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candid opinion of a celebrated contemporary writer, who, in his examination of Dr. Paley's sentiments respecting the divine justice, has the following passage.

If justice requires that so much pain be inflicted for so much voluntary guilt, it seems also to require that so much pain should not be inflicted after so much expiation made for guilt by voluntary amendment. If the veracity of the Deity requires him to punish offenders, because he has promised so to punish them, it must also require, that a part or the whole of their punishment should be remitted to penitence, because he has likewise promised to accept their sincere and active endeavours to repent. In the sight of the Deity that repentance may not only be a bridle to prevent the sinner from going astray, but a spur to make him advance with more speed in the road to perfection. In the sight of the Deity, that repentance may amount to a complete change of all the moral propensities or habits, which exposed the offender to punishment, and it may ultimately render him a fit subject even of reward. Man, it is true, cannot so penetrate the hearts of his fellow creatures, as to calculate the good effects wrought in them by

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* Characters of C. J. Fox, by Philopatris Varvicensis, Notes, vol. ji. p. 424.

remorse; and even if he could calculate them, the necessity of deterring other men from similar offences would often compel him to punish, more or less, where the Deity may have forgiven. * Still,' however, it is of importance for us to remember, that the mercy of that Deity is much oftener recommended to us as a model of imitation, than his justice; and though precepts of

* There can surely be no other distinction petween divine and human justice, than such as arises from the imperfection of man, and his frequent inability to ascertain what is right. If then it be just in the Deity to pardon on repentance, it is just in human affairs to pardon those who have given proof of contrition for their crime. That we cannot, like the Deity, positively know that this contrition is sincere, is no reasonable objection to the exercise of forgiveness. We do not know with certainty, whether the person punished be guilty, and yet, we scruple not to punish him. Can we then refuse, when we have taken cognizance of him as a criminal, to take cognizance of him as a penitent? and must we not, in both instances, be guided by.such evidence as the nature of the case, and the uncertainty of human affairs will admit? A criminal is not less a moral agent after conviction than before; nor can it be denied, from daily experience, that by the adoption of proper means, the reformation of criminals is not only possible, but is frequently, if not generally accomplished. Shall we then close our eyes and ears to the evidence of such a fact? and pretend that the weakness of the human faculties does not permit us to know the heart of man, and that, therefore, we can afford our repentant brethren no relief? or after we are convinced of their amendment, is it incumbention us to commit a manifest act of injustice by punishing them, in the expectation of deterring others from committing a like offence ?




this kind may be considered as chiefly applicable to the conduct of private individuals, yet the principles upon which they are founded, deserve to be regarded by legislators, so far as they can follow them consistently with the common weal. It is indeed a salutary, an essential, and even characteristic quality of justice itself, that in providing expedients for the public security, it should be wholly exempt from that vindictive spirit which obstructs the exercise of mercy.

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ORTUNATELY, however, whilst the civilized

world has been groaning under the effects of a
barbarous and sanguinary code of laws, miti-
gated at times by the milder spirit of philoso-
phy, another system has arisen, which from
obscure beginnings has gradually attracted more
general notice, till at length it has been adopted
in practice, on an extensive scale, and affords a
favourable prospect of ultimate success. The
earliest traces of this system are to be sought
for in a sincere and earnest attempt to apply to
the regulation of the affairs of civil life the
pure and simple doctrines of Christianity, On
the establishment of Pennsylvania under Charles
II., the charter directed that its judicatures
should be governed by the common and statute
law of the mother country;* but, no sooner

" The royal charter to William Penn, directs, that the laws of Pennsylvania respecting felonies, should be the same with those of England, until altered by the acts of the future legislature ; who are injoined to make those acts as near as conveniently may be to those of England.-v. Bradford, p. 14.


nals,in which he clearly demonstrated their injurious consequences. A Society was formed under the title of The Philadelphia Society for alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, an attempt which so strongly attracted the notice of our benevolent countryman Mr. Howard, that in his Account of Lazarettos, he expresses his willingness to contribute towards a similar institution in his own country, and announces, that if a permanent charity should take place, under some such title as that at Philadelphia, he would most readily stand at the bottom of a page as a Subscriber for five hundred pounds.* Of the object and proceedings of this society some account will be found in the statement of Caleb Lownes, an early promoter of these beneficent plans, reprinted in the Appendix.

By the exertions of this Society, aided by a great proportion of the other inhabitants of Philadelphia, amongst whom the Quakers distinguished themselves, as well by the wisdom of their measures: as by their earneștness and perseverance in the promotion of them, á decided sentiment was produced in favour of a more humane and rational system. William Bradford, who after having held the office

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* Account of Lazarettos, &c. p. 259.

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