« السابقةمتابعة »
“ He would only now observe, that his conviction of the indispensable necessity of immediately abolishing this trade remained as strong as ever. Let those who talked of allowing three or four years to the continuance of it, reflect on the disgraceful scenes which had passed last year. As for himself, he would wash his hands of the blood which would be spilled in this horrid interval. He could not, however, but believe, that the hour was come, when we should put a final period to the existence of this cruel traffic. Should he unhappily be mistaken, he would never desert the cause ; but to the last moment of his life he would exert his utmost powers in its support."
Mr. Wilberforce and his friends persevered through all obstacles, till at length, in 1807, twenty years from the time when the subject was first introduced into parliament, the motion for the final and total abolition of the traffic was carried in the commons by a vote of 283 to 16, and in the lords, without a division.
The efforts of this great man, and of his no less philanthropic associates, were thus crowned with the most glorious success. It is difficult to estimate the exertions of each, when all did so nobly. Burke, Pitt, and Fox, will receive the gratitude of all future time. The toils of Clarkson were gigantic. Never did a man so“ endure unto the end.” But without Wilberforce, as the parliamentary leader, all other efforts might have been in vain. He brought to the work religious principle, incorruptible integrity, a political character above reproach, and the confidence of all parties, ministerial and antiministerial.
Mr. Wilberforce's Practical view of the prevailing religious systems of professing Christians, in the higher and middle classes, contrasted with real Christianity, was first published in the spring of 1797. “ The plan,” says Bishop Wilson, “ was in a great measure new. No writer had appeared, especially among laymen, to address the nation generally on the plain fundamental and vital truths of our religion, and to confront these truths boldly, and yet affectionately, with the fashionable notions, which passed for Christianity. It seems to be the spontaneous produce of a mind thoroughly stored with its materials, accustomed to speak before a refined yet popular audience, and capable, from long experience, of expressing with ease and propriety, what it has previously meditated. The book is in fact nothing more nor less than a series of speeches in parliament, in which, from brief annotations and hints of topics, the statesman urges upon the legislature, his well-weighed and important cause.” The reception the work met with was extraordinary. Three or four large editions were exhausted in the first few months. About fifty editions have been published in this country and in England. Translations have
been made into most of the European languages. The book went to accredit real Christianity to statesmen and legislators; it conveyed important information to the higher classes; it bore powerfully on the younger clergy, by addressing their consciences, as in the case of Legh Richmond, and by explaining the difficulties in the state of Christianity which they had not been able to discover; it tended to form a school in divinity, by raising up a large and important class of writers; in short, it may be said to have formed an era in the history of religion in England.
Mr. Wilberforce was frequently engaged in parliament, subsequently to 1807, in efforts to carry the law abolishing the slave trade into complete effect. Some measure of this kind was prompted or seconded by him, at almost every session of the legislature. The arrangements, which the great powers of Europe entered into, at the general pacification, on the downfall of Buonaparte, for the abandonmeni of the traffic in slaves, are to be ascribed very much to the unceasing efforts of Mr. Wilberforce in and out of Parliament. The final abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, and indeed in every part of the extensive dominions of Britain, was an object to which he devoted all the ardor of his philanthropy, and all the maturity of his wisdom. Year after year, this venerable man, in connection with his younger associates, Buxton, William Smith, Lushington, Stephen, Macauley, and others, met the torrent of abuse which was regularly heaped upon them by the advocates of slavery, till the entire British nation was roused, king, parliament, and people, and slavery was swept from her domains. Mr. Wilberforce lived almost to see the consummation of this great event. How must his heart have exulted within him, as he went down the dark valley!
In the great struggle for the introduction of Christianity into British India, Mr. Wilberforce was one of an illustrious triumvirate. The individuals who mainly contributed to the change in public feeling in regard to India, were Mr. Grant, (father of the present Sir Charles Grant,) Dr. Buchanan, and Mr. Wilberforce. When the East India Company's charter was renewed, in 1793, it was with difficulty that Mr. Wilberforce obtained the frigid assent of the House of Commons to a proposition affirming that it was the duty of the legislature to promote the interest and happiness of the inhabitants of India. This resolution was attended with no effect. The House of Commons refused to embody it in the act of incorporation, and in the House of Lords, Bishop Porteus, in efforts to procure its adoption, received scarcely any support even from his Episcopal brethren. I: 1813, when the subject came again before parliament, a very different scene was presented. On the 22d of May, 1813, Lord Castle. reagh, in a speech replete with sound sense and liberal views, pro
posed to the House of Commons the following motion. “That it is *the duty of this country to promote the interest and happiness of the
native inhabitants of the British dominions in India, and that such ".' measures ought to be adopted as may, tend to the introduction among
them of useful knowledge, and of religious and moral improvement,”
&o. . This resolution was supported in a most eloquent and argumen-: tative speech, by Mr. Wilberforce. He was ably seconded by Mr.
William Smith and some other gentlemen. The resolution was carried by a majority of 53, and in the House of Lords, without a disapproving voice. Petitions for the object had been received from mare than eight hundred towns and corporations.
Mr. Wilberforce retired some years since from parliament. He in died on the 29th of July, 1833. His funeral is thus described :
“ It took place mostly in Westminster abbey, where the body was
placed in the vicinity of the monuments of Pitt, Fox, and Canning, 3. The abbey was crowded with spectators of this solemn scene, among .. whom, besides an immense number of ladies of high rank, were a
large part of both Houses of Parliament, and many other distin
guished characters. The pall bearers were the Lord Chancellor, ::.. Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Bexley, and the Marquess
of Westminster, on the one side ; the Right Hon. Charles Grant, Sir :. Robert Inglis, Mr. W. Smith, and his Royal Highness, the Duke of
Gloucester on the other. While the order of procession was formed through the aisles of the abbey, the bell, it is said, tolled slowly and solemnly. At the signal of advance, the organ commenced its mel
Cahcholy notes, and the numerous band of choristers chimed in. The o effect must have been sublime. :: 0;" After the ceremony, the multitude present pressed eagerly topo'wards the grave, to get a sight of the coffin, which was covered with
mch black velvet, and ornamented with gilt moulding, heading, &c. In the centre of the lid was a splendid brass plate of considerable dimensions, with the following simple inscription : :
Born 24th of August, 1759;
Died 29th of July, 1833."
Sir JOHN MALCOLM. * Died in London, May 31, 1833, Sir John Malcolm, F. R. S. major general in the service of the East India company, aged 64. He was born near Langholm, Scotland, May 2, 1769. His father was George Malcolm, his mother Miss Pasley. He had sixteen. brothers and sisters. In 1782, he went to India as a cadet. He soon acquired · an intimate acquaintance with the Persian language. In 1792, Cornwallis appointed him Persian interpreter to an English force. In 1794, he returned home on account of health. In 1795, he went back to India. After the fall of Seringapatam, he was selected by lord Wellesley, to proceed on a diplomatic mission to Persia, a. country which no British ambassador had visited since the reign of Elizabeth. He succeeded in accomplishing every object of his mission. In 1802, he was again intrusted with a mission to Persia. . In 1808, for a third time, he was charged with the same commission, and endeavored to counteract the designs of Buonaparte, then in the zenith of his power. On his fourth visit in 1810, so favorable was the impression which he produced, that he was presented by the Persian prince with a valuable sword and star, and made a khan of.! the empire. In 1812, he returned to England, and received the honors of knighthood. In 1821, he was appointed major general, and created by the prince regent, a knight grand cross. : In.. 1822, a superb vase, worth £1,500 was presented him on account of his military services in India, and a grant from the East India com . pany, of £1,000 per annum. In 1827, he was appointed governor of 3 Bombay. On leaving his office in 1831, all parties vied in their acknowledgements of gratitute for his eminent services. The mise sionaries, English, Scotch, and American, united in these expressions of thankfulness. In 1831, he was returned to parliament. In 1882, he employed himself in writing his work on the government of India, which was published a few weeks since. As an author, he attained considerable rank. Among his writings, are sketches of Persie : History of Persia, Memoir of Central India, Life of Lord Clive, &c,: &c. He married in June, 1807, Charlotte Campbell, by whom he .. had five children, all living.
Rev. JOHN SARGENT. Died on the 3d of May, 1833, at Wollavington, Sussex, England, aged 52, Rev. John Sargent, fellow of King's college, Cambridge, and author of Memoirs of Henry Martyn, and T. T. Thomason. He was the eldest son of John Sargent, M. P., of London, and chief clerk of the ordnance office. He had five brothers and three sisters, six of whom are now living. He graduated at Cambridge in 1804. He married the same year Mary Smith, neice to lord Carrington, They had two sons, and five daughters.
This celebrated actor was born Nov. 4, 1787, in London, and died on the 15th of May, 1833. He began to perform parts on the stage, at four years of age. The total sum received by him in England, America, and France, since 1814, is stated at £176,000, or averaging upwards of £9,000 a year, for nineteen years. Notwithstanding, he died poor! It was for some time a matter of doubt whether it was worth while to administer his effects.
M. VICTOR JACQUEMONT.
Tuis distinguished French naturalist died at Bombay, on the 7th of December, 1832, aged 31. He had visited the Himalaya, passed ; through the Punjab, Cashmere, 'Thibet, and a small part of Chinese
Tartary. He has left voluminous collections respecting botany, ...geology, statistics, &c.
Died lately at Campsie, Scotland, John Bell, aged 63, author of several geographical works.
Died in London, June 4th, in his 58th year, Rt. Hon. Peter King. . . Ii 1829, he published the life of John Locke, with extracts from his
•correspondence, journals, and common-place books. Locke was uncle to lord King's great grandfather. A second edition appeared in 1830, with additional historical documents, from the lord chancellor King's note book. Of late years, lord King has signalized himself as the bitter enemy of the church of England.
JAMES ANDREW. Died in Edinburgh, June 13, 1833, in his 60th year, Rev. James Andrew, LL. D., F. R. S., principal of the East India company's seminary, at Addiscombe. He was for fifteen years professor of mathematics. He was author of a Hebrew grammar and dictionary.