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in a pecuniary point of view, when ev-is rewarded more than he deserves, ery inan receives his own property. the wicked punished less than he de If we receive the property of another, serves, he is not treated according this kind of justice requires that we justice, in this sense of the word. Th should give him a proper equivalent, kind of justice has no relation to cor something of the same value. Not to mercial transactions. It is entirely do this, would be a violation of com-distinct from commutative or pece mutative justice. To take away an-niary justice. It respects the mori other's property, without such an e-character only, and if men are treated quivalent, to deprive him of that which strictly according to this, that is, are is his own, by violence or by fraud, to rewarded or punished exactly a withhold from him that which is justly much as they deserve, and no more due, to neglect the payment of honest this kind of justice is satisfied. debts, would be a violation of this kind But 3. There is another kind of of justice. This kind of justice has no justice, different from these two, that respect to a man's moral character, butis, public justice, or general justice is confined solely to matters of proper. This relates entirely to the great in ty. A man's property is his, and not terests of the community, and de ours, whether he is a good man or the mands that these should be secured. contrary. His being a good man gives When the public good is neglected him no right to what is not his own and the interests of the communi property, neither does his being a bad ty suffer, this kind of justice is violaman make that which is his property ted. In every community, it is the any the less bis own. It is true that a duty of all its members to seek il man may, by his crimes, forfeit his highest interests, and to do nothing rights, and subject himself to be de. which will interfere with them ; but it prived of them as a purishment for is more especially incumbent on the his misconduct. He may conduct in chief magistrate or head of that com. such a manner as to render it propermunity to see to it that its greatest that the government should take away good is secured. When the universe his property, as a punishment for his is considered as one great community, wickedness. But when this is done, and God as placed at the bead of it, as and is said to be consistent with jus- its moral governor, public justice retice, we have no respect to commuta- quires him to seek the greatest good of tive or pecuniary justice, but to anoth-the universe, and to promote it by al er kind of justice, that is, to distribu the means in his power. It requires tive justice.

hinn not to suffer any thing to take 2. Distributive justice has relation place, by which that greatest good only to moral character. It requires would be hindered or prevented. that every person should be treated When it is said, therefore, in our doeaccording to his moral character. It trine, that the design of the atonement tequires that the good should be re-which Christ has made, is to manifest warded, and that the wicked should the justice of God, it is not meant that be punished, exactly according to its design is to manifest or illustrate their deserts. When the good man commutative or pecuniary justice, nor receives the reward he deserves, and distributive justice, but public justice; no more, and the wicked man receives that the great object of the aton ement the punishment he deserves, and no is to show the regard God has to the more, this kind of justice is preserved greatest good of the universe, to man. inviolate. But if the good man is re-ifest his justice as its moral gover.ror. fused that reward which he deserves, We come now, as was proposeu, or if the wicked man is punished more II. To confirm the doctrine, žind than he deserves, this kind of justice show that this is the design of the is violated. Indeed, if the good man || atoneinent.

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bet And 1. The atonement has no rela- || racter. Moral character is wholly &

lesion to commutative or pecuniary jus- personal thing, and cannot be transEledice, The atonement was not a pe- ferred from one to another. One man of the Uniary transaction. It has no relation cannot deserve punishment for what rezo matters of commerce. Tbe atone- another has done, nor can one man

nent did not consist, literally, in pay-deserve a reward for what another has antifog a debt. It has, indeed, often been done. It is impossible that one man peda Ponsidered in this light. The sinner should feel guilty for what another has malas been considered as owing a debt done without his knowledge or conthis to God, and having nothing to pay, he sent; and it is equally impossible that ed us shut up in prison. Christ has been he should feel praiseworthy for what e represented as coming forward in the another has done without any agency

sinner's behalf, discharging his debt to of his. Distributive justice neither reang the uttermost farthing, and thus, pro-quires nor admits of a substitution. If thew Curing his release. But this view of one person has sinned, distributive

the subject has been the source of|| justice requires that he should suffer, o the many mistakes, and has involved the and it always will require it, since it

whole subject of atonement in difficul- will always remain a truth that he has -uld

ties, from which it can never be extri-sinned, and consequently it will al

cated. But this is not a correct view ways remain a truth that he deserves the a of the subject. The atonement is not punishment. If another person has paying a debt. It is not a commercial|| never sinned, distributive justice for transaction. It has no relation to mat-| bids that he should be punished ;

ters of property,or pecuniary right. Our and it always will forbid his punishers to

sin had not taken away any of God's ment, if he always remains without to de

property from him, nor did the death transgressing the divine law. Distri

of Christ restore any property to God. butive justice requires that Christ umbes

It is true, that the scripture soinetimes should be honored, and the sinner speaks of the blood of Christ as a price punished in his own person. And paid for our redemption. But this lan-Christ's dying, while the sinner lives, guage is evidently figurative, Figures has not satisfied this kind of justice, are drawn from a variety of sources to and never can. For it is true that the

illustrate the different doctrines taught sinner has transgressed, and the death fic

in the scriptures. And the case of a of Christ has not made it any the less sinner, under the sentence of the ditrue. And if he is a transgressor, he vine law, is not unaptly compared to deserves punishment, and will eternalthat of a man in prison for debt, wholy, since it will always remain true that is released on the payment of his debt he has broken the divine law. If the by a friend. But it needs no argu- atonement is to be considered as satisment to prove that this language is fying distributive justice, it can only figurative, and not literal. The blood be because the sins of men are so of Christ is not gold nor silver, nor any || transferred to Christ, as actually to other commercial medium ; nor did become his personal sins; and his his death give to God any property of righteousness is so transferred to them

as actually to become their personal 2. The atonement was not intend-righteousness. But, if this is the case, ed to satisfy distributive justice. No- then those for whom Christ died have thing can satisfy distributive justice no longer any sins of which to repentje

but each person being treated exactly they have no ill desert at all; they are e, according to his deserts. Distributive spotless and holy, in their own per

justice requires that the good should sons, as God himself. And if the sins

be rewarded and the wicked punish-of men are transferred to Christ, then trie, ed. It requires that every one should the Lord Jesus suffered justly, as an

be treated according to his moral cha-|| actual sinner, and one who deserved

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not only to die on the cross, but also | express God's hatred a deserved to be sent to hell. But this sin, while he pardoned the sinner, was notion of a transfer of sin and holiness its great design." And this design it must be given up, and it must be ad- completely accomplishes. Jodeed, mitted that Christ never deserved to the law is honored infiuitely more by suffer, and that the sinner can never the death of Christ, than it could have cease to deserve eternal suffering; and been by the death of the sinner. God's consequently, that the design of the hatred of sin appears in a light infiatonement is not to satisfy distributivepitely strɔnger in the cross of Christ, justive.

than it could in the condemnațion of But 3. The design of the atonement a world. When an ancient king sub is to satisfy public justice, or to mani-mitted to be deprived of one of bis fest the justice of God as the moral eyes, in order to spare one of his sons, governor of the universe. Public jus- who owed them both to the justice of tice requires that whatever is most his country, the law was unspeakably conducive to the public good should more honored than it could have been be done. The greatest good of the if it had only taken its course upon universe is the glory of God. This is the criminal. In like inanner, when an infinite good; but the good of all the king of heaven stoops to suffer creatures taken together is but a finite the penalty of the law instead of the good. To glorify God, is to display criminal, how much more is the law his perfections, to illustrate his charac-| honored than if it had merely taken ter, to let the universe see what God its course, and been executed upon a is. That every part of the divine cha- few worms of the dust. Thus, there racter might be brought into view, and fore, by the death of Christ, poblic seen to the best advantage, a system justice is satisfied; the evils which was necessary which should include a would have followed from the pardon great variety of events. That God's of the sinner without an atonement, mercy should appear, it was necessa-| are more than prevented-and God Ty that there should be sinners, and can be just to the universe, as its mothat sinners should be pardoned, and ral governor, while he pardons and raised to a throne of glory in heaven.saves as many as he will. But for God to pardon the sinner What remains is the improvement. without an atonement, and to raise And 1. In the view of this subject, him to a throne of glory in heaven, we see how free grace is consistent would be the same as to give up his with full satisfaction. It has been express an approbation of sin... thought that this was an insurmountato patronize wickedness, and encour-| ble difficulty, and that is full satisfacage rebellion. And for God to dishonortion was made for the sinner, there his law, would be to dishonor himself,| could be no grace in his pardon. And since the law is but a transcript of his this supposed inconsistency has been own character. And since sin is di-thought, by some, to be sufficient to rectly opposed in its nature to the di- overthrow the whole doctrine of atonevine character, and in its aim directly ment. Indeed, if the atonement is opposed to the great interests of the viewed as a pecuniary trausaction, universe, to express an approbation of and considered literally as paying a it, would be infinitely dishonorable to debt, as it often is, it is not easy to see God, and subversive of the great in-|| how this difficulty can be avoided. If terests of the uniyerse. That mercy I am imprisoned for debt, and at length might be magnified in the pardon of come forward and pay my creditor his the sinner, and yet these dreadful con. full demand, there is no grace in his giv: sequences prevented, was the objecting up my obligation...there is no grace of the atonement. To support the in my being set at liberty. I have a law, maintain the divine gov-\right to demand it, and it would be


e followed a ner mithout a

fofy uvjust and oppressive in him to || cording to the riches of his grace."

In like inanner, if the atone- This is the uniform language of seripleset is to be considered as a commer- ture. The atonement, therefore, is not

transaction, and Christ has paid to be considered as a pecuniary trans= hobuzinner's debt, there is no grace in action, as literally paying a dent, ol(t)eing set at liberty. He could not which would be inconsistent with a he deireld any longer without the greatest gracious pardon ; but it is to be con

sia avestice and oppression. Some have sidered, as has been seen, as a great ongerin ampted to remove this difficulty by public transaction, intended to maniuld in kng, that the grace of the gospel fest the justice of God as the moral l'heg asists in the gift of Christ to make governor of the universe, and support be depo aement, and that it would be grace the honor of the divine law, while the reer toe he creditor to provide his debtor sinner receives a full and free pardon. U thembo means of discharging his debt, and || And when we consider the atonement F, the les procuring his release. It is true in this light, it is easy to see bow free ored thenit this was an act of grace. God grace in pardoning the sinner, is peronly take : 3. under no obligation to provide afectly consistent withi full satisfaction hali labviour, any more than the creditor is having been made. Grace consists in of hearer obligation to provide his debtor treating the sinner better than he der of the lare means of paying his debt. But serves. Grace has respect to distribuhoe medr nishing the means of making satis tive justice, and suspends its exercise. lan ili metion, and granting a discharge after If this kind of justice is exercised and betler

Lisfaction has been inade, are two towards the sinner, he is punished ac= of the do

stinct acts. The first is an act of|cording to his deserts : and if he is not The death drace, but the second is not.

And if punished according to his ciserts, lie satished; sue grace of the gospel consists entire is treated with grace. Had the atone

in providing a Suviour, ihen it is ment satisfied distributive justice, it ranted that there is no grace in the would be equally true that there could

ardon of the sinner, or rather that be no grace in pardon; for is distributhan prevent

he sinner is not pardoned at all; fortive justice was satisfied there could be fter his debt is paid, he is discharged no such thing as pardon, the singer o the ground of justice. And when would deserve no punishment. But he sinner goes to God in prayer, he since the atonement does not satisfy should not one for pardon as a suppli- any justice but public justice, whatev

ant, but demand it as a right. Heler the sinner receives better than be -v free grace should not ask for those blessings | deserves, is an act of pure.grace. aiisfaction

which he needs, as favors to the ill 2. In the view of this subject we see
deserving, but he should deinand how a wiversal atonment is consi-t-
them as bis just due, as those things cnt with a limited redemption. It has
which have been purchased in his been thought that if Christ has made

naine, and paid for to their full value. satisfaction for the sins of the whole al inconsisten But is this consistent with the feelings world, then all the world must be sa

and practice of the christian? Is the ved. And hence, some have held to

language of his prayers the language a limited atonement, and some to unied, if the art of demand ? When the humble peniversal salvation. Many of these cona pecuniary tent bows his knees before God, is it| sider atonemeut and redemption as the

to claim his rights? Was this the lan. saine thing. But they are very differ

guage of the scripture saints ? Does ent things. Atonement is satisfaction culty can be the scripture speak of the sinner's dis- for sin, redemption is deliverance

from charge as an act of justice ? Does not sin. Atonement is what Christ has and pay now the scripture every where speak of it done to render the salvation of the sinhere is no real as a proper pardon, an act of grace ? ner possible. Redemption is the ac“We are justified freely by his grace.

tual deliverance of the siuner, in con" We have the forgiveness of sins, ac-li sequence of what Christ has done. --

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And they are not only not the came || moved any of our ill desert. It ha thing, but they are not equally exten- occasioned no interchange of charae sive. It is true, that if the atonement ter between Christ and us.

Sio and were a commercial transaction, and a holiness are wholly personal thing, satisfaction to commutative justice, the and cannot be transferred or exchan redemption would be equally exten-ged away. We have broken the di sive. For if Christ has literally paid vine law, in our own persons, and we the debt of sinners, all those must be alone deserve to be punished for ou discharged whose debt is paid; for wicked conduct. And we shall al otherwise justice would not be done.ways deserve to be punished, since i But if the atonement has no respect will always remain a truth that we to commutative justice, and was only have sinned. Repentance and refor: inade to satisfy public justice, to showmation can never diminish our deser God's displeasure at sin, and his regard of punishment for past sins, for the for his law and the rights of the divine can never render it any the less true government, while mercy is exercised, that those sins have been committed then, it does not follow, because these Our ill desert is not lessened by what objects are effectually secured, that Christ has done, for the atonement therefore mercy will be exercised was not intended to satisfy distributive towards all. No less an atonement justice, and never could. Our ill de would have been necessary to answer sert never can be lessened, but wil these purposes, if mercy was to be ex- continue to increase, from day to day, ercised towards but one sinner, and as long as we continue to sin. The no greater atonement would have been greatest saint in heaven continues to necessary,

if mercy was to be exerci-deserve eternal punishinent, as much sed towards ten thousand worlds. The as he ever did while on earth. The extent to which mercy shall be exer- apostle Paul deserved eternal punish cised is left to be determined wholly ment unspeakably more, at the time by other considerations than the suffi-| when he was singing his triumphant ciency or insufficiency of the atone song of “O death, where is thy sting!" ment. Christ has laid down his life to than he did at the time when he was honor the divine law, and manifest the breathing out threatenings and slauglijustice of God as the moral governor ter against the disciples of the Lord.of the universe, so that no injury will And the reason is plain. His repentaccrue to the universe if sinners are ance and reformation had not dimin forgiven. And now, God may forgive ished his ill desert, but his daily sins all, or any, or none, as he sees proper. had greatly increased it. And this is

3. In the view of this subject we see the reason why, though one of the that the atonement lays God under no most eminent saints, he was always obligations to us. On the ground of speaking of himself as the chief of siopecuniary justice it does not; for we ners. And this is the reason why he have given him nothing. That he was always ascribing the blessings he might be under obligations to us, we received to grace alone. And this is must have given him something for the reason why grace will be the theme which we could demand an equiva- which will swell the songs of the relent. But we have not. Neither has deemed in heaven ages without end, Christ, acting as our surety, given God And this is the reason why all the blesany thing for which we can demand sings we receive here are of grace. On an equivalent. He has not paid any the ground of distributive justice, we debts in our behalf. The atonement deserve eternal damnation; and all we was not a pecuniary transaction. Nei- | receive better than that, is of grace. It ther has the atonement laid God under was grace in God to give his Son. It is any obligations to us, on the ground grace to send his Spirit to change the of distributive justice. It has not re- || heart. It is grace to forgive the return

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