The defect of the old view was, then, as I have said, that it could not couple up justification and sanctification. It could not show how the same act of Christ which delivered from the guilt of sin delivered also from its power. And this was because in the justification too much stress was laid upon the suffering; and suffering in itself has no sanctifying power. You see how our practical experience, when it is well noted, provides our theological principles. We do find that suffering by itself debases, and even imbrutes, instead of purifying; that pain is an occasion rather than a cause of profit. That is a moral principle of spiritual experience. Consequently when excessive attention was given to the suffering of Christ, and the atoning value was supposed to reside there instead of in the holy obedience, the work of Christ lost in purifying and sanctifying effect, whatever it may have done in pacifying or converting. The atoning thing being the holy obedience to the Holy, the same holiness which satisfied God sanctifies us. That is the idea the Reformers did not grasp through their preoccupation with Christ’s sufferings. But it is the only idea which unites justification and sanctification and both with redemption. For the holiness which satisfied God and sanctifies us also destroyed the evil power in the world and its hold on us. It was the moral conquest of the world’s evil, amid the extreme conditions of sin and suffering, by a Victor who had a capital solidarity with the race, and not merely an individual connection with it as a member. So that it has been said that we must explain and correct current ideas of substitutionary expiation by the idea of solidary reparation. The curse on man was the guilty power of sin and its train – hitherto invincible. There was but one way in which this could be mastered. A moral curse could be mastered only in a purely moral way, the world-curse by the world-conscience. It could be mastered but by One whose sinlessness was not only negatively proof against all that sin could do, but positively holy; and He was thus deadly to sin, satisfactory to God’s loving judgment, and creative of a new humanity in the heart of the old. This was a task beyond mere substitutionary penal suffering as that phrase is now so poorly understood. For that would have been just and effectual only if it had fallen on the arch-rebel, who, with the nobility of Milton’s Satan in his first stage, assumed himself all the worst consequences of his revolt to spare the other souls whom he had misled.

The truth is that Anselm, in spite of the unspeakable service he did both to the faith and thought of his time and all time, yet put theology on a false track in this matter. He had too much to say of a superethical tribute paid to God’s honor by the composition of a voluntary suffering. Our sin was compounded rather than really atoned. He did not grasp the sacrifice of Christ as made to God’s holiness; as one therefore which could only be ethical in its nature, by way of holy obedience. This obedience was the Holy Father’s joy and satisfaction. He found Himself in it. And it was also the foiling and destruction of the evil power. And it was farther the creative source of holiness in a race not only impressed by the spectacle of its tragic hero victorious, but regenerate by the solidarity of a new life from its creative Head. The work of Christ was thus in the same act triumphant on evil, satisfying to the heart of God, and creative to the conscience of man by virtue of His solidarity with God on the one side, and on the other with the race. He subdued Satan, rejoiced the Father, and set up in Humanity the kingdom – all in one supreme and consummate act of His one person. He destroyed the kingdom of evil, not by way of preparation for the kingdom of God, but by actually establishing God’s kingdom in the heart of it. And He rejoiced, filled, and satisfied the heart of God, not by a statutory obedience, or by one private to Himself, which spectacle disposed God to bless and sanctify man; but by presenting in the compendious compass of His own person a Humanity presanctified by the irresistible power of His own creative and timeless work.