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tempt, useful to my friend, and comfortable to myself? For to be reputed a coward, a baffled person, and one that will take affronts, is to be miserable and scorned, and to invite all insolent persons to do me injuries. May I not be permitted to fight for mine honour, and to wipe off the stains of my reputation? Honour is as dear as life, and sometimes dearer. To this I have many things to say. For that which men in this question call honour, is nothing but a reputation amongst persons vain, unchristian in their deportment, empty and ignorant souls, who count that the standard of honour which is the instrument of reprobation; as if to be a gentleman were to be no Christian. They that have built their reputation upon such societies, must take new estimates of it, according as the wine, or fancy, or custom, or some great fighting person, shall determine it; and whatsoever invites a quarrel is a rule of honour. But then it is a sad consideration to remember, that it is accounted honour not to recede from any thing we have said or done it is honour not to take the lie, in the meantime it is not dishonourable to lie indeed, but to be told so; and not to kill him that says it, and venture my life and his too, that is a forfeiture of reputation. A mistress's favour, an idle discourse, a jest, a jealousy, a health, a gaiety, any thing must engage two lives in hazard, and two souls in ruin; or else they are dishonoured. As if a life, which is so dear to a man's self, which ought to be dear to others, which all laws, and wise princes, and states, have secured by the circumvallation of laws and penalties, which nothing but heaven can recompense for the loss of, which is the breath of God, which to preserve Christ died, the Son of God died; as if this were so contemptible a thing, that it must be ventured for satisfaction of a vicious person, or a vain custom, or such a folly which a wise and a severe person had rather die than be guilty of. Honour is from him that honours: now certainly God and the king are the fountains of honour; right reason and religion, the Scripture and the laws, are the best rules of estimating honour and if we offer to account our honours by the senseless and illiterate discourses of vain and vicious persons, our honour can be no greater than the fountain from whence it is derivative; and at this rate Harpaste, Seneca's wife's fool, might have declared Thersites an honourable person,

and every bold gladiator in a Roman theatre, or a fighting rebel among the slaves of Sparta, or a trooper of Spartacus's guard, might have stood upon their honour upon equal and as fair a challenge. Certainly there is no greater honour than to be like the holy Jesus; and he is delectable in the eyes of God, and so are all his relatives and followers, by participation of his honour; and nothing can be more honourable than to do wise and excellent actions, according to the account of Divine and human laws: and if either God or the king can derive honour upon their subjects, then whatsoever is contrary to that which they honour must needs be base, dishonourable, and inglorious.

6. But if we be troubled for fear of new and succeeding injuries, and will needs fight, and, as much as lies in us, kill our brother to prevent an injury, nothing can be more unworthy of a Christian, nothing can be more inhuman. Cato, pleading in the Roman senate in the behalf of the Rhodian ambassadors, who came to beg peace of the commonwealth, which had entertained an anger and some thoughts of war against them, upon pretence that the Rhodians would war with them when they durst, discoursed severely and prudently against such unreasonable purposes. And the life of men, and the interest of states, is not like the trade of fencers, whose lot is to conquer if they strike first, to die if they be prevented: man's life is not established upon so unequal and unreasonable necessities, that either we must first do an injury, or else it is certain we must receive a mischief. God's providence and care, in his government of the world, is more vigilant and merciful; and he protects persons innocent and just in all cases, except when he means to make an injury the instrument of a grace, or a violent death to be the gate of glory. It was not ill answered of Merope to king Polyphontes, who therefore killed his brother, because he had entertained a purpose to have killed him: "You should only have done the same injury to him which he did to you; you should still have had a purpose to kill

6 ̓Ει γὰρ σ ̓ ἔμελλεν, ὡς σὺ φὴς, κτείνειν πόσις,

Χρὴ καὶ σὲ μέλλειν, ὡς χρόνος δῆθεν παρῆν.— Eurip.

Quis hoc statuit unquam, aut cui concedi sine summo omnium periculo potest, ut eum jure potuerit occidere, à quo metuisse se dicat ne ipse posteriùs occideretur ?-- Cicero.

him" for his injustice went no farther; and it is hard to requite ill and uncertain purposes with actual murder, especially when we are as much secured by the power of laws, as the whole commonwealth is, in all its greatest interests. And, therefore, for Christians to kill a man to prevent being baffled or despised, is to use an extreme desperate remedy, infinitely painful and deadly, to prevent a little griping in the belly, foreseen as possible to happen, it may be, three years after. But besides, this objection supposes a disease almost as earnestly to be cured as this of the main question; for it represents a man keeping company with lewd and debauched persons, spending his time in vanity, drunken societies, or engaged in lust, or placing his scene amongst persons apt to do affronts and unworthy misdemeanours; and indeed an affront, an injury, a blow, or a loud disgrace, is not the consequent of not fighting, but a punishment for engaging in loose, baser, and vicious company. If the gallants of the age would find an honest and a noble employment, or would be delicate in the choice of their friends and company, or would be severe in taking accounts of themselves and of their time, would live as becomes persons wise and innocent, that is, like Christians, they would soon perceive themselves removed far from injuries, and yet farther from trouble, when such levities of mischance or folly should intervene. But suppose a man affronted or disgraced, it is considerable whether the man deserved it or not. If he did, let him entertain it for his punishment, and use it for an instrument of correction and humility if he did not, as an instance of fortitude and despite of lower things. But to venture lives to abolish a past act, is madness, unless in both those lives there was not good enough to be esteemed greater, and of better value, than the light affront had in it of misery and trouble. Certainly those persons are very unfortunate, in whose lives much more pleasure is not than there is mischief in a light blow, or a lighter affront, from a vain or an angry person. But suppose there were not, yet how can fighting or killing my adversary wipe off my aspersion, or take off my blow, or prove that I did not lie? For it is but an ill argument to say, If I dare kill him, then I did not lie; or if I dare fight, then he struck me not; or if I dare venture damnation, then I am an honourable person. And yet farther, who gave me power

over my own life, or over the life of another, that I shall venture my own, and offer to take his? God and God's vicegerent only are the lords of lives; who made us judges, and princes, or gods? and if we be not such, we are murderers and villains. When Moses would have parted the duellists that fought in Egypt, the injurious person asked him, "Who made thee a judge or ruler over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?" meaning, he ad no power to kill, none to judge of life and death, unless he had been made a ruler. Yea, but flesh and blood cannot endure a blow or a disgrace. Grant that too; but take this into the account, "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And yet, besides this, those persons have but a tender stock of reason, and wisdom, and patience, who have not discourse enough to make them bear an injury", which the philosophy of the Gentiles, without the light of Christianity, taught them to tolerate with so much equanimity and dispassionate entertainment. That person is not a man, who knows not how to suffer the inconvenience of an accident and indiscretion of light persons; or if he could not, yet certainly that is a mad impatience, when a man, to remedy the pain of a drop of scalding water, shall drench himself in the liquid flames of pitch and a bituminous bath.

7. Truth is, to fight a duel is a thing that all kingdoms are bound to restrain with highest severity; it is a consociation of many the worst acts that a person ordinarily can be guilty of; it is want of charity, of justice, of humility, of trust in God's providence; it is therefore pride, and murder, and injustice, and infinite unreasonableness, and nothing of a Christian, nothing of excuse, nothing of honour in it, if God and wise men be admitted judges of the lists. And it would be considered, that every one that fights a duel must reckon himself as dead or dying, (for however any man flatters himself by saying he will not kill, if he could avoid it; yet rather than be killed he will, and to the danger of being killed his own act exposes him :) now, is it a good posture for a man to die with a sword in his hand, thrust at his brother's breast, with a purpose, either explicit or implicit, to

1 Οὗτος κράτιστός ἐστ ̓ ἀνὴρ

Οστες ἀδικεῖσθαι πλεῖστ ̓ ἐπίσταται βροτῶν. - Μenand.

have killed him? Can a man die twice, that, in case he miscarries and is damned for the first ill dying, he may mend his fault, and die better the next time? Can his vain, imaginary, and fantastic shadow of reputation, make him recompense for the disgrace and confusion of face, and pains and horrors of eternity? Is there no such thing as forgiving injuries, nothing of the discipline of Jesus in our spirits? are we called by the name of Christ, and have nothing in us but the spirit of Cain, and Nimrod, and Joab? If neither reason nor religion can rule us, neither interest nor safety can determine us, neither life nor eternity can move us, neither God nor wise men be sufficient judges of honour to us; then our damnation is just, but it is heavy; our fall is certain, but it is cheap, base, and inglorious. And let not the vanities, or the gallants of the world, slight this friendly monition, rejecting it with a scorn, because it is talking like a divine: it were no disparagement if they would do so too, and believe accordingly; and they would find a better return of honour in the crowns of eternity by talking like a divine, than by dying like a fool; by living in imitation and obedience to the laws of the holy Jesus, than by perishing, or committing murder, or by attempting it, or by venturing it, like a weak, impotent, passionate, and brutish person. Upon this chapter it is sometimes asked, whether a virgin may not kill her ravisher to defend her chastity? Concerning which, as we have no special and distinct warrant, so there is, in reason and analogy of the Gospel, much for the negative. For since his act alone cannot make her criminal, and is no more than a wound in my body, or a civil or a natural inconvenience, it is unequal to take a life in exchange for a lesser injury, and it is worse that I take it myself. Some great examples we find in story, and their names are remembered in honour; but we can make no judgment of them, but that their zeal was reprovable for its intemperance, though it had excellency in the matter of the passion.

8. But if we may not secure our honour, or be revenged for injuries by the sword, may we not crave the justice of the law, and implore the vengeance of the judge, who is appointed" for vengeance against evil doers?" and the judge. being the king's officer, and the king God's vicegerent, it is no more than imploring God's hand; and that is "giving

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