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• The beams that daily shine
For they're ruled by laws divine,
• But tho' the clock is fast,
More slowly never passed,
The remaining contents of the volume throw considerable light on the social and religious state of the slaves in Cuba, and on the fearful extent to which the slave trade is still carried on in that island. It is justly remarked by Dr. Madden, that the ' portraiture of a battle affects us less than that of a single captive such as Sterne depicted. Let our readers peruse the following, and then say what should be the extent of our efforts to rescue the African race from their unutterable misery.
Let me present to the imagination a real captive-one that has recently fallen under my own observation, and, I may add, under my own charge-one into whose soul the iron of allliction had verily and indeed entered—a single sufferer, a negress, taken out of a captured slaver, a wan, emaciated, listless, silent woman, a sullen savage, in the phraseology of Cuba, in cases of anguish and despair—a person who neither spoke nor moved from the spot where she sat rocking her naked body to and fro all day long. There was a calm settled look of deep, unspeakable wretchedness in her regard, which made me dissatisfied with the explanation I received of the strangeness of her conduct, that she was a sulky negress, and showed no thankfulness for anything that was done for her, like the other women. The others were dressed in the new apparel which had been just given them, enjoying the good fare Row provided for them, and celebrating with songs and dances the happy change in their lot. I thought she must have great reason for such dejection ; the poor thing left the food untouched that was brought to her at each meal; her new clothing lay folded up beside her ; when she was asked through the interpreter to tell what ailed her, she gave no reply ; day after day she was questioned, and deep sighs were the only answers that could be got from her.
Negroes are said by planters to be insensible to kindness ; they, no doubt, have so many benefits to be grateful for, that any thanklessness, on their parts, is too glaring a defect to pass unnoticed. The kindness that was shown to this poor creature was apparently thrown away, but apparently only, for by little and little it subdued the sternness of her grief ; and what grief could surpass her 'afflictions—for her's was that of a mother robbed of her infant child? One day I stooped down to speak to her, and endeavored to a certain the cause of her trouble, while I was offering her some beads, such as I had given to some of her companions, she burst out crying. It seemed at last as if
she Irad found ease, in giving vent to one loud outbreak of sobs and sighs. She wept bitterly, put her hands to her breast, then stretched out her arms, started up on her feet, and, looking wildly over the side of the vessel, cried out for her child—and over and over again she repeated the words-in fact this was her cry the live-long day. Ask her what you would, 'the cry of the heart, continually was—' for her child. It was long before this tempest of sorrow was assuaged suffi. ciently to obtain from her any collected account of the loss of her infant. It appeared that when the slaver was chased by our cruiser, fifty of the negroes were thrown overboard (twenty-four of whom were picked up by the cruiser's boats), with the view of detaining the latter vessel, and of thus eluding the pursuit; and this part of the story was confirmed by the account of the humane and resolute captor himself, by the account given to me by Captain Hollond, of the whole affair, off the Isle of Pines. And during this commotion on board the slaver, and the mortal terror at seeing their comrades flung overboard, this unfortunate woman lost her infant, but how, or at wbat period it was taken from her, she could not tell. No creature could seem more sensible of the sympathy that was felt for her than this poor woman. But how often have I been told these people are savages—they have no natural affections—the separation of families is nothing to them— the sundering of the ties that bind mothers to children, and children to parents, is nothing to negroes! They do admit that even the she-bear will pine after her lost cubs; but the grief of a negro mother for her child is only a gust of passion that proceeds, not from any emotions of the heart, but from the violence of the irascible temper of negro women, Oh! how often have I heard this language, and how often have I known these sentiments adopted by men—aye, even by ministers of religion, who tell you, in Cuba, as well as in America, they see no hardships in slavery—that the slaves are kindly treated, are well fed, and decently clad, and have nothing to complain of! What do these gentlemen know of slavery? They eat and drink, no doubt, at the houses of the opulent planters in the towns, and they reason on the strength of the goodness of their entertainments, that the slaves of their hosts are treated like their guests.'-pp. 158—160. Dr. Madden is entitled to the thanks of
humane man for the publication of this volume, which we strongly recommend to the immediate and attentive perusal of our readers.
Art. IV. Notes on the Pentateuch; Selected from the E.cegetical Parts of
Rosenmüller's Scholia and of Dathe's Notes to his Latin Version ; also from Schrank, Michaelis, Le Clerc, Ainsworth, Poole, and other authors. By T. BRIGHTWELL. I Vol. 12mo. London: Ball and Co.
THE greatest perils to the cause of sacred truth have generally
arisen among the learned. The most pestilent and prevailing heresy of the present day has its fountain and its seat in one of our learned universities, and numbers among its advocates men of undoubted eminence both for erudition and talent. Were we to sketch the history of the various errors which have corrupted the church in successive ages, we might trace them all, or nearly all, to men of high reputation as scholars and divines, who appeared either as their originators or their patrons and defenders.
The main question agitated at the present moment relates to the interpretation of the Scriptures. Certain theological sages of Oxford have assumed, plainly and without guise, the dogma of the papacy, as set forth in the writings of Bellarmine and the decrees of the Council of Trent, that the church is the authoritative or final interpreter of Scripture, and that the living church is bound by the dead church, and must ascertain the truth by an appeal to tradition, as this flows down to us from the fathers of the fourth and fifth century. Within the Established Church this opinion has recently advanced with incredible rapidity, and has, we fear, left the genuine Protestant doctrines in a minority, the proportion of which to the numbers who advocate the favorite doctrine, we dare not trust ourselves to conjecture. It is not, however, our intention at present to descant upon these deplorable facts, and the consequences into which they are ripening. We allude to them for the purpose of placing them in contrast with other facts.
We are now threatened with the re-establishment of the first principles of popery, and, at no distant day, if the seed takes root and flourishes, as the spiritual husbandmen no doubt anticipate, we shall see it blossoming with all those precious fruits which appear upon the parent stock. But how diverse and capricious are the speculations of learned men! Little more than a century ago they were travelling in the opposite direction. Then, there was the most imminent danger lest reason and philosophy should usurp to themselves the exclusive right of interpreting Scripture, and banish from the creed of the Church everything that did not square itself by their rule, and submit to their light. In some respects the danger then was greater and more threatening than it is at present from the
popish dogmas, because the dissenting denominations as well as the Church of England were infested with rationalism : whereas at present, the plague is confined to the stipendiaries of the state; and from its very nature it must remain so. It is not a disease to which the dissenting bodies are at all liable, or with which they can ever be affected. Their very existence depends upon
the vigor of the great Protestant principle, 'The Bible, • the Bible only. This is the life-blood of the dissenting denominations. It produces them, and they have ever been, and ever will be, its bulwarks. They are united as the heart of one man in its support. We will venture to predict that they will remain so; and that nothing will ever shake their confidence in the stability of their position. The aspect which they assume at the present moment, free from heterodoxy, harmonious, united, and devoted to their great work of evangelizing the masses at home and abroad, sufficiently and satisfactorily shows, that they are no strangers to the nature and bearing of those novelties which are startling and perverting their fellow Christians of the Establishment, and that they are not to be moved from their foundations by those dogmas which were long since tried and found wanting both by the fathers of the Protestant reformation, and the fathers of nonconformity. It has been alleged that the dissenting denominations have not yet come forward, in the defence of their protestantism and refutation of the Oxford Tractists, with that promptitude and ability which might have been expected. Yet it should be observed, in explanation, that the controversy properly pertains not to them—it is not within their borders: something, therefore, is to be attributed to their sense of propriety in leaving it, at least in the first instance, to those whom it more immediately concerns, and within whose precincts itexists. If dissenters have hitherto been in a great measure lookers on, it is attributable to the expectation that some champions for the truth would arise from among the treacherous hosts, who would, like Moses, have stood in the gate of the camp, saying, 'Who is on • the Lord's side ? let him come unto me.' Neither should it be unobserved that the three ablest and most argumentative books which have yet appeared in defence of the Protestant doctrine, have proceeded from authors pertaining rather to the dissenting bodies than to the Church. And if, after all, it should be conceded, that they are not generally prepared to follow the restorers of traditionary religion into the sandy and pathless desert of the fathers, there are ample reasons to justify their want of preparation for such unprofitable excursions. They have been ambitious of better studies, and are more familiar with apostles and evangelists. They understand a much shorter way of coming at the truth ; and though it may be very desirable to meet the traditionists on their own arena, and defeat them with their own weapons, as the author of * Ancient Christianity' has so adroitly done, yet the victory must, after all, be achieved by weapons drawn from the armoury of Scripture itself: and in the use of these the dissenting ministry never have been behind their opponents, and we are confident that in the present controversy, they will not be found wanting. They are laborious and studious men, but their labors and studies have been directed more to the spread of gospel truth, than to the examination of Greek fathers, and the adjustment of controversies which they have deemed long since worn out, at least among Protestants. It ought in justice to be further observed, that the dissenting denominations enjoy no comfortable sinecures, no rich prebendal stalls, no lucrative fellowships, no endowments of any kind that do not exact a full and regular measure of duty. Every man of talent and learning has his hands full-and unless he be a prodigy of labor and industry, he cannot be expected to walk side by side with men who have passed the life of learned recluses in cloisters and colleges, enjoying the otium cum dignitate of a rich establishment. And yet it would not surprise us to find, that men may yet appear among them, whose knowledge of Christian antiquity, and discrimination in subtle controversies, would not be disadvantageously matched against the doctors of Oxford. In debate with Catholics, Unitarians, and infidels they have uniformly sustained their part with honor and success, and had they deemed themselves bound to appear prominently in the present controversy, we have no doubt they could have furnished champions fully adequate to the occasion.
We have digressed, however, from the observation with which we started, that the greatest dangers to the cause of revealed truth have always proceeded from the learned, and from the learned of the church. It was not our intention, as may well be conjectured, to add to this any inference to the discredit of learned men, or the disparagement of their learning; because, in our view, it would not hence follow, that the church had been in a better condition if it had never produced such learned men, or been convulsed and endangered by their speculations. That would be a very unfair and unphilosophical argument which should hence conclude unfavorably to the cause of learning in general: not only because such an argument would be merely taken from the abuse of a thing really good in itself, but because it would rest altogether upon the disservice which learning had occasionally and incidently caused, without balancing against it the invaluable services which had proceeded from the same source. If learning, or at least learned men, have originated the heresies, learned men have also furnished the antidote to those heresies. If one class of the VOL. IX.