Friday, August 31, 2012

Marriage and the Cross

From a 16th century Italian book called "The Benefit of Christ's Death"

"We know that the custom of marriage is that two become one flesh; and the goods of both become common, so that the husband claims the dowry of the wife, and in like manner the wife claims the house and all the riches of the husband... In the same way God has married his most dearly-beloved Son with the faithful soul, who having nothing of her own but sin, the Son of God nevertheless has not disdained to take her for his well-beloved spouse. And by the uniting and knitting together of this most holy matrimony, the thing that belongs to the one becomes the other's, so that Christ says then, 'the dowry of the soul, my dearly-beloved spouse, that is to say, your sins, the transgression of the law, the wrath of God against you... the prison of hell and all your other evils, are now under my power, and are mine to order, and it is mine to do with the dowry whatever pleases me, and therefore I will cast it upon the alter of my cross, and make it of no further effect.'
God then seeing his Son all filled with the sin of his spouse, scourged him, and killed him upon a wooden cross; but he because he was his most dearly-beloved and obedient Son, he raised him again from death to life, and gave unto him all power in heaven and in earth, and has set him on his right hand. The spouse in like manner says with most hearty rejoicing, 'the realms and empires of my well-beloved husband are mine. I am queen and empress of heaven and earth, my husband's riches... his holiness, his innocency, his righteousness, his Godhead, with all his virtue and power, are my riches; and therefore I am holy, innocent, righteous, and godly; there is no spot in me...'"

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