Page images

To this may be added the remarkable fact, that the mestizo, or mixed caste between the White and the Indian, is still more decidedly inferior in every intellectual quality to the mulatto. In Brazil, the superiority of the African over the copper-coloured race is not less conspicuous. At the same time there can be little doubt that the present race of Indians have degenerated since the days of Montezuma. Nor is it as seen in the tierras calientes of the tropical islands, or on the burning coasts of South America, that the Indian is to be fairly judged of, but in the temperate regions of the table land and in the recesses of the Andes.

The Bishop of Chester is sorely displeased at the practice of private regeneration. What will he say to the following description of an episcopal performance of the rite? Would he call it public or private baptism?

• According to appointment, at nine the next morning, Mr. Mitchell's house was surrounded by a multitude of men, women, and children. Some came to be baptized, some to gossip, and some co be married. They all entered the house with perfect nonchalance, roamed about in every part of it, and laughed and gabbled in as unrestrained a manner as they would have done in their own huts. Mr. Mitchell's parlour, where I had slept, was constituted baptistery and altar. A white cloth was spread on the table, and a large glass vase, filled with pure water, was placed in the middle. After about a quarter of an hour's arduous exertions on the part of the governor and commandant, these light-hearted creatures were re. duced to as low a degree of noise as their natures would admit. The bishop then read the first part of the service, the whole party kneel. ing on the floor; but when the rite of aspersion came to be performed, there had like to have been a riot, from the mother's jockeying for the honour of first baptism at the bishop's hand. The two chaplains ministered till they streamed, and never did I hear such incessant squalling and screaming as arose from the regenerated piccaninnies. I think seventy were baptized and registered, which was the most laborious part of all. We had some difficulty in collecting them for the con. clusion of the service ; but, upon the whole, the adult negroes be. haved exceedingly well, and displayed every appearance of unfeigned devotion.'

The last remark must be meant for wit; and were the subject any thing less solemn than a religious rite administered in the name of the Holy Trinity, we could join heartily in the Author's laugh. Yet, had such a representation of this solen farce been given by any person of less questionable churchmanship than the Bishop's travelling companion and assistant, we are quite sure that it would have been construed into an attempt to throw ridicule on the rites and doctrines of our

[ocr errors]

Apostol c Church. We shall content ourselves with the simple remark, that the Missionaries manage these things at least more decently; and if the Writer means to insinuate, that the negroes are incapable of being brought to understand the real nature of Christian baptism, or of the marriage contract, he is mistaken.

The jail in Trinidad is the best in the Antilles, and really • respectable.' In all the other islands they are infamous.' An honest tread-wheel' has been wisely provided with the most salutary effect; and the Author is of opinion that it must accompany every step in the process of emancipation. Be it so: it is better than the cart-whip. “As far as I could

see or hear,' be adds, the execution of the Orders in • Council had created no permanent disturbance, and the ' planters themselves were willing to confess that a great deal • of causeless violence had been displayed upon the occasion.'

We shall not attempt to follow our Writer through the tour of the islands. The general character and temper of the volume will be seen from these extracts. The reader will expect to meet with a few hits at the Methodists and the Abolitionists ; but these, we are charitable enough to believe, are thrown out with a view to propitiate their opponents, and to save the Author's character with them, rather than with any malice prepense. In fact, we are disposed to forgive him all his peccadilloes of this and every other kind, in consideration of the manly manner in which he speaks out on the subject of planters and slaves.

• No English resident in the West Indies, however'little conversant with the administration of justice in his pative country, cap fail to be struck with the system prevalent in the colonies. It is not easy to overrate the importance of enlightened and impartial judicature in any place or at any time, but the peculiar circumstances of society in these islands render its existence absolutely indispensable. In all communities where slavery is established, there ought to be good laws to protect the slaves, and independent judges to enforce their provisions ; if there be neither one nor the other, or if there be one without the other, in either case one great corrective of the excesses of the free, one great guarantee of the safety of the bond, one great fountain of civilization throughout the whole state, will be lost. As long as the slave confides in the protection of a power superior to his master, he will probably labor in tranquillity ; but if he finds that there is no such power, or that such power is prejudiced against him, it is nothing but an ordinary impulse of human nature, that in case of oppression he should strive to obtain that by his violence, which has been, or which he suspects will be, denied to his petition.

• In Barbadoes the laws are administered by some or twenty-eight judges. They are all planters or merchants and are

appointed by the Governor. Not one of them has ever been educated for the bar, nor is any previous knowledge of the law a necessary or an usual qualification for the office. They neither comprehend the extent, nor are agreed upon the validity of the laws which they are called upon to interpret; they can none of them settle the limits of British and colonial enactments; they adhere to no fixed principles; they are bound by no precedents. The powers of a Chancellor are exercised by the Governor and the Council, which consists of thirteen members, and it is next to impossible in so small a community, that any cause should come into court in which some of these judges will not be directly or indirectly interested. I make no charge nor intend any insinuation whatever of corrupt practices; but giving them full credit for integrity of purpose, I must say that they s!and in a situation which, according to the spirit of the British Constitution, incapacitates them from exercising any judicial authority. Their ignorance of, or shallow acquaintance with, the duties of their office must either subject their decisions to the influence of the Attorney General, or it may cause them in moments of wrong-headedness or passion to violate every form of law and trample upon every principle of justice.' pp. 295–297.

• There are parts in the West Indian system which no plea of necessity can justify. Why should the planters refuse to change them? Few put them in execution, the majority condemn them, none profit by them. Why should a man who will not beat a woman himself, be loth to secure a woman from being beaten by others? Why should a man, who is just himself, deny the resource of public justice to those beneath him? How can the Christian, who prays for the improvement of all mankind, block up the inlets to the spiritual regeneration of the coloured men around his house? Why should be wish to do 80 ? What does he fear? Insurrections? It is not knowledge, but uncertainty, which does and will beget commotion; it is not Reading and Writing, but the forbidden desire of Reading and Writing ; not the Light, but glimpses of the Light withholden from them, which inflict the tormients and inspire the frenzy of Tantalus.

• I exhort the colonists to consider their situation, the merits of the question, the state of national opinion, the relative strength of the parties. Let them not stand too nicely on the theory of their independence;, well compacted as it may appear, it could never sustain collision with a mighty opposite. If Great Britain should be once provoked to anger, the rights of the colonists would be burst like the withs on the arms of the Nazarite, and be consumed before the kindling of her displeasure like tow in the fire. There is but one way by which the interference of Parliament may be avoided, and that is by anticipating it. If the colonists prize their independence, let them not hazard it by opposing, but insure it by themselves executing, that which will otherwise infallibly be done for them. This is no question for scholastic dispute, or for conference between the Houses; the planters must look at it as men of business, and take thought, not so much of what ought to, as of what will, be done; not so much of nonsuiting a plaintiff, as of resisting a forcible entry.' pp. 326,7.

ART. XI. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION. In the press, Biblical Researches and English Student from his going to Scbool Travels in Russia, including a Tour in till he leaves the University, the Crimea, and the Passage of the Cau- The Rev. Dr. Morrison is printing, casus; with observations on the state of A Parting Memorial ; consisting of disthe Rabbinical and Karaite Jews, the courses written and preached in China, Mahopinedans, and the Pagan Tribes at Singapore, on board ship at sea, in inhabiring the Southern Provinces of the the lodian ocean, at the Cape of Good Russian Empire. By Dr. Henderson, Hope, and in England. author of a Res dence in Iceland.

In the press, the Narrative of a Tour Dr. Donnegan has just completed, in around Hawaii (or Owbybee). By the one volume 8vo., his Greek and Eng. Rev. W. Ellis, Missionary from the Son Tish Lexicon, upou the plan of Schwei- ciety and Sandwich Islands. One vol. der's very popular German and Greek 8vo. with several illustrative engravings, Lexicon, and adapted to the use of the and a map of Hawaii.


their spiritual Application. By Mary The Juvenile Friend, or Family and

Anne Schimmelpenninck. 12mo, 75. School Magazine; religious, sentimen

Vindiciæ Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ. Lettal, and literary : expressly adapted to

ters to Charles Butler, Esq. coinprising the instruction of the youthful classes

Essays on the Romish Religion, and in families, and as a reading and re

vindicating the Book of the Church. ward-book in all schools. Vol. IV. No.

By Robert Southey, Esq. L.L.D. &c. 1. 6d.

8vo. 15s. Second Statement of the Committee

Vindication of “ The Book of the of the Edinburgh Bible Society, relative

Roman Catholic Church," against the to the Circulation of the Apocrypha

Reverend George Townsend's Accusaby the Committee of the British and Fo

tions of History against the Church of reign Bible Society. Svo. Ps.

Rome: with Notice of soine "The Popular Rhymes of Scotland,

the publications of Dr. Phillpots, the with Illustrations, chiefly collected from

Rev. John Todd, M.A., and others. By Oral Sources. By Robert Chambers,

Charles Butler, Esq. 8vo. Is. 6d. 18mo. 6s.

Sermons preached on several Occa.

sious in the Island of Barbadoes By POETRY.

W. J. Shrewsbury, Bvo. Portrait. 7s. An Essay on Mind, with other Poeius.

The Christian Exudus; or the Deli*Foolscap 8vo. 5s.

verance of the Israelites practically copTHEOLOGY.

sidered in a Series of Discourses. By Horæ Sabbaticæ; or an Attempt to

the Rev. R P. Buddicom, M.A. F.A.S.

&c. 2 vols. 8vo. Il. Is. correct certain superstitious and vulgar Errors respecting the Sabbath. By God


Letters from the East. By Jobo A Daily Expositor of the New Testa

Carne, Esq. of Queen's College, Camb. ment; in which the Text is divided into

8vo. 18s. Sections, with a practical Exposition, The Modern Traveller. Spain and especially intended as morning and

Portugal. 2 vols. 10s. bds. ; 126. neatly evening Portions for pious Fainilies and

half-bound. private Christians. By the Rev. Tho

Six Months in the West Indies. mas Keyworth, one of the Autburs of

Crown 8vo. 9s, 6d. Principia Hcbraica. Vol. I. Containing

Visit to the Falls of Niagara, in 1800. the Four Gospels and the Acts. 10s. 68.

By John Maude, Esq. Royal 8vo., with Psalms according to the authorized

plates. 11. Ils. 6d. *Version ; with prefatory Titles, and Sketches ju Wales, or a Diary of Tabular Index of Scriptural References,

Three Walking Excursions in that Prinfroni the Port Royal Authors, marking

cipality, in the Years 1823-24-25. By the circumstances and chronologic Or. the Rev. G. J. Freeman, L.L.B, 18v0. der of their Composition. To which is with 15 views. ll. 1s. added, an Essay upon the Psalms and



FOR APRIL, 1826.

Art. I. Essays on the Evidences, Doctrines, and Practical Operation

of Christianity. By Joseph John Gurney. Svo. pp. X. 566. Price

10s. 6d. London, 1825. IN noticing this volume before we have reviewed. Mr. Gurney's

recent work on the Religious Peculiarities of the Society of Friends, we are guided partly, perhaps, by inclination; but it seems the natural order, to consider first the grand points on which we are agreed, before we proceed to discuss those minor ones on which we find ourselves compelled materially to differ. • Throughout the present volume,' says Mr. Gurney, • I have endeavoured to avoid the discussion of any of those points in religion which can with any reason be regarded as peculiar or sectarian. I have considered it to be, on the present occasion, my sole duty, to arrange and unfold the testimonies borne in Scripture to those primary religious principles which the generality of the Christian world unite not merely in believing to be true, but in regarding as of essential importance to their present and everlasting welfare.'

The Evidence and Authority of Revelation are the subject of the first five Essays : the remaining seven are devoted to the following leading topics. •The Scriptural Account of the • Divine Being. The Union and Distinction in the Divine • Nature. The Scriptural Account of the Spiritual Adversary: • The Scriptural Account of Man. The Scriptural Account of • Jesus Christ-in his pre-existence; during his abode on • earth; and in his reign. The Redemption of Mankind. • Faith and Obedience. This arrangement is simple and comprehensive, and far preferable to that of most divinity systems, which, affecting a greater precision, run into so many subdivisions. The subjects of the first two Essays fall under the first general head of Theology, the title of Calvin's first book,

De cognitione Dei. The next two relate to the actual condition of Man. The last three essays treat of the Mediatorial Vol. XXV. N.S.

2 Č

« PreviousContinue »