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“This is the plain .." when not only to our own country, but stripped of its appendages; and a also to the nations around us: its fully excited, but our judgment has not been asleep. If I should be questioned upon the indulgence of these feelings, I must say that I envy little the temperament of that man, who can reflect without admiration and gratitude upon the splendid efforts which have been made by the Bible Society. The simplicity of its plan secures a co-operation beyond example: the enlargement and liberality of its views have created an interest in its welfare, even upon remote continents, which never was witnessed before: it has dispersed copies of the Scriptures by hundreds of thousands: new channels are opening every day: and far beyond its means of distributing Bibles is the anxiety to receive them. Future ages will tell with astonishment, that in the midst of a most awful and perilous war, while infidelity was triumphant abroad, and kingdoms were crumbling around us, Britain should rise, in the greatness of her strength and the majesty of her benevolence, with one hand to dash in pieces the chains of the oppressor, and with the other to hold out the everlasting Gospel to the inhabitants of every region under heaven. Whilst I fix upon this single fact, I feel a renovated eonfidence in the cause of my country. I never can believe that it is in the design of Providence to desolate with its judgments a nation, which thus nobly slands forward, in this awful crisis, the great bulwark of religion and the determined friend of the best interests of man. The blessings of all nations are coming largely upon us, for we are gradually extending benefits to all. And may I not, as a member of the university, indulge for one moment the pleasing reflection, in how great a degree the land of our nativity, and through it the world at large, is indebted to those, who have preceded us in these seats of learning, for the inestimable privilege of the Gospel? “Shall we on this occasion forget our Cranmers, and Latimers, and Ridleys It was in this place that
goodly argument I confess it to be. “It is unnecessary for me to tresPass long upon your attention; but I cannot sit down without congratulating both you and myself upon the glorious scene which we have this day witnessed. All, who have had the honour to be educated at Cambridge, will readily agree with us, that on every challenge to a good work, the members of this university are always to be found among the brightest examples of liberality and public spirit. And the world will now at least be of the same mind with ourselves: they will recognise, in the present meeting, the effects of our education and our discipline by the truly Christian fruits which they produce. To me, Iown, the pleasure is greatly augmented by the interest which this question has excited among our younger friends. An ample tribute of respect is due to that excellence of principle and generosity of character by which their conduct has been so highly distinguished. What a consolation is it to reflect, that those who are to supply our places, when we are committed to the grave; who are to instructour youth, and to become the authorised guardians of morals and religion; who are hereafter to hold important offices both in church and state, and to watch over the happiness of their native land:— what a consolation is it to reflect, that they have proved themselves, at this early age, to be influenced by the best impressions, by charity the most pure, by feelings the most ... exalted! The testimony which has been borne to their conduct, by my friends on either hand of me, is most honourable. They have transgressed no law : they have violated no principle of decorum. They deserve the high praise both of zeal and of discretion: of zeal, which is suited to their noble and generous nature; of discretion, which would do credit to their fathers. I hail this day as peculiarly auspicious, Chaist. Obs. App.
effects will be felt far and wide: and with such an impression on my mind, ifour Royal Patron were among us, I would address him, under this view, in these beautiful lines, which we heard at the late installation:
No common cause, no vulgar sway,
In England's bliss is Europe's stay,
“Of the interest, which I take in the great cause, which now calls us together, no person in this assembly will entertain a doubt: yet I cannot express much regret, that we have not met sooner. There is, I think, in this case, an advantage connected with delay. The tendency of our studies is to make us weigh and deliberate: we are disposed to take nothing upon trust: we love to examine a, question in all its bearings; and demand, whenever the occasion will allow it, the evidence of facts. No man will venture to accuse us of hasty or over-weening zeal. The lapse of seven years since the establishment of the Bible Society, has afforded us all the evidence of facts, that we could justly require; and we can now tell the world, that many of the members of this university have given to that institution the sanction of their patronage after full and mature deliberation. This circumstance I consider as very important: the intelligence of our resolutions will go to our brethren of the establishment throughout the United Kingdom; and will prove to then incontrovertibly, that, in adopting these measures, we consider ourselves not merelyas the friends of mankind at large, but as the friends also of that national church,which, by our habits and principles and education, we are bound to support and defend. If any misconception at present prevail, the very fact of our approbation of the Bible Society will be one of the best arguments to remove it. We have done nothing in haste: our feelings indeed have been power5 O
they first imbibed their love for the Scriptures; it was in the pulpits of Cambridge that some of our earliest reformers contended for their dispersion. My eloquent friend (Dr. Clarke) has asked you, what would Latimer and Ridley and Chillingworth have said, if they could hear now the arguments, which are brought forward in Cambridge against the Bible Society Some of the arguments are enough to rouse them from their graves, to quicken their very ashes into life. Permit me to ask, what would have been the sensations of our holy martyrs, if they could have anticipated this present spectacle? If they could have foreseen, before the lapse of three centuries, so many members of this univer. sity, secure in the profession of the Protestant religion, with the Bible in their hands, and I trust with its precepts in their hearts, meeting here for the express purpose of dispersing the sacred volume to every quarter of the world Of giving it currency in all languages, and securing its blessings, as far as human intelligence can secure them, to every age : This prospect would have asforded them an increase of consolation in the extremity of pain, and would have mitigated even the violence of the flames. With the declaration of Latimer to his partner in affliction, we are all acquainted: “Be of good cheer, brother Ridley: I trust that we shall this day light up such a fire in England as, by the grace of God, shall never be put out.” It has burnt from that day to the present; and I persuade myself, that it will never be extinguished. The light, which they kindled, has not only shone through Britain, but is now rising upon nations hitherto immersed in darkness; it is at this moment diffusing its beams and extending its heavenly influence through the nost distant regions. The sun himself scarcely visits a land accessible by Englishmen, but upon that land, and through their means, “the Sun of Righteousness is
beginning to arise with healing in his wings.” In such a matter, I must change my nature before I can be cold or indifferent: and high as the university of Cambridge justly stands in the estimation of all wise and good men; of all who know how to value what is great in project or enlarged in benevolence; this I will be bold to say, that its members have never come forward to patronise a more noble and glorious cause.” Mr. Dealtry concluded by moving the thanks of the meeting to the Secretaries of the institution in London. The motion was seconded by Lord Francis Osborne. Mr. Owen then rose, and expressed his regret that the hoarseness of his voice, and the exhausted state of his bodily strength, would prevent him from doing justice to his own feelings, and those of his excellent colleagues, in acknowledging the honour done them by the unanimous vote of thanks with which their humble but zealous serwices of this day had been remunerated. He adverted, in terms of deserved commendation, to the many able advocates who had pleaded the cause of the society on this interesting occasion with such irresistible argument, eloquence, and effect. He then proceeded to support the many eulogiums which had been passed on the character of the society, both with respect to its principle and its proceedings ; animadverting with much force on the attempt to sow dissension between the Bible Society and that for promoting Christian Knowledge; and appealing to the well-known correctness of the prelates who honoured the former with their patronage, and had watched over the conduct of its business, as a justification of its members against the unfounded and not very mannerly charges of hostility to the Old Society (as it was called), and of defection from the established church. Mr. Owen then alluded to the origin and progress of those measures which had terminated in the har
monious and highly-animated ineet . ing of this day. He rejoiced to have heard so honourable a testimony borne to the conduct of those juniors in whom the business originated, by persons whose names are not more identified with the best learning, than they are with the most correct discipline of the place. For his own part, he could not have ventured to appear before them, had not things taken precisely that turn which they had done. He congratulated the assembly on the satisfaction they must have derived from the orderly course in which the business had proceeded, and the feelings of delight and unanimity which it had so greatly excited. He would have shed tears of regret for those who had excluded themselves from so rich a repast, had not all his tears been bespoken for gratitude and joy.— After a variety of remarks to a similar purport, Mr. Owen admonished the youth whom he saw before him, and who would soon be called to fill various stations in the world ; to assert our rights at the bar, in the senate, or the field; or to minister for the public welfare in magisterial or pastoral employments; to bear in mind the solemn manner in which they had this day vowed allegiance to the Bible in the presence of God, their seniors, and each other. He exhorted them to take that Bible home to their hearts; to circulate it among their neighbours; and to exemplify it in their lives; and concluded in this forcible manner— “As you have caught the ardour of Christian benevolence, which has been kindled in so many breasts, —— ch spread it wide, And let it circulate through all the veins Of our vast empire, that where Britain's power - Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.”
The Rev. Mr. Edwards, after moving the thanks of the meeting to the Mayor and Corporation, spoke to the following effect: . That much stress having been laid upon the objection to the Bible Society, upon the score of its novelty, it should be recollected that the same might once have been urged, and in fact was urged, against the Reformation, against Christianity itself. But that there was one novel circumstance attending this institution, which could not but give pleasure to every benevolent heart: it was the spirit of concord thus produced and cherished among those who had been in the habit of differing widely from each other. This was delightfully exemplified in the large and mingled company who thronged the room in which they were assembled. The history of the university and town of Cambridge recorded many bitter and disgraceful conflicts between those bodies; their mutual jealousy and animosity had long been fomented by prejudice and intolerance; but upon this happy occasion, not a vestige of discord appeared. It was surely a just ground of exultation upon which he congratulated the meeting, that the Mayor and Corporation of Cambridge had, with a liberality which did them much honour, shewn their readiness to meet the University upon the common basis of the Protestant religion, in a public declaration of respect for the holy Scriptures; and that so large a portion of the University had shewn themselves willing to accept, and would (he trusted) be ready to acknowledge, the obligation conferred in the use of that room. We cannot follow these interesting and animating speeches with any thing more appropriate than was inserted, by some masterly hand, at the conclusion, of the report given of them in the Cambridge newspaper. “Previous to the suggestion of any reflections upon the event of this meeting,” says this anonymous but able observer, “we think it our duty to bear testimony to the manly conduct of our distinguished Chan
cellor, and of the Noble Earl who
so ably presided on the occasion. Notwithstanding the misrepresentations so artfully circulated, they have used their own unbiassed judgment; and the result, we trust, has been felt by them, as their best reward. “Such were the proceedings at Cambridge on this memorable day; a day to which succeeding generations, when “every distinetion be. tween Christian brethren shall be annihilated,” will look back with joy and gratulation. It has indeed opened a field before us, which ‘tre may well lift up our eyes and look upon, for it is white already to the harnest.” “We cannot conclude this subject without making two observations, connected with the progress of the Bible Society. Great Britain new stands alone among the nations, with the wreck of Europe scattered at her feet: and though the dangers of war have been imminent beyond all example of former times, yet it has pleased Providence to give her strength to resist all the efforts of her enemies, and to establish an empire co-extended with the bounds of the ocean. We are fully aware, that political greatness and extended dominion are no tests of Divine approbation; that nations have been exalted only to the degrading office of executioners in the infliction of Divine vengeance; and, when their appointed course of war and devas. tation has been finished, they have, like Babylon, been swept away from the face of the earth. It is not, therefore, from political greatnes and extended dominion that wo would augur any thing whatever in our own i. but, from the dispositions which God has been leased to put into our hearts, we . hope, that our country ho been exalted among the nations for nobler purposes; that the empire of Britain shall be an empire of mercy; and that no shore shall echo to the thunder of her power, but who shall smile also under the blessing” of her beneficence. Judging fro the events passing around us, ‘the signs of the times,’ is it presumptuous to indulge the humble and pious hope, that to Great Britain may be entrusted the high commission of making known the name of Jehovah to the whole earth; and when she shall have faithfully performed this sacred office, and the period of her ministry shall have been terminated in the universal diffusion of Christianity, that then her work and labour of love may be had in remembrance in the sight of the Lord, and she may repose in peace, and blessing, and honour, till she sink in the conflagration of the world 2 “ Nor is our second observation wanting in reasonable grounds of hope, that we may thus found for our children an empire on the Rock •of Ages. As we are assured by Him, whose name is Truth, that “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand;’ so, on the other hand, the spirit of conciliation and mutual benevolence, which is rapidly diffusing itself through all denominations of Christians in the land, seems espe-cially to indicate the favour of Heaven towards the temporal as well as the spiritual interests of our country. And when it pleases Almighty God thus to bind up the hearts of the nation, in the same bond of brotherly love and Christian charity, we trust with humble confidence, that, whatever chastisements his providence may deem necessary for our correction, we shall not greatly fall. We have now seen all denominations of Christians cordially uniting for the noblest of all purposes, and we cannot but hail it as the dawn of that day, when the dominion of charity shall be universal in the universal Ringdom of Christ; of that day, when, according to the sure word of prophecy," the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;’ of that day, when the ‘earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’”
To the Editor of the ChristianObserver.
The following account of Captain Paul Cuffee is taken from the Liverpool Mercury of the 4th and 11th of October, 1811, with only the omission of a few sentences. Any slight variation which has been introduced, is the result of the impressions which the writer's personal intercourse with that highly interesting character produced on his mind.
I am, &c.
A FRIEND TO AFRICA.
MEMOIR of CAPTAIN PAUL cuffee.
“On the first of August, 1811, a vessel arrived at Liverpool, with a cargo from Sierra Leone, the owner, master, mate, and whole crew of which were free negroes. The master, who is also owner, is the son of an American slave, and is said to be very well skilled both in trade and navigation, as well as to be of a very pious and moral character. It must have been a strange and animating spectacle to see this free and enlightened African-entering, as an independent trader, with his black crew, into that port which was so lately the nidus of the Slave Trade.”—Edinb. Review, August, 181 l.
We are happy (say the Editors of the Liverpool Mercury) in having an opportunity of confirming the above account, and at the same time of laying before our readers an authentic memoir of Capt. Paul Cuffee, the master and owner of the vessel above referred to, who sailed from this port on the 20th September, with a licence from the British Government, to prosecute his intended voyage to Sierra Leone. The father of Paul Custee was a native of Africa, whence he was brought as a slave into Massachusetts. He was there purchased by a person named Slocum, and remained in slavery a considerable portion of his ić. Like many