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his enemy, neither sought his harm : then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments : and the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high-priest, which was anointed with the holy

(2.) The taking of money as a satisfaction for blood is strictly forbidden. 66 Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer which is guilty of death : but he shall be surely put to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.” † (3.) Hereditary blood feuds are forbidden with equal strictness. I “ The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers : every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

By providing judges in all the tribes to do equal justice between man and man, and by calling the congregation to judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood, || Moses secures the speedy departure of the need of private revenge and the speedy advent of a reign of public law.

The right of Asylum is another primitive institution which is recognized by the Law of Moses ; and which was not without use in its day, as the history of the Middle Ages, no less than that of the more ancient barbarism, can bear witness. It gave vengeance time for reflection, and in default of a magistrate armed with sufficient powers, helped to prevent society from becoming a slaughter-house. But this institution also was liable to the grossest abuses. It sheltered the wilful murderer as well as him who had killed a man accidentally or in self-defence, and in the case of wilful murder led to a

* Numb. xxxv. 16 - 25.
† Ibid., 31, 32.
| Deut. xxiv. 16.

§ Deut. i. 16.
|| Numb. xxxv. 24.

final defeat of justice. Being connected with holy places and the priests who kept them, it bred gross superstition. For the same reason, and because the asylum was a source of power and profit to the priests, asylums were multiplied till they gave impunity to crime. In the reign of Tiberius the Roman Government found it necessary to interfere with the growing license of setting up asylums in the Greek cities of the Empire. “ The temples were filled with the vilest of the slaves ; the same receptacles sheltered debtors from their creditors and persons suspected of capital offences from justice. And authority was unable to restrain the fanatical violence of the people, who protected the crimes of men as a part of the worship of the Gods."

Here, too, the Mosaic law abstains from abolishing the custom, which could not have been done without antedating the progress of society and taking man out of his own hands; but it guards again the abuse. The cities of refuge were not to be for the wilful murderer, but “ that the slayer may flee thither which killeth any person at unawares.* “ These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them : that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.” † The number of the places of refuge is strictly limited to six; and they are to be cities, not holy places to which any superstition could attach. Further to guard against such superstition, it is expressly declared that the holiest of all holy places shall not shelter the criminal.

66 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from Mine altar, that he may die.”

In other nations of antiquity, and in Europe during the Middle Ages, the fugitive had to take up his abode for life in the asylum or sanctuary ; at least he could never leave it with safety; and thus these places became nests of crime, as

* Numb. xxxv. 11.

† Ibid., 15.

| Exod. xxi. 14.

the neighborhoods of some of them, Westminster, for instance, are at the present day. The Hebrew Law guards against this by providing that the fugitive shall be required to remain in the city of refuge only till the death of the high-priest, after which he may leave it with impunity. “If the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; and the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood : because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high-priest : but after the death of the highpriest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.”*

Again, in Patriarchal times, the family being the State, and the only government being that of the father of the family, the father, as supreme ruler, had the power of life and death over his child. Among the Romans, tenacious of all old institutions and full of the lust of dominion abroad and at home, this

power, under the name of patria potestas, was retained long after the state of society by which alone it was justified had passed away. It remained a hideous and disgraceful relic of barbarism amidst the meridian light of Roman jurisprudence; and Erixon, a Roman knight, put his son to death in the time of Seneca. The power extended over the wife as well as over the child. It was exercised by the Roman father arbitrarily and privately; so that till public feeling at last put it down, there was no check on it whatever.

Now the law of Moses, coming at a time when a national government had not been completely formed, and the family had not yet been completely brought under the State, abstains from directly abolishing the father's power; but it places it under restrictions which amount as nearly as possible to abolition. “ If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken

* Nunıb. xxxv. 26 - 28.

unto them : then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: 80 shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear and fear.” Here, we see, (1.) the concurrence of the mother as well as of the father in the death of the child, (2.) a definite charge, and (3.) a public proceeding before a solemn tribunal are required. It may safely be said that a power so limited would not be abused.

So, too, Polygamy prevailed in primitive times; and in those times there might be a ground for it. When there was no government or law to protect the weak, a woman was absolutely dependent on the protection of a husband or a son, and if she had remained unmarried she would have been the helpless prey of violence and lust. Not only so, but, when the family was all in all, she would have been a miserable outcast on the face of the earth. And, as usual, sentiment accommodated itself to the state of society: so that affection was not wounded, nor the dignity of woman degraded, by a double marriage. Leah and Rachel are, and would necessarily be, as unconscious of impurity, and therefore in soul as purė, as two daughters of one father.' It did not follow that men were never to rise from the lower state of society into the higher; or that a relapse into polygamy, now that woman needs no protection but that of the law, and has become conscious of her due position, would be anything but brutality and crime.

The Hebrew lawgiver could not have forbidden polygamy without changing the state of society by a miracle, or breeding confusion, and doing a wrong in some cases to woman. But he does not perpetuate or encourage it: he recognizes it only to mitigate its evils. “If a man have two wives, one

beloved and another hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated ; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated: then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved first-born before the son of the hated, which is indeed the first-born ; but he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the first-born, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath : for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the first-born is his.” *

Shall we say, then, with these things before us, that the Bible sanctions Private Revenge, the right of Asylum for criminals, the exercise of a power of life and death by parents over their children, or the practice of Polygamy; that it establishes these as divine institutions intended for all time; and enjoins the revival of them, where they have been allowed to fall out of use, in civilized and Christian lands?

The Mosaic laws of war for the present day would be very inhuman : for that day, and compared with the practices blazoned on the triumphal monuments of Assyrian and Egyptian warriors, they were humane. “ When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it; and when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” † That which is of Moses and of God in this passage is the command to proclaim peace to city, and give its garrison the option of saving their lives by becoming

* Deut. xxi. 15 - 17.

† Deut. xx. 10.

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