ePub 版

expect a Utopia from America, but rather a day of judgment; and to no nation so much as to this does the admonishing word of Christ seem so applicable-Watch!"

Yet, nevertheless, when I look at that life, which is at this time most powerfully increasing—that which is in the ascendant and prevalent throughout the United State:3, I must confess that my heart is filled with hope; because, if the United States would--and I believe they will-remove from their present legislation its great anomalyif they would introduce into slavery the right of liberation by labor, and establish a gradual emancipation according to law, then

If I imagine to myself some great convulsion of nature, which should all at once annihilate this vast hemisphereimagine it sunk in the twinkling of an eye into the depths of the sea, and there vanishing with its star-strewn banners, its fleets and rail-roads, its great cities and swarming human masses, its proud capitols and beautiful quiet homes-imagine to myself all this vanishing silently into the great deep, as into an immense grave, and the waves roaring over it, and the space being desolate and void, save for the angel of judgment, flying forth alone over the past world, with the record of its deeds in his hand, which he will place in the Book of Life before the throne of the Almighty Judge-then on this page we read,

“ This people were in earnest to realize the kingdom of Christ on earth, for the honor of God the Father!"

Behold here, my precious friend and teacher, my confession of faith regarding the life of the New World. Let me hope that I may one day justify it to you, either in your home or in mine.

It was one of my most ardent wishes in the United States to make them acquainted with you and your theological opinions, and it lies very much at my heart to make

you more intimately acquainteil with them, being certain that the Christian mind of Scandinavia and the

people of America are profoundly united by their labor in the service of the same Lord, and that they have much to say to each other.

Let me be included in your goodness, in your kind remembrance !



It was my intention, at the commencement of this work, to introduce in an Appendix at its close şuch of the scenes which I had witnessed, and my own experience in the slave states of America and in Cuba, as I considered necessary to be made known, but which I had not related in my letters, being unwilling to point out persons and places. The celebrated work, however, of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Uncle Tom's Cabin," and, still more, her lately published work, “A Key, &c.," have rendered this unpleasant duty unnecessary for me; for my narratives would not have presented any facts essentially different to those which she has introduced into her story, so that I need not further prolong this work, which is already too much extended, than by remarking that my proposed narration would have principally strengthened my often-repeated observation regarding the demoralizing effect of the institution of slavery on the white population.

When I saw a young man of almost angelic beauty, a noble by descent and appearance, sell his soul, with the full consciousness of doing so, to receive the wages of a slave-driver; heard him acknowledge that he did not dare to read the Bible ; heard him say that he—at the beginning of his career-would not for any money have touched a negro with the whip, but that now he should be able, without hesitation, to have a negro flogged to death for " example's sake,” and chase them with bloodhounds or any thing else; when I heard one of the richest planters of Louisiana, one of the politest of gentlemen, naïvely praise himself and the system on his plantation, without having the slightest idea of the miserable hypocrisy, and the despotism which the whole of his conduct on these plantations betrayed ; when I saw a Christian woman and mother forbid her daughter to dance on a Sunday, yet perceive nothing offensive in compelling her slaves to work for her the whole of the Sunday to the music of the cracking whip; when I saw agreeable and amiable young people anxious one for another, yet witness with perfect indifference the brutal maltreatment of a young negro woman by her mas. ter for some trivial offense, I have been compelled to say with my friend, the planter on the Mississippi, “ It is the system! it is the system which produced all this !"

Honor be to the noble, warm-hearted American woman, who has stood forth in our day—as no other woman in the realms of literature has yet done--for the cause of humanity and the honor of her native land, and that with a power which has won for her the whole ear of humanity Honor and blessing be hers! What will not that people become who can produce such daughters !

I differ from the noble author of “Uạcle Tom” in my convictions regarding the mode of emancipation from slavery. I am firmly persuaded that the slave states of America have really begun the work, inasmuch as they have begun to allow the negro slaves to form themselves into Christian communities, and by uniting emancipation with the colonization of Africa by free negroes. It is only by the establishment of Christian negro communities that a good emancipation can be effected. The condition of the negroes in Africa and Jamaica show what this people would become without a firm basis of Christian life and Christian teaching; it is nothing to praise, it has nothing inviting, I repeat it; a commencement is already made in several of the slave states to elevate the moral condition of the negro slaves, and my cordial wish and my hope is that still more will yet be done, as well by statutes of emancipation as by the instruction of negro children. The preachings of the slaves themselves, which I heard in many of the American slave states, are the best proof of the living and beneficial manner in which they receive Christianity. They have a peculiar capacity for the reception of its innermost life and understanding. God grant that they may come to hear the Gospel throughout the whole of the slave states! But as yet there is a great deal wanting for that-an unpardonably great deal !

My own hope rests still, however, as before, in the nobler South ; my earnest wish is, that it may take the emancipation question into its own hand. It alone, and not England, nor yet the Northern States of America, can enter into the greatness of the question. The South alone knows the burden, the danger, the responsibility, all the great difficulties; it alone has the labor and the sorrows. If it succeed in unloosing the fetters of the slave, and freeing its glorious, grand country from slavery, it will achieve for itself unfading glory.

STOCKHOLM, May 1st, 1853.



« 上一頁繼續 »