Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy; for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

— Psalm 62 v.12

God is no magistrate, but if he were, it would be a position to which his fatherhood alone gave him the right. The justice of God is this, that he gives every man, woman, child, and beast, everything that has being, fair play; he renders to every man according to his work; and therein lies his perfect mercy; for nothing else could be merciful to the man, and nothing but mercy could be fair to him. Who would say a man was a just man because he insisted on prosecuting every offender? A scoundrel might do that. Punishment of the guilty may be involved in justice, but it does not constitute the justice of God one atom more than it would constitute the justice of a man.

And yet many claim that God does this or that which is not fair. But to say on the authority of the Bible that God does a thing no honorable man would do, is to lie against God. To uphold a lie for God’s sake is to be against God, not for him. God is the truth, and truth alone is on his side. While his child could not see the rightness of a thing, he would infinitely rather, even if the thing were right, have him say, God could not do that thing, than have him believe that he did it. If the man were sure God did it, the thing he ought to say would be, “Then there must be something about it I do not know which if I did know, I should see the thing quite differently.”