Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
TO MY DEAR SON RALPH
WHO HAD SUCH A GLORIOUS VIEW OF THE TRUTH
OF GOD FROM THE QUAKER POINT OF
VIEW, THAT HE GLADLY GAVE UP FOR IT ALL THAT
HE HAD TO
So opens the book Quaker Aspects of Truth, written by E. Vipont Brown, M.D. Its date of publication is missing from my copy but I have gleaned from online research that it was published around 1913.
I quote here something from his discussion on what we might today call "non-violent atonement", however he writes more simply and I can understand his argument better than when I attempt to read modern theologians.
"But, for. the most part, (these) expiatory ideas crept in through a too literal interpretation of metaphor. The Bible, like all Eastern writings, is full of poetic imagery, which we more prosaic Western nations have been far too ready to translate into the dogmas of prose. Thus, for example, Christ spoke of His work as a ransom, and no metaphor could have been more exquisitely appropriate. He disciples must have felt its force and could not have misunderstood our Lord's meaning. They must have felt that they had been under the dominion of sin, and that Christ had freed them from its bondage. The effect of His work had indeed been that of a ransom. But Augustine, with a cruel logic, translated this exquisite metaphor into the appalling doctrine that the blood of Jesus Christ was a priced paid to Satan to free us from his power.
The metaphor was true and appropriate, the doctrine was false and utterly revolting." (108)
Brown, Vipont, E. Circa 1913. The Swarthmore Press LTD. London