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there would soon appear to be no necessity for appealing to the treadmill till trial was over.
This tread-mill after trial is certainly a very excellent method of punishment, as far as we are yet acquainted with its effects. We think, at present, however, it is a little abused, and hereafter it is our intention to express our opinions upon the limits to which it ought to be confined. Upon this point, however, we do much differ from Mr. Headlam : although in his remarks on the treatment of prisoners before trial, we think he has made a very serious mistake, and has attempted (without knowing what he was doing, and meaning, we are persuaded, nothing but what was honest and just) to pluck up one of the ancient landmarks of human justice.*
* We hope this article will conciliate our old friend Mr. Roscoe, who is very angry with us for some of our former lucubrations on prison discipline, and, above all, because we are not grave enough for him. The difference is thus stated :-Six ducks are stolen. Mr. Roscoe would commit the man to prison for six weeks perhaps-reason with him, argue with him, give him tracts, send clergymen to him, work him gently at some useful trade, and try to turn him from the habit of stealing poultry. We would keep him hard at work twelve hours every day at the treadmill, feed him only so as not to impair his health, and then give him as much of Mr. Roscoe's system as was compatible with our own, and we think our method would diminish the number of duck-stealers more effectually than that of the historian of Leo X. The primary duckstealer would, we think, be as effectually deterred from repeating the offence by the terror of our imprisonment as by the excellence of Mr. Roscoe's education, and, what is of infinitely greater consequence, innumerable duck-stealers wouli be prevented. Because punishment does not annihilate crime, it is folly to say it does not lessen it. It did not stop the murder of Mrs. Donatty ; but how many Mrs. Donatty's has it kept alive? When we recommend severity, we recommend, of course, that degree of severity which will not excite compassion for the sufferer, and lessen the horror of the crime. This is why we do not recommend torture and amputation of limbs. When a man has been proved to have committed a crime, it is expedient that society should make use of that man for the dimunition of crime: he belongs to them for that purpose. Our primary duty, in such a case, is so to treat the culprit that many other persons may be rendered better, or prevented from being worse by dread of the same treatment, and, making this the principal object, to combine with it as much as possible the improvement of the individual. The ruffian who killed Mr. Mumford was hung within forty-eight hours. Upon Mr. Roscoe's principles this was wrong, for it certainly was not the way to reclaim the man :-We say, on the contrary, the object was to do anything with the man which would render murders less frequent, and that the conversion of the man was a mere trifle compared to this. His death probably prevented the necessity of reclaiming a dozen murderers. That death will not, indeed, prevent all murders in that county ; but many who have seen it, and many who have heard of it, will swallow their revenge from the dread of being hanged. Mr. Roscoe is very severe upon our style; but poor dear Mr. Roscoe should remember that men have different tastes and different methods of going to work. We feel these matters as deeply as he does. But why so cross upon this or any other subject ?
DR. PARR'S SPITAL SERMON.
Spital Sermon, preached at Christ Church upon Easter-Tuesday, April 15,
1800. To which are added Notes, by SAMUEL PARR, LL.D. *Printed
for J. Mawman in the Poultry. 1801. WHOEVER has had the good fortune to see Dr. Parr's wig, must
have observed, that while it trespasses a little on the orthodox magnitude of perukes in the anterior parts, it scorns even Episcopal limits behind, and swells out into a boundless convexity of frizz, the ueya davua of barbers, and the terror of the literary world. After the manner of his wig, the Doctor has constructed his sermon, giving us a discourse of no common length, and subjoining an immeasurable mass of notes, which appear to concern every learned thing, every learned man, and almost every unlearned man since the beginning of the world.
For his text Dr. Parr has chosen Gal. vi. 10. 'As we have there. fore opportunity let us do good to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” After a short preliminary comparison between the dangers of the selfish system, and the modern one of universal benevolence, he divides his sermon into two parts : in the first examining how far, by the constitution of human nature, and the circumstances of human life, the principles of particular and universal benevolence are compatible: in the last, commenting on the nature of the charitable institution for which he is preaching.
The former part is levelled against the doctrines of Mr. Godwin ; and, here, Dr. Parr exposes, very strongly and happily, the folly of making universal benevolence the immediate motive of our actions. As we consider this, though of no very difficult execution, to be by far the best part of the sermon, we shall very willingly make some extracts from it.
“To me it appears, that the modern advocates for universal philanthropy have fallen into the error charged upon those who are fascinated by a violent and extraordinary fondness for what a celebrated author calls' some moral species.' Some men, it has been remarked, are hurried into romantic adventures, by their excessive admiration of fortitude. Others are actuated by a head-strong zeal for disseminating the true religion. Hence, while the only properties for which fortitude or zeal can be esteemed are scarcely discernible, from the enormous bulkiness to which they are swollen, the ends to which alone they can be directed usefully are overlooked or defeated ; the public good is impaired rather than increased ; and the claims that other virtues, equally obligatory, have to our notice, are totally disregarded. Thus, too, when any dazzling phantoms of universal philanthropy have seized our attention, the objects that formerly engaged it shrink and fade. All considerations of kindred, friends, and countrymen drop from the mind, during the struggles it makes to grasp the collective interests of the species; and when the association that attached us to them has been dissolved, the notions we have forıned of their comparative insignificance will prevent them from recovering, I do not say any hold whatsoever, but that strong and lasting hold they once had upon our conviction and our feelings. Universal benevolence, should it, from any strange combination of circumstances, ever become passionate, will
, like every other passion, `justify itself :' and the importunity of its demands to obtain a hearing will be proportionate to the weakness of its cause. But what are the consequences ? A perpetual wrestling for victory between the refinements of sophistry and the remonstrances of indignant nature—the agitations of secret distrust in opinions which gain few or no proselytes, and feelings which excite little or no sympathy—the neglect of all the usual duties, by which social life is preserved or adorned ; and in the pursuit of other duties which are unusual, and indeed imaginary, a succession of airy projects, eager hopes, tumultuous efforts, and galling disappointments, such in truth as every wise man foresaw, and a good man would rarely commiserate."
In a subsequent part of his sermon, Dr. Parr handles the same topic with equal success.
“The stoics, it has been said, were more successful in weakening the tender affections than in animating men to the stronger virtues of fortitude and self-command; and possible it is, that the influence of our modern reformers may be greater, in furnishing their disciples with pleas for the neglect of their ordinary duties, than in stimulating their endeavours for the performance of those which are extraordinary, and perhaps ideal. If, indeed, the representations we have lately heard of universal philanthropy served only to amuse the fancy of those who approve of them, and to cominunicate that pleasure which arises from contemplating the magnitude and grandeur of a favourite subject, we might be tempted to smileat them as groundless and
harmless. But they tend to debase the dignity, and to weaken the efficacy of those particular affections for which we have daily and hourly occasion in the events of real life. They tempt us to substitute the ease of speculation and the pride of dogmatism, for the toil of practice. To a class of artificial and ostentatious sentiments they give the most dangerous triumph over the genuine and salutary dictates of nature. They delude and inflame our minds with pharisaical notions of superior wisdom and superior virtue ; and what is worst of all, they may be used as a 'cloke to us' for insensibility, where other men feel; and for negligence, where other men act with visible and useful, though limited effect.”
In attempting to show the connection between particular and universal benevolence, Dr. Parr does not appear to us to have taken a clear and satisfactory view of the subject. Nature impels us both to good and bad actions; and, even in the former, gives us no measure by which we may prevent them from degenerating into excess. Rapine and revenge are not less natural than parental and filial affection ; which latter class of feelings may themselves be a source of crimes, if they overpower (as they frequently do) the sense of justice. It is not, therefore, a sufficient justification of our actions, that they are natural. We must seek, from our reason, some principle which will enable us to determine what impulses of nature we are to obey, and what we are to resist : such is that of general utility, or, what is the same thing, of universal good; a principle which sanctifies and limits the more particular affections. The duty of a son to a parent, or a parent to a son, is not an ultimate principle of morals, but depends on the principle of universal good, and is only praiseworthy, because it is found to promote it. At the same time, our spheres of action and intelligence are so confined, that it is better, in a great majority of instances, to suffer our conduct to be guided hy those affections which have been long sanctioned by the approbation of mankind, than to enter into a process of reasoning, and investigate the relation which every trifling event might bear to the general interests of the world. In his principle of universal benevolence, Mr. Godwin is unquestionably right. That is the grand principle on which all morals rest that it is the corrective for the excess of all particular affections, we believe to be undeniable: and he is only erroneous in excluding the particular affections, because, in so doing, he deprives us of our most powerful means of promoting his own principle of universal good; for it is as much as to say, that all the crew ought to have the general welfare of the ship so much at heart, that no sailor should ever pull any particular rope, or hand any individual sail. By universal benevolence, we mean, and understand Dr. Parr to mean, not a barren affection for the species, but a desire to promote their real happiness; and of this
; principle he thus speaks :
“I admit, and I approve of it, as an emotion of which general happiness is the cause, but not as a passion, of which, according to the