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nishment which the law 'does not a fallacy that run through the infie on the greatest crimes. . whole of the objections. The gen.
The next fault is, that the in- tlemen who opposed the bill, al. Ai&ing of that punishment is not ways argued, as if the option lay on the opinion of an equal and between that, bill and the antient public judge ; but is referred to law.-But this is a grand miltake. the arbitrary discretion of a pri. For practically, the option is be. vate, nay interested, and irritated, tween, not that bill and the old individual. He, who formally is, law, but between that bill and and substantially ought to be, the those occasional laws called acts of judge, is in reality no more than grace. For the operation of the ministerial, a mere executive in- old law is fo savage, and so incona strument of a private man, who is venient to society, that for a long at once judge and party. Every time past, once in every parlia. idea of judicial order is fubverted. 'ment, and lately twice, the legi. by this procedure. If the infol- Nature has been obliged to make vency be no crime, why is it pu- a general arbitrary jail.delivery, nished with arbitrary imprison. and at oncé to set open, by its ro. ment? If it be a crime, why is it vereign authority, all the prisons delivered into private hands to in England. pardon without discretion, or to Gentlemen, I never relished acts punish without mercy and without of grace ; nor ever' submitted to measure i
them but from despair of better. To these faults, gross and cruel They are a dishonourable invenfaults in our law, the excellent tion, by which, not from huma. principle of Lord Beauchamp's nity, not from policy, but merely bill applied some sort of remedy, because we have not room enough I know that credit must be pre- to hold these victims of the abfur.
served ; but equity must be pre. dity of our laws, we turn loose :served too ; and it is impossible, upon the public three or four thou
that any thing should be necessary sand naked wretches, corrupted by to commerce, which is inconfiftent the habits, debased by the igno. with justice. The principle of miny of a prison. If the creditor credit was not weakened by that had a right to those carcases as a bill. God forbid! The enforce. natural security for his property, ment of that credit was only put I am sure we have no right to de. into the same public judicial hands prive him of that security. But if on which we depend for our lives, the few pounds of flesh were not and all that makes life dear to us. necessary to his security, we had But, indeed, this business was not a right to detain the unfortu. taken up too warmly both here and nate debtor, without any benefit elsewhere. The bill was extreme- at all to the person who confined ly miftaken. It was supposed to him.-Take it as you will, we enact what it never enacted ; and commit injustice. Now Lord Beaucomplaints were made of clauses champ's bill. intended to do deli. in it as novelties, which existed berately, and with great caution before the poble Lord that brought and circumfpection, upon each rein the bill was born. There was veral case, and with all attention VOL. XXIII.
to the just claimant, what acts of tuousness of palaces, or the state-> grace do in a much greater mea- liness of temples; not to make acsure, and with very little care, curate measurements of the remains caution, or deliberation.
of ancient grandeur, nor to form I suspect that here too, if we a scale of the curiosity of modern contrive to oppose this bill, we art; not to collect medals, or colMall be found in a struggle against late manuscripts : - but to dive the nature of things. For as we into the depths of dungeons ; to grow enlightened, the public will plunge into the infection of hospinot bear, for any length of time, tals ; to survey the manfions of to pay for the maintenance of whole sorrow and pain; to take the gage armies of prisoners ; nor, at their and dimensions of misery, depres. own expence, submit to, keep jails fion, and contempt; to remember as a sort of garrisons, merely to the forgotten, to attend to the fortify the absurd principle of neglected, to visit the forsaken, and making men judges in' their own to compare and collate the diftrefcause. For credit has little or no ses of all men in all countries. concern in this cruelty. I speak His plan is original; and it is as in a commercial asiembly. You full of genius as it is of humanity. . know that credit is given, because It was a voyage of discovery ; a capital must be employed ; that circumnavigation of charity. Almen calculate the chances of insol. ready the benefit of his labour is vency; and they either withhold felt more or less in every country: their credit, or make the debtor pay I hope he will anticipate his final the risque in the price. The reward, by seeing all its effects counting-house has no alliance fully realized in his own. He with the jail. Holland understands will receive, not by retail but in trade as well as we, and she has gross, the reward of those who vi.. done much more than this ob- fit the prisoner; and he has so noxious bill intended to do. There forestalled and monopolized this was not, when Mr. Howard visited branch of charity; that there will Holland, more than one 'prisoner be, I trust, little room to merit . for debt in the great city of Rot.. by such acts of benevolence hereterdam. Although Lord Beau- after. champ's act (which was previous to this bill, and intended to feel the way for it) has already pre- of the Popil penal Laws; will served liberty to thousands; and the Characters of Sir George Sa. though it is not three years íince vile and Mr. Dunning. From the last act of grace passed, yet by the same. . Mr. Howard's last account, there were near three thousand again in CENTLEMEN, The condi. jail. I cannoc name this gentle U tion of our nature is such, man without remarking, that his that we buy our blessings at a labours and writings have done price. The Reformation, one of much to open the eyes and hearts the greatest periods of human im. of mankind. He has visited all
provement, was a time of trouble Europe, not to survey the sump- and confusion. The vast Atructure
of superstition and tyranny, which the dregs and feculence of the had been for ages in rearing, and contention with which it was carwhich was combined with the in- sied through. However, until this tereft of the great and of the many; be done, the Reformation is not which was moulded into the laws, complete ; and those who think the manners, and civil institutions themselves good Protestants, from of nations, and blended with the their animosity to others, are in frame and policy of flates; could that respect no Protestants at all. not be brought to the ground with. It was at first thought necessary, out a fearful struggle ; nor could perhaps, to oppose to Popery ano. it fall without a violent concussion ther Popery, to get the better of it, of itself and all about it. When Whatever was the cause, laws were this great revolution was attempt. made in many countries, and in ed in a more regular mode by gothis kingdom in particular, against vernment, it was opposed by plots Papifts, which are as bloody as and seditions of the people; when any of those which had been enact. by popular efforts, it was repressed ed by the Popith princes and states ; as rebellion by the hand of power; and where those laws were not and bloody executions (often blood. bloody, in my opinion, they were ily returned) marked the whole of worse ; as they were slow, cruel its progress through all its stages. Outrages on our nature, and kept The affairs of religion, which are men alive only to insult in their no longer heard of in the tumult persons, every one of the rights of our present contentions, made and feelings of humanity. I pass a principal ingredient in the wars those statutes, because I would and politics of that time; the en. spare your pious ears the repetition thusiasm of religion threw a gloom of soch shocking things; and I come over the politics ; and political in-' to that particular law, the repeal terefts poisoned and perverted the of which has produced so many fpirit of religion upon all sides. unnatural and unexpected conseThe Protestant religion in that quences. violent struggle, infected, as the A statute was fabricated in the Popish had been before, by world- year 1699, by which the saying ly interests and worldly passions, mass (a church-service in the Labecame a persecutor in its turn, tin tongue, not exactly the same sometimes of the new feets, which" as our Liturgy, but very near it, carried their own principles further and containing no offence wbatthan it was convenient to the ori. foever against the laws, or against ginal reformers; and always of good morals) was forged into a the body from whom they parted; crime punishable with perpetual imand this perfecuting spirit arose, prisonment. The teaching school, not only, from the bitterness of an useful and virtuous occupation, retaliation, but from the merciless even the teaching in a private fa. policy of fear. .
mily, was in every Catholic subIt was long before the spirit of jected to the same unproportioned true piety and true wisdom. in. Punithment. Your iodultry, and volved in the principles of the Re- the bread of your children, was formation, could be depurated from taxed for a pecuniary reward to
stimulate avarice to do what' naa' Catholics under a Protestant goture refused, to inform and profe- vernment. He came with a part cute on this law. Every Roman of his army composed of those very Catholic was, under the same act, Catholics, to overset the power of .so forfeit his. estate to his nearest a Popish prince. Such is the efProtestant relation, until, through feet of a tolerating spirit; and so a profession of what he did not be much is liberty served in every lieve, he redeemed by his hypo- way, and by all persons, by.a mancrify, what the law had transfer. Jy adherence to its own principles. sed to the kinsman as the recom. Whilst freedom is true to it!elf, • pence of his profligacy. When every thing becomes subject to it; thus turned out of doors from his and its very adversaries are an in. paternal eltate, he was disabled ftrument in its hands. from acquiring any other by any The party I speak of (like some industry, donation,, or charity: amongst us who would disparage but was rendered a foreigner in the best friends of their country) his native land, only because he resolved to make the king either retained the religion, along with violate his principles of toleration, the property, handed down to or incur the odium of protecting him from those who had been the Papists. They therefore brought old inhabitants of that land before in this bill, and made it purposely him.
wicked and absurd that it might : Does anyone who hears me be rejected. The then court party,
approve this scheme of things, discovering their game, turned the .. or think there is common justice, tables on them, and returned their .common sense, or common honesty bill to them stuffed with ftill greatin any part of it? . If any does, er absurdities, that its loss might let him say it, and I am ready to lie upon its original' authors. discuss the point with cemper and 'They, finding their own ball candour. But instead of approv. thrown back to them, kicked it ing, I perceive a virtuous indigna. back again, to their adversaries, tion beginning to rise in your And thus this act, loaded with the minds on the more cold stating of double injustice of two parties, the statute,
neither of whom intended to pass, But what will you feel, when what they hoped the other would you know from history how this be persuaded to reject, went thro' statute passed, and what were the the legislature, contrary to the motives, and what the mode of real wish of all parts of it, and of making it? A party in this nation; all the parties that composed it.
enemies to the system of the Revo. In this manner these insolent and · !ution, were in opposition to the profligate factions, as if they were
government of King William. playing with balls and counters, They knew, that our glorious de made a sport of the fortunes and liverer was an enemy to all perfe. the liberties of their fellow-crea: çution. They knew that he came tures, Other acts of persecution 10 free us from flavery and Po- have been acts of malice. This pery, out of a country, where a was a subversion of justice from third of the people are contented wantonness and peţulance, Look
" into the history of Bishop Burnet. lons, and only escaped the same He is a witness without exception. doom, either by some error in the
The effects of the act have been process, or that the wretch who as mischievous, as its origin was brought him there could not cor. ., ludicrous and shameful. From rectly describe his person; I now that time every person of that forget which.- !n short, the perse. communion, lay and ecclesiastic, cution would never have relented , has been obliged to fly from the for a moment, if the judges, suface of day. The clergy, conceals' persding (hough with an ambied in garrets of private houses, or guous example) the strict rule of obliged to take a helter (hardly their artificial duty by the higher Safe to themselves, but infinitely obligation of their conscience, did dangerous to their country) under not constantly throw every difficul. the privileges of foreign ministers, ty in the way of such informers. officiated as their servants, and But fo ineffectual is the power of under their protection. The whole legal evasion against legal iniquity, body of the Catholics, condemned that it was but the other day, that to beggary and to ignorance in a lady of condition, beyond the their native land, have been oblige middle of life, was on the point of ed to learn the principles of lei- being Itripped of her whole fortune ters, at the hazard of all their other by a near relation, to whom the principies, from the charity of had been a friend and benefactor : your enemies. They have been and the must have been totally taxed to their ruin at the pleasure ruined, without a power of redreis '' of necessitous and profligate rela- or mitigation from the courts of tions, and according to the mea. law, had not the legislature itself sure of their necesity and profili. rushed in, and by a special act of gacy. Examples of this are many parliament rescued her from the and affecting. Some of them are injustice of its own statutes. One known by a friend who stands of the acts authorifing such things near me in this hall. It is but fix was that wilich we in part repealed, or seven years since a clergyman of knowing what our duty was; and the name of Malony, a man of doing that duty as men of honour morals, neither guilty nor accused and virtue, as good Protestants, and of any thing noxious to the ftate, as good citizens. Let him stand was condemned to perpetual im- forth that disapproves what we have prisonment for exercising the func- done! tions of his religion ; and after ly. Gentlemen, bad laws are the ing in jail two or three years, was worst sort of tyranny... In such a relieved by the mercy of govern- country as this, they are of all bad ment from perpetual imprison- things the worst, worse by far ment, on condition of perpetual than any where else; and they banishment. A brother of the derive a particular malignity even Earl of Shrewsbury, a Talbot, a from the wisdom and soundness of name respectable in this county, the rest of our institutions. For whilst its glory is any part of its very obvious reasons you cannot conceșn, was hauled to the bar of trust the crown with a dispenGing the Old Bailey among commion fe- power over any of your laws. Howa