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We observed that this Law consisted of two enactments, the second of which is recited above. It is time to notice the first enactinent, which is exceedingly curious. It contained the ground or reason for the second enactment. It was not the ground of the Law of 1802, viz. "danger to the public peace;" neither that of the Ordinance of June 1807, namely," the unseemly noises and gesticulations of the preachers" and "false worshipping of God;" but it was "That masters "and mistresses" (the established clergy are overlooked)" shall teach the Slaves themselves in the "doctrines of the Established Church, and so prevent the necessity of the Missionaries teaching them at all."
This enactment greatly astonished "the masters and mistresses," particularly when they reflected on the extent of their charge. But their alarm subsided, when they found that it was an enactment without a penalty.
On hearing of the Second Edict in Jamaica,
got no soul.' 'Nobody teach black man now.'-If ever "the words of Sterne had a meaning, I heard his chains, " and the iron entered into my soul,' it must have been
"on such an occasion as this."
Coke's History, Vol. ii. p. 25.
the friends of the Mission in England presented a Petition to the King's Majesty in Council, in which they humbly represented, "That the be"neficed and regular Clergy of that Colony "confine their ministerial instructions almost "wholly, if not entirely, to the white and "other free inhabitants. That the Right Re"verend the Lord Bishop of London, in behalf "of the Society for the Propagation of the "Gospel in Foreign Parts,' a few years ago sent a Missionary to instruct the Negroes in the said "island of Jamaica, but that the said Missionary soon after died of the yellow fever; since which time, as they are informed and believe, there "has been no Missionary for the instruction of "the Negroes in that island, who had been "ordained by any Bishop of the Established "Church."
The Petition then proceeds:
"It is therefore a melancholy truth, as your "Petitioners humbly beg leave further to repre"sent to your Majesty, that, about four hundred "thousand of the human race are effectually ex
cluded, by this law, from all public worship, "and from all public and private instruction; "and that it amounts to a prohibition, by a "Christian Legislature, not of any particular "doctrines or modes of worship, but of the pro
pagation of the Gospel itself among your Ma'jesty's Subjects above mentioned. In this view "it is a measure of persecution unexampled in "the Christian world."-Coke's History. Vol. ii. p. 29.
In April, 1809, the merits of the Act were duly considered at the Board of Trade, and an Agent from Jamaica attended to explain and enforce its clauses *. On the 26th of the same
* We have heard, that it was alleged, in defence of the Act, That a certain Preacher or Preachers of the Methodists had been guilty of indiscretions and of a flagrant zeal, and that one of them had preached against slavery. If any preacher acted thus seditiously, which we do not believe, he ought to have been prosecuted for the crime, and expelled from the island, or sentenced to such other punishment as the Court might adjudge, "not extending to life." But his individual crime was not a reason for passing a law against Christianity, and forbidding the Negroes "to SING PSALMS" and praise their Maker! If seditious conduct on the part of the Preachers was the ground of the Act, why was not that ground inserted in the preamble.
As to the allegation that a certain Missionary preached against Slavery, in the ears of persons who were Slaves, and in a place where they are Slaves: by law, it is scarcely credible, supposing the man were sane. The doctrine of the Apostle Paul is just the contrary; a doctrine, which, we doubt not, has ever been zealously inculcated on the Slaves in the West Indies, by every Missionary who was worthy of that name:
month, a notification was sent to the Petitioners, informing them, that the Act passed in Jamaica, in November 1807, had been that day disallowed by his Majesty in Council.
We are concerned to state, that the spirit of opposition to the instruction of the Slaves in Jamaica still continues*, notwithstanding the repeated interference of his Majesty's Government. Had there been any hope that hostility would cease, the above details would not now have been given to the public. But as we apprehend public dishonour has been put upon Christianity in a part of the British Empire; and as the interests of more than 360,000 hapless Africans are concerned in the event; it appeared to be a case which ought to be submitted, in its full dimensions, to the Imperial Parliament.
"Art thou called, being a servant, care not for it; but "if thou mayest be made free, use it rather; for he that is "called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's free man."-1 Cor. vii. 21.
* In an official Report of the Missionary Committee at the New Chapel, City Road, dated 27th January, 1813, is the following paragraph:
"Last August, Mr. Wiggins, one of our Missionaries in "Jamaica, was sent to prison for a month for preaching "twice in our Chapel on the Lord's-day. And the Magi
strates appear to be determined that Missionaries shall
"not be permitted to preach in any part of the island."
THE EAST INDIES.
THE claim of the East Indies, like that of the West Indies, is two-fold. A religious establishment is wanted to perpetuate Christianity among our own countrymen; and our native subjects have a claim on us for Christian instruction, as circumstances shall permit us to afford it. We shall notice, in the first place, those natives who profess our own religion; for we consider, that the attention of the Legislature is first due to the Christians, or nominal Christians, who are subject to our dominion, but who are destitute of the privileges and institutions of a Christian people. By this rule, our regards will be primarily directed to the Christians of Ceylon.