Page:The slave trade of east Africa.djvu/27

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kingdom of heaven." But to the accomplishment of this end many will be the obstacles; nor must the Society falter or swerve from its path at the opposition they must encounter. We beg them to remember the inheritance which has descended to them from the men who fought and won the old fight. And here the words of Sir James Stephen seem to us so encouraging, and conceived in a spirit so appropriate to that in which the present contest, inferior though it may be in magnitude to the battle of the old slave trade, should be commenced and maintained, that we cannot do better than close this article by quoting them at length:—

"In later days agitation for the accomplishment of great political objects has taken a place among social arts. But sixty years since, it was among the inventions slumbering in the womb of time, taught by no professors, and illustrated by no examples. We have lived to see many of the most ancient and solid edifices, erected by the wisdom of our ancestors, totter at the blast of leagues, associations, speeches, reports, and editorial articles, like the towers of Jericho falling before the rams' horns of Joshua. But when Mr. Wilberforce and his friends met to deliberate on their enterprise, the contrast between the magnitude of their design and the poverty of their resources demanded a faith scarcely inferior to that which encouraged the invaders of Palestine to assault with the sound of their trumpets the towers built up by the children of Anak to the heavens. Truth, indeed, and justice were on their side; and in the flower of his youth, his eloquence, and his fame, Mr. Pitt had given the bright augury of his adhesion to their cause. But, after twenty years of ceaseless controversy had rolled away, the most sanguine of them was constrained to 'stand in awe of the powers of falsehood' and of commercial cupidity, and to acknowledge that, in effecting so great a deliverance, God would not employ the rulers nor the mere rhetoricians of the world, but would use, as His instruments, His own devoted servants—men able to touch in the bosoms of others the sacred springs of action which were working in their own."