Archive for the ‘Double Jeopardy/Double Payment Fallacy’ Category


Leonard Woods (1774-1854) on Double Payment

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism


But in regard to this kind of language, which is so frequent in the Scriptures and in religious discourse, we must remember that the language is more or less figurative; and then we must determine the sense of the figure, and the extent of the analogy implied, by the nature of the subject, and by all the instructions which the Scriptures give concerning it. Proceeding in this manner, as we do in all other instances of figurative language, we shall easily avoid the difficulties and mistakes which have been occasioned by carrying the analogy implied in the metaphor to an unwarrantable length. Many of the circumstances which belong to a literal debt or an obligation to pay money, do not belong to a sinner’s obligation to suffer punishment. This obligation is of a moral nature; it arises from the moral conduct of him who is to suffer; it pertains to a moral law and administration, and is directed to moral ends. Who can suppose that a debt of this kind, that is, an obligation to suffer punishment for the violation of a moral law, is attended throughout with the same circumstances with a pecuniary debt? When a man’s pecuniary debt is paid, or when that is done which his creditor accepts in lieu of it, he is no longer liable to be called upon for payment, and it would be unjust and oppressive in his creditor to require payment. But this is not true in regard to the atonement, which does, in a certain sense, pay the debt of sinners. Their ill desert is neither taken away nor diminished. Nor would it be any injustice to them, if God should inflict punishment. This all believers acknowledge and feel. The atonement gives them no personal claim to salvation. They cannot demand it as what is due to them on the ground of justice. They cannot say, they should be treated unjustly, or as they do not deserve, if they should not be saved. The atonement was never designed to put sinners in this condition, and to make salvation a matter of debt to them. God provided the propitiation–that he might be just while he justifies believers; not that he might be obliged in justice to save them, but that he might graciously save them, might save them contrary to their personal desert, and yet do it consistently with the honor of his justice. The death of Christ prepared the way for believing sinners to be pardoned and saved by grace. It was never intended to prepare the way for any to be saved without faith, nor even for believers to be saved in any other way than by the abounding of divine grace.

Leonard Woods, “Lectures,” in The Works of Leonard Woods, (Boston: John P. Jewett & Company, 1851), 2: 475-476. [Italics original and underlining mine.]


3. In that they say: For whom Christ died, for them he made full satisfaction for their sins, as the Apostle shows, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace” [Ephes. 1:7, Coloss. 1:14.]. But Christ made not any satisfaction for the sins of the reprobate, for if he had, then God in justice could not punish them for those sins for which Christ had fully satisfied, therefore, it cannot be that Christ died for reprobates.

The wicked
condemned for
not applying
the merits
of Christ.

I answer: that Christ made sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the reprobates, and yet God in his justice may punish them, for want of application of the merits of Christ: for as the patient may well perish though the physic be made for him, if he does not receive & apply the same unto himself. As S. Augustine shows, that we were all sick of sin, and the heavenly Physician descended unto us, and brought us heavenly physic, imo phamaca benedicta, even the most blessed medicines: yet, merito perijt agrotus, the sick man may well perish, if he does not receive and apply this heavenly physic unto himself, even so though Christ died for them, and made satisfaction for their sins, yet they be most justly condemned, for not receiving and applying the same unto themselves, but to suffer το λυδον υαγα,1 this great price, to be ineffectual unto them.

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I. We must take heed of mistakes about, pardon of sin.
1st Mistake, that our sins are pardoned, when they are not.

Qu. Whence is this mistake?
Ans.. From two grounds.

1. Because God is merciful.
Ans.. God’s being merciful, shows, that a man’s sins are pardonable. But there is a great deal of difference between sins pardonable and sins pardoned; thy sins may be pardonable, yet not pardoned. Though God be merciful, yet who is God’s mercy for? Not for the presuming sinner but the repenting sinner. Such as go on in sin, cannot lay claim to it. God’s mercy is like the ark, none but the priests, might touch the ark; none but such as are spiritual priests, sacrificing their sins, may touch this ark of God’s mercy.

2. Because Christ died for their sins, therefore they are forgiven.Ans.. That Christ died for remission of sin is true; but, that, therefore, all have remission is false; then Judas should be forgiven. Remission is limited to believers, Acts xiii. 39. “By him all that believe are justified;” but all do not believe: some slight and trample Christ’s blood under foot, Heb. x. 29. So that, notwithstanding Christ’s death, all are not pardoned. Take heed of this dangerous mistake. Who will seek after pardon, that thinks he has it already?

Thomas Watson, Body of Divinity (Berwick: Printed by and for W. George, 1806), 2:294. [Some spelling modernized, italics original; and underlining mine.]

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1) (6.25) But are you afraid of the uncertain twists of life and the plots of the adversary? You have the help of God, you have His great liberality, so great that He did not spare His own Son on your behalf.1 Scripture made use of a beautiful expression to proclaim the holy purpose toward you of God the Father, who offered His Son to death. The Son could not feel death’s bitterness, because He was in the Father; for Himself He gave up nothing, on your behalf He offered everything. In the fullness of His divinity2 He lost nothing, while He redeemed you. Think upon the Father’s love. It is a matter of His goodness that He accepted the danger, so to speak, to His Son, who was going to die, and in a manner drained the sorrowful cup of bereavement, so that the advantage of redemption would not be lost to you. The Lord had such mighty zeal for your salvation that He came close to endangering what was His, while He was gaining you. On account of you He took on our losses, to introduce you to things divine, to consecrate you to the things of heaven. Scripture said, too, in a marvelous fashion,”He has delivered him for us all,”3 to show that God so loves all men that He delivered His most beloved Son for each one. For men, therefore, He has given the gift that is above all gifts; is it possible that He has not given all things in that gift? God, who has given the Author of all things,4 has held back nothing.

(6.26) Therefore, let us not be afraid that anything can be denied us. We ought not have any distrust whatever over the continuance of God’s generosity. So long and continuous has it been, and so abundant, that God first predestined us and then called us. Those whom He called, He also justified; those whom He justified, He also glorified.5 Can He abandon those whom He has honored with His mighty benefits even to the point of their reward? Amid so many benefits from God, ought we to be afraid of certain plots of our accuser? But who would dare to accuse those who, as he sees, have been chosen by the judgment of God? God the Father Himself, who has bestowed His gifts-can He make them void? Can He exile from His paternal love and favor those whom He took up by way of adoption? But fear exists that the judge may be too harsh-think upon Him that you have as your judge. For the Father has given every judgment to Christ.6 Can Christ then condemn you, when He redeemed you from death and offered Himself on your behalf, and when He knows that your life is what was gained by His death? ‘Will He not say, “What profit is there in my blood,7 if I condemn the man whom I myself have saved?” Moreover, you are thinking of Him as a judge; you are not thinking of Him as an advocate. But can He give a sentence that is very harsh when He prays continually that the grace of reconciliation with the Father be granted us?

Ambrose, “Jacob and the Happy Life,” in Seven Exegetical Works, trans. Michael P. McHugh (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1972), 135-136. [Underlining mine; footnote values modified; footnote content original.]

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Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) on the Double Payment Fallacy

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism



[26] Furthermore, if Christ made satisfaction enough for the sins of the human race, it seems unjust that men still suffer the penalties which were brought in, Scripture says, by sin. Summa Contra Gentiles 4.53.26.


[29] Granted, of course, that Christ has sufficiently satisfied for the sins of the human race by His death, as the twenty-sixth argument proposed, every single one, for all that, must seek the remedies of his own salvation. For the death of Christ is, so to say, a kind of universal cause of salvation, as the sin of the first man was a kind of universal cause of damnation. But a universal cause must be applied specially to each one, that he may receive the effect of the universal cause. The effect then, of the sin of the first parent comes to each one in the origin of the flesh, but the effect of the death of Christ comes to each one in a spiritual regeneration in which the man is somehow conjoined with Christ arid incorporated into Him. And for this reason each must seek to be regenerated through Christ, and must himself undertake to do those things in which, the power of Christ’s death operates. Summa Contra Gentiles 4.55.29. [Underlining mine and bracketed inserts mine.]

[1) For further explication, compare Ursinus, and Davenant, or Dabney. 2) In short, Aquinas here affirms that while Christ is the cause of salvation for all men, and in other places that Christ suffered for all men, nonetheless, the application of the benefit of Christ’s passion is conditional. Therefore, if someone for whom Christ suffers fails to meet the requisite condition, that man will be punished in his own person for his own sin. Hence, there is no injustice in the second punishment for the same sin.]