Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

60 THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST. CSEAM. XXXIV. iii. 10. By sinning against God, we have lost all pre- tence to the reward of life, and immortality and glory; Rom. iii. 23. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God : And we have also subjected ourselves to guilt and punishment ; verse 19, " Every mouth is stopped, and all the world becomes guilty before God." A sentence ofwrath and death is " passed upon all men, for that all have sinned : Rom. v. xii. and the best of saints were by nature " dead in trespasses and sin, and the children ofwrath even as others." Eph. ii. 1, 3. PROPOSITION III. 'God in his infinite wisdom' did not think fit to pardon sinful man, without some com- pensation for his broken law, some recompence for the dishonour done to his government. He did not see it proper to forgive all our guilt without some satisfaction for breaking his holy commands. I will not enter into that curious enquiry, whether God, considered abso- lutely as a sovereign, could have done it. It is enough for us that he hath, in effect, declared he would not do it, and that probably for such reasons as these : 1. If the Great Ruler of the world had pardoned the sins of men without any satisfaction, then his laws might have seemed not :worth the vindicating. It might. have been questioned, whether his statutes were so wisely contrived and framed, as to deserve a vindication, if he had freely forgiven all rebels that had broken them, with- out anyconsideration, without any satisfaction at all. It becomes a wise lawgiver to see that his wisdom in fram- ing his laws, be not exposed to dishonour; and there- fore his lawt must be "vindicated, when they are broken. 2. Men would have been tempted to persist in their rebellions, and to repeat their old Offences continually, if there had been no vindication of the honour of the law, nor any of the threatenings of it had been executed. Therefore God requires a satisfaction for his broken commands, that his subjects might be kept in due obe dience, by an awful fear of his governing justice. And it is on this account, viz. to deter and affright men from sinning, and breaking his laws,, he hath given them an account in what a severe and terrible manner he dealt with " angels that sinned, he spared then not, 2 Pet. ii. iv. but delivered them to chains 'of darkness until the judgment of the great day," Jude 6..