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the same common schools. Even until people ; this is emphatically true of a large quite grown up, in many districts they go portion of our population. And notwithto school together in the winter season. standing our vices, whether of native or forAnd yet, how seldom has any evil resulted. eign origin, there is among us a vast amount There are countries in Europe—it would of practical and efficient goodness. We be invidious to mention them—where such have much to learn, but I trust we shall not a thing could not be done with safety to be slow to imitate whatever is excellent in their morals, and even where it is thought the manners or the deeds of other nations. dangerous to allow large girls to be taught 4. But the last topic which I shall menby a male teacher.
tion, on which we have been the subjects We have, indeed, enough of the sin of of more misrepresentation and abuse than uncleanness to mourn over; and yet, in any other, is slavery. On this difficult and comparison with the state of many other humiliating question I cannot enter into countries, we have great reason to bless detail. It would require a volume to say God for the hallowed influences which His all that might be said about it, and even Gospel diffuses among us.* If we have all that ought to be said, in order to make many, too many, alas! among us who have our position to be fully comprehended by not submitted their hearts to these influen- foreigners. I can say only a few words. ces, there are, on the other hand, a great Slavery is an accursed inheritance many who have, and who are the “salt of which the Old World bequeathed to the the earth,” and the “light of the world.”. New England, France, Spain, and Hol
We may be charged, as a people, with land, all contributed their respective shares being rude, and wanting in habitual polite- to its introduction and establishment in ness in our manners. Witlings who visit what is now the United States. Several us to find subjects on which to employ of the colonies remonstrated against the their pens, and with which to garnish their bringing in of slaves among them. But it worthless pages, may accomplish their was all in vain. Slavery was fastened upon ends, and carry home portfolios laden with them for the purpose of promoting the stories respecting the oddities and awk- commerce of the mother-country, Engwardness which they may have remarked land. And when the struggle came, by among certain classes ; but beneath the which the colonies were dissevered from rough and unpolished exterior of our peo- Great Britain, slavery was one of the ple there will be found much sincere becauses which led to that event; and of all nevolence, as well as many of those other the portions of the Declaration of Indeenduring virtues which conduce to social pendence, as it was originally drawn up happiness. We are, comparatively, a new by Mr. Jefferson, the most severe was that which related to the slave-trade.* As op-| lost upon us. It has given a great impulse position was made to it by some of the to the moral movement which is steadily members, it was stricken out in order to going on in the community. It is true secure entire unanimity.
* I have sometimes been amazed to hear the reports of foreigners (who, generally, have had no very marks of foreigners who have undertaken to be cen- good opportunities of knowing the interior life of the sors of American morals. A certain visitant from families which they may have visited), or from some Europe, who has written three or four volumes poor specimens of American families which have about America, and has undertaken to represent the gone abroad, or from what they suppose must be the American cities as remarkable for the prevalence of effects of Republican institutions; just as if Republi. prostitution, did, nevertheless, when at the dinner. can institutions will not tolerate, or, rather, do not table of a gentleman in the city of Philadelphia, boast require, due subordination and discipline. of his having visited half of the houses of infamy in the Now it is not to be denied that there are weak-mindcity of New-York, and declared his intention to visit ed and foolish parents in America, as well as in other all the rest upon his return to that city—as a matter countries, who do not govern well their children, but of curiosity, as he said !
it is their own fault, and not that of the institutions, A young gentleman, who resides in a city not one religious or political, of the country. On the other hundred miles from that in which this work was hand, we have parents, and not a few, who are as written, lately visited America, and spent two years rigid in the government of their children as are the there. On his return home, he spoke disparagingly Scotch themselves; we have few teachers who canof the religious state of the country, and charged the not, or who do not, punish their scholars with the merchants of Philadelphia, and especially those of rod, if need he; there is not a college in the land the respectable body of Friends, with being extreme- that would not, without a moment's hesitation, expel ly loose in their morals, and unfaithful to their con- from its halls the sons of the greatest men in the na. jugal relations. And yet this same young man boasts tion, if they deserved it, as I have myself witnessed. of his having given, when among a tribe of Indians In our army, it is true that it is no longer allowed to on our borders, a rifle to a chief in exchange for his flog men, save as a commutation for the punishment daughter; and that, after he had lived with her as of death; but other and severe modes of punishing, his wife for three months, he abandoned her! The though less degrading, are permitted. While in our wickedness of such persons is not so wonderful as navy, the discipline, I believe, is the most severe in their intolerable insolence in undertaking to misrep- the world. Recently the commandant of a petty resent and slander a whole people. But so it ever brig of war hung up three men for alleged mutiny will be: bad men seek to hide their own infamy in under the most remarkable circuinstances, one of charging others with the sins of which they are whom was a son of one of the first officers of the themselves guilty.
government. This instance was summary in its na+ Among other charges brought against the Amer- ture, quite without a parallel ; and how was it borne icans is one which I must not omit to remark upon. by the nation? The overwhelming majority of the It is, that they have no discipline in their families ; people, including almost the whole of the religious that their children grow up in insubordination, pride, portion of them, approved of the act. Would such insolence, and want of respect for old age and pa- things be tolerated in a nation in which there is no rental authority. All this is inferred from the re- domestic government ? I think not.
that, as slavery is by our Constitution left The war of independence found slavery to the government of each state in which existing in all the thirteen colonies. Du- it exists, to be managed by it alone, there ring its progress, or soon after its close, the can be no such action among us as that of original four New-England States, Mas- England, by which the overthrow of slasachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, very in her dominions was effected at a and Rhode Island, abolished slavery within blow. It is in the midst of us; it is not at their respective limits. Some years later, a distance. Its destruction with us can be Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New-York accomplished only by those whose pefollowed. In process of time Vermont and cuniary interests are at stake for its mainMaine, in New-England, and Ohio, Indi-tenance. This point foreigners should ana, Illinois, and Michigan, in the West, well comprehend. It is the slaveholders were formed into states without slavery. among us, that is, the inhabitants of each To these we may add the two Territories slaveholding state, who alone can overof Iowa and Wisconsin. On the other throw it. This it is which makes our pohand, the six original slaveholding states, sition so difficult. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- I am of opinion that it will require many lina, South Carolina, and Georgia, remain years to efface this dreadful evil and burnsuch to the present day, and to them have ing disgrace from the midst of us. It will been added, in the West and Southwest, require long and persevering efforts on the the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ala- part of good men, and a large amount of bama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Ar- ihat “wisdom which cometh down from kansas, and the Territory of Florida. And above.” But of one thing I feel very sure : the number of slaves has augmented from it is, that although some may act rashly, about 600,000, at the close of the Rey- and sometimes attempt to promote the olution, to nearly three millions. How cause by unwise measures; and others and when the abolition of slavery is to be may be too supine, and, through fear of accomplished in these thirteen states and evil consequences, not come up to its help one territory, is a question which no one as they ought; although both these parties
may charge each other, and perhaps justly, It may not be amiss for me to say, how- with so acting as to retard the work, yet ever, that this mighty task will never be there is a growing dissatisfaction with this effected peaceably but through the influ- great evil, a conviction that it ought and ence of Christianity. This has accom- must be terminated as speedily as possi. plished all that has hitherto been done- ble, consistently with the true interests of the destruction of slavery in seven states, all concerned, which will one day lead to and the prevention of its entrance into six its overthrow. I do not know how it will or eight more; the abolition of the slave- be brought about, but Christianity will eftrade before any other nation had done any- fect it. God-our fathers' God—invoked thing on the subject, and the declaring of more and more earnestly, as I am sure he it to be of the nature of piracy, and as mer- is, will, by his providence, open the way iting the same punishment. And however for this great achievement. desperate the struggle may prove to be, To this great struggle, which Christians she will not shrink from it.
with us must carry on-let it take what The noble example of England in abol-course it may-in order to be successful, ishing slavery in her islands will not be we are far from wishing our brethren of
other lands to be indifferent. * We want * It was in these words:" He (the King of England) has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in to do good among us, when made in the spirit of a
* The visits of foreign philanthropists cannot fail the persons of a distant people, who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in great and a good man who lately came to us from another hemisphere, or to more miserable death in England,* who travelled throughout all our states, their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, judgment to come;" who, though he neglected no
and reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and the Christian King of Great Britain. Determined opportunity to speak of the wrongs done to the slave, to keep open a market where men should be bought slaveholder, for he spoke words of mingled wisdom
was ever heard with respect and attention by the and sold, he has prostituted his prerogative for sup- and love. And when he had accomplished his mispressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or re- sion and returned to his native land, he addressed a strain this execrable commerce. semblage of horrors might want no fact of distin series of letters to one of our most distinguished guished dye, he is now exciting these very people to
statesmen on the subject of slavery, and especially rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty dia Islands, which have been widely and attentively
on the effects of its abolition in the British West Inof which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also has obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liber- the Society of Friends, and who, with his excellent brother
* Mr. Gurney, a distinguished member and minister of ties of one people, with crimes which he urges them and sister (Mrs. Elizabeth Fry), is one of the brightest orto commit against the lives of another."
naments of humanity.
their sympathy and their prayers. Wej in relation to this subject. Now I have wish them to make a proper allowance no disposition to say that the American for the difficulties of our position; and churches have done all that they ought to while they reprove our delays and stimu- do, that they feel all the solicitude, and late our zeal, we wish them to do it in a distress, and sorrow, which they ought for Christian spirit, not only because it best the continued existence of this great evil. comports with the religion which we both There is nothing more probable in itself profess, but also because of its influence than that our churches should fail of comupon those among us who are slaveholding up to their whole duty on this subject, ers, the great majority of whom are not more than on almost any other, when we religious men. It is easy to grow indig- consider how they are situated. I do not nant on this subject, and indulge in hard say this by way of apology, but to state epithets ; but the "wrath of man worketh the case truly. But to accuse our churchnot the righteousness of God.” There are es throughout the land with approving of those abroad who see no difficulties in our slavery, because, in some parts of the position; to whom the fact that slavery is country, they think they are compelled to entwined about our very vitals, so far at tolerate it as an evil from which circumleast, as one half of the country is con- stances do not at present allow them to cerned, is of no importance; and who extricate themselves (and this is the most vainly imagine that it is enough to de- which can be said against them on this mand that every slaveholder should let his point), is going beyond the bounds of slaves go free. This, indeed, is a very Christian charity. Besides, to charge all simple way of getting rid of the evil; and the American churches, as well as those if it were practicable, it would be well in the fifteen states and territories in which enough. So if all mankind would at once slavery is unknown, as those in the thirof their own accord give up their rebel- teen states, one territory, and one district lion against God and yield a heartfelt obe- in which it does still exist, with the sin of dience to Him, this world might be deliv- “ robbery,” “man-stealing,” etc., is to be ered from sin without the toil of preach- guilty of something more than a mere ing the Gospel, and the employment of so want of Christian charity. many other instrumentalities which are Nor are some other denunciations of a now found to be necessary. And if all sweeping nature much less unjust or injuthe men in the United States who were rious. "Let America,” said a distinguishengaged in the manufacture and sale of ed Christian minister whom we all love, intoxicating liquors twenty years ago had, at a missionary meeting in one of the of their own accord, or upon being simply great capitals of Europe, a few years ago, requested or commanded, abandoned their let America wash the stain of slavery wicked business; and all who drank such from her skirts, and then she will be worthy liquors ceased to do so from the same in- to come up and join us in the great work of fluence, there would have been no need of converting the world.” Indeed! and must all the labour and expense which it has our American churches be compelled to abcost to promote the cause of Temperance stain from attempting to obey the command among us.
But how vain it is to talk in of their risen Saviour- and which may be this way! To overthrow slavery in the one of the means of staying, if not averting United States is a great work—the great the divine wrath, which would otherwise est and most difficult, I hesitate not to say, overwhelm their guilty country-until their that ever man undertook to accomplish. land be freed from slavery? And if they And there is nothing but Christianity, em- are to be condemned for national sins which ploying its blessed influences, light and they have not been able to overcome, where Love, which can effect it. A good deal of are the churches which are to cast the first time, and a great deal of patience and pru- stone at them ? Shall it be those of Engdence will also be required, if we would land, or France, or Holland ? Blessed be see this evil come to an end in' a peaceful God, our heavenly Father does not use way:
such language towards us. He deigns to We have sometimes been not a little bless our humble efforts to make known grieved by the severity-no doubt wholly his Gospel to the heathen nations, notwithinconsiderate—and the want of discrimi- standing our many sins ; nor does He fornation with which some of our Christian bid our co-operating with those who love brethren in the Old World have spoken and his name in other lands to make known this written respecting the American churches, great salvation to all men. Still more, He
condescends to visit the churches in all parts read, and which cannot fail to do good. What a
of our land with the effusions of His Holy contrast between his course and that of some ardent, Spirit, without which, indeed, we might self-sufficient “friends of humanity,” as they consid- well despair of our country. er themselves, who have visited us from Europe within the last seven years, and who accomplished no
But sympathy, love, prayer, and co-opergood whatever for the cause which they profess to ation better become those who love God have so much at heart!
in all lands, than crimination and recrimY
ination. They form one vast brotherhood, England's sweetest religious bard,* with and their trials, their labours, and their which we bring this book to a close : hopes are common. Neither difference of “Come, then, and, added to thy many crowns, language, nor separating oceans, nor diver. Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth, sity of government and of ecclesiastical Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth; organizations, nor variety of modes of wor
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since, ship, can divide them. They have their
And overpaid its value with thy blood. various difficulties to encounter, and their Thy saints proclaim Thee king; and in their hearts respective works to perform. And how Thy title is engraven with a pen they should delight to encourage each oth
Dipped in the fountain of eternal love.
Thy saints proclaim Thee king; and thy delay er in every good enterprise, rejoice in each
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see other's success, stimulate and reprove each The dawn of thy last advent, long desired, other (when reproof is necessary) with Would creep into the bowels of the hills, kindness, and not with bitterness; and thus
And flee for safety to the falling rocks. strive to hasten the universal triumph of
The very spirit of the world is tired
Of its own taunting question, asked so long, the kingdom of their common Lord! And • Where is the promise of your Lord's approacn ?** how appropriate to them is the prayer of|
* Cowper-The Task, book vi.
Abolition Riots, how viewed in this country, p. 331. Camp-meetings, origin and nature of, 216.
exaggerated report of, in Europe, Carolina, North and South, benefits of dissolution of
Church and State in, 115.
Charters of American Colonies, curious character
of, 27, 28.
Cheever, Rev. G. B., extract from lecture of, 319.
Cherokees, removal of the, 298.
Christianity, happy influence of, on public order,
morals, character of two foreign censors Christianity, only remedy for slavery in the United
States, 336, 337.
membership in, how obtained, 185.
evangelical, order prevalent in the, 218.
three divisions of, 220.
general statistics of the, 264,
Churches, evangelical, missionary efforts of the, 317.
union of, with State gradually dissolved, 104.
union of, with Slate, when and how dissolv-
ed, and etfects, 112, 323, note.
Church edifices, how built in cities and large towns,
supply of, in the large cities, 134.
number annually built in United States, 324.
efficiency of Voluntary Principle in erecting,
Church edifices, estimate of number of, annually
Colleges and universities, 150.
effect of state control upon,
Colonial era, state of religion in the, 99.
Colonization Society, history of the, 314.
advantages of African, 315.
plan of Gustavus Adolphus, 68.
Coloured people, our reported quarrels with the, 332.
disturbances chiefly between them
and foreigners, 332, note.
Colony, influence of, at Liberia, 315.
at Plymouth, account of the, 47-51.
ecclesiastical regulations of
Congregations, new, how formed, 133.
Congregationalists, parent slock of those in Eng-
Congregationalists, not Dissenters, 225.
present religious system of, 225.
mode of church discipline among, 226.
mode of, for supporting public worship, 227,
nature of the Associations" of, 228.
pastoral office among early, lost by dismis-
Congregationalists, ordination among, how perform-
Congregationalists not Independents in practice, 229,
Consociations" among, nature of, 229.