Page images
PDF
EPUB

It is owing to the zeal and activity of my brother, John Vaughan, Esq., of Philadelphia, well known and much respected, and Treasurer of the American Philosophical Society, that I have been enabled to negociate exchanges or presents of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal and other Societies in this country and on the continent, with the American and other societies and literary men of America, which has tended to strengthen the union of science and good feeling between the two countries. It

may be interesting to my friends to state here that my youngest brother, the late Samuel Vaughan, Esq., of Jamaica, of which island he was many years a resident, was for some time Member of the Assembly, and for a number of years an Assistant Judge of the Grand Court and Custos Rotulorum of the Parish of St James. During the period of his holding these offices, and, indeed, while he resided in the island, he, both publicly and privately, exerted himself for the gradual amelioration of the negro population, and not without a beneficial effect. He also wrote some interesting, able, and conciliatory papers defence of the Colonies,” rebutting and refuting many of the aspersions and calumnies thrown out against them. He died in that island in 1827, much respected and regretted.

66 in

Whilst John W. Lubbock, Esq. and Professor Whewell were communicating their discoveries and observations on tides, Professor Hassler, with whom I had been long acquainted, transmitted to me some copies of observations which he had made on the tides and coasts of America, by order of the American Government, and with it a report upon weights and measures, which I distributed to the Royal Society and other bodies and scientific persons. I

obtained a complete set of all his reports, and I transmitted them to Captain Beaufort, Hydrographer to the Admiralty, at his request. He received them with pleasure, and wrote a letter himself to Professor Hassler, which I forwarded. Mr. Hassler transmitted a copy of the same to the American Navy Board at Washington; it was published in the American Globe, a Government paper, and afterwards in the John Bull of the 28th of January, 1838; and I with pleasure give a copy of it, as follows:

Admiralty, 6th July, 1837. “ DEAR SIR, “ I have to acknowledge, with many thanks, the receipt “ of your very valuable work on Weights and Measures, and also of your correspondence on the Coast Survey.

“ The Lords of the Admiralty have commanded me to “ thank you on their part also; and their Lordships, the

public, and all the men of science in the country heartily join with me, in the earnest wish that the preliminary correspondence will have so completely cleared

away all official difficulties, that you will be now able to “ advance with rapid strides that great and laborious, but

unspeakably important enterprise which the Government “ of the United States have so judiciously confided to

your management. 6. That the Government may now effectually support

your efforts, and that your health may be equal to the “ various and constant demands upon it, are the sincere "" wishes of,

“ Yours, faithfully, (Signed) “ F. BEAUFORT.”

[ocr errors]

126

MISSIONARY SOCIETIES.

[ocr errors]

[Continued from p. 66,] In closing the hints and sketches on various subjects in the preceding pages, it may not be uninteresting to take a summary view of what England was in former ages, compared with what it is in its present state. England at one period, as well as Europe, was almost uncultivated and uncivilized, and they have required centuries to make them what they are. They have had their convulsions, wars, revolutions, and reformations; and have been under feuda and other systems.

Civilization and liberty had been for ages little understood, and may be compared to wild plants that require the hand of cultivation. England was amongst the first countries that began to improve ; and among other causes, it was to Alfred that we were indebted for Trial by Jury, which secured rights and property, and formed one of the great pillars of our constitution.

The introduction of Christianity also caused a great revolution and improvement in our morals, customs, and habits. The BIBLE is now to be found in all churches, schools, and seminaries, and generally in all families. It inculcated moral and religious habits, and promoted the objects of civilization and the best rules for our conduct in life. It has taught us contentment, and is our best consolation in times of distress, age and infirmity, and holds out brighter prospects in a future state. In England, attention is generally paid to an early education in all classes of society, and to the encouragement of public and private virtue throughout the country.

There have been few countries that have taken so deep

[ocr errors]

an interest in the printing, translating and circulating the Bible and New Testament to all parts of the globe as England. By means of the New England Corporation for the civilization and conversion of the Indians in North America, founded in 1661 ;* the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, founded in 1698, and the Society for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, founded in 1701; the Moravian Society; the British and Foreign Bible Society, and by Missionary Societies of all denominations; the Bible has been translated by them into very many languages, and distributed extensively; particularly in the East Indies and amongst the many clusters of Islands in the South Seas, as well as in New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, China, America, Athens, Arabia, Africa, &c., many of them having printing-presses ; and in Ireland the circulation of the Bible is becoming more extensive.

It will be found by experience, that giving Missionaries the best education, with a knowledge of the language, manners and customs of the countries they visit, will with the aid of artizans, and a knowledge of medicine, best promote the objects in view; and that Missionaries with wives and children will be found calculated greatly to promote civilization in the world. All these Societies expend on these objects about £500,000 per annum; to which may be added £50,000 per annum expended by similar Societies in America for sending Missionaries to Africa, Persia, China, Greece, Arabia, and other countries in the East, and to the back parts of the United States, with Missionary printing-presses, &c.

* The celebrated Robert Boyle was the first Governor of this Corporation, and was equally zealous for the promotion of Christianity in different parts of the world,

The reign of George III. is another important event in the history of this country. Amongst many of the advantages in this reign have been voyages for discovery and science, and we are now beginning to reap their happy results. And the Islands in the South Seas, Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and others, are rising in population, civilization, and commerce; and if the discovery of America has produced great events, similar results will, it is hoped, be produced by the discovery and settlements of the Islands in the Southern Hemisphere and New South Wales. Almost all the islands have been visited by navigators, whalers, and Missionaries. The Americans are carrying on an extensive trade in this hemisphere, and there is no knowing how great may be the result of things in these quarters within the next century. Sydney, in New South Wales, which was first made a refuge for convicts, is now becoming a seat of commerce, emigration, civilization and education; and Van Diemen's Land and other parts of Australia are now rising into importance.

If England thought it good policy to transport its convicts to New South Wales, which operation has been partly increased by the mitigated punishment of transportation instead of death; it will on the other hand be found that many convicts have carried with them their idle and vicious habits, and require the strong hand of power to govern them, as well as religious and moral instruction to humanize and reform them. They form the worst class of persons for colonization, and many of them have taken up a system of piracy, which is fast gaining ground in

« PreviousContinue »