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" and the encouragement of depravity, is “ regularly maintained.”
This increase of youthful licentiousness may be traced to the prevailing practice of relaxing the bonds of parental authority o; and leaving young men to the guidance of their own indiscretion and inexperience. The heir of rank and fortune is transferred from the nursery to the preparatory, and from the preparatory, to the public school; in each of which he forms for himself his habits and principles of conduct, and indulges in expense, without any knowledge of the extent of his inheritance. The sons of trade and commerce are no more permitted to dwelle under the roof of a master, whose frugal habits might present an instructive example, whose authority might restrain, and whose experienced wisdom might improve them ; but they are abandoned, in the most critical period of life, to choose their own residence, to seek their own company, in the hours and places most pregnant with temptation, and to appropriate their time without fear of reproof or inconvenience. The children of the peasant and the mechanic can no sooner earn their bread, than they also are their own independent masters, and claim to themselves the privilege of spending the fruits of their industry in vanity or in vice. These are the effects of an unfeeling luxury spreading through all classes, and they are the overflowing sources of juvenile delin
n Report of Soc. for Imp. of Prison Discipline, p. 11. “ By reference to the Criminal Calendar it will appear, " that in the year 1813, one hundred and twenty-three “ boys of seventeen years of age, and under, were con“ fined in Newgate only: but in 1816, two hundred and “ forty-seven such children were found within the walls “ of that prison, being just double the number during a « period of three years. In 1817, the list of boys thus “ imprisoned amounted to three hundred and fifty“ nine. And when we add to these the numbers con“ fined in the other prisons; those summarily convicted “ for petty offences by the magistrates; those tried at the 66 Clerkenwell, Westminster, and Southwark Sessions; “ those who escape detection; and those who through the “ lenity of their prosecutors are not brought to trial; the “ evil is enormous.” Ibid. note. Police Report for 1816. p. 55. and for 1817. p. 498, 499. 636. 734. 797 — 800.
• Police Report for 1816. p. 55.
quency, which it requires no common vigour to oppose. The knowledge of these facts may justify the complaint of a “dis“ obedience to parents” on the one hand, and of a “ want of natural affection” on the other. Surely, if this age and nation was possessed of “ the power” of godliness, rather than its “ form,” of the love of God more than of pleasure, young men would be more “ soberminded," and more scrupulous in avoiding 6 youthful lusts ";"> fathers would not “provoke their children, “ to wrath®,” nor compel them to acts of iniquity; and children trained “in the nur“ ture and admonition of the Lordt,” and taught to “shew piety at home"," would be less “ headstrong," and more obedient to their parents in all things. . ..,
5. All acts of fierceness and of cruelty are inconsistent with the mild spirit of Christianity: and what is the humanity which forces the beast at a venture to undertake a task beyond his 'strength, and
2 Tim. ii. 22.
9 Titus ii. 6. u i Tim. v. 4.
Ephes, vi. 4. tIbid.
perish in the attempt? which finds amusement in stimulating the natural fierceness of a bird or a beast * ? which speculates on the perseverance of the pedestrian in overcoming the calls of nature, or engages the bruiser to fight his brother, and hails with the name of a conqueror a man whose only merit is, that he has disfigured, it may be has destroyed, his brother, and pledged himself upon the awful chances of being a hireling homicidey? Where again, in the mitigated discipline of other armies, is the humanity of the military judge, when he orders the flesh to be torn from the back of his fellow-man by a sentence which exceeds the known powers of human suffering, as is attested in the mockery of medical attendance to prescribe how far the infliction shall extend ; and when he imprints an indelible mark on the person of the criminal, in violation or disregard of the divine precept, which fixed the measure of punishment, on the benevolent principle, that a
* Police Report for 1816. p. 222. 246. 275. for 1817. p. 563. 603. y Ibid. for 1817. p. 590.
man might not “ seem vilez" unto his brother? Where is the humanity of the duellist, when he demands the life of another, and proposes the conditions on which others shall concur with him in deliberately seeking the life of a man? How shall this slave of a false honour escape the imputation of being not only “ proud, fierce, heady, high“minded,” but of being a “truce-breakera," even in its strictest sense, when under an obligation to keep the peace at home he carries his resentments to a foreign country ? and of being a murderer also, unless some sophistry can confound with a casual and accidental homicide the premeditated use of fatal weapons, carried for the purpose to an appointed place at an appointed time? And lastly, where is the humanity of