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His Son, amazing thought ! oh, boundless love 1
Expl.AMATORY AWD MISCELLAWEovs.
Thus fierce Columbia’s sons degen'rate go.
REFLECTING on the recent revival of the slave trade in the American republic, and at the same time taking a retrospective view of the revolutionary war, and the concomitant circumstances attending it, struck dumb with astonishment, ::trive, bot::c::::::::::, to collect and arrange my theoght: like a man who experiences sensations to which language is not equal, whose conceptions are too large to be born alive. While in the struggle of expression, his hands, his eyes, and every finger, strive to be a tongue, and he looks about for help to shew his thoughts by. When we see the despots of Europe spreading desolation and misery amongst their fellow men, we are not surprised, as their conduct corresponds with their principles: but when we survey the professional votaries of liberty and equality, who have taken up the sword of virtuous defence, who have bravely put themselves between tyranny and freedom, between villainy and virtue, at a former period, now become the butchers of their brethren, the destroyers of liberty and the rights of man, and the promoters and supporters of legal barbarity, we are ashamed, we are: confounded ! and what enhances our shame, is the consideration that liberty disrobed and in tears, has been banished from every nation but America; and here she has received a deadly wound. Exclusive of the wickedness and deleterious consequences resulting from the revival of the slave trade by the republicans of America, it is an outrage on civil society, as well as an iusult to the citizens of each individual state. It is, in short, calling us all hypocritical tyrants: for no man in company with his neighbor, will act the robber, unless he conceives him inclined to be one i and no man will attempt to seduce a woman, unless he supposes she is of easy virtue, and the attempt is virtually calling her a harlot. The eyes of all the crowned heads in Europe are upon our young republic, to see if our actions correspond with our pretensions; they are watching an opportunity to gain some evidence against us, that may serve to render our professions suspected, and our republicanism a farce. While their oppressed vassals, eager to shake off their galling chains, look to us with anxious solicitude, in hopes that we may prove to the world that there is a reality in republicanism, and that the sons of men are capable of enjoying liberty. ~ Can any thing sink the character of a nation lower than inconsistency? Should not the American government be a les*on to the oppressor, and a pattern to the oppressed 2 Why then is infernal avarice permitted to tarnish the virtuous fame of the patriotic heroes who “ Died in the cause of liberty in “arms.” It is the nature of compassion to reflect on the wretchedness of the wretched; and it is natural for a true republican to abhor slavery, into whatever form it may be assimilated, or whatever name it may assume. When I survey in sympathetic "thought, the miseries of the human family, in what are called civilized and christianized countries, and all through the instrumentality of political and ecclesiastical hypocrites, my soul recoils with indignation, and my very heart weeps blood. - Stimulated by disinterested philanthropy for my fellow creatures, and gratitude to my. Creator, I undertook this work; and I am confident he will accept my well meant endeavors for his glory. Yes; the Almighty looks down from heaven's high arch, and regards with complacency the grateful offerings of a thankful heart. As a tender parent would behold with pleasure and approbation, the juvenile exertions of an infant child to please : for it is not the thing we do, but the motives by which we are stimulated, that renders the thing done either acceptable or unacceptable. Hence the Almighty frequently makes use of the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, that no man might glory in man, but that Christ might be all in all. As my object in this work is the happiness, not the applause of mankind; to be useful rather than to be systematical ; I consequently seek no recompense,” and fear no reflections.
* I offered the first edition of any “Preliminary Essay” to Pichard Allen, on consideration of his paying the printer’s bill. And with respect to this performance, I have voluntarily delivered the manuscript to the printer for publication, gratis. My motive in securing the copy-right, is merely to preclude persons from ametamorphosing the work previous to republication. NevertheWithout taking any notice of the despot's aspersions, or the critic’s animadversions, I will vindicate injured innocence, and advocate the rights of man. That God has punished the nations of antiquity for tyranny, is an uncontrovertible fact ; that he will punish the Christian nations for their barbarity is beyond a doubt....to suppose he will not do it, is supposing him more unjust than the unjust judge. -* I ask in behalf of the oppressed sons of men, can slavery, as consolidated in America, be consistent with heathenish honesty, much less Christian rectitude 2 Can it be compatible with republicanism or philanthropy It is impossible. No man, who will for one moment reflect on right and wrong, can avoid seeing the complicated barbarity of the slave trade, and it is my firm belief, that the persons engaged in it, either personally or virtually, living and dying in that state, cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. A man may commit murder yet live, repent, and be saved ; but if he dies in the very act, it is blasphemy against the purity of heaven to suppose he can be admitted there. Slave holders and slave dealers are not only literally murderers, but barbarous robbers too. Much might be said to show the injustice and iniquity of this deleterious commerce; but it would be degrading my readers to idiots, to suppose they did not see it themselves; and it would be degrading republicanism, much more religion, to bring them forward to prove the iniquity, ineonsistency, and im. policy of slavery, especially in a republic; for here it is to the body politic what a gallopping consumption is to an individual body. Finally, we must shut our eyes againstreason, and basely insult our understandings, not to see its turpitude and tendencies. In order that the most virulent advocate for slavery may be convinced, let him put himself in the condition of the slave, and then vindicate the principles if he can. But passing by all that might be said on this topic in a theological point of view, we will briefly consider the impolicy of slavery in a political view. It might easily be demonstrated, that permitting slavery in the republics of antiquity, was the primary cause of their downfall; and what they were in magnitude, the southern states of America are in miniature. With what painful sensations must the philanthropist reflect on the present as well as the antecedent state of society in almost every part of our terraqueous globe. Indeed, whether we contemplate the state of civilized or savage nations....where literature flourishes, or where ignorance prevails....the civilian in
less, if any bookseller should wish to publish another edition, by giving me previous notice, and agreeing not to make any alterations in the work, farther than correcting errors, he shall be equally at liberty, as if the copy-right was not secured.
his mansion, or the cannibal in his hut....we see violence and oppression prevail, and we must impressively feel emotions of indignation and pity. The more circumspective our view, the more painful are our observations; and, alas! the mind is not elevated, but more deeply wounded, by reflecting on those legislators, who profess to be the friends of liberty. The mind in traversing the earth, beholds millions of wretched objects the fruits of legal barbarity; then looks to the despot on his throne, the republican in his presidential chair, the philosopher in his closet, the minister in his pulpit, and calls for justice, for pity, for commiseration....but calls, alas ! in vain. Who can, without tears of compassion, view this theatre, whose exhibitions are most distressing, and whose inhabitants still encourage scenes, at which humanity shudders, virtue mourns, indignation frowns, and liberty melts to tears.
I would ask the votaries of oppression what is civil government It is not arbitrary power. It is not, or should not be a contrast between miserable huts and splendid palaces, between penury and pomp, extravagance and indigence. It is not instituted to rob the poor man of his liberty as well as his mite ; increase the miseries of the miserable; exalt one part of society above the state of man, and degrade the other below the state of brutes. Civil government is no other than a national association, whose object is the happiness and security of every individual member of a state, without partiality, and to administer justice without respect to persons, and at the least possible expence to the nation. Every individual in a republic, is a proprietor in government; as he has deposited his right in the common stock of society, he draws on the capital as a matter of right, and government should guarantee the rights and privileges of each citizen individually as well as all collectively. Is slavery consistent with such a government It is impossible. The fact is, slavery is an indelible disgrace to the American constitution, as well as an eternal reproach to the whole nation. In short, the more we extend our views, the more we investigate the principles of our government, so much the more cause we have to blush for the honor of human nature ; and it is owing to our familiarity with scenes derogatory to every just, honest and virtuous principle, that we do not shudder, and invincibly protest against the legislative proceedure of our fellow-citizens. The Israelites protested against and punished the tribe of Benjamin for their cruelty to the Levite's concubine : but Americans see with indifference, their fellow-citizens enslave, violate and murder millions of their fellow-creatures with impunity. I do not by any means wish to give offence; but I must affirm that there are a set of men in the United States, who, if allowed to put their principles in practice, will give the death blow to liberty, who has been already chased round