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to drink of them; and so remain eternally under the violence of thirst, with this gnawing aggravation, that he had waters just at his very lip. But we may yet have a more clear proof of the judgments of men in all nations, in their fanctions of human laws. Do not all of them for crimes, condemn to perpetual imprisonment, or to death ? The one is an eternal punishment of loss of life, and its concomitant advantages; and this punishment is inflicted without respect to a future life; as appears in this, That such laws are execute up.
on them, of whom none has reason to think that be they shall have any share in the advantages of a'
future life. And that perpetual imprisonment is
ers, who put it in execution, nor they who break K it, live to eternity.
6. That sin deferves eternal punishment, appears from the acknowlegement of the punished.
This is a very strong argument; for although so they who are yet wallowing in their sins, and are POR Elulled fast alleep in the lap of carnal security, will
not acknowlege so much : yet if we enquire at these whom God has awakened, and to whom he has given a discovery of the exceeding sinfulness of their sin, whether with a prospect of mercy or not, they will all with one mouth acknowlege that fin deserves eternal wrath. These whom the Lord deals with, in order to their conversion, will all subscribe to the justice of God, should he damn them eternally, I do not say that they will be content to be damned; but they will own that God were most just should he deal so by them. And not only is it so with them, but even with these who are sunk to the utinost in black despair, * I
If we listen to a Spira, who has laid alide all hopes of mercy, we shall hear him crying out in the an. guish of his foul one day, I am sealed up to eternal wrath : I tell you I deserve it; my own conscience condenins me, what needeth any other judge ? and another day again we may hear him crying out, Though there were not another damned, yet God is just in making me an example to others; and I cannot justly complain. There is no punishment fo great but I have justly deserved it. These considerations do fufficiently evince, that fin deserves eternal punishment; and therefore God has good reason to demand it. ita
2. Our great Lord and Master has great reason to punish you with such a punishment, not only because your offences deferve it, but because he, in the institution and promulgation of his laws, did actually declare that he would fo punish the trang gressors of it. Sin and eternal punishment were then linked together. With that same very breath that God said to Adam, Thou shalt keep my commandments; he also said to him, In the day thou breakest them, thou shalt surely die. That the annihilation of his soul thould be there intended, is contrary to scripture, and has no ground in reafon; and if only temporal death is meant, then this would be implied, to fay, thou- malt be re. warded with eternal life if thou fin, which were ridiculous to imagine. That therefore which is intended is certainly eternal death. And God having annexed this penalty to the violation of his law, there is great reason that it should be punctually executed. For,
1. The honour of his wisdom requires it. To' what purpose should this penalty be annexed, if it were not on design that it should be put in ex
écution? or at least it would reflect upon his wil. dom, if it might not with great reason be put in execution.
2. Justice to his honour, as he is the righteous judge of the earth, calls for the execution of this law. What, I pray, is the business of one placed in that high Itation, if not to see laws executed, to see the compliers with them rewarded, and . the offenders condignly punished ?
3. Justice to the law requires the punishment of sinners: for if the law in one part may be ne glected, why not in all ? The threatening, as well as the precept, has upon it the impress of the supreme authority; and therefore, as by the violation of the precept, so by the non-execution of the penalty, the honour of the latv fuffers. If the penalty be required, then the honour of the precept is repaired; but if the penalty be neglected, then the law is entirely affronted, and there is no reparation, than which there can be nothing more unreasonable.
4. Justice to onlookers. To neglect the punish: ment of offenders, is of dangerous influence to beholders; it betrays them into one of two or three dangerous mistakes; it has a tendency either to make them entertain light apprehensions of sin; or else to make them call in question either the knowlege, power or wisdom of God, and his zeal for his own glory: therefore justice to them re. quires that the penal fanction of the law be vigoroully put in execution. .
5. Justice to God's faithfulness. The honour of the divine veracity requires it. God engaged his faithful word for the accomplishment of the threatening; therefore either the truth of God I 2
must ly open to suspicion, or else the punishment must be inflicted upon you.
(6.) To add no more considerations under this head; by annexing eternal punishment to the commission of sin, all the divine attributes were engaged to see it execute; of the justice, wisdom, and fovereignty of God, it has already been made appear; and it might with equal facility be evinced, as to the unchangeableness of God, his goodness, power and knowlege; therefore he has rea-, Ton to demand so high a satisfaction. :;.,
3. Sin not only deserves that heavy and eter'nal punishment we have been discoursing of, and not only has God adjudged, by an irreversible appointment, that it should be so punished; but we fay 'moreover, That God has just reason to inflict it, because this appointment of God, linking sin and punishment together, is most just and equal, This puts it beyond all 'rational doubt, that God has reason to treat you as he will do. Now, the justice of this penal sanction, I shall open to you in several considerations. And,
(1.) This is plain from that which we have at great length discoursed of already, in reference to the demerit of sin. We have proved, by many incontroulable evidences that sin deserves the higheft punishment that can be inflicted. Now, just authority can never be but just, in punishing a crime, or annexing a penalty to it, that is proportioned to its own nature; and this is plainly the case here. .
2. God has made this fanction; therefore it is just. This I think needs no proof, the Judge of all the earth cannot do wrong, he is a God of truth, and without iniquity. Our ways may be unequal, his can never be fo: for were God un