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prove much more than if found in a different condition. When we find men formerly slaves conducting the public affairs of the colony, filling the places of trust and honor, firmly maintaining its rights, bravely defending its borders, managing its correspondence with Europeans in such a manner as to inspire respect and confidence, and, what is more, showing that the intellectual and religious interests of the people are near their hearts, it seems to us to afford volumes of eloquent pleading in behalf of the slave, and to establish the fact, that such a field of action and improvement is one which the colored race are blind to their own interests not to prize. They may say that they know their own interests best; it may be so; but men, before now, have mistaken what was good for them, when they thought they saw it clearly. We do not perceive that their color gives them any better means of judgment than others possess; and to us it seems clear, that, in disowning Liberia, they indulge a suicidal prejudice, which their children, if not they, will remember with sorrow in future days. We do not say that other places may not be better, but we do say that this commonwealth fully answers the purpose for which it was founded, by showing that the colored race can be efficient, self-sustained, respected, and happy, without needing the aid or counsel of white men, and in a republic entirely their own.
How it is that the free colored race can look with complacency on their condition in any part of this country is more than we can understand. True, it may be better at some future day than it is now; we hope and trust that it will. But we speak of it as it is now, and surely there is no immediate prospect of a change for the better; and we cannot comprehend why they should wish to detain those who are desirous to make the experiment of other influences and a more favored land. No community, one would think, can afford a better home for the free colored man than Boston ; and yet, in comparison with Liberia, what story has Boston to tell ?
“By an authentic document in the nature of a report rendered this year (1837] to the Boston Union for the Relief and Improvement of the Colored Race,' we are enabled to run a statistical parallel between the people of the colony of Liberia, in Africa, and the free people of color in the city of Boston, in America. In Liberia, more than one in every four of the inhabitants are church-members; in Boston, less than one in every seven of the colored people are church-members. In Liberia, there are five hundred and eighty pledged members of temperance societies; in Boston, there is not one, as appears from the tabular view. In Liberia, every child of sufficient age, of the families of the colonists, was at regular school ; in Boston, the proportion was so small and so uncertain as to be really not comparable. In Boston, a primary school for colored children had to be discontinued for want of scholars ; in Liberia, fifteen schools could not satisfy the people, clamorous for the education of themselves and their offspring. In Liberia, the inhabitants support, both by their pecuniary and by their literary contributions, an ably conducted paper, they can not only generally read, but can generally write and compose in a correct and manly style, as our quotations therefrom abundantly testify; in Boston, scarcely any of the adults were able to read, and of children so reported some discount must be made.' In Boston, 'a majority of all classes of them attend public worship very irregularly ’; in Liberia, the people are a . peculiarly church-going people, nor could love or money influence any of them to labor on the Sabbath.'"
- p. 543.
Some may think that the colored persons would not be the better for connection with the churches ; some of their friends have been exceedingly busy to bring the church into disesteem with them, and thus have done fatal injury to those whom they probably meant to serve.
But to the eye of common sense, the fact just stated tells very much in favor of the home beyond the sea.
In Boston, the colored race are diminishing, * and the number of unmarried persons is great, a fact which bodes no good to the coming generations. In Liberia, the inhabitants are increasing, and the state of society is encouraging in every respect of prosperity and morals. Now, it seems to us, that, if we were of their number, and the lines had
* Mr. Lemuel Shattuck's able report on the census of Boston taken in 1845 contains a table, on page 43, from which we borrow the following facts. In 1742, of the whole population of the city, 8.39 per cent. were colored persons; in 1800, they were only 4.7; in 1825, 3.29; in 1835, 2.24; and in 1845, but 1.61 per cent. In 1840, the whole number of colored persons in Boston was 1,988; in 1845, the number was reduced to 1,842; yet, in these five years, the total population of the city had increased from about 85,000 to 114,366, or 34.54 per cent.
fallen to us in our Northern capital, we should strike our tent with all possible expedition, and proceed to a more genial home. If we were reminded, that we were born in America, we should answer, that it was quite sufficient for us, and we should take care to die in some more friendly and favored land. This, however, is matter of taste and opinion, which each one must determine for himself; but we lament to say, that, as the prejudice against them grows out of the memory of their bondage, even if slavery should come to an end to-morrow, it must be a long time before the impression of their inferiority and all the associations connected with it would be done away.
We recommend this work to those who desire to know something of one of the most remarkable enterprises of the age.
It is true, its history is young, and the events here recorded have been passing before us ; but we think very little of such incidents as they are served to us piecemeal in the public prints ; it is not till we see the whole movement at a single view, that we can understand its greatness, or form any conjecture as to its results in a future day. It has yet much to contend with ; as our government cannot take it under its full protection, it must depend in a great measure upon the sense of honor and right which prevails among the nations of the earth.
We wish it could place more ample confidence in this moral sense ; but, if the con
; science of nations is weak, there is nothing which any one of them could gain by injury to Liberia, and this is a guaranty on which it can more safely rely. Sometimes a small naval officer may glory over it, in the wantonness of power which has been committed to his unworthy hands; but it is hoped that such airs of importance will be prevented, if not censured ; they cannot be permitted without reproach to the nation which allows them. Our own officers have done themselves great honor by the kind and manly interest which they have manifested in the colony, and the open testimony in its favor which they have been ready to give. We hope that it will be strong enough to work out its own results in peace. Prejudice itself cannot well point out any harm which it can do ; while there is good reason to hope that it will afford a refuge for the oppressed, and be the means of making to injured Africa some late atonement for its numberless wrongs.
292 Alexander's History of Colonization in Africa. [Oct.
We say again, then, that we support this enterprise as a measure of emancipation. We look upon it as allowing the claim of the slave to be free, urging on his master the duty of releasing him, and expressing full confidence that he can be enlightened, happy, and free, when removed from the operation of that prejudice which here weighs him down. So far from admitting that the prejudice in question has any foundation in truth and reason, we think it baseless and unjust; and we see no means so efficient to remove its as to give the slave a chance to show the world what his energies, exerted for himself, can do. If we could see or imagine a way in which colonization would prolong the existence of slavery, it is the last thing in which we should be interested ; but while we do not doubt the sincerity of those who ascribe this effect to it, we cannot trace the steps of their reasoning, nor understand the state of mind in which these impressions are welcomed as true. To our apprehension, it is clear, that whatever keeps this subject before the public mind, without exciting bad passions, is favorable to the progress
It is well known that this form of emancipation is tolerated and practised where no other would be possible. If any one sends his slaves to Liberia, it is a declaration on his part either that it is his duty to surrender them, or that he thinks they can be better off elsewhere than in the house of bondage. In both cases, his testimony is favorable to the cause of freedom; others will be influenced by it; and thus a sense of the value of liberty, and the right and capacity of the slave to enjoy it, will gradually make its way from heart to heart. All may not travel up to this conviction in precisely the same way ; but this is of little importance, if they only arrive at the truth, that every man should be his own master, and that all have a right to be free.
Art. II. — Sermons preached upon Several Occasions.
By Robert South, D. D., Prebendary of Westminster, and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. A N Edition, including the Posthumous Discourses. Philadelphia : Sorin & Ball. 4 vols. 8vo.
No explorer of the thorny tracts of theology can ever forget his exhilaration of spirit on first reading the sermons of Dr. South, the shrewdest, sharpest, bitterest, and wittiest of English divines. His character, formed by a curious interpenetration of strong prejudices and great powers, and colored by the circumstances of his age and position, is one of the most peculiar in English literature, and, as displayed in his works, repays the most assiduous study. In some points he reminds us of Sydney Smith, though distinguished from him by many striking individualities, and utterly opposed to him in political sentiment and principle. He is a grand specimen of the old Tory; and he enforced his Toryism with a courage, heartiness, and wealth of intellectual resources, to which the warmest radical could hardly refuse admiration and respect.
South was born in 1633. He was the son of an eminent London merchant. In 1647, he was admitted a king's scholar at Westminster, at the period when Dr. Busby was master of the school. On the day of the execution of King Charles the First, or, to use his own words, that black and eternally infamous day of the king's murder, an hour or two before his sacred head was cut off,” the Doctor prayed for the king by name, while reading Latin prayers at the school. In 1651, he entered Oxford, at the same time that John Locke was admitted, — the future champion of the divine right of kings, in company with the future champion of freedom. In 1655, he took his degree of Bachelor of Arts, and wrote a copy of Latin verses congratulating Cromwell on the peace made with the Dutch. Although this was a college exercise, and the theme probably selected for him and not by him, it must have been a most galling recollection in after years, when he was writing down the great Protector as an “execrable monster,” and comparing him to Baal and Beelzebub. At college he seems to have been a severe student, both in the acquisition of knowledge NO. 133.