The vast majority of theologians teach that this ceremony was a sacrament and that it was instituted as a remedy for original sin; consequently that it conferred grace, not indeed of itself (), but by reason of the faith in Christ which it expressed.The principal reason for a sacramental system is found in man. Thomas (III:61:1), to be led by things corporeal and sense-perceptible to things spiritual and intelligible; now Divine Providence provides for everything in accordance with its nature (); therefore it is fitting that Divine Wisdom should provide means of salvation for men in the form of certain corporeal and sensible signs which are called sacraments. For this reason the majority of theologians hold that no sacraments would have been instituted even if that state had lasted for a long time. Apart from what was or might have been in that extraordinary state, the use of sacred symbols is universal. Augustine says that every religion, true or false, has its visible signs or sacraments."In nullum nomen religionis, seu verum seu falsum, coadunari homines possunt, nisi aliquo signaculorum seu sacramentorum visibilium consortio colligantur" ( XIX.11).It is not really a necessity, but the most appropriate manner of dealing with creatures that are at the same time spiritual and corporeal.In this assertion all Christians are united: it is only when we come to consider the nature of the sacramental signs that Protestants (except some Anglicans) differ from Catholics.Thus we have (a) circumcision, instituted in the time of Abraham (Genesis 17), renewed in the time of Moses (Leviticus 12:3) for all people; and (b) the sacred rites by which the Levitical priests were consecrated.The ceremonies of purification from legal contamination, i.e."In circumcisione conferebatur gratia, non ex virtute circumcisionis, sed ex virtute fidei passionis Christi futurae, cujus signum erat circumcisio quia scilicet justitia erat ex fide significata, non ex circumcisione significante" ( III:70:4).Certainly it was at least a sign of something sacred, and it was appointed and determined by God himself as a sign of faith and as a mark by which the faithful were distinguished from unbelievers.This truth theologians express by saying that the sacraments are necessary, not absolutely but only hypothetically, i.e., in the supposition that if we wish to obtain a certain supernatural end we must use the supernatural means appointed for obtaining that end. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church and of Christians in general that, whilst God was nowise bound to make use of external ceremonies as symbols of things spiritual and sacred, it has pleased Him to do so, and this is the ordinary and most suitable manner of dealing with men.Writers on the sacraments refer to this as the , the necessity of suitableness.