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view and design. Much less can a Christian, while he continues in his senses, imagine himself left at this liberty by the Gospel ; since above all things it enjoins and exhorts him, after the example of his Saviour, to suffer in patience that he may reign in glory. Every precept of this sort is a virtual prohibition of suicide, which argues the last degree of impatience.
“ Resignation to Providence is, indeed, recom“mended in Scripture; but that implies only sub“ mission to ills that are unavoidable, not “such as may be remedied by prudence or courage."
“ Prudence - and courage" are both excellent things: they are two of the cardinal virtues. But that suicide is a display of them, is a proposition hitherto unknown to Reason, Law, and Gospel. There could be no occasion to preach patience under sufferings if it were so, because then no man could be under a necessity of suffering. He might avoid it, at a moment's warning, by the knife or the bálter. There could be no such things as “ unavoidable “ills;" and the Gospel precepts would be almost as absurd as Mr. Hume's Note.
“ Thou shalt not kill, is evidently meant to exclude “only the killing of others, over whose life we have
no authority.-Magistrates punish criminals capitally, notwithstanding the letter of the law.”
Magistrates have authority over the lives of others; but have we authority over our own, to put an end to them when we please? Surely not; and therefore suicide is justly accounted and treated by
our laws as one species of murder forbidden by the commandment.
" But were this commandment ever so express against suicide, it would now have no authority; “ for all the law of Moses is abolished, except so far
as it is established by the law of nature. “ have already endeavoured to prove, that suicide is “not prohibited by that law."
This is modest -“ We have endeavoured to “prove." But the endeavour, it is humbly apprehended, has been in vain, and ever will be so while there shall be piety enough left on earth to acknowledge God as the Lord of life and death; for so long men will judge it their duty to adore his power, and wait his pleasure. A trilling alteration in our religious services might perhaps answer Mr. Hume's purpose, without the abolition of any part. Let that little particle not be expunged from the Commandments, and inserted in the Creed.
“ In all cases Christians and Heathens are upon “ the same footing”
They very soon will be so, when Mr. Hume's philosophy shall once become the established religion.
“ Cato and Brutus, Arria and Portia, acted heroically; those who now imitate their example, ought to receive the same praises from posterity."
Christianity inculcates a far nobler heroism. It teaches us, when we are engaged in a good cause, to die for it like men, but not by our own hands; to “en“ dure the cross, despising the shame.” Cato had not patience to do the one, and Brutus was too proud to do the other. That fortitude is not complete, which cannot do both. But surely, Cato might have lived, though Cæsar conquered; and Brutus have left the world with a quiet conscience, though he had forborne to stab the dictator or himself. Of the Roman ladies nil nisi bonum.—But there have been martyrs of that sex among us Christians, who could have shown to them likewise “a more excellent way." There cannot be a finer or more just representation of this matter than that given by Mrs. Chapone in the story of FIDELIA, first published in the Adventurer, No. 77, &c. and afterwards reprinted in a little volume, entitled, Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Every female, who, on account of her crimes, her miseries, or both, may be tempted to put a period to her life, should read that story. She
may read it again and again, with increasing pleasure and improvement. Nor let me omit this opportunity of recommending to general pe rusal a charming Ode, published among of Mr. Warton, styled THE SUICIDE, in which the best of poetry is applied to the best of pur: poses.
“ The power of committing suicide is regarded ' by Pliny as an advantage which men possess even “ above the Deity himself.”
Shame upon Pliny for uttering such a sentiment!, but more shame upon Mr. Hume for retailing it in a Christian country! The thought is
equally blasphemous and absurd ;-blasphemous, in exalting man above the Deity, on so wretched an account; absurd, because as God is liable to no calamities, he cannot need the means to escape them.
Since the appearance of the unbelieving fraternity among us in these latter days, they have been celebrated for many extraordinary qualities ; but their charactéristic virtue, I think, has been modesty. A remarkable instance of this virtue has manifested itself in their conduct respecting the publication of a certain edifying pamphlet, entitled, Doubts of the Infidels; or, Queries relative to Scriptural Inconsistencies and Contradictions Submitted to the Consideration of the Bench of Bishops-By a weak Christian. It stole abroad in so humble and reserved a manner, without the name of printer or vender, that it was a long time before I heard there was such a pamphlet in being. Informed, however, by a friend, that there certainly was such a thing, and that he had actually seen it, I made application to several booksellers of note in town; but they declared they knew nothing of the matter. As I am one of those who love to learn what is stirring, I was not to be easily put by; and therefore rested not, till I had made myself master of a copy. Happy in my prize, with my hand upon my pocket I betook myself immediately home, and having provided the implement necessary for the purpose, began to open the leaves.