laws, and ideals; and in this aspect it is righteousness? Justice is the consent of the will to the law of love, in its authority, its requirements, and its sanctions. God?s wrath is the necessary reaction of this law of love in the constitution and order of the universe against the willful violator of it, and Christ?s sufferings atone for sin by asserting and maintaining the authority, universality, and inviolability of God?s law of love in his redemption of men and his forgiveness of their sins? Righteousness cannot be the whole of love, for this would shut us up to the merely formal principle of the law without telling us what the law requires. Benevolence cannot be the whole of love, for this would shut us up to hedonism, in the form of utilitarianism, excluding righteousness from the character of God and man.?
Newman Smyth also, in his Christian Ethics, 227-231, tells us that ?love, as self-affirming, is righteousness; as self-imparting, is benevolence; as self-finding in others, is sympathy. Righteousness, as subjective regard for our own moral being, is holiness; as objective regard for the persons of others, is justice. Holiness is involved in love as its essential respect to itself; the heavenly Father is the Holy Father ( <431711>John 17:11). Love contains in its unity a trinity of virtue. Love affirms its own worthiness, imparts to others its good, and finds its life again in the wellbeing of others. The ethical limit of self-impartation is found in self-affirmation. Love in self-bestowal can not become suicidal. The benevolence of love has its moral bounds in the holiness of love. True love in God maintains its transcendence, and excludes pantheism.?
The above doctrine, quoted for substance from Newman Smyth, seems to us unwarrantably to include in love what properly belongs to holiness. It virtually denies that holiness has any independent existence as an attribute of God. To make holiness a manifestation of love seems to us as irrational as to say that self-affirmation is a form of self-impartation. The concession that holiness regulates and limits love shows that holiness cannot itself be love, but must be an independent and superior attribute. Right furnishes the rule and law for love, but it is not true that love furnishes the rule and law for right. There is no such double sovereignty, as this theory would imply. The one attribute that is independent and supreme is holiness, and love is simply the impulse to communicate this holiness.
William Ashmore: ?Dr. Clarke lays great emphasis on the character of ?a good God?? but he is more than a merely good God, he is a just God, and a righteous God, and a holy God ? a God who is ?angry with the wicked,? even while ready to forgive them, if they are willing to repent in
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