Who Said This?

No web searching, just guess. I’m curious what your impression of the text is.

He showed how long-suffering He is. He bore with us, and in pity He took our sins upon Himself and gave His own Son as a ransom for us – the Holy for the wicked, the Sinless for sinners, the Just for the unjust, the Incorrupt for the corrupt, the Immortal for the mortal. For was there, indeed, anything except His righteousness that could have availed to cover our sins?  In whom could we, in our lawlessness and ungodliness, have been made holy, but in the Son of God alone?  O sweet exchange! O unsearchable working! O benefits unhoped for! – that the wickedness of multitudes should thus be hidden in the One holy, and the holiness of One should sanctify the countless wicked!

If you guess the name of the author correctly, I’ll give you $1,000.00.  Take that Mr. Challies.


  1. Well, if C.H. is right his name is Pol… : )

    I won’t say any more lest it sway future replies. I’ll be very interested to see the other guesses.

  2. I’m not going to give the answer until everyone has had a chance to comment. Please continue to guess. The guesses themselves will be instructive later. Trust me, you’ll see.

  3. I believe we are either unsure or the unaware of the author’s name. But it was a letter to Diognetis ( I hope I spelled that right). The ‘sweet exchange’ bit gave it away. I don’t really know much more about the actual letter.

  4. jbstarke is correct. The quote is from The Epistle to Diognetus 9, translated by Maxwell Staniforth. This text dates from the mid to late 2nd century. It is an early indication that the doctrines of substitutionary atonement and double imputation were not first the product of the Protestant Reformation, but were held dear by the earliest generations of Christians.

    I thought the quote would be a good one to guess on, since the language sounds so post-reformational. I would have guessed someone from during or after the Reformation.

    Since the name of the author is unknown (he refers to himself simply as a mathetes “disciple”), no one wins the $1,000.00. :) Yes, “the fat one is tricksy.”

    J.B. Lightfoot’s translation of the text of the letter is available here.

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