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ment, or to that which the surety must bear. They are circumstances, which arise from the character of the persons of the damned, who are vicious, and who when they find that their torments are necessary, overwhelming and eternal, sink into utter despair and gnashing of teeth. This could not be so with Christ, who in the midst of his greatest agonies, had full assurance of deliverance, and a resurrection from the tomb, and hence when encompassed by tortures, the most excruciating, he always manifested his faith in God—“My God! My God!" are his words.
Though a death of infinite value was due for every individual sinner, yet such a death as Christ's is quite sufficient for the redemption of the whole elect world. A penal satisfaction is not of the same nature with a pecuniary payment, which is only valued by the amount paid, without regard to the person
and hence can be of avail to none but the individual for whom the payment is made. But.penal satisfaction is appreciated by the dignity of the person who makes it, and is increased in worth in proportion to his dignity, and hence avails for many as well as for one. Money paid by a king is indeed of no more avail in the discharge of a debt, than money paid by a slave: but the life of a king is of more value than the life of a vile slave, as the life of king David was of more worth than that of half the Israelitish army.* In this way Christ alone is more excellent than all men together. The dignity of an infinite person swallows up all the infinities of punishment due to us—they sink into it and are lost. Besides it is no new thing that what is necessary for one should be amply sufficient for many. One sun is necessary to the illumination of an indi. vidual, and yet the same sun illuminates the whole human family. One victim was sufficient for the priest and all the people, and yet it would have been requisite for one. The great annual expiatory sacrifice, made atonement for all the people, while yet there were as many atonements necessary, as there were Israelites, because by divine appointmeat it
* 2 Sam. xviii. 3.
was offered for the whole congregation as well as for individuals. On this subject the scriptures are so express, that no one, unless he have the hardihood to contradict the Holy Spirit, can deny it. “ The Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all."* If one died for all. “By one offering of himself he hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified.”+ What do all these scriptures teach, unless that one death of Christ is sufficient to make a full atonement for all the elect. Thus also the disobedience of Adam made many sioners. One cannot satisfy for many, when he and they are of the same rank. One plebeian cannot satisfy for many plebeians; but one prince may satisfy for many plebeians. If this is admitted among creatures who are all finite and mortal, how much more between creatures and the Creator, between whom there is an infinite distance!
The rule which is laid down in the 18th chapter of Ezekjel's prophecy, “ the soul that sinneth it shall die,” cannot be understood as absolute and universal, for so all imputation of sin would be barred, which yet the scriptures teach by many examples. It must be referred to the ordinary dispensations of providence, and not to an extraordi. nary dispensation of grace. Or it may refer to a particular providence, to the Jews, to whom the Lord speaks in such a way as to close their mouth, and prevent them from complaining that they had undeservedly suffered punishment on account of the sins of their fathers; and not to the general government of men, in which God declares that he will visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children until the third and fourth generations.||
So far is the doctrine of the atonement from opening a door to impiety and spreading a couch on which spiritual sloth may repose in security; that it is the most efficacious means of holiness, and the death of sin itself, which is, among others, one of the ends, that Christ assigns for his death that being dead unto sin, we may
* Isai. lii. 6.
+ 2 Cor. v. 14. * Heb. x. 4. $ Rom. v. 18, 19. || Exo. xx.
live unto righteousness; that henceforth we may no more live unto ourselves, but to him who died for us and was raised again for our justification.” See the 6th chapter of Romans, for the manner in which the apostle Paul reasons on this subject; also Titus, ii. 14, and 1 Pet. ii. 24.
On the Perfection of the Atonement.
In the preceding chapter we reasoned against the followers of Socinus. In this chapter we shall contend for a doctrine, that is denied by the Catholics. They indeed pretend to hold the unity and perfection of the satisfaction of Christ, and often exclaim that great injustice is done them, when they are charged with maintaining, that “Christ by his sufferings did not make a full and complete satisfaction for our sins;"* while in reality they, in many ways, weaken and overturn this doctrine, by maintaining that it must be confined to sins committed before baptism, and to the pollution of sin; but that it does not extend to punishment either temporal, or eternal.
In order to ascertain distinctly the question, we observe, that a satisfaction made to God is of a nature different from a satisfaction made to man. Among men, satisfactions are of two kinds. One is private, and is called a reparation; the other public, and is called canonical, because prescribed by the ancient canons of the church. Satisfaction of the latter kind is very often demanded by civil and ecclesiastical courts, for the reformation of offenders, and for the removal of scandals. In treating of the satisfaction made to God, we speak strictly concerning the autpoy, the price of redemption, which Christ, as our surety paid for us, and thereby atoned for our transgressions. This is by Catholics in part ascribed to certain meritorious, expiatory works, by which they pretend to atone for their own sins, and for those
• Bellarmine, Book II. concerning indulgences, chapter 14.
of others. It is of the atonement for sin which Christ has made, of the satisfaction made to God, that we are to treat in this chapter. The point in controversy is not whether the satisfaction of Christ bars all human satisfactions, public, private, and canonical, which are imposed upon offenders for their correction, and to remove scandals from the church. We admit that these were, with propriety, often demanded under the Old Testament 'dispensation, and may yet be laudably exacted. But we inquire, whether, besides the satisfaction made by Christ, other satisfactions for sin are to be made to God, and should be imposed upon the saints. Here we and our opponents are at issue,—they affirm that such additional satisfactions are to be made by the saints themselves, while we maintain, and hope to prove, that they are not only useless, but contrary to the scriptural plan of salvation.
The infliction of chastisements on the people of God, when they go astray,--chastisements which are of a medi. cinal and corrective nature, such as are inflicted upon chil. dren in their father's house, form no part of this controversy. We cheerfully admit, and firmly believe, that God, for the most valuable purposes, exercises his people with such wholesome discipline. Does the atonement of Christ exclude penal expiatory sufferings on the part of the saints, sufferings not designed as proofs of their piety, or to heal their backslidings, but as a satisfaction to avenging justice, inflicted pot by God as a father, and through parental love, but decreed by God as a judge,-sufferings, which the law denounces against the wicked? Our adversaries affirm, that the atonement does not exclude such sufferings. We maintain that it does. The church of Rome teaches, that though the satisfaction of Christ is of infinite value, yet that it is not so full and ample, but that various atonements are to be made by believers in their own persons. These, they say are necessary, if not on account of their guilt, and liability to eternal punishment, which they admit are taken away by Christ, yet they are requisite to save them from temporal punishment. Hear what they say: “ If any one shall affirm,