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to the rational or moral government of God. Even the mineral and vegetable departments are subject to permanent laws. Shall inanimate matter, shallbodies incapable of consciousness or sensibility, conform to the will of the Almighty; and rational creatures dare to counteract it? Horrid impiety! Can nation oppress nation; can one man oppress another; and be innocent ? Is not the moral law of universal as well as perpetual obligation? Is not the whole reducible to two great commandments ? And does not the second, in the most unequivocal, peremptory manner, enjoin a love of both benevolence and beneficence to all mankind ? But a considerable part of the human race you enslave and oppress; or permit, while it is in your power to prevent their miseries, to be enslaved and oppressed. Is this love to them? Does he, who made both you and them, peremptorily command you to love them; and do you oppress and torture them? Will God, for this, hold you guiltless ? No; from men you may escape punishment; but the hottest vengeance of heaven you have every reason to fear.
Britain ! Britain ! highly favoured of heaven; favoured above all nations on earth; favoured with a commerce that extends to all quarters and countries ; favoured with universal information;
favoured with religious privileges, such as no other nation ever has enjoyed ; favoured with unequalled advantages and opportunities of the most extensive usefulness to the human race, of civilizing and Christianizing the barbarous and unenlightened nations in the east and the west; the north and the south ; how ungrateful art thou to thy great benefactor! How mercenary and inattentive to the dearest interests of thy vassals ; particularly the unhappy African slaves in thy colonies! Has not the conduct of different nations of Christendom, to their unhappy slaves, a tendency to brutalize rather than civilize them; to confirm them in Paganism rather than convert them to Christianity?
This truly is an awful and alarming consideration. For innumerable bounties are you indebted to an all-indulgent Providence. But your religion is heaven's best gift to you; a gift he has bestowed with a discriminating hand. He has bestowed it on you; but, for reasons known to himself, he has withheld it from others. And he has laid you under the most solemn obligations to recommend it, both by precept and example, to all around you; and to endeavour, to the utmost of
your power, to spread it among tions of mankind, in every corner of the earth to
which you have access. Are you solemnly bound to recommend to the nations the religion of Jesus, and do you, by your unworthy conduct, your cruelties and barbarities, to the utmost of your power, confirm the unenlightened nations in their
prejudices against it; and prevent, as far as you can, the spread of it? What must the consequence be? Shall I draw the conclusion; or shall I leave yourselves to do it? Certain it is, nothing tends more effectually to retard the progress of religion, by prejudicing strangers against it, than the unworthy and inconsistent practice of its professed friends. Many and great are the advantages, civil and religious, which have been bestowed on the different nations of Christendom. Proportioned to the extent and magnitude of their privileges, must their guilt and punishment be, in the event of a misimprovement of them. To whomsoever much is given, from them much will be required. Punishments, as well as rewards, admit of various degrees. What people, ander heaven, during the old testament; enjoyed privileges equal to those of the Jews? And what nation of the world ever was punished with such severity as they were? They knew their master's will, but did it not; and, therefore, were beaten with many stripes. Yet with respect to tyranny, information, and privileges, Israel was only in miniature
what Christendom is in magnitude. Shall your armies and navies be permitted to destroy, for ever, countries they did not plant, and cities they did not build ? Shall they continue, with impunity, to enslave a people they cannot destroy, or destroy the people they cannot enslave? Have you any better right to desolate their country, than they have to desolate yours? Shall the strong never cease to oppress the weak? When shall slavery and war be for ever banished from Christendom ? when shall liberty, civil and religious and tranquillity, prevail in all parts of our world? Then happy world indeed! Do not the oppressor and the oppressed belong to one species of beings? Do not the Africans possess the same specific nature, the same faculties and powers, corporal and mental, the same attachments and aversions, sensations and feelings, with the inhabitants of Asia, Europe, and America ? Is it not a prevailing sentiment among all the nation's of mankind, that all men, as they come into the world, are equal ? Does not this equality comprehend Adam's family from his first born, to his youngest son, with all his countless intermediate children? Are not all subsequent distinctions adventitious and accidental ? Are not the innumerable millions of mankind, members of one family, and children of one father? Was it ever known,
was it ever heard, that one child of a family had a right to enslave another? No. Such a right never did, never can exist. Vain is it to plead innocent. That you never embrued your hands in the blood of an African, may be true. That you never, with your own hands, did beat or bruise, cut or lacerate, a poor slave, may also be true. But, though you never, in your own persons, committed murder or cruelty, if you silently connive at these things, if you do not what you can to prevent them in your governments, or agents of whatever description, you are accessary to them; in the estimation of an impartial God, you are guilty : and he has solemnly declared, that he will by no means clear the guilty.
As a strong presumption, that the barbarities committed by your governors, factors and agents abroad, will be placed to account of the nation, is it not a matter of sufficient notoriety, that the perpetrators, instead of being brought to speedy justice as the laws both of God and man require, have been in certain instances, concealed and screened from the penalties of the law, among yourselves; even in some of your own capitals ? Christian nations, take warning. Christian powers, exert your influence and authority for the suppression of vice, that threatens the anihilation