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Article Six

Whether the Remission of Sins should be Numbered with the things reequired for the Justification of the Ungodly

We proceed to the sixth article thus:

1. It seems that the remission of sins should not be numbered with the things required for the justification of the ungodly. For the substance of a thing is not numbered with the things required for it. A man, for example, should not be numbered together with his soul and his body. Now it was said in the first article that the justification of the ungodly itself is the remission of sins. The remission of sins should not therefore be numbered with the things required for it.

2. Again, infusion of grace and remission of sin are the same thing, just as illumination and the dispelling of darkness are the same thing. But what is identical should not be numbered together with itself. Remission of guilt should not then be numbered together with infusion of grace.

3. Again, the remission of sins follows the movement of the free will toward God and against sin, as an effect follows its cause. For sins are forgiven as a result of faith and contrition. But an effect should not be numbered together with its cause, since things which are numbered as belonging to the same class are simultaneous by nature. The remission of guilt should not then be numbered with the things required for the justification of the ungodly.

On the other hand: since the end is paramount in all things, we should not omit to take account of the end in enumerating the things which are required for something. Now the remission of sins is the end in the justification of the ungodly, since it is said in Isa. 27:9: “and this is all the fruit to take away his sin.”4646Migne: “and this is all the fruit, that his sin should be taken away.” The remission of sins should not therefore be omitted in the enumeration of things required for the justification of the ungodly.

I answer: four things are accounted necessary for the justification of the ungodly—an infusion of grace, a movement of the free will toward God in faith, a movement of the free will in recoil from sin, and the remission of guilt. The reason for this is that justification is a movement in which the soul is moved by God from a state of guilt to a state of justice. Three things 193are necessary for any movement in which one thing is moved by another: first, the motion of the mover itself; second, the movement of the thing moved; and third, the consummation of the movement, or the attainment of the end. Now the infusion of grace is the motion of God, and the twofold movement by which the free will abandons a terminus a quo and approaches a terminus ad quem is the movement of the thing moved. But the consummation of the movement, or attainment of the end, lies in the remission of guilt. For therein is justification consummated.

On the first point: the justification of the ungodly is said to be itself the remission of sins because every movement takes its species from its end. But many other things are also required for the attainment of the end, as is clear from the preceding article.

On the second point: the infusion of grace and the remission of guilt may be considered in two ways. They are identical as referring to the substance of the act, since God bestows grace and forgives guilt by one and the same act. But they differ as referring to their objects, since the guilt removed and the grace infused are not the same; just as the generation and corruption of natural things differ, even though the generation of one may be identical with the corruption of another.

On the third point: this is not a classification according to genus and species, in which things classed together must be simultaneous. It is an enumeration of the different things required in order to complete something. It may therefore include one thing which precedes and another which follows, since one of the principles or parts of a composite thing may be prior to another.


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