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Interpretation given of it by our Saviour and his Apostles, not only to our Attions, but to our Words, and to the Secret Intentions and Affections of our Hearts. For our Blessed Lord expressly applies it to the Several Degrees, and Various Effects of Causeless Anger, breaking forth in Contumelious and Reproachful Language; and in St. John's Account, Hatred is Murther, and inconsistent with the Hopes of Heaven. * Whosoever bateth bis Brother is a Murtherer; and ye know, that no Murtherer hath Eternal Life abiding in him.
From this View of the Latitude or Extent of the Commandment, I proceed
II. To represent the Guilt and Danger which Men incur by the Transgression of
And if the Measure of this Transgrefsion should be taken either from the Indignity, thereby offer'd unto God, or, from the Injury done to Man, or, from the Punishments expressly Denounced against it, or, from the Anguish and Horror of
the Bodeings which ’tis apt to leave upon the Mind, we should find Abundant Reason to assign it a Place amongst the Loudest of Crying Sins. The First Instance of Murther in the World was followed close by Perplexity, Oppression of Spirit, and the intolerable Gnawings of Despair it self. My Punishment (said the Abandon'd Fugitive) is greater than I can bear; or rather, Mine Iniquity is greater than that it can be forgiven. And it follows, every one that findeth me mall say me: 'Twas a Dismal, but natural Apprehension, which his Guilt suggested to his Thoughts, That the whole Creation must surely be alarm’d upon such an Occasion, and stand Ready to Execute Vengeance on him. And that Weight of Confusion, which Natural Conscience scarce ever fails of laying upon such Sinners, must needs be vastly increased by the Severe Exprefsions of God's Indignation against them. The Lord Abhors the Blood-thirsty. Atonements and Means of Satisfaction, were in several Other Instances, provided by Divine Institution for the Sins of the People, and that sometimes when they were
Heinous and highly Provoking. But God hath expressly forbid the hewing any Mercy or Compassion tô a Murtherer, and the taking any Satisfaction for his Life. * If any Man hate his Neighbour, and lie in Wait for him, and rise up again him, and smite him Mortally that he Diethe Elders Mall deliver him into the Hand of the Avenger of Blood that he may die: Thine Eye Mall not Pity him. + Moreover, ye shall take no Satisfaction for the Life of a Murtherer, but he Mall be furely put to Death. Not the Cities of Refuge, not the Holy Altar of God, (a Sanctuary of all others the most Sacred and Inviolable) was Privileged to exempt from Punishment Such an Unpardonable Offender : $ If a Man come presumptuoufly upon his Neighbour, to say him with Guile, thou Malt take him from mine Atar that he may die. And when the Irreversible Sentence of Death is pronounced upon him, this Remarkable Reason of it is fubjoyned, ++. For in the Image of God made he Man. Contempt of God is the
* Deut. xix. u. t Numb. xxxv. 31. # Gen. ix. 64
Exod. xxi. 14.
Bitka . Great Aggravation of Sin; and Murtherng 2 ers carry up this Aggravation to a Height Erdhenie Peculiar to themselves. Not Satisfied
with trampling upor his Laws, or assumga ing his Dominion, they offer, as much
as in them lies, an Outrage to his very Being, by Defacing and Destroying the Only Image of Himself which he hath Impressed upon the Visible World. And there are Peculiarities of Aggravation in the Injury done to Man, as well as in the Indignity hereby offer'd to God. Other Injuries may be Repair’d, or admit of some Compensation; But This is uta terly Irreparable. Other Injuries may rob a Man of his Estate, or Reputation, or of fome Particular Temporal Satisfactions and Advantages; But This is the Summary of Mischief, and Deprives hiin, Once for all, of Every Temporal Benefit and Satisfaction whatsoever. And who can tell, but that this Injury máy prove Fatal to the Sufferer's Soul, as well as his Body, and at önce involve him in the Firji and Second Death, by depriving him of that Space to Repent, which may be Necessary, and might have been Sufa
ficient to the Accomplishment of his Sat vation? Or, if the Injury should not fol low the Sufferer into a Future State, i it should not fall upon him under a State of Impenitence, or press him down into Everlasting Destruction, yet must the Weight of it, even in Relation to his View of that Eternal State, into which he is passing, fall heavily upon him.
For who can bear the Thoughts of being thrown Hastily and Headlong into the other World, instead of moving thither through the Common Course of Nature and Providence? Who is not exceedingly desirous of going down to the Grave in Peace and Quiet? The Wise Virgins themselves, though they had their Oyl ready, found it Necessary, upon the Approach of the Bridegroom, to Trim their Lamps. Even the Best of Men would be glad of a few Leisure Minutes at the Last, Deliberately to Review and mourn over their Miscarriages and Defects; would be glad of a little Calm and Undisturbed Space of Time in the Conclusion of their Lives, to Adorn their Souls, and prepare them for their