Psalm 32


a. In finem. Psalmus David.

Exsultate, justi, in Domino; rectos decet collaudatio.

Unto the End: A Psalm of David.

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright.

b. Confitemini Domino in cithara; in psalterio decem chordarum psallite illi.

Give praise to the Lord on the harp; sing to him with the psaltery, the instrument of ten strings.

c. Cantate ei canticum novum; bene psallite ei in vociferatione.

Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.

d. Quia rectum est verbum Domini, et omnia opera ejus in fide. Diligit misericordiam et judicium; misericordia Domini plena est terra.

For the word of the Lord is right, and all his works are done with faithfulness -- He loveth mercy and judgment; the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.

e. Verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt, et spiritu oris ejus omnis virtus eorum.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth.

f. Congregans sicut in utre aquas maris; ponens in thesauris abyssos.

Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel; laying up the depths in storehouses.

g. Timeat Dominum omnis terra; ab eo autem commoveantur omnes inhabitantes orbem.

Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him.

h. Quoniam ipse dixit, et facta sunt; ipse mandavit et creata sunt.

For he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created.

i. Dominus dissipat consilia gentium; reprobat autem cogitationes populorum, et reprobat consilia principum.

The Lord bringeth to nought the counsels of nations; and he rejecteth the devices of people, and casteth away the counsels of princes.

j. Consilium autem Domini in aeternum manet; cogitationes cordis ejus in generatione et generationem.

But the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever: the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

k. Beata gens cujus est Dominus Deus ejus; populus quem elegit in haereditatem sibi.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance.

l. De caelo respexit Dominus; vidit omnes filios hominum.

The Lord hath looked from heaven: he hath beheld all the sons of men.

m. De praeparato habitaculo suo respexit super omnes qui habitant terram:

From his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth:

n. qui finxit sigillatim corda eorum; qui intelligit omnia opera eorum.

He who hath made the hearts of every one of them: who understandeth all their works.

o. Non salvatur rex per multam virtutem, et gigas non salvabitur in multitudine virtutis suae. Fallax equus ad salutem; in abundantia autem virtutis suae non salvabitur.

The king is not saved by a great army: nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength. Vain is the horse for safety: neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength.

p. Ecce oculi Domini super metuentes eum, et in eis qui sperant super misericordia ejus: ut eruat a morte animas eorum, et alat eos in fame.

Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy. To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine.

q. Anima nostra sustinet Dominum, quoniam adjutor et protector noster est. Quia in eo laetabitur cor nostrum, et in nomine sancto ejus speravimus. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.

Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector -- For in him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted -- Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee.



a. Titulus non est novus. Est enim, In finem psalmus David. In Psalmo praecedenti egit Psalmista de sui justificatione; in hoc autem agit de dignitate justorum: et circa hoc duo facit.

The title is not new. It is Unto the End: A Psalm of David. In the preceding Psalm, the Psalmist has treated his justification, in this he treats the dignity of the just, concerning which he does two things.

Quia primo exhortatur justos ad spiritualem laudem. Secundo exprimit eorum dignitatem, ibi, Beata gens.

First, he exhorts just persons to spiritual praise. Second, he states their worth: 'Blessed is the nation' (Psalm 32:12).

Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim exhortatur ad spiritualem jucunditatem et laudem. Secundo assignat rationem gaudii et laudis, ibi, Quia rectum est.

Regarding the exhortation, he first urges spiritual delight and praise, and then discusses their ground: 'Praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 32:1).

Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim exhortatur ad jucunditatem et laudem. Secundo modum eorum exponit, ibi, Confitemini Domino etc.

Again regarding delight and praise, he first urges them, second he discusses the means: 'Give praise to the Lord on the harp,' etc. (Psalm 32:2).

Circa primum duo facit. Ponit enim primo exhortationem. Secundo assignat ejus rationem, Rectos decet collaudatio. Dixerat enim, Dixi, confitebor...et tu remisisti...et pro hac orabit etc. Ergo, Justi, quia justificati estis, Exultate in Domino, non in mundo: alias non estis justi: non enim est justus qui non gaudet in justitia. Deus autem ipse est justus, et ipse est justitia; Ps. 10: Justus Dominus etc. Et ideo, Justi exultate in Domino: Habacuc 3: Ego autem in Domino gaudebo, et exultabo in Deo Jesu meo.

Again regarding the first [viz., urging to delight and praise] he does two things. He makes the exhortation, and then provides the reason: 'Praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 31:1); for he had said, 'I said I will confess...and thou hast forgiven... For this shall every one that is holy pray', etc. (Psalm 31:5-6). Wherefore, 'ye just', as you are justified, 'rejoice in the Lord' (Psalm 31:11), not the world. Otherwise you are not just, for he is not just who does not rejoice in justice. Again, God himself is just, and he himself is justice: 'The Lord is just' (Psalm 10:8). So 'be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye just,' (Psalm 31:11). -- 'But I will rejoice in the Lord: and I will joy in God my Jesus' (Habakkuk 3:18).

Sed quare dicit, Exultate justi in Domino, et non dicit, exultate omnes in Domino? Ratio est: quia, Rectos decet collaudatio, scilicet Dei.

Why though does he say 'be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye just' (Psalm 31:11), and not 'be glad...all persons'? The explanation is that 'Praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 32:1), praise, that is, of God.

Videndum est igitur si sunt recti, et quomodo eos decet laus. Res non dicitur recta nisi per hoc quod conformatur regulae et mensurae. Mensura autem et regula voluntatis humanae est justitia et voluntas divina. Illi ergo qui non habent rectum affectum, non possunt bene collaudare Deum, quia nolunt voluntatem suam conformare voluntati divinae, sed divinam volunt potius conformari suae. Et ideo multa Deus facit, quae ipsi non approbant. Sed qui dei voluntati se aptant, illi gaudent in prosperis et adversis; et ideo dicit, Collaudatio, quia de omnibus laudant, non in aliquibus tantum. Item unanimiter. Eccl. 15: Non est speciosa laus in ore peccatoris: Isa. 4: Exultatio his qui salvati fuerunt de Israel.

Thus it must be determined whether they are just and how it is fitting they praise. Something is not called 'upright' unless it is conformed to rule and measure. Now the rule and measure of human will is justice and the divine will. Thus, those who do not have an upright disposition are not able properly to praise God, because they do not wish their will to conform to God's, but would rather the divine will conform to theirs. Hence God does many things which these ones do not condone. But those who accommodate themselves to God's will rejoice in prosperity and adversity, and thus he says: 'praise becometh the upright' (Psalm 32:1), because they give praise in every circumstance, not just certain ones. Again, they praise with one spirit: 'Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner' (Ecclesiastes 15:9) -- 'A great joy to them that shall have escaped of Israel.' (Isaiah 4.2).

b. Deinde cum dicit, Confitemini Domino. Ponit modum laudis et jucunditatis. Sciendum est autem quod in laude Dei praecipue intenditur quod affectus hominis tendat in Deum, et dirigatur. Item consonantiae musicae immutant hominis affectum. Unde Pythagoras videns quod juvenis insaniret ad sonum Phrygium, mutari modum fecit; ita furentis adolescentis animum ad statum mentis pacatissimae temperavit, ut dicit Boetius in proemio musicae suae. Inde est quod excogitatum est, quod in omni cultu aliquae consonantiae musicae exerceantur, ut animus hominis excitetur ad Deum. Hujus autem consonantiae dupliciter consueverunt exerceri: quandoque scilicet in instrumentis musicis, quandoque vero in cantionibus. Et ideo primo ostendit primum modum: quia, In cithara. Secundo secundum, ibi, Cantate ei. Affectus enim hominis per instrumenta et consonantias musicas dirigitur, quantum ad tria: quia quandoque instituitur in quadam rectitudine et animi firmitate: quandoque rapitur in celsitudinem: quandoque in dulcedinem et jucunditatem. Et ad hoc, ut vult Philosophus in 8 Pol., c. 7, tria genera cantus sunt instituta. Quia ad primum est cantus Doristicus, qui est primi et secundi toni, ut volunt quidam. Ad secundum est cantus Phrygius, qui est tertii toni. Ad tertium est cantus Hippolidicus, qui est quinti toni et sexti. Alii sunt post superinventi.

Then, when he says 'Give praise to the Lord' (Psalm 32:2), he states how to take delight and praise. Now in praise of God principally it is intended that the affection of man should reach to God and be directed, and musical harmonies change man's sentiment (Whence seeing that a young man was deranged at the Phrygian sound, Pythagoras changed the mode, and thus rendered most tranquil the spirit of the raging youth, as Boethius says in the preface of his Music.) Thus in every religious system it is contrived that certain musical harmonies are employed to lift the spirit of man to God. Yet such harmonies generally have been used in two ways, with musical instruments and also in song. First the Psalmist gives the first use: 'Give praise to the Lord on the harp' (Psalm 32:2), then the second: 'sing to him' (Psalm 32:3). For man's affection is directed through instruments and musical harmonies in three ways: when instructed in a kind of rectitude and strength of soul, when lifted to heaven, and in sweet and pleasant circumstances. Concerning these (as the Philosopher has it), three types of chant have been established, respectively (Politics VIII.7). First the Dorian, out of the first and second mode, as some have it; second the Phrygian, of the third mode; third, the Hypolydian, of the fifth and sixth. Others were discovered later.

Et sic est in instrumentis, quia quaedam instrumenta faciunt primum, sicut tibia, et tuba: quidam faciunt secundum, ut organum: quidam tertium, ut psalterium et cithara: Ps. 80: Psalterium jucundum cum cithara. Sed quia Psalmista intendit hic inducere ad exultationem, non facit mentionem nisi de istis duobus, scilicet psalterio et cithara. Verum quia omnia in figura contingebant illis, 1 Cor. 10, non solum istis instrumentis utebantur ad hoc, sed in figura. Cithara habet sonum ab imo, et signat laudem quae surgit ab imis, idest terrenis; psalterium vero habet sonum a supremo, et signat laudem quae est de bonis caelestibus. Dicit autem, Decem chordarum, quia per eas signantur decem praecepta decalogi, in quibus tota doctrina spiritualis consistit.

This division bears on instruments, as some, such as flute and trumpet, are suited to the first mode, others, such as the organ, to the second, and others still to the third, for example the psaltery and harp: 'Bring hither the . . . pleasant psaltery with the harp' (Psalm 80:3). Since at this point in Psalm 32 the Psalmist rejoices in the Lord, he mentions only the psaltery and harp. Yet as, 'all these things happened to them in figure' (1 Corinthians 10:11), these instruments are likewise used figuratively. The harp has a deep sound and signifies praise which rises from the deepest places, that is, from the earth, while the psaltery, or ten-stringed lyre, has a higher sound, and signifies praise of the beautiful heavens. He adds 'the instrument of ten strings' (Psalm 32:2) because through these are signified the ten precepts of the Decalogue, in which the totality of spiritual doctrine consists.

c. Consequenter cum dicit, Cantate, agit de cantu humanae vocis. Sciendum est autem secundum litteram, quod duplex est modulatio: quaedam enim est per simplicem cantum, et quaedam est organizando. Primum tangit, cum dicit, Canticum novum. Secundum, ibi, In vociferatione. Secundum spiritualem intellectum, de duobus debet homo exultare: scilicet de bonis gratiae susceptis, et de bonis gloriae expectatis. Per prima bona innovamur. Ephes. 4: Renovamini spiritu mentis vestrae: Rom. 6: In novitate vitae ambulemus. Ille ergo cantat canticum novum, qui exultat in deo de renovatione gratiae: Apoc. 14: Cantabant sancti canticum novum. Ille vero bene psallit in vociferatione, qui de bonis gloriae cantat, et canticum quod homo corde concipit, exprimit verbis. Vel in jubilatione, seu in jubilo, secundum hieronymum. Est autem jubilus laetitia ineffabilis, quae verbis exprimi non potest; sed voce datur intelligi gaudiorum latitudo immensa. Illa autem quae non possunt exprimi, sunt bona gloriae: 1 Cor. 2: Oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit etc. Et ideo dicit, Bene psallite ei in jubilatione, quia cantu exprimi non valent. Sed dices. In veteri testamento erant musica instrumenta, et cantica vocis. Quare ergo ecclesia illa dimisit, haec vero assumpsit? Ratio duplex mystice assignatur: quia erant figuralia. Secunda ratio est, quod Deus laudatur mente et voce, non instrumentis. Alia ratio habetur ex verbis Philosophi, qui dicit quod contra sapientiam est quod homines instruantur in lyris et musicis, quia occupant animum in sui operatione; sed simplex debet esse musica, ut a corporalibus retrahantur divinis laudibus mancipati.

It follows that when he says 'Sing to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise' (Psalm 32:3), he has in mind the song of a human voice. Yet there are two types of song, a cappella and accompanied. He refers to the first when he says 'new canticle' (Psalm 32:3), the second here, 'with a loud noise' (Psalm 32:3). Now as concerns our understanding of spiritual matters, man should rejoice in the benefits attending grace that is received as well as glory that is expected. By the first we are made new: 'Be renewed in spirit of your mind' (Ephesians 4:23) -- 'As Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life' (Romans 6:4). Thus, he sings a new canticle who rejoices in God's making us new by grace: 'They sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne' (Revelations 14:3). While, following Jerome, he sings well unto him with a loud noise who sings the benefits of grace, and by his words voices in loud rejoicing or joyful, wordless melody the song man receives in his heart. And though the voice may express a wide variety of delights, a joyful melody is inexplicable gladness that words cannot express. What cannot be expressed are the goods attending glory: 'That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,' etc. (1 Corinthians 2:9). Thus the Psalmist says 'Sing well unto him with a loud noise' (Psalm 32:3), because these goods cannot be expressed with [ordinary] song. But you may object that in the Old Testament there are instruments and song. Why does the church relinquish these and take up joyful, wordless melody? Two reasons exist on the mystical side, first, the words are figurative, second, God should be praised in thought and voice, not with instruments. Another reason is had in the words of the Philosopher, who says it is unwise that men be instructed in lyric poetry and musical things, as these take complete possession of one's mind. Music, then, should be simple, that it may take us from bodily concerns, consecrating us to praises of divinity.

d. Secundo cum dicit, Quia, assignat rationem gaudii et laudis. Ratio autem laudis et gaudii duplex est. Una ex parte Dei, de quo est exultandum. Secunda ex parte effectuum ejus, ibi, Verbo Domini. Circa primum tria facit.

When he says 'for' he gives two motives for joy and praise, one from God, in whom there is to be rejoicing, the other, from his effects, here: 'the word of the Lord' (32:4). Concerning the first motive, he does three things.

Primo ponit ex quibus ex parte Dei. Et primo, Quia rectum est verbum Domini, idest instructio: Ps. 118: Lucerna pedibus meis etc. Vel ipsa promissio: Prov. 8: Justi sunt omnes sermones mei etc. usque Recti sunt intelligentibus.

First he shows in which things of God we rejoice: 'For the word of the Lord is right' (Psalm 32:4), i.e., God's teaching: 'Thy word is a lamp to my feet' (Psalm 118:105). There is also the promise itself: 'All my words are just, there is nothing wicked, nor perverse in them. They are right to them that understand' (Proverbs 8:8-9).

Secundo quia, Omnia opera ejus in fide, idest fideles: Psal. 144: Fidelis Dominus in omnibus verbis suis, et sanctus in omnibus operibus suis. Multum autem habetur gaudium, quando invenitur homo fidelis: Prov. 20: Virum autem fidelem quis inveniet? vel, In fide, ait, quia opera Dei sunt bona merita. Haec autem non sunt meritoria nisi fiant in fide, quia sine fide impossibile est placere Deo, Hebr. 11. Vel, Rectum verbum, et opera ejus. Sed quibus? In fide idest in fidelibus: in infidelibus enim non apparent opera Dei et verba recta.

Second, 'All his works are done with faithfulness' (Psalm 32:4), i.e., they are faithful: 'The Lord is faithful in all his words: and holy in all his works' (Psalm 144:13). Moreover much joy is had when a man of faith is discovered: 'Who shall find a faithful man?' (Proverbs 20:6). Or perhaps it reads 'with faithfulness' because the works of God are good things meriting faith, yet nothing merits faith save what is conceived in faith, for "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). Anyway, 'The word of the Lord is right' and 'his works are done with faithfulness' (Psalm 32:4). But for whom? 'With faithfulness', that is, among the faithful. For the works of God and the right word do not appear to the unfaithful.

Tertio quia diligit: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo enim ostendit affectum Dei cum dicit, Diligit Dominus. Secundo manifestat per signum, ibi, Misericordia Domini plena est terra. Inter omnia quae faciunt gaudere de Domino, sunt duo, scilicet misericordia et justitia: Prov. 20: Misericordia et veritas custodiunt regem. Per justitiam enim subditi defenduntur. tolle justitiam, et nullus securus et laetus erit. Item sine misericordia omnes timent, et non diligunt. Hoc de Deo dat intelligi, cum dicit, Diligit Dominus misericordiam et judicium. Diligit enim in seipso, quia in opere sunt haec: Ps. 24: Universae viae Domini misericordia et veritas. Item diligit in unoquoque: Mich. 6: Indicabo tibi o homo quid sit bonum, et quid Dominus requirat a te. utique etc. Et ideo ait, Exultate, quia vere misericordiam diligit Deus: nam Misericordiam Domini plena est terra. Ecce manifestat per signum. omnis enim plenitudo terrae procedit ex misericordia Dei, quia terra est non temporalibus, sed spiritualibus bonis plena; et maxime post adventum Christi. Act. 2: Repleti sunt omnes spiritu sancto etc. Omnia enim haec sunt ex misericordia Dei: Rom. 9: Non est volentis neque currentis, sed Dei miserentis. Dicit autem, Terra etc. non caelum, quia in caelo nulla est miseria, et ideo non indiget misericordia; sed terra ubi repletur homo multis miseriis, indiget plenitudine misericordiae.

Third, because 'he loveth mercy and judgment' (Psalm 32:5), regarding which, he makes two points. First, he indicates God's sentiment when he says the Lord 'loveth', then he reveals this with a sign, 'The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord' (Psalm 32:5). God's mercy and justice are chief among the reasons to rejoice in the Lord: 'Mercy and truth preserve the king' (Proverbs 20:28). For through justice, the subjects are defended. Remove justice and there will be neither security nor joy. Again, without mercy, all persons fear and do not love. He makes this plain when he says 'He loveth mercy and judgment' (Psalm 32:5). For he loves in his very self, because in his work are these: 'All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth' (Psalm 24:10). Likewise, he loves each in itself: 'I will shew thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: Verily to do judgment, and to love mercy' (Micah 6:8). And thus he says 'rejoice', because truly God 'loveth mercy,' for 'the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord' (Psalm 32:5). Know this is manifest through a sign. For all plenitude of the earth proceeds from the mercy of God, since the earth is replete not with temporal but rather with spiritual goods, more so since the coming of Christ: 'And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,' etc. (Acts 2:4). For all these exist by the mercy of God: 'It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy' (Romans 9:16). But he says 'the earth,' not heaven, because in heaven there is no suffering and thus no need for mercy. But on earth where for man there is much suffering, there is need in abundance for mercy.

e. Deinde cum dicit, Verbo, ponitur causa gaudii ex parte divinorum effectuum. Moyses in principio creationis rerum facit mentionem de tribus: de caelo, de aqua, et de terra: Gen. 1: In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram: et infra: Spiritus Domini ferebatur super aquas. Secundum hoc ergo Psalmista dicit primo effectum Dei in caelis. Secundo in aquis, ibi, Congregans. Tertio in terra, ibi, Timeat Dominum omnis terra. Dicit ergo, Verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt. Secundum Glossam exponitur litteraliter et mystice. Et utroque sensu tractantur haec verba quae sunt ex parte Dei, scilicet Dominus, verbum et spiritus oris. Dominus est nomen potestatis, et potentia appropriatur Patri. Verbum est conceptio mentis, unde et sapientia genita dicitur. et Werbum est Filius. Spiritus ejus est Spiritus Sanctus. Dicitur autem spiritus oris, quia verbo appropriatur os: unde idem est dictum, ac si diceret, Spiritus verbi; quia ipse est spiritus Filii et veritatis. Et licet indivisa sint opera Trinitatis in divinis: Jo. 5: Quaecumque Pater facit; haec et Filius facit similiter; hic tamen secundum appropriationem loquitur. In caelo autem sunt duo mirabilia: scilicet ejus perpetuitas, quia incorruptibile; et ejus virtus, per quam totus mundus inferior immutatur, per calorem videlicet in aestate, per frigus vero in hyeme. Perpetuitas autem caeli contingit ex natura formae suae: nam formae elementorum sunt particulares, et non implent totam potentiam materiae: unde materia eorum remanet in potentia ad aliam formam. Forma vero caeli habet totalitatem quamdam, et replet totam potentiam materiae. Sed forma artificiati procedit ex forma artificis. Forma autem concepta in corde Patris est Verbum. Ergo formatio omnis rei attribuitur verbo; unde dicit, Verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt. Virtus autem caelorum est in movendo. Omnis autem motus posterior derivatur a priori sicut a causa. Primus motus in rebus quae sunt per voluntatem est motus amoris: quia omnis motus in rebus quae voluntatem habent, est motus voluntatis. Et ideo dicit Dionysius, 4 cap. de div. nom., quod divinus amor non sinit eum esse sine germine; movet autem ipsum ad operandum etc. Necesse est ergo quod virtus caelorum sit a spiritu: et ideo dicit, Et spiritu oris ejus omnis virtus eorum. Mystice per caelos intelliguntur apostoli: hi firmati sunt verbo Domini, scilicet Christi, vel Filio Domini: et hoc est exoratio ejus et doctrina. Luc. 22: Ego pro te rogavi, ut non deficiat fides tua etc. Item virtus eorum firmata est per Spiritum Sanctum. Luc. ult.: Sedete in civitate, quoadusque induamini virtute ex alto.

Then, when he says 'the word of the Lord' (32:4), he gives reason to take joy in the divine effects. Regarding the beginning of the creation of things, Moses mentions three things: heaven, water, and earth: 'In the beginning God created heaven, and earth' (Genesis 1:1), and below this, 'the spirit of God moved over the waters' (Genesis 1:2). The Psalmist thus speaks first of God's effect in the heavens, second in the waters: 'Gathering together the waters' (Psalm 32:7), third, in the earth: 'Let all the earth fear the Lord' (Psalm 32:8). The gloss treats the passage literally and mystically, and 'Lord', 'word', and 'spirit of his mouth' are handled in both senses. 'Lord' is a name of a ruler, and power is ascribed to the Father. A word is a concept of the mind, which is thus also termed 'begotten wisdom', and the Word is the Son. His spirit is the Holy Spirit, but it is called the spirit of his mouth because the mouth is appropriate to the word. It is thus as if it were said 'spirit of the Word', because he himself is the spirit of the Son and of truth. And though the works of the Trinity are indivisible in his effects--'What things soever he doth, these the Son also doth in like manner (John 5:19)--this is nonetheless said in an appropriate manner. Now as concerns heaven, there are two wondrous things, perpetuity (because it is incorruptible), and its power, through which the whole of the world below is changed (namely through heat in summer and cold in winter). The perpetuity of the heaven pertains to its formal nature, for the forms of the elements are particulars and do not exhaust the whole potentiality of matter. Whence their matter remains in potentiality to another form. The form of heaven, however, has a certain totality, and satisfies the entire potentiality of matter. But the form of an artifact proceeds from the form conceived by the artificer, and the form conceived in the heart of the Father is the Word. Thus for all that exists that it has form is attributed to the Word. Whence it is said 'By the word of the Lord the heavens were established' (Psalm 32:6). Moreover the power of the heavens is in moving. Now every posterior motion is derived from a prior as from a cause. The first motion in things which are through will is a movement of love, for every motion in things that have a will is a voluntary motion. Thus Dionysius says that divine love does not allow him to exist without fruit, and he himself moves for the sake of works, etc. (de Div. Nom., IV). It is therefore necessary that the power of the heavens should be from the spirit. Thus he says 'all the power of them by the spirit of his mouth' (Psalm 32:6). Mystically, by 'heavens' are understood the apostles. These have been strengthened by the Word of the Lord, namely Christ or the Son of the Lord. This is his entreaty and teaching: 'I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren' (Luke 22:32). Again, their virtue is made firm through the holy spirit: 'Stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high' (Luke 24:49).

f. Deinde cum dicit, Congregans sicut in utre aquas maris, ostendit effectum Dei in aquis. In aquis autem duo mirabilia sunt consideranda. Unum, quod aquae congregantur in unam partem terrae, et non occupant totam superficiem, quod est mirabile propter duo. Primo, quia naturalis ordo est quod sic aqua circumdat totam terram, sicut aer aquam. Item mare est altius terra. Secundo, quia licet aqua continue evaporet per calorem solis, tamen in eadem quantitate conservatur. Et ideo duo dicit: scilicet quod congregantur in unum ex mandato Dei. Hier. 5: Posui arenam terminum mari, praeceptum sempiternum quod non praeteribit: et commovebuntur, et non poterunt, et intumescent fluctus ejus et non transibunt illud. Job 38: Quis conclusit ostiis mare etc. usque tumentes fluctus ejus? Et ideo dicit, Congregans sicut in utre aquas maris. Aqua congregata in utre habet tremorem et elevationem, non tamen defluit; quia retinetur a pelle utris; sic aqua congregata in mare habet tumorem, et tamen non fluit, quia continetur virtute divina. Gen. 1: Congregentur aquae etc. Aliud mirabile est, quod continue evaporat, et non minuitur. Unde, sicut quidam Philosophi dicunt, per virtutem caloris solis tota aqua siccaretur secundum naturam. Et ideo contra hoc dicit, Ponens in thesauris abyssos. Abyssus, secundum Augustinum, dicit profunditatem aquarum immeabilem: et habet duplicem interpretationem; ab a, quod est sine, et basi, quod est fundamentum: quasi sine fundamento, et sine candore, quia profunda est et obscura. In thesauro sunt tria: quia thesaurus quamdam multitudinem auri dicit, et illud quod in thesauro ponitur, conservatur; unde dicitur quasi theca auri. Item ponitur, ut ad utilitatem extrahatur. Hoc totum est in abysso: quia in ea est immensa abundantia sive multitudo aquarum. Secundo in abysso conservatur aqua et non decidit; tertio extrahuntur ad utilitatem, cum elevantur vapores ex eis, et generantur pluviae, et irrigatur terra. Ps. 17: Apparuerunt fontes aquarum. Mystice exponitur dupliciter: de bonis et de malis. De bonis, ut per aquas maris intelligamus populos. Apoc. 17: Aquae multae populi sunt, et gentes et linguae. Quasi ergo aquas maris populos hujus mundi congregat in ecclesia sicut in utre. Comparatur autem ecclesia utri propter unitatem; et quia uter de pelle fit mortui animalis; per hoc insinuatur quod ad hoc aliqui ad ecclesiam venient, ut mortificent membra sua, quae sunt super terram; nam quasi caeli apostoli confirmati sunt, et ex his congregati sunt in ecclesia populi. Ponens abyssos, idest profunditatem divinorum sensuum, In thesauris, sacrae scripturae. Isa. 33: Divitiae salutis, sapientia et scientia; timor Domini ipse est thesaurus ejus. Vel abyssos prius, scilicet peccatores profundos et obscuros tenebris vitiorum, ponens thesauros auri ecclesiae. Magnus thesaurus ecclesiae Paulus est et Matthaeus et Magdalena, qui quondam fuerant quasi quaedam abyssus. In malis vero aqua maris intelligitur tribulatio hujus vitae. Ps. 68: Intraverunt aquae usque ad animam meam. Deus autem confirmat caelos, non tamen aufert eis infirmitates; quia sic gratia conservatur interius, quod infirmitates exterius non excludat. Et ideo dicit quod congregat tribulationes eorum, scilicet caelorum, idest virorum caelestium, In utre, idest in corporibus eorum, Ponens abyssos, idest persecutores ecclesiae in thesauris, quia non dat eis libertatem saeviendi contra ecclesiam quantum volunt.

Then when he says 'Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel' (Psalm 33:7), he shows the effect of God in waters. Two wondrous things need to be considered. One, that the waters are gathered together in one part of the earth and do not occupy the entire surface, which is wondrous for two reasons. First the natural order is that water should surround the entire earth as air [surrounds] water, again, the ocean is higher than the earth. Second, because although water is continuously evaporating through the heat of the sun, nonetheless it is conserved with respect to quantity. Thus he says two things, namely that the waters are gathered in one place owing to divine command: 'I have set the sand a bound for the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it shall not pass over: and the waves thereof shall toss themselves, and shall not prevail: they shall swell, and shall not pass over it. (Jeremiah 5:22) -- 'Who shut up the sea with doors...And I said: Hitherto thou shalt come, and shalt go no further, and here thou shalt break thy swelling waves' (Job 38:8-11). Therefore the Psalmist says 'Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel' (Psalm 32:7). Water gathered in a vessel shakes and rises, yet it does not slip out since it is contained by the vessel's skin. Likewise, the water gathered in the ocean shakes and nonetheless does not flow over, because it is contained by divine power: 'God also said; Let the waters that are under the heaven, be gathered together into one place' (Genesis 1:9). Another wonder is that while continually evaporating it is not diminished, since, as certain philosophers note, through the power of the sun's heat, all water naturally is dried up. In response to this the Psalmist says 'laying up the depths (abyssos) in storehouses' (Psalm 32:7). Augustine says that the depth (abyssus) is an impenetrable vastness of waters, and there are two ways to take this, [literally and mystically]. [Proceeding literally], 'depth (abyssus)' is composed from 'a', which means 'without', and 'base (basi)', which means 'foundation', as if it is without foundation and light because it is vast and dark. Moreover, as concerns the storehouse, we may note three things. The word 'storehouse' signifies a certain mass of wealth, and what is placed in a storehouse is conserved, whence is signified, as it were, a chest of wealth; and content is placed there that it may be extracted for utility's sake. All this is in the depth, for in it is an immeasurable abundance or mass of waters. Second water is conserved in the deep and does not flow out. Third, waters are extracted for the sake of utility when vapors are lifted from it, generating rains and irrigating the earth: 'Then the fountains of waters appeared' (Psalm 17:16). Mystically, the explanation is given in terms of goods and evils. Respecting goods, by 'waters of the sea' (Psalm 32:7) we should understand the people: 'The waters ...are peoples and nations and tongues.' (Revelations 17:15). Like waters of the sea, the people of this world gather in the church as in a flask. The church is compared to a flask on account of its unity. And because the skin of the flask comes to be as a result of the death of an animal, it is suggested that some come to the church to mortify its members, who are over the earth. For like the heavens, the apostles have been strengthened, and by these are gathered the people of the church. 'Laying up the depths in storehouses' (Psalm 32:7), i.e., [storing] the profundity of the divine thoughts 'in storehouses' of sacred Scripture: 'Riches of salvation, wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is his treasure (Isaiah 33:6). Or we make take 'depths' in a prior sense where it signifies sinners sunk low and obscured by the darkness of vices, he is laying these in storehouses of the church's wealth. Paul is a great storehouse of the church--and Matthew and Magdalene--who once was as a depth. As concerns evils, by 'waters of the sea' one should understand this life's tribulations: 'For the waters are come in even unto my soul' (Psalm 68:2). God strengthens the heavens, but does not carry away their infirmities. Thus is preserved interior grace, which exterior infirmities do not hinder. Therefore he says he gathers their tribulations, namely the tribulations of the heavens, i.e., persecutors of the church, 'in storehouses', because he does not give these liberty to rage against the church as they will.

g. Tertio, cum dicit, Timeat, ostendit effectum Dei in terra. Et primo praemittit monitionem; secundo ostendit effectum Dei circa terram, ibi, Quoniam ipse dixit etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim ponit monitionem; secundo exponit eam, ibi, Ab eo autem etc. Dicit ergo, Timeat Dominum etc. Sed quare hic posuit monitionem, cum locutus sit de effectibus aliis in quibus nulla monitione usus est, sed solum de terra? Ratio est, quia omnis alia creatura obedit Deo ad nutum, nisi homo terrenus; et ideo dicit, Omnis terra, idest omnis homo terrenus, Timeat Dominum. Eccl. ult.: Deum time, et mandata ejus observa: hoc enim est omnis homo. Nam metonymica locutio est haec ut intelligatur continens pro contento, cum dicit, Terra, idest habitatores terrae. Secundo exponit monitionem, dicens, Ab eo autem etc.: bona scilicet commotio ad servitium Dei: quia ipse solus trahit. Joan. 6: Nemo potest venire ad me, nisi pater qui misit me, traxerit eum.

Third, when he says 'fear the Lord' he discusses an effect of God on earth. First he gives a warning, then he shows the effect of God concerning the earth, here: 'For he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created' (Psalm 32:9). Concerning the warning, he does two things. First, he gives the warning, second he explains it, here: 'Let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him' (Psalm 32:8). So then, he says 'Let all the earth fear the Lord' (Psalm 32:8), but why does he give this warning? Other effects are mentioned without any warning, why only the earth? The reason is that all creatures save selfish, earthly man obey the command of God, and this is why he says 'all the earth', i.e., earthly man, 'fear the Lord' (Psalm 32:8) -- 'Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man' (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The expression is metonymic, so that the container should be understood in place of the contained, when he says 'earth', i.e., those who inhabit the earth. Then, he explains the warning, saying 'Let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him' (Psalm 32:8), meaning let all have the meritorious desire to serve God. For he alone draws us: 'No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him' (John 6:44).

h. Deinde cum dicit, Quoniam, ostendit effectum duplicem circa terram. Et primo effectum creationis; secundo gubernationis, ibi, Dominus dissipat. In creatione autem sunt duo consideranda: scilicet ipsa formatio, et ipsa creatio. Utrumque autem est hic. Nam primo ostendit ipsam formationem, cum dicit, Ipse dixit etc. Secundo ipsam creationem, cum addit, Ipse mandavit etc. Dicit ergo, Quoniam ipse dixit: Augustinus, 7 Super Gen. ad Litt.: Omnis formatio est per verbum, quia res creatae se habent ad Deum sicut artificiata ad artificem. Unde sicut omnes formae artificiati sunt a forma concepta in mente artificis, ita omnis forma rerum est a verbo divino concepto. Unde Ipse dixit, idest concepit Verbum ab aeterno, et secundum illud omnia facta sunt; quasi dicat: Genuit Verbum in quo erat ut fieret omnia, et sic est formatio. Secundo creatio: quia, Mandavit et creata sunt. Dicere namque importat verbum formatum. Mandare importat monitionem, vel emanationem solum. Unde mandare importat creationem materiae informis. Eccl. 8: Sermo illius potestate plenus est. Mystice, Dixit et facta sunt, semine gratiae: Mandavit, in opere veritatis. Psal. 103: Emitte spiritum tuum etc. Quantum vero ad opus gubernationis dicit.

Then when he says 'For he spoke' (Psalm 32:9), he discusses two effects on the earth, first creation, then governance, the latter here: 'The Lord bringeth to nought the counsels of nations as concerns the earth' (Psalm 32:10). In creation, two things are to be considered, the form itself and the creation itself. Both are treated. First, he discusses the form, when he says 'For he spoke and they were made' (Psalm 32:9). He therefore says 'For he spoke'. Augustine writes 'All things formed are through the Word, because created things stand in relation to God as artifact to artificer. Whence as every form of an artifact is from the concept of the form in the mind of the artificer, so too every form of things is from the concept of the divine Word' (7 super Gen. ad Litt.). Hence 'he spoke', i.e., he conceived the Word from eternity, and from this, all things were made. It is as if he were saying that 'he begot the Word in which he was that all things would come to be.'1 This concerns creation because 'He commanded and they were created' (Psalm 32:9). 'To speak' implies a word that is formed, 'to command' suggests warning, or simply a flowing forth; thus 'to warn' implies the creation of informed matter: 'His word is full of power' (Ecclesiastes 8:4). Mystically, 'he spoke and they were made,' by the seed of grace; 'he commanded' in the work of truth: 'Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created' (Psalm 103:30). As concerns governance, he says:

i. Dominus. Quia stabilis manens immutat omnes. Et primo ponitur omnium mutatio; secundo sua stabilitas, ibi, Consilium. Circa habitatores terrae advertendum est, quod quidam sunt parvi, quidam magni; et utrique mutantur. Quantum ad parvos dicit, Dominus dissipat etc. Ubi duo tangit, scilicet propositum quod est de fine, et consilium de his quae sunt ad finem. Et hoc immutatur quia non agit secundum quod consiliatur, sed secundum quod Deus disponit. Isa. 8: Inite consilium et dissipabitur. Et hoc est quod dicit, Dominus dissipat consilia gentium. Et specialiter dissipavit consilium volentium dissipare legem Christi. Et cogitationes reprobat populorum, humana scientium: talium enim propositum reprobat Dominus. Quantum ad magnos dicit, Et reprobat consilia principum: quasi dicat, Non solum populorum, sed et principum consilia reprobat; quia non est in potestate eorum, quod intentum assequantur effectum, sed in ordinatione divina. Job 11: Adducit consiliarios in stultum finem.

'The Lord' (Psalm 32:10), for remaining steadfast, he changes all things. And first, he notes change in all things, second, their standing fast, here, 'The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever' (Psalm 32:11). Concerning the earth's inhabitants, some are small, others large, and both suffer change. Of the small he says 'The Lord bringeth to nought the counsels of nations' (Psalm 32:10). This touches on two things: the proposal of an end and counsel regarding means. This is changed because things do not go according to counsel but rather as God disposes: 'Take counsel together, and it shall be defeated: speak a word, and it shall not be done: because God is with us' (Isaiah 8:10). This is why he says 'The Lord bringith to nought the counsels of nations' (32:10), especially a willful counsel to destroy Christ's law. And 'he rejecteth the devices of people' (32:10), i.e., human knowledge, for the Lord rejecteth such counsels. Of great things, he writes the Lord 'casteth away the counsels of princes' (Psalm 32:10), as if to say he casteth away counsels not only of nations, but even princes. For it is not in their power that effect follow intention, but in divine decree: 'He bringeth counsellors to a foolish end' (Job 12:17).2

j. Deinde cum dicit, Consilium autem, ponitur stabilitas Dei, quia consilium suum stat, et cogitatio sua perseverat. Sed numquid consilium est in Deo? Videtur, quod non: quia importat dubitationem. Respondeo. Dicendum, quod aliter accipitur consilium in Deo, et aliter in nobis. Scientia enim in nobis importat discursum, in Deo vero certitudinem. Sic de consilio, cum est in nobis, dicit inquisitionem; cum autem dicitur de Deo, importat ordinationem respectu omnium ad debitum finem. Isa. 46: Consilium meum stabit, et omnis voluntas mea fiet. Act. 5: Si ex Deo est consilium, non poteritis stare, et dissolvere illud. Cogitationes cordis ejus, idest propositum voluntatis ejus manet: quia si mutat sententiam, non mutat consilium. Isa. 55: Non enim cogitationes meae cogitationes vestrae, neque viae meae viae vestrae.

Then when he says 'the counsel of the Lord' (32:11), the steadfastness of God is treated, for his counsel endures and his thought abides. But is it really possible there is counsel in God? It appears there is not, for this suggests uncertainty. In response, let us note that 'counsel' is accepted in one sense as concerns God, another concerning us, because our knowledge runs here and there, while in God there is certitude. Thus 'counsel' for us signifies enquiry or investigation, yet when said of God the term implies an order with respect to all things each toward its proper end: 'My counsel shall stand, and all my will shall be done' (Isaiah 46:10) -- 'But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it' (Acts 5:39). 'The thoughts of his heart', i.e., the plan he wills, endures (Psalm 32:11). For if he changes the judgment, he does not change the counsel: 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord' (Isaiah 55:8).

k. Beata gens. Supra hortatus est justos ad jucunditatem; hic ponit eorum dignitatem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo enim proponit eorum dignitatem; secundo probat, ibi, In caelo. Dignitas sanctorum maxima est; quia ipsi soli perveniunt ad quod omnes homines naturaliter desiderant. Si unus vel pauci pervenirent ad unum ad quod omnes pervenire desiderarent, hoc esset magna dignitas. Omnes autem desiderant tendere ad beatitudinem, ad quam tamen soli justi perveniunt, quia eam consequentur in futuro perfecte, nunc vero inchoative et in spe. Ergo dignitas justorum est magna. Circa eorum beatitudinem hic inchoatam et in futuro perficiendam, duo tangit: materiam scilicet et causam, ibi, Populus. Dicit ergo, Beata gens. De beatitudine diversi diversa senserunt. Et secundum diversas opiniones de hac sunt diversae sectae philosophorum. Quidam enim posuerunt eam in bonis corporalibus, sicut Epicurus. Quidam in operibus activae vitae, ut Stoici. Quidam in veritatis contemplatione, ut Peripatetici. Quaerere beatitudinem in eo quod est infra nos, est vanum, quia beatitudo est supra nos. Quod autem est supra nos, hoc est Deus. Ergo beatitudo hominis est inhaerere Deo. Unumquodque enim perfectum est, si inhaeret proprio bono. Proprium autem bonum hominis est Deus. Ps. 72: Mihi autem adhaerere Deo bonum est. Deo autem potest quis inhaerere mente, scilicet intellectu et voluntate, non sensu, quia hic etiam brutis est communis. Dupliciter ergo inhaeret homo Deo: scilicet per intellectum contemplando et cognoscendo, et per affectum amando. Et quia haec imperfecta sunt in via, perfecta vero in patria; ideo hic beatitudo est imperfecta, ibi perfecta. Et ideo dicit, Beata gens. Et quare? Quia Dominus est Deus ejus, idest habet Deo mentem conjunctam. Propterea, Beatus populus cujus est Dominus Deus ejus. Hebr. 11: Non confunditur Deus vocari Deus eorum. Sed quae causa est ejus? Numquid natura, fortuna, vel propria virtus? Non. Sed electio divina. Joan. 15: Non vos me elegistis, sed ego elegi vos. Item ibidem 6: Nemo potest venire ad me, nisi Pater meus qui misit me, traxerit eum. Et ideo subdit, Populus quem elegit; quasi dicat, Ideo beati, quia a Deo electi. Eph. 1: Elegit nos in ipso ante mundi constitutionem. Et hoc, In hereditatem, idest ut ipsi simus ejus hereditas. Hereditas importat stabilem possessionem. Deus autem possidet omnia per Dominum. Sed soli justi subduntur ei per voluntatem: unde in hereditatem eos elegit, idest ad habendam justitiam sempiternam. Sap. 1: Justitia perpetua est et immortalis. Isa. 19: Hereditas mea Israel. Dominus ergo Deus eorum quia eo fruuntur. Et ipsi sunt hereditas Dei, quia ei subjiciuntur.

'Blessed is the nation' (Psalm 32:12). Above, the Psalmist has encouraged the just to rejoice. Here he speaks of their dignity. Concerning this, he does two things. First, he puts forth their dignity, then, he proves it, here: 'The Lord hath looked from heaven' (Psalm 32:13). The dignity of the holy ones is without peer, for these alone arrive at what all men naturally desire. If one or few should arrive at that one at which all desire to arrive, this would be the greatest dignity. Though all desire to move to beatitude, only the just arrive; for in the future they will perfectly attain beatitude, but now they grasp it inchoately and in hope. Therefore the dignity of the just is great. Concerning their beatitude, here inchoate in the future to be perfected, he touches on two things, namely matter and cause: 'the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance' (Psalm 32:12). Thus he says 'blessed is the nation' (Psalm 32:12). Different persons understand beatitude in different ways. In keeping with different opinions about this, there are different philosophical sects. Some have placed it in corporeal goods, as Epicurus; certain others, in operations of the active life, as for instance the Stoics; still others place this in the contemplation of truth, as the Peripatetics. To seek beatitude in that which is below us is vain, for beatitude is above us. What is above us is God. Therefore the beatitude of man is to hold fast to God. For each is perfect if it holds fast to its proper good, and the proper good of man is God: 'But it is good for me to adhere to my God' (Psalm 72:28). Though it is possible to hold fast to God with one's mind, namely by intellect and will, we cannot hold fast through sense, because we have this in common with the brutes. So there are two ways man holds fast to God, by the intellect, through contemplation and knowing, and by affection, through loving. And because these are imperfect in life but perfect in the homeland, thus here beatitude is imperfect, there perfect. Therefore he says 'Blessed is the nation'. And why? Because its 'God is the Lord' (Psalm 32:11), i.e., it has its mind joined to God. On account of that, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord'. -- 'God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city' (Hebrews 11:16). But what is the cause of this? Surely not nature, fortune or some virtue that is proper to them? No. It is divine choice. 'You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you' (John 15:16) -- 'No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him' (John 6:44). And thus he adds 'the people whom he hath chosen' (Psalm 32:12), as if to say they are therefore blessed because by God they are chosen: 'He chose us in him before the foundation of the world' (Ephesians 1:4). And this: 'the people whom he hath chosen for his inheritance' (Psalm 32:12), i.e., that they themselves should be his inheritance. 'Inheritance' suggests stable possession. Now God possesses all things through dominium. But only the just are made subject to him through his volition, whence he chose them for his inheritance, i.e., that they might have sempiternal justice: 'Justice is perpetual and immortal.' (Wisdom 1:15). -- 'Israel is my inheritance' (Isaiah 19:25). God therefore is their Lord because in him they delight, and they themselves are the inheritance of God because to him they are subject.

l. Deinde cum dicit, De caelo, probat eorum dignitatem per discussionem divini judicii: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo enim praemittit certitudinem divini judicii. Secundo subdit vanitatem humanae prosperitatis, ibi, Non salvabitur rex. Tertio efficaciam gratiae in sanctis, ibi, Ecce oculi Domini. Circa primum duo facit. Primo certitudinem divini judicii pensat ex ejus altitudine; secundo ex ejus causalitate. Et primo ostendit eam ex primo; secundo ex secundo, ibi, Qui finxit. Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim ostendit certitudinem divini judicii ex ejus altitudine. Secundo removet dubitationem, ibi, De praeparato. Dicit ergo, De caelo etc. Quanto aliqua virtus est altior in ordine et genere virtutis, tanto est efficacior ad opera quae illi virtuti conveniunt. Et ideo quanto aliqua virtus cognitiva est subtilior, tanto est efficacior in cognoscendo. Nihil adeo est sublime sicut divinus intellectus; et ideo efficacia ejus in cognoscendo est maxima. Et ideo dicit, De caelo, idest altitudine divinae majestatis. Sicut enim nihil est altius caelo in corporalibus, ita nihil altius Deo in spiritualibus. Et ideo quia de alto respicit, ideo, Videt omnes filios hominum; quia quanto plus ex alto videt, tanto plures videt: Prov. 16: Omnes viae hominum patent oculis ejus.

Next when he says 'The Lord hath looked from heaven' (Psalm 32:13), he proves their dignity through discussion of divine judgment. He does three things. First, he premises the certitude of divine judgment. Next, he treats the vanity of human prosperity: 'The king is not saved by a great army' (Psalm 32:16). Third, he considers the efficacy of grace in the blessed: 'Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him' (Psalm 32:18). Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he weighs the certitude of divine judgment from out of its height, second, out of its causality. First he shows this certitude from what is primary, second, from what is secondary, here: 'He who hath made the hearts of every one of them: who understandeth all their works.' (Psalm 32:15). Concerning the first, he first shows the certitude of divine judgment from out of its height, second he removes a doubt, here, 'From his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth' (Psalm 32:14). He says therefore, 'The Lord hath looked from heaven' (Psalm 32:13). To the extent that some virtue is higher in rank and genus, it more efficaciously performs its proper works. Thus, to the extent a cognitive virtue is more precise, it is better able to discharge its task. Nothing approaches the sublimity of the divine intellect, thus its cognitive efficacy is unsurpassed. Therefore the Psalmist says 'The Lord hath looked from heaven', i.e., from the height of divine majesty. For as nothing corporeal is higher than heaven, nothing spiritual is loftier than God. Therefore because he looks down from on high, 'he hath beheld all the sons of men' (Psalm 32:13). For the greater the height, the more one sees: 'All the ways of a man are open to his eyes' (Proverbs 16:2).

m. Deinde cum dicit, De praeparato, removet dubitationem. Aliqui enim crediderunt Deum habitare in caelis, quasi in remotis non cognosceret humana: Job 22: Circa cardines caeli perambulat, et nostra non considerat. Hoc excludit psalmista dicens, De praeparato habitaculo; quasi dicat: Nullus praepararet sibi locum ad impediendum se. Secus foret si alius praepararet. Stultus enim rex esset si praepararet sibi sedem ubi non posset regere regnum: et hoc est quod dicit, De praeparato habitaculo, idest de caelo quod sibi praeparavit ut esset habitaculum suum: non quidem quod comprehendatur eo, sed quia magis relucet in eo gloria sua, Respexit, inquit, Super omnes qui habitant terram, idest carnem, eam domando: Psalm. 112: Quis sicut Dominus Deus noster qui in altis habitat, et humilia respicit etc. Psal. 102: Dominus in caelo paravit sedem suam etc.. Vel De caelo, idest Christo. Angelis vel apostolis respexit oculo misericordiae suae ad salvandum homines.

When he says 'From his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth' (Psalm 32:14), he settles the aforementioned doubt. For some have believed God inhabits the heavens as one dwelling in remote regions, unaware of human affairs: 'The clouds are his covert, and he doth not consider our things, and he walketh about the poles of heaven' (Job 22:14). The Psalmist excludes this, saying 'From his habitation which he hath prepared' (Psalm 32:14), as if he were saying no one would prepare for himself a place with the end in mind of impeding himself, though maybe it would be different if another prepared it. For a king would be foolish were he to prepare himself a seat where he would not be able to rule the kingdom. And this is why he says 'From his habitation which he hath prepared' (Psalm 32:14), i.e. from heaven which he has prepared for himself that it would be his habitation. Not so that he would through this be comprehended, but because in this his glory shines forth. 'He hath looked upon all that dwell on the earth' (Psalm 32:14), i.e., carnal things, mastering them: 'Who is as the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high: and looketh down on the low things in heaven and in earth?' (112:5-6) -- 'The Lord hath prepared his throne in heaven: and his kingdom shall rule over all' (Psalm 102:19). Perhaps 'from heaven' (Psalm 32:12) means 'from Christ'. Through angels and apostles he has looked down with the eye of his mercy for the salvation of men.

n. Deinde cum dicit, Qui finxit, probat certitudinem divinae cognitionis ex ejus causalitate: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo enim ponit ejus causalitatem. Secundo concludit certitudinem cognitionis ejus, ibi, Qui intelligit. Stultum esset dicere, quod aliquis faciens aliquod opus operatum, ignoraret usum ejus: frustra enim faceret, cum usus sit finis ejus; et ideo alibi dicit: Psalm. 93: Qui finxit oculos, non considerat? Quomodo ergo potest esse quod faceret aliquid proportionatum ad cognoscenda particularia nisi ipse cognoscat ea? Homo namque cognoscit singularia per intellectum et animam et cor suum. Ergo Deus qui facit illud cor, cognoscit ea. Et nota, quod verba habent pondus suum. Dicit enim, Corda, ut excludat unitatem intellectus in omnibus: nam diversi diversos habent intellectus. Dicit autem, Singillatim, ut ostendat quod anima non est duplex: alias non diceretur finxisse singillatim, sed unam, ex qua omnes, et sic similiter singillatim. Ergo ipse singulas per se animas finxit, scilicet per creationem, cum sit anima substantia per se subsistens, non ex materia. Item dixit, Finxit, ut ostendat quod non de substantia Dei fit; alias non diceretur ficta, sed consubstantialis. Et dicit signanter, Finxit, quia fingere figulorum est qui vili materiae pulchram formam imprimunt; sic Deus corpori luteo animam creando infundit: 2 Cor. 4: Habemus thesaurum istum in vasis fictilibus: Rom. 9: Numquid dicit figmentum illi qui se finxit, quid me fecisti sic? Et ex hoc concludit quod intelligit omnia opera eorum: qui enim scit causam, scit effectum. Causa autem omnium effectuum humanorum est cor. Deus autem scit cor. Ergo et ejus opera. Finxit intelligitur de figmento gratiae, quia ab ipso sunt dona gratiae, et hoc singillatim, quia divisiones gratiarum sunt, 1 Cor. 12. Et hoc quia ipse intelligit opera eorum adjuvando et promovendo.

When he says 'He who hath made the hearts of every one of them' (Psalm 32:15), he proves the certitude of divine thought from its causality. Concerning this he does two things. He first sets out divine causality, and second proves the certitude of his thought: 'who understandeth all their works' (Psalm 32:15). It would be foolish to say that someone fashioning some efficacious work (opus operatum) should be unaware of its use. For, he would fashion the work in vain, since the use is the purpose of the work. And therefore in another place he says 'He that formed the eye, doth he not consider?' (Psalm 93:9). How then is it possible that he made something capable of knowing particulars unless he himself knows them? Man certainly knows singulars through his intellect, soul and heart. Therefore God, who makes that heart, knows these same things. Note the weight of the Psalmist's words. He says 'hearts' to exclude a unity of intellect in all things. For different things have different intellects. Again, he says 'the hearts of every one of them' to show that the soul is not twofold. Were this so, he would not have said God made 'every one of them', but that he fashioned one, from which all, and thus in a similar manner every one of them. Therefore, he made souls singular per se, namely, through creation, since the soul is per se subsistent substance, not dependent on matter. Likewise he said 'he made' to show that soul is not of the substance of God. Were soul of God, it would not be called 'made' but 'consubstantial'. And he distinctly says 'he made' because making is the work of potters, who imprint a beautiful form on cheap materials. Similarly in creation God pours soul into worthless flesh: 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels' (2 Corinthians 4:7) -- 'Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it: Why hast thou made me thus?' (Romans 9:20). From this he concludes that God 'understandeth all their works' (Psalm 32:15). For he who knows the cause knows the effect, the cause of all human effects is the heart, and God knows the heart, therefore also his works. 'He made' pertains to grace that is made, because from this are the gifts of grace, every one of them, because 'there are diversities of graces' (1 Corinthians 12:4); for he himself 'understandeth all their works' (Psalm 32:15), by sustaining and encouraging them.

o. Non salvatur. Supra Psalmista ostendit dignitatem sanctorum ex certitudine divini judicii, ex qua probare intendit dignitatem sanctorum; nunc in parte ista ostendit humanae prosperitatis vanitatem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo enim ostendit quod nulla potestas temporalis potest homines ad salutem justorum perducere. Secundo ostendit, quia hoc facit misericordia Dei, ibi, Ecce oculi Domini. Dicit ergo, Non salvatur rex. Sed quia potestas saecularis est triplex: una quae consistit in multitudine subditorum, alia in robore corporis, et alia in divitiis exterioribus; ideo ostendit quod nullum eorum potest perducere ad salutem. Et primo de prima potestate, et haec est regia; et ideo dicit, Non salvatur rex per multam virtutem. Hieronymus habet, In multitudine etc. Psalm. 145: Nolite confidere in principibus, in filiis hominum, in quibus non est salus. Immo si aliquando habent salutem, hoc est per Deum: Psalm. 143: Qui das salutem regibus. Secundo ostendit quod non est salus in robore corporis; unde dicit, Et gigas non salvabitur in multitudine virtutis suae, idest roboris: Baruch 3: Ibi fuerunt gigantes nominati, illi qui ab initio etc. Tertio, quod non in divitiis. Et ponit duo adminiculativa; scilicet equum, et abundantiam rerum. Quantum ad primum dicit, Fallax equus etc. idest quantumcumque habeat bonum equum, tamen non potest salvari corporaliter vel spiritualiter: Prov. 21: Equus paratur ad diem belli, Dominus autem salutem tribuet. Quantum ad secundum dicit, In abundantia autem virtutis suae non salvabitur, idest rerum exteriorum: Prov. 11: Qui confidit in divitiis suis, corruet: Isa. 31: Vae qui descendunt in Aegyptum ad auxilium in equis sperantes. Mystice, moraliter et allegorice sic exponitur, quod homo non salvatur propria virtute, quodcumque bonum obtineat. Est enim triplex bonum per quod videtur quis consequi posse salutem. Primum est potentia; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Non salvatur rex per multam virtutem. Si vero sit potens ut regat alios, hoc non est per virtutem suam, sed habet a Deo. Secundum est constantia; et hanc non habet per virtutem suam: unde dicit, Et gigas non salvabitur in multitudine virtutis suae. Tertium est bona dispositio corporis et fortitudo; unde dicit, Fallax equus, scilicet corpus forte et robustum est fallax. Vel est universaliter, In abundantia virtutis suae, idest undecumque habeat aptitudinem ad bonum, non salvatur nisi ei Deus salutem tribuat: Psal. 29: Ego dixi in abundantia mea, non movebor in aeternum. avertisti etc. Hoc est quod dicitur Hiere. 9: Non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua, et non glorietur fortis in fortitudine sua, et non glorietur dives in divitiis suis.

'A king is not saved by a great army' (32:16). Above the Psalmist showed the dignity of the saints through the certitude of divine judgment, from which he intended to prove the dignity of the saints. Here he shows the vanity of human prosperity. Concerning this he does two things. First he shows that no temporal power is able to lead men to the salvation of the just. Second, he shows that this is accomplished through God's mercy: 'Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him' (Psalm 32:18). So he says that 'A king is not saved'. But since there are three types of secular power--one which consists in a multitude of subjects, another in bodily strength, and another in external wealth--he shows that none of these leads to salvation. First he speaks of the premiere power, i.e., royal power, and he says 'A king is not saved by a great army' (Psalm 32:16) (Jerome has 'within a multitude', etc.). 'Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation (Psalm 145:2-3). Thus if at some time they have salvation, this is through God, 'who givest salvation to kings' (Psalm 143:10). Second, he shows that salvation does not lie in bodily strength, whence he says, 'Nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength' (Psalm 32:16) -- 'There were the giants, those renowned men that were from the beginning, of great stature, expert in war. The Lord chose not them, neither did they find the way of knowledge: therefore did they perish' (Baruch 3:26-27). Third, he shows that salvation is not in wealth, and he gives two examples, viz., a horse and an abundance of goods. Concerning the first he says, 'Vain is the horse for safety' (Psalm 32:17), i.e., despite having a good horse, one is not able to be saved, either physically or spiritually: 'The horse is prepared for the day of battle: but the Lord giveth safety' (Proverbs 21:31). Of the second, he says 'Neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength' (Psalm 32:17). 'Strength' refers to exterior goods: 'He that trusteth in his riches shall fall' (Proverbs 11:28) -- 'Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, trusting in horses' (Isaiah 31:1). Mystically, morally, and allegorically, it is explained thus: Man is not saved by strength, whatever good he may obtain. For there are three goods through which it appears one is able to attain prosperity. The first is power, about which he says 'A king is not saved by a great army' (Psalm 32:16). If one is powerful and rules others, this is not through his strength, but had from God. The second is firmness, and one does not have this through his own strength, whence he says, 'Nor shall the giant be saved by his own great strength' (Psalm 32:16). The third is a good bodily disposition and fortitude, thus he says, 'Vain is the horse for safety' (Psalm 32:17), i.e., a strong, robust body is useless. In a broad sense, 'Neither shall he be saved by the abundance of his strength' (Psalm 32:17), i.e., from whatever source one has capacity for the good, he is not saved unless God should bestow on him salvation. 'And in my abundance I said: I shall never be moved. O Lord, in thy favour, thou gavest strength to my beauty. Thou turnedst away thy face from me, and I became troubled' (Psalm 29:7-8). This is what is said by Jeremiah: 'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches (Jeremiah 9:23).

p. Deinde cum dicit, Ecce oculi, ostenditur efficacia divinae misericordiae ad salvandum. Et primo ponit misericordiam salvantem. Secundo affectum sanctorum ex hac consideratione conceptum, ibi, Anima nostra. Circa primum tria facit. Primo enim ostendit divinam misericordiam. Secundo, in quibus habet effectum divina misericordia, ibi, Super metuentes eum. Tertio, quem effectum habet, ibi, Ut eruat. Dicit ergo, Ecce oculi Domini. divinam enim misericordiam insinuat per respectum Dei. Psalm. 118: Aspice in me, et miserere mei. In quo autem respicit, subdit, Super metuentes etc. Habac. 1: Mundi sunt oculi tui ne videas malum, et respicere ad iniquitatem non poteris. Respice ergo super eos, qui timorem habent et spem. Unum sine altero non sufficit; quia timor sine spe desperat, et spes sine timore praesumit. Timor autem consurgit ex consideratione divinae potestatis. Hier. 10: Quis non timebit te o rex gentium? Spes vero consurgit ex Dei misericordia. Ex primo consurgit fuga peccati, ex secundo spes veniae. Effectum autem divinae misericordiae ostendit cum dicit, Ut eruat a morte etc. Ubi duplicem effectum ostendit: quia liberat a malo; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Ut eruat a morte. Item confirmat in bono; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Et alat eos. Dicit ergo, Ut eruat a morte animas eorum, a morte corporali, et morte peccati, et a morte futurae damnationis in resurrectione. Oseae 13: De manu mortis liberabo eos etc. Confirmat etiam in bono: unde ait: Et alat eos in fame, idest in necessitate; et loquitur de alimento corporali. Ps. 144: Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine, et tu das illis escam in tempore opportuno. Et de alimento spirituali. Deut. 8: Non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei. Et de alimento sacramentali. Jo. 6: Caro mea vere est cibus. In loco pascuae ibi me collocavit: Ps. 22.

Then when he says 'Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him' (Psalm 32:18), he shows the efficacy of divine mercy for salvation. First he presents the salvific mercy, second, the sentiment of the saints who conceive this mercy: 'Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector' (Psalm 32:20). Concerning the first, he does three things. First, he discusses divine mercy, second those in whom this mercy is realized: 'on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy' (Psalm 32:18). Third, he shows the effect of divine mercy: 'To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine' (Psalm 32:19). So he says, 'Behold the eyes of the Lord', suggesting God's divine mercy: 'Look thou upon me, and have mercy on me according to the judgment of them that love thy name' (Psalm 118:132). Concerning on whom he looks down, he adds 'them that fear him,' etc. (Psalm 32:18) -- 'Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on iniquity' (Habakkuk 1:13). So he looks down on those who have fear and hope. One without the other does not suffice, for fear without hope despairs, and hope without fear presumes. Now fear grows from consideration of divine power: 'Who shall not fear thee, O king of nations?' (Jeremiah 10:7). But hope grows out of God's mercy. From the first grows abhorrence of sin, from the second, the hope for pardon. Moreover, he indicates the effect of divine mercy when he says 'to deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine' (Psalm 32:19). Here he presents a twofold effect. First, because he delivers us from evil, and concerning this he says 'To deliver their souls from death' (Psalm 32:19). Again, he strengthens [us] in the good: 'feed them in famine' (Psalm 32:19). He says therefore 'to deliver their souls from death' (Psalm 32:19), i.e., in the resurrection he delivers them from the death of the body, and the death of sin, and the death of future damnations. 'I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite: comfort is hidden from my eyes' (Hosea 13:14), etc. Whence he says, 'feed them in famine' (Psalm 32:19), i.e., in need or necessity. And he speaks about nourishment of the body: 'Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God' (Deuteronomy 8:3). And with respect to sacramental nourishment: 'My flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed' (John 6:56) -- 'He hath set me in a place of pasture' (Psalm 22:2).

q. Consequenter cum dicit, Anima, ostendit quis effectus sequitur in istis ex hac consideratione. Et est duplex. Primus effectus sperandi. Secundus orandi, ibi, Fiat misericordia tua etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo enim ostendit, quomodo in eis consurgit effectus spei. Secundo assignatur ratio, ibi, Quoniam adjutor. Dicit ergo ita, Oculi Domini super metuentes eum etc. Et ideo Anima nostra sustinet Dominum, idest si qua mala nobis a Deo immittuntur, patienter sustineamus. Jac. 1: Sufferentiam Job audistis. Item expectando ejus promissa. Sustinet ergo punientem et promittentem. Et est duplex ratio. Una est propter experientiam beneficiorum; alia vero propter spem futurorum, ibi, In eo laetabitur. Experientia beneficiorum est in bonorum promotione; unde dicit, Quoniam adjutor. Item in protectione a malis; et ideo dicit, Et protector. Speramus autem futuram jucunditatem; unde ait, In eo laetabitur cor nostrum, idest in ejus visione. Isa. 66: Videbitis et gaudebit cor vestrum. Job 22: Tunc super omnipotentem deliciis afflues etc. Et hoc gaudium est hic imperfectum, sed ibi, in patria scilicet, est perfectum. Et hoc ideo, quia, In nomine sancto ejus speravimus. Ponitur enim hic et pro quia. Nomen sanctum ejus est nomen misericordiae ejus; quasi dicat, Ideo, Laetabimur, quia, Speravimus in nomine sancto ejus, idest in ejus bonitate, vel in ejus misericordia, et non in meritis nostris. Deinde cum dicit, Fiat misericordia, ponitur orandi effectus: nam oratio interpres est spei; et ideo sequitur spem. Et licet quodlibet particulare beneficium sit ex misericordia divina, duo tamen specialiter sunt ex hac. Primum est beneficium incarnationis: Luc. 1: Per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri etc. Fiat misericordia tua, scilicet ut carnem suscipias et liberes nos, Super nos, idest supra nostra merita. Aliud beneficium est salutis; et hoc est super nos, quia Non ex operibus justitiae quae fecimus nos, sed secundum suam misericordiam salvos nos fecit. Tit. 3: Quemadmodum speravimus in te, quia, Nullus speravit in domino, et confusus est, Eccl. 2.

Consequently, when he says 'Our soul waiteth for the Lord' (32:20), he shows what follows from these considerations. There are two effects, hope and prayer: 'Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have hoped in thee' (Psalm 32:22). Concerning the first he does two things. First he shows how hope grows in these ones, second he gives the reason: 'Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector' (Psalm 32:20). Thus he says, 'The eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy' (Psalm 32:18), and therefore, 'Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector' (Psalm 32:20), i.e., if any evils are sent to us by God, with patience we endure. 'You have heard of the patience of Job' (James 5:11),3 so too for the one who awaits his promise, he sustains punishment and what is sent out to him. There are two reasons for this, the experience of kindnesses and hope for the future: 'In him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted' (Psalm 32:21). Kindnesses are experienced in the promotion of goods, whence he says, 'He is our helper' (Psalm 32:20). Likewise, kindness is experienced in protection from evils, and so he adds 'our protector' (Psalm 32:20). Moreover, we hope for future delight, whence he says, 'In him our heart shall rejoice: and in his holy name we have trusted' (Psalm 32:21), i.e., in the vision of him -- 'You shall see and your heart shall rejoice' (Isaiah 66:14) -- 'Then shalt thou abound in delights in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face to God' (Job 22:26). Here this joy is imperfect, but in the house of the Father, it is complete, 'Since in his holy name we have trusted' (Psalm 32:21), replacing the Psalmist's 'and' with 'since'. His holy name is the name of his mercy, so it is as if he says 'rejoice' since 'in his holy name we have trusted' (32:21), i.e., in his goodness or mercy, not in our own merit. Then when he says 'Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee' (Psalm 32:22), he discusses the effect of prayer, for prayer is the interpreter of hope, and thus follows hope. Now whatever particular benefit exists from divine mercy, two especially are of this. First, is the benefit of the incarnation: 'Through the bowels of the mercy of our God' (Luke 1:78), etc. 'Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us' (Psalm 32:22), that you may receive the flesh and liberate us, 'upon us' meaning 'beyond our merit'. Salvation is the other benefit, and this is beyond us: 'Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us' (Titus 3:5). 'As we have hoped in thee' (Psalm 32:22), because 'no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded' (Sirach 2:10).

© Alexander Hall
(AlexanderHall@mail.clayton.edu)


The Aquinas Translation Project
(http://www4.desales.edu/~philtheo/loughlin/ATP/index.html)


1 In the prologue to his Sentences commentary, Aquinas attributes this quote to Augustine.

2 Incorrectly cited in text as Job 11.

3 Incorrectly cited in text as James 1.