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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 10 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture V. Substitution>Substitution

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 237 221 Lecture IV. Conditions of Being Saved ...

The fact is, there are things for you to do which God cannot do for you. Those things which he has enjoined and revealed as the conditions of your salvation, He cannot and will not do Himself. If He could have done them Himself, He would not have asked you to do them. Every sinner ought to consider this. God requires of you repentance and faith because it is naturally impossible that any one else but you should do them. They are your own personal matters--the voluntary exercises of your own mind; and no other being in heaven, earth, or hell can do these things for you in your stead. As far as substitution was naturally possible, God has introduced it, as in the case of the atonement. He has never hesitated to march up to meet and to bear all the self-denials which the work of salvation has involved.

6. If you mean to be saved, you must not wait for God to do anything whatever. There is nothing to be waited for. God has either done all on his part already, or if anything more remains, He is ready and waiting this moment for you to do your duty that He may impart all needful grace.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 307 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 308 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

Substitution
Lecture V
December 6, 1848

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 330 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

This also cannot be taken in its most strictly literal sense. It cannot be conceived that we should be converted into the intrinsic, essential righteousness of God. The idea of representation obtains in both clauses of our text. As Christ stood before God to represent the sins of our race, so His pardoned children stand forth to represent the righteousness of God. He stood disowned and forsaken of God, as if He were Himself our sin; we stand forgiven and accepted through Him, as if we were God's righteousness. He is treated as a sinner; we for His sake are treated as righteous. Just think of this. What an exchange! Christ was infinitely righteous, but laid aside the relations of a righteous one, and appeared for us as a sinner and was treated accordingly. We were altogether lost in sin, yet we are transferred governmentally from that position before God, and for Christ's sake are treated as if we were righteous. What a wonderful transaction is this! It were easy to show that this were the perfection of philosophy in government to make such a substitution as will save an indefinite amount of suffering, and yet secure most perfectly, regard for the law, obedience to its precepts, and confidence in the great Lawgiver.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 337 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

4. We are not to suppose that in degree and amount Christ suffered the same as all the saved would else have suffered in hell. This has sometimes been asserted, but always without proof. Such a substitution of equal sufferings is by no means necessary to the value and efficacy of the atonement; there is no good reason for assuming it, and the assumption certainly detracts from the honor conferred by the atonement upon the wisdom and the love of God.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 338 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

5. It is a strong objection to the idea of equal substitution of sufferings that in such a case, the atonement is no gain at all to the universe. The sinners of our race might just as well have borne the sufferings themselves, as to have Jesus Christ bear them, of the amount is in either case the same; not to urge also that it is in itself considered a relief to the mind to have the guilty suffer what they deserve, instead of having the innocent suffer it for them, provided nothing is gained on the score of amount.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1848 paragraph 345 307 Lecture V. Substitution ...

Thus closed the first chapter of this wondrous development. The scene of the next is laid in heaven. There must be revealed the righteousness of God. There must be unfolded His infinite goodness and love as embodied in this scheme of substitution and atonement. It now remains to show what results of unutterable glory to God in the highest accrue from this plan of redemption. And these can not be revealed in the myriad worlds of Jehovah's universe except by means of exalting redeemed sinners most gloriously before their eyes. We need not wonder therefore that it should be said--"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." Most truly said, for it can only be in a low and groveling sense that we can be said to conceive of those glorious things prepared by God for His people. O, if some of our departed friends should appear to us in all their present glory, we might perhaps mistake them for God Himself, and be ready to fall down and worship them. You are aware that this very mistake has sometimes been made, nor is it very strange that it should be. The Bible represents the saints as then "shining forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." It need not surprise us that they should appear in the palaces of heaven adorned with robes of glory such as no eye of man hath seen or heart conceived. For they are gloriously exalted not to represent their own righteousness, but the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus their Lord. The glory of God and the blessedness of the universe demand that Jesus should be honored and exalted for what He has done and suffered; but the relations of His people to Himself in this work are such that He can not be exalted and honored except in connection with their exaltation. If Christ is an heir of God, they are "joint heirs with Him." If He is to be rewarded with a glorious triumph, they must join in the triumphal procession--the rescued ones--the trophies of His victory--the purchase of His blood. Behold He says, "Here am I and the children whom God hath given Me." O, "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Hence the exalted honor to which they must be raised.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1850 paragraph 22 8 Lecture I. The Foundation, Conditions, And Relations Of Faith ...

3. Another condition of faith is the promise of God. It could have been no virtue in Abraham to believe that God would grant him a son, or give his posterity Canaan, if God had never promised to do so. God first revealed His covenant with Abraham, and connected with it precious promises; then a condition was fulfilled for faith on Abraham's part--then, but not before. In the same way the covenant of grace, clearly apprehended, as revealed of God, is a condition of saving faith now. When God in any way reveals the substance of this covenant--whether through dim types and prophecies as before Christ came, or in the broad blaze of gospel day as when He actually came, then the way is opened for the intelligent and acceptable exercise of gospel faith. No doubt Adam and Eve received sufficient revelation from God to lay a foundation for their faith. Eve obviously understood from the promise given in Gen. 3:15 that salvation from the power of Satan was to come through her posterity; for at the birth of Cain, the first born, she seems to have supposed that this was the promised seed. In this particular she was indeed mistaken; but not in her faith that God would bring salvation through her remote posterity. It is plain that both Adam and Eve received and believed at this time the revelations of divine mercy. The Lord was exceedingly kind towards them in His mode of convicting them of their first and great sin. How beautiful and how gracious that He should Himself clothe them to hide the shame of their nakedness! How significant too that this clothing should be of skins--of skins, which almost beyond question were taken from animals now for the first time slain for sacrifice! It seems most fitting that here for the first time the idea of sacrifice should be developed, and the race be taught in the person of Adam and Eve that "without the shedding of blood, there could be no remission for sin." A most expressive and beautiful type! What could more forcibly express displeasure against sin--grace towards the real sinner--and the substitution of an innocent victim in place of the guilty, as a ground for the grace shown the latter!

The covenant of grace to Abraham, God revealed yet more fully, thus expanding more distinctly His purposes of loving-kindness towards a sinning race, and making yet more distinct and definite this ground of saving faith.

III. The governmental relations of saving faith.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 11 - JUSTICE OF GOD paragraph 12 JUSTICE OF GOD. The term Justice defined. The several senses in which it is used; God is just; An objection answered.

2. Commutative Justice. This relates to government, and consists in substitution, or the substituting of one form of punishment, which is preferred by the criminal, and equally advantageous to the government, for another form which he deserves, and to which he has been sentenced. Thus banishment or confinement in the state prison during life is sometimes substituted for the punishment of death.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 35 - THE ATONEMENT paragraph 7 Its Intention; The Atonement necessary.

The English word Atonement is synonymous with the Hebrew word Cofer. This is a noun from the verb cofer, to cover. The cofer or cover, was the name of the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant, and constituted what was called the mercy seat. The Greek word rendered Atonement is katallage. This means reconciliation, to favor; from kallasso, to change, or exchange. The term properly means substitution. An examination of these original words, in the connection in which they stand, will show that the Atonement is the substitution of the sufferings of Christ in the place of the sufferings of sinners. It is a covering of their sins, by his sufferings.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 36 - REASONS WHY AN ATONEMENT WAS PREFERABLE TO PUNISHMENT paragraph 9 REASONS WHY AN ATONEMENT WAS PREFERABLE TO PUNISHMENT, or to the execution of the Divine Law.

4. By this substitution an immense good might be gained. The eternal happiness of all that can be reclaimed from sin, together with all the augmented happiness of those who have never sinned that must result from this glorious revelation of God.

 

 


HEART OF THE TRUTH - ON THEOLOGY, LECTURE 37 - WHAT CONSTITUTES THE ATONEMENT paragraph 50 WHAT CONSTITUTES THE ATONEMENT. Not Christ's obedience to law as a covenant of works; His sufferings and death constitute the Atonement; His taking human nature and obeying unto death a reason for our being treated as righteous: Nature and kind of his sufferings; Amount of his sufferings; The Atonement not a commercial transaction; The Atonement a satisfaction of public justice.

4. Had he suffered the same amount that was due to sinners, nothing would have been gained to the universe by this substitution, and therefore the Atonement would have been unwise.

 

 


FROM THE PENNY PULPIT, SERMON 6 - CHRIST MAGNIFYING THE LAW. paragraph 17

     II. Why he should magnify the law and make it honourable; and what law is this? 1. Here let me remark, that very much of the infidelity and scepticism in the world has originated in this fact, that so many men have never attained to clear conceptions of what the law of God really is, and its relation to themselves; they generally look no farther than the letter of the law, entirely overlooking its spirit; and regarding it as emanating simply from the arbitrary will of God, and that he can dispense with the execution of it at pleasure. To make myself understood, I must give you my idea of the true nature of the moral law which is here spoken of. We have the letter of this law in the table of what are called the ten commandments; and indeed all the preceptive parts of the Bible may be regarded as simply explanatory of this law, as the principle contained in it applies to the outward conduct of human life. A just conception of the spirit of the moral law will show us that it originated in the eternal and immutable nature of God. From all eternity, God necessarily possessed an existence, and with that existence certain attributes--natural attributes. He possessed omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and so forth. Now, there must have been some way in which it became him, from his very nature, to use these attributes; these attributes he possessed necessarily, and eternally, and there must be some way in which his intelligence must affirm that these attributes ought to be used. Now, observe, when we understand truly the spirit of the moral law, our reason affirms that all creatures are under obligation to exercise universal obedience to it. The moral law, then, is this--the eternal affirmation of God's own mind in respect to what course of conduct is proper in himself and in all moral agents; it is the eternal and necessary affirmation of the Divine reason and conscience as to how the attributes of any moral agent ought to be used. It is a necessary idea in God's mind, and in the mind of all moral agents: for example, no man can doubt that God's eternal reason must have affirmed that he ought to be benevolent. Who can doubt that selfishness or malevolence in God would have been sin in him? If God had been selfish and malevolent instead of being benevolent, that would have been sin in him; and why? Because God is a moral agent. Men are moral agents, and they have a nature which necessarily leads them to affirm this. The benevolence of God is really his virtue: and why? Because the exercise of benevolence is in compliance with that rule of conduct which was becoming in God to pursue; his reason affirmed his own obligation to it. Now, I have thought sometimes, that persons entirely overlook the fact that God is himself a moral agent, and the subject of moral obligation as really as they are. Some people startle at this, lest it should be thought derogatory to God's character; but if this were not so, God could not be virtuous: as he is a moral agent, he must be under moral obligation. The moral law was not given to God by any other being, for he is "a law unto himself"--his own eternal reason and conscience affirming that the carrying out of the principles of benevolence would be right in him, and of course the opposite wrong. When, therefore, God acts according to the moral law, he acts in compliance with an eternal law of his own nature, by which he was led to determine his own conduct, as the condition of his own happiness, and as the condition of the happiness of all moral agents. Let it be understood, then, that the moral law did not originate in God's arbitrary will; it lay further back--in a necessary law of his own eternal consciousness; as a rule of action it was prescribed to him by his own consciousness. This law is also prescribed to us by our own consciousness as well as enforced by the authority of God; and if we possessed none to legislate for us, and while possessing the same nature that we now do, our consciousness would have prescribed this rule of action to us--affirming that we ought to be benevolent. If the arbitrary will of God had originated this law, he could dispense with it at his pleasure; he could change the nature of virtue and vice, he could make that which is now virtue vice, and that which is now vice virtue, simply by altering his law; but does any one think that God could do this? Now, God never can change the nature of virtue and vice, and he claims no such power. This law having originated thus, and not by God's arbitrary will, it is binding upon us, as moral agents, by the very laws of our being. God created us moral agents like himself, and thus made this law obligatory upon us, enjoined it upon us by his own authority, and made it obligatory, also, by a law of our own nature. Now, the spirit of this law requires universal and perfect benevolence to God and man. By benevolence I mean love, with reference to the law of God and to the universe; this is what God's law requires of all moral agents. Now, observe, this law is as unalterable as God's own nature is--he did not create it, neither can he alter it in the least degree; he did not create it any more than he created himself--it never began to be any more than God did himself. Originating in his own self-existing nature, his own reason must have eternally recognised it as the course of action to be pursued by him; and thus it is plain that this law can never be repealed by him, and made less obligatory in reference to himself, or us--it can never undergo any change in its requirements, and can never be dispensed with in any case whatever. 2. Again: this law is infinitely valuable in the ends which it aims to secure. It is naturally impossible for moral agents to be happy unless they are virtuous, and virtue consists in obeying this eternal law. All virtue consists in perfect love--this is virtue in all moral agents. Now, in no further than this law is conformed to can there be happiness amongst men. Virtue is the basis of happiness, properly so called, in God or in anybody else. This law, then, aims to secure and promote all that creates happiness, as the condition of the happiness of God and of his creatures. I suppose that the things which I am affirming this morning will be admitted by all who hear me as self-evident truth; the mind of every moral agent must affirm them to be true, by a law of our own nature we affirm it, that they are true, that they must be true; for example, benevolence was proper and becoming in God, therefore obligatory upon him; and the opposite course would have been wrong--mind, I am not supposing that such a thing ever was or ever will be; but I am only supposing that if such a thing were possible, that God was not a good but a wicked being. Hence every moral agent will affirm that the moral law is a law which God imposed upon himself, and that it did not originate in his own arbitrary will--that its obligations can never be dispensed with in any case, neither repealed nor altered in any particular. Again: every moral agent, also, must affirm that this law must be of infinite value, because it aims to secure an infinitely valuable end. 3. The true spirit of this law can never be violated. There may be exceptions to the letter of the law, but not to the Spirit--nobody possesses any power to make the slightest exceptions to the spirit of the moral law; but as I just now said, to the letter of the law there may be exceptions. The law prohibits any work being done on the Sabbath, and yet the priests were allowed to do the work of the sanctuary on that day without violating the spirit of the command. All labour was prohibited, but works of necessity and mercy were nevertheless allowed, and even required. These were exceptions to the letter of the moral law, but not to its spirit; to which there can be no exception. Again: the transgression of the moral law by any human being, is a public denial of its obligation. It is a denial of the propriety, necessity, or justice of its being law at all, and that it is unworthy of being so. 4. Again: let us look at the necessity that Christ should magnify the law and make it honourable. Mankind had denied the obligation of this law, publicly and most blasphemously denied it. Now, observe, if any other than a public act, for forgiving sin, and setting aside the penalty of this law, had been adopted, if no regard had been paid to its vindication, God would have sanctioned and completed the dishonour. The law had been denied, man had denied its justice, and now suppose God should come forth and set aside the execution of the law, and make a universal offer of pardon without taking any notice of this dishonour to the law by any public act whatever, would not this have been to dishonour the law. Now, man in a most direct and emphatic manner had come right out in the face of the whole universe and denied that it was obligatory, that it was just, proper, necessary, and reasonable; and let me say that by their actual transgression they had denied the power of the law in a higher sense than they could by mere words. Now, if God very good-naturedly had said, "Well, no matter, I will forgive you, only be sorry," and had taken no notice of the dishonour that had been done to the law, would this have been to magnify the law and make it honourable? would it not have been rather, on the part of God, by a most public and emphatic act, just to sanction the horrible dishonour that had been done to his law? To have thus acted, every one will see, would have been unjust to himself, unjust to the law, and unjust to the universe, and ruinous to all parties--and therefore it never could be. 5. Again: two things, then, must be done if men were to be saved at all. First, something must be done to honour this law, and to honour it as thoroughly as it had been dishonoured: second, something must be done to restore men to obedience as a condition of their being pardoned; something that must restore them to that state of virtue, love, and confidence which the law required. These two things must be done, to save the law from dishonour and the universe from ruin. Observe, the law had been disgraced in some way, therefore the degraded law must be made honourable. Man had been rebellious, he must be made obedient as a condition of the first proposition. 6. This leads me to say that both precept and penalty must be vindicated: both had been denied, both had been dishonoured. Now, it is easy to see that this could be done by no subject of the government; a mere creature could not magnify either the precept or the penalty of this law. It is easy to see that the lawgiver must provide for both, as the condition of its being proper in him to set aside the execution of the penalty in the case of sinners. Now, this law may be honoured either by its penalty being executed on the offender, or it may by honoured by some substitute taking the sinner's place, if one could be found. 7. Again, I inquire, how can God honour the law? Here again, we have an important light shed upon the two natures of our Lord Jesus Christ, and upon the necessity of his possessing two natures in order to perform the work that was assigned him. The obedience of any mere creature could not be a sufficient vindication of this law. Great multitudes of the whole race had denied its propriety and justice. Now, if any mere creature had come forth and obeyed it, this would not have been to sufficiently honour the law which had been dishonoured by myriads. Now, it is very easy to see that if Christ possessed two natures, human and Divine, that he would be precisely in a position to magnify the law and make it honourable. Officially, and before the universe, he obeyed the law in both his natures; recognising its obligation as respects God and all moral agents. It is thus shown to be the rule of God's conduct, as well as the rule of our conduct; it is a rule which God imposed upon himself, and as really obligatory upon himself as upon us. Now, no mere creature, by obeying this law, could show its obligation upon Jehovah himself. But when man denied its obligation, Jehovah himself came forth, in the presence of the universe, and acknowledged its obligation, by recognising it in his two natures--one the nature of man, who had denied its obligation; and in this nature he obeyed every jot and tittle of it--"Heaven and earth," he said, "shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Heaven and earth were not so steadfast as this law. Thus we see that in these two natures Christ fully obeyed the law, and though it had been trampled upon and degraded, lifted it up high as the throne of Jehovah. 8. Again: we say that the suffering of one who sustained no other relation to God than that of a mere creature, could not vindicate the justice of the law, or the penalty that it denounced against sin; but the Lord Jesus Christ, by taking two natures, and by the public sacrifice of the human nature on the altar of public justice, in vindication of this law, and as a substitution for the execution of its penalty, for the legitimate subject of it, did what none but himself could do. Christ, we say, suffered the penalty of this law, but in some sense he suffered it not as sinners would--as they must have done; he could not feel the bitterness and remorse which is a part of the lawful penalty awarded to those who commit sin; but he magnified this law, and made it honourable, for he sustained at once a relation to the lawgiver, and to those who had denied the obligation of the law. How beautifully, then, in these two natures united, could he vindicate the law, and thoroughly honour it in every particular.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 34 - Atonement. paragraph 35 I will call attention to several well established governmental principles . . Define the term atonement . . I am to inquire into the teachings of natural theology, or into the priori affirmations of reason upon this subject . . The fact of atonement . . The design of the atonement . . Christ's obedience to the moral law as a covenant of works, did not constitute the atonement . . The atonement was not a commercial transaction . . The atonement of Christ was intended as a satisfaction of public justice . . His taking human nature, and obeying unto death, under such circumstances, constituted a good reason for our being treated as righteous

     The English word atonement is synonymous with the Hebrew word cofer. This is a noun from the verb caufar, to cover. The cofer or cover, was the name of the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant, and constituted what was called the mercy-seat. The Greek word rendered atonement is katallage. This means reconciliation to favour, or more strictly, the means or conditions of reconciliation to favour; from katallasso, to "change, or exchange." The term properly means substitution. An examination of these original words, in the connection in which they stand, will show that the atonement is the governmental substitution of the sufferings of Christ for the punishment of sinners. It is a covering of their sins by his sufferings.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 34 - Atonement. paragraph 106 I will call attention to several well established governmental principles . . Define the term atonement . . I am to inquire into the teachings of natural theology, or into the priori affirmations of reason upon this subject . . The fact of atonement . . The design of the atonement . . Christ's obedience to the moral law as a covenant of works, did not constitute the atonement . . The atonement was not a commercial transaction . . The atonement of Christ was intended as a satisfaction of public justice . . His taking human nature, and obeying unto death, under such circumstances, constituted a good reason for our being treated as righteous

     (4.) By this substitution, an immense good might be gained, the eternal happiness of all that can be reclaimed from sin, together with all the augmented happiness of those who have never sinned, that must result from this glorious revelation of God.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 35 - Extent of Atonement. paragraph 69 For whose benefit the atonement was intended . . Objections answered . . Remarks on the atonement

     The testimony of the world and of the consciences of all men is against this objection. This is universally attested by their expiatory sacrifices. These, as has been said, have been offered by nearly every nation of whose religious history we have any reliable account. This shows that human beings are universally conscious of being sinners, and under the government of a sin-hating God; that their intelligence demands either the punishment of sinners, or that a substitute should be offered to public justice; that they all own and have the idea that substitution is conceivable, and hence they offer their sacrifices as expiatory.

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 40 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     That Christ's sufferings, and especially his death, were vicarious, has been abundantly shown when treating the subject of atonement. I need not repeat here what I said there. Although Christ owed perfect obedience to the moral law for himself, and could not therefore obey as our substitute, yet since he perfectly obeyed, he owed no suffering to the law or to the Divine government on his own account. He could therefore suffer for us. That is, he could, to answer governmental purposes, substitute his death for the infliction of the penalty of the law on us. He could not perform works of supererogation, but he could endure sufferings of supererogation, in the sense that he did not owe them for himself. The doctrine of substitution, in the sense just named, appears everywhere in both Testaments. It is the leading idea, the prominent thought, lying upon the face of the whole scriptures. Let the few passages that follow serve as specimens of the class that teach this doctrine:

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 124 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     1. It is not founded in Christ's literally suffering the exact penalty of the law for them, and in this sense literally purchasing their justification and eternal salvation. The Presbyterian Confession of Faith affirms as follows: chapter on Justification, section 3--"Christ by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father's justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners." If the framers of this confession had made the distinction between the grounds and conditions of justification, so as to represent the gracious disposition that gave the Son, and that accepted his obedience and satisfaction in their stead, as the ground or moving cause, and the death and work of Christ as a condition or a means, as "that without which" the benevolence of God could not wisely justify sinners, their statement had been much improved. As it stands, the transaction is represented as a proper quid pro quo, a proper full payment of the debt of the justified. All the grace consisted in giving his Son, and consenting to the substitution. But they deny that there is grace in the act of justification itself. This proceeds upon the ground of "exact justice." There is then according to this, no grace in the act of pardon and accepting the sinner as righteous. This is "exact justice," because the debt is fully cancelled by Christ. Indeed, "Christian, what do you think of this?" God has, in the act of giving his Son and in consenting to the substitution, exercised all the grace he ever will. Now your forgiveness and justification are, according to this teaching, placed on the ground of "exact justice." You have now only to believe and demand "exact justice." One act of faith places your salvation on the ground of "exact justice." Talk no more of the grace of God in forgiveness! But stop, let us see. What is to be understood here by exact justice, and by a real, full satisfaction to his Father's justice? I suppose all orthodox Christians to hold, that every sinner and every sin, strictly on the score of justice, deserves eternal death or endless suffering. Did the framers of this confession hold that Christ bore the literal penalty of the law for each of the saints? or did they hold that by virtue of his nature and relations, his suffering, though indefinitely less in amount than was deserved by the transgressors, was a full equivalent to public justice, or governmentally considered, for the execution of the literal penalty upon the transgressors? If they meant this latter, I see no objection to it. But if they meant the former, namely, that Christ suffered in his own person the full amount strictly due to all the elect, I say:--

 

 


SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (1851), LECTURE 56 - Justification. paragraph 129 What justification is not . . What it is . . Conditions of gospel justification

     (5.) What Christian ever felt, or can feel in the presence of God, that he has a right to demand justification in the name of Christ, as due to him on the ground of "exact justice." Observe, the framers of the Confession just quoted, studiously represent all the grace exercised in the justification of sinners, as confined to the two acts of giving his Son and accepting the substitution. This done, Christ fully pays the debt, fully and exactly satisfies his Father's justice. You now need not, must not conceive of the pardon of sin as grace or favour. To do this is, according to the teaching of this Confession, to dishonour Christ. It is to reject his righteousness and salvation. What think you of this? One act of grace in giving his Son, and consenting to the substitution, and all forgiveness, all accepting and trusting as righteous, is not grace, but "exact justice." To pray for forgiveness, as an act of grace, is apostacy from Christ. Christian! Can you believe this? No; in your closet, smarting under the sting of a recently committed sin, or broken down and bathed in tears, you cannot find it in your heart to demand "exact justice" at the hand of God, on the ground that Christ has fully and literally paid your debt. To represent the work and death of Christ as the ground of justification in this sense, is a snare and a stumbling-block. If this is the true account of it, antinomianism must be the true gospel, than which a more false and licentious dogma never existed. But this view that I have just examined, contradicts the necessary convictions of every saint on earth. For the truth of this assertion I appeal to the universal consciousness of saints. Whose business is it to cry heresy, and sound the alarm of error through the land!

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 10 - Conditions of Being Saved paragraph 22

The fact is, there are things for you to do which God can not do for you. Those things which He has enjoined and revealed as the conditions of your salvation, He cannot and will not do Himself. If He could have done them Himself, He would not have asked you to do them. Every sinner ought to consider this. God requires of you repentance and faith because it is naturally impossible that any one else but you should do them. They are your own personal matters -- the voluntary exercises of your own mind; and no other being in heaven, earth, or hell, can do these things for you in your stead. As far as substitution was naturally possible, God has introduced it, as in the case of the atonement. He has never hesitated to march up to meet and to bear all the self-denials which the work of salvation has involved.