Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

809.

By the most antient laws of some Christian a word, instead of gentle and benevolent feelings, it substichurches, murderers were subjected to a perpetual penance all tutes hostility and hatred, the necessity of oppression, and their lives.

the rage of desolation.—On the contrary, were every state BINGHAM's Antiq. vol. ii. p. 133. to be sparing of its strength, to cultivate a proper kuowledge

of its resources, and to render them respectable by a wise administration, it would arrive, without effort, to that height

of superiority it is so anxious to attain. 810. [Num. xxxv. 21.) On a view of the contrary practice

NECKER. in modern times, the humane BLACKSTONE, who published his celebrated Commentaries in the year 1765, speaking of the Criminal Law of England, lamenting says: “It is a melancholy truth, that among the variety of actions which men are daily 815. [John xvi. 2.] There is implanted in human nature, liable to commit, no less than a hundred and sixty have corrupt as it is, so strong an approbation of virtue, that been declared by Act of Parli nent to be felonies without however deterinined men are to indulge their evil inclinabenefit of Clergy; or, in other words, to be worthy of tions, they never enjoy them with any satisfaction, unless they instant death.- The Reader may judge how enormously the can find out some means of hiding their deformities, not only black catalogue has since increased, when he considers that from the eyes of others, but even from their own, and they are in the year 1813 alone, there were added to it by “Lord therefore extremely fond of every expedient that can assist Ellenborough's Act," no less than seven new capital Felonies. them in this favourable self-deception, and procure them leave

to be wicked with a good character, and a good conscience: now war is of all others the most effectual for this purpose; as it grants us a plenary indulgence for every vicious disposition

in the human mind, exempted from all punishment, or even 811. [Exod. xx. 13.] The punishments of criminals should be of use; when a man is hanged he is good for nothing ;

censure, as well as from all reluctance and remorse : it so

dresses up idleness and profligacy, malevolence and revenge, whereas a man condemned to the public works still benefits his country, and is a living admonition.

cruelty and injustice, in the amiable habit of zeal for the glory VOLTAIRE.

and prosperity of our country; that we can give a loose to them all, not only with the applause of the world, but with the sincere approbation of our own hearts.

SoAME JENYNS' Works, vol. ii. p. 217. 812.[Num. xxxv. 21.] Uutil prisons be made houses of industry, and schools of reform, under close inspection ; till in particular, all strong liquors be banished from them, and a diet introduced (wholly vegetable) as recommended from expee 816. (Exod. xx. 13.] The profession of a soldier however, is, rience by Mr. John Frank Newton,—we shall never, observes in all respects, so contrary to every principle of reason and jus. the intelligent Mr. G. CUMBERLAND, do any good by our tice, that it admits not of the slightest vindication. Power has sentences of the laws.—As Christians, he adds, we ought sanctioned it, and custom has reconciled us to its enormities; certainly to consider every criminal as a misled child of the but nothing can change the eternal nature of things, and make country, and repair the evils of neglect by the counsels and the murder of innocent victims either just or honourable ; for attentions of humanity.

in every instance in which war has been undertaken, the men See Month. Mag. for March, 1815, p. 99. who, by their ambition and intrigues, have pushed things to

extremities, have decided the contest by means of those who were innocent of the quarrel, and finally unconcerned in the

event; by men whom ignorance or necessity had compelled 813. (Lev. xxvi. 23.) There is no way but one to reform to be their dupes, and to betake themselves to fighting, be. men, and that is to render them happier.—It is good and easy cause they could find no other employment. Let any man to enfeeble vice by bringing men nearer to each other, and by coolly and impartially examine the history of the past and rendering them thus more happy.-All the sciences, indeed, the present times, and say, whether every dispute betweeu are still in a state of infancy; but that of rendering men happy | nations might not have been settled by negotiation, if the has not so much as seen the light yet, even in Christendom. parties had been so disposed, and whether every thing shonld

St. Pierre's Studies of Nature, not be resorted to rather than force; for whoever is the rol. iii. pp. 230, 237, 310. cause of shedding man's blood, except positively to save his

own life, is guilty of murder. The fact, however, is, that mankind have so long been accustomed to this barbarous mode

of decision, that they never think of any other : yet, not. 814.

War impedes the course of every salutary withstanding the force of custom, the appearance of necesplan, exhausts the sources of prosperity, and diverts the sity, the sanction of time, the power of example, the dauattention of governors from the happiness of nations. It even yer of delay, the strength of our enemies, and the urgency suspends sometimes every idea of justice and humanity. In of the case, no war can be justified by that party who have

not exhausted every means of conciliation, and proposed thousand men to cut off forty thousand. This invention was every scheme of settling differences, without resorting to the originally cultivated by nations, assembled for their comnion sword. To what purpose is it to educate a young man with good; for instance, the diet of the Greeks sent word to the all the sentiments of generosity, and humanity; to make diet of Phrygia and its neighbours, that they were putting to him accomplished, enlightened, and virtuous; and to give sea in a thousand fishing-boats, in order to do their best to cut him ideas of philanthropy, benevolence, and affection for his them off root and branch. The Roman people, in a general species, if they are all to be obliterated by the horrible incon- assembly, resolved that it was their interest to go and fight sistency of making bim a licensed robber, or a murderer by the Vejentes or the Volscians before harvest; and some profession ? Such an education ought to tend rather to banish years after, all the Romans being angry with all the Carthathe sentiments of hatred and hostility, and enforce those of ginians, fought a long time both by sea and land. A geneapeace and benevolence; for surely all these things are not logist sets forth to a privce that he is descended in a direct requisite to murder with greater dexterity, or destroy an line from a count, whose kindred, three or four hundred years enemy with a surer and more certain aim. The end of such ago, had made a family-compact with a house, the very an education is inconsistent with its principles; and while the memory of which is extinguished. That house had some profession of a soldier coutinues in society, let those, who distant claim to a province, the last proprietor of which died are intended for it, remain, as they ought to be, savage, of apoplexy. The prince and his council instantly resolve, ignorant, and uncivilized; for while wars continue, civilization that this province belongs to bim by divine right. The is not complete.

- province, which is some hundred leagues from him, protests W. BURDON's Materials for Thinking, p. 264. that it does not so much as know him; that it is not disposed

to be governed by him; that before prescribing laws to them, their consent, at least, was necessary; these allegations do

not so much as reach the prince's ears; it is insisted on that 817. (Lev. xxvi. 23.] The ambition of Princes, and the his right is incontestable. He instantly picks up a multitude Wars both foreign and domestic which are the effects of it, ori- of men, who have nothing to do, and nothing to lose; clothes ginate, in every state, in the ambition of the Nobility, who, them with coarse blue cloth, one sou to the ell; puts them on heing many in number and having no other means of sub- hats bound with coarse wlrite worsted; makes them turn to sistence but the military profession, instigate their Sovereigns the right and left;

the right and left; and thus marches away with them to glory! to War and Conquest, for the sake of getting to themselves Other priuces, on this armament, take part in it to the best of commissions, pensions and governments.

their ability, and soon cover a small extent of country, with See St. PIERRE's Works, vol. iv p. 273. more hireling murderers than Gongis-Kan, Tamerlane, and

Bajazet had at their heels. People, at no small distance on hearing that fighting is going forward, and that if they

would make one, there are five or six sous a day for them, 818. (Lev. xix. 13.] Justice, however, is as strictly due immediately divide into two bands, like reapers, and go and between neighbour nations, as between neighbour citizens. sell their services to the first bidder. These multitudes furiA highwayman is as much a robber, when he plunders in a ously butcher one another, not only without having any.congang, as when single; and a nation, that inakes an unjust war, cern in the quarrel, but without so much as knowing what it is only a great gang.

is about. See Dr. FRANKLIN's Philosoph. and Sometimes five or six powers are engaged, three against Miscellaneous Papers, p. 182.

three, two against four, sometimes one against five, all equally detesting one another; friends and foes by turns, agreeing only in one thing, to do all the mischief possible.

VOLTAIRE. 819. (Jer. xxi. 7, 9.] Famine, the plague, and war, are the three most famous ingredients in this lower world. Under fa. mine may be classed all the noxious foods, which want obliges us to have recourse to; thus shortening our life, whilst we 820. [James iv. 1.) But if all men were influenced by the hope to support it. lo the plague are included all contagious spirit of Christ, and acted in conformity thereto, wars (of distempers ; and these are not less than two or three thousand. every kind) would cease. These two gifts we hold from Providence; but war, in which

Month. Mag. for April, 1814, p. 215. all those gifts are concentered, we owe to the fancy of three or four hundred persons scattered over the surface of this globe, under the name of priuces and ministers.

The most hardened flatterer will allow, that war is ever 821. [Isaiah ii. 4.] Philo, speaking of the Christians of attended with plague and famine, especially if he has seen the his own time, says, “None can be found among them that military hospitals in Germany, or passed through any vil- manufacture darts, arrows, swords, helmets, breast-plates, lages where some notable feat of arms has been performed. nor even such weapons as might be converted to bad purIt is unquestiovably a very noble art to ravage countries, | poses in the time of peace; much less do any of them engage destroy dwellings, and communibus annis, out of a hundred in those arts that are useful in war.”

822. [Acis xi. 26.] At present, however, Christian is a 826. [Num. i. 3.] Our forefathers, says Josepbus, did title seldoin heard of; and the spirit and practice of Chris- not betake themselves, as did some others, to robbery, nor tianity but rarely occur. When all return to the spirit of did they, in order to gain more wealth, fall-into foreign wars. the gospel, they will probably resume the appellative of (Contra Apion, b. i. § 12.)—And at Easter Island in the Christians.

South Seas, no appearance of civil government or subordiuaDr. A. CLARKE. tion could be discovered, much less any chief, prince, or king,

who had dominion over the rest. On the contrary, they all

acted and spoke with equal freedom ; and yet no inconve823. [Luke ix. 56.] The Son of Man is not come to niency was observed to result from this natural order; for destroy men's lives, but to save them; Luke ix. 56.–Agree- they lived in the greatest tranquillity and harmony imaginable. ably to this doctrine, let the preachers of the Gospel inveigh The father, indeed, in each family had an apparent supremacy, vigorously, in the name of God, against the ambition of the and his authority was readily obeyed. Some marks of honor Potentates of Europe ; against the sacrilegious laws of war, and ceremonies of respect were 'likewise paid to the aged; against the decorating of our 'Temples dedicated to Charity, pure nature and good sense seeming to dictate those distincwith banners won by shedding the blood of Nations. Let tions. The old men wore on their heads bonnets or caps, them withhold their benediction from the standards around fringed round with feathers like the down of ostriches; and which our sanguinary soldiers assemble. Let thein refuse had truncheons, or short thick sticks, in their hands, which their ministrations to every one who contributes toward the the Dutch naturally supposed to be some marks of degree and increase of human wretchedness. Powers who would engage them to consecrate the instruments Patriarchal simplicity and innocence, not the smallest vestige of their politics the reply, which the priestess Theano made or appearance of warlike instruments was to be seen among to the people of Athens when they tried to persuade her to them. pronounce a malediction on the profane Alcibiades : I am a

See Modern Univer. Hist. vol. xi. priestess to offer up prayers and implore blessings, not to exe

pp. 339, 340. crate and devote to destruction.” See St. Pierre's Works, vel. iv. p. 264.

827.

When the Israelites left Egypt, they were

in all probability unarmed, and totally unequipped for battle, 824. [Deut. xii. 2.) Dr. Prideaux, in his Connections, encumbered with their flocks, and certain culinary utensils, vol. i. p. 489, has forcibly depicted the inexpressible mischiefs which they were obliged to carry with them in the wilderdone to mankind by those mercenary poets and historians, ness to provide them with bread, &c. (Dr. A. CLARKE, On who, by praising heroes or princes for conquering countries, Exod. xiii. 17.)—Besides, to prevent any attack from the have incited other princes to imitate them.

Philistines, the people were led ahout, by the Pillar of the See HUTCHINSON's Confusion of || Cloud, through the solitary and unfrequented wilderness of Tongues, p. 119.

the Red Sea; Exod. xiii. 17, 18.— The fact is, the males that were numbered from twenty years old and upwards,

were divided not into “ armies,” but into companies of tens, 825.

It seems indeed no visionary or romantic fifties, hundreds and thousands; in order that rulers of thousands, speculation to conjecture, that if all mankind confined thein- rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, might selves for their support to the productions supplied by the now be appointed, not to fight, but to judge the people at all culture of the earth, war, with its attendant misery and times; Exod. xviii. 21, 22.—The Gospel likewise tells us, horrors, might cease to be one of the scourges of the human there were officers in the temple: and the name St. Luke

gives them signifies officers of war, stratenoi tou ierou. Dr. LAMBE's Additional Reports on See Luke xxii. 52. (And Dr. A. CLARKE's Additions to Regimen, p. 238.

Fleury, p. 325.)-Every such officer (of the temple), says
MAIMONIDES (in his Treatise called Chelim, chap. vii), had

under him several persons, who executed his orders in every + At a Conference held in 1809, at Christ Church, Salford, Manchester, it thing that related to his charge. He, for example, who was was unanimously agreed, and published accordingly, by the Author of this

to mark the time, caused the hours to be reckoned, and when Work and his Associates in Religion, “that they did not forin a Sectarian Church under any particular denomination from Man; that they wished to be

that of the sacrifice was come, either he or some of his men simply, Bible Christians; that they held all the doctrines, but not all the ideas,

cried with a loud voice, “ To the sacrifice, ye priests : To of all the Christian Sects, -- so far as they are respectively grounded on the the tribune (music gallery), ye Levites : To your ranks, ye literal expressions of Sacred Scripture; that they labour not, with phari. Israelites ;" and then immediately every one prepared himself sees, to be esteemed good, but to depart from all evil, as sin against God;

to begin his duty. that they are in perfect union and connexion with the sincere, conscientious livers, in all the various denominations of Christians; that they presume not to exercise any dominion over the faith or consciences of men; and that all who wish to join them iu shunning the common evils and vulgar errors of the world, and in appropriating to life the real truths and precepts of the

828. [Deut. xx. 7.] It does not appear, remarks Dr. A* Bible, are freely admitted under God, as Members of the true Christian

Clarke, that the Israelites believed that they were bound to Church.”

put the Canaanites to death. Their political existence was

race.

between married people, among the Hindoos is extended to every species of illicit commerce between the sexes.

Dr. W. ALEXANDER's Hist. of Women,

vol. ii. p. 229.

under the anathema, and this the Hebrews annihilated.That many of the Canaanites continued in the land, even to the days of Solomon, we have the fullest proof: for we read, 2 Chron. viji. 7., “ All the people of the land that were left of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were left in the land, whom the children of Israel consumed (or dispersed) not, them did Solomon make to pay tribute to this day.” Thus Solomon destroyed their political existence, but did not consider himself bound by the law of God, to put them to death.

See Dr. A. CLARKE, on Deut. xx. 17.

834. [Matt. v. 28.] Whoever, in Persia, has the impru. dence to look at the wife of a man of rank, were it but as she travels on the road, is sure to be severely beaten by her eunuchs.

See CHARDIN's Voyage en Perse,

tom. vi. chap. xiii. p. 238.

829. [Josh. vi. 1.]
Death-dealing battles were unknown of old,

835.

In Asia, the women are rigorously secluded Death-dealing battles took their rise from gold :

from the society of men. Constantly shut up in their houses, When beechen bowls on oaken tables stood,

they have no communication but with their husband, their faWhen temperate acorns were our fathers'food,

ther, their brother, or at most their cousin-german. Carefully The swain slept peaceful with his flocks around;

veiled in the streets, they dare hardly speak to a man even No trench was open'd, and no fortress frown’d.

on business. It would be there peculiarly indecent to fix Tibul. El. ii.

your eyes on them, as in that country an uplifted veil is the mark of a prostitute, or the signal for a loveadventure.

VOLNEY's Trav. vol. ji. p. 481. 830. [Exod. xx. 14.] Thou shalt not commit adultery.

So great was the abhorrence of adultery in the first ages, that most of the antient legislators prohibited it by the severest penalties ; and there are still extant some Greek copies of the Decalogue, where this prohibition is placed before that against murder, supposing it to be the 836. [Exod. xx. 15.] Thou shalt not steal. greater crime.—Edgar, king of England, enacted, that an

All rapine and theft are forbidden by this adulterer of either sex should, for the space of seven years, precept; as well national and commercial wrongs, as petty live three days every week on bread and water. Canute, in larceny, highway robberies, and private stealing. All withthe beginning of his reign, finding that the punishment then holding of rights, and doing of wrongs, are against the in use of cutting off the nose and ears, did not answer the spirit of it. The precept inoludes all political injustice and purpose ; decreed, that such as broke their conjugal tow

private wrongs, and consequently all kidnapping, crimping, should be coudemned to perpetual celibacy.

and slave stealing are prohibited, whether practised by inDr. W. ALEXANDER's Hist. of Women, dividuals or by the state. Crimes are not lessened in their vol. ii. pp. 230, 233.

demerit by the number, or political importance of those who commit them. A state that enacts bad laws, is as criminal

before God, as the individual who breaks good ones. 831. [Num. xxv. 8.] If any one seize an adulterer, let him

Dr. A. CLARKE. use him as he pleases.

Laws of Solon.

837. [Exod. xxii. 1, 4.] In Chardin's time, murder along 832.

When the Jewish dispensation was now with theft, it seems, was scarcely ever heard of in Persia; established, it must be remembered that there had been which is to be ascribed, says Michaelis, not, as Chardin two prior dispensations, both discarded on account of thinks, to the more humane manners of southeru nations, but their perversions: As these dispensations, prior to their to the superior mildness of their punishments.-Among the corruptions, had been espoused to the Lord; when the Isra- Israelites, during their pastoral state, the ox did every thing elites returned to either of them, even when put away, they on their farms : he plowed; he thrashed out the corn, either committed adultery, Matt. v. 32. But when they turned to with his feet, or by being yoked to a thrashing-wain; and the Gentilism, which had never been espoused of God, they he drew it when thrashed to the barn. If, therefore, the theft committed the fornication prohibited in Deut. xiii.-See of an ox was more severely punished, than that of any thing dets xv. 20. Rev. ij. 14.

else, it was on the same principle, upon which, in some places, an increase of punishment is inflicted on the crime of steal

ing from a farmer his plough, or any part of the apparatus 833. [Matt. xix. 9.] The word adultery, which among all || belonging to it. other nations is understood to mean an illicit correspondence

See Smith's Michaelis, art. 283, 284.

838. [Deut. xvii. 16.) In all the laws of Moses, the great principle of his polity was, to prevent the Israelites from becoming a commercial people.

See Smith's Michaelis, vol. i. p. 73.

843. [Exod. xx. 17.] Thou shalt not covet &c.

Covetousness debases a man's spirit, and sinks it into the earth.

TILLOTSON.

839.
Probably there is not one of the real wants 844.

He that is envious or angry at a virtue of life which may not be supplied directly from the soil ; food, that is not his own, at the perfection or excellency of his clothing, light, heat, the materials of houses, and the instru- neighbour, is not covetous of the virtue, but of its reward inents needful for their construction. — Besides, whilst agri- || and reputation ; and then his intentions are polluted. culture disseminates man over the surface of the earth; it

TAYLOR. diffuses also health, prosperity, joy, society, benevolence : from it spring all the charities of life, and it makes a common family of the whole human race.

Dr. LAMBE's Additional Reports on
Regimen, p. 239.

THE TWO TABLES OF THE TESTIMONY.

[Exod. xxxii. 15, 16.] And the two tables of the testimony were written on both their sides ; on the one side, and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables,

840. [Prov. xxx. 9.) But it appears, by recent returns, that in London, where commerce has the ascendency, the announced commitments for crimes are 1 in 800, in Ireland 1 in 1600, and in Scotland 1 in 20,000. Hence, in London the people are twice as wicked as in Scotland; or say, rather, that the necessities caused in the population of this country by the fluctuations of trade bear such proportion to those of Ireland and Scotland. It also appears by an account lately published, that at the New Bayley Court House, Manchester, the greatest numbers of prisoners tried there, were 441 in 1800, 452 in 1801, 365 in 1813, and 413 in 1814, all years of distress; and that the least numbers were, in 1794-5, and 1802, and 1808, years of great manufacturing prosperity. But from 1794 to 1814, that is, during 21 years, the average commitments per annum, were 652, of 90,000 inhabitants, or about 1 in 140. This is five to one greater than in London, and affords conclusive evidence of the pernicious effects of large manufactories on the morals of the people.

Month. Mag. for March, 1813, pp. 161, 181.

845. [Exod. xxxiv. 1, 27, 28.] God dictated, and thus caused, what Moses actually wrote on the Tables.-No con. jugation analogous to the Hebrew Hiphil, is used either in the Greek, or Latin, or any of the modern Languages: nor can the force of it be expressed otherwise than by adding a causative word. See No. 778.

PILKINGTON's Remarks, p. 109.

846.

The Sanscrit character, used in Upper Hindostan, is said to be the saine original letter that was first delivered to the people by the great Hindoo creator and legislator Brahına ; and is now called Diewnagur, or the Language of Angels.

Halled's Preface to Gentoo

Laws, pp. 23, 24.

841. [Exod. xx. 16.] Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Whatever is deposed as a truth, which is false in fact, and tends to injure another in his goods, person, or character, is against the spirit and letter of this law.

Dr. A. CLARKE.

847. Exod. xxxii. 15, 16.] The characters which represent the articulations of the human voice, were at first engraved, hollowed out, or cut in relievo on stone, on the softer metals, on slate, wood, and table-books done over with wax. Writers had afterwards recourse successively, to the libri or fine barks that may be taken off the inner cortex of trees; and to the membranes of buck and sheep-skins, caused by the kings of Pergamus to be ealled pergamena or parchments. They next procured, as more convenient in every respect, the inward inembranes of the papyrus, a kind of rush that grows abundantly on the banks of the Nile. Hence originated the name of paper, which has been siuce applied to a more substantial composition made first with cotton bruised small, reduced to a paste, and dried in moulds where it assumed the consistency of a slight sheet of felt; and latterly with rags of various sorts, macerated in water till they be

All deception in the course of life is, indeed, nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words to things.

842.

South.

« VorigeDoorgaan »