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not reckoned, brought to account, ought not to be looked upon as being taxed with the forfeiture of life, when there is no law in being, with death as its affixed sanc
Therefore whatever sin may be supposed to deserve, it is not reasonable, that it should be reckoned, it ought not to be reckoned, or which is the same thing, it is not just, that it should be reckoned to any punishment whatever, when there is no law in being, which makes that punishment the special penalty of transgression. Therefore, as I said, the punishment threatened in the law, is all which can be inflicted consistently with justice; and the punishment threatened in the law, and that which is allowed by strict justice, are one and the
10. If the law do not threaten all that punishment, which is just, we cannot possibly tell what is a just punishment, or what justice threatens or admits with regard to · punishment, and what it does not admit. If once we give up the law and the testimony, we are left to our own imaginations. Dr. C. holds, that the wages of sin are the second death, and that this death is a punishment which shall last, according to the language of scripture, for ever and ever. Are these wages, and this punishment which shall continue for ever and ever, adequate to the demand of justice or not? If they are, then the law threatens all which justice requires.-If they are not, then the wages of sin, and the punishment for ever and ever, are a gracious punishment, and sinners deserve a longer punishment. But how do we know, that sippers deserve a longer punishment, than this ? No longer punishment is threatened in the law, or in any part of scripture.
11. If sin deserve a longer punishment, than that which is threatened in the law, it deserves either an endless punishment, or a temporary punishment longer than that which is threatened in the law. But if sin deserve an endless punishment, it is an infinite evil.-If it deserve a temporary punishment though longer than that which is threatened in the law, all men may finally be saved, even though the state of future punishment be intended to satisfy the divine justice : the contrary of which however is asserted by Dr. C.
* Page 47.
12. If the damned, though they shall be punished according to law, will not be punished as much as they deserve; what shall we make of the scriptures, which declare, that they shall have judgment without mercy ; that God will not spare, por pity them; that wrath shall be poured upon them without mixture ? &c.
I now appeal to the reader, whether, notwithstanding this objection, the damned, in quffering the whole penalty threatened in the divine law, do not suffer as much as they deserve according to strict justice, and therefore suffer a penalty to the highest degree vindictive.
IV. If it should be further objected, that there is no inconsistency in representing future punishment to be fully adequate to the demerit of sin; and yet to represent it as disciplinary, and adapted to the repentance and personal good of the patient: as both the ends of the personal good of the patient, and of the satisfaction of justice, are answered by it: it is to be noticed,
1. If this objection mean, that the punishment which is merely adapted to the personal good of the patient, be all which is deserved by sin; I beg leave to refer the objector to the next chapter.
2. If it mean, that though sin do deserve, and the damned will suffer, more punishment, than that which is conducive to the personal good of the patient; even all that punishment which is according to strict justice ; yet all will be saved finally : then it will follow that an end
less punishment is not deserved by sin. In this case, I beg leave to refer the objector to chapter VI.
3. Still on the foundation of this objection, the damned, as they will have previously suffered all that they deserve, will finally be delivered from further suffering of wrath, not by forgiveness, not by grace, nor through CHRIST ; but entirely on the footing of strict justice, as having suffered the full penalty of the law.
4. Dr. C. could not consistently make this objection. The objection holds, that the damned do suffer a punishment entirely satisfactory to justice: and Dr. C. allows, that if the punishment of the wicked be intended to “ satisfy the justice of God, and give warning to others, 'tis impossible all men should be saved."*
Haying in this first chapter, so far attended to Dr. C's system concerning future punishment, as to find, that it appears to be a combination of the most jarring principles; and having particularly pointed out the mutual discordance of those principles ; I might spare myself the labour of a further examination of his book ; until at least it should be made to appear, that those principles do in reality harmonize with each other. But as some may enteriain the opinion, that though there be inconsistences in the Book, yet the general doctrine of universal salvation is true, and is defensible, if not on all the grounds, on which Dr. C. has undertaken the defence of it, yet on some of them at least; therefore I have determined to proceed to a more particular examination of this doctrine, and of the arguments brought by Dr. C. in support of it.
THAT WHICH IS CONDUCIVE TO THEIR PERSONAL GOOD.
On the supposition, that future punishment is a mere discipline necessary and happily conducive to the repentance and good of the damoed; it may be asked, whether such discipline be all which they deserve, and which can consistently with strict justice be inflicted; or whether they do indeed deserve a greater degree or duration of punishment, than that which is sufficient to lead them to repentance, and that additional punishment be by grace remitted to them. Let us consider both these bypothe
The first is, that the wicked deserve, according to strict justice, no more punishment, than is necessary to lead them to repeotance, and to prepare them for happiness. —That this is not a mere hypothesis made by an opponent of Dr. C. but is a doctrine implied at least, if not expressly asserted in his book, may appear by the following quotations. ** Is it not far more reasonable to suppose, that the miseries of the other world are a proper discipline in order to accomplish this end” (the recovery of sinners] “ than that they should be final and vindictive only ?" If a final and vindictive punishment be entirely just, what has reason to object to the infliction of it, in some instances at least ?-5. The consideration of hell as a purging fire, is that only which can make the matter sit easy op one's mind.” But if hell, though not merely a purging fire, be justly deserved, why does not the thought of it sit easy on one's mind ? So that it is
* P. 321,
† P. 324.
manifestly implied in this reasoning of Dr. C. that no other punishment of the wicked can be reconciled with justice, than that which is adapted to their personal good.
The same is implicitly asserted by other writers on the same side of the question concerning future punishment. Bishop Newton, in his Dissertation on the Final State of Mankind," says, “ It is just and wise and good, and even merciful, to correct a sinner as long as he deserves correction ; to whip and scourge him, as I may say, out of his faults." Therefore all the punishment of the sinner, which is just, and which he deserves, is correction, or to be scourged out of his faults. The Chevalier Ramsay tells us, that “ Justice is that perfection in God, by which he endeavours to make all intelligences just.” “Vindictive justice, is that attribute in God, by which he pursues vice with all sorts of torments, till it be totally extirpated, destroyed and annihilated.”I Therefore if God inflict any punishment with any other design, than to make the subject of that punishment just, and to extirpate vice from him, he violates even vindictive justice. M. Petitpierre in a tract lately published in England, and highly applauded by some, declares, that " repentance appeases divine anger, and disarms its justice; because it accomplishes the end infinite goodness has in view, even when arrayed in the awful majesty of avenging justice; which was severe, because the moral state of the sinner required such discipline; and which when that state is reversed, by conversion and holiness, will have nothing to bestow suitable to it, but the delightful manifestations of mercy and forgiveness."S“The honour of the divine law is sufficiently guarded by the punish
* As transcribed in the Monthly Review for March, 1783.' + Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion, Vol. i. p. 432. # Ibid. p. 434. Thoughts on the Divine Goodness. p. 110.