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which he composed. Ferrarius and Sirmondus observe the same of some of the dictiones sacræ,' or sermons of Ennodius, which are said to be written by him, and spoken by others; Honoratus, bishop of Novaria, is named for one. St. Austin more particularly considers this question, and makes a case of conscience of it. For having laid down all the rules of Christian oratory for those who had ability to compose, he at last confesses, there were some who, though they could speak well, were not able to invent and compose a handsome discourse of their own; and he does not severely condemn them, or with a magisterial air debar them from preaching, but with a great deal of tenderness says, favourably in their case, that if they take that which was elegantly and wisely written by others, and commit it to memory, and preach it to the people if they are called to that office, they are not to be blamed as doing an ill thing. For by this means there are many preachers of truth, which is very useful, and not many masters, whilst they all speak things of the one true Master, and there are no schisms among them."
ON THE TERM Δουλος.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
WITHOUT Supposing that St. Paul in the least degree countenanced the horrid practice of slavery by his command to all whom he calls dovλot, to be obedient to their master, I still fear your correspondent Σ is too nice in drawing his distinctions. In the first place, although Chrysippus de Concordiâ seems to consider the dovλo as partly freedmen, yet we find the Athenian writers continually confounding the two terms. Aovλos appears to have been applied generally, ouKerns to have been a household slave. I will only refer your correspondent
to the first scene in the Plutus of Aristophanes, where Cario calls himself douλos, and says that it is a great shame that a slave (OEражоvтα), meaning himself, should not be master of his own person, but should be the property of any one who should buy him. Twenty lines after this, his master tells him that he is "the sharpest of all his household slaves" (Twv OLKETWY). This, I think, will be sufficient to shew that even among the Athenians, of whom alone Chrysippus speaks, dovλos and OLKETηs were used to express the same person. But again, it ought to be remembered that St. Paul did not live in the time of the Athenian commonwealth. Aovos was the word used to express servant or slave of every kind in the Scriptures; and where our Lord speaks of them he evidently means those of the Jews, who were treated very leniently, and could hardly be called slaves. But Philemon, so far as we can judge, was a converted Gentile, and lived at Colossæ or Ephesus; and, as we may suppose that the customs of Romewere by that time spreading over its dominions, we must refer thither for the most probable account. We well know how barbarously the slaves were treated there; and there can be no doubt that miserable beings of this description were included in the charge of the Apostle, ̔Οι δουλοι υπακούετε τοις κύριοις; and I think your correspondent must agree with me, in leaving Onesimus as a slave, according to the general opinion.
However, though I cannot but think that St. Paul addressed slaves, it is astonishing that any can be so blinded as to force an argument from this for the abominable system of West-India slavery. He bid the Romans be subject to their rulers ; but he does not on that account sanction the cruelties of a Nero; and with respect to Onesimus, does not the Apostle entreat Philemon to consider him as a "brother beloved?" I fear there are few Christians who treat their slaves thus in
the present age, when we might have expected that the enlightening influence of the Gospel, for 1800 years, would have wholly banished this relic of heathenism and barbarism. There might not, however, be so many grounds of objection, if those masters who bear the name of Christian would follow this advice. But as there is no doubt that the bare idea of such communion shocks their feelings, it should be sufficient proof to their own minds" that these things ought not so to be."
THE REV. G. BRIDGES AND HIS
For the Christian Observer.
I KNOW not how it may affect others, but to my mind no argument presses more forcibly against the system of West-India slavery, than its incidental and acknowledged features. If I could forget all I have heard and read of its injustice, cruelty, impolicy, and unchristian character, I should need only to take up the first pro-slavery book or paper that comes in my way-whether a London John Bull, or an Edinburgh Blackwood, or a West-Indian tour, or a House-ofCommons speech-to convince me of its enormities. I was particularly struck with this in reading the admirable comment on the case of Lieutenant Smith in the Anti-slavery Reporter, affixed to the Christian Observer for August, in reply to a paper issued, not by the abolitionists, but by the colonial interest, and circulated by them at an onerous expense, with a view to uphold their system. The points which occur incidentally, the tacit admissions, the whole complexion of the case as set forth by the avowed abettors of West-Indian slavery, are irrefragable proofs of the impolicy, injustice, and cruelty of the system. If I thought there was any one of my readers who had not carefully
perused that paper, I should urge him to give it his calm attention; and after such an exposition lay his hand on his heart and ask himself whether he would dare to vote for the continuance of such enormities.
But the document of Lieutenant Smith is not a single illustration; for, had I the ability of the writer whose comments on it I have noticed, I would engage to take up almost any Number of the Antislavery Reporter, or any WestIndian newspaper, and shew, from the admitted facts of the case, the character and workings of the system in a light which should strongly exhibit its wickedness. To go no further than the account of the Rev. G. Bridges and his slave Kitty Hilton, in the Reporter affixed to the Christian Observer for September, what a fearful glimpse does it give us of the evils of colonial slavery, as admitted, and not even attempted to be denied, by its advocates! If we shew the utter injustice, and natural tendency to all that is evil, of the system of slavery, we are answered, "Very true; I do not deny it; but, practically speaking, the matter turns out much better than you might expect; the slaves are very well off, and you would be surprised to see how well a bad system works. I doubt whether you would gain any thing by changing it." thing by changing it." If we shew the grossly inequitable and remorseless character of West-India law, and the grievously unprotected state of the slave, we are told, "This may be: but, happily, the practice is better than the law: the slave does not know the rigidity of the code under which he lives, and the master does not act upon If we then urge the constant instances of cruelty which are brought to light, in order to prove that the practice is no better than the law, and even, if possible, worse, we are told, " Yes: but surely you would not stigmatize a whole community for the crimes of a few miscreants. You cannot suppose that respectable
persons would allow themselves to be otherwise than just and humane to their slaves. I admit it is an awkward kind of property, and I say nothing in favour of the first title to it; but, as matters practically stand, the affair is very well accommodated: and a person in decent life treats his slave in the West Indies as well as he would his servant in England. His own self-respect, as well as his interest, would forbid his doing otherwise."
painful, what must be the state of things where they are acted? and if our propriety is shocked with the decent narration of them, where is our propriety in allowing their continuance?
And thus persons soothe their conscience. Having kept out of sight all the main points, and reconciled themselves to avowed injustice and usurpation, they are satisfied with a little salvo of alleged lenity, and take no steps for the removal of the evil.
But even were we to descend to this low ground, how would the case really stand? why, exactly the opposite to what the abettors of the system contend for. I need urge, in proof of this, only the facts admitted by all parties, the ordinary articles of a West-Indian newspaper, and, above all, the arguments of the colonial apologists. Take, for example, the case of the Rev. G. Bridges, and detach from it whatever is disputable or disputed: take only the statement of his avowed defender, and from it observe the workings of the system, not only in rude and brutal hands, but in those of a man whose property and eduIcation claim for him the rank of a gentleman, who is also a man of literature, an author, and, above all, a clergyman, and late chaplain to a colonial bishop. In a fit of passion, apparently because a friend who was to have dined with him had disappointed him, and because his cook, according to his express directions, had procured a turkey to grace the occasion, he orders her to be severely punished-to be flogged with bamboo rods on her naked body. I regret to be obliged to allude to such scenes; but if even the necessary mention of them for the ends of justice and humanity is
Now what are the points admitted, and what the points disputed? What says the first narrator, in stating the facts? and what says the reverend gentleman's defender, under the feigned signature of "Byron," in extenuating them? Why, the whole turns on the point of a little more or a little less. It is not denied, it is not even spoken of as a thing at all strange, that a clergyman ordered his cook to be indecently flogged with bamboo rods, or "switches," in his presence. Mr. Bridges's defender admits, nay states this; and he adds, what the original narrator did not mention, that "she returned to the house in a very dirty, ragged, and indecent state; and appeared thus before her master, and some ladies staying there;" but which Byron introduces apparently to shew his reverend friend's humanity, in "sending her a supply from a box of Negro clothing, as she had complained of wanting them." There is nothing of all this spoken of as very remarkable; these are not the disputed points; they were mere household occurrences, the casual incidents of a clergyman's family. It is not so much as hinted that it was contrary to Christian propriety, or setting a bad example to the parish of St. Ann's, Jamaica, that things of this kind were proceeding at the parsonage. Such an affair in England would be the leading topic of every newspaper; the whole nation would demand the exemplary punishment of the offender, and his diocesan would be in no good odour in his own diocese, or elsewhere, if he did not instantly institute an ecclesiastical process to suspend the delinquent from his spiritual function, if not to disrobe him altogether. But very different is the case in Jamaica, Repeated
efforts have been made to bring the party to legal trial; but not on the grounds above stated: not for having a woman flogged on her bared body, with bamboo rods, because her master was in a passion about a turkey; in this there was nothing to try him for his conduct so far was legal and clerical, nay exemplary; for, says the Jamaica Courant, "the God of Shadrach was with him, and not a hair of his head is scorched." The only point upon which the whole question, legally speaking, turned, was the degree of severity: Mr. Bridges and his defender, with the Jamaica newspapers, the grand jury, and the council of protection, do not affect to deny that the woman was punished as above described, without judge or jury, or even the order of a magistrate, and in a manner most revolting and indecent: no, why deny what involves no crime or disgrace? what colonially-speaking is not unmanly, not unclerical? but they deny that the flogging was illegally brutal and severe; and they also seem nearly to take for granted that Kitty Hilton being a slave, and Mr. Bridges her master, she must have well merited what she received. They say that the punishment was legal, and was also deserved on these two points rest the judicial defence and the moral exculpation of the reverend inflictor. Now on both these points there is a discrepancy of opinion; but that is all there is no discrepancy of opinion as to the main facts; Mr. Bridges's defenders do not consider there was any thing blame-worthy in any part of the transaction, because they say all was legal, and, measuring humanity by colonial laws, all was humane. This may tell well for Mr. Bridges, but what says it for the system? What says it for the state of colonial manners? What says it for the conduct of lay families, if clerical are thus managed? What says it for the comforts and mild treatment of the unhappy slaves of persons in the middle and CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 346.
lower classes of society, persons without refinement or education, if a reverend rector, a bishop's exchaplain, quarreling with his maidservant about a turkey, orders her out into the open air, has her divested of her clothing, and stands by to see her, at his bidding, and without arbiter or appeal, flogged by one or more men, with bamboo rods, till he thinks fit to stop the punishment? And what says it for the habits of life of a place where no surprise even is expressed at a woman in this dreadful condition, bleeding, writhing, and naked, entering a clergyman's apartment, where, besides the reverend divine, a young lady, the governess, and the white butler are present, and asking for clothing, which it is quite plain she needed, as her master thought it necessary to give her some? If this was the condition of Kitty Hilton, what must be the condition of slaves less highly favoured?
I might further illustrate the character and effects of the colonial slave-system, by going through the other admitted features of the case, especially the conduct of the parochial authorities and the grand jury; but for these I must refer the reader to the documents pro and contra, in the Anti-Slavery Reporter, and well do they deserve attention. My only point of argument in these cursory remarks, is not matters of law, but only matters of public colonial feeling and ordinary social intercourse. I have not even inquired what was the extent of Kitty's crime, or her master's castigation. Let it be allowed that all was done according to regular usage, or undoubted statuteso much the worse, I repeat, for the system.
But in thus confining myself to points not denied, I do not mean to admit that Kitty's offence was of necessity very heinous, or her master's discipline quite moderate, or the conduct of the several parties who prevented his being brought 4 L
to trial perfectly impartial. I have a very strong conviction on all these points; but I urge it not with reference to the present remarks. The first narrator, whose statement was sent out to the Governor of the island by Sir George Murray, speaks of the provocation as so trivial, that one can only infer that Mr. Bridges was angry about the absence of his friend, and the money vainly expended upon the turkey; in fact, that there was no provocation whatever but his own temper; and represents him as commencing his operations with a vulgar and profane exclamation, "accompanying his words with a blow, which blackened both the girl's eyes, and set her nose in a flow of blood." His defender Byron does not allude to this alleged commencement of the transaction; the reader must there fore conclude it to be true or false as he thinks most probable. Then comes the flogging. The first narrator says it was ordered because, in answer to the question, "Who told you to get a turkey?" the poor girl said, "Massa, it was the last thing you told me to do this morning." The defender says nothing about the turkey, but clothes the matter in decent generalities, saying that Kitty was proved to be "of notorious bad character, and evil propensities," and was ordered, "for repeated insolence, to be switched with bamboos." What the "repeated insolence" was, he does not inform us; and, by the way, as he professes to have "had access to the records of the council of protection," and to make his statements on their authority, how much better had it been to give us the depositions themselves, instead of his own ex-parte and garbled statements, asserted-but we know not how truly to be grounded upon them. I cannot think the matter of the turkey is not alluded to in them; and at least it might have been edifying to know in what the "repeated insolence" consisted.
Then comes the punishment. The
first narrator says, that after the above-stated preliminary blow and black eyes, and profane and ungentlemanly exclamation, and Kitty's remark above-quoted, Mr. Bridges "immediately called two men to cut bamboo rods, and point them; she was then stripped of every article of dress, tied up by the hands, her toes barely touching the ground, and flogged until the back part of her, from the shoulders down to the calves of her legs, was one mass of lacerated flesh and gore." The defender admits what he calls the "switching with bamboos;" he does not undertake to deny that the woman was "stripped of every article of dress;" but he says there was but one Negro about the house, " so that there was no person to hold the woman, nor was she in any way confined, but with much insolent nonchalance walked off to receive her punishment at a short distance from the house, where her master remained until he heard her expressing her contrition." So says the defender, but he brings forward no proofs of his statement; nor does it seem very likely that the poor woman whom he himself describes as always running away, should take the matter so easily. It was very singular that she should stand still, without being tied up, or any one to hold her, and be stripped and flogged, and wait quietly till the operation was over, and then all at once set off full speed to the magistrate, to complain that she had been cruelly treated. It would have been very desirable that the reverend gentleman's defender should have produced the records of the Court of Protection, to prove that the "tying up by her hands, her toes barely touching the ground," was a fiction. It was scarcely in human nature for this poor girl to stand still to receive such an infliction of punishment ; and the observation about her "nonchalance" is a piece of gratuitous brutality, which no one