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power, a monstrous and baneful thing, with all the limb and the muscle of a man, put animated only by the unhallowed spell of some desperate magician. We shall not pretend to disguise from you our fears, that even this interval of preparation will not prove sufficient. We are not over sanguine as to the results of this great measure of emancipation. We have much doubt whether, when he come to be altogether his own master, his indolence of character joined to the enervating influence of a tropical climate, will not make the negro a rebel against that great ordinance of labour which has formed our subject of discourse. And the very fertility of the soil may help to produce the consequences which we deprecate, and thus to prove the justice of the argument which we have been engaged in maintaining: for if the negro find that a little toil will provide him a sufficiency, it has yet to be seen whether he will give more than that little, and be any thing better than a reckless idler, unworthy of the liberty which has been granted to him at so costly a price.
If such an effect be produced on our slaves, it is fearful to think what a stimulus we shall have given to slavery all over the world. Already, it appears, has the foreign slave-trade been greatly increased by the hope that our colonial produce will not meet the demand, and that we shall be forced to seek a supply from countries where slave labour is still in full play. We hope there will be virtue enough in the legislature to resist this temptation : but we cannot close our eyes to the danger. Let our negro population in the West Indies turn reckless and idle, and we shall have freighted hundreds of vessels for all the horrors of the middle passage.
And why do we indulge in these fears ? and why cloud the splendour of a great national act with doubts of its ultimate success? Simply because we think we have yet only imperfectly discharged our duty to the slave, and we would animate you to take the only effectual measures for securing that emancipation shall be a blessing. We injure the slave, and then turn him adrift, uninformed of that spiritual bondage in which he naturally lies, and uninstructed how to throw from him a chain a thousand-fold more galling than any which his task-masters ever imposed. Vain boon, to give him liberty, and leave him slave to that worst of all tyrants, himself! It is the truth, said Christ, which makes men free: and unless you take vigorous measures for the Christian instruction of the vast negro population, multiplying churches and schools, and overspreading the colonies with all that apparatus which God has put in our hands for evangelizing the earth; we are bold to say, that you may have compensated the planter, but you have not compensated the slave; and we can anticipate nothing, but that there will come on this land the wrath of retributive justice, and that the millions of immortal creatures whom it has nobly declared free, will be as thorns in its sides, and as a millstone round its neck, because emancipation was not accompanied by education, and that because the edict of Parliament, “ Thou shalt not eat bread in the fetters of a bondman," was not carefully followed up by the edict of the Bible, “Thou shalt eat bread in the sweat of thy face."
It is under a sense of the obligation, which on every account is thus laid on England, of providing for the Christian instruction of the negro population of the West Indies, that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts has asked and obtained the king's letter, under the authority of which you are now solicited for contributions. It appears that the churches and
chapels throughout the whole dioceses of Jamaica and Barbadoes will only accommodate about fifty-seven thousand persons; and yet the colouredi population itself is nearly one million. There is a like disproportion in schoolhouses, and it is calculated that the cost of erecting such additional schools and chapels as may be adequate to the wants of the people, will not be less than one hundred thousand pounds.
Such is the cause which we submit to your consideration. We never submitted a stronger or more important; and we confidently expect to find your liberality proportioned to the exigency. If all that has been told us of slavery be true, it is an incubus on man, chaining down the mind as well as the body. Its removal, therefore, will be followed by a desire after knowledge : the mind will expand, and crave material with which to fill its amplified capacities; and it must be our business to meet this desire, and to provide such material, that the negro may be raised to his due place amongst men. We owe him a long debt; God has noted the injustice of which he has been the victim, and the cupidity which has debased him, though formed in the divine image, into a mere beast of burden. The scalding tears which he shed when torn from his native land, and the groans wrung from him through years of oppression, may be all treasured up against some day of retribution. We have been awakened to a sense of our danger; we have listened to the pathetic cry, “ Am I not a man and a brother?" and dashed away the fetters which our own hands had forged. But we have only half done our duty. They are immortal beings whom we have liberated : we must teach them their immortality, otherwise will liberty be a curse, and the freemen become the scourge and terror of their liberators. The eyes of the world are upon us : we have made a bold and a fine experiment : but if through our neglect it come to pass that the emancipated abuse their freedom, and prove themselves unfit for such a privilege, we shall have done more against the sacred cause of liberty, than if we had still kept in bondage our negro population. Other nations will point to our failure, as justifying their refusal to emancipate ; and America, both North and South, will strengthen her already iron-handed tyranny, and vindicate from our experience, her still grinding into money the bone and the sinew of human kind.
I can say no more. The cause is a great one, and commends itself to you as men, and yet more as Christians. We wait for proof, that standing fast yourselves in “ the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free," you will not be content till that liberty is enjoyed by those, who must otherwise be free only in name.
THE CURE OF THE SPIRITUAL DISEASE.
REV. W. JAY,
ARGYLE CHAPEL, BATH, SEPTEMBER 27, 1835.
“ Wilt thou be made whole ?"-John, v. 6.
Thus the chapter begins : “ After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep-market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches." It is commonly and justly supposed, that these porches were for the accommodation of the poor, provided by the liberality of the rich. I am aware of the difficulty attached to this portion of Scripture, and of the discussions which it has produced among the learned. With regard to these we only observe, that the healing quality of this water was undeniably supernatural ; “ For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water : whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." You see, first, the instrument employed to communicate the virtue was an angel. Angels are “ministering spirits ;” and dignified as they are, there is no office which their piety, and humility, and benevolence will not perform. Secondly, the salubriousness was periodical : thirdly, it only healed one individual at a time: but fourthly, it cured him " of whatsoever disease he had.” Neither of these conditions will agree with the qualities of ordinary medicinal waters, like ours.
It is not possible to determine precisely when the pool was endowed with this efficaciousness. None of the Jewish historians speak of it as virtuous; neither is its virtue mentioned in the Scriptures before the appearance of the Son of God. It is probable, therefore, that it was endowed with this property about the time of our Saviour's birth ; and this miracle was designed to prepare for the belief of other miracles, and this benefit was intended to raise the expectation to higher benefits : “ In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, balt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water."
What hath sin done! How various and how numerous are the evils which amict human nature! We are not sufficiently acquainted with them, and there are many who are unwilling to know them : they cherish a delicacy that hides their researches; otherwise it would be surely profitable for them to enter garrets, and hovels, and cellars, and hospitals, and infirmaries, for the purpose of gratitude and sympathy, thankful for their own exemption, and weeping with them that weep. When Howard passed through Italy, though, as is well known, he was an amateur painter, and a connoisseur too, having a large collection of his own, to which he was continually adding, as he possessed the means of doing so; yet he fled by all the exhibitions of paintings, in order to plunge into dungeons and prisons to relieve the miserable. What a follower of Him who went about doing good !
This seems to have been the very first place that our Saviour visited when he ascended up to Jerusalem : and it afforded a fine opportunity for the display of his character. Some of our fellow-creatures seem made to “possess months of vanity," and "have wearisome nights appointed them:" they seem to have been made, as it were in vain: incapable of enjoyment, unfit for the active services of life, they seem to live only to die, and dying while they live. Among the objects of woe here found by our Saviour, his attention was struck by a poor wretch who had groaned under his malady for thirty and eight years, and had been often waiting at the pool for the propitious moment; but always had the mortification to be prevented by those who were less helpless than himself, or who were better served. The Saviour knew all his distress; and his eye affected his heart : “ When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole ?" The poor invalid, not being acquainted with our Saviour, did not comprehend at first the full force of the question: he supposed that he was a kind Israelite, who was ready to offer him his assistance to put him into the laver, as soon as there was a favourable opportunity. And hence, he does not directly answer the demand, but only complains bitterly of the merciless neglect which he had experienced. “ The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” The reply awakened all the emotions of tenderness in the Redeemer's bosom; and giving way immediately to his pity and to his power, Jesus saith unto him, “ Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked."
You see I have passed by the question which is to engage your attention this evening, in order to give you a full view of the narrative. But, my dear hearers, for what purpose do you suppose this case and this recovery were recorded ? You will never read the Gospel, never peruse the history of the Saviour with advantage, till you learn to bring it home to your own businesses and bosoms; till you learn to rise from the body to the soul, and in the recovery of the one, to acknowledge the salvation of the other. He who came to seek and to save that which is lost is here this evening, and he is asking each of you, in another and a nobler sense than here, “ Wilt thou be made whole ?"
Let us first consider what is supposed in the condition of the persons addressed. Secondly, what is implied in the question. Thirdly, how you may return an answer to this inquiry. Fourthly, what should render you willing to avail yourselves of this proposal: and, lastly, what is the duty of those who have been enabled to answer, “ Yea, Lord,” and have experienced his recovering mercy. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if do them."
First, WHAT IS SUPPOSED IN THE CONDITION OF THE PERSON ADDRESSED. Why, he is a patient; he is in a state of disorder and disease ; or the address of the Saviour would be absurd. And here at once we come into conflict with the prejudices and the pride of man. You often hear persons talking of " the dignity of human nature ;" and if we consider it physically and intellectually, it is dignified, when we see man in his capacity for boundless improvement,
in the expansion of his powers, in the acquisition of literature, in the progress of philosophy. For instance now, refer to the sublime discoveries in astronomy: see the astronomer going back and fixing past eclipses-going forward and fixing future ones, for ages to come, punctiliously. You see him reducing comets from their supposed erratic courses to their regular and proper orbits, and foretelling to a few hours the return of one of these bodies, after an absence of seventy-five years, during which, with inconceivable rapidity, it has been sweeping the bosom of immensity. O when we see man accomplishing all this, here he appears really great; and blockheads should learn to revere minds which are above them, and to place some dependence upon them: and here we see that man is made “ a little lower than the angels."
But O how lamentable is it to find any of these fine powers misapplied and abused. What is man morally? What is he religiously? What is his state and disposition towards God? Why he is a fallen, a guilty, a depraved, a perishing, and in himself a helpless creature. His body has become mortal, and subject to every calamity; and his soul is alienated from the life of God. The members of the Establishment are continually acknowledging this in their devotions: they have this very day said, “We are tied and bound by the chain of our sin:” “ There is no health in us :" meaning, no moral or spiritual health ; for otherwise the language would not be true. Yet how often are these words used without reflection, and how frequently is the truth of them denied by those who employ them! So that sometimes when the minister ascends the pulpit, and takes as the ground of his discourse the confessions made in the readingdesk, he gives offence, and draws upon himself reproach. And let him—he has the truth on his side: he will have the testimony in the consciences of his hearers : the Scriptures will bear him through. The Scriptures decide this melancholy fact by even the provision of the Gospel : for in the name of reason and common sense, what need is there of a redemption, if we are not enslaved, and of a Saviour if we are not lost, and of a remedy if we are not sick and dying? And by the most express decisions, too, assuring us that “all have sinned;" that “all have become guilty before God;" that all demned" by the law of God; that “ every mouth is stopped,” and “ all the world is guilty before God;" that “ the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint," and that “ from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is nothing but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." All the principles, all the powers, of the soul are affected by sin, precisely in the same way as the body is injured by disease: and it would be easy, if we had time, to describe the state in which mankind are now found. You may see it in the perversion of the judgment; you may see it in the ignorance of the understanding; you may see it in the rebellion of the will; you may see it in the pollution of the very conscience; you may see it in the inconsistency, tyranny, and carnality of the affections; you may see it in the folly and the iniquity of the life, while destruction and misery are in their paths. This is the condition of the persons here addressed.
But let us inquire, secondly, WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THE QUESTION. Two things are implied in it.
First, that the disease is curable : for our dear Saviour would not raise our attention to trifle with us, much less to deceive us. The case is indeed despe