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him to death for the preser- ciety : and no punishment vation of the lives of others,” short of taking away his life, would be to anticipate crime ! can expiate his crime; ensure In such case the capital pun- the safety of the community ; ishment would be in Aicted be- sufficiently deter others fore the commission of the from the commission of the crime. I have always sup- like horrid offence !". posed that the crime ought to " Answer. I agree that mur. precede the punishment. But der is a great crime against by the reasoning of the ob. civil society ; and a heinous jector it appears, that he would sin against God.
We only have this order inverted ; and differ with respect to the civil would have his impartial ju- punishment. I wish the exdiciary court inflict a punish- periment might be fairly tried, ment on a man, not only for whether it be impossible to the crime he has committed, find some more beneficial albut also for a suspected, sec. ternative, than the shedding of ondary, or future crime, which human blood. In the precedhe has not committed ; and by ing essays, I have mentioned the effectual expedient of a confinement, corporal punishcapital punishment, exonerate ments, hard labour, or banishthe sufferer from the guilt of ment. A late respectable the unperpetrated murder, and writer says, “The successful take the guilt of his blood experiments,made in England, upon themselves!”
and in Philadelphia, prove that ' “If this doctrine of subject- jails may be easily converted ing a member of the commu- from sinks of human depravity nity to certain death by way and wretchedness, into places of anticipation, lest peradven. of reformation. And surely it ture he might happen to kill is much better to reform of. another, was adopted as a gen- fenders, although a little more eral principle, it would embit. troublesome, than to butcher ter the enjoyments of social them under colour of law and life, and might soon extend to justice.” If only a small part the dispersion, if not the exter- of the expence which mankind mination of our whole race; but are at, and of the ingenuity it requires only a small degree which they discover, in inventof attention to the subject to ing and procuring the means be satisfied that it cannot be for their mutual destruction ; supported.
together with the expence of Objection 3. “ One who is hanging our criminals ; were sunk into such depths of de- duly applied towards the conpravity and hardness of heart, structing and regulating of that he can deliberately, and work-houses, and places of maliciously destroy the life of confinement, it would doubta fellow being, has become a less have a very happy effect most dangerous enemy to the on the state of society; and peace and happiness of man- might soon relieve us from the kind, and to the welfare of so- awful spectacle of capital pun
ishments ! Systems of terror “ To say (as some do) that we will better comport with a des- have a right to take away the potic monarchy exercised over life of a human being, because ignorant vassals, than with a he, or she, hath taken away republican government of en- the life of another, is a fallalightened freemen.”
cious mode of reasoning. It Objection 4. “ There is no
appears like justifying one divine command to punish crime, by another. It is commen for shedding innocent paring ourselves, with our. blood, merely by imprison- selves, not with the law of ment, hard labour or banish- God, which is the standard of ment."
moral rectitude. Let us ap“ Answer. I shall briefly ply this sophistical mode of reply, that I have no knowl- reasoning to some of the othedge of any divine command er commandments, say, the 8th, directing our civil magistrates 9th, and 10th. Have we a what specific penalty to inflict right to steal from one, who for any crime. But it deserves hath been guilty of theft ? special notice that there is a
a right to bear false divine example for their imi- witness against one who hath tation, in the punishment of been guilty of perjury? Or to Cain for murder, with hard covet the goods of one, who labour and banishment. Would hath coveted the goods of his not our civil magistrates do neighbour ? In this way we well to imitate this divine ex- might make void, not only the ample, by taking proper and sixth commandment, but also effectual measures to preserve all the rest, which respect the the life of the murderer (as duty of man to man.
By these the Lord did in the case of commandments all theft, perCain) instead of destroying it. jury, covetousness, and all Gen. iv. 15.
shedding of human blood are Objection 5. “The moral expressly forbidden! If the precept, Thou shalt not kill, sixth commandment had said, amounts to no more nor less Thou shalt not kill, except it than this, Thou shalt not com- be one who hath killed another ; mit murder."
or words to that effect; it " Answer. Perhaps the ex- would have given some colplanation of this command- ourable right to take away the ment by the reverend
life of the murderer. bly of divines at Westminster, it now stands, and will forevis as good as any extant. They er stand, it gives no such say, “ This commandment for right.” bids the taking away of our Objection, 6. This moral own life, or the life of our precept, Thou shalt not kill, neighbour unjustly, and what-, implies a penalty ; as there
tendeth thereunto." can be no law without a penalNot: only murder, but also su- ty ; and the penalty must be icide, and all personal wounds equal to the crime ; therefore and injuries are forbid dep." the sixth commandinent im
plies the penalty of death to Objection 7. “If our civil the murderer.”
magistrates punish the crime « Answer. This is a curi- of murder at all, that penalty ous and singular mode of syl- must be executed which God logising a man out of his life. hath annexed to his law, which But as it must be a matter of is death. The law of God serious consequence to him; says explicitly, The murderer I hope that I may be permit- shall surely be put to death. ted to say a few words in his Answer. The Mosaic penal behalf, before the awful sén- code, confined to the Jewish tence of death shall be pro- nation, and long since abolishnounced against him ! In the ed, is here brought into view, first place it ought to be re- and called by way of pre-emi membered, that the question nence, The Law of God: I here discussed 'is conversant therefore find it necessary to only with penalties to be in. make some further explanaflicted by the civil magistrate. tions. The ten commandAnd, secondly, that God hath ments, engraven on the two not annexed any such penal- tables of stone, and published ties to any of his moral laws, from mount Sinai with pecuwhether engraven on the heart, liar solemnities, are often reor on the tables of stone. He ferred to in the New Testaħath been pleased to reserve ment, and are eminently styled, to himself, the sole and sov- The law, The law from mount ereign right of inflicting the Sinai, The moral law, The law penalties for all violations of of God, the word of God, The his laws : or of graciously recommandmeuis of God, &c. mitting them !"
These laws were magnified by “ As the objector professes our Saviour, and represented to have found out the implied as being of unlimited extent, penalty to the sixth commande and of endless duration ! But ment, I would ask him, What the national laws given to the is the implied penalty to be Israelites,respecting penaltics, inflicted by the civil magis- ceremonies, &c. were tempotrate for a violation of the rary. They may be seen from tenth commandment, Thou the twenty-first chapter of Exshalt not covet? Or, what is odus to the end of the pentathe civil penalty for not loving teuch. These, are likewise God supremely? This doc. often quoted in the New Testrine of implication of penal. tament, and are called, The ties, would be a dangerous laws of Moses, The commands principle to be adopted in our of Moses, The sayings of Mocourts of law; and especially ses, Carnal ordinances, Carnal. in the trials of capital causes ! Commandments, Tynes, ShadIn whatever light the subject ows, &c. But I believe they is viewed, to me it appears are never styled in the New evident, that this doctrine of Testament, The Laws of God. the implication of penalties, It merits particular attencannot be maintained,
tion, that although my. oppoVol. VI. No.net,
Dents quote one of those na: "penal laws were dictated to tional laws, and urge it against Moses, by the same high au. me in the present question, as thority. . They were all of being of divine authority, yet equal force, extent, and dura. it is evident, that they are not tion. If our magistrates are fully established in their own bound by those laws to punish doctrine, because they do not murder with death, they are adopt the whole of them. equally bound to inflict the
Whenever a system of laws same punishment for, every is ordained for a nation by breach of Sabbath. If my opproper authority, they have ponents have a predilection no right to single out one of for that old constitution, in them, and to urge that au- order to be consistent, they
thority for the execution of it, ought to be circumcised and , and at the same time to dis- keep the whole law of Moses.
card all the rest. All those
LIBERALITY OF SENTIMEȘT IN THE PONTIFF OF ROME. We are gratified in having the most difficult and distresso an opportunity to present to ing circumstances, when kings our readers an extract of a and governments of force in. Letter relating to the Pope comparably greater shrunk which is adapted to make a and yielded. We were prefávourable impression in re- sented by Abbè Taylor, an gard to his character. Our Irish Catholic, who is apcorrespondent will accept our pointed by the Pope to prethanks for the favour.
sent the English ; but as we Dear Sir,
were Americans, we had, a The following extract of kind of national privilege to a letter from a friend at Rome Have a private audience at a last winter, displaying the true time when it is not commonly catholicism of the head of given, and nobody went with the Romish church, is at your us, except Professor Bell of service, if you consider it de- Edinburgh, the famous anatosirable for insertion in the mist. There was very little. Christian Disciple.
ceremony or parade about it, Yoirs with high respect,
and in all respects it pleased
J. S. me extremely. On entering After relating that the writer the room, we knelt and kissed and another friend had that his hand. He is, you kuow, morning been presented to the very old, but he received us Pope, he proceeds: "He is standing, and was dressed with the only Sovereign in Europe characteristic simplicity and I have ever felt any curiosity humility, as a Friar, without to see, and him I desired to the slightest ornament to disvery much, on account of the tinguish his rank. Bell spoke firmness and dignity with no Italian, and therefore the which he always behaved in conversation was chiefly with
us, and, as we were Americans, continually for having at last entirely on America. He talk- driven all thoughts of perseed a good deal about our uni. cution from the world, since versal toleration, and praised persuasion was the only possi. it, as much as if it were a doc- ble means of promoting piety, trine of his own religion, ad. though violence might proding, that he thanked God mote hypocrisy."
WARS WITH THE INDIANS,
BIBLE SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS.
REPORT On Thursday, 4th June,“ The Bi- Of the Executive Commșttee of the ble Society' of Massachusetts" held Bible Society of Massachusetts, preits ninth annual meeting.
pared for the Anniversary of the The Rev. Joshua Huntington
Society, June 4, 1818. preached the sermon from Psalm THE Executive Committee of the cxxxviii
. 2." Thou hast magnified Massachusetts Bible Society respectthy word above all thy name." fully repost, that they have distribúA collection was taken of $224 70.
ted during the last year the following
Bibles and Testaments. After service, the annual business
Large Bibles, 264 of the Society was transacted.
Small do. 1643 The following was the report of the Testaments,
1637 Executive Committee for the last year,