A Manual Of Catholic Theology, Based On Scheeben's “Dogmatik”
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With A Preface By Cardinal Manning

Vol. 1. The Sources Of Theological Knowledge, God, Creation And The Supernatural Order
Third Edition, Revised, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Lt.
New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Benziger Bros.

[Preface and pages 1-15 inclusive. The Introduction, which is an historical summary of theological work, naming the various schools and the chief exponents of each, has been omitted.]


Dr. Wilhelm and Fr. Scannell have conferred upon the faithful in England a signal boon in publishing Scheeben's scientific Dogmatik in English, and condensing it for careful and conscientious study.

St. Anselm, in his work, “Cur Deus Homo?” says, “As the right order requires that we should first believe the deep things of the Christian faith before we presume to discuss them by reason, so it seems to me to be negligence if, after we are confirmed in the faith, we do not study to understand what we believe.”( 1. Lib. i. c. 2.)

The Dogmatik of Scheeben is a profuse exposition of the deep things of faith in the light of intelligence guided by the illumination of the Church. Although, as Gregory of Valentia teaches, in accordance with the Catholic schools, that Theology is not a science proprie dicta, because it cannot be resolved into first principles that are self-evident, nevertheless it is higher than all sciences, because it can be resolved into the science of God and of the Blessed, known to us by revelation and faith.

Theology may for that cause be called wisdom, which is higher than all science, and also it may be called science for many reasons. First, because, if it be not a science as to its principles, it is so as to its form, method, process, development, and transmission; and because, if its principles are not evident, they are in all the higher regions of it infallibly certain ; and because many of them are necessary and eternal truths.

Revelation, then, contemplated and transmitted in exactness and method, may be called a science and the queen of sciences, the chief of the hierarchy of truth; and it enters and takes the first place in the intellectual system and tradition of the world. It possesses all the qualities and conditions of science so far as its subject-matter admits ; namely, certainty as against doubt, definiteness as against vagueness, harmony as against discordance. unity as against incoherence, progress as against dissolution and stagnation.

A knowledge and belief of the existence of God has never been extinguished in the reason of mankind. The polytheisms and idolatries which surrounded it were corruptions of a central and dominant truth, which, although obscured, 'as never lost. And the tradition of this truth was identified with the higher and purer operations of the natural reason, which have been called the intellectual system of the world. The mass of mankind, howsoever debased, were always theists. Atheists were anomalies and exceptions, as the blind among men. The theism of the primaeval revelation formed the intellectual system of the heathen world. The theism of the patriarchal revelation formed the intellectual system of the Hebrew race. The theism revealed in the incarnation of God has formed the intellectual system of the Christian world. “Sapientia aedificavit sibi domum.” The science or knowledge of God has built for itself a tabernacle in the intellect of mankind, inhabits it, and abides in it. The intellectual science of the world finds its perfection in the scientific expression of the theology of faith. But from first t last the reason of man is the disciple, not the critic, of the revelation of God: and the highest science of the human intellect is that which, taking its preamble from the light of nature, begins in faith; and receiving its axioms from faith, expands by the procession of truth from truth.

The great value of Scheeben's work is in its scientific method, its terminology, definitions, procedure, and unity. It requires not only reading but study; and study with patient care and conscientious desire to understand. Readers overrun truths which they have not mastered. Students leave nothing behind them until it is understood. This work needs such a conscientious treatment from those who take it in hand.

Valuable as it is in all its parts, the most valuable may be said to be the First Book, on the Sources of Theological Knowledge, and the Second Book, on God in Unity and Trinity. Any one who has mastered this second book has reached the Head of the River of the Water of Life.

Of all the superstitious and senseless mockeries, and they were many, with which the world wagged its head at the Vatican Council, none was more profoundly foolish than the gibe that in the nineteenth century a Council has been solemnly called to declare the existence of God. In fact, it is this truth that the nineteenth century needs most of all. For as St. Jerome says, “Homo sine cognitione Dei, pecus.” But what the Council did eventually declare is, not the existence of God, but that the existence of God may be known with certitude by the reason of man through the works that He has created. This is the infallible light of the Natural Order, and the need of this definition is perceived by all who know the later Philosophies of Germany and France, and the rationalism, scepticism, and naturalism which pervades the literature, the public opinion, and the political action of the modern world. This was the first dominant error of these days, demanding the action of the Council. The second was the insidious undermining of the doctrinal authority of the Holy See, which for two hundred years had embarrassed the teaching of the Church, not only in controversy with adversaries without, but often in the guidance of some of its own members within the fold. The definition of the Infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff has closed this period of contention The Divine certitude of the Supernatural Order completes the twofold infallibility of the knowledge of God in the natural and supernatural revelation of Himself. This was the work of the Vatican Council in its one memorable Session, in which the Councils of the Church, and especially the Councils of Florence and of Trent, culminated in defining the certitude of faith. Scheeben has fully and luminously exhibited the mind of the Vatican Council in his First and Second Books.

Cardinal Archbishop.

Part I.
Thl Objective Principles Of Theological Knowledge.
Chapter I.
Divine Revelation
SECT. I.—Notion of Revelation—Three Degrees of Revelation.

I. THE word Revelation originally means an unveiling— a manifestation of some object by drawing back the covering by which it was hidden. Hence we commonly use the Revelation. word in the sense of a bringing to light some fact or truth hitherto not generally known. But it is especially applied to manifestations made by God, Who is Himself hidden from our eyes, yet makes Himself known to us. it is with this Divine Revelation that we are here concerned.

II. God discloses Himself to us in three ways. The study of the universe, and especially of man, the noblest object in the universe, clearly proves to us the existence of One Who is the Creator and Lord of all. This mode of manifestation is called Natural Revelation, because it is brought about by means of nature, and because our own nature has a claim to it, as will be hereafter explained. But God has also spoken to man by His own voice, both directly and through Prophets, Apostles, and Sacred Writers.

I. This positive (as opposed to natural) Revelation proceeds from the gratuitous condescension of God, and tends to a gratuitous union with Him, both of which are far beyond the demands of our nature. Hence it is called Supernatural Revelation, and sometimes Revelation pure and simple, because it is more properly a disclosure of something hidden. The third and highest degree of Revelation is in the Beatific Vision in Heaven where God withdraws the veil entirely, and manifests Himself in all His glory. Here on earth, even in Supernatural Revelation, “we walk by faith and not by sight;” “we see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then [in the Beatiflc Vision] face to face;” “we shall see Him as He is” (2 Cor. v. 7; 1 Cor. xiii. 12; 1 John iii. 2).

SECT. 2.—The Nature and Subject-matter of Natural Revelation.

Natural Revelation is the principle of ordinary know ledge and therefore belongs to the domain of philosophy. We touch upon it here because it is the basis of Supernatural Revelation, and also because at the present day all forms of Revelation have been confused and have lost their proper significance.

I. All natural knowledge of intellectual, religious, and ethical truths must be connected with a Divine Revelation of some kind, and this for two reasons : to maintain the dependence of these truths upon God, and the better to inculcate the duty of obeying them. This Revelation, however, is nothing else but the action of God as Creator, giving and preserving to nature its existence, form, and life. Created things embody Divine Ideas, and are thus imitations of their antitypes, the Divine Perfections. The human intellect, in particular, is an image of the Divine Intellect the Creator endows it with the power to infer, from visible nature, the existence and perfections of its Author ; and, from its own spiritual nature, the spiritual nature of the Author of all things. The revealing action of the Creator, then, consists in exhibiting, in matter and mind, the image of Himself, and in keeping alive in man the power of knowing the image and, through the image, Him who is represented. Theories which confound this Natural Revelation with Positive Revelation, like Traditionalism, or with the Revelation of Glory, like Ontologism completely misapprehend the bearing and energy of God's creative operations and of created nature itself.

II. The following propositions, met with in the Fathers, and even in Holy Scripture, must be understood to refer to a Natural Revelation. When rightly explained they serve to confirm the doctrine stated above.

1. “God is the Teacher of all truth, even of natural truth,” i.e. not by formal speech nor by an inner supernatural enlightenment, but by sustaining the mind and faculties with which lie has endowed our nature (cf. St. August. De Magistro, and St. Thomas, De Veritate, q. XI.).

2. “God is the light in which we know all truth,” that is, not the light which we see, but the Light which creates and preserves in us the faculty of knowing things as they are.

3. “God is the truth in which we read all truth,”—not as in a book or as in a mirror, but in the sense that, by means of the light received from God, we read in creatures the truths impressed upon them. The same idea is sometimes expressed by saying that God impresses His truth upon our mind and writes it in our souls.

4. It is particularly said that God has written His law upon our hearts (Rom. 1. 14, 15) and that He speaks to us in our conscience. This, however, does not mean a supernatural intervention; through the light of reason God makes known to us His Will in a more vivid manner than even human language could do.

III. Natural Revelation embraces all the truths which we can apprehend by the light of our reason. Nevertheless only those which concern God and our relations with Him are said to belong to Natural Revelation, because they are the only truths in which He reveals Himself to us and which He commands us to acknowledge. Thus St. Paul (Rom. 1. 18—20 and n. 14—15) points out as naturally revealed “the invisible things of God,” especially “His eternal power and Divinity,” and also the Moral Law.

It must not, however, be thought that all that can be or ought to be known about God, His designs, and His works, is within the sphere of Natural Revelation. The unaided light of reason can attain only a mediate knowledge of God by means of the study of His creatures, and must consequently be imperfect. Both the subjective medium (the human mind) and the objective medium (creation, are finite, whereas God is infinite. Moreover, the human intellect, by reason of its dependence on the senses, is so imperfect that it knows the essences of things only from their phenomena, and therefore only obscurely and imperfectly. And lastly, the study of nature can result only in the knowledge of such truths as are necessarily connected with it, and can tell us nothing about any free acts which God may have performed above and beyond nature, the knowledge of which He may nevertheless require of us.

Thus, even if the knowledge of God through the medium of nature without any special help were sufficient for our natural vocation, there would still be room for another and a supernatural revelation. But Natural Revelation is, in a certain sense, insufficient even for our natural vocation, as we shall now proceed to prove.

SECT. 3.—Tile Object and Necessity of a Positive Revelation—Its Supernatural Character.

I. The direct object or purpose of Positive Revelation is to impart to us the knowledge of the truths which it contains or to develop and perfect such knowledge of them as we already possess. The remote, but at the same time the chief, object is to enable us to attain our last end, The measure of the knowledge required depends upon the end ordained to man by his Creator ; its necessity is determined by the capability or incapability of man to acquire this knowledge. Thus the necessity of a Positive Revelation varies according to the end to be attained and man's capacity to attain it.

II. Man, as we shall see, is destined to a supernatural end, and consequently the principal object of a Positive Revelation is to enable him to reach it. But this supernatural vocation does not relieve him from his natural duties, and even for the fulfilment of these a Positive Revelation is in

a certain sense necessary. The Catholic doctrine on this point has been defined by the Vatican Council. “To this Divine revelation it belongeth that those Divine things which are not impervious to human reason may, in the present state of the human race, be known by all with expedition and firm certainty, and without any mixture of error. Nevertheless not on this account must Revelation be deemed absolutely necessary, but because God of His infinite goodness hath ordained man to a supernatural end, that is to say, to be a sharer in the good things of God which altogether surpass the understanding of the human mind; for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man what things God hath prepared for them that love Him” (sess. iii., chap. 2). We must therefore distinguish two different kinds of necessity.

i. Positive Revelation is not absolutely, categorically, and physically necessary for the knowledge of truths of the natural order bearing upon religion and morals, but it is relatively, hypothetically, and morally necessary. If Positive Revelation were absolutely necessary for the acquisition of natural, moral, and religious truths, then none of these truths could be known by any man in any other way. But this is plainly opposed to the doctrine that God and the moral law may be known by man's unaided reason. Many difficulties, however, impede the acquisition of this knowledge. Very few men have the talent and opportunity to study such a subject, and even under the most favourable circumstances there will be doubt and error, owing to man's moral degradation and the influences to which he is exposed. Positive Revelation is needed to remedy these defects, but the necessity is only relative, because it exists merely in relation to a portion of mankind, a part of the moral law, and in different degrees under different circumstances ; the necessity is moral, because there is no physical impossibility but only great difficulty; and hypothetical, because it exists only in the hypothesis that God has provided no other means of surmounting the difficulties.

2. On the other hand Positive Revelation is absolutely, categorically, and physically necessary for the attainment of our supernatural end. To reach this end we must tend towards it supernaturally while we are here on earth (in statu viae), and this supposes the knowledge of the end and of the means thereto. As both are supernatural, both must be made known by means of a direct communication from the Author of the supernatural order. And the necessity is absolute, because it extends to every truth of this order and arises from the very nature of man ; physical, because of man's physical incapacity of knowing God as He is in Himself; and categorical, because God cannot substitute any other means for it.

III. Positive Revelation is always a supernatural act as far as its form is concerned, because, in making it, God is acting beyond and above His ordinary activity as Creator, Conservator, and Prime Mover of nature, and out of purely gratuitous benevolence. This supernatural character belongs to it even when it merely supplements Natural Revelation. But it is purely and simply supernatural in all respects only when it manifests supernatural truths and is the means to a supernatural end.

SECT. 4.— The Subject-matter of Supernatural Revelation— Mysteries.

I. We learn from the preceding section that Supertura1 natural Revelation gives us knowledge of truths unrevealed by Natural Revelation. These truths constitute the specific and proper contents of Supernatural Revelation. As, however, this Revelation is by word of mouth, and not, as in the Revelation of Glory, by the vision of its object; as it does not entirely lift the veil from revealed things it leaves them in obscurity, entirely withholding their reality from the mind's eye, and only reproducing their essence in analogical concepts taken from the sphere of our natural knowledge. This peculiar character of the contents of Supernatural Revelation is called Mystery, or mystery of God; that is, a truth hidden in God, but made known to man by a free communication.

11. Mystery in common parlance means something hidden or veiled, especially by one mind from another.

It implies the notion that some advantage attaches to the knowledge of it which gives the initiated a position superior to outsiders. The heathens gave the name of “mysteries” to the symbolical or sacred words and acts which they kept secret from the multitude, or to the hidden meaning of their liturgy, understood only by the initiated. The Fathers applied the term to the sacred words and acts of the true religion, kept secret from the heathen and catechumens, and understood only by the perfect, especially the mysteries knowable only by Faith which are veiled under the sacramental appearances (cf. Card. Newman, Development, p. 27).

1. The notion of theological mystery properly so called implies that the mysterious truth is incapable of being discovered by human reason, and that, even after it is revealed, reason cannot prove its existence. These conditions, however, are fulfilled by many truths which are not usually styled mysteries. Hence we must add the further condition that the truth should be naturally unknowable on account of its absolute and objective superiority to our sphere of knowledge, and that we should consequently be unable to obtain a direct and proper, but only an analogical, representation of its contents. A mystery is therefore subjectively above reason and objectively above nature.

2. That there are such mysteries has been defined by the Vatican Council. “Besides those things which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief the mysteries hidden in God, which, unless they were divinely revealed, could not be known.” Although by means of analogy we may obtain some knowledge of these mysteries, nevertheless human reason is never able to perceive them in the same way as it perceives the truths which are its proper object. “The Divine mysteries, by their very nature, so far surpass the created intellect that, even when they have been imparted by Revelation and received by Faith, they nevertheless remain hidden and enveloped, as it were, in a sort of mist, as long as in this mortal life we are absent from the Lord, for we walk by faith and not by sight” (sess. iii, chap. 4). And the Council speaks of the two elements, subjective and objective, in the corresponding canon 1 : “If any one shall say that in Divine Revelation no mysteries properly so called are contained, but that all the dogmas of the Faith may be understood and demonstrated from natural principles by reason duly cultured, let him be anathema “ (cf. the Brief of Pius IX., Gravissimas inter).

3. The doctrine of the Council is based on many passages of Holy Scripture, some of which are quoted or alluded to in the decrees. The fullest text is 1 Cor. ii.: “Howbeit we speak wisdom among the perfect, yet not the wisdom of this world, neither of the princes of this world that come to nought; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery [a wisdom] which is hidden, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew… But, as it is written; that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him. But to us God hath revealed them by His Spirit. For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God: that we may know the things that are given us from God “ (6—12). Compare also Eph. ii. 4—9; Col. i. 26, 27; Matt. xi. 25—27, and John i. 18. The writings of the Fathers are very rich in commentaries on these texts, many of which are quoted in the Brief Gravissimas inter. See especially St. Chrysostom and St. Jerome on Eph. iii.; also St. Peter Chrysologus, hom. 67, sqq., on the Lord's Prayer.

4. The presence of mysteries in Christian Revelation is essential to its sublime character. The principle of Revelation is God Himself in His character of Father, sending His Son and, through Him, the Holy Ghost into this world to announce “what the Son received from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both.” Again, the motive of Revelation is the immense love of the Son of God for us : He speaks to us a friend to friends, telling us the secret things of His Father (John xv. 4). And the end of Revelation is to lead us on to a truly supernatural state, the direct vision of God face to face. Moreover, without mysteries, Faith would not be “the evidence of things that appear not” (Heb. xi. i), nor would it be meritorious (Rom. iv., Heb. x.). In fact, the very essence of Revelation is to be supernatural and therefore mysterious, so that all who deny the existence of mysteries deny also the supernatural character of Christianity. We may add that the study of the revealed truths themselves will plainly show their mysterious nature.

5. The mysteries which are the subject-matter of Revelation are not merely a few isolated truths, but form a supernatural world whose parts are as organically connected as those of the natural world — a rnystical cosmos, the outcome of the “manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. iii. 10). In their origin they represent under various forms the communication of the Divine Nature by the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Grace; in their final object they represent an order in which the Triunity [sic] appears as the ideal and end of a communion between God and His creatures, rendered possible through the God-Man, and accomplished by means of grace and glory.

6. It is folly to maintain that the revelation of mysteries degrades our reason; on the contrary, it is at once an honour and a benefit. To say that there are truths beyond the reach of our reason is surely not to degrade it, but to acknowledge the true extent of its powers. And what an honour it is to man to be made in some way a confidant of God! Moreover, the more a truth is above reason the more precious it is to us. Finally, the knowledge of things supernatural is a pledge and foretaste of the perfect knowledge which is to come.

SECT. 5.—The Province of Revelation.

I. Revelation embraces all those truths which have been revealed in any way whatever.

1. Some revealed truths can be known only by means of Revelation ; as, for instance, the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, and Grace. Others can be known by natural reason also; for instance, the Unity of God, Creation, and the Spirituality of the Soul. The former, which are purely and simply matters of Faith, are revealed in order to be made known ; whereas the latter are mentioned in Revelation to serve as a basis.

2. Another important distinction is that between matters of Faith and matters of morals. Matters of Faith refer to God and His works, and are primarily of a speculative character. Matters of morals refer to man and his conduct, for which they prescribe practical rules.

3. A third distinction is between truths revealed for their own sake and truths revealed for the sake of those. This distinction is of great importance with regard to the contents of Holy Writ.

4. Lastly, some truths stand out clearly in Revelation, and are revealed in their completeness, while others can only be inferred by means of reflection and study. The latter are called corollaries of the Faith, or theological truths. It may come to pass that these may be proposed as matter of Faith by the Church, because they are necessary for the support of the Faith and also for the attainment of its object.

These four groups of revealed truths may not inaptly be compared to the different parts of a tree. Matters of Faith, pure and simple, are like the trunk; the natural truths which serve as a basis are the roots ; truths incidentally revealed are the bark which envelops and protects the trunk ; truths inferred by ratiocination are the branches which spring from the trunk ; while the practical truths arc the buds and flowers, from which proceeds the fruit of Christian life.

II. Although, strictly speaking, things revealed are alone the subject-matter of Faith, nevertheless many truths belonging to the domain of natural reason, but at the same time so connected and interwoven with Revelation that they cannot be separated from it, may also be reckoned as matter of Faith. These truths are, as it were, the atmosphere in which the tree of Revelation lives and thrives. The determination of the meaning of words used for the expression of dogmas, and of passages in Holy Scripture and other documents, are instances. In like manner many truths are inseparably connected with matters of morals, e.g discipline, ceremonies, Religious Orders, the temporal power of the Pope, etc.

SECT. 6.—Progress of Revelation.

I. Supernatural Revelation was not given at once in all its completeness. From the day of Creation to the day of Judgment God has spoken, and will speak, to mankind at sundry times and in divers manners (Heb. i. 1). Natural and Supernatural Revelation run in parallel lines. Yet, whilst the former is addressed to all men at all times in the same form, the latter is made immediately only to individuals, and is not necessarily meant for all mankind. We are not, however, concerned here with private revelations, but only with those which are public, i.e. destined for all men.

II. Public Revelation may be divided into two portions: the Revelation made to man in his original state of integrity in Paradise, and the Revelation made to fallen man—that is, the Revelation of Redemption.

1. The Revelation in Paradise was public because it was to be handed down to all men as an inseparable complement of Natural Revelation. Holy Scripture mentions as its subject-matter only the law of probation given to Adam, but it connects this law with the supernatural order because the possession of immortality was to be the reward of obedience. It may be inferred, however, that all other necessary elements of the order of grace were clearly revealed, e.g. the Divine adoption of man, and the corresponding moral law, although the Old Testament mentions only the gift of integrity.

2. The Revelation of Redemption, or of the Gospel, was preparatory in the Old Testament and complete in the New. The preparatory stage was begun with the Patriarchs and continued with Moses and the Prophets. The Patriarchal Revelation contained the promise of the coming of the Redeemer, and pointed out the family from which He was to spring; it also enacted some few positive commandments. But as it did not form a complete system of

religious truths and morals, and added little to what might be known by the unaided light of reason, it may be called the Law of Nature. The next stage, the Mosaic Revelation, was a closer preparation for the Revelation of the Gospel, and laid the foundation of an organized kingdom of God upon earth. Its object was to secure the worship of the one God and to keep alive the expectation of the Redeemer. Man is considered as a guilty servant of God, not as His child (Gal. iv. 1). Nevertheless even this Revelation contains little more than Natural Revelation, except the positive ordinances for safeguarding the Law of Nature, for the institution of public worship, and for the atonement for sin. In the days of the Prophets the Revelation of the Gospel already began to dawn: the supernatural and the Divine began to appear in purer and clearer outline. Finally, the Revelation completed through Christ and the Holy Ghost surpasses all the others in dignity because its Mediator was the Only Begotten Son of God (Heb. i. 1.), Who told what He Himself had heard (John i. 18), nay, Who is Himself the Word of God, and in Whom God speaks (John viii. 23). The descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles supplemented and completed what Christ had revealed. “\Vhen He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth “ (John xvi. 13).

III. The dignity and perfection of Christian Revelation require that no further public Revelation is to be made. The Old Testament dispensation pointed to one that was to follow, but the Christian dispensation is that “which remaineth” (2 Cor. iii. 11; cf. Rom. x. 3, sqq. Gal. iii. 23, sqq.); an “immovable kingdom “ (Heb. xii. 25,; perfect and absolutely sufficient (Heb. vii. 11, sqq.) ; not the shadow, but the very image of the things to come (Heb. x. 1). And Christ distinctly says that His doctrine shall be preached until the consummation of the world, and declares “All things whatsoever I have heard from My Father I have made known unto you” (John xv. 15), and “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth,” John xvi. 13). The Apostles also exhort their disciples to stand by the doctrine which they received, and to listen only to the Church (2 Tim. ii 2, and iii. 14). And the epistle ascribed to St. Barnabas contains the well-known formula: “The rule of light is, to keep what thou hast received without adding or taking away.” Moreover, the Church has always rejected the pretension of those who claimed to have received new revelations of a higher order from the Holy Ghost, e.g. the Montanists, Manichaans, Fraticelli, the Anabaptists, Quakers, and Irvingites.

The finality of the present Revelation does not, however, exclude the possibility of minor and subsidiary revelations made in order to throw light upon doctrine or discipline. The Church is the judge of the value of these revelations. We may mention as instances of those which have been approved, the Feast of Corpus Christi and the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From the above we deduce the existence of a gradual progress, both extensive and intensive, in Revelation. The extensive progress does not start from Adam or Noah, but from Abraham, the patriarch selected among fallen mankind. Patriarchal Revelation was made to a family, Mosaic Revelation to a people, Prophetical Revelation to several peoples, Christian Revelation to the whole world. The intensive progress consists in a higher degree of illumination and a wider range of the revealed truths. The intensive progress likewise begins with Abraham and ascends through Moses and the Prophets to Christ, Who leads us to the bright day of eternity (infra, pp. 71, 105).