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serve to every one his chance for happiness in life, "and would effectually free him from all danger of "misery."

But, according to a common saying, we are to look for the business of a letter in the Postscript. Subjoined to the Essay is a Note, in which Mr. Hume asserts, and endeavours to prove, "that suicide is as "lawful under the Christian dispensation as it was "to the Heathens." If this be the case, we must beg his pardon for having supposed that Christianity was glanced at above, as the superstition which kept men in bondage, and prevented them from taking this short method to escape the evils of life. The Gospel, it seems, allows of suicide. It must be the Gospel, not according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, or St. John, but according to Mr. Hume. I know of no single text that will prove the point; though I once heard of a gentleman who did effectually prove it by two texts judiciously laid together: "Judas departed, and went, and hanged himself”Go, and do thou likewise.'

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But though there be no text which enjoins it (as, considering the importance of the subject, might have been expected), Mr. Hume is clear "there is


not a single text which prohibits it."—"That great "and infallible rule of faith and practice," continues he very gravely, "which must control all philoso"phy and human reasoning, has left us in this parti"cular to our natural liberty."

The " liberty" of destroying himself cannot be thought very "natural" by any one believing in a God who placed him here, and placed him here with some


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view and design. Much less can a Christian, while he continues in his senses, imagine himself left at this liberty by the Gospel; since above all things it enjoins and exhorts him, after the example of his Saviour, to suffer in patience that he may reign in glory. Every precept of this sort is a virtual prohibition of suicide, which argues the last degree of impatience.


'Resignation to Providence is, indeed, recom"mended in Scripture; but that implies only sub"mission to ills that are unavoidable, not to "such as may be remedied by prudence or cou"rage."

"Prudence and courage" are both excellent things: they are two of the cardinal virtues. But that suicide is a display of them, is a proposition hitherto unknown to Reason, Law, and Gospel. There could be no occasion to preach patience under sufferings if it were so, because then no man could be under a necessity of suffering. He might avoid it, at a moment's warning, by the knife or the halter. There could be no such things as "unavoidable "ills;" and the Gospel precepts would be almost as absurd as Mr. Hume's Note.

"Thou shalt not kill, is evidently meant to exclude "only the killing of others, over whose life we have "no authority.-Magistrates punish criminals capi(6 tally, notwithstanding the letter of the law."

Magistrates have authority over the lives of others; but have we authority over our own, to put an end to them when we please? Surely not; and therefore suicide is justly accounted and treated by

our laws as one species of murder forbidden by the commandment.

"But were this commandment ever so express "against suicide, it would now have no authority; "for all the law of Moses is abolished, except so far "as it is established by the law of nature. And we “have already endeavoured to prove, that suicide is "not prohibited by that law."

This is modest" We have endeavoured to prove." But the endeavour, it is humbly apprehended, has been in vain, and ever will be so while there shall be piety enough left on earth to acknowledge God as the Lord of life and death; for so long men will judge it their duty to adore his power, and wait his pleasure. A trifling alteration in our religious services might perhaps answer Mr. Hume's purpose, without the abolition of any part. Let that little particle NOT be expunged from the Commandments, and inserted in the Creed.

"In all cases Christians and Heathens are upon "the same footing"

They very soon will be so, when Mr. Hume's philosophy shall once become the established religion.

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"Cato and Brutus, Arria and Portia, acted he roically; those who now imitate their example, "ought to receive the same praises from poste


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Christianity inculcates a far nobler heroism. It teaches us, when we are engaged in a good cause, to die for it like men, but not by our own hands; to "en

"dure the cross, despising the shame." Cato had not patience to do the one, and Brutus was too proud to do the other. That fortitude is not complete, which cannot do both. But surely, Cato might have lived, though Cæsar conquered; and Brutus have left the world with a quiet conscience, though he had forborne to stab the dictator or himself. Of the Roman ladies nil nisi bonum.-But there have been martyrs of that sex among us Christians, who could have shown to them likewise "a more excellent way." There cannot be a finer or more just representation of this matter than that given by Mrs. Chapone in the story of FIDELIA, first published in the Adventurer, No. 77, &c. and afterwards reprinted in a little volume, entitled, Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. Every female, who, on account of her crimes, her miseries, or both, may be tempted to put a period to her life, should read that story. She may read it again and again, with increasing pleasure and improvement. Nor let me omit this opportunity of recommending to general perusal a charming Ode, published among the poems of Mr. Warton, styled THE SUICIDE, in which the best of poetry is applied to the best of purposes.


"The power of committing suicide is regarded "by Pliny as an advantage which men possess even "above the Deity himself."

Shame upon Pliny for uttering such a sentiment! but more shame upon Mr. Hume for retailing it in a Christian country! The thought is

equally blasphemous and absurd ;-blasphemous, in exalting man above the Deity, on so wretched an account; absurd, because as God is liable to no calamities, he cannot need the means to escape them.

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