Bishop Grosseteste (+1253) – 16 arguments for the Incarnation even if Adam had not sinned

Bishop Robert Grosseteste (+1253) was an amazing figure in England during the scholastic period, both as Bishop of Lincoln and Professor of Theology at Oxford University. If you want to learn more about him or look up his writings (in Latin), there is an amazing website you can visit called Electronic Grosseteste.

In Part III of his volume De cessatione legalium – “On the Cessation of the Laws” he gives sixteen arguments for the Incarnation even if Adam had not sinned. As much as I would like to post all of his arguments here, it seems best to limit myself to a few highlights. Thanks to Dr. Stephen Hildebrand and CUA Press anyone who would like to read Bishop Grosseteste’s full presentation on the subject can purchase the English translation of this work here.

From the pen of Grosseteste:

“… let us suppose that man had not fallen and that God did not become man; the created universe would not be as good, as perfect, as beautiful as it is now, would it? …” (P.III, Ch.1, n.8)

“Again, when God, who is supremely generous and from whom envy is supremely banished, creates every kind of creature that can exist (in order to show that He, who must be participated in by every possible nature, Himself shares with each inasmuch as its nature can receive it), and does not leave even the nature of the insect or of some kind of fly or reptile uncreated, how will He not all the more make one Person to be God and man, that is, one Christ, because one Christ, God and man, is an incomparably greater good than all of creation by itself? He does not omit the nature of the insect lest the whole of creation be imperfect and less honorable; would He omit Christ, the greatest honor for all creation [if Adam had not sinned]? … How could He [Christ], being such, be omitted in such a way that He would never have existed if man had not sinned, when even the lowest species of reptile would not have been omitted?” (P.III, Ch.1, n.9)

“In addition, if there were not one Christ, that is, God and man in one Person, the Church would not have the head which it now has, nor would it be as the Apostle says, ‘The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church’ (Eph 5:23); and again, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God, but the Church would be headless and so would man.” (P.III, Ch.1, n.10)

“In addition, if the God-man, who suffered, through Himself justifies fallen man, and if this cause is precisely proportionate to this effect, then, if you take away the ‘fallen’ and ‘suffering,’ the precise cause of man’s justification, the God-man, will, it seems, remain. For if man had not sinned, he still would not be able to be just by himself, but would always need someone who is just by nature to justify him.” (P.III, Ch.1, n.11)

“What the Apostle says about Christ seems to contradict this line of thought [that we are justified by God, not the God-man], that for us He was made by God to be wisdom, justice, holiness and redemption (cf. 1 Cor 1:30). Therefore, He redeems, sanctifies, and infuses justice and wisdom according to His becoming [man], not because as God He infuses holiness, justice, and wisdom; rather, He does this only through the assumed man, because of whom He is the mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tm 2:5)…” (P.III, Ch.1, n.13)

“So then, if the formation of justice always happens in one way, because the cause of one thing is always one, justice always and simply descends from God through Christ, the God-man, into every rational creature who is made just. On account of this, it seems, angels and men are not justified from the beginning except through the Son of God, God and man…” (P.III, Ch.1, n.14).

A summary of Bishop Robert Grosseteste’s position on the primacy of Christ By Fr. Eric Wood will be posted soon…

Rev. Chris Webb – Christ in All Scriptures

In an earlier post I highlighted some inspired insights of Rev. Chris Webb (see HERE), an Anglican priest who embraces the Benedictine spirituality and promotes in a particular way the Lectio Divina. What is unique about Rev. Webb’s approach to reading the Bible is his Scotistic Christocentricism. He recently posted a piece called “Christ in All Scriptures” at Renovaré and gave me permission to repost it for your perusal. The following are his reflections:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. —Colossians 1:15-16

If the whole of creation entirely centered on Jesus, then we might reasonably expect to discover that Scripture is equally Christocentric. Not only that, but the idea of the Absolute Primacy of Christ could then become a compelling starting point for our interpretation of Scripture, especially when we approach Scripture with the desire, above all else, to find in it an encounter with God in Christ.

And in fact this was the way most Christians read the Bible for much of the Church’s two millennia long history. During one of his sermons on the Psalms, the fifth century African bishop Augustine of Hippo exhorted his congregation to “remember that God speaks only a single word throughout the length of Scripture, and that only one Word is heard from the many mouths of the sacred writers—the Word that was in the beginning, God with God.” Six centuries later the hugely influential Parisian abbot Hugh of St. Victor would write: “All sacred Scripture is but one book, and that one book is Christ, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ.”

These writers were developing a tradition that reaches right back to the New Testament period. Throughout the Gospels, the epistles, and the book of Revelation we see Jesus presented as the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures. We have often narrowed that focus by affirming that in Christ a specific collection of ancient biblical prophecies about the future came to pass; some even claim to be able to enumerate the number and sequence of such prophecies. But the apostles and the New Testament writers asserted so much more: for them, Jesus was the completion and fulfillment of all Scripture, of the whole Bible in its many varied aspects.

Think, for example, of Peter’s first sermon on the day of Pentecost. These few brief words draw together a collection of different texts from the Hebrew Bible—a passage from Joel and quotations from a couple of Psalms—and apply them all to Jesus. Two chapters later in Acts, Peter is confronting the Sanhedrin and quotes from another Psalm (“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the chief cornerstone,” Psalm 118:22) which, he asserts, speaks directly of Christ. In a prayer later in the same chapter the disciples apply yet another Psalm to Jesus, while in chapter seven Stephen, during his trial, draws whole sweeps of the Old Testament narrative into his interpretation of the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Philip hears an Ethiopian official reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah while traveling on the road to Gaza—“starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35). This same pattern continues throughout Acts: the Old Testament is constantly referred to as a text which speaks of Christ.

If anything, the picture becomes even richer as we turn to the New Testament letters. Paul, in particular, seems to see Jesus everywhere he looks in Scripture. Christ is portrayed as a new Adam, a descendant of the first man who overturns the tragic results of the first sin in Eden (Romans 5:12-21). Abraham’s unwavering faith in God’s promise makes him the spiritual ancestor of those who will place their faith in Christ’s resurrection (Acts 4:1-25). Sarah and Hagar become allegories of the challenging choice presented by Christ: between living under the law of Sinai or in the freedom of the new Jerusalem (Galatians 4:21-5:1). In one text Jesus is linked to the entire story of the exodus—to the “baptism” in the Red Sea, the leadership of Moses, the miraculous food and drink provided in the wilderness—leading to the startling assertion that Jesus was present to the Israelites throughout their wanderings: “they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:5). And so it continues throughout Paul’s letters—it seems that he is able to discern the presence of Christ in almost any biblical text.

The letter to the Hebrews draws on the Old Testament in a remarkable way to expound on the significance of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. After a short, breathless introduction in the first four verses (just a single sentence in the Greek original) the letter launches into a whirlwind tour of the Hebrew Scriptures: quotations from right across the Psalter; excerpts from books as diverse as Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Jeremiah; allusions to the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek, the giving of the law at Sinai, Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, the design and structure of the temple, the rules governing the priesthood and the sacrificial system laid out in Leviticus, and the prophetic promise of a new heart covenant between God and his people. The eleventh chapter famously presents a panorama of Old Testament heroes, calling to mind the examples of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson … the list is overwhelming. And all this is offered as one great and glorious witness to Jesus—Jesus who is greater than the angels, who mediates a better covenant than Moses, who embodies the Sabbath rest of the covenant, who fulfills the great priesthood of Melchizedek, who ministers in the true heavenly sanctuary of which the earthly temple is simply an imitation, who offers the supreme and final sacrifice, and who establishes the foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem.

No wonder, then, that the author of this letter calls Jesus “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He is the beginning and the end, the one who participates in creation with God at the dawn of time and draws it to its conclusion at the end of days. His presence can be felt on every page, during every incident, through every prophecy, in every life. Jesus is not simply a character who appears in the Bible somewhere towards the end, drawing together the threads of a rambling and complex story. Jesus is the central character from the first page to the last. The Bible is, above all else, the book of Christ.

Fr. Alexander of Hales, O.F.M. – “Doctor Doctorum” (+1245) – on the appropriateness of the Incarnation, sin or no sin

The Franciscan Fr. Alexander of Hales (+1245) has been called the Doctor Doctorum because he was the Master and Professor of the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure during his time at the University of Paris. He was also called the Doctor Irrefragibilis by Pope Alexander IV in the Bull De Fontibus Paradisi, as well as the Theologorum Monarcha. Obviously St. Thomas did not find him “irrefutable” since he uses Fr. Alexander’s argument of Good being diffusive of itself as a reason for the Incarnation even if there were no sin and then tries to refute it! (cf. St. Thomas’ Summa Theo. P.3, Q.I, art. I). At any rate, I have found three of Fr. Alexander’s arguments on this topic and translated them into English. They all come from his own Summa Theolog. P.III, Q.III, memb.XIII. Since I found these passages in secondary sources, I’m not sure which order they appear in his Summa; but each argument stands on its own, so the order does not matter. Here are some of his arguments (my translation):

Consequently, one asks about the appropriateness [convenientia] of the Incarnation if human nature had not fallen by sin, that is, whether there would be a reason and appropriateness for the Incarnation. And this is shown as follows:

Without conceding to prejudice, even if human nature had not fallen there would have been an appropriateness for the Incarnation; according to what blessed Bernard says about Jonas 1:12: ‘For my sake this great tempest is upon you’ – he asserts that this word is about the Son of God by saying that Lucifer foresaw the rational creature being assumed in the unity of the Person of the Son of God; he saw this and envied. Hence envy was the cause in the devil’s case and it moved him to tempt man whose felicity he envied so that by sin he might demerit the assumption of human nature and its unification with God. From this it is clear that Lucifer understood this union of the human nature [with God], and he thought to make it fall in order to impede this union; for this reason he procures the fall. This being the case, therefore, setting aside the fall it would be appropriate for the Incarnation to have taken place.

Dionysius said: Good is diffusive of itself; thus we say that in God the Father pours out His goodness in the Son by generation and from both of Them it is poured out in the Holy Spirit by procession; and this outpouring is in the Trinity and this is the greatest outpouring, the creature not existing. Therefore, if the highest Good – once a creature exists – did not pour Himself out into the creature, it would be possible to imagine a greater outpouring [i.e. ad extra as well as ad intra] than that of His own outpouring [i.e. ad intra only]. If He must be the greatest outpouring because He is the highest Good, it would be appropriate for Him to pour Himself out in the creature; but this outpouring could not be understood as the greatest unless He united Himself to the creature… Therefore, I assert that without the fall man would have been united to the highest Good.

Moreover, there is no beatitude except in God and the rational creature is fully capable of beatitude; but the rational creature which is man has a twofold cognition, that is, the sensible and intellectual, and he has pleasure in both of these. If, therefore, man is fully capable of beatitude according to the senses and the intellect, it would thus be proper that man be blessed in God in both of these. But God considered in His own Nature can not beatify the senses, but only the intellect, because the senses do not find blessing or delight except in the sensible alone or in that which is corporal. If, therefore, the whole man must be beatified in God, it would be appropriate that in God there be the corporal and sensible.

Abbot Rupert of Deutz, O.S.B. (+1129): Sin or no sin, God’s design was to send Christ as King and Head of the Elect

In Book 13 of his work De Gloria et Honore Filii Hominis sup. Matth. the great Abbot, Rupert of Deutz, establishes that all things were created for Christ and goes on to give an excellent argument demonstrating that the primary motive of the Incarnation was by no means the remedy of man’s fall. Amazingly, the 1531 printing of the entire book can be found online and I took the liberty to take snapshots of the two pertinent passages (to see the passages in context and even the entire book, just click on the image).

[To see Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on the Christology of Abbot Rupert of Deutz click here. I’ve also put the video of Pope Benedict XVI on Abbot Rupert at the bottom of this post.]

From the Abbot’s pen (my translation):

Now in regard to this one should recall the extremely important and memorable chapter of the Apostle which says: For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, who had brought many children into glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation, by His passion (Heb 2:10). In the first place it should be asked whether this Son of God, to whom this passage refers, would have become man or not even if sin – as a result of which we die – were not to have taken place. Now that He would not have become a mortal man, that He would not have assumed a mortal body, unless man had fallen into sin – as a result of which we all become mortal – no one has any doubt, that is, unless he be an unparalleled infidel. Let us ask whether this future event [the Incarnation] was necessary to the human race in a different way, namely, that the God man should become head and king of all, which He now is; and what would be the response to this? Without a doubt it is certain of all the Saints and Elect that they would all have been born, and they alone, if the fall into sin of the first transgression had not occurred. Hence Father Augustine in the fourteenth book [Ch.23] of The City of God : “But he who says that there should have been neither copulation nor generation but for sin, virtually says that man’s sin was necessary to complete the number of the saints. For if these two by not sinning should have continued to live alone, because, as is supposed, they could not have begotten children had they not sinned, then certainly sin was necessary in order that there might be not only two but many righteous men. And if this cannot be maintained without absurdity, we must rather believe that the number of the saints fit to complete this most blessed city would have been as great though no one had sinned, as it is now that the grace of God gathers its citizens out of the multitude of sinners, so long as the children of this world generate and are generated.”

Therefore, there is no doubt that all the Saints and Elect would have been born right up to the number predetermined by the purpose of God who before sin blessed thus: “Increase and multiply” (Gen 1:28), and it would be absurd to hold that, on account of this blessing, sin was necessary in order for them to be born. Similarly, it would be absurd to hold that He who is the Head and King of all of the elect, both angels and men, would not have been born unless there had been sin as the most necessary cause. He came in order to be a man among men taking His delight through charity with the children of men. He is, therefore, that Wisdom of God of whom the Lord says in this regard: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways, before He made any thing from the beginning…” and concludes thus: “When He prepared the heavens, I was present… and my delights were to be with the children of men” (Prov 8).

The Doctrine of the Absolute Primacy of Christ Prior to Scotus (+1308)

The Absolute Primacy of Christ Prior to Bl. John Duns Scotus

If the doctrine of the absolute primacy of Christ, as maintained by Bl. John Duns Scotus and the Franciscan school, is true, then we would expect to find it in Scripture and Tradition, otherwise it would just be a scotistic novelty. St. Paul warns against innovative theological thinking: “For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tm 4:3).

I have given many solid arguments for the absolute primacy from the Sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament there are especially those passages of Solomon which speak of created Wisdom being before God when He created the universe (for a comment on one of these passages, Prov 8:22ff., see here). In the New Testament the primary passages I have focused on are in the Gospel of St. John (see here) and St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, Ephesians and Romans. These are but highlights, but the mystery of Christ, now revealed to us, can be seen throughout the entire Bible once we have the correct vantage point.

Fair enough, but what about Sacred Tradition? Oftentimes the impression one gets in reading about the absolute primacy of Christ is that Bl. John Duns Scotus made this up and the Franciscan school continues to support this novelty, but otherwise it is nowhere to be found in tradition. Not true. Before Scotus both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, familiar with the tradition, dealt with the primary motive of the Incarnation and shed light on both sides of the argument. While they sided with a relative primacy of Christ (viz. contingent upon Adam’s sin), there were also their two professors at the University of Paris, St. Albert the Great and Fr. Alexander of Hales who sided with an absolute primacy. Since all four of these great theologians, three of them Doctors of the Church, dealt explicitly with this topic, there can be no question of Scotus being an innovator.

In the East there was St. Maximus the Confessor (+662). Although I have quoted him here, the most thorough presentation I have seen is that of Archpriest G. Florovosky on “The Motive of the Incarnation.” He actually synthesizes the entire tradition on this subject.

In the West it is interesting to note three salient theologians – one in Germany, one in England, one in France – who prior to Scotus (+1308) maintained that Christ’s Incarnation was not the result of Adam’s sin, but decreed by God for its own sake. These three theologians were the Abbot Rupert of Deutz, O.S.B. (+1129) in Germany, Bishop Robert Grosseteste (+1253) in England who taught at the Franciscan school at Oxford starting in 1229, and Fr. Alexander Hales, O.F.M. (+1245) who taught at the University of Paris and was dubbed Doctor Doctorum because he taught the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure. I will be posting some of the insights of these three theologians in future posts.

I would like to conclude by mentioning that three great 20th century scholars on the subject have shown that the absolute primacy of Christ, besides being rooted in the Scripture, is also based on the teaching of the Fathers. The first was Fr. Chrysostom Urrutibéhéty, O.F.M., who wrote a monumental volume in Latin documenting many key arguments for the primacy of Christ largely from the Church Fathers called Christus Alpha et Omega seu De Christi Universali Regno (Lille, France: R. Giard Libraire, 1910). The second work, published in Franciscan Studies vol.22 in 1942, was written by Fr. Dominic Unger, O.F.M.Cap. It was entitled Franciscan Christology: Absolute and Universal Primacy of Christ”. A scanned version of the entire work can be found here. He also wrote many other articles in Franciscan Studies illustrating the doctrine of the absolute primacy from the Fathers of the Church. The third work was put out by Fr. Juniper Carroll, O.F.M., and was entitled Why Jesus Christ?” (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications, 1986). These three works lay out a generous bibliography of Fathers, Doctors, Saints and theologians throughout the centuries and thus clearly show that the doctrine of the absolute primacy of Christ, rather than being an innovation of Scotus, has been a constant part of the doctrinal heritage of the Church.

If Adam had not sinned, how would Christ have come?

St. Thomas Aquinas (see Summa Theo., P.III, Q.I, Art. 3), St. Bonaventure, Bl. John Duns Scotus, and many others asked the question, “If Adam had not sinned would God have become Incarnate?” -They did this NOT as a hypothetical question, but rather because the answer to the question dilineated what the primary motive of the Incarnation was in God’s plan.

If we follow the “yes” crowd who speak of an unconditional Incarnation: St. Maximus the Confessor, Abbott Rupert of Deutz, Bishop Robert Grosseteste, St. Albert the Great, Fr. Alexander Hales, Bl. John Duns Scotus, St. Bernardine of Sienna, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales, St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Pope Benedict XVI, etc., then one might ask how would Christ have come? In flesh capable of suffering and dying? Incapable of suffering and dying? In a glorious state?

While this is true speculation since we don’t have any immediate knowledge of exactly how the Incarnation would have taken place in a sinless world, nonetheless it seems clear enough that A) Our Lord would not have come in passible flesh since there would have been no need to redeem the human race by suffering and death, B) Our Lord would not, according to the common opinion of the scotistic school, have come in a glorious state because if He did, He would in no way have been able to merit grace and glory for Angels and mankind.

So the Word would have become flesh in an impassible state had Adam not sinned. Thus not in the likeness of sinful flesh, as St. Paul dubs it, nor in a glorified state incapable of merit.

In a recent correspondence I had with my great Professor in Dogmatic Theology, Fr. Peter M. Fehlner, F.I., on how Christ would have merited for us if He did not come in passible flesh, he wrote me that:

Adam and Eve were impassible before they sinned; so were the Angels before completing their trials. But no one thinks they were not in the state of viator and so incapable of meriting.

In addition Christ would have come in the state of viator, even if Adam had not sinned, because Adam still had to be saved (even if not redeemed) by the merits of Christ by way of an impassibilis sacrifice. But in this scenario human salvation is for the sake of the Incarnation, not vice versa, just as creation is for the sake of the Incarnation and not vice versa.

This is the position of the great Scotists especially of the 17th century… The state of Christ’s coming as man had Adam not sinned is always described as impassible, not glorious.

On the theme of salvation vs. redemption according to the mind of St. Irenaeus, one can read more here.

Fr. Matthias M. Sasko: Primary Motive of the Incarnation… the maximum glory of God

Fr. Matthias Mary concisely sums up the teaching of Bl. John Duns Scotus on the primary motive of the Incarnation in a short homily on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. He points out that the primary motive of the Incarnation is the maximum glory of God and that the Son of God did not become man because the sin of Adam, but despite the sin of Adam.

To view and hear the homily at AirMaria.com please click on the image:

St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of the Church

St. Lawrence of Brindisi (+1619) was a true champion of the absolute primacy of Christ. Below are some quotes I have translated from his Mariale. In some spots I have inserted the lacking Scripture reference or have written out the Scripture text referred to. To see the Latin quotes as they are reported in Fr. Dominic Unger’s Franciscan Christology click here.

The king loves the only son more than all his servants. Christ was not predestined for the Elect; but the all the Elect for Christ, unto the glory of Christ. Hence St. Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing on high in Christ. Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish in His sight in love. He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as His sons, according to the purpose of His will, unto the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He has favored us in His beloved Son.” Here Paul clearly [manifeste] teaches that all of the Elect are predestined unto the glory of Christ. Even in the First Letter to the Corinthians 3:22-23: “For all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas; or the world, or life, or death; or things present, or things to come – all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” Everything exists for you, but you exist for Christ. Hence all are servants of Christ, even the Angels: “… in order that through the Church there be made known to the Principalities and the Powers in the heavens the manifold wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:10-11); “… so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven…” [Phil 1:10]. And to the Hebrews 1:2 he says, “… whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the world…” Writing as well to the Colossians he taught that everything was created for Christ, therefore he says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For in Him were created all things in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers. All things have been created through and unto Him, and He is before all creatures, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:15-17). (Mariale, vol I, p.79)

Christ is the foundation of all creatures, all graces, all glory, because He is the end of all things, [the one] for whom all things were created. (Mariale, vol I, p.80)

Not only is He the first predestined creature, but even the final cause of the predestination of the Saints. Thus Paul says, “For those whom He has foreknown He has also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He should be the firstborn among many brethren..” (Rm 8:29). Paul here declares Christ to be the final cause [of the predestination of the Elect] from eternity when he says “that He should be the firstborn,” in dignity and honor, “among many brethren,” that is, in all God’s Elect whom He has adopted as sons. (Mariale, vol I, p.80)

Therefore to Christ be the glory: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High” (Lk 1:32). God created the universe for the honor and glory of Christ. Just as the entire, most august edifice of the temple was undertaken by Solomon in exceeding and immeasurable pains for the Ark of the Covenant; so for Christ, who is the ark of the Divinity, everything in the world – heaven and earth – was created, with everything contained in the heavenly realm. Whoever is in the kingdom serves the king, is for the king; but Christ says, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Mt 28:18). The Angels in Heaven were created to be servants of Christ; man was formed from the earth in order to be the image of Christ. Thus Paul calls Adam an image of the of the Future One [“a figure of Him who was to come”] (Rm 5:14); thus for the greater glory of Christ man was permitted to be tempted and defeated by the Devil, in order that Christ, in working the salvation of the human race, might show forth the infinite treasures of His divine power. (Mariale, vol I, p.86)

Although this is already quoted on this website here, I thought it well to quote it again in conjunction with the four quotes above:

Therefore, God ordained from all eternity to communicate the infinite treasures of His goodness, to show forth the infinite charity of His mystery by this divine Incarnation in order that Christ might be great and might sit as King at the right hand of God. (Mariale, vol I, p.81-82)

William Gilson Humphry: A Summary of the Franciscan Thesis

I found this on Frank Weathers website Why I am Catholic. It is an excerpt from A Digest of the Doctrine of St. Thomas on the Incarnation by the Anglican cleric William Gilson Humphry written in 1868 which sums up excellently the doctrine of Bl. John Duns Scotus on the Incarnation:

The third view of the Incarnation is that taken by the Scotists, by Suarez, and by many other theologians both ancient and modern. It teaches—and so far in accordance with Thomist theology, that Jesus came principally to save sinners, and for that end came in passible flesh; but here its agreement ceases. It asserts that even if Adam had never sinned, Jesus would yet have come, and come by means of Mary, in impassible flesh; that He was predestinated the Firstborn of creatures before the decree which permitted sin; that the Incarnation was from the first an intentional and integral part of the scheme of creation; that it was not merely occasioned by sin, but that sin only determined the manner of it, and its accompaniments of suffering and death. And it is as regards the manner of the Incarnation alone, as speaking of our Lord’s coming in passible and mortal flesh, that the Scotists understand those passages in Holy Scripture, in the writings of the Fathers, and in the Office Books of the Church, which at first sight seem to make for the Thomist view. The Scotists dwell very much on the doctrine that Jesus was decreed before all creation, and therefore before the permission of sin. They hold that all men exist because of Christ, and not Christ because of them, that all creation was for Him, and was not only decreed subsequently to His predestination, but for His sole sake.

They found again upon His being the First Begotten and Exemplar of the predestinate. And they go on to establish their view by arguments drawn from reason, from the natural order of things, from the relative value of means and ends, from the grace of the unfallen Adam, which is alleged to have been conferred on him because of Christ, from the Incarnation having, as St. Thomas teaches, been revealed to Adam, who, although he lost hope and the love of God when he sinned, did not lose his faith.

They urge further, that on the Thomist view, Christ was only an “occasioned good,” and, a still more unworthy supposition, occasioned by sin; or again, that Christ would have to rejoice in Adam’s sin, as owing to it His existence, grace, and His glory as man.

Again, it is said, that if Christ was decreed after us, and because of us, and only to redeem us, three monstrous consequences would follow:

1. That Christ would owe us a debt of gratitude.

2. That we should in certain respects be more excellent than He.

3. That sin was necessary to His existence.

On the Scotist view of the Incarnation the following would be the order of the Divine Decrees—the order of intention, that is, for there can of course be no order of time with God.

1. God understood Himself as the Sovereign Good.

2. He understood all creatures.

3. He predestinated creatures to grace and glory.

4. He foresaw men falling in Adam.

5. He pre-ordained the Passion of Christ as the remedy for this fall.

Thus Christ in the Flesh, and all the elect members of His mystical Body also, were foreseen and predestined to grace and glory, before the foresight either of sin or of the Passion.

It will be observed that both Thomists and Scotists lay the utmost stress on the doctrine that Jesus came, as He has come, expressly and principally to redeem mankind from sin, and that consequently a remedial character pervades all His mysteries, both such as have to do with His being our example, and such as have to do with His being our atonement, while the same character is stamped also upon His enactments as our legislator.

Further, the Thomists allow that redemption from sin was by no means the sole end of the Incarnation. They admit that the manifestation of the Divine Omnipotence, Wisdom, and Goodness was one end, and the Headship of the whole Church of angels and men was another.