That is a crude version of the Christian idea of reconciliation. The grace of God would not then be the prime and moving cause. It would not be spontaneous and creative, it would be negotiated grace; and that is a contradiction in terms. Mediation can never mean that. In paganism the gods were mollified. God, our God, could never be mollified. There is no mollification of God, no placation of God. Atonement was not the placating of God’s anger. Even in the old economy we are told, “I have given you the blood to make atonement.” Given! Did you ever see the force of it? “I have given you the blood to make atonement. This is an institution which I set up for you to comply with, set it up for purposes of My own, on principles of My own, but it is My gift.” The Lord Himself provided the lamb for the burnt offering. Atonement in the Old Testament was not the placating of God’s anger, but the sacrament of God’s grace. It was the expression of God’s anger on the one hand and the expressing and putting in action of God’s grace on the other hand. The effect of atonement was to cover sin from God’s eyes, so that it should no longer make a visible breach between God and His people. The actual ordinance was established, they held, by God Himself. He covered the sin. Sacrifices were not desperate efforts and surrenders made by terrified people in the hope of propitiating an angry deity. The sacrifices were in themselves prime acts of obedience to God’s means of grace and His expressed will. If you want to follow that out further, perhaps I may be forgiven if I were to allude to the last chapter in my book, “The Cruciality of the Cross” (1909), in which there is a fuller discussion of the particular point, and especially of what is morally meant by the blood of Christ.