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The Furnace of AfflictionPrisons and Religion in Antebellum America$
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Jennifer Graber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834572

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877838_graber

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Furnace of Affliction, 1805–1823

The Furnace of Affliction, 1805–1823

(p.47) 2 The Furnace of Affliction, 1805–1823
The Furnace of Affliction

Jennifer Graber

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on an anonymous dialogue published in Sword of Justice, Wielded by Mercy. It was between Newgate prison inspectors and an inmate about to be released. Reflecting on the sentence he served and punishments he endured, the prisoner quotes from the book of Proverbs: “I experienced the truth of the declaration that ‘judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the backs of fools.’” In response to the inmate's reference to the whip, the inspectors explain that they found it “painful” to administer such severe sanctions. The convict assures them, however, that he understands their position, that stripes were “inflicted in mercy” and “designed for my good.” Acknowledging the inmate's contrition, the inspectors offer “forgiveness of [his] trespasses.” Before venturing out into the city, the ex-convict replies: “I accept pardon as a gift from heaven.”

Keywords:   anonymous dialogue, Newgate prison inspectors, book of Proverbs, contrition, ex-convict, pardon

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