« 上一頁繼續 »
and repented even of that ; and this, at the very Time when Saul was come out exprelly in Pursuic of him, with three Thousand chosen Men, fully determined to Thew him no Mercy.
· Now this was after Saul had twice thrown his Javelin at him to slay him; after he had given him his Daughter for a Snare ; afier he had sent Mer. sengers to leize him in his Bed; after he had barba. roully murdered all the Priests for only supplying him with Bread and a Sword ; in short, after he had fought his Death all manner of Ways. It is evident therefore hereby, that if any Provocations could be a sufficient Juftification of our revenging ourselves on our Adversaries, David would have been warranted in so doing upon Saul ; bur we find him so far from this, that his Heart (mote him, and he was ftung with Remorse for only curring off the Skirt of his Robe, when he had him absolutely in his Power.
What then must we think of those Men, who will not only make no Scruple of taking the molt severe Revenge for every night Affront, but being guilty of the greatest Injustice, Treachery, and Villainy; and instead of acknowledging their Of. fence, and making all the Reparation in their Power, if reproved for it, will maintain their former Wickedness by the additional Aggravation of murdering the Reprover? Must nor such Persons, however they escape Chastisement here, expect the most dreadful Punishment hereafter ? Certainly they must; and yet moft of the Duels that are fought, are on some such Account ; and many a Man, whose Wife has been whored by the insi. dious Arts of a treacherous Friend, has afterwards had the additional Safi faction of having his Throat cur by the same, in Jortification of that enormous Perfidy and Wickedness. Many a one who has
been tricked out) of an Eftate at Cards and Dice, has been afterwards decently run through the Lungs by the Person who has done it, on ex. presing his Suspicion of foul Play. Such is che Force of Fathion! Such is the hopeful Effect of the Establishment of a most pernicious and diaboli. cal Custom, in defiance of all the Dictates of common Sense, Right Reason, Equity, and Religion!
· But, when the same senseless Practice (which daily exposes the Lives of Men of Family and For. tunc to the Attacks of every Upstart, or Pickpocket, who can furnish himself with a genteel Habit and a Sword) prevailed formerly in France, whereby the Community was frequently deprived of the Services of its most valuable Members, by the Hands of the most worthless, Lewis XIV. who, though our inveterate Enemy, must be allowed to have been a great and a wise Prince, resolved at once to put an End thereto; and accordingly he bound himself by a moft folcnn Vow, made at the Sacra. ment, never to pardon any one of what Rank roever, who was guilty of fighting a Duel; and this Vow, which he kept inviolably to his dying Day, proved an effectual Remedy for so great an Evil, and saved the Lives of some Hundreds of his bra. veft Subjects.
We are very fond of apeing the Frencb in Things ridiculous, and it would be well if we followed them also in such as are laudable ; in short, as we profess a purer Religion than they, it were to be wished, the Wisdom of the Nation would provide fome effectual Cure, for so abominable a Practice, which tends not only to the Destruction of the Lives, but of the Souls also of our Countrymen : It being scarcely to be imagined, that any one who is killed in a Duel, leaves the World with that Composure of Spirit, and universal Charity, which is absolutely necessary at the Hour of Death for all those, who, being in their Senses, are desirous of
securing their everlasting Peace'; inay, as they die in the actual Breach of the sixth Commandment, being at least intentionally, if not actually Murderers, there is room for the most melancholly and strongest Presumption of their eternal Miscarriage.'
Leaving this Point' however to that great Day when all Secrets will be laid open, we will go on to produce some Instances of the fatal Consequences of transgressing this Law; and of this we think we cannot have a more remarkable Example than that of David. We have already seen how very scru. pulous that good Man was upon this Head with respect to Saul; and yet we find him afterwards so much off his Guard ; that having been betrayed in. to Adultery with Bathsheba, in order to conceal one Crime by another, he is guilty of the barbarous and premeditated Murder of the innocent Uriab.“
. But what was the Ifue of fuch enotmous Wick· edness ? Did he escape Punishment ? Far from it ;
though the Lord, who saw the Sincerity of his Repentance was pleased so far to pardon him, as nor to require his Life, yet did he visit him with such heavy Judgments, as, to a good Man, were worse
than Death itself.'. First, bis eldest Son Amnon lusts · after his Sifter Tamar, and ravisheth her 3 for which - her Brother Abfalom murders him iwo Years after. wards in cold Blood. Scarcely hath David overcome this Affliction, and restored. Abfalom to Fa. vour, when this unnatural Parricide, who was his Favourite; rebels against his Father, lies“ openly with his Concubines, in the Sight of all Ifrael, aud being defeated in Battle, is slain by Joab, contrary to the express Command of David, who doated on him: And tho' he did not live to see the Death of Adonijah, another of his Sons, whom also he tenderly loved, yet as he knew of his treading in the Steps of Abfalom, and setting himself up for King, whereas the LORD had designed the Crown for Solo,
mon, he had all the Reason in the World to apprehend that he likewise would die a violent Death. And now would not all these Aficions, one upon the Heels of another, be more griçvous to an inar dulgent Parent as David was, than even Death it, self? Certainly they would ; and yet such, we see, were the heavy Infictions of God upon char excele . lent Man for the Breach of this Law, though we area told of him, that he was without Fault, except in ' the Matter of Uriah,
. But we have no need to go so far for Examples of the fatal Effects of violating this Commandment; since our own Country, and our own Times, will furnilh us but with too many, and thew us how much in vain they flatter themselves, who hope to escape Punishment for so crying a Sin, though they have no other Witnesses thereto, than the All-Seeing Eye of Heaven ; and of this the notorious Catherine Hayes, was a moft shocking and remarkable In
• This barbarous Woman, though blessed with a. good Husband, who did not fuffer her to want for any thing reasonable, was rot satisfied therewith, because the had not all at her Disposal to spend upon her Lufts; resolved deliberately to send him out of the World, that the might then be at full Liberty to indulge herfelt without Restraint with her wick ed Paramours and Accomplices Billings and Wood, In order hereto, as if her Revenge would not have been compleat, unless the destroyed his Soul as well as his Body, it was agreed between them first ca make him drunk, and then knock out bis Brains while sleeping.
Accordingly they did so, having provoked the poor Mar, by laying a Wager, to swallow more Liquor than ufual, to that he was quite ftupified, with, out any Remorse they dispatched him, unthinking
of any Harm, and unapprehensive of any Danger, in that wretched Condition. This done, in order to prevent a Discovery, those hardened Profligates separate the Head from the lifeless Carcase, and mangle the Face in such a Manner, that it was next to an Impoflibility it should be known; not only fo, but they cut off the Legs, Arms, and Thighs, in order to their being more easily conveyed away, and watching their Opportunity, carry off the Limbs and Trunk unperceived, under Cover of the Night, to a Pond ar fome Distance from their Lodging, and putting the Head into a Pail, lug it as far as the Wool-flaple, and there throw it into the Thames from the side of a Lighter, never more to rise in Judge ment again them, as they vainly imagined.
They now supposed themselves secure from be. ing detected in their Wickedness, but how grievously · were they mistaken! First, the Head is brought to Light, and though hacked and disfigured to such á. Degree, as scarce to bave any Part free from Cuts, after being exposed for some Time to the public View upon a Pole in St. Margaret's Churchyard, is Sufpe&ed by one of Mr. Hayes's Acquaintance to be that unfortunate Man's. Soon after the Liinbs and Body are found also, though at a quite contrary Part of the Town, and proved to belong to the fame Corpse. The Woman and her Accomplices are hereupon apprehended, and the pretending he had set out early in the Morning for the Country, where he had a small Elate, to collect his Rents, Enquiry is there made afser him, but no News of him to be heard : The People of the House likewife, where the lodged, recollected that the Night before the Head was discovered, they had heard People in Hayes's Room all Night, that they had gone several Times up and down Stairs, and opened and Nut the Street Door; add to this, that the Man had never been seen, either in Town or Country, fince the Morning the said be bad left her. All