Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

come, that man has, it seems to us, studied the subject to very little purpose.

And he who does not see that the spirit of sect in all its influence on our College building enterprises, increases and aggravates this evil to an unlimited extent, has been still more unsuccessful in his observations. If we are ever to succeed in founding Colleges in the West worthy of the name, we must first learn that the spirit of sect, though followed by thousands as an infallible oracle, is in truth the most dangerous adviser we can consult.

Another cause which is operating extensively, and greatly favors the founding of Colleges on a broad undenominational basis, is, a growing conviction in a multitude of the most enlarged, liberal, and religious minds, of the superior wisdom and trustworthiness of institutions built on such a basis. The increased development and activity of the spirit of sect within these last few years, is a wonderful and even a startling phenomenon. But he who supposes that this movement has borne along with it the entire mass of the religious mind of the nation, is greatly deceived. In most or all our religious denominations there are many who are shocked at it, and look on with disgust and aversion. They are not ready, either with hand or purse, to coöperate with the denominational enterprises which it originates. Especially when it is proposed to denominationalize seminaries of liberal learning, and make colleges and universities the handmaids of sect, they will coöperate, if at all, languidly and feebly. Indeed, this denominational revival will be found to be rather in the ecclesiastical powers and persons of the time, than in the great mass of good Christian people. And when those people are appealed to in behalf of a College founded on the broad Christian basis for which we contend, they will respond to the appeal with far greater liberality and cheerfulness, than to any enterprise which should bear the image and superscription even of their own sect. It would be easier, at the present time, to raise a sufficient endowment for a seminary of learning on such a basis, than for one committed to, and controlled by, any sect what

ever.

Especially is this true throughout the whole extent of Orthodox Congregationalism. Congregationalists are sometimes of late seized with this mania for denominational Colleges. We regret this; for it is a disease from which, according to the laws of their constitution, they ought to be exempt. And yet we sympathize with them; they have some apology for it: they have been rudely treated by their partners in some coöperative enterprises. But we think they mistake both the remedy for the evil, and the spirit of their Congregational brethren. The true remedy of the evil is not to endorse and sanction that very denominational exclusiveness and littleness by which their rights have been wrested from them, and to add to the number of denominational Colleges, by organizing others in the interest of Congregationalism; but to give their countenance, support, and strength, to those Colleges which are true to coöperative Christian principles, and to frown on all others, in whatever denomination found.

They mistake, too, the principles and tastes of the great Congregational brotherhood. We have misread our brethren of that connexion, or they will coöperate in Colleges on the basis we have advocated, much more cheerfully and efficiently than in those pledged to any denomination-even their own. They stand with their fathers. They would consecrate the College, Christo et ecclesiæ," and neither they nor their fathers have yet dreamed that “ecclesia" means Congregationalism. Whatever may be true in other denominations, Con. gregationalists are under no necessity of shriveling themselves within the narrow limits of sect, for the sake of humoring the prejudices of their masses. If Congregational ministers and leaders will act on universal Christian principles, the Congregational brotherhood will sustain them. We think we do not speak “ without the book ;” and we hope that that spirit of coöperative charity which we know widely pervades the Congregational brotherhood, will be found to be not less abundant in other denominations also.

ARTICLE IV.-THE REOPENING OF THE AFRICAN

SLAVE TRADE.

An abstract of the evidence delivered before a Select Committee

of the House of Commons, in the years 1790 and 1791, on the part of the petitioners for the abolition of the Slave Trade. American Reform Tract and Book Society. Cin

cinnati. 1855. Africa and the American Flag. By Commander ANDREW

H. Foote, U. S. Navy, Lieut. commanding U. S. Brig Perry, on the coast of Africa, A. D. 1850-1851. New

York : D. Appleton & Co. 1854. Address of the Hon. JEFFERSON Davis, before the Democratic

State Convention, in the City of Jackson, Miss., July 6th,

1859. New York Tribune. Modern Reform Examined, or the Union of North and South

on the subject of Slavery. By JOSEPH C. Stiles. Philadel

phia: Lippincott & Co. 1857. Livingstone's Travels and Researches in South Africa.

New York: Harper & Brothers. 1858. Barth's Discoveries in North and Central Africa. Harper

& Brothers. 1858.

The Independent. New York.

Slight observation convinces the more intelligent that there are two antagonistic principles now at work in human society, two kinds of leaven permeating the body politic of the world. One is freedom, the other is bondage. The one is equal rights, the other is oppression. The two are here in the land of the American Revolution, in the land of the Pilgrims and Puritans. Their forces, like two great armies, are moving toward each other; they dispute a common territory, and a pitched battle, or a series of battles, must be added to the encounters already experienced, until one or the other of these two irreconcilable principles is completely and forever victorious.

A new march on one side is now commencing. Whether we may interpret it as a sign of weakness and of partial defeat in past conflicts, or of courage and hope under the flush of supposed victory, it is a movement which must be met. It will be pressed to an engagement. And the issue will not leave both sides with their former advantages. We refer to the revival of the African slave trade. It is already reopened, or, if never closed, has received a prodigious increase. That which had been doomed to death under the ban of piracy has found a resurrection. Not indeed as yet with the consent of national law, but despite law. And the fear is that rulers and other men are viewing the transgressions as though the isolated statutes were, or would become, only a dead letter. This traffic winked at will reinstate itself in successful and extensive operation, as snre as two continents stand and an ocean rolls between. Once inaugurated in full career, terrible must be the conflict that can afterward destroy it.

But we may speak in advance of the queries of some of our readers. “Is the slave trade reopened? Is there danger that the laws against it may be repealed or become dead ?” Others may say, “Is the slave trade certainly wrong? Is it actually contrary to justice and a violation of human rights ?” Or, “Is it so enormously wrong as some represent ? May it not be a mixture of good and evil, with so much of the former as to make the traffic tolerable ? Ought it not to be respected as the chief act in a train of great and conspicuous missionary events ?" These are questions that should be met.

“Is the slave trade reopened or of late largely augmented ?" The attempt has been made to cast so much doubt over this inquiry as to give substantially a negative reply. But if we had not a single fact of detected illegal trade of this character, the evident state of public opinion at the South would at least suggest an affirmative. Why all this fever there upon that subject, if no slaves have recently been landed in the southern states from a foreign country? Are not the appetites of many for this traffic already whetted by the taste? Are they all so law-abiding in the south as rigidly to observe all enactments that they pronounce unconstitutional ? Have they suffered the most profitable of all kinds of commerce to go untouched, while affirming that the prohibition of it is an oppression on themselves? Their state of society prepares us to learn that they have already opened their ports to slavers. The easy course of judges and juries with the “Wanderer," allowing the guilty to go unpunished, violating their solemn trusts under the laws of the land, nearly compels us to believe that this is not an isolated case, and must be followed by a throng. When some two or three years since it began to be prophesied by a few that an attempt would be made to reopen the slave trade, and that by the next Presidential election it would be a prominent topic of discussion and perhaps a plank in the platform of one of the political parties, it was regarded by most as a silly prophesy, and the men who uttered the prediction were held up to derision as fanatical alarmists. Already the facts are that vessels engaged in the slave trade have been captured, other vessels equipped for the trade have been seized by the United States Marshals, and these are enough to show that many more have escaped detection and successfully prosecuted their voyages. The most reliable evidence we have in the case is in effect that at least upwards of twenty slave-ships have safely landed their cargoes on the coast of the Southern states during a few months past. Distinguished political inen of the country, not of antislavery sentiments, freely admit this. The Richmond (Texas) Reporter, of late date, contains the following advertisement:

“FOR SALE-Four hundred likely AFRICAN NEGROES, lately landed upon the coast of Texas. Said negroes will be sold upon the most reasonable terms. One-third down; the remainder in one and two years, with 8 per cent. interest. For further information inquire of C. K. C., Houston, or L. R. G., Galveston."

This advertisement shows a fact in the trade itself, and being so openly published becomes only an evident index of many similar cases. It is proved that the ship “Wanderer" brought her cargo of slaves directly from Africa, and landed it

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »