is said to be impure or tainted from being mixed with something base, as silver mixed with lead. Hence, in explanation he continues: to dishonor, by base and unclean acts, their own bodies among themselves, i.e., not as though compelled by others, for example, by savages, but they do this among themselves spontaneously. Below: has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vase for honor and another for dishonor? (Rom 9:21). Namely, for menial use.
139. Sed cum huiusmodi immunditia sit peccatum, videtur quod Deus in eam homines non tradat, quia, ut dicitur Iac. I, 13: Deus intentator malorum est.
139. But since impurity of this kind is a sin, it seems that God would not give men over to it: God himself tempts no one to evil (Jas 1:13).
Dicendum est quod Deus non dicitur tradere homines in immunditiam directe, inclinando affectum hominis ad malum, quia Deus omnia ordinat in seipsum, Prov. XVI, 4: universa propter se operatus est Dominus, peccatum autem est aliquid per aversionem ab eo. Sed indirecte tradit homines in peccatum, in quantum iuste subtrahit gratiam per quam homines continebantur ne peccarent; sicut si aliquis alicuius substentaculum tolleret, diceretur facere casum eius. Et per hunc modum primum peccatum est causa sequentis peccati, sequens vero est poena prioris.
The answer is that God does not give men over to impurity directly, as though inclining a man’s affection toward evil, because God ordains all things to himself: the Lord has made everything for himself (Prov 16:4), whereas something is sinful through its turning from him. But he gives men over to sin indirectly, inasmuch as he justly withdraws the grace through which men are kept from sinning, just as a person would be said to cause another to fall, if he removed the ladder supporting him. In this way, one’s first sin is a cause of the next, which is at the same time a punishment for the first one.
Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est quod unum peccatum potest esse causa alterius indirecte et directe. Directe quidem, in quantum ex uno peccato inclinatur ad aliud, quod fit tripliciter. Uno modo secundum rationem causae finalis; sicut cum quis ex avaritia vel invidia incitatur ad homicidium committendum. Secundo, secundum rationem causae materialis; sicut gula inducit ad luxuriam, ministrando materiam. Tertio, secundum rationem causae moventis; sicut cum ex multis actibus alicuius peccati generatur habitus ad simile peccatum inducens.
To understand this it should be noted that one sin can be the cause of another directly or indirectly: directly, inasmuch as from one sin he is inclined to another in any of three ways. In one way, when it acts as a final cause; for example, when someone from greed or envy is incited to commit murder. Second, when it acts as a material cause, as gluttony leads to lust by administering the material. Third, when it acts as a moving cause, as when many repetitions of the same sin produce a habit inclining a person to repeat the sin.
Indirecte autem, sicut primum peccatum meretur exclusionem gratiae, qua subtracta, homo ruit in aliud peccatum. Et sic primum peccatum est causa secundi indirecte sive per accidens, sicut removens prohibens.
Indirectly, when the first sin merits the exclusion of grace, so that once it is removed, a man falls into another sin. In this way the first sin is the cause of the second indirectly or incidentally, inasmuch as it removes the preventative.
140. Sed notandum est quod peccatum, in quantum huiusmodi, non potest esse poena, quia poenam contra voluntatem patimur, peccatum autem est voluntarium, ut Augustinus dicit. Sed quia peccatum habet quaedam adiuncta, quae sunt contra voluntatem peccantis, ratione eorum peccatum dicitur poena praecedentis peccati. Hoc autem est, uno modo, aliquid praecedens peccatum, sicut subtractio gratiae ex qua sequitur ut homo peccet. Alio modo, est aliquid adiunctum ipsi peccato, vel interius sicut est inordinatio animi, unde Augustinus dicit in I Confessionum: iussisti Domine, et sic est ut poena sibi sit omnis inordinatus animus; sive quantum ad exteriores actus, quibus difficultates ac labores adiunguntur, secundum illud quod dicunt impii Sap. V, 7: ambulavimus vias difficiles, etc. Tertio, quantum ad id quod sequitur peccatum sicut est remorsus conscientiae, infamia et similia.
140. It should be borne in mind, however, that sin as such cannot be a punishment, because we suffer punishment against our will, whereas sin is voluntary, as Augustine says. But because sin has certain features contrary to the will of the sinner, it is by reason of them that a sin is called a punishment of a previous sin. One of these features is something preceding the sin, as the withdrawal of grace, from which it follows that a man sins. Another is something that accompanies the sin either interiorly, as that the mind is disarranged; hence Augustine says in Confessions I: you have commanded it, O Lord, and so it comes to pass that every disarranged mind is a punishment to itself; or in regard to its outward acts, which involve difficulties and labors, as sinners aver: we journeyed through trackless deserts (Wis 5:7). The third feature is something that follows the sin, such as remorse of conscience, bad reputation, and so on.
141. Deinde cum dicit commutaverunt, ponit culpam impietatis quam commiserunt contra veritatem divinae naturae.
141. Then, when he says who changed the truth, he mentions the sin of ungodliness committed against the truth of the divine nature.
Et primo ponit culpam,
First, he mentions the sin;
secundo poenam, ibi propterea tradidit.
second, the punishment, at wherefore, God gave them up.
142. Divina autem natura potest considerari dupliciter. Uno modo secundum quod est ratio cognoscendi, ut veritas prima, et quantum ad hoc dicit quia commutaverunt veritatem Dei in mendacium.
142. The divine nature can be considered in two ways: in one way, as being the first truth. In this respect he says that they changed the truth of God into a lie.
Quod quidem potest intelligi dupliciter. Uno modo quia veram cognitionem quam a Deo acceperunt, perversa ratione ad falsa dogmata converterunt, sicut cum dixerunt idola esse deos, vel Deum non esse omnipotentem, vel omniscientem. Ier. IX, 5: docuerunt linguas suas loqui mendacium. Alio modo veritatem Dei in mendacium mutaverunt quia divinitatis naturam, quae est ipsa veritas, attribuerunt idolo, quod est mendacium inquantum non est Deus, ut dicitur Ier. XVI, 19 s.: vere mendacium possederunt patres nostri, vanitatem quae eis non profuit. Numquid faciet homo sibi deos, et ipsi non sunt dii?
This can be taken in two ways: first, that they changed the true knowledge they received from God into false dogmas with their perverse reasoning; for example when they claimed that certain idols are gods or that God is not all-powerful or all-knowing: they have taught their tongue to speak lies (Jer 9:5). In another way, they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, because they attributed the nature of divinity, which is truth itself, to an idol, which is a lie, inasmuch as it is not God: our fathers have inherited nothing but lies; worthless things in which there is no profit. Can man make for himself gods? Such are no gods! (Jer 16:19).
Alio modo potest considerari divina natura secundum quod est principium essendi omnibus per creationem: et sic debetur ei ab homine, interius quidem, cultus secundum pium affectum, Io. IX, 31: si quis cultor Dei est, etc., exterius vero, debetur ei servitus latriae, secundum illud Deut. VI, 13: Dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies.
The divine nature can be considered in another way as being the source of existence for all things though creation. Consequently, men owed him worship: inwardly, the worship of a pious love: if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, him he hears (John 9:31); outwardly, the service of latria: the Lord, your God, shall you adore and him alone shall you serve (Deut 9:13).
143. Unde subdit, contra eos scilicet, coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius, etc. Colebant enim caelestia corpora et aerem et aquam et alia huiusmodi, secundum illud Sap. XIII, 2: aut ignem, aut spiritum, aut citatum aerem, etc.
143. Then he continues, charging that they worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator. For they worshipped heavenly bodies and air and water and other such things: they supposed that fire or wind or swift air or the circle of the stars (Wis 13:2).
Et in hoc improbat sapientes gentilium qui, quamvis numquam in imaginibus aliquid numinis esse crederent, sicut sectatores Hermetis credebant, neque ea quae a poetis fabulose dicebantur de diis crederent esse vera, creaturis tamen aliquibus cultum divinitatis impendebant ex quibus rationem fabularum assignabant. Sicut Varro posuit totum mundum esse Deum propter animam eius, dicens quod toti mundo, et omnibus partibus eius, divinitatis cultus impendi potest, scilicet aeri quem vocabant Iunonem, et aquae quam vocabant Liaeum, et sic de aliis. Platonici etiam posuerunt quod omnibus substantiis rationalibus, quae sunt supra nos, cultus divinitatis debetur; puta daemonibus, animabus caelestium corporum, intelligentiis, id est substantiis separatis.
With these words he censures the wise men of the gentiles who, although they never believed that anything divine was present in images, as the followers of Hermes believed, or that the fables created by poets concerning the gods were true, nevertheless paid divine worship to certain creatures, thus lending support to the fables. Thus, Varro supposed that the universe was God on account of its soul and taught that divine worship can be paid to the whole universe, namely, to the air, which they called Juno, to the water, which they called Liaeus, and to other things. Even the Platonists taught that divine worship was owed to all the rational substances above us; for example, to demons, to the souls of the heavenly bodies, and to the intelligences, i.e., the separated substances.
Quamvis autem iis, quae supra nos sunt, aliquam reverentiam exhibere debeamus, non tamen cultum latriae, quae potissime in sacrificiis et oblatione consistit, per quam homo profitetur omnium bonorum Deum esse auctorem, sicut in quolibet regno aliquis honor supremo domino exhibetur quem non licet transferre in alium.
Now, although we should show some reverence to those above us, it should never be the worship of latria, which consists chiefly in sacrifices and oblations, through which man professes God to be the author of all good things. Similarly, in any kingdom certain honors are due the supreme ruler and it is not lawful to transfer them to anyone else.
144. Et ideo subdit qui est benedictus, idest cuius bonitas est manifesta, sicut enim dicimus benedicere Deum in quantum eius bonitatem corde recognoscimus et ore confitemur. Eccli. XLIII, 33: benedicentes Deum exaltate illum quantum potestis.
144. And for this reason he adds who is blessed, i.e., whose goodness is evident, just as we are said to bless God, when we admit his goodness with our heart and express it orally: when you bless him, put forth all your strength (Eccl 43:30).
Addit autem in saecula, quia eius bonitas est sempiterna ab alio non dependens, sed omnis boni principium. Et ex hoc sibi debetur omnis latriae cultus.
He adds forever because his goodness is everlasting; it depends on no one else, but is the source of all good. For this reason the worship of latria is due him.
Addit autem amen ad omnimodam certitudinem asserendam. Is. LXV, 16: qui benedictus est super terram benedicetur in Deo. Amen, quod idem est quod verum, vel fiat.
He ends with amen to indicate absolute certainty: he who blesses himself in the land shall be blessed by the God of truth (Isa 65:16). Amen, i.e., it is true, or so be it.
145. Videtur autem Apostolus triplicem theologiam tangere gentilium.
145. It seems that the Apostle touches on the three theologies of the gentiles.
Primo quidem civilem, quae observabatur a pontificibus in adoratione idolorum in templo; et quantum ad hoc dicit: et mutaverunt gloriam incorruptibilis Dei.
First, the civil, which was observed by their priests adoring idols in the temple; in regard to this he says: they changed the glory of the incorruptible God.
Secundo theologiam fabularem, quam poetae tradebant in theatris; et quantum ad hoc dicit: qui commutaverunt veritatem Dei in mendacium.
Second, the theology of fables, which their poets presented in the theater. In regard to this he says: who changed the truth of God into a lie.
Tertio theologiam naturalem, quam observaverunt philosophi in mundo, partes mundi colentes; et quantum ad hoc dicit: et coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius quam creatori.
Third, their natural theology, which the philosophers observed in the world, when they worshipped the parts of the world. In regard to this he says: and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator.
The punishments of the gentiles
1:26 Propterea tradidit illos Deus in passiones ignominiae: nam feminae eorum immutaverunt naturalem usum in eum usum qui est contra naturam. [n. 146]
1:26 For this cause, God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [n. 146]
1:27 Similiter autem et masculi, relicto naturali usu feminae, exarserunt in desideriis suis in invicem, masculi in masculos turpitudinem operantes, et mercedem, quam oportuit, erroris sui in semetipsis recipientes. [n. 150]
1:27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: men with men, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [n. 150]
1:28 Et sicut non probaverunt Deum habere in notitia, tradidit illos Deus in reprobum sensum, ut faciant ea quae non conveniunt, [n. 152]
1:28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not fitting. [n. 152]
1:29 repletos omni iniquitate, malitia, fornicatione, avaritia, nequitia, plenos invidia, homicidio, contentione, dolo, malignitate: susurrones, [n. 156]
1:29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness: full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity: whisperers, [n. 156]