QUESTION 89: OF THOSE WHO WILL JUDGE AND OF THOSE WHO WILL BE JUDGED AT THE GENERAL JUDGMENT
We must next consider who will judge and who will be judged at the
general judgment. Under this head there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether any men will judge together with Christ?
(2) Whether the judicial power corresponds to voluntary poverty?
(3) Whether the angels also will judge?
(4) Whether the demons will carry out the Judge's sentence on the damned?
(5) Whether all men will come up for judgment?
(6) Whether any of the good will be judged?
(7) Whether any of the wicked will be judged?
(8) Whether the angels also will be judged?
Article 1: Whether any men will judge together with Christ?
Objection 1: It would seem that no men will judge with Christ. For it is
written (Jn. 5:22,23): "The Father . . . hath given all judgment to the
Son, that all men may honor the Son." Therefore, etc.
Objection 2: Further, whoever judges has authority over that which he judges.
Now those things about which the coming judgment will have to be, such as
human merits and demerits, are subject to Divine authority alone.
Therefore no one is competent to judge of those things.
Objection 3: Further, this judgment will take place not vocally but mentally.
Now the publication of merits and demerits in the hearts of all men
(which is like an accusation or approval), or the repayment of punishment
and reward (which is like the pronouncement of the sentence) will be the
work of God alone. Therefore none but Christ Who is God will judge.
On the contrary, It is written (Mt. 19:28): "You also shall sit on
twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Therefore, etc.
Further, "The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His
people" (Is. 3:14). Therefore it would seem that others also will judge
together with Christ.
I answer that, To judge has several significations. First it is used
causally as it were, when we say it of that which proves that some
person ought to be judged. In this sense the expression is used of
certain people in comparison, in so far as some are shown to be deserving
of judgment through being compared with others: for instance (Mt. 12:41):
"The men of Nineve shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall
condemn it." To rise in judgment thus is common to the good and the
wicked. Secondly, the expression "to judge" is used equivalently, so to
say; for consent to an action is considered equivalent to doing it.
Wherefore those who will consent with Christ the Judge, by approving His
sentence, will be said to judge. In this sense it will belong to all the
elect to judge: wherefore it is written (Wis. 3:7,8): "The just . . .
shall judge nations." Thirdly, a person is said to judge assessorially
and by similitude, because he is like the judge in that his seat* is
raised above the others: and thus assessors are said to judge. [*An
"assessor" is one who "sits by" the judge.] Some say that the perfect to
whom judiciary power is promised (Mt. 19:28) will judge in this sense,
namely that they will be raised to the dignity of assessors, because they
will appear above others at the judgment, and go forth "to meet Christ,
into the air." But this apparently does not suffice for the fulfilment of
our Lord's promise (Mt. 19:28): "You shall sit . . . judging," for He
would seem to make "judging" something additional to "sitting." Hence
there is a fourth way of judging, which will be competent to perfect men
as containing the decrees of Divine justice according to which men will
be judged: thus a book containing the law might be said to judge:
wherefore it is written (Apoc. 20:12): "(Judgment took her seat*) and the
books were opened." [*The words in brackets are not in the Vulgate. Apoc.
20:4 we find: "I saw seats, and they sat upon them and judgment was given
to them."] Richard of St. Victor expounds this judging in this way (De
judic. potest.), wherefore he says: "Those who persevere in Divine
contemplation, who read every day the book of wisdom, transcribe, so to
speak, in their hearts whatever they grasp by their clear insight of the
truth"; and further on: "What else are the hearts of those who judge,
divinely instructed in all truth, but a codex of the law?" Since,
however, judging denotes an action exercised on another person, it
follows that, properly speaking, he is said to judge who pronounces
judgment on another. But this happens in two ways. First, by his own
authority: and this belongs to the one who has dominion and power over
others, and to whose ruling those who are judged are subject, wherefore
it belongs to him to pass judgment on them. In this sense to judge
belongs to God alone. Secondly, to judge is to acquaint others of the
sentence delivered by another's authority, that is to announce the
verdict already given. In this way perfect men will judge, because they
will lead others to the knowledge of Divine justice, that these may know
what is due to them on account of their merits: so that this very
revelation of justice is called judgment. Hence Richard of St. Victor
says (De judic. potest.) that for "the judges to open the books of their
decree in the presence of those who are to be judged signifies that they
open their hearts to the gaze of all those who are below them, and that
they reveal their knowledge in whatever pertains to the judgment."
Reply to Objection 1: This objection considers the judgment of authority which
belongs to Christ alone: and the same answer applies to the Second
Reply to Objection 3: There is no reason why some of the saints should not reveal
certain things to others, either by way of enlightenment, as the higher
angels enlighten the lower [*Cf. FP, Question ],: or by way of speech as the
lower angels speak to the higher [*Cf. FP, Question , Article ].
Article 2: Whether the judicial power corresponds to voluntary poverty?
Objection 1: It would seem that the judicial power does not correspond to
voluntary poverty. For it was promised to none but the twelve apostles
(Mt. 19:28): "You shall sit on twelve seats, judging," etc. Since then
those who are voluntarily poor are not all apostles, it would seem that
the judicial power is not competent to all.
Objection 2: Further, to offer sacrifice to God of one's own body is more than
to do so of outward things. Now martyrs and also virgins offer sacrifice
to God of their own body. whereas the voluntarily poor offer sacrifice of
outward things. Therefore the sublimity of the judicial power is more in
keeping with martyrs and virgins than with those who are voluntarily poor.
Objection 3: Further, it is written (Jn. 5:45): "There is one that accuseth
you, Moses in whom you trust---because you believe not his voice,"
according to a gloss, and (Jn. 12:48): "The word that I have spoken shall
judge him in the last day." Therefore the fact that a man propounds a
law, or exhorts men by word to lead a good life, gives him the right to
judge those who scorn his utterances. But this belongs to doctors.
Therefore it is more competent to doctors than to those who are poor
Objection 4: Further, Christ through being judged unjustly merited as man to
be judge of all in His human nature [*Cf. TP, Question , Article ], according to
Jn. 5:27, "He hath given Him power to do judgment, because He is the Son
of man." Now those who suffer persecution for justice' sake are judged
unjustly. Therefore the judicial power is competent to them rather than
to the voluntarily poor.
Objection 5: Further, a superior is not judged by his inferior. Now many who
will have made lawful use of riches will have greater merit than many of
the voluntarily poor. Therefore the voluntarily poor will not judge where
those are to be judged.
On the contrary, It is written (Job 36:6): "He saveth not the wicked,
and He giveth judgment to the poor."
Further, a gloss on Mt. 19:28, "You who have left all things' [*Vulg.:
'You who have followed Me']" says: "Those who left all things and
followed God will be the judges; those who made right use of what they
had lawfully will be judged," and thus the same conclusion follows as
I answer that, The judicial power is due especially to poverty on three
counts. First, by reason of congruity, since voluntary poverty belongs to
those who despise all the things of the world and cleave to Christ alone.
Consequently there is nothing in them to turn away their judgment from
justice, so that they are rendered competent to be judges as loving the
truth of justice above all things. Secondly, by reason of merit, since
exaltation corresponds by way of merit to humility. Now of all the things
that make man contemptible in this world humility is the chief: and for
this reason the excellence of judicial power is promised to the poor, so
that he who humbles himself for Christ's sake shall be exalted. Thirdly,
because poverty disposes a man to the aforesaid manner of judging. For
the reason why one of the saints will be said to judge as stated above
[*Cf. Article ], is that he will have the heart instructed in all Divine
truth which he will be thus able to make known to others. Now in the
advancement to perfection, the first thing that occurs to be renounced is
external wealth, because this is the last thing of all to be acquired.
And that which is last in the order of generation is the first in the
order of destruction: wherefore among the beatitudes whereby we advance
to perfection, the first place is given to poverty. Thus judicial power
corresponds to poverty, in so far as this is the disposition to the
aforesaid perfection. Hence also it is that this same power is not
promised to all who are voluntarily poor, but to those who leave all and
follow Christ in accordance with the perfection of life.
Reply to Objection 1: According to Augustine (De Civ. Dei xx), "we must not
imagine that because He says that they will sit on twelve seats only
twelve men will judge with Him. else since we read that Matthias was
appointed apostle in the place of the traitor Judas, Paul who worked more
than the rest will have nowhere to sit as judge." Hence "the number
twelve," as he states (De Civ. Dei xx), "signifies the whole multitude of
those who will judge, because the two parts of seven, namely three and
four, being multiplied together make twelve." Moreover twelve is a
perfect number, being the double of six, which is a perfect number.
Or, speaking literally, He spoke to the twelve apostles in whose person
he made this promise to all who follow them.
Reply to Objection 2: Virginity and martyrdom do not dispose man to retain the precepts of Divine justice in his heart in the same degree as poverty does: even so, on the other hand, outward riches choke the word of God by the cares which they entail (Lk. 8:14). Or we may reply that poverty does not suffice alone to merit judicial power, but is the fundamental part of that perfection to which the judicial power corresponds. Wherefore among those things regarding perfection which follow after poverty we may reckon both virginity and martyrdom and all the works of perfection: yet they do not rank as high as poverty, since the beginning of a thing is its chief part.
Reply to Objection 3: He who propounded the law or urged men to good will judge,
in the causal (Cf. Article ) sense, because others will be judged in
reference to the words he has uttered or propounded. Hence the judicial
power does not properly correspond to preaching or teaching. or we may
reply that, as some say, three things are requisite for the judicial
power; first, that one renounce temporal cares, lest the mind be hindered
from the contemplation of wisdom; secondly that one possess Divine
justice by way of habit both as to knowledge and as to observance;
thirdly that one should have taught others this same justice; and this
teaching will be the perfection whereby a man merits to have judicial
Reply to Objection 4: Christ humbled Himself in that He was judged unjustly; for
"He was offered because it was His own will" (Is. 53:7): and by His
humility He merited His exaltation to judicial power, since all things
are made subject to Him (Phil. 2:8,9). Hence, judicial power is more due
to them who humble themselves of their own will by renouncing temporal
goods, on account of which men are honored by worldlings, than to those
who are humbled by others.
Reply to Objection 5: An inferior cannot judge a superior by his own authority,
but he can do so by the authority of a superior, as in the case of a
judge-delegate. Hence it is not unfitting that it be granted to the poor
as an accidental reward to judge others, even those who have higher merit
in respect of the essential reward.
Article 3: Whether the angels will judge?
Objection 1: It would seem that the angels will judge. For it is written (Mt. 25:31): "When the Son of man shall come in His majesty, and all the
angels with Him." Now He is speaking of His coming to judgment. Therefore
it would seem that also the angels will judge.
Objection 2: Further, the orders of the angels take their names from the
offices which they fulfill. Now one of the angelic orders is that of the
Thrones, which would seem to pertain to the judicial power, since a
throne is the "judicial bench, a royal seat, a professor's chair" [*Cf.
St. Isidore, Etym. vii, 5]. Therefore some of the angels will judge.
Objection 3: Further, equality with the angels is promised the saints after
this life (Mt. 22:30). If then men will have this power of judging, much
more will the angels have it.
On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 5:27): "He hath given Him power to
judgment, because He is the Son of man." But the angels have not the
human nature in common with Him. Neither therefore do they share with Him
in the judicial power.
Further, the same person is not judge and judge's minister. Now in this
judgment the angels will act as ministers of the Judge and, according to
Mt. 13:41: "The Son of man shall send His angels and they shall gather
out of His kingdom all scandals." Therefore the angels will not judge.
I answer that, The judge's assessors must be conformed to the judge. Now
judgment is ascribed to the Son of man because He will appear to all,
both good and wicked, in His human nature, although the whole Trinity
will judge by authority. Consequently it behooves also the Judge's
assessors to have the human nature, so as to be visible to all, both good
and wicked. Hence it is not fitting for the angels to judge, although in
a certain sense we may say that the angels will judge, namely by
approving the sentence [*Cf. Article ].
Reply to Objection 1: As a gloss on this passage observes, the angels will come
with Christ, not to judge, but "as witnesses of men's deeds because it
was under their guardianship that men did well or ill."
Reply to Objection 2: The name of Thrones is given to angels in reference to the
judgment which God is ever pronouncing, by governing all things with
supreme justice: of which judgment angels are in a way the executors and
promulgators. On the other hand, the judgment of men by the man Christ
will require human assessors.
Reply to Objection 3: Equality with angels is promised to men as regards the
essential reward. But nothing hinders an accidental reward from being
bestowed on men to the exclusion of the angels, as in the case of the
virgins' and martyrs' crowns: and the same may be said of the judicial
Article 4: Whether the demons will carry out the sentence of the Judge on the damned?
Objection 1: It would seem that the demons will not carry out the sentence of
the Judge on the damned after the day of judgment. For, according to the
Apostle (1 Cor. 15:24): "He will then bring to naught [*Vulg.: 'When He
shall have brought to naught', etc.] all principality, and power, and
virtue." Therefore all supremacy will cease then. But the carrying out of
the Judge's sentence implies some kind of supremacy. Therefore after the
judgment day the demons will not carry out the Judge's sentence.
Objection 2: Further, the demons sinned more grievously than men. Therefore it
is not just that men should be tortured by demons.
Objection 3: Further, just as the demons suggest evil things to men, so good
angels suggest good things. Now it will not be the duty of the good
angels to reward the good, but this will be done by God, immediately by
Himself. Therefore neither will it be the duty of the demons to punish
On the contrary, Sinners have subjected themselves to the devil by
sinning. Therefore it is just that they should be subjected to him in
their punishments, and punished by him as it were.
I answer that, The Master in the text of Sentent. iv, D, 47 mentions two
opinions on this question, both of which seem consistent with Divine
justice, because it is just for man to be subjected to the devil for
having sinned, and yet it is unjust for the demon to be over him.
Accordingly the opinion which holds that after the judgment day the
demons will not be placed over men to punish them, regards the order of
Divine justice on the part of the demons punishing; while the contrary
opinion regards the order of Divine justice on the part of the men
Which of these opinions is nearer the truth we cannot know for certain.
Yet I think it truer to say that just as, among the saved, order will be
observed so that some will be enlightened and perfected by others
(because all the orders of the heavenly hierarchies will continue for
ever) [*Cf. FP, Question , Articles ,8], so, too, will order be observed in
punishments, men being punished by demons, lest the Divine order, whereby
the angels are placed between the human nature and the Divine, be
entirely set aside. Wherefore just as the Divine illuminations are
conveyed to men by the good angels, so too the demons execute the Divine
justice on the wicked. Nor does this in any way diminish the punishment
of the demons, since even in torturing others they are themselves
tortured, because then the fellowship of the unhappy will not lessen but
will increase unhappiness.
Reply to Objection 1: The supremacy which, it is declared, will be brought to
nought by Christ in the time to come must be taken in the sense of the
supremacy which is in keeping with the state of this world: wherein men
are placed over men, angels over men, angels over angels, demons over
demons, and demons over men; in every case so as either to lead towards
the end or to lead astray from the end. But then when all things will
have attained to that end there will be no supremacy to lead astray from
the end or to lead to it, but only that which maintains in the end, good
Reply to Objection 2: Although the demerit of the demons does not require that
they be placed over men, since they made men subject to them unjustly,
yet this is required by the order of their nature in relation to human
nature: since "natural goods remain in them unimpaired" as Dionysius says
(Div. Nom. iv).
Reply to Objection 3: The good angels are not the cause of the principal reward
in the elect, because all receive this immediately from God. Nevertheless
the angels are the cause of certain accidental rewards in men, in so far
as the higher angels enlighten those beneath them, both angels and men,
concerning certain hidden things of God, which do not belong to the
essence of beatitude. In like manner the damned will receive their
principal punishment immediately from God, namely the everlasting
banishment from the Divine vision: but there is no reason why the demons
should not torture men with other sensible punishments. There is,
however, this difference: that merit exalts, whereas sin debases.
Wherefore since the angelic nature is higher than the human, some on
account of the excellence of their merit will be so far exalted as to be
raised above the angels both in nature and rewards [*Cf. FP, Question , Article 
], so that some angels will be enlightened by some men. On the other
hand, no human sinners will, on account of a certain degree of virtue,
attain to the eminence that attaches to the nature of the demons.
Article 5: Whether all men will be present at the judgment?
Objection 1: It would seem that men will not all be present at the judgment.
For it is written (Mt. 19:28): "You . . . shall sit on twelve seats,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel." But all men do not belong to those
twelve tribes. Therefore it would seem that men will not all be present
at the judgment.
Objection 2: Further, the same apparently is to be gathered from Ps. 1:5, "The
wicked shall not rise again in judgment."
Objection 3: Further, a man is brought to judgment that his merits may be
discussed. But some there are who have acquired no merits, such as
children who died before reaching the perfect age. Therefore they need
not be present at the judgment. Now there are many such. Therefore it
would seem that not all will be present.
On the contrary, It is written (Acts 10:42) that Christ "was appointed
by God to be judge of the living and of the dead." Now this division
comprises all men, no matter how the living be distinct from the dead.
Therefore all men will be present at the judgment.
Further, it is written (Apoc. 1:7): "Behold He cometh with the clouds,
and every eye shall see Him." Now this would not be so unless all were
present at the judgment. Therefore, etc.
I answer that, The judicial power was bestowed on Christ as man, in
reward for the humility which He showed forth in His passion. Now in His
passion He shed His blood for all in point of sufficiency, although
through meeting with an obstacle in some, it had not its effect in all.
Therefore it is fitting that all men should assemble at the judgment, to
see His exaltation in His human nature, in respect of which "He was
appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead."
Reply to Objection 1: As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 5), "it does not follow from the saying, 'Judging the twelve tribes of Israel,' that the tribe of Levi, which is the thirteenth, is not to be judged, or that they will judge that people alone, and not other nations." The reason why all other nations are denoted by the twelve tribes is because they were called by Christ to take the place of the twelve tribes.
Reply to Objection 2: The words, "The wicked shall not rise in judgment," if
referred to all sinners, mean that they will not arise to judge. But if
the wicked denote unbelievers, the sense is that they will not arise to
be judged, because they are "already judged" (Jn. 3:18). All, however,
will rise again to assemble at the judgment and witness the glory of the
Reply to Objection 3: Even children who have died before reaching the perfect age
will be present at the judgment, not to be judged, but to see the Judge's
Article 6: Whether the good will be judged at the judgment?
Objection 1: It would seem that none of the good will be judged at the
judgment. For it is declared (Jn. 3:18) that "he that believeth in Him is
not judged." Now all the good believed in Him. Therefore they will not be
Objection 2: Further, those who are uncertain of their bliss are not blessed:
whence Augustine proves (Gen. ad lit. xi) that the demons were never
blessed. But the saints are now blessed. Therefore they are certain of
their bliss. Now what is certain is not submitted to judgment. Therefore
the good will not be judged.
Objection 3: Further, fear is incompatible with bliss. But the last judgment,
which above all is described as terrible, cannot take place without
inspiring fear into those who are to be judged. Hence Gregory observes on
Job 41:16 "When he shall raise him up, the angels shall fear," etc.
(Moral. xxxiv): "Consider how the conscience of the wicked will then be
troubled when even the just are disturbed about their life." Therefore
the blessed will not be judged.
On the contrary, It would seem that all the good will be judged, since
it is written (2 Cor. 5:10): "We must all be manifested before the
judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of
the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil." Now
there is nothing else to be judged. Therefore all, even the good, will be
Further, the "general" includes all. Now this is called the general
judgment. Therefore all will be judged.
I answer that, The judgment comprises two things, namely the discussion
of merits and the payment of rewards. As regards the payment of rewards,
all will be judged, even the good, since the Divine sentence will appoint
to each one the reward corresponding to his merit. But there is no
discussion of merits save where good and evil merits are mingled
together. Now those who build on the foundation of faith, "gold, silver,
and precious stones" (1 Cor. 3:12), by devoting themselves wholly to the
Divine service, and who have no notable admixture of evil merit, are not
subjected to a discussion of their merits. Such are those who have
entirely renounced the things of the world and are solicitously
thoughtful of the things that are of God: wherefore they will be saved
but will not be judged. Others, however, build on the foundation of
faith, wood, hay, stubble [*Cf. FS, Question , Article ]; they, in fact, love
worldly things and are busy about earthly concerns, yet so as to prefer
nothing to Christ, but strive to redeem their sins with alms, and these
have an admixture of good with evil merits. Hence they are subjected to a
discussion of their merits, and consequently in this account will be
judged, and yet they will be saved.
Reply to Objection 1: Since punishment is the effect of justice, while reward is
the effect of mercy, it follows that punishment is more especially
ascribed antonomastically to judgment which is the act of justice; so
that judgment is sometimes used to express condemnation. It is thus that
we are to understand the words quoted, as a gloss on the passage remarks.
Reply to Objection 2: The merits of the elect will be discussed, not to remove
the uncertainty of their beatitude from the hearts of those who are to be
judged, but that it may be made manifest to us that their good merits
outweigh their evil merits, and thus God's justice be proved.
Reply to Objection 3: Gregory is speaking of the just who will still be in mortal
flesh, wherefore he had already said: "Those who will still be in the
body, although already brave and perfect, yet through being still in the
flesh must needs be troubled with fear in the midst of such a whirlwind
of terror." Hence it is clear that this fear refers to the time
immediately before the judgment, most terrible indeed to the wicked, but
not to the good, who will have no apprehension of evil.
The arguments in the contrary sense consider judgment as regards the
payment of rewards.
Article 7: Whether the wicked will be judged?
Objection 1: It would seem that none of the wicked will be judged. For even as
damnation is certain in the case of unbelievers, so is it in the case of
those who die in mortal sin. Now it is declared because of the certainty
of damnation (Jn. 3:18): "He that believeth not is already judged."
Therefore in like manner neither will other sinners be judged.
Objection 2: Further, the voice of the Judge is most terrible to those who are condemned by His judgment. Now according to the text of Sentent. iv, D, 47 and in the words of Gregory (Moral. xxvi) "the Judge will not address Himself to unbelievers." If therefore He were to address Himself to the believers about to be condemned, the unbelievers would reap a benefit from their unbelief, which is absurd.
On the contrary, It would seem that all the wicked are to be judged,
because all the wicked will be sentenced to punishment according to the
degree of their guilt. But this cannot be done without a judicial
pronouncement. Therefore all the wicked will be judged.
I answer that, The judgment as regards the sentencing to punishment for
sin concerns all the wicked. whereas the judgment as regards the
discussion of merits concerns only believers. Because in unbelievers the
foundation of faith is lacking, without which all subsequent works are
deprived of the perfection of a right intention, so that in them there is
no admixture of good and evil works or merits requiring discussion. But
believers in whom the foundation of faith remains, have at least a
praiseworthy act of faith, which though it is not meritorious without
charity, yet is in itself directed to merit, and consequently they will
be subjected to the discussion of merits. Consequently, believers who
were at least counted as citizens of the City of God will be judged as
citizens, and sentence of death will not be passed on them without a
discussion of their merits; whereas unbelievers will be condemned as
foes, who are wont among men to be exterminated without their merits
Reply to Objection 1: Although it is certain that those who die in mortal sin
will be damned, nevertheless since they have an admixture of certain
things connected with meriting well, it behooves, for the manifestation
of Divine justice, that their merits be subjected to discussion, in order
to make it clear that they are justly banished from the city of the
saints, of which they appeared outwardly to be citizens.
Reply to Objection 2: Considered under this special aspect the words addressed to
the believers about to be condemned will not be terrible, because they
will reveal in them certain things pleasing to them, which it will be
impossible to find in unbelievers, since "without faith it is impossible
to please God" (Heb. 11:6). But the sentence of condemnation which will
be passed on them all will be terrible to all of them.
The argument in the contrary sense considered the judgment of
Article 8: Whether at the coming judgment the angels will be judged?
Objection 1: It would seem that the angels will be judged at the coming
judgment. For it is written (1 Cor. 6:3): "Know you not that we shall
judge angels?" But this cannot refer to the state of the present time.
Therefore it should refer to the judgment to come.
Objection 2: Further, it is written concerning Behemoth or Leviathan, whereby
the devil is signified (Job 40:28): "In the sight of all he shall be cast
down"; and (Mk. 1:24)* the demon cried out to Christ: "Why art Thou come
to destroy us before the time?" for, according to a gloss, "the demons
seeing our Lord on earth thought they were to be judged forthwith." [*The
reference should be Mt. 8:29: 'Art Thou come hither to torment us before
the time?' The text of Mark reads: 'Art Thou come to destroy us?']
Therefore it would seem that a final judgment is in store for them.
Objection 3: Further, it is written (2 Pt. 2:4): "God spared not the angels
that sinned, but delivered them drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower
hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment." Therefore it seems
that the angels will be judged.
On the contrary, It is written (Nahum 1:9) according to the Septuagint
version: "God will not judge the same thing a second time." But the
wicked angels are already judged, wherefore it is written (Jn. 16:11):
"The prince of this world is already judged." Therefore the angels will
not be judged in the time to come.
Further, goodness and wickedness are more perfect in the angels than in
men who are wayfarers. Now some men, good and wicked, will not be judged
as stated in the text of Sentent. iv, D, 47. Therefore neither will good
or wicked angels be judged.
I answer that, The judgment of discussion nowise concerns either the
good or the wicked angels, since neither is any evil to be found in the
good angels, nor is any good liable to judgment to be found in the wicked
angels. But if we speak of the judgment of retribution, we must
distinguish a twofold retribution. One corresponds to the angels'
personal merits and was made to both from the beginning when some were
raised to bliss, and others plunged into the depths of woe. The other
corresponds to the merits, good or evil, procured through the angels, and
this retribution will be made in the judgment to come, because the good
angels will have an increased joy in the salvation of those whom they
have prompted to deeds of merit, while the wicked will have an increase
of torment through the manifold downfall of those whom they have incited
to evil deeds. Consequently the judgment will not regard the angels
directly, neither as judging nor as judged, but only men; but it will
regard the angels indirectly somewhat, in so far as they were concerned
in men's deeds.
Reply to Objection 1: This saying of the Apostle refers to the judgment of
comparison, because certain men will be found to be placed higher than
Reply to Objection 2: The demons will then be cast down in the sight of all
because they will be imprisoned for ever in the dungeon of hell, so that
they will no more be free to go out, since this was permitted to them
only in so far as they were directed by Divine providence to try the life
The same answer applies to the Third Objection.