Anselm’s Doctrine Of The Incarnation And Atonement -- By: James Gardiner Vose

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 012:45 (Jan 1855)
Article: Anselm’s Doctrine Of The Incarnation And Atonement
Author: James Gardiner Vose


Anselm’s Doctrine Of The Incarnation And Atonement

James Gardiner Vose

Chap. I. How Man Was Made Holy By God, So As To Be Happy In The Enjoyment Of God

Anselm. It ought not to be disputed, that rational nature was made holy by God, in order to be happy in enjoying Him. For to this end is it rational, in order to discern justice and injustice, good and evil, and between the greater and the lesser good. Otherwise it was made rational in vain. But God made it not rational in vain. Wherefore, doubtless, it was made rational for this end. In like manner is it proved that the intelligent creature received the power of discernment for this purpose, that he might hate and shun evil, and love and choose good, and especially the greater good. For else in vain would God have given him that power of discernment, since man’s discretion would be useless, unless he loved and avoided according to’ it. But it does not befit God to give such power in vain. It is, therefore, established, that rational nature was created for this end, viz. to love and choose the highest good supremely, for its own sake and nothing else; for if the highest good were chosen for any other reason, then something else and not itself would be the thing loved. But intelligent nature cannot fulfil this purpose without being holy. Therefore that it might not in vain be made rational, it was made, in order to fulfil this purpose, both rational and holy. Now, if it was made holy in order to choose and love the highest good, then it was made such in order to follow sometimes what it loved and chose, or else it was not. But if it were not made holy for this end, that it might follow what it loves and chooses, then in vain was it made to love and choose holiness; and there can be no reason why it should be ever bound to follow holiness. Therefore, as long as it will be holy in loving and choosing the supreme good, for which it was made, it will be miserable;

because it will be impotent despite of its will, inasmuch as it does not have what it desires. But this is utterly absurd. Wherefore rational nature was made holy, in order to be happy in enjoying the supreme good, which is God. Therefore man, whose nature is rational, was made holy for this end, that he might be happy in enjoying God.

Chap. II. How Man Would Never Have Died, Unless He Had Sinned

Anselm. Moreover, it is easily proved, that man was so made as not to be necessarily subject to death; for, as we have already said, it is inconsistent with God’s wisdom and justice to compel man to suffer death without fault, when He made him holy to enjoy eternal blessedness. It therefore fallows that had man never sinned, he never would have died.

Chap. III. How Ma...
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