by meeting them with the sacrifice of himself. See Mozley on Predestination, 390.
The publican prays not that God may be merciful without sacrifice, but: ?God he propitiated toward me, the sinner!? ( <421813>Luke 18:13); in other words, he asks for mercy only through and upon the ground of, sacrifice. We cannot atone to others for the wrong we have done to them nor can we even atone to our own souls. A third party, and an infinite being, must make atonement, as we cannot. It is only upon the ground that God himself has made provision for satisfying the claims of justice, that we are bidden to forgive others. Should Othello then forgive Iago? Yes, if Iago repents; <421703>Luke 17:3 ? ?If thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.? But what if he does not repent? Yes, so far as Othello?s own disposition is concerned. He must not hate Iago, but must wish him well; <420627> Luke 6:27 ? ?Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.? But he cannot receive Iago to his fellowship till he repents. On the duty and ground of forgiving one another, see Martineau, Seat of Authority, 613, 614; Straffen, Hulsean Lectures on the Propitiation for Sin.
(b) Satisfaction and forgiveness are mutually exclusive. We answer that, since it is not a third party, but the Judge himself, who makes satisfaction to his own violated holiness, forgiveness is still optional, and may be offered upon terms agreeable to himself. Christ?s sacrifice is not a pecuniary, but a penal, satisfaction. The objection is valid against the merely commercial view of the atonement not against the ethical view of it.
Forgiveness is something beyond the mere taking away of penalty. When a man bears the penalty of his crime, has the community no right to be indignant with him? There is a distinction between pecuniary and penal satisfaction. Pecuniary satisfaction has respect only to the thing due; penal satisfaction has respect also to the person of the offender. If pardon is a matter of justice in God?s government, it is so only as respects Christ. To the recipient it is only mercy. ?Faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins ( <620109>1 John 1:9) = faithful to his promise, and righteous to Christ. Neither the atonement nor the promise gives the offender any personal claim.
Philemon must forgive Onesimus the pecuniary debt, when Paul pays it but not so with the personal injury Onesimus has done to Philemon. There is no forgiveness of this, until Onesimus repents and asks pardon. An amnesty may be offered to all, but upon conditions. Instance Amos Lawrence?s offering to the forger the forged paper he had bought up, upon
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