Primo quidem, quia homo ordinatur ad Deum sicut ad quendam finem qui comprehensionem rationis excedit, secundum illud Isaiae LXIV, oculus non vidit Deus absque te, quae praeparasti diligentibus te. Finem autem oportet esse praecognitum hominibus, qui suas intentiones et actiones debent ordinare in finem. Unde necessarium fuit homini ad salutem, quod ei nota fierent quaedam per revelationem divinam, quae rationem humanam excedunt.
First, indeed, because man is directed to God, as to an end that surpasses the grasp of his reason: The eye hath not seen, O God, besides Thee, what things Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee (Isa 64:4). But the end must first be known by men who are to direct their thoughts and actions to the end. Hence it was necessary for the salvation of man that certain truths which exceed human reason should be made known to him by divine revelation.
Ad ea etiam quae de Deo ratione humana investigari possunt, necessarium fuit hominem instrui revelatione divina. Quia veritas de Deo, per rationem investigata, a paucis, et per longum tempus, et cum admixtione multorum errorum, homini proveniret, a cuius tamen veritatis cognitione dependet tota hominis salus, quae in Deo est. Ut igitur salus hominibus et convenientius et certius proveniat, necessarium fuit quod de divinis per divinam revelationem instruantur.
Even as regards those truths about God which human reason could have discovered, it was necessary that man should be taught by a divine revelation; because the truth about God such as reason could discover, would only be known by a few, and that after a long time, and with the admixture of many errors. Whereas man’s whole salvation, which is in God, depends upon the knowledge of this truth. Therefore, in order that the salvation of men might be brought about more fitly and more surely, it was necessary that they should be taught divine truths by divine revelation.
Necessarium igitur fuit, praeter philosophicas disciplinas, quae per rationem investigantur, sacram doctrinam per revelationem haberi.
It was therefore necessary that besides philosophical science built up by reason, there should be a sacred science learned through revelation.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet ea quae sunt altiora hominis cognitione, non sint ab homine per rationem inquirenda, sunt tamen, a Deo revelata, suscipienda per fidem. Unde et ibidem subditur, plurima supra sensum hominum ostensa sunt tibi. Et in huiusmodi sacra doctrina consistit.
Reply Obj. 1: Although those things which are beyond man’s knowledge may not be sought for by man through his reason, nevertheless, once they are revealed by God, they must be accepted by faith. Hence the sacred text continues, For many things are shown to thee above the understanding of man (Eccl 3:25). And in this, the sacred science consists.
Ad secundum dicendum quod diversa ratio cognoscibilis diversitatem scientiarum inducit. Eandem enim conclusionem demonstrat astrologus et naturalis, puta quod terra est rotunda, sed astrologus per medium mathematicum, idest a materia abstractum; naturalis autem per medium circa materiam consideratum. Unde nihil prohibet de eisdem rebus, de quibus philosophicae disciplinae tractant secundum quod sunt cognoscibilia lumine naturalis rationis, et aliam scientiam tractare secundum quod cognoscuntur lumine divinae revelationis. Unde theologia quae ad sacram doctrinam pertinet, differt secundum genus ab illa theologia quae pars philosophiae ponitur.
Reply Obj. 2: Sciences are differentiated according to the different ways that things are knowable. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion, for instance that the earth is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics, i.e., abstracting from matter, and the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence nothing prevents those things which may be learned from the philosophical disciplines, so far as they can be known by the light of natural reason, from being considered by another science according as they are known by the light of divine revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.
Utrum sacra doctrina sit scientia
Whether sacred doctrine is a science?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit scientia. Omnis enim scientia procedit ex principiis per se notis. Sed sacra doctrina procedit ex articulis fidei, qui non sunt per se noti, cum non ab omnibus concedantur, non enim omnium est fides, ut dicitur II Thessalon. III. Non igitur sacra doctrina est scientia.
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not a science. For every science proceeds from self-evident principles. But sacred doctrine proceeds from articles of faith which are not self-evident, since their truth is not admitted by all: For all men have not faith (2 Thess 3:2). Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
Praeterea, scientia non est singularium. Sed sacra doctrina tractat de singularibus, puta de gestis Abrahae, Isaac et Iacob, et similibus. Ergo sacra doctrina non est scientia.
Obj. 2: Further, no science deals with individual facts. But this sacred science treats of individual facts, such as the deeds of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and such like. Therefore sacred doctrine is not a science.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, XIV de Trinitate, huic scientiae attribuitur illud tantummodo quo fides saluberrima gignitur, nutritur, defenditur, roboratur. Hoc autem ad nullam scientiam pertinet nisi ad sacram doctrinam. Ergo sacra doctrina est scientia.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xiv, 1) to this science alone belongs that whereby saving faith is begotten, nourished, protected and strengthened. But this can be said of no science except sacred doctrine. Therefore sacred doctrine is a science.
Respondeo dicendum sacram doctrinam esse scientiam. Sed sciendum est quod duplex est scientiarum genus. Quaedam enim sunt, quae procedunt ex principiis notis lumine naturali intellectus, sicut arithmetica, geometria, et huiusmodi. Quaedam vero sunt, quae procedunt ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiae, sicut perspectiva procedit ex principiis notificatis per geometriam, et musica ex principiis per arithmeticam notis. Et hoc modo sacra doctrina est scientia, quia procedit ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiae, quae scilicet est scientia Dei et beatorum. Unde sicut musica credit principia tradita sibi ab arithmetico, ita doctrina sacra credit principia revelata sibi a Deo.
I answer that, Sacred doctrine is a science. We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from a principle known by the natural light of intelligence, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of perspective proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. So it is that sacred doctrine is a science because it proceeds from principles established by the light of a higher science, namely, the science of God and the blessed. Hence, just as the musician accepts on authority the principles taught him by the mathematician, so sacred science is established on principles revealed by God.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod principia cuiuslibet scientiae vel sunt nota per se, vel reducuntur ad notitiam superioris scientiae. Et talia sunt principia sacrae doctrinae, ut dictum est.
Reply Obj. 1: The principles of any science are either in themselves self-evident, or reducible to the conclusions of a higher science; and such, as we have said, are the principles of sacred doctrine.
Ad secundum dicendum quod singularia traduntur in sacra doctrina, non quia de eis principaliter tractetur, sed introducuntur tum in exemplum vitae, sicut in scientiis moralibus; tum etiam ad declarandum auctoritatem virorum per quos ad nos revelatio divina processit, super quam fundatur sacra Scriptura seu doctrina.
Reply Obj. 2: Individual facts are treated of in sacred doctrine, not because it is concerned with them principally, but they are introduced rather both as examples to be followed in our lives (as in moral sciences) and in order to establish the authority of those men through whom the divine revelation, on which this sacred scripture or doctrine is based, has come down to us.
Utrum sacra doctrina sit una scientia
Whether sacred doctrine is one science?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit una scientia. Quia secundum Philosophum in I Poster., una scientia est quae est unius generis subiecti. Creator autem et creatura, de quibus in sacra doctrina tractatur, non continentur sub uno genere subiecti. Ergo sacra doctrina non est una scientia.
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not one science; for according to the Philosopher (Poster. i) that science is one which treats only of one genus of subjects. But the creator and the creature, both of whom are treated of in sacred doctrine, cannot be grouped together under one genus of subjects. Therefore sacred doctrine is not one science.
Praeterea, in sacra doctrina tractatur de angelis, de creaturis corporalibus, de moribus hominum. Huiusmodi autem ad diversas scientias philosophicas pertinent. Igitur sacra doctrina non est una scientia.
Obj. 2: Further, in sacred doctrine we treat of angels, corporeal creatures and human morality. But these belong to separate philosophical sciences. Therefore sacred doctrine cannot be one science.
Sed contra est quod sacra Scriptura de ea loquitur sicut de una scientia, dicitur enim Sap. X, dedit illi scientiam sanctorum.
On the contrary, Holy Scripture speaks of it as one science: Wisdom gave him the knowledge of holy things (Wis 10:10).
Respondeo dicendum sacram doctrinam unam scientiam esse. Est enim unitas potentiae et habitus consideranda secundum obiectum, non quidem materialiter, sed secundum rationem formalem obiecti, puta homo, asinus et lapis conveniunt in una formali ratione colorati, quod est obiectum visus. Quia igitur sacra Scriptura considerat aliqua secundum quod sunt divinitus revelata, secundum quod dictum est, omnia quaecumque sunt divinitus revelabilia, communicant in una ratione formali obiecti huius scientiae. Et ideo comprehenduntur sub sacra doctrina sicut sub scientia una.
I answer that, Sacred doctrine is one science. The unity of a faculty or habit is to be gauged by its object, not indeed, in its material aspect, but as regards the precise formality under which it is an object. For example, man, ass, stone agree in the one precise formality of being colored; and color is the formal object of sight. Therefore, because Sacred Scripture considers things precisely under the formality of being divinely revealable, whatever has been divinely revealed possesses the one precise formality of the object of this science; and therefore is included under sacred doctrine as under one science.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sacra doctrina non determinat de Deo et de creaturis ex aequo, sed de Deo principaliter, et de creaturis secundum quod referuntur ad Deum, ut ad principium vel finem. Unde unitas scientiae non impeditur.
Reply Obj. 1: Sacred doctrine does not treat of God and creatures equally, but of God primarily, and of creatures only so far as they are referable to God as their beginning or end. Hence the unity of this science is not impaired.
Ad secundum dicendum quod nihil prohibet inferiores potentias vel habitus diversificari circa illas materias, quae communiter cadunt sub una potentia vel habitu superiori, quia superior potentia vel habitus respicit obiectum sub universaliori ratione formali. Sicut obiectum sensus communis est sensibile, quod comprehendit sub se visibile et audibile, unde sensus communis, cum sit una potentia, extendit se ad omnia obiecta quinque sensuum. Et similiter ea quae in diversis scientiis philosophicis tractantur, potest sacra doctrina, una existens, considerare sub una ratione, inquantum scilicet sunt divinitus revelabilia, ut sic sacra doctrina sit velut quaedam impressio divinae scientiae, quae est una et simplex omnium.
Reply Obj. 2: Nothing prevents inferior faculties or habits from being differentiated by something which falls under one higher faculty or habit; because the higher faculty or habit regards the object in its more universal formality, as the object of the common sense is whatever affects the senses, including, therefore, whatever is visible or audible. Hence the common sense, although one faculty, extends to all the objects of the five senses. Similarly, objects which are the subject-matter of different philosophical sciences can yet be treated of by this one single sacred science under one aspect precisely so far as they can be included in revelation. So that in this way, sacred doctrine is, as it were, the stamp of the divine science, which is one and simple yet extends to all things.
Utrum sacra doctrina sit scientia practica
Whether sacred doctrine is a practical science?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina sit scientia practica. Finis enim practicae est operatio, secundum philosophum in II Metaphys. Sacra autem doctrina ad operationem ordinatur, secundum illud Iac. I, estote factores verbi, et non auditores tantum. Ergo sacra doctrina est practica scientia.
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is a practical science; for a practical science is that which ends in action according to the Philosopher (Metaph. ii). But sacred doctrine is ordained to action: Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only (Jas 1:22). Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
Praeterea, sacra doctrina dividitur per legem veterem et novam. Lex autem pertinet ad scientiam moralem, quae est scientia practica. Ergo sacra doctrina est scientia practica.
Obj. 2: Further, sacred doctrine is divided into the Old and the New Law. But law implies a moral science which is a practical science. Therefore sacred doctrine is a practical science.
Sed contra, omnis scientia practica est de rebus operabilibus ab homine; ut moralis de actibus hominum, et aedificativa de aedificiis. Sacra autem doctrina est principaliter de Deo, cuius magis homines sunt opera. Non ergo est scientia practica, sed magis speculativa.
On the contrary, Every practical science is concerned with human operations; as moral science is concerned with human acts, and architecture with buildings. But sacred doctrine is chiefly concerned with God, whose handiwork is especially man. Therefore it is not a practical but a speculative science.
Respondeo dicendum quod sacra doctrina, ut dictum est, una existens, se extendit ad ea quae pertinent ad diversas scientias philosophicas, propter rationem formalem quam in diversis attendit, scilicet prout sunt divino lumine cognoscibilia. Unde licet in scientiis philosophicis alia sit speculativa et alia practica, sacra tamen doctrina comprehendit sub se utramque; sicut et Deus eadem scientia se cognoscit, et ea quae facit.
I answer that, Sacred doctrine, being one, extends to things which belong to different philosophical sciences because it considers in each the same formal aspect, namely, so far as they can be known through divine revelation. Hence, although among the philosophical sciences one is speculative and another practical, nevertheless sacred doctrine includes both; as God, by one and the same science, knows both Himself and His works.
Magis tamen est speculativa quam practica, quia principalius agit de rebus divinis quam de actibus humanis; de quibus agit secundum quod per eos ordinatur homo ad perfectam Dei cognitionem, in qua aeterna beatitudo consistit.
Still, it is more speculative than practical because it is more concerned with divine things than with human acts; though it does treat even of these latter, inasmuch as man is ordained by them to the perfect knowledge of God in which consists eternal bliss.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta.
This is a sufficient answer to the Objections.
Utrum sacra doctrina sit dignior aliis scientiis
Whether sacred doctrine is nobler than other sciences?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacra doctrina non sit dignior aliis scientiis. Certitudo enim pertinet ad dignitatem scientiae. Sed aliae scientiae, de quarum principiis dubitari non potest, videntur esse certiores sacra doctrina, cuius principia, scilicet articuli fidei, dubitationem recipiunt. Aliae igitur scientiae videntur ista digniores.
Objection 1: It seems that sacred doctrine is not nobler than other sciences; for the nobility of a science depends on the certitude it establishes. But other sciences, the principles of which cannot be doubted, seem to be more certain than sacred doctrine; for its principles—namely, articles of faith—can be doubted. Therefore other sciences seem to be nobler.
Praeterea, inferioris scientiae est a superiori accipere, sicut musicus ab arithmetico. Sed sacra doctrina accipit aliquid a philosophicis disciplinis, dicit enim Hieronymus in epistola ad magnum oratorem urbis Romae, quod doctores antiqui intantum philosophorum doctrinis atque sententiis suos resperserunt libros, ut nescias quid in illis prius admirari debeas, eruditionem saeculi, an scientiam Scripturarum. Ergo sacra doctrina est inferior aliis scientiis.
Obj. 2: Further, it is the sign of a lower science to depend upon a higher; as music depends on arithmetic. But sacred doctrine does in a sense depend upon philosophical sciences; for Jerome observes, in his Epistle to Magnus the Roman orator, that the ancient doctors so enriched their books with the ideas and phrases of the philosophers, that thou knowest not what more to admire in them, their profane erudition or their scriptural learning. Therefore sacred doctrine is inferior to other sciences.
Sed contra est quod aliae scientiae dicuntur ancillae huius, Prov. IX, misit ancillas suas vocare ad arcem.
On the contrary, Other sciences are called the handmaidens of this one: Wisdom sent her maids to invite to the tower (Prov 9:3).
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum ista scientia quantum ad aliquid sit speculativa, et quantum ad aliquid sit practica, omnes alias transcendit tam speculativas quam practicas.
I answer that, Since this science is partly speculative and partly practical, it transcends all others speculative and practical.
Speculativarum enim scientiarum una altera dignior dicitur, tum propter certitudinem, tum propter dignitatem materiae. Et quantum ad utrumque, haec scientia alias speculativas scientias excedit. Secundum certitudinem quidem, quia aliae scientiae certitudinem habent ex naturali lumine rationis humanae, quae potest errare, haec autem certitudinem habet ex lumine divinae scientiae, quae decipi non potest. Secundum dignitatem vero materiae, quia ista scientia est principaliter de his quae sua altitudine rationem transcendunt, aliae vero scientiae considerant ea tantum quae rationi subduntur.
Now one speculative science is said to be nobler than another, either by reason of its greater certitude, or by reason of the higher worth of its subject-matter. In both these respects this science surpasses other speculative sciences. It surpasses them as regards greater certitude because other sciences derive their certitude from the natural light of human reason, which can err; whereas this derives its certitude from the light of divine knowledge, which cannot be misled. It surpasses them as regards the higher worth of its subject-matter because this science treats chiefly of those things which by their sublimity transcend human reason; while other sciences consider only those things which are within reason’s grasp.