« PreviousContinue »
ALBANY, a city in the state of New York, remains in this edition, as it came from England, and occupies not more than one third of a column. The reason why a more full description of this important city was not given, we apprehend to be, that it stood so early in the work, that the editors could not procure in formation in season. But we sincerely hope, that hereafter a satisfactory, though concise description will be given of all our important cities and towns. Gentlemen can be found, by proper exertion, who are both able and willing to furnish information for a work of so much consequence, as the one we are reviewing.
The article ALCORAN is very judiciously treated, and to it we refer the reader who is desirous of seeing a short, but satisfactory account of this book; a book of great consequence, as it is the rule of faith and practice to many millions of our fellow creatures. In passing we cannot help making a few observations, not so much in the nature of a review, as of an admonition to Christians.
1. The Mahometans boast much of the sublimity of the Koran, and assert it to be a standing miracle. Many passages, no doubt, are really sublime; but in these instances, the thoughts are taken from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. With how much propriety may Christians insist on the unequalled majesty and glory manifest in the stile of the inspired volume! Being so much conversant with this sublimity, we are Vol. III. No. 6. '
too apt to forget it; but when we reflect upon it, we cannot but see, that many passages in Job, Psalms, Isaiah, and the other prophets, as well as throughout the New Testament, are incomparably more sublime than any human composition.
2. The Mahometans treat the Koran with great respect and veneration. But how common is it for us to see the word of God treated with every degree of disrespect, from cold formality to systematic contempt? Sometimes, indeed, we observe those who profess to receive the Bible as the word of God, speak of it, and act concerning it with no small degree of irreverence. Mahometans are more consistent. They have been led astray by an artful impostor, and act in accordance with their belief; but we, alas, who have received the gospel of the blessed God, too frequently entertain it with coldness, or reject it with disdain.
3. "The Mahometans have taken care to have their scripture translated into the Persian, the Javan, the Malayan, and other languages." This fact may well stimulate Christians to persevere in their attempts to translate the Bible into the languages of the East. If so much can be done to propagate falsehood, what exertions ought to be made to make known the true way of everlasting salvation!
In the article ALEMBERT, the American editor has subjoined a useful hint in saying, "that he cannot dismiss the article without lamenting, that if this distinguished person was indeed possessed of the virtues attribut
ed to him, they should have been found in alliance with principles tending to the destruction of all virtue." But this is not saying enough. The life of this laborious infidel, as inserted from the English edition, is extremely reprehensible. The writer says, 66 His (D'Alembert's) abhorrence of superstition and priestcraft, it must be allowed, drove him into the extreme of infidelity." And is the man who spent nearly half a century in making war upon all religion and the foundation of all virtue, to have his character plastered over in this manner? Is his conduct to be palliated and extenuated, as though he was driven into infidelity by his abhorrence of priestcraft and superstition? He abhor superstition! Far from it; he was a bosom friend of D'Argent, Maupertius, and others, who, though atheists, were very superstitious, as we are informed by Thiebault, one of their number. He abhor priestcraft! How then will he account for his intimacy with Voltaire, that high priest of impiety, whom he well knew to be utterly faithless, whose craft was never exceeded,
and who spent a great part of his life in propagating and repeating falsehoods? But again: "He seems to have adopted that system of deified nature, which bereaves the world of a designing cause, and presiding intelligence." What need of this unintelligible jargon, unless to see how politely the world can be told, that he was an abandoned atheist? Again: "A love of truth, and a zeal for the progress of science and freedom, formed the basis of his character." Could he love the truth, who lived in an age when all the evidence in favour of religion came under his eye, and yet exerted himself chiefly to destroy all religion? To apply an expression of our Saviour, he loved darkness rather than light.
ALEPPO, a long and interesting article in the English edition, has received a judicious addition on the subject of preventing contagion from pestilential disease.
ALEXANDER VI. Pope. The American editor cites Mr. Roscoe, as denying that this papał Nero was guilty of all the atrocities usually imputed to him. On all hands, however, it is conceded, that he was a guilty wretch. To be continued.
ABOLITION OF THE BRITISH SLAVE TRADE.
THIS grand measure, so long desired by the friends of justice, humanity, and religion, and which crowns with triumph the laborious and persevering efforts of Mr. Wil
berforce and others for many years past, received the sanction of royalty on the 25th of March: a day never to be forgotten in the annals of this free country! While we most sincere
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, min isters 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 hear ty 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 prac ticable, the wrongs we have inflicted upon Africa. It is now proper to embrace the opportunity which the abofition 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
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 faculties 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 legitimate 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 gener ally 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, Headly, H. Petty, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Right Hon. T. Grenville, 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 em. powered 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 Meet ing, 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 Le. gislature 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 free. dom:
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, unlaw. fully carried away and imported into any British colony, shall be forfeited to his Majesty.
All insurances on transactions concerning the Slave Trade, are now unlawful; 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, together with separate Journals of tours made by the brethren Bicknell and Henry, Elder and Wilson, to preach the gospel in various parts of the is land, 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 forbear." Referring to their journal, Mr. Eyre, in the name of his breth, ren, 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, ap, parently, none are savingly profited