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

SEAM. TfIE ATONEMENT OF CäiRI9T. f;á attempt upon the life of a neighbour, is punished with imprisonment or °a fine : But are attempt made on theliie of a king deserves death. Now' the great God our Creator, being a king of infi- nite glory an& majesty, infinitely superior to his creature man, every offence against this God, has a sort of infinity in. e: And God may demand satisfaction equal to the offence, that is infinite, which poor sinful mancan never ray, so as:to out-live the payment. On this account, he is exposed tattle execution of the sentence of God for ever : His punishment has no end. Perhaps this:will be counted an old-fashioned argil- Intent, and .not so generally received in our day, as it was in the =days :of our fathers : Therefore I haveexamined it afresh with all the skill I have, and having. surveyed the objections which are raised against it, -I: think they are not hard to_be answered : And, after all, so far ascl can judge ina, way of reasoning upon what scripture has revealed, this argument seemsto have weight and strength in it süll. Were it not for the supposition of the: infinite guilt anddemerit of sin, I do not so plainly see the justice or equity of God in preparing everlasting chains of dark;- -ness, and eternal fire, for the devil and his angels, as,a proper punishment due to their first act of rebelli.un against him, and because they " kept not their own first estatet," Jude 6. Nor indeed do I see such evident reason, why sinners among men should be threatened with eternal punishments, and punished with everlasting destruction, as a legal penalty due to past sins; Mat xxv. 46. and 2 Thess. i. 9. which sins were done per..ha.ps *Every circumstance thataggravates any crime, must aggravateit,ia a degree proportionable to that circumstance: otherwise we could never determine what is the degree of this aggravation, nor adjust the punish- ment inproportion to it. On this account, if the crime be committed against God, an infinite being, the guilt must be infinit. ly aggravated. t I grant, 1. that their continual persistence and obstinacy in sinful practices, may naturally render them continually miserable; and, 2. this continued obstinacy may also, in a legal sense, merit continual new.pu- bishment. And perhaps, on these two reasons, the actual eternity of hell may be justly supported. But unless we suppose every wilful rebellion against the infinite Majesty of God, to have also a sort of infinite evil in it, I do not see that everlasting chains, and eternal fire, are a proper deserved punishment, legallydue to their first rebellion, that is, to one act of sin.