RELATION TO GOD AND THE UNIVERSE.
REV. THOMAS W. JENKYN, D. D. LETTER TO THE REV. J. PYE SMITH, D. D.
THEOLOGICAL TUTOR IN THE OLD COLLEGE, HOMERTON.
I count myself happy in having this opportunity of publicly testifying the high esteem and veneration in which I hold your character as a valued Friend and a distinguished Theologian.
It is among the goodliest allotments of my heritage, that I was placed under your theological instructions, and introduced into the circle of your friendship.
As my attendance on your Divinity Lectures, and my perusal of your polemical writings, have had no small share in directing and forming my mind to the study of the Christian Propitiation, I feel bound, in affection and duty, to present to you the first cluster that has ripened under your training.
God has raised you to a high elevation in English Theology. In that eminent position may God long preserve you, the amiable expounder and the able defender of the SACRIFICE and the TESTIMONY of Christ.
Accept of this volume as an expression of the deep and a sincere affection with which
Your attached Friend,
And obedient Servant,
THIS work having long been out of print, and frequent calls having been made for it, the publishers determined upon issuing a new edition. Before putting it to press, they communicated with the Author to ascertain if he had any changes to make in the text. A short time before his death, Dr. Jenkyn transmitted to them a copy of the work, accompanied with a letter, in which he says: "I forward to you a copy of my work on 'The Extent of the Atonement,' carefully revised for the American edition by your House. I have gone through the work very carefully." The transmitted copy bears numerous interlineations in his own handwriting, while here and there entire paragraphs have been added. From the copy thus perfected by the last touches of its lamented Author, the present edition has been printed. This, therefore, is to be received as the only authorized edition, whether English or American.
The work itself was long since assigned a place among the standards of theological literature. On its first appearance, it was hailed, both in England and America, as a masterpiece of reasoning in defence of a great central truth. Says one of the English Reviews: "We think, with conclusive certainty, that this paramount and transcendent doctrine has never been presented in such a series of lucid disquisitions, and with a comprehension so adapted to the majesty of the subject, in any book published in the United Kingdoms." Says the New York Evangelist: "As a treatise in the grand relations of the Atonement, it is a book which may be emphatically said to contain the 'seeds of things,' the elements of mightier and nobler contributions of thought respecting the Sacrifice of Christ, than any modern production. It is characterized by a highly original and clear train of thought, which makes the reader feel that he is holding communion with a mind that can mingle with the Universe. We consider this volume as setting the long and fiercely-agitated question, as to the Extent of the Atonement, completely at rest. Posterity will thank the Author till the latest ages for his illustrious argument. The grandeur with which it invests the Son of God and the glories of his Sacrifice, which it displays as shedding their light and influence over the whole extended empire of Jehovah, gives it an extraordinary claim upon the attention of the reading community."
For condensation of thought and compactness of form this treatise may not improperly be compared to Butler's Analogy of Religion. As in that, there is, from beginning to end, hardly a superfluous sentence. Like that, too, it is thoroughly exhaustive of the subject. Starting from the great central doctrine, the discussion radiates in every direction, and touches every related point. Finally, the argument is unanswerable; and whoever would escape the conclusion to which it conducts, will seek in vain to break through the iron chain of its logic, and will be forced "to climb up some other way." For the Author, it is enough to say, that he has forever inseparably associated his name with the doctrine of Unlimited Atonement.A
Boston, November, 1858.Return to Index Page