A God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deut. 32: 4. A just God and savior. Isa. 45: 21. Who will render to every man according to his deeds. Rom. 2: 6.
God will not judge for unbelief but for "deeds." Hence, as each has done good and evil, each is to be, at the same time, forever happy and forever wretched, or all rewards and punishments must be temporal. Justice requires obedience. Justice demands that every mortal being should receive the full measure of his desert. If all deserve endless punishment, all must be forever miserable, or God will work eternal injustice on those who escape the penalty, and as no soul will ever be able to suffer endless torment, so no soul will ever be justly punished. If endless torment be the just penalty of God's law, justice can never be administered to any.
O man, what does the Lord require of you but to deal justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6: 8.
Will he require men to do justly, and then compel them forever to deal unjustly? Could he love and demand justice, and issue a just law, and then affix a penalty that would insure its defeat, and perpetuate injustice?
God Almighty, just and true are your ways, you king of Saints. Rev. 15: 3. Justice and judgment are the habitation of your throne. Ps. 89: 14.
The law of God and the object of justice is to convert men.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Ps.19: 7. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. 13: 10. For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matt. 5: 18. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. 1 Tim. 1: 5. Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, this is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt. 22: 36-40.
All men are to receive strictly according to their works. If it is just to punish sinners forever, then all souls must be damned. And as all are to be dealt justly by, it follows, if any are to be saved, that endless punishment cannot be the just due of any one. As all have performed both good and evil deeds, all have merited both endless happiness and endless torment. Can men then accuse God of so stultifying himself as to make his law a failure by annexing a penalty that shall forever prevent its fulfillment? But justice is satisfied here, without an infinite penalty.
Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God. Speak you comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. Isa. 40: 1, 2.
Here the law was satisfied with a temporal penalty, therefore it does not require an endless one. Hence we are taught that God fully punishes the sinner, and then forgives his sins.
You were a God that forgave them, though you took vengeance of their inventions. Ps. 99: 8.
That is, justly punished and then mercifully forgave. Justice can only be satisfied with universal obedience to God's law. Therefore it cannot demand the infliction of endless torment but must forever insist on obedience, and forever labor to secure it.
Justice can only be satisfied when all men do justly. It requires all men to love God, and cannot therefore be satisfied with anything less than universal obedience. Endless punishment would defeat the demands of justice, and would be unjust, and is therefore impossible. Justice is identical with mercy and demands the same. The divine law will always be binding on all moral beings, therefore, God's attribute of justice can only result in universal holiness, so that the fact that God is just is a guaranty that the infamous injustice of endless sin and woe can never be perpetrated, but that his just and perfect law will be fulfilled in the conversion of the souls of all mankind. A just finite being secures the prevalence of justice far as he has power.
A just infinite being will not fail to secure universal justice, for he possesses not only the disposition, but the means requisite to that great end.
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