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derer shall be put to death." These and other similar texts unquestionably embrace the duellist, and make him a murderer, worthy of death. And he is not only a murderer, but one in an aggravated degree; for he sets himself to execute his purpose of death, after time for cool and deliberate reflection. And the duellist is not only chargeable in the sight of heaven, with the murder of his antagonist in fact, if he succeed in killing him, and in intention if he fail; but he is also chargeable with selfmurder, by wilfully and unnecessarily exposing his own life; and if he fall he goes to the bar of God as a deliberate self-murderer.
The practice of duelling originated among the barbarous Gothic nations in the dark ages. But the Gothic duellist drew not his sword for the gratification of private revenge, as is the case in modern times. Though a barbarian he was actuated by far nobler motives. He drew his sword for the defence of the injured, the weak and oppressed, and he believed the contest to be a religious appeal to the providence of God to attest innocence or to decide the point of right. He was in an error, and was guilty of a breach of the sixth commandment. Much more then the modern duellist, who does not pretend to be actuated by motives of religion, and who seldom has the plea of the protection of the innocent, the helpless, and the oppressed.
The modern practice of duelling is marked with both consummate folly and guilt, and it is a violation of the plainest principles both of reason and revelation. Its folly might be shown from the unreasonableness and absurdity of the pleas which are made in its defence. Time will not permit us to enter upon the consideration of these. We shall only make a few brief remarks, in confirmation of the guilt of this practice. In addition to the consideration already mentioned that it is a violation of the sixth commandment, and of all those texts of Scripture which prohibit, under pain of death, the taking away the life of another, we may remark, it strikes at the fundamental principles of civil society; for the duellist asserts his right to be the umpire in his own cause, and the aven ger himself of the injuries he has received. Every man is qually entitled to the same right; and what would be
consequence of such a principle in universal opera
tion, but the destruction of government, and universal anarchy? This practice is also not only at war with the general principles of society, but it is, in our country, a violation of positive laws, and therefore a breach of the law of God which requires us to be subject to every ordinance of man which does not interfere with the rights of conscience. It is also condemned by all those numerous passages of Scripture which inculcate, compassion, longsuffering, forgiveness and the like dispositions. It is also directly contrary to the examples of the saints which are recorded for our imitation, and of Christ who when he was reviled, reviled not again, and who prayed for his enemies, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." And further, this practice oftentimes entails the most serious and lasting injuries on the friends of those who engage in it. If the person who falls has friends, their hearts are wrung with inexpressible agony, an incurable wound is often inflicted, the world is made a blank, and an untimely grave often terminates a life thus made wretched. And in addition to all these reasons against this practice, I repeat it, the duellist is guilty of deliberate, wilful murder, and though he may escape hu man punishment, he must shortly answer for the crime of murder at the bar of God.
I trust it is scarcely necessary to endeavour to impress upon my hearers, a sense of the evil nature of murder of every kind, or in whatever way it may be committed.I would only in the conclusion of this discourse exhort you as you fear the commission of this crime with all its direful consequences, both in this world and the next, to guard againt the indulgence of those passions from which this vice proceeds, such as anger, hatred, malice, envy, revenge, and the like. These passions are totally opposed to the spirit of the gospel, which inculcates, “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness;" and the ymay lead to the most dreadful consequences, even the murder of their object. This they have often done.Shudder then at the thought of cherishing them. Banish them from your breasts, and cultivate the contrary temper.-AMEN.
ISAIAH V. 11.
"Wo unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, that continue until night, till wine inflame them."
In these words the sin of intemperate drinking is condemned. This vice is a breach of the sixth commandment, which forbids not only the direct taking away of our own life, or the life of others, but "whatsoever tendeth thereunto." And drunkenness by gradually impairing the constitution, and causing disease, tends to shorten a man's own life; and not unfrequently does his conduct so affect and injure his near relatives as to shorten also their days.This sin is also a breach of several of the other commandments. It is a breach of the first, as the drunkard makes his cups his chief good, and therefore his God. It is a breach of the fifth, as it unfits a man for the performance of his relative duties, and generally leads to the violation of them all. It is a breach of the eighth, which respects, his own, and his neighbour's wealth and outward estate, as it tends to impair his estate, and reduce himself and family to poverty, and unfits him to provide for them. And it is also a breach of the ninth commandment, which relates to character, as its effect is to lessen a man's reputation. Under either of these commandments we might treat of this vice.
Drunkenness may be defined to be, a state, in which the mental faculties are either partially or totally deranged, and the bodily powers weakened, from the excessive use of spirituous liquors.
This is a sin against which it is important that a warning voice should be frequently raised. For it prevails in our land, and is eminently productive of the most unhappy consequences, even the destruction of thousands both as to body and soul.
My object in the ensuing discourse is to point out the evils, the causes, and the remedies or preventives of the sin of drunkenness.
I. Its evils. And
1. It injures and destroys a man's character. It deprives a person of the due exercise of his reason. This must lessen his character, in the estimation of all persons who feel a regard for the dignity of human nature. Besides, a person intoxicated is in danger of committing many foolish and disgraceful actions, which must necessarily lessen his character. Drunkenness is an inlet to almost every other vice; and a person intoxicated is in a fit state to run into any excess of folly and wickedness. The fact is that this crime always has been and still is held in disgrace, and the loss of character is its inseparable consequent. In the Scriptures, infamy among men is attached to the character of a drunkard. When Eli supposed Hannah to be drunken, and charged her with it, she answered "Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial." 1 Sam. i. 16. Now a son or daughter of Belial in Scripture signifies the vilest of men or women. And Paul wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor. v. 11,) "not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother, be a drunkard with such an one, no not to eat." Among the Spartans, it is said, this vice was considered so disgraceful, that they brought their children to loathe it by showing them a drunkard, at whom they gazed as at a monster. And history informs us that parents among the ancient Romans, to guard their children against this vice, caused one of their slaves to be made intoxicated, and then exposed him to the view and ridicule of the assembled family, that an indelible impression of the disgracefulness of the crime might be made upon them. But we need not refer to other countries and other ages for proofs that this vice is injurious to a man's character; for we doubtless have ourselves known many who once were respected, whose reputation has been lessened and destroyed by this
2. The vice of drunkenness impairs the mental faculties. "Though this (says a medical writer* of Europe) be not the consequence of one act of intoxication, it seldom fails
to succeed a course of it. By a habit of drinking, the greatest genius is often reduced to a mere ideot." And a fate celebrated physician of our own country has given his opinion as follows, "It impairs the memory, debilitates the understanding, and perverts the moral faculties." And another writert of our own country has said, "If a man falls under the power of intemperance as a habit, the understanding gradually becomes torpid, the memory and all other faculties of the mind sink into a mopish inactivity, till at last, he becomes exactly that useless and contemptible creature described in one comprehensive syllable-a sot." Our own observation brethren will furnish abundant proof to convince us of the truth of these remarks.
3. Another evil of this sin is it injures, and often ruins a man's estate. The maxims of the wise man are still true"He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich." Prov. xxi. 17. “The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty." Prov. xxiii. 21. Diminution of property is the almost sure, and inseparable consequence of habitual intemperance. For besides the expense necessary to support this vice, much time is lost, property is frequently wasted for want of care, and bad bargains are frequently made. All of which must necessarily waste estate. That poverty is the natural consequence of this vice, we must be convinced from our own observation. For we have seen persons by it, reduced from easy and even affluent circumstances to penury. And we have often seen persons already poor, kept so by this vice; when by sobriety and industry they might have gained a comfortable livelihood." The drunkard's account (says one) is commonly a short one. Business neglected, foolish bargains contracted, credit ruined, land, house, and furniture mortgaged, and then the sheriff and the prison stand ready to close up the reckoning."
4. Another evil of drunkenness is that it brings misery upon innocent families. It injures their character. For the world, though unjustly, is apt, in a measure, to estimate the respectability of persons from their friends, and especially of children from their parents. It acutely wounds the feelings of a family. The shame and pain
Dr. Rush. Rev. Dr. E. Porter. Rev. Dr. E. Porter.