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in a strait jacket, for hours, rather than whip him for a minute? We resign to others such modes of establishing their claim to tenderness of heart and respect for human nature. Let us be understood to speak of the scourge as applied with the utmost circumspection, with every attendant circumstance which can give efficacy to pain, and with every precaution against abuse; to speak of it, in short, as it is used in the Massachusetts State Prison, where it is never applied but in the presence of the warden, who addresses such language to the culprit as should carry to his mind the conviction of its necessity, and the reluctance with which it is inflicted. It is made, as it ought to be, a solemn business; and it is seldom found necessary to give more than three blows. We are not aware that it is, in this way, more liable to abuse than other punishments; and can the rules of a prison be more easily enforced, or with a less amount of suffering ?
In respect to that supervision which is necessary in all prisons, it is suflicient to say, that though in the Eastern Penitentiary the prisoner is always liable to inspection, he is not, like one who is at Auburn, or Sing Sing, or Charlestown, actually under the eye of an officer during the whole day. He does not know, to be sure, that he is not watched at any particular moment; but the Auburn prisoner knows that he is watched at every moment. It is supposed by Dr. Lieber, that the perpetual silence of the Auburn scheme cannot be enforced, though he brings no evidence to show it. But it so happens that the French commissioners themselves testify to the fact, that sounds can be communicated from cell to cell in the Philadelphia penitentiary. They say, that the emulation of two weavers was excited, by the sound of their looms, to work more and more rapidly. Now, if the sound of the shuttle can be heard, why not the sound of the voice? We know too, from other evidence, that of the Prison Discipline Society's Reports, that the voice may be heard from cell to cell. Is not equal watchfulness necessary there as at Auburn, and is it not more difficult to secure ?
If our views be just, the Philadelphia system is inferior to the other, in internal discipline; in economy, as well in first cost as in current expenses, and in the product of labor; in healthfulness both to the mind and the body; and, last and most important of all, in the means of instruction and of moral and religious influence. It has the advantage in one point only, namely, in the prisoner not being seen by any one but the
officers of the establishment; though the benefit of this will be small, if communication, as we believe, be practicable from cell to cell, by means of sound. We said at the outset, that this advantage might be purchased too dearly; and we now leave it to our readers to determine whether it be obtained at too great a sacrifice or not. Were there no other means of obtaining a similar advantage, we should still say, it was not worth all this; but we are satisfied that much greater benefit may be derived from an establishment, which has long been contemplated, for the reception of such prisoners, as are well disposed, yet cannot find the opportunity of redeeming their lost characters in the world, where they shall receive useful and respectable employment, good counsel, and friendly aid. As this institution is not yet ready to go into operation, we do not feel authorized to do more than allude to it, and express our hope soon to see it begun, and our conviction, that, under the guidance of those in whose hands it will probably be, it will be productive of inestimable benefits. In one respect, the establishment we contemplate will be greatly superior in its effect to the Eastern Penitentiary. The prisoner discharged thence must conceal his having been there ; and concealment is so nearly allied to deception, that we confess we have no great relish for it. Its effect on the individual is bad. We should prefer, what we hope we may yet live to see, the repentant criminal acknowledging his guilt before the world, and thus giving the most satisfactory evidence that his reformation is deep, sincere, thorough.
The single advantage we have admitted in the Philadelphia prison, is by no means the only one that has been claimed for it. It was for some time contended, that there were no recommittals there; and as long as only a small number of prisoners had been discharged, that was true. Now, however, there are as many in proportion as in the Auburn prisons. This was looked upon as one among many proofs of the powerful effect of the system on the character. All were reformed, and therefore none returned. Experience, however, has now shown, that not all, even of those who escape recommittal, are reformed; and the probability is, that as many are improved in their conduct and character by the Auburn system, as by that of Philadelphia. We say the probability, because we have not the means of ascertaining the point with accuracy. Again, we have to complain of want of information from the managers of the Philadelphia prison. They speak, in their
last Report, of the large number reformed, and the small number of the unimproved. They have, therefore, made inquiries and ascertained something about those discharged thence. Why do they not tell what they know ? Have they yet to learn that no plan can be sustained by concealment? It simply implies, that there is something to conceal; and the American people are prompt to draw inferences by no means favorable to what is thus screened. Facts, in minute detail, are what they want, and what, sooner or later, they always obtain. It is well when they are obtained from the right source, as they always have been from the Auburn prisons.
It bas been claimed for the Philadelphia system, also, that it is founded on a more philosophical theory than that of Auburn. This is a remark made by Messrs. de Beaumont and de Tocqueville (p. 53); but it is one which we acknowledge we do not understand. We should have said, on the other hand, that a system founded on a principle which is in opposition to man's nature, to the constitution given him by his Maker, as a social being, was less philosophical than one in which that constitution was in some degree regarded. “It is not good for man to be alone.” This is the first observation ever made on human nature, and it is as true now as the day the first man was created. Long-continued solitude is not suited to the dependent condition and nature of man; and the alternation of periods of united labor and undisturbed reflection, which is produced by the Auburn plan, strikes us as much the most philosophical, and likely in the end to be the most useful system. Again, at Philadelphia the prisoner's reflections are unguided to any better course than that in which his own dulness, ignorance, or vicious taste may lead him. No regular instruction or moral influence is prepared for him. Is this philosophical ? Is this religious? The Inspectors have already answered us. And with the suggestion of this point of comparison of the two systems, we are willing to leave the subject to the consideration of our readers, trusting we have said nothing in the discussion, which can be construed into unkindness to those from whom we differ, and that it will be obvious to others, as it is known to ourselves, that, in this matter, we seek merely for useful truth; that we do not desire “to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”
S. A. E.
ART. VII. – 1. Mirror of Calvinistic Fanaticism, or JEDE
DIAH BURCHARD & Co. during a Protracted Meeting of Twenty-six Days in Woodstock, Vermont. By Russell STREETER. Second Edition. Woodstock. 1835. 16mo.
2. Sermons, Addresses, and Exhortations, by Rev. Jede
DIAH BURCHARD ; with an Appendix, containing some Account of Proceedings during Protracted Meetings, held under his Direction, in Burlington, Williston, and Hinesburgh, Vermont, December, 1835, and January, 1836. By C. G. EASTMAN. Burlington : Chauncey Goodrich. 12mo. pp. 120.
We have been deterred from taking earlier notice of the first of the two publications mentioned above, partly by the unwelcomeness of the whole subject to our feelings, and partly by a general dissatisfaction with the manner and tone of the book itself. We do not mean, that the account is not drawn up with fairness and ability, or that we object to the full and free ex position, which the author has given, of the follies and extravagances he undertook to describe. But we can find no excuse for the occasional and unnecessary introduction, on his part, of stale jests and cant phrases, which do not a little to lower the dignity of the narrative, and must materially diminish its usefulness among readers of seriousness and taste. It is not that we are awed in the smallest measure by the cry of fanatics and disorganizers, that there is presumption in opposing and denouncing measures of theirs purporting to proceed from the Spirit of God. The presumption in this matter, if there is any, belongs rather to the ignorance or the effrontery of those who thus dare to put forward their personal or party schemes and devices, under the pretended sanction of a divine impulse. Nevertheless, as all deep and extensive religious excitements involve many of the purest characters, and give birth to feelings and exercises which are never to be adverted to but with tenderness and respect, we dislike to hear even the abuses sometimes attending them, spoken of except in terms of regret, and of evident, though it may be stern solemnity.
Mr. Eastman's book is not liable to objections on this score. It was, indeed, the intention of the publisher to give nothing but
VOL. XX.—30 s. VOL. II. NO. III. 50
a faithful and exact report of Mr. Burchard's discourses and exhortations; and engagements were accordingly entered into with a competent stenographer, to attend the meetings held by him, and take down his very words in short-hand. The Appendix grew out of the efforts of Mr. Burchard, and his friends, to frustrate this plan. What could have been their motives in attempting to frustrate it we are at a loss to conjecture, unless we suppose that they were either afraid or ashamed to let the truth be known, and chose rather that their measures, some of them at least, and their mode of urging them, should be as underhanded as they were extraordinary. Considered merely as a publisher's enterprise, it certainly could not have struck them as unprecedented, or even as uncommon, seeing, as they must have done in almost every newspaper, reports of speeches and discourses, obtained in a similar manner, where there was any thing in the nature of the subject or the occasion, or in the notoriety of the speaker, that was likely to give interest to the publication. The discourses of Elias Hicks were published in this way; Finney's Revival Lectures were also reported as delivered, and published by the Editor of the New York Evangelist. Effectually to obviate all objections grounded on an apprehension, that, in this particular case, the discourses would be garbled, or, at any rate, that Mr. Burchard would not share in the profits accruing from the publication of his own labors, Mr. Goodrich offered to put the manuscripts into his hands for correction, and also, if he would come into the proposed arrangement, to give him a fair compensation for the copyright. We do not see what more Mr. Goodrich could have done; or in what other way it was possible for the public to come into possession of the requisite materials for making up a deliberate and enlightened judgment respecting Mr. Burchard's peculiar measures, or, as he would have it, his “ peculiar manner of illustrating truth."
This man evidently owes most of the influence and notoriety he has obtained among Revivalists, to his having taken up the extravagances of his predecessors, and carried them out a little further. The agitators whom he has thus exceeded and supplanted are alarmed, it is true, or affect to be so, and watch all his motions with suspicion and jealousy ; but the same sort of people who once followed them, now follow him in preserence, and probably enough will next year leave him to follow somebody still more extravagant. It is the irremediable vice of the revival system, which, by making religion depend on