The sixth objection has respect to rewards and punishments.

Those things which are necessary do not merit rewards or punishments. All good works merit rewards, whilst evil works merit punishment. Therefore good and evil works do not occur necessarily, but changeably.


1. We grant the whole in relation to second causes, from which many things proceed changeably, and which therefore produce changeable effects.

2. We deny what is affirmed in the minor, that good works merit rewards with God, although they may be rewarded among men, as it is said of Abraham, “If he were justified by works he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.” (Rom. 4:2.)

3. We deny the major proposition if it be understood of evil works generally—for that evil works merit punishment, the depravity and corrupt will of man is a sufficient testimony, whether they be necessarily done or not. Aristotle himself, when treating this subject in his Ethics, affirms that the inebriate ought not to be excused if he sin from intoxication, and that men are deservedly punished and reprehended for vices, whether of the body or of the mind, of which they themselves are the cause, although they may not be able to avoid or leave them off because they have brought these things upon themselves, of their own accord.