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211 A number of armed men were collected, and going near the place where the beggar had lain, concealed themselves, while one blowed the whistle, when immediately several men emerged from a cave with cut|lasses, pistols, &c.; they were filed on and killed. The party then proceeded to the cavern, and there found a large quantity of gold and silver, and a variety of articles, and in another part a trap-door, and in the cellar the remains of from twenty-five to thirty bodies, most of whom are supposed to have been killed by the one-hand beggar.
12. Robert Kid, the notorious pirate, stated that after he had committed the first murder, he was horror struck-his remorse of conscience was almost insufferable, but it wore away by degrees, and at length he killed another, then, he says, My remorse of conscience was great, but not so much as after killing the first man; at length I killed a third; I now had much remorse of conscience, but still less, and so on until I felt, after killing over four hundred, no more remorse of conscience in killing a man than in slaying an ox."* The cruelty of Roman amusements, gladiators, &c., has no more to do with the question under debate, than the bull fights of Spain. The bloody laws of Draco made the stealing of a pin as much a crime as the most deliberate murder, and are totally inapplicable to the present question. In neither of those instances did the people look to the Bible as the light to the path of duty. Capital punishment has been sanctioned by the great and wise of every nation and of every age. Washington sanctioned it, and caused Andre to be executed, who had not even committed murder, but was only looking about to see the condition of the American army. Substitute imprisonment for the death penalty, and society reverts to its savage state.
13. The affirmative propose a half way measure; grant imprisonment for life, and then its cruelty will be decried, and the moral suasion of fanatics substituted therefor. The death penalty cuts off Satan's hook from his line, imprisonment only puts on a bait; the lock will be broken, the wall scaled, or a pardon obtained, and then perhaps a score of murders follow without detection, for practice in crime as in every thing else, makes perfect. The murderer may not be prepared to die, but he always has more time to repent and prepare for the dread change, than he allows his victim.
14. The proposition to do away with the death penalty is theoretical, but the history of the world and common sense alike convince all that it never can be carried out in practice. When the farmer detects a wolf destroying his flock does he try to reform the animal in an en
*Here we see the awful danger of beginning to do wrong. Oh! let us refrain from commencing any bad course with more caution than we would avoid a mad dog or pestilence; for it will prove the path of death to the body, and a source of endless misery to the undying soul.
closure. The wilful murderer is a ravenous beast in society; he destroys the flock of his Savior, prison walls afford no permanent security against his escape, and when at large the life of no one is entirely safe. As he grows in years he advances in wickedness, undermines the morals of thousands, inflicts vast misery but gives no happiness. His good and the good of others alike demand that he be not plotting to kill his keepers, and escape from prison, but that he prepare in a given time to answer at the bar of God in the best possible way for his atrocious crimes. The laws of no country are so rigidly executed as in Scotland, and in no place, in proportion to population, are there so few murders. In the State of Delaware the criminal laws are the most severe, they have now  no state prison, all criminals are either severely whipped with cat of nine tails or hanged. Yet in no State are there so few crimes committed. Judge Willard Hall remarked not long since that there had been but one horse stolen in Delaware for the past fourteen years. The best way to prevent murder is to have laws rendering detection if possible inevitable, and the greatest punishment, which is death, because it is the passage to eternal happiness or endless misery to heaven or hell. It is an acknowledged principle that whatever produces more good than evil is right. The death of the wilful murderer does this. Hence it is not only right but the duty of every government to take the only effective way to regenerate the world, to elevate the race, to promote the safety, the happiness of all, by quenching the ranting and raging fury of spurious philanthropists, the apologists, and hence the encouragers of the vilest criminals, and by killing instead of nourishing, all deadly reptiles, and exterminating instead of encouraging all the depraved monsters of crime.*
Is Party Spirit Beneficial?
1. This is one of the most interesting questions that can claim human attention. All legislation is defective, and a spirit for differing in opinion is a law of our nature. It is not in the power of man to decide what is always expedient. Questions must frequently arise on subjects both of a religious and political character, about which men will honestly differ in opinion, and whether it be "the establishment of a church without a bishop, or a government without a king;" the education of all the children by the church, or by the public schools of a state, you will find that the wisest and the best honestly differ in opinion; that they will become leaders of parties, and that these parties are beneficial in arousing a universal spirit of enquiry.
*For the illustrative facts in this outline, the author is indebted to Alfred E. Wright, who has labored indefatigably in collecting a mass of statistics, and elevating by his publications the common schools of our country.
2. Suppose there be a party in favor of war, there must, as a natural consequence, be one opposed to it. Suppose all were to raise a revenue of one hundred millions to conquer an enemy, then there will spring up a difference as to the way in which this revenue should be raised, collected, and distributed. Party spirit is necessary for the healthy administration of a government. It checks those in power from becoming oppressive and corrupt. It was through the raging and perfecting power of party spirit, that the Declaration of Independence was carried in the Congress of 1776. Had it not been for the beneficial influence of opposing parties, our glorious constitution would not have approximated so near to perfection as it does. It would, years ago, have crumbled, and its ruins caused gloom and desolation throughout the country. We see by the blessings of this spirit, that those parts of the earth which were formerly inhabited by savages and barbarians, now bloom and blossom like the rose, under the noblest form of government on which the sun has ever risen. The press is nearly equally divided. The partisans in religion and politics, arouse the dormant energies of the whole land, and excite among all classes an unquenchable thirst for investigation, for research, and mental elevation. All ancient governments that were the seats of science, of civilization, and of liberty, received the beneficial influence of party spirit. Wherever the sun of liberty now shines the brightest; wherever our holy religion is most prized and revered, there do you find this spirit in the fullest plentitude of its power. Hence, the demonstration that PARTY SPIRIT IS BENEFI
1. There is more of speciousness than of reality in the arguments of the affirmative. It is boldly asserted that "a spirit for differing in opinion, is a law of our nature." Hence, according to the tenor of this fallacious reasoning, God has endowed us with faculties which, if we use aright, will lead us to DISPUTE THE TRUTH. Our opponents have marshalled before you the founders of our government; and what do all their declarations prove: simply, that there was a party in favor of a foreign king, and a party in favor of American liberty. The former, the advocates of error; the latter, of truth. We have been eloquently reminded of the ancient cradles of science and liberty; and what does it all amount to; why, simply this: that Republics, rent by the insane fury of parties, have been, "like man born of woman, few of days and full of trouble." We should deem the history of ancient republics, a fable, were it not that their crumbling monuments still attest alike their magnificence and the ruinous results of party spirit; and wherever it is now raging; whether the mass of the people are marshalled under the banners of sectarian or political aspirants, there is the progress of lib
erty jeopardized, and the cause of truth and justice set at defiance. No two opposite parties either in religion or politics, were ever or can ever, both be equally right; and the arguments of the affirmative, in demonstrating this question, prove that good is evil and that error is truth, and that both are right. The fact is, there can be no parties about truth; no opposition can rightfully be brought against it. Party spirit is the prolific source of falsehood. If truth be known, there can be no difference of opinion among honest men. We should assist each other in seeking it, and found all our actions on its enduring principles. All our investigations should be conducted with fairness and sincerity. In even the best regulated christian communities at the present day, there are parties. The reason is, that christians are only men. Questions arise in which they feel a personal interest, and their feelings lead them astray. But this is pernicious instead of being beneficial. We are all Americans, and we should feel as did the patriarch of old, that there ought to "be no difference between us, for we are brethren.” There can be but one true and safe course, which is of mutual assistance, peace and harmony. In all questions where a difference of opinion arises, let us coolly argue the point and calmly weigh the evidence thereon, and with the decision of the majority be content. Party spirit is at war with these principles; it is prejudicial to the cause of truth and justice. It cares more about a triumph than about right. If parties exist, error and falsehood must at least be the foundation of one of them. The cry becomes what can we do to promote the success of our party, whereas it should be, what can we do to benefit our country. All become maddened by partisan huzzas, and are zealous for town, or country, or state, or northern, or southern lines, and lose sight of the permanent good, the prosperity and glory of the whole country. This pandora box that feeds party spirit, has already threatened the very existence of our republic. The Northerner despises the Southerner and the Southerner detests the Northerner. Malicious feelings are produced; whole neighborhoods are in a state of fiendish commotion; friends are separated; the domestic ties of families are sundered; fraud, violence, and murder are nourished by party spirit. No matter how sincere persons of opposing parties may be in supposing that their side is right, the question in debate has nothing to do with what people think or pretend to think, but what is beneficial, not to the leader, but to the whole community. All the arguments in favor of parties are visionary and fallacious. Party spirit promotes many wicked and incompetent men to office, merely because they are boisterous partisans. The watchword becomes, who has served his party with the most zeal, instead of who is the most competent, faithful, and meritorious.
2. Party spirit is opposed to merit; the great and wise of every age and nation have suffered by it. Seneca was condemned to death, Plato
was doomed to slavery, Pythagoras was burned alive, and Socrates was fated to drink the poison cup; all like vile criminals, were sacrificed at the shrine of Moloch. But we need not go out of our own country for the baneful influence of party spirit, Washington was slandered as a traitor, a party was raised to displace him from the command of the American Army, and public meetings called to burn him in effigy.* No one since his day has been a candidate for the highest office in the world without being traduced; as a general rule, the greater the ability and merit, the more clamorous and virulent has been the cry of partisan slanderers. Unless some rational course be taken to mitigate the animosity of parties, this boasted republic will follow the fate of all its predecessors, for a "House divided against itself cannot stand," but we have already said enough to prove that party spirit is subversive of the peace and comfort of families, at war with the principles of truth and justice, and destructive of the enduring prosperity and renown of a nation.
Does Christianity diminish human happiness in this life?
Any thing restricts human happiness when the resulting evil overbalances the good. Many Christians are willing, if not anxious to die, but whoever has known a person not pious willing to meet death. Do not all dread it, from the beggar in his lonely hovel to the king in his palace. Men seek their own happiness, hence the proof that the Christian being unhappy is willing to die, and all who are unconverted being comparatively speaking happy, are unwilling to leave the bliss they enjoy here below. Where especially among ladies, do you find the most mirth and joy, where rings loudest the laugh, where pass away the hours under pleasures flying feet, among those who have not the restraints of religion to mar their happiness. But we need not be confined to the narrow sphere of families and neighborhoods Christianity has occasioned wars. It caused numerous and direful persecutions in the palmiest days of the Roman Empire, and during the reformation. It produced the crusades, and the incalculable amount of crime, and human wretchedness resulting therefrom, has caused the most bitter and heart-rending persecutions throughout the civilized world. We know our opponents may bring forward the plea that the eternal happiness of the bliss of the soul which lives beyond the grave outbalances all this, but we wish them confined rigidly to the question, and that has reference exclusively to this world, and here we have every one who is fond of amusement and the social circle, and the practice and actions of the great bulk of the people of this free republic, and the
*Remembrance of the late Col. James Stimson, of Maryland.