II Sentences, Distinction 43, Question 1
Concerning the Sin against the Holy Spirit

a. 3: utrum species peccati in spiritum sanctum convenienter assignentur in littera.Article 3: Whether the species of the sin against the Holy Spirit are fittingly designated in (the Lombard's) text?
ad tertium sic proceditur. videtur quod inconvenienter assignentur in littera species peccati in spiritum sanctum. It would seem that the species of the sin against the Holy Spirit are not fittingly designated in (the Lombard's) text.
nullus enim desperare potest, credens remissionem peccatorum in ecclesia fieri. sed negare remissionem peccatorum est infidelitatis. ergo desperatio est species infidelitatis, et non peccati in spiritum sanctum. Objection 1: For no one is able to despair, believing that the forgiveness of sins occurs within the Church. But to deny the forgiveness of sin belongs to disbelief. Therefore, despair is a species of disbelief, and is not a sin against the Holy Spirit.
praeterea, illud quod est infinitum, nullus potest nimis extendere. sed misericordia dei infinita est. ergo nullus peccat ex hoc quod dei misericordiam nimis extendat; et ita videtur quod nimis praesumere de dei misericordia, non sit peccatum in spiritum sanctum, vel species ejus. Objection 2: Furthermore, that which is infinite, no one is able to extend excessively (that is, no one is able to stretch beyond its limits). But the mercy of God is infinite. Therefore no sinner excessively extends (or stretches) the mercy of God. And so, it seems that to presume excessively concerning the mercy of God is not a sin against the Holy Spirit, or against its species.
praeterea, accidentia non constituunt speciem. sed impoenitentia est quoddam accidens peccati, sicut duratio cujuslibet rei est accidens ejus, quod solum impoenitentia dicere videtur, ut scilicet in peccatum usque ad mortem duret. ergo impoenitentia non est aliqua species peccati. Objection 3: Furthermore, accidents do not establish a species. But impenitence is a kind of accident of sin, just as the duration of anything whatsoever is an accident of it, which impenitence seems merely to designate, namely that one endures in sin right up to his death. Therefore, impenitence is not a species of sin.
praeterea, praeteritum et futurum non diversificant speciem. sed impoenitentia et obstinatio non differunt nisi secundum praeteritum et futurum: quia impoenitentia est ex hoc quod de praeteritis commissis homo non poenitet; obstinatio autem est in hoc quod futuris committendis firmiter proposito inhaeret. ergo impoenitentia et obstinatio non sunt duae species peccati in spiritum sanctum. Objection 4: Furthermore, the past and the future do not differentiate species (from one another). But impenitence and obstinacy do not differ except according to the past and the future. For impenitence is when a man does not repent of past offenses, and obstinacy is when he firmly adheres to the resolution of the committing of future offenses. Therefore, impenitence and obstinacy are not two of the species of the sin against the Holy Spirit.
praeterea, veritas appropriatur filio, qui dicit joan. 14, 6: ego sum via, veritas et vita. sed peccatum in filium est quod est contra appropriatum filii. ergo impugnatio veritatis non est peccatum in spiritum sanctum, sed in filium.Objection 5: Furthermore, truth is attributed to the Son, to whom St. John refers at John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth and the life." But the sin against the Son is that which is contrary to what has been attributed to the Son. Therefore, resisting the known truth (impugnatio veritatis) is not a sin against the Holy Spirit, but rather against the Son.
praeterea, invidia est unum capitale vitiorum, ut supra dictum est, dist. 42, art. 3, et non est gravius inter ea. sed alia peccata capitalia non ponuntur species peccati in spiritum sanctum. ergo nec invidentia fraternae gratiae debet peccatum in spiritum sanctum dici. Objection 6: Furthermore, envy is one of the capital vices, as was said above at Distinction 42, article 3, and is not more grave than the others. But the other capital sins are not put forward as species of the sin against the Holy Spirit. Therefore, neither should envy of our brother's spiritual good (invidentia fraternae gratiae) be called a sin against the Holy Spirit.
praeterea, oppositorum generum diversae sunt species. sed peccatum in spiritum sanctum, quod est ex certa malitia, ex opposito dividitur contra peccatum in patrem vel filium, quod est ex infirmitate vel ex ignorantia. cum igitur quodlibet peccatum praedictorum, ut desperatio, praesumptio, et hujusmodi, possit ex infirmitate vel ex ignorantia accidere: videtur quod non convenienter assignetur species peccati in spiritum sanctum.Objection 7: Furthermore, species are of opposing and distinct genera. But the sin against the Holy Spirit, which is because of a definite malice, is, by reason of opposition, divided from the sin against the Father and the Son, which arise, respectively, by reason of weakness and ignorance. Therefore, since any sin of the aforesaid, such as despair, presumption, and the rest, can occur by reason of weakness or ignorance, it would seem that the species of the sin against the Holy Spirit are not fittingly designated.
praeterea, aliquis non peccat ex electione, prout peccatum in spiritum sanctum ex electione dicitur, nisi removeantur omnia quae a peccato retrahere possunt: quolibet enim retrahente manente, peccatum non eligitur. sed omnia retrahentia a peccato non tolluntur nisi per omnia sex enumerata. ergo nullum istorum sex per se sumptum est species peccati in spiritum sanctum; sed simul accepta per modum partium integralium faciunt unum peccatum in spiritum sanctum.Objection 8: Furthermore, one does not sin by reason of choice (as the sin against the Holy Spirit is said to arise from choice) unless all those things which are able to draw one away from sin are (themselves) withdrawn. For when (such) are withdrawn (but) something (of these) remain, sin is not chosen. But all those things drawing one away from sin are not eliminated except through the six enumerated (species of sin against the Holy Spirit). Therefore, none of these six taken in themselves is a species of sin against the Holy Spirit, but all (of them) taken together by way of their integral parts make one sin against the Holy Spirit.
in contrarium est quod in littera determinatur per auctoritates sanctorum.On the contrary, however, is the fact that the species of the sin against the Holy Spirit are denominated (fittingly) in the (Lombard's) text by reason of the authority of the saints.
respondeo dicendum, quod, sicut dictum est, in corp. praec. art., peccatum in spiritum sanctum, proprie loquendo, secundum quod est determinatum genus peccati, consistit in actu voluntatis abjicientis id per quod aliquis a peccato retrahitur. contingit autem hoc dupliciter. retrahitur enim aliquis a peccato et operatur bonum propter se, et aliquis propter aliud. propter aliud autem dupliciter: vel ad vitanda supplicia, vel ad consequenda praemia: et neutrum virtuosi est, qui bonum propter se operatur, et malum propter se fugit: et haec duo tolluntur per praesumptionem, quae privat timorem suppliciorum; et per desperationem, quae tollit spem praemiorum. propter se autem aliquis operatur bonum vel fugit malum, quando movetur principaliter ex aliquo quod in ipso actu virtutis vel peccati est. hoc autem est dupliciter. aliquid enim potest considerari in actu virtutis vel vitii ut est quoddam humanum bonum, et aliquid ut est quoddam divinum. si ergo consideretur actus peccati ex parte ejus quod est humanum in actu; sic duo possunt ibi esse, scilicet delectatio indebita, et deformitas actus; et ex utroque aliquis a peccato retrahitur: et secundum hoc sunt duae species peccati in spiritum sanctum, scilicet obstinatio et impoenitentia; quia per obstinationem aliquis firmiter adhaeret delectationi, ac si non esset incompetens; per impoenitentiam autem non vitat deformitatem quae est in actu, quae erat ratio poenitendi. Response: As was said in the body of the preceding article, the sin against the Holy Spirit, properly speaking, is a definite kind of sin in so far as it consists in an act of the will throwing off that by which one is withdrawn from sin. Now, this happens in two ways. For someone is withdrawn from sin and does good either for itself, or by reason of something else. The latter occurs in two ways, either so as to avoid punishment, or on account of the reward which follows. Neither of these is said of the virtuous person, who does good and flees evil on account of good and evil themselves. And both of these are destroyed through presumption which destroys the hope of reward. One does good and flees evil on account of these when one is moved primarily because of something which is in that very act of virtue or a sin. This, however, is understood in a twofold way. For something can be considered an act of virtue or vice as it is a human good, or as it is a divine good. If, therefore, the act of sin is considered on its part with respect to what is human in the act, then two things can be found there, namely unseemly pleasure, and the deformity of the act. And because of both of these, one is drawn away from sin. Accordingly, there are two species of the sin against the Holy Spirit, namely obstinacy and impenitence. For through obstinacy, one firmly adheres to pleasure, even if this pleasure is not unseemly, and through impenitence, one does not avoid the deformity which is in the act, which was the reason for repentance.
divinum autem in actu virtutis, quod etiam a peccato retrahit, est duplex: unum scilicet veritas fidei quasi dirigens, et aliud sicut inclinans, scilicet ipsa gratia per spiritum sanctum in ecclesiam diffusa: contra primum est impugnatio veritatis agnitae, contra secundum invidentia fraternae gratiae. quidam autem sic accipiunt distinctionem harum specierum: dicunt enim, quod peccatum in spiritum sanctum opponitur specialiter gratiae poenitentiali, per quam fit remissio peccatorum. ad remissionem autem peccati quaedam exiguntur ex parte remittentis, quaedam ex parte ejus cui remittuntur, et quaedam ex parte ejus per quod fit remissio. ex parte remittentis concurrunt duo; scilicet misericordia, et contra hoc est desperatio; et justitia, et contra hoc est praesumptio: ex parte ejus etiam cui remittuntur, duo: scilicet propositum non peccandi, contra quod est obstinatio; et dolor de commissis, contra quod est impoenitentia: ex parte ejus per quod fit remissio, duo: scilicet fides ecclesiae, contra quam est impugnatio veritatis agnitae; et gratia quae datur in sacramentis, contra quam est invidentia fraternae gratiae.The divine (good), in the act of virtue which withdraws one from sin, is (also) twofold. First, (there is) the truth of the faith as it were, directing, and (secondly) inclining, namely, to grace itself through the Holy Spirit diffused in the Church. Contrary to the first there is resisting the known truth, and to the second, envy against our brother's spiritual good. Others, however, accept the distinction of these species in the following way. For they say that the sin against the Holy Spirit is opposed especially to penitential grace through which the forgiveness of sins comes about. For the forgiveness of sin, something is required on the part of the one forgiving, something else on the part of the one who is forgiven, and again something on the part of the one through whom forgiveness comes about. On the part of the one forgiving, two things are found, namely mercy (against which there is despair), and justice (against which there is presumption). On the part of the one who is forgiven, two things (are also) found, namely the intention not to sin (against which there is obstinacy), and sorrow concerning one's offenses (against which there is impenitence). On the part of the one through whom forgiveness comes about, two things (likewise are) found, namely the faith of the Church (against which there is resisting the known truth), and the grace which is given in the Sacraments (against which there is envy against our brother's spiritual good).
ad primum ergo dicendum, quod desperatio, secundum quod est species peccati in spiritum sanctum, non provenit ex hoc quod aliquis neget remissionem peccatorum; sed quia remissionem peccatorum, quam fieri credit, ut liberius vacet peccatis, sponte a se abjicit, dum non vult tenderein hoc quod remissionem peccatorum consequatur.Response to Objection 1: Despair, in so far as it is a species of the sin against the Holy Spirit, does not arise when someone denies (the doctrine of) the forgiveness of sin, but rather because of the forgiveness of sins (which one believes to have been effected so that it allows one to devote oneself more freely to sin), one readily throws (forgiveness) away from himself, since he does not want to pursue that which follows upon the forgiveness of sins.
ad secundum dicendum, quod praesumptuosus non peccat ex hoc quod dei misericordiam nimis magnam arbitretur, sed quia justitiam ejus contemnit; et in hoc etiam misericordiae derogat, abutens ea, ac si non esset justa.Response to Objection 2: The presumptuous person does not sin by reason of the fact that he supposes the mercy of God to be excessively great, but rather because he despises His justice. In this he also detracts from His mercy, abusing these things, as if it (God's mercy) were not just.
ad tertium dicendum, quod sicut perseverantia dicitur dupliciter; uno enim modo est virtus specialis, prout dicit propositum perseverandi in bono incepto usque ad finem; et alio modo est circumstantia aliarum virtutum, prout dicit actualem durationem in actibus virtutum usque ad mortem; ita etiam et impoenitentia, secundum quod dicit propositum non poenitendi, est species peccati in spiritum sanctum; secundum autem quod dicit permanentiam in peccato usque ad mortem, negando peccati poenitentiam, sic est accidens vel circumstantia aliorum peccatorum.Response to Objection 3: Perseverance is named in a twofold way. In one way, it is a particular virtue as it designates the intention of persevering in good undertaken from the beginning right up to the end. In another way, it is the circumstance of the other virtues as it designates the actual duration in the activities of virtue right up to our death. In (light of this distinction), impenitence is a sin against the Holy Spirit in so far as it designates the intention of not seeking forgiveness. However, in so far as it designates permanence in sin right up to death, by denying the forgiveness of sin, it is thus an accident or circumstance of the other sins.
ad quartum dicendum, quod obstinatio et impoenitentia non differunt secundum praeteritum et futurum; potest enim aliquis dici impoenitens qui proponit etiam de peccatis quae faciet, non poenitere: sed differunt secundum diversa quae in peccato attenduntur, quae respondent eis quasi objecta, ut in prima assignatione dictum est. Response to Objection 4: Obstinacy and impenitence do not differ according to the past and future respectively. For someone is able to be called impenitent who intends not to repent concerning the sins which he will do. They differ, rather, according to the differences which are observed with respect to sin, which correspond to them as objects (of sin), as was said in the first attribution.
ad quintum dicendum est, quod veritas, sapientia, et hujusmodi, possunt dupliciter considerari; vel secundum propriam rationem, et sic appropriantur filio; vel secundum quod habent rationem doni, et secundum hoc appropriantur spiritui sancto, qui est primum donum, in quo omnia dona donantur, ut in libro 1 dist. 18, dictum est; et ita aliquis impugnans veritatem agnitam ex certa malitia, in spiritum sanctum peccat. Response to Objection 5: Truth, wisdom, and the rest, can be considered in a twofold way, either according to the proper descriptions (and in this way they are attributed to the Son), or in so far as they have the aspect of gift, according to which they are attributed to the Holy Spirit, Who is the first gift in whom all gifts are given, as was said in Book 1, Distinction 18. In this way, one resisting the known truth by reason of definite malice sins against the Holy Spirit.
ad sextum dicendum, quod invidia potest esse duplex: quaedam quae est de prosperitate vel exaltatione hominis; et quaedam quae est de exaltatione gratiae, sicut quod multi ad dei gratiam convertuntur, vel aliquid hujusmodi; et talis invidia solum est peccatum in spiritum sanctum; non quidem invidia fratris, sed invidia fraternae gratiae.Response to Objection 6: Envy can be of two kinds. First, when it concerns the prosperity or the elevation of a man, and second when it concerns the elevation or the exaltation of grace, as when many people were converted to the grace of God, or something of this kind. This latter kind of envy alone is a sin against the Holy Spirit; not the envy of our brother, but rather the envy of our brother's spiritual good.
ad septimum dicendum, quod quodlibet istorum quae dicta sunt, potest dupliciter accidere. uno modo ex hoc quod per se voluntas tendit in unumquodque ipsorum, ut quia aliquis non vult habere spem de futuris praemiis, aut non vult veritati notae assentire, et sic de aliis; et hae tantummodo sunt species peccati in spiritum sanctum: quia sic, per se loquendo, est desperatio vel praesumptio, et sic de aliis, quando voluntas per se in actum desperationis labitur. secundo potest accidere ex aliquo exteriori, ut propter defectum rationis regentis, vel propter aliquem impetum alicujus impellentis, sicut quando per infirmitatem vel ignorantiam aguntur; et sic non sunt species peccati in spiritum sanctum: quia sic non est dicendus aliquis desperatus per se, sed per accidens. Response to Objection 7: Any of these spoken of in this objection can be taken in two ways. In one way, in so far as the will, through its own accord, tends to any one of these, for example because one does not want to have hope concerning future rewards, or does not want to assent to the known truth, and so on with respect to the others. And only these are species of the sin against the Holy Spirit. For, properly speaking, there is despair, or presumption, and so too with the rest, when the will, through its own accord, falls into an act of despair. In the second way, (any of these spoken of in this objection) can be understood with respect to some external thing, for example, on account of a defect of the reason of the one ruling, or of some impetus of some thing impelling, as when through weakness or ignorance things are done. These are not species of the sin against the Holy Spirit because someone is not to be considered as hopeless per se, but rather per accidens.
ad octavum dicendum, quod quamvis multa sint quae a peccato retrahere possunt, secundum quae distinctae sunt species peccati in spiritum sanctum; tamen aliquis propter unum illorum tantum a peccando retrahitur, et alius propter alium; et ideo non oportet ut omnia semper concurrant ad hoc quod sit peccatum in spiritum sanctum.Response to Objection 8: Although there are many things which are able to draw us away from (those thing which keep us from) sin, according to which there are distinct species of the sin against the Holy Spirit, nevertheless, one person is drawn away from sin by one of these, while another is so drawn away by another. Thus, it is not fitting that every one of these always occur together so that the sin against the Holy Spirit might come about.

© Stephen Loughlin
(sjl1@desales.edu)



The Aquinas Translation Project
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