Andrew Fuller Friday: Vindictive Justice (Part 4)

“A capacity to resent an injury is not always considered as a blemish, even in a private character; if it be governed by justice, and aimed at the correction of evil, it is generally allowed to be commendable. We do not esteem the favour of a man, if we consider him as incapable, on all occasions, of resentment. We should call him an easy soul, who is kind merely because he has not sense enough to feel an insult. But shall we allow it right and fit for a puny mortal thus far to know his own worth, and assert it; and, at the same time, deny it to the great Supreme, and plead for his being insulted with impunity?

God, however, in the punishment of sin, is not to be considered as acting in a merely private capacity, but as the universal moral Governor; not as separate from the great system of being, but as connected with it, or as the Head and Guardian of it. Now, in this relation, vindictive justice is not only consistent with the loveliness of his character, but essential to it. Capacity and inclination to punish disorder in a state are never thought to render an earthly prince less lovely in the eyes of his loyal and faithful subjects, but more so. That temper of mind, on the contrary, which should induce him to connive at rebellion, however it might go by the name of benevolence and mercy, would be accounted, by all the friends of good government, injustice to the public; and those who, in such cases, side with the disaffected, and plead their cause, are generally supposed to be tainted with disaffection themselves.”

Excerpt From “The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems Examined and Compared”, 1802

Fuller, Andrew,  The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.

By |September 15th, 2017|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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