Some notes as I work through J. L. Dagg’s Manual of Theology (1857) one chapter at a time.
Book 2, Chapter 2: Attributes of God (Part 9 – Justice)
1. Justice = God is perfectly just.
2. What is justice? It “consists in giving to every one his due.”
3. Justice can be distinguished into ‘commutative’ and ‘distributive’. “Commutative Justice is fair dealing in the exchange of commodities, and belongs to commerce” whereas “Distributive Justice rewards or punishes men according to their actions, and appertains to government.”
4. When we are speaking of God’s justice, we are referring to distributive justice.
5. By nature “men claim enjoyments as a natural right, irrespective of their moral character and conduct. They reject the moral government of God, and seek happiness in their own way. This is rebellion, and in this justice of God opposes them.”
6. Though it is apparent now that there is a God of justice who judges the earth, with “conscience now, in God’s stead, often pronounces sentence, though its voice is unheeded” but “the grand exhibition is reserved for the judgment of the great day.”
7. A good grasp of God’s justice should “inspire the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom” and should encourage piety knowing “that a just God sits on the throne of the universe.”
(Photo: Ben White)