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patching within a few hours the preparation of my sermon. I enjoyed yet more in the delivery of it, after that I had in the dust humbled inyself before the Lord. I delivered it unto a great assembly; and among the new articles of ungodly wantonizing on the grace of God, my last was, that it is an affront unto the grace of God, for men to make the birth of our holy Savior, an encouragement and an occasion, for very unholy enormities. On this I enlarged, and was greatly blessed from above in bearing my testimonies.
6. G. D. There are some neighbors, who make some figure at our church, that are falling into sinful contentions. I would use the best methods to prevent their sin, and employ influential friends to persuade them into accommodations.
7. G. D. Whereas my morning inquiry of, What good is to be done? is of so quick despatch, that it leaves me room for many other thoughts to be formed, I would employ the thoughts of the morning, as well as those of the night, more upon the glories of my admirable Savior, as they appear in each head, and bave relation to every truth of our holy. religion. And when I come into my study, I would insert my thoughts into the papers allotted for them, that they may serve as a store for me afterwards in my ministry.
1. G. D. In my catechising, I would exquisitely single out the peculiar vices and follies which the children are in danger of, and cause a Scripture to be read, relating to each of those things, and insist on that Scripture, with a vehement inculcation, and add a pertinent story, the memory whereof may be strong upon them.
2. G. D. It would be a thing of consequence for me to carry on the table talk in my family with a greater ingenuity and fruitfulness. Wherefore, I would not only order my table so as to have all my children sitting at it, at stated and proper hours; but I would then constantly carry on a discourse, on some noble and useful subject, which may entertain the minds of the children, and furnish them with valuable notions.
3. G. D. There is a family in my neighborhood very remotely akin to the relations of my former wife. I will take a particular cognisance of both old and young in the family; and endeavor, by my discourses with them, and by putting books of piety into their bands, to draw them unto all that is good.
For the Panoplist:
REMARKS ON MR. WORCESTER'S GAZETTEER.
In the last number of the Panoplist is a notice of Mr. Worcester's Gazetteer of the United States, in which I observed some appropriate remarks on that performance, together with very just reflections on the subject in general. The readers of that article will entertain no doubt of the writer's disposition to do justice to Mr. W. by giving currency to the circulation of that valuable work. While I unite with him most cordially, in his general approbation of the volume, I shall take the liberty of dissenting from one of the opinions which he has expressed.
In speaking of the errors of that and similar works, the writer says, that in the present volume he does not believe thein numerous.” Now no person at all'acquainted with the subject, will expect perfect accuracy in all the particulars of a Gazetteer. This would be nearly impossible. Every astronomer, and well qualified surveyor, knows tha the latitude and longitude of a place are not to be ascertained withont careful observations, made with good instruments, and by scientific inen. In every gazetteer, hitherto published, there are thousands of errors in the latitudes and longitudes, a large proportion of which are unavoidable. An approxiination to the truth in these cases, is all we can reasonably expect.
in giving the distances of towns from Washington, the official statements of the General Post-Office were considered as proper authority; and I am not disposed to doubt, that Mr. W. has placed the numerous post-towns as correctly as they were furnished in this ofliciał account; perhaps even more so. Nevertheless, there is a considerable number vf errors in these given distances in the Gazetteer. Not having minutely examined the book, I mention several which have occasionally caught my eye. Chateaugay, Franklin County, N. Y. is said to be 480 miles from Washington, instead of 586; Haverhill, Ms. is said to be 477 from W. for 467; Malone, N. Y. is 755 for 575; New-Lebanon, N. Y. is 225 for about 350; Westfield, Ms. 715 for 373. Chateangay is repeated, as being in both Franklin and Clinton counties; but I believe that no town of that name is in the latter county.
In stating the distance of the junction of the rivers Arkansaw, and White River with the Missouri, from the entrance into the Gulf of Mex. ico, by the course of the stream, there is an error of figures. The junction of the Arkansaw is said to be 500 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, instead of 742; that of the White River 514 for 756. Lee County in Virginia is laced in the south-east corner of the state, and is yet described as bounded on Tennessee and Kentucky. It is, in fact, in the south-west corner.
The late treaty with Spain, in fixing the southern boundary of the Arkansaw Territory, or what was heretofore called Louisiana, has disappointed some hasty map-makers. The limits of that territory do not extend so far to the south as was supposed.
The rage for dividing towns is so great, that no printed account can ever provide for the additional naines, without very frequent editions. Petitions were presented to the Massachusetts Legislature at their winter session, for incorporating about 60 towns, most of which were to be formed by divisions, and sub-divisions of old corporations. In new settlements the number increases so fast, that any enumeration perfectly correct to-day, would scarcely be so tomorrow; and vext year would be far behind the truth.
It is gratifying to observe that Mr. W. has avoided the scandalous poffing of his own country at the expense of all others, which is so oftenfive in the writings of many authors, on both sides of the Atlantic, What can be more disgusting than the egregious misrepresentations of America, and unbounded praises of England, which appear in the pubfications of some pretended English travellers? Ilow can any man of common sepse, who has the information of an ordinary school-boy,
avoid smiling at the paragraphs of slander, on every thing belonging to the United States, which find their way into some of the English Reviews. The natural features of our country, in the hands of these gentry, share the fate of the captives of Procrustes. If our rivers seem too long, they easily shorten them; if our mountains are too high, they are cut down, till the dimensions are made to suit an envious eye, or a disordered imagination. Do our fertile districts scem too broad, and the sterile ones too narrow? Expedients are always at hand to conform the extent and soil of both to their own wishes.
These remarks are made with entire friendship to Mr. W. and his book; which he will doubtless render more perfect in a second edition.
THE EXECUTION OF THE PIRATES,
On the day assigned for the purpose, which was the 18th ulta the four unhappy men, who had been condemned for murder and piracy, were executed in this town. Most readers probably know, that the crime, for which these malefactors suffered, was committed in July, 1816, on board the schooner Plattsburgh, from Baltimore; that, in the accomplishment of their purpose, they took the lives of the captain, supercargo, and first mate; seized the vessel; and divided, among themselves and others, the money, amounting to $42,000, which formed the principal part of the cargo; that they were apprehended at Copenhagen, and brought home for trial in a public ship; that they appeared peculiarly hardened on their trial and after conviction; that, on the 30th of December, they were sentenced to be executed on the 21st of January; that the President of the United States gave them a respite of four weeks; and that, on the expiration of the term allowed them, they were brought out of prison, and suffered the extremity of the law, in the presence of many thousand spectators. Since they were landed, much indignation has been expressed concerning them; partly on account of the atrocity of their offence, but more because piracy has become common of late.
These facts, and others which I am about to mention, furnish a suitable occasion for calling the attention of readers to several topics, which relate to the subject.
The execution of criminals is a very solemn event; and if, as is to be feared, the number of capital crimes is to be increased, and the number of executions to be multiplied, the best mode of treating the unhappy sufferers ought to be adopted, and the best state of feeling respecting them to be produced in the community. To resort to the punishment of death is a lamentable evil; such an evil as ought not to exist unless upon the clearest necessity, and only in consequence of the most atrocious crimes. When death is inflicted by the hand of public justice, the lesson should not be lost upon the people at large. Deplorable, indeed, is the case, when criminals are regarded with feelings of malignant revenge, or stupid insensibility; when spectators, instead of humbling themselves before God for their own numerous offences, fool. ishly think theniselves innocent, and the culprits before them the greatest of all offenders.
To return from this digression: when it was found, that the pirates were sentenced to be hung in three weeks, the reflection very iraturally occurred, that so speedy an execution was contrary to the usage of this part of the country. It was a painful consideration, that four hardened offenders, some of them but little acquainted with our language, and all totally ignorant of religion, should be sent out of the world with so few opportunities for preparation, as could be afforded them, in so scanty a period, and within the walls of a prison. Speedy executions were also deemed highly injurious to the community, for a great many reasons; some of which were stated in the Panoplist for January, to which number the reader is referred. A petition was therefore forwarded to the President, asking for a reprieve.
As this transaction has very unexpectedly been made the subject of animadversion, it may be proper to state some particulars, which would not otherwise bave been mentioned.
The petition was agreed upon by persons, who had never seen the prisoners, and knew nothing of them, except through the medium of public report. It originated solely in benevolence to them, and in a regard to the welfare of the whole community
Whether it would excite public attention, or would never be thought of; whether it would be approved or condemned, were considerations, which never came into mind. That a reprieve was, on all accounts, a desirable thing was not doubted; that it was the duty of those who thought so, to cause some representation to be made to the government, seemed equally clear. That the persons, who made the representation were mistaken, either in their facts or reasonings, has not been evinced, in the smallest degree, by any thing wbich bas transpired since.
The petition stated, among other things of smaller moment, that the prisoners were believed to be exceedingly bardened in their guilt and altogether ignorant of religion; that they had precious and eternal interests at stake; that, if saved at all, they, like others of the human race, must be saved by the Gospel; that, confined as they were, it was not easy for them to acquire, within the few days allotted them, any considerable knowledge of the only method of salvation; and that, on these accounts, their case invited the merciful interposition of government. It was added, that executions, inflicted speedily after conviction, were believed to have a pernicious effect on the public; and the reasons of this belief were stated, in regular order. All intention of soliciting a pardon for the unhappy men was expressly disclaimed; and the representation was declared to be made consistently with entire respect for the court.
The paper was signed by seven persons. Others, who had conversed on tiie subject, were ready to sign it, had they been met with; and it kould have been easy to multiply signatures; Gut this was not thought to be of the slightest importance. It was on facts and reasons alone, and not on names, that the petitioners relied. Three gentlemen, to whom application was made, declined signing; one, because he seemed la rely on the efficacy of almost inincdiate executions; the others, beCause they did not think it necessary to take any part in a business, which did not peculiarly belong to them. They expressed, however, a perfect approbation of the paper, and a full belief that it would be
effectual, though signed by two names only. It was carried to the court-house', with a view of being shown to the court; but the judges were engaged in another important trial, and could not be interrupted. As the hour of closing the mail approached, no further d:lay was thouglit justifiable; especially considering the liability of the mails to be interrupted in the winter, and the unforeseen occurrences, which sometimes retard the transaction of public business. A duplicate was sent the next day.
At the proper time for the return of the mail, and four days before the period fixed for the execution, a reprieve arrived, and was communicated to the prisoners. The warrant stated, as I am informed, that the President was induced to defer the day of execution by clemency alone, no application having been made in behalf of the unbappy men, either by themselves, their counsel, the court or jury, or any otticer of the court.
When the reprieve became publicly known in Boston, it excited a degree of dissatisfaction, which seemed at first unaccountable, and which is not very easily accounted for. That the mere prolonging of life for a few days to four condemned malefactors, who were ignorant, helpless, without a single person even to wis! for their escape, and in the safe keeping of the officers of justice, should be received with marks of discontent and decided hostility, would hardly be expected in any community. But that such indications should be found among a humane, enlightened, and Christian people;- a people, who profess to believe in the retributions of the world to come; would not be credibic, if they had not actually been witnessed. It would be wrong, however, to receive these indications as 'expressions of the state of feeling throughout the community; especially of the more considerate and reflecting class, and all, who think much of the concerns of the soul. Such persons were highly gratified with the interposition of the Chief Magistrate. They thought it a very proper exercise of constitutional power; and one, which, in all its bearings, had a salutary tendency.
Those, who found most fault with the reprieve, seemed to think, that the petitioners must bave been influenced by a weak and silly compassion for the criminals, while they had not enlargement of mind enough to consider the good of the community; or that they could not have known the atrocious character of the piracy and murder, in which these culprits had been the actors, and therefore ought to be blamed for interfering in a case, which they did not understand. As to the guilt of the prisoners, its atrocity was expressly given as one of the reasons for the application; and, in regard to the ability of the petitioners to form an opinion in the case, as I happen to know them all, it may be proper to say, that, in my judgment, they might without arrogance deem themselves competent to forin such an opinion; and that, when formell, they might lawfully express it, in a respectful manner, to the constituted authorities of the country.
The reasons commonly assigned against the reprieve were the following:
61. These wretches were so guilty that they deserved no mercy, cither in this world or the next.'