Christ Jesus Within Us; “Blood” of God; Vicarious Salvation; Importance of God’s Image

But it is the Christ Jesus, or man reborn of a pure soul and spirit, as Jesus Himself declared that all must be born – even precisely as He is dramatically described as having been born – within ourselves, to whom we look for salvation.

And the means are His cross of self-sacrifice, renunciation, and purity of life; and the reception into ourselves of that “Blood of God” which is no mere physical blood – between which and moral imperfection is no congruous relation – but which is the life of God, even pure Spirit, which is God, and which God is ever freely shedding for His creatures, giving them of His own life and substance.

How pernicious is the doctrine of vicarious atonement as ordinarily accepted may be seen in the world’s present condition, intellectually, morally, and spiritually, no less than physically.

Man ever makes himself after the image of his God, that is, after his idea of God. And believing in a God who is unjust, selfish, and cruel, man cannot be other than unjust, selfish, and cruel also.

It is precisely this misrepresentation of the divine character, and this perversion of the true and only possible doctrine of the atonement into one that makes man’s salvation a process external to himself and dependent on the action of another than himself, which, by falsifying Christianity, have ensured its failure, and, instead of a world ordered on the principles of justice, sympathy, and purity, have given us a world of wrong-doing, selfishness, and sensuality.”
(Edward Maitland. Addresses and Essays on Vegetarianism, chapter Vegetarianism and the Bible, pp. 222-223; emphasis added)