« AnteriorContinuar »
Licmus lies buried in a marble tomb; Cato in a mean one;
And hence Ulysses is introduced by Euripides, expressing his horror of the gormandizing of the man-devouring Cyclops, in these verses :e
0, Jupiter, behold such violations of hospitality, for if thou regardest them not, thou art in vain accounted Jupiter; for thou canst be no god,
Beyond any doubt, the audacity of these abandoned triflers, who would wish to seem to act the mad part with a show of reason, is more akin to the madness of atheism, than to the folly of ascribing to the god whom they worship and acknowledge such attributes as would not only be unworthy, but disgraceful to him. Protagoras, therefore, not comprehending the justice of God, in respect of his government, hath written, 'With regard to the gods, I do not know whether they exist, or do not exist.' Yet, even among the Gentiles themselves, and those who were destitute of the true knowledge of the true God (for they, in some sense, were without God in the world), writers have not been wanting/ who have endeavoured, by serious and forcible arguments, to unravel the difficulty respecting the contrary lots of good and bad men in this life. Our first idea, therefore, of the Divine Being, and the natural conceptions of all men, demand and enforce the necessity of justice being ascribed to God. To be eloquent then in so easy a cause, or to triumph with arguments on a matter so universally acknow-' ledged, we have neither leisure nor inclination. What, and' of what kind the peculiar quality and nature of sin-punishing justice is, shall now be briefly explained. And that we may do this with the greater perspicuity and force of evidence, a few observations seem necessary to be premised concerning justice in general, and its more commonly received divisions. . '•• '•'> (" •
The philosopher, Aristotle, long ago, as is well known, hath divided justice into universal and particular. concerning the former, he says, that he might compare it to the celebrated saying, 'Injustice every virtue is summarily comprehended.' And he affirms, that it in nowise differs from
« Eurip. in Cyclop, ver. 350.
VOL. IX. 2 A
virtue in general, unless in respect of its relation to another being.
But, he says, that particular justice is a synonimous part thereof, which he again distinguishes into distributive and commutative.8 The schoolmen too agreeing with him, which is rather surprising, divide the divine justice into universal and particular. For that excellence, say they, is spoken of God and man by way of analogy :h nor is it like that bird mentioned by Homer, which goes by a double name; by one among mortals, by another among the immortals;
The gods call it Chalcis, but men, Cumindis.—Hom.
But is understood as existing in God principally, as in the first analogized1 being. Nor do later divines dissent from them: nay, all of them, who have made the divine attributes the subject of their contemplations, have, by their unanimous voice, approved of this distinction, and given their suffrages in its favour.
But farther they assert, that particular justice, in respect of its exercise, consists either in what is said, or in what is done. That which is displayed in things said, in commands, is equity; in declarations, truth; both which the Holy Scriptures11 do sometimes point out under the title of Divine Justice. But the justice which respects things done, is either that of government, or jurisdiction, or judgment: and this again they affirm to be either remunerative, or corrective; but that corrective is either castigatory, or vindicatory. With the last member of this last distinction, I begin this work: and yet, indeed, although the most learned of our divines, in later ages, have assented to this distribution of divine justice into these various significations, it seems proper to me to proceed in a manner somewhat different, and more suited to our purpose.
I say then, that the justice of God may be considered in a twofold manner.
s That which relates to fair exchange.
h Analogy means a resemblance between things with regard to some qualities or circumstances, properties or effects, though not in all.
* That is, the first being whose perfections have been explained by analogy: or, by tracing a resemblance between these perfections and something like them in ourselves, in kind or sort, though differing infinitely with respect to manner and degree.
k Rom. i. 14. iii. 21. Ezra 'u. 15. Neh. ix. 8, &c. &c.
First, Absolutely, and in itself. .
Secondly, In respect of its egress and exercise.
First. The justice of God, absolutely considered, is the universal rectitude and perfection of the divine nature: for such is the divine nature antecedent to all acts of his will, and suppositions of objects towards which it might operate. This excellence is most universal: nor from its own nature, ,as an excellence, can it belong1 to any other being.
Secondly. It is to be viewed with respect to its egress and exercise. And thus, in the order of nature, it is considered as consequent, or at least as concomitant to some acts of the divine will, assigning or appointing to it a proper object. Hence that rectitude, which in itself is an absolute property of the divine nature, is considered as a relative and hypothetical"1 attribute, and has a certain habitude to its proper objects.
That is to say, this rectitude, or universal justice, has certain egresses towards objects out of itself, in consequence of the divine will, and in a manner agreeable to the rule of his supreme right and wisdom, namely, when some object of justice is supposed and appointed (which object must necessarily depend on the mere good pleasure of God, because it was possible it might never have existed at all; God notwithstanding continuing just and righteous to all eternity); and these egresses are twofold.
1. They are absolute and perfectly free, viz. in words.
2. They are necessary, viz. in actions.
For the justice of God is neither altogether one of that kind of perfections, which create and constitute an object to themselves, as power and wisdom do: nor of that kind which not only require an object for their exercise, but one peculiarly affected and circumstanced, as mercy, patience and forbearance do; but may be considered in both points of view, as shall be more fully demonstrated hereafter.
1. For, first, it has absolute egresses in words (constituting, and as it were creating an object to itself); as for instance, in words of legislation, and is then called equity; or in words of declaration and narration, and is then called truth. Both these," I suppose for the present, to take place absolutely and freely. Whether God hath necessarily prescribed a law to his rational creatures, at least one accompanied with threats and promises, is another consideration. 2- There are respective egresses of this justice in deeds, and according to the distinctions above-mentioned; that is ^> $*t. it U exercised either in the government of all a rngs. recording to what is due to them by the counsel and wZ •;€* God; or, in judgments rewarding, or punishing, acccc-LjiE w> the role of his right and wisdom, which also a*- ae nle ,il eqoirv in legislation, and of truth in the de■aaracunx xataexed. In respect of these," I call the egresses re" rte arose xsriee necessary, and such that they could not lowsioor W otherwise, which, by divine help, I shall prove ieRsrhsr. And this is the same as saying, that vindicatory -osco; 3* so oaxaral to God, that sin being supposed, he ^tanuc iorcrii^c u the rule of his right, wisdom, and truth, We 7«msh ;i. Bat antecedent to this whole exercise of the it'tre isece. I >appose a natural right, which indispensably swroxrss tie ieoendance and moral subjection of the rational jre*rare. .a Go«i. ill the egresses of whose justice, in words, ^joeim an. arrest of judgment till farther trial, in respect of
i Or, have a respect to any other being. m Conditional.
"Viz. The egresses in words of legislation ; and in words of declaration and nirration.
»* 3cw dhjtt i^pears, that all these distinctions of divine
tascor. rqgpect it act as considered in itself, but its egresses
**£ «setcise oarc; to make which clear, was the reason that
I <£ep«*t*d from the beaten track. Nay, perhaps, it would
W * irdicitlT stutter to assign any virtue to God, but in the
SpHnu^, «oJ[ ao* as having any specific ratio p of any virtue;
»wc Jt>t; waich answers to the ratio of any particular virtue
tt v. «Ai, cocsjsts in the exercise of the same. For instance,
****vy w properhr attributed to God, so far as it denotes the
^^-^wss perfection in the will of God; the particular ratio
•**" ~t<*«-.v;v of which, vix. a disposition of assisting the mi
**e*&»Vv with a compassion of their misery, is found not
tetv^eft'j^f- 3^ ^ some, as to others, altogether and only in
"*** *-.Vftv4i$e of the above-mentioned perfection ;<" but it is
Mkk$«?» its t** jp?T*i»Bient of things according to wliRt is due to
^Mtv.'jt'taR ■'»'; »*• in judgments rewarding or punishing, accord
.fco^tfciujj sort or quality. .-- .
|jaiaM>K ■"** °f ^ad> "" Particu'ar qnality of mercy, viz.
ible with a compassion of their misery, is not wholly found, because there are many of mankind towards whom this disposition of assisting is never effectually exerted; but in the pardoning mercy of God to bis people, it is fully and gloriously displayed.
called a proper attribute of God, because, by means of it, some operation is performed agreeable to the nature of God, which, in respect of his other attributes, his will would not produce. This kind, therefore, of the divine attributes, because they have proper and formal objects, thence only derive their formal and specific ratios. But all these observations upon justice must be briefly examined and explained, that we may arrive at the point intended.
The universal justice of God. The idle fancies of the schoolmen. The arguments of Durandus against commutative justice. Suarez's censure of the scholastic reasonings. His opinion of divine justice. The examination of it. A description of universal justice from the sacred writings. A divisionofit in respect of its egress. Rectitude of government in God. What, and of what kind. Definitions of the philosophers and lawyers. Divisions of the justice of government. A caution respecting theseVindicatory justice. The opinions of the partisans. An explication itf the true opinion. Who the adversaries are. The state of the controversy farther considered.
We are first then briefly to treat of the universal justice of God; or of his justice considered in itself, and absolutely, which contains in it all the divine excellencies. The schoolmen, treading in the steps of the philosophers, who have acknowledged no kind of justice which has not naturally some respect to another object, are for the most part silent concerning this justice. And once, by the way to take notice of these, on this as almost on every other subject, they are strangely divided. Duns Scotus, Durandus, and Poludamus, deny that there is commutative justice in God."
For the master of the sentences himself calls God an impartial and just distributor, but says not a word'of commutation. Thomas Aquinas,b and Cajetan, do the same ; though the latter says, 'that some degree of commutative justice is
> Palud. on the Sent, book 4. distinct. 46.
b Thomas, first page of quest. 21. and Cajetan, 2. S. qu. 61. A. 4.