“It is far less humbling for an offender to be pardoned at his own request than through the interposition of a third person; for, in the one case, he may be led to think that it was his virtue and penitence which influenced the decision; whereas, in the other, he is compelled to feel his own unworthiness: and this may be one reason why the mediation of Christ is so offensive. It is no wonder, indeed, that those who deny humility to be a virtue should be disgusted with a doctrine the professed object of which is to abase the pride of man.
As forgiveness without a mediator is less humbling to the offender, so it provides less for the honour of the offended, than a contrary proceeding. Many a compassionate heart has longed to go forth, like David towards Absalom ; but, from a just sense of wounded authority, could not tell how to effect it; and has greatly desired that some common friend would interpose, to save his honour. He has wished to remit the sentence, but has felt the want of a mediator, at the instance of whom he might give effect to his desires, and exercise mercy without seeming to be regardless of justice. An offender who should object to a mediator would be justly considered as hardened in impenitence, and regardless of the honour of the offended; and it is difficult to say what other construction can be put upon the objections of sinners to the mediation of Christ.”
Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.