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mer Cafe, they are like a Candle set on a Candlestick; in the latter, they are like a Torch placed in the Thatch.
Ther. In what Respects can they be pernicious ? : Alp. I will mention two. We shall never be like the Church, who comes up from the Wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved *; so long as We bolster up Ourselves, with a Conceit of personal Righteousness, This was the Error, the fatal Error of the Pharisees. This the Film, which blinded the Eyes of their Mind; and sealed them up, under the Darkness of final Unbelief..
Besides, my dear Theron : If You expect to be faved by your own Duties, You will be loth to fee the worst of your Condition. To see the worst of your Condition, will be a Dagger to your Hopes, and as Death to your Soul. You will therefore be inclined to daub with untempered Mortar t. Instead of acknowledging the deep Depravity of your Nature, and the numberless Iniquities of your Life, You will invent a thousand Excuses, to palliate your Guilt. And, by this Means, erect a Wall of Partition, between your Soul and the Merits of your REDEEMER. Which will be a greater Inconvenience, a more destructive Evil, than to cut off all Supply of Provision from an Army encamped, or even to intercept the Sun-beams from visiting the Earth.
Ther. Now you talk of Armies, I must observe; That, though I have scarce been able to keep my Ground, in this argumentative Action, I cannot allow You the Honour of a Victory. As a Retreat is very different from a Rout.
A az . . Asp. * Cant. viii. 5. + Ezek. xiii. 10.
Ap. I would also remark, that my Friend has changed the intended Plan of our Operations. Has almost continually acted upon the Offensive. While my Part has been only to sustain the Shock. At our next Encounter, You may expect to have the Order of Battle reversed. I shall direct my Forces to begin the Charge. Put Yourself therefore in Readiness for a brisk Attack. • Ther. You act the fair Enemy, Aspasio, I must
confess; in thus giving the Alarm, before You make the Assault.
Asp. This Hostility may appear fairer still, when I assure You, that my Weapons aim not at the Destruction of your Comfort, or the Demolition of any valuable Interest. Only they would be mighty, through GOD, to pull down the Strong-holds of Unbelief; and bring every self-exalting, every rebellious Thought, captive unto CHRIST*. Captive, in a professed Submission to his Righteousness, as well as a dutiful Subjection to his Commands. --And, when such is the Tendency of the Campaign, it will be your greatest Advantage, to lose the Victory t. It will be better than a Triumph, to acknowledge Yourself vanquished.
TherON. por ÚR laft Conversation ended with a
Challenge. To decline or delay the
Acceptance of it, would look like Cowe ardice in me, and be a piece of Injur
are tice to You, Aspasio. Therefore, I am now ready to give You all the Satisfaction, which a Gentleman can demand.-Only as the Weather continues hazy, I believe, my Study must be the Place of Action.
Afp. A Challenge! Theron
Ther. What, Sir ! Do You boggle? Would You eat your Words, and play the Poltroon ?
Afp. Perhaps, I may have an Inclination to follow the Example of a Brother Hero ; who ran away from the Field of Battle, just as his Comrades were advancing to charge the Enemy. And when called to an Account for his Behaviour, right worthily alledged; That his Retreat * proceeded, not from
any * Retreat-Bengelius thinks, there is such an Air of Self-adulation, and vain Pretence, in the Word used by
any Timidity of Mind; no, but from a Concern for the public Good. “ For, quoth He, if they « had knocked my Brains out to-day, how should “ I have been able to fight for my Country to« morrow?” .
You smile, Theron, at my doughty Warrior, and his fage Maxim.—But, since You have glanced at a certain modis Custom, give me Leave very seriously to assure You; That, if the Affair was to be determined by Sword and Pistol, I should reckon fuch a Conduct, a resolute Refusal at least, not at all unmanly, but the truly wise and gallant Behaviour. For surely, it can never be an Instance of Wisdom, to hazard my Life, at the mere Caprice of a turbulent Ruffian ; who is a Stranger to all the Principles of Humanity and Generosity, but a Slave, an abandoned Slave, to his own ungovernable Passions.Surely, it can never be an Act of real Bravery, to expose my Person; because some fool-hardy Practitioner in the Fencing-school, is desperate enough to risk his. -TheGentleman, the true Gentleman, should exert a becoming Dignity of Spirit; and scorn to set his Welfare on a Level, with that of an inconfiderate and barbarous Bully *.
the unclean Spirit, Matt. xii. 44. Eenador, exivi. Sic loquitur, quafi non ejectum. Vide Superbiam! He says not, I was cast out, but I came out. He could not brvok the former Expression. His Pride was too great to confess the Truth, or to 6 declare the Thing as it is.”
* Afpafo calls the Person who gives the Challenge, a Bully." And fuch, notwithstanding all the Maxims of fantastical and false Honour, He will certainly be found, when tried at the Bar of Reason or Justice. For, if the most impetuous, irrational, and brutal Barbarity is allowed to constitute a Bully, He has an indisputable Title
: Ther. But Honour, my Afpasio, Honour is at stake. Better to lose our Life, than forfeit our Reputation. Better to be in a Grave, than to be the Jeft of every Coffee-house; and perhaps pointed at, as We pass the Streets, for mean-spirited, sneaking, or, as the Gentlemen of the Sword so elegantly speak, whitelivered Animals. ,
Afp. Forfeit our Reputation! Amongst whom, I beseech You !--A few rash and precipitate Creatures : The Pupils of La Mancha's Knight: The Sons of Chimera * and Cruelty. Who, by associating the Notion of Cowardice, with the Practice of forgiving Injuries ; have attempted to bring into Disrepute, the most generous Act of the human Mind. Whose Principles are, I say not, a Departure from the Precepts of Religion, but a Disgrace to Reason, and the Reproach of common Sense. Whose Applause, therefore, is Infamy; and their Detraction the highest Praise they can bestowe
From every judicious and worthy Person, your Conduct will be sure to gain Approbation, and your Character Esteem. When Cæfar received a Challenge from Anthony, to engage Him in single Combat, He very calmly answered the Bearer of the Message; If Anthony is weary of Life,' tell Him, there are other Ways to Death, besides the point of my
Sword. to the Character; who, on account of a mere Punetilio, or some flight Affront, would destroy a Life, which might be of Service to Society--might be a Blesling to various Relatives--and is intimately connected with a blissful or miserable Immortality.
* This Kind of Gentry are styled in a Book, with which they have little or no Acquaintance; but whose Maxims will be had in Reverence, when their Names are loft in Oblivion - 7181 ». The Sons of Blufer, or The Children of Noise, Jer. xlviii. 45..