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ingly affected with fuch Tendencies and Propenfions, Wishes and Defires as ftand directly opposed to the Purity and Perfection of the Divine Nature.
If therefore the Enemies of God be the Juft and Adequate objects of his Vengeance, 'tis hence manifeft, that the everlafting Punishment of Wicked men is so far from being Unjuft or Unequal, that it is the Proper and Neceffary effect of God's Juftice; because all men that die in a state of Impenitence will be for ever Unchangeably fubject to the dominion of fin, for ever the Enemies of God. And this confideration alone seems abundant
ly fufficient to Reconcile the Juftice of God with the Eternal punishment of Sinners: And yet this Difficulty is ftill further satisfied by the
Third Argument, which relates to God's Goodness: But this likewife is thus represented as Infufficient.
It is faid, that God hath fet before men everlafting Happiness and Mifery, and the Sinner hath his choice. Here are two things faid, which seem to bid fairly towards an anfwer, Firft, that the Reward
which God promifeth to our obedience is equal to the punishment which he threatens to our Difobedience. But yet this, I doubt, will not reach the business: Becaufe though it be not contrary to Justice to exceed in Rewards, that being matter of mere favour, yet it may be fo to exceed in punifhments. Secondly. It is further faid, that the Sinner in this cafe bath his choice. This, I confefs, is enough to filence the Sinner, and to make him acknowledge that his Deftruction is of himself; but yet for all that, it does not feem fo clearly to fatisfy the objection from the difproportion between the fault and the punishment.
These reflections, though they appear very Smooth and Plaufible, are of no force or confequence at all, being grounded upon nothing but a palpable Fallacy. For 'tis here taken for granted, that there is Excess in the Eternity of punishment, that there is a Difproportion between the Fault and the Punishment, which is the very thing to be proved; and not only fo, but which is likewife fo far from being true, that what is urged under the particular immediately foregoing
seems very fully to prove the contrary. For if, as is already fhewn, all Impenitent Sinners will be Unchangeably and Eternally fubject to the dominion of fin, and by necessary confequence Eternally the Enemies of God and Goodness; the Eternity of their punishment is fo far from implying Excefs or Difproportion, that it is undeniably proportionate to their Guilt; and fo far as we are capable of Judging in this cafe, God Almighty must be wanting to his Juftice, if their punishment fhould ever have an end.
These Reflections therefore, which are not only Precarious, but plainly False, cannot in the leaft Invalidate the Argument they are replied to: It is ftill the Perfection of Goodnefs in God, that he hath graciously vouchfafed us a power and opportunity of obtaining Unconceivable and Eternal Happiness; and if we cannot be prevail'd upon by Goodness it felf, our deftruction is intirely owing to our own folly, and does not at all interfere with that Infinite Goodness, the demonftrations of which we obftinately Defpife and Reject.
Having thus endeavour'd to Refute what this great man hath Unhappily replied to the Arguments urged in vindication of God's Juftice and Goodness; I shall proceed to his other opinions, which feem to be no lefs Abfurd, no less Dangerous, though advanced under the character of Confiderations whereby he endeavours to clear this matter, the doctrine of Eternal punishments. And
1ft, It is propofed as very confiderable, that the measure of Penalties with respect to crimes is not only nor always to be taken from the quality and degree of the offence, much less from the duration and continuance of it, but from the ends and reafons of government; fo that what proportion crimes and penalties ought to bear to each other, is not fo properly a confideration of Juftice, as of Wisdom and Prudence in the Law-giver. And hence 'tis concluded, that whatsoever the difproportion may be between Temporary fins and Eternal fufferings, Juftice cannot be faid to be concern'd in it.
The Disproportion is here again taken for granted; but of that already.
That the Determination of punishments and their Proportion to crimes do bear respect to that great end and defign of government, fecuring the obfervation of wholfom and neceffary Laws, may very well be acknowledged: But that this end of Government, fingly confider'd, altogether exclufive of Justice, so that Justice cannot be faid to be concern'd in it, fhould be fix'd as the Sole Reason and Foundation of Eternal Punishments, is by no means allowable; the Affertion is directly False and directly Deftructive of that Faith, which 'tis brought to Establish. It is not poffible that any man should, upon this principle, ftedfaftly believe the Eternity of punishment. For if there be no other Reafon and Foundation of Eternal punishments befide the ends and reasons of government, then the only End and Reason of them will be finally outdated and abfolutely Void, when this world shall be no more, when the Laws and the Government fhall be abolished together; and there is no cause to expect, that the means will be applied, when the Only Reason of those means is D 2 ceased,