De Moor on God's Essential Vindicatory Righteousness: Summary of Arguments

Jacobus Trigland

And thus indeed, what we promised at the beginning of the Disputation, we believe we have furnished; to demonstrate by giving a fourfold Argument that, not only does Vindicatory Righteousness truly suit God according to Sacred Scripture, but also this is Essential to Him, and so proper that by this He is not able to leave Sin altogether unpunished. But what things we were obliged to pursue more extensively according to our plan and purpose, the same I find reduced into a compendium, as it were, by the most illustrious TRIGLAND, Antapologia, chapter IV, page 73; because theses things were altogether perfectly consonant with the opinion that I asserted, and hence appear completely to make for the greater confirmation of it, I did not hesitate to insert the entire passage here: As far as the evil works of the impious are concerned (thus writes the celebrated Man), just as God because of His Righteousness hates them, so also they deserve by their own depravity the wrath of God, because they offend the infinite Majesty of God. Both of which the Scripture sets forth in various ways. When it says, Psalm 5:4-6, thou art not a God taking pleasure in impiety, neither shall it dwell, etc. When Moses, in Deuteronomy 4:23, 24, dissuades the Israelites from Idolatry, by this argument, that Jehovah is a consuming fire, and a Jealous God: and thence concludes, in verses 25, 26, by invoking heaven and the land as witnesses, tha,t if in the land that they were going to occupy they should do evil in the eyes of Jehovah, by provoking Him, they would perish in that very land. And concerning that Nahum says, Nahum 1:2, that Jehovah is a Jealous and avenging God, Jehovah the avenger, having wrath, who avenges Himself of His enemies and reserves wrath for His foes. And, in Habakkuk 1:13, that God is pure in eyes, so that He does not behold evil and is not able to look upon depravity. The repetition of the Law on mount Sinai also manifestly testified to that very thing. For, so many signs of divine wrath, adjoined to the promulgation of the Law, proclaim nothing other than that Lawgiver, as a just Judge, is carried by His own Righteousness into the punishment of transgressors. In like manner, victims were sacrificed and consumed by fire. For, as the fire consuming them represented the fire of divine wrath, so also their blood represented the death of the transgressors. Also, for what end or with what necessity was the Only-Begotten Son of God delivered to death to expiate our sins, if the Righteousness of God does not necessarily require the avenging of sins? Moreover, our Savior Himself expressly confesses, Matthew 26:42, that it was not possible for the cup of suffering to pass from Him without Him drinking it. To say that that impossibility arose, not from the Essential Righteousness of God, but from the decree of the divine will, appears too trifling and discordant. For on what was that Decree founded, and whence was God able to take a rationale for the making of that Decree, except on and from that Righteousness of God? Would He have been so severe toward His Son, that, without that necessity from His Natural Righteousness urging, He would have poured out His wrath upon Him so severely? That is without any probability. Indeed, contrariwise, as that very Righteousness is founded on the nature of God, so the sense of it so pervaded the souls of all men, and put forth such deep roots in them, that thence that law, that those that do such things, which the Apostle enumerated, Romans 1:29-31, are worthy of death, was known even to even the most wicked Gentiles. Hitherto TRIGLAND, and these things are indeed for the refutation of those things that we produced in § 3 out of the Remonstrantium Apologia.

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