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Others have urged, that if the wicked were to live for ever, they would sin for ever: But this, says our author, is mere presumption. Who can say, that if a man lived ever so long, he would never repent? Besides, the justice of God only punishes fins men have committed, not those they might possibly have done.

32 Others therefore urged, that God gives men the choice of everlasting happiness and misery; and that the reward promised to obedience, is equal to the punishment threatened to disobedience. --To which it was answered, that tho' it be not contrary to justice to exceed in rewards, that being matter of mere favour ; it may be so to exceed in punishments. It may be added, that man in this case has nothing to complain of, since he has only his election.--- But tho’ this may suffice to lilence the finner, and make him acknowledge his destruction to be of himself, it does not satisfy the objection from the disproportion between the crime and the punishment.---All the considerations, therefore, hitherto alleged, proving ineffectual ; our great author is left to solve the difficulty himself.

In order to this, he observes, that the measure of penalties, with refpect to crimes, is not only, nor always taken from the quality and degree of the offence ; much less from the duration and continuance of it; but from the reasons of government, which require such penalties as may secure the observation of the law, and deter men from the breach of it.--- Among men it is not reckoned injustice to punish murther, and many other crimes, which perhaps are committed in a moment, with perpetual loss of estate, or liberty, or life. So that the objection of iemporary crimes being punished with such long sufferings, is of no force.

In effect, what proportion crimes and penalties are to bear to each other, is not so properly a consideration of justice, as of wisdom and prudence in the law-giver, who may enforce his laws with what penalties he pleases, without any impeachment of his injustice which is out of the quellion

35 The primary erd of all threatning is not punishment, but the prevention of it: God does not threaten that men may fin and be punished; but that they may not fin, and so escape : And therefore, the higher the threatning runs, the more goodness there is in it.

36 After all, it is to be considered, says the good archbishop, that he who threatens, has still the power of execution in his own hands.--- There is this difference between promiles and threatnings; that he who promises, Falles over a right to another, and thereby stands obliged to him in juitice and faithfulner, to make good his word : But it is otherwise in threatnings; he that threatens, keeps the right of punishing still with him, and is not obliged to execute what he threatned, any farther than the reasons and ends of government require.... Thus, God absolutely threatned the deliruition of Nineveh ; and his peevith prophet underfood the threatning to be absolute, and was angry for being employed in a message that was not made good : But God understood his own right, and did what he pleased, notwithstanding the threatning he denounced, and notwithilanding Jonah was so touched in point of honour, that he had rather have perished, than Nineveh should have escaped. See the Polis Sheet of Supplement to Cyclop published herewith Col. 5.)


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Cave, at St. John's Gate.
THE GENERAL DICTIONARY Historical and Critical; in Ten

Volumes Folio; containing, besides a compleat Tranflation of Mr
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By The Rev. Mr John Peter Bernard, F. R. S.

The Rev. Mr Thomas Birch, A. M. F.R.S.
The late Mr George Sale,

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cording to an accurate Analysis of the Science, augmented with several necessary Branches omitced by former Authors. In Four Parts,

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