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tural supposition with shuddering, but I hope with becoming reverence for that great and glorious person) sent a challenge, or fought a duel, would not this single spot have eclipsed the Sun of Righteousness forever? Can that spot, which would have sullied the divinity of the Redeemer, and obscured his media. tion, fail to be an indelible stain, a hateful deformity, on those whom he came to save? If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
All these things, reason, and humanity, and religion, plead; yet how often, even in this infant country, this country boasting of its knowledge and virtue they plead in vain! Duels in great numbers are fought; revenge is glutted; and the miserable victims of wrath and madness are hurried to an untimely end. Come then, thou surviving and, in thine own view, fortunate and glorious champion, accompany me to the scenes of calamity which thou has created, and survey the mischiefs of duelling.
Go with me to yonder church yard. Whose is that newly opened grave? Approach, and read the letters on the yet uncovered coffin. If thou canst retain a steady eye, thou wilt perceive, that they de. note a man, who yesterday beheld, and enjoyed the light of the living. Then he shared in all the blessings, and hopes, of life. He possessed health, and competence, and comfort, and usefulness, and reputation. He was surrounded by neighbors who respected, and by friends who loved him. The wife of his youth found in him every joy, and the balm of every sorrow. The children of his bosom hung on his knees to receive his embrace, and his
put this frong cafe, because I believe few of thofe, who may evade with va rious pretences the preceeding arguments will be at a lofs to determine here. In the fame manner divines cuftomarily make the fuppofition of injuftice, falfehood, or other turpitude, and apply it to the divine character; to fbew forcibly, what deplorable confequences would follow, were the fuppofition
blessing. In a thousand designs was he embarked, to provide for their support and education, and to settle them usefully and comfortably in the world. He inspired all their enjoyments; he lighted up all their hopes.
Yesterday he was himself a creature of hope, a probationer for immortality. The voice of Mercy invited him to faith and repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ, to holiness, and to heaven. The day of grace shone, the smiles of forgiveness beamed, upon his head, While this happy day lasted, God was reconcileable, his Redeemer might be found, and his soul might be saved. The night had not then come upon him, in which no man can work.
Where is he now? His body lies mouldering in that coffin. His soul has ascended to God, with all its sins upon its head, to be judged, and condemned to wretchedness, which knows no end. Thy hand has hurried him to the grave, to the judgment, and to damnation. He affronted thee; and this is the expiation, which thy revenge exacted.
Turn we now to the melancholy mansion, where, yesterday, his presence diffused tenderness, hope, and joy. Enter the door reluctantly opening to receivė even the most beloved guest. Here mark the affecting group assembled by this catastrophe. That venerable man, fixed in motionless sorrow, whose hoary head trembles with emotions unutterable, and whose eye refuses a tear to lessen his anguish, is the Father who begat him. That matron, wrung with agony, is the Mother who bore him. Yesterday he was their delight, their consolation, the staff of their declining years. To him they looked under God, to lighten the evils of their old age; to close their eyes on the bed of death; and to increase their transports throughout eternity.
But their comforts and their hopes have all vanished together. He is now a corpse, a tenant of the
grave, cut off in the bloom of life, and sent unprepared to the judgment. To these immeasurable evils thou hast added the hopeless agony of remembering, while they live, that he was cut off in a gross and dreadful act of sin, and without even a momentary space of repentance, a remembrance which will en venom life, and double the pangs of death.
Turn thine eyes, next on that miserable form, surrounded by a cluster of helpless and wretched children, see her eyes rolling with phrenzy, and her frame quivering with terror. Thy hand has made her a widow, and her children orphans. At thee, though unseen, is directed that bewildered stare of agony. At thee she trembles; for thee she listens ; lest the murderer of her husband should be now approaching to murder her children also.
She, and they, have lost their all. Thou hast robbed them of their support, their protector, their guide, their solace, their hope. In the grave all these blessings have been buried by thy hand. If his af front to thee demanded this terrible expiation, what, according to thine own decision, must be the sufferings, destined to retribute the immesaurable injuries. which thou hast done to them.
The day of this retribution is approaching, The voice of thy brother's blood crieth from the ground, and thou art now cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood. A mark is set npon thee by thy God; not for safety, but destruction. Disease, his avenging Angel, is preparing to hurry thee to the bed of death. With what agonies wilt thou there recal thy malice, thy revenge,. and the murder of thy friend? With what exstacies of woe will thy soul cling to this world; with what horror will it quake at the approach of eternity! Alone, naked, drenched in guilt thou wilt ascend to God. From him what reception wilt thou meet? From his voice what language wilt thou hear?:
Depart thou cursed unto everlasting fire. And lo! the melancholy world of sin and suffering unfolds to receive thee. Mark in the entrance, the man, whom thou has plundered of life, and happiness, and heaven already waiting to pour on thy devoted head for the infinite wrongs which thou hast done to him, the wrath and vengeance of eternity:
At the close of the awful survey, cast thine eyes once more around thee, and see thyself, and thy bro. ther duellists, the examples, the patrons, and the sole causes, of all succeeding duelling. Were the exista ing advocates of this practice to cease from uphold. ing it; were they to join their own efforts to the common efforts of man, and hunt it out of the world ; it would never return. On thee, therefore, and thy companions, the innumerable and immense evils of fu. ture duelling are justly charged. To you, a band of
. enemies to the peace and safety of man; a host of Jeroboams, who not only sin but make Israel.to sin through a thousand generations, will succeeding ages impute their guilt and there sufferings. Your efficacious and baneful examples, will make thousands of childless parents, distracted widows, and desolate or. phans, after you are laid in the grave. You invite posterity to wrest the right of deciding private controversies out of the hands of public justice ; and to make force and skill the only umpires between man and man.
You entail perpetual contempt on the laws of man, and on the laws of God; kindle the flames of civil discord ; and summon from his native abyss anarchy, the worst of fiends, to lay wasto all the happiness, and all the hopes of mankind.
At the great and final day, your country will rise up in judgment against you, and accuse you as the destroyers of her peace, and the murderers of her children. Against you will rise up in judgment all the victims of your revenge, and all the wretched families, whom you have plunged in hopeless mis- .
ery. The prowling Arab and the remorseless savage, will there draw nigh, and whiten their crimes by a comparison with your's. 'They indeed were mur. derers; but thy were never dignified with the name, nor blessed with the privileges, of Christians. They were born in blood, and educated to slaughter. They were taught from their infancy, that to fight, and to kill, was lawful, was honorable and virtuous. You were born in the mansion of knowledge, humanity, and religion. At the moment of your birth you were offered up to God, and baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. You were dandled on the knee, and educated in the school, of piety. From the house of God you have gone to the field of blood; and from the foot of the cross to the murder of your friends. You have cut off life in the blossom, and shortend, to the wretched objects of your wrath, the day of repentance and salvation. The beams of the Sun of Righteousness, shining with life-giving influence on them, you have intercepted; the smile of mercy, the gleam of hope,
l the dawn of immortality you have overcast forever. You have glutted the grave with untimely slaughter, and helped to people the world with perdition.Crimsoned with guilt, and drunk with blood, Nineveh will ascend from the tomb, triumph over your ruin, and smile to see her own eternal destiny more tolerable than yours.