Page images
PDF
EPUB

treffes,- to trust God; and whatever befalls thee, in the many changes and chances of this mortal life, to speak comfort to thy foul, and to say in the words of Habakkuk the prophet, with which I conclude,+

Although the fig-tree shall hot blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines ;-although the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat ;-although the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet we will rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of our falvation. 3To whom be all honour and glory, now and for ever.. Amen. cheie tu

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

EXODUS xxi. 14. But if a man come presumptuously upan

bis neigbbour, to hay bin with ioguile ;-thou shalt take him from my

altar, that be may die.

A

S the end and happy result of

society, was our mutual protection from the depredations which malice and avarice lays us open to,-so have the laws of God laid proportionable restraints against such violations as would defeat us of such a security. — Of all other attacks which can be made against us,--that of a man's life,—which is his ally

being the greatest, the offence, in God's dispensation to the Jews, was denounced as the most heinous, and represented as most unpardonable.-At the hand of every man's brother will "I require the life of man.-Whoso sheddech man's blood, by man shall his blood be thed. Ye fhall take no fatisfaction for the Jife of a murderer ;-he shall surely be put to death. So ye shall not pollute the land wherein 'ye are, for blood defileth the land ; and the land cannot be cleanfed of blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that ihed it. For this reason, by the laws of all civilized nations, in all parts of the globe, it has been punished with death,

Some civilized and wife communities have so far incorporated thefe severe dispensations into their municipal laws, as to allow of no dirtinction betwixt murder and homiacide,mat leaft in the penalty 5. leaving the intentions of the several parties concerned in it to that Being who knows the heart, and will adjust the differences of the case here

after. This falls, no doubt, heavy upon particulars,-- but it is urged for the benefit of the whole. It is not the business of a preacher to enter into an examination of the grounds and reasons for fo seeming a feverity - Where most severe;= they have proceeded, no doubt, from an excefs of abliorrence of -a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

crime, - which is, of all others, most terrible and shocking in its own nature,--and the most direct attack and stroke at fociety ;- as the security of a man's life was the first protection of society,- the groundwork 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 smote 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 fatisfaction to the widow,--the fatherless,—to the family,—the friends,-the relations, -cut off from his protection,-and

« PreviousContinue »