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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

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The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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A Discourse, Delivered at the African Meeting-House (XHTML)

An 1808 sermon delivered by Jedidiah Morse commemorating the abolition of the slave trade (Boston: Lincoln and Edmands). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.

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<div class="Section1">
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>A</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='font-size:14.0pt'>DISCOURSE</span>,</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>delivered at the</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>African Meeting-House, in Boston</span>,</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><i>July 14, 1808,</i></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>in</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='font-size:14.0pt'>GRATEFUL CELEBRATION</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Of the </b></p>
  <h1><b>ABOLITION OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE-TRADE</b></h1>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>by the governments of the</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>United States, Great Britain and Denmark</span>.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>______________________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>by Jedidiah Morse,
    D.D.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Pastor of the
    Congregational Church in Charlestown.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>______________________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Boston</b><b>:</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>Printed by Lincoln
    &amp; Edmands, No. 53, Cornhill.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>1808.</b></p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText" align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>This is an
    annotated edition of the original text of Jedidiah Morse’s <i>A Discourse
    Delivered at the African Meeting-House</i>, a tract published in 1808 and in Boston, Massachusetts.  Original spelling, punctuation and page citations have been
    retained; minor typographic errors have been corrected.</b></p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText" align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>This electronic
    edition has been prepared for the Antislavery Literature Project, Arizona State University, a public education project working in cooperation with the EServer, Iowa State University.   Digitization has been supported by a grant from the Institute for
    Humanities Research, Arizona State University.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>Editorial introduction by Joe Lockard.  Digitization
    by Joe Lockard and April Brannon.  All rights reserved by the Antislavery
    Literature Project.  Permission for non-commercial educational use is granted.</span></b><br
clear="all" style='page-break-before:always' />
  </p>
  <p style='text-align:justify'>[blank page]</p>
  <h2>Introduction</h2>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">                Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826) is best known
    as one of the earliest US geographers and author of the first popular geography
    textbook, <i>Geography Made Easy</i> (1784).  This was followed in 1789 by <i>American
    Geography, or a View of the Present Situation of the United States,</i> which
    was even more distinctly a means of political and nationalistic propaganda. In
    1797 he published his <i>Elements of Geography,</i> and in 1814 his <i>Universal
    Geography.</i>  His works were in print throughout his lifetime and well
    afterwards.  As well as being the ‘father of American geography,’ he was the
    father of Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph.  See Richard J. Moss, <i>The
    Life of Jedidiah Morse: A Station of Peculiar Exposure</i> (Knoxville, TN:
    University of Tennessee Press, 1995).</p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">                Morse, born in Woodstock, Connecticut, was educated at Yale University and had a parallel career as a Congregational
    minister.  He founded the Andover Theological Seminary, and was known as a
    strong conservative and orthodox Calvinist who opposed liberal theologies.  He
    was central to the development of New England devotional literature.  For
    further discussion, see Leon Jackson, “Jedidiah Morse and the Transformation of
    Print Culture in New England, 1784-1826,” <i>Early American Literature</i> (March 1999) 34:1. </p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">Morse voiced a conservative
    opposition to slavery.  The preface to the present sermon indicates that this
    July 4 celebration by Boston’s black community had received permission from the
    state and city government, emphasizing that endorsement of this occasion was
    limited to welcoming the new anti-trafficking law (see <span class="term1"><span
style='font-weight:normal'>Act</span></span><b> </b>of Mar. 2, <span
class="term1"><span style='font-weight:normal'>1807,</span></span> ch. 22, 1, 2
    Stat. 426, based on U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 1).<span style='font-family:
Verdana'> </span>rather than sanctioning broader social protest against
    slavery.  As an official speaker, Morse presents an acceptably orthodox view of
    the abolition of slavery, one emphasizing maintenance of a proper social order
    and abolition as a necessary evolutionary step towards improved social health.  </p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">                Morse employs the occasion to discuss sin
    as a form of slavery, arguing “Every other species of slavery respects the body
    only.  The soul is left free.  But the slavery of sin reaches the soul, as well
    as the body, and subjects the whole man to the most degrading and fatal
    bondage.” (10) True freedom from slavery, according to Morse, lies in acceptance
    of Christian salvation.  Thus this celebratory event is an evangelical moment
    during which he calls upon his audience to realize that escape from a ‘greater’
    slavery of sin lies within their reach.</p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                Morse sees in
    the Act realization of a divine plan, suggesting “while Africa lay enveloped in
    heathenish and Mahometan darkness, those who were to be made free in Christ,
    were brought, (though by the instrumentality of wicked men) to the light of his
    gospel, in Christian countries.” (18) However, given the subsequent growth of
    Christian missionary activity in Africa, “God hath shut the door against their
    further transportation.” (ibid)  </span></p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">                 For Morse, paramount freedom lay in
    release from sin promised by evangelical Christianity.  “Civil freedom, and its
    attendant blessings, will avail you nothing without this,” (19) he informs his
    audience, calling on the black community to prove themselves worthy of freedom
    through repudiation of sin, sobriety, piousness, humility, and acceptance of
    their social position.  He did not favor general emancipation of slaves in the
    United States, suggesting in the printed Notes—not during the sermon—that the
    best policy would be to “let them remain as they are, and make their condition
    in that state as comfortable and happy, as possible.” (24)</p>
  <p class="MsoBodyText">For further works by Morse, see <i>The American Gazetteer </i>(Boston: S. Hall and Thomas Anderson, 1797), and
    Morse’s important report on relations with Indian tribes, <i>A Report to the
    Secretary of War of the United States, on Indian Affairs</i> (reprinted
    Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1970)</p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                <b>— Joe
    Lockard</b></span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <h1><b><span style='text-transform:uppercase'>Advertisement</span></b></h1>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>__________</p>
  <p>            <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>The</span> following discourse was written, preached, and published at the request of the
    Africans and their descendants in Boston, amounting to about <i>twelve hundred</i> souls, among whom originated the proposal of keeping a day of Thanksgiving in
    commemoration of the <i>Abolition of the Slave Trade</i>.  A number of
    gentlemen, who had for several years past supported and patronized a school for
    the children of these Africans, and who were applied to for the purpose,
    favoured the pious design, and pledged their aid and countenance in carrying it
    into effect.  With the express approbation of his Excellency, <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Gov. Sullivan</span>, and the <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Selectmen</span> of Boston, about <i>two
    hundred</i> people of colour marched in procession, through several streets, to
    the African meeting house, where divine service was performed, in presence of a
    full and devout assembly; among whom were a number of the clergy and laity of
    the neighbouring towns.  The religious services, beside the sermon, were
    performed by the <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>Rev. Mr. Blood</span>, <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Rev. Mr. Channing</span>, and <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Mr. Codman</span>.  The music, prepared and
    performed principally by the people of colour, was appropriate and excellent. 
    The religious exercises, and the subsequent festivities of the day, were
    attended and conducted with a degree of seriousness, sobriety, order and
    decency, highly creditable to these Africans.</p>
  <p>            At the close of the divine service a collection
    was made for the benefit of the poor, whose numbers and necessities are not
    small; for which purpose also, any profits, which may arise from the sale of
    this discourse, are devoted.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[unnumbered page]</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>___________________________________________________</p>
  <p>                                                                                    <i>Boston</i><i>, July</i> 15, 1808</p>
  <p><i>At a
    meeting of the Committee of the Africans and descendants</i></p>
  <p><i>                        of Africans in Boston,</i></p>
  <p>                        <i>Voted</i>—That <i>Fortune Symmes</i>, <i>Peter Gust</i> and <i>Cyrus Vassall</i>, </p>
  <p>                        be a committee to wait on the <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Rev. Dr. Morse</span>, and in the</p>
  <p>                        name of “The African Society,” to
    thank him for his Discourse</p>
  <p>                        delivered before them, at their
    request, on the Subject of the</p>
  <p>                        “Abolition of the Slave Trade,” and
    request a copy for the</p>
  <p>                        press.</p>
  <p>                                                                        <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Cyrus Vassall</span>, <i>Secretary</i>.</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>___________________________________________________</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[unnumbered page]</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>A</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='font-size:14.0pt;text-transform:uppercase'>Discourse.</span></b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>_____________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Introduction.</span></b></p>
  <p>            “<span style='text-transform:uppercase'>God</span>,
    who made the world, hath made of <i>one blood</i> all nations of men, to dwell
    on all the face of the earth; and hath determined the bounds of their
    habitations.” *  That doctrine, that God “created different kinds of men at
    first, according to the nature of the climate in which they were to live” † is
    as contrary to sound philosophy, as to scripture.  Our civil constitutions
    recognize the doctrine, that “All men are born free and equal, and have certain
    natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which are the right of
    enjoying and defending their rights and liberties; that of acquiring,
    possessing, and protecting property; and that comprehensive one of seeking and
    obtaining their safety and happiness.”‡  In accordance with this doctrine,
    slavery is with consistency abolished by the Constitution of this
    Commonwealth.  This doctrine, of the freedom and equality of men, however, is
    not to be so construed, as to militate with that order and subordination in
    society,</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* Acts xvii.26.</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>† See Lord Kaim’s Discourse on the original diversity
    of mankind,</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>and President Smith’s Strictures upon it.</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>‡ Constitution of Massachusetts.</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 6]</p>
  <p>which is indispensable to its peace, nay, to its very
    existence.</p>
  <p>                        <span style='font-size:10.0pt'>“Order
    is heaven’s first law, and this confest,</span></p>
  <p><span style='font-size:10.0pt'>                                Some
    are and must be greater than the rest.”</span></p>
  <p>            Distinctions of rank and condition are requisite
    to the perfection of the social state.  There must be rulers and subjects,
    masters and servants, rich and poor.  The human body is not perfect without all
    its members, some of which are more honourable than others; so it is with the
    body politic.  There is nevertheless a kind of quality among the members: all
    are free; all are useful and necessary; all are to be regarded and honoured
    according to their station and use.</p>
  <p>            But nothwithstanding all men are thus made of
    one blood, and are born free and equal, there does in fact exist a great
    diversity, not only in their complexion, but also in their civil, social,
    moral, and religious state.  This diversity is occasioned by a variety of
    co-operating causes, originating from the fall of man, and strengthened by the
    wickedness, which overspreads the world.  In the wisdom of that infinite Being,
    who “causeth the wrath of man to praise him; who maketh poor, and maketh rich;
    who bringeth low, and lifteth up;” this diversity in the condition of men is
    made subservient to his glory, and their ultimate benefit.  The world is
    governed by its all wise Creator, in a manner suited to its fallen condition.</p>
  <p>            From the early ages of the world slavery, in
    some form, and in different degrees of severity, has existed among men.  It is
    recognized and wisely restrained and regulated in the laws of Moses.  It was
    practised in Greece, and also among the Romans, even in the Augustan age, with
    shock-</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 7]</p>
  <p>ing inhumanity. *  It has been practised by several nations,
    whose slaves have been the unoffending natives of Africa, forced from their
    beloved homes, and all that was dear to them in this life, by mercenaries
    employed for the inhuman purpose.  But wherever slavery exists, and this
    species of it especially, it indicates a corrupt state of society, and mars the
    beauty of the body politic.  It thrives only on the vices of mankind.  It
    cannot subsist in a pure and wholesome state of society.  Its abolition,
    therefore, by any community, who have long supported and encouraged it,
    indicates returning health in that community, and furnishes just ground for
    rejoicing.  Every step toward such an event gladdens the heart of the Christian
    philanthropist.</p>
  <p>            Measures of vast magnitude, and extensive
    influence, having for their object the gradual and ultimate extinction of
    African slavery, we are invited this day gratefully to recognize and
    commemorate.  Within a short period, three powerful nations, Great Britain,
    Denmark, and the United States of America, all for many years deeply concerned
    in the African slave trade, have agreed to its abolition.  In Great Britain,
    this grand measure, so interesting to the friends of justice, humanity and religion,
    and so honorary to the laborious and persevering exertions of Mr. Wilberforce,
    was effected on the 25th of March, 1807; and in consequence, a day of
    Thanksgiving was celebrated, by the pious friends of this measure, in the
    following June. †  About the same time a similar measure was adopted by the
    government of Denmark.  In</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* Notes on Virginia, p. 235, 236, London Edition.</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>† See Note (A).</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 8]</p>
  <p>the United States, their Constitution of 1789 provided, that
    this traffic in human flesh might be abolished in 1808; and a law of Congress,
    passed in the winter of 1806-7 at the recommendation of the President, * took
    prohibitory effect, in reference to this traffic, the first day of the present
    year.</p>
  <p>            These are the events, which have led to the
    appointment of this day of public religious Thanksgiving to God, by those of
    you, who from your past experience can feel for your African brethren; and we
    are invited to assist in the good work.  We cannot but commend your piety to
    God, and the deep interest you take in what so nearly concerns the happiness of
    millions of your kindred in Africa.  Cheerfully and cordially do we join with
    you in these religious services.  These events cannot fail to fill every good
    man’s heart, of whatever colour, ran or nation, with gratitude and joy.  All
    must join in ascriptions of praise to God, who hath disposed the hearts of the
    rules of these nations to abolish a traffic, so incompatible with the laws of
    our religion, and so disgraceful to humanity.  We therefore highly commend the
    appointment of this day to be spent in religious joy and festivity, in
    commemoration of events so propitious to the hitherto unhappy tribes of Africa, and to the prosperity of the three nations, who have at length been persuaded to be
    just to this much injured part of their fellowmen.  Gladly shall I contribute
    all in my power to turn these exercises to the social, moral, and especially to
    the religious advantage, of all present; of those particularly by whose
    invitation we are now assembled.  For this purpose I shall invite</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* See Note (B.)</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 9]</p>
  <p>your attention to the declaration of our blessed Saviour,
    recorded in the gospel according to</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>John</span> ch. viii. v.36.</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>If the Son therefore shall make you</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>free, ye shall be free indeed.</span></p>
  <p>            <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>The</span> world lieth in wickedness, and is subjected to a great variety of evils, both
    natural and moral.  Man, who ought to be the friend of man, is his enemy and
    oppressor.  One half of the human race, probably a much greater proportion, are
    in bondage of one kind or another, to the rest.  Crimes, captivity, and debt,
    subject many to the absolute control of others. The slavery which originates
    from these causes is deemed consistent with the law of nature; but should
    always cease when the laws, which authorise it in these several cases, are
    satisfied. *  The conquerors and tyrants of the earth, in violation of the laws
    of nature and of God, hold millions more in subjection to their will.  There is
    another species of slavery, still more degrading to human nature, more
    offensive to God, and detestable in the sight of good men; it is that which
    makes the unoffending inhabitants of one country, together with their
    posterity, not only the servants, but the property of the inhabitants of
    another country; and this for no better reasons, than to gratify their sloth,
    ambition, and avarice.  In this kind of slavery, thousands upon thousands of
    our African brethren, and their descendants, have for a long succession of
    years been annually involved.  But the worst species of slavery, the most debasing
    to human</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* Paley’s Philosophy.  Art.  Slavery.</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 10]</p>
  <p>nature, and the most abominable in the sight of God, is yet
    to be mentioned—it is the slavery of sin.  Every other species of slavery
    respects the body only.  The soul is left free.  This divine principle man
    cannot enslave.  But the slavery of sin reaches the soul, as well as the body,
    and subjects the whole man to the most degrading and fatal bondage.  In this
    slavery, the whole human race, without a single exception, are by nature involved.</p>
  <p>            Such is the state of mankind.  Millions are in
    different kinds of slavery to each other: All by nature are slaves to sin.  In
    this most deplorable condition the benignant eye of God beheld our fallen race;
    his bowels moved with compassion at the sight; he sent his only begotten Son to
    redeem them; investing him with power to make and to pronounce them free.  And
    whosoever he maketh free, is free indeed.  </p>
  <p>            Let us contemplate the joys of freedom.  The
    unfortunate <i>debtor</i>, unable to satisfy the demands of his creditors, is
    constrained to resign his liberty, and to close his doors.  His prospects of
    worldly enjoyment vanish.  Instead of plenty and joy in his once happy family
    are poverty, sadness, and weeping.  He relinquishes his pleasant mansion, and all
    that appertained to it, to other owners; and retires to a humbler dwelling, not
    his own—perhaps to a prison.  Mortifying change!  But his creditors are
    merciful men.  They speak kindly to him.  They restore him to liberty; to
    credit and reputation; to useful employment: shall I add, to life.  To such a
    man, how grateful are the blessings of freedom!</p>
  <p>            Behold the <i>criminal</i>, whom justice
    sentences to confinement and labour, torn from a family whose afflic-</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 11]</p>
  <p>tions are deepened by disgrace, and carried to prison.  See
    him stripped of his usual apparel, and clad in garments, which continually
    remind him of his crime and degradation.  See him sad and pale in the solitary
    cell, separated from society, and left to fulfill the painful duty of reflecting
    on his past life.  Follow him into the workshop, among his companions in crime
    and suffering.  Slow and tedious pass the days of his punishment.  At length
    they expire; the law is satisfied; the prison doors are opened, and he is once
    more a free man.  Still more, he is a penitent, and Christ hath made him free
    indeed.  His heart leaps for joy.  He has felt, that “the way of transgressors
    is hard.”  He values more than ever, the blessings of society and freedom.</p>
  <p>            Think of the <i>captive</i> in a foreign land,
    far removed from all his relations and friend; perhaps among the barbarians, in
    chains, at hard labour, or in a loathsome prison.  He groans, and sighs, and
    weeps in secret; he has none to pity him.  He feels the sickness, which arises
    from <i>hope deferred</i>. *  But he is not forgotten by <span
style='text-transform:uppercase'>Him</span>, who heareth “the groaning of the
    prisoner, and who looseth those who are appointed unto death.” †  His ransom is
    received.  His liberty is proclaimed.  He returns to his native land; to the
    embraces of his friends.  Who can describe their joys?</p>
  <p>            Turn your attention to a more affecting scene. 
    How shall I describe it?  When I contemplate it my heart revolts; my hand
    trembles.  What do I behold!  A traffic in human bodies and human souls!  And
    this traffic carried on year after year, century after century, by the
    countenance and authority (I blush while I declare it) of <i>Christian</i> nations!!  Yes, <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>Christian</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>* Prov. xiii. 12.            †
    Psa. cii. 20.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 12]</p>
  <p>nations; nations too, boasting their love of freedom, and
    ready to shed the last drop of their blood for its protection!!  What
    inconsistency!  What reproach to the Christian name and profession!</p>
  <p>            Imagine the arrival of a <i>slave ship</i>, on
    the African coast, fitted by the ingenuity of wicked men, with all her horrid
    implements on board.  The first act of the merciless officers is to excite the
    unoffending natives to “war and depradation for the sake of supplying their
    contracts, or furnishing the market with slaves.”  This is but the beginning of
    wickedness.  Next, the unhappy, agonizing slaves, “Torn away from parents,
    wives, children, from their friends and companions, their fields and flocks,
    their home and country,” are hurried on ship-board, loaded with irons, crowded
    together, and with accommodations less convenient, than are usually provided
    for brutes, transported to a far distant land, without hope of return.  “This
    is the second stage of cruelty; from which the wretched exiles are delivered
    only to be placed, and that for life, in subjection to a dominion of system of
    laws, the most merciless and tyrannical, that were ever tolerated upon the face
    of the earth; and executed by the English slave-holder, especially, with rigour
    and brutality.” *  I leave to imagination to paint the cruelties, the
    enormities, endured by te poor slaves, under such laws, in the hands of such
    masters.  Oh slavery, if in thy best disguise, they mildest form, “thou art a
    bitter draught,” how bitter must thou be in the form now before us!—“Can the
    liberties of a nation”—I now use the language of Mr. Jefferson, who from his
    youth has </p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* Paley’s Philosophy, p. 160. Eng. Edit. Art. Slavery.</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 13]</p>
  <p>been a witness of the evils and wickedness of African
    slavery—“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed
    their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these
    liberties are the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with his
    wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my country,” (and well might all concerned in this
    detestable traffic tremble with him) “when I reflect, that God is just, and
    that his justice cannot sleep forever.” *  But praised be God, the uplifted arm
    of Almighty vengeance has been arrested.  The cries of the slaves have “entered
    into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.” †  The prayers of the people of God have
    been answered.  The long, honourable, and persevering labours and exertions of
    the opposers of this inhuman trade, have at length been crowned with success.
    ‡  By three great nations, who have had the deepest share in it, it has been, within
    a short period, by law abolished.</p>
  <p>            Who can calculate the blessed effects, which
    these measures will gradually and ultimately produce? §  They immediately check
    the progress of a mighty and threatening evil.  They will meliorate the
    condition of those, who are now, and who must remain, in slavery.  They will
    tend to prevent wars, and promote harmony among the African tribes.  They will
    lead good men to devise and execute plans for the commercial, moral, and
    religious benefit of these injured people, wherever residing, whether in their
    native, or in a foreign country. ¶  And what is more than all the rest, they
    tend to prevent the wrath of Heaven from being poured out on millions involved
    in the guilt of this traffic.  These are the measures, our Af-</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>* Notes on Virginia, p. 272, Eng. Edition.</span></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><span
style='font-size:10.0pt'>† James v. 4.  ‡ See Note (C.)  § See Note (D.)  ¶ See
    Note (E.)</span></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 14]</p>
  <p>rican friends, which this day fill your hearts with joy and
    gladness.  If they do not accomplish all that your sympathizing hearts could
    wish, for those of your brethren now in bondage; yet they will do much even for <i>them</i>;  and they will prevent thousands now living in your native Africa,
    and millions yet unborn, from being cruelly plunged into that servitude, from
    which you have been emancipated, and in which such unnumbered multitudes of
    your race and colour are still involved.</p>
  <p>            But shall Africans alone be found giving thanks
    to God for these great events?  Are they more interested in them than the White
    inhabitants of our country?  No, surely.  “Lo, oh Lord, we have sinned, and
    have done wickedly; but <i>these sheep</i>, what have <i>they</i> done?” *  Yet
    they are leading the way in those religious exercises, in which we should have
    set <i>them</i> the example.  Will not He, who was “anointed to proclaim liberty
    to the captives,” ask—(if we may be allowed thus to accommodate the passage,)
    “Were there not ten lepers cleansed? But where are the nine?  There were not
    found that returned to give glory to God, save <i>this stranger</i>.” † </p>
  <p>            But we are now to contemplate a far more
    interesting picture; a slavery of vastly deeper misery; a freedom of infinitely
    richer value.  The slavery of sin is beyond all comparison worse than any
    conceivable state of earthly bondage; the freedom from it, which Christ
    bestows, is unspeakably superior to what the greatest earthly potentate can
    confer.  In this slavery, not here and there an individual only, not the
    criminals, who fill our prisons, nor an unfortunate, subjuga-</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>* 2 Sam. xxiv. 17        †
    Luke xvii. 17, 19.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 15]</p>
  <p>ted nation only, are involved; but the whole race of Adam. 
    This slavery, which I shall not attempt to minutely describe, essentially
    consists in the dominion of sin and Satan in the soul; or that alienation from
    God, and opposition of heart to him and his government, which possess the bosom
    of every impenitent sinner.  It is a property of this slavery, that its
    miseries are generally but slightly felt, and its dangers little regarded in
    this life.  Sinners, till awakened by the Divine Spirit, love their sins, and hug
    their chains.  They are the willing and cheerful servants of Satan.  It is
    their delight to do his will.  But let the veil be once taken from their eyes;
    give them a full view of their character and danger; let “the arrows of the
    Almighty be within them, and the poison thereof drink up their spirit; and the
    terrors of the Lord set themselves in array against them;” *  then will they
    perceive and feel the misery of their bondage, and sigh for freedom.  Then will
    the voice of Christ, which calls them to liberty and life, be listened to with
    eagerness.  They will feel, that if the Son of God will but make them free,
    they shall be free indeed.</p>
  <p>            Let us dwell a moment on the blessedness and
    joys of this freedom.  Over the happy subjects of it, sin has no longer
    dominion.  Freed from sin, they have become the servants of righteousness. 
    Satan no longer leads them captive to his will.  Being purified from dead works
    to serve the living God, conscience has ceased to be the enemy of their peace. 
    Being redeemed from the curse of the law, by the precious blood of Christ, they
    are delivered from the fears of hell.   From these immense, overwhelming evils,
    are they liberated.</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>* Job vi. 4.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 16]</p>
  <p>            But the freedom, which Christ confers, includes
    positive privileges, and substantial delight.  On this side heaven its happy
    subjects enjoy communion with God; calm serenity of soul; peace, which the
    world can neither give nor take away; joy, that passeth all understanding;
    comfort in all their afflictions; victory over all their spiritual enemies; the
    hope of the gospel, which is full of immortality.  Fearless and undismayed,
    they can meet death in its most ghastly forms, and anticipate the awful,
    delightful period, when “the day of God shall come, in which the heavens being
    on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat:”
    “When the archangel shall lift his hand and swear, by him who liveth forever
    and ever, that time shall be no longer.”  Such are the privileges of those whom
    Christ maketh free, while they are inhabitants of this world.</p>
  <p>            But who can conceive their joys in heaven?  The
    inspired writers thus describe them: “The ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy and gladness, and sorrow and
    sighing shall flee away.” *  They shall “come to Mount Zion, and unto the city
    of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of
    angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written
    in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made
    perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.” †  “They are before
    the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that
    sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They </p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>* Isa. xxxv. 10                        †
    Heb. xii. 22, 23, 24.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 17]</p>
  <p>shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall
    the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb, which is in the midst of
    the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of
    water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” *</p>
  <p>            Such are the joys of civil freedom; such the
    joys of that which is spiritual and eternal.  The former is to be valued among
    the first of earthly blessings; the latter, as the richest gift in the treasury
    of heaven.  While, therefore, we rejoice in the momentous events which we this
    day celebrate, shall we not much more rejoice in the hope and prospect, that
    these events will prepare the way for the extensive spread of the glorious
    gospel among the African tribes, by which thousands, who are now in captivity
    to sin and  Satan, shall be made free instead?</p>
  <p>            You, who have invited us to join you in this
    joyful celebration, will this day recollect, with gratitude, the constitution
    of this commonwealth, which declares you freemen.  Under many unavoidable
    disadvantages, you have experienced the blessings of liberty in such measure,
    as to make you sensible to the miseries of your brethren in slavery, and to
    rejoice in their emancipation.  We commend your sympathy.  We heartily join in
    your expressions of joy and gratitude to the Author of all good.  But while
    contemplating the evils of slavery, we would not overlook the benefits, which
    that great and wise Being, who bringeth good out of evil, hath educed from it
    to the sufferers.  Multitudes, by wicked hands indeed, brought from the
    darkness of paganism, to a Christian land, and sub-</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'>* Rev. vii. 15, 16,
    17.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 18]</p>
  <p>jected to bondage in its most cruel forms, have had
    conferred on them by the Son of God a freedom, which infinitely overbalances
    all their sufferings.  Some who hear me, I doubt not, can witness to the truth
    of what I have now said.  As heaven is to be peopled by some out of all nations
    and languages under heaven, and probably some of every generation in each
    nation, it is remarkable, that while Africa lay enveloped in heathenish and
    Mahometan darkness, those who were to be made free in Christ, were brought,
    (though by the instrumentality of wicked men to the light of his gospel, in
    Christian countries.  But since the blessed gospel now sheds its genial
    influence on Africa, by the preaching of the missionaries of the cross, its
    natives have no need to be carried to foreign lands, in order to enjoy its
    light; and God hath shut the door against their further transportation.</p>
  <p>            Great blessings, pertaining to this life, you
    also enjoy, of which I hope you are not insensible.  Be ambitious to make the
    best use of your liberty and privileges.  Make them not a cloke for
    licentiousness.  Shew to those around you, that you are worthy to be free. 
    Many eyes are upon you.  Some doubtless are watching for your halting.  Be
    contented in the humble station in which providence has placed you.  By your
    decent, respectful, regular, industrious, quiet behaviour, authorize your
    friends still to shew themselves friendly.  You know how deeply interested the
    Speaker feels, in whatever concerns your honour and best happiness in both
    worlds.  Be particularly on your guard against excess in the joys and
    festivities of this day.  Be sober, be temperate, be pious; so will you give
    pleasure to your friends, and silence opposition from your enemies.</p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[page 19]</p>
  <p>            While you set a just estimate on the liberty you
    enjoy, in this free country, and rejoice in the agreeable prospects of your
    brethren in Africa, oh forget not the freedom, which cometh from the Son of
    God.  This is now offered to you.  It is precious beyond all estimation.  Civil
    freedom, and its attendant blessings, will avail you nothing without this. 
    Embrace it without delay.  Bid an everlasting adieu to the slavery of sin; and
    stand fast in the liberty wherewith the Son of God makes his subjects free.  In
    his heavenly kingdom all are united in the same honourable cause.  To them
    there is neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but are all
    one in Christ, who is all, and in all.  They are one in heart; engaged in the
    same cause, and pursue it, animated by one spirit.  They feel how good, and how
    pleasant it is to dwell together in unity.  In vain the adversary vents his
    impotent rage against these happy sons of freedom.  No longer has he dominion
    over them.  As you love true freedom, therefore, be persuaded to quit this
    worst species of slavery; enlist under the Captain of the Lord’s host; under his
    banner fight the Christian warfare; you may be sure of victory; and the
    invaluable liberty of the children of God shall be your rich and everlasting
    reward.  For whom “the Son maketh free, shall be free indeed.”</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>AMEN.</b></p>
  <br clear="all"
style='page-break-before:always' />
  <p>[unnumbered page 20]</p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>PRAYER.</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><b>________</b></p>
  <p align="center" style='text-align:center'><i>Altered from the
    Christian Observer.</i></p>
  <p>            <span style='text-transform:uppercase'>O
    Gracious</span> God, who lookest down from heaven, the height of thy sanctuary,
    to hear the groaning of the prisoner, and to loose those that were appointed to
    death; we give thee hearty thanks that it has of length pleased thee to put a
    stop to the slave trade, the miseries of which have so long oppressed Africa,
    and the sin of which has so loudly cried to thee for vengeance upon Europe.  </p>
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