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plies the penalty of death to the murderer."
"Answer. This is a curious and singular mode of syllogising a man out of his life. But as it must be a matter of serious consequence to him; I hope that I may be permit ted to say a few words in his behalf, before the awful sentence of death shall be pronounced against him! In the first place it ought to be remembered, that the question here discussed is conversant only with penalties to be inflicted by the civil magistrate. And, secondly, that God hath not annexed any such penalties to any of his moral laws, whether engraven on the heart, or on the tables of stone. He hath been pleased to reserve to himself, the sole and soyereign right of inflicting the penalties for all violations of his laws or of graciously remitting them!"
"As the objector professes to have found out the implied penalty to the sixth commandment, I would ask him, What is the implied penalty to be inflicted by the civil magis trate for a violation of the tenth commandment, Thou shalt not covet? Or, what is the civil penalty for not loving God supremely? This doc trine of implication of penalties, would be a dangerous principle to be adopted in our courts of law; and especially in the trials of capital causes! In whatever light the subject is viewed, to me it appears evident, that this doctrine of the implication of penalties, cannot be maintained. Vol. VI. No. 7.
Objection 7. "If our civil magistrates punish the crime of murder at all, that penalty must be executed which God hath annexed to his law, which is death. The law of God says explicitly, The murderer shall surely be put to death.
Answer. The Mosaic penal code, confined to the Jewish nation, and long since abolished, is here brought into view, and called by way of pre-eminence, The Law of God: I therefore find it necessary to make some further explana tions. The ten commandments, engraven on the two tables of stone, and published from mount Sinai with peculiar solemnities, are often referred to in the New Testament, and are eminently styled, The law, The law from mount Sinai, The moral law, The law of God, The word of God, The commandments of God, &c. These laws were magnified by our Saviour, and represented as being of unlimited extent, and of endless duration! But the national laws given to the Israelites,respecting penaltics, ceremonies, &c. were tempo. rary. They may be seen from the twenty-first chapter of Exodus to the end of the pentateuch. These, are likewise often quoted in the New Testament, and are called, The laws of Moses, The commands of Moses, The sayings of Moses, Carnal ordinances, Carnal Commandments, Types, Shadows, &c. But I believe they are never styled in the New Testament, The Laws of God.
It merits particular attention, that although my oppo
nents quote one of those national laws, and urge it against me in the present question, as being of divine authority, yet it is evident, that they are not fully established in their own doctrine, because they do not adopt the whole of them.
Whenever a system of laws is ordained for a nation by proper authority, they have no right to single out one of them, and to urge that authority for the execution of it, and at the same time to discard all the rest. All those
LIBERALITY OF SENTIMENT IN THE PONTIFF OF ROME,
We are gratified in having an opportunity to present to our readers an extract of a Letter relating to the Pope which is adapted to make a favourable impression in regard to his character. Our correspondent will accept our thanks for the favour.
the most difficult and distress. ing circumstances, when kings and governments of force incomparably greater shrunk and yielded. We were presented by Abbè Taylor, an Irish Catholic, who is appointed by the Pope to present the English; but as we were Americans, we had a kind of national privilege to have a private audience at a time when it is not commonly given, and nobody went with us, except Professor Bell of Edinburgh, the famous anatomist. There was very little ceremony or parade about it, and in all respects it pleased me extremely. On entering the room, we knelt and kissed his hand. He is, you know, very old, but he received us standing, and was dressed with characteristic simplicity and humility, as a Friar, without the slightest ornament to distinguish his rank. Bell spoke no Italian, and therefore the conversation was chiefly with
penal laws were dictated to Moses, by the same high authority. They were all of equal force, extent, and duration. If our magistrates are bound by those laws to punish murder with death, they are equally bound to inflict the same punishment for every breach of Sabbath. If my opponents have a predilection for that old constitution, in order to be consistent, they ought to be circumcised and keep the whole law of Moses.
The following extract of a letter from a friend at Rome last winter, displaying the true catholicism of the head of the Romish church, is at your service, if you consider it desirable for insertion in the Christian Disciple.
Yours with high respect, J. S. After relating that the writer and another friend had that morning been presented to the Pope, he proceeds: "He is the only Sovereign in Europe I have ever felt any curiosity to see, and him I desired to very much, on account of the firmness and dignity with which he always behaved in
us, and, as we were Americans, entirely on America. He talked a good deal about our universal toleration, and praised it, as much as if it were a doctrine of his own religion, adding, that he thanked God
continually for having at last driven all thoughts of perse-, cution from the world, since persuasion was the only possible means of promoting piety, though violence might promote hypocrisy."
WARS WITH THE INDIANS.
Yet Savages are men. With glowing heat,
Senate august! that sway'st Columbian climes,
Where are they now? What thoughts the bosom pain!
And ask, How fell the myriads, Heaven plac'd here!
Indulge, my native land! indulge the tear,
BIBLE SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS.
ON Thursday, 4th June, "The Bi-Of the Executive Committee of the ble Society of Massachusetts" held Bible Society of Massachusetts, preits ninth annual meeting. pared for the Anniversary of the Society, June 4, 1818.
The Rev. Joshua Huntington preached the sermon from Psalm cxxxviii. 2. Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
A collection was taken of $224 70. After service, the annual business of the Society was transacted.
The following was the report of the Executive Committee for the last
THE Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Bible Society respectfully repost, that they have distributed during the last year the following Bibles and Testaments.
Large Bibles, 264
A large proportion has been given to individuals on their own application; several to managers of charity schools and of missionary societies; some to destitute seamen; and a few to the soldiers stationed at Marblehead, at the request of their commander. The distribution has been as cautious as is consistent with the liberal principles of the Society. Bibles are undoubtedly given, in some instances, to those who should blush to receive them without an equiva lent; but we have this consolation, that we bestow a book which is the best remedy for their sordidness.
In the course of the last year, the Trustees ordered the Treasurer to remit $822 to the American Bible Society at New-York. It will be recollected, that when our Society became auxiliary to the American, several donations were made for the purpose of being forwarded to the latter. On this account, the remittance of the last year was larger than can be expected hereafter. We regret that we have not received the last report of 'the National Institution. We continue to look to it with strong hope, that it will bear an important part in the distribution of the Bible.
During the last year, an earnest application was made to the Trustees by a respected American in Paris, for the aid of this Society in distributing the Scriptures in France. The Committee, to whom the subject was referred, having considered the very depressed condition of Christianity in that country, the great scarcity of Bibles and the difficulty of obtaining them among the common people, the influence which the French nation will always have over the opinions and manners of the civilized world, and the peculiar importance of recovering it to the knowledge and be lief of the gospel, and having learned that an edition of the New Testament had been commenced which required foreign assistance for its completion, recommended to the Trustees an appropriation of such funds, as could be conveniently spared, for this purpose. It was also considered, that the present was a favourable opportunity for repaying an obligation which we
had contracted to Europe. It is prob ably recollected, that at the establishment of our Society a donation was made to it of 1.100 sterling by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Whilst this liberal act was received with gratitude, the opinion of many was, that in the prosperous state of this country, we ought not to employ the funds of another for our relief. Under these impressions, the Trustees resolved to apply the donation just named to the distribution of the Bible in France; and it is believed, that better service cannot be rendered to Christianity than by giving its records to a great people in the heart of Christendom, where the prevalent ignorance of our religion almost surpasses belief.
A great excellence of Bible Socie ties is the simplicity of their object; but this produces a corresponding simplicity in their operations, which makes the report of each year in a great degree an echo of the last. Your Committee have always laboured to entrust Bibles to faithful hands; and having done this they have not been solicitous, nor have they been able, to collect accounts of the effects of the distribution. The influence of a Bible in an obscure family is necessarily silent and without show. We infer that good is done from the nature of the gift, and not from imme, diate and strongly marked consequences. The mere presence of a book, which is acknowledged to be from God, tends to keep alive in the mind a feeling of obligation to him; and an occasional perusal of the Bible can hardly help giving some moral and religious ideas, which, in the course of providence, may be sub jects of meditation and principles of a christian life. Let it not be objected to us, that the circulation of the Bible has wrought no great change among the poor; for does it seem to have wrought a greater among the rich? The truth is, that in every class it does much good by correcting and refining public opinion, whilst in many individuals it works powerfully to the saving of their souls. The Bible is not a mechanical and necessary cause. It is counteracted continually by passion, prejudice, misinter
pretation or neglect, but because it accomplishes less than we desire, let us not overlook the immensely beneficial change which it has produced in the state of society, wherever it is generally read; and let us continue to spread it, in the assurance that, in God's time, it will be better understood and more deeply felt, and will give a new face to the earth.
It is encouraging to know that the zeal which has broken forth on this subject is not shrinking, but rather gains strength; that sovereigns, from policy and we will hope from principle, are lending the splendour of their names and examples to the cause; that revenues, once lavished on conquest and bloodshed, are now in part consecrated to the spreading of the gospel of peace; that great men count it an honour to be enrolled among the patrons of Bible Societies; and that the different denominations of Christians, as if happy to find a common object, seem' willing to postpone the advancement of their peculiarities to the circulation of that authoritative book to which they all profess to bow. Whilst worldly motives may have a share in this great enterprize, we hail it as a pledge and promise of a more prosperous and peaceful state of the church, as the dawning of a brighter day, in which the knowledge of God shall fill the earth, and Christians, drinking deep ly into their Master's spirit, shall love one another with a pure heart fervently."
WILLIAM E. CHANNING, Chairman of the Executive Com.
Officers of the Society elected on this anniversary.
His Hon. William Phillips, President; Rev. John T. Kirkland, D. D. LL. D. Vice President; Rev. John Pierce, Recording Secretary; Rev. Francis Parkman, Cor. Secretary; Mr. John Tappan, Treasurer; Mr. John Grew, Assistant Treasurer.
Rev. James Freeman, D. D., Rev. Eliphalet Porter, D. D., Rev. Abiel Holmes, D. D., Rev. Thomas Baldwin, D. D., Rev. Charles Lowell, Rev. Joshua Huntington, Chief Justice Parker, Hon. Peter C. Brooks,