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those, who step forwards as the advocates and apologists of all these sanguinary proceedings, who charge with faction the censure of the military executions, who uphold the honour of the duellist in all its fooleries, and recommend the games of blood as a preservative of high and honourable spirit? Let not the forms of godliness deceive the nation, which allows these outrages on humanity, and overlooks the benevolent maxims of the Scriptures:“A righteous man “ regardeth the life of his beastb.” To the Christian belong “ bowels of mercies, kind“ ness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long“ suffering; forbearing one another, and for“ giving one another, if any man have a “quarrel against any: even as Christ for“ gave you, so also do yec.” “ If it be “ possible, as much as lieth in you, live “ peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, “ avenge not yourselves, but rather give “ place unto wrath : for it is written, Ven“ geance is mine; I will repay, saith the “ Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, s feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink : for “ in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire " on his head. Be not overcome of evil, 6 but overcome evil with good.” . 6. In the room of this Christian forbearance and forgiveness has gone forth a spirit of litigation, which admits not of friendly interference or mediation, and which has multiplied the courts, and increased the labours of those, who administer the civil jurisprudence of the country. There are but too many provisions of our laws in direct opposition to the requirements of our religion. Oaths which should never be admitted but with the utmost solemnity, and on the most important matters, are multiplied to excess, and administered with levitye on the most frivolous occasions. The levity of the administration is only exceeded by the facility of the violation, when, under the insidious pretext of mitigating the severity of the law, and of forming a compromise, as it were, between veracity and compassion, a verdict is pronounced in complete contradiction to the evidence. It is also “ to be regretted, that oaths are so “ generally required in matters relating to “ the revenue. In numerous cases, perhaps “ it may be said in general cases, the par“ ties hardly know, except as they are in“ formed by others, what it is to which “ they depose; and whilst an oath serves as “ a cover to the proceedings of parties, “ who are regardless of its solemnities, it is “ often the subject of the most painful “ feelings to conscientious menf.” Crimes
b Proverbs xii, 10.
c Coloss. iii. 12, 13.
f Report of the Committee of Ship Owners, dated London, Sept. 24, 1818. “ Although there is no doubt “ that clandestine importation is the main channel “through which the traffic is carried on, yet the form of 6 an oath for the purpose of rendering melted coin le“ gally exportable, is too well known to be a slight ob« stacle, an obstacle reducible like all other matters in 66 trade to an average expressed in money." Letter to Mr. Peel, p. 48. “He could wish also to say something on 6 the proceedings at Guildhall, and the scenes of per“ jury which so frequently occurred there. It had been « proved by the evidence of Mr. Montague, Mr. Courte“ nay, and ... men whose evidence was deserving of " the utmost consideration, because they were not only “ employed as commissioners to decide on, but also as “ barristers to oppose the claims of different creditors,
of the deepest die are held to be venial, or are expiated with a pecuniary fine, and impunity is provided for the adulterer and the duellist, of whom the former would have been stoned to death under the Mosaic law, and the latter was condemned as an outlaw even before the flood. While these offences are overlooked, on others of a less heinous nature the highest sentence of the law. is nominally pronounced, and it is a singular policy: by which the criminal is “ that perjury was there reduced to such a system, as no “ honest man could think of without shuddering. Mr. “ Montague had said, that on those days, when nume6 rous meetings of creditors were expected, individuals “ plied at the hall door to be hired to perjure themselves “ in the proof of fictitious debts, and that these indivi6 duals were afterwards employed to sign the bankrupt's- certificate, just as if they had been bona fide creditors. “ This system was also mentioned by other witnesses, 66 and a respectable solicitor had even gone so far as to “ assert, that there was a regular house in Doctors Com« mons, where men might at any hour be met ready to “ prove debts for a certain per centage.” Speech of Mr. J. Smith, on moving the second reading of the Bankrupt Laws' Amendment Bill, April 2, 1819. See also the evidence on Election Petitions from Barnstaple and other places. .g Police Report for 1816.p. 88. for 1817. p. 471. 531. 773. 642. 652.
suffered to run the career of crime, and to frequent its known retreatsh, not without detection, but without apprehension, till he incurs the last severity of punishment. It is also a serious question, which hath of late been agitated, whether the frequency of capital punishment, of which the increase however bears no proportioni to the increase of crime, which in the law received by Noah is restricted to the sin of murder; and which the Mosaic code extends with singular forbearance and moderation, can be justified in principle. In practice it hath evidently lost its effect, making no other impression on the spectator than to excite compassion for the criminal, and leaving little power of discretion between the indiscriminate pardon and the indiscriminate massacre of the guilty.
7. That for a series of several years, the h Technically called “Flash-houses.” See Police Reports passim. See the annexed Tables : Police Report for 1816. p. 210. 213. 256. k See the annexed Tables, which are compiled from the returns laid before Parliament: the first shewing the increase of crimes within the last fourteen years; the second the nature of the crimes committed in the last nine years.