Page images
PDF
EPUB

ence.

and wide. In his own church and that by a little self-denial at the out. congregation he was a chief pillar. set, the service would soon cease to He was ardently devoted to their be self-denying ; that they would welfare, and did his utmost to pro- find an ample compensation in their mote their peace, purity and en. extended influence for good, and largement. By his counsels, his their assurance of the divine appro. influence, his able public advocacy, bation. his substantial pecuniary contribu But if his own parish was the tions, he took the lead in all meas. center, it did not furnish the cir. ures for the promotion of religion, cumference of his Christian influand of all good things. But his It radiated over the county, own church was peculiarly endear. the state, the whole country. His ed to him, and none could more puriiy of character, his known de. sincerely say,

votion to the sacred interesis of re“ Beyond my highest joy,

ligion ; his sagacity, eloquence, and I prize her heavenly ways, acquaintance with doctrinal and ec. Her sweet cuminunion, solemn vows, clesiastical subjects, gave him great Her hymns of love and praise."

weight in all ecclesiastical affairs, None were more punctual, con. all religious and moral movements. stant and devout, in attendance upon On these matiers, he was much rethe public worship of the Sabbath : sorted to for counsel and aid. His or more glad when greeted with very name was a tower of strengih. the summons,

“ let us go into the As he was always serious in his house of the Lord.” If in any place views of all subjects, and had a his death has left an aching void, it strong interest in ihose great objects is in his own loved sanctuary.

In to which the clergy are professionall humbler meetings for prayer and ally devoted, he was fond of their conference, conducted either par society and cultivated their acquainttially or wholly by the brethren, he He was widely known, be. was a regular and delighted attend. loved, and revered among them. ant, a prompt and mighty helper. In regard to those great move. Whenever desired, he was ready to ments for spreading the Gospel and raise his voice in prayer, and to purifying the world, which have give the word of familiar, impres. had iheir birth and growth during sive exhortation. He had an the present century, Mr. Sherman traordinary gift for expounding the was fully imbued with that spirit in Scriptures with clearness, cogency which they had their origin and and eloquence. If he were present support. They sprung from that and the minister were abseni, there diffusive spirit of Christianity which was no difficulty in sustaining all had long been dormant, bui begun the services of a meeting, with high to be roused from its lethargy not interest and profit. On some of far from the beginning of the presthese occasions, at the call of the ent century. Their birth was nearly moment, he has electrified the meet. contemporaneous with his birth to ing with strains of eloquence, which newness of life. His whole reli. he rarely surpassed in his highest gion therefore had its development efforts at the bar.

and shaping in connection with In this readiness to every good them ; it grew with their growth, work we think him a model to pro. and strengthened with their strength, fessional men, many of whom, how. and was irained to a quick and acever gifted with powers of public tive sympathy with them. address, shrink with morbid sensi. This diffusive spirit of Chris:ian. tiveness from taking any part in ity, which had long been suffocated, religious meetings. We believe, has made the whole period of Mr. Vol. IV.

3

ance.

ex

Sherman's Christian life the era of ing fear of its own dissolution and revivals, missions, reforming enter prostration by the powers of darkprises, and of systematic agencies ness, the church was aroused to for circulating the Bible and diffu. aggression upon their dominions, sing Christian knowledge. From and felt that its surest means of the great revival of 1740, till the preservation lay in unlimited exopening of the present century, the pansion. It also felt that this was American church had been in a the surest panacea for the temporal, course of constant decline. Re. social, and political evils that afflict vivals had almost wholly ceased. our race; the only effectual antiWar had demoralized the nation. dote to that spirit of revolution and The unsettled and precarious state anarchy which was then the scourge of the country before the adoption of nations. Into these views and of the Constitution, had fostered a feelings, leading Christian statesreckless and desperate spirit, and men who had been perplexed and debauched the manners and morals alarmed at the growth of that fell of the young. All Protestant chris. spirit, which they could not exortendom, too, had been lapsing into cise or control, heartily entered. the same lukewarmness and degen. Wilberforce may be taken as the eracy. Meanwhile infidelity waxed leader and model of a numerous bold, and with infuriate malignity class, that were raised up at this assailed the very being of Chris. time in Britain and this country. tianity, and marshalled its brazen The inspiring idea which animated legions to obliterate it from the them was, that the hopes of our world. The nations were convulsed race for time and eternity depend with wars, and terrified with the upon the diffusion of pure and vital victories and conquests, the inva- Christianity. This, in their view, sions and menaces of the mighty was the salt of the earth. Hence hunter of his race. The shock of they were ready to every good the French revolution, and the con work. They combined with evan. tagion of the atheistic and anarchi- gelical ministers in rousing the cal principles which produced it, church, and in concerting and sushad spread through the civilized taining measures for making its world. Whatever was venerable, light to shine, and bringing its effecsacred and divine, began, in this as tive energies and resources to bear well as other lands, to be treated upon a world lying in wickedness. as a hoary abuse, and to be threat Mr. Sherman was one of this class ened with subversion. In this crisis, of men. He imbibed this spirit in religion was reduced to its extreme its earliest development, and was depression, and the prospect in actuated by it through life. He relation to it was dark and alarm- gave his earnest and efficient aid to ing. But the thickest darkness pre- all trustworthy schemes and organi. cedes and ushers in the dawn. The zations for propagating the Gospel friends of God were alarmed. They in our own and foreign lands—10 saw all human supports and props all sound measures for promoting giving way. They were driven to Christian morals, and for the relief à reliance on that arm which is of suffering humanity. He indeed never shortened that it can not save. repudiated with abhorrence the er. They were roused to extraordinary ratic schemes of a spurious and prayer for the outpouring of the infidel philanthropy ; that counterSpirit. The dry bones began 10 feit benevolence which has been move. Revivals began to appear, struggling to displace the true ; of great depth, frequency and con those moral empirics and nostrums tinuance. Instead of an unbeliev. that kill when they promise to cure,

and poison instead of medicating If the life of such men is a pubthe sources of sin and misery. Had lic blessing, their death is a public he done otherwise, we should have calamity. But our loss is their ceased to revere either his great gain. It is fit that we have their ness or his goodness. But to every characters spread out before us, solid scheme for conveying to men not only as a just tribute to them, but the blessings of the everlasting Gos, for our own profit—that so we may pel, for improving their morals and be excited to imitate them so far assuaging their woes, he gave his as they followed Christ. And when hearty and effective support. He we have traced the career of men, was a principal officer in some of who were favored with extraordiour most important Christian organ- nary success and distinction in life izations; and that he was not in to their dying moments, how does others, was owing to the fact, that all the brilliancy of worldly glory he refused all offices to which he fade away before the overshadowcould not give thorough attention. ing luster of the immortal diadem!

[ocr errors]

RELIGIOUS STATE OF JAMAICA.*

Our readers will recollect that in were the missionaries of all denom. Vol. II, pp. 560-8, we took some inations, who, with very few noble notice of Phillippo's Jamaica, and exceptions, were the slaves' only made it the basis of a historical ar friends. Legal enactments, restraingument in favor of the safety and ing the power of the master, had expediency of emancipation. We been forced upon the islands by the had not at that time the means of imperial government, but they formjudging intelligently of the truth. ed an inefficient barrier against bis fulness of the author's representa- avarice and passion. In his ministion of the religious and moral state ter, the negro ever found one who of the people. Since then we have was ready to listen to his story of received the following article from wrong, and often an able and effithe

pen of an American missionary cient advocate, through whom his in that island. It comes to us at. grievances were made known and tested by the ecclesiastical body in redressed. This led, on his part, Jamaica to which he belongs, and to grateful respect and confidence, before which it was read.- Èpitor. always strongly expressed, and a

desire to pursue such courses of acIn the British West India Islands, tion as would secure to him the during the period in which the abo- highest good of so valuable a friendlition of slavery was under discus- ship: whilst it excited in the prosion, party feeling ran very high. prietary body deep disgust and hate On the side of the oppressor was for the persons of those whom they power. The whole proprietary body, regarded as combining with their embracing the wealth and influence slaves against them, and suspicion of the islands, was leagued against and distrust of their motives and emancipation. Opposed to these, objects. The representations made

by these parties of each other, and

of the slaves, were as diverse as * , By James M. Phillippo, of Spanish Town, possible; not unfrequently involvJamaica, twenty years a missionary in ing the most direct and palpable

contradictions. They saw the same

that island.

things through radically different deep of its waters, and certainly he media.

had every opportunity of knowing 'This was substantially the state of whereof he affirms. things in all the British islands at It may be doubted whether the the period of emancipation in 1834. time has yet arrived for writing the In Jamaica it was emphatically so. history of West India emancipation; In 1838, the apprenticeship, a mod. but whenever it is written, it should ified but very onerous form of serv. rise above the prejudices and preitude, was abolished by the volun. possessions of the hour, and the ex. tary action of the legislature of those aggerations to which they gave rise. islands in which it had been adopt. History is the truest philosophy ; its ed. And since then these antago. teachings are absolute wisdom. It is nist parties have gradually, and to a resiless and a resistless revolution. a very great extent, lost their asper. ary agent, and always on the side of ities, and are taking much more ra. humanity; and he who perverts its tional and less exclusive views of testimony, or darkens its light, comtheir relative positions. The storm mits a crime against human nature. is past, and is soothing down to a In the present stage of the anticalm. The time for retrospect has slavery questioned fusile last im. come ; and the excitement over, portance that the leading rate

mers in many see, in tone and spirit, in con the enfranchisement of the slaves struction and expression, much that of Great Britain-the circumstan. was ungenerous and unjust. ces, conditions, and relations of par.

The slave, transformed into a ties to each other and the govern. freeman, is dropping his servility to ment-be clearly understood; and his master, his hypocrisy to his min. that reports of progress, and of acister, and is developing himself in tual results, be accurate and imparhis unconstrained and real charac- tial. A dispassionate, well considter-in many instances, it must be ered, thoroughly authentic history of acknowledged, with less of viriuous Jamaica, would be of immense value principle than his sanguine friends at this juncture. It would be oil had hoped. Society, in its various to the troubled waters, sofiening asdepartments, is adjusting itself upon perities, correcting errors, silenc. its natural basis, developing its mu. ing objections, and casting a broad, tual harmonies and dependencies ; pure light over all the questions there is a returning circulation in all involved in this " delicaie" and the ramifications of the body politic, momentous subject. Such a work indicating a progressive convales. Mr. Phillippo's is not. cence from the convulsive shock doubts must be excited in every can. the system had received ; and the did mind, whether such a miracuhistory of the bloodless revolution lous transformation as is there deis announced by the imposing title scribed can possibly have taken at the head of this article.

place in so short a period of time. Mr. Phillippo's credentials are of A nation of slaves, who, according a very high order. His long resi. 10 Mr. Phillippo, were ignorant, de. dence in the island, his central po. based, corrupi, almost imbruted, in sition at the seat of government, and the space of a few years converted the sanctity of his profession, enti. to a nation of meek, humble, selftle him 10 great consideration. He denying, consistent Christians; for has witnessed the change of which such, to a degree far exceeding the he professes to give the history, in developments of Christian charac. all its stages. He was an active ter in the churches of England and participator in the strife, and if we America, does Mr. Phillippo repremay infer from his work, drank sent them.

66

were

The work was very evidently pre- watched, and as far as possible their pared for a meridian far removed access to the slave population cut from that under which its scenes off. Of the imbruted condition of were enacted. A more striking that population, a more terrible proof proof of this can not be given than can not be given than the following the reception it has met with. In testimony of the Rev. Mr. Hughes, England and America it has passed a clergyman of the established through several editions, and been church, quoted by Mr. Long, a Jaeulogized by a inultitude of presses; maica historian.

maica historian. "To bring them," it is regarded as authority, and quo. says he, "to the knowledge of the ted as history; while here it finds Christian religion is undoubtedly a no indorser. Not a gentleman in great and good design-in the inthe island could avonch its accura tention laudable, and in speculation cy, even in general terms, without easy ; yet I believe, for reasons too seriously compromising his integri. tedious to be mentioned, that the ty. Piiy, grief, displeasure, dis difficulties attending it are, and I am gust, are the only terms which can persuaded ever will be, insurmount. express its reception in Jamaica by able.”—p. 106, Phil. ed. 1843. all classes of society. Every one The Moravians attempted a setknows that it is not Jamaica as it is, tlement in 1754, and the Wesleyans and very many good men find them. in 1789; yet in 1805, another bisselves sadly perplexed for such a torian, Mr. Hanson, informs us there solution of it as will preserve to Mr. no sectarian parsons on the Phillippo unimpeached veracity and island ;" adding, “ some few have sanity.

attempted, but could not gain prosIt is impossible to advert to all olytes enough to afford them sustethe objectionable passages in the nance."--p. 105. work, nor is it necessary.

With its Up to the year 1815, missions had errors in science we have nothing made no head against the torrent of to do. Mr. Phillippo was a mission iniquity ; indeed they scarce had ary, and had he not provoked criti. other than a nominal existence. “In cism by assuming the technicalities December of that year (1815) Mr. of science, with some show of ac. Shipman, Wesleyan missionary, obcuracy, they would have passed un. tained a license from the authorities noticed. Nor is it wonderful that a to preach, although not until after person of his temperament should several unsuccessful attempts. The throw a deep shade over every thing chapel in Kingston, which had been prior to freedom ; though the un

closed for several years, was now varnished facts of that period are re-opened.”—p. 106. sufficiently barrowing, without a This was the only Wesleyan stadeeper tint to heighten the contrast. tion on the island. Besides it, there But that he should give the rein 10 was probably a Moravian station, a his fancy, and so entirely suffer the few native Baptist chapels, and one wish to be the father to the thought, European Baptist missionary. "Two in describing the moral and reli years afterwards (1817) the spirit of gious condition of the freedmen, is hearing had so greatly increased, as wonderful as it is mournful. We that another chapel in connection differ from him in the conclusions with the same body of Christians at which he has arrived, toto cælo. (Wesleyans) was opened in another

The first establishment of mis. part of the city, and one also at sions in the island was attended with Montego Bay. In the mean time, great difficulty. The “sectaries" two more missionaries with their were treated with scorn and con- wives had been sent out by the Baplempt; their proceedings narrowly tist Missionary Society.” In a few

« PreviousContinue »