Whether Devils have Faith
Whether Devils Have Faith

We proceed to the second article thus:

1. It seems that devils do not have faith. For Augustine says that "faith depends on the will of those who believe" {De Praed. Sanct.5). Now the will whereby one wills to believe in God is good. But there is no deliberate good will in devils. Hence it seems that devils do not have faith.

2. Again, faith is a gift of grace, according to Eph.2:8: "For by grace ye are saved through faith . . . it is the gift of God." Now the gloss on Hosea 3:1, "who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine," says that the devils forfeited the gift of grace by their sin. It follows that faith did not remain in them after their sin.

3. Again, unbelief seems to be one of the more serious sins, according to what Augustine says {Tract.9 in Joan.) on John 15:22: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." Now some men are guilty of the sin of unbelief. Their sin would then be worse than that of devils, if devils had faith. But this is impossible. Therefore devils do not have faith.

On the other hand: it is said in James 2:19: "the devils also believe, and tremble."

I answer: as we said in Q.1, Art.2, and Q.2, Art.1, the intellect of the believer assents to what he believes neither because he sees the thing as it is in itself, nor because he understands it through its first principles seen as they are in themselves, but because his will moves his intellect to give its assent. Now there are two ways in which the will may move the in-intellect to give its assent. In the first place, the will may be directed to the good, in which case belief is a praiseworthy act. Secondly, the intellect may be sufficiently convinced to judge that what is said ought to be believed, without being convinced by any evidence of the thing itself. Thus if a prophet should predict something as by the word of God, and if he should also give a sign by raising one who was dead, the intellect of one who saw would be convinced by the sign, and he would know assuredly that this was spoken by God who does not lie, even though what was predicted was not apparent. The character of faith would then remain.

Hence we must say that the faith of those who believe in Christ is praised as being of the first kind. Devils, on the other hand, do not have faith of this kind, but only of the second kind. For they see many unmistakable signs by which they know that the doctrine of the Church is given by God, although they do not see the things themselves which the Church teaches, for example, that God is Three and also One, and the like.

On the first point: the faith of devils is such as the evidence of signs compels. Their belief is therefore no credit to their will.

On the second point: even though it should be unformed, faith which is the gift of grace inclines a man to believe out of regard for what is good. The faith of devils is therefore not the gift of grace. Rather are they compelled to believe by what they perceive by their natural intellect.

On the third point: devils are displeased by the very obviousness of the signs which compel them to believe. Hence the evil in them is not diminished by their belief.

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