Imágenes de páginas

sinned; I would require him, under a solemn threat of expulsion from the table, to confine himself to one, in case of the death or alienation of the other. But I could not tell him to write his children fatherless while their father lived. I should act very differently with the next generation.

In page 423, I find the Reporter under the mistaken impression that the Society actually profited by the labour of the slaves. It is well known, that although the Society lent money to the estates, when they were embarrassed by debt after the afflicting hurricane of 1780, they merely hold them in trust for the gradual fulfilment of the founder's intentions; and that no part of the receipts is applicable to the general designs of the Society. The trust-fund is kept entirely separate, and has been for many years accumulating. I must regret, with the Reporter, that the list of the slaves, employment of each, &c. have not been published, and would be permitted to express the hope, that the Society will yet do so.

When the Reporter, page 424, speaks of the “ continuity of labour from five in the morning till eight or nine at night," I would remind him that Mr. Clarke says thus :-“ On an average of different seasons of the year, the time of labour is from nine to ten hours daily.” Is it, I would ask, quite fair, in making so serious a charge against the Society, to omit to state, that there is “ an hour allowed for breakfast,”—“ two hours for dinner;"—that the mothers of young children work only one hour before breakfast, two hours after breakfast, and two hours in the afternoon ?" In the next season of faithful selfexamination, let the writer ask his heart, wherefore these latter remarks were omitted ? I cordially agree with the Reporter, that the keeping of a record book of offences and punishments should be enforced, and hope the Society have before this directed it.

In page 425, 1. 10, we are told, that “self-enfranchisement is a boon which the Society seems never to have thought of extending to its slaves. In 1. 12, we are told, “ that three of them had already redeemed themselves by purchase ; and that a father is now allowed to buy the freedom of two of his daughters !!!" I must farther repeat my 'conviction, from indubitable testimony, that the characters of Mr. Clarke, and his subordinate manager, Mr. Hinkson, are conspicuous for patience, consideration, and gentleness of disposition.

I now conclude, with much regret, that the Anti-Slavery Society should have attacked the Society for Propagating the Gospel in such unbecoming terms. I have no objection to see public bodies made to acknowledge their debt of responsibility to the public ; but I do earnestly long for the time, when controversy shall partake of a more Christian spirit-when individuals shall argue with more temperand when Christian associations inquire into each other's proceedings in the attitude of conciliation, and with the voice of meekness. And I earnestly intreat all who are interested in the advancement of the slaves, to cast away for ever all irritating words, and suspicious invectives, and to search diligently for, and openly to proclaim, the truth in love. I am, yours, &c.

PHILALETHES. With respect to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, who hold in trust, by the will of Colonel Codrington,

an estate in the Island of Barbados, we have the pleasure of stating farther, that every slave on the Society's estate is baptized, with only one exception, an African. The last adult slave that remained unbaptized is named Hector, and he was baptized in 1827. On the chaplain's asking what had at length induced him to come and offer himself for baptism,-“ This little child,was his reply ; pointing to his own little daughter about ten years of age, whom he held in his hand, and who had been educated at the Society's school, and had thus been instrumental, even at this early age, in imparting to her parent the religious instruction which she had herself received. We subjoin some extracts from letters received subsequently to the Society's statement annexed to our last Number, and which will be read with much interest. The letters are from the Society's chaplain.

July 3, 1828. I wish some strong encouragement could be held out to the people who marry: I frequently recommend it to them; but they do not seem desirous of entering into this solemn engagement according to the rite of the Church, though most live together very correctly, and many have lived together many years as man and wife, from their earliest youth to the present time.

October 30, 1828. Old Mary Moore was buried on the 21st instant: for many months before her death her mind was very weak. On one occasion, though she was much confused when I first came into the room, yet after rousing her by conversing with her, I prayed by her, and she joined in the prayer very devoutly; in some parts indeed she was affected even to tears.

December 1, 1828. Another cause for enlarging the Chapel, is the increased number of children, who will commence from Christmas-day to attend divine service: these will amount to twenty-nine. Many of them for some time attended the daily school, but even after this their attendance at Chapel is not enforced till they are provided with a Sunday-suit, which is now almost ready. There are 111 suits making up for Christmas, sixty suits for girls, and fifty-one for boys. The seats set apart for the children are already crowded, when the number present is near eighty; now if all, or nearly all, attend on the Sundays (as will sometimes, nay, generally, be the case), we must encroach on the seats allotted to the adult part of the congregation, which cannot afford accommodation to more than 120 persons, and the grown slaves belonging to the College and Society who may attend, amount to 193, exclusive of watchmen, carters, house-servants, &c. who may come occasionally. Besides strangers, free and slave, of whom I may say, that the average number every Sunday morning is from thirty to forty: this part of my congregation has been very steady of late, has increased, and is increasing. * *

Yesterday my congregation was tolerably large in the morning, and in the evening it was the largest I have ever seen at that service. My Sunday evening school at my own house for adults, has not increased much as to those who cannot read : of the first men who attended, some have been very regular, and can begin to read; but many of the Sunday children, and even some of the daily school, have attended for the last four Sundays. You will be happy to hear that Commo was the first (and, indeed, she was for some time the only) female who availed herself of my mother's offer of instruction ; she has persuaded her sister to accompany her, and has brought two or three others at different times: when my mother last night expressed her delight at the number of females present, Commo said, They are all my increase." The number of men and boys, women and girls, present last night, was twenty-two: they always remain till I have assembled my family and servants for family prayer, in which they join: my family thus amounted to thirty-two last night.


SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS. MR. EDITOR, - Your useful Miscellany has contained several discussions, in regard to the Church Service, when a Sunday and Holiday coincide. But I do not think the matter by any means clearly or satisfactorily settled.

I agree with Rusticus, in your last Number, that, on such a disputed point, it would be proper to appeal to the Ordinary; but cannot say, that I am convinced either by his statements or inductions. My rule has always been the opposite to his ; and at present I see no sufficient ground to change.

His main argument from analogy is this : that, as the Sunday service is made to yield to the extraordinary services, (e.g. for the 5th November, and 29th January,) so, à fortiori, it ought to yield to Saints' Days, because they are much more important, as having relation not to our own Church merely, but to the Church at large. I answer, that our Church does not seem to consider them of such immediate importance to us, because for Saints' Days she has only appointed a Collect, Epistle, Gospel, and Lessons; whereas, for the extraordinary days there is the addition of a separate service, in order to commemorate a national event, which actually took place on that particular day.

The very first rubric in our Liturgy speaks of proper lessons for Sundays and other holidays. Sunday is the greatest of all holidays; and therefore its service (unless otherwise positively ordered) would seem to deserve a preference to any other. Accordingly its lessons are first prescribed ; and then the lessons for inferior holidays happening (as we may suppose the view to have been) on other days of the week.

Rusticus allows, that the apocryphal lessons ought not to be read on a Sunday; and therefore the appointments for a Saint's day could be but partially adopted ; which would introduce a species of confusion into the Church Service, and interrupt its uniformity. It does appear, indeed, that the framers of our Liturgy objected, and wisely, to the use of the Apocrypha on a Sunday. And this is no mean argument to shew, that they did not intend the Saint's Day Service to be used on that day.

By giving a preference to the Sunday service, a regular consistency is preserved ; no variation of plan is requisite for what are called important Sundays; no change at all, except where it is specifically directed in the extraordinary services, or necessarily required, as on Christmas day when it falls on a Sunday.

Allow me to suggest, in conclusion, that Rusticus has fallen into error respecting the service for the Martyrdom of King Charles. He says, the Rubric directs the service to be used on a Sunday. The wording of the Rubric, I admit, is somewhat ambiguous; but the meaning, I believe, is this : that if that day happen on a Sunday, then both the service shall be used, and also the fast kept on the day following. The prayer,-“ Turn thou us,” &c. which occurs in this service, is not applicable to a Sunday, but is evidently intended for the day on which the fast is kept.

Such is my view of the subject, Mr. Editor; but I am quite open

to conviction ; my principal object in writing has been to lead your readers audire alteram partein.

Yours, truly, March, 1829.


ANALOGY BETWEEN SACRED AND PROFANE HISTORY. Mr. Editor,-A more solid advantage cannot, I think, be derived from classic history, than the occasional support which it renders to our own Scriptures. As no collusion could have possibly existed between the inspired and heathen writers, the frequent coincidences of the two streams of history are a mutual pledge for the faithfulness of the narrative. Some facts are so exactly parallel in each, that we immediately assent to the identity of the transaction; but, in some cases, the truth, as presented to us in scripture, has been so refracted, as it were, in passing through the medium of tradition, that the allusion to it in a profane writer requires some ingenuity to detect the archetype. I send you some observations I have collected upon a very small portion of ancient history; and I hope it will be found a subject not altogether incurious, to trace the points of contact between the author I have selected and Holy Writ.

Herodotus, in the 2nd book of his History, has left us a very accurate and detailed account of the country and inhabitants of Egypt. Some reference to the children of Israel, so many years their bondsmen, might reasonably be expected, and we find it accordingly to be the case. Let us begin with the pyramids of Egypt. These eternal monuments have long afforded matter of discussion, not only for what purpose, but also by whom they were constructed. As to the object, the opinion long prevailed that a sepulchre for their kings was originally designed; but the bones discovered there, and thence conveyed to England, have authorized a far different conclusion. These bones, which had been considered human, were announced, on sufficient examination, to have been the property of a cow; and hence has arisen the idea, that those mighty piles were erected for the sole purpose of being a burial-place for their bestial gods. By whom the pyramids were reared is a question equally difficult, but I think there is much probability in the opinion that the true builders were the Israelites. We are informed by Moses, that straw was a principal ingredient in the manufacture of bricks; and the most authentic travellers have related, that finely chopped straw is a constituent part of the bricks composing some of the pyramids. When we adopt this theory, we are astonished no longer at the extravagant humour of those princes who raised such prodigious edifices. We perceive at once, that what has hitherto been imputed to phrenzy must now be referred to policy; for policy would not suffer a people so numerous as the Israelites to stagnate into that sloth, which ever breeds rebellion. All tradition of the truth was not entirely lost in the time of our historian. He mentions (chap. 128), that a report was still prevalent in Egypt, that the pyramids had been the work of a shepherd, formerly the inhabitant of those regions. So we evidently trace here an allusion to that remarkable feature of the Israelites, their being a shepherd people ;- particularly in Egypt were they distinguished as such, and for that reason were an abomination to the Egyptians.

No miracle, perhaps, could give us a grander idea of the divine power, than such a temporary suspension of the laws of nature, as occurred in the case of Joshua and Ahaz, when the sun stood still in his course. A miracle so universal in its effects, as the slightest change in that great luminary, however obscured by the mist of intervening time, would surely leave some trace of itself in heathen tradition. After reflecting that no less than a millennium divided the ages of Joshua and our historian, the following faint notice of an event so wonderful ought reasonably to be deemed sufficient :-" The priests informed me, that, in time of old, the sun had four times departed from its wonted course ; that twice it had risen in the region where it now sets, and twice it had set in the region where it now rises; that, nevertheless, no change had taken place in the state of Egypt, either in respect to the productions of the land or the productions of their river, or in regard to diseases or in regard to deaths.”

It is well known that Egypt was the parent of mythology, so that an event expressed emblematically was expressed in the common language of the country. This consideration will render the following parallelism less chimerical. Herodotus relates that a festival was celebrated in his own time, to commemorate an occurrence in the reign of Rhampsinitus, who was reported to have played at dice with the Goddess Ceres, and first to have been victorious, but afterwards to have been as much defeated. The institution of the festival evidently points to some real event; and as Ceres, in the Egyptian mythology, was the patroness of corn, we have some colour for referring the origin of the fable to the years of plenty followed by those of scarcity, which befel in the reign of Pharaoh.

In many parts of our author, we have not to disentangle the truth from the perplexities of fable, but are presented occasionally with such a perspicuous detail, though still with some deviation, as to leave no doubt of the transaction to which he alludes. The name of Sennacherib is rightly reported, and his overthrow attributed to the Divine Power. There is thus much difference in the two accounts, that Egyptian vanity has directed the invasion of Sennacherib against their own King Sethon, instead of Hezekiah, and that some absurdity is shewn in the means said to be employed for the invader's destruction. The relation, a little curtailed, is as follows: “Sethon, being Priest of Vulcan, held the Egyptian military in contempt ; and, in course of time, Sennacherib, King of the Arabians and Assyrians, coming against him with a great army, they obstinately refused to render him any succour. The priest, being reduced to a strait, entered into the temple, and wept before his idol for the danger that was impending; and, as he was weeping, he fell into a trance, and the god appeared before him, and encouraged him not to fear, for that he would send him succours. Relying upon this vision, he took with him such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow, and encamped at Pelusium, whither they had no sooner come than swarms of field-mice overspreading the enemies' camp by night, eat their quivers and their bowstrings, and the straps of their shields, so that next day, being destitute of arms, not a few of them were destroyed.”

Necho's expedition against Judea is also related, with the event of

« AnteriorContinuar »