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"half enlightened age" would have sentenced Cain to death, and perhaps for form sakę, it might be added, "and the Lord have mercy on your soul!" This sneer at the most solemn manner in which our venerated judges pronounce the awful sentence of death cannot be too much cen. sured. The insinuation that the prayer with which it ends is insincere, is untrue. I hope the time will come when men will have more humane and correct views on this subject, but I feel persuaded that such efforts for the accomplishment of this object will thwart the success of it, and prolong the custom he professes so much to abhor.
This writer terms Cain's fratricide a "violation of a, civil duty." A mild phrase surely, when as he himself remarks, the crime was aggra vated in many respects. Why this sympathy for Cain, in the breast of this advocate for the abolition of capital punishments? Where is his fellow feeling for the murdered Abel, or his afflicted family? Where is his tenderness for others among whom the murderer would roam, the terror of mankind?
I have one more objection to the essay. He says this
Reply of the Editor. This admonitory address has been freely admitted, as the effusion of friendship and fidelity Still it is believed that most of the remarks wculd have been spared had our correspondent been acquainted with the whole Tract, from which the Report was taken, and with the character of its author. Perhaps, it was injudicious to give the Report without accompanying it with the Author's answer to some objections.
If we have been correctly` informed the Author is a man venerable for his years and standing in society, amiable in his disposition, and was formerly a Judge of a county court in Connecticut. We can hardly believe that such a man would designedty say any thing to "lessen the respect due to
the laws of the land and to magistrates;" and on carefully reviewing the Report we have not been able to find, except in a single sentence, any thing of which such is the apparent tendency. We do not understand the writer of the Essays as having done any such thing as "denouncing the vengeance of the Almighty upon the makers and administrators of the laws;" but as merely expressing his serious belief respecting the design of God's treatment of Cain. This perhaps under a free government, he had an unquestionable right to do, however incorrect may have been his opinion.
Our friendly Monitor appears to be willing that the subject of capital punishments should be discussed; and we agree with him that it ought to be done in a prudent manner-in a manner as little as possible adapted to wound the feelings of those in authority and to "lessen the respect due to the laws of the land." But two persons who have an equal respect to the laws in general, may disagree as to the utility and justice of a particular statute and "the respect which is due" to it. Our Monitor says, "Let every argument be employed to change the mind of the community on this subject, and I wish the advocates God Speed." But surely we need not tell a writer of his discernment, that it is impossible to use any argument which is adapted to change public opinion on that subject, which is not equally adapted to "lessen Vol. VI. No. 5.
the respect" which is now en tertained for the laws which require the punishments in question. He must also be aware that every argument which can be used for the pur pose of changing public opinion, will be interpreted, by one or another, as adapted to "lessen the respect due to the laws and to magistrates." Has not this objection been uni formly made to the attempts to abolish the law in England, which inflicts death for stealing goods from a shop to the value of five shillings. Indeed we may ask, when was an attempt ever made to abolish or change a penal law, and the same objection was not urged? On similar ground the attempts which have been made to correct the common version or translation of the Bible, have been reproached as tending to "lessen the respect” · which is due to the whole volume.
"Philanthropos," the "Essayist," was aware of the objection which would be brought from the other "Reports of Moses," and he attempted an answer, which may perhaps hereafter be given in this work. At present we shall only observe in general, that in his opinion, christians are no more bound to adopt one statute of the penal code of Moses, than they are to adopt the whole; that if any of those laws are now obligatory on christians, we are as really bound to take the life of the sabbath-breaker and the adulterer, as that of the murderer.
In regard to the "mild
phrase" to express Cain's fratricide, we ought to say, that Philanthropos has explained his meaning. He regards murder as a heinous crime, and Cain's fratricide as an aggravated murder; but in his opinion men have no right to punish crimes considered as sins against God, but only as violations of civil duty.
The last objection of our Monitor is better founded. We regret that even one remark of the Essayist was so much adapted to wound the feelings of humane Judges and such we believe to be eminently the character of the present Judges of our Supreme Court. Yet perhaps a less answerable interpretation may be given to the passage than seems to have occurred to the mind of our correspondent.
The best writers are liable to use language inadvertently, which implies, or may be understood to imply, more than they ever intended. There is no writer, not excepting the friendly Monitor, who does not need the candor of his readers in their interpretations of his remarks. Every man in writing on such subjects is liable to be influenced by circumstances with which he has been acquainted; and under this influence to speak in a manner which implies blame, even where there is none in his own opinion, or a greater degree of blame than he means to impute. It will not be pretended by any one that all Judges of Courts have been equal to our present
Judges in regard to purity, benevolence, wisdom or hu manity. Let it then be admit ted that Philanthropos wrote his Essays, after having been repeatedly shocked by the apparent indifference with which he had heard the sentences of death pronounced, or after he had witnessed, on the part of a Judge, evidence of prejudice against a criminal, and an anxious desire to pronounce a sentence of guilty. Would it be too much to say in reference to such conduct-" And perhaps, for form sake, it might be added, And the Lord have mercy on your Soul ?»* Is it not very possible that in remarking with such occurrences impressed on the mind, the most impartial writer might adopt the language of Philanthropos, without a suspicion that his readers would consider it as applicable to judges in general? Let the Monitor imagine such to have been the impression under which the unguarded language was used-read the words a gain, placing the emphasis on "perhaps," and then whether it be certain that the writer's conduct "cannot be too much censured.”
Our correspondent, we be lieve, wrote his remarks under the influence of a just and high respect for our Judges, and an apprehension that Philanthropos intended a "sneer." These circumstances probably led him to adopt the strong language just quoted, by which he probably intended no more than that the conduct of the Essayist was very reprehensi
And crimson fruits her verdant garment spread.
On these, will many a form with rapture dwell,
And burst, with new
And pale disease, and hectic flush
Yet there was one, who erst to nature
Who lov'd the lowliest flower that
decks the sod,
Yet thought of nature less, than "nature's God."
For him no more the vernal gale will blow,
Nor Spring, with lavish hand, her
And youth and age delight to speak his name;
To paint his mind, by polished graces dress'd,
Pure as the faith that warm'd his glowing breast;
Each thought controll'd, each way ward passion still,
To torrid suns, where trackless ocean lies !
Press'd with his early step the morning yet still he follow'd, borne by God's
And took possession of the promis'd land.
not be too much censured," how can its malignity and turpitude be overrated?
Led him to foreign climes-to distant skies,
A LETTER from THOMAS CLARKSON, to HENRY King of Hayti. Playford Hall, Suffolk, England, May 24, 1816. I HAD the honour of receiving your Majesty's letter, dated at palace of Sans Souci, February 5th, which was brought to me by Mr. Prince Sanders; and it is my intention to return an answer to it, by the same person, as well as to enter into some particu lars, which I think may be acceptable to you. Having however heard that my esteemed friend Mr. Stephen Grellet who is a minister of the Gospel, belonging to the religious Society of the people called Quakers, and who is now in North America, intends, with other ministers of the same Society, to visit some of the English West-Indian Islands, and also Hayti, for the purpose of preaching the Gospel for a season in those parts, I have thought it proper to send you this letter by him, in order that he may not go into your Island without a suitable introduction.
I am senisble how vigilant it becomes you to be with respect to stran gers, some of whom may possibly visit Hayti for the purpose of plotting against its liberty and independence. And it is my belief, that such cases may exist, which induces me to lay before you the character of Mr. Grellet and his friends, in order that they may come among you without suspicion, and that they may experience the protection which all those persons ought to find, who feel it to be their duty, like the Apostles of old, to visit foreign limates, and to hazard their lives for the sake of promoting the religion of Jesus Christ. I will begin then with informing you, that Mr. Grellet was born in France, but that he left his country during the Revo lution, and went to the United States of America, where he embraced the principles of the religious Society of Friends, or, as they are most commonly called, Quakers. After this he became a minister of the gospel in that Society; and in this capacity he visited England, Germany, and
France. During his stay in London, for many months, I had the happi ness of knowing him. It also happened during his stay there, that his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, arrived in England; Mr. Grellet had the honour of an audience with that noble and august persónage, and I know that he advocated before him, the cause of all the injured children of Africa. As to Mr. Grellet's private character, I may comprehend it in a few words, by saying, that he daily affords in his own person a proof of modesty, humility, charity, and those other virtues which belong to the Christian character. Having said thus much of this estimable person, I feel myself bound to say a few words in behalf of the clergyman's Society to which he belongs; for it is possible he may have companions with him; and it is right that your Majesty should know some of the civil and political principles of the Quakers. In the first place, they consider it to be their duty to obey civil magistrates, as the rulers under God for good; except in those religious customs and cases, where their consciences would be wounded by it. In the second place they conceive it to be their duty never to go to war, or take up arms even in their own defence; they had rather submit to the most cruel injuries than shed the blood of any of their fellow-creatures. Hence there is no rebellion, no insurrection, no ploting against government, wherever the Quakers are. And thirdly, they have long ago conceived it to be their duty to consider all the children of Africa as their brethren, and to have no concern whatever either in buying or selling, or in holding them in bondage. In all America there is not one Quaker whose character is stained by such inhuman practices. The abolition of the Slave-trade, and of slavery also, has become a principle, and has been incorporated as such into their religion. I could dwell here, if the time would permit, with the greatest delight, and I ought to add,