« ПредишнаНапред »
the native African; and, in the East, the Halfcast is counted inferior to the Hindoo.
the carcase of a dead mule or dog, in the nearest vacant soil.
It was believed by the Greeks and Romans, that the rites of sepulture were necessary to the repose of the departed spirit. What they could do, therefore, in a religious way, they did, to provide in another world for the happiness of those fellow-beings, who, in the present, were devoted to their service. Let West-India masters contemplate, and shudder at, their own very opposite conduct. And let not characteristics, like these, be esteemed of little moment. Our treatment of the dead not only indicates but influences our feelings towards the living.
“ The State called Slavery delincuted," p. 315.
INSTRUCTION OF THE NEGROES BY MISSIONARIES.
That the Christian instruction of the Negroes has been hitherto almost entirely neglected by the local governments in the West Indies, is fully attested by the statute books of almost every island, which teem with laws concerning the labour, fines, and punishments of the slaves, but have little reference to them as being rational creatures. This fact appeared in full evidence before the British Parliament*. It will be a satisfaction to the
*“Q. What has been, and is now, the situation of the slaves in Jamaica, as to religious instruction ? ..."
« A. There are a very few properties 'on which there are : Moravian parsons; but, in general, there is no attention paid to any religious instruction.”-JOHN WEDDERBURNE, Esq. Evidence of 1790, House of Commons, p. 381.
“Q. Are Negro slaves or their children in general baptized ?
“ A. It is not uncommon for Negro slaves to be baptized by the Romish priests; but this depends entirely on their own' inclinations, as there are no religious institutions established by law for the benefit of slaves in the island.”-GOVERNOR SETON. P. C. Report on Slave Trade, p. 3.
"Q. What religious institutions are there for the benefit of Negro slaves in each of the islands in the West Indies ?
feeling mind, to see, from the title to this section, that teachers of Christianity have visited this unhappy race, The two principal bodies which have engaged in this laudable undertaking, are the United Brethren or Moravians, and the Wesleyan Methodists. The number of converts belonging to the Moravians, who have laboured in this good work, with suecess continually augmenting, ever since the year 173%, is, by the last returns, nearly 25,000; those belonging to the Methodists, who followed their example about the year 1785, amount to 13,042*,
It will be proper to say something here, of the
A. (By Mr. ROBERTON), “ None established, in either the Windward or Leeward Islands."-Same Report : Tide, Dominica,
Q. Same as preceding.
“ A. We know of none such in Jamaica.” By Mr. FULLER, Agent of Jamaica, Mr. CHISHOLME, and Mr, LONG. -Same Report : Title, Jamaica.
“In the old English Islands, and even the ceded Islands of St. Vincent and Dominique, the Negroes, in respect to religion, are very shamefully neglected.”—JAMES BAILLIE, Esq. Evidence of 1790, House of Commons, p. 201.
* See Minutes of Conference of Wesleyan Methodists for 1812, p. 43.
character of the Missionaries, and of their converts, derived from unexceptionable evidence.
Mr. Edwards, in his History of the West Indies, has borne testimony to the merits of the United Brethren, in the following terms:
“ It is to the honour of Antigua, that its inha" bitants have encouraged, in a particular man
ner, the laudable endeavours of certain pious
men, who have undertaken, from the purest " and best motives, to enlighten the minds of the
Negroes, and lead them into the knowledge of
religious truth. In the Report of the Lords of « Committee of Council on the Slave Trade, is an
account of the labours of the Society known by “ the name of the Unitas Fratrum (commonly “ called Moravians), in this truly glorious pur“ suit; from which it appears, that their conduct “ in this business displays such sound judgment, “ breathes such a spirit of genuine Christianity, " and has been attended by such eminent suc
cess, as to entitle its brethren and missionaries “ to the most favourable reception from every
man whom the accidents of fortune have invest" ed with power over the Africans; and who be“ lieves (as I hope every Planter believes) that
they are his fellow-creatures, and of equal im“ portance with himself, in the eyes of an all“ seeing and impartial Governor of the Uni
*.”. Vol. I. p. 488.
* From the Evidence in the Privy Council Reports, we extract the following: ..“Q. Have the Moravians and Methodists applied themselves to the conversion of the Negro slaves in the Island of Antigua?
“ A. Both the Moravian and Methodist preachers have applied themselves very strenuously, and with great success, in the conversion of the Negroes in that island; and as they have built proper places to hold their meetings in, all the slaves are encouraged by their masters to attend.
“ Q. What has been the general effect on the slaves who are converted ?
“A. A more decent deportment in their behaviour and religious attendance: and most of them are become Christians." --Commons' Report, 1790. Evidence of THOMAS NORBURY KERBY, Esq.
“ In addition to what I had the honour to mention to your Grace on the subject of the Negroes in these Colonies, I beg leave to observe, that, besides the established Clergy of the islands, there are Moravian and Methodist Ministers settled in all of them: for the purpose of affording moral and religious instruction to the Negroes; and their congregations are very numerous.
“ To evince to your Grace how successful these Missionaries have been in their labours among the Leeward Islands, I will endeavour to procure an exact account of the number of Negroes who have been admitted into their congregations, and transmit it to your Grace as soon as it can be obtained.