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Chapter III.—God Both Good and Just.

And Simon said:  “I said once for all, ‘Every lawgiver, looking to justice, is just.’”  And Peter said:  “If it is the part of him who is good not to lay down a law, but of him who is just to lay down a law, in this way the Framer of the world is both good and just.  He is good, inasmuch as it is plain that He did not lay down a law in writing from the times of Adam to Moses; but inasmuch as He had a written law from Moses to the present times,13731373    The text seems corrupt here.  Literally it is, “from Moses to the present times, as has been written, He is just also.” He is just also.”  And Simon said:  “Prove to me from the utterances of your teacher that it is within the power of the same man to be good and just; for to me it seems impossible that the lawgiver who is good should also be just.”  And Peter said:  “I shall explain to you how goodness itself is just.  Our teacher Himself first said to the Pharisee who asked Him,13741374    Luke xviii. 18, ff.; Matt. xix. 16, ff. ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’  ‘Do not call me good; for one is good, even the Father who is in the heavens;’ and straightway He introduced these words, ‘But if thou shalt wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’  And when he said, ‘What commandments?’ He pointed him to those of the law.  Now He would not, if He were indicating some other good being, have referred him to the commandments of the Just One.  That indeed justice and goodness are different I allow, but you do not know that it is within the power of the same being to be good and just.  For He is good, in that He is now long-suffering with the penitent, and welcomes them; but just, when acting as judge He will give to every one according to his deserts.”


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