Mar 18, 2009

The demand that the Atonement shall be exhibited in vital relation to a new life in which sin is overcome... is entirely legitimate, and it touches a weak point in the traditional Protestant doctrine. Dr. (Thomas) Chalmers tells us that he was brought up--such was the effect of the current orthodoxy upon him--in a certain distrust of good works.

Some were certainly wanted, but not as being themselves salvation, only, as he puts it, as tokens of justification. It was a distinct stage in his religious progress when he realized that true justification sanctifies, and that the soul can and ought to abandon itself spontaneously and joyfully to do the good that it delights in.

The modern mind assumes what Dr. Chalmers painfully discovered. An atonement that does not regenerate, it truly holds, is not an atonement in which men can be asked
to believe.

... James Denney (1856-1917),
The Atonement and the Modern Mind, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903, pp. 62-63