as the human life consecrated and fulfilled, is the same in us as in Jesus and inasmuch as his consecration and fulfillment makes morally possible for us the same consecration and fulfillment of it which he achieved, therefore, his atonement, his sacrifice and his suffering, become vicarious. For not that they make unnecessary but that They make possible and successful in us, the same processes which were perfect in him.?
(c) The theory furnishes no proper reason for Christ?s suffering. While it shows that the Savior necessarily suffers from his contact with human sin and sorrow, it gives no explanation of that constitution of the universe which makes suffering the consequence of sin, not only to the sinner, but also to the innocent being who comes into connection with sin. The holiness of God, which is manifested in this constitution of things and which requires this atonement, is entirely ignored.
B. W. Lockhart, in a recent statement of the doctrine of the atonement, shows this defect of apprehension: ?God in Christ reconciled the world to himself, Christ did not reconcile God to man but man to God. Christ did not enable God to save men but God enabled Christ to save men. The sufferings of Christ were vicarious as the highest illustration of that spiritual law by which the good soul is impelled to suffer that others may not suffer, to die that others may not die. The vicarious sufferings of Jesus were also the great revelation to man of the vicarious nature of God. A revelation of the cross as eternal in his nature, it is in the heart of God to bear the sin and sorrow of his creatures in his eternal love and pity. It is a revelation, moreover, that the law, which saves the lost through the vicarious labors of godlike souls, prevails wherever the godlike and the lost soul can influence each other.?
While there is much in the above statement with which we agree, we charge it with misapprehending the reason for Christ?s suffering. That reason is to be found only it that holiness of God, which expresses itself in the very constitution of the universe. Not love but holiness has made suffering invariably to follow sin, so that penalty falls not only upon the transgressor but also upon him who is the life and sponsor of the transgressor. God?s holiness brings suffering to God and to Christ who manifests God. Love bears the suffering but it is holiness that necessitates it. The statement of Lockhart above gives account of the effect, which is reconciliation but it fails to recognize propitiation as the cause. The words of E. G. Robinson furnish the needed complement: ?The work of Christ has two sides, propitiatory and reconciling. Christ felt the pang of association with a guilty race. The divine displeasure rested on him as
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