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“ such an one no not to eat.” The use of this aí. sociation against vice continues to be experienced in one remarkable instance, and might be extended with good effect to others. The confederacy a. mongst women of character, to exclude from their fociety kept mistresses and prostitutes, contributes more perhaps to discourage that condition of life, and prevenis greater numbers from entering into it, than all the considerations of prudence and religion put together.
We are likewise allowed to practise so much cau. tion, as not to put ourselves in the way of injury, or invite the repetition of it. If a servant or traderman has cheated us, we are not bound to trust him again ; for this is to encourage him in his dithoncit practices, which is doing him much harm.
Where a benefit can be conferred only upon one or few, and the choice of the person, upon whom ir is conferred, is a proper object of favour, we are at liberty to prefer those who have not offended us to those who have ; the contrary being no where rc. quired.
Chrilt, who, as hath been well demonstrated, . estimated virtues by their solid urility, and not by their fashion or popularity, prefers this of the fura giveness of injuries to every other. He enjoins it oftener; with more carneftness ; under a greater variety of forms; and with this weighty and pecu. liar circumstance, that the forgiveness of others is the condition, upon which alone we are to expect, or even ask, from God, forgivencss for ourselves. And this preference is justified by the superior im. portance of the virtue itself. The feuds and ani. inofiries in families and between neighbours, wb ch dillurb the intercourse of human life, and collecrively compose half the misery of it, have their foundation in the want of a forgiving temper, and
• Sce a View of the internal Evidence of the Chritian Re
can never cease, but by the exercise of this virtue, on one side, or on both.
CH A P. IX.
UELLING as a punishment is absurd; because
it is an equal chance, whether the punishment fall upon the offender, or the persor offend. ed. Nor is it much better as a reparation ; it being difficult to explain in what the satisfaction consists, or how it tends to undo the injury, or to afford a compensation for the damage already sustained,
The truth is, it is not considered as either. A law of honour having annexed the imputation of cowardice to patience under an affront, challenges are given and accepted with no other design than to prevent or wipe off this suspicion; without ma. lice against the adversary, generally without a wish to destroy hiin, or any concern but to preserve the duelliit's own reputation and reception in the world.
The unreasonableness of this rule of manners is one consideration; the duty and conduct of indi. viduals, whilst such a rule exists, is another.
As to which, the proper and single question is this, whether a regard for our own reputation is or is not sufficient to justify the taking away the life of another? · Murder is forbidden; and wherever human life is deliberately taken away, otherwise than by public authority, there is murder. The value and security of human life make this rule necessary; for I do not lee what other idea cr definition of murder
can be admitted, which will not let in so much private violence, as to render society a scene of peril and bloodshed.
If unauthorized laws of honour be allowed to create exceptions to divine prohibitions, there is an end of all morality as founded in the will of the Deity; and the obligation of every duty may at one time or other be discharged by the caprice ard fluctuations of fashion.
" But a sense of shame is so much torture; and " no relief presents itself otherwise than by an as. " tempt upon the life of our adversary." What then? The distress which men suffer by the want of money is oftentimes extreme, and no resource can be discovered but that of removing a life, which Atands between the distreffed person and his ir heri. tance. The motive in this case is as orgent, and the means are much the same, as in the forner: yet this case finds no advocates.
Take away the circumstance of the duellift's exposing his own life, and it becomes aflaftination : add this circumstance, and what difference does it make? none but this, that fewer rerhaps will ini. tate the example, and human life will be some that more safe, when it cannot be attacked without equal danger to the aggressor's own. Experience, how. ever, proves that there is fortitude enough in mcil men to undertake this hazard; and were it o:ner. wile, the defence, ac beft, would be only that w!!:( a highwayman or houtebreaker inighe plead, whic aticos: l: :d been so daring and desperate, tha: tew were likely to repeat the lame.
Iespoftulating with the duellift I all along fup. pile his adversary to fall. Which suppolition Lain ai liberiy to make, because, if he have no right to kill liis adversary, he has none to attempt it.
la riun, I forbear froin applying to the ci le of duilling the Christian principle of the forgivensis of injuries; because it is potible to suppose the im'ury to be forgiven, and the duellift to act entircly 1:on
a concern for his own reputation; where this is not the case, the guilt of duelling is manifeft, and greater.
In this view it seems unnecessary to distinguish between him who gives, and him who accepts a challenge ; for they incur an equal hazard of destroying life; and both act upon the same persuasion, that what they do is necessary in order to recover or pre. serve the good opinion of the world.
Public opinion is not easily controlled by civil inftitutions; for which reason I question whether any regulations can be contrived of sufficient force to suppress or change the rule of honour which stigmatizes all scruples about duelling with the reproach of cowardice.
The insufficiency of the redress which the law of the land affords, for those injuries which chiefly affect a man in his sensibility and reputation, tempts many to redress themselves. Prosecutions for such offences, by the trilling damages that are recovered, serve only to make the sufferer more ridiculous. This ought to be remedied.
For the army, where the point of honour is cultivated with exquisite attention and refinement, I would establish a Court of Honour, with a power of awarding those submissions and acknowledgments, which it is generally the purpose of a challenge to obtain ; and it might grow into fashion, with persons of rank of all profeftions, to refer their quarrels to the same tribunal.
Duelling, as the law now stands, can seldom be overtaken by legal punishment. The challenge, ap. pointment, and other previous circumstances, which indicate the intention with which the combatants met, being suppressed, nothing appears to a court of juftice, but the actual rencounter. And if a person be Nain when actually fighting with his adversary, the law deems his deaih nothing more than manslaughter.
CH A P.
"TF it be possible live peaceably with all men;"
I which precept contains an indirect confession that this is not always possible.
The instances * in the fifth chapter of St. Matthew are rather to be understood as proverbial methods of describing the general duties of forgiveness and benevolence, and the temper we ought to aim at acquiring, than as directions to be specifically observed; or of themselves of any great importance to be observed. The first of these is, « if thine enemy “ smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the “ other also;" yet, when one of the officers struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, we find Jesus re. buking him for the outrage with becoming indigna. tion : " If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the " evil; but if well, why smitest thou me?” (John xviii. 22.) It may be observed likewise, that the reveral examples are drawn from instances of small and tolerable injuries. A rule which forbad all opposition to injury, or defence against it, could have no other effect, than to put the good in subjection to the bad, and deliver one half of mankind to the depredation of the other half: which must be the case, so long as some considered themselves as bound by such a rule, whilst others despised it. St. Paul, though no one inculcated forgiveness and forbearance, with a deeper
“ Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to " him the other also; and if any man lue thee at the law, and • take a way thy coat, let him have thy cloak also : and who.' “ foever shall compel thee to go a wile, go with him cwain.”