Treatise on Atonement: sections 52 to 56

The next installment.

<meta content="20060414;20400100" name="CREATED" /><meta content="20060427;45800" name="CHANGED" /> </p> <style> <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"><strong> 52. </strong><strong>The same true of all sin.</strong> Food for the body would never please the appetite unless we first experienced hunger; the coolings springs would not be sought for if men were never thirsty; health would never be prized could we not contrast it with sickness; ease is appreciated by the remembrance of pain; and a physician would never be wanted if it were not for our infirmities; a Saviour would never have been praised by his redeemed had they never been in bondage; the song, “Thou hast redeemed us to God out of every kingdom and nation,” could never be sung had redemption not been needed; a fountain would never have been opened for Judah and Jerusalem to wash in from sin and uncleanness.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"><strong> 53. </strong><strong>But this does not justify sin</strong>. Then, says my opponent, we may so evil that good may come. This objection has often been stated to me in conversation on this subject. My reply is short. There is a self-contradiction in the objection; to do anything whatever for good is not a moral transgression. Had Joseph’s brethren been taught of God that it was necessary for them to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites the he might go down to Egypt and there prepare for the famine, and they had done it for the good which God intended, it would have been no more sin in them than there was in the design of God. Then it is plain to do evil that good may come is impossible.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>54. Paul’s argument cited.</strong> Again had <span style="font-style: normal">Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel intended the good which God intended in the crucifixion of Christ, sin would have been out of the question. St. Paul asks the question to his opposers after he had argued that where sin abounded grace did much more abound, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” And answers thus, “God forbid. How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” If we are truly enlightened into the nature of the all-abounding grace of the gospel it causes us to die to sin; and if we are dead to sin we shall not live in it. God has forbidden it in the nature of things and rendered it impossible.</span></p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal"> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>55. Finite consequences of sin argued from man’s limitations.</strong> As I have limited sin in its nature, the reader will not expect to find unlimited consequences attached to it in this work. Were it so that the fulness of the divine law was perfectly comprehended in the mind of the creature and he should go contrary thereto, his sin would then be as infinite as the law transgressed; but I argue that the law transgressed is a law formed in the mind of an imperfect being by the imperfect knowledge which he obtains of the divine law, which is no other than God himself. This knowledge being imperfect, forms a law like itself, imperfect and mutable; and an imperfect, mutable law does not afford data from which to argue endless consequences. The sacred oracle declares “the soul that sins shall die.” If it has added and said “and shall never live again,” it would have carried the consequences of sin infinitely farther than the Holy Ghost intended. Sin is death to the soul as long as it sins, be that time longer or shorter. In order to argue an endless consequence we must first state an infinite cause; and as I have argued sin on a finite scale and in a limited circle, I must rationally limit its consequences.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in"><strong>56. The final cause and the final end of humanity.</strong> I will now state two particulars, which the reader will find argued in the course of this work, state my opponent’s objections against them, answer those objections, and introduce by second general inquiry by stating a third objection.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in">1st. Man is dependent in all his volitions, and moves by necessity.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in">2d. The Almighty has a good intention in every volition of man.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in">Objection first. If man move by necessity, why do the scriptures abound with exhortations and admonitions to dissuade from sin, and so many inducements to persuade to holiness and virtue? And why are there requirements in the law to which man is under the necessity of going contrary.</p> <p style="text-indent: 0.13in; margin-bottom: 0in">Objection second. If God had a good intention in every action and volition of man, why is it said in the scriptures that he is grieved and provoked against us? etc.</p> </div><!-- .entry-content --> <footer class="entry-footer default-max-width"> <div class="posted-by"><span class="posted-on">Published <time class="entry-date published updated" datetime="2006-04-27T06:54:49-04:00">Thursday, 27 April 2006</time></span></div><div class="post-taxonomies"><span class="cat-links">Categorized as <a href="" rel="category tag">Universalism</a> </span></div> </footer><!-- .entry-footer --> <div class="author-bio show-avatars"> <img alt='' src='' srcset=' 2x' class='avatar avatar-85 photo' height='85' width='85' decoding='async'/> <div class="author-bio-content"> <h2 class="author-title"> By Scott Wells </h2><!-- .author-title --> <p class="author-description"> Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.</p><!-- .author-description --> <a class="author-link" href="" rel="author">View all of Scott Wells's posts.</a> </div><!-- .author-bio-content --> </div><!-- .author-bio --> </article><!-- #post-1439 --> <div id="comments" class="comments-area default-max-width show-avatars"> <div id="respond" class="comment-respond"> <h2 id="reply-title" class="comment-reply-title">Leave a comment</h2><form action="" method="post" id="commentform" class="comment-form" novalidate><p class="comment-notes"><span id="email-notes">Your email address will not be published.</span> <span class="required-field-message">Required fields are marked <span class="required">*</span></span></p><p class="comment-form-comment"><label for="comment">Comment <span class="required">*</span></label> <textarea id="comment" name="comment" cols="45" rows="5" maxlength="65525" required></textarea></p><p class="comment-form-author"><label for="author">Name <span class="required">*</span></label> <input id="author" name="author" type="text" value="" size="30" maxlength="245" autocomplete="name" required /></p> <p class="comment-form-email"><label for="email">Email <span class="required">*</span></label> <input id="email" name="email" type="email" value="" size="30" maxlength="100" aria-describedby="email-notes" autocomplete="email" required /></p> <p class="comment-form-url"><label for="url">Website</label> <input id="url" name="url" type="url" value="" size="30" maxlength="200" autocomplete="url" /></p> <p class="comment-form-cookies-consent"><input id="wp-comment-cookies-consent" name="wp-comment-cookies-consent" type="checkbox" value="yes" /> <label for="wp-comment-cookies-consent">Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.</label></p> <p class="form-submit"><input name="submit" type="submit" id="submit" class="submit" value="Post Comment" /> <input type='hidden' name='comment_post_ID' value='1439' id='comment_post_ID' /> <input type='hidden' name='comment_parent' id='comment_parent' value='0' /> </p><p style="display: none;"><input type="hidden" id="akismet_comment_nonce" name="akismet_comment_nonce" value="2bf3cc9342" /></p><p style="display: none !important;" class="akismet-fields-container" data-prefix="ak_"><label>Δ<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_1" name="ak_js" value="81"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div><!-- #respond --> <p class="akismet_comment_form_privacy_notice">This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">Learn how your comment data is processed</a>.</p> </div><!-- #comments --> <nav class="navigation post-navigation" aria-label="Posts"> <h2 class="screen-reader-text">Post navigation</h2> <div class="nav-links"><div class="nav-previous"><a href="" rel="prev"><p class="meta-nav"><svg class="svg-icon" width="24" height="24" aria-hidden="true" role="img" focusable="false" viewBox="0 0 24 24" fill="none" xmlns=""><path fill-rule="evenodd" clip-rule="evenodd" d="M20 13v-2H8l4-4-1-2-7 7 7 7 1-2-4-4z" fill="currentColor"/></svg>Previous post</p><p class="post-title">Privacy statements important for church websites</p></a></div><div class="nav-next"><a href="" rel="next"><p class="meta-nav">Next post<svg class="svg-icon" width="24" height="24" aria-hidden="true" role="img" focusable="false" viewBox="0 0 24 24" fill="none" xmlns=""><path fill-rule="evenodd" clip-rule="evenodd" d="m4 13v-2h12l-4-4 1-2 7 7-7 7-1-2 4-4z" fill="currentColor"/></svg></p><p class="post-title">Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship’s lineup at St. Louis General Assembly</p></a></div></div> </nav> </main><!-- #main --> </div><!-- #primary --> </div><!-- #content --> <aside class="widget-area"> <section id="search-4" class="widget widget_search"><h2 class="widget-title">Search</h2><form role="search" method="get" class="search-form" action=""> <label for="search-form-1">Search…</label> <input type="search" id="search-form-1" class="search-field" value="" name="s" /> <input type="submit" class="search-submit" value="Search" /> </form> </section><section id="text-1" class="widget widget_text"><h2 class="widget-title">Welcome</h2> <div class="textwidget"><em>The Boy in the Bands</em> is a record of the passing thoughts of Scott Wells, now more cultural and less churchly. That side of my writing is now at <a href=""></a>, thought I'll keep an archive here, too. I'm proud of my employer and colleagues, but the opinions here are mine.</div> </section><section id="text-83951821" class="widget widget_text"><h2 class="widget-title">Contact me</h2> <div class="textwidget"><a href="">Please use the Contact page</a></div> </section><section id="pages-2" class="widget widget_pages"><h2 class="widget-title">Special pages</h2><nav aria-label="Special pages"> <ul> <li class="page_item page-item-11429"><a href="">About</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-674"><a href="">About Scott Wells</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-1883"><a href="">Contact me</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-11438"><a href="">Contact me</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-8938"><a href="">Creative Commons-licensed Content</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-866 page_item_has_children"><a href="">Symbols of faith</a> <ul class='children'> <li class="page_item page-item-870"><a href="">1903 Universalist Creed</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-8774"><a href="">UGC “Christ Will Conquer” logo</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-673"><a href="">Winchester Profession of 1803 (Universalist)</a></li> </ul> </li> <li class="page_item page-item-8196 page_item_has_children"><a href="">Worship resources</a> <ul class='children'> <li class="page_item page-item-4064"><a href="">Ordo de Diservo (1907)</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-7796"><a href="">Lectionary and propers index</a></li> <li class="page_item page-item-8216 page_item_has_children"><a href="">Service book introductions</a> <ul class='children'> <li class="page_item page-item-8210"><a href="">Introduction from “Services of Religion” (1937)</a></li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </nav></section> <section id="recent-posts-4" class="widget widget_recent_entries"> <h2 class="widget-title">Recent Posts</h2><nav aria-label="Recent Posts"> <ul> <li> <a href="">Waking up, and page for tiny links</a> </li> <li> <a href="">A smaller web footprint</a> </li> <li> <a href="">Resuming commentary</a> </li> <li> <a href="">How I journal today</a> </li> <li> <a href="">Preparing for emergencies: your plans?</a> </li> </ul> </nav></section> </aside><!-- .widget-area --> <footer id="colophon" class="site-footer"> <div class="site-info"> <div class="site-name"> <a href="">Boy in the Bands</a> </div><!-- .site-name --> <div class="powered-by"> Proudly powered by <a href="">WordPress</a>. </div><!-- .powered-by --> </div><!-- .site-info --> </footer><!-- #colophon --> </div><!-- #page --> <script>document.body.classList.remove("no-js");</script> <script> if ( -1 !== navigator.userAgent.indexOf( 'MSIE' ) || -1 !== navigator.appVersion.indexOf( 'Trident/' ) ) { document.body.classList.add( 'is-IE' ); } </script> <script id="twenty-twenty-one-ie11-polyfills-js-after"> ( Element.prototype.matches && Element.prototype.closest && window.NodeList && NodeList.prototype.forEach ) || document.write( '<script src=""></scr' + 'ipt>' ); </script> <script src="" id="twenty-twenty-one-responsive-embeds-script-js"></script> <script defer src="" id="akismet-frontend-js"></script> </body> </html>