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BY HIS SONS,
ROBERT ISAAC WILBERFORCE, M. A.
VICAR OF EAST FARLEIGH, LATE FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE ;
SAMUEL WILBERFORCE, M. A.
RECTOR OF BRIGHSTONE.
ABRIDGED FROM THE LONDON EDITION
BY CASPAR MORRIS, M, D.
HENRY PERKINS-134 CHESTNUT STREET.
BOSTON-PERKINS & MARVIN.
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by HENRY PERKINS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
C. SHERMAN & CO. PRINTERS,
19 St. James Street.
رکعت سے ای ارمنستان د میاد خیریه برای
It has been well remarked, that there is no more powerful instrument of useful or pernicious influence on mankind than Biography. Addressing itself to that propensity to imitation, which exists to a greater or less degree in every mind, it allures by the force of example, and carries feeling and judgment alike captive in its train. There are those who, during lite, pursuing the noiseless tenor of their way, “have shrunk to hear the obstreperous trump of Fame,” who have, however, walked so "holy, harmless and undefiled” in the circumscribed sphere in which they have moved, that it becomes a duty to give wider extent to their usefulness by diffusing the knowledge that such an one has lived and how. Others, the observed of all observers," placed by the providence of God in exalted stations, have occupied the many talents committed to their care with equal diligence and devotion to their Master's service. The wide spread influence of such cannot be increased-eulogy is not only wasted upon them, it becomes defamation,--the duty of the biographer is to catch as it were the light from their
splendid public actions, and reflect it upon the minor virtues of life, that so they may shine, not with a borrowed but a filial splendour, and attract the attention of the multitude, who, while they may not emulate the greater display, may be led to imitate the smaller but not less important actions which constitute the great sum of duty. This prominent station was occupied by William Wilberforce. Not one nation, but the whole human family participated in the benefit he conferred on his fellow-men. Had he done no more than lead on the battle which resulted in the Abolition of the Slave Trade, his would have been unrivalled honour. Other men have given freedom to their own country-he was the successful champion of humanity; and it may be questioned whether the benefit he conferred on bleeding Africa or oppressing Europe was the greatest. He stanched the wounds of the one, while he stayed the progress of the other in a career of oppression and cruelty which could not but have called down the just vengeance of a righteous God. To Africa, that God has ordained a recompense for her wrongs, in the reflection back upon her darkened shores of the benefits of Christianity which will result from the temporary sojourn of her sons in a cruel bondage on ours.
While to them that did the wrong no result will follow but evil, unless the wrong be repented of and forsaken, and so far as possible reparation made.
But it was not the wrong of Africa alone which excited his sympathy, and drew forth his active exertions for its relief. Wherever a door of usefulness was opened, however wide and large or narrow and confined, he was ready to enter and labour; and whether it was for the extension of the blessings of the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus to the benighted millions of Hindoostan, or the handfuls of Cheddar, the relief of the temporal sufferings of the victims of war