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BUT it is also just that Thou shouldest punish the wicked; for what is more just than that the good should receive good things and the evil evil things? How then is it just for Thee both to punish the wicked and also to spare them? For when Thou dost punish the wicked, it is just, because it is agreeable to their deserts; but when Thou sparest them, it is just also, because though it befitteth not their deserts, yet it befitteth Thy goodness. For in sparing the wicked Thou are just in respect of Thyself, though not in respect of us; just as2323   Compare chap. viii. above. Thou art pitiful in respect of us and not in respect of Thyself; since in saving us, whom Thou mightest justly destroy, Thou art pitiful; not that Thou art Thyself moved by the feeling of pity, but that we feel the effect of pity; and in the same manner Thou art just, not that Thou hast rendered to us what we have deserved, but that Thou dost what becometh Thee, the supremely Good. Thus dost Thou without contradiction punish justly and justly spare.

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