preparations were, however, continued, and the law of Congress respecting the collection of duties, commonly called the “Enforcing bill,” was nullified. No recent demonstrations of feeling in regard to it have occurred. Some effort has been made to induce our southern communities to believe that the people of the north, entertain designs adverse to the safe tenure of the slave-property of the south, and that there are ulterior political designs in the temperance reformation. We believe, however, that these prejudices are confined to a few ardent nullifiers, and to the advocates of perpetual slavery. We have occasion for a grateful recognition of the Divine goodness, that the storm has passed away in a considerable degree, and that no fraternal blood has been made to flow.

We rejoice to observe the increasing disposition in many portions of the southern and south-western States, to emancipate the slaves. Of an expedition which recently sailed for Liberia from New Orleans, 96 were emancipated slaves. The Rev. Richard Bibb, of Kentucky, has lately liberated 32 of his slaves, furnished them with clothing, beside $444 in money, and sent them to Liberia. John Randolph of Roanoke, in his last will, liberated all his slaves, amounting to more than 300. The students of the Andover theological seminary, on the 4th of June, resolved to raise within six months, $3,000 for the emancipation and colonization of 100 slaves in Kentucky. Applications for passage to the colony continue to flow in to the Board of Managers of the Colonization Society, quite as fast as they can find means to comply with them. The following persons, a large portion of whom are slaves, have just been offered to the Society. From Georgia 98, from Virginia 40, from Tennessee 19, from Washington 5, from the free States 9. The Maryland State Colonization Society have resolved to purchase cape Palmas on the western coast of Africa, for the purpose of founding a new settlement—"a settlement formed by a society whose avowed object is the ULTIMATE EXTIRPAtion of slavery by proper and gradual efforts." “The Society believe that it is proper to use every means in their power to raise Maryland into the rank of a free State." A series of resolutions for the accomplishment of these objects, was passed unanimously on the 30th of April last. It will be remembered that the State legislature have granted $200,000 for the colonization of free persons of color. It is expected that an arrangement will be made so that the State Society can have the advantage of this fund.

Mr. Wirt, late attorney general of the United States, has purchased a tract of land in Florida, on which he proposes to cultivate the sugar cane entirely by free labor. Several hundred German emigrants have engaged to proceed thither. Very considerable ef



forts are now made for the religious instruction of slaves. In Bryan county, Georgia, six day and Sabbath schools are kept for the religious instruction of the slaves. A member of the Georgia presbytery, in Liberty county, devotes his whole time to this employment, having access to nearly all the plantations. There are strong indications that systematic measures will be soon adopted through the whole country, for this most laudable purpose.

Great excitement has recently prevailed in this country in relation to two capital trials—one in Rhode Island, and the other in New Jersey. We notice them because we think they indicate a diseased state of the public mind. The reports of the trials, containing many very disgusting details, have been spread over the country by tens of thousands. We are sorry that respectable men should be concerned in the business of dispersing them. A strong disposition has also been manifested to set at nought the verdict of juries, and to determine that a prisoner shall lose his reputation, if his life is spared. It requires no reflection to see that in this way all the ends of the public administration of justice may be prevented.

The president of the United States, accompanied by some of the chief officers of government, is now making the tour of the middle and northern States. We think it has a happy tendency in allaying the excitements of party feeling, and in strengthening the attachments of the people to our excellent form of government. We are rejoiced to observe that the arrangements of the tour thus far are made so as not to interfere with the rest of the ever to be hallowed Sabbath.

The interest in the subject of Foreign Missions is evidently strengthening throughout the country. Within about one month, more than thirty individuals have sailed from this country to various portions of the heathen world—a larger number than have ever embarked for a similar purpose within the same space of time. It is the determination of the principal Board of Missions, to send abroad as many as fifty ordained missionaries during the present year, provided that number of suitable persons can be found. The American Bible Society have bestowed $15,000 during the last year towards printing the Scriptures at various American Missions. In pursuance of this object, the noble donation of thirty thousand dollars was made at the late annual meeting, provided the means be supplied by the auxiliaries and friends of the Society. In the same disinterested and enlarged spirit, the American Tract Society have made appropriations of $10,000 during the last year, and $5,000 previously, for the printing and distribution of tracts in foreign lands. These measures are very important, as showing more clearly than ever the strength of the fraternal feeling which binds together the prominent religious charities of the age, and the impracticability of perfectly accomplishing the objects of one society, without the aid of all the others.

Two great objects are now before the American Bible Societyto re-supply, as speedily as may be, all the destitute families in the United States with Bibles. The destitution now existing is great, and is constantly increasing. Multitudes of emigrants from foreign lands are unsupplied. In the hurry of the former supply, the work was often imperfectly done, many families being wholly overlooked. Many of the Bibles were manufactured in haste, and sent out in a green, unfinished state, and of course cannot prove durable. A thorough re-examination and re-supply is therefore imperiously demanded. The other object, is the adoption of preparatory measures for supplying all the families of the earth with the Bible, in the shortest time practicable, and within a definite period. Correspondence on this subject will be holden with the principal foreign Bible Societies. The receipts of the American Society, last year, were about $95,000, of which $37,464 were in payment for books. The issues of Bibles and Testaments were 91,168. It is gratifying to notice that the Society is commencing editions of a superior quality in respect to paper and printing. In our opinion, the Bible and Tract Societies have not hitherto paid sufficient attention to the neatness and beauty of their productions.

The temperance reformation is making rapid progress. The late convention at Philadelphia, embracing between 400 and 500 members, from all parts of the United States, many of whom are gentlemen of the highest respectability and worth, excited great interest, and has been attended with important effects. A very vigorous debate was had upon the question of the immorality of the traffic in ardent spirits. It was finally decided in the affirmative by an overwhelming vote. We are astonished that any respectable man could maintain the contrary. A prominent effect of the discussions, was to produce an unanimity of views and feelings. The delegates returned home, prepared to act with greater zeal and unanimity. The true doctrines in regard to the subject were diffused where they were previously much needed. The editors of political papers, who had previously stood aloof, reported at length the proceedings of this convention. The friends of temperance, also, had the opportunity to declare that they had no other design in view, but the extirpation of the evils of intemperance from the land and world; a declaration which was probably needed in some portions of the United States.

Mexico. On the declaration of independence by the Mexican provinces, a law immediately followed for the entire abolition of slavery. Each

[ocr errors]

of the provinces arranged the details of the process of emancipation for itself; but the principles and the most important details are substantially the same. The master enters into an account with his slave, whose value, with that of his family, is estimated as a debt due from him to his master, which debt the slave and his family cancel by their labors. The duties of the servant and of the master are fixed by law as definitely as the nature of the case admits, and magistrates are appointed in every neighborhood for the express purpose of enforcing them. As the results of this system, the servants worked out their freedom and that of their families in a few years. During the process, they acquired habits of forethought and economy. The hope of bettering their condition gave a spring to their minds, and an elevation to the whole character, and thus they were fitted for the enjoyment of perfect liberty, by the very process of acquiring it. They have chosen generally to remain, as hired laborers, on the plantation to which they belonged.

Tu est Endíes.

When the late insurrection broke out in Jamaica, the English Baptist missions on that island numbered 10,800 members, and about 20,000 serious inquirers on the subject of religion. In the closing week of 1831, an insurrection broke out among the negroes in the parishes of St. James and Trelawney, which afterwards extended in a less degree to some of the neighboring parishes. Such an alarm was excited, that the governor proclaimed martial law, the whole military force of the island was called out, and the disturbances were not quelled till the beginning of February, 1832. In the interval, property to a large amount, on nearly 200 estates, was consumed by fire. About 2,000 of the poor, misguided slaves, are computed to have forfeited their lives. Scarcely any blood seems to have been shed by the negroes; their object appears to have been the attainment of freedom, which they erroneously supposed to have been granted by the British government, but withheld by their owners. nents of the religious instruction of the slaves, seized on this opportunity for accusing the missionaries, particularly the Baptist, as accessories to the revolt. The most unremitting efforts were employed to rouse the white population to destroy all sectarian places of worship, and to expel the preachers from the island. Many acts of atrocious outrage were committed. A colonial church union, for the purpose of expelling sectarianism from the island, was formed in eleven parishes. Three of the missionaries were apprehended, Burchell, Knibb, and Gardner ; the bill of indictment against the former, was thrown out, and the evidence against the two latter was so futile

The oppo

that the attorney general refused to proceed. The loss of property, and interruptions occasioned to the missions, were very great. The amount required to rebuild the places of worship destroyed, without including the heavy legal expenses incurred in defending the accused missionaries, is about £17,000.

South Sea Eslands, The American Mission at the Sandwich Islands was never an object of greater interest than at the present moment. The inhabitants of Christian countries are by no means aware of the difficulties of raising up a savage people to the enjoyment and character of a civilized society. Paganism disarranges the whole intellectual structure of man. It renders it impossible for the gospel to gain a complete triumph in one generation. Real piety may be possessed, where the memory is filled with loathsome recollections, the imagination burdened with degrading images, the mind totally destitute of refinement, and the whole body very imperfectly controlled by the authority of the will. In a country, where Christianity has been long enjoyed, an influence exists, which is derived from unseen, abstract, immaterial objects, imparting an elevation to the purpose, a dignity to the motive, an intellectual character, even where the gospel does not exert its highest influence. No such thing exists in pagan lands. This mental and moral influence is to be created. In fact, the very foundations of society are to be laid anew. You cannot transfer a community from a savage to a civilized state. That community must be formed again. The idols at the Sandwich islands are destroyed, but the intellectual idolatry exists ;-that is, idolatry has poisoned the soul; its contaminating influence will end only with life, and not then, unless the grace of God has intervened. Our brethren at the Sandwich Islands have performed a noble work, but the battle is not yet fought. The paganism of the mind and soul remains. We, in Christian lands, must study the difficulties with which they have to meet. We must look often at the melancholy side of the picture. We must be prepared for temporary reverses. We must encourage their progress by fully appreciating the appalling obstacles, with which they are called to contend even after Christianity is nominally established. We must not give full credit to every sanguine reporter of facts. We must compare and weigh accounts. It requires sound discretion, and no small measure of Christian philosophy, for a man on the ground to convey a just impression of the real state of a mission.

The above remarks will apply in their full force to the Society and Georgian islands. The habits of the people, fixed for ages, are to VOL. I.



« VorigeDoorgaan »