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of the book to prove the truth of met in any way by the sufferings any of its assertions. Everything of our Lord; but as our Lord did is assumed and nothing is proved. suffer, and as it is assumed that Indeed, the advocates of this He suffered to meet the demands theory seem to be unconscious of some kind of justice, it is furof the need of any proof. They ther assumed that public justice assume that God needed some- required satisfaction, and that thing, but they do not know
nothing but the death of the what, though some use the word Son of God could supply the compensation, and others satis- satisfaction required. faction; but no definite meaning No effort is made to show why is attached to these. They next retributive justice may, in some assume that the death of Christ cases, be left without satisfaction. furnished what was needed, what- Itis assumed, and assumed rightly, ever it was ; but no attempt is that God can, under certain conmade to show how the death of ditions, withhold the punishment Christ operated on the divine of sin from the sinner, though mind. Butler speaks very dis- strict justice demands its inrespectfully of those who do fliction. Had these theorists attempt an explanation when he attempted to account for the says, “In what particular way neglecting of the claims of rethe blood of Christ had this tributive justice in the divine efficacy there are not wanting administration, they would have persons who have endeavoured discovered that the same reasons to explain; but I do not find that would show it to be possible for the Scripture has explained it." God to forgive sin, in some cases,
But as Dr. Wardlaw's definition notwithstanding any justice. of the atonement seems to em- Justice is an essential element brace all the assumptions which of moral character, but not the are usually made, we shall ex. only element; and though nothing amine them in order.
can be done by a virtuous being Assumption the First.—That the which is contrary to justice, yet death of Christ preserved unsul. may many things be done which lied the glory of justice. Yet are beyond and above justice, Dr. Wardlaw expressly states because not required by it. Justhat the claims of retributive tice may be exceeded, but not justice—the justice which awards contradicted. Mercy is an attrigood or evil, according to per- bute of God, as well as of every sonal merit--are left untouched other virtuous being; but mercy by the atonement. He emphati- lies altogether beyond justice. cally states that this justice ad- The province of mercy begins mits of no substitution ; its claims where that of justice ends. As are met only by the personal far as justice-mere justice-goes, suffering of the transgressor. there is no room for mercy, but What seems to me strange is, from the point where the path of that the claims of this justice can mere justice ends, the golden path be laid aside without any com- of mercy extends indefinitely. pensation, yet the claims of pub- Mercy is not opposed to justice, sic justice cannot be suspended but is in every point above it, and without public satisfaction in- never descends 80 low. It is volving death. The claims of
mercy that passes over the retributive justice are disregarded claims of retributive justice, and by these theorists because they leaves the penitent sinner unpunee that really they could not be ished, except as he is panished by sorrow for every thought and Rebellion has taken place in a act of sin; and mercy may, in a small province of the empire. A similar manner, pass over the whole nation is found guilty of claims of public justice. After treason; but among the rest there all, mercy, by a peculiar process is one of whose innocence there of her own, meets, most fully, the is no question. He has obeyed the claims of every kind of justice, laws of his country under every not in the letter, but in the condition of being. He is, conspirit.
fessedly, unconnected with the While it is acknowledged that revolt. True, he has an affection mercy meets the claims of retri. for the rebels, and is heartily sorry butive justice if they are met at for their lot; still he hates their all, the theorists to whom we now rebellion. He pities them most refer, assume that those of public sincerely, and is anxious that they justice are met alone by the death should have another trial after of Jesus. Public justice has they have received his teaching reference to the well-being of a on the relation of subjects to their whole community (Hare); and in rulers. He offers to suffer any. this case has reference to the hap- | thing for them, and the governpiness of all God's intelligent ment accepts of his offer, and créatures. A firm persuasion of speedily hasten his public executhe justice of God as well as of his tion. The guilty are free and the benevolence, is essential to their innocent suffers. I do confess happiness; and it is supposed that that I see no justice here. If the both his benevolence and justice government be so regardless of are proved by the death of Obrist. personal merit that it cares not Dr. Wardlaw wisely leaves out, whether the innocent or the guilty however, from his definition, endures the pain, I should be every reference to the benevolence suspicious that the next act would of God. “He gave his Son," it be the punishment of the innocent is true, to suffering, but that of without any personal consent. At. itself is no proof of benevolence; any rate, I have no doubt that it may be proof rather of a defi such a conduct on the part of any ciency of natural affection. A good human government would meet father might have sacrificed his with general disapproval; and own life, but surely could not surely that which would be dishave inflicted infinite pain upon graceful in the government of
On the supposition men, cannot be glorious in the which underlies this theory, that government of God. the Son—that Jesus Christ-was Archbishop Trench undertakes a different being from God, the to meet this objection (see Homi. sufferings of the Son are mani. LIST, Vol. XVIII., p. 348), by fest proofs of his own benevolence, supposing many acts committed but certainly prove nothing in by the scholars of a school, each that way of God, his Father. act being deserving of punish
Do the sufferings of Christ de- ment. Among the scholars there is monstrate the justice of God as a a young prince, whose conduct is Governor-the justice of the blameless. He offers to suffer the divine adıninistration ? Let us punishment instead of his fellow. look at the Crucifixion from a scholars, and assures the teacher distant point, as it would be that that is the only way in which looked upon by intelligent beings the good conduct of the scholars throughout the creation. How can be secured for all future time. does the matter seem to stand ? Dr. Trench regards the punish
ment of the prince under these while one individual might voltconditions, as perfectly just. tarily undergo pain and loss for
Men's consciences seem to be another, he would be acting in a made of very different materials region of morality far higher than First of all Dr. Trench introduces justice--in the region of merey; into his statement of the case an but a government, as the mainelement which is foreign to it. tainer of justice, could never agree “The punishment of the prince to the acceptance of the pain of the will secure the future obedience innocent, for the punishment of of the scholars, and nothing else the guilty. Our Lord sacrificed will." Now, that is an assump: his life in promoting human wel. tion, a pure assumption, as applied fare. His sufferings were volunto the death of Christ. Supposing tarily undertaken, and so far it our Saviour's death not to be the was all mercy; but had another result of any punishment inflicted party- a second person-inflicted upon Him by God, but undertaken pain as the penalty of sin, the to show his infinite love-God's whole transaction would have infinite love-to man; would not been lowered into the region of his death, viewed in that light, l justice, and the conduct of the be as likely to prevent men from latter would have been unjust. sinning, as his death viewed as an The first assumption having infliction of God? It seems to me failed, let us consider the second that there was no need for our assumption-viz., that the death of Lord's death to be the result of Christ showed the perpetuity and any punishment, in order that that
continuity of the claims of public death might be a stimulus to justice. This it did not do. The virtue, and a check to sin. It claims of public justice are supmight be the result of self-sacri. posed to be actually set aside. fice just as well.
Public justice -- justice which But apart altogether from this secures the happiness of the virgroundless assumption, let us look tuous community can never be at the punishment of the prince satisfied unless the criminal him. in its relation to justice. To me self suffer the evil consequence of the conduct of the teacher who his evil deeds. If he be not acaccepted the offer of the prince tually punished, he must undergo and inflicted upon him the punish- a painful process of genuine ment, would seem monstrously sorrow for sin, and become perunjust. The generous and heroic manently virtuous. But if the disposition of the prince would be criminal is not punished, is not worthy of the highest admiration. even required to find either surety His willingness to suffer might or substitute, but has these found beneficially act upon the disobe- for him by the king, how can the dient, and a free forgiveness given virtuous population be assured to the transgressors, under these that such crimes will not be repeculiar circumstances, on condi- peated ? The king seems to favour tion of a promise to reform, might the felon, and shield him from be justifiable ; but the man who justice by providing a substitute. took advantage of the generosity According to this theory, the of the prince and inflicted pain guilty is free and acquitted, and upon him, would be nothing an innocent person, in no way better than a brute, void of any connected with the crime, is pub sense
of justice or propriety. licly dishonoured, and that by the Suffering for others is the chief magistrate. Crime is not highest and truest virtue. But punished, but advantage is taken
of the generosity and heroism of | ing hatred. Love alone engenan innocent being, to secure a ders love, and, therefore, whatever public execution--an execution, shows the love of God, supplies however, which leaves the claims the strongest motive of obedience. of public justice untouched, and The theory of expediency, after the virtuous subjects in a state of all, fails to supply great fear as a jeopardy.
motive of holy life; for fear These two assumptions having arises in proportion to the certainty failed, it is evident that the others of punishment, and notits severity. fall to the ground also, as they are This is proved most abundantly built upon these. The claims of by the history of crime in our justice are disregarded, and the own country. But does the death salvation of man, according to of our Lord, according to the the theory of expediency, reflects theory of expediency, show it no honour on the government of probable that, in case of future God.
sin, the sinner shall be surely Of all the theories considered, punished ? Not in the least. In this now discussed is the least the case of human sin the sinner satisfactory, because the least is not punished, but a make-belogical. The theory of debt, in lieve of severity is shown by the its Calvinistic aspect, as set forth suffering of an innocent person, in the writings of Dr. Owen and and the sinner who escapes is not President Edwards, is the most required to take any part in the logical; only it reduces the divine finding of a substitute, but all benevolence to a minimum; ren- things are arranged without his ders the love of God much less aid. It is not wise to generalize than that of ordinary men, and from a single case, but as far as makes salvation of justice, and this case goes to prove anything, not of grace.
the natural inference is, that if The expedient theory, more- any other race of beings should over, gives too prominent a place sin-should venture upon rebelto fear as a motive to obedience. lion--the punishment will fall One of the principal objects of a upon some sinless substitute, and public execution is to benefit the not upon the transgressors, and virtuous comnunity by terrifying this will be found for them by the those who might be prone to com- king, so that they need not be in mit acts of violence, and thus trouble. I do not mention the prevent the recurrence of crime. death of Christ as proving anyThe death of Christ is supposed thing in relation to the treatment thus to act upon the intelligent of future sinners, but simply say, creation. But experience in con- that if it does prove anything, as nection with public executions has is assumed by theorists, it proves abundantly shown that fear is one the non-probability of the punishof the weakest motives of virtue; ment of actual sinners, and thus and experience has proved, on the encourages rebellion rather than other hand, that the mightiest obedience. But if the sinner motive to holy deeds is the mani- escapes punishment only on confestation of disinterested bene- dition that he passes through the volence. If, therefore, enmity painful process of repentanceagaiost God, or want of love to hates sin and loves holiness so Him, be the fountain of which intensely that to sin becomes an sin is but the stream, it follows impossibility, and to do good a that the shortest and safest way of necessity, then is the heinousness preventing sin is to destroy exist- of sin and the sublimity of obedi
ence recognised in the most justice far more effectively and forcible manner. Such an acknow. fully than her death beneath the ledgment of the misery of sin, gallows would have done. The and the advantages of a holy pardon of sin, under similar conlife by one whose experience em- ditions would seem to be more to braced both, would be a real dis- the honour of God as the Go couragement to evil, as well as an vernor of the universe than the incentive to good.
punishment of impenitence would An incident of recent occur- be; for in the punishment of sin rence bears very forcibly on the there is no acknowledgment of subject which is now being dis- its evil or disadvantages, on the cussed.
part of the criminal, nor is there, A young woman, belonging to on his part, any recognition of the higher rank of life, under
superiority of obedience. influence of malice, committed V. The atonement of Christ a murder. Suspicion fell on others, explained by other theories. but the real culprit escaped the Many other theories of the hand of justice, and lived in ap- atonement have been proposed, parent peace. Years passed away, some of which are probably un. and the crime was well nigh for- known to me, but upon the whole gotten. But the guilty conscience I find them to be very unsatisfound no rest. Night and day the factory. Mr. McLeod Campbell agonies of that solitary heart has proposed a species of repre were far beyond conception. She sentative theory. The Rev. Bald. felt truly sorry for her sin, and so win Brown in "The Divine Life" terrible did the hideous deed seems to accept that theory a appear to her, that life itself satisfactory, and Dr. Bushnell became a burden. As a fearful works it out more fully. The crime had been committed, and theory seems to have been sug. some suspicion still clung to those gested by an expression of Presi. who were innocent of the crime, dent Edwards, who says, That to she felt that in justice to these satisfy divine justice there must the crime should be acknowledged, be “either an equiralent punish. and that for the honour of her ment, or an equivalent sorrow and country, whose laws punished repentance." Edwards accepts the murder by death, she ought to die equivalent punishment, and bethe felon's death.
lieves a punishment to have been Under the influence of such inflicted upon Christ equivalent motives she made a full confession to that deserved by all the elect and wished to die. But her death Campbell rejects the theory of was thought to be unnecessary Edwards and accepts the alternaby the government of the land. tive supposition of equivalent It was felt by all that public sorrow and repentance, and be justice had been satisfied, though lieves that our Lord, as a man, not in the letter, yet in the
spirit. sorrowed and repented for sin inSuch sorrow for sin, such free stead of all men, and in virtue of confession of personal guilt, such his divine nature this sorrow and recognition of the blessedness of repentance were sufficiently in. virtue and the misery of wrong. tense to satisfy the demands of doing, reflected the highest divine justice. honour on her country's laws, and The chief, and as I think fatal, furnished the most forcible in- objection to this theory is, that it ducements to a life of virtue, and is a mere assumption or hypothesis. met really the claims of public | Our Saviour is never represented