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Chapter XXVII.—Who Can Judge.

Then I said, “Then even God, who, as you teach us, is at some time to judge, is not philanthropic.”  Then said Peter, “You assert a contradiction; for because He shall judge, on that very account He is philanthropic.  For he who loves and compassionates those who have been wronged, avenges those who have wronged them.”  Then I said, “If, then, I also do good to the good, and punish the wrong-doers in respect of their injuring men, am I not philanthropic?”  And Peter answered, “If along with knowledge11491149    The word repeatedly rendered knowledge and once omniscience in this passage, properly signifies foreknowledge.  The argument shows clearly that it means omniscience, of which foreknowledge is the most signal manifestation. you had also authority to judge, you would do this rightly on account of your having received authority to judge those whom God made, and on account of your knowledge infallibly justifying some as the righteous, and condemning some as unrighteous.”  Then I said, “You have spoken rightly and truly; for it is impossible for any one who has not knowledge to judge rightly.  For sometimes some persons seem good, though they perpetrate wickedness in secret, and some good persons are conceived to be bad through the accusation of their enemies.  But even if one judges, having the power of torturing and examining, not even so should he altogether judge righteously.  For some persons, being murderers, have sustained the tortures, and have come off as innocent; while others, being innocent, have not been able to sustain the tortures, but have confessed falsely against themselves, and have been punished as guilty.”


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