This thesis focuses upon the reaffirmation and clarification by two independent 19th-century theologians of certain New Testament and Reformation emphases which had become largely obscured amid the rigidities of later Calvinism. These emphases, when employed by Campbell and Erskine in their largely lay ministries, resulted in grassroots revival on the one hand, and ecclesiastic opposition on the other.

The early chapters examine the elements in Campbell's preaching which were considered heretical and which resulted in his trial and deposition from the Church of Scotland. He was faulted for preaching "universal pardon" and "assurance of faith." What he really meant by these questionable terms is scrutinized. Highlights of his trial are vignetted in Chapter 2; and just how his ideas were applied to his parishioners to kindle revival are looked at in Chapter 3. Chapter 5 reviews Campbell's Christ the Bread of Life, which addressed the trend in Britain toward Romanism. In it he criticizes certain substitutionary and imputational concepts of scholastic Protestantism as constituting as great a perversion of spiritual realities as does the Catholic doctrine of the transubstantiation of the Mass.

The central chapters introduce the reader to the complexities and profundities of Campbell's highly regarded but seldom understood Magnum Opus on the atonement. The retrospective and prospective aspects of the atonement, and the Godward and manward movements of the Mediator, are considered in turn. That the atonement be viewed in the light of the incarnation, rather than vice versa; that central place be given to Christ's "vicarious penitence;" and that believers' participation with Christ by the Spirit be seen as a keyword in understanding the atonement--these are some of Campbell's burdens which are highlighted in this section. In Chapter 9, entitled "The Righteousness of Faith," Campbell virtually equates faith in Christ with righteousness. He sees the believer's having (through the Spirit) the faith of Jesus, i.e., the same trust in God that Christ had, as being even more important and central to the gospel than his having faith in the work of Jesus in His earthly sojourn, essential as that was.

A later chapter shows how the insights of Erskine reinforced, again and again, the central concepts of his dear friend. His "free translation" of Romans 3: 21-26, and his exegetical understanding of the two Greek nouns pertaining to justification are given prominence. The last two chapters survey the influence these men have exerted upon Christendom generally, and the impact which their insights might yet have upon Adventism.


Graduate School

First Advisor

Baldwin, Dalton D.

Second Advisor

Landa, Paul J.

Third Advisor

Maxwell, A. Graham

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Campbell; John McLeod; 1800-1872; Erskine; Thomas; 1788-1870; Grace (theology); Theology; Doctrinal - History - 19th Century

Subject - Local

Righteousness; Faith; Atonement; Substitutionary and Imputational Concepts; Scholastic Protestantism



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives