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know him to possess an uncommonly sound judgment and discriminating mind. Both works are written with apparent candor; and we think, that, subject to deductions such as must always, more or less, be made, for the imperfection of man, they are entitled to unquestioned credit. If any one should wish a Jucid view of the operation of the free or the apprenticeship system in the West Indies, drawn up with reference both to its advantages and disadvantages, and after a thorough examination by a matured mind and a kind heart, unprejndiced, and not decidedly pledged to any theory, we would commend him to Prof. Hovey. If he further wishes to listen to the oral and written testimony of the inhabitants there, white, colored, and blacks, as communicated to men, ardent in the canse of freedom, and anxious for its success, yet honestly meaning to give a true description of things as they saw them, we would point them to the volume of Messrs. Thome and Kimball. Nor, in making this distinction, do we mean to impair the credit of either. We believe, that all these gentlemen meant to give us a true picture of the West Indies as it was, so far as they had the means, and their means too were more ample than ordinary; but knowing as we do, the different circumstances under which they went out, we make only those allowances which are demanded by any one who is desirous of gaining as accurate knowledge as lies in his power. Prof. Hovey's deductions, we think, evince the greater discrimination; and from the fact, that his main conclusions were arrived at without any previous bias in their favor, they seem to have greater weight. Messrs. Thome and Kimball went out with the hope, which they gratified, of gathering a mass of testimony in favor of the entire emancipation of the slave. They were already committed as advocates of a theory which had enlisted their hearts, and called forth their urgency of appeal, both from the pulpit and through the press. It was impossible they should be entirely free from the influence of their pre-conceived opinions; they must desire to find evidence of their own theory; and every thing couleur de rose in this respect was most acceptable. Still, they were aware, too, that whatever might be brought to bear upon the subject, from those who had been opposed, was immensely important; and this led them to apply to such persons for their testimony. We see no reason to doubt the authenticity of that which they have produced. It has never been denied; and these declarations correspond, so far as they go to the same points, with the results of Prof. Hovey's observations.
Here, then, are two independent witnesses, and their united testimony is certainly entitled to great weight. Nothing that the Anti-Slavery Society has published, is so well calculated to make a proper impression on the mind of the slaveholder, and were it not, that their means of access are hindered by some rash spirits among them, whose intemperate language almost precludes any voice of theirs from a hearing, we should have great hopes, that this volume would produce a very considerable impression among the class of men at the South whom it is most desirable to reach. Indeed, we do trust, that, as it is, it will have effect. In this respect, Prof. Hovey's book is more favorably situated. And here we would call to the recollection of some, prominent in conducting the Anti-Slavery press, the ridicule with which the exposition as to the design of the American Union, to collect information from both sides, was met. We bear them no grudge, surely, for having in this respect become wiser, and we are thankful, that we have on our table two volumes, from two so widely differing associations, who have followed the dictates of propriety and common sense in seeking to profit by so capital a field of observation. The events which have transpired in Barbadoes and Jamaica, since the visits of these gentlemen, and since their accounts were published, give increasing interest to their remarks. Before these pages reach our readers, Slavery will have ceased in those islands, and the 1st of August, 1838, will be remembered as a great epoch in the history of the world's advancement. The other islands subject to Great Britain will probably soon follow the example, and through the influence of that nation, France and other nations on the continent, will adopt the plan, and emancipation will be proclaimed throughout all the West Indies. A few years will determine the consequences—but we have no fear of the result, nor does it require the ken of prophecy to predict, that from this period of the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies, a new face of things will be seen in those fertile plantations. The demonstration will be given on a far more extensive scale than before, that free labor is of greater profit than slave labor on any system can be. Property will rise, and many whose eyes are thus first opened to the truth, will look back on their former opposition to the call for emancipation with surprise and regret, and will feel, that had they been willing to listen to the voice of reason, they would long ago have reaped the benefit of security and increased prosperity; Already, since the Act has passed, and before it has gone fect, their papers are filled with plans which open to them, but
of which before they could not avail themselves. Among these are a removal of the restrictions on the trade to Hayti. So long as slavery existed, such a measure was impracticable, but the probability now seems to be, that the home government may repeal the existing regulations, and Jamaica, with the other British Isles may enjoy the benefits of this commercial intercourse.
We would not be understood to hold, that by such an act of emancipation, the slaves of Jamaica and Barbadoes, will be placed in all respects, on a footing with those who have always been free. It will take years indeed to effect this. Even when no other obstacles exist, a race of men who have worn the chain for more than a century, who have been shut out from the privileges and blessings of education, cannot at once enter into all the enjoyments which crown others who have never been in bondage. The force of habit is powerful—the reformation of morals is comparatively slow. They must be for a length of time ignorant, and conscience, that feeling which has but just begun, as it were, to utter its response in their bosom, weak. But when the great blow has been struck, when no such peculiar difficulties stand in the way of their elevation, as might be in some other situations, we may believe that those who once were their masters will put forth no common efforts and their exertions will be attended by no common success. Forming as they do the mass of the population, blending by almost imperceptible gradations with the European race, within a tropical climate, and accustomed to the closest intercourse, though in different relations, the final assimilation and incorporation of all these constituent bodies will take place. The same laws which govern now, with these exceptions, will govern hereafter as to the principles of regulating society. Talent, wealth and (alas, that it should be too often the last on the scale) moral worth will be the basis of intercourse. He who can attain to the portal will find the way open before him—he who cannot, must be excluded, though he may cast many a wishful glance thither, and curse the customs which hinder his approach. Motives of powerful weight, will therefore call forth exertion, and notwithstanding all the disadvantages in their path we should not be surprised, if the progress of the late enslaved should be comparatively rapid. Difficulties no doubt may exist in carrying out the results, and these will be eagerly laid hold of, and exaggerated by such as are unfriendly to the change. The emancipated slaves, however much they have been treated like beasts, are men, and have the passions and infirmities com
mon to human nature. They will have their preferences; they will feel the promptings of pride and avarice; they will be often blind to their own true interests, and obstinately bent on selfindulgence; they will need the discipline of law and government; they may often make no nice moral discriminations; some may be idle and vagrant; some of the former masters may suffer, may be obliged to contract their expenses and curb their tempers—disputes may now and then rise, and evils of various kinds may be felt. All these we say, are to be expected—they occur in every free community-they are the universal lot of society. But they cannot impair the grand demonstration making, as to the utility of emancipation in the West Indies.
Thus far we have looked at the subject in its present relations to the West Indies. It is important to notice the moral and religious situation of the islands. This will essentially aid us in forming a proper estimate of the preparation which there existed, for the great event which has now become a part
The system of slavery in the West Indies, in its operation, had all the varieties which characterize any condition of society among men. Some there are in whom there is a greater share of the milk of human kindness than resides in the bosoms of others; and of course the administration of unrestrained power by such, will be different than in the case of the latter. There are some men too, less indolent than others, who are accustomed to superintend their own affairs, and who, acting merely on the principle of regard to their temporal interests, will bestow more care and attention on those on the profit of whose labors they live. Some there are too, though we fear a less numerons class, who feel a higher claim of religion, requiring them to remember, that souls, in the providence of God, are placed under their charge, for whose spiritual condition they must render an account. There are other proprietors, at a distance, into whose ear the cry and groaning of the enslaved never enters, and who know not or care not for the misery and anguish which accompanies the incessant toils and hardships by which is derived the means to support their own luxury or profligacy; and others still, who though witnessing all, have no heart to relieve or minister a word of comfort to the sorrow-stricken being, who wails in hopeless bondage, and smarting under the lash of cruel overseers. All these phases of condition must be found, according to the peculiarities which enter into the relation of master and slave. Such was the case in the West Indies, on the same island. But there are also causes which have operated to pro
duce a difference in the different islands. The island of Antigua, was in advance of all the others, in the intellectual and moral condition of the slaves. A course of labor by missionaries has been in operation for more than seventy years—and though it has proceeded in the midst of opposition and discouragements, yet it has never been without some perceptible effect on the slaves themselves; and at present, if we may judge from the works before us, the people are as well supplied with religious teachers as almost any part of the Cnited States. Thus Professor Hovey says:
The United Brethren commenced their labors in Antigua in 1756; and have been gradually increasing, in numbers and influence, till the present time. They have five establishments in different parts of the island, and twenty-two missionaries; of whom eleven are ordained to preach the Gospel. More than one third of the emancipated people belong to their denomination, and regularly attend public worship. Their number of communicants is 5,113, giving an average to each church of more than a thousand members. They have Sabbath schools, in which about 900 children receive instruction. The Morarian cons gregations are divided for the purpose of receiving instruction into three classes,-candidates for baptism-candidates for communionand communicants. Each class is put on a prescribed course of instruction, and is met by the pastor once a week to receive explanations of the lesson, and to be examined. On the Sabbath the whole congregation meet together. The entire course of instruction is simple; and is exceedingly well adapted to the capacities and circumstances of the people.'
'I am unable to say precisely when the Wesleyan Methodists established their mission in Antigua. It was, however, more than forty years ago They have five ordained ministers, besides several local preachers, and seven regular places of public worship. More than 8,000 people are under their charge. Their Sabbath schools are full and flourishing. They divide their congregation and instruct them in classes, in nearly the same way as the Moravians. Over each class is appointed a leader, whose duty it is to meet the class every week, and inquire into the spiritual condition of the members. It is very manifest that their system, as well as that of the Moravians, while it requires great effort on their part, is extremely efficacious in its results.
Thus it appears, that for the accommodation and religious instruction of about 37,000 souls, there are twenty-six ordained ministers, and eighteen regular houses for public worship, besides several other places where occasional preaching is enjoyed. This is as good a supply as is generally found even in the northern parts of the United States. I am happy to say, that the most perfect harmony and good feeling prevail among the three denominations; and that the clergy are encouraged in the faithful discharge of their duties by witnessing gratifying results of their labors. Letters, pp. 81, 82, 83.