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Cause of his own Death. We are not, strićtly speaking, the Proprietors of our own Lives, and Therefore may not Dispose of them, ourselves, at Pleasure. God only, who Gave them, hath a Right to take them away again; and by Consequence, every Man, who offers Violence to his own Life, does manifestly Invade the Prerogative, and Usurp the Right and Authority of God. Thirdly, Duels are Direct Violations of the Commandment. And the Truth of this Proposition is grounded upon the Principle already laid down. For Duels are undoubtedly to be rank'd in the Number of those Piolent Attempts upon Humane Life, which are mot Allowed by Divine Authority; And, Therefore, the Guilt of Murther is Chargeable upon the Persons engaging in them. The Liberty allowed to a Private Man of destroying his Neighbour's Life, without the Sanétion of Publick Authority, is confined, both by the Natural and Revealed Law, purely and solely, to the Case of Self-Preservation. But the Plea of Self-Preservation is utterly Foreign to the Condition and Circum

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stances of Him, who Formally Gives or Accepts a Challenge. And he adds to the Sin of making an Unnecessary Attempt upon his Neighbour's Life, by throwing himself unnecessarily into the utmost Danger of losing his own. Nor is it any Just Plea or Vindication of Men who thus Expose their Lives, That their Attempt upon each other is founded upon their Mutual Consent and Permission, and that neither of them takes any other Liberty with his Adversary, than what his Adversary freely gives: And the Reason, why no Just Vindication of them can be drawn from such Notions as these, how plausible soever they may seem, is This, That fince God is the Sole Proprietor of every Man's Life, and no Man is the Absolute Lord of himself, or, has any Right to dispose of his own Life, and to determine the Duration of it Himself; Therefore no Man can Lawfully Transfer the Disposal of it to An

other. - Fourthly, The Commandment extends it self in the True Spiritual Purpose of it, and according to the Application and ... " InterpreInterpretation given of it by our Saviour and his Apostles, not only to our Ağions, but to our//ords, and to the Secret Intentions and Affettions of our Hearts. For our Blessed Lord expressly applies it to the Several Degrees, and Various Effeóts of Causeless Anger, breaking forth in Contumelious and Reproachful Language; and in St. John's Account, Hatred is Murther, and inconsistent with the Hopes of Heaven. * Whosoever hateth his Brother is a Murtherer; and ye know, that no Murtherer hath Eternal Life abiding in him. From this View of the Latitude or Extent of the Commandment, I proceed * II. To represent the Guilt and Danger which Men incur by the Transgression of £f. - . ...And if the Measure of this Transgresfion should be taken either from the Indignity, thereby offer'd unto God, or, from the Injury done to Man, or, from the Punishments expressly Denounced against it, or, from the Anguish and Horror of

* 1 John iii. 15.


the Bodeings which 'tis apt to leave upon the Mind, we should find Abundant Reason to assign it a Place amongst the Loudest of Crying Sins. The First Instance of Murther in the World was followed close by Perplexity, Oppression of Spirit, and the intolerable Gnawings of Despair it self. : My Punishment (said the Abandon'd Fugitive) is greater than I can bear; or rather, Mme Imiquity is greater than that it can be forgiven. And it follows, every one that findeth me shall slay me: 'Twas a Dismal, but natural Apprehenfion, which his Guilt suggested to his Thoughts, That the whole Creation must surely be alarm'd upon such an Occasion, and stand Ready to Execute Vengeance on him. And that Weight of Confusion, which Natural Conscience scarce ever fails. of laying upon such Sinners, must needs be vastly increased by the Severe Expres. fions of God's Indignation against them. The Lord Abhors the Blood-thirsty. Atonements and Means of Satisfaction, were in several Other Instances, provided by Divine Institution for the Sins of the People, and that sometimes when they were - - - - - - Heinous

Heinous and highly Provoking. But God hath expressly forbid the shewing any Mercy or Compassion to a Murtherer, and the taking any Satisfaction for his Life. * If any Man hate his Neighbour, and lie in Wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him Mortally that he Die— the Elders shall deliver him into the Hamd of the Avenger of Blood that he may die: Thine Eye shall not Pity him. # Moreover, ye shall take no Satisfat?ion for the Life of a Murtherer, but he shall be furely put to Death. Not the Cities of Refuge, not the Holy Altar of God, (a Sanétuary of all others the most Sacred and Inviolable) was Privileged to exempt from Punishment Such an Unpardonable Offender: f If a Man come presumptuously upon his Neighbour, to slay him with Guile, thou shalt take him from mine Altar that he may die. And when the Irreversible Sentence of Death is pronounced upon him, this Remarkable Reason of it is subjoyned, +4. For in the Image of God made he Man. Contempt of God is the

* Deut. xix. 1 1. i Numb. xxxv. 31. #Exod. xxi. 14. t; Gen. ix. 6. *- - Great

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