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men of the Calvinistical persuasion, and so could hear no other doctrine, or receive no other instructions from the men of those times, and therefore had once firmly entertained all their doctrines. Now that which first moved me to search into the foundation of these doctrines, namely, the imputation of Adam's sin to all his posterity, was the strange consequences of it.' He adds, that after some years' attention to the subject, he fell in with a deist, who grounded his unbelief in the Scriptures chiefly on the doctrine of original sin, which had been taught him as a part of the christian religion. He alleged, that this doctrine alone was enough in his mind to invalidate all the testimony, that couldvbe brought in favor of the divine origin of the Scriptures.
'By this incident, Whitby was led to think it his duty to review the subject; and he declares the result to have been, that he could discover no proof of such a doctrine in the word of God. He next resorted to antiquity, but was not more successful. Vossius had deceived him, by asserting that it was always the judgment of the church. After having perused all the writings of antiquity till the time of Austin, he was satisfied, that the assertion of Vossius rested on his own authority. As far as appeared, the doctrine originated with Austin.
'By a similar occurrence he was induced to examine the doctrine of election. A friend, who had been educated in the belief of the Calvinistic dogma of divine decrees, doubted the truth of the Scriptures, since they contained a doctrine so repugnant to the goodness of God, and so opposite to the understanding of man. The absurdity of this doctrine he thought much greater, than a disbelief in the Scriptures, with all the evidence that could be collected in their support. Whitby again went through the Bible, and the writings of the ancients, with reference to this point; and, as in the former case, he detected no footsteps of the doctrine of election, till he found himself in the company of Austin.
'Such were the causes in which originated the Discourse on the Five Points.' Vol. II. pp. 17, 18.
What is said of bishop Hare is true of others, from whom these selections have been made, and accounts for the circumstance, that the biography is in so many instances rather critical than narrative, rather of the scholar than of the man. 'His writings seldom reveal a personal incident; they never betray his designs, nor acquaint you with his pursuits; you may converse with his mind, grow familiar with his thoughts, and trace
Vol. Hi.—No. in. 26
his opinions; there you must stop; the man is invisible, and not to be approached.'
We must add a passage from the life of James Foster, a name that always deserves respect, and should be more familiarly known than it is. When he began his ministry, he unfortunately did not enlist on the side of the majority, and he therefore, though gifted with uncommonly fine powers as a preacher, remained for some time in such a state of obscurity and suffering, because of his heresy, as to be almost discouraged from continuance in his labors.
'But Providence designed him for higher purposes, and a brighter day succeeded a morning of clouds and disaster. He found a good friend in Mr Robert Houlton, who received him into his house, and treated him with much respect and kindness. A change in his condition was soon to take place, which would raise him above the perils of want and the contingency of circumstances. In the year 1724, he was chosen colleague pastor with the Rev. Joseph Borroughs, at Barbican, London, and successor to Dr Gale. Here was scope for his powers, and a sphere of usefulness adequate to his highest exertions. His fame as a preacher soon went abroad, and he constantly drew around him a numerous audience, collected from christians of all denominations. Four years after his settlement at Barbican, he instituted a Sunday evening Lecture at the Old Jewry, which he regularly kept up, during the winter season, and which was uniformly attended by a crowded auditory. Speaking of this lecture, Dr Fleming observes, that Mr Foster continued it "for more than twenty years, maintaining the reputation of it throughout, even till his bodily weakness obliged him to quit that service, and he showed, beyond all debate, that his popularity did exceed any thing yet known among the protestant dissenters. Here was a confluence of persons of every rank, station, and quality; wits, freethinkers, numbers of clergy, who, whilst they gratified their curiosity, had their prepossessions shaken, and their prejudices loosened. The flowers of oratory grew here upon the plant of divine truth, from which his audience might gather fruit of the highest mental taste and moral complexion."' Vol. V. pp. 176, 177.
We cannot go any farther. We once more thank the editor in taking our leave, and hope we may find him laboring in this department again.
Art. V.—The Sixth Report of the Committee of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline, and for the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders. London. 1824. pp. 365.
First Annual Report of the Managers of the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, in the City of New York. New York. 1825. pp. 52.
We deem it a solemn duty, and well worthy the character of a religious publication, to call the attention of our readers to the execution of the criminal laws in this country, No subject connected with practical morality is in our estimation more important. Our gaols and penitentiaries are fountainheads of iniquity. Malefactors, of both sexes, of every age, of all degrees of moral turpitude, are there collected, associated, and sunk still deeper in depravity. Our just causes of exultation as citizens of a happy, improving, and respected nation, as partakers of the benefits, which are derived from the vast improvements of this great era, must suffer no inconsiderable abatement from the circumstance, that such tardy advances have been made in the science of prison discipline. Human ingenuity, enterprise, and benevolence have exerted their strongest energies, on almost every other subject. The earth, air, and ocean bear witness to the never resting genius of invention, discovery, and improvement. Most visible things show marks of innovation; and sober truth must acknowledge, that the revolutions, which have taken place during the first quarter of the passing century, have been beneficial and wonderful. A host of illustrious names share the honor of improving the condition of man in other ways, while in that to which we have referred, a few individuals monopolize the admiration, with which selfdevotion in the cause of humanity is viewed, even by those whom it does not excite to imitation. What shall we say, then? that men will exert their faculties only for their own emolument? that selfishness is the chief motive of action? that all the bustle we witness proceeds from a desire of gain, or to attract the gaze of the world? We cannot so regard it. We believe that amidst all the jostling and competition society exhibits, a generous, disinterested, christian energy moves on the face of things; that the hearts of thousands feel deeply the condition of the ignorant and criminal; that the minds of thousands are intently busy in devising schemes of benevolence, mainly anxious for the glory of God and the good of mankind.
If then it is asked by one whose views of society are darker than ours, why the spirit of improvement has not been more active in prisons, it may be answered, the evils are invisible. Prison walls shut out their wretched inmates from observation. The passing, busy throng, do not think of the multitudes who are excluded from the walks of life, or think of them only with breathings of vengeance. The philanthropic, with few exceptions, are engrossed by the obtrusive objects of ignorance and vice. But we are not the apologists of that great and deplorable neglect, with which the abodes of convicts have been treated. Society has overlooked an allimportant duty, and has been visited with heavy judgments in consequence. If crime has not kept pace with the rapid increase of population, it is owing more to various other powerful counteracting causes, than to those improvements in criminal jurisprudence and prison discipline, which might have been expected in this age. It is our object in the present article, to aid in directing the attention of the public to the enormous evils existing, to arouse men to a due sense of their culpable neglect of the victims of the laws, to point out a field of benevolent exertion to such as wish to benefit the age in which Providence has cast their lot.
Two experiments have been tried, in relation to criminal jurisprudence and prison discipline, the Sanguinary and Penitentiary Systems. In former days, a cruel and bloody spirit prevailed, characteristic of the military spirit, and severe policy of the times, and, as we fear, of the vindictive character ascribed by many portions of the christian world to the Supreme Being. But in the progress of society, and owing to the prevalence of juster and more scriptural views of the Divine nature, the wrath of man against his erring fellow man has been abated. Though in some European nations and in parts of this country, the sanguinary code still exists in form, it serves only to tempt the ill disposed to violate laws, which the increased humanity of the age will not suffer to be faithfully executed. It deforms the statute book, but has ceased to brutalize society. As a system, it has completely failed.
The Penitentiary System had its origin in the United States, and trial has been made of it by the principal members of the \
Prison Discipline. 205Union. Its object is to create habits of industry and order, to excite contrition, to effect amendment. In order to recommend it to the favor of the people, the low principle of avarice has been appealed to, and extraordinary efforts have been employed, and successfully in a few instances, to make the prisoners support themselves. Although cases of reformation have occurred, imputable, probably, to the fact that the characters of the convicts were better at first than their offences indicated; yet throughout the United States there has been a very general feeling of disappointment, and the experiment is considered as abortive. The vengeance of the laws, and the arbitrary deportment of prison keepers, have not broken the obdurate hearts of criminals; nor have the indulgences of wholesome food, moderate labor, and companionship with fellow culprits, softened their breasts with penitence. The first system represented society, and arrayed the ministers of justice, as the avengers of crime, carrying on an unfeeling warfare with the defenceless, and inspired the offender's mind with a deadly hate, a belief that he might act on the defensive, a determination to revenge, when a fit opportunity should occur. Branded as a villain, the mark of Cain set upon him, freed from chains and a dungeon, his hand, like Ishmael's, was against every man, as he expected every man's hand would be against him. Let no one, filled with honest disgust at the abuses of the Penitentiary System, defend a return to the barbarous practices of former times. Sanguinary laws neither terrify nor reform, but only harden the heart. The history of the English criminal code, which made upwards of two hundred crimes capital, demonstrates the inutility of legal severity. Mild laws, and the certain infliction of punishment, are much more effectual. Vindictive justice is not an attribute of the christian religion. Civilization has effected much, independently of christianity, to render criminal law less severe; but this divine system alone is entitled to the praise of inculcating the sentiment, that punishment should aim at reforming the character.
The lenient, by a remarkable misnomer, styled the Penitentiary System, exempts the prisoner from corporal punishment, scanty food, fetters, the horrors of solitude and inaction. On the contrary, it has cheered him in his seclusion from the world, by society more congenial to his taste; it has placed him in a