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irresistible chain which classical associations, the refinements of polished society, and a history rich in all that is illustrious and venerable, imparts to the eloquence of a British Parliament.

(To be continued.)

To the Editorofthe Christian Observer. LIKE my favourite poet, Cowper, I never think of my native country, with all her faults, without loving her still; especially when I reflect upon the widely-extended efforts of British Christians to enlighten and benefit mankind. I even feel a conscious gratification in reading, writing, and speaking a language which is heard in every quarter of the globe as the language of science and literature, of religion and of civil freedom; the language of a powerful and benevolent nation, on whose vast dominions the sun never sets; a language doubly endeared by the consideration, that those who speak it, including the inhabitants of our present and past colonies, are almost the only people-I admit some partial and highly honourable exceptions, especially of late years who seem heartily zealous for the promotion of Christianity throughout the world. I need not add the many other ties which bind a patriotic Briton to his country, in order to express the corresponding concern with which he must hear or read of whatever tarnishes its honour; and particularly of the grief which he must feel, if he has the interests of religion at heart, when any impediment is thrown, by the conduct of our countrymen, in the way of the Christian instruction of the heathen. It is impossible to look back, in numerous instances, upon the annals of the intercourse of professed Christians with savage andpagan countries, withoutextreme pain and indignation, The narratives of our early voyages and travels are replete with stories of gross barbarities practised by the crews and travelling parties of


Christian countries upon the unoffending natives of distant shores, who thus early learned to identify Christianity with perfidy and cruelty. These narratives are often related by the offending parties with an air of quaint pleasantry and selfsatisfaction, which seems to indicate that the relators thought that cheating and abusing "Indians" «outlandish people" was actually a part of their Christian privileges, a just mark of their superiority over pagans and barbarians. In former days, it was an extremely good jest to land upon an obscure island, and to seize whatever was worth carrying away; and, if any shew of resistance was made by the natives, to burn their villages without mercy, and to shoot almost in frolic as many as convenient of the inhabitants. What nation of Europe has the greatest number of such atrocities to account for, I will not undertake to say; though I do not think that our own has in any age been the most deeply concerned. Of late years especially, the conduct of our public officers has been highly honourable, in preventing their lawless countrymen committing wanton outrages upon defenceless nations; a conduct which has doubtless done much towards raising our national character throughout the world. The British legislature and government, also, have laudably exerted themselves to prevent the acts of injustice and barbarity to which I allude. But still it is to be feared, that even under salutary restraints the conduct of too many of our agers and travellers, and especially of the crews of our vessels in heathen ports, is calculated to leave injurious impressions upon the minds of the natives, and to prejudice them against the reception of the Gospel.


The impediments thrown in the way of the early efforts of the Church Missionary Society's settlers in New Zealand, may be cited as a painful example of the evil consequences of the lawless practices under consideration. It was urged

by a sailor who was flogged in Captain Cook's first voyage, for going on shore at one of the South-Sea islands and stealing the potatoes of the natives, that "he thought a British seaman had a right to do such things to the Indians." Halfa-dozen additional lashes were added to his sentence, to correct his misapprehension. This man's views, however, were not singular; for almost all the intercourse carried on between New Zealanders and Europeans, for many years, consisted of insult, spoliation, and revenge. The conduct of the crews of South-Sea whalers, and other vessels belonging to Christian nations, was, in numerous instances, most brutal and unprovoked. The deportment of the sailors towards the native women needs not be specified. The men also were frequently carried off, while visiting the vessels, either because the captain was not in a humour to comply with his engagement to land them, or because he had occasion for their services in working his ship. If these services were withheld or slighted, a rope's end was always at hand, and does not appear to have been sparingly used. The horrid massacre of the crew of the Boyd, in 1809, arose from circumstances of this kind, working on the minds of a savage and revengeful people. The Boyd was chartered to take convicts to New South Wales, whence, after completing her charter-party, and receiving a number of passengers for England, she sailed for New Zealand for a cargo of timber. A New-Zealand chief, named by the sailors George, who happened to be at Port Jackson, agreed with the captain to work his passage to his own country. On the voyage, according to George's account, the captain had him severely flogged, like a common man, and otherwise maltreated, without any just cause, and on their arrival at New Zealand sent him on shore stripped of every thing, even to his clothes, His indignant tribe heard his tale, and CHRIST. OBSERV. No, 256.

instantly meditated a fatal revenge. The captain and a part of his crew, on landing, were knocked down and murdered; and the New Zealanders, dressing themselves in the clothes of their victims, hastened to the vessel, overpowered the crew and passengers, and put the whole of them (three excepted, who concealed themselves,) to death, and some of them with excruciating torments. Not less than seventy persons perished in the massacre. Truly "the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty;" but what shall be said of those Christians, so called, who by their own evil conduct furnish the pretext to savages to glut their ferocious appetite for revenge? Can it be wondered at, while the conduct of Europeans towards unenlightened nations continues so often marked by fraud and cruelty, that obstacles of the most serious nature are found to impede the progress of Christian missions; that so often a series of years must elapse before the heathen are induced to give full credit to the disinterested motives of their benevolent visitors? Happily, however, even the most ignorant savages may in time be taught to distinguish between one European and another. The New Zealanders themselves expressly exempted the missionary vessel, the Active, from the range of their revengeful determinations; and various similar exceptions occur in the missionary annals of other parts of the world.

One principal object proposed by the foregoing remarks, is to shew the necessity of doing far more than has ever yet been attempted for improving the moral and religious character of seamen, both in the merchants' and the king's service. Though, from their neglected education, their peculiar habits, and their want of the opportunities of religious instruction, sailors appear to be an exception to all ordinary rules for judging of mankind, they are yet in reality just what other human beings are, partakers 2 H

of the same evil heart, needing the same redemption, and susceptible of the same renovating influence. What then is there to prevent the crew even of a South-whaler, or of any other vessel, becoming a blessing instead of a curse to the heathen at whose ports they touch? If more were done for sailors, sailors might do much for the world; they might become the winged heralds of Christianity; every locker might carry out its little cargo of Bibles and tracts, and the flag of a Christian vessel be hailed with confidence by the most unenlightened savages as the signal of justice, friendship, and exalted virtue. Let us hope that the efforts now in progress (but which need greatly to be extended and systematized) for the Christian instruction of our seamen, will, by the blessing of God, hasten the period when such a state of things, chimerical as to many it may now appear, shall be a sober reality. But I must carry my reprehension beyond the case of rude sailors; for even voyagers and travellers of a respectable character seem too often to be nearly of the opinion of Captal Cook's culprit, that the Christian obligation of doing to others as we would that others should do to us, does not apply to the case of Europeans among savages. I might bring together innumerable illustrations of this strange limitation of the Ten Commandments to geographical "points and parallels;" but shall content myself with a single one, by no means of a flagrant kind, from a recent volume of travels, entitled, "Journal of a Visit to Ethiopia, by G. Waddington, Esq., Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and the Rev. B. Hanbury, of Jesus College, A. M." There had been, it seems, some difficulty in one part of the route of these gentlemen, in procuring camels, for which they were obliged to substitute asses. On their arrival, however, at Mograte, says Mr. Waddington

"Our prospects began to bright

en a little. A camel is discovered among the palms, and soon afterwards another, and a man, with' a woman and child, near it. He' proves to be an Ababde Arab, named Achmet, going down, with his wife and infant, to buy dates. We of course invite him very warmly to enter into our service, to which he strongly objects; and, on being more urgently pressed, asks with great feeling, And will you oblige me to leave my wife and child in the hands of strängers? Now his wife was a very pretty woman, and was watching this scene with great interest, though in silence. The case was certainly a hard one, and perhaps we were decided by the sight of one of our asses at that moment down upon the ground, struggling with his burden. However, we were decided; we justified ourselves by the tyrant's plea, and immediately proceeded to transfer part of our property to the more dignified situation it was once more destined to occupy. The man intrusted his family to a fellow-countryman, an inhabitant of the village, and proceeded reluctantly with us"that is, he was obliged, in his own defence, at the risk of what might happen to his wife and child, to follow the sequestrators of his property, which otherwise he could never have expected to see again. The travellers do not appear to have thought of the simple expedient of attempting to purchase his camels, before they proceeded to impress them and their master into their service.

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"necessity" might be quite as great as that of making a visit to Ethiopia. But the reader will see still further the evil of relaxing the bonds of simple justice, from the following incident which occurs a few pages after. Our travellers' servants doubtless thought it was no sin to follow the example of their masters, and that not only good Christian travellers, but their attendants, "had a right to do such things to the Indians.'

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"While we were pursuing a very large snipe, which I started out of an old well, by accidentally throwing a stone there, our servants were much better employed. After a short absence, we observed them returning with a very fine camel, of which it appeared they had not become possessed without difficulty. They had hailed its master, who continued to make off so rapidly on his - "ship of the desert' that James found it necessary to bring him to by firing a rifle shot over his head. His friends,however, collected, to the number of twelve or fourteen, armed with swords and large sticks, to assist him. James re-loaded and cocked his gun, and no doubt great deeds would have ensued, had not Giovanni drawn out from under his jacket a pair of brass bellmouthed blunderbuss pistols, loaded to the very mouth. At the sight of these the Arabs took off in all directions, and disappeared among the trees. The beasts naturally fell into the hands of the victors."

I will not say that the flippancy and apparent triumph with which this narrative is related make the deed described in it the writer's own; though I think it is hardly the way in which two Christian gentlemen would describe a similar transaction in their own country. But then, I suppose, what would be construed into highway robbery and intent to murder by our Northern laws, may be fair trade in Ethiopia. James and Giovanni would, without doubt, have been hanged for such a transaction on Hounslow Heath;


nor would the tyrant's plea of " cessity," I fear, have availed them any more than it would honest old Turpin, who, having heard that a wealthy farmer, to avoid being "hailed" by him, had sewed his money in the cape of his coat, took occasion, pistol in hand, (I am not clear that it was a brass bell-mouthed blunderbuss pistol, loaded to the mouth,) to remind him of a "necessity" under which he laboured: "Your cape behind I must cut off,

For my horse requires a saddle-cloth.” If Dr. Chalmers, in his Commercial Sermons, is right in his interpretation of our Lord's command above cited, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them," our travellers must, I conclude, have reasoned thus : "True; in England I should not like man

SO to do to me; but there is as much difference between England and Ethiopia, as between a Cantab and an Arab, or a horse and a camel; so that, though an English clergyman on a journey with his family would not altogether like to be stopped by a party of men, armed with rifles and brass blunderbuss pistols, and to have his horses and carriage forcibly seized, and his wife and child turned loose on a common; yet, putting myself in the place of an Arab, I have no doubt that I should greatly enjoy such an adventure from the hands of a party of Christians,and therefore, in inflicting it, I am only conscientiously doing to others as, in similar circumstances, I would that others should do to me." But, trifling aside, is the effect of such conduct on the part of Europeans towards unchristian and unenlightened nations of no moment? May not many of the unjust deeds, and apparently unprovoked cruelties, exercised by uncivilized tribes upon our voyagers and travellers have been often, in a great measure, the result of the misconduct of preceding itinerants, who had left behind them but too much cause of pretext on

the part of the natives to revenge themselves, according to their rude ideas of justice, upon the next person of the same country or colour who might unfortunately fall into their hands? Above all, how seriously is the extension of Christianity impeded, when a Heathen or. Mohammedan can say, that whatever may be our doctrines, our practice, of which only he can judge, is no better than his own; for, that self-love and self-interest are as much the ruling motives of Christians as of Jews, Turks, or Infidels. I am very far from intending to apply these strong remarks to the particular narratives above related; but it is obvious, that if even highly respectable Christian travellers can thus confess themselves occasionally doing "a little wrong," to suit their convenience, there are others whose sense of justice, being far less strict, would not shrink from much worse acts where necessity was the plea, and there was no power in the sufferer to redress the wrong.

The salutary effects of Christianity upon the human character are so inestimably valuable, independently of its religious benefits, that I should hesitate to admit, that, under any name or form, it can altogether cease to be a public advantage. But in reading the description of the more exemplary heathen tribes, it is painful to ask oneself, How far would people like these be benefited by an intercourse with a large portion of those who profess and call themselves Christians? I cannot refrain from copying a part of the interesting account given of the Loo Choo islanders by Capt. Hall and Dr. M'Leod, with a view to illustrate my general argument.


Many of these islanders displayed a spirit of intelligence and genius. They all seemed to be gifted with a sort of politeness, which had the fairest claim to be termed natural; for there was nothing constrained, nothing stiff or studied, in it.

"It was interesting to observe,

indeed, how early the gentle and engaging manners of all classes. here won upon the sailors no less than upon the officers. The natives from the first were treated with entire confidence: no watch was ever kept over them, nor were they excluded from any part of the ships; and not only was nothing stolen, but when any thing was lost, nobody even suspected for an instant that it had been taken by them.

"That proud and haughty feeling of national superiority, so strongly existing among the common class of British seamen, which induces them to hold all foreigners cheap, was at this island entirely subdued and tamed, by the gentle manners and kind behaviour of the most pacific people in the world.

"Although completely intermixed, and often working together, both on shore and on board, not a single quarrel or complaint took place on either side, during the whole of our stay. On the contrary, each succeeding day added to friendship and cordiality.

"The administration of the government seems to partake of the general mildness of the people; and yet it appears highly efficient, from the very great order which is always maintained and the general diffusion of happiness.

"Crimes are said to be very unfrequent among them, and they go perfectly unarmed; for we observed no warlike instruments of any description! not even a bow or an arrow was to be seen; and the natives always declared they had none. They denied having any knowledge of war, either by experience or tradition.

"We never saw any punishments inflicted at Loo Choo: a tap with a fan, or an angry look, was the severest punishment ever resorted to, so far as we could discover. In giving orders, the chiefs were mild, though firm; and the people always obeyed with cheerfulness."

It is highly gratifying to find that the conduct of our sailors, under the

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