Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to – because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.
The incentive to peacemaking is love, but it degenerates into appeasement whenever justice is ignored. To forgive and to ask for forgiveness are both costly exercises. All authentic Christian peacemaking exhibits the love and justice – and so the pain – of the cross.
Pity, forbearance, long-sufferance, fair interpretation, excusing our brother, and taking in the best sense, and passing the gentlest sentence, are certainly our duty; and he that does not so is an unjust person.