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governments ought to correct, whilst they punish, the offender ; that every infliction of pain is an evil, unless it lead to ultimate good; and that the welfare of the innocent is best secured by the reformation of the guilty.
If we offer to teach men a pure faith, few will come to hear us, or read our works; and what we say is often regarded as heresy, the more dreadful from its plausibility; but if we assist them to form correct views of human duty, and the relation in which we stand to the ignorant and sinful, they will unconsciously be led to perceive that the principles of government, which they regard as barbarous and antiquated in our own institutions, can hardly be consistent with Divine perfection.
Another advantage of this, among other movements, is that it dissipates prejudice. Persons of different denominations feel their common brotherhood. Sectarian
arfare sets men at variance: philanthropic efforts cause them to sympathise. The Unitarian ceases to regard the Calvinist as an unfeeling, narrow-minded bigot: the Calvinist discovers that the Unitarian is not a coldhearted, conceited man of the world, when they work together, side by side, to promote what they both feel is the practical influence of the Gospel.
We may mention, as another incidental benefit arising from these efforts, that they lead men to think and reason; to doubt the wisdom of their old prejudices, and to see the evil of wrathful and retaliatory modes of action. Moreover, as the letter of Scripture occasionally sanctions the popular system, those who oppose it, and yet own the authority of the Bible, are led to see that the Old Testament is not to be our guide when at variance with the New; and that when we would know what the New really teaches, we must follow rather the scope and spirit of the volume, than one or two detached passages. Let persons be accustomed to this mode of interpretation, and it is obvious that they will soon quit hold of those monstrous dogmas, which are only supported by a few texts quite wrenched out of their connection.
We have now briefly shown why Unitarians, who are anxious for the development of the practical features of their faith, should look with especial interest on the philanthropic efforts of the friends of reformatory punishments : we proceed to allude to what appears to be the teaching of Scripture on this subject. Very undue stress has been laid on the declaration to Noah-That whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall (or will) his blood be shed : which really implies nothing more than what our lord said to Peter-Those who take the sword, shall perish by the sword. It is a general law of Providence, which has already seen numerous exceptions, and which is to have an end. The first murderer is represented as specially protected by God, and manslayers without number have found a peaceful death. The text may really be taken as an argument against capital punishments in the present day, since experience proves that hanging actually leads to fresh murders. *
Moses certainly affixes death as the penalty for many crimes ; but, although this indicates that it was proper in a rude state of society, it says nothing as to its present expediency ; nor do those who show such deference to his authority, when it suits their purpose, prove their consistency by embracing his whole system of jurisprudence. But, whatever may be the tenor of the Old Testament, when the fulness of time had come, the old things were to pass away, and all things to become new. Our Lord declares that the law of retaliation was to be superseded by that of love. We are to be perfect, as our Father in Heaven ; and he corrects those whom He loves, to make them better. We are to regard all men, criminals not excepted, as brethren, and to do to them what we desire should be done to us in similar circumstances. We are members one of another, and if any suffer needlessly, the rest are so far from deriving benefit, that they suffer too. We may
take for granted that none ofour readers will doubt, that, provided no immunity or encouragement is given to vice, the spirit of the Gospel constrains us not to cut off those who are overtaken in faults—whether small or great -but to restore them in the spirit of meekness. And that, therefore, capital punishments, unless a strong neces
* See a sermon by R. L. Carpenter, in the “Magazine of Popular Information on Capital and Secondary Punishments," for September 1845, pp. 110, 111, 112. We also refer our readers to an Essay by the same writer, p. 67, &c. : On the punishment of death as ordained by Moses. This magazine, published monthly by W. Blackie, Villafield, Glasgow, is the organ of the friend of reformatory punishments.
city exists for them, are unchristian. We propose, in a future paper, to show that they are not only vindictive but impolitic, and that experience proves that they foster the very evils they are intended to prevent.
R. L. C.
HINTS TO THE WORKING MAN.
How exceedingly desirable that every working man should strive to elevate himself in his social position, and become Independent. With this view, every working man in times of prosperity and good wages, should strive to save something, and accumulate a fund in case of bad timesin short, should endeavour to become a Capitalist.
For a working man to be without money, is to be always on the verge of starvation or beggary. Work fails, and on a sudden he is destitute! And yet, by a little frugality, by a little self-denial, perhaps by the disuse of pernicious indulgences, such as tobacco and intoxicating drink, he perhaps might have warded off the blow, have dared to look a bad season in the face, and have provided for himself as a man independent.
Utter dependence on weekly wages, spent as soon as earned, is not a good thing. To be entirely dependent on the Saturday night's wages for the next week's food, is in the end to be dependent on the parish poor-rates. If a man in such case falls out of work, he must either starve with his wife and family, or become a burden on the public, and live out of the industry of others. A man had better never have been born than incur a fate of this kind.
We say, then, that it is the duty of every working-man -especially of such as earn good weekly wages-to save something weekly. This is their duty to society, and their duty to themselves and families.
There ought to be no living from hand to mouth. Those who do so, retard the progress of society, because they generally become burdens upon it themselves, or the unprovided families they leave behind them. But, above all
, the working man ought to save, because he should aspire to be independent. He who has accumulated a little capital by his own industry, no longer feels himself to be the slave to circumstances that the utterly poor man does. He is not buffetted about by every wind of fortune. He bends before the storm, but rises again. He has preserved meanwhile his independence and his self-respect--without which a man's character is worth little indeed.
The working-man who lives within his income, and puts some money in the Savings Bank, can hold up his head like a man.
He has paid his way, as well as saved something, and he is comparatively a free man. He has also, probably, been able to educate his own children without sending them to a charity-school, or paid for a seat in church or chapel, without needing to use the poor's sittings. The man who lives from hand to mouth, and who spends his surplus savings in drink, is never able to do this ; he
generally lives in anticipation of his means, instead of living within them.
For the reason that we love to see working-men aspiring to be independent, and to save money in any way, we rejoice at the progress of Saving Clubs, Provident Associations, and Benefit Societies ; even though we are persuaded there is a very great deal of unnecessary waste connected with many of such institutions. Still, the extensive support which they receive, shows that there is a large amount of calm, prudent, and affectionate forethought, amongst the working-men of this country.
A new description of societies has recently sprung up, which indicate the growth and extension of the economical feeling among the industrious classes. We allude to the Co-operative Land, Building, Mutual Assurance, and other Societies. Working-men have scarcely yet discovered the enormous power which they possess and might exercise by the co-operation of their common means. Cooperation is the grand lever which is yet to move the social world; and to elevate the working-classes from their present position of dependence and poverty. The great questions of economical life and of social development, are only to be solved by means of this silent power. We see its progress in the present amazing nevelopment of the railway system ; and we shall yet see it in many
other still more formidable shapes. The increase of Societies and Associations of all kinds, for almost all possible purposes, is another manifestation of the same power.
EVER a toiling child doth make us sad;
While uncompleted hours of toil remain ?
Beyond all sorrow which the wanderer knows
Stamp on each sallow cheek their hateful die,
For them the fervid summer only brings
Amid the soft leaves of its tufted grass,
Have we forgotten our own infancy,
Dashed through the brook by twilight's fading gleam,