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of him the full development of its moral bearings, under all the solemnities of his commission as an ambassador for Christ, and with all the eloquence he can draw from the schools of prophets and apostles. Whatever else is silent, the pulpit must speak. Whoever beside may indulge in a dignified indifference, the minister of Christ must lift his voice like a trumpet.
Next to the pulpit comes the Press, with its mighty enginery, fearlessly to encounter prejudice, battle ignorance, stimulate to intellectual effort and triumph over fanaticism, with all else that conflicts with truth and love. Directed by the spirit of philanthropy, it issues neither the daily or weekly Paper, nor the elaborate Quarterly in vain, while the Tract, and the stately Volume, each in its appropriate sphere contributes powerfully to the wished-for result. True, it has not always been faithful to this holy cause. True, it has sometimes fallen into unworthy hands, and has scattered firebrands, arrows and death over the fair fields of freedom. But this is not its own fault; and since God honors it to convey the "lively oracles" to the ends of the earth, it becomes us to honor it also, by making it the medium of communication with all accessible minds, that if possible, misapprehensions may be corrected, just principles established, and the spirit of freedom infused into all hearts.
And then, ASSOCIATED Action, in well devised forms, and under due restrictions, must succeed isolated and individual effort. "Union is strength.” "Two are better than one.' “
66 But the object of the association must be single, and the eye of its members must also be single. To emancipate the slave wherever found, from the yoke of the oppressor, and give him the civil equality which is his inalienable right, is an object of sufficient grandeur to draw upon the energies of any human mind to the utmost, and needs no combination with it of radical revolution in church or state. Wisdom is doubtless profitable to direct, in this case as in all others. It is only necessary that action be regulated by the spirit of love and deference to divine authority. If State or National Legislatures can be led to constitutional and energetic movement by the publicly declared sentiments of their constituents, then let petitions embodying those sentiments in respectful language, load their tables from session to session, and be urged by faithful men with thundering eloquence upon the ears of the listless and averse ; or, if this avail not, and inen are found in our public councils ready to sell the birth-right of the slave for a mess of pottage, notwithstanding the claims of God and humanity, let them receive immediate dismission from the service of freemen, without regard to their political orthodoxy in other respects. Whoever will sacrifice the rights of humanity vested in an individual of African descent, is demonstrably unfit to be trusted with the preservation of those rights in his constituents. He that wants philanthropy wants patriotism. He that rescues not the man fallen among thieves, resists not the cry that urges the crucifixion of the Son of God. The betrayer of the poorest man, in whose veins runs a brother's blood, wants but the opportunity and the temptation to betray the brother of high degree. It should therefore be the determination of every patriotic mind, to bring his undivided influence to bear upon the election of discerning and high minded friends of universal liberty, to all places of honor and trust.
In all this, it hardly must be said, that we propose any thing new, nor do we claim to be wiser than all that have gone before us in the labors of philanthropy. Numerous associations have been already formed, and numerous presses have been enlisted in the cause; the pulpit has sometimes spoken forth in tones of power, and the popular lecturer has traversed the land; the author in his study, and the orator at the forum have elaborated argument in every form, and played skilfully on those chords of the human heart that discourse sweet music in the ears of Heaven; resolves have occasionally passed our State Legislatures, nobly sustaining the public sentiment that gave them birth, and petitions, flowing by thousands into the halls of Congress, have excited able and animated discussion ; Greek has met Greek on those high places of the field, and auspicious results have already appeared. But the policy of the government is yet undecided, and much remains to be done, through every organ that can reach the public ear or affect the public heart, to give full utterance to the quickened sympathies of philanthropic bosoms, and constrain the rulers of the nation to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. Words of truth and soberness may safely be spoken at all times, in all places and by all persons; and such words are clearly demanded, by the simple grandeur of the object contemplated, its preciousness to the heart of God, its congeniality with all the interests of man, the certainty of its ultimate attainment, and the prospect of a speedy and effectual termination of the miseries of the victims of oppression.
We should be unjust to the cause of freedom, if we did not refer to the plan of colonizing emancipated slaves, with others of the colored race, upon the shores of Africa. Very many of our most intelligent and philanthropic citizens regard this plan, as entitled to vastly more favor than it has hitherto received. Yet, as is well known, it has been strenuously opposed ; and there are questions involved in it, upon which there is still no inconsiderable diversity and contrariety of opinion. To enter upon a discussion of these would lead us aside from
the main object, which we would hope to accomplish in this Report.
Connected also with the plan of colonization is another point of our subject, upon which we deem it appropriate to say a word. We refer to the alledged want of capacity in the African race for an intelligent use of liberty. And in this view, to say nothing of other points, which are of great interest, it would seem to your Committee, that the history and the present state of the colony of Liberia, is worthy of the careful and candid consideration of all, who have any doubts in regard to the natural capabilities of the African race, for all the demands of a well-ordered and happy social organization.
We must remark, however, that facts from other sources of evidence are so accumulated and so overpowering, that incredulity in respect to such capabilities is nothing short of arrant folly or absolute stolidity. Illustrious African names, it is well known, adorn the early history of the Christian church, as well as the annals of ancient literature and government; whilst at this moment there are in our own land orators of African descent, and fugitives from slavery, too, whose eloquence attracts and impresses large and cultivated assemblies. But, as if to afford to all nations a signal exemplification of the capacity of that race, and to put the question forever at rest, divine Providence has planted the colony and established the government of Liberia. We would, therefore, call attention, for a moment, to the condition of the people of that Republic.
The plan of forming a colony on the coast of Africa originated, it is believed, in the heart of northern benevolence, and was matured by the wisdom and prayerfulness of Finley, Caldwell, Mills, and a few others of whom the world was not worthy, and who now sleep in death. Thirty-two years have passed away, and several thousands of the victims of oppression, denied their natural rights in the country of their birth, have been transported to the land of their fathers, and there allowed to enjoy them unmolested. Three hundred miles of continuous sea-coast have been secured to them for an inheritance, and placed under a government as just and stable as our own. Liberia has ceased to be a colony. She has become an independent State, a Republic, a land of the free; and every office in her government, from the highest to the lowest, is filled by men of the African race; and so well filled, that there is more hope of the permanence of the Republic of Liberia, than of that of France. Liberia is at this moment well supplied with preachers and teachers of every grade, chiefly of African descent. The New England system of common schools is in full operation; as is also that of higher seminaries; and the children
h are found to be as tractable, as ingenious, and as studious, as
the children of pure Anglo-Saxon parents. President Roberts, an African by descent, and having enjoyed only a Liberian education, has stood with credit to himself before the statesmen and diplomatists of England, France and America, negotiating not only an acknowledgment of Liberian nationality, but also treaties of amity and commerce. The people of Liberia are ar independent and recognized nation, with a constitution as pure in its principles and liberal in its provisions, with laws as equitable and salutary, and an administration as incorrupt and judicious, as are enjoyed by any people under heaven. Their peace is as a river, and their righteousness as the waves of the
Habits of industry and frugality are cherished by them, and the useful productions of the earth are cultivated with success, so as not only to supply abundantly the demands of home consumption, but to seek a market in foreign lands, and give a strong impulse to commercial enterprise. So marked are the indications of public prosperity and individual welfare, that whole tribes of the ignorant and debased natives, with their kings, are soliciting a participation of their immunities, and pledging their lands, persons and children-their all, indeed to the interest of the government in return. The result of this experiment, as it appears to us, and we think must appear to all fair minded men, demonstrates the capacity of the Africans for all that constitutes a Christian civilization.
We present these facts to our Southern fellow-citizens, beseeching them to settle it in their own minds as an indisputable truth, that the argument by which they have so long endeavored to justify slavery, from the supposed incapacity of the African race for safe and useful self-direction, in any circumstances, is wholly groundless. Let them be assured, that those immortal beings whom they doom by their iron laws to perpetual servitude, ignorance and degradation, are capable, in such circumstances as an enlightened philanthropy may devise, of rising to the attainment of an intellectual and moral character, of a Christian faith and piety which shall render them peers of the men of other races now rejoicing in the blessings of freedom, knowledge and religion. When this truth is fully believed and felt, we are confident that philanthropy and the sense of justice in the slave-holding States will array themselves efficiently on the side of that sentiment now so active in the Christian world, which is demanding the recognition of human rights, and of that Almighty Providence, which, in tones both of terror and of love, is proclaiming "liberty to the captive.”
The signs of the times are auspicious. A sentiment of freedom unknown before has recently arisen, which is upheaving the nations, demanding the redress of wrongs, and insisting on the universal emancipation of the oppressed. As when Christianity was first proclaimed in the midst of paganism, the temples and statues of idolatry crumbled in quick succession before it, so now through the enlightening influences of the same faith, the clouds of oppression are beginning to retire, and in rapid succession the chains are falling from whole people in bondage. Within the last quarter of a century a new impulse has been given to freedom. State after state has published its testimony against the intolerable wrong of slavery. And now, drawing our conclusions from the public acts of the civilized and Christianized world, we hazard nothing when we aver that the voice of Christendom is against it. He who now undertakes to defend the institution of Slavery, does it in the face of the clearest, the most sincerely expressed convictions of almost every Christian country on the globe. He who shall defend it, defends that which Christendom with concurrent voice has united to reprobate, and is hastening to destroy.
It would be easy to collect a mass of enlightened names, in all ages and countries, against the system, as opposed alike by reason and religion. But our appeal shall be made to acts of public bodies, of parliaments and councils of state--and from These we can make good the assertion, that slavery, like piracy and robbery, wherever it exists, exists in opposition to the condemning voice of the Christian world.
Let us take the last quarter of a century, and see how often and under what variety of forms public condemnation has been passed on the whole system of slavery, under every name.
We begin with Austria, that large and influential European state. On the 25th day of June, 1826, “it was declared by an ordinance of his Imperial and Royal Majesty the Emperor, that any slave from the moment he treads the soil of the Imperial and Royal Dominions of Austria, or even merely steps on board an Austrian vessel, shall be free.” Brief and comprehensive words! Uttered by the constituted head and the united voice of more than thirty millions of people.
Pass on now to the Spanish provinces, that extend across the whole northern portions of South America, between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They had thrown off the yoke of the mother country, and under the names of Columbia and Bolivia, comprising a population of nearly five millions more, had taken their place among modern republics. In 1828 they proclaimed freedom to all the slaves. Certain revenues were set apart for the purpose of carrying the act of emancipation into execution, and children born after a certain period were to be free.