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English grammar, and the useful parts of Arithmetic, they should be taught mensuration of superficies and solids ; as it helps the mind in many necessary matters, particularly the use of the scale and compass; and will open the way for those parts of the mathematics, which their peculiar situations may
afterwards make necessary. • It would also be profitable for every scholar, of both sexes, to go through and understand a short but very plain set of merchants' accounts in single entry, particularly adapted to the civil uses of life. And in order to perfect their education in a useful and agreeable way, both to themselves and others, I would propose to give them a general knowledge of the mechanical powers, geography, and the elements of astronomy: the use of the microscope might also be profitably added, in discovering the minute parts of the creation. This, with the knowledge of the magnitude and courses of those mighty bodies which surround us, would tend to exalt their ideas.
• Such parts of history as may tend to give them a right idea of the corruption of the human heart, the dreadful nature and effects of war, the advantage of virtue, &c. are also necessary parts of an education founded upon Christian and reasonable principles.
• These several instructions should be inculcated on a religious plan, in such a way as may prove a delightful, rather than a painful labour, both to teachers and pupils.
• It might also be profitable to give lads of bright genius some plain lectures upon anatomy, the wondrous frame of man, deducing therefrom the advantage of a plain, simple way of life; enforcing upon their understanding, the kind efforts of nature to maintain the human frame in a state of health with little medical help, but what abstinence and exercise will afford. These necessary parts of knowledge, so useful in directing the youthful mind, in the path of virtue and wisdom, might be proposed by way of lectures, which the pupil should write down, and, when corrected, should copy in a neat bound book, to be kept for future perusal.
The prevailing characteristics of Anthony Benezet’s mental and moral constitution, seem to have been an active, rather than an acute or profound intellect, and a kindness of heart, unwearied in exertion, and unlimited in its range. To a being of this cast, it will be anticipated that the Slave Trade would present an object of horror and of indefatigable interference. In America, he would not only have to contemplate slavery in description, but he would encounter it in its palpable and visible effects, and he acted with zeal and energy, and at the same time with weekness and prudence, upon luis deep convictions of its unlawfulness, and his practical acquaintance with its mis-, chievous consequences. He first opened an evening school for the instruction of the Blacks. His opinion of their intellectual endowments, founded on much personal observation, was highly favourable. I can (said Benezet) with truth and sincerity declare, that I Vol. X. N, S.
have found amongst the negroes as great variety of talents, as among a like number of whites; and I am bold to assert, that the notion entertained by some, that the blacks are inferior in their capacities, is a ulgar prejudice, founded on the pride or ignorance of their lordly masters; who have kept their slaves at such a distance, as to be unable to form a right judgement of them.'
He also published seasonable appeals to the publie mind on this momentous subject; and by communicating with eminent persons in all quarters of the globe, awakened a lively attention to it in the minds of those who were, in some respects, better fitted than hiipself for the more arduous achievements of the great war which was then commencing between the friends and the enemies of the human race. We are, however, sorry to find in Benezet's biographer, a weak and overweening disposition to make both things and persons subservient to the exaltation of bis subject, manifesting itself throughout his work, sometimes very absurdly; but in the portion at which we have now arrived, this disposition is exemplified in a way not at all creditable to his fairness --we bad almost said, his veracity. Our readers will probably recollect that interesting part of Mr. Clarkson's History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, where he describes the manner in which he was first induced to euter upon that task of scarcely paralleled difficulty and hardikood, which he so nobly laboured, and so gloriously achicie: Clarkson's mind was directed to the subject by a University thesis, and his feelings were gradually and by various means awakened and stimulated to a keen and ardent sympathy in the sufferings of the evslaved African. While meditating at the outset on the subject, with a mere view to the composition of a Latin dissertation on the unlawfulness of slavery, le found himself very scantily stored with facts and illustrations, and was • at a loss what authors to consult respecting it, “when going by accident,' says he, “ into a friend's house, I took up a newspaper, then lying on the table ; one of the articles which attracted my notice, was an advertisement of Anthony Benezet's historical account of Guinea. I soon left my friend and his paper, and to lose no time, hastened to London to buy it. In this precious book I found almost all I wanted."*
• The information furnished by Benezet's book encouraged him to complete his essay, which was rewarded with the first prize ; and from that moment Clarkson's mind became interested with the great subject of the abolition !'--Vaux, pp. 35, 36.
This passage is so constructed as to convey an altogetber incorrect notion of the real state of the case, and the extract from Mr. Clarkson's book is mutilated for the purpose of assisting
* Vide Clarkson's History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
the erroneous impression. It bas evidently been Mr. Vaux's intention, to give to Benezet the credit of exciting and informing the zeal and the genius of Clarkson, by communicating to bim nearly all the knowledge necessary to complete his thesis, and to gain the prize ; whereas, the very next sentence, as it stands in Mr. Clarkson's book, explains the nature of the assistance afforded, and limits it to little more than a reference to authorities. I obtained,' says Mr. Clarkson, by means of it,
a knowledge of, and gained access to, the great authorities • of Adanson, Moore, Barbot, Sinith, Bosman,' and others.” 1
In addition to this, the whole tenour of Mr. Vaux's representation, as it stands in this Memoir, tends to make it appear, that but for Benezet, the heroic devotedness of Clarkson would have
been lost to Africa and the world; while the impression pro· duced upon our minds by Mr. C.'s account is, that the strong
workings of his own mind, aided by soine external circumstances, had already given the inpulse, and that the pamphlet in question was only instrumental in giviog it assistance and direction.
In the course of his exertions, Benezet corresponded with many individuals of celebrity, and we have here selections from his letters to Dr. Fothergill, to the acute, accomplished, and determined Granville Sharp, to the Abbé Raynal, and to Queen Charlotte. In one of his letters to a friend, we find a sentence which we quote for the benefit of all whom it may concern : People are shamefully cureless in not returning borrowed books.
His kind and merciful disposition engaged him in the benevolent, but we fear always hopeless, design of extirpating the spirit of war. On this subjeet he wrote, he published, he expostulated; but, we suspect, to little purpose, since he seems to have, in common with many other excellent individuals, taken weak ground, and to have rested bis arguments rather on the appeal to feeling than to existing circumstances, and to strong stern reasoning. In fact, we think that this subject is yet sub judice, and that it has not yet by any 'means undergone that 5 extended discussion and severe sifting, which its importance de
mands. When Sir Jeffery Ainherst, in 1763, was preparing to open a campaign against the Indians, Benezet addressed a
letier to that officer, deprecating: hostilities, and pointing out - the means of abtaining and securing peace. This address, fraught with calm good sense, strong facts, and business-like statement, we regret our inability to insert entire, and it would weaken its effect, were we to mutilate it. The Indians, indeed, had not been neglected by this amiable man ; their cause lay near his heart, and in 1756, he had joined an association for the purpose of regaining and preserving peace with that perse
We are, however, compelled to turn aside from much interesting matter connected with tbis and other transactions, in wbich Benezet took a conspicuous part, steadily and always seeking to promote "peace on earth, and goodwill tous wards men. When harsh and injurious ineasures had been adopted towards the French settlers in Nova Scotia, on the allegation, not very clearly made out, that they were in traitorous correspondence with their countrymen, during the war of 1755, and they were in consequence exiled to different parts of North America, Benezet was active in behalf of those who were landed at Philadelphia, and to the utmost extent of his power, mitigated their sufferings. Respecting the private character and conduct of this admirable man, we are furnished with many interesting anecdotes and illustrations, by Mr. Vaux. In fact, Benezet was always on the alert; beneficence was the business of his existence; the anxiety to do good never went from him ; and bis life is a striking instance of the excellent effects of energy and determination, even where the means are comparatively small. We must, however, refer to the Memoirs themselves for these and other impressive facts, excepting the following extract, which does honour to both the parties principally concerned.
. During the American war, when the British army occupied Philadelphia, Benezet was assiduous in affording relief to many of the inhabitants, whom the state of things, at that distressing period, had reduced to great privation. Accidentally observing a female, whose countenance indicated calamity, he immediately inquired into her circumstances. She informed him that she was a washerwoman, and had a family of small children dependant on her exertions for subsistence; that she had formerly supported them by her industry, but then having six Hessians quartered at her house, it was impossible, from the disturbance they made, to attend to her business, and she and her children must speedily be reduced to extreme poverty.
• Having listened to her simple and affecting relation, Benezet determined to meliorate her situation. He accordingly repaired general's quarters ; intent on his final object, he omitted to obtain a pass, essential to an uninterrupted access to the officer; and entering the house without ceremony, he was stopped by the sentinel, who, after some conversation, sent word to the general, “ that a queer looking fellow insisted upon seeing him.”
He was soon ordered up. Benezet, on going into the room, inquired which was the chief, and taking a chair, seated himself beside the general. Such a breach of etiquette surprised the company present, and induced a German officer to exclaim in his vernacular tongue : “ What does the felloro mean ?" Benezet, however, proceeded, in French, to relate to the general the cause of his visit, and painted the situation of the poor woman in such vivid colours, as speedily to accomplish the purpose of his humane interference. After thanking the commander for the ready acquiescence to his request, he was about taking his departure, wheu the general expressed a desire to cultivate a further acquaintance, requesting him io call whenever it might be convenient ; at the same time giving orders, that Benezet in future should be admitted without ceremuny,' p. 144.
In person Benezet was small, and far from bandsome, but his features were strong and interesting, and his countenance beamed with benignant animation.' The prevailing quality of his mind was humility, a Christian virtue which he always exemplified, and which he delighted to recommend. His character in this respect was beautifully illustrated by an anecdote which closes the volume, and with which we shall close this article, merely adding that this exalted individual died May 3, 1784, at the age of 71.
• With feelings tending to enthusiastic eulogy, his biographer pauses in the recollection of a fact, communicated by one of the most intimate surviving friends of this amiable and excellent man. He disapproved of the often over-rated testimonies which were recorded of the dead, and requested the venerable gentleman alluded to,'to use his exertions if he should survive him, to prevent any posthumous memorial concerning him, should his friends manifest a disposition to offer such a tribute of affection to his
thus adding to the injunction: “But if they will not regard my desire, they may say :~ANTHONY Benezet was a poor creature, and, through Divine favour, was enabled to know it.”' pp. 151, 2.
Art. VII. A Popular Inquiry into the Scripture Doctrine concerning
the Person of Christ, with Notes and Ilustrations. By the Rev. John Wilson, A. M. Hexham, Author of Popular Reflections on the Progress of the Principles of Toleration. Svo. pp. 190. Price
5s.6d. 1817. IT
is of great importance to every person engaged in the pur
suit of truth, that the questions to which a sense of duty impels his attention, be divested of all extraneous matter, and that the evidence offered for the purpose of proving them, be separated from all testimony insufficient to induce satisfaction with its de. positions on the agitated subjects. We are glad to perceive the increasing determination to regulate theological controversy on this principle. It is now no longer reckoned an affair of consequence, to ascertain what was the opinion of writers who lived a thousand or fifteen hundred years ago, on particular points of religious difference. The only conviction which is now sought, is that which a competent authority must supply, and nothing is now considered as a competent authority which is human in its origin. Only a Divine authority can compel in religion. Whatever, therefore, might be the sentiments of the Fathers, whatever Clemens, or Chrysostom, or Augustine, miglit believe, no argument