Relation Of The Law To The Grace Of

In human government, while law is an expression of the will of the governing power, and so of the nature lying behind the will, it is by no means an exhaustive expression of that will and nature. Since it consists only of general ordinances, and leaves room for particular acts of command through the executive, as well as for ?the institution of equity, the faculty of discretionary punishment and the prerogative of pardon.?

Amos, Science of Law, 29-46, shows how ?the institution of equity, the faculty of discretionary punishment and the prerogative of pardon? all involve expressions of will above and beyond what is contained in mere statute. Century Dictionary, on Equity: ?English law had once to do only with property in goods, houses and lands. A man who had none of these might have an interest in a salary, a patent, a contract, a copyright or a security, but a creditor could not at common law levy upon these. When the creditor applied to the crown for redress, a chancellor or keeper of the king?s conscience was appointed, who determined what and how the debtor should pay. Often the debtor was required to put his intangible property into the hands of a receiver and could regain possession of it only when the claim against it was satisfied. These chancellors? courts were called courts of equity and redressed wrongs, which the common law did not provide for. In later times, law and equity are administered for the most part by the same courts. The same court sits at one time as a court of law and at another time as court of equity.? ?Summa lex, summa injuria,? is sometimes true.

Applying now to the divine law this illustration drawn from human law, we remark:

(a) The law of God is a general expression of God?s will, applicable to all moral beings. It therefore does not exclude the possibility of special injunctions to individuals and special acts of wisdom and power in creation and providence. The very specialty of these latter expressions of will prevents us from classing them under the category of law.

Lord Bacon, Confession of Faith:

?The soul of man was not produced by heaven or earth but was breathed immediately from God. The ways and dealings of God with spirits are not included in nature, that is, in the laws of heaven and earth but are reserved to the law of his secret will and grace.?

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