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quences which would result from their flight across the Atlantick. They saw before them the unexplored continent of NorthAmerica, yet to be subdued to the dominion of the Prince of Peace; and though they could not have foreseen the rapid waste of the native inhabitants, and the immense increase of European emigration, they certainly cherished the hope, that by going thither they might make way for the propagation of the Christian religion in a heathen land; though, to use a phrase of their own, they should be but " stepping stones to other's who might come after them."

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It is easy, indeed, to find many good principles pushed to excess in the conduct of the non-conforming churches of that day; but they were such errours as always attend the first development of a principle essentially true, and which experience is sure to correct in considerate and sensible men. The most severe must allow, that our forefathers understood the principles of toleration as soon as they were understood in the civilized world; and that ROBINSON, their spiritual father, seems to have understood them much earlier. In any view of the subject, we ought to adore the good Providence of God, that by a series of such remarkable events, the way was prepared for the emigration of such men to this country, and for the diffusion of the great principles of protestantism and toleration, of which New-England has been the depositary, and of which we cannot be despoiled, while the

spirits of some of our forefathers yet linger about our wintery shores to remind us of principles which they understood, not always fully while they lived, but almost without exception before they died.

After all the deductions made by a philosophical and fastidious posterity, there will yet remain in the character of our forefathers, much to admire and to imitate. They were the choice spirits of the age. Some of them were men of eminence at home, before they forsook all for liberty of conscience. Many of them were men of education. Their ideas of government were worthy of sound thinkers; their administration in general worthy of good men, and many of their notions of the qualifications for the Christian, worthy of being revived and emulated.

Let us, then, as descendants of these pilgrims, cherish with all the tenderness in our power, those sublime principles of Christian liberty and catholicism, which lay at the foundation of their heroick virtues. Do not confound these with the principles (if principles they may be called,) of skepticism and indifference, which are so often substituted in their place; for what merit is there in his toleration of religious opinions, who considers all religions as equally false, or doubtful, or unimportant?

Let us imitate their most anxious solicitude for the religious education of their children. To secure their good estate as members of the church of Christ, and

fulfil their baptismal engagement, they thought it a light evil, that they were compelled to leave their dear native country, and undergo the dangers and privations of an emigration to this inhospitable land. They looked forward with eyes of faith and hope to their pious posterity, who, under the blessing of Providence and their religious institutions, should many generations afterwards, constitute the church of Christ in these regious.

Let us imitate their respect for the Sabbath; their regard for the publick institutions of religion; their anxiety to perpetuate a learned, pious, and regular ministry; and their principles of subordination and of respect for age and office.

Let us especially, observe the care with which they conferred the offices of trust and authority on their best and wisest men. They had no notion, that civil society was nothing but an arena in which folly could aspire to honour, and ambition contend for office. They did not regard the commonwealth as a theatre

on which profligacy, vanity, impudence and crime were to be in everlasting struggle with virtue, modesty, wisdom, and integrity; but the earliest history of New-England, exhibits offices conferred on the best, accepted with reluctance, but filled with fidelity; and, as our forefathers had emigrated for the sake of peace, liberty, and security, they were satisfied when well governed, even if every man had not an opportunity of having the consular fasces carried before him once in his life.

In fine, there there is not much danger at present of our relapsing into the errours and mistakes of our forefathers: would to God, there were as little of our forgetting their principles, and casting off their distinguishing virtues. But whatever be the degeneracy into which God, in his wrath, may suffer us to fall, there is yet hope left, that we are not without a regenerating principle of political and religious virtue, while any hearts yet beat at the name of ROBINSON, or any of us glory in our descent from the pilgrims.* B.

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*The principles of toleration comprise two propositions:-First, no man, or body of men, has any right to molest or injure me, on account of my religious opinions. Second, I have no right to molest or injure others, on account of their religious opinions. The first proposition is readily understood by any Christian, as soon as he for dissenting from the opinions of others. Our forefathers fully understood, that it was unreasonable in the Episcopal church of England to persecute them. But the second proposition they did not so clearly understand; and, indeed, this seems to have been a very hard lesson for Christians to learn, and to reduce to practice. It would, perhaps, be no difficult task to shew, that some of the descendants of the pilgrims, even at this day, have not clearly perceived, that it is as unreasonable for them to traduce and abuse others, as for others to traduce and abuse them. EDITOR.

SIR,

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

I HAVE lately read many of your numbers of the Christian Disciple, and am well pleased with the candid and Christian spirit uniformly inculcated. The perusal of the number for October especially, has given me so much agreeable information, that I shall, for the next year at least, contribute my mite to its support, for which I am likely to be well repaid.

I think while such pieces as your extracts from the Rev. Mr. Wells's "observations," and other argumentative pieces, breathing the same spirit, contin

Portsmouth, October 28, 1816.

ue to fill your Magazine, a disposition for religious controversy and intolerance must decline, where it circulates, or there can be but little sense of shame with the dogmatical. The piece on the National Bible Society, and, in short, the whole contents, in my opinion, well merit a place in your valuable publication; which, for the credit of New-England, I hope will never be discontinued for want of patronage. If you think fit to publish these remarks, I should like to see them in your next ñumber.*

INTERVIEW OF THE EMPEROUR OF RUSSIA, WITH MR. T. CLARKSON.

THERE is not, perhaps, another person living at the present day, who attracts more attention than the Emperour Alexander. Whatever may tend to unfold his character and views, must be interesting to the world. The following narrative was several months ago, shown to the Editor of the Christian Disciple, in manuscript; and it was then requested for publication. But the conscientious possessor of the copy, doubted the propriety of suffering it to be published, although he was under no injunction to the contrary. It has, however, been recently receiv

ed with an explicit license for giving it a place in this work. No doubt is entertained of its genuineness or authenticity.

For the information of many readers, it may be proper to observe, that prior to the interview with Mr. Clarkson at Paris, an interview took place in London, between the Emperour and three eminent persons of the Society of Friends; namely, Wilkinson and Allen, of Great-Britain, and Stephen Grellet, of New-York. Wilkinson and Grellet are ministers, and William Allen, is one of the Committee of the British and Foreign School Society.

* This letter was not received till the number for November was published.

EDITOR:

To this prior interview, there is reference in the conversation with Clarkson. Stephen Grellet has been requested to suffer an account to be published, of what passed between the Emperour and the three Quakers; but he has declined, from motives of prudence and delicacy. Mr.

Clarkson, the writer of the following narrative, is well known in England and to many in this country, as the author of several valuable publications, and as one, who, for many years, devoted his time and talents, to effect the abolition of the slavetrade.

THOMAS CLARKSON'S ACCOUNT OF HIS CONFERENCE WITH THE EMPEROUR OF RUSSIA, AT PARIS, ON THE 23d day of september, A. D. 1815.

WHEN I arrived at Paris, the Emperour of Russia had just left it, to review his armies on the plains of Vertus; which journey occupied some days: on his return to Paris, I wrote him a letter. I stated in substance, that having heard when he was in London, from the duke of Gloucester, from Mr. Wilberforce, from Sir Robert Wilson, and from the good Quakers, viz. Mr. Grellet, Wilkinson and Allen, to whom he had granted an audience for two hours, of the interest which he had taken in the cause of the unhappy Africans. I had sent him a complete set of my works, through the hands of lady Warren, which she delivered to Count Nesselrode, as a small testimony of the respect and esteem I felt for him on that account; but on further consideration of the subject, I had not teen satisfied with myself, and knowing that he was in Paris, (which was comparatively a small distance) I had determined to go thither and thank him in person for all his efforts on behalf of that injured people; and to implore, should any future opportunity offer, a continuance of his

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favour towards them. ter I carried to the baroness Kondener, a Russian lady of quality, and sat and conversed with her on the subject for near an hour. The baroness is a lady of the most exemplary life; she devotes herself to religion.

The Emperour of Russia generally calls on her every evening at 7 o'clock, to converse on spiritual subjects; it was on this account I carried my letter to her, and also one from the duke of Gloucester to the Emperour, which was intended as an introduction of me to the latter personage. The baroness assured me, that she would deliver both of them into the hands of his majesty, as soon as she could see him.

In the course of two days, I received a message from the baroness, that the Emperour had received and read both the letters in her presence; and that he was apparently much pleased with them. He desired her to instruct me to thank the duke of Gloucester for his letter of introduction of me to him, and with respect to my letter, that that part of it had given him peculiar satisfaction, wherein I had men

tioned the names of those three good men, whose conversation had so much interested him when in London. He desired her to add, that he was then exceedingly occupied, but that, in a short time, he would make an arrangement for seeing me.

On the 22d day of September, I received a message from the baroness Kondener, that the Emperour desired my attendance at her house the next day, at 11 o'clock, in the morning.

Accordingly I went, expect ing to find him there, but it appeared that he had sent one of his own domestick servants to shew me the way to him. This servant I followed closely to the Palais Royale; when arrived there, he conducted me through several rooms, and at length left me in a spacious apartment, in which were two or three Prussian officers, who were on guard for the day. I remained for some time, when another of his domesticks came up to me, and desired me to follow him. He led me through three other rooms into a fourth, in which was a gentleman, who said, "the Emperour is in the next room, and expects you." At this moment I felt a little embarassed, as to what I should say; but I was instantly relieved from this feeling, by the affability of the Empe

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England expressly to see him. He was not in the habit of making compliments; he meant what he said; he should not easily forget my visit. I had only done him justice, when I considered him to be the friend of the poor Africans; he had always been the friend of the poor

Africans; he had always been an enemy to the slave-trade. He had, indeed, known nothing more of it than other people. He knew only, that the Africans were taken from their country against their will, and were transported to the colonies of foreigners, for whom they were made to work, under a system commonly called cruel. But this he considered an outrage against human nature, and this alone, had made him a determined enemy to the traffick. But when, in after time, he had read more books, which had furnished him with particulars on the subject, and when he had seen the print of the slave-ship, he felt he should be unworthy of the high station he held, if he had not done his utmost in all the late political conferences on the subject, "to wipe away such a pestilence from the face of the earth."

After this he let go my hand, and we stood talking face to face. There was no other person in the room. I told him, that I had long ago understood (as I had the honour of informing him in the letter) that his disposition towards the oppressed Africans, had been such as I now had the satisfaction of hearing from his own mouth; that his kind disposition towards them was now

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