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Immediate,
Not Gradual
Abolition;
Or,
An Inquiry
Into the Shortest, Safest, And Most Effectual
Means Of Getting Rid Of
West Indian Slavery.

London
Sold by
Hatchard And Son, Piccadilly; Seeley and Son, Fleet Street; Simpkin and
Marshall, Stationers’ Court
; Hamilton, Adams; and Co. Paternoster Row;
J. and A. Arch, Cornhill; W. Darton, Holborn Hill; W. Phillips, George
Yard
, Lombard Street
; Harvey and Darton, Gracechurch Street.
1824MDCCCXXIV

10 charactersomitted 4 wordsomitted 7 wordsomitted

Immediate,
Not Gradual
Abolition,
&c. &c. &c.

It is now seventeen years since the Slave Trade was abolished
by the Government of this country—but Slavery is still perpetuated
in our West India colonies, and the horrors of the Slave
Trade are aggravated rather than mitigated. By making it
felony for British subjects to be concerned in that inhuman
traffic, England has only transferred her share of it to other
countries. She has, indeed, by negotiation and remonstrance,
endeavoured to persuade them to follow her example.—But
has she succeeded?—How should she, whilst there is so little
consistency in her conduct? Who will listen to her pathetic
declamations on the injustice and cruelty of the Slave Trade—
whilst she rivets the chains upon her own slaves, and subjects
them to all the injustice and cruelty which she so eloquently
deplores when her own interest is no longer at stake? Before
we can have any rational hope of prevailing on our guilty
neighbours to abandon this atrocious commerce—to relinquish
the gain of oppression,—the wealth obtained by rapine and violence,
—by the deep groans, the bitter anguish of our unoffending
fellow creatures;—we must purge ourselves from these pollutions;
—we must break the iron yoke from off the neck of our
own slaves,
—and let the wretched captives in our own islands
go free. Then, and not till then, we shall speak to the surrounding
nations with the all-commanding eloquence of sincerity
and truth
,—and our persuasions will be backed by the irresistible
argument of consistent example
. But to invite others
to be just and merciful whilst we grasp in our own hands the
rod of oppression,—to solicit others to relinquish the wages of 4
iniquity whilst we are putting them into our own pockets—what
is it but cant and hypocrisy? Do such preachers of justice
and mercy ever make converts? On the contrary, do they not
render themselves ridiculous and contemptible?

But let us, individually, bring this great question closely home
to our own bosoms. We that hear, and read, and approve, and
applaud the powerful appeals, the irrefragable arguments against
the Slave Trade, and against slavery,—are we ourselves sincere,
or hypocritical? Are we the true friends of justice, or do
we only cant about it ?—To which party do we really belong ?—
to the friends of emancipation, or of perpetual slavery? Every
individual belongs to one party or the other; not speculatively,
or professionally merely, but practically. The perpetuation
of slavery in our West India colonies, is not an abstract
question, to be settled between the Government and the
Planters,—it is a question in which we are all implicated;—we
are all guilty,—(with shame and compunction let us admit the
opprobrious truth) of supporting and perpetuating slavery. The
West Indian planter and the people of this country, stand in
the same moral relation to each other, as the thief and the
receiver of stolen goods. The planter refuses to set his
wretched captive at liberty,—treats him as a beast of burden,—
compels his reluctant unremunerated labour under the lash of
the cart whip,—why?—because we furnish the stimulant to all
this injustice, rapacity, and cruelty,—by purchasing its
produce
. Heretofore, it may have been thoughtlessly and
unconsciously,—but now this palliative is removed;—the veil
of ignorance is rent aside;—the whole nation must now divide
itself into the active supporters, and the active opposers of
slavery;—there is no longer any ground for a neutral party to
stand upon.

The state of slavery, in our West Indian islands, is now
become notorious;—the secret is out;—the justice and humanity,
the veracity also, of slave owners,—is exactly ascertained;
—the credit due to their assertions, that their slaves
are better fed, better clothed,—are more comfortable, more
happy than our English peasantry, is now universally understood.
The tricks and impostures practised by the colonial
assemblies, to hoodwink the people,—to humbug the Government,
—and to bamboozle the saints (as the friends of emancipation
are scornfully termed)—have all been detected—and the
cry of the nation has been raised, from one end to the other,
against this complicated system of knavery and imposture,—of
intolerable oppression, of relentless and savage barbarity.

But is all this knowledge to end in exclamations, in petitions,
and remonstrances?—Is there nothing to be done, as well as
said? Are there no tests to prove our sincerity,—no sacrifices
to be offered in confirmation of our zeal?—Yes, there is one,— 5
(but it is in itself so small and insignificant that it seems almost
burlesque to dignify it with the name of sacrifice)—it is abstinence
from the use of West Indian productions
,
sugar, especially, in the cultivation of which slave labour is
chiefly occupied. Small, however, and insignificant as the
sacrifice may appear,—it would, at once, give the death blow
to West Indian slavery. When there was no longer a market
for the productions of slave labour, then, and not till then, will
the slaves be emancipated.

Many had recourse to this expedient about thirty years ago,
when the public attention was so generally roused to the enormities
of the Slave Trade. But when the trade was abolished
by the British legislature, it was too readily concluded that the
abolition of slavery, in the British dominions, would have been
an inevitable consequence, this species of abstinence was therefore
unhappily discontinued.

“But” (it will be objected) “if there be no market for West
Indian
produce, the West Indian proprietors will be ruined, and
the slaves, instead of being benefited, will perish by famine.”

Not so,—the West Indian proprietors understand their own
interest better. The market though shut to the productions of
slave labour, would still be open to the productions of free
labour
,—and the planters are not such devoted worshippers of
slavery as to make a voluntary sacrifice of their own interests
upon her altar;—they will not doom the soil to perpetual barrenness
rather than suffer it to be cultivated by free men. It
has been abundantly proved that voluntary labour is more productive,
—more advantageous to the employer than compulsory
labour. The experiments of the venerable and philanthrophic
Joshua Steele have established the fact beyond all doubt:—But
the planter shuts his eyes to such facts, though clear and evident
as the sun at noon day. None are so blind as those who
will not see. The conviction then must be forced upon these
infatuated men. It is often asserted, that slavery is too deeply
rooted an evil to be eradicated by the exertions of any principle
less potent and active than self interest—if so, the resolution to
abstain from West Indian produce, would bring this potent and
active principle into the fullest operation,—would compel the
planter to set his slaves at liberty.It has been ascertained that the abstinence of one tenth of the inhabitants
of this country from West Indian sugar would abolish West Indian slavery.

But were such a measure to be ultimately injurious to the
interest of the planter—that consideration ought not to weigh a
feather in the scale against emancipation. The slave has a
right to his liberty, a right which it is a crime to withhold—let
the consequences to the planters be what they may. If I have
been deprived of my rightful inheritance, and the usurper, 6
because he has long kept possession, asserts his right to the
property of which he has defrauded me; are my just claims to
it at all weakened by the boldness of his pretensions, or by the
plea that restitution would impoverish and involve him in ruin?
And to what inheritance, or birth-right, can any mortal have
pretensions so just, (until forfeited by crime) as to liberty?
What injustice and rapacity can be compared to that which
defrauds a man of his best earthly inheritance,—tears him from
his dearest connexions, and condemns him and his posterity to
the degradation and misery of interminable slavery?

In the great question of emancipation, the interests of two
parties are said to be involved,—the interest of the slave and
that of the planter. But it cannot for a moment be imagined
that these two interests have an equal right to be consulted,
without confounding all moral distinctions, all difference
between real and pretended, between substantial and assumed
claims. With the interest of the planters, the question of
emancipation has (properly speaking) nothing to do. The
right of the slave, and the interest of the planter, are distinct
questions; they belong to separate departments, to different
provinces of consideration. If the liberty of the slave
can be secured not only without injury but with advantage to
the planter, so much the better, certainly;—but still the liberation
of the slave ought ever to be regarded as an independent
object; and if it be deferred till the planter is sufficiently alive
to his own interest to co-operate in the measure, we may for
ever despair of its accomplishment. The cause of emancipation
has been long and ably advocated. Reason and eloquence,
persuasion and argument have been powerfully exerted; experiments
have been fairly made,—facts broadly stated in proof of
the impolicy as well as iniquity of slavery,—to little purpose;
even the hope of its extinction, with the concurrence of the
planter, or by any enactment of the colonial, or British legislature,
is still seen in very remote perspective,—so remote, that
the heart sickens at the cheerless prospect. All that zeal and
talent could display in the way of argument, has been exerted
in vain. All that an accumulated mass of indubitable evidence
could effect in the way of conviction, has been brought to no
effect.

It is high time, then, to resort to other measures,—to ways
and means more summary and effectual. Too much time has
already been lost in declamation and argument,—in petitions
and remonstrances against British slavery. The cause of emancipation
calls for something more decisive, more efficient than
words. It calls upon the real friends of the poor degraded and
oppressed African to bind themselves by a solemn engagement,
an irrevocable vow, to participate no longer in the crime of
keeping him in bondage. It calls upon them to “wash their 7
own hands in innocency;”
—to abjure for ever the miserable
hypocrisy of pretending to commiserate the slave, whilst, by
purchasing the productions of his labour they bribe his master
to keep him in slavery. The great Apostle of the gentiles
declared, that he would “eat no flesh whilst the world stood,
rather than make his Brother to offend.”
Do you make a similar
resolution respecting West Indian produce. Let your resolution
be made conscientiously, and kept inviolably;—let no
plausible arguments which may be urged against it from without,
—no solicitations of appetite from within, move you from
your purpose,—and in the course of a few months, slavery in
the British dominions will be annihilated.

“Yes,” (it may be said) “if all would unite in such a resolution,
—but what can the abstinence of a few individuals, or a
few families do, towards the accomplishment of so vast an
object?”
—It can do wonders. Great effects often result from
small beginnings. Your resolution will influence that of your
friends and neighbours;—each of them will, in like manner,
influence their friends and neighbours;—the example will
spread from house to house,—from city to city,—till, among
those who have any claim to humanity,
there will be but one
heart, and one mind,—one resolution,—one uniform practice.
Thus, by means the most simple and easy, would West Indian
slavery be most safely and speedily abolished.

“But,” (it will be objected) “it is not an immediate, but a gradual
emancipation, which the most enlightened and judicious
friends of humanity call for, as a measure best calculated, in
their judgment, to promote the real interests of the slave, as
well as his master; the former, not being in a condition to make
a right use of his freedom, were it suddenly restored to him.”

This, it must be admitted, appears not only the general, but
almost universal sentiment of the abolitionists;—to oppose it
therefore, may seem a most presumptuous, as well as hopeless
attempt. But truth and justice are stubborn and inflexible;—
they yield neither to numbers or authority.

The history of emancipation in St. Domingo, and of the conduct
of the emancipated slaves for thirty years subsequent to
that event (as detailed in Clarkson’s admirable pamphlet, on the
necessity of improving the condition of our West Indian slaves,)
is a complete refutation of all the elaborate arguments which
have been artfully advanced to discredit the design of immediate
emancipation. No instance has been recorded in these
important annals, of the emancipated slaves (not the gradually,
but the immediately emancipated slaves) having abused their
freedom. On the contrary, it is frequently asserted in the
course of the narrative, that the negroes continued to work upon
all the plantations as quietly as before emancipation. Through
the whole of Clarkson’s diligent and candid investigations of 8
the conduct of emancipated slaves, comprising a body of more
than 500,000 persons,—under a great variety of circumstances,
—a considerable proportion of whom had been suddenly emancipated
with all the vicious habits of slavery upon them; many
of them accustomed to the use of arms; he has not, throughout
this vast mass of emancipated slaves, found a single instance of
bad behaviour
, not even a refusal to work, or of disobedience to
orders; much less, had he heard of frightful massacres, or of
revenge for past injuries, even when they had it amply in their
power. Well might this benevolent and indefatigable abolitionist
arrive at the conclusion, “that emancipation,” (why did
he not say immediate emancipation ?) “was not only practicable,
but practicable without danger.”
All the frightful massacres
and conflagrations which took place in St. Domingo, in 17911791
and 17921792, occurred during the days of slavery. They originated
too, not with the slaves, but with the white and coloured
planters,—between the royalists, and the revolutionists, who,
for purposes of mutual vengeance, called in the aid of the slaves.
Colonel Malenfant, in his history of the emancipation, written
during his residence in St. Domingo, ridicules the notion that
the negroes would not work without compulsion
,—and asserts,
that in one plantation, more immediately under his own observation,
on which more than four hundred negroes were employed,
not one in the number refused to work after their emancipation.

In the face of such a body of evidence, the detaining our
West Indian slaves in bondage, is a continued acting of the
same atrocious injustice which first kidnapped and tore them
from their kindred and native soil, and robbed them of that
sacred unalienable right which no considerations, how plausible
soever, can justify the withholding. We have no right, on any
pretext of expediency or pretended humanity, to say—“because
you have been made a slave, and thereby degraded and debased,
—therefore, I will continue to hold yon in bondage until
you have acquired a capacity to make a right use of your
liberty.”
As well might you say to a poor wretch, gasping and
languishing in a pest house, “here will I keep you, till I have
given you a capacity for the enjoyment of pure air.”

You admit, that the vices of the slave, as well as his miseries,—
his intellectual and moral, as well as corporeal degradation are
consequent on his slavery;—remove the cause then, and the
effect will cease. Give the slave his liberty,—in the sacred
name of justice, give it him at once. Whilst you hold him in
bondage, he will profit little from your plans of amelioration.
He has not, by all his complicated injuries and debasements,
been disinherited of his sagacity;—this will teach him to give
no credit to your admonitory lessons—your Christian instructions
will be lost upon him, so long as he both knows and feels
that his instructors are grossly violating their own lessons.

9

The enemies of slavery have hitherto ruined their cause by
the senseless cry of gradual emancipation. It is marvellous
that the wise and the good should have suffered themselves to
have been imposed upon by this wily artifice of the slave holder,
—for with him must the project of gradual emancipation have
first originated. The slave holder knew very well, that his
prey would be secure, so long as the abolitionists could be cajoled
into a demand for gradual instead of immediate abolition.
He knew very well, that the contemplation of a gradual emancipation,
would beget a gradual indifference to emancipation
itself
. He knew very well, that even the wise and the good,
may, by habit and familiarity, be brought to endure and tolerate
almost any thing. He had caught the poet’s idea, that—
“Vice is a monster of such frightful mien, As to be hated, need but to be seen; But, seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”


He caught the idea, and knew how to turn it to advantage.—
He knew very well, that the faithful delineation of the horrors
of West Indian slavery, would produce such a general insurrection
of sympathetic and indignant feeling; such abhorrence
of the oppressor, such compassion for the oppressed, as must
soon have been fatal to the whole system. He knew very well,
that a strong moral fermentation had begun, which, had it gone
forward, must soon have purified the nation from this foulest
of its corruptions;—that the cries of the people for emancipation,
would have been too unanimous, and too importunate for
the Government to resist, and that slavery would, long ago,
have been exterminated throughout the British dominions. Our
example might have spread from kingdom to kingdom,—from
continent to continent,—and the slave trade, and slavery, might,
by this time, have been abolished—all the world over:—“A
sacrifice of a sweet savour,”
might have ascended to the Great
Parent of the Universe;—“His kingdom might have come,
and his will (thus far) have been done on earth, as it is in
Heaven.”

But this gradual abolition, has been the grand marplot
of human virtue and happiness;—the very master-piece of
satanic policy. By converting the cry for immediate, into
gradual emancipation, the prince of slave holders, “transformed
himself, with astonishing dexterity, into an angel of
light,”
—and thereby—“deceived the very elect.”—He saw very
clearly, that if public justice and humanity, especially, if Christian
justice and humanity, could be brought to demand only a
gradual extermination of the enormities of the slave system;—
if they could be brought to acquiesce, but for one year, or for
one month, in the slavery of our African brother,—in robbing 10
him of all the rights of humanity,—and degrading him to a level
with the brutes;—that then, they could imperceptibly be
brought to acquiesce in all this for an unlimited duration. He
saw, very clearly, that the time for the extermination of slavery,
was precisely that, when its horrid impiety and enormity were
first distinctly known and strongly felt. He knew, that every
moment’s unnecessary delay, between the discovery of an imperious
duty, and the setting earnestly about its accomplishment,
was dangerous, if not fatal to success. He knew, that strong
excitement, was necessary to strong effort;—that intense feeling
was necessary to stimulate intense exertion;—that, as
strong excitement, and intense feeling are generally transient,
in proportion to their strength and intensity,—the most effectual
way of crushing a great and virtuous enterprize,—was to gain
time,—to defer it to “a more convenient season,” when the
zeal and ardour of the first convictions of duty had subsided;—
when our sympathies had become languid;—when considerations
of the difficulties and hazards of the enterprize, the solicitations
of ease and indulgence should have chilled the warm glow of
humanity,—quenched the fervid heroism of virtue;—when
familiarity with relations of violence and outrage, crimes and
miseries, should have abated the horror of their first impression,
and, at length induced indifference.

The father of lies, the grand artificer of fraud and imposture,
transformed himself therefore, on this occasion, pre-eminently,
“into an angel of light”—and deceived, not the unwary only,
the unsuspecting multitude,—but the wise and the good, by
the plausibility, the apparent force, the justice, and above all,
by the humanity of the arguments propounded for gradual
emancipation. He, is the subtilest of all reasoners, the most
ingenious of all sophists, the most eloquent of all declaimers.—
He, above all other advocates, “can make the worst appear
the better argument;”
can, most effectually pervert the judgment
and blind, the understanding,—whilst they seem to be
most enlightened and rectified. Thus, by a train of most exquisite
reasoning, has he brought the abolitionists to the conclusion,
—that the interest of the poor, degraded, and oppressed
slave, as well as that of his master, will be best secured by his
remaining in slavery. It has indeed, been proposed to mitigate,
in some degree, the miseries of his interminable bondage, but
the blessings of emancipation, according to the propositions of
the abolitionists in the last session of Parliament, were to be
reserved for his posterity alone,—and every idea of immediate
emancipation is still represented, not only as impolitic, enthusiastic
and visionary, but as highly injurious to the slave himself,
—and a train of supposed apt illustrations is continually at
hand, to expose the absurdity of such a project. “Who” (it is
asked) “would place a sumotuoussumptuous banquet before a half-famished” 11
wretch, whilst his powers of digestion were so feeble that it
would be fatal to partake of it?—Who would bring a body
benumbed and half frozen with cold, into sudden contact with
fervid heat? Who would take a poor captive from his dungeon,
where he had been immured whole years, in total darkness,
and bring him at once into the dazzling light of a meridian
sun? No one, in his senses, certainly. All these transitions
from famine to plenty,—from cold to heat,—from darkness to
light, must be gradual in order to be salutary. But must it
therefore follow, by any inductions of common sense, that
emancipation out of the gripe of a robber or an assassin,—out
of the jaws of a shark or a tiger, must be gradual? Must, it,
therefore, follow, that the wretched victim of slavery must
always remain in slavery?—that emancipation must be so
gradual, that the blessings of freedom shall never be tasted by
him who has endured all the curses of slavery, but be reserved
for his posterity alone?

There is something unnatural, something revolting to the
common sense of justice, in reserving all the sweets of freedom
for those who have never tasted the bitter cup of bondage,—
in dooming those who have once been compelled to drink it, to
drain it to the very dregs. Common equity demands that
relief should be administered first to those who have suffered
most;—that the healing balm of mercy should be imparted first
to those who have smarted most under the rod of oppression:
that those who have borne the galling yoke of slavery, should
first experience the blessings of liberty. The cause of emancipation
loses more than half its interest, when the public
sympathy is diverted from its natural channel,—turned from
the living victims of colonial bondage to their unborn progeny.

It is utterly astonishing, with such an object as West Indian
slavery before us, rendered palpable, in all its horrors, almost
to our very senses, by a multitude of indubitable facts, collected
from various sources of the highest authority, all uniting in the
same appalling evidence;—with the sight of our fellow-creatures
in bondage so rigorous,—in moral and physical degradation so
abject;—under a tyranny so arbitrary, wanton and barbarous;—
it is utterly astonishing, that our compassion and sympathy
should be so timid and calculating,—so slow and cautious.

Under the contemplation of individual suffering, comparatively
trifling, both in nature and duration, our compassion is prompt
and quick in its movements,—our exertions, spontaneous and
instinctive;—we go the shortest way to work, in effecting the
relief of the sufferer. But, in emancipating eight hundred thousand
of our fellow creatures and fellow subjects from a worse
than Egyptian bondage, we advance towards the object, by a
route, the most indirect and circuitous; we petition Parliament,
year after year, for gradual emancipation:—to what purpose? 12
Are we gaining or losing ground by these delays? Are we
approaching nearer or receding farther from the attainment of
our object? The latter, it is too evident, is, and must be the
case. The evil principle is more subtle and active in its various
operations, than the good principle. The advocates of slavery,
are more alert and successful in insinuating into the public
mind, doubts and fears, coldness and apathy on the subject of
emancipation, than the abolitionists are in counteracting such
hostile influence;—and the desertions from the anti-slavery
standard in point of zeal and activity, if not in numbers, since
the agitation of the question in Parliament last year, are doubtless
very considerable.

Should the numerous petitions to Parliament be ultimately
successful;—should the prayer for gradual emancipation be
granted; still, how vague and indefinite would be the benefit
resulting from such success. Should some specific time be
appointed by government, for the final extinction of colonial
slavery;—that period, we have been informed from high authority,
will not be an early one. And who can calculate the tears
and groans, the anguish and despair;—the tortures and outrages
which may be added, during the term of that protracted interval,
to the enormous mass of injuries already sustained by the
victims of West Indian bondage? Who can calculate the
aggravated accumulation of guilt which may be incurred by its
active agents, its interested abettors and supporters? Why
then, in the name of humanity, of common sense, and common
honesty, do we petition Parliament, year after year, for a gradual
abolition of this horrid system,—this complication of crime
and misery? Why petition Parliament at all, to do that for
us, which, were they ever so well disposed, we can do more
speedily and more effectually for ourselves?

It is no marvel that slave holders, should cry out against immediate
emancipation, as they have done against all propositions
for softening the rigors of colonial slavery. “Insurrection of
all the blacks,—massacre of all the whites.”
—are the bug-bears
which have been constantly conjured up, to deter the British
Parliament
from all interference between the master and his
slave. The panic was the same, the outcry just as violent,
when an attempt was made about forty years ago, to abate the
horrors of the middle passage, by admitting a little more air
into the suffocating and pestilent holds of the slave ships; and
a noble duke, besought Parliament not to meddle with the alarming
question
.See the Debate on this subject in 1823. Confident predictions, from this quarter, of
rebellion and bloodshed, have, almost uniformly followed every
proposition to restrain the power of the oppressor and to mitigate
the sufferings of the oppressed.

13

It is therefore no wonder, that West Indian proprietors, and
slave holders, should exclaim against immediate emancipation;
that they should tell us, the slaves are so depraved as well as
degraded, as to be utterly incapacitated for the right use of
freedom;—that emancipation, instead of leading them into
habits of sober contented industry, would be inevitably followed
by idleness, pillage, and all sorts of enormities;—in short, that
they would rise in a mass, and massacre all the white inhabitants
of the islands
.

That slave holders should say, and really believe all this, is
perfectly natural;—it is no wonder at all that they should be
full of the most groundless suspicions and terrors;—for tyrants
are the greatest of all cowards.—“The wicked fleeth when no
man pursueth;”
—he is terrified at shadows,—and shudders at
the spectres of his own guilty imagination.

But that the abolitionists should have caught the infection,—
should be panic-struck;—that the friends of humanity,—the
wise and the good—should be diverted from their purpose by
such visionary apprehensions;—that they should “fear where
no fear is;”
—should swallow the bait, so manifestly laid to draw
them aside from their great object;—that they should be so
credulous, so easily imposed upon—is marvellous.

The simple enquiry, what is meant by emancipation? might
have dissipated at once all these terrible spectres of rapine and
murder. Does emancipation from slavery imply emancipation
from law? Does emancipation from lawless tyranny,—from
compulsory unremunerated labour, under the lash of the cart
whip, imply emancipation from all responsibility and moral restraint?
Were slavery in the British colonies extinguished,—
the same laws which restrain and punish crime in the white
population, would still restrain and punish crime in the black
population. The danger arising from inequality of numbers
would be more than counteracted by the wealth, influence, and
the armed force, possessed by the former. But independent
of such considerations, the oppressed and miserable, corrupt as
is human nature, do not naturally become savage and revengeful
when their oppressions and miseries are removed. As long
as a human being is bought and sold,—regarded as goods and
chattels,—compelled to labour without wages,—branded,
chained, and flogged at the caprice of his owner; he will, of
necessity, as long as the feeling of pain,—the sense of degradation
and injury remain, he will, unless he have the spirit of a
Christian martyr, be vindictive and revengeful. “Oppression”
(it is said) “will make (even) a wise man, mad.” But will the
liberated captive, when the iron yoke of slavery is broken;—
when his heavy burdens are unbound,—his bleeding wounds
healed, his broken heart bound up; will he then scatter vengeance
and destruction around him?

14

Should the wretched African find the moment for breaking
his own chains,—and asserting his own freedom
,—he may well
be expected to take terrible vengeance,—to push the law of retaliation
to its utmost extreme. But, when presented with his
freedom,—when the sacred rights of humanity are restored to
him, would that be the moment for rage, for revenge and murder?
To polished and Christianized Europeans, such abuses
of liberty may appear natural and inevitable, since their own
history abounds with them. But the history of negro emancipation
abundantly proves that no such consequences are to be
apprehended from the poor uncultivated and despised African.

“But, to demand immediate emancipation, however safe,
however just and desirable in itself, would (we are told) be most
impolitic,—for it would never be granted;—by striving to obtain
too much, you would lose all. You must go cautiously and
gradually to work. A very powerful interest and a very powerful
influence are against you. You must try to conciliate instead
of provoke the West Indian planters;—to convince them
that their own interest is concerned in the better treatment and
gradual emancipation of their slaves, or your object will never
be accomplished.”

But you will strive and labour in vain;—you will reason,
however eloquently, however forcibly, in the ears of the “deaf
adder.”
The moral and rational perceptions of the slave holder,
are still more perverted than those of the slave;—oppression,
is more debasing and injurious to the intellect of the oppressor,
than that of the oppressed. The gains of unrighteousness,—
familiarity with injustice and cruelty, have rendered the slave
holder, more obstinately, more incurably blind and inaccessible
to reason, than the slave. And what justice or restitution would
there be in the world, were unlawful possessions never to be
reclaimed till there was a disposition in the possessor voluntarily
to relinquish them,—till he was convinced that it was his
interest to part with them?

The interests and the prejudices of the West Indian planters,
have occupied much too prominent a place in the discussion
of this great question. The abolitionists have shewn a
great deal too much politeness and accommodation towards
these gentlemen. With reference to them, the question is said,
to be a very delicate one. (Was ever the word delicacy so preposterously
misapplied?)—It is said, to be beset with difficulties
and dangers.—Yes, the parties interested,—criminally interested,
protest that the difficulties are insurmountable,—the
dangers tremendous. But those difficulties and dangers have
been proved to be visionary and futile, the offspring of idle, or
of hypocritical fears. A little temporary pecuniary loss, would
be the mighty amount of all the calamities which emancipation 15
would entail upon its virulent and infuriated opposers.The account of the London Meeting of West Indian Planters, which took
place in February last, perfectly justifies the application of these epithets.
And is
that a consideration to stand in competition with the liberation
of eight hundred thousand of our fellow creatures from the
heavy yoke of slavery? Must hundreds of thousands of human
beings continue to be disinherited of those inherent rights of
humanity, without which, life becomes a curse, instead of a
blessing; must they continue to be roused and stimulated to
uncompensated labour, night as well as day, during a great
part of the year, by the impulse of the cart whip, that a few
noble lords and honourable gentlemen may experience no privation
of expensive luxury,—no contraction of profuse expenditure,
—no curtailment of state and equipage? Must the scale
in which is placed the just claims, the sacred rights of eight
hundred thousand British subjects
, be made to kick the beam,
when weighed in the balance against pretensions so comparatively
light and frivolous?

Among the West Indian proprietors, there are doubtless, individuals
of high character and respectability, whose education
and circumstances may, nevertheless, disqualify them from taking
a strictly impartial view of colonial slavery. Such, of course,
must be exempt from the just odium,—the reprobation, which
belongs to the general body, as far as they have rendered their
own character notorious by their own declarations,—by the
speeches they have published, and the decrees they have issued;
—by the virulent abuse, the rage and calumny which they
have heaped upon the abolitionists;—by the alternations of
fawning servility and insolent threatening, with which they at
one time “prostrate themselves at the foot of the throne;”—at
another, protest, in the tone of defiance, not to say rebellion,
against British interference with colonial legislation. Towards
these gentlemen, there has been extended a great deal too much
delicacy and tenderness. They are culprits, in the strictest
sense of the word,—and as such, they ought to be regarded,
notwithstanding their rank and consequence, by every honest
impartial moralist. They have received too long, the gains of
oppression;—too long have they fattened on the spoils of humanity.

It matters not at all, how, or when, the planter acquired his
pretended right to the slave;—whether by violence or robbery,
—by purchase or by inheritance. His claim always was, and
always will be, ill-founded, because it is opposed to nature, to
reason, and to religion. It is also illegal, as far as legality has
any foundation of justice, divine or human, to rest upon. His
plea for protection against the designs of the abolitionists, on
the ground that his property has been embarked in this nefarious 16
speculation, on the faith of Parliament,—in the confidence
that no change would be effected in the laws which sanction
the enormous injustice and wickedness of slavery, is childish
and futile. Are not commercial speculations of every kind,
subject to perpetual vicissitudes and revolutions? Are not human
laws perpetually undergoing new modifications and changes
in accommodation to the ever-varying circumstances of the times,
—to increasing light and civilization? It is absurd to imagine
that the progress of humanity, of moral and political improvement,
is to be arrested, because some individual perquisites,
derived from institutions of brutal ignorance and barbarism,
would be curtailed. A great deal more reasonably might the
industrious artizan, whose daily subsistence depends on his
daily labour,—whose only property is his labour—and who, in
many cases, has no means, like the West Indian capitalist, of
transferring it from one channel to another;—with a great deal
more reason might he exclaim and cry out for protection against
all mechanical improvements, which diminish labour, which deprive
thousands of the labouring classes of their wonted resources,
and drive them to beggary.

But if the West Indian gentlemen fail to obtain protection
against the designs of the abolitionists, then, they demand compensation,
in the event of the emancipation of their slaves, to
the immense amount of sixty four millions. And is compensation
demanded in no other quarter?—or, if not demanded, is it no
where else due? If compensation be demanded as an act of
justice to the slave holder, in the event of the liberation of his
slaves;—let justice take her free, impartial course;—let compensation
be made in the first instance, where it is most due;
—let compensation be first made to the slave, for his long years
of uncompensated labour, degradation and suffering. It is in
this quarter, that justice cries aloud for compensation,—and if
our attention is turned, but for a moment, to these two substantial
and well authenticated claims,—the demands of the slave
holder
; (even had they been couched in terms less arrogant and
insulting,) will become not a little questionable.

Experience has already sufficiently evinced the fallacy of the
notion, of the superior policy of aiming at gradual, instead of
immediate emancipation, on the ground of its meeting with less
opposition; for the planters have shewn themselves just as much
enraged at the idea of gradual, as of immediate emancipation.
They appear indeed, either incapable of perceiving, or determined
to confound all distinction between them;—for, in the
bitterness of their invectives, they accuse the gradual abolitionists
of endeavouring to bring upon their heads all the calamities
and destruction which they formerly deprecated as the inevitable
consequence of immediate emancipation.

On this great question, the spirit of accommodation and conciliation 17
has been a spirit of delusion. The abolitionists have
lost, rather than gained ground by it;—their cause has been
weakened, instead of strengthened. The great interests of
truth and justice are betrayed, rather than supported, by all
softening qualifying concessions. Every iota which is yielded
of their rightful claims, impairs the conviction of their rectitude,
and, consequently, weakens their success. Truth and
justice, make their best way in the world, when they appear in
bold and simple majesty;—their demands are most willingly
conceded, when they are most fearlessly claimed.

Were the immediate freedom of the slave demanded, because
in the first instance, it was unlawfully and violently wrested
from him!—because, ever since, it has been most unjustly and
cruelly withheld from him; because it is his unalienable right,
which he holds by a divine charter, which no human claims can
disannul:—were the immediate abolition of slavery, in the British
dominions, demanded, because slavery, is in direct opposition
to the spirit of the British constitution, to the spirit and
letter of the Christian religion,—to every principle of humanity
and justice;—because, as long as it is suffered to exist, it must
remain the fruitful source of the most atrocious crimes, the most
cruel sufferings; because, as long as it is suffered to exist, its
abettors and supporters, passive as well as active, (now that
their eyes are wide open to its enormities
) must lie under the
divine malediction, and experience, sooner or later, the certain
and awful visitations of retributive justice,—the fearful accomplishment
of that solemn declaration,—“With what measure
ye mete, it shall be measured to you again:”
—Demands so
evidently just,—such plain appeals to reason and conscience,—
to law and equity;—such serious reference to Divine authority,
—to future retribution;—would be more successful,—would
be better calculated to keep alive the public sympathy,—would
lead to more unwearied exertions,—to greater sacrifices,—than
the slow, cautious, accommodating measures now proposed by
the abolitionists;—than any timorous suggestions of expediency,
—any attempts to conciliate the favour, or to disarm the
opposition of West Indian slave holders.

When an obvious and imperative duty is encumbered with
considerations which do not properly belong to it; its obligations,
instead of being enforced, are enfeebled; its motives, instead
of being concentrated, are divided and scattered; and the
duty, if not entirely neglected, will be but languidly and partially
performed. We make slow progress in virtue, lose much
time in labour, when, instead of going boldly forward in its
straight and obvious path, we are continually enquiring how far
we may proceed in it without difficulty and without opposition.

Had the abolitionists preserved a single eye to their great
object;—had they kept it distinct and separate from all extraneous
considerations;—had they pursued it by a course more 18
direct, through means more simple;—had they confided more
in the goodness of their cause, and dreaded less the opposition
of its adversaries;—had they depended more upon divine, and
less upon human support—their triumphs, instead of their defeats,
would, long since, have been recorded. Surely their eyes
must at length be opened;—they must perceive that they have not
gone the right way to work,—that the apprehension of losing
all, by asking too much
,—has driven them into the danger of
losing all, by having asked too little;—that the spirit of compromise
and accommodation has placed them nearly in the situation
of the unfortunate man in the fable, who, by trying to
please every body, pleased nobody, and lost the object of his
solicitude into the bargain.

It had been well, for the poor oppressed African, had the
asserters of his rights entered the lists against his oppressors,
with more of the spirit of Christian combatants, and less of
worldly politicians;—had they remembered, through the whole
of the struggle, that it was a conflict of sacred duty, against
sordid interests,—of right against might;—that it was, in fact,
an holy war,—an attack upon the strong holds, the deep intrenchments
of the very powers of darkness; in which courage
would be more availing than caution;—in which success was to
be expected, less from prudential or political expedients, than
from that all-controling power, which alone gives efficacy to
human exertions,—which often defeats the best concerted
schemes of human sagacity and accomplishes his great purposes
through the instrumentality of the simplest agency. Had the
labours of the abolitionists been begun and continued on Divine,
instead of human reliance, immediate emancipation would have
appeared just as attainable as gradual emancipation. But, by
substituting the latter object for the former, under the idea that
its accomplishment was more probable, less exposed to objection;
—and by endeavouring to carry it, through considerations of
interest, rather than obligations of duty; they have betrayed an
unworthy diffidence in the cause in which they have embarked;
—they have converted the great business of emancipation into
an object of political calculation;—they have withdrawn it from
Divine, and placed it under human patronage;—and disappointment
and defeat, have been the inevitable consequence.

If the deadly root of slavery be ever extirpated out of British
soil, it will be by such exertions as are prompted by duty rather
than interest. We cannot sufficiently admire the great wisdom
and goodness of those providential arrangements which have,
in the general course of events, so inseparably connected our
duty with our interest;—but with regard to the broad and
palpable distinctions between right and wrong, virtue and vice;
—the more simple and direct the reference to the will of our
Divine Lawgiver, and that of his vicegerent, conscience,—the
more determined will be our resolution,—the more decisive our
conduct.—“How shall I do this great wickedness and sin 19
against God”
—will be the most influential of all considerations.
And the solemn inquiry, pressed home to the conscience, how
an enlightened and Christian government,—how an enlightened
and Christian community, can, in any way, encourage or sanction
such a complicated system of iniquity as that of slavery,—
“the greatest practical blunder, as well as the greatest calamity,
that has ever disgraced and afflicted human nature,”
—without
sharing its guilt, and, if there be a righteous Governor of the
universe, its punishment also?—will be followed up by propositions
more consistent and energetic, than such as aim only at
its gradual extermination.

The very able mover of the question in Parliament last year,
proposed that our colonial slavery should be suffered—“to
expire of itself,—to die a natural death.—But a natural death,
it never will die.”
—It must be crushed at once, or not at all.
While the abolitionists are endeavouring gradually to enfeeble
and kill it by inches, it will gradually discover the means of
reinforcing its strength, and will soon defy all the puny attacks
of its assailants.

In the mean time, let the abolitionists remember,—while they
are reasoning and declaiming and petitioning Parliament for
gradual emancipation,—let them remember, that the miseries
they deplore remain unmitigated,—the crimes they execrate are
still perpetuated;—still the tyrant frowns—and the slave trembles;
—the cart-whip still plies at the will of the inhuman driver
—and the hopeless victim still writhes under its lash. The
ameliorating measures recommended by Parliament, to the
colonial legislators, are neglected and spurned. The bad
passions of the slave holder are exasperated and infuriated by
interference, and vengeance falls, with accumulated weight, on
the slave. It had been better for him, had no efforts been made
for his emancipation, than that they should ultimately fail, or be
feebly exerted—the interval of suspense, will be an interval of
restless perturbation,—of aggravated tyranny in the oppressor,
—of aggravated suffering to the oppressed. Unsuccessful opposition,
to crimes of every description, invariably increases
their power and malignity.

An immediate emancipation then, is the object to be aimed at;—
it is more wise and rational,—more politic and safe, as well as
more just and humane,—than gradual emancipation. The interest,
moral and political, temporal and eternal, of all parties
concerned, will be best promoted by immediate emancipation.
The sooner the planter is obliged to abandon a system which
torments him with perpetual alarms of insurrection and massacre,
—which keeps him in the most debasing moral bondage,
—subjects him to a tyranny, of all others, the most injurious and
destructive—that of sordid and vindictive passions;—the sooner
he is obliged to adopt a more humane and more lucrative policy
in the cultivation of his plantations;—the sooner the overlaboured,
crouching slave, is converted into a free labourer,— 20
his compulsory, unremunerated toil, under the impulse of the
cart whip, exchanged for cheerful, well recompensed industry,
—his bitter sufferings for peaceful enjoyment,—his deep execration
of his merciless tyrants, for respectful attachment to his
humane and equitable masters;—the sooner the Government
and the people of this country purify themselves from the guilt
of supporting or tolerating a system of such monstrous injustice,
productive of such complicated enormities;—the sooner
all this mass of impolicy, crime and suffering is got rid of—the
better.

It behoves the advocates of this great cause then, to take the
most direct, the most speedy and effectual means of accomplishing
their object. If any can be devised more direct, more
speedy and effectual, or less exceptionable in its operation than
that which has been suggested,—let it be immediately adopted;
but let us no longer compromise the requisitions of humanity
and justice, for those of an artful and sordid policy;—let there
be no betraying of the cause by needless delay;—delay is
always dangerous;—on this momentous question, (humanly
speaking) it will be fatal, if much longer protracted. The
public sympathy is already declining,—people are becoming
tired of the subject,—they grow listless and impatient when it
is introduced;—they tell you, “they wish to hear no more of
it,—their minds are made up,—no advantage can be gained by
farther discussion,—the subject must now be left to Parliament.”

Alas! and how has Parliament disposed of it? How has it
realized the very modest hopes, indulged by the abolitionists,
in consequence of its declarations in favour of gradual abolition,
a year ago? By its recent decisions, the great work of emancipation
appears to retrograde instead of advance. The bullying
of the slave holders, is said to have proved completely triumphant.
The royal proclamation just issued, is rightly denominated
a hope extinguisher, to the wretched slave population. Well
may the abolitionists express their disappointment, on finding
the present measures of Government, fall so far short of the
expectations, which the promises of last session had excited.
Well may the right honourable secretary be charged with,
“having done nothing, or worse than nothing; with being
satisfied, at most, to see his pledge in favour of a whole archipelago,
reduced to a single island; while a law is still to prevail
in every island of the West Indies, except Trinidad, which
authorises a female negro, to be stripped, in the presence of her
father, husband or son, and flogged with a cart whip!!”

There were some, who anticipated these results; cheerless
and melancholy as they are, they are such as might reasonably
have been expected from the proposition for gradual emancipation,
—and if persisted in, it will assuredly end, in no emancipation.
The time is critical. The general interest, in this
great subject, is evidently on the wane,—and it should be
remembered, that even the most humane and susceptible,— 21
those who are most under the influence of true Christian principle,
are not always wound up to such a pitch of disinterested
and ardent zeal, as is requisite to cope with such a host of
interested and powerful opponents, as are the West Indian
proprietors and slave holders. Those, who are “called to
glory and virtue,”
—invited, to labour, in the Divine vineyard,—
are admonished, to “work whilst it is day,—for the night
cometh, in which no man can work;”
—whilst they have light,
they are admonished to “walk in the light, lest darkness come
upon them.”
Mental darkness, and spiritual night, steal fast
upon those, who, when an imperious duty is presented to them,
—when sufficient ability is imparted for its accomplishment,—
falter and procrastinate.

If the great work of emancipation be not now accomplished,—
humanly speaking, it may be despaired of, as far as our agency
is concerned. The rising generation may furnish no such
zealous, devoted advocates, as a Clarkson, a Wilberforce, and
a Buxton. If the clear light, the full information, they have
so generally diffused:—the deep interest and sympathy they
have so generally excited, produce no other results than those
at present contemplated by the abolitionists;—this country may
fall under the curse of being judicially hardened and blinded,
in consequence of having been softened and enlightened to so
little purpose;—and the emancipation of eight hundred thousand
British slaves!
may be effected through other means and other
agency, which, when once roused into action, may realize all
those terrific scenes of insurrection and carnage which the imagination
of the planter has so often contemplated.

Since the preceding pages were written, the sentences passed
upon the insurgents of Demerara and Kingston have reached
us. Some, had been hung, others, had received corporeal
punishment—to what extent—let those who have ears to hear,
and hearts to feel, deeply ponder. Some had received, others,
were yet to receive—one thousand lashes,—and were
condemned to be worked in chains during the residue
of their lives
!! The horrid work, has probably, by
this time been completed, human interposition therefore, with
respect to these individual victims of West Indian Justice
will now be of no avail.

But shall such sentences as these, be suffered to pass the
ordeal of public opinion? Shall they be established as precedents
for future judgments, on future insurgents? Forbid it—
every feeling of humanity—in every bosom. Let every principle
of virtue which distinguishes the human from the brute creation,
—the professors of the benignant, compassionate religion of
Christ, from the savage and blood-thirsty worshippers of Moloch,
—raise one united, determined and solemn protest against
the repetition of these barbarities, which blaspheme the sacred
name of justice,—and seem to imprecate Almighty vengeance.

22

Will the inhabitants of this benevolent, this Christian country,
now want a stimulant to rouse their best exertions,—to
nerve their resolutions against all participation with these human
blood-hounds? Will the British public now want a “spirit
stirring”
incentive to prohibit, and to interdict,—henceforth,
and for ever,—the merchandize of slavery? Let the produce
of slave labour,—henceforth, and for ever,—be regarded as
“the accursed thing”, and refused admission into our houses;—
or let us renounce our Christian profession, and disgrace it no
longer, by a selfish, cold-hearted indifference which, under
such circumstances, would be reproachful to savages.

What was the offence which brought down this frightful vengeance
on the heads of these devoted victims? What horrible
crime could have instigated man to sentence his fellow man, to
a punishment so tremendous?—to doom his brother to undergo
the protracted torture of a thousand lashes?—to have his
quivering flesh mangled and torn from his living body ?—and to
labour through life under the galling and ignominious weight of
chains? It was insurrection. But in what cause did they become
insurgents? Was it not in that cause, which, of all others,
can best excuse, if it cannot justify insurrection? Was it not in
the cause of self-defence from the most degrading, intolerable
oppression?

But what was the immediate occasion of this insurrection?
What goaded these poor wretches on to brave the dreadful
hazards of rebellion? One of them, now hanging in chains at
Demerara, was sold and separated from his wife and family of
ten children, after a marriage of eighteen years,—and thereby
made a rebel
. Another was a slave of no common intellect,
whose wife, the object of his warmest affections, was torn from
his bosom, and forced to become the mistress of an overseer.
His domestic happiness thus destroyed for ever, he became,
(how should it have been otherwise?) disaffected and desperate.
Such provocations, added to their common and every day
wrongs, seem beyond human endurance, and might instigate
“the very stones to mutiny.”

How preposterously partial and inconsistent are we in the
extension of our sympathy, our approbation and our assistance
towards the oppressed and miserable! We extol the resistance
of the Greeks,—we deem it heroic and meritorious. We deem
it an act of virtue,—of “Christian charity”, to supply them with
arms and ammunition, to enable them to persist in insurrection.
Possibly, in the longest list of munificent subscribers to these
Greek insurgents, the names of some noble lords and honourable
gentlemen may be found—who sanction and approve the
visitation of West Indian slave insurgents, with the
gibbet, and the infliction of one thousand lashes!!

But let us, whose moral perceptions are unblinded by interest
or prejudice,—whose charity is unwarped by partiality or hypocrisy;
—let us pursue a more rational and consistent course. 23
Let us not overlook our own urgent duties in the pursuit of
such as are less imperative. Let us first—mind our own business,
“pluck the beam out of our own eye.” Let us first
extend the helping hand, to those who have the first claim to
our assistance. Let us first liberate our own slaves—which we
may do, without furnishing them with arms or ammunition.
Then, we shall have clean hands,—and the Divine blessing may
then be expected to crown our exertions for the redemption of
other captives.

Should the weak objection, still haunt some inconsiderate
reader, of the little good, which can reasonably be expected to
result from individual abstinence from West Indian produce;
let him reflect, that the most wonderful productions of human
skill and industry; the most astonishing effects of human power
have been accomplished by combined exertions, which, when
individually and separately considered, appear feeble and insignificant.
Let him reflect, that the grandest objects of human
observation consist of small agglomerated particles; that the
globe itself is composed of atoms too minute for discernment;
that extended ages consist of accumulated moments. Let him
reflect, that greater victories have been achieved by the combined
expression of individual opinion, than by fleets and
armies; that greater moral revolutions have been accomplished
by the combined exertion of individual resolution, than were
ever effected by acts of Parliament.

The hydra-headed monster of slavery, will never be destroyed
by other means, than the united expression of individual opinion,
and the united exertion of individual resolution. Let no man
restrain the expression of the one, or the exertion of the other,
from the apprehension that his single efforts will be of no avail.
The greatest and the best work must have a beginning,—often,
it is a very small and obscure one. And though the example
in question should not become universal, we may surely hope
that it will become general.

It is too much, to expect that the matter will be taken up—
(otherwise, than to make a jest of it) by the thoughtless and
the selfish: what proportion these bear to the considerate and
the compassionate, remains to be ascertained. By these, we may
reasonably expect that it will be taken up, with resolution and
consistency. By Christian societies of every denomination,—preeminently
by that, which has hitherto stood foremost in the great
cause of abolition. By the great body of the Catholics too, who
attach so much merit to abstinence and self-denial;—and by all
the different Protestant professors, (who are at all sincere in
their profession) of the one religion of universal compassion;—
which requires us “to love our neighbour as ourselves”,—this
testimony against slavery may be expected to be borne with
scrupulous and conscientious fidelity.

Think, but for a moment, at what a trifling sacrifice the redemption
of eight hundred thousand of our fellow creatures from 24
the lowest condition of degradation and misery may be accomplished.
Abstinence from one single article of luxury would
annihilate West Indian slavery!! But abstinence it cannot be
called;—we only need substitute East India, for West India
sugar,—and the British atmosphere would be purified at once,
from the poisonous infection of slavery. The antidote of this
deadly bane; for which we have been so many years in laborious
but unsuccessful search, is most simple and obvious,—too
simple and obvious, it should seem, to have been regarded.
Like Naaman, of old, who expected to be cured of his leprosy,
by some grand and astonishing evolution, and disdained to wash,
as he was directed, in the obscure waters of Damascus;—we
look for the abolition of British slavery, not to the simple and
obvious means of its accomplishment, which lie within our own
power,—but through the slow and solemn process of Parliamentary
discussion,—through the “pomp and circumstance” of
legislative enactment;—most absurdly remonstrating and petitioning
against that system of enormous wickedness, which we
voluntarily tax ourselves to the annual amount of two millions
sterling, to support!!Every reader may not be aware, that such is the amount of duty laid on East
India
, to keep up the unnatural price of West India sugar.

That abstinence from West Indian sugar alone, would sign
the death warrant of West Indian slavery, is morally certain.
The gratuity of two millions annually, is acknowledged by the
planters, to be insufficient to bolster up their tottering system,—
and they scruple not, to declare to Parliament, that they must
be ruined, if the protecting duties, against East India competition,
be not augmented.

One, concluding word, to such as may be convinced of the
duty, but may still be incredulous as to the efficacy of this
species of abstinence, from the apprehension that it will never
become sufficiently general to accomplish its purpose. Should
your example not be followed;—should it be utterly unavailing
towards the attainment of its object;—still, it will have its own
abundant reward:—still, it will be attended with the consciousness
of sincerity and consistency,—of possessing clean
hands
,—of having “no fellowship with the workers of iniquity;”
still, it will be attended with the approbation of conscience,—
and doubtless, with that of the Great Searcher of hearts,—who
regarded with favourable eye, the mite cast by the poor widow,
into the treasury, and declared, that a cup of cold water only,
administered in Christian charity, “shall in no wise lose its
reward.”

27 wordsomitted