Praeterea. Sicut medicus in sua operatione intendit sanitatem, quae consistit in ordinata concordia humorum, ita rector civitatis intendit in sua operatione pacem, quae consistit in civium ordinata concordia. Medicus autem abscindit membrum putridum bene et utiliter, si per ipsum immineat corruptio corporis. Iuste igitur et absque peccato rector civitatis homines pestiferos occidit, ne pax civitatis turbetur.Besides. As the physician in his operation aims at health, consisting in the ordered harmony of the humors, so the governor of a state in his operation aims at peace, which is the ordered harmony of the citizens. Now, the surgeon rightly and usefully cuts off the unhealthy member if it threatens the health of the body. Justly, therefore, and rightly the governor of the state slays pestilential subjects, lest the peace of the state be disturbed.Hinc est quod apostolus dicit, I Cor. 5:6: nescitis quia modicum fermentum totam massam corrumpit? Et post pauca subdit: auferte malum ex vobis ipsis. Et Rom. 13:4, dicitur de potestate terrena quod non sine causa gladium portat: Dei enim minister est, vindex in iram ei qui male agit. Et I Petr. 2, dicitur: subiecti estote omni humanae creaturae propter Deum: sive regi, quasi praecellenti; sive ducibus, quasi Missis ad vindictam malefactorum, laudem vero bonorum.Hence the Apostle says: Do you not know that a little leaven corrupts the whole lump? (1 Cor 5:6). And a little further on he adds: Drive out the wicked person from among you (1 Cor 5:13). Again, speaking of earthly authority, he says that he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer (Rom 13:4). Again, it is said: Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the king as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right (1 Pet 2:13–14).Per hoc autem excluditur error quorundam dicentium vindictas corporales non licite fieri. Qui ad sui fulcimentum erroris inducunt quod dicitur Exod. 20:13: non occides. Quod etiam Matth. 5:21 resumitur. Inducunt etiam quod dicitur Matth. 13:30, quod dominus ministris volentibus zizaniam colligere de medio tritici, respondit: sinite utraque crescere usque ad messem. Per zizaniam autem filii nequam intelliguntur, per messem autem saeculi finis, ut ibidem dicitur. Non igitur mali subtrahendi sunt de medio bonorum per occisionem.Hereby we refute the error of those who say that capital punishment is unlawful. They base their error on the words of Exodus 20:13, You shall not kill, which are quoted in Matthew 5:21. They also quote the saying of our Lord in reply to the servants who wished to gather the cockle from the midst of the wheat: Let both grow together until the harvest (Matt 13:30): for the cockle signifies the sons of the evil one, and the harvest is the close of the age, as stated in the same passage (Matt 13:38–39). Therefore, the wicked should not be cut off from the midst of the good by being condemned to death.Inducunt etiam quod homo quandiu in mundo est, potest in melius transmutari. Non ergo est per occisionem subtrahendus a mundo, sed ad poenitentiam reservandus.They also point out that as long as he is on earth man may be converted to better ways. Therefore, he should not be put away from the world, but should be kept there that he may repent.Haec autem frivola sunt. Nam in lege quae dicit, non occides, postmodum subditur: maleficos non patieris vivere. Ex quo datur intelligi occisionem hominum iniustam prohibitam esse. Quod etiam ex verbis domini apparet Matth. 5. Nam cum dixisset, audistis quia dictum est antiquis, non occides, subiunxit: 22 ego autem dico vobis, qui irascitur fratri suo et cetera. Ex quo dat intelligere illam occisionem esse prohibitam quae procedit ex ira, non autem illam quae procedit ex zelo iustitiae. Quod etiam dominus dicit, sinite utraque crescere usque ad messem, qualiter intelligendum sit, apparet per id quod sequitur: ne forte, colligentes zizania, eradicetis simul et triticum. Ibi ergo interdicitur malorum occisio ubi hoc sine periculo bonorum fieri non potest. Quod plerumque contingit quando mali nondum discernuntur a bonis per manifesta peccata; vel quando timetur periculum ne mali multos bonos post se trahant.But these arguments are of no account. For the same law that says: You shall not kill, afterwards adds: You shall not permit wizards to live (Exod 22:18). Hence we are to understand that the prohibition is against the unjust slaying of a man. This is also evident from our Lord’s words in Matt 5. For after saying: You have heard that it was said to the men of old: You shall not kill, he added: I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment (Matt 5:22). By which he gives us to understand that it is forbidden to kill through anger, but not through zeal for righteousness. How we ought to take our Lord’s words: Let both grow together until the harvest, is clear from what follows: Lest in gathering the cockle you root up the wheat along with it (Matt 13:30). Hence it is forbidden to slay the wicked when this cannot be done without danger to the good. And this is often the case when the wicked are not yet discernible from the good by notorious sins, or when it is to be feared lest the wicked draw many good men after them.Quod vero mali, quandiu vivunt, emendari possunt, non prohibet quin iuste possint occidi: quia periculum quod de eorum vita imminet, est maius et certius quam bonum quod de eorum emendatione expectatur. Habent etiam in ipso mortis articulo facultatem ut per poenitentiam convertantur ad Deum. Quod si adeo sunt obstinati quod etiam in mortis articulo cor eorum a malitia non recedit, satis probabiliter aestimari potest quod nunquam a malitia resipiscant.The fact that the wicked are able to amend while alive does not prevent their being justly slain, for the peril that threatens through their remaining alive is greater and more certain than the good to be expected from their amendment. Moreover, in the very hour of death they are able to repent and be converted to God. And if they be so obstinate that even in the hour of death their heart does not abandon its wickedness, it may be reckoned with sufficient probability that they will never recover from their evil ways.GratiaGraceCaput 147Chapter 147Quod homo indiget divino auxilio ad beatitudinem consequendamThat man needs the divine assistance in order to obtain beatitudeQuia vero ex superioribus manifestum est quod divina providentia aliter disponit creaturas rationales quam res alias secundum quod in conditione naturae propriae ab aliis differunt, restat ostendendum quod etiam ex dignitate finis altior gubernationis modus a divina providentia eis adhibetur.But because it is clear from the foregoing that divine providence governs rational creatures otherwise than other things inasmuch as they differ from others in natural condition, it remains to be proved that on account of the excellence of their end, a more exalted mode of government is also applied to them by divine providence.Manifestum est autem quod secundum convenientiam suae naturae, ad altiorem participationem finis perveniunt. Quia enim intellectualis naturae sunt, per suam operationem intelligibilem veritatem attingere possunt: quod aliis rebus non competit, quae intellectu carent. Et quidem secundum quod ad intelligibilem veritatem naturali operatione perveniunt, manifestum est eis aliter provideri divinitus quam aliis rebus: inquantum homini datus est intellectus et ratio, per quae veritatem et discernere et investigare possit; datae sunt etiam ei vires sensitivae, et interiores et exteriores, quibus ad investigandam veritatem adiuvetur; datus est etiam ei loquelae usus, per cuius officium veritatem quam aliquis mente concipit, alteri manifestare possit; ut sic homines seipsos iuvent in cognitione veritatis, sicut et in aliis rebus necessariis vitae, cum sit homo animal naturaliter sociale.It is evident that in keeping with their nature, they attain to a higher participation of the end. For, since they are of an intellectual nature, they are able by their operation to be in touch with intelligible truth, which is impossible for other things, since they lack intelligence. And insofar as they attain to intelligible truth by their natural operation, it is clear that God provides for them otherwise than for other things, in that intelligence and reason are given to man that thereby he may be able both to discern and to discover the truth. Also, to him are given the sensitive powers, both interior and exterior, that by them he may be assisted to discover the truth. Also, to him is given the use of speech, so that by making use of it, one who has conceived the truth in his mind may be able to impart it to another, so that men may thus assist one another in the knowledge of truth even as in other necessaries of life, since man is by nature a social animal.Sed ulterius ultimus finis hominis in quadam veritatis cognitione constitutus est quae naturalem facultatem ipsius excedit: ut scilicet ipsam primam veritatem videat in seipsa, sicut supra ostensum est. Hoc autem inferioribus creaturis non competit, ut scilicet ad finem pervenire possint qui eorum facultatem naturalem excedat. Oportet igitur ut etiam ex hoc fine attendatur diversus gubernationis modus circa homines, et alias inferiores creaturas. Ea enim quae sunt ad finem, necesse est fini esse proportionata. Si igitur homo ordinatur in finem qui eius facultatem naturalem excedat, necesse est ei aliquod auxilium divinitus adhiberi supernaturale, per quod tendat in finem.Furthermore, the knowledge of truth that is appointed as man’s last end is one which surpasses his natural faculty, for it consists in his seeing the first truth itself in itself, as we have proved above. Now this is not suited to lower creatures—namely, that they be able to reach an end surpassing their natural faculty. Consequently, there arises from this end an additional reason why a different manner of government should be accorded to men and to other creatures of a lower nature, because the means should be proportionate to the end. Thus, if man be directed to an end surpassing his natural faculty, he stands in need of a supernatural assistance from God to enable him to tend to that end.Adhuc. Res inferioris naturae in id quod est proprium superioris naturae non potest perduci nisi virtute illius superioris naturae: sicut luna, quae ex se non lucet, fit lucida virtute et actione solis; et aqua, quae per se non calet, fit calida virtute et actione ignis. Videre autem ipsam primam veritatem in seipsa ita transcendit facultatem humanae naturae, quod est proprium solius Dei, ut supra ostensum est. Indiget igitur homo auxilio divino ad hoc quod in dictum finem perveniat.Moreover. A thing of inferior nature cannot attain to what is proper to a higher nature except by virtue of that higher nature. Thus the moon, that does not shine of itself, is made to shine by the power and action of the sun; likewise, water that is not hot of itself becomes hot by the power and action of fire. Now, to see the first truth itself in itself so far surpasses the faculty of human nature that it belongs to God alone, as we have shown above. Therefore, man needs the divine assistance in order to reach that end.Item. Unaquaeque res per operationem suam ultimum finem consequitur. Operatio autem virtutem sortitur ex principio operante: unde per actionem seminis generatur aliquid in determinata specie, cuius virtus in semine praeexistit. Non potest igitur homo per operationem suam pervenire in ultimum finem suum, qui transcendit facultatem naturalium potentiarum, nisi eius operatio ex divina virtute efficaciam capiat perducendi ad finem praedictum.Again. Everything obtains its last end by its own operation. Now, an operation derives its efficacy from the operating principle: hence, by the action of the seed, something is produced in a definite species through the efficacy preexisting in the seed. Therefore, man cannot attain to his last end by his own operation, which surpasses the faculty of his natural powers, unless his operation be enabled by the divine power to bring him to it.Amplius. Nullum instrumentum secundum virtutem propriae formae perducere potest ad ultimam perfectionem, sed solum secundum virtutem principalis agentis: quamvis secundum propriam virtutem aliquam dispositionem facere possit ad ultimam perfectionem. A serra enim secundum rationem propriae formae est sectio ligni, sed forma scamni est ab arte, quae utitur instrumento: similiter resolutio et consumptio in corpore animalis est a calore ignis, sed generatio carnis, et determinatio augmenti, et alia huiusmodi, sunt ab anima vegetabili, quae utitur calore igneo sicut instrumento. Sub Deo autem, qui est primus intellectus et volens, ordinantur omnes intellectus et voluntates sicut instrumenta sub principali agente. Oportet igitur quod eorum operationes efficaciam non habeant respectu ultimae perfectionis, quae est adeptio finalis beatitudinis, nisi per virtutem divinam. Indiget igitur rationalis natura divino auxilio ad consequendum ultimum finem.Besides. No instrument can achieve ultimate perfection by virtue of its own form, but only by virtue of the principal agent: although by virtue of its own form it can cause some disposition to the ultimate perfection. Thus a saw, by reason of its own form, causes the cutting of the wood, but the form of the bench is produced by the art that employs the instrument; likewise in the body of an animal, resolution and consumption is the result of the animal heat, but the formation of flesh, and regulation of increase and other such things, come from the vegetative soul, which uses heat as its instrument. Now, to God, the first intellect and willer, all intellects and wills are subordinate as instruments under the principal agent. Consequently, their operations have no efficacy in respect of their ultimate perfection, which is the attainment of final beatitude, except by the power of God. Therefore, the rational nature needs the divine assistance in order to obtain its last end.Praeterea. Homini adsunt impedimenta plurima perveniendi ad finem. Impeditur enim debilitate rationis, quae de facili trahitur in errorem, per quem a recta via perveniendi in finem excluditur. Impeditur etiam ex passionibus partis sensitivae, et ex affectionibus quibus ad sensibilia et inferiora trahitur, quibus quanto magis inhaeret, longius ab ultimo fine distat: haec enim infra hominem sunt, finis autem hominis superior eo existit. Impeditur etiam plerumque corporis infirmitate ab executione virtuosorum actuum, quibus ad beatitudinem tenditur. Indiget igitur auxilio divino homo ne per huiusmodi impedimenta totaliter ab ultimo fine deficiat.Further. Many obstacles prevent man from reaching his end. For he is hindered by the weakness of his reason, which is easily drawn into error, which bars him from the straight road that leads to his end. He is also hindered by the passions of the sensitive faculty, and by the affections whereby he is drawn to sensible and inferior things, since the more he adheres to them, the further is he removed from his last end: for such things are below man, whereas his end is above him. Again, he is often hindered by weakness of the body from doing acts of virtue, whereby he tends to beatitude. Therefore, he needs the help of God, lest by such obstacles he turn away utterly from his last end.Hinc est quod dicitur Ioan. 6:44: nemo potest venire ad me nisi pater, qui misit me, traxerit illum; et 15:4: sicut palmes non potest ferre fructum a semetipso nisi manserit in vite, sic nec vos nisi in me manseritis.Hence it is said: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (John 6:44); and: As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me (John 15:4).Per hoc autem excluditur error Pelagianorum qui dixerunt quod per solum liberum arbitrium homo poterat Dei gloriam promereri.Hereby we refute the error of the Pelagians, who asserted that man can merit the glory of God by his free-will alone.Caput 148Chapter 148Quod per auxilium divinae gratiae homo non cogitur ad virtutemThat the assistance of divine grace does not compel man to virtuePosset autem videri alicui quod per divinum auxilium aliqua coactio homini inferatur ad bene agendum, ex hoc quod dictum est, nemo potest venire ad me nisi pater, qui misit me, traxerit eum; et ex hoc dicitur Rom. 8:14, qui spiritu Dei aguntur, hi filii Dei sunt et II Cor. 5:14, caritas Christi urget nos. Trahi enim, et agi, et urgeri, coactionem importare videntur.It could appear to some that the divine assistance compels man to do well, since it is said: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (John 6:44); and on account of the saying: All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Rom 8:14); and again: For the love of Christ controls us (2 Cor 5:14). And it would seem that compulsion is implied in being drawn, led and controlled.Hoc autem non esse verum manifeste ostenditur. Divina enim providentia rebus omnibus providet secundum modum eorum, ut supra ostensum est. Est autem proprium homini, et omni rationali naturae, quod voluntarie agat et suis actibus dominetur, ut ex supra dictis patet. Huic autem coactio contrariatur. Non igitur Deus suo auxilio hominem cogit ad recte agendum.But it is evident that this is not true. For divine providence provides for all things according to their mode, as we have proved above. Now, it is proper to man—and every rational nature—to act voluntarily and to be master of his actions, as we have shown. And compulsion is incompatible with this. Therefore, God does not compel man to do right by assisting him.Adhuc. Divinum auxilium sic intelligitur ad bene agendum homini adhiberi, quod in nobis nostra opera operatur, sicut causa prima operatur operationes causarum secundarum, et agens principale operatur actionem instrumenti: unde dicitur Isaiae 26:12: omnia opera nostra operatus es in nobis, domine. Causa autem prima causat operationem causae secundae secundum modum ipsius. Ergo et Deus causat in nobis nostra opera secundum modum nostrum, qui est ut voluntarie, et non coacte agamus. Non igitur divino auxilio aliquis cogitur ad recte agendum.Again. When we say that the divine assistance is given to man that he may do well, we mean that it does our works in us, even as the first cause does the works of second causes, and the principal agent produces the action of the instrument. Hence it is said: Lord, you have wrought in us all our works (Isa 26:12). Now, the first cause produces the operation of the second cause, according to the latter’s mode. Therefore, God also causes our works in us according to our mode, which is that we act freely and not by compulsion. Therefore, the divine assistance does not compel a man to do right.Amplius. Homo per voluntatem ordinatur in finem: obiectum enim voluntatis est bonum et finis. Auxilium autem divinum nobis ad hoc praecipue impenditur ut consequamur finem. Eius ergo auxilium non excludit a nobis actum voluntatis, sed ipsum praecipue in nobis facit: unde et apostolus dicit, Philipp. 2:13: Deus est qui operatur in nobis velle et perficere, pro bona voluntate. Coactio autem excludit in nobis actum voluntatis: coacte enim agimus cuius contrarium volumus. Non ergo Deus suo auxilio nos cogit ad recte agendum.Besides. Man is directed to his end by his will, because the object of the will is the good and the end. Now, the divine assistance is given to us chiefly that we may obtain the end. Therefore, this assistance does not deprive us of the act of the will, but in a special way is the cause of this act in us. Hence the Apostle says: God is at work in us, both to will and to work, for his good pleasure (Phil 2:13). But compulsion excludes from us the act of the will: for we do under compulsion that which is against our will. Therefore, God does not compel us to do right by his assistance.Item. Homo pervenit ad ultimum suum finem per actus virtutum: felicitas enim virtutis praemium ponitur. Actus autem coacti non sunt actus virtutum: nam in virtute praecipuum est electio, quae sine voluntario esse non potest, cui violentum contrarium est. Non igitur divinitus homo cogitur ad recte agendum.Further. Man reaches his last end by acts of virtue, for beatitude is said to be the reward of virtue. Now compulsory actions are not acts of virtue, because virtue’s principal condition is choice, which is impossible unless it be voluntary, to which compulsion is opposed. Therefore, God does not compel man to do right.Praeterea. Ea quae sunt ad finem, debent esse fini proportionata. Finis autem ultimus, qui est felicitas, non competit nisi voluntarie agentibus, qui sunt domini sui actus: unde neque inanimata, neque bruta animalia felicia dicimus, sicut nec fortunata aut infortunata, nisi secundum metaphoram. Auxilium igitur quod homini datur divinitus ad felicitatem consequendam, non est coactivum.Moreover. The means should be proportionate to the end. Now, the last end, which is happiness, is not becoming except to those who act voluntarily, and are masters of their own actions. Hence neither inanimate beings nor dumb animals are said to be happy, as neither are they said to be lucky or unlucky, save metaphorically. Therefore, the assistance which God gives man that he may obtain happiness does not compel him.Hinc est quod Deut. 30 dicitur: considera quod hodie proposuerit dominus in conspectu tuo vitam et bonum, et e contrario mortem et malum: ut diligas dominum Deum tuum, et ambules in viis eius. Si autem aversum fuerit cor tuum et audire nolueris, praedico tibi hodie quod pereas. Et Eccli. 15:17 dicitur: ante hominem est vita et mors, bonum et malum. Quod placuerit ei, dabitur illi.Hence it is said: Consider that the Lord has set before you this day life and good, death and evil. that you may . . . love the Lord your God, by walking in his ways . . . But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear. . . I declare to you this day, that you shall perish (Deut 30:15–18). Again it is said: Before man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him (Sir 15:17).Caput 149Chapter 149Quod divinum auxilium homo promereri non potestThat man is unable to merit the divine assistanceEx dictis autem manifeste ostenditur quod auxilium divinum homo promereri non potest. Quaelibet enim res ad id quod supra ipsam est, materialiter se habet. Materia autem non movet seipsam ad suam perfectionem sed oportet quod ab alio moveatur. Homo igitur non movet seipsum ad hoc quod adipiscatur divinum auxilium, quod supra ipsum est, sed potius ad hoc adipiscendum a Deo movetur. Motio autem moventis praecedit motum mobilis ratione et causa. Non igitur propter hoc nobis datur auxilium divinum quia nos ad illud per bona opera promovemus, sed potius ideo nos per bona opera proficimus, quia divino auxilio praevenimur.It can be clearly shown from what has been said that man is unable to merit God’s assistance. For everything is in the position of matter in regard to what is above it. Now matter does not move itself to its perfection, but needs to be moved by another. Therefore, man does not move himself to the effect of obtaining the divine assistance, for this is above him: indeed, rather is he moved for this purpose by God. Now the motion of the mover precedes the movement of the thing moved both logically and causally. Consequently, the divine assistance is not given to us because by our good deeds we previously move ourselves to obtain it, but rather do we advance by our good deeds because of God’s prevenient help.Adhuc. Agens instrumentale non disponit ad perfectionem inducendam a principali agente nisi secundum quod agit ex virtute principalis agentis: sicut calor ignis non magis praeparat materiam ad formam carnis quam ad aliam formam, nisi inquantum agit in virtute animae. Sed anima nostra operatur sub Deo sicut agens instrumentale sub principali agente. Non igitur potest se anima praeparare ad suscipiendum effectum divini auxilii nisi secundum quod agit ex virtute divina. Praevenitur igitur divino auxilio ad bene operandum, magis quam divinum auxilium praeveniat, quasi merendo illud vel se praeparando ad illud.Again. An instrumental agent does not produce a disposition for the introduction of perfection by the principal agent except insofar as it acts by virtue of the principal agent. Thus animal heat does not prepare matter for the form of flesh any more than for another form, save insofar as it acts by virtue of the soul. Now, our soul works under God as the instrumental under the principal agent. Consequently, the soul is unable to prepare itself to receive the effect of the divine assistance save insofar as it acts by virtue of God. Therefore, it is anticipated by the divine assistance, rather than anticipates it (as though it merited it or prepared itself for it).Amplius. Nullum agens particulare potest universaliter praevenire actionem primi universalis agentis: eo quod omnis actio particularis agentis originem habet ab universali agente; sicut in istis inferioribus omnis motus praevenitur a motu caelesti. Sed anima humana ordinatur sub Deo sicut particulare agens sub universali. Impossibile est ergo esse aliquem rectum motum in ipsa quem non praeveniat actio divina. Unde et Ioan. 15:5, dominus dicit: sine me nihil potestis facere.Also. No particular agent can in every case anticipate the action of the first universal agent, because every action of a particular agent originates from a universal agent. Thus here below every movement is anticipated by the heavenly movement. Now, the human soul is subordinate to God as the particular to the universal agent. Therefore, there cannot be a right movement in the soul that is not anticipated by the divine action. Hence our Lord said: Apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).Item. Merces proportionatur merito: cum in retributione mercedis aequalitas iustitiae observetur. Effectus autem divini auxilii, qui facultatem naturae excedit, non est proportionatus actibus quos homo ex naturali facultate producit. Non igitur per huiusmodi actus potest homo praedictum auxilium mereri.Besides. Meed is proportionate to merit, because equality of justice is observed in giving rewards. Now, since the effect of God’s assistance surpasses the faculty of nature, it is not proportionate to the acts that man performs by his natural faculty. Therefore, man cannot merit the aforesaid assistance by such acts.Praeterea. Cognitio praecedit voluntatis motum. Cognitio autem supernaturalis finis est homini a Deo: cum per rationem naturalem in ipsum attingere homo non possit, eo quod facultatem naturalem excedit. Oportet ergo quod motus voluntatis nostrae in ultimum finem auxilium divinum praeveniat.Further. Knowledge precedes the movement of the will. Now, knowledge of his supernatural end comes to man from God, because man cannot obtain such knowledge by his natural reason, since it surpasses his natural faculty. Therefore, the movement of our will towards our last end needs to be anticipated by the divine assistance.Hinc est quod dicitur Tit. 3:5: non ex operibus iustitiae quae fecimus nos, sed secundum suam misericordiam salvos nos fecit. Et Rom. 9:16: non est volentis, scilicet velle, nec currentis scilicet currere, sed miserentis Dei: quia scilicet oportet quod ad bene volendum et operandum homo divino praeveniatur auxilio; sicut consuetum est quod effectus aliquis non attribuitur proximo operanti, sed primo moventi; attribuitur enim victoria duci, quae labore militum perpetratur. Non ergo per huiusmodi verba excluditur liberum voluntatis arbitrium, sicut quidam male intellexerunt, quasi homo non sit dominus suorum actuum interiorum et exteriorum: sed ostenditur Deo esse subiectum. Et Thren. 4 dicitur: converte nos, domine, ad te, et convertemur: per quod patet quod conversio nostra ad Deum praevenitur auxilio Dei nos convertentis.Hence it is said: He saved us not because of deeds done by us in justice, but in virtue of his own mercy (Titus 3:5). And: It depends not upon man’s will, namely, to will, or the runner, namely, to run, but upon God’s mercy (Rom 9:16). For in order that he may will and do well, man needs God’s prevenient assistance, even as an effect is not usually ascribed to the proximate agent but to the first mover. Thus victory is attributed to the general, although it is achieved by the work of the soldiers. Hence these words do not exclude free-will, as some have misunderstood them to do, as though man were not master of his own actions both internal and external; but they indicate the subjection of the free-will to God. Moreover, it is said: Convert us to yourself, O Lord, and we shall be converted (Lam 5:21): from which it is clear that our conversion to God is anticipated by the assistance of God when he converts us.Legitur tamen Zach. 1:3, ex persona Dei dictum, convertimini ad me, et convertar ad vos: non quin Dei operatio nostram conversionem praeveniat, ut dictum est, sed quia conversionem nostram, qua ad ipsum convertimur, adiuvat subsequenter, eam roborando ut ad effectum perveniat, et stabiliendo ut finem debitum consequatur.Yet we read as said in the person of God: Convert to me, and I will convert to you (Zech 1:3). This does not, however, deny the anticipating of our conversion by God’s operation which we have affirmed, but it means that after our conversion, whereby we turn to him, he maintains it by strengthening it so as to make it effective, and by upholding it, that it may reach its due end.