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Slaves, and the benefits of it (even in a temporal point of view) upon yourselves, I shall proceed to consider in what way and by what means this most desirable object may be most easily and most effectually accomplished.”
The bishop then takes a view of the principal missionary establishments, which leads him to notice the labours of Schwartz, whose character is concisely, but admirably drawn.
“ If two or three hundred such missionaries could be fond, and sent to the East and West Indies, I should not at all despair of an almost entire conversion of the Hindoos in the one, and the Negro Slaves in the other. But, alas, such characters as that of Schwartz are too thinly scattered over the world, to flatter us with the hopes of such a number of them being ever collected together for such a purpose. Indeed it is now become (as I find by experience) so extremely difficult to find out clergymen of character disposed to undertake foreign missions, and properly qualified for the due discharge of them, that it is indispensably necessary to have recourse to other means of converting and instructing the Negro Slaves in our islands, than those which have hitherto been made use of. Now that which I have to propose to your consideration, is one which, though gradual in its operation, will, if carried effectua ly into execution, be infallible in its result.
“ It is the establishment of parochial schools in every parish of the West India islands, one or more in each parish, as the 'extent of the parish and the number of Negroes in it may require, these schools to be formed on the plan originally. sketched out by Dr. Bell, first established by him at Madras, and since, transferred by him in an improved state to this country, where they are beginning to produce the most salutary effects. The peculiar nature, the super-eminent advantages, and the extensive and beneficial effects which have been already produced by them, both in the East Indies and in this country, you will find fully explained in the appendix or postcript to this letter. After reading that, which I earnestly recommend to your most serious consideration, you will not, I trust, have any hesitation in applying it to the use of your own Negroes. And if, for the reasons above adduced, you should be of opinion (and I do not see how it is possible for you not to entertain that opinion) that the religious education and instruction of your young Negroes is essentially necessary to restrain them from the most faial excesses in the indulgence of their sensual appetites; and that such restraint is equally necessary to keep up a constant supply of home-born Slaves for the cultivation of your lands : you will perceive that these important purposes can in no other way be so easily, so effectually, and so expeditiously obtained, as by the adoption of the schools here proposed.
“ Assuming then, that you are resolved upon the measure, the next consideration is, how are sufficient funds to be provided for carrying it into effect ! Now I apprehend that in this there will be very little difficulty, as one great excellence of Dr. Bell's plan is, that it is attended with but a very trifling expence. To defray this expence, I would propose,
“1. That a general subscription should be set on foot in this country, which I am persuaded would be an extensive and a liberal one.
In my own diocese, and particularly in the opulent cities of London and Westminster, I would exert my ut:nost influence to promote it, and would myself begin it with the sum of 5001. and if the occasion called for it, would at any time be ready to double that sum.
I can entertain no doubt but that the British legislature, which has already manifested so laudable a concern for the temporal happiness of the Negroes, will not be indifferent to their spiritual welfare, nor refuse their assistance in promoting it, by encouraging the establishment of these parochial schools.
“3. The Society for the Conversion and religious Instruction and Education of the Negro Slaves in the British West-India Islands (of which I have the honour to be President) have I think the power, and would not, I am confident, want the inclination to contribute some share of their moderate revenue towards forwarding the plan proposed; as one part of their institution is the education of the young Negroes, and they are allowed by their charter to send out schoolmasters to the islands, as well as missionaries.
66 4. Lastly. If these funds should not prove sufficient, a very small parochial rate might be raised on the Proprietors of lands in every island, to which (as they are to reap all the benefits of the institution, in the increase of their native Negroes, and will consequently save all the enormous sums formerly expended in the importation of fresh Slaves from Africa) they cannot, I think reasonably object."
Having thus fated the sources for the support of the eftablilhment propoled, the bishop proceeds to a detail of the plan, and to a refutation of objections that may be made to it, for which we must refer to the pamphlet.
The advantage of instructing the negro llaves, is abundantly experienced in the island of Antigua, where many thousands have been converted to Christianity; and they so much excel all the unconverted flaves in fobriety, honesty, fidctity, fubmiffion, and attach:nent to their mallers, that every Proprietor is anxious 10 procite them, and will giie higher price for them than for their heathen brethren!
The following address is powerful and elegant : ** You will have the immortal honour of founding a new school
for piety' and virtue in the bosom of the Atlantic Ocean, of ereci. ing a noble structure of religion and morality in the Western world, of exhibiting to mankind the interesting spectacle of a very large community of truly Christian Negroes, and of leading the way to the salvation of more than 500,000 human beings, (immersed before in the grossest ignorance, superstition, wickedness, and idolatry) with all their countless descendants to the end of time.
“ Looking forwards, then, as I do with some confidence to the accomplishment of this great event, it does, I confess, in some degree console and sustain my mind, amidst those frightful scenes that are now passing on every side of us, and those tremendous commotions which are convulsing to its centre almost the whole habitable globe. It will be one proof more, added to many others, of the high and exalted character of the British nation, and of the extent and grandeur of its views, beyond those of any other nation upon earth. While one immense gigantic power is spreading ruin, devastation, and the most complicated misery over the world; subverting kingdoms, empires, and long established governments, and bursting asunder all the most sacred bonds of civil and political sociely; we see this small Island, not only exerting itself with vigour in its own defence, and standing up single against the torrent that is overwhelming the whole continent of Europe, but at the same time silently and quietly providing for the future happiness of the human race, by diffusing every where the Holy Scriptures, and thereby sowing the seeds of Christianity over every quarter of the globe.”
Appended to this valuable pamphlet, is "a Short Sketch of the New System of Education for the Poor, in a Letter from the Rev. Dr. Bell, (the inventor of that system) to the Lord Bishop of London."
A Letter to the King, on the State of the Established Church
of England. 8vo. pp. 54. 15. 6d. J. J. Stockdale. THE
HE ignorance and impertinence of this writer' are
equally conspicuous. He says that the Book of CommonPrayer is “ incomparable,” while he pronounces the declaratory absolution to be popish; he also declares that in the Catechism, the doctrine of transubstantiation is taught to children, when it is evident he does not know the meaning VOL. XIV. RR
of Chm. Mag. April 1808.
of the word ; further, he roundly maintains that the seventeenth article Alrongly enforces the tremendous doctrine of predestination, which he considers as “the most unjust denunciation that could be pronounced against human nature.' From this it lould seem as if the letter-writer confounded the general and comfortable doctrine of the security of Christ's Church, for that is the predestination of our seventeenth article, with the absolute and irrespective decrees of election and reprobation of Calvin.
As this author, however, deals in mere naked assertions, and it is evident enough that he has never read any thing upon the subjects concerning which he delivers judgment with so much assurance, we need not enter into a particular refutation of his positions.
After finding fault with the liturgy and confefsion of the church, he proceeds to abuse the clergy, " for whose maintenance" as he says enormous sums are contributed by his majesty's subjects.”
This is the common jargon of the whole tribe of modern reformers, who will to make the public belieye, that the support of the church is a heavy tax upon the people, when in fact, rates and taxes would not be a farthing less, if there were no church at all. The claim of the church is its inhe. rent right in the soil, and which is as much the due of the church, as the manor is the property of its lord.
From general declamation, very much like the noisy nonsense of an alehouse club, the letter-writer descends to a particular case, which he states for his majesty's information in the following curious and uncourtly manner:
“I will trespass upon your majesty's patience a few questions, which I shouli desire to have answered by any one acquainted with East Ilsley, in Berkshire, whither I had occasion to go some short time past. Is not the living worth nearly 8001. a year? Does the incumbent reside there? Does his curate? Is there å clergyman in the parish or immediate neighbourhood? Is there service in the parish church on any days, excepting Sundays and indispensable festivals ? Is it an uncommon thing for the service to be delayed half or three fourths of an hour by the absence of the clergyman? Is not the service almost always read so fast as to be unintelligible? Has not one of the clergymen (only two are there) been known to be no longer than thirteen minutes delivering, his sermon and its accompanying prayers ?
“ Your majesty will be surprised and affected to hear, that there is not one of these questions, excepting the first, which can be answered with advantage to the clergyman."
As we are not acquainted with the parish here named, we of course can say nothing of the truth or falsehood of this ftatement, which, however, ought to have been laid before the bishop of the diocese, rather than obtruded on the notice of the king.
Afier calumniating, however, in the most unchristian and unmanly way possible, two clergymen of the Established Church, the author endeavours to make amends by bestowing his aukward praise upon some ministers of the Eftablished Church who have obtained by their merit diftinguished preferment, “men” says he " who like the present amiable and accomplished incumbent of Newbury, in Berkshire, are seldom surpassed in genius and erudition : whose demeanour, like the words they utter, breathes genuine piety."
As we do not know this gentlemen, we cannot question the justness of the panegyric; but if he possesses ever so - small a portion of the virtue ascribed to him by his admirer, - he must blush at praise so indecently bestowed, and that too given him at the expence of his brethren.