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breast of the said Robert Hewitson, did then and there shoot off and discharge, by means whereof he, the said Robert Hewitson, did then and there give unto himself, with the shot aforesaid so discharged and shot out of the said gun, by the force of the gunpowder aforesaid, in and through the body of him, the said Robert Hewitson, one mortal wound, of which said mortal wound, he, the said Robert Hewitson, languished for the space of two hours, or thereabout, and then died."

It is lamentable that time and money should be wasted in useless specifications like these, to the serious inconvenience of all business, public and private, throughout the country. Why may not plain things be always plainly described, as Mr. Peel has proved that in some most important instances they may?

We are glad to perceive, that the Commander in Chief in India has abolished flogging in the native army, except where the crime is of such a character that the culprit is deemed not worthy to remain in the service. In future, flogging and expulsion are to go together. We heartily wish that the same regulation were adopted with regard to our own soldiery. Why, indeed, should British troops be exposed to this shameful punishment, when our Sepoy regiments are exempt from it, as being " injurious to their character and feelings?" If it be replied, that our soldiers might sometimes commit crimes to which flogging is attached, with a view to be dismissed from the service; then either banish flogging altogether, so as to prevent the success of the stratagem; or make the service so desirable that no soldier would feel disposed to resort to it.

Some worthy readers of ours have occasionally suggested to us, whether we have not given too great prominence in our pages to the question of Slavery; whether, allowing to the subject all the weight that can be claimed for it as a question of justice, or philanthropy, or civil policy, we might not, as Christian Observers, be better employed in transferring the pages appropriated to this topic to others more immediately connected, as is alleged, with matters of religion, and the spiritual and eternal interests of mankind. Now, in truth, it is precisely in this last point of view that we attach so much importance to the subject; for though the extirpation of slavery would deserve the most earnest exertions of every statesman, every lover of justice, every friend of humanity, every enemy to wrong, and outrage,

and cruelty, and barbarous usurpation; and though on all these grounds we should feel it our duty to devote many a page to enlighten and animate the public on the subject; yet it is precisely as Christian Observers, directing our remarks to Christian readers, that we have always most urgently pressed our appeal. Every argument in favour of Bible, and Missionary, and Educational, and Tract Institutions-all that is told us, from the press, the pulpit, and the platform, of the infinite value of the souls of men, of their sin and danger, of the necessity of preaching the Gospel and administering the holy sacraments, of the duty of using every effort to evangelize the whole world, but especially our own fellowcountrymen and fellow-subjects-applies with tenfold force to the unhappy slaves in our colonies. The occurrences of almost every succeeding mouth prove, that till Slavery is abolished, or at least placed in a fair train for speedy abolition, the great mass of the slaves must almost of necessity continue miserable heathens. Their masters, as a body (for there are honourable exceptions), it is quite clear, will never consent to their being efficiently instructed in the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel: and, truly, in coming to this resolve they are wise in their generation, for Slavery and pure Christianity can never long or cordially consist together.

Possibly some reader may reply, that we insist too much upon extreme cases; that we ought not for ever to descant upon the anti-christian martyrdom of Mr. Smith of Demerara, or the sacrilegious preceedings of a lawless, though well-dressed, mob in Barbadoes. The objector is right, if he can shew that such instances are but exceptions to the general spirit of the slave colonies; but our argument is, that they are fair and characteristic, though somewhat strongly marked, illustrations of it. Let us, however, adduce a more ordinary sample of the working of the system, as respects the religious privileges of the slaves. We take up a recent number (July 24) of the " Barbadian " (a newspaper published twice a week in Bridge-Town, Barbadoes), the greater part of which we find devoted to the narrative of a most bitter persecution against an amiable and exemplary clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Harte, rector of the parish of St. Lucy, for his alleged "offensive sermon, and his disgraceful conduct in administering the Lord's Supper." The "Barbadian," be it observed, is not an anti-slavery publication: the very column which con

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tains the editor's expurgation of Mr. Harte from the charges brought against him, contains a right orthodox Barbadian editorial paragraph against "that most egregious humbug, the African Institution," and "the miserable whining speeches of its members." Yet the editor is honourably constrained, by the force of truth and the testimony of a long friendship," to designate Mr. Harte "an enlightened and zealous divine," oppressed by " popular clamour, illiberal prejudice, and persecuting calumny ;" and who is not only able to clear himself of the imputed guilt," but "will come out of the fire like gold purified seven times;" and whose observations, in reply to his persecutors, "breathe such a spirit of true Christianity as must," the editor hopes, "disarm all hostility." The Bishop of Barbadoes also, who has never favoured the antislavery cause-though, by the way, we think a conviction of its importance must speedily be forced upon his Lordship by the conduct of some of his own clergy and their flocks, and the tacit opposition which his own, not overviolent, plans of Negro education and evangelization have excited-the Bishop declares, after officially examining the charges against Mr. Harte; "I can perceive nothing in your conduct which either deserves my censure or justifies the very strong language used against you by certain of the inhabitants of your parish. The sermon preached by you on Easter-day I have read. It is a plain and powerful denunciation against sin, but contains nothing, in my opinion, in matter or in language, that can be called offensive, save to an offending conscience. And with respect to the mode of administering the holy communion, as detailed by yourself, and confirmed by the testimony of your curate, I feel myself called upon to state that the same mode has been pursued under my own eye in the cathedral, as most suitable to the nature and dignity of the sacraments, and to the spirit of that Gospel which knows no distinctions in matters of grace."

Very different, however, were the sentiments of the worthy slave-holders of St. Lucy; as our readers will perceive by the charges which they had alleged against Mr. Harte, and to which the Bishop's letter is a reply. These charges are contained in six solemn resolutions of the parish in vestry assembled. The first, which is couched in the usual form adopted when men intend substantially to set aside what it would not be decent to impugn, acknowledges "the import

ance of imparting religious knowledge to their slaves," and their readiness" to afford them all safe facilities of obtain→ ing this kind of instruction." The second then glances towards the matter in hand; observing, that, " in all communities, distinctions of rank are necessary to the safety and well-being of society, and more especially in such a one as ours, where the hand of nature has drawn a mark of distinction between the proprietor of the soil and his dependants." This solid foundation being thus judiciously laid, there follows a third resolution: that " any attempts proceeding from the ministers of religion to destroy these distinctions, to amalgamate and level the two classes of our country, must tend to endanger the safety and property of the White inhabitants, and cannot be otherwise than injurious to the civil condition and religious improvement of the Black population, by exciting in their minds discontent, and views inconsistent with their situation; and in the proprietors a just jealousy against the designs and motives of those who are appointed to the office of the religious instruction of their slaves." And now for the application of all this to poor Mr. Harte, in resolu tion the fourth : "It is with deep concern that the inhabitants of this parish have observed the frequent attempts made, by the rector of the parish, to destroy the distinctions which they deem so necessary to their safety; more especially evinced by his offensive sermon on Easter Sunday, and his disgraceful conduct whilst administering the most holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper; thereby endeavouring to alienate their slaves from a sense of their duty, by inculcating doctrines of equality inconsistent with their obedience to their masters and the policy of this island." The fifth banishes Mr. Harte from their estates, and forbids "all intercourse between him and their slaves;" and the sixth sends copies of these notable resolutions to the Governor, and the Bishop of the diocese, requesting the latter to remove Mr. Harte from his incumbency.

When this document arrived in England, the conductors of the Anti-slavery Society seem to have been greatly at a loss, as well they might, to ascertain the exact offence of the reverend culprit. "Was it," say they, "that the transactions, so obscurely alluded to, were of a kind which it would not have been very creditable to these Barbadian Christians to have more distinctly specified? Did they feel it more convenient to deal in general abuse than to state facts? Or

conduct which "deserves censure," or "justifies the very strong language" of the complainants. The sermon complained of contained, as we have seen, "nothing offensive, save to an offending conscience." And as for the rector's “disgraceful conduct whilst administering the most holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper," by which "“he endeavoured to seduce the slaves from a sense of their duty, inculcating doctrines inconsistent with their obedience to their masters, and the policy of this island of Barbadoes;" the only offence was administering the Sacrament as it is administered at the cathedral itself, under the eye of his Lordship—not, however, be it observed, to Whites and Blacks indiscriminately; for, says Mr. Harte's curate, " in no instance whatever were the consecrated elements ever administered to a Black or Coloured person before a White;" but, the table having been once surrounded with the Whites, and there not being a sufficient number to occupy the rail a second time, a few Negroes and Coloured people "knelt at the south end," and received the sacred elements after their superiors. We would not advocate obtrusiveness of conduct, and should augur little in favour of the Christian temper of any person who should abuse "the spirit of that Gospel which knows no distinctions in matters of grace," by taking the opportunity of the administration of a sacred rite to shew his contempt for the usual courtesies and proprieties of human intercourse; but in the case in question there really was no obtrusiveness-there was a marked distinction of ranks-blood and caste had all they could customarily claim; and yet the conduct of the minister was

were the crimes which have led to these vindictive denunciations nameless? Had Mr. Harte ventured to preach to his hearers from either of these texts: 'Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy;"-or, Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him;'-or, 'As ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets?' Or did he endeavour to impress it on the minds of White and Black alike, that, whatever distinctions might exist between them on earth, none would exist in heaven, except what resulted from 'faith working by love' and obedience to God? Or did he invite Browns and Blacks, as well as Whites, to approach the table of the Lord, and to eat of that bread and drink of that cup which shadows forth their common salvation? It must have been some such heinous offence as this, too horrid to be even named, which has brought down vengeance on the devoted head of Mr. Harte. Sensuality, intemperance, profaneness, neglect of pastoral duties, might have passed as venial infirmities; but such daring attempts to destroy the necessary distinctions between Black and White, deserve nothing less than exclusion from all intercourse, whether with bond or free, in the island of Barbadoes." Had Mr. Harte done all this, and even with some considerable degree of unsparing zeal, we should not venture very positively to affirm that he had exceeded his duty as a faithful minister of Christ. But the fact is, that, so far from rendering his doctrines or his proceedings justly offensive, or open to the charge of levelling those eulogized "distinctions of rank," by which a West-disgraceful;" it was an attempt "to Indian colonist considers himself entitled to hold in slavery his fellow-creature, he had acted with the greatest delicacy towards his prejudiced flock: he had given them "milk, and not strong meat;" knowing, probably, how unable they were to digest the simple text of Christianity, on a matter so little to their taste. This is clearly proved in his mild exculpatory letter, addressed to the Bishop, to which we have already alluded; and in reply to which his Lordship states, that, "in the absence of any specific charges" (for the accusers could not be induced, though strongly urged, to send in to the Bishop any "specific charges," under the plea that they "intended" first to exhibit" certain charges" at "the Court of Grand Sessions"), he could perceive nothing in Mr. Harte's

alienate the slaves from their duty to their masters;" it threatened, in short, the subversion of the whole fabric of Barbadian society. Be it so. Are we then wrong in maintaining that the institutions of Christianity and Slavery are incompatible?

We have not space to enter into the other matters alluded to in Mr. Harte's letter to his diocesan. He shews throughout with what constant hostility his endeavours to impart Christian instruction to the slaves, and to prevent the profanation of the Sabbath, have been met by the White inhabitants; and this notwithstanding his explicit declaration “that he has never interfered with the authority which the master has by law over his slave;" and that "the Bible contains too many precepts of contentment, of obe

dience to authority, of serving masters with singleness of heart, of abiding with in our various callings, to be ever made the vehicle of insubordination or rebellion." The lectures which he preached to the slaves have been published in this country by the "Society for promoting Christian Knowledge," and the "Society for the Conversion of Negro Slaves; and are not therefore, we conceive, very liable to the suspicion of being Hostile to civil or religious order. This good man, though he utters no complaint about his own persecutions, seems almost broken-hearted that his Sunday Schools have been closed, that his slave communicants have dwindled away, and that very few Negroes are now seen at church. As an illustration of the conduct of his White flock, we may mention the following circumstance :— A Christian slave, Rose Martin, applied to him to read the burial service over her mother. The deceased being a Christian woman, Mr. Harte readily consented, and the corpse was to be brought to the church for the purpose. In the mean time he received the following note: oko 72

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"Rev. Sir,I am very sorry after


begging you the favour to read the Divine service over my mother this afternoon, and your goodness allowed to grant it me, but my Manager has forbid me bringing her remains to church, by order of the Attorney. Your obedient, "ROSE MARTIN."

Mr. Harte being forbidden to officiate, sends the catechist, who is duly licensed by the Bishop for the purpose, to read the service over the remains of the poor woman on the plantation: but this also the Manager forbids; and poor Rose is forced to deposit the remains of her beloved parent in the ground without the consolation of those Christian rites which she so greatly valued.

But we must stop. We shall be curious, however, to know what are the "certain charges" which are to be exhibited against Mr. Harte at the sessions. The warrant only specifies his having used language, in the presence of certain slaves, "tending, directly or indirectly, to excite a spirit of insubordination and tumult amongst the said slaves;"—a charge, as he justly observes, so vague that it might be urged against any man in the West Indies.

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M. W.; AN ADMIRER OF THE LITURGY; W. N., D. R. N.; J. R.; THEOGNIS; A PROPHETIC INQUIRER; A. A.; are under consideration.


A CONSTANT READER will perceive that the chief subject of his paper had been anticipated.

We are much obliged to some of our correspondents for apprising us of a mistake which occurs in the paper on Ecclesiastical Discipline in our last Number, relative to the name of the parish alluded to by the Bishop of Lincoln, and other speakers in the House of Lords, on the petition of certain parishioners against their clergyman for gross immorality of conduct. Our readers will find the circumstances detailed in the parliamentary debates for June: it is sufficient for us to state, that the parish was not Long Sutton in the county of Lincoln, but another parish called Sutton in the diocese of Lincoln, but situated in another county. The services of our Church, we are informed, have always been regularly administered in the parish of Long Sutton in Lincolnshire.

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No. 310.]

OCTOBER, 1827. [No. 10. Vol. XXVII.


For the Christian Observer.



F the conduct of men be a just criterion of their feelings, it would appear to be the first desire of human nature that death might never arrive; the second, we might therefore conclude, would be, that, seeing death is inevitable, we may become duly prepared for its reception. This, however, though a very natural desire, is by no means always followed by a corresponding system of conduct; so that while men in general wish, with Balaam, to "die the death of the righteous," few live that life which they imagine ought to be attended with so auspicious a result.

There is but one modification of human existence which we have any good reason to believe will be accompanied with either safety or repose at our departure into another world. What is the nature of that peculiar modification cannot assuredly be doubtful; for, if Christianity be a Divine revelation fitted to the wants of man, and the only system which teaches him how he

may obtain acceptance with God, then nothing short of the full effects of the Gospel upon a human soul can fit that soul for its eternal change. We may be moralists or philosophers; we may be esteemed

The following Essay is taken from a work entitled "Christian Essays," by the Rev. S. C. Wilks. The writer has been frequently requested to print this Essay separately, on account of its reference to the character and death-bed of our great British Moralist, Dr. Johnson.


wise and amiable; we may live without reproach, and meet death without a pang; yet, amidst all, if we know not practically the necessity and the value of a Redeemer, and have not obtained a scriptural hope of an interest in his salvation, we are venturing defenceless and exposed upon a wide ocean of storms and uncertainties, and are braving all the terrors of eternity without a single well-founded expectation beyond the grave.

The importance of procuring accurate ideas respecting religion and the mode of salvation, as connected with the safety and repose of a death-bed, is by no means universally considered in its full extent. There is a vague, unmeaning sort of piety-or, at least, of what unjustly bears that sacred name,— which persons in general are too often willing to consider as all that is required for sustaining with patience the approach of affliction or death. Thus, a constitutional sweetness of disposition, or the negative blessing of not having been permitted to fall into any gross vices, sufferer and the spectators, as suffiis frequently viewed, both by the

lution easy, and the prospect of futurity welcome. If tranquillity be but obtained, it is of little consequence, in the estimation of the world at large, in what manner it was procured, or whether it be true or false; and thus that spiritual insensibility, which, both in itself and its results, is the greatest of evils, is boasted forth as the natural and proper effect of a well-spent life.

cient to render the hour of disso

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