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The'majority of the Court go so far as to declare that the Ordinance of 1789 and the Missouri Prohibition were unconstitutional. Now the enactment of these laws may or not have been expedient, their repeal may have been proper or improper; but the majority Judges assume a tremendous responsibility in venturing to pronounce such enactments unconstitutional and invalid. The Ordinance was passed in a Congress which embraced Madison, by a unanimous vote, and was signed by Washington. Similar provisions have been enacted by nearly every Congress, and signed and approved by every President down to President Pierce. The Missouri Prohibition was declared Constitutional by Monroe and his Cabinet, one of whom was John C. Calhoun. The Supreme Court, over and over, have expressly recognised the validity of these acts of legislation. Judge Curtis's references to the previous action of the General Government, from the formation of the Constitution until recent times, is complete, clear and absolutely crushing. Every President, every Cabinet Secretary, every Official, every Congressman, every Statesman, every Politician, every State, every Court, every Judge, and every Chief Justice until recently, has unhesitatingly granted that these acts were Constitutional. This innovating decision of yesterday imputes stupid misconception and usurpation of power to Presidents like Washington, Monroe, and Jackson, to statesmen like Jefferson, Macon, Madison, Silas Wright and Henry Clay, to lawyers like Pinkney, Binney and Webster, to Judges like Gaston, Kent, Story and Marshall. This innovating decision carries no moral force, it is extrajudicial, gratuitous, unprecedented and illegal. The good sense of the just and freedom-loving people of the United States will surely have it reversed.
Died, On 2d day the 16th inst., at her residence in Solebury Township, Bocks County, Pa., Ruth Butts, aged nearly 62 years. She was the wife of William Betts, and the daughter of David Simpson, who was the eldest son of John Simpson, a faithful minister well known in this country in the latter part of the past, and beginning of the present century.
Ruth Betts was for many years an elder and member of Buckingham Meeting. In the domestic circle she filled the stations of wife, mother, and sister with great propriety, and her removal is deeply felt on the part of her husband, brother, sisters and children, who truly mourn her loss. The neighbors and the poor also are truly in mourning. The church too in the present as in several similar instances of latter occurrence, are in mourning because so few can be found to fill the places now left vacant. Every living member of it has need to enter not only the house of mourning, but the house of prayer. For the harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few. "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would 6end forth more laborers into his harvest."
Sarah S. Reader, sister of the above and widow of Merrick Reader, died on the 7th of 4th month, 1856, much lamented and greatly missed.
Died, On the 4th inst., in the 69th year of her age, Martua, the wife of.Nathan Cleaver, of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She was a minister of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, where her loss will be deeply felt.
A fellow laborer in the gospel says of her, in a letter of condolence to her bereaved relatives: " Dear Martha! she was one of the meek of the earth, who lifted up her voice in the assemblies of the people, to direct the minds of the hearers to the Messiah! To call to obedience and faithfulness to known duties, that the reward might be peace."
Her health had been declining for more than a year past, but she seldom ever failed being at Meeting, though frequently under considerable bodily debility. Of her it might truly be said, as was said of one formerly, " Oh! woman, great is thy faith." Early in the Second month, feeling "bound in the spirit," she attended our Quarterly Meeting at Abington, much to the surprise of many, who knew the delicate state of her health. After this she once attended our meeting at Gwynedd, and on being asked how she was, she answered in substance, 41 I have always served a kind Master, who has furnished me with ample strength and ability to perform every duty required of me; and I believe my health and strength have suffered no loss on account of my attending the Quarterly Meeting."
When on her sick bed and the power of utterance had very much failed, she said, or. being asked her prospect about her recovery: "I have not seen much about it. I feel entirely resigned. I have no anxiety about the event." At another time when she could not speak above a whisper she said, "I told a dear friend at the Quarterly Meeting, that T have a little faith, and it would continue to the end." This was a most invaluable testimony on this solemn occasion. It was said by the divine Master, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed ye should say to this mountain be thou removed, and cast into thr- sea, and it shall be done, and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Yea, we believe this " little faith" enabled our dear friend to realize the language, " Oh! death where is thy sting, and Oh! grave where is thy victory."
When her precious spirit took its flight to the place prepared for it, a calm serenity settled on her countenance. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
For friends' Intolligenrer. SUFFERINGS OF FRIENDS UNDER THE CONVENTICLE ACT. (Continued from page 10.}
In London, this conventicle act was no sooner in force, than multitudes were imprisoned for the first and second offence, which was usually for a few days. On the 14th of 8th month, the sheriff with many officers, and others armed, entered the meeting house at Bull and Mouth, and ordered the person who was preaching to come down; after which two of the officers stepped on a form near him, drew their swords, and struck him and another Friend with such force, that one of their swords was broken ; then they laid hold both of men and women, ami haling out near two hundred, drove them to Guildhall, where they were kept prisoners till near midnight, and then, by the Mayor's orders, conducted by lighted torches and a guard of halberdiers to Newgate, where they were thrust up among felons. On the 15th, about twenty were fined and committed, as were twelve more on the 17th, and about sixty others on the 19th, some for fourteen, and others for nine days. On the 21st the Mayor with the Sheriffs and Alderman Brown, came again to the Meeting at Bull and Mouth. Brown, with his usual rudeness, kicked some, pulled others by the hair, and pinched the women's arms until they were black; by this rude behavior, and shameful abuse, degrading the dignity of his office, and proving himself too vulgar for, and absolutely unworthy of, the magistracy he bore, in any well regulated government. The Mayor causing the doors to be shut, sent about one hundred and fifty nine of them to Newgate for four days, where they had not room to sit down, nor scarce to stand, being close shut up among the felons without respect to age or sex.
On the 28th one hundred and seventy-five were also sent to Newgate as privately as possibly; the magistrates, it is probable, being ashamed to expose their unrelenting severity to the public eye. On the 4th of Ninth month, two hundred and thirty-two more were committed.
The state of Newgate is thus described by a writer who visited it some years afterwards. "' The prisoners are pushed so close together and the air so corrupted by their stench, that it occasions a disease called the jail distemper, of which they die by dozens; and cart loads of them are carried out, and thrown into a pit in the church yard without ceremony. And to this wretched place many innocent people are sometimes sent, and loaded with irons before their trial, not to secure them, but to extort money from them by a merciless jailor; for if they have money to bribe him, they may have their irons as light as they please." By these commitments, the prisons being overfilled, it was intended to proceed to the trial of such as were in for the third offence; preparatory whereto, Judge Keeling, at the sessions of the <?ld Bailey, made a speech to the Grand Jury against the prisoners, that, as he observed, they might not he thought worthy of pity. He accused them of teaching dangerous principles—this for one, that it is not lawful to take an oath. The Quakers had affirmed only that it was forbidden by Christ, and therefore unlawful to litem who were disposed to obey their Saviour's commands. You must not think, the Judge said, that their leaders believe this doctrine, only they persuade these poor ignorant souls so. But they have an interest to carry on against the Government, and therefore they will not swear subjection to it, and their end is rebellion and blood. He proceeded next to quote the New Testament against them; and not finding it quite to his purpose, concluded that the Old is positive for swearing, and they that deny swearing, deny God a special part of his tcorthip. By arguments equally sound and cogent, into which the reader may look for himself in
the volume, this Judge undertook to show that their not swearing tended to subvert the Government, that no government can stand without swearing, and that though the Quakers did not indeed conspire, (in which case he should proceed another way, and try them for treason,) yet if suffered to meet, they would do it, and in a short time be up in arms. He intended immediately' to have proceeded to the trial of some of them, for which purpose a young, lad was brought from Newgate, who being asked if he were not at the Bull and Mouth Meeting such a day, he replied, Iwas not; whence the judge took occasion to reproach the Quakers with common-place reflections, saying, that for all their pretensions to truth, they could lie for their interest, and to evade suffering.
But this youth persisting in his denial, witnesses were called to prove he was there, but none could be found, which the Judge observing, said some should suffer for it. He then issued an order, that the jailor of Newgate and his men should attend the meeting, and be prepared to give evidence at the next sessious. At the next sessions, a bill of indictment was preferred against sixteen Quakers for the third offence. They were tried and convicted, and twelve of them sentenced to transportation, amongst whom was a young woman named Hannah Trigg, a person hardly sixteen years of age. Soon after she was sentenced to banishment, she sickened in Newgate, and dying there, the same unfeeling inhumanity, insatiate with her life, was extended to her lifeless corpse. Her relations were deprived even of the consolation of paying the last office of natural affection by interring her as they desired, but she was carried to the burying place where they inter felons and others who die in the jail.
On the 15th of 10th month, about forty more were brought to the sessions of the Old Bailey, and called to the bar. They pleaded not guilty, and the court proceeded to try them.
The witnesses against thera were the under keepers of Newgate and the marshal-men. The first was one Dawson, a turnkey, who was greatly confounded in his testimony for having sworn that he took John Hope, who had been in prison this week, at the Bull and Mouth last Sunday, but the court endeavoring to set him right, he corrected himself, and said the Sunday before, which was equally false. Afterwards, he said the prisoner was brought out to him, and that he did not see him in the meeting. Upon which one of the jury, addressing the Judge, said, "My lord, I beseech you, let us be troubled with no more such evidence, for we shall not cast man upon such evidence as this;" but the judge endeavored to palliate it, and reproved the juryman for being too scrupulous. Another turnkey testified that he saw one of the prisoners at the Bull and Mouth Meeting, but it was in evidence that he did not see him till he came to Newgate. One of the jury objecting toauch testimony, the Judge grew angry, and told him the court would punish him for undervaluing the king's witnesses. After a time the jury went out, and brought in their verdict that four of the prisoners were not guilty, and the rest they could not agree on. The Judge being displeased, sent them out again with fresh instructions; they returned with this verdict, guilt;/ of meeting, but not offact. The Judge inquiring what they meant by not guilty of fact, the jury applied, "There is evidenoe that they met at the Bull and Mouth, therefore we say, guilty of meeting, but no evidence of what they did there; therefore we say, not guilty of meeting contrary to the liturgy of the church of England." The Judge asked the jury whether they did not believe in their consciences, that they were there under the color and pretence of worship : to which one of them replied, "I do believe in my conscience that they were met in deed and in truth." Another said, " My lord, I have that venerable respect for the Church of England, as to believe it is according to the Scriptures, which allow of the worship of God in spirit, and therefore, I conclude, that to worship GoJ in spirit, is not contrary to the liturgy; if it be I shall abate of my respect to it." In short, neither persuasions nor menaces could induce the jury to alter the verdict; whereupon six of them were bound in £100 each to appear at tho king's bench bar, the first day of the next term.
To be continued.
From the New York Tribune.
It has been a favorite idea with the partisans of the slave trade, that the Africans are nearly all slaves at home, so that the transporting them across the Atlantic and setting them at work on American sugar, coffee and cotton plantations is, after all, only a change of masters; and most likely a highly beneficial change, since it is not to be presumed that a civilized and Christian planter can be a harsher master than a savage African chief. The observations, however, of Dr. Livingstone, in his recent African travels, of which wo gave a statement in a recent article, go entirely to contradict this representation of African society. The power of the African
chiefs over their subjects is, according to his representations, exceedingly limited, and the number of persons held in slavery, for any domestic purposes, comparatively small.
This view of the case is remarkably confirmed by some very interesting statements made by Mr. Bushnell, who has spent the last eleven years as a missionary on the West Coast of Africa.
A MISSIONARY'S OPINION OF THE AFRICAN
The Rev. Mr. Bushnell, now in this city, has been a missionary on the Western Coast for thirteen years. He is stationed on the Gaboon River, right on the line of the equator and in the heart of the slave region. Their first mission-house was on the site of an old Portuguese slave-factory, where the trade had been carried on for more than two centuries. On an islan/1 at the mouth of the river are heavy guns, brought there by the Portuguese two hundred and fifty years ago.
Thus ample time has been given for the great experiment of civilization. By this time the Slave Coast ought to be the seat of a high state of civilization. But the missionaries seem to think that this intercourse with other nations has only caused a deeper night to descend on that dark continent. Mr. Bushnell even goes so far as to say that the slave trade is tho great curse of Africa; that it renders the wildest savages still more fierce and cruel, and that it baffles all attempts at civilization.
Of course all other commerce is killed by this traffic. The country is rich in natural products, and might furnish a large export. But all is kept down by this one trade. So soon as a British squadron, hovering on the coast, puts the slavers in fear, and causes their trade to languish, other branches of industry revive. The chiefs, finding less demand for human flesh, bring down other commodities—ivory, palm*il, gold dust, dye woods and ebony. Thus the instant the slave-trade is checked, there springs up a legitimate commerce. But while that is in full blast, it kills everything else, for it is more exciting and more lucrative. The trade in slaves is more profitable than trade in ivory, for it is easier to steal a child than kill an elephant.
But the commercial loss is nothing to the moral desolation which it leaves behiud it. The slave trade is the cause of almost all the wars between different tribes. It keeps them constantly fighting to procure fresh victims. It excites them to attack defenseless villages, and to seize men, women and children. Thus it stimulates to burnings, to murder and to massacre.
Mr. Bushnell has taken away our chief consolation in this trade, which was that these poor wretches were only taken from being slaves in their own country to be slaves in ours—which seemed a great improvement. But he informs us that but for this foreign trade they might not be slaves at all! In fact, he doubted whether Slavery existed on this Western Coast until two or three centimes ago, when the Portuguese tempted the chiefs to sell the bodies of men. It was Cbristian traders who first taught the poor natives these arts of cruelty. At any rate, if slavery existed at all before, the whole system has been extended and fortified, and increased in horrors by the demand for slaves for export. If left to itself, it would soon dwindle and die; for there is no internal cause to sustain it. Labor is not of value enough. A slave is good for nothing to keep, but only to sell. It is the cupidity of West Indian traders which spurs on the natives to burning and butchery, and which brings upon this desolate coast all their woes.
A natural effect of such a trade in flesh and blood is to produce a frightful disregard of human life. It has reduced the value of a man to the trifle that he will bring from the trader. Many a man has been bought for a cask of rum. Lately the price has risen, so that now an able-bodied man will fetch about $10, and a boy or girl perhaps half that sum.
Of course it tends to destroy natural affection. The natives are simple-hearted, and strongly attached to their kindred. But when every bad passion is excited, imbruted by war and maddened by rum, the father will sometimes sell his own child. "I have even known," says Mr. Bush n ell, "a husband to sell his wife!"
It is often said that those poor Africans do not suffer much, for that they are incapable of feeling. They are little above the beasts, and, like animals, all places are indifferent to them. "Having food and raiment, they are therewith content." But our informant tells us that, on the contrary, they are a very sensitive race. Natives of that torrid clime, they are true children of the sun. Living in the open air, they drink in bright influences from sunshine and from sky. Their feelings are quick. The slightest thing exalts them to a heaven of rapture or plunges them into an abybs of grief. When left to themselves, they are a careless, heedless, happy race; full of mirth, and dance, and song. In many a sylvan glade, under the wide-spreading palms, may be witnessed scenes which would delight the imagination of a pastoral poet.
They have a passionate love of music. The gondoliers of Venice, floating on their grand canal, were not more spontaneous and gushing in their melody than these Africans, floating on their inland waters. As the boat glides along the lagoons and rivers, the oarsman keep time with a rising and falling strain. If any incident occurs in the sail, they instantly improvise a rude poetry, and accompany it with a wild melody. Thus everywhere—in their boats or bamboo huts, in every scene of gladness or of
grief, at the wedding or the funeral—their hearts find vent in song.
And do these simple children of nature feel nothing when torn from their homes and country? "When I first landed on the coast," says Mr. Bushnell, " the slave-trade was flourishing, and there were many factories near us. I often visited the barracoons, and such utter woe and despair I never saw on any human faces.'' Their lightness and gayety was all gone. Their songs were hushed, and they sat silent and gloomy. It was not a grief which burst forth in wild lament, nor a despair which nerved them to fierce resistance, but a wan and weary look, a despair which was speechless and hopeless, as of those doomed to die. There they sat upon the shore chained together, now turning a last fond look to the hills and palm groves in the distance, and now looking to the slave-ship which began to show its dark hull on the horizon. Thus they watched and wept, their stifled sobs answering to the desolate moanings of the sea.
Such is the slave-trade, of which men in this Christian land speak in gentle phrase, and which some propose to revive. Many might be found who would not only defend it, but delight in it; who would find in this buying of men, not only the most lucrative commerce, but the most exciting sport. When Capt. Smith confided to us his experience in a slave ship, his eye shot fire as he depicted the pcenes on the African Coast. "Ah!" said the hero, "that's the place for fun 1"
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
On a bright Sabbath morning, in the beautiful spring of 1810, I attended Friends' meeting at Fallowfield, and heaid a discourse from Jesse Kersey, which impressed me as more than usually touching and tender. The following lines were composed immediately after, and may be considered a rather close paraphrase of all its principal features:
Our Heavenly Father, kindly wise,
Has spread before our sight
To claim our praise aright. ,
Each good and pleasant thing,
An unfeigned offering.
The blossom'd shrubs that charm the grove
The streamlets flowing there;
In the soft vernal air;
To him who reigns above 1
Such unask'd gifts of love.
Is not the earth with plenty fill'd?
Do not the fields o'erflow,
VVhate'er the clime can grow?
The «ratelul song to'raise?
Neglect the Giver's praise?
Do not the gales that round us breathe
Fresh fragrance as they rove;
And the blue Heavens above;
The restless ocean's flow;
Their Heavenly Author show?
In the deep wilds of space,
To our last resting place I
His holy hand descry,
In early youth's fresh bloom;
And ihe last summons come.
Shall cheer our lives along,
Shall be our evening song."
J. W. T.
Fountain Bill, C/iester Co., Pa., 1851.
From Frieuda' Stifiv.
Now the shadows flee away!
Joy, my soul! the day is breaking!
Thy redemption draweth nigh!
See thy day-star in the sky I
Why, dear friends, your looks of sadness?
Ye should rather joy with me,
My beleagured soul is free.
1 have drunk Life's bitter chalice,
But the Arch-fiend's proudest malice
Pitying my want and woe,
Jesus calls me; let me go I
All my unbelief confessing,
Casting all my care on Him,
He forgives me every sin.
With supernal brightness glowing,
Hung with star and stalactite,
'Twixt the smiling banks of light,—
* [These were the last words of one whose morning sun having been clouded by insanity, went down in brightness. After uttering them, she fixed her eyes upon her attendant friends, with a look eloquent of surprise, wonder and joy,—a look, which none who saw it can never forget, and died.]
Through tbe shining ranks of angels,
I shall fly on eager wing,
To the footstool of my King.
Now, at length, the day is breaking!
Evening shadows flee away! My bewildered soul is waking To the light of perfect day. Lei me go! the night is past. Morning dawns on me at last! Flushing, L. I. S
Special correspondence of the Pennsylvania Inquirer. JAPAN AND THE JAPANESE. The Americans at Canton—Interesting letter from an American Officer.
WnAMPOA, Dec. 15th, 1856. Mr. Editor: I will now proceed to conclude the observations on Japan; and give you a short resume' of events here since my last.
In accordance with the treaty made by Commodore Perry with the Japanese, we found that a good stone landing place had been constructed, with houses for the accommodation of parties waiting for boats, or fatigued with walking. Several hundred tons of coal had also been brought from the interior and been collected near tbe landing. This was surface coal, but proved to bo of excellent quality.
During our first rambles ashore, the people, especially women and children, all ran at our approach, and could not be induced to come near us. If we entered a shop, it was instantly desert| ed; and in many cases, they were shut up. I Police officers followed us everywhere, and were only to be got rid of by threats of violence. Even then, although they kept out of sight, they were still near; and after a long walk, when supposing | them gone, a sudden turn would reveal their presence: so perfect is this system of espionage in Japan. These men only acted in obedience to their orders; and when an attempt was made to drive them off, they would make signs, indicating that if they did not act in obedience to j their instructions, they must perform the Hari Kari, or self-immolation; and thus preserve their families' honor.
The houses are all generally of two stories, and roofed with substantial and handsome black earthen tiles. They are kept remarkably neat and clean.
In examining the town and the habits of the people, we were forcibly struck with the accuracy of Kampfer's account of Japan; and we saw so many things which so exactly correspond with his descriptions, as to justify us in placing the utmost confidence in the fidelity and correctness of this old writer. The dress—the boats—the bathing houses—the moxa, are all to bo seen to this day, as he has described and figured them. Every afternoon about five o'clock, the people