Abbildungen der Seite

send them no more troops, yet doing our best for the support, comfort and health of those now there as long as they live; doubtless the parliamentary interest of slave-holders would struggle hard, but might we not hope that the parliamentary interest of common honesty and common sense would struggle harder ?

And now for the plan of declaring all to be free born after a specific period : is it not perfectly obvious that their expense and support would be begrudged by the master when he knew that though he had the expense of feeding and bringing them up they were not to belong to him ? It is of no use in our legislation to say how inhuman and so forth; say what we can, a West Indian does and will view his slaves as property, so does the English farmer his horses. Now what English farmer would continue to rear horses after an act was passed depriving him of the property in them, so that when they became useful he could only have their work on condition of hiring them at the same cost as he could hire those reared by any body else? Now the operation of that feeling might not be in the same degree, yet would it not be the reasoning almost or quite universally? and the practice to a tremendous extent? And for those amiable philanthropic characters who probably have looked too much on one side of the question, these describe the conduct of the owners and employers of slaves as incomparably more harsh and cruel than that of any decent farmer to his horses. It seems odd that they should expect

“ these cruel, calculating task-masters" to allow children to be brought up at their expense, when they knew that they were not to be their property.

If they be half as bad as they are represented to be, the cruel adversary of man will help them to fifty modes of keeping down the population without any one being so palpable as hanging or drowning.




It would be well for those who advocate the cause of peace to be very careful how they allow their most secret thoughts to dwell with complacency on warlike subjects.

Do those who have the cause at heart feel exultation at the news of the success of British troops in India or elsewhere? do we vest our money

in the price of blood ? do we willingly profit by war where it is practicable to avoid it ? are we slow to forgive offences, personal, pecuniary and otherwise? If we harbour revenge in our breasts and go to the God of consistency and omniscience with a prayer that peace may abound in others, can we expect an answer of peace ?

Can we forget that consistency, and harmony of conduct, sentiment, and principle, is looked for at our hands from Him who alone can bless and effectuate the struggles of the charitable and peaceable in the cause of peace ? Ah! if we always strove to have a DIVINE Master in all things, and one of our very chiefest delights to find our self-will subdued, more and more crossed, torn up, flung away, burnt up, we should, I believe, find much more success to attend our efforts, much more perceive that the work was of the Most High.

When this country was in the foremost ranks of war, some did not always refrain from blaming the government while they deplored the cause of suffering humanity; would it not be well for such to ask themselves, as forward now to praise the government, seeing that scarcely a war has arisen in any civilized community on the face of this earth for several years past, but they have calmly, prudently, wisely endeavoured to promote peace and good neighbourhood among them ? and if we are not now as forward to praise as we formerly were to blame, do we walk charitably? do we walk honestly? should we like at the winding-up of all things for our offences only to be remembered ?

are we



I believe that my data are all correct, and should they be so, I do not see how it is possible but that within a few years some of the managements herein recommended will (however novel they may appear) be forced on the attention of almost all classes, from circumstances which, in their very nature, will not, and cannot take a denial.

If they be conceded to force, great distress may ensue; but if met in the spirit of meekness and of a sound mind, their benefit will be incalculable and with little alloy.

Should any recognize in the dedication an expression which they may deem flattery,—to such, whether few or otherwise, I would wish to plead the many and great advantages derived from the reign of George the Fourth ; among the foremost of which has been his wise, invariable, and generally successful, advocacy of the cause of peace, both in his own conduct, and in his influence with others. He entered on the Government in the midst of a war, which was annually hurling to destruction, to death, and to premature judgment, scores of thousands, nay, in some years, hundreds of thousands of my brethren, and producing tremendous distress to millions of my brethren and sisters.

Now he not only closed those wars and healed those animosities with wisdom, prudence, and honour, and has himself, up to this time, neither provoked a war, nor declared one;—but he has gone further; for there has not, I believe, existed a war between civilized nations since his accession to power; but he has judiciously, mildly, and sincerely endeavoured to appease their strifes, and thus lead them away from the foolishness and cruelty of shedding each other's blood; and having been favoured with a success perhaps unparalleled in these pacific endeavours, he has thus as a peace-maker saved the murdering of many more of my brethren of various nations. I call them my brethren, because I feel brotherly love towards the whole human race; and deliberately believing that of all our scourges, the most cruel, the most unrelenting, has been war, the most general in its application, the most severe in its effects : with those facts before my eyes, and this conviction in my heart, will any one disallow me the earnest and cordial hope that the blessing promised

« ZurückWeiter »