Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

by the Established Church, or groes of the last-mentioned estate, in every by means of the Wesleyan and respect whatever, it appeared that, in the Moravian Societies. It appears. deserved to be reported as of " indifferent

year 1821, but one out of 130 females, bad that already, nearly 80,000 negroes, conduct ;” and she only, in the course of in different parts of the islands, are that year, was punished. The very respectunder instruction by the Wesleyan able attorney of this property, when transMissionaries; that the prejudices mitting the answers referred to, in relating formerly existing against tħem in this fact, and reporting the decided improve

ment in the moral state of the negroes, exthe colònies, are rapidly vanishing; presses his persuasion, that in consequence, and that there exists no impedi- punishments, already progressively dimiment, except the want of funds, to nishing, will at no distant period be entirely prevent that Society extending its abolished: and these most satisfactory reefforts to every part of the islands; sults, he observes, are to be considered as

owing almost exclusively, if not entirely, to while it is obviously the interest of the zealous and pious

labours of the Wesproprietors of estates to supply leyan Missionaries. The contrast in the those funds which are necessary state of the temporal interests of these two for the purpose, and which would properties, was, and still is, wholly to the soon be abundantly returned in the advantage of the lesser of the two; which

the difference of the moral circumstances improved value of their property, of the negro population of each will alone and the permanent security which explain to no small extent. This was adreligion would afford. The follow- mitted by a most respectable and competent ing statements of Sir George are judge, who assuredly had no leaning tofull to the point :

wards the Wesleyans, and who gave the

most irrecusable and practical proof of the It is, I believe, scarcely four years since, conviction produced on his mind by this that, unable to obtain religious instruction latter circumstance.--Pp. 8, 9. for our negroes, either through the Church

Sir G. Rose shows, what indeed of England, or through the Moravian Brethren, we bad recourse to the Committee a very slight consideration of the of the Wesleyan Missions, as our only and subject necessarily demonstrates, last resource. We pay confess that we did that the Established Clergy in the so reluctantly, for we knew the preposses- Islands cannot possibly undertake, sions prevailing in the island against that

even if so disposed and in other sect to be such as would materially impede and night possibly frustrate our attempt. respects qualified, the religious inOur recollection of the nature and force of struction of the negroes. that repugnance to their Missionaries, which The very habits of life, and the education might then, perhaps, with the exception of of the missionary of the sects, give him a the Governor of the colony, be called gene- marked advantage over our ecclesiastics in ral, is still fresh; and yet, in this short matters of conversion, where those who are space of time, the fruits of their labours to be the subjects of it, are of the descrip have been such (and this is the only ra- tion of the heathen negroes. He is used tional test of them), that at present more to deal with ignorant men, of coarse habits, than half the estates on the island in ques- and whose minds comprehend slowly: he tion, are open to them; and the only allega- knows how to set about making himself tion against them, which I have seen of late understood by them, and how to underfrom that quarter, is that of their stre- stand them; how to unravel their halfnuously holding certain tenets, to which it intelligible jargon; and to descry and aid is notorious they happen to be as strenuously the first glimmerings of their reason and opposed. In another island, when I had conviction. None of these things can be lately to inform myself of the circumstances expected from the graduated member of an of two estates, for the conducting of which English University. Our prospect, howI feel myself in a considerable degree re- ever, of being able to derive religious insponsible, I found, that on the largest and struction by means of our church begins to best of them, the slave population, although brighten. The Church Missionary Society baptized, was utterly without religion, igno- is making arrangements to send out misrant, disorderly, and dishonest—whilst, on sionaries to the West Indies; and a hope the other, which is in the immediate neigh- exists, that a very material augmentation of bourhood of an establishment of Wesleyan the means of diffusing the Gospel by the Missionaries, the slaves were nearly all moral church may shortly be effected by the apChristians. From answers to a very de- pointment of a bishop or bishops for the tailed inquiry into the condition of the ne- West Indies; for it is wholly impossible,

under the very peculiar circumstances of upon a less complicated experiment in thc our ecclesiastical establishment in those set- matter in question.-Pp. 15–17. tlements, that difficulties can be overcome, In addition to the spiritual beevils corrected, or prevented, and, in gene- nefits resulting to the ral, that means can be adapted to their ends, selves, from religious instruction,

them

negroes otherwise than by a resident

head, in whom the present temporal benefits to should reside. The present excellent pre- the proprietors of estates are, as late, to whom our Colonial Church in that we have already intimated, clearly quarter is subordinate, bas in its manage

inted out. The following exment, a task imposed upon bim above the powers of man.

tracts from the Appendix to this The prudent and enlightened measures which he has recurred to in pamphlet, place the subject in a the exercise of his functions relative to it, very clear point of view. testify that if it must remain under his Several planters have said to me, that charge, no practical effort will be wanting they viewed our marrying the slaves as on his part, to add as much as possible to one of the best measures that the missionits efficiency. I understand that upon wise aries ever introduced into the island. This and liberal motives there have been recently opinion is gaining strength daily. Someordained, to act as carates in Jamaica, with times I have inquired for the ground of this a peculiar view to the religious instruction opinion, and have generally received anof the slaves, persons who possess a less de- swers to this effect. 1. “It bas very much gree of learning, than would be called for diminished our trouble on the estates; for, in Ministers of European congregations. before marriage was so generally introduced It appears also to be in contemplation, to amongst them, we had endless disputes and give to the West Indian Church new and fightings, but now we have scarcely any extended means of preaching the Gospel to thing of this.” 2. “ Formerly we might the slaves. His Majesty's government, send down time after time to the negro which, I am persuaded, is serivusly occupied houses in the evening if we wanted any of in devising the best means of carrying these them for any thing particular, and never wise and benevolent intentions into effect, find them at home, but now you may send will do itself a credit, and render a service down to the houses of the married people, to the nation, by the accomplishment of and be almost sure of finding them.” 3.“ It them, not easily to be estimated. If, as is has given them many domestic habits, rumoured, a new clergy is to be sent out, which are likely to be of considerable adcomposed of persons less highly educated vantage to the estates ; for instance, many than our European clergy, and directed to of them are now building larger houses, or labour exclusively in promoting the con- improving their old ones, that they may live version of the slaves, and in giving them more constantly and comfortably together." religious instruction; if it is aided by such 4. “ It promotes their health and usefulness. lay auxiliaries as it may find, or form on the Formely they were running in different dispot; and if the whole of this niachinery is rections after they had done their work at placed immediately under the Bishop, and night, and often came home in the morning is independent of the parochial clergy, I before sun-rise, after walking many miles should entertain a sanguine hope of the in the night and morning dew, sick, or so success of such an establishment. The pa- jaded, that they could not attend to their rochial clergy would continue to exercise its work; but this is not the case with the present functions, and such slaves as may ried people on the estate.” 5. “ It is choose to frequent their churches might con- the best way of enbancing the property by tinue to do so. In time, the two establish- increasing the number of the slaves upon ments might be usefully blended; but any it.”—Pp. 70, 71. immediate attempt to incorporate them Happy will it be for our West would, I am convinced, from various causes, India Islands if their wealthy prodefeat the plan in the outset. I conceive thát this new institution should be consé prietors shall be actuated by the crated exclusively to the conversion of the spirit of the writer of this pamphlet, slaves, who would receive from the clerical and happy will it be if our legislamembers of it the benefits of the various ture proceed with vigour in the rites of our church, as the calls for them adoption of those plans of religious should arise. New diseases require new remedies. We have often four military esta

instruction and ecclesiastical sublishments in activity on the same spot, the perintendence, which, it is said, regular army, the militia, the local militia, His Majesty's government have aland the yeomanry, without confusion or in- ready under serious contemplation. convenience; we may assuredly venture

to

tbe poor

Memoirs of Timothy Dwight, considered by their friends as too young to LL.D. President of Yale Col- be taught. She pursued a different course

with her son. lege, Connecticut, America.

She began to instruct him

almost as soon as he was able to speak; Glasgow. 18mo. 1822.

and such was his eagerness as well as his The lives of eminently pious capacity for improvement, that he learned and distinguished persons are high- the alphabet at a single lesson; and before ly beneficial in exciting and direct- he was four years old was able to read the ing others to copy their example; ther was so extensively engaged in mercan

Bible with ease and correctness. His faand they are especially calculated tile and agricultural pursuits, that he was for usefulness, when, as in the necessitated to confide the care of his fapresent instance, they appear in a mily, and particularly the superintendence cheap and portable forni. In many

of the early education of his children, chiefly

to their mother. With the benefit of his facases, indeed, the events of a long ther's example constantly before him, enlife may

be summed up in a short forced and recommended by the precepts of compass; and much that is highly his mother, he was sedulously instructed in interesting to the personal friends the doctrines of religion, as well as the of the deceased may be omitted whole circle of moral duties. She taught with considerable advantage to the him from the very dawn of his reason to

fear God and to keep his commandments; public. This seems to have been be conscientiously just, kind, affectionate, well understood by the author of charitable, and forgiving; to preserve on these Memoirs, and we doubt not all occasions, and under all circumstances, that his small publication will in the most sacred regard to truth; and to reconsequence be far more extensive lieve the distresses and supply the wants of

and unfortunate. She aimed, at ly circulated and more abundantly a very early period, to enlighten his conuseful.

science, to make him afraid to sin, and to Dr. Dwight was born in 1752, teach bim to hope for pardon only through and owed, like many other distin- the righteousness of Christ. The impresguished characters, the most valu- sions thus made upon his mind in infancy

were never effaced. able part of his education to the

A great proportion of the instruction early instructions of a pious and which he received before he arrived at the excellent mother, the third daugh- age of six years, was at home with his ter of that able and distinguished mother. Her school-room was the nursery.

Here he had his regular hours for study, theologian, Jonathan Edwards.

as in a school; and twice every day she She possessed (says our author) uncom

heard him repeat his lesson. Here, in mon powers of mind, and for the extent

addition to his stated task, he watched the and variety of her knowledge has rarely cradle of bis younger brothers. When bis been exceeded by any of her sex in this

lesson was recited, he was permitted to country. Though married at an early age,

read such books as he chose, until the and a mother at eighteen, she found time, limited period was expired. During these without neglecting the ordinary cares of her intervals he often read over the historical family, to devote herself with the most

parts of the Bible, and gave an account of assiduous attention to the instruction of this

them to his mother. So deep and distinct son, and her numerous family of children, as they successively claimed her regard. then made upon his mind, that their mi

was the impression which these narrations Perhaps few instances can be found in

nutest incidents were indelibly fixed upon which this great duty has been performed his memory. His relish for reading was with more scrupulous fidelity, than in the

thus early formed, and was strengthened case now under consideration,

With a

by the conversation and example of his mind originally vigorous and discriminating;

parents.-Pp. 14-17. she had been accustomed from infancy to

From this time till the the conversation of men of literature, who

1771,

year resorted in great numbers to her father's

we find him, with little interruphouse; and thus was forcibly taught the tion, diligently pursuing his acaimportance of that learning, the effects of demical career. At that period, which she had so often had an opportunity to

when only nineteen, he was chosen witness. It was a maxim with her, the soundness of which her own observation through a tutor in Yale College, where he life fully confirmed, that children generally remained for six years performing lose several years, in consequence of being

its duties with distinguished reputation. In the second year of his it is of great importance that stututorship, however, he nearly ruin- dents should be generally aware ed his constitution,

that without steady and regular By restricting his diet, in order to re- exercise their capabilities and usemove the necessity for bodily exercise, and fulness will be destroyed, and that, yet to secure binuself from the dulness in while temperance is of the utmost cident to a full habit and inactive life. He began by lessening the quantity of his food importance, abstemiousness may be at dinner; and gradually reduced it, until carried to such an extent as to dehe confined himself to twelve mouthfuls. feat the object which they, in comAfter a six months' experiment of this re

mon with Mr. Dwight, have in view. gimen, being still somewhat dissatisfied

When the American war broke with its effects, and feeling less clearness of apprehension than was desirable, he con

out, Mr. Dwight joined the army, fined himself for a considerable period to a as chaplain, in the year. 1777. vegetable diet, without, however, increas- From this perilous situation he was ing the quantity. His other meals were

recalled by the death of his father ; proportionally light and abstemious.

and was, in consequence of family The effect was as might have circumstances, employed during been anticipated.

the following five years in the eduAfter this system of study and diet had

cation of his brother and sisters, been pursued about a twelvemonth, his health began gradually to decline, and his

and the management of the family constitution, naturally' vigorous, to give estate ; labouring through the way. During the summer of 1774, he week upon the farm, and preaching first perceived the reality of this change ; on the Sunday to different vacant but had no suspicion of the cause. Though congregations in the neighbourhe bad suffered several distressing attacks hood. Some efforts were at this of the bilious colic before the College commencement, yet after the vacation he time made to induce him to engage renewed 'the saine course of regimen and in civil life; but, in 1783, he acof application to study. But a short time cepted of an invitation to settle at had elapsed before these attacks were re

Greenfield, where he was ordained peated with increased violence; and his friends becoming seriously apprehensive of

as pastor, and commenced an the consequences, informed his connexions academy, in which, during twelve of his situation. His father, on bis arrival years, he is said to have instructed at New Haven, found that bis disorder had above a thousand pupils, many of indeed made dreadful ravages in his consti- whom have been since highly distution. His frame was emaciated; and his strength so far reduced, that it was with tinguished. extreme difficulty he could be conveyed to In May 1795, he was called to Northampton. When be left New Haven, fill the important station of Presihis friends and his pupils took leave of him dent of Yale College. On enteras they supposed for the last time; and he ing on his office, he found the disvery. In the course of two months he had cipline very relaxed, and infidel nineteen severe attacks of the disease. An principles generally prevalent. eminent physician, whom he now consult

To extirpate a spirit so pernicious and ed, after successfully administering to his fatal, he availed himself of an early and immediate relief, recommended him, among decisive opportunity. Forensic disputation other things, a daily course of vigorous

was an important exercise of the senior bodily exercise, as the only means of re- class. For this purpose they were formed storing his constitution to its primitive vi- into a convenient number of divisions; two gour. He followed bis advice; and within of which disputed before him every week, a twelvemonth, walked upwards of two

in the presence of the other members of the thousand miles, and rode on horseback up- class, and of the resident graduates. It wards of three thousand. To his perseve- was the practice for each division to agree rance in this system he was probably in

upon several questions, and then refer them debted for his recovery, as well as for the to the President to select which he thought uninterrupted health and vigour of consti

proper. Until this time, the students had tution, which he enjoyed for the ensuing not been allowed to discuss any question forty years.

which involved the inspiration of the ScripWe insert this extract, because tures; from an apprehension, that the

cxamination of these points would expose The exertions of Dr. Dwight them to the contagion of scepticism. As soon introduced order and disciinfidelity was extensively prevalent in the State and in the country , the effect of this pline, and raised Yale College to a

Here course on the minds of the students had

high degree of reputation. been unhappy. It had led them to believe, this pious and able divine continued that their instructors were afraid to meet, teaching, writing, and preaching, for the question fairly; and that Christianity two-and-twenty years. His labours was supported by authority and not by ar

were crowned with great success. gument. One of the uestions presented by the first division was this : “ Are the

Vast numbers of young men were Scriptures of the Old and New Testament prepared, under his superintend-, the Word of God ?To their surprise, the ence, for civil and ministerial serPresident selected it for discussion; told vices; and, amidst his incessant them to write on which side they pleased, round of collegiate and ministerial as be should not impute to them any sentiments which they advanced as their own;

duties, many valuable publications and requested those who should write on proceeded from his pen, which have the negative side of the question, to collect not only been extensively useful in and bring forward all the facts and argu- the United States, but have been ments which they could produce ; enjoining also republished in this country. it upon them, however, to treat the subject with becoming respect and reverence.

After a life thus

employed in his Most, if not all, of the members of the

Master's service, Dr. Dwight was division, came forward as the champions of removed from this present world in infidelity. When they had finished the dis- January 1817, aged 65. Many cussion, he first examined the ground they interesting, circumstances relative bad taken ; triumphantly refuted their ar

to his character, his last illness, guments; proved to them that their statement of facts was mistaken, or irrelevant; his various publications, &c. are and, to their astonishment, convinced them contained in the volume before us, that their acquaintance with the subject which will repay a careful and sewas wholly superficial. After this he entered rious perusal; but we have only into a direct defence of the divine origin of Chr stianity, in a strain of powerful argu

room for the following short extract. ment and animated eloquence, which no

“ During the long continuance of my disthing could resist. The effect upon the

ease," says he, (referring to a dangerous illstudents was electrical. From that moment

ness in 1815), “ I had ample opportunity to Infidelity was not only without a strongbold, survey this most interesting of all subjects but without a lurking-place. To espouse

[the mercy of God, as exercised towards our ber cause was now as unpopular, as before

lost race, through the all-sufficient and gloit had been to profess a belief in Christia

rious righteousness of the Redeemer) on nity: unable to endure the exposure of ar

every side. As the result of all my investigument, she fled from the retreats of learn- gations, let me assure you, and that from ing ashamed and disgraced.

the neighbourhood of the eternal world, conIt may

indeed be doubted whe- fidence in the righteousness of Christ is the ther the same effect might not have only foundation furnished by earth, or hea

ven, upon wbich, when you are about to been produced in a safer way; leave this world, you can safely, or willingly, Public disputations on controverted rest the everlasting life of your souls. To subjects are not, perhaps, the best trust upon any thing else, will be “to feed mode of arriving at a right deci- upon the wind, and sup up the east wind.' sion; and the strength of passion, will be hastening to the presence of your

You will then be at the door of eternity; and the imperfection of judgment, Judge; will be just ready to give up your natural to the time of life when account of the deeds done in the body;' persons usually attend a college will be preparing to hear the final sentence course, are dangerous impediments.

-of acquittal or condemnation; and will stand Under, however, the superintend- amazing circumstances you will infinitely

at the gate of heaven or of hell. In these ence of so able and vigorous a need; let me persuade you to believe, and mind as Dr. Dwight's, an experi- to feel, that you will infinitely need, a firm ment might be safely tried, which foundation on which you may stand, and would be highly inexpedient under from which you will never be removed.

There is no other such foundation, but a less powerful influence.

the Rock of Ages.'” SEPT, 1823.

ZZ

« EdellinenJatka »