Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury
against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that
comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against
himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul;
this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and
Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and
utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any
nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of
reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want
of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels.
True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.
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