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Justice

Sin, the existent occasion for an atonement, we say, can find no solution of the difficulty it presents to the human mind apart from divine sovereignty. Philosophers have speculated very foolishly on this subject, fanatics have very madly raved about it, and the friends of God have very impertinently apologized for the conduct of the Lord of all about it; but after all, the fact remains just where the philosopher, the fanatic, and the friend found it, and just what that fact was, a judgment of divine sovereignty that is unsearchable, and a way that is past finding out.

Reasoning on the ways of God as the great moral Governor, it has been thought…

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In entering on this subject it seems proper to remark that in all government there must be law, by which obedience and disobedience may be known. But there is a difference between arbitrary and moral government. In an arbitrary government, laws may be established which have not the sanction of the moral judgment; and if such be the case anywhere in fact, justice will have no place there. A breach of law which has no moral sanction…

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II. There is a punishing of the disobedient. Justice and vengeance differ. Strictly speaking, there is no vengeance in God, nor does this passion form an element of justice. Vengeance, properly so called, can only be sated by the pain or injury desired to be inflicted upon the person himself against whom the fury of the avenger burns. It wholly declines the offices of a substitute if any such are offered. It steadily and sternly refuses to be pacified by the suffering or injury of another than its proper victim. If in the wildness of its rage it strikes at any relation of its object, this is simply on the ground of…

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Retribution, in reference to the atonement, is altogether necessary to the satisfaction of all parties concerned therein.

First, it is necessary to the great Fountain of justice, its Administrator, and the Guardian of its rights. If the Sovereign makes a provision for sinners by grace unknown to the law, the Lawgiver will part with none of his claims in favour of the gracious transaction. God, the Fountain of justice, be it reverently spoken, must have his own moral judgment satisfied in any atonement which…

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If it be the province of justice to give to every one his due, to reward the meritorious must be one of its obligations. The reward of Christ, as the atoning Substitute of his people, comes within this province of justice, and presents the most illustrious example of its giving to the meritorious his due. But before entering on this subject, it seems necessary we should try to understand the meaning of the word merit, and how merit itself arises.

“Those deeds are meritorious which, without or beyond personal obligation,” are performed for the sake of the benefit of others. But meritorious deeds…

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III. Justice will reward Jesus according to the right he meritoriously acquired.

A design was determined on. A compact was projected. Terms were settled. Stipulations and restipulations were made. A responsibility was under-taken. The obligations of that responsibility, so far as a valid expiation of sins to the extent of his representative capacity went, were all discharged when Jesus gave up the ghost. A right was acquired. Speaking by anticipation, the Saviour sued for his acquired right in the opening of that wondrous address of his to his Father on the eve of his death…

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By mercy, as it is manifested through the atonement of Christ, we understand that particular phase of the character of God which is made to appear when favour, in an appropriate form, is extended to one who is miser-able through being criminal.

It has been the prevailing fashion, the propriety of which we do not question, to personify the justice and mercy of God when speaking of these qualities in connection with the salvation of sinners. But it has been also an almost equally prevailing fashion, the propriety of which we do very much question, to speak of justice and mercy as having dissimilar and conflicting interests. To our mind their interests are identical and harmonious. Salvation is the interest of both, and each has an equal interest…

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The justice of God may be considered either immanently, as it is in Himself, which is, properly speaking, the same with His holiness; or transiently and relatively, as it respects His right conduct towards His creatures, which is properly justice. By the former He is all that is holy, just and good; by the latter, He is manifested to be so in all His dealings with angels and men. For the first, see . . .

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Position 2.—Some men were, from all eternity, not only negatively excepted from a participation of Christ and His salvation, but positively ordained to continue in their natural blindness, hardness of heart, etc., and that by the just judgment of God. (See Exod. 9; 1 Sam. 2:25; 2 Sam. 17:14; Isa. 6:9-11; 2 Thess. 2:11,12.) Nor can these places of Scripture, with many others of like import, be understood of an involuntary permission…

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The Wisdom and Knowledge of God: Psalm 139: “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. . .

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