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Such, and which are wont to be Palliated under various Pretences, and False Colours of Vindication; so, on the other Hand, there are some Cases, wherein one Man may Violently take away another Man's Life, without any Violation of the Commandment in the Text. The Lawfulness of doing This, in the Case of Self-Preservation, is so Certain and Obvious, that it can scarce admit of any Mistake, so long as this Necessary Caution is observed, That a Man should not presently invade his Neighbour's Life, upon every Little Suspicion or Appearance of Danger to himself, though he may Innocently do it, when the Danger is Manifest, and when he must, Unavoidably, either Give or Receive the Fatal Stroke. The Lawfulness of War likewise, upon some Occasions, and under certain Restrićtions and Regulations, is plainly Warranted by the Authority of Holy *Scripture, as well as by the Nature

* The Texts are numerous. See particularly Deut. xx. and compare 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3, 13, 18. And what is thus plainly Approv’d and Direéted in the Old Testament, is perfect

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and Reasons of Things, and the Situation and Circumstances of Humane Affairs; wherein it frequently becomes Impossible for a State or Kingdom, to support and maintain its Just Rights, or even sometimes to Preserve it self, or its Allies, from utter Ruin, by any other means than Hostility. And equally needless must it be to prove, that . * Magistrates are invested with a Just Authority to inflićt Capital Punishments upon Offenders, unless any Man could be supposed Ignorant enough to want a Proof, that Magistrates are the Representatives and Vicegerents of God, in the Societies of Men; or, that it is Just, to cut off the Corrupted Members of the Body Politick, as well as Natural, for the Preservation and Benefit of the Whole. Abundantly clear is the Innocence of That Person also, who, through Pure ly Agreable to the Gospel. Texts noted to this Purpose, by St. Austin, and afterwards by Scholastic Writers, and since

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Ignorance, or Unforeseen and Unavoidable Accident, deprives another of his Life. For an Aćtion which has no Foundation in the Will and Intention of the Agent, is not properly a Moral Aétion, and cannot consequently be Criminal. And therefore under the Mosaical Dispensation, a Sanétuary was, by Divine Appointment *, provided for every one who was so Innocently Unfortunate, as to kill his Neighbour Ignorantly and at unawares, lest the Avenger of Blood should pursue and slay him, before his Innocence could be sufficiently clear'd up. Indeed the Justification of Abraham, in Designing and Attempting to Sacrifice his Son, does not fall Directly under any of these Reasons or Observations, but Depends upon Circumstances which were Peculiar to his own Person; and such as never were, nor ever can be drawn out into a Precedent, or with any Colour of Reason, be assigned as a Vindication of any Private Person, who should make an Attempt upon his Neighbour's Life: This Friend and Favourite of God, who had so frequent and familiar Communications with Him, could not Possibly be Mistaken in his Call to This Extraordinary Enterprise; but was Undoubtedly and Infallibly Convinced, by Clear Revelation made to him, that God did Direétly and Immediately Require him to * Offer Isaac for a Burnt-Offering: Otherwise, the Holy + Scriptures would never have been so Full and Remarkable as they are in Testifying, that his Readiness to perform this Sacrifice was a most Excellent and Acceptable Instance of his Faith, and Obedience to God. But whatsoever Private Person, without Supernatural Manifest Revelation, (and such Extraordinary Revelations, ’tis universally agreed, are now long fince ceased) and not Ignorantly or Accidentally, but Knowingly and Designedly, and

* Exod. xxi. 13. Deut. xix. 2.---10. Numb. xxxv. 10. * Gen. xxii. 2. f Gen. xxii. 12, 16, 17, 18. Heb. xi. 17, 18, 19. Jam. ii. 21, 22, 23. 1S *

that without any Necessity arising from the Imminent, and, otherwise, Unavoidable Danger of his own Destruction, does takeaway or invade his Neighbour's Life, is chargeable with the Guilt of the Sin forbidden in the Text. And this Imputation of Murther falls properly upon Them who so deprive their Neighbour of his Life either by Open Assault and Violence, or by Stratagem and Secret Contrivance; either by shedding his Blood Themselves, or by Engaging other Hands to be Imbrued in it; either by A&ting as Principals or Accessaries; either by Command or by Persuasion; either by Threatning or Encouragement; either by Direét Concert and Consultation, or by Suggestions and Infinuations; either by bearing False Witness against him, in their own Persons, or by their Subordination of Others; or, Finally, by any Instruments, or Means, or Methods whatsoever, which are not allowed by Divine Authority. For All Such do evidently fall under the Prohibition now before us. And hence

it wils follow in the Second Place, that every Person, who knowingly and wilfully destroys his own Life, is guilty of Murther. For he hath no Colour of Allowance from Divine Authority, to become the Author or Cause

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