We have seen that the Law is the custodian of social happiness, and that, where it is broken, happiness disappears and apprehension takes its place. We have also seen that God delays the punishment of sin in order to give an opportunity for repentance. But what is to be done with the finally unrepentant, with those who love evil and all the pleasures of sin, and care nothing for the happiness of others, but even enjoy the discomfiture of the innocent?
In our own country the habitual criminal has forced the Law to invent a sentence called Preventive Detention. This is a sentence, not so much for any specific act, but upon a criminal mind which has convinced the judge the sinner intends to continue in his course of crime, so that there is no real hope of him changing his way of life. In other words the Free Will which comes to a fixation of criminal purpose brings the Law to a corresponding fixation of righteous purpose. Eternal sin is so utterly dangerous to the happiness of society that it cannot possibly be endured. It is in the power of the sinner to wreck, and to keep wrecked, the whole plan of the Creation, and to bring about upon the universe eternal misery instead of eternal happiness. It therefore becomes the duty of God to safeguard the success of His plan and the prosperity of the righteous, and leaves Him with no alternative but to prevent the sinful will from having any opportunity of putting its desires into action. This He will do by destroying the body of the sinner, and thus keeping his soul