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Cur Deus Homo IX-X: Did The Father Wish Christ To Die? (Cath-Orth caucus)
Internet Medieval Source Book ^ | A.D. 1097-1100 | Saint Anselm of Canterbury

Posted on 05/14/2007 3:42:01 PM PDT by annalex

 

CHAPTER IX.

How it was of his own accord that he died, and what this means: "he was made obedient even unto death; " and: "for which cause God has highly exalted him;" and: "I came not to do my own will; " and: "he spared not his own Son;" and: "not as I will, but as you will ."

Anselm.. It seems to me that you do not rightly understand the difference between what he did at the demand of obedience, and what he suffered, not demanded by obedience, but inflicted on him, because he kept his obedience perfect.

Boso. I need to have you explain it more clearly.

Anselm.. Why did the Jews persecute him even unto death?

Boso. For nothing else, but that, in word and in life, he invariably maintained truth and justice.

Anselm.. I believe that God demands this of every rational being, and every being owes this in obedience to God.

Boso. We ought to acknowledge this.

Anselm.. That man, therefore, owed this obedience to God the Father, humanity to Deity; and the Father claimed it from him.

Boso. There is no doubt of this.

Anselin. Now you see what he did, under the demand of obedience.

Boso. Very true, and I see also what infliction he endured, because he stood firm in obedience. For death was inflicted on him for his perseverance in obedience and he endured it; but I do not understand how it is that obedience did not demand this.

Anselm.. Ought man to suffer death, if he had never sinned, or should God demand this of him?

Boso. It is on this account that we believe that man would not have been subject to death, and that God would not have exacted this of him; but I should like to hear the reason of the thing from you.

Anselm.. You acknowledge that the intelligent creature was made holy, and for this purpose, viz., to be happy in the enjoyment of God.

Boso. Yes.

Anselm.. You surely will not think it proper for God to make his creature miserable without fault, when he had created him holy that he might enjoy a state of blessedness. For it would be a miserable thing for man to die against his will.

Boso. It is plain that, if man had not sinned, God ought not to compel him to die.

Anselm.. God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will, not yielding up his life as an act of obedience, but on account of his obedience in maintaining holiness; for he held out so firmly in this obedience that he met death on account of it. It may, indeed be said, that the Father commanded him to die, when he enjoined that upon him on account of which he met death. It was in this sense, then, that "as the Father gave him the commandment, so he did, and the cup which He gave to him, he drank; and he was made obedient to the Father, even unto death;" and thus "he learned obedience from the things which he suffered," that is, how far obedience should be maintained. Now the word "didicit," which is used, can be understood in two ways.For either "didicit" is written for this: he caused others to learn; or it is used, because he did learn by experience what he had an understanding of before. Again, when the Apostle had said: "he humbled himself, being made obedient even unto death, and that the death of the cross," be added: "wherefore God also has exalted him and given him a name, which is above every name." And this is similar to what David said: "he drank of the brook in the way, therefore did he lift up the head." For it is not meant that he could not have attained his exaltation in any other way but by obedience unto death; nor is it meant that his exaltation was conferred on him, only as a reward of his obedience (for he himself said before he suffered, that all things had been committed to him by the Father, and that all things belonging to the Father were his); but the expression is used because he had agreed with the Father and the Holy Spirit, that there was no other way to reveal to the world the height of his omnipotence, than by his death. For if a thing do not take place, except on condition of something else, it is not improperly said to occur by reason of that thing. For if we intend to do a thing, but mean to do something else first by means of which it may be done; when the first thing which we wish to do is done, if the result is such as we intended, it is properly said to be on account of the other; since that is now done which caused the delay; for it had been determined that the first thing should not be done without the other. If, for instance, I propose to cross a river only in a boat, though I can cross it in a boat or on horseback, and suppose that I delay crossing because the boat is gone; but if afterwards I cross, when the boat has returned, it may be properly said of me: the boat was ready, and therefore he crossed. And we not only use this form of expression, when it is by means of a thing which we desire should take place first, but also when we intend to do something else, not by means of that thing, but only after it. For if one delays taking food because he has not to-day attended the celebration of mass; when that has been done which he wished to do first, it is not improper to say to him: now take food, for you have now done that for which you delayed taking food. Far less, therefore, is the language strange, when Christ is said to be exalted on this account, because he endured death; for it was through this, and after this, that he determined to accomplish his exaltation. This may be understood also in the same way as that passage in which it is said that our Lord increased in wisdom, and in favor with God; not that this was really the case, but that he deported himself as if it were so. For he was exalted after his death, as if it were really on account of that. Moreover, that saying of his: "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me," is precisely like that other saying: "My doctrine is not mine ;" for what one does not have of himself, but of God, he ought not to call his own, but God's. Now no one has the truth which he teaches, or a holy will, of himself, but of God. Christ, therefore, came not to do his own will, but that of the Father; for his holy will was not derived from his humanity, but from his divinity. For that sentence: "God spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all," means nothing more than that he did not rescue him. For there are found in the Bible many things like this. Again, when he says: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will ;" and "If this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, your will be done;" he signifies by his own will the natural desire of safety, in accordance with which human nature shrank from the anguish of death. But he speaks of the will of the Father, not because the Father preferred the death of the Son to his life; but because the Father was not willing to rescue the human race, unless man were to do even as great a thing as was signified in the death of Christ. Since reason did not demand of another what he could not do, therefore, the Son says that he desires his own death. For he preferred to suffer, rather than that the human race should be lost; as if he were to say to the Father: "Since you do not desire the reconciliation of the world to take place in any other way, in this respect, I see that you desirest my death; let your will, therefore, be done, that is, let my death take place, so that the world may be reconciled to you." For we often say that one desires a thing, because he does not choose something else, the choice of which would preclude the existence of that which he is said to desire; for instance, when we say that he who does not choose to close the window through which the draft is admitted which puts out the light, wishes the light to be extinguished. So the Father desired the death of the Son, because he was not willing that the world should be saved in any other way, except by man's doing so great a thing as that which I have mentioned. And this, since none other could accomplish it, availed as much with the Son, who so earnestly desired the salvation of man, as if the Father had commanded him to die; and, therefore, "as the Father gave him commandment, so he did, and the cup which the Father gave to him he drank, being obedient even unto death."

 

CHAPTER X

Likewise on the same topics; and how otherwise they can be correctly explained.

IT is also a fair interpretation that it was by that same holy will by which the son wished to die for the salvation of the world, that the Father gave him commandment (yet not by compulsion), and the cup of suffering, and spared him not, but gave him up for us and desired his death; and that the Son himself was obedient even unto death, and learned obedience from the things which he suffered. For as with regard to that will which led him to a holy life, he did not have it as a human being of himself, but of the Father; so also that will by which he desired to die for the accomplishment of so great good, he could not have had but from the Father of lights, from whom is every good and perfect gift. And as the Father is said to draw by imparting an inclination, so there is nothing improper in asserting that he moves man. For as the Son says of the Father: "No man cometh to me except the Father draw him," he might as well have said, except he move him. In like manner, also, could he have declared: "No man layeth down his life for my sake, except the Father move or draw him." For since a man is drawn or moved by his will to that which he invariably chooses, it is not improper to say that God draws or moves him when he gives him this will. And in this drawing or impelling it is not to be understood that there is any constraint, but a free and grateful clinging to the holy will which has been given. If then it cannot be denied that the Father drew or moved the Son to death by giving him that will; who does not see that, in the same manner, he gave him commandment to endure death of his own accord and to take the cup, which he freely drank. And if it is right to say that the Son spared not himself, but gave himself for us of his own will, who will deny that it is right to say that the Father, of whom he had this will, did not spare him but gave him up for us, and desired his death? In this way, also, by following the will received from the Father invariably, and of his own accord, the Son became obedient to Him, even unto death; and learned obedience from the things which he suffered; that is, be learned how great was the work to be accomplished by obedience. For this is real and sincere obedience when a rational being, not of compulsion, but freely, follows the will received from God. In other ways, also, we can properly explain the Father's desire that the Son should die, though these would appear sufficient. For as we say that he desires a thing who causes another to desire it; so, also, we say that he desires a thing who approves of the desire of another, though he does not cause that desire. Thus when we see a man who desires to endure pain with fortitude for the accomplishment of some good design; though we acknowledge that we wish to have him endure that pain, yet we do not choose, nor take pleasure in, his suffering, but in his choice. We are, also, accustomed to say that he who can prevent a thing but does not, desires the thing which he does not prevent. Since, therefore, the will of the Son pleased the Father, and be did not prevent him from choosing, or from fulfilling his choice, it is proper to say that he wished the Son to endure death so piously and for so great an object, though he was not pleased with his suffering. Moreover, he said that the cup must not pass from him, except he drank it, not because he could not have escaped death had he chosen to; but because, as has been said, the world could not otherwise be saved; and it was his fixed choice to stiffer death, rather than that the world should not be saved. It was for this reason, also, that he used those words, viz., to teach the human race that there was no other salvation for them but by his death; and not to show that he had no power at all to avoid death. For whatsoever things are said of him, similar to these which have been mentioned, they are all to be explained in accordance with the belief that he died, not by compulsion, but of free choice. For he was omnipotent, and it is said of him, when he was offered up, that he desired it. And he says himself: "I lay down my life that I may take it again; no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." A man cannot, therefore, be properly said to have been driven to a thing which he does of his own power and will.

Boso. But this simple fact, that God allows him to be so treated, even if he were willing, does not seem becoming for such a Father in respect to such a Son.

Anselm.. Yes, it is of all things most proper that such a Father should acquiesce with such a Son in his desire, if it be praiseworthy as relates to the honor of God, and useful for man's salvation, which would not otherwise be effected.

Boso. The question which still troubles us is, how the death of the Son can be proved reasonable and necessary. For otherwise, it does not seem that the Son ought to desire it, or the Father compel or permit it. For the question is, why God could not save man in some other way, and if so, why he wished to do it in this way? For it both seems unbecoming for God to have saved man in this way; and it is not clear how the death of the Son avails for the salvation of man. For it is a strange thing if God so delights in, or requires, the blood of the innocent, that he neither chooses, nor is able, to spare the guilty without the sacrifice of the innocent.

Anselm.. Since, in this inquiry, you take the place of those who are unwilling to believe anything not previously proved by reason, I wish to have it understood between us that we do not admit anything in the least unbecoming to be ascribed to the Deity, and that we do not reject the smallest reason if it be not opposed by a greater. For as it is impossible to attribute anything in the least unbecoming to God; so any reason, however small, if not overbalanced by a greater, has the force of necessity.

Boso. In this matter, I accept nothing more willingly than that this agreement should be preserved between us in common.

Anselm.. The question concerns only the incarnation of God, and those things which we believe with regard to his taking human nature.

Boso. It is so.

Anselm.. Let us suppose, then, that the incarnation of God, and the things that we affirm of him as man, had never taken place; and be it agreed between us that man was made for happiness, which cannot be attained in this life, and that no being can ever arrive at happiness, save by freedom from sin, and that no man passes this life without sin. Let us take for granted, also, the other things, the belief of which is necessary for eternal salvation.

Boso. I grant it; for in these there is nothing which seems unbecoming or impossible for God.

Anselm.. Therefore, in order that man may attain happiness, remission of sin is necessary.

Boso. We all hold this.

 

... to be continued


Source.

St. Anselm: Proslogium; Monologium: An Appendix In Behalf Of The Fool By Gaunilo; And Cur Deus Homo, Translated From The Latin By Sidney Norton Deane, B. A. With An Introduction, Bibliography, And Reprints Of The Opinions Of Leading Philosophers And Writers On The Ontological Argument, (Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,, 1903, reprinted 1926)





TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS:
Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became Man) is the first major theological work in the West that followed the Great Schism of 1054. This book is a major contribution to the theology of Atonement.

I plan to publish it for discussion in short installments as Catholic-Orthodox caucus threads. All Christians as well as non-Christians are very welcome, but I ask all to maintain the caucus discipline: no interconfessional attacks, no personal attacks, and no off-topic posts. Avoid mentioning confessions outside of the caucus for any reason.

Previous: Cur Deus Homo VI-VIII: Is God Omnipotent and Wise? (Cath-Orth caucus)

1 posted on 05/14/2007 3:42:08 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Andrew Byler; Blogger; Forest Keeper; Huber; jo kus; Kolokotronis; kosta50; Mad Dawg; NYer; ...
Write to me if you want in or out on this St. Anselm ping list.

The summary:

***

As Christ is sinless, the Father did not compel Him to die but rather, Christ wished to die on His own free will.

God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will, not yielding up his life as an act of obedience, but on account of his obedience in maintaining holiness

As a figure of speech, it can be said that the Father moved Christ to His death, as the Father gave the Son the gift of obedience to the Father's will. However, the way in which the Father moved Christ did not overcome Christ's free will.

... in this drawing or impelling it is not to be understood that there is any constraint, but a free and grateful clinging to the holy will which has been given. If then it cannot be denied that the Father drew or moved the Son to death by giving him that will; who does not see that, in the same manner, he gave him commandment to endure death of his own accord and to take the cup, which he freely drank. And if it is right to say that the Son spared not himself, but gave himself for us of his own will, who will deny that it is right to say that the Father, of whom he had this will, did not spare him but gave him up for us, and desired his death? In this way, also, by following the will received from the Father invariably, and of his own accord, the Son became obedient to Him, even unto death; and learned obedience from the things which he suffered; that is, be learned how great was the work to be accomplished by obedience.

Now we understand how the will of the Father and of the Son interacted in the Incarnation and the Passion. In the next installment we will inquire into their necessity:

The question which still troubles us is, how the death of the Son can be proved reasonable and necessary.

2 posted on 05/14/2007 3:56:08 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will...

Hmmm...it sounds as if what is being said here is that God the Father plan was based upon what the Son was willing to do of His own will. Is this correct?

3 posted on 05/14/2007 4:48:02 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
Well, I agree with you that the sentence is problematic. I balk at the idea of the Son being willing to do something "of His own will."

What does Anselm mean by "obedience in maintaining holiness"?

4 posted on 05/14/2007 7:27:06 PM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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To: HarleyD; Mad Dawg
God the Father plan was based upon what the Son was willing to do of His own will

Yes, this is my understanding of what St. Anselm is saying here. However, consider:

he had agreed with the Father and the Holy Spirit, that there was no other way to reveal to the world the height of his omnipotence, than by his death.

and also

he speaks of the will of the Father, not because the Father preferred the death of the Son to his life; but because the Father was not willing to rescue the human race, unless man were to do even as great a thing as was signified in the death of Christ.

The conclusion seems to be that the necessity of the Incarnation and Passion was understood by both, just like you and I might independently understand an engineering dilemma in the same way, because of our exalted knowledge of the problem. If then I act on the problem on my own will in accordance with your understanding, then it cannot be said that you compelled me to do it.

5 posted on 05/14/2007 7:49:55 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; Mad Dawg
...just like you and I might independently understand an engineering dilemma in the same way, because of our exalted knowledge of the problem. If then I act on the problem on my own will in accordance with your understanding, then it cannot be said that you compelled me to do it.

This gets into the thinking and workings of the Trinity, which in itself is difficult to comprehend. However, it would seem to me there is a greater argument that the Son understood what the Father wished for Him to do and was submissive in carrying out the Father's will. I would go back to the Nicene Creed which states the Son proceeded from the Father. This, to me would indicate that all things, including God's will, generates from the Father down. I would also point to Isaiah 53:10 that it "pleased the LORD to bruise him" which seems to be at odds with Anselm's conclusion that this idea was generated from the Son.

I question whether the Son (and the Holy Spirit) would have to "agree" with the Father which sounds like some sort of council. I would say they are always in agreement which is the will of the Father. Their very nature, that of being God, understands the will of God the Father. Therefore, the will of God the Father was always to have His Son die, and the Son, understanding this will, was submissive unto death.

6 posted on 05/15/2007 5:07:11 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; annalex; Mad Dawg
That is one of the mysteries of the Trinity. The Son did accept the will of the Father. We all agree on that. If the Son could have not done so is a kind of interesting speculative problem.
7 posted on 05/15/2007 5:59:19 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum; HarleyD; annalex; Kolokotronis
HarleyD saith:
I question whether the Son (and the Holy Spirit) would have to "agree" with the Father which sounds like some sort of council. I would say they are always in agreement which is the will of the Father.

One way I try to work through the Trinity is to examine the complementary statements. And here HarleyD is clearly on the money. It's inconceivable tht the Son would disagree with the Father.

On the flipahdeedoodah side, trying to draw and work with the distinction between agreeing "just because" that's what the Father wants as opposed to agreeing "on the merits" is also hard for me. In the first way, can we usefully conjecture about the Father willing something that wasn't good "on the merits"? In the second way, does the Son do anything whatsoever "on His own"? Or does even the Son's perception and assessment of the goodness of anything come in loving assent to the Father?

Then again, I'm not sure that I understand correctly the problem that Anselm is trying to resolve. I always get dizzy when we start looking at the Trinity.

Pinging Kolo for some Oriental wisdom.

8 posted on 05/15/2007 6:45:37 AM PDT by Mad Dawg ( St. Michael: By the power of God, fight with us!)
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To: Mad Dawg; redgolum; HarleyD; annalex
"Pinging Kolo for some Oriental wisdom."

"You ask what is the procession of the Holy Spirit? Do you tell me first what is the unbegottenness of the Father, and I will then explain to you the physiology of the generation of the Son, and the procession of the Spirit, and we shall both of us be stricken with madness for prying into the mystery of God." +Gregory the Theologian

Best I can do on short notice. I'd suggest that this is good advice, however. Beware! :)

9 posted on 05/15/2007 7:45:18 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Mad Dawg
Well, I balk at the idea of the Son being willing to do something "of His own will."
A lot depends on whether we're speaking of Christ's divine or human will.
10 posted on 05/15/2007 11:15:16 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: HarleyD
God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will...

Hmmm...it sounds as if what is being said here is that God the Father plan was based upon what the Son was willing to do of His own will. Is this correct?

That would be in agreement with Jesus oft repeated statement that He came to do the Will of the Father.

John 5:30

30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

11 posted on 05/15/2007 4:43:41 PM PDT by Risky-Riskerdo
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To: Risky-Riskerdo
My statement wasn’t clear. Anselm is saying that God the Father’s plan was essentially to acquiesce to the will of the Son, who agreed to do the Father’s will. The Father wanted a perfect sacrifice and Christ was willing to be the perfect sacrifice because God the Father wanted it. To put it in very primitive human terms; the Father said He wanted a perfect sacrifice and Christ said he would be that sacrifice.

I would suggest that the Father’s will was the death of the Son and the Son knew that was what God's (Father) will was and it was His (Son) will. There is no discussion. The will of the Father and the Son was one of the same. Your verse points that out.

12 posted on 05/15/2007 6:12:34 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
Isn't the MAIN deal that the relationship within the Trinity is Love?

I was just reading about + Elizabeth Seton and one of her big concerns was, "First: we should do what God wants, second: we should do it in that manner in which He wants it done and third (here's the kicker) We should do it because it is His will."

Here her standard is obedience, not because it's good for you to exercise and eat well (though it is) but because God wills it. Our obedience comes from our Love (which comes from grace and all that, but that's another part of the discussion.)

Anselm is saying that God the Father’s plan was essentially to acquiesce to the will of the Son, who agreed to do the Father’s will.
Okay, treat me like the idiot I am, please. Is it as though there were this conversation:

Father: I want to save the WORLD.
Son: Well, I want what you want, whatever it is.
Father: Well I think the way we do it is You die for their sins.
Son: Okay.
or is it, more like:

Father: I want to save the WORLD.
Son: Well, I want what you want, whatever it is, and if you wanted me to die for their sins, I'd even do that.
Father: Well then, I think that's the way we're going to do it. We'll do it that way.
Or is this just so off base that I should go out and jump off a cliff?
13 posted on 05/16/2007 5:38:14 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Those Christians - how they HATE one another!)
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To: Mad Dawg
Isn't the MAIN deal that the relationship within the Trinity is Love?

Is it as though there were this conversation: Father: I want to save the WORLD. Son: Well, I want what you want, whatever it is.


14 posted on 05/16/2007 9:07:07 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
My statement wasn’t clear. Anselm is saying that God the Father’s plan was essentially to acquiesce to the will of the Son, who agreed to do the Father’s will. The Father wanted a perfect sacrifice and Christ was willing to be the perfect sacrifice because God the Father wanted it. To put it in very primitive human terms; the Father said He wanted a perfect sacrifice and Christ said he would be that sacrifice.

I would suggest that the Father’s will was the death of the Son and the Son knew that was what God's (Father) will was and it was His (Son) will. There is no discussion. The will of the Father and the Son was one of the same. Your verse points that out.

I think your post was clear enough, and I agree.

15 posted on 05/16/2007 9:15:26 AM PDT by Risky-Riskerdo
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To: HarleyD
I would say that Christ not only knew the Father’s will but it was His will as well. The wills are the same.
According to the one divine will, only the Son became man, so only the Son has a human will. Anselm seems to be exploring Christ's obedient submission of his human will to the one divine will.
16 posted on 05/16/2007 11:26:08 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
Anselm seems to be exploring Christ's obedient submission of his human will to the one divine will.

I thought about that and I think you have a point in some of the writings above. Anselm states the following:

Leaving aside the discussion of the divine will, if I read Anselm correctly, he is saying that God the Father gave the Son His human will so that the Son would be obedient onto death. Consequently, although the Son had a free choice in the matter of His death, it was a “fixed” choice. God had a mission for Christ, Christ had both a divine and human will, but both wills (the divine and the human) were focus on one objective; to accomplish the mission of the cross. Thus, Christ freely chose what was fixed from God.
17 posted on 05/16/2007 12:19:26 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
Consequently, although the Son had a free choice in the matter of His death, it was a “fixed” choice.... Thus, Christ freely chose what was fixed from God.
I regret that I cannot find the Latin original so I could see what word is translated as "fixed." My educated guess is that Anselm used the past participle of the verb figere (to fasten). (Cf. the past passive participle of the compound verb crucifixus, meaning to be fastened on a cross.)

Latin participles are non-finite (i.e. they are not inflected as to subject) verbal adjectives; consequently, assuming the past participle of figere, there is no subject to whom we can attribute Christ's "fixed choice." So, as I understand Anselm, Christ's "fixed choice" was a resolute human choice (or if you prefer, a decision) to suffer death, as opposed to a predetermined divine choice.

18 posted on 05/16/2007 2:00:31 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: HarleyD
Forgive my double post, but I neglected to make my point when I introduced the reference to the compound word crucifixus -- I believe that Anselm was making a pun by saying that "it was his fixed choice to suffer death [on the cross]."
19 posted on 05/16/2007 2:10:53 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
Your point is possible. I have tried to research this but have been unsuccessful. However, Anselm's statement about the "fixed" choice is consistent with Anselm claim that God the Father gave Christ His human will and Christ merely followed this will.

Anselm clearly states that God drew and move Christ's human will since God the Father gave Christ that will.

20 posted on 05/16/2007 5:25:45 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
There's no division of wills among the Godhead. Christ's obedience and sacrifice were ordained from before the foundation of the world.

"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." -- Isaiah 53:2-11

"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." -- John 12:49

21 posted on 05/16/2007 6:08:03 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: HarleyD; Mad Dawg; redgolum; Kolokotronis; eastsider; Risky-Riskerdo; Dr. Eckleburg
I apologize for delay in responding: went to church, then no boat...

Therefore, the will of God the Father was always to have His Son die

and in another post

The will of the Father and the Son was one of the same.

For one thing, Christ does distinguish between His will and the Father's: "not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).

The issue is whether the Father wanted Christ to die or whether the Father wanted our salvation and Christ the Man willed to die to make it happen. The central part of the discourse is where St. Anselm gives us the analogy of the crossing of the river, and of eating following church attendance. In the crossing of the river, he says, the will is to cross it and the boat is the fitting way to do it. There might be other ways, for example, on horseback, that for whatever reason are not fitting (perhaps, there is too much baggage, the person doing the crossing is not strong enough to ride, etc.) By choosing to wait for the boat the traveler does not wish the boat, he wishes to cross and the boat is a fitting means. In another example, when we delay the meal till after mass we cannot call the mass a means to have a dinner.

With these distinctions in mind, St. Anselm is able to conclude

Christ, therefore, came not to do his own will, but that of the Father; for his holy will was not derived from his humanity, but from his divinity. For that sentence: "God spared not his own Son, but gave him up for us all," means nothing more than that he did not rescue him. For there are found in the Bible many things like this. Again, when he says: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as you will ;" and "If this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, your will be done;" he signifies by his own will the natural desire of safety, in accordance with which human nature shrank from the anguish of death. But he speaks of the will of the Father, not because the Father preferred the death of the Son to his life; but because the Father was not willing to rescue the human race, unless man were to do even as great a thing as was signified in the death of Christ. Since reason did not demand of another what he could not do, therefore, the Son says that he desires his own death. For he preferred to suffer, rather than that the human race should be lost; as if he were to say to the Father: "Since you do not desire the reconciliation of the world to take place in any other way, in this respect, I see that you desirest my death; let your will, therefore, be done, that is, let my death take place, so that the world may be reconciled to you." For we often say that one desires a thing, because he does not choose something else, the choice of which would preclude the existence of that which he is said to desire; for instance, when we say that he who does not choose to close the window through which the draft is admitted which puts out the light, wishes the light to be extinguished. So the Father desired the death of the Son, because he was not willing that the world should be saved in any other way, except by man's doing so great a thing as that which I have mentioned. And this, since none other could accomplish it, availed as much with the Son, who so earnestly desired the salvation of man, as if the Father had commanded him to die; and, therefore, "as the Father gave him commandment, so he did, and the cup which the Father gave to him he drank, being obedient even unto death."

22 posted on 05/17/2007 7:20:54 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; HarleyD
I see that you desirest my death;

In kvetch mode here: I'm pretty sure "you desirest" is not English. Maybe it's Elizabethan Ebonics or something? Generally we have to choose between "THOU desirest" or "you DESIRE", since "you" is plural and "desirest" is singular.

Yeah, clearly the Agony in the garden brings the hypostatic union into the consideration. I don't see how one can talk about The economy of the Trinity w/o bringing the two natures/one person stuff into it sooner or later.

I think the reason I brought Elisabeth Seton into it was to help me see that the "personal" language of "doing what you [the Father] want because it's you that want it," rather than because of the equally true statement that it's a good thing to do "which I know because you could never want anything NOT GOOD)

This is SUCH a good thread!

23 posted on 05/18/2007 3:24:37 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Those Christians - how they HATE one another!)
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To: annalex; Mad Dawg; redgolum; Kolokotronis; eastsider; Risky-Riskerdo; Dr. Eckleburg
For one thing, Christ does distinguish between His will and the Father's: "not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). The issue is whether the Father wanted Christ to die or whether the Father wanted our salvation and Christ the Man willed to die to make it happen.

Yes, I would agree with part of your post. I believe that Anselm, correctly, believed the Father's and the Son's will were unique but consistent. In order for the wills to have been consistent, both wills would have to want the Son to die to the exact same degree, although how that would be expressed by the Father and the Son would be different. Moreover, and most importantly, Anselm makes the case that the Father gave the Son His human will with this purpose in mind so that it would remain steadfast to accomplishing the divine will. As Anselm states:


24 posted on 05/18/2007 4:46:50 AM PDT by HarleyD (Jihadist for Jesus)
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To: HarleyD; Risky-Riskerdo; 1000 silverlings; Gamecock; topcat54
I think when Scripture speaks of Christ saying "Not as I will, but as thou wilt," God is giving us a glimpse into predestination and just what "free will" really consists of. The humanity of Christ might be able to present itself as capable of doing anything He wanted, but in reality, Christ could and would only do what God the Father purposed for Him to do from before creation...lay down His life for His flock.

Our "free will" is like that, too. While it feels like we're acting according to our own reasoning and efforts, we are actually and completely carrying out God's plan for His creation, all ordained by God down to the very hairs on our head.

And because Jesus Christ is God, He knows this full well. Isaiah 53 tells us exactly what God's intentions are in Christ's birth, death and resurrection...

"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." -- Isaiah 53:2-12

Christ had to doubt and suffer and agonize because He was doing everything we should have done due to our many sins. God's perfect justice requires perfect recompense and as God tells us, we are incapable of giving it to Him. Only God Himself is equal to the task of wiping us clean by the blood of His Son. Christ became man to show man just how short he falls and just how far God will go to redeem His flock.

"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities" -- Isaiah 53:11
Breathtaking, isn't it?
25 posted on 05/18/2007 10:45:56 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Risky-Riskerdo; 1000 silverlings; Gamecock; topcat54
God is giving us a glimpse into predestination ...The humanity of Christ might be able to present itself as capable of doing anything He wanted, but in reality, Christ could and would only do what God the Father purposed for Him to do from before creation...lay down His life for His flock.

I believe that is what Anselm was getting at when he stated:

But I wasn't gonig to say anything. ;O)
26 posted on 05/18/2007 11:38:21 AM PDT by HarleyD (Jihadist for Jesus)
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To: HarleyD

“...his fixed choice...”

Great phrase.


27 posted on 05/18/2007 11:42:49 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD

This is a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus thread.


28 posted on 05/18/2007 11:49:02 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; HarleyD
Thank you for that reminder. I didn't realize that. I'm posting in a hurry and missed the designation. I don't think we posted anything controversial. Should we not post to caucus threads? If not, I'm happy to oblige.

Thanks again for the correction. And apologies to all if I wasn't supposed to post on this thread.

29 posted on 05/18/2007 11:57:21 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Should we not post to caucus threads?

Some caucus hosts object when a poster of another confession shows up, even if (s)he behaves as if in the other's church. Some don't.
30 posted on 05/18/2007 12:01:20 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator; HarleyD; annalex
FWIW

IMHO, the point of this thread is to understand Anselm and to do a sort of compare/contrast or "highlight the tricky/controversial bits" NOT to say, "I'm right and he's wrong for this that and the other reason."

According to my increasingly fallible recollection, among the antecedents to this series of posts were earlier conversations/threads where different views of the "Work of Christ" were presented, with considerable heat and not so much light. So at least as far as I'm concerned the value here is to look at an early scholastic apology and to stack it up against other attempts to understand just what it is Christ did and why.

So as long as the posts are along the lines of "Oh, So I guess Anselm thinks this, and I think that, and look at this interesting and possibly important difference," I personally wouldn't object to any poster.

31 posted on 05/18/2007 12:30:05 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Those Christians - how they HATE one another!)
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To: Religion Moderator; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD

I clarified in my posting comment that I welcome everyone, so long as the posts stay on topic and avoid confrontational tone. I welcome specifically this discussion of free will to be open to non-Caucus members, as it is at the heart of many divisions in the Christian community.


32 posted on 05/18/2007 1:06:49 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Religion Moderator; Dr. Eckleburg; annalex; Mad Dawg
My goal is to understand what Anselm is saying. I’m not interested (at least not on this thread) about discussing doctrinal difference. Normally I don’t bother with caucus threads but annelex posting of Anselm’s writings intrigued me. I have been wanting to read his works since they are referenced by a number of authors from various groups of Christians. He is a focus point of many. I'm not interested in pointing out where I might disagree with him but where I want to understand what he is saying.

If the purpose of a caucus thread is simply to read a piece of work without comment then I’m in the wrong place. If the purpose is to explore what is written by theologians, then I would say that I have tried to keep within those parameters.

If you want me to go, I will go.

33 posted on 05/18/2007 1:43:54 PM PDT by HarleyD (Jihadist for Jesus)
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To: Mad Dawg; HarleyD
Elizabethan Ebonics

Wilhelmian? Rufian?



King William II, Rufus
1087 - 1100

It is his death that enabled St. Anselm to wrap up the book we are discussing and attempt to return to England for more practical pursuits. It did not work out for him, as under William II's successor, King Henry I, the investiture controversy raged on. (Wiki)

It is not the first time that I see typos, but I would attribute them to a transcribing error. This one looks like originating form the translator himself, esteemed Sidney Norton Deane, B. A.

34 posted on 05/18/2007 4:28:09 PM PDT by annalex
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To: HarleyD; Mad Dawg; redgolum; Kolokotronis; eastsider; Risky-Riskerdo; Dr. Eckleburg
In order for the wills to have been consistent, both wills would have to want the Son to die to the exact same degree, although how that would be expressed by the Father and the Son would be different

Anselm would disagree, as he expressly says "God did not, therefore, compel Christ to die; but he suffered death of his own will"; and then he proceeds to explain how "wish to die" means two different things with respect to the Father (who "desired the death of the Son, because he was not willing that the world should be saved in any other way") and the son (who "so earnestly desired the salvation of man, as if the Father had commanded him to die"). The Father's wish for Jesus to die is permissive and not compelling, and Jesus's human will is active and compels Him to undertake steps He knows will lead to the Cross.

35 posted on 05/18/2007 5:09:56 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Risky-Riskerdo; 1000 silverlings; Gamecock; topcat54
all ordained by God

This view does not overcome Boso's objection, "if man had not sinned, God ought not to compel him to die", does it?

36 posted on 05/18/2007 5:15:53 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Wilhelmian? Rufian?

Well, yeah, as far as when Anselm wrote is concerned but not for the language the translator is trying to speak in. Deane did the first edition in, what, 1903?

Anyway, I now have Deane at my elbow. That's what we read in collitch back in the 60's. They wrote some right nasty fake Elizabethan at the turn on the last century. I have an Elder Edda that would make me gag if the thing weren't so fascinating.

37 posted on 05/18/2007 6:43:21 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Those Christians - how they HATE one another!)
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To: HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; annalex; Mad Dawg
annalex is the host and welcomes you to the caucus - so everything is fine.

Just a caution to everyone: participate in a caucus thread as if it were a meeting behind the closed church doors of the caucus confession.

38 posted on 05/18/2007 8:26:03 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: annalex
The question which still troubles us is, how the death of the Son can be proved reasonable and necessary.

Thank you for pinging me to these, Alex. I will be interested to see the answer to this. I'd also like to know what the view is on the operation of the two wills of Christ. In this installment it appears to concentrate on Christ's human will. Probably most Christians say some version of "the wills worked in harmony", but I'm not sure how that actually manifested itself. For example, when Jesus contemplated the cup, did He really defer to His own divine will, or did He wholly and separately defer to the Father's will? Or, if it's all the same, does it still count as an exercise of free will that we can identify with?

39 posted on 05/19/2007 3:44:16 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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To: annalex
all ordained by God

This view does not overcome Boso's objection, "if man had not sinned, God ought not to compel him to die", does it?

Doing theology from silence and hypotheticals is never good idea.

40 posted on 05/20/2007 5:00:08 PM PDT by Risky-Riskerdo
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To: Forest Keeper
From Aquinas' Catena Aurea on the Book of Matthew, Mt 26:42.

Origen: He took with Him the self-confident Peter, and the others, that they might see Him falling on His face and praying, and might learn not to think great things, but little things of themselves, and not to be hasty in promising, but careful in prayer. And therefore, “He went forward a little,” not to go far from them, but that He might be near them in His prayer.

Also, He who had said above, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart,” now commendably humbling Himself, falls on His face. But He shews His devotion in His prayer, and as beloved and well-pleasing to His Father, He adds, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” teaching us that we should pray, not that our own will, but that God’s will, should be done.

And as He began to have fear and sorrow, He prays accordingly that the cup of His Passion may pass from Him, yet not as He wills, but as His Father wills; wills, that is, not according to His Divine and impassible Substance, but according to His human and weak nature. For in taking upon Him the nature of human flesh, He fulfilled all the properties thereof, that it might be seen that He had flesh not in appearance only, but in reality.

The believer indeed must in the first instance be loth to incur pain, seeing it leads to death, and he is a man of flesh; but if it be God’s will, he acquiesces because he is a believer. For as we ought not to be too confident that we may not seem to make a boast of our own strength; so neither ought we to be distrustful, lest we should seem to charge God our helper with weakness.

It is to be observed that Mark and Luke write the same, but John does not introduce this prayer of Jesus’, that this cup may pass from Him, because the first three are rather occupied about Him, according to His human nature, John according to His divine.

Otherwise; Jesus makes this petition, because He sees what the Jews will suffer for requiring His death.

Jerome: Whence He says emphatically, “This cup,” that is, of this people of the Jews, who, if they shall put Me to death, can have no excuse for their ignorance, seeing they have the Law and the Prophets,910 who speak of Me.

Origen: Then again considering the benefit that would accrue to the whole world from His Passion, He says, “But not as I will, but as thou wilt;” i.e. If it be possible for all these benefits which shall result from My Passion to be procured without it, let it pass from Me, and both the world be saved, and the Jews not be condemned in putting Me to death.

But if the salvation of many cannot be procured without the destruction of a few, saving Thy justice, let it not pass away. Scripture, in many places, speaks of passion as a cup that is drained; and it is drained by him, who in testimony suffers whatever is inflicted upon him. He sheds it, on the contrary, who denies in order to avoid suffering.

Aug., de Cons. Ev., iii, 4: And that none might think that He limited His Father’s power, He said not, “If thou canst do it,” but “If it may be,” or, “If it be possible;” as much as to say, If thou wilt. For whatever God wills can be done, as Luke expresses more plainly; for he says not, “If it be possible,” but “If thou wilt.”

Hilary: Otherwise; He says not, Let this cup pass away from Me, for that would be the speech of one who feared it; but He prays that it may pass not so as that He should be passed over, but that when it has passed from Him, it may go to another. His whole fear then is for those who were to suffer, and therefore He prays for those who were to suffer after Him, saying, “Let this cup pass from me,” i.e. as it is drunk by Me, so let it be drunk by these, without mistrust, without sense of pain, without fear of death. He says, “If it be possible,” because flesh and blood shrink from these things, and it is hard for human bodies not to sink beneath their infliction. That He says, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” He would fain indeed that they should not suffer, lest their faith should fail in their sufferings, if indeed we might attain to the glory of our joint inheritance with Him without the hardship of sharing in His Passion.

He says, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt,” because it is the Father’s will that strength to drink of the cup should pass from Him to them, that the Devil might be vanquished not so much by Christ as by His disciples also.

Aug., in Ps. 32, enar. 2: Christ thus as man shews a certain private human will, in which He who is our head figures both His own will and ours when He says, “Let it pass from me.” For this was His human will911 choosing something as apart for Himself. But because as man He would be righteous and guide Himself by God’s will, He adds, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt;” as much as to say to us, Man, behold thyself in Me, that thou canst will somewhat apart of thyself, and though God’s will is other, this is permitted to human frailty.

Leo, Serm., 58, 5: This speech of the Head is the health of the whole body, this saying is instruction to the faithful, animates the confessor, crowns the martyr. For who could vanquish the hatred of the world, or the whirlwind of temptations, or the terrors of the persecutors, if Christ did not in all and for all say to the Father, “Thy will be done.”

Let all the sons of the Church then utter this prayer, that when the pressure of some mighty temptation lies upon them, they may embrace endurance of the suffering, disregarding its terrors.

It seems, all agree that Christ speaks of His human will, and also as an example to us.
41 posted on 05/21/2007 4:23:03 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Next installment: Cur Deus Homo XI-XIV: God's Honor, Compassion, and Justice (Cath-Orth caucus).
42 posted on 05/23/2007 12:32:00 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
It seems, all agree that Christ speaks of His human will, and also as an example to us.

Yes, I fully agree. Thank you for these passages.

43 posted on 05/25/2007 11:50:16 PM PDT by Forest Keeper (It is a joy to me to know that God had my number, before He created numbers.)
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