Anselm: The Beauty of the Gospel

“We are not doing God any injury or insult, but are wholeheartedly giving him thanks and praise, and proclaiming the ineffable profundity of his mercy. For God has shown the magnitude of his love and devotion towards us by the magnitude of his act in most wonderfully and unexpectedly saving us from the evils, so great and so deserved, by which we used to be beset, and returning us to the enjoyment of the good things, so great and so undeserved, which we had lost.

If then, they were to consider diligently how fitting it is that the restoration of mankind has been brought about in this way, they would not deride our simplicity, but would join us in praising God’s wise benevolence.

For it was appropriate that, just as death entered the human race through a man’s disobedience, so life should be restored through a man’s obedience; and that, just as the sin which was the cause of our damnation originated from a woman, similarly the originator of our justification and salvation should be born of a woman.

Also that the devil, who defeated the man whom he beguiled through the taste of a tree, should himself similarly be defeated by a man through tree-induced suffering which he, the devil, inflicted. There are many other things, too, which, if carefully considered, display the indescribable beauty of the fact that our redemption was procured in this way.”

-Anselm of Canterbury, Why God Became Man, Book 1, 3.

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