In a chain of acts of will man strives for the

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In a chain of acts of will man strives for the highest end. They are free acts in so far as man has in himself the knowledge of their end and therein the principle of action. In that the will wills the end, it wills also the appropriate means, chooses freely and completes the consensus . Whether the act be good or evil depends on the
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end. The "human reason" pronounces judgment concerning the character of the end, it is, therefore, the law for action. Human acts, however, are meritorious in so far as they promote the purpose of God and his honor. By repeating a good action man acquires a moral habit or a quality which enables him to do the good gladly and easily. This is true, however, only of the intellectual and moral virtues, which Aquinas treats after the manner of Aristotle; the theological virtues are imparted by God to man as a "disposition", from which the acts here proceed, but while they strengthen, they do not form it. The "disposition" of evil is the opposite alternative. An act becomes evil through deviation from the reason and the divine moral law. Therefore, sin involves two factors: its substance or matter is lust; in form, however, it is deviation from the divine law. Sin has its origin in the will, which decides, against the reason, for a "changeable good". Since, however, the will also moves the other powers of man, sin has its seat in these too. By choosing such a lower good as end, the will is misled by self-love, so that this works as cause in every sin. God is not the cause of sin, since, on the contrary, he draws all things to himself. But from another side God is the cause of all things, so he is efficacious also in sin as actio but not as ens . The devil is not directly the cause of sin, but he incites by working on the imagination and the sensuous impulse of man, as men or things may also do. Sin is Original sin . Adam's first sin passes upon himself and all the succeeding race; because he is the head of the human race and "by virtue of procreation human nature is transmitted and along with nature its infection". The powers of generation are, therefore, designated especially as "infected". The thought is involved here by the fact that Aquinas, like the other scholastics, held to creationism, therefore taught that the souls are created by God. Two things according to Aquinas constituted man's righteousness in paradise — the justitia originalis or the harmony of all man's powers before they were blighted by desire, and the possession of the gratis gratum faciens (the continuous indwelling power of good). Both are lost through original sin, which in form is the "loss of original righteousness". The consequence of this loss is the disorder and maiming of man's nature, which shows itself in "ignorance; malice, moral weakness, and especially in concupiscentia , which is the material principle of original sin". The course of thought here is as follows: when the first man transgressed the order of his nature appointed by nature and grace, he, and with him the human race, lost this order. This negative state is the essence of original sin. From it follow an impairment and perversion of human nature in which thenceforth
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