Слике страница
PDF
ePub

puickly they vanish on the appearance of its terrors, which keep a more imm and durable possession of the human mind? The whole is a ridlle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspense s judgment, appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny concerning this subject.” In his own estimation then, futurity had its terpors. Doubt, inexplicable mystery, hung over his future destiny ! Whether he was not to be a child of hell forever, his most accurate scrutiny could only suspend his judgment! In this tremendous suspense, he plays cards as it were, on his coffin lid ! jests about ridiculous fables, as he steps down to the momentous uncertainties, but eternal realities, of the future! If a finger had been about to receive its sentence, whether to be amputated or not, he would at the least have been more grave. How far such a death-bed scene is honorable to philosophy or infidelity, or fit to be compared with that of millions of christians, I need not say. But this is the fairest aspect of the matter on the side of infidelity.

Shall I lead you to the horrible spectacle of Voltaire, in the arms of death, and expecting in a few moments to stand at the bar of God. He has just returned from a feast of applause in the theatre, to be laid on a bed of death, in the agonies of an upbraiding conscience. The physician enters. “ Doctor," said the apostle of infidelity, with the utmost consternation, “I am abandoned by God and man. I will give Fou half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months' life.” The physician told him he could not live six weeks. “Then,” said he, “I shall go to hell.” His companions in guilt, D'Alembert, Diderot and Marmontel, hasten to keep up his courage, but meet nothing but reproach and horror. In spite of the guard of infidels about him, he sends for the Abbé Gautier to come as soon as possible. In his preseace, and that of other witnesses, he signs a recantation of infidelity, and professes to die in the church. It is sent to the rector of St. Sulpice and the Archbishop of Paris for approval. The Abbé Gautier re turns with it, but cannot enter. Every avenue to the dying infidel is defended by those who shared in his conspiracy against christianity. They want to hide his terrors and their own shame. Now it is that D'Alembert, Diderot, and about twenty others of like character, who beset his apartment, never approach him but to hear their condemnation. “Retire!" he often exclaims, with execrations, “ it is you that have brought me to my present state ! Begone! I could have done without you all ; but you could not exist without me! And what a wretched glory have you produced me?” Then his conspiracy comes before him, and, alternately supplicating and blaspheming, he complains that he is abandoned by God and man, and often cries out: “Oh Christ! Oh Jesus Christ!" He is looking on him whom he pierced! He is drinking the cup of trembling ! "the foretaste of the second death! The Mareschal de Richelieu flies from the scene, declaring it “ too terrible to be sustained." The physicians, thunder-struck, retire ; declaring “ the death of the impious man to be terrible indeed.” One of them pronounces that “the furies of Orestes could give bul a faint idea of those of Voltaire."

We shall close these awful scenes with a few glances at the dying

Paine. Once it was his boast, that during a dangerous illness he thought with new satisfaction of having written the Age of Reason, and found, by experiment, that his principles were sufficient to sustain him in expectation of death. It was an empty boast ! Let us see him when really dying. He would not be left alone night or day. If he could not see that some one was with him, he would scream till a person appeared. A female attendant more than once found him in the attitude of prayer. Having asked her what she thought of his Age of Reason, and being answered that, from a conviction of its evil tendency, she had burnt it, he wished all its readers had been as wise, and added: “If ever the devil had an agent on earth, I have been one." An infidel visitor said to him : “ You have lived like a man; I hope you will die like one.” He turned to others in the room, and said : “ You see wbat miserable comforters I have.” The woman whom he had enticed from her husband, lamented her sad condition. “For this man,” she said, “ I have given up my family and friends, my property and my religion ; judge then of my distress, when he tells me that the principles he has taught me will not bear me out.” Well might she be distressed, when she heard his exclamations. “ He would call out, during his paroxysms of distress, without intermission, O Lord help me, God help me, Jesus Christ help me, O Lord help me,' etc., repeating the same expressions without any, the least, variation, in a tone of voice that wonld alarm the house. »

And now what need be said in conclusion? You have seen the fruit of the trees. One produces corruption; the other holiness of life. One roots up, the other nourishes and cherishes whatever is good around it. The spread of infidelity is that of vice and disorder, and all confusion. The spread of christianity is that of purity, peace, and all the virtues of the social state. The more thoroughly an individual embraces infidelity, the more entirely does he become the slave of sin. The more perfectly he embraces the gospel, the more perfectly does he become the example of whatever is lovely and of good report. No infidel ever rose higher than the chill composure of a Stoic's firmness, in the trial of death. Multitudes, and the chief of infidels have, in that honest hour, abandoned their sentiments with horror. On the other hand, no christian ever regretted when dying, that he had believed the gospel; all have only wished they had followed it more diligently ; and, in cases innumerable, disciples of Christ have risen to the most triumphant emotions of joy and praise, and the most exulting assurance of eternal life and glory, in the very act of departing for eternity. PP481-490.

[ocr errors]

Art. VIII.-SLAVERY AND COLONIZATION.

Thore ghts on African Colonization: or an impartial erhibition of the doctrines,

principles, and purposes of the American Colonization Society. Together with the resolutions, 'addresses, and remonstrances of the free people of color, etc. By William LLOYD GARRISON. Boston : 1832. Letter to Thomas Clarkson, by JAMES CROPPER. And Prejudice Vincible; or the practicability of conquering, prejudice by better means than by slavery and aile; in relation to the American Colonization Society. By C. STUART, etc.

Liverpool: 1832. The American Quarterly Retiero, No. XXIII, September, 1832, Article VIII. Abolition of Negro Slatery.

A few months ago, we gave some account of Mr. William Lloyd Garrison's Address to the people of color, and especially of the objections urged in that document against the American Colonization Society. The present work is a reiteration of the same objections in a more expanded form, with more vehemence and abusiveness of manner, with more numerous and striking demonstrations of unusual self-respect,* and with an imposing show of what the uninformed or inconsiderate reader would regard as testimony, in support of his various allegations. We do not propose, therefore, to erainine all the counts of his dreadful indictment in detail; showing what is the truth in the instances in which he has propounded error; it is enough to refer the intelligent and candid reader to our former article. All that we intend in respect to Mr. Garrison's ponderous pamphlet is, to offer a few critical remarks tending to show the character of his performance, and the danger of resting with implicit confidence on his representations of even plain mat

We have to do, in this article, with Mr. Garrison's method of reasoning; and we shall defend the institution which he has assailed, only so far as it may be defended by the exposure of some of his sophistries.

The allegations of this book against the American Colonization Society, as distinctly and formally set down, in so many sections,

1. “ The American Colonization Society is pledged not to oppose the system of slavery;" or, as we read the running title of the section, it is not hostile to slavery ;" or, as it is expounded in another instance, it " is solemnly pledged not to interfere with system of slavery, or in any manner to disturb the

repose

of

ters.

are the following.

the

jard Бре.

due

It is difficult to read any thing from Mr. G. without remembering the Span.

mentioned somewhere by Coleridge, who, whenever he had occasion to ek of himself, was wont to take off his hai in token of the profound respect to so illustrious and excellent a age.

1 Christian Spectator, June, 1832, pp. 324--333. Vol. V.

19

the planters ;” or, to turn to another paragraph, it “ pledges itself not only to respect the system of slavery, but to frown indignantly upon those who shall dare to assail it."

II. “ The American Colonization Society apologizes for slavery and slaveholders.” That is—if we read aright-it “exonerates the supporters of the slave system from reprehension.”

III. “ The American Colonization Society recognizes slaves as property.” “ This recognition,” says the accuser, " is not merely technical, or strictly confined to a statutable interpretation." (Pray, what is " a statutable interpretation” of a recognition ?''] " I presumc,” he proceeds, "the advocates of the society will attempt to evade this point, by saying that it never meant to concede the moral right of the masters to possess human beings; but the evidence against them is full and explicit. The society, if language mean any thing, does unequivocally acknowledge property in slaves to be as legitimate and sacred as any other property, of which to deprive the owners either by force or by legislation without making restitution, would be unjust and tyrannical.”

IV. “ The American Colonization Society increases the value of slaves.” “Thus” it " is the apologist, the friend, and the patron of SLAVEHOLDERS and slavery.

V. It “is the enemy of immediate abolition."

VI. It “is nourished by fear and selfishness." Its “ governing motive is fear--undisguised, excessive fear.” “The principal object avowed for the removal of the free people of color, is

, their corruptive and dangerous influence over the slave population." “ Throughout all the speeches, addresses, and reports in behalf of the society, it is confessed, in language strong and explicit, that an irrepressible and agonizing fear of the influence of the free people of color, over the slave population is the primary, essential, and prevalent motive for colonizing them on the coast of Africa—and not, as we are frequently urged to believe, a desire simply to meliorate their condition and civilize that continent.”

VII. “ The American Colonization Society aims at the utter expulsion of the blacks.” Its “implacable spirit is most apparent in its determination not to cease from its labors, until our whole colored population be expelled from the country.”

It “expressly denies the right of the slaves to enjoy their freedom and happiness in this country.”

VIII. It “is the disparager of the free blacks.” “The leaders in the African colonization crusade, seem to dwell with a malignant satisfaction upon the poverty and degradation of the free people of color, and are careful never to let an opportunity pass without heaping their abuse and contempt upon them.”

IX. “ The American Colonization Society denies the possibility of elevating the blacks in this country.” In the running title, this

accusation is thus expressed, “ The American Colonization Society presents the instruction of the blacks.” In the course of the illustration it is explained thus, “The society prevents the education of this class, in the most insidious and effectual manner, by constantly asserting that they must always be a degraded people in this country, and that the cultivation of their minds will avail them nothing."

X. "The American Colonization Society deceives and misleads the nation.” This means, as we understand it, after a careful examination of the illustration and argument, not only that the hopes inspired by the establishment of the colony are delusive, and operate to divert the public mind from other and more efficient undertakings; but also that the society, knowingly and intentionally imposes on the public by false representations of plain matters of fact.

These are the charges. The author does not regard one of them as light or trivial. His style and language show that, in every section, he considers himself as imputing great criminality to somebody. He is not merely exposing the error of attempting to colonize Africa with free people of color from America; he is charging crime upon a great multitude of persons.

Against whom then are these charges preferred? Whom does the accuser mean by the American Colonization Society? Does he mean merely the managers and executive officers of the institution, at Washington ? Does he mean those individuals only, who habitually act and vote at the annual meetings in the Capitol ? Or does he use the title, “Colonization Society,” to desig, nate the great body of the friends and supporters of the African colony of Liberia ? We are constrained to adopt the latter construction. We cannot but suppose that when, in this pamphlet, he accuses " the American Colonization Society,” he understands himself, and wishes to be understood by his readers, as bringing charges against the self-same persons, whom in his former pamphlet he accused, in nearly the same words, under the names of colonizationists” and “o supporters of the African scheme.”

Yet it is not without some reason, some final cause, that in the present instance the object of attack is designated by another name. In the address to the people of color, the simple object was to prejudice their minds invincibly against the influence of a certain class of Philanthropic individuals, namely, those who in any manner befriend the African colony; and therefore the orator spoke of the “ doctrines, principles, and purposes” of colonizationists. In the Tork now under review, the object is to prejudice the public at ge , against any participation in the enterprise of colonizing Afand therefore the writer represents these “ doctrines, princiand purposes," as part and parcel of the American Colonization

lar ric

a; pl

« ПретходнаНастави »