Page images

and which their own interest, to rise no and Presbyterian churches would not higher, will approve.”—Ninth Annual Re

increase the number above 300,000. port, p. 16.

Rev. Robert Quarterman, Presi. Now 300,000 communicants, even dent of the Liberty County Associa. all, is a very small proportion of

could we hope well concerning them tion, says—"Christians are but just Christians in a population of nearly awaking from their long sleep of in- 3,000,000. But, 'alas ! we can not activity to their solemn responsibili. hope that all, nor even the larger lies in regard to this class of men,

part of these communicants are and to feel that they owe them a

Christians; such is their ignorance, debt of sympathy and Christian ef

and such mere deluding excitement fort, which, it is time they were at

is the religion of a greater portion least beginning to discharge...

of them. We ourselves, (in this Association)

Mr. Jones, speaking of a protractare scarcely under way in this good ed meeting, held under his direction, work—the tug of labor is still be in Liberiy county, says,fore us."

In the New Orleans Protestant of “ Some of the negroes expected that 23d of May last there is a “ Report prayed for,' but that was not donc. The

the ministers would call them up to be on the Religious Instruction of the

ministers might have done so, and created Colored People, published by order literally an excitement,' and what would of the New Orleans Presbytery.” have been the end of it? Perfect delu

sion! A substitution of forins and acts This report states, that

and kneelings and prayers, for religion it“There are, within the bounds of that

self! Opening the door for disorders, for Presbytery, at least 100,000 persons of col- spurious conversions, for periodical relior, all of whom are slaves. It is a la- gion, and a contempt for the ordinary and mentable fact, too evident to be denied, divinely constituted means of grace!... that by far the greater part of them are

To use such means with ignorant people famishing and perishing for want of the

like our colored population, is madness. bread of life. Of the 100,000 of this class

The tendency and the final result will be of people within our bounds, it may be

evil and evil only. Whereever the negroes safely asserted that 75,000 never hear the

in the southern country are trained up 10 doctrine of salvation through a crucified shouting and groaning, and kneeling to Redeemer preached, and have none to tell

be prayed for, and such like things, there them what they must do to be saved.'

is confusion and fanaticism and spurious And of the remaining 25,000, who occa

religion. The last end of inany is worse

than the first. I do not believe that the sionally hear the preaching of the Gos. pel, not more than 5,000 enjoy its regular good sense and piety of this community and constant ministrations.'

would tolerate any such irregularities

and excesses, and it is surprising that they But, passing these general state- should be tolerated any where."—Ninih ments on this point, let us analyze

Ann. Rep., p. 13. briefly the more particular state. Now the vast majority of these ments in the documents before us. colored communicants, 260,000 out

The Charleston report informs us of 300,000, belong to the Baptist that ihere are, in all the slavehold. and Methodist churches, which, as ing states, not far from 160,000 com. is well known, resort abundantly, municants in the Methodist church, especially among the slaves, to the and not far from 100,000 in the Bap- very means to which Mr. Jones retist church. The number in the Epis. fers, and the use of which, among copal and Presbyterian churches is such “ an ignorant people,” he de. not staled; but judging from the clares to be madness. Judging, then, small relative size of those denomina- by his rule, which we consider a tions, and from the fact that the ne- just one, we are compelled to begroes generally preser ihe Methodist lieve that the religion of a large proand Baptist churches, we are safe in portion of these ignorant colored saying, that the addition of the col. communicants is a mere delusion. ored communicants in the Episcopal Thus a comparison of the number this report,

of the truly pious with the whole struction. And what is most surprising, number, proves the religious con

the great majority of planters, give them.

selves no concern and take no pains what. dition of the slaves deplorable indeed.

erer, to have the children and youth from The same conclusion is unavoid. their plantations, attend our public Subbath able, if we consider the meager schools at the stations. They are in favor amount of missionary or ministerial of the schools, and knowing their utility,

wish the children to attend, but do noch. labor expended on the slaves. The ing to effect the object! Many a Sab. Methodist church, which “has ad. bath have we looked for the children of vanced beyond all others in direct plantations in the immediate vicinity of

the stations, and out of ten, fifteen, twenty and well sustained efforts in the col.

or more, who should be there, we have ored field,” has on that field, be- not scen five, sometimes not one! The tween eighty and ninety missiona. Sabbath schools have been kept up by the ries. The Baptists have done com

interest which the negrocs themselves huve paratively little of that kind of mis. felt in them! Nor have planters who

have the means and can well afford it, as. sionary labor. We make a large sisted their people by putting up for them estimate when we say that all other on their plantations, a house of prayer, or denominations have as many mis- by fitting up a room for the purpose. sionaries as the Methodists. We Ann. Rep., pp. 37, 8.

Some few only have done so.— Tenth have then 160 for the 3,000,000 slaves. “ But what are these among in the words of a letter published in

This, in Liberty county, which, so many ?” Nor is this awful deficiency of for taking the lead in this work !"

" has obtained celebrity missionary labor supplied, to any As evidence bearing on the same great extent, by the pastors of the whites, or by the masters, if we

point, we quote the following from a may judge from the remarks of Mr. letter to Mr. Jones, published in his Jones on this subject. He says,


From a Theological Seminary.DEAR “But perhaps the most serious obstacle SIR: There is in this institution an orin our way, has been the want of pastoral ganization called The Society of Inquiry on supervision over the negroes. The Missions, which has for its object the obregular instruction of the negroes does not taining of information as accurate and exfall within their (the pastor's) efforts. tensive as possible, concerning the state of The baptizing of the children, the exam

religion in the world, in order that we ination of candidates, and the settlement may be able to select our fields of labor of cases of discipline, is all well enough advisedly, and also that we may be inci. as far as it goes. But it does not go far

ted to inore fervent prayer and more dilienough. I am aware that our pastors are gent exertion for the salvation of our fel. much occupied with the duties of their

low men. Among other things, our atstation, and I do not mean that they tention has been directed to the religious should perform what may properly be condition of the negro population of our called missionary labor among the negroes own country; and we find that with us, at the present time, bul that they should

as well as the church at large, there exists be allowed by the churches to devote a

a deplorable ignorance, and, of course, reasonable portion of their time to the ne- great apathy concerning the religious groes, at least so much as to make the ne

condition and prospects of the negroes. groes feel that they are a part of their Knowing that you have devoted much of charge, and to know and to look up to them as their pastors."— Tenth Ann. Rep.,

your time to this subject, the committee

of the Society, to whom this subject is in. pp. 38,9.

trusted, have directed me to write and re"Nor have the efforts of the Association quest your assistance, so far as your en. been seconded by the planters in the do. gagements will permit, in obtaining the mestic instruction and training of their ser.

information which we need. Our ignor. A greater amount of plantation in- ance is extreme as to what has been done, struction by evening prayers and schools,

what ought to be done, what can be done, was given by planters themselves or their and what kind of men are best adapted to families, the first years of our existence, the work."—Ninth Ann. Rep., pp. 22, 3. than has been since; and at the present time there are very few plantations upon that we say, this work of evangelizing

It is on good evidence, therefore, their owners, in the way of religious in the slaves of this country demands


our sympathy, our prayers and our

" As the children could not make use la bors, as a work which is only be.

of books, and being the only teacher, I gun. The great body of the slaves into one class, and to teach them all to

was compelled to throw ibe whole school are still heathen. And, as to the gether on the infant school plan. The obstacles to the success of missiona. questions were asked and the answers ry labor among them, they are in repeated, until they were committed to

memory: and the lesson was accompani. many respects in a worse condition

ed with repeated explanations and an apthan the heathen.

plication."— Tenth Ann. Rep., p. 21. 4. To some of these obstacles we So Bishop Elliot, thinking it "a call distinct attention.

mistake to suppose that (our) church The most important perhaps is, repels, by her liturgical forins, this that the laws of the slave states for class of population,” recommends bid, by severe penalties, that the that they should be taught “10 reslares should be taught to read. peat, and understand, and appreciate What an obstacle is this to their re- the liturgy:" for, says he, “ they ligious instruction! The missiona- must be taught the liturgy before ry, when he goes to a heathen land, they can relish it; and that instrucwhat is the first thing which he tion must be given line upon line, does? He gathers the people, chil- and precept upon precept." Realdren and adults, especially children, ly, what an up-hill and arduous work into schools and teaches them to read, is this ! To collect into classes an and gives them, to be studied, por ignorant people, who can not and tions of the Bible and religious tracts. must not read, and repeat to them He relies more, for their evangeliza. the whole liturgy, and repeat it, and tion, upon teaching them in this man.

repeat it, and repeat it, till they have ner, than he does upon preaching. learned it by heart !-an accomplishIn this important feature, the slaves mentin “Jiturgical forms” which, we are in a worse condition than the presume, the greatest adept therein, heathen. They can not be taught to who can read, never attains. Truly, read. The jealous laws of slavery we sympathize with this evangelical forbid. They can not have the Bi- and excellent Bishop in this arduous ble. They can not, according to work, and fully agree with him, that the divine command, "search the “it requires persevering effort, asScriptures.” Between them and this siduous attention, indefatigable padivine command, stands slave law tience."' with its penalties. They can not Patience! We have no patience exercise the right of private judg. with this slave law, which withholds ment in religion : for they are for God's pure bread of life from his bidden to search the Scriptures, like famishing creatures. It is an atrothe noble minded Bereans, to see cious interference with God's law, whether the things preached to them which, every man who professes (as are so. The slave laws keep them, does every Christian) 10 "obey God in this respect, just where ihe op- rather than man," is bound, in conpressive rules of the Roman Catholic sistency as well as duty, to disregard. church keep her ignorant laity. The We are happy to know that some result of this oppressive law is, that Christian men do disregard it. “The the work of religious instruction is most important law,” says Rev. Dr. greatly embarrassed and hindered. Richard Fuller, in his published letThe missionary or instructor has to ters to Rev. Dr. Wayland, speaking get the slaves together, adults and of "those laws which prohibit a dischildren, and repeat, and repeat, and charge of the master's duty,' repeat a passage, till they have com- most important law is that forbidding mitted it to memory. Says Mr. slaves being taught to read; yet how Jones :

many are taught." And, speaking

19 6 the

[ocr errors]

of the statute “forbidding slaves to stacles. But, we pass over them, assemble without the presence of so and will dwell for a moment on an. many white persons,” he says, “I olher. violate this stalute most industrious. The slaves are deeply and inev. ly." We honor Dr. Fuller for this itably conscious, whatever may be industrious violation of human laws the mild treatment of individuals which impiously contravene the among them, that the bondage in laws of God, and forbid men to which they are held is a grievous discharge their duty. The Chris. and unjust system of oppression. tians of the South have it in their This leads them to receive with expower, by a united disobedience to pressed or latent suspicion the inthis law forbidding slaves to be taught Struction of white missionaries and to read, to render it a dead letter, ministers, thinking, and often, per. and that without doing any harm. haps generally, with good reason, We think that they are bound to do it. that they agree with their masters in We hope that ere long they will do it. upholding this system of oppression,

We would suggest however to Dr. and that they are inclined to give a Fuller, that the principle on which disproportioned amount, and an unhe acts, when he “industriously scriptural quality, of instruction reviolates” the statute of sovereign specting their duty to their masters. South Carolina, viz. that he may This is illustrated in the reports berightfully disobey a human law, when fore us, and even in the case of so it contravenes, in his opinion, a di. excellent and judicious a man as Mr. vine law by prohibiting a discharge Jones. He says in his Tenth Anof duty, is one, which, if fully car. nual Reportried out, would lead him further, in

“ Allow me to relate a fact which ocviolation of the slave laws and in curred the spring of this year, illustrative opposition to slavery, than he per- of the character and knowledge of the nehaps is aware. And we would also groes at this time. I was preaching to a

large congregation on the Epistle of Philesuggest to him the inquiry, whether,

mon : and when I insisted upon fidelity if other men choose to carry out his and obedience as Christian virtues in serown principle further than he does, yants, and, upon the authority of Paul, coneven to its full and legitimate con

demned the practice of running away, one

half of my audience deliberately rose up clusions, he ought very seriously to and walked off with Memselves, and those blame them, or lo denounce them as that remained looked anyudhipg but satisfanatics?

fied, either with the preacher ophis, docThere are many other obstacles trine. After dismission, there was no

small stir among them: some solemnl peculiar to missionary labor among declared that there was no such an episslaves, such as the extreme delicacy tle in the Bible :' others, that it was of the work, opposition of noisy

not the Gospel :' others, that I preached

to please ihe masters :' others, that demagogues, the interference of

they did not care if they ever heard me wicked and worthless whiles, the preach again.' I took no notice of the jealousy and objections of masters- ferment, but went forward as though their fears that large assemblages on

nothing bad happened. It died away and

they all came quietly back again. There the Sabbath, and especially at night, were some too, who had strong objections will be seized upon by the slaves as against me as a preacher, because I was a occasions of insubordination and master, and said, his people have to plotting and riot; that the missiona

work as well as we.'”- pp. 24,5. ry's notice of the slaves tends to Now we would observe on this in. make them presumptuous, unruly structive passage, first, that if Mr. and unprofitable; and particularly Jones had not been bred under the that the instruction of slaves tends to influence of slavery, (and if he had the ultimate overthrow of slavery not, he would not probably be allowall these are serious and peculiar ob- ed to be a missionary to the slaves,)

he would, in these days, in all proba. are of the injustice of their bondage, bility, have taken the view of the will not relish the ministration; and Epistle to Philemon, which Rev. Al will regard the administrators with bert Barnes has published in his suspicion. And even if the preachnotes on that epistle; and secondly, ers or instructors should not give if he had presented that view to the them “mustard without beef,” they slaves, they would doubtless have will be likely to regard them with a retained their seats.

latent distrust, as those who have no The following passage from a let- sympathy with them in their oppres. ter of one of Mr. Jones' correspond. sion. ents, published in his Ninth Report, We speak of these obstacles, not is instructive :

for the purpose of discouraging this “A minister told me the other day, 'it good work, or our brethren who are is no use to preach to the negroes, they engaged in it, but to call out sympa. will pay no regard to a white man; 1 thy and prayer in their behalf. tried it a few weeks ago, but one went to But we have said more than we sleep and some went away. They want one of their own color.' 1 What did

intended when we began. In conpreach to them about?' said I. He an- clusion, we repeat the expression of swered, 'their duty to their masters.' This our satisfaction in this beginning of without showing them the principles on good things. The remark of the which such duties were to be performed, seemed to me, for an only discourse, first Charleston committee, “ We look and last, like mustard without beef,' as upon the religious instruction of the they say in England.”—Ninth Ann. Rep., negroes as the GREAT DUTY of the P.

South,” we adopt as our own, with Now it is very plain that ministers this qualification-the great dury, and missionaries, educated amid second only to the duty of emanci. slavery, and laboring amid the jeal- pation. We exburt our southern ousies of slaveholders, will be very brethren, who alone can efficienily likely to believe in, and administer, labor in this good work, to go for. a great deal of “mustard without ward. We believe that it promises beef." And it is also very plain, the amelioration, and indeed the that the slaves, conscious as they ultimate removal of slavery.


25. .


[ocr errors]

Some four years since, the read. ance day by day in a certain col. ers of the New York Daily Tribune umn of that paper. It was announbegan, some of them to be puzzled ced at the outset by the editor, that and some amused, by a series of the said column had been let to articles which made their appear somebody, and that the intention of

the lessee was in that way to lay * A Concise Exposition of the Doc- before the people at large certain trine of Association, or Plan for a Reorganization of Society, which will se- doctrines which it was deemed highcure to the Human Race, individually ly important for them to know. By and collectively, their happiness and elevation. (Based on Fourier's Theory of that the editor of the Tribune had

this announcement it was understood Domestic and Industrial Association.) By Albert Brisbane.

no part or lot in the matter. Pos. Our evils are social, not political; and sessed of a free, generous, wholea social reform only can remove them.

souled nature, it was known that Eighth edition. New York. J. S. Red. field, Clinton Hall, corner of Nassau and he favored the largest freedom of Beekman streets.

speech and of opinion ; and the

« PreviousContinue »