Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas
FS: Treatise On Law
Q[90] Of The Essence Of Law
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We have now to consider the extrinsic principles of acts. Now the extrinsic principle inclining to evil is the devil, of whose temptations we have spoken in the [1949] FP, Q [114]. But the extrinsic principle moving to good is God, Who both instructs us by means of His Law, and assists us by His Grace: wherefore in the first place we must speak of law; in the second place, of grace.

Concerning law, we must consider: (1) Law itself in general; (2) its parts. Concerning law in general three points offer themselves for our consideration: (1) Its essence; (2) The different kinds of law; (3) The effects of law.

Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

A[1] Whether law is something pertaining to reason?

A[2] Concerning the end of law;

A[3] Its cause;

A[4] The promulgation of law.