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embodies in his pamphlet is, that the pun. greater probability of bis reformation by ishment of death for the crime of murder solitary confinement, as more favourable for * is calculated to exert a salutary influence serious thought and reflection, and on the public mind and character, instead of placing him within the reach of the means brutalizing and degrading them.” The full of grace. In reply it is said, “ But how. force of the reasoning is felt here, by the au- ever formidable this objection may be, it thor's appeal to the doctrine of rewards and was imperative on the Israelites to put the punishments. This principle of the divine murderer to death. And yet the souls of government has been adopted in all ages, men were as valuable, and repentance as and in all nations. It is no less a dictate of necessary, and eternal destruction as dread. reason than revelation. It necessarily en- ful then, as they are now, and the Divine ters into all our conceptions of moral govern. Being knew all this." The way in wbich ment. Could a family, or a society, or a the preceding objection is oftentimes urged kingdom, be governed without it? Ought appears to us a fearful reflection on the we to impugn God's legislative wisdom by divine procedure of the past economy. And the adoption of a principle which he has further, if the murderer is not softened into not adopted, or by relaxing a principle which penitence by the immediate prospect of is so prominent a part of his own govern. death, and death in the most appalling and ment, without a sanction from himself? terrific forms, there is little bope of any Great blessings were abused by the Israel. mitigated punishment proving effectual. ites. " Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked.” Facts are confirmatory of this opinion. How " When I fed them to the full, then they re. seldom do convicts become converts to belled against me, and assembled by troops Christ. The guiltiest culprits, with the in the harlots' houses." Great punisbment mildest treatment, die unreformed and incorrected their wickedness, and cured their corrigible. evil propensities. “When he slew them, Much is said by the opponents of capital they sought him ; and they returned, and punishment about the degrading character ioquired early after God." The punish- and brutalizing tendencies of public execument of death had a salutary tendency with tions. We cannot but think there is deep a people in a comparatively ignorant and and wide-spread delusion in this very popu. infantine condition ; and why, we ask, should lar and oft-repeated objection. Honest and the same punishment have a precisely con- virtuous minds are carried away and imtrary tendency with a people more advanced pressed with it. It has in it much that is in civilization, and better acquainted with very plausible. The method of carrying out Christian principles ? The difficulty is not the sentence of the law is not always the met by instituting a comparison between a most judicious. Some reformation is needed human and a divine government, for in in this particular. A public execution is an both cases men are treated as rational and act which brings together the most degraded intelligent creatures, capable of being influ- portions of society, and thus becomes an enced by motives-by rewards and punish- occasion for the development of the worst ments. If it is just to proportion the degree feelings of human nature-of deeds of daring of punishment according to the degree of hardihood, and reckless ribaldry. Here is crime, why should the greatest punishment the abuse of an execution, not the use of it, be remitted for the greatest crime, without What proof hare we that this dreadful de. some reason from revelation ? And if pravity does not exist, independent of exegovernment appeals to motives on that cutions? We have no reason to conclude ground, shall we cease to appeal to the that it owes its malignity, or even its exist. strongest motives—the fear of death, in the ence, to scaffold scenes. These scenes afford case of murder? The mitigation of punish. opportunity for its fearful manifestation, but ment for the crime of murder, so far from it is gratuitous to affirm that they are proreducing the frequency of the crime, would, ductive of its rifeness. Admitting that they in our opinion, tend to augment it; and do, it would only be a perversion of a good ; would throw dowu a bulwark of public and what good has not been perverted? The safety. A contrary opinion is nnsupported sabbath - the Bible - the ministry, are by the adduction of any facts with which we amongst our highest spiritual blessings, but are conversant.
they are the occasion of the most fearsul evils. The remaining portion of Mr. S.'s work A public execution produces a deep and saluis oecapied in meeting the objections of tary influence on multitudes who witness opponents. He has selected only a few, to it, and on far greater numbers who never which we shall briefly refer, and to a few witness it. This opinion, we think, is fully additional ones urged in various shapes. confirmed by the testimony of many, and Tbe principal one is, the brief space afforded by the facts of the case. Mr. S. says, “ It for the culprit's repentance, and the unpre- may inspire many with an abhorrence of pared state with which he is oftentimes those crimes which lead to such a dismal hurried into an eternal world ; and the end, and of all the courses which terminate
in the chambers of death. It may awaken was strictly forbidden by the laws of Moses, the moral sense of multitudes; especially Exod. xxi. 16 : “ And he that stealeth a man, if they are acquainted with the Bible, and and selleth him; or, if he be found in his bave learned from it that God, as well as hand, he shall surely be put to death." man, condemns the murderer to lose bis The chapter, from which we have cited a life. I have no doubt I might appeal to the passage, puts in striking contrast Hebrew experience of thousands, if such has not slavery with African or West India slavery. been its influence in their case-if it did not They have scarcely any properties in comproduce in their youthful breasts a deep mon with each other; and therefore we sense of the folly and turpitude of sin, and deny that slavery was "an institution of contribute to cherish in them principles and the Jewish people." The objector adds, feelings calculated to fortify them against “ The punishment of death is not directly temptation." The dark and mysterious repealed in the New Testament." But we sympathies with death, and that horrible ask, What can be more direct than the pasfascination attendant on a public execution, sage in 1 Τim. i. 8, 9, 10-ανδραποδισταις ? to urge and allure to the commission of Men-enslavers are chargeable with a crime murder, spoken of so oracularly by Mr. which stands in the category of the most Dickens, we cannot look upon in any aggravated crimes. other light than a dexterous piece of special Besides, the law of Christ, “ Do ye to pleading. He says it shadows out a meta- others, as ye would that others should do physical truth, but to us it appears so sha- unto you," contains a great principle, sub. dowy and intangible, as to be unworthy of versive of slavery, and which has no bearing the name of reasoning or sound argument. on capital punishment. We can readily parMr. S. has noticed the opinions of Mr. don mistaken notions on the inexpediency Dickens at length, but any further reference of penal inflictions, but palpable perversions to them would be the work of chasing sha. of Scripture are almost unpardonable. dows. We eschew all attempts to settle a The reasonings of many well-meaning theological question by the adoption of ex- objectors take for granted that the spirit of pediency, rather than by the deductions of the Old Testament is radically different Scripture. In the gathering of patriots and from that of the New; and that great moral philanthropists in Exeter-hall, to advocate principles are modified and softened down the abolition of death punishment, long under our present dispensation of mercy, speeches were inflicted on the auditory full Mr. S. has many assailants, who think and of denunciations against this part of our write according to this fashion. We shall penal code, but having a lamentable lack of devote a concluding paragraph to lay bare scriptural argument-almost the perfect ab- this fallacy. Were we to admit the foree of sence of appeal to inspiration.
the preceding reasoning, we should be conAnother objection we were not pre- strained to conclude that Christ did not pared to expect from men who combat come to fulfil the law and the prophets, but our opinions so valiantly from the Bible, to destroy them, and to render the New viz., ** The Old Testament approves of the Testament at variance with the Old. Moral institution of slavery. We find laws for the principles are not changeable as circumexpress regulation of this domestic institu. stances, but immutable as the laws of pa. tion, as the Americans call it. Now we do ture. There will be found, on close inspecnot say that slavery is expressly condemned tion, a striking correspondence between the in the New Testament. Looking merely to Old and New Testaments. God's good-will the letter of the epistles, we should say that is taught in the former, as well as in the slaveholders have a divine warrant for latter; and love to our enemies is enjoined making merchandize of the souls and bodies in tbe one, as in the other. The prayers of of men." “ There can be no doubt that in David for his enemies, it is affirmed, are the Old Testament the murderer is com- contrary to the genius of the gospel ; and manded to be put to death, and it is just as stand out in contrast to the mild and benig. clear that slavery was one of the institutions nant statements of the Saviour. But let of the Jewish people. The punishment of the New Testament be examined, and its death is not directly repealed in the New prayers will be found as fearful in coinminaTestament, but neither is the institution of tion, as any in the Old. “ If any man love slavery. It therefore follows, that they not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ac. who hold that the punishment of death is cursed.” “Alexander, the coppersmith, did scriptural, must hold the same of slavery." me much evil : the Lord reward bim acWe have in this paragraph some bold and cording to his works." Much confusion untenable assertions ; indicating that their has arisen on this topic from not distin. author does not possess the soundest system guishing between benevolence and comof theology. The slavery of the Old Testa- placency. “The one is due to all men, ment was quite a different thing from modern whatever be their character, so long as there slavery. What we understand by slavery is any possibility or hope of their becomiog
the friends of God: the other is not, but the passages which speak of the patience, requires to be founded on character. The the goodness, and the mercy of God. They Old Testament writers, being under a dis are delighted with those representations pensation distinguished by awful threaten. which attribute to him the tenderness of the ings against sin, dwell mostly upon the father, and the munificence of the prince ; latter, avowing their love to those who but they overlook the passages which speak loved God, and their hatred to those who of the claims of the sovereign, and the funchated him ; the New Testament writers, tions of the judge ; and exhibit him as living under a dispensation distinguished by hating sin with a perfect hatred, and as reits tender mercy to sinners, dwell mostly upon solved not to pass by the transgressions of the former : but neither of these principles is men with impunity. This partial conception inconsistent with the other. We may bear of the divine character is fraught with some the utmost good-will to men as the creatures danger, leading men to delight in creations of God, and as being within the limits of of their own fancy; and putting out of hope ; while yet, considered as the Lord's sight all the attributes of the Creator, save enemies, we abhor them.” Our Lord poured those which have a soothing, tranquillizing out the most terrible denunciations against influence. With this class of religionists the scribes and pharisees, threatening them we do not intend to place all the opponents with the damnation of hell; but in relation of capital punishment, but, in relation to the to the same people, when he saw their coming question in hand, the erroneous conclusions and accumulating miseries, he tenderly wept of both classes we look upon as cognate in over them. The apostle applied the awful their character. Our views are embodied prophecies of Isaiah to the unbelieving Jews : in Mr. S.'s pamphlet, and with the style of
Go unto this people, and say, Hearing, ye illustration and the leading thoughts we sball hear, and shall not understand ; and generally concur. We should have been seeing, ye shall see, and shall not perceive,” glad to have seen some portions a little &c., &c. And yet the same apostle de more amplified, and the whole essay posclares, that he had great heaviness and con sess a little more compactness. In its pretinaal sorrow in his heart on their behalf. sent shape, (and a second edition might be The abhorrence of the wickedness on the an enlargement,) it is a calm, dispassionate one hand, and the benevolence towards the exposition of an important popular quespeople guilty of this wickedness on the
tion ; abounding in sound theological stateother, were perfectly compatible. If a crea. ments, and put forth in the spirit of fairness ture is a confirmed enemy to God, as devils and candour. The arguments are drawn and lost souls, true benevolence will cease from the Scriptures, and are conceived and to mourn over them, as it would imply a recorded by one perfectly familiar, and reflection upon the Creator. It is on this deeply imbued with the love of truth. Their principle that Aaron was forbidden to mourn great value arises from their scriptural comover his sons, Nadab and Abhin, and that plexion ; and on this account we deem the Samuel was reproved for mourning over work a timely contribution towards the setSaul.
tlement of a purely scriptural question, and Many opponents of capital punishment as corrective of a prevailing tendency in the are influenced, we cannot but think, by mis benevolent portions of society to arrive at taken views of the divine character. They bold conclusions, on moral and religious do not contemplate the whole of it. They subjects, without the aid of the Bible. have fallen into the error of a large class of Patriotic men, in efforts for the improvemen, who are satisfied with a very defective ment of mankind, act too much on the induction, when professing to collect the principle of expediency; as if every other particulars, and to interpret the facts by consideration should give way to this ; and which it is displayed. This class, in sur. the general tone of the more healthy departveying the works of God, select the grand ments of periodical literature is favourable and the beautiful, the lovely and the fair, to measures for the amelioration of man, till genius is enkindled, and sensibility is though they should leave out of sight the delighted. With emotions of this charac honour and glory of God. We could ter they rise to a contemplation of the heartily wish the opponents of capital puu. Creator, and invest him with corresponding ishment to moot the question as fairly, as attributes, and think of him as a Being deliberately, and as devoutly as Mr. S. has possessed only of wisdom, benignity, and done, and, with pages purged of all painful tenderness. They dwell upon the more levity and offensive dogmatism, we shall see pleasing and attractive perfections of his truth honoured and established, character, to the neglect of those which are equally essential, and which are adapted to inspire us with awe and fear. The same error they commit in consulting the Bible. They read, with all possible complacency,
The Mosaic CREATION, viewed in the direction, by men whose scientific attain
Light of Modern GEOLOGY. By GEORGE ments and acknowledged piety alike fit Wight. Recommendatory Note, by them for the task. But their works are WILLIAM LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., addressed chiefly to the more educated F.S. A.S. 12mo. pp. xx. and 256. classes, and have not found their way
amongst the masses of the people. Happily, Glasgow: Maclehose. London : Jackson and Walford.
those masses are not indifferent now to
such investigations. Earnestly craving know. The author of this volume, externally ledge, they are not unconcerned as to the beautiful and internally most valuable, is points at issue between science and Scriptbe Pastor of a Congregational church in
ture; and if in some cases they biare shown Perthshire, known to us by honourable re
an unhappy tendency to regard science as putation. Especially is he endeared by his incompatible with Scripture, the reason, I efforts to promote the evangelizing of our Sear, must be sought, in great part at least, teeming population by 'Town and Village in the fact that, whilst they have been Missions. We here meet him in the cha.
earnestly instructed, by the advocates of racter of a Christian Philosopher. The infidelity, in all that science may be made plan of our Magazine, and our
to say against Scripture,- they have not, limits, forbid our enlarging upon the sub- with equal care, in most cases not at all.) jects of his work. We need only say that been made to understand what Scriptore those subjects have a strong claim upon the rightly interpreted can say for itself, not in study of erery person who desires for him
opposition to science, but in harmony with self to be an intelligent and established it. Now, it is to bring this side of the believer, and to be qualified for the defence question, in a clear, simple, candid, and and confirmation of the Scriptures. Mr. convincing manner, before the people, that Wight shows himself to be a devotional the author of the volume has employed his Christian, a sound divine, an accurate in
pen. He has discharged his task well, and vestigator of natural science, and an impar. has placed before the reader a large amount tial judge of the question of imputed dis- of carefully digested matter, in a very discrepancy between it and the Bible. The tinct and impressive style. I feel that a merits of the work, in the light of a geolo more sound, sensible, instructive, and safe gical survey and digest of facts, and as an book, upon the subject of which it treats, exbibition of cautious induction, entitle it could not be circulated among the inquiring to high commendation. We cordially unite and reading community of this country." with the estimable Dr. Alexander, who
pp. xvii-xx. writes :" As respects the purely scientific We trust, it is not irrelevant or in anyparts of this volume, --whilst they are such
way improper to say here that one of our as the most proficient philosopher need not brethren, wbo, in consequence of his condespise, they are, at the same time, calcu- gregational Lecture upon tbis very subject, lated to place in a most perspicuous manner was assailed with great severity by even before the mind of the least instructed / pious clergymen and other good men, maj reader, the facts and principles of those be comforted and encouraged by the followdepartments of science to which they relate. ing paragraph in the volume before us. It It is, however, to those parts of the work will be felt by him as a testimony worthy of in which the writer illustrates the harmony being added to those, which we know he existing between the phenomena and laws of has received from Sir John Herschel, Dean nature, and the declarations of the word of Buckland, Vice-chancellor Whewell, and not God, that I would especially call the notice a few others; men who stand at the head of of the reader. All such attempts, when con- datural science, not in Britain only, but ducted with intelligent acquaintance with sci. through the whole learned world. ence on the one hand, and in a spirit of de. “ Dr. Pye Smith's volume on Scripture vout reverence for the authority of God's word and Geology.--We take this opportunity, upon the other, are deserving of the highest once for all, of recommending strongly the commendation. The enemies of Revelation very able work of this venerable and learned delight to dwell upon, and to magnify, all author. It is gratifying to know that it is apparent discrepancies between science and appreciated so extensively, as to demand Scripture, for the purpose of discrediting the publication of three editions in a few the divine claims of the latter. Such at- [little more than three] years. Long may tacks it will not do to meet with scowling he survive, to enjoy the good results that contempt, or affected indifference : nor will flow from his labours, in this and other still they ever be successfully repelled, by any higher departments of truth !" p. 26. attempt to bring into disrepute the sound and established principles of science. The true way is to meet the difficulty fairly. Valuable attempts have been made, in this
Discourses by the late Rer. James Ped. posed, considering the prominent position
DIE, D.D., Minister of the United Asso. occupied by the deceased. The editor has ciate Congregation of Bisto Sheed, Edin. | done his part well; and the sermons, burgh. With a Memoir of his Life, by twenty in number, are masterly elucidations his son, the Rev. WILLIAM PEDDIE, and enforcements of gospel truth. We ear. D.D. 880. pp. 498.
nestly recommend this volume, as of standWilliam Oliphant and Sons, Edinburgh; Hamilton, it belongs.
ard value, among the class of works to which Adams, and Co., London. Dar earliest recollections of the late Dr. James Peddie, of the Secession church, are
DISCOURSES by the late John Smart, all of the most grateful, and, we may truly
D.D., Minister of the Gospel, Stirling. add, saintly character. When the dew of
With a Memoir of his Life, by the Rev. youth was upon us, he was in the full vigour
JOHN SMART, A.M. Leith. 8vo. pr.
400. of his faculties, exerting a most benign and
Fullarton, Newgate-street. powerfal influence upon the denomination, of which then, and through life, he was the Dr. Smart was for many years one of the distingaished ornament. Some of the ad- trustees of the Evangelical Magazine, and mirable discourses preserved in this volume took great interest in the prosperity of the remind us of the deceased in the zenith of work, and in the charitable object to which the bis power, when multitudes flocked to his profits arising from its sale are periodically place of worship, with an assurance, that, devoted. We knew much of him, through they were looking for enlightened and our late venerable and beloved friend, Dr. searching expositions of the word of God, Waugh, who first introduced him to the they would not be disappointed.
notice of the trustees, and who duly prePew men, in any religious connection, sented his letters at the meetings of the have acquired a loftier reputation than Dr. | Magazine Committee for assistance to the Peddie ; and fewer still have borne their necessitous widows connected with his own honours with greater meekness and humi- branch of the Secession church. hty. He was one of a thousand-wise, pru- Dr. Smart was a highly respectable and dent, acate, and eminently benevolent. very useful minister of the Christian body From the urbanity and sedateness which to which he belonged; much beloved by all combined in almost equal proportions in who were associated with him; and rehis character, he was formed to rule ; and garded by very many beyond his own circle, yet so little was there of assumption in his as a man of lofty character and undissem. mental habit, that he never sought to rule ; bled piety. his standing was acquired simply by the More than thirty-five years ago we had weight of qualities which all feel, but which the privilege of hearing him preach on two few can describe. No question was ever separate occasions; and we can truly say, agitated in the presbyteries or synods of his that the reminiscences of the discourses denomination, upon which he was not pre- we then listened to are equally vivid and repared to express a discreet and edifying freshing. There was strength, and unction, judgment. His sagacity was such as to sur- and unbesitating orthodoxy in his appeals ; prise strangers, and to delight his friends. and his personal appearance was peculiarly For many years before his death, he was favourable to the impression of his ministry. regarded as the father of the Secession He was a fitting candidate to follow in the church ; both his years and his wisdom footsteps of Ebenezer Erskine, whose pulpit conferred op him this distinction.
he occupied for the space of nearly forty We can speak with confidence of his years. catholic spirit. No ecclesiastical enclosures His respected son, the Rev. John Smart, could restrict his charity; he was before his . of Leith, has furnished a very pleasing and generation in the display of this quality-at edifying memoir of his venerable father ; least such was the case in the earlier part and though it breathes a filial affection in of his career. He was among the first in
every page, it is written with all the impar. Scotland to respond to the call of the Lon- tiality of truth, and may be regarded as a don Missionary Society, and to his dying faithful memorial of one whose praise is in day was ever ready to do it good service. all the churches of Christ. His latter days In sober sense, penetrating judgment, and were clouded by affliction ; but though laid exalted piety, Dr. Peddie was a great man; aside for a season from his work, the preand those who knew him best can never cious truths which he had preached to others cease to cherish his memory with reverence were the solace of his own spirit, and and love.
cheered and sustained him in the dying The memoir contained in this volume is hour. judiciously written, though the materials The second part of the volume contains are more scanty than could have been sup. | twelve discourses, and seven sacramental