PUN'ISHMENT, n. Any pain or suffering inflicted on a person for a crime or offense, by the authority to which the offender is subject, either by the constitution of God or of civil society. The punishment of the faults and offenses of children by the parent, is by virtue of the right of government with which the parent is invested by God himself. This species of punishment is chastisement or correction. The punishment of crimes against the laws is inflicted by the supreme power of the state in virtue of the right of government, vested in the prince or legislature. The right of punishment belongs only to persons clothed with authority. Pain, loss or evil willfully inflicted on another for his crimes or offenses by a private unauthorized person, is revenge rather than punishment.Some punishments consist in exile or transportation, others in loss of liberty by imprisonment; some extend to confiscation by forfeiture of lands and goods, others induce a disability of holding offices, of being heirs and the like.Divine punishments are doubtless designed to secure obedience to divine laws, and uphold the moral order of created intelligent beings. The rewards and punishments of another life, which the almighty has established as the enforcements of his law, are of weight enough to determine the choice against whatever pleasure or pain this life can show.
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