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made worse by their falling into our hands ? No; they have only exchanged one slavery for another; and I may say a better : for here they are brought into a land where the sun of Inamism gives forth its light, and shines in full fplendour, and they have an opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true doctrine, and thereby saving their immortal souls. Those who remain at home, have not that happiness. Sending the flaves home, then, would be sending them out of light into darkness.
" I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them to subsist on, and where they may flourish as a free state.-But they are, I doubt, too little disposed to labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to establish good governa ment: and the wild Arabs would soon
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moleft and destroy, or again enslave them. While serving us, we take care to provide them with every thing ; and they are treated with humanity. The labourers in their own countries are, as I am inforined, worse fed, lodged, and clothed. The condition of most of them is therefore already mended, and requires no farther improvement. Here their lives are in safety. They are not liable to be imprefsed for soldiers, and forced to cut one another's Christian throats, as in the wars of their own coun. tries. If some of the religious mad bigots, who now tease us with their filly petitions, have, in a fit of blind zeal, freed their slaves, it was not generosity, it was not humanity that moved them to the action; it was from the conscious burthen of a load of sins, and hope, from the supposed merits of so good a work, to be excused from damnation.—How grossly are they mistaken, in imagining
slavery to be disavowed by the Alcoran! Are not the two precepts, to quote no more, “ Masters, treat your slaves with kindness—Slaves, serve your masters with cheerfulness and fidelity,” clear proofs to the contrary ? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred book forbidden ; since it is well known from it, that God has given the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mufsulmen, who are to enjoy it, of right, as fast as they can conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this detestable proposition, the manumission of Christian slaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving so many good citizens of their properties, create universal discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confusion. I have, therefore, no doubt that this wise council will prefer the comfort and happiness
of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss their petition.”
The result was, as Martin tells us, that the Divan came to this resolution : “ That the doctrine, that the plundering “ and enslaving the Christians is unjust, " is at best problematical ; but that it is “ the interest of this state to continue the “ pra tice, is clear ; therefore, let the « petition be rejected.”— And it was rejected accordingly.
And since like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and resolutions, may we not venture to predict, from this account, that the petitions to the parliament of England for abolishing the slave trade, to say nothing of other legislatures, and the debates upon them, will have a similar conclusion.
- HISTORICUS. March 23, 1790.
By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted slavery instead of death : a farther step was, the exchange of prisoners instead of slavery : another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving ? Ages have intervened between its several steps : but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not those steps be quickened > Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following descrip. lion of men should be undisturbed, have L4