Adam's Sin Was Punished in Christ Because The Legitimate Authority of the Roman Emperor Had Rightful Jurisdiction Over Jesus Christ

And if the Roman empire was not based on right, Adam's sin was not punished in Christ; but this is false; therefore the contradictory of the proposition from which it follows is true.

That the consequent is false can be demonstrated as follows: since by Adam's sin we were all sinners, in the words of the Apostle "As by one man sin entered this world, and through sin, death, so death entered into all men, in as much as all sinned"; if satisfaction for that sin had not been made by the death of Christ, we would still be "the children of wrath by nature", that is by our corrupted nature.

But this is not the case, since the Apostle speaking of the Father in Ephesians says: "He has predestined us, according to the determination of his will, to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ unto him, to the praise and glory of his grace, with which he favoured us in his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, by his blood, remission of sins in accordance with the riches of his glory which is superabundant in us"; and since Christ himself, suffering punishment in his own person, says in John: "It is finished"; for where something is finished, nothing remains to be done.

As regards the relationship of consequentiality, it must be borne in mind that "punishment" is not simply "a penalty imposed on one who does wrong", but "a penalty imposed on the wrong-doer by one who has the legal authority to punish him"; so that if the penalty is not imposed by an authorised judge, it is not a "punishment", but is more accurately termed a wrong. Hence the man said to Moses: "Who appointed you judge over us?".

Thus if Christ had not suffered under an authorised judge, that penalty would not have been a punishment. And no judge could be authorised unless he had jurisdiction over the whole of mankind, since the whole of mankind was punished in that flesh of Christ "who bore our sorrows", as the prophet says. And Tiberius Caesar, whose representative Pilate was, would not have had jurisdiction over the whole of mankind unless the Roman empire had existed by right.

This is why Herod, although he did not know what he was doing (any more than Caiaphas did when he spoke the truth by heavenly decree) sent Christ back to Pilate to be judged, as Luke relates in his Gospel. For Herod did not act as Tiberius' representative invested with the authority of the eagle or the authority of the senate, rather he governed as the king appointed by him over a particular kingdom, and invested with the authority of the kingdom which had been entrusted to him.

So let those who pass themselves off as sons of the church stop attacking the Roman empire, seeing that Christ the bridegroom sanctioned it in this way at the beginning and at the end of his earthly campaign. And I consider it now sufficiently proven that the Roman people took over the empire of the world by right.

O happy people, O glorious Ausonia, if only that man who weakened your empire had never been born, or at least had never been led astray by his own pious intentions.
Monarchia (II, xi, 1-8)


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