Imatges de pÓgina

viper, which outvenoms all the worms of the Nile, is still pouring out bitter invectives against him, and striving to blast his character," for reputed orthodoxy I suppose, ""to bring him under condemnation' by the Church, and thus cause him to be thrust out of the Synagogue. But this is not in their power. A spirit of inquiry seems to be abroad among us, and the youth appear disposed to search for themselves, and not pin their faith upon pontiffs, cardinals, or their privy counsellors, who are nothing but tyrannical, sectarian bigots; and, if sanctioned by law, would soon cause a Smithfield smoke to be raised among us." The letter-writer adds, "I have been informed, the people who call themselves Friends are about to lay a proposal before their ecclesiastical court to publish a new confession of faith to the world, since Elias has jostled their lees, and produced a fermentation, which I hope will purge out all their old leaven. I have long sighed for a Reformation. If it begin in this city, it will spread far and wide. All the meetings seem convulsed!!"

From that hour the star of glory

Shone on Judah's hallow'd ground, When the shepherds sang the story Where the infant King was found, Thro' the gloom of darkest ages,

Truth has shone with piercing ray, And the balm that pain assuages

Shed on hearts that own its sway. To the light of grace inshining

Thro' the darkness of our souls, We must bow with hearts inclining

To his will that ours controuls.

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Thus we learn by revelation,

What the will of God makes known, Thus we bow in adoration,

Humbly at the Saviour's throne. Need we then the long narration

As the means, our heaven to win? No, the source of our salvation,

Is the light of Christ within. By the eternal word of power,

Manifest within the mind, Acting in the silent hour,

On the thoughts of human kind: For this holy truth professing,

Long our fathers suffer'd sore,

Long contended for the blessing,

Given to the saints before.
Now again the way thou showest,

That the Apostles ever trod, Heaven reward thee as thou goest,. On the errand of thy God.

Persecutions here attend thee,

But the Eternal shall defend thee,
Which the saints have ever known,

From the shaft that hate has thrown.

And may'st thou, when hence retiring,

When this tour of love shall cease,

Feel thy soul to God aspiring,

And enjoy his holy peace."

From these lines I think we may safely infer that the heresy imputed to Elias Hickes is not a dereliction of the distinguishing tenet of the Quakers, in the language of Barclay, the doctrine of "immediate Divine Revelation." But in what comparative estimation Elias Hickes, or his poetical Eulogist, holds the authentic records of the primitive Christian faith, once revealed to the saints under special and extraordinary circumstances, is left uncertain. Nor is it clear to me whether the writer means to ascribe "adoration" to the person whom he describes as "the infant King," or to his God and Father whom he addressed in prayer, when the time of his sufferings and death was at hand, as "the only true God."

Wishing this extraordinary difference of sentiment, among the most numerous body of Friends in the world, may promote on both sides a spirit of serious, candid, dispassionate inquiry, and thereby tend to the furtherance of the gospel in its genuine purity and simplicity, I am, BEREUS.

it is their duty to unite with those
who wish to effect its gradual ame-
lioration and ultimate annihilation.
Again let me explain, that, for my
own part, I give them the fullest
credit, as a body of Slave-holders,
for the disposition to render the lot
of their unfortunate bondmen and
bondwomen as little oppressive as pos-
sible; and that it is not them, but
their system with which I feel so much
dissatisfaction. I think it not impos-

sible but this better may come under
the eye of Mr. Bright, the honourable
Member for Bristol, in which case I
solicit his attention to a part of its
contents, as well as that of Euelpis.
I learn from the newspapers of the
day, that the former has no very high
opinion of me, either as a man or as
a Christian minister. Indeed, if the
Morning Chronicle* may be relied on,
he has openly charged me with spiri-
tual pride and neglectful conduct as a
Missionary, while I was in Jamaica,
besides broadly insinuating that I can
be guilty of the contemptible and hor-
These arc
rid crime of falsehood.
grave charges, calculated to ruin my
character, blast all my hopes as a
public man, and destroy, at one blow,
the credit of the statements which
some thought I might make to the
advantage of the approaching contest,
on the subject of Negro-Slavery. Had
Mr. B. descended to particulars, it
might have been expected that I should
have entered on a particular reply;
but this, I think, he has not sufficiently
done, and, therefore, he is respect-
fully invited to proceed to the task, or
expected, as a man of honour, to re-
tract his very unhandsome and most
injurious language. The passage in
the petition from Southwark against
Negro-Slavery, presented to the House
of Commons by Sir R. Wilson, which
so much offended Mr. B., was evi-
dently the following, taken from a
small work, lately published for Hatch-
ard and Son, Piccadilly, and J. and A.
Arch, Cornhill, entitled, "
"Mr. Cooper never saw a
Negro who, when uncovered, did not
exhibit marks of violence, that is to
say, traces of the whip on his body.”

April 12, 1823.


IAM concerned to find, by a second
communication from your very re-
spectable correspondent, Euelpis, [p.
100,] that my animadversions [XVII.
751] on his letter [XVII. 677] should
have led him to suppose that I felt
myself hurt at his remarks, on what
I have written, in your valuable work,
on the moral and religious instruction
of the Negro Slaves in the West In-
dies. I must, therefore, beg to assure
him, that I never imagined he had the
slightest intention of wounding my
feelings, much less of questioning my
veracity; and that it has been a stand-
ing rule with me, ever since I read
Mason on Self Knowledge, never to
take offence without being previously
satisfied that offence was actually in-
tended. After this, I trust, he will
readily believe, that however unhappily
I may have expressed myself in a for-
mer epistle, I was really gratified,
rather than otherwise, with his friendly
queries. My opinions of the withering
influence of Negro-Slavery may pos-
sibly appear somewhat peculiar; if
they are erroneous, my only wish is
to have them corrected. The subject
is daily becoming more and more in-
teresting and important; and I rejoice
to learn that it is already under the
scrutiny of several individuals of high
distinction in the philanthropic world.
If it were desirable, it would be im-
possible to keep down discussion, and,
as a Christian and a friend to the na-
tural rights of our species, I am quite
willing to communicate, for the advan-
tage of both parties, any information,
bearing on the controversy, which my
late residence in the seat of Slavery
enabled me to acquire. Let the whole
truth be known, and judgment given
accordingly. If there be no injustice
in Slavery, the Planters can have
nothing to fear even from the most
rigid examination of the system. But
if there be, they must perceive that

* I would refer the reader to the No. of the paper containing the Report of Mr. Bright's Speech, but it is not at hand.

Of the petition in question, I, of course, can have no knowledge excepting what is derived from a newspaper, and whatever construction the petitioners may have put upon the quotation, I have only to say, that I never meant any thing more by it than that I never saw a Negro uncovered who did not exhibit marks of the whip on his body. This fact I repeat, and will add, (although it may seem still more incredible,) that satisfactory evidence of a Negro's being marked with the whip, may sometimes be obtained without removing the garments; that is, the blood may be seen issuing through them. In confirmation of this, I pledge myself to lay before the public at least two cases, one of which shall be that of my own waiting-boy, John Harden, who was punished at my own request. I would here give the particulars, did I not fear that I should thereby swell this letter to a tedious length. When they are known, I expect to be visited with an ample share of blame. Mr. B., no doubt, believes himself to be well acquainted with every thing respecting the character and condition of the Negro Slaves, and will, perhaps, be somewhat surprised when I assure him, on my honour, that one of the blackest accounts of the morals and disposition of these people, which I remember ever to have heard, referred immediately to a large gang belonging to an estate in Westmoreland, well known to him. This I had at first hand, and, if true, will, I must think, afford another reason for investigating the Slave system in all its bearings.

That the exertions of the Missionaries in the West Indies are destitute of beneficial results, I am not aware that I have ever affirmed or insinuated; while I certainly have presumed to question, whether the quantum of good which they have achieved, has not been somewhat overrated. Euelpis will bear in mind, that I allude to the exertions of these gentlemen on estates where, with the exception of four or five white men, the whole of the population are slaves, and not to their labours in towns, where the mass of the people are free. In my last I made it appear, that the low estimation in which I hold Missionary labours on estates, is by no means with out an example; and, with a view to

throw a little fresh light on the subject, I will now adduce a few particulars respecting what has been accomplished by the Moravian brethren. It is well known that on Mesopotamia estate, in Westmoreland, the brethren have long exerted themselves in the cause: indeed, they have given more than half a century of their valuable time to this station; but certainly without producing any very important improvement in the spiritual condition of the Slaves. This I state on the authority of one of their own Missionaries, in addition to the testimony of several white gentlemen, well acquainted with the case. I might add, that I visited the estate myself, and had an opportunity of conversing with all the Negroes then living upon it, who had ever been under the care of the Missionaries, and I can truly say, that I could not perceive that, with the exception of a few religious phrases which they had mastered, they gave any proof of possessing a particle of religious or any other knowledge superior to what may be found any day amongst the common herd. None of them had ever been taught to read, and in morals, I was assured by those who must have known the truth, that they were not a whit better than the rest of the gang. After such experience, is it surprising that the brethren should begin to regard Mesopotamia with a hopeless eye? Irwin, in St. James, is another station now in their hands: a Missionary has resided upon it, I believe, nearly ten years, who also attends to the religious concerns of the Slaves on three or four other properties in the neighbourhood. He follows the plan of preaching and chatechising, but does not teach any one to read. His success is not very dissimilar to that which I experienced on Georgia. The Negroes will attend on him, with a few exceptions, when they are allowed time for the purpose, and on a Sunday a few will occasionally make him a call. The good man laments that so little arises from his labours, but says he is willing to sow in hope; and we may always console ourselves with the idea, that time will work changes. He is an advocate for teaching the Slaves to read, and seems to think that it might be done without prejudice to the existing order of things.

It is possible that Slavery may wear a more terrific form in that part of Jamaica in which I resided than it does in St. Eustatius, the scene of Mr. French's labours. And this, indeed, must be the case, if the narrative of the robber, in the latter, as given by this gentleman, be sufficiently full to impart a complete idea of the case; for, had it occurred in the former, measures of a far more serious nature would have been adopted, on the apprehension of the delinquent, than appear to have been thought of in St. Eustatius. In Jamaica, the crime of desertion is viewed in a very serious light, as it plainly strikes at the roots of the Slave system. If the offender be tried in a court of justice, and pronounced an incorrigible runaway, he is transported for life; but should robbery and rebellion be added to his crime, I cannot imagine that any thing short of hanging would be thought of. Overseers and imagistrates may, and, I firmly believe, do wish to forgive, when they are able to find a tolerable pretext; but, in cases like the present, they are compelled to be severe, or risk the most tremendous consequences. I feel that were I myself an overseer on any estate with which I am acquainted, I should be under the hard necessity of remonstrating with my runaways, by means of the whip, the bilboes and the workhouse, and even at times by all these put together, or abandon my profession as a Planter. I speak of the general rule, to which there would, of course, be occasional exceptions; such, for instance, as that of the above robber, whose conduct was certainly far more than commonly iniquitous. It should be remarked, that he not only kept from his master's work fourteen months, and became a most notorious robber, but he absolutely acted as the captain of others, "whom he got to join him." At length, however, he was caught, put into confinement, expostulated with by his master, and conversed with by Mr. French, which was followed by a "real change of heart and life." Now, to a person less suspicious than myself, the report would convey the idea of the expostulations of the master being merely verbal, and the confinement of an ordinary nature. But in Jamaica the



former would have been administered
by the whip, and the latter rendered
more than commonly painful, by both
feet being put into the stocks. As to
a Slave's accounting for his conduct
as a runaway, a robber, and a ring-
leader of a gang of desperadoes, on
the score of no one having "cared
for his religious concerns," it is what
I have no idea ever happened in Hano-
ver; and if even it did, I am still less
inclined to believe that the plea would
be admitted. That all these things
really took place in St. Eustatius I
do not deny, while I must remark,
that if Mr. F. has told the whole
truth, the condition of the Slaves in
that island is essentially different from
that of those in Jamaica, with which
I and my wife were personally ac-
quainted. All the accounts from the
Missionaries, which I have seen, are
indeed calculated to convey the idea
that the Slaves, amongst whom they
have been placed, are in circumstances
comparatively mild with the govern-
ment under which the Blacks in Ha-
nover are doomed to groan and cry.
Of the benevolence of teaching the
Negroes Christianity, while the deter-
mination is to hold them for ever in
a state of complete bondage, I hope
to have an opportunity of treating at
large in another place. Euelpis knows
that I regard Negro-Slavery as a most
fertile source of ignorance, pain and
vice, and, therefore, he ought not to
feel surprised that I suppose that
Christianity, if propagated in its pu-
rity in the sugar-islands, would effect
its ultimate extirpation. I regard
Christianity as a pure and holy reli-
gion, and have no doubt, but that as
the human race submit themselves to
its unadulterated influence, they will
become pure and holy, and from a
sense of duty lay aside all their im-
pure and unholy practices and insti-
tutions, and Negro-Slavery amongst
the rest. I am fully aware that per-
sons of great repute for theological
knowledge and critical skill, have
maintained that the gospel not only
justifies Slavery in the abstract, but
even the conduct of a master who
lashes his Slave for having presumed
to disobey his commands. I have a
wife and several small children who
are the pride of my existence and the
daily delight of my heart. Now, if

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they were seized and sold to the Planters to slave in the sugar-islands, would it be a crime in me, as a Christian, to attempt to effect, without money, their deliverance? Or, in them, to run away the moment the eye of their tyrant was off them? Here I could enlarge, but, Mr. Editor, I am fearful of being thought prolix. In a word, therefore, I will be bold to assert, that while Christianity contemplates mankind in the light of rational beings, Slavery regards them simply in that of mere animals.

I should feel a pleasure in completing my series of papers in compliance with the friendly request of your correspondent Euelpis, were I not pledged to lay before the public a more detailed account of my late mission to Jamaica, in a pamphlet devoted to the purpose, than has yet appeared. This being the case, I conclude that no one will wish ne to occupy any more of your pages with communications on the subject in hand.


Appeal in behalf of the Christian
Tract Society.


THE merits of the Christian Tract Society are so well known, and so universally acknowledged among Unitarian Dissenters, that it might have been hoped nothing more would have been necessary to stimulate us to a cheerful, active and zealous support of an institution, fraught with such incalculable benefit to society, and more particularly to the young and the poor. Whoever has attentively witnessed the effects of their publications on these descriptions of persons, must have observed that they are calculated to convey religious knowledge in the most easy, interesting and engaging form; and to produce religious impression, and excite to religious practice, by the most powerful of all persuasives, the influence of attractive and interesting examples. The narrative and dialogue form in which most of these publications are written, it is well known, are by far the most effectual methods of conveying instruction to young and uncultivated minds; and the eagerness with which these tracts are sought after, and read by thousands of persons, who, if they

had not these, would scarcely read any thing, or nothing but the vilest trash, is a striking proof of the utility of the institution.

To those of the poor, who are prevented by illness or lameness from following their usual occupations, and who are able to read with tolerable correctness, these tracts are an invaluable treasure. Few indeed, deplorably few, are the resources which persons in this situation generally possess. Their minds uncultivated; their knowledge scanty, with scarcely any means either of amusement or improvement; and scarcely any society which can render them any consolation; their days and nights drag heavily on, and they have nothing to do but to count and wish away the tedious hours. We think, and justly think it to be our duty, in all such cases, to render some comfort and assistance to the afflicted body; why not then equally to the distressed and vacant mind? A few shillings expended in the purchase of these tracts, to be either given or lent on such occasions, would relieve and cheer many a dreary hour of wretchedness, by furnishing the mind with agreeable and profitable employment. And the pious, rational and consoling views of the Deity, and of his dealings with his creatures, which are uniformly inculcated in these publications, and the fine spirit of habitual devotion which pervades and runs through the whole of them, can scarcely fail of making many valuable impressions, as well as of imparting the purest and the most durable consolation to the wounded and afflicted spirit.

Equally beneficial are these publications to apprentices and servants in the various departments of life. It is a melancholy fact, that the employers of these persons seldom pay much attention to the manner in which they spend their small portion of leisure time: and, consequently, it is too often. spent, not only without improvement, but in a way to unfit them for becoming useful and virtuous members of society in the present life, and to disqualify them for the happiness of a future state. But if some kind and judicious Christian friend, who has the real welfare of the rising generation at heart, would take the trouble to furnish them with a few of these

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