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still, though in more modest tones, asserts the right of the clergy sub lege Romaná vivere, and in that it still vindicates their pretension to a personal law. The act therefore is based upon the amiable weakness of keeping up an old institution, ne quid scilicet oculorum consuetudini deperiret. In this, of course, there is no rationale, and it only remains for us to state views which, in our opinion, seriously militate against the advisability of a longer continuance of such a law.
In the first place, it is not sufficiently clear to us that a clergyman should be punished for doing an act unconnected with his vocation, for which act a layman would be neither punished, reproved, nor maligned. Among the ancients, the vestal and the hierophant only were required to be pure. All other priests and priestesses enjoyed the freedom, and sometimes the laxities, of the outer world.
“ Bonus et face dignus Arcanâ, qualem Cereris volt esse sacerdos.” But our opinion matters little ; for the Christian world is in accord that a teacher of morality, provided he be paid by them for his teachings, shall himself be moral.
Upon this principle the church and the canon law have combined to frame a goodly catalogue of the excesses and indiscretions falling to the lot of the irregular portion of the clergy. We have looked up this curious subject ; and we propose to lay before our readers a list of the offences, the adjudication of which the Arches Court arrogates to itself. And, when we have done so, we will consider whether the matters are of such a nature and quality as to require and justify a separate tribunal.
For our syntagma of clerical crimes and excesses (as they are technically called), we are indebted to Mr. Coote's Ecclesiastical Practice. We borrow from, him because he is the only writer who has tabulated them.
These crimes and excesses are as follows:
Profligate life and conversation, adultery, fornication, incontinence, and the crimen infandum.
Drunkenness (habitual), and accompanied by profaneness, obscenity of language, &c.
The like--not aggravated by other circumstances.
Smiting or laying violent hands on any person in a church or churchyard.
Advisedly maintaining or affirming doctrine directly contrary or repugnant to the articles of religion as by law established, and against the statute 13 Elizabeth, c. 12 (an act for the ministers of the church to be of sound religion).
Neglect of duty.
Irregularities in reading the Holy Scriptures, and varying the service from the prescribed form.
Irregularity and indecorum in the performance of divine offices.
Publishing the banns of marriage of persons not being parishioners, and marrying such persons.
Evil practices in obtaining orders, institution, &c., by procuring another to undergo a vicarious examination, &c.
Now, what is there in the nature of these offences to disqualify any one of the superior courts from entertaining a prosecutor's complaint upon such a subject, and from adjudicating satisfactorily and justly upon it? What is there in these offences to dishabilitate a jury from giving a fair and reasonable verdict upon them? What is there in them which should exact that the accused should be denied the benefit of a jury of his countrymen ?
We unhesitatingly contend, that any one of the accusations referred to, involving (as it does when proved) loss of freehold, or a suspension, more or less enlarged, from the enjoyment of that freehold, besides other consequential damage and misery, is entitled, above all things, to be ventilated in the morally free atmosphere of a court of law.
There is also the glaring absurdity of keeping up a separate court to try criminals whose appearances in that court, as the enemies of the church even confess, are on an average not two in the year. For after all, the Anglican clergyman, like the hero of La Fontaine's chose impossible, is plus noir que malin.
We should recommend, after the preliminary inquiries have been made, every case, unless confessed and submitted to by the clerk, should be transferred at once to one of the superior courts ; that the facts should be there tried before a jury; and that the case should then be remitted, with the verdict, to the ordinary from whom it came. The defendant, if found guilty, would have his sentence pronounced by the ordinary, in accordance with the rules of the canon law. The Arches Court might then be abolished.
To this, we believe, no valid objection can be urged, except that of imposing on the judges additional labours.
ART. IV.--THE LAW OF SLAVERY.
1. The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States. By
JOHN CODMAN HURD, Counsellor-at-Law. In 2 vols. Vol. I.
Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. Trübner & Co., London, 1858. 2. An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United
States of America, to which is added an Historical Sketch of Slavery. By T. R. R. COBB of Georgia. Vol. I. Philadelphia :
Johnson & Co. Savannah : W. T. Williams, 1858. 3. On Slavery—as it existed in England during the Saxon Era,
and the Substitution of Villenage after the Norman Conquest,
until its Gradual Extinction. By JOSEPH WRIGHT, Esq., Solicitor, Doncaster, (Transaction of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 10.) Liverpool : Brakell, 1858.
LTHOUGH in England the question of Slavery has passed A
through the phases of discussion and final legislation, it yet remains one of the highest interest, socially and politically, historically and legally. Abolition tales have been circulated here by hundreds of thousands, and the effect of the struggle arising from the institution of slavery on American politics, is watched in England with great avidity. The events which led to emancipation of our own West Indian colonies, form an important chapter in the history of modern politics and parliamentary parties, containing some of the noblest names of modern English statesmen.
The relation of slavery to jurisprudence and international law, however, is that to which we now purpose to draw the reader's attention. It is in the United States of America that this aspect of the institution is now most readily studied; and the three works, the titles of which will be found at the head of this article, afford a favourable opportunity for considering it. Slave states, and those which repudiate the institution, are there in close contiguity, and this has given plentiful occasion to the jurists in that great country to treat of the many points of conflict springing from this juxtaposition, and which depend upon and illustrate vital principles of international law.
In European countries, the “conflict of laws” connected with slavery, especially as to its recognition in international jurisprudence, has borne fruit; and it will be well to remind the reader of some of the results of the decisions arrived at on various leading occasions, in England and the neighbouring continent. It would not be profitable to carry investigation back to earlier times, either to examine the original principles which we find accepted in the ancient world relating to slavery, or to introduce the theological arguments which are of such frequent and infelicitous occurrence in the discussions on the subject. The authority
of history and the sanctions of religion, are indeed urged by contending parties to demonstrate, on the one hand, that in all times, and according to all theological systems, it has been pronounced an accursed thing to establish slavery; and, on the other, that it is a highly beneficial and
highly beneficial and necessary institution, approved by experience, and even appointed by heaven itself. “A detailed and minute inquiry,” says Mr. Cobb, “ into the history of slavery, would force us to trace the history of every nation of the earth ; for the most enlightened have at some period within their existence adopted it as a system ; and no organized government has been so barbarous as not to introduce it amongst its customs. It has been more universal than marriage, and more permanent than liberty The beginning dates back at least to the deluge; one of the inmates of the ark became a 'servant of servants,' and, in the opinion of many, the curse of Ham is now being executed upon his descendants in the enslavement of the negro race.” Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Rebecca, Isaac, and other respectable people of the same kind, are cited as witnesses. Every book in the Bible is put successively in evidence. Judaism and Christianity, the letter and the spirit, original texts and disputed interpretations, are appealed to equally by angry combatants, who, if they do not advance thereby the discussion, have at least the satisfaction of shewing that their opponents are impious and ignorant. This sentiment is somewhat akin to that which the affectionate son professed, who, when defeated in his attempt to set aside his father's will, declared that though he had failed to shew that his parent was lunatic, yet he was glad to say he had demonstrated to the world that he was a perfect scoundrel. By some writers on the subject of African slavery we are told, and even by some judicial tribunals it has been held, that the personal character of the law of slavery is authoritatively determined by revelation. In Neal v. Farmer, for example (9 Georgia R., p. 582), it is declared that the slavery of “the issue of Ham is an institution of Christianity!”.
The religious adjunct to the social or legal inquiry into slavery
VOL. VIII. NO. XV.