God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural
Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact
Section Two: Supernatural Anthropology
Before the Fall, Adam Possessed Sanctifying Grace
and the Preternatural Gifts of Integrity, Immortality and Infused Knowledge.
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Having studied the nature of man according to his nature,
his origin in soul
by an immediate creation of God and in body by some special agency directed
by God, we are now in a position
to examine into the moral and religious phase of human kind. Our immediate concern will be with
the first man, Adam, as the father of his race; and our scope of inquiry will be twofold: to establish
the fact that he was possessed of original justice or sanctity, covered by the
grace," and of certain additional gifts that followed on this supernatural
orientation, namely, in his mind, and body and relation to the external world.
basis which we face in this matter is the naturalistic mentality, almost inbred in modern thought, which conceives of man
as autonomous agent and self-sufficient "master of his own destiny."
Yet faith requires us to say that man
not only came from the hands of God primordially, in soul and body, but his destiny is beyond the capacities of nature and therefore
a sheer gift of divine love. All that we ever say in theology about the supernatural
order had its
beginnings for the human race in Adam, in the possession he received from the Creator and the means he was given to retain the gift
for himself and transmit the same to his
the viewpoint of modern paleontology and ethnology, which posit man in ancient times as crude and undeveloped, we seem to face
a contradiction to the present thesis. If primitive man was also "primitive,"
how square this with the dogma that the first man was superlatively gifted with
powers of mind and body?
context means first of all the man, described in Genesis and St. Paul
as distinct from Eve. This is the term also
found in the documents of the Church.
However we do not use the word of him alone but extend it to Eve, in
fact apply it to human nature as represented in our first parents.
expression "before the fall" simply states the fact that Adam possessed
the preternatural gifts, without committing ourselves as to when the
infusion took place.
By sanctifying grace we understand that permanent
gift, which is now given through Christ and by which a
man becomes formally justified, a partaker of the divine nature, an adopted son
of God and heir of eternal life. In the present
order, sanctifying grace is associated with
the uncreated gift of the Holy Spirit and such created gifts as the infused
virtues of faith, hope and supernatural charity.
The three gifts of bodily immortality, integrity and infused
knowledge are called preternatural because they are not strictly due
to human nature but do not, of themselves, surpass the capacities and exigencies of created nature
as such. In other words, they are not
Bodily immortality is the converse of mortality, i.e., the possibility
of separation of
soul from body. Adam was therefore capable of not dying. Yet the gift was conditional,
provided he did not sin; it was gratuitous, since Adam's nature by itself did not postulate
this prerogative but came from the divine bounty; and it was participated,
since only God enjoys essential immortality.
The gift of integrity is equivalent to exemption
from concupiscence. It is called "integrity" because it effected a harmonious relation
between flesh and spirit
by completely subordinating man's lower passions to his reason.
This integrity, it should be noted, did not consist in lacking
the natural power
to desire for sensible or spiritual bona, nor was it a lack of activity
of this power, since all of these
belong to the perfection of human nature. Rather it was the absence of certain
kinds of acts of the appetitive faculty, namely those which anticipate or go before (praevertunt)
the operations of reason and will and
tend to continue in opposition to the same.
Stated positively, integrity consisted in the perfect subjection
of the concupiscible
and irascible appetitive powers to the dictates of reason and free will. As a consequence the
will had not only indirect (diplomatic) but also direct (despotic) dominion over the appetite.
Two kinds of concupiscence should
be distinguished, the one dogmatic and the other moral. In a dogmatic sense, concupiscence
is the appetite - primarily sensitive and actual, and secondarily spiritual
and habitual - in so far as its movement precedes the deliberation and dictate of reason
and tends to endure in
spite of the command of the will. In a moral sense, concupiscence is
the appetite - again
primarily sensitive and actual, and secondarily spiritual and habitual - in so far as 1) its acts not only precede reason and perdure in spite of the will, but 2) they tend to moral evil.
Another name for the latter is inordinate or prava concupiscence.
Our concern in the thesis is with concupiscence in the
dogmatic sense, and integrity as immunity
from this kind of appetitive drive.
In order, further to clarify Adam's gift of integrity,
we may say that he was
perfectly sound, entire and integral, in the sense that hedid not experience
within himself that division which mankind now understands so well. Our
own indeliberate tendencies, we know,
often oppose themselves to what we decide
or want to do. The life of
a man who wants to do well and avoid evil is literally a conflict, more or less
violent, between reason which sees and approves
the good and wants fewer tendencies. This conflict is variously described as a tension
between spirit and flesh, between the interior and exterior man, or simply
between soul and body. But in our first
parents there was no such internal discord. Their integrity was "the absence of any resistance from their
spontaneous tendencies, notably the sense appetite, in the performance of good
or avoidance of evil." In a
word it was a perfect dominion of animal and spiritual passion.
Adam's infused knowledge was not acquired, in the
sense of natural cognition derived from experience and the reasoning
process; nor was it intrinsically supernatural as giving a knowledge of the
mysteries, such as the souls enjoy in the beatific vision. It was infused because
not naturally acquired, but yet entitatively not beyond the capacity of man's faculties
in his statu viae. Theologians commonly refer to three areas of special
knowledge possessed by Adam: regarding God and His attributes, the moral law or man's
relations to God, and the physical universe
both material and spiritual.
Since the main object of the thesis is the supernatural
order, the principal adversaries
would logically be the classic opponents of supernaturalism. Historically and chronologically they are Pelagianism and Rationalism.
Pelagianism was named after the British lay monk, Pelagius, and now
is practically synonymous
for the denial of grace or of a higher order than nature in human
is known about the personal career of Pelagius. Born in England about 354, he
came to Rome in the time of Pope Anastasius (399-401), where he was so alarmed
by the low morality of the day that he became convinced it could only be reformed
by concentrating on the responsibility of men for their actions. Together with
his disciple Celestius, he began teaching a doctrine of free will which left
no room for grace.
and Celestius went to Africa in 410, the latter staying to find himself charged with heresy by the Council of Carthage in 412,
while Pelagius went on
to Palestine and met the same treatment at the hands of St. Jerome. In 418 a
plenary Council of Carthage protested to Pope Zozimus and Pelagius was formally
condemned by Rome.
Though Pelagius leaves the scene of controversy at this point, eighteen Italian bishops, led by Julian of Eclanum, refused
to submit to the Pope.
Condemned once more at the Council of Orange (529), Pelagianism disappeared
as an organized system in the second half of the sixth century, but its influence
opposition to orthodox Christianity remains to the present day.
premises served as basis for Pelagius' theory. Arguing from the principle that A person is free if he does what he wills and avoids
what he wants to avoid," he
said that heaven and the beatific vision are attainable by the use of our native powers alone, since nothing but free will
isneeded to practice virtue and keep out of sin. From the axiom that "Adam neither
injured nor deprived us of anything,"
Pelagius concluded that men require no special help to repair what Adam
is supposed to have lost.
of dogma distinguish four stages of development in the Pelagian system: 1) No
grace is necessary for right living, but nature and free will are enough to
keep the commandments and reach eternal life. 2) Nature itself and free will are grace, because they are free gifts of God. 3)
Besides nature and freedom, external
graces may be admitted, in the form of preaching, miracles, revelation, and the example of Jesus Christ. 4) If, for the sake of
argument, real supernatural grace
were needed, it would be only as light for the mind and never internal grace
in the will. "You
destroy the will," it was argued, "if you say it needs any help."
was therefore in conflict with orthodoxy by claiming that grace is not gratuitous on the part of God, but comes to everyone
according to his natural
merits and that, in the last analysis, grace is not absolutely necessary but
only a help to facilitate the operations of nature.
Augustine was the most formidable adversary of Pelagian speculation. At least
five of his major treatises were directed against the innovation, which he accused of corrupting the Scriptures and denying man's elevation
to the supernatural order.
pertinent to our thesis, the Pelagians denied that Adam was possessed of sanctifying
grace as a supernatural gift of God. Regarding Adam's integrity, the principal adversary among the Pelagians was Julianus,
who identified concupiscence
with the sense faculty. Immortality in the Pelagian theory was not a
special gift, nor was infused knowledge in Adam.
has been variously
defined in different fields. But in theology it
is that system of thought which postulates the absolute rights of natural reason as the only source of religious truth. Common to
all rationalists is a dogmatic confidence in the powers of human inquiry and
a conviction that man alone, without
revelation, may comprehend whatever he needs to reach his final destiny.
a trend in religious culture, rationalism is as old as Judaeo-Christianity.
Among the ancient Jews, the Sadducees denied the resurrection
and questioned bodily
immortality. The very name Gnostics in the first century of the Christian
"knowers" who professed to have a special understanding that was not
shared by other believers. Arius was condemned by the Council
of Nicea because he insisted
on a complete explanation of the hypostatic union. Pelagius "settled"
the problem of original sin, grace and freedom by denying the supernatural order.
did the same by liquidating free will. In fact, the rationalist tendency has been active in every major heresy since apostolic
times, challenging the Church's
right to teach the mysteries of faith on the word of God and not on the strength
of human speculation.
same critical attitude was adopted by those
who questioned the foundations of
the Christian religion in England, France and Germany. Tindal, Collins and Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and
Strauss were all rationalists in the
generic meaning of the term. They found Christianity unreasonable by their own
standards of rationality.
Since the turn of the present
century, rationalism has entered a new stage that
was partly the creature and partly creator of a new concept of history as
an empirical science. The area of conflict
has shifted from the mainly philosophical grounds that featured the rise of English and French Deism, and
especially the idealism of Kant and
Schleiermacher. Now the onus probandi was placed on the faithful, and those who would believe in Christianity
had to defend themselves against the charge of being unhistorical.
the context of our thesis, modern Rationalism does not speculatively agitate against the special gifts of nature and grace which
orthodoxy claims Adam received from God. It rather
centers attention on the objective historicity of the facts, and under guise of sublimating
dogma by rising above the anthropomorphisms
and metaphors of Scripture, reduces the most fundamental doctrines
of the Christian religion to mere
symbolism. Among such symbolic truisms, original justice and sin,
bodily immortality and freedom from concupiscence in the first man - and
intended for the human race - are prominent in today's rationalists.
Tillich isa good example. By Christian standards, original sin is a
contingent fact, the result of Adam's loss of
original justice through a wilful transgression
of God's law. For Tillich, on the other hand, "The difficult concept of original sin denotes an original self-contradiction
in human existence, coincident with human history itself" Protestant
Era, pg. 165. Accordingly the Judaeo-Christian
notion of a prior state of justice and holiness, from which the first man fell,
by Tillichian norms is to be taken as a symbol of the built-in tension within
the human frame. Man was always as he is now, and the "fall" is only
an imaginative way of expressing a conflict that is descriptive of man's inevitable
It is defined doctrine, at least implicitly in Trent,
that Adam possessed sanctifying grace before the fall.
Adam's integrity, theologians distinguish between immunity from carnal and spiritual concupiscence. They say it is implicitly
defined in Trent (DB
792) that Adam was free from sense concupiscence; or according to others it
is proxima fidei. Immunity from spiritual concupiscence
is said to be at least theologically certain; or the composite of integrity
as such may be called proxima fidei.
Adam's immortality of body has been defined by the
Church, and is found in a series of documents:
DB 101, 174, 788.
The possession of infused knowledge is held to be common and certain doctrine,
though some assign a higher dogmatic note.
Part One: Adam Possessed Sanctifying Grace."
Besides the Council of Orange against the Pelagians (DB
192), the most explicit
documentation is in Trent which declared, If anyone does not profess that the first man Adam immediately
lost the justice and holiness in which he was constituted when he disobeyed
the command of God in the Garden of Paradise
let him be anathema" DB 788.
The only question is the meaning of sanctitas and
justitia in the definition. But these terms either singly or at least
together certainly equivalate sanctifying grace, as appears from general conciliar language and specifically in Trent, Justification
sanctification" are defined as taking place through the voluntary acceptance
of "grace and the gifts" DB 799. And again in a canon, it issaid that "grace
justifies us" DB 821.
the probative argument from Scripture goes to St. Paul, not only to individual
passages but to the whole tenor of his economy of salvation. The work of Christ,
in Pauline terminology, was to restore what Adam had lost for the human race,
since what Adam originally possessed was regained for us by the cross. Christ
restored us to divine friendship through grace; therefore Adam must first have had what he later was dispossessed of through sin.
Paul simply describes Christ as the "new Adam" (I Corinthians
15:21), whose work of restoration
is to repair what the first Adam had inflicted by his disobedience. So that
if through one man sin came into the world, and through sin death, and thus death has passed into all men because in him all have sinned, from the justice of the one (Christ) the result is unto justification of life to all men (Romans 5:12, 18).
the work of Christ, according to Paul, was one of reconciliation
and redemption - in both cases repairing the damage done by Adam. Either concept singly
or in combination means the restoration of sanctifying grace and of
those supernatural gifts that man needs to attain the vision of God.
the precise theological language of today was not yet current, the Fathers explicitly
teach that the first man possessed sanctifying grace, which they called "deification"
and which Adam lost by the fall. "How can we be said to be renewed," St. Augustine asked, "if we do
not receive what the first man lost, in whom all of us die? Plainly we receive
the one in some way, and just as plainly we do not receive the other. For we
do not receive the immortality of a spiritual body
(as did Adam); yet we do obtain justice, from which man had fallen by his sin
Some of the Greek Fathers, like Basil and Cyril of Alexandria, believed that the supernatural sanctification of Adam is indicated
in Genesis 2:7. They took spiraculum vitae to mean the grace of the Holy
Spirit as a supernatural vital
principle. Others, notably Ireneus, Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine, held that imago Dei referred to Adam's nature, while
similitudo Dei described him as being in the state of sanctifying grace.
Apart from their interpretation of the texts, the Fathers common belief that
Adam received both natural and supernatural life
is a witness to Christian tradition.
Part Two: "Adam Possessed the Gift of Integrity"
The primary text is in Trent, which says, "Concupiscence, which the Apostle
sometimes calls sin, this council declares that the Catholic Church has never understood that it is called sin because there is,
inthe regenerated, sin in the true and proper sense
but only because it is from sin and inclines to sin.
anyone thinks the contrary: let him be anathema DB 792. Since the council
defined that concupiscence comes from sin and leads or inclines
to sin, it implicitly declared that concupiscence had not been present
before sin, which in context means before the sinof Adam.
We may further note that Trent speaks directly about concupiscence
in the moral sense, namely as the appetite (mainly sense) which tends before
the dictate of reason to an object which is morally sinful. However by implication
the dogmatic type
of concupiscence (defended in the thesis) is also understood; necessarily because
the council is talking about the concupiscence which is now in us, namely
the kind which may also tend to objects that are morally good or indifferent,
yet antecedent to the dictates of reason and continuing in the same direction
even against the dictamen rationis.
Among papal documents treating of the subject, the Encyclical
of Pius XI Christian Education is specially pertinent. He states the
principles of faith that should guide
the training of youth.
"It must never be forgotten that the subject of Christian
education is man
whole and entire, soul united to body inunity of nature, with all his faculties natural and supernatural
such as right reason and revelation show him to be; man, therefore, fallen from his original
estate, but redeemed by Christ and restored to the supernatural condition of adopted
sons of God, though
without the preternatural privileges of bodily immortality or perfect control of appetite.
There remain therefore in human nature the effects of Adam's sin, the
chief of which are weakness of will and unrestrained desires of soul" DB 2212.
the Book of Genesis, the sexual life of our first parents is described as
radically different before and after the fall.
the fall, their sex life appears as perfectly under control. God willed the
difference between the sexes (Genesis I:27), since man
cannot find a helpmate like to himself among the animal kingdom. The Lord therefore
to be man's companion and cooperator in the procreation of children (Genesis 2:20-24).
Man and woman have no reason to be ashamed of their mutual relation. (Genesis
the fall, things are quite different. Adam and Eve become conscious of their nakedness, which the author of Genesis has
coincide with their sense of need for clothing (Genesis 3:7), and with
their desire to hide (Genesis 3:10-11). Conjugal life also begins to be a burden and source of sorrow
for the woman (Genesis3:16).
The mode of narrative implies that the inspired text wants
to show that deordination in the sexual life began only after the fall. It may
further be said that the author meant to refer beyond mere sexuality, which he used to
illustrate the loss
of man's dominion over all his lower powers. Consequently before they sinned,
Adam and Eve had perfect command of their passions, which is synonymous
the New Testament, when the Pharisees pose the question of divorce, this gives
Christ the opportunity to emphasize what was the original state of things, when matrimony was more strict than under the Mosaic
law, because there had
not been the obstacle of "hardness of heart" (Matthew 19:3-12,
Mark 10:1-8). This hardness of heart can be identified with concupiscence,
and the relaxation of the law makes us see what was the original condition of
things, when perfect equilibrium
existed in the sexual life, which mankind later evidently lacked.
Paul in Romans 6 and 7 speaks of "sin" which cannot mean sin
formally, because it
is found also in the just. Rather it is an inclination to sin, or concupiscence.
If we further see that this concupiscence is later called sin in that context
of the epistle where Paul is speaking of the corruption introduced into the
world by Adam's disobedience, we can only conclude that it had its origin in
the sin of Adam. Before his disobedience, therefore, Adam was exempt from this
which meant that he possessed integrity.
the time of Pelagianism, there is no lack of clarity and insistence among the
Fathers that the special privileges of our first parents are a matter of faith. However even before Pelagius, there is evidence of
a Patristic tradition on the subject.
fact some of the Fathers were so firmly persuaded of the natural integrity of our first parents that they derived marriage from
original sin. Thus it seems
Athanasius and John Damascene. No doubt this was going too far. Sexual propagation does not exclude natural integrity, and we may
safely say that marriage would
have been instituted even if Adam and Eve had remained in their first innocence. It was this attitude which later caused Augustine
to retract his earlier statement
that if the human race had preserved its primal innocence and grace, propagation
might have been asexual.
with Pelagianism to combat, the original tradition on integrity became clearer than ever. Pelagians maintained that concupiscence
was not a defect of
nature but a positive vigor, which anticipated the Freudian theory of
modern times. Augustine
fought against this view in his De Nuptiis et Concupiscentia; and in Contra Julianum he expressly says that
freedom from concupiscence was a gift of grace.
Part Three: "Adam Possessed the Gift of Bodily Immortality"
Besides the Councils of XVI Carthage (DB 101) and
orange (DB 174), the Council of Trent defined that "If anyone does not profess that the
first man Adam
he disobeyed the command of God in the Garden of Paradise
incurred the death
with which God had
previously threatened him
let him be anathema" (DB 788).
Later on, when Baianism was condemned by the
Church, among the rejected propositions was, the claim that "The immortality
of the first man was not a gift of grace, but his natural condition" (DB 1078). This corresponds
to another condemned proposition
of Baius, to the effect that "The integrity found in first creation was not a gratuitous
elevation of human nature, but its natural condition" (DB 1026).
The immortality of our first parents is seen from the sanction
which God imposed on them in forbidding them to eat of the tree
of knowledge, and His application of this sanction (Genesis 2:16-17,
3:3, 19, 22-24).
The Lord foretold that man would die in whatsoever day he ate of the forbidden
fruit. This threat did not literally mean death on the same day as the sin,
since the Old Testament often refers to time in broader terms, e.g., III
Kings 2:42. Rather
it meant that the moment man disobeyed the precept, he would become subject
to mortality. Consequently in Genesis
and elsewhere (Wisdom 2:24, Ecclesiasticus 25:33) the sacred authors wished
to teach that physical death was not man's original lot, but came into the world
because of sin. In other words, except for sin, man would have been immortal in body.
In the New Testament, St. John calls the devil a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). And according to St.
Paul, death entered the world as a result of
Adam's fall (Romans 5:12, I Corinthians 15:21-22). The death in
question is not merely spiritual death, since it is contrasted with bodily resurrection,
which came to us
through Christ. Logically, therefore, if Adam had not sinned by following the
suggestion of the devil, he would have preserved himself in bodily immortality.
The Fathers unanimously taught as a matter of faith that
man in his primeval
condition was gifted with immortality of body and soul. Thus Theophilus of Antioch explained that God made
man neither mortal nor immortal, but capable of either, depending on whether
Adam would sin or not (RJ 184). Tatian describes the Word of God making man a sharer
in His own divine immortality" (RJ 156). According to St. Cyprian, with the advent
of the first sin there disappeared both man's integrity of body and immortality, which were a
special grace of God (RJ 566). St. Athanasius taught that men who are by nature mortal would
have been immortal, had they not sinned, thus rising superior to the powers of nature by the power
of the Word of God
(RJ 750). St. Ambrose says that God did not make death, but imposed it
upon man as a penalty for sin, so that now he must return to the earth from
which he came (RJ 1325). And St. Augustine held that man was mortal because he was able to
die, immortal because he was able not to die, so that he was mortal conditione
naturae and immortal beneficio Dei (RJ 1699).
Part Four: Adam Possessed the Gift of Infused Knowledge,
It is difficult to cite authoritative documents which treat
professedly of the infused knowledge of our first parents. Generally
there are only oblique references to man's superior mental and moral condition before
the fall, implying some special
privileges of mind. Thus Pius XII in the Allocution to the Academy of Sciences
previously quoted, said "On the day when God formed man and crowned his
brow with His own image and likeness
He taught him agriculture, how to care
and cultivate the garden in which He had placed him; led him to all the beasts
of the fields and all the birds of the air so that man might name
them. And he gave to each of them its true and fitting name
Man is great,
and he was greater when created
If he fell from his original greatness
the remnants of the command once given him over the animal world are nothing
more than a fading recollection of his former power
even in his ruin he looms
great because of that divine image and likeness he carries in his spirit" (November
Christian tradition reasoned on the datum in Scripture to
conclude that if Adam was given complete dominion over the lower organisms and
ability to name the animals, i.e., understand their properties enough to describe
their nature; if moreover the Lord placed the first parents in a place which they were to cultivate -
Adam and Eve must have been given adequate knowledge for these purposes, and the knowledge would have been infused since
ex hypothesi this was the beginning of human history.
in Ecclesiasticus (17:1-9), we are told that "Man, too, God created
out of the earth, fashioning him after His own likeness
To him and to that partner of his, created
like to himself and out of himself, God gave will and speech and sight and hearing. He gave them a heart to reason with, and filled them with power
of discernment. Spirit itself should be within their ken, their hearts should be all sagacity. What evil was, what good, He made plain to them. He gave them
His own eyes to see with, so that they should keep His marvelous acts in view, praise His holy name, boast of His wonders and tell the
story of His renowned deeds." Given all these, the Fathers and theologians reasonably conclude that the first
man and woman were specially gifted with knowledge infused into them by the Creator.
any attempt to describe the extent of Adam's infused knowledge would be hazardous. On the supernatural level, opinion differs from Suarez' position
that Adam probably had a belief in the Trinity and the future Incarnation of
the Word of God, to a minimist school which credits the first man only with
the essentials necessary for salvation.
Thomas restricted the limits of Adam's infused knowledge by setting down two rules: 1) Adam depended on phantasms for his intellectual concepts. Consequently
unlike the human soul of Christ, he did not enjoy the beatific vision before the fall; he could have no intuitive but only an abstractive knowledge of the
angels; and he even did not have intuitive knowledge of his own soul. 2) In
the domain of nature, Adam had a perfect infused knowledge only regarding those
things which were indispensable to him and his descendants to live in conformity with
the laws of reason. This did not mean that he would not have had to learn and inquire, or that he was unable to progress in matters of science and culture. There
is no reason to suppose that Adam knew about the Copernican system, or electronics, or nuclear fission. Yet, in its own way, Adam's knowledge was extensive; it was specially given him by God; and, according
to St. Thomas, it was infallible - though subject to obscurity.
safe norm to follow with regard to Adam's infused knowledge is to attribute to the
first man quite extraordinary insight in the moral and religious order,
while limiting his understanding of things material and technical to the needs of his condition
before the fall.
Original justice and Prehistory. Until
recent times, theologians were only mildly concerned with the problems
posed by scientific discoveries, notably anthropology and paleontology. Among
the Catholic pioneers, Wilhelm Schmidt ranks as outstanding. Since then the
field has become quite thoroughly explored.
the problems revolve around the apparent contradiction between a highly endowed
first man and the primitive, in the sense of crude, state of civilization so far unearthed from times past. A number
of careful distinctions have to be made.
condition of man in paradise is known to us from revelation and accepted on faith. It was not a state of culture which man acquired
by his native power, but
the result of a special action of God at the dawn of human history. Small wonder, then, that we have no exploratory evidence of this
from ethnology or one of the natural sciences.
This primeval condition was not what we would call a "civilization,"
that existed for centuries and therefore could leave monuments or other historical
vestiges for investigation. It may be described as a brief episode in the story
of mankind, which science therefore can neither prove nor disprove from a study
of human remains.
is no need to expand on the perfection of our first parents in the Garden of
Paradise. It was certainly considerable as regards things of the spirit and
their relations with God; but could also have been quite modest in everything
else. And even their religious ideas were capable of development,
from the instinctive to a more reflexive
and demonstrative knowledge.
most important, we must keep in mind the radical change which took place after the fall. Although scientists speak of the most ancient
peoples as "primitive" this is a relative term. Even the oldest civilizations,
known or yet to be discovered,
are really decadent from their primordial state. Bereft of the special privileges it once enjoyed, the human race had to face and
try to surmount the grave
difficulties that stood in its way - personally, socially, morally and religiously. So true is this, that the very necessity for a
special revelation from God
of naturally knowable truths is a logical corollary to man's fallen
Basic principles and Secondary Elements. While
holding no brief for the rationalism of Bultmann and the radical Form Critics, we should recognize
the prejudice they
seek to meet in the modern mind. In large measure this is the result of four
centuries of biblicism in Protestant thought, which has affected Western thought to a degree we are slow to admit.
biblical account of Adam and Eve too often concentrates on secondary
elements, which strike
the fancy and have been further elaborated by imaginative literature: the picture of the Garden, the rivers which spontaneously
flow water and irrigate the land, the Lord walking in the stillness of the night,
rows of animals brought
before Adam to be named. All the while, the essentials maybe overlooked, namely, the elevation of man to supernatural friendship
with God, his disobedience and
consequent loss for himself and posterity of grace, integrity and twofold immortality.
- Of whom do we predicate the possession of sanctifying grace and the preternatural gifts? And when were these received?
- Briefly distinguish natural, preternatural and supernatural.
- What kind of immortality did Adam receive as a special gift of God? Explain.
- Distinguish the following: concupiscence in the moral sense and in the dogmatic sense; sensitive appetite and spiritual appetite; diplomatic and despotic dominion of the appetitive faculties.
- What exactly was Adam's gift of integrity, and why was it preternatural?
- What was the nature and scope of Adam's infused knowledge?
- Outline the basic tenets of Pelagianism, and how were the Pelagians against our thesis?
- What is Rationalism in theology, and how does it oppose our position that the first man was elevated to the supernatural order and received preternatural powers?
- Give the dogmatic value for the various parts of the thesis.
- Prove from the documents, Scripture and especially St. Paul that Adam possessed sanctifying grace. What was the Patristic teaching on the subject?
- Show from Trent, Scripture and the Fathers that Adam had the gift of integrity.
- Using Trent, Genesis and St. Paul, prove that Adam was originally destined to be immortal in body. Briefly state the doctrine of. two of the Fathers on this fact.
- How do we argue from theological reason, using Scripture as basis, that Adam had special infused knowledge?
- How do we reconcile our thesis with the current idea of the primitive man?
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