be conceived independently of the divine center of the moral world than is levelness comprehensible apart from the earth?s center??
Since God finds the rule and limitation of his action solely in his own being, and his love is conditioned by his holiness, we must differ from such views as that of Moxom: ?Whether we define God?s nature as perfect holiness or perfect love is immaterial, since his nature is manifested only through his action, that is, through his relation to other beings. Most of our reasoning on the divine standard of righteousness, or the ultimate ground of moral obligation, is reasoning in a circle, since we must always go back to God for the principle of his action; which principle we can know only by means of his action. God, the perfectly righteous Being, is the ideal standard of human righteousness. Righteousness in man therefore is conformity to the nature of God. God, in agreement with his perfect nature, always wills the perfectly good toward man. His righteousness is an expression of his love; his love is a manifestation of his righteousness.?
So Newman Smyth: ?Righteousness is the eternal genuineness of the divine love. It is not therefore an independent excellence, to be contrasted with, or even put in opposition to, benevolence; it is an essential part of love.? In reply to which we urge as before that that which is the object of love, that which limits and conditions love, that which furnishes the norm and reason for love, cannot itself be love, nor hold merely equal rank with love, A double standard is as irrational in ethics as in commerce, and it leads in ethics to the same debasement of the higher values, and the same unsettling of relations, as has resulted in our currency from the attempt to make silver regulate gold at the same time that gold regulates silver.
B. The Scriptural View ? According to the Scriptures, the ground of moral obligation is the holiness of God, or the moral perfection of the divine nature, conformity to which is the law of our moral being (Robinson, Chalmers, Calderwood, Gregory, Wuttke) We show this:
(a) From the commands: ?Ye shall be holy,? where the ground of obligation assigned is simply and only: ?for I am holy? ( <600116>1 Peter 1:16); and ?Ye therefore shall be perfect,? where the standard laid down is: ?as your heavenly Father is perfect? ( <400548>Matthew 5:48). Here we have an ultimate reason and ground for being and doing right, namely, that God is right, or, in other words, that holiness is his nature.
(b) From the nature of the love in which the whole law is summed up ( <402237>Matthew 22:37 ? ?Thou shalt love the Lord thy God?; <451310>Romans
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