« הקודםהמשך »
LIBERTY OF ANY SLAVE WHOM WE HEAR TO BE SET TO SALE." How much will the purchase of a slave cost you ?
“ Some one hundred, and some one hundred and ninety pound-some more and some less, as dey are valued." Can you purchase them at that bigh price? “ Yes, Sir, we purchase de freedom of two at dat price,-one at one hundred, and one oder at one hundred and ninety pound."
In order to learn more fully how these bired Slaves possessed such means of liberality above, not to say the poorer, but the generality of more affluent church members in Great Britain, after inquiring the price of various articles, such as mutton, beef, fowls, coffee and sugar, I asked, Do servants (an appellation which they prefer to Slaves, often feed on these fresh provisions ? “ No, Sir, dese are for gentleman, not for servant.” What do these servants who are hired out, live upon ? “ On coffee and yam, and salt meat, and salt fish.'
Many other interesting facts were stated by this excellent Woman. She had seen a good deal of the world, having crossed the Atlantic two or three times on confidential errands. Though she knew that she was free, in consequence of setting her foot on the shores of Britain, she preferred returning, and remaining in the service of her Master. * She is married, and has three sons, the eldest of whom is able to read. Her husband had manifested strong attachment to her in labouring for her support, especially when she was unable to work, or laid aside by sickness. For nine long years she had been afflicted and confined with severe rheumatism ; during which time the eldest boy waited on his mother, and read the Scriptures to her, many passages of which were her support and comfort in the midst of all her afflictions."
After such a narration, how could any one remain unmoved! The whole conversation was truly affecting, and, at the same time, refreshing to myself, and I hope to others, if not to all who were present. Ah, thought I, nothing can disunite the endearing union of the family of our common Father! Truly, there is neither male nor female, bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus. Many reilections, of course, presented themselves; but, I confess, I was most affected in contemplating the munificence of these Christians. After all that has yet been done and given, and that is more than in many ages-how little, thought I, is one glorious effect of the power of the Gospel understood or felt among us in Britain, the land of liberty, and light, and uffluence! Were labourers, mechanics, and
* What a fine illustration of that passage, _“Art thou called being a servant ? care not for it; for he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's free man.”
ple in the humble vale of life, of which class, by far the greater part of the church of Christ is composed, and were those disciples of the Son of God, who are by an indulgent Providence placed in more affluent cireumstances, whose tables, and dwellings, and families never seem in the least degree affected by what they spare for the support of the Gospel-I say, were all these to imitate such conduct, which every one must admire, how different should we find matters among some churches of Christ from what they now are! As it respects an ability to read, and consequently to understand the Bible, we are undoubtedly many degrees above the generality of these Christi
In point of knowledge and understanding, these, our brethren of Jamaica, do well, and I doubt not, would consider it well, to sit at our feet, and, with a humble disposition, receive instruction from our lips : but in as far as they are enlightened, which, it must be confessed, is in a very small degree, they reduce their knowledge to practice indeed. Shall we not be permitted to say, without incurring the censure or displeasure of our Christian brethren, that, superior as in every other respect our churches may be, in the article of pointed, re. gular, and conscientious liberality, they ought certainly to learn a lesson from the present case? Were they to lay more to heart their obligations to Him who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich; and, from this consideration, were to undergo a degree of selfdenial, I would not say in the necessaries of life, but in some comforts and superfluities which might be very easily dispensed with, they would at once find means to support his interest far more liberally.
Let it only be taken into serious consideration, how many thousands of our own countrymen are perishing far want of knowledge, the bond slaves of sin and Satan, while few comparatively are caring for their souls: and that, whatever zeal exists, that for preaching the Gospel, and meeting the object and spi. rit of our Saviour's commission, in this part of the United Kingdom, is at present extremely low. Jehovah is undoubtedly a God hearing prayer; and when he is about to display his power
for the blessing. It still consists with the purposes of God: “I will yet be inquired of, by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock."-But then Jehovah, at the same time, hath appointed means, and means which must be adopted. After many exclamations of pity, many good wishes, and prayers apparently fervent, still the destitute parts of our dear native land, Caledonia, are not perambulated many of her huts, and cottages of wretchedness and poverty, are unvisited nor is the voice of wisdom to be heard in many of her highways and vallies. Laborious and faithful preachers must be sent out, according to the prophecy of Daniel : “ Ma. ny shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Whether the house of Israel is to be turned to God by the preaching of the Gospel, as sinners of other nations are, is with me a matter admitting of no doubt, and vice versa—therefore will be gather all his people to himself, by the one good old way--by the preaching of the Cross.
Whither then will Jehovah send for this multitude who are to run to and fro? Most assuredly to his friends in “ the church which he has purchased with his own blood.”—I need not urge the query, whether the engagements of such men are compatible with the idea of their prosecuting other arts, or other objects: the Spirit of God has used such figures as must strike every unprejudiced reader with conviction, how devoted to their office such men must be. But is the query, who is qualified for, or who is willing to forego such self-denials as that arduous work requires ? Can it be doubted, that in the church of Christ there are inany possessing sterling piety, and a moderate share of good natural abilities, with fervent zeal for the honour of their exalted Saviour, who are individually ready to cry," Here am I, send me?” Shall it be objected—but where are the means ? Were the churches of Christ much affected with com. passion for souls ; did they feel much for the honour of their Saviour; once more, if necessary, they would revive the good ancient practice of the churches of Macedonia, which the Apostle commends, to their honour, and undoubtedly for the example of succeeding generations and Christian societies, in these glowing terms: “ Moreover, brethren, we inform you of the grace of God, that is, the liberality of heart bestowed by God, on the churches of Macedonia ; how that, in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear them record, yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves;" I say, if necessary : for I question whether the church was at any period so well supplied with pecuniary means as in the present day. Were the same spirit imbibed which prevails among these Christians in Jamaica, how much good might we not expect to be done by every Christian church in its own immediate vicinity! Those good people, " by bard, very hard labour," find the means of aiding their treasury so liberally, in their deep poverty, as to have enough for building a place of worship, sufficient to accommodate their numerous hearers--enough to support their two ministers, and devote them wholly to their work—to support their poor brethren-to pay their funeral charges on decease ; and, above all, on hearing of a slave advertised for sale, not waiting till the proposal is made to them in particular, but eager to em brace the opportunity of relieving a fellow.creature from the yoke of slavery, after inquiring into the circumstances of the case, they effect his purchase, and his shackles fall!
Are there then no duties like these devolving upon our churches ? Are there no pastors whose minds are distracted by concern about their families, owing to a too scanty supply for their maintenance no places of worship to be erected—no objects of charity sparingly supplied in the churches-no slaves of sin and Satan among our countrymen, neighbours, or relations ? Surely all of these loudly call for the aid of the churches of Christ; and it belongs to them to lend their assistance. It may be said, · Money will not redeem a soul;' but still money is necessary for the faithful, the zealous pastor or minister, in order to his going about with the two-edged sword of the Spirit of God-affectionately and faithfully enforcing the powerful truths of the word of God. Can we forget that the money spent on our various amusements, our pleasures, or our profligacy, in the days of our ignorance, would have gone a great way towards effecting all these purposes ? and still, were we now more alive to our duty, there is reason to believe that God would bless our honest industry, so that no loss would be sustained in our families or our substance, by lending to the Lord. --The rule of liberality at a certain time, among the ancients, was to give, on every first day of the week, as God had prospered them through the preceding week ; believing that He himself, who knew their circumstances, was still over against the treasury, and believing also in their hearts, that moving consideration, « The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” In these blessed days, they do not seem to have known any thing of that policy which leads a man to refrain from exceeding the bounds which the example of his neighbour's liberality bas set him. No, no; they looked forward to the time of harvest, and thought
“ He that soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly: and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bounti. fully:" By such divine truths were their minds and practices regulated, and cannot the love of Christ, and compassion for the souls of men, do the same still ? Yes--we have an instance of it in the account which we haye had from Diana. No people in the world are more excusable in omitting these important duties than our enslaved brethren in Jamaica ; but, to our astonishment and confusion, they are far before us! Let us covet such a heart and such a spirit, as in this instance is mani
Had the pious reader witnessed what I have done, or been acquainted with all that I have had occasion to know of the sad effects of a want of pecuniary means, in several parts of the
of that saying,
fest in them.
vineyard of God, from whatever cause this want arises, he would, I am sure, excuse the liberty which I have taken in the preceding remarks. The heart-rending pangs for the interest of Christ which I have felt in such cases, is my only reason for entering on these particulars. No self-interest can I have in view ; I feel no personal want. There is no room left to me for lodging a complaint against the liberality of my Christian brethren. They bountifully supply my want; and here I would take the liberty to express my unfeigned gratitude to them, and to God through them. All that I have said, is with a view to plead the cause of our common Lord, in the dark and destitute portions of my native country.
Ten summers have now been devoted to this field of labour. Have preached, less or more, in 60 parishes in Aberdeenshire, and 6 in Banffshire. For various reasons, have all along declined publishing any very minute details of these excursions :1. I was not aware, that I had any thing very remarkable to submit to the public. 2. When one is only travelling through à country, it is sometimes difficult to ascertain what is the true state of character. 3. Appearances often deceive us. One may be like a flame of fire in the things of God this season, but before another season return, his zeal may evaporate, and he may become as cold as the grave.
Some short notices have, however, been laid before the public, through the medium of the Missionary Magazine and Christian Herald. Nothing was published these two summers past; nor would any thing have appeared at this time, had not the writer been particulaıly solicited to do so. He complied, hoping, that by casting in his mite, he might contribute somewhat to turn the attention of the people of God to the great duty of promoting itinerating throughout Scotland. This season my tour lasted 12 weeks. Preached 12 times. Shall enumerate the stations which were occupied on the Lord's days, that the readers of this article may know something of the range of country through which we passed. 1. Sabbáth-Peterhead. 2. Aberdour. 3. Banff. 4. New Pitsligo. 5. Inverary 6. Monymusk. 7. Divided betwixt Inverary and Kintore. 8. Old Meldrum. 9. Cushnie.. 10. Duneanstown. 11. Bes twixt Lumphanan and Kincardine O Neil. 12. Betwixt Kemnay and Mid-mar. The week evening meetings were partly in the same parishes, and partly in others adjoining. Went to 7 parishes which I had not visited before: Fordyce, Cullen, and