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land that the first movement was made in the project of supplying every family in the world with the pure word of life. It was here that the blessed temperance reformation took its origin, which is now extended over the land, and establishing itself in Europe. Thus has this nation been favored ; and it becomes us to render thanks to Him, who hath put all these thoughts into the people's hearts, and who hath wrought all our righteousness in us.'
7. In her influence upon other nations.
America seems to have been the stage on which Heaven has been giving, for the last half century, an exhibition of the operation of liberal principles. An example is set of the success of a republic, of the triumphs of Christianity when untrammelled by state interference, of the efficiency and power of an economical and unimposing form of government. Already this example has effected much. It has changed the dynasty of France ; it has revolutionized Belgium ; it is now agitating Great Britain ; it has shaken all Europe from centre to circumference. It is the abhorrence and dread of all tyrants, and the shelter and protection of the oppressed from every clime.
On a review of the whole argument, we may certainly say, that whatever evils or errors may exist among us in social or political life, and we do not conceal our belief that there are both, that this country possesses, in an eminent degree, all the elements of true prosperity; and if we are not the happiest nation on the face of the earth, it must be by our own fault and crime. We
propose to consider, III. The obligations devolving on us as a people.
Certainly one of our first duties is a suitable acknowledgment of that Divine Hand which has conferred these benefits upon us. · The Lord our God is a jealous God;' and He will not allow that we should arrogate His glory to ourselves, nor that we should ascribe it to another. The admonitions of Moses to the Israelites when they were about to enter the promised land are extremely appropriate to our case, and should be duly considered by us :
—When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day: lest when thou hast eaten, and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein ; and when thy flocks and herds multiply, and thy silver and gold are multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied ; then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And thou
say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers,' Deut. viii, 10–18.
Acknowledging, then, our obligations to Heaven for these mercies, we are required to be deeply, humbly grateful for them; to make a suitable improvement of them; to be jealous of the honor of our God and of His laws; to cultivate especially national virtue, piety, and intelligence, the only conservative principles of our independence and prosperity; and finally to devote ourselves, as a nation, to the service
of our Maker, and of His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in the general promotion of human felicity.
Upon each of these particulars we cannot enlarge, as we might do under other circumstances. The occasion demands that these several considerations be directed to one point, on which, indeed, they have a powerful bearing—we mean, the improvement in the condition of our colored population. If it be true, that God executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed,' we have every reason to believe that He will take the cause of this people in hand. If we rejoice in the blessings of our freedom, and are truly grateful to Heaven on account thereof, we are taught thereby to relieve the oppressed. And if God wrought by human instrumentality in the delivery of this nation, we may expect such instrumentality to be employed in their
And who are so suitable as ourselves for this work ? For we have robbed them, and peeled them, and served ourselves of them; and we are bound to remunerate them for past evils, and to do unto them as we would that men should do unto us.' This subject is to occupy the remainder of our discourse. We shall not pretend, however, to go into a labored argument on the question. We profess no more than to give what seems to us a plain and common-sense view of the matter.
First, then, let us observe, that such a race we find among us, some in a state of slavery, others nominally free ; but which class is in the happier circumstances, taken on the whole, is a point scarcely settled to the satisfaction of candid men. It cannot be denied, that both classes are in a state of great degradation, and powerfully appeal to the sympathy of all benevolent minds for relief. Relief, too, we must afford them. We are pledged to it by all the virtues of humanity, by all the considerations of religion, and by all the peculiar obligations under which we rest, as a nation. This is a principle now universally admitted; but the question returns upon us, What shall be done? What method can we adopt most effectually to secure the end ?
I know but one answer to this deeply-important question; it is, Colonize them in Africa. Yes; I am constrained to avow, that I see no hope for them but in colonization. I am aware that objections have been urged against this scheme ; but it forcibly strikes us, that all that has been said against it only confirms the truth of a long-tried and unshaken principle, that it is much easier to find fault with any thing than to do better; and, in the present case, it is vastly easier to start objections than to provide a worthy substitute. That we, however, are the advocates of all the sentiments, or even all the measures of the colonizationists, we trust will not be imagined. But admit that there are some errors to be deplored, or that some circumstances have not been entirely favorable ; yet, surely, these cannot be urged as an objection against the project itself. For no human enterprise could endure the test of such an ordeal. But one or two objections deserve notice.
1. It has been said, that this plan tends to promote slavery. Now, owing my birth and earliest sentiments to a land where slaves cannot exist-to a land which has not a particle of atmosphere to inflate the lungs of a slave ; the first beams of whose sun melt his servile bonds ; and whose boast and glory it is to say, that
"Slaves cannot breathe in England: if their lungs
They touch our country, and their shackles fall;'Owing my earliest impressions to such a land, I can have no fellowship with slavery in any form. I am no renegade from the principles of my childhood; and, I trust, I shall ever regard slavery as an evil of most monstrous atrocity. If therefore I believed the objection to be founded in truth, I would never say a word to advocate colonization. But, on the contrary, I see no force in the objection whatever; and it seems strongly opposed by matter of fact. There are these three reasons especially which lie very strongly against it :- 1. The leading objection to this society, in the southern states, has always been that it is, in effect, an anti-slavery society. 2. The large majority of the colonists, probably not less than four-fifths, are liberated slaves; and were liberated with an express view to colonization. 3. It has actually promoted emancipation more than any thing else in our country. While other efforts at emancipation have but rivetted their bonds mere tightly, and increased their burdens, this has lightened their load, and in many, many instances already knocked off their fetters. We believe that we shall not be contradicted in stating, that, since the operation of the Colonization Society, there have been more slaves liberated south of the Potomac than in a whole century before. How any one, in face of these plain facts, can believe that its tendency is to confirm and perpetuate slavery, is hard to imagine. But,' says the objector, it does not prosess to be an emancipation society.' Well, suppose it does not ; but it actually is such the more effectually for this very reason. Had it openly professed it, its operation would have been precluded from the southern states entirely. As it is it was admitted, and is now doing the work of an emancipation society among the slaves. This is, no doubt, the view taken by those wise and good men who framed its constitution.
A second objection is, that the colored people are not willing to go. But what then ? Certainly nobody intends to force them. They go willingly, or not at all. • But you persuade them, and this is much the same.' Not quite. You are convinced that it would be greatly to your friend's advantage to go to the western country, and you lay all the inducements, plainly and honestly before him, until he is convinced, and emigrates. Or, many individuals in the old world have believed that their neighbors would improve their circumstances, and materially benefit their posterity, by removing to America. They were convinced of it, and have made their homes among you. But who, in such a case, would complain of the injustice of a compulsory expatriation? Yet it would be just as wise and rational, as to charge the colonizationists with a cruel ejection of the blacks, because they honestly endeavor to prove that it would be to their advantage to go. And surely all this may be done without infringing upon a single attribute of their liberty, or depriving them of a single prerogative of free
They who are opposed to colonization denude them of those rights ; and say, 'here they are oppressed and degraded, and here they shall remain.' On the contrary, colonization provides a refuge for such as, being free, or being emancipated for this purpose, are willing and anxious to go. And there are many such ; many more
than the funds of the society will allow them to send. There are now no less than ten thousand enrolled on the society's books waiting their opportunity to go, and panting for Liberia. And now the question comes home to you, Are you willing to gratify their desire ?
In order to form our views of what is duty in this case, and ascertain what are our obligations, it is necessary to inquire what benefits are to result from colonization in Africa.
In answer to this inquiry, I choose to select the acknowledgments of an enemy to the project, .Mr. Charles Stuart, who has been,' says the last number of the African Repository, its most diligent and determined opposer in England,' and who has just arrived in this country to join hands with anti-colonizationists here, wrote not long since a letter to the editor of the London Herald of Peace,' from which the following is copied :— But is there nothing good in the American Colonization Society? Yes; there is. 1. For Africa it is good. It intercepts the African slave trade within its own limits; and the least interruption to that nefarious traffic is an unspeakable good.* 2. For the few colored people, who prefer leaving their native coun. try and emigrating to Africa, IT IS UNQUESTIONABLY A GREAT BLESS
3. To the slaves, whose slavery it has been, or may be the means of commuting to transportation, it is a blessing, just as far as transportation is a lesser evil than slavery ; and that is by no means a trifling good. 4. But its highest praise--and a praise which the writer cordially yields to it—is the fact, that it forms a new centre, whence, as from our Sierra Leone and the Cape of Good Hope, civilization and Christianity are radiating through the adjoining darkness. IN THIS RESPECT, NO PRAISE CAN EQUAL THE WORTH OF THESE SETTLEMENTS!' Here we are ready to pause in astonishment, and inquire, Can it be possible, after all these admissions, that any man can oppose the Colonization Society? We would demand in the name of humanity, of justice, of consistency, how can Mr. Stuart and his partizans impede the progress of this noble cause ? How can they turn the tide of public sentiment and prejudice against it? How can they attempt to dry up the streams of public benevolence or liberality toward it, or turn the current to another channel ? Is it possible they can say, the Gospel shall not go to Africa to be the salvation of her sable children, and her one hundred and fifty millions shall not be added to the family of civilized man? Be it remembered I now argue on Mr. Stuart's own admissions ; admissions which, we think, can scarcely be withheld by an honest and unbiassed mind.
Toghese admissions of an opponent in favor of the enterprise, some other arguments may be safely added :
* A British officer informed Mr. Elliott Cresson that five thousand slaves had already been actually liberated from slavery by means of the colony; and the hopeless slavery of ten thousand prevented. Fifty-six slave vessels have been detained at Mesurado to his own knowledge.
† The reader is requested to compare this reason with the preceding one ; and he may be led to doubt whether Mr. Charles Stuart is quite as zealous an emancipator as his friends suppose. For free colored people, who wish to go to Africa,
it is unquestionably a great blessing ;' but for a slave to be liberated in order to go, it is only a blessing as far as transportation is preferable to slavery! One might infer that Mr. Stuart's belief is, that the free blacks are in a worse condition than the slaves. But let us not judge harshly. Probably, in his fear of admitting Loo much in favor of colonization, he overlooked this discrepancy.
1. It is well known that there are many benevolent slave holders in the southern states who regard slavery as a great misfortune. They received their slaves by inheritance, and hold them unwillingly. Yet such is the state of things that it is impossible to free them, as they would not then have property sufficient left to give the security for them which the laws require. Other embarrassments are said to be in the way, of which no one can be a proper judge who is not personally and intimately acquainted with the state of things at the south. But, be these things real or imaginary, or, if you please, just or unjust, it is sufficient for our argument to know, that though they cannot, or, if you choose, will not, liberate them here, they are willing to send them to Liberia. Indeed many look upon African colonization as their only hope ; and are only waiting to liberate their slaves until the society is prepared to send them. It is but a few months since one gentleman left one hundred and ten slaves free at his death, on condition of their being sent out by the society ; and unless the amount necessary be soon made up, they return again to bondage. To urge that the number liberated is small, is absurd, when that number has always been greater than the society could send, even though a number have been sent at the expense of their former owners. Now who shall
say that these gentlemen shall not liberate their slaves? Or that those slaves shall be doomed to hopeless, remediless bondage? When the door of freedom is opened, what sacrilegious hand shall close it up again? Yet must all this follow if the colonization cause be put down.
2. We think it can hardly be denied that Africa is the black man's appropriate home. His complexion, his origin, and his constitution* all identify him with Africa. It is there the will of Heaven originally placed him; and it was by a violation of that will that they were brought away. We are now called upon to return them to the clime and soil of their forefathers. But in returning them to their original home, let us send them back indemnified for their wrongs. Let them take with them the Gospel of peace, and the elements of civilization. They shall plant upon her shores the tree of knowledge, and the tree of life; the Sun of righteousness shall arise upon them with healing in His wings,' and shall shine upon them who now sit in darkness, and in the region and shadow of death,' to give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.'t
3. We give it as our opinion, that the blacks will be in happier circumstances there than they ever can be here. Here they are evidently oppressed and degraded; nor do we see any prospectof their
* This is so marked, as a missionary lately returned from Africa told me, that while six out of ten white men had died from the peculiarities of the climate, scarcely two in fifty of the blacks had fallen from that cause.
† Another means of accelerating the civilization of Africa, which stands closely connected with the progress of the Colonization Society, is, the closer intimacy that will exist between this country and the natives of that. What they see and hear at the colony will naturally excite their curiosity to visit the United States; and a perception of its advantages will strengthen this inclination. Such has already been the case. We have two African princes in this country, sent by their father expressly for the purpose of instruction and improvement. Other instances of the kind will, no doubt, occur. And by the information such persons will convey home, and the influence they will be able to exert, the cause of African improvement will be essentially advanced.