THE CHURCH AND THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT
[Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 5, January, 1888, pp. 412-414]
[Rev. T. G. Headley of the Church of England, in a letter to the Editor of Lucifer, describes how he has been boycotted for seventeen years by the officials of the Church for not believing in the doctrine of Atonement, as stated in the XXXIX Articles. Three different appeals on his part for a pulpit where he could preach freely were refused publication in the Times, on the ground that they were inadmissible. H. P. B. appends the following Note to Rev. Headley’s letter:]
This persistent refusal is the more remarkable as other preachers are allowed to teach worse, from an orthodox standpoint, of course. Is it inadmissible “to explain the mystery of Christ Crucified,” as the Rev. Mr. Headley is likely to, lest it should interfere with the explanation and
H.P. B.’s RESIDENCE17, LANSDOWNE ROAD,
NOTTINGHILL, LONDON, ENGLAND
Picture taken in 1959, showing only minor
Alterations since 1887.
description of Jehovah—“one with Christ Jesus” in the orthodox dogma—by the Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A.? Says this truthful and cultured if not very pious orator:
At first the chief attributes of Satan were given to Jehovah. It was God who destroyed the world, hardened Pharaoh, tempted David, provoked to sin, and punished the sinner. This way of thinking lingered even as late as 700 B.C.: “I [the Lord] make peace and create evil” (Isa., xlv, 7). We have an odd survival of this identification of God with the Devil in the word “Deuce,” which is none other than “Deus,” but which to us always means the Devil. As the Jew grew more spiritual he gradually transferred the devilish functions to a “Satan,” or accusing spirit. The transition point appears in comparing the early passage (2 Sam., xxiv, 1), when God is said to “move” David to number the people, with the later (1 Chron., xxi, 1), where Satan is said to be the instigator who “provoked” the numbering. But Satan is not yet the King Devil. We can take up our Bible and trace the gradual transformation of Satan from an accusing angel into the King Devil of popular theology.*
This, we believe, is an even more damaging teaching for the Orthodox Church than any theory about “Christ Crucified.” Mr. Headley seeks to prove Christ, the Rev. Haweis ridiculing and making away with the Devil, destroys and makes away for ever with Jesus, as Christ, also. For, as logically argued by Cardinal Ventura di Raulica, “to demonstrate the existence of Satan, is to re-establish ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL DOGMAS OF THE CHURCH, which serves as a basis for Christianity, and, without which, Satan [and Jesus] would be but a name”; or to put it in the still stronger terms of the pious Chevalier Gougenot des Mousseaux, “The Devil is the chief pillar of Faith . . . . if it was not for him, the Saviour, the Crucified, the Redeemer, would be but the most ridiculous of supernumeraries, and the Cross an insult to good sense.” (See Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 14, and Vol. I, p. 103.)† Truly so. Were there no Devil,
* The Key, etc., p. 22.
† [Both passages are from des Mousseaux’s works: Les hauts phénomènes de la magie, Preface, p.v, where a letter from Cardinal Ventura di Raulica is quoted; and Mœurs et pratiques des démons, p. x.—Compiler.]
a Christ to save the World from him would be hardly wanted! Yet, the Rev. Haweis says:
I cannot now discuss the teaching of the N.T. on the King Devil, or I might show that Jesus did not endorse the popular view of one King Devil, and . . . . . . notice the way in which our translators have played fast and loose with the words Diabolus and Satan; *
adding that the Tree and Serpent worship was an Oriental cult, “of which the narrative of Adam and Eve is a Semitic form.” Is this admissible orthodoxy?
* The Key, etc., p. 24.
† [This has reference to the second instalment of H.P.B.’s essay on “The Esoteric Character of the Gospels,” Lucifer, Vol. I, December, 1887, p. 300, footnote.—Compiler.]
‡ The remark made has never been meant as “an answer,” but simply as an observation that the word “Chrêstos” applied to a “good man,” a “human original,” and not to a “good God only.” If such was the intention of Mr. Massey, and he amplifies his idea elsewhere, it was not so amplified in his article in the Agnostic Annual. It is, therefore, simply a bare statement of facts referring to that particular article and no more.