132. (7) The belief that the passion of the cross was redemption itself is the fundamental error of the church; and this error, together with the error respecting three Divine persons from eternity, has perverted the whole church to such an extent that there is nothing spiritual left in it. What at the present day more fills and crams the books of the orthodox, or what is more zealously taught and inculcated in the schools, or what is more frequently preached and proclaimed from the pulpit, than that God the Father, being angry with the human race, not only put it away from Himself, but also included it under a universal damnation, and thus excommunicated it; but being gracious, He persuaded or inspired His Son to descend and take upon Himself this determined damnation, and thus appease the anger of His Father; and that under no other conditions could the Father look with favor upon mankind? And further, that this was actually done by the Son; in that by taking upon Himself the damnation of the human race He suffered Himself to be scourged, to be spit upon, and finally crucified by the Jews as one "accursed of God" (Deut. 21:23); and after this had been done the Father was propitiated, and from love for His Son canceled the damnation, but only on behalf of those for whom the Son might intercede, and that the Son thus became a Mediator perpetually before His Father.  The churches of the present day resound with these and like ideas; they are reverberated from the walls like echoes from the forests, and fill the ears of all there. But cannot everyone whose reason has been enlightened and made sane by the Word see that God is mercy itself and pity itself, because He is love itself and good itself, and that these are His essence? It is therefore a contradiction to say that essential mercy or good can look upon man with anger and determine upon his damnation, and continue to be its own Divine Essence. Such things can hardly be ascribed to a good man, but only to a bad man, nor can they be ascribed to an angel of heaven, but only to a spirit of hell. It is therefore horrible to ascribe them to God.  But if it is asked why this has been done the answer is, that the passion of the cross has been taken for redemption itself; and from this these ideas have flowed forth, as from one falsity falsities flow forth in a continuous series, or as from a cask of vinegar nothing but vinegar can flow, or from an insane mind nothing but insanity can flow. For from a single conclusion kindred principles flow; these lie hidden in the conclusion, and grow out of it one after another; and from the doctrine that the passion of the cross was redemption there may proceed or be drawn many other things that are scandalous and dishonoring to God, until the saying in Isaiah comes to pass:
The priest and the prophet err through strong drink; they stumble in judgment; for all tables are full of the vomit of filthiness (Isa. 28:7-8).