THE SECOND EVE
Had Eve remained unfallen, her chief solicitude would surely have been that all the human family of which she was Mother, should persevere in their happy and holy state. She would have used all diligence, and every means that her maternal love might suggest, to preserve her children from the danger of losing God's grace through disobedience to His commands. And were any child of hers to incur so great a misery, how intense would be then her grief! Must not that holy mother -- if so to do accorded with the Divine Will -- out of compassion for her perishing child plead earnestly for mercy in his behalf. But however this might be, Mary the Second Eve is set forth in the Church's primitive idea of her as the advocate of guilty Eve, and a cause of salvation not to her alone, but to all her children who were fallen in Adam. This means, that God was graciously pleased to accept by anticipation the merit of Mary's faith and obedience as an intercessory plea for the pardon of their sins in union with the infinitely meritorious and satisfactory obedience of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ her Son. It means, that when Eve had forfeited her right to be called the Mother of the living, and was with all her posterity subject to death, the Woman, thereupon foretold by God as the true Eve, had already in His Divine prevision made good her title, and borne her part as that Mother of the living who should restore lost life to the dead; and that already by anticipation were her pleadings for her children of avail in His sight.
The Sacrifice of the Cross -- being that of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world -- was retrospective in its fruits. Whilst efficacious for the pardon of the sins of all men in every antecedent generation, pre-eminently did it atone for the sin of Adam, in whom as their father and head, all the rest of men had sinned; and of whom the Divine Redeemer bare the name, and was Himself the antitype. In like manner, Mary's advocacy in behalf of sinners, that is to say, the whole part she took with her Divine Son in the work of Redemption, was also retrospective. And whilst as Mother both of the Redeemer and His redeemed, she is in truth the advocate of all, yet emphatically is she called the advocate of Eve, whose name she bore, and who as mother in the natural order of the whole human family co-operated most with Adam in its ruin.