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3. On the History of Ecclesiastical Science.
In connection with the history of piety we have been already obliged to enter upon the history of theology; for piety and theology are most intimately related in the Middle Ages. In the former chapter also (p. 23 ff.) a sketch of the history of science till the close of the twelfth century has been given. From the immense amount of material in the thirteenth to the fifteenth century only some cardinal points shall be brought more prominently to view.247247See the histories of philosophy by Erdmann, Ueberweg-Heinze (where are the fullest lists of literary works), Stöckl and Werner (Monograph on Thomas v. Aqu., various dissertations on Duns Scotus, Die Scholastik des spateren Mittelalters in 3 vols., 1881 f.: (1) Johannes Duns Scotus. (2) Die Nachscotistische Scholastik. (3) Der Augustinismus des späteren Mittelalters). Baur, Vorles. über die christl. Dogmengesch. 2 Bd., p. 199 ff. We owe to Bach a beautiful dissertation on Albertus M., distinguished by thorough knowledge and abundant points of view.150
The great advancement of mediæval science from the beginning of the thirteenth century was occasioned (1) by the immense triumph of the Church and the papacy under Innocent III. and his successors; (2) by the intensification of piety in consequence of the Mendicant Orders movement;248248On the entrance of the Minorite Order into the scientific movement, see Werner, Duns Scotus, p. 4 ff. (3) by the enrichment and extension of general culture, which was partly a consequence of inner developments, and partly arose from contact with the East, in Palestine, Constantinople, and Spain.249249Cf. Books 6-8 of the History of the Aufklärung by Reuter, especially the sections on the Averrhoistic Aufklärung, as well as on the importance of the Arabic and Jewish middle-men, also on the influence of the Natural Sciences and on the University of Paris in the thirteenth century. The Arabs Avicenna (ob. 1037) and Averrhoes (ob. 1198), the former supranaturalistic, the latter pantheistic, in his tendency, were the most important commentators on Aristotle, whose works became known to the West by means of Spanish Jews. But by Averrhoes, who exercised a powerful attraction, Aristotle was in the first instance discredited, so that several Church interdicts were issued against him. But it was soon observed that Aristotle, so far from favouring pantheism, really refuted it. Scotus Erigena and Averrhoes — his system meant for the Church of the thirteenth century what Gnosticism in the second century, Manichæanism in the fourth, Socinianism in the seventeenth, meant for Church Christianity, see Renan, Averroes et l’Averroisme — were now regarded as the real enemies of Church dogma. Naturalistic pantheism in general now became the chief object of persecution; to oppose it, the supranaturalistic elements were derived from Aristotelianism, and this Aristotelianism had the widest scope given to it (see Schwane, Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters, p. 33 ff.). Among the Jewish scholars it was chiefly Maimonides who influenced the Schoolmen of the thirteenth century. Thomas owed very much to him, and in part transcribed him (see Merx, Prophetie des Joel, 1879). In this way the juristic-casuistic element in Scholasticism was still further strengthened, and pharisaic-talmudic theologoumena crept into mediæval theology, which are partly traceable to the Persian age of Judaism. But besides this, Neoplatonic and Aristotelian material found its way to the schoolmen from the translations of the Jews, who had rendered the Arabic versions of the Greek philosophical writings into Latin; see Bardenhewer, Die Schrift de causis, 1882. Here the acquaintance, now obtained for the first time, with the true Aristotle, the teacher of logic, physics, ethics, and politics, became of supreme importance. His philosophy, understood as dogmatism,250250In the sense in which Kant exposed and refuted dogmatism. It was only Roger Bacon who stoutly fought his way out of these fetters in the thirteenth century; see Reuter, II., p. 67 ff. was hailed as a gospel, or at least as 151the necessary introduction to one (“præcursor Christi in naturalibus”) and through him the science of the thirteenth century received an almost incalculable amount of material, and, above all, impulses to master the material.
The two new forces of commanding importance in the period, the Mendicant Orders251251Among all the Orders the Dominican was the first to adopt into its rules directions as to study (see Denifle, Archiv. fur Litt.-u. Kirchengesch. des Mittelalters I., p. 165 ff. and Aristotle, had first to achieve a position for themselves. At the beginning they met with hostility from the old Orders, and from the teachers and universities that were in alliance with them. An attitude of self-defence was assumed towards both. The new Aristotelianism, indeed, came under ecclesiastical proscription, and there was a wish to exclude theologians of the Mendicant Orders from university chairs. There were always some, too, who still were influenced by the attacks in general on the scientific-dialectic theology, which had been made by such men as John of Salisbury and Walter of St. Victor.252252Cf. e.g., for the period about 1250 the Chronicle of Salimbene and Michael l.c., p. 39 f. That in the Dominican Order itself a tendency had at first to be checked, which, after the style of the older Orders, emphasised asceticism so strongly that no room was left for study, which indeed described science (including theology) as dangerous and pernicious, has been convincingly proved by Wehofer O. P. from the book of the Dominican Gérard de Frachet, “Vitas Patrum” (published not long after 1256, issued in the Monum. Ord. Frat. Prædic. Historica. Löwen, 1896), and from the attitude of Humbert of Romans (General of the Order from 1254 to 1263; Gorres-Jahrbuch f. Philos. Bd. IX., 1896, p. 17 ff.) That “propter philosophiam” one goes to hell or at least — after a great example — receives here already on earth a sound cudgelling from angels, was never forgotten in the Catholic Church. The founder of the Trappist Order simply attempted to bring into force again an old monastic tradition: “study, i.e., philosophy is sin.” But the new movement asserted itself with an irresistible energy, and the opposition was silenced.
Yet this was only possible because the new factors really furnished nothing new, but completed the triumph of the Church over everything spiritual. The new Aristotle, as he was understood, taught the theory of knowledge, metaphysics and politics, which admitted of a surer vindication of dogma against such opposition as had formerly appeared, e.g., in William of Champeaux and Roscellin, and offered a defence against the 152dangers both of an eccentric realism and of an empirical mode of thought. If it is permissible, nay necessary, to conceive of the universals on the one hand, as the archetypes that express the cosmos of ideas in the thought of God, then they exist ante rem (before the thing); if on the other hand they must be regarded as simply realised in things (categories and forms) then they are in re (in the thing); if, finally, it is undeniable that it is only by the observation of things that they are obtained, that accordingly the intellect derives them from experience, then they are post rem (after the thing). In this way it was possible to apply to every dogma the epistemological mode of view which seemed best fitted to defend it. The “qualified” realism, which could assume the most different forms, and which had been already represented by Abelard, certainly more in a spirit of sceptical reserve than with a view to speculative construction, became dominant in the thirteenth century. But what was of most importance was that the great theologians who developed it showed even greater energy than their predecessors in subordinating the whole structure of thought to the principle that all things are to be understood by tracing them back to God.
But the tracing back to God was equivalent to subjecting all knowledge to the authority of the Church. The same science which displayed an astonishing energy of thought, and through such scholars as Thomas made a really important advance upon antiquity in the ethical and political sciences, appeared in many respects still more fettered than the science of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; for in its view, not only the old dogma (“articuli fidei”), but the entire department of ecclesiastical practice, the principles of which were traced back to the articuli fidei, was absolutely authoritative, and it proceeded much more frankly than before on the principle that in particular questions every instance of authority had as much weight as a deliberate reflection of the understanding.
It was only in the thirteenth century — and by the theologians of the Mendicant Orders — that the whole existing structure of ecclesiasticism was theologically vindicated, and its newest and most questionable parts, as well as the oldest and 153most important, declared inviolate by “science”; it was only in the thirteenth century that there was introduced that complete interblending of faith on authority and of science which means that at one and the same level there is a working at one time with the “credo,” at another time with the “intelligo”; such interblending is not yet found in Anselm, for example. Certainly it was still theoretically held that theology, resting on revelation, is a (speculative) science.253253See the first question in Part I. of the Summa of Thomas; Art. I.: “Utrum sit necessarium præter philosophicas disciplinas aliam doctrinam haberi.” Art. II: “Utrum sacra doctrina sit scientia.” Answer: “Sacram doctrinam esse scientiam. Sed sciendum est quod duplex est scientiarum genus. Quædam enim sunt, quæ procedunt ex principiis notis lumine naturali intellectus sicut Arithmetica; quædam vero sunt quæ procedunt ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiæ, sicut Perspectiva procedit ex principiis notificatis per Geometriam. . . . Et hoc modo sacra doctrina est scientia, quia procedit ex principiis notis lumine superioris scientiæ, quæ scil. est scientia dei et beatorum. Unde sicut Musicus credit principia revelata sibi ab Arithmetico, ita doctrina sacra credit principia revelata sibi a deo.” Art. III.: “Utrum sacra doctrina sit una scientia?” Conclusio: “Cum omnia considerata in sacra doctrina sub una formali ratione divinæ revelationis considerentur, eam unam scientiam esse sentiendum est.” Artic. IV.: “Utrum s. doctrina sit scientia practica?” Conclusio: “Tametsi s. theologia altioris ordinis sit practica et speculativa, eminenter utramque continens, speculativa tamen magis est quam practica,” etc.. But it was not held as required, nor even as possible, to rear on the basis of faith a purely rational structure: there was rather an alternating between authority and reason; they were regarded as parallel methods which one employed. The object in view indeed continued to be the knowledge that culminates in the visio dei; but there was no longer the wish always to eliminate more fully as knowledge advanced the element of faith (authority) in order to retain at the last pure knowledge; at all stages, rather, the element of authority was held as justifiable and necessary. Nay, there was now the conviction that there are two provinces, that of natural theology, and that of specific (revealed). The two, certainly, are thought of as being in closest harmony; but yet the conviction has been obtained that there are things known, and these, too, the most important, which belong simply to revealed theology, and which can be interrelated certainly, but not identified with natural theology. Natural theology, moreover, must subordinate itself to revealed, for theology has its foundation in revelation. In point of fact, however, the dogmatic theologian alternated between 154reason and revelation, and his structure derived its style from the former; for in particular questions the content of revelation is not derived solely from the thought of redemption — however truly this, as the visio dei, may be the contemplated end — but is set forth also in a thousand isolated portions, which are nothing else than heterogeneous fragments of a real or supposed knowledge of the world. It was the effect of holding that very conception of the goal of redemption as visio dei that the view of the content of revelation threatened to become broken up into an incalculable number of things known, and, in spite of the still retained title, acquired the character of a natural knowledge of supernatural things. Accordingly there was now introduced also the idea of articuli mixti, i.e., of such elements of knowledge as are given both in a natural way and by revelation, only in the latter way, however, in perfection. What appeared outlined already in Tertullian (see Vol. V. c. ii.) as the distinctive character of Western theology, now came to its fullest development.
From the newly-discovered Aristotle the scholars derived courage to advance from the compilation of mere “sentences” to the rearing of entire doctrinal systems. The imposing form of the Church also, with the unfolding of its uniform power, may have been a co-operating influence here; for the Scholasticism of the thirteenth century presents the same spectacle in the sphere of knowledge, which the Church of which it is the servant presents in the sphere of human life generally. In the one sphere as in the other everything is to be reduced to subjection; in the one as in the other everything is to be brought into a harmonious system; in the one as in the other the position is held, tacitly or expressly, that the Church is Christ, and Christ is the Church. Thus the theological science of the thirteenth century can be described as the submitting to dialectic-systematic revision of ecclesiastical dogma and ecclesiastical practice, with the view of unfolding them in a system having unity and comprehending all that in the highest sense is worthy of being known, with the view of proving them, and so of reducing to the service of the Church all the forces of the understanding and the whole product of science. But most intimately connected with this end is the other, namely, the theologian’s attaining in this way 155to the visio (fruitio) dei; these two ends, indeed, are mutually involved, for all knowledge of Church doctrine and of Church practice is knowledge of God — this was taught by the Church itself. Now, if the gradual knowledge of God is the only means whereby the individual can attain to salvation (visio dei), then in theology the objective and subjective aims simply coincide; one serves the Church in serving himself, and the converse is equally true. The great Schoolmen by no means felt that they wrought as slaves, labouring under compulsion for their masters. The only end indeed that was clearly before them was their own advancement in the knowledge of God; but, standing as faithful sons within the Church, to which all power was given in heaven and on earth, their speculations necessarily served, with more or less of intention on their part, to glorify the Church’s power and give a divine character to all that it did. And yet how many things did they come to know, the truth of which is entirely independent of the truth of Church theory and practice; how necessary and how helpful was even this period in the general history of science and theology; and how many seeds were sown broadcast by the great Schoolmen, of the development of which they did not allow themselves to dream! Never yet in the world’s history was any science quite fruitless which served God with true devotion. Theology has at any time become a hindrance, only when it has lost faith in itself or become vacillating. We shall see that this was verified also in medieval theology.
For all that has been stated up to this point applies only to the pre-Scotist Scholasticism; it applies above all to Thomas. He exercised, moreover, an enduring influence on the period that followed, and his influence is still at work at the present day. His predecessors and contemporaries have passed out of view in him. The Thomist science, as embodied above all in the “Summa,” is characterised by the following things: (1) by the conviction that religion and theology are essentially of a speculative (not practical) nature, that they must therefore be imparted and appropriated spiritually, that it is possible so to appropriate them, and that ultimately no conflict can arise between reason and revelation; (2) by strict adherence to 156Augustinianism, and in particular to the Augustinian doctrines of God, predestination, sin and grace,254254Thomas shows himself an Augustinian by his estimation also of Holy Scripture. Scripture alone was for him absolutely certain revelation. All other authorities he held as only relative. Very many passages can be quoted from Thomas to prove that the “formal principle of the reformation” had a representative in the great Schoolman. Cf. Holzhey, Die Inspiration d. hl. Schrift in der Anschauung des Mittelalters, 1895. This book, which did not necessarily require to be written, gives an account of the estimation of Holy Scripture on the part of the mediæval theologians and sectaries from the period of Charles the Great till the Council of Trent. The author remarks very correctly (p. 164 f.) that the view of Holy Scripture, or the mode of apprehending the notion of inspiration, does not pass beyond what is furnished by the Church Fathers, and that even among the theologians from the time of Alcuin till the beginning of the sixteenth century the greatest agreement regarding Holy Scripture prevailed. But when the author says further, that the doctrine of the absolute perspicuity and sufficiency of the Bible finds no confirmation in the mediæval Church — for even if expressions of the kind were to be met with among the mediæval theologians, yet the living union with the Church and tradition is at the same time presupposed — then that is in one respect a platitude. It is such also (but only in one respect) when the author remarks that the Middle Ages always recognised the exposition of Holy Scripture as an attribute of the Church. But on the really interesting problem Holzhey has scarcely touched, namely whether even in the Middle Ages a unique importance does not belong to Scripture as rule for the vita Christiana and whether it was not held by very many in this respect as absolutely clear and sufficient. That this question is to be answered affirmatively is to me beyond doubt. To the sentence of Duns Scotus: “Sacra scriptura sufficienter continet doctrinam necessariam viatori,” many parallels may be adduced. Besides, there is still another question on which Holzhey has scarcely entered: since when was the decision of the Church in matters of faith placed as another kind of authority alongside Scripture as of equal weight? Certainly not yet since Thomas, scarcely only since Duns, but, as Ritschl likewise (Fides implicita, p. 31 f.) remarks, only since Occam, and even since his time not yet generally. but on the other hand by contesting on principle Averrhoism; (3) by a thoroughly minute acquaintance with Aristotle, and by a comprehensive and strenuous application of the Aristotelian philosophy, so far as Augustinianism admitted in any way of this (under the conception of God the Areopagitic-Augustinian view is only slightly limited); (4) by a bold vindication of the highest ecclesiastical claims by means of an ingenious theory of the State, and a wonderfully observant study of the empirical tendencies of the papal ecclesiastical and sacramental system. Aristotle the politician and Augustine the theologian, two enemies, became allies in Thomas; in that consists the importance of Thomas in the world’s history. While he is a 157theologian and an Augustinian, he is still always an absolute thinker full of confidence; and yet it must not be overlooked that in him there are already recognisable the seeds of the destruction of the absolute theology. Although hidden, arbitrary and relative elements have already found a place for themselves in him. It is still his aim to express all things in the firm and sure categories of the majesty of the deity whose pervasive power controls all things, and to prove the strict necessity of all theological deliverances: the Christian religion is believed in and demonstrated from principles; but yet at not a few points the strength failed, and the thinker was obliged to fall back upon the authority which supports the probable, although he understood how to maintain for the whole the impression of absolute validity.255255Anselm proves in part the articuli fidei; in principle Thomas refuses to do so (Pars. I., Quæst. I., Art. 8); yet the ratio bases itself on the articuli fidei in order to prove something else. We shall see how, as the development proceeded, Scholasticism always relied less on ratio in divine things. This may be an appropriate place for a short description of the “Summa” (see Portman, Das System der theol. Summe des hl. Thomas, Luzern 1885). The 1. Part (119 Quæst.) treats of God and the issue of things from God, the 2. Part (1. Sect.) of general morality (114 Quæst.), the 2. Part (2. Sect.) of special morality (189 Quæst.) from the point of view of the return of the rational creature to God, the 3. Part of Christ and the Sacraments (90 Quæst.) As a supplement there has been added, from the commentary on the Lombard, the concluding part of the doctrine of the Sacraments, and the eschatology (102 Quæst.) Every Quæstio contains a number of articuli, and every articulus is divided into three parts. First the difficultates are brought forward, which seem to answer in the negative the question propounded, then the authorities (one or more, among them here and there also Aristotle), then follows the speculative discussion, dealing with principles, and thereafter the solution of the particular difficulties (the conclusiones are not formulated by Thomas himself, but by his commentators). The scheme corresponds with the Pauline-Augustinian thought: “From God to God.” The introduction (Quæst. i) comprises the questions on theology as a science, on the subject (object) of theology — God and all else sub ratione dei, — on the methods (auctoritas and ratio, theology as doctrina argumentativa, sed “hæc doctrina non argumentatur ad sua principia probanda, quæ sunt articuli fidei, sed ex eis procedit ad aliquid aliud probandum . . .nam licet locus ab auctoritate quæ fundatur super ratione humana sit infirmissimus, locus tamen ab auctoritate quæ fundatur super revelatione divina est efficacissimus. Utitur tamen sacra doctrina etiam ratione humana, non quidem ad probandam fidem [quia per hoc tolleretur meritum fidei], sed ad manifestandum aliqua alia, quæ traduntur in hac doctrina. Cum enim gratia non tollat naturam, sed perficiat, oportet quod naturalis ratio subserviat fidei, sicut et naturalis inclinatio voluntatis obsequitur caritati. . . . Sacra doctrina utitur philosophorum auctoritatibus quasi extraneis argumentis et probabilibus, auctoritatibus autem canonicæ scripturæ utitur proprie et ex necessitate arguendo, auctoritatibus autem aliorum doctorum ecclesiæ quasi argumentando ex propriis sed probabiliter. Innititur enim fides nostra revelationi apostolis et prophetis factæ, qui canonicos libros scripserunt, non autem revelationi, si qua fuit aliis doctoribus facta”), on the exposition of Holy Scripture, etc. Quest. 2-27 of the I. Part treat of God’s existence (five proofs for God), the nature of God (primum movens, ens a se, perfectissimum, actus purus), His attributes, His unity and uniqueness, His knowableness, the name of God, further of the inner life-activity in God (of His knowledge, His world of ideas, His relation to truth, His life, His will, the expressions of His will, providence and predestination); lastly, of the outer activity of God or the divine omnipotence, and of the divine blessedness. Then follows in Q. 27-44 the investigation de processione divinarum personarum (Trinity); lastly, Q. 44-119, the doctrine of creation, and here (1) the origination of things (creation out of nothing, temporality of the world); (2) division of creation (doctrine of angels, doctrine of the world of bodies, doctrine of man, here minute investigations into the substance of the soul, the union of body and soul, the powers of the soul, human knowledge; then concerning the creation of man, the divine image in man, paradise and the original state); (3) the doctrine of the divine government of the world (on angels as means of providence, etc.). The II. Part (1 sect.) is grounded entirely on the Aristotelian Ethics. It begins with an introduction on man’s end (the bonum = beatitudo = deus ipse = visio dei), and proceeds to treat of freedom, the nature of free acts of the will, the goodness and badness of acts of the will (to the goodness belongs the rationality of the act of the will), merit and guilt (Q. 6-21). Thereon follow investigations into the emotional life of man (passiones), which is minutely analysed (Q. 22-48). Now only comes the account of the principles of moral action, of “habitus” or of the qualities of the soul. After an introduction (Q. 49 sq.) the doctrine of virtue is discussed (divided according to the object into intellectual, moral, and theological virtues), the cause of the virtues, their peculiarities (virtue as moderation or the “middle” course between two extremes) and the culmination of the virtues in the gifts of the Holy Ghost (the eight beatitudes and the fruits of the Spirit). This is followed by the doctrines of the nature of sin (contrary to reason and nature), of the division of sins, of the relation of sins to one another, of the subject (the will), the causes (inner and outer) of sin, of original sin and its effects (the deterioration of nature, darkening = macula, the reatus pœnæ, mortal sins and venial sins). All this belongs to the inner principles of moral conduct. This part concludes with the discussion of the outer principles, namely, the law and grace. The “law” is discussed on all sides, as eternal law (that is, the law according to which God Himself acts, and whose reflected rays are all laws valid for the creatures), as natural law, as human law, as Old Testament and New Testament law, and as law of “counsels” for special perfection. But the New Testament law, as it is inward, and infused by grace, is the law of grace, and thu the way is prepared for passing to the second outer principle of moral acts — to grace which gives man aid for the good. Grace is the outer principle of the supernatural good; in the intellectual sphere it is not necessary for the knowledge of natural truths, but it is so for the knowledge of the supernatural; it is likewise requisite for ability to do the supernatural good. Here there is a keen polemic against Pelagianism: man cannot by naturally good acts even prepare himself sufficiently for grace; he can neither convert himself, nor continue always steadfast in goodness. An inquiry into the nature, division, causes, and effects of grace (doctrine of justification, doctrine of the meritoriousness of good works), forms the conclusion. The II. Part, 2. section now contains special ethics, namely, first, the precise statement of the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), the commands corresponding to these virtues, and the sins against them, then the discussion of the cardinal virtues, wisdom, righteousness (here in Q. 57-123 the most exhaustive account is given, inasmuch as religiousness as a whole is placed under this term), courage, and moderation; lastly, the discussion of the special virtues, i.e., of the gifts of grace and duties of station (Q. 171-189). Under this last title there are dealt with (a) the charisms, (b) the two forms of life (the contemplative and the active), (c) the stations of perfection (namely, the station of the bishops as the virtuosi in neighbourly love, and the station of the monks, with special reference to the Mendicant monks). The III. Part now aims at showing by what provision and means the return of the rational creature to God has become possible by way of faith, hope, and love, namely, through Christ and the Sacraments. To this there is the intention to add eschatology. Hence there is a treatment here (1) of Christ, in particular of His incarnation and His natures. After a discussion of the necessity of the incarnation (on account of sin, and since a satisfactio de condigno was requisite) for the removal of original sin, the personal unity, the divine person, of Christ, and His human nature are set forth (in which connection, Q. 8, there is reference to the Church as the mystic body of Christ, and the thought of “Christus” as the head of mankind is strongly accentuated); then the consequences of the personal union (communicatio idiomatum) and all bearings of the constitution of the Godman are explained. On this follows (2) a section on the work of Christ, which, however, contains almost no speculation whatever, but illustrates in an edifying way the history of Christ from his entrance into the world (Q. 27-31, the doctrine of Mary). In connection with the suffering and death of Christ, the point of view of the “conveniens” as distinguished from the “necessarium” has special prominence given to it. Immediately after the work of Christ the doctrine of the Sacraments is added (Q. 60 sq.); for redemption is imparted to individuals only through the Sacraments, which have their efficacy from Christ, and through which men are incorporated into Christ. The statement begins with the general doctrine of the Sacraments (nature, necessity, effect, cause, number, connection); then follows the discussion of baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, and penance. Here Thomas was obliged to lay down his pen. It was not granted to him to complete his “Summa.” What was still wanting, as has been remarked, was supplied from his other works; but in this supplement we miss somewhat of the strictness marking the expositions given by himself in the Summa, since it was mainly constructed out of notes and excursus on the text of the Lombard. Observe lastly, that in the Summa repetitions are not only not avoided, but occur to an incalculable extent.158
But was this strict necessity of any service at all to the Church? Should the Church not rather have been gratified, when the understanding perceived its incapacity to follow up the decisions of authority, and therefore abandoned further 159effort? To this question the reply must not be absolutely affirmative, but still less must it be negative. The Church, as it then already was, and as it still is to-day, needs both things; it 160is indispensable to it that its articuli fidei and modes of practice be also proved, and their rationality brought to view; but it is still more needful to it that there be a blind surrender to its authority.
In this respect there was still obviously too little done by Thomas. In him, the determination of the relation of ratio to auctoritas is, indeed, marked by a quite special amount of confusion, the claims of faith (as faith on authority) and of knowledge receive no elucidation whatever, not to speak of reconciliation, and he stated not a few propositions in which there was a complete surrender to authority, that “faith” might not be deprived of its “merit” (see the sentence quoted above: “Sacred doctrine, however, uses human reason also, not indeed for proving faith, for through this the merit of faith would be lost” [Utitur tamen sacra doctrina etiam ratione humana, non quidem ad probandam fidem, quia per hoc tolleretur meritum fidei]). Yet his real interest in theology is still the same as that of Augustine. Theology is cognition of God in the strict sense; the necessity, which is accentuated in God, must also pervade the whole cognition of Him. The articuli fidei, and all results of world-knowledge, must be merged in the unity of this knowledge which truly liberates the soul and leads it back to God. At bottom the imposing and complicated system is extremely simple. Just as the perfect Gothic Cathedral, from its exhibiting what is really an organic style, expresses a single architectural thought, and subordinates all to this, even making all practical needs of worship serviceable to it, so this structure of thought, although all ecclesiastical doctrines are submissively and faithfully taken account of, still proclaims the one thought, that the soul has had its origin in God, and returns to Him through Christ, and even the Augustinian-Areopagite turn given to this thought, that God is all in all, is not denied by Thomas.
But this attitude is dangerous. There will always be a fresh development from it of the “Spurious Mysticism,” as the Catholics call it, in which the subject is eager to go his own way, and avoids complete dependence upon the Church. Nevertheless, the course of scientific development came to be helpful 161to the Church, and we may almost say that the Church here gathered figs of thistles. The assiduous study of Aristotle, and the keener perception gained through philosophy and observation, weakened the confidence of the theologians regarding the rationality and strict necessity of the revealed articles of faith. They began to forego revising them by means of reason, and subordinating them as component parts of a system to a uniform thought. Their scientific sense was strengthened, and when they now turned to the revealed tenets, they found in them, not necessity, but arbitrariness. Moreover, the further they advanced in psychology and secular science and discovered what cognition really is, the more sceptical they became towards the “general”: “latet dolus in generalibus” (deception lurks under general conceptions). They began to part with their inward interest in the general, and their faith in it. The “idea,” which is to be regarded as “substance,” and the “necessity” of the general, disappeared for them; they lost confidence in the knowledge that knows everything. The particular, in its concrete expression, acquired interest for them: will rules the world, the will of God and the will of the individual, not an incomprehensible substance, or a universal intellect that is the product of construction. This immense revolution is represented in mediæval science by Duns Scotus, the acutest scholastic thinker;256256See Baur, l.c. II., p. 235: “The thorough reasonableness of the ecclesiastical faith, or the conviction that for all doctrines of the ecclesiastical system some kind of rationes can be discovered, by which they are established even for the thinking reason, was the fundamental presupposition of Scholasticism. But after Scholasticism had risen to its highest point in Thomas and Bonaventura, it became itself doubtful again of this presupposition. This very important turning-point in the history of Scholasticism, after which it tended increasingly to fall to pieces, is represented by Duns Scotus.” (Doctrine of double truth as consequence of the Fall!) Besides Duns Scotus, and after him, it was chiefly the doctor resolutissimus Durandus who, at first a Thomist, passed over to Nominalism and obtained currency for its mode of thought (see his commentary on the Lombard). He worked in the first third of the fourteenth century; on him see Werner in the 2. vol. of the “Scholastik des spateren Mittelalters.” but only with Occam did it attain completion.
We should expect that the result of this revolution would have been either a protest against the Church doctrine, or an attempt to test it by its foundations, and to subject it to critical 162reconstruction. But it was 200 years before these results followed, in Socinianism on the one hand, and in the Reformation theology on the other. What happened at first was quite different: there was a strengthening of the authority of the Church, and, along with full submission to it, a laying to its account of responsibility for the articles of faith and for the principles of its practice.257257Even the sufficiency of the Bible was doubted by Duns (against Thomas). What was once supported by reason in league with authority must now be supported by the latter alone. Yet this conversion of things was felt to be by no means an act of despair, but to be an obviously required act of obedience to the Church, so complete was the supremacy of the latter over the souls of men, even though at the time it might be in the deepest debasement.
When Nominalism obtained supremacy in theology and in the Church, the ground was prepared for the threefold development of doctrine in the future: Post-Tridentine Catholicism, Protestantism and Socinianism are to be understood from this point of view.258258Nominalism only achieved its position in the Church after a hard struggle. From the clays of Roscellin it was viewed with suspicion, and the appearing of Occam in its support could not be in its favour (Occam’s writings prohibited in 1389 by the University of Paris). But from the middle of the fourteenth century it established itself, and even Dominicans — although the controversy between Thomists and Scotists continued — became advocates of it. Indeed, when Wyclif and other Reformers (Augustinians) again adopted realism, a new chapter began. Realism now, from the close of the fourteenth century, became ecclesiastically suspected (on account of the spiritualism, the determinism, and the intellectualistic mysticism, which seemed to endanger ecclesiasticism). The most important representatives of Post-Scotistic Scholasticism are Petrus Aureolus, John of Baconthorp, Durandus, and Occam. On the “theological mode of thought and the general mental habit” of these scholars, see Werner, Nachscotist. Scholastik, p. 21 ff. On the Thomist scrutiny applied by Capreolus to Post-Scotistic Scholasticism, see ibid., p. 438 ff. That Nominalism, in spite of its dogmatic probabilism, did not, at least at the beginning, weaken dogma, is best illustrated by the fanatical attack on the peculiar doctrine of Pope John XXII.
Nominalism exhibits on one side a number of outstanding excellences: it had come to see that religion is something different from knowledge and philosophy; it had also discovered the importance of the concrete as compared with hollow abstractions, 163and to its perception of this it gave brilliant expression,259259See Siebeck, Die Anfänge der neueren Psychologie in der Scholastik, in the Zeitschr. f. Philos. u. philos. Kritik, 1888, 1889. e.g, in psychology; through recognising the importance of will, and giving prominence to this factor even in God, it strongly accentuated the personality of God, and so prepared the way for the suppression of that Areopagite theology, from which the danger always arose of its causing the world and the reasonable creature to disappear in God;260260Duns also rejected the Thomist idea that in created things the absolute divine original form is pictured forth, and, under the direction of Aristotle, passed over to a naturalistic doctrine of the world. finally, by placing restrictions on speculation it brought out more clearly the positiveness of historic religion. But this progress in discernment was dearly purchased by two heavy sacrifices: first, with the surrender of the assurance that an absolute accordant knowledge could be attained, there was also surrendered the assurance of the categorical imperative, of the strict necessity of the moral in God, and of the moral law; and secondly, among the historic magnitudes to which it submitted itself, it included the Church with its entire apparatus — the commands of the religious and moral are arbitrary, but the commands of the Church are absolute. The haven of rest amidst the doubts and uncertainties of the understanding and of the soul is the authority of the Church.
Neither the latter nor the former was, strictly speaking, an innovation.261261Still less, as frequently happens, is the Jesuit Order, with its casuistic dogmatic and ethic, to be made accountable here, as if it was the first to introduce the innovation. This Order simply entered into the inheritance of mediæval Nominalism. Through the institution of penance an uncertainty about the moral had for long become widely diffused: it was only a question of expressing in theory what had for centuries been the fundamental thought in practice — the sovereign right of casuistry.262262For the speculative Scholasticism there was substituted the empirico-casuistic. The Nominalists sought to show, with an immense expenditure of acuteness and speculation, that there could not be a speculative Scholasticism. When they had furnished this “proof,” there remained over purely hollow forms, which were bound to collapse, or could be maintained only through the compulsory force of a powerful institution. What was not brought within the view of Nominalism, in spite of all its progress, was the idea of personality (see for the first time the Renaissance), and consequently the person of Christ (see the Reformation), and above all, history (see the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries). For it the place of history was still occupied always by the rigid Church It is not otherwise still to-day with the science of the Jesuits. They consistently trifle with history, and can treat it, in the tone of a man of the world, with a certain amusement and easy scorn, when once they have estabished the things which the conception of the Church requires to be established. Moreover, the contradictory mode of procedure, 164which the great Schoolmen (Thomas at the head of them), in obedience to the spirit of jurisprudence, applied to each particular dogma and each ethical position, necessarily had the effect of shaking the conviction that there is something absolutely valid. If, as any page of Thomas will suggest, from two to twelve grounds can be adduced for every heresy and for many immoral assertions — if, e.g., there are a dozen grounds on which it may be alleged that simplex fornicatio is no mortal sin (Thomas), how can the belief be firmly maintained in face of this that it must nevertheless be regarded as such?
From the conflict between yes and no will there always result certainty on behalf of the answer which the dogmatic theologian prefers? How can certainty be reckoned on at all, so long as there is still one ground only for the counter position, and so long as the one ground cannot be shown which alone is valid? Nominalism only continued here what Realism had begun; it merely did still more in the way of differentiating and distinguishing; it extended the recognised method of the acute advocate to ever new fields, to the doctrine of God, to the doctrines of creation and providence, to the holiness and the honour of God, to sin and reconciliation, and it always came to the conclusions, (1) that all is relative and arbitrary — but even in Thomas’s dogmatic already much that is very important in the doctrine of religion is only “conveniens”; (2) that the doctrines of revealed religion conflict with natural theology, with the thought of the understanding about God and the world (doctrine of double truth). Finally, when Nominalism taught that, since belief (credere) and understanding (intelligere) cannot be reconciled, there must be a blind surrender to the authority of the Church, and that it is just in this blind obedience that both the nature, and also the merit, of faith consist, here also it only wrought out fully a general Catholic theorem; for Tertullian had as little doubt as Thomas that all faith begins with submission. 165Though afterwards — from the time of Augustine — many considerations had been adduced for modifying the original theorem and changing faith into inward assent and love, nevertheless the old position remained the same, that faith is originally obedience, and that in this it has its initial merit. But if it is obedience, then it is fides implicita, i.e., submission is enough. When the later Nominalism declared with increasing distinctness the sufficiency of fides implicita, or laid it at the foundation of its theological reflections, because many truths of faith, taken in general, or as dealt with by individuals, do not admit of being accepted in any other way, it only gave to an old Catholic thought a thoroughly logical expression;263263 The juristic Popes from Gregory VII. onwards, especially the Popes of the thirteenth century, anticipated the Nominalist doctrine of fides implicita: “In his commentary on the Decretals (in lib. I., c. 1 de summa trinitate et fide Catholica) Innocent IV. laid down two momentous rules. First, that it is enough for the laity to believe in a God who recompenses, but with regard to everything else, of dogma or moral doctrine, merely to believe implicitly, that is to think, and to say, I believe what the Church believes. Second, that a cleric must obey even a Pope who issues an unrighteous command” (Döllinger, Akad. Vorträge II., p. 419). The latter position does not interest us here; there is interest, however, in the more precise definition of the former given by Innocent, (1) that the lower clergy, who cannot carry on the study of theology, are to be regarded as laymen; only they must believe in transubstantiation; (2) that an error with regard to Christian doctrine (the doctrine of the Trinity even) does not do harm to a layman, if he at the same time believes (believes erroneously) that he holds to the doctrine of the Church. Ritschl (Fides implicita, 1890) has dealt more minutely with this important doctrine. He shows that it originated from a passage of the Lombard (1. III., dist. 25). But the terminology, the range and the validity of the fides implicita remained uncertain among the theologians and Popes till the end of the thirteenth century. The great teachers of the thirteenth century (above all Thomas) confined it within narrow limits, and in this contradicted the Popes (even Innocent III. comes under consideration; see Ritschl, p. 5 f.). Even Duns differs little from Thomas (p. 20 ff.). But Occam reverted to the exposition of Innocent IV. (p. 30 f.); nay, although he is a doctor, he claims fides implicita for himself (with regard to the doctrine of the Eucharist): “quidquid Romana ecclesia credit, hoc solum et non aliud vel explicite vel implicite credo.” Occam wishes to get free play for his doctrine of the Eucharist, which diverges from the traditional view; he saves himself therefore by roundly acknowledging the Church doctrine, that he may then make his divergence appear as a theological experiment. Here therefore the fides implicita is turned to account for another purpose. It is remarkable that in its original purpose it was rejected (no doubt on account of Thomas) by Gregory XI. (against Raymund Lullus); but by Biel it is again accepted, and treated apparently with reserve, but in the end there is seen just in it the proof of fides as infusa (as the work of God). Neither Occam nor Biel wishes by this to treat dogma ironically, on the contrary they show their want of inner freedom in relation to dogma; but when Laurentius Valla winds up his critical supplementings with the assertion that he believes as mother Church does, the irony is manifest, In what way the fides implicita extended into the period of the Reformation has been shown by Ritschl, p. 40 if., who also traces out the doctrine among later Catholic teachers. That there is an element of truth in the recognition of the fides implicita is easily seen; but it is not easy to define theologically what is right in it. Where value is attached to the mere act of obedience, or where, for that part, there is also something of merit attributed to it, the limit of what is correct is transgressed. for the danger of transforming 166religion into an ecclesiastical regime was at no time absent from Western Catholicism.264264Into the philosophy of Duns Scotus (see Werner, l.c., and the summary in the article by Dorner in Herzog’s R.-E., 2 ed.) and of Occam (see Wagemann in the R.-E.) I cannot here enter further. Important theological doctrines of both will fall to be spoken of in the following section. It is well known that Duns Scotus himself was not yet a Nominalist, but prepared the way for applying this theory of knowledge to dogmatics. He already emphasised the independence of the secular sciences (even of metaphysics) as over against theology, while in general he brought out much more clearly the independence of the world (in continual discussions with Thomas) as over against God. To balance this he gives wide scope to the arbitrary will of God as over against the world. Yet that this opinion may not lead to everything being plunged in uncertainty, the knowledge of God derived from revelation (as distinguished from rational knowledge) is strongly accentuated. In Duns we still observe the struggle of the principle of reason with the principle of arbitrariness tempered by revelation and made conceivable; in Occam the latter has triumphed. To the understanding, which Occam brings into court against dogma, the task is assigned of showing that logic and physics cannot be applied to the articles of faith, and to the supernatural objects that answer to them. All doctrines of faith are full of contradictions; but so also it must be, according to Occam; for only in this way do they show themselves to be declarations about a super-sensible world, which to the understanding is a miracle. This theologian has been misunderstood, when his criticism of dogma has been taken as suggesting the irony of the doubter. If, after proving the doctrine of transubstantiation impossible, he finally holds it as more probable than any other doctrine, because the Church has fixed it, and because the omnipotence of God appears in it most unlimitedly, i.e., because it is the most irrational doctrine that can be thought of, in this he is severely in earnest, however much he might like to maintain his own dialectic doctrine on this point. And what holds good of the doctrine of the Supper holds good also of all other cardinal doctrines of the Church. Unreasonableness and authority are in a certain sense the stamp of truth. That is also a positivism, but it is the positivism whose sins have fully developed. Here, too, it applies, that one abyss calls up another. The Pre-Nominalist theology had loaded reason with a burden of speculative monstrosities, and at the same time required it to bear the whole weight of religion; the sobered ratio abandoned entirely the thought of a λογικὴ λατρεία, became always more prepared to recognise the faith of ignorant submission as religion, and fell back on knowledge of the world. On Biel, see Linsenmaun in the Tub. Quartalschr., 1865.
What has already been briefly hinted at above may be distinctly stated here — the problem was the elimination of Augustinianism from the ecclesiastical doctrine. The whole turning from Realism to Nominalism can be represented theologically under this heading. Augustine falls and Aristotle rises — ostensibly not in theology indeed, but only in the field of world-knowledge, yet as a fact in theology as well; for no one can keep 167metaphysics and theology entirely asunder, and the theological doctrines of the Nominalists prove that, while they have reverently called a halt before the old dogmas, after having shown them irrational, on the other hand they have revised in a new-fashioned way the circle of the new, and really living, doctrines (Sacraments, appropriation of salvation). This work directed itself against Augustine, in its directing itself against Thomas.
We have frequently pointed out already, that the history of Church doctrine in the West was a much disguised history of struggle against Augustine. His spirit and his piety undoubtedly rose far above the average of ecclesiasticism, and the new discoveries which he made were in many ways inconvenient to the Church as an ecclesiastical institution, and did not harmonise with its tendencies. No doubt the Church had accepted Augustinianism, but with the secret reservation that it was to be moulded by its own mode of thought. We have seen to what extent there was success in that in the period that ends, and in the period that begins, with Gregory the Great. Gottschalk already experienced what it costs in Catholicism to represent Augustinianism. In the time that followed there was developed in the sacramental and penance systems a practice and mode of thought that was always the more plainly in conflict with Augustinianism; all the more important was the fact that the Dominican Order, and especially Thomas, sought to rejuvenate the theology of Augustine. Duns Scotus and the Nominalist theology directed themselves in the first instance against Augustine’s philosophy of religion, against those doctrines of the first and last things, which gravitated so strongly to pantheism. But in controverting these doctrines, and shaking confidence in the doctrine of God as the All-One, they also 168shook confidence, for themselves and others, in the Augustinian doctrines of grace and sin, which certainly had the closest connection with his doctrine of God. These Nominalists, who (following Duns Scotus) always insisted that reason relates to the realm of the worldly, and that in spiritual things there must simply be a following the traditional authority of revelation, that the understanding, therefore, must be left out of play, really wrought in a most vigorous way, and with the utmost use of the “understanding,” within the lines of the Church doctrine. Under certain circumstances “not to speculate” leads also to a metaphysic, or at least does not hinder a traditional speculation from being corrected and transformed in many of its details, and so also in its entire cast. At any rate this principle did not prevent the Nominalist theologians from revising the existing dogma under the protection of authority. But not only did this work now acquire an entirely external, formalistic character, but there were also introduced into everything the principles of an arbitrary morality, of the “conveniens” too, the expedient and the relative. One might say, that the principles of a cosmopolitan diplomacy in matters of religion and morals were applied to objective religion and to subjective religious life. God is not quite so strict, and not quite so holy, as He might be imagined to be; sin is not quite so bad as it appears to be to the very tender conscience; guilt is not immeasurably great; redemption by Christ, taken as a whole, and in its parts, is very serviceable, but not really necessary; faith does not require to be full surrender, and even of love a certain amount is really enough. That is the “Aristotelianism” of the Nominalistic Schoolmen, which Luther declared to be the root of all mischief in the Church; but that is also the “Aristotelianism” which must be most welcome to the hierarchy; for here they hold the key of the position, seeing that they determine how strict God is, how heinous sin is, etc. That at the same time they neither can nor will part entirely with Augustinianism (Thomism) was remarked above. But they determine where it is to come in, and they showed that they watched jealously the extent to which it was applied.
In the Pelagianism and Probabilism of Nominalism there lies 169the express apostasy from Augustinianism.265265Also from the ancient Church and from dogma in its original sense as a whole. Whoever transforms all dogmatic and ethic into casuistry, thereby proves that he is no more inwardly, but only outwardly, bound. But just because the apostasy was so manifest, there could not fail to be a certain reaction — though certainly no longer a strong one — in the Church. Not only did the Dominican Order, in their defending the theology of their great teacher, Thomas, persistently defend Augustine also (though not, as a rule, in the most important points), but men also appeared in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries who observed the Pelagian tendency of Nominalism, and strenuously resisted it in the spirit of Augustine.266266Werner has the credit of having described the reaction of Augustinianism in the third vol. of his “Scholastik des Spätteren Mittelalters.” Yet his account is by no means complete. In pp. 1-232 he treats of “the representation of the Scholastic Augustinianism given by the mediæval Augustinian-Hermit School,” i.e., almost exclusively of the doctrines of ægidius (ob. 1315), the great defender of Thomas, and of Gregory of Rimini; then, in pp. 234-306, of Bradwardine’s doctrine. Stöckl also goes into the Augustinianism of the fifteenth century, but in his own way. Moreover, Werner will not admit a rejuvenated Augustinianism. “The earlier and later attempts to obtain a specific Augustinianism fall under different points of view, according as they signify a reaction against the enfeebling and externalising of the Christian ecclesiastical thought of salvation, or the opposition, supported by the name of Augustine, of a resuscitated one-sided Platonism to Aristotelianism, or, finally, as they arose from a vague fusion of the respect for Augustine in the Church generally, with the authority of the head and leader of a particular school. It was to such a vague fusion that the Mediæval Order-theology of the Augustinian Hermits (?) owed its origin, which came into existence as schola ægidiana, and, under many changes, continued to exist till last century” (p. 8 f.). Here Bradwardine must first be mentioned (ob. 1349) who placed the entire Augustine, together with the predestination doctrine, in strong opposition to the Pelagian tendency of the period.267267See Lechler, Wiclif I. Bd., and the same author’s monograph on Bradwardine, 1863. Bradwardine made a further endeavour to create a philosophy adequate to the Christian conception of God, and on that account went back on the Augustinian Anselmic speculation as regards an absolutely necessary and perfect being, from which all that is and can he is to be deduced. But yet he shows himself to be dependent on Duns in this, that he represents God and the world exclusively under the contrast of the necessary and the contingent (see his book de causa dei adv. Pelag., Werner pp. 255 ff. 299), while in other respects also very strong influences of Nominalism are discernible in him. Yet these influences disappear behind the main tendency, which is directed to showing the “immediate unity and coincidence of theological and philosophical thought,” and to restoring Augustine’s doctrine of grace together with Determinism. (“All willing in God is absolute substance.”) Werner will have it that he has proved that Bradwardine is no Thomist, but that he reverts to the pre-Thomist Scholasticism. That is right in so far as Bradwardine is a logical Augustinian. But Werner has an interest in emphasising as strongly as possible the peripatetic elements in Thomas; for only when these are emphasised in a one-sided way can Thomas continue to he the normal theologian. “According to the ‘universal feeling’ the Aristotelian basis was indispensable for the ends of a methodically conducted theological scholastic science, and as a rational restraint upon giving a false internal character to the Christian ecclesiastical religious consciousness” (p. 305). On 170him Wyclif was dependent as a theologian, and as Huss took all his theological thoughts from Wyclif, and introduced them into Bohemia and Germany, Bradwardine is really to be signalized as the theologian who gave the impulse to the Augustinian reactions that accompanied the history of the Church till the time of Staupitz and Luther, and that prepared the way for the Reformation. In the fifteenth century the men were numerous, and some of them influential too, who, standing on the shoulders of Augustine, set themselves in opposition to Pelagianism. But they neither overthrew, nor wished to overthrow, the strong basis of the Nominalist doctrine, the authority of the Church. Moreover, Augustinianism exercised an influence in many ways on the reform parties and sects; but as no new theology resulted, so also all these efforts led to no Reformation. The Augustinians still allowed a wide scope to the fides implicita and the Sacraments, because even they believed in the idol of Church authority. The reigning theology remained unshaken so long as it was not assailed at the root. Even attacks so energetic as those of Wesel and Wessel passed without general effect.268268Even the rejection of all philosophy and of the whole of Scholasticism, of which we have an instance in Pupper of Goch (O. Clemen, l.c. p. 135 ff.) — whom Luther described as “Vere Germanus et gnosios theologus” — changed nothing. But the fact is unmistakable, that in the course of the fifteenth century the Nominalist Scholasticism fell steadily into disrepute. While the period revelled in new, fresh impressions and perceptions, that theological art became always more formalistic, and its barren industry was always the more keenly felt. While the rediscovered Platonism was being absorbed with delight, that art still lived under the impulses of the Aristotle who had arisen 250 years before. The spirit of the Renaissance and of Humanism was in its innermost nature alien to the old Scholasticism; for it had no wish for formulæ, 171 syllogisms, and authorities; it wished neither the darkness nor the illumination of the “Aristotelian” Scholasticism, but was eager for life, that can be reproduced in feeling, and for perceptions that elevate above the common world and the common art of living.269269 Burckhardt, Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien. 4. Aufl., 1885. Voigt, Wiederbelebung des class. Alterthums. 2 Aufl. 2 Bde., 1880 f. For the poets and humanists — though not for all, yet certainly for the most of them — the ecclesiastical theology, as represented in the Scholastic labours of the Schoolmen, was like stagnant, filthy water. But still there was always the endeavour to find the redeemers in antiquity. Plato, at length the true Plato, was discovered, revered and deified. It was not by chance that the Platonic reaction coincided with the Augustinian in the fifteenth century; for the two great spirits of ancient times had an elective affinity — Plato’s Dialogues and Augustine’s Confessions are not incapable of being united. The influence of Plato and Augustine guided all the movements in the fields of science and theology in the fifteenth century that rose against a Scholasticism which, in spite of its rich perceptions, had become fossilised and hollow, and had lost touch with the needs of the inner life and of the present time. The reflection of the Germans was more serious than that of the Italians and French. In the last third of the fifteenth century Germany took the lead in thought and scholarship. The Romanic nations did not produce in the fifteenth century a man like Nicolas of Cusa.270270See Stöckl, l.c., Janssen, Gesch. des deutschen Volkes Bd. I., Clemens, Giordano Bruno u. N. v. K., 1847. Storz, Die specul. Gotteslehre des. N. v. K. in the theol. Quartalschr., 1873, I. Laurentius Valla is superior to Nicolas as a critic, but otherwise not on a level with him. Nicolas was the precursor and leader of all the distinguished men who, in the following century, starting from the Platonic view of the world, brought so strong and fresh a current of real illuminism into the world. Though fantastical in many ways and even greatly interested in magic and ghosts, some of them at once discoverers and charlatans, these men laid, nevertheless, the basis for the scientific (even experimental) observation of nature, and were the restorers of scientific thought. Assurance of the unity of all things and the bold flight of imagination — both of which had been lost by scholastic wisdom — made the new 172science possible. This science by no means arose because Nominalism, or the philosophy of the great student of nature, Aristotle, as it was then treated, was always growing more empirical, and gradually developed itself into exact science, but a new spirit passed over the withered leaves of Scholasticism, scattered them boldly to the four winds, and derived confidence and power for gathering out of nature and history their secrets, from the living speculations of Plato that grasp the whole man, from the original historic sources now discovered, and from converse with the living reality.
By theology little advantage, certainly, was derived from this in the fifteenth century. The Italian Humanists, the fathers of this European movement, practically took nothing to do with it — at the most they instituted some historical investigations, with the view of annoying the priests and monks (Laurentius Valla: favours from Constantine, origin of the Apostolic Symbol, writings of the Areopagite) — and even the Germans made no real contributions to progress.271271Yet, “German patriotism effected a union in many ways of the anti-Romish traditions with Humanistic Illuminism” (Loofs). One could help all other sciences by going back upon antiquity, but not theology. What it could learn from Plato and the Neoplatonists it had learned long before. When men like Nicolas of Cusa sought to release it from the embraces of the Schoolmen, they themselves knew of no better form for it than that which had been given to it by Augustine and Mystics like Eckhart. But trial had been made of this form of long time. Just because it appeared unsatisfactory, and there was an unwillingness any longer to breathe in this fine fog, there had been, in course of time, a passing over to Nominalism. Now, there must be a reverting to the beginning — though it might be better understood. Another prescription was not offered. Theology seemed doomed to move helplessly in a circle; fundamentally it remained as it was; for the iron ecclesiastical authority remained. Then came the help, not from Aristotle, nor even from Plato and Augustine, but from the conscience of a Mendicant Monk.
But what the Renaissance and Humanism did indirectly for theology272272Drews, Humanismus und Reformation, 1887. must not be ignored. While it was not really 173demolished by them, and still much less re-shaped, yet for the future re-shaping they certainly rendered most valuable services. The sources of history were gradually disclosed for it also, and the Humanist Erasmus not only laid the foundation of textual criticism of the New Testament and scientific patrology, but carried them at once to a high state of perfection. From a taste for the original, criticism grew up. What had died out in the Church with Origen, nay, in some measure even before Origen, or what — keeping out of view a few Antiochians — had never really developed themselves strongly, namely, historic sense and historic exegesis, developed themselves now. The Reformation was to reap the benefit of them; but by the Reformation also they were soon to be swallowed up again. For the history of theology, and of dogmas, in the strictest sense of the term, Humanism was otherwise quite unfruitful. Theology was put aside by it with a respectful recognition, or with an air of cool superiority, or with saucy ridicule. Scarcely anyone approached it with serious criticism. Erasmus aimed at giving it a humanistic ennoblement and freeing it from restrictions. When the Reformation dawned, he pronounced, among other things, the controversy about indulgences to be a monks’ quarrel, or a delightful dilemma for causing stir among the parsons. When things then grew serious and a decision had to be made, it became apparent that the Franciscan ideal, in peculiar combination with antique reserve and humanistic worldliness, with silent hatred of dogma and Church, and external submission, had a stronger hold on many aspiring souls than a liking for the gospel.273273Dilthey (Archiv. f. Gesch. d. Philos. 5 Bd., p. 381 ff.), in a way that seems to me substantially correct, but somewhat forced, has described Erasmus as the founder of theological Rationalism with accommodation to the Church. Erasmus was too many-sided, and too uncertain of principles, to found anything beyond methods. The scholar, besides, would not let himself be disturbed by the din of the “Lutheran rogues.” Theological doctrine was held to be something indifferent: “Quieta non movere” — (let things that are at rest not bestirred) — or, at least, only in the form of a learned passage of arms. The avenger was at the door; the following 150 years showed the terrified scholars to a frightful extent that theology will not be mocked.174
4. The Moulding of Dogma in Scholasticism.
In the Scholasticism of the thirteenth century the Latin Church attained what the Greek Church attained in the eighth century — a uniform systematic exhibition of its faith. This exhibition had as its presuppositions, first, Holy Scripture and the articuli fidei, as these had been formulated at the Councils; second, Augustinianism; third, the ecclesiastical (papal) decisions and the whole development of ecclesiasticism from the ninth century; fourth, the Aristotelian philosophy.
We have shown in the third and fourth chapters of Vol. V. how the old scheme of Christian doctrine had undergone a trenchant modification at the hands of Augustine, but how, in its ultimate basis — as regards the final aim of religion and theology — it did not lose its recognised validity, its form, rather, having only become more complicated. While Augustine described the influences of grace that operate in the Sacraments as the influences of love, he allowed the old view of the Sacraments to remain, namely, that they prepare for, and help to secure, the enjoyment of God. But he at the same time gave the most powerful impetus to a dual development of piety and ecclesiastical doctrine; for the forces of love that operate in the Sacraments establish also the “kingdom of righteousness” on earth, produce in this way the life in love that corresponds with the “law of Christ,” and qualify the individual for those good works which establish merit before God and create a claim for salvation.
In this last turn of thought Augustine had subordinated (by means of the intermediate idea, “nostra merita dei munera” [our merits gifts of God]), his new view of divine grace as a gratia gratis data (grace freely given) to the old, chiefly Western, view of religion, as a combination of law, performance, and reward, and in the period that followed this subordinating process always continued to be carried further. Grace (in the form of the Sacraments) and merit (law and performance) are the two centres of the curve in the mediæval conception of Christianity. But this curve is entirely embedded in faith in the Church; for 175 since to the Church (as was not doubted) the Sacraments, and the power of the keys dependent on them, were entrusted, the Church was not merely the authority for the whole combination, but was in a very real sense the continued working of Christ Himself, and the body of Christ, which is enhypostatically united to Him. In this sense mediæval theology is science of the Church (Ecclesiastik), although it had not much to say about the Church. But on the other hand, at least till Nominalism triumphed, this theology never lost sight of the fundamental Augustinian aim: “Deum et animam scire cupio. Nihilne plus? Nihil omnino” (I desire to know God and the soul. Nothing more ? No, nothing whatever), i.e., it never discarded the view that in all theology what is aimed at ultimately is exclusively the cognition of God and of the relation of the individual soul to Him.274274In Nominalism this became otherwise. The exhibition of the ecclesiastical doctrine became more and more an end in itself, and was detached from the philosophy of religion. That on this account the originality and independence of the Christian religion as a historic phenomenon came to view again more plainly, is not to be denied. It was the intermingling of theology as ecclesiasticism with theology as nourishment for the soul that produced within mediæval theology its internal discords, and lent to it its charm. From this intermingling also there is to be explained the twofold end here set before the Christian religion, although to the theologians only one of the ends was consciously present: religion and theology must on the one hand lead the individual to salvation (visio dei or surrender of the will), but it must on the other hand build up on earth the kingdom of virtue and righteousness, which is the empirical Church, and bring all powers into subjection to this kingdom.275275In their definition of salvation or of the finis theologiæ, the Schoolmen exhibit a Mystic, i.e., an Augustinian, i.e., an old Catholic tendency. The fruitio dei is held to be the final end, whether it is realised in the intellect or in quiescence of the will in God. For this individualistic mode of viewing salvation, which is indifferent to the moral destiny of man, the Church is either not taken into account at all, or is taken into account simply as a means, and as an auxiliary institution. Only in so far as man conceives of himself as a being that is earthly, bound to time, and must train himself, are all his ideals, and the forces that render him aid, included for him in the Church (salvation in time is salvation in the Church), and he must reverence the Church, as it is, as the mother of faith, as the saving institution, nay, as the regnum Christi. But this regnum has in the world beyond a form totally different from its present form. In this whole view Scholasticism nowhere passed beyond Augustine. The relation is not drawn between the aim to be realised in the earthly, and the aim to be realised in the heavenly Church. In the last resort Roman Catholicism was then, and is also to-day, no phenomenon with but one meaning, as the Greek Church is, and as Protestantism might be. At one time it points its members to a contemplation that moves in the line of knowledge, love, and asceticism, a contemplation that is as neutral to the Church as to every association among men, and to everything earthly; at another time it directs men to recognise in the earthly Church their highest goods and their proper aim. These directions can only be followed alternately, not together. In consequence of this, Roman Catholics maintain two notions of the Church, which are neutral towards each other, the invisible communion of the elect and the papal Church.176
Augustine utilised in quite a new way the articuli fidei; for him they are no longer faith itself; but, re-shaping them in many ways, he builds up faith by means of them. Yet their authority was not thereby shaken, but in a certain way was still further increased, inasmuch as the external authority became greater in the degree in which the internal — that faith identified itself exclusively with them — became less. This was exactly how things continued to move on in the Middle Ages. It was solely the articles of faith of ecclesiastical antiquity that were, in the strict sense, dogmas. Only the doctrine of transubstantiation succeeded in winning for itself equal dignity with the old dogmas,276276See the Symbol of 1215. by the quid pro quo that it is implied in the doctrine of the incarnation. When in this way the doctrine of transubstantiation took its place side by side with the old dogmas, everything really was gained; for by this link of attachment the whole sacramental system might be drawn up to the higher level of absolute Christian doctrine. This, too, afterwards took place, although, prior to the Council of Trent, the distinction was never made in detail between what belongs to dogma and what is simply a portion of theology, and even after the Council of Trent the Church wisely avoided the distinction. It is thus explained how, about the year 1500, no one except the most decided papists could affirm how far the province of necessary faith in the Church really extended.
The task of Scholasticism, so far as it was dogmatic theology, was a threefold one. Following Augustine, it had to shape the 177old articuli fidei so that they would adjust themselves to the elliptic line drawn round the sacrament and merit; it had to revise the doctrine of the Sacraments, which had come to it from Augustine in an extremely imperfect form;277277In this lies the greatest importance of Scholasticism within the history of dogma. and it had to gather from observation the principles of present-day Church practice, and to bring these into accord, on the one hand with the articuli fidei, raised to the level of theology, and with the doctrine of the Sacraments, and on the other hand with Augustinianism. This task became more complicated from the fact that the Schoolmen — at least the earlier — uniformly combined dogmatics with philosophy of religion, and thus introduced into the former all the questions of metaphysics, as rising out of the general state of knowledge at the time. But this great task was really faithfully carried out by mediæval theology. That theology fulfilled the claims that were made upon it; indeed, there has probably never been a period in history when, after hard labour, theology stood so securely in command of the situation, i.e., of its age, as then. At the same time it knew how to maintain for itself until the fifteenth century the impression of a certain roundedness and unity, and yet left room, as the contrast between the Franciscan and Dominican dogmatists shows, for different modes of development. Yet on the other hand it must not be denied that the opinion here expressed by no means applies when we deal with the relation between piety and theology. In the case of Thomas, it is true, the claims of the latter and former still coincide, although not so perfectly as in the Greek Church at the time of the Cappadocians and of Cyril. But from the close of the thirteenth century piety and theology manifestly held an increasingly strained relation to each other. The former recognised itself always less clearly in the latter. They were one, it is true, in their ultimate ground (finis religionis, authority of the Church); even the most devoted piety was not really able to free itself from these bonds. But starting from the common basis, theology unfolded a tendency to treat the holy as something authoritative, external and made easy by the Church, and this tendency piety viewed with growing suspicion and annoyance. 178In the doctrines of the Sacraments and of grace, as Scholasticism gave fuller shape to them — developing germs which were not wanting even in Thomas — the strain between theology and piety reached clearest expression. The Augustinian reactions from the middle of the fourteenth century, at one time noisy in their course, at another time moving on silently and steadily, were the result of this strain. The official theology of the fifteenth century must be recognised only in a relative way as the expression of the true Catholic piety of the period. This applies even to Tridentine Catholicism, and holds true to the present day. The doctrine, as it is, is not the sphere in which vital Catholic faith lives. But because its foundations are also the foundations of this faith, the faith lets itself in the end be satisfied with this doctrine.
As we have not to do with the philosophy of religion, we must confine ourselves in what follows to describing the scholastic revision of the old articuli fidei, the scholastic doctrine of the Sacraments, and the scholastic discussion of Augustinianism as related to the new Church principles, which led finally to an entire dissolution of the Pauline Augustinian doctrine. With regard to the first of these points the statement can be quite brief, seeing that in the revision of the old articuli fidei theological doctrines were dealt with which, as scientifically unfolded, never acquired a universal dogmatic importance, and seeing that this revision leads over at many points into the philosophy of religion.
A. The Revision of the Traditional Articuli Fidei.
1. The article “de deo” (on God) was the fundamental and cardinal article.278278See the excellent selection of passages from the sources in Miinscher-Coelln II., 1, § 118, 119. Schwane, l.c., p. 122 ff. In the strictly realistic Scholasticism the Areopagitic Augustinian conception of God was held as valid: God as the absolute substance. Where this conception was adhered to, its absolute necessity for thought was also asserted (Anselm’s ontological proof,279279Anselm’s discussions of the conception of God, in which there is the first step of advance beyond the Areopagite conception, are not taken note of at all by the Lombard, who adhered simply to the patristic tradition. Thomas is the first to adopt Anselm’s speculations.) and a high value was ascribed to 179the proofs for God. Through the acquaintance with Aristotle, however, the Areopagite conception of God was restricted, which had developed itself in Scotus Erigena, Amalrich of Bena and David of Dinanto, as well as among the adherents of the Averrhoistic Aristotelianism, into pantheism. The cosmological proofs, to which preference was more and more given,280280See Thomas, P. I., Q. 2, Art. 3, where the cosmological argument appears in a threefold form. led also to a stricter distinguishing between God and the creature, and Thomas himself, although the Areopagite Augustinian conception of God is still for him fundamental, stoutly combated pantheism.281281Ritschl, Gesch. Studien z. christl. L. v. Gott, Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol., 1865, p. 277 ff., Joh. Delitzsch, Die Gotteslehre des Thomas, 1870. Ritschl has shown (see also Rechtfert. u. Versöhnungslehre, Bd. I., 2 Aufl., p. 58 ff.,) that the Aristotelian conception had already a strong influence on Thomas. Following Anselm, Thomas also linked the conception of God as the absolute substance with that of self-conscious thought, adopted, still further, from Aristotle the definition of God as actus purus, and thus gave the conception a more living and personal shape. But he had at the same time the very deepest interest in emphasising absolute sufficiency and necessity in God; for only the necessary can be known with certainty; but it is on certain knowledge that salvation, i.e., the visio dei, depends. Thomas accordingly now conceived of God, not only as necessary being, but also as an end for Himself, so that the world, which He creates in goodness, is entirely subordinated to His own purpose, a purpose which could realise itself indeed even without the world.282282Summa, P. I., Q. 19, Art. 1, 2. Yet Duns already combated (against Richard of St. Victor, see also Anselm, Monolog.,) the notion of a necessary existence due to itself, and thereby really abandoned all proofs of God:283283In Sentent. Lomb., I. Dist. 2, Q. 2, Art. I. On Duns’ doctrine of knowledge and of science, see Werner, Duns Scotus, p. 180 ff.; ibid., p. 331 ff., on his doctrine of God, which only admits of an a posteriori ascertainment of the qualities of the divine Being. the infinite is not cognisable by demonstration, and hence can only be 180believed in on authority. Occam made as energetic an attack on the “primum movens immobile” (prime immovable mover) and likewise fell back on authority. But with the impossibility of demonstrating the infinite, and of giving life by speculation to the notion of the “necessarium ex se ipso,” there disappeared also for Nominalism the conception of the necessity of the inner determinedness of the infinite Being, of whom authority taught. God is not summum esse (supreme being) and summa intelligentia (supreme intelligence) in the sense in which intelligence belongs to the creature, but He is, as measured by the understanding of the creature, the unlimited almighty will, the cause of the world, a cause, however, which could operate quite otherwise from the way in which it does. God is thus the absolutely free will, who simply wills because He wills to, i.e., a cognisable ground of the will does not exist. From this point of view the doctrine of God becomes as uncertain as, above all, the doctrine of grace. Occam went so far as to declare monotheism to be only more probable than polytheism; for what can be strictly proved is either only the notion of a single supreme Being, but not His existence, or the existence of relatively supreme beings, but not the one-ness. Accordingly the attributes of God were quite differently treated in the Thomist and in the Scotist schools. In the former they were strictly derived from a necessary principle, but only to be cancelled again in the end, as identical in the one substance, in the latter they were relatively determined; in the former — in accordance with the thesis of the summum esse — a virtual existence of God in the world was assumed, and in the last analysis there was no distinguishing between the existence of God for Himself and His existence for the world, in the latter — as the world is a free product of God’s will, entirely disjoined from God — only an ideal presence of God is taught. As can easily be seen, the contrast is ultimately determined by different ideas of the position of man and of religion. For the Thomists, the idea is that of dependence on God Himself, who comprehends and sustains all things, for the Scotists the idea is that of independence in relation to God. It certainly meant an important advance upon Thomas when God was strictly conceived 181of by Duns as will and person, and was distinguished from the world; but this advance becomes at once a serious disadvantage when we can no longer depend upon this God, because we are not permitted to think of Him as acting according to the highest categories of moral necessity,284284Werner, l.c., p. 408: “It is a genuinely Scotist thought that the absolute divine will cannot be subjected to the standard of our ethical habits of thought (!)” and when, accordingly, the rule holds, that the goodness of the creature consists in surrender to the will of God, of which the motives are inscrutable, while its content is clearly given in revelation (so Duns).285285In contrast with this, Thomas had taught (P. I., Q. 12, Art. 12) that indeed “ex sensibilium cognitione non potest tota dei virtus cognosci et per consequens nec ejus essentia videri,” but that both the existence of God and “ea quæ necesse est ei convenire” can be known. Duns and his disciples denied this; but, on the other hand, they asserted that God is more cognisable than the Thomists were willing to grant. The latter denied an adequate (essential) knowledge of God (cognitio quidditativa); the Scotists affirmed it, because it was not a question at all about the knowledge of an infinite intelligence, but about the knowledge of the God who is will, and who has manifested His will. The view that contemplates God as also arbitrariness, because He is will, becomes ultimately involved in the same difficulties as the view that contemplates Him as the all-determining substance, for in both cases His essence is shrouded in darkness. But the narrow way that leads to a sure and comforting knowledge of God, the way of faith in God as the Father of Jesus Christ, the Schoolmen would not follow. Therefore their whole doctrine of God, whether it be of a Thomist or of a Scotist cast, cannot be used in dogmatic. For on this point dogmatic must keep to its own field of knowledge, namely, the historic Christ, and must not fear the reproach of “blind faith” (“Kahlerglaubens,” collier’s faith,) if it is blind faith that God can be felt and known only from personal life — and, in a way that awakens conviction, only from the personal life of Christ. This does not exclude the truth that Thomistic Mysticism can warmly stir the fancy, and gently delude the understanding as to the baselessness of speculation. How far, as regards the conception of God, mediæval thought in Nominalism had drifted from the thought which had once given theological fixity in the Church to the articulus de deo, can best be seen when we compare the doctrine of God of Origen, 182Gregory of Nyssa, or John of Damascus with that of Duns or Occam.286286On this, and the acute criticism of the Aristotelian doctrine of God, see Werner, Nachscotistiche Scholastik, p. 216 ff. But the whole of dogmatic is dependent on the conception of God; for that conception determines both the view of salvation and the view of reconciliation.287287It is a special merit of Ritschl that in his great work in the department of the history of dogma he has shown everywhere the fundamental importance of the conception of God. Finally, it must be pointed out, that mediæval theology strongly emphasises the conception of God as judge, though this conception was not introduced by it into speculations as to the nature of God.
2. Stormy debates on the right way of understanding, and the right way of mentally representing the doctrine of the Trinity,288288See Münscher, § 120, Schwane, l.c. p. 152 ff., Bach, Dogmengesch. Bd. II., Baur, L. v. d. Dreieinigkeit, Bd. II. had already run their course, when the Mendicant Orders made their appearance in science. The bold attempts to make the mystery more intelligible, whether by approximating to tritheism (Roscellin),289289 Application of the Nominalist mode of thought; against him Anselm; see Reuter I., p. 134 f.; Deutsch, Abelard, p. 256 f. or by passing over to Modalism (Abelard), were rejected in the period of Anselm and Bernard (against Gilbert).290290 There was a disposition to detect even tritheism in Abelard; on his doctrine of the Trinity, see Deutsch, p. 259 ff. Ahelard’s wish was to reject both the Roscellin conception and strict Sabellianism, yet he does not get beyond a fine Modalism (see Deutsch, p. 280 ff.). It is noteworthy that, like Luther at Worms, he stated in the prologue to his Introductio in theol., that he was ready to be corrected, “cum quis me fidelium vel virtute rationis vel auctoritate scriptum correxerit” (see Münscher, p. 52). Where Augustine’s treatise De trinitate was studied and followed, a fine Modalism introduced itself everywhere,291291Thus it was with Anselm and the Victorinians, especially Richard, who reproduced and expounded the Augustinian analogies of the Trinity (the powers of the human spirit). and it was easy for any one who wished to convict another of heresy to bring the reproach of Sabellianism against his opponent who was influenced by Augustine. Even the Lombard was charged with giving too much independence to the divina essentia, and with thus teaching a quaternity, or a species of Sabellianism.292292Joachim of Fiore made it a reproach that the 4th Lateran Council, c. 2, took the Lombard under its protection and decreed: “Nos (i.e., the Pope) sacro et universali concilio approbante credimus et confitemur cum Petro (scil. Lombardo), quod una quædam summa res est, incomprehensibilis quidem et ineffabilis, quæ veraciter est pater et filius et spiritus, tres simul personaæ, ac singulatim quælibet earundem. Et ideo in deo trinitas est solummodo, non quaternitas, quia quælibet trium personarum est illa res, videlicet substantia, essentia sive natura divina, quæ sola est universorum principium, præter quod aliud inveniri non potest. Et illa res non est generans neque genita nec procedens, sed est pater qui generat, filius qui gignitur, et spiritus sanctus qui procedit, ut distinctiones sint in personis et unitas in natura.” The lesson derived in the thirteenth 183century from these experiences was to guard the trinitarian dogma by a still greater mustering of terminological distincions than Augustine had recourse to. The exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity continued to be the high school of logic and dialectic. In Thomism the doctrine still had a relation to the idea of the world, in so far as the hypostasis of the Son was not sharply marked off from the world-idea in God. Thomism was also necessarily obliged to retain its leaning to Modalism, as the conception of God did not at bottom admit of the assumption of distinctions in God, but reduced the distinctions to relations, which themselves again had to be neutralised. The Scotist School, on the other hand, kept the persons sharply asunder. But this school, especially in its later period, could equally well have defended, or yielded submission to, the quaternity, or any other doctrine of God whatever. But before this the whole doctrine had already come to be a mere problem of the schools, having no relation to living faith. The respect that was paid to it as the fundamental dogma of the Church was in flagrant contrast with the incapacity to raise it in theological discussion above the level of a logical mystery. Like Augustine in his day, the mediæval theologians let it be seen that they would not have set up this dogma if it had not come to them by tradition, and the decree of the Lateran Council (see page 182, note 7,) which places behind the persons a “res non generans neque genita nec procedens” (a thing not begetting nor begotten nor proceeding) really transforms the persons into mere modalities κατ᾽ ἐπινοίαν (existing for thought), or into inner processes in God. Or is it still a doctrine of the Trinity, when the immanent thinking and the immanent willing 184in God are defined and objectified as generare and spirare (begetting and breathing)? But in Nominalism the treatment of this dogma grew no better. The Thomist School was certainly still regulated by a concrete thought, when it sought to make the Trinity more intelligible by means of analogies; for according to these the finite world, and especially the rational creature, show traces of the divine nature and the divine attributes. But this idea Scotism had set aside, emphasising the threefold personality as revealed fact. Its “subtle investigations,” even Schwane confesses,293293L.c., p. 179. “went astray too much into a region of formalism, and came to be a playing with notions.”
3. The doctrine of the eternity of the world294294See Münscher, § 121, 122, Schwane, pp. 179-226. was universally combated, and the creation from nothing adhered to as an article of faith. But only the Post-Thomist Schoolmen expressed the temporality of the world, and creation out of nothing, in strict formulæ. Although Thomas rejected the pantheism of the Neoplatonic-Erigenistic mode of thought, there are still to be found in him traces of the idea that creation is the actualising of the divine ideas, that is, their passing into the creaturely form of subsistence. Further, he holds, on the basis of the Areopagite conception of God, that all that is has its existence “by participating in him who alone exists through himself” (participatione ejus, qui solum per se ipsum est). But both thoughts obscure the conception of creation.295295For a pantheistic view of creation in Thomas an appeal, however, can scarcely be made to the expression frequently employed by him, “emanatio” (processio) creaturarum a deo; for he certainly does not employ the expression in a pantheistic sense. If he says, P. I., Q. 45, Art. I: “emanationem totius entis a causa universali, quæ est deus, designamus nomine creationis,” just for that reason he shows in what follows, that “creatio, quæ est emanatio totius esse, est ex non ente, quod est nihil.” Hence it is characteristic of Thomas, who elsewhere, as a rule, finds strict necessity, that he refrains from showing that the world’s having a beginning is a doctrine necessary for thought; Summa., P. I., Q. 46, Art. 2: “It is to be asserted that the world’s not having always existed is held by faith alone, and cannot be proved demonstratively: as was asserted also above regarding the mystery of the Trinity . . .that the world had a beginning is 185credible, but not demonstrable or knowable. And it is useful to consider this, in case perhaps some one, presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, should adduce reasons that are not necessary, thus giving occasion for ridicule to infidels, who might think that on the ground of such reasons we believe what is of faith.” If only Thomas had always taken to heart these splendid words, which, moreover, were directed against Bonaventura and Albertus Magnus, who undertook to prove the beginning of the world in time a doctrine of reason! Duns Scotus and his school naturally followed Thomas here, in so far as they held the temporality of the world as guaranteed simply by the authority of faith.296296Scotus holds the possibility of a divine creation from eternity as not unthinkable, but disputes the arguments by which Thomas sought to corroborate the position that a beginning of creation in time cannot be proved; see Werner, Duns Scotus, p. 380 ff. Yet the view of Albertus certainly survived at the same time in the Church. The purpose of the creation of the world was taken by all the Schoolmen to be the exhibition of the love (bonitas) of God, which seeks to communicate itself to other beings. Even Thomas, correcting the Areopagite conception of God, declared the creation of the world no longer a necessary, but only a contingent, means, whereby God fulfils His personal end. Yet he certainly represented the personal end of God, which is freely realised in creation, as the supreme thought: “divina bonitas est finis rerum omnium”297297P. I., Q. 44, Art. 4; see also Q. 14, 19, 46, 104. (the divine love is the end of all things), i.e., God’s willing His own blessedness embraces all movements whatever of that which exists, His willing it by means of creation of the world is His free will; but as He has so willed to create, the end of the creature is entirely included in the divine end ; the creature has no end of its own, but realises the divine end, which is itself nothing but the actualising of the love (bonitas). In this way the pantheistic acosmism is certainly not quite banished, while on the other hand, in the thesis of Thomas, that God necessarily conceived from eternity the idea of the world, because this idea coincides with His knowledge and so also with His being, the pancosmistic conception of God is not definitely excluded. In the Scotist school, the personal 186end of God and the end of the creature are sharply disconnected.298298Here would be the place to deal with the doctrine of angels held by the Schoolmen; but as the material relating to this subject — the fencing and wrestling ground of the theologians, who had here more freedom than elsewhere — is very loosely connected with dogma, and is at the same time unworthy of serious consideration, it may be passed over; see Thomas, P. I., Q. 50-65; Schwane, pp. 194-217. As regards divine providence, from the time of Anselm and Abelard onwards, all the questions were again treated which were formerly dealt with by Origen; but from the time of Thomas they were added to in an extraordinary degree, so that quite new terminology was here created.299299 See Summa, P. I., Q. 103-117: de gubernatione rerum, divided according to the points of view of finis gubernationis, conservatio and mutatio rerum. Under the first point of view it is established speculatively that the finis rerum must be “quoddam bonum extrinsecum,” because the finis universalis rerum as the ultimate goal must be the “bonum universale,” but this latter cannot be included in the world, since the world, in virtue of its created quality, can never include more than a participative bonum; hence God Himself is the finis gubernationis (see above). Further, in the general doctrine of government the questions are treated, whether there is a gubernatio at all, whether it proceeds from one, whether its effect is uniform or manifold, whether everything is under it, whether it is everywhere direct, whether anything can happen præter ordinem gubernationis, and whether anything “reniti possit contra ordinem gubernationis dei.” The “conservatio” is defined (q. 104, art. 1) as only a continued creating, and so it is said at the close of the article (ad. 4): “conservatio rerum a deo non est per aliquam novam actionem, sed per continuationem actionis quæ dat esse, quæ quidem actio est sine motu et tempore, sicut etiam conservatio luminis in aëre est per continuatum influxum a sole.” This not unobjectionable definition is applied in many different ways. Thus miracle is declared impossible, in so far as the ordo rerum depends on a prima causa, while on the other hand it is admitted in view of the causæ secundæ (art. 6). But according to Thomas the real miracles, although they are not so designated, are the creation of the world and of souls, and also the justificatio impiorum; for they are præter ordinem naturalem. The miracle of all miracles is God, quod habet causam simpliciter et omnibus occultam. To the question whether this world is the best, Thomas gave a negative answer, after Anselm had answered it in the affirmative; yet even Thomas thinks this universe cannot be better; God, however, could have created other things, which would have been still better.300300 P. I., Q. 25, Art. 6. As a consequence of his fundamental view, Thomas assumes that God directs all things immediately; yet the greater the independence was that was attributed to the world, the stronger became the opposition to this thesis. In the theodicy, moreover, which was 187vigorously revised in the thirteenth century in opposition to the dualistic sects, Thomas attached himself more closely to Augustine. He did not shrink from the thought that God produces “quasi per accidens” (as it were accidentally) the corruptiones rerum (corruption in things); for the “perfection of things in the universe requires that there shall be not only incorruptible, but also corruptible entities” (“perfectio rerum universitatis requirit, ut non solum sint entia incorruptibilia, sed etiam corruptibilia”); but from this it follows that the perfectio universi requires beings that can fall from the good, “ex quo sequitur ea interdum deficere” (from which it follows that they are sometimes defective).301301P. I., Q. 48, Art. 2. In these doctrines, too, greater caution came to be exercised, as the distinction came to be more sharply drawn between God, and the creature as endowed with its own volitional movement.302302Very worthy of notice is Duns’ criticism of Augustine’s and Anselm’s doctrines of malum; see Werner, l.c., p. 402 ff.
4. The history of Christology was similar to that of the doctrine of the Trinity. In the twelfth century there was still much keen discussion with regard to the former, as the satisfaction was not general with the Greek scheme that had been framed in opposition to Adoptianism (Abelard’s Nestorian Christology was a protest against the doctrine of John of Damascus and of Alcuin, and continued to extend its influence).303303See Deutsch, l.c., pp. 289-318. Abelard’s doctrine is a very vigorous attempt to give full justice to the humanity of Christ within the lines of the traditional dogma. But there was the feeling that this attempt was heretical, and it is, in fact, questionable, if we consider that it threatens the unity of the person of Christ, on which all depends, but which, of course, at that time could only be expressed in the impracticable categories of the natures. Even the Lombard, although, with Alcuin, he denies that the Logos assumed a human person,304304Sentent. III., dist. 5 C. still gravitated — certainly in a very peculiar way — to a Nestorian thought, in so far as he denied, in the interest of the immutability of God, that by the incarnation God “became” something, the humanity rather being for him only like a garment.305305Sentent. III., dist. 6. Yet it was only the disciples that utilised the thought thrown out by the Master. Besides, the doctrine asserts nothing else than what Cyril had expressed regarding the incarnation of the Logos with μεμένηκεν ὅπερ ἦν. But against this doctrine, 188described as Nihilianism, and adopted by the dialecticians (Christ was, as man, non aliquid [not something]), a strong opposition was raised in the period of Alexander III., especially by German scholars (Gerhoch); there was asserted, in opposition to it, the most complete and real interpenetration of deity and humanity in Christ (see Alcuin), and the Lombard’s doctrine was even publicly described as dangerous.306306See Bach, 1.c., Bd. II., Hefele, Conciliengesch. V.2, p. 616 ff. (Synod of Tours, 1163), and p. 719 f: (3rd Lateran Synod, 1179). With this “nota” against “Nihilianism,” the doctrine of the two natures came to the great Schoolmen, and the problem of the “hypostatic union” now became as much the field of contest for the acutest thought as the problem of the Trinity.307307See Schwane, pp. 251-296. At the same time the view all took of the communicatio idiomatum implied that the thought must be excluded of a human person as existing for himself in Christ. But here, also, there resulted important differences between the Thomists and Scotists; for Thomas made the greatest effort to give such predominance to the divine factor that the human became merely something passive and accidental; as he was influenced by the Areopagite, he continued also, in a very real way, the Greek Monophysite Christology; nor was there wanting to him the Areopagite background, that the Logos entered into just the same relation to human nature as a whole, into which he entered with the human nature of Jesus. Against this Scotus made an effort, in a very modest way, and with a profusion of confusingly complicated terminology, to save something more of the humanity of Christ. But in return for this, he has to hear the verdict of modern Catholic theologians of dogma, that “he won for himself no laurels; that what he did, rather, in this field, with his critical censures (of the Angelic Doctor) was mostly a fiasco.”308308 Schwane, p. 288; compare the full account in Werner, l.c., p. 427 ff. Duns taught a double filiation, and in the Report. Paris. expressly professed belief also in the probability of Adoptianism; see p. 439 f. On the similar Christology of Post-Scotist Scholasticism, see Werner II., p. 330 f. His effort to attribute existence even to the human individual nature 189 of Christ was disapproved. His mild attempts, likewise, were repudiated to fix certain limits to the human knowledge of Christ, and to deduce the sinlessness of the human will of Jesus, not from the hypostatic union, but from the “plenissima fruitio quam habuit Christus” (fullest enjoyment that Christ had), i.e., from his perfect surrender of will.309309See Werner, p. 440 ff. On this field Thomism continued victorious. The Scotists did not succeed in securing the recognition of a special mode of being for the individual human nature of Christ.310310The doctrine of the Holy Spirit did not receive a further development in Scholasticism. From the days, certainly, of the Latin Empire in the East till the Synod of Florence there was controversy and negotiation with the Greeks in numberless treatises about the procession of the Holy Spirit. The negotiations for union lasted, with interruptions, for almost 250 years, and for a time they furnished a certain prospect of success, because from the thirteenth century there was a small Latin party in the East, which, however, in the end was disowned by the whole Eastern Church. At Lyons in 1274 (can. 1) Greeks made admission that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (“non tamquam ex duobus principiis, sed tamquam ex uno principio, unica spiratione”), and at Florence (Mansi XXXI., p. 1027 sq.) there was a coming to terms in a complicated formula, which, however, expressly justified the “filioque.” But as early as 1443 the Florentine Council was condemned at a Jerusalem Synod by the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. The Greeks with Latin sympathies either confessed penitently their “betrayal of the faith,” or preferred to remain in Italy and become Roman dignitaries.
The victory of the Monophysite doctrine of Christ concealed under the Chalcedonian formulæ,311311This victory, it is true, came about not in Scholasticism but in the Church. Scholasticism was led on rather by Occam to a complete dissolution of the God-Manhood of Christ, so that for Socinianism there remained nothing more to do (see Werner II., p. 353 ff.). In Certilog., concl. 6, Occam writes: “Est articulus fidei, quod deus assumpsit naturam humanam. Non includit contradictionem deum assumere naturam asininam; pari ratione potest assumere lapidem vel lignum.” Also (l.c. concl. 62): “To Christ the predicate Son of God can only be attributed in so far as in Him the Verbum divinum appears united with the human nature; of a filiation relation of the Verbum divinum in itself the reason of man knows nothing”; so also the doctrine of the Trinity is contrary to reason (I., Dist. 9, Q. 1). If as over against this there is a pointing to fides, it is simply submission to authority that is meant. If, now, from any cause, this authority fell away, Socinianism was ripe. was all the more surprising from no practical religious use whatever being made of it, the real interest in Christ finding expression rather, on the one hand, in the idea of the poor life of Jesus and the Ecce homo, on the 190other hand, in the doctrines of reconciliation and of the Sacraments.312312There was repeated here what we have already observed in connection with the doctrine of the Trinity. In regard to both dogmas theoretical speculation strikes out paths which are scarcely any longer united with the paths along which faith moves. There can scarcely be conceived of a greater contrariety than is implied, when in the doctrine of the person of Christ the “homo” is almost entirely eliminated, and then in the doctrine of the work of Christ this “homo” takes the commanding place. No doubt by means of words and terminologies all chasms can be bridged over; but they are still only words. But it is only apparently that the doctrine of reconciliation has the Greek Christology, together with the doctrine of the two natures, as its presupposition. This has been shown already above in connection with the reconciliation doctrine of Anselm, Abelard, and the Lombard.313313See p. 54 ff. It still remains to us here to specify concisely the thoughts of the later Schoolmen on the work of Christ.314314See Ritschl, Vol. I., p. 55 ff.; Münscher, § 135; Schwane, pp. 296-333. The passio Christi dominates the whole Western theology. If John of Damascus (see Vol. III., p. 288) calls the incarnation the only new thing under the sun, Walter v.d. Vogelweide expresses the general conviction of the West, when in one of his best-known poems he exalts the suffering of Christ as the miracle of all miracles.
The Lombard had brought the merit of Christ into the foreground, and at the same time had given expression to all possible thoughts about redemption by Christ — the Anselmic theory excepted — and had attached himself closely to Augustine and Abelard (“reconciliati sumus deo diligenti nos” [we are reconciled to God, who loves us]). The modification in the thirteenth century consisted now in this, that, in opposition to Abelard, and with a certain adherence to Anselm, objective redemption (in its bearing upon God) was brought into the foreground, but at the same time, the point of view of merit, which Anselm had only suggested, was strongly emphasised. This turn of things appears already in Alexander of Hales and Albertus; but Thomas was the first to furnish a full, strictly-thought-out doctrine of redemption. Certainly even he alternates between the points of view, which is always a sign that the point of view is not firmly got hold of; for, where the sufficient reason is wanting, reasons tend to accumulate. But the sufficient reason was really wanting to Thomas; for P. III., Q. 46, Art. 1-3, the 191necessity of the death of Christ is explicitly rejected — God could also have simply remitted sin in the exercise of His free will, — the chosen way of deliverance by the death of Christ (liberatio per mortem Christi) is only the most fitting, because, by it, more and greater things are imparted to us than if we were redeemed solely by the will of God (sola voluntate dei).
There were three points of view especially which Thomas applied. First, he stated (Q. 46) a large number of arguments that were intended to prove that the death of Christ, with all the circumstances of His suffering, was the most fitting means of redemption. Within the lines of this idea many points of view are already suggested that deal with the facts. But above all the infinite pain which He endured is taken into account. His suffering (during His whole life and in death) is represented as being the sum of all conceivable suffering, in the sense too of its being His own pain and the pain of sympathy on account of our sin. Here justice is done to the Abelardian-Augustinian tradition, viz., that the suffering of Christ, the Mediatorial Man, is redemptive, inasmuch as it brings God’s love home to our hearts, becomes an example to us, recalls us from sin, and stirs as a motive responsive love. But on the other hand, the convenientius (more fitting) in an objective sense is also already brought out here, inasmuch as the death of Christ was the most fitting means for winning for men the gratia justificans (justifying grace) and the gloria beatitudinis (glory of beatitude).315315Q. 46, Art. 3: “Tanto aliquis modus convenientior est ad assequendum finem, quanto per ipsum plura concurrunt, quæ sunt expedientia fini. Per hoc autem quod homo per Christi passionem liberatus, multa concurrerunt ad salutem hominis pertinentia præter liberationem a peccato: Primo enim per hoc homo cognoscit, quantum hominem deus diligat, et per hoc provocatur ad eum diligendum, in quo perfectio humanæ salutis consistit. Unde Apostolus dicit: ‘Commendat suam caritatem deus,’ etc. Secundo quia per hoc nobis dedit exemplum obedientiæ et humilitatis et constantiæ, justitiæ et ceterarum virtutum in passione Christi ostensarum, quæ sunt necessaria ad humanam salutem. Unde dicitur, I., Pet. 2: ‘Christus passus pro nobis, nobis relinquens exemplum, etc.’ Tertio quia Christus per passionem suam non solum hominem a peccato liberavit, sed etiam gratiam justificantem et gloriam beatitudinis ei promeruit, ut infra dicetur (Q. 48). Quarto, quia per hoc est homini inducta major necessitas, se immunem a peccato conservandi, qui se sanguine Christi redemptum cogitat a peccato, secundum illud I., Cor. 6: ‘Empti estis pretio,’ etc. Quinto quia hoc ad majorem dignitatem hominis cessit, ut sicut homo victus fuerat et deceptus a diabolo, ita etiam homo esset qui diabolum vinceret, et sicut homo mortem meruit, ita homo moriendo mortem superaret. Et ideo convenientius fuit quod per passionem Christi liberaremur, quam per solam dei voluntatem.” In Q. 47 the treatment of redemption from the point of view of the convenientissimum is continued.192
In Q. 408, new points of view are now introduced under the heading “de modo passionis Christi quantum ad effectum” (on the mode of Christ’s suffering as regards its effect). The hypothetical character here passes into the rear behind the necessary result of the suffering. But the whole inquiry is dominated by the fundamental thought: “Christus non est passus secundum divinitatem, sed secundum carnem,” (Christ did not suffer as to His divinity, but as to His flesh), with which the divinity associated itself. Here the death of Christ is placed under the points of view of merit (Art. 1), satisfaction (Art. 2), sacrifice (Art. 3), redemption (Arts. 4 and 5), and “efficientia” (Art. 6). This is succeeded, in Quest. 49, by an inquiry as to how far the death of Christ has freed us from sin (Art. 1), from the power of the devil (Art. 2), and from liability to penalty (a reatu pœnæ) (Art. 3), and again, as to whether by it we are reconciled to God (Art. 4), whether by it entrance to heaven is secured for us (Art. 5), and whether by it Christ was exalted (Art. 6). Among these points of view there stand out prominently (secondly) that of satisfaction and (thirdly) that of merit as specially important.
The conception of satisfaction is obtained by taking (against Anselm) in the strictest sense the voluntariness of Christ’s sufferings, and then defining this voluntary suffering according to the particular rule, that satisfaction always consists in a gift for which the party injured has more love than he has hatred for the injury. This is shown in the suffering of Christ, which is described (see above) as not only suffering in death but suffering in life,316316It is a step in advance on the part of Thomas that he does not confine himself to the death of Christ, but embraces in his view His whole life as suffering. and which has its value in the divine-human life of the Mediator. Just on that account the satisfactio is not only sufficient but superabundans;317317Q. 48, Art. 2: “Respondeo dicendum, quod ille proprio satisfacit pro offensa, qui exhibet offenso id quod æque vel magis diligit, quam oderit offensam. Christus autem ex caritate et obedientia patiendo majus aliquid deo exhibuit, quam exigeret recompensatio totius offensæ humani generis; primo quidem propter magnitudinem caritatis ex qua patiebatur, secundo propter dignitatem vitæ suæ quam pro satisfactione ponebat, quæ erat vita dei et hominis; tertio propter generalitatem passionis et magnitudinem doloris assumpti, ut supra dictum est (Q. 46, Art. 6). Et ideo passio Christi non solum sufficiens, sed etiam superabundans satisfactio fuit pro peccatis humani generis.” i.e., it is not only æqualis omnibus 193peccatis humani generis (equal to all the sins of the human race), but positively in excess of them. In this way an idea is obtained which, though apparently unobjectionable and worthy, was to give occasion to the most unhappy speculations. A vicarious penal suffering, in the strict sense of the terms, is not recognised even by Thomas, because on the whole question he allowed only a limited range to the justitia dei.318318To this satisfactio superabundans Thomas returns in the 4 Art. [redemptio: “respondeo dicendum, quod per peccatum dupliciter homo obligatus erat, primo quidem servitute peccati, quia qui facit peccatum, servus est peccati. . . . Quia igitur diabolus hominem superaverat, inducendo ad peccatum, homo servituti diaboli addictus erat. Secundo, quantum ad reatum pœnæ, quo homo erat obligatus secundum dei justitiam. Et hoc etiam est servitus quædam; ad servitutem enim pertinet quod aliquis patiatur, quod non vult, cum liberi hominis sit uti se ipso ut vult. Quia igitur passio Christi fuit sufficiens et superabundans satisfactio pro peccato et reatu pœnæ generis humani, ejus passio fuit quasi quoddam pretium per quod liberati sumus ab utraque obligatione. Nam ipsa satisfactio qua quis satisfacit, sive pro se sive pro alio, pretium quoddam dicitur, quo seipsum vel alium redimit a peccato et a pœnæ. . . . Christus autem satisfecit non quidem pecuniam dando aut aliquid hujusmodi, sed dando id quod fuit maximum, seipsum scil. pro nobis. Et ideo passio Christi dicitur esse nostra redemptio.” There is a not unimportant turn of thought (Q. 47, 2; 48, 3), where the suffering of Christ is looked at from the point of view of sacrifice. Here it is not merely love in general that is described as that which has efficacy in the voluntary sacrifice, but still more precisely obedience: “Convenientissimum fuit, quod Christus ex obedientia pateretur . . . obedientia vero omnibus sacrificiis antefertur . . .miles vincere non potest nisi duci obediat, et ita homo Christus victoriam obtinuit per hoc quod deo fuit obediens. . . . Quia in morte Christi lex vetus consummata est, potest intelligi quod patiendo omnia veteris legis præcepta implevit: moralia quidam, quæ in præceptis caritatis fundantur, implevit in quantum passus est et ex dilectione patris et etiam ex dilectione proximi, cæremonialia veto præcepta legis, quæ ad sacrificia et oblationes præcipue ordinantur, implevit Christus sua passione, in quantum omnia antiqua sacrificia fuerunt figuræ illius veri sacrificii, quod Christus obtulit moriendo pro nobis. . . . Præcepta vero judicialia legis, quæ præcipue ordinantur ad satisfaciendam injuriam passis, implevit Christus sue passione, permittens se ligno affigi pro pomo quod de ligno homo rapuerat contra dei mandatum.” Still, some lines of exposition in Quest. 49 touch on that thought.319319See Art. 3 and 4: “Respondeo dicendum, quod per passionem Christi liberati sumus a reatu pœnæ dupliciter. Uno modo directe, in quantum scil. passio Christi fuit sufficiens et superabundans satisfactio pro peccatis totius humani generis; exhibita autem satisfactione sufficienti tollitur reatus pœnæ (this is, of course, no taking over of penalty). Alio modo indirecte, in quantum scil. passio Christi est causa remissionis peccati, in quo fundatur reatus pœnæ.” To the objection that on the liberati pœnæ satisfactoriæ are still imposed by the Church, he replies thus: “Ad hoc quod consequemur effectum passionis Christi, oportet nos ei configurari. Configuramur autem ei in baptistmo sacramentaliter, secundum Rom. 6, 4: ‘Consepulti sumus ei per baptismum in mortem.’ Unde baptisatis nulla pœna satisfactoria imponitur, quia sunt totaliter liberati per satisfactionem Christi. Quia vero Christus semel tantum pro peccatis nostris mortuus est, ut dicitur I. Pet. 3, 18, ideo non potest homo secundario configurari morti Christi per sacramentum baptismi. Unde oportet quod illi, qui post baptismum peccant, configurentur Christo patienti per aliquid pœnalitatis vel passionis quam in se ipsis sustineant (!) Quæ tamen multo minor sufficit, quam esset condigna peccato, cooperante satisfactione Christi.” A wonderful illustration of satisfactio superabundans! Even in the 4 Art. the reconciliatio dei is traced, not to the endurance of the penal suffering, but to the “sacrificium acceptissimum.” God is reconciled (1) because the passio Christi peccatum removat, (2) because it is sacrifice; “est enim hoc proprie sacrificii effectus, ut per ipsum placetur deus”; for as man propter aliquod obsequium acceptum forgives the injury, “similiter tantum bonum fuit, quod Christus voluntarie passus est, quod propter hoc bonum in natura humana inventum deus placatus est super omni offensa generis humani, quantum ad eos qui Christo passo conjunguntur.” With a change of disposition on God’s part Thomas will have nothing to do, although he expresses himself more cautiously than the Lombard. “Deus diligit omnes homines quantum ad naturam quam ipse fecit, odit tamen eos quantum ad culpam . . ., non dicendum, quod passio Christi dicitur quantum ad hoc, deo nos reconciliasse, quod de novo nos amare inciperet, sed quia per passionem Christi sublata est odii causa, tum per ablationem peccati tum per recompensationem acceptabilioris beneficii.” In the 5 Art. the passio Christi is expressly related both to the peccatum commune totius humanæ naturæ (et quantum ad culpam et quantum ad reatum pœnæ), and to the peccata propria singulorum, qui communicant ejus passioni per fidem et caritatem et fidei sacramenta. Yet in connection with the latter the removal of the reatus pœnæ is not expressly emphasised. The clearest passage on the penal worth of the death of Christ is in Q. 47, Art. 3: “in quo ostenditur et dei severitas, qui peccatum sine pœna dimittere noluit.” But a connected view is not outlined from this as a starting-point, while such a view can be shown in Bernard.194
With regard to merit, a distinct idea is to be got under this term as to how far Christ’s suffering really profits individuals. It is a circumstance of value that Thomas sets aside, and ceases to employ, the Greek thought which dominates his doctrine of the person of Christ, namely, that the humanity of Christ is in itself human nature in general. With this mechanical idea of the matter he was not satisfied. Here also we see that between his doctrine of the person of Christ, and his doctrine of His work, there is quite a chasm. Only once320320See the foregoing note. does he touch on 195the thought that God is reconciled because He has now found the good in human nature. Elsewhere he has quite a different view, with which indeed he crowns his discussion (Q. 48, 1), and of which as his discussion proceeds he never loses sight. It is the view hinted at by Anselm, that by His voluntary suffering Christ merited exaltation (Q. 49, 6), that the exaltation, however, cannot be conferred upon Him, but passes over from Him to the Church of which He is the Head.321321Q. 48, Art. 1: “Christo data est gratia non solum sicut singulari personæ, sed in quantum est caput ecclesiæ, ut scil. ab ipso redundaret ad membra. Et ideo opera Christi hoc modo se habent tam ad se quam ad sua membra sicut se habent opera alterius hominis in gratia constituti ad ipsum. . . .” Q. 49, Art. 1: “Passio Christi causat remissionem peccatorum per modum redemptionis, quia enim ipse est caput nostrum, per passionem suam quam ex caritate et obedientia sustinuit, liberavit nos tam quam membra sua a peccatis, quasi per pretium suæ passionis, sicut si homo per aliquod opus meritorium, quod manu exerceret, redimeret se a peccato quod pedibus commisisset. Sicut enim naturale corpus est unum ex membrorum diversitate constans, ita tota ecclesia, quæ est mysticum corpus Christi, computatur quasi una persona cum suo capite, quod est Christus,” and other passages, especially P. III., Q. 8. The fulness with which Thomas stated and repeated this thought is a guarantee that for him it was an extremely valuable one. It has also been expressed by him thus (Q. 48, Art. 2): “The head and the members are, as it were, one mystical person, and thus the satisfaction of Christ belongs to all believers, just as to His own members” (caput et membra sunt quasi una persona mystica, et ideo satisfactio Christi ad omnes fideles pertinet, sicut ad sua membra). Here, finally, the conception of the faithful (fideles) also (as the ecclesia) is introduced into the question about the effect and bearings of redemption; but only in the 1st Art. of Quest. 49 has Thomas come to deal more closely with faith — simply however to pass over at once to love: “It must be affirmed that by faith also there is applied to us the passion of Christ, with a view to its fruit being seen, according to the passage Rom. 3: ‘Whom God hath set forth as a propitiator through faith, etc.’ But the faith by which we are cleansed from sin is not fides informis, (unformed faith), which can exist even along with sin, but is fides formata per caritatem (faith deriving form from love), so that in this way the passion of Christ is applied to us, not intellectually merely, 196but also effectually.” (“Dicendum quod etiam per fidem applicatur nobis passio Christi ad percipiendum fructum ipsius, secundum illud Rom. 3: ‘Quem proposuit deus propitiatorem per fidem, etc.’ Fides autem per quam a peccato mundamur non est fides informis, quæ potest esse etiam cum peccato, sed est fides formata per caritatem, ut sic passio Christi nobis applicetur, non solum quantum ad intellectum, sed etiam quantum ad effectum.”)
When we review the exposition given by Thomas, we cannot escape the impression created by confusion (multa, non multum, [many things, not much]). The wavering between the hypothetical and the necessary modes of view, between objective and subjective redemption, further, between the different points of view of redemption, and finally, between a satisfactio superabundans and the assertion that for the sins after baptism we have to supplement the work of Christ, prevents any distinct impression arising. It was only a natural course of development when Duns Scotus went on to reduce everything entirely to the relative. It is what always happens when an attempt is made to find a surer hold for the actual in what is assumed to be the metaphysically necessary; this actual presents itself in the end only as the possible, and so, very soon also, as the irrational. No one thought of the moral necessity of penalty.
Duns Scotus draws the true logical conclusion from the theory of satisfaction (as distinguished from the idea of vicarious penal suffering), by tracing everything to the “acceptatio” of God. All satisfaction and all merit obtain their worth from the arbitrary estimation of the receiver. Hence the value of Christ’s death was as high as God chose to rate it. But in the strict sense of the term infinity cannot at all be spoken of here ; for (1) sin itself is not infinite, seeing that it is committed by finite beings (it is, at the most, quasi infinite, when it is measured, that is to say, though this is not necessary, by the injury done to the infinite God); (2) the merit of Christ is not infinite, for He suffered in His human (finite) nature322322 In Sent. III., Dist. 19, n. 7: “Meritum Christi fuit finitum, quia a principio finito essentialiter dependens, etiam accipiendo ipsum cum omnibus respectibus, sive cum respectu ad suppositum Verbi, sive cum respectu ad finem, quia omnes respectus isti erant finiti.”; (3) in no sense is 197an infinite merit needed, because God can estimate any merit as highly as He pleases; for nothing is meritorious in itself, because nothing is good in itself, but the sovereign divine will declares what it wills to be good and meritorious. And so Duns has not hesitated to assert that an angel, or even a purus homo who should have remained free from original sin and been endowed with grace, could have redeemed us. It is a question merely of receiving the first impulse; the rest every man must acquire for himself together with grace. Grace must only raise him, so to speak, above the point at which he is dead. Of course, Duns made the further effort to show the conveniens of the death of the God-man, and here he works out essentially the same thoughts as Thomas. But this no more belongs, strictly speaking, to dogmatic. For dogmatic, it is enough if it is proved that in virtue of His arbitrary will God has destined a particular number to salvation; that in virtue of the same arbitrary will He already determined before the creation of the world, that the election should be carried out through the suffering of the God-man; and that He now completes this plan by accepting the merit of the God-man, imparting the gratia prima to the elect, and then expecting the rest from their personal efforts. Here the reason at bottom for Christ’s having died is its having been prophesied (see Justin), and it was prophesied because God so decreed it. Everything “infinite” — which is surely the expression for what is divine and alone of its kind — is here cleared away; as a fact, human action would have been enough here, for nothing is necessary in the moral sense, and nowhere does there appear more than a quasi-infinity.323323See Ritschl, I., pp. 73-82; Werner, p. 454 ff. In Sentent. III., Dist. 19, Q. 1. The 20 Dist. is entirely devoted to the refutation of Anselm. Let us quote some leading sentences here: “Sicut omne aliud a deo ideo est bonum, quia a deo volitum, et non e converso, sic meritum illud tantum bonum erat, pro quanto acceptabatur et ideo meritum, quia acceptatum, non autem e converso quia meritum est et bonum, ideo acceptatum.” . . .“Christi passio electis solum primam gratiam disponentem ad gloriam consummatam efficaciter meruit. Quantum vero adtinet ad meriti sufficientiam, fuit profecto illud finitum, quia causa ejus finita fuit, vid. voluntas naturæ assumptæ et summa gloria illi collata. Non enim Christus quatenus deus meruit, sed in quantum homo. Proinde si exquiras, quantum valuerit Christi meritum secundum sufficientiam, valuit procul dubio quantum fuit a deo acceptatum, si quidem divina acceptatio est potissima causa et ratio omnis meriti. Omne enim aliud a deo ideo est bonum quia a deo dilectum, et non e contrario . . .deus non acceptat opus idcirco quod sit meritorium aut bonum. Tantum ergo valuit Christi meritum sufficienter, quantum potuit et voluit ipsum trinitas acceptare. Verum tamen ex sua ratione formali et de condigno non potuit in infinitum seu pro infinitis acceptari, quia nec illud in se fuit formaliter infinitum. Nihilosecius si spectes suppositi merentis circumstantiam et dignitatem, habebat quandam extrinsecam rationem, propter quam de congruo in infinitum extensive, id est pro infinitis, potuit acceptari. Sed quid meruit Christus? Meruit sane primam gratiam omnibus qui eam recipiunt, quæ et absque nostro merito confertur. Nam licet in adultis qui baptizantur non desideretur aliqua dispositio, nihilominus non merentur illam gratiam per suam dispositionem . . .nullus actu ingreditur regnum cœleste, nisi cooperetur, si habuerit facultatem, et utatur prima gratia, quam sibi Christus promeruit.” This 198theory, the product of thought on the uncontrollable, predestinating arbitrariness of God (and on legal righteousness), stands side by side with an explicit doctrine of two natures!324324Certainly this doctrine of two natures, from its Nestorianism, has already the tendency in it to do away with the deity of Christ. But it is quite distinctly irreligious in this respect, that it confines the work of Christ to the procuring of that “gratia prima” (primary grace), which is nothing but the creating of a kind of possibility, in order that man may himself take concern for the reality of his redemption.325325The redemption theory of Scotus, which, dialectically considered, is superior to the Thomist through its completeness, is very severely criticised even by Schwane, who, however, does not bring out its Pelagian feature (p. 327 ff.). He speaks of “shallow apprehension of the incarnation, and a weakening of the conceptions of righteousness and merit.”
By Scotus it was brought about that this doctrine also became severed from faith, and was entirely transformed into a dialectic problem. In this lies the disintegration of dogma through Scotism. The doctrine of the Trinity, Christology, and the doctrine of redemption, were now happily withdrawn from the domain of the inwardly necessary, comforting faith that saves. Thus it continued to be in the Nominalist school. Only in the one particular, which, however, was constantly brought under the category of the conveniens — namely, that the love of God shown in the death of Christ becomes a motive to reciprocal love — did there survive a meagre remnant of an inspiring thought. While in the fourteenth century the Scotist theory of satisfactio secundum acceptationem (satisfaction on the ground of acceptance) gained always more adherents, was here and 199there carried even to the point of blasphemy by the formalism of dialectic, and had an influence even on the Thomists, traces are not wanting in the fifteenth century that more serious reflection, dealing with the essence of the matter, had begun to return. This had undoubtedly a connection with the revival of Augustinianism, perhaps also with a renewed study of St. Bernard, and it is to be met with more in the practical religious, than in the systematic expositions; indeed, in the former the thought of Christ’s having borne the penalty of guilt in the interests of the righteousness of God seems never to have entirely disappeared. Ritschl points to Gerson.326326L.c. I., p. 85. “Gerson declares sin to be the crime of high treason, and finds God’s righteousness so great that in mercy He surrenders His innocent Son to penalty, evidences, in this way, the harmony between His righteousness and His mercy, and removes sin on condition that the sinner unites himself to Christ by faith, i.e., by obedience and imitation.327327 Expos. in pass. dom. (Opp. ed. du Pin III. pp. 1157, 1187, 1188): “Per læsæ majestatis crimen morti est obnoxius. Rex tamen adeo justus fuerit, quod nec ullo pacto crimen tuum dimittere velit impunitum, altera vero ex parte tam benignus et misericors, quod proprium filium suum innocentem doloribus committat et morti, et quidem sponte sua, ut justitiam concordet cum misericordia fiatque criminis emendatio. . . . Nunquam deus malum impunitum permitteret, eapropter omnia peccata et delicta nostra Jesu Christo supposuit. Ideo ipse est justitia et redemptio nostra, modo nos junxerimus ei et per fidem gratiamque ei adhæserimus.” In the Nominalist school the same view is still to be met with in Gabriel Biel.328328See Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, III., 1, p. 249 ff. Seeberg, l.c., p. 147. In the end, even John Wessel comes back to it.” But Ritschl is inclined to think that the idea of the penal value of Christ’s death, which, from the time of Athanasius, had ever again appeared sporadically in the Church, did not pass from Biel and Wessel to the Reformers.329329In dealing with the history of dogma, we are not required to enter on the history of the doctrine of Scripture, for that doctrine underwent no change, even the uncertainties about the Canon were not removed, and the slight differences in the way of understanding the notion of inspiration have no weight attaching to them. The history of Bible prohibition, or of the restriction of the use of the Bible among the laity, does not fall to be considered here (see above, p. 156).200
B. The Scholastic Doctrine of the Sacraments.330330Münscher, § 138-152. Hahn, Lehre v. d. Sacramenten, 1864: same author, Doctr. romanæ de num. sacram. septennario rationes hist. 1859. Schwane, 1.c., pp. 579-693.
The uncertainty of the Schoolmen regarding the doctrine of redemption, and the fact that the treatment of it could be as easily relegated by them to the School as the doctrines of the Trinity and of the natures in Christ, are explained from the circumstance, that in the doctrine of the Sacraments it was definitely set forth what faith in the divine grace in Christ needed. In the Sacraments this grace is exhibited, and in the Sacrament of the Eucharist particularly it is clearly and intelligibly traced back — through the doctrine of transubstantiation — to the in-carnation and death of Christ. That was enough. Those facts now form merely the presuppositions; faith lives in the contemplation and enjoyment of the Sacraments. But the Sacraments are committed to the Church, and are administered by the hierarchy (as servants, priests, and as judges). Thus the connection with Christ, which is effected only through the Sacraments, is at the same time mediated by the Church. Christ and the Church indeed are really made one, in so far as the same Church which administers the Sacraments is also, as the mystical body of Christ, so to speak, one mystical person with Him. This is the fundamental thought of Mediæval Catholicism, which was adhered to even by the majority of those who opposed themselves to the ruling hierarchy.
The Schoolmen’s doctrine of the Sacraments has its root in that of Augustine; but it goes far beyond it (formally and materially). Above all, there was not merely a passing out of view in the Middle Ages of the connection between verbum and sacramentum, on which Augustine had laid such stress, but the verbum disappeared entirely behind the sacramental sign. The conception became still more magical, and consequently more objectionable. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that in its seven Sacraments Catholicism created a very efficient and impressive institution of an educational kind, the service of 201which, however, for the individual, did not consist in giving him certainty of salvation, but in training him as a member of the Church. And yet the mediæval doctrine of the Sacraments must be regarded, at least in its Thomist form, as the logical development of the Old Catholic fundamental view; for the definition of grace given by Thomas (P. III., Q. 62, Art. 1): “grace is nothing else than the communicated likeness of the divine nature, according to the passage II Pet. I: he hath given to us great and precious promises, that we may be partakers of the divine nature” (gratia nihil est aliud quam participata similitudo divinæ naturae secundum illud, II Pet. I: Magna nobis et pretiosa promissa donavit, ut divina simus consortes natura), allows of no other form of grace than the magical sacramental. Augustine’s view, which, however, does not at bottom contradict the one just stated, is here thrust aside, and only comes under consideration so far as a link with it is found in the “participata similitudo divine naturae” (communicated likeness of the divine nature). Hence the further suppression of the verbum, to which even Augustine, though he has the merit of having taken account of it, had not done full justice.
A strictly developed doctrine of the Sacraments could not exist, so long as the number of the Sacraments was not definitely fixed. But on this point, as antiquity had handed down nothing certain, the greatest vacillation prevailed for centuries, so difficult was it to determine anything which had not already been determined by the tradition of ancient times. The doctrine of the Sacraments was accordingly developed under the disadvantage of not knowing for certain to what sacred acts the general conceptions were to be applied. Still, theology had already wrought for long with the number seven, before the number was officially recognised by the Church.
The number seven developed itself in the following way: As sacred acts in a pre-eminent sense, there had been handed down from ecclesiastical antiquity only baptism and the Eucharist, but baptism included the Chrisma (anointing). This last could be counted separately or not. At the same time, there was an indefinite group of sacred acts which were enumerated quite variously (the reckoning of the Areopagite was not determinative). 202Bernard, e.g., speaks of many Sacraments, and himself mentions ten.331331See Hahn, p. 103 f., and in general the copious proofs, pp. 79-133. Even Hugo of St. Victor gives quite a special place to baptism and the Eucharist. Yet it was just he who contributed to a widening of the conception. By him,332332Summa sentent. tract., 5-7. as well as by Abelard,333333See Deutsch, Abälard, p. 401 ff. there are reckoned as the sacramenta majora or spiritualia baptism, the Eucharist, confirmation, unction334334Extreme unction cannot be traced back under the term “Sacrament” further than to Innocent I. (ep. ad Decent). and marriage.335335Marriage of course is very often named a sacrament from the earliest times, on the ground of the Epistle to the Ephesians. How this combination arose is unknown. It continued to exist, however, in the school of Abelard, i.e., there was no reduction again made, only additions followed. Robert Pullus may have exercised an influence here,336336Sentent. V. 22-24; VII. 14. who in his Sentences counts along with the other three Sacraments, not unction and marriage, but confession337337How gradually the “sacrament of penance” arose our whole account in the foregoing chapters has shown; see Steitz, Das Römische Buss-sacrament, 1854. Gregory I. called the reconciliatio of the sinner a sacrament. From the time of Petrus Damiani (69. orat.) confession was often so described, e.g., even by Bernard. and ordination.338338Since Augustine’s time ordination had very frequently been styled a “sacrament”; but even the anointing of princes, and the consecration of bishops and of churches, etc., were regarded as Sacraments. From the combination of these reckonings the number seven as applied to the Sacraments may have arisen.339339In a passing way the number six also occurs. In the twelfth century, moreover, the considerations connected with the Sacraments have a very close connection with the struggle against the heretics (Catharists). It may be that subsequent investigation will succeed in showing that the fixing of the number seven was the direct consequence of this struggle. No doubt the sacred number also gave fixity to this particular enumeration.340340See Hahn, p. 113 f. It is first found in the Sentence Book of Alexander III., when he was still Master Roland,341341Denifle in Archiv. f. Litt.-u. K.-Gesch. d. Mittelalters, vol. I., pp. 437, 460, 467. and then in the Lombard.342342Sentent. IV., dist. 2 A. The former view, that Otto of Bamberg already has the number seven, is disproved; see Hahn, p. 107. The latter however represents it, not as a recognised tenet, but as his own view, without 203specially emphasising it. The vacillation continued to exist even in the period that followed. The decrees of the great Councils of 1179 and 1215 imply that there was still nothing fixed as to the number of the Sacraments. But the great Schoolmen of the thirteenth century, who followed the Lombard, all accepted seven as the number of the Sacraments, and although special stress was laid by them on baptism and particularly the Eucharist, which was described, e.g., by Thomas as the most potent of all the Sacraments (“potissimum inter alia sacramenta sacramentum,”)343343P. III., Q. 65, Art. 4: “Sacramentum eucharistiæ est potissimum inter alia sacramenta. Reasons: (i) because in it there is contained Christus substantialiter, not merely a virtus instrumentalis participata a Christo: (2) because all other Sacraments look to this Sacrament sicut ad finem (this is then proved in the case of each separately); (3) because almost all Sacraments in eucharistia consummantur.” they already made some attempt to vindicate the number on internal grounds.344344In l.c. the Sacraments are graded according to their value: “Aliorum sacramentorum (i.e., the Eucharist is previously assumed to be the chief Sacrament) comparatio ad invicem potest esse multiplex. Nam in via necessitatis baptismus est potissimum sacramentorum, in via autem perfectionis sacramentum ordinis; medio autem modo se habet sacramentum confirmationis. Sacramentum vero pænitentiæ et extremæ unctionis sunt inferioris gradus a prædictis sacramentis, quia, sicut dictum est, ordinantur ad viam Christianam non per se, sed quasi per accidens, scil. in remedium supervenientis defectus. Inter quæ extrema unctio comparatur ad pænitentiam, sicut confirmatio ad baptismum; ita scil. quod pænitentia est majoris necessitatis, sed extrema unctio est majoris perfectionis.” But in Q. 65, Art. 1, the number seven is justified at length. The Sacraments are instituted “ad perficiendum hominem in his quæ pertinent ad cultum dei secundum religionem Christianæ vitæ et in remedium contra defectum peccati. Utroque modo convenienter ponuntur VII. sacramenta. Vita enim spiritualis conformitatem aliquam habet ad vitam corporalem.” In the bodily life of the individual there is taken into consideraton his individual weal and his weal as a social being. This is then set forth scholastically in several sub-sections, and it is then shown that in the spiritual life baptism means birth (regeneration), confirmation the augmentum (robur), the eucharist, nourishment; penance, healing of the maladies that have supervened; extreme unction, the taking away of the “reliquiæ peccatorum.” These five Sacraments relate to the individual. To man as animal sociale there relate also in spiritual things ordo and marriage. Proof: the potestas regendi multitudinem et exercendi actus publicos is necessary in the spiritual life, and marriage provides for the propagatio tam in corporali quam in spirituali vita. In the same way it is now shown that each separate Sacrament has also its meaning contra defectum peccati, and that the number seven is conveniens (e.g., ordo contra dissolutionem multitudinis and marriage in remedium contra concupiscentiam personalem et contra defectum multitudinis, qui per mortem accidit). Thomas also mentions another view, which he had found entertained by others: “fidei respondet baptismus et ordinatur c. culpam originalem, spei extrema unctio et ordinatur c. culpam venialem, caritati eucharistia et ordinatur c. pœnalitatem malitiæ, prudentiæ ordo et ordinatur c. ignorantiam, justitiæ pænitentia et ordinatur c. peccatum mortale, temperantiæ matrimonium et ordinatur c. concupiscentiam, fortitudini confirmatio et ordinatur c. infirmitatem.” We may smile at these attempts; but yet we shall not be able to deny the serviceableness of this combination of the seven Sacraments which accompany life. The inclusion particularly of orders on the one hand, and of marriage on the other, was a master-stroke of a perhaps unconscious policy. For the first 204time at Florence (1439) was there a definite ecclesiastical declaration made as to seven being the number of the Sacraments.345345Eugene IV. in Bull “Exultate deo” (Mansi XXXI., p. 1054): “(sacramentorum septem noviæ legis) quinque prima ad spiritalem uniuscujusque hominis in se ipso perfectionem, duo ultima ad totius ecclesiæ regimen multiplicationemque ordinata sunt (quite according to Thomas, see above); per baptismum enim spiritualiter renascimur, per confirmationem augemur in gratia et roboramur in fide, renati autem et roborati nutrimur divina eucharistiæ alimonia. Quod si per peccatum ægritudinem incurrimus animæ, per pœnitentiam spiritualiter sanamur, spiritualiter etiam et corporaliter, prout animæ expedit, per extremam unctionem; per ordinem vero ecclesia gubernatur et multiplicatur spiritualiter, per matrimonium corporaliter augetur.”
The technical revision of the conception of the sacrament begins with Hugo of St. Victor. He sets out from the Augustinian definition: “sign of a sacred thing” (“visible form of invisible grace”), but it appears to him unsatisfactory, because too wide. He adds to it two things: first, that the sacrament must have a natural resemblance to the sacred thing which it represents; second, that it is also the vehicle of this sacred thing, and communicates it to the receiver of the sign. Hence (de sacram, Christ. fid. I. 9, 2): “A sacrament is a corporeal or material element set forth sensibly to view, representing by resemblance, signifying by institution, and containing by consecration some invisible and spiritual grace” (sacramentum est corporale vel materiale elementum foris sensibiliter propositum ex similitudine repræsentans, ex institutione significans et ex sanctificatione continens aliquam invisibilem et spiritalem gratiam), or (Summa tract. IV. 1): “a sacrament is a visible form of invisible grace conveyed in it, i.e., which the sacrament itself conveys, for it is not only the sign of a sacred thing, but also its efficacious operation” (sacramentum est visibilis forma invisibilis gratiæ in eo collatæ, quam scil. confert ipsum sacramentum, non enim est solummodo sacræ rei signum sed etiam 205efficacia). The sacrament has, further, the similitudo from nature, the significatio from institution, the efficacia through the consecrating word of the priest, or the first from the Creator, the second from Christ,346346But Hugo still refrained from tracing all Sacraments to institution by Christ. and the third from the dispenser (!). This German “Mystic” was therefore the first to give fixed form to the mischievous definition which so sadly externalised the sacrament and eliminated the word. The Augustinian distinction between the sacrament and the saving benefit in the sacrament (res sacramenti or res cujus sacramentum est) Hugo retained.
Hugo’s definition passed over to the Lombard, and was never again set aside in the Church. By it the Sacraments, in the stricter sense of the term, were raised above the field of the “sacramentalia”: the Sacraments are not merely signs; they are vehicles and “causes” of sanctification. The Lombard defines thus (Sent. IV., Dist. 1 B): “That is properly called a sacrament which is a sign of the grace of God, and a form of invisible grace in such a way that it bears the image thereof, and exists as a cause (et causa existat). Sacraments, therefore, are instituted for the purpose, not merely of signifying, but also of sanctifying. For things that are merely instituted for the sake of signifying are only signs and not sacraments, as were the carnal sacrifices and ceremonial observances of the old law.” But, further, Sacraments are “;signa data” (signs given, not “natural” signs), in the sense, namely, that they rest on free divine institution. The Lombard differs, accordingly, from Hugo in his regarding as necessary, not a corporeal or material element, but only some kind of sign, which may therefore consist also in an act; and also in his not saying that the Sacraments contain grace, but only — with greater caution — that they effect it causally.
In general, this definition of the Lombard lies at the foundation of the later definitions. But the more firmly it came to be held that the number of the Sacraments was seven, the more distinctly was the difficulty felt of applying the definition given to all the Sacraments individually. Hence it is not to be wondered at that the Nominalist theologians abstained more and 206more from giving a general definition that dealt with the essence347347Biel, Sentent. IV., Dist. 1., Q. 1, dub. 1 (see Hahn, 1.c., p. 18 f.): “Sciendum quod duplex est definitio. — Una est oratio exprimens quid rei, alia est oratio exprimens quid nominis. Primo modo nihil definitur, nisi sit res una h. e. terminus significans unam rem (that is logical Nominalism). Definitione quid nominis potest omnis terminus categorematicus definiri, quicquid significet in recto vel in obliquo. Nam pro omni nomine possunt poni plura nomina distincte significantia illa, quæ significantur per illud unum nomen tam in recto quam in obliquo. Ad propositum dicitur, quod sacramentum non potest definiri primo modo h. e., definitione quid rei quia sacramentum non res una, sed aggregatum ex pluribus . . . sed tantum definitur definitione quid nominis.”.
Thomas begins (III., Q. 60) his statement of the doctrine of the Sacraments with the words: “After consideration of those things which relate to the mysteries of the incarnate Word, there are to be considered the Sacraments of the Church, which have efficacy from the incarnate Word Himself”348348More exactly, Q. 62, Art. 5: “Sacramenta novæ legis habent virtutem ex passione Christi.” Hence also the incorporatio in Christo is the effect (Q. 62, Art. 1). By these terms, the unguarded definition of Hugo is set aside. He then proceeds, down to Quest. 65, to state the general doctrine of the Sacraments. Here it is worthy of note that Thomas, going still further than the Lombard, modifies the cruder conception of Hugo (“continet”). Indeed, he will not accept, without guarding clauses, the “causa existit” of the Lombard. He rejects, certainly, the opinion of Bernard and others, that God only works “adhibitis sacramentis” (with employment of sacraments). This would not lead beyond an interpretation of them as signs; but he then shows that it can be said of the Sacraments that “in some way” (per aliquem modum) they “cause grace.” The “causa principalis” of grace, rather, is God, who works as the fire does by its warmth, that is, communicates in grace His own nature. The Sacraments are the “causa instrumentalis”; but this latter cause “does not act by virtue of its own form, but only through the impulse it receives from the principal agent” (non agit per virtutem suæ formæ, sed solum per motum quo movetur a principali agente). “Hence the effect does not derive its character from the instrument, but from the principal agent; as a couch does not derive its character from 207the axe, but from the design which is in the mind of the artificer (unde effectus non assimilatur instrumento sed principali agenti; sicut lectus non assimilatur securi, sed arti, quæ est in mente artificis). And in this way the Sacraments of the new law cause grace, for they are applied to men by divine appointment (ex divina ordinatione) for the purpose of causing grace in them (ad gratiam in eis causandam). . . . It is to be asserted that the causa principalis cannot properly be called the sign of an effect that may be hidden (effectus licet occulti), though the cause itself is sensible and manifest; but the causa instrumentalis, if it be manifest, can be called the sign of a hidden effect, because (eo quod) it is not only cause, but also in a certain way (quodammodo) effect, in so far as it is set in motion (movetur) by the principal agent. And according to this, the Sacraments of the new law are at the same time causes and signs, and hence it is that it is commonly said of them, that they effect what they symbolise (efficiunt quod figurant).” The “causæ et signa” is in the style of Old Catholic thought; but the opposition of a spiritual to a coarse Mysticism is quite specially apparent here. In the period that followed, the loosening of grace from sacrament, in the sense of regarding the latter as merely associated with the former, was carried still further, but not because a more spiritual view was advocated (as by Thomas), or because weight was laid on the “word,”349349This laying of weight on the word would, on the other hand, have necessarily led to the recognition of a closer union of sacrament and grace; for the word, as the word of forgiveness of sin, is itself the grace. The mistake therefore of Thomas and the Lombard does not lie in their uniting the Sacraments too closely with grace by calling them causæ (indeed the position, rather, of Hugo is correct — “continent gratiam”); their mistake lies in their defining grace as “participata similitudo divinæ naturæ”; for to describe a grace so conceived of as the content or the effect of the Sacraments amounts to changing the Sacrament into a magical means. We can understand the relative title which the Nominalists had as over against this, to regard the grace so conceived of as merely accompanying the Sacrament; but by this again the certainty and comforting power of God’s offer of grace were imperilled. but because the conception of God, which indeed exercised its influence even upon Thomas, only in another way, allowed only of a conjunction by virtue of divine arbitrariness.350350Brevilog., p. VI., c. I. Bonaventura already had denied, both that the Sacraments contain grace substantially (substantialiter), and 208that they effect it causally (causaliter); God has not bound His grace to the Sacraments, but has appointed by decree (“ex decreto”) that it shall be derived “per sacramenta” from the supreme physician, Christ. In this direction Scotus went further. He defines the Sacrament351351In Sentent. IV., Dist. 2, Q. 2. as “a sensible sign, which efficaciously signifies, by divine appointment, the grace of God, or the gracious effect of God, and is ordained for the salvation of man the pilgrim” (signum sensibile, gratiam dei vel effectum dei gratuitum ex institutione divina efficaciter significans, ordinatum ad salutem hominis viatoris). But the ambiguous formula, which he employs elsewhere also, “significans efficaciter effectum dei gratuitum” (signifying efficaciously the gracious effect of God), really means that God’s grace works side by side with the Sacraments; for the cause of grace is exclusively the divine will, while this cause is represented by the Sacrament, in the Sacrament’s accompanying it (concomitatur). There does not lie in the Sacraments an “intrinsic supernatural virtue,”352352In this there is a gratifying protest expressed against the magical. but (in Sentent. IV., Dist. 1, Q. 5) “the receiving of the Sacrament is an appointment binding in order to the effect which the Sacrament signifies (dispositio necessitans ad effectum signatum per sacramentum), not, indeed, through some intrinsic form, . . . but only per assistentiam dei (through the aid of God), who causes that effect, not of absolute necessity, but by a necessity that has regard to the power ordained (necessitate respiciente ad potentiam ordinatam). For God has made the appointment universal (disposuit universaliter), and has certified to the Church (but how ?)353353Scotus speaks even directly of a “pactum dei initum cum ecclesia,” that He will always be present at the Sacraments with His influence. that on him who receives such a Sacrament, He will confer the signified effect.” The same doctrine was taught by Occam and Biel.354354Yet Biel endeavours, by means of ingenious distinctions, to get beyond the idea of mere concomitance, and to conceive in such a way of the “pactum cum ecclesia” that God is thought of as in virtue of it making the Sacraments causæ secundæ of grace, just as all that happens in the world is caused by causæ secundæ, which have their efficiency from the causa prima; see Dieckhoff, Ev. Abendmahlslehre, p. 219. But this view is directly counter to that of Thomas, who had asserted that in the Sacrament itself there is 209inwardly present “a virtue for producing the sacramental effect” (virtus ad inducendum sacramentalem effectum). The Nominalist thesis wanted inward stability; for it is quite formalistic, and leaves the concrete nature of the gracious effect out of account. This point being reached, a threefold development was possible; either that there should be a turning back to the Old Catholic realism of Thomas (Biel already entered upon this course, and later Catholicism followed him), or that the Sacraments should be conceived of strictly as signs (thus many mediæval sects and Zwingli), or that the content of the gracious will of God should be defined anew, namely, as the word of the gospel, and it should be shown that this word forms also the content of the Sacrament, that the two therefore coincide. Of one thing, at any rate, there can be no doubt, viz., that the motive of the so-called “evangelical” opposition on the part of many sects and “Earlier Reformers” to the reigning view of the Sacraments, is to be sought for in logical Nominalism, that at bottom the opposition directed itself therefore against the Thom ist practice. The “word,” so far as my knowledge goes, was not seen to be the content of the Sacrament and of the divine will.
Now there was still an almost countless number of questions of detail regarding the Sacraments,355355Hahn has distinguished the following leading points of inquiry: the conception of the Sacraments, their necessity, their serviceableness, their difference at different periods of human history, the conception of New Testament Sacraments, their parts, their institution, the administrators of the several Sacraments, the conditions under which the Sacraments come to exist, their effect (their character indelebilis, their gracious effect (a) in its nature, (b) relation of the different Sacraments in respect of their gracious effect, (c) more precise definition of the gracious effect of the Sacraments severally) origin and conditions of the sacramental efficacy. in answering which the Thomists and Scotists were, as usual, of different opinions. First of all, Thomas (following Augustine) distinguished sharply between the Sacraments of the old and new Covenants. The former only prefigured grace, the latter cause it. But already Bonaventura, and after him Scotus, were of opinion that certain Old Testament institutions (circumcision) were real Sacraments. Yet Bonaventura also made the distinction, that only the New Testament Sacraments are efficacious per se (the Old Testament 210only “per accidens,” that is, by means of the added faith!!),356356Even Thomas makes this distinction in Sentent. IV., Dist. 2, Q. 1, Art. 4, and, moreover, we find here the expression “ex opere operato,” which we look for in vain in parallel passages of the Summa, although he has the thing it denotes (Q. 61, Art. IV., and elsewhere). In the commentary on the Lombard the words occur: “Sacramenta veteris legis non habebant aliquam efficaciam ex opere operato sed solum ex fide; non autem ita est de sacramentis novæ legis, quæ ex opere operato gratiam conferunt.” On the expression “ex opere operato” see R.-Encyckl.2 XIII., p. 277 f. It was already used in the twelfth century (not by the Lombard), before it was applied to the Sacraments. As distinguished from the expression “ex opere operantis or operante,” it denotes that the act as such is meant, not the actor. An effect ex opere operato therefore is an effect that is produced simply by the act itself as performed, independently of all co-operation of him who performs it, or of him who derives benefit from it. Peter of Poictiers is supposed to have been the first to use the term in connection with the doctrine of the Sacraments (he adds further “ut liceat uti.”) William of Auxerre says: “Opus operans est ipsa actio (oblatio) vituli, opus operatum est ipsa caro vituli sc. ipsum oblatum, ipsa caro Christi.” Also Albertus M. on John 6, 29: “Dixerunt antiqui dicentes, quod est opus operans et opus operatum. Opus operans est, quod est in operante virtutis opus vel a virtute elicitum vel quod est essentialis actus virtutis, et sine illo nihil valet virtus ad salutem. Opus autem operatum est extrinsecum factum quod apothelesma vocant sancti, sicut operatum legis est sacrificium factum vel circumcisio facta vel tale aliquid.” while Scotus declared circumcision to be a Sacrament efficacious ex opere operato (“by effect of Christ’s passion”). But at the Council of Florence Thomas’s view was approved:357357Mansi XXXI., p. 1054. “the Sacraments of the new law differ much from the Sacraments of the old law. For the earlier did not cause grace, but only prefigured a grace to be given through the passion of Christ, while those which we have both contain grace, and convey it to those who worthily receive” (complete return to the position of Hugo and Thomas).
In what follows the chief points of the Thomist doctrine are stated, since that doctrine finally became dominant:
Generically (in genere) the Sacraments as a whole are necessary to salvation, but specifically (in specie) this applies, in the strictest sense, only to baptism. The other Sacraments partly come under the rule “non defectus sed contemptus damnat” (not omission but contempt condemns), and they are partly necessary only under particular circumstances (orders, marriage, extreme unction, even the Sacrament of Penance). But the perplexity 211showing itself here appears still greater when the Sacraments are considered in their effects. It is here seen, that is to say, that according to the Augustinian distinction of sacramentum and res sacramenti all would require to have a threefold effect, namely, first, a significative (sacramentum); second, a neutral (as compared with the real saving benefit of grace) or preparatory (sacramentum et res) — Augustine called this character, and compared it with the corporalis nota militiæ (corporal mark of military service); and, third, a saving effect (res sacramenti). Now, this distinction Thomas also followed. He shows that those who are set apart to the service of God must, first of all, have a certain stamp impressed on them, as in the case of soldiers. Through this process of stamping a certain capacity is imparted, i.e., for receptio et traditio cultus dei (receiving and administering the worship of God); hence the character is the “character Christi.” This character is not implanted in the essentia (essence), but in the potentia (powers) of the soul, and as participatio sacerdotii Christi (participation in the priesthood of Christ) is engraven on the soul “indelibly,” and hence cannot be repeated. Yet all Sacraments do not impart such a character, but only those which qualify the man “ad recipiendum vel tradendum ea quæ sunt divini cultus” (for receiving and dispensing those things which pertain to divine worship), and this holds good of baptism, confirmation, and orders. The objection, that surely all Sacraments make man a “partaker of the priesthood of Christ,” and so, must impart a character, is obviated by the ingenious distinction between that formula and the other: “deputari ad agendum aliquid vel recipiendum quod pertineat ad cultum sacerdotii Christi” (deputed to do something or receive something that pertains to the worship connected with the priesthood of Christ) (baptism, orders, confirmation).358358P. III., Q. 63, Art. 2-6; cf. 1: “sacramenta novæ legis ad duo ordinantur, vid, ad remedium c. peccata et ad perficiendam animam in his quæ pertinent ad cultum dei secundum ritum Christianæ vitæ. Quicumque autem ad aliquid certum deputatur, consuevit ad illud consignari, sicut milites qui adscribebantur ad militiam antiquitus solebant quibusdam characteribus corporalibus insigniri, eo quod deputabantur ad aliquid corporale.” This is then applied to the spiritual, see Art. 2: “Sacramenta novæ legis characterem imprimunt, in quantum per ea deputantur homines ad cultum dei secundum ritum Christianæ religionis.” Also Art. 3: “Totus ritus christianæ religionis derivatur a sacerdotio Christi, et ideo manifestum est, quod character sacramentalis specialiter est character Christi, cujus sacerdotio configurantur fideles secundum sacramentales characteres, qui nihil aliud sunt quam quædam participationes sacerdotii Christi.” So 212also if the serious objection is urged that “in any Sacrament of the new law there is something that is only res, and something that is only sacramentum, and something that is res and sacramentum,” and that therefore in every Sacrament a character is to be assumed, since this character is just res and sacramentum, the objection is got quit of by saying that that which is at the same time res and sacramentum does not require always to be a character.359359The real, at least the original, motive here, is to save the objectivity of the sacrament in view of unbelieving reception. This whole theory was sanctioned at Florence (1. c.): “Among the Sacraments there are three which indelibly impress on the soul character, that is, a certain spiritual sign distinct from the rest (a cæteris); hence they are not repeated in the same person. But the remaining four do not impress character and admit of repetition.”
The question, “What is a Sacrament?”360360Q. 60. is answered as follows: it is (1) a sign; (2) not any sign whatever of a sacred thing (quodvis rei sacræ signum), but such a sign of a sacred thing as makes man holy; (3) this “making holy” (sanctificare) is to be looked at under three aspects: “ the cause of our sanctification is the passion of Christ, the form of sanctification consists in grace and virtues, the ultimate end (finis) is life eternal.” Hence now the complete definition: “A sacrament is a sign commemorative of what went before (rememorativum ejus quod præcessit), viz., the passion of Christ, and representative (demonstrativum) of what is effected in us by the passion of Christ, viz., grace, and anticipatory, that is, predictive (prognosticum, i.e., prænuntiativum) of future glory”; (4) the sacrament must always be a “res sensibilis,” for it corresponds with the nature of man that he should attain to the knowledge of intelligible, through sensible, things; (5) these sensible signs must be “res determinate,” that is, God must have selected and appointed these things: “ in the use of Sacraments two things can be considered, viz., divine worship and the sanctification of 213man, of which the first pertains to men viewed in their relation to God (pertinet ad homines per comparationem ad deum), the second, on the other hand, pertains to God viewed in His relation to man; but it does not belong to anyone to determine what is in the power of another, but only what is in his own power”; hence “in the Sacraments of the new law, by which men are sanctified, it is necessary to use things appointed by divine institution (ex divina institutione determinatis)”; (6) it is very fitting that “words” also are used in connection with the Sacraments, because the Sacraments are thereby in a certain way conformed (quodammodo conformantur) to the incarnate Word, and can thus symbolise the sacred things more plainly;361361So it is only for this reason that the word is necessary in connection with the Sacrament. and, moreover (7) “verba determinata” are necessary, just as “res sensibiles determinatæ” are necessary, nay, they are necessary even in a higher degree; hence he who utters sacramental words in a corrupt form, if this is done designedly (qui corrupte profert verba sacramentalia, si hoc ex industria facit), does not show that he intends to do what the Church does, and thus the sacrament is not seen to be perfectly celebrated (non videtur perfici sacramentum); nay, even an unintentional lapsus linguæ, which destroys the sense of the words (e.g, if one says, “in nomine matris”) hinders the Sacrament from becoming perfect; likewise (8) every addition or subtraction annuls the Sacrament, if made with the intention of introducing another rite than that of the Church. Further, the res sensibiles are described as being the materia, the words as the forma (Aristotelian) of the Sacrament.362362Hugo and the Lombard had already described the “words” as the form. This view likewise was fixed ecclesiastically by the Bull of Eugene IV.: “Hæc omnia Sacramenta tribus perficiuntur, vid. rebus tamquam materia, verbis tamquam forma, et persona ministri conferentis sacramentum cum intentione faciendi quod facit ecclesia.”
To the question as to the necessity of the Sacraments,363363Q. 61. it is replied (1) that they are necessary on three grounds, (a) from the constitution of human nature (ex conditione humanæ naturæ; man must be led through the corporeal to the intelligible); (b) from the state of man (ex statu hominis; “medicinal remedy 214against the disease of sin”); (c) from a tendency in human action (ex studio actionis humanæ; man clings to the sensible, and it would be too hard to sever him entirely from it). To the objection, again, that the passion of Christ is surely sufficient in itself for salvation, the answer is given, that the Sacraments are not useless, “because they work in the power of Christ’s suffering, and the passion of Christ is somehow364364Observe this word; Thomas is a Mystic. applied to men by the Sacraments” (quia operantur in virtute passionis Christi, et passio Christi quodammodo applicatur hominibus per sacramenta); (2) in the state of innocence man neither required the Sacraments as a remedy for sin (pro remedio peccati), nor for perfecting the soul (pro perfectione animæ); (3) in the state of sin before Christ certain Sacraments were necessary “by which man might confess his faith concerning the future advent of the Saviour” (quibus homo fidem suam protestaretur de futuro salvatoris adventu); (4) in the Christian state Sacraments are necessary, “which represent those things which took place before in Christ” (quæ significant ea quæ præcesserunt in Christo). By this change in the Sacraments the unchangeableness of God is not affected, who, like a good father in a home, “gives different precepts to His family to suit different times” (“pro temporum varietate diversa præcepta familiæ suæ proponit”). The fathers were redeemed “by faith in the Christ who was to come,” we are redeemed “by faith in the Christ who has now been born and has suffered”; what they had to do with were Sacraments “that corresponded with grace that had to be foreshadowed” (quæ fuerunt congrua gratiæ præfigurandæ), what we have to do with are “Sacraments that correspond with grace that has to be shown as present” (sacramenta congrua gratiæ præsentialiter demonstrandæ).365365Cf. on this also Q. 62, Art. 6: “Sacramenta veteris legis non contulerunt gratiam justificantem per se ipsa, i.e., propria virtute, quia sic non fuisset necessaria passio Christi. . . . Manifestum est, quod a passione Christi, quæ est causa humanæ justificationis convenienter derivatur virtus justificativa ad sacramenta novæ legis, non autem ad sacramenta veteris legis. . . . Patet, quod sacramenta veteris legis non habebant in se aliquam virtutem qua operarentur ad conferendam gratiam justificantem, sed solum significabant fidem, per quam justificabantur.”
To the question as to the effect of the Sacraments366366Q.62. it is replied, 215that we must distinguish between “grace” and “character.” The latter has already been treated above; we have also learned to know the view of Thomas (p. 206) on the Sacraments as “instrumental causes” in addition to the “principal cause” (God). But Thomas has given more precise definitions as to the effect. First, it is laid down (Art. 2) that sacramental grace adds something beyond the “grace of virtues and gifts,” namely, “a certain divine help for securing the end of the Sacrament” (quoddam divinum auxilium ad consequendum sacramenti finem).367367“Gratia virtutem et donorum sufficienter perficit essentiam et potentias animæ, quantum ad generalem ordinationem actuum animæ, sed quantum ad quosdam effectus speciales, qui requiruntur in vita Christiana, requiritur sacramentalis gratia. — Per virtutes et dona excluduntur sufficienter vitia et peccata, quantum ad præsens et futurum, in quantum scil. impeditur homo per virtutes et dona a peccando; sed quantum ad præterita peccata, quæ transeunt actu et permanent reatu, adhibetur homini remedium specialiter per sacramenta. — Ratio sacramentalis gratiæ se habet ad gratiam communiter dictam, sicut ratio speciei ad genus, unde sicut non æquivoce dicitur animal communiter dictum et pro homine sumptum, ita non æquivoce dicitur gratia communiter sumpta et gratia sacramentalis.” The Protestant polemic had to come in here and show that the gratia virtutum et donorum as gratia fidei is the only grace, and that the sacramental grace in every sense is nothing but the manifestation of the gratia virtutum et donorum, or, say, of the general and only grace. Of this latter it is said (l.c.), “gratia secundum se considerata perficit essentiam animæ in quantum participat quandam similitudinem divini ‘esse’; et sicut ab essentia animæ fluunt ejus potentiæ, ita a gratia fluunt quædam perfectiones ad potentias animæ, quæ dicuntur virtutes et dona, quibus potentiæ perficiuntur in ordine ad suos actus.” But also: “Ordinantur autem sacramenta ad quosdam speciales effectus necessarios in vita Christiana.” Second, the proposition “sacramenta signant et continent (causant) gratiam” (the Sacraments signify and contain [cause] grace) is more exactly explained (Art. 3). Third, it is shown that, as there is contained in the Sacraments (Art. 4), and that, too, “in verbis et rebus” (in words and things), “a certain instrumental virtue for conveying grace (which is the effect of the Sacrament) that is proportioned to the instruments” (quædam instrumentalis virtus ad inducendam gratiam, quæ est sacramenti effectus, proportionata instrumento), this virtue originates “from the benediction of Christ and the application of it by the minister to sacramental use,” and is to be traced back to the “principal agent.” Fourth, the relation of sacramental grace to the passion of Christ is more precisely defined 216(Art. 5): “The principal cause of grace is God Himself, in relation to whom the humanity of Christ is, so to speak, a conjoined instrument (ad quem comparatur humanitas Christi sicut instrumentum conjunctum) (as e.g., the hand is a conjoined instrument), while the Sacrament is, as it were, a separate instrument (e.g., like a stick). And thus it is necessary that saving virtue be derived for the Sacraments from the divinity of Christ through His humanity (et ideo oportet, quod virtus salutifera a divinitate Christi per ejus humanitatem in ipsa sacramenta derivetur). But sacramental grace appears to be appointed (ordinari) for two things especially, viz., for the removal of the defects of past sins, in so far as they pass away as acts (transeunt actu) and remain as guilt (remanent reatu), and again for the perfecting of the soul in those things which pertain to the worship of God according to the religion of the Christian life. But it is manifest from what has been said above, that Christ has wrought for us, chiefly by His passion, a deliverance from our sins that is not only meritorious and sufficient but also satisfactory (quod Christus liberavit nos a peccatis nostris, præcipue per suam passionem non solum sufficienter et meritorie sed etiam satisfactorie). In like manner also He initiated by His passion the ritual (ritum) of the Christian religion, yielding Himself up as an offering and sacrifice to God (offerens se ipsum oblationem et hostiam deo), as it is declared in Ephes. V. Whence it is manifest that the Sacraments of the Church have their efficacy principally from the passion of Christ, of which the virtue is in some way united (copulatur) to us through receiving the Sacraments, as a sign of which (in cujus signum) there flowed from Christ as He hung upon the Cross water and blood, of which the one relates to baptism, the other to the eucharist, which are the most potent (potissima) Sacraments.”368368I have quoted the whole passage, because it shows more clearly than any other that the Catholic doctrine of the Sacraments is at bottom nothing but a reduplication of the redemption by Christ, or, to put it otherwise, a second structure above the first, by which the first is crushed to the ground. As grace was conceived of physically, but this physical grace could not be directly connected with the death of Christ or derived from it, it was necessary to associate with God the Redeemer, besides the instrumentum conjunctum (the God-man Jesus), still another instrumentum separatum (the Sacraments). If on the other hand the life and death of Christ can be so understood that these themselves are seen to be the grace and the Sacrament, the reduplication is useless. This is the evangelical Protestant point of view; at least it ought to be. Of course it is then no longer possible to conceive of grace physically; for in that case the Catholic doctrine of the Sacraments must again return, which is, how-ever, a pure invention of men, and has nothing to support it in the gospel history. This holds true notwithstanding the institution of the Supper by Jesus; for where is it found written that the consecrated elements “causant et continent gratiam ex opere operato”?217
To the question as to the “causa sacramentorum” (whether per auctoritatem or per ministerium) the reply is as follows:369369Q. 64. (1) as the “inner effect” of the Sacraments is justification, it appears as if this effect could be produced only by God; but by way of administering (“per modum ministri”) man also (the priest) can be the “ instrumental cause “ of the effect. Whether he is more or less good does not come into account here; the effect of the Sacrament remains always the same, nay, even as regards the “annexa,” the priest’s prayers, it makes no difference what the character of the priest is; for they are offered “ex parte ecclesiæ” (on the part of the Church), not on the part of an individual person. (2) God alone is the “institutor sacramentorum,” from whom alone also their “virtus” proceeds. Hence it follows: “those things which are done in the Sacraments by appointment of men (per homines instituta) are not necessary to the sacrament (de necessitate sac.), but have to do with a certain solemn observance of it (pertinent ad quandam solemnitatem) . . . but those things which are necessary to the Sacraments are instituted by Christ Himself, who is God and man. And although all things are not handed down in Scripture, yet the Church has these things from a well-known (familiari) tradition of the Apostles, as the Apostle says, 1. Cor. XI.: The rest will I set in order when I come.”370370If the necessaria in sacramentis are all to be traced to Christ the institutor, then the Bible is not enough; tradition must be appealed to; but where is then the limit? To the objection that the Apostles acted as God’s representatives (“vicem dei”) on earth, and therefore might also be institutors of Sacraments, it is replied, that they were certainly not allowed to set up another Church, and so also “it was not lawful for them to institute other Sacraments, (for) it is by Sacraments that the Church of Christ is declared to 218be formed (fabricata).” (3) It is laid down that the authority in the Sacraments belongs to Christ as God, but that He as man “ had the power of the chief ministry or pre-eminence and works meritoriously and effectually (potestatem ministerii principalis habuit seu excellentiæ et operatur meritorie et efficienter).” (4) It is shown that Christ could convey this “power of ministering” (not the “authority”) to other servants, viz., “by giving them such fulness of grace that their merit would operate for rendering the Sacraments effectual (operaretur ad sacramentorum effectus), that the Sacraments would be consecrated on the invocation of their names (ut ad invocationem nominorum ipsorum sanctificarentur sacramenta), and that they would themselves be able to institute Sacraments and, without the ritual of the Sacraments, be able to convey by their power alone the effect of the Sacraments (ut ipsi possent sacramenta instituere et sine ritu sacramentorum effectum sacramentorum conferre solo imperio).” But this “potestas excellentiæ” He has not conveyed to the servants, in order to avoid the “inconveniens,” that is, that there might not be many heads in the Church; “if He had nevertheless communicated it, He would Himself have been the head in the principal sense, and they only in a secondary (ipse esset caput principaliter, alii vero secundario).” (5) It is shown that the Sacraments can be validly celebrated even by bad servants, as these act only instrumentally, and “the instrument does not work by its own form or virtue, but by the virtue of him by whom it is moved (non agit secundum propriam formam aut virtutem sed secundum virtutem ejus a quo movetur); “ but of course (6) bad servants commit a mortal sin when they celebrate the Sacraments, though the sin does not extend to the receiver, “who does not communicate with the sin of the bad minister, but with the Church.” (7) The “intention” and “faith” of the minister are treated (in Art. 8 and 9). The former he must necessarily have,371371More precisely: “Quando aliquid se habet ad multa, oportet quod per aliquid determinetur ad unum, si illud effici debeat. Ea vero quæ in sacramentis aguntur possunt diversimode agi, sicut ablutio aquæ quæ fit in baptismo potest ordinari ad munditiam corporalem et ad ludum et ad multa alia hujusmodi. Et idea oportet ut determinetur ad unum, i.e., ad sacramentalem effectum per intentionem abluentis. Et hæc intentio exprimitur per verba quæ in sacramentis dicuntur, puta cum dicit: Ego te baptizo in nomine,” etc. An instrumentum inanimatum receives “loco intentionis motum a quo movetur,” but an instrumentum animatum must have the intentio, scil. “faciendi quod facit Christus et ecclesia.” But Thomas now places himself more decidedly on the side of the lax, i.e., he disputes the position that a mentalis intentio is necessary. What is enough, rather, as the minister acts in loco totius ecclesiæ, is the intention of the Church as actually expressed in the sacramental words which he speaks, “nisi contrarium exterius exprimatur ex parte ministri vel recipientis sacramentum. but not the latter: “as it is not required for 219the perfection of the Sacrament that the minister have love (sit in caritate), but sinners also can dispense Sacraments, so his faith is not required for the perfection of the Sacrament, but an unbeliever can dispense the true Sacrament, provided other things are present which are necessary to a Sacrament.” Thus even heretics can dispense the Sacraments, that is, “sacramentum,” not “res sacramenti”; for the “power of administering sacraments pertains to spiritual character, which is indelible (he confers, but sins in conferring).”
These doctrines of Thomas, from which a regard to faith (fides) is obviously lacking,372372Hence the 13th Art. of the Augustana; “Damnant illos, qui docent, quod sacramenta ex opere operato justificent, nec docent fidem requiri in usu sacramentorum, quæ credit remitti peccata.” and which altogether pass very rapidly over the question as to the conditions of saving reception of the Sacraments, underwent afterwards great modification from the time of Scotus onwards.373373Yet Scotus himself stands very near Thomas in the doctrine of the Sacraments. In many points, moreover, the Thomist theses were novelties, and hence were not forthwith received. Thus Thomas was the first to assert the origination of all Sacraments by Christ. Hugo374374On his want of logical thoroughness, see Hahn, p. 155. and the Lombard were frank enough to trace several Sacraments, not to Him, but to the Apostles, or to the pre-Christian Era (marriage), and were satisfied with saying that all Sacraments are now administered in the power of Christ (in potestate Christi). Only with Alexander of Hales begins a more exact investigation of the origin of the Sacraments. But till the time of Thomas we still find much uncertainty. It had been usual to fall back on the general assertion of their divine origin, or a “certain” institution by Christ was taught,375375See Hahn, p. 158 ff. while in the case of the different Sacraments 220very different hypotheses, attributable to embarrassment, were adopted. But there always continued to be some (on to the sixteenth century) who traced back individual Sacraments simply to apostolic institution.376376See Hahn, p. 163 f. By conveying the potestas excellentiæ to the apostles, Christ empowered them to institute Sacraments.
In addition to the problem as to how far the effect is bound to the Sacrament (see above), the chief questions in the period that followed were those as to the “minister sacramenti” and as to the conditions of saving reception. There was certainly agreement on the points, that there are Sacraments whose minister is not designated in the institution by Christ, and that we must distinguish between Sacraments which only a baptised Christian, a priest, or a bishop can duly celebrate; yet in making the application to each separate Sacrament, and in defining the relations of the minister and the receiver to the Sacrament, great controversies prevailed (is the priest who blesses the marriage, or are the parties to be married, the minister of the Sacrament of Marriage? In regard to the Eucharist, also, and other Sacraments, old ideas still continued to exercise their influence, and that not always in the case of declared heretics merely; further, as to confirmation there was doubt whether the exclusive power of the bishops rested on divine or on ecclesiastical appointment, while in connection with this there arose again the whole of the old dispute as to whether presbyters and bishops were originally identical, etc., etc.).
The controversy as to the conditions of saving reception penetrated more deeply; for here it was necessary to show in what relation the two poles of the Romish view of Christianity were to be placed, whether the factor of merit was to have predominance over the factor of sacrament or vice-versa. The development in Nominalist theology was such that merit always asserted its superiority more decidedly, and the conditions accordingly were always more laxly conceived of, while at the same time the view taken of the depreciated effects of the Sacraments became always more magical. From this as a starting-point (namely, the conditions), which Thomas had merely touched on, the whole doctrine of the Sacraments really 221became a subject of controversy again, or received a fresh revision.377377See Hahn, p. 392 ff. The chief points are the following:
1. Alexander of Hales and Thomas had not indeed derived from all Sacraments a character, but they had asserted of all that they exercise an influence that is independent of the subjective condition of the receiver. But Scotus and those coming later denied this in the case of penance and extreme unction, teaching that these Sacraments remain without any effect if they are received without the requisite disposition.
2. In the earlier period it was held that for the unworthy recipient the virtue of the Sacraments becomes deleterious in its effect. This the Nominalists denied. In the worthy disposition and in the character, they saw on the contrary, as already existing, a positive dispositio ad gratiam, and declared accordingly that in the case of the unworthy the saving effect ex opere operato is not realised,378378What takes place, therefore, is only that the Sacrament is observed as an external adorning of the soul (the unbeliever receives a character, enjoys the body of the Lord, stands in an indissoluble marriage bond, etc.), while the gracious eject is not wrought. But this last at once follows subsequently, if the “ indisposition” gives way. while the “wrath-effect” is not produced by the Sacrament, but arises from the sin of the receiver, and hence is not ex opere operato, but ex opere operante.
That a “disposition” belongs to the saving reception was therefore the general opinion; but as to why it was necessary there was difference of view. Some saw in the disposition, not the positive condition of sacramental grace, but only the conditio sine qua non, i.e., the disposition is not considered as worthiness; the Sacraments, rather, of the new covenant, as distinguished from those of the old, in which the fides was requisite (hence opus operans), work ex opere operato.379379In its application to the Sacrament the expression “ex opere operato” itself passed through a history which is too extensive to follow out here; see Schätzler, Die L. v. d. Wirks. d. Sacr. ex opere operato, 1860. The assertion is certainly false that the expression only denotes that the Sacraments are effectual on account of the work accomplished by Christ, or that Christ works in them, that is, it is an apologetic novelty of Möhler, or, say, of some theologians already in the sixteenth century. The leading thought of Scholasticism was rather this, that the Sacrament itself is the opus operatum, and starting from this point it proceeded to call the outer act opus operatum, the inner disposition opus operans. This 222implied the exclusion, not of the necessity of the dispositio, but certainly of its causal significance. In entire contrast with this view stands the other, which, however, was represented only by a few, that the Sacraments can only mediate grace when inner contrition and faith are present, so that all saving grace is solely the result of penitent disposition and of faith; but these as inner motives (interiores motus) are wrought by God, so that on that ground we must not assume a justification ex opere operante; the Sacraments now declare this inner act of God, make man sure as to the reception of grace, and strengthen the belief that the reception transmits the effectual grace to the whole man and makes him the possessor of it. This view comes very near the evangelical one of the sixteenth century; but it differs from it in this, that the idea of grace is still always the Catholic, as participation in the divine nature, and that accordingly faith is really held as only something preliminary, that is, it is not yet seen that the “motus fiduciæ in deum” (trustful impulse God-wards) is the form and the essence of grace itself. Further, it is to be observed that this view has been expressed clearly and plainly by no Schoolman.380380Hahn (p. 401 f.) names as representatives of this view Robert Pulleyn, William of Auxerre, and John Wessel, and, as holding this view as regards at least the Sacrament of Penance, a large number of theologians, among whom the Lombard, Alexander of Hales, Bonaventura, and Henry of Ghent are mentioned, These men really taught that where there is true contritio, absolution comes directly from God, not through the Sacrament of Penance only, which in this case only declares. Karl Müller (Der Umschwung in der Lehre von der Busse während des 12. Jahrh. in the Abhandl. f. Weizsäcker, 1892, p. 287 ff.) has shown that this view runs back to Abelard. He regards it as something new, and if applied to the common reigning practice, it would certainly have been something new. But there was no kind of change in this practice contemplated by it, and it was only a sign that theology again grappled with the question, and felt itself unable simply to justify theoretically the conception that prevailed in practice of sacrament and priest. It went back, therefore, at this point to ideas of the early Church, or to ideas that were Augustinian and more spiritual (Müller seems to me to overlook this, see further details below). Alexander of Hales (Summa IV., Q. 14, M. 2, Art. 1, § 3) writes: “Duplex est pænitentia; quædam quæ solummodo consistit in contritione, quædam quæ consistit in contritione, confessione, satisfactione; utraque est sacramentum. Sed primo modo sumpta non est sacramentum ecclesiæ, sed secundo modo. Sacramentum pænitentiæ est signum et causa et quantum ad deletionem culpæ et quantum ad deletionem pœnæ. Contritio enim est signum et causa remissionis peccati et quantum ad culpam et quantum ad pœnam” (the adding of the remission of temporal penalties for sin takes place, however, only through the priestly sacrament). With this view of repentance, as is well known, the Reformation formed a connection. That fides and sacramentum are exclusively essential to each other in the case of all Sacraments was emphasised by Robert Pulleyn and Wessel (the former, Sentent. I., octo P. V., c. 13: “quod fides facit, baptismus ostendit; fides peccata delet, baptismus deleta docet, unde sacramentum dicitur.” VI. 61: “Absolutio, quæ peracta confessione super pænitentem a sacerdote fit, sacramentum est, quoniam rei sacræ signum est. Et cujus sacræ rei est signum, nisi remissionis et absolutionis? Nimirum confitentibus a sacerdote facta a peccatis absolutio remissionem peccatorum, quam antea peperit cordis contritio, designat. A peccatis ergo presbyter solvit, non utique quod peccata dimittat, sed quod dimissa sacramento pandat.” The latter, de comnuin. sanct. [edit. Groning, 1614], p. 817: “Effectus sacramentorum sunt secundum dispositionem suscipientis et secundum requisitam illi intentioni dispositionem. . . . Dispositio vero requisita huic sacramento, ut efficax fiat, est fames et sitis hujus vivifici cibi et potus. Unde quanto minus eum esurit et sitit, pro tanto minorem etiam effectum consequitur.” 818: “Semper sacramenta fidei sunt instrumenta, tanto semper efficacia, quanto est fides negotiosa”). But in view of these valuable sentences, we must remember, as has been remarked above, that to closer inspection a mysterious gratia is placed behind and above the fides, which lowers the fides to a means. 223According to the third view, which constantly gained more adherents, and always came to be more laxly expressed, the saving grace is a product of the Sacrament and of contrite faith, so that the Sacrament in itself merely raises the soul above the point at which it is dead and plants a seed which develops to saving effect only by the co-operation of contrition and faith. Here first the question now came to be of importance as to what the nature was of this contrition and this faith, or as to what the state of soul must be which puts the receiver into the position for letting the sacramental grace attain to its full effect. To begin with it was generally answered here, with Augustine, that the receiver must not “obicem contrariæ cogitationis opponere” (oppose a barrier of adverse thought.) But what is this “obex”381381The Greek Scholasticism also knows of the obex. Antonius Melissa quotes in the Loci Comm. (Migne, Bd. 136, col. 823), sermo 16, the saying of a certain Theotimus: ἔοικεν ἡ ἁμαρτία παρακωλύματι, κωλύοντι τὴν εὔνοιαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν γενέσθαι. or this “impedimentum”? It was replied that the receiver must not receive the Sacrament “cum fictione” (insincerely). But when is he a hypocrite? The earlier theologians required a “bonus motus interior,” that is, a really pious spirit that longs for grace, contrition, and faith, and so, since every “bonus motus” is in a certain way meritorious, 224certain merits. The “barrier” is here therefore the lack of such a positive good disposition. So it was taught by the Lombard, Alexander, Thomas,382382In Sentent. IV., Dist. 4, Q. 3, Art. 2: “Indispositus reputatur et qui non credi et qui indevotus accedit . . . in sacramentis præcipue fides operatur æ ideo defectus fidei specialius pertinet ad fictionem.” and a large number of theologians, and they further laid it down that, as all merit is rewarded, the reception of the Sacrament results in a twofold grace, namely (1) ex opere operato, (2) but also ex opere operante; the latter is different from the sacramental grace, but is always added to it (ex merito, on account of the disposition, and greater or less, according to the measure of the disposition). Here already, then, merit is introduced in a hazardous way. Yet the later theologians (among the earlier, Albertus) required only the absence of an undevout disposition; what is held by them as a barrier is simply the presence of a “motus contrarius malus,” i.e., contempt of the Sacrament, positive unbelief, or an unforgiven mortal sin.383383Scotus, in Sent. IV., Dist. 1, Q. 6: “Sacramentum ex virtute operis operati confert gratiam, ita quod non requiritur ibi bonus motus interior qui mereatur gratiam, sed sufficit quod suscipiens non ponat obicem.” They said that the dignity of the New Testament Sacraments consists just in this, that they presuppose no positive disposition, while such disposition is to be presupposed in the case of all other grace. Hence Scotus defines: “for the first reception of grace (the non-sacramental) there is required some kind of merit (aliquis modus meritorius) de congruo; but for the second (the sacramental) nothing is required save a reception of baptism that is voluntary and without insincerity (sine fictione), i.e., with the intention of receiving what the Church confers, and without mortal sin in act or will (sine actu vel voluntate peccati mortaiis), so that in the first there is required some intrinsic work in some way accepted as meritum de congruo, in the second there is only required an external work (opus exterius), with putting away of inner hindrance (cum amotione interioris impedimenti).” One sees that here the doctrine of the Sacraments is already quite drawn into the (Pelagian) doctrine of justification, and subordinated to it, while apparently the power of the Sacrament is increased, seeing that it is to be held as effectual even where a tabula rasa exists. 225Yet with the increased power there contrasts the really small saving effect, which passes, rather, into the “acceptance of the merits of man.” Between these two views there was still a third, which certainly stands quite near the last mentioned, frequently coalesced with it, and was afterwards to become the predominant one; it is neither satisfied with the absence of the “malus motus,” nor does it require the “bonus motus,” but it demands that a “certain” sorrow shall precede the reception of the Sacrament, which does not require to spring from the highest motives, but may arise from lower, e.g., from fear of punishment or something similar. This “sorrow” is described as attritio,384384Scotus was the first to direct his attention to this very correctly observed character of the commoner type of humanity, and began to use it in the way indicated for the doctrine of salvation; see Hahn, p. 413 f. and it is said of it that, if there is earnest striving, the Sacrament can raise it to contritio. But others now went still further and taught that the Sacrament changes attritio into contritio ex opere operato. According to this extremely widely diffused view, the man can be saved who lets himself stand in dread of hell, even though otherwise all inner connection with the Christian religion is wanting to him; he must only assiduously use the Sacrament of Penance, in the opinion that it can protect him against hell. Yet even this “opinion” does not need to be a sure faith; he may only hold the effect of the Sacrament as not impossible; “attrition, when the Sacrament is added, is made sufficient by the power of the keys” (attritio superveniente sacramento virtute clavium efficitur sufficiens).385385Or: “Attritus accedit ad confessionem, ex quo ibi fit contritus, unde fugatur fictio. Et sic non habet dubium, quia et sacramentum suscipit et effectum ejus scil. remissionem peccatorum.” Numerous passages in Hahn, l.c. From this point of view, indeed, the mere purpose to partake of the Sacrament, or the partaking per se, might come to be regarded as something initially meritorious, and this step was really already taken from the time of the Lombard, the view becoming quite widely prevalent. Nay, as if the conscience and the plain understanding reacted against the sacramental magic, the Lombard declares that the humiliatio before the sensible materials in the Sacrament establishes merit (Sentent. IV., Dist. 1 C.): “propter humiliationem quidem, ut dum homo sensibilibus rebus, quæ natura infra ipsum sunt, ex præcepto creatoris se reverendo subicit, ex hac humilitate et obedientia deo magis placeat et apud eum mereatur.”
A quite magical view of the Sacraments here competes in a pernicious way with that doctrine of “merit,” according to 226which God of His good pleasure (per acceptationem) takes as complete what is only a beginning, and indeed is not even a beginning, since the motives of those “meritorious” acts may be religiously neutral. In connection with the doctrine of justification we shall return to this worst point, which dominated the whole practical and theoretical system of Catholicism at the beginning of the Reformation period.386386Apol. Confess. Aug. 13: “Hic damnamus totum populum scholasticorum doctorum, qui docent, quod sacramenta non ponenti obicem conferant gratiam ex opere operato sine bono motu utentis. Hæc simpliciter judaica opinio est sentire quod per ceremoniam justificemur, sine bono motu cordis, hoc est, sine fide. Et tamen hæc impia et perniciosa opinio magna auctoritate docetur in toto regno pontificio.” But certainly it is clear here already, that to hush up rather than to give comfort was the effect of a doctrine of the Sacraments having this form and issue. This doctrine was originally framed on the exalted idea of the “participatio divinæ naturæ,” and it still continues to betray its basis in the first stages of its construction. But it ends in confirming the man of common spirit in his low-type morality and feeble piety. The earnest Catholic may not apply these final conclusions to himself; he may confine himself to the original thesis, which is not forbidden to him, but for the careless, the Church has prepared a broad road and opened a wide gate. In a relative way it may work much good with this; for its system is derived from listening to life; it gives pedagogic direction on the question as to how one who is not quite thoughtless, who is not perfectly stolid, who is not entirely sunk in earthly enjoyment, can be aided, and introduced into a better society, with better modes of life. But as soon as we consider that it is the Christian religion we have to do with here, that religion of earnest spirit and comforting power, this structure of opus operatum, attritio and meritum is seen to be a mockery of all that is sacred.387387On Duns Scotus’ doctrine of the Sacraments see Werner, Scotus (1881), pp. 462-496; on the doctrine of Post-Scotist Scholasticism see the same author, Die Nachscotistische Scholastik (1883), p. 380 ff. As specially important characteristics of the Scotist doctrine of the Sacraments note the following: (1) the rejection of the inner necessity of the Sacraments, since God can grant the saving grace even without the employment of these outward signs (all the more firmly is the outer necessity maintained, on the ground of the positive divine appointment); (2) the rejection of an influence of a naturally necessary kind in the media of sacramental grace; (3) the strong emphasising of the Sacraments as notæ ecclesiæ; (4) the assertion that since the Fall there have been Sacraments effectual ex opere operato; (5) the rejection of the virtus supernaturalis in the Sacraments; (6) the rejection of the position, that the intellect is the vehicle of the sacramental character; (7) the assertion that only from the positive appointment of God is it to be concluded that baptism cannot be repeated; (8) the assertion, that the reatus culpæ after the act of sin is no reatio realis, i.e., that there remains nothing in the soul of the effect of sin, which would again be sin; for the habitus vitiosus is not sin, seeing that it remains even in the justified; hence there stands nothing that is a link between the sinful act and the obligatio ad pœnam; the latter, therefore, is only a relatio rationis of the divine intellect or will, which has its ground in the “ordering will” of God; in accordance with this the view of the Sacrament of Penance is formed. Occam emptied the Sacraments of every kind of inner and speculative import; they have simply an importance because God has so ordained them; but we do not know why. Here also the position of things was such that as soon as the authority of the Church disappeared, there was necessarily a falling away, not only of the doctrine of the Sacraments in every sense — that was no misfortune — but also of every doctrine of grace; for no one had taken the precaution to secure that the latter should be able to exist independently of the Sacraments.227
The individual Sacraments. (1) Baptism.388388See the detailed exposition in Thomas, P. III., Q. 66-71. Schwane, pp. 605-622. This Sacrament389389According to the general view (something similar already in Ignatius of Antioch) Christ, at His own baptism, imparted to the water consecration and power. Hence the water needs no special consecration, as the material does in the other Sacraments. is the medicine for the consequences of the Fall, and lays the basis of the new life; it has therefore a negative and a positive effect.390390According to the Scholastic view, which, however, was not shared by all, an abolition of sin is in itself possible without infusion of saving grace (so Thomas). The former, in which the “grace” already appears as “most perfect,391391Gabriel Biel (according to Hahn, p. 334): “Licet gratia baptismalis sit incipientium et ita imperfecta quantum ad habilitandum ad bonum, tamen quantum ad liberandum a malo habet vim gratiæ perfectissimæ . . . restituit perfectam innocentiam.” relates to original sin. In so far as this consists in guilt, penalty, and concupiscence, baptism abolishes all these with the entire sin; i.e., the guilt (guilt of original sin and of the previously committed sinful deeds without exception)392392On the other hand: “baptismus non est institutus ad delendum omnia peccata futura, sed tamen præterita et præsentia.” Hence the rule: “baptismus delet quidquid invenit.” This reluctance to relate the sin-cancelling grace of baptism to the future, had originally sprung from regard for the interests of human freedom and for the serious nature of Christian morality. But in the Scholastic period what is aimed at mainly is to protect the Church Sacrament of Penance. is 228blotted out, the penalty remitted (and that means the eternal penalty totally, the temporal penalty likewise, so far as it consists in pœnæ determinatæ; but so far as it finds expression in the penal evils of the earthly life, it remains), and the concupiscence is controlled. The last point is new, as only in Scholasticism is a clear distinction drawn between sinful and innocent concupiscence. The meaning is this, that through sin sinful concupiscence has come into existence as disorder of the lower impulses, or as dominion of these over the higher impulses and over the province of human action, whereby a fomes peccati (slumbering fire of sin), ever continuing, and working with a certain necessity, has developed itself. Baptism, now, has the effect of so rectifying the disorder of the passions, and moderating the “fomes peccati,” that man is now in a position for resisting, or for keeping within appointed limits, the concupiscence, which is involved in his earthly nature, and is therefore in itself innocent. This view of the natural life, which is not a religious one, will occupy us again in the next section (under C). Here it is enough to note that, in order to give expression to the absoluteness of the negative baptismal influence as an effectual one, the conception of an innocent concupiscence was admitted.393393Lombard, Sentent. II., Dist. 32, A. B.: “Licet remaneat concupiscentia post baptismum, non tamen dominatur et regnat sicut ante, immo per gratiam baptismi mitigatur et minuitur, ut post dominari non valeat, nisi quis reddat vires hosti eundo post concupiscentias. Nec post baptismum remanet ad reatum, quia non imputatur in peccatum, sed tantum pœna peccati est, ante baptismum vero pœna est et culpa. . . . Per gratiam baptismi vitium concupiscentiæ debilitatur atque extenuatur, ita ut jam non regnet, nisi consensu reddantur ei vires, et quia reatus ipsius solvitur.” Thomas defines the fomes (after the Fall) in the 27 Q., P. III., as “rebellio inferiorum virium ad rationem,” or as “inordinata concupiscentia sensibilis appetitus”; but by grace it is weakened and loses the reatus. What was still thought of even then (see Augustine) was almost exclusively the sexual impulse and generation. Therefore there can be no thought of removing the concupiscence, and Thomas asserts: “baptismus non aufert actu infectionem, prout afficit personam, quod patet ex hoc, quod baptizatus per actum naturæ originale transmittit in prolem.” He says also, P. II., 1, Q. 74, Art. 3: “Transit peccatum originale reatu et remanet actu (this is not so strongly expressed afterwards). Sed talis corruptio fomitis non impedit, quin homo rationabili voluntate possit reprimere singulos motus inordinatos sensualitatis, si præsentiat, puta divertendo cogitationem ad alia.” The positive effect of baptism is summed up under the term, “sacramentum regenerationis.” But while here 229there was in general no occasion to pass beyond the old ecclesiastical conception (even the special connection of baptism with faith is still always emphasised), yet misgivings arose on two points. Is the positive grace in baptism “perfectissima,” and do the children receive this grace as perfectly as baptised adults? Although in general it was declared that baptism is the sacrament of justification, and that through it the baptised person receives the gratia operans and cooperans, provided he does not already possess it (in which case there is only an increasing), yet, from the time of Nominalism especially, baptism was in point of fact held to be only the sacrament of initiation for justification.394394See note 4 on p. 227. Hence there was an increased willingness to assume in the case of children the perfect application of baptismal grace,395395As a rule, no doubt, with the addition, that the habitus ligatus est propter pueritiam, but that as truly is it perfectly imparted as the sleeping man is a living man. So already Thomas. At the Council of Vienna in 1311, the view was declared the sententia probabilior and sanctioned, that baptism is the cause in the case of parvuli, both of the remissio culpæ and of the collatio gratiæ (quoad habitum, etsi non pro illo tempore quoad usum), i.e., that it communicates the gratia informans et virtutes (Mansi XXV., p. 411). while it was held at an earlier period, that to children there is perfectly communicated only purification from original sin, the positive grace being only infused into them afterwards at successive times.396396Lombardus, IV., Dist. 4 H.: “de adultis, qui digne recipiunt sacramentum, non ambigitur quin gratiam operantem et cooperantern perceperint . . . de parvulis vero, qui nondum ratione utuntur, quæstio est, an in baptismo receperint gratiam qua ad majorem venientes ætatem possent velle et operari bonum? Videtur, quod non receperint, quia gratia illa caritas est et fides, quæ voluntatem præparat et adjuvat. Sed quis dixerit, eos accepisse fidem et caritatem!” As regards the faith of children, there was no fixed opinion; the majority seem to have held that the faith of the Church (or of the sponsors) intervenes here vicariously, and that thereby the saving effect is made possible.397397Following Augustine, Thomas III., Q. 68, Art. 9: the parvuli sunt in utero matris ecclesiæ and are thus nourished. Thus baptism only lays the foundation for the process of justification, or it implants it “in habitu,” but not “in actu” (that Mary was thought of as an exception to this was a matter of course on the Catholic view; for to her nothing could 230be given by baptism which she had not already possessed before baptism).398398Here there were great controversies, which will be briefly dealt with afterwards.
Baptism is absolutely necessary (baptism with blood a substitute), conveys a character, cannot be repeated, is valid when it is performed with water (materia) and with the words of institution (forma),399399Thomas, P. III., Q. 66, Art. 6, declares (against Hugo) that baptism in the name of Christ alone is invalid; yet the Apostles allowed themselves such baptism. and is regularly dispensed by the priest. Yet in an emergency a deacon, and even a layman, can baptise. The considerations regarding the sacramentalia which accompanied baptism do not belong to the history of dogma;400400See Schanz, Die Wirksamkeit der Sacramentalien, Tüb., Theol. Quartalschr. 1886, Part. 4. just as little do the secondary consequences of baptism, as, e.g., spiritual affinity, etc.
As the Church had to contend, especially from the thirteenth century onwards, against sects and schools who, on different grounds (as a rule out of opposition to the prevailing sacramental system, here and there also from opposition to the sacramental system in general), disputed the rightfulness of infant baptism, or who denied the necessity of baptism altogether, an apologetic, polemical discussion of the Sacrament of Baptism was necessary. Yet there was never nearly so much fulness of statement here as in the account given of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.401401See the polemic against the Catharists (Moneta), Petrobrusiani, etc.
2. Confirmation.402402Thomas, P. III., Q. 72, Schwane, pp. 622-627. This Sacrament obtained its independent existence simply through Western practice, inasmuch as only the bishop403403Because only the Apostles had the power to impart the Holy Spirit by laying on of hands. could administer it. Hence it naturally resulted, that it became dissociated from baptism, which, however, forms its presupposition,404404Not only its presupposition, “sed est majoris necessitatis,” Thomas, 1.c., Art. 12. With regard to the presupposition it is said in Art. 6: “si aliquis non baptizatus confirmaretur, nihil reciperet.” and with which it shares the quality, that it conveys a character, and therefore cannot be repeated. The 231material is the Chrisma consecrated by the bishop, the form the sacramental words: “consigno te, etc.” The effect, which, of course, as additional to that of baptism, either cannot be definitely expressed, or restricts the importance of the baptismal communication of grace, is power (robur) for growth, strength for conflict with enemies of the faith (military), the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or even — as a portion of the process of justification — the gratia gratum faciens (grace that renders well-pleasing).405405“Robur,” or “potestas ad pugnam spiritalem,” is the chief conception; baptism distinguishes believers from unbelievers, confirmation the newly-born from the mature. At the same time Thomas (Art. 7) sought to introduce confirmation into the process of justification, in which, certainly, he had poor enough success: “datur baptisato spiritus sanctus ad robur . . . missio seu datio spiritus s. non est nisi cum gratia gratum faciente. Unde manifestum est, quod gratia gratum faciens confertur in hoc sacramento . . . gratiæ gratum facientis primus effectus est remissio culpæ, habet tamen et alios effectus quia sufficit ad hoc quod promoveat hominem per omnes gradus usque in vitam æternam . . . et ideo gratia gratum faciens non solum datur ad remissionem culpæ, sed etiam ad augmentum et firmamentum justitiæ, et sic confertur in hoc sacramento.” But any number of Sacraments might then be forced in! See the summing up of the chief deliverances on the Sacrament by Eugene IV. (l.c., p. 1055), where it is said of the effect: “datur S. S. ad robur, ut vid. Christianus audacter Christi confiteatur nomen.” The Pope will have it, besides, that per apostolicæ sedis dispensationem even ordinary priests have celebrated the Sacrament, yet only with oil which a bishop had consecrated. This continued afterwards to be the Catholic view, or, say, practice. This special linking of confirmation to the power of the Pope goes back to Thomas. He framed the theory, fraught with large consequences, that the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of ordination relate to the true body of Christ, the others to the mystical (the Church). Hence in the celebration of the latter five Sacraments there is to be taken into account, besides the potestas ministerii in general, the power of jurisdiction (in the case of one in a higher, in the case of another in a lower degree) belonging to the Church, that is, the Pope. In consequence of this he has the right, in the case of confirmation, to depute ordinary priests; in Sentent. IV., Dist. 7, Q. 3, A. 1: “Sciendum est, quod cum episcopatus non addat aliquid supra sacerdotium per relationem ad corpus domini verum, sed solum per relationem ad corpus mysticum, papa per hoc quod est episcoporum summus non dicitur habere plenitudinem potestatis per relationem ad corpus domini verum, sed per relationem ad corpus mysticum. Et quia gratia sacramentalis descendit in corpus mysticum a capite, ideo omnis operatio in corpus mysticum sacramentalis, per quam gratia datur, dependet ab operatione sacramentali super corpus domini verum, et ideo solus sacerdos potest absolvere in loco pænitentiali et baptizare ex officio. Et ideo dicendum, quod promovere ad illas perfectiones, quæ non respiciunt corpus domini verum, sed solum corpus mysticum, potest a papa qui habet plenitudinem pontificialis potestatis committi sacerdoti.” Doubts about this Sacrament, which, according to Thomas, 232“etiam a non jejunis dari vel accipi potest”406406Thomas, l.c., Art. 12. (can be given or received even by those not fasting), never disappeared; Wyclif again gave emphatic expression to them; for a reliable proof from tradition could not be obtained.407407A passage from Pseudo-Isidore (ep. episc. Melchiadis) played an important part, as also the Pseudo-Dionysius. In the last resort Thomas is unable otherwise to defend the “conveniens” in the ritual than by the sentence:408408Thomas, 1.c. “it must be firmly held that the ordinances of the Church are directed according to the wisdom of Christ. And for this reason it ought to be certain that the ritual which the Church observes in this and in other Sacraments is fitting” (firmiter tenendum est, quod ordinationes ecclesiæ dirigantur secundum sapientiam Christi. Et propter hoc certum esse debet, ritus quod ecclesia observat in hoc et in aliis sacramentis esse convenientes). If we assume, not the dogmatic, but the practical pedagogic point of view, we cannot deny the serviceableness of this observance, especially when taken along with infant baptism, both as regards the plebs Christiana, and as regards the bishop, who in this way comes close to every member of his diocese.409409Its institution by Christ, first asserted by Albertus, even Thomas has only “proved” by declaring that Christ instituted the Sacrament, John XVI. 7, “promittendo.”
3. The Eucharist.410410Thomas, P. III., Q. 73-83; Schwane, pp. 628-661; Article, “Transubstantiation,” by Steitz-Hauck, Real-Encyclopädie, vol. 152, pp. 803 ff., 815 ff. (a very thorough-going account). At the beginning of the thirteenth century, after the conflicts in the eleventh, and many uncertainties in the twelfth, the doctrine of transubstantiation, together with what was derived from it, or coheres with it, was substantially settled. The Lateran Council (see above, p. 53) of the year 1215 had brought the development to a conclusion, and had given to the Sacrament the highest conceivable place, as was shown by the deliverance regarding it being introduced into the Symbol.411411Baur points out very correctly (Vorles, II., p. 475) that Thomas tries to prove that Christianity without transubstantiation is not the absolute religion. But the “heretical” opposition had made the deliverance necessary. This opposition never 233became silent; nay, in the circles of the Church theology itself, there were set forth in later times views of transubstantiation, that, strictly speaking, had the effect of cancelling it.
Here, also, it was Thomas whose view of the Sacrament became classic in Catholicism. The modifications which Nominalism allowed itself to adopt disappeared; the doctrine of Thomas remained. Thomas put an end to the uncertainties still betrayed by the Lombard at some points,412412Only the fact of the conversio was a certainty for the Lombard, not the modus; see Sentent. IV., Dist. 11 A.: “Si quæritur, qualis sit ista conversio, an formalis an substantialis vel alterius generis, definire non sufficio; formalem tamen non esse cognosco, quia species rerum quæ ante fuerant, remanent, et sapor et pondus. Quibusdam videtur esse substantialis, dicentibus sic substantiam converti in substantiam, ut hæc essentialiter fiat illa.” Yet that is at bottom the opinion of the Lombard also, for he unequivocally teaches (Dist. 12 A.) that after the transformation the accidents are “sine subjecto.” In the doctrine of the Mass the Lombard had not yet reached the height of Realism; ideas of the ancient Church still exercised their influence on him; see Sentent. IV., Dist. 12 F.: “Quæritur, si quod gerit sacerdos proprie dicatur sacrificium vel immolatio, et si Christus quotidie immolatur vel semel tantum immolatus sit? Ad hoc breviter dici potest, illud quod offertur et consecratur a sacerdote vocari sacrificium et oblationem, quia memoria est et repræsentatio sacrificii veri et sanctæ immolationis factæ in ara crucis. Et semel Christus mortuus est in cruce, ibique immolatus est in semetipso, quotidie autem immolatur in sacramento, quia in sacramento recordatio, fit illius quod factum est semel.” and he applied in perfected form to the Sacrament the dialectic mode of treatment which had once occasioned so much offence. He could dispose of the Sacrament with confidence, for he was a Realist, and Duns Scotus could do so likewise (in some respects in a still more perfect form), because he also readily adopted a realistic theory of knowledge. But this confidence thereafter received a check; for it is only in a forced way, if at all, that the Nominalist mode of thought can come to terms with transubstantiation. It must either let it drop, or declare it an intensified miracle, by which two impossible things become actual.
In the Sacrament of the Supper and the doctrine regarding it, the Church gave expression to everything that it highly prized — its dogma, its mystical relation to Christ, the fellowship of believers, the priest, the sacrifice, the miraculous power which God had given to His Church, the satisfaction of the sensuous 234impulse in piety, etc., only not the faith which seeks for certainty and to which certainty is given. This appears very plainly from the description of the effects of the Eucharist as a Sacrament and as a sacrifice. The Sacrament was universally reverenced as the chiefest Sacrament, the sun among the Sacraments, etc., because here res and sacramentum coincide (the matter becomes itself Christ), because the incarnation and the death on the Cross are represented as operative in it, or are repeated in it, and because it embraces the past, the present, and the future. Yet the effects, which are summed up under the term nourishment of the spiritual life of the soul, and are detailed as incorporation into Christ, incorporation into the Church, communion of the members with each other, forgiveness of venial sins, perseverance in faith, strengthening of human weakness, refreshment, foretaste and fore-celebration of the heavenly blessedness, anticipation of eternal fellowship with God, etc., do not attain to the effect of the Sacrament of Penance. Just as little is specific importance attached to the Eucharist as a sacrifice; under this term, indeed, personal merit rather is strongly asserted. In the sacrifice of the Mass one testifies his obedience to God; like every sacrifice it is a performance which can claim a reward. Thus all effects here are at the same time dependent on the receiver. These effects appear to be estimated most highly; the sacrifice of the Mass, indeed, is a constant repetition of the death on the Cross; but this constant repetition has respect only to daily sins, to penal evils and bodily need. It extends, no doubt, in its effect, beyond the earthly life — in practice, the bearing of the sacrifice of the Mass on the penalties in purgatory was almost its most important bearing — yet there are also other means, which are really not less effectual than the Masses.413413On the effect of the Eucharist, see Thomas, Q. 79. In the first Art. he shows that it conveys grace; in the second that it gives aid for eternal life; in the third that it does not blot out mortal sins, seeing that it is given to the spiritually alive, though under certain circumstances it removes an unconscious mortal sin; in the fourth that it blots out the peccata venalia; in the fifth that it does not cancel the penalty of sin entirely, but only “secundum quantitatem devotionis sumentium”; in the sixth that it guards men against future transgressions; in the seventh that as a Sacrament it profits only the receivers, but as a sacrificium the spectators also: “In quantum in hoc sacramento repræsentatur passio Christi, qua Christus obtulit se hostiam deo, habet rationem sacrificii, in quantum vero in hoc sacramento traditur invisibilis gratia sub visibili specie, habet rationem sacramenti . . . hoc sacrificium, quod est memoriale dominicæ passionis, non habet effectum nisi in illis qui conjunguntur huic sacramento per fidem et caritatem. Unde et in Canone Missæ non oratur pro his qui sunt extra ecclesiam; illis tamen prodest plus vel minus secundum modum devotionis eorum.” So the Mass profits only those who already have fides and caritas, as securing for them an augmentum fidei, or a remission of penalty, and always according to the measure of their desert. The Eucharist is the Sacrament and sacrifice which accompanies the process of justification, so far as that process has already begun and is disturbed by no mortal sin, and which carries the process to its higher stages.235
The materia of the Sacrament is wheaten414414Controversy with the Greeks about leavened bread. bread and wine.415415Mixing with water is the rule. The appropriateness of these, and, in particular, of this double form, is dealt with very minutely. The very ancient symbolic idea of the many grains which become one bread also reappears in the Schoolmen.416416Thomas, Q. 74, Art. 1. The forma is the words of consecration, which are spoken in the name of Christ (not in the name of the minister).417417Q. 78, Art. 1. In connection therewith, Bonaventura explains the “hoc” as denoting the bread, Thomas as denoting the accidents of the bread (“hoc sub his specibus contentum,” i.e., that which is here presented is not bread, but my body). But the forma is not only an appeal to God (Bonaventura, Duns) that He will accomplish the transubstantiation, but an effectual power, as soon as the priest has the intention to work the mystery.418418Thomas, in Sentent. IV., Dist. 8, Q. 2, Art. 3: “In verbis prædictis sicut et in aliis formis sacramentorum est aliqua virtus a deo, sed haæc virtus non est qualitas habens esse completum in natura . . . sed habet esse incompletum, sicut virtus quæ est in instrumento ex intentione principalis agentis.”
But the difficult question was now this, How is the transubstantiation to be thought of?419419There was in possession no traditional doctrine whatever on this point; indeed, a proof for the fact itself of transubstantiation could not be derived from earlier times. Special appeal was made to Pseudo-Ambrosius. Here there was, first, a rejection already by the Lombard of the idea of a new-creation of the body of Christ, for Christ’s body already exists; but, second, the opinion was also rejected by him that Christ makes the bread and wine into His body, so that they become the Sacrament, whether by assumptio or by consubstantiality; there must be believed in rather a conversio of such a kind that the substances 236of the elements pass into the substances of the body of Christ, while the accidents remain behind without a subject.420420Sentent. IV., Dist. 12 A.: “Si vero quæritur de accidentibus, quæ remanent, scil. de speciebus et de sapore et pondere, in quo subjecto fundantur, potius mihi videtur fatendum existere sine subjecto, quam esse in subjecto, quia ibi non est substantia nisi corporis et sanguinis dominici, quæ non afficitur illis accidentibus. Non enim corpus Christi talem in se habet formam, sed qualis in judicio apparebit. Remanent ergo illa accidentia per se subsistentia ad mysterii ritum, ad gustus fideique suffragium, quibus corpus Christi habens formam et naturam suam tegitur.” What happens to the substance of the elements, whether it breaks up and is destroyed, the Lombard declared that he did not know. Alexander of Hales distinctly rejects consubstantiality and destruction, and speaks of a “passing over.” But he at once adds, that after the change, the whole Christ is present, inasmuch as the human soul and the deity of Christ always are concomitantly (per concomitantiam) where His flesh is. The continuance of the accidents without a subject he pronounced a miracle.421421Summa IV., Q. 38, 40. Bonaventura attached weight to the conversio taking place both as regards the materia and the forma of the bread (it would otherwise be imperfect); yet we must not understand by the former the materia prima (matter as the potency [potentia] of all material substances).422422It is an opinion peculiar to Bonaventura, that the substance of the bread would return if the accidents were destroyed. With regard to the first Eucharist celebration — the treatment of which is the hardest crux of the whole theory — it was universally held, indeed, that Christ partook of Himself in eating (as an example, and with a view to the enjoyment of love, not with a view to being perfected), but while Hales thought that Christ partook then already of His glorified body, Bonaventura taught (Thomas following him) that Christ partook of His mortal body, which, however, as Eucharistic was already present “impassibiliter” (in impassible form). All of them thought of the parallels in creation and incarnation, and sought to explain the mystery from these. Thomas now submitted to a final treatment the accidents, which, as the subject is wanting to them after the conversio, are maintained in existence by God as the first cause (causa prima)423423Thomas III., Q. 77. In the first Article the question is discussed: “Utrum accidentia quæ remanent, sint sine subjecto”; it is answered in the affirmative, since they cannot become accidents of the body of Christ. In the second Article it is asked: “utrum quantitas dimensiva sit subjectum aliorum accidentum,” etc., etc. Here already the logical investigations into space begin. But at the 237same time, following Bonaventura, he laid the foundation for an extremely complicated doctrine of the form of all matter, which was afterwards spun out by Duns and the Nominalists. As the bread, that is to say, is changed as regards the material and the form, both changes must be demonstrated in the transubstantiated result. But as the soul of Christ (form) only appears present concomitantly (per concomitantiam), the body of Christ must have a form for itself.424424Summa P. III., Q. 75, Art. 6: “Forma substantialis panis non remanet” (which is elaborately proved). Yet the breaking relates, not to the body of Christ, but to the species sacramentalis (“corpus Christi non frangitur”); see Q. 77, Art. 7. Thus Thomas is led to the idea of a “form of corporeity” (forma corporeitatis), which is identical neither with the soul nor with the outer shape, but appears as the ground of the qualities of the body. Further, in accordance with this, Thomas conceives of the conversio as a passing over in the strict sense of the term (no destruction = annihilatio of the elements).425425Even animals, according to Thomas, enjoy the body of the Lord (Q. 80, Art. 3). Bonaventura is in favour of the opinio honestior that this does not happen. The miracle is identical with a miracle of creation in so far as in the case of both the two states are not united by a common subject (substance); for the continued existence of the accidents is no real bond. Duns pursued this line further, and came to the adoption of a plurality of forms in matter. He required this assumption, as he assailed St. Thomas with reflections arising from the hypothesis, that the Eucharist was conceivably celebrated during the time when Christ lay in the grave. The Thomist doctrine was not framed to meet this case, as it assumed a forma substantialis for the living body. Hence, according to Thomas, only an imperfect transubstantiation would then have taken place — that is, a transubstantiation only into the material of the dead body. Duns himself appealed more confidently to the divine omnipotence, placed in the foreground the general possibility that God can transform everything (even the material into the spiritual, and vice versa), affirmed the existence of a matter without quality which is capable of everything, and came very close to the view, that in transubstantiation one substance 238is annihilated and another is introduced. Above all, however, his thesis, that God Himself, as if on the ground of a contract, always works the conversio, so that the words of consecration only form the occasion, influenced all the Nominalists afterwards. But by a logical process there then followed also upon this view a modification of the way of understanding transubstantiation, in the direction of impanation and consubstantiality. For it became natural to assume, that if the divine working only accompanies the words of the priest (that is, the forma sacramenti), it only accompanies, also, the elements (the materia; a “moral” conjunction by the free will of Christ). This doctrine was first suggested as possible, and then asserted as possible. But when once the idea of the conversio was separated by a logical distinction into two acts — into annihilation, and entrance of the body of Christ into the place of the annihilated subject — the first act could also drop out. The miracle only becomes the greater when substance stands side by side with substance. At the same time the signal was now given for investigations into space in its relation to substance, investigations which, from the time of Scotus onwards, did not continue without fruit for the doctrine of space. Human thought does not advance without receiving a determining impulse from the practical sphere: from the doctrine of God there grew up the doctrines of thought and of will; from the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Kosmos; from the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, the doctrine of space. If the question as to the relation of the body of Christ to the elements already led to inquiries into space, still greater was the impulse in that direction as soon as the question arose as to how the eucharistic body is related to the glorified body of Christ in heaven. The thorny discussions on this subject do not belong to dogma strictly speaking. As new-creation was excluded, the question was as to the presence in the Sacrament of the body that is already in heaven. And again, as the body as a whole appears at the same time in each of the independent particles of the consecrated bread, a space-less presence had necessarily to be taught. This Thomas began to do;426426Q. 76, Art. 3-6. but it was only the 239Nominalists who treated the question as virtuosi (especially Occam), though they did not come definitely to the doctrine of the ubiquity of the body of Christ. On the other hand, it was they, especially John of Paris and Occam, who anticipated the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence in the bread.427427John of Paris (de modo existendi corpus Christi, etc., printed in London, 1686) declared that the interpretation of the real presence as conversio did not come within his faith, but that he was prepared to retract, if it was proved to him that the Church (the Pope) had defined it. After then rejecting the Berengarian doctrine, as not leading to communicatio idiomatum of bread and of body, he holds the following view as free from objection (p. 86): “ut substantia panis maneat sub accidentibus suis non in proprie supposito, sed tracta ad esse et suppositum Christi, ut sic sit unum suppositum in duabus naturis.” As Münscher (p. 257) has correctly explained, the idea here is this, that the bread and the body of Christ become united into one substance, in virtue of a common likeness of their qualities, similar to that which it was believed must be assumed in the conjoining of the two natures in Christ in the unity of one person. It may be said, therefore, that the orthodox Catholic view of the Supper is Monophysite; the Berengarian, Nestorian; and that of John of Paris, Chalcedonian. Even Occam declared that there is nothing in Scripture on the question that the substance of the bread does not remain (de sacram. alt. 5), and with regard to the view of the real presence, according to which “corpus Christi in eodem loco cum substantia panis et vini manet,” he says that it is “multum rationalis, nisi esset determinatio ecclesiæ in contrarium, quia salvat et vitat omnes difficultates quæ sequuntur ex separatione accidentium a subjecto” (for this contradicts the Nominalist theory of knowledge). But he falls back ultimately on the wish that the doctrine of the conversio may he revealed to the Church. An energetic opponent of the doctrine of transubstantiation was Wyclif (but even he did not get clearly beyond impanation, and if he was incensed by the idolatry that was practised with the host, yet it was by grounds of reason [the absurdity of accidents without substance] that he was moved to opposition.)428428Trial. IV. 2: “Inter omnes hæreses, quæ unquam in ecclesia pullularunt, nunquam considero aliquam plus callide per hypocritas introductam et multiplicius populum defraudantem, nam spoliat populum, facit ipsum committere idololatriam, negat fidem scripturæ et per consequens ex infidelitate multipliciter ad iracundiam provocat veritatem.” In c. 4 he then works out the view that panis and body of Christ are at the same time present. Yet he scouts the idea that any kind of priest — even a sinful one therefore — can produce Christ. The doctrine of impanation receives from him a spiritual turn, though this has not the effect of entirely cancelling it. Against the coarse form of this doctrine he waged war, and came close to Berengar. By him not a few (but not Huss)429429In his treatise de corpore Christi, written during imprisonment, Huss assents to transubstantiation. But from his other writings we must assume that he was not of the opinion that a sinful priest can effect it (see above his conception of the Church, p. 143). were constrained to renounce the 240monstrous doctrine, and in the fifteenth century the opposition to it is met with not infrequently.430430Wesel was an adherent of the impanation doctrine. Yet it remained the reigning view; the hostility of declared heretics could only be in its favour.431431The decree as to the Lord’s Supper in the Bull of Eugene IV. “Exultate deo” runs: “Tertium est eucharistiæ sacramentum, cujus materia est panis triticeus et vinum de vite, cui ante consecrationem aqua modicissima admisceri debet (there follows an elaborate justification of this mixing in opposition to the Armenian practice). Forma hujus sacramenti sunt verba salvatoris, quibus hoc conficit sacramentum. Nam ipsorum verborum virtute substantia panis in corpus Christi et substantia vini in sanguinem convertuntur, ita tamen, quod totus Christus continetur sub specie panis et totus sub specie vini. Sub qualibet quoque parte hostiæ consecratæ et vini consecrati, separatione facta, totus est Christus. Hujus sacramenti effectus, quem in anima operatur digne sumentis, est adunatio hominis ad Christum. Et quia per gratiam homo Christo incorporatur et membris ejus unitur, consequens est, quod per hoc sacramentum in sumentibus digne gratia augeatur, omnemque effectum, quem materialis cibus et potus quoad vitam agunt corporalem sustentando, augendo, reparando et delectando, sacramentum hoc quoad vitam operatur spiritualem, in quo, ut inquit Urbanus Papa, gratam salvatoris nostri recensemus memoriam, a malo retrahimur, confortamur in bono et ad virtutum et gratiarum proficimus incrementum.”
The consequences of the transubstantiation doctrine were manifold, and of radical importance; the following may be mentioned:
(2) The augmentation of the dignity of the priests, by whom daily Christ was magically produced and offered up.
(3) The withholding of the cup. From the time of the Lombard it was a settled belief that the whole Christ is contained in each species, and that meant, too (according to the doctrine developed especially by Thomas),433433P. III., Q. 76, Arts. 1 and 2. Christ concomitantly (per concomitantiam) in His body and soul as well as in His divinity. But that being so, it was permissible, safer indeed (that the wine might not be spilt, and the Sacrament thereby profaned), and, with a view to increasing the dignity of the priest, “conveniens,” that the layman should receive only in the form 241of the bread (sub specie panis), while the priest drank the cup in the name of all.434434Thomas, P. III., Q. 80, Art. 12: The priest must enjoy the sacramentum perfectum, since he celebrates it; the custom of some Churches is to be approved (Thomas still expresses himself cautiously) of withholding the cup from incautious laymen. Thereafter there was a rapid advance made in practice; the history of this process, and of the opposition to it, is not relevant here, as a dogma was not involved. At Constance this became fixed.
(4) The adoration of the elevated host (elevation is represented as having been already adopted in opposition to Berengar), the procession of the host, and the feast of Corpus Christi (1264. 1311): for the body of Christ is, of course, not present merely at the moment of enjoyment, but, when once produced by consecration, remains until the accidents are dissolved.435435Q. 76, Art. 6: “Corpus Christi manet, quousque species sacramentales manent.” Against this idolatry there arose in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries much opposition, which, however, continued to be lacking in vigour.
It was already pointed out above that as regards the idea of the Eucharist as a sacrifice, the Lombard was still influenced by the old ecclesiastical motive of recordatio (remembrance). But from ecclesiastical antiquity there was certainly taken over also the idea of the repetition of the sacrificial death of Christ (Gregory I.), and on the basis of the doctrine of transubstantiation this idea now necessarily became firmly established. The Roman Canon of the Mass, which did not originally contain the idea of the bloodless repetition of the death of Christ, and still bears traces to-day of not having contained it, has in its most recent portions the new idea. At the Lateran Council in 1215 the idea is presupposed, and brief note is taken of it,436436Chap. I. and the Schoolmen, although they do not here give elaborated doctrines, have no other thought than that the priest offers the body of the Lord.437437For the Eucharist as a repetition of the sacrificial death of Christ, there could be produced from tradition only a bad, and, to some extent, a forged proof. Thomas treats the question in Q. 83, Art. 1. According to his custom he raises at the outset three objections, and they are very telling, against the position that Christ is offered in this Sacrament. He appeals, first, to the passage in Hebrews about the being once offered; secondly, to the circumstance that in the Mass Christ is not crucified; thirdly, to the Augustinian position, that in the sacrifice of Christ “idem est sacerdos et hostia,” which does not apply in the case of the Mass. But he then explains that (1) the one sacrifice is not touched by the repetition, for in the repetition it remains always the same; (2) that the altar is repræsentativum crucis; and (3) that the priest “gerit imaginem Christi,” and hence it holds good even for the sacrifice of the mass, that “quodammodo idem est sacerdos et hostia.” The positive exposition is extremely weak, even when we adopt Thomas’s standpoint, and shows plainly that at bottom the repetition of the sacrificial death of Christ could not in any way be theoretically justified. But it stands here as it does with the doctrine of the Church. The practice justifies itself by its existence! What Thomas has submitted is as follows: — “Duplici ratione celebratio hujus sacramenti dicitur immolatio Christi. Primo quidem quia, sicut dicit Augustinus ad Simplic. solent imagines earum rerum nominibus appellari, quarum imagines sunt . . . celebratio autem hujus sacramenti, sicut supra dictum est (Q. 79, Art. 1. 3), imago quædam est representativa passionis Christi quæ est vera ejus immolatio. Et ideo celebratio hujus sacramenti dicitur Christi immolatio (here, therefore, there is an expression only of symbol and remembrance). Alio modo quantum ad effectum passionis Christi, quia scil. per hoc sacramentum participes efficimur fructus dominicæ passionis, unde in quadam dominicali oratione secreta dicitur: Quoties hujus hostiæ commemoratio celebratur, opus nostræ redemptionis exercetur. Quantum igitur ad primum modum poterat dici Christus immolari etiam in figuris Veteris Testamenti . . . sed quantum ad secundum modum proprium est huic sacramento, quod in ejus celebratione Christus immolatur.” One easily sees that there is not the smallest degree of proof given for the repetition of the sacrificial death of Christ. Even in other passages in which Thomas speaks of the Eucharist as a sacrifice, I have found nothing more than bare assertions, and sometimes an entire uncertainty as to the relation of the Eucharistic to the true sacrifice. How weak the position is, too, with regard to the effect of this sacrifice, is shown by Q. 79, Art. 5: “Sacramentum effectum sacrificii in eo qui offert habet vel in his, pro quibus offertur.” It is really instituted as a sacrament; for “non est institutum ad satisfaciendum, sed ad spiritualiter nutriendum per unionem ad Christum,” but “per concomitantiam” a certain remission of penalty also is effected. “In quantum est sacrificium, habet vim satisfactivam, sed in satisfactione magis attenditur affectus offerentis quam quantitas oblationis. Quamvis ergo hæc oblatio ex sui quantitate sufficiat ad satisfaciendum pro omni pœna, tamen sit satisfactoria illis, pro quibus offertur vel etiam offerentibus, secundum quantitatem suæ devotionis et non pro tota pœna.” It must by no means be regarded as an accident that Thomas has not repeated the audacious propositions of Hugo and Albertus (the Father first offered the Son for us, we then offer Him for the Father). Thomas has only allowed the term vera immolatio to stand, because he held that the “Church” taught it. In the Bull of Eugene IV., moreover (see above), there is no mention of a repetition. The Eucharist as a sacrifice, as it formed the central 242part of divine service, was for the people much more important than the Sacrament. Although, in strict theory, there were connected with it only slender results (see above), yet misdirected piety made this observance entirely its own, and saw in it its real defence in life and in death. The mischief of low masses and masses for souls was as much the consequence of violent importunity on the part of the laity for as many masses as possible, as 243of priestly self-importance; for in the Mass the priest, who is here not a minister but an originator (autor), appears in a very real sense as the mediator between God and men, and, as priest of the body of Christ (sacerdos corporis Christi), his dignity comes most distinctly to view. The Mass was assailed as unbiblical by Wyclif. On the part of others also opposition arose in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries against the low masses and masses for souls, which, however, was directed, as a rule, only against the abuse (abusus).
4. Penance.438438Thomas, Summa, P. III. Q. 84-90, Suppl. Q. 1-28. Schwane, p. 661, ff. Steitz das römische Busssacrament, 1854. Although in theory baptism and the Eucharist were placed together and emphasised as the two principal Sacraments, yet, as a fact, the two chief closely connected Sacraments were baptism and penance (“second plank after ship-wreck” [secunda tabula post naufragium] — so first Tertullian, after him many teachers). But inasmuch as baptism is only administered once, while the Sacrament of Penance is administered repeatedly, and as almost every baptised person comes to be in a position for requiring this latter Sacrament, for which no other can be substituted, this Sacrament became practically the most important means of grace. Now, as the Church had completely saturated this Sacrament with its hierarchical spirit, and at the same time attached to it its enfeebled doctrines of sin, grace, and merit, the most important means of grace thus became subordinated to the meaner ecclesiastical tendencies.439439Herrmann remarks correctly (Ztschr. f. Theol. u. Kirche 1 vol., p. 30): “In the Romish institution of penance the question is not about the way in which the Christian attains to renewal of mind, but about providing security for the Christian as he is.
The hierarchical practice, which the laity themselves demanded as a security for grace, preceded the theory by many centuries. In respect of theory there was a special shyness on this point, and an adhering to the evangelical line of thought, that the genuine contrition of the Christian is in itself “sacramental” (see above).440440Karl Müller, in the dissertation referred to above (p. 222), sees in this rather something new. Certainly this thought was for a long time not expressed, because there was entirely wanting a “theologian of penance”; but neither had the prevailing sacramental priestly practice any normal theologian. In my opinion it was a novelty in theology, when Hugo of St. Victor (see Müller, p. 218 f.) declared that man can only be freed from the sentence of eternal damnation by priestly absolution, that this absolution is perfectly real, and that “sententiam Petri non præcedit, sed subsequitur sententia cœli.” In opposition to this, Abelard, and all those who, following in his steps (see Müller, p. 308 ff.), emphasised the contritio, and regarded God as the judex, the priest as the declarator, appear to me to have reproduced an old ecclesiastical thought, which is parallel to the Augustinian “Crede et manducasti,” and coincides with the very early idea that sins against God are only forgiven by God. That — as the practice of penance, as regards the satisfactions, had become quite different from what it was in the ancient Church — the distinctions of Abelard and his disciples with respect to this were new, is certain. In spite of the attempts 244of Hugo to define the Sacrament of Penance in a stricter ecclesiastical sense (the priest effects forgiveness; but Hugo still demands, on the other side, the perfect contritio),441441 De sacram. II. 1. 14. Moreover, Hugo certainly then makes other conditions still as regards the certainty and sovereignty of the priestly forgiveness of sin with respect to the forgiveness of God. That at bottom the Sacraments, as a whole, effect only the possibility of salvation — the cardinal thought that lies concealed under the Catholic doctrine of the Sacraments — is acknowledged by Hugo in the following very noteworthy sentence (c. 8): “Ubique magis virtus sacramentorum exprimitur, nec quod per ea quilibet participantes salvandi sint, sed quod salvari possint, significatur.” A pernicious influence on the shaping of the new theory and practice of penance was exercised by the Pseudo-Augustinian treatise de vera et falsa pænitentia (Migne T. 40, col. 1113 sq.), which seems to have appeared in the tenth or in the beginning of the eleventh century (see Karl Müller, Abhandl. f. Weizsäcker, 1892, p. 292. ff.). Luther had already recognised its spuriousness before 1517. the Lombard as the disciple of Abelard, and Master Roland, too,442442It has been effectively shown by Müller, that the spiritual view of penance goes back to Abelard. He says, “the great innovation”; I would say “restoration.” adhered to the old ecclesiastical theory.443443On this account, therefore, he is in disfavour among modern Catholic theologians. Credit is given to him, indeed, for placing together the three things, contritio (compunctio) cordis, confessio oris, satisfactio operis, but his demanding a perfect contritio (caritate perfecta), and his not regarding the priestly absolution as absolutely necessary, are held to be grave defects. As a fact, he declared the contritio, conjoined with the votum confitendi, to be sufficient; this is followed by the divine forgiveness of sins, the infusion of grace and the remission of the eternal penalty “ante oris confessionem et satisfactionem” (Sentent. IV., 17 A). Hence the consequent reckoning of the priestly absolution as a forgiveness merely declarative, or as a forgiveness merely ecclesiastical, as distinguished from the divine forgiveness, 18 E: “Ecce quam varia a doctoribus super his traduntur, et in hac tanta varietate quid tenendum sit? Hoc sane dicere ac sentire possumus, quod solus deus peccata dimittit et retinet, et tamen ecclesiæ contulit potestatem ligandi et solvendi. Sed aliter ipse solvit vel ligat, aliter ecclesia. Ipse enim per se tantum ita dimittit peccatum, quia et animam mundat ab interiori macula et a debito æternæ mortis solvit.” 18 F: “Non autem hoc sacerdotibus concessit, quibus tamen tribuit potestatem ligandi et solvendi i.e., ostendendi homines ligatos et solutos . . . Quia etsi aliquis apud deum sit solutus, non tamen in facie ecclesiæ salutus habetur nisi per judicium sacerdotis. In solvendis ergo culpis et retinendis ita operatur sarcerdos evangelicus et judicat, sicut olim legalis in illis qui contaminati erant lepra quæ peccatum significat.” In addition to the declaration of forgiveness as an ecclesiastical act (for the congregation), the binding and loosing on the part of the priests consists, according to the Lombard, simply in this, that they impose the works connected with penance, or, abate and remit them. Here, therefore, there still exists a complete understanding of the distinction between inward forgiveness and ecclesiastical reconciliation. Gratian placed 245the old and new views side by side, without coming to a decision himself.444444De pænit. P. II., c. 33, q. 3, dist. 1.
The Lateran Council of 1215 laid here also the basis of a fixed doctrine. This doctrine appears in perfected form, not yet in Alexander of Hales, but certainly in Thomas. Thomas shows first (in Q. 84) that penance is a Sacrament. In the 1st Art. he starts the objections that there are no corporeal things (corporales res) present, that penance is not dispensed “by ministers of Christ,” but is inwardly wrought by God, and, finally, that we cannot distinguish between sacramentum, res, and res and sacramentum. But he sets aside these objections by pointing to the visible acts of the penitent and of the absolving priest, and by recognising in the former, which are completed by the latter, the materia sacramenti. In the 2nd Art. he shows that these acts are the materia proxima (proximate material), while the sins “to be detested and destroyed” (peccata detestenda et destruenda) are the materia remain (remote material). In the 3rd Art. there follows the fatal proof that the words, “I absolve thee” (ego te absolvo) are the form (forma) of the Sacrament, for “this Sacrament receives its full effect from those things which are spoken by the priest “ (hoc sacramentum perficitur per ea quæ sunt ex parte sacerdotis); but these words of the priest are by appointment of Christ (Matt. 16). Since the Sacraments “effect what they represent” (efficiunt quod figurant), it is not enough in the sacramental absolution to say, “May God have mercy on thee” (misereatur tui deus); “yet such language is also premised in the sacramental absolution, that the effect of the Sacrament may not be hindered on the side of the penitent” (præmittitur tamen etiam in sacramentali absolutione talis oratio, ne impediatur effectus sacramenti ex parte 246pænitentis). The general rule that God alone forgives sin is not violated by the priest’s absolution, for the priests are “authorised ministers” (this is a makeshift). In Art. 4 the laying on of the hand at confession is dealt with (it is not necessary, as what is contemplated is forgiveness of sins, not the obtaining of positive grace). In Art. 5 the necessity of sacramental penance for anyone guilty of mortal sin is shown: “the salvation of the sinner — that is, that his sin be removed from him — is not possible without the Sacrament of Penance, in which there operates the virtue of Christ’s passion, through absolution of the priest together with the work of the penitent, who co-operates with grace for the destruction of sin.” To this there is further added: “When once anyone has fallen into sin (ex quo aliquis peccatum incurrit), love, faith, and mercy do not deliver the man from sin without penitence (as if they could exist at all without penitence!); for love requires that a man grieve for the offence committed against his friend, and that a man be anxious to satisfy his friend; faith also requires that he seek to be justified from his sins through the virtue of the passion of Christ, which operates in the Sacraments of the Church; rightly directed mercy (misericordia ordinata) also requires that a man find a remedy in his repenting for the misery into which his sin has plunged him (ut homo subveniat pænitendo suæ miseriæ, quam per peccatum incurrit)” (but the necessity of sacramental penance has not thus been proved). In Art. 6 it is shown that penance is “the second plank after shipwreck.” In Art. 8 it is explained that the “pænitentia” does not need to last till the end of life, but only “for a time determined by the measure of the sin” (ad determinatum tempus pro mensura peccati); yet “penitence is twofold, viz., internal and external. That is internal penitence in which one grieves over sin committed, and such penitence ought to last till the close of life. . . . That is external penitence in which one shows external signs of grief, and verbally (verbo tenus) confesses his sins to the priest who absolves him, and makes satisfaction according to the priest’s judgment (juxta ejus arbitrium satisfacit); and such penitence does not need to continue till the end of life, but only for a time determined by the measure of the sin.” In Art. 9 it is shown 247that a penitence continuous in act (continua secundum actum) is impossible, but that a penitence continuous in habit (secundum habitum) is obligatory. In Art. 10 it is proved that sacramental penance can be repeated; love can be lost through free will; but God’s mercy seeks always to restore it. In Q. 85 there now follows a minute inquiry into penance as “virtue,” and in Q. 86 the effect of penance is dealt with “as regards the remission of mortal sins” (quoad mortalium peccatorum remissionem). Here it is explained in Art. 4 that with the forgiveness of guilt and the cancelling of eternal penalty all the “penal liability” (reatus pœnæ) is not blotted out (“potest remanere”). If sin, that is to say, is departure from God as the supreme good, and “a perverse turning to mutable good” (conversio inordinata ad commutabile bonum), then there follows from the former eternal, from the latter temporal guilt and penalty. Now, although penance takes the eternal guilt and penalty, as well as the temporal guilt, entirely away, yet the temporal penalty may remain; for “in baptism a man attains to (consequitur) a remission of his whole penal guilt (reatus totius pœnæ), but in penance he attains to the virtue of the passion of Christ according to the measure of his own acts (secundum modum propriorum actuum) (this, then, is the ultimate ground of the strange and objectionable view) which are the material of penance (qui sunt materia pænitentiæ); and so it is not always by the first act of penance, by which blame (culpa) is remitted, that liability to the whole penalty is cancelled, but by all the acts of penance when completed” (et ideo non statim per primum actum pænitentiae quo remittitur culpa, solvitur reatus totius pœnæ, sed completis omnibus pænitentiæ actibus).445445Hence, also, in the 5th Article the following exposition: “Peccatum mortale ex parte conversionis inordinatæ ad bonum commutabile quandam dispositionem causat in anima vel etiam habitum, si actus frequenter iteretur. Sicut autem dictum est, culpa peccati mortalis remittitur, in quantum tollitur per gratiam aversio mentis a deo. Sublato autem eo, quod est ex parte aversionis, nihilominus remanere potest id quod est ex parte conversionis inordinatæ, cum hanc contingat esse sine illa (!), sicut prius dictum est; et ideo nihil prohibet, quin remissa culpa remaneant dispositiones ex præcedentibus actibus causatæ, quæ dicuntur peccati reliquiæ . . . sicut etiam remanet fomes post baptismum.” In Q. 87, in which the forgiveness of venial sins through penance is treated, it is shown that to one guilty of 248mortal sin no venial sins are forgiven, so long as the mortal sin is not blotted out (Art. 4). With Q. 90 begins the inquiry into the “parts of penance.”
As all these thoughts of Thomas were no doubt already common property in his day, so they continued also to be among the Schoolmen. The necessity of priestly absolution, hence also confession before the priest, and, still further, the idea of the effectual action of the priest in the Sacrament, were settled matters.446446Yet there still continued certainly to be a want of logical consistency, in so far as many Schoolmen maintained that perfect contrition conjoined with the votum sacramenti is immediately followed by the forgiveness of sins — a position which even to-day is still valid in the Catholic Church. The inner contrition was certainly regarded as res and sacramentum (the res sacramenti is the forgiveness of sins, the Sacrament is the external acts of the penitent and the priests, see Thomas III., Q. 84, Art. 1); but it is not enough, and just because it is not yet enough, the perverse opinion could easily creep in ex contrario, that perfect contrition is, indeed, essential to non-sacramental penitence, but that in the case of sacramental penitence the addition of the Sacrament completes the imperfect contrition. This opinion not merely crept in, it became actually dominant. But in the definition of the particular parts of penance (partes pænitentiæ) a general perversion of the worst kind made its appearance, of which the seeds, indeed, are to be found already in Thomas.447447How seriously even the fundamental theory was threatened (though that of Thomas continued to be held valid) is shown by the proposals of Duns Scotus and Durandus (see Schwane, p. 665) to call the sacrament not so much “penance” as “confession.” Durandus would only have confession and absolution described as material and form of the sacrament; for contrition and satisfaction are not parts of the Sacrament, but the preparation for the forgiveness of sin (Durandus, in Sent. IV., Dist. 16, Q. 1). This proposal is quite logical, but it shows very plainly how penitence had become externalised in having become a sacrament. It was inevitable that this process of externalising should continue.
With respect to contrition, no other thought was entertained till the thirteenth century (see above, p. 221 ff.) than that what is alone of account before God is a perfect penitent disposition, i.e., a disposition prompted by love.448448See Stückert, Die Katholische Lehre v. d. Reue, 1896. Contrition as an inner spirit and habit was magnified as an essential Christian virtue, and as “virtue” 249received elaborate treatment.449449Thomas, Summa III., Suppl. Q. 1: contritio in opposition to superbia, which is initium omnis peccati. An extremely artificial and empty distinction between contritio as virtus and contritio as sacramental in Q. 5, Art. I: “Contritio potest dupliciter considerari, vel in quantum est pars sacramenti vel in quantum est actus virtutis, et utroque modo est causa remissionis peccati, sed diversimode: quia in quantum est pars sacramenti primo operatur ad remissionem peccati instrumentaliter, sicut et de aliis sacramentis patet; in quantum autem est actus virtutis sic est quasi causa materialis remissionis peccati, eo quod dispositio est quasi necessitas ad justificationem, dispositio autem reducitur ad causant materialem.” To the question, why then the sacrament is necessary if the contritio is enough, Thomas replies (l.c. Art. 1): “Quamvis possit tota pœna per contritionem dimitti, tamen adhuc necessaria est confessio et satisfactio, tum quia homo non potest esse certus de sua contritione, quod fuerit ad totum tollendum sufficiens, tum etiam quia confessio et satisfactio sunt in præcepto.” But it was already pointed out by Alexander of Hales that God has made entrance into the Church easier for man,450450Summa IV., Q. 59, M. 2, A. 4: “expeditius et melius liberatur peccator per sacramentum pænitentiæ quam per pænitentiæ virtutem.” and he distinguishes attritio (timor servilis [servile fear]) from contritio. This distinction Thomas adopted. He explains, however: “attrition, as is declared by all, is not a virtuous activity” (attritio, ut ab omnibus dicitur, non est actus virtutis). Yet he then defines it in the same article as “in spiritual matters a certain displeasure over sins committed, which, however, is not perfect, but is an approach to perfect contrition” (in spiritualibus quædum displicentia de peccatis commissis, sed non perfecta, [quæ est] accessus ad perfectam contritionem).451451P. III., Suppl. Q. 1, Art. 2. Without using the word “attritio,” he gives already the thing in P. III., Q. 85, Art. 5, where an exceedingly important statement of the stages of penance is given, which clearly shows the divergence of the Catholic from the evangelical view: “De pænitentia loqui possumus dupliciter. Uno modo quantum ad habitum. Et sic immediate a deo infunditur sine nobis principaliter operantibus . . . alio modo possumus loqui de pænitentia quantum ad actus quibus deo operanti in pænitentia cooperamur. Quorum actuum primum principium est dei operatio convertentis cor, secundus actus est motus fidei, tertius est motus timoris servilis, quo quis timore suppliciorum a peccatis retrahitur” (take also: “peccatum prius incipit homini displicere [maxime peccatori] propter supplicia, quæ respicit timor servilis, quam propter dei offensam vel peccati turpitudinem, quod pertinet ad caritatem . . . ipse etiam motus timoris procedit ex actu dei convertentis cor”). “Quartus actus est motus spei, quo quis sub spe veniæ consequendæ assumit propositum emendandi. Quintus actus est motus caritatis, quo alicui peccatum displicet secundum se ipsum et non jam propter supplicia” (that is the contritio). “Sextus est motus timoris filialis, quo propter reverentiam dei aliquis emendam deo voluntarius offert.” Prior to him Bonaventura had already 250said:452452In Sentent. IV., Dist. 17, p. 2, a. 1, q. 4. “For the Sacrament of Penance it is not necessary that he who comes to it has love, or an inclination to love that is sufficient when judged by the standard of truth, provided it be sufficient when judged by the standard of probability; but this disposition is attritio, which, by reason of superadded confession and absolution of the priest, frequently so receives form from grace (formatur per gratiam), that it becomes contritio, or that contritio follows upon it.” This thought Thomas did not adopt; he tacitly rejected it rather, and expressed himself altogether with strictness and earnestness regarding contritio and its necessity in Q. 1-5. Yet the considerations suggested by Alexander of Hales453453Summa IV., Q. 60, A. 3: “Si autem pænitens præparatus quantum in se est accedat ad confessionem attritus, non contritus . . . confessio cum subjectione arbitrio sacerdotis et satisfactio pænitentiæ injunctæ a sacerdote est signum et causa deletionis culpæ et pœnæ, quia sic subjiciendo se et satisfaciendo gratiam acquirit.” and Bonaventura continued to have their influence. It was especially Scotus who secured currency for the view, that attrition, in itself inadequate, is sufficient for the reception of the Sacrament of Penance, since the Sacrament itself makes the sorrow perfect by “infusion of grace.”454454See Reportt IV., Dist. 14, Q. 4, schol. 2 (quoted in Schwane, p. 666): “Dico, quod bonus motus præcedens sacramentum pænitentiæ tantum est attritio et dispositio de congruo ad deletionem culpæ et infusionem gratiæ, quæ remissio culpæ et collatio gratiæ sunt in virtute sacramenti pænitentiæ et non in virtute attritionis tantum, nisi dispositive. Sed hæc attritio post collationem gratiæ, quæ confertur in susceptione sacramenti, fit contritio formata.” On this point the decrees of Trent adopted — though, indeed, only conditionally — the side of the Scotists.455455Sess. XIV. de pænit., c. 4: “attritio peccatorum ad dei gratiam in sacramento pænitentiæ impetrandam disponit.” In recent times, following Lämmer (Vortrident. Theologie), Bratke (Luther’s 95 Thesen und ihre dogmenhistor. Voraussetzung, 1884) and Dieckhoff (Der Ablasstreit, dogmengesch. dargestellt, 1886) have very fully treated the scholastic doctrine of penance in connection with the doctrine of indulgences, after a controversy on the doctrine of indulgences had broken out, occasioned by the great work of Janssen (see Kolde, Die deutsche Augustiner-Congregation u. Johann v. Staupitz, 1879, the same author in the ThLZ. 1882, No. 23, and also dissertations by Kawerau, Köstlin, Schweitzer and Janssen “An meine Kritiker”). Bratke already placed the doctrine of indulgences in a clearer light in opposition to Köstlin. But Dieckhof has especially the credit of having traced back the theory to the lax view of penance, and of having shown that here the seat of the evil must be sought for. There can be no doubt that the doctrine of attritio more and more threatened to become the Church’s chief means of producing ease of mind, and that it actually became such subsequently in wide circles (especially through the influence of the Jesuit Father Confessors; but also, prior to them, through the influence of the preachers of indulgences). Opposition certainly was not wanting, and it grew stronger in many circles in the fifteenth century (Augustinian-Thomist reaction, see Bratke, p. S9 ff. and elsewhere); but when one reads, e.g., the discussions of John of Paltz, the senior contemporary and Augustinian brother of Luther (Kolde l.c.), one is shocked to see what a withering up of religion and of the simplest morality resulted from the “attritio” (“gallows-repentance”). The priest is here extravagantly dignified (in the book “Cœlifodina”); for he is the most necessary person, because only very few men are really contrite; on the other hand, everyone can bring himself in the end to an imperfect contrition; and now he, the priest, through the sacrament of penance, transforms this imperfect into a perfect sorrow (“paucissimi sunt vere contriti, ergo paucissimi salvarentur sine sacerdotibus; possunt autem omnes aliquo modo fieri attriti, et tales possunt sacerdotes juvare et eorum ministerio facere contritos et per consequens possunt eos salvare”). Or — everything depends on an experienced priest; there is nothing lacking to anyone who finds such (“non potest esse peccator adeo desperatus, quia posset consequi indulgentias, si habuerit intelligentem et fidelem informatorem et voluerit facere, quod potest, et habeat attritionem aliqualem, quæ tunc in sacramentis sibi succurritur et imperfectum ejus tollitur, et informis attritio, i.e., caritate carens formatur per gratiam sacramentalem”); see Kolde, pp. 187, 191; Dieckhoff, p. 14; Bratke, pp. 53 ff., 111 ff., 128 ff. The last-mentioned gives abundant material, from which it appears that Paltz by no means stood alone. Everywhere the assertion is made that it is easier, under the new covenant, to attain salvation on account of the wonderful efficacy of the cross of Christ. At the same time it did not fail to be clearly seen that attritio is something else than contritio, not merely quantitatively, but also qualitatively. Gabriel Biel, who certainly thinks more earnestly about contrition than Paltz, knows very well that under some circumstances attritio springs from immoral motives, hence is by no means a pars contritionis, and is besides, as a rule, a passing mood (Bratke, p. 46 f.). Others knew that also, and nevertheless calmly built up on this attritio their theories that were to lead to heaven. Indeed some actually gave instructions for deluding God in heaven and His holy law; entrance into heaven was to be secured by merely guarding against mortal sin for one day in the year or for one hour, and showing for this space of time aliquam attritionem (see Petrus de Palude in Bratke, p. 84 ff., especially p. 87, note 1). Thus the doctrine of attritio, which dominates the whole Christian life, is really the radical source of mischief in the Catholic system of doctrine; for in it both things are at work, the magical, and therefore godless, conception of the efficacy of the Sacrament, and the idea, which is no longer Pelagian, but is pressed to the point of denial of all that is moral, of a “ merit” recognised in any kind of motus that is only a turning away from sin. In the fourth extra number of the Rom. Quartalschr. (1896), p. 122 ff., Finke has attempted to combat the exposition given here. One proposition of the first edition I have now shaped more precisely. The sentence about the “withering up of religion and the simplest morality” I could not change. I would not have written it, if it said in a general way (so Finke seems to have misunderstood me), that at the end of the fifteenth century religion and the simplest morality had become a desolate waste. That was not my thought; I only said that where attritionism reigns, as in the case of John of Paltz and others, withering up is a necessary result. To deal now with the subject itself, Finke asserts (1) that an attritio which has only the timor servilis, in which the fixed purpose of thorough repentance is not present, was never held to be adequate sorrow. If the “was held” is not to have the sense of “was established as an authoritative dogma,” or if the notion “adequate sorrow” is not equivocal (attritio is of course in itself never “adequate sorrow,” but it becomes such through the sacrament), then the position is false; cf. Döllinger and Reusch, Moralstreitigkeiten (1889), I., p. 69 ff., and many other passages. Liguori himself was an attritionist (p. 458 f.); what he requires over and above the timor servilis, does not, from the way in which he has presented it, possess much weight. Finke asserts (2): “In the practice of penance, confession, and preaching, that is, in dealing with the Christian people, it was always taught from the seventh century to the sixteenth, that contritio is requisite for confession; the conception of contritio, which an Isidore presented in the seventh century and a Rabanus in the ninth, coincides with that which we meet with in the sermons at the close of the Middle Ages.” This thesis the author seeks to prove by furnishing (we are thankful to him for it) on pages 128-135 of his dissertation, extracts from sermons at the end of the mediæval period, which are intended to show that sorrow springing from fear was not regarded as adequate. Certainly, we reply, how often must the words have been spoken from the pulpit at that time: “contritio non potest esse sine caritate”! But how little is proved by that! We must question the preachers of indulgences, and observe the real spirit that was awakened by the confessional and by indulgences. What the Reformers relate to us in this regard, what we can ourselves discern from the decrees of Trent as to the practice disapproved by the Fathers of the Council, what breaks out again afterwards as attritionism in spite of the Tridentinum, is certainly more important than what was said in sermons and general directions as to repentance, which of course urged to the utmost endeavour. In sermons it was also said that all good works are gifts from God; but did Luther simply misunderstand the temper of his Church, when, in looking back to his works as a monk, he speaks of his “own works” with a view to sanctification, which he had wished to practise in the spirit of the Church? Besides the assertion which Finke makes without qualifications, which he has printed in italics, and which relates to a thousand years, is itself very considerably restricted when he says (p. 123): “The question is as to whether attritio was the form of sorrow in the circles of our people, and not as to the doctrinal opinions of a Duns Scotus, etc., which remained unknown to the people.” As developed doctrines of course they remained unknown to the people; but were these doctrines really without consequences in practice? And why should one make so light of the doctrines of the theologians? In view of the worthlessness of attritio as timor servilis asserted by Finke, observe what Bellarmin (de pœnit. II. c. 57) says as to its value. Perrone (de pœnit. c. 2, § 91 f.) has certainly been somewhat more cautious, inasmuch as he introduces the distinction between the timor simpliciter servilis and the worthless timor serviliter servilis.251
The theologian on confession (before the priest) is Thomas, the Lombard having previously, as Catholic scholars express it, thrown obscurity over the connection between confession and 252the Sacrament, and over the necessity of the former, an obscurity not yet entirely removed even by Halesius.456456As the priest, according to Halesius, could still only remit temporal penalties and could not forgive sins, even on that account the necessity of confession could not be confidently proved yet. Even Bonaventura did not trust himself to represent the order to confess as originating in the institution and command of Christ. In Q. 6 253(P. III. Suppl.) Thomas has dealt at length with the necessity of confession. In Art. 1 its absolute necessity is proved from the nature of the case;457457“Sicut aliquis per hoc quod baptismum petit se ministris ecclesiæ subicit, ad quos pertinet dispensatio sacramenti, ita etiam per hoc quod confitetur peccatum suum se ministro ecclesiæ subicit, ut per sacramentum pænitentiæ ab eo dispensatum remissionem consequatur, qui congruum remedium adhibere non potest, nisi peccatum cognoscat, quod fit per confessionem peccantis. Et ideo confessio est de necessitate salutis ejus, qui in peccatum actuate mortale cecidit.” in Art. 2 it is shown that confession is divinely enjoined (juris divini); in 3 it is pointed out that though, according to divine law, only those guilty of mortal sin are obliged to confess, yet according to positive law all Christians must confess at least once a year;458458The “positive” law is the decree of the Council of 1215; further, every one of course must know himself to be a sinner; still further, one must confess in order to come with greater reverence to the Eucharist; finally, in order that the shepherd may be able to superintend his flock and protect it from the wolf. in Art. 4 it is laid down that one may not confess sins of which he does not know himself to be guilty; in 5 it is declared that it is not necessary to salvation (de necessitate salutis) to confess sins at once, but that delay is not without danger, and that a regard to Church regulations (times of confession) is advisable; finally in 6 it is proved that a dispensation exempting from confession (for ever) can on no account whatever be given; even the Pope can as little be exempted from confession as he can declare that a man can be saved without baptism.459459“Sicut non potest dispensari in jure naturali, ita nec in jure positivo divino.”
Q. 7 treats of the “quidditas confessionis,” i.e., of its nature, as “disclosure of the latent disease in the hope of pardon” (aperitio latentis morbi spe veniæ); and also as an “ exercise of virtue” (actus virtutis)460460Art. 2: “ad virtutem pertinet, ut aliquis ore confiteatur, quod corde tenet.” and as an “exercise of the virtue of penitence” (actus virtutis pænitentiæ). Q. 8 is specially important, for it develops the doctrine as to the administrator (“minister”) of confession. Here it is at once said in Art. 1: “The grace that is conferred in the Sacraments descends from the head to the members, and so he only is the minister of the Sacraments in which grace is given, who has a ministry in connection 254with the true body of Christ (qui habet ministerium super corpus Christi verum), which belongs only to the priest who is able to consecrate the Eucharist, and therefore as in the Sacrament of Penance grace is conferred, the priest only is minister of this Sacrament, and therefore to him only must be made the sacramental confession (sacramentalis confessio) which ought to be made to the minister of the Church.” But in Art. 2 it is conceded, that “in case of necessity a layman supplies the place of the priest, so that it is possible to make confession to him” (in necessitate etiam laicus vicem sacerdotis supplet, ut ei confessio fieri possit).461461Yet such confession is not sacramental in the strict sense. The necessity of confessing venial sins to the priest is denied (Art. 3), and this view continued to be held, as even Duns assented to it. Confession must take place before the Parochus (priest of the parish); only by authority of one of higher rank (“ex superioris privilegio”) and in case of death (“in casu mortis”) (Art. 4-6) may this be departed from. In Q. 9, on the “quality of confession,” Art. 2, which treats of the “integrity of the confession,”462462As one must disclose to the physician the whole disease, and this is the presupposition of being healed, so is it also with confession. “Ideo de necessitate confessionis est, quod homo omnia peccata confiteatur quæ in memoria habet, quod si non faciat, non est confessio, sed confessionis simulatio.” Mortal sins that have been forgotten must be confessed in the confession that follows. A voluminous work on the history of auricular confession has been written by Lea, 2 vols. (English), Philadelphia, 1896. I have not yet been able to look into it. and Art. 3, which forbids confession “through another or in writing,” are specially important.463463 To describe the qualities of confession the scholastic stanza was framed (see Art. 4): ” Sit simplex, humilis confessio, pura, fidelis, Atque frequens, nudo, discreta, libens, verecunda, Integra, secreta, lacrimabilis, accelerata, Fortis et accusans et sit parere parata.” Q. 10 deals with the effect of confession, and 11 with the reticence of the minister, which is very strongly accentuated (“God covers the sin of him who surrenders himself in penitence; hence this also should be indicated in the Sacrament of Penance (hoc oportet in sacramento pænitentiæ significari), and thus it is of the essence of the Sacrament (de necessitate sacramenti), that one conceal confession, and he sins as a violator of 255the Sacraments who reveals confession” (et tanquam violator sacramenti peccat, qui confessionem revelat).
These definitions of Thomas underwent, indeed, many modifications in the Scotist School, but in substance they became permanent.
Confession is made before the priest; it is followed by absolution. We have already pointed out how much time elapsed before the new ideas became currently accepted, (1) that confession must be made to the priest,464464On the exception, see above. (2) that the priest confers absolution as proceeding from himself (in the exercise of divine authority)465465Not ex potestate auctoritatis or excellentiæ, but ministerii. and as effectual (Matth. 16, John 20). The power of absolution, which is given to every priest, appears complicated because it is connected with the power of jurisdiction (in its application), which, as is well known, was graded. Here also Thomas was the first to furnish the theory; for even for Halesius and Bonaventura there are still points of uncertainty, which were due to the continued influence of the older view. In the Summa P. III., Suppl. Q. 17-24, Thomas has developed the doctrine of the power of the keys (potestas clavium), and has shown that the priest’s absolution is the “causa instrumentalis” (in a physical sense) of the forgiveness of sin. But in the Scotist School, which in general relaxed the connection between the Sacrament and the res sacramenti, only a moral communication, through absolution, of forgiveness of sin was assumed, the priest being held as moving God by means of his absolution to fulfil his “covenant.” The priests’ power of jurisdiction has also been dealt with by Thomas, and from his time it was always treated in connection with the theory of absolution, although it leads in a quite different direction, is really calculated indeed to weaken confidence in the power of every priest to absolve. It was asserted, that is to say, by the majority, though not by all, that the power of jurisdiction is also ex jure divino (by divine authority), and that the restrictions therefore on the permissible conferring of absolution were not merely ecclesiastical regulations, but had divine right. But in the Middle Ages there had by this time developed itself an immense system of special permissions, 256reservations, etc., which had their basis in arbitrary decisions of the Popes. The position, though vigorously contested, continued to be held as valid, that ecclesiastical superiors “in conveying judicial power in foro interno can by reservation make any kind of restrictions in respect of duration, place, and object.” Was it not inevitable that by such procedure, in dealing with which it was impossible for the layman to find his way, confusion and uncertainty should arise about the Sacrament?466466The most important propositions of Thomas regarding absolution are the following: Suppl. Q. 17, Art. 1: “In corporalibus clavis dicitur instrumentum, quo ostium aperitur, regni autem ostium nobis per peccatum clauditur et quantum ad maculam et quantum ad reatum poenæ, et ideo potestas qua tale obstaculum removetur, dicitur clavis. Hæc autem potestas est in divina trinitate per auctoritatem, et ideo dicitur a quibusdam, quod habeat clavem auctoritatis, sed in Christo homine fuit hæc potestas ad removendum prædictum obstaculum per meritum passionis quæ etiam dicitur januam aperire. Et ideo dicitur secundum quosdam habere clavem excellentiæ. Et quia ex latere Christi dormientis in cruce sacramenta fluxerunt, ex quibus ecclesia fabricatur, ideo in sacramentis ecclesiæ efficacia passionis manet, et propter hoc etiam ministris ecclesiæ, qui sunt dispensatores sacramentorum, potestas aliqua ad prædictum obstaculum removendum est collata, non propria, sed virtute divina et passionis Christi, et hæc potestas metaphorice clavis ecclesiæ dicitur, quæ est clavis ministerii.” Especially important is Q. 18, Art. 1: “Sacramenta continent ex sanctificatione invisibilem gratiam. Sed hujusmodi sanctificatio quandoque ad necessitatem sacramenti requiritur tam in materia quam in ministro, sicut patet in confirmatione. Quandoque autem de necessitate sacramenti non requiritur nisi sanctificatio materiæ, sicut in baptismo, quia non habet ministrum determinatum quantum ad sui necessitatem et tunc tota vis sacramentalis consistit in materia. Quandoque vero de necessitate sacramenti requiritur consecratio vel sanctificatio ministri sine aliqua sanctificatione materiæ, et tunc tota vis sacramentalis consistit in ministro, sicut est in pænitentia . . . Per pænitentiæ sacramentum nunquam datur gratia, nisi præparatio adsit vel prius fuerit. Unde virtus clavium operatur ad culpæ remissionem, vel in voto existens, vel in actu se exercens . . . sed non agit sicut principate agens, sed sicut instrumentum, non quidem pertingens ad ipsam gratiæ susceptionem causandam etiam instrumentaliter, sed disponens ad gratiam, per quam fit remissio culpæ. Unde solus deus remittit per se culpam et in virtute ejus agit . . . sacerdos ut instrumentum animatum . . . ut minister. Et sic patet, quod potestas clavium ordinatur aliquo modo ad remissionem culpæ non sicut causans, sed sicut disponens ad eam; unde si ante absolutionem aliquis non fuisset perfecte dispositus ad gratiam suscipiendam, in ipsa confessione et absolutione sacramentali gratiam consequeretur, si obicem non poneret.” In what follows it is now proved that the priestly clavis cannot possibly relate only to the remission of penalty (“ut quidam dicunt”). In Art. 2 it is then shown that “ex vi clavium non tota pœna remittitur, sed aliqiud de pœna temporali, cujus reatus post absolutionem a pœna æterna remanere potuit, nec solum de pœna quam pænitens habet in confitendo, quia sic confessio et sacramentalis absolutio non esset nisi in onus, quod non competit sacramentis novæ legis, sed etiam de illa pœna, quæ in purgatorio debetur, aliquid remittitur.” With regard to the efficacy of the absolution a distinction also of this kind was drawn: God cancels the reatus culpæ, Christ the reatus pœnæ æternæ; both are effectually wrought by the minister sacramenti in the exercise of plenary divine power, and he has at the same time the right belonging to him to give abatement in his absolving of the reatus pœnæ temporalis. In Q. 19, Art. 3, Thomas shows that the clavis ordinis is given only to the priest, while the clavis jurisdictionis — quæ non clavis cœli est, sed quædam dispositio ad eam! — may be granted also to others. In Q. 19, Art. 5, it is explained that even the bad priest retains the keys; on the other hand, it is said in Art. 6 of the heretical and schismatic priests that in them “manet clavium potestas quantum ad essentiam, sed usus impeditur ex defectu materiæ. Cum enim usus clavium in utente prælationem requirat respectu ejus in quem utitur, propria materia in quam exercetur usus clavium est homo subditus. Et quia per ordinationem ecclesiæ unus subditur alteri, ideo etiam per ecclesiæ prælatos potest subtrahi alicui ille, qui erat ei subjectus. Unde cum ecclesia hæreticos et schismaticos et alios hujusmodi privet subtrahendo subditos vel simpliciter vel quantum ad aliquid, quantum ad hoc quod privati sunt, non possunt usum clavium habere.” In Q. 20, Art. 1, it is explained that only to the Pope, as he possesses the indistincta potestas super omnes, does there fall the application of the power of the keys with respect to all, while it is said of the others that “non in quolibet uti (potestatem clavium) possunt, sed in eos tantum, qui eis in sortem venerunt, nisi in necessitatis articulo.” But the priest cannot always absolve even his subditus; for aliqua peccata — if the power is not conferred upon him — fall to be dealt with by his superior (Art. 2). A priest can absolve even a bishop; for “potestas clavium, quantum est de se, se extendit ad omnes” (Art. 3). Questions 21-24 treat of excommunication, with which the power of jurisdiction has specially to do (Q. 21, Art. 4: “Even an unjust excommunication habet effectum suum; in the case of a mortal sin it must be respected; sed si quis pro falso crimine in judicio probato excommunicatus est, tunc, si humiliter sustinet, humilitatis meritum recompensat excommunicationis damnum.” Q. 22, Art. 1: “Of the priests only bishops and majores prælati can excommunicate, qui habent jurisdictionem in foro judiciali, ad quod spectat causa, quæ obligat hominem in comparatione ad alios homines”: but even those who are not priests can excommunicate [because it is not a question of gratia], if they have the jurisdictio in foro contentioso).257
Absolution is preceded by the appointment of satisfactio, if such has not already been made. Here the priest acts as a skilled physician (medicus peritus) and impartial judge (judex aequus). The practice of satisfactions (Church-penances) is very old (see vol. v., p. 268 f., 324 ff.), the giving it a mechanical form and the over-estimation of it — by putting it alongside contritio as a part of penance — are in theory comparatively new. The idea is now this, that satisfactio, as a portion of the Sacrament of Penance, is the necessary manifestation of sorrow through works that are fitted to furnish a certain satisfaction to the injured God (and thereby become the occasion also for limiting the temporal penalties). In baptism there is forgiveness of the 258sin, along with the penalty, without any satisfaction; but God requires from the baptised person a certain satisfaction — although both before and now the merit of Christ is the decisive thing — partly because the man can render a certain satisfaction, partly because it serves to make him better, and is fitted to protect him against further sins. But this satisfaction is only of real value when it is rendered in a state of grace (caritas). Hence the man guilty of mortal sin must first be absolved, that he may then furnish the satisfaction which is required of him, and which he has promised to render prior to absolution. But there is a certain value also in works that are not performed in a state of grace (caritas); even they are not without their weight as satisfactions, and can abridge the temporal penalties of sin. The satisfying works are especially prayer, fasting, and alms; for they deliver man from his natural disposition. But the Schoolmen also justified the practice that originated in the wilder times of the Germanic Church, according to which satisfaction can, under certain circumstances, be rendered by others, because Christians are united to one another as members of one body. And this leads us to the subject of indulgences.467467Thomas treats satisfactio in Suppl. Q. 12-15. In Q. 12, Arts. 1 and 2, satisfactio is shown to be actus virtutis et justitiæ; in Art. 3 the old definition is justified, that satisfacere is both “honorem debitum deo impendere” and “præservare culpam futuram.” In Q. 13 it is shown that man is not in a position to satisfy God quoad æqualitatem quantitatis, but certainly quoad æqualitatem proportionis (“ex hoc quod per liberum arbitrium agit, deo satisfacere potest, quia quamvis dei sit prout a deo sibi concessum, tamen libere ei traditum est, ut ejus dominos sit”); in Art. 2 there follows the proof that one can render satisfactio for another; yet the thesis has its guarding clauses (“Pœna satisfactoria est ad duo ordinata, scil. ad solutionem debiti et ad medicinam pro peccato vitando.” In the latter regard one can help another only per accidens, in so far as by good works he can procure for the other an augmentum gratiæ: “sed hoc est per modum meriti magis quam per modum satisfactionis. Sed quantum ad solutionem debiti, unus potest pro olio satisfacere, dummodo sit in caritate, ut opera ejus satisfactoria esse possint”). In Q. 14 the quality of the satisfactio is treated; here the questions as to the necessity for the man’s being in a state of caritas are discussed and answered with still greater strictness (“Quidem dixerunt” — Art. 2 — “quod postquam omnia peccata per præcedentem contritionem remissa sunt, si aliquis ante satisfactionem peractam in peccatum decidat et in peccato existens satisfaciat, satisfactio talis ei valet, ita quod si in peccato illo moreretur, in inferno de illis peccatis non puniretur. Sed hoc non potest esse, quia in satisfactione oportet quod amicitia restituta etiam justitiæ æqualitas restituatur cujus contrarium amicitiam tollit. æqualitas autem in satisfactione ad deum non est secundum æquivalentiam, sed magis secundum acceptationem ipsius. Et ideo oportet, etiamsi jam offensa sit dimissa per præcedentem contritionem, quod opera satisfactoria sint deo accepta, quod dat eis caritas, et ideo sine caritate opera facta non sunt satisfactoria,” but in Art. 5 it is conceded that bona opera extra caritatem facta diminuunt pœnam inferni, i.e., as Augustine says, moderate damnation and limit the temporal penalties. Q. 15 treats of the means of satisfactio (“satisfactio sive referatur ad præteritam offensam sive ad futuram culpam per pœnalia opera fieri asseritur”). Here the following shocking justification of the three penal means of satisfaction is given (Art. 3): “satisfactio debet esse talis, per quam aliquid nobis subtrahamus ad honorem dei, nos autem non habemus nisi tria bona, scil. bona animæ, bona corporis et bona fortunæ, scil. exteriora. Ex bonis quidem fortunæ subtrahimus nobis aliquid per eleemosynam, sed ex bonis corporis per jejunium. Ex bonis autem animæ non oportet quod aliquid subtrahamus nobis quantum ad essentiam vel quantum ad diminutionem ipsorum, quia per ea efficimur deo accepti, sed per hoc quod ea submittimus deo totaliter, et hoc fit per orationem. . . . Secundum quosdam duplex est oratio; quædam quæ est contemplativorum, quorum conversatio in cœlis est, et talis quia totaliter est delectabilis non est satisfactoria. Alia est, quæ pro peccatis gemitus fundit et talis habet pænam et est satisfactionis pars. Vel dicendum et melius, quod quælibet oratio habet rationem satisfactionis, quia quamvis habet suavitatem spiritus, habet tamen afflictionem carnis.” The importance in respect of theory of satisfaction as expiation of temporal penalties of sins that are not remitted does not, for the rest, come specially into view for Thomas, in addition to the other ends which satisfactions contemplate. Indeed, it is even granted in abstracto that contritio can be so perfect that all penalty is condoned by God. Yet as a fact satisfactions were regarded almost exclusively from the point of view of expiation of the penalties of sin (and these were chiefly the future penalties of purgatory). It was here that indulgences came in, and it was here that there entered the very pardonable misunderstanding of the laity that satisfactions in themselves deliver from all penalties for sin — and it was only with this deliverance that the majority took to do.259
Indulgences. The doctrine of indulgence stands inwardly in closest relation to the doctrine of attritio; outwardly it appears as a consequence of the doctrine of satisfactio.468468For the literature see above (p. 250, note 4). Add also Schneider, Die Ablässe, 7 ed., 1881. Thomas, Suppl., Qs. 25-27. Grötz, Studien z. Gesch. d. Buss-sacraments in the Ztschr. f. K.-Gesch., Vol. 15, p. 321 ff., Vol. 16, p. 541 ff. These investigations, which start from an examination of a series of forged Bulls on indulgences, illustrate the history of the development of indulgences, give important disclosures as to the Bulls connected with the Crusades, and treat also the papal cases of reservation in the penance discipline (cf. Hausmann, Gesch. der papstl. Reservatfälle, 1868). The importance which belonged in the course of the development of indulgences to the peregrinations to the sacred places, or to Rome (imposed as penance works), comes prominently to view in these studies. Theoretically it has nothing to do with the reatus culpæ (moral culpability) and the reatus pœnæ æternæ (liability to eternal death); in practice there not only arose, in the Middle Ages, serious irregularities, which the Catholics (see the Council of 260Trent) admit, but these irregularities still continue, and nothing is done to check the over-estimation of indulgences.469469That even in theory there were defects in the Middle Ages is acknowledged by Catholic witnesses themselves (see Schneider, p. 10, note 2): “Certain letters of indulgence are found which speak at the same time of forgiveness of guilt and of penalty (a culpa et a pœna); but, according to the opinion of Benedict XIV., these indulgences are spurious, and must be ascribed to those collectors of alms who proclaimed indulgences and at the same time collected alms previous to the Synod of Trent.” Of course on the Catholic side an appeal is readily made to the circumstance that “peccatum” was also used for “penalty for sin,” “atonement for sin.” This meaning can really be proved; but whether it suits all cases in which indulgences and sin are brought into conjunction is more than questionable.
Scholasticism found indulgences already in existence, a great increase of them having taken place especially in the period of the Crusades. It simply framed its theory according to the practice. If the doctrine of satisfaction was already an extremely arbitrary one, which, in spite of all saving clauses, necessarily endangered the importance of repentance, the doctrine of indulgence became arbitrariness intensified, and exercised an extremely ruinous influence on religion and morality. The practice and theory of indulgences can, no doubt, be idealised, nay, it is possible indeed to justify, in a certain way, the idealised practice.470470To defend at the same time both the satisfactions and the indulgences is certainly difficult. If the former are due to the glad eagerness of the heart, delivered from guilt, to exercise the love bestowed on it, the thought of the indulgence will not arise. On the other hand, if indulgences are the remission of the temporal penalties of sin, they must not be brought into relation with the idealised satisfactions. Were that not possible it would be incredible that so many earnest Christians have defended indulgences. But the scholastic theology by no means idealised them.
The practice of indulgences has its root in the commutations. The exchange of more arduous for easier penitential acts was called indulgence.471471Such exchanges were also necessarily introduced, because the old penitential demands were in part exorbitantly high. The penance performances were here taken into consideration in their significance for the expiation of the temporal penalties of sin. The heaviest temporal penalties for sin were those of purgatory: for the earthly penalties for sin were, on the one hand, as experience taught, unavoidable, and on the other hand, even though one thought of year-long 261penances, they were of no weight as compared with the long and painful penalties in purgatory. It was a refined practice of the Church, which had gradually developed itself, to comfort men in an easy way about hell by means of grace (Sacrament of Penance), and, on the other hand, to terrify them by means of purgatory. Was this purgatory, then, not also a hell? But how skilfully was the whole idea derived from studying the moral feelings of the homines attriti (men practising attrition)!472472The indulgences were most truly the refuge of the Christians of lower type, although the most pious also made use of them. It is related of Tetzel that when, in the small town of Belitz, near Berlin, no one would buy indulgences from him, he said indignantly, that those in the town must either be “right pious people or desperate villains.” This is told by Creusing in his “Märkische Fürstenchronik,” edited by Holtze, p. 159, the informant being the Miller of Belitz, Meister Jacob (see Heidemann, Die Reform. in der Mark Brandenburg, p. 77). They did not really believe in hell, because the gravity of sin had not been disclosed to them, and because, accordingly, they were not to be constrained to a life in God. Hence the Church shut up hell by means of the Sacrament of Penance. But that at some period in the future it would, for a long time, go very badly with them, and that one day they must expiate all their sins, — that they believed. Therefore the Church opened purgatory.473473After these words were long written down, I came across Rousseau’s description in his Confessions of the demonic Madame de Warens. It is here said (German edition by Denhard, I., p. 291): “. . . although she did not believe in a hell, she strangely refused to let her faith in purgatory be taken from her.” Rousseau regards it as strange, because, in spite of his change of faith, he was never able to free himself entirely from the Protestant influences of his youth. That this purgatory could be made less severe or briefer, these homines attriti were also very ready to believe; for they lived, all of them, in the thought that good performances simply compensate for delinquencies, and even the “gallows contrition” is not so enduring as to constrain men to practise serious repentance — even in the sense of steady self-denial and heroic action. Hence the Church discloses indulgences. In them she shows to the man of lower type her real power; for the magic of the Sacrament of Penance has certainly not yet given him complete rest. He has a remnant of the moral feeling that something must be done on his part in order that forgiveness may become credible and sure. “Faith” and “contrition” 262he neither can nor will practise, but something he will willingly do. Here the Church now intervenes, and says to him that his poor performance can be converted and transformed by the power of the Church into something so lofty that by means of it the penalties of sin in purgatory are abolished. The man wishes to know no more. What has still to happen can cause him little concern, and the Church itself says to him that if he is well provided with the Sacrament of Penance, what follows will not affect him.474474The doctrine of purgatory (purgatorium) was a settled matter for the Schoolmen, and was energetically maintained against the Greeks from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. This purgatory, which is for departed souls who are absolved but have not made satisfaction for all sins, exists, according to the Latin view, till the judgment of the world (the Greeks, so far as they recognised it at all, put it after the judgment), or for a shorter time. The souls of the righteous, who need no further purification, attain at once to the vision of God (the counter doctrine of John XXII. was rejected). More particularly, the Schoolmen taught that there are five dwelling-places of departed souls: (1) hell, to which those guilty of mortal sin at once pass; (2) the limbus infantium, i.e., of children who have died unbaptised; (3) the limbus patrum, i.e., of the Old Testament saints; (4) purgatorium; (5) heaven; see the detailed statement in Thomas, Suppl., Q. 69. That the souls of the pious have knowledge of what takes place on earth, and intercede for their earthly brethren, has been shown by the Lombard (Sent. IV., Dist. 45 G): “Cur non credamus et animas sanctorum dei faciem contemplantium in ejus veritate intelligere preces hominum, quæ et implendæ sunt vel non? . . . Intercedunt ergo pro nobis ad deum sancti, et merito, dum illorum merita suffragantur nobis, et affectu, dum vota nostra cupiunt impleri. . . . Oramus ergo, ut intercedant pro nobis, i.e., ut merita eorum suffragentur nobis, et ut ipsi velint bonum nostrum, quia eis volentibus deus volt et ita fiet”; similarly Thomas (Suppl., Q. 73 or 74, Art. 1). The existence of purgatory is thus established by Thomas (l.c., Q. 69, Art. 7): “Satis potest constare purgatorium esse post hanc vitam; si enim per contritionem deleta culpa non tollitur ex toto reatus pœnæ nec etiam semper venialia dimissis mortalibus tolluntur, et justitia hoc exigit, ut peccatum per pœnam debitam ordinetur, oportet quod ille, qui post contritionem de peccato et absolutionem decedit ante satisfactionem debitam post hanc vitam puniatur. Et ideo illi qui purgatorium negant, contra divinam justitiam loquuntur, et propter hoc erroneum est et a fide alienum (there follows a forged passage from Gregory of Nyssa’s Works, representing that the whole Church so teaches). Quod non potest nisi de illis, qui sunt in purgatorio, intelligi; ecclesiæ autem autoritati quicunque resistit, hæresim incurrit.” Yet opposition to this doctrine never ceased, and it became very active in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Wyclif and Wessel strenuously adopted the hostile attitude of the Mediæval sects. Attritio, sacramentum pænitentiæ, indulgentia, — these form the Catholic triad. What was to be done for the indulgence was the only burdensome thing here; but even this was made very easy. Thus the indulgence became a 263caricature (persiflage) of Christianity as the religion of redemption through Christ.
The theory of the Schoolmen is as follows: After there had been uncertainty till far on in the thirteenth century as to whether the indulgences did not relate merely to the ecclesiastical penalties imposed by the priest, Thomas laid it down that they apply in general to the liability to temporal penalty (reatus temporalis pœnæ) (“on earth and in purgatory”). The righteousness of God demands that no sin shall remain “inordinate” (inordinata), and that man shall also perform what he can perform. He is obliged, accordingly, even as absolved, to discharge the temporal penalties of sin. But what the merit of Christ does not do of itself and directly, inasmuch as in the Sacrament it cancels only the reatus culpæ et pœnæ, it does outwith the Sacrament as merit. Christ, that is to say, has done more by His suffering than was required for redemption, and even many saints have acquired for themselves merit which God’s grace rewards. This surplus merit (thesaurus operum supererogatoriorum [treasury of supererogatory works]) must necessarily fall to the benefit of the Church as the body of Christ, since neither Christ nor the saints can derive further advantage from it. But alongside the Sacrament of Penance it cannot have another effect than to moderate, abridge, or cancel the temporal penalties of sin. It can be applied only to those who, in penitent spirit, have been absolved after making confession, and it is administered in the first instance by the Pope as the head of the Church. Yet by him a partial power of ad-ministration can be conveyed to others. The regular mode of making the application is by requiring for the indulgence a comparatively very small performance (“eleemosynae,” i.e., penance money.)475475A thesaurus meritorum which the Church administers was first adopted by Halesius (see the passages in Münscher, l.c., p. 290 ff.). The theory received a fixed construction from Albertus and Thomas. In Suppl. Q. 25, Art. 1, the latter gives the following exposition: “Ab omnibus conceditur indulgentias aliquid valere, quia impium esset dicere, quod ecclesia aliquid vane faceret. Sed quidam dicunt, quod non valent ad absolvendum a reatu pœnæ, quam quis in purgatorio secundum judicium dei meretur, sed valent ad absolvendum ab obligatione qua sacerdos obligavit pænitentem ad pœnam aliquam vel ad quam etiam obligatur ex canonum statutis. Sed hæc opinio non videtur vera. Primo quia est expresse contra privilegium Petro datum cui dictum est, ut quod in terra remitteret, in cœlo remitteretur. Unde remissio, quæ fit quantum ad forum ecclesiæ valet, valet etiam quantum ad forum del.. Et præterea ecclesia hujusmodi indulgentias faciens magis damnificaret, quam adjuvaret, quia remitteret ad graviores pœnas, scil. purgatorii, absolvendo a pænitentiis injunctis. Et ideo aliter dicendum, quod valent et quantum ad forum ecclesiæ et quantum ad judicium dei, ad remissionem pœnæ residuæ post contritionem et conffessionem et absolutionem, sive sit injuncta, sive non. Ratio autem, quare valere possiut, est unitas corporis mystici, in qua multi in operibus pænitentiæ supererogavetunt ad mensuram debitorum suorum . . . quorum meritorum tanta est copia, quod omnem pœnam debitam nunc viventibus excedunt et præcipuæ propter meritum Christi, quod etsi in sacramentis operatur, non tamen efficacia ejus in sacramentis includitur, sed sua infinitate excedit efficaciam sacramentorum. Dictum est autem supra, quod unus pro alio satisfacere potest; sancti autem, in quibus superabundantia operum sanctificationis invenitur, non determinate pro isto qui remissione indiget, hujusmodi opera fecerunt, alias absque omni indulgentia remissionem consequerentur, sed communiter pro tota ecclesia, sicut apostolus ait (Coloss. I.), et sic prædicta merita sunt communia totius ecclesiæ. Ea autem quæ sunt alicujus multitudinis communia, distribuuntur singulis de multitudine secundum arbitrium ejus qui multitudini præest.” Note also the cautious remarks: “Remissio quæ per indulgentias fit, non tollit quantitatem, pœnæ ad culpam, quia pro culpa unius alias sponte pœnam sustinuit.” — “Ille qui indulgentias suscipit, non absolvitur, simpliciter loquendo, a debito pœnæ, sed datur ei, unde debitam solvat.” — “Non est in destructionem indulgentias dare, nisi inordinate dentur. Tamen consulendum est eis qui indulgentias consequuntur, ne propter hoc ab operibus pænitentiæ injunctis abstineant, ut etiam ex his remedium consequentur, quamvis a debito pœnæ esse immunes, et præcipue quia quandoque sunt plurium debitores quam credant.” In Art. 2 those are confuted who assert that the indulgences “non tantum valent, quantum pronuntiantur,” only so far avail for the individual “quantum fides et devotio sua exigit.” It is proved, “indulgentiæ simpliciter tantum valent quantum prædicantur, dummodo ex parte dantis sit auctoritas et ex parte recipientis caritas et ex parte causæ pietas.” Also: “quæcunque causa adsit, quæ in utilitatem ecclesiæ et honorem dei vergat, sufficiens est ratio indulgentias faciendi . . . (nam) merita ecelesiæ semper superabundant.” It is further shown that indulgences belong to the clavis jurisdictionis (are not sacramental), and therefore “effectus ejus arbitrio hominis subjacet” (also authorised legati non sacerdotes can dispense indulgences). To the question whether indulgences can be dispensed pro temporali subsidio, it is answered in Art. 3 that this is not possible simpliciter, “sed pro temporalibus ordinatis ad spiritualia, sicut est repressio inimicorum ecclesiæ, qui pacem ecclesiæ perturbant, sicut constructio ecclesiarum et pontium et aliarum eleemosynarum largitio.” Q. 26 treats of those who can dispense indulgences (“papa potest facere prout vult”), Q. 27 of the receivers of indulgences. Here in Art. 1 the thesis is contested of those who assert that to those guilty of mortal sin indulgences are of benefit, not for forgiveness of sins, but yet ad acquirendum gratiam: “in omnibus indulgentiis fit mentio de vere contritio et confessis.” In Art. 3 it is shown that the indulgence does not avail for one who has not done what the indulgence is given for. Compare with this also Q. 74, where in Art. 10 the question is answered whether indulgences are of use for the dead. The answer is that they are of no direct use, as the dead cannot do what the indulgences are given for. On the other hand they are of indirect use, that is, if the indulgence formula runs thus: “Quicumque fecerit hoc vel illud, ipse et pater ejus vel quicumque alius ei adjunctus in purgatorio detentus, tantum de indulgentia habebit.” “Talis indulgentia non solum vivo sed etiam mortuo proderit. Non enim est aliqua ratio quare ecclesia transferre possit communia merita quibus indulgentiæ innituntur in vivos et non in mortuos.” The indulgences, moreover, do not work simply per modum suffragii; they are effectual. Yet arbitrariness on the part of the Pope in rescuing souls from purgatory must be limited by this, that there must always be a causa conveniens indulgentias faciendi; but such is always to be found. It is furthermore probable that the recognition of a thesaurus meritorum had a long course of historic preparation in the history of religion; see Siegfried in Hilgenfeld’s Ztschr., 1884, Part 3, p. 356 (also Gött Gel. Anz., 1881, St. 12 and 13): “The doctrine of a treasury of good works from which indemnifications can be derived for the sins of others came originally into Judaism under Iranian influences, as is known to have been the case with so much else in the later Jewish dogmatics. If we compare what appears regarding this in Spiegel’s “Franische Alterthumskunde” with what is to he found in Weber’s System der altsynagogalen paläst. Theol., 1880, p. 280 ff., that this is a fact we shall not be able to doubt. Now as this doctrine, after being first brought forward by Alexander of Hales, owed its recognition within the Catholic Church chiefly to Thomas Aquinas, of whom it is also well known that he transcribed Maimonides (Merx, Die Prophetie des Joel, 1879, pp. 354-367), the suspicion at once arises that this doctrine also was derived from Jewish sources. The more exact proof that this was actually so we reserve, as it would lead us too far afield here.” Against this conjecture Güdemann (Jüd. Litt.-Blatt., 21 Jahrg., 29 Oct., 1890) has raised objections, and has tried to show that the “merit of the Fathers” (“Sechus Owaus”) is something else and much more harmless. Yet identity no one has asserted, but only a historical connection. The thesaurus meritorum has been developed in directions, and has found applications, of which certainly Judaism did not think. But my conviction that a historical connection exists has not been shaken by Giidemann’s objections. For the rest I do not presume to be a judge in this matter, but I would like to point out something akin. In the “History of Joseph” preserved in the Syriac, which is said to have been composed by Basil of Cæsarea, and yet contains only Jewish Haggada, and, so far as I can see, nothing Christian (and so apparently is of Jewish origin), one reads (see Weinberg, Gesch. Josefs, angeblich verfasst v. Basilius d. Gr. Berlin, 1893, p. 53): “Potipher’s wife said: But if thou art afraid of sin, as thou hast asserted, then take gold and silver, as much as thou wilt, and give to the poor; and God will forgive thee thy guilt.” It is a woman under the devil’s influence whom the narrator represents as speaking, and he certainly disapproved of the woman’s speech; but it shows undoubtedly that such reflexions were not far off. The abusus — and that is condemned also by a pious Catholic — is disapproved.264
Now this theory — keeping practice quite out of view — still admitted in detail of very different modifications (nuances). It 265could also be conceived of more strictly or more laxly. In particular, the demand that one must be in a contrite frame of mind could be lowered to an extraordinary degree.476476A large amount of material on the lax and strict theories in Bratke, 1.c. One thing that made a principal difference was the question as to whether indulgences were not of use even for those guilty of mortal sin ad acquirendam gratiam, or, whether they could not be given beforehand to such persons, to be used by them when they felt disposed. Of course the differences of Scotists and Thomists as to attritio and contritio are important here also. The explanations of the Jubilee indulgence in Bratke, pp. 201 ff., 240 f., appear to use to be partly based on misunderstanding and partly exaggerated. The account of the indulgence theory of the ecclesiastical reform party, p. 243 ff. (Cajetan) is instructive, both as helping us to understand the earliest position of Luther, and as enabling us to see how poorly armed this reform party was. But not 266only did that happen; the practice, as has already been indicated, struck out on quite different paths. With more or less of design, it left the question in obscurity as to what really was cancelled by the indulgence (see the ambiguous expression “for the salvation of the soul,” and others similar); it substituted for the demand for true sorrow and honest resolution to reform a reference to the Sacrament of Penance, or it was quite silent upon the demand; it gave to the indulgence an interpretation in which the power of the Church and the priest thrust aside the theoretic basis of the merit of Christ, and, finally, it encouraged the shocking folly of believing that, by the means of religion, man can provide himself with temporal advantages, and that beyond this, the spirit and power of religion are summed up in warding off just punishments. With all this there is still unmentioned the ruinous effect that must have been produced by the frequently shameful use of the indulgence money, and by the whole speculative system of the Curia. The Sacrament of Penance culminated unfortunately in these indulgences, and without incurring the charge of deriding, one may state concisely the final word of this system thus: Every man who surrenders himself to the Catholic Church, and who, for some reason, is not quite satisfied with the inner state of his heart, can secure salvation and deliverance from all eternal and temporal penalties — if he acts with shrewdness and finds a skilful priest.477477The theory of indulgence is summed up in the Extravagante Unigenitus of Clement VI. of the year 1349: “Unigenitus dei filius . . . sanguine nos redemit quam in ara crucis innocens immolatus, non guttam sanguinis modicam (quæ tamen propter unionem ad verbum pro redemptione totius humani generis suffecisset), sed copiose velut quoddam profluvium noscitur effudisse. . . . Quantum ergo exinde, ut nec supervacua, inanis aut superflua tanto effusionis miseratio redderetur, thesaurum militanti ecclesiæ acquisivit, volens suis thesaurizare filiis pius pater, ut sic sit infinitus thesaurus hominibus, quo qui usi sunt dei amicitiæ participes sunt effecti. Quem quidem thesaurum non in sudario repositum, non in agro absconditum, sed per beatum Petrum . . . ejusque successores suos in terris vicarios commisit fidelibus salubriter dispensandum, et propriis et rationabilibus causis: nunc pro totali, nunc pro partiali remissione pœnæ temporalis pro peccatis debitæ, tam generaliter quam specialiter (prout cum deo expedire cognoscerent) vere pænitentibus et confessis misericorditer applicandum. Ad cujus quidem thesauri cumulum b. dei genetricis omniumque electorum a primo justo usque ad ultimum merita adminiculum præstare noscuntur, de cujus consumptione seu minutione non est aliquatenus formidandum (!), tam propter infinita Christi merita quam pro eo quod, quanto plures ex ejus applicatione trahuntur ad justitiam, tanto magis accrescit ipsorum cumulus meritorum.”267
Against this theory there not only was a reaction on the part of the re-invigorated or Augustinian Thomism, in the shape of a strong insistence on the moral and religious requirements for the reception of indulgences, but — keeping the sects out of view — there also arose in the fourteenth century a radical opposition, which had likewise an Augustinian (and biblical) basis. Against no other ecclesiastical practice and theory did Wyclif assume so determined an attitude as against indulgences. He saw in them nothing but arbitrariness, which had only forced its way in of recent times; the Bible knew nothing of indulgences, which encroached upon the prerogative of God, and were therefore positively blasphemous. He also saw clearly the mischief of indulgences in hindering obedience to the law of Christ; still he did not frame a satisfactory theory as to how a distressed conscience can be comforted. For him, and for his scholar Huss, the perniciousness of indulgences lies simply in their unbiblical character, in the pretensions of the hierarchy (the Pope), and in the corruption of morals. But indulgences cannot be rooted out by merely quickening conscience and contending against priestly power.478478See Buddensieg, Wyclif, p. 201 ff., Trialogus IV., 32: “Fateor quod indulgentiæ papales, si ita se habeant ut dicuntur, sapiunt manifestam blasphemiam. Dicitur enim, quod papa prætendit, se habere potentiam ad salvandum singulos viatores, et quantumcunque viantes deliquerint, nedum ad mitigandum pœnas ad suffragandum eis cum absolutionibus et indulgentiis, ne unquam veniant ad purgatorium, sed ad præcipiendum sanctis angelis, ut anima separata a corpore indilate ipsam deferant in requiem sempiternam. . . . Contra ipsam rudem blasphemiam invexi alias, primo sic: nec papa nec etiam dominus Jesus Christus potest dispensare cum aliquo nec dare indulgentias, nisi ut æternaliter deitas justo consilio definivit. Sed non docetur, quod papa vel homo aliquis potest habere colorem justitiæ (on this falls the greatest weight) taliter faciendi; igitur non docetur, quod papa talem habeat potestatem. . . . Item videtur quod illa opinio multipliciter blasphemat in Christum, cum extollitur supra ejus humanitatem atque deitatem et sic super omne quod dicitur deus. . . . Sed eia, mili es Christi, abicite prudenter hæc opera atque fictitias principis tenebrarum et induimini dominum Jesum Christum, in armis suis fideliter confidentes, et excutite ab ecclesia tales versutias antichristi, docentes populum, quod in ipso solo cum lege sua et membris debet confidere et operando illis conformiter ex suo opere bono salvari, specialiter si antichristi versutias fideliter detestetur.”268
Not less strenuous than the opposition of Wyclif and Huss to the indulgences were the attacks of Wesel and Wessel. Both likewise wrote from the standpoint of Augustine against the indulgences. They too described the theory as unbiblical and as unsupported by any tradition, and used as weapons for overthrowing it the sole efficiency of God, the majesty of the divine penal righteousness and the gratia gratis data (caritas infusa). The punishments which God decrees man cannot avert; only the penalties of positive law, or the ecclesiastical penalties, can the Pope remit. God infuses His grace without merit (sine merito), but only in the case of those who are perfectly disposed for it. At the same time Wesel relaxes the connection between sacrament and communication of grace (nominalistically: “propter pactum institutum cum sacerdotibus” [on account of an agreement instituted with the priests]). At bottom there is no distinction between his doctrine of the Sacrament and the vulgar one. He is merely unable, from feeling more decidedly the majesty of God, to draw the conclusions from the indulgences, which, along with others, he calls “piæ fraudes.”479479A series of passages from the Disput. adv. indulgentias of Wesel has been reprinted by Hauck, p. 303 f. Everything in Wesel is really only apparently radical. He lets the vulgar doctrine of the Sacraments stand, up to the point at which the Sacrament of Penance does not cancel the temporal penalties of sin. But at this point he will stop short; for these penalties cannot at all be cancelled (1) because God decrees them and means to carry them out; (2) because there is no one who could remove them — the priests are in everything only ministri dei in remittendis culpis — (3) because it is in keeping with piety to endure them; (4) because there could be no purgatory at all, if the theory of indulgences were correct; for the treasury of indulgences would be enough to compensate for all temporal penalties. If there mingles already in the polemic of Wesel a Wyclifite-Hussite (Donatist) element, in so far as it is required that the objective importance of the priests (the hierarchy) be diminished (by no means abolished), this element is much more recognisable in Wessel. To the pious alone are the keys given. Now as the Popes and priests are in many cases not pious, these carnales homines have power at all only in externis, i.e., what they undertake has to do, not with the true Church and grace and sin, but with the empirical Church; see de sacram. pænit. f. 51: “Carnalis homo non sapit, quæ sancti amoris sunt, igitur judicare non potest. Unde judicium ecclesiæ et corum qui in ecclesia præsident, quia saepe carnales, animales, mundiales aut diabolici sunt et tamen suum officium vere administraut sicut viri spirituales est deo pleni, liquet excommunicationes et indulgentias non ad ea quæ caritatis et amoris sunt se extendere sed tantum ad exteriorem pacem et tranquillitatem ecclesiæ. Unde indulgentiæ sunt remissiones de his pœnis quas prælatus injunxit aut injungere potuit.” But further, the keys that are given to Peter are not handed over to arbitrary use; true repentance and divine forgiveness go together. Everything rests on grace, and only pious priests are ministri dei, i.e., ministers of the grace which God alone is able to infuse. But wessel took still another important step. He asked himself whether the temporal penalties of sin really remain after forgiveness, and he is inclined to see discipline rather in the penalties of the absolved. (f. 60.) From this point he also assailed the conception of satisfactio operum, and drew a conclusion from Augustinianism which scarcely anyone before him had ventured to draw: satisfaction cannot take place at all, where God has infused His love; it leads of necessity to a limitation of the gratia gratis data, and detracts from the work of Christ. The plenitudo gratiæ excludes the satisfactio (fol. 61, 62), how much more the indulgences, which he defines thus (l.c.): “indulgentiarum materia est abusus quæstorum et saepe illorum falsum crimen, nonnumquam impura et corrupta intentio papæ.” 269The Church, in spite of these forms of opposition, went on its way.480480At Constance (Mansi XXVII., p. 634, No. 42) the proposition was condemned: “Fatuum est credere indulgentiis papæ et episcoporum.”
5. Extreme unction.481481Thomas, P. III., Suppl. Q. 29-33. Schwane, p. 675-677. Only from Thomas’s time was it asserted that Christ Himself instituted this Sacrament, while the Apostle James (5, 14) only proclaimed it. The Materia is oil blessed by the bishop, while the episcopal consecration was declared “conveniens” by Thomas on the same ground as in the case of confirmation (expression of the higher power of the bishop with respect to the “mystical body of Christ,” see above, p. 231, note; hence the Pope can also give power to ordinary priests to consecrate). The “form” is a deprecatory prayer (the indicative form can at the most be added). The administrator is any priest. The Sacrament can be repeated.482482In the earlier period, Ivo and others expressed themselves against repetition. From the Lombard’s time repetition is approved, but not in one and the same illness. The receivers are those under fatal illness and the dying. The purpose (res sacramenti) is the remission of sins (remissio peccatorum), 270but only of venial sins, or the cleansing away of the remains of sin, or occasionally (per accidens), that is, if no hindrance exists, the full forgiveness of sins.483483Thomas, 1.c., Q. 30, Art. 1: “Principalis effectus hujus sacramenti est remissio peccatorum, quoad reliquias peccati (what does that mean?), et ex consequenti etiam quoad culpam, si earn inveniat.” Art. 2: “Ex hoc sacramento non semper sequitur corporalis sanatio, sed quando expedit ad spiritualem sanationem. Et tunc semper eam inducit, dummodo non sit impedimentum ex parte recipientes”; cf. the comprehensive description of the Sacrament in the Bull of Eugene IV. (Mansi XXXI., p. 1058). Therefore the Sacrament is also defined as “completion” of the Sacrament of Penance, though it remains quite dark why and how far this Sacrament needs completion. Here also, as in the case of confirmation, we have to do, not with a Sacrament that is the product of a dogmatic theory, but with an observance, the value of which is raised so high on grounds of expediency,484484In itself it was, no doubt, very expedient to introduce a Sacrament in connection with death, and thereby to increase confidence in dying. This was strengthened by the rite of anointing the several members, and thereby showing in an impressive way to the sick, that the members with which he had sinned had been cleansed. Here, also, as in the case of confirmation, the Church gave heed to men’s need of something “objective,” instead of leading them without any ceremonies to Christ. while theoretically it is rated very low. Even bodily healing is expected, if it please God, from this Sacrament.
6. Priestly ordination.485485Thomas, P. III., Suppl. Q. 34-40. Schwane, pp. 677-685. In connection with this Sacrament the general sacramental theory can be maintained, if at all, only by artifice, because the hierarchical interest created it, and introduced it into the sacramental system of grace simply with a view to self-glorification. The “form” is the words “accipe potestatem offerendi” (receive the power of offering); the “material” cannot be pointed out to the senses with certainty; but Thomas here made a virtue of necessity, and the others followed him; from the very uncertainty the hierarchical nature of the Sacrament is proved.486486Q. 34, Art. 3: “Sacramentum nihil est aliud quam quædam sanctificatio homini exhibita cum aliquo signo visibili. Unde cum in susceptione ordinis quædam consecratio homini exhibeatur per visibilia signa, constat ordinem esse sacramentum.” Art. 5: “Materia in sacramentis exterius adhibita significat virtutem in sacramentis agentem ex intrinseco omnino advenire. Unde cum effectus proprius hujus sacramenti, scil. character, non percipiatur ex aliqua operatione ipsius qui ad sacramentum accidit sicut erat in pænitentia sed omnino ex intrinseco adveniat, competit ei materiam habere, tamen diversimode ab aliis sacramentis quæ materiam habent. Quia hoc quod confertur in aliis sacramentis, derivatur tantum a deo, non a ministro qui sacramentum dispensat, sed illud quod in hoc sacramento traditur, scil. spiritualis potestas, derivatur etiam ab eo qui sacramentum dat sicut potestas imperfecta a perfecta. Et ideo efficacia aliorum sacramentorum principaliter consistit in materia, quæ virtutem divinam et significat et continet, ex sanctificatione per ministrum adhibita. Sed efficacia hujus sacramenti principaliter residet penes eum, qui sacramentum dispensat, materia autem adhibetur magis ad demonstrandum potestatem, quæ traditur particulariter ab habente eam complete, quam ad potestatem causandam, quod patet ex hoc quod materia competit usui potestatis.” One thought of the vessels or 271symbols by which the hierarchical functions were represented (Thomas), another of the laying on of hands. The former was asserted by Eugene IV. in the Bull “Exultate” (l.c.). The dispenser is solely the bishop. Here there arose, however, many questions, in some respects entering deep into ecclesiastical law and ecclesiastical practice, indirectly also into dogmatic, which will only be noted here; (1) on the seven orders (ordines), and their relation (the Pope can empower even an ordinary priest to ordain to the lower orders); (2) on the relation of the priestly to the episcopal consecration (in how far is the bishop superior to the priest? in respect of divine right? (jure divino); (3) — and this was the most important question — on the validity of orders that have been conferred by schismatic or heretical bishops. From as far back as the Donatist conflict there prevailed a controversy on this point, which was decided in the Church, as a rule, in a liberal spirit, to the effect, namely, that such ordinations are indeed unpermitted, i.e., are null and void as to their practical effects, but yet are not invalid. On the other hand the Lombard asserted that no heretic can duly celebrate confirmation, the Eucharist and ordination to the priesthood. Thereafter there prevailed among the Scholastic theologians great uncertainty; yet there was a growing leaning to the liberal view. the Sacrament of Penance alone being excepted. But in the Middle Ages the Popes very often declared entirely invalid the ordinations of bishops who were under disfavour and of rival Popes. As regards the effect of this Sacrament, the character was here the chief matter.487487Not a saving benefit, therefore, given to an individual; for the ordo serves the Church (Thomas, Q. 35, A. 1). Here, also, the doctrine of sacramental grace (participatio divinæ naturæ) has breaches made in it; nay, Thomas says plainly, Q. 34, Art. 2: “unde relinquitur, quod ipse character interior sit essentialiter et principaliter ipsum sacramentum ordinis!” It 272consists in the conveyance of the right to dispense the Sacraments,488488At the same time the celebration of the Mass is the chief matter; it alone is mentioned in the formula of consecration. to forgive sins, to officiate as judge, and to be mediator between God and men.489489The Lombard, Sent. IV., Dist. 24 I. “Sacerdos nomen habet compositum ex Græco et Latino, quod est sacrum dans sive sacer dux. Sicut enim rex a regendo ita sacerdos a sacrando dictus est, consecrat enim et sanctificat.” At the same time being empowered to teach was also no doubt mentioned, and for the person of the priest an undefinable “amplius gratiæ munus, per quod ad majora redduntur idonei” (Thomas, Q. 35, Art. I). In the Bull “Exultate” (Mansi, l.c., p. 1058) it is said: “Effectus augmentum gratiæ, ut quis sit idoneus minister.” But on the other hand, again, all the seven orders were called Sacraments by some (in the case of others they are regarded only as sacramentalia), although it was added, that only the diaconate and the presbyterate have institution by Christ as their basis. The episcopate could not be reckoned as a special ordo, because tradition forbade it; but efforts were made to assign to it a special position, higher than the ordinary priesthood, and given to it by Chi ist, and a basis was found for it, not in sacramental, but in judicial power. Duns Scotus, moreover, laid down the lines of the doctrine, that the episcopal consecration is a special Sacrament.
7. Marriage.490490Thomas, P. III., Suppl. Q. 41-68. Schwane, pp. 685-693. Like the former Sacrament, this one also encroaches, in the particular questions connected with it, on the field of ecclesiastical law, only that these questions are tenfold more numerous than in the case of the other. The expediency of declaring marriage a Sacrament, and thereby bringing this foundation of society under ecclesiastical jurisdiction is obvious. Just on that account it was overlooked also that the declaring of marriage a Sacrament implied that breaches had previously been made in the general conception of a Sacrament. Marriage was already instituted by God in Paradise for the propagation of the human race (and therefore as an obligation [ad officium]), and to be indissoluble too; but according to Thomas it was only raised to the position of a Sacrament by Christ, inasmuch as He made it the picture of His union with the Church, thereby established anew its indissoluble character, and also united with 273marriage a saving gift.491491Thomas, l.c., Q. 41, A. 1; 42, A. 2, 3. In the way in which the Lombard describes the marriage bond as sacramental, a beautiful proof is presented of the ultimate interest of Western Post-Augustinian Catholicism, in so far as it is determined at the same time by the thought of conformitas naturæ divinæ and by that of caritas, Sentent. IV., Dist. 26 F.: “Ut inter conjuges conjunctio est secundum consensum animorum et secundum permixtionem corporum, sic ecclesia Christo copulatur voluntate et natura, qua idem vult cum eo, et ipsa formam sumpsit de natura hominis. Copulata est ergo sponsa sponso spiritualiter et corporaliter, i.e., caritate et conformitate naturæ. Hujus utriusque copulæ figura est in conjugio. Consensus enim conjugum copulam spiritualem Christi et ecclesiæ, quæ fit per caritatem, significat; commixtio vero sexuum illam significat, quæ fit per nature conformitatem.” So far as it also provides for propagation within the Church, its sacramental character is already justified;492492Thomas, P. III., Q. 65, A. 4. but besides its sacramental effect, marriage, since the Fall, has also the character of an indulgence, as “remedium” against the insurgent passions of the flesh.493493Thomas, Q. 42, A. 2. It is further admitted, that among all the Sacraments marriage has the “minimum de spiritualitate,”494494Thomas, P. III., Q. 65, A. 2. hence it stands in the last place, and the unmarried life is to be preferred. The examination of the question, whether the “copula carnalis,” or, the right to demand the “debitum conjugale,” belongs to the essence of marriage, was necessarily treated with Joseph’s marriage in view. As there was no wish to exclude that right from the essence of marriage (the assertion of the right does not belong to its essence), one was led to the interesting question whether Mary, when she concluded marriage with Joseph, was not obliged to agree conditionally to a possible assertion of the right of marriage on the part of Joseph. The Lombard still answered this question in the affirmative;495495Sentent. IV., Dist. 30 B. but Bonaventura already found another way of solving it.496496See Schwane, p. 688. As to “material” and “form,” there prevailed the greatest uncertainty. Yet in the Middle Ages it was not doubted that the decisive external sign is the expressed “consensus” of the parties to the marriage,497497Thomas, Q. 42, Art. 1: “Verba quibus consensus matrimonialis exprimitur sunt forma hujus sacramenti.” Also: “Sacramentum matrimonii perficitur per actum ejus, qui sacramento illo utitur, sicut pænitentia. Et ideo sicut pænitentia non habet aliam materiam nisi ipsos actus sensui subjectos, qui sunt loco materialis elementi, ita est de matrimonio.” the 274priest’s blessing was held to be only “a sacramental,” not the Sacrament.498498Thomas, Q. 42, Art. 1: “benedictio sacerdotis est quoddam sacramentale.” Many Schoolmen, it is true, sought to extract an effectual spiritual character, but the majority recognised only a quite undefined saving grace.499499Thomas, Q. 42, Art. 3. On the other hand Durandus denied entirely the opus operatum (the saving grace), saying that marriage only signifies something sacred (union of the Church with Christ).500500See Schwane, p. 689. That excessive recognition of saving grace stands in flagrant opposition to the view that was derived from Augustine, that the “copula carnalis” in marriage, because it is not materially different from the “copula carnalis fornicatoria,” is so deeply infected with sin, that sin is committed, not indeed by the partner who consents, but by the partner who demands, even when it is done for the purpose of avoiding adultery.501501So Bonaventura and Thomas, Q. 49, Art. 4-6, especially Art. 5: “utrum actus matrimonialis excusari possit sine honis matrimonii.” Here, among other things, it is said: “si aliquis per actum matrimonii intendat vitare fornicationem in conjuge, non est aliquod peccatum; . . . sed si intendat vitare fornicationem in se . . . hoc est peccatum veniale.” While therefore the Sacrament consists in the expressed “consensus” to enter into marriage with a person of the other sex, and thereby the right of the “debitum conjugale” is implicitly laid down, the assertion of this sacramental right is to be held a sin!502502The contradictions on Thomas’s part are here very great; for on the other hand it is said, l.c., Art. 4, that proles, fides, and sacramentum not only excuse, but sanctify, the act of marriage. See also in Sentent. Dist. 26, Q. 2, Art. 3: “Cum in matrimonio datur homini ex divina institutione facultas utendi sua uxore ad procreationem prolis, datur etiam gratia, sine qua id convenienter facere non posset.” In the Bull of Eugene IV. (l.c). there is to be found, again, a short serviceable summing up.”Septimum est sacramentum matrimonii, quod est signum conjunctionis Christi et ecclesiæ secundum apostolum. Causa efficiens matrimonii regulariter est mutuus consensus per verba de præsenti expressus. Adsignatur autem triplex bonum matrimonii. Primum est proles suscipienda et educanda ad cultum dei. Secundum est fides quam unus conjugum alteri servare debet. Tertium indivisibilitas matrimonii, propter hoc quod significat indivisibilem conjunctionem Christi et ecclesiæ. Quamvis autem ex causa fornicationis liceat tori separationem facere, non tamen aliud matrimonium contrahere fas est, cum matrimonii vinculum legitime contracti perpetuum sit.” How strong still in the fourteenth century was the disinclination of the Scotist theologians to regard marriage as a full sacrament, may be seen from Werner, II., p. 424 ff. (against Durandus Aureolus).275
In the doctrine of the Sacraments Thomas was the teacher of determining influence in the Middle Ages, and he has remained such to the present day in the Catholic Church. But, so far as the new ecclesiasticism admitted of it at all, Thomas went back to Augustine. Yet how strongly even in him the doctrine of the gratia gratis data (grace graciously bestowed) is affected by a regard to the doctrine, that God treats with us according to our merits; how this latter view, which Augustine had not entirely eradicated, still exercised its influence, Thomas’s doctrine of the Sacraments shows already very plainly. The earnest, truly religious spirit which distinguished him was increasingly weakened and led astray by regard for what was held valid. Yet that, certainly, is not the only weakness. An influence, at least equally pernicious, was exercised by the logical apprehension of grace as a physical, mysterious act, and a communication of objective benefits. That also originated with Augustine, and that also, logically carried out, broke up Augustinianism; the breaking up of Augustinianism was really not occasioned from without; it was in great part the result of an inner development. The three elements which Augustine left standing in and along with his doctrine of grace, the element of merit, the element of gratia infusa and the hierarchical priestly element, continued to work, till they completely transformed the Augustinian mode of thought. But as we have seen, that was already foreshadowed in Gregory the Great, and on the other hand the process did not reach its termination yet in the Middle Ages. The Augustinian reaction of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries which partly embodied itself in the decrees of Trent, was only fully checked again, after a struggle for three hundred years, in the nineteenth century.
C. The Revision of Augustinianism in the Direction of the Doctrine of Merit.
That the grace springing from the passio Christi is the foundation of the Christian religion, and therefore must be the Alpha 276and Omega of Christian Theology — this fundamental Pauline and Augustinian thought was directly denied by no ecclesiastical teacher of the West.503503The proposition of Irenæus (III., 18, 6): “Si non vere passus est, nulla gratia ei, cum nulla fuerit passio,” is the firmly adhered to basis of the whole of the Christianity and of the whole of the theology of the West. But as in itself it may mean many things, and, without definite interpretation, by no means guarantees the purity of the Christian religion — for what is grace? God Himself in Christ, or divine forces? and what does grace effect? faith, or a mysterious quality? — so also, if the effect of grace is to be held as only “improvement,” for this very reason it is capable of being wrought over in a way that ultimately cancels it.
The Lombard — in accordance with his intention to reproduce tradition — confined himself to repeating with precision the Augustinian propositions about grace, predestination and justification (faith and love).504504Sentent. II., Dist. 25 P.: “Libertas a peccato et a miseria per gratiam est; libertas vero a necessitate per naturam. Utramque libertatem, naturæ scil. et gratiæ, notat apostolus cum ex persona hominis non redempti ait: ‘velle adjacet mihi, etc.,’ acsi diceret, habeo libertatem naturæ, sed non habeo libertatem gratiæ, ideo non est apud me perfectio boni. Nam voluntas hominis, quam naturaliter habet, non valet erigi ad bonum efficaciter volendum, vel opere implendum, nisi per gratiam liberetur et adjuvetur: liberetur quidem, ut velit, et adjuvetur, ut perficiat . . . dei gratiam non advocat hominis voluntas vel operatio, sed ipsa gratia voluntatem prævenit præparando ut velit bonum et præparatam adjuvat ut perficiat.” He repeats also correctly the Augustinian doctrine of predestination (I. Dist. 40 D.): God does not elect on the basis of prescience, but it is only the election that produces the merits. He rejects præscientia iniquitatis quorundam: “reprobatio dei, qua ab æterno non eligendo quosdam reprobavit, secundum duo consideratur, quorum alterum præscit et non præparat, i.e., iniquitatem, alterum præscit et præparat, scil. æternam pœnam.” Reprobation rests on the mysterious but just decision not to show mercy to some; its result is hardening. The chief propositions of the Lombard on faith, love, and works are: III. Dist. 23 D.: “Credere deo est credere vera esse quæ loquitur, quod et mali faciunt . . .; credere deum est credere quod ipse sit deus, quod etiam mali faciunt; credere in deum est credendo amare, credendum in eum ire, credendo ei adhærere et ejus membris incorporari: per hanc fidem justicatur impius” (word for word after Augustine). So also he distinguishes in faith, after Augustine, id quod and id quo creditur (l.c. sub. C.). The latter, subjective faith, is to be distinguished according as it is virtus and according as it is not virtus. Faith, so far as love is still wanting to it, is fides informis (not virtue). All deeds without faith are devoid of goodness, II. Dist, 41 A.: “cum intentio bonum opus faciat et fides intentionem dirigat, non immerito quæri potest, utrum omnis intentio omneque opus illorum malum sit, qui fidem non habent? . . . Quod a quibusdam non irrationabiliter astruitur, qui dicunt omnes actiones et voluntates hominis sine fide malas esse . . . Quæ ergo sine fide fiunt, bona non sunt, quia omne bonum deo placet.” II. Dist. 26 A.: “Operans gratia est, quæ prævenit voluntatem bonam: ea enim liberatur et præparatur hominis voluntas, ut sit bona bonumque efficaciter velit; cooperans vero gratia voluntatem jam bonam sequitur adjuvando . . . Voluntas hominis gratia dei prævenitur atque præparatur, ut fiat bona, non ut fiat voluntas, quia et ante gratiam voluntas erat, sed non erat bona et recta voluntas.” It is repeatedly said that grace consists in the infusion of fides cum caritate (i.e., the Holy Spirit), and that only with this the merits of man begin; accordingly justitia as bona qualitas mentis (virtus, qua recte vivitur) is entirely a work of God. But as soon as he brings forward propositions 277about free will, these have by no means an Augustinian, but rather a Semipelagian ring; for they are already dominated by a regard to merit.505505Sentent. II., Dist. 24 C.: “Liberum arbitrium est facultas rationis et voluntatis, qua bonum eligitur gratia assistente vel malum eadem desistente.” II. Dist. 27 G.: “Cum ex gratia dicuntur esse bona merita et incipere . . . gratia gratis data intelligitur, ex qua bona merita incipiunt. Quæ cum ex sola gratia esse dicantur, non excluditur liberum arbitrium, quia nullum meritum est in homine, quod non fit per liberum arbitrium.” II. Dist. 26 G.: “Ante gratiam prævenientem et operantem, qua voluntas bona præparatum in homine, præcedere quædam bona ex dei gratia et libero arbitrio, quædam etiam ex solo libero arbitrio, quibus tamen vita non meretur, nec gratia, qua justificatur.” II. Dist. 27 J.: “Cum dicitur fides mereri justificationem et vitam æternam, ex ea ratione dictum accipitur, quia per actum fidei meretur illa. Similiter de caritate et justitia et de aliis accipitur. Si enim fides ipsa virtus præveniens diceretur esse mentis actus qui est meritum, jam ipsa ex libero arbitrio originem haberet, quod quia non est, sic dicitur esse meritum, quia actus ejus est meritum, si tamen adsit caritas, sine qua nec credere nec sperare meritum vitæ est. Unde apparet vere quia caritas est spiritus s., qui animæ qualitates informat et sanctificat, ut eis anima informetur et sanctificetur, sine qua animæ qualitas non dicitur virtus, quia non valet sanare animam.” H. Dist. 41 C.: “Nullus dei gratiam mereri potest, per quam justificatur, potest tamen mereri, ut penitus abiciatur. Et quidem aliqui in tantum profundum iniquitatis devenerunt, ut hoc mereantur, ut hoc digni sint; alii vero ita vivunt, ut etsi non mereantur gratiam justificationis, non tamen mereantur omnino repelli et gratiam sibi subtrahi.” Where this view is taken, that is to say, a point must always be ultimately found, which makes it possible to attribute a value to the independent action of man over against God. But the contradiction which plainly comes out in the Lombard, when his doctrine of grace is compared with his doctrine of freedom, is equally prevalent among the theologians before him, nay, in them it comes out more strongly, most strongly in Abelard.506506In Anselm (Dialog. de lib. arb.), Bernard (de gratia et lib. arb.), and Hugo the Augustinian propositions regarding grace are repeated, but the explanations of free will are in part still more uncertain than in the Lombard. According to Anselm the rectitudo liberi arbitrii has disappeared indeed, but the potestas servandi rectitudinem remains; see c. 3: “liberum arbitrium non est aliud, quam arbitrium potens servare rectitudinem voluntatis propter ipsam rectitudinem.” The ratio and the will power remain, and so, after the Fall, men are like those who have eyes and can see, but for whom the object has disappeared (c. 4). The libertas arbitrii is accordingly defined by him (1) formally (ratio et voluntas tenendi), but also (2) materially, in as much as the voluntas tenendi remains. According to Bernard (c. 8) there belongs to free will, not the posse vel sapere, but only the velle; but the latter remains: “manet igitur post peccatum liberum arbitrium, etsi miserum, tamen integrum . . . non ergo si creatura potens aut sapiens, sed tantum si volens esse desierit, liberum arbitrium amisisse putanda erit.” In this formal description of free will Hugo diverges still further from Augustine; for what is characteristic of this fatal development is this, that for Augustine’s religious mode of view, for which freedom is beata necessitas, there is substituted an empirico-psychological mode of view, which is of no concern for religion, and which nevertheless now influences religious contemplation. “Voluntas semper a necessitate libera est”: this proposition is again made a foundation in the doctrine of religion. On Abelard’s doctrine see Deutsch, 1.c., p. 319 ff., who illustrates in particular the dangerous side in the conception of intentio on which Abelard lays stress, and shows how the intellectualism of the theologian is in conflict with the traditional doctrine of original sin. There is still to be observed as 278noteworthy the specific view taken by the Lombard of saving grace, who simply identifies it with the Holy Spirit. His meaning is, that while all other virtues become man’s own by means of an infused habit (habitus), love arises directly in the soul through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, since it is the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself. In this noteworthy view there lies the approach to a more evangelical position; for “habitus” there is substituted the direct activity of the Holy Ghost. Just on that account this view507507See II. Dist., 27 J. (see above, p. 277, note 1); I. Dist., 17 B.: “Ipse idem spiritus sanctus est amor sive caritas, qua nos diligimus deum et proximum, quæ caritas cum ita est in nobis, ut nos faciet diligere deum et proximum, tunc spiritus sanctus dicitur mitti ac dari nobis.” I. Dist., 17 Q.: “Alios actus atque motus virtutum operatur caritas, i.e., spiritus s., mediantibus virtutibus quarum actus sunt, utpote actum fidei, i.e., credere fide media, et actum spei, i.e., sperare media spe. Per fidem enim et spem prædictos operatur actus. Diligendi vero actum per se tantum sine alicujus virtutis medio operatur. Aliter ergo hunc actum operatur quam alios virtutum actus.” seldom found followers;508508Duns contested it; on the other hand, Pupper of Goch and Staupitz defended.it; see Otto Clemen, J. Pupper von Goch (Leipzig, 1896), p. 249. quite as few did the other, that in grace the gratia gratis dans (God Himself) and the gratia gratis data ought to be distinguished.509509Sentent. II., Dist. 27 G. “Cum ex gratia dicuntur esse bona merita et incipere, aut intelligitur gratia gratis dans, i.e., deus, vel potius gratia gratis data, quæ voluntatem hominis prævenit.” The desire was to have, not God, but divine forces that can become human virtues.279
Here lies the fundamental error. In its ultimate basis the mode of view is not a religious but a moral one. That comes out distinctly in the case of the Schoolman who may be styled par excellence the theologian of grace, namely Thomas. It would seem as if one could not value grace more highly than he has done; from God to God through grace — that is the theme of his entire dogmatic. And yet ultimately it is habitual virtue on which all depends. The decisive mistake was already made by Augustine. It lies in the gratia cooperans, which is distinguished from the gratia operans (præveniens). The latter does not procure justification and salvation, but the former. But the former is only cooperative, for it runs parallel with the liberated will, and the two together produce merit, which is the matter of importance. But why is merit the matter of importance? Because the theologian cannot conceive of anything else availing before God than improvement that exhibits itself in a habitus. That thought, however, is not framed from the standpoint of religion, but from the standpoint of morality, or is a distressed conscience to be comforted by saying that there will gradually be formed a habit of love? Look at it as we will, faith appears important here only in so far as it opens the way for the procuring of virtues; the gratia præveniens becomes the bridge that leads over to morality. But in the last analysis the cause that led to this scheme of doctrine lies still deeper; for we must necessarily ask, why is the grace, which is, of course, to dominate the whole process, so narrowly conceived of in respect of its power, that it is unable to effect, alone and perfectly, what it contemplates? The answer to this question must not simply run: in order to set aside the thought of an arbitrary procedure on God’s part, for in other connections there was a falling back on the hidden will of God. Nor is it enough to say that the moral principle, that each one shall receive according to his deeds, furnishes the solution here; this had an influence, but was not the only thing that was at work. At bottom, rather, it was because the conception itself of God and of grace admitted of no other conclusion. There was no recognition of personality, neither of the personality of God, nor of man as a person. If even in earthly relations man cannot be otherwise raised to a 280higher stage, than by passing into a person who is superior, more mature, and greater, that is, by entering into spiritual fellowship with such an one, and attaching one’s self to him by reverence, love, and trust, then the same holds good, but in a way that transcends comparison, of the rising of man from the sphere of sin and guilt into the sphere of God. Here no communications of things avail, but only fellowship of person with person; the disclosure to the soul, that the holy God who rules heaven and earth is its Father, with whom it can, and may, live as a child in its father’s house — that is grace, nay, that alone is grace, the trustful confidence in God, namely, which rests on the certainty that the separating guilt has been swept away. That was seen by Augustine as little as by Thomas, and it was not discerned even by the mediæval Mystics, who aspired to having intercourse with Christ as with a friend; for it was the man Jesus of whom they thought in seeking this. But all of them, when they think of God, look, not to the heart of God, but to an inscrutable Being, who, as He has created the world out of nothing, so is also the productive source of inexhaustible forces that yield knowledge and transformation of essence. And when they think of themselves, they think, not of the centre of the human ego, the spirit, which is so free and so lofty that it cannot be influenced by benefits that are objective, even though they be the greatest perceptions and the most glorious investiture, and at the same time is so feeble in itself that it can find support only in another person. Therefore they constructed the thesis: God and gratia (i.e., knowledge and participation in the divine nature), in place of the personal fellowship with God, which is the gratia. That gratia, only a little separated from God in the thesis, became in course of time always further removed from Him. It appears deposited in the merit of Christ, and then in the Sacraments. But in the measure in which it becomes more impersonal, more objective, and more external, confidence in it is also impaired, till at last it becomes a magical means, which stirs to activity the latent good agency of man, and sets in motion the standing machine, that it may then do its work, and that its work may be of account before God. One sees plainly that everythings depends ultimately on the conception 281 of God. In the gratia cooperans that conception of God comes to view which represents God, not as the holy Lord in relation to guilty man, and as the Father of Jesus Christ in relation to His child, but as the unfathomable power that comes to help man with knowledge and with secret influences of a natural kind, in order that, by love and virtue, man may be able to win independent worth before Him. In Thomas it is the Augustinian intellectualism, closely conjoined with the doctrine of deification, which ultimately determines the view of God and of grace. In the later Schoolmen the intellectualism is surmounted, and a beautiful beginning is made to reflect upon will, and thereby upon personality. But as it is no more than a beginning, grace appears finally in Nominalism simply as emptied of its contents and reduced to a magical force. Where the simplest and the hardest thing is not taken account of—childship and faith in contrast with the guilt of sin — piety and speculation are condemned to treat physics and morality (the natura divina and the bonum esse [the divine nature and the being good]) in endless speculations, to see grace in the conjunction of these two elements, with the result that, when the understanding has awakened and discovered its limits, there is an ending up with a bare aliquid (something) and with a morality that underbids itself. This conclusion is in keeping with the God who is inscrutable self-will, and who, just on that account, has set up an inscrutably arbitrary institution of grace as an establishment for the insurance of life.
The fundamental features of Thomas’s doctrine of grace are the following:510510On the general scheme in which Thomas has inserted his doctrine of grace, and especially on the significance of the Church as correlate of redemption, see Ritschl. Rechtfertigung, I. vol., 2 ed., p. 86 ff. The most wonderful thing in Thomas is that in the whole account no notice is taken of the specific nature of grace as gratis Christi. the external principles of moral action are the law and grace (Summa II. 1, Q. 90): “The exterior principle moving to goodness is God, who both instructs us by the law and aids us by grace.” In Qs. 90-108 the law is treated, and in Q. 107, Art. 4, it is asserted, that although the new law is easier as respects the external commands, it is more difficult as respects the “repression of the inner impulses” (cohibitio interiorum 282motuum).511511“Quantum ad opera virtutum in interioribus actibus præcepta novæ legis sunt graviora præceptis veteris legis.” The later Schoolmen did not indeed directly contest this position, but they asserted that through the Sacraments the defective fulfilment of the commands of the new law is supplemented. In Qs. 109-114 there follows the doctrine of grace. Thomas treats first (Q. 109) of the necessity of grace. In Art. 1 it is laid down that it is impossible without grace to know any truth. The exposition is extremely noteworthy because it is very strongly determined by Aristotelian influences.512512“Cognoscere veritatem est usus quidam vel actus intellectualis luminis (‘omne quod manifestatur lumen est’), usus autem quilibet quendam motum importat . . . videmus autem in corporalibus, quod ad motum non solum requiritur ipsa forma, quæ est principium motus vel actionis, sed etiam requiritur motio primi moventis. Primum autem movens in ordine corporalium est corpus cæleste.” This is now applied to the motus spirituales, whose ultimate author must therefore be God, “ideo quantumcunque natura aliqua corporalis vel spiritualis ponatur perfecta, non potest in suum actum procedere nisi moveatur a deo, quæ quidem motio est secundum suæ providentiæ rationem, non secundum necessitatem naturæ, sicut modo corporis cœlestis. Non solum autem a deo est omnis motio, sicut a primo movente, sed etiam ab ipso est omnis formalis perfectio, sicut a primo actu. Sic igitur actio intellectus et cujuscunque entis creati dependet et a deo quantum ad duo. Uno modo in quantum ab ipso habet perfectionem sive formam per quam agit, alio modo in quantum ab ipso movetur ad agendum. Intellectus humanus habet aliquam formam, scil. ipsum intelligibile lumen, quod est de se sufficiens ad quædam intelligibilia cognoscenda . . . altiora vero intelligibilia intellectus humanus cognoscere non potest, nisi fortiori lumine perficiatur . . . quod dicitur lumen gratiæ, in quantum est naturæ superadditum. Sic igitur dicendum est, quod ad cognitionem cujuscunque veri homo indiget auxilio divino, ut intellectus a deo moveatur ad suum actum, non autem indiget ad cognoscendam veritatem in omnibus nova illustratione superaddita naturali illustrationi, sed in quibusdam quæ excedunt naturalem cognitionem.” At the same time the intellectualism of Thomas comes out here most distinctly: grace is the communication of super-natural knowledge; but the “light of grace” (lumen gratiæ) is, moreover, “superadded to nature” (naturæ superadditum). In both these views a disastrous step forward is taken; for what is “superadded” is not necessary to the accomplishment of man’s end, but reaches beyond it, may therefore be wanting, or establishes, if it is present, a superhuman worth, and hence a merit. Only now in Art. 2 is the relation of grace to moral goodness spoken of. Here appears at once the consequence of the “superadditum.” To man in his state of integrity the capacity is ascribed to do in his own strength “the good proportionate to his nature” (bonum suae naturae proportionatum)283—God only comes into view here, as everywhere else, as “primus movens” (the primary mover); yet divine help was needed in order to obtain a meritorious “bonum superexcedens” (surplus goodness). But after the Fall there is need in order to both these ends of grace, which must first restore man’s nature. Accordingly a twofold grace is required by him here. In this way the distinction is already drawn between gratia operans and gratia cooperans, and at the same time there is contemplated as man’s goal a supernatural state, which can only be reached by help of the second grace, which produces merits.513513“In statu naturæ integræ quantum ad sufficientiam operativæ virtutis poterat homo per sua naturalia velle et operari bonum suæ naturæ proportionatum, quale est bonum virtutis acquisitæ, non autem bonum superexcedens, quale est bonum virtutis infusæ; sed in statu naturæ corruptæ etiam deficit homo ab hoc, quod secundum suam naturam potest, ut non possit totum hujusmodi bonum implere per sua naturalia. Quia tamen natura humana per peccatum non est totaliter corrupta, ut scil. tanto bono naturæ privetur, potest quidem etiam in statu naturæ corruptæ per virtutem suæ naturæ aliquod bonum particulare agere, non tamen totum bonum sibi connaturale.” He must be healed auxilio medicinæ. “Sic igitur virtute gratuita superaddita virtuti naturæ indiget homo in statu naturæ integræ, quantum ad unum scil. ad operandum et volendum bonum supernaturale, sed in statu naturæ corruptæ quantum ad duo, scil. ut sanetur et ulterius ut bonum supernaturalis virtutis operetur, quod est meritorium.” In Art. 3 the question as to whether man can love God above all things without grace is dealt with in the same way: Nature before the Fall is certainly capable of that; for it is “quiddam connaturale homini” (something congenial to man); but after the Fall nature is incapable of it. “Man in the state of unfallen nature did not need the gift of grace superadded to natural goodness (naturalibus bonis) for loving God naturally above all things, though he needed the aid of God moving him to this, but in the state of corrupt nature man needs also for this the help of grace that heals nature.”514514In Art. 4 the fulfilling of the law of God is treated in the same way. In Art. 5 it is said regarding the question as to whether without grace man can merit eternal life, that every nature can, by its action, only bring about an effect which is proportionate to its strength. “But eternal life is an end exceeding the proportions (proportionem) of human nature; hence man cannot in his own strength produce meritorious works which are proportionate to eternal life. Therefore without grace 284man cannot merit eternal life.” Nothing is said here of merits de congruo, nay, in Art. 6 it is denied that by natural good deeds man can prepare for this grace;515515“Quod homo convertatur ad deum, hoc non potest esse nisi deo ipsum convertente, hoc autem est præparare se ad gratiam, quasi ad deum converti . . . homo non potest se præparare ad lumen gratiæ suscipiendum, nisi per auxilium gratuitum dei interius moventis.” no doubt conversion to God comes about in free will, but the will cannot turn to God unless God converts it; for man cannot raise himself independently from the state of sin without grace,516516Art. 7: “Cum enim peccatum transiens actu, remaneat reatu, non est idem resurgere a peccato, quod cessare ab actu peccati, sed resurgere a peccato est reparari hominem ad ea quæ peccando amisit.” Sin has three evils as its consequences, macula, corruptio naturalis boni, reatus culpæ. None of these results can be removed otherwise than by God. cannot even in this state avoid with certainty mortal sins (Art. 8), nay even the redeemed man needs grace in order not to fall into sin;517517Art. 9: “homo ad recte vivendum dupliciter auxilio dei indiget. Uno quidem modo quantum ad aliquod habituale donum, per quod natura humana corrupta sanetur et etiam sanata elevetur ad operanda opera meritoria vitæ æternæ, quæ excedunt proportionem naturæ. Alio modo indiget homo auxilio gratiæ, ut a deo moveatur ad agendum. Quantum igitur ad primum auxilii modum, homo in gratia existens non indiget alio auxilio gratiæ quasi aliquo alio habitu infuso, indiget tamen auxilio gratiæ secundum alium modum, ut scil. a deo moveatur ad recte agendum, et hoc propter duo. First generally (nulla res creata potest in quemcunque actum prodire nisi virtute motionis divinæ), second specially, propter conditionem status humanæ naturæ, quæ quidem licet per gratiam sanetur quantum ad mentem, remanet tamen in ea corruptio et infectio quantum ad carnem per quam servit legi peccati; remanet etiam quædam ignorantiæ obscuritas in intellectu; propter varios enim rerum eventus et quia etiam nos ipsos non perfectæ cognoscimus, non possumus ad plenum scire quid nobis expediat, et ideo necesse est nobis, ut a deo dirigamur et protegamur qui omnia novit et omnia potest. Et propter hoc etiam renatis in filios dei per gratiam convenit dicere: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, et fiat voluntas tua, etc.” hence perseverance is also a special gift of grace.518518Art. 10 (strictly Augustinian, against Pelagius): “Ad perseverantiam habendam homo in gratia constitutus non quidem indiget aliqua alia habituali gratia, sed divino auxilio ipsum dirigente et protegente contra tentationum impulsus . . . et ideo postquam aliquis est justificatus per gratiam, necesse habet a deo petete prædictum perseverantiæ donum, ut scil. custodiatur a malo usque ad finem vitæ: multis enim datur gratia, quibus non datur perseverare in gratis.”
After this, in Q. I to, the essence of grace is described. The inquiry begins very characteristically with the question “whether grace places anything in the soul” (utrum gratia ponat aliquid 285in anima). Here it is laid down that gratia has a threefold meaning = benevolent disposition, free gift without equivalent, and thanks. Divine grace is not only benevolent disposition, but also gift, and therefore “it is manifest that grace places something in him who receives grace.” Now the definition: “Thus, therefore, by man’s being said to have the grace of God, there is signified something supernatural in man proceeding from God. Sometimes, however, the grace of God is a designation for God’s eternal love itself, as it is also called the grace of predestination, in so far as God has predestinated or chosen some gratuitously, and not on the ground of merit” (sic igitur per hoc, quod dicitur homo gratiam dei habere, significatur quiddam supernaturale in homine a deo proveniens. Quandoque tamen gratia dei dicitur ipsa æterna dei dilectio, secundum quod dicitur etiam gratia prædestinationis, in quantum deus gratuito et non ex meritis aliquos prædestinavit sive elegit).519519Art. 1. But as grace “places something in the soul,” it is also a quality of the soul, i.e., in addition to the help by which God in general moves the soul to good action, He infuses into it a supernatural quality.520520Art. 2: “. . . multo magis illis quos movet ad consequendum bonum supernaturale æternum, infundit aliquas formas seu qualitates supernaturales, secundum quas suaviter et prompte ab ipso moveantur ad bonum æternum consequendum.” In the two following articles (3 and 4) it is now proved that grace is not only the being filled with this or that quality (not only with love even), but that it is related to the infused virtues as the natural light of reason (lumen rationis) to the acquired virtues (virtutes acquisitæ), and that it is to be regarded therefore as participation in the divine nature by means of an illumination penetrating the whole being, whereby the true sonship to God comes to exist.521521Art. 3: “Sicut lumen naturale rationis est aliquid præter virtutes acquisitas, quæ dicuntur in ordine ad ipsum lumen naturale, ita etiam ipsum lumen gratiæ, quod est participatio divinæ naturæ, est aliquid præter virtutes infusas, quæ a lumine illo derivantur et ad illud lumen ordinantur.” Hence because grace is not a mere virtue, but aliquid virtute prius, it is not placed in aliqua potentiarum animæ, but in the essence of the soul itself. “Sicut enim per potentiam intellectivam homo participat cognitionem divinam per virtutem fidei, et secundum potentiam voluntatis amorem divinum per virtutem caritatis, ita etiam per naturam animæ participat secundum quandam similitudinem naturam divinam, per quandam regenerationem” (Art. 4).286
From this point, in Q. 111, the division of grace is sketched. And, first, a distinction is drawn between gratia gratum faciens (by which man is united to God [qua ipse homo deo conjungitur]), and gratia gratis data (the priestly official grace, by which the man himself is not justified, but the justification of another is contemplated [qua non homo ipse justificatur, sed justificatio alterius comparatur]). It is worthy of note that Thomas begins with this distinction (Art. I). Then follows the separation of grace into gratia operans and gratia co-operans (that by which He moves us to good volition and action — gift of habit divinely imparted to us [illa, qua nos movet ad bene volendum et agendum — habituale donum nobis divinitus inditum]); it is justified by the proposition: “the operation of any effect is not attributed to that which moves, but to the mover” (operatio alicujus effectus non attribuitur mobili, sed moventi). In the effect, so far as our soul is mota non movens (the moved, not moving) the gratia operans appears; in the effect, so far as it is mota movens (the moved, moving) the gratia cooperans appears (Art. 2).522522Note also: “Est autem in nobis duplex actus; primus quidem interior voluntatis; et quantum ad istum actum, voluntas se habet ut mota, deus autem ut movens, et præsertim cum voluntas incipit bonum velle, quæ prius malum volebat. Et ideo secundum quod deus movet humanam mentem ad hunc actum, dicitur gratia operans. Alius autem actus est exterior qui cum a voluntate imperetur consequens est quod ad hunc actum operatio attribuatur voluntati. Et quia etiam ad hunc actum deus nos adjuvat et interius confirmando voluntatem, ut ad actum perveniat, et exterius facultatem operandi præbendo, respectu hujusmodi actus dicitur gratia cooperans. (There follows a proof-passage from Augustine). Si igitur gratia accipiatur pro gratuita dei motione, quia movet nos ad bonum meritorium convenienter dividitur gratia per operantem, et cooperantem. Si vero accipiatur gratia pro habituali dono, sic est duplex gratiæ effectus, sicut et cujuslibet alterius formæ, quorum primus est esse, secundus est operatio. . . . Sic igitur habitualis gratia, in quantum animam sanat vel justificat sive gratam deo facit, dicitur gratia operans, in quantum vero est principium opens meritorii, quod ex libero arbitrio procedit, dicitur cooperans.” At an earlier point Thomas had already made an analogous distinction with regard to righteousness (justitia); see II., 1 Q. l00, Art. 12: “Si loquamur de justificatione proprie dicta sic considerandum est, quod justitia potest accipi prout est in habitu vel prout est in actu, et secundum hoc justificatio dupliciter dicitur. Uno quidem modo secundum quod homo fit justus adipiscens habitum justitia. Alio veto modo, secundum quod opera justitiæ operatur, ut secundum hoc justificatio nihil aliud sit quam justitiæ exsecutio. Justitia autem, sicut aliæ virtutes, potest accipi et acquisita et infusa. Acquisita quidem causatur ex operibus, sed infusa causatur ab ipso deo per ejus gratiam, et hæc est vera justitia, secundum quam aliquis dicitur justus apud deum.” Parallel with this is the division into gratia præveniens and gratia subsequens 287(Art. 3).523523“Sicut gratia dividitur in operantem et cooperantem secundum diversos affectus, ita etiam in prævenientem et subsequentem, qualitercumque gratia accipiatur. Sunt autem quinque effectus gratiæ in nobis, quorum primus est ut anima sanetur, secundus est, ut bonum velit, tertius est, ut bonum quod vult efficaciter operetur, quartus est, ut in bono perseveret, quintus est, ut ad gloriam perveniat. Et ideo gratia secundum quod causat in nobis primum effectum, vocatur præveniens, respectu secundi effectus et prout causat in nobis secundum, vocatur subsequens respectu primi effectus.” In Art. 4 the gratia gratis data, i.e., the grace with which one helps others (for the edification of the community, official grace), is subjected to a further division according to I Cor. xi., and in Art. 5 it is shown that the gratia gratum faciens is to be valued much more highly than the gratia gratis data.
In Q. 112 the causæ gratiæ (causes of grace) are now considered. That God alone can be the cause is deduced in a genuinely Old Catholic way from the conception of grace as deifica (making divine).524524“Cum donum gratiæ nihil aliud sit quam quædam participatio divinæ naturæ, quæ excedit omnem aliam naturam, ideo impossibile est quod aliqua creatura gratiam causet. Sic enim necesse est, quod solus deus deificet, communicando consortium divinæ naturæ per quandam similitudinis participationem, sicut impossibile est, quod aliquid igniat nisi solus ignis” (Art. 1). Hence man cannot even prepare himself for this grace, the preparation rather, which is necessary, must be effected by grace itself,525525The thought is this, that gratia as habituate donum dei requires a preparation, because (Aristotelian) “nulla forma potest esse nisi in materia disposita; sed si loquamur de gratia secundum quod significat auxilium dei moventis ad bonum (that is, the gratia prima), nulla præparatio requiritur ex parte hominis, quasi præveniens divinum auxilium.” With this momentous distinction the dissolution of Augustinianism took its beginning. therefore the act of preparation for gratia infusa is not meritorious, for although every forma presupposes a materia disposita (prepared), yet it holds good even in the things of nature that “the preparedness of the material does not necessarily secure form save by virtue of the agent who causes the preparedness” (dispositio materiæ non ex necessitate consequitur formam nisi per virtutem agentis, qui dispositionem causat).526526Art. 3: “Præparatio hominis ad gratiam est a deo sicut a movente, a libero autem arbitrio sicut a moto . . . Secundum quod est a libero arbitrio, nullam necessitatem habet ad gratiæ consecutionem.” This gratia gratum faciens can be smaller in the one, greater in the other, just because it is a free 288gift;527527This also is a momentous, as it is also an Augustinian, proposition, due likewise to thinking of grace as gratia infusa (habitus). No doubt Thomas further explains, that ex parte finis the greatness of grace always remains the same (“conjungens hominem summo bono, quod est deus”). But “ex parte subjecti gratia potest suscipere magis vel minus, prout scil. unus perfectius illustratur a lumine gratiæ quam alius. Cujus diversitatis ratio quidem est aliqua ex parte præparantis se ad gratiam, qui enim magis se ad gratiam præparat pleniorem gratiam accipit.” This position was the main source of disaster for the period that followed: there was naturally the growing tendency to think more of the præparatio than of the causa, and to overlook the addition which Thomas had appended: “sed hac ex parte non potest accipi prima ratio hujus diversitatis, quia præparatio ad gratiam non est hominis, nisi in quantum liberum arbitrium ejus præparatur a deo. Unde prima causa hujus diversitatis accipienda est ex parte ipsius dei, qui diversimode suæ gratiæ dona dispensat ad hoc quod ex diversis gradibus pulchritudo et perfectio ecclesiæ consurgat, sicut etiam diversos gradus rerum instituit, ut esset universum perfectum.” This explanation manifestly leads in quite a different direction from the one mentioned first, with which it is associated; for in the case of the former it is really a question about a more or less, in the case of the latter, on the other hand, it is a question about varieties, which are necessary to the perfectness of the beautiful whole. But Thomas could unite the two explanations in accordance with his ontology, because, like Augustine, he regarded ultimately even the less good as necessary in the cosmic system, since it is just in this way that the beauty of the whole comes out in the manifoldness of its parts. Of course this reflection simply cancels the ethical mode of contemplation and transforms it into the æsthetic. Thus, so far as Thomas does not derive the existence of more or less grace from the dispositio (præparatio) hominis, but traces it rather to God, he knows only of æsthetic ways of justifying it (Art. 4). but because it is something supernatural, no one here below to whom it is not specially revealed can know for certain whether he possess it.528528This is the third momentous position (Art. 5): “Nullus potest scire, se habere gratiam, certitudinaliter; certitudo enim non potest haberi de aliquo, nisi possit dijudicari per proprium principium.” No one is sure of a conclusion, who does not know the major premiss. “Principium autem gratiæ at objectum ejus est ipse deus, qui propter sui excellentiam est nobis ignotus.” One can only ascertain the possession of grace conjecturaliter (per aliqua signa). But one can very well be sure of possessing scientia and fides, “non est autem similis ratio de gratia et caritate.” We see here what ruin was wrought by the thought of gratia infusa as a mysterious habitus which is applied to the soul! But this habitus, of which one cannot be certain, corresponds with the deus ignotus!
There follows in Qs. 113 and 114 the inquiry into the effects of grace. In correspondence with the distinction between gratia operans and gratia cooperans the effect of grace is twofold — justification and meritorious good works; but even in justification the will must co-operate. Only the very first point is distinguished by the sole efficiency of grace. This comes out at 289once in Art. 1 (Q. 113). Thomas raises the question whether the justification of the sinner is the remission of sins (utrum justificatio impii sit remissio peccatorum?), and in an extremely round-about explanation he answers at bottom with no, although he apparently replies to the question in the affirmative. He lays it down, that is to say, that “justification, passively received, introduces an impulse towards righteousness” (justificatio passive accepta importat motum ad justitiam), but that it comes into view here “as a certain change (transmutatio) from a state of unrighteousness to a state of righteousness.” “And because movement is described rather from the terminus ad quem than from the terminus a quo, so a change (transmutatio) of this kind, by which one is changed (transmutatur) from a state of unrighteousness into a state of righteousness, derives its name from the terminus ad quem, and is called the justification of the sinner”; in other words: the actual justification does not yet take place through the “remission of sins,” but only on account of the contemplated end can it be said that forgiveness of sins is already justification; in reality, however, justification — as a translation into a new state — only takes place later. This becomes still plainer, when it is affirmed in Art. 2 that even for the forgiveness of sins the gratia infusa is necessary. This has the effect, certainly, of introducing a bad confusion; for if the position: “remission of guilt cannot be understood where there is no infusion of grace” (non potest intelligi remissio culpæ, si non adest infusio gratiæ) is correct (it is proved by the reflection that forgiveness of sins presupposes “the effect of divine love” in us, i.e., presupposes that we love God in return), then forgiveness of sins, instead of being the first thing, is the last, and one must ask himself, what then is really the effect of the gratia præveniens (in the strictest sense)? Is it mere vocatio (calling), or something undefinable? Thomas here got astray with his own distinctions, or — in a highly characteristic way — he left in darkness what man owes to prevenient grace. In accordance with this it is pointed out in Arts. 3-5, that for justification there must already co-operate a movement of free will (motus liberi arbitrii), a movement of faith (motus fidei) and a hatred of sin (odium peccati), i.e., we are at once led on to contemplate the 290intermingling of grace and self-activity.529529Art. 3: “In eo, qui habet usum liberi arbitrii, non fit motio a deo ad justitiam absque motu liberi arbitrii, sed ita infundit donum gratiæ justificantis, quod etiam simul cum hoc movet liberum arbitrium ad donum gratiæ acceptandum in his, quæ sunt hujus motionis capaces.” 4: “deus movet animam hominis convertendo eam ad se ipsum . . . prima conversio ad deum fit per fidem . . . ideo motus fidei requiritur ad justificationem impii.” 5: “recessus et accessus in motu liberi arbitrii accipitur secundum detestationem et desiderium . . . oportet igitur quod in justificatione impii sit motus liberi arbitrii duplex, unus quo per desiderium tendat in dei justitiam, et alius, quo detestetur peccatum.” Only now does justification take place (Art. 6); for “four things are to be reckoned (enumerantur) which are required for the justification of the sinner, viz., the infusion of grace, the movement of free will in relation to God (in deum) by faith, and the movement of free will in relation to sin (in peccatum), and the remission of guilt (this last follows, then, from the three other things); the reason of which is that, as has been said, justification is a certain movement by which the soul is moved by God from a state of guilt into a state of righteousness; but in any movement by which anything is moved by another, three things are required. First, the moving (motio) of the mover himself; second, the movement as in motion (motus mobilis); third, the consummation of the movement, or the arrival at the goal. From the side (ex parte), therefore, of the divine moving there is received the infusion of grace, from the side of free will the retirement and advance (recessus et accessus) of movement, while the consummation or arrival at the goal of this movement is brought about (importatur) by the remission of guilt. For in this justification is consummated.”530530It may be remarked, by the way, that here and there in the Middle Ages it is related that those specially endowed with grace detected (sensibiliter) the infusion of grace, felt with the sense of taste a sweetness, etc. But although justification culminates in the forgiveness of sins, yet, as will appear, the whole process does not yet culminate in justification. Of this justification of the sinner it is further taught (Art. 7), that it is effected “originaliter” at the moment of infusion, and that “it is realised instantaneously and without succession” (in instanti fit absque successione). The difficulty, that the giving of form (infusion) can only take place in materia disposita (in prepared matter) is set aside by saying, that “for the infusion of grace into the soul God does 291not require any disposition save that which He Himself creates. But He creates a disposition of this kind sufficient for the reception of grace, sometimes indeed suddenly, but sometimes gradually and in stages” (ad hoc quod gratiam infundat animæ, non requirit aliquam dispositionem, nisi quam ipse facit. Facit autem hujusmodi dispositionem sufficientem ad susceptionem gratiæ quandoque quidem subito quandoque autem paulatim et successive).531531The exposition is again cosmological (Aristotelian): “Quod enim agens naturale non subito possit disponere materiam, contingit ex hoc, quod est aliqua proportio ejus quod in materia resistit ad virtutem agentis et propter hoc videmus, quod quanto virtus agentis fuerit fortior, tanto materia citius disponitur. Cum igitue virtus divina sit infinita, potest quamcunque materiam creatam subito disponere, etc. etc.” In what follows, the order of the process is now inverted in a bold way (Art. 8): from the point of view of time the four things named above coincide, but causally they follow each other thus — (1) the infusion of grace; (2) the movement towards God in love; (3) the turning from sin; (4) the forgiveness of guilt. The legitimacy of this inversion is not proved by Thomas; the aim in view is manifest; grace must stand at the beginning. But because he is averse to distinguishing a grace which is not infused, but is simply the awakening of trust (fiducia), he cannot allow validity to the scheme which would really correspond with his mode of thought, namely, (1) a grace that is merely movens; (2) faith (fides); (3) detestation of sin; (4) remission of guilt; (5) infused grace (gratia infusa). He, therefore, places infused grace first “causally” (causaliter) (from the correct reflection that at all events the precedence belongs to this), but it is a mere assertion, which he himself cannot effectively prove, that this gratia is infusa; for its effects do not correspond with this. The confusion which, on closer inspection, we at once see to have been introduced by him here,532532It shews itself, e.g., in the contradiction Art. 8 ad Primum, where he says: “Quia infusio gratiæ et remissio culpæ dicuntur ex parte dei justificantis, ideo ordine naturæ prior est gratiæ infusio quam culpæ remissio. Sed si sumantur ea quæ ex parte hominis justificati, est ex converso; nam prius est ordine naturæ liberatio a culpa, quam consecutio gratiæ justificantis.” But only the one thing or the other holds good. It is the worst scholasticism to assert that the two views can be held together. was not without its influence in the period that followed. In the concluding view taken of justification (Arts. 9 and 10), it is laid down that it is not only a great work (opus magnum) of God, 292but is really even a miraculous work (opus miraculosum); but at bottom the latter holds good only of sudden conversions: “certain miraculous works, although they are less than the justification of the sinner, so far as the good that comes into existence is concerned, are, nevertheless, beyond the usual order of such effects, and therefore have more of the nature of miracle” (“quædam miraculosa opera, esti sunt minora quam justificatio impii quantum ad bonum quod fit, sunt tamen præter consuetum ordinem talium effectuum et ideo plus habent de ratione miraculi”). This exhausts justification, yet not the whole process; only now, rather, are the effects first considered which are imparted through grace in an increasing measure to him who is already justified. They are all placed under the head of merit (Q. 114). First, the question is raised whether man can acquire merit at all before God (Art. 1). The answer runs: not in the absolute sense of strict righteousness, but certainly in virtue of a benevolent arrangement of God.533533This is the religious robe that is thrown over the irreligious “merit.” Thomas says that meritum and merces are the same = retributio as pretium of a deed. Justitia in the strict sense exists only inter eos, quorum est simpliciter æqualitas. Where therefore there is simpliciter justum, there is also simpliciter meritum vel merces. In other cases there exists at the most a meritum secundum quid (not justum). But between God and men there is the greatest inequality, and all goodness which man has springs from God; hence there is here, not a meritum simpliciter, but certainly a meritum “in quantum uterque operatur secundum modum suum.” But the modus humanæ virtutis is appointed by God; “ideo meritum hominis apud deum esse non potest nisi secundum persuppositionem divinæ ordinationis, ita scil. ut id homo consequatur a deo per operationem quasi mercedem, ad quod deus ei virtutem operandi deputavit.” Still it is to be noted here, that Thomas does not determine merit purely according to the arbitrary will of God; it is estimated rather by the faculty and end of man. Yet in the period that followed, there was an adhering always more closely, because it was more convenient, and because the conception of God admitted of it to pure arbitrariness as respects meritoriousness, and a relying on the Church’s being initiated into the purposes of this arbitrariness. But in this article Thomas has a still further addition that is not without its significance; he continues: “Sicut etiam res naturales hoc consecuntur per proprios motus et operationes, ad quod a deo sunt ordinatæ, differenter tamen, quia creatura rationalis se ipsam movet ad agendum per liberum arbitrium. Unde sua actio habet rationem meriti, quod non est in aliis creaturis.” It is implied therefore in the nature of free will that it acquires merits; in Art. 4, e.g., in addition to the thesis that the meritorious originates ex ordinatione divina, Thomas has made an independent use of this thesis. Then in accordance with this it is declared impossible that anyone should merit for himself eternal life, even if he lives in the state of unfallen nature (in statu 293natural integræ) (Art. 2); for “eternal life is something good that exceeds the proportions of created nature” (vita æterna est quoddam bonum excedens proportionem naturæ creatæ).534534“Nulla natura creata est sufficiens principium actus meritorii vitæ æternæ, nisi superaddatur aliquod supernaturale donum, quod gratia dicitur.” On the other hand, to the question, whether the man who is in a state of grace can merit eternal life “ex condigno,” no explicit answer is given.535535“Ex condigno” = in a truly meritorious way, as contrasted with “ex congruo” = in the way of a performance, to which, when a benevolent view is taken of it, a certain worth and therefore also a certain merit can he attributed. The decision rather runs (Art. 3), “meritorious work of man can be looked at in two ways; on the one hand in so far as it proceeds from free will, on the other hand in so far as it proceeds from the grace of the Holy Spirit. If it is looked at with respect to the substance of work and in so far as it proceeds from free will, there cannot here be condignity on account of the very great inequality of proportions. For it appears congruous, that man working according to his virtue should be rewarded by God according to the excellence of his virtue. But if we speak of meritorious work with respect to what proceeds from the grace of the Holy Spirit, it is in this case meritorious of eternal life ex condigno. For here the value of the merit is estimated according to the power of the Holy Spirit who moves us to eternal life. The reward also of the work is estimated by the dignity of the grace by which man, made a participant of the divine nature, is adopted as a son of God, to whom inheritance is due in virtue of the very right of adoption” (opus meritorium hominis dupliciter considerari potest; uno modo, secundum quod procedit ex libero arbitrio, alio modo, secundum quod procedit ex gratia spiritus sancti. Si consideretur secundum substantiam operis et secundum quod procedit ex libero arbitrio, sic non potest ibi esse condignitas propter maximam inæqualitatem proportionis. Videtur enim congruum, ut homini operanti secundum suam virtutem deus recompenset secundum excellentiam suæ virtutis. Si autem loquamur de opere meritorio secundum quod procedit ex gratia spiritus sancti, sic est meritorium vitæ æternæ ex condigno. Sic enim valor meriti attenditur secundum virtutem spiritus sancti moventis nos in vitam æternam. Attenditur etiam 294pretium operis secundum dignitatem gratiæ, per quam homo consors factus divinæ naturæ adoptatur in filium dei, cui debetur hæreditas ex ipso jure adoptionis). The same thing, then, is in one respect ex condigno, in another respect ex congruo! The period that followed was not satisfied with this, but attributed to human merit a higher worth; but to this Thomas himself gave the impulse. In Art. 4 it is shown that the meritorious principle is love, whether we look at merit ex ordinatione divina (by divine arrangement), or at merit “in so far as man has, beyond other creatures, the power of acting for himself as a voluntary agent” (in quantum homo habet præ ceteris creaturis ut per se agat voluntarie agens). In both cases it can easily be shown, that in love and in no other virtue merit consists.536536Here in Arts. 5-7, as if by way of giving extra measure, Thomas introduces three chapters, in which he again expressly shows that one cannot merit the first grace, that one cannot merit it for another, and that one cannot merit even the reparatio post lapsum. But the sections are important, for the reason that the decided negative which Thomas here adopts everywhere was cancelled, or at least modified, in the period that followed. With regard to the first point, he explains most distinctly that “omne meritum repugnat gratiæ,” hence: “nullus sibi mereri potest gratiam primam.” But Thomas did not see that what holds good of the gratia prima holds good of all grace. Indeed the gratia prima, just because it has nothing to do with merit, is at bottom an extremely dark phenomenon for him, and this explains his passing over it so rapidly. He was himself accountable for it therefore, that in the period that followed even the communication of the gratia prima was attached to certain merits. The second point is important, because Thomas, in distinction from the later Schoolmen, here gives Christ the honour, and still keeps Mary and the saints in the background. He recalls first of all his expositions in Arts. 1 and 3, to the effect that in the meritorious works of the justified that which free will does is only a meritum de congruo, and then proceeds: “Ex quo patet, quod merito condigni nullus potest mereri alteri primam gratiam nisi solus Christus, quia unusquisque nostrum movetur a deo per donum gratiæ, ut ipsa ad vitam æternam perveniat, et ideo meritum condigni ultra hanc motionem non se extendit. Sed anima Christi mota est a deo per gratiam, non solum ut ipse perveniret ad gloriam vitæ æternæ, sed etiam ut alios in eam adduceret, in quantum est caput ecclesiæ. . . . Sed merito congrui potest aliquis alteri mereri primam gratiam. Quia enim homo in gratia constitutus implet dei voluntatem congruum est secundum amicitiæ proportionem, ut deus impleat hominis voluntatem in salvatione alterius.” Thus the saints are certainly admitted by the back-door of meritum de congruo. Regarding the third point it is said: “Nullus potest sibi mereri reparationem post lapsum futurum, neque merito condigni, neque merito congrui”; for the former is excluded, because the grace that might be the ground of merit is lost by the Fall (“motione prioris gratiæ usque ad haec [viz., the Fall or the mortal sin] non se extendente”); the latter becomes in still higher degree an impossibility through the impedimentum peccati. In view of the principle “any act of love merits absolutely eternal life” 295(quilibet actus caritatis meretur absolute vitam æternam), it is now asked in Art. 8, whether man can merit the increase (augmentum) of grace or love, and this question is answered roundly in the affirmative; for “that to which the motion of grace extends falls under merito condigni, but the motion of any thing moving extends not only to the ultimate goal of the movement, but also to the whole progress in movement; but the goal of the movement of grace is eternal life, while the progress in this movement is according to the increase of love. Thus therefore the increase of grace falls under merito condigni” (illud cadit sub merito condigni, ad quod motio gratiæ se extendit, motio autem alicujus moventis non solum se extendit ad ultimum terminum motus, sed etiam ad totum progressum in motu; terminus autem motus gratiæ est vita aeterna, progressus autem in hoc motu est secundum augmentum caritatis. Sic igitur augmentum gratiæ cadit sub merito condigni). On the other hand, the question whether man can also merit perseverance in grace is denied in the following article, and thus the ultimate worth of “merit” is cancelled, and a way of return sought for to pure Augustinianism.537537“Perseverantia vitæ non cadit sub merito, quia dependet solum ex motione divina, quæ est principium omnis meriti, sed deus gratis perseverantiæ bonum largitur cuicunque illud largitur.”
In order to form a correct historic estimate of this grace doctrine of Thomas, we must keep in view, in addition to the interest of Christian piety by which he was really guided, and in addition to the practice of the Church, which for him was authoritative, that in the philosophy of religion he was determined by Augustine’s doctrines of God and of predestination, and in ethics by Aristotle’s doctrines of God and of virtue. Because both were certainties for him, and he therefore made it his business to unite the two, he framed that complicated system of doctrine in which the dexterous, often paradoxical, subtleties of Augustine, the believing sceptic, became as much fundamental tenets as the most direct and confident deliverances of his piety. These fundamental tenets are then placed in connection with the entirely contrasted thoughts of Aristotle, while with wearisome reiteration the definition of God as primum movens is made to 296serve as the bridge. How entirely dependent Thomas is upon Augustine is shown by the doctrine of predestination, which he has taken over in all its strictness;538538See Summa I., Q. 23: Predestination is the providence of God in relation to creaturæ rationales; He alone can give them the ultimus finis, i.e., can “appoint their order.” In virtue of His decree, God determines the numerus electorum, and in so far as it belongs to divine providence “aliquos permittere a vita æterna deficere,” so also it belongs to it that God should reprobate some. “Sicut enim prædestinatio includit voluntatem conferendi gratiam et gloriam, ita reprobatio includit voluntatem permittendi aliquem cadere in culpam et inferendi damnationis pœnam pro culpa” (Art. 3), nay, l.c., Thomas asserts with chilling sternness that the reprobatio is also a bonum: “Deus omnes homines diligit et etiam omnes creaturas, in quantum omnibus vult aliquod bonum; non tamen quodcunque bonum vult omnibus. In quantum igitur quibusdam non vult hoc bonum, quod est vita æterna, diciter eos habere odio vel reprobate.” According to this, therefore, there is also a bonum which is no bonum (for the receiver), and so nothing but the divine will itself: God loves these men in hell! But on the other hand it is also said with Augustine: “Aliter se habet reprobatio in causando quam prædestinatio. Nam prædestinatio est causa et ejus quod expectatur in futura vita a prædestinatis, scil. gloriæ, et ejus quod percipitur in præsenti, scil. gratiæ; reprobatio vero non est causa ejus quod est in præsenti, scil. culpæ, sed est causa derelictionis a deo (this has not its source in prescience); est tamen causa ejus quod redditur in futuro, scil. pœnæ acternæ. Sed culpa provenit ex libero arbitrio ejus, qui reprobatur et a gratia deseritur.” But how shall he not sin if God has forsaken him? What does it avail to add: “reprobatio dei non subtrahit aliquid de potentia reprobati; unde cum dicitur quod reprobatur non potest gratiam adipisci, non est hoc intelligendum secundum impossibilitatem absolutam, sed secundum impossibilitatem conditionatam”? It was not easy for Thomas to construe the doctrine of free will, since in the doctrine of God he had applied throughout the thought of the sole divine causality; and in the doctrine of the gubernatio (I., Q. 103) had shown that, just like the principium mundi, so also the finis mundi is aliquid extra mundum (Art. 2). But if the world has no independent end, it follows that the gubernatio must be conceived of as implying that by Him alone all things are moved, i.e., brought to their goal; for they themselves cannot move forward to that, quod est extrinsecum a toto universo. But by distinguishing the esse and operari, as also the primum movens in things and the movens ex se, and finally the gubernatio diversa in quantum ad creaturas irrationales and in quantum ad creaturas per se agentes, Thomas still succeeds in maintaining free will, which indeed he necessarily requires also, in order to get merit; see the discussion of freedom of will, I., 83 (Art. 1: “Homo est liberi arbitrii, alioquin frustra essent consilia, exhortationes, præcepta, prohibitiones, præmia et pœnæ. . . . Liberum arbitrium est causa sui motus, quia homo per liberum arbitrium seipsum movet ad agendum. Non tamen hoc est de necessitate libertatis, quod sit prima causa sui id quod liberum est, sicut nec ad hoc quod aliquid sit causa alterius, requiritur quod sit prima causa ejus. Deus igitur est prima causa movens et naturales causas et voluntarias. Et sicut naturalibus causis movendo eas non aufert, quin actus earum sint naturales, ita movendo causas voluntarias non aufert, quin actiones earum sint voluntariæ, sed potius hoc in eis facit; operatur in unoquoque secundum ejus proprietatem”). In accordance with this it is constantly emphasised in the determining paragraphs on justification that the process of grace realises itself with the consent of free will, which consent, however, is at the same time an effect of grace: when God infuses grace, He moves us according to our own proper nature, i.e., in such a way that He moves the free will to the willing acceptance of the gift of grace. The same thing is said of the virtues; on the one hand they are likewise infused; but on the other hand God never acts sine nobis, but always only with the assent of our free will; for the rational creature is so constituted that in its being impelled by God towards the goal, it must always be impelled consentiente voluntate. how largely dependent he 297is upon Aristotle is shown both by his doctrine of God and above all by the Pars Secunda Secundae, the special doctrine of morals, in which it is demonstrated that virtue consists in the right government of the appetencies and impulses by reason, and is then perfected supernaturally by the gifts of grace. Finally, in order to get a complete view of Thomas’s doctrine of grace, we must add his doctrines of the constitution of man, of the primitive state, of the Fall, of original sin and of sin, as they are developed in Parts I., Q. 90-102, and II., 1 Q. 71-89. But we may refrain from presenting these here in fuller detail, partly because Thomas attaches himself closely to Augustine, partly because the chief points have already been specified in the discussion of his doctrine of grace.539539Let us adduce here only a few of the determining positions. As had been the case already with Augustine, the “primitive state” created a special difficulty for Thomas, inasmuch as on the one hand eternal life was to be regarded as a gift of grace, while on the other hand it was held as certain that it could only be acquired through merit. It necessarily followed from this that the view taken of the primitive state was indeterminate; it was not quite conceived of as mere possibilitas boni (in the sense of the highest goodness, quod superexcedit naturam), but neither was it quite thought of as habitus boni. So Thomas, introducing the idea that the vita æterna is a bonum superexcedens naturam, described the natural equipment of Adam as insufficient for the obtaining of this good, and accordingly assumed that in creation there was given to him over and above the natural equipment a special gratia superaddita, by the help of which his free will should acquire for itself the merit which fits for eternal life; see I., Q. 95, Art. 1: Adam received grace at once at creation (not only afterwards) — he was in gratia conditus — for only grace could secure for him the rectitudo, which consists in the subordination of the ratio to God, of the inferiores virtutes to the ratio, of the body to the soul. But this subordination was not “rationalis”; for otherwise it would have continued after the Fall; so it was secundum supernaturale donum gratiæ. Note also Art. 4: “Homo etiam ante peccatum indigebat gratia ad vitam æternam consequendam, quæ est principalis necessitas gratiæ.” But this view, still a religious one, had already many breaches made in it before Thomas’ time, and these always increased in number; see below. A further result of this view was that Thomas was not able to identify the justilia originalis with the image of God, so far as this image is incapable of being lost, or say, to unite it with the innate end of human nature, but viewed it as a supernatural gift, which leads beyond the bonum naturale and the finis naturalis. The grounds for this view are easily discovered. They lie both in the purpose entertained that the coming into existence of merit shall be proved possible, and in the conceiving of merit as something supernatural; in short, in the regarding of asceticism as a state, or say opus, which is supernatural, meritorious, and which also conducts therefore to eternal life. If the supreme good cannot be so described that even the present life as an end is included in it, then nothing remains but to erect two stories, residence in the lower story simply serving the purpose of gathering merit for entering the higher. The sin which originated with Adam (inherited sin) is loss of the justitia originalis, and accordingly, as this latter alone effected the ordinatio partium, disorder, i.e., rebellion of the lower parts against the higher. On the other hand, the principia naturæ humanæ continue unaffected by the inherited sin, which is both a habitus and a culpa, and even the natural capacity of ratio to know and to will the good is only weakened but not eradicated. The chief sentences are (II., 1, Q. 82-89): “. . . alio modo est habitus dispositio alicujus naturæ ex multis compositæ secundum quam bene se habet vel male ad aliud . . . hoc modo peccatum originale est habitus; est enim quædam inordinata dispositio proveniens ex dissolutione illius harmoniæ, in qua consistebat ratio originalis justitiæ, sicut ægritudo corporalis . . . unde peccatum originale languor naturæ dicitur” (this view is partly æsthetic partly, pathological, 82, 1). “Peccatum originale materialiter quidem est concupiscentia, formaliter vero est defectus originalis justitiæ;” the former is original sin, because the “inordinatio virium animæ præcipue in hoc attenditur, quod inordinate convertuntur ad bonum commutabile, quæ quidem inordinatio communi nomine potest dici concupiscentia” (82, 3). “Peccatum originale non magis in uno quam in alio esse potest” (82, 4). “Anima est subjectum peccati originalis, non autem caro . . . cum anima possit esse subjectum culpæ, caro autem de se non habeat quod sit subjectum culpæ, quidquid pervenit de corruptione primi peccati ad animam, habet rationem culpæ, quod autem pervenit ad carnem, non habet rationem culpæ, sed pœnæ” (83, 1). “Peccatum originale per prius respicit voluntatem” (83, 3). “Cupiditas est radix omnium peccatorum” (84, 1); but, on the other hand, it holds good: “quoniam inordinate se homo ad temporalia convertens semper singularem quandam perfectionem et excellentiam tamquam finem desiderat, recte ex hac parte superbia, quæ inordinatus est propriæ excellentiæ appetitus, initium omnis peccati ponitur” (84, 2). With regard to the consequences of sin: “Principia naturæ (primum bonum naturæ) nec tolluntur nec diminuuntur per peccatum (empirico-psychological observation, to which, however, a certain worth also is given for the religious mode of apprehension), inclinatio ad virtutem a natura insita (secundum bonum naturale) diminuitur per peccatum (ethical observation, but important for religion), donum originalis justitiæ (tertium bonum naturæ) totaliter est ablatum” (religious view, v. 85, 1). That sin can ever remove totally the inclinatio of the ratio ad bonum is described as unthinkable, since, according to Augustine, “malum non est nisi in bono” (85, 2). “Omnes vires animæ remanent quodammodo destitutæ proprio ordine, quo naturaliter ordinantur ad virtutem, et ipsa destitutio dicitur vulneratio naturæ (vulnus ignorantiæ, malitiæ, infirmitatis, concupiscentiæ” v. 85, 3). “Mors et omnes defectus corporales consequentes sunt quædam pœnæ originalis peccati, quamvis non sint intenti a peccanti” (85, 5). Death is natural to man secundum naturam universalem, non quidem a parte formæ, sed materiæ (85, 6). Q. 86 treats de macula peccati; Q. 87 de reatu pœnæ; P. 88 and 89 de peccato veniali et mortali. Yet his doctrine of the consilia 298evangelica deserves still a special consideration. This doctrine forms the conclusion of his discussion of the doctrine of the new law. But on the other hand the doctrine of grace also culminates in the “evangelical counsels,” so that in a very real sense these represent the summit of the whole course of thought. Thomas (II., 1 Q. 108, Art. 4) first of all gives the following definition: “This is the difference between counsel and precept, that precept introduces (importat) necessity, while counsel is made dependent on the option (in optione ponitur) of him to whom it is given, and so counsels are fittingly (convenienter) added to precepts in the new law, which is the law of liberty, but not in the old law, which was the law of servitude (servitutis).” Thereupon it is remarked that the “precepts of the new law” are necessary to (but also sufficient for) eternal life, “but there ought to be counsels regarding those things by which man can attain the appointed end better 299and more readily” (consilia vero oportet esse de illis, per quae melius et expeditius potest homo consequi finem prædictum). Then it is explained that here on earth man is placed between the things of this world and spiritual benefits, and that entire devotion to the former is removed by the præcepta. Yet on the other hand man does not require to surrender the things of this world entirely in order to attain to the goal of eternal life (!), “but he attains more expeditiously by abandoning (abdicando) totally the good things of this world, and therefore the evangelical counsels are given regarding this.” But the benefits of this world consist in the possession of outward goods, in sexual pleasures, and in the possession of honours, which relate to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. To relinquish these entirely, so far as it is possible — in this consists the evangelical counsels, and in the adoption of them consists “omnis religio, quæ statum perfectionis profitetur” (all religion which professes a state of perfection). The adoption of even one of these counsels has a corresponding worth, as, e.g, when one gives alms to a poor man beyond what is obligatory, abstains from marriage for a long time for the sake of prayer, or does good to his enemies in excess of what is due, etc. The following of these counsels is a ground of merit in a still higher degree than the 300following of the commands, so that here in a pre-eminent way it holds good, that God gives eternal life to man, not merely in grace, but also by virtue of His righteousness.540540See the voluminous exposition in S. II., 2 Q. 184-189, “de statu perfectionis” (bishops and monks), where in Q. 184, Art. 2, the triplex perfectio is described, and it is said of that which is possible here on earth, that it is not indeed attainable that one “in actu semper feratur in deum,” but it is attainable that “ab affectu hominis excluditur non solum illud quod est caritati contrarium, sed etiam omne illud quod impedit ne affectus mentis totaliter dirigatur ad deum”; the whole idea of the consilia in particular of virginitas already in Pseudo-Cyprian (=Novatian) de bono pud. 7: “Virginitas quid aliud est quam futuræ vitæ gloriosa meditatio?”
Thomas’s doctrine of grace, when judged of from the stand-point of religion, presents two faces. On the one hand it looks back to Augustine,541541It may also be traced back to Augustine that from Thomas, as has been already remarked, the specific nature of grace propter Christum and per Christum never receives clear expression in the whole doctrine of grace. The connection is simply now and again asserted, but is not distinctly demonstrated, while the whole doctrine of grace is treated completely prior to the doctrine of the person of Christ. Is that accidental? No, certainly not! It comes out here again, that in the West, because the Mystic-Cyrillian theory was not maintained (Soterology and Soteriology as identical), there had come to be — in spite of Anselm — entire uncertainty as to how really Christology was to be dogmatically utilised. The only possible solution was not found, namely in adhering, without theoretic speculation, to the impression produced by the person who awakens spirit and life, certainty and blessedness. on the other hand it looks forward to the dissolution which Augustinianism was to undergo in the fourteenth century. Whoever examines Thomism carefully, will find that its author makes an earnest endeavour, by means of a strictly religious mode of view, to assert the sole efficacy of divine grace; but on the other hand he will be compelled to note, that at almost all decisive points the line of statement takes ultimately a different direction, the reason being that the effect of grace itself is seen in a contemplated end that has a character partly hyperphysical, partly moral (“participation in the divine nature,” and “love,” conjoined by the thought that love merits eternal life).542542Therefore faith also, and forgiveness of sins play, in spite of all that is said of them, an insignificant part. Faith is either fides informis, that is, not yet faith, or fides formata, that is, no longer faith. Faith as inward fiducia is a transitional stage. But as compared with what was presented by Halesius, Bonaventura and others, or, with what was taught at the time, Thomism was already a religious reaction; for those theologians yielded to a much more decided tendency to render 301the doctrine of grace less effectual by means of the doctrine of merit. By the appearing of Thomas, a development was checked, which, apart from him, would have asserted itself much more rapidly, but which in the end, nevertheless (from the middle of the fourteenth century), gained, through the victorious conflicts of the Scotists against the Thomists, the ascendency in the Church, thereby calling forth a new reaction, which seems to have slowly gathered force from the close of the fourteenth century.543543Just in the doctrines of grace and sin did the Scotists gain more and more the upper hand; as regards the other doctrines, their dialectico-sceptical investigations were crowned with a smaller measure of success.
At all points, from the doctrines as to the nature of man and as to the primitive state, on to the doctrine of final perfection, there are apparent the dissolving tendencies of the later scholasticism, led by Halesius, Bonaventura and Scotus.
1. Halesius, who was also the first to introduce into dogmatics the expression “supernatural good” as having a technical sense, taught that the justitia originalis belongs to the nature of man itself as its completion, but that there is to be distinguished from this the gratia gratum faciens, which man already possessed in the primitive state as a supernatural good, though this was imparted to him, not in creation, but only after creation, while Adam moreover earned it for himself meritoriously by good works ex congruo.544544Schwane, 1.c., p. 379 f., S. II., Q. 96, membr. 1: “Alii ponunt, ipsum (Adam) fuisse conditum solummodo in naturalibus, non in gratuitis gratum facientibus et hoc magis sustinendum est et magis est rationi consonum . . . Sic noluit deus gratiam dare nisi præambulo merito congrui per bonum usum naturæ.” So merit was to begin so early! Thomas knows nothing of this; but Bonaventura repeated this doctrine;545545See Schwane, p. 383. it is also to be found in Albertus,546546See Schwane, p. 384. and the Scotists adhered to it.547547L. C., p. 391. Werner, Scotus, p. 410 ff. Scotus himself says: “Adam conditus fuit sine omni peccato et sine gratia gratum faciente” (Report, Par. III. D. 13, Q. 2, n. 3) The advantage which this doctrine offered, namely the possibility of reckoning to the perfection of human nature itself the justitia originalis, which was distinguished from the gratia gratum faciens, was greatly counterbalanced by the 302injury involved in introducing the meritum de congruo into paradise itself, and thus placing merit from the beginning side by side with the “sole efficacy” of grace. The meritum de congruo is thus earlier than the meritum de condigno; for the latter could only be implanted, and was meant only to be implanted, in Adam after reception of the gratia gratum faciens, in order that he might merit for himself eternal life.
2. There already appear in Thomas (see above p. 297) approaches towards the breaking up of the Augustinian doctrines of sin and original sin, in so far as he no longer broadly grants the proposition, “naturalia bona corrupta sunt” (natural goodness is corrupt), in so far as he defines concupiscence, which is in itself not evil, as only “languor et fomes” (tinder), emphasizes the negative side of sin more strongly than Augustine, and assumes, on the ground of the ratio remaining, an abiding inclination towards goodness (inclinatio ad bonum). Yet he certainly taught a stricter doctrine than Anselm, who really only accentuated the negative side, and began to waver even in regard to its character as guilt.548548De conceptu virg. 27: “Hoc peccatum, quod originale dico, aliud intellegere nequeo in infantibus nisi ipsam, factam per inobedientiam Adæ, justitiæ debitæ nuditatem, per quam omnes filii sunt iræ: quoniam et naturam accusat spontanea quam fecit in Adam justitiæ desertio, nec personas excusat recuperandi impotentia. Quam comitatur beatitudinis quoque nuditas, ut sicut sunt sine omni justitia, ita sint absque omni beatitudine.” C. 22: “Peccatum Adæ ita in infantes descendere, ut sic puniri pro eo debeant ac si ipsi singuli illud fecissent personaliter sicut Adam, non puto.” Hence also the idea of the limbus infantium now came always more prominently in view. But the rejection of the damnation of infants overturns the whole of Augustinianism. To him Duns attached himself, in so far as he at bottom separated the question about concupiscence from the question about original sin; the former is for him no more the formal in the latter, but simply the material. Thus there remains for original sin merely the being deprived of the supernatural good, from which there then resulted certainly a disturbing effect upon the nature of man, while however nothing was really lost of the natural goodness.549549Comm. in Sent. II., Dist. 30 Q. 2: Original sin cannot be concupiscence; for the latter is (1) natural, (2) “ . . . tum quia non est actualis, quia tunc illa concupiscentia esset actualis, non habitualis, quia habitus derelictus in anima ex peccato mortali non est peccatum mortale, manet enim talis habitus dimisso peccato per pænitentiam; nec etiam ignorantia est, quia parvulus baptizatus ita ignorat sicut non baptizatus.” One is now eager to hear what original sin then is, and the answer is received (D. 32, with an appeal to Anselm): “carentia justitiæ debitæ.” “Et si obicitur, quod aliqui sancti videntur dicere concupiscentiam esse peccatum originale, respondeo: concupiscentia potest accipi vel prout est actus vel habitus vel pronitas in appetitu sensitivo et nullum istorum est formaliter peccatum, quia non est peccatum in parte sensitiva secundum Anselmum. Vel potest accipi, prout est pronitas in appetitu rationali, i.e., in voluntate ad concupiscendum delectabilia immoderate, quæ nata est condelectari appetitui sensitivo, cui conjungitur. Et hoc modo concupiscentia est materiale peccati originalis, quia per carentiam justitiæ originalis, quæ erat sicut frenum cohibens ipsam ab immoderata delectatione, ipsa non positive, sed per privationem, fit prona ad concupiscendum immoderate delectabilia.” Very loose also is Dun’s conception of the first sin of man (of Adam) as distinguished from the sin of the angels; it did not arise from uncontrolled self-love, but had its root in uncontrolled love for the partner associated with him (Werner, p. 412); this uncontrolled conjugal love, however, was (1) not libidinous, for in the primitive state there was no bad libido; (2) the act to which Adam allowed himself to be led was not in its nature an immoral act, but only transgression of a command imposed for the purpose of testing. Adam accordingly sinned only indirectly against the command to love God, and at the same time transgressed the law of neighbourly love by over-passing, through his pliancy, the proper limit. That is a comparatively slight fault, and is not equal in its gravity to the smallest violation of a natural rule of morality. Compare with this empiristic view Augustine’s or Anselm’s description of the greatness of the first sin! In order to see clearly the Pelagianism of Scotus, it must still be added that he disputed the doctrine of Thomas, that in the state of justitia originalis even the smallest venial sin was unthinkable. According to him only mortal sins were impossible; on the other hand, as man in his original state was just man, such sins were quite well possible as do not entail directly the loss of righteousness, but only occasion a delay in arriving at the final goal. How small according to this view, in spite of all assertions to the contrary, is the significance of the first sin and of original sin! In a disguised way Duns taught, as did Julian of Eklanum, that on the one hand there belongs to the natural will the quality that leads it to turn to the good without effort, while on the other hand, because it is the will of man, the possibility of “small sins” was given even in the original state! Occam draws here again the ultimate conclusions (v. Werner II., pp. 318 f.). As everything is arbitrary, he asserts on the one hand that we must not dispute that it is in God’s power to remit to the sinner the guilt of sin, and bestow upon him saving grace without repentance and contrition; on the other hand, he denies all inner ideal necessary connection between moral guilt and penalty or expiation. “In this way,” Werner justly remarks, “theological Scholasticism arrived at the opposite extreme to the idea expressed in the Anselmic theory of satisfaction of the inviolability of a holy order, whose absolute law of righteousness implies, that God can only remit the reatus pœnæ æternæ at the cost of a supreme atonement, the making of which transcends all the powers of a mere creature.” But it was not from laxity that Occam destroyed the principles of Augustinianism; there met in combination in him rather two clearly recognisable factors, “the absolute lack of an ideal understanding of the world” (or let us say more correctly, his philosophic empiricism), and the greatest interest in determining the necessity of the saving grace of Christ simply from revelation itself. But — vestigia terrent; we can learn by studying the historical consequences of Occamism, that thinking humanity will not continue to he satisfied, if religion is set before it simply as revelation, and all links are severed which bind this revelation with an understanding of the world. From Occam it either goes back again to Thomas (Bradwardine and his spiritual descendants, cf. also the Platonism of the fifteenth century) or passes on to Socinianism. But should it not be possible that the history of religion should henceforward render to thoughtful reflection the service that has hitherto been rendered to it by Plato’s and Augustine’s and Thomas’s understanding of the world? We shall not be able certainly to dispense with an absolute, but it will be grasped as an experience. The Nominalism that sought to deliver the Christian religion from the “science” that perverted it made a disastrous failure in carrying on this rightly chosen task, because it understood by religion subjection to an enormous mass of material, which, having arisen in history, admits of no isolation.303
3. According to Thomas the magnitude of the first sin (and therefore also of inherited sin) is infinite, according to Scotus it is finite.
4. The Lombard had already taught that inherited sin is propagated simply through the flesh, and that the soul created 304for the latter is thereby defiled.550550Sent. II., Dist. 31, A. B.: “caro sola ex traduce est.” With Augustine the propagation of inherited sin is derived from the pleasure in the act of generation “unde caro ipsa, quæ concipitur in vitiosa concupiscentia polluitur et corrumpitur: ex cujus contactu anima, cum infunditur, maculam trahit, qua polluitur et fit rea, i.e., vitium concupiscentiæ, quod est originale peccatum.” He held, therefore, as many others did, that inherited sin is inherited sin, in so far as it must propagate itself as a contagion (contagium) from Adam onwards. At the same time he also touches, on the other hand, on the thought of Augustine: “all these had been the one man, i.e., were in him materially” (omnes illi unus homo fuerant, i.e., in eo materialiter erant), though the emphasis lies on the materialiter, so that the matter is to be understood, not mystically but realistically.551551So, I think, must Anselm also be understood, de conc. virg. 23. Now, although Thomas, with the view of giving expression to guilt, and at the same time placing the accent on the will (not merely on the flesh), affirmed, in opposition to this, an imputation on a mystical basis,552552Adam’s sinful will (as the will of the primus movens in humanity) is the expression of the universal will; see II., 1, Q. 81, Art. 1: “Inordinatio quæ est in isto homine ex Adam generato, non est voluntaria voluntate ipsius, sed voluntate primi parentis, qui movet motione generationis omnes qui ex ejus origine derivantur.” Hence inherited sin is not personal sin, but peccatum naturæ, the effect of which really is that its significance and gravity are greatly lessened. yet the former idea continued to be the ruling one. Now, if in spite of this the guilt of the inherited sin is greatly reduced even in Thomas, it appears in 305Duns quite insignificant, notwithstanding all that is said regarding it. Nay, even the consequences of sin are presented by him in another light; for, as inherited sin is simply nothing but loss of the supernatural gift (donum), it has not attacked the nature of man. This remains, even after the Fall, uninjured. Duns really carried on a polemic against the Thomist definition of inherited sin as vulneratio naturæ (wounding of nature).553553In Sentent. II., Dist. 29. See at the same place the passage showing that the “voluntas in puris naturalibus habet justitiam originalem.” Now, if we add to this, that by hair-splitting over defilement, corruption of nature, moral culpability, and penalty (macula, corruptio naturæ, reatus culpæ, pœna), the subject was quite brought down to the level of casuistry, we must come to be of the opinion that Scholasticism ultimately lost sight entirely of the Augustinian starting-point.
The religious view of sin, which even Augustine, indeed, had not strictly wrought out, entirely disappeared. Inherited sin was an external negative character, which is cancelled by the positive character of magical grace. Thus there remained only the wretched dregs of a view that had once been full of life, and had deeply stirred the soul.
5. It is obvious that free will also was now bound to have a higher value attached to it than the Augustinian-Thomist tradition admitted of. When once the fundamental thesis was abandoned, that moral goodness only exists in connection with God (by dependence on Him), when, consequently, the view again prevailed that man can make a parade before God with his independent works, the process of emptying Augustinianism of its contents (for the formulæ durst not be surrendered) necessarily became inevitable. Thomas himself, indeed, had begun, though at first timidly, to assign to free will a special range of action as apart from grace. His mode of procedure, in giving with the one hand and taking with the other, could not continue to be maintained. Bonaventura made predestination dependent on prescience, and limited God as cause in His relation to rational creatures. He is not entire cause (tota causa), but cause along with another contingent cause, i.e., with free will (causa cum alia causa contingente, scil. cum libero 306arbitrio). For Duns, and likewise for the leading theologians till the Council of Constance (and later), the will of the creature is the second great power next to God,554554Bonaventura (in Sentent. I., Dist. 40, Art. 2, Q. I) asks: “an prædestinatio inferat salatis necessitatem?” He answers: “prædestinatio non infert necessitatem saluti nec infert necessitatem libero arbitrio. Quoniam prædestinatio non est causa salutis nisi includendo merita (complete apostasy from Augustine), et ita salvando liberum arbitrium (that is ambiguous). Ad intelligentiam autem objectorum notandum, quod prædestinatio duo importat, et rationem præscientiæ et rationem causæ. In quantum dicit rationem causæ, non necessario ponit effectum, quia non est causa per necessitatem, sed per voluntatem, et iterum non est tota causa, sed cum alia causa contingente, scil. cum libero arbitrio. Et regula est, quod quotiescumque effectus pendet ex causa necessaria et variabili — a necessaria tamquam ab universali, a variabili tamquam a particulari — denominatur a variabili (in this way predestination is set aside), quia denominatio est a causa particulari, et effectus, quia dependet a causa contingente, est contingens. Et præter rationem causæ importat rationem præscientiæ et præscientia quidem totum includit in cognitione liberum arbitrium et ejus cooperationem et vertibilitatem et totum. Et præterea non est nisi veri, et etiam de vero contingente est infallibilis.” Duns’ doctrine of predestination is very complicated. It is dependent on his conception of God, which includes a determinism of arbitrariness (see Ritschl, l.c., I., pp. 58 f., 64). But just because the all-working God is always the contingently working will, the possibility of there being contingency in the world is disclosed. God embraces this contingency only with His prescience, and this prescience embraces the possible equally with the actual. The effect of this is, not only that predestination, as having unity, and as being inwardly motived, is cancelled, but that God appears no longer as the absolute Being who wills and can do one thing, but as the relative Being who, in an unfathomable way, wills and can do everything possible. Over against such a conception of God the will of man can assert itself not only as free, but also as relatively good, and so predestination and the grace that is the alone cause vanish, or rather predestination remains, in so far as absolute contingency and absolute arbitrariness coincide; see in Sent. I., Dist. 40, in resol: “Prædestinatio bifariam accipitur. Primo et proprie pro actu divinæ voluntatis, quo rationalem creaturam ad æternam eligit vitam seu decernit ac determinat se daturum in præsenti gratiam et gloriam in futuro. Secundo accipitur fusius pro actu etiam intellectus divini, pro præcognitione vid. quam habet deus salutis electorum, quæ quidem præcognitio concomitatur et consequitur electionem. Divina autem voluntas circa ipsas creaturas libere et contingenter se habet. Quocirca contingenter salvandos prædestinat, et posset eosdem non prædestinare. . . . Ex quo consequitur, quod is qui damnatus est damnari possit, quandoquidem ob ejus prædestinationem non est ejus voluntas in bonum confirmata, ut peccare nequeat.” and to what they correctly lay down in the sphere of empirical psychology, they also give a material and positive religious significance. But in this way they separate themselves both from Augustine and from religion; for, as a dogmatic theologian, Augustine knows of free will only as a formal principal or as the cause of sin. It was the 307hereditary fate of mediæval dogmatic, that through the mixing up of knowledge of the world with religion, a relatively more correct knowledge of the world became as dangerous, nay, still more dangerous to faith, than a knowledge that was false; for every piece of knowledge, in whatever way it was found, was at once introduced into the calculation as having religious worth. Against the Pelagianism, which, with ever decreasing hesitation, made use of Augustinianism simply as “an artistic form of speech,” Bradwardine was the first to take again a strong stand, and after his time, the reaction never again disappeared, but slowly gathered strength in the fifteenth century, till the time of Wesel and Wessel, Cajetan and Contarini, till the time of Luther and the Decrees of Trent.555555From Bradwardine’s preface to his treatise de causa dei c. Pelagium Münscher quotes the following passage: “In hac causa, quot, domine, hodie cum Pelagio pro libero arbitrio contra gratuitam gratiam tuam pugnant, et contra Paulum pugilem gratiæ spiritualem! Quot etiam hodie gratuitam gratiam tuam fastidiunt solumque liberum arbitrium ad salutem sufficere stomachantur! aut si gratia utantur, vel perfunctorie necessariam eam simulant ipsamque se jactant liberi sui arbitrii viribus promereri, ut sic saltem nequaquam gratuita, sed vendita videatur! Quot etiam, deus omnipotens, impotentes de sui potestate arbitrii præsumentes tuæ cooperationis auxilium in operationibus suis recusant, dicendo cum impiis ‘recede a nobis’ . . . Quin immo et voluntati suæ in contingenter futuris omnimodam tribuunt libertatem, in tantum ut etiam contra vocem propheticam a tua subjectione exemptionem prætendant . . . Et quot et quam innumerabiles eis favent! Totus etenim pœne mundus post Pelagian: abiit in errorem. Exsurge igitur, domine, judica causam tuam et sustinentem te sustine, protege, robora, consolare! Scis enim quod nusquam virtute mea, sed tua confisus, tantillus adgredior tantam causam.” It is easily seen that here, as in the case of Gottschalk, the spirit and style of Augustine have exercised an influence. But Bradwardine and all the Reformers after him and previous to Luther simply went back upon Augustine (Wyclif, Huss, Wesel, Wessel, Staupitz, etc.). Just on that account this movement issued, not in the Evangelical Reformation, but in the Articles of Trent, or, in Bajus and Jansen; see Ritschl, Rechtfertigung, 1 vol., 2. ed., pp. 105-140. Ritschl begins these discussions with the not quite accurate words: “The effort will be fruitless to point out in any theologian of the Middle Ages the Reformation conception of the doctrine of justification, that is to say, the deliberate distinguishing between justificatio and regeneratio.” Bradwardine’s doctrine of free will has been treated in detail by Werner (III., p. 270 ff.). Conscious in the highest degree that it was a question about the articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiæ, Bradwardine revived Augustine’s doctrine of the incapacity of free will. Whether he really contracted the horizon of the Augustinian theology by tracing back its contents to the doctrines of the immutability of the divine thought and will as being its ultimate fundamental import (Werner, p. 282 ff. ), is a question I leave undiscussed. Certainly to me also the determinism seems to come out more strongly in Bradwardine than in Augustine; but Werner has an interest in separating Bradwardine as far as possible from Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas, because his doctrine led to Wyclif, and to that Augustinianism which Catholic theology no longer tolerates, though, as a fact, it is the genuine Augustinianism. Yet neither can these theologians, on the other hand, make use of the pure Nominalism of Occam. Hence Bradwardine is recognised, so far as he became “an involuntary witness (?) as it were, for the necessity of a restoration of the ecclesiastical Scholasticism on a Thomist basis.”308
6. Most distinct, and fraught with the gravest practical results, was the further development of Scholasticism as regards the doctrine of justification and the meritorious acquirement of eternal life. But how many germs tending to develop into the Pelagian deterioration of these doctrines had already been deposited in his system by Thomas himself? I will not repeat here what must have already come clearly to view above in the account of the Thomist doctrine of grace. The most manifest outcome of the further development in Scotism consists in these things: (1) that the decisive effect of “prevenient grace” became more and more a mere assertion, or, say, a form of speech — “co-operating grace” is the only intelligible grace — (2) that what, for Thomas, was “meritum ex congruo” became “meritum ex condigno,” while the “merita ex congruo” were seen in impulses and acts which Thomas had not placed under the point of view of merit at all, and (3) that, as a parallel to the meritoriousness of attritio, the meritoriousness of “fides informis,” of the mere obedience of faith, became more highly estimated. In this point the corruption was perhaps greatest; for the fides implicita, the mere self-surrender, now became in a sense a fundamental dogmatic principle.556556In germ the fides implicita was contained from the beginning in the Western system as a factor to which religious value was attributed. But only in Nominalism did this germ open into blossom.
According to Scotus, the man who does not possess the habit of grace (habitus gratiæ), who therefore is not in union with God, and hence can do nothing really meritorious to earn eternal life, must not be held as having no power to conform his conduct to the divine commands. He can still always fulfil these commands (otherwise God would require of him something impossible, and would be partial were He not to save all), and He must fulfil them; for he must prepare himself for the first grace. As it is a natural duty to love God beyond everything, 309it is also a duty that can be fulfilled; accordingly, even the natural righteousness of heathen and sinners is not without connection with the supernatural virtues; indeed, it cannot at all be proved that a habit of love produced by supernatural grace is always necessary in order to love God above all; this rather is simply an ecclesiastical tenet. Before the Fall at least all this held good, and it can be proved, indeed, from Aristotle (!) that it holds good also after the Fall. It is with this in view that Scotus’ doctrines of grace and of merit must be understood. In point of fact, merit always precedes grace with him, that is to say, first the merit de congruo, then the merit de condigno;557557See Werner I., p. 418 ff. In Sentent. II., Dist. 28, Q. 1, Question: “How can God forgive guilt without giving grace? videretur enim esse mutatio in deo, si non ponatur in ipso justificato. Potest illa opinio confirmari per hoc, quod illud præceptum ‘Diliges dominum deum, etc.,’ est primum, a quo tota lex pendet et prophetæ. Ad actum igitur hujus præcepti aliquando eliciendum (actus elicitus dilectionis, rationis) tenetur voluntas; ita quod non potest esse semper omissio actus hujus præcepti sine peccato mortali. Quodcumque autem voluntas actum hujus præcepti exsequitur, licet informis, et disponit se de congruo ad gratiam gratificantem sibi oblatam, vel resistet et peccabit mortaliter, vel consentiet et justificabitur.” In the following way the Augustinian position that meritum is the munus dei is justified (Dist. 17, Q. 1 in Resol.): “in actu meritorio duo sunt consideranda. Primum illud quod præcedit rationem meritorii, in quo includitur substantia et intentio actus ac rectitudo moralis. Secundum est ratio meritorii, quod est esse acceptum a divina voluntate, aut acceptabile, sive dignum acceptari ad præmium æternum. Quantum ad primum, potentia est causa prima et principalis, et habitus causa secunda, cum potentia utatur habitu, non e converso; alias habens semel gratiam nunquam posset peccare, cum causa secunda semper sequatur motionem causæ primæ, nec possit movere ad oppositum illius, ad quod causa prima inclinat. Sed accipiendo actum in quantum est meritorius talis conditio ei convenit principaliter ab habitu et minus principaliter a voluntate. Magis siquidem actus acceptatur ut dignus præmio, quia est elicitus a caritate, quam quia est a voluntate libere elicitus, quamvis utrumque necessario requiratur . . . Actus meritorius est in potestate hominis supposita generali influentia, si habuerit liberi arbitrii usum et gratiam, sed completio in ratione meriti non est in potestate hominis nisi dispositive, sic tamen dispositive quod ex dispositione divina nobis revelata”; observe here the yes and no which comes out in these distinctions. Consequently Bradwardine was right in fixing down the following errors in the reigning Scholasticism: (1) While denying that the meritum is causa principalis doni gratiæ, it asserts that it is causa sine qua non; (2) while denying that man can of himself merit saving grace, it asserts that he can prepare himself for it in a way required of him, and that God then gives His grace, because even in naturalibus the forma is at once given to the materia disposita; (3) while denying that man can, strictly speaking, initiate the saving process, it asserts that he consents and follows ex propriis viribus; (4) it asserts that man merits divine grace ex congruo (c. Pelag. 39), “et quia iste error est famosior ceteris his diebus, et nimis multi per ipsum in Pelagianum præcipitium dilabuntur, necessarium videtur ipsum diligentiori examine perscrutari.” The situation at the beginning of the sixteenth century is excellently described by Ritschl thus (I., p. 138): “The state of things in respect of public doctrine which the Reformation found existing was not apprehended and represented by the two sides with historical precision and justice. The theological opponents of the Reformation, who were exclusively Realists, entirely ignore the fact, that for a century and a half the Nominalist School had maintained the Pelagian doctrine with regard to merita de congruo, and had over-rated the merita de condigno as compared with the merit of Christ, that as a School they had won equal public rights with the Realists, and even in respect of science and practice had exercised a far-reaching influence on the latter. The Reformers on the other hand directed their reproaches and charges of Pelagianism, which should have applied only to the Nominalist tradition, against Scholasticism in general.” the former entirely neutralises the thought of 310prevenient grace, the latter cancels the decisive significance of co-operating grace. Everywhere in words, by means of extremely forced distinctions, Augustinianism is defended, but in reality it is discarded. The position that was not disputed even by Thomas and Augustine, that we are not justified unwillingly (inviti), receives from Nominalism a Pelagian interpretation, and the other position, that eternal life is the reward for the merits one acquires on the basis of infused grace, is so understood that the accent falls on the will, and not on the merit of Christ. The divine factor really appears only in the “acceptance” (acceptatio), which, as it dominates the whole relation between God and man and is arbitrary, does not allow merits in the strictest (necessary) sense to be spoken of. The Nominalist doctrine is not simple moralism, only in so far as the doctrine of God does not admit in any case of a strict moralism. This comes out most plainly in Occam, who, indeed, taken altogether, presents the paradoxical spectacle of a strongly pronounced religious nature finding refuge simply in the arbitrary will of God. It is reliance on this arbitrary will alone that frees him from Nihilism, and the same applies to the greatest theologians of the period of the Reform Councils, till Nicolas of Cusa brought about a change. Faith, in order to maintain itself, found no other means of deliverance from the inrushing floods of world-knowledge than the plank of the divine arbitrariness, to which it clung with intense eagerness. These theologians were still no moralists — they merely appear such to 311us; — it was only the Socinians who became that. “According to Occam the necessity of supernatural habits (habitus) for the obtaining of eternal life cannot be proved on grounds of reason. What alone could support the proof would be, that the acts of faith, love, and hope corresponding to these habits are not possible without their supernatural habits; this, however, cannot be proved. A heathen living among Christians can come to hold the articles of the Christian faith as true, on grounds of purely natural conviction; a philosophically trained heathen can live according to the conviction, acquired in a natural way, that God, who is more excellent than all else, must be loved above all else. The acts of faith, hope, and love performed by such men originate, not from infused, but from acquired habits, while these latter can exist even among Christians, and really do exist where there is a certain height of moral and intellectual development. The necessity of supernatural habits is established solely by the authority of traditional Church doctrine. Thus then as regards the necessity of supernatural habits, we see Occam arriving at the most extreme opposition to the necessity of supernatural habits that is possible within the limits of Church faith.” (? !) So Werner.558558II., P. 339 f. That here there is still always a keeping within the limits of ecclesiastical faith is an instructive assertion of the modern Catholic theologian. The truth is, that the displacement of “merits” is here carried so far, that the distinction between merita ex congruo and merita ex condigno is entirely neutralised; man can acquire for himself in the state of nature merita de condigno; but God has willed, nevertheless, the necessity of a supernatural habitus and has appointed the corresponding institutions.559559The Catholic precautionary position lies simply in this, that God need give the vita æterna to no one at all, but that that life is in every case an arbitrary gift, the source of which is an ordained arrangement. This precautionary position, however, has nothing to do with the question about sin and guilt, but originates in the general doctrine of God. Now although many theologians, such as Occam himself, might feel their religious conscience quieted by the reflection that God’s arbitrary will is for us His mercy, yet the only general effect possible from this kind of theology — especially when we recall the attritio and the 312indulgences, was that there should be recognised in good works the instrumental causes (causæ instrumentales) for the reception of eternal life, that these good works, moreover, should be judged to be meritorious even in their minimised form, and that, finally, self-subjection to the revelation taught by the Church should be held to be a sufficient good motive (bonus motus), which is so completed by the Sacraments that it imparts worthiness. In this way Nominalism was understood even by the earnest Augustinians of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. They saw in it a denial of the grace of God in Christ, and they did not let themselves be led astray from this judgment by the most acute distinctions of the Nominalists: “In vain is much said in the way of repudiation; what the other hears in everything is only a No.”
Perhaps the plainest evidence of the decline of an inwardly grounded doctrine of salvation and of the growing attachment of value to creaturely goodness in the last centuries of the Middle Ages, is the doctrine of Mary, as embracing both the doctrine of her immaculate conception and the doctrine of her co-operation in the work of redemption.560560The Pelagian motives underlying the doctrine of Mary are pretty much concealed in Scholasticism, but they are clearly apparent on closer inspection. The treatment, moreover, of the doctrine of the human soul of Christ by Scotus and the Scotists is also a beautiful demonstration of their Pelagianism, but the description here of this complicated line of doctrinal development would take us too far; see Werner I., p. 427 ff.; II., p. 330 ff. What alone reconciles us in the marialogy is the observing that pious faith allows itself utterances about the relationship of Mary to God and Christ which it does not venture to make about its own relationship. In this sense — though it appears paradoxical — there is much that is evangelical in the doctrine of Mary. It would be an interesting task to prove this from the doctrine of Mary as taught by the Schoolmen individually.
1. We have seen above (Vol. V., p. 235) that even Augustine had doubts as to whether Mary was subject to the general law of sin, and Paschasius Radbertus already knows that Mary was sanctified in the womb. Anselm, certainly, who on this point was more Augustinian than Augustine, had distinctly rejected the immaculate conception (Cur deus homo II. 16); but a few years after his death we meet with a festival in Lyons (1140) in honour of the immaculate conception of Mary, which proves how 313widely current the superstition had already become in the lower strata of the Church).561561The history of the worship of Mary is throughout a history in which the superstitious religion of the congregations and the monks worked upwards from its dark foundations, and determined theology, which reluctantly submitted; but, on closer view, this is seen to hold good of almost all specifically Western Catholic practices and doctrines. The παράδοσις ἄγραφος, the tradition, which is now claimed as the papal, that has existed semper, ubique et apud omnes, is the common superstition, which everywhere and always expressed itself in analogous forms. In this sense the Catholic position cannot be disputed, that the Romish Church is the Church of stable, and yet at the same time living, tradition. This tradition is stable, because the lower religious instincts, which are compounded of fear and sensuousness, are stable; it is living, because theology by its devices gradually legitimised these instincts. This does not of course imply the denial, that apart from this there was another and higher content in the Catholic tradition. For the literature on the worship of Mary see Vol. IV., p. 314, and Reusch, Theol. Lit. Ztg. 1887, No. 7.
Bernard (ep. 174 ad canonicos Lugd.) spoke against the new festival, but used feeble weapons in opposing the idea that was expressed in it: that Mary was already sanctified in the womb, and continued also to be protected against all sin; but that her conception was not sinless, otherwise that of her parents must also have been so (i.e., if in this way the proof is to be got of the sinless birth of Christ); that the sinless conception was a prerogative of Christ. But if general opinion already held as certain what Bernard had laid down as to the sinlessness of Mary,562562A monk relates that Bernard, who appeared to him in a dream, regretted and retracted his doubts about the immaculate conception (see Werner II., p. 349, f.) and if, besides this, the act of birth was surrounded with the halo of the miraculous, how could the logic in these fancies be hindered from pressing on to the ultimate extreme? The Pre-Scotist Schoolmen still denied, it is true, the immaculate conception (even Bonaventura); but if Thomas adheres to sanctification in the womb, and accordingly assumes, immediately after the conception, a special influence of grace upon Mary, why shall she not be declared exempt from original sin itself? Thomas answers, because Christ is the redeemer of all men; but that he would no longer be if Mary had remained free from original sin (S. III., Q. 27). Still — everything is possible, of course, for Scholasticism — why can it not be assumed that Christ’s death had a reflex power for Mary? Then, again, original sin is a mere privatio, is it not? Why cannot God, 314who can do everything, fill Mary from the beginning with grace? And is this being filled with grace not necessary if she is after-wards to act, not merely a passive, but an active part in the work of redemption (see sub. 2)? So Scotus then held it as “probable” that Mary was conceived without sin, and therefore never possessed the concupiscentia carnis (in Sent. III., Dist. 3, Q. 1). From that time the Franciscans strenuously maintained this view against the Dominicans (Thomists). The “reflex power of redemption” was the fig-leaf to cover the apostasy from Christ, and — to adopt the artistic form of speech — “her preservation from contracting original sin was due to its being fitting that the Mediator, Christ, should prove Himself in the most perfect way to be Mediator by means of some human creature that was above all others adapted for this (that is, meritum de congruo on Mary’s part, seen ex præscientia [in the exercise of prescience]). The most perfect kind of mediation is that by which the injured is anticipated in such a way that he never at all begins to be angry about the injury done to him, and therefore lets forgiveness drop as superfluous.”563563III. Dist. 3, Q. 1, n. 4 sq. Werner I., p. 460.
This proof is extraordinarily instructive, for it contains implicitly the admission that Christ is not the perfect Redeemer of all men, but that He only establishes for them the possibility of redemption. That is correctly thought from a Catholic point of view; but it is not usually plainly expressed in that quarter — nay, for good reasons there is a very grave reluctance to express it. Thomists and Scotists rivalled each other in glorifying Mary; but the former magnified in her the power and splendour of the grace which cleanses and purifies, the latter magnified the grace itself which originally (ab origine) imparts innocence. But if grace is able to do that, why does it not do it always? It seems, then, as if it were not really the glorifying of grace that is aimed at. Certainly not. “Only with the existence of a perfect innocence wrought by redeeming grace is a complete representation afforded of all orders of rank in human beatification. The highest stage is represented by the blessedness of the soul of Christ, which was absolutely blessed even on earth without foregoing merit; then follows the holy virgin, whose beatifying merit 315was her perfect innocence wrought by the grace of redemption; in the third rank stand those whose souls were never stained by actual sins; lastly come those who, from being great sinners, have become saints.”564564III. Dist. 3, Q. 1, n. 7, 12. Werner I., p. 462. On the attitude of the later Scotists, l.c. II., p. 347 f. Two sanctifications of Mary were assumed, the first at the moment of her being conceived (extinction of original sin, i.e., of the fomes peccati), the second at the moment of her conceiving (impossibilitas peccandi). Occam adopted this double sanctification also, but made less of its effects, because he did not rate very highly the peccatum originis itself.
In this graduated choir it is manifestly not grace that is of effect, but merit. Here again there was a connecting of the idea of consilia evangelica with salvation. As is well known, the great controversy about the immaculate conception was not fought out in the Middle Ages. But the University of Paris condemned the rejection of the new doctrine (1387); at Bâsle the “Reform Council” gave its voice for it (36. Sess. 1439), and Sixtus IV. (Extravag. III., 12, 1) prepared the way for its adoption as dogma by forbidding, under the penalty of excommunication, the pronouncing it heresy, though at the same time he declared to the world that the apostolic chair had not yet decided, i.e, could not yet overlook the opposition of the Dominicans at the time. Not without ground these latter could point out that they themselves encouraged the deepest conceivable veneration of Mary, for their great teacher had taught that there should be paid to the holy virgin, not, indeed, latreia as to God, nor yet douleia, as to the saints,565565Special proofs of the worship of saints and relics are not necessary, as Scholasticism added nothing of importance to the practice and theory that prevailed even from early times. The doctrine of the saints was attached in the closest way to the doctrine of the consilia. The intercession of the saints was proved from the idea of the connection of the earthly Church with the heavenly; on their merita, see the doctrine of indulgences. Thomas was here also the ruling authority as a teacher, and by his doctrine of the merits of the saints he prepared the way for the Pelagianism of the Scotists. but hyperdouleia.566566Thomas, S. III., Q. 25, Art. 5. Thomas claimed latreia for the cross and the image of Christ, III., Q. 25, Arts. 3 and 4; see also II., 1 Q. 103, Art. 4.
2. From as early as the time of Irenæus occasion was furnished, through the fatal parallel drawn between Eve and Mary, for attributing to Mary a certain share in the work of redemption; from the idea of the graded hierarchy of angels and saints in 316heaven the impulse was received to worship Mary along with Christ as the Queen of Heaven (“in the midst between the Son, who is holiest of the holy, and all the saints, royal virgin, gate of heaven, way, the ladder from sins” [media inter filium, qui est sanctus sanctorum, et alios sanctos, virgo regia, janua cœli, via, peccatorum scala]; the most extravagant veneration even on the part of Bernard in the Sermones II. in adv. dom.: “let us also strive to ascend by her to Him who by her descended to us; by her to come into the grace of Him who by her came into our misery; by thee may we have access to the Son, O blessed contriver of grace, author of life, mother of salvation, that through thee He may receive us, who through thee was given to us. Thy innocence excuses before Him the guilt of our corruption . . . let thy abundant love cover the magnitude of our sins, and thy glorious fecundity confer on us fecundity of merits; our lady, our mediatrix, our advocate, reconcile us to thy Son, commend us to thy Son, represent us before thy Son! Grant, O blessed one, by the grace which thou hast found . . . that He who through thy mediation deigned to partake of our infirmity and misery, may, through thy intercession also, make us partakers of His glory and blessedness” [studeamus et nos ad ipsum per eam ascendere, qui per ipsam ad nos descendit; per eam venire in gratiam ipsius, qui per eam in nostram miseriam venit; per te accessum habeamus ad filium, O benedicta inventrix gratiæ, genetrix vitæ, mater salutis, ut per te nos suscipiat, qui per te datus est nobis. Excusat apud ipsum integritas tua culpam nostræ corruptionis . . . copiosa caritas tua nostrorum cooperiat magnitudinem peccatorum, et fœcunditas gloriosa fœcunditatem nobis conferat meritorum; domina nostra, mediatrix nostra, advocata nostra, tuo filio nos reconcilia, tuo filio nos commenda, tuo filio nos repræsenta! fac, O benedicta, per gratiam quam invenisti . . . ut qui te mediante fieri dignatus est particeps infirmitatis et miseriæ nostræ, te quoque intercedente participes faciat nos gloriæ et beatitudinis suæ567567Bernard is also fond of variations on the thought that the Son will hear the mother, the Father the Son. “Hæc peccatorum scala, hæc mea maxima fiducia est, hæc tota ratio spei meæ.” The Son cannot refuse to hear the mother; for the “invenisti gratiam apud deum” is still in force. These thoughts passed over in succum et sanguinem of Catholicism; they were disseminated especially by the Franciscans.]). From here it was only 317 a step to the doctrine of Scotus and the Scotists, that Mary cooperated, not only passively, but actively, in the incarnation.568568On the proof, see Werner I., pp. 433 f., 435 ff.; II. 352 ff. In Duns the idea coheres with his general zoological ideas; yet for him it has also independent significance.318
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