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Summa Theologica
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Whether Adam had all the virtues?

Objection 1: It would seem that Adam had not all the virtues. For some virtues are directed to curb passions: thus immoderate concupiscence is restrained by temperance, and immoderate fear by fortitude. But in the state of innocence no immoderation existed in the passions. Therefore neither did these virtues then exist.

Objection 2: Further, some virtues are concerned with the passions which have evil as their object; as meekness with anger; fortitude with fear. But these passions did not exist in the state of innocence, as stated above (A[2]). Therefore neither did those virtues exist then.

Objection 3: Further, penance is a virtue that regards sin committed. Mercy, too, is a virtue concerned with unhappiness. But in the state of innocence neither sin nor unhappiness existed. Therefore neither did those virtues exist.

Objection 4: Further, perseverance is a virtue. But Adam possessed it not; as proved by his subsequent sin. Therefore he possessed not every virtue.

Objection 5: Further, faith is a virtue. But it did not exist in the state of innocence; for it implies an obscurity of knowledge which seems to be incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state.

On the contrary, Augustine says, in a homily (Serm. contra Judaeos): "The prince of sin overcame Adam who was made from the slime of the earth to the image of God, adorned with modesty, restrained by temperance, refulgent with brightness."

I answer that, in the state of innocence man in a certain sense possessed all the virtues; and this can be proved from what precedes. For it was shown above (A[1]) that such was the rectitude of the primitive state, that reason was subject to God, and the lower powers to reason. Now the virtues are nothing but those perfections whereby reason is directed to God, and the inferior powers regulated according to the dictate of reason, as will be explained in the Treatise on the Virtues (FS, Q[63], A[2]). Wherefore the rectitude of the primitive state required that man should in a sense possess every virtue.

It must, however, be noted that some virtues of their very nature do not involve imperfection, such as charity and justice; and these virtues did exist in the primitive state absolutely, both in habit and in act. But other virtues are of such a nature as to imply imperfection either in their act, or on the part of the matter. If such imperfection be consistent with the perfection of the primitive state, such virtues necessarily existed in that state; as faith, which is of things not seen, and hope which is of things not yet possessed. For the perfection of that state did not extend to the vision of the Divine Essence, and the possession of God with the enjoyment of final beatitude. Hence faith and hope could exist in the primitive state, both as to habit and as to act. But any virtue which implies imperfection incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state, could exist in that state as a habit, but not as to the act; for instance, penance, which is sorrow for sin committed; and mercy, which is sorrow for others' unhappiness; because sorrow, guilt, and unhappiness are incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state. Wherefore such virtues existed as habits in the first man, but not as to their acts; for he was so disposed that he would repent, if there had been a sin to repent for; and had he seen unhappiness in his neighbor, he would have done his best to remedy it. This is in accordance with what the Philosopher says, "Shame, which regards what is ill done, may be found in a virtuous man, but only conditionally; as being so disposed that he would be ashamed if he did wrong" (Ethic. iv, 9).

Reply to Objection 1: It is accidental to temperance and fortitude to subdue superabundant passion, in so far as they are in a subject which happens to have superabundant passions, and yet those virtues are 'per se' competent to moderate the passions.

Reply to Objection 2: Passions which have evil for their object were incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state, if that evil be in the one affected by the passion; such as fear and sorrow. But passions which relate to evil in another are not incompatible with the perfection of the primitive state; for in that state man could hate the demons' malice, as he could love God's goodness. Thus the virtues which relate to such passions could exist in the primitive state, in habit and in act. Virtues, however, relating to passions which regard evil in the same subject, if relating to such passions only, could not exist in the primitive state in act, but only in habit, as we have said above of penance and of mercy. But other virtues there are which have relation not to such passions only, but to others; such as temperance, which relates not only to sorrow, but also to joy; and fortitude, which relates not only to fear, but also to daring and hope. Thus the act of temperance could exist in the primitive state, so far as it moderates pleasure; and in like manner, fortitude, as moderating daring and hope, but not as moderating sorrow and fear.

Reply to Objection 3: appears from what has been said above.

Reply to Objection 4: Perseverance may be taken in two ways: in one sense as a particular virtue, signifying a habit whereby a man makes a choice of persevering in good; in that sense Adam possessed perseverance. In another sense it is taken as a circumstance of virtue; signifying a certain uninterrupted continuation of virtue; in which sense Adam did not possess perseverance.

Reply to Objection 5: appears from what has been said above.

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