Clarke, Christian Theology, 83, 92 ? ?God would not be holy if he were not love, and could not be love if he were not holy. Love is an element in holiness. If this were lacking, there would be no perfect character as principle of his own action or as standard for us. On the other hand only the perfect being can be love. God must be free from all taint of selfishness in order to be love. Holiness requires God to act as love, for holiness Is God?s self-consistency. Love is the desire to impart holiness. Holiness makes God?s character the standard for his creatures; but love, desiring to impart the best good, does the same. All work of love is work of holiness, and all work of holiness Is work of love. Conflict of attributes is impossible, because holiness always includes love, and love always expresses holiness. They never need reconciliation with each other.?
The general correctness of the foregoing statement is impaired by the vagueness of its conception of holiness. The Scriptures do not regard holiness as including love, or make all the acts of holiness to be acts of love. Self-affirmation does not include self-impartation, and sin necessitates an exercise of holiness which is not also an exercise of love. But for the Cross and God?s suffering for sin of which the Cross is the expression, there would be conflict between holiness and love. The wisdom of God is most shown, not in reconciling man and God, but in reconciling the holy God with the loving God.
1. Holiness the fundamental attribute in God.
That holiness is the fundamental attribute in God, is evident:
(a) From Scripture ? in which God?s holiness is not only most constantly and powerfully impressed upon the attention of man, but is declared to be the chief subject of rejoicing and adoration in heaven.
It is God?s attribute of holiness that first and most prominently presents itself to the mind of the sinner, and conscience only follows the method of Scripture: <600116>1 Peter 1:16 ? ?Ye shall be holy; for I am holy?;
<581214> Hebrews 12:14 ? ?the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord?; cf. <420508>Luke 5:8 ? ?Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.? Yet this constant insistence upon holiness cannot be due simply to man?s present state of sin, for in heaven, where there is no sin, there is the same reiteration: <230603>Isaiah 6:3 ? ?Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts?; <660408> Revelation 4:8 ? ?Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty.? Of no other attribute is it said that God?s throne rests upon it: <199702>Psalm 97:2 ? ?Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne?; 99:4, 5, 9 ? ?The king?s strength also loveth justice? Exalt ye Jehovah
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