Rectoral View of the Atonement
Rectoral View Of The Atonement is a phrase expressive of the aspect of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross as it bears upon the divine government. While the reconciliation of legal justice with pardoning mercy is indeed thus beautifully exemplified, yet it is a very partial representation of the atonement which would make this the final cause or constraining purpose of it. "That God may be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth on Christ" is truly an important result of the vicarious redemption by the Saviour, but to put it forth as the one grand motive or impulse in the divine mind is to reduce the scheme of salvation to a mere piece of governmental policy, the retrievement of an original blunder, an expedient to remedy a constitutional defect in the divine plan. The atonement would have been equally necessary and equally efficacious had Adam been the sole erring or even the sole intelligent creature in the universe. It was required by the nature of God himself, and is demanded as a full theodicy by the moral sense of the sinner likewise, who is thus "without excuse." Neither the prophylactic nor the curative, the coercive nor the punitive, ends of government are normally involved in it, and except as an exhibition of infinite and sovereign love it is logically abortive. SEE ATONEMENT, THEORY OF.