at Rotterdam. Mr. West has been for some months in Holland, chiefly at Rotterdam ; where he has been much favored in obtaining access to many of the Jews: great numbers have heard the truth.

“ Mr. J. Stockfeld continues to prosecute his labors, from Cologne, in the district of the Lower Rhine; chiefly directing his efforts to the circulation of the Scriptures, and to their introduction into Jewish schools, in which he has proved eminently successful. Mr. C. C. Petri resides at present at Lippstadt, where he will be shortly joined by Mr. J. E. Hiscock. Cassel has been visited by Mr. R. Bellson, whose own Jewish relatives reside in that city. Mr. J. C. Moritz continues to reside at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, where he has continual opportunities of preaching the gospel, and distributing the Scriptures among the Jews; especially among the foreign Jews, who come to Frankfort for purposes of traffic, or are passing through on their journeys elsewhere.

“The schools in Prussian Poland, and the labors of the missionaries (Rev. J. G. Wermelskirch, Mr. J. Graf, and Mr. J. Hartmann) were suspended, on account both of cholera and of the political convulsions in the neighboring country. The Rev. A. Gerlach, at Thorn, found his labors, in common with his brethren in this part of Europe, much interrupted by the military precautions which the troubles of Poland rendered necessary. He continued to travel among the Jews during the whole of last summer, in East and West Prussia, and in the north of Prussian Poland. The Rev. J. G. Bergfeldt has continued his labors at Koenigsberg, under circumstances of much trial : at one period, his intercourse with the Jews was entirely suspended.

“In Warsaw, the Rev. A. M'Caul, the Rev. F. W. Becker, the Rev. R. Smith, and Messrs. J. Lange, J. Waschitscheck, and H. Lawrence continued to go among the Jews so long as it was practicable or allowable to do so; although the excitement of military preparation by no means tended to open a way for their quiet exertions. Mr. Smith and Mr. Lawrence are engaged in superintending the Warsaw institution for affording employment for destitute inquiring Jews: it is in no respect dependent on the society for its support. Upwards of forty Jews have been in the Institution since January, 1830: the greatest number at one time has been seventeen; the smallest, which is at present, seven. # “ At Lublin, the situation of your missionaries (Rev. G. Wendt, Rev. L. Hoff, and Mr. Rosenfeldt) was very peculiar, and their deliverances have been most remarkable : the cholera morbus prevailed most alarmingly around them, and when this abated, their part of the country became the scene of warfare and bloodshed.”


[ocr errors]

Portugal. On the 23d of April, 1826, Don Pedro (IV. of Portugal) granted a constitution to his people, establishing two chambers, and in other respects resembling the French charter. On the 2d of May, he abdicated the throne in favor of his daughter, Donna Maria, he remaining king during her minority, on condition of her marrying her uncle Miguel. But a party secretly favored by Spain, was formed in Portugal, which aimed at the overthrow of this constitution, which had been sworn to by the queen, by the two chambers, and all the magistrates, and even by Miguel himself. This party proclaimed the prince absolute king of Portugal. Spain assembled an army on the frontiers. England sent over 15,000 troops to the aid of the queen. They occupied the most important points, and Spain was forced to yield. In July, 1827, Pedro named his brother Miguel, regent of the kingdom, with all the rights established by the charter. On the 26th of February, 1828, Miguel took the oath to observe the charter. But the absolutists soon began to speak of his entire right to the throne. His ministers were all appointed from that party, except Vila Real. On the 1st of March, acts of personal violence were offered to some constitutionalists, and on the 14th, the cortez was dissolved. Near the end of June, the constitutional forces were defeated in a battle fought near Lisbon. Miguel now turned his attention to the consolidation of his power, and assumed the royal title. Cruelty marked his measures, and the prisons were filled with victims. Madeira and the Azores were reduced to subjection, with the exception of Terceira. For some time, Portugal was the prey of political and religious bigots. In 1830, it was estimated that the number of prisoners confined for political causes was above 40,000. In May, 1831, Miguel was compelled by a British Aleet to yield to some demands for redress of grievances suffered on the part of the British. A similar humiliation was inflicted by the French in July. In August, an insurrection of the troops broke out against Miguel ; it was temporarily suppressed, after some bloodshed.

On the 9th of July, 1832, Don Pedro, with his forces, amounting to about 7,500, landed in Portugal, and immediately proceeded to Oporto, which he entered without opposition. On the 23d, the forces of Pedro and Miguel met near Coimbra, and a battle was fought, in which the former, with about 8,000 men, defeated the latter with 12,500. The war continued, with various alternations, till the summer of 1833, when Pedro began to gain decided advantages over his brother. On the 23d of July, Count Villa Flor, marching from St. Ubes, met and totally routed the forces of Miguel sent from Lisbon. On the receipt of this intelligence at Lisbon, the Miguelite forces, 4,000 strong, abandoned the city, and Count Villa Flor, with the constitutionalists, entered it on the 24th. Admiral Napier, had previously entirely defeated the naval force of Miguel. Some attempts have been made since, by the absolutists, under the French general Bourmont, to recover their lost ground, but without effect. In the character of the two brothers, there does not seem much to choose. Pedro is represented as cruel in his temper, and dissolute in his morals, though brave and energetic in body and mind. He was born in Lisbon, Oct. 12, 1798. In 1817, he married Leopoldine, archduchess of Austria, daughter of Francis I., by whom he had five children, among whom are the queen Donna Maria de Gloria, and Don Pedro II., present emperor of Brazil, born in 1825. Leopoldine died in 1826, a reputed victim to her husband's scandalous attachment for the marchioness of Santos.

Miguel was born Oct. 26th, 1802. Doubts are said to have been entertained by the king in respect to the legitimacy of his birth. His mother, daughter of Charles IV. of Spain, imbued his mind with all her political and religious prejudices. In private life, Miguel has shown himself an unfeeling tyrant. He threw his eldest sister, Isabella Maria, into prison, and he has even been accused of attempting to poison both his sisters.



This distinguished philanthropist was born at Hull, in Yorkshire, England, in 1759, of which place his grandfather had been twice mayor. His father died when he was young, and in 1774, he was sent to St. John's college, Cambridge, where he formed an intimacy with Mr. Pitt. Mr. Wilberforce came into the possession of a large fortune, and in 1780, was elected member of parliament for Hull. During this parliament, he did not take any active part in politics. In 1784, he was re-elected, and owing to the partiality of the people for Mr. Pitt's friends, was also chosen for the county of York.

In 1787, Thomas Clarkson, in the prosecution of his great object, the abolition of the slave-trade, first visited Mr. Wilberforce. Mr. W. stated frankly to him, that the subject had often employed his thoughts, and that it was near his heart. He had repeated conversations with Mr. Clarkson, and urged him to proceed in his philanthropic labors. Soon afterwards, at the unanimous request of the friends of the abolition of the traffic, Mr. W. consented to bring forward the measure into parliament. The nature of the trade soon became known throughout the kingdom. In February, 1788, thirty-five petitions had been sent to the house of commons in reference to the subject. In the same month, the king, by an order of council, directed that a committee of the privy council should sit as a board of trade, to take the subject into consideration. Mr. Wilberforce was too ill to render any assistance in connection with this examination. Mr. Pitt accordingly consented to introduce the subject to the notice of parliament. On the 9th of May, Mr. Pitt rose, and said " that he intended to move a resolution relative to a subject, which was of more importance than any which had ever agitated that house. This honor he should not have had, but for a circumstance which he could not but deeply regret, the severe indisposition of his friend Mr. Wilberforce, in whose hands every measure, which belonged to justice, humanity, and the national interest, was peculiarly well placed.” Mr. Pitt was followed by Fox, Burke, Whitbread, and others. The general subject was postponed to the next session, and in the mean time, witnesses were heard on both sides of the question.

On the 19th of March, 1789, Mr. Wilberforce rose in the house of commons, and desired that the resolution, by which the house stood pledged to take the slave-trade into consideration, might be read. He then moved that the house should resolve itself into a committee of the whole, on the 23d of April, for this purpose. The time was subsequently postponed to the 12th of May. On that day, Mr. Wilberforce made an extended speech, in which he took up the subject from its foundations. We copy the closing paragraph.

“ He would now conclude by begging pardon of the house for having detained them so long. He could indeed have expressed his own conviction in fewer words. He needed only to have made one or two short statements, and to have quoted the commandment, “Thou shalt do no murder.' But he thought it his duty to lay the whole of the case, and the whole of its guilt, before them. They would see now that no mitigations, no palliatives, would either be efficient or admissible. Nothing short of an absolute abolition could be adopted. This they owed to Africa : they owed it, too, to their VOL. 1.



own moral characters. And he hoped they would follow up the principle of one of the repentant African captains, who had gone before the committee of privy council as a voluntary witness, and that they would make Africa all the atonement in their power for the multifarious injuries she had received at the hands of British subjects. With respect to these injuries, their enormity and extent, it might be alleged in their excuse, that they were not fully acquainted with them till that moment, and therefore not answerable for their former existence: but now they could no longer plead ignorance concerning them. They had seen them brought directly before their eyes, and they must decide for themselves, and must justify to the world and their own consciences, the facts and principles upon which their decision was formed.”

Edmund Burke, who soon afterwards spoke, declared that the house, the nation, and all Europe, were under great obligations to Mr. Wilberforce for having brought this important subject forward. “He had done it in a manner the most masterly, impressive, and eloquent. He had laid down his principles so admirably, and with so much order and force, that his speech equalled any thing which he had ever heard in modern oratory.” Fox, Greenville, Pitt, and others, concurred in the same opinion of Mr. Wilberforce's speech. As a specimen of the noble spirit by which he was actuated, we make another quotation, from a speech delivered some years afterwards.

“ To see this great cause thus triumphing over distinctions and prejudices, was a noble spectacle. Whatever might be said of our political divisions, such a sight had taught us, that there were subjects still beyond the reach of party ; that there was a point of elevation, where we ascended above the jarring of the discordant elements, which ruffled and agitated the vale below. In our ordinary atmosphere, clouds and vapors obscured the air, and we were the sport of a thousand conflicting winds and adverse currents; but here we moved in a higher region, where all was pure and clear, and free from perturbation and discomposure.

* As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,

Eternal sunshine settles on its head.' “Here then, on this august eminence, he hoped we should build the temple of benevolence; that we should lay its foundation deep in truth and justice; and that we should inscribe upon its gates, 'Peace and good-will to men.' Here we should offer the first-fruits of our benevolence, and endeavor to compensate, if possible, for the injuries we had brought upon our fellow men.

« VorigeDoorgaan »