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Are there not similar reasons produces effects precisely the rcó for the continuance of this prac- verse, by introducing the indiscri. tice, which existed for its first a. minate use of the term Christian, doption ? will it not, if applied 10 without regard either to personal adults as a profession of their faith, profession, or character? suggest the like powerful motives To the perpetuiry of baptism, to reflection, and to the formation the declaration of the aposile Paul, of good and stable resolutions ? that he “ was not sent to baptize and is it not likely that assemblies, but to preach the gospel,” has whose views of christianity in ge. been urged as an objection ; but neral, and of this ordinance in have we not equal reason to infer; particular, are rational and con. from the exhortation of Christ, sistent, would experience the pro. 6 labour not for the meat which motion of the habits of serious. perisheth, &c.” that we should ness, order, unanimity and useful entirely neglect to provide for our discipline, by the application of corporeal wants, and apply out the solemn rite of baptism to seri. minds solely to religious contem. ous believers alone, as the general plations ? mode of receiving them into their Is there not reason to believe, body?
that the indiscriminate use of the Would not its observance con. term baptism, with respect to the stitute a suitable introduction to very different actions of immersion the other christian ordinance and and sprinkling, and its indiscrimiis not the regular use of these two nate application, to persons of all ordinances, an important means ages, in sickness as well as in health, of keeping up and promoting the have gone hand in hand with each profession of christianity ? do they other, and that both originated not furnish at once a proper in superstitious ideas relative to foundation and stimulant to the the saving influence of the rite, exercise of those branches of disci. independently of iis natural effects pline, which relate more immedi. on the minds of the professors ? ately to moral conduct? The As immersion is allowed by the circumstance of occasional or even concession of many of the more linn of stated attendance at a place of beralofthose, who have nevertheless worship, is of itself no proper evi. adopted the practice of sprinkling, dence of the profession of christian. to have been the original mude of ity ; but if there be no mode of baptism, and the more appropria distinguishing between him who ate signification of the term, * does adopt that sacred profession, which is farther confirmed by the And him who does not, what founo uniform practice of the Greek dation can there be for proceeding churches; and as this mode is to farther acts of Christian disci. unexceptionable, with respect to pline?
persons possessing health and viIs there not reason to believe, in that as the baptism of adults, in See quotations to this effect from token of their Christian faith and the works of Tillotson, Burnet and
Whitby, in Foot's Practical Discourse on obedience, tends to the promotion
Bapt. p. 11-12, note e: as likewise of useful displine, so the prac. Calmet's Diction. Art. Bapt. Robinson's tice of infant sprinkling, too often Hist, of Bapt. p. 499, &ca
gour, but liable to serious objec. « Nolo Episcopari.” tions, in ils application to infants,
Ditchling; and to the sickly and infirm ; is it
Sir, Nov. 15, 1811. not probable from this circum. In that useful little book, the stance that it was instituted with Protestant Dissenter's Catechism, the view to the former only? and by Mr. S. Palmer, at page 34, is not this conclusion much more ed ed, in a note, I find the fol. honourable to christianity, much lowing sentence: 6. Though it is more agreeable to the character well known that the office (of a of its founder, than the suppositi. bishop) is a very desirable one, on, that it was intended to sub. and is generally sought after with ject the unconscious infant to great eagerness, the bishop elect obligations, concerning which he solemnly declares avainst having could have no knowledge nor used any undue means to obtain choice of his own and that it it. saying, Nolo Episcopari, i. e. should seem to avail itself of the I am unwilling to be a bishop." bias which might be produced in In Jacob's Law Dictionary, 2d its favour, from the apprehensions ed., under the word Bishop, I have of approaching dissolution, to in- found the following quotation : crease the number of its profess- 6 Mr. Christian, in his noies on ors?
n. 1 Comm: 380, says, that the supDoes not the moral purificati.
• posed answer of a bishop on his on, which is promoted by christi. 5
christie consecration, Nolo Episcopari, anity, result chiefly from that in. is a vulgar error.” As these au. timate union between the views of thorities are contradictory to each mortality and of immortality, other, one must be incorrect. If which it produces ? and is not this any of your Correspondents will significantly expressed by being be kind enough to inform me on as it were buried in, and rising which side the error lies, I shall again out of the water? whereas feel myself much obliged ; and aspersion, while it conveys a much perhaps it may be useful to others. less emphatic idea of purification
A. B. itself, bears no analogy whatever to the means by which it is pro. duced,
A Collection of Facts relating to Should not submission to this
Criminal Law. ordinance at a suitable season, and “What a lamentable case it is that in suitable circumstances, be re. so many Christian men and women garded as a valuable privilege, should be strangled on that cursed tree of
the gallows ; insomuch as if in a large whereby every individual who is
wno, "s held a man might see together all the capable of it, is in turn enabled Christians that but in one year come to to make an open and solemn that untimely and ignominious death, avowal of his faith and good reso. if there were any spark of grace or chalutions, and not as a painful duty, bleed for pity and compassion."
rity in him, it would make his heart to to be undertaken with reluctance,
Lord Coke. Epilogue to his Third .61 a yoke which can with difficul. Institute. ty be endured ?"*
the Preface to Robinson's Hist. of Bap• See some valuable remarks relative tism, and in p. 47-49 and various other to the subject of the above queriss, in parts of that important work.
« The state of every king consists lected that we err with such men more assuredly in the love of the subject (not to allude to a bright constella. towards their prince, than in the dread of laws made with rigorous pains; and
i tion of living philani hropists,) as laws made for the preservation of the Sir Thomas More, Erasmus, Becus commonwealth without great penalties caria, Montesquieu, Johnson, are more often obeyed and kept, than Franklin, Blackstone, Paley, Pirt laws made with extreme punishments." and for
and Fox i Mar. st. 1. c. I. " It is a melancholy truth, that among We ought, perhaps, to acknow. the variety of actions which men are ledge that we were incited to ens daily liable to commit, no less than an ter upon this discussion by the hundred and sixty have been declared by act of Parliament to be felonies with
perusal of Mr. Montagu's volumes, out benefit of clergy; or, in other words, “On the Punishment of Death:”. to be worthy of instant death. So we shall be satisfied if we be reck. dreadful a list, instead of diminishing, oned amongst his feeblest coad. increases the number of offenders. The jutors in his labours of charity and injured, through compassion, will often forbear to prosecute: juries, through mercy. compassion, will sometimes forget their Our plan is to lay down Pro. oaths, and either acquit ebe guilty or positions relating to criminal law, mitigate the nature of the offence; and and to adduce uuder each such judges, through compassion, will respite one half of the convicts, and recommend au
mmend authorized facts as prove, illustrate them to the royal mercy. Among so or enforce it. When any additi. many chances of escaping, the needy and onal facts occur to us, we shall hardened offender overlooks the multi- return to propositions which may tude that suffer ; he boldly engages in some desperate attempt, to relieve his
hie have been already gone over, for wants or supply his vices; and, if unex- this purpose the propositions will pectedly the hind of justice overtakes be numbered. We need not add, him, he deems himself peculiarly unfor- that we rely upon our correspon. tunate, in falling at last a sacrifice to do those laws, which long impunity has
dents for assistance in the prosetaught him to contemn.”
cution of our object. Blackstone, B. iv. ch 1:
Proposition 1. There is no one subject on the frequency and number of which wise and good men are so Capital Punishmenis in England, generally agreed as on the propriety degrade the English character in of reducing the criminal law of a the eyes of Foreigners. state to the standard of justice; “ When Mirabeau was in Eng. and almost every writer on the land, he asked a friend of mine subject has pronounced the crimi. with whom he was dining, if it nal law of England to be singular. were true that twenty young men ly imperfect, and to stand in great had been hanged that morning, need of melioration. We shall at Newgate? Upon being a aswer. therefore make no apology for ed, that if the daily papers, asserted bringing this topic into discussion: it, there was no reason to doubt if indeed the facts we have to ex. the assertion; he replied, with hibit do not carry the reader's great warmth and surprize, The convictions along with us, apolo. English are the most merciless gies would be useless : though we people I ever heard or read of in shall not perhaps be much blamed my life.' even by those, if any there be, " It appars t' at Mirabeau was that think we err, when it is recol. in England in 1785. In February
of that year, Twenty convicts were Proposition 11. executed, at once, before New. Severe laws restrain humans gate; in April, Ninetten ; and in men from prosecuting offenders. the November following, Eighteen. “Sone years ago, an act was pas. suffered death at the same place, sed in Ireland, by which it was made besides others executed during a capital felony to cut down a tree the several months of that year, by day or by night. A gentleman amounting in the whole to nearly who dedicated much of his pro. One Hundred, many of them young perty, and most of his time, to persons, who fell a sacrifice to the agricultural improvements; who severity of the penal statutes, in had planted mucb, and was much London alone--not one of them attached to his plantations, was under a charge of murder.” the first to rejoice at this addition
Wakefield's Life, v. i. p. 311. al security to his property, and hav« It is said by those who know ing, before the act passed, suffered Europe generally, that there are much from these depredations, he more thefts committed and punish. again and again declared that in cd annually in England, than in the event of detecting any offender, all the other nations put together, the law should be put in force. If this be so, there must be a causc An occasion soon occurred. An or causes for such depravity in our offender was detected in the very common people. May not one act of destroying his plantations ; be, the deficiency of justice and and was commitied for trial at the morality in our national govern. ensuing assizes. I well knew what ment, manifested in our oppressive my friend endured upon that occa. conduct to subjects and unjust sion. I had the happiness of his wars on our neighbours ?”
friendship and the honour of his Dr. Franklin's Letter to B. confidence: he was a man of the Vaughan, Esq. March 14, 1785. highest worth and of undaunted Works. 8vo. ij. 445.
public spirit; he never relaxed in : « England, contenting herself his resolution to enforce the law; he with the superior wisdom, hu. prepared to proceed and did pro. manity and justice of her laws in ceed to the assize town; but there all repects but one, and too tond of his fortitude at last failed: he
the ancient order of things,' has declared that after the most ago. alone remained stationary. The nizing deliberation, he could not nation, indeed, is fully sensible of reconcile to his notions of justice the evil which attends a multitude the propriety of being the cause of of sanguinary laws, and the go. an unumely death of a fellow vernment itself begins to be alarm. creature for having cut down a ed with the magnitude of the mis- tree. My worthy friend after. cbicf. judge Blackstone was wards stated to me, that, great as active in prosecuung a reform; he considered the injury to society and Lord Ashburton, it is said, in suffering the criminal to escape was prevented by his death from with impunity, yet he could not bringing forward in Parliament a be instrumental in procuring his plan for that purpose.”
condemnation, even though the Bradford's Enquiry into the crown might remit the pu. Punishment of Death, p. 31. nishinent. Such was the mode in
which a man, far above the weak. painful struggles between the sense nesses likely in most cases to 10. of private and of publicaties; terfere, decided."
and inreetimas dreading the severi• Sir J. Newport's Speech on Sir ty of our law, I have yixisten to my S. Romilly's Bill, Nev2, 1810. humanity can-piring with my rea.
“ It happened to m., my lords, son, when they forbad me without about four or five years since, to real necessity, to shed the blood leave my house in town for the even of the unrighteous. One of purpose of going into the country. the offenders, after leaving my An old and faithful servant was family ventured upon other crimes left in care of it till my return. in other places---a second by my la about four or five days, I came suggestion entered into the army. to town again, and found, to my I have not been able to trace the surprize, that my servant had tied conduct or the fate of the third -during my absence, carrying off But under a deep conviction of iny with her a considerable quantity responsibility to the tribunal of of plate and other property. Now, heaven, I shall ever look back with my lords, there were many causes approbation to my own forbear. which operated with me to abstain ance.” from prosecuting this unfortunate Characters of Fox, by Philopa. woman. She was aged, and the tris Varvicensis, ii. 402, 403. course of nature had already “ About five years since, the marked her by many infirmities county of York was deeply inte. for a speedy but natural dissoluti. rested in the trial of the father of on-she had been the dupe of a a large family, who when living designing villain, who instigated in the greatest respectability, was her to the theft-she was friendless accused of highway robbery. The and she was poor. My lords, trial was in York Častle; the pro. public duty pointed out the course secutor was a youth of abouj 20 I ought to take.. I knew I ought years of age, the son of a banker, immediately to go before a magis. and the prisoner a stout athletic trate, who would have commilied man, of 50. The prosecutor had her for trial-I must have appear transacted his business as usual at ed in a court of justice, as the pro- the market-town; he had received secutor against her, and have em. several sums of money in the prebittered my own life by the consci. sence of the prisoner, had dined, ousness of having shortened her's. and about 5 o'clock had set out My lords, humanity triumphed on his return home: it was a fine over justice and public duty. I evening in summer, and he rode was constrained to turn loose up- gently on : in a solitary lane, he on the public an individual cer. was overtaken by the prisoner, tainly deserving of punishment, who seized him and demanded his because the law of the land gave pocket-book; in the first agony of me no opportunity of visiting her surprize and fear, the prosecutor with a castigation short of death.” gave him a violent blow with his
Earl of Suffolk's Speech in the whip; but the prisoner, who was House of Lords, May 30, 1810. a very powerful man, dragged him
“ Three times, let me confess, from his horse, knelt down upon I have myself suffered the most him and took from him his money'