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as enjoined by God and Christ, and dread not being termed cowards; for none will call you such, but those who have imbibed mistaken notions of true courage and of religious obligation. Do your duty, and fear not disgrace; for none will wish to heap it upon you, but such as have not God before their eyes. Do your duty, and good men will applaud you, and admit you into their fellowship; your own hearts will justify your conduct, and the consciousness that God looks down upon you with an eye of approbation, recording every sacrifice and every suffering for his name's sake in the Book of Heaven, will raise you far above the scorn and contumely of the wicked.
If you have injured another, humble the foolish pride of your nature, and ask his forgiveness; for surely you must allow, that there is more true honour in acknowledging an error, than in neglecting to repair an injustice. Should he refuse to hear you, and thirst for your blood, which is not probable, do not add to your injury by committing murder, and giving him an opportunity to do the same,
* If wronged in your own persons, show that you possess the spirit, and are governed by the principles of your holy religion, and freely, nobly, generously forgive. By so doing, you will discharge your duty in the sight of God, will recommend your profession by exhibiting in your conduct its inild and merciful effects, will feel the pleasure of doing an act of benevolence and peace, and, probably, enjoy at last the delightful satisfaction of having converted an enemy into a friend, and taught him by conciliation a lesson, which he would never have learnt from prosecution or redress.
If wronged in the persons of those who
* The professed object of him who sends a challenge to another is, to obtain satisfaction for an injury done him. Now I would seriously ask any man in his senses, what possible satisfaction can be received from this summary mode of redressing a wrong; God is disobeyed; human laws are violated; a brother's life is destroyed; families are involved in misery; and the survivor himself is disgraced in the estimation of the good; and his peace of mind, if he has any consciousness of a future retribution, and a heart not wholly destitute of feeling, broken for ever; where then is the satisfaction ?
are dear to you, an injury, no doubt, most difficult to be endured, consign the offender over to the insulted laws of his country; a proceeding, which will overwhelm him with more shame, and give him greater cause to repent of his injus. tice, than any measure of resentment you may take, or any summary vengeance you inay execute upon his
person. Should the nature of his offence be such, that the laws, cannot reach it, leave him to the contempt which he deserves, and will receive; leave him to the remorse of a guilty conscience; leave him to the pu. nishment of Him, who judgeth righteously, and who hath said, * • Vengeance is
« mine, I will repay;" for why should you put yourselves upon an equality with one who has wronged you? why should you suffer an evil action in another to urge you to sin against Heaven in endeavouring to take away his life? and why should you wish to inflict death on him, whose addi. tional offence against you has made him less fit to die?
* Rom. xii. 19.
In fine, be assured of these truths, however they may be derided by a misjudge ing world, that the most deadly injury can never justify an act of vengeance; that grievous sin attaches to the soul that 'attempts to entrench upon the prerogative of the Almighty ; and that the moment you seek the punishment of an offender by an act which religion forbids, you prove
have cast away that fear of God which religion enjoins.
Having endeavoured to impress on your hearts and understandings this very important part of my subject, I proceed to offer some further observations relating to the Fear of God.
We have in Scripture, for here we must look for every thing that is truly noble, interesting, and worthy of imitation, in human conduct, numerous instances of men refusing to do evil, and resolving to do well, through fear of the divine displeasure. I shall mention a few.
When Pharaoh, King of Egypt, ordered the midwives to destroy the menchildren of the Israelites, they neglected lo obey his commands, and at the hazard
of their lives saved them from his cruelty. They did this, not from the sole impulse of a natural compassion, or merely from an abhorrence of so inhuman a mandate, but as Scripture assures us, because* “ they feared God."
Neither the malicious assaults of Satan, nor the impious counsel of his wife, nor the harsh reproofs of his friends, could shake the principles of the pious Job, nor induce him to t " let
his righteousness.” He endured with patience the afflicting visitations of Heaven, still professed his confidence in God and his hope in his Redeemer, and vindicated the ways
and wisdom of the divine Provi. dences ; for the fear of God, which he had so abundantly shown in the hour of his prosperity, was now, in the time of his adversity, the principle that kept him firm to his duty, and gave him strength and resolution to resist every attempt to draw him into sin.
Joseph was solicited to make a sacrifice of his virtue at the shrine of illicit pas
* Exod. i. 17.
+ Job, xxvii. 6.