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than their sins really deserved; all of which supposes salvaa tion from the punishment of sin after it has been committed.
Dan. ix. 9, 19. “To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses though we have rebelled against him ; 0 Lord hear, O Lord forgive.” Ps. xxxii. 5. “ Thou forgivest the iniquity of my sin.” Ps. xxxii. 1. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” This text is quoted by the apostle, Rom. iv. 7, and applied to the gospel mode of justification by faith. Ps. ciii. 2, 3. “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits, who forgiveth all thine iniquities.” Ps. cxxx. 3, 4. “ If thou Lord, shouldest mark iniquity, O Lord who shall stand, but there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared.” In this text, forgiveness is opposed to God's marking iniquity, so that when God marks iniquity, in the sense of this passage, he does not forgive; and when he forgives he does not mark iniquity. Taking this view, the text contains three reasons for understanding forgiveness to mean the remission of punishment.
1. Marking iniquity can mean nothing less than taking account of our sins, and holding us to answer the penalty of the law for the same; hence, as forgiveness is exactly the reverse of marking iniquity, it musť mean passing by our sins in some way without inflicting the punishment they deserve. But suppose that forgiveness means no remission of punishment, but simply a preservation from the commission of sin in future, as marking iniquity is opposed to forgiveness, it must consist in leaving men to commit sin without restraint. This indeed would be an uncommon way of marking iniquity. The notion is too absurd to be indulged for a moment.
2. The text under consideration, intimates that no man could stand, i. e. be saved, or enjoy the divine favour, if God should mark iniquity, i. e. if God should judge and punish us for all our sins. Now, if every man does and must suffer for all the sin he commits, and if the infliction of the full penalty of the law is consistent with salvation, then God does mark iniquity and men stand too, which is opposed to the text: “If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquity, O Lord who shall stand.”)
3. The text makes forgiveness the ground of that filial fear which the scriptures every where inculcate : " There is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared.”
This supposes that the doctrine of forgiveness is essential to the true fear of God, which cannot be explained consistently, only on the ground that forgiveness implies the remission of punishment. None could stand if God should mark iniquity; hence, if forgiveness stands opposed to his marking iniquity, it is by this that we stard. This marks forgiveness as the only ground of our hope, and hope is essential to that fear of God which he requires ; for he, who has no hope of the divine favour, cannot exercise a filial fear towards God: his fear would be that of a devil and not that of a christian. Thus we see that the full punishment of sin, if endured, cuts the offender off from all hope in the divine favour, and that forgiveness implies the remission of such punishment, giving hope to offenders, that they may fear God, with that fear which is equally opposed to presumption and despair.
It is unnecessary to multiply quotations to prove that God forgives sin ; a few only shall be added in proof that we have not mistaken the nature of forgiveness. Matt. vi. 12. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Luke xi. 4.
Forgive us our sins for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us." Here we are taught to pray to God for the forgiveness of our sins, in the same sense in which we forgive one another. To understand, then, what God does for us when he forgives our sins, we need only ask ourselves what we do for our fellows when we forgive them. If, when we forgive those who are indebted to us, or who have trespassed against us, we discharge the debt or relinquish the punishment which we might inflict on them, then, when God forgives our sins, he remits the punishment we deserve; but if, when God forgives our sins, he does not remit the punishment we deserve, then he does not require us to forgive our enemies in this sense ; for he has directed us to pray, forgive us as, i. e. in the same manner, as we forgive our debtors.
Eph, iv. 32. “ And be ye kind, one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Col. ii. 13. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Nothing can be more plain than that we are here taught by the apostle, that we are to forgive those who have injured us in the
same sense that God forgives sinners, or that God forgives sinners in the same sense in which we are to forgive those who have injured us. Taking this view, who does not see that gospel forgiveness implies the remission of the punishment of sin ? Deny this and you
fatal to religion ; you give full license to exact to the utmost the punishment of those who have injured us, and retaliation and revenge are thus let loose unbridled upon society. Could mercy be expected at the hand of those who believe that forgiveness implies no remission of punishment? Do universalists act up to their belief on this point, or are their hearts better than their creeds ? That class of texts, which speak of the remission of sin teaches the same sentiment.
Luke xxiv. 46, 47. “Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” Matt. xxvi. 28. “For this is my
blood of the new testament which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.” Luke i. 77. “ To give knowledge of salvation unto his people, by the remission of their sins." Acts ii. 38. “Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” x. 43. « Through his name, whosoever believeth on him, should receive the remission of sins." Rom. iii. 25. “ Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.”
These quotations are sufficient to show that the scriptures teach that Gospel salvation implies remission of sin. What . then is remission? Or what does God do for us when he re
mits our sins ? We maintain that he remits the punishment which our sins deserve. To remit an offence is to pardon the offender which we have already shown implies a deliverance from punishment. The Greek word, aphesin, which our translators have rendered remission, is derived from aphiemi, which signifies to send away; hence, when God remits our sins, he in some sense dismisses or sends them away, and it is not possible to conceive in what sense this can be done, unless it is by a pardon, which annuls the guilt of sin, and consequently, dismisses the singer from the suffering which is its
just punishment. There is not the least ground to maintain that remission of sin implies the preventing of its commission in future, for it is said, in one of the above quoted texts, that Christ is set forth to be a propitiation “ for the remission of sins that are past;" hence, it is sins that have been already committed that are remitted.
III. The plain scriptural doctrine of justification, by grace through faith, clearly implies salvation from the punishment
which sin deserves. Avoiding all scholastic and technical · terms in the statement of the doctrine of justification we will
endeavor to give it a scriptural and common sense definition, by saying that the scriptures employ the term justification in opposition to condemnation and to liability to punishment, so that when a man is condemed, in a scriptural sense, he is not justified, but is liable to punishment; and when a man is said to be justified, he is not condemned, or is delivered from condemnation, and consequently, not liable to punishment. Rom. v. 18. “Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” In this text condemnation is opposed to justification, and the latter is a deliverance from the former, which fully confirms the above view of justification. If, however, another proof text is necessary on this point, we have it at hand in the 9th verse. “ Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through
This text asserts salvation from wrath, which is but another word for punishment, to be the result of justification ; hence, justification must be the opposite of condemnation, and salvation, which follows from justification, must be the opposite of the punishment to which condemnation exposes or consigns us. It is settled, then, that justification is the opposite of condemnation by which we are exposed to punishment. John iïi. 18. “He that believeth not is condemned already." Indeed it would be trifling to prove for the satisfaction of universalists, that all sinners are under condemnation and exposed to punishment, for they contend that every man must be punished for all the sin he commits without the possibility of escaping it, which is the very sentiment against which we are contending. While we contend that all sinners are under
condemnation and exposed to punishment, we maintain that the gospel proposes salvation from such punishment on certain conditions. It being agreed on both sides that all sinners are under condemnation and exposed to punishment, it follows that from such condemnation and punishment they must, in some way, be delivered, for nothing is more plain than that they cannct go to heaven under condemnation and a liability to punishment. How then are sinners delivered from the condemnation and punishment to which their sins have exposed them ? So far as this controversy is concerned, there can be but two ways of deliverance proposed. Universalists maintain that the offender suffers all that his sin deserves, while we resort to the doctrine of justification, by grace through faith, maintaining that this doctrine, as above stated, is totally irreconcilable with the notion that men are delivered from guilt and condemnation only by suffering all the punishment which sin deserves. It is plain that both of these positions cannot be true. If men can and do suffer the full punishment of sin, in a limited period, at the expiration of which they are exempt from condemnation and punishment, on the ground of having suffered all they deserve, then, they are justified by the law through suffering, and, consequently, cannot be be justified by grace through faith. On the other hand, if sinners are justified by grace through faith, they cannot be condemned and punished, for we have shown that justification is opposed to condemnation. Again punishment does absolve the sinner from guilt, or it does not Now if punishment does absolve the sinner from guilt, he is not and cannot be justified by grace through faith ; but if punishment does not absolve the sinner from guilt, the idea of the sinner's suffering all he deserves, as prerequisite to salvation, vanishes forever; for, in such case, let him suffer as long as you please, he will still be just as guilty as at the moment he endured the first pang, and, consequently, just as much deserving of punishment; he must therefore be justified and saved from punishment on some other ground than that of enduring all he deserves, or suffer forever. Taking this view, it only remains to show that sinners are justified by grace through faith and through faith only, and the argument will be conclusive. This point has already been proved by