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only authorizes, but compels him to speak plainly on the subject of Christian duties. “If,” says the pious Augustine,

we must give an account of our idle words, how much more of our idle silence!”

The minister of the gospel in the West Indies is often beset with difficulties. He must either neglect his duty, or give offence to the people. If he preaches openly and unhesitatingly the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, he is reproached with being needlessly severe. His discourse, to use the words of Bishop Latimer, is considered to have a - full bite, to be a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon. He is a naughty fellow, a seditious fellow : be maketh trouble and rebellion in the land; he lacketh discretion." part,” continues the same venerable

pre

“ For my

late, " it rejoiceth me sometimes, when my friend comes, and tells me that they find fault with my discretion; for by

; likelihood, think I, the doctrine is true; for if they could find fault with the doctrine, they would not charge me with the lack of discretion, or the inconvenience of the time."

That the system of slavery, as it is at present conducted in the West Indies, is associated with practices of an injurious tendency, even its warmest advocates must allow; but many of the evils com

. plained of may be diminished, if not entirely removed, by the meliorating influence of Christianity. I am at a loss to imagine what advantage the master can propose to himself by keeping his people in a state of moral and mental degradation. Intellect, which is the most

ner.

valuable part of man, is at present allowed to run to waste in the slave. His worth is estimated only by his physical power, and no endeavours are used to draw forth into practical usefulness the powers of his mind. The result is manifested in the dearth of invention. Agriculture is conducted in the rudest man

Human toil is but scantily relieved by the aid of brute force; and few and feeble have been the efforts to substitute machinery in the room of direct unmitigated personal labour.

The evils of slavery are strikingly perceptible to the European on his first arrival. I have often remarked that a protracted residence has the effect either of confirming unalterably his first impressions, or of almost entirely removing them. There is rarely a middle state.

Most generally the feelings of dissatisfaction cease when the mind is familiarized to the objects which at first shocked it. If then such be the effect frequently produced on the disinterested spectator, we ought not to wonder that the proprietor, who regards his all at stake in the continuance of the present system, and whose associations in its favour have grown with his growth, should be adverse to a change. I believe experience has proved, that in no part of England, and among no class of its inhabitants, are unreasonable prejudices so prevalent, and difficult to be subdued, as in our agricultural districts, and among the people who are directly interested in the productive cultivation of the soil.

While I notice the too general acquiescence in abuses which have no sup

port beyond the authority of long and uninterrupted usage, it is but common justice to declare that a different feeling pervades the respectable and well-educated among the proprietors. Many will give a ready assent to the suggestions contained in these lectures; and if they could secure themselves from the reproach which usually pursues the suspected advocate of innovation, they would be the first to adopt them on their own estates. The dread of incurring the displeasure of the vulgar and uneducated has retarded essentially the required improvements in the condition of the slave.

It would, however, be an error to suppose that nothing has been done because much has been left undone. The talents and unwearied exertions of the head of our church establishment in this diocese

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