« AnteriorContinuar »
TIIE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE.
difference observable is a somewhat | agriculturist, to turn to the best account higher degree of physical strength and the knowledge and the materials which mental vigour in the higher and cooler flow in upon them. Thus not only are districts, than is found to prevail in the the riches of other lands imported, but lower parts. In the sterile regions of domestic improvement is increased in a the polar north, on the other hand, tenfold degree. Man lives in the midst the resources at command are so limited, of a rich and varied abundance, and as to call forth laborious toil indeed, yet “this plenty and variety of material but very little mental energy. The Es- comforts," as is well remarked by proquimaux and Greenlanders were found fessor Whewell, “is the companion and without the lowest elements of what goes the mark of advantages and improveby the name of learning. They dis- ments in social life, of progress in art played some ingenuity, in constructing and science, of activity of thought, of their habitations, and in catching their energy of purpose, and of ascendancy of prey, like the lower animals; but of ab- character.' In our own country, beside stract ideas they had no notion, and the advantages derivable from our various could not count beyond ten, the number imports, there is scarcely a vegetable of their fingers. But it is far otherwise product of any importance, for which we in the regions which are included in the were not originally indebted to temperate zones. The necessities of life foreign clime. Neither the important are not here provided in very great varieties of cereal plants, wheat, barley, abundance, but they may be obtained by etc., nor the potato, are indigenous, mental and bodily exertion. The soil although it is difficult to trace their requires cultivation, but repays it when origin. The vine is not a native, even, of bestowed. The comforts of clothing and Europe. The walnut, the peach, the habitation must be adapted to the che plum, the cherry-tree, the almond, the quered seasons, stores must be laid in mulberry, have all been introduced from during one portion of the year for the the sunny regions of Asia; the chestnut supply of another, the diversities of soil and the poplar came from the south of and vicissitude of seasons require much Europe, our forests of fir from Norway, forethought. All these things exercise and our gardens and fields abound with ingenuity, and tend to develope the the productions of Holland and Germind. Man is here likewise placed most many and Sweden.
Scarce an edible favourably in the neighbourhood of seas, vegetable was cultivated in this country lakes, and rivers, affording unlimited prior to the reign of Henry yır. facilities of intercourse with neighbour Whatever partial inconveniences, thereing nations. Situated between the ex- fore, may accompany an unequal distritremes of climate, the productions of the bution of temperature and humidity, are north and of the south are equally more than compensated by the advanwithin his reach, and he is able to accu- tages to which it gives rise. It is not mulate from all quarters. This gives merely that the extremes of temperature rise to a spirit of commerce and enter- affect the human character. If it were, prise. First, the arts of life, and then we should witness a much more regular the literature and scientific discoveries of gradation of intellectual power as we sedifferent nations, are reciprocally dif- ceded either from the equator or the fused. Rivalry is set up between na- poles than we find in fact, and the influtions, which tends in the end to sharpen ence would be much more uniform and the intellect, and to refine the manners; permanent than it is proved by history to the stimulus thus given to the human be. We see a nation at one time enfaculties becomes permanent and exten- lightened and patriotic, at another time sive, and from all these causes, man be sunk in indolence and degradation. The comes, almost from necessity, active, causes of the former condition, which vigorous, intelligent, and enterprising. originated, perhaps, in climate, have Since no
country possesses the been, it may be, counteracted from some luxuries and conveniencies that men de- internal source. How degenerate are sire, the traveller is urged to extend his the mental characteristics of the Greeks discoveries, and the trader to transport and Romans of the present day, when his produce from country to country; compared with the noble courage and while all this zeal and industry has a re- patriotic enthusiasm of their forefathers. action at home in stimulating the arti- But the wants of man stimulate his inficer, and the manufacturer, and the genuity in the first instance ; these wants
increase with the power of gratifying America, but soon arrived at the concluthem, whilst the ingenuity which sup- sion that they had “sorrowfully erred.” plies them progresses with his cnlarged But all experience concurs with the tesdesires, and thus is he urged on by the very timony of the word of God in proving variety of climate itself, from one stage of that wherever the beams of the Sun of improvement to another, till he becomes, righteousness enlighten the nations, what in temperate countries we find him, there true humanity, honesty, fidelity, in the most advanced stage of soiety. chastity, and all the social and domestic
And it has likewise been thought, and virtues, follow as the necessary result. It not without reason, that the very altern- is the gospel, and that alone, which ation of seasons which climate occasions, effects all this. Still we are referring to tends to impress a social character upon its least important effects only. The civilized nations in proportion to its ex- gospel is “the power of God unto salvatent, that the domestic habits of northern tion.” It unites men of every colour, nations, and of Britain in particular, are and of every clime, in one common brovery much to be attributed to the long therhood, as citizens of the “New Jeruevenings of autumn, winter, and spring, salem.". Who can tell what is comprewhich confine the inhabitants, in great hended in the astonishing transformation measure, to their own houses. The en of being changed “from darkness to dearing ties of relationship and of friend light, and from the power of Satan unto ship are drawn much closer around the God ?" But if this great end is to be family fireside, where mutual interest brought about by human instrumentand affections are imparted and recipro- ality, not only is the allotment of a cated. The employments of summer are variety of climate to the different nations thus made to impart their character to of the earth the best possible means to the remainder of the year, from whence its attainment, but it is difficult to conarises many valuable habits which tend ceive how it could be accomplished by to the formation of national character. any other arrangement. Voyages of
But if we limit our view by such con- discovery and commerce, incapable of siderations as these, we shall have arrived administering to the highest end of man, at a very partial and inadequate apprehen- are the best of all pioneers to missionary sion of the beneficial effects of this wise enterprise. Upon the supposition that providential arrangement. Civilization, the earth might have been differently in the true and highest sense of the constituted, we see nothing but insuperword, cannot exist apart from Chris- able barriers to the fulfilment of the tianity. Much has been said, indeed, of great command, "Go ye into all the world, the highly-civilized condition of the na and preach the gospel to every creature. tions of antiquity, especially of Greece But He who gave it had already preand Rome. But when we recollect the pared a suitable machinery for its execuentire absence among them of all hu- tion. Endued as man is with a constitumane and charitable institutions— the tion capable of enduring, for a time at least, contempt in which the lower classes were even the extremes of climate, knowledge held, as well as their degradation, the of the condition of every distant nation brutality exercised tow prisoners of pours in upon him from every quarter ; war, the gladiatorial exhibitions of the means to transport him to the shores of theatres for mere amusement, men fight- each one are ready for his use, and proing with wild beasts, and man falling by vision is likewise made for his subsistence the hand of his brother man," butchered during the fulfilment of his high comto make a Roman holiday," we mission—all having the same origin in surely call this much-vaunted civilization the diversity of climate. Whatever globy no higher name than semi-barbarism. rious destiny may be yet in reserve for Every attempt even to civilize, inde- this earth when®“ the kingdoms of this pendently of true Christianity, and with world are become the kingdoms of our a view to prepare the way for it, has Lord, and of his Christ,” the design of ended in failure as to both particulars. the present dispensation is evidently to The Moravians attempted it in Green gather from among the Gentiles of every land, and it failed there. The first Wes- climate “a people for his name. Let leyan missionaries attempted it among but the herald of salvation respond to the the Foulahs of Africa, but with no better “ Master's call," and “He will say to
The Society of Friends at the north, Give up; and to the south, tempted it amongst the Indians of North Keep not back;" and they shall come
from the east, and the west, and sit down | tute of the wish to improve. În prison a in the kingdom of heaven. Thus it was corrupter." that John was privileged to behold in a Judging from the notes which we have prophetic vision : "Lo, a great multitude seen, her addresses to this strange audiwhich no man can number, of all nations, tory were formed upon a regular system, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, which was calculated to set before them stood before the throne, and before the that particular view of Christian truth Lamb, clothed with white robes, and which she thought best suited to their palms in their hands," Rev. vii. 9. circumstances and comprehension. She
principally urged three points. 1. The inseparable connexion between sin and
sorrow; the great fact, that, in spite of SARAH MARTIN, THE PRISON-VISITOR. all the allurements and artful promptings
of temptation, misery "doth vice, e'en
as its shade, pursue,” and with the same From her own registers of the prisoners certainty that effect follows cause in any who came under her notice, it is easy to of the physical operations of nature. describe the ordinary members of Sarah This was a foundation upon which, beMartin's congregation : Pert London fore such an auditory, she might most pickpockets, whom a cheap steam-boat safely þuild; and, whilst she reiterated brought to reap a harvest at some country the position in many varieties of expresfestival; boors, whom ignorance and sion, her hearers must have felt bitterly distress led into theft; depraved boys, conscious that she was not dealing with who picked up a precarious livelihood | an imaginary case, but with a stern truth amongst the chances of a sea.port town; of which they were themselves the evisailors, who had committed assaults in dences and the victims. 2. Her second the boisterous hilarity consequent upon point was, that there was a similar and a discharge, with a paid-up arrear of equally indissoluble connexion between wages; servants, of both sexes, seduced goodness and happiness. Station, wealth, by bad company into the commission of and the pleasures of life, when viewed at crimes against their masters; profligate a distance, seemed to lead to a different women, who had added assault or theft conclusion. They promised fairly, but to the ordinary vices of a licentious life; if approached, or partaken of, it became smugglers ; a few game-law criminals ; evident that they excited hopes which it and paupers transferred from a work was not in their power to gratify; and house, where they had been initiated into that unless united to goodness, sorrow was crime, to a jail, where their knowledge was their inseparable adjunct, God is eterperfected. Such were some of the usual nally happy, only because he is immutably classes of persons who assembled round good; and man can procure exemption this singular teacher of righteousness. from misery only by altaining to freedom Their characters were as distinct as their from the shackles of vice. 3. Her third crimes. A few extracts from “Prison point was to lead her auditors to the Records" will exhibit their variety : ever-open door of mercy; and, in glowing
"W, W. Homely villager. Very good strains of Bible eloquence, to invite, ennatural powers; temper good; grateful treat, and urge them to enter in. The Alfor instruction; desirous of improving: mighty was held forth to them as desirous
"W. Wa, Inferior capacity; inoffen- to communicate of his own sinless happy sive ; always behaved well; does not nature to all who came to him as the seem to have had a bad character. willing servants of the crucified Re
“J, B. Extremely ignorant; low habits. deemer; ready by his own Spirit to
"B. P. Quiet; slow in capacity and purify and guide them; to be to them habits; shrewd in his way, and sly. as a hiding place from trouble, a pavilion
“W. T. Depraved; deceitful; full of in which they should be kept secret pretence; obsequiously obliging; trou- from the strife of tongues, a place of blesomely forward in manners.
refuge in which they should be comJ. $. With me, still, and almost dumb passed about with songs of deliverance. - he soon compelled the governor to Thus were the realities of their position order him to the cell for the most violent traced to their fountain-head, a way of conduct.
escape was pointed out; and, in the midst "J.C. One of the very worst. Fool of their sin and shame, they were affecish; hardened ; idle ; lazy ; and desti- tionately allured towards the service of
God, as that which should give them and exhibits so eminent an example of freedom, peace, and happiness. There is Christian devotedness and heroism, that reason to believe that these doctrines, it would be an injustice to her memory urged with a kindly, warm-hearted sin- not to quote it in her own words :-" In çerity, were eminently successful. The the full occupation of dressmaking, I had respect and attention which would not care with it, and anxiety for the future; bave been yielded to a preacher who but as that disappeared, care fled also. had endeavoured to excite alarm by the God, who had called me into the vineenforcement of religious terrors, were yard, had said, 'Whatsoever is right I willingly conceded to instructor will give you.' I had learned from the who sought to win them to a love of Scriptures of truth that I should be suppurity, by considerations which, without ported; God was my master, and would being directly personal, flowed naturally not forsake his servant; he was my put of a knowledge of their feelings. The father, and could not forget his child. I papers we have seen are, for the most knew, also, that it sometimes seemed part, mere skeletons or rough notes of good in his sight to try the faith and sermons, and their entire publication patience of his servants, by bestowing would not be desirable; but in any more upon them very limited means of supextended biography, a few extracts from port ; as in the case of Naomi and Ruth, them might be very usefully introduced. of the widow of Zarephath and Elijah ;
In the year 1826, Sarah Martin's and my mind, in the contemplation of grandmother died, and she came into such trials, seemed exalted by more than possession of an annual income of ten or human energy; for I had counted the twelve pounds, derived from the invest- cost, and my mind was made up. If, ment of "between two and three hun- whilst imparting truth to others, I became dred pounds.” She then removed from exposed to temporal want, the privation Caister to Yarmouth, where she occupied so momentary to an individual, would two rooms in a house situated in a row not admit of comparison with following in an obscure part of the town, and from the Lord, in thus administering to others." that time devoted herself with increased Noble woman! A faith so firm and energy to her philanthropic labours. A so disinterested might have removed benevolent lady, resident in Yarmouth, mountains: a self-sacrifice founded upon had for some years, with a view to secur such principles is amongst the most ing her a little rest for her health's sake, heroic of human achievements. given her one day in the week, by com This appears to have been the busiest pensating her for that day in the same period of Sarah Martin's life. Her sysway as if she had been engaged in dress- tem, if we may so term it, of superinmaking. With that assistance, and with tendence over the prisoners was now a few quarterly subscriptions, “chiefly complete. For six or seven hours daily 2s. 6d. each, for Bibles, Testaments, she took her station amongst them; contracts, and other books for distribution,” verting that which, without her, would she went on devoţing every available have been, at best, a scene of dissolute moment of her life to her great purpose. idleness, into a hive of industry and But dressmaking, like other professions, order. We have already explained the is a jealous mistress; customers fell off, nature of the employment which she and eventually almost entirely disap- provided for them; the manner of their peared. A question of anxious moment instruction is described as follows:-now presented itself, the determination " Any who could not read I encouraged of which is one of the most characteristic to learn, whilst others in my absence and memorable incidents of her life. Was assisted them. They were taught to she to pursue her benevolent labours, write also; whilst such as could write even although they led to utter poverty ? already, copied extracts from books lent Her little income was not more than to them. Prisoners who were able to enough to pay her lodging, and the ex- read, committed verses from the Holy penses consequent upon the exercise of Scriptures to memory every day, accordher charitable functions: and was actual ing to their ability or inclination. I, as destitution of ordinary necessaries to be an example, also committed a few verses submitted to? She never doubted; but to memory to repeat to them every day; her reasoning upon the subject presents and the effect was remarkable ; always so clear an illustration of the exalted silencing excuse when the pride of some character of her thoughts and purposes, prisoners would have prevented their
doing it. Many said at first, . It would | tended at the workhouse; and afterbe of no use;' and my reply was, “It is wards, when that school was turned over of use to me, and why should it not be to proper teachers, she devoted two so to you? you have not tried it, but I nights in the week to a school for factory bave.' Tracts and children's books, and girls, which was held in the capacious larger books, four or five in number, of chancel of the old church of St. Niwhich they were very fond, were ex- cholas. There, or elsewhere, she was changed in every room daily, whilst any everything. Other teachers would send who could read more were supplied with their classes to stand by and listen, whilst larger books.”
Sarah Martin, in her striking and effective There does not appear to have been way, imparted instruction to the forty or any instance of a prisoner long refusing fifty young women who were fortunate to take advantage of this mode of instruc- enough to be more especially her pupils. tion. Men entered the prison saucy, Every countenance was riveted upon shallow, self-conceited, full of cavils and her : and, as the questions went round, objections, which Sarah Martin was sin- she would explain them by a piece of gularly clever in meeting ; but in a few poetry or an anecdote, which she had days the most stubborn, and those who always ready at command, and, more had refused the most peremptorily, either especially, by scriptural illustration. The to be employed or to be instructed, would Bible was, indeed, the great fountain of beg to be allowed to take their part in her knowledge and her power. For many the general course. Once within the years she read it through four times circle of her influence, the effect was every year, and had formed a most exact curious. Men old in years, as well as in reference book to its contents. Her inticrime, might be seen striving, for the mate familiarity with its striking imagery first time in their lives, to hold a pen, or and lofty diction, impressed a poetical bending hoary heads over primers and character upon her own style, and filled spelling-books, or studying to commit to her mind with exalted thoughts. After memory some precept taken from the her class duties were over, there remained Holy Scriptures. Young rascals, as impu- to be performed many offices of kinddent as they were ignorant, beginning ness, which with her were consequent with one verse, went on to long passages; upon the relation of teacher and pupil; and even the dullest were enabled, by there was personal communication with perseverance, to furnish their minds and this scholar and with that; some inquiry memories with “from two to five verses here, some tale to listen to there ; for every day.”
All these operations, it she was never a mere schoolmistress, but must be borne in mind, were carried on always the friend and counsellor, as well under no authority save what was de as the instructor. rived from the teacher's innate force of The evenings on which there was no character. Aware of that circumstance, tuition, were devoted by her to visiting and that any rebellion would be fatal to the sick, either in the workhouse, or her usefulness, she so contrived every through the town generally; and occaexercise of her power, as to "make a sionally an evening was passed with favour of it,” knowing well, that “to some of those worthy people in Yardepart from this course, would only be mouth by whom her labours were refollowed by the prisoners doing less, and garded with interest. Her appearance not doing it well. The ascendancy she in any of their houses was the signal for thus acquired was
very singular. A a busy evening. Her benevolent smile general persuasion of the sincerity with and quick active manner communicated which o she watch’d, and wept, and her own cheerfulness and energy to every prayed, and felt for all,” rendered her the one around her. She never failed to general depository of the little confi- bring work with her, and if young peodence, the tales of weakness, treachery, ple were present, was sure to employ and sorrow, in the midst of which she them all
. Something was to be made stood ; and thus she was enabled to fan ready for the occupation of the prisoners, the rising desire for emancipation, to or for their instruction; patterns or copies succour the tempted, to encourage the were to be prepared, or old materials to timid, and put the erring in the way. be adjusted to some new use, in which
After the close of her labours at the last employment her ingenuity was pregaol, she proceeded, at one time of her eminent. Odd pieces of woollen or cotlife, to a large school which she superin- ton, scraps of paper, mere litters, things