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II Sentences, Distinction 43, Question 1

Concerning the Sin against the Holy Spirit

a. 6: utrum adam peccaverit in spiritum

Article 6: Whether Adam Sinned Against the Holy


ad sextum sic proceditur. videtur quod adam It would seem that Adam sinned against the Holy
in spiritum sanctum peccaverit.
non enim peccavit in patrem, quia non
peccavit ex infirmitate; neque etiam in filium,
quia non ex ignorantia; cum infirmitas et
ignorantia ante peccatum non fuerit. ergo
relinquitur quod peccavit in spiritum

Objection 1: For he did not sin against the Father

since he did not sin by reason of weakness. Nor
did he sin against the Son since he did not sin by
reason of ignorance. Since there was no
weakness and ignorance prior to (this first) sin,
therefore it remains that he sinned against the
Holy Spirit.

praeterea, nimia praesumptio de dei

misericordia, est peccatum in spiritum
sanctum. sed adam peccans de dei
misericordia cogitavit, ut augustinus dicit, et
supra, dist. 22, habitum est. ergo videtur in
spiritum sanctum peccasse.

Objection 2: Furthermore, excessive presumption

concerning the mercy of God is a sin against the
Holy Spirit. But Adam while sinning understood
the mercy of God, as Augustine say, and as is
related above in Distinction 22. Therefore he
seems to have sinned against the Holy Spirit.

contra, peccavit appetendo scientiam. sed 1st. on the contrary: On the other hand, he sinned
scientia appropriatur filio. ergo magis
by desiring knowledge. But knowledge is
peccavit in filium quam in spiritum sanctum. appropriated to the Son. Therefore he sinned
against the Son rather than against the Holy Spirit.
praeterea, augustinus dicit, quod quamvis
adam non fuerit seductus in hoc in quo
mulier, tamen in hoc seductus est quod
credidit veniale quod mortale erat. sed
peccatum quod est ex seductione, est
peccatum in filium. ergo peccavit in filium.

2nd. on the contrary: Furthermore, Augustine says

that although Adam was not seduced into this (sin)
into which the women (had already fallen),
nevertheless, he was seduced in so far as he
believed what was mortal to be venial. But the sin
that is effected by way of seduction is a sin against
the Son. Therefore he sinned against the Son.

item, videtur quod primus angelus in spiritum Objection 3: In a like manner, it seems that the first
sanctum peccaverit. irremissibilitas enim est angel sinned against the Holy Spirit. For
proprietas peccati in spiritum sanctum. sed unforgiveness is proper to the sin against the Holy
peccatum primi angeli fuit irremissibile. ergo Spirit. But the sin of the first angel was
fuit in spiritum sanctum.
unforgivable. Therefore it was against the Holy
praeterea, eodem genere peccati quo tunc
peccavit diabolus, etiam nunc peccat. sed
nunc peccat in spiritum sanctum, quia
invidet gratiae quae in sanctis operatur. ergo
et tunc in spiritum sanctum peccavit.

Objection 4: Furthermore, the devil committed the

same kind of sin then as he does now. But he
continues to sin against the Holy Spirit because he
envies the grace which is at work in the holy.
Therefore he sinned (in his first sin) against the
Holy Spirit.

sed contra, peccatum primi angeli fuit ex hoc 3rd. on the contrary: On the other hand, the sin of
quod potentiam inordinate appetiit. sed
the first angel came about in so far as he desired

potentia appropriatur patri. ergo peccavit in


power inordinately. But power is appropriated to

the Father. Therefore, he sinned against the

praeterea, poena non praecedit culpam. sed

malitia computatur inter poenas peccati.
ergo ex malitia non potuit esse primi angeli
primum peccatum, quod nullum peccatum

4th. on the contrary: Furthermore, a penalty does

not precede blame. But malice is counted among
the penalties of sin. Therefore, the first sin of the
first angel cannot have been by reason of malice,
because he had not previously committed any sin.

respondeo dicendum, quod quidam dicunt, Response: Some say that the sin of the first man
quod peccatum primi hominis et peccatum and that of the demons were not against the
daemonis non fuit neque in patrem neque in Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. For these are
filium neque in spiritum sanctum; hae enim not absolutely accepted as the differences of sin,
non sunt differentiae peccati absolute
but of sin which belongs to (our) fallen nature. For
accepti, sed peccati quod contingit in natura weakness, ignorance and malice follow upon the
corrupta. infirmitas enim et ignorantia et
fallen nature by reason of sin. But it should be
malitia, ex peccato naturam corruptam
recognized that although weakness in no way can
consequuntur. sed sciendum, quod quamvis arise within an unfallen nature, and that likewise
infirmitas nullo modo in natura integra
neither can the sin against the Father,
inveniri possit, et ita nec peccatum in
nevertheless, ignorance, in a certain way, can
patrem: tamen ignorantia aliquo modo in
arise in the unfallen nature, that is, not in so far as
natura integra inveniri potuit, non secundum ignorance is said privatively, but rather as it is said
quod ignorantia dicitur privative, sed
negatively. For it is a defect following upon a
secundum quod dicitur negative: sic enim
created intellect in as much as it is created. By
est defectus consequens intellectum
reason of this, the created intellect prescinds from
creatum, inquantum creatus est: ex hoc enim the perfect light of the uncreated intellect so that it
deficit a perfecto lumine intellectus increati, does not know everything, or at least it does not
ut non omnia sciat, vel saltem non omnia
actually consider all things. By reason of this kind
actu consideret: et ex tali nescientia
of unknowing, a sin which arises can be called a
peccatum proveniens, peccatum in filium
sin against the Son. In like fashion, too, malice, by
dici potest. et similiter etiam malitia ex qua reason of which the sin against the Holy Spirit
peccatum in spiritum sanctum procedit, non arises, is not necessarily a penalty, but is, rather,
oportet quod sit poena, sed est aliquis actus an act of sin, as was said above. Whence, there
peccati, ut supra dictum est; unde et in
could be, in the unfallen state, a sin against the
natura integra potuit esse peccatum in filium Son and the Holy Spirit. It should be noted,
et in spiritum sanctum. sciendum tamen,
however, that the first act of the sin of both the first
quod primus actus peccati primi hominis et man and angel was not against the Holy Spirit, as
angeli non fuit in spiritum sanctum, prout
the sin against the Holy Spirit is a definite (kind of)
peccatum in spiritum sanctum est speciale sin, which is evident by reason of the very object of
peccatum: quod patet ex ipso objecto
this sin. For both sinned by desiring (in a
peccati: uterque enim peccavit, altitudinem disordered way) their own greatness. With respect,
propriam appetendo. et ideo quantum ad
then, to the genus of sin, there was the sin of pride.
genus peccati fuit peccatum superbiae; sed But with respect to the circumstance of sin, both
quantum ad circumstantiam peccati
committed a sin against the Son because both
utrumque fuit peccatum in filium: quia
sinned by reason of the fact that they did not
uterque peccavit ex hoc quod non
consider those things which were to be considered
consideravit ea quae consideranda erant ad so as to avoid sin. However, their first sin did not
evitationem peccati; non autem fuit
come about in so far as they rejected hope by their
peccatum primum eorum ex hoc quod
own will, or some other like thing, as is the case in

propria voluntate repugnarent spei, vel alicui the sin against the Holy Spirit.
hujusmodi, sicut fit in peccato in spiritum
ad primum ergo patet responsio per ea quae Response to Objection 1: The response is clear
dicta sunt.
from what has been said above.
ad secundum dicendum, quod quamvis
Response to Objection 2: Although Adam, as he
adam peccans cogitaret de dei misericordia, sinned, thought about the mercy of God,
non tamen peccavit peccato praesumptionis, nonetheless he did not commit the sin of
quia non cogitavit se misericordiam
presumption because he did not consider the
consequi sine poenitentia; sed simul de
mercy that would follow without his repentance.
misericordia et de poenitentia cogitavit, ut
But he did consider both this mercy and (his)
augustinus ibidem dicit.
repentance concomitantly, as Augustine says in
the same place.
alia duo concedimus, quamvis primum
eorum non recte concludat, ut post dicetur.

Response to the 1st and 2nd on the contraries: We

concede these two, although the first of these does
not rightly conclude, as is said below.

ad quintum dicendum, quod peccatum

angeli non habuit irremissibilitatem ex
genere peccati, sed magis ex statu
peccantis, ut supra dictum est: et ideo ratio
non procedit.

Response to Objection 3: The sin of an angel does

not have the aspect of the unforgivable by reason
of the kind of sin it is, but rather because of the
state of the one who sins, as was said above. For
this reason, the argument does not proceed.

ad sextum dicendum, quod ad primum

actum peccati in angelo, qui fuit actus
superbiae, consecutae sunt multae aliae
deformitates peccatorum, ut invidia, odium,
et hujusmodi; et inter illa potuit esse
peccatum in spiritum sanctum.

Response to Objection 5: With respect to the first

act of the sin of the angel, which was an act of
pride, there followed many other deformities of
sins, such as envy, hatred, and others. And among
these, there could have been the sin against the
Holy Spirit.

ad septimum dicendum, quod peccatum in

patrem non dicitur ex objecto, sed potius ex
causa: et ideo quamvis potentiam appetierit,
non sequitur quod in patrem peccaverit, quia
non ex infirmitate peccavit. unde et ratio illi
similis, per quam ostendebatur quod homo
primus in filium peccaverit, non concludebat.

Response to the 3rd. on the contrary: The sin

against the Father is not designated by reason of
its object, but rather by reason of its cause. Thus,
although he had desired power, it does not follow
that he had sinned against the Father because he
did not sin by reason of weakness. And so,
arguments like these, through which it has been
shown that the first man had sinned against the
Son, do not conclude.

ad octavum dicendum, quod malitia, ex qua

peccatum in spiritum sanctum esse dicitur,
non oportet ut sit poena peccati, ut dictum
est; et ideo ratio non procedit, quamvis
conclusio sit vera.

Response to the 4th. on the contrary: It is not

necessary that malice, by reason of which the sin
against the Holy Spirit is designated, be a penalty
of sin, as has been said. For this reason, the
argument does not proceed, even though the
conclusion is true.

[extra: neque hic neque in futuro. hoc ideo

dicitur, quia quaedam peccata in futuro
etiam dimittuntur, sicut venialia quaedam, ut
gregorius dicit, non solum quantum ad

[Additional material: (He who has blasphemed

against the Holy Spirit, will not be forgiven), either
now or in the future. This is so said because
certain sins (committed) in the future are pardoned,

poenam, sed etiam quantum ad culpam. non

pro eo dico ut quis oret. si peccatum ad
mortem intelligatur peccatum in spiritum
sanctum, prout peccatum in spiritum
sanctum requirit finalem impoenitentiam,
secundum unam opinionem; sic
intelligendum est, ut nullus pro talibus oret:
quia qui usque ad mortem in peccato mortali
perdurat, postmodum orationibus non
juvatur. si autem sumatur pro peccato in
spiritum sanctum, secundum aliam
opinionem, prout non requirit finalem
impoenitentiam; sic intelligendum est, ut non
oret pro eo quis, idest quicumque: quia
talium conversio quasi miraculosa est. unde
sicut pro faciendis miraculis non quilibet
orat, sed magni et sancti viri; ita nec pro
talium conversione.

as certain venial sins are (as Gregory states), not

only with respect to the penalty, but also with
regard to the blame. I do not speak (thus) so that
anyone might pray on (such a sinner's) behalf. If
the sin unto death is understood as the sin against
the Holy Spirit, especially as this sin requires final
impenitence, according to this view, it is
understood that no one prays on behalf of such
people. For whoever perdures in mortal sin up to
death is not helped by prayers afterwards. If,
however, the sin against the Holy Spirit be taken
according to another view, as it does not require
final impenitence, it is understood that one does
not pray for him, that is, in any such way. For a
conversion of such a kind is, as it were,
miraculous. Hence, not just any person prays for
miracles to be performed, but rather great and holy
men. Likewise, for a conversion of that sort (it is fit
that only the great and holy pray for such).
tamen secundum formam verborum non
Nevertheless according to the form of the words
prohibetur oratio pro eo fieri; sed ostenditur (that is to say, with an emphasis upon the
quod praeceptum de orando pro proximis
particular words used in this context, for this
fidelibus non se extendit ad tales
purpose: formam verborum - see ST III.72.3.ad2,
peccatores: quia propter sui peccati
and III.78.1.ad1), prayer is not prohibited on his
enormitatem hoc merentur ut a fidelibus
behalf that these things (for which one prays) may
relinquantur, sicut ethnici et publicani. qui
come to be. But it is argued that the command that
autem blasphemaverit in spiritum sanctum, one ought to pray on behalf of his faithful
non remittetur ei neque hic neque in futuro. neighbors is not to be extended to sinners of this
glossa ibidem dicit, scilicet matth. 12, quod kind (namely sins against the Holy Spirit). For on
blasphemia remittitur, spiritus autem
account of the enormity of their sin, they merit this
blasphemiae non remittitur. blasphemia
(kind of treatment) so that they be removed from
enim nominat ipsum peccati genus absolute: the faithful, just as was the case with the foreigner
quod contingit quandoque ex infirmitate,
and the publican. He, who has blasphemed
sicut cum quis ex irae passione blasphemat; against the Holy Spirit, will not be forgiven either
quandoque etiam ex ignorantia, sicut in his now or in the future. The Gloss at Matthew 12 says
qui errant, male de deo sentientes. sed
that blasphemy is forgiven, but not the spirit of
spiritus blasphemiae est voluntas
blasphemy. For blasphemy denotes a kind of sin
blasphemandi, quando scilicet ex certa
absolutely which happens whenever one sins by
malitia blasphematur: et tunc est peccatum reason of weakness, as when someone
in spiritum sanctum. discuti oportet, an aliud blasphemes by reason of the passion of anger,
obstinatio, aliud impoenitentia sit peccatum. and whenever one sins by reason of ignorance, as
hujus quaestionis apparet solutio secundum when those err when they speak badly about
distinctionem impoenitentiae prius positam. matters relating to God. But the spirit of blasphemy
si enim impoenitentia sumatur pro actuali
is the will to commit blasphemy, when, namely,
duratione in obstinatione usque ad mortem, one blasphemes by reason of a definite malice.
non est aliud peccatum ab obstinatione, sed And then, the sin against the Holy Spirit (is
circumstantia ejus; si autem impoenitentia
committed). It is befitting to discuss whether
sumatur prout dicit propositum non
obstinacy is one sin, and impenitence another.
poenitendi, sic est aliud peccatum.]
The solution of this question is evident according

to the distinction concerning impenitence put forth

previously. For if impenitence is understood as the
active duration in obstinacy up to death, it is not a
sin distinct from obstinacy, but (differs only with
respect to) its circumstance. If, however,
impenitence is understood according to the one
who puts forth the intention of not repenting, in this
way it is a different sin.]

Stephen Loughlin

The Aquinas Translation Project