Molina, Lewis

, born of a noble family at Cuenca, entered the Jesuits’ order, 1553, at the age of eighteen, and taught theology with reputation during twenty years in the university of Ebora. He died October 12, 1660, at | Madrid, aged sixty-five. His principal works are, Commentaries on the first part of the Summary of St. Thomas, in Latin, a large treatise “De Justitia et Jure,” a book on “The Concordance of Grace and Free-will,” printed at Lisbon, 1588, 4to, in Latin, which ought to have at the end an appendix, printed in 1589. It is an apology from Molina against those who called some propositions in his book heretical, and this last work was what divided the Dominicans and the Jesuits into Thomists, and Molinists, and raised the famous disputes about grace and predestination. Molina’s object was to shew that the operations of divine grace were entirely consistent with the freedom of human will; and he introduced a new kind of hypothesis to remove the difficulties attending the doctrines of predestination and liberty, and to reconcile the jarring opinions of Augustinians, Thomists, Semi- Pelagians, and other contentious divines. Molina affirmed, that the decree of predestination to eternal glory was founded upon a previous knowledge and consideration of the merits of the elect; that the grace from whose operation these merits are derived, is not efficacious by its own intrinsic power only, but also by the consent of our own will, and because it is administered in those circumstances, in which the Deity, by that branch of his knowledge which is called scientia media, foresees that it will be efficacious. The kind of prescience, denominated in the schools scientia media, is that foreknowledge of future contingents, that arises from an acquaintance with the nature and faculties of rational beings, of the circumstances in which they shall be placed, of the objects that shall be presented to them, and of the influence which these circumstances and objects must have on their actions.

In order to put an end to these ‘contentions, pope Clement VIII. instituted the celebrated congregation ’De Auxiliis, in 1597; but after several assemblies of counsellors and cardinals, in which the Dominicans and Jesuits disputed contradictorily during nine years before the pope and the court of Rome, the affair was still undecided. Pope Paul V. under whom these disputes had been continued, at length published a decree, Aug. 31, 1607, forbidding the parties to defame or censure each other, and enjoining the superiors of both orders to punish those severely who should disregard this prohibition. 1