What punishment then can be too great–for so great an evil?
(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)
The worst on this side of Hell, is mercy–and the worst of and in Hell, is but justice!
Cain could say that his punishment was intolerable–but he could not say that it was unjust.
Though his punishment was greater than he could bear–yet it was not greater than he deserved.
Repeatedly, when the judgments of God are spoken of in Revelation, they are said always to be just and trueand righteous (Revelation 15:3; 16:7). Though God’s ways are unsearchable–yet they are true and just and righteous.
Death is but the due wages of sin (Romans 6:23). Therefore it is said, “Their damnation is just!” (Romans 3:8). Every sin has its just punishment (Hebrews 2:2).
Consider the nature of sin. It is Deicide–God-murder! Thus it is just for God to do with sinners, what they would unjustly do with Him. That is, take away from them all good and glory, displease and destroy them–because they would do so to Him.
If sin had accomplished its intention and desire–horror of horrors!–God would have been no more!
If we consider the person who is sinned against, and that the aim of sin is to ungod God–then what punishment can be thought bad enough?
Sin is an infinite evil. What punishment then can be too great–for so great an evil?
As none but infinite power can pardon sin–so none but infinite power can punish it sufficiently.
Just as sin’s aim is infinite–so is its desert. Therefore, though sin’s punishment is infinite–yet it is but just.
Seeing sin contains all evil–it is fitting that its punishment should be answerable and proportionate.