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III. It may also be objected to a part of the former section, that though "the law shall have its course" on some men, and "the full penalty threatened in the law, be executed on them;" still this does not imply a punishment equal or satisfactory to strict justice; as the divine law itself does not, nor ever did threaten all that punishment, which is deserved according to strict justice and therefore though the damned shall suffer all which is threatened in the law, yet they will not suffer a vindictive punishment, a punishment which shall "satisfy the justice of God."-Concerning this objection it may be observed;

1. That by the law is meant, to use Dr. C's own words, "the moral law," "the law of nature, the law of reason, which is the law of GoD:" and to say, that this law does not threaten a penalty adequate to the demands of justice, is to say, that it does not threaten a penalty adequate to the demands of reason. If so, it is not the law of reason; which is contrary to the supposition. Therefore to say, that the law of reason does not threaten a penalty adequate to the demands of justice, is a real contradiction.

2. That Dr. C. neither does nor could consistently make this objection; because if the objection were just, men might be justified, " on a claim founded on mere law." On the principle of the objection, the law threatens a punishment far less than we deserve; and a man having suffered this punishment, may be justified on the foundation of mere law: the law would be satisfied, and the man would stand right with respect to it, nor would it have any further claim on him, in the way of punishment, more than on a person who had never transgressed. Therefore he thenceforward obeying the law, might as truly be justified on the foot of mere law, as if he had rendered the same obedience, without ever transgressing.

But Dr. C. holds, "that mankind universally have sinned, and consequently cannot be justified upon a claim founded on mere law."* And that "the whole world had become guilty before God, and were therefore incapable of being justified upon the foot of mere law." That all men are ‡ "incapable of justification upon the foot of mere law, as having become guilty before God." To the same effect in various other passages. So that according to Dr. C. if future punishment be intended to satisfy the law, it is equally impossible, that all men should be saved, as it is on the supposition, that future punishment is intended to satisfy justice.

3. Dr. C. allows, that a man having suffered the penalty of the law, is not, and cannot be, the object of forgiveness. If they are not saved, till after they have passed through these torments, they have never been for given―The divine law has taken its course; nor has any intervening pardon prevented the full execution of the threatened penalty on them. Forgiveness strictly and literally speaking, has not been granted to them." But if those who suffer the penalty of the law, are not, in their subsequent exemption from punishment, the objects of forgiveness, they suffer all they deserve. So far as they are exempted from deserved punishment, they are forgiven forgiveness means nothing else than an exemption from deserved punishment.

4. Dr. C. says, that Adam (and for the same reason doubtless men in general) "must have rendered himself obnoxious to the righteous resentment of his God and KING, had he expressed a disregard to any command" || of the moral law, the law of which the Doctor is speaking in that passage. But the righteous resentment of

i P. 336. 5 Disserta

P. 43. † P. 34. tions, P. 55.

P. 36.

GOD for transgression is a just punishment of transgression; and a just punishment is any punishment, which is not unjust. And it is impossible that Adam should be obnoxious to such a punishment, if the law, the most strict rule of Gon's proceedings with his creatures, had not threatened it. Thus Dr. C. himself grants, that the punishment threatened in the law is the same which is deserved according to strict justice.

The Doctor every where holds, that "the law of GOD is a perfect rule of righteousness."* But if the law do not threaten all the punishment which is justly deserved by sin, it is no more truly a perfect rule of righteousness, than the gospel is.-Again; "Is the law that rule of right," which God knows to be the measure of men's duty to him, and of what is fit he should do for, or inflict upon them, as they are either obedient, or disobedient? There is, without all doubt, such a rule of men's duty towards GoD, and of God's conduct towards men, in a way of reward or punishment, according to their works." There could scarcely be a more explicit concession, that the divine law threatens all that punishment, which is according to justice. It is declared to be, not only the rule of right, but the measure of what is fit in punishment, as well as of duty. Indeed Dr. C. never once, so far as I have noticed, suggests the idea, that the divine law does not threaten all that punishment, which is deserved by sin.

5. According to this objection, the moral law is a dispensation of grace, as truly as the gospel. But how does this accord with the scripture? That declares, that "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth," or the gracious truth, "came by JESUS CHRIST;" John i. 17. "If they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made

Particularly 12 Sèrmons, P. 36. + Ibid. P. 39.

*

void, and the promise made of none effect. Because the law worketh wrath.-Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;" Rom. iv. 14.-"The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law;" 1 Cor. xv. 56. As in the objection now under consideration, the law is supposed to be as really a dispensation of grace, as the gospel; we may say, The strength of sin is the gospel, as truly as, The strength of sin is the law.-Beside; if the law be a dispensation of grace, how can it be said to be the strength of sin? It threatens a part only of the punishment deserved by sin; and therefore it neither points out, how strong sin is, to bring into condemnation, nor does it give to sin its proper force to terrify and torment the sinner, by exhibiting the whole punishment deserved by sin. On the ground of this objection, the strength of sin consists in the rule of strict justice, not

in the law.

6. The apostle tells us, that "by the law is the knowledge of sin." But the knowledge of the evil or demerit of sin is obtained by the knowledge of the threatening of the law only. If the law do not threaten all that punishment, which sin deserves, we know not by the law, what sin deserves, or how evil it is.-And if we know not this by the law, neither do we know it by any other part of scripture, nor by any other means whatever. Nor do we know our own demerit, nor our own proper characters as sinners; nor are we in any capacity to judge concerning our obligation to gratitude for the redemption of CHRIST, or for salvation through him; nor have we the proper motive to repentance set before us, in all the scriptures. The proper motive to repentance is the evil of sin.-And if we have not the knowledge of the evil of sin, it is impossible we should know the grace of pardon, or of salvation from that punishment which is justly deserved by sin.

7. The apostle declares, as we have seen, that "by the law is the knowledge of sin," and that "the law worketh wrath." But on the principle of this objection, by the law is the knowledge of grace, and the law worketh grace and GOD without any atonement did grant to sinners some remission or mitigation of deserved punishment. Why then could not complete remission or pardon have been granted in the same way? What need was there of CHRIST and his death? Yet Dr. C. holds, that "it was with a view to the obedience and death of CHRIST, upon this account, upon this ground, for this reason, that God was pleased to make the gospel promise of a glorious immortality to the miserable sons of men."

8. If the full punishment to which the sinner justly exposes himself by sin, be not pointed out in the law; it is not a good law, as it does not teach the subject of the law the truth in this matter; but it is a deceitful law, or is directly calculated to deceive. It threatens a punishment, which the subject would naturally believe to be the whole punishment to which he is exposed by transgression, or which can be justly inflicted on him.-But this, if the objection be well grounded, is by no means the case. Thus the law would naturally tend to deceive fatally all its subjects.

1

9. From what is granted by Dr. C. it certainly follows, that the threatening of the law is all that can be inflicted consistently with justice, and that the punishment threatened in the law, and that which is allowed by strict justice, is one and the same. He says, "Whatever sin may in its own nature, be supposed to deserve; it is not reasonable to suppose, that it should be universally reckoned to death, when no law is in being that makes death the special penalty of transgression."*" Sin is

* Page 23.

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