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was the conviction, that, if he should not be fortunate enough to merit either the premium which has been since awarded to him, or that of twenty-five pounds, to be adjudged to the second successful Essay, yet the course of investigation in which he was engaged, closely connected as it was with his professional pursuits, would itself amply repay him for all his toil.
It is true, that, since the award of the premium, an opportunity has been afforded of revising the Essay in its progress through the press, but the Author has not deemed himself at liberty to make any material alterations in it, lest he might disturb those features of it (whichever they may have been) that received the stamp of approbation.
That the subject of the Essay is interesting and important, need hardly be remarked: it is an examination of the doctrines maintained in relation to the nature of the matrimonial crime, and the matrimonial bond as affected by it, by that authority from which the institution of marriage itself emanated, and by which, therefore, all other and inferior legislation should be guided. If, on this part of the subject, he would not pretend to the merit
of originality, he yet would hope to appear so to have availed himself of the best lights reflected upon it, as not to involve himself in the charge of a criminal carelessness. And, with regard to the other parts of his subject, which trace historically the ancient punishment of the matrimonial crime, it must be remembered, that, although they comprise many disgusting details, and although, in some respects, little comparative utility may result from them, yet he could not escape from the investigation.
If in commenting, however cautiously, on the penal laws of his own country, in relation to this subject, he may have rendered himself liable to censure, and the imputation of presumption, he does not err alone, and therefore gladly avails himself of the protecting shelter which is cast around him by the example of some great men, and the. sanction derived to himself by the award in the Diocese of St. David's.
INTRODUCTION to the Essay
Regulations of the Mosaic Law, and the Customs
of the Ancient Hebrews
1. In reference to Adultery :
16 17 21 ib.
2. The Hebrew Laws and Customs in reference to
The Laws and Customs of OTHER NATIONS.