justi, in Domino; rectos decet collaudatio.
in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright. '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).
© Alexander Hall 1 In
the prologue to his Sentences commentary, Aquinas attributes this quote to Augustine.
cited in text as Job 11.
cited in text as James 1.
a. In finem. Psalmus David.
the End: A Psalm of David.
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.
ei canticum novum; bene psallite ei in vociferatione. Sing
to him a new canticle, sing well unto him with a loud noise.
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.
Domini caeli firmati sunt, et spiritu oris ejus omnis virtus
the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the
power of them by the spirit of his mouth.
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.
Dominum omnis terra; ab eo autem commoveantur omnes inhabitantes
all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the
world be in awe of him.
ipse dixit, et facta sunt; ipse mandavit et creata sunt.
he spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created.
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.
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.
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.
caelo respexit Dominus; vidit omnes filios hominum. The
Lord hath looked from heaven: he hath beheld all the sons of men.
praeparato habitaculo suo respexit super omnes qui habitant
his habitation which he hath prepared, he hath looked upon all
that dwell on the earth:
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.
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.
oculi Domini super metuentes eum, et in eis qui sperant super
misericordia ejus: ut eruat a morte animas eorum, et alat eos in
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.
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
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
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
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.
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'
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).
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:
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.
(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
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
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.
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
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).
The Aquinas Translation Project
Exsultate, justi, in Domino; rectos decet collaudatio.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just: praise becometh the upright.
'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).
© Alexander Hall
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.