« FöregåendeFortsätt »
ages. Upop the decisive legislations considered to regard our anxiety, not to against the slave trade, there ensued a appear indifferent in this momentous great withdrawment of attention from and interesting cause. the case of the enslaved part of our spe- The three propositions of the discies, or at any rate, discussions became course are, “that slavery admits of no far too occasional, too much limited in scriptural defence, that it is in its naextent and variety of adaptation to meet ture and tendency repugoant to Christhe public exigencies, and the tone of tianity,--and that, it is therefore, our public feeling became proportionally duty zealously to promote every judideteriorated. So evidently was this the cions measure which, may lead to its case, that, when again iboughts were early and complete abolition," Exentertained of advancing in the career cluding from the proposition, the of benevolence, and imitating the noble slavery whicb has been incurred by oxamples already set, the public mind crime; the author examines the topics was not at once in a state to embrace on which arguments have been attemptthe enterprise. Even among the vir- ed to be fouuded in favour of slavery tuous parts of the community some which are the antiquity of slavery as were positively averse --many were un- subsisting in the families of the Hedecided. That those who were la- brew Patriarchs,-the sanction of the bouring under an almost epedemic ma- Mosaic law,--and the conduct in relalady, as having their principles cor- tion to this subject of the inspired rupted by the doctrine of a vicious ex- founders of the Christian Religion. pediency in morals, should, by well Fully allowing, the existence of a kind contrived alarms, have been deterred of slavery in Patriarchal ages, Mr. from a prompt embracing of the pro-' Hall shews its utter dissimilarity to posal, admits not of wonder, but even that of inodern times, and its couseothers of juster general views partook quent utter unfitness as any sanctiov of the apathy and were slow to bestir to recent practice, were it allowed the themselves.
authority of an intended precedent. It is now become evident, that a This, however, he justly refuses to great improvement in the state of grant, in the following manner. public feeling has taken place, an im- " But were it necessary to admit that provement from wbich the happiest ef- the servants of these distinguished anfects may be expected, provided the la. cients were forcibly detained in ignoble bourers in the cause relax not in their bondage, it would become us to censure efforts. To add fuel to the holy flame these acts of tyranny, and not to adduce whicb is beginning to kindle, io invi- them as an example; and to express our gorate the movements of benevolence. deep regret that the splendour of their ex. which are visibly taking place, to assist
cellence should be clouded by such gross the defenders of the rights of justice,
defects. They were exalted indeed by
Les faith and virtue, but yet, they were far when a question involving those rights
from perfection. The eternal principles in an almost unparalleled extent, is, of justice are a surer guide than the pro. though hopefully, yet critically situated, ceedings of the most eminent saints, and we scruple not to affirm, one of the were it a fact, that Abraham himself was most important directivos in which ta- a dealer in men, I should regard it, not lent can be exerted.
as a justification of the odious traffic, but The excellent discourse we have at as an indelible blot upon his otherwise present to recommend to our readers, illustrious name.” examines the question of the legality The topic of the toleration of slavery of slavery op scriptural ground. After by the Jewish-law, is next treated. giving a brief view of the contents of In respect of wbich, after distingaishthe discourse, we shall, also, make ing the different kinds of slavery, and some remarks which have been sbewing, that any state to which a suggested by the present state of the Jew was liable could scarcely allow general question. 'Should we, in do- the name: be admits, that from other ing this, extend the present article be- nations, the Israelites were allowed to yond our usual length, we shall rely have bond-men, and bond-maids. Be for our excise, on the favorable dispo- fore, however, any conclusion could sition with which our readers may be henuc be derived, the intention of the
Divine Legislator is to be remembered, with all their native vigour in destroying wbo, accommodatiug bis dispensa- the evils, and augmenting the enjoy-: tions to the successive states of the ments of our temporal condition; they world. by no means intended the render to these powers an invaluable serJewish code to be final. Before it vice, by extending the sphere of their vi. was fitted for such a purpose, import
sion, by widening the range of their ex.
ertions, and by conveying them into ant changes were necessary. Against thos
must those regions of truth, which unassisted, this stateinent of our author, it would they could not possibly explore.” be vain to attempt opposition. . .
The conduct of the Apostles and " Had the law of Moses been as per primitive teachers in alistajuing from fect in its nature as it was exalted in its
the notice of these topics, is amply exorigin, it would have superseded all sub. sequent legislation, and instead of being
plained, and their silence shewn to merely local and temporary, would have
afford no ground for inferring their demanded the implicit regard of every
favourable regard to the principle of age, and of every nation. It would have slavery in any of its applications. In delineated every crime, and have affixed conclusion of this part it is stated, to each the just and immutable penalty; "6 The Apostles acted as a Missionary and the state which, under the pretence ought now to act, if situated under a desof improving, should presume to change potic government, or labouring amidst its regulations, would be guilty of rebel- the chequered population of the Western lion against God.”
Islands. There are many truths, which, A difference here, is also pointed
in such circumstances, it would be not out, between merc connivance and
merely imprudent, but sinful, to preach.
Were he to assert, as is true, that the injunction, which is justly intitled to
negro has a right to his freedom, his regard.
doctrine would be replete with evils, The still more serious allegation that The misguided man, if allowed to conChristianity itself, is not inimical to tinue his dangerous ministrations, would slavery, yet remained to be exa- live amidst the caresses of the slaves, and mined. In this part the discussion is the execrations of their masters; the formore extended, and we have a luniin mer, he would make hypocritical and nous and forcible exhibition of import. worthless Christians, the latter, deterant principles. But as our author has mined and bitter foes both to himself and remarked, that in oriler to rescue the the gospel.” scriptures from a dishonourable impu. -Having, thus far acted on the detation, and to obviate a difficulty, fensive, Mr. H. becomes in turn the which would impede philanthropic assailant-and with great force ancı exertion, we must consider the nature conviction illustrates Christianity as of Christianity-the specific design of its inimical to slavery, because in its naanthor-and the peculiar duties, which ture a violation of justice, - on devolved upon its primitive teachers- account of its inhumanity,—and as it will be seen that we can do little exerting a tendency altogether contrary more than thus to indicate those to the influence of the gospel. We topics. We cannot deny ourselves the shall not do the injustice of attempting pleasure of an extract on the design to epitomise the glowing sentiments of of the Christian Revelation.
these interesting pages. “ There are many, who do not suffici
In enforcing the consequent duties, ently recollect the specific design of the we bave this appeal: Christian revelation, and who appear to Let us, then, individually perform imagine, that it expressly denounces every our duty. Meditate on Slavery; contrast existing wrong. Christianity will, in- it with your own freedom, until the condeed, where it prevails, extend a regu- demning sentence which your judgment lating influence over all the departments pronounces, is confirmed and enforced by and institutions of society; not by a di. every passion. Let this subject blend rect interference, but by enlightening the itself with your habitual thoughts and human mind, and improving the heart. feelings; let it exercise your pity, your The scriptures are only one, not every sympathy, your benevolence, your hatreri. source of knowledge; and permitting re- Awaken similar emotions in all your flection and reason to accumulate iheir associates. Converse on it with your stores from every quarter, and to act friends in the language of deserved exe.
eration ; seize every opportunity, sum. Spumantemque dari "pecora inter inertia mon every power, and impress upon all votis, around you a just, a deep sense of its Optat aprum, aut fulvum decendere monte wickedness. Act 'under the full convic- leonem. tion, that, to destroy this revolting sys. tem, is a part of the business of life.
There are regions in which slavery Discourse on it, ye parents, among your "
oor is dreadful; but, they are not those of children; and while they 'sport around argument, especially scriptural arguyou in the joyful consciousness of free. ment. Nothing in this latter view can dom, oh, think of those whose offspring well be imagined more impotent; as are born to the chain! Here is a theme, a source of suffering, notbing more on which the speaker ought to expatiate, dreadful. It presents little to exercise the writer to employ bis pen, the artist the intellect, but much to oppress the bis pencil, which demands the noblest heart. As a practical system, the efforts of the indignant poet, and the holy pirate, which has lately ipfested the eloquence of the messengers of mercy. West Indian Seas, is, in miniature, a It is time for the ministers of truth to sound an universal alarm, and in aid of
faint representation of its barbarity, and this consecrated cause to wield, with all
the consternation it diffuses ; in au artheir vigour, those sacred weapons,
gumentative view, it is but the same which, though they are not carnal, are
pirate in distress, when every hand on mighty through God.”.
boaril vainly labouring to avert an inBrief and imperfect as is this ac
evitable catastrophe, is an object of count of the discourse, it will, we
commiseration rather than fear. Or trust, be sufficient to induce our rea
like a marine monster of the same ders to peruse it for themselves, wbich
coasts, which, however, dreadful in its is the only end we have in view, nor
native element, if ashore, would be an can they in that case, fail of deriving
easy victory to an assailant. pleasure and profit from a composition
We congratulate Mr. Hall, that . certainly of rare merit, and in the pro
like his coadjutors,' in the cause of duction of wbich abilities of no ordin slave emancipation, he will, no doubt, nary occurrence were required. It have merited censure in the eyes of cerwould be gratifying to us, were we at tain judges, because, he has not felt it Jiberty to dilate on the pleasure we
a duty to restrain a generous indigna. have received, and to attempt to inves
tion, which the view of slavery excites. tigate its sources in the qualities of Those persons,
alities of Those persons, who in order to justify the performance. We cannot, bow. their practice, require in morals, maxever, content ourselves. with saving ims opposed to all the axioms, which less than that the discourse in regard to
the reason and conscience of men have its method is characterized by perspi
ever received, in order to meet their cuity-to its argument by conviction.
taste in discussion, require also, a simiIn the style combined with much
Jar innovation, in the most approved
a animation and force, there every
critical laws. It would, doubtless, be where prevails natural ease and sim
of advantage if they could procure plicity, which are always the least their new canons to be ratified. It has equivocal signs of just taste in com not escaped their notice, that if the position ; nor is the degree of those signs of the emotions, wbich rise in a qualities much inferior to that in which generous mind, at the view of a shockthey appear in the established classics ing enormity, and which he will be of the language.'
turally express if he be called to depose For the purpose of doing justice to respecting it, could, by being stigmathe interest of the discourse, it is pro- tized as declamation, be associated per to advert to a difficulty in the sobe with qualities which are seen in a weak ject, which, controversially viewed. performance, their beauty would be has a difficulty, although, one which clouded, and their energy annulled. seems paradoxical in the mention. We deem it, however, a sufficient namely, its ease. When a writer finds guard against this artifice of no great it exceedingly easy to satisfy his argu- depth, only to intreat our readers to ment, it is usually proportionably dif. bear in mind the true nature of declaficult to satisfy his reader's attention. mation. That quality, be it remembered, which, wanting the stimulus of curi. is not to be inferred from the exbibition osity, is wont to decline.
of a hidcous object, but if that have
been represented hideous, wbich is not inculcate them in reference to the actruly so, it consists not in drawing a tual state of society, without partialpicture of a gigantic monster, but in ity or fear. In the former instance, thus depicting what nature has formed when the slave-trade controversy was small, and with well proportioned before the public, the great aid furmembers. A discourse being the pro. nished by ministers of the gospel, who duction of a human mind, ought to ro- promptly lent their assistance, has been present human fcelings in relation to the distinctly noticed by the historian of subject on which it is employed. That that event. it is not human nature, which would Another pleasing fact is, that a re. be evinced, by writing without emo- solution has extensively been formed, tion on slavery, we venture to affirm. consuming ouly the products of free la Whether it be above or below our bour. The state of mind such a resolureaders, must for themselves determine. tion evinces, cannot but be the object
In the perusal of this picce, we have of the warmest approbation. The pracbeen forcibly reminded of a species of tice lias, moreover, the recommendamerit, for which our epic bard has been tion of being on the safe side; and extolled. Milton is judged to have should no intimation of its inexpedibeen peculiarly successful in depicting ency be made by those whose accurate the impiety of the arch-fiend's cha- acquaintance with the subject entitles racter, without having, however, pol- their opinion to deference, exertions to luted his pages with dangerous blas promote the practice in his several cirphemies. The present subject is not cle will have become an imperative so contrary in nature, as to dissallow duty on each. comparison, and Mr. Hall has abstain While, bowever, the state of things ed from shocking us with the details, at present is most encouraging, as to while his exbibition of the principles of the issue of this controversy, the need slavery, will not fail to leave an im of active exertion is not diminished. pression of its nature, such as no de- In the presumptions, that this horrible tails could accomplish.
violation of humanity and justice is · It was our intention to add in this about to be brought to a close, we article, some remarks of a more gene- may rationally rejoice; the supposition ral nature on the great question of that it has already virtually ceased, omancipation, but we have little re- that if now left alone, it will decline of maining space, and bave already taken its own accord, would be a fatal mistake. much liberty with our reader's attention. Great exertions are made to produce We may, however, be permitted to ex- in the public mind a delusion of press the great satisfaction we feel at this nature, and from a motive wbichi the evident proofs that the cause of the it is not difficult to understand. What slaves is making progress. Founded las already been done, is represented as as slavery is upon a violation of eternal sufficient, and that without further lejustice, its ultimate overthrow is what gislation the practice will be given up. no good man can doubt; but the signs A great improvement in the minds of that the event is at land, may yet be the colonists is pretended, and that they regarded with delight. The public mind, have adopted those more liberal views with respect to this subject, bas too long which will cause them, of their own acbeen in a state of comparative stagna- cord, to abandon an ignominious and tion. At present, feeling begins to flow, cruel system. Representations of this and ere long the rapid torrent will bave nature can mislead none but such as evinced the weakness of all that is op- wish to be misled on this subject. So posed to it. Among the signs of this contrary is it to truth that any favourimproved state of feeling, we observe, able change is evinced in the conduct with peculiar pleasure, that the minis- of the colonists, that it is impossible to ters of religion are taking up the cause. imagine what additional steps they With party politics the minister of could take to shew their settled deterChrist would desecrate the pulpit, mination to oppose the slightest innowhere he to concern himself; but as vation on their system. An improvejustice and truth are ever principles ment in their views, as they are situated, which he has to inculcate, so he will would soon become apparcnt. Bcnc
ficial effects, like rays from a laminous plate its removalas the greatest calamity body, would issue from it in all direc- which they are able to dread. Credu, tions. The wretched slares would soon lous anticipations, that slavery will exbecome sepsible of the mitigated ri- pire of its own accord; that its congours of the bondage under which they ductors will spontaneonsly relax in the groan. Especially would there take rigours of oppression, as involving the place an alteration of their state with expectation ibat private interest will respect to the facilities of mental im- cease to be with the mass of mankind, provement, and religious instruction. the most cogent motive of whicb they The persons, however, who make as- are sensible, are no less characterized sertions of the improved spirit of tbe by folly, than the indulgence of them colonists, will have at least the pro- would be fatal to this great cause. dence to recede from tbesc tests of the We trust our readers will not fail to truth of their statement; as investiga- avail themselves of the recently aug. tions on this subject are ill adapted, mented aids for acquiring and diffusivg they are aware, to do service to their information of the actual state of the cause. · An ordinary acquaintance system. Few labourers in this cause with human nature, may be soffi- merit more thanks than those whose cient to convince any, thai, as private investigation has enabled them to interest is the ground of the attach- give full and precise information, ment to slavery, those who regard it as and derived from the highest sources, the source of their profit, will never in point of anthority, respecting the vavoluntarily allow it to decline. The rious aspects of the condition in which power of vital religion and, in some in- the miserable slavepopulation is placed. stances, even the natural sentiments Tbe perasal of their works, is a doty of morality bave raised individuals above which all, capable of exerting an infuthe most unfavourable circumstances, ence in ibis cause, (and who is there who therefore have readily sacrificed not included in such a statement) owe their private gains to the sentiments of to themselves, to the community, to justice, or the commands of revelation. the unhappy victims of oppression, Such instances may still be expected. whose true situation so great pains That a large body of men should simul- have been taken wickedly to misrepretaneously concur in taking such a sent. The effect of their acting on this step, upless by means of the prevalence snggestion we are at no loss to anticiof religious principles among them, as pate. It is indeed difficult to say, it is an event wbich no history records, whether they will most have their wonso it would be folly to expect that it der raised at the uublashing impudence should bereafter occur. The magicians of the assertious made on this subject, of old brought their books to the pile, and of which they will see the falschood and relinquisbed a lucrative imposture; demonstrated; or, their pity moved at a and the reception of the gospel which condition which, after all the dreadful caused them to do so would, in this portraits wbich have been given of it, case, be followed by similar effects. is still at every fresh view found to afá Such an event, however, though within ford bitberto unnoticed proofs of dethe divine power to accomplish, is far gradation and wretchedness. It may too improbable to be allowed to enter justly be thought, that a state must be into buman calculation. The active bad which even its advocates, instead opposition hitherto uniformly made by of a denial of its wretchedness, would the planters, is the usual effect of tbeir think of defending, by saying, there are circumstances, and will, no doubt, con- other states more deplorable; but even tinue to be evinced. The defence of this kind of defence is sbewn to be unthe system will be their great concern. tenable. Among all the forms of They will palliate its enormities in their slavery which exist, or which history representation. Tbey will accommo- describes the modern system, is still date their tactics to the position of the found exhibiting a bad pre-eminence; warfare. They will Jabour for the no other admits maxims equally cruel, entire preservation of the system. In- or so fully denies to its objects all the stead of the abborrence of it which its claims of hamanity. wickedness deserves, they will contem- Were the cause of emancipation