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THAT this cannot be accomplished by the white race, says the Philadelphia Ledger, is clearly established in a long series of indications. Numerous and energetic efforts have been made within the last three hundred years, by both Protestants and Roman Catholics, to introduce the Gospel into Africa, but | the same sad and brief history has characterised them all. They were but a series of disasters and deaths. During forty years, from 1811 to 1850, the Wesleyan Mission Society of England sent out one hundred and seventeen missionaries to various parts of the West coast. Of these, fifty-four died on the field, although no one continued longer than four years at their ostwithout returning to recruit health. § these fifty-four, thirty-nine died within one year, after their arrival; twenty-three in less than six months, and thirteen in less than three months. Of those who survived, thirteen were obliged to return, after a residence of from six to twenty-one months. During thirty years, from 1806 to 1835, the Church Missionary Society of London sent out one hundred and nine missionaries, more than fifty of whom died at their stations, three or four on the passage home, fourteen returned home with impaired constitutions, and, in 1835, only three labourers remained. About thirty of these fifty died in one year after their arrival. Such is the general record of white effort in Africa. Latterly it has not been so terribly distressing, but even now the martyrs to the climate live but an average of four years; while comparatively nothing was effected till
colonies of African origin were planted on the seaboard, and the colonial and missionary work was combined. The most successful of these settlements is the infant Republic of Liberia, established under American auspices, and sustained by American benevolence. In the results of the British Niger expedition of 1841, we have a striking proof of the adaptedness of the two races to that continent. In that expedition there were one hundred and ninety whites, and one hundred and eight blacks, the latter selected from Sierra Leone and Liberia. In four months forty of the whites died, while not one of the blacks perished, or even suffered severely, and yet they were, perhaps, exposed more than the others! Then, too, the man of colour will have more easy access to the natives, and more powerful influence with them, than white men can have. They are one in colour, one in taste, one in temperament, one in origin; then one in residence, and one in interest. The coloured people of the United States alone are fitted to civilise the millions of their countrymen in Africa. Among us they have lived under the best forms of civil government. They come here to return again, is the plain interpretation of Divine wisdom. And these enlightened ones have a motive for emigration far more important than the question of country, or the improvement of their temporal condition. What shall the coloured man do then? Shall he remain here, occupying a dependent, inferior position in society. without social or political privileges? Or, shall he go where he becomes an independent, equal citizen, both in social duties, and equal political rights, and with all the avenues open to private enterprise or public honour? Liberia, free, sovereign, and independent, offers the coloured man such a home. The Colonisation Societies furnish him the means and facilities to get there, and leave it to him, when once settled, to develope his own energies, by working out the rich resources of the country.
Postschner.—Sad and unexpected tidings have just reached us, which will fill many hearts with deep sorrow, Hugh MILLER Is No MoRE.—December 26th, 1856.
THE LATE ME. HUGH MILLER. As article on Hugh Miller How strangely does this sound in the ears
brain can think, and that brave heart can feel, and that master hand can write, no more? A grave, too, reached by such a sudden and tremendous
of one who has so long been accustomed to look anxiously for Hugh Miller's next article !—to one, too, who may have written occasional articles for Hugh Miller, and who, in writing them, cared less how the public, than how Hugh Miller, would think and feel about them! And now, alas! must we write on him over his grave, where that once teeming
leap! Many stood in amazement at that dire eclipse; but to none did it come with a more stunning shock of surprise, to none does it still appear more inexplicable, than to those that knew him best. It is as if some juggling fiend had personated a dear departed brother, standing out in rim and ghastly contrast to every well known feature of his character. t is Hugh Miller read backwards; it is his image seen inverted and distorted in the Bethesda waters of a dark and troubled mystery. To one so morbidly fond of retirement that he chose his residence at a distance even from his friends; so sensitive of observation that he would dive down unfrequented alleys to reach his place of business, and make his way home by the extreme outskirts of the city; so shy that he would
look disconcerted when called to speak in promiscuous company; the very thought of being thus written upon in newspapers and periodicals, of having his dearest and his darkest imaginings openly divulged and talked about from Shetland to the Land's End—even the idea of having his lifeless body subjected to the scalpel, and borne through the streets, a spectacle of wonder and woe to the assembled citizens of Edinburgh, had it but flashed across his mind, would have sufficed, we think, to have overmastered and dispelled the blackest vision that could enter his bewildered
brain. To another phase of his character, the wild illusion which issued
in his death stands in equal antagonism. With a soul above the paltri
iness of vanity, none F. a larger share of that honest pride, which
makes a man chary of his own reputation. He was far from being void of the ambition which aims at establishing for itself a niche in the temple of fame. What he sought was not the evanescent incense of the day, the luxury of being praised when alive; but the enduring legacy of posthumous renown, the hallowed lamp of genius ever burning before his tomb.
No. 110.-New Series. D Vol. IX.
Having amassed the fortune of a high name by slow degrees and with great toil, he was extremely jealous of anything that threatened eventually to diminish its amount or darken its splendour in the eyes of posterity. He may be said to have lived in the past that he might live in the future. His therefore was no flash edifice, got up at small cost, and destined only to last a few short years. He dug deep and built strong, laying every stone as he advanced with as much care as if all depended upon it; so that the structure reminds one of those ancient keeps that look like the handiwork of giants, or those massy cathedrals where the light struggles in through strong embrasures and tracery work which seem intended to last to the end of time. How shall we account for such a man dashing down with his own hand the copestone of that building, leaving it like the unfinished dome of the Cologne Cathedral, with its mortar tub and huge crane looming athwart the sky in such unseemly and abrupt contrast with the beauty and magnificence of the temple which it overtops ? Could there be a stronger proof that the hand which dealt that blow was no longer under the control of its former masterthat, in the expressive phrase of his country, Hugh Miller was not himself!
A glance into his autobiography reveals now-alas ! too late—that the cruel disease, under the influence of which he rushed away from the world, was one of which he had early premonitions. When entering on his labours as a stonemason, he speaks of “frequent fits of extreme depression of spirits, which took almost the form of a walking sleep," and tells us that many years after when his health failed for a time under over-exertion of another kind," he had renewed experience of these fits of somnabulism, (p. 149.) And, in fact, his journey into England, resulting in his “First Impressions," was undertaken, he tells us, in consequence of his having subjected the “mould" to a heavier pressure than, from its yielding nature, it was suited to bear. And what a sad meaning may we now attach to his reflections on being haunted by some images in “the troubled sensorium," after a fever :-" There are, I suspect, provinces in the philosophy of mind into which the metaphysicians have not yet entered. Of that accessible storehouse in which the memories of past events lie arranged and taped up, they appear to know a good deal ; but of a mysterious cabinet of daguerreotype pictures, of which, though fast locked up on ordinary occasions, DISEASE sometimes flings the door ajar, they seem to know nothing !" (p. 332.)
We do not intend and cannot be expected to write a memoir of Hugh Miller, or even a sketch of his history. He himself, as if in anticipation of its sudden close, has furnished the world with his own life in his “Schools and Schoolmasters, or the Story of my own Education," a work which will be read now with intensified interest by all who delight in tracing the steps by which a master-mind ascended from the lowest grade of labouring life to the highest literary eminence. None could have written the history of these schools, but the pupil who passed through them; and there can be no doubt that it was penned, not out of a common vanity, but from that loftier egotism, which seems almost inseparable from poetic genius; appearing less, however, in the morbid form which it assumed in the reveries of a Rousseau, or the ravings of a Byron, than in the healthier type which it presents in such a work as the “ Pilgrim's Progress,” which is a picture, as Cheever has shown, of the man's own life, and a picture drawn from motives too large and loving to be ascribed
THE LATE MR. HUGI MILLER.
to vulgar self-conceit. What Bunyan indeed did for the Christian man, that has Hugh Miller done for the working man. He has taught him how he may, like himself, not without the aid of religious principle, but in the exercise of prudence, energy, self-restraint, and self-respect, avoid the City of Destruction in which so many of our operatives are content to live and die; and how he may reap enjoyments of no mean order, and reach respectability at least, if not eminence, even as a wayfarer on that earth, which, mean as it is when viewed in comparison with the Celestial Country, presents so many wonders to the eye of the science-led pilgrim. He has warned his fellow-workmen against the Slough of Despond, and encouraged them to breast the Hill of Difficulty, and opened up to them wonderful things and beautiful views among the Delectable Mountains. And as Israel of old was enjoined to be very tender towards strangers, “forasmuch as they knew the heart of a stranger," so Hugh Miller, the man of science, whom Buckland envied for his style, and Argyle lauded for his genius, never forgot Hugh Miller the stonemason. He retained to the last a lively sympathy for those whom Burns describes, as “ howking in a sheugh, wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke, baring a quarry, and sic lyke.” Fresh in his memory were the days when, engaged in these occupations, "the blood oozed from all his fingers at once, and burnt and beat at night, as if an unhappy heart had been stationed in every finger, and cold chills used to run, sudden as electric shocks, through the feverish frame;" when “he lived in hovels that were invariably flooded in wet weather by the overflowing of neighbouring swamps, and through whose roofs he could tell the hour at night, by marking from his bed the stars that were passing over the openings along the ridge ;” and reduced to the extremity of “eating his oatmeal raw, and merely moistened by a little water scooped by the hand from a neighbouring brook." Far from being ashamed of these recollections, he speaks of them with the same decent pride which led him, down to the last, to wear the coarse “hodden gray" which he had been accustomed to in his humbler days. What heartiness is there in his fine apostrophe: "Noble, upright, self-denying Toil! Who that knows thy solid worth and value would be ashamed of thy hard hands, and thy soiled vestments, and thy obscure tasks; thy humble cottage, and hard couch, and homely fare! Save for thee and thy lessons, man in society would everywhere sink into a sad compound of the fiend and the wild beast; and this fallen world would be as certainly a moral as a natural wilderness.”
A. strange and uncouth “education,” after all, was that through which Miller passed. Those who look into his “Schools and Schoolmasters," hoping to find anything resembling a school or a schoolmaster in the ordinary sense, will be disappointed. Small indeed were his obligations to the much praised parochial schools of his native land; and to the very questionable experience which he had of their advantages, may be doubtless traced the style of depreciation in which, when speaking of them afterwards, he was too prone to indulge. Sent when a child to a dame's school, where he only learned to mispronounce and misspell, we find him next in the grammar school, where, among his earliest exhibitions, the wilful boy persisted in spelling in his own way; and after submitting to a brutal castigation with all the sang froid" of a North American Indian under the torture, he took down his cap from the pin, and marched straight out of school. “And thus," he says, “terminated my school education.” He revenged himself at the time in a copy of satirical
verses on his pedagogue. But it was a peculiarity in his mental structure that impressions, whether of good or evil, once made on his mind, were never obliterated. They were graven on the tablets of his brain, like those vestiges of the old creation which he loved so much to scan, “with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever.” Schools and schoolmasters in general suffered for that “awful” mauling in the school of Cromarty. Thus the wild truant, set free for ever from scholastic trammels, found that “the only school in which he could properly be taught was that world-wide school, in which toil and hardship are the severe but noble teachers.” His first schools, indeed, were the sea beach, the beetling crags and dripping caves of his favourite Cromarty. “Who,” he exclaims with all the enthusiasm of his first love of nature, “who, after once spending even a few hours in such a school, could avoid being a geologist P I had formerly found much #. among rocks and in caves; but it was the wonders of the Eathie Lias that first gave direction and aim to my curiosity. From being a mere child that had sought amusement in looking over the pictures of the stony volume of nature, I henceforth became a sober student, desirous of reading and knowing it as a book.” But while introduced, though this school, into a university where he afterwards shone as a master, a sterner training awaited him. His mother after a long widowhood of eleven years, had entered into a second marriage; “and I found myself,” he says, “standing face to face with a life of labour and restraint.” Hugh Miller became a common mason. Yet let it not be supposed that this was the result of absolute necessity. His shrew uncles, who had discovered the genius that lurked under the shaggy locks of the wayward beach-wandering and cliff-exploring boy, would have sent him to college and maintained him there, had he chosen any of the learned professions. But lawyer or doctor he would not be, and as to the ministry, he felt that he ". no call to engage in that sacred work. “Not without my share of respect for Donald Roy's religion (his maternal ancestor), but possessed of none of Donald's seriousness, no consideration whatever could have induced me to outrage it by obtruding my unworthiness on the church.” This peep into his o, religious state gives us no unfavourable augury of the man. What a noble piece of marble from nature's quarry for religion to stamp her image and superscription upon Nor was it long before this was accomplished. At one time he suspects that he is a sceptic. Then comes a period of wavering between belief and incredulity—“a sort of uneasy see-saw condition”—but at length he finds rest to his soul. “I need not hesitate to say, that I was led to see, through the instrumentality of my friend (the late Mr. Stewart of Cromarty), that my theologic system had previously wanted a central object, to which the heart, as certainly as the intellect, could attach itself; and that the true centre of an efficient Christianity is, as the name ought of itself to indicate, “the Word made flesh.’” Thenceforth, in word and in deed, in the working shed and in the lecture room, in the walks of literature and amidst his geological specimens, in the house and by the way, Hugh Miller showed himself the humble and unpretending but decided Christian “What makes you work as a mason f All your fellows are real masons; but you are merely in the disguise of a mason.” Such was the style in which our hero was once accosted by a wandering maniac, while engaged with his mallet and chisel. And had we known how that mason was employing his leisure hours, and obtained a glimpse of the visions and theories flitting through that massy and deep-thoughted head as it leant