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society, have established government and preserved the peace of society longer and more effectually, than would have been the case, had no such crimes been committed. Therefore the existence of those crimes taken with the punishments, as one complex object, is po proper object of disapprobation or deprecation, but of acquiescence and joy : because in this connexion they tend not to impair, but establish and promote the general good. In this sense any crime or any sin, after it has been punished according to strict distributive justice, is not the just object of disapprobation, and therefore not of the manifestation of disapprobation or of punishment.- So that the foregoing reasoning will not prove that a sin or crime, once punished according to strict distributive justice, deserves an additional punishment.

The essence of moral evil is, that it tends to impair the good and happiness of the universe: in that the odiousness of sin or of moral evil consists. And a punishment in the distributive sense just, is that punishment inflicted on the person of the sinner, which effectually prevents any ill consequence to the good of the universe, of the sin or crime punished. Now therefore sin taken with the just punishment of it, no more tends to impair the good of the universe, than poison taken with an effectual antidote, tends to destroy the life of him who takes it.

Objection 1. If sin taken with its just punishment, do not tend to impair the good of the universe, and if the essence of moral evil consist in its tendency to impair the good of the universe, it seems that sin taken with its just punishment is no sin at all. Answer : It is indeed not mere sin, It is no more sin, than poison taken with its antidote, is poison. That poison which is mixed with the antidote, if it were separated from the antidote, would produce the same effects, is of the same tendency, and consequently of the same nature, as before the mixture. Yet the compound made by the mixture, produces no such effects, is of no such tendency, and consequently is of a very different nature. So any sin

1 which is punished according to strict justice, abstracted from the punishment, is of the same tendency and nature, of which it was before the punishment. Yet that sin taken with its full and just punishment, as one complex object, is of a very different tendency and nature, and will be followed with no such effects as would have followed from it, had it not been punished. In this

1 sense, sin taken with its full and just punishment is indeed no sin at all.

Objection 2. If the sinner do not deserve punishment, when the ill consequences of his sin are prevented by his personal punishment; why does he deserve punishment, when the ill consequences are prevented by the sufferings of his substitute ?--Answer: Desert and ill desert are according to the character of the person himself, and not according to that of his representative or substitute. Now satisfaction for a crime by personal suffering is as really a part of the criminal's personal character, as the crime itself. But satisfaction by the suffering of another, is no part of the personal character of the criminal.

If then on the whole, it be an established point, that on the supposition that no other punishment can be justly inflicted on the sinner, than that which is necessary for his repentance and happiness, sin is no moral evil; this will be attended with many other consequences equally, or if possible, still more absurd :

1. That sin deserves no punishment at all. Surely nothing but moral evil deserves punishment.

2. That neither sin itself, nor we as sinners are the objects of the divine disapprobation.

3. That peither ought we to disapprove it, whether . in ourselves or others.

4. That repentance is no duty of any man; yea, it is positively wrong. Shall we repent of an innocent action ?

5. That the calamities which God brings on men in this life, are not reconcileable with justice. That these calamities in general are punishments or demonstrations of God's displeasure at the sins of mankind, is manifest from the scriptures. This is especially manifest concerning the most extraordinary and unusual calamities which in scripture are mentioned to have befallen communities or individuals; as the flood of Noah, the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans, and afterwards by the Romans, the death of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, of Nadab and Abihu, of Uzzah, &c. &c. But all these punishments were unjust, if sin be no moral evil.

6. That there is no foundation in any human actions or characters, for praise or blame, reward or punishment. If sin be no moral evil, it is not blameable ; and if sin or vice do not deserve blame or punishment, virtue which is the opposite, does not deserve praise or reward: and all moral distinctions are groundless, as in a moral view there is no difference between virtue and vice, sin and holiness. Therefore there is no moral government in the universe, nor any foundation for it.

I now appeal to the reader, with regard to the propriety of the preceding remarks, and whether the absurdities before mentioned, be not indeed implied in the hypothesis, that the sinner can, consistently with justice, be made to suffer no other punishment, than that which is disciplinary or conducive to the good of the sufferer, by leading him to repentance and preparing him for happi

If those absurdities justly follow, not the least doubt can remain, but that the principle from which they follow, is absurd and false,

ness.

CHAPTER III.

WHETHER THE DAMNED WILL IN FACT SUFFER ANY OTHER

PUNISHMENT, THAN THAT WHICH IS CONDUCIVE TO THEIR PERSONAL GOOD.

ness.

In the last chapter the subject of inquiry was, whether the damned sinner deserve, according to strict justice and the law of God, any other punishment, than that which is necessary to lead to repentance and prepare for happi.

But though it should be granted, that he does indeed deserve a further or greater punishment, than that which is sufficient for the ends just mentioned; yet it may be pleaded, that in fact he never will suffer any other punishment; that in hell the damned are punished with the sole design of leading them to repentance; that when this design shall have been accomplished, whatever further punishment they may deserve, will be graciously remitted, and they immediately received to celestial felicity. Whether this be indeed the truth, is the subject of our present inquiry.—With regard to this subject, I have to propose the following considerations.

1. If the damned do indeed deserve more punishment, than is sufficient barely to lead them to repentance; then they may, consistently with justice, be made in fact to suffer more. That they may consistently with justice be made to suffer according to their demerits, is a self-evident proposition. To punish them so far, is not at all inconsistent with the justice of God, therefore the objection drawn from the justice of God against vindictive punishment as opposed to mere discipline, must be wholly relinquished. A merely disciplinary punishment is one which is suited and designed to lead the sinner to repentance only. A vindictive punishment is one which is designed to be a testimony of the displeasure of God at the conduct of the sinner, and by that testimony, to support the authority of the divine law, subserve the general good, and thus satisfy justice: and it must be no more than adequate to the demerit of the sinner. I do not find that Dr. C. has in his whole book, given us a definition of a vindictive punishment, as he ought most certainly to have done. According to Chevalier Ramsay's definition of divine vindictive justice, vindictive punishment is, “ That dispensation of God, by which he pursues vice with all sorts of torments, till it is totally extirpated, destroyed and appihilated."* What then is a disciplinary punishment ? This definition perfectly confounds disciplinary and vindictive punishment.

If it be just to punish a sinner according to his demerit; as it certainly is by the very terms; and if such a punishment be greater than is sufficient to lead bim to repentance merely; as is now supposed: then all objections drawn from the justice of God, against a vindictive punishment, and all arguinents from the same topic, in favour of a punishment merely disciplinary, are perfectly groundless and futile. The sioner lies at mercy; and if he be released on his repentance, it is an act of grace, and not of justice.

2. If the damned do deserve more punishment than is sufficient barely to lead them to repentance, they will in fact suffer more. As it is just, so justice will be executed. That they will be punished according to their demerits, is capable of clear proof, both by the authority of scripture, and by that of Dr. C.

(1) By the authority of scripture.—This assures us, that God will “ render to every man according to his deeds: to them that are contentious, and do not obey the

Principles, Vol. i. p. 434.

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