“… as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…” ~ 2 Peter 1:3

According to Thomas Aquinas, the Augustinian definition “comprises perfectly the whole essential notion of virtue.”[1] The definition is as follows: “Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which we live righteously, of which no one can make bad use, which God works in us, without us.” Jonathan Edwards says virtue “is that consent, propensity, and union of heart to being in general, which is immediately exercised in a general good will.”[2] Virtues direct man to his first and primary end—God. And they are said to perfect man’s moral life or his moral operations. Virtues are those through which man pursues his summum bonum, which is none but God.


[1] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, (Notre Dame, IN: Christian Classics, 1981), 821.

[2] Jonathan Edwards, The Nature of True Virtue, (monergism.com), 6. monergism.com/nature-true-virtue-ebook.