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6d The Atonement, Israel Atkinson

The Atonement

14 Jan 2013, by

By: Israel Atkinson

The atonement of Jesus Christ is an unspeakably important branch of gospel truth; and every scriptural, intelligent, and godly exposition and defence of it ought to be welcomed by the living church of God. Mr. Atkinson has placed this subject before us in the following pages, in a thoughtful, interesting, and edifying manner. Some parts are treated with an originality, which is one of the writer’s…

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Introduction

14 Jan 2013, by

Before directing attention to the subject of this treatise, a few preliminary remarks seem to be required. In the greater part of the works extant on sacred subjects, the doctrine of the Atonement is more or less dwelt on; and this is so of necessity, because the subject is interwoven with the whole fabric of the truth relating to the salvation of sinners; and, besides, there are also not a few treatises written specially on the subject. These facts may be considered as a sufficient reason why the writer, unless he can pretend to give some quite original information on the subject, should be content to be quiet, or to exercise himself in other directions. But what has been well said on another matter may be repeated here…

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If God is, dominion must belong to him. If he were not Lord, he would not be God. But God is, and “He is Lord of All.” An absolutely supreme dominion is his by right, and in fact. But the sovereignty he has and exerts over his intelligent creatures is not solely that of a proprietor, but also that of a moral governor. As such he subjected man to a law which is holy, just, and good. This law may be taken as a transcript, so far as any law can be, of his own nature; and it may be confidently concluded that, while he will suffer none who are subject to this law to break a single precept with impunity, he himself, in any of the acts of his sovereignty, will never violate its principles. In the outworking of his sovereignty, then, there will be nothing unholy, unjust, nor evil. If, therefore, nothing apart from God controls his sovereignty…

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Sin, the existent occasion for an atonement, we say, can find no solution of the difficulty it presents to the human mind apart from divine sovereignty. Philosophers have speculated very foolishly on this subject, fanatics have very madly raved about it, and the friends of God have very impertinently apologized for the conduct of the Lord of all about it; but after all, the fact remains just where the philosopher, the fanatic, and the friend found it, and just what that fact was, a judgment of divine sovereignty that is unsearchable, and a way that is past finding out.

Reasoning on the ways of God as the great moral Governor, it has been thought…

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But however little is known of God’s reason for the existence of sin, and guilt, and misery, we do know for certain that law is, and sin is, and guilt is, and misery is; and we know with equal certainty that the evil of sin has created a posture of affairs which can only be effectually met by the atonement of Christ. This atonement the Divine Sovereign has admitted, and the admission is a prime article in the plan of grace.

That the Supreme Ruler possessed the sovereign right to admit an atonement, provided always…

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