Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 116Lamb, the figure of a man fastened to a cross (such as the Pagans had adored), should be represented. All this was confirmed by Pope Adrian I.
The dogma of the vicarious atonement has met with no success whatever among the Jews. The reason for this is very evident. The idea of vicarious atonement, in any form, is contrary to Jewish [Pg 205]ethics, but it is in full accord with the Gentile. The law ordains that[205:1] "every man shall be put to death for his own sin," and not for the sin or crime committed by any other person. No ransom should protect the murderer against the arm of justice.[205:2] The principle of equal rights and equal responsibilities is fundamental in the law. If the law of God—for as such it is received—denounces the vicarious atonement, viz., to slaughter an innocent person to atone for the crimes of others, then God must abhor it. What is more, Jesus is said to have sanctioned this law, for is he not made to say: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law."[205:3]
"Salvation is and can be nothing else than learning the laws of life and keeping them. There is, in the modern world, neither place nor need for any of the theological 'schemes of salvation' or theological 'Saviours.' No wrath of either God or devil stands in man's way; and therefore no 'sacrifice' is needed to get them out of the way. Jesus saves only as he helps men know and keep God's laws. Thousands of other men, in their degree, are Saviours in precisely the same way. As there has been no 'fall of man,' all the hundreds of theological devices for obviating its supposed effects are only imaginary cures for imaginary ills. What man does need is to be taught the necessary laws of life, and have brought to bear upon him adequate motives for obeying them. To know and keep God's laws is being reconciled to him. This is health; and out of health—that is, the perfect condition of the whole man, called holiness or wholeness—comes happiness, in this world and in all worlds."