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169. M. YOUR whole doctrine of the Atonement, which you say was made by Christ, is quite contrary to Reason and to the Qur'an. There is no need of an Atonement 2 or of a Plan of Salvation. To speak of these things is to declare that God is not Almighty. He can do exactly what He wills, and He can and does forgive penitent sinners without any Atonement whatever, for He is free and is not answerable to any one for what He does.

C. By saying this you show that you do not realize the guilt of sin and how hateful it is in the sight of God, who is the Holy One (القُدُوسُ Al Quddus). Yet Sin and Holiness are the antitheses of each other. It is because you do not realize the hatred of God

1 In this chapter I have made no attempt to deal fully with the great doctrine of the Atonement, being prevented from doing so by the limits of the present Manual. The reader should consult Dr. Dale's and other works on the Atonement. (Vide Preface, para. 8.)
2 Muslims entirely fail to understand our doctrine of the Atonement, while fancying that they know all about it. (Rev. J. P. Ellwood.)

for sin and how opposite it is to His holy Nature and Will that you do not feel the need of an Atonement. This is one of the evil results of your religion. It has in large measure obliterated from your minds the truth which even the very heathen once knew, as shown by the sacrifices offered ever since Adam's time in all nations, until the perfect sacrifice of Christ, of which they were types and prophecies, removed all reason for their continuance among Christians. Yet the conscience of man, which accuses him of sin and insists on the need of a propitiation, is too strong for you. Hence sacrifices of camels and other animals are still offered by Muhammadans on certain occasions: [and the Shi'ites believe that the deaths of Hasan and Husain were an atonement for the sins of Muslims.] Here we see human nature asserting its conscious need of an Atonement, but taking a stone for bread. You do not believe that an Atonement is necessary, because you do not realize the guilt of sin, and how impossible it is for impenitent sinners to be reconciled to God and happy in His holy presence. Hence the fearful pictures of the nature of the pleasures which your traditions [and even the Qur'an] describe as appointed by God for Muslims in Paradise1. What you

1 The attempts made by Muhiyyu'ddin and other mystic and rationalistic commentators to explain these descriptions as merely figurative do not agree with the belief of Muslims in the early ages, nor are they even now generally accepted by Muslims.

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