It is not necessary
that Christ should
the same punishment
which the damned
XV. I know not whether that stubbornness of style wherein they delight in explaining the sufferings of Christ, arises from this, that they think he was so substituted for sinners that he behooved to undergo precisely the same punishment, which was otherwise due to our sins, and which the damned shall suffer in their own persons. Which opinion Owen defends at large in his Prolegomena to the Hebrews, vol. 2. page 80, &c. I profess truly that I agree with those Divines, who believe that the Father demanded from the Son a sufficient ransom indeed, and worthy of his injured majesty; yet so, that all clemency was not excluded, nor was every thing found in Christ’s sufferings, which shall be found in the most righteous punishment of the reprobates. For from his untainted holiness, from the covenant between him and the Father, finally, from the dignity of his Divine person, some things are to be observed in his sufferings, which have no place in the eternal misery of the damned.
There is a great
the one and the
XVI. While impious men, roaring and gnashing their teeth, and raging with diabolical fury against Divine Justice, are forced to undergo the punishment inflicted on them; so much the more grievous for this reason, that they wretchedly weary themselves in vain resistance, and because they are gnawed with the never dying worm of conscience, continually upbraiding them with their crimes; Christ from the purest love to the Divine glory, voluntarily underwent his afflictions, though most grievous, and with a calm submission to his Father’s will, drank the overflowing cup which was mixed to him; and well knowing that nothing befell him on account of his own sins, he enjoyed the serenity of a pure conscience. The rigor of a stubborn law, and the peremptory sentence of an inexorable judge, whereby they are condemned to unavoidable and eternal anguish, being continually before the eyes of the wicked, inconceivably increase the terror of their torments, through horrible despair. But the sharp-sighted and the steadfast faith of Christ, representing to him ever and anon the Father’s most certain promises concerning an inconceivable weight of glory, immediately to follow the most terrible torments indeed, but of short duration, encouraged him to bear them with alacrity, certain of victory, while he was in the most vehement ardor of the combat.
XVII. Neither by asserting these things, which are most evidently true, do we any how detract from the value of Christ’s sufferings, which is to be estimated not from their degree only, nor from their duration, but also from the dignity of the person suffering: since in such pains of our Divine Savior there is a sufficient ransom, and equivalent to the debts of the elect,
Herman Witsius, Conciliatory, or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain (Glasgow: Printed by W. Lang, 1807), 50-52. [Some spelling modernized and Americanized and italics mine.]
Credit to Michael Lynch for the find.