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fices of Christian charity, and a thousand others, did he most cheerfully perform.
It was indeed a sentiment frequently urged by him, that the most exalted endowments of intellect, unaccompanied by a disposition to active benevolence, forfeited all claim to respect.
The following extract from his manuscript papers forcibly inculcates the same doctrine.
The following account of Mr. Wakefield's minute attentions to the wants of the prisoners we received from an eyewitness in his own family. It places him in so amiable a point of view as to require no apology for it's insertion.
"During the high price of bread, he bought large quantities of mackarel, which he distributed amongst the prisoners: he also occasionally gave them money for tea; sixpence to each of the men, and a shilling to the women. To such of them, who were desirous of employing themselves in reading on Sundays, and after their work, he gave Testaments. In the winter of the year 1799 and 1800 the weather was remarkably severe, and he supplied them with potatoes, tobacco, and other things, of which they stood in need, as their portion of bread was comparatively small, and the quality very inferior. He likewise contributed greatly to the comfort of the debtors, by giving them his advice in their affairs, and sending the newspapers to them daily. He also wrote letters for them to their friends, and was the means of procuring the liberation of several. To them likewise he gave money for coals and other necessaries. After their release many of them sent small presents of fish, and other trifling things, to shew their gratitude for his kindness."
The recurrence of this sentiment, in various parts of his writings, proves in a great measure that it was not merely a speculative opinion. It was carried into the constant practice of his life, and became the rule by which he estimated his own character, with no less impartiality than that of others.
He remarks," that knowledge only is of value which exalts the virtue, multiplies the comforts, soothes the sorrow, and improves the general felicity of human intercourse; which accompanies the possessor in every condition, and through all the vicissitudes of mortality; which exhilarates and amends society, which solaces and animates the retire, ment of domestic life."
Similar to these were the sentiments of Dr. John Jebb, whose life was a noble comment on the truths he taught." In his discourse" on the Excellency of the Spirit of Benevolence," he thus expresses himself: "The gift of superior wisdom and abilities, the advantages of learning, are valuable only in the use. He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow, if he toileth only for himself. If he hath no other end in view than the gratification of a vain, aspiring spirit, the humble diffidence of the unlettered peasant is more deserving of our praise. Let not then the
light of science shine inward only on thyself. Let it irradiate thy neighbour's footsteps with it's friendly beam: let it light him on his dark and dangerous way through the wilderness of human life. The ray of knowledge which thus informs his mind shall, by strong reflection, more powerfully illuminate thine own."
The whole of this sermon was a peculiar favourite with Mr. Wakefield. Quoting another passage from it, he says, "Dr. John Jebb, lost alas! too soon to his friends, to his country and mankind, expresses himself with a pathos beyond all praise, and highly symptomatic of his own tenderness and sensibility."
We have already had occasion to remark an undesigned, though favourable result of Mr. Wakefield's prosecution. It strengthened the attachment, while it added to the number, of his friends. It has likewise been mentioned how numerous were the expressions of sympathy and regard which he received during his imprisonment in the King's Bench. The distance to which he was now removed precluded, in many instances, these personal attentions.
f Works, II. p. 21.
Evidences of Christianity, 2d edit. 91. note.
During the latter end of September, however, he was highly gratified by a visit from his former pupil and intimate friend, Dr. Crompton, of Eton, near Liverpool. Of the sincerity and firmness of this gentleman's attachment he had received, upon all occasions, the most ample proofs; and never spoke of him but in terms of affection and esteem. Mrs. Crompton, and her sister, very kindly embraced the same opportunity of testifying their respect for Mr. Wakefield and his family.
As the health of his eldest daughter, for a considerable time previously to this period, had been very indifferent, Mrs. Crompton prevailed upon her to return with them into Lancashire, in the hope that change of air, and a new scene, would restore her health and spirits. Mr. Wakefield, whose first wish was the happiness of his family, readily seconded the proposal, especially as coming from friends whose attachment to himself would give an additional interest to her residence among them.
During this separation he kept up a regular correspondence with his daughter, who has favoured us with a perusal of her father's letters. They do equal honour to the parent and the child, nor is any one more capable of appreciating their value than herself.
From the affection they discover, and the valuable remarks they contain, we are persuaded that such as can be properly introduced into this narrative will be very acceptable. The following is the first letter after his daughter had left Dorchester:
Dorchester Gaol, Oct. 19, 1799.
MY VERY DEAR CHILD,
I SHALL Occasionally employ myself in giving you a few directions, which may contribute to the perfection of your conduct and the improvement of your understanding; but I do not require from you a punctual reply to all my letters, and I shall be fully requited by a few lines either to your mother, your sister, or myself. I wish you in this, and in every other respect, to consult your own inclination and convenience, under the government of conviction, and a just regard to propriety and decorum.
It is unnecessary for me, I know, to desire your attention to my advice. You must be persuaded that I can be impelled to an occupation, most odious" in general, and almost
h Mr. Wakefield used frequently to mention his great aversion to writing letters. In a letter to one of the present