The Assent of Faith
Its Genesis and Analysis
The foundations of Scheeben's theory as to the genesis of faith have been set forth and judged in the preceding chapter. There however it was a question rather of the origins of that affective motion which impels to faith and is the root of the assent, - in other words, it was a question of the relation of faith to its affective motive. There remains to be considered more explicitly now the origins of the assent of faith, or the relation of faith to its intellectual motive. Moreover in the course of the ensuing developments, Scheeben's theory as to the analysis of faith will appear. It is one of the most interesting and original parts of his work.
The starting point for the present discussion has already been given, namely Scheeben's distinction of two elements in the concept of authority as the ground of faith, - the element which it has in common with all authority, and the element which specifies it as faith-authority. The former element, - the moral power of the speaker's will whereby he can demand and impose belief, - is the motive of the pius credulitatis affectus; the latter, which goes under the name of credibility, is the motive of the intellectual assent. In what follows I attempt to reproduce and interpret as exactly as possible Scheeben's analysis of the notion of credibility, and the operation in the genesis of faith of the intellectual and moral perfections of the speaker which constitute it. It might however be said in advance that his thought is more than a bit complicated. I shall set it out in a series of propositions following his own order, viz. first, the intellectual
motivation of faith in general, and secondly, that of divine faith. Since his theory on faith in general is absolutely essential to his theory on divine faith, it is necessary to give it with some fullness, - even at the risk of being a bit lengthy.
1. The "first specific attribute of faith-authority", and hence the "formal, immediate and inwardly determining motive of faith in its property as an act of cognition", "the intellectual motive of our conviction", is the speaker's infallible knowledge of the truth which he communicates(1).
The point here is that the authority of the speaker demands of me not merely that I posit some sort of an act of cognition, but that I base my act on the intelligence of the truth which he asserts himself to have. From his intelligence of the truth, not from my own, I am to derive my judgment. I am to make his judgment my own, for the reason that he possesses an infallible knowledge of its truth; this infallible knowledge is the "reason and root" of my conviction as it was of his(2). This is the thought behind Scheeben's metaphor, of which mention has already been made: faith is an "Ueberpflanzung" of the knowledge of the speaker into the mind of the hearer. And in the sense of this metaphor is to be understood his correlative (but not always consistently maintained) doctrine that the goal of faith is a union and communion (Gemeinschaft) with the speaker through the "sharing" of his knowledge, and thus of his inmost life(3).
Hence the specific purpose of faith-authority is to produce in me an act of cognition "uniform with" (gleichförmig) the act of cognition existent in the mind of the speaker. This it does through the revelation to me of the "reliability of the speaker's
knowledge". Hence this reliable (infallible) knowledge is the "formal, immediate, intrinsically determining motive" of the act of faith insofar as it is an act of cognition.
However - and this is a point on which Scheeben constantly insists - the knowledge of the speaker must operate formally as authority in the production of faith. That is to say its presence and its infallibility are not to serve as indirect proof of the objective truth of the communication made; this would be to make the believer's certitude rest ultimately on his own thinking, i.e. on his perception of the value of this proof, thus making faith a "conclusion". On the contrary, in faith the believer's conviction must be produced by the speaker's knowledge in itself, - it must rest itself on the latter as it exists objectively in the mind of the speaker. The process is this: the speaker's infallible knowledge of the truth he communicates is to be considered as an element of the intellectual excellence and dignity of the speaker's person; it is a perfection which I esteem and with which I desire to be united. Hence the will is actuated to determine the intellect to attach itself to his perfection as it objectively exists in the person of the speaker. In this fashion the primary and specific attribute of authority (the intellectual motive of the assent) works as authority, i.e. in virtue of a moral disposition which it creates in the hearer(4).
2. The second specific attribute of authority, essentially subordinate to the first is the moral veracity of the speaker.
Its necessity arises from a difficulty. In presenting to me a truth which I am to accept on the ground of his infallible intelligence of it, the speaker must
necessarily make use of external signs. These however are in themselves no necessary image of his internal conviction, still less of a conviction that is infallible. Hence the need of a "middle factor", which will put me in possession of the formal and immediate motive of my assent, by assuring me of the presence in the speaker of an infallible knowledge of that whereof he speaks. This middle factor is furnished by the speaker's veracity, by assuring me that his external word is a sincere manifestation of his own consciousness of his knowledge of the truth he communicates, it guarantees to me that his outward word is what it purports to be, namely a communication of his inward infallible knowledge, to which I am to conform my own. Hence on the grounds of the speaker's consciousness of his knowledge and of its infallibility, I accept the fact that the knowledge is present in him and that it is infallible. And again, it is to be noted that this secondary attribute of authority must operate formally as authority, that is to say, it must deploy its motive "power per prius in the will"(5).
I would call attention here to the fact that in Scheeben's conception the veracity of the speaker does not directly and proximately move me to accept the truth of what he says; rather, it moves to accept as present in the mind of the speaker (and as sincerely expressed externally) an infallible knowledge of the truth. It is this latter alone which remains the formal and immediate motive of my conviction that the thing is true, and the motive of my assent to it. In other words, knowledge and veracity are not coordinate in their functions as specific attributes of faith authority; the latter is essentially subordinate to the former. This point is of the greatest importance for Scheeben's analysis of faith.
3. The general function of the external word is to be the instrument through which both attributes of faith-authority operate toward the production of the assent. Or, what comes to the same thing, it is in virtue of the knowledge and veracity of the speaker that the external word assumes the character of a true and genuine testimony.
That much is clear. More important however is the consequence, viz., that in the external word is contained (at least implicitly) a double testimony, corresponding to the two attributes that constitute it a testimony. First, to the speaker's veracity corresponds a reflex testimony, namely that he is conscious of possessing an infallible knowledge of the content of his word, - without such a consciousness he could not veraciously use the external word as, ostensibly, an instrument for communicating his knowledge. And secondly, to the speaker's knowledge corresponds a direct testimony, namely that the content of his word is true.
Now, I accept the latter (the direct testimony, that the thing is true) because I accept the former (the reflex testimony, that the speaker is conscious of knowing it to be true). Atqui (to put the argument in form) the latter testimony (that the thing is true, as known by the speaker to be true) is the formal and immediate and determinant motive of my assent to his communication. The conclusion is therefore that my acceptance of the formal and immediate motive of my assent of faith is itself a formal act of faith, based on the speaker's testimony. In other words I accept by faith the speaker's statement because he (directly) testifies to its truth, i.e. he discloses to me his own infallible knowledge of its truth, through the medium
of external signs. However, I accept the fact that he has this infallible knowledge because to this fact he also (reflexly) testifies, i.e. because his veracity invests the external signs with the force of a testimony to the fact that they are not merely the faithful expression of his knowledge, but of a knowledge of whose reliability he is conscious(6).
Here Scheeben notes: "This point is of the greatest importance, especially for the explanation of divine faith. Nevertheless it is commonly overlooked or misunderstood; some think that the reflex testimony establishes merely the fact that the speaker actually has the conviction which he expresses, and does not establish the reliability of the knowledge on which his conviction rests. According to them, the reliability of this knowledge must be demonstrated from the intellectual competence of the speaker, which itself is to be certified aliunde"(7). In opposition to this view, Scheeben maintains that the reliability of the speaker's knowledge is not matter for demonstration, but for belief; given his veracity, I must accept by faith his knowledge and its adequacy in the case.
Here however he points out the mere analogy that obtains between human and divine faith, based on the difference between veracity as a quality of a mere man, and as a quality of God. He would seem to suggest that a confusion on this point has led to the above "oversight" and "misunderstanding".
The fact is that the veracity of a man does not in all cases suffice to guarantee with certainty that his judgment rests on infallible knowledge. It does so only when he testifies to an immediate experience, or asserts ocular evidence for that of which he speaks. This font of knowledge is of its nature reliable, and
consequently when he testifies to a truth thus acquired, his veracity will of itself be sufficient to guarantee the certitude of his communication. In all other cases, however, one must seek for other guarantees of the reliability of a witness' knowledge: one cannot be content merely with his consciousness of that knowledge. Consequently, the credence one gives to witnesses in such cases is not pure and unconditioned faith, which requires that the speaker's knowledge and its validity be accepted simply on the grounds of his veracity.
With God, however, the case is different; His mere veracity does suffice to establish the infallibility of His knowledge of the truth which He presents for acceptance. The reason lies ultimately in the fact that God demands absolute faith in all His statements. This absolute demand for universal faith is of its nature an assertion of His absolute knowledge (resting on direct vision), and is made out of the consciousness of possessing that perfect knowledge. Otherwise such a demand would be in the highest degree immoral. A statement in which absolute faith was demanded, and yet which was not accompanied by the consciousness of the absolute certainty of its supporting knowledge, would not be veracious: there would obviously be a lack of proportion between the external statement (which would demand absolute adherence) and the internal thought (which, being ex supposito not wholly certain, could not justify an absolute adherence). Hence solely on the grounds of the divine veracity I can (and must) accept the infallibility of the divine knowledge(8).
However, though the speaker can motivate my acceptance of the reliability of his knowledge merely by his veracity, he cannot motivate my acceptance of his
veracity merely by his assurance that he is veracious, - that would be a vicious circle. On the other hand I am not required to seek dialectic proof of his veracity. On what grounds then do I accept it? On the grounds of a "moral presumption", to make which I am impelled by esteem for the speaker's person. He directs at me an invitation or a demand that I accept his statement, and by reason of his personal worth that invitation or demand acquires the force of a virtual testimony to the veracity of his statement. For this reason therefore it justifies me in presuming that he is really veracious. Such a moral presumption lies at the basis of all human intercourse, which without it would be impossible(9).
It should be noted too that the strength of this presumption is in proportion to the urgency of the speaker's claim to faith. It is consequently at its strongest when the speaker in virtue of his position and dignity has the right imperiously to command faith. Hence the supreme dignity of God invests his absolute demand for faith with the character of a virtual testimony to His veracity. Out of respect then for His dignity, and without further inquiry, I accept His veracity by an act which is grounded on this virtual, testimony alone, and for this reason has rather the character of faith than of knowledge(10).
4. In the case of mediate communications, the "fact of revelation" is also an object of faith.
When the communication is immediate, that is, when one sees the speaker speaking, obviously one does not have to accept by faith that these are his words. However, ordinarily the discourse of the speaker reaches others only mediately through intermediary persons. In this case the material and formal correct-
ness of the discourse and its transmission, and consequently the fact that this particular statement really emanates from the particular person to whom it is attributed, must be accepted by faith. And this in either of two ways: either on the personal testimony of the intermediaries, or on the testimony of the original author, in that he certifies the intermediaries and their testimony by means of signs, guarantees etc. The force of these signs lies in this, that by them the original author demands faith in the words of the intermediaries, and in this fashion testifies to the correctness of their testimony(11).
This process is the normal one in the case of divine revelations. God must give a certification of the medium that transmits the revelation, and on the grounds of this certification the divine origin of the revelation must be accepted by faith. "Accordingly in divine faith the fact of revelation is in a double regard certified by God and made an object of faith, first formally, as the genuine and correct expression of the divine thought, and hence also materially, as actually emanating from God"(12).
5. Conclusion. The articulation of the various steps in the genesis of faith is as follows: 1) the truth-content of the speaker's communication is accepted by a formal act of faith, solely on the ground of his infallible knowledge of its truth, to which he testifies by his external word; 2) this knowledge and its infallibility are also accepted by a formal act of faith, on the grounds of the speaker's veracity, in virtue of which he testifies to his own consciousness of possessing this infallible knowledge; 3) the speaker's veracity is accepted by an act of quasi-faith, an act analogous to faith, more exactly by a
moral presumption motivated by the speaker's authoritative demand for faith, which constitutes a virtual testimony to his veracity.
Moreover, each of these motives, which conspire to the production of the act of cognition in faith, operates formally as authority, that is to say, not in virtue of its intellectual probative value, but in virtue of the appeal it makes primarily to the will, and through the will to the understanding. Thus the root of faith is in the moral attitude of the hearer toward another intelligent being, - an attitude of reverence, respect and submission whereby the hearer is initially inclined and continually impelled to meet by faith the speaker's demand that he accept the truth presented. This is the normal, living development of faith, cast in forms quite different from those proper to the genesis of a logical conclusion(13).
Here again Scheeben notes that the genesis of divine faith is not a process completely parallel to that of human faith. The reason is that human authority has not the perfection of the divine; in a sense only God possesses authority in its proper meaning, men have only credibility. That is to say, no man can absolutely oblige or impel another completely to surrender his own independence of judgment, or his control of the motives of his assents. Hence, when it is a question of faith in men, the process just described must be interrupted by incidental reflexions concerning the witness' moral and intellectual qualifications, and by logical arguments that will establish his competency in the case. However, when the authority in question is God, there need be no reaching out as it were to the side in search of these necessary subsidiary certainties. His demand for faith is
absolute and self-guaranteeing; one's faith in Him springs from a sense of absolute submission and reverence, and it culminates in a surrender to Him that is also absolute. Consequently its course of development, thus begun and thus completed, is absolutely self-contained. Faith in God is faith in the fullness of its ideal perfection(14).
6. The preambles of faith, — their necessity and function. From the fact that faith "has a moral root, and in its development remains continually a moral act, which bases its intellectual assent wholly on the intelligence of another"(15), one may not conclude that its genesis is wholly independent of strictly logical processes. On the contrary, it supposes such processes, and is accompanied by them at every stage of its development: nemo prudens credit nisi videt esse credendum. However, in their relation to faith these logical processes have a practical scope, i.e. they are directed to the generation in me of esteem etc. for the speaker, and of the conviction that I must attach myself to his authority. In other words, they aim at the production of the judicium credenditatis. Moreover this practical judgment supposes a theoretic knowledge of the objective presuppositions of faith, to wit, the qualities of the speaker, and the "fact" of his discourse. When the communication is immediate, there is no difficulty about this last condition. However in the case of mediate communication, the lack of direct perception (by sight or hearing) of the discourse must be supplied by two further judgments, one practical (judicium credibilitatis), "wherein we recognize that a given statement may and must be accepted as the statement of him to whom it is ascribed", - and to support this practical judgment a second theoretical one, by
which we estimate that the proposition of the communication is sufficiently attested(16).
The function of the judicium credenditatis (sc. "that a truth can and must be believed on the grounds of a testimony"(17) is really double. In its formally practical character it serves first of all to make rational the act of the will which determines the assent of faith. However, it operates also upon the intellect; it brings before the intellect as worthy of assent the formal object of its assent, namely the knowledge of the witness presented in his testimony; and consequently it "stirs" the intellect to the assent itself. Thus its effect is not merely to make the assent of the intellect mediately rational, as the product of a rational act of the will, but it also makes the assent rational in itself.
Nevertheless one is by no means to consider the practical judgment and its presuppositions as the premises from which the assent of faith follows as a conclusion. Rather, the relation of the practical judgment to the assent of faith may be best compared to that between the intuition of an immediate evident truth and the assent to the truth itself. The comparison is of course defective. In the latter case the assent is necessarily joined to the apprehension; in the former, the grasp of the object is accomplished only through the intervention of the will. However, the point of the comparison is that the judicium credenditatis influences the assent of faith not as the premise of a conclusion, but simply as an apprehension, of the object(18).
From all this several conclusions follow. 1) The assent of faith in its logical character is not to be considered as a mediate judgment, or a conclusion;
rather it must be treated as an immediate judgment, in the sense described. 2) Its certitude is not measured by the certitude of the preceding practical judgment. 3) With regard to the will, the judicium credenditatis is a mere conditio sine qua non; but with reference to the intellect it is something more. It is the "bud" ("Keim") of the latter; it is an "impulse" or "approach" ("Antrieb" or "Anlauf") to the latter; and to this extent it is a "principle-inchoatio", a "breaking of the way" ("Anbahnung") and "introduction" ("Einleitung") of the latter. However, the development of this bud, the prosecution of the movement, and the completion of the beginning made, ensues not by a logical deduction, but by reason of the fact that the will presses forward to a full attachment to the subject and to a grasp of it, and thus the pia affectio voluntatis remains always the real "root of faith"(19).
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This then is Scheeben's description of the genesis of faith in general, faithfully reproduced, I think, and with an eye to its essentials. My reason for having given it such length is that it prepares for and introduces his theory on the genesis and nature of divine faith(20). To this subject we now turn. After an exposition of the Vatican decree(21) and a question of the motivation of faith on its ethical side(22) (both of which subjects were treated sufficiently in Chapter III), he takes up the question that here interests us, namely the intellectual motives of faith, what they are and how they are known.
He remarks first of all that all theologians are at one in assigning, as the formal motive of the faith-assent, God as the Prima Veritas revelans, but that "in the closer scientific determination of the motive, its
individual elements and their relation to the act of faith, they disagree"(23). Introducing his own conception of the matter, Scheeben again calls attention to the fact that the credibility of God in the strict sense operates as an attribute of his authority as such; consequently:
the motive of the certitude (of faith) does not in such a fashion operate on the understanding that it fails at the same time to move the will. Rather it arouses precisely in the will an inclination and a love, that develop out of reverence for the authority of God, and by means of them the understanding is impelled to the most intimate attachment to (the motive of its certitude)(24).
This important point presupposed, the elements of the formal motive of faith are disposed in their places as follows:
1. The primary element in the motive of the assent of faith is the Prima Veritas revelans "as the absolute and infallible truth of the knowledge of God (Prima Veritas in cognoscendo")(25).
This is the primary element because the most immediate and formal; it is the element which immediately produces the certitude of faith and supports it, hence it is the inner determining motive of the certitude of faith. This infallible knowledge of God with reference to a definite truth is disclosed to us through His external word, by means of which He presents to us as the motive of our assent [sic]. Responding to the impulse of the will and supported by it, the intellect rests itself on this motive, making God's knowledge its own, and uniting itself to Him by this consensus with the sensus Dei.
2. The secondary element in the motive of the
assent of faith is the "indubitable veracity of the will of God (prima veritas in dicendo)"(26).
To the veracity of God we owe respect and trust; thus through these affections it moves us confidently to accept the fact that corresponding to the external word there exists in the mind of God the consciousness of an infallible knowledge of the content of His communication, together with the intention of presenting his knowledge as the foundation of our own. "But this veracity, although just as necessary as the infallibility of the knowledge of God, is still only a secondary element in the motive of the act of cognition, and hence not to be conceived as the proper formal object of the assent and the immediate ground of its certitude"(27).
Three reasons are assigned for this essential subordination of veracity to knowledge in the object of faith:
1) The intention of the believer aims beyond it, and considers it only as a vehicle whereby to attach itself to the infallible knowledge of God and to rest in this; 2) faith as an act of theological virtue must have one divine perfection as its primary motive, and one indeed to which it can unite itself and assimilate itself, - which is not the case with veracity; 3) not veracity, but the infallible knowledge of God is properly the generative principle of faith, that is, the principle which communicates and implants its own being and life(28).
However, if its proper subordination be preserved, veracity can be considered a partial motive of faith.
3. The divine "revelation" itself will or will not become part of the motive of faith depending on how it
is conceived, and how faith itself is conceived. If faith be considered as a conclusion, as in the Lugonian view, obviously the external fact of revelation will be a partial motive, since it forms one of the premises. But if faith be conceived "as the result of a striving for union of God, and as a vital attachment to His knowledge"(29), the external revelation is excluded as a partial motive. It assumes the character of a "connecting link between the material and formal object of faith", or a condition that the power proper to the formal object (the credibility of God) may actually be brought to bear.
However the divine revelation can be considered in another way. Just as the Veritas Prima as the primary and most direct motive of faith is to be understood primarily and immediately as God's infallible knowledge in itself, so also the term revelans is to be interpreted as:
the interior and eternal act of God's will, by which He, through the medium of His external word, presents to us for our acceptance the content of His infallible knowledge, and the knowledge itself as the source and basis of our own; this act of God's will completes and presents His own knowledge as an inner word directed to us(30).
Accordingly the complete immediate motive of the act of cognition in faith is the infallible knowledge of God joined with the eternal act of God's will whereby He fashions that knowledge into a revelation, i.e. a knowledge directed to us. Two advantages appear in this conception: 1) thus is seen more clearly the purely divine character of the motive of faith, in its full unity, simplicity and solidity, in that it is identified with the Prima Veritas itself, the first,
subsistent, firmest ground of all truth; 2) thus is also seen more clearly the divine character of faith itself, which becomes a most intimate union with God; since the inner word of God is eternal, faith appears as a participation in the eternal truth of God and consequently in His eternal life(31).
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So much for the motives of faith objectively. The next problem is their cognition, - in order that faith may be reasonable, they must indeed be cognized(32). And in discussing the method of their cognition, "diverse according to the different motives" (ibid.), Scheeben evolves his analysis of faith, i.e. his solution of the problem as to how the sole and unique motive of faith is the authority of God revealing. The method of cognition of the various motives will be in general one of two kinds: either the particular motive is known by way of faith, or by way of rational cognition as such. The problem is to explain which of the motives is known in which way.
1. The motive of the will's decision to make the act of faith is known by rational processes, from the idea of faith, of revelation, of God's demand for faith etc. There is no need of faith-cognition here, since the judgment that one can and must believe is clearly within the province of reason. Furthermore, this judgment must be excluded from the sphere of faith, "since if it were itself an act of faith, no rational approach to faith would remain"(33).
2. The motive of the pius credulitatis affectus which belongs to the substance of faith (i.e. "the absolute majesty and authority of God over the mind"(34) is also excluded and must be excluded from the sphere of faith. It is excluded: since this motive
with its corresponding act, stands as the necessary presupposition of the whole act of faith, in that faith develops out of it. Nor is there any difficulty in excluding it. The only possible reason for doubting is that this motive must excite us to absolute reverence before the authority of God, and hence to that certitudo super omnia which is proper to faith on the authority of God. However, in order to accomplish this function it is not necessary that this motive be itself known with sovereign certitude; a simple certitude suffices. The absolute authority of God over the mind is established with certitude by the simple rational knowlege of God as the "author" of our whole being(35).
And in this connection Scheeben makes a distinction most important for his theory:
Many theologians, as Suarez, Maurus et al. demand that the authority of God, insofar as it is the motive of faith, must be known through its own self, or believed for its own sake; however this cannot possibly be understood of His authority in the foregoing sense, namely His absolute "Achtungswürdigkeit" and His mastery over our minds. One can only say of this 'authority' that it must be reverenced for its own sake, and known as a quality that belongs to God immediately by reason of His causal relation to us. This, however, does not exclude but rather includes the fact that the existence of this authority should be known by reason, from our metaphysical dependence on God. Hence in this connection one must, with Lugo and Kleutgen, restrict the teaching of Suarez that the whole motive of faith must itself be known by faith. However in consequence of this restriction one can explain, in opposition to Lugo, how
the motive of the act of cognition in faith can itself be known by an act of faith(36).
Scheeben then takes up the question of the cognition of this last-named motive. He remarks that this motive:
according to the almost universal teaching of theologians must not merely be known with certitude, but just as the material object of faith it must be accepted for God's sake and held with the same sovereign certitude. This must be so because the existence of this motive is and must be affirmed formally and virtually in the act of faith itself, in one way or another, for the precise reason that faith rests on this motive as the formal supporting ground (ratio formalis) of the certitude proper to it. Hence it is and must be apprehended and held as formal object (objectum formale) of faith at the same time as the material object(37).
And he adds that in the explanation of this acceptance "um Gottes willen", the theologians split off into two extreme directions, as representatives of which he takes "Suarez and many others, especially the Thomists", and "Lugo and Kleutgen". His statement of their point of difference is quite simple. Says Suarez: "Everything that from the side of God concurs to faith and influences it . . . can and must be believed on the testimony of God, just as the content of revelation."(38). On the contrary, say Lugo and Kleutgen, "Nothing that from the side of God concurs to faith and influences it needs to be or can itself be known by a real certitude of faith, but all this . . . can and must be known as an object of our own rational intelligence"(39).
Against Suarez Scheeben objects the usual vicious circle, which however to him arises only:
insofar as the object of the divine testimony and hence the object of faith is made to include not merely the veracity and infallibility of God, and His will to communicate His knowledge to us. . . . . but also the authority in virtue of which God demands faith, together with the material fact of the external word of God even insofar as this includes in itself the external demand for faith(40).
Against Lugo Scheeben objects, as we have already seen, a species of rationalism, and a deformation of the living organic development of faith into a logical and mechanical process(41).
Scheeben then proposes to give a solution of the problem which would reduce to nicer precision the sententia communis of the theologians, and "which would embrace the elements of truth contained in the two extreme opinions"(42). The lines that his solution follows have already been laid down in his analysis of faith in general. There are two cardinal points: first, his distinction between authority in the strict sense, and credibility (with which is connected his removal of the former from the sphere of faith, and the fact that the latter must operate in virtue of an initial appeal to the will), and secondly his subordination of veracity to knowledge in the concept of credibility, in such wise that the former is not the primary and direct object of the assent of faith. Finally, as the mainspring of his whole solution is the notion of the pius credulitatis affectus, motivated by the imperious authority of God, as the root of faith.
Before entering into the details of his analysis, Scheeben recalls again his oft-repeated ground principle: "the cognition of faith does not come about
in the form of a logical conclusion, but in the form of a living attachment to God and His divine perfections"(43). The application of the principle is the following:
Accordingly the reason why the objective motive of the certitude of faith must be apprehended with the same divine and sovereign certitude as the material content of revelation is not that the certitude of the former has to be in the proper sense the cause (causa) of the certitude of the latter, nor that the latter is derived from the former by a virtual or formal conclusion. Rather, it is merely the reason (ratio formalis) of the certitude of the material object, in a similar way as the illumination of an object is the ratio formalis that makes it visible to the eye, - to use a comparison familiar to theologians. Consequently, as in this illustration the illumination and the illuminated object are seen in one indivisible act, so in the former case the ratio of the certitude of faith as formal object, and its content as material object are apprehended in one and the same indivisible act of assent. This identity of certitude and not the causality which one act exercises on the other is the reason why the certitude on both sides must be equally great and of the same kind(44).
Then the process by which both formal and material objects of faith are apprehended and affirmed in one act, is set forth in a series of complicated propositions, in framing which Scheeben packs his sentences to a density even beyond his wont. Each detail of his explanation is presented first as possible, and then as fitted to the dignity and perfection of faith in general, and of divine faith in particular.
Proposition I. The primary and immediate motive of the assent of faith (which is the primary and proximate reason of its certitude) is apprehended and known as a true and proper object of faith by a formal and proper certitude of faith; it is truly and properly believed on the ground of formal divine testimony at the same time as the material object(45).
This primary and immediate motive of faith consists in the Prima Veritas revelans in the sense of the Prima Veritas incognoscendo, insofar as by His inner eternal will God directs His knowledge ad extra; in other words, it consists "in the absolute and infallible knowledge (revealed by external revelation) which God has of a determined truth, and which He wills to present to us as the foundation of our conviction"(46).
a) The question is then: how can we accept formally by faith this motive? And the answer: through the medium of the external testimony and on the ground of divine veracity. The former testifies to the fact that God has the consciousness of that knowledge and will, and the latter certifies the validity of said testimony. The testimony in question is of course "only, reflex, and for the most part tacit, but still formal",- i.e. as has been explained, formal because of its nature contained in the external veracious word of God. Hence, since our acceptance of the existence of God's knowledge and its direction to us proceeds out of reverence for the authority of God and is based on a divine testimony, it is a formal act of faith in the formal object of faith.
Moreover the act of revelation, insofar as it "belongs to the formal object of faith as a condition", can itself be an object of faith in two regards, without giving rise to a vicious circle; first in its
principle, i.e. "the serious will of God to present to us His knowledge through the external word", - to this will of God, testimony is also given in the external word, which testimony is again certified by His veracity; and secondly in its formal character, i.e. "that the external word is the true and sincere expression of the divine knowledge", - to which fact God also testifies in virtue of His veracity. "And in this sense it is thoroughly correct to say that by His revelation God also reveals that He is revealing, that is, through His external word he reveals (i.e. in virtue of His veracity He testifies) that in it is contained a genuine promulgation and communication of His own knowledge"(47). Hence on the ground of this testimony I can accept by faith the external word as formally the instrument which God wills to use for the communication of His knowledge; and this is to accept by faith the revelation in its formal character and its principle.
b) This mode of cognizing the formal object of faith is not only possible, but also conformable to the nature of faith in general. For proof of this Scheeben refers to his explanation of the double testimony contained in the external word, one direct, the other reflex, corresponding to the double quality of knowledge and veracity in the speaker; he refers also to the peculiar force of the divine veracity in guaranteeing the infallibility of the divine knowledge(48). In this place he merely points out that there is nothing artificial about this construction of the matter, and that the process described is not one that has its origin in the mystical nature of faith. Moreover, he says, were this process not to find place, one could not speak of the motive of faith being also its formal
object, "since in order to merit this name in the case of an act of cognition, the motive must also be the genuine object of the cognition, and in order to determine the specific form of faith in contradistinction to knowledge, it must be grasped in the way which is peculiar to faith, and not in the form of scientific knowledge".
c) Finally this mode of cognition is especially suited to the specific dignity of divine faith. In virtue of it, faith appears more markedly 1) as an attachment and assimiliation to the divine knowledge, 2) as a complete surrender to God, 3) as a form of cognition essentially distinct from all natural knowledge, and 4) in its way an immediate cognition(49).
Proposition II. The secondary motive of faith is apprehended and known by an act analogous to a formal act of faith, - one resting on a virtual testimony of God; hence it is accepted for God's sake and is held with sovereign certitude(50).
This secondary motive is the veracity of God, "which by means of the testimony contained in the external word guarantees to us that God possesses an infallible intelligence of the content of this word and offers the same to us".
a) This manner of cognition is possible. Certainly the veracity of God may be known in speculative fashion from the consideration of His nature. Not so however in faith. The process is rather this: in virtue of the reverence which I owe to the majesty and authority of God and to the demand for faith which is made in the name of this authority, I am unconditionally obliged to presuppose and accept His veracity. The reason behind this presumptive acceptance is that apart from the supposition of God's veracity, the trust He demands of
us would have nothing behind it, and God Himself would be worthy rather of contempt than of reverence, since He would be demanding absolute faith in that of which He possesses no absolute knowledge. Hence out of the utter reverence which I owe to the authority of God I accept the fact of His veracity; hence also I accept it for His sake, and with the utmost certitude, and my act of acceptance is analogous to an act of formal faith. It does not indeed rest on a formal testimony, but on the virtual testimony to God's veracity which is contained in His absolute demand for faith(51).
b) This method of cognition is suited to the dignity and perfection of divine faith, for two reasons 1) thus the sovereign and supernatural certitude of faith is more completely established and carried through; 2) thus also faith in its totality appears most definitely as an act of complete surrender to God, and hence as an act distinguished from and elevated above all human faith(52).
Proposition III. Though it is not absolutely essential for the dignity and perfection of divine faith that the fact of revelation (the origin of a given statement from God) be accepted on the authority of God, nevertheless such an acceptance actually has place in divine faith, based as it is on a mediate revelation.
The reason for the first part of the proposition is that the external revelation in itself does not form part of the formal motive of faith, and hence not of the formal object of faith, which "lies wholly in God Himself"(53). The role of the external revelation is purely instrumental.
However, the hypothesis of mediate revelation introduces the fact of revelation as the object of
faith. The reason is that in this hypothesis no direct evidence of the divine origin of the revelation is available; consequently its acceptance must be motivated by other grounds, namely these, that "God by certain external signs and in virtue of His authority demands of us faith in the content of a word that is ascribed to Him, and thereby demands of us the acceptance of the divine origin of the word, whose divine origin He certifies by His demand for faith in it"(54).
This point is explained more fully later, where Scheeben treats the mode of operation proper to the motiva credibilitatis. There too his teaching is clearer: "the material fact of the divine origin of a word, just as the formal veracity and truth of the word, can and must be the object of faith on the grounds of the divine authority, and the object too of the certitude proper to faith; it must be apprehended or embraced in the one act with the proper formal object of faith"(55). The reason, briefly, is that "out of trust and reverence toward God Himself, the divine origin of the proposed word is accepted on the ground of the perceived testimony of God, in consequence of a judgment of credibility that rests on this testimony"(56). The testimony in question is that of the signs, which are the signs of a divine will demanding acceptance of the word in question, and thereby testifying to its actual divine origin.
Proposition IV. Remaining then to be known not by way of faith, but by way of rational knowledge are 1) the imperious authority of God over the mind, and 2) the demand that we recognize as His a word that is, proposed to us as proceeding from Him.
These are the only two remaining elements, and from them the development of faith begins. Given this
rational knowledge of the imperious authority of God, given also the rational knowledge of its application in a particular case by the demand God makes for faith, the will must reverence this authority for its own sake, - "and precisely this reverence is the mainspring of all the acts of cognition that gear together" to constitute the full act of faith(57). These acts are: the acceptance of the fact of revelation, the presupposition of the divine veracity, the acceptance of God's consciousness of His knowledge, and finally the acceptance of the knowledge itself. Furthermore, since these acts, demanded by God, are elicited out of reverence for that demand, they cannot be conceived as merely the further development of our own rational knowledge; rather, they are a "series of new acts of cognition" which grasp "immediately" the formal and material objects of faith - immediately, that is, in the sense that the grasping in question is not the dialectic product of truths known to natural reason, but is the immediate consequence of the will's attachment to God, -which attachment is of course conditioned and accompanied by previous rational knowledge.
In conclusion Scheeben considers a mode of expression found in many theologians, namely "the motive of the certitude of faith is known by its own self ("durch sich selbst"), it is accepted for its own sake ("um seiner selbst willen") and concurs in faith as a "medium ipsa fide cognitum"(58). The motive in question is of course the Prima Veritas revelans, the authority of God revealing.
Scheeben judges this mode of expression in the light of his favorite distinction. The authority of God in the strict sense, he says, is not known nor
accepted by a formal act of faith on a divine testimony. However, if the term "Prima Veritas" be taken concretely, the mode of expression may be allowed. As a matter of fact, the authority, veracity and infallibility of God are objectively identical in the one and indivisible nature of God, and together they constitute God Prima Veritas in the fullest sense of the word. Hence
it is objectively the same Prima Veritas which as absolute authority demands the acceptance of itself, and which as the highest veracity and infallibility motivates that acceptance of itself; nor does a vicious circle thus arise, since there are always different formalities under which one and the same object is the motive of our apprehension and the object of the same(59).
Furthermore, he adds, in this precise point appears the peculiar eminence of divine faith as compared with its human counterpart. In the case of men the personal excellence of the individual, from which his authority stems, is not identical with the attributes which constitute his credibility and which are necessary for faith. These latter attributes may well be missing, and hence one is compelled to a greater or less extent to seek subsidiary proofs of their existence. Hence human faith is not wholly self-contained in its development. In God however the attributes of authority are essentially identical with authority itself. And hence their operation on the believer partakes of their objective unity. The recognition and acceptance of God's attributes of veracity and knowledge is accomplished solely by his authority, in virtue of its sovereign power, nor are any supporting proofs required. Consequently divine faith is faith per excellentiam, completely self-contained in its genesis.
* * * * *
Such then is Scheeben's complete analysis of the genesis of faith. I do not see that any useful purpose would be served by a detailed criticism of it. It would necessitate antecedently much clarification of terminology, much examination of "reasons" that seem rather vague, and of "conclusions" that are not seldom rather sudden. Hence after an initial word about Scheeben's aims, let it suffice to examine very briefly the two "originalities" of his system, since with them the whole thing stands or falls.
In the Foreword to the second Volume of the Dogmatik, where he takes cognizance of Kleutgen's critique, Scheeben states the fundamental aim of his theory of faith to have been "singly the carrying through and explanation of (the) axiom" which he held in common with Kleutgen, namely that "the motive of the cetitude of faith must be held for God's sake, and with supreme certitude"(60). This he takes to be the "chief difficulty in the doctrine of faith"(61). Furthermore in the Kirchenlexicon, after summarizing the three common explanations, - those of Lugo, of Suarez and of Denzinger, Pesch and Frins(62), he interprets his own theory as an attempt at a harmony of all three, taking from each its "elements of truth". From the last-named theory he takes "the dominating position of the will;" then from both Lugo and Suarez he takes the principle that "in the act of faith the primary and most proper motive of the certitude of the material object must together with the latter be affirmed for God's sake and 'super omnia'"; lastly from Suarez alone he takes the teaching that this affirmation must have the character of faith. He sees his own first originality in a limitation of Suarez' opinion: "(my theory) limits this
faith cognition to that element in God which I have before characterized as the formal object of faith in a stricter sense, namely the existence in God of an infallible knowledge of the truth in question, which is guaranteed by the divine authority through its testimony"(63). He sees his second originality in an extension of the theory that asserts the primacy of the will: the extension lies in this. That in his theory the pius affectus effects not merely the affirmation of the content of revelation, but also of the motive of faith, the divine attributes and testimony. And this latter acceptance is not to be considered as "a proper knowledge.... nor as a proper faith, i.e. faith on testimony....; it is rather an act that occupies a middle position between them, and is analogous to the latter". In this fashion, he thinks, "everything whereby God founds (the) certitude (of faith) whether proximately or remotely, is affirmed for God's sake, and "super omnia'"(64).
In a word, Scheeben's whole theory resolves itself into a most ingenious attempt to get Suarez out of his vicious circle(65), - an attempt implemented by the distinction between authority and credibility, by the subordination of veracity to knowledge, and by invoking at every stage the driving power of the will. Its success then must be judged according to the validity of these implements.
First of all, as regards the subordination of veracity to knowledge in the formal object of faith. To a certain subordination certainly no one can object. As a matter of fact, the primary and ultimate reason for the certitude of faith is, in the logical order, the knowledge of the speaker. Because I am in contact with his mind, which is itself in contact with reality,
therefore I am in contact with reality. And it is quite true in a sense to say that his veracity enters as a "middle-factor", whereby I am put in contact with his mind. It does not guarantee the truth of my assent, - the witness may be quite veracious, but mistaken, - it merely guarantees my possession of his thought, whatever its value(66). However, Scheeben goes somewhat beyond this reasonable position, which still leaves the veracity of the speaker as a constituent element of the proper formal object of faith. He concludes from the subordinate position of veracity that it can itself be made the motive of a formal act of faith in the "immediate and primary motive of faith"(67).
But this construction of the act of faith suggests the interesting question: by thus avoiding Suarez' vicious circle, has not yet Scheeben involved himself in the (to him) still more vicious "rationalism" of Lugo? His prime objection against Lugo is this:
.... dass auch die Gewissheit der Glaubens selbst in unsere eigene Vernunfteinsicht als ihre Ursache zuruckgefuhrt und mithin die Gleichförmigkeit zwis chen der Gewissheit des Glaubens selbst und der seines Motives durch Auflösung der erstern in eine andere Gewissheit, die in sich selbst keine Glaubengewissheit, sondern ein Wissen ist(68).
On the other hand, Scheeben's own resolution of faith must proceed this way: the assent of faith itself (i.e. to the content to revelation) is analyzed into the assent to its motive (the infallible knowledge of God), this latter assent into its motive (the veracity of God), and this latter assent into its motive: the virtual testimony of God contained in his demand for faith. However, this ultimate motive, as Scheeben
continually insists, is the object of a rational cognition, not the object of faith, nor of the certitude proper to faith. In other words, Scheeben's act of faith is resolved ultimately into its rational presuppositions, and hence into their certitude, - which seems to be precisely the Lugonian position he was anxious to avoid.
In reply to this objection Scheeben would of course maintain that the intervention of the will breaks the chain of the analysis, - given the rational knowledge of God's authority and of His demand for faith, the will commands an assent super omnia to the divine veracity(69). But here a dilemma presents itself: if this influx of the will is sufficient to explain the supremely certain affirmation of God's veracity, why, would it not be sufficient to explain the supremely certain affirmation of God's knowledge and of the material content of faith itself? In a word, would not Denzinger's position be quite satisfactory? And why then the elaborate "completion" of it by introducing a new affirmation of the formal object in the act of, faith itself. On the other hand, if the influx of the will is not sufficient in the latter case, then it is difficult to see how it is sufficient in the former, i.e. to achieve affirmation super omnia of the divine veracity.
Consequently, it does not seem that Scheeben's manipulation of the notion of veracity and of knowledge was very happily inspired, even from the standpoint of his own purposes. As regards the other originality of his theory, namely the distinction between authority and credibility, it is hardly necessary to add anything here to what was said in the previous chapter. The distinction, as he explains it, is definitely inadmis-
sible, and consequently cannot serve as the lever wherewith to pry loose from the Suarezian vicious circle.
One point in conclusion. From the present chapter, it has become increasingly clear, I think, how conscious Scheeben is of the fact that only an analogy obtains between human and divine faith. Moreover, his own idea of the similarities and dissimilarities between them has also appeared more clearly. He sees their similarities in the actual process of their respective genesis, in which the same set of acts is found, and correspondingly the same set of motives. Their dissimilarity he apparently sees singly and alone in the greater perfection of the authority of God in the strict sense, and in the consequent fact that He can instill at the outset of the process an ethical sentiment of absolute reverence and trust, which no human authority can instill. Precisely this absolute reverence and trust makes the genesis of divine faith completely self-contained. The imperious authority of God, expressed in His demand for faith, stands sole and sufficient sponsor for His possession of all the other necessary qualifications as "witness", and thus effects an ideally perfect faith, i.e. a complete surrender of oneself to the intelligence of another.
However, the question suggests itself: has not Scheeben's exaggerated notion of "authority" led him into a certain one-sidedness in this matter also? No one will of course deny that the infinitely superior excellence of the witness and his authority in divine faith constitutes one of the chief points that reduces human faith to a merely analogical status in comparison with it. But is it, as Scheeben certainly seems to think it is, the only point? I rather think that an
equally essential point is the character of the communication made by the witness. In other words, the dissimilarity between human and divine faith is founded equally as much, if not more, on their different material objects, as on their different formal objects. The reason is that this difference in material objects effects a profound difference in ethical attitude in the two cases. In divine faith the message conveyed is essentially the "evangelium salutis", God's revelation of Himself as man's supernatural Last End. And ultimately this fact (and not the sheer sublimity - I might almost say the sheer brute power - of the divine authority over the human mind) produces that unique voluntary motion which is the specific root of divine faith. Man's ethical response to the revelation of his Last End is obviously irreproducible in human faith of whatever kind(70). As a matter of fact, Scheeben very finely describes the material object of divine faith as the supreme promise: "Ego ero merces tua magna nimis"(71), but he apparently overlooked its significance in determining the analogy between human and divine faith. And here again, I think one must see the influence of his preoccupation with Liberalism.
(1) Dogmatik I, 1, p. 638. A word must be said here about terminology. Scheeben not seldom uses the terms "objective motive", "formal motive", "formal object", and "ratio formalis certitudinis" as practically synonymous: cf. nn. 634, 639, 674, 686. At other times he distinguishes them, as follows: the "formal motive" (either of the act of the will or of that of the intellect in faith) "determines its formal character" (n. 667); the "formal object" is that to which "the act of faith is essentially referred, (to which) it strives, and through which it grasps its material object in the way proper to faith" (ibid.). Further, he expressly states that veracity is not the formal object of faith, though it is the "secondary element in the motive of faith" (n. 678). The reason seems to be that for him the "formal object" is, and must be affirmed in the act itself (cf. nn. 692, 694). Thus knowledge alone, the primary element in the motive of faith, is the "formal object" of faith (n. 692), and the "ratio formalis" of its certitude (n. 686). On the other hand, he apparently wishes veracity to remain a "formal motive" of faith (n. 667, 696), and sometimes it seems to be also a "formal object" of faith (n. 674, where the "formal object" of faith is "God, qui nec falli nec fallere potest"). The net result is considerable confusion, from which my own exposition of his thought is not entirely clear. On the requisite distinctions between these notions, cf. Schiffini, De Gratia n. 207; David, De objecto formali actus salutaris. The essential point is that the "formal object" is also a "motive" of faith, but not vice versa; moreover "formal motive" is usually opposed to "objective motive", - the former being "principium ut quo", the latter "principium quod apprehensum movet", in Schiffini's terminology.
(2) N. 638.
(3) N. 633, 648.
(4) N. 639.
(5) N. 640.
(6) N. 641.
(7) N. 642.
(8) N. 642.
(9) N. 643.
(10) N. 644.
(11) N. 645; cp. nn. 745, 748-750.
(12) N. 646.
(13) N. 647-648.
(14) N. 648.
(15) N. 649.
(16) N. 649.
(17) N. 650.
(18) N. 650, and notes 1 and 2, pg. 281.
(19) N. 651; the question of the judgment of credibi-lity will be mentioned again in Ch. V.
(20) Cf. nn. 676, 690.
(21) Nn. 654-664. (22) Nn. 667-673.
(23) Nn. 674; this is the passage where "Beweggrund", "formaler Beweggrund", "Grund der Gewissheit" and "formaler Gegenstand" are all used as synonyms; "die Glaubwurdigkeit Gottes im engeren Sinne" is all four.
(24) N. 676.
(25) N. 677.
(26) N. 678.
(27) N. 678. (28) N. 678.
(29) N. 679.
(30) N. 681.
(31) N. 681.
(32) N. 682.
(33) N. 683.
(34) N. 684.
(35) N. 684.
(36) N. 685.
(37) N. 686.
(38) N. 687.
(39) N. 688.
(40) N. 687.
(41) Nn. 688-689.
(42) N. 690.
(43) N. 691. The verbal jingle ("Schluss" - "Anschluss") is lost in English; we have no word like "acclusion" to stand against conclusion.
(44) N. 691.
(45) N. 692.
(46) N. 693.
(47) N. 693.
(48) N. 694; the reference he gives is to n. 642.
(49) N. 695.
(50) N. 696.
(51) N. 697.
(52) N. 698.
(53) N. 699.
(54) N. 699.
(55) N. 745.
(56) N. 745.
(57) N. 700.
(58) N. 701.
(59) N. 701.
(60) Dogmatik II, Vorwort p. vii.
(61) Ibid. Cp. I, 1, n. 691; Kirchenlex. 5, 63-631.
(62) Kirchenlex. 5, 632. At the time Dogmatik I was written, Denzinger (Vier Bücher von der religiösen Erkenntnis, 3, pp. 495 ff.) was the chief exponent of the theory first sketched by de Flizalde (Forma verae reliqionis quaerendae et inveniendae, Naples 1682). The articles Scheeben cites in the Kirchenlex. were subsequent (C. Pesch, Innsbrucker Zeitscher (1884) pp. 50-70; Frins, Katholik 1886 I, 603-618). Consequently, to them Scheeben's original theory owed nothing. However, Scheeben consequently used and referred to Denzinger, and to him, I think, he owed at least in part his notion on the pius affectus as a sentiment of "respect, reverence, regard, etc.". But Scheeben's own concept of "authority in the strict sense" does not derive from Denzinger.
(63) Kirchenlex. 5, 63. (64) Ibid.
(65) Scheeben's essential point - his explanation of the new affirmation of the formal object of faith in the act itself- seemed to Kleutgen shockingly original: "Sie ist so eigentumlich und wunder lich, dass weder bei Suarez noch bei einem ande ren Theologen, so viel ich weiss, auch nur eine Spur davon zu finden ist". (Beilagen III, p. 151). At that, I think there is a "Spur" in Suarez. Consider this passage:
" hoc mysterium, quod de fide diximus (est) rationi valde consentaneum; nam tota haec certitudo debetur infinitae excellentiae divinae, imo intrinsece videtur sequi ex qualitate (ut sic dicam) divini testimonii, quatenus omnino infallibile est, et obligare potest ad credendum ea quae dicit tamque infallibilia; dicendo enim aliquid, eo ipso dicit se esse veracem in eo quod affirmat, nam hac ratione inducit ad credendum illud dictum esse verum, et consequenter dicit se ita esse veracem ut nullo modo mentiri possit; nam hoc titulo obligat ad credendo illud esse infallibile, et ideo ex intrinseca natura talis fidei et talis objecti nascitur ut idem tes timonium, quod sufficit ad credendum rem revelatam, sufficit ad credendum ipsum revelantem esse veritatem quae fallere non potest." (De fide, disp. 3, sect. 6, n. 8).
As a matter of fact, Scheeben only undertakes to analyse further the "infinita excellentia divina" (hence his notion of authority in the strict sense), and the "qualitas divini testmonii" (hence the double testimony, direct and reflex, contained in it).
(66) Cf. in this connection the interesting article by F. Schwendinger, Die Lösung des Problems der analysis fidei, Theol. und Glaube 24 (1932) pp. 26-42.
(67) It should be noted that this distinction between the functions of veracity and knowledge is some-what blurred in the Kirchenlexicon, showing apparently that Scheeben had grown conscious of its difficulties. Still, he was unwilling to relin-quish it entirely: "Der Ehrfurcht gegen Gott als primum ens entspricht als Wirkung die Anerkennung der göttlichen Wahrhaftigkeit, und dem Vertrauen auf die göttliche Wahrhaftigkeit die Anerkennung der unfehlbare Einsicht Gottes in den Gegenstand der Offenbarung". (Ibid. col. 634).
(68) Dogmatik I, 1, n. 688. (69) Nn. 700, 685.
70) "Il s'agit bien d'un témoignage, mais it est de Dieu sur lui-même; le témoignage n'est ici que le véhicule d'une connaissance reelle, nous livrant fût-ce dans le mystère, en objet de perception et d'amour, une réalité: la réalité divine.... La comparaison est fallacieuse entre le témoignage de l'homme digne de croyance sur un fait, car elle ne joue que sur les formes extérieures de transmission et d'adhésion; le contenu, l'objet est radicalement autre. C'est le tare de certaine théologie moderne d'avoir bâti toute une tranche de la psycholgie de la foi sur cette fausse comparaison. Or voici que cet objet, libré dans une confidence appelant une confiance, ce n'est pas une quelconque matière intelligible, mais la réalité même de ma beatitude: c'est Dieu, vérité substantielle, fin saturante de tous mes désirs, qui se donne en esperance: substantia rerum sperandum".
Chenu, Position de la Theologie, Rev. Sc. Phil. Theol. 24 (1935) pp. 233-234. One reserve: the comparison should not be termed "false", - it is merely defective or incomplete; in a word, it is an analogy. On the importance of the content of revelation in determining the affective motion proper to the faith of authority, cf. Dunin Borkowski, Der übernatürliche Glaubensakt, St. der Zeit 109 (1915) pp. 281 ff.
(71) N. 715.