From it follow an impairment and perversion of human

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the essence of original sin. From it follow an impairment and perversion of human nature in which thenceforth lower aims rule contrary to nature and release the lower element in man. Since sin is contrary to the divine order, it is guilt and subject to punishment. Guilt and punishment correspond to each other; and since the "apostasy from the invariable good which is infinite", fulfilled by man, is unending, it merits everlasting punishment. But God works even in sinners to draw them to the end by "instructing through the law and aiding by grace". The law is the "precept of the practical reason". As the moral law of nature, it is the participation of the reason in the all-determining "eternal reason". But since man falls short in his appropriation of this law of reason, there
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is need of a "divine law". And since the law applies to many complicated relations, the practicae dispositiones of the human law must be laid down. The divine law consists of an old and a new. In so far as the old divine law contains the moral law of nature it is universally valid; what there is in it, however, beyond this is valid only for the Jews. The new law is "primarily grace itself" and so a "law given within", "a gift superadded to nature by grace", but not a "written law". In this sense, as sacramental grace, the new law justifies. It contains, however, an "ordering" of external and internal conduct, and so regarded is, as a matter of course, identical with both the old law and the law of nature. The consilia (see Consilia Evangelica ) show how one may attain the end "better and more expediently" by full renunciation of worldly goods. Since man is sinner and creature, he needs grace to reach the final end. The "first cause" alone is able to reclaim him to the "final end". This is true after the fall, although it was needful before. Grace is, on one side, "the free act of God", and, on the other side, the effect of this act, the gratia infusa or gratia creata, a habitus infusus which is instilled into the "essence of the soul", "a certain gift of disposition, something supernatural proceeding from God into man". Grace is a supernatural ethical character created in man by God, which comprises in itself all good, both faith and love. Justification by grace comprises four elements: "the infusion of grace, the influencing of free will toward God through faith, the influencing of free will respecting sin, and the remission of sins". It is a "transmutation of the human soul", and takes place "instantaneously". A creative act of God enters, which, however, executes itself as a spiritual motive in a psychological form corresponding to the nature of man. Semipelagian tendencies are far removed from Aquinas. In that man is created anew he believes and loves, and now sin is forgiven. Then begins good conduct; grace is the "beginning of meritorious works". Aquinas conceives of merit in the Augustinian sense: God gives the reward for that toward which he himself gives the power. Man can never of himself deserve the prima gratis , nor meritum de congruo (by natural ability; cf. R. Seeberg, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte , ii. 105-106, Leipsic, 1898).
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