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and most convincing proof of all this will be experience, the experience of this society, the actual effects produced on their own Negroes, by teaching them to read the Bible and Common-Prayer Book, and instilling into them right principles of morality and religion. When the other planters see on the society's piantations a little community of truly christian Negroes, impressed with a just sense, and living in the habitual practice of the several duties they owe to God, to their masters, to their fellow-labourers, and to themselves; governed by fixed laws, and by the exactest discipline, yet tempered with gentleness and humanity, enjoying some little share of the comforts and advantages of social and domestic life, seeing their children virtuously and religiously educated, performing their daily tasks with alacrity and fidelity, and looking up to their masters as their friends, their
protectors, and benefactors; they would be irresistibly led to imitate so striking, so edifying an example, and to realize on their own estates a scene so delightful to humanity, and so beneficial at the same time (as it unquestionably would be) to the proprietors themselves. It is this consideration which makes it of such infinite importance that the plan here proposed, or something similar to it, should be adopted by the society. It is not merely the advantages that would result from it to our own Negroes (great as they undoubtedly would be) that should recommend this measure to us; it is still more, that extensive and highly beneficial influence it would have on all the British West-India islands. It would render the society's plantation a MODEL for all the other planters to follow. It would give it the glory of founding a new SCHOOL FOR PIETY AND VIRTUE in the Atlantic ocean, of raising a noble structure of religion in the western world, of leading the way perhaps to the future conversion and salvation of more than five hundred thousand human beings, with all their countless descendants to the remotest generations.
This surely is a prospect sufficient to animate our zeal in so glorious a work; and if after all, our attempts should fail, we shall at least have discharged our duty; we shall satisfy ourselves and the world, that nothing has been left untried; and that the conversion
of the Negroes is a hopeless and impracticable undertaking: a declaration which at present we are not, I apprehend, sufficiently prepared and authorized to maķe; because every thing that may be done, has not been done, and because it appears, from the most undoubted testimony, that many thousands of slaves, both in the Danish islands, and in our own island of Antigua, have been actually and effectually converted to the christian faith*. This affords us just ground to hope that our attempts also will, with the blessing of Providence, finally succeed. And if they do, we shall have the satisfaction of applying our trust (without interfering with its original design) to the very noblest purpose to which it can possibly be directed. We shall relieve ourselves from the uneasiness of possessing a species of property which in its present state cannot but sometimes give pain to a religious society, but which, with the improvements here proposed, will not only perfectly accord with our character and our institution, but give fresh credit and consequence to both in the eyes
* See a very excellent paper delivered into the committee of the Privy Council by the United Brethren (commonly called Moravians) containing a short account of their endeavours to promote christianity among the heathens, particularly among the Negroes in the WestIndia islands. It appears from this account that at the end of the year 1787, the number of real Negro converts under their care in the British and Danish islands was 16,045. Vid. Report, Part 3, No. 2. Mr. Braithwaite (the late worthy agent for Barbadoes) says, thạt great advantages have arisen to the Planters from the labour of the Moravian missionaries in the island of Antigua. Report of Privy Council, Barbadoes, A. No. 18.