Object. VII. From the injustice that seems to be in this universal death of Christ for all, such are unjustly dealt with for whom life and salvation is merited and purchased, who are denied that which is merited for them. But life and salvation tho’ merited by Christ. is yet denied to many who are never saved, therefore is the Lord unjust who thus dealt with them: Again, he that takes double satisfaction for one and the self same debt he is unjust; but if Christ satisfied for the reprobate then there is double Satisfaction, one made by Christ on the cross, another by reprobates in hell, therefore, &c.

Answ. Neither from Christ’s merit, nor from the damnation of reprobates can injustice be imputed to God.

For (1.) He that denies a favor procured to a person, bought and merited by a friend does not injustice, if by the consent and advice of the friend it be procured to be conferred only on such and such means and conditions which these for whom it is procured thro’ their own fault slight, were it procured to be absolutely conferred, there were Injustice in denying it, or suspending it upon any conditions. Now, he that bought such a favor may in any way he please without any breach of justice: therefore seeing reprobates believe not, which was the very terms on which the purchaser condescended and willed that the favor purchased be conferred on them, it is not unjust in God to deny them what was merited for them, because it was not merited to be given them absolutely whether they believed or not, but only upon their believing.

As to the second, the injustice redounding on the account of double satisfaction, here is no ground at all to charge the most righteous God with injustice; for grant the double satisfaction to be given (and yet reprobates never come to satisfy for the least of their sins in hell) yet I fay that in some cases, double satisfaction is not injustice, and especially in these four cases which hold here,

(1.) In case the satisfaction made and ransom paid by consent of both the payer, and he to whom it was paid, was not to liberate the man absolutely but conditionally, then and in that case by the mutual consent of both parties, especially the payer if the condition be not performed, then either the principal or the cautioner who has paid once may take and seek satisfaction of him that performs not the condition. Now the satisfaction made by Christ for sin, was only to take place as to the creatures actual salvation in so far as it is received and thankfully accepted by faith by the creature and no otherwise: Hence unbelievers and rejecters of Christ may justly be called to an account, in respect the condition is not performed by them, by the Lord Christ who procured this pardon and satisfied divine justice, and might so procure it as to apply it any manner of way it seemed good to him; and to deny Christ this, and put him under a necessity of actual liberation of all such as he hath paid the ransom for; and that ex natura rei, is is both unjust, and to restrict him stricklier then we do mere men, who tho’ they pay the debt of their own accord for which poisoners are incarcerated, are not therefore bound to take them out, and especially if they refuse to come out, but may leave them there without the least injustice. Suppose the young Prince suffer some punishment by which the law is sufficiently satisfied for a malefactor ready to be executed; but a pardon is procured thro’ the satisfaction made by the Prince, and his mediation with his Father, and the malefactor to be let go, and enjoy the privilege of other subjects upon this condition and no otherwise, that he thankfully accept the purchased pardon when offered him, it cannot be denied I fay, but if the malefactor refuse the offered pardon, tear and trample it under his feet, that then and in that case, notwithstanding of any former satisfaction made by the Prince, the malefactor may buffer punishment as if there had no such satisfaction been made (the Prince always contenting) and if this be just among men, shall it be unjust to him who is higher then the highest and doth what he will?

A second case in which double satisfaction is not unjust, is, when it is not exacted of one and the same person; to make one man pay the same sum he owes two times is unjust; true, and the Lord doth not so, he takes not double payment of the sinner himself, but it is from Christ and the sinner, from the surety and the principal, if especially it be considered that there is a third case in which double satisfaction is not unjust, and that is, in case this double satisfaction be not made to one and the same person. For one and the self-same person to exact payment of the surety and then likewise of the principal for the same debt looks among men unjust, if not done with the surety’s will and consent who may make use of any man’s name he will to recover payment; and if satisfaction be not made to one and the same person, there is nothing more ordinary and more allowable among it men, then double satisfaction, that is, satisfaction by the surety to the principal creditor, and satisfaction of the fame debt of the principal debtor to the surety again: If this be the case in the matter of redemption, it cannot be said to be unjust; for it is the person of the Father to whom Christ made satisfaction, and it is the person of the Son to whom satisfaction in hell is made by reprobates (for the Father judges no man) now these are two distinct persons, tho’ essentially they be the same. Now, tho’ all works ad extra belong to the three persons efficient er, for all the three persons did concur and decern and assist in the work of creation, redemption, incarnation, damnation, justification and salvation: Yet are not these extrinsical operations terminatively considered, common to all the three persons, for it cannot be said the Father was incarnate, tho’ he with the Holy Ghost did concur to the work of incarnation, yet was it terminate to the Son only: The garment of the human nature with which the Son was clothed was indeed wrought by all the three persons efficiently, yet it was the Son only that did put it on, and not the Father and the Holy Ghost: So likewise, tho’ all the three persons did concur efficiently to the satisfaction made by Christ, yet was it terminated only to the Father personally considered, so as it was the person of the Father that was satisfied, and not the person of either the Son, or Holy Ghost, as Mr. Shepherd judiciously affirms in his Select Cases, pag, 29. So the satisfaction that reprobates make in hell however efficiently ordered and effected by all the three persons, yet is terminated only to the person of the Son, John xiii. 3, and v. 23. Psal ii. 8, 9. Therefore this double satisfaction is not made to one person, but unto two distinct persons, viz. to the person of God the Father, by Christ the surety, and to the surety by the sinner himself; here is no injustice, especially seeing it’s not one and the fame person that makes the satisfaction, or of whom it is exacted.

A fourth case in which double satisfaction is not unjust, is, In case the person that exacts it be above all law, and if his own will and sovereign pleasure be the rule of all equity and justice; now it is fo in this case, God’s will is the rule of all equity, and he may do what he will; if therefore he had been pleased to exact twenty satisfactions he could not be unjust, for in that he willed it, it was therefore just: And he that without the least stain of iniquity exacted of Christ his life for sin, a price that did far exceed the demerit cf the elect, and was of such value as might satisfy for the sin of a thousand worlds, why, may he not exact over and above what Christ (offered for Reprobates, even another kind of satisfaction from them in hell? Not because he was not fully satisfied by Christ, but to manifest his justice in diverse and various manner, and the Lord is not articled to one way of making his wrath and power known, but may use various means for that effect, tho’ all did appear most eminently in the Death of Christ: If he took an overplus of satisfaction from Christ, Why may he not take it from reprobate?

And finally, I ask seeing Christ satisfied for all the sins of the elect, how does the law and justice of God punish the elect before conversion for sins committed by them, and that as the effects of the law; and seeing Adam’s first sin is satisfied for, how comes that sin by law to be imputed to them, to defile the elect with original corruption? How comes law-terrors, law-threatnings, law irritations of corruption to be inflicted before conversion upon the conscience of the elect? Grant that after conversion, the death of the first husband, and our marriage with the second husband, all these evils proceed from a second covenant, are fruits of the second husband: Yet while the law lives until we be married to Christ by faith, while we are under it and not under grace, how comes it to punish and exact satisfaction in the elect for these sins for which Christ without doubt has satisfied? Shall they suffer and Christ, too, and that without violation of justice? And may not reprobates suffer law punishments in a higher measure in hell eternally, tho’ Christ satisfied justice for the fame sins for which they suffer? Why, just in the one case, and not in the other: More or less punishments either as to measure of sufferings or duration of longer or shorter time do not vary the kind, it may make it more or less just, but it cannot make a thing simply or absolutely equal or unequal, and the infinitely holy God cannot be charged with the least injustice, Zeph. iii 5. Hab. i. 13.

James Fraser (of Brea) A Treatise on Justifying Faith, Wherein is Opened the Grounds of Believing, or the Sinner’s Sufficient Warrant to take Hold of what is Offered in the Everlasting Gospel: Together with an Appendix Concerning the Extent of Christ’s Death, Unfolding the Dangerous and Various Pernicious Errors that hath been Vented about it (Edinburgh: Printed and sold by William Gray at Magdalen’s Chappel within the Cowgate Head, 1749), 227-231. [Some spelling modernized; some reformatting, italics original; and underlining mine.]

This entry was posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 9:01 am and is filed under Double Jeopardy/Double Payment Fallacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far


This is an excellent piece, but particularly the bit about Christ satisfying the debt incurred under the Old Covenant of Law to the Father on our behalf, then turning around and making a new covenant with us, to satisfy Him. “Kiss the Son lest He become angry” because it’s to Him we owe. Once you put it that way it makes perfect sense how God could demand a double payment.

I don’t know why I never thought of that before.

April 10th, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hey Phil,

Yeah he has some interesting things going on. Its a little uneven in quality, and for sure a lot of his answers are not bullet-proof and would be easily dismissed by strict limited satisfaction advocates. Nonetheless I think it is important supplemental and complimentary reading, say after Davenant, Baxter, Polhill, and other classics from the 17th century. I think to it would compliment the read of Douby, Lightner and others from the mid-20th century.

I will be blogging some other sections in the days to come.

April 10th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

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