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PART III

DOCTRINAL

265

INTRODUCTION

Now that the Old Testament background of the thought of Jesus has been sketched, and the Passion-sayings have been examined, it remains to ask the decisive question: How did Jesus interpret His sufferings and death?

Obviously, the first thing to do is to assemble the leading thoughts which are expressed in the sayings, and to illustrate the amount of evidence on which they rest. This task will be undertaken in Chapter I.

It is naturally to be expected that some of the ideas which must necessarily be included in the summary will raise more ultimate questions than can be answered by the simple expedient of quoting a saying of Jesus. It is also necessary to ask whether there is any unifying principle which binds together the conclusions which directly or indirectly can be based upon the sayings, and which may be regarded as a determinative conception in the mind of Jesus. These broader questions will be treated in Chapter II.

A final question must be considered in Chapter III. Such an investigation as the present is not complete unless it enables us to say how the purpose of Jesus is related to the thought of today. The place of Jesus Christ in the continuous life of the Church, and in Christian experience are facts of life and history; and, if the universe of thought is a rational whole, it must be possible to assign some organic relationship between them and the earliest data of Christian tradition. There is a point at which the interests of criticism, faith, and worship intersect; and, while specialisation must always have its necessary place in the search for truth, nothing less than unification of thought is the final goal of inquiry.

266

THE IMMEDIATE IMPLICATIONS OF THE PASSION-SAYINGS

In accordance with what has been said in the Introduction, the first task is to assemble the leading thoughts which are implicit in the Passion-sayings examined in Part II. Such a summary, it may be expected, must be both bare and fragmentary. It is important to recognize the reason for this. The investigator of to-day is not in the happy position of having at his disposal all the relevant sayings of Jesus; he cannot even assume that he has more than a few of the more important of them. The study of the formation of the Gospel tradition, absolutely essential to such an inquiry as the present, reveals plainly that the sayings preserved in the Gospels are those which met immediate needs of conduct and belief. Only in part are they those which a historian or a theologian would have collected if Providence had entrusted the preservation of the earliest tradition to such intermediaries.

The late Canon Sanday used to urge that, in estimating the bearing of existing early testimony on the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, we should consider the relation of the extant evidence to the whole body of that which once existed.11   The Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, 40. The reminder is pertinent, and mutatis mutandis applies to all historical inquiries. The results, of course, would be injurious if the reminder made it easy to assign to the past only the conceptions which please us; 267 but it is all to the good if it delivers us from the assumption that the available evidence is sufficient for dogmatism based on limited knowledge. The evidence presented by the sayings is fragmentary; and the task of the historian is not merely that of building a skeleton of thought, but of clothing it with flesh and blood. If, however, he is wise, he will assemble the fragments first. This is the undertaking of the present chapter. The several sayings have been examined, and the question now is how far they can be articulated.

i. The most fundamental idea which lies behind the Passion-sayings is the steadfast belief of Jesus that the purpose and experiences of His Passion lay deep in the Providence of God. He did not look upon His sufferings as chance events, or as a stroke of fate, or simply as a tragedy compassed by men. On the contrary, His experiences were events determined in the counsels of God. 'How is it written of the Son of man', He asked of His three disciples, 'that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?' (Mk. ix. 12b). The very form of the question suggests a thought long pondered and a lesson vainly taught. The same conviction is expressed in the three Markan sayings which assert that the Son of Man 'must suffer' (Mk. viii. 31, ix. 31, x. 33f.), and in the similar saying in the L tradition: 'But first must he suffer many things and be rejected of this generation' (Lk. xvii. 25). The necessity laid upon Him is an inner constraint independent of the machinations of men. Into the same context of ideas fall His allusions to Old Testament passages. He is 'the stone which the builders rejected', destined by God to become 'the head of the corner' (Mk. xii. 10f). He is 'the shepherd' at whose smiting 'the sheep shall be scattered abroad' (Mk. xiv. 27). It is with especial clearness that His conviction of divine purpose is expressed in His 268 prophecy of betrayal: 'The Son of man goeth, even as it is written of him' (Mk. xiv. 21). As we have seen, this identification of the Son of Man with the Suffering Servant is so firmly established in the mind of Jesus that He can say of the former what in the Old Testament is said only of the latter.11   Cf. p. 113. The same attitude is seen in Gethsemane when Judas draws near, for the words: 'Arise, let us be going' (Mk. xiv. 42), are not a cry of panic but a call to action.22   Cf. p. 156. Now as always Jesus is master of the situation.

The Fourth Gospel is at one with the Synoptics in representing this sense of Providential purpose as a conviction of Jesus. The Passion is 'the hour' of destiny (xii. 23, 27, xvii. i). Of His life He says: 'No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father' (x. 18).

(2). Closely connected with the foregoing principle is the fact that, in all that concerned His Passion, Jesus looked upon the relationship between Himself and the Father as one of perfect unity. In no saying of His is there any suggestion of opposition or antagonism; His will and that of the Father are one. The classic expression of this fact is the prayer in Gethsemane: 'Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt', (Mk. xiv. 36). Here, indeed, is the human shrinking of a sensitive spirit; none the less, the prayer expresses a perfect acceptance of the divine will. What Jesus does is well-pleasing to the Father, and what the Father wills He does. A similar thought is implied in the parable of the Vineyard in the words: 'they will reverence my son' (Mk. xii. 6). Obedience and oneness of aim and purpose are taken for granted. Jesus comes as God's final envoy; the 269 initiative is divine, and of disharmony or conflict there is no suggestion.

The Fourth Gospel reflects exactly the same attitude. Indeed, it presents it more pointedly, although at the expense of historical realism. In the Johannine counterpart to the prayer of Gethsemane, Jesus is troubled and proposes to Himself the question: 'What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour?'11   Probably a question and not a request, since the Markan story is recast under the influence of the Fourth Evangelist's theology. Cf. Macgregor, 266; Lagrange, 332f. only to reject the suggestion in the words: 'But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name' (xii. 27f). This conciousness of fulfilling the Father's will is also voiced in the words already quoted in the previous section: 'This commandment received I from my Father' (x. 18).

(3). A further point of the greatest importance is the fact that Jesus interpreted His suffering, death, and resurrection positively, as active elements in His Messianic vocation. He did not speak of His Passion as a revelation, however true this aspect of it may be, but rather as a task laid upon Him which it was His mission to accomplish for men. 'I have a baptism to be baptized with,' He says, 'and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!' (Lk. xii. 50). There is a note of urgency in these words and a clear indication that in His death, as in His life, Jesus is seeking to fulfil an end. A further illustration is His declaration that 'the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many' (Mk. x. 45). That an active process is meant, is clear, and the use of the title, Son of Man, shows that Messianic action is contemplated.11   Probably a question and not a request, since the Markan story is recast under the influence of the Fourth Evangelist's theology. Cf. Macgregor, 266; Lagrange, 332f. Jesus is not thinking of service in general, but of definite blessings which He will confer on men by dying. His death is like the ransom by which a slave 270 is set free; it secures for the many the freedom they cannot obtain for themselves. The 'ransom-saying' does not stand alone in this connexion. The sayings which declare that the Son of Man 'must suffer' also point to an active Messianic vocation, and the same is probably true of the 'cup' which Jesus is to drink (cf. Mk. x. 38, xiv. 36). Jesus also refers to His death as an event in which He is to be 'perfected' (Lk. xiii. 32), and since immediately before He speaks of going on His way 'to-day and to-morrow', the presumption is that He.is to be 'perfected' in the carrying out of His vocation. All these indications show that to Him His Passion is not only something to be endured; it is an achievement to which His life is dedicated.

It is remarkable how little this aspect of the thought of Jesus finds expression in the sayings of the Fourth Gospel. It is implicit in the words: 'For their sakes I sanctify myself' (Jn. xvii. 19), where Jesus is revealed as one dedicated to a holy purpose, and, as part of the Evangelist's theology, it is expressed in the words assigned to the Baptist: 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!' (Jn. i. 29); but otherwise it is not found in this Gospel, probably because the Evangelist's main interest is the revelation or manifestation of the Word, not the purpose which Jesus, as the Messiah, came to achieve.

(4). The Passion-sayings also imply that, in fulfilling His Messianic vocation, Jesus thought of His Passion as closely connected with the Kingdom of God. Jesus does not teach that His death is the inauguration of the Kingdom, for already, in Himself and in His Messianic acts, it is present. 'If I by the finger of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you' (Lk. xi. 20). None the less, His words clearly show that He thinks of His suffering and death as necessary to the establishing of the Divine Rule. It is characteristic of Him that, strongly 271 influenced as He is by Isa. liii, He does not describe Himself as the Servant when He speaks of His suffering, but always as the Son of Man. It is as the Son of Man that He 'must suffer' (Mk. viii. 31, &c.); as the Son of Man that He comes 'to give his life a ransom for many' (Mk. x. 45); as the Son of Man that He 'goeth even as it is written of him' (Mk. xiv. 21); as the Son of Man that He is 'betrayed into the hands of sinners' (Mk. xiv. 41). In full view of death He declares that the priests will see 'the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven' (Mk. xiv. 62). This usage indicates how intimately the Kingdom and His death are related in His thinking. Indirectly, as we have seen, the same relationship is suggested when, at the descent from the Mount, He endorses the popular belief that the coming of Elijah is a sign of the End, and thrusts into this context of thought the question: 'And how is it written of the Son of Man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?' (Mk. ix. 12b). Current conceptions regarding the Messiah and the Kingdom are replaced by a new and original view, which sets at the centre the thought of the necessity of Messianic suffering.

Further evidence is supplied by the sayings at the Supper. Plainly in Mark, and even more clearly in Luke, Jesus interpreted the Supper as, in one of its aspects, an anticipation of the great Messianic Feast (cf. Mk. xiv. 25; Lk. xxii. 18, 29f). Thus it appears that the thought of the Kingdom, so central in the Galilean teaching, glows in the very shadow of the Cross. Jesus both lives and dies absorbed in the thought of the Reign of God.

In the Fourth Gospel, as is well known, this interest is less apparent, although it is not wanting. The phrase, the Kingdom of God, is found twice only, in the story of Nicodemus, and in neither case in connexion with Christ's 272 death. It is probable, however, that 'eternal life' is the Johannine equivalent for the Kingdom of God; and in this case, in another form, and as denoting life in its richest expression, the phrase describes what is entailed by the Rule of God. This conception is brought in the Fourth Gospel into association with the Passion when Jesus says: 'He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life' (Jn. vi. 54; cf. xvii. 2). Moreover, in the account of the trial before Pilate, Jesus says: 'My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence' (Jn. xviii. 36). Whatever may be the historical character of the Evangelist's account of this incident, it is clear that he is aware of the place which the thought of the Kingdom occupied in the mind of Jesus in the very face of death.

How Jesus understood the connexion between His sufering and the Kingdom of God, is not disclosed in His sayings. The question is obviously one for consideration later. Of the connexion itself there can be no doubt, and it may well be that material for an answer is supplied in other aspects of His thought yet to be examined.

(5). One aspect of the thought of Jesus in relation to the Kingdom is His belief that His death is a victorious struggle with the powers of evil. 'This is your hour', He says to those who effect the arrest, 'and the power of darkness' (Lk. xxii. 53b). The implication is that Jesus is conscious of the menace of evil powers. The 'ransomsaying' also suggests that He thought of men as being in bondage to evil and of His death as the means of securing their release: 'The Son of man came ... to give his life a ransom for many' (Mk. x. 45). Indeed, many of the Passion-sayings might be included under this category, such as, for example, the declarations that the Son of Man 'must 273 suffer', if there were reason to think of it as the masterprinciple of His thinking. The presence, however, of other ideas in His sayings shows that it is but a single strand in His thought; it is the dramatic representation of the purpose of His Passion. Aulen is completely justified in maintaining that the idea of the death of Jesus as the conquest of Satan, evil, and death, which for a thousand years was the 'classic view' of the Atonement, is rooted in the Gospel tradition.11   Cf. Christus Victor.
   6 More central is the belief of Jesus that His Messianic suffering is representative and vicarious. It is borne for men and it avails for them. This belief is implied in the declaration that it is 'for many' that the Son of Man comes to give His life, and in the saying: 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many' (Mk. xiv. 24). These sayings indicate that the death of Jesus has for its objective the deepest need of man. As we have urged,22Cf. p. 100f.
In the Fourth Gospel it appears in the words: 'Now is the judgement of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out' (Jn. xii. 31). Undoubtedly, it is one of the ways in which Jesus related His Passion to the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
the first saying must not be watered down to the simple assertion that the service of Jesus in dying is for the advantage of the many. The 'ransom' which He gives is something they are unable to provide, but which He, in the fullness of His grace, supplies in their stead. The saying regarding the covenant implies that, in dying, it is His purpose to make possible a relationship of true fellowship between men and God. The reference to 'blood' is intelligible only as a sacrificial concept; it denotes life freely offered for others. Postponing for further discussion the many questions which the sayings raise, we must boldly conclude that Jesus believed that, as the Messiah, He would suffer as the 274 representative of men, on their behalf and in their stead, and that the effect of His death would be to establish that fellowship with God on which His rule depends. The two sayings are complementary. In the 'ransom-saying' the emphasis is upon deliverance; in the words about the covenant it is upon fellowship. Both imply a sundered relationship which is restored by sacrifice.

The same conclusions are suggested by the use which Jesus made of the Servant-conception. This, however, is a point which cannot be directly established by His recorded sayings; it is an inference based on the nature of the Servant-conception and the influence it is likely to have had upon the mind of Jesus when He used it to recast the Messianic idea in relation to Himself and the Kingdom. This question raises wider issues than those which can be considered at present, and must be reserved for discussion in the next chapter.

In the Fourth Gospel Jesus speaks of His death as vicarious when He declares that the bread which He will give is His flesh, 'for the life of the world' (vi. 51), and when He describes Himself as 'the good shepherd' who 'layeth down his life for the sheep' (x. 11). The same truth appears also in the words: 'For their sakes I sanctify myself' (xvii. 19). In this Gospel, however, there is no saying of Jesus which implies that He stands to men in a representative relationship, although it is clear, from i. 29, that this belief was a part of the Evangelist's theology. This fact does not compromise the import of the Synoptic sayings considered above, but, as already argued, is an illustration of the selective method adopted in this Gospel.

7 In addition to the sayings which imply that the suffering of Jesus was representative and vicarious, there are others which point to a close personal relationship between Himself and sinners, and, in consequence, to a poignant 275 experience of the consequences of sin. Our examination of the words: 'For I say unto you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in me, And he was reckoned with transgressors' (Lk. xxii. 37; cf. Isa. liii. 12), suggested that the saying expresses a sense of Messianic vocation involving self-identification with sinners; but how far this inference is justified depends on the larger consideration of the Servant-conception mentioned in the last section. Certainly, it seems a very inadequate interpretation of the saying if we say that it implies no more than the prophecy of Jesus that the Jewish hierarchy would treat Him as a transgressor. Other sayings, however, point more clearly to an intimate experience of spiritual suffering. Such sayings are Mk. x. 38: 'Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?'; Lk. xii. 50: 'I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!'; and the prayer in Gethsemane recorded in Mk. xiv. 36: 'Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt.' These utterances express spiritual agony, not simply physical and mental distress. This impression is deepened when the words: 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death' (Mk. xiv. 34), are considered; and most of all by the cry from the Cross: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Mk. xv. 34). The conclusion, that in these words the accents of spiritual desolation are heard, is much easier of acceptance if it is recognized that Jesus is almost overwhelmed by the knowledge of human sin. The speaker is not the Galilean herald of the Kingdom, but One who has taken upon Himself the Messianic ro1e of the Suffering Saviour of men and has identified Himself with those He represents and serves.

This aspect of the Passion of Jesus is wanting in the 276 Fourth Gospel, except so far as it is implied in the sayings which describe the death as vicarious. This deficiency is due to the Evangelist's preoccupation with the thought of Christ as the Divine Word and Son of God. It is here more than anywhere else that one gains the impression that the Prologue (Jn. i. 1-18), if it does not dominate the Gospel throughout, certainly focuses its leading ideas. It is in keeping with the Johannine delineation that, through believing, men enter into union with Christ as the branches are related to the vine; but it is foreign to its presentation that the Son should identify Himself with sinners and enter into an experience of the night of sin. As depicted in the Fourth Gospel Christ is indeed the Saviour (cf. iv. 42), but as the Revealer of God, not the Redeemer of men.11   In view of Jn. i. 29 and of 1 Jn. i. 7, ii. 1f., iii. 5, iv. 10, the restraint shown in the Evangelist's fidelity to this representation is the most remarkable example of religious portraiture in literature.

Since the Fourth Evangelist's failure to present this aspect of the Messianic suffering of Jesus is explicable in the light of his doctrinal and religious purpose, it has no bearing at all upon the historical character of the Synoptic sayings instanced above. In themselves, these are enough to authenticate the keen spiritual suffering of Jesus, in the pursuance of His vocation, as an essential part of the Gospel tradition. What is involved in this suffering, its character and significance, are questions answered by none of the sayings which have been preserved. These problems, however, are matters which the historian, as well as the theologian, must consider in connexion with the sayings and the wider indications of the thought of Jesus regarding the Kingdom, the Messianic Hope, the Suffering Servant, and the doctrine of sacrifice. The fact directly attested by the Synoptic sayings is an intense 277 spiritual agony endured by Jesus in the fulfilment of His vocation for men.

8 Thus far our attention has been limited to those aspects of the suffering and death of Jesus which concern His personal relationships with the Father and with men; the vocation is one which He Himself must fulfil. This, however, is not the whole of His teaching; there are sayings which show that He intended men to participate in His self-offering and to appropriate the power of His surrendered life. His redemptive service is not intended to be a work wrought apart from men; it is rather a work into which they are permitted to enter, in such a way that what He does on their behalf becomes a vital factor in their approach to God.

This is a side of the thought of Jesus to which insufficient attention has often been given, in consequence of the tendency to think of the Atonement as a 'finished work' which man has simply to accept as a gift of grace. Everything has been done by Christ; man has only to receive the benefits of His death! The extent to which this idea is rooted in the teaching of Jesus is evident; it is a reflection of the tremendous emphasis in the sayings already considered upon the unique character of His Messianic vocation. The redemption He provides and the fellowship He makes possible are utterly beyond the power of man. Such is the unmistakable assumption reflected by the words and attitude of Jesus.

It does not necessarily follow, however, from this view of the redemptive work of Jesus that man's attitude thereto is entirely passive; and there is clear evidence in the Passion-sayings that this was not His thought. On the contrary, the attitude for which He looks is essentially active; men are to share in the power of His self-offering and make it their sacrifice before God. And they are to do 278 this, not merely by pleading the merits of something external to themselves, but by relating themselves so intimately to Christ's achievement that, without adding to it anything of their own devising, it becomes an essential element in their personal dealings with God.

I have conjectured that the rudiments of such an attitude as this are discernible in the part which Jesus expected His three intimate disciples to play during the Agony of Gethsemane.11   Cf. pp. 150f, 155f.
   The proof that Jesus intended men to participate in the power of His self-offering is supplied by the Supper-sayings. These sayings are absolutely vital to an understanding of the attitude of Jesus to His death. In Part II they have been examined in detail,22See pp. 118-39.
The reiterated demand that they should watch and pray is not a cry for protection, but a demand for sympathy and understanding in the hour of His Messianic suffering. It is an appeal for that attitude of mind and spirit which gives meaning to what He does. There is, however, too much that is mysterious in this story for any interpreter to speak with certainty or to press his views upon the acceptance of others. All that can be asserted definitely is that the central features in this episode are the need of Jesus and the failure of the disciples. That He looked for them to play a human part in His Messianic activity, is an inference which requires further evidence.
and the attempt must now be made to relate the results there reached to the problem as a whole. It was argued that, when Jesus bade His disciples eat the bread and drink the wine, He was inviting them to share in the life which He was offering on their behalf. The metaphorical expressions in the sayings: 'This is my body,' 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many' (Mk. xiv. 22, 24), are the terms 'body' and 'blood', which signify in different ways the life 279 of Jesus given for men. To eat, therefore, the bread and to drink the wine, is to participate in the surrendered life and to appropriate its consecrating power. The elements are both symbols and media and derive this significance from the word of Jesus Himself. The bearing of this conception upon the Messianic activity of Jesus, as He conceived it, is clear. Jesus did not regard His service as accomplished apart from, and independent of, men; it was a sacrifice consummated only as men entered into it and made it their spiritual possession.

It is beside the point to argue that, since the death of Jesus was still to be accomplished, the Supper was provisional and anticipatory.11   Cf. N. P. Williams, Essays Catholic and Critical, 406, 423. 'Their first real and sacramental Communion in the body and blood of Christ can only have been made after that body and blood had been glorified and freed from spatial limitations by the resurrection,' ibid., 423. Rather must it be maintained that at the Supper Jesus thought of His Messianic work as a present reality of which death, followed by resurrection, would be the culmination. There is no hint in the Synoptic sayings of a spiritual food available only after death. Indeed, the bread and the wine are not primarily indicated as food, but as means for participating in a redemptive activity.

In the Fourth Gospel there is nothing corresponding to this conception. As we have seen,22   See p. 242. its sacramental sayings do not imply any relationship between men and the sacrificial ministry of Jesus, but speak rather of the gift of 'eternal life' and of communion with Christ as conveyed to the believer. Once more, this difference is due to the Evangelist's selective purpose and to his predominating emphasis upon the death of Christ as a revelation of love.

Many problems are raised by the relationship between 280 the Eucharist and the suffering and death of Jesus, and, in particular, the whole question of faith. These points, however, are matters for consideration in the following chapter, inasmuch as the answers cannot be drawn from explicit utterances of Jesus. For the present it is enough to note the positive inference, supported by the Supper-sayings, that Jesus did not regard His Messianic suffering as an automatic or self-acting work, but as an activity which is completed in a human relationship thereto. This principle is of the greatest ethical importance, for it stamps at once any conception of Christ's death as an external means of salvation as entirely foreign to His thought.

9 Finally, it is the paradox of the teaching of Jesus that, although His vocation of Messianic suffering is unique, He none the less interprets it as an activity which, in some measure, men are to reproduce. Thus, He assures the sons of Zebedee that they shall indeed participate in the cup of His suffering. 'The cup that I drink ye shall drink' (Mk. x. 39). If we believe that for Jesus the 'cup' was a symbol of more than martyrdom, we must draw the same conclusion in respect of His declaration regarding James and John. Suffering in the service of the Kingdom is the least interpretation of which His words are capable. What is meant is a suffering which in some sense is representative and vicarious, and which has for its end the realisation of the Reign of God. The same inference is probably justified in the case of the saying: 'If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me' (Mk. viii, 34). Something more than a general exhortation to manifest the spirit of self-sacrifice is meant by these words; they imply that Jesus believed that what He was doing as the Messiah, in like manner His followers were called upon to do. It is impossible to suppose, with the Passion-sayings before us,

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IMPLICATIONS OF THE PASSION-SAYINGS 269

that Jesus thought that in this matter He and His followers stood on the same plane, as fellow-sufferers in a common redemptive service; the sense of a unique vocation in His words is too strong for such a view to be entertained. But it is also impossible to conclude that He looked upon His suffering as utterly solitary, without parallel or analogue in the experience of men. The Cross was supremely His, but just because of this He could see it everywhere.

The Fourth Gospel does not contain sayings fully comparable to those cited above, but it does speak of parallel sufferings which disciples of Jesus are called to undergo, including hatred by the world (xv. 1 9), persecution (xv. 20), tribulation (xvL 33), and death (xvi. 2). Twice it declares that 'a servant is not greater than his lord" (xiii. 1 6, xv. 20), and the implication is that what Jesus does or suffers is a pattern or example which, to the extent of their power. His followers are to copy. That this Gospel does not contain sayings which demand more than fidelity to the example of Christ, is in harmony with its representation of His death as mainly a manifestation of divine love.

The principal ideas which are implicit in the Passionsayings have now been indicated, and it remains to consider them as a whole.

The comparison of the Synoptic sayings with those of the Fourth Gospel is instructive. It confirms the con clusion already apparent in Part II, 1 that the witness of this Gospel to the meaning of Christ's death is limited in range, owing to the Evangelist's predilections and the purpose he had in view in writing his Gospel. Summarily stated, the implications of the Johannine Passion-sayings ascribed to Jesus are that a deep-seated necessity lay behind His death, which was entirely under His control and in accordance with the Father's will, and which was x Seepp. 232,

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270 JESUS AND HIS SACRIFICE

vicarious without being representative and expiatory. The death is a supreme expression of love, and is conceived, in the main, as a departure from the limitations of earthly existence so that the life of the Exalted Christ can be appropriated by the believer in faith and in sacramental communion.

The conclusion is inescapable that, important as this representation is for religious and devotional purposes, it is of little value to the historian who seeks to discover how Jesus contemplated His suffering and death. Equally for the theologian the gain is small. By restricting his construction within the limits set by the Fourth Gospel he obtains a theory which is easy to state and which offends the susceptibilities of no one, but he gains it by ignoring half the problems of the doctrine and by neglecting or explaining away striking sayings in the Synoptic tradition. To say this is not to deny the value of the Fourth Gospel which lies elsewhere, especially in connexion with the doctrine of the Incarnate Word; it is rather to place the Johannine representation regarding the suffering and death of Jesus in its true place, as secondary and subordinate to the evidence afforded by the Synoptic Gospels. The soundest procedure for the investigator is to concentrate attention on the Synoptic sayings, noting where they are confirmed by the Johannine sayings but making no discount in cases where the testimony of the Fourth Gospel is wanting.

Adopting this method, it will be useful to assemble the several results already gained from our study of the Passion-sayings. These may be stated briefly as follows.

Jesus looked upon His suffering and death as the fulfilment of a divine purpbse, in which His will was at one with that of the Father, and in virtue of which He accepted an active vocation connected with the Rule of God. He

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thought of His death as a victorious struggle with the powers of evil, and interpreted His suffering, in relation to men, as representative and vicarious in a sacrificial ministry which involved participation in the consequences of human sin. So far, however, was He from thinking of His Messianic work as automatic and self-acting in its results that He provided a rite whereby men should be able to share in the power of His surrendered life and make His offering their own. He also called upon men to reproduce an experience of cross-bearing in their lives.

This summary should not be regarded as a complete statement of the way in which Jesus regarded His suffering and death. It is merely a convenient articulation of the several inferences which have been drawn from the Passion-sayings in the course of the present chapter. Many questions are raised which require further consideration and must be examined in the following chapter. One point of the utmost importance, however, may be made now. The summary reveals the outlines of an intelligible attitude to the Cross. It may, therefore, prove misleading to say that Jesus had no theory of atonement in respect of His death. If by this common opinion it is meant that He formulated no doctrinal theory such as can be found in the works of Christian theologians in later times, the statement is true; but if it is meant that He had no convictions of His own about the purpose of His sufferings, the end they were to fulfil, and the manner in which they would prove effective, a view is held which is not only improbable in itself, but is directly opposed by His sayings regarding His Passion. To these considerations must be added the urgency with which He approached Jerusalem, and His experience in the Garden and on the Cross. His words and acts are those of One who knows what He must do and why He does it. The atti

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tude is one of intelligent and conscious decision. For these reasons it must be inferred that Jesus had a very definite 'theory' of atonement. To Him the Cross was not an enigma, but the highway of conscious Messianic purpose.

The question whether there is an ineluctable doctrinal element in the sayings of Jesus is so important, that it is advisable to consider it carefully before proceeding further. Is this element really present? Or, on the contrary, is the hesitation of critics to admit its presence justifiable?

It is easy to see how the critical hesitation has arisen. Many 'Lives of Christ' exist in which the method of approach is theological. In these works theology is read into the Story of Jesus; nothing is said which is inconsistent with it, and by its aid gaps in the record are cleverly filled, with the result that the Life is not a historical work, but a contribution to Apologetics. It was only to be expected that, with the growth of criticism, such works would fall under the deepest suspicion. No critic with a reputation to lose would dream of writing such a Life. From them he turns away with the conviction that here he has nothing to learn. Unfortunately, this healthy scepticism can endanger research. It is one thing to impose a theology upon a historical study; it is quite another thing to imagine that a historical investigation of the words of Jesus can be made without discovering an implicit theology. Not the least benefit which Schweitzer has conferred upon us is his perception of a dogmatic element in the Story of Jesus, and his claim stands even when it is admitted that his exclusive reliance upon Eschatology, as the master-key of the Gospel tradition, is mistaken. The truth slowly emerges that a study of the life of Jesus which does not find in it a theology in solution, is self-condemned. This is

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the lesson of the failure of the Liberal-Critical School to estimate the Person of Jesus. The resultant picture is a lay-figure totally incapable of initiating the Christian Movement. The same lesson is taught by the successive attempts to bridge the gulf between the Rabbi of Nazareth and historical Christianity, by over-emphasizing the creative influence of St. Paul. These splendid constructions lie in ruins, and it only remains for research to retrace its steps in estimating the place of theology in relation to history. It will be necessary to admit that in the mind of Jesus there were doctrinal concepts, which are not compromised because they stand in a traceable relation to later developments in New Testament teaching. I am not thinking, of course, of systematized theology, but of those thoughts about God, man and sin, which are its foundation material. Translated into its simplest terms, the question whether there is a dogmatic element in the thought of Jesus, is the inquiry whether He knew what He meant to achieve for men by His Messianic ministry of suffering and death. This question, it is here maintained, should be answered in the affirmative.

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II

ULTIMATE QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE PASSION-SAYINGS

Awe have seen, besides the immediate inferences which can be drawn from the Passion-sayings, ultimate questions are raised which cannot be answered directly by appealing to the recorded words of Jesus, but to which answers are necessary if we are to understand His attitude to His suffering and death. These questions include such points as the relation of His suffering to the perfecting of the Reign of God; the sense in which His suffering is representative and vicarious, and the bearing of the Servant-conception on this issue; the penal aspects of the Passion; the relation between sacramental communion and faith-union with Christ; the nature of the fellowship of men with His sufferings. These problems must now be considered.

Although the Passion-sayings do not supply an immediate answer to any of the questions noted above, there is reason to think that material for answers exists.

The nature of the existing Passion-sayings encourages this hope. As we have argued, these sayings are not a collected summary of the utterances of Jesus relative to His Passion, chosen for the purpose of doctrinal discussion; they are survivals preserved by practical needs. It is all the more remarkable, therefore, that the sayings are found to be organically related; they reveal a connected order of thought. At the beginning of the last chapter reference

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was made to the necessity of clothing with flesh and blood the skeleton provided by the fragmentary sayings of Jesus, but it is now seen that this metaphor is inadequate. If a spatial simile is admissible, it is found best in the objects revealed at the coming of morning light. Hills, farmsteads, rocks, woods, trees, roads, and streams stand out against a background obscured by mist and cloud; but from the broken outline it is possible to imagine the general configuration of the whole landscape. Somewhat similar is the illumination made possible by the existing Passion-sayings; they not only convey their immediate suggestions, but hint at the thoughts and beliefs of the Speaker from whom they come. But it is even better to think of the Passion-sayings as organically related, for they express the living thoughts of an active and original mind. The Fourth Evangelist expresses this conviction in the saying of Jesus : 'The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life' (vi. 63). Du Bose puts the same thought in another way when he writes : 'I hold that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is so true and so living in every part that he who truly possesses and truly uses any broken fragment of it may find in that fragment something just so much of gospel for his soul and of salvation for his life/ 1 This religious truth has an intellectual counterpart. No historical method is more mistaken than one which merely adds together the implications of isolated Passion-sayings. But there is more material at our disposal than the existing Passion-sayings. As a corrective against the dangers of a subjective construction, the investigation of the attitude of Jesus to the Kingdom of God, the Messianic Hope, the Son of Man, the Son, the Servant of Yahweh, and Sacrifice, made in Part I, is essential. However incomplete its results may be, such a study reveals the hin*The Gospelin the Gospels, 4.

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terland of thought out of which the sayings emerge. It is not, therefore, a forlorn hope to attempt to discuss the ultimate problems. Everything we know of Jesus is a light upon their darkness. Nothing that is Inconsistent with His environment of thought can safely be credited to Him, but what is harmonious with His mind may be historically true if it fills out the meaning of His words.

It is certain that the application of these principles leaves much to the insight of the investigator. None the less he has room to advance. Whether his results are objective can be judged only by those who are prepared to retrace his steps and to ask if he has reached conclusions which are consistent with our knowledge of the Jesus of history.

i . There is no need to investigate further the view that Jesus believed that His Passion was an experience which came to Him in the Providence of God, or the claim that in respect of His suffering His mind and that of the Father were at one. There is, however, an important implication, not expressed in the recorded words of Jesus, which needs to be emphasized in view of later theological constructions. The perfect unity of purpose which existed between Jesus and His Father excludes all theories of vindictive punishment. Upon the words : c Not what I will, but what thou wilt' (Mk. xiv. 36), all such theories of the Atonement, implying the punishment of the compassionate Son by an angry Father, irrevocably founder* What Jesus does is an act well-pleasing to the Father; and for this reason every theory worthy of the name must embody the idea of the perfect obedience of Jesus to the Father's will

This New Testament thought has never entirely disappeared from the mind and teaching of the Church, but it is common knowledge that it has frequently been obscured

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and sometimes almost forgotten. No one perhaps has impressed it more deeply upon the Christian consciousness of to-day than J. M'Leod Campbell. 'Let my reader endeavour to realize the thought,' he writes, "The sufferer suffers what he suffers^/ through seeing sin and sinners with God's eyes, and feeling in reference to them with God'i heart. Is such suffering a punishment! Is God, in causing such a divine experience in humanity, inflicting a punishment? There can be but one answer. ... I find myself shut up to the conclusion, that while Christ suffered for our sins as an atoning sacrifice, what He suffered was not because from its nature it could not be a punishment/ 1 In these burning words all theories of vindictive punishment are utterly consumed; they have no validity, either in the words of Jesus or in His thoughts aboui God,

While, however, this conviction cannot be too strongl} stated, there is reason to think that the anger which suet theories incite has clouded the judgment of many theologians, and it may be that the words of Campbell, so ofter quoted, are partly responsible for this result. In destroying error, it is easy to compromise truth; and it is improbable that such theories would ever have gained currenc] unless men had felt that a truth of some kind was at stake R. C. Moberly pointed out that 'punishment' need no mean retributive vengeance, and that, while it is one thinj to deny that Christ's sufferings were penal in this sense, *i is another and more doubtful matter, to deny that they cai be called penal in any sense at alL' [^2] This question ob viously calls for careful and dispassionate inquiry, but it i best to postpone it until the representative and vicariou aspect of Christ's sufferings has been further examined

*TAe Nature of the Atonement, 4th ecL, roi. The italics are his. * A tenement and Personality, 398.

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The immediate conclusion to draw is that the sufferings are not 'penaP in any sense which is in contradiction to that attitude of perfect filial obedience manifest in the acceptance by Jesus of a ministry of suffering and death.

a. That Jesus thought of His Passion as the fulfilment of an active Messianic vocation closely related to the Kingdom, may now be taken for granted; but it is desirable more fully to examine the implications of this statement. Jesus, we have seen, did not speak of His suffering as a revelation, but as a task to be accomplished. That He made such a revelation, both in His life and death, is one of the most precious truths in the Christian Faith. It must also be recognized that the revelation is both active and objective. In revealing God, Jesus not only brings certain truths to light, He also embodies them in Himself so that in His life and work they find living and visible expression. When, however, all this has been said, we are far from doing justice to the nature of His redemptive work. What He accomplishes are specific Messianic acts on which the realisation of the Rule of God depends.

It is for this reason that all forms of the 'Moral' Theory of the Atonement prove wanting. Born in a spirit of recoil from harsh theories, they are halting-places in the search for a truer theology. To this fact witness is given in the successive attempts to supply their deficiencies. In the work of H. Rashdall this is apparent in the attempt to see, beyond an act of self-sacrifice 1 in the death of Jesus, a 'symbolical expression' of the fact that God suffers. [^2] And this view, which H. Bushnell so powerfully advocated, [^3] has been strongly argued by C. A. Dinsmore 44   Cf* The Atonement in Literature andLife> and H. M.

dea of Atonement, 45. 2 O/. */.,

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Hughes. 1 Development is also noticeable in the Dal Lectures of R. S. Franks, who prefers the term 'Exper ential Theory' and interprets the sacrifice offered by Jesu as meaning that He gave Himself up to the Father to b the personal instrument of His love for men. [^2] These an other indications [^3] show bow far the 'Moral' Theory ha been modified from the form in which it is contended tha the Incarnation and the Atonement are one. [^4]

The nature of Christ's redemptive activity is determine* by His conception of the Kingdom as the Rule of Goc This means that it is concerned supremely with the mora and spiritual needs of men. The Kingdom of God, as H saw it, is not a community of men engaged in the commo] pursuit of an ethical ideal; it is the fellowship of thos among whom the Divine Rule is exercised; it is the Reigi of God among men . 1 11   Cf. What is the Atonement? 86-105. 'The passion of God found it highest expression in the incarnation, life and death of His Son, in anc through whom He resisted sin even unto death, and travailed for man* redemption/ of. tit., 95. is reasonable, therefore, to infer tha the Messianic work of Jesus is that of establishing the mora conditions in which the Rule of God can be perfected That .Rule is a sovereignty which can be fully exercise< only over willing and obedient hearts in unclouded fellow ship with God. The obstacle to such a relationship i human sin; and, in consequence, the Messianic activity must concern the situation thus created. It is redemp tive action necessitated by sin. The suffering, death, anc resurrection of Jesus are successive acts in a victorious con flict with evil powers and in a sacrificial ministry which H< fulfils for sinners.

It must be freely granted that this view of the Messianic

2 Cf. The Atonement, 186-191.

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activity of Jesus cannot be demonstrated by an appeal to His recorded words, although it may with justice be claimed that it is supported by His references to 'the power of darkness 2 (Lk. xxii. 53), to 'the ransom for many' (Mk. x* 45)3 and to 'the blood of the covenant, which is shed for many* (Mk. xiv. 24). In the end, it is a conclusion which must depend upon His words and deeds as a whole. But besides the sayings mentioned above, two other contributary considerations need to be taken into account. One of these is the increasing preoccupation of Jesus with the fact of sin as the Passion draws nearer. It cannot have been long before the day near Caesarea Philippi that He spoke so plainly about 'the things which proceed out of the man* and defile him (Mk. vii. 15). When the seventy returned from their mission He said : 'I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven' (Lk. x. 18). Immediately after Peter's confession, when Peter rebuked Him because of His words about the necessity of suffering and death, He said: 'Get thee behind me, Satan : for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men' (Mk. viii. 33). And in His parables, of which the Lost Son (Lk. xv. 11-32), the Unforgiving Servant (Mt. xviii. 2335), and the Wicked Husbandmen (Mk. xii. i-n) may serve as examples, Jesus showed how deeply the reality of sin pressed itself upon His imagination. Indeed, at the very beginning of His public ministry, His words : Repent ye, and believe in the good news' (Mk. i. 15), reveal how clearly He saw it as an effective barrier to the Reign of God. Jesus did not describe sin in the manner of St. Paul in Rom. v. 12-21, vii. 7-25 or discuss the origin of the evil yetzer as the Rabbis did, but in its concrete manifestations He recognized how destructive it is. Inevitably, therefore, one thinks of His Messianic work in relation to the Kingdom as intimately concerned with sin. The other

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consideration referred to above is the representative and vicarious character of His suffering. It is right to introduce this point here, even if its implications require further discussion, for we have good reason to assume that the thought of Jesus is a unity. If, then, he believed that, as the Son of Man, He stood in a representative relationship to men, we can infer that His work was the removal of obstacles created by sin between them and their heritage in the Reign of God.

  1. It is now necessary to examine more fully the representative and vicarious element in the suffering of Jesus which has already been found in His sayings. But a task left over from the last chapter must first be undertaken. Although there is little doubt that Jesus interpreted His suffering and death in the light of the Servant-conception, we cannot infer the substance of His interpretation directly from His reported sayings. All the probabilities, however, favour the view that He interpreted the Servant's work as consisting in representative and vicarious suffering. The theme of the Suffering Servant was treated in Part I. Here it is sufficient to recall that the Servant's destiny is that of one who is 'pierced' through the rebellions of others, 'crushed* through their sins, whose 'chastisement' wins men's peace, and by whose 'stripes' they are healed. Such is his suffering that men are led to cry :
  • We had all gone astray like sheep, We had turned each his own way, And Yahweh made to light on him The sin of us all.*

It is incredible that Jesus can have viewed His own suffering in the light of this sublime poem without at the same time interpreting it as representative and vicarious suffering. All the more certain is this, if Jesus read Isa. liii. in

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the belief that He was the Messiah: and the claim that He approached the poem with this conviction, is strongly supported by the fact that He reinterpreted the idea of the Son of Man in terms of the Suffering Servant, not the Servant-conception in terms of the Son of Man. 1 It is because of Isa. liii that Jesus completely recast the doctrine of the Son of Man. The Son of Man, in whom He saw Himself, is a new figure clothed with the marred form of the Servant, To say this is really to confess that Jesus interpreted His destiny as that of the Suffering Redeemer, as the representative of the many whose supreme need is reconciliation to God. Our knowledge that language of this kind can be exploited in the interests of crude theories of the Atonement must not be allowed to prevent us from drawing this vital inference. Rather is it necessary to examine more closely the nature of representative action and to consider in what way Jesus is likely to have viewed His suffering within this category.

The representative activity of Jesus is wrongly conceived if it is looked upon as imputed to men on the ground of belief. Such an idea is not only wanting in the Passionsayings of Jesus, but is also out of harmony with His teaching as a whole. It treats His suffering as if it were a transaction the benefits of which can be transferred to the account of another. There is undoubtedly a substitutionary aspect in the suffering of Jesus, in the sense that He did for men what they have no power to do for themselves ; but the thought of redemptive service is thrown entirely out of focus unless faith-union between men and Christ is so intimate that His offering becomes increasingly their own. Not more satisfactory are theories which explain the representative activity of Jesus by saying that He suffered as Man, and that in Him Humanity was reconciled *Seepp. 32, 48, 113, 259.

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to God. Irenaeus wrote that 'in the Second Adam we were reconciled, becoming obedient unto death', 1 and similar ideas can be found in the writings of modern theologians. 22   C Du Bose: 'As humanity had fallen in Adam, and by his act or its own act in him, so humanity threw off its sin and death in Christ, and by His act or by its own act in His Person/ The Gospel in the Gospels, 157. Cf. Moberly: 'He was not generically, but inclusively, man', Atonement and Personality, 86. Moberly, however, denies that there can be such a thing as 'impersonal humanity', op. tit., 93. So long as language of this kind is that of epigram, it expresses the truth of Christ's Priesthood; but, if it is pressed, it leads to abstract conceptions which lose touch with life and to unethical reactions in conduct and belief.

The truer view of the representative activity of Jesus is one which recognizes that in His suffering and death He has expressed and effected that which no individual man has the power or the spirituality to achieve, but into which, in virtue of an ever-deepening fellowship with Him, men can progressively enter so that it becomes their offering to God. The language of M'Leod Campbell is that of an older day, but he powerfully presents this point of view when he writes: 'Our faith is, in truth, the Amen of our individual spirits, to that deep, multiform, all-embracing, harmonious Amen of humanity, in the person of the Son of God, to the mind and heart of the Father in relation to man the divine wrath and the divine mercy, which is the atonement.' [^3] In this view the suffering of Jesus is indeed representative and vicarious, but, in relation to men, it is neither crudely substitutionary nor automatic in its action, but something which is to be owned and appropriated.

Thus far, our discussion has centred upon the relationship of men to the redemptive suffering of Jesus, but,

  • Haer., v. 16. 3.

*The Nature of the Atonement, 1 94.

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obviously, something more must be said of the representative activity itself. In what way, it may be asked, did Jesus find a representative character in His suffering? His sayings and His use of the Servant-conception imply that He assigned this significance to His Passion : is it possible to apprehend its nature?

The clue, so far as we can speak of a clue, is probably to be found in the Old Testament conception of corporate personality. 11   Cf. H. Wheeler Robinson, The Cross of the Bervant, 32-6. When the Psalmist says :

'But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people' (Psa. xxii. 6),

he is not merely describing himself nor the community he represents, but both. There is a recurring alternation in the point of reference throughout the whole Psalm. The personality revealed is that of one who is the living em. bodiment of the community. The same complex relationship is visible in the Servant-poems, in Isa. 1. 6 : 'I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting*; and still more notably in Isa. liii. 12: 'He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors/ The mysterious bonds which separate one person from another are here broken down. Without the loss of self-identity, the personality revealed is at once individual and corporate.

In the sacred literature, then, which He pondered, there was a basis for the representative and vicarious character which Jesus found in His suffering. While, however, the idea lay ready to hand, it was not appropriated by Him apart from the living experience out of which it springs. Its deepest roots are love for men and an unshaken conviction concerning the purposes of God. The relationship

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is best described as one of self-identification with sinners. It is wrongly conceived if it is looked upon as a state in which there is a loss of personal distinctions. On the contrary, and paradoxical as it may seem, it is possible only so long as the difference between thou and T is preserved. True self-identification with others is the supreme act of love whereby, in the most intimate manner, they are regarded as oneself, seen in the pure light of God, as they are not able to see themselves; it is to enter at once into their joys and their sorrows, but especially to share the gloom and darkness of their sin, to be conscious of its weight and to feel its shame, so that the sin-bearing becomes a redemptive activity both in itself and in the lives of men. Such a relationship may exist between one individual and another, but in the personality of Jesus, conscious as He was of a unique vocation in relation to men, the self-identification exists not only between Himself and particular individuals, but between Himself and mankind; it is a communal relationship in which there is a consciousness of representing men before God. It is in this large sense that we must interpret the representative and vicarious element in His suffering. What the experience involves, so far as one can interpret it at all, can be described only by considering more fully the character of His suffering consequent upon His exposure to the consequences of sin.

  1. We have seen that the Passion-sayings reveal on the part of Jesus an intimate knowledge and experience of the consequences of sin; and it is necessary now to consider the nature of this experience so far as it is capable of analysis. In particular, the question must be asked whether the intense spiritual agony endured by Jesus in the fulfilment of His Messianic vocation is rightly described as 'penal'. It has already been observed that the rejection of theories of the Atonement which imply vindictive or sub
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stitutionary punishment does not foreclose this question; it still remains a matter for careful inquiry whether the sufferings of Jesus are penal in character.

Two observations of general interest are worth making in this connexion. Not a few works and essays could be cited, written in some cases by theologians of repute, in which the distinction referred to above is ignored. It seems to be assumed that the rejection of a few popular beliefs, more ancient than modern, as for example, that punishment can be transferred, or that God's attitude to sinners can be changed, or that His justice has to be satisfied before He will forgive sinners, is enough to settle the question once for all. It does not appear to be realized that the refutation of these errors merely clears the ground for discussion. The other point for notice is that in most of the classical discussions of the Atonement in modern times the penal character of the sufferings of Jesus is affirmed, in spite of the popular objections noted above. 11   R. W. Dale, for example, stigmatizes the idea that sin was imputed to Christ as 'a legal fiction' (The Atonement, Preface to seventh ed., Ixiii.), and rejects the statement that a ransom was paid by the Divine mercy to the Divine justice as 'mere rhetoric' (of. tit., 357); yet his contention is that Christ 'endured the penalties of sin, and so made an actual submission to the authority and righteousness of the principle which those penalties express* (pp. cit. [^9] 423). J. Scott Lidgett also maintains that 'His relationship to the human race, and His consequent Incarnation, enabled Him, and Him alone, to give complete expression, under our penal conditions, to the submission of mankind to God, to make reparation to His law, and to put away sin from mari ({The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement, 378). P.T. Forsyth affirms that 'Christ, by the deep intimacy of His sympathy with men, entered deeply into the blight and judgment which was entailed by man's sin, and which must be entailed by man's sin if God is a holy and therefore a judging God'* 'You can therefore say', he continues, 'that although Christ was not punished by God, He bore God's penalty upon sin. That penalty was not lifted even when the Son of God passed through' (The Work of Christ, 147). Cf. J. Denney, The Christian Doctrine of Reconciliation, 273. It is noteworthy also that J. K. Mozley, after illustrating fully the history of the doctrine of the Atonement, says, 'I do These facts cannot, of course, be allowed to coerce the

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critical judgment, but they certainly emphasize the need for careful thought in a field where strong feeling easily clouds the issue.

Much depends on whether we believe that sin carries with it penal consequences which in the last analysis must be traced to the will of a Holy God. That consequences, which serve both as a deterrent and a discipline, do follow sin, is too plain to be denied. But if this is true, a further inference must be drawn. It is only as punishment is felt to be deserved that it is accepted as discipline and welcomed as a deterrent. Thus, the retributive aspect of punishment is fundamental to its nature, although it is not the only aspect in which it presents itself to the mind. Many Christian thinkers who recognize this truth hesitate to describe the retributive principle as the expression of the Divine Will, largely, I believe, because they fear that they are committed, or will be thought to be committed, to a sub-Christian belief in a passionate and tyrannical God. Instead of seeing the penal consequences of sin as the action and attitude of God, they prefer to speak of an inevitable process of cause and effect in a moral universe. But this is merely a descriptive phrase; it explains nothing, and comes perilously near to a naturalistic account of ethical relationships. The God of historical Christianity is the Living God. and cannot be bowed out of His universe. It is not necessary, of course, to think of every ill

not therefore think that we need shrink from saying that Christ bore penal suffering for us and in our stead' (The Doctrine of the Atonement, 216). And, finally, in his Mediator E. Brunner contends that 'the Cross, conceived as the expiatory penal sacrifice of the Son of God, is the fulfilment of the scriptural revelation of God, in its most paradoxical incomprehensible guise' (pp. cit. y 473). Brunner, it should be added, thinks that if the forensic aspect of the Atonement is stressed exclusively, the doctrine tends to become one-sided and crudely objective. Hence, he finds room for what he calls 'the ritual idea', that is for the conception of the Atonement as an expiatory sacrifice (op. cit. [^9] 475).

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consequence as the direct result of a special Divine volition; but it is necessary, if Christian values are to be conserved, to think of penal suffering as the reaction of the holiness and love of God in a world of moral realities. If this is so, penal suffering is not the expression of a legal principle, but an ethical and spiritual manifestation of the Divine activity. It is a hasty and incomplete generalisation to trace its operation to some particular attribute of God, as, for example, to His justice; its final ground is His nature and being, and, in the last analysis, His love.

Nothing is more needed in modern theology than a resolute endeavour to think seriously about the love of God. It is so easy to degrade the idea until it becomes weak and sentimental. The love of God calls for all that is best in man; and this means that, as a being subject to growth and development, he cannot be insured against the consequences of sin or denied their painful discipline, The greatest love is a love which in endurance permits man to win his soul. All this, together with the outflowings of the healing ministries of grace, is the mark of perfect love, and therefore of the love of God Himself, It is for the same reason that God requires a sacrifice: not that He may be placated, but because His love can be satisfied with nothing less than a perfect response from man.

Our conception of penal suffering must vitally affect our estimate of its place in the experience of one who loves wrong-doers so intensely as to identify himself with them. Obviously, it cannot simply be transferred from one to another, so that, since it has been borne by a benefactor, the sinner is acquitted and may go scot free. Such a theology attempts to deal with moral relationships on the basis of a patent illegality, 1 whereas, as we have seen, penal

Smith supplies two excellent illustrations of this in his book, The Atonement in the Light of History and the Modern Spirt f, io8ff.

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suffering is not a legal, but an ethical category. Like forgiveness itself, it is a mark of God's redemptive dealings with men. In consequence, the idea of one accepting penal suffering instead of another, and of offering it to God as a means of reconciliation, is completely mistaken. The penal element in the suffering of a lover of sinners is something quite different. It is not a burden which he takes over, and bears in the place of another; it is an experience into which he enters in virtue of his love.

Just because he loves sinners, he feels their shame, and experiences by sympathy and intuition the penalty of their sin to a degree which is impossible for them until they know a true religious awakening. For love's sake he enters into a night of gloom and darkness where sin works itself out in the consuming fires of Holy Love. This is the experience of 'sin-bearing' which, however we describe it, and whether we deny it or not, is a fact of common daily life, illustrated a hundred times in the complex relationships of the home, the family, the nation, and the wider life of mankind. 11   Cf. W. R. Malty, GArisf and His Cross, jjf, 946 165. T It is the incalculable secret of great and enduring love. It may well be that we require another word than 'penal' in order to describe suffering of this kind. By all means let us find it if we can, for usage has so tarnished the word 'penal' that mental effort is required in order to do justice to its meaning. Thus far, a better term has not been found. Indeed, it may be doubted if it is likely to be found, since the word 'penal* exactly expresses the required idea, namely, that of a suffering which is caused by the inevitable consequences of sin in a world ruled by God.

The answer to the question raised at the beginning of this section admits by now of little doubt. It is impossible to think of the suffering of Jesus Himself as any

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thing else but penal suffering. Were He no more than a teacher or a prophet, it would be necessary so to describe that intense spiritual agony which is implied by His sayings. All the more must we take this view in consequence of that representative relationship to men which is so marked an aspect of His Messianic consciousness; and most of all if terms like 'Messiah' and 'Son of Man' are the self-chosen, but inadequate designations of a sinless and more-than-human personality. The conclusion to be drawn, even if no sayings require it, is that by reason of His relationship to sinners Jesus entered into the blight and judgment which rest upon sin, and bore its shame and desolation upon His heart. Because He loved men so greatly He became one with them, entering into the situation in which they stood, sharing the pain of their disobedience, and feeling the pressure of their sins. Such suffering is penal because it is the fruit of the judgment which rests on sin; it is accepted, not by way of barter or exchange, but because it is part of the moral situation of those who are loved. It is the cost of the redemptive passion of the lover who enters into the penal suffering of the beloved, and bears it upon his heart because there is nothing less that love can do. Its significance in the work of redemptive service is not that it changes God, or delivers men from the pain of penal suffering; but that it constitutes the one who bears it a Mediator and a Saviour, in and through whom they can draw nigh to God.

  1. A question of quite a different kind arises in connexion with the problem of man's relationship to the redemptive work of Christ. What is the place of faith in this relationship? Is the communion made possible in the Eucharist different in kind from that experience of faith-union with Christ of which St. Paul speaks when he writes: 'I have been crucified with Christ: and it is no
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longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me* (Gal. ii. 20), or when he speaks of Christ as set forth by God as a means of atonement 'through faith' (Rom. iii. 25)?

It is a challenging fact that there is no saying of Jesus, either in the Synoptics or in the Fourth Gospel, which mentions faith in connexion with His death. 1 Jesus asks for faith in God (Mk. xi. 22), welcomes its presence in men (Mt. viii. 10), depends upon its presence in His works of healing (Mk. v. 34, vi. 5f.; Mt. xv. 28), and emphasizes its necessity in the life of His disciples (Mt. xviL 20); but in no recorded saying of His does He ask for faith in Himself as Redeemer and Saviour. This negative statement is true, but it may easily prove misleading. It would be quite unwarranted to conclude, on the basis of this evidence, that Apostolic teaching on this theme, and in particular Jn. iii. 1 6, has no foundation in the thought of Jesus. In the first place, several sayings support the contention of M. Goguel that, after Peter's Confession (Mk. viii. 29), Jesus 'now asks for attachment to his person, and not only for the acceptance of his message'. [^2] Thus it is that He calls upon His disciples to deny themselves, to take up their cross, and follow Him (Mk. viii. 34), and declares that whosoever shall lose his life for His sake shall save it (Mk. viii. 35). 'What doth it profit a man', He asks, *to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?' (Mk. viii. 36). To be ashamed of Him and of His words in this adulterous and sinful generation is to incur the shame of the Son of Man when He comes 'in the glory of his Father with the holy angels' (Mk. viii. 38). And there are other sayings which cannot be precisely dated in which He speaks of the divisions brought about by Himself and His ministry within families (Lk.

x jn. iii. r $f. is almost certainly part of the Evangelist's soliloquy. *The Life of Jesus, 385.

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xii. 51-3)) and claims a decisive and unparalleled relationship to Himself. 'If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple' (Lk. xiv. 26). Primitive Christianity was only describing this attitude of selfcommittal to Jesus by means of another terminology when it began to speak of faith in Christ; and if it is said that, in the sayings quoted above, the attitude is one directed to Jesus Himself rather than to His work, it is fair to reply that the distinction is artificial since, at the time Jesus spoke, His Messianic work was an all absorbing thought.

Secondly, it is impossible to differentiate in absolute terms between the ultimate nature of sacramental communion and the concept of faith in Christ. That there is a distinction is obvious, since faith-union with Christ can be experienced apart from any conscious sacramental relationship. There is nothing to indicate that sacramental ideas are in St. Paul's mind when he declares that he has been crucified with Christ, and that his present life is a life lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself up for him (Gal. ii. 20). And there have been, and are, not a few among Christians of all ages capable of using such language along with imperfect and even erroneous conceptions of the Eucharistic gift. For such men, faith in Christ is an immediate and direct experience which reveals no obvious need of outward ritual expression beyond that of language or of song. On the other hand, when sacramental communion is considered, its essential nature is seen to be just that intimate experience of fellowship with Christ which is described in St. Paul's words; it is faith in action by the use of a symbolism which gives it peculiar strength and vitality. We

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must therefore infer that, although Jesus did not, in so many words, speak of faith as defining the relation of men to His redemptive work, in effect He indicated it as such in His institution of the Eucharist; and that later Christian teaching was only interpreting His mind in its declaration that salvation is by faith in Him.

Lastly, the reproduction of the spirit of Messianic suffering, to which Jesus called men, is itself rooted in the faith-relationship. It was to men standing in close attachment to Himself that He spoke of drinking the cup (Mk. x. 38), and of taking up the cross (Mk. viii. 34). And the same is true of St. Paul when he writes: I fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church (Col. i. 24). The discussion whether in these words 'the afflictions of Christ' are satisfactoriae or aedificatoriae may easily obscure the vital consideration that in any case the action springs out of a believing relationship to Christ, and is unintelligible without it. This fact is well illustrated in the famous paraphrase of J. B. Lightfoot: 'Yes, I Paul the persecutor, I Paul the feeble and sinful, am permitted to supplement I do not shrink from the word to supplement the afflictions of Christ. Despite all that He underwent, He the Master has left something still for me the servant to undergo. And so my flesh is privileged to suffer for His body His spiritual body, the Church/ 1 The experience here described is clearly derivative; it is founded in a prior believing relationship to Christ and to His redemptive work. Nor is it out of place to say that is exactly true to the Christian experience. It is by filling up 'that which remains over of the afflictions of Christ" that men enter more fully into the meaning of His sacrifice, and the last thing they can claim is that their service *Thc Epistle to the Cohssians, 162.

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stands in any comparable relationship to the achievement of Christ. It appears, then, that the summons of Jesus to cross-bearing is the summons to a life of faith in action determined ultimately by a relationship to Himself. It was, therefore, a natural step when Christian teachers used boldly the language of faith-union with Christ; it is not the language of Jesus Himself, but it is directly rooted in His historical teaching.

Why Jesus instituted the Eucharist and called men to cross-bearing rather than laying down as a primary necessity the demand for faith in Himself, is a very interesting and important question. Probably, the answer is to be found in a point of view which preferred the concrete to the apparently abstract, and which found it natural to think of faith as expressed mediately and in action. In such an outlook Jesus was true to the deepest needs of human nature, for while Christianity is justified in calling men directly to exercise faith in Christ, it has succeeded best when it has associated its evangelical appeal with Eucharistic worship and practical Christian endeavour.

  1. The last point for consideration in the present chapter is whether there is any unifying principle which binds together the several ideas which are implicit in the Passion-sayings. It is not a credible suggestion, that these ideas can have been held by Jesus in isolation one from another; the presumption is that they are interrelated and fall within a framework of thought. (, JJhe most probable view is that the bond which unites these ideas is the sacrificial principle. So long as sacrifice is interpreted as a means of appeasing an angry God, this perception is hidden from us; but immediately its highest expression is found in a representative offering which the worshipper makes his own in seeking renewed fellowship with God, its relevancy is complete. That Jesus was
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sympathetic to this principle, has already been argued, 1 and it has also been maintained that it is implied in His use of the 'ransom-passage' and in the words : 'This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many/ [^2] It is a substantial confirmation of these opinions, that every important aspect of the sacrificial principle can be fpund in the thoughts of Jesus concerning His Passion. The aim of sacrifice is a restored fellowship; its medium is a representative offering; its spiritual condition is the attitude of the worshipper; its rationale is the offering of life; its culmination is sharing in the life offered by means of the sacred meal. These ideas form a natural background against which the Passion-sayings can be readily understood.

In view of what has been said it is permissible to speak of 'the Sacrifice of Jesus'; but, in using this phrase, it is necessary to observe that in at least two respects every other expression of the sacrificial principle is transcended. On the one hand, His Sacrifice has a moral and spiritual value which has no parallel elsewhere, inasmuch as His self-offering is the active expression of conscious purpose, He wills what He does, and the whole force of His personality is in His achievement. On the other hand, the significance of His Person raises His action into a new category of sacrifice. What He is determines what He does to such a degree that His Sacrifice is limited in no way in respect of time or place. Historical as an event in time, it is not chained to the circumstances and conditions of nineteen centuries ago ; it has the marks of universality and perfection.

It is important to notice the manner in which the sacri ficial principle is implicit in the redemptive work of Jesus. There is no warrant for supposing that it was the sacri 1 See pp. 67-75. 2See PP

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ficial system of Judaism which determined His thinking in respect of His Passion. His attitude to the cultus would not have been as detached as the Gospels show it to have been, and His sayings would be more explicit than they are, if the sacrifices of the Temple had deeply influenced His thought. So far from looking to the existing sacrificial system as a determining element in His thought, we should rather interpret the cultus as a partial and imperfect expression of a principle which is completely manifested in His Sacrifice ; and it may well have been His perception of this relationship which influenced His respect for a system which He felt to be wanting in spiritual and religious worth. The source of His indebtedness should be found, not so much in the cultus, as in that sublimated expression of the sacrificial principle which is found in the description of the Suffering Servant. Here supremely is to be discerned that portraiture of a sacrificial ministry which led Him radically to transform current conceptions of the Messianic office as realized and fulfilled in Himself. If this observation is true, it is beside the point to object that prevailing notions in Judaism about the meaning of sacrifice were along the lines of the gift theory rather than along those of Robertson Smith's communion theory. 1 Whether this opinion is true, is a point about which experts will continue to differ, and, as we have previously observed, it is doubtful if either principle can be asserted to the exclusion of the other. [^2] The vital question, however, whether there is a sacrificial idea at the root of the thinking lof Jesus," is hot to" b'6'sSHteaby discussions regarding the origins of sacrifir^ T^u Tiy interpreting His sayings and Old Testament repre

is one of the objections brought by R. S. Franks against Bishop Hicks' Fullness of Sacrifice. Cf. The Atonement, xiii. [^2] See p. 50.

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sentations of sacrificial life and worship. These investigations, it is here submitted, justify us in speaking of the Messianic work of Jesus as His Sacrifice.

The advantages of seeing the work of Jesus in the light of sacrifice are great. Light is thrown upon dark problems in the doctrine of the Atonement and safeguards are provided against perils of statement abundantly illustrated in the history of doctrine.

One answer at least is suggested to the question, why we do not find clearer and more explicit statements in the sayings of Jesus regarding the purpose of His Passion. The answer is only partially to be found in the plea that He did not think after the manner of a systematic theologian, for, as we have urged, it is improbable that He can have approached, and even sought, death without a clear understanding of what He meant to achieve. It is more naturally found in the fact that the sacrificial principle contains an implicit rather than an explicit theology. It is a complex of religious assumptions, mysterious doubtless to those to whom it is strange, luminous to those for whom it is an accepted mode of thought. No one builds a theory oirt of accepted assumptions unless they are challenged ^there is no need to elucidate the familiar. This fact goes far to explain why Jesus does not define the nature of His Sacrifice. Indeed, the presence of explanatory statements in His sayings would be highly suspicious, suggesting later interpretation instead of the reflections of an original mind. Thus, the sacrificial principle not only explains the nature of His oblation, but also accounts for His silence concerning it.

A second merit of the sacrificial principle is that it enables us to meet the ethical difficulties raised by objective theories of the Atonement. The difficulty of such theories has always been that they tend to look for the

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ground for reconciliation with God outside man. Something is done for him in virtue of which he can draw near to God. As against such views it is almost an axiom of the religious consciousness that reconciliation depends on man's -personal attitude to God. Man is not saved by appropriating the merits of another ; he has no peace by substituting the sacrifice of another for his own. The sacrificial principle provides release from this dilemma. It does this because it reminds us that the sacrifice is more than the offering, that it is not complete apart from the worshipper on whose attitude and spirit its ethical value depends. Thus, we are led to distinguish between the offering of Jesus and the sacrifice He made possible. The nature of His self-offering remains to be defined. Here it is enough to say that, while it is perfect, it is not a counter in some process of celestial arithmetic. It is rather the vehicle of man's aspiration, the centre of his hope, the wings of his prayer. \ In a word, it is the 'one true, pure, immortal sacrifice' only as it is appropriated by personal faith, in corporate worship, and in sacrificial living. A mode of approach which has this character makes it possible to describe the Sacrifice of Jesus in a manner free from harassing ethical objections. Man himself approaches God by a way the stones of which he has not cut; he finds access to the Father through the selfoffering of Jesus.

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IN accordance with what was said in the Introduction to Part III, it is necessary to inquire what view of the Atonement is in harmony with the results reached in the present investigation. In what form may the doctrine be stated when the theological implications in the sayings of Jesus are worked out? This question is not only interesting and important in itself, but is also necessary to the investigation, since the problem of Gospel Origins is injuriously isolated unless it is related to the end as well as to the beginnings. It should be emphasized that in order to justify a theory of the Atonement, a much broader basis is necessary than that which is afforded by the sayings of Jesus, and in what follows it is not pretended that the sayings demand the theory which is presented. What is claimed is that the views set forth are in harmony with the results of the preceding investigation.

Perhaps the commonest presentation of the Atonement in the Christian teaching and preaching of to-day is some form of the Abelardian theory that 'Christ reconciles men to God by revealing the love of God in His life and still more in His death, so bringing them to trust

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and love Him in return*. 1 Naturally, this central conception is capable of being presented in a variety of ways, and, as we have seen, of being enriched by developments which make it more vital and objective. To the protean forms of the theory there is no need to refer at length, nor to the individual writers who have presented them. It is enough to say that the possible variations are many, from views which present the death of Christ as little more than a martyrdom to those which see in it the suffering love of God Himself objectively manifested on the plane of history.

The central truth in this theory is an essential element in any doctrine of the Atonement worthy of the name. Indeed, it may be said that any theory has lost its base unless it is continually in touch with the statement of St. Paul : 'God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (Rom. v. 8). Whether it is an adequate theory is another matter. For purposes of discussion the barer forms of the theory may well be left untouched. It is better to consider it in the form preferred by those who urge that the love of God is not only manifested in the death of Christ, but is definitely objective, since it persists in spite of all that sin can do, and has for its end nothing less than the reconciliation of sinful men with God in the harmony of a restored mutual love.

The objections most commonly brought against this view are that it is vague and indeterminative, that it gives no satisfactory account of the suffering and death of Jesus, and that it is inadequate to human need, especially the

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need of those who are conscious of the reality and power of sin.

It is difficult to see how these objections can be met* The last is particularly pressing. As a moral condition to forgiveness, and therefore to reconciliation with God, penitence is essential. No man can find peace with God until he cries: 'I have sinned before heaven and in thy sight.' But any one who looks into his own heart is appalled to find how fitful, incomplete, and individualistic his penitence can be. It comes and goes, quickened by the revelation of divine love in the Cross, but speedily lost again in the whirl of life. Again, it is limited by our knowledge of God and of our own inner experience. If we think meanly of God, our penitence cannot be deep; and if we think lightly of sin, it cannot be real ; if sins are buried and forgotten, it cannot" exist at all. Further, penitence is almost incurably individualistic. If we feel the weight of our own sins, we are more complacent about social sins in which none the less we share, sins of neglect, of national pride and passion, of social cruelty and oppression.

It is undoubtedly true that, as a manifestation of divine love, the Cross will deepen penitence. When it fades the Cross will quicken it, when it is complacent it will rebuke it, when it is self-centred it will enlarge its range. It will expose our sin as sin against love and convince us that forgiveness is costly. These are great gifts, but they do not match the depth of human need. Such a penitence is still compassed with imperfection ; it is hedged about by all the limitations of the finite, never constant, never complete, never invested with the note of universality. It is a penitence restricted by sin and constrained by creaturehood. It does not become the poignant Amen of the soul to a representative penitence perfect, constant, and

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inclusive, ever presented before the throne of God as a cry into which man can enter, a sorrow he can feel, a confession in which he can participate. How can such a penitence be fitting in the eyes of a Holy God who is 'of purer eyes than to behold evil' and cannot 'look on perverseness'?

In addition, it cannot escape notice how greatly the concept of salvation is altered. Salvation follows from a discovery about God; it is the consequence of a perception! It is indeed an amazing discovery, since we learn that God loves us unto suffering and death; but its stupendous character does not alter its nature as something perceived. In consequence, salvation becomes response to the revelation; it is the re-orientation of the soul after confession and trust. The logical end is a God-mysticism in which the soul closes with the One who is made known in Jesus.

The claim that the Abelardian theory does not give a satisfactory account of the suffering and death of Jesus, is strongly supported by the present investigation. Among the Passion-sayings of Jesus there is none in which He declares that He dies to reveal, or to express, or to embody the love of God. The idea of a suffering God is unknown to His sayings. In all that He said and taught there is nothing to suggest that His object in dying was so to confront men with the untiring love of God that through penitence and contrition they should be brought to trust and love Him in return. It is even doubtful if He thought of these things; they are the beliefs we read into the mind of a Jesus seen with the eyes of the imagination, not the Jesus of history. All this, however challenging it may be, cannot be said too emphatically.

This argument does not mean that the ideas mentioned above have no contact with the teaching of Jesus. On

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the contrary, all that the theory asserts is true, and the reason why this can be said is easily seen. The Christian of to-day sees the love of God, and even the suffering love of God, in the Cross of Jesus because he views it in the light of history and experience. His theory is a valuation of the Cross, not an unfolding of its purpose and meaning. Jesus, however, looked forward: what He had to say concerning His death was not its significance in the history of revelation, but its meaning for Himself in the fulfilment of His Messianic purpose. That is why the Abelardian theory can be true and at the same time fundamentally incorrect as an interpretation of the mind of Jesus. The truth is that the so-called 'cruder' theories of the Atonement have a closer affiliation with His thought, provided we eliminate from them all that is inconsistent with His fundamental convictions regarding God and man. The thoughts of Jesus in relation to the Cross are 'objective* in the older sense in which this term was used in theories of the Atonement; that is to say, it is a principle cardinal to His thinking that, as the Son of Man, He fulfils a ministry for men before God.

If this claim is valid, it is necessary to accept all that is true and beautiful in the best forms of the 'Moral Theory' as an introduction or preface to a theory of the Atonement more in harmony with the sayings of the historical Jesus. The theory itself is still to seek.

II

  • The peculiar difficulty of the doctrine of the Atonement is that of seeing it as a whole. For purposes of thought parts of the doctrine have to be considered in themselves,
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vith the result that they are easily seen out of focus; and t is to this fact that many of the most serious problems ire due. Strictly speaking, there is no Atonement apart Torn the whole process by which sinners are reconciled :o God; and this includes the passion of God expressed in :he Cross, the life and death of Christ Himself, and the -elation of men to Him and His atoning work. All this, md nothing less, is the Atonement. Two points of special importance are the self-identification of Christ mth sinners and the union of believers with Him; and to dissociate the two is perilous. Indeed, it may be truly said that nearly all the popular objections to the doctrine :an be traced to preoccupation with some aspect of the Atonement which is isolated from the rest. None the ess, for purposes of exposition, the danger has to be ncurred, although it is greatly diminished if one recogaizes that it exists.

In this section the work of Christ in its Godward aspect tfill be considered in itself, apart from the relationship of nen thereto. What is the theological counterpart to the xmviction of Jesus, that His Messianic service is the selfBering of Himself for men?

Many theologians give no consideration to this question n the belief that God neither requires nor desires a sacriicial offering. This view, I suggest, not only leads to an msatisfactory doctrine of the Atonement, but is inconsisent with the attitude of Jesus to His suffering and the neaning of some of His most important sayings, not to peak of the teaching of the Epistles, the repeated emer;ence of objective theories, and the witness of Christian xperience regarding penitence, forgiveness, and fellowtiip with God. Only if we think of sacrifice as a means f appeasing God is the conception out of place. As a leans by which men iriay approach God and find recon

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ciliation with Him the idea of a sacrificial offering is in harmony with the highest conception of the love and holiness of God in the doctrine of the divine Fatherhood. In the work of Christ the offering is made representatively, in the name of men, and with the intention that they should participate therein.

It is obvious that no modern presentation of this doctrine is possible unless the representative ministry of Christ rests on a firm religious basis. Is this true in point of fact? Can modern Christianity speak of Christ as man's representative before God? Clearly, this is a question of vital significance,

An affirmative answer to this question is not capable of demonstration; it is an utterance of faith based upon reason in the light of relevant facts. Of these facts one of the most important is the close connexion between the idea of a present representative ministry and the strong conviction of Jesus regarding His Messianic office as the Son of Man. Our investigation has revealed this conviction as a fundamental element in His thought. He lives and He dies as the suffering Son of Man. It is, however, in no sense contradictory to this assertion to say that He accepted the concept of Messiahship with marked uneasiness. When He is challenged by Caiaphas whether he is the Christ, His reply is in effect : * Yes, if you care to use that name' ; and to this attitude corresponds His avoidance of the term 'Christ', and His preference for the title 'Son of Man'. This attitude, we have seen, is not one of doubt or uncertainty; it is the point of view of one who is forced to use names and concepts which are felt to be utterly inadequate to express His relationship to men. If this is a just historical inference, we have reason to discard Messianic terminology in our modern theology, and to replace it by language which lies nearer to the heart of the thought

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of Jesus Himself. If in the Resurrection He conquered death and all its powers, we are justified in thinking and speaking of Him as our 'kinsman now', or, in the more sober language of theology, as man's representative before God, Whether we use such a terminology depends upon our estimate of His Person, our agreement with the witness of the historic Church, our reading of history and of personal Christian experience. The choice is the decision of faith faced by the 'Either-Or' of the Christian challenge.

Only is this the case, if a worthy meaning is put into the word 'representative'. In the sense in which it is used in this discussion, it does not indicate one whose activity lies apart from ourselves, or serves instead of our own, but one whose service leaves in our hands the decisive word in the affirmation of faith. Christ is our representative because in His self-offering He performs a work necessary to our approach to God.

What, then, is the nature of His self-offering? At this point theology is confronted by the fact that no word of Jesus reveals His answer to this question. He speaks of 'the blood of the covenant, which is shed for many', but He does not explain how His out-poured life is a sacrificial work for men. Some justification for this silence has already been suggested in the nature of -the sacrificial concept; but this suggestion only indicates more fully the task of Christian theology as that of hearing the silence of Jesus. 11   Cf. Ignatius, 'He that hath the word of Jesus truty- can hear His silence also,' EpL 15.

The best answer which theology can give is one that is in harmony with the sacrificial principle and with the sayings of Jesus. In making its answer, it does not pretend to give a historical account of the mind of Jesus

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Himself, since, as we have seen, the materials for such an account have not been preserved. What theology can do is to express in its own language a view of the selfoffering of Jesus which rests on the data of Gospel history and tradition, and interprets them in the light of subsequent thought and experience. From this point of view a threefold answer may be given.

V(i) In the first place, the self-offering of Jesus is His perfect obedience to the Father's will. The obedience is His.own, but since He presents it as the Son of Man, it is also representative obedience; it is the obedience which men ought to offer to God, and which they would offer if they fulfilled the obligations of their sonship. As representing men, Christ in His suffering offers that obedience, truly embodied in Himself, in their name and for their sake, not by way of barter or exchange, but with the intention that they should identify themselves with it and so offer it themselves. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews gives expression to this aspect of the sacrifice of Jesus when he quotes the words of Psa. xl. 7 : 'Lo, I am come . . . to do thy will, O God,' and then writes : 'By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all' (x. i o). The relation of this conception to human need is of the closest, since it offers the possibility of a 'true obedience to the will of God which can be achieved in no other way. It is also based on that sense of Providential purpose and of unity with the Father's will which governed the whole life of Jesus and is perfectly expressed in His death for men.

(2) Secondly, the self-offering of Jesus is His perfect submission to the judgment of God upon sin. This is the living truth behind the long history of the successive attempts to find a penal element in the sufferings of Christ, attempts which are by no means limited to older state

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ments of the doctrine of the Atonement, but which can be seen in the most notable discussions of the last fifty years. However hard it may be to recognize the fact, there is in this conception a truth intimately concerned with human need. In a worthy doctrine of Reconciliation those consequences which in point of fact follow upon sin, and which in the last analysis must be traced to the judgment of God, cannot be ignored. Man's attitude to them must undoubtedly be a factor of great importance. So long as he views penal suffering with resentment he cannot know the meaning of fellowship with God; only when he accepts it as just, and therefore as the discipline of the soul, is the upward path open to him. Readily, however, as one may assent to this truth, a journey of struggle and often unavailing effort is projected, from which few travellers return except with tales of defeat. What is needed is the vision of a perfect submission with which man may identify himself. No offer of penal suffering as a substitute for his own will meet his need, but a submission presented by his Representative before God becomes the foundation of a new hope. And once more the assertion that such is part at least of the self-offering of Christ is closely related to His teaching and experience as the Suffering Son of Man. Of His bitter suffering by reason of human sin there can be no doubt, and that He entered in love into the penal suffering of men we have found ground to infer. If, then, His representative relationship rests upon fact, it is right to see in His suffering an offering of submission which man can make his own. In the stately language of another generation the basis of this formulation is expressed in the words : 'His relationship to the human race, and His consequent Incarnation, enabled Him, and Him alone, to give complete expression^ under our penal conditions, to the submission

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of mankind to God, to make reparation to His law, and to put away sin from man.' 1

(3) Thirdly, the self-offering of Jesus is the expression of His perfect penitence for the sins of men. This is a view with which J. M'Leod Campbell [^2] and R. C. Moberly [^3] have made us familiar. In Campbell's words, Christ made 'a perfect confession of our sins' ; in the phrase of Moberly, He 'offered the sacrifice of supreme penitence*. This conception made a great appeal to a generation which could no longer tolerate crude theories of penal substitution, but in large measure it has failed to win wide acceptance on the ground that it replaces a legal by a moral fiction. No one, it is said, can confess sins but the sinner; no one can be penitent in his stead. These objections probably rest on an obsolete atomistic conception of personality, and completely ignore the true relationship between men and the offering of Christ. Campbell pointed out to an acute reviewer that he had no thought of suggesting a substituted repentance, [^4] and in his Nature of the Atonement he strongly maintains that Christ's offering was accepted by the Father entirely with the prospective purpose that it is to be reproduced in us. 3 Moberly himself denies that Christ consummated penitence in the sense that men are not to repent, or to regard His penitence as a substitute for their own; [^6] and he seeks to provide a link between believers and the work of Christ by the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, at work in the hearts of men, and by his exposition of the meaning of the Church and the Sacraments. So far

X J. Scott Lidgett, The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement, 378. The italics are his.

2 The Nature of the Atonement.

  • Atonement and Personality. Op. cit (4th ed.), 340.

B 0/. cit. 9 Chapter vii. 6 Op. cit.> 283.

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as the view outlined in this chapter is concerned, this particular difficulty does not arise; for while the selfoffering of Christ is perfect, it is the Godward side of a process of reconciliation which is completed in the human response. The offering avails for individual men so far as they participate in its redemptive power through union with Christ.

The more difficult question is how Christ can make an offering of penitence for others, especially in view of His sinlessness.

Unparalleled as this aspect of the representative work of Christ must always be, it is not without human analogies. Of course, if we take the hardshell view of the nature of human personality, no progress along this line is possible. In theology and ethics few errors are so costly as the habit of thinking of persons as separate entities like the pebbles on a sea shore. But such a view is not true to human experience, and it breaks down hopelessly once the expansive power of love in human relationships is recognized. Even apart from experiences founded on love, this fact can be seen. Men of probity when forced into contact with sin feel themselves imprisoned in its clinging folds; its weight falls upon their spirit and humiliates them by its shame. If they have a developed communal self, they may even be conscious of the guilt of wrongs they have not committed and become the 'conscience' of a community. Infinitely more true is this when the heart is filled with love. Moberly has given us a classical example in his picture of the love of a mother who makes the shame of a child her own. 1 One can only say that in some mysterious manner the sins of others become an intensely personal concern. In love we pass beyond the confines of individuality and are united with them in a *0p. tit., 122 ff.

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THE ATONEMENT 311

union which is not the loss of identity but the enrichment of life. But if the sin of others can be felt, it can also be confessed, not indeed as our own, but as that of those who are loved. We can feel the penitence they ought to feel and voice it before God. This experience is too real to be dismissed; the examples of it come from the highest and holiest planes of human life, and it is the vantage ground from which we catch glimpses of a representative penitence in the self-offering of Christ.

Such a ministry might be attributed to Christ on the sole ground of His love for men. In this case the argument would be from the less to the greater, from the fact of representative penitence in men to its exercise by Him. But there is another foundation for affirming this belief: to do so is only to extend what is already implied in His self-identification with sinners. Self-identification of this kind is much more than the patient endurance of the penalties of sin ; it also includes a sense of the horror of sin, a sorrow for its presence in those who are loved, and a longing for their reconciliation with God. Must it not also entail the voicing of the better mind and aspirations of men? The strong representative element in the Messianic consciousness of Jesus is a decisive reason for believing this to be true of His self-offering, and therefore of finding in it the expression of representative penitence for the sins of men.

But is sinlessness a fatal bar to the exercise of such a ministry? Can representative penitence be expressed by one 'who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth'? The analogies already drawn from human experience have much to teach in answer to this question. Similar ministries among men are indeed exercised by those who confess themselves to be sinners, but they can 324 not be fulfilled by those who love sin. The celebrants are those whose endeavour it is to put sin beneath their feet and whose eyes are on the goal of Perfect Love. This fact is important. It is impossible to argue that, if they reached that goal either here or hereafter, they would thereby be debarred from the service of representative penitence, for to suppose this is to hold that the condition of the holiest of activities is sin. So far, indeed, is this from being true that it is actually sin in men which makes their offering imperfect; they are held back from the exercise of representative penitence because they are sinners. The bearing of this argument upon the self-offering of Christ is manifest: His sinlessness is the necessary condition of His oblation. Moberly is undoubtedly right when he contends that sin blunts the edge and dims the power of penitence, and that, in the perfectness of its full meaning, penitence 'is not even conceivably possible, except it be to the personally sinless'.11   Op. cit., 117.

We have reason, then, to find this element in the self-offering of Christ. Doubtless, when all has been said, it remains the very mystery of love, that the sinless should voice the penitence of sinners. Human analogies help us up to a point, but it is no matter for wonder if they do not take us all the way. 'How are we', asks Althaus, 'who as sinners cannot know what perfect love is, to understand what complete solidarity may be achieved by perfect love?'22   Mysterium Christi, 210.

III

Thus far, with full recognition of the dangers of a one-sided emphasis, an attempt has been made to isolate the 325 central element in the doctrine of the Atonement, namely, the offering, which Christ, as the representative of man, presents to the Father on his behalf. It is now necessary to examine the complementary aspect of the doctrine, in other words, the way in which this offering becomes a fundamental element in man's approach to God. Once more, this is a doctrinal, and not a historical theme. From its nature historical criticism knows nothing of a Living or Exalted Christ, except so far as the idea appears in the New Testament writings. This idea, as a truth of Christian experience, belongs to religion, and therefore to theology. As already explained, however, it is necessary to envisage the historical inquiry in the light of its doctrinal development. For this reason, therefore, the subject treated in the present section is man's relation to the work of Christ.

The historical roots of the inquiry lie in the repeated attempts of Jesus to associate men, and in particular His disciples, with His Messianic suffering and death: His promise to James and John that they should drink His cup, His words about cross-bearing, His attitude to His three disciples in the Garden, and, above all, His institution of the Supper. All these, in different ways, are indications that Jesus did not view His suffering as a work accomplished apart from the response of men. The Supper is a means whereby His disciples may participate in the power of His self-offering, since by His word the bread which they are bidden to receive is interpreted by Him as His body, and the wine as His covenant-blood shed for many.

Naturally, the question whether the Supper is meant to be a permanent means of fellowship in the redemptive activity of Christ is of vital importance for such an inquiry as the present. Historically, as we have seen, the question 326 is not capable of a categorical answer, since the words: 'This do in remembrance of me' (1 Cor. xi. 24f.), are reported only by St. Paul. Short of proof, however, the question should be answered in the affirmative, since criticism runs into the teeth of its own evaluation of the Synoptic narratives if it builds on the silence of stories which are not reports, but answers to primitive needs. The immediate observance of the Supper in primitive Christianity, attested by the Acts of the Apostles,11   Cf. ii. 42, 46, xx. 7, 11, xxvii. 35. shows that reassurance regarding the continued observance of the Supper was not required; and, in these circumstances, the command for repetition in the Pauline tradition is sufficient in itself, either as a valid historical saying, or as an indication of how the original disciples had understood the intention of Jesus on the last night of His earthly life. Theology, therefore, does not build on an uncertain foundation when it finds in the Eucharist a permanent means whereby men may participate in the self-offering of Jesus.

In view of the teaching of Jesus, it goes without saying that there is nothing magical in the operation of the Eucharist, and that its efficacy does not depend on the mere performance of the rite. As we have maintained, it is a means by which effect is given to the experience of faith-union with Christ in His redeeming work, and it is this experience which is primary and fundamental. It is faith-union which provides the nexus between men and the self-offering of Jesus; it is in virtue of this relationship that all that He offers in His death is available for man in his access to God. This is the justification for the strong emphasis which the New Testament lays upon faith in connection with the death of Christ, for the faith mentioned is not only belief, but also, and especially in the 327 Pauline Epistles,11   'According to St. Paul this union of heart and will, an ethical union of personalities, was, no less than justification, an immediate result of the act of faith in Christ, or in God in Christ,' C. A. Anderson Scott, Foot-Notes to St. Paul, 38. a mystical and personal relationship between the believer and Christ.

It is necessary to consider this relationship established by faith-union with Christ more fully. Ultimately, it is a unique relationship, and yet in human life it is not without parallels. It has some resemblance to the abandon with which a scientist greets a truth which facts force upon his attention. It is more like the act by which we make a poet's thought our own. We may reflect, for example, that death is not extinction, but our experience is altogether different when we read Shelley's lines:22   Adonais.

'Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep--

He hath awakened from the dream of life--

'Tis we, who lost in stormy visions, keep

With phantoms an unprofitable strife.'

If we accept this thought, we give ourselves up to it; the words are no more Shelley's alone, but the vehicle of our own belief. For many people music provides the better analogy. When we listen to Brahms' Requiem, or to one of Beethoven's symphonies, we surrender ourselves to the wonder of the inexpressible; something in our personality is unloosed, and thoughts and feelings for which words are too poor find release and interpretation. The experience is sacramental, and life is full of such experiences.

Faith in Christ is a much more intimate experience because it is a relationship established between ourselves and a Living Person; it is 'recumbency upon Him as our atonement and our life, as given for us, and living in us and, in consequence hereof, a closing with Him, and cleaving to 328 Him'. 1 This, of course, is the language of religion, but it is the only language that is at all adequate, if the religious experience is real. When faith of this kind is exercised, it is as if the eyes of the soul were opened and the bond of the tongue loosed. It is like entering into the sunshine from a dark cold room. The personality is transfigured because it is surrendered to a love which enfolds it and to a life on which it feeds. Such a faith can become so intimate and immediate that it is only to be expressed in the words: 'It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me' (Gal. ii. 20). Its effect is such that His death becomes our sacrifice. 'That which Christ uttered to God in His death, we by faith utter in Him. All that the cross meant of surrender to God, of honour to the law of righteousness, of repudiation of transgression, becomes by our faith the object to which our repentance and consecration are joined, and in which they are perfectly expressed to God.'22   J. Scott Lidgett, The Spiritual Principle of the Atonement, 407f. 'We become one with Him in His submission and self-oblation; one with Him, also, in His high-priestly acts. The result is our growing share, according to the completeness of our union with Christ, in the spirit manifest in His death, our entrance into fellowship with the spiritual principle of His Atonement.'33   Ibid. This is precisely the position implied in the words of Campbell, already quoted,44   See p. 283. in which he speaks of faith as 'the Amen of our individual spirits to that deep, multiform, all-embracing, harmonious Amen of 329 humanity, in the person of the Son of God, to the mind and heart of the Father in relation to man'.

In the light of this conception, man's relationship to the offering of Christ described in the last section is clear. In faith he participates in

'That only offering perfect in Thine eyes,

The one true, pure, immortal sacrifice.'

Neither the obedience, nor the submission, nor the penitence of Christ is accepted as a substitute for his offering; but each becomes a vehicle for his own approach. When he comes into the presence of God, it is not as a naked soul, carrying poor gifts of his own devising; he comes as one whose gifts are transfigured and caught up into something greater. The poverty of his obedience, the weakness of his submission, and the frailty of his penitence pass into strength and power in virtue of his union with Christ by faith and love. A gratitude is created which is too deep for words, and a sense of obligation which brooks neither denial nor delay.

All theories of the Atonement find room for the exercise of faith, but it may be doubted if any of them supplies so full an opportunity for its ethical and devotional expression as one founded on the sacrificial principle, just because it is of its essence that the worshipper should identify himself with that which he offers to God.

Thus far we have limited the inquiry to the relation of the individual believer to the work of Christ, but it is also necessary to consider his relationship as a member of a worshipping community. This point is especially germane to an attempt to study the Atonement in the light of sacrifice, since frequently, and perhaps normally, sacrificial worship is offered by the worshipper, not simply as an individual, but as a member within a community. It is also 330 required because the communal relationship is prominent in the attitude of Jesus to His suffering and death. This fact is one of the reasons why the teaching of Jesus, in relation to man, centres in the Supper rather than the attitude of direct personal faith.

The importance of worship in connexion with the appropriation of the work of Christ is that in itself it implies a Godward relationship: it is 'the response of the creature to the Eternal.'11   E. Underhill, Worship, 3. If this is its nature, worship may well be expected to contribute to the perfecting of man's relation to the self-offering of Jesus in His suffering and death. The different elements in worship each serve this end. Preaching, which is a true part of worship,22   'The Word is for Evangelical worship something as objective, holy, and given, as the Blessed Sacrament is for Roman Catholic worship. Indeed, it is a sacrament; the sensible garment in which the supra-sensible Presence is clothed,' E. Underhill, Worship, 278. brings home to the worshipper the truth and glory of Christ's redemptive work and draws from him the response of faith. It does this as much by teaching as by exhortation. Only as God is known can He be worshipped: even the worship of 'an Unknown God' implies a half-suspected secret, a mystery not yet made known. In the same way man's attitude to the work of Christ depends on knowledge. The individual can win knowledge for himself by study and research, but even he, as a worshipper, needs to hear in company with others the proclamation of the Word. In this lies the supreme opportunity of preaching. Because it is so great it can descend to the pedestrian essay; but it can also rise to heights which transcend anything which can be given by the printed page or learned discussion, since it is the good news proclaimed by the Church and not simply the word of the preacher. For this purpose the discussion of theories is not necessary, but preaching may 331 with advantage supply constructive teaching and seek to remove patent errors and misunderstandings. Its range, indeed, is enormous. Any preaching which makes Christ and His work known, in relation to the Divine Rule, forgiveness, reconciliation, and faith; or which presents Him to the understanding as the healer, the sinbearer, and the restorer of man; or which describes His priestly ministry and His call for sacrificial living; makes possible an intelligent and whole-hearted response to all that He has done for man.

Praise and adoration serve the same end, especially if they are offered as the spontaneous tribute of man without thought of result or gain. Faith rises on the wings of praise because unsuspected powers of human personality are released in response to a richer insight of the infinite grace of God in Christ, and an attitude of the soul is expressed which, temporary as it is, can become the basis of a steady and permanent relationship. Here lies the justification for the anthem and the hymn. So long as the temptation to judge a hymn as if it were a scientific statement is resisted, its words bring home powerfully to the mind the wonder of Christ's suffering and death, while the act of singing defines and directs an attitude of adoration and faith.

Silence and meditation also provide a necessary discipline. One of the more notable features in present-day interest in questions of worship is the perception that this method of the soul's approach to God can be corporate as well as private. The value of meditation in respect of the work of Christ is that it is contemplated by an exercise of the whole personality. The activity of the intellect is not in abeyance, but it is not isolated from other human relationships. The thought of Christ ever presenting Himself before God and calling man to fellowship with Himself 332 in His redeeming activity can be embraced in the full exercise of thought, feeling and will, in a spirit analogous to that in which one contemplates a scene in nature, a matchless work of art, or the mystery of perfect music. A passage of Scripture may form the starting-point for this silent meditation, as, for example, the majestic words in which the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews describes the entrance of Christ 'not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us' (ix. 24); or again it may begin with some sacred picture or emblem or act of ritual which brings home vividly to the mind the surpassing worth and dignity of the work of Christ.

Prayer necessarily plays an important part in perfecting man's relationship to the work of Christ. It does this because in prayer longing is expressed for more perfect obedience, submission and penitence, and because the spirit of loving devotion, which is the foundation for the experience of union with Christ, is deepened and enriched. All this, of course, is true of private prayer, but it is also true of the prayers we utter in fellowship with others with whom we have common relationships and responsibilities. Especially is prayer the communal act in which we confess that Christ's self-offering is our offering with which in contrition and faith we seek to identify ourselves.

References to worship, preaching, adoration, meditation, and prayer may seem to some to be out of place in a scientific study of the doctrine of the Atonement; and, indeed, in most discussions they are conspicuously wanting. There is, of course, justification for the exclusion of such themes when it is a question of deciding technical points, like the use of words, the history of ideas, the genuineness of sayings; but if, as here, there is a desire to study the attitude of Jesus to His death, there can be no just 333 appreciation of the results that are reached until they are seen in the light of Christian life and worship.

The act of worship which bears most closely on man's corporate approach to God in Christ is the sacrament of Holy Communion, and it is from this standpoint that its importance is most clearly seen. Indeed, it will generally be found that neglect of the sacrament accompanies an over-emphasis upon the individual and personal aspect of man's relationship to the work of Christ. So long as attention is limited to this aspect, it is natural to feel that the rite is not of central importance. The immediate need is to establish the personal faith-relationship! How can the celebration of a rite be compared with this paramount necessity? This attitude is logical, and cannot be effectively challenged, so long as the initial assumption is held. The position is entirely altered once it is recognized that reconciliation is a process realized in the lives of those who are members of a community. As such, the individual must perforce approach God by means of a rite, just because it is an act of communal worship, a means whereby one man in association with other men can draw near to God.

It is some dim perception of this truth which must be held to account for that growing appreciation of the necessity and value of sacramental worship which is one of the facts of the present religious situation. The tendency of modern thought is to stress the communal elements in human life, even to the loss, and, it may be feared, the serious loss of its individual aspects. The change is an inevitable redressing of the balance from the unhealthy individualism of the nineteenth century, and it must be confessed that, in spite of its perils, it is a much needed adjustment, a step on the way to a better understanding of man's true place in life. Christian thought cannot but be influenced 334 by the force of the contemporary current; it is compelled to study man's approach to God from the standpoint of his communal relationships. This is the reason why, in so much present-day thinking and writing, there is a new and sustained interest in sacramental worship. It is not a question of imitation, or of unhealthy concentration upon external things, to the neglect of spiritual realities; it is the urge of the perception that man is a social being first, last and always, and that he must approach God as one who has fundamental responsibilities to his fellows. Once this truth is grasped, the Eucharist is seen from a new angle; it cannot lie at the circumference of Christian worship, but must stand at the centre, as a means whereby man approaches God and appropriates the blessings of Christ's self-offering.

These reflections throw light upon the act of Jesus in instituting the Supper in close connexion with His Messianic suffering. It is no longer matter for surprise that He invited His disciples to partake in a rite instead of speaking to them about personal faith-union with Himself. The latter, we have seen, is included in the former, but the rite is that which is needed in a corporate relationship. When, in addition to the original disciples, one thinks of the unnumbered multitudes of men who through sacramental worship have entered into fellowship with Christ, the perfect suitability of the Eucharist to human need is especially evident. This perception means that no modern presentation of the doctrine of the Atonement is likely to be satisfactory which ignores, or deals imperfectly with, the doctrine of the Eucharist. The Eucharist falls within the orbit of the Atonement alike by reason of the teaching of Jesus and of the life and experience of the Church. Clearly as this fact is being recognized to-day, it is no new discovery. Before the Oxford Movement of 335 the last century, it was recognized by John and Charles Wesley, as their collection of Hymns on the Lord's Supper1 shows. The lines of Charles Wesley:

'This eucharistic feast

Our every want supplies;

And still we by His death are blessed,

And share His sacrifice',

exactly express the doctrine commended in these pages.

Wherein, it may be asked, does the communal aspect of the Eucharist differ from that which it presents to the worshipper as an individual? Simply in this: that, whereas the individual may find the taking of consecrated bread and wine the means by which he enters into the power of the offering they represent, in the worship of the community he does this with a clear sense of the relationships in which he stands to others. He is a member of the community, wide as earth and inclusive of heaven, for which Christ died. It is in this consciousness that he approaches God, conscious not only of personal sins, but also of the sin of the world, its blindness, cruelty, and hardness of heart. In this sin he is enmeshed, whatever his individual contribution to it may be, because he is a child of man, a member of a sinful community. It is not to be wondered at, that, in this conviction, he sees a deeper significance in the self-offering of Christ than can be gained in any other way. Within him sound the words: 'Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!' and the Amen of his spirit to Christ's offering of obedience, submission, and penitence, attains its deepest intensity. In 336 this way the Eucharist offers its supreme opportunity for participation in the Sacrifice of Christ.

In conclusion, it is important to insist on the necessity of combining the personal and the communal aspects of man's approach to God in Christ. In itself, the individual relationship is too narrow, and too much dependent upon the accidents of temperament, to be satisfactory; while the danger of the communal approach is that it may become formal and lifeless. 'Sacramental communion', writes Moberly, 'is vainly material after all, if it is not conceived of mainly as an aspiration and growing on towards oneness not mechanically, so much, of flesh, as inherently of character and of spirit, with the Crucified.'11   Atonement and Personality, 271. Such a conception rightly combines both ides of man's relationship to the self-offering of Jesus. Especially necessary is it further to combine both aspects with obedience to Christ's call to sacrificial living in His words about cross-bearing and the drinking of His cup. The more we shoulder the responsibilities of others, and drink the cup of their sins and sorrows, the more fully we discover the incomparable greatness of Christ's work for men. As we tread the via dolorosa we learn that it begins, as it ends in the heart of God, that the Sacrifice of Jesus is the expression in history and in time of what is eternally true, that for all men there is an abiding High Priest of whom we can say:

'He pleads His passion on the tree.

He shows Himself to God for me.'

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