« AnteriorContinuar »
Immediate Appearance before the Glorious and Unspotted Presence of God. And if these Circumstances be so highly Advantagious and Desireable; how Grievous and Grating must That Injury be, which Deprives Men of Them?" E Such is the Guilt, and Such the Danger attending the Transgression of the
Commandment in the Text, in the first - Instance of it, as it signisies Willful Mur= ther, in the common Acceptation of it, E or, the Offering Unlawful Violence to our – Neighbour's Life.
5 Secondly, Let us Consider the ŠpeKcial Reasons of the Guilt and Danger of I Those Persons who Destroy their own & Lives. It hath been prov'd above, that
they are Transgressours against this Com* mandment, and it would therefore be
needless to shew, that they are involved 1 in the Guilt, and consequently obnoxitous to the Punishment of Murther, in
General. But they expose themselves, in a Particular Manner, to the Greater
Condemnation, by some Particular Senti$ments and Dispositions, which are commonly the Root and Foundation of this Bb 2
Unnatural Crime. For, when Men destroy themselves, to avoid or throw of present Sufferings, do they not Tacit! declare, that God shall not dispose o Them, as he pleaseth; that they will resolutely break through that State of Thing which he hath determined and Establided; that they will not be tied down to such Circumstances as he hath allotted to them; and that they will wrest their Lives out of his Hands, and not suffer him to prolong or protract them beyond the Limits of their Own Good Pleasure. And if this be the Secret Language of their Hearts, what can be expected, but that God should execute the Fiercest of his Vengeance upon them? Or, if Pride and Envy and Ambition have so much Power over their Minds, that they will not bear the Thoughts of that Distance which is betwixt themselves, and those who are placed in a higher Sphere, and they will, in the Abundance of their Arrogance and Resentment, violently remove themselves out of the World, because they are not advanced to a more advantagious Situation in it, what
can they reasonably expect or imagine, but that they should feel the Weight of Solomon's Observation, in the fullest and most Extensive Sense of it; Prov. xvi. 18. Pride goeth before Destruction, and an baughty Spirit before a Fall? A Fall into Eternal as well as Temporal Destruction; a Fall by so much the Deeper and more Dreadful, as the Crimes which give Occasion to it, do more nearly resemble those of that Murtherer from the beginning, the Devil, whose Insolence and Ambition threw him headlong out of Heaven into the Lake of Everlasting Fire.
For what Foundation can there be of Hope, that God will forgive a Flagrant Sin, without the Sinner's Repentance ? Or, how is it to be conceiv’d, that a Man should Truly Repent of a Sin, which he dies in the very Commission of? The Arguments which have been advanced in Opposition to this Plain Truth are Insignificant and unworthy of Regard. They prove that the Authors of them carried the Notions of Charity beyond all Just Bounds; and That
is the Only Conclusion to be drawn from them, unless this Dangerous Consequence should be added to it, that their Groundless Expressions of Charity towards him who dies in his Sin, may perhaps Encourage Others to follow his Example.
There are some other Sins, besides that of offering direct Violence to a Man's Life, which have usually been accounted Branches of Self Murther, as Intemperance, or the Indulgence of any other Vice, which Impairs the Health, and Destroys the Life. And there are other Aggravations of this Sin, which I forbear to insist on, as being of Less Weight and Moment, than those which I have endeavour’d to Illustrate. And therefore I proceed to represent,
Thirdly, The Guilt and Danger of engaging in Duels; which, being Manifest Instances of Wilful Murther, do therefore expose the Persons engaging in them, to the Severities of God's Indignation denounced against it. Those who die in such Engagements, go into the other World, not only Void of Charity (which is absolutely Necessary to their Happiness There, but glowing Hot with Wrath and Fury; And when these Qualities have the Last Poffefsion of their Souls, what Society of Spirits can That be, which their Souls are Qualified to be I-taken into, and to bear a Part with, for
ever and ever? Or, if they should not ** Immediately perish in the Conflict, yet.
3 is their Guilt the Same in the Sight of 3. God, the Searcher of Hearts, who judgbiz es of Mens Wicked Attempts, not by the
Success or Event of them, but by the are Designs and Intentions from which they cichl proceed. And is it worth a Man's While, W to run into such a Hazard as this, the It Hazard of suffering Eternal andUnspeaktee able Misery, for the Sake of resenting
an Affront, or of redressing an Injury, Dut how great soever it may be? Or, is it
a Rational Conduct, for the Sake of a-