now just as much as in the time of Noah
You say the jury had acquitted the man; but what are the jury to me?
I know he was guilty.
God's command to me is that I should kill him; I have killed him. Take my life if you dare!
You are disobeying the divine commandment!”
Suppose he should say this, how would you meet it?
Where could you impeach his argument upon the doctrine maintained here?
That is a command addressed to every individual.
There was no sheriff then; no county courts; no government; no legislation.
There were but six or seven men on the face of the earth, and God promulgated a law. It was addressed to every human being, and it was to be obeyed.
It is universally recognized in the Old Testament in the sense I have stated, and it was exercised in that sense for fifteen hundred years. Where is the exception, gentlemen, to that?
If the gentlemen who have appeared before you against the abolition of the death penalty will stand on that statute, so will we. Let us see what sort of a government you will produce.
Whenever a man has taken life, the nearest of kin of the murdered person will avenge him, according to his own idea, and government has no right to interfere.
“Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”
Not “whosoever means
to shed;” not “whosoever maliciously
sheddeth;” “sheddeth with malice aforethought, malice prepense
;” --but “whosoever sheddeth
Now we make a distinction,--we say the man who kills in hot blood, or unawares, is guilty only of manslaughter; we must have malice aforethought to constitute the crime of murder.
We draw the line; in the time of Noah
it was not drawn.
Is this legislature ready to obey this statute, and annul the distinction between murder and manslaughter?
Is it ready to make it the law of the Commonwealth
, that whosoever takes