Utrum sacramentum sit signum nisi unius rei
Whether a sacrament is a sign of one thing only?
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacramentum non sit signum nisi unius rei. Id enim quo multa significantur, est signum ambiguum, et per consequens fallendi occasio, sicut patet de nominibus aequivocis. Sed omnis fallacia debet removeri a Christiana religione, secundum illud Coloss. II, videte ne quis vos seducat per philosophiam et inanem fallaciam. Ergo videtur quod sacramentum non sit signum plurium rerum.
Objection 1: It seems that a sacrament is a sign of one thing only. For that which signifies many things is an ambiguous sign, and consequently occasions deception: this is clearly seen in equivocal words. But all deception should be removed from the Christian religion, according to Col. 2:8: Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit. Therefore it seems that a sacrament is not a sign of several things.
Praeterea, sicut dictum est, sacramentum significat rem sacram inquantum est humanae sanctificationis causa. Sed una sola est causa sanctificationis humanae, scilicet sanguis Christi, secundum illud Heb. ult., Iesus, ut sanctificaret per suum sanguinem populum, extra portam passus est. Ergo videtur quod sacramentum non significet plura.
Obj. 2: Further, as stated above (A. 2), a sacrament signifies a holy thing in so far as it makes man holy. But there is only one cause of man’s holiness, viz. the blood of Christ; according to Heb. 13:12: Jesus, that He might sanctify the people by His own blood, suffered without the gate. Therefore it seems that a sacrament does not signify several things.
Praeterea, dictum est quod sacramentum proprie significat ipsum finem sanctificationis. Sed finis sanctificationis est vita aeterna, secundum illud Rom. VI, habetis fructum vestrum in sanctificatione, finem vero vitam aeternam. Ergo videtur quod sacramenta non significent nisi unam rem, scilicet vitam aeternam.
Obj. 3: Further, it has been said above (A. 2, ad 3) that a sacrament signifies properly the very end of sanctification. Now the end of sanctification is eternal life, according to Rom. 6:22: You have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. Therefore it seems that the sacraments signify one thing only, viz. eternal life.
Sed contra est quod in sacramento altaris est duplex res significata, scilicet corpus Christi verum et mysticum, ut Augustinus dicit, in libro sententiarum prosperi.
On the contrary, In the Sacrament of the Altar, two things are signified, viz. Christ’s true body, and Christ’s mystical body; as Augustine says (Liber Sent. Prosper.).
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, sacramentum proprie dicitur quod ordinatur ad significandam nostram sanctificationem. In qua tria possunt considerari, videlicet ipsa causa sanctificationis nostrae, quae est passio Christi; et forma nostrae sanctificationis, quae consistit in gratia et virtutibus; et ultimus finis nostrae sanctificationis, qui est vita aeterna. Et haec omnia per sacramenta significantur. Unde sacramentum est et signum rememorativum eius quod praecessit, scilicet passionis Christi; et demonstrativum eius quod in nobis efficitur per Christi passionem, scilicet gratiae; et prognosticum, idest praenuntiativum, futurae gloriae.
I answer that, As stated above (A. 2) a sacrament properly speaking is that which is ordained to signify our sanctification. In which three things may be considered; viz. the very cause of our sanctification, which is Christ’s passion; the form of our sanctification, which is grace and the virtues; and the ultimate end of our sanctification, which is eternal life. And all these are signified by the sacraments. Consequently a sacrament is a sign that is both a reminder of the past, i.e., the passion of Christ; and an indication of that which is effected in us by Christ’s passion, i.e., grace; and a prognostic, that is, a foretelling of future glory.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod tunc est signum ambiguum, praebens occasionem fallendi, quando significat multa quorum unum non ordinatur ad aliud. Sed quando significat multa secundum quod ex eis quodam ordine efficitur unum, tunc non est signum ambiguum, sed certum, sicut hoc nomen homo significat animam et corpus prout ex eis constituitur humana natura. Et hoc modo sacramentum significat tria praedicta secundum quod quodam ordine sunt unum.
Reply Obj. 1: Then is a sign ambiguous and the occasion of deception, when it signifies many things not ordained to one another. But when it signifies many things inasmuch as, through being mutually ordained, they form one thing, then the sign is not ambiguous but certain: thus this word man signifies the soul and body inasmuch as together they form the human nature. In this way a sacrament signifies the three things aforesaid, inasmuch as by being in a certain order they are one thing.
Ad secundum dicendum quod sacramentum, in hoc quod significat rem sanctificantem, oportet quod significet effectum, qui intelligitur in ipsa causa sanctificante prout est causa sanctificans.
Reply Obj. 2: Since a sacrament signifies that which sanctifies, it must needs signify the effect, which is implied in the sanctifying cause as such.
Ad tertium dicendum quod sufficit ad rationem sacramenti quod significet perfectionem quae est forma, nec oportet quod solum significet perfectionem quae est finis.
Reply Obj. 3: It is enough for a sacrament that it signify that perfection which consists in the form, nor is it necessary that it should signify only that perfection which is the end.
Utrum sacramentum semper sit aliqua res sensibilis
Whether a sacrament is always something sensible?
Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod sacramentum non semper sit aliqua res sensibilis. Quia secundum philosophum, in libro priorum, omnis effectus suae causae signum est. Sed sicut sunt quidam effectus sensibiles, ita etiam sunt quidam effectus intelligibiles, sicut scientia est effectus demonstrationis. Ergo non omne signum est sensibile. Sufficit autem ad rationem sacramenti quod sit signum alicuius rei sacrae inquantum homo per eam sanctificatur, ut supra dictum est. Non ergo requiritur ad sacramentum quod sit aliqua res sensibilis.
Objection 1: It seems that a sacrament is not always something sensible. Because, according to the Philosopher (Prior. Anal. ii), every effect is a sign of its cause. But just as there are some sensible effects, so are there some intelligible effects; thus science is the effect of a demonstration. Therefore not every sign is sensible. Now all that is required for a sacrament is something that is a sign of some sacred thing, inasmuch as thereby man is sanctified, as stated above (A. 2). Therefore something sensible is not required for a sacrament.
Praeterea, sacramenta pertinent ad regnum Dei et cultum Dei. Sed res sensibiles non videntur pertinere ad cultum Dei, dicitur enim Ioan. IV, spiritus est Deus, et eos qui adorant eum, in spiritu et veritate adorare oportet; et Rom. XIV, non est regnum Dei esca et potus. Ergo res sensibiles non requiruntur ad sacramenta.
Obj. 2: Further, sacraments belong to the kingdom of God and the Divine worship. But sensible things do not seem to belong to the Divine worship: for we are told (John 4:24) that God is a spirit; and they that adore Him, must adore Him in spirit and in truth; and (Rom 14:17) that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink. Therefore sensible things are not required for the sacraments.
Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, in libro de Lib. Arbit., quod res sensibiles sunt minima bona, sine quibus homo recte vivere potest. Sed sacramenta sunt de necessitate salutis humanae, ut infra patebit, et ita sine eis homo recte vivere non potest. Non ergo res sensibiles requiruntur ad sacramenta.
Obj. 3: Further, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii) that sensible things are goods of least account, since without them man can live aright. But the sacraments are necessary for man’s salvation, as we shall show farther on (Q. 61, A. 1): so that man cannot live aright without them. Therefore sensible things are not required for the sacraments.
Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, super Ioan., accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum. Et loquitur ibi de elemento sensibili, quod est aqua. Ergo res sensibiles requiruntur ad sacramenta.
On the contrary, Augustine says (Tract. lxxx super Joan.): The word is added to the element and this becomes a sacrament; and he is speaking there of water which is a sensible element. Therefore sensible things are required for the sacraments.
Respondeo dicendum quod divina sapientia unicuique rei providet secundum suum modum, et propter hoc dicitur, Sap. VIII, quod suaviter disponit omnia. Unde et Matth. XXV dicitur quod dividit unicuique secundum propriam virtutem. Est autem homini connaturale ut per sensibilia perveniat in cognitionem intelligibilium. Signum autem est per quod aliquis devenit in cognitionem alterius. Unde, cum res sacrae quae per sacramenta significantur, sint quaedam spiritualia et intelligibilia bona quibus homo sanctificatur, consequens est ut per aliquas res sensibiles significatio sacramenti impleatur, sicut etiam per similitudinem sensibilium rerum in divina Scriptura res spirituales nobis describuntur. Et inde est quod ad sacramenta requiruntur res sensibiles, ut etiam Dionysius probat, in I cap. caelestis hierarchiae.
I answer that, Divine wisdom provides for each thing according to its mode; hence it is written (Wis 8:1) that she . . . ordereth all things sweetly: wherefore also we are told (Matt 25:15) that she gave to everyone according to his proper ability. Now it is part of man’s nature to acquire knowledge of the intelligible from the sensible. But a sign is that by means of which one attains to the knowledge of something else. Consequently, since the sacred things which are signified by the sacraments, are the spiritual and intelligible goods by means of which man is sanctified, it follows that the sacramental signs consist in sensible things: just as in the Divine Scriptures spiritual things are set before us under the guise of things sensible. And hence it is that sensible things are required for the sacraments; as Dionysius also proves in his book on the heavenly hierarchy (Coel. Hier. i).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod unumquodque praecipue denominatur et definitur secundum illud quod convenit ei primo et per se, non autem per id quod convenit ei per aliud. Effectus autem sensibilis per se habet quod ducat in cognitionem alterius, quasi primo et per se homini innotescens, quia omnis nostra cognitio a sensu initium habet. Effectus autem intelligibiles non habent quod possint ducere in cognitionem alterius nisi inquantum sunt per aliud manifestati, idest per aliqua sensibilia. Et inde est quod primo et principaliter dicuntur signa quae sensibus offeruntur, sicut Augustinus dicit, in II de Doct. Christ., quod signum est quod, praeter speciem quam ingerit sensibus, facit aliquid aliud in cognitionem venire. Effectus autem intelligibiles non habent rationem signi nisi secundum quod sunt manifestati per aliqua signa. Et per hunc etiam modum quaedam quae non sunt sensibilia, dicuntur quodammodo sacramenta, inquantum sunt significata per aliqua sensibilia, de quibus infra agetur.
Reply Obj. 1: The name and definition of a thing is taken principally from that which belongs to a thing primarily and essentially: and not from that which belongs to it through something else. Now a sensible effect being the primary and direct object of man’s knowledge (since all our knowledge springs from the senses) by its very nature leads to the knowledge of something else: whereas intelligible effects are not such as to be able to lead us to the knowledge of something else, except in so far as they are manifested by some other thing, i.e., by certain sensibles. It is for this reason that the name sign is given primarily and principally to things which are offered to the senses; hence Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. ii) that a sign is that which conveys something else to the mind, besides the species which it impresses on the senses. But intelligible effects do not partake of the nature of a sign except in so far as they are pointed out by certain signs. And in this way, too, certain things which are not sensible are termed sacraments as it were, in so far as they are signified by certain sensible things, of which we shall treat further on (Q. 63, A. 1, ad 2; A. 3, ad 2; Q. 73, A. 6; Q. 74, A. 1, ad 3).
Ad secundum dicendum, quod res sensibiles, prout in sua natura considerantur, non pertinent ad cultum vel regnum Dei, sed solum secundum quod sunt signa spiritualium rerum, in quibus regnum Dei consistit.
Reply Obj. 2: Sensible things considered in their own nature do not belong to the worship or kingdom of God: but considered only as signs of spiritual things in which the kingdom of God consists.
Ad tertium dicendum quod Augustinus ibi loquitur de rebus sensibilibus secundum quod in sua natura considerantur, non autem secundum quod assumuntur ad significandum spiritualia, quae sunt maxima bona.
Reply Obj. 3: Augustine speaks there of sensible things, considered in their nature; but not as employed to signify spiritual things, which are the highest goods.
Utrum requirantur determinatae res ad sacramenta
Whether determinate things are required for a sacrament?
Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non requirantur determinatae res ad sacramenta. Res enim sensibiles requiruntur in sacramentis ad significandum, ut dictum est. Sed nihil prohibet diversis rebus sensibilibus idem significari, sicut in sacra Scriptura Deus aliquando metaphorice significatur per lapidem, quandoque per leonem, quandoque per solem, aut aliquid huiusmodi. Ergo videtur quod diversae res possint congruere eidem sacramento. Non ergo determinatae res in sacramentis requiruntur.
Objection 1: It seems that determinate things are not required for a sacrament. For sensible things are required in sacraments for the purpose of signification, as stated above (A. 4). But nothing hinders the same thing being signified by diverse sensible things: thus in Holy Scripture God is signified metaphorically, sometimes by a stone (2 Kgs 22:2; Zech. 3:9; 1 Cor. 10:4; Apoc. 4:3); sometimes by a lion (Isa 31:4; Apoc. 5:5); sometimes by the sun (Isa 60:19, 20; Mal. 4:2), or by something similar. Therefore it seems that diverse things can be suitable to the same sacrament. Therefore determinate things are not required for the sacraments.
Praeterea, magis necessaria est salus animae quam salus corporis. Sed in medicinis corporalibus, quae ad salutem corporis ordinantur, potest una res pro alia poni in eius defectu. Ergo multo magis in sacramentis, quae sunt medicinae spirituales ad salutem animae ordinatae, poterit una res assumi pro alia quando illa defuerit.
Obj. 2: Further, the health of the soul is more necessary than that of the body. But in bodily medicines, which are ordained to the health of the body, one thing can be substituted for another which happens to be wanting. Therefore much more in the sacraments, which are spiritual remedies ordained to the health of the soul, can one thing be substituted for another when this happens to be lacking.
Praeterea, non est conveniens ut hominum salus arctetur per legem divinam, et praecipue per legem Christi, qui venit omnes salvare. Sed in statu legis naturae non requirebantur in sacramentis aliquae res determinatae, sed ex voto assumebantur, ut patet Gen. XXVIII, ubi se Iacob vovit Deo decimas et hostias pacificas oblaturum. Ergo videtur quod non debuit arctari homo, et praecipue in nova lege, ad alicuius rei determinatae usum in sacramentis.
Obj. 3: Further, it is not fitting that the salvation of men be restricted by the Divine Law: still less by the Law of Christ, Who came to save all. But in the state of the Law of nature determinate things were not required in the sacraments, but were put to that use through a vow, as appears from Gen. 28, where Jacob vowed that he would offer to God tithes and peace-offerings. Therefore it seems that man should not have been restricted, especially under the New Law, to the use of any determinate thing in the sacraments.
Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Ioan. III, nisi quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et spiritu sancto, non potest introire in regnum Dei.
On the contrary, our Lord said (John 3:5): Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Respondeo dicendum quod in usu sacramentorum duo possunt considerari, scilicet cultus divinus, et sanctificatio hominis, quorum primum pertinet ad hominem per comparationem ad Deum, secundum autem e converso pertinet ad Deum per comparationem ad hominem. Non autem pertinet ad aliquem determinare quod est in potestate alterius, sed solum illud quod est in sua potestate. Quia igitur sanctificatio hominis est in potestate Dei sanctificantis, non pertinet ad hominem suo iudicio assumere res quibus sanctificetur, sed hoc debet esse ex divina institutione determinatum. Et ideo in sacramentis novae legis, quibus homines sanctificantur, secundum illud I Cor. VI, abluti estis, sanctificati estis, oportet uti rebus ex divina institutione determinatis.
I answer that, In the use of the sacraments two things may be considered, namely, the worship of God, and the sanctification of man: the former of which pertains to man as referred to God, and the latter pertains to God in reference to man. Now it is not for anyone to determine that which is in the power of another, but only that which is in his own power. Since, therefore, the sanctification of man is in the power of God Who sanctifies, it is not for man to decide what things should be used for his sanctification, but this should be determined by Divine institution. Therefore in the sacraments of the New Law, by which man is sanctified according to 1 Cor. 6:11, You are washed, you are sanctified, we must use those things which are determined by Divine institution.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, si idem possit per diversa signa significari, determinare tamen quo signo sit utendum ad significandum, pertinet ad significantem. Deus autem est qui nobis significat spiritualia per res sensibiles in sacramentis, et per verba similitudinaria in Scripturis. Et ideo, sicut iudicio spiritus sancti determinatum est quibus similitudinibus in certis Scripturae locis res spirituales significentur, ita etiam debet esse divina institutione determinatum quae res ad significandum assumantur in hoc vel in illo sacramento.
Reply Obj. 1: Though the same thing can be signified by diverse signs, yet to determine which sign must be used belongs to the signifier. Now it is God Who signifies spiritual things to us by means of the sensible things in the sacraments, and of similitudes in the Scriptures. And consequently, just as the Holy Spirit decides by what similitudes spiritual things are to be signified in certain passages of Scripture, so also must it be determined by Divine institution what things are to be employed for the purpose of signification in this or that sacrament.
Ad secundum dicendum quod res sensibiles habent naturaliter sibi inditas virtutes conferentes ad corporalem salutem, et ideo non refert, si duae earum eandem virtutem habeant, qua quis utatur. Sed ad sanctificationem non ordinantur ex aliqua virtute naturaliter indita, sed solum ex institutione divina. Et ideo oportuit divinitus determinari quibus rebus sensibilibus sit in sacramentis utendum.
Reply Obj. 2: Sensible things are endowed with natural powers conducive to the health of the body: and therefore if two of them have the same virtue, it matters not which we use. Yet they are ordained unto sanctification not through any power that they possess naturally, but only in virtue of the Divine institution. And therefore it was necessary that God should determine the sensible things to be employed in the sacraments.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, XIX contra Faust., diversa sacramenta diversis temporibus congruunt, sicut etiam diversis verbis significantur diversa tempora, scilicet praesens, praeteritum et futurum. Et ideo, sicut in statu legis naturae homines, nulla lege exterius data, solo interiori instinctu movebantur ad Deum colendum, ita etiam ex interiori instinctu determinabatur eis quibus rebus sensibilibus ad Dei cultum uterentur. Postmodum vero necesse fuit etiam exterius legem dari, tum propter obscurationem legis naturae ex peccatis hominum; tum etiam ad expressiorem significationem gratiae Christi, per quam humanum genus sanctificatur. Et ideo etiam necesse fuit res determinari quibus homines uterentur in sacramentis. Nec propter hoc arctatur via salutis, quia res quarum usus est necessarius in sacramentis, vel communiter habentur, vel parvo studio adhibito haberi possunt.
Reply Obj. 3: As Augustine says (Contra Faust. xix), diverse sacraments suit different times; just as different times are signified by different parts of the verb, viz. present, past, and future. Consequently, just as under the state of the Law of nature man was moved by inward instinct and without any outward law, to worship God, so also the sensible things to be employed in the worship of God were determined by inward instinct. But later on it became necessary for a law to be given (to man) from without: both because the Law of nature had become obscured by man’s sins; and in order to signify more expressly the grace of Christ, by which the human race is sanctified. And hence the need for those things to be determinate, of which men have to make use in the sacraments. Nor is the way of salvation narrowed thereby: because the things which need to be used in the sacraments, are either in everyone’s possession or can be had with little trouble.
Utrum in significatione sacramentorum requirantur verba
Whether words are required for the signification of the sacraments?
Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod in significatione sacramentorum non requirantur verba. Dicit enim Augustinus, contra Faustum, libro XIX, quid sunt aliud quaeque corporalia sacramenta nisi quasi quaedam verba visibilia? Et sic videtur quod addere verba rebus sensibilibus in sacramentis sit addere verba verbis. Sed hoc est superfluum. Non ergo requiruntur verba cum rebus sensibilibus in sacramentis.
Objection 1: It seems that words are not required for the signification of the sacraments. For Augustine says (Contra Faust. xix): What else is a corporeal sacrament but a kind of visible word? Wherefore to add words to the sensible things in the sacraments seems to be the same as to add words to words. But this is superfluous. Therefore words are not required besides the sensible things in the sacraments.
Praeterea, sacramentum est aliquid unum. Ex his autem quae sunt diversorum generum, non videtur posse aliquid unum fieri. Cum igitur res sensibiles et verba sint diversorum generum, quia res sensibiles sunt a natura, verba autem a ratione; videtur quod in sacramentis non requirantur verba cum rebus sensibilibus.
Obj. 2: Further, a sacrament is some one thing, but it does not seem possible to make one thing of those that belong to different genera. Since, therefore, sensible things and words are of different genera, for sensible things are the product of nature, but words, of reason; it seems that in the sacraments, words are not required besides sensible things.
Praeterea, sacramenta novae legis succedunt sacramentis veteris legis, quia, illis ablatis, ista sunt instituta, ut Augustinus dicit, XIX contra Faustum. Sed in sacramentis veteris legis non requirebatur aliqua forma verborum. Ergo nec in sacramentis novae legis.
Obj. 3: Further, the sacraments of the New Law succeed those of the Old Law: since the former were instituted when the latter were abolished, as Augustine says (Contra Faust. xix). But no form of words was required in the sacraments of the Old Law. Therefore neither is it required in those of the New Law.
Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, Ephes. V, Christus dilexit Ecclesiam, et tradidit semetipsum pro ea, ut illam sanctificaret, mundans eam lavacro aquae in verbo vitae. Et Augustinus dicit, super Ioan., accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum.
On the contrary, The Apostle says (Eph 5:25, 26): Christ loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it; that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life. And Augustine says (Tract. xxx in Joan.): The word is added to the element, and this becomes a sacrament.