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necessity and external coaction, he denies that in either of these senses the Passion was necessary. It was only necessary, assuming the prevision and predestination of God to redeem man in that manner, and in no other; nor would He have acted against justice in forgiving without any satisfaction offences committed only against Himself. He was not (as Grotius afterwards represented the case) in the position of a civil ruler who cannot lawfully remit the penalty of offences committed, not against himself personally, but against the common weal. At the same time, however, the Passion of Christ was the most suitable method of redemption, as revealing the love of God, giving us an example of obedience and all other virtues, and a strong incitement to purify ourselves from sin after being redeemed at so great a price. Moreover, Christ not only freed us from sin, but won for us grace and glory, and it was fitting that by death. He should overcome the power of death; but His death need not have been a violent one. The greatness of His pains, above all others in this life, is inferred from His suffering at the hands of such various classes of persons, such various kinds of pain, both of soul and body, and in every part of His Body, and from the peculiar capabilities for suffering of His mental and bodily organization, as it is written; Ego in flagella paratus sum. The manner in which His sufferings take effect on us is fourfold; by merit, satisfaction, sacrifice, and redemption. As Head of the mystical Body, He imparts to all His members the grace He had merited for them. His
satisfaction for the same reason is applicable to them, and is not only sufficient but superabundant, from the greatness of His dignity, His sufferings, and His love. Satisfaction is defined, as giving to the offended party something he loves as much as he hates the offence, or more. The Passion of Christ is also the most perfect sacrifice, that is, the highest act of homage ever offered to God, of which the Jewish sacrifices were types. Lastly, it ransoms us from the bondage and punishment of sin. Under all these four aspects the Passion of Christ benefits us, and its fruits are applied to us by faith, not a dead faith, but faith working by love (fides formata), and through the sacraments. In baptism we are conformed to the image of His death, by dying to original sin; we must be conformed to Him by acts of penance for sins committed after baptism, but such acts gain all their efficacy from His superabundant satisfaction, for no mere man can satisfy adequately for himself. His Passion, then, has reconciled us to God, both as being the most acceptable sacrifice, and as removing the sin which caused our separation, and thus it has opened to us the gate of heaven. The idea of a vicarious satisfaction seems to be more prominently exhibited here than before, and the means of applying Christ's merits through a living faith, and the sacraments of faith, is more explicitly and fully laid down. Before making further comment, it will be well to state briefly the Scotist theory, so that we may be in a position to compare the two. In his Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, Duns Scotus contradicts much of the Thomist, and the whole Anselmic view of satisfaction." The merit of Christ, as depending on His finite human nature, is itself finite, and has no inherent claim to be accepted by God, as infinite. But the value of meritorious acts is measured by God's acceptance, not His acceptance by their value; as the goodness of creatures depends on His love, not His love on their goodness. And there is a certain congruity, from the dignity of Christ, which there would not else be, in God accepting His merits for any, even infinite, number of persons to whom they may be applied. His Passion, therefore, suffices for so many, and so great sins, as God is pleased to accept it for. But neither is it true, that sin is for. mally in its own nature an infinite evil, though in a certain sense it may be so called (sortitur quamdam denominationem eatrinsecam), as being a departure from the Infinite Good; just as the love of a Saint or of the archangel Michael may be called infinite, from its being directed to an infinite object. It follows, that the punishment due to mortal sin is in no other sense infinite, than as being of infinite duration, so long as the will remains fixed in sin; God might, without injustice, punish it for a single day only, and then annihilate the soul. There was no necessity either for the restoration of the human race at all, or for the method of restoring it by the satisfaction of Christ, except as consequent on Divine predestination, for all God's external operations are free." Adam might have made satisfaction for his sin by a greater act of love; nor is it true to say, with Anselm, that the sin was infinite, and the love offered in reparation must be infinite too. The act of conversion to God is not in its formal nature greater than all creatures, nor was even the love of Christ. A good angel, or a mere man conceived without sin by the power of the Holy Ghost, could have made satisfaction for the whole race, had God chosen to accept it; nor will Anselm's objection hold good, that we should have been more bound to him than to God, for all his merit would have been derived from God, as is all the merit of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. Christ suffered for righteousness' sake, seeing the sins of the Jews and their ill regulated and perverted affection for their law, so that they sacrificed its moral to its ceremonial precepts. “Therefore, desiring to withdraw them from error by His works and discourses, He preferred dying to keeping silence, for then the Jews had to listen to the truth; and thus He died for righteousness' sake.” He offered His Passion to the Father for us, and we are not the less, but the more indebted to Him for doing so, since He might have redeemed us without it. It is clear how this part of the Scotist system, which was substantially adopted by the Franciscan, William Occam, and the
* See Faber's Precious Blood, p. 225. “It (the Precious Blood), is a magnificent price for sin, because it is infinite; and sin is only infinite by a figure of speech, or an invention of the mind. We did not therefore require an infi
nite redemption; though on the side of God's sanctity there may have been a propriety, looking to us like a necessity, for an infinite expiation.”
Nominalist school generally, cuts at the roots of the Thomist, and still more of the Anselmic conception of the question. For an infinite merit it substitutes a voluntary acceptance, while the denial of an infinite debt removes any plea for the necessity of an infinite satisfaction. There are certainly parts of the scheme which are difficult to reconcile with the inherent distinction of good and evil, and look as if morality had no independent existence, but was an arbitrary creation of the Divine will. Nor is it consistent with the reality of the hypostatic union to ascribe an only finite character to the human, or, as they are sometimes called, theandric' actions of the God-Man. At the same time, the Scotist view, as a whole, is more consistent than the Thomist, which rejects the necessity of the sufferings of Christ, while laying so predominant a stress on the idea of satisfaction.
But there was in fact another, and far more fundamental, difference between the subtle' and 'angelic' doctors, in their way of regarding the Atonement, which, if it did not at the time exercise so perceptible an influence over their modes of expression, could not but make itself in the long run more deeply felt; for it materially affected the relative importance and bearings of the whole question. I refer to their opposite views, noticed in a previous chapter, on the primary motive of the Incarnation. This, according to Aquinas, was the redemption of fallen man. If there had been
| The Bull of Clement VI. Unigenitus (1343) implicitly condemns this portion of Scotus' system.