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De Moor on God's Essential Vindicatory Righteousness: Additional Arguments

William Twisse

Even more Arguments on this matter could be produced, of which our Theologians everywhere make use, both against Socinus, and even against Twisse: such as, That God, unless this Righteousness be also Essential to Him, is able to be conceived of under the opposite of this Attribute, namely, as unjust. For what things depend upon the altogether free Will of God are able to be conceived of under their opposite: but to conceive of an unjust God is contradictory, Job 34:10, and indirectly denies Him. Contrariwise, because it involves a contradiction to conceive of God under the opposite of Righteousness, the conclusion is certain: that this Righteousness is to be referred, not to the indifferent Will of god, but to His Nature. Then, That without a Necessity of this sort of punishing because of Righteousness, the moral Dependence of the rational Creature would be taken away. Indeed, the rational Creature is bound to the Worship of God by His Law, which without penal Sanction is to be called counsel rather than Law; now, revolting from this, man looses that obligation on his side by disobedience, but God, remitting punishment, gives up His own Right, which from transgression arose to Him to inflict punishment; besides which twofold bond of obligation, there is no third: and thus any act of a moral Creature will be loosed from all obligation to the Divine Law, which is contrary to the ὑπεροχῇ/pre-eminence of the Deity. For thus the authority of the Lawgiver is as much taken away as the reverence to be exhibited for the Laws, and these become useless; since which is neglected with impunity is prescribed in vain. Then, That every sinner ἀτιμάζῃ/ dishonors, treats with indignity, God, Romans 2:23,[1] and, by flying upon His Majesty, denies His Majesy, as far as in him lies. For thus each one, while he is sinning, carries himself as if he were ἀνυπεύθυνος, not accountable, and not bound to obey any Law; even if he will not declare this in words, he nevertheless testifies to it in deeds, that this is his inmost thought: My lips are my own: who is Lord over me? out of Psalm 12:4. Therefore, unless God on His part also wills to deny the glory of His Majesty and Primacy; He is not able not to judge justly men of this sort. Moreover, That God is said to rejoice and to console Himself in inflicting punishment, Deuteronomy 28:63, יָשִׂ֤ישׂ יְהוָה֙ עֲלֵיכֶ֔ם לְהַאֲבִ֥יד אֶתְכֶ֖ם, the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you; Isaiah 1:24,אֶנָּחֵ֣ם מִצָּרַ֔י וְאִנָּקְמָ֖ה מֵאוֹיְבָֽי׃, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies. But punishment as punishment and sad mischief is not able of itself to imbue God with joy or to console Him; for I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, Ezekiel 33:11. Therefore, that arises from the glory of the Divine Primacy, Holiness, and Righteousness, considered to be of no consequence by men, thus brilliantly asserted, and with the contempt of it offset, as it were, by punishments. Finally, That it does not appear to have been done rashly; because the Scripture, referring many other things to the pleasure of the Divine Will, when it treats, for example, of Predestination, Romans 9:11, 15, 18; Ephesians 1:5, 9, 11; etc.; of the common Providence, Psalm 115:3; Daniel 4:35; etc.; always traces punishments back to God’s becoming Righteousness and Holiness. And many similar things; which things now deliberately passing by, fearing lest the Disputation, becoming longer, should produce boredom: I will only test this, whether I be not able to pierce with the proper darts of the principal Adversaries Socinus, with whom we here contend, with the sect named after him. That which, ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θελήσῃ καὶ ζήσωμεν, if the Lord will and we live,[2] in the following Exercitation I undertake and promise to do.

[1] Romans 2:23: “Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest (ἀτιμάζεις) thou God?”

[2] James 4:15.

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