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of religion passing and re-passing the doors of their perishing, starving neighbours, to deposit in their mite-societies, their contributions for civilizing and Christianizing the heathen, 13,000 miles distant, while they brush, with their silk and satin gowns, the very doors of their poor, unhappy, perishing countrymen, as they pass along, without entering the abodes of misery, giving a cent, or dropping a sympathetic tear over the disconsolate children of misfortune, the natural offspring of our boasted civilized society. 'Millions of money have been collected and expended for converting the Asiatics. Now let us, for a moment, candidly examine the event re. sulting from this profuse expenditure. I would first observe, that if mountains of gold, and valleys of diamonds, were expended for the real conversion of one soul from heathenish superstition to the faith of the gospel, and true Christian charity, I would consider the sacred boon as cheaply bought. But I fear this is not the case. Let any candid man read an account of the inhabitants of the East and West Indies, after their intercourse with the European Christians, and he will see a picture of cruelty, of avarice, and of murder, which will astonish him. Many of those who embraced the Chris. tian belief were slaughtered, as well as those who had not. Indeed, the barbarities committed by the Christian powers, particularly the Spaniards, not only on the negroes, but on the original inhabitants of Hispaniola, will never, never be forgotten. Though it must be allowed, that Columbus, the first discoverer of this island, was not only an enterprising adventurer, but also a humane person ; yet the Spaniards who followed him were monsters of cruelty, which their brutal con. duct, in destroying the original natives of this island, in cold blood, will abundantly demonstrate. They massacred no less than three millions of men, women, and children, who were shot like birds of the air, hunted and torn to pieces by bloodhounds, like beasts of the forests, till they were extinct.
There is an equality, an equilibrium, in the manners and habits of savages, even in their most corrupt state, which is annihilated too soon after they become civilized and Chris; tianized. All the difference I could see in the habitation of the African king and the house of one of his meanest subjects, was only in the dimensions; both were made for convenience, and without ornaments. The food and drink of both were
also of the same quality. Every family had one house and lot of land to cultivate, and no more. Their filial, fraternal and parental love, as well as hospitality, was admirable. One man had not the mortification to behold his neighbour, a poors sordid booby, possessing one hundred houses, while he had not one to shelter him from the storm; nor the vexation to be sensible that he had many thousand bushels of corn in his barn, while he was perishing with hunger, though far his superior in mental and moral excellence.
We will pass over, in astonished silence, the destruction and devastation which marked the footsteps of the Christian soldiers, when they attended or followed the Christian mis. sionaries. We will only suppose that the preachers of the gospel sail for the Pelew Islands ; they find them a simple, innocent, hospitable, affectionate people, with one principal fault, I mean cruelty to their enemies, who are at open war with them. Their wants are few, and plentifully supplied by nature ; all unnecessary, or, at least, expensive decorations of person and habitation being totally unknown. We will suppose, for the sake of illustration, that the Christian missionaries arrive-they preach, with success, the Calvinistic doctrine; the people forego their absurd notions of religion, and embrace the true Christian theology : the work of civi. lizing will, of course, go hand-in-hand with that of Christian. izing—in a few years families of artisans will arrive in the settlement—the ministers must have fine brick, instead of bamboo houses, built for their accomodation--the people, who before were happy with the necessaries of life, now begin to nurture a desire for fine houses, fine furniture, fine food, fine clothes, &c, &c; soon the land will be monopolized by spe. culators—then, by degrees, the cunning hypocrite will add house to house, and field to field, and become very rich, build himself a palace, others will imitate him, and they will be. come, by degrees, in miniature what Paris is in magnitude. All the former order, innocence, hospitality, and equality, is done away, and avarice, grandeur, and oppression, are intro. duced in their room, and all this without the aid of a single Christian soldier. But if a ship load of Arminian ministers should arrive, it will make bad worse, by dividing the people in opinion and affection, and lead the intelligent part of them to doubtful disputations, which will destroy all harmony and
social intercourse, engender strife, and eventually produce bigotry, which can only be equalled by military despotism. And even this last scourge of man would, no doubt, crown the efforts of these missionaries, when the colony became sufficiently rich and extensive, to justify George III, by the grace of God, king of Great Britain and Ireland, and defender of the faith, in sending a governor and his suite to this grow. ing settlement, to take possession of it and build a garrison. This is far from being speculative reasoning; millions of East and West Indians have been bereaved of their little property, liberty, and their lives, by anti-christian priests and soldiers, under the banners of the cross.
There are thousands of temptations to vice, and vice of the most pernicious kind, in civil society, which savages are unacquainted with, and motives which naturally stimulated the latter to the practice of virtue, totally annihilated by the ty. ranny of custom among the former. I know these sianle natural truths will be looked upon by our scientific Scribes and Pharisees, our D. D's. and L. L. D's. with the side. glance of contemptuous disregard, and with their usual haugh. tiness; they will affect to despise what they cannot controvert. The corruptions of civil society, which I deprecate, and merely give a glimpse of herein, as I would exhibit a drop from the full bucket of liquid poison, as a specimen of its virulence-I say, these corruptions are their main resort, were it not for them, they would have to apply their own hands to useful and healthful labour, instead of living in ele. gant idleness on the labour, and trampling on the rights of mankind.-Millions are expended every year for the punishment of crimes; and but little for the reformation of the poor unfortunate criminals, who are driven to desperation, by the disorders of society, of which they are the victims. The proper equilibrium of civilization being destroyed, the few are, of course, exalted above the state of man, and supported in that state of useless and deleterious grandeur, by wicked customs and by wicked laws; the necessary consequence of which is, that many are plunged into misery most deplorable, which unavoidably produces crime, and that crime is punished by death. One man, by the most deleterious villany, fraudulent speculation, low cunning, downright lying, and every species of deception, accumulates an immense fortune,
and rides in his superb carriage, while his honest neighbour has to walk upon crutches; and if this noblest work of nature, this poor honest man, who despises a pitiful and mean action, is reduced to want, he must starve or steal; if he considers the last of these two evils the least, and steals the value of the rope capable of hanging him, he is forthwith executed on a gallows, or deprived of liberty as thousands are, every year, in our boasted Christendom; while, at the same moment, the royal imperial or speculating villain, who robs the public of millions, is exalted, not to the gallows, but to the highest pinnacle of human grandeur, or a palace and not a prison is his dwelling. The fact is, the laws of civilized man, are so diametrically opposite to the laws of nature, that it is absolutely impossible for a man to obey the dictates of the religion of nature, much less the religion of revelation, with out certain temporal ruin to himself and family, if he has one. This is a bold assertion : but I think I can demonstrate its authenticity, viz: although our celebrated D. D's. arrayed in sacerdotal silk and cambric, have rendered revealed religion, by their millions of books and of sermons, the most mysteri. ous thing in the world, it is self-evident to me, that both natural, as well as revealed religion, are the most simple things in nature; or, if I may be allowed the comparison, they are just like their Divine Author, at once most simple and most sublime, most ancient and most new. Their fun. damental duties may be comprised in a few words, viz : Love God above all things, for he has always loved you,
pro the sincerity of your love to him, by loying your neighbour as yourself, and being kind to him, as God is kind to you, and always do unto him as you would wish he should do unto you. These duties are obligatory on all mankind, civil and savage, at all times, in all places, and upon all occasions. Now, the true lover of God, and sincere admirer of the sov. ereign beauty, cannot, without disobeying this golden rule, and the intellectual monitor who inculcates it, refuse to con. tribute his portion for the relief of a suffering child of afflic. tion, should he possess only one dollar on earth. Again, non-resistance and kindness to enemies, is particularly incul. cated by the good Spirit, as the most excellent virtue. Now he who obeys, literally obeys, these amiable duties, if rich, he will become poor; if he is poor, he will be kept so: be.
cause every sharper is watching an opportunity to cheat him, when he knows he can do it with impunity, and every fraudulent mendicant is always ready to impose upon his good nature. Poverty, in the best of times, and starvation in the worst, must be his portion. This is, alas, far from specula. tive reasoning; too, too many of the flowers of civil society, who stemmed the torrent of our corrupt manners, have been brought to beggary and a premature death, the martyrs of popular degeneracy.
I know a man myself, the most liberal, generous, and intelligent that I ever knew, who possessed, a few years ago, a clear patrimonial fortune of 40,000 dollars he has been always industrious and economical, yet both the fruit of his industry and his fortune has been swept away by the votaries of corruption, and he is now reduced to the most distressing pecuniary embarrassments. Now he is poor, he is slighted; while fraudful speculators, who accumulated large fortunes, partly by imposing upon the generous disposition of this amiable child of nature, this honest man, the noblest work of God, are fawned upon and flattered by the sycophantic votaries of mammon, Alas, how many such encouragements to sordid vice, and discouragements to liberal virtue, do our commercial cities exhibit to popular view! Thus, in all civilized and Christianized countries, vice is eulogized and rewarded, while virtue is traduced and punished; and the present order, or rather the disorder, of society renders this outrage on common justice and common sense unavoidable ; and till the cause be removed the effects will always be the
And, I cannot see how this dreadful corruption, the source of all this moral mischief, can be remedied or exter. minated; for it is absurd to suppose, that a vitiated body will purify itself.
If the corrupt supporters of the obvious disor. ders in civil society had the will, as they have the power, to remove the cause, the effects would, of course, cease ; but visionary are all such hopes, without the interposition of Divine Providence. The victims of these disorders are beheld dangling under the gallows, not only without pity, but with contempt, while the authors and supporters of them are beheld in their splendid mansions with veneration, and almost adoration.
Our cities are literally crowded with courtesans, though