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ceived; for if man be corrupt, and if West takes several opportunities of dethe Church, to the end of the world, precating such an event, and shewing be to consist of a peculiar people, zea. that solitude is likely to produce worse lous of good works, how is the detesta- evils than a free intercourse with the tion of sin, and the love of holiness, world, and a moderate participation of first to be excited ? This change, com- its pleasures. Willing to strengthen monly termied conversion or regenera. her sentiments by the authority of tion, is the commencement of sanc- those who ought to possess great tification, which has ever been consid- weight with every Christian, she says ered as an operation of the third per- "the Church of Christ furnished mis. son in the Trinity.
sionaries, confessors, and martyrs, who In conformity with the opinion of travelled to every region of the known Dr. Hey, Mrs. West considers the world, and in the courts of princes, Seventeenth Article as only reciting among the crowded haunts of men, texts of Scripture, without declaring preached a pure and holy Religion, no any doctrine ;* but discarding the cau- less by their example than their pretion of the learned professor, she begs cepts. They mixed with the world, the question, by asserting that, the without being conformed to it|l.” But article is Arminian and not Calvinis- if these holy men travelled into every tict.
region of the known world, was it not We consider Mrs. West to be a for the specific object of preaching the critic very unequal to such a discus- Gospel to those who sat in heathen sion, and to point out the mistakes into darkness? And was this Gospel likely which she has fallen in the progress to conciliate the affections of mankind, of it, would lead us into a very long when it thwarted their projects, overdetail. We shall, therefore, only re- threw their principles, and exposed to mark, that the Church unquestionably contempt whatever claimed their highavoids the strong doctrine of reprobac est veneration? Their example, intion, which indeed would ill accord deed, taught purity and holiness; but, with the admission of universal re- instead of exciting imitation, it roused demption in the communion service. such rancour as could scarcely be apBut if it does not hold strong Calvin- peased by their blood. Time has cerism, neither does it abjure that which tainly ameliorated matters in this reis moderate, and this approaches suffi. spect; but still the evil of the human ciently near to Arminianism for the heart remains, and will display its envoice of charity to sooth any turbulent mity against real piety. All therefore, emotion on either part, and produce who are determined to mingle with the mutual conciliation and concession. world without being conformed to it,
It is a common, though in an author should posses fortitude that cannot be scarcely a venial error, to which Mrs. shaken by continued trials, and paWest has given currency, that the tience prepared to endure the scorn of main body of those who dissent from ungodliness. But Mrs. West evidentthe established Church, have forsaken ly does not wish to introduce her son predestinarian, and embraced unitari. upon a stage of mortification; she an sentiments. The Socinians are, must, therefore, either form a differin fact, a small portion of the Dissen- ent estimate of the world from that ters, and, probably, from want of union which the Scriptures appear to us among themselves, they will verify to give, or allow compliances, such Dean Allix's prediction, and never be- as we deem scarcely consistent with come numerous.
Christianity. Perhaps both these supLest the religious instructions con. positions are true; for she must entertained in these letters should influence tain a very favourable opinion of the the young to abjure society, Mrs. world to assert, “That wise men al
ways determine upon every case, and * Vol. ii. p. 168.
163. plain men and fools follow their vera I Vol. ii. p. 164.
|| Vol. ii. p. 349.
dict.” Whence then arise all the er- to that which has been already paid to ror, folly, and iniquity, which abound her work, many parts of which are cerin
every nation under heaven? Wise tainly well calculated to guard the men, too frequently overpowered by young against the seduction of fashionnumbers, tamely acquiesce in fashions able folly-o improve their underwhich they despise, and adopt princi- standings by the dictates of good sense, ples, unsupported by reason, which and to regulate their conduct by the fatter their pride.
rules of Christian morality. Mrs. West also considers what are termed elegant amusements not only XVI. The Crisis of the Sugar Colonies ; or, ar as expedient, but sanctioned by the ex- Inquiry into the Objects and probable Effects ample of Christ, who"went to splendid
of the French Expedition to the West Indies,
and their Connection with the Colonial Inieentertainments, received the luxury of
rests of the British Empire; to which are perfumes, and wore a curious valuable
subjoined Sketches of a Plan for settling the The marriage in Cana is es- vacant Lands of Trinidada. In Four Letters teemed equivalent to a public amuse- to the Right Honourable Henry Addington, ment. The feast given on the perfor
Chancellor of the Exchequer, &c. London, mance of this ceremony was the prin
Hatchard, 1802, pp. 222.
heen freed from the foul reproach of observed, in the instance when Jesus the Slave Trade ; but it still remains was present, with considerable convi.
a source of national infamy, and a viality, which he tended to promote. proof of the paramount influence which But what does this case prove? That the God of this world has, unhappily, the Saviour of the world was a guest at
We sincerely lathe marriage feast of some persons in ment its continuance, not only on acGalilee, who were too poor to afford count of the incurable injusticet which the provisions usual on such occasions, characterizes it, and the miseries which consequently there was nothing to ap. but as it strongly indicates the two pre
it inflicts on a great portion of the globe, prehend from excess, and which was proper to expect from the valent disregard of God's authority, friends of Joseph and Mary. Can this and tends to increase the load of our entertainment, then, be compared with
national guilt. those, where the blessings of Provi.
It has been the policy of those who dence are expended with profusion,
are interested in this question, to conand the intercourses of friendship an
found the advocates for the abolition of nihilateci by a tumultuous crowd.' But this commerce with the democratical as no argument is brought in support assertors of the rights of man; but the of these novel and extraordinary opi. unfairness of doing so is sufficiently nions, it is merely necessary to enter
evident. What impression the insinua protest against them, and beg that ation may have made on the public they may be reconsidered with cau
mind in the moment of alarm, excited tion and candour.
by the devastating progress of French After having been employed in de- principles, we will not pretend to say ; tecting the defects of these interesting but we are persuaded that each sucletters, justice might require, if incli ceeding year will evince the folly as nation did not prompt us, to display well as wickedness of having thus consome of their numerous excellences. founded things so essentially distinct, But the character of Mrs. West stands and will prove to the satisfaction even too high to be raised by any selections of those who have most vehemently which could be comprehended within opposed every measure tending to the the limits of this account; we need, abolition of the Slave Trade, that they therefore, only add our triliute of praise have been blindly resisting the very
† See Mr. Pitt's Speech on the Slaye Trade * p. 237
policy which would have given securi- The decision of the House did jus. ty and permanence to our West India tice to the eloquence employed on this possessions.
occasion by these statesmen, and by Let it never be forgotten (for it is many others, no less distinguished for highly important in this view to re- their political wisdom; and a great member) what were, in the year 1792, majority of its members resolved that the sentiments of the most enlighten. the first of January, 1796, should wited members of the British House of ness the final extinction of the British Commons on this subject; nothing Slave Trade. But notwithstanding this more than such a reference is requisite vote, notwithstanding the solemn pledge to free the cause of abolition from of their intentions, which the present every jacobinical impution. “I con- Ministers of the crown, as well as their gratulate this house, the country, and predecessors, gave to the nation, the the world,” said Mr. Pitt, “that this trade still continues in undiminished curse of mankind is seen in its true extent, and measures have even recentlight, and that i he greatest stigma which ly been thought of, which would have ever yet existed to our national charac- given fresh vigour and activity, as well ter is about to be removed ; that man- as an indefinite continuance to this horkind are now likely to be delivered rid traffic. We trust however, that the from the greatest practical evil that attention of the nation will be again ever has afflicted the human race, and drawn to so momentous a subject, and from the severest and most extensive that on the eve of a general election calamity recorded in the history of the every individual, who values the naworld.”
tional character or the national inte. “ That the time will come,” said my rest; who has any regard for the hapLord Hawkesbury, who pleaded for a piness of his fellow-creatures; above gradual abolition, “when the stock of all, who is anxious to avert from his slaves in the island will be sufficient, country the divine displeasure ; will no person can doubt that the Slave seriously consider how he may best Trade is itself an evil, I am ready to discharge the awful responsibility in admit-that if the question was not to which he participates, by the choice of abolish but to establish it, I, of all those Representatives who will feel it their who profess so much zeal for the inte- duty to make strenuous efforts for the rests of humanity, would not be the removal of this enormous evil. least eager to oppose it. Here is an Our readers, we trust, will not think evil which can be but of short continu- that we have stepped beyond our proance, &c. &c.-Agreeing then, most vince in adverting to this great topic, perfectly, with the friends of abolition to which the Letters now under rein their end, I differ from them only in view have called our attention ; and, the means of accomplishing that end." we earnestly hope, will not fail to call
“ The Slave Trade," observes the the attention of the high character to present Chancellor of the Exchequer, whom they are addressed, and also of “ I abhor-nor, Sir, have I taken up the public at large. We are far from my aversion to this infamous systein regarding it as a mere political ques. merely from the inspection of those tion, but as one which is peculiarly involumes of evidence on your table; no, teresting in a moral and religious view. Sir, it was upon those solid principles, It is, to use the language of the great so eloquently and forcibly stated by the advocate of abolition, "a competition honourable gentleman who spoke last between God and Mammon; and to (Mr. Dundas.) I know no language continue the trade is to adjudge the which can add to the horrors of the preference to the latter, to dethrone the Slave Trade. It is equal to every pur- Moral Governor of the world, and to pose of crimination to assert that there- fall down and worship the Idol of Inby man is made subject to the despo- terest.” tism of man; that man is to be bought These general remarks do not, we and sold.'
allow, immediately result from the * Debates on Slave Trade, 1792.
work before us, but they have a suffi
ciently intimate connection with it to frequency, applied to their back, than the justify us in bringing them forward in phrase " to drive a team of horses,” imports this place.
that the waggoner is continually smacking his
whip. I use the comparison merely as deOur Author's object is expressed in scriptive, and not in censure of the West India the title page, and it appears from an system ; with the accusation, or defence, of advertisement prefixed to the work as
which, in a moral view, my argument, let it well as from the date of its publication, be observed, has no necessary connection. It that the whole, excepting only the last is enough for my purpose, that in point of fact,
no feature of West India slavery is better five pages, was written before any ac- known, or less liable to controversy or doubt, count reached this country of the de- than this established method in which field labarkation of the French expedition in bour is enforced. St. Domingo. It is necessary to notice
“ But a nearer and more particular view of this circumstance, in order to obviate
this leading characteristic, may be necessary
to those who have never seen a gang of nethe charge of disingenuousness, which
groes at their work. might otherwise be brought against the “When employed in the labour of the field, author; as the issue of that enterprise, as, for example, in boleing a cane piece, i.e. in so far as it has yet come to our know turning up the ground with hoes into parallel ledge, exactly coincides with his con
trenches, for the reception of the cane plants,
the slaves, of both sexes, from twenty, perjectures. Before we proceed to give haps, to fourscore in number, are drawn out any account of the work, we wish to in a line, like troops on a parade, each with a observe, that the Author manifestly pos- hoe in his hand, and close to them in the rear sesses an intimate acquaintance with is stationed a driver, or several clrivers, in the subject on which he has undertaken Each of these drivers, who are always the
most to write; and that his reasonings, active and vigorous negroes on the estate, has which in most cases are very conclu- in his hand, or coiled round his neck, from sive, enjoy the advantage of being en- which by extending the handle, it can be disforced by language peculiarly energetic engaged in a moment, a long thick and strongly and impressive. In the First Letter plaited whip, ealled a cart whip; the report of
which is as loud, and the lash as severe, as the Author inquires what are presuma. those of the whips in common use with our bly the objects of the French West In- waggoners, and which he has authority to ap. dian expedition, and assigns very satifac. ply at the instant when bis eye perceives an tory reasons for believing that a resti- occasion, without any previous warning.-tution of the old slavery is the true ob- ?hus disposed, their work begins, and con. ject which the armament is designed ber of hours, during which, at the peril of the
tinues without interruption for a certain numto accomplish. This leads him to con- drivers, an adequate portion of land must be sider the nature of West India slavery, holed. and he traces its lineaments with the
“ As the trenches are generally rectilinear, hand of a master.
and the whole line of holers advar.ce together,
it is necessary that every hole or section of the “ That West India slaves, whether French trench should be finished in equal time with or Englislı, are the property of their master, the rest; and if any one or more negroes were and transferrable by him, like his inanimate allowed to throw in the hoe with less rapidity effects; that in general he is absolute arbiter or energy than their companions in other parts of the extent and the mode of their labour, of the line, it is obvious that the work of the and of the quantum of subsistence to be given latter must be suspended; or else, such part in return for it; and that they are disciplined of the trench as is passed over by the former, and punished at his discretion, direct priva. will be more imperfectly formed than the rest. tion of life or member excepted ; these are It is, therefore, the business of the drivers, not prominent features, and sufficiently known, of only to urge forward the whole gang with sufthis state of slavery.
ficient speed, but sedulously to watch that all “ Nor is the manner in which the labour of in the line, whether male or female, old or slaves is conducted, a matter of less publicity. young, strong or feeble, work as nearly as posEvery man who has heard any thing of West sible in equal time, and with equal effect. The India affairs, is acquainted with the term tardy stroke must be quickened, and the lannegro-drivers ; and knows, or may know, that guid invigorated; and the whole line made to the slaves in their ordinary field labour are dress, in the military plirase, as it advances. driven to their work; and during their work, No breathing time, no resting on the hoe, 110 in the strict sense of the term, “ driven," as pause of languor, to be repaid by brisker erlised in Europe; though this statement no ertion on return to work, can be allowed to more involves an intimation, that in practice individuals: all must work, or panse together. the lash is incessantly, or with
“I have taken this species of work as the
strongest example: but other labours of the capable of renewal when the practical lesson plantation are conducted upon the same prin- has been, not only that white men and masciple, and as nearly as may be practicable, in ters may be resisted, but even confronted in the same manner.' (p. 8–11.)
without those nameless dreadful conseIn short, with a few exceptions, “the com- quences at which the soul was formerly appulsion of labour by the physical impulse or palled. present terror of the whip is universal; and it " It will be no less impossible again to would be as extraordinary a sight in a West breathe into such men the terrors which kept India island to see a line or file of negroes them in subjection, than it would be to renew without a driver behind them, as it would be in a philosopher the superstitions of the nursein England to meet a team of horses on a ry, so that he should again believe in giants turnpike road without a carman or waggoner." and magicians; or to frighten a man of ma(p. 13.)
ture age with the rod of his schoolmaster. The Second and Third Letters are
“I consider this change in the ideas, of the employed in considering what conse
negroes as the most invincible of bars to the
permanent restitution of the slave system in quences, interesting to Great Britain,
the French Islands : but the revolution that are likely to result from this expedition, has taken place in their habits, is a concuron the supposition either of its total rent and very formidable obstacle.” (p. 72– failure or of its entire success, or in case
76.) of a middle event, or a compromise on The justice and force of the followthe basis of the liberty of the negroes. ing spirited remarks will not fail to We are sorry that our limits, will not strike every one who peruses them. permit us to follow this ingenious writer
“ Without presuming to calculate the value ivrough the whole train of his argu- of Jamaica, and the other Sugar Colonies, and ment, in which he points out with great only assuming that it is something short of ability the imminent dangers which the full value of his Majesty's European dothreaten our West India possessions on
minions, including our constitution, our liber. any one of the above suppositions. The ties, and our national independence; I may
infer that we cannot afford to protect these reasons he advances in support of his
colonies at the expense of ruining our navy; opinion, that the attempt to reduce the
and if not, to station permanently there fleets slaves to their former bondage will large enough for the purpose in question, prove completely abortive, appear to us would not be an allowable, supposing it might unanswerable ; but we must refer the be an effectual expedient. Ii is reported, Šir,
that you have despatched a naval force to Ja. reader for many of them to the work
maica, strong enough to cope, if needful, with itself, which will amply repay the trou- the united squadrons of France and Spain ble of an attentive perusal : only insert. which preceded it. If such be the fact, ! ing a short extract.
condemn not the precaution: but every British
heart must lament its necessity. One powerful Independently of all other considerations,
enemy, disease, our brave tars will be sure to the great bond of submission upon the minds
be assailed by, in that fatal region; and his of the negroes is, if I mistake not, dissolved
ravages will not be the less destructive, befor ever.
cause they may have no other foe to encounter. “A strange but fortunate prejudice, the
The hope of booty or of glory, the interest of creature of early terror, fos:ered by ignorance
a chase, or the looking out for a liostile sail, and habit, secured in great measure the tran
will no longer aid their spirits against the quillity of these colonies before their revolu.
gloomy spectacle of sickness and death among tions; and forins the great security of all the their messmales, and the enervating influence islands wherein slavery still prevails. I mean of the climate. that nameless and undefined idea of terror, con
" The exemption of the French marine from nected in the mind of a negro slave, with the no- the same desiructive evils, would aggravate tion of resistance to a white man and a master. the national mischief of such a scheme of de.
" This principle of action, like most others, fence, if we should be driven to it as a permathat have their origin, not in reason, but in
nent system. Without keeping a single ship ignorance and babit, when once subverted can of the line in the West Indies, perhaps even never be renetveit. The negro, who has been
without a hostile intention, the Republic would clevated to the same social freedom with
have the important advantage of diverting and his former master, and has drawn aside the
consuming our naval force, as well in peace as veil hy which the weak pedestal of former au. in war.
-We should have to feed this Mino. thority was concealed, can no more regard taur with our best blood continually. We the one with a superstitious reverence, nor
should probably be obliged to send out every vield a blind obedience to the other. The
year to be preyed on by tropical diseases, more spell is finally dissolved.
seamen as recruits, or more entire new ships. " More especially must this prejudice bein.
companies to supply the waste of de..th, than