FIFTH LORD'S DAY.
Question 14. Can there be found anywhere one, who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?
Answer. None; for first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man hath committed; and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it.
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The exclusive particle mere is added in this question, that the negative answer may be true; for it was necessary that a creature should make satisfaction for the creature's sin, but not such an one as was merely or only a creature, because such an one could not make the satisfaction which was required, as will appear in the remarks which we shall now make.
We must, therefore, since satisfaction must be made through another, enquire, whether this other person may be any creature besides man; and whether he may be a mere creature. We deny both propositions. Our reason for denying the first is, because God will not punish the sin which man has committed in any other creature. This is in accordance with the order of his justice, which does not permit one to sin and another to bear the punishment. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ez. 18:20.) This reason proves that no creature, except man could satisfy for man: yea, God could not be satisfied for the sin of man by the eternal destruction of heaven and earth, and of the angels themselves, and all other creatures. Our reasons for denying the second proposition are these:
1. Because no creature possesses such power as to be able to sustain a finite punishment, equivalent to that which is infinite, for the purpose of making satisfaction for the infinite guilt of man. A mere creature would be consumed and reduced to nothing, before satisfaction could be made to God in this way: "For God is a consuming fire." "If thou shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?" "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending ins own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." &c. (Deut. 4:24. Ps. 130:3. Rom. 8:3.) This reason proves that no creature in the whole universe was able to make satisfaction to God for man's sin, by punishment, so as to come forth from the same, which escape was necessary in order to our deliverance. There could, therefore, in this way, on account of the weakness of the creature, be no just proportion between sin and its punishment.
2. Because the punishment of a mere creature could not be a price of sufficient dignity and value for our redemption.
3. Because a mere creature could not have renewed and sanctified our nature, nor could such an one have brought it to pass that we should no longer sin, all of which it was necessary for our deliverer to accomplish.
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