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for any long period; but having a son, Dr. Edward Fox, who had nearly completed his academical Jucation as a physician, and who was likely soon to be at liberty, he communicated the circumstances to him, proposing to him to go to the continent, and take the necessary measures for an equitable distribution of the property. To this end he wrote to him, in the autumn of 1784, as follows:
"I wish thee to go to Paris and Holland, to transact some business for me, which will afford thee much pleasure, and more to others, who will cheerfully allow the expenses of thy journey. The case is this: I was concerned a quarter part in a vessel, for which, on the commencement of the war, the majority of the owners procured letters of marque. I expressed my abhorrence of the employ, offered repeatedly to sell my part, and wrote to them that, be the success what it might, it would be no advantage to me, but a great loss, as she was getting money in a legal employ. But all my remonstrances were to no purpose: the majority of the owners had a right to do as they pleased; and, contrary to my approbation, sent her to sea. They succeeded beyond their expectation. I was offered a very handsome annuity for life, if I would give up my right to the profits; which I refused, being determined to return the net produce to the original proprietors, and reserve nothing for myself. The (other) owners threatened me, that, as it was wholly their transaction, and done without my approbation, I had no right to the produce, and the law should determine it. However, I examined my copies of letters, and found that I had not given them any thing under my hand to forfeit my claim; and, looking on myself in the light of a trustee, I positively insisted on my share. As much as they pleased to give me I immediately lodged in the funds, with the design to return
it with interest to the proper owners as soon as peace was concluded.
"There may be some intricacy and difficulty in finding out the real losers, as the proprietors may have been insured. I would therefore choose that one of my own family should be on the spot, and see it justly apportioned, and paid to the proper people. The sum in my hands may amount to 12007. or 1300l., a little more or less."
The proposal contained in this and subsequent letters was readily acceded to by Dr. E. Fox, and he proceeded to Paris in the latter part of the year 1784. Delay, however, that had not been anticipated, took place in procuring the bills of lading, and other necessary documents, which the managing adventurers appear to have been very backward in furnishing. In about three months some of them were obtained, and forwarded with a letter from Joseph Fox, from which the following is extracted::
"As I cannot yet procure any other account, though I have repeatedly desired it, than the produce of the Greyhound and her prizes, in gross; and, as the time is far spent, I think it will be best to procure the names of the people who were sufferers by the capture of L'Aimable Françoise, Captain Clemenceau, taken by the Greyhound letter of marque, of St. Ives, and carried into Falmouth; and L'Assurance, taken by the Brilliant, and carried into Fowey. For this purpose advertise immediately in the Paris papers, requesting that the proprietors, insurers, or such as were real losers by the capture of the said vessels, would send their names, and places of abode, with an account of the loss they sustained, to Dr. E. Fox, at the Hotel de Yorck, &c., who will inform them of something to their advantage.
"In answer to the claimants, state that thy father, Joseph Fox, of Falmouth, possessed a small
share in the said vessels, Greyhound and Brilliant, for which the other owners procured letters of marque, contrary to his approbation and religious principles; he being one of the people called Quakers, who think that no human laws can authorise men to kill each other, or take their property by force (without acts of their own to forfeit it). But it was not in his power to prevent them; the majority of the owners having a right, by the English laws, to employ the vessels as they please. Happily, no person was hurt; the French being unarmed, and ignorant of the war."
Sufficient instructions were at length received; and application was made for liberty to insert an advertisement on the subject in the "Gazette de France," which was the only newspaper of extensive circulation then printed at Paris. Before permission could be obtained, it was found necessary to communicate with the Count de Vergennes, the minister of the government who had the controul of the public press. He required an explicit declaration to be made in form, before a proper officer, that the real object of the advertisement was such as it professed to be, not without a threat of severe punishment in case of deception. This declaration being made, proved satisfactory; and the editor of the Gazette, either of his own emotion, or by direction of his superiors, briefly stated the case in a few lines which were prefixed to the advertisement.
Thus was the business placed in a fair way of being soon brought to a satisfactory termination; an event which seems to have been one of very interesting anticipation to the conscientious mind of this good man. He was not, however, permitted actually to witness it, Divine Providence having seen fit to summon him to another state of existence a few days before the publication of this notice. His
illness was short, but severe; and he died beloved and lamented. The evening before his death, he executed a codicil to his will, in which he described this property, not as his own, but as " belonging to proprietors in France," and as having been committed to one of his sons to "pay." It appeared to afford him satisfaction, that the arrangements for the settlement of the business had been thus far proceeded with in the time of his health and strength, and that, although he should not live to see this act of duty completed, yet that he had taken the best measures in his power for that purpose, as early as circumstances permitted.
In consequence of the advertisement in the French Gazette, the information was speedily circulated in France and elsewhere, and several applications were made by various parties, as proprietors and insurers. It is but just to state, that none of these claims proved to be ill founded, or at variance with the bills of lading, and other information procured. The distribution was accordingly made without further delay, in proportion to the losses of the claimants.
Those who had been sufferers by the capture of the ship Assurance, of Havre, made a spontaneous acknowledgment of the amount which had been returned to them, by a notice in the Gazette de France, in which they state their " wish to give the publicity which it merits to this trait of generosity and equity, which does honour to the society of the Quakers, and proves their attachment to the principles of peace and unity by which they are distinguished."
It may deserve to be mentioned, and it is probably an instance of frequent occurrence under such circumstances, that one of the many sufferers by these comparatively trifling captures was so overwhelmed by the unexpected calamity, that he died of a broken heart the partial return proved,
however, very grateful to his widow, as well as to several others, by whom the loss had been deeply felt.
The total sum to be distributed, arising from the monies first received by Joseph Fox, and the interest thereon, appears to have been 1590l. 8s. The amount returned was on two vessels only, the Aimable Françoise and the Assurance; so that, after defraying all the expenses attending the restitution, there remained a balance of about 120l. unapplied, being Mr. Fox's share of the proceeds of some small coasting vessels captured by the same letters of marque, which it was found impracticable to distribute satisfactorily, without much additional delay and expense; the claimants being numerous, and residing in various parts of France and Holland, at a considerable distance from each other. For the appropriation of this small sum, which had arisen under such peculiar circumstances, no second object appeared more suitable, than the relief of the necessities of French merchant-seamen, for whom no such distinct and general provision appeared to be made as exists for the same class in the more maritime country of Britain. It was therefore concluded to apply it as a trifling aid towards this purpose, as soon as circumstances should permit, in the hope that it might lead to future endowments more commensurate with the claims of this numerous class. The amount remained under the care of Dr. E. Fox; but in consequence of his increasing engagements, and of the war which unhappily commenced between the two countries in 1793, no opportunity was presented to him for many years of finally discharging himself of the obligation.
On the re-establishment of peace in 1814, after a continuance of hostilities, with but little cessation, for upwards of twenty years, he proceeded to Paris, and had an
audience of Louis XVIII., and several interviews with his ministers. Many difficulties, however, presented themselves, in consequence of the recent change of authorities, and the great unsettlement in the political state of the country. The inquiries which he proposed to make, as to the existing charitable institutions for the relief of indigent seamen, could not at that time be prosecuted to his satisfaction, and he returned home, after a short stay; the alarm of the ex-emperor's landing from Elba putting a speedy termination to the peaceful intercourse with England.
In the year 1818, by the operation of compound interest, the amount had increased to 6001. The tranquillity of France being then fully restored, Dr. E. Fox went to Paris again, and, being furnished with a proper introduction to some of the members of the cabinet, he conferred with the minister of marine, and other public functionaries, on the subject, and exhibited the plan acted upon in England for the relief of merchant sailors. The result was, that this little sum was finally placed in "the treasury of the invalid seamen of France," for the relief of" non-combatants" of the merchant service; not without the expectation of its proving a nucleus, to which considerable augmentations might afterwards be made. The family of Lefebvre, of Rouen, having been great losers by the original captures, and having rendered essential aid in making the distribution, a power was reserved to them of recommending a certain number of objects belonging to that port; and, from accounts which they have transmitted from time to time, it appears that the design has been carried into effect.
Thus was this long-protracted business brought to a conclusion, and the original intention of the principal agent fulfilled, as completely as circumstances would permit.
It would be superfluous to add any thing to the above narrative; except, perhaps, to say, that if some Joseph Fox would zealously take up the subject of privateering, and devote himself to procure its abolition, he might live to witness, or his children after him, an abolition of this nefarious practice, and leave his name to be remembered among the true benefactors of the human race. He would, however, have a yet brighter reward than to stand on the honorary rolls of philanthropy; for he would have the approbation of conscience, and the satisfaction of having promoted peace on earth, and good-will to men. Nor, it is trusted, would the task be long or arduous-compared, for instance, with the abolition of the slavetrade and slavery-for who is there that would venture upon principle to defend a custom so utterly opposed to every dictate of Christianity and justice?
IS CHARACTER THE TEST OF
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I ADMIT the general justice of Anti-Euclid's remark, that character is not the test of truth; but I think he carries his position too far for the truths of religion are of a moral nature; so that, if
the character of those who profess them is evil, it is not unnatural that mankind should be led to doubt their correctness, or at least their alleged spiritual influence. The Christian is to let his light shine before men, that they may glorify his Father in heaven: if he do not do so, truth loses much of its moral power. A belief in reference to things not practicalsuch as mathematical demonstrations-is very different to faith in those unseen and eternal realities, which cannot but strongly influence the heart. In this view, the character of Luther or Cranmer is of more importance than AntiEuclid admits; for though, whatever it might have been, the real principles of the Reformation are the same, yet honest men not unfairly indulge a presumption for or against a proposal according to the known character of the proposer. If Luther had been what some Papists describe him, men might be led to view the Reformation in religion, as we should one of Mr. Hunt or Mr. Cobbett's schemes of reform in politics. Agreeing, therefore, though I do with Anti-Euclid in his general proposition, I demur to its universal application, and feel thankful, as I am sure he must, to those who have rescued the character of Luther, Cranmer, and other worthies from the unjust imputations which have been cast upon them. M. N.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons, preached before the University of Cambridge during the Month of January 1830. By the Rev. Ř. W. EVANS, M.A. Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College. London: 8vo.
THESE Sermons, which are characterized by great intellectual
ability, are still more valuable for their Christian spirit and advocacy of truth. Our satisfaction in perusing them is enhanced by the consideration of the station which the writer holds in the principal college in Cambridge, and the influential character of the audience before whom these dis
courses were preached. We have witnessed with much pleasure, on various occasions, a truly Christian tone of sentiment exhibited in the pulpit of that university; and we are grateful to Mr. Evans for the evidence which his sermons afford, that the standard thus assumed has not been relinquished.
The first discourse is on the Study of Scripture. Mr. Evans begins with noticing the admirable fitness of that mode of instruction which the Divine wisdom has had recourse to in the Holy Scriptures, to interest the feelings and affect the hearts of men; and contrasts with it, the cold, formal, unpractical effort of any regular system or theory of divinity, even though derived from the Scriptures. This striking inferiority in the latter case he ascribes to the artificial regularity of arrangements and the absence of facts.
"In the Scriptures we are presented with real beings, our Lord and his Apostles move before our eyes; the doctrines come forth, as called by circumstances from their mouths, or as illustrated in their behaviour; they are associated with facts, and thus make their impression with the solidity of substance upon the heart." "Whereas, in the other case, our Lord becomes almost an abstract being; the goodly train of apostles, disciples, and assembled churches, vanishes at once; all facts are excluded; we have to follow with our understanding the artificial arrangement of the compiler, and the heart has comparatively little palpable presented to it." pp. 3, 4.
From the peculiar character of the instruction which Holy Scripture gives, it follows, says Mr. Evans, that peculiar qualities are required in its readers; and these are, more than common sincerity (including under this name profound reverence and humility), more than common diligence, more than common perseverance. The author then points out the impediments to the attainment of these qualities, particularly as those impediments are found amongst literary pursuits, or, as Mr. Evans expresses it, "in the very field of knowledge
itself." There are various ways, he remarks, in which the mind is liable to become incapacitated for the profitable study of the Scripture, by the ill-directed indulgence of a literary taste. He particularly specifies, an insatiable appetite for knowledge, without any application of it to the service of God; a limitation of mental research to the exact sciences, so as not to distinguish between the qualities of moral and abstract truth; and an inordinate application to literature, to the neglect of a healthy communication with the living world, whence arises the disease of an ill-regulated imagination. Few, if any, persons, says Mr. Evans, who have tasted the enjoyments of a liberal education, and have paid attention to the internal operations of their own minds, can fail to have detected in their own bosom, at some period or other, the elements of these errors. Mr. Evans laments the little comparative importance which persons long engaged in literary pursuits usually attach to the study of the word of God, though it is that study to which all others ought to be subordinate and subservient; and he observes, that the poor heathen, whom we most justly pity for his scanty light and lamentable errors, on this account may put us to shame :
"So impregnated is his literature with his religion, so thoroughly is his language in every page imbued with it, that we cannot approach the oracles of Christian faith in the original tongue without a good acquaintance with his rites, his modes, and objects of worship: as if God, in the counsels of his providence, had purposed to put us to shame, and to discover to us, at the same moment with the glorious light and comfort of his Gospel, the abyss of darkness and error from which he has delivered us. feared) be a mortifying result, were we It would (it is to be to enter into a comparison for ascertaining the question, which of the two, from a perusal of the same number of similar have the advantage. Would the Greek works in each the other's language, would derive as clear a notion of the Gospel