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THE PILGRIMS IN ENGLAND.
As this scene passes before us, we can hardly forbear asking, whether this be a band of malefactors and felons flying from justice What are their crimes, that they hide themselves in darkness? To what punishment are they exposed, that to avoid it, men and women, and children, thus encounter the surf of the North Sea, and the terrors of a night storm 7 What induces this armed pursuit, and this arrest of fugitives, of all ages and of both sexes 7 Truth does not allow us to answer these inquiries, in a manner that does credit to the wisdom or the justice of the times. This was not the flight of guilt, but of virtue. It was an humble and peaceable religion, flying from causeless oppression. It was conscience, attempting to escape from the arbitrary rule of the Stuarts. It was Robinson, and Brewster, leading off their little band from their native soil, at first to find shelter on the shores of a neighboring continent, but ultimately to come hither; and having surmounted all difficulties, and braved a thousand dangers, to find here a place of refuge and of rest. Thanks be to God, that this spot was honored as the asylum of religious liberty. May its standard, reared here, remain for ever !—May it rise up as high as heaven, till its banners shall fan the air of both continents, and wave as a glorious ensign of peace and security to the nations.
Great actions and striking occurrences, having excited
a temporary admiration, often pass away and are forgot
ten, because they leave no lasting results, affecting the prosperity and happiness of communities. Such is frequently the fortune of the most brilliant military achievements. Of the ten thousand battles which have been fought; of all the fields fertilized with carnage; of the banners which have been bathed in blood ; of the warriors who had hoped that they had risen from the field of conquest to a glory as bright and as durable as the stars, how few that continue long to interest mankind . The victory of yesterday is reversed by the defeat of to-day; the star of military glory, rising like a meteor, like a meteor has fallen; disgrace and disaster hang on the heels of conquest and renown ; victor and vanquished presently pass away to oblivion, and the world goes on in its course, with the loss only of so many lives and so much treasure.
THE INFLUENCE OF MIND.
Cultivated mind was to act on uncultivated nature; and, above all, a government, and a country, were to commence, with the very first foundations laid under the divine light of the Christian religion. Happy auspices of a happy futurity | Who would wish that his country’s existence had otherwise begun ? who would desire the power of going back to the ages of fable 7 who would wish for an origin, obscured in the darkness of antiquity ? who would wish for other emblazoning of his country's heraldry, or other ornaments of her genealogy, than to be able to say, that her first existence was with intelligence; her first breath the inspiration of liberty; her first principles the truth of divine religion ?
The AFRICAN SLAve TRADE.
I deem it my duty on this occasion to suggest, that the
land is not yet wholly free from the contamination of a traffic, at which every feeling of humanity must for ever revolt, I mean the African Slave Trade. Neither public sentiment, nor the law, has hitherto been able entirely to put an end to this odious and abominable trade. At the moment when God, in his mercy, has blessed the Christian world with an universal peace, there is reason to fear, that to the disgrace of the Christian name and character, new efforts are making for the extension of this trade, by subjects and citizens of Christian states, in whose hearts no sentiment of humanity or justice inhabits, and over whom neither the fear of God nor the fear of man exercises a control. In the sight of our law, the African Slave Trader is a pirate and a felon; and in the sight of heaven, an offender far beyond the ordinary depth of human guilt. There is no brighter part of our history, than that which records the measures which have been adopted by the government, at an early day, and at different times since, for the suppression of this traffic; and I would call on all the true sons of New England, to co-operate with the laws of man, and the justice of heaven. If there be, within the extent of our knowledge or influence, any participation in this traffic, let us pledge ourselves here, upon the Rock of Plymouth, to extirpate and destroy it. It is not fit that the land of the Pilgrims should bear the shame longer. I hear the sound of the hammer, I see the smoke of the furnaces where manacles and fetters are still forged for human limbs. I see the visages of those, who by stealth, and at midnight, labor in this work of hell, foul and dark, as may become the artificers of such instruments of misery and torture. Let that spot be purified, or let it cease to be of New
England. Let it be purified, or let it be set aside from the Christian world; let it be put out of the circles of human sympathies and human regards, and let civilized man henceforth have no communion with it. I would invoke those who fill the seats of justice, and all who minister at her altar, that they execute the wholesome and necessary severity of the law. I invoke the ministers of our religion, that they proclaim its denunciation of these crimes, and add its solemn sanctions to the authority of human laws. If the pulpit be silent, whenever, and wherever, there may be a sinner bloody with this guilt, within the hearing of its voice, the pulpit is false to its trust. I call on the fair merchant, who has reaped his harvest on the seas, that he assist in scourging from those seas the worst pirates which ever infested them. That ocean, which seems to wave with a gentle magnificence to waft the burden of an honest commerce, and to roll along its treasures with a conscious pride; that ocean which hardy industry regards, even when the winds have ruffled its surface, as a field of grateful toil; what is it to the victim of this oppression, when he is brought to its shores, and looks forth upon it, for the first time, from beneath chains, and bleeding with stripes? What is it to him, but a wide-spread prospect of suffering, anguish and death? Nor do the skies smile longer, nor is the air longer fragrant to him. The sun is cast down from heaven. An inhuman and accursed traffic has cut him off in his manhood, or in his youth, from every enjoyment belonging to his being, and every blessing which his creator intended for him. The Christian communities send forth their emissaries of religion and letters, who stop, here and there, along the
coast of the vast continent of Africa, and with painful and tedious efforts, make some almost imperceptible progress in the communication of knowledge, and in the ge. neral improvement of the natives who are immediately about them. Not thus slow and imperceptible is the transmission of the vices and bad passions which the subjects of Christian States carry to the land. The slave trade having touched the coast, its influence, and its evils
spread like a pestilence, over the whole continent, making savage wars more savage, and more frequent, and adding new and fierce passions to the contests of barba
A chief distinction of the present day is a community of opinions and knowledge amongst men, in different nations, existing in a degree heretofore unknown. Knowledge has, in our time, triumphed, and is triumphing, over distance, over differences of language, over diversity of habits, over prejudice, and over bigotry. The civilized and Christian world is fast learning the great lesson, that difference of nation does not imply necessary hostility, and that all contact need not be war. The whole world is becoming a field for intellect to act in. Energy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it exists, may speak out in any tongue, and the world will hear it. A great chord of sentiment and feeling runs through two continents, and vibrates over both. Every breeze wafts intelligence from country to country; every wave rolls it; all give it forth, and all in turn receive it. There is a vast commerce of ideas; there are marts and exchanges for intellectual discoveries, and a wonderful fellowship of