Saturday, June 06, 2009

Q100 A2: Whether in the state of innocence children would have been born confirmed in righteousness?

No. It does not seem possible that in the state of innocence children would have been born confirmed in righteousness because the rational creature is confirmed in righteousness through the beatitude given by the clear vision of God; and when once it has seen God, it cannot but cleave to Him Who is the essence of goodness, wherefrom no one can turn away, since nothing is desired or loved but under the aspect of good.

Non videtur possibile quod pueri in statu innocentiae nascerentur in iustitia confirmati, quia ex hoc creatura rationalis in iustitia confirmatur: quod efficitur beata per apertam Dei visionem, cui viso non potest non inhaerere, cum ipse sit ipsa essentia bonitatis, a qua nullus potest averti, cum nihil desideretur et ametur nisi sub ratione boni.

(I say this according to the general law; for it may be otherwise in the case of special privilege, such as we believe was granted to the Virgin Mother of God.)

(Et hoc dico secundum legem communem, quia ex aliquo privilegio speciali secus accidere potest, sicut creditur de virgine matre Dei.)

And as soon as Adam had attained to that happy state of seeing God in His Essence, he would have become spiritual in soul and body; and his animal life would have ceased, wherein alone there is generation. Hence it is clear that children would not have been born confirmed in righteousness.

Quam cito autem Adam ad illam beatitudinem pervenisset quod Deum per essentiam videret, efficeretur spiritualis et mente et corpore, et animalis vita cessaret, in qua sola generationis usus fuisset. Unde manifestum est quod parvuli non nascerentur in iustitia confirmati.

For it is clear that at their birth they would not have had greater perfection than their parents at the time of begetting. Now the parents, as long as they begot children, would not have been confirmed in righteousness.

Manifestum est enim quod pueri in sua nativitate non habuissent plus perfectionis quam eorum parentes in statu generationis. Parentes autem, quandiu generassent, non fuissent confirmati in iustitia.

For even if our first parents had not sinned, any of their descendants might have done evil.

Etiam si primi homines non peccassent, aliqui ex eorum stirpe potuissent iniquitatem committere.

Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 10): "Happy would have been the whole human race if neither they--that is our first parents--had committed any evil to be transmitted to their descendants, nor any of their race had committed any sin for which they would have been condemned."

Augustinus dicit, XIV de Civ. Dei, "tam felix universa esset humana societas si nec illi," scilicet primi parentes, "malum quod in posteros traiicerent, nec quisquam ex stirpe eorum iniquitatem committeret, quae damnationem reciperet."