PT Forsyth on satisfying the holiness of God

‘There is only one thing that can satisfy the holiness of God, and that is holiness – adequate holiness … Nothing, no penalty, no passionate remorse, no verbal acknowledgment, no ritual, can satisfy the claim of holy law – nothing but holiness, actual holiness, and holiness upon the same scale as the one holy law which was broken. The confession must be adequate … All your repentance, and all the world’s repentance, would not be adequate to satisfying, establishing the broken law of holy God. Confession must be adequate – as Christ’s was. We do not now speak of Christ’s sufferings as being the equivalent of what we deserved, but we speak of His confession of God’s holiness, his acceptance of God’s judgment, being adequate in a way that sin forbade any acknowledgment from us to be. For the only adequate confession of a holy God is perfectly holy man. Wounded holiness can only be met by a personal holiness upon the scale of the race, upon the universal scale of the sinful race, and upon the eternal scale of the holy God who was wounded. It is not enough that the eternal validity of the holy law should be declared as some prophet might arise and declare it, with power to make the world admire, as the great and sublime Kant did. It must take effect’. – PT Forsyth, The Work of Christ (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910), 126-7.

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