Ars Brevis

bullet19. Subjects

bullet2 9. The Instrumentative

9. The Ninth Subject, or the Instrumentative

This subject deals with instrumentality. It is considered in two ways: naturally, as for instance an eye which is an instrument for seeing; and morally, as for instance, justice is an instrument for making judgments and a hammer is an instrument for forging.

Natural instruments can be known by discussing them in their specific ways with the principles and rules of this Art, and so with moral instruments which apply in their own specific ways to the same principles and rules.

There are differences between natural and moral instruments, and we leave this discourse or discussion up to the diligent intellect. But if the artist's intellect needs help in this discourse, he can resort to Ars Magna, where we deal more broadly with moral matters. Given that we mentioned morality in the alphabet, let us define some moral instruments to enable the artist to learn about moral matters.

1. The instrumentative is a power with which moral persons act in a moral way.
2. Justice is a habit with which the just act justly.
3. Prudence is a habit with which prudent persons act prudently.
4. Fortitude is a habit with which strong hearts act courageously.
5. Temperance is a habit with which temperate persons act temperately.
6. Faith is a habit with which one believes in truths he can neither sense nor understand.
7. Hope is a habit with which one hopes to receive forgiveness and glory from the Lord, and has confidence in his good and powerful friend.
8. Charity is a virtue whereby one contributes his own wealth to the common good.
9. Patience is a habit whereby the patient man wins and does not lose.
10. Compassion is a habit whereby the compassionate person is grieved by the suffering of his fellow creatures.
11. Avarice is a habit whereby a rich man acts like a poor beggar.
12. Gluttony is a habit whereby the glutton ends up in the clutches of illness and poverty.
13. Lust is a habit whereby the lecher abuses his faculties against the law of marriage.
14. Conceit is a habit whereby the conceited man strives to be above others, with no regard for humility.
15. Accidie, or sloth, is a habit whereby the slothful man is grieved by the fortune of others, and rejoices in their misfortune.
16. Envy is a habit whereby the envious man unjustly craves the belongings of others.
17. Ire is a habit whereby the irate man binds his freedom of thought.
18. Falsehood is the habit whereby liars speak out or testify against the truth.
19. Inconstancy is a habit whereby inconstant persons are prone to many changes.
We have dealt with the nine subjects. The artist can learn more about them by discussing them with the principles and rules of this Art.