Page images
PDF

infancy from certain perdition? When women, who have expiated the crimes which woman alone can commit, are released from their prison, why should they he met nt the prison-gates by ihe Daughters of Pollution, to cnrry them back to the haunts of guilt, and not by Sisters of Charity, to redeem them from a life of shame? In all our villages, in all our cities, throughout our land, there are sufferings and crimes which no human law can remedy, though our lawgivers were a Senate of Scions or of Solomons; but which the Divine law of benevolence, written on the heart of woman, can reach and abolish. As man has discovered science after science, opening into the wonders of the intellectual world, Bo may woman now discover new and grander realms of benevolence, opening into the beauties of the spiritual world. The genius of man has originated thousands of inventions to enrich and aggrandize his race, each of them a wonder in the age of its birth; the heart of woman can develope a thousand aesthetic and moral charms, a thousand new allurements to truth, and incentives to virtue, each of them a glory and beauty for ever. Art, knowledge, power, grandeur, and all the wisdom which the intellect could give, have been the attendant ministers of his dynasty; gentleness, beauty, purity, peace and universal love, will he the angels that come with her Evangel.

Well may the people shout, Grkat is Victoria, The Qubbn! But hearken a moment to me, and I will tell you of sovereignties mure royal than hers; of dynsisties that shall never come to an end; of queens mure lovely than ever sat upon an earthly throne. They are the Daughters of Benevolence! Tlrey agonized, because thej saw around them a world of agony and sin. Weeping and disconsolate, they went forth to reclaim it; audio! God made them the happiest of all the daughters of men. They teach the Gospel of God's Laws. They teacli the gospel of Health; and the nois >me abodes of poverty, the Tartarean depths of city streets, open to the purifying breows of heaven and the disinfecting sunlight; and where they go, He who sendeth forth the pestilence hath forbidden it to follow. They tench the gospel of Beauty; and the charms of art and embellishment spring up, like a luxuriant vegetation, around the humble dwellings of the poor. They teacli the sospel of Intelligence and Refinement; and the seekers after pleasure no longer go downward into the regions of sensation, but upwards into the regions of emotion, tor their joys. They teach the gospel of Temperance; and squalid want and frenzy soon learn to sing the thanksgivings of abundance and peace. They teach the gospel of Virtue; standing «t the diverging paths, whereof one leads to heaven, and the other to the chamber of death, they point and guide to the ascending ways. They teach the gospel of Salvation; before which death loses its sting, and the victory is transferred from the grave to the righteous soul that triumphs over it. The angels call them Sisters. The Father front His throne beholds them. "And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that clay when I make up my jewels."—Han. Horace Mann.

A Negro Benefactor.

(From. "Homes in the New World")

"I must tell you about one negro, whose history is closely connected with the family on this plantation, and which has been related to me. It is a beautiful instance of the peculiar nobility of the negro character, when this approaches its proper development. This man is called Samedi, or Saturday, and was the servant of Mr. C.'s parents, in St. Domingo, when the celebrated massacre took place there, and from which he saved, at the peril of his own life, the two sons, then boys, of his master— my host being one of them. He carried them on his shoulders in the night, through all dangers, down to the harbour, where he had secured for himself and the boys a passage in a small vessel to Charleston, iu South Carolina. Safely arrived, here, he

placed the two boys at school, and hired himself out as a servant. He and the boys also had lost everything they possessed in the horrible night at St. Domingo. He had been alone able to save their lives. He now muintained and clothed them and himself by his labour. Each week he took to each of the boys three dollars of his wages, and this he continued till the boys grew into young men, and he an old man. My host went to sea, and acquired wealth by his ability and good fortune. Afterwards, when he was possessed of a plantation in Cuba, and had married, he took old Saturday to live with him ; and now he took care of him in his turn, and every week gave him three dollars as pocket-money in return for those which he had received from this magnanimous negro in his boyish years. Old Saturday lived here long and happily,

[ocr errors]

and free from care, beloved and esteemed by all. He died two years since, in extreme oltl age. He was an upright Christian, and very pious. It was, therefore, a surprise to nis master, after his death, to find that he wore upon his breast an African amulet, a piece of folded paper, printed very email, with letters and words in an African tongue, and to which the negroes appear to ascribe a supernatural power. But good Christianity does not trouble herself iibout such little heathenish superstition, the remains of twilight after the old night. Our good Christinn peasantry of Sweden cannot help still believing in fairies and witchcraft, in wise men and women, and I myself believe in them to a certain degree. There is still witchcraft enough prevailing, but

'The Rood can »ay our dear Lord's prayer,
And feir neither witch nor devil?'

Still, nevertheless,

'It is «o dark, far, far away in the forest!' What do you now say to this negro slave? Ought, indeed, a race of people which can show such heroes ever to have been enslaved? But this conduct of Saturday's is by no means a solitary instance of its kind in that bloody night of St. Domingo. Many slaves saved, or endeavoured to save, their masters or their children, and many los their lives in the attempt."—Fred. Bremer

Letter from a recently escaped Slave In London,

To his Afistresi in one of the American Slave Statet Dear Mistress,—You no doubt will fee astonished to receive a letter from this country, more especially from your ok servant, A. B., but I feel it my duty to let you know that I am not dead. I write to you, for I think you take a deeper interest in my case than any other person. I don't write out of any ill feeling to you, or any of the rest I left behind. I am now in a country that is far from my native home; but although the country is uew to me, il makes me feel like a new man—all faces that I see are strange to me—but they all acknowledge me free here, and I feel so. Mistress, you no doubt think that I speak hard of you, now I have become a free man. I have thousands of questions askert me concerning my old home. I tell the truth, and by Bo doing am obliged to tell of some of master's cruel deeds—you may wonder what those deeds arc—oh no, it can't be possible you do, for your eyes have joined in tears with mine over some of them. The morning I left your house, Mr. S. kept talking to me about the new home I was

joing to have—but oh, mistress, my heart vas so overloaded with grief that I was lot able to ask him any questions, or to answer any. We had a pleasant passage to Charlestown—lie treated me well; I itopped in King-street, at Mr. Perry's hotel. Mr. S. told me I might go out and see the ;own—but I had seen too muuh of it already. Excuse me, mistress, for not telling you low I reached this country; I would be liappy to do so, but I am afraid it might stop some other poor slave who might wish to try the same plan. Slave, did 1 say? What a name to rise from a country that waves the proud flag erf liberty, and wastes so many thousands of pounds of gunpowder, every 4th of July, celebrating liberty— yes, and four years ago, last fourth of July, you know whatasad day that was for me— but, however, I will dwell no longer on this point, for I think you well know what I mean. Now, mistress, please to allow me to tell you something about this country. I am now in London—I confess I wear no watch or chain now, neither have I my old clothes-press to go to. I walk through no cotton or rice fields—no, I am deprived of all those pleasures now, if pleasures you call them; but here I have the watch of freedom, that I hope will time me through life. When I rise iu the morning and look out of my chamber window, my eyes behold no slave tied to the whipping post, neither do my ears hear the cry of the slavemother—no, thank God, the word slave is not known here. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I am free, but the Queen, who has no slaves, says I am, and all her subjects shout freedom, and I assure you I help them. Now, mistress, will you allow me to ask you one favour? It is not for gold or silver I ask, neither is it anything that I think is out of your power to grant. Will you please to give me some information where my dear mother is gone ?—yon, I am quite sure, know where she is gone; I am willing to give the rest of my labour through life for my mother's freedom, if it can Le had. Oh, mistress, you once had a mother; think what your feelings would have been, had she been placed in circumstances like mine. Mistress, I know your heart is not hard and cold; I think you know how to feel for my case ; and if yon will give me the least encouragement to learn where my dear mother lives, if gold can buy her, I will strive to earn it, God helping me. And if she cannot be bought, will you try to get some word to her that I am free, and I pray for her day and night, and will endeavour to meet lier iu the land where we shall hotli be free, with Him who has bought our souls with His precious blood. Oh! how I wish I could hare a couple of hours'conversation with you here, for this being my first attempt to dictate a letter, it comes very hard and tiresome for me; but I am in hopes soon to be able to pen you a letter by my own hand, as I am trying to learn to read and write. If times go on well with me I sbnll hope to write master a letter. I heartily hope that you and he and your family are nil well; please make my most respectful remembrances to them, and give my most affectionate regards to Hannah. One word more, mistress—Believe me I hold a grateful recollection of all your kindness and care for me, and hope, as you value freedom yourself, you will not think hardly of me that I have tried to grasp the same blessing. Fraying heartily for your welfare, I am, dear mistress,

Once your faithful slave, but now
A Free Man.

i To have a he-art for those who weep,

The sottish drunkard win;
To rescue all the children deep

In ignorance and sin!
To help the poor—the hungry feed,

And give hint coat and shoe;
To see that all can write and read,

/* "work enough to do."

The time is short, the world is wide,

And much has to be done; This wondrous earth and all its pride

Will vanish with the sun! The moments fly on lightning wings,

And life's uncertain too,
We've none to waste on foolish things,

"There's work enough to do."
J. ~

There's Work enough to do. The blackbird early leaves its rest

To meet the smiling morn,
And gather fragments for its nest

From upland, wood, and lawn.
The busy bee, that wings its way

'Mid sweets of varied hue,
At every flower would seem to say,

"There's work enough to do." The cowslip and the spreading vine,

The daisy in the gross,
The snowdrop and the eglantine

Preach sermons as we pass.
The ant, within its cavern deep,

Would bid us labour too, And writes upon its tiny heap,

"There't work enough to do." The planets, at their Maker's will,

Move onward in their cars,
For Nature's wheel is never still,

Progressive as the stars!
The leaves that flutter in the air,

And summer's breezes woo,
One solemn truth to man declare,

"There't work enough to do." Who then can sleep, when all around

Is active, fresh, and free?
Shall man the mighty lord, be found,

Less busy than the bee .'
Our courts and alleys are the field,

If men would search them through; That best the sweets of labour yield,

And " work enough to do."

This Help must come from the Ladle*.

"You see that gentle, modest-looking girl," said a person on the platform of a railway station, "she is nearer heaven than I fear she realises. She is the favourite

maid of Lady A , whose love of gaiety

has shortened that poor girl's days, I believe." It was suggested that she should travel in the same carriage as far as the city to which she was accompanying her ladyship, in the brilliant anticipation of two balls that same evening, and visions of " Commemoration fetes," and Ascot Races to follow.

A few kindly words, allusive to the lovely scenes we were passing, turned that interesting face in pleased surprise on me, and one brief glance showed the laboured respiration, the hectic flush, and transparent complexion—which spoke of consumption. A remark being made on her delicate appearance she quietly replied, "Thank you, I am better than I have been; but the doctors honestly tell me my lungs are incurably affected, and I believe this. But the Lord has long been pleased to be gracious to my soul, and I do not fear to die. Late hours and sitting up, often the whole night, sitting closely to work in the day as well, have shortened ray days— though my lady is very kindly thoughtful for me now." [There is more harm done in the world from want of thought than from actual unkindness, thought 1.1

"Oh," she earnestly added, "it is a great blessing to believe that there irill be less of this suffering than there has been. Did you hear the sermon on the 'Early Closing Movement,' lost evening, ma'am?

Mr. was a faithful preacher; claiming

rest for the weary workers, and plainly telling the ladies many a poor girl fills an early grave that they may have a fashionable dress or bonnet in the quickest possible time. I knew he spoke the truth there," she said thoughtfully, but without a tinge of bitterness.

The efforts of this excellent minister, and the lingering illness and death-bed triumphs of a Christian lad — son of my platform friend—had been richly blest to the soul of the poor girl, and the fervent desire arose in my heart that the sorrowful impressions which then oppressed my spirit might be made useful in my conduct through life.

A few " Leaflets" and tracts, with a little book called "Insensible Influence," were, with a pencilled word of interest and best wishes from the stranger, thankfully accepted; and with the parting salutation to the poor flushed invalid, whose smile of calm serenity bespoke her trustful reliance on her Saviour, I treasured in my inmost heart the reflection that in very truth, for evils like this—" The help must come from the ladies."

EDITOR'S OMNIBUS.

Edward Hazard Mathews. _ And Still another! As the journey of life descends into the winding shades of its last years, how many partings come by the way! How frequent the farewell and final words of earthly separation said by friend to friend, by those who had " cherished noble longing? for the strife," and co-worked, hand in hand, in labours of Christian philanthropy! In the Bund for December we offered a few words of remembrance to the memory of our dear friend, George Bradsbaw. Almost before the ink was dry with which we penned those reflections, the intelligence reached us that another ardent, meek, indefatigable worker in the cause, with whom we had been intimately associated from our first arrival in Great Britain, had been summoned to his rest. Edward Hazard Muthcws, of Bristol, was an earnest, Christian young man, ever active, hopeful, and faithful, in every good work and word. Few of his age and circumstances have ever been more zealous and indefatigable in the peace, temperance, and anti-slavery movements. And the chief and striking merit of these efforts lay in the meekness of heart with which they were put forth. He lived a life of little benevolent activities, that made no noise in their flow, though they permeated and enriched many of the lowlands of human experience with full-running

rivulets of happy influence. He did not work for the praise that comes from men, and he did not get it; for few were acquainted with his quiet labours for the wellbeing of others. He needed no such praise; for in his countenance and gentle tenor of his daily life, he mirrored the reward that shone serene in his conscience. In his weakness, he never wearied of his efforts to do good. Every day of his life had its work and its word of t'ailh and love. His loving and Christian sympathies seemed in equilibrium, in all the various enterprises of philanthropy in which good and true men are engnged. It was difficult to say which of these causes was dearest to bi« heart. Then, as a humble, untiring teacher of the Christian religion to the poor, the value of his labours will never be known in this world. It was his delight to get little audiences together on the Sabbath, in the scattered hamlets about Bristol, and preach to them his little Gospel sermon?, full of love for human souls, full of faith in his Saviour, full of the earnest unction of the Spirit, which blessed his words to many an humble hearer. He was, as it were, the head and heart of the little Brotherhood band that was originated in Bristol in 1846; and from that time to the day of his departure, his interest in the cause seemed to wax warmer and warmer. He was present at the first Peace Congress at Brussels, in 1848; and attended several of the subsequent demonstrations. Thus, one by one, the active and long-tried workers in this great field of philanthropy are tailing, on the right and the left. One by one, all who remain will soon pass away, and their places be filled by others, whom the Father of the harvest shall raise up to carry on the work He approves. Let every one take home this great lesson to his heart, and whatsoever his band findeth to do, do with his might; for the night eometh.

Another!—And still another departure of an active and zealous worker in the cause of peace and brotherhood calls for a few reflections. For we would, as it were, devote a little tablet in the Bond to the memory of every one of the earnest spirits that are transported from this field of Christian effort to those realms of light, lore, and peace, of which He is the way, the truth, and the life, whom they followed and obeyed in these works of love and faith on earth. Mrs. James Coombs, of Bedford, was one of the mo-t active members of the Olive Leal Circle in that town, which was formed in her own bot»e in 1851. From that time, to the day of her departure, her benevolent sympathies became more and more enlisted in the cause which it was organised to promote. Last winter, she and one or two more members of the Circle, got up a large tea meeting, almost entirely famished at their own cost, the proceeds of which were appropriated to the expense of a public meeting on Ocean Penny Postage, in the largest hall in the town. She came all the way to London, with two or three other members of the Bedford Circle, to attend the Olive Leaf Soiree at the Bridge House Hotel, and seemed to derive the greatest enjoyment from the proceedings of that interesting meeting. Her bereaved and devoted husband, in a letter communicating the intelligence of her death, writes,—"She loved the cause of universal brotherhood, and laboured earnestly in its behalf. A few hours before leaving us, she requested me to write and give her kind remembrance to yourself and Mr. Fry. Your Bond was always a welcome messenger, for it told her of the progress of the good cause, and confirmed and encouraged her in the efforts she made to promote its success. As she had lived the life of a Christian, so she died the death of one; and, to mitigate the grief at parting, she was specially favoured by God in her last moments; and when she had reached the threshold of heaven, was permitted to look back on us, while the light of heaven radiated on her countenance, to tell us with joy of the glory on which she was about to enter. Such a life and such a death as hers, make me feel with your own Longfellow, that

'Life is real, life is earnest;
And the grave is not its goal.'"

And yet Another—And still another has fallen asleep ; one who was also earnest and active in labouring for the cause of peace and human brotherhood. Esther I! , the wife of John King, of Birkenbead, was one of the secretaries of the Olive Leaf Circle in that town, and full of lively interest in the objects of the association. Her pen contributed one of the little "Leaflets of the Law of Kindness;" and she was ever ready to employ it in behalf of the cause. A member of the Society thus adverts to her departure:—•' You arc doubtless informed of the loss our little Circle has sustained, in the death of our dear and valued secretary, Esther R. King. Ours i* the loss; hers the eternal gain: and could we abandon our selfish affection, which fain would have kept her amongst us yet longer

in this vale of tears and trials,—could we but for n moment realise aught of the glories of her heavenly home, we should rejoice that the Master so soon called her redeemed spirit to its mansion of rest and peace. Her bereaved friends, especially her husbnnd and three little children, call for and obtain very deep sympathy from all who knew her exemplary life."

Sow in Hope.—There are, and must be, seasons when clouds will hang dense and black over every field of Christian effort; when the timid will counsel the sower to withhold his hand, and not drop the precious seeds of truth on the waters in their flood and fury. But no harvest is promised to the hand that falters and falls spiritless before such aspects and mutterings of danger. God Joveth the liberal giver, and " he that goetii forth, bearing precious seed," though he may sow them with bis tears, "shall, doubtless, come again, bearing his sheaves witli him." We would remind those of our readers of this Divine promise, who may be inclined to shrink before the aspects of those sudden clouds that gather in the East, and obscure the firmament of Christendom with their shadow. Behind these clouds is the sun; and above and beyond the sun, is the great Master of the harvest, who holds these noisy elements of human wrath in his control, and will constrain and restrain them to His glory and the good of mankind. We would entreat them to "bnte no jot of heart or hope," to hold not their hands for a moment, but sow in hope and faith by all waters, at home and abroad. AVhatever may be the issue of this Eastern Question, it must accrue to the ultimate advantage of the cause of peace. If the potsherds of the earth shall be permitted to strive witli their fellow potsherds on the battle-field again, in connexion with this question, the result of their folly and fanaticism will furnish a new and impressive illustration of the rectitude of the principles of peace. Already the wickedness, insanity, and stupidity of the policy of armed negotiation have been brought out in startling relief by Russia in its forcible occupation of the Danubian Provinces for the purpose of overawing Turkey into a concession of unjust claims. There is hut little doubt that the Russian Emperor would give up half his empire if he could recover himself from that violent, step consistently with that spurious code of honour which makes it disgraceful in a Government to own that it is in the wrong, and to make just amends for it.

« PreviousContinue »