QUESTION 95: OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THE FIRST MAN'S WILL---NAMELY, GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
We next consider what belongs to the will of the first man; concerning
which there are two points of treatment: (1) the grace and righteousness
of the first man; (2) the use of righteousness as regards his dominion
over other things.
Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the first man was created in grace?
(2) Whether in the state of innocence he had passions of the soul?
(3) Whether he had all virtues?
(4) Whether what he did would have been as meritorious as now?
Article 1: Whether the first man was created in grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that the first man was not created in grace. For
the Apostle, distinguishing between Adam and Christ, says (1 Cor. 15:45):
"The first Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a
quickening spirit." But the spirit is quickened by grace. Therefore
Christ alone was made in grace.
Objection 2: Further, Augustine says (Questions. Vet. et Nov. Test., qu. 123) [*Work
of an anonymous author, among the supposititious works of St. Augustine]
that "Adam did not possess the Holy Ghost." But whoever possesses grace
has the Holy Ghost. Therefore Adam was not created in grace.
Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (De Correp. et Grat. x) that "God so
ordered the life of the angels and men, as to show first what they could
do by free-will, then what they could do by His grace, and by the
discernment of righteousness." God thus first created men and angels in
the state of natural free-will only; and afterwards bestowed grace on
Objection 4: Further, the Master says (Sent. ii, D, xxiv): "When man was
created he was given sufficient help to stand, but not sufficient to
advance." But whoever has grace can advance by merit. Therefore the first
man was not created in grace.
Objection 5: Further, the reception of grace requires the consent of the
recipient, since thereby a kind of spiritual marriage takes place between
God and the soul. But consent presupposes existence. Therefore man did
not receive grace in the first moment of his creation.
Objection 6: Further, nature is more distant from grace than grace is from
glory, which is but grace consummated. But in man grace precedes glory.
Therefore much more did nature precede grace.
On the contrary, Man and angel are both ordained to grace. But the
angels were created in grace, for Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xii, 9):
"God at the same time fashioned their nature and endowed them with
grace." Therefore man also was created in grace.
I answer that, Some say that man was not created in grace; but that it
was bestowed on him subsequently before sin: and many authorities of the
Saints declare that man possessed grace in the state of innocence.
But the very rectitude of the primitive state, wherewith man was endowed
by God, seems to require that, as others say, he was created in grace,
according to Eccles. 7:30, "God made man right." For this rectitude
consisted in his reason being subject to God, the lower powers to reason,
and the body to the soul: and the first subjection was the cause of both
the second and the third; since while reason was subject to God, the
lower powers remained subject to reason, as Augustine says [*Cf. De Civ.
Dei xiii, 13; De Pecc. Merit. et Remiss. i, 16]. Now it is clear that
such a subjection of the body to the soul and of the lower powers to
reason, was not from nature; otherwise it would have remained after sin;
since even in the demons the natural gifts remained after sin, as
Dionysius declared (Div. Nom. iv). Hence it is clear that also the
primitive subjection by virtue of which reason was subject to God, was
not a merely natural gift, but a supernatural endowment of grace; for it
is not possible that the effect should be of greater efficiency than the
cause. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiii, 13) that, "as soon as they
disobeyed the Divine command, and forfeited Divine grace, they were
ashamed of their nakedness, for they felt the impulse of disobedience in
the flesh, as though it were a punishment corresponding to their own
disobedience." Hence if the loss of grace dissolved the obedience of the
flesh to the soul, we may gather that the inferior powers were subjected
to the soul through grace existing therein.
Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle in these words means to show that there is a
spiritual body, if there is an animal body, inasmuch as the spiritual
life of the body began in Christ, who is "the firstborn of the dead," as
the body's animal life began in Adam. From the Apostle's words,
therefore, we cannot gather that Adam had no spiritual life in his soul;
but that he had not spiritual life as regards the body.
Reply to Objection 2: As Augustine says in the same passage, it is not disputed
that Adam, like other just souls, was in some degree gifted with the Holy
Ghost; but "he did not possess the Holy Ghost, as the faithful possess
Him now," who are admitted to eternal happiness directly after death.
Reply to Objection 3: This passage from Augustine does not assert that angels or
men were created with natural free-will before they possessed grace; but
that God shows first what their free-will could do before being confirmed
in grace, and what they acquired afterwards by being so confirmed.
Reply to Objection 4: The Master here speaks according to the opinion of those
who held that man was not created in grace, but only in a state of
nature. We may also say that, though man was created in grace, yet it was
not by virtue of the nature wherein he was created that he could advance
by merit, but by virtue of the grace which was added.
Reply to Objection 5: As the motion of the will is not continuous there is
nothing against the first man having consented to grace even in the first
moment of his existence.
Reply to Objection 6: We merit glory by an act of grace; but we do not merit
grace by an act of nature; hence the comparison fails.
Article 2: Whether passions existed in the soul of the first man?
Objection 1: It would seem that the first man's soul had no passions. For by
the passions of the soul "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Gal. 5:7). But this did not happen in the state of innocence. Therefore in the
state of innocence there were no passions of the soul.
Objection 2: Further, Adam's soul was nobler than his body. But his body was
impassible. Therefore no passions were in his soul.
Objection 3: Further, the passions of the soul are restrained by the moral
virtues. But in Adam the moral virtues were perfect. Therefore the
passions were entirely excluded from him.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10) that "in our first
parents there was undisturbed love of God," and other passions of the
I answer that, The passions of the soul are in the sensual appetite, the
object of which is good and evil. Wherefore some passions of the soul are
directed to what is good, as love and joy; others to what is evil, as
fear and sorrow. And since in the primitive state, evil was neither
present nor imminent, nor was any good wanting which a good-will could
desire to have then, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10), therefore
Adam had no passion with evil as its object; such as fear, sorrow, and
the like; neither had he passions in respect of good not possessed, but
to be possessed then, as burning concupiscence. But those passions which
regard present good, as joy and love; or which regard future good to be
had at the proper time, as desire and hope that casteth not down, existed
in the state of innocence; otherwise, however, than as they exist in
ourselves. For our sensual appetite, wherein the passions reside, is not
entirely subject to reason; hence at times our passions forestall and
hinder reason's judgment; at other times they follow reason's judgment,
accordingly as the sensual appetite obeys reason to some extent. But in
the state of innocence the inferior appetite was wholly subject to
reason: so that in that state the passions of the soul existed only as
consequent upon the judgment of reason.
Reply to Objection 1: The flesh lusts against the spirit by the rebellion of the
passions against reason; which could not occur in the state of innocence.
Reply to Objection 2: The human body was impassible in the state of innocence as
regards the passions which alter the disposition of nature, as will be
explained later on (Question , Article ); likewise the soul was impassible as
regards the passions which impede the free use of reason.
Reply to Objection 3: Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the
passions, but regulates them; for the temperate man desires as he ought
to desire, and what he ought to desire, as stated in Ethic. iii, 11.
Article 3: Whether Adam had all the virtues?
Objection 1: It would seem that Adam had not all the virtues. For some virtues
are directed to curb passions: thus immoderate concupiscence is
restrained by temperance, and immoderate fear by fortitude. But in the
state of innocence no immoderation existed in the passions. Therefore
neither did these virtues then exist.
Objection 2: Further, some virtues are concerned with the passions which have
evil as their object; as meekness with anger; fortitude with fear. But
these passions did not exist in the state of innocence, as stated above
(Article ). Therefore neither did those virtues exist then.
Objection 3: Further, penance is a virtue that regards sin committed. Mercy,
too, is a virtue concerned with unhappiness. But in the state of
innocence neither sin nor unhappiness existed. Therefore neither did
those virtues exist.
Objection 4: Further, perseverance is a virtue. But Adam possessed it not; as
proved by his subsequent sin. Therefore he possessed not every virtue.
Objection 5: Further, faith is a virtue. But it did not exist in the state of
innocence; for it implies an obscurity of knowledge which seems to be
incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state.
On the contrary, Augustine says, in a homily (Serm. contra Judaeos):
"The prince of sin overcame Adam who was made from the slime of the earth
to the image of God, adorned with modesty, restrained by temperance,
refulgent with brightness."
I answer that, in the state of innocence man in a certain sense
possessed all the virtues; and this can be proved from what precedes. For
it was shown above (Article ) that such was the rectitude of the primitive
state, that reason was subject to God, and the lower powers to reason.
Now the virtues are nothing but those perfections whereby reason is
directed to God, and the inferior powers regulated according to the
dictate of reason, as will be explained in the Treatise on the Virtues
(FS, Question , Article ). Wherefore the rectitude of the primitive state
required that man should in a sense possess every virtue.
It must, however, be noted that some virtues of their very nature do not
involve imperfection, such as charity and justice; and these virtues did
exist in the primitive state absolutely, both in habit and in act. But
other virtues are of such a nature as to imply imperfection either in
their act, or on the part of the matter. If such imperfection be
consistent with the perfection of the primitive state, such virtues
necessarily existed in that state; as faith, which is of things not seen,
and hope which is of things not yet possessed. For the perfection of that
state did not extend to the vision of the Divine Essence, and the
possession of God with the enjoyment of final beatitude. Hence faith and
hope could exist in the primitive state, both as to habit and as to act.
But any virtue which implies imperfection incompatible with the
perfection of the primitive state, could exist in that state as a habit,
but not as to the act; for instance, penance, which is sorrow for sin
committed; and mercy, which is sorrow for others' unhappiness; because
sorrow, guilt, and unhappiness are incompatible with the perfection of
the primitive state. Wherefore such virtues existed as habits in the
first man, but not as to their acts; for he was so disposed that he would
repent, if there had been a sin to repent for; and had he seen
unhappiness in his neighbor, he would have done his best to remedy it.
This is in accordance with what the Philosopher says, "Shame, which
regards what is ill done, may be found in a virtuous man, but only
conditionally; as being so disposed that he would be ashamed if he did
wrong" (Ethic. iv, 9).
Reply to Objection 1: It is accidental to temperance and fortitude to subdue
superabundant passion, in so far as they are in a subject which happens
to have superabundant passions, and yet those virtues are 'per se'
competent to moderate the passions.
Reply to Objection 2: Passions which have evil for their object were incompatible
with the perfection of the primitive state, if that evil be in the one
affected by the passion; such as fear and sorrow. But passions which
relate to evil in another are not incompatible with the perfection of the
primitive state; for in that state man could hate the demons' malice, as
he could love God's goodness. Thus the virtues which relate to such
passions could exist in the primitive state, in habit and in act.
Virtues, however, relating to passions which regard evil in the same
subject, if relating to such passions only, could not exist in the
primitive state in act, but only in habit, as we have said above of
penance and of mercy. But other virtues there are which have relation not
to such passions only, but to others; such as temperance, which relates
not only to sorrow, but also to joy; and fortitude, which relates not
only to fear, but also to daring and hope. Thus the act of temperance
could exist in the primitive state, so far as it moderates pleasure; and
in like manner, fortitude, as moderating daring and hope, but not as
moderating sorrow and fear.
Reply to Objection 3: appears from what has been said above.
Reply to Objection 4: Perseverance may be taken in two ways: in one sense as a
particular virtue, signifying a habit whereby a man makes a choice of
persevering in good; in that sense Adam possessed perseverance. In
another sense it is taken as a circumstance of virtue; signifying a
certain uninterrupted continuation of virtue; in which sense Adam did not
Reply to Objection 5: appears from what has been said above.
Article 4: Whether the actions of the first man were less meritorious than ours are?
Objection 1: It would seem that the actions of the first man were less
meritorious than ours are. For grace is given to us through the mercy of
God, Who succors most those who are most in need. Now we are more in need
of grace than was man in the state of innocence. Therefore grace is more
copiously poured out upon us; and since grace is the source of merit, our
actions are more meritorious.
Objection 2: Further, struggle and difficulty are required for merit; for it
is written (2 Tm. 2:5): "He . . . is not crowned except he strive
lawfully" and the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3): "The object of virtue
is the difficult and the good." But there is more strife and difficulty
now. Therefore there is greater efficacy for merit.
Objection 3: Further, the Master says (Sent. ii., D, xxiv) that "man would not
have merited in resisting temptation; whereas he does merit now, when he
resists." Therefore our actions are more meritorious than in the
On the contrary, if such were the case, man would be better off after
I answer that, Merit as regards degree may be gauged in two ways. First,
in its root, which is grace and charity. Merit thus measured corresponds
in degree to the essential reward, which consists in the enjoyment of
God; for the greater the charity whence our actions proceed, the more
perfectly shall we enjoy God. Secondly, the degree of merit is measured
by the degree of the action itself. This degree is of two kinds, absolute
and proportional. The widow who put two mites into the treasury performed
a deed of absolutely less degree than the others who put great sums
therein. But in proportionate degree the widow gave more, as Our Lord
said; because she gave more in proportion to her means. In each of these
cases the degree of merit corresponds to the accidental reward, which
consists in rejoicing for created good.
We conclude therefore that in the state of innocence man's works were
more meritorious than after sin was committed, if we consider the degree
of merit on the part of grace, which would have been more copious as
meeting with no obstacle in human nature: and in like manner, if we
consider the absolute degree of the work done; because, as man would have
had greater virtue, he would have performed greater works. But if we
consider the proportionate degree, a greater reason for merit exists
after sin, on account of man's weakness; because a small deed is more
beyond the capacity of one who works with difficulty than a great deed is
beyond one who performs it easily.
Reply to Objection 1: After sin man requires grace for more things than before
sin; but he does not need grace more; forasmuch as man even before sin
required grace to obtain eternal life, which is the chief reason for the
need of grace. But after sin man required grace also for the remission of
sin, and for the support of his weakness.
Reply to Objection 2: Difficulty and struggle belong to the degree of merit
according to the proportionate degree of the work done, as above
explained. It is also a sign of the will's promptitude striving after
what is difficult to itself: and the promptitude of the will is caused by
the intensity of charity. Yet it may happen that a person performs an
easy deed with as prompt a will as another performs an arduous deed;
because he is ready to do even what may be difficult to him. But the
actual difficulty, by its penal character, enables the deed to satisfy
Reply to Objection 3: The first man would not have gained merit in resisting
temptation, according to the opinion of those who say that he did not
possess grace; even as now there is no merit to those who have not grace.
But in this point there is a difference, inasmuch as in the primitive
state there was no interior impulse to evil, as in our present state.
Hence man was more able then than now to resist temptation even without