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(which, of old, made foreigner and enemy synonymous terms. The divine law of love is beginning to be applied to public, as well as private morals. We trace, in these things, the hand of Providence, and rejoicing to observe, and endeavoring humbly to coöperate with its movements, we commit to it, with cheerful confidence, the destiny of a world, for which, in its own good time, it is preparing the blessing of permanent and universal peace.

Since writing the above remarks, we have been favored with the perusal of the Report, presented to the House of Representatives, by Mr. Legaré of South Carolina, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The subject of the report was a memorial, from the New York Peace Society and others, desiring the government to exert its influence for the establishment of a Congress of Nations, authorized to promulgate a code of public law. The opinion of the committee is the same which has been presented in these pages, sustained by forcible arguments and historical illustrations. It is shown, with great distinctness, that the proposal could not, at present, receive universal consent; - that if it were, however, adopted, and any respect paid to the decisions of the new international tribunal, more harm than good would probably result from it. The instance of the Amphictyonic Council, in ancient Greece, which had been adduced by the memorialists, in favor of their views, is itself brought forward as a warning against them ; — since that body, which possessed little or no efficiency in preserving peace, while the power of the states was equally balanced, became, at a later period, an instrument in the hands of Philip, to aid his ambitious designs.

The Report thus concludes :

“ Your Committee, therefore, do not think the establishment of a permanent international tribunal, under the present circumstances of the world, at all desirable ; but they heartily concur with the memorialists, in recommending a reference to a third power of all such controversies, as can safely be confided to any tribunal unknown to the constitution of our own country. Such a practice will be followed by other powers, already inclined, as we have seen, to avoid war, and will soon grow up into the customary law of civilized nations. They conclude, therefore, by recommending to the memorialists to persevere in exerting whatever influence they may possess over public opinion, to dispose it habitually to the accommodation of national differ

ences without bloodshed; and to the House the adoption of the following resolution :

Resolved, That the Committee be discharged from the further consideration of the subject referred to them.”

While the sentiments expressed in this report are prevalent among our rulers, we have no cause to fear that our present peaceful relations with the world will soon be disturbed. One suggestion only would we wish to see added to those of the enlightened committee, - that our nation, now in the enjoyment of peace with all mankind, should improve the present opportunity to make arrangements, by treaty, with all other civilized powers, for the employment of arbiters or mediators, upon any difficulty which may, in future, arise, before resort shall be had, by either party, to those warlike measures, which can only be justified when no other means remain for maintaining national security and honor.

ART. IV.-1. The Life of William Wilberforce. By his

sons, ROBERT ISAAC WILBERFORCE, M. A., Vicar of East Farleigh, and SAMUEL WILBERFORCE, M. A., Rector of

Brighstone. In five volumes. London. 1838. 2. Strictures on a Life of William Wilberforce, by Rev. R.

1. Wilberforce, and Rev. S. Wilberforce. By THOMAS CLARKSON, M. A. London. 1838. pp. 136.

From the title of this latter work by that venerable philanthropist Thomas Clarkson, our readers will at once infer, that the copious memoir of Mr. Wilberforce by his sons has not passed without censure. And from the significant motto adopted by Mr. Clarkson, in his title page, “ Neque premendo alium me extulisse velim,” may as easily be inferred the nature of the complaint, which, with much reason and equal reluctance, he has been compelled to urge against the children of his ancient friend. The first sentences of his work convey, in simple and touching expressions, the feelings which constrained his publication :

“I did not expect, in the seventy.ninth year of my age, to be

called upon

to defend the correctness of any part of my · History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade,' published thirty years ago, against any one, and least of all against two of the sons of my late revered friend, Mr. Wilberforce. My history was in his hands for lwenty-five years before his death, and he, who was well acquainted with all the material facts recorded in it as they occurred, never himself intimated that it contained any misstatements. The charges made against me, in the · Life,' resolve themselves substantially into this one, that I have claimed for myself an honor, due to Mr. Wilberforce alone, in suggesting or executing the measures, which led to the successful result of that great undertaking, - the Abolition of the Slave Trade." Strictures, p. 1.

That this charge was unfounded, and that the sons of Mr. Wilberforce, in a natural partiality, but certainly a mistaken zeal for the fame of their father, have treated injuriously his fellow-laborer, seems to us clearly proved ; and believing, that in his various philanthropic labors, continued through a long life, amidst many perplexities and obstacles, Mr. Clarkson was in an eminent degree single-minded and disinterested, it is not certainly to the credit of these brothers, that they have compelled him in his old age, on the very verge of four-score, to refute an accusation so seriously affecting his reputation. For, next to the grossest hypocrisy, making prayers and confessions to be heard of men, is the converting a professed labor of benevolence into a selfish struggle for fame; and it has been by some disgusting minglings of this sort, that the sacred cause of charity itself has too often been dishonored.

Believing, then, that the friends of Mr. Clarkson, whom his many virtues, and a long exemplary life, have made not few, in this as well as in his native country, cannot but sympathize with him in the injury, of which he meekly complains, we turn to the book which has been the occasion of it. And here it is curious to remark the diversity of opinions pronounced of this Memoir, and the distinguished subject of it, according as political or religious biases have prevailed in shaping the judgment. The impartial reader may weigh them all; and he will find ample scope for reflection in the volumes themselves. For in addition to the unavoidable partiality of filial affection, in this instance easily exalted to reverence, the compilers — they are not to be called authors - have thrown together, with surprising carelessness, a mass of materials, drawn from the diaries, correspondence, and loose papers of all sorts, left by their father, much of which he could never have thought of presenting to any eyes but his own ; recording, with a dash of his pen, the warm emotions of one who, though singularly upright and pure, was as singularly a creature of impulse, and revealing, therefore, as might be anticipated, a various and not always consistent view of his character. To these sources of error must be added that tendency to coloring and exaggeration, so common and so fatal in biography ; and which it would be surprising indeed if these affectionate sons had entirely resisted.

But we hasten to the Memoir. It is of one, whose name, beyond that of most men who have been numbered with the great, is familiar to the Christian world. For nearly half a century it has been identified with the cause of religion and humanity, and the best interests of mankind. The history of Mr. Wilberforce is remarkable as the history of an individual, who, under a monarchy where hereditary rank or public station is usually essential to a wide influence, impressed himself upon his age ; and, with no higher official distinction than that of a Member of the British House of Commons -- a distinction honorable, it is true, and not without power, but shared by more than six hundred individuals - accomplished one of the most important moral changes recorded in the history of the times.

At the same time, Wilberforce enjoyed some signal advantages for the career which he so long and honorably pursued. He was the descendant of an ancient house, who, from the time of Henry the Second, were distinguished among the gentry, though not nobles, of Yorkshire. The township of Wilberfoss, as it was formerly called, in which his family lived for several generations, gave him his mansion and his name, and he entered upon life under all those advantages, - every one of which is appreciated to the full in England, - that come from ancient descent, from hereditary wealth, from early indications of genius, aided by a generous system of education, from early and intimate friendships with the great, and from natural dispositions remarkably fitted to conciliate personal affection and even tender love.

“Of his earlier years,” say his sons, “ little is recorded. His frame from infancy was feeble, his stature small, his eyes weak, a failing which, with many natural endowments, he inVOL. XXVI. —30 s. VOL. VIII. NO. 11.


herited from his mother. It was one among the many expressions of his gratitude, in after life, that he was not born in less civilized times, when it would have been thought impossible to rear so delicate a child. But with these bodily infirmities were united a vigorous mind, and a temper eminently affectionate. 'I shall never forget,' said a frequent guest at his mother's, " how he would steal into my sick room, taking off his shoes lest he should disturb me, and, with an anxious face, looking through my curtains to learn if I was better.""

At seven years old, he was sent to the Grammar School of Hull, of which Joseph Milner, the author of a singular Church History, was master. Hence, we presume, the origin of that friendship with Isaac, the brother of Joseph, afterwards Dean of Carlisle, and master of Queen's, Cambridge, which exerted upon the mind of young Wilberforce a very important religious influence. Of his near family connexions was the celebrated John Thornton, who took great delight in his young nephew; and an incident is related as forming a striking feature in his character in after life, that, on one occasion, his liberal uncle, with whom he was travelling, made him a present much exceeding the usual amount of a boy's possessions, with an intimation that “some good part of it should be given to the poor." It is not less useful than pleasant to mark the circumstances, apparently trivial, by which in early life, the traits of character, that are to distinguish the individual, are formed.

Both at school and at Cambridge University, which he entered at seventeen, the youth gave clear indication of the man. By the death of his father, in 1768, and soon afterwards of his grandfather, and of his uncle, to whose care he had been committed, he became the master of an independent fortune, under his mother's sole guardianship. While yet a child, his elocution was so remarkable, that his master used to lift him upon a table, and make him read aloud to the other boys as an example. This was the young voice, that, by its clear, musical, persuasive tones, was afterwards to instruct and charm in St. Stephens, and to hold a vast Yorkshire multitude, as we shall hereafter see, at his word. It was astonishing at what distances, without much apparent effort, but only by the distinctness and clearness of his utterance, Mr. Wilberforce could be heard.

The same social qualities, by which he became an universal favorite, marked his college life. At first he fell into dissi


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