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The Atonement in its Relations to God and Man 1
The Atonement by Nathan S. S. Beman published in 1844

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The author is said to have been "a man of marked ability, who, like Charles G. Finney, had turned away from flattering prospects in the practice of law to preach the Gospel." A long and influential pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Troy, N.Y., he preached in 1823 a series of four sermons on the Atonement, which were acclaimed worthy of publication and took place in 1825. "These sermons are designed to fill a humbler but perhaps not less useful place, than that occupied by more critical and finished productions."

Extensive developments toward the general governmental view of the Atonement had taken place in New England in the process of revivals, from the pivotal sermons by Jonathan Edwards, Jr., in 1785 to refute the growing influence of Universalism, based upon the literal payment theory then most commonly held. Beman warmly espoused Finney's efforts and invited him to labor for revival in Troy in 1826. "Beman's published opinions on the Atonement coincided closely with those which Finney himself subsequently wrought out," wrote G. F. Wright of Oberlin. It is important to observe that while Finney worked out his main propositions in prayerful study of the Bible, as he humbly wrote he entered into a movement of truth that had long been going on and became, it appears, its leading dynamic influence in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The present revision of the sermons attest the interest in studying fundamental truth in the revivals which were being so warmly experienced in Northeastern America.

Gordon C. Olson
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