Capital Punishment (Classic Reprint)
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Excerpt from Capital Punishment
The Report of the argument appeared originally, with some omissions, in the New York Evangelist. In the present volume one or two paragraphs are added, which the author was compelled to omit in the discussion for want of time. Some critical remarks on the statute in Genesis, have been also given at the close of the third evening's argument, in addition to the preceding examination of it.
There were points in this argument important to dwell upon, which were passed over, partly for want of time, and partly because they had been noted in. A former treatise on Capital Punishment, which treatise is before the public. Of this nature was that probable reason for the promulgation of this ordinance to Noah, which looks back into the state of society in the ante diluvian world. I have argued that in consequence of the divine lenity in the case of Cain the crime of mur der had become frightfully common, the earth being filled with violence. The assurance that his own life would not be taken, with which Lamech, whether a murderer or a homicide, comforted himself and his wives by the example of Cain's preservation, shows how, men reasoned from that lenity; and that the con sequence of it would be a great cheapness in the esti mate of human life, a great freedom in the indulgence of violent passion unrestrained by consequences, and a perfect carelessness and recklessness in blood-shed.
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