REFUTATION XII. – THE ERRORS OF MICHAEL BAIUS.

 

 

 

In order to refute the false system of Michael Baius, it is necessary to transcribe his seventy-nine condemned Propositions, for it is out of them we must find out his system. Here, then, are the Propositions, condemned by Pope St. Pius V., in the year 1564, in his Bull, which commences, ” Ex omnibus aiflictionibus,” &c. :

 

“1. Nec Angeli, nec primi hominis adhuc integri merita recto vocantur gratia.

 

2. Sicut opus malum ex natura sua est mortis aiternse meritorium, sic bonum opus ex natura sua est vital æternæ meritorium.

 

3. Et bonis Angelis, et primo homini, si in statu illo permansissent usque ad ultimum vitæ, felicitas esset merces, et non gratia.

 

4. Vita æterna homini integro, et Angelo promissa fuit intuitu honor um operum : et bona opera ex lego natural ad illam consequendam per se sufficiunt.

 

5. In promissione facta Angelo, et primo homini continetur naturalis justitiao constitutio, quao pro bonis operibus sine alio respectu, vita aiterna justis promittitur.

 

6. Naturali lege constitutum fuit homini, ut si obedientia perseveraret, ad earn vitam pertransiret, in qua mori non posset.

 

7. Primi hominis integri merita fuerunt primæ creationis munera : sed juxta modum loquendi Scripturæ Sacræ, non recte vocantur gratiai; quo fit ut tantum merita, non etiam gratiæ debeant nuncupari.

 

8. In redemptis per gratiam Christi nullum inveniri potest bonum meritum, quod non sit gratis indigno collatum.

 

9. Dona concessa homini integro, et Angelo, forsitan, non improbanda ratione, possunt dici gratia : sed quia secundum usum Scripturæ nomine gratiæ tantum ea munera intelliguntur, quai per Jesum male merentibus et indignis conferuntur, ideo neque merita, nec merces quæ illis redditur, gratia dici debot.

 

10. Solutionem pœnæ temporalis, quæ peccato dimisso saipe manet, et corporis resurrectionem, proprie nonnisi ineritis Christi adscribendam esse.

 

11. Quod pie et juste in hac vita mortali usque in finem conversati vitam consequimur æternam, id non proprie gratiæ Dei, sed ordinationi naturali statim initio creationis constitute, justo Dei judicio deputandum est.

 

12. Nec in hac retributione honor um ad Christi meritum respicitur, sed tantum ad primam constitutionem generis humani, in qua lege naturali institutum est, ut justo Dei judicio obedientiæ mandatorum vita æterna reddatur.

 

13. Pelagii sententia est, opus bonum citra gratiam adoptionis factura non esse Regni Coaletis meritorium.

 

14. Opera bona a filiis adoptionis facta non accipiunt rationem meriti ex eo quod fiunt per spiritum adoptionis inhabitantem corda filiorum Dei, sed tantum ex eo quod sunt conformia Legi, quodque per ea præstatur obedientia Legi.

 

15. Opera bona justorum non accipient in die Judicii extremi ampliorem mercedem, quam justo Dei judicio merentur accipere.

 

16. Ratio meriti non consistit in eo quod qui bene operatur, habeat gratiam et inhabitantem Spiritum Sanctum, sed in eo solum quod obedit divinæ Legi.

 

17. Non est vera Legis obedientia, quæ fit sine caritate.

 

18. Sentiunt cum Pelagio, qui dicunt esse necesarium ad rationem meriti, ut homo per  gratiam adoptionis sublimctur ad statum Deificum.

 

19. Opera Catechumenorum, ut Fides, et Pœnitentia, ante remissionem peccatorum facta sunt vitæ æternæ merita; quam ii non consequentur, nisi prius præcedentium delictorum impedimenta tollantur.

 

20. Opera justitiæ, et temperantiæ, quæ Christus fecit, ex dignitate Personæ operantis non traxerunt major em valorem.

 

21. Nullum est peccatum ex natura sua veniale, sed omne peccatum meretur pœnam æternam.

 

22. Humanæ naturæ sublimatio et exaltatio in consortium Divinæ naturæ debita fuit integritati primæ conditionis; ac proinde naturalis dicenda est, non supernaturalis.

 

23. Cum Pelagio sentiunt, qui textum Apostoli ad Romanos secundo : Gentes quæ legem non habent, naturaliter quæ leais sunt faciunt; intelligunt de Gentilibus fidem non habentibus.

 

24. Absurda est eorum sententia, qui dicunt, hominem ab initio dono quodam supernaturali, et gratuito supra conditioned naturæ fuisse exaltatum, ut fide, spe, caritate Deum supernaturaliter coleret.

 

25. A vanis, et otiosis hominibus secundum insipientiam Philosophorum excogitata est sententia hominem ab initio sic constitutum, ut per dona naturæ super addita fuerit largitate Conditoris sublimatus, et in Dei filium adoptatus, et ad Pelagianismum rejicienda est ilia sententia.

 

26. Omnia opera Infidolium sunt peccata, et Philosophorum virtutes sunt vitia.

 

27. Integritas prima crcationis non fuit indebita humanæ naturæ exaltatio, scd naturalis ejus conditio.

 

28. Liberum arbitrium sine gratiæ Dei adjutorio nonnisi ad peccandum valet.

 

29. Pelagianus est error dicerc, quod liberum arbitrium valet ad ullum peccatum vitandum.

 

30. Non solum fures ii sunt et latrones, qui Christum viam,  et ostium veritatis et vitæ negant; sed ctiam quicunquc aliundc quam per Christum in viam justitiæ, hoc est, ad aliquam justitiam conscendi posse dicunt; aut tentationi ulli sine gratiæ ipsius adjutorio resistero hominem posse, sic ut in cam non inducatur, aut ab ca superetur.

 

31. Caritas perfecta et sincera, quæ est ex corde puro et conscientia bona, et fide non ficta, tarn in Catechumcnis, quam in Pœnitentibus potest esso sine remissione peccatorum.

 

32. Caritas ilia quæ est plcnitudo Lcgis, non est semper conjuncta cum remissione peccatorum.

 

33. Catechumenus juste, recte, et sancte vivit, et mandata Dei observat, ac Legem implet per caritatem, ante obtentam remissioncm peccatorum, quæ in Baptismi lavacre demum percipitur.

 

34. Distinctio ilia duplicis amoris, naturalis videlicet, quo Dcus amatur ut auctor naturæ, et gratuiti, quo Deus amatur ut beatificator, vana est et commentitia, et ad illudendum Sacris Litteris, et plurimis Veterum testimoniis excogitata.

 

35. Omne quod agit peccator, vel servus peccati peccatum est.

 

36. Amor naturalis, qui ex viribus naturæ exoritur, et sola Philosophia per elationcm præsumptionis humanæ, cum injuria Crucis Christi defcnditur a nonnullis Doctoribus.

 

37. Cum Pelagio sentit, qui boni aliquid naturalis, hoc est, quod ex naturæ solis viribus ortum ducit, agnoscit.

 

38. Omnis amor creaturæ naturalis, aut vitiosa est cupiditas, qua mundus diligitur, quæ a Joanne prohibetur : aut laudabilis ilia caritas, qua per Spiritum Sanctum in corde diffusa Deus amatur.

 

39. Quod voluntarie fit, etiamsi in necessitate fiat, libere tamen fit.

 

40. In omnibus suis actibus peccator servit dommanti cupiditati.

 

41. Is liber tatis modus, qui est a necessitate, sub libertatis nomine non reperitur in script uris, sed solum libertatis a peccato.

 

42. Justitia, qua justificatur per fidem impius, consistit formaliter in obedientia mandatorum, quæ est operum justitia, non autcm in gratia aliqua animæ infusa, qua adoptatur homo in filium Dei, et secundum intoriorem hominem rcnovatur, et Divinæ naturæ consors efficitur, ut sic per SpiritumSanctum renovatus, deinceps bene vivere, et Dei mandatis obedirepossit.

 

43. In hominibus poenitentibus, ante Sacramentum absolutions, et in Catechumenis ante Baptisraum est vera justificatio, et separate tamen a remissione peccatorum.

 

44. Operibus plerisque, qua? a fidelibus fiunt, solum ut Dei mandatis pareant, cujusmodi sunt obedire parentibus, depositum reddere, ab hornicidio, a furto, a fornication abstinere, justificantur quidem homines, quia sunt legis obedientia, et vera legis justitia; non tamen iis obtinent incrementa virtutum.

 

45. Sacrificium Missæ non alia ratione est Sacrificium, quam generali ilia, qua omne opus quod fit, ut sancta socictate Deo homo inhæreat.

 

46. Ad rationem, et definitionem peccati non pertinet voluntarium nec definitions quæstio est, sed eaussæ, et originis, utrum omne peccatum debeat esse voluntarium.

 

47. Unde peccatum originis vere habet rationem peccati, sine ulla relatione, ac respectu ad voluntatem, a qua originem habuit.

 

48. Peccatum originis est habituali parvuli voluntate voluntarium, et habitualiter dominatur parvulos, eo quod non gerit contrarium voluntatis arbitrium.

 

49. Et ex habituali voluntate dominante fit ut parvulus decedens sine regenerationis Sacramento, quando usuin rationis consequens erit, actualiter Dcum odio habeat, Deum blasphemet, et Legi Dei repugnet.

 

50. Prava desideria, quibus ratio non consentit, et quæ homo invitus patitur, sunt proliibita præcepto : Non concupisces.

 

51. Concupiscentia, sive lex membrorum, et prava ejus desideria, quæ inviti sentient homines, sunt vera legis inobedientia.

 

52. Omne scelus est ejus conditionis, ut suum auctorem, et omnes posteros eo modo inficere possit, quo infecit prima transgressio.

 

53. Quantum est ex vi transgressionis, tantum meritorum malorum a generante contrahunt, qui cum minoribus nascuntur vitiis, quam qui cum majoribus.

 

54. Definitiva hæc sententia, Deum homini nihil impossibile præcepisse, falso tribuitur Augustineo, cum Pelagii sit.

 

55. Deus non potuisset ab initio talem creare hominem, qualis nunc nascitur.

 

56. In peccato duo sunt, actus, et renatus : transeunte autem actu nihil manet, nisi rcatus, sive obligatio ad Pœnam.

 

57. Unde in Sacramento Baptismi, aut Sacerdotis absolutione proprie reatus peccati dumtaxat tollitur; et ministerium Sacerdotum solum liberat a reatu.

 

58. Peccator pœnitens non vivificatur ministerio Sacerdotis absolvcntis, scd a solo Deo, qui pœnitentiam suggerens, et inspirans vivificat cum, ot resuscitat; ministerio autem Sacerdotis solum reatus tollitur.

 

59. Quando per eleemosynas aliaque   pœnitentiæ opera Deo satisfacimus pro pconis temporalibus, non dignura pretium Deo pro peccatis nostris offerimus, sicut quidem errantes autumant (nam alioqui essemus saltern aliqua ex parte redemptores), sed aliquid facimus, cujus intuitu Christi satisfactio nobis applicatur, et communicatur.

 

60. Per passiones Sanctorum in indulgentiis communicatas non proprie redimuntur nostra delicta, sed per communionem caritatis nobis eorum passiones impartiuntur, ot ut digni simus, qui pretio Sanguinis   Christi a pœnis pro peccatis debitis liberemur.

 

61. Celebris ilia Doctorum distinctio, divinao legis mandata bifariani impleri, altero modo quantum ad præceptorum operum substantiam tantum, altero quantum ad certum quendam modum, videlicet, secundum quem valeant operantem perducero ad regnum  (hoc est ad modum meritorum) commentitia est, et explodenda.

 

62. Ilia quoque opus dicitur bifariam bonum, vel quia ex objecto, et omnibus circumstantiis rectum est, et bonum (quod moraliter bonum appellare consueverunt), vel quia est meritorium Regni æterni, eo quod sit a vivo Christi membro per spiritum caritatis, rejicienda est.

 

63. Sed et ilia distinctio duplicis justitiæ alterius, quæ fit per spiritum caritatis inhabitantem, altcrius, quao fit ex inspiratione quidem Spiritus Sancti cor ad penitiam excitantis, sed nondum cor habitantis, et in eo caritatem diffundentis, qua Divinao legis justificatio impleatur, similiter rejicicitur.

 

64. Item et ilia distinctio duplicis vificationis, alterius, qua vivificatur peccator, duni ei pœnitentiao, et vitæ novæ propositum, et inchoatio per Dei gratiam inspiratur; alterius, qua vivificatur, qui vere justificatur, et palmes vivus in vite Christo efficitur; pariter commentitia est, et Scripturis minimo congruens.

 

65. Nonnisi Pelagiano errore admitti potest usus aliquis liberi arbitrii bonus, sive non malus, et gratiæ Christi injuriam facit, qui ita sentit, et docet.

 

66. Sola violentia repugnat libertati hominis naturali.

 

67. Homo peccat, etiam damnabiliter; in eo quod necessario facit.

 

68. Infidelitas pure negativa in his, in quibus Christus non est praBdicatus, peccatum est.

 

69. Justificatio impii fit formaliter per obedientiam Legis, non autem per occultam communicationem, et inspirationem gratiæ, quas per eam justificatos faciat implere legem.

 

70. Homo existens in peccato mortali, sive in reatu æternædamnationis, potest habere verara caritatem; et caritas, etiam perfecta, potest consistere cum reatu æternæ damnationis.

 

71. Per contritionem, etiam cum caritate perfecta, et cum voto suscipendi Sacramentum conjunctam, non remittitur crimen, extra causani necessitatis, aut Martyrii, sine actuali susceptione Sacramenti.

 

72. Omnes omnino justorum afflictiones sunt ultiones peccatorum ipsorum; unde et Job, et Martyres, quæ passi sunt, propter peccata sua passi sunt.

 

73. Nemo, præter Christum est absque peccato originali, hinc Virgo mortua est propter peccatum ex Adam contractum, omnesque ejus afflictiones in hoc vita, sicut et aliorum justorum, fuerunt ultiones peccati actualis, vel originalis.

 

74. Concupiscentia in renatis relapsis in peccatum mortale, in quibus jam dominatur, peccatum est, sicut et alii habitus pravi.

 

75. Motus pravi concupiscentiaa sunt pro statu hominis vitiati prohibiti præcepto, Non concupisces; Unde homo eos sentiens, et non consentiens, transgreditur praoceptum, Non concupisces; quamvis transgressio in peccatum non deputetur.

 

76. Quandiu aliquid concupiscentias carnalis in diligente est, non facit præceptum, Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo.

 

77. Satisfactiones laboriosœ justificatorum non valent expiare de condigno pœnam temporalem restantem post culpain conditionatam.

 

78. Immortalitas primi Hominis non erat gratiæ beneficium, sed naturalis conditio.

 

79. Falsa est Doctorum sententia, primum Hominem potuisse a Deo creari, et instituti sine Justitia naturali ”

 

1. I should remark here that several of these Propositions are taken word for word from the writings of Baius others only according to their meaning and others again belong to his companion, Esselius, or other supporters of his; but as they were almost all taught by him, they are all generally attributed to him, and from them his system can be clearly deduced. He distinguishes three states of human nature Innocent, Fallen, and Restored or Redeemed.

 

2. Regarding Nature in a state of innocence, he says : First That God, as a matter of justice, and by that right which the creature has, ought to create both angels and men for eternal beatitude. This opinion is deduced from eight articles, condemned in the Bull the twenty-first, twenty-third, twenty- fourth, twentysixth, twenty-seventh, fifty-fifth, seventy-second, and seventy -ninth. Secondly That Sanctifying Grace was due as a matter of right to Nature, in a state of innocence. This proposition follows, as a necessary consequence, from the former one. Thirdly That the gifts granted to the Angels and to Adam were not gratuitous and supernatural, but were natural, and due to them by right, as the twenty -first and twentyseventh articles assert. Fourthly That the Grace granted to Adam and to the Angels did not produce supernatural and Divine merits, but merely natural and human ones, according to the first, seventh, and ninth articles. And, in fact, if merits follow from Grace, and the benefits of Grace were due by right, and naturally belonged to Nature, in a state of innocence, the same should be said of merits, which are the fruit of this Grace. Fifthly That Beatitude would be not a Grace, but a mere natural reward, if we had persevered in a state of innocence, as the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth articles say; and tliis is also a consequence of the antecedent propositions, for if it were true that merits, in a state of innocence, were merely human and natural, then Beatitude would be no longer a Grace, but a reward due to us.      

 

3. Secondly, Baius taught, regarding fallen nature, that when Adam sinned he lost all gifts of Grace, so that he was incapable of doing anything good, even in a natural sense, and could only do evil. Hence, he deduces, first, that in those who are not baptized, or have fallen into sin after Baptism, concupiscence, or the fames of sensitive pleasure, which is contrary to reason, though without any consent of the will, is truly and properly a sin which is imputed to them by reason of the will of mankind included in the will of Adam, as is explained in the seventy- fourth proposition. Nay, more, he says, in the seventy-fifth proposition, that the evil movements of our senses, though not consented to, are transgressions even in the just, though God does not impute it to them. Secondly, he deduces, that all that the sinner does is intrinsically a sin (sec the thirty-fifth proposition). He deduces, thirdly, that for merit or demerit violence alone is repugnant to the liberty of man; so that when he does any voluntary bad action, though he does it of necessity, he sins, as the thirty-ninth and sixty-seventh propositions teach. In the third place, with regard to Redeemed Nature, Baius supposes that every good work, by its very nature, and of itself, merits eternal life, independently, altogether, of the Divine arrangement, the merits of Jesus Christ, and the knowledge of the person who performs it. The second, eleventh, and fifteenth propositions show this.  From this false supposition he draws four false consequences : First That man’s justification does not consist in the infusion of Grace, but in obedience to the Commandments (see propositions forty-two and sixty-nine). Second That perfect charity is not always conjoined with the remission of sins. Third That in the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance the penalty of the punishment alone is remitted, and not the fault, for God alone can take away that (see the fifty-seventh and fifty- eighth propositions). Fourth That every sin deserves eternal punishment, and that there are no venial sins (proposition twenty-one). We see, then, that Baius taught, by his system, the errors of Pelagius, when he treats of Innocent Nature man’s nature before the fall; for, with that heresiarch, he teaches that Grace is not gratuitous, or supernatural, but is natural, and belongs to nature, of right. With regard to Fallen Nature, he teaches the errors of Luther and Calvin, for he asserts that man is, of necessity, obliged to do good or evil according to the movements of the two delectations which he may receive, heavenly or worldly. With regard to the state of Redeemed Nature, the errors which he teaches concerning justification, the efficacy of the Sacraments, and merit, are so clearly condemned by the Council of Trent, that if we did not read them in his works, we never could believe that he published them, after having personally attended that Council.   

 

4. He says, in the forty-second and sixty-ninth propositions, that the justification of the sinner does not consist in the infusion of Grace, but in obedience to the Commandments; but the Council teaches (Sess. vi, cap. 7), that no one can become just, unless the merits of Jesus Christ are communicated to him; for it is by these the Grace which justifies is infused into him : ” Nemo potest esse Justus, nisi cui merita passionis D. N. Jesu Christi communicantur.” And this is what St. Paul says : ” Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. iii, 24). He says that perfect Charity is not conjoined with the remission of sins (propositions thirty-one and thirty-two); but the Council, speaking specially of the Sacrament of Penance, declares (Sess. xiv, c. 4), that Contrition, united with perfect Charity, justifies the sinner before he receives the Sacrament. He says that by the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance the penalty of punishment, but not of the fault, is remitted (propositions fifty-seven and fifty-eight). But the Council, speaking of Baptism (Sess. v, Can. 5), teaches that by Baptism the penalty of original sin, and every thing else which has the rationale of sin, is remitted : ” Per Jesu Christi gratiam, quæ in Baptismate confertur, reatum originalis peccati remitti, et tolli totum id quod veram, et propriam peccati rationein habet, illudque non tantum radi, aut non imputari.” Speaking of the Sacrament of Penance, the Council diffusely explains (Sess. xiv, c. 1), that it is a truth of Faith, that our Lord has left to Priests the power to remit sins in this Sacrament, and condemns anew the error of the Novatians, who denied it. Baius says that concupiscence, or every evil motion of concupiscence, in those who are not baptized, or who, after Baptism, have fallen, is a real sin, because they then transgress the Commandment, ” Thou shalt not covet,” &c. (propositions seventy-four and seventy- five); but the Council teaches that concupiscence is not a sin, and that it does no harm to those who do not give consent to it : ” Concupiscentia, cum ad agonem relicta sit, nocere non consentientibus non valet Hanc concupiscentiam Ecclesiam nunquam intellexisse peccatum appellari, quod verc poccatum sit, sed quia ex peccato est, et ad peccatum inclinas (Sess. v, cap. 5).

 

5. In fine, all that Baius taught regarding the three states of nature is a necessary consequence of one sole principle of his, that is, that there are but two authors, either Theological Charity, by which we love God above all things, as the last end; or concupiscence, by which we love the creature as the last end, and that between these two loves there is no medium. he says, then, God being just, could not, in opposition to the right which an intelligent creature has, create man subject to concupiscence alone; and, therefore, as leaving concupiscence out of the question, there is no other proper love but supernatural love alone, when he created Adam he must have given him, in the first instance of his creation, this supernatural love, the essential end of which is the beatific vision of God. Charity, therefore, was not a supernatural and gratuitous gift, but a natural one, which was the right of human nature, and, therefore, the merits of this charity were natural, and beatitude was our due, and not a grace. From this, then, he drew another consequence, which was, that free will being, after the fall, deprived of Grace, which was, as it were, a supplement of nature, was of no use, only to cause us to sin. We answer, however, that this principle is evidently false, and, therefore, every consequence deduced from it is false, likewise. There is evidence to prove, in opposition to the principle of Baius, that the intelligent creature has no positive right to existence, and, consequently, has no innate right to exist in one way more than another. Besides, several learned Theologians, whose opinions I follow, teach, with very good reason, that God could, if it pleased him, create man in a state of pure nature, so that he would be born without any supernatural gift, and without sin, but with all the perfections and imperfections which belong to this state of nature; so that the object of pure nature might be natural, and all the miseries of human life, as concupiscence, ignorance, death, and all other calamities, might belong of right to mere human nature itself, just as now in the state of fallen nature they are the effects and punishments of sin; and, therefore, in our present state, concupiscence inclines us much more to sin than it would do in a state of pure nature, since by sin the understanding of man is more obscured, and his will wounded.

 

6. It was undoubtedly one of the errors of Pelagius, that God had in fact created man in a state of pure nature. On the other hand, it was one of Luther’s errors to assert that the state of pure nature is repugnant to the right which man has to Grace; but this error was already taken up by Baius, because surely it was not necessary by right of nature that man should be created in a state of original justice; but God might create him without sin, and without original justice, taking into account the right of human nature. This is proved, first, from the Bulls already quoted, of St. Pius V., Gregory XIIL, and Urban VIII. , which confirm the Bull of St. Pius, in which the assertion, that the consortium of the Divine Nature was due to, and even natural to, the nature of man, as Baius said ” Humanæ naturæ sublimatio, et exaltatio in consortium Divinæ naturao debita fuit integritati primæ conditionis, et proinde naturalis dicenda est, et non supernaturalis” was condemned (proposition twenty-two). He says the same in the fifty-fifth proposition: ” Deus non potuisset ab initio talem creare homincm, qualis nunc nascitur ;” that is, exclusive of sin we understand. In the seventy-ninth proposition, again he says : ” Falsa est Doctorum sententia, primum hominem et potuisse a Deo creari, et institui sine justitia naturali.” Jansenius, though a strong partisan of the doctrine of Baius, confesses that those Decrees of the Pope made him very uneasy : ” Hæreo, fateor” (1).

 

7. The disciples of Baius and Jansenius, however, say they have a doubt whether the Bull of Urban VIII., “In eminenti,” should be obeyed; but Tournelly (2) answers them, and shows that the Bull being a dogmatic law of the Apostolic See, whose authority Jansenius himself says, all Catholics, as children of obedience, should venerate, and being accepted in the places where the controversy was agitated, and by the most celebrated Churches in the world, and tacitly admitted by all others, should bo held as an infallible judgment of the Church, which all should hold by; and even Quesnel himself admits that.   

 

8. Our adversaries also speak of the way the Bull of St. Pius should be understood, and say, first, that we cannot believe that the Apostolic See ever intended to condemn in Baius the doctrine of St. Augustine, who, as they suppose, taught that the state of pure nature was an impossibility. This supposition of theirs, however, is totally unfounded, for the majority of Theologians assert, that the Holy Doctor in many places teaches the contrary, especially in his writings against the Manicheans (3), and distinguishes four modes in which God might create the souls of men blameless, and, among them, the second mode would be, if, previously to any sin being committed, these created souls were infused into their bodies subject to ignorance, concupiscence, and all the miseries of this life; by this mode, the possibility of pure nature is certainly established. Consult Tournelly (4) on this point, where he answers all objections, and you will see also how Jansenius treats it.

 

(1) Jansen. l. 3, d. Statu. nat. pur. c. ult. (2) Comp. Thool. t. 5, p. 1, Disp. 5, art. 3, s. 2. (3) St. August. l. 3, de lib. arb. c. 20. (4) Tourn. t. 5, p. 2, c. 7, p. 67.

 

9. They say, likewise, that the propositions of Baius were not condemned in the Bull of St. Pius in the sense the author understood them. The words of the Bull are : ” Quas quidem sententias stricto coram nobis examine ponderatas, quanquam nonnullæ aliquo pacto sustineri possent, in rigore, et proprio verborum sensu ab assertoribus intento hæreticas, erroneas, temerarias, &c., respective damnamus,” &c. They then say that between the word, possent, and the following ones, in rigore, et proprio verborum sensu, there was no comma, but that it was placed after the words ab assertoribus intento; so that the sentence being read thus : ” quanquam nonnullæ aliquo pacto sustineri possent in rigore et proprio verborum sensu ab assertoribus intento,” the proposition could be sustained in this proper and intended sense, as the Bull declares. According to this interpretation, however, the Bull would contradict itself, condemning opinions which, in their proper sense, and that intended by the author, could be sustained. If they could be sustained in the proper sense, why were they condemned, and why was Baius expressly called on to retract them ? It would be a grievous injustice to condemn these propositions, and oblige the author to retract them, if in the proper and plain sense they could be defended. Besides, though in the Bull of St. Pius, the comma may be wanted after the word possent, still no one has ever denied or doubted but that it was inserted in the subsequent Bulls of Gregory XIII. and Urban VIII. There cannot be the least doubt that the opinions of Baius were condemned by these Pontifical Bulls.

 

10. They say, thirdly, that the propositions were condemned, having regard to the Divine Omnipotence, according to which the state of pure nature was possible, but not in regard to the wisdom and goodness of God. The Theologians already quoted answer, that in that case the Apostolic See has condemned not a real, but only an apparent, error, since, in reality, the doctrine of Baius, in regard to the wisdom and goodness of God, is not condemnable. It is false, however, to suppose that the state of pure nature is only possible according to the Omnipotence of God, and not according to his other attributes. That which is repugnant or not agreeable to any of the attributes of God is, in fact, impossible, for ” He cannot deny himself” (II. Tim. ii, 13). St. Anselm says (5) : ” In Deo quantumlibet parvum inconveniens sequitur impossibilitas.” Besides, if that principle of our adversaries themselves were true, that there is no middle love between vicious cupidity and laudable charity, then the state of pure nature, even in regard to the Divine Omnipotence, as they suppose, would be an impossibility, since it would, in fact, be repugnant to God to produce a creature contrary to himself, with the necessity of sinning, as, according to their supposition of possibility, this creature would be.

 

11. In fact, I think no truth can be more evident, than that the state of pure nature is not an impossibility, a state in which man would be created without Grace and without sin, and subject to all the miseries of this life. I say this with all reverence for the Augustinian school, which holds the contrary opinion. There are two very evident reasons for this doctrine : First Man could very well have been created without any supernatural gift, but merely with those qualities which are adapted to human nature. Therefore, that Grace which was supernatural, and was given to Adam, was not his due, for then, as St. Paul says (Rom. xi, 6): “Grace is no more grace.” Now, as man might be created without Grace, God might also create him without sin in fact, he could not create him with sin, for then he would be the author of sin. Then he might likewise create him subject to concupiscence, to disease, and to death, for these defects, as St. Augustine explains, belong to man’s very nature, and are a part of his constitution. Concupiscence proceeds from the union of the soul with the body, and, therefore, the soul is desirous of that sensitive pleasure which the body likes. Diseases, and all the other miseries of human life, proceed from the influence of natural causes, which, in a state of pure nature, would be just as powerful as at present, and death naturally follows from the continual disagreement of the elements of which the body is composed.  

 

(5) St. Anselm, L 1, Cum Deus homo, c. 1.

 

12. The second reason is, that it is not repugnant to any of the Divine attributes to create man without Grace and without sin. Jansenius himself admits that it is not opposed to his Omnipotence; neither is it to any other attribute, for in that state, as St. Augustine (6) teaches, all that is due by right to man’s natural condition, as reason, liberty, and the other faculties necessary for his preservation, and the accomplishment of the object for which he was created, would be given to him by God. Besides, all Theologians, as Jansenius himself confesses in those works in which he speaks of pure nature, are agreed in admitting the possibility of this state, that is considering the right of the creature alone, and this is precisely the doctrine of the Prince of Schoolmen, St. Thomas. He teaches (7), that man might be created without consideration to the Beatific Vision. He says : ” Carentia Divino visionis competeret ei qui in solis naturalibus esset etiam absque peccato.” He likewise, in another passage (8), teaches that man might be created with that concupiscence which rebels against reason : ” Ilia subjectio inferiorum virium ad rationem non erat naturalis.” Several Theologians, therefore, admit the possibility of the state of pure nature, as Estius, Ferrarensis, the Salmanticenses, Vega, and several others. Bellarmin (9), especially, says he does not know how any one can doubt of this opinion.

 

13. We have now to answer the objections of our adversaries. The first objection is on the score of “Beatitude.” St. Augustine, according to Jansenius, teaches in several places that God could not, without injustice, deny eternal glory to man in a state of innocence : ” Qua justitia quæso a Regno Dei alienator imago Dei in nullo transgressu legem Dei.” These are St. Augustine’s words (10). We answer that the Holy Father in this passage was opposing the Pelagians, according to man’s present state, that is, supposing the gratuitous ordination of man to a supernatural end : according to that supposition, he said that it would be unjust to deprive man of the kingdom of God if he had not sinned. Neither is it of any consequence that St. Thomas (11) says that man’s desires can find no rest except in the vision of God : “Non quiescit naturale desiderium in ipsis, nisi etiam ipsius Dei substantiam videant ;” and as this appetite is naturally implanted in man, he could not have been created unless in order to this end.

 

(6) St. August. l. 3, de lib. arb. c. 20, 22, 23. (7) St. Thom, qu. 4, de Malo. a. 1. (8) Idem in Summa. 1, p. q. 95, art. 1. (9) Bellarm. l. de Grat. primi hom. cap. 5.  (10) St. August. l. 3, contra Julian, cap. 12. (11) St. Thorn. 1. 4, contra Gentes, c. 50.

 

We answer, that St. Thomas (12), in several places, and especially in his book of Disputed Questions, teaches that by nature we are not inclined in particular to the vision of God, but only to beatitude in general : ” Homini inditus est appetitus ultimi sui finis in communi, ut scilicit appetat se esse completum in bonitate; sed in quo ista completio consistat non est determi natum a natura.” Therefore, according to the Holy Doctor, there is not in man an innate tendency to the beatific vision, but only to beatitude in general. He confirms this in another place (13) : ” Quamvis ex naturali inclinatione voluntas habeat, ut in beatitudinem feratur, tamcn quod fcratur in beatitudinem talem, vel talem, hoc non est ex inclination naturæ.” But they will still say that it is only in the vision of God that man can have perfect happiness, as David says (Psalm xvi, 15) : “I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.” To this we reply, that this refers to man in his present state, since he has been created in order to eternal life, but never would be the case in another state, that of pure nature, for example.

 

14. The second objection is on the score of ” Concupiscence.” God, they say, could never be the author of concupiscence, since we read in St. John (I. Epis. ii, 16), that “it is not of the Father, but is of the world” and St. Paul says : ” Now, then, it is no more I that do it, but sin (that is concupiscence), that dwellcth in me” (Rom. vii, 17). “We answer the text of St. John, by saying that the concupiscence of the flesh is not from the Father, in our present state of existence, for in that it springs from sin, and inclines to sin, as the Council of Trent (Sess. v, can. 5) declares : ” Quia est a peccato, et ad peccatum inclinat.” In our present state even, it influences us more powerfully than it would in a state of pure nature; but even in this state it would not proceed formally from the Father, considered as an imperfection, but would come from him as one of the conditions of human nature. We answer the text of St. Paul in like manner, that concupiscence is called sin, because, in our present state, it springs from sin, since man was created in grace; but in a state of pure nature it would not come from sin, but from the very condition itself, in which human nature would have been created.

 

(12) St. Thom, q. 22, de Verit. (13) Idem 4, Sent. Dist. 49. q. 1, art. 3.

 

15. They say, secondly, that God could not create a rational being with anything which would incline him to sin, as concupiscence would. We answer, that God could not create man with anything which, in itself, in se, would incline him to sin, as with a vicious habit, for example, which of itself inclines and induces one to sin; but he might create man with that which accidentally, per accidens, inclines him to sin, for in this is the condition of his nature only accomplished, for otherwise God should create man impeccable, for it is a defect to be peccable. Concupiscence, of itself, does not incline man to sin, but solely to that happiness adapted to human nature, and for the preservation of nature itself, which is composed of soul and body; so that it is not of itself, but only accidentally, and through the deficiency of the condition of human nature itself, that it sometimes inclines us to sin. God, surely, was not obliged, when he produced his creatures, to give them greater perfections than those adapted to their natures. Because he has not given sensation to plants, or reason to brutes, we cannot say that the defect is his; it belongs to the nature itself of these creatures, and so if, in the state of pure nature, God did not exempt man from concupiscence, which might accidentally incline him to evil, it would not be a defect of God himself, but of the condition itself of human nature.

 

16. The third objection is on the score of the ” Miseries” of human nature. St. Augustine, they say, when opposing the Pelagians, frequently deduced the existence of original sin from the miseries of this life. We briefly answer, that the Holy Doctor speaks of the misery of man in his present state, remembering the original holiness in which he was created, and knowing, from the Scriptures, that Adam was created free from death and from all the penalties of this life. On this principle, God could not, with justice, deprive him of the gifts granted to him, without some positive fault on his side; and, hence, the Saint inferred that Adam sinned, from the calamities which we endure in this life. He would say quite the contrary, however, if he were speaking of the state of pure nature, in which the miseries of life would spring from the condition itself of human nature, and especially as in the state of lapsed nature our miseries are, by many degrees, greater than they would be in a state of pure nature. From the grievous miseries, then, of our present state, original sin can be proved; but it could not be so from the lesser miseries which man would suffer in a state of pure nature.