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smaller they become, until when in the strength of the Lord we encounter them, they vanish out of sight. But, of whose creation are these difficulties ? Certainly not of the poor negroes? In themselves considered, we meet with no difficulties but such as arise from the natural enmity of the heart to truth. The difficulties lie at our door, and it is unjust that they should be made innocent sufferers. We thrust ourselves and our arrangements between them and eternal life and then make excuse, that there are difficulties in the way!
We have no excuses. The reason of our neglect of duty, is our ignorance on the one hand, and our indisposition on the other. As the true light now begins to shine, we cannot retain either the one or the other, without convicting ourselves of heinous sin.
There are some objections to the religious instruction of the negroes, originating, as we believe, in misconceptions of the subject. We feel it our duty to give these objections a brief consideration.
The first is, If we suffer our negroes to be religiously instructed, the tendency, yea the certain end of it, will be emancipation.
In reply, we remark, that we separate entirely their moral and their civil condition; and contend, that the one may be attended to, without interfering with the other.
Our principle is that laid down by the Holy and Just One—"Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things which are God's;” And Christ and his Apostles are our example. Did they deem it proper to preach the Gospel to servants ? They did. Did they, in discharge of this duty, interfere with their civil condi. tion? They did not. --They expressed no opinion whatever on their civil condition, if we except that which appears in one of the epistles to the Corinthian Church. There the Apostle Paul considers a state of freedom preferable to one of servitude and advises slaves, if they can lawfully obtain their freedom, to do it, but not otherwise. May we not follow in the footsteps of the Saviour and his Apostles? Yea, and without proceeding as far as did the Apostle Paul? We maintain, that in a judicious religious instruction, there will be no necessary interference with their civil condition. The religious teacher must step out of his way for the purpose. This we know from our own experience.
But why will the end of religious instruction be emancipation? Do not the majority, perhaps of our citizens who make this objection, consider slavery sanctioned by the Bible ? Do they sincerely believe it? If they do, why then do they hesitate to have the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, preached to their servants ? But do they believe the contrary? Then our answer is but a word; Shall thousands, and even millions of immortal minds be sacrificed at the shrine of cupidity? Which ought to prevail for the good of mankind, for the glory of our country, for the prosperity of the cause of God, principle or interest? Right or wrong? Let the enlightened conscience of the philanthropist, of the patriot, and of the Christian, return the answer.
The tendency feared in the objection, is a moral one only, which we cannot possibly avoid, do what we may. It is folly to contend against God. Christianity is ultimately to prevail on the earth, and in due course of time, will reach our gervants. And should the particular end, spoken of in the objection, come by the preaching of the Gospel, happy are we in believing, that it could not come in a more gradual, in an easier nor in a safer way. It will be the work of the Almighty, the effect of the Divine principles of his word, which, in their operation, while they impel the master to the end, will restrain the servant from all acts of precipitate violence to attain it. And thus may the glory of the removal of the evil be laid at the foot of the cross.
We express ourselves thus freely, because we are called upon to meet an objection, which, if it prevails, will be ruinous to the prosperity of our country, and the best interests of vast multitudes of souls.
Come what may, as Christians, we have no alternative. If we are to obey God our Saviour, we must preach the Gospel to servants; and as we have already said, so say we again -Let us and all our interests fall into the hands of God.
If we suffer our negroes to be religiously instructed, the way will be opened for men from abroad to enter in, and inculcate doctrines subversive of our interest and safety.
The field of labor is one of no ordinary difficulty; and it is the dictate of prudence, to look into the character and qualifications of those who enter it. On this point we wish to be distinctly understood. They should be Southern men—men entitled to this appellation, either those who have been born and reared in the South, or those who have identified themselves with the South, familiarly acquainted with the structure of society, and having all their interests here. Can objections be urged against such men? Is it probable that they will ruin themselves, their families and their interests ?
The very spirit which prompts the objection, refutes it? For, how is it possible, when such a wary vigilance is manifested, for individuals, strangers in the community, to come in, have access to the negroes, and sow the seeds of discontent and revolt? It is impossible. They cannot come unle
Iney cannot come unless we permit them. . The most effectual method to preclude the introduction of such persons, is for us to take the religious instruction of the negroes into our own hands, and to superintend it ourselves. We shall then know, who their teachers are, and what they are taught.
3. The religious instruction of the negroes, will lead to insubordination. .
They will assume an equality with the master, neglect their work, and resist discipline.
This might be the effect of injudicious instruction of instruction that did not recog. nize their condition in society, and inculcate the duties appropriate to it. But let us "rightly divide the word, and the evil apprehended at once vanishes. What saith the Scripture? Ministers are commanded to “exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things: not answering again: not purloining, but showing all good fidelity: that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” Again:*Servants be obedient unto then that are your masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness, as unto Christ; not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service as to the Lord and not to men; knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” The passage in Colossians, is similar. We bring forward two more. “Servants be subject to your masters with all fear: not only to the good and gentle but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy if a man, for conscience toward God endure grief suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when you be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently. But if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” bi191905
"Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed: And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.”
Such are the commands to servants, as comprehensive of their duties as any master could desire. We even see the Apostle Paul using his influence to secure obedience to these commands in a particular instance. The “unprofitable” Onesimus he restores to his master, though he had escaped from him to the distance of several hundred miles. He restores him a “brother beloved.” His letter to Philemon for beauty and excellency is above all praise.
We now ask, will the authority of masters be weakened by instructions of this sort? No, never. That authority is strengthened by considerations drawn from eternity. If insubordination ensues, it will be the fault of the master, and not of the instruction. The master is the master still. Religious instruction, while it softens down the severity of discipline, by elevating the moral principles of master and servant, does not supercede the necessity of it. Otherwise, men would be made perfect in this life. Our view is, that religious instruction should be accompanied with a proper and efficient discipline. Should the master relax his discipline, whether he gives religious instruction or not, his servants will become disorderly and unprofitable. We desire the sentiments now expressed to be pondered and adopted by all who wish well to the cause of religion among servants.
What parent considers the religious instruction of his children, as having a tendency to make them more wicked and disorderly? Or, what judicious parent will relax his discipline, because he gives religious instruction? Will not the very fact of giving that instruc. tion, prompt him to perfect and maintain discipline? We are to act towards our servants, on the same principles that we act towards our children.
Will they not, however, embrace the seasons of religious worship, for originating and executing plans of insubordination ?
We answer, by no means, if the religious teacher is faithful in his supervision of his charge, and is assisted in the public meetings by the planters, for whose servants he labors. The presence of white men in their religious assemblies, precludes such a thing. Wherever such plans have been originated in religious meetings, it was because the white community was unfaithful to the negroes, and to themselves : They should have been present in those meetings. To leave the negroes to themselves in their religious affairs, is placing them in the way of temptation.
Voet But why are men so tenacious of religious assemblies ? Are not the negroes privileged by some to assemble for feasting and merriment, for particular kinds of labor, and at places of trade? We hear of no objections against such assemblies. If we are competent to the management of the latter, we certainly are of the former.
4. The religious instruction of the negroes will do no good; it will only make them worse men and worse hypocrites.
What is the Gospel? Is it not the grace of God that bringeth salvation;-teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works?” This is the Gospel.-These are the things which we are to teach and exhort. And is it under such teaching and exhortation, that men will increase in crime and hypocrisy Why should the Gospel produce an effect upon negroes contrary to that which it is designed to produce, and which it actually produces on all other men, and on some whose condition is worse than theirs ?
From what people did we, with all our piety and morality and intelligence spring ?From a people, we were about to say, once as degraded as negroes. And what has lifted
us so far above our progenitors? The Gospel, and rothing but the Gospel. Is there, then, no redeeming power in the Gospel for the Africans? We believe that there is, because they are men, endowed with reason and conscience as are other men; because past history declares it, because we know it from our own personal observation, which is supported by that of others. We would point all who doubt of the salutary effects of' attempts to christianize Africans, to the present condition of the Hottentots and other tribes, under the care of the London Missionary Society at the Cape of Good Hope. Yea the Hottentots !
And what is the moral degradation of any people to the power of the Holy Ghost?-The iminortal mind may be darkened and polluted by ignorance and sin; but the immortal mind is there, and that precious jewel may be cleansed of its defilements, filled with light and purity, and fitted for the highest and most honorable uses, both in this world and in that which is to come.
The objection is not supported by a solitary fact. Wherever negroes have really enjoyed, for any reasonable time, the privileges of the Gospel, in point of general morality and order, they are in advance of those who have not enjoyed them. Is it not conceded, that a truly pious servant gives less trouble, and is more profitable, than one who is not? Is there one planter in a thousand who does not desire such servants? Is it not true, that the most pious servants exert the happiest influence in promoting honesty and good order on plantations and in neighborhoods ?
That there are a number of nominal Christians amongst them, we do not deny. But why is it so ? Are they made hypocrites by faithful instruction ? No. The abounding of spurious religion, results from a deficiency of faithful instruction, and a too hasty admission into the Church, after a profession of conversion? A resorination on our part, in regard to these two particulars, would produce a very happy effect upon the purity and permanency to their religious character.
The fact that many are hypocrites, proves to no inconsiderable extent, that there are advantages connected with a profession of religion; and where shall we look mainly for, these advantages, if not to that higher estimation in which they are held by all persons ?
One or two irregularities in their meetings, or one or two defections, are sufficient to prejudice the minds of many against the religicis instruction of the negroes. Because they remain impenitent and pervert the Gospel, therefore are they unworthy of it? Who, then would be worthy, if God should deal with us according to this rule ?
Suppose we admit the objection to be true in its fullest extent, and what then? Does it annul our duty? Far froin it. Let them harden themselves and grow worse under the ineans of grace; whether they will hear or forbear, we are to throw the responsibility of their salvation upon their own shoulders, and to clear our garments of their blood. And who are we-in what age, and in what country of the world do we live, that we should question the excellency of the Gospel-the propriety of preaching it to the poor?
The objections, now briefly considered, we do not deem of sufficient weight to deter us from the conclusion to which we have already come, that it is our duty to impart the Gospel to our colored population.
We cannot close this report, extended beyond our expectations by the interest of the subject, without asking ourselves, nay, the Church of Christ, in the slave-holding States, why is not this duty felt; and why has it not been performed?
Why is there such general apathy to the perishing condition of two millions of heathen: Why is it, that so much feeling may be awakened, touching their civil condition and so little, touching their religious condition ? The latter is infinitely to be esteemed above the former, and proportionably attended to.
Are not ministers of the Gospel to be blamed? Why have they not looked into the destitute condition of this people,-and, as they have had opportunity, labored for their salvation, esteeming them as part of their charge? Why have they not urged upon masters, their duties to their servants ? Are ministers not set to watch for souls, and carry the Gospel in every way they can to the destitute ?
Are not Christian masters to be blamed? Why have they not seriously undertaken to do something for their ignorant, degraded servants, who are every day toiling to supply them with the comforts of life?
The guilt lies upon both Ministers and people, and it has been accumulating ever since the introduction of negroes into this country. We who profess to know what is the value of the soul, what is the love and preciousness of the Saviour, we are to take the lead; the world never will. What a multitude of souls have perished through our neglect! What a multitude are now perishing, and will perish ere we reach them with the good news of salvation! What a multitude of masters have already met with the awful charge at the Bar of God, of having practically despised the eternal interests of the souls of their servants.This charge lies upon masters on every hand; and we tremble lest they may meet it unprepared.
Our whole country groans under the sin of neglect of the salvation of these people. If we continue in this neglect, as God hath now spoken to us, as the true light now shineth, .. we shall have no cloak for our sin.
We shall manifest a fearful deficiency in the spirit of the religion which we profess.
That spirit is one of love--of obedience. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”_ “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “Masters, render unto your servants that which is just and equal.” “Preach the Gospel to every creature.” We are weighed in the balances and sound wanting. Do we not see our brother have, need, and do we not shut up the bowels of our compassion from him? What avail our numerous works of benevolence? Our Missionaries dwelling in foreign countries, and penetrating to the most destitute settlements of our own ? Our Bibles and our Tracts, that all must receive and read ? Our Sunday schools, and Seamens, Friend, and Prison Dicipline, and Temperance, and numerous other Societies? The very means which we use in contributing to these works, coine of the labors of our perishing servants; and no provision is made for them! We are inconsistent. And our Saviour will say to us, “These ye ought to have done, and not have left the other undone.” If servants have immortal souls, we must treat them accordingly.-To clothe them when they are naked-to feed them when they are hungry-to minister to them when they are sick, does not embrace all our duty. If we do no more, we treat them as the brutes that perish. We must rise higher, and be careful to minister to the necessities of their souls.
On the principles of self-interest and love of country the duty should be discharged. He who neglects it, Toses sight of his own best interests for time and eternity, and of the peace and prosperity of his country. But we take our stand in the discharge of this duty or Chris'un principles--on conscience enlightened by the Word of God, and quickened by the Holy Spirit. Here is the foundation--and if such a foundation exists in the Church of Christ in the slave-holding States, the duty will be felt, and a discharge of it attempted.-We believe that such a foundation exists, and we look and appeal with confidence to the Church, to awake to efort in all her nembers.
The negroes are cast at the door of the Southern Church. They form her great field of Missions, and we cannot allow the claims of any heathen in the world upon us, to be paramount to theirs; and we make the declaration, ihat unless we occupy this field, we need not czpect the blessing of God to any extent upon our Zion, for we shall be living in known neg. lect of duty, and neglect of such duty as inust be exceedingly displeasing to Him.
The time is short: What we do we must do quickly. We shall soon be in our graves, returning to the dust side by side with our servants. We shall soon be before the Bar of God, where the artificial distinctions of this world will not be recognized. God is no respecter of persons. Every man shall be judged according to his work. Let us, therefore, in the strength of our God and Saviour, renounce our ignorance, and our indisposition, ani extend the privileges of the Gospel to this neglected, dying people, or we shall not meet them in peace at the last day.
MR. RIVES AND COLONIZATION.
WILLIAM C. Rives, a distinguished citizen of Virginia, and recently minister of the United States to France, addressed to a friend on the 20th of August last, a letter of which the following extract appcars in the Ricimond Enquirer of September 91).
Erirac! of a letter to H. A. G. Esq.-Aug. 2017, 18:34.
“I am no Sibolitionist, and never have been one. In common with every American patriot, I have deplored the existence of slavery in our country, and would rejoice to see any safe and feasible remedy adopted, if such could be devised, to mitigate or to remove the evil. But I would never give iny sanction to any remedy which would disregard the rights of property to the slave owner; which I consider as held under the same guarantees of the law and the Constitution, that protect every other right of property. I did not approve of any of the schemes which were proposed in the Legislature, at the time the subject was under consideration in that body; but, on the contrary, saw insuperable objections to all of them. The policy I have favorid, as both the most sufe and practicable, is that of the COLONIZATION SCHEME, which by gradually draining the country of its free colored population, and of slaves who should be voluntarily manumitted by their masters, would at the same time, promote the interests of the slave owners themselves, by removing a great source of corruption and disaffection among the slaves, and by keeping down the aggregate number of slaves, would place the problem of an ultimate extinction of slavery, at some remote period of our future history, more within the power of auspicious contin gencies which the course of events might present.”
“These are the views I have always entertained, and repeatedly expressed. They are, as far as I can recollect, the views expressed by me in my correspondence with my friends
while I was in France. Alive as I was, during my residence abroad, to every thing which affected the feelings and interests of my country, I could not but be deeply moved by the horrid catastrophe which occurred in Southampton, in the summer of 1831. I saw that public attention had been every where in our State, awakened to the great question which that event had forced on the reflection of even the most careless and unthinking. Under these circumstances, I have no doubt that, in my com.nunications with my friends, I expressed in strong terms, my sense of the evil of slavery in our country, and an anxious desire, if any remedy for it could be devised, to see some safe and prudent measure adopted to lessen, if not remove it. I felt, at the same time, all the delicacy and difficulty of the subject, which I well recollect to have expressed, and to have declared my conscious inability, at the distance I was from the scene of deliberation, and deprived of an interchange of opinion with others, to judge what ought to be done. My general views, however, were those which I have stated above--they are the views I now entertain; and I leel satisfied, that there was nothing either in my letter to Mr. Ritchie, or to any other of my correspondents, inconsistent with the explanation here given of those views.”
Mr. Johnson CLEAVELAND, a high- tion Society has recommended itself to the ly respectable citizen and Magistrate world, by the benign influence it has exertof Loudon county, Va. died at his re
ed upon this class of our fellow-beings; by
the disinterestedness and expanded benefisidence on the 24th of August last, cence of its scheme; its enlightening and having made provision in his last will Christianizing action upon Africa; its fully and testament that it should be op
developed tendency to create a spirit of
emancipation; and the dignity and elevation tional with his slaves whether to emi
the Negro character is deriving froin its grate to Liberia, or to choose for them- sweet and healing influencesselves among his near kindred, a mas- Therefore be it Resolved, That we form ter; and that they should be allowed boy should be allowed ourselves into a Society for aiding in the ad
vancement of so grateful and laudable an two years for deciding.
object, and adopt the following articles for
its furtherance. AUXILIARY SOCIETIES.
One article in our Constitution is nearly The subjoined letter brings the to this eilect: That the Society shall aid the pleasing intelligence of the institution Parent Institution, not only by the contribuof an Auxiliary Colonization Society Ition of money, but also by the exertion of
its influence in forming other Societies. at Kinderhook Academy, N. York: 17
K: The necessiiy of the latter clause of that arKINDERYOOX ACADEMY, Aug. 26, 1834.
ticle, was foreseen by many: It would be DEAR SIR:
necessary that something should be done to It is with pleasure I can inform you of counteract, or rather to forestal, the influthe recent organization of an Auxiliary Co.
ence which the gratuitous publications, lonization Society in this Academy. It has
emitted from the "Oneida Institute” and commenced under very auspicious circum- other places, might possibly create; and stances, embracing about twenty members; therefore the article was made, so that it and the hope is cherished, that from a peace- | might furnish ground for future exertion in ful beginning, it will go on, conciliating the the shape of circulars, etc. . good will of persons who may entertain dif- ! I am authorized to write for the “Reposiferent views from those of the Society; and, tory," which, from the commencement of by diffusing correct information on the sub- the
the present volume, you will please send, if ject of Colonization among the students, you can, directed to “The Secretary of the and giving a fixedness to their principles and Kinderhook Academy Colonization Sociea noble and salutary channel to the zeal and ty.” The Money will be remitted, for the enthusiasm with which they enter the world;
same, by the Hon. A. Vanderpool, M. C. be the means of ultimately doing some good together with as much more as is realized in the cause of human liberty and happiness. from the Society. The Preamble to our Constitution reads
With the greatest respect, thus:--
CHAS.J. SCOTT, WHEREAS the wretched condition of
Secoy of K. A. C. S. the People of Colour in this country calls | To the Sec'y of Am. ). for immediate amelioration, and the kind | Colonization Society. 1
• Rev. R. R. GURLEY. sympathies and cordial support of every benevolent and Christian heart in any work
It is with peculiar pleasure that we that is calculated to effect so desirable an end; and WHEREAS the American Coloniza- transfer to the columns of the Repos