There is no trace, as we have seen, of the notions of vicarious satisfaction, in the sense of our sins being imputed to Christ and His obedience imputed to us, which some of the Reformers made the very essence of Christianity; or, again, of the kindred notion that God was angry with His Son for our sakes, and inflicted on Him the punishment due to us; nor is Isaiah’s prophecy interpreted in this sense, as afterwards by Luther; on the contrary, there is much which expressly negatives this line of thought. There is no mention of the justice of God, in the forensic sense of the word; the Incarnation is invariably and exclusively ascribed to His love; the term satisfaction does not occur in this connection at all, and where Christ is said to suffer for us, ὑπὲρ (not ἀντί) is the word always used. It is not the payment of a debt, as in St. Anselm’s Cur Deus Homo, but the restoration of our fallen nature, that is prominent in the minds of these writers, as the main object of the Incarnation. They always speak, with Scripture, of our being reconciled to God, not of God being reconciled to us1
Yes, you Protestant heretics, oh yes.
- UM doctrine and atonement (johnmeunier.wordpress.com)
- Henry Nutcombe Oxenham, The Catholic Doctrine of the Atonement: An Historical Inquiry into Its Development in the Church: With an Introduction on the Principle of Theological Developments (Second Edition.; London: Wm. H. Allen & Co., 1869), 112–113. ↩