Monday, October 05, 2015

Four Paths

Now, there are four ways a person may be prompted toward good and drawn away from evil: namely, by the precepts of a most powerful authority, by the teachings of a most wise truth, by the examples and benefits of a most innocent goodness, and finally, by a combination of these three ways. That is why the four kinds of Scriptural books were handed down in both the Old and New Testaments, as they correspond to these four ways. The legal books move people by the precepts of a most potent authority; the historical, by the examples of a most innocent goodness; the sapiential, by the teachings of a most prudent truth; and the prophetic, by a combination of the foregoing, as their content clearly illustrates. Hence these latter are, as it were, a recalling of all legal and doctrinal wisdom.

St. Bonaventure, Breviloquium, Prologue 1.3 [Franciscan Institute Publications (Saint Bonaventure, NY: 2005) p. 7.]

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