condition that he would confess himself bankrupt and put all his affairs into the hands of his benefactor. So the fact that Christ has paid our debts does not preclude his offering to us the benefit of what he has done upon condition of our repentance and faith. The equivalent is not furnished by man, but by God. God may therefore offer the results of it upon his own terms. Did then the entire race fairly pay its penalty when one suffered, just as all incurred the penalty when one sinned? Yes, all who receive their life from each ? Adam on the one hand and Christ on the other. See under Union with Christ ? its Consequences; see also Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 295 note, 321, and Dogmatic Theology, 2:383-389; Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2:614-615 (Syst. Doct., 4:82, 83). Versus Current Discussions in Theology, 5:281.
Hovey calls Christ?s relation to human sin a vice-penal one. Just as vice- regal position carries with it all the responsibility, care, and anxiety of regal authority, so does a vice-penal relation to sin carry with it all the suffering and loss of the original punishment. The person on whom it falls is different, but his punishment is the same, at least in penal value. Vice- regal authority may be superseded by regal, so vice-penal suffering, if despised, may be superseded by the original penalty. Is there a waste of vice-penal suffering when any are lost for whom it was endured? On the same principle we might object to any suffering on the part of Christ for those who refuse to be saved by him. Such suffering may benefit others, if not those for whom it was in the first instance endured.
If compensation is made, it is said, there is nothing to forgive; if forgiveness is granted, no compensation can be required. This reminds us of Narvaez, who saw no reason for forgiving his enemies until he had shot them all. When the offended party furnishes the compensation, he can offer its benefits upon his own terms. Dr. Pentecost: ?A prisoner in Scotland was brought before the Judge. As the culprit entered the box, he looked into the face of the Judge to see if he could discover mercy there. The Judge and the prisoner exchanged glances, and then there came a mutual recognition. The prisoner said to himself: ?It is all right this time,? for the Judge had been his classmate in Edinburgh University twenty-five years before. When sentence was pronounced, it was five pounds sterling, the limit of the law for the misdemeanor charged, and the culprit was sorely disappointed as he was led away to prison. But the Judge went at once and paid the fine, telling the clerk to write the man?s discharge. This the Judge delivered in person, explaining that the demands of the law must be met, and having been met, the man was free.?
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