Imagens da página

be not endangered by the suddenness or violence of their action. When men are born into a state of society, unnaturally constituted, they must take things as they are, and endeavour to make them as they should be,

hout needless delay, and by all practicable means. Those who have the power, must exercise it benevolently, as in the sight of God, and responsible to Him. Whatever there may be in the Slavery of the South, that violates the law of Christian love, and I believe there is much, is to be unhesitatingly condemned. Of the system, I cannot better express my own views than in the words of the illustrious Robert Hall:

"Slavery, considered as a perpetual state, is as incapable of vindication as the trade in slaves; they are integral parts of the same system, and in point of moral estimate, must stand or fall together.”

"But here we are most anxious to guard against the misrepresentation of our sentiments. Convinced, as we are, that negro slavery is most iniquitous in its origin, most mischievous in its effects, and diametrieally opposite to the genius of the British Constitution, we are yet far from proposing a sudden revolution Universal experience shows, that in the body politic, no less than in the natural, inveterate diseases admit only of a słow and gradual cure; and we should deprecate an immediate emancipation, almost as much as the planters themselves, from a full conviction that the debasing operation of slavery, long continued, disqualifies its subjects for performing the functions and enjoying the immunities of a free citizen.”

While the Christian religion lends no sanction to the system, it lends none to measures tending to its sudden and violent overthrow. . It developes principles, and inculcates precepts, which will certainly remedy it, when their influence becomes general in any community, and it is the glory of our religion, that the whole process of its operations is beneficial, as well as the end, towards which the whole process tends. It prompts "every man to measure his efforts by his power, and his sphere of action, and do all he can do,” for mankind; and society to do the same. Its great and be. nevolent revolutions are begun in the individual soul. It enlightens the conscience, sways the will, and softens the heart. Its meek diseiple is commanded to withdraw from "the strifes of words, the railings, the evil surmisings, the perverse disputings of men,” who aggravate the sorrows of the suffering, increase the selfishness of the selfish, and pour oil upon the fires of revenge.

To a kind, fair and candid discussion of the slavery question, there can be no reasonable objection. It has been well said, "that half truths are the most dangerous of all errors;" and these must be "removed by the whole truth.” The influence of the whole truth can never be injurious where the minds of men are capable of comprehending it.

That in the principles of the Anti-Slavery Societies of the North, is much error mixed with some truth; that the language and measures adopted to illustrate and defend them, are incapable of justification and tending to produce most fearful results, is among my clearest convictions. I deprecate them as hostile to the union of the States, to the best interests of the colored population, and as putting in jeopardy the peace and safety of whole communities at the South. I do not presume to question the motives of the members of these Societies; but I should be deaf to the voice of History, I should be blind to all the lights of human experience, I should forget the nature of man, could I believe their efforts were not adapted to stir the deepest and most terrible elements of society-elements which once wrought into fury, will shake the land, if not cover it with blood. Reason is powerless in the hurricane of the passions.*

* The compound poisons used not unfrequently to excite discontent among the lower orders, who may suffer from the errors or the unequal operations of governments, are thus

"I have met," says Coleridge, "with men, who at the commencement of the revolution, were travelling on foot through the French provinces, and they bear witness that in the remotest villages, every tongue was employed in echoing and enforcing the doctrines of the Parisian journalists; that the public highways were crowded with enthusiasts, some shouting the watchword of the revolution; others disputing on the most abstract principles of the universal constitution, which they fully believed all the nations of the earth were shortly to adopt; the most ignorant among them confident of his fitness for the highest duties of a legislator; and all prepared to shed their blood in the defence of the inalienable rights of a selfgoverned people. The more abstract the notions were, with the closer affinity did they combine with the most fervent feelings and all the immediate impulses to action.” God preserve us from the horrors of that day, when confidence between men shall no longer exist, and all sympathies and motives be absorbed in the instinct of self-preservation. Upon the question, whether the principles of the Colonization Society, or those of its opposers, shall prevail, may depend, I humbly conceive, the peace and happiness of the country.

Who will not rejoice to see rising on the shores of Africa a Christian State? A few small spots of light relieve the darkness of this vast continent, in which from sixty to one hundred millions, Pagans, Mahomedans and slaves, remain unvisited and unblest, by the friends of man. If even the citizens of a heathen Empire could not be insensible to the moral beauty of the sentiment expressed in the words "Homo sum, et humani nihil, a me alienum puto,” if knowledge, civilization, christianity, be of any use, surely an enlightened and religious people, will not want motives for building up in Africa a social fabric, representative of the-good to be realized from piety and liberty and law. They will believe that from this fabric the light and voice of wisdom will go forth to guide the steps, reform the manners, cheer the hearts, revive the hopes and save the souls of millions. With all its difficulties, misfortunes, Liberia prospers beyond any thing in the history of colonization. Evils, abuses may exist there, but they can and will be remedied. The materials which constitute it may be rude and unformed, but they will be wrought into order and beauty and strength. It has ever been the purpose of the friends of this colony, that Christian education should keep pace with its growth.And their confidence is, that established on right principles, and possessing a Christian character, it will regenerate the intellectual and moral state. of the people of Africa.

They rejoice that the benevolent, and particularly that the ladies, in our large cities, have resolved to prepare teachers for Africa, and to sustain

described by a foreign writer who has looked deeply into the springs of human action:

Ist. "Bold, warm, and earnest assertions, it matters not whether supported by facts or no; nay, though they should involve absurdities and demonstrable impossibilities.”

2nd. “Startling particular facts, which, dissevered from their context, enable a man to convey falsehood while he says truth.”

3rd. “Arguments built on passing events, and deriving an undue importance from the feelings of the moment.” .

4th. “The display of the defects without the accompanying advantages, or vice versa.”

5th. “Concealment of the general ultimate result behind the scenery of local and particular consequences.”

6th. “Statement of positions that are true under particular conditions, to men whose ignorance or fury make them forget that these conditions are not present, or lead them to take for granted that they are.”

7th. “Chains of questions, especially such questions as the persons best authorized to propose are ever the slowest in proposing; and objections intelligible of themselves, the answers to which require the comprehension of a system.” , 8th. “Vague and commonplace satire, stale as the wine in which flies were drowned dast summer," &c. &c.

[ocr errors]

an adequate number of schools in Liberia and among the neighbouring tribes.

Those who feel bound to extinguish the light which holy and self-sacrificing men have suffered and died to kindle on the African coast, represent the evils in the colony and the present debt of the Society, as proofs of the futility of the scheme and ominous of its total ruin. As eonclusively might they show, that, the misfortunes, attending in their early stages, the American colonies, ought to have led to their abandonment, that eternal night should have covered their glorious promise. The embarrassa ments of the Society have been produced, mainly, by causes incidental to the nature of the enterprise, not to have been foreseen nor prevented. Yet the experience of these causes, may teach lessons how to provide against their recurrence, and to gain more for the future, than has been lost by the past.

Whether the greater portion of our colored population will ever find a home in Africa, is a question alike impossible and unimportant to answer. That all the tendencies of the Society are good for the whole colored race, that it interferes with or obstructs no other wise and judicious measures for their benefit, but approves of them, is enough, without defining the extent of its ultimate and final effects. The almost miraculous consequences of colonization on our own sbores, may enable us to augur something of the greatness and grandeur of these effects. It will be for after ages to witness them. The mariner, who two centuries hence, shall guide his ship from the pillars of Hercules to the Cape of Good Hope, may see his nightly way illumined by the lights of a hundred cities, a constellation fair as Orion or the beaming Cross, signal placed in heaven by God's own hand, to rebuke the undevout, and to call to worship the ransomed disciple.

Though I have all faith, though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and my body to be burned, said Paul, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. He may well consider, that he has rendered his country and mankind, some service, who at times, when men's spirits are troubled, and their passions mutiny, can speak a word to calm that ocean whose first dark heavings should not be disregarded. The public mind of a nation is a deep and mighty element, capable of being so moved as to defy control and lose every attribute of humanity but its malignant power. To the shadow of an abstract right, France, with the watchword of Freedom on her lips, erected an altar to Liberty on the bones of citizens murdered by herself, and drenched it in human blood. Let the North and the South become arrayed against each other on the subject of our colored population, and we may indeed tremble for our country. And never, while I live, will I cease to urge every friend of the colored race, every friend of freedom and the Union, to cultivate peace, brotherly kindness, and charity, the threefold bond of our strength, and usefulness and glory.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

From the Christian Mirror, May 8.

The African Repository for April, is the most important number of that work, which has come into our hands this long time. Among the excellent variety which occupies its pages, is a letter from Gerrit Smith, Esq., full of piety, philanthropy and faith. He seems more encouraged than ever at the prospects of the Colonization Society; and we cannot but hope, that his expectations will be realized. We regret that we have not room for so lovely an exbibition of the Christian spirit, as this letter furnishes: us.

DEFENCE OF THE COLONIZATION SOCIETY. A correspondent of “The Friend,” a respectable Journal published at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, having assailed the American Colonization Society, its defence has been undertaken in the columns of the same print. We have great pleasure in subjoining the essays of our advocate. The mass of facts which has been brought together, and his ability and candor in managing his subject entitle these numbers to a careful perusal by all who may have adopted the erroneous opinion which it is their purpose to rcfute:

IN FAVOR OF COLONIZATION.--No. 1. MR. EDITOR, -A correspondent, in your paper of the 13th of March, promises, hereafter, to attempt to show that the American Colonization Society is anti-christian in its principle. Now, sir, I have for years believed this Society to be entirely christian in its principles, its objects and its results. Still, I can promise your correspondent, that from me his arguments shall receive a patient hearing, and with your permission, a candid examination.

The array of facts, which takes up his first communication, does not amount to much. The remarks made in January last, at the annual meeting of the Society, it ought to be recollected, were made on the spur of the moment, and without that knowledge of the whole facts, which have since been laid before the public, by the new Board of Managers.

Your correspondent himself has fallen into the same error, in the note at the close. If he had consulted the late exposition of the Board, he would have found facts which would have led him to a very different result.

Owing to the manner in which the accounts at the colony were permitted to accumu. late, it is necessary to go back to 1830 in any estimate which may be made. For although, at one time since 1830, the books here showed a balance in favor of the Society, yet at no time was there, in fact a balance in its favor.

The case he puts would then stand thus:
Receipts for 1830,

$26,583 51 1831,

27,999 15 1832,

40,365 08

37,242 45 Debt,

45,645 72


$177,835 91 During these four years, the number of emigrants sent out was 1589.

This exhibit reduces the expense, as stated by your correspondent, nearly one half.But even this view does not do justice to the subject. There were many objects of a permanent nature, during these four years, requiring large expenditures, which will not again be required. Some of these were for buildings-for the purchase of Grand Bassa, and the founding the settlement there for the opening of roads, and the expense of arms and fortifications. It is admitted, that at the colony there was a painful want of care and economy. The sickness of the last year, the failure of the rice crop, and its consequent high price, all tended to increase the expense, and ought all to be taken into the aceount in making an estimate.


MR. Editor:-Your correspondent “J. L.” will not, I hope, complain of my delay in noticing his remarks, when he is informed, that I am at a great distance from bim.

His comparison between the good men “who support grog shops, and encourage the use of ardent spirits,” and the good men who support the Colonization Society, must pass for what it is worth. His number in your paper of the 20th March, contains three distinct charges

1. The Society teaches the doctrine, that slavery cannot be abolished, and hence that it must exist, and we have no right to demur, or to say any thing on this delicate subject.

2. That the free blacks are not fit, and ought not, and must not remain among us.

3. It disparages them,and fosters a wicked prejudice against them, and thus makes their condition intolerable.

These are grave and serious charges. It is to be presumed that the writer believes them, and stands prepared to prove them. But his belief is not argument; I deny the charges in all their parts; and I call for thy proof, and the facts on which they are founded. If he should answer, that by the abstracts given, he has proved these charges; let it be

so understood. I wish to know distinctly, whether this be the proof, on which these charges are to be supported. He professes to give extracts from the 13th, 14th and 15th annual reports of the Society. I must request him when he gives abstracts, hereafter, to favor us with a reference to the page. The expressions given are not to be found in the reports of the Board of Managers. Some of them I have found, in the speeches of individual members, but in every instance the connection is disregarded. One line from a page here, and another line from a page there; one sentiment from this speech, another sentiment from that. In the only page to which he has referred, I am sorry to find that he has given but one half of the sentence; and even the whole sentence, to be fairly treated, must be taken in connection with what precedes and with what follows it.

Hoping that his next number may give us some other proof, than the sayings and opinions—disjointed and torn from their context, of individual members—to sustain the heavy charges made against this Society, I beg leave to submit a few remarks, which lie at the very foundation of this discussion.

The Colonization Society has but a single object in view: “To colonize the free people of colour on the coast of Africa, with their own consent.” The subject of slavery and anti-slavery are different subjects. As a society, this association have no opinions on these subjects. Their members may be slave-holders, or they may be opposed to slavery in all its forms. This is my case, and that of many others who are members of this society. On the subject of slavery, we disagree with some other members, but we do agree on the propriety of providing an eligible and christian home for the free colored man, in the land of his fathers. Agreeing on this point, which is the only object of this association, am I to say to the other members, we disagree on other points, and therefore we cannot act together on this, although on this we are agreed : Certainly not. On such principles there is not one of our benevolent societies that could exist a single day. All experience shows, that our Society can properly conduct but one object. “But we do not protest against slavery.” Certainly, as a society, we do not. Neither does the Bible Society, nor the Missionary Society; nor the Temperance Society

"But the Society is supported by a class who indulge a wicked prejudice against colour.' This is a very indefinite charge. It ought to have been preceded by a definition of what is “a wicked prejudice against colour.”"I am not conscious for one, that I entertain such a prejudice. Yet I am free to admit, that I have some strong feelings on the subject. I am unwilling that my son should marry a colored woman; I am unwilling that my daughter should be the bride of a negro bridegroom. Others may call this a “wicked prejudice.” They may have no such antipathies; if so, it would be wicked in them to have such feelings. For myself I cannot admit that it is wicked in me to have them. But although I have these prejudices, if that must be the word, still it is not my object “to crush this class in the dust beneath our feet.” Such is not the object of this Society, but the very reverse. The object is to elevate them, and through them to elevate and civilize, and "nd the rich blessing of the gospel, to benighted Africa. Let me ask if this has not in part been already done? Has not the colony in Liberia already been a resting place for our missionary societies? Could the beloved mission family, sent out by the Western Board, have gone to Africa, if the colony had rot been planted there. The door is now open for as many missionaries as the church may send, and in the dispensation of Divine Providence, that door has been opened by this very Society, so much spoken against. Is this the fruit of an anti-christian society.”

A prominent part of the second number is again in a note at the close. He seems to intimate, that Mr. Frelinghuysen wished a favorable report, whether the truth would justify such a report or not; and that such a report as was thus called for, has been made. If this writer choose to rest his cause on the charge of a wilful intention of the Board of Managers to deceive the Christian public, so be it. Between him who makes such a charge, and them against whom the charge is made, your readers will decide. Z.

March 25, 1834.

IN FAVOR OF COLONIZATION.—No. 3, Mr. EDITOR:--The 3d number against the Colonization Society, (Mar. 22,) is chiefly taken up in denouncing the evils of slavery. That is not the issue between your correspondent, J. L., and myself. If he had chosen to discuss that subject without also de nouncing the Colonization Society, I would not at this time have troubled you with these reinarks. But that is not the order of the day; and as he has chosen to connect these two subjects, in due time I will examine that branch of the argument. For the present, however, I enter my protest against the practice of holding the Colonization Society responsible for the opinions and expressions of its individual members. Let us calmly examine the principles and tendencies of this Society, and if these be found unchristian, then let it be condemned. But let it not be condemned by disjointed extracts from the speeches of individuals. That some of its friends in their speeches or communications have advanced sentiments not to be justified, may be admitted, without in the least affecting the principle and tendencies of the Society. These distinctions are so plain it is unnecessary to illustrate thein. Let us, however, refer to these extracts.

« AnteriorContinuar »