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On Gifford's “ Illucidation of the Unity of God." to consider the expediency of it, and find it necessary, in order to contemthe very liberal views which are now plate with any accuracy, to confine generally entertained by the Lords of ourselves to one and drop all the rest. the Upper and the Gentlemen of the A consequence ever unavoidable while Lower House of Parliament, are con- the thinking principle is closely envincing proofs that a very different gaged. And hence it happens, that mapner of thinking prevails in the the Unity of God forces itself upon higher circles upon religious subjects us in the act of devotion, from the than that which induced our wary indivisibility of thought. For we may ancestors to furnish religion with observe that, when we address ourprops and shores, which, while they selves intently in prayer, we find it are no support, are an enfeeblement impossible to fix our meditation aband a disgrace to it.
solutely on more than one object of The book to which I refer is called worship at the same moment. Ai “ An Illucidation of the Unity of God others are neglected in the instant, deduced from Scripture and Reason." and cannot enter the mind without It is dedicated to the Society of Uni- confusing and dissipating the attentarian Christians at Montrose, in North tion. This alone plainly shews, that Britain, by James Gifford ; who re- the mental faculties are not calculated sided at Girton, in Cambridgeshire; to attend fixedly to more than ono and was, I am informed, a Lieutenant object. We may indeed associate Colonel in the Line, and an intimate three or more different things or perfriend of Mr. Lindsey. The dedica- sons in idea, and then consider them tion is dated July 25, 1787. It is ac- in one collective view, but this does companied by a letter to the Arch- not destroy their individuality, and bishop of Canterbury; and the whole when we would contemplate any one of the performance exhibits a deep of these objects with precision we research into the sacred volume, and must dismiss the combination. Or serious inquiry into the meaning of its we may blend three or more distinct declarations, with an uncommon de- things or subjects together in idea, gree of firmness of manner, yet mild- and then consider them in the aggreness of expression, a fortiter in re with gate as one; but, besides that this a suaviter in modo, scarcely ever to is the mere work of the imagination, be found united in a case of such in. it would be held both dissatisfactory calculable importance. The work is and dangerous with respect to the published for Rowland Hunter, (late Trinity: because we are expressly Johnson) St. Paul's Church Yard. enjoined in our present received docs
I am desirous of calling the atten- trines to preserve the distinction of the tion of your readers to this very inte. three persons, and acknowledge them resting work; and especially to an to be, not only separate but also equal illustration of the Divine Unity, which objects of prayer and thanksgiving. I conceive, to many, will be new. Notwithstanding this in the solema After speaking of the grand unity of acts of devotion, the mind betrays an design which all nature exhibits, and election for the one or the other; and which points our intellectual powers this preference, we find, is generally distinctly to a unity of the Divine given to God the Father Almighty Nature, he adds,
himself, and every other object is ex« God has taken care that we should cluded from the mind at the time. have more reasons than one to believe For He incessantly rises in the colthat all things were formed by one lected soul, and fills it. Thus the Great Mind, that all are the effects great truth of the unity of the Deity of the same Great Cause; and I think seems to have been implanted by him he has interwoven the truth of his in our nature; and the miud of man, Unity in our very nature, if we would with which it is in perfect concord, attend to its operations. I shall en- in its most serious and attentive mo deavour to give proof of this by a fa- ments, is necessarily led to acknowe miliar instance; but I beg leave to ledge it.* In praying to or glorifying introduce it rather as an accessory circumstance than as a fundamental
* Notwithstanding the polytheism of the argument.
Heathen, it is certain from their own wri. « Whenever a multiplicity of ob- tings and monuments, that the belief of a jects are presented to the mind, we Supreme God naturally prevailed among
New Jury Court of Scotland.
145 the Trinity in their turns, we still P.S. Since writing the above, I give the precedence to the Father, but have little doubt that the former ediby a positive distinction in their per- tions of this work were of the size of sons, and in our worship, we i pretty large pamphlet, and that the voidably destroy the very notion of present edition was published after one only God, and, as I apprehend, Mr. G's death, by his son, a gentle. overthrow the great basis of revealed man also in his Majesty's service, enreligion.
Jarged into an octavo volume by nu“ What will naturally follow from merous valuable notes, aud other ad. these observations is this : that, as ditions. Mr. Gifford had three sons," the indivisibility of thought will not two in the army, the other in the permit us to pray fixedly to more bavy. than one object at the same time, for' the rery attempt to diride the atteniiori
New Jury Court of Scotland. confuses it; therefore we are com
ON , pelled, if we hold to the Athanasian New Jury Court met for the system, to invoke and worship the first tinc. three persons in a separate manner, The 'Right Hon. William Adam, as we find is done in the Litany and Lord Chief ('ommissioner; Allan in many of the Collects. Thus when Maconochie, Lord Meadowbank; and we worslip the Father, we adore a David Monypenny, Lord Pitmilly, person different from the Son and the the two other Commissioners, being Holy Ghost ; and when we worship assembled; and the names of the thirTHESE, we adore tro persons different ty-six Jurymen returned to try the from the Father and from each other. issues, being called over, and having For, howsoever they may be connect answered to their names, the Lord ed, their persons are to be preserved Chief Commisioner opened the busidistinctly in the mind, and their wor ness of the Court in a speech to the ship of course to be distinct also. following effect :
« Now, under these circumstances, My Lores-Before we proceed to it appears impossible, from the very the cause appointed for trial this day, nature of thought, to free ourselves I wish to say a few wor's to the from the idea of their being three dis. Court. I believe I am justified, actinct Gods. For since we cannot di. cording to immemorial precedent, as vide our attention, which if we could a newly appointed presiding Jurige of would be the highest disrespect to a supreme tribunal in this country, the person meant to be adored, it must in addressing the Court. This has be always changed with the object of been the uniform practice of all Presiour worship; and then it inevitably dents on their appointment. follows, that every other must be I believe I am justified in this Court neglected at the time; and these are which is to administer justice by a exactly the consequences with all jury, as in the Criminal Courts of polytheism whatsover; from which ihis country, according to the practherefore I humbly apprehend it is tice of those courts on their circuits, extremely difficult to distinguish the in saying something to you, (entle-' present system. But, on the other men of thic Jury, upon your being hand, if we blend the three persons assembled here; and I thiúk I should toyether, and consider them as one not be justified at the opening of this and the same intelligent being, then new court for the first time, if I did the Athanasian hypothesis is destroy- not state what has occurred to me on ed, and any distinct or discriminating this occasion ; exhibiting, a new and worship appears totally superfluous an important feature in the judicial and contradictory." Iam, Sir, system of Scotland. Yours,
It may not be unfit, recent as it is
J. W. since the Act of Parliament passed them, and was sometimes openly testified. creating this court, shortly to retrace See Acts xvii. 22, 23. Most of them, iu- the circumstances which have given deed, conceived that he was too great or
rise to the institution of this tribunal.' too far removed to attend to men or their In the year 1808, an Act of Parsupplications. We are obliged to revela- liament passed for improving the ju, tion for the complete care of this most dis- dicatures of this country. It empowcouraging apprehension.
ered and required that his Majesty VOL. XI.
New Jury Court of Scotland. should appoint commissioners to ex. for this purpose in all the countries amine into that grave and weighty which speak the language we speak. subject, and to report to the King It is of a tradition so high that noand the two Houses of Parliament. thing is known of its origin. It is of Among other things, the commis- a perfection so great for its object and sioners were to be called upon by the purpose, that it has remained in unAct of Parliament to inquire into the abated vigour and parity from its fitness of introducing trial by jury in commencement to the present time, civil causes into the Scotel judicial It is the character of all other inestablishment. In the month of May, stitutions for the investigation of facts 1810, the commissioners reported on to have become inadequate to their that subject, stating, that if care was end. It is the character of this mixed taken “ that no alteration of our mu- tribunal, where a jury decide on tbe nicipal law was made by suclı institu- facts under the direction of a court, tion, the enabling the Court of Ses- to have preserved its original perfecsion to direct issues of fact to be tried tion unabatel. These extraordinary by jury, might afford a safe founda- and important features of durability lion on which importaut experiments and perfection seem to arise out of might be made."
causes which it may not be unfit to This Report lay untouched for se. state upon the occasion of introducing veral years. But in the interval be- it into the administration of civil justween making this Report in May, tice in Scotland. They are the natu1810, and the close of the session of ral results of its modes of acting. Parliament, 1814, many cases had oc- It is to be observed, first, that it curred in the House of Lords, moving can only proceed by settling of a clear entirely on matter of fact, accompa- distinct issue to be tried. The advannied with long printed proofs, calling tage of this is manifest, it obliges the upon the Supreme Court of Appeal, directing Court to compel the parties which should only be required to de- to precision, and relieves the causes cide matters of law, to perform a duty at the commencement of litigation not properly belonging to it, by de- from all dispute as to what the quesciding cases resting upon intricate, tions are between the parties. It enadifficult, and ill-proved facts. This bles the proof to be made clearly as created observation in the House of applicable to those questions. Lords, out of wbich the statute grew, It requires no more enlarged state. under which this Court sits, and from ment to enforce the advantages of this which it derives its authority and con- effect of the trial by jury. stitution.
Secondly. It adds a casual to a perIt is to be observed then, that the manent tribunal ; and, by their acting great distinguishing feature of this and re-acting on each other, the natribunal is, that it is the first duty of tural qualifications of both are imits Judges so to act, as not to disturb proved, and their defects amended. in any respect that ancient and admi- The great feature of the casual part rable system of the municipal law of of the tribunal, The Jury, is its being Seotlaud, banded down to us by our constituted and assembled, in a manancestors, and secured to us by the ner (as far as human wisdom can ac. Act of Union, constituting, as it were, complish any end) to secure impar. a charter for the preservation of the tiality and perfect indifference in the jurisprudeutial system of Scotland. causes to be tried by it.
It shall be my peculiar care, as it It is chosen from among the people is my duty, to walk in this course; at large, according to a certain quaand however I may distrust my own lification, insuring the education and ability, I feel assured I shall be able understanding necessary for the duty. to do it with the assistance of your A certain number are returued, great. Lordships.
er than the number required to try, The object then, of the law under as you thirty-six Gentlemen are now which we sit, is to receive and try returned here, to try the appointed issues directed by the decisions of the issues. The return is made by the Court of Session, wherein matters of sheriff, a magistrate of high rank, unfact are to be proved by the interven- acquainted with, and uninterested in liou of a jury.
the parties, having no conpexion with This institution has been long used them; and when returned, the twelve
New Jury Court of Scotland.
147 jurors to try the cause are selected by thority has its effect in producing corballot, their names being to be drawn rectness of deportment, and his eviby a sworn officer of the court, from dence being submitted to the judg, the box into which they are put fair- ment of his fellow-subjects, the jury, ly, under the sanction of a solemn he must have that circumspect atten, obligation.
tion to truth which such a situation This is doing all that human con- naturally creates. Besides, in case of trivance can accomplish towards the prevarication, the authority of a court, attaining a tribunal free from all pre- with sufficient power to commit, is possession.
held over him, to have an instantaneBut the grand and important fea ous operation. ture of this tribunal for the examina. Secondly. The effect of publicity tion of fact, is, 3dly, Publicity, or the is equally important in regard to the public and open manner in which its jury. business is conducted.
exposure to public view and Every thing is transacted with open observation, secures, in that respectadoors-every thing, from the com ble body, the casual tribunal, that mencement of the trial to its close, steady attention, which is not only except when the Jury retire for de- essential to the appearance, but to the liberation, is done before an inquisis reality of justice; and it is not unimtive and observing public, who, hear- portant to remark, that this solemnity ing the evidence, form their judgments of conduct reflects again on the surof the correctness of the Court aud rounding audience, and secures in Jury in drawing their conclusious- those who compose it, the same atso that they are secured by the respon- tentiou and decorum when they come sibility of character, thus openly ex to be jurymen. posed to criticism, to form a correct The justice which they do, as I and honest opinion in every case. have already observed, is the subject This is aided by the constant presence of consideration by as many as the of an enlightened Bar, whose learn-' court will admit; the report of those ing and talents and practice in judi- present at a trial goes forth to the cial concerns, are thus made subser- public at large, and the verdicts of vient to the ends of substantial justice. jurymen are secured to be just, by In this way, aud before such an au- the certainty that they must undergo djence, the case is -sifted to the very the scrutiny of the whole extended bottom, and every part of the tribu- and watchful community. nal is always subject to the most rigid The evidence of which they have observation, and so called to the most to judge is, owing to this publicity, correct attention to do justice.
and to the formation of the court, goThis important feature of jury trial verned by rules which are calculated is remarkable for its happy influence to exclude falsehood, and to secure oo all those who administer to justice the testimony of truth. through the medium of that insti The introduction of a well-regulated tion.
law of evidence is a most important First. As to its influence on the result of trial by jury. In order to witnesses. By public examination exclude all evidence from the hearing they are open to the observation of of the jury, which, from its nature, the tribunal who is to judge of their may be false, and make an undue imtestimony, and of the value to be as- pression, the judges are called upon cribed to it-as it respects their de- publicly to decide upon the admissimeanour, their capacity and intelli- bility of witnesses, and of questions, gence and the manner of testifying. upon all objects of competency, as Every witness in an open court, risks contradistinguished from those of cre. his character with the public and dibility. This they do publicly upon with his neighbours, and is kept cor the argument of counsel ; and, here rect by that influence. The witnesses again, the subject is secured in a due are fully examined by counsel in chief, and certain administration of justice then cross-examined by adverse coun in matter of fact. sel; and, lastly, subject to the exa. This is a result only attainable by mination of the Jury and the Bench. this institution, where there is autho. By being examined before a supreme rity and learning to decide, and a tribunal, the influence of judicial au cause for decision. It is this whicha
New Jury Court of Scotland. leads to the exclusion of hearsay, and cumspection, a firmness in forming of all those circumstances in proof opinions, a readiness in re-considerwhere the fact may be false and yet ing them, no pertinacious adherence the witness be correctly honest, as to first thoughts, and yet a decision well as to all the exclusions of testi- calculater to cuforce well-considered mony arising out of the various mo views,--and above all, iu this seat, difications of interest or concern in where justice is to be distributed the cause, or in the question or con within a period to be measured by 'nexion with the parties.
the strengih of man, dispatch must Thirdly. As to the Bar, this insti- combine with deliberation, readiness tution will have its just and beneficial of thought with correctness of opinion. influence.
Our duties as Judges are to be perWhen I refer to that most respec- formed before a judicious public, table body, the Bar of Scotland, I deeply interested in the justice which may safely and justy enlarge upon is to be dispensed, and before a critheir great learning, their integrity, tical and enlightened bar, ready to their cloquence, and other high ai- disseminate with freedom, as they tainments; and above all, I can rely ought, their opinions of our errors, on the most rigid honour and pure but equally ready to do justice to our correctness of their practice in their motives, and to bestow the just reprofession. Yet, great as the learn. ward of praise when we are right and iog and eloquence is which they correct. bring into the hitherto ordinary prac The error to which a court, comtice of their profession, the public posed of a single judge, is liable, is and immediate efforts which they perhaps an over-weening self-willedwill have to make in this tribunal, ness: this is corrected by the dis. cannot fail to afford a new scene for charge of the function publicly with their eloquence.
the aid of a jury. The necessity of In guiding the course of justice, the attending to every point for their inJudges will derive assistance from formation—a necessary compliance counsel, while the system of jury trial with those modes of conduct which will give new occasions to the Bar of such interchange of thought as this Scotland for acute and masterly dis. tribunal requires, and the necessity cussion, by watching and seizing cir- of the judge weighing well what he cumstances and emergencies as they is publicly to impart to others, under arise, as well as by previously pre- the controuling cffect of their having paring themselves upon the important to decide on the spot on the correctfeatures of the case; and thus these ness of his vicws, securcs against such new opportunities for the display of self-willedness. conduct and address, by training The error into which the Judges them to a mode of exertion to which of a Court composed of several is apt they have not been accustomed, will to fall is carelessness. Trusting to the give new scope and enlargement to efforts of his fellow Judges, the public their professional talents, and render effort and the duty to impart all that them still more useful ministers passes, and all his views of it to others of justice in all the branches of their on the spot, and at the moment, proves practice.
a sure antidote to this propensity in Fourthly. But, above all, this pub- the judges of a tribunal of several. licity is important, in relation to the Thus it may be said that the wellJudges who preside--in regulating doing of the permanent tribunal is and preserving correct what I have secured, and the administration of called the permanent part of the tri- justice in matters of fact (that extenbunal. This happy composition in sive and ever- varying source of litigajudicature, when the functions are tion) is better regulated by this conpublicly and openly discharged, in- trivance of trial by jury, than by any vigorates all the good qualities of the that the wit of man has ever yet de judicial character of the permanent vised. Judge, and corrects all the defects Such are the leading features of this "to which the judicial character is institution, which we are now to try prone.
in this country, as an experiment, and On the Bench we must call to aid, as I have said in the outset, always temper, forbearance, attention, cir- anxiously attending to this, that it is