Puslapio vaizdai

tative, in the first reformed House of Commons. He declined the honour, although by no means uninterested in political movements, in popular principles, and the enfranchisement of the people. He did not abuse the world but he used it; and had the happiness of being led to find his highest pleasure in the doing of good.

otherwise, we believe him to have been a cool and unima- | Finsbury, that they wished to elect him as their represenginative person. He had not the slightest romantic idea in his character. That idea which occupied and filled his mind was this-the world will be made happier by the increased infusion of Christianity. He then set himself to work out his idea. To teach, there must be teachers; and he never abandoned the academy for teachers, until his dying day. But those who teach must have some organised system. A congregation must have a place of meeting; and Mr. Wilson employed the resources of a considerable fortune, in purchasing and building places of worship, in the leading towns of almost every English county, in many rural districts, and in the metropolis. His biography is written by his son, who says at page 326 :—

One hundred Thomas Wilsons, during the first half of this century, would have entirely changed the state of society. They would have revolutionized England by the most unexceptional means. The importance and necessity of securing England does never seem to have been impressed on the religious world," which is quite satisfied by a lodgment in Britain. It seeketh not, at least it seeks not effectually, to make the country all its own. "I consider this practical exemplification of a noble It leaves spots of great magnitude, like the dark spots spirit of Christian enterprise, in erecting three large on the sun's surface, but only of more comparative imchapels, almost entirely at his own expense, in less than ten years, at a cost of upwards of £25,000, as the great portance. It recognises, but does not perform, its duty fact in my father's life, and specially worthy of honour- in these waste places. It sends few messengers to reable memorial. It is, I believe, unique and unexampled claim the vicious in our large towns. It knows, and -at least I know of no similar case on record. The has become accustomed to know without surprise, and reader may also be reminded, that he not merely ad-only with the smallest possible shade of regret, that in vanced large sums of money-altogether resigning all claim to interest, and uncertain what portion of the prin- every large town there are districts where thousands live ciple might be returned-of which, in fact, only about and die in the most complete and perfect ignorance, in four-fifths were ultimately repaid, by yearly instalments, the most abject misery, and the most crushing destitution. and not the whole of that during his life; the work also To them it scarcely ever speaks the words of love and involved time, thought, strenuous mental exertion, patient waiting, and for some years, to a considerable extent at kindness. It does not recognise the sin-struck man or least, "the care of all the churches." woman as a brother or a sister of humanity. It takes not the sorrowing sinner by the hand to lead him or her back again into all truth. It goes but little on the highways or the byeways of the world to seek and save the lost. It leaves often those who are more sinned against than sinning, to perish in the hideous whirlpools of pollution, whose waters lave the very doorsteps of its How few are its agents who are sent even to churches. those densely-peopled quarters of our large towns, where ill rewarded industry herds with immorality, not of choice, but from necessity, until it degenerates into "vice :"-the doomed quarters-the "St. Giles," the "Liberties," and the "Briggates." Even those who are sent, generally perform their work in an unskilful way. A tract to a person perishing from want, is mockery alone; though it might be mercy if properly accompanied. We grant, indeed, that this truth is now not merely acknowledged, The ragged but adopted practically to some extent. schools, and schools of industry, are its practical acknowledgments. They are admissions of the theory, that we must not only teach but act.

Mr. Wilson's subscriptions to country churches were frequently made absolute, but sometimes in the form of loans without interest, which were often written off altogether and always accepted only in part. Looking over the pages of this volume, in which all his benefactions are not recorded; the sums expended on religious purposes appear immense. His life was virtually passed in organizing new agencies; in saving old and weak congregations in devising, in planning, and in executing, by whatever means were presented, schemes for promoting the moral and spiritual enlightenment of the people. It is impossible to estimate the benefits to society, of which this man was the apparent author. The spiritual good belongs to another class-the secular improvement is manifest to all. Aiming at the higher, he could not miss the lower object. The fruit of all his works, when ripening for eternity, began to be gathered in time. The pleasure and the peace shed on his own heart by his manner of life, was infinitely purer and greater, even here, than all the gratification that the most unbounded outlay on personal objects could have afforded. We have his own rule of life for accomplishing his objects, in the advice he tendered to a young minister in whom he was interested.

[ocr errors]

If we abandon no luxury, if we sacrifice no sensual indulgence, if we never deny ourselves that we may bless others, if we only bestow absolute superfluities upon the cause of God and the claims of the destitute, we neither rise to the elevation of evangelical beneficence, nor do what is required for the mortification of inordinate affection."

The "religious world" concede, we believe, that sacrifices in it, and for its purposes are very rare. We doubt even if the subject of this memoir made sacrifices. He lived in the utmost comfort and respectability, occupying, even in London, so considerable a place in the estimation of his fellow-citizens of

We have two biographical volumes in addition to that which we have already quoted. The first contains the life of Dr Yates and Mr Pearce, both well known in connexion with the Baptist mission in India. The second, the life of Mr Knibb, whose name is so closely associated with the recollections of negro emancipation; we believe that both Yates and Knibb fell into their right place. The first was a most accomplished scholar; the second an earnest man, of great natural eloquence. tions by Dr Yates are monuments of his industry and The name of the second is written on the learning. records of the basest and the noblest deeds connected with our nation. They were both English artizans in early life, and evangelists in maturer years. Dr Yates, who was undoubtedly one of the first of Oriental linguists, had previously been one of the best of boot and shoemakers.

The transla

William Knibb was a letter-press printer. William Yates | 1845, had accomplished in a short life-forty-two years was born on the 15th December 1792; he died on board -more than many who, beginning with the highest adship while crossing the Red sea, on the 3d July 1845, in vantages, sleep on for four-score years. The length of the 53d year of his life-a short life to achieve so much, life is often measured on wrong principles. We apply that from a shoemaker's apprentice he rose to be one of the towards the estimate more frequently the line of years most useful Oriental scholars; of whom it was truly said, than the measurement of work. Men have died at ninety "As a scholar he was remarkable, not only for the soli- who were mere infants in work; and others have been dity and extent of his learning, but also for his talent to taken from the world whose heads were grey with labour turn it to good account. In Sanscrit, I believe, he was earlier even than William Knibb. equal to the most celebrated. His Bengalce Bible, I have little doubt, will gradually become the standard of the language. He equally excelled in Urdu (or Hindostanee), and his introduction to that language has long been a standard work. Hindoo, Persian, and Arabic, he was familiarly acquainted with. The knowledge he thus possessed he applied to the advancement of Christian and general science in India. Simplicity, humility, and firmness, were his prominent characteristics." His biographer, Dr. Hoby, gives the following account of this great man's death, at page 338:

"After leaving the fantastic rocks of Aden, and the romantic but desolate scenery of Arabia Felix, they passed through the Straits, which as the name Babel Mandel signifies, proved indeed the "Gate of Affliction" to the dying man. With a burning sun, and the very waves of the Red Sea as hot as the sultry atmosphere, existence became insupportable. Once or twice, when an attempt was made to admit air, a sea broke in upon the expiring saint, who was compelled, therefore, to endure the suffocating heat. At length, exactly a month after he came on board, the struggle terminated, the voyage of life was ended, and the haven of eternal rest gained, before this first part of the voyage home was completed. The ship was still three days from Suez, in lat. 199 N. long. 39° E., when, on the third of July, the exhausted sufferer fell asleep in Jesus.

"There was a time when a learned missionary, the devoted Carey, was ejected from a British ship, with contumely, as if her very planks would have been contaminated, had he continued to tread her deck. Surely the change produced in one half century should call forth the adoring gratitude of the church of God! His successor in the great work of translating the Holy Scriptures, dying at sea, received the most honourable interment the circumstances allowed. A coffin was prepared-the flag lowered-the funeral service was read by a brother missionary-as many of the crew as could be spared were assembled the officers and passengers generally joined in the selemn act, while the untiring engines ceased their giant labours, and unimprisoned vapour escaped free as the spirit which had fled. Thus were the precious remains committed to the sea-the wave parted for a moment, and as the liquid grave deepened, gently did the displaced waters still lower and lower close over the descending corpse, till, embedded in the sands, it found its final resting place. A moment more, and when all trace of gurgling had disappeared, the wheels revolved, and again the vessel moved on her majestic course! Thus mortals sink in death, the tide of life rolls over them, and all the world's activity proceeds, as if no such event had happened!"

We freely admit that both the men, whose lives are narrated in these volumes were in their proper places. We doubt if they could have been so useful in any other position. Neither with them, nor with "the religious world," have we a murmur to make for the locality of the posts which they sought and were assigned. The statements and reasons adduced by their biographers for the choice of labour made by them are becoming so common, and, on our principles, are so erroneous, that we are induced to quote them.

we have little to take.

extract of a letter to a

From the life of William Knibb

At page 27, we find the following friend :

"I believe I stated in my last, that the Committee of the Baptist Mission were then deciding as to the propriety of accepting me as a missionary, to fill up the place vacated by the decease of my beloved brother. The result of the decision is, that I am speedily to prepare to leave the shores of Britain, and to sail for Kingston; and I am now learning the Lancasterian system of education, as a prerequisite for this important station. The instruction of the young will form the major part of my employment, which exactly accords with the feelings of my heart; and I hope that, if consistent with the will of God, should my existence be protracted, I may be the instrument of turning many children from darkness into light, and from the power of Satan unto God. It is pleasing to feel an assurance that all our times are in his hand, and all our concerns under his control."

From this extract it will be observed that the writer was fond of teaching, and likely, therefore, to prove a successful teacher. From page 32 we quote a passage which shows that he was highly esteemed as a teacher by his students, and that is another element of success :—

[ocr errors]

"A cluster of small but illustrative incidents require to be just mentioned here. One is, that he had lately in consequence of a letter which he had written to her. been informed of the conversion of his twin sister Ann, A second is, that a subscription being necessary for the hire of a new room for preaching at Brick Street, the friends insisted on his writing something to put at the head of the collecting-book.' A third is, that he had a very affecting partiny at Stapleton with his Sunday scholars who clung round him," says Dr. Ryland, "WITH TEARS, and told him he must not leave them." livered an address to the children of the Baptist and InAnother is, that on his farewell visit to Kettering, he dedependent Sunday schools, with about two hundred spectators. It has, perhaps, an evidence that the spirit of his mission was on him, that on this occasion (to use his own words) he felt himself more comfortable than in London, one of the secretaries of the Bethel Union inany former exercise,' The last is, that in the streets of invited him to take out a Bethel flag," to which," he says, I consented, and I hope soon to have it hoisted at Port Royal."

Honour was due to the memory of the missionary. Ile had served the cause of man; he had proclaimed truth the midst of darkness; and, by his solid scholarship, had opened the books of India to England, and the literature of Britain to the people of the East.

William Knibb was a man of humble attainments, but of vast moral courage; a noble love of liberty, and an earnest determination in helping its extension, even to the most oppressed and degraded. He was born on the 7th September, 1893; and, dying on the 15th December,

[ocr errors]

When William Knibb went to Jamaica, he had manifested no symptoms of the spirit that was within him. Ile was the man for Jamaica; but a prophet alone, amongst men, could have asserted so much with any propriety. He does not even seem to have dreamed of his own powers. The position of a teacher bounded his am

words mean this, if they have any intelligible meaning. Upon this principle the religious world have been acting. The outcast home population has been neglected. Many of them have been sinking in mental degradation and material circumstances. Ignorance has been gaining its lost ground. Vice has been shooting forth and flourishing in the most scandalous and almost unprecedented forms. But during all this time the religious world, like Dr. Hoby, has been giving a decided preference to foreign missions.

bition; he never proposed to become an agitator-an ef- | home, in the proclamation of the Gospel. Dr. Hoby's fective agitator—a Christian agitator. At that time, therefore, to himself and to others, teaching seemed his business. That was his gift. It had been exercised to advantage at Stapleton. The children loved him. They clung round him. They wept for him. They supplicated him not to leave them. He left, and we read not that his successor occupied the same place in their affections, or was, therefore, likely to be so efficient. What we ask of the religious world and religious men is, why leave English children untaught, and send missionaries, or emigrate, to teach Negro children? Does not Norfolk, with its five hundred parishes, parish churches, and ministers, need teachers-missionaries, if they may be so named-when we are told in the minutes of the Committee of Council on Education, that in these parishes

Very few of either sex can read or write. An opinion prevails that those who remain of the preceding generation more commonly possessed those acqisitions. A femule has officiated as clerk in a parish for the last two years, none of the adult males being able to read. In another parish the present clerk is the only man in the rank of a labourer who can read. In another of 400 souls, when the present school was established two years ago, no labourer could read or write A Dissenting minister, addressing a small congregation, was lately interrupted by a cry of Glory be to your name?" He immediaty repressed the cry, explaining that such language could be used only to the Deity. The answer was, Then, glory be to both of you!" "This," says the Inspector, "I have too much reason to believe is a characteristic fact, the suppression of which would therefore disguise the truth."

[ocr errors]

The lamentable details, recently published, regarding the deep and desperate ignorance existing, in many parts

both of Britain and Ireland, should suffice to show the necessity for the multiplication of good teachers in this country, and that here, at home, is one of the most necessitous mission fields.

[ocr errors]

Dr. Yates himself laboured under the same error, for when a young man, we learn that—


"His services at Olney proved, however, so acceptable to the people, that many shortly afterwards expressed themselves very warmly in favour of his remaining permanently in that situation. Some expectation of an invitation to that import, led him to write, If such a thing shonld happen, it would have no effect upon me.' He admitted, indeed, that his own pleasure and satisfaction in the work there were great, because, he said, "I know that there I am doing good, and, if I was disposed to stay in England certainly there is no place at which I should better like to be fixed; but I do not think it is my duty to stay, consequently, I must go.' Arrangements were accordingly proceeded with for an ordination service at Leicester, solemnly to set him apart to the work to which he seemed to be so eminently calle d.'

We do not know that Olney was so thoroughly Christianised, such an enlightened and happy village, and the people in all the country round so well informed and instructed, that there was no work to do for a man gifted with the energy of Dr. Yates. led to the right place, but not, as stated by himself, from

We concede that he was

the right motive-although he seems to have taken a Scriptural view of the matter; and if his train of reasoning was incorrect, it brought him, nevertheless, to a happy conclusion.

[ocr errors]

"After arriving at Portsea, he found that, but for a slight occurrence, the Earl Moira would have put to sea without him, as the captain must have accompanied the convoy. Contrary winds, however, detained them from 11th October to the 24th. During this period he wrote a farewell letter to his parents. He had, in a former letter, silenced their objections, by reminding them, Christ says,'"Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to If you every creature." Shall I obey, or shall I not? can answer for me at the day of judgment, I would gladly stay at home and oblige you; but with my views of duty, if I stay at home, what comfort can I have in my own mind, and what success can I expect in my ministry?'"

In the life of Dr. Yates the preference to be shown for foreign missions is pressed as a duty. In reference to the early life of that eminent man we are told at page 22:"A small society of students was now formed, and many an hour of sweet and sacred fellowship was spent in their respective studies, in conference and prayer, which served to fan the flame of sacred love, and confirm the purpose of self-consecration. Among topics of discussion at these meetings were the relative claims of home and of heathen countries, upon those servants of Christ who proposed to act upon the commission, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' Many What we have to say of this argument is, that if good profess to find in these words a cogent authority for for Mr. Yates, then a young man, it would seem to be entering upon the work of the Christian ministry; but, good for every human being, or at least for every young upon what principle the intention to labour at home, as pastors and teachers, should be almost universally che- preacher and teacher, and this country would be left destirished, it is almost difficult to say. At Bristol there was tute of religious teaching altogether. The error in the argua growing tendency to weigh the claims of a perishing ment arises, like many other errors, froin an omission in world in connexion with those of home. In the minds of the quotation, or rather from omitting the duty of comnot a few an opinion was formed, the reverse of that which had obtained previously. It had always been as-paring it with parallel passages, and forgetting the words sumed that a preacher should enter upon his work in his native land, except some strong irrepressible desire impelled him to preach the gospel to the heathen; but this sentiment yielded to a conviction, in some minds at least, that, on the contrary, it was rather incumbent to be well satisfied that Divine Providence hedged up a man's way as to missionary work, before he ought to content himself with an ordinary opening at home."

The sum of this statement is, in other words, that a decided preference should be given to heathen lands over

"beginning at Jerusalem." It is a scriptural principle, that a man's first duty is due to his own household, his own neighbourhood, and his own country. This regulation and systematising of duty has been utterly neglected; and, not merely home, but colonial and foreign instruction has suffered in consequence. Multitudes have grown up in this country in a state of brutal ignorance. Their souls are theoretically reckoned at the same value with other souls. Practically "the religious world” has

and claim a higher place than a descendant of the leaders of banded slaves in the dark centuries. Such claims will soon be more readily acknowledged.

desk and the warehouse. It has frequently been re

counted them worth little or nothing. Practically it seems to have doubted if they had souls. Our faith has had no home energy. It has propagated only in distant lands, and slowly there. "Slowly there," because a dreadful error His early years were devoted to business, and his eduhas been committed. The class who are the most gene- cation was consequently not more liberal than was consirous givers, when instructed and enlightened, have beendered, at the close of the last century, sufficient for the neglected. The class from whom our soldiers are recruited, and our navies are manned, have been left wit-marked, that classical literature has not any tendency to nesses against our religion. For every missionary sent out by "the religious world" to teach our system, the "State" has sent a hundred to proclaim its inefficiency, as restraining intelligent and civilising truth. Some little attention has been given to the education of "females in India" by many who have done nothing for the education of females in England, Scotland, and Ireland, though the ignorance of the last has a direct, obvious, and apparent bearing in retarding the conversion of the first, and far distant and evil-entreated class.


We return again to Mr. Wilson's memoir. sionally in the work we come on instructive passages as when the author writes, as he does repeatedly, of "the Wilson family"—the family of which Thomas Wilson read a genealogical statement when invited by a scion of the house-one of the merchants and aldermen of London, who has passed the chair, to some of the festive meetings during his mayoralty. The Wilson family "reminds one of the Percy family," or "the Douglas family," "the Stewart family," or "the House of the Tudors," merely by contrast. "The Wilson family" has no claims corresponding to those of the great aristocratic houses. There is no lustre shed over it, by reflection, from the red spot that marks a terrible crime. There is no bloody hand on its banners. Its fortunes were not founded in any great robbery. It did not even raise from the corner stones of some noble daring deed of unalloyed patriotism—an edifice blurred over by many dark crimes in ages of oppression and tyranny, and exhibiting the Mosaic work in its history of intermingled vice and virtue—a curious blending of the love of liberty with the practice of oppression. "The Wilson family,"

purify the mind. The characteristics of its heroes are likely to have a different result; and most of the works submitted to boys at academies, and young men at colleges, might be advantageously weeded. Something has been done for that object; but the editions formerly used were fitting subjects for the Society for the Suppression of Vice.

From the following extract, we learn that the son has no reason to consider his father a loser, by the want of a classical education.

"He might also be indebted, in part, for the purity of his youthful imagination, to his yet more happy ignorance of the licentious and abominable deeds ascribed to the important than to preserve untainted the native delicacy heathen gods and goddesses. If nothing can be more of the youthful mind, nothing, surely, can be more injurious than to initiate boys at a tender age into all the mysteries of the ancient heathen mythology, and to acquaint them with the absurdities and impurities of the Pantheon. He might, indeed, in future life, labour under some disadvantages in consequence of his unclassical education; but any such disadvantages were amply compensated. If those justly-admired models did not refine his taste, and stimulate his youthful fancy, by their beautiful descriptions of natural objects and scenery-if they did not correct and polish his style by their finished specimens of composition, and replenish his memory with their ample store of moral maxims—a greater predominance of imagination, a more close attention to the graces and elegancies of diction and writing, might only have diverted him, in subsequent years, from his great prac tical business. Nor did he sustain any serious loss from unacquaintance with the moral codes and aphoristic precepts of the heathen philosophers and poets, since he had known, from a child, those holy Scriptures, which were not only able to make him wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus; but are also profitable for all the purposes of moral instruction and practical wisdom, as well as for reproof and correction, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.'

at least in this branch, traced their origin to John Wilson of Stenson, in Derbyshire, an honest farmer, who occupied a small freehold and a farm that had been "in the family" for several generations, and who, exactly a hunHe had advantages which no other classical nor outj dred years ago—a hundred years on the 25th of May-of-door instruction can compensate for. left Stenson, which he was never to see again, on a ourney to London, with his son Thomas, the fifth of churches-borrowed, I believe, from our American bre"The modern custom, introduced in many of our eleven children. On his return homeward-for a jour-thren-of communicating scriptural instruction in Bible ney from London to Derbyshire was not then as now classes, is, in my humble opinion, a more excellent the work of a few hours-John Wilson became very ill and died at Leicester. It may be worthy of remark that the father and son left Stenson, in Derbyshire, on the 25th, and reached London about the 30th." The same journey, after reaching the Midland Counties Railway, would now require as many hours. Thomas Wilson, the son, emigrated to the West Indies in 1749; but returning in 1752, he commenced business as a ribbon manufacturer in Coventry, along with some other members of his family, and they were all enriched in the pursuit of their profession; but the wealth they have acquired has been largely applied to public purposes, especially in connexion with the propagation of the Gospel. No reason exists, therefore, why a descendant of "the Wilson family" should not be pleased with his connexion

way' than the method of teaching them to repeat human catechisms, which, however generally accordant they may be with the oracles of God, and one, at least, in very general use, is not entitled even to this praise, are but "the words which man's wisdom teacheth." The great thing needed in order to the raising up of a godly seed, who shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation, isthat from their childhood, they be taught the Holy Scriptures in those words which the Holy Spirit has indited, and which are able to make them wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. This good work, so far as it can be carried on in schools and classes, does not surely belong exclusively to ministers. What work can be more appropriate for devout and devoted women, especially pious matrons, than to be teachers of babes, the babes of those who are themselves ignorant and uninformed in the very principles of the oracles of God? But, certainly, this must be considered as the peculiar, imperative, and indispensable duty of enlightened

Christian parents, especially of mothers, who are called by God to be the religious teachers of their own offspring at a tender age. How few men have risen to eminence in the Church of Christ, who have not been trained and tutored in their early youth by mothers in whom dwelt the same unfeigned faith, which Lois and Eunice were honoured to be the instruments of communicating, through the Holy Scriptures, to the future evangelist, when he was a child!"

In after life, he was not from these circumstances induced to undervalue education. That life indeed was given to its promotion. In guiding, as he really guided the Academy of which he was treasurer, he endeavoured to raise an improved and more comprehensive standard of education; and we find his name recorded amongst the carliest supporters of the London University.

[ocr errors]

'Although my father's own advantages of education in his early life had not been of a superior kind, yet he was neither insensible to the value and importance, nor indifferent to the more extensive diffusion of literature, science, and general knowledge.

perseverance in England can be clearly trace over ad great part of the land.

In politics he was a liberal-a Whig of the extreme school, perhaps a fitting representative of Finsbury; and in point of fact, such men, whatever may be nominally their party will be always found supporting, in their various walks the privileges of the people, for somehow the rule "Do unto others" perpetually haunts their minds.

The Irish Priest. London: Longman & Co. A SMALL book, full of strange opinions, intermingling with many truths. We reckon the opinions strange, mostly in connexion with the title of the volume and the connexion of the story. An Irish priest's biography, condensed and confined to the leading points in his life, forms the story, which is attractively told. This Irish priest was of the humbler classes, as the greatest proportion of the priesthood are. His parents adopted an orphan girl, not because they were rich, but because she was poor. With this girl, when a boy, the future priest formed one of those very romantic attachments which may occur in childhood, to be forgotten. The Father of the parish, however, dashed all their speculations, before they rightly understood their meaning, by proposing to educate the boy for the priesthood. Nothing was more natural in those circumstances than that the girl should become a nun. Such a course was proposed in their juvenile specubut she died before that time could come.

"Of this he gave a decisive proof in May 1825, when he complied with an earnest request to attend a meeting, to be held at the chambers of Henry Brougham, Esq., (now Lord Brougham,) in Lincoln's Inn, for the purpose of considering a plan for a metropolitan university. One of the other persons present was the late Rev. Edward Irving. I have often heard him refer to the solemn tones of protest in which that gentleman uttered his denunciation of the attempt to establish an university without a theologi-lations; cal faculty. My father did not sympathise with that objection. He considered the proposed arrangement, of giving instruction during a portion of the day-and that not commenced at an early hour of the morning-a sufficient reason for dispensing with all religious worship, in connexion with the college exercises.''

It is somewhat singular that the last public meeting attended by him was congregated to oppose Sir James Graham's infamous measure for Education. The baneful nature of that scheme has never yet been generally and fully understood. Its adoption and operation would have plunged England into a system of petty and heartless persecution under the name of education; but, perhaps, its evils taught men to regard more favourably the bad clauses in the recent minutes of Council, merely by contrast.

He ex

"Toward the end of May, 1843, my father appeared, for the last time, in a public capacity, as chairman of a meeting, held in Union Chapel, Islington, for the purpose of taking measures to oppose the passing of Sir James Graham's Education Bill, which he described as an unjust, unconstitutional, and oppressive measure." pressed his opinion very decidedly that no forcible means should be employed to compel parents to send their children to school, but that education should be perfectly free. He also spoke plainly and strongly in reference to the Church catechism, as in his judgment teaching children to say what is false, that they were born again of the Spirit when baptised-whereas baptism communicates no grace or spiritual influence. He declared his great objection to the Church of England, as based on the supposition that all are made Christians in baptism, the subsequent services at confirmation and burial proceeding on the same false and dangerous assumption; so that the church "knows nothing of sinners," except flagrant and notorious


[blocks in formation]

"Do not sorrow so for me, darling; I shall keep my promise by you, and your soul shall not fly so fast heaven-ward, that I shall not be there to welcome it. You will not forget the little birds that sang to us by the green, and the wild flowers: they were all I had, Michael, and they were for you. Mother, kiss me, for I was your child

father, bid your Marion farewell; she will climb your knee no more! You are growing old, father, and I not called me your daughter-is gone? Farewell, dear Miby. Who will help you when your daughter-for you chael; brother dear, farewell; you will bear me over the river no more. Do you remember the words of the old blind man you taught me coming from the school?"As leaves are begotten, so indeed are men;

[ocr errors]

Some the wind bears along the ground, While the budding wood, as in spring, produces more; Such is the lot of man-one is born, another dies!' "And now, the Holy Mother says, Come,' and baby at her breast says, 'Come,' and my little sister says Come,' and God himself calls me-I come, oh! I come.' And thus the precious child sank into unconsciousness. She never spoke word more, but passed with such smile as the malady permitted, from a world so rich, and yet so full of care, into that spiritual world for which so many bright gifts prepared her.

"Nor silk nor satin shrouded her limbs-no cap thralled her yellow hair! What matter, that body had shrined a loving heart-an angel soul.

"We laid her beneath the turf, beside a grassy knoll. The wild flowers sho so greatly loved came thick upon her tomb; and a clustering woodbine made semblance to clasp a moss-grown stone, on which was rudely graven

the name of


"Here, when summer winds blew soft, and the song of birds came wafted on the breeze, have I sat far in the

night, and heard, or fancied I heard, a voice-one, alas! forever stilled-call brother! Then, through tears, have I gazed upon the stars, and knew that she was there. Wise and gentle Marion, fare-thee-well! Didst bloom and fade unseen; but there are those who shall recall thee, while eyes can see or hearts cherish fond remembrance."

The feuds and quarrels that desolate Ireland become naturally the subject of the priest's manuscript. He early began to form acquaintance with them; as the following

« AnkstesnisTęsti »