QUESTION 7: OF THE GRACE OF CHRIST AS AN INDIVIDUAL MAN
We must now consider such things as were co-assumed by the Son of God in
human nature; and first what belongs to perfection; secondly, what
belongs to defect.
Concerning the first, there are three points of consideration: (1) The
grace of Christ; (2) His knowledge; (3) His power.
With regard to His grace we must consider two things: (1) His grace as
He is an individual man; (2) His grace as He is the Head of the Church.
Of the grace of union we have already spoken (Question ).
Under the first head there are thirteen points of inquiry:
(1) Whether in the soul of Christ there was any habitual grace?
(2) Whether in Christ there were virtues?
(3) Whether He had faith?
(4) Whether He had hope?
(5) Whether in Christ there were the gifts?
(6) Whether in Christ there was the gift of fear?
(7) Whether in Christ there were any gratuitous graces?
(8) Whether in Christ there was prophecy?
(9) Whether there was the fulness of grace in Him?
(10) Whether such fulness was proper to Christ?
(11) Whether the grace of Christ was infinite?
(12) Whether it could have been increased?
(13) How this grace stood towards the union?
Article 1: Whether in the Soul of Christ there was any habitual grace?
Objection 1: It would seem there was no habitual grace in the soul assumed by
the Word. For grace is a certain partaking of the Godhead by the rational
creature, according to 2 Pt. 1:4: "By Whom He hath given us most great
and precious promises, that by these you may be made partakers of the
Divine Nature." Now Christ is God not by participation, but in truth.
Therefore there was no habitual grace in Him.
Objection 2: Further, grace is necessary to man, that he may operate well,
according to 1 Cor. 15:10: "I have labored more abundantly than all they;
yet not I, but the grace of God with me"; and in order that he may reach
eternal life, according to Rm. 6:23: "The grace of God (is) life
everlasting." Now the inheritance of everlasting life was due to Christ
by the mere fact of His being the natural Son of God; and by the fact of
His being the Word, by Whom all things were made, He had the power of
doing all things well. Therefore His human nature needed no further grace
beyond union with the Word.
Objection 3: Further, what operates as an instrument does not need a habit for
its own operations, since habits are rooted in the principal agent. Now
the human nature in Christ was "as the instrument of the Godhead," as
Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 15). Therefore there was no need of
habitual grace in Christ.
On the contrary, It is written (Is. 11:2): "The Spirit of the Lord shall
rest upon Him"---which (Spirit), indeed, is said to be in man by habitual
grace, as was said above (FP, Question , Article ; FP, Question , Articles ,6). Therefore
there was habitual grace in Christ.
I answer that, It is necessary to suppose habitual grace in Christ for
three reasons. First, on account of the union of His soul with the Word
of God. For the nearer any recipient is to an inflowing cause, the more
does it partake of its influence. Now the influx of grace is from God,
according to Ps. 83:12: "The Lord will give grace and glory." And hence
it was most fitting that His soul should receive the influx of Divine
grace. Secondly, on account of the dignity of this soul, whose operations
were to attain so closely to God by knowledge and love, to which it is
necessary for human nature to be raised by grace. Thirdly, on account of
the relation of Christ to the human race. For Christ, as man, is the
"Mediator of God and men," as is written, 1 Tim. 2:5; and hence it
behooved Him to have grace which would overflow upon others, according to
Jn. 1:16: "And of His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace."
Reply to Objection 1: Christ is the true God in Divine Person and Nature. Yet
because together with unity of person there remains distinction of
natures, as stated above (Question , Articles ,2), the soul of Christ. is not
essentially Divine. Hence it behooves it to be Divine by participation,
which is by grace.
Reply to Objection 2: To Christ, inasmuch as He is the natural Son of God, is due
an eternal inheritance, which is the uncreated beatitude through the
uncreated act of knowledge and love of God, i.e. the same whereby the
Father knows and loves Himself. Now the soul was not capable of this act,
on account of the difference of natures. Hence it behooved it to attain
to God by a created act of fruition which could not be without grace.
Likewise, inasmuch as He was the Word of God, He had the power of doing
all things well by the Divine operation. And because it is necessary to
admit a human operation, distinct from the Divine operation, as will be
shown (Question , Article ), it was necessary for Him to have habitual grace,
whereby this operation might be perfect in Him.
Reply to Objection 3: The humanity of Christ is the instrument of the
Godhead---not, indeed, an inanimate instrument, which nowise acts, but is
merely acted upon; but an instrument animated by a rational soul, which
is so acted upon as to act. And hence the nature of the action demanded
that he should have habitual grace.
Article 2: Whether in Christ there were virtues?
Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there were no virtues. For Christ
had the plenitude of grace. Now grace is sufficient for every good act,
according to 2 Cor. 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for thee." Therefore
there were no virtues in Christ.
Objection 2: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 1), virtue is
contrasted with a "certain heroic or godlike habit" which is attributed
to godlike men. But this belongs chiefly to Christ. Therefore Christ had
not virtues, but something higher than virtue.
Objection 3: Further, as was said above (FS, Question , Articles ,2), all the virtues
are bound together. But it was not becoming for Christ to have all the
virtues, as is clear in the case of liberality and magnificence, for
these have to do with riches, which Christ spurned, according to Mt.
8:20: "The Son of man hath not where to lay His head." Temperance and
continence also regard wicked desires, from which Christ was free.
Therefore Christ had not the virtues.
On the contrary, on Ps. 1:2, "But His will is in the law of the Lord," a
gloss says: "This refers to Christ, Who is full of all good." But a good
quality of the mind is a virtue. Therefore Christ was full of all virtue.
I answer that, As was said above (FS, Question , Articles ,4), as grace regards
the essence of the soul, so does virtue regard its power. Hence it is
necessary that as the powers of the soul flow from its essence, so do the
virtues flow from grace. Now the more perfect a principle is, the more it
impresses its effects. Hence, since the grace of Christ was most perfect,
there flowed from it, in consequence, the virtues which perfect the
several powers of the soul for all the soul's acts; and thus Christ had
all the virtues.
Reply to Objection 1: Grace suffices a man for all whereby he is ordained to
beatitude; nevertheless, it effects some of these by itself---as to make
him pleasing to God, and the like; and some others through the medium of
the virtues which proceed from grace.
Reply to Objection 2: A heroic or godlike habit only differs from virtue commonly so called by a more perfect mode, inasmuch as one is disposed to good in a higher way than is common to all. Hence it is not hereby proved that Christ had not the virtues, but that He had them most perfectly beyond the common mode. In this sense Plotinus gave to a certain sublime degree of virtue the name of "virtue of the purified soul" (cf. FS, Question , Article ).
Reply to Objection 3: Liberality and magnificence are praiseworthy in regard to
riches, inasmuch as anyone does not esteem wealth to the extent of
wishing to retain it, so as to forego what ought to be done. But he
esteems them least who wholly despises them, and casts them aside for
love of perfection. And hence by altogether contemning all riches, Christ
showed the highest kind of liberality and magnificence; although He also
performed the act of liberality, as far as it became Him, by causing to
be distributed to the poor what was given to Himself. Hence, when our
Lord said to Judas (Jn. 13:21), "That which thou dost do quickly," the
disciples understood our Lord to have ordered him to give something to
the poor. But Christ had no evil desires whatever, as will be shown
(Question , Articles ,2); yet He was not thereby prevented from having
temperance, which is the more perfect in man, as he is without evil
desires. Hence, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 9), the
temperate man differs from the continent in this---that the temperate has
not the evil desires which the continent suffers. Hence, taking
continence in this sense, as the Philosopher takes it, Christ, from the
very fact that He had all virtue, had not continence, since it is not a
virtue, but something less than virtue.
Article 3: Whether in Christ there was faith?
Objection 1: It would seem that there was faith in Christ. For faith is a
nobler virtue than the moral virtues, e.g. temperance and liberality. Now
these were in Christ, as stated above (Article ). Much more, therefore, was
there faith in Him.
Objection 2: Further, Christ did not teach virtues which He had not Himself,
according to Acts 1:1: "Jesus began to do and to teach." But of Christ it
is said (Heb. 12:2) that He is "the author and finisher of our faith."
Therefore there was faith in Him before all others.
Objection 3: Further, everything imperfect is excluded from the blessed. But
in the blessed there is faith; for on Rm. 1:17, "the justice of God is
revealed therein from faith to faith," a gloss says: "From the faith of
words and hope to the faith of things and sight." Therefore it would seem
that in Christ also there was faith, since it implies nothing imperfect.
On the contrary, It is written (Heb. 11:1): "Faith is the evidence of things that appear not." But there was nothing that did not appear to Christ, according to what Peter said to Him (Jn. 21:17): "Thou knowest all things." Therefore there was no faith in Christ.
I answer that, As was said above (SS, Question , Article ), the object of faith
is a Divine thing not seen. Now the habit of virtue, as every other
habit, takes its species from the object. Hence, if we deny that the
Divine thing was not seen, we exclude the very essence of faith. Now from
the first moment of His conception Christ saw God's Essence fully, as
will be made clear (Question , Article ). Hence there could be no faith in Him.
Reply to Objection 1: Faith is a nobler virtue than the moral virtues, seeing
that it has to do with nobler matter; nevertheless, it implies a certain
defect with regard to that matter; and this defect was not in Christ. And
hence there could be no faith in Him, although the moral virtues were in
Him, since in their nature they imply no defect with regard to their
Reply to Objection 2: The merit of faith consists in this---that man through
obedience assents to what things he does not see, according to Rm. 1:5:
"For obedience to the faith in all nations for His name." Now Christ had
most perfect obedience to God, according to Phil. 2:8: "Becoming obedient
unto death." And hence He taught nothing pertaining to merit which He did
not fulfil more perfectly Himself.
Reply to Objection 3: As a gloss says in the same place, faith is that "whereby
such things as are not seen are believed." But faith in things seen is
improperly so called, and only after a certain similitude with regard to
the certainty and firmness of the assent.
Article 4: Whether in Christ there was hope?
Objection 1: It would seem that there was hope in Christ. For it is said in
the Person of Christ (Ps. 30:1): "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped." But the
virtue of hope is that whereby a man hopes in God. Therefore the virtue
of hope was in Christ.
Objection 2: Further, hope is the expectation of the bliss to come, as was
shown above (SS, Question , Article , ad 3). But Christ awaited something
pertaining to bliss, viz. the glorifying of His body. Therefore it seems
there was hope in Him.
Objection 3: Further, everyone may hope for what pertains to his perfection,
if it has yet to come. But there was something still to come pertaining
to Christ's perfection, according to Eph. 4:12: "For the perfecting of
the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building up [Douay:
'edifying'] of the body of Christ." Hence it seems that it befitted
Christ to have hope.
On the contrary, It is written (Rm. 8:24): "What a man seeth, why doth
he hope for?" Thus it is clear that as faith is of the unseen, so also is
hope. But there was no faith in Christ, as was said above (Article ):
neither, consequently, was there hope.
I answer that, As it is of the nature of faith that one assents to what
one sees not, so is it of the nature of hope that one expects what as yet
one has not; and as faith, forasmuch as it is a theological virtue, does
not regard everything unseen, but only God; so likewise hope, as a
theological virtue, has God Himself for its object, the fruition of Whom
man chiefly expects by the virtue of hope; yet, in consequence, whoever
has the virtue of hope may expect the Divine aid in other things, even as
he who has the virtue of faith believes God not only in Divine things,
but even in whatsoever is divinely revealed. Now from the beginning of
His conception Christ had the Divine fruition fully, as will be shown
(Question , Article ), and hence he had not the virtue of hope. Nevertheless He
had hope as regards such things as He did not yet possess, although He
had not faith with regard to anything; because, although He knew all
things fully, wherefore faith was altogether wanting to Him, nevertheless
He did not as yet fully possess all that pertained to His perfection,
viz. immortality and glory of the body, which He could hope for.
Reply to Objection 1: This is said of Christ with reference to hope, not as a
theological virtue, but inasmuch as He hoped for some other things not
yet possessed, as was said above.
Reply to Objection 2: The glory of the body does not pertain to beatitude as
being that in which beatitude principally consists, but by a certain
outpouring from the soul's glory, as was said above (FS, Question , Article ).
Hence hope, as a theological virtue, does not regard the bliss of the
body but the soul's bliss, which consists in the Divine fruition.
Reply to Objection 3: The building up of the church by the conversion of the
faithful does not pertain to the perfection of Christ, whereby He is
perfect in Himself, but inasmuch as it leads others to a share of His
perfection. And because hope properly regards what is expected by him who
hopes, the virtue of hope cannot properly be said to be in Christ,
because of the aforesaid reason.
Article 5: Whether in Christ there were the gifts?
Objection 1: It would seem that the gifts were not in Christ. For, as is
commonly said, the gifts are given to help the virtues. But what is
perfect in itself does not need an exterior help. Therefore, since the
virtues of Christ were perfect, it seems there were no gifts in Him.
Objection 2: Further, to give and to receive gifts would not seem to belong to
the same; since to give pertains to one who has, and to receive pertains
to one who has not. But it belongs to Christ to give gifts according to
Ps. 67:19. "Thou hast given gifts to men [Vulg.: 'Thou hast received
gifts in men']." Therefore it was not becoming that Christ should receive
gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Objection 3: Further, four gifts would seem to pertain to the contemplation
of earth, viz. wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel which
pertains to prudence; hence the Philosopher (Ethic. vi, 3) enumerates
these with the intellectual virtues. But Christ had the contemplation of
heaven. Therefore He had not these gifts.
On the contrary, It is written (Is. 4:1): "Seven women shall take hold
of one man": on which a gloss says: "That is, the seven gifts of the Holy
Ghost shall take hold of Christ."
I answer that, As was said above (FS, Question , Article ), the gifts, properly,
are certain perfections of the soul's powers, inasmuch a these have a
natural aptitude to be moved by the Holy Ghost, according to Luke 4:1:
"And Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan, and
was led by the Spirit into the desert." Hence it is manifest that in
Christ the gifts were in a pre-eminent degree.
Reply to Objection 1: What is perfect in the order of its nature needs to be
helped by something of a higher nature; as man, however perfect, needs to
be helped by God. And in this way the virtues, which perfect the powers
of the soul, as they are controlled by reason, no matter how perfect they
are, need to be helped by the gifts, which perfect the soul's powers,
inasmuch as these are moved by the Holy Ghost.
Reply to Objection 2: Christ is not a recipient and a giver of the gifts of the
Holy Ghost, in the same respect; for He gives them as God and receives
them as man. Hence Gregory says (Moral. ii) that "the Holy Ghost never
quitted the human nature of Christ, from Whose Divine nature He
Reply to Objection 3: In Christ there was not only heavenly knowledge, but also
earthly knowledge, as will be said (Question , Article ). And yet even in heaven
the gifts of the Holy Ghost will still exist, in a certain manner, as was
said above (FS, Question , Article ).
Article 6: Whether in Christ there was the gift of fear?
Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there was not the gift of fear. For
hope would seem to be stronger than fear; since the object of hope is
goodness, and of fear, evil. as was said above (FS, Question , Article ; FS,
Question , Article ). But in Christ there was not the virtue of hope, as was said
above (Article ). Hence, likewise, there was not the gift of fear in Him.
Objection 2: Further, by the gift of fear we fear either to be separated from God, which pertains to "chaste" fear---or to be punished by Him, which pertains to "servile" fear, as Augustine says (In Joan. Tract. ix). But Christ did not fear being separated from God by sin, nor being punished by Him on account of a fault, since it was impossible for Him to sin, as will be said (Question , Articles ,2). Now fear is not of the impossible. Therefore in Christ there was not the gift of fear.
Objection 3: Further, it is written (1 Jn. 4:18) that "perfect charity casteth
out fear." But in Christ there was most perfect charity, according to
Eph. 3:19: "The charity of Christ which surpasseth all knowledge."
Therefore in Christ there was not the gift of fear.
On the contrary, It is written (Is. 11:3): "And He shall be filled with
the spirit of the fear of the Lord."
I answer that, As was said above (FS, Question , Article ), fear regards two
objects, one of which is an evil causing terror; the other is that by
whose power an evil can be inflicted, as we fear the king inasmuch as he
has the power of putting to death. Now whoever can hurt would not be
feared unless he had a certain greatness of might, to which resistance
could not easily be offered; for what we easily repel we do not fear. And
hence it is plain that no one is feared except for some pre-eminence. And
in this way it is said that in Christ there was the fear of God, not
indeed as it regards the evil of separation from God by fault, nor as it
regards the evil of punishment for fault; but inasmuch as it regards the
Divine pre-eminence, on account of which the soul of Christ, led by the
Holy Spirit, was borne towards God in an act of reverence. Hence it is
said (Heb. 5:7) that in all things "he was heard for his reverence." For
Christ as man had this act of reverence towards God in a fuller sense and
beyond all others. And hence Scripture attributes to Him the fulness of
the fear of the Lord.
Reply to Objection 1: The habits of virtues and gifts regard goodness properly
and of themselves; but evil, consequently; since it pertains to the
nature of virtue to render acts good, as is said Ethic. ii, 6. And hence
the nature of the gift of fear regards not that evil which fear is
concerned with, but the pre-eminence of that goodness, viz. of God, by
Whose power evil may be inflicted. on the other hand, hope, as a virtue,
regards not only the author of good, but even the good itself, as far as
it is not yet possessed. And hence to Christ, Who already possessed the
perfect good of beatitude, we do not attribute the virtue of hope, but we
do attribute the gift of fear.
Reply to Objection 2: This reason is based on fear in so far as it regards the
Reply to Objection 3: Perfect charity casts out servile fear, which principally
regards punishment. But this kind of fear was not in Christ.
Article 7: Whether the gratuitous graces were in Christ?
Objection 1: It would seem that the gratuitous graces were not in Christ. For
whoever has anything in its fulness, to him it does not pertain to have
it by participation. Now Christ has grace in its fulness, according to
Jn. 1:14: "Full of grace and truth." But the gratuitous graces would
seem to be certain participations, bestowed distributively and
particularly upon divers subjects, according to 1 Cor. 12:4: "Now there
are diversities of graces." Therefore it would seem that there were no
gratuitous graces in Christ.
Objection 2: Further, what is due to anyone would not seem to be gratuitously
bestowed on him. But it was due to the man Christ that He should abound
in the word of wisdom and knowledge, and to be mighty in doing wonderful
works and the like, all of which pertain to gratuitous graces: since He
is "the power of God and the wisdom of God," as is written 1 Cor. 1:24.
Therefore it was not fitting for Christ to have the gratuitous graces.
Objection 3: Further, gratuitous graces are ordained to the benefit of the
faithful. But it does not seem that a habit which a man does not use is
for the benefit of others, according to Ecclus. 20:32: "Wisdom that is
hid and treasure that is not seen: what profit is there in them both?"
Now we do not read that Christ made use of these gratuitously given
graces, especially as regards the gift of tongues. Therefore not all the
gratuitous graces were in Christ.
On the contrary, Augustine says (Ep. ad Dardan. cclxxxvii) that "as in
the head are all the senses, so in Christ were all the graces."
I answer that, As was said above (FS, Question , Articles ,4), the gratuitous
graces are ordained for the manifestation of faith and spiritual
doctrine. For it behooves him who teaches to have the means of making his
doctrine clear; otherwise his doctrine would be useless. Now Christ is
the first and chief teacher of spiritual doctrine and faith, according to
Heb. 2:3,4: "Which having begun to be declared by the Lord was confirmed
unto us by them that heard Him, God also bearing them witness by signs
and wonders." Hence it is clear that all the gratuitous graces were most
excellently in Christ, as in the first and chief teacher of the faith.
Reply to Objection 1: As sanctifying grace is ordained to meritorious acts both
interior and exterior, so likewise gratuitous grace is ordained to
certain exterior acts manifestive of the faith, as the working of
miracles, and the like. Now of both these graces Christ had the fulness.
since inasmuch as His soul was united to the Godhead, He had the perfect
power of effecting all these acts. But other saints who are moved by God
as separated and not united instruments, receive power in a particular
manner in order to bring about this or that act. And hence in other
saints these graces are divided, but not in Christ.
Reply to Objection 2: Christ is said to be the power of God and the wisdom of
God, inasmuch as He is the Eternal Son of God. But in this respect it
does not pertain to Him to have grace, but rather to be the bestower of
grace. but it pertains to Him in His human nature to have grace.
Reply to Objection 3: The gift of tongues was bestowed on the apostles, because
they were sent to teach all nations; but Christ wished to preach
personally only in the one nation of the Jews, as He Himself says (Mt. 15:24): "I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of
Israel"; and the Apostle says (Rm. 15:8): "I say that Christ Jesus was
minister of the circumcision." And hence it was not necessary for Him to
speak several languages. Yet was a knowledge of all languages not wanting
to Him, since even the secrets of hearts, of which all words are signs,
were not hidden from Him, as will be shown (Question , Article ). Nor was this
knowledge uselessly possessed. just as it is not useless to have a habit,
which we do not use when there is no occasion.
Article 8: Whether in Christ there was the gift of prophecy?
Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there was not the gift of prophecy.
For prophecy implies a certain obscure and imperfect knowledge, according
to Num. 12:6: "If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear
to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream." But Christ had
full and unveiled knowledge, much more than Moses, of whom it is
subjoined that "plainly and not by riddles and figures doth he see God"
(Num. 6:8). Therefore we ought not to admit prophecy in Christ.
Objection 2: Further, as faith has to do with what is not seen, and hope with
what is not possessed, so prophecy has to do with what is not present,
but distant; for a prophet means, as it were, a teller of far-off things.
But in Christ there could be neither faith nor hope, as was said above
(Articles ,4). Hence prophecy also ought not to be admitted in Christ.
Objection 3: Further, a prophet is in an inferior order to an angel; hence
Moses, who was the greatest of the prophets, as was said above (SS,
Question , Article ) is said (Acts 7:38) to have spoken with an angel in the
desert. But Christ was "made lower than the angels," not as to the
knowledge of His soul, but only as regards the sufferings of His body, as
is shown Heb. 2:9. Therefore it seems that Christ was not a prophet.
On the contrary, It is written of Him (Dt. 18:15): "Thy God will raise
up to thee a prophet of thy nation and of thy brethren," and He says of
Himself (Mt. 13:57; Jn. 4:44): "A prophet is not without honor, save in
his own country."
I answer that, A prophet means, as it were, a teller or seer of far-off
things, inasmuch as he knows and announces what things are far from men's
senses, as Augustine says (Contra Faust. xvi, 18). Now we must bear in
mind that no one can be called a prophet for knowing and announcing what
is distant from others, with whom he is not. And this is clear in regard
to place and time. For if anyone living in France were to know and
announce to others living in France what things were transpiring in
Syria, it would be prophetical, as Eliseus told Giezi (4 Kgs. 5:26) how
the man had leaped down from his chariot to meet him. But if anyone
living in Syria were to announce what things were there, it would not be
prophetical. And the same appears in regard to time. For it was
prophetical of Isaias to announce that Cyrus, King of the Persians, would
rebuild the temple of God, as is clear from Is. 44:28. But it was not
prophetical of Esdras to write it, in whose time it took place. Hence if
God or angels, or even the blessed, know and announce what is beyond our
knowing, this does not pertain to prophecy, since they nowise touch our
state. Now Christ before His passion touched our state, inasmuch as He
was not merely a "comprehensor," but a "wayfarer." Hence it was
prophetical in Him to know and announce what was beyond the knowledge of
other "wayfarers": and for this reason He is called a prophet.
Reply to Objection 1: These words do not prove that enigmatical knowledge, viz.
by dream and vision, belongs to the nature of prophecy; but the
comparison is drawn between other prophets, who saw Divine things in
dreams and visions, and Moses, who saw God plainly and not by riddles,
and who yet is called a prophet, according to Dt. 24:10: "And there arose
no more a prophet in Israel like unto Moses." Nevertheless it may be said
that although Christ had full and unveiled knowledge as regards the
intellective part, yet in the imaginative part He had certain
similitudes, in which Divine things could be viewed, inasmuch as He was
not only a "comprehensor," but a "wayfarer."
Reply to Objection 2: Faith regards such things as are unseen by him who
believes; and hope, too, is of such things as are not possessed by the
one who hopes; but prophecy is of such things as are beyond the sense of
men, with whom the prophet dwells and converses in this state of life.
And hence faith and hope are repugnant to the perfection of Christ's
beatitude; but prophecy is not.
Reply to Objection 3: Angels, being "comprehensors," are above prophets, who are
merely "wayfarers"; but not above Christ, Who was both a "comprehensor"
and a "wayfarer."
Article 9: Whether in Christ there was the fulness of grace?
Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there was not the fulness of grace.
For the virtues flow from grace, as was said above (FS, Question , Article ).
But in Christ there were not all the virtues; for there was neither faith
nor hope in Him, as was shown above (Articles ,4). Therefore in Christ there
was not the fulness of grace.
Objection 2: Further, as is plain from what was said above (FS, Question , Article ),
grace is divided into operating and cooperating. Now operating grace
signifies that whereby the ungodly is justified, which has no place in
Christ, Who never lay under any sin. Therefore in Christ there was not
the fulness of grace.
Objection 3: Further, it is written (James 1:17): "Every best gift and every
perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." But
what comes thus is possessed partially, and not fully. Therefore no
creature, not even the soul of Christ, can have the fulness of the gifts
On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 1:14): "We saw Him [Vulg.: 'His
glory'] full of grace and truth."
I answer that, To have fully is to have wholly and perfectly. Now
totality and perfection can be taken in two ways: First as regards their
"intensive" quantity; for instance, I may say that some man has whiteness
fully, because he has as much of it as can naturally be in him; secondly,
"as regards power"; for instance, if anyone be said to have life fully,
inasmuch as he has it in all the effects or works of life; and thus man
has life fully, but senseless animals or plants have not. Now in both
these ways Christ has the fulness of grace. First, since He has grace in
its highest degree, in the most perfect way it can be had. And this
appears, first, from the nearness of Christ's soul to the cause of grace.
For it was said above (Article ) that the nearer a recipient is to the
inflowing cause, the more it receives. And hence the soul of Christ,
which is more closely united to God than all other rational creatures,
receives the greatest outpouring of His grace. Secondly, in His relation
to the effect. For the soul of Christ so received grace, that, in a
manner, it is poured out from it upon others. And hence it behooved Him
to have the greatest grace; as fire which is the cause of heat in other
hot things, is of all things the hottest.
Likewise, as regards the "virtue" of grace, He had grace fully, since He
had it for all the operations and effects of grace; and this, because
grace was bestowed on Him, as upon a universal principle in the genus of
such as have grace. Now the virtue of the first principle of a genus
universally extends itself to all the effects of that genus; thus the
force of the sun, which is the universal cause of generation, as
Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i), extends to all things that come under
generation. Hence the second fulness of grace is seen in Christ inasmuch
as His grace extends to all the effects of grace, which are the virtues,
gifts, and the like.
Reply to Objection 1: Faith and hope signify effects of grace with certain
defects on the part of the recipient of grace, inasmuch as faith is of
the unseen, and hope of what is not yet possessed. Hence it was not
necessary that in Christ, Who is the author of grace, there should be any
defects such as faith and hope imply; but whatever perfection is in faith
and hope was in Christ most perfectly; as in fire there are not all the
modes of heat which are defective by the subject's defect, but whatever
belongs to the perfection of heat.
Reply to Objection 2: It pertains essentially to operating grace to justify; but
that it makes the ungodly to be just is accidental to it on the part of
the subject, in which sin is found. Therefore the soul of Christ was
justified by operating grace, inasmuch as it was rendered just and holy
by it from the beginning of His conception; not that it was until then
sinful, or even not just.
Reply to Objection 3: The fulness of grace is attributed to the soul of Christ
according to the capacity of the creature and not by comparison with the
infinite fulness of the Divine goodness.
Article 10: Whether the fulness of grace is proper to Christ?
Objection 1: It would seem that the fulness of grace is not proper to Christ.
For what is proper to anyone belongs to him alone. But to be full of
grace is attributed to some others; for it was said to the Blessed Virgin
(Lk. 1:28): "Hail, full of grace"; and again it is written (Acts 6:8):
"Stephen, full of grace and fortitude." Therefore the fulness of grace is
not proper to Christ.
Objection 2: Further, what can be communicated to others through Christ does
not seem to be proper to Christ. But the fulness of grace can be
communicated to others through Christ, since the Apostle says (Eph. 3:19): "That you may be filled unto all the fulness of God." Therefore
the fulness of grace is not proper to Christ.
Objection 3: Further, the state of the wayfarer seems to be proportioned to
the state of the comprehensor. But in the state of the comprehensor there
will be a certain fulness, since "in our heavenly country with its
fulness of all good, although some things are bestowed in a pre-eminent
way, yet nothing is possessed singularly," as is clear from Gregory (Hom.
De Cent. Ovib.; xxxiv in Ev.). Therefore in the state of the comprehensor
the fulness of grace is possessed by everyone, and hence the fulness of
grace is not proper to Christ. on the contrary, The fulness of grace is
attributed to Christ inasmuch as He is the only-begotten of the Father,
according to Jn. 1:14: "We saw Him [Vulg.: 'His glory'] as it were . . .
the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." But to be the
Only-begotten of the Father is proper to Christ. Therefore it is proper
to Him to be full of grace and truth.
I answer that, The fulness of grace may be taken in two ways: First, on
the part of grace itself, or secondly on the part of the one who has
grace. Now on the part of grace itself there is said to be the fulness of
grace when the limit of grace is attained, as to essence and power,
inasmuch as grace is possessed in its highest possible excellence and in
its greatest possible extension to all its effects. And this fulness of
grace is proper to Christ. But on the part of the subject there is said
to be the fulness of grace when anyone fully possesses grace according to
his condition---whether as regards intensity, by reason of grace being
intense in him, to the limit assigned by God, according to Eph. 4:1: "But
to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the giving
of Christ"---or "as regards power," by reason of a man having the help of
grace for all that belongs to his office or state, as the Apostle says
(Eph. 3:8): "To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace . .
. to enlighten all men." And this fulness of grace is not proper to
Christ, but is communicated to others by Christ.
Reply to Objection 1: The Blessed Virgin is said to be full of grace, not on the
part of grace itself---since she had not grace in its greatest possible
excellence---nor for all the effects of grace; but she is said to be full
of grace in reference to herself, i.e. inasmuch as she had sufficient
grace for the state to which God had chosen her, i.e. to be the mother of
His Only-begotten. So, too, Stephen is said to be full of grace, since he
had sufficient grace to be a fit minister and witness of God, to which
office he had been called. And the same must be said of others. Of these
fulnesses one is greater than another, according as one is divinely
pre-ordained to a higher or lower state.
Reply to Objection 2: The Apostle is there speaking of that fulness which has
reference to the subject, in comparison with what man is divinely
pre-ordained to; and this is either something in common, to which all the
saints are pre-ordained, or something special, which pertains to the
pre-eminence of some. And in this manner a certain fulness of grace is
common to all the saints, viz. to have grace enough to merit eternal
life, which consists in the enjoyment of God. And this is the fulness of
grace which the Apostle desires for the faithful to whom he writes.
Reply to Objection 3: These gifts which are in common in heaven, viz.: vision,
possession and fruition, and the like, have certain gifts corresponding
to them in this life which are also common to all the saints. Yet there
are certain prerogatives of saints, both in heaven and on earth, which
are not possessed by all.
Article 11: Whether the grace of Christ is infinite?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ's grace is infinite. For everything
immeasurable is infinite. But the grace of Christ is immeasurable; since
it is written (Jn. 3:34): "For God doth not give the Spirit by measure to
His Son [*'To His Son' is lacking in the Vulgate], namely Christ."
Therefore the grace of Christ is infinite.
Objection 2: Further, an infinite effect betokens an infinite power which can
only spring from an infinite essence. But the effect of Christ's grace is
infinite, since it extends to the salvation of the whole human race; for
He is the propitiation for our sins . . . and for those of the whole
world, as is said (1 Jn. 2:2). Therefore the grace of Christ is infinite.
Objection 3: Further, every finite thing by addition can attain to the
quantity of any other finite thing. Therefore if the grace of Christ is
finite the grace of any other man could increase to such an extent as to
reach to an equality with Christ's grace, against what is written (Job 28:17): "Gold nor crystal cannot equal it," as Gregory expounds it
(Moral. xviii). Therefore the grace of Christ is infinite.
On the contrary, Grace is something created in the soul. But every
created thing is finite, according to Wis. 11:21: "Thou hast ordered all
things in measure and number and weight." Therefore the grace of Christ
is not infinite.
I answer that, As was made clear above (Question , Article ), a twofold grace
may be considered in Christ; the first being the grace of union, which,
as was said (Question , Article ), is for Him to be personally united to the Son
of God, which union has been bestowed gratis on the human nature; and it
is clear that this grace is infinite, as the Person of God is infinite.
The second is habitual grace; which may be taken in two ways: first as a
being, and in this way it must be a finite being, since it is in the soul
of Christ, as in a subject, and Christ's soul is a creature having a
finite capacity; hence the being of grace cannot be infinite, since it
cannot exceed its subject. Secondly it may be viewed in its specific
nature of grace; and thus the grace of Christ can be termed infinite,
since it is not limited, i.e. it has whatsoever can pertain to the nature
of grace, and what pertains to the nature of grace is not bestowed on Him
in a fixed measure; seeing that "according to the purpose" of God to Whom
it pertains to measure grace, it is bestowed on Christ's soul as on a
universal principle for bestowing grace on human nature, according to
Eph. 1:5,6, "He hath graced us in His beloved Son"; thus we might say
that the light of the sun is infinite, not indeed in being, but in the
nature of light, as having whatever can pertain to the nature of light.
Reply to Objection 1: When it is said that the Father "doth not give the Spirit
by measure," it may be expounded of the gift which God the Father from
all eternity gave the Son, viz. the Divine Nature, which is an infinite
gift. Hence the comment of a certain gloss: "So that the Son may be as
great as the Father is." Or again, it may be referred to the gift which
is given the human nature, to be united to the Divine Person, and this
also is an infinite gift. Hence a gloss says on this text: "As the Father
begot a full and perfect Word, it is united thus full and perfect to
human nature." Thirdly, it may be referred to habitual grace, inasmuch as
the grace of Christ extends to whatever belongs to grace. Hence Augustine
expounding this (Tract. xiv in Joan.) says: "The division of the gifts is
a measurement. For to one indeed by the Spirit is given the word of
wisdom, to another the word of knowledge." But Christ the giver does not
receive by measure.
Reply to Objection 2: The grace of Christ has an infinite effect, both because of
the aforesaid infinity of grace, and because of the unity [*Perhaps we
should read 'infinity'---Ed.] of the Divine Person, to Whom Christ's soul
Reply to Objection 3: The lesser can attain by augment to the quantity of the
greater, when both have the same kind of quantity. But the grace of any
man is compared to the grace of Christ as a particular to a universal
power; hence as the force of fire, no matter how much it increases, can
never equal the sun's strength, so the grace of a man, no matter how much
it increases, can never equal the grace of Christ.
Article 12: Whether the grace of Christ could increase?
Objection 1: It would seem that the grace of Christ could increase. For to
every finite thing addition can be made. But the grace of Christ was
finite. Therefore it could increase.
Objection 2: Further, it is by Divine power that grace is increased, according
to 2 Cor. 9:8: "And God is able to make all grace abound in you." But the
Divine power, being infinite, is confined by no limits. Therefore it
seems that the grace of Christ could have been greater.
Objection 3: Further, it is written (Lk. 2:52) that the child "Jesus advanced
in wisdom and age and grace with God and men." Therefore the grace of
Christ could increase.
On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 1:14): "We saw Him [Vulg.: 'His
glory'] as it were . . . the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace
and truth." But nothing can be or can be thought greater than that anyone
should be the Only-begotten of the Father. Therefore no greater grace can
be or can be thought than that of which Christ was full.
I answer that, For a form to be incapable of increase happens in two
ways: First on the part of the subject; secondly, on the part of the form
itself. On the part of the subject, indeed, when the subject reaches the
utmost limit wherein it partakes of this form, after its own manner, e.g.
if we say that air cannot increase in heat, when it has reached the
utmost limit of heat which can exist in the nature of air, although there
may be greater heat in actual existence, viz. the heat of fire. But on
the part of the form, the possibility of increase is excluded when a
subject reaches the utmost perfection which this form can have by nature,
e.g. if we say the heat of fire cannot be increased because there cannot
be a more perfect grade of heat than that to which fire attains. Now the
proper measure of grace, like that of other forms, is determined by the
Divine wisdom, according to Wis. 11:21: "Thou hast ordered all things in
number, weight and measure." And it is with reference to its end that a
measure is set to every form. as there is no greater gravity than that of
the earth, because there is no lower place than that of the earth. Now
the end of grace is the union of the rational creature with God. But
there can neither be nor be thought a greater union of the rational
creature with God than that which is in the Person. And hence the grace
of Christ reached the highest measure of grace. Hence it is clear that
the grace of Christ cannot be increased on the part of grace. But neither
can it be increased on the part of the subject, since Christ as man was a
true and full comprehensor from the first instant of His conception.
Hence there could have been no increase of grace in Him, as there could
be none in the rest of the blessed, whose grace could not increase,
seeing that they have reached their last end. But as regards men who are
wholly wayfarers, their grace can be increased not merely on the part of
the form, since they have not attained the highest degree of grace, but
also on the part of the subject, since they have not yet attained their
Reply to Objection 1: If we speak of mathematical quantity, addition can be made
to any finite quantity, since there is nothing on the part of finite
quantity which is repugnant to addition. But if we speak of natural
quantity, there may be repugnance on the part of the form to which a
determined quantity is due, even as other accidents are determined. Hence
the Philosopher says (De Anima ii, 41) that "there is naturally a term of
all things, and a fixed limit of magnitude and increase." And hence to
the quantity of the whole there can be no addition. And still more must
we suppose a term in the forms themselves, beyond which they may not go.
Hence it is not necessary that addition should be capable of being made
to Christ's grace, although it is finite in its essence.
Reply to Objection 2: Although the Divine power can make something greater and
better than the habitual grace of Christ, yet it could not make it to be
ordained to anything greater than the personal union with the
Only-begotten Son of the Father; and to this union, by the purpose of the
Divine wisdom, the measure of grace is sufficient.
Reply to Objection 3: Anyone may increase in wisdom and grace in two ways. First
inasmuch as the very habits of wisdom and grace are increased; and in
this way Christ did not increase. Secondly, as regards the effects, i.e.
inasmuch as they do wiser and greater works; and in this way Christ
increased in wisdom and grace even as in age, since in the course of time
He did more perfect works, to prove Himself true man, both in the things
of God, and in the things of man.
Article 13: Whether the habitual grace of Christ followed after the union?
Objection 1: It would seem that the habitual grace did not follow after the
union. For nothing follows itself. But this habitual grace seems to be
the same as the grace of union; for Augustine says (De Praedest. Sanct.
xv): "Every man becomes a Christian from the beginning of his belief, by
the same grace whereby this Man from His beginning became Christ"; and of
these two the first pertains to habitual grace and the second to the
grace of union. Therefore it would seem that habitual grace did not
follow upon the union.
Objection 2: Further, disposition precedes perfection, if not in time, at
least in thought. But the habitual grace seems to be a disposition in
human nature for the personal union. Therefore it seems that the habitual
grace did not follow but rather preceded the union.
Objection 3: Further, the common precedes the proper. But habitual grace is
common to Christ and other men; and the grace of union is proper to
Christ. Therefore habitual grace is prior in thought to the union.
Therefore it does not follow it.
On the contrary, It is written (Is. 42:1): "Behold my servant, I will
uphold Him . . . "and farther on: "I have given My Spirit upon Him"; and
this pertains to the gift of habitual grace. Hence it remains that the
assumption of human nature to the unity of the Person preceded the
habitual grace of Christ.
I answer that, The union of the human nature with the Divine Person,
which, as we have said above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), is the grace of
union, precedes the habitual grace of Christ, not in order of time, but
by nature and in thought; and this for a triple reason: First, with
reference to the order of the principles of both. For the principle of
the union is the Person of the Son assuming human nature, Who is said to
be sent into the world, inasmuch as He assumed human nature; but the
principle of habitual grace, which is given with charity, is the Holy
Ghost, Who is said to be sent inasmuch as He dwells in the mind by
charity. Now the mission of the Son is prior, in the order of nature, to
the mission of the Holy Ghost, even as in the order of nature the Holy
Ghost proceeds from the Son, and love from wisdom. Hence the personal
union, according to which the mission of the Son took place, is prior in
the order of nature to habitual grace, according to which the mission of
the Holy Ghost takes place. Secondly, the reason of this order may be
taken from the relation of grace to its cause. For grace is caused in man
by the presence of the Godhead, as light in the air by the presence of
the sun. Hence it is written (Ezech. 43:2): "The glory of the God of
Israel came in by the way of the east . . . and the earth shone with His
majesty." But the presence of God in Christ is by the union of human
nature with the Divine Person. Hence the habitual grace of Christ is
understood to follow this union, as light follows the sun. Thirdly, the
reason of this union can be taken from the end of grace, since it is
ordained to acting rightly, and action belongs to the suppositum and the
individual. Hence action and, in consequence, grace ordaining thereto,
presuppose the hypostasis which operates. Now the hypostasis did not
exist in the human nature before the union, as is clear from Question , Article .
Therefore the grace of union precedes, in thought, habitual grace.
Reply to Objection 1: Augustine here means by grace the gratuitous will of God,
bestowing benefits gratis; and hence every man is said to be made a
Christian by the same grace whereby a Man became Christ, since both take
place by the gratuitous will of God without merits.
Reply to Objection 2: As disposition in the order of generation precedes the
perfection to which it disposes, in such things as are gradually
perfected; so it naturally follows the perfection which one has already
obtained; as heat, which was a disposition to the form of fire, is an
effect flowing from the form of already existing fire. Now the human
nature in Christ is united to the Person of the Word from the beginning
without succession. Hence habitual grace is not understood to have
preceded the union, but to have followed it; as a natural property.
Hence, as Augustine says (Enchiridion xl): "Grace is in a manner natural
to the Man Christ."
Reply to Objection 3: The common precedes the proper, when both are of the same
genus; but when they are of divers genera, there is nothing to prevent
the proper being prior to the common. Now the grace of union is not in
the same genus as habitual grace; but is above all genera even as the
Divine Person Himself. Hence there is nothing to prevent this proper from
being before the common since it does not result from something being
added to the common, but is rather the principle and source of that which