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part of the planters in the work of emancipation. The abolition of slavery in this country can be effected only by the slave-holders themselves, or a majority of them in each State, becoming sensible of the injustice of the system and being willing to put an end to it. This circumstance, though it will delay the final consummation, will cause it to be effected at last under the most favorable circumstances, and with the least possible suffering or inconvenience to either party. The blacks will be conciliated to their former masters by the great act of justice which they have done, and the whites will be disposed to make every provision and exertion necessary to secure the success of the experiment which they have voluntarily made. Such an emancipation we hold to be, at all times, the duty of our Southern fellow-citizens, whether they are sensible of it or not. This duty we should urge upon them with all brotherly kindness, and endeavor to awaken them to a sense of it by all the wise means calculated most surely and speedily to effect the desired end.
What can a person at the North do in reference to this subject? He can at least inform himself, and think and feel correctly, respecting it; and that is what every man should desire and endeavor to do, were it only for his own sake, respecting any moral question which frequently forces itself upon his notice, and concerning which he can scarcely avoid taking up some opinion, either from prejudice or examination. But the influence of his sentiments can hardly be confined to his own breast. They will naturally be expressed, and will have their effect on other minds and hearts. It is of the thoughts and feelings of individuals, that the mighty agent, public opinion, is composed. Every one who is gained over to truth and right, contributes to swell the force of a beneficial influence. Let no man think it a matter of indifference what is his opinion on this interesting question. C. P.
THE DESTRUCTION OF OPIUM IN CANTON.
THE efforts which have been made in this country to abolish intemperance should be compared with the efforts now making in China to abolish the use of opium. There can be no doubt, we suppose, that
the use of this drug is more deleterious than that of ardent spirits; and the onset upon it by the Chinese is far more vigorous than any which has been made upon rum and brandy in Christendom. We Christians are very dilatory, and move step by step; esteeming the rights of property and opinion as worth so much, that the demoralisation of the people is of small consequence in the comparison. The poor Pagans of China, on the contrary, regard the depravation and ruin of the people as the chief of evils, and therefore promptly and resolutely, without scruple or apology, aim at their removal, regardless of sacrifices. They make prohibitory laws, and execute capital punishment on those who violate them, and forbid an entrance to their harbors of the foreigners who would aid the people to break them. Undoubtedly, such despotic proceedings are impossible in this country; and in that respect, and in many other circumstances, Christian republican America has an advantage over the semibarbarous Celestial Empire. But still, it is a spectacle truly sublime, when the sovereign of a great nation, with solicitude truly paternal for the wellbeing of the people, uses his power for the destruction of its chief social evil. I see nothing in all the purposes which engross the attention of our wrangling houses of Congress, to compare in grandeur with this most beneficent act of the Chinese power. The terrible evils which afflict the people and threaten the direst calamities, make no part of the care of our National Legislature.
I certainly could not desire for my country that its government should possess despotic power; but it is unspeakably lamentable, that we cannot have a public opinion so inimical to all wickedness, as to bring about the same result through the voluntary action of the people. Nothing can be so disgraceful as the toleration by public opinion of disgraceful customs.
The statistics of intemperance in this country are sufficiently well known. The statistics of the opium trade in China are less familiar.
Opium was formerly regarded in that country as a medicine, and was admitted on payment of a small duty. But in 1796 it had got to be used a good deal as an injurious luxury, and was therefore prohibited. The annual import was less than 1,100 chests. In 1830 it was nearly 20,000 chests; in 1837 34,000; the chests averaging about 130 lbs. weight, and the total value being not far from 20 million of dollars.
The effects of this spreading use of the drug on the people have been dreadful. The loss of life from smoking it, is said to be 100,000
a year, and the wretchedness and suffering occasioned to multitudes besides are inconceivable and indescribable. 20,000 chests of opium are enough, says Mr. Medhurst, at 20 grains a day for each individual, to demoralize three millions of individuals. And in spite of prohibitory laws, that demoralization has been extending, till it has spread throughout almost the whole empire.
How has this happened? By what means, in spite of a despotic prohibitory law, has the evil been extended? "The opium is grown in various provinces of India, under a system of compulsory labor, for the exclusive benefit of the Honorable East India Company; and the trade in it is monopolized by British merchants, or if there are exceptions, they are too inconsiderable to be taken into account.” So says an English writer. A double abomination transacted by the East India Company;-the oppression of the wretched natives under their own government, by compelling them to work in bondage, and that for the purpose of spreading corruption among the people of China;-into which country it could be introduced only by the systematic violation of laws, that ought to be sacred to all civilized people -in a word, only by fraud, bribery, and smuggling! And this, by a great Christian people, solely for gain! How unprincipled and base is such conduct when seen by the side of the Chinese government; which, on the express ground of principle, refused to derive from the trade any profit to the state, and prohibited an article which might have brought in a magnificent revenue, because the trade was evil and injurious. Observe the noble language used on the subject;— "Having a clear conviction that the thing is highly injurious to men ; to permit it, notwithstanding, to pervade the empire,-nay, even to lay on it a duty,—is conduct quite incompatible with the yet uninjured dignity of the great Celestial Empire." The comparison of this language with the practical declarations of our own and other Christian governments leads to very mortifying reflections. The language of Mr. Medhurst deserves quotation.
"It has been told, and it shall be rung in the ears of the British public, again and again, that opium is demoralizing China, and becomes the greatest barrier to the introduction of Christianity which can be conceived of. Not only are the wretched victims of the indulgence impervious to remonstrance, and callous to all feeling; not only must we despair of the conversion of the opium smoker, almost as much as if his doom were already sealed; but the difficulty of convincing others of the truth of Christianity, and of the sincere intentions of Christians, is greater in proportion to the extent of the
opium trade to China. Almost the first word uttered by a native, when urged to believe in Christ, is, 'Why do Christians bring us opium, and bring it in defiance of our laws? That vile drug has poisoned my son-has ruined my brother-and well nigh led me to beggar my wife and children. Surely, those who import such a deleterious substance, and injure me for the sake of gain, cannot wish me well, or be in possession of a religion that is better than my own. Go, first, and persuade your own countrymen to relinquish this nefarious traffic, and give me a prescription to correct this vile habit, and then will I listen to your exhortations on the subject of Christianity."
We cannot withhold our sympathy and our admiration from the resolute stand now taken by the Chinese government. It is in the highest sense of the word noble. Every generous sentiment calls upon the world to applaud, and say, God speed you; and we are confident, that the British power cannot be base enough to visit with bombardment and massacre a people so laudably engaged in protecting its own rights. W*.
SUNDAY SCHOOL IN BOSTON IN 1791.
A friend, while searching after a certain record which he expected to find on the Books of the Selectmen of Boston, met with the following "entry," to which he directed our attention. As every thing relating to the history of Sunday Schools is interesting to the majority of the relig ious community, we have no doubt that even so trifling a notice of an early attempt to establish an institution of this kind in the town of Boston will be esteemed by many readers worthy of their attention.
Page 262. April 25, 1791. On a letter received from the Gentlemen Proprietors of the Duck Manufactory, requesting the approbation of the Selectmen for their opening a Sunday School, and their opinion on the subject-The Selectmen are of opinion that, however eligible the measure may be, the law respecting schools had not in contemplation such as is requested and therefore does not authorize them to approve it."
We should be glad to know who the benevolent individuals were who originated this pious enterprise, also what effect the resolve of the Selectmen had upon them, and whether in any way their scheme was followed up in the latter years of the last century. C. R.
The duck manufactory-as we are informed-stood at the corner of Boylston and Tremont (Nassau) streets.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
WOMAN'S MISSION. From the English Edition. Boston: William Crosby & Co. pp. 160. 12 mo.
THE proper position and duties of woman constitute, at the present moment, a fruitful theme of discussion and give rise to zealous controversies. There are many persons among us, who, with eloquence and impassioned zeal, maintain the opinion that there is no essential difference between the duties and claims of the two sexes, that women should share equally with men the various offices and responsibilities of life, should have a voice in popular and legislative assemblies and enjoy the elective franchise; and in one word, that they should have an equal portion in that outer world, which has been hitherto the exclusive heritage of the stronger sex. Though these reformers constitute but a small minority, yet their zeal is in an inverse ratio to their numbers, and they have among their ranks many persons of great purity of life and conversation, and not a few, of gifted minds. The writer of the work before us does not belong to this class. Though a woman, she is contented with the position her sex have hitherto enjoyed, and directs her efforts to teach a better use of the opportunities within their reach. We extract from the introductory Notice a brief analysis:
"The principal points on which the writer insists, are these: that woman has an office of the utmost importance to discharge, a mission to fulfil which is inferior in the magnitude of its results to no other that can be sustained by a human being; that the sphere for the execution of her high duty is home, over which she must shed her controlling influence; that the chief instrument on which she must rely for exerting influence, is character-her own character; and that the strength and beauty of character must be drawn from Christian faith."
The writer has treated her subject in a manner creditable alike to her understanding and her moral and religious nature. She states in her preface that she has been largely indebted to the excellent work of Aimé-Martin on the education of mothers, and several of her