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course, the business of those who would reduce these agitators to their proper level, is not (generally speaking) to convince the Members of the British Parliament, who, with a few intelligible exceptions, are and have been tolerably well informed as to this subject in its most important bearings at least-but to shew the signers of petitions, the subscribers to associations, the mass of the public-that they really have been played upon by a set of uncandid agitators, who have uniformly entertained them with arguments and facts, bearing, or supposed to bear, in favour of one side only;-that these men have dealt with them in a manner degrading to the British public, and implying the grossest insult to the general intellect of the nation. The two papers which have already appeared in this Journal, were designed chiefly for these-for the common citizen and the common reader-and we purpose to devote ourselves on this occasion also to their service, by collecting in our columns some statements and some arguments, too, which we apprehend are not, in their present shape, very likely to be extensively considered through the country at large. Our ambition is, in so far, therefore, a very humble one; on some future occasion we may perhaps do something in another way; at present we do what our time and means permit towards an object which we certainly consider as of the highest and most immediate importance.

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somehow or other many ineffably inferior persons have acquired a temporary and factitious sort of credit that serves the turn of the moment; and the flattery even of a Buxton or a Macaulay, has not always been treated as it should have been.

Mr Brougham, then, adopts boldly, in the Edinburgh Review, the very simple and satisfactory argument on which Mr Clarkson rests the whole substance of his late pamphlet. It amounts to this:-Every man has an in-born indefeasible right to the free use of his own bodily strength and exertion: it follows that no man can be kept for one moment in a state of bondage, without the guilt of ROBBERY: therefore, the West Indian negroes ought to be set free. This is an argument of very easy comprehension, and the Edinburgh Reviewer exclaims, with an air of very well enacted triumph, "Such plain ways of considering the question are, after all, the best!"

Ingenious Quaker, and most ingenuous Reviewer! If this be so, why write pamphlets and reviews full of arguments and details, or pretended details of fact? If every West Indian planter is a thief and a robber, why bother our heads about the propriety, the propriety forsooth, of compelling him to make restitution? If the British nation is guilty as an accessary both before the fact, and in the fact, of THEFT and ROBBERY, why tell the British nation that they are the most virtuous and religious nation in the world, and that they ought to restore what they have stolen and robbed, because they are so virtuous and so religious? The affair is so base, that it will scarcely bear looking at for one second. What! long prosing discussions about whether we ought to cease to be thieves and robbears, now, or ten years, or a hundred years hence! Was ever such a monstrous perversion of human powers? Sir, that estate is not yours-it is your neighbour's estate, and you have no more right to cultivate it, or any part of it, for your own behoof, than the man in the moon. You must restore this estate to its rightful owner

Immediately? No, not immediately. Your neighbour ought to have the acres, and he knows that he ought to have them. They are his right, he has been long deprived of the estate

-his father was deprived of it before him. The family have all been brought up in a way quite different from what would have been, had they been in possession of their rights. They have formed habits altogether unlike what those of the proprietors of such an estate ought to be. They have been accustomed to poverty, and they are an ignorant, uneducated family. You must not give up their land immediately. No-the poor people would certainly go and get drunk, if you gave them their land. They would play the devil in all the ale-houses. In short, they would be injured in their health and morals, by the immediate possession of their estate. Indeed, it may be doubted whether the present man ought ever to get his land at all. His son is young; he may be sent to school, and taught reading, writing, arithmetic, &c.; and then, when he comes of age, you may give him the estate which you have robbed him of you may then cut robbery, and give him his property; or, if he turns out a wild young man, perhaps it might be as well to let another generation still pass before you give up the estate. You, therefore, must, from a regard for the best interests of this family, continue, in the meantime, thief and robber of their goods. Let the young men be hedgers and ditchers on your estate, as they have been; let the young women continue at service. But you must improve the parish school; lower the schoolmaster's wages by degrees, so as to let all these young people have an opportunity of picking up some education. Be kind to them-promote the best hedgers and ditchers to be coachmen, and even bailiffs, if you find them trust-worthy: By all means, make the well-behaved girls of them lady's maids and house-keepers. By this means, the family will gradually get up their heads a little; and, at some future period, it may be found quite safe and proper to give them all their rights. The present people, to be sure, will be dead and rotten ere then-but how can you help that? You are not the original thief, you know, you can't answer for all the consequences of a crime, into which you may be said to have been led by your own parents, and by the whole course of your own education. No, no-it would never do to give up the stolen goods at once. As I said be

fore, it would certainly turn the heads of all these poor people-the parish would be kept in a state of hot water by them. Perhaps they would take it into their heads to bother you, even you, with law-suits and prosecutions for dainages and by-gone rents, &c. &c. Time must be allowed for taming them; they were always a hot-headed family. IN DUE TIME YOU OUGHT TO DESIST FROM YOUR PRESENT CRIMES.

Such substantially is-such cannot be denied to be the "plain and simple" argument of Mr Clarkson, and his disciple Mr Brougham; and so is it applied by themselves to the subject which, plain and simple as it is, they have taken such huge pains to elucidate. Of Mr Clarkson's heart we have the best opinion possible; and we have an excellent opinion of Mr Brougham's head; but really, looking at the matter as they have been pleased to set it forth, it appears, we must own, somewhat difficult to suppose, that either a sound head, or a feeling heart, could have been in any way consulted in the promulgation of this exquisite farrago. The absurdities in which these apostles have involved themselves are so glaring, that a child must smile at them; and yet it is upon such arguments that the public of 1823 are called to force the British Parliament into a measure, or rather into a series of measures, by far the most delicate, as regards principle, and by far the most perilous, as regards effect, of any that ever engaged the attention of an enlightened political assembly in any age of the world. It is upon such arguments that a complete revolution of the whole domestic, as well as political relations, in the whole of these great colonial establishments, is demanded; a revolution involving, if we are to listen for a moment to the proprietors of these islands, the absolute ruin of all their possessions; a revolution, the perilous nature of which is confessed by these men themselves in the language -the indescribable, ineffable language--which says to all the world, "This revolution must be: JUSTICE demands it-RELIGION demands it: but we confess, that in spite of Justice and Religion, it must not be Now."

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If such imbecilities had been introduced where none but Britons were to be entertained with them, it might have been of little consequence. The fallacy of the outset might have been

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and robbery declared to be the undeniable sins of the masters on whose fields they labour, around whose couch-, es they watch! The cool insolence too, mixed up as if for the express purpose of fastening a spur to the galled side of Fury! Absolute emancipation proclaimed to be no other than the un


alienable right of man; and yet a calm, contemptuous argument, about the emancipating when! We believe the pages of history may be ransacked in vain for anything worthy of being set by the side of this glorious amalgation of all that is feeble in folly, and all that is reckless in profligacy; and, pass over the Quaker, we venture to hope, that when Mr Brougham quoted, with approbation, in December 1823, a toast about "success to the next negro insurrection in the West Indies," he laid upon his own shoulders a burthen which no other man in England (we mean no other held responsible among rational men) would have run the risk of for all the wealth of Potosi. We earnestly hope that there is no other Brougham!

The dismal nonsense which lies at the bottom of all this has been so completely answered in the philosophical and masterly pages devoted by the Quarterly Reviewer to the true history of labour, and the changes which, from the nature of things, do in every society take pluce, in regard to the mode of rewarding labour, that it would be worse than idle to go into any part of that argument now and here. In addition, however, to the philosophical and historical answer which that able writer has given to the great preliminary assumption of the absolute criminality of compelling any man to labour, we shall take the freedom to quote three several passages from as many writers of the very highest authority; passages, one of which has been quoted before by Mr Canning, and another by Mr Marryatt, but the third of which is from a work that was only published in London about a week ago.

We shall quote the words of PALEY, as they were introduced in the Buxton debate by the words of CANNING: [The "honourable member" whom the secretary alludes to is the worthy brewer himself.

"The honourable gentleman begins his resolution with a recital which I confess greatly embarrasses me; he says, that the state of slavery is repugnant to the principles of the British constitution, and of the Christian religion.' God forbid that he who ventures to object to this statement, should therefore be held to assert a contradiction to it! I do not say that the state of slavery is consonant to the principles of the British constitution; still less do I say that the state of slavery is consonant to the principles of the advance these propositions myself, neverChristian religion. But though I do not theless I must say, that in my opinion the propositions of the honourable gentlemen are not practically true. If the honourable gentleman means that the British constitution does not admit of slavery in that part of the British dominions where the constitution is in full play, undoubtedly his statement is true; but it makes nothing for his object. If, however, the honourable member is to be understood to maintain that the British constitution has not tolerated for years, nay more, for centuries, in the colonies, the existence of slavery, a state of society unknown in the mother country, -that is a position which is altogether without foundation, and positively and practically untrue. In my opinion, when a proposition is submitted to this House, for the purpose of inducing the House to act upon it, care should be taken not to confound, as I think is done in this resolution, what is morally true with what is historically false. Undoubtedly the spirit of the British constitution is, in its principle, hostile to any modification of slavery. But as undoubtedly the British Parliament has for ages tolerated, sanctioned, protected, and even encouraged a system of colonial establishment, of which it well knew slavery to be the foundation.

"In the same way, God forbid that I should contend that the Christian religion is favourable to slavery. But I confess I feel a strong objection to the introduetion of the name of Christianity, as it were bodily, into any parliamentary question. Religion ought to control the acts and to regulate the consciences of governments, as well as of individuals; but when it is put forward to serve a political purpose, however laudable, it is done, I think, after the example of ill times, and I cannot but remember the ill objects to

which in those times such a practice was applied. Assuredly no Christian will deny that the spirit of the Christian religion is hostile to slavery, as it is to every abuse and misuse of power; it is hostile to all deviations from rectitude, morality, and justice; but if it be meant that in the Christian religion there is a special denunciation against slavery, that slavery and Christianity cannot exist together, I think the honourable gentleman himself must admit that the proposition is historically false; and again I must say, that I cannot consent to the confounding, for a political purpose, what is morally true with what is historically false. One peculiar characteristic of the Christian dispensation, if I must venture in this place upon such a theme, is, that it has accommodated itself to all states of society, rather than that it has selected any particular state of society for the peculiar exercise of its influence. If it has added lustre to the sceptre of the sovereign, it has equally been the consolation of the slave. It applies to all ranks of life, to all conditions of men; and the sufferings of this world, even to those upon whom they press most heavily, are rendered comparatively indifferent by the prospect of compensation in the world of which Christianity affords the assurance. True it certainly is, that Christianity generally tends to elevate, not to degrade, the character of man; but it is not true, in the specific sense conveyed in the honourable gentleman's resolution, it is not true that there is that in the Christian religion which makes it impossible that it should co-exist with slavery in the world. Slavery has been known in all times, and under all systems of religion, whether true or false. Non meus hic sermo: I speak but what others have written on this point; and I beg leave to read to the House a passage from Dr Paley, which is directly applicable to the subject that we are discussing.

consequence of pronouncing slavery to be unlawful, would have no better effect than to let loose one-half of mankind upon the other. Slaves would have been tempted to embrace a religion which asserted their right to freedom; masters would hardly have been persuaded to consent to claims founded upon such authority; the most calamitous of all consequences, a bellum servile, might probably have ensued, to the reproach, if not the extinction, of the Christian name. The truth is, the emancipation of slaves should be gradual, and be carried on by the provisions of law, and under the protection of civil government. Christianity can only operate as an alterative. By the mild diffusion of its light and influence, the minds of men are insensibly prepared to perceive and correct the enormities which folly, or wickedness, or accident, have introduced into their public establishments. In this way the Greek and Roman slavery, and since these the feudal tyranny, had declined before it. And we trust that, as the knowledge and authority of the same religion advance in the world, they will abolish what remains of this odious institution.'

"Slavery was a part of the civil constitution of most countries when Christianity appeared; yet no passage is to be found in the Christian Scriptures by which it is condemned and prohibited. This is true; for Christianity, soliciting admission into all nations of the world, abstained, as behoved it, from intermeddling with the civil institutions of any. But does it follow, from the silence of Scripture concerning them, that all the civil institutions which then prevailed, were right; or that the bad should not be exchanged for better? Besides this, the discharging of all slaves from all obligation to obey their masters, which is the

"The honourable gentleman cannot wish more than I do, that under this gradual operation, under this widening diffusion of light and liberality, the spirit of the Christian religion may effect all the objects he has at heart. But it seems to me that it is not, for the practical attainment of his objects, desirable that that which may be the influencing spirit should be put forward as the active agent. When Christianity was introduced into the world, it took its root amidst the galling slavery of the Roman empire; more galling in many respects (though not precisely of the same character) than that of which the honourable gentleman, in common I may say with every friend of humanity, complains. Slavery at that period gave to the master the power of life and death over his bondsman; this is undeniable, known to everybody; Ita servus homo est! are the words put by Juvenal into the mouth of the fine lady who calls upon her husband to crucify his slave. If the evils of this dreadful system nevertheless gradually vanished before the gentle but certain influence of Christianity, and if the great Author of the system trusted rather to this gradual operation of the principle than to any immediate or direct precept, I think Parliament would do more wisely rather to rely upon the like operation of the same principle than to put forward the authority of Christianity, in at least a questionable shape. The

name of Christianity ought not to be thus used unless we are prepared to act in a much more summary manner than the honourable gentleman himself proposes. If the existence of slavery be repugnant to the principles of the British constitution and of the Christian religion, how can the honourable gentleman himself consent to pause even for an instant, or to allow any considerations of prudence to intervene between him and his object? How can he propose to divide slaves into two classes; one of which is to be made free" directly, while he leaves the other to the gradual extinction of their state of suffering? But if, as I contend, the British constitution does not, in its necessary operation, go to extinguish slavery in every colony, it is evident that the honourable gentleman's proposition is not to be understood in the precise sense which the honourable gentleman gives to it; and if the Christian religion does not require the instant and unqualified abolition of slavery, it is evident, I apprehend, that the honourable member has mistated in his resolution the principle upon which he himself is satisfied to act.

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Our second quotation is from the "Essays on Christianity," just published by Mr Mitford, the admirable

historian of ancient Greece-clarum et venerabile nomen. The passage occurs in a work which will ere long be sufficiently familiar to every one. At present, however, it is a new, a very new book, and therefore we quote from it.

"It is unquestionably a Christian duty to improve the condition of man as extensively as possible. The Jewish dispensation did not require this, but, on the contrary, by its limitation of intercourse, was considerably adverse to it. Rules for the Jews, therefore, concerning slavery, as concerning numerous other matters, will not be rules for Christians, and yet may deserve the consideration of Christians. The very first article in the Jewish code relates to slaves; and it sanctions the slavery, not only of Gentiles to Jews, but of Jews to Jews; giving different rules for their treatment. If indeed dispassionate consideration be given to the subject, it will be obvious, that, in the state of mankind in the early ages, slavery was an institution, not only of convenience, and almost of necessity, toward the wanted cultivation of the soil for the production of food for increasing mankind, but really of mercy. Among barbarians, from earliest history to this day, it has been little common to spare the lives of those overcome in battle. VOL. XV.

Even among the Greeks, to Homer's age, it was little common; and this not without reasonable plea of necessity. The conquerors had not means to maintain prisoners in idleness, and could not safely set them free. In that state of the world, therefore, wars being continual, it was obviously a humane policy to provide that, prisoners being made valuable property, it should be the conqueror's interest to preserve them. Such, however, was the kind of civil government which had its growth under influence of that early policy, that, even in the most flourishing times of Grecian philosophy, the ablest cultivators of political science were unable to say how society could be maintained, how states could be ruled and defended, without slaves to produce food and clothing for the rulers and defenders. In this remarkable instance thus we find heathen philosophy, as formerly we observed heathen religion, holding consonance with what is approved in holy writ.

"But the necessity for slavery is an evil peculiar to the infancy of nations. Wherever the state of population and of civil society is such that slavery is no longer necessary, or of important expediency, it must be the interest, not less than the moral and religious duty, of the governing among mankind to abolish it.

"Policy, however, though to be controlled by religion and morality, should not be confounded with them. That slavery, authorized by the Old Testament, is forbidden by the New, cannot be shewn; and, if trial is the purpose for which man has his existence in this world, the allowance of slavery, far from being adverse, is an additional mode for both slave and master. Yet a serious consideration remains. To measure moral trial for man is the office of almighty wisdom and all-perfect goodness only. It is man's duty to do as he would be done by; or as, were he in the other's circumstances, using unbiassed reason, he must think right to be done. Compulsion from man to man, of any kind, though necessary in every state of society, yet being allowable only for common good, it follows that, in one state of society, slavery may be warrantable, and even requisite; not for the good of every individual, but for the general good, even of those in slavery; whereas in another it is adverse equally to good policy as, not indeed to the direct word of scripture, but to the principles of the Christian religion. Difficulty for legislators, thus, in former ages, has been, and again may or even must be. The ready observation on this is that, so, both the legislator, and the slave on whose condition he decides, is subjected to the main


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