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Views of the Friends on the subject of oaths.


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was comparatively a light much credit by a simple af thing. Not says Jesus firmation, as by the most sol. Christ. For « he that swear.

emn oath ; . 'and which tends eth by heaven, sweareth by ultimately to supersede the the throne of God, and by Him necessity of swearing at all. that sitteth thereon ;" and to The quakers, on this subject, swear by any work of God, without doubt, approach far incurs all the responsibility, nearer to the object of our of swearing directly by the Lord's injunction, than any othname of God its creator. How er part of the christian world ; heavy then is the guilt of and if christendom shall 'everswearers ! How solenin this become, what the gospel teachadmonition of our Lord ! es u's to hope that it will he,

But whether he intended, the practise concerning oaths, or not, utterly to forbid the which now distinguishes the use of oaths, he without doubt Society of Friends, will be-, presses upon his disciples the come the practise of the wholc obligation they are under, of body of christians. teaching the world by their [Buxtorfs Synag Judaic paexample, to use only mere ges 677, 682. Ainsworth on assertions; and thus of ad- Lev. xix. 12. Lightfoot, Wal. vancing society to that moral zogenius, and John Jones ou dignity, which commands as the text.]


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It is, we believe, a general our readers may have the suiie opinion among men of scrious ject more fully before them reflection, that oaths, by our for examination, we shall give laws, are unnecessarily multi- a concise view of some of the plied that they have become reasonings of the Quakers in common as to diminish

support of their opinion, aut! their solemnity and usefulness, in answer to the objections of and to render them an occa- their opponents. sion of immorality, profane. The passage of the Sermon ness, and irreverence for the on the Mount, Matt. v. 33-37, nanie of God. The writer of is regarded by the Quakers the “Illustrations" has in the as containing an unqualifie:1 preceding article introduced prohibition not merely of prothe subject of swearing, and fane swearing but of all such given his opinion with exemp- oaths before a magistrate as lary meekness, and cando!. had been auihorized by the He has also mentioned in a laws of Moses. Our Saviour very respectful manner the introduced the subject by say. opinion of the Society of ing “ Ye have heard that it Friends. We shall not haih been said by them of old sume the office of deciding the time. Thou shalt

not for. · question in dispute ; but that swear thyself, but shalt pere


form unto the Lord thine “that Paul swore and that of. oaths." This was a prohibi- ten-saying, "For God is my tion of perjury or false swear, record'As the truth of ing. Having quoted this, our Christ is in me' I call God Saviour adds, “But I say unto for a record upon my soul you'swear not at all, neither I speak the truth in Christ, by heaven, &c. ' But let your I lie not-Behold before communication - be yea, yea ; God I lié not'; And also renay, nay; for whatsoever is quires oaths of others. I more than these cometh ofe. charge thee before God and vil.” As the prohibition of qur Lord Jesus Christ'—'I perjury and the reference to charge you by the Lord, &c. oaths in the 33d verse, epi- " To all which, says Bardently had respect to swear, clay, I answer, First, That the iisg before a magistrale, the using of such forms of speak. prohibition, “swear not at all” ing is neither swearing nor so must include that mode of esteemed by our adyersaries. swearing which had been cons For when upon occasion, in sidered as lawful, as well as matters of great moment, we false and profane swearing. have said, We 'speak the truth

This opinion the Friends in the fear of God and before thivk is fully confirmed by the him, who is our witness, and language in James, v. 12, the searcher of our hearts « But above all things, my adding such kind of serious brethren, swcer not, neither attestations, which we never by heaven, neither by the refused to do in matters of con. earth, neither by any other sequence ;

nevertheless oath.'' This last clause is re- oath hath moreover been regarded by them as extending quired of us, with the ceremo, the prohibition to every spe- ny of putting our hand upon cies of swearing without any the book, the kissing of it, the exception.

lifting up the hand or fingers, Whatever might have been together with the common the manner of the Jews in ad- form of imprecation, so help ministering an oath, or the in- me God, or So truly let the tention of the high priest in Lord God Almighty help me. saying, "I adjure thee by the “Secondly. This contradicts living God, that thou tell us the opinion of our adversaries, whether thou be the Christ, because Paul was neither be. the Son of God," the Quakers fore a inagistrate that was re'cannot believe that the simple quiring an oath of him, nor affirmation of Christ, « Thou did he himself administer the hast said," ought to be regarde office of a magistiate, as of ed as an example of swearing. sering an oath to any other.

Robert, Barclay, in his A. “ Thirdly. The question is pology, has stated and answer. not what Paul or Peter did, cd the objection from the ex. but what their and our Master ample of Paul :

taught to be done ; and if They object," hc says, Paul did swear-which we be.


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lieve not he had sinned ao that their affirmation is admitgainst the command of Christ, ted in our courts, as cquiva“, even according to their own lent to the oath of other Chris(the objectors) opinion, béo tians. But whether it be to cause hc swore not before a the honour of other denominamagistrate, but in an epistle tions, that they are called upto his brethren." p. p. 563—4. on to swear, while the Qua..

We have given only a spec. kers are permitted to affirm, imen of the arguments of the is a question wortity of some Quakers on this subject ; but consideration. It must be the perhaps enough to show, that duly of every man to support Their opinion is not of tlre such a character for veracity,' most dangerous character, nor that his word will be received so destitute of support as some by those who are acquainted have imagined ; and also, that with him as of cqnal weight there is less danger in adopt. with his oath ; and that man ing this opinion from a con- whose veracity cannot be rescientious regard to a suppos. tied on, except he be under ed command of Christ, than the obligation of an oath, is at in becoming so familiar with best a suspicious witness, his oaths as to lose our reverenice oath notwithstanding.

6 For for God and regard for truth, what end," says Chrysostom, Whether the opinion of the

u wilt thou force him to swear, Friends be correct or not, it is when thou believest not that certainly inuch in their favor, he will speak the truth?"

REMARKADLE EVENTS IN THE TIME OF EDWARD III. A dreadful plague, which ac- pestilence raged in England cording to the most authentic from the begin:sing of August accounts first made its ap. 1348, till Michaelmas the folpearance in.ibe

year 1346 in lowing year; and during the China, or the eastern part of time that it raged in Asia, Tartary, after making terrible Africa and Europe, more than ravages in Asia, spread its half of the human race is supdireful contagion into Africa posed to have perished !-Waland Europe. After almost de- singham says that in many populating Greece and Italy, parts of England vine tenths of it passed into Spain and France, the people fell victims to this and froin thence into England, ereadful disease. where it made such terrible « T'bis trenrendous visitation ravages, that, according to of heaven did not put a stop $ome, it swept away half of to the ambition of man. The the inhabitants. Jo London the pestilence made the mortality was so dreadful, that ravages in France as in 2ng. within the space of one year, land ; yet amidst those scenes above fifty ihousand persons of leath and destruction, and were buried in the Charter during the continuance of a house yard. This terrible truce, Philip formed a plan


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for recovering Calais by brib- opinion. In the midst of the ing the governor."

storm, he turned his face In 1359 Edward III. of towards the church of Chartres, England invaded France with which he saw at a distance, a hundred thousand men, with and, falling on his knees, intention to take Paris. made a vow to consent to an “ While he lay in his camp equitable peace.” Bigland. in the neighbourhood of Char! The first of these calamities ires, there arose a sudden and common to both France dreadful storm, accompanied and England, and had little with hail of a prodigious size, effect in restraining the amwhich falling upon his army bition of the two monarchs, killed six thousand horses and The hail storm seems to have one thousand men.So tre. fallen on the English army mendous & convulsion of na- only, and not on that of France. iure was deemed by the army This brought the haughty Ed. a sign of the wrath of Heaven, ward upon his knees, and put and the king himself appeared an end to the war. to be impressed with the same




“ The lessons of experience, we shall exhibit an abstract of rather than the suggestions of an account which has recently speculation,

the true been published in this country, sources of wisdom and the from a Belfast


and from surest fouudations of policy. which we may infer the effect The right and the necessity of of the criminal code adopted inflicting punishments arise in Great Britain.

The acfrom the obligation of govern. count gives the number of ment to afford defence and criminals conimitted for trial protection.

Vengeance in England and Wales, in each criminals is not the design of of the last seven years. penalties, but those penalties The number commitare surely too light, that are ted in 1811 was

5,337 not sufficient to deter and The number commit. restrain the atrocity of offend. ted in 1817


Total comınitted in 7 These sentiments proceed. years

56,308 ed from a source which we Of these there were highly respect, and from gen- sentenced to death

4,952 tlemen whose opinions are To transportation for entitled to a careful examina- life

358 tion. It being admitted that For 14 years

658 « the lessons of experience, For 7 years rather than the suggestions of To imprisonment for speculation, are the true various terms

22,469 sources of wisdom, and the To whipping and surest foundations of policy,” fine



5,495, The commitments

ishments ; still in the term of for alleged cap

seven years upwards of fiftyital offences were 9,287 six thousand persons were Of the 4952 sen

committed to prison as crim. tenced to death,

inals ; of whom four thousand there were exe

nine hundred and fifty two cuted

584 were sentenced to death. For“By a return made to the gery and stealing goods from House of Commons it appears a shop to - the value of five that the number of persons shillings are among the crimes executed for forgeries within deemed capital in England. the last 28 years amounts to They are also crimes which 222-of these 76 were forge- are very frequently committed ries on the bank of England." in that country.

Shall we Here are

« lessons of ex- hence infer, that death is “ too perience-the true sources of light" a punishment for forwisdom,” from which we inay gery, and for five-shilling infer the genuine effect of a thefts? Or shall we infer, that sanguinary code. Notwith- multitudes in England have standing the severity of the been hardened in wickedness English laws, the multitude and inured to crime by the of offences to which the pen.

deleterious influence of inhualty of death is annexed, and man laws and public executhe frequency of capital pun- tions?



chamber and one for the kitch“ John Musso of Lombardy en.”

KAMES. wrote in the

14th century. He says, Luxury of the table,

Drunkenness. of dress, of houses and house. I called on Dr. JOHNSON hold furniture in Placentia be- one morning, (says PERCIVAL gan to creep in after the year STOCKDALE) when Mrs. Wil1300, Houses at present have LIAMS, the blind lady to whom halls, rooms with chimneys, he had long been an affectionporticos, walls, gardens and ate friend, and whom he pro. many other conveniences un- tected in his house as long as known to our ancestors. A she lived, was conversing with house that has now many him. She was telling him chimneys had none in the last where she had dined the day age. Eating tables formerly before. 16 There were severbut 12 inches long are now al gentlemen there, (said she) grown to eighteen. They and when some of them came have got candles of tallow or to the tea table, I found that wax in candlesticks of iron or there had been a good deal of copper. Almost every where hard drinking." She closed there are two fires, one for the this observation with a com, Vol. VI. No. 9.


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