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manifest a deep interest in the personal qualities and behaviour of one deep-dyed in blood-guiltiness who is as low and degraded in mind as he is abandoned in character. Though Corder's station in life was not high, it was what is called respectable; his outward condition was above that of the majority that have interested themselves in his case: and we cannot help suspecting that if the rank of himself and of the victim of his cruelty had been in the inverse order, and she had been the daughter of a farmer of consequence and he had been the son of a molecatcher, the feeling of the public towards him would have been less qualified by some sentiment approaching to pity, and would have been expressive only of shrinking, shuddering detestation. The moral sentiments of a community are not helped, but seriously hurt, by this partiality and perverseness of judgment.
One of the most reputable of the daily journals, the Morning Chronicle, has made some rather severe strictures upon the language used by the Chief Baron (Alexander), who sate as judge on Corder's trial, in passing upon bim the sentence of death. The newspaper supposes the judge to have represented to the convict that his situation with regard to eternity was far more favourable than that of the unhappy young woman, the victim of his cruelty, inasmuch as she was sent out of the world without a moment being allowed to her for repentance and preparation for hier Maker's presence, whilst he would have many hours for preparing himself, under the best spiritual advice, for the Divine mercy:
the Chief Baron is further reported to have exhorted the condemned creature to employ so as to fit himself for a better world. If this report of the judge's address be correct, we cannot but think that this learned and respectable man not only fell into error with regard to a serious religious matter, but also forgot for the moment what is due to the dignity of the law and to public morals. Can any reader of the Bible believe that it will make any difference in the sentence on the murderer at the bar of eternal justice, whether he was put to death at the moment of conviction, or whether he was allowed bis forty-eight or sixty hours for occasional discourse with a jail-chaplain? On the shewing of the newspaper report of the sentence, survivors must entertain fear for the state of the murdered woman, but may indulge
hope for the salvation of the murderer, who contrived the murder under pretence of love and marriage! We are the more disposed to fear that the account of the Chief Baron's speech is true, because we have observed of late years a growing propensity in oar judges, when they pronounce the sentence of death, to encourage condemned criminals to trust in their faith in the atonement for acquittal at the bar of God, and for instant and complete redemption. This is surely to nullify the awful sentence of the law, and to tempt the ignorant multitude to believe that no crime will be visited with future punishment if the criminal can only believe that there will be none. We have heard of cases in which the confident piety of the worst malefactors on the scaffold has prompted the exclamation from by-stauders, “Ah! we wish we could change places
The relation in the newspapers of the condemned sermon before Corder, and of the spiritual conferences with him, would lead us to conclude that the spirit of the judge's sentence ran through the whole of the religious counsels administered to bimn. According to the usual profanation of the rite, (as we must ever conceive it to be,) the Lord's Supper was celebrated with the wretched criminal on the morning of execution. What an occasion for the observance of this memorial of “ the Holy One and the Just," this pledge and exercise of peace and charity and universal brotherly love! Protestants plead against Roman Catholics their absolution of sinners-but what absolution can be more delusive, and more injurious to Christian morals, than giving the Sacrament to a murderer just before his life is violently taken away by the hand of justice, since he can interpret the ceremony in no other sense than as a means of final and complete pardon, and as & passport to heaven ?--The effect of all this religious instruction upon the mind of the malefactor in question was as might have been expected : we find in the newspaper reports, no warnings to his young companions, po strong expression of commiseration with the murdered victim, or of reinorse and self-abhorrence, but, on the contrary, a confident hope, expressed in writing an hour before his execution, that « his soul would be in heaven in two hours.". Ought stronger language to be used on the day of death by the Christian who has led from youth upward to old age, a godly, sober, honest and charitable life?
We express ourselves unreservedly upon this subject, because we have no doubt of the bad tendency of all encouragement and exhibition of saintship in dying convicts. Deep and bitter repentance is the only state of mind to which they should be prompted. Their despair wonld be better for the public than their exultation—though true penitence would in most cases call down from heaven a ray of hope. More than this, what sober professor of religion would wish to see in such persons at such a crisis?
There is an awfully impressive moral in Corder's infamy, Idleness and its attendant follies led to greater sins, and at length to crimes. An illicit connexion, the result of false promises, acting upon a vain and wanton mind, led, in its consequences, to the thought of the expediency, then to the purpose, next to the plan, and lastly to the deed of murder! Let the young of both sexes beware of the beginnings of impurity. Pass but the threshold and you may be undone.
The feelings of the living should be spared, as far as is compatible with the higher obligation of consulting the moral welfare of the public; but we cannot help remarking that the newspapers have proclaimed the disgusting fact, that after the commission of murder, Corder obtained a wife by public advertisement. No case could shew more flagrantly the offence against good morals in all such transactions. The few newspapers that have suffered themselves for the sake of gain to be the medium of such shameless bargains, will, we hope, be instructed by this example in the necessity of hereafter respecting public opinion, and of turning from their columns adventurers who would sport with all the decencies and solemnities of social life, and if there be any of either sex who may have heretofore, from any motive, entertained the thought of referring to the chances of a newspaper the most momentous engagement, and the most sacred choice, which a human being can make, let them take warning from what is before their eyes, and desist froin a game which may betray them into the bands of a murderer!
put thus :
CORPORATION AND TEST ACTS IN 1790.
(From Bishop Watson's Memoirs.) On the 10th of February, 1787, a meeting of the Bishops was convened at the Bounty Office, on a summons from the Archbishop of Canterbury, and at the instance, as was given to understand, of Mr. Pitt, who wanted to know the sentiments of the bench relative to the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts. The question proposed was
Ought the Test and Corporation Acts to be maintained ?" I (says Dr. Watson) was the junior Bishop, and, as such, was called upon to deliver my opinion first, which I did in the negative. The only Bishop who voted with me was Bishop Shipley. The then Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops of Worcester, Lincoln, Ely, Peterborough, Norwich, Exeter, Bangor, Bath and Wells, Rochester, and Litchfield, voted that the Acts ought to be maintained. When the question was thus decided, that my brethren might see I was not sorry to be known to have voted as I had done, I moved, that not only the result of the meeting, but that the names of those who had voted for and against the inaintenance of the Acts, should be sent to Mr. Pitt; and the motion was passed unanimously.
The question for the Repeal of the Acts was then lost, in the Commons, by a majority of 78—178: 100.
It was again brought forward, 1789, and was again lost by a majority of 20—122: 102.
This sinall majority encouraged the Dissenters to bring it forward again in 1790; but the cry of the Church's danger began to be raised, and meetings were held by some alarmed clergymen, principally in the dioceses of York and Chester, and the question was Tost by a majority of 195—299 : 104. In a conversation I then had with Lord Camden, President of the Council, I plainly asked him if he foresaw any danger likely to result to the Church Establishment from the Repeal of the Test Act : he answered, at once,
“ None whatever.” On my urging the policy of conciliating the Disseuters by granting their petition, bis answer made a great impression on my mind, as it shewed the principle on which great statesinen sometimes condescend to act. It was thus : " Pitt was wrong in refusing the former application of Dissenters, but he must now be supported.”
RESOLUTIONS OF THE UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION RELATING
TO THE ABOLITION OF THE SACRAMENTAL TEST,
At a General Meeting of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, held at Finsbury Unitarian Chapel on Wednesday, May 28, 1828, CHRISTOPHER RICHMOND, Esq., in the Chair,-it was resolved,
That this Association, in receiving that part of the Report which records the passing of the Bill for repealing so much of the Corporation and Test Acts as relates to the Sacramental Test, feel themselves called upon to declare, that although they cannot conceal that it is some abatement of their rejoicing in this event, that the Act imposes a declaration which approaches to a confession of faith, and with regard to some classes of persons inay be felt as a privation and restraint, they are nevertheless persuaded that the measure is a great advance in the course of religious liberty; and that, inasmuch as it removes the distinction between Protestant Disseuters and members of the Church of England, it will not only tend to promote civil union, to increase national strength, and to further national prosperity, but will also cherish amongst all classes a liberal spirit, wbich in its operation will remove the imperfections and supply the deficiencies of the Act in question, and carry to the utnost extent the practical enjoyment of the sacred and inalienable rights of conscience.
That they feel and hereby express their gratitude to the United Committee for conducting the application to Parliament for the Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, who have fully redeemed their pledge of persevering until their labours should be crowned with success, and to whose firmness, assiduity, vigilance, and zeal, united with prudence, moderation, and a conciliatory spirit, this success is in a great measure to be ascribed ; and that they beg in particular that those members of their own body who were a constituent part of that Committee, will accept their cordial thanks for their invaluable services.
That they concur in the resolutions of the United Committee which communicate thanks to the Members of both Houses of Parliainent who supported this measure--a measure of relief not merely to conscientious Protestant Dissenters who were excluded by the Corporation and