Its benefits are confined to freemen, and of the benefits the lion's share fell to the larger landholders; the smaller landholders getting, it is true, some crumbs from the table.
Under its terms baptized persons of moral life and orthodox belief might receive the privilege of baptism for their children and other church benefits, without the full enrolment in membership which admitted them to the communion of the Lord's Supper.
It offered revelation, redemption, moral virtue and immortality, spiritual benefits on the basis of the religion of nature.
This stage of religion is well illustrated by the Red Indian custom of offering sacrifice to certain rocks, or whirlpools, or to the indwelling spirits connected with them; the rite is only performed in the neighbourhood of the object, it is an incident of a canoe or other voyage, and is not intended to secure any benefits beyond a safe passage past the object in question; the spirit to be propitiated has a purely local sphere of influence, and powers of a very limited nature.
The benefits of the atonement are appropriated by " the acceptance of God's forgiveness in Christ, our self-identification with Christ's atoning attitude, and then working out, by the power of the life bestowed upon us, all the (moral and spiritual) consequence of forgiveness."