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gether to escape the spirit of Coterie. Clapham Common, of course, thought itself the best of all possible commons. Such at least was the opinion of the less eminent of those who were entitled to house-bote and dinner-bote there. If the common was attacked, the whole homage was in a flame. If it was laughed at, there could be no remaining sense of decency amongst men. The commoners admired in each other the reflection of their own looks, and the echo of their own voices. A gritical race, they drew many of their canons of criticism from books and talk of their own parentage; and for those on the outside of the pale, there might be, now and then, some failure of charity. Their festivities were not exhilarating. New faces, new topics, and a less liberal expenditure of wisdom immediately after dinner, would have improved them. Thus, even at Clapham, the discerning might perceive the imperfections of our common nature, and take up the lowly confession of the great Thomas Erskine—‘After all, gentlemen, I am but a man.’ But if not more than men, they were not less. They had none of the intellectual coxcombry since so prevalent. They did not instil philosophic and political Neology into young ladies and officers of the Guards, through the gentle medium of the fashionable novel. They mourned over the ills inseparable from the progress of society, without shrieks or hysterics. They were not epicures for whose languid palates the sweets of the rich man's banquet must be seasoned with the acid of the poor man's discontent. Their philanthropy did not languish without the stimulant of satire; nor did it degenerate into a mere ballet of tender attitudes and sentimental pirouettes. Their philosophy was something better than an array of hard words. Their religion was something more than a collection of impalpable essences; too fine for analysis, and too delicate for use. It was a hardy, serviceable, fruit-bearing, and patrimonial religion. They were the sons, by natural or spiritual birth, of men who, in the earlier days of Methodism, had shaken off the lethargy in which, till then, the Church of England had been entranced—of men, by whose agency the great evangelic doctrine of faith, emerging in its primeval splendor, had not only overpowered the contrary heresies, but had perhaps obscured some kindred truths. This earlier generation of the evangelic school had been too ingenuous, and

too confident in the divine reality of their cause, to heed much what hostility they might awaken. They had been content to pass for fools, in a world whose boasted wisdom they accounted folly. In their one central and all-pervading idea, they had found an influence hardly less than magical. They had esteemed it impossible to inculcate too emphatically, or too widely, that truth which Paul had proclaimed indif. ferently to the idolaters of Ephesus, the revellers of Corinth, the sophists of Athens, and the debauched citizens of sanguinary Rome. Their sons adopted the same creed with equal sincerity, and undiminished earnestness, but with a far keener sense of the hinderances opposed to the indiscriminate and rude exhibition of it. Absolute as was the faith of Mr. Wilberforce and his associates, it was not possible that the system called ‘Evangelical,' should be asserted by them in the blunt and uncompromising tone of their immediate predecessors. A more elaborate education, greater familiarity with the world and with human affairs, a deeper insight into science and history, with a far nicer discernment of mere conventional proprieties, had opened to them a range of thought, and had brought them into relations with society, of which their fathers were comparatively destitute. Positiveness, dogmatism, and an ignorant contempt of difficulties, may accompany the firmest convictions, but not the convictions of the firmest minds. The freedom with which the vessel swings at anchor, ascertains the soundness of her anchorage. To be conscious of the force of prejudice in ourselves and others, to feel the strength of the argument we resist, to know how to change places internally with our antagonists, to understand why it is that we provoke this scorn, disgust, or ridicule—and still to be unshaken, and still to adhere with fidelity to the standard we have chosen;–this is a triumph, to be won by those alone on whom is bestowed not merely the faith which overcomes the world, but the pure and peaceable wisdom which is from above. And such were they whom the second generation of the Evangelical party acknowledged as their secular chiefs. They fell on days much unlike those which we, their children, have known—days less softened by the charities and courtesies, but less enervated by the frivolities of life. Since the fall of the Roman republic, there had not arisen within the bosom, and armed with the weapons, of civilization itself, a power so full of menace to the civilized world as that which then overshadowed Europe. In the deep seriousness of that dark era, they of whom we speak looked back for analogies to that remote conflict of the nations; and drew evil auguries from the event of the wars which, from Sylla to Octavius, had dyed the earth with the blood of its inhabitants, to establish at length a military despotism—ruthless, godless, and abominable. But they also revented to the advent, even at that age of lust and cruelty, of a power destined to wage successful war, not with any external or earthly potentate, but with the secret and internal spring of all this wretchedness and wrong—the power of love, incarnate though divine—of love exercised in toils and sufferings, and at length yielding up life itself, that from that sacrifice might germinate the seeds of a new and enduring life—the vital principle of man's social existence, of his individual strength, and of his immortal hopes. And as, in that first age of Christianity, truth, and with it heavenly consolation, had been diffused, not alone or chiefly by the lifeless text, but by living messengers proclaiming and illustrating the renovating energy of the message intrusted to them; so to those who, at the commencement of this century, were anxiously watching the convulsions of their own age, it appeared that the sorrows of mankind would be best assuaged, and the march of evil most effectually stayed, by a humble imitation of that inspired example. They therefore formed themselves into a confederacy, carefully organized and fearlessly avowed, to send forth into all lands, but above all into their own, the two witnesses of the Church— Scripture and Tradition;–Scripture, to be interpreted by its divine Author to the deyout worshippers—tradition, not of doctrinal tenets, but of that unextinguishable zeal, which, first kindled in the apostolic times, has not wanted either altars to receive, or attendant ministers to feed and propagate, the flame. Bibles, schools, missionaries, the circulation of evangelical books, and the training of evangelical clergymen, the possession of well attended pulpits, war through the press, and war in Parliament, against every form of injustice which either law or custom sanctioned— such were the forces by which they hoped to extend the kingdom of light, and to re

sist the tyranny with which the earth was threatened. Nor was it difficult to distinguish or to grapple with their antagonists. The slave trade was then brooding like a pestilence over Africa; that monster iniquity which fairly outstripped all abhorrence, and baffled all exaggeration—converting one quarter of this fair earth into the nearest possible resemblance of what we conceive of hell, reversing every law of Christ, and openly defying the vengeance of God. The formation of the holy league, of which we are the chroniclers, synchronized with that unhappy illness which, half a century ago, withdrew Thomas Clarkson from the strife to which he was set apart and consecrated; leaving his associates to pursue it during the twelve concluding years, unaided by his presence, but not without the aid of his example, his sympathy, and his prayers. They have all long since passed away, while he still lives (long may he live!) to enjoy honors and benedictions, for which the diadem of Napoleon, even if wreathed with the laurels of Goethe, would be a mean exchange. But, alas! it is not given to any one, not even to Thomas Clarkson, to enjoy a glory complete and unalloyed. . Far from us be the attempt to pluck one leaf from the crown which rests on that time-honored head. But with truth there may be no compromise, and truth wrings from us the acknowledgment, that Thomas Clarkson never lived at Clapham. Not so that comrade in his holy war, whom, of all that served under the same banner, he seems to have loved the best. At the distance of a few bow-shots from the house of Henry Thornton, was the happy home in which dwelt Granville Sharpe; at once the abiding guest and the bosom friend of his more wealthy brothers. A critic, with the soul of a churchwarden, might indeed fasten on certain metes and bounds, hostile to the parochial claims of the family of Sharpe; but in the wider ken and more liberal judgment of the historian, the dignity of a true Claphamite is not to be refused to one whose evening walk and morning contemplations led him so easily and so often within the hallowed precincts. Would that the days of Isaac Walton could have been prolonged to the time when Granville Sharpe was to be committed to the care of the biographers' His likeness from the easel of the good old Angler would have been drawn with an outline as correct and firm, and in colors as soft and as

transparent, as the portraits of Hooker or of Herbert, of Doune or of Watton. A narrative, no longer than the liturgy which they all so devoutly loved, would then have superseded the annals which now embalm his memory beneath that nonconforming prolixity which they all so devoutly hated The grandson of an Archbishop of York, the son of an Archdeacon of Northumberland, the father of a Prebendary of Durham, Granville Sharpe, descending to the rank from which Isaac Walton rose, was apprenticed to a linen-draper of the name of Halsey, a Quaker who kept his shop on Tower Hill. When the Quaker died, the indentures were transferred to a Presbyterian of the same craft. When the Presbyterian retired, they were made over to an Irish Papist. When the Papist quitted the trade, they passed to a fourth master, whom the apprentice reports to have had no religion at all. At one time a Socinian took up his abode at the draper's, and assaulted the faith of the young apprentice in the mysteries of the Trinity and the Atonement. Then a Jew came to lodge there, and contested with him the truth of Christianity itself. But blow from what quarter it might, the storm of controversy did but the more endear to him the shelter of his native nest, built for him by his forefathers, like that of the swallow of the Psalmist, in the courts and by the altar of his God. He studied Greek to wrestle with the Socinian— he acquired Hebrew to refute the Israelite— he learned to love the Quaker, to be kind to the Presbyterian, to pity the Atheist, and to endure the Roman Catholic. Charity (so he judged) was nurtured in his bosom by these early polemics, and the affectionate spirit which warmed to the last the current of his maturer thoughts, grew up, as he believed, within him, while alternately measuring crapes and muslins, and defending the faith against infidels and heretics. The cares of the mercer's shop engaged no less than seven years of a life destined to be held in grateful remembrance as long as the language or the history of his native land shall be cultivated among men. The next eighteen were consumed in the equally obscure employment of a clerk in the office of Ordnance. Yet it was during this period that Granville Sharpe disclosed to others, and probably to himself, the nature, so singular and so lovely, which distinguished him—the most inflexible of human wills, united to the gentlest of human hearts—an almost audacious freedom of

thought, combined with profound reverence for hoar authority—a settled conviction of the wickedness of our race, tempered by an infantine credulity in the virtue of each separate member of it—a burning indignation against injustice and wrong, reconciled with pity and long-suffering towards the individual oppressor—all the sternness which Adam has bequeathed to his sons, wedded to all the tenderness which Eve has transmitted to her daughters. As long as Granville Sharpe survived, it was too soon to proclaim that the age of chivalry was gone. The Ordnance clerk sat at his desk with a soul as distended as that of a Paladin bestriding his war-horse; and encountered with his pen such giants, hydras, and discourteous knights, as infested the world in the eighteenth century. He found the lineal representative of the Willoughby's de Parham in the person of a retired tradesman ; and buried himself in pedigrees, feoffments, and sepulchral inscriptions, till he saw his friend enjoying his ancestral privileges among the peers of Parliament. He combated, on more than equal terms, the great Hebraist, Dr. Kennicott, in defence of Ezra's catalogue of the sacred vessels, chiefs, and families. He labored long, and with good success, to defeat an unjust grant made by the Treasury to Sir James Lowther, of the Forest of Inglewood, and the manor and castle of Carlisle. He waged a less fortunate war against the theatrical practice of either sex appearing in the habiliments of the other. He moved all the powers of his age, political and intellectual, to abolish the impressment of seamen, and wound up a dialogue, with Johnson, on the subject, by opposing the scriptural warning, “woe to them that call evil good, and good evil,' to what he described as the ‘plausible sophistry and important self-sufficiency' of the Sage. Presenting himself to the then Secretary of State, Lord Dartmouth, he denounced, with prophetic solemnity, the guilt of despoiling and exterminating in the Charib war that miserable remnant of the aboriginal race of the Antilles. As a citizen of London, he came to the rescue of Crosby, the Lord Mayor, in his struggle with the House of Commons. As a citizen of the world, he called on earth and heaven to stay the plugues of slavery and the slave-trade, and advocated the independence of America with such ardor as to sacrifice to it his own. Orders had reached his office to ship munitions of war to the revolted colonies. If his hand had entered the account of such a cargo, it would have contracted in his eyes the stain of innocent blood. To avoid that pollution he resigned his place, and his means of subsistence, at a period of life when he could no longer hope to find any other lucrative employment. But he had brothers who loved and supported him; and his release from the fatigues of a subordinate office left him free to obey the impulses of his own brave spirit, as the avenger of the oppressed. While yet a chronicler of gunpowder and small arms, a negro, abandoned to disease, had asked of him alms. Silver and gold he had none, but such as he had he gave him. He procured for the poor sus. ferer medical aid, and watched over him with affectionate care until his health was restored. The patient, once more become sleek and strong, was an object on which Barbadian eyes could not look without cupidity; and one Lisle, his former master, brought an action against Granville Sharpe for the illegal detention of his slave.— Three of the infallible doctors of the Church at Westminster—Yorke, Talbot, and Mansfield–favored the claim ; and Blackstone, the great expositor of her traditions, hastened, at their bidding, to retract a heresy on this article of the faith into which his uninstructed reason had fallen. Not such the reverence paid by the hard-working clerk to the inward light which God had vouchsafed to him. He conned his entries, indeed, and transcribed his minutes all day long, just as if nothing had happened; but throughout two successive years he betook himself to his solitary chamber, there, night by night, to explore the original sources of the Law of England, in the hope that so he might be able to correct the authoritative dogmas of Chancellors and Judges. His inquiries closed with the firm conviction that, on this subject at least, these most learned persons were but shallow pretenders to learning. In three successive cases he struggled against them with various and doubtful success; when fortune, or, be it rather said, when Providence, threw in his way the negro Somerset. For the vindication of the freedom of that man, followed a debate, ever memorable in legal history for the ability with which it was conducted ;-for the first introduction to Westminster Hall of Francis Hargrave; —for the audacious assertion then made by Dunning, of the maxim, that a new brief will absolve an advocate from the disgrace

of publicly retracting any avowal however solemn, of any principle however sacred;— for the reluctant abandonment by Lord Mansfield of a long-cherished judicial error;-and for the recognition of a rule of law of such importance, as almost to justify the poets and rhetoricians in their subsequent embellishments of it;-but above all, memorable for the magnanimity of the prosecutor, who, though poor and dependent, and immersed in the duties of a toilsome calling, supplied the money, the leisure, the perseverance, and the learning, required for this great controversy—who, wholly forgetting himself in his object, had studiously concealed his connection with it, lest, perchance, a name so lowly should prejudice a cause so momentous—who, denying himself even the indulgence of attending the argument he had provoked, had circulated his own researches in the name, and as the work, of a plagiarist who had republished them—and who, mean as was his education, and humble as were his pursuits, had proved his superiority as a Jurist, on one main branch of the law of England, to some of the most illustrious Judges by whom that law had been administered. Never was abolitionist more scathless than Granville Sharpe by the reproach to which their tribe has been exposed, of in-, sensibility to all human sorrows, unless the hair be thick as wool, and the skin as black as ebony. His African clients may indeed have usurped a larger share of his attachment than the others; and of his countless schemes of beneficence, that which he loved the best was the settlement at Sierra Leone of a free colony, to serve as a point-d'appui in the suture campaigns against the slave trade. But he may be quoted as an experimental proof of the infinite divisibility of the kindly affections. Much he wrote, and much he labored, to conciliate Great Britain and America ; much to promote the diffusion of the Holy Scriptures; much to interpret the prophecies contained in them ; much to refute the errors of the Socinians; much to sustain the cause of Grattan and the Irish volunteers; much to recommend reform in parliament; and much, it must be added, (for what is man in his best estate 7) to dissuade the emancipation of the Catholics. Many also were the benevolent societies which he formed or fostered; and his publications, who can number 2 Their common aim was to advance the highest interests of man

kind : but to none of them, with perhaps one exception, could the praise either of learning or of originality be justly given. For he possessed rather a great soul than a great understanding; and was less admirable for the extent of his resources, than for the earnest affection and the quiet energy with which he employed them. Like all men of that cast of mind, his humor was gay and festive. Among the barges which floated on a summer evening by the villa of Pope, and the chateau of Horace Walpole, none was more constant or more joyous than that in which Granville Sharpe's harp or kettle-drum sustained the flute of one brother, the hautboy of another, and the melodious voices of their sisters. It was a concord of sweet sounds, typical, as it might seem, of the fraternal harmony which blessed their dwelling on the banks of that noble river. Much honest mirth gladdened that affectionate circle, and brother Granville's pencil could produce very passable caricatures when he laid aside his harp, fashioned, as he maintained, in exact imitation of that of the son of Jesse. To complete the resemblance, it was his delight, at the break of day, to sing to it one of the songs of Zion in his chamber—raised by many an intervening staircase far above the Temple gardens, where young students of those times would often pause in their morning stroll, to listen to the not unpleasing cadence, though the voice was broken by age, and the language was to them an unknown tongue. On one of their number he condescended to bestow a regard—the memory of which would still warm the heart, even were it chilled by as many years as had then blanched that venerable head. The one might have passed for the grandson of the other; but they met with mutual pleasure, and conversed with a confidence not unlike that of equals. And yet, at this period, Granville Sharpe was passing into a state which, in a nature less active and benevolent than his, would have been nothing better than dotage. In him it assumed the form of a delirium, so calm, so busy, and giving birth to whims so kind-hearted, as often to remind his young associate of Isaac Walton's saying, that the very dreams of a good man are acceptable to God. To illustrate by examples the state of a mind thus hovering on the confines of wisdom and fatuity, may perhaps suggest the suspicion that the old man's infirmities were contagious; but even at that risk they shall be hazarded, for few

of the incidents of his more vigorous days delineate him so truly. William Henry, the last Duke of Gloucester, (who possessed many virtues, and even considerable talents, which his feeble talk and manners concealed from his occasional associates,) had a great love for Granville Sharpe; and nothing could be more amiable than the intercourse between them, though the one could never for the moment forget that he was a prince of the blood-royal, and the other never for a moment remembered that he was bred up as a linen-draper's apprentice. Beneath the pompous bearing of the Guelph lay a basis of genuine humility, and the free carriage of the ex-clerk of Ordnance was but the natural expression of a lowliness unembarrassed by any desire of praise or dread of failure. A little too gracious, perhaps, yet full of benignity, was the aspect and the attitude of the Duke, when, at one of the many philanthropic assemblages held under his presidency, Granville Sharpe (it was no common occurrence) rose, and requested leave to speak. He had, he said, two schemes, which, is recommended by such advocates, must greatly reduce the sum of human misery. To bring to a close the calamities of Sierra Leone, he had prepared a law for introduciug there King Alfred's frank pledge, a sovereign remedy for all such social wounds. At once to diminish the waste of human life in the Peninsula, and to aid the depressed workmen in England, he had devised a project for manufacturing portable woolpacks; under the shelter of which ever-ready intrenchments our troops might, without the least danger to themselves, mow down the ranks of the oppressors of Spain. A politician, as well as a strategist, he sought and obtained an interview with Charles Fox, to whom he had advice of great urgency to give for conducting the affairs of Europe. If the ghost of Burke had appeared to lecture him, Fox could hardly have listened with greater astonishment, as his monitor, by the aid of the Little Horn in Daniel, explained the future policy of Napoleon and of the Czar. “The Little Horn 1 Mr. Sharpe, at length exclaimed the most amiable of men, what in the name of wonder do you mean by the Little Horn ?” “See there,” said the dejected interpreter of prophecy to his companion, as they retired from the Foreign Office—“See there the fallacy of reputation | Why, that man passes for a states

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