Thomas Aquinas

Liber de sortibus
ad dominum Iacobum de Tonengo

Lots

translated by Peter Bartholomew Carey, O.P.
Dover, Mass.: Dominican House of Philosophy, 1963

 Forward
1The matters into which a search for information by lots can be made
2The end to which lots are ordered is disclosed
3The manner of seeking information through lots
4Whence lots derive their power
5Whether it is permitted to use lots

Prooemium
Prologus in quo manifestatur sequentis operis intentio
Foreword
[Prologue, which declares the author's intention]
Postulavit a me vestra dilectio ut quid de sortibus sentiendum sit, vobis conscriberem. Non est autem fas ut preces quas fiducialiter caritas porrigit, apud amici animum repulsam patiantur. Unde petitioni vestrae satisfacere cupiens, intermissis paulisper occupationum mearum studiis, solemnium vacationum tempore, quid mihi de sortibus videatur, scribendum curavi. 633. Your love has requested me to write to you about what is to be noted about lots. And it is not right that the requests which charity confidently extends, should suffer a rebuff among friends. And so, in the desire to satisfy your request, I have taken the trouble to write what seems me should be written about lots, interrupting briefly during the solemn seasons, engrossment in my pursuits.
De sortibus considerare oportet in quibus locum sors habeat, quid sit sortium finis, quis modus, quae earum virtus; et utrum eis liceat uti secundum Christianae religionis doctrinam. With regard to them, we must consider the place the lot has among things, what the end of lots is, their mode, their power, and whether, in accordance with the teaching of the Christian religion, it is permissible for them to be used.

Caput 1
In quibus rebus fiat inquisitio per sortes
Chapter 1
The matters into which a search for information by lots can be made
Primo igitur considerandum est, quod rerum quaedam sunt ex necessitate et semper, sicut Deum esse, duo et tria esse quinque, solem oriri, et alia huiusmodi, quae vel semper sunt, vel semper eodem modo eveniunt. In his autem sors locum non habet. Derisibilis enim videtur, si quis sortibus explorandum aestimaret aliquid circa esse divinum, vel circa numeros, vel circa motus solis et stellarum. 634. First, of all, there are, it should be noted tat certain things exist from necessity, and always exist, such as for God to be, for two and three to equal five, for the sun to rise, and other things of this type, which either always exist, or always come about in some way. In these matters, however, there is no place for the lot. Indeed it would seem to be cause for scorn for anyone to think that any information concerning the Divine existence, or concerning numbers, or about the motions of the sun and stars should be sought by means of lots.
Alia vero sunt quae naturaliter quidem contingunt et ut frequentius eodem modo proveniunt, quandoque tamen, sed rarius, aliter contingunt, sicut aestatem esse siccam, hiemem vero pluviosam. Contingit tamen interdum, sed rarius, evenire contrarium, ex eo quod solitus naturae cursus ex aliquibus causis impeditur. In neutris autem praedictarum rerum secundum se consideratis locum sors habet. Potest quidem sors locum habere, non tamen secundum quod ipsae res naturales in se considerantur, sed secundum quod earum cursus attingit aliqualiter usum vitae humanae, sicut ab aliquibus sorte inquiri potest, an fluvius inundet et domum vel agrum occupet, an pluvia aestate abundet et fruges in agro corrumpat; sed an abundet pluvia vel fluvius inundet in locis desertis, in quibus hoc ad usum humanae vitae non pertinet, nullus sorte inquirere studet. 635. There are other things, however, such as for the summertime to be dry, and the wintertime to be rainy, which certainly take place naturally, and most of the time happen in the same way; sometimes however, occurring otherwise, although more rarely. Yet it does happen occasionally, although more rarely, that the contrary results, because nature's usual course is impeded by some other causes. In neither of the preceding cases, when considered in themselves, is there place for the lot. But if the matters in the second case be considered according as their course in some way affects he exercise of human life, to such a degree some may inquire by lot, as for instance whether a river might overflow and fill both house and field, or whether the rain might be plentiful during he summer. But no one takes pains to inquire by lot whether the rain or a river will overflow in desert places, where they do not pertain to the service of human life.
Ex quo patet quod sors proprie in rebus humanis locum habet. Sed quia ad unumquemque hominem pertinet sollicitari de his quae pertinent ad usum propriae vitae et eorum cum quibus quocumque modo communionem habet, consequens est quod nec ad omnes res humanas inquisitio sortis extendatur. Nullus enim in Gallia existens sorte aliquid inquirendum curat de his quae ad Indos pertinent, cum quibus nullatenus in vita communicat. Sed de his consueverunt homines sorte aliquid inquirere quae qualitercumque ad eos pertinent, vel ad sibi coniunctos. 630. Hence it is clear that the lot properly has a place in human affairs. But because it pertains to every man to be solicitous about those things which concern the service of his own life and that of those with whom in some way he has a share, it follows that the inquiry of lots is not extended to all human affairs. For no one living perchance in France would bother to make an inquiry about a matter which pertains to the affairs of Indians, whose life he no way shares. But men are accustomed o seek information by lots about those things which in any way whatever pertain to them, or to those connected with them.
Rursus autem nec in his omnibus sortes inquiri videntur. Nullus enim sorte inquirit ea quae per suam industriam vel cognoscere, vel ad effectum perducere potest. Derisibile namque videtur, si quis sorte inquirat an comedat, vel fruges ex agro colligat, vel si id quod videt, est homo vel equus. 637. On the other hand, however, lots do not seem to be sought for information in all of these matters. For no one seeks information by lots about a thing which he can either know through his own effort, or whose effect he can produce. It seems ridiculous, moreover, if one should inquire by means of a lot whether he should eat, or gather the crops from the field, or if a thing which he can see is a man or a horse.
Relinquitur igitur quod homines sorte aliquid inquirunt in rebus humanis aliqualiter ad se pertinentibus, quae per propriam prudentiam non possunt cognoscere, nec ad effectum perducere. 638. It can be concluded, therefore, that men seek information by lot about something in human affairs which in some way pertains to themselves, and which through their own prudence they cannot know, or bring to effect.

Caput 2
In quo ostenditur ad quem finem sortes ordinentur
Chapter 2
The end to which lots are ordered is disclosed
Quia igitur in his sorte aliquid quaeritur quae pertinent ad usum vitae humanae, necesse est quod ad haec inquisitio sortis tendat, secundum quae res aliquae accommodantur usui vitae humanae. Circa ea vero quae veniunt in usum humanum, primo quidem sollicitantur homines ut ea qualitercumque habeant; secundo vero ut habitis utantur; tertio vero ut futurum eventum usus cognoscant. Et quia res vitae nostrae deservientes in nostros usus assumere non possumus nisi eas aliqualiter habeamus, res autem secundum sui naturam communes sunt omnibus: necesse fuit ad hoc quod eis distincte homines uti possent, ut per aliquem modum inter homines dividerentur. 639. Because, therefore, among the things which pertain to the service of human life, something is required by means of lot, it is necessary that the search for information by lots tend to this? that certain things be adjusted to the service of human life. But regarding the things which enter into human usage, men are anxious first to have them in whatever way they can, secondly to use them once they have them, and thirdly to know the future results of their use. And because we cannot appropriate for our uses things that are of service to our life unless they be possessed in some way? Things, however, according to their nature are common to all? It was necessary in order that men might separately use these, that they be in some way divided among men.
Quandoque autem communium rerum divisio ex humana industria et voluntatum concordia potest ad effectum perduci, et tunc sortibus non indigetur. Sed quando humanus sensus non sufficit ad concorditer dividendum, tunc consueverunt sorte dividere, secundum illud Proverb. XVIII, 18: contradictiones comprimit sors. 640. Whenever, however, a division of common things can be effected by human endeavor and harmony of wills, then lots are not needed. But when human common sense does not suffice to make this division harmoniously, then men are accustomed to make the division by lot, according to Proverbs, "The lot suppresses contentions."
Sicut autem est distributio facultatum, ita etiam et honorum sive dignitatum. Unde quandoque contingit quod aliqui non valentes concorditer eligere aliquem cui dignitas aliqua conferatur, sorte hoc requirendum existimant. Quod etiam apparet in veteri lege observatum fuisse, ut sorte quadam ad officium summi sacerdotis accederent: unde dicitur Luc. I, quod Zacharias sorte exiit ut incensum poneret. Saul etiam sorte fuit electus in regem, ut legitur I regum X. 641. However, just as there is a distinction of possessions, so also there is one of honors or dignities. Whence, whenever it happens that some are unwilling harmoniously to choose one on whom a dignity should be conferred, they conclude that it should be required that the choice be made by lots. This was observed in the Old Law as well, so that certain individuals entered upon the office of the high priest by lot. Hence it is said in chapter one of Saint Luke's Gospel that Zechariah was chosen by lot to burn the incense. Even Saul was elected king by lot, as is read in the First Book of Kings.
Sicut autem contingit dubitari circa distributionem honorum, ita et circa distributionem poenarum. Et ideo si credatur aliquis puniendus, ignoretur autem quem puniri oporteat, sorte hoc aliquibus inquirendum videtur. Sic enim legimus Ionam fuisse sorte in mare proiectum, sic etiam Iosue Achor de anathemate surripientem sorte punivit, ut legitur Iosue VII. 642. On the other hand, as a doubt concerning the distribution of honors happens, so also in the case of the distribution of punishments. So therefore, if it is believed that someone is to be punished, but who is to be punished is unknown, it appears to some that this information ought to be sought by lot. For thus do we read that Jonah was thrown into the sea; also that Joshua by means of lot punished Achor who stole from the anathema, as is read in chapter seven of the Book of Joshua.
Sic igitur sors uno modo ordinatur ad inquirendum quis sit habiturus vel possessionem vel dignitatem vel poenam; et haec vocari potest sors divisoria, quia per eam dividitur id quod ignoratur qualiter sit distribuendum: unde et verbum sortiendi a sortibus sumptum esse videtur. Therefore, the lot is one way ordered to finding out who ought to have either a possession, or a dignity, or a punishment, and this may be called the distributive lot, because through it is divided that about which it is unknown how it should be divided. Whence also, the word sortior [to draw lots] seems to have been taken from sortes [lots].
Sicut autem dubitare contingit quis rem aliquam sit habiturus, ita dubitare contingit utrum re aliqua sit utendum, et universaliter utrum expediat aliquid agere. Nam omnis actio usus aliquis est vel sui ipsius, vel rei alterius. Cum igitur talis occurrit dubitatio circa agenda; si quidem per humanam prudentiam huic dubitationi satisfieri possit, ad humanum consilium recurrendum opinantur. Sed quia, ut dicitur Sapien. IX, 14: cogitationes mortalium timidae et incertae providentiae nostrae, ubi humano consilio dubitationi plenarie occurri non potest, ad sortium inquisitionem recurrunt. Huius exemplum legimus in Esther, ubi dicitur, quod missa est sors in urnam (...) quo die et quo mense gens Iudaeorum deberet interfici: et quia huiusmodi sors succedit loco consilii, potest dici sors consultoria, quasi ad consultandum ordinata. 643. Moreover, just as a doubt may occur as to who should have a thing, so also whether a thing should be made use of, and whether it might be altogether expedient to do some thing. For every action is a use either of itself or of some other thing. Therefore, when such a doubt occurs about what ought to be done, if indeed this doubt can be resolved through human prudence, we are of the opinion that one should recur to a human counsel. But because it is said in the Book of Wisdom, "The thoughts of mortal men are fearful, and our counsels uncertain," where uncertainty cannot be fully met by human counsel, they should have recourse to a decision by lots. We read an example of this in Esther, where it says, "The lot was cast into an urnů on what day and what month the nation of the Jews should be destroyed." And because a lot of this type takes the place of consultation, it may be called the advisory lot, ordained as it were to the asking of counsel.
Sollicitantur etiam plerumque homines de futuris eventibus, ex quorum cognitione homo in pluribus agendis vel vitandis dirigi potest; et tamen futurorum cognitio excedit humanam industriam, secundum illud Eccle. VIII, 6-7: multa hominis afflictio qui ignorat praeterita, et futura nullo scire potest nuntio. Unde homines, ad aliquid de futuris eventibus cognoscendum, interdum putant esse recurrendum ad sortes, et huiusmodi sortem divinatoriam vocare possumus: divini enim dicuntur qui aliqua de futuris praenoscunt, quasi sibi attribuentes quod est proprium Dei, secundum illud Isa. XLI, 23: annuntiate quae ventura sunt in futurum, et sciemus quia dii estis vos. 644. Men are also commonly solicitous about future events, from the knowledge of which man may be directed in doing or avoiding many things. And yet the knowledge of future events exceeds human effort, according to Ecclesiastes, "A great affliction for man because he is ignorant of thins past, and things to come he cannot know by any messenger." Wherefore, in order to know something about future events, men sometimes think they ought to have recourse to lots, which type we call the divining lot, for they are called divines who foreknow certain things about the future, as if attributing to themselves that which is proper to God, according to Isaiah, "Show the things that are to come hereafter, and we shall know that you are gods."

Caput 3
In quo ostenditur quis sit modus inquirendi per sortes
Chapter 3
The manner of seeking information through lots
Scire autem oportet, quod multipliciter aliqui cognitionem exquirunt eorum quae humanam excedunt industriam. Quidam enim manifesta responsa deposcunt vel a Deo vel a Daemonibus: quorum primum pertinet ad propheticos viros, qui quadam privilegiata familiaritate Deo coniuncti, ab eo merentur instrui de futuris eventibus, aut de quibuscumque supernaturalibus rebus, secundum illud Amos III, v. 7: non faciet dominus Deus verbum, nisi revelaverit secretum suum ad servos suos prophetas. Revelat autem interdum vigilantibus per manifestam visionem, interdum autem per somnium, secundum illud Num. XII, 6: si quis fuerit inter vos propheta domini, in visione apparebo ei, vel per somnium loquar ad illum. Huius autem gratiae particulariter plerique homines participes effecti, a Deo admonentur in somnis de his quae pertinent ad eorum salutem: unde dicitur Iob XXXIII, 15: per somnium in visione nocturna, aperit aures virorum, et erudiens eos instruit disciplinam, ut avertat hominem ab his quae fecit, et liberet eum de superbia. 645. It must be understood, however, that some people seek, in many ways, a knowledge of things which are beyond human effort. Some beseech clear answers either from God, or from the demons. Of these the first group pertains to prophetic men, who, joined to God by a certain privileged familiarity, merit to be taught by Him about future events or about certain other supernatural things, according to the Book of Amos, "For the Lord God doth nothing without revealing his secrets to his servants the prophets." Sometimes, moreover, He gives His revelation to those who are awake, through a clear vision; sometimes, however, through a dream, according to the Book of Numbers, "If there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream. Moreover, many perfect men having this particular grace have been warned in sleep about things pertaining to their welfare, for which reason the Book of Job says, "By dreams in a vision by night when deep sleep falls upon men, and they are sleeping in their beds: Then he opens the ears of men, and teaching instructs them in what they are to learn, that he may withdraw a man from the things he is doing, and may deliver him from pride."
Secundum vero pertinet ad nigromanticos, qui quibusdam incantationibus et sacrificiis a Daemonibus aliqua responsa exquirunt vel sermone prolata, vel aliquibus signis demonstrata; et hoc vel in vigilia, vel in somno. The second group, however, pertains to necromancers, who seek by certain incantations and sacrifices some replies from the devils, made known either by discourse or demonstrated by some manifest signs; and this either while awake or during sleep.
Quandoque vero aliquorum occultorum homines exquirunt notitiam, quasi signum eorum accipientes ex quibusdam quae in aliis rebus considerant: cuius quidem inquisitionis diversae sunt species. Exquirunt enim quidam occultorum notitiam sive circa futuros eventus, sive circa ea quae expedit agere, per considerationem caelestium motuum, inspiciendo scilicet motus et situs eorum, ex quibus aliqua futura et occulta se posse cognoscere putant: quod pertinet ad mathematicos sive astronomos, qui etiam geneatici appellantur propter natalium dierum considerationem. 646. But sometimes men seek knowledge of some hidden things, receiving as it were a sign of them from some things which they consider in other things. There are, moreover, various species of this investigation. For some seek knowledge of hidden things, whether relating to future events or to things it is advantageous to do, through a consideration of the heavenly motions, namely, by observing their movements and positions, from which they think they can have knowledge of future and occult things. This pertains to mathematicians or astrologers, who are also called "geneatics" [calculators of nativities] because they take note of the days on which people are born.
Quidam vero occultorum notitiam exquirendam putant considerando motus et voces aliquorum animalium, et etiam hominum sternutationes: quod totum pertinet ad auguria sive ad aruspicia, quae exinde dicuntur, quia praecipue aves inspiciunt, et earum garritus attendunt. 647. Some think they ought to seek knowledge of things occult by observing the movements and sounds of some animals, and even men's sneezings. All this pertains to augury or to auspicy [inspection of victims], which are called such because they especially observe birds, and pay attention to their chattering.
Alii vero sunt qui occultorum notitiam quaerunt ex aliquibus quae ab hominibus dicuntur vel fiunt sub alia intentione, quod quidem inquisitionis genus proprie omen vocatur: cuius exemplum ex maximo Valerio accipere possumus, qui narrat quod cum Lucius Paulus consul bellum cum rege Persa esset facturus, a curia regressus filiam suam tristem inveniens, tristitiae causam quaesivit: quae respondit, Persam periisse: decesserat enim catulus quidam nomine Persa. Arripuit igitur omen Paulus, et spem clarissimi triumphi animo praesumpsit. 648. Again, there are others who seek knowledge of concealed things from some things which are said or done by men under some testimony, which type of inquiry, namely, is properly called omen. We may take an example of this from Valerius Maximus who narrates that when the consul Lucius Paulus had been about to make war with the Persian king, returning from court and finding his daughter sad, he asked the cause of the sadness. She replied, "Persa is dead," for a certain young puppy named Persa had passed away. Paulus therefore seized upon the omen, and conceived in his mind the hope of a brilliant triumph.
Quidam vero conquirunt occulta attendendo quasdam figuras in quibusdam corporibus apparentes, ut puta secundum lineas manus humanae, quod dicitur chiromantia, vel etiam in osse spatulae alicuius animalis, quod dicitur spatulamantia. 649. And certain men seek to learn abstruse things by observing certain figures appearing in certain bodies, as, for example, along the lines of the human hand, which is called "chiromancy", or even in the shoulder-blade of a certain animal, which is called "spatulamancy".
Tertio vero modo aliqui notitiam occultorum requirunt ex his quae per eos geruntur, eorum considerantes eventum: quod etiam multipliciter fit. Ad hoc enim genus pertinet geomantiae usus, per quem quibusdam punctis descriptis eos diversimode secundum quasdam figuras disponendo, aliquorum occultorum putant per hoc se notitiam posse acquirere. Pertinet etiam ad hoc genus quod quibusdam cedulis reconditis in occulto, dum in quibusdam earum diversa scribuntur, in aliis vero nihil, discernitur quid accipientibus cedulas contingere debeat, vel de eis quid oporteat fieri. Cui etiam simile est quod quibusdam festucis inaequalibus absconditis, diversa circa aliquos indicantur ex eo quod maiorem vel minorem accipiunt. Ad quod etiam aliqualiter pertinere videtur taxillorum proiectio, vel si quid aliud fiat, per quod diiudicetur qualiter sit aliquid dividendum, vel quid oporteat agere vel ad cognoscendum aliquod occultum praeteritum vel futurum. Unde etiam duella ad hoc videntur pertinere, nisi inquantum per artem vel virtutem plerumque unus alium superat. Videntur etiam ad hoc pertinere iudicia ferri candentis vel aquae, et alia huiusmodi, nisi quod in his non est eventus indifferens: unde in his requiritur expressius divinae virtutis iudicium quam in aliis supradictis. 650. And by a third way some seek after knowledge of the hidden from the things trough which they are manifested, considering their issue. This also occurs in many ways. The use of geomancy pertains to this type, whereby marking off certain small points, and by arranging them in different ways according to different figures, they think that through this they can acquire knowledge of some hidden things. It also pertains to this type that by concealing some sheets of paper in a hidden place, writing different things on some of them and on others nothing, there is discerned what must happen to those taking the papers, or there is discerned form tem what ought to be done. Similar to this also is the hiding of certain unequal straws, whereby different things are indicated with reference to those who choose the larger. It seem also that sometimes the throwing of dice pertains to this type, or, if anything else is done whereby it might be decided how something is to be divided, or what ought to be done in order to know something hidden in the past or in the future. Whence also duels seem to pertain to this, except insofar as one man overcomes another mostly through art or strength. Also judgments by the red-hot iron or water or other things of this sort seem to pertain to this type, except that in these things there is no indifferent issue. Whence in these matters a more express judgment of divine power is required than in the other things mentioned above.
Nomen autem sortis ad hoc tertium inquisitionis genus pertinere videtur, quo scilicet aliquid fit ut ex eius eventu considerato, aliquod occultum innotescat: unde sortes dicuntur proiici, vel in sinum mitti, vel aliquid aliud additur in commemoratione sortium, quod pertinet ad actum humanum, secundum illud Proverb. XVI, 33: sortes mittuntur in sinum. 651. However, the name of lot seems to pertain to this third mode of inquiry, namely, when something is done that by a consideration of its outcome something hidden might be known. Whence lots are said to be cast, or thrown into the lap, or something else is added in the mentioning of lots which pertains o a human act, according to Proverbs, "Lots are cast into the laps."
Patet igitur ex praedictis, quod sors est inquisitio occulti excedentis humanam industriam, per aliquid a nobis factum; in rebus humanis ad nos pertinentibus vel habendis vel utendis vel cognoscendis. 652. It is clear, then, from the preceding that the lot is an inquiry of the occult, exceeding human endeavor, through something done by us; namely, in human things which pertain to us either to be possessed or to be used or to be known.
Scire autem oportet, quod quandoque hoc tertium inquisitionis genus, quod ad sortes dictum est pertinere, potest alicui praedictorum generum permisceri. Quandoque quidem propheticae consultationi: sicut patet in facto Gedeonis, qui vellus expandens in area, inquisivit signum roris a domino, ut legitur Iudicum VI. Quandoque vero permiscetur nigromanticae inspectioni, sicut in aruspicio, secundum quod inspiciuntur viscera animalium Daemonibus immolatorum. Quandoque vero astronomicae divinationi, aut etiam augurum observationi, puta si hoc aut illud facienti, aspectus talis stellae vel talis avis occurrat. Quandoque vero divinationi, quae fit per observationem verborum propter aliud dictorum: ad quod pertinere videtur quod aliqui in apertione librorum observant quid eis occurrat. Et similiter aliae sortium diversitates facile colligi possunt secundum commixtionem tertii generis ad alia duo. Haec igitur de modo sortium dicta sunt. 653. It is necessary to know, however, that sometimes this third category of inquiry, which is said to pertain to lots, can be mingled with some one of the previously mentioned types. Sometimes with prophetical consultation, as is clear in the deed of Gideon who, spreading a fleece on the ground, asked a sign of dew from the Lord as we read in Judges. Or sometimes it is mixed with a consideration of necromancy, as in auspicy [inspection of victims], according as the visceras of animals sacrificed to the demons are examined. Sometimes, in fact, it is mixed with the considerations of astrology, also with the observation of auguries, as, for example, if the sight of such a star or such a bird should present itself to one doing the former or the latter. Sometimes, to be sure, with divination, which comes about through the observation of words spoken for some other reason, to which it seems to pertain that some in opening books heed what they happen upon. And similarly other different types of lots can be easily gathered together according as the third type is mixed with the other two. And thus, let these be the things said about the manner [of seeking information] by lots.

Caput 4
In quo ostenditur unde sit sortium virtus
Chapter 4
Whence lots derive their power
Oportet autem considerare, an sit efficax praedicta inquisitio sortium. Ad cuius considerationem assumere oportet diversas opiniones circa rerum humanarum eventus. Quidam enim fuerunt qui res humanas nullo superiori regimine gubernari existimarent, sed solum ratione humana, ita quod quaecumque praeter humanam providentiam fiunt in rebus humanis crederent esse omnino fortuita. Secundum igitur horum sententiam nulla potest esse praecognitio futurorum. Ea enim quae fortuito fiunt, incognita sunt: unde totaliter sors divinatoria tollitur. Similiter etiam nec sors consultoria locum haberet: quid enim utile sit consultanti, pensatur ex futuris eventibus: unde si futuri eventus ignorantur, consultatio frustra fit. Secundum hos tamen sors divisoria locum potest habere, non quod per eam decernatur quid in divisione rerum magis expediat, sed ut quod ratione definiri non potest, saltem relinquatur fortunae. 654. It is also necessary to consider if the above-mentioned search for information by lots is efficacious. In this regard it is necessary to take into consideration various opinions about the occurrence of human affairs. There have been some who thought human affairs were regulated by no higher control, but by reason alone, in such a way he whatever happened in human affairs beyond human prudence, they believed to be completely fortuitous. Therefore, according to their opinion, there can be no foreknowledge of future events. For those things which happen fortuitously are unknowable. Whence, the divining lot is completely done away with. Similarly also, the advisory lot has no place, for the usefulness of seeking advice is reckoned from future events. Whence if the happenings of the future are unknowable, consultation will be in vain. Nevertheless, according to them, he distributive lot can have a place, not that through it might be discerned what is advantageous in dividing things, but so that what cannot be determined by reason may at least be left to fortune.
Sed haec opinio divinam providentiam, quae infinita est, certo fine concludit, dum ei subtrahit res humanas, in quibus tamen plerumque manifesta indicia divinae gubernationis apparent, ipsis etiam rebus humanis facit iniuriam quas absque regimine fluctuare affirmat. Subtrahit etiam cuiuslibet religionis cultum, et Dei timorem hominibus aufert. Unde penitus est repudianda. But this opinion confines divine providence, which is infinite, within a certain limit. For while they remove from divine providence human affairs in which, however ,clear indications of divine rule are for the most part apparent, they also do an injustice to human affairs, which they assert to vacillate without direction. It also removes cult from all religion, and takes from men the fear of God. Whence it is to be utterly repudiated.
Alii vero fuerunt qui dicerent omnes actus humanos et eventus eorum, et omnes res humanas necessitati siderum subdi: unde cum sit certus ordo quo moventur caelestia corpora, ex eorum consideratione aestimabant posse per certitudinem futuros hominum praenosci eventus, nisi quatenus ad hoc hominibus experientia deficit. Et quia secundum horum sententiam omnes actus humani ex siderum necessitate proveniunt, consequens est ut etiam ipsi humani actus, qui requiruntur ad sortes, secundum siderum dispositionem procedunt, ut hoc vel illud proveniat; puta, si geomanticus puncta describat in pulvere, manum eius moveri asserunt secundum caeli virtutem ad hoc quod talis numerus punctorum proveniat, qui sit conveniens dispositioni caelesti; idemque in ceteris similibus dicunt. Et sic secundum ea quae proveniunt ex huiusmodi actibus, dicunt futura posse praenosci, secundum quod procedunt ex virtute caelestium corporum, ex quibus humanos eventus disponi existimant. 655. But there have been others who said that all human actions, and their issue, and al human affairs are subject to the necessity of the stars. Whence, because there exists a certain order by which the heavenly bodies are moved, they thing that from the consideration of these they can foreknow with certitude future human occurrences, except insofar as men lack experience for this. And because according to their opinion all human actions result by necessity from the stars, it follows hat even those human actions which are required for lots, proceed from the disposition of the stars, that this or that thing might result. For example, if a geomancer marks out points in the dust, they claim that his hand is moved according to the power of the heavens to this extent, that such a number of points appears as is in agreement with the heavenly disposition. They say the same thing in other similar matters. Thus they say that the future can be foreknown according to those things which come about from actions of this type inasmuch as they proceed form the power of the heavenly bodies, from which they thought human occurrences to be disposed.
Et sic secundum hanc opinionem sors divinatoria locum habet, per quam considerantur futuri eventus: et per consequens consultoria, quae dependet ex consideratione futurorum eventuum. Divisoria etiam sors locum habebit non solum quantum ad hoc quod rerum divisio fortunae relinquatur, sed etiam quantum ad hoc ut sic possideantur sicut dispositio caelestis requirit. And thus according to this opinion, the divine lot, through which future occurrences are considered, has a place. And consequently the advisory lot, which depends on a consideration of future events. The distributive lot also has a place, not only to this extent, that the distribution of this is left to the judgment of the lot, but also that, as the disposition of the heavens requires, things are possessed.
Et quia non solum actus humanos, sed etiam ceterorum animalium motus, atque omnium naturalium corporum, sideribus dicunt esse subiectos; secundum praedictam rationem dicunt, per auguria, et alios praedictos inquisitionis modos, ad idem genus pertinentes, posse futura praenosci, inquantum hos motus vel dispositiones ex virtute siderum dicunt procedere: unde huiusmodi nominant stellas secundas, quia in his impressio quaedam apparet caelestium corporum. And because they say that not only human acts, but also the movements of other animals, and of all natural bodies are subject to the stars, they also say according to the preceding opinion, that future events can be foreknown through auguries, and the other already mentioned methods of inquiry pertaining to the same type, inasmuch as they say that these movements or dispositions proceed from the power of the stars. Whence they call stars of this type second, because there appears in these a certain impression of the heavenly bodies.
Et quia homo dormiens non habet perfectum rationis usum, sed secundum imaginationem movetur, ex praedicta etiam causa dicunt somnia vim divinationis habere, inquantum scilicet motus phantasmatum quae apparent in somniis, ex corporum caelestium dispositione procedunt. And because a sleeping man does not have perfect use of reason, but is moved according to the common imagination, for the above-mentioned reason, they say that dreams have a divining power, namely, inasmuch as the movements of the phantasms which occur in dreams proceed from the disposition of the heavenly bodies.
corpora in aliquid incorporeum imprimant, quia quodlibet incorporeum est virtuosius et nobilius quolibet corpore. Intellectus autem humanus neque est corpus neque virtus corporis organici, ut Aristoteles probat; alioquin non posset omnium corporum naturas cognoscere, sicut oculus non posset videre omnes colores, si pupilla esset aliquo colore affecta. 656. But this opinion also contains evident falsity. For it is not possible that the heavenly bodies make an impression on anything incorporeal because any incorporeal thing is more powerful and more exalted than any body. The human intellect, however, is neither a body nor the power of a bodily organ, as Aristotle proves; otherwise it would not be able to know the natures of all bodies, just as they would not be able to see all colors if the pupil were tinged by some color.
Sed et haec opinio expressam continet falsitatem. Non enim est possibile quod caelestia Impossibile est ergo quod corpus caeleste imprimat in intellectum humanum. Voluntas autem in intellectiva parte est, et movetur a bono per intellectum apprehenso: unde pari ratione corpora caelestia in eam imprimere non possunt. Omnes autem humani actus principaliter ex intellectu et voluntate procedunt. Non possunt igitur per certitudinem futuri hominum actus praenosci per inspectionem caelestium corporum; et multo minus per inspectionem quorumcumque aliorum quae ab eis moventur, puta per garritum avium, descriptionem punctorum, et per alia supradicta. Manifestum est autem quod humanarum rerum eventus plurimi ex actibus humanis dependent: unde nec eventus humanarum rerum per praedicta possunt praenosci. It is therefore impossible for a heavenly body to make an impression on the human intellect. The will, moreover, is in the intellective part and is moved by the good apprehended through the intellect. Whence, with equal reason, the heavenly bodies are unable to make an impression on it. All human acts, moreover, proceed principally from the intellect and the will. By an investigation of the heavenly bodies, therefore, future human acts cannot be foreknown for certain, and much less through an investigation of any other things which are moved by them, for example, by the chattering of birds, by marking off points, and by the other things already mentioned. It is clear, however, that most of the occurrences in human affairs depend upon human acts. Whence, he occurrences in human affairs cannot be foreknown in the ways just mentioned.
Inquantum autem humanarum rerum eventus dependent ex aliquibus corporeis causis, sicut abundantia frugum ex siccitate aeris vel pluviarum descensu, nihil prohibet eos ex inspectione stellarum posse praenosci, et per consequens ex consideratione aliorum corporalium, quae dispositionem stellarum sequuntur, quia, sicut Augustinus dicit in V de civitate Dei, non usquequaque absurde dici potest, ad solas corporum differentias afflatus quosdam valere sidereos, sicut solaribus accessibus et recessibus. Videmus etiam ipsius anni tempora variari, et lunaribus incrementis atque decrementis augeri aut minui quaedam genera rerum: unde et nautae ex consideratione stellarum et motu animalium praenoscunt ventos et tempestates futuras. 657. Yet insofar as the issue of human events depends upon some corporeal causes, such as the abundance of crops from the dryness of the atmosphere, or from the rainfall, noting prevents these from being foreknown from an investigation of the stars, and consequently from a consideration of other bodies which follow upon the disposition of the stars, for, as Augustine says in the fifth book of the City of God, "It is not altogether absurd to say that certain sidereal influences have some power to cause differences in bodies alone, as, for instance, we see that the seasons of the year come round by the approaching and receding of the sun." We see also the times of the year change, and by the lunar waxings and wanings certain kinds of things are increased or diminished. Whence also sailors foreknow oncoming winds and storms from a consideration of the stars and from the condition of animals.
Nec tamen erit de sortibus similis ratio, quia per sortes non solum de actibus humanis inquiritur, sed etiam per humanos actus inquisitio ipsa procedit: unde non potest dici quod ipsa proiectio sortium, corporum caelestium dispositionem ex necessitate sequatur. 658. There will not, however, be similar reasoning about lots, because through lots not only are human acts investigated, but the very inquiry itself also proceeds through human acts. For that reason one cannot say that the throwing of lots itself follows necessarily the disposition of the heavenly bodies.
Quia tamen ad actus humanos non solum concurrunt voluntas et intellectus, quae impressioni siderum non subduntur, sed etiam sensitiva pars animae, quae in eo quod corporali utitur organo, necesse est quod corporibus caelestibus subiiciatur: potest dici, quod ex dispositione caelestium corporum aliqua inclinatio fit in nobis ad haec vel illa facienda, inquantum scilicet ad hoc inducimur per imaginariam apprehensionem, et per appetitus sensitivi passiones, scilicet iram, timorem et alia huiusmodi, ad quae homo est magis vel minus dispositus secundum corporalem complexionem, quae subditur dispositioni stellarum. Yet, because in human acts not only are the intellect and will involved, which are not subject to the impression of the stars, but also the sensitive part of the soul, which, because it uses a corporeal organ, is necessarily subject to the heavenly bodies, one can say that from the disposition of the heavenly bodies, some inclination exists in us to do this or that, insofar, that is to say, as we are lead to this through the apprehension of the imagination, and through the passions of the sensitive appetite, namely, anger, fear and others of this type, to which man is more or less disposed according to bodily make-up, which is subject to the disposition of the stars.
Quia tamen homo per intellectum et voluntatem, imaginationis phantasmata et sensibilis appetitus passiones reprimere potest, ex stellarum dispositione nulla necessitas inducitur homini ad agendum, sed quaedam inclinatio sola, quam sapientes moderando refrenant. Propter quod et Ptolomaeus dicit in Centilogio, quod sapiens homo dominatur astris, idest inclinationi quae ex astrorum dispositione relinquitur. 659. Nevertheless, because men thought the intellect and the will can curb the phantasms of the imagination and the passions of the sensitive appetite, no necessity from the disposition of the stars impels men to act, but only some inclination, which wise men restrain by moderation. For this reason Ptolemy in the Centiloquium says that "the wise man rules the stars," that is, the inclination which remains from the disposition of the stars.
Stulti vero omnino secundum eam aguntur, quasi ratione non utentes: in quo parum discordant a bestiis, secundum illud Psal. XLVIII, 13: homo, cum in honore esset, non intellexit; comparatus est iumentis insipientibus, et similis factus est illis. Et quia stultorum secundum Salomonem infinitus est numerus, in paucis autem perfecte ratio dominatur, ut in pluribus hominum inclinationes caelestium corporum sortiuntur effectum. Et propter hoc quandoque astrologi ex inspectione stellarum vera praenuntiant, praecipue circa communes eventus, quamvis in particularibus frequenter deficiant propter rationem, quae corporibus caelestibus non est subiecta: unde et in protractione punctorum geomantiae, actores hoc observandum putant, ut ille qui protrahit puncta, absque praemeditatione rationis procedat; et ille qui consultat, quasi interiori sollicitudine instigatus interroget, non quasi ex deliberatione rationis: quod etiam in omnibus talibus consultationibus dicunt esse observandum. 660. Foolish people, on the other hand, are led entirely according to such things, as though not making use of reason. In this they differ little from beasts, according to Psalm 48, "And man when he was in honor did not understand; he is compared to senseless beasts, and is become like to them." And because according to Solomon, "the number of fools is infinite," reason rules perfectly but in a few; the inclinations of the heavenly bodies decide the outcome in many men. And for this reason astrologers sometimes foretell true things from an examination of the stars, especially about common occurrences, although in particular occurrences they frequently fail, on account of reason, which is not subject to the heavenly bodies. Whence, in the drawing of points of geomancy, the performers thing that this should be observed, that he who draws the points proceed without the premeditation of reason, and that he who consults questions as though urged by an inner solicitude, and not as it were from the deliberation of reason. This they say should be observed also in all such consultations.
Quamvis autem secundum praedictum inclinationis modum, caelestia corpora disponant ad aliquos actus humanos necessitatem non imponendo, non tamen ad omnes eventus humanos talis inclinatio se potest extendere. Corpora enim caelestia naturaliter agunt. Est autem hoc naturae proprium ut ad unum aliquid tendat, sicut et actio rei naturalis ab uno procedit principio, scilicet a propria forma rei, quae est naturalis actionis principium. Intellectus vero agit per formas mente conceptas, quae in eodem possunt multiplicari: et ideo potestates rationales non determinantur ad unum, sed se habent ad multa. Ea vero quae in humanis eventibus casualiter accidunt, per accidens sunt, puta quod homo fodiens sepulcrum, inveniat thesaurum. Quod vero per accidens est, non est unum. Unde nullum agens naturale inclinare potest ad id quod per accidens evenit. Posset igitur esse in homine aliqua inclinatio naturalis ut sepulcrum foderet, quia hoc aliquid unum est, et similiter ad hoc quod thesaurum quaereret; sed hoc quod fodienti sepulcrum thesaurus occurrat, non potest causam naturalem habere. 661. But although according to the above mentioned mode of inclination the heavenly bodies by not imposing a necessity dispose to some human acts, nevertheless such and inclination cannot extend to all human occurrences. For the heavenly bodies act naturally. Moreover, this is proper to nature that it tend to one thing, just as also the action of a natural thing also proceeds from one principle, namely, from the proper form of the thing, which is the principle of natural action. The intellect, however, acts through forms conceived in the mind, which in the same intellect can be multiplied. Consequently, the rational powers are not determined to one thing, but pertain to many. But indeed those things which happen by chance in human events are per accidens, for example, that a man should find a treasure while digging a grave. But what is per accidens is not one. Whence, no natural agent can be inclined to that which occurs per accidens. There could be, therefore, in a man some natural inclination to dig a grave, because here this is some one thing, and similarly to seek a treasure; but that he should meet up with treasure while digging—this cannot have a natural cause.
Non igitur etiam per modum inclinationis ad omnes humanos eventus secundum praedictam opinionem sortium inquisitio efficax esse potest. Sed intellectus potest accipere ut unum quod contingit per accidens, ex multis unam compositionem formando: et ideo nihil prohibet aliqua quae per accidens evenire videntur, ab aliquo intellectu esse praeordinata; puta, si quis lapidem in via ponat, ut qui ab eo mittitur, impingens cadat; casus quidem euntis per accidens est secundum eius propositum; est autem dispositum per intellectum alterius eum mittentis. Therefore an investigation of lots according to the preceding opinion through a mode of inclination to all human occurrences cannot be efficacious. But the intellect can receive as one that which happens per accidens by forming from many things one composite. Therefore, nothing prevents things which seem to happen by accident from being pre-ordained by some intellect. For example, if someone places a stone in the road on which one sent [along the road] by him, trips and falls. The falling of the traveler is indeed by accident, not happening according to his intention; it is, however, disposed by the intellect of the other who sends him.
Et secundum hunc modum alii dicunt, quod ea quae in humanis eventibus secundum nos videntur esse fortuita, ab aliquo superiori intellectu ordinantur. Supremus autem intellectus Deus est, qui sicut sua sapientia universa produxit in esse, ita etiam eadem sapientia conservat et movet omnia dirigens in debitum finem, secundum illud Sap. VIII, I: attingit a fine usque ad finem fortiter, et disponit omnia suaviter. 662. And according to this mode, others say that those things which in human occurrences seem to be fortuitous according to us are ordained by some superior intellect. But the supreme intellect is God, Who, just as by His wisdom He causes all things to exist, so also He conserves and moves the same, directing all to their appointed end, according to the book of Wisdom, "She reaches therefore from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly."
Divina autem dispositione non solum moventur corpora, sed etiam hominum mentes ad proprias actiones. A Deo enim illuminatur intellectus humanus ad veritatem cognoscendam, unde Psalmista petebat: illumina oculos meos, ne unquam obdormiam in mortem. Eius virtute moventur hominum voluntates ad desiderandum et agendum, secundum illud apostoli ad Phil. II, 13: Deus est qui operatur in nobis et velle et perficere pro bona voluntate. Et quia intellectus et voluntas sunt propria principia actuum humanorum, consequens est quod humani actus subdantur dispositioni divinae, secundum illud Isai. XXVI, 12: omnia opera nostra operatus est in nobis. However, by divine disposition not only bodies are moved, but the minds of men with respect to their proper actions as well. Fro the human intellect is enlightened by God to know the truth, for which reason the Psalmist begs, "Enlighten my eyes that I never sleep in death." By His power as well human wells are moved to desire and to act, according to the Apostle in the Epistle to the Philippians, "For it is God who of His good pleasure works in you both the will and the performance." And because the intellect and will are the proper principles of human acts, it follows that human acts are subject to divine disposition, according to Isaiah, "For thou has wrought all our works in us."
Quia igitur et humani actus et exteriorum rerum motus providentiae divinae subduntur, quid unicuique accidere debeat, ex divina dispositione procedit, per quam quidam sui propositi debitum finem assequuntur, unde Psalmista petebat: dirige me in veritate tua. Therefore, because both human acts and the motions of external things are subject to divine providence, that which is bound to befall each one, proceeds from the divine disposition, though which some achieve the appointed end of their design. Therefore, the Psalmist begs, "Direct me in thy truth."
Et interdum etiam homines in aliquod bonum dispositione divina inducuntur praeter eorum propositum, unde et apostolus dicebat ad Ephes. III, 20 quod Deus potens est facere omnia superabundanter quam petimus aut intelligimus. Similiter etiam ex divina dispositione procedit quod homines deficiunt a suo proposito, secundum illud Iob V, 12: qui dissipat cogitationes malignorum, ne possint implere manus eorum quod coeperant. And sometimes also men are led to some good by divine disposition beyond their own intention. Whence the Apostle said to the Ephesians, "God is able to accomplish all things in a measure far beyond what we ask or conceive." In the same way also from the divine disposition it turns out that men fall away from their own purpose, according to Job, "Who brings to nought the designs of the malignant, so that their hands cannot accomplish what they had begun."
Interdum etiam ex divina dispositione deiiciuntur aliqui in adversa, quae nec timere potuerunt, secundum illud Isai. XXIII, v. 7: ducent eam longe pedes sui ad peregrinandum. Quis cogitavit hoc super Tyrum quondam coronatam? Et postea subditur: dominus exercituum hoc cogitavit. Et inde est quod dicitur Ier. X, 23: scio, domine, quia non est hominis via eius, nec viri est ut ambulet et dirigat gressus suos. And from time to time some are cast down by the divine disposition into adversities which they could not avoid, according to Isaiah, "her feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, that was formerly crowned?" And after that follows, "The Lord of hosts hath designed it." And then there is that said in Jeremiah, "I know, O Lord, that the way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk, and to direct his steps."
Ex his ergo patet quod humanarum rerum eventus non subduntur totaliter dispositioni humanae, sed dispositioni divinae: ex qua contingit quod quidam ad ampliora bona perveniant quam excogitare potuissent, qui dicuntur bene fortunati; quidam vero ab his quae prudenter disponunt, deficiunt, et ad inopinata mala deveniunt, qui infortunati dicuntur. From these things, therefore, it is proved that he occurrences of human affairs are not totally subjected to a human disposition, but to a divine disposition. Whence it happens that some come to ampler goods than they were able to dives; they are called fortunate. Others, on the other hand, fall short of those things which they have prudently planned and are cast down into disordered evils; they are called unfortunate.
Hoc autem non solum auctoritate divina firmatur, sed etiam ex sententiis philosophorum patet. Aristoteles enim in Lib. de bona fortuna sic dicit: rationis principium non ratio, sed aliquid melius. Quid igitur erit melius scientia et intellectu, nisi Deus? Et propter hoc bene fortunati vocantur qui si impetum faciant, dirigunt sine ratione existentes: habent enim principium tale quod melius intellectu et consilio. 663. This is established, however, not only on divine authority, but is proven by he opinions of philosophers. For Aristotle, in the book De bona fortuna says this: "The starting point of man is not reason, but something better. What, then, could be better than knowledge and intellect but God? And for this reason they are rightly called fortunate who, whatever they start on, succeed in it without being good at reasoning, for they have in them a principle that is better than intellect and deliberation."
Sic igitur secundum praedeterminata ex divina dispositione inquisitio sortium efficaciam potest habere, inquantum et eventus exteriorum rerum divinae dispositioni subiicitur, et per ipsam humani actus diriguntur. Et sic potest contingere, Deo faciente, ut humani actus talem sortiantur effectum sive processum qui competat exteriorum rerum eventibus: unde dicitur Prov. XVI, 33: sortes mittuntur in sinu, sed a domino temperantur. Et Dionysius dicit, V cap. ecclesiasticae Hierar., de divina sorte quae super Matthiam divinitus cecidit: alii quidem alia dixerunt non religiose sicut arbitror; meam autem et ipse intentionem dicam. Videntur enim mihi eloquia sortem nominare thearchicum, idest divinum, quoddam donum demonstrans illi hierarchico choro, idest apostolico, a divina electione susceptum. Per quod datur intelligi, ad sortem pertinere cum ex dono Dei per certum effectum humanorum actuum declaratur hominibus quid divina dispositio habeat vel in rebus dividendis, quod pertinet ad divisoriam sortem; vel in rebus agendis, quod pertinet ad consultoriam; vel in futuris praenoscendis, quod pertinet ad divinatoriam sortem. 664. Thus therefore, according to what has already been determined, an investigation of lots can have efficacy from the divine disposition both insofar as the occurrences of external things are subject to divine providence, and insofar as through it human acts are directed. And thus it can happen, by God's doing, that human acts draw such an effect or course which belongs to the occurrences of external things. Whence in Proverbs it says, "Lots are cast into the lap, but they are disposed of by the Lord." And Dionysius, in the fifth chapter of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy says concerning the divine lot which fell divinely upon Matthias: "Certain others say otherwise, speaking not in a religious fashion, so I think; but I myself will say my opinion. It seems to me that the sacred sayings called the lot "thearchic", that is, a certain divine gift, showing to that hierarchic band," that is, to the apostolic band, "that he had been chosen by divine election." One is given to understand through this that it pertains to lot, when by a gift of God there is declared to men through a certain effect of human acts that the divine disposition is either in dividing things, which pertains to the distributive lot; or in doing things, which pertains to the advisory lot; or in foreknowing future things, which pertains to the divining lot.
Considerandum tamen, quod divina dispositio quorundam spirituum ministerio impletur, secundum illud Psalm.: benedicite domino omnes Angeli eius: et postea subditur: ministri eius qui facitis voluntatem eius: unde eorum operatio in omnibus divinae dispositioni concordat; et sic de his quae per eos aguntur, idem est iudicium, et de his quae aguntur dispositione divina. 665. We ought, moreover, to consider that the divine disposition works by the ministry of certain spirits, according to Psalm 102, "Bless the Lord, all ye his angels." And after that follows, "you ministers of his that do his will." Whence their operation accords in all things with the divine disposition, and thus the judgment is the same about those things which are done through them as about those things which are done by the divine disposition.
Sunt tamen quidam deceptores spiritus, quos Daemones nominamus, qui, quamvis, quantum in ipsis est, dispositioni divinae renitantur, utitur tamen Deus eis ad suae dispositionis impletionem, sicut et malis hominibus utitur ad implendum suae propositum voluntatis, ut patet in tyrannis, quorum nequitia usus est ad coronas martyribus fabricandas. There are, however certain beguiling spirits, whom we call demons, whom, even though they reject the divine disposition insofar as they are capable, nevertheless God uses for the fulfillment of His disposition, just as He uses evil men to fulfill the purpose of His will, as is clear in the case of tyrants whose wickedness was used to form the crowns for the martyrs.
Huiusmodi autem immundi et fallaces spiritus ambiunt honorem divinitatis sibi ab hominibus deferendum, et ideo illis rebus se ingerunt quae ad Deum pertinere videntur, ut divinitatis honor eis ab hominibus deceptis exhibeatur. Et inde est quod imaginibus quas a principio fecerunt homines ex inordinato affectu ad mortuos, Daemones se indiderunt, in quibus responsa dabant, ut ex hoc divinum sibi honorem conquirerent. Moreover, such foul and deceiving spirits solicit for themselves the transfer by men of the honor of divinity, and thus they involve themselves in those things which seem to pertain to God, so that the honor of divinity might be shown to themselves by deceived men. And so it is that the demons involved themselves in the images which men made from the beginning out of an inordinate regard toward the dead, and in them they gave answers, so that from this they might procure divine honor for themselves.
Similiter autem cum per sortes vel quolibet alio modo homines praeter debitum ordinem occulta exquirunt, ingerunt se Daemones, ut divinationis praetextu homines in errorem inducant, unde Augustinus dicit in II super Gen. ad litteram, de mathematicis loquens, qui per astra futuros eventus praenuntiant, fatendum est, inquit, quando ab istis vera dicuntur, instinctu quodam occultissimo dici, quem nescientes humanae mentes patiuntur: quod cum ad decipiendos homines fit, spirituum immundorum et seductorum operatio est: et in II de doctrina Christiana dicit, omnia huiusmodi divinationum genera ad pacta quaedam cum Daemonibus inita pertinere. Et ab hoc non discordat sententia maximi Valerii, qui dicit quod hominum observatio aliquo contractu religionis innexa est, quoniam non fortuito motu, sed divina providentia constare creditur. Likewise also, when through lots or in some other way men inordinately seek after the occult, demons obtrude themselves so that they might lead men into error under a pretext of divination. Whence Augustine, in the second book of the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, speaking about mathematicians who foretell future occurrences through the stars says: "It should be acknowledged that when truths are spoken by such as these, they are said by a certain very hidden instinct which human minds undergo without knowing it. This is the work of the foul and seducing spirits, since its purpose is to deceive men." And in book two of Christian Doctrine he says that all types of such divination pertain to pacts made with the demons. And the opinion of Valerius Maximus does not disagree with this, who says that "men's observance rested upon some contract of religion, for not upon a chance notion is it believed to depend but upon divine providence."
Patet igitur ex praemissis, unde sortes efficaciam habeant. It is clear from the preceding that source lots have efficacy.

Caput 5
In quo ostenditur utrum sortibus liceat uti
Chapter 5
Whether it is permitted to use lots
His igitur visis, de facili patet utrum sortibus liceat uti. Et primo quidem manifestum est quod nulli Christiano licet cum Daemonibus aliquod societatis pactum habere. Dicit enim apostolus I ad Cor. X, 20: nolo vos socios fieri Daemoniorum: ad quam societatem pertinent non solum manifestae Daemonum invocationes, quibus nigromantici utuntur, sed etiam quaecumque occulta pacta cum Daemonibus inita. Et ideo Augustinus in II de doctrina Christiana, praemissis diversis superstitiosis hominum observationibus subdit: omnes artes huiusmodi vel nugatoriae vel noxiae superstitionis ex quadam pestifera societate hominum et Daemonum, quasi pacta infidelis et dolosae amicitiae constituta, penitus sunt repudianda et fugienda Christiano. Unde et Deut. XVIII, 10-11 dicitur: non inveniatur in te qui lustret filium suum aut filiam, ducens per ignem; aut qui ariolos sciscitetur, et observet somnia atque auguria; ne sit maleficus neque incantator, nec Pythones consulat, neque quaerat a mortuis veritatem. 666. Having seen those things, therefore, it is effortlessly clear whether it is permitted to use lots. First of all, it is obvious that no Christian is permitted to have any pact of association with the demons. For the Apostle in the First Epistle to the Corinthians says, "I would not have you become associates of the devil," to which association pertain not only open invocations of the devil, which necromancers use, but any hidden pacts made with demons. Thus Augustine, in the second book of Christian Doctrine, having treated of the various superstitious observances of men, adds, "All arts of this sort are either nullities, or are part of a guilty superstition, springing out of a baleful fellowship between men and evils, and are to be utterly repudiated and avoided by the Christian as the covenants of a false and treacherous friendship." Wherefore, also, in Deuteronomy it says, "Neither lot there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire; or that consults soothsayers, or observes dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, nor charmer, nor any one that consults pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeks the truth from the dead."
Sed adhuc dubitatio restat, quae sint dicendae superstitiosae inquisitiones sortium, vel quarumcumque divinationum, per quas pacta cum Daemonibus contrahantur. Cuius quidem dubitationis solutio haberi potest ex praemissis Augustini verbis, si subtiliter discutiantur. Dixit enim per artes nugatoriae vel noxiae superstitionis pacta cum Daemonibus fieri. Noxia autem superstitio dicitur quae aliquid manifeste illicitum continet; sicut invocationes et sacrificia Daemonum, vel quaecumque huiusmodi. Nugatorium autem dicitur quando quis utitur re aliqua ad quod virtus eius extendi non potest: hoc enim in vanum fieri videtur. Vana vero nugatoria dicimus: puta si aeger medicinam assumat contra morbum quem potest sanare, non est superstitiosa nugatio: sed si quis collo alliget quaedam quae omnino ad rem non pertinent, etiam secundum sententiam medicorum hoc ad nugatoriam superstitionem pertinere videtur: et simile est, cum vestis a soricibus roditur, plus timere suspicionem mali futuri quam praesens damnum dolere: et multa exempla huiusmodi Augustinus ponit ibidem. 667. But a doubt still remains as to what inquiries of lots or of any other divinations trough which pacts are contracted with demons should be called superstitious. The solution of this doubt may indeed be had from the previous words of Augustine, if they be precisely examined. For he states that pacts with demons come about through the arts of nullities or of guilty superstitions. That is called a guilty superstition which clearly contains something unlawful, such as invocations of and sacrifices to demons or anything else of the sort. A thing is called a nullity, on the other hand, when someone uses some particular thing for a purpose for which the power of the thing cannot be extended. In fact, this seems to come about in vain. Therefore, we call nullities vain. For example, if a sick man took medicine for a disease which it can cure, this is not a superstitious nullity. But if someone were to bind to the neck some things which pertain in no way to health, this would seem to have reference to a superstitious nullity, even according to the opinion of doctors. Similarly, when clothes have been gnawed into by mice, to fear more the possibility of future evil than to lament the present damage. And in the same place Augustine sets down many other examples of this type.
Ad quae autem virtus sortium se possit extendere, haberi potest ex praemissis. Ostensum est enim quod caelestium corporum virtus extendit se ad corporales effectus, non autem ad immutandum liberum arbitrium; unde si quis astrologum consulat utrum sit aestas futura pluviosa vel sicca, non est nugatoria consultatio, sicut esset si quis eum consuleret utrum sibi fodienti sepulcrum thesaurus occurrat, vel quid sibi interroganti alius sit responsurus: unde talis consultatio ad societatem Daemonum pertinet, qui inordinatis hominum motibus se immiscent. 668. To what things the power of lots can extend is reckoned from what has been said. For it has been shown that the power of the heavenly bodies extends itself to corporeal effects, but not to change the free will of man. Whence, if someone consults an astrologer as to whether a future summer will be dry or rainy, it is not a nugatory consultation, as it would be if someone should consult as to whether in digging a grave he would come upon a treasure, or what another might answer to his question. Whence such a consideration pertains to the company of demons, who involve themselves in the inordinate motions of men.
Idem quoque est in augurio observandum. Si quis enim cornicula frequenter crocitante mox futuram praenuntiet pluviam, non est nugatoriae superstitionis: moventur enim animalia quodam naturali instinctu ex impressione caelestium corporum secundum dispositionem aeris ad temporis cognitionem, secundum quod est necessarium naturae ipsorum, secundum illud Ierem. VIII, 7: milvus in caelo cognovit tempus suum; turtur et hirundo et ciconia custodierunt tempus adventus sui. The same is also to be observed with regard to an augury, or if someone from the frequent crowing of a crow should thereupon foretell future rain, it is not a nugatory superstition, for animals are moved by a certain natural instinct from an impression of the heavenly bodies, in accordance with the disposition of the air, to he knowledge of the weather, according as it is necessary for their nature, in line with Jeremiah, "The kite in the air hath known her time: The turtle, and the swallow, and the stork have observed the time of their coming."
Similiter etiam si quis ex subito volatu avium denuntiet ibi latere insidias, unde aves volando recesserunt, non est superstitio, sed humana industria. Si vero per motum vel garritum avium de humanis actibus praenuntietur aliquid, superstitiosum est. Similarly also, if from the sudden flight of birds someone should announce that some danger is hidden in that place from which the birds had departed by flying away, this is not a superstition, but human industry. But if through the motions or chatterings of birds something about human actions is foretold, this is superstition.
Simile etiam est in sortibus et in omnibus similibus observandum, quod quidquid aliquam certam causam potest habere vel naturalem vel humanam vel divinam, superstitiosum non est; sed solum illud nugatorium dicitur et superstitiosum, quod certam causam habere non potest: et hoc ad societatem Daemonum pertinet, qui talibus rebus efficaciam aliquando praestant, ut vanitatibus animos hominum implicent, unde et in Psal. dicitur: beatus vir cuius est nomen domini spes eius, et non respexit in vanitates et insanias falsas. Has igitur sortes sacri canones damnant, quae dum noxia vel nugatoria superstitione fiunt, ad societatem Daemonum pertinent. The same also is to be noted with regard to lots and other similar matters, that whatever can have a sure cause, either natural, human or divine is not superstitious, but only that is called nugatory and superstitious which cannot have a sure cause, and this pertains to the company of the demons, who sometimes manifest efficacy in such matters in order to envelope the souls of men in vanities. Whence in Psalm 39 it says, "Blessed is the man whose trust is in the name of the Lord; and who hath not had regard to vanities, and lying follies." The sacred canons, therefore, condemn these lots, which, provided they come about from harmful and nugatory superstition, pertain to the company of the demons.
Si autem ea quae naturalem vel humanam causam habent, culpa carent, multo magis ea quae divino auxilio innituntur. Nam ad beatitudinem hominis pertinet, secundum Psalmum, ut nomen domini sit spes eius: et ideo si per sortium proiectionem aliqui divinum requirant iudicium, non est secundum se peccatum. Dicit enim Augustinus super illud Psalm.: in manibus tuis sortes meae: sors non est aliquid mali, sed res in humana dubietate divinam indicans voluntatem. 669. If, however, those things which have a natural or human cause lack fault, so much the more those which rest upon divine assistance. For it pertains to man's beatitude, according to the same Psalm that the name of the Lord be his trust, and consequently if through the casting of lots someone seeks he divine judgment, it is not in itself a sin. For Augustine, concerning Psalm 30, "My lots are in thy hands," says, "The lot is no evil thing, but it is an event, in human doubt, indicating the Divine Will."
Sciendum tamen, quatuor modis in huiusmodi sortibus peccatum posse contingere. Uno modo, si absque ulla necessitate putet aliquis ad sortes esse recurrendum: hoc enim videtur esse tentare Deum, si quis habet quid faciat ex humana industria, et eo praetermisso putet esse requirendum divinum iudicium. Dicitur enim II Paralip. XX, 12: cum ignoramus quid agere debeamus, hoc solum habemus residui ut oculos nostros dirigamus ad te. 670. In should be known, however, that sin can happen in four ways in lots of this type. In one way, if someone should think that there should be recourse to lots without any necessity, for this seems to test God, if someone having from human industry what he should do, and having omitted it, thinks divine judgment is to be sought. For it says in Second Paralipomenon, "But as we know not what to do, we can only turn our eyes to thee."
Secundo, si absque debita reverentia et devotione, etiam in necessitate, sortibus requirat (quis) divinum iudicium: unde Beda dicit super actus apostolorum: si qui necessitate aliqua compulsi Deum putant sortibus exemplo apostolorum esse consulendum, videant hoc ipsos apostolos non nisi collecto fratrum coetu et precibus ad Deum fusis egisse. Secondly, if the divine judgment is sought through lots without due reverence and devotion, even in necessity. Whence Bede in his Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles says, "If compelled by some necessity, they thing that God should be consulted after he example of the Apostles, by lots, they should observe this, that the Apostles themselves acted after having gathered together the band of the brethren, and having poured forth prayers to God."
Tertio, si divina oracula ad humana et terrena negotia convertantur: unde Augustinus dicit ad inquisitiones Ianuarii: hi qui de paginis evangelicis sortes legunt, etsi optandum sit ut id potius faciant quam ad Daemonia consulenda concurrant; tamen ista mihi displicet consuetudo, ad negotia saecularia et ad vitae huius vanitatem divina oracula velle convertere. Thirdly, if the divine oracles are turned toward human and worldly business. Hence Augustine says in his Reply to the Inquiries of Januarius: "[Regarding] those who draw lots from the pages of the Gospel, although it could be wished tat they would do this rather than run around consulting demons; nevertheless, I do not like this custom of wishing to turn the divine oracles to worldly business and the vanity of this life."
Quarto, si id quod est per divinam inspirationem faciendum, aliquis forte velit sorti committere, sicut ad ecclesiasticas dignitates sunt homines promovendi per concordiam electionis, quam spiritus sanctus facit: et ideo illicitum esset in huiusmodi electionibus sorte uti. Faceret enim iniuriam spiritui sancto, qui humanum sensum instruit ad recte iudicandum, secundum illud I ad Corinth. II, 15: spiritualis iudicat omnia. Qui autem sorte eligitur, humano iudicio non comprehenditur, ut dicit Ambrosius super Lucam; unde, sicut Beda dicit super actus apostolorum, Matthias ante Pentecosten ordinatus sorte quaeritur, quasi nondum spiritus sancti plenitudine in Ecclesiam effusa; septem autem diaconi postea non sorte, sed discipulorum electione, apostolorum vero oratione et manus impositione sunt ordinati. Fourthly, if some should perchance wish to leave to the lot that which should be done through divine inspiration, as when men should be promoted to ecclesiastical dignities by agreement in an election, which the Holy Spirit makes. Consequently, in elections of this kind it is unlawful for the lot to be used. For it would commit an injustice to the Holy Spirit, Who instructs human consciousness so that it judge correctly, according to First Corinthians, "The spiritual man judges all thins." However, "He who is chosen by lot is not grasped by human judgment," as Ambrose says in his Commentary on Luke. Whence also Bede, in his Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, says, "Matthias, ordained before Pentecost, is selected by lot, as if the plenitude of the Holy Spirit had not yet poured forth in the Church; however, the seven deacons selected afterwards were ordained not by lot, but by the choice of the disciples, the prayer of the Apostles, and the imposition of hands."
Praedicta autem necessitas, in qua licitum est per sortes divinum iudicium implorare, maxime videtur locum habere quantum ad consultoriam sortem: quia et apud antiquos iustos frequenter invenimus aliquos Deum in dubiis negotiis consultasse, sicut legitur I Reg. XXX, 8, quod consuluit David dominum dicens: persequar an non latrunculos hos et comprehendam eos? 671. The aforesaid necessity, however, by which it is lawful to implore the divine judgment through lots seems especially to have place with regard to the advisory lot, because even among the upright ancients we frequently find some to have consulted God in doubtful affairs, as is read in the First book of Kings that "David consulted the Lord, saying: "Shall I pursue after these robbers, and shall I overtake them, or not?"
Potest etiam huiusmodi necessitas ad sortem pertinere divisoriam: quando scilicet contradictiones hominum super rerum divisione aliter sopiri non possunt, nisi per sortes divino iudicio committatur, secundum illud Prov. XVIII, 18: contradictiones comprimit sors, et inter potentes quoque diiudicat. 672. A necessity of this type also may pertain to the distributive lot, whenever, namely, the disagreements of men concerning the distributions of things cannot otherwise be settled except by being committed through lots to the divine judgment, according to Proverbs, "The lot suppresses contentions, and determines even between the mighty."
Nec solum in rerum divisione necessitas divisoriae sortis potest provenire, sed etiam in divisione eorum quae sunt a diversis agenda: unde Augustinus dicit in epistola ad Honoratum: si inter Dei ministros sit disceptatio, qui eorum persecutionis tempore maneant, ne fuga omnium; et qui eorum maneant, ne morte omnium deseratur Ecclesia: si haec disceptatio aliter non poterit terminari, quantum mihi videtur, qui maneant et qui fugiant, sorte legendi sunt. The necessity of the distributive lot can occur not only in dividing things, but in the division of those things which are to be done by different people as well. Whence, Augustine in his Letter to Honoratus says, "If among the servants of God, there is a debate as to which of their number should remain, lest by the flight of all the Church be left destitute, and who should flee, lest by the death of all the Church be left destitute; if this debate were not able otherwise to be terminated, it appears to me that the persons who are to remain and who are to flee should be chosen by lot."
Similiter etiam eadem sortis necessitas imminet, si aliquid dandum occurrat pluribus quod non nisi uni eorum dari possit: unde Augustinus dicit in I de doctrina Christiana: si tibi abundaret aliquid quod oporteret dari ei qui non haberet, nec duobus dari potuisset; si tibi occurrerent duo quorum neuter alium vel indigentia, vel erga te aliqua necessitate superaret; nihil iustius faceres quam ut sorte legeres cui dandum esset quod dari utrique non posset. In the same way also the necessity of the lot impends if it happens that something which is to be given to many cannot be given except one of them. Whence Augustine says in the first book of Christian Doctrine, "For suppose that you had a great deal of some commodity, and felt bound to give it away to somebody who had none, and that it could not be given to more than one person; if two persons presented themselves, neither of whom had either from need or relationship a greater claim upon you than the other, you could do nothing fairer than choose b lot to which one you would give what could not be given to both.
Et quia terrenae dignitatis officium ad temporalia dispensanda ordinatur, potest etiam licite ad huiusmodi sortes haberi recursus, si aliter electio concors esse non posset: quamvis enim rector quaerendus sit non sorte, sed industria prudens; tolerabilius tamen est sorte saecularem rectorem quaerere quam populum dissensionibus laborare. De rectore vero spirituali est alia ratio, ut supra iam diximus. And because the office of an earthly dignity is ordained to dispense temporal things, recourse may also be had lawfully to lots of this type if the choice cannot otherwise be harmonious, although a ruler ought not to be sought by lot, but by a prudent zealousness. Yet is more tolerable to seek a secular ruler by lot than to belabor the people with dissensions. But of the spiritual ruler there is another consideration, as we have already said above.
Sed in divinatoria sorte praedicta necessitas non multum videtur occurrere, unde et dominus dicit discipulis: non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta quae pater posuit in sua potestate. Si qua tamen futura necessarium est praenoscere sive ad cautelam Ecclesiae, sive alicuius singularis personae, haec per spiritum sanctum fidelibus innotescunt: de quo dominus dicit Ioan. XVI, 13: quae ventura sunt annuntiabit vobis. Unde et de huiusmodi futuris licet per modum consultoriae sortis iudicium divinum requirere; sicut legitur Iudicum VI, quod Gedeon quaesivit a domino si per manus eius populus Israel esset salvandus, petens signum in vellere. 673. But in the divining lot, the aforesaid necessity does not seem to occur. Whence also the Lord spoke to the disciples, "It is not for you to know the times or dates which the Father has fixed by his own authority." Nevertheless, if it be necessary that the future be foreknown either for the safety of the church or of some individual person, this will be made known to the faithful through the Holy Spirit, concerning Whom the Lord spoke in John, "The things which are to come he will declare to you." Whence it is lawful to seek divine judgment about future events of this type by means of t advisory lot, as is read in Judges that Gideon sought from the Lord whether by his hand the people of Israel would be saved, by seeking a sign in the fleece.
Sed quia divisoria sors locum posset habere etiam si res humanae fortuito agerentur, ut supra dictum est, contingit aliquem divisoria sorte uti, non quasi exquirat divinum iudicium, sed quasi committens fortunae: quod maxime videtur in taxillatorio ludo. Hoc autem vitio vanitatis non caret. But because the distributive lot may have a place even when human affairs are done fortuitously, as has been said above, it happens that some use the distributive lot not so as to seek a divine judgment, but as though committing it to fortune which is especially seen in the game of dice-throwing. However, this does not lack the fault of vanity.
In tantum igitur nunc de sortibus dictum sit. And that is all that needs to be said about lots.