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DISSERTATIONS:

The First on the supposed .
SUICIDE of SAMSON;

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WHEREIN
The Part he bore in his own Death is vindi-

cated from the Imputation of Self-Murther;
and the Nature and Heinousness of that
Crime are fully set forth.'.

The SECOND on
7 EPHTHA's VOW;

WHEREIN
Is proved, that his Vow was fulfilled, and his

Daughter not facrificed.

AVON

.. LONDON:
Printed for W. INNYS and J. RICHARDSON,

in Pater-nofter-row. MDCCLIV.

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GERTRUD Semena The Death of Sampson (Judg. xvi.) is a Pal

sage in the Old Testament, urged by the Deists, as favouring Suicide, à Practice which Christians affirm to be immoral : Nevertheless, he is placed in the Car talogue of the eminently Faithful, in Heb. xi.

Om F we are to judge of the System,

N of our modern Deists, by the ARM Writings of their favourite AuGost thors; they not only account Suicide lawful in many Cases; but also efteem it laudable and glorious, òr heroic : And none of their Authors have ever dif. owned it, or censured and condemned the Practice as immoral and criminal. And therefore the Objection they raise from the Manner of Samson's tragical Death, is only, urged by them, as an Argument Ad hominem, i. e. home upon Chriftians, who own the Divinë Revelation ; and account Suicide a Murder of the highest Aggravation: Telling them; if this is an immoral

... Wick

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Wickedness, your Bible which makes an eminent Saint of Sampson, cannot be of Divine Revelation.

The infinite Wisdom and Goodness of the great Creator hath fo conftituted the Nature of Things; that self-preservation, as it signifies an Endeavour to preserve and prolong Life, and the avoiding what tends to destroy it; is a natural instinet, common to all living Creatures in their respec tive, various Capacities; and no Philosophy can account for this; otherwise than as it is an Effect of the Author of Nature, who has endued all his Creatures, with their effential and infeparable Properties; which in a larger Sense are called, the Laws of Nature. And that this natural Propensity to preserve Life, is in all Animals (confidered merely as fuch) an infeparable Property, none have ever denied; it is so manifeft, by universal Observation and Experience. :: .

But Man, as a rational Creature, is not only prompted to the Care of his own mortal Life, by the natural Instinɛt that is common to all Animals; but being endued with greater Capacities to cultivate this natural Instinet, i. e. with a Sagacity to foresee the Dangers of his Life at a greater Distance ; and Wisdom to contrive and pursue the

Means

Means to preserve Lîfe, and avoid the Dangers, both imminent and future, to which it is liable : And more especially as he is éndued both with Uriderstanding and a free Will, capable of chusing or refusing, and governing his own Actions; and thereby accountable to his Maker, for the right or wrong Use; and the due Cultivation of all his Talents, whereof his Life is the principal, the first and fundamental, of all that relates to his Body, or mortal Nature : Therefore, that which in all other Animals is : only a natural Instinct ; or a Law of their Nature, in a larger Sense; becomes thereby to him, in the stricteft Senfe, a Law of bis buman Nature.

And the Obligation of this Law is exceedingly encreased, as his Life is entrusted to his Caré, to be imployed in the Ser: vice of his Creator ; and not only for his own private Benefit; but also as a social Creature, for the good of Mankind; and more particularly for the Benefit of the special Society in which Providence has stated him a Member.

But at the same Time, as a free. Agent, to whom the Rule and Government of his mortal Life is committed, he cân by an intelligent Power, superior to the merely ani"conta 2

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