Page images

Of the petition in question, I,' of throw a little fresh light on the subcourse, can have no knowledge ex- ject, I will now addace a few particucepting what is derived from a news- lars respecting what has been accompaper, and whatever construction the plished by the Moravian brethren. petitioners may have put upon the quo- It is well known that on Mesopotamia tation, I have only to say, that I never estate, in Westmoreland, the brethren meant any thing more by it than that have long exerted themselves in the I never saw a Negro uncovered who cause : indeed, they have given more did not exhibit marks of the whip on than half a century of their valuable his body. This fact I repeat, and will time to this station ; but certainly add, (although it may seem still more without producing any very important incredible,) that satisfactory evidence improvement in the spiritual condition of a Negro's being marked with the of the Slaves. This I state on the whip, may sometimes be obtained authority of one of their own Miswithout removing the garments ; that sionaries, in addition to the testimony is, the blood may be seen issuing of several white gentlemen, well acthrough them. In confirmation of quainted with the case. I might add, this, I pledge myself to lay before the that I visited the estate myself, and public at least two cases, one of which had an opportunity of conversing with shall be that of my own waiting-boy, all the Negroes then living upon it, John Harden, who was punished at who had ever been under the care of my own request. I would here give the Missionaries, and I can truly say, the particulars, did I not fear that I that I could not perceive that, with should thereby swell this letter to a the exception of a few religious phrases tedious length. When they are known, which they had mastered, they gave any I expect to be visited with an ample proof of possessing a particle of relishare of blame. Mr. B., no doubt, gious or any other knowledge supebelieves himself to be well acquainted rior to what may be found any day with every thing respecting the cha- amongst the cominon herd. None of racter and condition of the Negro them had ever been taught to read, Slaves, and will, perhaps, be some- and in morals, I was assured by those what surprised when I assure him, on who must have known the truth, that my honour, that one of the blackest they were not a whit better than the accounts of the morals and disposi- rest of the gang. After such experition of these people, which I reinem- ence, is it surprising that the 'breber ever to have heard, referred imme- thren should begin to regard Mesodiately to a large gang belonging to an potamia with a hopeless eye? Irwin, estate in Westmoreland, well known in St. James, is another station now to him. This I had at first hand, and, in their hands : a Missionary has reif true, will, I must think, afford sided upon it, I believe, nearly ten another reason for investigating the years, who also attends to the reliSlave system in all its bearings. gious concerns of the Slaves on three

That the exertions of the Missiona. or four other properties in the neighries in the West Indies are destitute of bourhood. He follows the plan of beneficial results, I am not aware that preaching and chatechising, but does I have ever affirmed or insinuated ; not teach any one to read. His sucwhile I certainly have presumed to cess is not very dissimilar to that question, whether the quantum of which I experienced on Georgia. The good which they have achieved, has Negroes will attend on him, with a not been somewhat overrated. Euel- few exceptions, when they are allowed pis will bear in unind, that I allude to time for the purpose, and on a Sunday the exertions of these gentlemen on a few will occasionally make him a estates where, with the exception of call. The good man laments that so four or five white men, the whole of little arises from his labours, but says the population are slaves, and not to he is willing to sow in hope ; and we their labours in towns, where the mass may always console ourselves with the of the people are free. In my last I ideá, that time will work changes. made it appear, that the low estima. He is an advocate for teaching the tion in which I hold Missionary la- Slaves to read, and seems to think bours on estates, is by no means with- that it might be done without prejuout an example; and, with a view to dice to the existing order of things.

It is possible that Slavery may wear former would have been administered a more terrific form in that

part of Ja- by the whip, and the latter rendered maica in which I resided than it does more than commonly painful, by both in St. Eustatius, the scene of Mr. feet being put into the stocks. “As to French's labours. And this, indeed, a Slave's accounting for his conduct must be the case, if the narrative of as a runaway, a robber, and a ringthe robber, in the latter, as given by leader of a gang of desperadoes, on this gentleman, be sufliciently full to the score of no one having “ cared impart a complete idea of the case; for his religious concerns," it is what for, had it occurred in the former, I have no idea ever happened in Hanomeasures of a far more serious nature ver; and if even it did, I am still less would have been adopted, on the ap- inclined to believe that the plea would prehension of the delinquent, than be admitted. That all these things appear to have been thought of in St. really took place in St. Eustatius I Eustatius. In Jamaica, the crime of do not deny, while I must remark, desertion is viewed in a very serious that if Mr. F. has told the whole light, as it plainly strikes at the roots truth, the condition of the Slaves in of the Slave system. If the offender that island is essentially different from be tried in a court of justice, and pro- that of those in Jamaica, with which nounced an incorrigible runaway, he I and my wife were personally acis transported for life ; but should quainted. All the accounts from the robbery and rebellion be added to his Missionaries, which I have seen, are crime, I cannot imagine that any thing indeed calculated to convey the idea short of hanging would be thought of that the Slaves, amongst whom they Overseers and magistrates may, and, have been placed, are in circumstances I firmly believe, do wish to forgive, comparatively mild with the goverrwhen they are able to find a tolerablement under which the Blacks in Hapretext; but, in cases like the present, nover are doomed to groan and cry. they are compelled to be severe, or of the benevolence of teaching the risk the most tremendous conse- Negroes Christianity, while the deterquences. I feel that were I myself an mination is to hold them for ever in overseer on any estate with which I a state of complete bondage, I hope am acquainted, I should be under the to have an opportunity of treating at hard necessity of remonstrating with large in another place. Euelpis knows my runaways, by means of the whip, that I regard Negro-Slavery as a most the bilboes and the workhouse, and fertile source of ignorance, pain and even at times by all these put toge- vice, and, therefore, he ought not to ther, or abandon my profession as a feel surprised that I suppose that Planter. I speak of the general rule, Christianity, if propagated in its puto which there would, of course, be rity in the sugar-islands, would effect occasional exceptions ; such, for in- its ultimate extirpation. I regard stance, as that of the above robber, Christianity as a pure and holy reliwhose conduct was certainly far more gion, and have no doubt, but that as than commonly iniquitous. It should the human race submit themselves to be remarked, that he not only kept its unadulterated influence, they will from his master's work fourteen become pure and holy, and from a months, and became a most notorious sense of duty lay aside all their im robber, but he absolutely acted as the pure and unholy practices and insticaptain of others, “whoin he got to tutions, and Negro-Slavery amongst join him.” At length, however, he the rest. I am fully aware that perwas caught, put into confinement, ex- sons of great repute for theological postulated with by his master, and knowledge and critical skill,' have conversed with by Mr. French, which maintained that the gospel not only was followed by a real change of justifies Slavery in the abstract, but heart and life." Now, to a person even the conduct of a master who less suspicious than myself

, the report lashes his Slave for having presumed would convey the idea of the expos- to disobey his commands. “I have a tulations of the master being merely wife and several small children who verbal, and the confinement of an are the pride of my existence and the ordinary nature. But in Jamaica the daily delight of my heart. Now, if



they were seized and sold to the Plan- had not these, would scarcely read ters to slave in the sugar-islands, any thing, or nothing but the vilest would it be a crime in me, as a Chris- trash, is a striking proof of the utility tian, 'to attempt to effect, without of the institution. money, their deliverance? Or, in them, To those of the poor, who are preto run away the moment the eye of vented by illness or lameness from their tyrant was off them? Here I following their usual occupations, and could enlarge, but, Mr. Editor, I am who are able to read with tolerable fearful of being thought prolix. In a correctness, these tracts are an invaluword, therefore, I will be bold to as- able treasure. Few indeed, deplorably sert, that while Christianity contem: few, are the resources which persons plates mankind in the light of rational in this situation generally possess. beings, Slavery, regards them simply Their minds uncultivated; their knowin that of mere animals.

ledge scanty, with scarcely any means I should feel a pleasure in complet- either of arnusement or improvement; ing my series of papers in compliance and scarcely any society which can with the friendly request of your cor- render them any consolation; their respondent Euelpis, were I not pledged days and nights drag heavily on, and to lay before the publio a more de- they have nothing to do but to count tailed account of my late mission to and wish away the tedious hours. We Jamaica, in a pamphlet devoted to the think, and justly think it to be our purpose, than has yet appeared. This duty, in all such cases, to render some being the case, I conclude that no one comfort and assistance to the afflicted will wish me to occupy any more of body; why not then equally to the your pages with communications on distressed and vacant mind? A few the subject in hand.

shillings expended in the purchase of THOMAS COOPER. these tracts, to be either given or lent

on such occasions, would relieve and Appeal in behalf of the Christian

cheer many a dreary hour of wretch, Traci Society.

edness, by furnishing the mind with

agreeable and profitable employment. THE merits of the Christian Tract And the pious, rational and consoling so universally acknowledged among with his creatures, which are uniformly Unitarian Dissenters, that it might inculcated in these publications, and have been hoped nothing more would the fine spirit of habitual devotion have been necessary to stimulate us which pervades and runs through the to a cheerful, active and zealous sup- whole of them, can scarcely fail of port of an institution, fraught witla '

making many valuable impressions, as such incalculable benefit to society, well as of imparting the purest and and more particularly to the young the most durable consolation to the and the poor. Whoever has attentively wounded and afflicted spirit. witnessed the effects of their publica- Equally beneficial are these publitions on these descriptions of persons, cations to apprentices and servants in must have observed that they are cal- the various departments of life. It is culated to convey religious knowledge a melancholy fact, that the employers in the most easy, interesting and en- of these persons seldom pay much atgaging form; and to produce religious tention to the manner in which they impression, and excite to religious spend their small portion of leisure practice, by the most powerful of all time: and, consequently, it is too often persuasives, the influence of attractive spent, not only without improvement, and interesting examples. The narra- but in a way to unfit them for becomtive and dialogue form in which mosting, useful and virtuous members of of these publications are written, it is society in the present life, and to diswell known, are by far the most effec- qualify them for the happiness of a tual methods of conveying instruction future state. But if some kind and to young and uncultivated minds ; judicious Christian friend, who has and the eagerness with which these the real welfare of the rising generatracts are sought after, and read by tion at heart, would take the trouble thousands of persons, who, if they to furnish them with a few of these

tracts, I know from repeated expe- of suffering one of the most useful rience that they would of their own institutions among us to sink to the free choice be induced to spend many ground. hours in the perusal of them, which I am aware that Unitarian congregawould otherwise be spent in idle or tions have many and pressing calls in vicious pursuits. And the good upon their liberality. But this is a impressions thus derived would not way in which so much good may be terminate with theinselves, but would done at such a trifling expense, that I be conveyed to their posterity: and cannot help strongly hoping it may thus, by a very trifling expense and be thought entitled to some share of trouble, we might be conferring the their attention. If every Unitarian somost important benefits on future ge- ciety throughout the kingdom would nerations, and continue to be doing average a collection of one pound, it good long after our bones shall have would probably set this excellent inmouldered to ashes.

stitution free from all its difficulties, But, alas ! truth compels us to ac- and place it upon a comfortable and a knowledge that the present state of respectable foundation. Our contrithe funds of this institution bears butions ought not to be wholly enwitness against us of our apathy and grossed in endeavouring to make prowant of zeal in its support. Å request selytes to our opinions. Let us never was some time ago made by the com. forget the paramount obligation of mittee, through the medium of the endeavouring to induce Unitarians to Monthly Repository, that Unitarian act up to their principles, and become congregations would endeavour to aid ornaments of their profession. them, by making collections in their Neither is it necessary that these behalf; but to this just, reasonable congregational collections should be and proper request, I fear but little gratuitous. On the contrary, I think attention has been paid. I know it it highly desirable that every society, to be a fact, that there are many per- sending a collection, should claim sons in the Society, to which I have tracts, and distribute them in their the happiness to belong, who are Sunday Schools, and among any of warmly attached to this institution, their members to whom they may be and who would exceedingly regret to likely to be most useful. This excelsee it sink for want of support. If lent institution needs not the aid of these persons would agree to make a charity for its support; all that it recongregational collection in its behalf, quires is a sufficient number of active, I would pledge inyself to contributé zealous subscribers, who will industwo sovereigns to the collection; and triously distribute their tracts. if I fail in this engagement, I will

A FRIEND TO RELIGIOUS freely consent for the Editor of the

INSTRUCTION. * Monthly Repository to expose my name, with all the odium which such an act of perfidy would merit. But

Clapton, if I fulfil my engagements, I depend


April 19, 1823. this

tify my just respect to the memory be the means of inducing only a few of the late Mr. Lewin, by offering you Unitarian societies to make such col- an addition to the Obituary, p. 57. lections, I shall think this money bet- Those who knew my excellent friend ter employed than any I have ever yet must, I think, have perceived and reexpended. But this, perhaps, is in- gretted an extreme diffidence which dulging vanity too far: yet if our

too often withheld from his associates Almighty Father has it in view to much of that various knowledge which bless and prosper this institution, he he had derived from long observation, can do it by means of the humblest and most obscure instruments, as well

• The name of our correspondent is as by the most brilliant and splendid. given to us, and we think it proper to At present, it seems very evident that state that the writer is wholly unconunless some such means are adopted, nected with the management of the Som we must incur the indelible disgrace ciety in question. ED.

upon his honour to keep it a profound I HAVE for long ceglected to gra

and a highly rational occupation of on the result of our friend's trial. leisure in his most valuable library. This projected subscription (of which I have also good reason to believe that there is an account in the Memoirs, JI. Mr. Lewin was equally reserved, as to 155) was first mentioned by me in a numerous instances of his benevolent conversation with Mr. Lewin. His consideration for want and misfortune, immediate approbation encouraged me But it is his ready attention to the to proceed, wbile his own very liberal call of friendship, on an occasion which contribution to the design afforded an could not fail to interest me, and early example, without which I have which cannot easily pass front my re- always doubted whether that tribute collection, which I would now record of regard to a victim of ministerial in your pages. This į knew my vengeance would have become, at friend's disposition too well, to have length, so worthy of the occasion. attempted, till he was beyond the I beg leave to add, that I have acted reach of human approbation.

with Mr. Lewin in various societies, My intimacy with Mr. Lewin was and he was one of those whose silence much advanced by our mutual attach- I peculiarly regretted. Yet this indisment to Gilbert Wakefield, especially position to publicity I have observed when he became the subject of a Court him to overcome on a few very parti, prosecution. Our friend's trial came cular occasions, when, by a declara, on at Westminster, Feb. 21, 1799. tion of his opinion, beyond a silent The Attorney-General of that day has yote, he would either recommend long ago reached the splendid goal some liberal proposal, or else bear his which urges a court-lawyer's progress testimony against some servile com, either through primrose-paths or iniry pliance or courtly adulation. ways, just as the service of his masters I cannot help regretting that you may require. He now connected his are yet unfurnished with a few dates, name with that of one of the first such as are expected from an Obitu scholars of his age, prevailing with a ary, and some notices of Mr. Lewin's willing jury, to consign to the tender family, sạch as only his immediate mercies of the King's Bench, (as, ac- connexions can easily supply. cording to legal calumny, a false,

J. T. RUTT. scandalous, and malicious libeller,") an unguarded, because a fearless cen

Wolverhampton, sor of “ wickedness in high places,"

April 19, 1823. whose life had been devoted to the ROM a perusal of the interesting investigation of truth and the promotion of virtue. The Court-Prosecutor, ther with the advertisement of Dr. however, was in no haste to worry the Thomas Rees, both prefixed to the prey of which he was sufficiently se. Monthly Repository of December last, cure. He readily consented to suffer I was led to expect that an active and Mr. Wakefield to be at large till called liberal subscription would have immeup for judgment.

diately commenced in aid of the cause In this emergency, for which no of Unitarian Christianity in India. It provision had been made, I was anx. is, however, to be presumed that con, ious immediately to find a colleague tributions have been received for this who would publicly appear with ine purpose by the different gentlemen in the Court, as Mr. Wakefield's bail. named in Dr. Rees's advertisement. There was probably in that Court no But, excepting the solitary instance individual more disposed than Mr: of your correspondent C. B., [p. 11,) Lewin to shrink from such publicity, the Unitarian public has yet to learn and the usual consequent exhibition whether any subscriptions have been in the newspapers. " He, however, received or not. Since this time a came forward most promptly, and, by most important communication has such a seasonable assistance, not a lit- been made by the Rev. W. Adam, tle relieved our friend and his family. from Calcutta, to the Secretary of the

To Mr. Lewin I ought, also, to Unitarian Fund, and I fully agree with acknowledge my peculiar obligations him, that “all these considerations for the highly gratifying success of combined seem imperiously to call the project which I was led to form, on English Unitarians to exert them.


« PreviousContinue »