Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

solemn appeal to Christians to extend the knowledge of the Gospel to those nations, to which education has opened for us an accessible way.

This was the end proposed in procuring the MSS., and they prove the practicability of the plan referred to, which is, to publish tracts in the Arabic language, conveying, with Christian knowledge, accounts of foreign countries, with illustrative prints and maps, to acquaint those distant and secluded people with the condition of Christian countries, their arts, sciences, power, institutions, etc. Their ignorance of other parts of the world is forcibly proved by a description of China, given in one of the MSS., which is fabulous and extravagant in a ludicrous degree. It should be borne in mind, however, by every reader, that it is scarcely more so than some of the accounts contained in the celebrated “Travels of Somervill,” which was the most popular book in the most civilized countries of Europe, four or five centuries ago.

These MSS. have been exhibited to us, with the accompanying letters of Presidents Roberts and Benson, and the translations of them, kindly made by Rev. Dr. Isaac Bird of Hartford, formerly missionary in Syria. He found the language in which they were written to be so nearly the Eastern Arabic that he expressed his agreeable disappointment, having believed the Western Arabic, or Maugruby, to differ in more important respects.

We refered a short time since to the communications made about thirty years ago, by “ Old Paul,” a native of Footah, respecting the civilized condition of his countrymen. These MSS. corroborate his statements in some of the most important particulars. He said that books in various African languages were written in Arabic characters, and used in schools. Dr. Bird found that the concluding page of one of the MSS. he could not understand, and wrote in its place: “The remainder is evidently in some African language."

Various small publications'in Arabic, already published by missionaries in the East, are adapted to first experiments in West Africa :

Extracts from West African Manuscript No. 3, Translated by Dr. Bird. In the name of God, most merciful and gracious. May God bless our lord Mobammed, and thanks be to God, who is worthy of all gratitude and praise, the forgiver of sips, the possessor of the throne of glory, who created all things by bimself, who created death and life, who created the earth and the Heavens, and made all creatures in the heaven and in the earth, who made the race of man from water, (spermatic,] * * that might show and confirm, through mercy, what we wish, to every generation of people, of what time soever, even to 50,000 years. Said the high and exalted God: “We bring you forth as children, then you become old and die; and the day is coming when you will rush forth from your graves as men that are running in a race.” God, let him be exalted, says: “ That will be a day that will make many faces black, and many others white”

[ocr errors]

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

O ye people! Fear God, and serve your Lord. Do your good works before the resurrection day and before the dissolution of death, for the present day is the day for work, and not for rendering accounts; but the coming day will be for giving account, and not for work. That day God has said will be one'in which money will not profit a man, neither will his children profit him, but only a pure heart.

“O you son of my brother, do not be a beast, hearing but learning not. Beware, yea, beware, lest you hear the truth without repenting, and thus debase yourself. If you are asleep, be roused; if you are ignorant, make inquiry; if you are forgetful, refresh your memory; for here are the learned ready at hand to instruct you; and said he on whom be peace, “Seek after knowledge.

O ye people! remember God, and the day when you will be no longer master of any of your earthly possessions, except only a winding-sheet to wrap and bury you in. Thence is a long journey, from which there is no return; and you will carry with you no treasure but that character which you obtained for yourself before death !

But O my brother's son ! that there is no good thing that a servant can do by which he will find Paradise, but it is given by the mercy of God to him that submits himself to his Lord.

The book is finished. The name of the writer is Mohammed Deker, and the place of his birth is Dekurer; and the name of his county, Keni; the name of the great Dar (palace?] Mossadek; the name of the ser is Yoo-ah, and there are four roads leading to it; and the people go out from it to Sheik to gain property. And all the people of the country go and seek their fortune in Sheik.

*

*

*

*

*

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Future of the Colored Race in America. [A note from Rev. Albert Bushnell, the well known missionary to the Gaboon, expresses so well our own judgment of the article to which he refers, that we give it a place here, instead of adding anything further to our already expressed commendation. Mr. Bushnell is an authority on what pertains to Africa and the capabilities of the negro race, and the arguments of the article derive a new force from such an endorsement.-EDs. EVANGELIST.]

MESSRS. EDITORS :—Those who are interested in the question of the Future of the African Race, which is attracting such general attention at the present time, will be glad to learn that Mr. Randolph has just issued a pamphlet edition of Rev. William Aikman's able article originally published in the July number of the Presbyterian Quarterly Review. It is gratifying to see from the pen of a writer residing in a border slave State, so calm and just a discussion of the subject of emancipation and its consequences to all concerned, both white and black. It encourages us to hope that his views may ere long become prevalent in all the border slave States. His views respecting the African race, their capabilities of intellectual and

.

moral improvement, and their destined state of high Christian civilization in the vast continent of Africa, show a freedom from popular unrighteous prejudices and an intimate acquaintance with the interesting people of which he treats. He wisely distinguishes between the impolitic and impracticable plan of wholesale colonization, and the desirable and healthful emigration to Africa which will as a natural consequence follow emancipation, gradually as the freedmen become intelligent and enterprising, and as the fair unexplored regions of Africa unfold their hitherto hidden wonders and inexhaustible resources. Would that Christians, philanthropists, and statesmen, in our country at this critical period in our history, could divest themselves of prejudice, passion, and self-interest, and viewing this subject in the light of truth and righteousness, follow the leadings of Providence to a final and beneficent termination of this great and difficult question which is so intimately connected with the best interests of both races in our country, and the millions who people the dark land of Africa.

A. B.

000

(From the Liberia Herald, Oct. 10, 1862.) FROM CONSUL RALSTON.

LONDON, August 22, 1862. Sir: On the 13th inst., I attended, as a representative of the cotton supply country-Liberia—a conference of the Cotton Supply Association of Manchester, and of all the cotton supply countries, thirty-five in number, which have specimens of cotton in the International Exhibition. As one of the thirty-five representatives of the cotton supply countries, I was mortified in being compelled to tell this large and most influential meeting that I could not promise that Liberia would be able to send very soon any supply of cotton of much weight. Although I stated that Liberia had cheap labor, a most suitable climate and soil, and the spontaneous growth of cotton, for the economical production of this important fibre, yet I could not say Liberia would soon furnish any considerable quantity, for the people were attending to the production of sugar, coffee, palm oil, camwood, etc., etc., and had not yet paid much attention to cotton, and until considerable emigrants from the cotton States of the United States could be brought into the country, I was afraid that the export of this invaluable fibre would be a mere nothing. Lancashire is anxious to get an immediate supply to make good the loss of four millions of bales which the United States have been in the habit of growing. How happy I should have been to be able to promise that Liberia could, within a few years, furnish anything like a moderate portion of this deficiency. I fear the Republic is no more forward in her preparations for exporting cotton than she was when the Cotton Supply Association of Manchester, some years ago, voted prizes, cotton seed, and cotton gins, as encouragement for Liberians to undertake this most important branch of industry. Manchester now demands of Liberia à supply of cotton, and is willing to pay two

am

shillings (say forty-eight cents) per lb. for what, in the month of March last, was valued, on arrival from Monrovia, at only one shilling or twenty-four cents per lb. Although cotton is now fabulously high, I fear it will still be dearer, because of the short supply; and speaking almost literally, none is coming from America, but, on the contrary, some continues to go from Liverpool to Boston, New York, etc., for the supply of the New-England manufacturers.

Under these circumstances, does it not become Liberia to exert herself to make cotton, and send it to Liverpool ? By this course she will recommend herself more to the favor and kind regards of the English people, with whom it is so important for her to stand in the best relations, than by any other she may pursue ; and I strongly of opinion she will make more money with less outlay and less labor than by attention to producing sugar, coffee, or any of the other staples of Liberia.

In the well adapted climate and soil of Liberia, the culture of cotton is the easiest thing in the world. Let every man, woman, and child not otherwise fully engaged, sow the seed; the fibre will soon come to maturity, then pick it out of the bolls, and when sixty to one hundred lbs. are collected, take it to some one who will clean it with a cotton gin, pack it in bales, and then it will be ready for the Liverpool market. The only outlay of much consequence will be for cleaning and packing the cotton when collected, but this can be done by one man or establishment for a considerable district of country. The great thing is to make a beginning. When this branch of industry is once started, it will be carried on with great facility and great profit to my Liberian friends, who will, I hope, take my advice, and do their possible to grow and prepare for the Liverpool market the greatest quantity of cotton with the least delay. With great respect, Mr. Editor, your obedient servant,

GERARD RALSTON.

-000

[From the Colonization Journal.] COMMISSIONERS OF THE LIBERIA GOVERNMENT

To the Colored People of the United States. The Commission, under which Messrs. Rev. Alexander Crummell, Rev. Edward W. Blyden, and J. D. Johnson, Esq., came to the United States from the Government and people of Liberia, last summer, which will be found below, shows the earnest desire entertained in that Republic for an increase of population from this country. We have reason to know that by large conferences of the African Methodist Church in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Newark, N. J., this invitation was received with favor, and that thousands would have responded, had a means of conveyance, not opposed by their prejudices, been at their command. One of the Commissioners, while on a visit to the West Indies, issued a circular to the intelligent free colored population in that region, inviting them to aid in building up a negro nationality of freedom and Christianity on the

[ocr errors]

continent of their ancestors, and at once responses came from hundreds who were ready to go, if a way of transportation could be found. We hope, before the present session of Congress closes, the way will be provided by which every man of color in this country who desires, may have a free paasage at the national expense.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, MONROVIA, March 8th, 1862. To the Commissioners from Liberia to the United States, etc. :

GENTLEMEN : In appointing, at this important crisis in the history of our colored brethren in the United States, Commissioners to them, the Government of Liberia are actuated by the same feelings of patriotism and humanity that have always characterized our infant nation,

1. We are desirous of promoting the cause of African nationality and independence, by concentrating, as far as possible, African talent, wealth, and enterprise in our fatherland. We are persuaded that no country in the world furnishes so favorable a theatre for African growth and development as this land, and no other will secure us so effectually from the encroachments of alien races whose advantages have been superior to ours.

2. We are anxious to bring about the enlightenment and civilization of the millions of our brethren in heathen darkness, whose elevation, we believe, can be effected only through the instrumentality of their own brethren. White men cannot live in this climate, and our hearts recoil from the thought that these millions of human beings must remain in darkness and inefficiency, when they might contribute so important a part to the upbuilding of our race, and to the comfort and well-being of mankind.

It is our earnest prayer that the Commissioners may be successful in turning away from their prejudices the intelligent and enterprising of our brethren in the United States, and in inducing them to cast in their lots with us.

As inducements to them to emigrate to Liberia, you will present to them, first and foremost, the blessings of a home of freedom and equal rights in Liberia; secondly, you will inform them of the vast territory we have, and the amount of land which each settler will receive, free of cost, on his arrival, as set forth in our constitutional statutes. By all means be guarded against raising the expectation of emigrants beyond what it may be in the power or disposition of our Government to do for them after their arrival in Liberia.

We hope, before the Commissioners return to Liberia, to offer additional inducements to our colored brethren. Meanwhile, we wish you

abundant success in

your

labors. Given under my band and the seal of state, the day and year above written.

STEPHEN A. BENSON, President of the Republic of Liberia.

« ForrigeFortsæt »