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our guilt, but as a pledge of our own acceptance, by faith, of that ONLY ATONEMENT which can avail for our pardon--even the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice” of a Saviour upon the cross.'
Very different is the recommendation of the Rev. Dr. Gray, who, in his Sermon, traces this affliction of the land, to the murmurings and dissensions of the wicked and depraved ; and directs us to contemplate in the diversified scenes of misery experienced by neighbouring countries,' ' a series of awful lessons against civil discord and a love of change.' le alludes pretty explicitly to the parodies on the Liturgy, and the treasons affirmed, on the authority of Oliver and the documents in the Green Bag, to have been somewhere or other meditated, as the circumstances which call for contrite reflection. Our old friends the Christian Observers see.n.ed, we recollect, to he of the same opinion ; that is to say, that, first of all, the sound, and peaceable, and loyal, and church-going part of the nation, which they would themselves allow to be by far the larger part, are, on this bypothesis, visited with what must be regarded as a great calamity to the country,--the machinations of seditious and wicked men, and then, this innocent majority are still further punished for the sake of these few despicable delinquents, by another calamity. The wisdoin exhibited in this supposition, is on a par with the narrowness of feeling it betrays. And now for Dr. Gray's spiritual prescription ! - If I liave been warranted in presuming that God may have been offended by discontent, and by a disposition and a malicious abuse of liberty, it must be by gratitude, and by a reverence for lawful authorities, that we recover the divine favour.”
"The venerable Rector of Aston Sandford is a man of a differept spirit. Iis Sermon is one of the very best we have seen.
Many, I fear,' says this good man,' will take occasion from the events which we this day are assembled to deplore, to inveigh against the conduct of others, without attempting to amend their own. But in this respect I would be wholly sileni ; except, as I feel myself required as a minister of God to hint two particulars, in which none of us here present is concerned.'
These two particulars are, indeed, considerations of no small importance, and coming from Mr. Scott, they will not, we hope,' be charged upon either a spirit of sectarianism or of disloyalty.
I must confess, that I have frequently regretted, and now more than ever regret, that no public prayer should have been offered up in our service, for one whose life and welfare were not only so near the heart of Britons in general, but of so great importance to the nation at large; and especially in the prospect of her becoming a , mother : and I feel conscious ot' criminality, that I did not offer public as well as private prayers, in her behalf; and so excite others to Vol. IX, N.S.
do the same. I feel this as a criminality in myself, and probably many, upon reflection, may find themselves involved in some measure of guilt on this account.
I would also just hint, yet with respectful deference to every part of our legislature, whether the restrictions put upon the marriages of the royal family, can be supported on scriptural ground? And whether they have not a direct tendency to produce that very state of things, in respect of our royal family, which we now more than ever regret, and which enhances our solicitude on this mournful occasion!'
Nir. Scott deprecates the general and almost universal dis. position, prevailing among men of the most discordant sentiments, political and religious, without excepting some zealous professors and preachers of evangelical truth, to trace back every painful event connected with our many late trials and deliverances, to the crimioal misconduct of some description or
other of their fellow inortals, without “ seeing the name of “the Lord," or hearing " the voice of the rod," and recollecting “ who hath appointed it."
There are two excellent practical discourses on that passage in the Epistle to the Corinthians, “ Brethren, the time is short," &c.; the one preached before the University of Cambridge, by the Rev. George Cornelius Gorbam, Fellow of Queen's College, the other, at the Independent Meeting-house, Blackburn, by the Rev. Joseph Fletcher. The latter contains some passages in a very elevatǝd style, but we transcribe the following, as a specimen of the exactly proper direction which ought to have been given to the thoughts of the audience.
• And now, my friends, having briefly illustrated the admonitory cautions in the text, let me inquire-What is your portion-What is the source of your chief felicity ?
They build too low, who build beneath the skies.” What does it avail a much lamented Princess, that she was the descendant of monarchs, and the expectant of a throne! Would the thought of this splendour blunt the dart of death, or afford any alleviation of its pang? You lament as you ought to do, this melancholy event-you see an affecting instance of the uncertainty and vanity of all earthly distinctions and the appeal to the sympathies of your nature is enforced by the associations of dignity, and youth, and beauty, and high moral excellence, with the character of the departed Princess. But let not these national feelings, this indul. gence of your sensibilities, this mental luxury of grief, that excites the imagination to melancholy musings, and fills the heart with ge. nuine sorrow-Oh! let not these passing emotions, nor the political speculations that may mingle with them, bound and limit your meditations. Be concerned above all things, that your thuughts and re. flections should re-act on yourselves
your own character your own destiny. While you think of the sudden transition from all the
scenes of earthly grandeur to the darkness and solitude of the tombthe exchange of all the bliss of domestic life and conjugal happi. ness, for the icy touch and chill embrace of death-Oh! remember that you are mortal; you too must make a transition, and it may be as sudden as hers ; you must feel that touch, you must meet that “ last enemy!" If any thing in this world be your portion, you must then leave it for ever. Is it not then of eternal consequence to ascertain whether you have a portion that will survive the last conflict, that will continue to satisfy you in another world, and be your possession for ever! Do you enquire what is that portion, which is adapted to the capacities and desires of your immortal nature, and which alone can make you happy-I answer—it is the fapour of God! How can that favour be your portion? Only through the mediation of Jesus Christ, by whose appearing it is manifested, and who “ came into the world to save sinners.” pp. 28,429.
The sermons of the Protestant Dissenting Ministers, publisbed on this occasion, are, we believe without exception, characterized by a warmth of loyalty to the House of Brunswick, which has ever associated itself with an attachment to those principles of civil and religious liberty, which placed them on the British throne.
The grief called forth on the present occasion, (remarks Mr. Philip, in a sensible Sermon on Peter v. 6.) furnishes a great moral lesson to Princes. It shews them that much of the stability of the throne depends on the character of the sovereign who fills it, and that if they are not wanting in respect to themselves, they will sel. dom have to complain of the loyalty of their subjects. The inhabitants of these lands, as in all free states, may differ in opinion respecting the measures of administration ; but there is no prejudice against royalty in this country, no want of reverence and affection to the house of Brunswick. This is sufficiently evident from the eagerness frequently manifested by the people, to dwell upon any favourable redeeming circumstance in the character of our Princes, and from their proneness to idolize, and to carry their admiration beyond ordinary bounds, as on the present occasion, when the character is formed on virtuous principles.
" While the most enlightened nation in the world, is at this moment holding up to surrounding states, an edifying example of its loyalty; let the Princes of the earth remember, that the affection and esteem of their subjects are not to be commanded, by a parade about the principles of legitimacy, or by the mere trappings of royalty ; but by the cultivation of those virtues which adorned the character of our lamented Princess, and which are necessary to respectability in the ordinary walks of life.' Philip’s Sermon, delivered in the Congre . gational Chapel, Aberdeen. pp. 34, 35.
The following extract from the Discourse preached at the Independent Meeting-house at St. Neots, by the Rev. Thomas Morell, will place the preacher's loyalty in full view, but we
cannot conceal our opinion, that a subject so delicate had better not have been adverted to. Upon whom“ rests the weight of “ human blood ?”
• It is true, when the oppressor who has long exercised a cruel tyranny over his wretched subjects is cut off by death, the event cannot but be hailed as a national deliverance. And when an aged sovereign, the father of his people, gently descends into the vale of death, closing in peace and honour a long and prosperous reign; this, too, being a looked-for event, which takes place according to the ordinary course of nature, can scarcely be deemed calamitous. But when death makes an unexpected irruption into our palaces, bearing thence their richest spoil, plucking up and destroying the fairest and the loveliest flower, in the midst of all its fruitfulness and beauty—this is assuredly not to be accounted amongst ordinary causes of regret. My friends, my hearers, my fellow-countrymen, when I contemplate this stroke, in connection with the previous calamity with which it has pleased God to visit the royal house; I cannot but consider them as forming a series of divine judgments, and as strongly marked indications of the wrath of God against a guilty nation. These many years, a dark cloud has overshadowed the mind of our venerable Sovereign. It has pleased the Supreme Disposer of crowns and empires, virtually to remove him from that high station which he had long occupied, by rendering him incapable of performing the functions of royalty; and thus to visit both him and us, with the most dreadful malady that can befall human nature. But when to this are added, the extinction of that light, which beamed so auspiciously on our island, in the person of the illustrious Princess, now no morethe snapping asunder at once of two most important links in the chain of succession to the throne-and especially, the affecting circumstances under which this mournful event has taken place, surely we cannot but consider these successive afflictions as judgments of the Most High, poured out on a people laden with iniquity-a king. dorn on which rests heavily the weight of human blood!' pp. 19–20. Art. VIII. A Memoir of the Unfortunate John Vartie, a Youth only
Nineteen Years of Age, who was executed on Thursday, December 11, 1817, for the Crime of Forgery ; To which are added, Some Letters addressed to the Rev. James Rudge, M. A. of Limehouse. Third Edition. Written by Himself, a short Time previous to his
Execution. 24mo. pp. 24. Price ls. 1818. A VERY strong feeling, is, we believe, becoming increasingly
prevalent throughout the nation, in favour of the expediency of some revision of our criminal code. The sentiments of some of the very first lawyers, and writers on jurisprudence, both in this country and in other kingdoms, are, it is well-known, in decided opposition to the sanguinary policy of attaching to such a multiplicity of offences, the 'extreme penalty of death, their objections being founded not so much on the inhumanity, as the inexpediency of such laws. Our criminal code inflicts the
punishment of death on upwards of two hundred offences ; but of the number of capital offenders cast for death, a very small proportion are actually permitted to suffer; the humanity of the nation, the humanity of its rulers, forbids it; and hence an uncertainty is introduced into the operation of the laws, which very materially interferes with the efficacy of the sanction, as a means of preventing crime. What is it better than a solemn mockery, to hear a Judge, placing on his head the awful symbol of doom, pronounce the solema sentence of the law upon an assembly of convicts, wlio know at the time, that that sentence will not be executed, and is not intended to be carried into effect, upon the larger part of their number? And yet, who that retains the feelings as well as the shape of a man, would propose as a remedy, that the sentence should, as the laws now stand, be with unmitigated severity, uniformly put in execution?
To the crime of forgery, however, the punishment of death has, with very rare and distant exceptions, been awarded with a rigour which no circumstances have been thought sufficient to relax. The only uncertainty, therefore, has respected the chance of discovery. Its consequences, especially in a coinmercial country, are so destructive of that confidence which is the basis of all mercantile transactions, that we cannot wonder that it should seem to rank almost pre-eminent in the catalogue of delinquencies. And if any degree of punishment might be effectual to deter from the commission of it, this consideration might seem to justify a disregard of that rule of proportion between the penalty and the moral heinousness of the offence, which claims to be considered as the dictate of natural justice. When, however, the consequences of crime, as respects the bearings of the offence upon the interests of society, rather than the hopeless depravity of the culprit, are made the reason of the severity of the penalty, when to the vindictive claims of justice it is thus considered as vecessary to sacrifice that primary end of punitive discipline, the reformation of the offender, it is obvious that the justification of this disproportionate severity, must entirely rest upon its ascertained and demonstrated efficacy in deterring others from the commission of crime. The plea of the general good, can otherwise afford no warrant for such a disregard of the claims of the individual, from whom are cut off, in that case unnecessarily, and if unnecessarily wantonly, all opportunity of amendment, all space for repentance.
The efficacy of capital punishments in any case, appears to be, in this respect, extremely doubtful. It has never, we believe, been found, that the frequency of any particular crime has beeu lessened, in consequence of its being made a capital offence..
Death itself is not by the ignorant, the depraved, and the des