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ground-work of all the other blessings to be desired from such a compact.-Thefts,-oppressions, - exactions, and violences of that kind, cut off the branches;—this fmote the root :-all perished with it ;-the injury irreparable.—No after-act could make amends for it.-What recompence can he give to a man in exchange for his life?—What satisfaction to the widow,—the fatherless,—to the family, the friends,-the relations cut off from his protection, and rendered perhaps destitute, perhaps miserable for ever!
No wonder, that, by the law of nature, this crime was always pursued with the most. extreme vengeance ;—which made the barbarians to judge, when they saw St. Paul upon the point of dying a sudden and terrifying death,- No doubt this man is a murderer ; who, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance
suffereth not to live. The censure there was rash and uncharitable;—but the honest detestation of the crime was uppermoft.—They saw a dreadful punishment,--they thought;-and in seeing the one, -they suspected the other.-And the vengeance which had overtaken the holy man, was meant by them the vengeance and punishment of the almighty Being, whose providence and honour was concerned in the pursuing him, from the place he had fled from, to that island.
he man ;
The honour and authority of God is most evidently struck at, most certainly, in every such crime,-and therefore he would pursue it;—it being the reason, in the ninth of Genefis, upon which the prohibition of murder is grounded ;--for in the image of God created
-as if to attempt the life of a man had something in it peculiarly daring and audacious; not only shocking as to its consequence above all other crimes,—but of personal violence and indignity against God, the author of our life and death.—That it is the highest act of injustice to man, and which will admit of no compensation,-- I have said.But the depriving a man of life, does not comprehend the whole of his suffering ;--- he may be cut off in an unprovided or disordered condition, with regard to the great account betwixt himself and his Maker.-He may be under the power of irregular pallions and desires.--The best of men are not always upon their guard.
And I am sure we have all reason to join in that affecting part of our Litany,—That amongst other evils,-God would deliver us from sudden death;--that we may have some foresight of that period to compose our spirits,-prepare our accounts,--and put ourselves in the best posture we can to meet it; for, after we are most prepared,-—it is a terror to human nature.
The people of some nations are said to have a peculiar art in poisoning by flow and gradual advances.- In this case,-however horrid, -it favours of mercy with regard to our fpiritual state ;--for the sensible decays of nature, which a sufferer must feel within him from the secret workings of the horrid drug,-give warning, and shew that mercy which the bloody hand that comes upon his neighbour fuddenly and slays him with guile,--has denied him.-It may serve to admonish him of the duty of repentance, and to make his peace with God, whilft he had time and opportunity.The speedy execution of justice, which as our laws now stand, and which were intended for that end, --must strike the greater terror upon that account.Short as the interval between fentence and death is,-it is long, compared to the case of the murdered.—Thou allowedst the man no time,-said the judge to a late criminal, in a most affecting manner;—thou allowedst him not a moment to prepare for eternity;--and to one who thinks at all,—it is, of all reflections and self-accusation, the most heavy and unsurmountable,– That by the hand of violence, a man in a perfect state of health, whilft he walks out in perfect security, as he thinks, with his friends ;-perhaps while he is sleeping soundly,--to be hurried out of the world by the affaflin,-by a sudden stroke, -to find himself at the bar of God's justice, without notice and preparation for his trial, 'tis most horrible!
Though he be really a good man, (and it is to be hoped God makes merciful allowances in such cases)—yet it is a terrifying confideration at the best;—and as the injury is greater ,there are also very aggravating circumstances relating to the person who commits this act.As when it is the effect not of a rash and sud. den passion, which sometimes disorders and confounds reason for a moment, but of a deliberate and propense design or malice.-When the sun not only goes down, but rises upon his wrath;—when he sleeps not-till he has struck the stroke ;—when, after he has had time and leisure to recollect himself,—and conlider what he is going to do ;-when, after all the checks of conscience,—the struggles of humanity,—the recoilings of his own blood, at the thoughts of shedding another man's,-he fhall perfist still,--and resolve to do it.-Merciful God! protect us—from doing or suffering such evils.-Blessed be thy name and providence, which feldom ever suffers it to escape with impunity.-In vain does the guilty flatter himself with hopes of secrecy or impunity :the eye of God is always upon him—Whither can he fly from his presence !-By the immenfity of it, to all times;-by his omniscience, to all thoughts, 'words and actions of men.By' an emphatical phrase in Scripture, the blood of the innocent is said to cry to heaven from the ground for vengeance ;-and it was for this reason, that he might be brought to justice, that he was debarred the benefit of any asylum and the cities of refuge.--For the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the