On the one hand the retributive principle itself has been very largely superseded by the protective and the reformative; on the other punishments involving bodily pain have become objectionable to the general sense of society.
Rejecting the retributive view of punishment, he describes the sufferings of Christ as those of the perfect "Penitent," and finds their expiatory value to lie in the Person of the Sufferer, the God-Man.
It may also be thought of as retributive, as a reversal of present conditions so that the miserable are comforted, and the prosperous laid low, or as a reward or punishment for good or evil desert here.
Clement of Alexandria taught that justice is not merely retributive, that punishment is remedial, that probation continues after death till the final judgment, that Christ and the apostles preached the Gospel in Hades to those who lacked knowledge, but whose heart was right, that a spiritual body will be raised.
He was a man of peace, hating war not less than he did slavery; but he warned his countrymen that if they refused to abolish slavery by moral power a retributive war must sooner or later ensue.