The latter view was held by Beza and other Calvinists, and, it is said, repelled Arminius from Calvinism, and led him to formulate the doctrine that as repentance and faith are the divinely decreed conditions of eternal life, God has determined to give that life to all whom He foresees as fulfilling these conditions.
After they had passed away and before the Christian Scriptures were canonically sifted and collected there was a gap which for us is only slenderly filled by such productions as the so-called 2nd Epistle of Clement, really a rambling homily on repentance and confession (see Clementine Literature), and by what we can imagine was the practice of men like Ignatius and, on the other hand, the Apologists.
Of repentance it would seem that she knew as little as of fear, having been trained from her infancy in a religion where the Decalogue was supplanted by the Creed.
The leading varieties of teaching, the Sayings of Jesus, Paul, the Johannine writings, the Epistle to the Hebrews, connect the atonement with Christ especially with His death, and associate it with faith in Him and with repentance and amendment of life.12 These ideas are also common to Christian teaching generally.
The problem of the atonement is the means or condition of the restoration of man to God's favour; this has been variously found (a) in the endurance of punishment; (b) in the payment of compensation for the wrong done, the compensation consisting of sacrifices and other offerings; (c) in the performance of magical or other ritual, the efficacy of the ritual consisting in its being pleasing to or appointed by God, or even in its having a coercive power over the deity; (d) in repentance and amendment of life.
His responsibility also for the sad state of religion at home is emphasized, and he is given a mission of repentance to his erring children.
Then my eyes filled with tears; for I realized what I had done, and for the first time I felt repentance and sorrow.
In a later and less rigorous age this rite was abridged and adjusted to constant repetition, in such wise that a sinner could be restored to grace not once only, but as often as the clergy chose to accept his repentance and confession.
Thus McLeod Campbell (q.v.) held that Christ atoned by offering up to God a perfect confession of the sins of mankind and an adequate repentance for them, with which divine justice is satisfied, and a full expiation is made for human guilt.
This Theodosius was sternly rebuked by Ambrose for the massacre of 7000 persons at Thessalonica in 390, and was bidden imitate David in his repentance as he had imitated him in guilt.