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Skeletons of a Course of
Theological Lectures

By Charles G. Finney

Lecture XXXIV.

Moral Government.--No. 13.


Governmental Principles.


l. The precept of the law must be intelligible.

2. That obedience shall be practicable.

3. That it shall be for the highest good of the subjects.

4. That it shall be impartial, and not contrary to the law of nature.

5. That the law-giver shall express in the sanctions the amount of his regard to the precept.

6. That perfect obedience shall be rewarded with the perpetual favour and protection of the law-giver.

7. That one breach of the precept shall incur the penalty of law.

8. That law makes no provision for repentance or forgiveness.

9. That a leading design of penal sanctions is prevention.

10. That disobedience cannot be pardoned unless some equally efficient preventive be substituted for the execution of law.

11. That where this can be done, pardon is in strict accordance with the perfection of government.

12. That in all cases of disobedience the executive is bound to inflict the penalty of the law, or see that some equivalent is rendered to public justice.

13. The only equivalent that can be rendered to public justice is some governmental measure that will as fully illustrate and manifest the righteousness of the government, as the execution of law would do.

14. The execution of law acts as a preventive, by demonstrating the righteousness of the law-giver, and thus begetting confidence and heart obedience.

15. That any act on the part of the government that will upon the whole set the character of the governor in as impressive and influential a light as the execution of the law would do, is a full satisfaction to public justice, and renders pardon not only proper but highly beneficial.