Deinde considerandum est de vitiis religioni oppositis. Et primo, de illis quae cum religione conveniunt in hoc quod exhibent cultum divinum; secundo, de vitiis manifestam contrarietatem ad religionem habentibus, per contemptum eorum quae ad cultum divinum pertinent. Primum autem horum pertinet ad superstitionem; secundum ad irreligiositatem. Unde primo considerandum est de ipsa superstitione, et de partibus eius; deinde de irreligiositate et partibus eius.
In due sequence we must consider the vices that are opposed to religion. First we shall consider those which agree with religion in giving worship to God; second, we shall treat of those vices which are manifestly contrary to religion, through showing contempt of those things that pertain to the worship of God. The former come under the head of superstition, the latter under that of irreligion. Accordingly we must consider in the first place, superstition and its parts, and afterwards irreligion and its parts.
Circa primum quaeruntur duo.
Under the first head there are two points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum superstitio sit vitium religioni contrarium.
(1) Whether superstition is a vice opposed to religion?
Secundo, utrum habeat plures partes seu species.
(2) Whether it has several parts or species?
Utrum superstitio sit vitium religioni contrarium
Whether superstition is a vice contrary to religion?
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod superstitio non sit vitium religioni contrarium. Unum enim contrariorum non ponitur in definitione alterius. Sed religio ponitur in definitione superstitionis, dicitur enim superstitio esse religio supra modum servata, ut patet in Glossa ad Coloss. II, super illud, quae sunt rationem habentia sapientiae in superstitione. Ergo superstitio non est vitium religioni oppositum.
Objection 1: It would seem that superstition is not a vice contrary to religion. One contrary is not included in the definition of the other. But religion is included in the definition of superstition: for the latter is defined as being immoderate observance of religion, according to a gloss on Col. 2:23, Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in superstition. Therefore superstition is not a vice contrary to religion.
Praeterea, Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., superstitiosos ait Cicero appellatos qui totos dies precabantur et immolabant ut sui sibi liberi superstites fierent. Sed hoc etiam fieri potest secundum verae religionis cultum. Ergo superstitio non est vitium religioni oppositum.
Obj. 2: Further, Isidore says (Etym. x): Cicero states that the superstitious were so called because they spent the day in praying and offering sacrifices that their children might survive (superstites) them. But this may be done even in accordance with true religious worship. Therefore superstition is not a vice opposed to religion.
Praeterea, superstitio quendam excessum importare videtur. Sed religio non potest habere excessum, quia sicut supra dictum est, secundum eam non contingit aequale Deo reddere eius quod debemus. Ergo superstitio non est vitium religioni oppositum.
Obj. 3: Further, superstition seems to denote an excess. But religion admits of no excess, since, as stated above (Q. 81, A. 5, ad 3), there is no possibility of rendering to God, by religion, the equal of what we owe Him. Therefore superstition is not a vice contrary to religion.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de decem chordis, tangis primam chordam, qua colitur unus Deus, et cecidit bestia superstitionis. Sed cultus unius Dei pertinet ad religionem. Ergo superstitio religioni opponitur.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Decem Chord. Serm. ix): Thou strikest the first chord in the worship of one God, and the beast of superstition hath fallen. Now the worship of one God belongs to religion. Therefore superstition is contrary to religion.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, religio est virtus moralis. Omnis autem virtus moralis in medio consistit, ut supra habitum est. Et ideo duplex vitium virtuti morali opponitur, unum quidem secundum excessum; aliud autem secundum defectum. Contingit autem excedere medium virtutis non solum secundum circumstantiam quae dicitur quantum, sed etiam secundum alias circumstantias. Unde in aliquibus virtutibus, sicut in magnanimitate et magnificentia, vitium excedit virtutis medium non quia ad maius aliquid tendat quam virtus, sed forte ad minus, transcendit tamen virtutis medium, inquantum facit aliquid cui non debet, vel quando non debet, et similiter secundum alia huiusmodi; ut patet per philosophum, in IV Ethic.
I answer that, As stated above (Q. 81, A. 5), religion is a moral virtue. Now every moral virtue observes a mean, as stated above (I-II, Q. 64, A. 1). Therefore a twofold vice is opposed to a moral virtue; one by way of excess, the other by way of deficiency. Again, the mean of virtue may be exceeded, not only with regard to the circumstance called how much, but also with regard to other circumstances: so that, in certain virtues such as magnanimity and magnificence; vice exceeds the mean of virtue, not through tending to something greater than the virtue, but possibly to something less, and yet it goes beyond the mean of virtue, through doing something to whom it ought not, or when it ought not, and in like manner as regards other circumstances, as the Philosopher shows (Ethic. iv, 1, 2, 3).
Sic igitur superstitio est vitium religioni oppositum secundum excessum, non quia plus exhibeat in cultum divinum quam vera religio, sed quia exhibet cultum divinum vel cui non debet, vel eo modo quo non debet.
Accordingly superstition is a vice contrary to religion by excess, not that it offers more to the divine worship than true religion, but because it offers divine worship either to whom it ought not, or in a manner it ought not.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sicut bonum metaphorice dicitur in malis, prout dicimus bonum latronem, ita etiam nomina virtutum quandoque transumptive accipiuntur in malis, sicut prudentia quandoque ponitur pro astutia, secundum illud Luc. XVI, filii huius saeculi prudentiores filiis lucis sunt. Et per hunc modum superstitio dicitur esse religio.
Reply Obj. 1: Just as we speak metaphorically of good among evil things—thus we speak of a good thief—so too sometimes the names of the virtues are employed by transposition in an evil sense. Thus prudence is sometimes used instead of cunning, according to Luke 16:8, The children of this world are more prudent in their generation than the children of light. It is in this way that superstition is described as religion.
Ad secundum dicendum quod aliud est etymologia nominis, et aliud est significatio nominis. Etymologia attenditur secundum id a quo imponitur nomen ad significandum, nominis vero significatio attenditur secundum id ad quod significandum nomen imponitur. Quae quandoque diversa sunt, nomen enim lapidis imponitur a laesione pedis, non tamen hoc significat; alioquin ferrum, cum pedem laedat, lapis esset. Similiter etiam nomen superstitionis non oportet quod significet illud a quo nomen est impositum.
Reply Obj. 2: The etymology of a word differs from its meaning. For its etymology depends on what it is taken from for the purpose of signification: whereas its meaning depends on the thing to which it is applied for the purpose of signifying it. Now these things differ sometimes: for lapis (a stone) takes its name from hurting the foot (laedere pedem), but this is not its meaning, else iron, since it hurts the foot, would be a stone. In like manner it does not follow that superstition means that from which the word is derived.
Ad tertium dicendum quod religio non potest habere excessum secundum quantitatem absolutam. Potest tamen habere excessum secundum quantitatem proportionis, prout scilicet in cultu divino fit aliquid quod fieri non debet.
Reply Obj. 3: Religion does not admit of excess, in respect of absolute quantity, but it does admit of excess in respect of proportionate quantity, in so far, to wit, as something may be done in divine worship that ought not to be done.
Utrum sint diversae superstitionis species
Whether there are various species of superstition?
Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sint diversae superstitionis species. Quia secundum philosophum, in I Topic., si unum oppositorum dicitur multipliciter, et reliquum. Sed religio, cui superstitio opponitur, non habet diversas species, sed omnes eius actus ad unam speciem referuntur. Ergo nec superstitio habet diversas species.
Objection 1: It would seem that there are not various species of superstition. According to the Philosopher (Topic. i, 13), if one contrary includes many kinds, so does the other. Now religion, to which superstition is contrary, does not include various species; but all its acts belong to the one species. Therefore neither has superstition various species.
Praeterea, opposita sunt circa idem. Sed religio, cui opponitur superstitio, est circa ea quibus ordinamur in Deum, ut supra habitum est. Non ergo species superstitionis, quae opponitur religioni, potest attendi secundum aliquas divinationes humanorum eventuum, vel secundum aliquas observationes humanorum actuum.
Obj. 2: Further, opposites relate to one same thing. But religion, to which superstition is opposed, relates to those things whereby we are directed to God, as stated above (Q. 81, A. 1). Therefore superstition, which is opposed to religion, is not specified according to divinations of human occurrences, or by the observances of certain human actions.
Praeterea, Coloss. II, super illud, quae sunt rationem habentia sapientiae in superstitione, dicit Glossa, idest, in simulata religione. Ergo etiam simulatio debet poni species superstitionis.
Obj. 3: Further, a gloss on Col. 2:23, Which things have . . . a show of wisdom in superstition, adds: that is to say in a hypocritical religion. Therefore hypocrisy should be reckoned a species of superstition.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus, in II de Doct. Christ., diversas species superstitionis assignat.
On the contrary, Augustine assigns the various species of superstition (De Doctr. Christ. ii, 20).
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, vitium religionis consistit in hoc quod transcenditur virtutis medium secundum aliquas circumstantias. Ut autem supra dictum est, non quaelibet circumstantiarum corruptarum diversitas variat peccati speciem, sed solum quando referuntur ad diversa obiecta vel diversos fines, secundum hoc enim morales actus speciem sortiuntur, ut supra habitum est.
I answer that, As stated above, sins against religion consist in going beyond the mean of virtue in respect of certain circumstances (A. 1). For as we have stated (I-II, Q. 72, A. 9), not every diversity of corrupt circumstances differentiates the species of a sin, but only that which is referred to diverse objects, for diverse ends: since it is in this respect that moral acts are diversified specifically, as stated above (I-II, Q. 1, A. 3; Q. 18, AA. 2, 6).
Diversificatur ergo superstitionis species, primo quidem, ex parte obiecti. Potest enim divinus cultus exhiberi vel cui exhibendus est, scilicet Deo vero, modo tamen indebito, et haec est prima superstitionis species. Vel ei cui non debet exhiberi, scilicet cuicumque creaturae. Et hoc est aliud superstitionis genus, quod in multas species dividitur, secundum diversos fines divini cultus ordinatur enim, primo, divinus cultus ad reverentiam Deo exhibendam. Et secundum hoc, prima species huius generis est idololatria, quae divinam reverentiam indebite exhibet creaturae. Secundo, ordinatur ad hoc quod homo instruatur a Deo, quem colit. Et ad hoc pertinet superstitio divinativa, quae Daemones consulit per aliqua pacta cum eis inita, tacita vel expressa. Tertio, ordinatur divinus cultus ad quandam directionem humanorum actuum secundum instituta Dei, qui colitur. Et ad hoc pertinet superstitio quarundam observationum.
Accordingly the species of superstition are differentiated, first on the part of the mode, second on the part of the object. For the divine worship may be given either to whom it ought to be given, namely, to the true God, but in an undue mode, and this is the first species of superstition; or to whom it ought not to be given, namely, to any creature whatsoever, and this is another genus of superstition, divided into many species in respect of the various ends of divine worship. For the end of divine worship is in the first place to give reverence to God, and in this respect the first species of this genus is idolatry, which unduly gives divine honor to a creature. The second end of religion is that man may be taught by God Whom he worships; and to this must be referred divinatory superstition, which consults the demons through compacts made with them, whether tacit or explicit. Third, the end of divine worship is a certain direction of human acts according to the precepts of God the object of that worship: and to this must be referred the superstition of certain observances.
Et haec tria tangit Augustinus, in II de Doct. Christ., dicens superstitiosum esse quidquid institutum ab hominibus est ad facienda et colenda idola pertinens, et hoc pertinet ad primum. Et postea subdit, vel ad consultationes et pacta quaedam significationum cum Daemonibus placita atque foederata, quod pertinet ad secundum. Et post pauca subdit, ad hoc genus pertinent omnes ligaturae, etc., quod pertinet ad tertium.
Augustine alludes to these three (De Doctr. Christ. ii, 20), where he says that anything invented by man for making and worshipping idols is superstitious, and this refers to the first species. Then he goes on to say, or any agreement or covenant made with the demons for the purpose of consultation and of compact by tokens, which refers to the second species; and a little further on he adds: To this kind belong all sorts of amulets and such like, and this refers to the third species.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Dionysius dicit, IV cap. de Div. Nom., bonum contingit ex una et integra causa, malum autem ex singularibus defectibus. Et ideo uni virtuti plura vitia opponuntur, ut supra habitum est. Verbum autem philosophi veritatem habet in oppositis in quibus est eadem ratio multiplicationis.
Reply Obj. 1: As Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv), good results from a cause that is one and entire, whereas evil arises from each single defect. Wherefore several vices are opposed to one virtue, as stated above (A. 1; Q. 10, A. 5). The saying of the Philosopher is true of opposites wherein there is the same reason of multiplicity.
Ad secundum dicendum quod divinationes et observationes aliquae pertinent ad superstitionem inquantum dependent ex aliquibus operationibus Daemonum. Et sic pertinent ad quaedam pacta cum ipsis inita.
Reply Obj. 2: Divinations and certain observances come under the head of superstition, insofar as they depend on certain actions of the demons: and thus they pertain to compacts made with them.
Ad tertium dicendum quod simulata religio ibi dicitur quando traditioni humanae nomen religionis applicatur, prout in Glossa sequitur. Unde ista simulata religio nihil est aliud quam cultus Deo vero exhibitus modo indebito, sicut si aliquis tempore gratiae vellet colere Deum secundum veteris legis ritum. Et de hoc ad litteram loquitur Glossa.
Reply Obj. 3: Hypocritical religion is taken here for religion as applied to human observances, as the gloss goes on to explain. Wherefore this hypocritical religion is nothing else than worship given to God in an undue mode: as, for instance, if a man were, in the time of grace, to wish to worship God according to the rite of the Old Law. It is of religion taken in this sense that the gloss speaks literally.
De superstitione indebiti cultus veri Dei
Superstition Consisting in Undue Worship of the True God
Deinde considerandum est de speciebus superstitionis. Et primo, de superstitione indebiti cultus veri Dei; secundo, de superstitione idololatriae; tertio, de superstitione divinationum; quarto, de superstitione observationum.
We must now consider the species of superstition. We shall treat (1) Of the superstition which consists in giving undue worship to the true God; (2) Of the superstition of idolatry; (3) of divinatory superstition; (4) of the superstition of observances.
Circa primum quaeruntur duo.
Under the first head there are two points of inquiry:
Primo, utrum in cultu Dei veri possit esse aliquid perniciosum.
(1) Whether there can be anything pernicious in the worship of the true God?
Secundo, utrum possit ibi esse aliquid superfluum.
(2) Whether there can be anything superfluous therein?