The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

St Thomas Aquinas on Psalm 19 (18)

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 8, 2010

This post appears here courtesy of The Aquinas Translation Project and in accord with their copyright policy: The copyright for these translations are held by the individuals who have translated them. They are offered for public use with the provision that, if copied, they not be altered from their present form, and that the copyright notice remain at the bottom of each translation to ensure that appropriate credit be given to both individual and the Project. Links should be established to this index page. All Biblical translations are taken from the Douay-Rheims version. The LXX and the Latin Vulgate used by Aquinas combined Psalms 9 & 10 into one, as do many modern commentators, for this reason the Psalm is identified below as Psalm 18.

Psalm 18

(a) [In finem. Psalmus David XVIII] Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei, et opera manuum eius annuntiat firmamentum. (a) [To the end, A Psalm of David] The heavens tell of the glory of God, and the firmament announces the works of his hands
(b) Dies diei eructat verbum; et nox nocti indicat scientiam. (b) Day belches the word to day, and night indicates knowledge to night.
Non sunt loquelae, neque sermones, quorum non audiantur voces eorum. There are no discourses, nor speeches, of which the voices are not heard.
In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, et in fines orbis terrae verba eorum. Their sound has gone out to the entire world, and their words have gone to the ends of the circle of the earth.
(c) In sole posuit tabernaculum suum; et ipse tamquam sponsus procedens de thalamo suo. (c) He has put his tabernacle in the sun, and the sun like a bridegroom going forth from his bedroom.
Exultavit ut gigas ad currendam viam. He rejoices like a giant to run the way.
(d) A summo caelo egressio eius; et occursus eius usque ad summum eius, nec est qui abscondat a calore eius. (d) His going forth is from the highest sky, and his going around is right to its top, and there is no one who hides from his heat.
(e) Lex Domini immaculata, convertens animas, testimonium Domini fidele, sapientiam praestans parvulis. (e) The law of the Lord is without blemish, converting souls, and the testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to the small ones.
Iustitiae Domini rectae, laetificantes corda; praeceptum Domini lucidum illuminans oculos. The justices of the Lord are right, giving joy to hearts; the precept of the Lord is shining giving light to eyes.
(f) Timor Domini sanctus permanens in saeculum saeculi; iudicia Domini vera iustificata in semetipsa. (f) The fear of the Lord is holy remaining for the age of the age; the judgments of the Lord are true, justified unto themselves.
(g) Desiderabilia super aurum, et lapidem pretiosum multum, et dulciora super mel, et favum. (g) They are desirable more than gold, and much precious stone, and they are sweeter than honey and honeycomb.
Etenim servus tuus custodit ea: in custodiendis illis retributio multa. Indeed your servant keeps them: in keeping them there is much reward.
(h) Delicta quis intelligit? Ab occultis meis munda me, et ab alienis parce servo tuo. (h) Who can understand his own wrongdoings? Cleanse me of my hidden things, and spare your servant from foreign thing.
(i) Si me non fuerint dominanti, tunc immaculatus ero; et emundabor a delicto maximo. Et erunt ut complaceant eloquia oris mei: et meditatio cordis mei in conspectu tuo semper. (i) If they shall not take dominion over me, then I will be without stain, and I will be cleansed from the greatest wrongdoing. And the words of my mouth will be to please, and the meditation of my heart will be in your sight always.
Domine adiutor meus, et redemptor meus. O Lord, my helper, and my redeemer
(a) Supra Psalmista multipliciter egit gratias de beneficiis datis, et speratis; hic autem ex consideratione illorum beneficiorum consurgit in laudem benefactoris. (a) Above the Psalmist has many times offered thanks for benefits given and hoped for; from the consideration of those benefits he rises in praise of the benefactor.
Titulus patet: In finem Psalmus David. The title is clear: To the end, A Psalm of David.
Secundum litteram refertur ad David; secundum autem mysterium ad Christum. According to the letter it refers to David, but according to the mystery it refers to Christ.
In finem. To the end.
Dividitur autem Psalmus iste in duas partes. This psalm is divided into two parts.
In prima enim commendatur Deus ex sua eruditione, qua nos instruit. In the first part God is commended because of the erudition by which he instructs us.
Et hoc dupliciter. This is done in two ways.
Una communi, quae se habet aequaliter ad omnes; et haec per opera sua manifestatur. In one part it is general, relating equally to all, and this is manifested by his works.
Rom. 1. “Invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta conspiciuntur.” Romans 1. “The invisible things of God are seen through the things that are made, when those things are understood.”
Alia speciali, per legislationem, quae est solum ad fideles. The other way regards what is specific, through law-giving, which is only to the faithful.
Secundum ibi, Lex Domini immaculata. Psalmus iste secundum veritatem exponitur de Christo, quia Apostolus de hoc auctoritatem ad mysterium Christi, Rom. I, inducit. According to the verse, The law of the Lord is without blemish. This psalm according to the truth is expounded about Christ, because the Apostle draws upon this psalm as an authoritative source about the mystery of Christ, in Romans 1.
In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, et in fines orbis terrae verba eorum. Their sound has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the circle of the earth.
Nihilominus tamen sicut mysteria Christi repraesentantur figuraliter quandoque in figuris veteris testamenti, ita quandoque figuraliter praemonstrantur in figuris operum sanctorum. Nonetheless, as the mysteries of Christ are represented figuratively sometimes in the figures of the Old Testament, so sometimes they are shown in the figures of holy works.
Et ideo primo exponetur iste Psalmus quo ad figuram, secundo quo ad veritatem. And thus first this psalm is expounded in terms of the figure, second in terms of the truth.
Et primo loquitur de caelis, secundo de sole. First it speaks of the heavens, second of the sun.
Per caelos Apostoli, per solem Christus intelligitur. By the heavens one understands the Apostles, by the sun, one understands Christ.
In sole. In the sun.
Circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponit doctrinam qua nos erudit Deus per caelos, quomodocumque intellectos; secundo excludit impedimenta huius doctrinae, ibi, Dies diei eructat verbum etc. On this topic he does two things. First he presents the doctrine by which God teaches us by the skies, however one may understand skies; second, he excludes the things that would impede this doctrine, where he says Day belches forth the word to day, etc.
Duo necesse est cognoscere de Deo. One must understand two things about God.
Unum scilicet gloriam Dei, in qua est gloriosus; secundo opera eius. One is the glory of God, in which glory he is glorious; second, his works.
Si respiciamus corporales caelos, isti nuntiant nobis gloriam Dei: quia in eis est mira et ordinata distinctio, quae est quaedam redundantia illius infinitae gloriae. If we regard the physical skies, these proclaim the glory of God to us: because in them is a marvelous and ordered distinction, which is a certain overflowing of his infinite glory.
Eccli. 43. “Species caeli gloriae stellarum, mundum illuminans in excelsis Dominus.” Eccli. 43. “The beauties of the sky, the glories of the stars, the Lord giving light to the world in the highest things.”
Et quia sol illuminans per omnia respicit, et gloria Domini plenum est opus eius; ideo intelliguntur isti caeli materiales indicare nobis gloriam Dei, non quasi animalia materialia, ut Rabbi Moses dicit, sed in eius pulchritudine, qua multo magis iudicatur eorum artifex. And since the sun as it gives light looks through all things, and the Lord’s work is full of his glory; therefore these material skies are understood so as to indicate the glory of God to us, not as material animals, as Rabbi Moses said, but in its beauty, by which their craftsman is much better judged.
Et firmamentum demonstrat nobis quantum Deus sit magnificus. And the firmament shows us how magnificent God is.
Firmamentum dicitur caelum, ut dicitur Gen. 1. “Vocavit Deus firmamentum caelum.” The firmament is called the sky, as it says in Genesis 1. “God called the firmament the sky.”
Secundum autem distinctionem dicitur caelum, et sic in caelorum distinctione apparet divina sapientia: si totum accipiatur simul, sic narrat eius virtutem, et ideo dicit, quod caeli enarrant, idest manifestant, gloriam Dei, et firmamentum nuntiat opera manuum eius: per quae opera apparet eius virtus. It is called the sky, however, according to distinction, and so in the distinction of the skies the divine wisdom appears: if the whole is taken at once, is thus proclaims his power, and so it says that the skies proclaim, that is, they manifest, the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.
Secundum autem veritatem per caelos intelliguntur Apostoli, in quibus tamquam in caelis habitat Deus. According to the truth, however, by the skies the Apostles are understood, in whom God resides as in the skies.
Et dicuntur caeli propter sublimitatem conversationis. And they are called the skies on account of the sublimity of their behavior.
Phil. 5. “Nostra conversatio in caelis est.” Phil. 5. “Our way of life is in the heavens.”
Item stellati propter multarum virtutum abundantiam. Again they are covered in stars because of the abundances of many virtues.
Eccli. 43. “Species caeli gloria stellarum.” Eccl. 43. “The beauties of the sky, the glory of the stars.”
Esa. 55. “Sicut exaltati sunt caeli a terra etc.” Isa. 55. “As the heavens are raised above the earth, etc.”
Quia lucidi per doctrinam, et exemplum. Because they are shining by teaching and example.
Matth. 5. “Sic luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, ut videant opera vestra bona, et glorificent Patrem vestrum qui in caelis est.” Matth. 5. “So let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in the heavens.”
Quia volubiles, per obedientiam, et discursum praedicationis. They are quickly flying by obedience and by the discourse of preaching.
Eccli. 14. “Gyrum caeli circuivi sola, et in fluctibus maris ambulavi, et profundum abyssi penetravi, et in omni terra steti, et in omni populo, et in omni gente primatum tenui.” Eccl. 14 “I alone have gone around the circle of the sky, and I have walked in the waves of the sea, and I have penetrated the depth of the abyss, and I have stood in every land, and in the midst of every people, and I have held first place among every nation.”
Isti enarrant gloriam Dei, scilicet Patris, in qua est Christus, et quia Christus est aequalis Patri, et quod est Deus, et quod gratis peccata dimittit. They “proclaim the glory of God”, specifically of the Father, in which glory is Christ, and since Christy is equal to the Father, and is God, and forgives sings for free.
Esa. 12. “Gratis venundati estis, et sine argento redimemini.” Isaiah 12. “You have been bought for free, and you are redeemed without silver.”
Item Apostoli dicuntur firmamentum, quia firmati virtute Spiritus Sancti. Again, the Apostles are called the firmament, because they have been made firm by virtue of the Holy Spirit.”
Luc. ultim. “Sedere in civitate donec induamini virtute ex alto.” Luke (the end): “Remain in the city until you are clothed with virtue from on high.”
Et annuntiant opera manuum eius; idest mirabilia quae fecit Christus, scilicet nativitatem, passionem, resurrectionem, et ascensionem. And they announce the work of his hands; that is, the marvels that Christ worked, namely the nativity, passion, resurrection and ascension.
Eccli. 42. “Nonne Deus fecit sanctos enarrare omnia mirabilia eius?” Eccl. 42: “Has not God made the saints tell all his marvels?”
Esa. 12. “Annuntiate hoc in universa terra.” Ps. 95. Annuntiate inter gentes gloriam eius, in omnibus populis miriabilia eius. Isaiah 12. “Announce this through the whole earth.” Ps. 95. Announce his glory among the nations, his marvels among all the peoples.”
Vel, Caeli enarrant etc.. Or, The heavens tell etc.
Quia caeli novam stellam miserunt, ortum Salvatoris nuntiantem. Since the heavens sent a new star announcing the rise of the Saviour.
Matth. 2. “Vidimus stellam eius in oriente.” Matth. 2. “We have seen his star in the east.”
(b) Dies. (b) Day.
Hic excludit impedimentum doctrinae; et excludit triplex impedimentum. Here he excludes an impediment to doctrine: and he excludes a threefold impediment.
Aliquando impeditur doctrina, ut non possit addisci ex tempore, aliquando ex linguarum varietate; aliquando ex locorum diversitate. Sometimes a doctrine is impeded so that it cannot be learned on account of the time, sometimes on account of a variety of languages, sometimes on account of a diversity of places.
Primum impedimentum est de nocte. The first impediment concerns the night.
Non est tempus legendi, cum sit tempus quiescendi; et secundum diversa tempora convenit docere, et discere. The night is not the time for reading, since it is the time for resting, and different times are right for teaching and learning.
Et primo dicendum est de materialibus diebus qui causantur secundum naturam ex motu caeli; et ideo non solum substantiam caelorum oportet considerare, sed etiam motum firmamenti; et sic oportet accipere in hac vicissitudine sapientiam. And first we should speak of the material days that are caused according to nature by the movement of the sky; and thus we should consider not only the substance of the heavens, but also the motion of the firmament, and so we should gather wisdom in this changing.
Eccli. 33. “Quare dies diem superat, et lux lecem, et annus annum a sole? A domini scientia separati sunt,” idest dispositi supra. Eccl. 33. “Why is one day better than another day, and one light better than another light, and one year better than another by the sun? They have been separated by the Lord’s knowledge,” that is, they have been arranged from on high.
Et ideo dicit: Dies, succedens, diei eructat verbum, idest diem sapientiae; idest, manifestat ordinem et bonitatem divinae spientiae, inquantum una dies est maior alia etc. And thus he says: One day, then proclaims the word to another day, that is, the day of wisdom, that is, it manifests the order and goodness of divine wisdom, insofar as one day is greater than another, etc.
Una die est maior aestus quam alia; et sic de singulis. One day is a greater season than another, and so it is with each particular day.
Et nox. And night.
Supra ostendit divinam sapientiam, et ordinem dispositionis divinae, quia ordinate nox nocti succedit; et dicit, quia dies eructat, quia tempus diei est tempus loquendi; et ideo est tempus verbi. He shows above the divine wisdom, and the order of the divine disposition, since one night follows another in orderly fashion, since one day announces, since the daytime is the time for speaking, and so it is the time of the word.
Propter quod dicit, Eructat verbum. On this account he says, It announces the word.
Sed tempus noctis est tempus meditationis propter quietem; et ideo in quiete noctis homo meditatur, et adinvenit multa ex quibus fit sciens; et ideo est tempus scientiae. But the night-time is the time of meditation because of the quiet, and so in the quiet of night a man meditates, and he discovers many things from which he becomes knowledgeable; and so the night is the time of knowledge.
Et ideo dicit: Et nox, succedens, nocti indicat scientiam, scilicet Dei; quia in una nocte est alia dispositio temporis quam in alia; et hoc totum a scientia Dei disponente. And so he says: And one night, then, indicates knowledge to another night, namely the knowledge of God; because there is another arrangement of time in one night that in another; and this all is from God’s knowledge which arranges it.
Secundum veritatem Apostoli dicuntur Apostoli, eructant verbum, divinae sapientiae, diei, idest perfectis. According to the truth that Apostles are called Apostles, they announces the word, the word of divine wisdom, to the day, that is, to those who are perfect.
Pri. Cor. 2 “Scientiam loquimur inter perfectos.” Cor. 2 (the beginning): “We speak knowledge among those who are perfect.”
Non enim omnibus omnia praedicantur, sed clara claris; sancta sanctis, magnis magna praedicant. Not all things are preached to all people, but clear things to those who are clear; holy things to those who are holy, and great things to those who are great.
Item Apostolus; inquantum est nox, idest in carne vivens et mortalis, infirmitati, et ignorantiae rudium condescendens tamquam nox indicat nocti, idest perfectis scientiam, sed de rebus humanis. Again the Apostle: insofar as it is night, that is, one is living in the flesh, and mortal, and condescending to the weakness and ignorance of those who are uneducated as one night points something to another night, that is, pointing at knowledge for the perfect, but concerning human matters.
Pr. Cor. 3. “Non potui vobis loqui quasi spiritualibus, sed quasi carnalibus. Tamquam parvulis in Christo lac vobis dedi, non escam.” Cor. 3 (beginning) “I could not speak to you as to spiritual people, but as if to carnal people. As to little children, I have given you milk in Christ, not food.”
Vel, Dies, idest Gabriel, eructat verbum diei, idest Virgini Beatae proponit verbum Salvatoris; sed nox, idest diabolus, indicat scientiam nocti, idest Evae. Or, One day, that is Gabriel, announces the word to another day, that is, to the Blessed Virgin he sets forth the word of the Saviour; but one night, that is the devil, shows knowledge to another night, that is, to Eve.
Gen. 3. “Eritis sicut dii, scientes bonum et malum.” Genesis 3: “You will be like gods, knowing good and evil.”
Item secundo impeditur doctrina secundum varietatem linguarum, sed haec doctrina per hoc non impeditur; quia non sunt loquela, neque sermones; idest, quaecumque sint illae linguae, seu nationes, possunt erudiri de divina sapientia, et virtute, et hoc sive per caelos, sive per Apostolos. Again, in the second place doctrine is impeded according to the variety of languages, but this is doctrine is not impeded on this account, because there are no phrases, nor words, that is, whatever may be the languages or nations, they can be taught of the divine wisdom and power, whether by the heavens or by the apostles.
Sed secundum veritatem dicendum quod non sunt loquelae etc.. quorum non audiantur verba eorum: quia voces, sive praedicationes, sive doctrina Apostolorum auditur a quolibet. But it should be said according to the truth that there are not speeches whose words are not heard, because the sounds of their voices, or preachings, or the doctrine of the Apostles is heard by each and every one.
Sed de loquela Apostolorum duplex est opinio. Quidam enim dicunt, quod Apostoli una lingua loquebantur; sed alii omnes eos intelligebant. But there are two opinions concerning the speech of the Apostles. Some say that the Apostles spoke in one tongue, but others say that all understood them.
Sed contra hoc est Apostolus I. Corin 14. “Gratias ago Deo meo, quod omnium vestrum lingua loquor.” But what the Apostle says in I Corinthians 14 is contrary to this: “I give thanks to my God, that I speak in the language of all of you.”
Unde non sunt loquela, in quibus non audiantur loqui. Hence there are no speeches in which they are not heard to speak.
Loquelae significant linguas principales, sed sermones significant varietates idiomatum in eadem lingua. “Loquelae” signify the chief languages, but “sermones” signify the varieties of idioms in each language.
Vel loquelae linguae, sermones sunt modi loquendi. Or, “loquelae” languages, and “sermones” are ways of speaking.
Est autem triplex modus loquendi. There are three ways of speaking.
Unus humilis, quam communiter loquimur; alius quando est coloratus, et alius quando est ornatus tantum. There is the humble way which we speak in common; another way is when our speech is colorful, and another is when our speach is merely ornate.
Primus convenit docenti, secundus persuadenti; tertius delectanti; et quolibet illorum modorum loquebantur Apostoli. The first way is right for one who is teaching; the second way is right for one who is persuading; and the third way is right for one who is seeking to delight his hearers; and the Apostles spoke in all of these modes.
Esa. 28. “In loquela labii, et lingua altera loquar ad populum istum.” Isaiah 28: “I will speak to this people in the speach of lips, and in another tongue.”
Item impedimentum doctrinae est diversitas et remotio loci. Again, diversity and distance of place are an impediment to doctrine.
Quia doctrina aliquando non vadit ad remotas partes; sed non ita est de ista: quia in omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, scilicet caelorum, vel Apostolurm, quia ubique est doctrina, qua caeli erudiunt. Because a doctrine sometimes does not reach remote places, but this is not the case with this doctrine, because their sound has gone out unto all the earth, namely, the sound of the heavens, or of the Apostles, because the doctrine by which the heavens teach is everywhere.
Sed de Apostolis melius dicitur, quia dicit: Exivit, non exierunt, sonus,idest fama, et in fines orbis terrae verba eorum, quia sonus pervenit ad remota, et verba ad loca propinqua. But it is better said of the Apostles, because it says the sound, that is, the reputation or renown, has gone out, not that they have left, and their words unto the ends of the earth, because a sound reaches far-off places, and words reach close places.
Sed non est ita de Apostolis, immo etiam verba, idest distinctio soni pervenit ad fines orbis terrarum, vel prophetia aliqua, vel fama miraculorum. But this is not the case with the Apostles, rather even their words, which is the distinction of sound, have reached the ends of the earth, whether a prophecy or the knowledge of miracles.
(c) In sole. (c) In the sun.
Supra Psalmus fecit mentionem de caelis; et hic ad ostendendam laudem creatoris agit de sole. Above, the psalm mentions the heavens, and here, in order to show the praise of the creator, he mentions the sun.
Et sicut per caelos intelliguntur Apostoli, ita per solem intelligitur Christus. As by the heavens, we understand the Apostles, so also by the sun we understand Christ.
Malac. 4. “Vobis timentibus nomen meum orietur sol iustitiae.” Malachias 4: “The sun of justice will arise for you who fear my name.”
Et quaedam prophetiae dicunt hoc de Christo sub figura solis. And some prophecies say this of Christ under the figure of the sun.
Ideo primo ponit figuram per quam incipit veritatem de Christo explicare. Thus, he first presents the figure by which he begins to explain the truth about Christ.
Circa figuram tria ponit. He presents three things concerning the figure.
Primo situm solis; secundo motum, Et ipse tamquam sponsus; tertio effectum eius, Non est qui qui se abscondat etc. First there is the position of the sun, then its motion, and he like a bridegroom; and third the effect of the sun There is no one who can hide himself etc…”
Primo sciendum est, quod haec diversa littera Hieronymi habet; Soli posuit tabernaculum in eis; quasi dicat: Ita caeli enarrant etc. et pro eis, scilicet caelis, posuit soli tabernaculum, idest collocavit eum in caelis. First, we should know that Jerome has a different wording for this: He set a tabernacle (a tent) for the sun in them; as if to say: Thus the heavens tell etc. and for them, namely the heavens, he has set his tabernacle (pitched his tent), that is, he has placed him in the heavens.
Ponitur convenienter tabernaculum, quia hic mundus est locus viatorum, non habitantium in certo loco, quia sunt in continua motu. The tabernacle is set, or the tent pitched, fittingly, because this world is the place of the wayfarers, not of those who dwell in a certain place, because they are in continual motion.
Nostra autem littera habet: in sole posuit tabernaculum suum. The words as we have them say: in the sun he has set his tabernacle (pitched his tent)
Domus alicuius domini pulchrius fiat in civitate, quam in rure; ita pulchrius in caelo videtur tabernaculum Dei; et ideo dicit: in sole posuit tabernaculum suum; quasi dicat. The house of a lord would be more beautiful in the city than in the country; and so the tabernacle of God seems more beautiful in heaven.
Sol est eius tabernaculum: non quod Deus in loco contineatur, sed quia, et Dionysius dicit, in sole maxime repraesentatur bonitas, et virtus Dei, sive divina. The sun is his tabernacle: not that God is contained in a place, but because, as Dionysius says, the goodness and power of God, the divine power, are most greatly represented in the sun.
De motu solis duo dicit: A summo caelo. He says two things concerning the movement of the sun: from the height of heaven.
Nota quod loquitur de caelo sicut est in motu suo, qui est finis noctis, et principium diei. Note that he speaks of the sky as it is in its change, which is the end of the night and the beginning of the day.
Et secundum quod est finis noctis, non est nisi exitus de occulto in manifestum: quia non oritur, quasi tunc esse incipiat, sed quia tunc manifestatur; et ideo assimilat eum sponso egredienti de thalamo: quia sicut occultatur sponsus in thalamo, sic occultatur sol de nocte: ideo dicit: ipse tamquam sponsus procedens de thalamo suo. And as it is the end of the night, it is only the departure from the hidden to that which is plainly apparent: because the sun does not rise in the sense of just beginning to exist, but in the sense that now it’s presence is made apparent; and thus he likens the sun to a bridegroom coming out of his bedchamber, because as the bridegroom is hidden in the bedchamber, so the sun is hidden from the night: and so he says: he, like a groom, coming forth from his bedchamber.
Secundum autem quod est principium diei, quattuor ponit: scilicet proprietatem, sive efficaciam eius, magnitudinem, velocitatem, et regularitatem motus eius. Considering the sun as the principle or beginning of the day, he presents four things: the sun’s property or efficacy, its magnitude, the velocity, and the regularity of its motion.
Proprietatem, quia nox tristitiam indicat: sed dies laetificat. He presents the sun’s property, because the night suggests sadness, but the day brings joy.
Psal. 29. Ad vesperam demorabitur fletus, et ad matutinum laetitia. Psalm 29. Weeping will remain to the evening, but joy to the day.
Et ideo dicit,exultavit. And so he says, “he rejoiced.”
Magnitudinem, quia magnus inter omnia corporalia particularia; et ideo dicit, ut gigas. Velocitatem; unde dicit: ad currendam. Regularitatem;unde dicit, viam, quia non exorbitat a rectitudine viae, sicut aliqui planetae. Magnitude, because the sun is great among all particular physical things; and so he says: as a giant. Speed; hence he says:to run. Regularity, hence he says, the way, because the sun does not depart from the rightness of its way as do some planets.
Item hanc similitudinem exponit, cum dicit, a summo caelo. Et quod hic dicitur, potest dupliciter intelligi. Uno modo, quia sunt duo puncta secundum astrologos, scilicet summitas caelorum, ubi sol est quando est in meridie, et punctus oppositus qui est angulus terrae, ubi est sol in medio noctis: et hoc est quod dicit, a summo caelo egressio ejus, secundum illos qui incipiunt diem a medio noctis, et occursus ejus usque ad summum ejus, quantum ad angulum caeli ubi est in meridie. Again, he explains this similarity when he says, from the highest sky. What is said here can be understood in two ways. In one way, that there are two points according to the astronomers, namely the highest part of the heavens, where the son is at noon, and the opposite point which is the angle (corner) or the earth, where the son is in the middle of the night: et this is what he says, from the highest sky his going out, according to those who would begin the day from midnight, and his course unto its height, with respect to the angle of the sky where it is at noon.
Sed si ad unum punctum summum referatur, sic est unus punctus, ubi sol est in meridie. Et hoc est quod secundum astrologos plures dies computantur a medio diei; quasi dicat: a puncto meridionali est recursus ejus, scilicet solis, usque ad locum illum: eccl. 1: oritur sol et occidit, et ad locum suum revertitur. But if height refers to one point, it is the one point where the sun is at midday. And this is because according to the astronomers most days are counted from midday; as if he were to say: from the point of midday is his (the sun’s) return, to the other place: Eccl. 1: the sun rises and falls, and returns to its place.
Effectus ejus manifestatur cum dicit, nec est qui se abscondat a calore ejus; quasi dicat, sol in meridiano ita exurit terram, et ita calidus est quod in aliquibus terris vix homo subsistit: eccl. 43: in meridiano exurit terram, et in conspectu ardoris ejus quis potest subsistere? secundum autem rem significatam designantur mysteria Christi. Its effects are shown when he says, nor is there anyone who may hide himself from his heat; as if he were to say, the sun at midday so burns the earth, and is so hot that in some lands man barely survives: Eccl. 43: At midday he burns the earth, and in the face of his burning heat who can stand? But according to the thing signified the mysteries of Christ are designated.
Et primo designatur ipsius conceptio. Secundo nativitas. Tertio ejus progressus. Quarto ejus ascensio. Conceptio designatur, cum dicitur, in sole posuit tabernaculum suum. Est autem consuetum, quod per tabernaculum intelligitur corpus: 2 Pet. 1: scio quod velox est depositio tabernaculi mei, secundum quod Dominus Noster Jesus Christus significavit mihi: 2 cor. 5: qui sumus in hoc tabernaculo, ingemiscimus. quod ergo dicit, in sole posuit etc. And first His conception is designated. Second, his nativity. Third, his development. Fourth, his ascension. His conception is designated when it says in the sun he has placed his tabernacle. It is customary that by tabernacle or tent one understands the body: 2 Peter 1: I know that the time for folding up my tent is coming quickly, because Our Lord Jesus Christ told me: 2 Cor. 5: we who are in this tent weep.
Quod ergo dicit, in sole posuit etc. idest corpus suum posuit in sole, idest in beata virgine, quae nullam habuit obscuritatem peccati: cant. 4: Tota pulchra es amica mea, et macula non est in te. Therefore what he says in the sun he has placed etc., is that he has placed his body in the sun, that is, in the Blessed Virgin, who had no darkness of sin: Cant. 4: You are completely beautiful, my woman friend, and there is no blemish in you.
Vel in sole sunt tria. lucet, ardet, et distinguit vices temporum. in sole posuit tabernaculum suum, idest in manifesto, quia cum invisibilis esset, per assumptionem corporis factus est visibilis: jo. 1: verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis. Item in sole, idest ardore, posuit tabernaculum suum, idest corpus suum, quia suscepit passibile: isa. 53: vere languores nostros ipse tulit, et dolores nostros ipse portavit. Or, there are three characteristics of the sun. It shines, it burns, and it distinguishes various times. In the sun he has placed his tabernacle, that is, in plain sight, because although He was invisible, by assuming His Body He became visible. John 1: The Word was made flash, and dwelt among us. Again, in the sun, that is, in burning heat, he has placed his tabernacle, that is, his body, because he took the ability to suffer: Isaiah 53: Truly he has taken up our afflictions, and he has borne our sorrows.
Item subjecit Ipsum varietati: et qui secundum quod Deus erat aeternus, secundum quod homo factus est temporalis: Psalm. 30: in manibus tuis tempora mea. Vel, tabernaculum suum, idest ecclesiam: Apoc. 21: ecce tabernaculum Dei cum hominibus. Posuit in sole, idest in manifesto: Matth. 5: non potest civitas abscondi supra montem posita. Nativitas designatur cum dicitur, ipse tamquam sponsus procedens de thalamo suo. Thalamus uterus virginalis est: de hoc sicut sponsus processit, quia in ea unione perpetua desponsavit humanam naturam: unde in morte divinitas remansit unita animae et corpori: Oseae 2: sponsabo te mihi in fide. processus viae ejus describitur a jucunditate. Again, he subjected himself to change: He who as God was eternal, as man become temporal: Ps. 30: In your hands are my times. Or, his tabernacle, that is, the Church: Apoc. 21: Behold the tabernacle of God with men. He placed in the sun, that is, in plain sight: Matth. 5: A city built upon a mount cannot be hidden. The nativity or birth is designated when it says, he like a bridegroom proceeding from his chamber. The chamber is the virginal womb: from this he proceeds like a bridegroom, because in this perpetual union he has espoused human nature: hence in death His Divinity remained united to his soul and body: Os. 2: I will espouse you to myself in faith.
Processus viae ejus describitur a jucunditate. Unde, exultavit, interius scilicet cum laetitia spirituali, quam nec mors nec tristitia aliqua in sensualitate potuit perturbare: quia etiam in passione fruebatur: Isa. 42: non erit tristis neque turbulentus; quia ex tristitia sensualitatis nulla tristitia in parte superiori fuit: tamen tota patiebatur secundum quod erat natura; non autem secundum quod erat conversa ad Deum. Item describitur magnitudine: quia, ut gigas, geminae substantiae: quia naturae divinae in qua magnus: Ps. 76: quis Deus magnus sicut etc., et humanae naturae in qua etiam magnus: Luc. 1: hic erit magnus: etc.. A velocitate: quia salutem nostram operatus est in modico tempore: unde dicit, ad currendam viam: Act. 10: pertransivit benefaciendo et sanando, quasi velociter. The course and development of his life is described by joy. Hence, he rejoiced, that is, he rejoiced inwardly with a spiritual joy, which neither death nor any sadness in sensuality could disturb: because He also experienced this joy in his passion: Isaiah 42: he will be neither sad or disturbed; because there was no sadness in his higher part from the sadness of sensuality: however the whole suffered as nature; nor as being turned toward God. Again he is described by magnitude: because as a giant of twin substance: because He is of divine nature in which he is great: Ps. 76: who is a great God as etc., and He was also great with respect to his human nature: Luke 1: he will be great: etc.. The course of his life is also described by speed: because he worked our salvation in a short time: hence the psalm says to run the way. Acts 10: he passed through doing good and healing, as if speedily.
(d) A summo. Hic prosequitur de ascensione: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ponit ascensionem debitam. Secundo ejus terminum. tertio effectum debitum ponit. (d) From the height. Here he goes on to talk about the Ascension. He does three things with respect to this. First, he sets forth the due ascension. Second, its end point. Third, he sets forth its due effect.
Primum, cum dicit, a summo caelo egressio ejus. Naturale est cuilibet rei tendere in locum suum sibi connaturalem. Locus naturalis summus debetur ei qui habet summam naturam. Christus est natus a Patre habens summam naturam: Ephes. 4: qui descendit, ipse est qui et ascendit. Et ideo dicit, a summo caelo egressio ejus, scilicet per aeternam generationem. et dicit, a summo, non ex aethereo vel empyreo, vel alio; sed ab esse Trinitatis, quia est consubstantialis Patri, idem in essentia. Deinde ponit terminum, dicit ergo, et occursus ejus usque ad summum ejus: jo. 16: exivi a patre, et veni in mundum: iterum relinquo mundum, et vado ad patrem. First, when he says, his going out from the highest sky. It is natural for each thing to tend to its place, the place connatural to it. The highest natural place rightfully belongs to him who has the highest nature. Christ was born from the Father having the highest nature: Eph. 4: he who has descended, is he who ascended. And so the psalm says: from the highest sky his going out, namely, by eternal generation. And he says, from the highest, not from the ethereal or empyrean heavens or any other; but from the being of the Trinity, since He is consubstantial with the Father, the same in essence. Then he set forth the end point, when he says, and his course is all the way to its height: John 15: I have gone forth from the Father, and I have come into the world: again I will leave the world and go to the Father.
Sequitur effectus: nec est qui se abscondat a calore ejus: Ephes. 4: dedit dona hominibus. Ibidem: ascendit super omnes caelos, ut adimpleret omnia. Sol quando est in alto, omnes calefacit. The effect follows: nor is there anyone who may hide himself from its heat: Ephesians 4: He has given gifts to men.. In the same passage it reads: He has ascended above all the heavens to fulfill all things.
Sic Christus ascendens misit Spiritum Sanctum discipulis; Unde dicit. Nec est qui se abscondat a calore ejus. Thus Christ, when he had ascended, send the Holy Spirit to his disciples; hence it says: Nor is there anyone who may hide himself from its heat.
Spiritus Sanctus calefacit: Can. 8: Lampades ejus lampades ignis. Sed numquid multi non recipiunt calorem ejus? Dicendum quod sicut est de sole materiali, ita contingit de Spiritu Sancto. The Holy Spirit warms: Songs 8: His lamps are lamps of fire. But do not many receive his warmth? It is to be said that as it is with the material sun, so it is the case with the Holy Spirit.
Multi autem possunt se abscondere, et non recipere calorem solis, sed sol ex parte sua se exhibet omnibus; sic Spiritus Sanctus effunditur ubique, et petit ab omnibus recipi, nisi aliquis se per malitiam abscondat. Many, however, can hide themselves, and not receive the warmth of the sun, but the sun for its part shows itself to all; so the Holy Spirit is poured out everywehre, and asks to be received by all, except if someone hides himself out of malice.
Vel non est qui se abscondat etc.: quia licet peccator non recipiat eum, tamen non potest abscondi quin cognoscatur ab eo etc.. prov. 15: infernus et perditio coram Domino. Or, there is no one who may hide himself etc.: because although the sinner may not receive Him, yet he cannot hide from being known by Him. Prov. 15: hell and perdition before the face of the Lord.
(e) Lex. Supra psalmista egit de sua generali instructione, quae fit per creaturas; nunc agit de speciali quae fit per legislationem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponit legis commendationem. Secundo agit de delictis quae committuntur contra legem, ibi, delicta quis intelligit. (e) The Law. Above the psalmist spoke of his general instruction, which comes by way of creatures; now he speaks of the special instruction which comes by way of legislation: and he does two things in this regard. First he presents a commendation of the law. Second, he speaks of the offenses which are committed against the law, where he says, who understands his offenses.
Et convenienter post mysteria incarnationis Christi, agit de lege veteri, quae est per Christum impleta, et nova tradita: et circa hoc duo facit. primo ostendit legis bonitatem sive rectitudinem. Secundo ejus suavitatem seu dilectionem, ibi: desiderabilia. It is right that after treating the mysteries of Christ’s incarnation, he speaks of the Old Law, which was fulfilled by Christ, and the New Law that was passed on: and he does two things in this regard. First, he shows the goodness or rectitude of the law. Second, he shows its gentleness or love, where he writes: desirable things.
Circa primum tria facit. Primo commendat legem in generali. Secundo ea quae in lege continentur, ibi, testimonium Domini. Tertio commendat ea quae adjacent legi, ibi, timor Domini. With regard to the first, he does three things. First, he commends the law in general. Second, he commends those things contained in the law, where he writes: the testimony of the Lord. Third, he commends the things associated with the Law, where he writes: the fear of the Lord.
Est autem considerandum, quod de lege Domini dicit duo: et quod est immaculata, et quod est convertens: et potest ad utramque legem referri, scilicet novam et veterem: et ponuntur ad differentiam legis humanae, in qua quaedam illicita permittuntur, sicut usurae et prostibula; non enim potest omnia corrigere. It is to be considered taht he says two things concerning the law of the Lord: first that it is immaculate, and that it is converting: and this may refer to either law, the Old Law and the New Law: and it is compared to the difference in human law, in which certain illicit things are permitted, such as usury and prostitution, for (the human law) cannot correct all things.
Sed lex Domini non est talis, sed est immaculata, idest omnia mala excludens: Psalm. 11: eloquia domini, eloquia casta etc.. Job 6: non invenietis in lingua mea iniquitatem, nec in faucibus meis stultitia personabit. But the law of the Lord is not such, but it is immaculate, that is, it excludes all that is evil: Psalm 11: the sayings of the Lord are pure sayings, etc.. Job 6: you will not find iniquity in my tongue, nor will folly sound forth in my throat.
Item lex humana non extendit se nisi ad ea ad quae se habet judicium humanum, scilicet tantum ad exteriora: 1 Reg. 16: Homo videt quae apparent, Deus autem intuetur cor. Again, human law extends only to things that belong to human judgment, namely, to exterior things: 1 Kings 16: Man sees what appears, but God sees the heart.
Et ideo lex humana retrahit ab exterioribus, licet divina lex convertat cor ad Deum; et ideo dicit, convertens, non tantum exteriores actus, sed et animas. And so the human law draws (man) away from exterior things, but the divine law turns the heart to God; and so he says “it converts”, not only exterior acts, but souls as well.
Sed lex vetus hoc faciebat imperfecte, lex nova perfecte: quia lex vetus cohibet per poenas temporales, quae coercent manum; sed lex nova cohibet per poenas aeternas, quae coercent cor. But the Old law did this imperfectly, while the New Law does it perfectly: because the Old Law works through temporal punishments that force one’s hand; but the New Law works through eternal punishments, which work upon the heart.
Continentur autem in lege tria: testimonia, judicia, et praecepta. Testimonia, quia lex divina procedit ex necessitate super aliqua credulitate: Heb. 11: accedentem ad dominum oportet credere. Three things, however, are contained in the law: testimonies, judgements, and precepts. Testimonies, because the Divine Law proceeds by necessity over any credulity: Heb. 11: he who approaches the Lord must believe.
Et ideo necessaria sunt testimonia per quae fides recta hominis probetur; et ita in ea sunt testimonia et caeremoniae. Et dicit de eis duo: quod testimonia sive praecepta habent aliquid fidele, et quod sapientiam praestant. Doctrinae autem humanae habent aliquid non fidele, nec sapientiam praestant. And so testimonies are necessary by which the right faith of a man is tested; and so in the matter of this faith there are testimonies and ceremonies. And he says two things about these: that testimonies or precepts have something faithful (or trustworthy), and that they exhibit wisdom. However, human doctrines have something that is not faithful (or trustworthy), nor do these doctrines exhibit wisdom.
Non fidele, quia antiquitus confinxerunt in legibus quaedam falsa, secundum quod videbatur eis ad utilitatem civitatum: sicut quod quidam homines nati sunt ex diis, ut conciperent magnos animos; et quod bene regentes transferebantur ad deos, ut animarent ad bonum reipublicae. Something not faithful or trustworthy, because in ancient times men put certain falsehoods in their laws, as it seemed to them to be useful for their cities; for example, that certain men were born of the gods, so that they would possess great minds or spirits; and that those who ruled well were changed into gods, to give a soul, as it were, to the good of the republic.
Sed testimonium Domini, idest doctrina, seu mandatum divinum est fidele, idest habet veritatem; sed illud, scilicet doctrina illorum est falsa: psalm. 92: testimonia tua, domine, credibilia facta sunt nimis: et hoc ideo est, quia lex illa ordinat ea quae sunt in vita ista tantum; sed lex divina ordinat ad futuram vitam. But the Lord’s testimony, that is (His) teaching, or the divine command is faith, that is, it has truth; but the other, namely the teaching of the others, is false: Psalm 92: “Thy testimonies, O Lord, are become exceedingly credible:” and this because that law orders those things which are only in that very life; but the divine law orders (those things which are) for (or towards) the future life.
rom. 8: non sunt condignae passiones hujus temporis ad futuram gloriam, quae revelabitur in nobis. testimonia proprie dicuntur in lege illa quae generant auctoritatem praecipientis in corde subditorum, ut obediant praeceptis; ut quod Deus sit unus, et quod sit Creator caeli et terrae, et hujusmodi. Rom. 8: The sufferings of this time cannot compare to the future glory that will be revealed within us. Testimonies are properly spoken of in the law when these testimonies give birth to the authority of the lawgiver in the heart of his subjects, so that they obey his precepts; that God is one, that He is the Creator of heaven and earth, and other such testimonies.
Et quia caeremonialia praecepta sunt ex sola auctoritate divina debita, possent dici testimonia; praecepta vero moralia fundantur in debito omnis virtutis; judicialia vero praecepta fundantur in debito, quod est inter homines quantum ad contractus. Lex autem illa humana non praestat sapientiam: aliqua enim sapientia est in humanis, ubi est aliqua veritas, ut philosophica: et quaedam sapientia est qua utebantur sacerdotes in templo, et haec est falsa: et haec multis proponebatur; And since the ceremonial precepts are entirely from the due divine authority, they can be called testimonies; the moral precepts, on the other hand, are grounded in what is due in these of every virtue; the judicial precepts are grounded in what is due regarded contracts between men. The human law, however, does not exhibit wisdom: for there is a certain wisdom in human laws, where there is a certain truth, such as philosophical truth: and there is a certain wisdom that the priests employed in the temple, and this wisdom is false: and this false wisdom was set forth to many men;
Sed illa philosophica paucis, sed divina parvulis, quia populis: Deut. 4: Haec est sapientia vestra et intellectus coram populis. vel, parvulis, idest humilibus: Matth. 11: Abscondisti haec a sapientibus et prudentibus, et revelasti ea parvulis. But the philosophical wisdom was set forth to few men, whereas the divine wisdom was set forth to the little ones, because it was set forth to peoples: Deut. 4: This is your wisdom and understanding before the peoples. Matth. 11: You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to the little ones.
Justitiae Domini rectae, seu judicia illa quae dicuntur Exod. 22: Qui furatus fuerit bovem aut ovem etc.. isa. 26: Rectus callis justi ad ambulandum: prov. 21: Gaudium est justo facere justitiam, et pavor operantibus iniquitatem. The justices of the Lord are right, that is, the judgments spoken of in Exodus 22: he who has stolen a cow or sheep etc… Isa. 26: The right path of the just to walk: Prov. 21: It is a joy for the just to do justice, and a cause of trembling to those who do iniquity.
Et dicit duo de eis: quod recta, et quod jucunda. Recta, quia continent justitiam. Rectum dicitur justum: Prov. 8: Justi sunt omnes sermones mei, et non est in eis pravum quid nec perversum: Recti sunt intelligentibus etc.. Jucunda, non severa et perturbativa, quia sunt aequitati permixta; unde dicit, laetificantes corda, propter aequitatem et spem praemii: Ps. 118: Laetabor ego super eloquia tua. Moralia vero praecepta sunt lucida et illuminativa; unde dicit, praeceptum Domini lucidum. And he says two things concerning these: (first that they are) right, and (second that they are) delightful. Right, because they pertain to justice. Right is said of the just: Proverbs 8: “All my words are just, there is nothing wicked nor perverse in them. They are right to them that understand…” Delightful, (because they are) not severe and disturbing, since they are mixed with equity. Hence he says, they make the heart rejoice, on account of equity and the hope of reward: Ps. 118: I will rejoice over your words. The moral precepts are shiny and illuminating; hence he says: the precept of the Lord is shiny.
Lucidum dicitur, quia in se est manifestum et evidens, sicut hic, non occides, non moechaberis, non furtum facies, et similia: quae habent in se claritatem, quod quilibet servare tenetur dicens, prov. 6: mandatum lucerna, et lex lux. It is called shiny, because in itself it is manifest and evident, for example, you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, and the like: these have within them clarity, so each and every man is obliged to hold them and say, Prov. 6: the command is a lantern, and the law a light.
Praeceptum dicitur ad quod attenditur secundum imperium superioris; et est de agendis, et importat debitum faciendi in eo cui praecipitur: quod quidem debitum est vel ex parte regulae divinae quam tenemur sequi; et sic illud cadit sub debito, sine quo rationis ordo servari non potest: vel est debitum ex auctoritate praecipientis, cui obedire tenemur: vel ex parte finis, quem omnino volumus, qui est praestitutus nobis; et tunc cadit sub praecepto illud sine quo non possumus servare subjectionem ad praecipientem; vel sine quo non possumus consequi finem intentum. That which is heeded according to the rule of a superior is called a precept; a precept concerns things that are to be done, and implies an obligation to do something in him who has been commanded: this obligation is either on part of the divine rule that we are obliged to follow, and thus that fall under the obligation without which the order of reason cannot be preserved: or it is an obligation flowing from the authority of the one who commands, whom we are obliged to obey: or on the part of the end that we desire, which is set forth for us; and then under the precept falls that without which we cannot preserve our state of being subject to the one who commands; or without which we cannot achieve the intended end.
Dicitur enim praeceptum quasi praecise ceptum, scilicet ad agendum: quasi quod praecise teneamur illud agere: ideo tale praeceptum est: illuminans oculos, scilicet rationis, qui oculi tenebrescunt per cupiditatem exteriorum et concupiscentias interiorum passionum: et hoc removet praeceptum Domini, et ideo illuminans oculos. The term precept means “taken precisely”, that is, with respect to that which should be done; as if we are held to do that exactly: and such a precept is the following: illuminating the eyes, that is, the eyes of the reason, which eyes are darkened by the unrestrained desire for exterior things and by the desires of the passions within: and the precept of the Lord removes this, and so it illuminates the eyes.
Illumina oculos meos, ne unquam obdormiam in morte, psal. 12. Give light to me eyes, lest I ever sleep in death, Psal. 12.
(f) Timor. Hic ponit quaedam adiacentia legi: quorum unum est ex parte nostra, scilicet timor, qui inducit nos ad servandum praecepta: Eccl. ult. Deum time, et mandata eius observa. (f) Fear. Here (the psalmist) sets down certain things surrounding the law, one of which is on our part, namely fear, which leads us to follows (his) precepts: Ecclesiates 12: “Fear God and keep his commands.”
De timore isto duo dicit. Primo dicit eum sanctum. Secundo dicit eum permanentem. Concerning fear itself he says two things. First, he calls it holy. Second, he calls it permanent.
Omnis autem timor ex amore causatur, quia illud timet homo perdere quod amat. Et ideo sicut est duplex amor, ita est duplex timor: quidam est timor sanctus qui causatur ab amore sancto; quidam non sanctus, qui a non sancto causatur. Sanctus amor est quo amatur Deus: Rom. 5. Charitas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum sanctum qui datus est nobis. Timor iste sanctus tria facit. Primo timet Deum offendere. Secundo recusat ab eo separari. Tertio Deo per reverentiam subiicit: et iste timor dicitur castus et filialis. Now, all fear is caused by love, since a man fears to lose that which he loves. And thus, just as there is a twofold love, so too is there a twofold fear. On the one hand, there is a holy fear which is caused by a holy love, while on the other, there is a fear which is not holy, a fear which is caused by a love which is not holy. A holy love is that by which God is loved; Romans 5: “The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.” This holy fear effects three things. First, one fears to offend God. Second, one is unwilling to be separated from Him. Third, one submitts oneself to God through reverence. And this very fear is called pious and filial.
Non sanctus timor est qui causatur ab amore non sancto, qui est mundi, et suiipsius; et de tali amore non sancto causatur duplex timor non sanctus. Servilis, qui est ex amore sui: et mundanus, qui procedit ab amore mundi: Matt. 10. Nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus etc.. De timore sancto: Ps. 33. Timete Deum, omnes sancti eius, quoniam non est inopia timentibus eum. Mundanus timor non permanet nisi cum mundo, servilis permanet in malis in perpetuum, sed sanctus permanet in bonis. De hoc dicit Psalmus, Timor Domini sanctus permanet in saeculum saeculi. A fear which is not holy is that which is caused by a love which is not holy, which is of the world, and of one’s self. And from that sort of love which is not holy, a twofold fear which is not holy is caused. (First, there is that fear which is) servile, that which is from a love of one’s self. (Second, there is that fear which is) worldly, that which proceeds from a love of the world; Matthew 10: “Fear ye not them that kill the body” etc. Of a holy fear (it is said at) Psalm 33: “Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” A worldly fear endures only with the world, (while) a servile (fear) endures in the evil in perpetuity. But a holy fear endures in the good. Concerning this, the Psalm states The fear of the Lord is holy remaining for the age of the age.
Sed contra. Perfecta charitas foras mittit timorem, 1 Io. 4. On the contrary, (there is the passage from) 1 John 4 (which states): “Perfect charity casteth out fear.”
Dicendum, quod charitas expellit timorem servilem: sed filialis timor duplicter permanet, scilicet in patria. Primo quantum ad sui praemium: Ps. 9. Patientia pauperum non peribit in finem. Non quod ibi sit patientia, quia non est ibi tribulatio, sed fructus eius: et sic fructus timoris permanet: Eccl. 1. Timenti Deum bene erit in extremis, et in die defunctiunis suae benedicetur. I answer that charity expells servile fear, but filial fear endures in heaven in a twofold fashion. First, insofar as it is to us a reward; Psalm 9: “The patience of the poor shall not perish for ever.” Not that there is patience there, since there is no tribulation there. Rather, its fruit: and in this manner the fruit of fear endures; Ecclesiasticus 1: “With him that feareth the Lord, it shall go well in the latter end, and in the day of his death he shall be blessed.”
Vel manet secundum aliquem sui actum: non quod timeat offendere, quia ibi non timet peccatum, nec separationem, sed quantum ad reverentiam, quia submittent se Deo, nec audebunt se ei aequare: Iob 26. Columnae caeli contremiscunt, et pavent ad nutum eius. Or, (fear) remains according to its own activity. Not that one fears to offend, since one does not fear sin there. Nor (does one fear) separation. But (one fears) with respect to (the activity of) reverence. For they submitt themselves to God, and do not dare to make themselves equal to him; Job 26: “The pillars of heaven tremble, and dread at his beck.”
Ex parte Dei est illud, scilicet iudicium eius: quod dicitur executio iustitiae: Ps. 93. Quousque iustitia convertatur in iudicium. Et haec fiunt secundum quod punit vel praemiat; et ideo Iudicia Domini dicuntur Vera et iustificata: vera propter rectitudinem, quia in eis semper est veritas: Rom. 2. Iudicium Dei est secundum veritatem in eos qui talia agunt: non enim sequitur, Testimonia, humana, sed, Iustificata in semetipsa dicitur, quia vel non sequitur aliam superiorem legem, sed in semetipsa. On God’s part, there is his judgment, which is called the execution of justice; Psalm 93: “Until justice be turned into judgment.” And this will come about as he punishes or rewards; and thus The judgments of the Lord are said to be True and justified: true according to rectitude, since in these (his judgments) there is always truth; Romans 2: “The judgment(s) of God (are), according to truth, against them that do such things:” for (these judgments do) not follow human Testimonies, but are said to be Justified unto themselves, since (they do) not follow upon some superior law, but (are) Unto themselves.
Vel quia in semetipsis ipsa iudicia Domini habent evidentem iustitiam: Ps. 36. Et educet quasi lumen iustitiam tuam, et iudicium tuum tanquam meridiem. Or, because in themselves, the judgments of the Lord have obvious justice; Psalm 36: “And he will bring forth thy justice as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”
(g) Desiderabilia. Supra psalmista commendavit legem divinam quantum ad ejus rectitudinem; hic autem commendat quantum ad ejus suavitatem et jucunditatem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponit ejus commendationem. Secundo talem commendationem probat, ibi, etenim servus tuus. praefert autem legem quantum ad desiderium animae omnibus rebus mundi. (g) Desirable things. Above the psalmist commended the divine law with regard to its rectitude; here he commends it for its sweetness and joy: and here he does two things. First he presents the commendation of the Divine Law. Second, he proved this commendation, where he says, and your servant. He prefers the law to the soul’s desire for all the things of the world.
In rebus autem mundanis desiderantur exteriores divitiae et voluptates corporales. Et supra ista est delectatio legis Dei. Quantum ad primum dicit ista quae dicta sunt: desiderabilia super aurum: Prov. 8: melior est sapientia cunctis opibus pretiosissimis, et omne desiderabile ei non potest comparari: ps. 118: dilexi mandata tua super aurum etc.. et tangit illa duo quae homines desiderant; unde dicit, aurum; et pompas, unde lapidem pretiosum. In worldly things, external riches and bodily pleasures are desired. And the love of the law of God is above these things. With respect to the first he says the things that were said: more desirable than gold: Prov. 8: Wisdom is better than all the most precious treasures, and no desirable thing can be compared to it: Ps. 118: I have loved your commands more than gold, etc., and he mentions the two things that men desire; hence he says, gold, and displays, hence he says, precious stone.
Lapides pretiosi non serviunt nisi ad apparentiam: unde ibi multum potest referri, vel ad lapidem, vel ad pretiosum. Item quantum ad secundum dicit, et dulciora super mel et favum: psal. 118: quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua. Precious stones serve no purpose except appearance: and there much can be referred, either to stone, or to precious. Again with respect to the second he says, and sweeter than honey or honeycomb. Psal. 118: how sweet to my throat are your words.
Super mel ori meo. Dicitur mel et favum, quantum ad delectationes corporales. Mel extrahitur a cera; sed favus est mel et cera. Delectationes corporales quandoque sunt manifestae, et sic est mel; quandoque sunt absconditae et dulciores, et sic est favus: prov. 9: aquae furtivae dulciores sunt etc.. Vel praeferuntur favo propter vetus testimonium, in quo est mel in favo, veritas in figura: melli propter novum ubi est veritas manifesta. More than honey to my mouth. It is called honey and honeycombed, in comparison to bodily pleasures. Honey is extracted from wax; but honeycombed is honey and wax. Bodily pleasures sometimes are manifest, and such is honey; sometimes they are hidden and more sweet, and such is honeycomb: Prov. 9: stolen waters are sweeter etc.. Or they are preferred to honeycomb on account of the Old Testament, in which there is honey in honeycomb, truth in a figure: they are preferred to honey on account of the New Testament which is manifest truth.
Sed numquid spirituales delectationes sunt delectabiliores? Dicendum est quod sic: et est triplex ratio. Una ex parte boni delectati quod est potius bonum, et ex causa delectationis, quod est majus bonum, ergo magis delectabile. Secunda ex parte potentiae delectantis, quia vis intellectiva est fortior sensitiva. Tertia ex modo delectationum. But are spiritual delights more delightful? The answer is yes: and for a threefold reason. For one, on part of the good we delight in, which is a more powerful good, and for reason of the delight, which is a greater good, therefore more delightful. Second, on part of the potency that takes delight, because the intellectual faculty is stronger than the sensitive faculty. Third, because of the mode of the delights.
Corporales delectationes consistunt in fieri et in motu; sicut in cibis et in aliis. Motus autem est quid imperfectum; et quoddam futurum et praeteritum importat; quia non habetur totum simul. Spirituales autem delectationes non sunt in motu: quia consistunt in amando et intelligendo bonum, quod non est in motu; sed per accidens plus desiderantur illae, inquantum abundant aliqui in sensu, et deficiunt in intellectu. Bodily delights consist in becoming and in motion; such as in foods and other things. Motion, however, is something imperfect; and it implies something future and past; because the whole is not possessed at once. Spiritual delights, however, are not in motion: because they consist in loving and understanding the good that is not in motion; but accidentally bodily delights are more desired, insofar as some abound in the senses and fall short in intellect.
Vel sancti homines plus diligunt praecepta Dei quam seipsos. Et sancti designantur per aurum et lapidem pretiosum: 1 Cor. 3: si quis aedificaverit super fundamentum hoc aurum, argentum, lapides pretiosos. Item per mel et favum significantur illi qui alieni sunt a rebus mundi; sed favus sunt illi qui adhuc rebus mundi delectantur: et tales, quia non sunt totaliter alieni, diligunt plus se quam praecepta; alii diligunt plus praecepta quam se. Or else, holy men love the precepts of God more than themselves. And the holy men are designated by gold and precious stone: 1 Cor. 3: If anyone shall build upon this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones. Again, by honey and honeycomb are signified those who are strangers to the things of the world; but those are honeycomb who still delight in the things of the world: and such men, because they are not completely strangers to the things of the world, love themselves more than they love the precepts; others love the precepts more than themselves.
Et hoc probat dupliciter. Primo experimento. Secundo ex effectu. Experimento, cum dicit, etenim servus tuus custodit ea; quasi dicat: possum dicere quia dulcia sunt, quia probavi ea: nam ego diligo et experior ea. Nullus autem testimonium potest ferre nisi qui experitur: Joan. 7: si quis voluerit voluntatem ejus facere, cognoscet de doctrina mea utrum ex Deo sit, an ego a meipso loquar: Job 23: vestigia ejus sequutus est pes meus. And he proves this in two ways. First by experience. Second by effect. By experience, when he says, for indeed you servant keeps them; as if to say: I can say that they are sweet, because I have tried them: for I love and experience them. Now, no one can give testimony except he who experiences: John 7: if anyone wishes to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God, or whether I speak from my self: Job 23: my feet have followed his tracks.
Ex effectu, idest remuneratione probat idem, cum dicit, in custodiendis illis retributio multa: Matth. 5: gaudete et exultate, quia merces vestra copiosa est in caelis. Et non dicit pro custodia; sed, in custodiendis illis, quia ipsa custodia eorum est magna retributio, scilicet gloria cordis et munditia: 2 Cor. 1: gloria nostra haec est, testimonium conscientiae nostrae. Et sic commendatur lex ab honestate, quando dicit, in custodiendis illis etc. quia honestum idem est quod virtus; et est per se appetibile. From the effect, that is, from the reward, he proves the same thing, when he says, there is great reward in keeping the precepts: Matth. 5: rejoice and exult, because your reward is abundant in heaven. And he does not say “for the act of keeping”; but “in the keeping of them”, because the very act of keeping them is itself a great reward, namely, the glory of the heart and cleanliness: 2 Cor. 1: this is our glory, the testimony of our conscience. And thus the law is commended for honesty, when he says, in the keeping of them etc., because the honest is the same as virtue; and this is appetible on its own account.
(h) Delicta. Hic orat pro delictis illorum qui praetereunt legem. Et primo proponit occultationem peccatorum. Secundo petit eorum remissionem, ibi, ab occultis. Tertio ponit rationem petitionis, ibi, si mei etc.. Dicit ergo: legem frequenter offendimus, sed, delicta quis intelligit? Quasi dicat, nullus. (h) Offenses. Here he prays for the offenses of those who have transgressed the law. First, he sets forth the hiding of sins. Second, he asks for their remission, where he says “from hidden sins”. Third, he presents the reason for the petition, where he says “if my…”. Therefore he says: we have frequently broken the law, but who understands his offenses? As if to say, no one.
Et hoc propter tria. Primo, quia delictum excaecat oculos peccantis, unde non de facili discernuntur parva peccata: Sap. 2: Excaecavit eos malitia eorum. Secundo, quia peccata sunt multa: Psal. 39: Circumdederunt me mala quorum non est numerus; Comprehenderunt me iniquitates meae, et non potui ut viderem. There are three reasons for this. First, the offense blinds the eyes of the sinners, hence small sins are not easily seen: Wisdom 2: Their malice has blinded them. Second, because there are many sins: Psalm 39: Evils without number surrounded me. My iniquities captured me, and I was not able to see.
Item propter eorum subtilitatem: Ps. 39: multiplicati sunt super capillos capitis mei, ex subtilitate: sed non dicit peccata, sed, delicta. duplex est peccatum: scilicet transgressionis: et hoc facilius cognoscitur, quia homo scit se fecisse actum pravum. Again on account of their subtlety: Ps. 39: They are greater in number than the hairs on my head, on account of their subtlety: but he does not say “sins” but “offenses”. Sin is twofold: the sin of transgression which is easily recognized, because the man knows that he has done a wrong act.
Item omissionis: et hoc difficile cognoscitur, quia haec non obligant ad semper, sed pro loco et tempore. Et distingue. Quando est locus et tempus, est difficile affirmare: et quando danda est eleemosyna, qualiter etc. et ubi. Consequenter ponit peccatorum remissionem. Then there is the sin of omission, and this is more difficult to recognize, because these do not always oblige, but at certain places and times. It is difficult to state when the place and time are right: and when alms are to be given, how, where etc. Consequently he presents the remission of sins.
Est autem duplex genus peccati. Unum quod sumit initium a nobis; et hoc est praecipue originale, et quae ex corruptione fomitis procedunt, ut peccata carnalia; et haec animam inquinant, quia conjungunt eam rebus terrenis. Et ideo dicit, ab occultis meis munda me, idest quae ab occulta radice procedunt, vel quae in occulto fiunt, vel quae a secreta voluntate oriuntur: Eph. 5: quae in occulto fiunt ab ipsis, turpe est et dicere. However, there are two kinds of sin. One kind has its beginning with us; and this is chiefly original sin, and then carnal sins, which proceed from the corruption of tinder (translator’s note: tinder as a metaphor for our excitable faculties); and these stain the soul, because they join the soul to earthly things. And so he says, cleanse me from my hidden offenses, that is, from the things that proceed from a hidden root, or else, the things that happen in a hidden place, or the things that arise from a secret desire: Eph. 5: it is foul to speak of the things that are done by them in secret.
Aliquando sumunt originem ab alio: ideo dicit, ab alienis parce servo tuo. Sed numquid alicui imputatur alienum peccatum? Ezech. 18: anima quae peccaverit, ipsa morietur. Dicendum, quod non, quando totaliter est alienum; sed quando transit ad te per imitationem: Eccl. 13: qui tetigerit picem, inquinabitur ab ea. Vel persuasionem, vel consensum: Prov. 1: Fili mi, si te lactaverint peccatores, non acquiescas eis. Sometimes they take their origin from another source: hence he says, from stranger spare your servant. But is the sin of another ever imputed to anyone? Ezech. 18: the soul that sins, it will die. Eccl. 13: He who touches pitch will be soiled by it. Or persuasion, or consent: Prov. 1: My son, if sinners tempt you, do not give in to them.
Vel per dissimulationem tempore et loco debito, tunc fit tuum, et imputatur: Rom. 1: Non solum qui faciunt ea, digni sunt morte, sed etiam qui consentiunt facientibus. Et hoc maxime in praelatis quando dissimulant scienter scelera subditorum. Et dicit, parce servo tuo, quia haec peccata videntur in nobis ex divina ira provenire, quod scilicet hujusmodi occasiones peccati dentur nobis. Vel, ab alienis, superbis hominibus: psal. 17: filii alieni mentiti sunt mihi. Or by deception as to the due time and place, then the sin becomes yours and is imputed to you: Rom. 1: Not only those who do these things are worthy of death, but also those who consent to those who do these things. And this is the case most especially in prelates who knowingly lie about the evil deeds of their subjects. And he says, spare your servant, because these sins appear to arise in us on account of divine anger, because occasions of sin of this sort are given to us. Or else, from strangers, proud men: Psal. 17: Alien sons have lied to me.
(i) Si mei. Hic ponitur ratio petitionis. Et primo ex parte David petit immunitatem a malo. Secundo perfectionem in bono, et erunt ut complaceant. Petit autem immunitatem a malo. (i) If my. Here he presents the reason for his petition. And first on the part of David he asks for protection from evil. Second, he asks for perfection in the good, and they will be such that they please. Now, he asks for protection from evil.
Et hoc dupliciter: a futuro et a praeterito. Dicit ergo, si mei non fuerint dominati, vel, dominata, scilicet peccata: Ps. 62: In matutinis interficiebam omnes peccatores terrae, idest omnia peccata, quae terra dicuntur propter multas proprietates terrae. Ut disperderem de civitate domini omnes operantes iniquitatem, idest omnes operationes iniquas. Vel dominati, scilicet superbi. Vel, alieni, idest peccatores, vel daemones qui dicuntur tunc dominari, quando pertrahunt ad consensum: Joan. 8: qui facit peccatum, servus est peccati. And this is twofold: from future and from past evil. He says therefore, if mine had not ruled over me, that is, sins: Ps. 62: In the morning I killed all the sinners of the earth, that is, all the sins, which are called earth because of the many properties of earth. So that I would empty the city of all the workers of iniquity, that is, all evil works. Or they have ruled, that is, the proud. Or, aliens, that is, sinners, or else the demons who are said to rule when they drag one to consent: John 8: He who does a sin, is a servant of sin.
Si ergo non fuerint dominati, tunc immaculatus ero, idest servabo me sine macula peccati mortalis, etsi non venialis: Job 15: Quid est homo ut immaculatus sit? De praeterito dicit, et emundabor a delicto maximo: Is. 1: Si fuerint peccata vestra sicut coccinum, quasi nix dealbabuntur; job 11: Si iniquitatem quae est in manu tua abstuleris a te, et non permanebit in tabernaculo tuo injustitia, tunc levare poteris faciem tuam. If therefore they will not rule, then I will be without stain, that is, I will preserve myself without stain of mortal sine, although not without venial sin: Job 15: How can a man be without stain? He speak of the past, “and I will be cleansed of the greatest offense”: Isaiah 1: “If your sins be as scarlet, they will be turned white as snow.” Job 11: If you take away from yourself the iniquity that is in your hand, and injustice will not remain in your tent, then you will be able to lift your face.
Vel maximo, scilicet superbia, quia est initium omnis peccati: Eccl. 10: Non est majus peccatum quam apostatare a Deo: et hoc fit per superbiam. Unde peccatum quod est ex superbia, potius est eo quod fit ex ignorantia, vel ex infirmitate: superbia namque est initium et causa omnis peccati; et qui caret illa, est vere immaculatus. Consequenter ponit illud quod pertinet ad perfectionem in bono. Or the greatest sin, which is pride, because it is the beginning of every sin: Eccl. 10: There is no greater sin than to apostatize from God: and this happens because of pride. Hence the sin that comes from pride is greater than one that comes from ignorance or weakness: for pride is the beginning and cause of all sin; and the man who lacks pride is truly without stain. Consequently he presents that which concerns perfection in the good.
Et primo oris; unde dicit, et erunt ut complaceant eloquia oris mei. Quamdiu homo est in peccatis, eloquia sua non placent Deo: Eccl. 15: Non est speciosa laus in ore peccatoris: Psalm. 49: Peccatori autem dixit Deus: quare tu enarras justitias meas, et assumis testamentum meum per os tuum? Item ponit perfectionem cordis quae requirit placentiam Dei; unde dicit, et meditatio cordis mei in conspectu tuo semper, idest coram angelis: vel, qui intus vides et conscientiam inspicis. Et hoc dico, quia tu, Domine, es adjutor meus, in bonis agendis, et redemptor meus, a malis cavendis: Isa. 44: revertere ad me, quia redemi te. And first, the good of the mouth; hence he says, may the words of my mouth be pleasing. As long as a man is in sins, his sayings do not please God: Eccl. 15: Praise in the mouth of a sinner is not beautiful: Psalm 49: God says to the sinner: why do you narrate my justices, and take up my testimony in your mouth; Again, he presents the perfection of the heart which requires the good pleasure of God; hence he says, and the meditation of my heart is always in your sight, that is, in the presence of the angels: or, you who see within also see my conscience. And I say this, because you, Lord, are my helper, in doing good, and my redeemer, in warding off evil: Isaiah 44: Turn back to me, because I have redeemed you.

© Hugh McDonald

Latin Text according to the Venice Edition of MDCCLXXV

The Aquinas Translation Project

29 Responses to “St Thomas Aquinas on Psalm 19 (18)”

  1. […] Aquinas on Psalm 19 (18). […]

  2. […] UPDATE: St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). […]

  3. […] St Thomas Aquinas on Today’s Psalm 19 (18). […]

  4. […] St Thomas Aquinas on Today’s Psalm 19 (18). […]

  5. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm 19 (18). Latin and English side by side. In Aquinas’ version of the Psalter this Psalm was numbered as “18.” […]

  6. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm 19 (18). Latin and English side by side. In Aquinas’ version of the Psalter this Psalm was numbered as “18.” […]

  7. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). […]

  8. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). […]

  9. […] UPDATE: St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). […]

  10. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 in some versions, including Aquinas’. […]

  11. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 in some versions, including Aquinas’. […]

  12. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 is Aquinas’ version. […]

  13. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 is Aquinas’ version. […]

  14. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). On the whole Psalm. Latin and English side by side. […]

  15. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). On the whole Psalm. Latin and English side by side. […]

  16. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 according to the Vulgate numbering. On entire Psalm. […]

  17. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (19). Psalm 18 according to the Vulgate numbering. On entire Psalm. […]

  18. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11. Post on entire Psalm. […]

  19. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11. Post on entire Psalm. […]

  20. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 19). […]

  21. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. Whole psalm. […]

  22. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 19). […]

  23. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. […]

  24. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary/Lecture on Psalm 19. […]

  25. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. […]

  26. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. […]

  27. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. […]

  28. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 19). […]

  29. […] St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19. Whole psalm. […]

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