Virtus Spiritus non legis
Power of the Spirit, not the law
3:2 Hoc solum a vobis volo discere: ex operibus legis Spiritum accepistis, an ex auditu fidei? [n. 122]
3:2 This only would I learn of you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? [n. 122]
3:3 sic stulti estis, ut cum Spiritu coeperitis, nunc carne consummemini? [n. 124]
3:3 Are you so foolish that, whereas you began in the Spirit, you would now be made perfect by the flesh? [n. 124]
3:4 tanta passi estis sine causa? si tamen sine causa. [n. 125]
3:4 Have you suffered such great things in vain? If it be yet in vain. [n. 125]
3:5 Qui ergo tribuit vobis Spiritum, et operatur virtutes in vobis: ex operibus legis, an ex auditu fidei? [n. 126]
3:5 He therefore who gives to you the Spirit and works miracles among you: does he do it by the works of the law or by the hearing of the faith? [n. 126]
122. Posita obiurgatione, consequenter Apostolus procedit ad insufficientiam legis et virtutem fidei ostendendam. Et
122. Having given his rebuke, the Apostle goes on to show the insufficiency of the law, and the power of the faith.
primo ostendit insufficientiam legis;
First, he proves the insufficiency of the law;
secundo movet quaestionem et solvit, ibi quid igitur lex, et cetera.
second, he raises a question and answers it, at why then was the law? (Gal 3:19).
Et circa primum duo facit.
Concerning the first, he does two things.
Primo probat defectum legis et insufficientiam per ea quae ipsi experti sunt;
First, he proves the deficiency and insufficiency of the law by appealing to what they experienced;
secundo per auctoritates et rationes, ibi sicut scriptum est.
second, by authority and reasons, at as it is written (Gal 3:6).
Circa primum duo facit, quia
As to the first, he does two things:
primo probat propositum, experimento sumpto ex parte ipsorum;
first, he proves his proposition by appealing to something they experienced;
secundo probat idem, experimento sumpto ex parte ipsius apostoli, ibi qui ergo tribuit vobis, et cetera.
second, by using something he himself experienced, at he therefore who gives to you.
Circa primum duo facit.
With respect to the first, he does two things.
Primo ostendit donum quod receperunt;
First, he discusses the gift they have received;
secundo defectum in quem inciderunt, ibi sic stulti estis, et cetera.
second, the defect into which they have fallen, at are you so foolish.
123. Donum autem quod receperunt ostendit, quaerendo ab eis unde illud receperunt. Unde susceptum donum supponens, interrogans, quaerit ab eis, dicens: quamvis fascinati et stulti sitis, tamen non tantum estis ludificati quin unum quod valde manifestum est, me docere possitis. Et ideo solum hoc volo a vobis discere, quia hoc solum sufficit ad probandum quod intendo: hoc, inquam, est, quia constat, quod Spiritum Sanctum accepistis; quaero ergo an accepistis illum ex operibus legis, an ex auditu fidei?
123. He discusses the gift they received by asking them from whom they received it. Hence, presupposing that they accepted the gift, he interrogates them and asks: although you have been bewitched and are foolish, nevertheless you are not so deluded that you cannot explain to me something very obvious. Hence he says, this only would I learn of you, because this by itself is enough to prove my point; namely, it is evident that you have received the Holy Spirit. I ask, therefore, did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?
Ad quod sciendum est, quod in primitiva Ecclesia, ex divina dispositione, ut fides Christi promoveretur et cresceret, statim post praedicationem fidei ab apostolis manifesta signa Spiritus Sancti fiebant super audientes. Unde de Petro dicitur Act. X, 44: adhuc loquente Petro verba haec, cecidit Spiritus Sanctus, et cetera. Ipsi etiam Galatae ad praedicationem Pauli manifeste Spiritum Sanctum acceperant.
To elucidate this, it should be noted that in the early Church, by God’s providence, in order that the faith of Christ might prosper and grow, manifest signs of the Holy Spirit took place in the hearers immediately after the apostles preached the faith. Accordingly, it is said of Peter: while Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word (Acts 10:44). The Galatians, too, openly received the Holy Spirit at Paul’s preaching.
Quaerit ergo Apostolus ab eis, unde habuerunt Spiritum Sanctum. Constat autem quod non per opera legis, quia cum essent gentiles, ante receptionem Spiritus Sancti legem non habebant; ergo habuerunt Spiritum Sanctum, id est, dona Spiritus Sancti ex auditu fidei. Rom. VIII, 15: non accepistis spiritum servitutis iterum in timore, qui scilicet dabatur in lege (unde et cum tremore lex data est), sed accepistis Spiritum filiorum, qui datur per fidem, quae est ex auditu, ut dicitur Rom. X, 17.
The Apostle therefore asks them: whence did they obtain the Holy Spirit? For it is obvious that it was not through the works of the law, because, since they were gentiles, they did not have the law before they received the Holy Spirit. Therefore they had the Holy Spirit, i.e., the gifts of the Holy Spirit, by the hearing of faith: for you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, which was given in the law (for the law was given amid tremors), but you have received the Spirit of adoption of sons (Rom 8:15), which is given through faith, which comes by hearing (Rom 10:17).
Si ergo hoc potuit fidei virtus, frustra quaeritur aliud per quod salvemur, quia multo difficilius est de iniusto facere iustum, quam iustum in iustitia conservare. Si ergo fides de iniustis Galatis sine lege iustos fecerat, non est dubium, quod sine lege poterat eos in iustitia conservare. Magnum ergo erat donum, quod per fidem acceperant.
Therefore, if the power of the faith could do this, it is vain to seek something else by which we are saved, because it is more difficult to make the unjust just than to preserve the just in their justice. Hence if the faith had made the unjust Galatians just without the law, no doubt it could without the law keep them just. Great, therefore, was the gift they had received through faith.
124. Consequenter cum dicit sic stulti estis, etc., ostendit defectum in quem prolapsi sunt. Et exaggerat duplicem defectum in eis apostolus, scilicet quantum ad dona quae a Christo acceperant, et quantum ad mala quae pro ipso pertulerunt, ibi tanta passi estis, et cetera.
124. Then when he says, are you so foolish, he shows the defect into which they have fallen. And he amplifies a twofold defect, touching, namely, the gifts they had received from Christ and the evils they endured for him: have you suffered such great things in vain?
Circa primum sciendum est quod isti Galatae deserentes quod magnum erat, scilicet Spiritum Sanctum, adhaeserunt minori, scilicet carnali observantiae legis, et hoc stultum est. Et ideo dicit sic stulti estis, adeo ut cum coeperitis instinctu Sancti Spiritus, id est, initium perfectionis vestrae habueritis a Spiritu Sancto, nunc, dum perfectiores estis, consummamini carne, id est, quaeratis conservari per carnales observantias legis, a qua nec initium iustitiae potest haberi? Io. VI, v. 64: caro non prodest quicquam, et cetera. Et sic ordinem pervertitis, quia via perfectionis est ab imperfecto tendere ad perfectum. Vos autem, quia e converso facitis, stulti estis. Eccli. XXVII, 12: homo sanctus permanet in sapientia sicut sol, stultus ut luna mutatur.
Concerning the first, it should be noted that the Galatians, after they left what was great, namely, the Holy Spirit, adhered to something less, namely, the carnal observances of the law, and this is foolish. Hence he says, are you so foolish that, whereas you began in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, i.e., obtained the beginning of your perfection from the Holy Spirit, you would now, while you are more perfect, be made perfect by the flesh, i.e., do you seek to be preserved by the carnal observances of the law from which you could acquire not even the beginning of justice? The flesh profits nothing (John 6:64). Thus do you pervert right order, because the path of perfection consists in going from the imperfect to the perfect. But you, because you are doing the opposite, are foolish: a holy man continues in wisdom as the sun; but a fool is changed as the moon (Sir 27:12).
Similes isti sunt his, qui incipiunt servire Deo cum fervore spiritus, postmodum deficiunt in carne; qui etiam assimilantur statuae Nabuchodonosor, cuius caput aureum, et pedes lutei, Dan. II, 32. Et ideo dicitur Rom. c. VIII, 8: qui in carne sunt, Deo placere non possunt. Et infra VI, 8: qui seminat in carne, de carne metet corruptionem.
They are as those who begin to serve God with fervor of spirit but afterwards desert to the flesh. Again, they are as Nabuchodonosor’s statute with head of gold and feet of clay (Dan 11:32). Hence it is said: they who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:8); he who sows in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption (Gal 6:8).
125. Consequenter cum dicit tanta passi estis, etc., exaggerat eorum defectum quantum ad mala quae pro Christo pertulerunt.
125. Then when he says, have you suffered such great things, he amplifies their desertion by considering the evils they endured for Christ.
Qui enim aliquid sine labore recipiunt, illud minus chare custodiunt; sed illud quod cum labore acquiritur vilipendere et non custodire stultum est. Isti autem cum labore et tribulatione magna, quam passi sunt a contribulibus suis propter fidem, receperunt Spiritum Sanctum. Et ideo dicit tanta passi estis sine causa, quasi dicat: non contemnatis tantum donum quod cum labore accepistis, alias illa, sine causa, id est sine utilitate, passi estis, quia haec sustinuistis ut perveniretis ad vitam aeternam. Rom. V, 3: tribulatio patientiam operatur, patientia autem probationem, probatio vero spem, et cetera. Unde si praecluditis vobis aditum vitae aeternae, deserentes fidem, quaerentes conservari carnalibus observantiis, sine causa, id est inutiliter, passi estis.
For anyone who receives something without labor does not guard it as something precious; but that which is obtained by great effort, it is foolish to esteem lightly and not guard it. Now it was with labor and tribulation suffered at the hands of their fellow citizens that they had received the Holy Spirit. That is why he says, have you suffered such great things in vain? As if to say: you ought not to despise so great a gift received with labor; else you have suffered in vain, i.e., to no purpose, because you endured these things in order to attain to eternal life: tribulation works patience, and patience trial, and trial hope; and hope does not confound (Rom 5:3). Hence, if you shut yourselves out from the door to eternal life by deserting the faith and seeking to be preserved by carnal observances, it is in vain, i.e., uselessly, that you have suffered.
Et hoc dico, si tamen sine causa. Quod ideo dicit, quia in eorum potestate erat poenitere si vellent, quamdiu viverent. Ex hoc autem habetur, quod opera mortificata reviviscunt. Sap. III, 11: labores eorum sine fructu, et cetera. Gal. IV, 11: timeo autem ne sine causa laboraverim, et cetera. Si vero accipiatur de malis qui non poenitent, potest dici quod patiuntur sine causa conferente, scilicet vitam aeternam.
And I say, if it be yet in vain. He says this because it was still in their power to repent, if they willed, as long as they were alive. This shows that certain deadened works are revived: their labors are without fruit, and their works unprofitable (Wis 3:11); I am afraid lest perhaps I have labored in vain among you (Gal 4:11). If this is applied to evil men who do not repent, it can be said that they suffered without cause, i.e., a cause that can confer eternal life.
126. Consequenter cum dicit qui ergo tribuit vobis, etc., probat propositum, experimento sumpto ex parte apostoli.
126. Then when he says, he therefore who gives to you the Spirit, he proves his proposition by appealing to his own experience.
Possent enim dicere quod verum est nos recepisse Spiritum Sanctum ex auditu fidei, tamen propter devotionem quam ad legem habuimus, accepimus fidem quam praedicabas. Et ideo dicit: non curo quicquid sit ex parte vestra, tamen illud quod ego feci, tribuens vobis ministerio meo Spiritum Sanctum, qui operatur in vobis virtutes, id est inter vos miracula, sed numquid facio hoc sic, ex operibus legis, an ex operibus fidei? Non utique ex operibus legis, sed ex fide.
For they might say that although it is true that we received the Holy Spirit by the hearing of faith, nevertheless it was because of the devotion he had to the law that we received the faith he preached. Hence he says: but even considering the matter not from your side but from what I have done in giving you through my ministration the Holy Spirit who works miracles among you, do I do this by the works of the law or by the hearing of the faith? In truth, not by the works of the law, but by faith.
127. Sed numquid aliquis potest dare Spiritum Sanctum? Augustinus enim, XV de Trinitate, dicit, quod nullus homo purus Spiritum Sanctum dare potest, nec ipsi apostoli dabant, sed imponebant manus super homines, et accipiebant Spiritum Sanctum. Quid ergo est quod hic dicit Apostolus de se loquens qui tribuit vobis Spiritum Sanctum?
127. But can anyone give the Holy Spirit? For Augustine in On The Trinity XV says that no mere man can give the Holy Spirit, for the apostles did not give the Holy Spirit but imposed hands on men, who then received the Holy Spirit. What then does the Apostle mean when he says of himself: who gives to you the Holy Spirit?
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod in datione Spiritus Sancti tria per ordinem se habentia occurrunt, scilicet Spiritus Sanctus inhabitans, donum gratiae et caritatis cum caeteris habitibus, et sacramentum novae legis, cuius ministerio datur. Et sic potest ab aliquibus tripliciter dari.
I answer that in the giving of the Holy Spirit three things conspire in a certain order, namely, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the gift of grace and charity along with the other habits, and the sacrament of the new law by whose administering he is given. Hence he can be given by someone in three ways.
Ab aliquo enim datur sicut auctoritatem habente quantum ad tria praedicta, scilicet respectu Spiritus Sancti inhabitantis, respectu doni, et respectu sacramenti; et hoc modo Spiritus Sanctus datur a solo Patre et Filio secundum quod eius auctoritatem habent, non quidem dominii sed originis, quia ab utroque procedit.
For he can be given by someone as having authority with respect to all three, namely, in respect to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, in respect to the gift, and in respect to the sacrament. And in this way the Holy Spirit is given by the Father and Son alone, inasmuch as they have the authority not of dominion but of origin, because he proceeds from both.
Sed quantum ad gratiam seu donum, et quantum ad sacramenta Spiritus Sanctus dat etiam se, secundum quod datio importat causalitatem Spiritus Sancti respectu donorum ipsius; quia, ut dicit Apostolus I Cor. XII, v. 11, ipse dividit singulis prout vult. Secundum autem quod in datione importatur auctoritas, non potest proprie dici Spiritum Sanctum seipsum dare.
But as to the grace or gift and as to the sacraments, the Holy Spirit even gives himself in the sense that the giving implies the causality of the Holy Spirit with respect to his gifts, because, as the Apostle says: he divides to everyone according as he wills (1 Cor 12:11). But as far as the author of the giving is concerned, it is not appropriate to say that the Holy Spirit gives himself.
Quantum vero ad sacramentum quod ministerio ministrorum Ecclesiae datur, potest dici quod sancti per ministerium sacramentorum dant Spiritum Sanctum.
But concerning the sacrament which is given by the ministry of the Church’s ministers, it can be said that holy men by administering the sacraments give the Holy Spirit.
Et hoc modo hic loquitur Apostolus secundum quod tangitur in Glossa, tamen huiusmodi modus non est consuetus neque extendendus.
And this is the way the Apostle had in mind: the way mentioned in a Gloss. Nevertheless, this is not the usual way of putting it, and it ought not be exaggerated.