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broken chain of argument, the learned judge barely notices the opinions of Hooker, Fleetwood, and other eminent writers, as leading to the same conclusion. To these great authorities, that of Mr. Wheatley has been opposed. Sir J. Nicholl pointedly condemns several of this writer's errors, and, among others, that of supposing that dissenters maybe buried in the church yard without the intervention of a clergyman to read the burial service.
In concluding, the learned judge observes, that the event of this suit cannot by any possibility (as had been insinuated to be the purpose of the promoter,) make dissenting ministers c lawful ministers of the church of England episcopally ordained;' 'as lawful dissenting ministers, they are already established.' (p. 45.) He adds, that though ' the suit may be interesting to individuals who have been embarked in controversy and contest,' the rights and interests of the church cannot be affected by considering dissenters' baptisms as Christian baptisms, and allowing persons so baptized the common right of being buried according to the ordinary forms of the church, and by a minister of the church to whose support they are bound to contribute (p. 46.)
• If the law,' he says, • has not excluded them from this ordinary right of Christianity and humanity, the ministers of the church will surely not be degraded by performing the office. On the contrary, the generality of the clergy, it may be presumed, will rejoice that in this last office of Christian charity there is no separation between the Church and their Protestant Dissenting Brethren. It is by a lenient and a liberal interpretation of the laws of disability and exclusion, and not by a captious and vexatious construction and application of them, that the true interests and the true dignity of the church establishment are best supported.'
The liberal spirit, as well as the professional knowledge and argumentative skill, evinced in this 'judgement,' does great honour to Sir John Nicholl.
We understand that the defendant has been advised to acquiesce in this decision as final, without appealing to the Court of Delegates: and that, upon his acknowledging the facts stated in the articles thus admitted by the court, the promoter or prosecutor has not prayed the sentence of suspension, or even the costs of suit, against him, but that the proceedings have terminated with an admonition to him not to offend in like manner for the.future.
If the slightest doubt as to the propriety of the decision should hover over the mind of any dealer in ecclesiastical controversy, after reading this interesting speech, we beg him to reflect what would be the condition of persons ordained or baptized by such prelates, as had only been baptized among the dissenters, for instance, by bishop Butler or archbishop Seeker, (the latter of whom baptized his present Majesty and most .of the Royal Family), supposing the English church acknowledged no person for a member, or a minister, or a Christian, that had not been baptized according to its ritual by a clergyman episcopally ordained?
Art. XIL. An Account of the several Life Assurance Comfianles established in London ; containing a View of their respective Merits and Advantages. By Francis Baily, of the Stock Exchange. 8vo. pp. xii, 44, price Is. 6d. Richardson. 1810.
AT a time like the preseDt, when the utility and advantage of Life Assurances are very generally acknowledged, and when, in consequence, the number of companies at whose offices assurances of this kind are made is much increased, such a pamphlet as this will be very interesting, and, if well executed, peculiarly valuable. For if it be important that the office, at which a person assures against losses by Fire, be respectable and conducted upon principles of prudence and integrity, much more important is it that a Society for Assurances upon Lives be under the direction of upright and able men, and that the funds of the Institution be amply sufficient to provide against all possible contingencies. There is a very material, difference to the person assured, between the two cases, as to the consequences resulting from a mistake in his choice of an office, and the method to which he must resort in order to remedy such mistake. When a person assures against loss by fire, it is sufficient if the Office at which he makes his assurance possess the present confidence of the public, or be at present in a state to make good any losses that may occur, according to the conditions of the policy. The moment he has any doubt as to the stability or permanency of the society, he can remove his assurance to another upon thesame terms, and even without the expence of a policy. This is not the case, however, with regard to a Life Assurance Company. Every year, nay every day, that elapses after a person has assured his life, augments the value of the assurance, that is, increases the terms upon which a new assurance upon his life could be purchased either at that or any other Office; so that if, after an interval of only 10 or 12 years, "he should have doubts as to the present security or future existence of the individual society at which his assurance is made, he cannot remove to another without incurring, besides the expence of anew policy, afi addition of from 6s. to £2. per cent, per annum upon the former terms of assurance. This distinction, since it ha3 escaped the notice of many, ought the more forcibly to be urged; and certainly suggests the propriety of extreme circumspection in the original selection made by a person who intends to assure a life. Mr. Baily's little pamphlet will be found of considerable utility in making this choice. He describes, in the language of a man of business, whose judgement rests upon the basis of scientific investigation, th« peculiar excellences and defects of the principal societies at which Life Assurances are effected in the metropolis of England. These are, the Amicable Society, the Royal Exchange and London Assurance companies, the Equitable Society, the Rock, the Provident Institution, the Globe, the Pelican, the Hope, the Atlas, the Eagle, the London Life Association, &c. The respective characteristics of these institutions are so plainly depicted in moderate compass, the illusive expeditions excited by the proposals of some, the real advantages tint will accrue from assuring with others, are so strongly marked, as to become obvious to every class of readers. The pamphlet, also, contains some useful remarks on Rates for the endowment of children, and those for Life Assurances; as well as some important observations on the legal means of proceeding, when any society refuses to pay the sums for which it has rendered itself responsible in the engagements made by the Directors who signed the policy.
This tract is merely a part of a larger work just published by Mr. Bailey on « The Doctrine of Life Annuities and Assurances,' which Wp hope soon to notice. The author, however, by publishing it separately, has performed a most acceptable service to that pirt of the public, to' whom a scientific performance would be uninteresting or unintelligible; and whose aratitude has already been expressed, we believe, by a considerable demand for the pamphlet. We have formeily found occsion to make honourable mention of this gentlemm in reviewing his treatise on 'The Doctrine of Interest and Annuities'**and, in the present instance, are happy to bestow a more unqualified commendation.
Art. XIII. The Gos/iel Doctrines of Baptism, Justification, and Scncftfi* cation, briefly and soberly stated. A Sermon preached before the Uni« versify of Oxford, on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1809. by the Rev. John Morris, M. A. late fellow of Queen's College, Assistant Mi-, nisterof Curzon Street Chapel, Mayfair, Westminster. 8vo. pp. 36. price Is. Hatchard, Rivmgtons. 1809.
IT should not be too hastily concluded that the preacher of this discourse ranks among those, who at present occupy and disturb themselve3 with invectives against * evangelical' divines, or that he his beea actuated by a desire to distinguish his prowess in this fashionable crusade. The candid professions of his preface ale so well supported through the whole discourse, that, sincerely b-lieving the most laudable motives have prompted him to preach'and publish, we imperiously demand for him, and all who display a kindred sp'rit, the most patient attention and the most temperate reply. It is for the interests of truth and humanity, that, the momentous points in discussion should not, as of late, be referred to the legislature with rage and scurrility, but ba' argued as the apostle has enjoined, with 'meekness and wisdom.'
Mr Morris contends that the language of * evangelical' clergymen concerning human depravity is unjustifiable, in its application to persons who have been placed by Christian baptism in a state of grace and sal*
* Eel. Rer. Vol. V. p. 150. Vol. VI. E e
vation. His opponents would probably reply, that their descriptions were intended only for those who are yet in a state of nature. Whether the church of England really maintains that baptism changes the nature, as Mr. M. contends, is a distinct question. His statement of justification, however, goes upon the notion of its being a physical change, mating men just or holy : which meaning seems to be expressed by the other word in his text, sanctification. The confounding of the two was characteristic of the catholic divines, in their controversy on this subject with the reformers. We applaud Mr. M.'s solicitude for the interests of morals, and recommend to preachers his remarks on the propriety of inculcating the fruits of faith. We would remind him, however, that, of the two serious evils, the inspired teachers evidently considered men more in danger of founding their hopes upon their own defective performances, than of rendering their profession of faith in Christ a cloak for immorality. If 'the labours of education' would allow Mr. M. to cultivate a closer acquaintance with these of his brethren from whom he differs, and to compare their sentiments with those of the Apostles of Christ and the Reformers of the English Church, we should confidently expect to see him from a candid opponent become a cordial friend.
Art. XIV. Observations on the Criminal Law of England, as it relates to Capita,! Punishments, and on the mode in which it is administered. By Sir Samuel Romilly. 8vo pp. 76. Price 2s. Cadell and Co. 1810.
/"lUR readers must have been highly gratified to see the splendid talents and valuable time of Sir Samuel Romilly engaged in the very laudable attempt, to remove some, at least, of the bloody stains which deform the criminal jurisprudence of our country. The fate of his bill* may be decided before our recommendation of this pamphlet appears: it may sink in its very first conflict with inveterate prejudices, delusive sophistry, and the horror of innovation. But, if it should pass through the Commons, the general circulation of this able pamphlet may contribute to protect it in the House of Peers. At any rate, as a large portion of the performance is occupied with a discussion of the principle, on which the sanguinary enactments of our statute book have been the most plausibly defended, it will, no doubt, be extremely useful, in support of any future attempt to repeal them. The manner in which this discussion is carried on, will be deemed in the highest degree honourable to the writer. The principle attacked, is that of Dr. Paley in his Moral and Political Philosophy; which, as if there were no possible alternative, represents it as wiser to assign capital punishments to many kinds of offences and inflict it only on a few examples, than to assign it to few offences and inflict it invariably. Among other points to which Sir S. Romilly adverts in reply, are these ;—that it is an established maxim of jurisprudence, that as much as possible should be decided by the legislator,
* The'Acts proposed to be repealed are those of 10 and 11 Will. Ill, 12 Ann, and 2i Geo. II.-which make the crimes of stealing privately in a shop, goods to the value of 5s.; or in a dwelling house, or on board a vessel in a navigable river, to the value of 40s., capital felonies.
and as little as possible left to the discretion of the judge,—that it would be safer to leave the power of determining the punishment entirely at the discretion of the judge, than to denounce death and leave it at his option to let the law take its course, the former involving great responsibility, the Ltter little or none,—that if convicts are selected for the execution of the law on account of some aggravation of their offence, they are in fact put to death for the aggravation, and the fact constituting such aggravation is left to the decision of the judge instead of the jury,—that every aggravation which could justly incur the penalty of death may be foreseen and. defined, without being left to the determination of the judge after the crime has been committed,—that the benefit of example, in administering criminal justice, depends upon the uniformity ,of the system on which it is administered, which uniformity is and must be destroyed by leaving the infliction of capital punishment optional with every individual judge without any law to guide his determinationf,—that it is universally agreed that the certainty of punishment deters more powerfully than its severity, so much so that the infallible certainty of a very small punishment would serve to prevent nearly all crimes except those committed in a moment of ungovernable passion,—that in fact the execution of a severe law is not left after all to the determination of the judge, but partly to the compassion of the prosecutor, the witnesses, or the jury, at the expeme of perjury,—-th.it instead of the dread of death hanging over the crimes of many, it is only tEe chance of death, which (according to the modern practice of executing about one in ten) may happen to fall on one who is the least culpable, while from its uncertainty it has failed to deter the whole ten, — and that by the denunciation of death for so many and some such trivial offences, a standard of cruelty is formed, which occasions every less punishment, however severe, to pass under the name of mercy.
T Of this Sir S. R. gives a striking exemplification, in an anecdote of two men who had committed a larceny in a poultry yard, but only one of whom was apprehended; the other, hiving escaped into.a distant part of the country, nad eluded all pursuit. 'At the next assizes, the apprehended thief was tried and convicted; but Lord Loughborough, before whom he was tried, thinking the offence a very slight one, sentenced him only to a few months imprisonment. The news of this sentence having reached the accomplice in his retreat, he immediately returned, and surrendered himself to take his trial at the next assizes. The next assizes came; but, unfortunately for the prisoner, it was a different judge who presided; ar,d still more unfortunately, Mr. Justice Gould, who happened to be the judge, though of a very mild and indulgent disposition, had observed, or thought he had observed, that men who set out with stealing fowls, generally end by committing the most atrocious crimes; and building a sort ot system upon this observation, had made it a rule to punish this offence with very great severity, and he accordingly, to the great astonishment of this unhappy man, sentenced him to be transported. While one was taking his departure for Botany Bay, the term of the other's imprisonment had expired; and what must have been the notions which that little public, who witnessed and compared these two examples formed of our system of criminal jurisprudence?' p. J2.