Eternal Punishment

I often recall a good saying of the quondam infidel, Thomas Cooper: “When the belief of eternal punishment is given up, then the eternal demerit of sin has faded from a man’s conscience; and what consistency can he see in the doctrine of Christ’s atonement?”

That is, I think, a most pregnant statement. He connects sin, atonement, and punishment, and views them in the eternity of their co-relations, so that what is true of one is true of all. If sin be a trifle, then so is atonement, and therefore also punishment. But if sin be what Scripture says, and to which a groaning creation of 6000 years of sorrow bears awful witness, then punishment is infinite, as also the value of the atoning sacrifice. Sin and the sin-offering are necessary antitheses of one another, and the offering must balance the sin. Thank God He has done so! Oh, may we humbly, but firmly, hold the eternal worth of that sacrifice, and measure all else by Him! “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”