« AnteriorContinuar »
well aa the citadel of our society. It is also true, that the experience of the past has corrected and enlarged the views of many of the supporters of the cause. The doctrines of temperance and peace are now more fully understood than when our first settlements were formed; and although we cannot compel those who are already in Liberia to their adoption, without a violation of those rights we profess to accord to them, yet we believe the spirit of the age requires some additional care over those whom we are yet to sond.
The immensity of the undertaking also led the founders of the society to believe it to be beyond the grasp of private benevolence, and to seek the influence of great names, and legislative aid. This, and the location of the institution in a place so exclusively political as Washington, has excited the anxieties of many excellent and devoted friends of the cause; and, although our allegiance to the parent institution is still unshaken, has induced the belief that the greater prosperity of the cause may be secured by smaller associations, at once independent and auxiliary.
The young men of Pennsylvania therefore united themselves together in the society, whose anniversary we now celebrate; and undertook to carry into effect a permission given by the parent society to the well-known friend of the cause, 'who is now our foreign secretary, to establish a new colony on the coast of Africa. Our success, even at this early stage of the enterprise, has been beyond our warmest hope, and demands devout thanksgivings to almighty God.
The first impulse given to our efforts was in December, 1834, at a public meeting, our venerable friend and patron, the Right Rev. Bishop White, presiding. When our deceased vice president, whose memory is hallowed in a thousand hearts, and 'at whose death so many good men wept,' the Rev. Dr. Bedell, seconded by the Right Rev. Bishop Doane of New Jersey, moved that efforts be made to raise the sum of ten thousand dollars for the purpose of founding a new colony.
In April last the Young Men's Colonization Society of Pennsylvania was organized, from the following considerations:—
1st. A belief that a direct appeal should be made to the benevolence and Christian zeal of Pennyslvania, in favor of the establishment of a new colony upon the coast of Africa.
2d. The necessity of prompt measures to carry into effect the will of Dr. AyIett Hawes, of Virginia, by which he manumitted more than a hundred slaves, on condition of their being sent to Liberia.
3d. The carrying into practice in the new colony certain principles of political economy, as the fostering with greater care the agricultural interests, checking the deteriorating influence of petty and itinerant trafficking, maintaining the virtue of sobriety by obtaining from the colonists a pledge of abstinence from ardent spirits; and by withholding all the common temptations and means for carrying on war, or for engaging in any aggressive steps upon the native population of Africa.
How far we have been sustained by the liberality of our friends, our treasurer's report will show; and the account which has been already presented to the public of the sailing of the Ninus, on the 24th October, from Norfolk, with one hundred and twenty-nine emigrants, is a proof that we have not been altogether idle. These, we trust, are but the earnests of our future prosperity.
By a happy arrangement lately concluded with the New-York Colonization Society, the energies of both institutions will be devoted to the prosperity of our infant colony at Bassa Cove; while the interest of the parent board are secured by our pledge to pay into their treasury thirty per cent, of all the collections we may make within the limits of Pennsylvania, which is assignod to us as our field.
Under these circumstances, we feel confident in commending pur cause to the good and the wise of Pennsylvania. We believe it to be the cause of mercy and of God. The greator our experience of the effect of colonization, the greater is our conviction of its expediency and virtue. It is the most immediate relief we can give to the colored man, for it removes him at once from the influence of prejudice and oppression.
It has proved itself to be, as colonization has done in all ages, the best method of elevating the negro character by exciting him to virtuous ambition and honor, able enterprise. It is the most effectual cure for the slave trade, by the substitution of a benign and liberal commerce for the traffic in human flesh. It is tba best and safest method of promoting every obstacle—obviating every danger— silencing every excuse—and inducing frequent example, more efficacious than volumes of argument or invective. It is the hope of Africa, in opening upon her benighted shores the fountain of life and knowledge.
Our enterprise must succeed. A cause conceived in benevolence, and nurtured by prayer; a soil, enriched by the ashes of so many devoted servants of God and Africa, cannot be given up, and must not be lost. If God be for us, what matter it who they are that be against us.
John Brkceenridqe, President.
The Rev. Dr. Tyng,"of the Epiphany Church, in West Chesnut-street, then rose and addressed the meeting.
Mr. President,—Although rarely disposed to use the language of apology, yet I feel it due to myself, to the cause for which I am about to speak, and to the audience before whom I stand, to say that I have been brought here to supply the place of another. The Rev. Mr. Breckenridge is detained in New-York by the unexpected death of his child; and I have come (said Mr. T.) in full confidence in your Christian charity, that you will make allowance for my feeble state of health, my total inability to make any preparation for the occasion; and I will make the sacrifice of attempting under these unfavorable circumstances. I am indeed unprepared, without data; but by the peculiar circumstances which I have mentioned, stirred up anew to promote the cause of Christian benevolence, I am ready to offer at this shrine all my talents—it is the cause of humanity— it is the cause of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.
Though most of my ministry has been spent in a slave-holding state, or in that immediate vicinity; yet I have come to the conclusion, that all we can do for benighted Africa—all that we can affect for degraded Africans here—is by such efforts as we now are making.
Men, sir, talk of colonization as a new idea; but the whole history of man is a scheme of colonization. Men of old traversed distant regions to make settle, ments, or to convey doctrines. Paul said, 'from Jerusalem round about Illyricum, I have preached the Gospel;' and what, sir, is all this but colonization?
Colonization furnished our own existence as a Christian people, and as a nation of the earth.
Could I place myself two centuries back on some spot of Europe, and point to the western world, and bid the people behold nations rising up on these distant shores, Churches growing and sending back to the old world the Gospel it had received therefrom, I could show the effect of colonization. We stand now, sir, at the distance of these two hundred years; and now, by our efforts, not one colony alone, but all along the coast of Africa, the American name is known as the governing cause, and the God of nations as the God of Africa.
When all history sustains the principles and facts of colonization, how shall men stand up and oppose colonization on grounds such as we occupy? I feel myself, sir, compelled, by every principle which God has given me, to aid colo. nization throughout the world.
What, sir, is every missionary effort, but a successful colonization scheme? Look to Africa; from the Cape of Good Hope along her eastern, and up her western coast, and at every line of radiation between, what is every missionary Btation but a separate colony? And what is the difference in the plan of missionary labors, and this of colonization; but that, in one instance, separate individuals go and carry the principles of truth on which the colony is to be founded: while, in the other case, the people go, and carry out the men and principles? God hath equally blessed both, and opposition from man cannot affect them.
Within a century, the first attempt was made to establish a colony on that part of Africa where the poor, squalid Hottentot dragged out a miserable existence—the lowest in the scale of humanity; and now, sir, what is the case? Look at the missionary records, and they will show that nearly two thousand of these African Christians are now carrying out the principles of colonization, enjoying life as rational men and as Christians.
And, sir, we read delightful accounts of the Bush men, dug out of their caves, and the abodes of filthy wretchedness, now risen to the standard of men, and repaying all efforts for them, by actual contributions to the missionary cause in England. They, sir, hold their monthly meetings of prayer, and participate in all the arrangements of the Christian world. And yet, with all these facts, we find men—I will not doubt their motives—their consciences I may not judge— but we find them in opposition to the great principles which Uod has approved as the saving principles of the world. And I believe that young men cannot engage in any enterprise more noble, than in carrying out the Gospel system of diffusing good, as they do in colonization.
I speak not here of the evils of slavery, though I know them all. I have seen with pain and regret, the deep anxiety of the Christian slave-holder for the moral and spiritual welfare of his bondmen; and I have mourned with the slave also, though I have not found among them that degree of misery and unhappiness which is imputed by many to their peculiar situation.
I have seen them sigh for liberty as the bird mourns its confinement—as the unfledged bird beats itself against the bars of the cage, though she could not sustain herself upon the atmosphere with her untried wing. But, sir, here are the very wings furnished to the bird, and here the pure atmosphere for her trial; here is given that liberty for which she sighed.
I leave the question of slavery to other hands. I leave all political questions to others. I look upon this cause as a Christian philanthropist; and in my desire to promote the best interest of slaves, and secure to them their natural rights, I inquire how .am I to do this? By giving to them the ability to enjoy their right, and then placing them where they can enjoy it.
Throughout our southern country, there is many a man who daily collects his slaves, instructs them in the great things that belong to their good, and at evening kneels and prays with them himself, or employs a preacher to instruct them in Gospel truth. I correspond, sir, with a gentleman of high standing, (I speak this to illustrate, not boastingly,) who thus devotes himself to the good of those committed to his care, whoso efforts God will prosper, though uninformed men may deride them, because they proceed from a slave-holder. Like Cowper, I abhor slavery, and deplore its evils. I know what those evils are; but I know that they are not without alleviation. Colonization will afford a system of alleviation ; but this is not all: it will civilize and Christianize a continent. Suppose every Christian had opposed the colonization, what could have been done for Africa? They are the friends of Africa, to whom every regenerated African owes the conversion of his soul.
I know not, Mr. President, how long we may, though our ages are so unequal, be allowed to watch the efforts made by colonization societies. But Africa is to owe all her regeneration to colonization. Should she be left to those who oppose this system, she would come up to the great judgment with her hands stretched out for help, but stretched in vain. Sir, the friend of Africa is the friend of colonization.
After apologizing for my inability to address you at all, it may be wondered that I have addressed you so long; and 1 should startle at the apparent inconsistency myself, but for the interest of the subject upon which I have been called to speak: but I see a gentleman entering the meeting to whom you will listen with more pleasure. With hopes that the young men will continue their efforts, I conclude with great thankfulness for the patience with which I have been heard in the remarks that I have made.
The Right Rev. B. B. Smith, bishop of Kentucky, then arose and addressed the meeting.
Sir,—As an adopted son of Kentucky, I appear with pleasure before this audience, to bear testimony to the blessed effects of colonization upon slavery where I have been in a situation to make observations.
Some think that colonization has done injury to the slave states. I think differently; and I will detail a few causes for my opinion. For nearly four years I witnessed the operation of this system in Virginia, and I can safely bear testimony to its happy influences there.
People had looked about to see how slavery could be mitigated; they dared not inquire openly; it was talked of in a low voice; public discussion was frowned on. At length a few, a very few, friends of the colored race began to advocate the cause of colonization. Their character caused them to be listened to, and their exertions gradually brought the question before the public; and what is the effect? Throughout that state a feeling has been evinced; and the subject is now publicly discussed even in the legislative halls of that great state; and many good men have been enabled by this society to do justice to their serrants. I have known the sacrifices of the pious, who have almost literally given up their all, in order to send back their slaves to their own land.
But I wished to speak of the effects of colonization in the state of which I am an adopted son. Twelve years since, sir, a clergyman began to speak in that state of colonization; and he was only heard because he was a Virginian by birth, and a Kentuckian by residence; but now discussions are tolerated, which makes our state one of the foremost in the work.
I will, sir, give you the synopsis of one of the best colonization speeches I have ever heard; it was made by a plain working man.
He observed that it had often been said, that the Kentuckians were the best politicians of any Americans of the same intelligence; and this is true. Yet we have now Jive working men standing guard to keep one slave in order; and this was the fact, because slave labor had reduced the character of workmen, and diminished the necessity for labor. For the present, this state of things would be submitted to, but not long. There are only three ways by which we can avoid the evils of slavery—amalgamation, extermination, or colonization. Human nature revolts at the two first, therefore I am in favor of the latter. He might have added a fourth, viz. gradual emancipation; and a great proportion of the people of Kentucky are in favor of that measure. A society has been formed, and each member has pledged himself to free every slave born to him, at twenty-five years of age. The object is, that, at the end of a few years, this society might offer its example to the state, and ask its concurrence. At present the constitution of the state is diametrically opposed to any such measure.
Kentucky, sir, was Bettled from Virginia, by poor men, who took with them but few slaves; and hence slavery was less strongly established there. The true republicanism of Kentucky dictated to most of these citizens the propriety of seeking some relief for their slaves; and a large number of the most respectable Kentuckians, at the head of whom was the Hon. Henry Clay, asked from the legislature an amendment of the constitution to prohibit the introduction of slaves; but, alas, exactly the opposite was the result; and it was resolved that there should be no legislative action on the subject. But there is a great desire to call a convention on this very question; and last winter a proposition was presented to the legislature of the state for this purpose: it was lost in the senate by a vote of 19 to 20.
Of all the portions of our country, Kentucky has the most reason to deplore the effects of a slave population. Once, sir, the negro ran away from the white man—now the white man runs away from the negro; and the best of our hardy citizens are removing rapidly to Illinois on account of slavery, so evidently injurious to an agricultural country.
I have witnessed in Kentucky the effects of colonization on Christian people; and I know the joy and gratitude of their hearts that such an avenue is open for their relief; and I believe that a system of a series of colonies, devised here, will be seconded in Kentucky, by preparing colonists for their new homes.
The colored population there are a better people than in the south, though certainly not so well prepared as could be desired; yet from year to year many might be sent fully prepared, if colonization societies at the north and east would bear their expenses, to colonies founded on temperance and Christian principles.
Travelling as I do several months every year, through a most magnificent country, burthened with only one evil, the curse of slavery—and witnessing as I do its blighting effects on the slave, and the curse of God on the master—how can I do otherwise than rejoice at any measures for sending the blacks to a place where they can be instructed in Christianity, and be blessed with liberty. My heart would be dead to every feeling if it did not weep with the negro; and I bless every effort to let the captive go free. Judge, then, of my joy, at finding in New-York the young men uniting with their brethren in this city, in sending the black man to Africa, and praying to bless your enterprise.
I leave the question of emancipation and colonization, and all other schemes of good, to others. My object has been to state that colonization has been admirably adapted to produce good in Kentucky; 'it has been good, only good, and that continually;' and I have borne testimony to the fact with pleasure.
I conclude with the hope that the Colonization Society may extend its usefulness, and spread abroad science and religion, and satisfy all that this is a good way of blessing the colored race.
Vol. XVII, No. 3. JULY, 1835. New Series—Vol. VI, No. 3.
Dalivered in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in White Plains, Westchester county, New-York, on Dec. 25, 1834, in commemoration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the organization of the JH. E. Church, fifty years ago. By request of the Quarterly Meeting conference of White Plains Circuit. * By Rev. P. P. Sandford.
'They shall call His name Emmanuel; whfeh, being interpreted, is God with us.'
Matt, i, 23.'
This is the day on which the Christian Churches have general!) agreed to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ for the redemption and salvation of the world; and this day brings us to the fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church: and we are assembled here this morning to celebrate both these events. Our brethren in the city of New-York, on calling to mind the fact, that this day would be the semi-centennial anniversary of the organization of our Church, determined on its celebration among themselves, and invited their brethren in other places to unite with them therein. This Jed the Quarterly Meeting conference of this (White Plains) circuit, at its last session, to pass a resolution to comply with the foregoing invitation, and to request me to preach on the occasion. I have, therefore, selected the text, which I have read in your hearing, as the foundation of the present discourse, that I might, in some measure, bring both these important events before the view of this congregation.
The name Emmanuel is derived from three Hebrew monosyllables, viz. OJf with 13 us, and *7K God; and therefore the evangelist has given it a literal translation in the text. The Messiah was prophesied of, under this appellation, by the Prophet Isaiah, more than seven hundred years before the time of our Savior's birth, (see Isa. vii, 14.) This prediction is quoted in this text, and applied by Matthew to our Lord Jesus Christ; and it is herein declared to have its fulfilment in his birth. There is also a strong resemblance to the terms of the text in the dying words of that great and good man, the Rev. J. Wesley, who, under God, was the founder of Methodism; viz. "The best of all is, God is with us." He believed and taught, as a fundamental truth of Christianity, that Jesus Christ is God with us; i. e. the incarnate Deity, who dwells in his Church, and in the hearts of his believing
Vol. VI July, 1835. 21