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made worse by their falling into our hands? No; they have only exchanged one flavery for another; and I may fay a better for here they are brought into a land where the fun of Iflamifm gives forth its light, and fhines in full fplendour, and they have an opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true doctrine, and thereby faving their immortal fouls. Those who remain at home, have not that happiness. Sending the flaves home, then, would be fending them out of light into darkness.
"I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? I have heard it fuggested, that they may be planted in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them to fubfift on, and where they may flourish as a free state.—But they are, I doubt, too little disposed to labour without compulfion, as well as too ignorant to establish good government and the wild Arabs would foon moleft
moleft and destroy, or again enflave them. While ferving us, we take care to provide them with every thing; and they are treated with humanity. The labourers in their own countries are, as I am informed, worfe fed, lodged, and clothed. The condition of moft of them is therefore already mended, and requires no farther improvement. Here their lives are in fafety. They are not liable to be impreffed for foldiers, and forced to cut one another's Christian throats, as in the wars of their own countries. If fome of the religious mad bigots, who now teafe us with their filly petitions, have, in a fit of blind zeal, freed their flaves, it was not generosity, it was not humanity that moved them to the action; it was from the confcious burthen of a load of fins, and hope, from the fuppofed merits of fo good a work, to be excufed from damnation.-How grofsly are they mistaken, in imagining
flavery to be difavowed by the Alcoran ! Are not the two precepts, to quote no more," Masters, treat your flaves with kindness-Slaves, ferve your mafters with cheerfulness and fidelity," clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that facred book forbidden; fince it is well known from it, that God has given the world, and all that it contains, to his faithful Muffulmen, who are to enjoy it, of right, as fast as they can conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this deteftable propofition, the manumiffion of Christian flaves, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving fo many good citizens of their properties, create univerfal difcontent, and provoke infurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confufion. I have, therefore, no doubt that this wife council will prefer the comfort and happiness L3
of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few Erika, and dismiss their petition."
The refult was, as Martin tells us, that the Divan came to this refolution : "That the doctrine, that the plundering "and enflaving the Chriftians is unjust, " is at best problematical; but that it is "the intereft of this ftate to continue the 16 practice, is clear; therefore, let the petition be rejected."And it was rejected accordingly.
And fince like motives are apt to produce, in the minds of men, like opinions and refolutions, may we not venture to predict, from this account, that the petitions to the parliament of England for abolishing the flave trade, to fay nothing of other legislatures, and the debates upon them, will have a fimilar conclusion.
March 23, 1790.
OBSERVATIONS ON WAR.
By the original law of nations, war and extirpation were the punishment of injury. Humanizing by degrees, it admitted flavery instead of death: a farther ftep was, the exchange of prifoners instead of flavery: another, to respect more the property of private persons under conquest, and be content with acquired dominion. Why should not this law of nations go on improving? Ages have intervened between its several steps but as knowledge of late increases rapidly, why should not thofe fteps be quickened Why should it not be agreed to, as the future law of nations, that in any war hereafter the following defcription of men should be undisturbed, have