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face, I would this moment take away your life." The consequence was, that the youth, struck with a sudden and strong sense of his misbehaviour, fell on his knees and begged forgiveness.
It is no uncommon thing, with persons of duelling propensity, to make a very liberal but inexplicable, use of the term "Satisfaction." An honest country gentleman had the misfortune to fall into company with two or three modern men of honour, where he happened to be very ill treated. One of the company, being conscious of his offence, sent a note to him the next morning, telling him, "he was ready to give him satisfaction." "Why surely now (says the plain, honest man) this is fine doings: last night he sent me away very much out of temper; and this morning he fancies it would be a satisfaction to me to be run through the body!
It is reported of the famous Viscount de Turrenne, that when he was a young officer, at the siege of a fortified town, he had no less than twelve challenges sent him; all of which he put in his pocket without farther notice; but being soon after commanded upon a desperate attack on some part of the fortifications, he sent a billet to each of his challengers, acquainting them, "that he had received their papers, which he deferred answering until a proper occasion offered, both for them and himself, to exert their courage for the king's service; that being ordered to assault the enemy's works next day, he desired their company; when they would have an opportunity of signalizing their own bravery, and of being witnesses of his." We may leave the reader to determine, in this case, who acted most like a man of sense, of temper, and of true courage.
When Augustus Cæsar received a challenge from Mark Antony (in his decline of fortune) to engage him in single combat, he very calmly answered the bearer of the message, "If Antony is weary of his life, tell him there are other ways of death besides the point of my sword!" Now, who ever deemed
this an instance of cowardice? All ages have admired it as the act of a discreet and gallant man; who, sensible of his own importance, knew how to treat the petulant and vindictive humour of a discontented adversary with its proper contempt.
A COMPENDIOUS VIEW OF THE PRINCIPAL CONTENTS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
THAT book which we call THE BIBLE (that is, THE BOOK, by way of eminence) although it is comprized in one volume, yet in fact comprehends a great number of different narratives and compositions, written at different times, by different persons, in different languages, and on different subjects. And taking the whole of the collection together, it is an unquestionable truth that there is no one book extant, in any language, or in any country, which can in any degree be compared with it for antiquity, for authority, for the importance, the dignity, the variety, and the curiosity of the matter it contains.
It begins with that great and stupendous event, of all others the earliest and most interesting to the human race, the creation of this world, of the heavens and the earth, of the herbs of the field, the sea and its inhabitants. All this it describes with a brevity and sublimity well suited to the magnitude of the subject, to the dignity of the Almighty Artificer, and unequalled by any other writer. LET THere BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT; is an instance of the sublime, which stands to this day unrivalled in. any human composition.
But what is of infinitely greater moment, this history of the creation has settled forever that most important question, which the ancient sages were never able to decide; from whence and from what causes
this world, with all its inhabitants and appendages, drew its origin; whether from some inexplicable necessity, from a fortuitous concourse of atoms, from an eternal series of causes and effects, or from one supreme, intelligent, self-existing Being, the Author of all things, himself without beginning and without end. To this last cause the inspired historian has ascribed the formation of this system; and by so doing has established that great principle and foundation of all religion and all morality, and the great source of comfort to every human being, the existence of one God, the Creator and Preserver of the world, and the watchful Superintendant of all the creatures that he has made.
The Sacred History next sets before us, the primæval happiness of our first parents in Paradise; their fall from this blissful state by the wilful transgression of their Maker's command; the fatal effects of this original violation of duty, the universal wickedness and corruption, it gradually introduced among mankind; and the signal and tremenduous punishment of that wickedness by the deluge; the certainty of which is acknowledged by the most ancient writers, and very evident traces of which are to be found at this day in various parts of the globe.
It then relates the peopling of the world again by the family of Noah; the covenant entered into by God with that patriarch, the relapse of mankind into wickedness; the calling of Abraham; and the choice of one family and people, the Israelites, (or, as they were afterwards called, the Jews) who were separated from the rest of the world to preserve the knowledge and the worship of a Supreme Being, and the great fundamental doctrine of THE UNITY; while all the rest of mankind, even the wisest and most learned, were devoted to polytheism and idolatry, and the grossest and most abominable superstitions. It then gives us the history of these people, with their various migrations, revolutions, and principal transactions. It recounts their removal from the land of Canaan, and
their establishment in Egypt under Joseph, whose history is related in a manner so natural, so interesting and affecting, that it is impossible for any man of common sensibility to read it without the strongest emotions of tenderness and delight.
In the book of Exodus we have the deliverance of this people from their bondage in Egypt, by a series of the most astonishing miracles; and their travels through the wilderness for forty years under the conduct of Moses; during which time (besides many other rules and directions for their moral conduct) they received the Ten Commandments, written on two tables of stone by the finger of God himself, and delivered by him to Moses with the most awful and tremendous solemnity; containing a code of moral law infinitely superior to any thing known to the rest of mankind in those rude and barbarous ages.
The books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, are chiefly occupied with various other laws, institutions and regulations given to this people, respecting their civil government, their moral conduct, their religious duties, and their ceremonial observances.
Among these, the book of Deuteronomy (which concludes what is called the Pentateuch or five books of Moses) is distinguished above all the rest by a concise and striking recapitulation of the innumerable blessings and mercies which they had received from God since their departure from Horeb; by strong expostulations on their past rebellious conduct, and their shameful ingratitude for all these distinguished marks of the Divine favour; by many forcible and pathetic exhortations to repentance and obedience in future ; by promises of the most subtantial rewards, if they returned to their duty; and by denunciations of the severest punishments, if they continued disobedient; and all this delivered in a strain of the most animated, sublime, and commanding eloquence.
The historical books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, continue the history of the Jewish nation under their leaders, judges, and kings,
for near a thousand years: and one of the most prominent and instructive parts of this history is the account given of the life and reign of Solomon, his wealth, his power, and all the glories of his reign; more particularly that noble proof he gave of his piety and munificence, by the construction of that truly magnificent temple which bore his name ; the solemn and splendid dedication of this temple to the service of God; and that inimitable prayer which he then offered up to Heaven in the presence of the whole Jewish people; a prayer evidently coming from the heart, sublime, simple, nervous, and pathetic; exhibiting the justest and the warmest sentiments of piety, the most exalted conceptions of the divine nature, and every way equal to the sanctity, the dignity, and the solemnity of the occasion.
Next to these follow the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which contain the history of the Jews for a considerable period of time after their return from a captivity of 70 years in Babylon, about which time the name of Jews seems first to have been applied to them. The books of Ruth and Esther are a kind of appendage to the public records, delineating the characters of two very amiable individuals, distinguished by their virtues, and the very interesting incidents which befel them, the one in private, the other in public life, and which were in some degree connected with the honour and prosperity of the nation to which they belonged.
In the book of Job we have the history of a personage of high rank, of remote antiquity, and extraordinary virtue; rendered remarkable by uncommon vicissitudes of fortune, by the most splendid prosperity at one time, by an accumulation of the heaviest calamities at another: conducting himself under the former with moderation, uprightness, and unbounded kindness to the poor; and under the latter, with the most exemplary patience and resignation to the will of Heaven. The composition is throughout the greater part highly poetical and figurative, and exhi-.