After praying and blessing the bread, and after pronouncing the words: ?This is my body, broken for you,? he added: ?This is our foundation!? As he started to bless the cup, he cried: ?Quick, quick, bring the cup! I am so happy!? Then he sank quietly back, and was no more. See life of Rothe, by Nippold, 2:53, 54. Ritschl, in his History of Pietism, 2:65, had severely criticized Paul Gerhardt?s hymn: ?O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,? as describing physical suffering but he begged his son to repeat the two last verses of that hymn: ?O sacred head now wounded!? when he came to die. And in general, the convicted sinner finds peace most quickly and surely when he is pointed to the Redeemer who died on the Cross and endured the penalty of sin in his stead.

3. The Grotian, or Governmental Theory of the Atonement.

This theory holds that the atonement is a satisfaction, not to any internal principle of the divine nature, but to the necessities of government. God?s government of the universe cannot be maintained nor can the divine law preserve its authority over its subjects unless the pardon of offenders is accompanied by some exhibition of the high estimate which God sets upon his law and the heinous guilt of violating it. Such an exhibition of divine regard for the law is furnished in the sufferings and death of Christ. Christ does not suffer the precise penalty of the law but God graciously accepts his suffering as a substitute for the penalty. This bearing of substituted suffering on the part of Christ gives the divine law such hold upon the consciences and hearts of men, that God can pardon the guilty, upon their repentance, without detriment to the interests of his government. The author of this theory was Hugo Grotius, the Dutch jurist and theologian (1583-1645). The theory is characteristic of the New England theology and is generally held by those who accept the New School view of sin.

Grotius was a precocious genius. He wrote good Latin verses at nine years of age, was ripe for the University at twelve and edited the encyclopedic work of Marcianus Capella at fifteen. Even thus early he went with an embassy to the court of France where he spent a year. Returning home, he took the degree of doctor of laws. In literature he edited the remains of Aratus and wrote three dramas in Latin. At twenty he was appointed historiographer of the United Provinces, then advocate- general of the fisc for Holland and Zealand. He wrote on international law, was appointed deputy to England. He was imprisoned for his theological opinions, escaped to Paris and became ambassador of Sweden to France. He wrote commentaries on Scripture, as well as history, theology, and poetry. He was indifferent to dogma, a lover of peace, a

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment