Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

passed at the two last General Meetings, that I think it unnecessary to say a word more about it here.

Nor do I profess to enter very fully into the Charges respecting Expenditure—yet on these I cannot but make one or two observations.

The Committee are accused of spending sixteen per cent on the Management of the Income intrusted in them ;_" they have been guilty of unjustifiable extravagance; they have expended, on a host of Secretaries, Accountants, Agents, both stationary and itinerant, &c. &c., an unreasonable proportion of the funds intrusted to their discretion."

1. It is surely most unfair to take the Expenses of Management in comparison with the amount of Free Contributions merely. It should be compared with the whole Amount managed, that is, with the whole expenditure of the year. Now, for the year 1825 -1826, the whole expenditure was 96,014). 13s. 1d.; and, according to the detailed statement published by the Auditors, the charge of management was 65397. 2s. 11d. which is less than seven per cent on the whole.

2. It has never been proved that, there is any one of the subordinate Officers, Clerks, or Porters, employed about the Society's House, who is overpaid, or who is not fully employed. For myself, I know, by constant observation, that they are at work from morning to night, and often at extra hours.

3. It has been stated, and never disproved, that,

“On an accurate calculation of the expeoses of the Depository, and of the whole Establishment, during the last ten years—allowing, according to the usual mercantile ratio, for the money expended in the purchase both of the freehold and leasehold premises, erecting and enlarging the warehouses, furnishing, and all other expenses-the average of the last ten years is only about equal to the average of the preceding three years; when the Bibles and Testaments were with a Bookseller on a moderate commission; the Secretaries and Assistant Secretary conducting the business of their respective departments at their several habitations, widely detached from each other; and the Committee holding its meetings in rooms hired for the occasion.

“ The facility which has been experienced from having the increasing concerns of the Society conducted on one spot, is such as to evince the propriety of the measure: and it having been found necessary to augment, very considerably, the variety as well as quantity of Versions in Foreign Languages, and also, in order to have the English editions at all times in a proper state for binding, to increase the stock in that language very greatly, Í um informed, that the aggregate value of the Society's Bibles and Testaments is, at this time, five times what it was at the period when their scock was removed to Earl Street; and had it been continued with a Bookseller, his allowance, for warehouse-rent, and the necessary attention required by the care of such a stock, must have been considerably angmented. Letter in the Edinburgh Theological Magazine for December 1826.

4. It must be recollected, that the Bible Society stands in'a very

See a

different situation from that of most other Religious Societies; with respect to Foreign Agents. Suppose, for instance, the Som ciety for Promoting Christian Knowledge in London, or the Coni tinental Society in Edinburgh, wish to extend their operations to any particular country, even though it be one in which they can do little but by the distribution of the Scriptures for Religious Works, they send out a Missionary, or Schoolmaster, or Agent, as the case may be ; and this is set down as one of their legitimate objects, and the expense of it is by no means to be reckoned among « Expenses of Management.” Now if the Bible Society wish to do the same thing, unless there be Missionaries already established on the very spot, they must necessarily send out an Agent also: and then this Agent, though engaged in “doing the work of an Evangelist" as fully perhaps as many of the persons above descris bed, is put down at once in the same List with Messengers and Porters, and his salary goes only to make an item in “a lavish exe penditure of Management.'

It is not to be endured, for instance, that the salary of the Rev. Mr. Leeves, who has been for years rendering as important services to the cause of Religion, in the Greek Church, and throughout the Turkish Empire, as any Missionary whatever employed in that part of the world, should be classed with the stipend of au Office-clerk. Moreover, some of these persons described as Agents have been much employed as Editors ; for instance, Mr. Leeves himself, and Professor Kieffer; and a great part therefore of the money paid to them has been no more expended in “ Management," than that which has been employed for discharging Editors' and Printers' bills.

5. Leander Von Ess received no salary until Mr. Owen had personally examined into the state of his affairs, while on the Continent in 1818. And from his Report it appeared, that so extensive were the arrangements which had been necessarily made for the effectual circulation of his edition of the New Testament, that the whole income derived from his existing employments would be absorbed by the expenses attendant on them; and on the principle, that he who thus widely preached the Gospel ought to live by the Gospel, a salary of 3001. a-year was voted to him: 601. was afterwards added for a Clerk, and for warehouse rent. But that his affairs and the whole of his proceedings may be duly investigated, Dr. Pinkerton has just been despatched by the Committee to visit him: and on this journey he is accompanied by the Rev. R. W. Sibthorp, B. D., Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.

That Dr. Von Ess's salary was not announced in the printed Reports of the Society, arose simply from the circumstance that those Reports were known to be read by many, on the Continent,

who would gladly thwart his progress and abridge his usefulness by all means in their power; and if any such exposure of his arrangements and affairs were made, as the mention of his salary would necessarily cause, it was feared that some occasion might be devised for taking more effectual steps against him than any that had yet been attempted.

Whether this fear did indeed justify the concealment, I shall not undertake to decide. The motive for it at least was good.

As to the language in which his exertions are spoken of in two passages quoted from the Reports of the Society, I have to say, that at the time the first of them was written, he neither was receiving, nor had received, any salary at all. And the second, it should be observed, is not from the Report itself, but quoted from a Letter of Dr. Steinkopff. Doubtless the impression made on the warm and affectionate heart of that excellent man, by the sight of Leander Von Ess's operations, was such as he describes ; nor do I see any thing in the mere fact of his receiving a salary (under the circumstances represented by Mr. Owen), which should make me believe that impression to have been delusive.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, DURING HIS RESIDENCE AT LEGHORN,

AND DATED SEPTEMBER 27, 1823.

[Translated from the Spanish Ms. for The PAMPHLETEER.]

INTRODUCTION. In the present number of the Pamphleteer we are enabled to offer to our readers, the “ Political Life of the Ex-Emperor of Mexico, Don Augustin Iturbide," purporting to be written by himself, during his residence near Leghorn, in 1823, and, as such, received from Mexico, in a Spanish Ms. form, through a channel of the highest respectability. The translation is a literal one; and the Memoir, besides containing a complete outline of the causes and events which led to Iturbide's elevation and downfall, never rightly understood in this country, possesses a peculiar interest, at the present moment, when a new question begins to arise in Europe respecting the stability of the Mexican Republic; or rather, when it becomes a subject of inquiry whether, from a variety of reasons, the extended, thinly populated and only yet half-civilised States of New Spain, are not more fitted for the establishment of a monarchy, than a republican and federative form of government. This paper is, besides, both curious and valuable, in another point of view. The only accounts we have of Iturbide's acts and views are from the pens of his enemies, and evidently filled with the grossest illiberality; nay, from the very style in which they are couched, it is more than presumable that they were dictated by party-spirit, and consequently, in many respects, devoid of truth. Iturbide, like most other men who, in times of revolution, have taken the lead in the military and political events of their country, and raised themselves to a rank infinitely beyond that of their companions and coadjutors, became

an object of attack, from the moment he was deserted by fortune; and, as usually happens, those were his bitterest enemies and loudest accusers, who had previously been promoted by his friendship, or fed on his bounty. Few men have had more reason to complain of ingratitude, and there are few whose actions have been more perverted; nevertheless, there must have been something great and dignified in the character of Iturbide, and some important advantages also gained by the Mexicans, through his services or bravery, otherwise he never could have secured a popularity so extensive, and, notwithstanding his last misfortune, retained it up to the present hour.

In saying thus much of one now no more, we cannot be suspected of a design to eulogise, or an intention to mislead. Every man who has held a post so elevated as Iturbide did, no matter how attained, or in what manner lost, has a right to be judged both by his contemporaries and posterity; and this can only be done fairly, by hearing what he had to say of himself, by comparing it with his enemies' accusations, and by then deliberately weighing the results. Memoirs of this class also add materially to our general mass of information respecting foreign countries, and, in a political point of view particularly, of none do we require it so much as of Mexico, a country in which we have now a large capital at stake, owing to the credulity and inconsiderate acts of our money-lenders.

Iturbide says, that his - only crime was having allowed himself to be raised to a throne which he himself had created for another, and being thereon seated, of having had the courage to oppose intrigues and disorders.” It now turns out, that it was not an act of personal ambition which placed Iturbide on the Mexican throne. He had endeared himself to the people, by effecting their independence and total separation from Spain, a merit of which even his worst enemies cannot deprive him ; but he was convinced from the very onset, and as were, and still are, the most enlightened of his countrymen, that Mexico can never exist, for any length of time, as a Republic; and that the only plan to insure the tranquillity of the country, and prevent it from being dismembered, as well as the only mode to give to the people a form of government, congenial to their wants, wishes and habits, was to raise it into a Monarchy. He was also of opinion, that the 70,000 Europeans established in the viceroyalty, with some exceptions, ought to be retained, as in their hands the chief wealth and industry were concentrated; and he was sensible that their expulsion would create a lamentable void in the society of the country, and materially diminish its resources. That, in this respect, he was right, is proved by the very same policy being now pursued by the Mexican government.

After having held the command of two provinces and the army

« AnteriorContinuar »