It may be added, that common opinion attaches the same idea of strictness and inflexibility to the action of laws instituted by civil governments. If a man, contrary to the laws of the land, takes another's property, it is generally regarded as a matter of certainty that punishment will overtake him. If a man strikes another, the law, without-regard to his position in society, or even his penitence, strikes him in return. Fines, stripes, stocks, prisons, show how inflexible is the arm of civil and criminal justice.
But it does not appear to be the common opinion that the retributions of the providential law are equally strict, equally inflexible. The tendency is, partly because its modes of operation are less obvious to the senses, to look upon Providence as a lenient master, who generally defers punishment, who punishes slightly at most, and sometimes not at all. But this is a mistake. The providential law is as strict in its operation as the others, and even more so. It is possible, certainly, that natural laws may be suspended in their operation, and may fail. The penalty of the civil and criminal laws may sometimes be evaded. But the retributions of the providential law, (a law modified in its application by the incident of existing facts and events, but always founded on the principles of eternal right and wrong,) can never be annulled, can never be escaped.
— A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 3.