« AnteriorContinua »
ly congratulate our readers on this important event, we would wish to direct their thoughts to the great Ruler of the world, as the Author of every blessing, "from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed;" and to recommend the most devout acknowledg ments to the Father of mercies.
Many serious persons having expressed a desire that a particular day might be mentioned, on which those, who conceive the Abolition of the Slave Trade to be a national blessing, may unite their praises with those of their fellow Christians in all parts of the kingdom, we have the pleasure to state, that it has been agreed by some very respectable persons, minjsters and others, both in the Established Church and among various other denominations of Christians, to propose that, on the first Lord's day of June, it be recommended to such persons to offer up to God their hearty thanks for this glorious event, in their private retirements, and in their respective families. The ministers of the gospel will use their discretion whether to take notice of it in their public devotions; doubtless, many of various descriptions will think it a privilege so to do.
THE AFRICAN INSTITUTION.
This great and important measure, the Abolition of the Slave Trade, is certainly an act of national justice; but humanity suggests the propriety of repairing, as far as it may be practicable, the wrongs we have inflicted upon Africa. It is now proper to embrace the opportunity which the aboLtion affords, for extending the benefits of commerce, of agriculture, and other arts of social life, to that immense and injured continent.
Impressed with such sentiments, a very numerous and respectable meeting of noblemen and gentlemen was held on Tuesday, the 14th of April, at Free Masons' Hall, in London; when his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester presided. Several of the bishops, and a considerable number
of the nobility, members of parliament, clergymen, dissenting ministers, and other gentlemen, v ere present. His Royal Highness opened the business with an appropriate speech ; and many very important and interesting thoughts on the subject were advanced by Lord Spencer, Mr. Wilberforce, the Rev. Mr. Owen, Mr. Wm. Smith, and several other speak
It was unanimously resolved,
That this meeting is deeply impressed with a sense of the enormous wrongs which the natives of Africa have suffered in their intercourse with Europe; and from a desire to repair those wrongs, as well as from general feelings of benevolence, is anxious to adopt such measures as are best calculated to promote their civilization and happiness:
That the approaching cessation of the Slave Trade, hitherto carried on by Great Britain, America, and Denmark, will, in a considerable degree, remove the barrier which has so long obstructed the natural course of social improvement in Africa; and that the way will be thereby opened for introducing the comforts and arts of a more civilized state of society:
That the happiest effects may be reasonably anticipated from diffusing useful knowledge, and exciting industry among the inhabitants of Africa; and from obtaining and circulating throughout this country more ample and authentic information concerning the agricultural and commercial fac ulties of that vast continent; and that, through the judicious prosecution of these benevolent endeavours, we may ultimately look forward to the estab lishment, in the room of that traffic by which the African continent has been so long degraded, of a legiti mate and far more extended commerce, beneficial alike to the natives of Africa and to the manufacturers of Great Britain and Ireland:
That the present period is eminently fitted for prosecuting these benevolent designs, since the suspension, during the war, of that large share of the Slave Trade which has commonly been carried on by France, Spain, and Holland, will, when combined with
the effect of the abolition laws of Great Britain, America, and Denmark, produce nearly the entire cessation of that traffic along a line of coast extending between 2 and 3000 miles in length, and thereby afford a peculiarly favourable opportunity for giving a new direction to the industry and commerce of Africa:
That, for these purposes, a Society be immediately formed, to be called THE AFRICAN INSTITUTION:
That the nobility, clergy, and gentry of the United Kingdom, be generally invited to become members hereof; and that a subscription be opened in the metropolis, and all the cities and chief towns in Great Britain and Ireland, for supplying the expenses of the institution:
That His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester be requested to do the Society the honour of accepting the office of patron:
That a committee be immediately appointed to draw up laws and regulations for the government of the society, and to report the same to a General Meeting, to be held for that purpose, at Free Masons' Hall, on the 12th of May next:
That the following noblemen and gentlemen be requested to be members of the said committee:
His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester; Earls Spencer, Moira, Euston; Viscount Howick; Lord Grenville; Bishops of London, Dur. ham, Bath and Wells, St. David's; Lords Holland, Ellenborough, Erskine, Valentia, Teignmouth, Head ly, H. Petty, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Right Hon. T. Gren. ville, G. Canning, J. C. Villiers, Sir J. Newport, J. Foster, N. Vansittart, J. Smyth, Sir P. Francis, K. B. Sir Samuel Romilly, General Vyse, H. Bankes, Esq. M. P. T. Bernard, Esq. T. Babington, Esq. M. P. T. Baring, Esq. M. P. R. Barclay, Esq. Henry Brougham, Esq. J. H. Browne, Esq. M. P. Col. Barry, M. P. T. Clarkson, Esq. C. Grant, Esq. M. P. Rev. T. Gisborne, W. Huskisson, Esq. M. P. S. Lushington, Esq. M. P. J. B. S. Morritt, Esq. Z. Macauley, Esq. M. Martin, Esq. M. Montague, Esq. M. P. W. M. Pitt, Esq. M. P. Granville Sharp, Esq. R. Sharp, Esq.
M. P. J. Simeon, Esq. M. P. W. Smith, Esq. J. Stephen, Esq. R. Thornton, Esq. M. P. Rev. John Venn, S. Whitbread, Esq. M. P. W. Wilberforce, Esq. M. P.
That the said Committee be empowered to solicit subscriptions, and to appoint a Treasurer and Secretary pro tempore, and bankers to receive subscriptions, subject to the approbation of the next General Meeting, at which the choice of officers, in such mode as may, upon the report of the said committee, be adopted, shall take place :
That the thanks of this Meeting be given to W. Wilberforce, Esq. for his unwearied exertions, during many years, to expose the injustice and cruelty of the African Slave Trade, and to procure its abolition by, the Legislature of Great Britain:
That the thanks of this Meeting be given to Granville Sharp, Esq. for his zealous, early, and persevering ef forts in opposition to the African Slave Trade; and for his generous endeavours, at first unsupported, though at length successful, to establish the claims of Africans, resident in Great Britain, to the common rights of legal protection and personal freedom:
That the thanks of this Meeting be given to Mr. Thomas Clarkson, for the zeal, activity, and perseverance which he has uniformly exerted in promoting the abolition of the African Slave Trade :
That the thanks of this Meeting be given to his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, for his zealous, able, and eloquent support of the cause of Africa, both in and out of Parliament.
Our readers will rejoice in the prospect which this new institution presents in behalf of Africa; and though the object proposed is not strictly religious, yet we insert the proceedings of the meeting at large, because we not only highly approve of such a just and benevolent plan, but hope that the introduction of civilization will facilitate the progress of the glorious gospel in the extensive regions of Africa.
A short Account of the Act of Parliament lately passed, entituled, “An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade."
It is enacted, that from May 1, 1807, the African Slave Trade, and all manner of dealing and trading in slaves, at, to, or from, any part of the coast or countries of Africa, shall be utterly abolished, prohibited, and declared to be unlawful.
If any British subject, or other person resident in the United Kingdom, or in any place belonging to his Majesty, shall be concerned in buying or selling, bartering or transferring, any person for a slave, he shall forfeit 1001. for every such offence.
Any vessel fitted out in this king dom, or in the colonies, or navigated or employed for carrying on the Slave Trade, shall be forfeited, with all its boats, guns, tackle, apparel, and fur
All persons are prohibited from removing, as slaves, any inhabitants of Africa, the West Indies, or America, from one place to another, or being concerned in receiving them: and any vessel employed in such removal shall be forfeited, as also the property in the slaves; and the owners of such vessel shall forfeit 1001. for each slave.
Any inhabitant of Africa, unlawfully carried away and imported into any British colony, shall be forfeited to his Majesty.
All insurances on transactions concerning the Slave Trade, are now un lawful; and any person making such an insurance, shall forfeit 1001. for every offence, and treble the amount of the premium.
The Act not to affect the trading in slaves exported from Africa before the first of May, 1807; and landed in the West Indies by March 1, 1808.
Extracts from the Report of the Directors of the London Missionary Society, read at the 13th General Meeting of the Society. May 14, 1807.
THE state of the Mission at Otaheite appears, from the last account received from the labourers there,
dated July 29, 1805, to be much the same as was formerly reported. Unfortunately, the missionaries had not been able to receive letters or supplies from England; in consequence of which, they felt disappointed and discouraged; but we trust that, long ere this, that difficulty has been removed.
A letter from the missionaries states, that the political state of the island remained the same as before. Otoo maintained his authority unmolested, ever since the death of his father, Pomarre, and continued to afford the brethren his favour and protection. He had also discovered a partiality for the English language, which he took some pains to acquire; and had made such a proficiency in writing, that he sent a short but friendly letter to the Directors, written by his own hand. It deserves notice also, that when Mr. Jefferson, one of the missionaries, expressed a desire to retire from the island on account of his health, and was expected to leave it, Otoo and his family discovered much concern, and earnestly requested that more missionaries, men, women, and children, might be sent from England to settle in their country.
The general Journal of the brethren, which the Directors have received, commencing Dec. 12, 1804, and concluding July 30, 1805, togeth. er with separate Journals of tours made by the brethren Bicknell and Henry, Elder and Wilson, to preach the gospel in various parts of the island, evinces, in the most satisfactory manner, the faithfulness and assiduity of the missionaries, labouring amidst the most discouraging circumstances; and persevering to preach the gospel of Christ, in the spirit of the ancient prophets, "whether men would hear or for
bear." Referring to their journal, Mr. Eyre, in the name of his brethren, observes, "We are sorry to say that you will meet with nothing in it respecting the grand object of our mission more encouraging than what we have hitherto been able to communicate. Instructions continue to be given to the inhabitants of the island in the things of God, but, apparently, none are savingly profited
by them; so that, as we at first found them, they seem to remain gross idolaters, enemies to God by wicked works, without God, without Christ, and without hope: yet it must be confessed, that very many of them have obtained a very considerable, though, as yet, unsanctified, knowledge of the doc. trines of Christianity."
From this observation, connected with that which our judicious friend Mr. Marsden made, when he conversed with some of the natives who occasionally visited New South Wales, and which was mentioned in the last annual report, we cannot but think a pleasing ray of light penetrates the gloom which has long covered Otaheite. We cannot but hope, that when a number of poor heathens, born and educated in total ignorance of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Saviour, "obtain a considerable knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity," the seed of life may be considered as already sown, and a just expectation indulged, that the harvest will one day bless the eyes of the labourers and of the Society.
Mr. Marsden's observation derives additional confirmation from another circumstance. In the course of the last year, two young men, one a native of Owhyhee, and the other a native of Otaheite, were brought to England by the captain of a ship, for the purpose of assisting to navigate it, but who were, soon after their arrival, totally deserted by the captain and owners of the vessel, By the humane interference of Sir Joseph Banks, they were rescued from destruction, and recommended to the care of the Directors, who instantly took them under their protection. By such conversation as various persons were enabled to hold with them, it was plainly perceived that the native of Otaheite, who well knew the missionaries there, and had worked for them as a labourer, had received some knowledge of the great subjects of revelation, and expressed, in a forcible manner, what we doubt not is the common sentiment of the inhabitants, "that they were very good men-men of God."
Ir was suggested in the last; Report, that the colony of the Cape of
Good Hope having reverted into the possession of the British government, a more direct and powerful sanction would be given to the exertions of our missionaries among the African heathen; and that our intercourse with them would be facilitated. The hopes of the Directors have been fully realized; and the information from the several missionary stations in that country have been very ample and satisfactory.
It will be recollected, that just before the recapture of the Cape by our brave countrymen, the opposition of many ill disposed persons to the missions had risen to a great height; and the brethren Vanderkemp and Read were apprehensive that they should be obliged to relinquish their work, and withdraw from the colony. They had been summoned to the Cape, where they had vindicated their conduct to the satisfaction of the Dutch governor; yet so malignant were their enemies, that he recom mended it to the missionaries to suspead their return to Bethelsdorp to a more favourable opportunity.
That opportunity was unexpectedly afforded by the capture of Cape Town, which was no sooner effected, than the general, Sir David Baird, sent for Dr. Vanderkemp, whom he received in the most cordial manner, and even consulted him upon the proper treatment of the Hottentot prisoners of war. Shortly after, full permission was granted to resume the care of the congregation at Bethelsdorp, where the doctor arrived on the 21st of March, 1806. Brother Read, who was desired by Sir David Baird to return by sea, was preserv ed from the most imminent danger of being shipwrecked on the coast of Caffraria; but had the happiness of reaching the settlement in safety, and finding it in a flourishing state; the Lord having blessed the labours of the brethren Ullbricht, Tromp, and Erasmus Smith, in their absence; Mrs. Smith also, who formerly lived at Rodezand, and who had devoted herself to the instruction of the heathen, having become a very great blessing to the institution. Brother Read was received by the congregation with universal joy and thankful. ness, the poor Hottentots expressing, by their acclamations and caresses,
how much they prized the word of life, and this beloved minister of it. In addition to the protection and sanction now afforded to this mission by the English government, their privileges have been augmented by the spontaneous permission of the Landrost to plough and sow, for the present year, an excellent piece of ground belonging to government.
Such was the pleasing state of Bethelsdorp, according to the last accounts received; and such was the attachment of our worthy brother Vanderkemp to the people, that when he received a proposal from the directors to remove from thence, in case his further services in Africa should be prevented by the violence of opposition, and to devote his talents to the establishment of a mission in China, he replied, "I am con vinced that God has called me to do bis work in the place of my pres. ent residence, and that it is my duty to continue in that station till it shall please him to call me out of it as evidently as he called me into it."
"We found, to our joy, the work of converting grace going on prosperously; and we admired the success with which that exemplary sister, Smith, had set up a school, in which Hottentot children are instructed to knit stockings, &c. She is universally respected and beloved by all our people. Besides her conversation with the females, who seem to be concerned about their souls, she keeps a weekly meeting with our baptized sisters; and instructs them, by way of satechising, in the practical, as well as doctrinal, truths of the religion of Christ."
[Letter from Dr. Vanderkemp, July 10, 1806.
to leave it on account of the excessive drought which had prevailed for a long time; and which rendered the support of their cattle impossible. On the eighth of October, he and his companions reached the settlement, and immediately repaired to their little church, to offer up their devout acknowledgments. In a few days, they had another occasion of thanksgiving, on account of the copious showers which renewed the face of the earth; a blessing which they had not experienced during three preceding years. They sustained, however, a heavy loss, a great number of sheep being stolen by the Boschemen. At the close of the year the settlement consisted but of about one hundred persons; in the school were thirty one children, and eleven adults.
At the Great Orange River.
In the last report of the directors it was noticed that no letter had then been received from the brethren Anderson and Kramer, respecting their mission among the Corannas on the Orange River; but that from doctor Vanderkemp's letter, it was understood that "their labours blessed in an extraordinary degree." Since that period, however, very full and pleasing information has arrived from Mr. Anderson, who was summoned to the Cape by the late. Dutch government, with the other missionaries.
It appears from the journal, that these brethren, finding the ill effects of removing from place to place, determined on fixing themselves, with as many of the natives as were disposed to abide with them, in a stated residence. This, with some difficul ty was effected in the year 1804. In the months of March and April the people were severely visited with the small pox; and Mr. Anderson himself was dangerously ill with a bilious fever, without any person at hand to afford him medical assistance. He determined to send some messengers to the brethren who were labouring among the Briquas; some of whom were, at that very instant, on the road to visit him, and were met by