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tuted his own Son to be made a curse for us, to give satisfaction unto justice in our behalf. That so he might be just, that is, show himself a just and righteous God, not only in letting none of the righteousness of the law fall to the ground without a full satisfaction, but chiefly that he might be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. For that also is a principal end of the satisfaction to the law, or redemption by Jesus Christ, that God might without the impeachment of justice pronounce the believer in Jesus to be just and innocent; and even in the eye of justice free from fault and blame.'
It is therefore a capital mistake to imagine that the righteous Legislator of the universe may, or may not punish sin. Punishment is, in this case, not an act of sovereignty but of vindicatory justice: it necessarily results from the supreme perfection of God. Sin cannot exist but in opposition to the purity of his nature and the rectitude of his government. While therefore it is suffered to remain in his dominions, it must be the object of his abhorrence; and what, as Ruler of the world, he cannot but punish
either in the person of the sinner or in his substitute.
That it is the property of vindicatory justice to punish sin, 'the scripture, says the learned Witsius, tells us in a hundred places; and heretics impudcntly cavil when they assert it to be the work, not so much of divine justice, as of wrath and passion. They unadvisedly disjoin what the apostle has conjoined, when he speaks of the day of wrath, and of the righteous judgment of God. And what is God's wrath other than that ready disposition of the divine mind to do that which his hatred of sin, justice to zard the sinner, and his character as the Supreme Judge, do require? ---Christ satisfied the vindictive justice of God, not only for our good, but also in our room, by enduring those most dreadful sufferings, both in soul and body, which we had deserved, and from which he, by undergoing them, did so deliver us, that they could not, with the wrath and curse of God, as the proper punishment of our sin, be inflicted on us. If there is any point in our divinity accurately proved, and solidly defended against the excep
:ions of the Socinians, by illustrious persons in the church, it is certainly this; which I choose not to repeat; desiring the reader to fetch the arguments from a Grotius, a Junius, a Turrettine, a Hoornbeeck, an Essenius, and the like renowned heroes; which will baffle all the efforts of the adversaries properly to answer.'
It has been said by Socinian writers, and by others who own that a satisfaction is made, and who admit the fitness and expedience of it, That God could forgive sin, and save sinners without a satisfaction. But this, as the learned Dr. Gill remarks, is giving up the point; for if it is fitting and expedient to be done, it is necessary; for whatever is fitting to be done in the affair of salvation, God cannot but do it, or will it to be done.'
As God is an holy God, says that excellent prelate, Bishop Hopkins, “so he infinitely hates sin; and as he is a just God, so he will assuredly punish it. Not a soul of man shall escape, not a sin pass by without having its due curse; yea, we find God so hates sin, that when he found
but the imputation of it upon his own Son, Divine vengeance would not suffer him to escape, but loads him with sorrows, and fills his soul with darkness and agonies, nails him to the cross, and there exacts from him a dreadful recompense, which he was fain to make good to the utmost demand of his Father's justice before he could be discharged.'
There was, as one of our popular Commen. tators expresses it, “An obligation upon every man to undergo the curse of the law, for violating the commands of the law. There was a hand writing against us. The obligation must be cancelled, before the condemning power of the law can' be abolished, and sin pardoned: none but Christ could cancel this obligation; and not he neither, without paying the full sum payable from us.'
That the future punishment of the wicked is the natural consequence of sin, is an indubitable fact. Though some men, as Bishop Butler speaks, may suppose that this is taking the execution of justice out of the hands of God,
and giving it to nature. But they should remenber that when things come to pass according to the course of nature, this does not hinder them from being his doing, who is the God of nature: and that the scriplure ascribes those punishments to divine justice, which are known to be natural; and which must be called so, when distinguished from God's working in a miraculous manner. But after all, this supposition, or rather this way of speaking, is here made use of only by way of illustration of the subject before us. For, since it must be admitted, that the future punishment of wickedness, is not a matter of arbitrary appointment but of reason, equity, and justice; it comes, for ought I see, to the same thing, whether it is supposed to be inflicted in a way ana. logous to that, in which the temporal punish: ments of vice and folly are inflicted, or in any, other way.'
If therefore sin be really hateful to God, and incompatible with the perfect purity of his nature; if it be inimical to the happiness of the universe, the source of all the misery felt on earth, and of the torments experienced in hell,