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duously to labour, is the improvement of the character of po. pery. Against every measure which is calculated to chain it down to its old errors of faith and practice, to check it in the march of improvement, we think it right to protest, both out of charity to the Papists, and out of regard to ourselves. And such a mea sure is the restoration of Jesuitism. What is the assistance which this detestable system is likely to lend to Popery? Where a Catholic is next in succession to a Protestant monarch, it may, indeed open with a dagger a way to the throne. It may, by the republication of casuistical volumes, endeavour to sap the foundation of morals in the minds of its adherents. It may legalize rebellion, and sanctify assassination. But will all this help popery, even in the way the Pope seems most anxious for help, viz, in the extension of its dominion and multiplication of its adherents? Is it the temper of the age to be poniarded into orthodoxy? And still less, if we refer to the assistance which every honest mind would wish to be rendered to popery, viz. the improvement of the religion itself, can any thing be hoped from its confederation with Jesuitism? It is already one of the worst properties of popery, that it has no natural tendency to improve; that it evidently stands still in the career of ages; that whilst other orbs are brightening more and more unto the perfect day, it remains the same cheerless, changeless, and opake spot on the face of an illuminated sky. Nothing is wanted but Jesuitism in alliance with it to fix its doom, and eternize its de gradation,
ART. VII. NEGOTIATIONS ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
1. PAPERS, showing the present Stale of the Slave Trade, pre
sented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of his Royut
Highness the Prince Regent, April, 1815. 2. Abregé des Preuves données devant un Comité de la Chambre
des Communes de la Grande Bretagne en 1790 et 1791, en Faveur de l'Abolition de la Traite de Negres. Traduit de l'Anglois par Jean de Carro, Docteur en Medicine des Universités d'Edimbourg et de Vienne. Vienne, 1814, de l'Imprimerie
d'Antoine Strauss. Of all the negotiations in which our government has been enigaged during the last two or three years, to their own credit, and for their country's glory, those contained in the Papers before us give place to none in interest and importance. We can feel with those who are the most grateful for the naval, military, and political superiority displayed by our favoured land in the community of nations among which it moves. Yet we hesitate not to declare, that the moral superiority displayed in the Papers before us, and in the proceedings of which they are the consequence, form, in our minds, a more lasting evidence of true glory, and a more substantial ground of triumphant feeling.
We are, therefore, induced to step a little aside from our usual habits to lay their contents before our readers, although they have never been regularly laid before the public. Indeed we will freely admit, that one of our main inducements for the adoption of this proceeding is to be found in the fact, that these documents, interesting as they are under every point of view, have necessarily been restricted to a circulation far more confined than that to which their merit entitles them. We believe, there fore, that we cannot perform a more useful and acceptable duty towards our readers, than to give as clear and succinct an account as we can of the zealous and disinterested efforts of our minister in the cause of humanity, and of the degree in which they have been crowned with success," notwithstanding the sophistry which the mistaken interests of his opponents induced ihem to set up in opposition.
We rejoice that in a paper intended for the perusal of British readers, it is no longer necessary to enter into the general question of the slave trade, or the principles upon which it is to be reprobated: here at least we may take it for granted, that it is to be considered as an enormous and flagitious CRIME; and that arguments with respect to its expediency are no more to be listened to (with reference to our own conduct at least) than arguments concerning the expediency of any other felony; that in such a case we are not justified in covering our self-interest with the veil of humanity, and arguing, that if we do not commit the crime like gentlemen, and under due regulation, others will aggravate its evils by committing it like ruffians :
-" Besides if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes,
Our principles of morality are not yet reduced to so low a standard, nor are they so perverted or overlooked in the education of our youth, as to leave a schoolboy ignorant of the miserable sophistry of this sort of argument concerning 'an ADMITTED CRIME. Our readers, therefore, will observe, that in the following article we have taken what we have sometimes been ashamed to hear others call high ground : and that whenever the slave trade in general is alluded to, it is presumed that an idea is conveyed to the mind of wickedness in its most malignant forms; that the word, in short, is synonymous with any of those crimes from which the feelings of mankind are averted with the greatest disgust and horror.
Bt although this hypothesis be admitted to its full extent, with respect to our own practice, it does not necessarily follow, that we are bound to impose upon other nations an exact uniformity of sentiment and practice upon this, any more than upon other moral subjects. We are not responsible for their crimes, except in so far as we make ourselves directly or indirectly parties to them. As a moral and Christian people we are bound by profession and character to use our best influence to narrow the dominion of human depravity, and we shall nationally and individually be held responsible for the use which we make of the taJents bestowed upon us for this purpose. But here the principle of expediency is decidedly admissible, and we are bound to exercise our discretion as to the best mode of persuading others ultimately to relinquish a practice, which we can neither tolerate in ourselves, nor admit to be justifiable in them. Experience has established it as a principle, that every attempt to force .conviction upon minds not duly prepared to receive it universally, strengthens the prejudice. it attempts to remove. It partakes of the nature of persecution, which never yet produced an honest proselyte. Bold and magnanimous in our own opinions, we should mix patience and moderation with our zeal and perseverance, in urging upon others the reasonableness and justice of our objects. While we demand sacrifices from them upon moral grounds, we are bound to show our own sincerity by our promptitude in making them. But it would be treason to the majosty of immutable truth to compromise our principle, by admitting, for one moment, in others the lawfulness or the expediency of a temporary indulgence in crime, under the fallacious pretext of thereby purchasing its ultimate extinction. The ingenious device of permitting evil that good may arise out of it has never yet been found efficacious; and for a very plain reas: son; evil is so naturally predominant in the world, that steady and continual resistance can hardly contain it within bounds: afford it temporary encouragement, and the torrent rushes with an impetuosity that defies every opposing obstacle. Can any rational man, for example, avoid seeing how much the difficulty of abolishing the slave trade in France is augmented by the free course which the regal government appeared resolved to afford to the iniquity for five long years ? And when the period is expired,
with what face can that government tell its slave traders, that religion and morality require that they should give up the traffic, exposed as they will be to the damning question: Have you then been granting us a licence to be irreligious and immoral for five years ? or, "Have you permitted us to build up establishments, and to vest capitals in the prosecution of an enterprize, the moral quality of which was to be completely reversed by the lapse of five years? Truly it is difficult to determine, whether the hypocrisy or the absurdity of this annuity in crime be the most conspicuous
. We have heard of geographical morality, and other such distinctions, and on few subjects more frequently than on that which is under discussion; but this is the first time we have observed the principle of chronological morality to be consecrated by the public acts of any nation.
Upon a review of the Papers before us, with reference to the principles we have just endeavoured to establish, we are glad to find little except commendation to bestow. Our ministers have strenuously asserted the principle; have zealously urged it upon grounds of reason and argument; have offered liberal sacrifices for its general establishment; have endeavoured to make every concession the means of further advancement; and, with one doubtful exception, have never compromised the high principle upon which they professed to found their reasonings and their negotiations.
The first-mentioned of the Papers before us contains, 1st, the detail of the Negotiations and Treaties, upon the Slave Trade, between Great Britain and the other powers of Europe ; previous to the meeting of the Congress of Vienna; and, 2dly, the protocols, or original memoranda, of the conferences which actually took place vivâ voce, at the Congress, on the same subject, between the Plenipotentiaries of the great powers there assembled, and those possessing colonies, viz: England, Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain, France, Portugal, and Sweden. The French pamphlet, which bears the name of Doctor de Carro, is one which we contemplate with peculiar delight, being a concise and spirited Summary, made under the eye and direction of Lord Castlerengh, of the voluminous documents, evidence, and arguments, laid before the British Parliament by the friends of the abolition of the slave trade, from the first period of its agitation in the year 1788, to that of the final and successful triumph in the year 1807. cannot perhaps enter into the consideration of these documents in a more appropriate order, than that in which they appeared before the parties immediately concerned :-1. The preliminary negotiations--2. The pamphlet of Dr. de Carro-and 3. The conferences at Vienna.
First then we find that at the Treaty of Paris, in 1814, five
of the principal powers of Europe, Austria, Russia, Great Britain, France, and Prussia, entered into a solemn engagement in the face of Europe to unite their efforts at the approaching Congress, to induce all the states of Christendom to declare the abolition of the slave trade. But it is impossible not to perceive that England was the spring, the light, the soul of this confederacy. For we find in these Papers, that Lord Castlereagh first induced the Government of France to enter into the additional article of the treaty of Paris, declaring the slave trade to be repugnant to natural justice, and agreeing to abolish it in five years; and then communicated the Article in a circular to the three other great powers, with the following observations ;
“ The Prince Regent trusts that an object so interesting to humanity will at once attract the attention, and call forth the early exertions of his Majesty in its behalf. His Royal Highness persuades himself that the powers of Europe, wlien restoring peace to Europe, with one common interest, will crown this great work by interposing their benign offices in favour of those regions of the globe which yet continue to be desolated by this unnatural and inhuman traffic." (Papers, p. 2.)
The most favourable answers were received from the Count of Nesselrode on behalf of Russia, and from Baron Hardenberg on the part of Prussia; who both expressed, in the strongest terms, the unqualified determination of their respective governments to second, with all their efforts, the exertions of Great Britain at the Congress, for the general abolition “ of so hateful a traffic, which is equally at variance with morality, and with the magnanimons principles that characterise the allied sovereigns.” (Papers, p. 4.) With Denmark and Sweden we had already entered into separate treaties for the abolition of the slave trade; and immediately after the treaty of Paris, Lord Clancarty, our Minister at the Hague, concluded a successful negotiation with the Sovereign Prince of Holland and the Netherlands; who forthwith issued a decree prohibiting his subjects, under the severest penalties, from engaging in the slave trade. Spain and Portugal, therefore, were the only powers of Europe who at this period had given no definite pledge on this interesting topic. But in truth these were fearful exceptions, as a great portion of the traffic still existing has of late years been carried on under the flags of those nations, and for the supply of their South American colonies.
Such was the state of affairs on this subject upon the triumphant return of Lord Castlereagh from his foreign diplomatic mission, in the spring of 1814, into the bosom of an applauding senate and an approving Country,
The general impression, that his Lordship had consulted the