A Compendium of Christian Theology

By William Burt Pope, D.D.,

Volume Two

Chapter 12

The Atonement in its Results



            Divine Name

            Divine Attributes

            Divine Righteousness

            Views of Atonement in Scripture

            as Satisfaction in God

            Love to Man

            Display of Righteousness


            God Reconciler and Reconciled

            Reconciliation of World or Human Nature

            Personal Reconciliation


            From what—Sin, Satan, and Death

            By what—the Price

            To Whom and by Whom offered

            For whom—Universal

            Particular Application



            Gnostics and Satan's place in the Doctrine


            Greek and Latin Teaching


            Cur Deus Homo

            Controversies of Schoolmen


            The Reformation

            Socinianism and Rationalism

            Grotian and Arminian

            General Results

Having viewed the Atonement as presented by Christ, its virtue or merit expiating sin and satisfying the claims of Divine justice and love, we must now regard it in its effect as an accomplished act. The result of the One Offering is represented in Scripture in its relation to God, to God and man, and to man. As to God, it is the final saving manifestation of His glory; as to God and man, it is the Reconciliation; as to man more particularly, it is Redemption. These, however, are only different aspects of one and the same Atonement, which are distinguished, though not systematically distinguished, in the New Testament


In the finished work of Christ, the Name, Attributes and Government of God are most fully exhibited and glorified. The Triune Name is made known; the Love and Righteousness of God have their highest and best manifestation, as the expression of the Divine will; and the Moral Government of the Supreme is supremely vindicated


The name of the Triune God is especially made known and therefore glorified in the mediation of the Incarnate Redeemer. The revelation of the Trinity is bound up with the revelation of redemption; the development of one was the development of .the other, and both were perfected together. The Son, addressing the Father a prayer which regards the Atonement as accomplished, declares: I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.1 This can refer only to the disclosure of that new name of Father which the incarnation and teaching of the Son had made manifest. Not long before He had said: Father, glorify Thy name;2 when the response was given: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. His own name as the Son was now for the first time made known: Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.3 Only in the Son is the Father revealed; and there is no Son revealed save in redemption. Hence the Saviour's prayer asks that the mutual glorification of the Father and the Son may be complete: Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.4 And this must be interpreted in the light of the preceding discourse, which shows that the full disclosure of the name of the Son, here prayed for, must await the manifestation of a Third Name, that of the Holy Ghost. The Divine Spirit is the Revealer both of the Father and the Son; and on the day of Pentecost the eternal mystery of the Trinity was fully made known: God reserved His pro-foundest revelation of Himself for the Finished Atonement. Our Lord pronounced The Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost5 only after His resurrection. The mystery of His perfect love unfolded the mystery of His perfect essence. But this subject has been already discussed under the Mediatorial Trinity

1 John 17:6; 2 John 12:28; 3 John 13:31 4 John 17:1; 5 Mat. 28:19


The attributes of God are glorified both singly and unitedly, and in a transcendent manner, by the mediation of the Incarnate. This indeed is included in the meaning of the prayer that the Name of God might be glorified in His Son; for that Name is not only the Triune Name, but the assemblage of the Divine perfections. Throughout the Old Testament and the New the Divine glories, especially those which we may in this connection call the glories of the moral attributes, are condensed over the mercy-seat: receiving from it their highest illustration. There is a gradational display of the eternal majesty. The heavens declare the glory of God,1 while the whole earth is full of His glory.2 Again, in Judah is God known:3 His Name is great in Israel, but it is Israel's Temple which His train filled. And the Temple itself is filled only with the diffusive radiance: it was in the Holiest that He appeared in the cloud upon the mercy-seat.4 The perfect revelation of the Triune God in the Incarnate Son of the Godhead has presented the Divine Attributes in a new aspect, and to mortal man they will never otherwise be known. God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.5 And in the New Testament it is obvious that with scarcely an exception every reference to the combined or individual perfections of God refers to their exhibition in the work of Christ. At least, all other allusions lead up to this. Not to repeat what has already been made prominent under the Divine Attributes, it may suffice to mention the new and perfect revelation of the holiness and love of God as disclosed in the Atonement

1 Psa. 19:1; 2 Isa. 6:3; 3 Psa. 76:1; 4 Lev. 16:2; 5 2 Cor. 4:6

1. The latter here has the pre-eminence. Never is the love of God, absolutely, connected with the works of creation, or with the general dispensations of Providence. Over them loving kindness reigns, but Divine charity is reserved for the Atonement. It gives a new name to the nature of God: GOD is LOVE. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for our sins,1 where we may omit to be

1 1 John 4:8,10

2. The Divine HOLINESS is exhibited as conspicuously as the Divine love, so far as concerns the process of redemption: love is supreme in the origination, and will be supreme at the end—for mercy rejoiceth against judgment,1 not over it, though over against it— but in the actual atoning work the justice of holiness, demanding the punishment and extermination of sin, is displayed in the most awful manner of which the human mind can form any conception

1 James 2:13

3. It is important to remember that Holy Scripture never makes such a distinction between the love and the holiness of God as theology thinks it necessary to establish. The mercy that provides and the justice that requires the Atonement are one in the recesses of the Divine nature. Their union or identity is lost to us in the thick darkness of the light which we cannot approach. The cross of Christ, or rather the whole mediation of the Redeemer, equally and at once reveals both. Herein is love—to quote once more the final revelation of Scripture on this subject—not that we loved God but that He loved us, and sent His Son the Propitiation for our sins.1 In our infirmity we find it needful to correct our estimate of one attribute by appealing to the other. The Scripture scarcely condescends to that infirmity. It speaks of the Divine agápee2 as ordering the whole economy of what is nevertheless an hilasmós or propitiation, and of the Divine eudokia3 as ordering the whole economy of what is nevertheless a hoú nún teén katallagoo. We shall hereafter see how these four words meet in the sacrifice of the cross, where love reigns through the infinite sacrifice of love

1 1 John 4:10; 2 1 John 4:10; 3 Col. 1:19

4. But it is the glory and unity of all the attributes that the work of Christ exhibits in their perfection. There is nothing that belongs to our conception of the Divine nature which is not manifested in His Son, Who both in His active and in His passive righteousness reveals all that is in the Father. Man, in fact, knows God only as a God of redemption; nor will He ever by man be otherwise known. Throughout the Scriptures of truth we have a gradual revelation of the Divine Being which is not finished until it is finished in Christ: God also, as well as man, is en autoó pepleerooménoi, COMPLETE IN HIM. It is not enough to say that the Trinity Whom Christians adore is made known in Jesus, and that this or the other attribute which theology ascribes to Him is illustrated in His work. God Himself, with every idea we form of His nature, is given to us by the revelation of Christ. The gracious and awful Being Who is presented in the Christian Scriptures is not in all respects such a Deity as human reason would devise or tolerate when presented. But to us there is but ONE GOD; and we must receive Him, as He is made known to us through the mystery of the Atoning Mediation of His Son. His Name is proclaimed only in the Cross; there we have His Divine and only Benediction; and every Doxology in Revelation derives its strength and fervor from the Atonement


The Government of the Supreme Ruler of the universe is perfectly vindicated by the Atonement. This effect of the work of Christ is much dwelt upon by St. Paul; and is perhaps the most obvious and comprehensible view of it which can be taken. It gives its coloring to a large portion of the New-Testament phraseology; especially, however, to the recorded Discourses and the leading Epistle of that Apostle

1. There are three views of the Atonement in Scripture. It is sometimes regarded as the result of a mystery that had been transacted in the Divine mind before its manifestation in time. Sometimes, again, it is exhibited as a demonstration of God's love to mankind, and self-sacrifice in Christ for their sake: as it were to move the hearts of men with hatred of sin and desire to requite so much mercy. Strictly speaking, this is not given as an explanation of the Atonement: the New Testament does not sanction the idea that our Lord's self-sacrifice is made an argument with sinners. It is never so used. Certainly, God commendeth His love toward us;1 but here St. Paul is exhorting Christians, already saved, to rely upon the abundant provision of grace for the future which is guaranteed by the demonstration of love in the past. Everywhere the love of God, whether the Father or the Son, in the Atonement is used as a most mighty argument of self-devotion, severity of morals, tenderness to man, and universal, boundless charity. It is never employed to melt the heart of a sinner: certainly that object is nowhere given as an explanation of Christ's work. And, lastly, it is set forth as an expedient for upholding the dignity of the Ruler of the universe and Administrator of law. These three views, or, to use modern language, theories of the Atonement are combined in the Scriptures: neither is dwelt upon apart from the rest. The perfect doctrine includes them all. Every error springs from the exaggeration of one of these elements at the expense of the others

1 Rom. 5:8

2. St. Paul, in the Epistle which treats most fully of the universal moral government of God, thus makes the last of the three emphatic, while expressly or by inference including the two others. He carries the doctrine into the court of justice

(1.) The Evangelical method of saving and making men righteous is called the Righteousness of God. It is said to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God:1 that is, to make His righteousness appear, by a retrospective interpretation of its ways, consistent with its passing over or pretermission, dia ton paresin, of sins in past ages. This vindicates the rectoral government of God, based upon one and the same method of righteousness, FOR THE PAST of the preparatory economy, whether of Gentiles or Jews. To declare, 1say, at this time His righteousness; that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus: that is, it enables Him to treat a sinner as a righteous man, and yet be Himself just in so regarding him

This vindicates the rectoral government of God, FOR THE PRESENT, of the Christian fullness of time. Afterwards, with reference to this same Gospel system, we read: Ye have I obeyed from the heart that form of teaching to which you were delivered. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.2 That is, the Atonement insures the honor of the law after forgiveness. This vindicates the rectoral government of God, FOR THE FUTURE, both as to the race and the individual. The leading characteristic of this passage, therefore, is the vindication of God's rectoral character: the protection of law in the presence of the universe. Here is the truth of what is sometimes, but needlessly, called the Grotian or Governmental theory

1 Rom. 3:21-26; 2 Rom. 6:17,18

(2.) The words justified freely through His grace,1grace displayed in the Atonement as affectingly appealing to man, may be so interpreted as to lay the foundation of what is occasionally termed the theory of Moral Influence. If they are taken out of the context, and considered alone, they declare that the redeeming plan is the free expression of the Divine grace; which, however, found it expedient to exhibit in the sufferings of the Righteous Jesus the evil of sin and the glory of self-sacrificing zeal for its destruction

Apart from the perversion of these words, which regards them as standing alone, they do proclaim the supremacy of love and of grace in the whole economy of redemption

Whatever our salvation cost the Redeemer, it is in all its history and its issues the expression of free grace to us. The theory, not thus standing alone, is true

1 Rom. 3:24

(3.) The words are connected with others: they refuse to be eliminated from the context

The unique expression which follows and represents the Redeemer as the Propitiatory or Mercy-seat—to be a propitiation in His blood through faith1makes it most sure that there was a necessity for the Atonement in the Divine Nature. The Blood was not shed only as the life of one who renounced all for the good of others. It was not the life-blood of selfsacrifice only. It was the blood of propitiation; and this word for ever turns to the innermost recesses of the Divine nature. Man's heart is to be moved only because the heart of God was moved. This links St. Paul's with St. John's testimony in his First Epistle. There the ascendancy is given to Love; but this only renders more impressive the necessity of the atoning sacrifice. Herein is LOVE, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the PROPITIATION for our sins.2

1 Rom. 3:25; 2 1 John 4:10


The New-Testament term Reconciliation—or, as it sometimes occurs, Atonement— defines the Finished Work as having effected and exhibited the restoration of fellowship between God and man. The change of relation is mutual: God lays aside His displeasure against mankind, being propitiated in the intervention of His Son; and all men, through the ministry of the Reconciliation, are invited to enter into a state of acceptance with God, laying aside their enmity. The former belongs to the work of Christ as a decree of heaven fulfilled on earth; the latter belongs to the same work as finished on earth and pleaded in heaven, in the provision made for individual acceptance. The reconciliation, therefore, is a process accomplished in two senses: first, the Supreme Judge is reconciled to the race absolutely; secondly, provision is made for the reconciliation of all men individually to Him


God is the Reconciler in the Atonement inasmuch as He provides the sacrifice which propitiates Himself: the very existence or possibility of the sacrifice proves Him to be already propitiated. But this does not exclude His being the Reconciled: indeed, so far as concerns the great change declared in or wrought by the interposition of the Mediator, it is God alone who is reconciled. The removal of the enmity in the sinner follows the great reconciliation, and is its secondary effect. Here there are two opposite errors to be guarded against

1. Holy Scripture does not encourage the thought that the actual sacrificial obedience of Christ reconciled God, previously hostile, to man; nor that the atonement offered on the cross wrought as a cause the effect of modifying the intention of the Divine mind towards the human race. The purpose of redemption was an eternal purpose: change must be wrought in time. Our Lord was sent to declare a reconciliation with sinning human nature preceding and presupposing the sin that needed it; which was, indeed, no other than the reconciliation of the mercy of love and the justice of holiness in the Divine nature itself through the Incarnation rendered possible by the adorable mystery of the Three Persons in the Godhead. This is always and consistently declared in the New Testament, which makes the method of atonement simply and only a product of the Divine counsel. His purpose, His righteousness, His love are severally regarded as the originating principle

But always the overture and act of reconciliation is from Him. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.1

1 2 Cor. 5:19

2. The other error is that of those who insist that the only reconciliation is of man to God

It is a very superficial, and it might be added sentimental, feeling that leads to this assertion: the opposite would, as we have seen, be nearer the truth, as will be further evident from the following considerations concerning the ideas presented to us in the Scriptures which speak on the subject, and the consistent phraseology adopted for the expression of these ideas

(1.) He who offers the reconciliation yields His righteous claims, as it were, before they are enforced; and, instead of enforcing them, beseeches men to be reconciled to Him. But all Divine claims—to repeat a word which theology reluctantly uses—have been in the presuppositions of the atoning work satisfied. The word seems to look only to man, but its face is turned towards God also. Not to betake ourselves to abstract principles, the Scripture must be our appeal. The few sentences containing that aspect of the Saviour's work which views it as the Reconciliation speak in their context of a Divine wrath, and in such a way as to give wrath its uttermost meaning. In the classical Corinthian passage we read not imputing their trespasses unto them,1which has behind it, or rather before it, that most solemn declaration, Who, though He knew not sin, was MADE SIN for us.2These last words give the key to the whole doctrine: closing the statement of it with deep emphasis

1 2 Cor. 5:19; 2 2 Cor. 5:21

(2.) A due regard to the habitual use of the term will lead to the same conclusion. We may fairly collate the Lord's word, first be reconciled to thy brother,1 which is a strict parallel in meaning, though the word diallágeethi is not precisely the same: it is the offended brother who is really propitiated. So too in the case of the Philistines and David: wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master?2 it was the master and not David that was to be appeased. The verb katallassein is never used of the Atonement in the Old Testament; but there are a few texts in the Apocrypha which prepare for its subsequent use. For instance: they besought the merciful Lord to be reconciled with His servants

Though the New Testament does not speak of God as being reconciled, the meaning is precisely the same as in this and similar passages. The eternal God, however, it must be repeated, was reconciled before Christ came to display His saving grace: He only brought the reconciliation, which we receive. There was in heaven an Atonement before the Atonement

1 Mat. 5:24; 2 1 Sam. 29:4


The Reconciliation is a change of relation between God and mankind, or the human race, or the nature of man. It is true that inspired phraseology does not use these abstract terms; but it says that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself:1 where een katallassoon, combined with mee logizomenos, indicates that the Father in the Son was and is always carrying out a purpose of grace: the eternal decree was accomplished in Christ on the cross; it is always in course of accomplishment. It is the former which een suggests, as compared with epoieesen afterwards, He made sin for us: the wrath of God against our transgression was expended upon our Representative, and diverted from us

He reconciled the world to Himself by removing from it, as a world, His eternal displeasure. What is now going on through the ministry is the winning of individual souls to the enjoyment of the Divine peace. For the full interpretation of this classical passage it is necessary to consider more distinctly the meaning of both terms: Reconciliation and World

1 2 Cor. 5:19

1. The entire world of mankind God is said to have reconciled to Himself in Christ, inasmuch as the atoning sacrifice was the actual realization of a purpose which had been regarded as wrought out from the beginning of human history. An economy or relation of peace had always prevailed in His government of a sinful race. The term may be said to characterize the kind of administration the Supreme Ruler has exercised over a guilty race. St. Paul shows this when he says, We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the Atonement,1 or the reconciliation, which here is simply equivalent to the grace of redemption. The Reconciliation is a title of the work of Christ, just as the words Grace and Gospel and Righteousness give it their names. As the world has received a Savior or Deliverer, and the Gospel is preached to the world, so the world has from the beginning had the benefit of the amnesty. But a dispensation of forbearance BEFORE Christ is IN Christ a dispensation of perfect Peace. Hence the Gospel is called the ministry of reconciliation.2 God is administering, through the stewards of this mystery, a system or economy of forgiveness and peace. The ambassadors of Christ announce a general declaration of the Divine good will to the world. Their ministry is not so much to induce sinners to lay aside their opposition to God as to persuade them that God has laid aside His opposition to them, not imputing their trespasses.3 They are representatives of Christ's work as the expression of the Father's will. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself:4 these last two clauses may well be inverted; the reconciliation is not the sequel of the making peace, but the making peace itself. There is nothing said here of a reconciliation between the upper intelligences and man, or between both united and God: it is evident that the Atonement is a ground of amnesty in the Divine government universal, so far only as the human race is concerned

The Cross belongs to the world, and to all the world. Its two arms stretch backward and forward, to the beginning and to the end of time. So it is in a parallel place: For He is our Peace . . . that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the Cross, having slain the enmity thereby:5 what enmity He slew is explained by the reconciliation UNTO GOD

The result is that the life of salvation reigns

1 Rom. 5:11; 2 2 Cor. 5:18; 3 2 Cor. 5:19; 4 Col. 1:19,20; 5 Eph. 2:14-16

2. There is another sense in which the world of mankind is reconciled or restored in Christ: the human family is really represented by that part of it which lives spiritually in its New Head. Undoubtedly there will be, as there has been and still is a portion of the descendants of Adam unrestored to God. While the race in its unity is, notwithstanding sin, placed in a relation of peace with the Supreme Ruler, so that the holy heavens can still canopy an unholy earth, that peace, with regard to the world as such, is after all only the provision and possibility of peace. And yet God may be said to have saved mankind; or rather mankind is restored to fellowship with Him, and to that communion which was so soon suspended in Paradise. The angels, or the inhabitants of other regions of the Divine government, would say that man was saved, that things in earth1 were reconciled and set right: indeed, they did once say it, on earth Peace.2 The solution is, that those who refuse the great Reconciliation are cast out as not belonging to the human race. That Body which is the Church, of which Christ is the head, is the new and reconciled humanity. Hence the blood of His Cross is the medium by which the good pleasure of the Father restores His human prodigal; thus doth He devise means that His banished be not expelled from Him:3 those who remain outcasts, after the Atonement is exhausted, being not reckoned as among the living. We cannot be sure that the lost spirits have rejected anything corresponding to our redemption. But as it respects our deliverance, St. Paul tells us that the effect of the Cross is an accomplished reconciliation, in which God is well pleased, and which is not marred by the reprobation of the lost. Taking up again the passage already quoted, it was by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven:4 here the all things are only human things, or things in heaven as they are related to man on earth. So in the Epistle to the Hebrews we read: It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these.5 This last passage is really the interpretation of the mysterious Colossian sentence just quoted

1 Col. 1:20; 2 Luke 2:14; 3 2 Sam. 14:14; 4 Col. 1:20; 5 Heb. 9:23

3. What has been said will make it evident that the individual reconciliation to God is no other than the personal assumption of the benefit of the general reconciliation. The peace established between God and man by the work of Christ is the basis for the personal acceptance of the believer into the favor of God and all its blessed consequences. Our being reconciled never means our putting away our enmity, but the revelation in us of God's mercy. This is evident in the Apostle's words to the Romans: For if, when we were enemies,1 under the displeasure of God, echthroi ontes, we were reconciled to God, kateellágeemen toó Theoó, by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, having become partakers of Divine grace, we shall be saved by His life. He is our Peace,2 St

Paul says, just as He is our Savior, our Lord, our Head. And those who have received the Atonement, or who are justified by His blood—that is, who do not reject the reconciliation which is announced to them in the Gospel—have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.3 The preachers of the Gospel declare the message of their embassy, and beseech men in Christ's stead: Be ye reconciled to God.4 But they mean only: Submit yourselves to the mercy of Heaven. St. Paul gives another expression to the same truth: he adds, And came and preached peace;5 after that description of the Atonement, already quoted, which speaks of His having slain the enmity on the cross. When the Reconciliation is received in penitent faith it becomes the state and life of righteousness; and a new order of terms is introduced with which future Sections will make us more familiar

1 Rom. 5:10; 2 Eph. 2:14; 3 Rom. 5:1,9,11; 4 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 5 Eph. 2:16,17


The term which is most often used, used in the widest variety of applications, and most impressively connected with man as the beneficiary of the Atonement, is Redemption

This exhibits the work of Christ as the laying down of a ransom-price for the legitimate and effectual deliverance of mankind from the bondage of the law of sin. Like the reconciliation, redemption is objective and subjective: objectively, the race is redeemed; and provision is made for the subjective deliverance of individual man from the sentence of the law, the power of sin, and all the consequences of transgression. Hence redemption is both universal and partial or limited. But in every case it is man who is redeemed; while God alone is glorified, and God and man are reconciled

Redemption once for all effected on the cross, and redemption now in process, are described by the same terms. Those terms may be arranged in four classes: first, those in which the lutron, or ransom-price, is included; secondly, those which mean purchase generally, such as agorazein; thirdly, those which imply only release, as from luein; and, lastly, those which indicate the notion of forcible rescue, ruesthai. It will be obvious that, as we are now discussing the Atonement in relation to the finished work of Christ alone, the first of these classes belongs more strictly than the rest to our present subject

Sometimes the distinction is expressed as redemption by price and redemption by power

This is a beautiful and true distinction; though it is well to be on our guard against too sharply distinguishing these two, whether in the Lord's external work or in the believer's internal experience of it. We must now, however, limit ourselves to the objective Atonement mainly. Although it will be impossible altogether to exclude the personal application, that will come more appropriately under the Administration of Redemption

It must be remembered that, whatever secondary meanings the term may have, redemption is the deliverance of mankind from bondage. The treatment of the subject will perhaps be more effectual by considering and answering five questions. What is the bondage from which the race is redeemed? What is the price paid down for that redemption? To Whom and by Whom is it offered? For whom is it effectual? What are the general results of that redemption? But the answer of these questions presupposes the previous discussion of the Atonement generally, and must needs to some extent involve repetition


Mankind, as the object of redemption, is ransomed from captivity to sin, primarily; subordinately and indirectly, from captivity to Satan and to death the penalty of sin

1. Sin holds man in bondage both as a condemnation and as a power. (1.) The condemnation is the curse of the law.1 As the strength of sin is the law,2 so the strength of the law is sin. It binds every moral creature to perfect obedience; and, that being found wanting, it shuts the transgressor up to the sentence of doom from which, so far as the legal ordinance goes, there is no release. (2.) Sin is an internal power in human nature: enslaving the will, and affections, and mind. (3.) The atoning intervention of Christ has put away sin3 as an absolute power in human life. He hath obtained eternal redemption for us: an objective, everlasting, all-sufficient redemption from the curse of the law, and from the necessary surrender of the will to the power of evil

1 Gal. 3:13; 2 1 Cor. 15:56; 3 Heb. 9:26,12

2. Satan and death are subordinate but real representatives of that power of evil: subordinate; for they are only ministers of sin, which might retain its empire if they did not exist. (1.) Satan is the executioner of the Divine sentence, and the prince of all evil: in the former relation he represents the condemnation of the law; in the latter the interior bondage to iniquity. (2.) Death also, as a sentence of severance from God, holds man in bondage only as another form of the curse of the law. As temporal death, it is, like him who has the power of death, a ruler under sin. (3.) From these, the subordinates and representatives of the great captivity, redemption has made provision to set man free. The Epistle to the Hebrews connects this truth with the Atonement in a remarkable manner

All is said in a paragraph which is rounded by these words: That He by the grace of God should taste death for every man,1 and to make propitiation for the sins of the people

Here are the beginning and end of the mystery of redemption of Christ, the expiatory death. Intermediately we read, That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage: Satan is brought to naught, and death ceases to be a terror, when sin is atoned for and abolished as an external and as an internal empire

1 Heb. 2:9-17


The lutron, or ransom-price paid down, is the Blood, or the Life, or the Self of Christ; and it is important to ask how this is connected with man's deliverance

1. The term in classical Greek, and in the Septuagint, is in the plural, meaning the money paid down for ransom of a captive; but this for an obvious reason is in the singular when applied to the Great Redeemer. (1.) The Lord's words give the only instance of its use as a noun: The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many,1 teen psucheen auto lutron anti polloon. It could not be interpreted by those who heard it otherwise than as the lutra peri psuchees of the Septuagint: Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life.2 But Christ's LIFE was one satisfaction for all offenders, and for every kind of offence summed up in one, (2.) St

Paul speaks of the BLOOD of our Redeemer as the ransom-price, turning the noun into a verb: the Church of the Lord, which He hath purchased with His own blood.3 These words the Apostle varied in writing to the same Ephesian elders: in whom we have redemption through His blood. So St. Peter: ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.4 And St. John: Thou wast slain, and didst purchase to God.5 (3.) The last testimony of St. Paul adds a third term, Who gave Himself a ransom for all: HIMSELF, His Divine-human Person, identifying the offering with the Divine-human Person Himself, as St. John does when he says He is the Propitiation.6 The ever-blessed Substitute lays down His life, which is in His blood, but the life of the God-man, both as dead and as ever living, in the stead of all men, and especially for His own people

1 Mat. 20:28; 2 Num. 35:31. 3 Acts. 20:28; 4 Eph. 1:7; 5 1 Pet. 1:18,19; 6 1 John 2:2

2. The precise connection between the ransom-price and man's salvation is variously exhibited in Scripture. There can be no doubt that the words are figurative, and cannot altogether express the nature of that great deliverance which they refer to. The redemptional terms, like the ceremonial system, serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things:1 faintly reflecting the eternal reality. They define the salvation of man generally, but in a variety of ways: as ransom of a captive, payment of a debt, dissolution of a power, rescue from an enemy, disenthralment from systems of error and vain conversation, and in other ways. But it would be wrong to say that the language is only figurative. It expresses a most important double truth, each side of which rests upon the infinite value of the price paid down: first, the negative rescue from wrath; secondly, the positive recovery into the hands of God in Christ. These must be considered in their order and connection

1 Heb. 8:5

(1.) The ransom-price is satisfaction of the claims of Divine justice, and redemption is release provided for the race. Our Deliverer took the place of the captive: being made sin for us1 and a curse for us.2 Hence the ideas of ransom and atonement melt into one; as in the Old Testament the lutron is exilasma.3 Note in the New Testament two passages in which St. Paul remarkably blends the two ideas, Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.4 Here the price is carried into the temple, and is laid on the altar; and with these words may be compared, In Whom we have redemption [through His blood], even the forgiveness of sins,5 where a third idea is added: the redemption price, offered in sacrificial blood, secures the pardon of offences

St. Peter's conjunction is similar, Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,6 with the addition of the sacrificial victim. Finally the Epistle to the Hebrews may be compared: by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption;7 in which words yet another truth is added, that the price is carried into the heavens to be reckoned there for ever

1 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Gal. 3:13; 3 Psa. 49:8; 4 Rom. 3:24,25; 5 Col. 1:14; 6 1 Pet. 1:18,19; 7 Heb. 9:12

(2.) The Redeemer in the Christian doctrine recovers for Himself what He rescues. This is the transcendent peculiarity of the idea. Christ does not ransom us in such a sense as to release and let us go simply: He ransoms us back into His own rights over us as God; and this explains the connection between the sacrificial and the regal office. The Redeemer, approaching His altar, prays: Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee:1 as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh: the power of a Deliverer over the purchase of His own ransom-price. For, the Savior of mankind died and lived in order that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.2 Hence, more particularly, the mediatorial rescue is the restoration to man of the Holy Spirit, His forfeited inheritance as created for communion with God. Our Savior is the God-Redeemer of the Old Testament. He buys back our inheritance, positively, as well as releases us from bondage, negatively. The two are in St. Paul's sentence; Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.3 But this revolves into the old and familiar dual blessing of the Christian covenant. Redemption provides for the release from condemnation; and it secures the bestowment of a renewing Spirit

1 John 17:1,2; 2 Rom. 19:9; 3 Gal. 3:13,14

(3.) The word therefore as expressing the effect of the Atonement is not limited strictly to release from captivity and restoration to lost privileges. The general idea of the lutron sometimes recedes, and a class of terms is used which signify rescue, or deliverance, or payment of a debt, or canceling of a bond. It should be remembered, however, that these have reference rather to the administration of redemption than to redemption itself. As to our Saviour's own finished work, once for all accomplished, it is always the laying down a price for the ransom of the world. St. Paul, in one remarkable passage, declares that our Lord cancelled our human debt and suspended the legal document which attested it to His cross: a view which stands alone here in Scripture. The Apostle is speaking primarily of the annihilation by Christ of the documents of the covenant that sundered the Jew and the Gentile; but the words have a larger meaning and give a most impressive illustration of our redemption generally: Blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.1 This passage is of a certain class of unique illustrations of the central fact: they should be sparingly used in theological exposition, however useful in practical application

1 Col. 2:14


This has anticipated the third question, or virtually answered it: to Whom and by Whom was the ransomed offered? 1. The redemption of mankind is altogether a Divine transaction, in its origin, in its method, and in its results. (1.) In its origin: the mystery of our rescue was hid in the Deity before it was disclosed to man; the Love of the Triune God is its source, the Justice of the Triune God is its necessity, and the Wisdom of the Triune God is its law. (2.) In its method: the work of our accomplished deliverance as a race is altogether wrought of God: but of Him in the mediatorial revelation of the Trinity. What behind the veil which hides the Triune is one, to us appears three-one. The Father is God Who sends His Son; the Son is God Who takes our nature that in it He may redeem us; the Holy Ghost is God, Who orders the process of our salvation from the alpha to the omega. (3.) In its results: the acceptance of the ransom-price of mankind is the accomplishment of a Divine Purpose, which needed nothing out of God for its attainment, and by nothing out of God could be frustrated. It was a Divine act, and the Divine Will needs no help or concurrence, as no other power could thwart or arrest its execution till its consent was previously given. Hence the Trinity is the Author of a necessary salvation, an ETERNAL REDEMPTION.1 The price was laid up in the eternal treasury for future use in time

1 Heb. 9:12

2. The light of this truth detects many errors that may be here briefly anticipated. (1.) There is no discord in the Divine nature, no conflict of interests between the Persons of the Holy Trinity. The Eternal Son does not propitiate an anger in the Father which He does not Himself share; nor does the Eternal Father represent a holy justice in the Divine nature which is to be satisfied by an atoning love only found in the Son; nor does the Eternal Spirit witness a covenant that solves a discord in which He has no part. The Second and the Third Persons of the Holy Trinity have a several personality which in their adorable mystery renders the Atonement possible. But beyond that our reverence permits us to say nothing. (2.) The Enemy of man has no necessary part in the transaction. From the beginning of post-apostolical theology onward to Bernard a strange notion of Satan's rights disturbed men's minds, which vanished when the Atonement was studied, as it were, first in the hidden recesses of the Divine nature. (3.) Nestorianism, with every modern phase of it that makes the redemption of man's nature in Christ an experiment, is banished from our doctrine. The redemption obtained in time was an eternal redemption: it was a predestined salvation of the human race: for ever, 0 Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.1 (4.) Every theory that opposes or perverts the freeness of God's grace is without support. There are two in particular, which include every variety of its many forms: no human merit can have place in a scheme which was settled on man's behalf in eternal mercy, and there can be no help for man apart from a redeeming economy. Grace and deliverance have the same eternal foundations

1 Psa. 119:89


The Price was paid down for all men for the entire race, or for the entire nature of man in all its representatives from the first transgressor to the last. Redemption as such is UNIVERSAL; or it is general, as distinguished from the Special Redemption of the individual

1. This blessed truth is a priori the anticipation of reason, and answers to the expectation which might be entertained, and has been entertained, by the mind of man supposed to be made aware of the fact of a Divine intervention. Of course this is only a preliminary argument; and if it should be proved that the Word of God contradicts the universal instinct, it must be given up. But the Word of God does not contradict this profound sentiment of humanity

(1.) It is the true instinct of man that he belongs to a race which is one in its origin and destination: one whether in ruin or in recovery; both in its fall and in its redemption

(2.) The God of mankind must by the very terms be supposed to be a God of philanthropy and to love the race as such which He created. He gave us our existence, whether as a family or as individuals, unasked: will He cut us off without hope after we have fallen, or reserve His salvation for a few? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?1 In answer to this increated instinct, His Revealer tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His Only-begotten Son;2 and that He is the living God, Who is the Savior of all men,3 His saving grace to all men hath appeared, after having been comparatively unrevealed until its due time, and that it is the kindness and love of God our Savior towards man,4 or His PHILANTHROPY. This last word refuses limitation

1 Gen. 18:25; 2 John 3:16; 3 1 Tim. 4:10; 4 Tit. 3:4

(3.) The object of the redeeming intervention of such a Being as the God-man cannot be limited without again doing violence to our instinctive expectation. We should take it for granted that so glorious a Person would not be sent on a partial and limited errand; that, supposing Him to visit this earth, He would embrace its whole compass in His mission; and the testimonies concerning Christ confirm this. He is the Mediator of God and men, the Jesus-man.1 He is the Lost Adam and the Second Man;2 and the only time He spoke of His soul as a ransom He called Himself the Son of Man.3 Where it is said that, to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage, He took on Him the seed of Abraham,4 this is opposed to the angels in the same verse, to whom He did not stretch out His helping hand, and in a preceding verse it is explained by flesh and blood: He is the seed of David, which is the seed of Abraham, which is the seed of the woman. He Who made OF one blood all the nations of men5 hath also BY one blood redeemed all nations of men

1 1 Tim. 2:5; 2 1 Cor. 15:45-47; 3 Mat. 20:28; 4 Heb. 2:15,16; 5 Acts 17:26

2. The positive assertions of Scripture are few, but very forcible

(1.) Directly, it is said that Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom far all.1 And the force of this testimony is if possible strengthened by the context, containing the exhortation to pray for all men, which is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who willeth all men to be saved, because He is the one God who deals with men through one Mediator We read that this Mediator descended below the angels that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man,2 uper pantos: this last word does not mean for every creature, but certainly for every man. The Forerunner bids us all Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world:3 his new word airei, taketh away, is half expiatory, half redemptional, but altogether universal. (2.) Indirectly, many passages require this as inference. Even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction:4 parallel with St. Paul's Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died,5 but still more evidently bringing in the substitutionary price. Other illustrations are so numerous that they cannot be quoted in full, and need no specimens: such as all the declarations of God's love to the world, all the general proclamations of repentance and the Gospel as glad tidings, the foreannouncement of the resurrection of all men as the result of redemption, and those texts which make man chargeable with his own doom. But the most impressive of these indirect assertions are such as invest the Redeemer with attributes and relations to the world which know no restriction: He is the Light of the world, the Life universally, and the Lord of all. It is however the glory of this argument that it needs not the support of individual texts

1 1 Tim. 2:6; 2 Heb. 2:9; 3 John 1:29; 4 2 Pet. 2:1; 5 Rom. 19:15


While Universal Redemption is a great reality, it is such only as the basis of a particular application

1. The race is redeemed. It was virtually redeemed before it sinned and before it existed

Hence the instincts of all mankind and the traditions of history, pointing the unknown hope of nations.1 The mediatorial government of the world from the beginning has been a fruit and a proof of one great deliverance. No race unredeemed, and without hope of redemption, could in the universe of a holy God continue to propagate its generations

The Holy Ghost was given at the outset as, in a peculiar sense, the Earnest of redemption, and Christ was from the very gate of Paradise the Lord of all, the Judge of the whole earth, the Savior of the world, the LIGHT OF MEN.2

1 Hag. 2:7; 2 John 1:4

2. But this universal salvation is bound up with one that is particular. (1.) The Scripture speaks only of one grand redemption; but it distinguishes, speaking of Him who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.1 Here the special is other than the general redemption though springing from it; what makes it special is not the decree of sovereignty, but the faith of those who embrace it. The distinction, however, condemns those Latitudinarians who regard the whole race as, by the very fact of Christ's incarnation, individually redeemed, justified and saved. (2.) But it makes the two redemptions one in the sense that the individual benefit is only the application of a general benefit which belongs to all who do not reject it. The New Testament never really distinguishes between the redemption which is provided for all by price and that which is applied by power to all who embrace its provisions

1 1 Tim. 4:10

3. Hence, as there is no deliverance which is not individual, and no salvation which is not deliverance, the whole history of personal religion is exhibited in terms of Redemption: it is the release of the will, which is the universal benefit, the repentance which is bestowed by the Spirit of bondage, the release from the law of death in justification and regeneration, the redeeming from all iniquity in entire sanctification, the final expected redemption of the groaning creation, and the deliverance of the saints from the present evil world. Of each of these we shall treat in its place


The history of ecclesiastical doctrine on the Atonement is exceedingly complicated and difficult if all the various shades of opinion and controversy are taken into account; it is very simple if the fundamentals only are regarded

I. The Ante-Nicene age was neither scientific nor controversial on this subject. It was happily unconscious of those speculations which in later ages have done so much to darken the counsel of our redemption; although the germs of coming error are here and there discernible. Generally speaking, the early Patristic doctrine was an undistorted reflection of the teaching of the New Testament

1. The Apostolical Fathers, and the other writers of the second century, fairly reproduced the doctrine of St. Paul and St. John, the two pillars of the later Scriptural theology, who uniting in the necessity of propitiation in God Himself, then disparted: St. Paul exhibiting rather the judicial and rectoral view, St. John the love and moral influence of the Atonement. It will be found that both these aspects are with almost equal fidelity dwelt on; though the leading characteristic of that early teaching seems rather to have joined on to St. John's final presentation of Christ as in His incarnate Person the Living Atonement

This is what might be expected, as the Apostolical Fathers were mostly under the influence of the last Evangelist. The sacrifice of Christ was kept constantly in view; and all the more as the early worship of the Church was based upon the Eucharistic commemoration of that Sacrifice. Even the exaggerations of the Holy Supper tended, until those exaggerations deepened into positive error, to keep the central character of the Saviour's death before the minds of Christians. It was after the days of these first writers that the perversions of the Feast diverted attention from the death to the Incarnation of our Lord. Clemens Romanus, the Father of uninspired Christian literature, strikes the true note on every point which later controversy has brought into prominence. A few phrases are sufficient to establish this: " Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious it is in God's sight (timion to Theo); which, being shed for our salvation, has brought the grace of repentance to all the world." " That by the blood of our Lord there should be redemption to all that believe and hope in God." "You see, beloved, what the pattern of love, patience, humility is which has been given us." "For the love that He bore towards us, our Lord Jesus Christ gave His own blood for us by the will of God: His flesh for our flesh, His soul for our souls." These sentences give their high sanction, not only to the general doctrine of the Atonement laid down in the preceding pages, but also to some of the peculiarities which distinguish it. According to this earliest Father the atoning work of our Lord was a passion ordained by the Divine Will, endured by the Saviour's love, of infinite value as a satisfaction to Divine justice and mercy, available for all, the source of all the preliminary grace of repentance which is given to mankind at large, the substitutionary sacrifice for our souls, but yet of such a-kind that it avails for our bodies also, but made personal only by faith, and, finally, the supreme pattern of selfsacrificing devotion. It is needless to quote any further from the sub-Apostolic writers

The Epistle to Diognetus is the work of an unknown author, probably of the second century, and may be referred to as giving the modern doctrine of the Atonement in its purest form. In it occur such sentences as these: "He Himself gave His own Son a Ransom for us, the Holy for transgressors, the Innocent for the guilty, the Righteous for the unrighteous, the Incorruptible for the corruptible, the Immortal for the mortal: for what could cover our sins but His righteousness? 0 sweet exchange—that the wickedness of many should be hid in One Righteous, and that the Righteousness of One should justify many." Here we have the Divinity of the Person of the Redeemer and His essential sinlessness lying at the very foundation of His work. The substitutionary character of His sufferings is all but expressed; and the redemption wrought for us, for all transgressors, is as prominent as the redemption wrought in us

2. The assaults of the Gnostics gave a peculiar direction to the teaching of the second and third centuries. They, differing much in detail, agreed that redemption was deliverance from matter through the work of the Savior; but that His sufferings were only symbolical, in the semblance of flesh teaching the necessity of death to the flesh. Irenaeus and Tertullian proclaimed the reality of the sufferings of the God-man, and their expiatory and substitutionary character, with a clearness and emphasis never since surpassed. The former has left this memorable sentence: " Quando incarnatus est et homo factus, longam hominum expositionem in se ipso recapitulavit in compendio nobis salutem praestans, ut quod perdideramus in Adamo, i.e., secundum imaginem et similitudinem esse Dei, hoc in Christo reciperemus." The same faithful reproduction of St. Paul's doctrine of the Two Adams is found in words which may be translated thus: " As we sinned in the first Adam, because we did not keep the commandments of God, so we have been reconciled or atoned for in the second Adam, because in Him we were obedient unto death, for to no other were we debtors than to Him Whose commandments we transgressed from the beginning." Tertullian is equally explicit. But it is in the writings of Justin Martyr that we have the fullest exhibition of the effects of the Atonement, though not without indistinctness on some points which may be ascribed to the peculiar difficulties of his apologetic work. He blends closely the two ideas of Sacrifice and Ransom. The endurance of the curse for us Justin rescues from the objection of the Jew, and in such a way as to show that the Son, blessed for ever and always blessed, suffered "FOR THE HUMAN RACE THE CURSES OF ALL." He is careful to show, what has been since too often forgotten, that " the sacrifice was for all sinners who are willing to repent, and fast Isaiah's fast." His doctrine of a vicarious atonement for the world is nonetheless strong because it requires personal faith, being " salvation for those that believe in Him." In Justin, as in all the Fathers before Augustine, we find the doctrine of a universal redemption made particular on the condition of individual repentance and faith

3. The early Fathers generally taught the necessity of a vindication of God's essential justice. Love was in God, as God was in Christ, passively bearing the punishment of the sinner as well as actively providing the atonement. But the assertion of God's righteousness before the universe was disturbed by some peculiar errors, the tendency to exaggerate the place of Satan being one of them, which more or less overshadowed the doctrine for a thousand years. Thess were partly a result of Gnosticism; but much more the effect of Origen's teaching. This Alexandrian Father, like Clement of the same school, elaborated the sacrificial scheme at all points, and taught explicitly the substitutionary character of the Passion. But his speculation almost neutralised his orthodoxy. Asserting the sole validity of the Redeemer's oblation, he assigned to the death of the martyrs a relatively expiatory virtue. Christ's sacrifice he declares to have been offered upon earth for man, in heaven for every spirit of the universe. Its redemption was a deliverance from Satan; but this in an unscriptural way. The human soul of Jesus was given to the Enemy as a ransom for the souls of men in his power; but he was unable to retain it and the world was free; the right he had over sinful men was lost when their sinless Representative was in his hands. Satan, as Gregory said afterwards, "hamo ejus incarnationis captus est," outwitted by the Divinity in the Redeemer on Which he had not calculated. Irenseus expressed the same thought: " The Logos, omnipotent and not wanting in essential justice, proceeded with strict justice even against the apostasy or kingdom of evil itself, redeeming from it that which was His own originally, not by using violence as did the devil in the beginning, but by persuasion, as it became God, so that neither justice should be infringed upon nor the creation of God perish." But a candid estimate of such a passage as this, which represents much of the teaching of that age, must admit that it contains only an inexact statement of the reconciliation of the essential claims of Divine justice, and the spiritual method of love by which men are to be redeemed. But here comes in another unhappy element. Origen taught that apostasy in a pretemporal state was expiated in the present, and finally through Christ abolished. It was impossible to hold such a view as this, without two concomitant errors: ascetic expiations would almost necessarily creep in when the flesh was made in any sense the sphere of bondage: and the justice of God, or His holy displeasure against evil, would soon be merged in the idea of a sovereign goodness predetermining the salvation of all. Hence redemption from the bondage of Satan was followed by the redemption of Satan himself. The universality of human redemption had never been doubted: but Origen made it include the whole universe of evil, reading an incorrect text: choris Theou, without or outside of God He tasted death for all.1 His Universalism was strenuously opposed by Jerome and others, and as held by Origen's followers was condemned formally at a Synod in Constantinople in A.D. 544

1 Heb. 2:9

4. Apart from these errors, and germs of error, there can be no doubt that the ante-Nicene Church was profoundly and vitally familiar with the truth which we hold to be the sound one. They did not attempt to formulate it scientifically. Heresy on this subject could scarcely be said to exist; for the Gnostic errors were outside of the Christian Community, and were met by the simple statements of the Creed concerning the historical manifestation of the real Jesus. The earliest Fathers simply reproduced the spirit and language of the Apostles. And, when they seemed to err, their error was rather exegetical than theological. They did not propose to distinguish between a sacrifice offered to God, and a ransom laid down to Satan: but they failed to see clearly that the teaching of their inspired Masters made that sacrifice and that ransom one, and both as offered and paid by God to Himself in Christ

II. From the Nicene Age down to Anselm, circ. A.D. 1100, the doctrine of redemption was closely bound up with that of the Person of Christ. But it had some independent developments to which brief reference may be made

1. Oriental Christendom was prepared for the study of the Atonement by its prolonged discussions of Trinitarian questions. Athanasius treats explicitly of the atonement for sin and satisfaction of eternal justice; gives supremacy to the priestly office; and, above all, bases the death of Christ on a necessity in the nature and attributes of God, though not perhaps so absolutely in the Divine nature as in the Divine veracity and dignity. Though he was the great expositor of the Incarnation as a disclosure of God in human nature, he placed first among the reasons for Christ's assumption of flesh the necessity of expiating human guilt. The following words give his teaching on almost every aspect of the question. " God cannot be untruthful, even for our benefit. Repentance does not satisfy the, demands of truth and justice. If the question pertained solely to the corruptions of sin, and not to the guilt and ill-desert of it, repentance might be sufficient. But since God is most truthful and just, who can save, in this emergency, but the Logos Who is above all created beings? He who created men from nothing could suffer for all, and be their substitute. Hence the Logos appeared. He Who was incorporeal, imperishable, omnipresent, manifested Himself. He saw both our misery and the threatening of the law; He saw how unbecoming (atopon) it would be for sin to escape the law, except through a fulfillment and satisfaction of it." Satan is omitted; satisfaction to the law is prominent; and, if an eternal necessity in God is not precisely laid down, the doctrine scarcely falls short of it. Gregory of Nazianzum (390) denies the ransom to Satan (theu tees ubreos); but dwells rather too strenuously on the exigency of the Divine government as the reason of the ransom paid to God. He gave the first note of the later Grotian theory: " Is it not plain that the Father received the ransom, not because He Himself required or needed it, but for the sake of the Divine government of the universe (di oikonomian), and because man must be sanctified through the incarnation of the Son of God." Cyril of Jerusalem (386) first made emphatic the THEANTHROPIC VALUE of the atoning death, and its universal vicarious-ness: this was a precious result of the Nestorian controversy. Cyril of Alexandria (444) still more clearly expounded this idea: " Only a God-man could suffer once for all and One for all:" again with reference to the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies. John of Damascus (759), the last of the Greek Fathers, expressed the general doctrine of his own time and some ages afterwards: " He who assumed death for us, died and offered Himself a sacrifice to the Father: for we had committed wrong against Him, and it was necessary that He should receive a ransom from us, and we thus be delivered from condemnation. God forbid that the blood of the Lord should be offered to Satan the tyrant." Here we find three watchwords of expiring orthodox Greek theology: The necessity of an atonement for wrong in the Divine righteousness the substitutionary character of the price, our ransom; and the connection of ransom both with sacrifice and with pardon

2. Western Christendom before the time of Anselm made no advance beyond the early Fathers, either in precision or in avoidance of error. It might have been supposed that one, Augustine, would have occupied his keen intellect with some of the questions which the New Testament had left undetermined and pre-ceding controversies had not settled. But he really added not a single idea. He inherited the old notion of a ransom paid to Satan's rights, corresponding with the sacrifice offered to God's justice. " God the Son, being clothed with humanity, subjugated even the devil to man, extorting nothing from him by violence, but overcoming him by the law of justice; for it would have been injustice if the devil had not had the right to rule over the being whom he had taken captive." He disturbed the doctrine by making justification, or the imputation of righteousness to the believer, depend upon the infusion of grace, an error by which the whole work of redemption through an objective atonement for perfect expiation is clouded. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that he failed to reconcile the internal sanctification or righteousness wrought by the Spirit with the external sanctification or righteousness reckoned to him in whom the former is wrought. He erred from the Pauline phraseology perhaps more than from the Pauline doctrine. Moreover, he never expressed himself even with the same confidence as some of the Greeks as to the necessity of atonement to the justice of God: in other words, where they faltered he faltered still more. " They are foolish," he says, " who declare that the wisdom of God could not liberate men otherwise than by God assuming humanity, being born of a woman, and suffering at the hands of sinners." He separated omnipotence from justice, and taught, like Origen, that God's power was absolute in the provision for salvation. As the Arians thought that the Son was begotten, Bouleesei, by the will of the Father, so Augustine, with many before and after him, thought that the Atonement was not an eternal necessity but of the sole will of God

Finally, Augustine narrowed the range of the virtue of the Atonement: the first of the Fathers who did this. Gregory the Great (604), called the first Pontiff, is remarkably Pauline in this part of his teaching, and far beyond his predecessor Augustine. The following sentences give an idea of his theology. " Guilt can be extinguished only by a penal offering to justice." Christ " assumed our nature without our corruption. He made Himself a sacrifice for us: a victim able to die because of His humanity, and in Divine righteousness able to cleanse." During the next four hundred years there was no such special development of the doctrine as would warrant notice here

III. Anselm, in the latter part of the eleventh century, gave an entirely new direction to ecclesiastical thought on this great question: a direction which has been permanent

1. In his book CUR DEUS HOMO the idea of an atonement proper was exhibited as it had never before been seen; and the term Satisfaction to Divine justice became the leading formula. Anselm utterly rejected the claims of Satan to reparation; he fixed attention on the thought that sin is debt to God, a failure to give Him His due, and that, as " Suprema justitia non est aliud quam ipse Deus," satisfaction to the Divine justice was indispensable. As none but God could vindicate His own honor the God-man must atone; and His sacrifice as presenting FOR MAN " something greater than all that is not God" has infinite atoning value. The term SATISFACTION had been imported by Tertullian from jurisprudence into theology, but with reference especially to human acts of penitence; Hilary and Ambrose had referred it to the passion of Christ; but Anselm revived it from long slumber as a watchword for all future time. He does not distinguish between the active and the passive righteousness of the God-man in rendering this satisfaction; but he certainly lays the stress on the latter: dare animam seu tradere se ipsum morti ad honorem Dei, hoc ex debito Deus non exigit ab Illo. This sacrificial offering, of infinitely greater value than even the ethical demerit of sin, is the MERIT of Christ which overflows to everyone who believes. " Can anything be more just than for God to remit all debt, when in this way He receives a satisfaction greater than all the debt, provided only it be offered with the right sentiment?" Thus human Guilt or Debt demanded a Divine-human payment, and faith appropriates this as justification to the soul. There are flaws in the Anselmic doctrine: such as the subordinate episode that the number of redeemed men would compensate the chasm introduced by the fall of angels. But nothing can dim the value of Anselm's service to Christian theology, as having established the immanent necessity in the Divine nature of an atonement for the infinite evil and offence of sin

2. Mediaeval controversy on this great question was very important as shaping in opposite directions the issues of Trent and the Reformation. The doctrine of Anselm was for four hundred years the common text: some opposed his Biblical theory, others refined upon and exaggerated his views, and a few struck out a path of mediation. This threefold distribution of Scholastic polemics will furnish a clue to the student who pursues this subject in ecclesiastical history

(1.) Abaelard (1141) was the chief opponent of Anselm; and may be said to be the founder of a theory of the Atonement which shuts out the deepest mystery of the Cross

He referred the Christian redemption only to the love of God as its source; and taught that there could be nothing in the Divine essence which absolutely required satisfaction for sin. Redemption like Creation was a Fiat: equally sure, equally free, and equally independent of anything in the creature. The influence of the work of Christ, as accomplished on the cross, and carried on in His intercession, is moral only: subduing the heart, awakening repentance, and leading the soul to the boundless mercy of God whose benevolence is the only attribute concerned in the pardon of sin. Peter Lombard (1164) varied from this view only little; and introduced, for future service, in his Liber Sententiarum, the perilous doctrine that Christ's penal sufferings deliver from the temporal consequences of evil. Duns Scotus denied the possibility of an infinite demerit in human transgression, and therefore the necessity of an infinite value in Christ's human suffering. The relation of the Atonement to sin was purely arbitrary, springing from the mere pleasure of God: " Every creaturely oblation is worth what God accepts it for, and nothing beyond." This is the theory of Acceptilatio, of which more hereafter

(2.) The Scholastic refinements on Anselm's doctrine Were endless. Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas, who represent the later Schoolmen in their utmost subtlety, and more than any others shaped Romanist theology, distinguish between the absolute and relative necessity of atonement: holding the latter only, though admitting that of all possible modes this of satisfaction was most congruous with the Divine perfections. In their anxiety to save the freedom and omnipotence of God they introduced a distinction or discord into the Divine essence from which Anselm's theory is free. Aquinas laid great stress upon the Mystical Union between the Savior and His people; and here two errors crept in. Room was made for the limitation of redemption to the believer configured to his Lord: the guilt of the sinner being transferred to Christ even as Christ's merit is transferred to the sinner. This is in strange contradiction to the universality elsewhere assigned to the virtue of the Atonement. And, secondly, in the case of sin after baptism the believer must be " configured " to his Lord by personal penance. That penance is imperfect; but it is an expiation joined to the Redeemer's. Aquinas also introduced the distinction between the satisfaction and the merit of out Substitute. His theory that the satisfaction was offered to penal justice, and the merit of obedience wins eternal life for the Saint, was an anticipation of the subsequent distinction needlessly introduced between the Active and the Passive Righteousness of Christ. His new dogma of the superabundance of the Saviour's merits—Christi passio non solum sufficiens, sed etiam SUPER-ABUNDANS SATISFACTIO—which, while seeming to honor the Atonement, was certainly based upon a lowered estimate of sin, laid the foundation for the superstructure of a treasury of merits at the disposal of the Church. The Thomists, as his followers were called, had a long controversy with the Scotists, followers of Duns Scotus, on this point and on many others that became afterwards prominent in the controversies of the Deformation

(3.) The Scholastics who mediated between Anselm's and the opposite doctrine were Bernard, Bonaventura, Alexander of Hales, and many of the later Mystics. They paved the way for the Reform of the Sixteenth Century: partly, by admitting a real laxity as to the ABSOLUTE necessity of atonement, which cannot be exchanged for a RELATIVE necessity without great peril; and, partly, by keeping alive in a narrower circle the Anselmic theory, which was to put forth its renewed energy in the great awakening. This was the case especially with some of the Mystics and Precursors of the Reformation, such as Wessel, who says: " Ipse Deus, ipse sacerdos, ipse hostia, pro se, de se, sibi satisfecit." These deep words deserve to be remembered for their own value, as well as because they were written on the threshold of the temple of reformed theology; as also those by which they are followed: "In Christ we behold not only a Reconciled but a Reconciling Deity; an incarnate God Who, in the sinner's place and for the sinner's salvation, furnishes what His own attributes of holiness and justice require."

IV. The Tridentine Soteriology, carefully studied, will be, found to depart widely from the Anselmic doctrine which it professes to hold: though this does not appear on the surface, and is not evident in the definitions. The following two opposite tendencies may be noted; referring, however, to the objective Atonement with which alone we have to do

1. The satisfaction rendered to Divine justice by the Passion of Christ is fully recognized

"Christus, qui, cum essemus inimici, propter nimiani caritatem, qua dilexit nos, nobis sua sanctissima passione ligno crucis justificationem meruit et pro nobis Deo Patri satisfecit." But it is added " abunde cumulateque satisfecit;" and hence the merit of Christ is in a sense over-estimated. The Thomist dogma of Meritum Christ! Super-abundans laid as we have seen the foundation of that treasury which, enlarged by the superfluous merit of the saints, and. committed to the Church, mystically one with and the same as Christ, constituted the source of Indulgences. Origen applied the infinite superfluity to the rest of the universe; this doctrine limited it to the remission of the temporal consequences of sin

2. On the other hand, the atoning merit is under-estimated: for the virtue of Christ's death is declared to avail only for the sins of the world, and those committed before baptism

The virtue of the Atonement, as applied for mortal sins committed afterwards, must be connected, so far as the temporal or not eternal punishment is concerned, with man's own expiation

3. But it is rather in its subjective character, or in its individual aspect, as Justification, that the error of Roman Catholic theology appears. Reserving for the Righteousness of Faith some further remarks on this subject, we may be satisfied to refer to the Tridentine Canons which deny that the atoning satisfaction of Christ is the sole meritorious ground of a sinner's justification. Whatever value is attributed to the passion of the Redeemer as expiating the sin of mankind, righteousness is imputed to the personal sinner only as he is made righteous by the infusion of faith: it is, so to speak, imputed to the faith and not to the man who believes. Undoubtedly, it is affirmed that the grace which more and more justifies the soul comes through the Atonement. But the direct application of the Saviour's finished work in the purging of the conscience is effectually precluded

V. The Reformation revived generally the theory of Anselm, as that was the vindication of an eternal and absolute, and not merely a relative and economical, necessity for satisfaction in the Divine nature. The same variations in the statement of this which marked the Patristic and Scholastic theology are observable among the Reformers

Luther, and the great divines that followed him, were more rigid than Calvin and his followers, who speak of the possibility of redemption even apart from the work of Christ

1. The points which the Lutheran theory and the Reformed Confession agreed in rescuing from the perversion of ages were the sufficiency of the Redeemer's Satisfaction for all sins, original and actual; the pre-eminence in the atoning work of the death of Christ, His incarnation and His resurrection flanking this on either side. The active side of the Saviour's obedience was added to the passive, a SATISPASSIO being divided off from the SATIS-FACTIO; or they regarded the whole virtue of the Atonement as Satisfaction and Merit, the former repairing the dishonor of the law and the latter providing righteousness for man. It may be said that both branches of the New Theology laid much stress on a division of the virtue of Christ's work into its reparation of the honor of the law by Obedience and its endurance of its penalty in the Passion

2. The Reformed or Calvinistic doctrine limited the scope and design of the Atonement to the elect; the Lutheran divines, after some hesitation, adopted the theory of a universal efficacy in the Redeemer's mediation. The Calvinists made less account of the three offices of the Redeemer: inasmuch as His work was rather the instrumental accomplishment of an eternal decree. Against the views of Piscator, who insisted that Christ's obedience to law was needed for Himself as man, and must be excluded from His vicarious atoning work, the Reformed Formula Consensus (1675) asserted: " Christ rendered satisfaction to God the Father, by the obedience of His death, in the place of the elect, in such sense that the entire obedience which He rendered to the law through the whole course of His life, whether actively or passively, ought to be reckoned into the account of His vicarious righteousness and obedience." This, like many other statements in the formularies and divines, is ambiguous: it only does not positively lay down the erroneous principle that the two parts of our Saviour's one obedience are distributed severally to the believer for release from condemnation and investiture with holiness. But the question here involved belongs rather to the doctrine of Justification

VI. The Socinian doctrine, if such it may be called, must be noticed here: partly because it represented in the seventeenth century the Rationalist assault on the principles of the Atonement which has been modified but not essentially changed in later times, and partly because it helped to shape the Anninian which followed it, and other systems of thought in other respects orthodox. Early Socinianism held a much higher estimate both of the Person and of the Work of Christ than that of the Modern Unitarians. But, as there could be in it no doctrine, strictly speaking, of the Incarnate Person, so it has no doctrine of Atonement. Its contribution to the history of the subject is simply the array of arguments against the Anselmic principles, and its method of explaining away Scripture, 1. The supreme principle in Socinianism as in Predestinarianism is an Absolute Sovereignty in God, disposing of all creatures according to His own will. In Calvinism the arbitrary will governs the destinies of men; in Socinianism it governs the attributes of God. It refuses to admit of any immutable qualities whether of justice or mercy in the Divine nature, these being only expressions of His occasional will, called out as it were by the conduct of man. An eternal justice demanding punishment is inconsistent with an eternal mercy prompting to forgive. Satisfaction for sin is incompatible with love

Against this objection it is enough to say that it opposes the first principles of Scriptural teaching concerning God, Who is represented as reconciling in Himself these opposite attributes by an atonement which is at once and equally an expression of both, and regulating His will. Thus our doctrine is safe from Socinian censure only when it first shuts itself up in God, and grasps the reconciliation of justice and mercy in the Divine nature

2. Descending to the theory of Substitution, Socinianism denies its possibility in any form. Sin and punishment are both strictly and for ever personal. There is a form of the doctrine against which this plea has much force. But it does not touch our presentation of it. (1.) Strictly speaking, Christ is not a Substitute for any man. He is the Representative and Vicar of humanity, and the Other Self of the race, being the Second Adam; whilst He is the Other Self also of every believer who claims His sacrifice as his own, and says in the language of appropriating devotion, ALL THINE ARE MINE. But his sin is dealt with as his own and put away from him. He is CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST.1 (2.) The objection that the Savior has not suffered the precise equivalent for man's sin is valid only against those who plead that there was such a commercial equivalent. He could not suffer eternal torments. The union of the Son of God with mankind gave His intention of atonement in suffering an infinite value: it was accepted as such because it was in His heart. In an infinitely higher sense than His servant Paul He said, I could wish! Eeuchómeen gár anáthema eínai autós egoó.2 (3.) In urging that the Redeemer's active obedience could not be vicarious as superadded to His passive obedience Socinianism is opposing a false dogma of the Atonement. (4.) Once more, the objection that imputation to faith is inconsistent with a plenary satisfaction is important. Socinus pleaded against the teaching which maintains that this universal benefit is given to none but those who believe. But that is not the true doctrine. Christ's benefit is imparted before personal faith; and, in case of believers, their faith is the not rejecting what was before provided for them as their own. The vehement protest against the combination of imputed active righteousness and the inexorable demand of the law has its full force against those whom it concerns; but not against those who believe that the appropriation of a full forgiveness sets the believer free to fulfill in love all the claims of righteousness

1 Gal. 2:20; 2 Rom. 9:3

3. The more positive principles of Socinianism maintain that the sacrificial language used concerning the Redeemer only figuratively describes His authority in heaven to declare forgiveness; and that the Scriptures without figure announce pardon as waiting for all who, sympathizing with the Redeemer's death, repent and abandon their sins

(1.) According to the teaching of early Socinianism—as distinguished from that of modern Unitarianism—the Saviour's priestly office was only figurative on earth, and began in heaven where He uses His exalted authority to plead for mankind. " The sacerdotal office consists in this, that as He can in royal authority help us in all our necessities, so in His priestly character; and the character of His help is called by a figure His sacrifice." But it may be said that forgiveness is never represented as bestowed save through a real sacrifice: God is in Christ reconciling the world to Himself; and for Christ's sake forgives the sins which only the Spirit obtained by the Atonement enables us to confess and forsake

(2.) The Supreme in His majesty is said to forgive on the ground of repentance and obedience. The sufferings of Christ were the vehicle of a moral influence to induce that repentance and animate and exemplify that obedience. There is no relaxation of the holy law, which is thus honored as the bond of obligation to the moral universe. We also hold the exemplary character of the sufferings of Christ; but as illustrating the necessity of a satisfaction to pure justice, and not merely the love and mercy of the Lawgiver. In modern times this argument has been reproduced in a thousand ways: these all marking the offence of the Cross which has not ceased. There are two everlasting safeguards of the truth: the constitution of the human mind which bears witness to the wrath as well as the love of God; and the express revelation of Scripture concerning the reconciliation

4. In recent times Socinian principles have been introduced into the Latitudinarian theology of many who do not reject the doctrine of the Trinity. And it is here that they are most dangerous. In the works of some divines, the love of God alone is introduced into the atoning sacrifice, which on Christ's part is a sublime and supreme act of repentance for man, His AMEN to the sentence of the law, and to man himself an affecting representative sorrow which he must make his own by adding to it the element of personal consciousness of guilt. The latter idea links it with the Romish doctrine of human additional expiation; and, as to the former, a representative sorrow that does not taste the wrath of God against sin falls immeasurably below the Scriptural illustrations of the atoning passion in which our Lord was made a curse for us. The theory utterly fails in the link between the Divine-human sorrow and the human appropriation of it; and it entirely forgets that Christ was made the embodiment and representative of sin as well as the incarnation of suffering. Other modifications of the Unitarian theory of the Atonement in combination with Trinitarian doctrine of God are endless; but none presents any such definitely marked system as needs arrest attention

VII. The doctrine of atonement which is sometimes characterised as Grotian and sometimes as Arminian is based on one common fundamental principle. Arminius and his follower Grotius held the same theory up to a certain point; after which they differ

1. Both aimed to mediate between the rigorous Anselmic view of a satisfaction which is the substitution of a strict equivalent for the penalty due to sin and the Socinian rejection of all vicarious intervention. The atoning reparation which they agree to uphold is one that satisfied not the rigor and exactitude of Divine justice only or especially but also and chiefly the just and compassionate will of God: laying the emphasis rather on the love than on the justice of God as honored in the Atonement. They refuse to regard the Saviour's redemption as the payment of a debt to a creditor; it is to them a substitute for a judicial penalty, which substitute being the oblation of Christ, infinitely precious, is counted sufficient by the Father. This has somewhat of the character of the Scotist ACCEPTILATIO (accepti latio), which was in Roman law an acquittance from obligation by word of mouth, without real payment; differing from it by assuming a real compensation, but not of an exact and commercial character. And here the Arminian principle comes in with a just protest. Grotius, who in his very important work on the Satisfaction of Christ reintroduced the term, was obliged to vindicate it. He insisted that his theory of a satisfaction offered by Christ, and reputed sufficient by God, was more than the Acceptilatio of Roman jurisprudence. In fact what God accounted sufficient was of infinite value; but still not the precise equivalent of the penalty due to sin. There was a relaxation of the claims of the law in one sense, though not in another. The most rigorous Anselmic theory must admit the principle, so far as the acceptance of a substitute goes; why not then carry the principle a little farther and make the interfering act extend to the VALUE of the thing substituted as well as to the PRINCIPLE of substitution: especially as the value here is infinite? 2. But Grotius, its later representative, did not agree with the Arminian theology when he limited the satisfaction to the dignity of the law, the honor of the Lawgiver, the protection of the interests of the universe, and the exhibition of a deterrent example. Grotius founded what has been called the Rectoral or Governmental theory of the Atonement, which dwells too exclusively on its necessity for the vindication of God's righteousness as the Ruler of all. Not to speak of the invincible repugnance felt by every reverent mind to the thought that our Lord was thus made a spectacle to the universe, this theory errs by making a subordinate purpose supreme. Limborch, as the representative of Arminianism, answers his own question, An Christus morte sua circa Deum aliquid effecerit? by replying that the sufferings of Christ were those of a SACRIFICE Divinely appointed to take the place of a penalty, and reconciled God to man as if they had been the sinner's own punishment. Christ therefore by His death did effect something in God; though strictly speaking He only carried out in act what had been already effected in purpose

More than this the Scripture does not require. Arminianism holds that the Sacrifice was offered for the whole world: it must therefore for that reason also renounce the commutative theory of exact and mutual compensation; since some may perish for whom Christ died, and He would be defrauded of His reward in them

VIII. A few brief observations may be made in conclusion

1. Most of the errors that have passed in review have sprung from failure to connect the three leading Biblical ideas: the atonement in God, as a necessity in the Divine attributes; the reconciliation on earth, as vindicating to the universe the Rectoral justice of God; and the exhibition of the redemption to man, as moving upon his conscience and will and heart. Here unite what are sometimes called the SUBSTITUTIONARY, the GOVERNMENTAL and the MORAL INFLUENCE theories. The union of these is the Scriptural doctrine, as it is set forth in Scripture; and especially in the Epistles of St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John: the last giving in many particulars the finishing touches in the union of the Person and the Work of Christ. Neither of these theories is valid, standing alone. Each is necessary as the complement of the others. The doctrine would commend itself more than it does to the minds of all devout persons if justice was done to every aspect. The champion of either of these theories who thinks it necessary absolutely to deny the truth of the others proves that his own is wrong

2. Another prevalent source of confusion is the tendency to undervalue the personality and comparative independence of man's relation to God. No doctrine of revealed religion stamps such dignity on the human spirit as that which makes it the object of this stupendous intervention. But there is a certain Pantheism which infects much of the theology of the modern Christian Church, tinging the theories and vocabulary even when the ground principles of Pantheism are rejected or perhaps not understood. The more closely the speculations of this philosophical Christianity are studied the more manifest will it be that they reduce the Person and Work of Christ to the rank of mere symbols of transcendental mysteries of evolution, which seem to do honor to the union of God and man but at the expense of everything that may be called Mediation. The individuality of the soul is lost, and man is merged in humanity. But it is not in England that we have to encounter this substitute for the doctrine of the Atonement

3. Akin to this, though distinct from it, is the tendency, not especially modern, to underestimate the evil of sin. Theories of the Atonement fluctuate with theories of the evil that makes it necessary. If sin is regarded as a necessary phenomenon of human development, the Atonement must needs only be an accidental aid in that development. If it is viewed as only a disease or only as misery, then the atonement will be regarded as only an expedient, though one of the highest and most effectual, for the remedy of human weakness. But if sin is regarded, in the light of Scripture, as an active rebellion of the human will which affects the Divine nature and attributes and government as well as human interests, then the Atonement becomes an eternal necessity in God as well as an eternal necessity for man. Every theory that robs the work of Christ of its expiatory character will be found, on close examination, to make sin comparatively A LIGHT THING as touching the Supreme Ruler, however melancholy in its workings and consequences to its victim. Now there is nothing more plain than that the Bible, from the history of the loss of Paradise to the prediction of Paradise re-entered, consistently and uniformly teaches that wrong in the creature touches the inmost essence of the Triune God; and that it evolves in the depths of the Divine nature eternal pity for the evil and eternal displeasure towards the sin. No single topic in Biblical theology is so little varied in its development as this

4. There is prevalent among professedly orthodox theologians a tendency to ascribe to the Eternal God a certain all-commanding attribute of LOVE which is so described as to undermine the foundations of the doctrine of the Atonement. It is possible so to exaggerate the Divine compassion as to make it inconsistent with the most obvious facts of experience. The mind may be so possessed by a morbid sentiment of the necessary supremacy of the tenderness of God as to be incapable of steadily contemplating His holy wrath against sin. To such a feeling the whole of Scripture must appear to be written in a language of the most violent and incongruous symbols. It is the purest homage to love, the bond of perfectness in God as well as man, to correct that one-sided view. If it is the royal attribute—which, however, the Scripture does not say—it reigns IN God but not OVER Him. Of the Divine Being it is also said: Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.1

1 Psa. 89:14

5. It is important to remember in all discussions on the Atonement that the language of theology must be controlled and explained by the language of Scripture. Through forgetting this many prejudices arise which would otherwise perhaps be obviated. The leading New-Testament terms are so simple that they may be comprised in one sentence

Christ as MEDIATOR exhibits in His own Person the RECONCILIATION between God and mankind, which however required to be wrought out by a SACRIFICE of OBEDIENCE in life and death, such as has PROPITIATED God in respect to sin, and accomplished a REDEMPTION for all men, to be appropriated by the faith of individuals. Theology has varied these terms and added a few. They indicate that the oblation of Christ was an ATONEMENT or atoning SATISFACTION of the Divine justice and the claims of law, as well as of the Divine love or saving will, EXPIATING the sin or canceling its punishment, and PROPITIATING the Divine displeasure, in one and the same act. As the Scriptures are a revelation of God to man, so this doctrine, which lies at the base of that revelation, pervading it from beginning to end, must be guarded with the most watchful diligence

Only at the Cross, where the Father accepts for us the sacrifice of His Son. our Representative, is the true God revealed to mankind