would not be a sufficient penalty nor would it permit degrees of punishment corresponding to degrees of guilt. This is therefore, an argument from God?s justice to the immortality of the wicked. The guilty conscience demands a state after death for punishment.
This is an argument from God?s justice to the immortality of the wicked, as the preceding was an argument, from God?s love to the immortality of the righteous. ?History defies our moral sense by giving a peaceful end to Sulla.? Louis XV and Madame Pompadour died in their beds, after a life of extreme luxury. Louis XVI and his queen, though far more just and pure, perished by an appalling tragedy. The fates of these four cannot be explained by the wickedness of the latter pair and by the virtue of the former. Alexander the Sixth, the worst of the popes, was apparently prosperous and happy in his iniquities. Though guilty of the most shameful crimes, he was serenely impenitent and to the last of his days, he defied both God and man. Since there is not an execution of justice here, we feel that there must be a ?judgment to come,? such as that which terrified Felix ( <442425>Acts 24:25). Martineau, Study, 2:383-388. Stopford
A. Brooke, Justice: ?Three men went out one summer night, No care had they or aim, And dined and drank. ?Ere we go home We?ll have,? they said, ?a game.? Three girls began that summer night A life of endless shame, And went through drink, disease, and death As swift as racing flame. Lawless and homeless, foul, they died; Rich, loved and praised, the men: But when they all shall meet with God, And Justice speaks, what then?? See John Caird, Fund. Ideas of Christianity, 2:255-297. G. F. Wilkin, Control in Evolution: ?Belief in immortality is a practical necessity of evolution. If the decisions of today are to determine our eternal destiny, then it is vastly more important to choose and act aright than it is to preserve our earthly life. The martyrs were right. Conscience is vindicated. We can live for the ideal of manhood. Immortality is a powerful reformatory instrument.? Martineau, Study of Religion, 2:388 ? ?If Death gives a final discharge to the sinner and the saint alike, Conscience has told us more lies than it has ever called to their account.? Shakespeare, Henry V, 4:2 ? ?If [transgressors] have defeated the law and outrun native punishment, though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to fly from God?; Henry VI, 2d part, 5:2 ? ?Can we outrun the heavens?? Addison, Cato: ?It must be so, Plato, thou reasonest well. Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality? Or whence this secret dread and inward horror Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself and startles at destruction? ?Tis the divinity that stirs within us, ?Tis Heaven itself that points out a hereafter, And intimates eternity to man.?
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