Scriptum Super Sententiis I
Commentary on Sentences I
Ego sapientia effudi flumina: ego quasi trames aquae immensae defluo: ego quasi fluvius Dorix, et sicut aquaeductus exivi de Paradiso. Dixi: rigabo hortum plantationum, et inebriabo pratus mei fructum.
I, Wisdom, have poured out rivers; I flow down like a course of water without measure; I, like the channel of a river, and like an aqueduct, went out from Paradise. I have said, “I will water the garden of plants, and I will inebriate the fruit of my field.”
Inter multas sententias quae a diversis de sapientia prodierunt, quid scilicet esset vera sapientia, unam singulariter firmam et veram apostolus protulit dicens Christum Dei virtutem et Dei sapientiam, qui etiam nobis a Deo factus est sapientia, 1 ad Corinth. 1, 24 et 30. Non autem hoc ita dictum est, quod solus filius sit sapientia, cum pater et filius et spiritus sanctus sint una sapientia, sicut una essentia; sed quia sapientia quodam speciali modo filio appropriatur, eo quod sapientiae opera cum proprietatibus filii plurimum convenire videntur. Per sapientiam enim Dei manifestantur divinorum abscondita, producuntur creaturarum opera, nec tantum producuntur, sed etiam restaurantur et perficiuntur: illa, dico, perfectione qua unumquodque perfectum dicitur, prout proprium finem attingit. Quod autem manifestatio divinorum pertineat ad Dei sapientiam, patet ex eo quod ipse Deus per suam sapientiam seipsum plene et perfecte cognoscit. Unde si quid de ipso cognoscimus oportet quod ex eo derivetur, quia omne imperfectum a perfecto trahit originem: unde dicitur Sapient. 9, 17: sensum tuum quis sciet, nisi tu dederis sapientiam? Haec autem manifestatio specialiter per filium facta invenitur: ipse enim est verbum patris, secundum quod dicitur Joan. 1, unde sibi manifestatio dicentis patris convenit et totius Trinitatis. Unde dicitur Matth. 11, 27: nemo novit patrem nisi filius et cui filius voluerit revelare: et Joan. 1, 18: Deum nemo vidit unquam, nisi unigenitus qui est in sinu patris.
Among the many views that have been presented by diverse people about wisdom—namely, what true wisdom is—the Apostle has offered one that is particularly strong and true, saying, Christ, the power of God and wisdom of God . . . whom God made our wisdom (1 Cor 1:24, 30). But this was not said in the sense that the Son alone is wisdom—for the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one wisdom, just as they are one essence. Rather, this was said because wisdom is appropriated to the Son in a certain specific way, because the works of wisdom seem especially to harmonize with the properties of the Son. For through God's wisdom the hidden things of the divine are made manifest, the works of created things are produced, and not only produced but even restored and perfected—I mean by that perfection whereby each thing is called "perfect" insofar as it attains its own proper end. But that the manifestation of divine things pertains to God's wisdom is clear from the fact that God himself through his own wisdom fully and perfectly knows his very self. Hence, if we know anything about him, it must be derived from him, since everything imperfect draws its origin from the perfect. Hence, it is said, who will know your understanding unless you give wisdom? (Wis 9:17). But this manifestation is found to be accomplished in a specific way by the Son, for he is the Word of the Father, according to what is said in John 1. Hence, the manifestation of the Father speaking to himself is fitting also for that of the whole Trinity. Hence, it is said, no one knows the Father except the Son and him to whom the Son has wished to reveal him (Matt 11:27); and no one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known (John 1:18).
Recte ergo dicitur ex persona filii: ego sapientia effudi flumina. Flumina ista intelligo fluxus aeternae processionis, qua filius a patre, et spiritus sanctus ab utroque, ineffabili modo procedit. Ista flumina olim occulta et quodammodo confusa erant, tum in similitudinibus creaturarum, tum etiam in aenigmatibus Scripturarum, ita ut vix aliqui sapientes Trinitatis mysterium fide tenerent. Venit filius Dei et inclusa flumina quodammodo effudit, nomen Trinitatis publicando, Matth. ult. 19: docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. Unde Job 28, 2: profunda fluviorum scrutatus est et abscondita produxit in lucem. Et in hoc tangitur materia primi libri.
Therefore, it is correctly said in the person of the Son: I, Wisdom, have poured out rivers. These rivers I understand as the flowing of the eternal procession by which in an ineffable way the Son proceeds from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from both. Formerly, these rivers were hidden and in a way vague, both within the likenesses of created things, and also in the enigmas of the Scriptures, such that hardly any wise men held by faith the mystery of the Trinity. The Son of God came and in a way poured out the rivers that had been stopped up, by making public the name of the Trinity: teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). Hence, he has searched the depths of rivers and brought forth hidden things into the light (Job 28:11). And this touches on the subject matter of Book I.
Secundum quod pertinet ad Dei sapientiam est creaturarum productio: ipse enim de rebus creatis non tantum speculativam, sed etiam operativam sapientiam habet, sicut artifex de artificiatis; unde in Psalm. 103: omnia in sapientia fecisti. Et ipsa sapientia loquitur, Proverb. 8, 30: cum eo eram cuncta componens. Hoc etiam specialiter filio attributum invenitur, inquantum est imago Dei invisibilis, ad cujus formam omnia formata sunt: unde Coloss. 1, 15: qui est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturae, quoniam in ipso condita sunt universa; et Joan. 1, 3: omnia per ipsum facta sunt. Recte ergo dicitur ex persona filii: ego quasi trames aquae immensae defluo; in quo notatur et ordo creationis et modus.
The second thing that pertains to God’s wisdom is the production of created things. For he himself has not only a speculative but also an operative wisdom about created things, just as the artisan has about the works of art. Hence, in wisdom hast thou made them all (Ps 104:24). And Wisdom itself says, with him I was forming all things (Prov 8:30). This, too, is found attributed to the Son in a special way, insofar as he is the image of the invisible God, according to whose form all things have been formed. Hence, he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, for in him all things were created (Col 1:15–16), and all things were made through him (John 1:3). Therefore, it is correctly said in the person of the Son, I flow down like a course of water without measure. In this is noted both the order of creation and its mode.
Ordo, quia sicut trames a fluvio derivatur, ita processus temporalis creaturarum ab aeterno processu personarum: unde in Psalmo 148, 5, dicitur: dixit, et facta sunt. Verbum genuit, in quo erat ut fierent, secundum Augustinum. Semper enim id quod est primum est causa eorum quae sunt post, secundum philosophum; unde primus processus est causa et ratio omnis sequentis processionis.
Its order is indicated because just as a course is derived from a river, so too the temporal procession of created things is derived from the eternal procession of the Persons. Hence, it is said, he spoke, and they were created (Ps 148:5). He begot the Word, in whom it was that they were to come to be, according to Augustine. For that which is first is always the cause of the things that are after, according to the Philosopher. Hence, the first procession is the cause and reason for every subsequent procession.
Modus autem signatur quantum ad duo: scilicet ex parte creantis, qui cum omnia impleat, nulli tamen se commetitur; quod notatur in hoc quod dicitur, immensae. Item ex parte creaturae: quia sicut trames procedit extra alveum fluminis, ita creatura procedit a Deo extra unitatem essentiae, in qua sicut in alveo fluxus personarum continetur. Et in hoc notatur materia secundi libri.
But the mode of creation is indicated in reference to two things: first, on the side of the one creating, who, although he fills all things, nevertheless is not commensurate with anything—which is indicated by the fact that it says, without measure; second, on the side of the thing created, since just as a rivulet proceeds outside of the channel of a river, so too what is created proceeds from God outside of the unity of his essence, within which, as within the channel, the flow of the Persons is contained. And this indicates the subject matter of Book II.
Tertium, quod pertinet ad Dei sapientiam, est operum restauratio. Per idem enim debet res reparari per quod facta est; unde quae per sapientiam condita sunt, decet ut per sapientiam reparentur: unde dicitur Sapient. 9, 19: per sapientiam sanati sunt qui tibi placuerunt ab initio. Haec autem reparatio specialiter per filium facta est, inquantum ipse homo factus est, qui, reparato hominis statu, quodammodo omnia reparavit quae propter hominem facta sunt; unde Coloss. 1, 20: per eum reconcilians omnia, sive quae in caelis, sive quae in terris sunt. Recte ergo ex ipsius filii persona dicitur: ego quasi fluvius Dorix, et sicut aquaeductus exivi de Paradiso. Paradisus iste, gloria Dei patris est, de qua exivit in vallem nostrae miseriae; non quod eam amitteret, sed quia occultavit: unde Joan. 16, 28: exivi a patre et veni in mundum.
The third thing that pertains to God’s wisdom is the restoration of his works. For the one who made something is the one who is appropriate for renew it. Hence, it is becoming that the things created through wisdom would be renewed through wisdom. Hence, it is said, thus the paths of those on earth were set right, and men were taught what pleases thee, and were saved by wisdom (Wis 9:18). But this renewal was brought about in a special way through the Son, insofar as he himself was made man. After man's state had been restored, he in a certain way renewed all things that were made on account of man. Hence, through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven (Col 1:20). Correctly, therefore, it is said in the person of the Son himself, I, like the channel of a river, and like an aqueduct, went out from Paradise. This Paradise is the glory of God the Father, from which he went out into the valley of our misery—not that he lost this glory, but because he hid it. Hence, I came from the Father and have come into the world (John 16:28).
Et circa hunc exitum duo notantur, scilicet modus et fructus. Dorix enim fluvius rapidissimus est; unde designat modum quo, quasi impetu quodam amoris nostrae reparationis Christus complevit mysterium; unde Isaiae 59, 19: cum venerit quasi fluvius violentus, quem spiritus domini cogit. Fructus autem designatur ex hoc quod dicitur, sicut aquaeductus: sicut enim aquaeductus ex uno fonte producuntur divisim ad fecundandam terram, ita de Christo profluxerunt diversarum gratiarum genera ad plantandam Ecclesiam, secundum quod dicitur Ephes. 4, 11: ipse dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, alios vero Evangelistas, alios autem pastores et doctores, ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii, in aedificationem corporis Christi. Et in hoc tangitur materia tertii libri: in cujus prima parte agitur de mysteriis nostrae reparationis, in secunda de gratiis nobis collatis per Christum.
And with respect to this coming forth, two things are noted—namely, the mode and the fruit. For the channel of a river is very rapid; hence, it designates the mode by which Christ, as by a certain impetus of love, completed the mystery of our renewal. Hence, he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives (Isa 59:19). But the fruit is designated from the fact that it says, like an aqueduct. For just as aqueducts are led separately from a single font to render the land fertile, so too from Christ flowed forth the kinds of diverse graces for sowing the Church. In this sense, it is said, and his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph 4:11–12). And this touches on the subject matter of Book III, the first part of which treats the mysteries of our renewal, and the second treats the graces gathered to us through Christ.
Quartum, quod ad Dei sapientiam pertinet, est perfectio, qua res conservantur in suo fine. Subtracto enim fine, relinquitur vanitas, quam sapientia non patitur secum; unde dicitur Sap. 8, 1, quod sapientia attingit a fine usque ad finem fortiter et disponit omnia suaviter. Suaviter autem unumquodque tunc dispositum est quando in suo fine, quem naturaliter desiderat, collocatum est. Hoc etiam ad filium specialiter pertinet, qui, cum sit verus et naturalis Dei filius, nos in gloriam paternae hereditatis induxit; unde Hebr. 2, 10: decebat eum propter quem et per quem facta sunt omnia, qui multos filios in gloriam adduxerat. Unde recte dicitur: dixi: rigabo hortum plantationum. Ad consecutionem enim finis exigitur praeparatio, per quam omne quod non competit fini, tollatur; ita Christus etiam, ut nos in finem aeternae gloriae induceret, sacramentorum medicamenta praeparavit, quibus a nobis peccati vulnus abstergitur.
The fourth thing that pertains to God’s wisdom is the perfection by which things are preserved in their end. For if the end is removed, emptiness remains, which wisdom does not suffer to coexist with herself. Hence, it is said that wisdom reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things sweetly (Wis 8:1). But each thing has been sweetly ordered when it has been placed at the end which it naturally desires. And this also pertains to the Son in a special way, the one who, since he is the true and natural Son of God, has led us into the glory of the Father’s inheritance. Hence, it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2:10). Hence, it is correctly said, I said: I will water the garden of plants. For preparation is required for the attainment of an end so that thereby everything that does not befit the end may be removed. So too Christ, so that he might lead us into the end that is eternal glory, has prepared the remedies of the sacraments, whereby the wound of sin is cleansed from us.
Unde duo notantur in verbis praedictis, scilicet praeparatio, quae est per sacramenta, et inductio in gloriam. Primum per hoc quod dicitur: rigabo hortum plantationum. Hortus enim iste Ecclesia est, de qua Cant. 4, 12: hortus conclusus soror mea sponsa: in quo sunt plantationes diversae, secundum diversos sanctorum ordines, quos omnes manus omnipotentis plantavit. Iste hortus irrigatur a Christo sacramentorum rivis, qui ex ejus latere profluxerunt: unde in commendationem pulchritudinis Ecclesiae dicitur in Num. 24, 5: quam pulchra tabernacula tua, Jacob. Et post sequitur, 6: ut horti juxta fluvios irrigui. Et ideo etiam ministri Ecclesiae, qui sacramenta dispensant, rigatores dicuntur, 1 Corinth. 3, 6: ego plantavi, Apollo rigavit. Inductio autem in gloriam notatur in hoc quod sequitur: et inebriabo partus mei fructum. Partus ipsius Christi sunt fideles Ecclesiae, quos suo labore quasi mater parturivit: de quo partu Isa. ult., 9: numquid ego, qui alios parere facio, ipse non pariam? Dicit dominus. Fructus autem istius partus sunt sancti qui sunt in gloria: de quo fructu Cant. 5, 1: veniat dilectus meus in hortum suum et comedat fructum pomorum suorum. Istos inebriat abundantissima sui fruitione; de qua fruitione et ebrietate Psalm. 35, 9: inebriabuntur ab ubertate domus tuae. Et dicitur ebrietas, quia omnem mensuram rationis et desiderii excedit: unde Isa. 64, 4: oculus non vidit, Deus, absque te quae praeparasti expectantibus te. Et in hoc tangitur materia quarti libri: in cujus prima parte agitur de sacramentis; in secunda de gloria resurrectionis. Et sic patet ex praedictis verbis intentio libri sententiarum.
Hence, two things are indicated in the aforementioned words: namely, the preparation that is through the sacraments, and the admission into glory. The first is indicated through the fact that it is said, I will water the garden of plants. For this garden is the Church, about which it is said, a garden locked is my sister, my bride (Song 4:12). In this garden are diverse plants, according to the diverse orders of the saints, all of whom the hand of the Almighty has planted. This garden is watered by Christ with the streams of the sacraments, which flowed out from his side. Hence in praise of the beauty of the Church it is said, how fair are your tents, O Jacob (Num 24:5). And later it continues, like gardens beside a river (Num 24:6). And for this reason, too, the ministers of the Church who dispense the sacraments are called "waterers": I planted, Apollos watered (1 Cor 3:6). But the admission into glory is indicated by the fact that it continues, and I will inebriate the fruit of my offspring. Christ's own offspring are the Church's faithful, whom he has brought forth by his own labor, as though its mother. About this offspring it is said, shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth? says the Lord (Isa 66:9). But the fruits of this offspring are the saints who are in glory. About this fruit it is said, let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits (Song 4:16). He inebriates these with the most abundant enjoyment of him. About this enjoyment and inebriation it is said, they will be inebriated by the fertility of your house (Ps 35:9). And it is called "inebriation" because it exceeds every measure of reason and desire. Hence, eye has not seen, O God, beside you, the things which you have prepared for those waiting for you (Isa 64:4). And this touches on the subject matter of Book IV: in the first part of which the sacraments are treated; in the second, the glory of the resurrection. And so from the aforementioned words the aim of the Book of Sentences is clear.
On the Prologue
Huic operi Magister prooemium praemittit, in quo tria facit. Primo reddit auditorem benevolum; secundo docilem, ibi, horum igitur Deo odibilem Ecclesiam evertere, atque ora oppilare (...) volentes, in labore multo ac sudore volumen, Deo praestante, compegimus; tertio attentum, ibi, non ergo debet hic labor cuiquam pigro vel multum docto videri superfluus.
To this work the Master attaches a prologue that does three things. First, it renders the reader good-willed; second, it renders him ready to learn, at wishing to cast down the assembly of such people, which is hateful to God, and to stop up their mouths . . . we have, with God's aid, put together with much labor and sweat a volume; third, it renders him attentive, at and so this work should seem superfluous neither to the lazy, nor to the learned.
Benevolum reddit assignando causas moventes ipsum ad compilationem hujus operis, ex quibus ostenditur affectus ipsius in Deum et proximum. Sunt autem tres causae moventes. Prima sumitur ex parte sui, scilicet desiderium proficiendi in Ecclesia; secunda ex parte Dei, scilicet promissio mercedis et auxilii; tertia ex parte proximi, scilicet instantia precum sociorum. E contra sunt tres causae retrahentes. Prima ex parte sui, defectus ingenii et scientiae; secunda ex parte operis, altitudo materiae et magnitudo laboris; tertia ex parte proximi, invidorum contradictio. Harum autem causarum moventium duae primae insinuant caritatem in Deum, tertia in proximum: unde dividitur in duas. In primo ponit causas moventes quae ostendunt caritatem in Deum; in secundo causam quae ostendit caritatem in proximum, ibi, non valentes studiosorum fratrum votis jure resistere.
He renders the reader good-willed by designating the causes that moved him to compile this work, which motives show his affection for God and neighbor. Now, there are three moving causes. The first is taken from his own side, that is, his desire for progress within the Church; the second is from the side of God, that is, his promise of mercy and help; the third is on the side of his neighbor, that is, the insistence of his confreres' requests. Opposed to these, there are three causes drawing him back: the first is on his own side, that is, the defects of his mind and knowledge; second, on the side of the work, the height of the matter and the magnitude of the labor; and third, on the side of his neighbor, the contradiction of the envious. Now, of these moving causes, the first two recommend the love for God, and the third, love for neighbor, so it is divided in two: in the first, he lays out the moving causes that show love for God, and in the second, the cause that shows love for neighbor, at we were not able rightfully to resist the desires of our brethren devoted to study.
Causis autem moventibus adjungit etiam retrahentes: unde primo ponit quasi quamdam controversiam causarum moventium et retrahentium; secundo victoriam, ibi, quam vincit zelus domus Dei. Cupientes. In hoc notatur primo causa movens, scilicet desiderium proficiendi. Aliquid sonat immodicitatem. De penuria ac tenuitate nostra. Hic tangitur prima causa retrahens, scilicet defectus scientiae. Et dicitur penuria proprie defectus exterioris substantiae, unde transfertur ad defectum scientiae acquisitae. Tenuitate, quae proprie est defectus substantiae interioris, unde transfertur ad defectum ingenii. Cum paupercula, de qua Marc. 12 et Lucae 21. Gazophylacium. Gazophylacium repositorium dicitur divitiarum. Gazae enim Persice, divitiae Latine dicuntur, et phylasso Graece, Latine servare: et quandoque sumitur pro arca in qua thesaurus reponitur, sicut 4 Reg. 12, 9: tulit Joiada pontifex gazophylacium unum etc., quandoque pro loco in quo arca reponitur, sicut Joan. 8, 20: haec locutus est Jesus in gazophylacio. Hic autem significat studium sacrae Scripturae, in quo sancti sua opera reposuerunt. Ardua scandere. Hic ponitur secunda causa retrahens ex parte operis, et dicuntur ardua divina quantum est in se.
Moreover, he connects the causes drawing him back to the causes that move him forward. Whence, he first notes a certain controversy about the motivating causes and the ones that draw him back. Second, he notes the victory, at zeal for the house of God overcomes it. With wishing he notes the first motivating cause, the desire to make progress, to give something to the Lord's treasury signifies its smallness, and out of our penury and poverty touches on the first cause drawing him back, namely, a lack of knowledge. The lack of exterior substance is properly called penury, so it is extended to the lack of acquired knowledge, and poverty is properly a lack of interior substance, so it is extended to a defect of intelligence. By saying with the poor widow, he refers to the one described in Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:2-4. The repository of riches is called the treasury (gazophylacium), for gazae is Persian for riches in Latin, and phylasso is Greek for service in Latin. And sometimes this word is used for the vessel wherein the treasures are stored, as is said in 2 Kings 12:9: Jehoiada the priest took a chest (gazophylacium). . . and put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, but sometimes it is used for the place wherein the vessel is reposed, as in John 8:20: these words he spoke in the treasury (gazophylacium). But here it signifies the study of Sacred Scripture, in which the saints have placed their own labors. To scale the difficult heights is to note the second cause drawing him back, on the side of the work, and divine matters are said to be difficult in their very selves.
Scanduntur autem quasi triplici gradu. Primus est in derelinquendo sensum; secundus in derelinquendo phantasias corporum; tertius in derelinquendo rationem naturalem. Opus ultra vires. Hic ostenditur altitudo materiae per comparationem ad nos.
However, these things are climbed in three stages, as it were. The first lies in leaving behind the senses; the second in leaving behind the images of bodily things; and the third in leaving behind one's natural reason. He says a work beyond our strength to show the heights of the matter in comparison with ourselves.
Contra, Eccli. 3, 22: altiora te ne quaesieris. Respondeo. Verum est ex confidentia propriarum virium; sed ex confidentia divini auxilii possumus elevata supra nostrum posse speculari.
But on the contrary, Sirach 3:21 says, seek not what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power. I respond that this is true if one is putting his confidence in his own proper powers, but in putting confidence in divine help we can be elevated above our own capacity to contemplate.
Praesumpsimus. Contra, Eccli. 37, 3: o praesumptio nequissima. Ergo videtur quod peccaverit. Respondeo. Expone praesumpsimus, idest prae aliis sumpsimus. Vel dic, quod esset praesumptio per comparationem ad vires humanas; sed per comparationem ad Dei auxilium, quo omnia possumus, sicut dicitur Philipp. ult. 13: omnia possum in eo qui me confortat, non est praesumptio. Consummationis fiduciam. Hic ponit secundam causam moventem ex parte Dei. In Samaritano. Sumitur de parabola quae est Lucae 10, per quam significatur Deus. In Psal. 120, 4: ecce non dormitabit neque dormiet qui custodit Israel. Samaritanus enim interpretatur custos. Semivivi, hominis per peccatum spoliati gratia et vulnerati in naturalibus. Duobus denariis, duobus testamentis, quasi regis imagine insignitis, dum veritatem continent a prima veritate exemplatam.
We have dared. But on the contrary, Sirach 37:3 says, O most wicked presumption, so it seems like he is sinning. I respond that we interpret we have dared (praesumpsimus) as meaning "we have taken it up (sumpsimus) before other things" (prae aliis). Or let us say that it would be presumption relative to human powers, but it is not presumption when related to God's help, by which we can do all things: I can do all things in him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13). At we have grounded our confidence of completion, he notes the second motivating cause, on the side of God. In the Good Samaritan is drawn from the parable found in Luke 10, where the Samaritan signifies God: he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep (Ps 121:4), for Samaritan is interpreted as meaning "keeper." Left half-dead refers to the man despoiled of grace by sin and wounded in his natural faculties. After giving two pieces of silver, indicates the two Testaments, as it were, marked with the image of the King, when they contain the stamp of truth from the First Truth.
Supereroganti, idest superaddenti, sicut sancti patres suis studiis fecerunt.
Who might have to spend more, that is, in addition, just as the holy fathers did in their own studies.
Contra, Apocalyps. ult. 18: si quis apposuerit ad haec, apponet Deus super illum plagas. Respondeo. Est apponere duplex: vel aliquid quod est contrarium, vel diversum; et hoc est erroneum vel praesumptuosum: vel quod continetur implicite, exponendo; et hoc est laudabile.
But on the contrary, I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book (Rev 22:18). I respond that there are two ways to add to it: by adding something contrary to or diverse from it--and this is an error and presumptuous--or by adding something that is implicitly contained in it, by expounding it--and this is praiseworthy.
Delectat. Hic colligit quatuor causas enumeratas. Quam vincit. Hic ponit victoriam. Zelus. Zelus, secundum Dionysium, est amor intensus, unde non patitur aliquid contrarium amato. Domus Dei, idest Ecclesiae. Quo inardescentes, scilicet dum non patimur Ecclesiam ab infidelibus impugnari. Carnalium, quantum ad illos qui inveniunt sibi errores, ut carnis curam faciant in desideriis, Rom. 13, sicut qui negant providentiam divinam de rebus humanis, et animae perpetuitatem, ut impune possint peccare. Animalium, quantum ad errantes, ex eo quod non elevantur supra sensibilia, sed secundum rationes corporales volunt de divinis judicare. Davidicae turris. Hoc sumitur Cant. 4, 4: sicut turris David collum tuum, quae aedificata est cum propugnaculis: mille clypei pendent ex ea, omnis armatura fortium. Per David significatur Christus: turris ejus est fides vel Ecclesia: clypei sunt rationes et auctoritates sanctorum.
At the truthfulness of the one making that promise delights us, he gathers together the four enumerated causes. God overcomes it asserts the victory. Then he speaks of zeal for the house of God; according to Dionysius, zeal is an intense love, so it does not tolerate anything contrary to the beloved; and by the house of God, he means the Church. Burning with that zeal, that is, since we do not tolerate the attacks upon the Church coming from those without faith. [The errors are those] of carnal men, insofar as they find errors for themselves so that they might make provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Rom 13:14); for example, those who deny that there is divine Providence over human affairs, and that the soul endures, so that they can sin with impunity. And they are brutish men as regards their erring, by the fact that they are not lifted above sensible things, but rather they wish to make judgments about divine things according to bodily accounts. And [we have striven to protect with the bucklers] of David's tower is taken from Song of Songs 4:4, your neck is like the tower of David, built for an arsenal, whereon hang a thousand bucklers, all of them shields of warriors. Christ is signified by David, the faith or the Church is his towers, and the arguments and authoritative statements of the saints are the bucklers.
Vel potius munitam ostendere; quia ipse non invenit rationes, sed potius ab aliis inventas compilavit: et in hoc tangit unam utilitatem, scilicet exclusionem erroris. Ac theologicarum inquisitionum abdita aperire. Hic tangit aliam quantum ad manifestationem veritatis; et hoc in primis tribus libris. Nec non et sacramentorum ecclesiasticorum pro modulo intelligentiae nostrae notitiam tradere studuimus: et hoc quantum ad quartum. Non valentes studiosorum fratrum votis jure resistere. Hic ponit causam moventem, quae dicit caritatem in proximum: et primo ponit causam moventem; secundo retrahentem, ibi, quamvis non ambigamus omnem humani eloquii sermonem calumniae atque contradictioni aemulorum semper fuisse obnoxium. Lingua, ad praesentes, vel quantum ad communicationem doctrinae; stylo, propter absentes, vel ad perpetuandam memoriam.
Or rather, we wish to show that it is already so protected, because he is not discovering the arguments, but is compiling ones that have already been discovered by others. And in this he touches on one use of this work: the exclusion of error. At we have also attempted to reveal the hidden depths of theological investigations, he touches on the other, as regards manifesting the truth. And this is in Books I-III. At and we have attempted . . . to convey an understanding of the Church's sacraments, with whatever little intelligence is ours, and this is in Book IV. He adds, we were not able rightfully to resist the desires of our brethren devoted to study, noting the moving cause [for writing this]; he will add, second, a cause that draws him back, at we do not doubt "that all human speech has always been subject to the calumny and opposition of the envious." He adds [that he assists his brethren] with our tongue, in reference to those who are present before him--or to the communication of the teaching--and with our pen, for the sake of those who are absent, or to perpetuating their memory.
Bigas, idest linguam et stylum, quibus quasi duabus rotis vehitur a magistro in discipulum, agitat Christi caritas. Hoc sumitur 2 Corinth. 5, 14: caritas Christi urget nos.
He calls them, that is the tongue and the pen, yoked together as though by these two wheels the teaching is conveyed from the teacher to the student, the love of Christ being the driver. This is drawn from 2 Corinthians 5:14: the love of Christ controls us.
Contra, Eccle. 9, 1: nemo scit, utrum amore an odio dignus sit. Ergo et cetera. Respondeo. Caritas dicitur uno modo habitus infusus; et hunc nullus potest scire se habere certitudinaliter, nisi per revelationem; sed potest conjicere per aliqua signa probabilia. Alio modo dicitur caritas amor multum appretians amatum; et sic aliquis potest scire se habere caritatem.
But on the contrary, whether it is love or hate man does not know (Eccl 9:1); therefore and so on. I respond that "charity" in one way names the infused habit, and no one can know whether he has this with certainty, except through revelation, but he can make a conjecture in virtue of certain probable signs. In another way, "charity" names a love that places great value on the beloved, and in this way someone can know that he has charity.
Quamvis non ambigamus omnem humani eloquii sermonem calumniae atque contradictioni aemulorum semper fuisse obnoxium. Hic ponit tertiam causam retrahentem, scilicet contradictionem invidorum: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ponit contradictionis evidentiam per simile in aliis; secundo contradictionis causam ex inordinatione voluntatis, ex qua error, ex qua invidia, ex qua contradictio oritur, ibi, quia dissentientibus voluntatum motibus, dissentiens quoque fit animorum sensus; tertio contradicentium nequitiam, ibi, qui non rationi voluntatem subjiciunt. Calumniae, quae est occulta et particularis impugnatio; contradictioni, quae est aperta, et in toto, et universalis; obnoxium, quasi poenae vel noxae addictum. Veri ratione perfectum; idest, perficiebat secundum rationem veritatis, videlicet quantum ad illos qui male intelligunt, et tamen malum intellectum pertinaci voluntate defendunt. Complacet, quantum ad illos quorum voluntas inordinate post se trahit judicium rationis, ut verum judicetur illud quod placet. Offendenti, idest quod displicet.
We do not doubt "that all human speech has always been subject to the calumny and opposition of the envious." Here he lays out a third cause drawing him back, namely the contradiction of the envious. First, he notes the evidence for the contradiction, through a likeness in other matters. Second, he notes the cause of the contradiction as the disorder of the will, which gives rise to error, which gives rise to envy, which gives rise to the contradiction. This is at when the movements of our wills dissent, so too does the understanding of our spirits. And third, he notes the iniquity of those speaking against it, at who do not submit their will to reason. He mentions their calumny, which is a hidden and particular attack, and opposition (or "contradiction"), which is an open and total attack; he calls it "noxious" as bound to punishment and harm. He says that [even though every word] be perfect with regard to truth, meaning it was made perfect by reason of its truth, relative to those who have a bad understanding, and yet with an obstinate will defend the bad understanding. He says they believe what pleases them, in reference to those whose will inordinately drags reason's judgment after itself, so that whatever pleases them will be judged true. A truth one is offended at, that is, that displeases him.
Contra, 3 Esdrae, 4, 39: omnes benignantur in operibus ejus. Ergo et cetera. Respondeo. Veritas secundum se semper amatur; sed per accidens potest haberi odio, et hoc accidens est infinitum: quia causae per accidens, secundum philosophum infinitae sunt.
But on the contrary, all are blessed in his [God's] works (4 Esdras 13:39); therefore and so on. I respond that truth, with respect to itself, is always loved. But it can be hated incidentally, and this happens in an infinity of ways, because incidental causes are infinite, according to the Philosopher.
Deus hujus saeculi. Sumitur 2 Corinth., 4, et exponitur de Deo vero, qui operatur invidiam, permittendo; vel de Diabolo, cui saeculum obedit, qui operatur suggerendo. Diffidentiae, vel quia diffidunt de Deo, vel quia de eis diffidendum est ex ratione morbi, quamvis non ex potestate medici. Qui non rationi voluntatem subjiciunt. Hic ostendit contradicentium nequitiam: et primo ex inordinata professione; secundo ex simulata religione, ibi, habent rationem sapientiae in superstitione; tertio ex pertinaci contentione, ibi, qui contentioni studentes, contra veritatem sine foedere bellant.
He adds, this is what the god of this world works in those children of unbelief, drawing on 2 Corinthians 4:4; this can be understood as about the true God, who works envy insofar as he permits it, or as about the Devil, to whom this age obeys, who works envy by suggesting it. He calls it unbelief, either because of their disbelief in God or because one should disbelief those things, by reason of their malady, though not because of the physician's power. When he says they do not submit their will to reason, he shows the iniquity of those in opposition: first, from their disordered profession; second, from their false religion, at they find a semblance of wisdom in superstition; third, from their obstinate contention, at eager for controversy, they struggle without restraint against the truth.
Ostendit autem primo ex duobus eos esse inordinatos, scilicet quia voluntas non sequitur rationem, sed e converso; quod tangit ubi dicit: qui non rationi voluntatem subjiciunt: et quia rationem suam non subjiciunt sacrae doctrinae; quod notatur ibi, nec doctrinae studium impendunt. Somniarunt, quasi phantasiando, sicut homo in somniis. Sed ad fabulas convertentes auditum. Sumitur de 2 Timoth. 4. Fabula enim composita est ex miris, secundum philosophum, et isti semper volunt nova audire. Professio, idest studium. Docenda, idest digna doceri. Rationem, idest argumentum ad ostendendum sapientiam. In superstitione, superflua religione exterius simulata. Quia fidei defectionem sequitur hypocrisis mendax. Sumitur 1 Timoth. 4, 1: discedent quidam a fide, attendentes spiritibus erroris, et doctrinis Daemoniorum in hypocrisi loquentium mendacium. Omnium verborum.
Now, he shows the first that they are disordered based on two things: because their will does not follow reason, but vice versa (which he notes when he says, who do not submit their will to reason), and because they do not subject their reason to sacred doctrine, which he notes at nor apply themselves to the study of doctrine. He says they believe what they have dreamed up, as though imagining them, like a man in his dreams. They turn their ears . . . toward fables, taking this from 2 Timothy 4:4, for according to the Philosopher, a fable is composed of wonders, and such men always want to hear of novelties. Their pursuit (that is, zeal) [consists more in seeking what pleases them, than] what ought to be taught (that is, what is worthy of being taught), their semblance of wisdom being their argument for showing their wisdom. This occurs in superstition, meaning a needless externally simulated religion. Because a lying hypocrisy follows the defection from faith, drawing on 1 Timothy 4:1-2: in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars. They use all manner of lying words.
Contra, Beda: nulla falsa est doctrina, quae non aliqua vera intermisceat. Respondeo, illa vera quae dicunt, quamvis in se vera sint, tamen quantum ad usum eorum falsa sunt, quia falso utuntur eis.
But on the contrary, Bede says, no teaching is so false that does not have some truths mixed into it. I respond that those truths that they speak, although they are true in themselves, still are false as regards their use. For they use them for what is false.
Pruriginem, idest inordinatum desiderium nova audiendi, sicut pruritus concitatur ex calore inordinato. Sumitur ex 2 Tim. 4, 3: erit tempus, cum (...) ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros, prurientes auribus. Dogmate, propter hoc quod ratio voluntatem sequitur. Contentioni, quae, secundum Ambrosium ad Rom. est impugnatio veritatis cum confidentia clamoris. Veritas. 3 Esdr. 4, 38: veritas manet, et invalescit in aeternum.
[Inflicting upon others] the itching [of their own ears], that is, their inordinate desire for hearing novelties, as an itch is excited by an inordinate heat. This is drawn from 2 Timothy 4:3: for the time is coming when people . . . having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings. [He says, they corrupt the faith] by the teaching [of false doctrine], on account of their reason following their will; [he says that they are eager] for controversy, which Ambrose says (on the letter to the Romans) is the assault on truth with confidence in praise. [He adds that the battle will not cease so long as] truth [remains firm, following] 1 Esdras 4:38: the truth will endure and prevail into eternity.
Horum igitur Deo odibilem Ecclesiam evertere atque ora oppilare (...) volentes, in labore multo ac sudore hoc volumen, Deo praestante, compegimus. Hic reddit auditorem docilem, praelibando causas operis: et primo ponit causam finalem quantum ad duas utilitates, scilicet destructionem erroris; unde dicit: odibilem Ecclesiam: Psalm. 25, 5: odivi Ecclesiam malignantium: ne virus, idest ne venenum, in alios effundere queant: et manifestationem veritatis: unde dicit: lucernam veritatis in candelabro exaltare volentes. Sumitur de Luc. 8, 16: nemo accendit lucernam, et ponit eam sub modio. In candelabro, idest in aperto. Secundo tangit causam efficientem, scilicet principalem, Deo praestante: instrumentalem, compegimus: quia hoc opus est quasi compaginatum ex diversis auctoritatibus. Sudore, quocumque defectu corporali, qui sequitur laborem spiritualem. Tertio ostendit causam materialem ibi: ex testimoniis veritatis, Psalm. 118, 152: initio cognovi de testimoniis tuis. Quarto causam formalem quantum ad distinctionem librorum: in quatuor libros: et quantum ad modum operis: in quo majorum exempla, quantum ad similitudines; doctrinam, quantum ad rationes, reperies.
Wishing to cast down the assembly of such people, which is hateful to God, and to stop up their mouths, . . . we have, with God's aid, put together with much labor and sweat a volume. Here he renders the listener teachable by setting out the causes of the work. First, he lays own the final cause as regards two uses: the one is the destruction of error. This is why he speaks of the hateful assembly, following Psalm 26:5: I hate the company of evildoers, and says, so that they may not be able to spread the poison, that is, their venom, . . . to others. The other is the manifestation of the truth. This is why he speaks of wanting to put the light of the truth on the lamp-stand; this is taken from Luke 8:16: no one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, . . . but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. He says, on the lamp-stand, meaning out in the open. Second, he touches on its efficient cause, both the principal one, when he says with God's aid, and the instrumental one, at we have . . . put together. For this work is, as it were, a compilation of diverse authorities. He adds, with . . . sweat, meaning with whatever bodily defect that follows upon a spiritual labor. Third, he shows its material cause at from the witnesses of truth, drawing on Psalm 119:152: long have I known from thy testimonies, that thou hast founded them for ever. Fourth, he shows its formal cause, as regards the distinction of its books: and divided it in four books; as regards the mode of the work, you will find the precedents . . . of our ancestors, meaning their examples, and the teaching of our ancestors, meaning their reasons.
Vipereae, haereticae: haeretici enim pariendo alios in sua haeresi, pereunt sicut vipera. Prodidimus, reseravimus. Adjicit viam. Complexi, amplexantes. Impiae, infidelis. Inter utrumque, scilicet, nec nimis alte, nec nimis humiliter: vel inter duos contrarios errores, sicut Sabellii, et Arii. Non a paternis discessit limitibus, secundum illud Proverb. 22, 28: non transferes terminos antiquos, quos posuerunt patres tui.
We have denounced the falsehood of a poisonous doctrine. By poisonous he means heretical, for the heretics, by disposing others toward their heresy, kill like vipers. We have pursued (that is, opened) a moderate middle, indicating the path, embracing (that is, taking) an approach that does not result in impiety (that is, unbelief), a middle course between the two--that is, neither going too high, nor remaining with too much humility, or between two contrary errors, like that of Sabellius and that of Arius. And . . . our voice . . . has not transgressed the bounds set by our forefathers, following Proverbs 22:28: remove not the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.
Non igitur debet hic labor cuiquam pigro, vel multum docto, videri superfluus. Hic reddit auditorem attentum: et primo ex utilitate operis, ibi: brevi volumine complicans patrum sententias. Sententia, secundum Avicennam, est definitiva et certissima conceptio.
And so this work should seem superfluous neither to the lazy, nor to the very learned. Here he renders the listener attentive, doing so first in virtue of the usefulness of the work, at in this brief volume, we have brought together the sentences of the Fathers. A sentence, according Avicenna, is one's definitive and most certain conception.