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SERM. nexion there is between Sin and PunithXI. ment; that Sin carries its own Punish
'ment along with it. · The Conscience as it is equal to a thousand Witnesses, fo is it to a thousand Torments; and indeed, the Punishment that is felt here is very often so great, that People sometimes chuse rather to part with their very Beings. than undergo it; and that over and above this, Sin will meet with Punishment from Men, as far as it comes within their Cognizance: But however this be, all Evil is Enmity to Good, so it is more especially to the Author and and Fountain, and flies directly to the Throne of God for Vengeance.
But perhaps the Sinner thinks to escape the Punishment that is due to him: But how will he do this ? Can he think of doing Evil to a Society, and not expect to be punish'd by the Society for it? And suppose he docs, and by leaving it flies from Justice, yet how will he fly from himself? he may indeed leave one Country, and fly into another, yet unless he could leave his Mind behind him, he could never be the further remov'd from Punishment; for that will always hang as a dead Weight upon him, and accompany him in the remoteft Climate: He has no Right to Joy, he is incapable of Happiness; for upon the whole" Evil is
due to him. In vain then are all the Serm. beauteous Objects of Art or Nature pre- XI. sented to his Sight, since the troubled m Mind, like the Jaundic'd Eye, paints · a falle Colour upon them all; pleasing. Sounds are no longer grateful to the Ear, ñor delicious Meats to the Taste, it is all horrid Discord and Confusion; every thing without corresponds exactly with the Mind within, and conspires to punilh the Man. But suppose he could fly
from himself too, and that all within - was smooth and ferene, yet how will he . be able to fly from God? Where can he - go, that he cannot find bim out, to
whom all Hearts are open, and from whom no Secrets are hid? Will be climb up to Heaven, he is there, and if he go down to Hell, he is there also ; if he take the Wings of the Morning, and remain in the uttermoft Parts of the Sea, even there also be shall not avoid his Presence; if he says peradventure the Darkness shall cover him, then mall his | Night be turned to Day; for the Darknėss is nö Darkness with him, but the Night is as clear as the Day, the Darkness and the Light to him are both alike. So that tho' he could escape every thing else, he cannot fly from a Being that is every where present, nor from the Vengeance, which every Sin calls to him for,
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SERM, and which he will certainly punish, as XI. Governor of the Universe, to preserve the
d ue Order and Goverment of the whole, and that Good may prevail, and triumph over Evil. For could we suppose Sin to go unpunish’d, and every Man, and every Action of Man, had not Justice done them, we no longer suppose God to be at the Head of things; or else that Justce and Judgment are not the Habitation of his Throne ; for this one Irregularity argues a Male-Administration, and is inconsistent with all the Notions we have of infinite Wisdom, Goodness, and Justice.
Thirdly, But now, if every Sin flies to Heaven, and calls to God for Vengeance, Sins of a more heinous Nature, such as Murder, must do so in a more extraordinary Manner: That assumes of course a louder, and more importunate Voice ; as it is in the first Place an Injury done to God himself; for it is killing him, as far as we are able to do it, i.e. in his Image; it is striking at the very Deity it self; and wresting that Vengeance out of his Hands, which belongs to him, as Govenour of the Universe ; besides the Injury done to Human Nature itself, and confequently to every one that partakes of it, to the Society especially, to which a Man belongs, by cutting off a Member of it, and vesting in himself the Power of SERM. the whole Community, which every XI.,
Murderer does, and likewise to the injurdm
of all the Benefits of Society, to which,
pos’d to be guilty of it, till he has al-
And indeed the Remorse and Fear, ...
Serm. Guilt, and breathes the Vengeance that is XI. due to it: At the Rustling of a Leaf he
p leads guilty, and passes Sentence upon himself before he finds an Accuser ; Every one that looks upon him his Guilt dresses up as a Judge and Executioner, and he reads his Condemnation in their Countenances; lo dreadful is the Punishment of this Crime, even before it comes to be punished; and is only the Beginning of that Punishment, which he is to receive hereafter, and to which the Punishment, which Societies have allotted to this Crime, is but a prefent Relief. And indeed, if we consider the Remorse and Fear, which are the Seeds of Vengeance within, and the Punishiment which is ripening from without, correspondent to it, we cannot well conceive a more melancholy State : And this Cain was very sensible of to his Sorrow: For when the Lord had pronounced Sentence upon him, Now art thou cursed from the Earth, which hath open'd ber Mouth to receive thy Brother's Blood from thy Hand: When thou tilleft the Ground it all not henceforth yield unto thee her Strength, 'a Fugitive, and a Vagabond malt thou be in the Earth. He said unto the Lord, my Punishment is greater than I can bear : Behold thou hast driven me out this Day from the Face of the Earth, and from