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II Sentences, Distinction 43, Question 1

Concerning the Sin against the Holy Spirit


a. 2: utrum peccatum in spiritum sanctum
sit determinatum genus peccati.

Article 2: Whether the sin against the Holy Spirit is a


particular kind of sin.

ad secundum sic proceditur. videtur quod It would seem that the sin against the Holy Spirit is
peccatum in spiritum sanctum non sit
not a particular kind of sin.
determinatum genus peccati.
sicut enim peccatum quod ex industria
geritur, est peccatum in spiritum sanctum;
ita peccatum quod est ex infirmitate, est in
patrem, et quod ex ignorantia est in filium.
sed peccatum ex infirmitate non nominat
determinate aliquod genus peccati, sed
peccati circumstantiam. ergo nec
peccatum in spiritum sanctum est
determinatum genus peccati.

Objection 1: For just as a sin which is done with


intention is a sin against the Holy Spirit, so too a sin
which is done through weakness is a sin against the
Father, and one done through ignorance, a sin
against the Son. But the sin (done) through
weakness does not designate particularly a kind of
sin, but rather the circumstance of sin. Therefore, the
sin against the Holy Spirit is not a particular kind of
sin.

praeterea, peccare ex industria vel certa Objection 2: Furthermore, to sin with intention or with
malitia, est peccare ex electione, ut dictum definite malice is to sin by choice, as has been
est. sed unusquisque habens habitum
previously stated. But anyone having a vicious habit,
vitiosum, ex electione peccat, ut ex 7 ethic. sins from choice, as is said in Book VII of the
patet, ubi distinguit intemperatum contra Nicomachean Ethics, where the intemperate
incontinentem: quorum primus habens
(person) is distinguished from the incontinent, where
habitum per electionem peccat, secundus the first has the habit to sin through choice, while the
per passionem. ergo peccare ex habitu est second has it through passion. Therefore, to sin by
peccare ex certa malitia, quod est
reason of habit is to sin by reason of a definite
peccatum in spiritum sanctum. sed
malice, which is the sin against the Holy Spirit. But
peccatum ex habitu procedens non
sin proceeding from a habit does not denote a
nominat determinatum genus peccati. ergo particular kind of sin. Therefore, neither does the sin
nec peccatum in spiritum sanctum.
against the Holy Spirit.
praeterea, in littera assignantur diversae
species peccati in spiritum sanctum, ut
desperatio, obstinatio, et multa hujusmodi.
sed ista se habent ad omne genus
peccati: quia nullum genus peccati est
quod interdum ex desperatione oriri non
possit, et sic de aliis. ergo peccatum in
spiritum sanctum non est determinatum
genus peccati.

Objection 3: Furthermore,the diverse species of the


sin against the Holy Spirit are designated in the
(Lombard's) text, (sins) such as despair, obstinance,
and many others. But these very species are related
to every kind of sin, for there is no kind of sin that
cannot arise at times from despair, and so too
concerning the others. Therefore, the sin against the
Holy Spirit is not a particular kind of sin.

praeterea, peccatum in spiritum sanctum


dicitur quod est contra appropriatum
spiritui sancto. sed omne peccatum
mortale contrariatur gratiae, quae
appropriatur spiritui sancto. ergo omne
peccatum mortale debet dici in spiritum

Objection 4: Furthermore, the sin against the Holy


Spirit is said to be that which is contrary to an
attribute of the Holy Spirit. But every mortal sin is
contrary to grace, which itself is attributed to the Holy
Spirit. Therefore, every mortal sin should be said to
be against the Holy Spirit.

sanctum.
praeterea, mors animae est, ut augustinus
dicit separatio animae a deo. sed
quodlibet peccatum mortale separat
animam a deo. ergo quodlibet mortale est
ducens ad mortem. sed peccatum ad
mortem est peccatum in spiritum sanctum,
ut magister dicit. ergo quodlibet mortale
est peccatum in spiritum sanctum.

Objection 5: Furthermore, the death of the soul, as


Augustine says, is the separation of the soul from
God. But every mortal sin separates the soul from
God. Therefore, every mortal sin leads to death. But
(that) sin (which leads) to death is a sin against the
Holy Spirit, as the Lombard says. Therefore, every
mortal sin is a sin against the Holy Spirit.

sed contra, quodlibet genus peccati


distinguitur ab aliis generibus. sed
peccatum in spiritum sanctum, est
quoddam genus peccati gravius ceteris, ut
magister dicit. ergo est determinatum et
distinctum ab aliis.

1st. on the contrary: Every kind of sin is


distinguished from the rest. However, the sin against
the Holy Spirit is a kind of sin more grave than the
rest, as the Lombard says. Therefore, it is particular
kind of sin and is distinguished from the others.

praeterea, peccatum in spiritum sanctum,


cumsit irremissibile, distinguitur ab aliis
quae remissibilia sunt, secundum
remissibile et irremissibile. sed istae
differentiae sunt maxime distantes. ergo
multo magis distincta genera peccatorum
facient quam aliquae aliae peccatorum
differentiae.

2nd. on the contrary: Furthermore, since the sin


against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, it is
distinguished from the other sins which are
forgivable (the principle of division is the forgivable
versus the unforgivable). But these very differences
are most distant. Therefore the more distinct the
kinds of sins happen to be, the more distinct are
some sins from others.

respondeo dicendum, quod, ut supra


dictum est, peccatum in spiritum sanctum
dicitur quod est ex certa malitia vel
industria sive electione, quod idem est.
quod autem aliquis ex certa deliberatione
actum peccati eligat, non impulsus aliqua
passione, potest contingere dupliciter. aut
per positionem alicujus in eligente, per
quod inclinatur in talem actum, sicut in sibi
similem; sic enim omnis habens habitum
vel peccati vel virtutis inclinatur in actus
similes suis habitibus, quia naturalis
appetitus rei est in id quod sibi simile est;
et hoc modo quicumque habet habitum
intemperantiae, eligit actum
intemperantiae, et sic de aliis peccatis.
alio autem modo ex certa deliberatione
peccatum eligitur, quando voluntas rejicit
illud per quod homo a peccato retrahi
posset; verbi gratia, aliquis propter
expectationem futuri praemii abstinet a
peccato. si ergo aliquis spem futuri
praemii abjiciat voluntarie, vel aliquid
hujusmodi, quod a peccato retrahebat;

Response: As was previously said, the sin against


the Holy Spirit is due to a definite malice, intention or
choice, which amount to the same thing. The fact
that someone chooses a sinful act by way of definite
deliberation, and not by some impulse of passion,
can occur in two ways. First, by way of one's position
(or disposition) in choosing by reason of which one
is inclined to a particular kind of act as it is similar (in
kind) to oneself (or rather to one's disposition). For
every person having a habit, either of sin or of virtue,
is inclined to actions similar to these habits, the
reason being that the natural appetite of a thing is for
that which is similar to (the appetite). In this way,
whatever has the habit of intemperance, chooses
intemperate activity, and likewise with the other sins.
Secondly, a sin is chosen through definite
deliberation when the will rejects that by which one
could be withdrawn from sin. For example, someone
abstains from sin on account of the expectation of
future reward. Therefore, if someone voluntarily
throws off the hope of future reward, or something of
this kind, he withdraws (from this future reward) on
account of sin. He chooses that which will be
pleasing to him according to the flesh, as if it were

eliget hoc quod sibi erit delectabile


good per se. And in this way, he will sin by reason of
secundum carnem, quasi per se bonum; et definite malice.
ita ex certa malitia peccabit.
sumendo ergo primo modo peccatum ex By taking the first way of sin through choice,
electione, non nominatur aliquod genus
something is not denominated as a particular kind of
peccati determinatum, sed quaedam
sin, but rather as a circumstance of sin, namely as an
peccati circumstantia, ut scilicet actus ex act proceeding from a habit, which happens in every
habitu procedat; quod in omnibus
kind of sin. But the second way of sin through choice
generibus peccatorum contingit. sed
is denominated as a particular sin. For a particular
secundo modo speciale peccatum dicitur, sin is so called by reason of a particular object. This,
quod ex electione contingit. quia speciale however, is the particular object of the will, in which
peccatum dicitur ex speciali objecto; hoc it (the will) sins, namely that one was born to
autem est speciale objectum voluntatis, in withdraw from sin, with which the will disagrees,
quo peccatur, scilicet hoc quod a peccato pulling back from it spontaneously. The sin against
natum erat retrahere, cui voluntas
the Holy Spirit is not properly said to be that which
dissentit, ab eo sponte recedens.
arises in the first way from choice, but proceeds,
peccatum autem in spiritum sanctum non rather, from the second way of choice. For sins are
proprie dicitur illud quod ex electione
specified and denominated by their objects, and the
procedit primo modo; sed quod secundo object of this sin (i.e., against the Holy Spirit) is what
modo ex electione procedit; quia peccata withdraws one from sin, and this is a particular
et specificantur et nominantur ab objectis: goodness (that one is born with, i.e., a natural
objectum autem in hoc peccato est hoc
abhorrence of sin just spoken of above), or some
quod a peccato retrahebat, et istud est
characteristic effect of the Holy Spirit. For this
bonitas quaedam, vel aliquis effectus
reason, the sin against the Holy Spirit denominates a
spiritui sancto appropriabilis; et ideo
particular kind of sin.
peccatum in spiritum sanctum
determinatum genus peccati nominat.
ad primum ergo dicendum, quod cum
aliquis hoc secundo modo ex electione
peccat, quod proprie peccatum in spiritum
sanctum dicitur, considerantur ibi duo
actus, quorum uterque peccatum est, et
primus est causa secundi. verbi gratia,
aliquis uno actu voluntatis praemia
aeterna contemnit, eorum spem a se
abjiciens; et in hoc ipso peccat: et quia
desperat de praemio, incidit in actum
fornicationis; et hic actus in eo ex certa
electione provenit propter praecedentem
actum. unde patet quod cum dicitur
peccatum ex industria, ipsa industria,
quae notatur esse causa peccati, est
quoddam peccatum, et est determinatum
peccati genus: et hoc proprie est
peccatum in spiritum sanctum. sed
infirmitas vel ignorantia, non nominat
peccatum aliquod, sed poenam tantum: et
ideo ex ea non designatur speciale

Response to Objection 1: When someone sins by


way of choice in the second way, which is properly
referred to as the sin against the Holy Spirit, there
are two acts that are considered, each one of which
is a sin, and the first is the cause of the second. For
example, someone despises eternal rewards in one
act of the will, throwing aside the hope of them for
himself. In this very way, he sins, and because he
despairs of this reward, he falls (for example) into an
act of fornication. This act occurs by reason of a
definite choice on account of the preceding act.
Hence it is clear that when a sin is designated by
reason of intention, this very intention, which is
denoted to be the cause of sin, is a sin and is a
particular kind of sin. This properly is the sin against
the Holy Spirit. But weakness and ignorance are not
designated as sins, but rather only as penalties. For
this reason a particular kind of sin is not designated
with respect to them.

peccatum.
ad secundum patet responsio per ea quae Response to Objection 2: The response is evident
dicta sunt in corp. art..
from those things which were said in the body of this
article.
ad tertium dicendum, quod peccatum in
spiritum sanctum non dicitur ille actus
secundus qui ex primo, ut dictum est,
causatur, nisi forte secundum quod virtus
primi actus manet in eo; sed ipse primus
actus est proprie peccatum in spiritum
sanctum: et ideo non est inconveniens ut
ex uno determinato peccato omnia
peccata possint oriri, ut supra dictum est.

Response to Objection 3: The sin against the Holy


Spirit is not said to be the second act which is
caused by the first, except perhaps in so far as the
power of the first act remains in (the second act). The
first act itself is properly called the sin against the
Holy Spirit, for which reason it is not inappropriate
that from one definite kind of sin all sins are able to
arise, as was said above.

ad quartum dicendum, quod contrariari


gratiaecontingit dupliciter. primo directe
per se; et hoc fit dum aliquis gratiam
actualiter despicit, vel aliquid ad gratiam
pertinens; et sic opponitur gratiae
peccatum in spiritum sanctum. secundo
indirecte et quasi ex consequenti; et sic
omne peccatum mortale gratiae opponitur:
quia per peccatum mortale quaeritur
aliquid quod simul cum gratia esse non
potest.

Response to Objection 4: Those things contrary to


grace happen in two ways. First, directly in
themselves. And this comes to be when someone
actually despises grace, or something pertaining to
grace. And in this way the sin against the Holy Spirit
is opposed to grace. Second, indirectly and, as it
were, by consequence. And in this way, every mortal
sin is opposed to grace, since there is something
sought through mortal sin which cannot exist
concomitantly with grace.

ad quintum dicendum, quod peccatum


mortale quantum ad aliquid est simile
morti, et quantum ad aliquid aegritudini:
inquantum enim separat a deo, qui vita
est, mortis similitudinem habet, et haec est
mors prima; inquantum autem adhuc
manet possibilitas redeundi ad vitam,
habet similitudinem aegritudinis, ducentis
ad mortem condemnationis, quae est mors
secunda, quae omnino similitudinem
mortis retinet, dum per eam homo a deo
separatur, et ad vitam gratiae possibilis
reditus non est. sicut autem in
aegritudinibus corporalibus quaedam sunt
curabiles, quaedam autem non, quantum
est de natura morbi, et hae dicuntur
infirmitates ad mortem; ita etiam in
peccatis illa tantum peccatorum mortalium
ad mortem dicuntur quae quantum in se
est irremissibilia sunt. dicitur ergo
peccatum esse mortale a morte prima; sed
ad mortem propter mortem secundam.

Response to Objection 5: Mortal sin in one way is


likened unto death, and in another way to sickness.
In so far as it separates one from God, Who is life, it
has a likeness to death. And this is the first death
(mentioned in the objection). However, in so far as
there still remains the possibility of returning to life, it
has a likeness to sickness, of drawing one towards
the death of condemnation (which is the second
death (mentioned) in the objection, which wholly
withdraws from its likeness unto death), while
through it man is separated from God and has not
returned to the life of possible grace. Just as some
sicknesses of the body are curable, while some are
not (according to the nature of disease, the latter are
called infirmities unto death), so too with respect to
sins, so far as mortal sins are in themselves
unforgivable, they are said to be 'unto death'.
Therefore a sin is said to be mortal from the first
death (mentioned in the objection), but leading to
death according to the second (mention of) death.

Stephen Loughlin

(sjl1@desales.edu)

The Aquinas Translation Project


(http://www4.desales.edu/~philtheo/loughlin/ATP/index.html)