Presuming On His Kindness

To this the answer may be made: It is the divine justice precisely which in its frightful severity permits things to go on thus. It is present, all eyes, but it hides itself; precisely for the sake of being able to reveal itself wholly for what it is, it would not reveal itself prematurely; whereas when it reveals itself it is seen that it was at hand, present in even the least event. For in case the divine justice were to intervene swiftly, the really capital crimes could not wholly come into existence. The man who in weakness, infatuated by his lust, transported by his passions, but yet out of weakness, took the wrong path, the path of sin—upon him divine justice takes compassion and lets the punishment fall, the sooner the better. But the really capital criminal—remember now what it was you deplored, that justice was so mild, or did not exist at all!—him divine providence makes blind, so that to his eyes it seems delusively as if his life were pleasing to God, seems as if he had succeeded in making God blind. How frightful thou art, O divine justice!

sk_aucSøren Kierkegaard Attack Upon “Christendom”, p 252.