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provision of pardon for certain offen From this I infer, 1st, ces-sins of ignorance--for wilful That the mediation of Christ does. crimes there was no forgiveness—"he not remove the obligation of God to must be stoned without the camp."| punish the sinner by taking away his But through the sacrifice of Christ guilt; but by removing the obstruction there is forgivenes for all things, forto pardon. which the law of Moses provided no Now guilt is no obstruction to paroffering of forgiveness. Here he cer- don, and it is not because a man is guiltainly is speaking of atonement, and ty that he cannot be pardoned, for not of a righteousness, that would re- this is the very thing that needs quire him to use the term justified.- pardon; and pardon can be concerned And as pardon comes on account of about nothing else but guilt. [d] atonement, justified here must signify pardon. The other place is Romans, [d] As strange and unlooked for, as it v. 9.“ Much more then, being justified may be, I shall bring Dr. Owe to witness through his blood, we shall be saved much time to prove that our guilt was im
to this position. Although he has spent from wrath through liim.” Here too, puted to Christ, put upon him so that he he most assuredly is speaking of that literally underwent the punishment of the which saves from punishment, and not sins of the Church, yet in more places than of any thing which entilles to eternal one, he states the true scriptural way by life; in reference to atouement, and
which guilt is removed. I know it is imtherefore signifying pardou. Besides, vine; but his own words compel me to do
puting inconsistency to that venerable diits idea is undoubtedly the same he in- it, as will appear by a few extracts from tended to convey to the Colossians, his work on Justification. Chap VII. page when he said to them, “in whom we 288, in adducing proofs that guilt of sin have redemption through his blood, e-only is imputed to Christ, he says, quoting
Psalın xxxii. 5. « Thou forgavest the iniven the forgiveness of sins." From quity of my sin, that is, the guilt of it, which flows the inference, that Paul, which is that alone that is taken away by when he uses this word in reference to pardon.” Guilt he defines in numerous the salvation of a sinner, his accep-places, as I have, and in some uses the same tance by God, the passing from a state words. Chapter XII. page 379, he says,
“ Wherefore the pardon of sin dischargeth of condemnation to that in which there the guilty person from being liable, or obis no comdemnation, uses it always in noxious unto anger, wrath or punishment, the same sense. These propositions due unto his sin.” At page 380, speaking being thus established ; the conse- of pardon, he says, “it only removeth quence is, the assembly of Divines
guilt.”-Same page, “ the state of innocen
gave the true definition of justification ; and cy; which is the height of what can be at.
tained by the complete pardon of sin,”. as this was taken as the meaning of Again, same page- the pardon of sin, the Apostle, by the words "being jus- which only frees us from the penalty of the lified, the answer to the inquiry is law.” Page 383_-" by the pardon of sin made out. The Apostle means an act we are freed only from the obligation unto
punishment.” Page 388_" that we be of adjudication by God, by which he freed from the damnatory sentence of the pardons the sinnner from all his trans- law, which we are by pardon of sin.” These gressions, and of course grants him all quotations exhibit clearly Dr. Owen's view the privileges a righteous person would of pardon. I do not quote him, because I receive; for in the perfect government suppose him to believe our guilt is taken of God, he that is pardoned must be away by pardon, for this his theory of im
putation will not allow; but to show he ain as good a condition as he that needs grees with me in saying, guilt is that alone no pardon; therefore in acceptance about which pardon is concerned. I know with God, and especially so, as in this he believes that substitution takes away case God has been pleased to accom- the guilt of the elect, that it was transfer.
red to Christ. That he is not consistent pany his offer of pardon with the assu-| with himself; and that his view excludes rance of great and precious blessings, li pardon from the plan of redemption, the even the gift of eternal life,
following part of this note I humbly believe
Now if the Mediation of Christ takes|| and no more room for the exercise of away guilt, there is nothing to pardon, grace than if man had never fallen. will show. I will here just remark, that if guilt, the obligation to punishment, which pardon frees us from the damnatory sen-is founded upon distributive justice, destroy tence of the law," then something else does this obligation, and the criminal is free; not do it; for it is as impossible that two and that act which does this, is pardon.causes should produce the same identical But if crime could be transferred to anotheffect, as it is that there should be an effect || er, so that he should come under the obliwithout a cause : therefore, as pardon re- gation to endure the penalty, no one would moves our gult, the substitution of Christ say the obligation is given up, destroyed ; was not of such a nature and extent as to but that it exists undiminished in its bindbring upon him our gwlt; but was a sub- ling force. Nothing like pardon has taken stitution to preserve the righteousness of place. And further, if it is given up, it God when he pardons the sinner, and bes- | must be given up where it binds; he to tows on him eternal blessedness—when he whom it is transferred must be pardoned ; “justifieth the ungodly.” To return-com-| for pardon removes guilt-and surely it pare the above extracts with the following, cannot be removed from the place where taken from that part of his work on Justiti-l it is not. Therefore as Dr. Owen affirms, cation, which treats of the imputation of " that our sins were so transferred on sin unto Christ. Page 281, he says, “ There Christ, as that thereby he became guilty, is therefore no imputation of sin, where obnoxious unto punishment," if there has there is no imputation of its guilt." p 287, been, or is any pardon dispensed in the “unless the guilt of sin was imputed to plan of redemption, as the guilt of the Christ, sin was not imputed unto him in any Church, according to his theory, was transsense.”
Page 281, “That therefore which ferred on Christ, Christ was pardoned. But we affirm herein is, that our sins were so as the supporters of this theory believe that transferred on Christ, as that thereby he be-Christ endured the penalty, : exhausted came, Reus responsible unto God, and ob- | all of hell,” to use the words of Dr. Mason, noxious unto punishment in the justice of he was not pardoned, not “freed from the God for them.” This transfer no one will obligation to punishment :” therefore, by say is pardon, any more than he would call this theory there is no such thing as para a transfer of a debt from one to another, don in the whole gospel scheme, and the the giving up of the debt, a relinquishmentLord's prayer is a farce. I cannot help the of the claim to payment. If a creditor say conclusion; Dr. Owen furnished the premito his debtor, 'here is your note, I give it ses. Should
any be so far astray from the up without payment;' this would be an ex- the true idea of pardon, as to say that Dr. act analogy to the pardon of crimes. Debt|Owen considered the transfer of guilt and originates the claim to payment-crime o- pardon to be the same, a few words from riginates the obligation to punishment.- the 282 page, Chap. VII. will lead them Debt is connected to payment by a claim back, and show the contrary. He says, founded on commercial justice-destroy speaking of guilt, “if it was not transferthis claim and the debtor is free ; transferred on Christ, it remains on believers, or it it upon another, and he that was the debtor is nothing. It will be said that guilt is tais free; but the claim is not destroyed- ken away by the free pardon of sin.”. To and surely no one could say the creditor this he objects, and maintains the other ; conferred any favor, if his debt continued therefore he did not suppose thèm the same. in just as good a condition as previous ; I cannot close this note, already protract. and if in the end the payment is made, it is sed beyond expectation, without noticing a fact, that the creditor has given up no another inconsistency in which this theory claim. Also, if after the transfer is made, of imputation involves its advocates. I the debt is given up, it cannot be said that shall still select from Dr. Owen. And here it was given up to the first debtor. To this, it may be proper to observe, that I have crime has one analogy, viz, it binds the confined myself to this writer, because he criminal; but this is one of the least im- is a standard author in the Seminary, and portant of its characteristics. In every oth- his works have been declared to be with. er respect it is dissimilar. Debts may be out errors by its Principal. At page 281, transferred from one to another, crime can- | this author follows up his affirmation alreanot-debts, if paid, produce no injury ; dy quoted, by saying, "He, Christ, was crime always produces injury, and if pun- || alienæ culpæ reus, guilty of the crime of ishment follow, still the injury is not un- | another : “ Perfectly innocent in himself; done, punishment can make no restoration ; but took our guilt on him, or our obnoxbut payment is a complete restoration. iousness to punishment;" and yet oa the Crime is connected with punishment by ll page immediately preceding, he asserts:
But says Paul, “ justification is of faith, ly and correctly speaking, he is not that it might be by grace”—and if it is punished because he is guilty-- though pardon, we see it is grace from begin- it is in consequence of guilt, for it is ning to end and if it is grace, it can- impossible that there should be pun
not be a purchase; but must be a free ishment without guilt. Nor is the rea= gift, and thus saith the scripture. (See son of punishing, both these consider
Rom. v. 15, 16: 17, 18, vi, 23. viii. 32.] ations, guilt and government united; To corroborate thris, let us look at our but in consideration of government idea of punishment, its design, the rea-solely. For it is guilt that directs son for punishing. The general idea where it should be inflicted to obtain of punishment, I believe, is not that it its object. Guilt fastens it on the crimis inflicted, because a person is guilty ; | inal, and not on another. The law of but that some good may result, either punishment says, I punish you, because by preventing the repetition of crime, you are guilty ; but I punish, that my or by preserving the honor and charac- integrity may not be tarnished, and the ter of the injured government. For as designs of my institution be frustrated. the object of government is happiness, and it is upon this idea of punishment if the execution of its laws has no ten-that the principle of commutation is dency to this grand object, to punish founded. For if a man must be puncan be nothing but to promote misery,ished, because he is guilty, there could Then if a man is punished because he be no change of persons,-for ehange is guilty, he is not punished for any the persons, and you are punishing the other reason, and therefore it can be innocent; 'as that which placed the nothing but adding evil to evil. But other under obligation to punishif he is punished to prevent the repe- ment, can never become his: therefore tition of crime, or to maintain the hon-|| punish a substitute, and you go right or and character of government, or against the supposition, that the guilboth together, is the reason, then strict-|ty is punished, because he is guiland undoubtedly with truth, that there the authority of the divine law, and the digcan be no obligatio ad pænam,' obligation||nity and consistency of the divine governto punishment, where there is not dignitas ment, is equivalent to the punishment of pænæ," desert, worthiness of punishment. If sinners, according to the literal threatenthe Latins had any words to express blame,ling of the divine law." As the Saviour desert of evil, criminality, they were digni- was a lamb without spot, knew no sin, his tas pænæ. But to confirm this, he says, nor ours, I humbly conclude that he was same page, “ Reatus culpa is nothing but set forth, not to undergo the punishment of dignitas pænæ propter culpam.” And where sin; but to be a propritiation-to declara there is not this reatus culpæ, there can be the righteousness of God, that he might be no pæna, punishment properly so called, just, and the justifier of him that believeth So theretore, there can be no punishment in Jesus ; that is, just when he pardons the nor reatus pæna, the guilt of it, but where sinner, and accepis him graciously. Much there is reatus culpæ,or sin considered with the Saviour did do and suffer to bring us its guilt.” Therefore, as Christ had our unto God; and “much." I believe, as Dr. reatus pæna, obnoxiousness to punishment Owen says, page 288, “the Saviour might according to one part of the first of these do and suffer on the occasion of sin, if guilt last extracts, he had also more, dignitus was not imputed unto him ;” although there pena, our reatus culpæ, criminality, (very are those that say, “if Christ suffered withdifferent from innocence) which is against out having the guilt of sin upon him, there another part of that same extract. I there is not a greater act of injustice in all God's fore humbly believe that, as it was impos- universe, than God himself is guilty of, in sible for Christ to have our criminality, permitting an innocent being to suffer." dignitas pæna, he did not have our obligation to punishment, obligatio ad pænan, and *See Selections on the Atonement, therefore he did not suffer“ punishment, the three last discourses by the Rev. J. properly so called;" but he maile an atonement-and “ the very idea of an atonement Edwards, D. D.; also Fuller, his gosor satisfaction for sin, is, that it is "some-pel its own witness, Part II. and his esthing which, to the purposes of supporting says, also Wardlaw on the Socin. Con.
ty.[e] But if you punish for the good || does and can forgive sin, where was of government, and wisdom and good- the necessity of an atonement ? Here ness, say it is best for government to you perceive it is assumed that atonevindicate its honor, if possible, in some ment takes away sin, (guilt of sin, other way than punishing the crimin- whereas it is made, that pardoning al, substitution is a way by which may not be sin. The answer theregovernment can preserve its integrity fore is, that atonement is made that sin and promote the best good.
may be pardoned-to remove the ob. Kere then we see, that, as punish-ligation to punish—that obligation bindment in the government of God is e-ing on the lawgiver to inflict the penalternal, and so not to prevent the repe-ty of the law-and not that obligation tition of crime, but for the honor of thiswhich binds the offender to the endugovernment, there is an obstacle to the rance of this penalty. This one, parpardon of sin as insuperably great, as don removes ; atonement, the other. this government is glorious, viz. its That atonement does not remove both, honor, and the integrity and character is evident from two facts—Ist. There of the Governor. And here we have is such a thing as pardon in the Bible ; the definite object of the great propi- and 2d. There could not be such a tiątory sacrifice, the Mediation of the thing, if it did (remove both.] Son of God, viz. the preservation of 2d. I infer the fallacy of that theory the honor and integrity of God's gov- of redemption, which views our sins as ernment, when it lets the criminal godebts, and
says the Saviour pays
them. free, of the character of God when he This theory, reason as much as its sup stretches forth to the condemned sin-porters may, excludes pardon entirely; ner the sceptre of mercy.
unless that is pardon which lets the Here we have an answer to a debtor go when his debt is paid-and question that has often been made, who ever called this pardon in any and often perplexed the pious mind; such transaction of human life ? If our viż. if God is a pardoning God, sins are debts and the Saviour pays
them, we are released of course, and [e]Let me not be understood to say, that our justification before God, will be so he who is guilty, who has become a crimi-| far from being any thing like pardon nal, does not deserve punishment; but that and gracious acceptance, that we can he is not punished merely because he de- || stand in his presence, and claim all the serves it. For the fact, that punishment freedom those have a right to who does not always follow the desert of it, have discharged their debts, and in this when proved, proves that desert is not the reason for punishing. Desert respects dis case it will be nothing less than the libtributive justice; and this, while it sanc-erty of the sons of God; and all this, tions the act of treating a person according the will of the creditor notwithstanding. to his deserts, does not forbid favors to be But this is not Bible. The will of our shown to him who deserves evil. It is an. | creditor (as this theory styles our God) other principle which determines this. It is another principle which directs punish-) is concerned. It is by his will we are ment to be inflicted, or pardon granted.- sanctified. We become sons of God If the general good, public justice, de-| by adoption-we are brought into this mands that punishment be inflicted, it for- liberty—we do not get it by claim.bids the dispensation of any
“I will have mercy upon would prevent the good that is sought in punishing; but if it does not require pun
whom I will have mercy, and whom ishment, then the highest desert of evil will he will he hardeneth." Besides, if not prevent the dispensation of the great-lour sins were like debts, where was est favors. Therefore as pardon is not the necessity of Christ's coming into granted to the criminal because it is his this world, and suffering as he did ?just due, so neither is punishment inflicted on a criminal, because it is his just due. For who ever disputed that man had Both are dispensed on the same principle a right to burn his note, and let his pesan public justice:
debtor go free; or will it be said that
favours which God says,
God bas not a right that man has ? || position under which this dilemma is. Does God delight ip mercy, and yet made is true, the doctrine is inevitable. must receive the full amount of his But here is the error-the supposition dues ? especially when giving will notis mistaken, viz. that Christ died to impoverish him, nor withholding malce cancel [g] sins. This is not Bible. rich. No, it is not so. Socinus said, Himself says his blood is shed for the our sins are debts-God is our Credi- remission of sin-not for sin itself; but tor-He has a right to give up his that it might be pardoned, and God claims, if he please--we cannot pay- still be just; that God might forgive He delights in mercy-has declared iniquity ; not to take away iniquity and himself merciful and gracious— There-leave man not subject to the penalty fore he remits them—therefore no of the law; but that the claims of the need of a surety—therefore no Sav-law may be remitted; that God may iour-therefore Christ is not the Son pardon the offender, accept him graof God—therefore he was a mere man ciously and love him freely. -and, being a very good man, fell a And now will any one say this is martyr to the integrity of his princi-|| doing little, this is ascribing little to our ples. [f]
Saviour ? Is it not ascribing all-our And Dr. Owen reasoning against salvation with all its blessings, and the Socinus, (I learn this from Dr. Fuller;) | preservation of the honor and glory of distinguishes between right as it res-God and his righteousness; that glory pects government, and right as it res- of his God which is dearer to the Chrispects debt, and says the latter may be tian than his own existence-is this litgiven up without a satisfaction, but not|tle ? the full fruition and eternal parthe former; & adds, our sins are called||ticipation by God's children, of the debts, not properly but metaphorically.? joys of beholding this glory—the glory
2d. I infer the fallacy of that dilem- of that God whose name Jesus's death ma which is ascribed to Dr. Owen, viz. did glorify ? " that Christ died for all the sins of all Is this little ? men, or for some of the sins of all men, or for all the sins of some men.
LETTERS. The two first not being true, the last New-York, 12th March, 1816. is established of course---admit the To Mr. LORING D. D. DEWEYpremises-----therefore the doctrine of SIR-It is matter of grief to us, that limited atonement. And if the sup- any of our pupils, whom we have been
[f] This, I believe, is a just representa- plan of redemption, and every other evertion of the ground on which Socinus found-cise of grace on the part of God, except the ed his heresy. He, it is known, upon the single particular of admitting a surety principle that our sins are like debts, re- which, in human concerns, is not usually jects completely the satisfaction of atone-considered a very great favour granted by ment, and runs into the absurdity/that sin the creditor ; and gives a perfect claim to is a small evil, and that God exercises mer- eternal life, to all those for whom the Save cy without regard to the justice of his gov- iour was surety. I have given this concise, ernment. Others, taking the same princi-and, I believe, true representation of these ple for a basis, but denying that these debts two schenies, because those who condemn can be given up without a satisfaction, me for not adhering to the latter have chargehave made the satisfaction, instead of an ed me with holding the former, or some of atonement, which is the substitute for the its fundamental principles. The discourse, I punishment that is due for sin, to be, as to trust, while it shows my agreement with the church, the complete and literal pun- | multitudes who maintain a scheme differishment of her sins; and a provision of su- ent from each of these, will show I am no perabounding righteousness, which will follower of Socinus, and that, instead of supply the deficiency that is incurred while embracing an error of his heresy, I, in perthe Church fails to perform perfect obedi- || fect agreement with the greater portion of
While Socinus makes no provision of the Christian Church, reject altogether for the honor of God, when he restores the the principle of considering sins as debtsrebel, this last excludes pardon from the  See Noteb.