Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

him solve. His greatness is in the balance, and by a false Bishop of Detroit (Bishop Reze), who it was believed had step either way he may“ kick the beam."

been subjected to punishment and penance of some sort for

alleged tendency towards liberty of opinion and action. He AMERICA.

was invited to Rome, to receive, it was said, the apostolic Duties of Church Members. The resolutions of the Ameri- blessing, but met with so very warm a reception, that he has can Church courts have occasionally a direct, purpose-like never been able to get away again. Repeatedly have the character about them, which it would surprise slow professors Protestant newspapers asked their Romish contemporaries as here to meet with. Take, for instance, the following answer

to the cause and place of his detention (it having been of the Presbytery of Indianapolis to the question

rumoured that he was confined in one of the cells of the Vati" What is the duty of a Church session, when a member is can), but without eliciting any reply. A letter, however, has able, but unwilling, to do anything for the support of the

at length appeared bearing to be written from Rome, the gospel ?"

author of which affirms that the bishop was never in a dungeon, “Whereas - The Word of God plainly makes this the duty

or under restraint of any serious kind, and continues in the of every member of the Church, from its first organization following style :therefore

“It is not at all unfrequent to meet a bishop who willingly or “Resolved— That, in the judgment of the presbytery, it is the

unwillingly resigns his see. Dr. Hynes was compelled by imperious duty of every member of the Church to contribute

circumstances to give up the vicariate of Corfu and Zante, to the support of the gospel, as God has prospered him; and

and was in a Dominican convent at Rome longer than Bishop also, it is the duty of every session to use every proper effort Reze, and at the same time. Still he has been afterward sent to induce such delinquent member to discharge this very im- to Demarara, and is there now a most zealous vicar apostolic. portant duty. Further:

From Rome, at the conclusion of his business, Bishop Reze “Resolved— That, while the support of the gospel at home is went to Naples, and thence on a visit to his family in Gerthe duty of every member of the Church, they should be re

many. He is undoubtedly living either with his family or in quired to contribute according to their circumstances to the

some religious iustitution in Germany, as many a learned and Boards of the Church, particularly to the Education, Foreign, holy, bishop has done before him. He is naturally fond of reand Domestic Missions.

tirement, and cannot, in his present circumstances, like much “Resolved–That if any member of the Church disregards the

to appear before the public. "Let us take for granted, what is faithful admonitions of the session in regard to the duties certainly not true, that on account of some demeanour, or to above stated, he be subjected to discipline as any other offend

prevent public scandal, Bishop Reze has been billeted on some ing member."

convent from which he cannot absent himself without forfeitIt is easier perhaps to applaud a resolution of this sort, wben ing his allegiance to his superiors and breaking his connection passed by a presbytery at a distance, than ourselves to act on with the Catholic Church. This is nobody's business but his it at home; but there can be little doubt, that on the grounds and ours. He took an oath of obedience to the Propaganda

before he came to America, in gratitude for having (like your stated, it is more than defensible: “Freely ye have received,

humble servant) got his letters and his oats from that institufreely give." (Matt. x. 8.) “Every man shall give as he

tion for a great number of years. He understood very well, is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which at the time, that if he did not know how to behave himself in he hath given thee.” (Deut. xvi. 17.) “Whoso hath this public, he would be ordered to go and say his prayers in some world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth snug little corner out of the way, and that he would be obup his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love

liged to do so. I have no doubt he would be extremely

thankful if the officious gentlemen of the Protestant press of God in him ?” (1 John iii. 17.) It is of course impos

were not to drag him before the public." sible, as a general rule, to decide the amount which Church

There is no doubt that Rome has a thorough system of members ought to give for religious purposes. But there are hundreds, we fear thousands, of instances in which they give the Jesuits, they serve most efficiently as spies. Accordinglr

surveillance over all her priests. Among the other uses of nothing, and many more, in which, beyond all doubt, they it is said to be no uncommon thing for a priest, who has been give most inadequately. To remonstrate and deal with such parties is not only lawful, but imperative. Not that we would

blundering in any way, and seenis likely to persist in bis have any man give, or be asked to give, “grudgingiy" or

blunder, or not able to remedy it, to be either summoned to

Rome, or sent off without warning or reason assigned, to some of “ necessity;" but that we deem the refusal to give“ wil.

distant sphere, there first to do penance, and if at all refraclingly" a feature of character altogether inconsistent with the

tory, to be thoroughly broken down, and ultimately to resume existence of living and healthful Christianity. He who does not desire and pray for the maintenance of a preached gospel thus acquired. We heard some time ago of an Irish priest,

his labours in another field, with the benefit of the experience around him, and its diffusion over the earth, cannot be a

who because of his apparent friendliness with the Protestant Christian; and he who restricts himself to wishes and prayers, because to do more would require labour or money,

incumbent, was despalehed on a few days notice to Canada.

The case of this Bishop Reze is doubtless one of a similar only proves that if he could make anything by his prayers he

kind. would not give them for nothing. We are quite aware that, in speaking thus, we touch delicate ground, and that ene

Calls, mies, who seem to think freedom from being called on to give money more desirable than freedom from being compelled to

Dumfries Free Church.-Rer, James Munro of Ruther

glen, December 27. commit sin, may seize upon our words for the purpose of

Glasgou, Renfield Free Church.- Rev. John Bonar of showing how exacting and compulsory our notions are as to Aberdeen, January 6. the support of the gospel. But the delicacy of the question, or the probability of perversion, should not deter us from

New Church Opened. facing and considering it, when called to do so. The excessive Dundee, Chapelshade Free Church. By the "Rer. delicacy which is so prevalent among certain parties with re

Samuel Miller of Glasgow, January 2. gard to asking money for gospel purposes betokens a state of

Induction. feeling altogether unscriptural and unworthy, and so far from being respected or sympathized with, ought to be un

Montrose, Free St. George's Church.- The Rer. John sparingly denounced. Paul knew nothing of it, nor yet did Laird, late of Inverkeillor, December 28. the prophets.

Printed and Published by JOAN JORNSTONE, 15, Princes Street, A Missing Bishop.-Considerable curiosity was excited

Edinburgh; and 26, IPaternoster Row, London. And sold by the some time ago in the States regarding the fate of the Romish Booksellers throughout the kingdom.

THE

FREE CHURCH MAGAZINE.

MR. GEORGE COMBE ON EDUCATION.* that whisky intoxicates, that guano fertilizes, that Me. Combe has made a wonderful discovery. He has chloroform averts pain. And since pain and intoxifound out the fact that the world is governed by that it is right to take chloroform, wrong to take

cation are bad, and fertility is good, he will learn general laws. Our forefathers could not have believed it. They used to sow their corn in seed-time, whisky, and a great sin to neglect the guano.

Well, if this were all that Mr. Combe desired, we we cannot well say why; for they had no notion of any law connecting sowing with reaping. In cold might be disposed to go more than half way to meet weather they kindled a fire, and drew near to it, not him, for we have

really no dislike to science, though

we believe our Bibles. We should be glad to conthat they imagined that there was any established connection between the burning of a fire and the sider, along with him, how science might be made sensation of warmth, but probably because they most practical, and most widely subservient to the could not help it. It is only since the seventeenth comfort, happiness, and virtue of the people. But

this is not half of his avowed object; and the recentury, that men began to suspect that there were

mainder of it is so little in accordance with our views, what are called the laws of nature.

This seems carious, but Mr. Combe

says it is true; for, contrary and feelings, and principles, that we must decline to the belief of the religious men of the seventeenth assisting him even in this. century, he asserts that “ the world is now governed

The fact is, that Mr. Combe has got hold of a truth by natural laws designedly adapted by the Divine

-a very old truth—which he neither understands,

That God Ruler to the human mind and body, and calculated appreciates, nor applies as he ought. to serve as guides to human conduct."

governs the world by general laws, and that from Now, however, that the discovery has been effected, these laws intimations of his will may be derived for Mr. Combe is desirous to secure the whole benefit They are truths of very ancient date--more ancient

our guidance in life, are truths which all admit. of it. He is eager to incorporate it with a system of than the time when the fact that God had “ opnational education, from which all catechisms and formalaries of religion shall be carefully excluded, pointed the ordinances of the heaven and earth” was and in which these laws alone shall be asserted and employed to assure the prophet of the immutability connected with the various emotions of Hope, Cau: the seventeenth century, iguorant as they were in

Even the religious men of tion, Admiration, Veneration, &c. rather general in his plans, but we have been endea- Mr. Combe's estimation, showed that they perfectly vouring to imagine how the scheme might be carried understood the subject, when they declared that God, into practical effect. We suppose, though he does in the providence by which he governs all his creanot say so, that he would allow reading still to be tures, makes use of means, and orders events to fall taught; and probably he might begin by expressing from the very qualifications with which they accom,

out according to the nature of second causes; † and, some of the most obvious natural laws in words of one syllable, counecting them with the various emo.

panied these statements, they show that they had tions. Thus, we may have first the

considered the matter far more profoundly than Mr.

Combe appears to have done. The only argument Assertion Fire burns.

by which they are proved to have been ignorant of then

the truth referred to, is, that they believed in the Admiration How the fire does burn!

doctrine of a particular providence. They considered Caution I will not go near the fire, lest I be the laws of nature not merely as ordinances formed burnt.

to work well upon the whole, but as means by which Veneration I dread the fire; for it burnt my toe.

God accomplished particular ends—ends which the Conscience was not Tom a bad boy when he cern, while the ignorance and passions of man might

pious and enlightened mind might occasionally distouched the fire? Yes, for it did lead him often to misconceive them. Mr. Combe burn his hand.

refers especially to Cromwell and the Covenanters, Of course, as the pupil advances, other laws will be and it is probable enough that both parties erred in taught and connected in a somewhat similar way, interpreting the purposes of the Almighty Ruler. with proper states of feeling. He will be taught But he is a sillier man than either of the parties, who

1. Oa the Relation between Religion and Science. By George concludes that the Almighty had no purpose whatCombe, Second Edition-Corrected. Edinburgh, 1817. IL Kemarks on National Education, &c.

ever in the incidents of that eventful period. To

By George Combe. Foarth Edition. Edinburgh, 1847.

* Jer. xxxiii. 25. See Dr. Chalmers' exposition of Ps. cxix. 90, II. What should Secular Education Embrace? By George Conhe. Edinburgh, 1918.

in the first of his sermons preached in St. John's Church.

† Confession of Faith, ch. v. No. L.

FEBRUABY, 1848.

prove their ignorance, Mr. Combe mentions that they favourable to health and longevity; and that filth and

resorted to fastings, humiliations, and prayers, as intemperance have an opposite tendency; and thus, practical means of obtaining direction in all the he says, it is shown to be the divine will that man serious affairs of life.” And, in the same spirit, he should be cleanly and temperate. We by no means condemns the Queen's proclamation, enjoining a fast dispute the conclusion of Mr. Combe; for we believe last year, because “ it proceeds on the assumption that the express commandment of God “ requireth that the physical and organic laws of nature are all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life and actually administered in our day, in special refer the life of others.” But if we were at liberty to deny ence to the moral and religious me of the people." this truth, Mr. Combe's argument would proceed but “ Nevertheless,” he adds, “ science has destroyed lamely. Supposing he were to deal with one who this belief in a large portion of the public.” The avowedly preferred a short life and a merry one" man who says so, proves that he knows almost as

to length of days, who felt strongly inclined to dissilittle of science as of religion. Strictly speaking, the pation, and was reckless about the duration of his uniformity of the laws of nature is not a matter of life the argument that temperance must be the will science at all. It is the subject of the intuitive per of God, because it leads to longevity, would be but ception of the human mind, and the business of a feeble one. The “ creed of the modern men of science is merely to discover, enumerate, and classify science," as given by our author in the words of the various events which stand in the relation of Sedgwick, might be more likely to excite his ridicule cause and effect to each other. But never did genuine than to command his assent. « If the will of Provihonest science affirm that the laws of nature were dence,” says Mr. Sedgwick "be manifested by general exempted from the control and direction of their laws, then must a violation of these laws be a violation Author. Never did it view the marvellous results of his will.” “Very good," may the drunkard say;" but which those laws were, from time to time, evolving, if these laws can be violated by any creature, surely and then dictate the inscription, “Hic Deus nihil fecit.” they are not violated by me. If I shorten my life Men of intelligence and piety in the nineteenth cen by the dissipation which I love, and my neighbour tury may perhaps be a little more cautious in at- lengthens his by the abstinence which I hate, we tempting to interpret the designs of Providence than fulfil the laws of nature each in his own way. It is they were in the seventeenth. But if Mr. Combe be- as much the law of nature that I shorten my days lieves that their convictions of the reality of a particular by intemperance as that he lengthens his by a differprovidence are abandoned, he is sadly uninformed ent course." on the subject. We could refer him to various au- There is, in truth, in Mr. Combe's reasonings, a thors, whose names stand considerably higher than curious confusion between the laws which God has his own in the scientific and literary world, whose ordained in the material world, and the will of God opinions have been given with great force and clear- regarding the duty of man as inferred from these ness in opposition to his notions. We might mention laws. That the will of God ought to be obeyed, will Dr. Olinthus Gregory, whose letter on the subject is be denied by no one who acknowledges the existence worthy of a serious perusal;* Robert Hall

, who, in of a God. This is equally true, whether that will be his Review of Gregory's work, administered a casti- clearly and directly revealed, or laboriously inferred gation to the witty and worldly-minded clerk Sydney from the course of providence. But whether Mr. Smith, which Mr. Combe should ponder and profit Combe is uniformly successful in discovering it in by; and Dr. Wardlaw, whose sermon on the subject his own way, is abundantly questionable. Grantis a judicious statement of the truth revealed in ing that his inferences are in many cases correct, Scripture for the instruction of all ages. It would there are intimations to be obtained from the course be very ridiculous in Mr. Combe to set aside the of nature, on which he seems not to have opened judgment of such men as altogether unworthy of his his eyes. Here is his account of the law of life :regard; and to confute them is beyond his ability. “The organism of man is calculated to act for threeBut, in truth, every Christian worthy of the name, score years and ten, and during that period to afford every one who believes that Jesus Christ spoke truth enjoyment to the intelligent and sentient principle when he said, “ Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and resident within it. But Divine Wisdom has appointed ye shall find,” practically condemns the doctrine certain conditions, on the observance of which the which Mr. Combe upholds, and in every petition organism will continue successfully to perform its which he presents to God, renounces the principle functions, and on the infringement of which it will which Mr. Combe maintains.

either become impaired, or altogether cease to act. * Mr.Combe has a long discussion, founded on the bills These conditions are, to a great extent, cognizable of mortality, the report of the Registrar-general, by the human intellect, and constitute the terms on &c.--all ending in this conclusion, “That an intimate which the boon of health and life is presented to knowledge of the structure, functions, and laws of man; it being left in his option to accept and fulfil the vital organs of the body, is apparently the true them, or to reject and infringe them, as he pleases, key to the right understanding of the order of God's only, certain consequences are pre-ordained to follow secular providence in dispensing health and life, and each specific course of action; and these he must abide disease and death, to individuals." Without being by, whether he will or not.” (Relation, p. 19.) hypercritical as to expressions, we should have We do not know whether Mr. Combe would consider thought that the doctrine substantially contained in the man of eighty a transgressor, but at least the man this passage was familiar ever since medicine was a

who dies at sixty must be considered a sinner; his sin study-familiar to Sydenham, and others, even in the is greatly aggravated if he expires at thirty, and the seventeenth century. But granting the conclusion child who dies in infancy must be deemed a hopeto be altogether original, what use does Mr. Combe less criminal. The boon of life for seventy years make of it when he has got it? He finds that clean- was offered, on terms which it was in his option to liness, temperance, and abundance of good diet, are accept or reject, and he threw away sixty-nine of the Letters on the Evidences, &c, No. xis.]

years that he might have retained. Did not the absur.

an

dity of the conclusion remind Mr. Combe that his pro- | they tend to blind the intellect, and mislead the position was utterly false as regards men individually? moral and religious sentiments of the people, and He knows that the child comes into the world thereby to retard their advance in practical religion, tainted, and, it may be, with the springs of life wisdom, and virtue." (Relation, p. 27.) In another poisoned, by the vices of its progenitors; that in in place, he speaks of the attempts of some religious fancy it still frequently pines away, the victim of persons to blend their doctrinal tenets with secular vices in its parents over which it has no control; that affairs, and remarks, that “they do not succeed. In through their vices it is exposed to dangers which point of fact, they place doctrinal disquisitions in it can no more avert than it can arrest the planets juxtaposition with secular knowledge, without uniting in their orbits; and if the child of misery and sin them, and for the simple reason, that, as taught, they survives to receive instruction, is it not bitter mock- are incompatible. The sectarian world, especially the ing to tell him that the world is "not intrinsically Calvinistic sects, must view nature in a light widely disordered and ont of joint, but still such as God different from that in which they now regard it, bemade it, and that it reflects his wisdom and goodness fore they shall be capable of blending religion and in all its parts? Is it not adding insult to his suffer- mundane interests harmoniously together.” (Reing to say, that he has received the boon of " marks, p. 24.) In Germany, he tells us, “ evangelical organism calculated to act and afford enjoyment for religion, as it is understood in this country, has althreescore years and ten,” and that he has only to ready fallen, in consequence of long-continued inaccept the terms and enjoy the benefit?

vestigation and discussion; and it is probable that, In immediate connection with this subject, we would in a few years hence, only a bold and good spirit will have referred, had space permitted, to our author's be wanting to shake the theological fabric in this allusions to Ireland. We do not allude at present country to the ground, as has already been done in to that most marvellous of all his discoveries, that Germany." (Remarks, p. 28.) From all which we the miseries of that country are to be ascribed to think, we may reasonably infer that the system which the " purely religious teaching” to which it has been Mr. Combe is pressing on the country is one by subjected. (Remarks, p. 14.) At other times he re- which he believes that what is termed evangelical fers to those miseries as the result of centuries of religion will be supplanted and exterminated, and misgovernment; a long crusade against the course something different set up in its place. The someof Providence" on the part of England. We are not thing is not yet fully developed or embodied in a careful to examine his statements minutely; but, sect, but we may call it Combianism. And what is taking them as we find them, do we not see one race Combianism? We cannot tell very distinctly. But or generation suffering and degraded by the crimes what he would have to be taught is something or the follies of another, and those crimes and follies “ against which all sects” (that is, all Christian de visited on the heads of the descendants of the offen- nominations), “ raise the deadly cry of Infidelity.” ders! Are we not led, by studying the “ order of (Relation, p. 38.) He says, indeed, that the cry is God's providence," to see that he deals with men not raised against practical Christianity and the laws of merdy as individuals, but also as families, as races, as pature. But this, if taken literally, would be merely kingdoms? Mr. Combe speaks with contempt of those a glaring and senseless falsehood; and, therefore, we fast-day sermons in which “ the potatoe failure was understand him to refer to what he himself terms ascribed directly to sin; and, stranger still, not to sin practical Christianity and the laws of nature—that in the owners of the fields who suffered the loss, but is, Combianism. Now, if all sects call it Infidelity, in their rulers, or in somebody else over whose con- we suspect there is some reason for the cry; and if duct the suffering peasants had no control;” and yet it be not Infidelity, we would recommend to Mr. he himself speaks of the eight millions sterling drawn Combe to state positively what it is. We confess from the people of England to relieve the starving that we have received an impression from the perusal Irish as a part of the retribution due, not for the sins of his pamphlets, that there is a degree of reserve and of those who paid the penalty, but for those of their stratagem about his argument which is not very creditrulers, or of other parties, from Henry II. downwards, able either to his candour or his courage. There is over whose conduct they had as little control. We a profession of respect for the Bible, with an utter look into the course of God's natural providence as contempt of its authority-a verbal regard for Chriswell as Mr. Combe, and when we see, on the one tianity, with a dislike of all that distinguishes Chrishand, resplendent manifestations of the wisdom, tianity from Deism. There is an expressed aversion power, and goodness of the Creator, and on the other to the Calvinistic sects, which exhibits him as seekhand suffering infancy and degraded races, we are ing shelter in the ranks of the anti-Calvinists; while constrained to think that the world is somewhat out he must be quite aware that, to religious Arminians, of joint; thatit s not, in all respects, such as God his views must be as repulsive as to their Calvinistic originally made it; that it is a fallen world, after all. opponents. If Mr. Combe feels wronged by the im

Our study, therefore, of the order of God's secular putation of Infidelity, let him state plainly and manprovidence, would lead us to recognise the doctrine fully wherein his religious opinions differ from those of the fall of man, and to hail the doctrine of re- of the Infidel. demption--doctrines which it is the express object In the meantime, let it be observed that secular of Mr. Combe to exclude. For it is abundantly plain education, in Mr. Combe's argument, does not imply that, in pleading for a national system of purely the exclusion of religion from school education, but secular education, he is actuated, not more by a re- only the substitution of his own religion for orthodox gard for science than by an antipathy to the peculiar Christianity. He has a scheme of secular religion, doctrines of Christianity. He quotes the propositions / which he would so interweave with ordinary instrucin the Sborter Catechism referring to the fall, and tion in the facts and laws of nature, as to form a disstates that " these representatio are not only spe- cipline for the mind, with which the doctrines of colatively erroneous, but constitute positive and im- Christianity would be incompatible. So far his object portant impediments to the progress of divine truth; | is plain enough; and we would ask the Christians of

.

Scotland whether they are inclined to concur in this derstand it, should be, not so much to deter a few
object, or to oppose it? Of course, they will not hardened villains from committing murder, as to pro-
concur; but if they would effectually oppose, they vent others from becoming so depraved and reckless
must come to an understanding with each other, as to be capable of its commission.
that, in liberalizing our national school-system, they We have in view a gradual, permanent, universal,
may not play into the hands of the Combian and the educating influence-an influence, therefore, which
Infidel. There are two plans for rendering the sys- is not immediately terminated by the abolition of the
tem more liberal. The one is the exclusion from of punishment, nor could it be immediately restored by
everything to which any party, however small, would the restoration of the punishment after it had been
object; and thus to please the Roman Catholic and once abolished. This silent, educating influence of
the Socinian, we should have the Bible closed, and penal laws we consider by far the most important of
the doctrine of redemption a forbidden subject in all the influences which such laws can exert.
parishes where Catholics and Socinians are unknown. Let us not be supposed, however, to think that the

This plan is generally defended, we believe, by indi- influence of penal laws is the only or the greatest
viduals whom, if they do not declare themselves restraining influence in society. Far from it. There
Socinians, the Socinians would willingly claim as are many other influences of far greater power and
brethren. The other plan is to construct, or rather efficiency. Still, neither in the case of murder nor
to remodel, a system, comprehending as much as pos- of other crimes, can we, consistently with the highest-
sible' of useful secular knowledge, and embracing welfare of society, dispense with this other and added
those religious truths which nine-tenths of our people influence of penal laws and penal inflictions; and
acknowledge, exempted from the exclusive control this is an influence, taken all in all, by no means to
of any one denomination, and providing for the be despised as comparatively inconsiderable. That
Catholic and the Socinian as special cases. Those was a sound sentiment of Blackstone: “ When men
who hate Bible Christianity will

, of course, resist see no difference made in the nature and gradations such a scheme; but in Christian hands we are satis- of punishment, the generality will be led to confied that it might be both practical and liberal. clude there is no distinction in the guilt.” Here

the educating power of the law upon the mass of CAPITAL PUNISHMENTS_THEIR EXPE- society is distinctly recognised. And indeed this

silent' influence of the law in all departments not DIENCY.

only in determining the public conduct, but in mould(We are indebted for the greater part of the follow. ing the public conscience, is greater than is always ing paper to the Bibliotheca Sacra, a valuable quarterly supposed. A statute of limitations, for example, to Review published at New York. In a future Num- the coercive aid of the law in the collection of debts, ber.we hope to take up the question of the Justice of is doubtless expedient; yet, though it is manifestly Capital Punishments. The agitation against them, no limitation to the moral obligation of payment, how which it has been recently attempted to commence

many, who would take fire at being thought anything or renew in Scotland, affords an opportunity for less than honest and upright men, do nevertheless. taking up the whole question, of which it may be feel, more or less consciously, that when the statuwell to avail ourselves.]

tory limitation is passed, their obligation is somewhat: Our position is, that, for the crime of murder- diminished ! when the guilt is unquestionably established—it is If other crimes, therefore, are punished with the expedient to inflict the just penalty of death, in order same penalty as murder, they gradually come to be to the general protection and security of human life. considered as not differing much in enormity; and In other cases, there are other ends of punishment; this effect follows as much when capital punishment but this is the only end worth mentioning in this is inflicted for murder and other crimes indifferently,

And is it not end enough? What higher or as when, that punishment being abolished, imprisonmore imperative object can be proposed, in the en- ment is awarded to all alike. In the former case, actment of penal laws, than the protection and secu- human life is cheapened by the needless frequency rity of human life?

of executions; in the latter case, by the trifling rateDoes this penalty tend to the accomplishment of at which it seems to be estimated; and in both, by that object better than any other means? We think the withdrawal of all legal motive to abstain from that it does. Our reasons for this opinion are-l. murder after the commission of other crimes, and. That no other form of punishment is fitted to pro- sometimes, it may be, by the additional motive furduce upon the mind of the community so salutary a nished for the commission of murder, in order the dread and such an effectual horror of the crime of better to conceal the antecedent offence. murder-this is a fact of general consciousness; 2. We would have a horror inculcated for the crime That no other punishment can furnish so good a of murder different in kind from the horror that security against freqnent resorts to “ Lynch-law,” may be felt for other crimes. The incomparable and methods of popular and private vengeance; and and unapproachable value of that which is at stake, 3. The good effects of this penalty, as shown by the and is to be protected—the safety and sanctity of results of statistical comparison.

human life--demands it. But this peculiar, salutary As to the first point of appeal. We do not refer horror is not to be infused, by a difference of a few exclusively or particularly to the seared conscious. years in the term of imprisonment. In proof that ness of a few hardened villains—though we have no the penalty of death is fitted to infuse this horror of doubt that if that could be fairly reached, it would murder into the generality of human minds, we apa be found, in a vast majority of cases, strongly in our peal to the common consciousness of mankind; and favour; but we refer to the common, natural con- we might appeal to the whole style and drift of the sciousness of mankind-the ordinary, pervading feel- argument of our opponents on the subject of right, ing of the community. Our aim looks beyond mere to show that they too share in that ordinary conLamporary expedients. The great object, as we un. | sciousness.

case.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »