commentators understood Isa. liii as a Messianic prophecy, and the New Testament shows its fulfilment in Christ.

188. M. Since God is Almighty, He can make people good, and thus reconcile their wills with His own, without the death of Jesus or any other atonement.

C. But God has chosen to do everything by means which He has appointed. This is a fact of experience1. We are not now discussing the power of God or His ability to do what He chooses. We are discussing the fact, revealed to us in the Bible, that Christ gave "His life a ransom for many" (Matt. xx. 28; Mark x. 45). But experience shows us that God has given us freedom of will to choose good or evil. To destroy this and force us to choose good would (1) be unworthy of His wisdom, for it would prove that He had made a mistake in giving us freedom of will in the first instance. (2) If there was no freedom, there would be no possibility of virtue, which implies choice. (3) To deprive us of freedom of will would not be to undo our past transgressions. This plan, instead of making all men good, would prevent any from being good.

189. M. All that happens is fated2 to happen. God has firmly fastened every man's fate to his

1 Rev. W. A. Rice.
2 Vide Surahs VI. 123[125], 125[128]; VII. 177[178], 185[186]; X. 99; XI. 120[119]; XIII. 27, 30[31]; XVI. 39[37], 95[93]; XVIII. 16[17]; XXXII. 17[13]; LXXVI. 29[30], 30[31]; LXXXI. 28, 29,[26-29] &c.

neck (Surah XVII., Al Asra', 14[13]), He "misleadeth whom He willeth and guideth aright whom He willeth" (Surah LXXIV., Al Muddaththir, 34[31]). Hence He is the real author of our sins1 (Surah VI., Al An'am, 39; Surah XCI., Ash Shams, 8). No atonement therefore is necessary.

C. This fatalism of yours is contrary to both reason and experience. You call God "the Just One" (العادِل ), and such He is. Hence He does not commit the fearful injustice of forcing us to do evil and then punishing us for doing it. Such a doctrine represents God as evil: it places Satan on the throne of God. You would define sin as what God has forbidden and does not wish us to do. It is illogical therefore to hold that He does wish and compel us to commit it. Our own experience shows us that we are generally free with regard to actions and always free in reference to intentions (نِيّةٌ niyyah). You forget this and make sin consist (principally at least) in act, whereas Christ shows that God judges the heart (Matt. v. 27, 28: cf. Exod. xx. 17; Ps. vii. 9). In reality fatalism is a pagan doctrine, and is found in every form of paganism. It everywhere shows that those who hold it do not really believe that their God or Gods are the true rulers of the universe2, but that it is ruled by fate.

1 Some of the Shi'ites, however, hold that God withdraws His grace when a man has made up his mind to sin. (Rev. W. A. Rice.)
2 This latter point is urged by Prof. Wuttke, History of Paganism. I owe the reference to the Rev. P. M. Zenker.