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I fear the day of reckoning may be near at hand, when you will be buried in the ruins of your own despotism. The execration of your fellow citizens, the fury of your vassals, the anger of your Creator, and, I might add, the just indig. nation of all Europe, are combined against you.
The parable of the unjust judge and importunate widow will declare the anger of God; indeed, to suppose that he did not espouse the poor African's cause, would be virtually calling him not only an unjust, ungenerous and partial being, but a hundred fold more unjust than even the unjust judge. I need not introduce any more theological arguments to prove the disapprobation of heaven, as this one is sufficiently conclusive; and if this will not suffice to convince the slave. holder, that by oppressing his fellow worms he makes their Creator a dangerous enemy and an everlasting foe, he would not be convinced though one arose from the dead. But with respect to the indignation of the inhabitants of Europe, though the majority of them are despots, sycophants, and slaves, yet they can discriminate between right and wrong, between slavery and freedom; and seeing such a contrast between your conduct and professions, they justly impeach you with being the most detestable hypocrites and the basest impostors. But the most compendious way to ascertain what they think and say of you, is to exchange conditions with them only for a moment, and think what you would say of them if they acted the base, the barbarous part you have acted and still act. Thus, therefore, Europeans execrate you more than all the tyrants of the world besides, and they cannot help detest. ing you, especially when they recollect the acknowledgments you have made to the whole world of mankind, of your re. publican principles, and the motto of the state of Pennsyl. vania, and which should be applicable to your general government, “ Virtue, Liberty, Independence." I repeat, when they hear your pompous professions, and see your satanic oppressions, they cannot help looking down upon you with the oblique glance of contemptuous disgust, and well-deserved execration.
The following sentence is from one of your orators, Jonathan Mason. “ Let this sacred maxim receive the deepest impression on your minds, that if avarice, if luxury and poli. tical corruption are suffered to become popular among us,
civil discord and the ruin of our country will be the speedy consequence of such fatal vices.”
Banish war by organizing a pacific republic, consisting of a delegate from every nation, who will be the arbitrators to settle amicably the premature differences and misunderstand. ings of the different powers, and thereby totally preclude the necessity of hostile measures or collateral warfare, whose business will be likewise to break the fetters and proclaim the political jubilee to all the heathen nations who may be ingulfed in the pit of systematical oppression, dug by the present luxu. rious nations of Christendom, or petty tyrants of the east.
There is not, nor ever was there in the world, a nation blessed with greater privileges, and better political and theo. logical information than the Americans. But, alas ! what shall we, or, indeed, what can we say, in favour of our grati. tude and philanthropy, our national rectitude, justice, or morality, while there are at least two millions and a quarter of our fellow worms in the most ignoble and tormenting slavery, in the bowels of our country, though we, at the same time, profess to be the votaries of liberty. What unaccountable hypocrisy! what unparalleled tyranny! what systemátical duplicity, to which the most barbarous of the heathen nations were utter strangers. It is a stubborn fact, that the human family are getting more and more corrupted every generation, as it was previous to the flood, by which the Antediluvian world was destroyed. Thus the Jews were better informed, and also more impious than the Babylonians. The Romans were still more cultivated in all the fine arts, polite literature, and the most equitable jurisprudence ; but still they accumulated more crimes, and, if possible, exceeded the Jews in wickedness and ingratitude. In the same manner, but, alas, with more lengthy strides, the Christians have at least eighteen hundred years been adding wrong on wrong, iniquity to transgression, hypocrisy to the most unparalleled villany, and what is worse than all the rest, under the cloak of religion they have perpetrated the most unnatural, the most savage, the most diabolical, I should rather have said, the most devilish crimes : nay, the devil himself would blush at the recital of their enormous cruelty. If we at present cast our intellectual eyes around us, we will at once recognise, that the sufferings of the human family in general, as
well as their guilt, are much greater than they have ever been since the creation of the world. In one word, the earth is filled with oppression and violence; and could we see the inhumanity of man against man, and against animals, as God sees it, we should be petrified with horror, and swoon with astonishment and regret. Few crimes which were perpetrated by the ancients, but what are refined upon by the nations of modern times.
I think and believe, that to sanction and support slavery in Texas, is a national crime that would have disgraced Sodom and Gomorrah. My mind is much affected by the case of the injured Indians, and by the Texas mania ; for sure I am, unless the friends of freedom strain every nerve,
the tyrants of the south will gain their objects, as they have two or three times before.
[Under the Mexican government slavery had been totally abolished in Texas, and elsewhere. The Texian rebels could have effected nothing but for the assistance of the southern states, (backed by northern doughfaces,) who have as fully waged the treasonable, piratical war they excited, as if it had been by them formally declared. The number of principled men in Texas is too small to redeem the coun. try and their cause from the fathomless abyss of misery, degradation, and infamy into which this unprecedented establishment and perpetuation of slavery must inevitably plunge them, as well as the United States. The slave mongers, slave politicians, slave presses, and slave senators, have foisted the recognition of the independence of that slave region, and are urging its incorporation into the United States as rapidly as possible, The monstrous outrage against the laws of nature and of nations, unsurpassed by the blackest page of history, is fast tending to its fatal consummation.]
Mr. Pratt's pathetic and philanthropic remarks on the wrongs of the injured African, entitled “Humanity, or the Rights of Nature,” I highly appreciate ; they remind me of those I wrote to the Hon. William Wilberforce, London, between forty and fifty years ago, and which I have not mentioned in any of my writings.
I have read James Williams's narrative with deep interest, and believe every word of it. He saw much, but I think not half so much as myself.
OPPRESSION OF THE HUMAN SPECIES.
NOTES TO “AVENIA.
REFLECTING on the recent extension of slavery, and revival of the slave trade in Texas, sanctioned by the American republic, and at the same time taking a retrospective view of the revolutionary war and its concomitant circumstances, struck dumb with astonishment, I strive, but strive in vain, to collect and arrange my thoughts, like a man who expe. riences sensations to which language is not equal, whose conceptions are too large to be delivered. While in the struggle of expression, his eyes, his hands, and every nerve, strive for utterance, and he looks about for help to show his thoughts. When we see the despots of the old world spreading desolation and misery among their fellow men, we are not surprised, as their conduct corresponds with their principles: but when we survey the fathers as professed votaries of liberty and equality, who took up the sword of virtuous defence, and bravely put themselves between tyranny and freedom, between villany and virtue, at a former period; and their sons now become the butchers of their brethren, the destroyers of liberty and the rights of man, and the promoters and supporters of legal barbarity, we are ashamed and confounded! and what enhances our shame, is the con. sideration that liberty, disrobed and in tears, has been ,banished from every naticn but Ainerica ; and here she has received a deadly wound. Exclusive of the wickedness and deleterious consequences resulting from the extension of slavery by the republicans of America, it is an outrage on civil society, as well as an insult to the citizens of each in
dividual free state. It is, in short, calling ourselves all hypocritical tyrants : for no man, in company with his neighbour, will act the robber, unless he conceives him inclined to be one; and no man will attempt to seduce a woman, unless he supposes she is of easy virtue, and the attempt is virtually calling her a harlot. The eyes of all the crowned heads in Europe and the world are upon our young republic, to see if our actions correspond with our pretensions; they are watching an opportunity to gain some evidence against us, that may serve to render our professions suspected, and our republicanism a farce. While their oppressed vassals, eager to shake off their galling chains, look to us with anxious solicitude, in hopes that we may prove to the world that there is a reality in republicanism, and that the sons of men are capable of enjoying liberty.
Can any thing sink the character of a nation lower than inconsistency? Should not the American government be a lesson to the oppressor and a pattern to the oppressed? Why, then, is infernal avarice permitted to tarnish the virtuous fame of the patriotic heroes who died in the cause of liberty in arms?" It is the nature of compassion to reflect on the wretchedness of the oppressed; and it is natural for a true republican to abhor slavery, into whatever form it may be assimilated, or whatever name it may assume.
When I survey in sympathetic thought the miseries of the human family, in what are called civilized and christianized coun. tries, and all through the instrumentality of political and ecclesiastical hypocrites, my soul recoils with indignation, and my very heart weeps blood.
Without noticing the despot's aspersions, or the critic's animadversions, I will vindicate injured innocence, and ad. vocate the rights of man. That God has punished the na. tions of antiquity for tyranny, is an incontrovertible fact ; that he will punish the Christian nations for their- barbarity is beyond a doubt-to suppose he will not do it, is supposing him more unjust than the unjust judge.
I ask in behalf of the oppressed sons of men, can slavery, as consolidated in America, be consistent with heathenish honesty, much less Christian rectitude ? Can it be compatible with republicanism or philanthropy? It is impossible. No man, who will for one moment reflect on right and