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much distress. He made strenuous efforts to get the principle of arbitration recognized instead of the blind, brutal, and bloody arbitration of the sword. That eminent statesman, Richard Cobden, undertook the difficult duty of bringing the subject before Parliament. We have his masterly and unanswerable speech now lying before us,* and we have no hesitation in saying that for closeness of reasoning, clearness of statement, and comprehensiveness of view, it is one of the greatest addresses we ever read. In Sturge's peace labours he found noble yokefellows in Messrs. Elihu Burritt and H. Richard, and with their aid got up Conventions in Brussels, Paris, Frankfort, London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. They sought in these conferences to induce the governments of Europe to form arbitration treaties, to reduce their armaments, to adopt uniform standards of weights and measures, and coinage. The wise men of the world laughed at them as visionaries, and at their principles as utopian. The fault of these men was that they were before their age; but as society advances and becomes ultimately reconstructed, these principles will rule the world. But crying down a thing because the world had not come up to it was the last thing to move our godly corn dealer. He worked the harder. Not that he was fussy or dictatorial, but he was ever on the alert, going anywhere, speaking or getting others to speak, bearing cheerfully the lion's share of the labour and the cost. He seemed ever fresh and vigorous, full of practical expedients, and always animated by his Master's spirit. From the Frankfort Convention he was induced to go in company with Messrs. Burritt and Wheeler to try to get the dispute between Denmark and SchleswigHolstein submitted to arbitration. They did not offer themselves as arbitrators, but endeavoured to secure the consent of the contending parties to select competent persons to decide the points at issue. And they would have succeeded but for the meddling of professional diplomatists.
Before long Europe was to be the scene of a war of gigantic magnitude; Russia was ruled by a Czar who inherited all the ambition and ecclesiastical prejudices of his greatest predecessors, tyrannical, rash, violent, and reserved, not asking or allowing counsel on many critical questions. He would often take the executive into his own hands. He was a rabid Greek Church-man, and strove to increase the prestige and power of his Church. France was ruled by a Bonaparte, just crowned Emperor of the French, who, to find work for his soldiers, and to divert the minds of the people from his own acts, and thus to consolidate his power, drifted us into war with Russia. The questions of the keys of the Holy
"Speeches of Richard Cobden on Peace, Financial and Colonial Reform,"
Sepulchre and the silver shrines at Bethlehem were only used to blind Europe and the world. When Mr. Sturge saw whither we were drifting, he anxiously asked, " Can anything be done?" He suggested a deputation to the Emperor Nicholas. He did not want to go himself, but when it was put upon him he was not the man to refuse. So, with Messrs. H. Pease and R. Charlton for colleagues, he set off in the winter to St. Petersburgh, to represent to his majesty the unspeakable importance of preserving the peace of Europe. They had an audience with him on February 18th, 1854. Mr. Sturge was the spokesman, and he addressed the mighty autocrat in such earnest and pointed terms and with such a solemn manner that the Czar's eyes moistened, and he was obliged to turn away. He held a long conference with them and then introduced them to the Empress and the royal family. As soon as they had fulfilled their mission they turned their steps homeward. The present writer well remembers how these men were assailed and abused in this country. The "Times" led the way. At first it spoke of their mission in terms of generous admiration, but like itself, turned round and bitterly taunted and blackened them most coarsely. Numerous other papers echoed the terms of the oracle of Printing House Square. Mr. Kinglake, in his history of the Crimean war, a work of singular ability, sneers at these Quaker missionaries, and affirms that in his future volumes he will prove that the kindly feeling manifested to the deputation was turned into a frenzy of anger against the French and the English people. But unless he has better evidence to adduce than we have in these volumes, strict justice will compel us to record the plea of "Not proven." We might say something about the unwisdom of holding these threats out for so many years. This much has been ascertained from travellers, that over the Russian empire, from Finland to the Ural mountains, and from Archangel to Odessa, the story of their extraordinary mission was the subject of eulogistic remark by the Russian people. The war broke out and raged furiously. It could hardly have been otherwise with such an ambitious man as the Emperor Nicholas for an enemy, with such a subtle and crafty man as Napoleon for an ally, and such an infuriated people as we then were. In the calm of subsequent years, the Quaker mission to Russia has been the theme of universal commendation. During the war Mr. Sturge stood by the side of Richard Cobden and John Bright in trying to stay the war mania. It is singular to read in the very "Times" which in 1854 hounded on the country to war, in 1861 speaking of that war in these terms:-"That ill-starred war, those half million of British, French, and Russian men left in the Crimea, those two hundred millions of money wasted in the worst of all ways, have discharged to the last iota all
the debt of Christian Europe to Turkey. Never was so great an effort made for so worthless an object."
At the close of the war, Sturge and his friends sought interviews with the Plenipotentiaries of the great powers in Europe, to get a clause inserted in the treaty of Paris recognising the wisdom of resorting to arbitration. The distress among the Finnish people through the wanton and ruthless destruction of private property secured his sympathy and help. This destruction was not done by the admirals, but by petty officers, who were rash and reckless, and so they burnt and plundered wholesale and indiscriminately. The sufferings of these poor people touched Sturge's heart. He set about helping and relieving them, and with his old colleague, Mr. Harvey, and at great cost and sacrifice, went among these people, inquired into their sufferings, and distributed the munificent sum of £9,000. No wonder that when, three years after, the tidings of Mr. Sturge's death reached the shores of the Baltic, the Finnish fishermen and peasants wept and mourned as for a father. With his views and opinions, we know with what horror he read of the Indian mutiny. He wished that a deputation could go to India to inquire if the natives had any real grievances, and would have gone himself but it was shown him that the country was so unsettled he could not thoroughly carry out his purpose.
Nearly his last public act was to oppose Sir James Brooke's filibustering in Borneo.
He was gratified with the election of Mr. Bright for Birmingham. For the Birmingham people he cherished an increasing regard. We have seen how he laboured in their political interests, but he also laboured in their moral and social interests. He was one of the first to secure open spaces for recreation. He also established a Hydropathic hospital for the poor, and engaged the most noted practitioner of the day. He was also the prime mover in the establishing of baths and washhouses. He frequently had Bands of Hope to his house and grounds. Working Men's Institutes found in him a generous supporter. He was the means of getting up an adult Sunday-school, with a view to catch the unwashed wanderers on the Sunday. He for a considerable time laboured himself in this school. No class of the suffering portion of the commnuity seemed to escape his loving care and sympathy. The subject of juvenile crime occupied his mind very much. He determined to make an effort to rescue these young criminals. For this purpose he took a large house and fitted it up, and secured the best master he could; then he went to the goal and police authorities and sought from them sixteen of the most notorious boys they could select; for he was resolved to give the thing a thorough trial. He zealously co-operated with the master, and the result proved
most gratifying, for in all the sixteen he collected there was not a failure. Encouraged by this success, he purchased an estate in Worcestershire, and fitted the building up for a reformatory. Here he collected sixty boys. The interest their benefactor took in these unfortunates was deep and absorbing. He spent nearly all his spare time among them, he appealed frequently to each boy and entreated them with words of warning and love. While he subdued them by love the severest discipline was maintained. An overture was made to him to turn the reformatory over to the county authorities, but he declined, believing he could work it better himself. It was found that eighty per cent. of these boys were saved. This delighted his very soul, and made the enormous outlay a pleasant burden to bear. His private charities were numerous, for he loved "to do good by stealth." On the death of Mr. Hindley he was chosen President of the Peace Society. This he deemed one of the greatest honours of his life. In this cause he laboured to the last. In the spring of 1859 he went to London, to preside at the annual meeting of the Voluntary School. Association, and munificently contributed to its funds. He was also engaged to preside at the Peace Society's meeting in Exeter Hall, May 17th, 1859. On the evening of the 13th of May, he was drawn to spend some time in earnest conversation and prayer with one of his children. On the morning of the 14th he rose at six, his usual time, and as he was wont, spent an hour with his Bible and his God, then he called one of his little girls to join him in his customary ride on horseback before breakfast; but being seized with a distressing fit of coughing, he sat down, and said to his wife, "I am very ill." The servants were called and such remedies as they had were used, but with no success. On the window being opened he knelt before it and prayed with intense earnestness, but in a few and broken words. His sufferings increased, he became unable to walk or stand, and being lifted upon his bed he shortly after died. The slight contortions from his terrible sufferings left his countenance; just as he died a smile of heavenly serenity beamed from the face of death. The news spread through Birmingham with electric swiftness, and from mouth to mouth it
"Joseph Sturge is dead!" In that vast town he had not a single enemy. All parties and classes joined in lamenting their common loss. The Corporation awarded him a public funeral, but this was declined. Speaking of his interment, his dear friend, Rev. J. A. James, says, "The lengthened corteage, the closed shops, the crowded streets, the long procession of respectable men, the mixture of ministers and members of all religious denominations, the seriousness and sorrow that sat on every face, seemed to say, "We have lost a benefactor.' The numerous sermons from the pulpits of various bodies in tribute to his memory, all proclaimed
the respect in which he was held." Several impressive addresses were delivered at his grave by persons of his own persuasion. It was determined at a town meeting to perpetuate his memory by a statue and drinking fountain, which was opened in 1862.
We might have dwelt upon many interesting facts in Sturge's life, and on the features of his character, but we must refuse ourselves that pleasant duty, only noticing as we conclude the following things:
I. He was able to do as much work as he did by reason of his vigorous constitution of body and mind. His stature was somewhat below the middle height, but he was squarely and strongly built, capable of great exertion and endurance. His brow was broad rather than high, his eyebrows were dark and bushy, but his benignant grey eye wonderfully softened their austerity. There was nothing moody, morbid, or capricious, about him. He had a free, vigorous nature-always agreeable, cheerful as the dayalways firm of purpose-always reliable, he might be counted upon like a law of nature. His gentle, generous, and benevolent qualities tamed down the natural sternness of his nature. He was always a prime favourite with young people, a proof that he was not sullen or morose. He was fertile in devising means of enjoyment; though he was the straitest of his strait sect, yet he believed in people being happy, and desired to see a happy world. Thus, while his character was remarkable for its strength and fibre, and on questions of principle he could no more be moved than the Alps, yet no man was more amenable to reason.
II. His devotion to the cause of liberty and philanthropy was absolute and all-absorbing. He profoundly believed that it would be for the benefit of this country if every man held the elective franchise. This was a leading article in his political creed. He was no visionary or demagogue, but a cool, practical thinker; this conviction he retained all through life. Of his labours in the fields of benevolence and philanthropy we have spoken, yet we have not told a tithe of what he did. There have been large numbers of men more elegant, more learned, and more wealthy, (though he might have gained enormous wealth had he not for years given away half of his income,) but few, if any, whose faith in God, in humanity, in truth, and justice, have been equal to his. He believed, and therefore acted. Things which men branded as being impracticable, he made them by his energy practicable. He troubled little what the world said about him. One who knew him well says, that "he was more regardless of the opinion of the world than any man he ever knew." He, as we think, was unwisely extreme in this.
III. The foundation of his noble character was his deep, earnest piety. He feared God with his whole soul. His was no