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but in the Christian religion. “Christianity," said he, “is humanizing; and in this, its distinguishing characteristic, is found its infinite superiority. ..."

This is a striking testimony to the peculiar, the blessed humanizing” influence of Christianity ; an influence which of necessity affects both the formation and the execution of the laws wherever it has sway, although, alas! so partially has its leaven been permitted to operate, that, even in our happy land, the life and liberty of men have not been secure from outrage under legal sanction. Within the last half century, in the heart of the venerable city I inhabit, a terrible tragedy was enacted. Two fine young men, farmers' servants, were hanged on the top of the Castle Hill, in the sight of hundreds of their fellows, for the sole crime of having stolen a lamb !

The assembled multitude gazed with feelings of aversion and terror, for it was felt to be nothing short of a legal murder. Vox populithat irresistible voice, when uttered in the cause of humanity and right-pronounced it such. '. Since that fatal day there has been no such horror enacted; it was the last example of the kind.

We owe hearty thanks to those noble-minded advocates who have lifted up their cry in remonstrance against the harsh and bloody laws which but recently disgraced our statute books. Among those illustrious names, that of Sir Samuel Romilly ranks high. Undoubtedly there is no profession in this country which exerts so important an influence upon our social and political relations as that of the Law, and it has accordingly been always a road to the highest stations in the land. Upon the whole. the history of our nation tells much in favour of those who have distinguished themselves at the bar and on the bench, many of whom, in the worst and darkest times, have nobly vindicated the rights of the people and the prerogatives of the crown. In how many instances have the liberties of England been preserved by the intrepidity and independence of the judges of the land! Thus, for example, in alluding to the unconstitutional attempts of the Stuarts to subvert our privileges, Mr. Godwin says, “It is impossible to review these proceedings

, without feeling that for these liberties we are to no man so deeply indebted as to Sir Edward Coke." That great man, so learned a lawyer and eminent a judge, was also a devoted patriot, zealously attached to the law, satisfied that it afforded the best guarantee for the liberties of the subject and the rights of the crown.

Accordingly, it was well observed of him that he lost his advantage in the same way he got it—by his tongue.” “And,” adds the quaint historian, “long lived he in the retirement to which court indignation had remitted him ; yet was not his recess inglorious, for, at improving a disgrace to the best advantage, he was so excellent as King James said of him, “He was like a cat, throw him which way you will he will light upon his feet !'”

It is unhappily true that all our judges have not walked in the steps of this illustrious personage, and history has registered the misdeeds and unblushing corruption of but too many of their number. Lord Bacon, in his history of the reign of Henry VII., writes in words of burning indignation concerning those rapacious judges who enriched themselves and the king by their exactions and preying, as he says, “like tame hawks for their master, and like wild hawks for themselves.” It is a

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melancholy reflection that this great genius, who in his writings and in his exhortations to the judges denounces the sinfulness of accepting bribes, was, by his own confession, repeatedly guilty of the same crime. Indeed, that melancholy period in which the Stuart dynasty bore rule abounds with instances of judicial corruption, though relieved by occasional bright exceptions. In the famous case of “Ship Money,” the judges were almost unanimous for the king. One of their number, Mr. Justice Croke, although convinced that the law was opposed to the claims of the crown, finding the voices of his brethren against him, and fearing lest his resistance should prove unavailing, and merely result in his own loss of place and the consequent ruin of his family, had at length determined to yield and to concur with the other judges in a decision favourable to the court. A few days before he had to argue, we are told by the historian Whitelock, "upon discourse with some of his nearest relations and most serious thoughts of the business,” he intimated his intention, when his wife, who was a very good and pious woman, told him that “she hoped he would do nothing against his conscience for fear of any danger or prejudice to her or his family, and that she would be contented to suffer want or any misery with him rather than be an occasion for him to do or say anything against his judgment and conscience."

The heroic counsel of this admirable woman prevailed, and when the hour of danger came her husband was firm in his allegiance to the cause of truth and of his country.

In the present day the integrity of our judges is not put to such severe trial, and we are in no danger of

now.

judicial corruption. Such stumbling-blocks as these do not lie in the path of the aspirant to legal distinction

To rise in the profession of the law, a man must bear an unblemished character and repute. But, in this, as in other roads to wealth and honour, "iter per

arcua ad astra." They who are most competent to speak on such matters affirm that the study and practice of the law are far from an easy task. Legal training is laborious, and in some branches dry and unattractive, and one must work hard in order to become conversant with

“The gathered wisdom of a thousand years."

It is only by diligence and persevering, energetic effort that the prize can be won and the difficulties of the ascent surmounted. A laborious profession it must ever be, but what a worthy and honourable one-to be pursued with an approving conscience, and without the terrible penalties associated with military ambition.

I.

Sir Thomas More.

Cromwell. Sir Thomas More is chosen
Lord Chancellor, in your place.

Wolsey. That's somewhat sudden:
But he's a learned man. May he continue
Long in his Highness' favour, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones,
When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on 'em.

Henry VIII., Act iii., Scene 2.

HE event thus chronicled by our great dramatist

took place on the 25th October, 1529, when,

in a council held at Greenwich, King Henry VIII. delivered the Great Seal to Sir Thomas More, and constituted him Lord Chancellor of England.

This admirable man, so interesting in his life and in his death, was, at the time of his elevation, in the fortyninth year of his age, and had acquired a great fame, not only among his own countrymen, but with the great and good of various nations, for his wisdom, integrity, and goodness. One cannot imagine a more lovely and attractive picture than that which is presented of him by his contemporaries; and we love him in his household character fully as much as we admire and reverence his learning. He was born in 1480, and was a son of Sir

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