ページの画像
PDF
ePub

ruddy complexion. Suppose them to have so near a resemblance to each other as scarcely to be distinguished, even by the mother. The one is continued in school, and when out of the house, sheltered from the various inclemencies of the weather. But the other, spends his childhood in the labours of the field, exposed to the excesses of heat and cold. The one, in his youth, has the opportunities of Academies and a College for his improvement and refinement. The other, passes the days of his youth in the occupation of a sailor, and in the most barbarous ignorance. At the age of twenty, what a contrast of features and complexion! Whilst the one has an interesting countenance and delicate fairness, the other is deeply tinctured with a rough and swarthy complexion. But let the climax be continued. Instead of the partial exposure, to which the latter is subjected, by the short duration of our summer heats, suppose these were continued through the whole year with the same intensity. Add to this, that his situation be in the ardour of the torrid zone, to endure the rigours of the burning sands, and scorching, infectious winds. Moreover, let him be continued a few centuries, by progeny, in the interiour of Africa. What would be his sad appearance, what his dismal complexion! By this comparison we may be led to conceive, that the blackness of the African hue is not greater than might be expected from the force and continuance of natural and moral causes. But, besides the discolouration produced by the direct rays of the sun, naturalists inform us, that the effect of a torrid climate is very powerful on the action of the liver, the great laboratory of bile in the human system. And as it is increased in quantity, it is said to heighten the black hue of the skin. These observations sérve to show that the peculiarities of the African race are consistent with human identity, or that they are of the same blood of the other nations of the earth, the descendants from the same first parents. It may be replied, these arguments would be deemed sufficient, if it were not a matter of fact, that our own climate does not alter the complexion of the Africans, for they continue to remain black. But our northern, temperate climate does materially change the features and complexion of those, of the third and fourth generation. Though they hold their blacknese, they have not that deep, gloomy, and sullen hue, which is a characteristick of those, who have lately come from Africa. Then if climate and manner of living do effect a change, though but slowly, instead of an objection against this subject, it is an undeniable

argument in its favour. But how long would be necessary to re-produce an entire change? The reversion of any constitutional habit, features, or complexion of the body, would demand a much longer space of time in order fully to counteract them, than the acquiring that habit would. If the Africans have been one thousand years in reaching their present state, probably fifty thousand years would be necessary to effect a complete reversion.

REFLECTIONS.

1st. This is an instructive and important subject, worthy the attention and serious consideration of all to whom it is addressed. Does it appear new or novel to some? The subject is as old as the Bible, and as ancient as the creation of the first human pair. It is as interesting as the present prospects and future destinies of human and accountable beings to the bar of God. It is deeply interwoven and essentially connected with the whole of divine revelation. How important is it to have an indisputable line of distinction made between the highest grades of the animal creation, and the lowest class of human beings. The whole volume of divine truth is addressed to man, and whether high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, black or white; all their peculiarities of situation have a bearing on the great judgement-day. Are any disgusted with the view of the debased and humble state and lot of some of the human race? Rather let humility possess their souls ; and let them give due praise to the Author of every good and perfect gift, for their elevated rank, and exalted privileges. It is truly an interesting and most solemn reflection, that so many millions of human beings as have peopled the globe, and as now dwell on ail the face of the earth, should have their genealogy from that once holy and happy pair, whose abode was paradise. How vast, astonishing, and manifold are the works of God, and how worthy the study and admiration of man, who is made after his image.

28. If the identity of the human race is established, then all mankind are brethren. They have all the same original parents; are all one family, made of the same fellow clay. They all partake of the same human flesh and blood; have common wants and common interests. They have all the same human principles implanted in them by nature; and are each one accountable to the same Judge for the improvement of his talents, and for all his moral conduct. Do we sometimes behold a fellow mortal of inferiour, bodily and mental accomplishments ? perhaps a black slave? We may well exercise the feelings of compassion and sympathy, for such an one is our brother. Blood as precious as ours, runs through his veins. He must die; and after death, be an inhabitant of heaven or hell, as well as we. Yes, my hearers, as we have souls to be saved or lost, so have all our fellow mortals, however varied their complexion or condition, and in whatever part of the habitable globe they live. Then

3d. How desirable that they enjoy privileges in common with us. How friendly, that we should reach forth a helping hand, to raise those, who are sunk into the lowest depths of human degradation. Can we highly prize our privileges, and not feel

us.

anxious that the destitute enjoy the same blessings? How would the face of the moral world be brightened, if all nations and tribes enjoyed the social, civil, and religious privileges, which heaven has confered upon

The face of nature would seem to be changed, whilst pagans and heathens would be exalted in point of privilege.

4th. My friends, this subject calls loudly upon us for the exercise of gratitude and thankfulness. It is God, who has made us to differ from those classes of human beings, who are brought into the world under circumstances far less favourable. His sovereign and gracious providence has placed us amidst a nation highly enlightened ; whilst some of our kindred, grope in civil ignorance, and dismal, moral darkness. We may well exclaim in the view both of climate and every endearing privilege: Our lines have fallen to us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage. Contrast our situation with some of the tribes and nations of the earth; and then feel the force of the expression, Exalted to heaven in point of privilege. With weight, ther, we are addressed, and this subject demands of us a song of nobler praise. What civil and religious liberty do we enjoy; whilst others of the same blood, groan under the chains of civil and religious bondage. Then let hymns of praise and songs of joy abound. Let God be glorified and exalted in our hearts, to whom alone are praise and glory due. Conscience points all the tribes of mortals to a God; but the gospel points out the way to heaven with far brighter rays. In time, may our theme be gratitude and thankfulness; and in eternity, may our nobler strains be glory to God in the highest for the unspeakable blessings we now enjoy. Amen.

SERMON III.

NIAN URGED TO ACT WORTHY OF HIS DIGNIFIED NATURE.

1 Kings, ii. 2.

Show thyself a man. THESE words are the charge of a dying father, to a surviving son. They were addressed by king David, to his son Solomon, who was to succeed him on the throne, and be king over Israel. Solomon was, at this time, about twenty years of age; an early period . for him to enter upon so weighty a charge, as the government of God's people. But, as he was endued with extraordinary wisdom, David exhorted him to show all Israel, though he was but a child in years, he was a man in capacity and attention to business, and qualified for the elevated station, to which God would shortly raise him. Now the days of David drew nigh, that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth : be thou strong, therefore, and show thyself a man: And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes and his commandments. This is an address truly worthy, from an aged king to a young prince; and worthy the consideration of all human beings.

The doctrine to be drawn from the words of the text, is this : The conduct of man should be such as becometh rational and accountable beings. To illustrate the subject, I propose first, to point out some of the characteristicks of a human being. Second, show Low human beings should conduct, would they show themselves men, or act as becometh rational and accountable beings. Therefore I proceed in the first

« 前へ次へ »