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off to the Home Office, to be first. Mr. Phillips, the undersecretary, received the deputation, but told them, Lord Melbourne would not give them an audience, nor could their petition be presented, if accompanied by so great an assemblage. After the petition had been taken from its triumphal car, and carried away in a hackney coach, the procession moved onwards by Westminster Bridge to Kennington Common, whence a squadron of cavalry moved out of sight at their approach. The Unionists numbered about thirty thousand, since two hundred of them passed a given spot in a minute, and they took two hours and a half to pass.
Thus passed this Monday, the 21st of April, 1834, as passed a similar day and demonstration, on Monday, the 10th of April, 1848. Mr. Somerville says, he prevented any evil being done. Sir Frederick Roe, at the desire of Lord Melbourne, sent for him, and asked him to divulge more. He steadily refused. With the lights derived from the recent Chartist trials to help us, we suspect that, but for his prudence in acting as he did, Mr. Somerville might have found himself, if he had entered into this conspiracy, the victim of some government spies.
We have abridged the narrative, because we deem it instructive in several points of view.
1. Ever since the Restoration, the getting up of processions of large assemblages, upon pretexts of petitions, has been a trick of the oligarchical police. The disbanded soldiers of Oliver Cromwell were the first victims of it, as the Chartists are the most recent. These assemblages cause alarm, and the imaginations of spies are fertile enough to feed fear with suitable horrors.
2. Processions are admirably adapted for bringing popular privileges into contempt, especially the right of meeting and of petitioning. The conciliation of Humbly Sheweth,' is neutralized by an appearance of an attempt to bully a deliberative assembly, by a display of the brute power of numbers. The arguments of the petition address minds shut against them by alarm and by defiance.
3. When furthered by such means, the cause of the people is seen in connexion with the support--not of the best, but of the worst of its supporters. As a means of a display of the numbers of the men who adhere to any cause, these processions are foolish, for all the men of sense are sure to stay away.
At present, the right to hold open air meetings and processions is suppressed. Since the Restoration, numerously signed petitions have been allowed, but they are illegal. The consequences of monster petitions and monster demonstrations have been, that the people really have no legal and effectual way now
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of shewing their adherence to their principles. This is a fact of serious import in these times.
But we must part with our author. We do so with sincere admiration for his graphic powers of writing, and for his good sense in forming his views. But as a critic must have his snarl, we beg to ask him what right he has in these days, when everyone is half blind with reading, to publish an Autobiography without a table of contents, or an index?
Art. VII. – Memoirs of the Rev. John Smith, Missionary to Demerart.
By Edwin Angel Wallbridge. With a Preface, by the Rev. W. G.
We welcome the publication of these memoirs as an act of tardy justice to a persecuted and noble-minded man. They ought to have appeared many years since, and would, in substance, hare done so, had the religious public duly realized their responsibilities. It is well to review the past. While adapted, under some aspects, to elate, it serves, under others, to depress and mortify. We confess to the latter feeling in recalling the history of which this volume treats. There is much in it we could wish to have been otherwise; and while we rejoice in the justice now rendered, we regret that nearly quarter of a century has elapsed before the character of the martyr, John Smith, has been fully pourtrayed for the inspection of his countrymen. His career was brief,—his death tragical. He was a pioneer in the army of Christian philanthropists who sought the moral regeneration of the Negro race in our colonies; and his end bore witness against the slave system, and rerealed the implacable hostility of the white colonists to all who befriended the children of bondage. How has it happened,' we are ready to ask, that the memoirs of such a man remained to be published in 1818? How is it that prompt and ample justice was not rendered to his name—that the details of his missionary career were not instantly communicated to the British people, with such disclosures of the m er man,-his tenderness, his fidelity, his diligence, his intimate communion with the Father of Spirits, and his scrupulous evotion to the religious interests of his charge, as would have de justice to the individual, while it rindicated the bodr to ich he belonged?' We are perfeetly aware that much rss
done; that the government of the day, for instance, was memorialised, and that the genius of Henry Brougham, in its purest and brightest period, found appropriate occupation in denouncing, before the British parliament, the incarceration and murder of the martyr of Demerara. Of all this we are, of course, informed; yet we cannot divest ourselves of the impression, that there was a grievous failure on the part of the leaders of the religious world. They did not do for the memory of the individual what ought to have been done. The feeling throughout the country was intense and harrowing, but the measures adopted appeared to us then, and appear to us still, to have been selfish, timid, and short-sighted. Men were afraid to grapple with the real evil. The incubus of slavery was upon our leaders ; its corrupting influences were in our council chamber, and presided at our council board. Our men were afraid to let it be seen that there was an essential incompatibility between slavery and missionary operations. They sought to cloak the truth, and were not, therefore, sorry to let the wrongs of the individual slide out of public notice.
Some facts, howerer, were patent, and could not be forgotten. A Christian missionary had been persecuted to death. Every principle of English law had been violated; the safeguards devised by the experience of centuries for the protection of the accused, had been broken down; the ordinary forms of civil judicature were laid aside, and the highest functionaries joined with the lowest and most heated partizan, in hunting down the persecuted missionary. These facts were known throughout the country, and awakened a strong and universal feeling of indig. nation and disgust. Some measures were, of course, adopted by the missionary authorities at home, and they sufficed to repel the tide of calumny which had set in against the missionary class. Nay, they went further than this, and showed that the martyred missionary, who had been denounced as a fomentor of rebellion,-a plotter of servile war, was a man of untainted morals, of inoffensive demeanour, peaceful in his spirit, and absorbed in his religious vocation. But here they stopped, and, in doing so, they failed to discharge their duty to their martyred brother, and to meet the crisis which had arisen. The truth of the matter is, that the religious public were not then prepared to face their obligations. They talked of slavery as a civil institute, entered into a compromise with its abettors, and, while indignant at the treatment of Mr. Smith, continued to enjoin their missionaries to abstain from interfering with what was termed, in the equivocal language of those days, the domestic institutions of the colonies.
'It appears,' said the dying missionary, in his last letter to the directors,--and his words throw a melancholy light on the ritiated state of feeling then prevalent, -as if the directors have some apprehensions of its having been possible that I have diverted my mind, in some measure, from the real object of my mission, and entered into a correspondence and connexion with some of those societies which are formed for the gradual abolition of slavery. I can assure the directors that this is not the case, no letter or correspondence of the kind ever having occurred between me and any society.
Conciliation was still the order of our councils. A timid and stolid policy was persisted in, until the Jamaica insurrection broke up the unholy compact, by reducing our missionary committees to the alternative of abandoning their West India stations, or of denouncing the inherent wickedness of slavery. So strong was the feeling to which we advert, that, had it been possible to silence William Knibb, the same course would have been persisted in to this day. Happily, he was equal to the crisis, and his fortitude decided the case. Missionary directors were compelled, for very shame, to bestir themselves, when William Knibb-a noble embodiment of the hero character-avowed his determination, come what would, to make known the wrongs of the Negroes to the British people. But we recur to the memoirs before us.
The volume is introduced by Mr. Barrett, whom we are happy to meet in such a service. His brief preface is ably written, and triumphantly shows, in concurrence with the evidence of all other impartial witnesses, that the Emancipation Act has been productive of a larger measure of good than was even predicted. 'I assert,' he says, “in calm confidence, as an eye-witness, and as having lived in Jamaica and British Guiana many years, and as one who has visited and obtained information from most of the other islands, that the moral and religious results of emancipation have far exceeded our most sanguine expectations. Those of our readers—should there be such-who entertain any doubt on this point, will do well to read attentively Mr. Barrett's preface. He does not disguise his conviction of the sinister arts which are employed to mar the working of abolition, or of the delusive statements and false charges by which it is attempted to mislead the British public. For a brief period these arts may be partially successful, but we have no fear for the issue. A vigilant eye is directed to our western colonies, and so soon as danger is apprehended, the British people will be summoned again into the field to complete the work of mercy. The me. moirs introduced by Mr. Barrett are written by a fellow-missionand now in Guiana. No apology is needed for the style or arrangement of the volume, which is written with considerable
taste, and displays throughout the strong and clear convictions of an earnest and sympathising mind. It has been penned,' the author informs us, amidst the daily and multifarious labours and cares of a mission station. It has been written in Demerara, for the people of Demerara : it is intended mainly, though not exclusively, for the freedmen' of this colony, and their children.
Mr. Smith was born at Rothwell, in Northamptonshire, on the 27th June, 1790. His father was slain in an engagement between the English and French in Egypt, and his mother being left in very straitened circumstances, he was mainly indebted to a Sunday-school for his early education. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a Mr. Blunden, of London, who, perceiving that his education had been neglected, kindly offered to instruct him.' His progress under so indulgent a tutor was rapid, but the early part of his London life was not distinguished by any indications of a religious character. Referring afterwards to this period, he says, 'It pleased God in the course of his providence to remove me to London. The charms of the metropolis, the evil insinuations of my new associates, and the wicked propensities of my depraved heart, soon almost entirely effaced the good impressions I had received at the Sunday. school.
His early impressions, however, were re-awakened in 1809, but the calmness and good hope of religion were not known till the following year, when a sermon preached by Dr. Leifchild, from Isaiah lv. 6, 7, led him to apprehend the remedial character of the Christian system. “It dispelled,' he says, ' my fears, it eased my conscience, and gave me confidence in the mercy of God. Scepticism may smile at what it deems religious enthusiasm, and hypocrisy may assume the garb, and talk the language of piety, but ten thousand facts attest the integrity of that great moral change which we term conversion. It is easy to mystify and to sneer at it, but the laws of an inductive philosophy must be discarded before its reality is disproved. Its phenomena in the present case were clearly developed, and became features of permanent character. Mr. Smith abandoned his vain and sinful pleasures, found delight in the religious occupations of the Sunday, became a regular attendant on public worship, asssociated himself with the church assembling at Tonbridge Chapel, and undertook the unostentatious and self-denying labours of a Sabbath-school. His punctuality, diligence, and good sense, won the confidence of his associates, while his efforts at self-improvement were rewarded by a rapid accumulation of useful knowledge. His exhortations,' we are told, 'to the Sabbath-school children were so serious and impressive, that it was evident he