We might put it thus: Christ alone in His sinless perfection can feel all God’s holiness in judging sin; and therefore He alone could confess and honor it. No sinful man could do that; and therefore no sinful man could duly repent. The value of repentance is always in proportion to the sense of God’s holiness. To confess that holiness is the great postulate in order to confess sin. And the race cold duly confess its sin and repent only if there arose in it One who by a perfect and impenitent holiness in Himself, and by His organic unity with us, could create such holiness in the sinful as should make the new life one long repentance transcended by faith and thankful joy. This was and is Christ’s work. And the satisfaction to God, as it was certainly not His suffering, was also more than the spectacle of His own holy soul presented to God. It was that holy soul (the holier as He faced and conquered evil ever growing more black and bitter) – it was that holy soul seen by God as the cause and creator of the race’s confession, both of holiness and of sin, in a Church of the reborn. The satisfaction to God was Christ, not as an isolated character, or in an act wholly outside us and our responsive union with Him; but it was Christ as the author of our sanctification and repentance. Our repentance and our sanctity are of saving value before God only as produced by the creative holiness of Christ. Christ creates our holiness because of His own sanctification of Himself – John 17:19 – and His complete victory over the evil power in a life-experience of moral conflict.

You wish perhaps here to ask me this question: Is then the sanctity of a Unitarian who rejects any satisfaction by Christ, any atonement, as the ground of man’s holiness, is that sanctity of no account before God? Is the true repentance of those who do not know of an atoning Christianity of little price with Him? Far from it. But from our point of view we must regard them as incomplete stages, which draw their value with God from a subliminal union with that completed and holy offering of Christ which He never ceases to see, however far it be beneath our conscious light.