As to his legal relations, the Scriptures clearly teach that, at his creation, he was put under the equitable Covenant of Works for a certain probationary period. This just constitution provided (a) everlasting well-being on condition of perfect obedience, and (b) everlasting ill-being on condition of disobedience. Now, although under that covenant man failed, it is evident that, nevertheless, both of these conditions must be maintained in their integrity. To relax them would be to violate the word of God, to dishonour his law, and to render his promises and his threatenings alike unworthy of respect. The penalty, when once incurred, can be preserved inviolate only by being executed. The promise of everlasting well-being can be truthfully granted only when the condition of perfect obedience has been fulfilled. Suffering a righteous penalty entitles no criminal to a reward; and to offer eternal blessedness to such, on terms denied to unfallen Adam and to all angels, would be placing a premium on sin.
—Archibald Alexander Hodge, The Atonement (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1867), 26.