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Serm. Punishment, which is upon the whole due
it does in this Life. 'Tis no wonder then
T. That there is a Punishment due to Sin, and a Consciousness of it at one time or other in every Sinner.
II. The Folly and Danger of refusing to Serm. give a proper Attention to the Suggestions XII.. of a guilty and terrified Conscience.
The first appears from the Goodness of God, or, which is the same, his Goodness consider'd as exerting itself for the Good and Welfare of the whole Creation. For if God, as he is the great Creator, is also the Governor of the World, and intends the Happiness of it, 'tis necessary that something should be done for the Security of this Happiness; i.e. that a fufficient Controul or Check should be put upon whatever would destroy it. NowEvil is theonly Thing that can obstruct the Happiness of the World. SomeConstraint must therefore be put upon it to hinder it from doing so. Accordingly the great Governor of the Universe has thought fit to order that Punishment shall be the natural and certain Consequence of Sin or Evil; that every Degree of Evil should be attended with a Degree of Punishment proportionable ; and the everlasting Laws of Righteousness, which are the Security of the Good and Happiness of the Universe, are bound to see this done. Nor is this any Argument against the Goodness of God, but a very strong one for it; for should Evil go unpunished, it would soon destroy the Happiness of the Universe, which Kk 2
Serm. Goodness, by the Notions we have of it, XII. should prevent. To imagine therefore that
Goodriess should not punish Evil, is the same thing as to say that Goodness should not be what it is : For should Evil go unpunish'd, there would be a manifest Injury done the Whole, which Goodness is concern'd to prevent. To remit the Pain therea fore of Evil as such, must be inconsistent with all the Notions we have of Goodness. 'Tis to strike up a Friendship between two Opposites, whose Nature it is always to oppofe one another. So far as there is room for Pity, so far you conceive less Evil, and consequently there will be a proportionable A. batement of Punishment; but to suppose in Evil, as such, that the Punishment of it can be remitted by Goodness, is an impossible thing. We are now got so far as to know that Punishment is due to Sin: And it will be no Objection to this, that the Sinner is often feen to enjoy the good Things of this Life, to indulge like Felix in unlawful Pleafures, to revel in Bowls, and rejoice at the Sound of the Organ; for these Pleasures are what he has no Right to, they don't belong to him; he niuft therefore become Debtor for them, and pay them back with Interest; for Punishment is due to him, which, if it
does not overtake him in this Life, because, Serm,
Serm. Parents, Masters, Guardians, &c. tho this XII. is a great Addition to it, but a Thing which No God himself has planted in the Hearts of all
Men; for we find it universally. 'Tis to be seen in those who have had little or no Inftruction of any kind, as well as in those that have ; tho' not to so great a Degree, for want of such a proper Cultivation. And besides, from whence could these people, who are suppos'd to infuse this Fear into others, have it themselves ? Or where had they a Foundation for this ? ' A Thing fo universal must be instill’d by the Hand of Nature. Besides, if it were artificial it could never last long, the Impression would in time wear out, and the Mind would at last recover its former State. But we find this is not the Case: For these Fears always remain, as long as there remains a Sense of Good and Evil, and there will continue for the Uses before-mention'd. Indeed this natural Fear may, if neglected, in time wear out too; but then it is because 'tis suppressed, and not suffer'd to have its due InAuence upon us; whereas the other wears off of itself. Of this Remembrance we have many Instances in Scripture, a very Temarkable one in Belshazzar; I mean with respect to the Hand-writing on the
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