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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence.

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«.— To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…

To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…

To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…




LAW OF DEBTOR AND CREDITOR. To the Editor of the Monmouthshire Merlin. SItti As you inserted my last communication, I sub- mit the following continuation of the argument, under the con- viction of the importance of the subject itself; at the same time, in the hope that the attention of others more cap: ble, may be directed to it, of which 1 am conscientiously persuaded it is both susceptible and deserving-I purposely abstain from quoting the many passages from scripture, in support of my position, as these are too well known to need repeating. It is evident that the principle of the Bankrupt Laws, is opposed to that 01 Christianity, in as much as they, if not encourage, it least afford a pretext under the sanction of avithotity, for the non-foigiveness of injuries. If it be said that such a command is impracti- cable how monstrous is such an assertion,—If it be said it can be modified — how presumptuous,—If it he said it can be im- proved!—how profane. To argue for any of these objects is not to dream dreams, to indulge in the phantasies of a busy imagi- nation, or harmless apeculations—it is to convict us at once of the grossest dissimulation and hypociisy. Do we not profess to be Christians? No doubt we ALI. do, and is not Christianity the law of our iand ? Then it is indisputably clear, that laws which not only do not inculcate that of Christ, but, in their enactments,;aie diametrically opposed.to it, must be anomalous in a Christian country, and a violation of the principles of its faith. The advocates cf these laws appear to rest upon a point, common to all advocates in a bad cause, or one upon which their interests are supposed to defend-namelv, that these laws are necessaiy—unavoidable, or. in the modern, but less plain term, they are expedient—If they are just and wise, then are they expedient, and then only-and they are not so, consist- tently with the precepts of the gospel. Why then are they said to be expedient ? upon what should their expediency rest ? It should rest upon the safety and welfare of the whole commu- nity, or at least upon the whole of that portion of it wh:ch these laws more immediately concern. What evidence—what proof is brought forward to sustain theselaws? A lew merchants and traders of the city of London, have of late petitioned parliament to revise these laws, and to make them more stringent,—is this alone sufficient? Should we not take into consideration the wishes of those who make no complaints-who are contented to bear the losses of trade—who calculate these as certain and in- evitable, and regulate their profits accordlOgly? of those wbo without a whet-updesire to reap all the fair gainsof theirlabour, yet are still contented to look to something also besides mere pelf-of these, and they ate many, who take delight in the free exercise of that charity, of that forgiveness of injuries, which they themselves hope to receive when they, in their turn, are called upon to give an accoutitof theirstewardships 1 Shuuld these laws be chopped and changed, like the fashion of a garment upon the me'e petition of a few individuals, greedy and revenge- ful until they have the full penalty of their bond, and more too? —The law of debtor and creditor ought to be (if at all) the careful, deliberate, and charitable convtotion of the sense of the whole community, and nlilt the mere guess of the legislature, founded upon the representations of parties supposed to be the onlv parties concerned or interested in it. These parties allege that the law is necessary for the safety of Ihe oreditor, to check the rashness of the debtor, and so to lessen net loss of those engaged in business. To ascertain the truth of this allegation, the following questions must be ;mswered.- What is the aggregate amount of losses, as appears by the in- debtedness, deducting assets, of bankrupts, in a given time, say five years? What is the loss per cent. upon the debt of each creditor? To this per cent age AnD the cost of this law! of judges salaries, commissioners, barristers, attorneys, accouti- tants.c)erks,&c., &ic., and then see what the creditors have gained by their Christian legislation. But in order to have a fair average of the loss by trade generally, the whole amount of profit should be come at as near as may be, aud the whole amount of loss. This would show how JUtle need tiade hat of any bankrupt Jaw whatevet, and, there- fore, according to its own shorting, iTfat a whole eonurfiuiiiiy should not have such an outrage imposed upon it. As to the safety of the creditor. If the bankrupt law, or any other of human contrivance, could prevent improvidence, or reo strain imprudence in the creditor u well a8 the debtor, then such a law would be bencficial, but neither prevents any more than it cures these evils, as the law only comes into operation after and not before the injury has been committed, and this has been exemplified in many remarkable and well-known instances, oflate, where creditors have entirely repudiated the law, piefei- ring to leave their demands to the fair settlement of their debtors, than to have recourse to the imperfect, unsatisfactory, and expensive method, devised by the legislature, for the adjustment 01 their own private affairs. As to the punishment of fraud,—let the crimes of debtots be punished by the same courts, and by the same laws, which punish olher criminals, the law can only view them as such, and not as debtors only, whereas, the present system is founded upon the monstrous supposition that aU debtors are necessarily CRIMINALS. Your constant reader, S. M. Bradford, Wilts, 3rd July, 1849. ♦


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