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vention in this city, I shall be glad to read them for the edi. fication of the audience. Perhaps Mr. Clark, the celebrated abolitionist singer, can furnish some of them. Shall I hope to obtain a few of them?
Mr. B. has told us truly, that when men contend for the truth, their arguments will be consistent with each other. It does not follow, however, that his version of them will be
Whilst I deny that my arguments are inconsistent with each other, I feel it to be my duty to apply his principles to his own statements; which, if not inconsistent with each other, are contrary to truth. In one of his speeches last evening, he made a statement which, in at least four particulars, turns out to be incorrect. He told us that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church, of 1818, passed a law making it obligatory on all the slave-holding members in the churches under their care to instruct their slaves, and prepare them for emancipation; that Rev. J. D. Paxton, then of Virginia, obeyed the law of the church, instructing and emancipating his slaves; that he was in consequence of pursuing this course, denounced as an abolitionist, and obliged to leave his church, and go to a free State; and that no other individual had pursued a similar course. Now, in the first place, the General Assembly passed no such law. They recommended instruction with reference to emanci. pation. In the second place, Mr. Paxton was not the only individual who instructed and liberated his slaves. It is notorious, that many others have done the same thing. In the third place, it is not true that he was obliged to leave his church because he instructed and liberated his slaves. He had some difficulty with his church, in consequence of some discourses on the subject of slavery, the precise character of which I do not know. In the fourth place, he did not go to a free State, but removed to Kentucky, and took the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian church in Danville-one of the largest and most respectable churches in the State. Moreover, he is now pastor of a church near Shelbyville, in the same State; and no minister in the State enjoys more fully
the confidence of the churches, than he. So much for the gentleman's facts.
But what was my inconsistency? Why, I said that the abolition excitement had riveted the chains on the slave, and aggravated every evil connected with his condition; and I said again, that, recently, the condition of the slaves has been much improved; that there never was so much done to afford them religious instruction, as at this time. This is all true, and all consistent. Abolitionism had its day; and the excitement it produced, extended through the length and breadth of the land. It put it in the power
of demagogues and designing men to break up the Sabbath schools in which the colored people were instructed, and to counteract, to a considerable extent, all efforts made by Christians to improve their condition. In Kentucky, where there was a strong disposition amongst the people to adopt a plan of gradual emancipation, candidates for the Legislature, however favorable to such an object, were unwilling to avow their sentiments, lest the opposing party, by branding them with abolitionism, might defeat their election. Such was the state of things, that any effort to improve the condition of the slave population, seemed almost hopeless.
But, thank God, a reaction has, to some extent, taken place. Christians have resumed their labors for the benefit of the slaves. Prejudices have given way; and, in despite of abolitionism, the work of religious instruction is going forward. Southern and Western Christians are doing something better than running slaves to Canada-an employment peculiar to abolitionists. Recently, a public meeting was held in Charleston, South Carolina, for the purpose of maturing plans for extending religious instruction more generally to the slaves. One of the leading men in that Convention was Rev. C. C. Jones, who, though a man of no ordinary talents, and of extensive learning, has devoted himself, for more than twelve years, to the religious instruction of the negroes, and whose labors have been greatly blessed in the conversion of many of them. The Convention was
also attended by prominent political gentlemen, who lent all their influence to carry forward the benevolent enterprize. They have published, and circulated extensively, the report of their proceedings. In some of the letters addressed to the meeting, I was pleased to see statements of the number of slaves in the different churches who could read. So far as I know, there has never been manifested so deep an interest in the religious instruction of the slaves. This interest extends through the West and South. Masters are found in the South, who erect churches on their own plantations, and pay from $500 to $800 to ministers of the gospel to preach statedly to them. Abolitionism has, indeed, done much to retard and hinder this good work; and its influence is still felt; but I rejoice to know, that the Christians in the slaveholding States manifest so fixed a determination to give to the slaves the word of life.
Dr. Bishop, we are told, had difficulty in instructing slaves in Kentucky thirty years ago; and hence it is inferred, that the destruction of the Sabbath schools, a few years since, was not caused by abolitionism. Many and great changes have taken place in Kentucky in thirty years. Public sentiment has been gradually elevated and purified by the gospel; and, in process of time, there was a disposition on the part of Christians to see the slaves more generally taught the glorious truths of divine revelation. To this there was no opposition of sufficient strength to prevent them. But the abolition excitement
it in the power of every demagogue to get up so much opposition, that in a little time, every school, I believe, was closed. Thus were the efforts of good men, to improve the condition of the slaves, effectually hindered by the ill-judged course of abolitionists. By the way, some of the best laws of Kentucky, relative to the slaves, have been very recently passed. At the time to which I have reference, it is true, there was no law against teaching the slaves to read; but prejudice once excited, was as strong as law; and that prejudice was excited by abolitionists. Even in Cincinnati, scenes were enacted in connection
with this excitement, and cruelties were practiced upon the colored population, which every respectable citizen must condemn and denounce. Is it, then, surprising that, in Kentucky, the Sabbath schools were broken up?
But the gentleman dwells on the cruelty of wicked men toward the slaves, as if he were resolved to make the impression, that I have engaged to defend it, and he, in great benevolence, is laboring to convince you that it is sinful.Surely, he regards the audience as very stupid, if he expects to convince them that all this declamation is to the point. I have been engaged in several debates, in which I thought my opponent pursued a singular course; but I must confess, the gentleman excells them all! [A laugh.]
I have seen the book to which he refers as authority for the statement, that Rev. Mr. Nourse said he saw a minister publicly whipping a negro woman; and it is not true that Mr. N. says he saw any such thing.
He is made to say, that the Rev. Mr. told him that he saw Rev. Mr. do this thing. The amount of it is this: Rev. Mr. Nourse told Rev. Mr. Somebody, the Rev. Mr. Somebody saw Rev. Mr. Nobody do this cruel thing. I am done!--[a laugh.)But, says the gentleman, these are printed documents.
, Unfortunately, however, the fact that a story is printed, is no evidence of its truth at this day. I have no confidence in this second-handed and third-handed testimony against the character of ministers of the gospel. They are no better than Romish traditions. Men print all sorts of things nowa-days. For example; let me read an extract from the Edinburg Witness, a Scotch paper, professedly religious, the author of which professes to write what he knows. I have already referred to it.
“What shall we think," says the writer, “of the state of society, where a minister of the gospel, with credit to himself, avails himself of the Sabbath for inflicting spec al punishment, as is usual, that field-labor may not be interrupted, and being engaged in flogging a poor negro, when the hour of worship comes, leaves his victim fastened to the poet, goes
to the house of prayer, conducts the worship, dispenses the communion, comes back, and, with unabated zeal, goes on with his barbarous work ?"
Of such couduct, this writer says, ministers of the gospel can be guilty “with credit to themselves," and it is usual.” I pronounce the whole statement one of the grossest slanders ever invented by the father of lies. I defy all abolitionists to produce the slightest evidence of its truth. Such are the potent arguments by which abolitionists seek to abolish slavery! Can we wonder that the people of the slaveholding States, thus slandered and outraged, have lost all confidence in the abolitionists, and utterly refuse to hear them?
But the gentleman has brought forward the testimony of a Mr. Hawley, who brings serious charges against a certain minister, and against a Presbyterian elder. I place no confidence in such testimony. If he saw the things concerning which he testifies, he knew what was his duty as a Christian. Why did he not inform the Session and the Presbytery of the facts? Then had they refused to subject the offenders to the discipline of the church, he might, with propriety, have denounced them. Mr. H. gives no names. I desire to know the names of the men. Then if the charges are false, they may vindicate themselves; and if true, let them bear the reproach. Give us evidence that we have in our church such wretches, and I will prosecute them even to the highest court of the church. The gentleman shall not be troubled with the prosecution. But now suppose all these disgusting details of cruelty, to which we have been treated, be true to the letter, does it follow that the relation of master and slave is in itself sinful ?-that where no such cruelty is practiced, it is yet sinful?
But a little colored boy in New Orleans, we are told, was cruelly beaten, and there was no law to protect him. Admit the story to be true, I do not undertake to defend the laws of Louisiana. Are we discussing the question whether those laws are right or wrong? There is no State whose