This morning I preached from Exodus 21:1-23:19 on the justice and mercy of God, pointing to Jesus Christ as the only way by which God remains just and merciful. Here is a wonderful followup by Samuel Davies to meditate on.
Justice shines brighter in the cross--than if every sin had been punished upon offenders, without any mercy!
Mercy shines brighter in the cross--than if every sin had been pardoned, and every sinner made happy, without any execution of justice.
Mercy appears in turning the divine heart with such a strong propensity upon the salvation of sinners!
Justice appears in that when the heart of God was so much set upon it--yet He would not save them without a complete satisfaction to His justice.
Mercy appears in providing such a Savior!
Justice appears in inflicting the punishment due to sin upon Him, without abatement; though He loved Him more than the whole universe of creatures!
Mercy appears in transferring the guilt from the sinner upon the Surety, and accepting a vicarious satisfaction!
Justice appears in exacting the satisfaction, and not passing by sin, when it was imputed to the darling Son of God.
Mercy appears in pardoning and saving guilty sinners!
Justice appears in punishing their sin!
Mercy appears in justifying them--though destitute of all personal merit and righteousness!
Justice appears in justifying them--only and entirely on account of the merit and righteousness of Christ!
Mercy appears in providing a Savior of such infinite dignity!
Justice appears in refusing satisfaction from an inferior person!
Mercy appears in forgiving sin!
Justice appears in not forgiving so much as one sin--without a sufficient atonement!
Mercy, rich, free mercy--towards the sinner!
Justice, strict, inexorable justice--towards the Surety!
In short--mercy and justice, as it were, walk hand in hand through every step of this amazing scheme of salvation by the substitutionary atonement of Christ!
God pardons and saves the sinner--and yet condemns and punishes his sin!
Samuel Davies, The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation