Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

11 articles on this Page







[No title]


, POETRY. —«S*>j




HINTS TO JUDGES. N THE Sermon which was preached at the Ca- thedral of York on Sunday week last, before the Judges of the Northern Circuit, by the Rev. Sydney Smith, has caused a good deal of con- versation. The following extracts ought to be I rung in the ears of our J udges at every Assize Se.inon. "A Christian Judge, in a free land, should with the most scrupulous, exactness, guard him- self liom the influence of those party feelings upon which, perhaps, the preservation of politi- cal liberty depends, but by which the better rea- son of individuals is often blinded, and the tran- quillity of the public disturbed. In a free land, he should not only keep his mind clear from the violence of party feeling, but he should be verv careful to preserve his independence, by seeking no promotion, and asking no favours from those who govern or, at least, .(which is an experi- ment not "without danger to his salvation) to be so thoroughly confident of his motives and his conduct, that he is certain the hope of favour to come, or gratitude for favour past, will never cause him to swerve from the strict line of duty. It is often the lot of the J udge to be placed, not only between the accuser and the accused, not only between the complainant and him against whom it is complained, but between the govern- ors & the governed, between the people and those w I I osel 'til commands the people are bound to obey. In these sort of contests it unfortunately happens that the rulers are sometimes as angry as the ruled the whole eyes of a nation are fixed upon one man, and upon his character and con- duct the stability and happiness of the times seems to depend. The best and firmest Magistrates C,1I1110t tell how they may act under such circum- stances, but every man may prepare himself for acting well under such circumstances, by che- i iriiuog that quiet feeling' of independence which removes every tempiaiion to act ill. Everyman may avoid putting himself in a situation where his hopes of advantage are on one side, and his sense'of duty on the other: such a temptation may be withstood, but it is better it should not be encountered. Far better that feeling which saYs, "1 have vowed a vow before God; I have put on. the robe of Justice; farewell avarice, farewell ambition: pass me who will, slight me who will, I live henceforward only for the great duties of life; my business is on earth, my hope I.. audmy reward are in God." There may be, there probably is in this Church, some young man who may hereafter fill the office of an English Judge, when the greater part of those who hear me are dead, and mingled with the dust of the grave. Let him remember my words, and let them torm and fashion his spirit; he cannot tell in what dangerous and awful times he may be placed; hut as a mariner looks to h;s compass in the cahn, and looks to his compass in the storm, and never keeps his eyes off his compass, so in every vi- cissitude of a judicial life, deciding for the people, deciding against the people, protecting the just • -glits of Kings, or restiaiiiing their unlawful ambition, let "him even cling to that pure, ex- alted, and christian independence, which towers over the little motives of life which no hope of favour can influence, which no effort of power can control. May I add the great importance in a udge, of courtesy to all men, and that he should, on all occasions, abstain from unnecessary bitterness and asperity of speech. A Judge al- ways speaks with impunity, and always with effect. His words should be weighed, because they entail no evil upon himself, and much evil upon others. The language of passion, the lan- guage of sarcasm, the language of satire is not, on such occasions, Christian language; it is not the language of a Judge. When Magistrates, under the mask of law, aim at the offender more the offence, and are more studious of in- flicting pain than repressing error or crime, the office suffers asjnueh as the Judge; the respect for justice is lessened and the school of pure reason becomes the hatred theatre of mischievous passion."