starvation. Holiness that is only good will is not holiness at all, for it lacks the essential elements of purity and righteousness.
At the railway switching grounds east of Rochester, there is a man whose duty it is to move a bar of iron two or three inches to the left or to the right. So he determines whether a train shall go toward New York or toward Washington, toward New Orleans or San Francisco. Our conclusion at this point in our theology will similarly determine what our future system will be. The principle that holiness is a manifestation of love, or a form of benevolence, leads to the conclusions that happiness is the only good, and the only end; that law is a mere expedient for the securing of happiness; that penalty is simply deterrent or reformatory in its aim; that no atonement needs to be offered to God for human sin; that eternal retribution cannot be vindicated, since there is no hope of reform. This view ignores the testimony of conscience and of Scripture that sin is intrinsically ill-deserving, and must be punished on that account, not because punishment will work good to the universe, ? indeed, it could not work good to the universe, unless it were just and right in itself. It ignores the fact that mercy is optional with God, while holiness is invariable; that punishment is many times traced to God?s holiness, but never to God?s love; that God is not simply love but light ? moral light ? and therefore is ?a consuming fire? ( <581229>Hebrews 12:29) to all iniquity. Love chastens ( <581206>Hebrews 12:6), but only holiness punishes
( <241024>Jeremiah 10:24 ? ?correct me, but in measure; not in this anger?; Es. 28:22 ? ?I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her?; 36:21, 22 ? in judgment ?I do not this for your sake, but for my holy name?; <6201051 John 1:5 ? ?God is light, and in him is no darkness? ? moral darkness; <661501>Revelation 15:1, 4 ? ?the wrath of God? thou only art holy? thy righteous acts have been made manifest?; 16:5 ? ?righteous art thou? because thou didst thus judge?; 19:2 ? ?true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot?). See Hovey, God with Us, 187-221; Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 2:80-82; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 154, 155, 346-353; Lange, Pos. Dogmatik, 203.
B. Positively, that holiness is
(a) Purity of substance. ? In God?s moral nature, as necessarily acting, there are indeed the two elements of willing and being. But the passive logically precedes the active; being comes before willing; God is pure before he wills purity. Since purity, however, in ordinary usage is a negative term and means only freedom from stain or wrong, we must
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