The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 827 pages of information about The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839).
sense of his duty as a Christian.  It was this which gave him alacrity and courage in his pursuit.  It was this which made him continue in his elevated situation of a legislator, though it was unfavourable, if not to his health, at least to his ease and comfort.  It was this which made him incorporate this great object among the pursuits of his life, so that it was daily in his thoughts.  It was this which when year after year of unsuccessful exertion returned, occasioned him to be yet fresh and vigorous in spirit, and to persevere till the day of triumph.

But to return:—­There is yet another consideration, which I shall offer to the reader on this subject, and with which I shall conclude it.  It is this; that no one ought to be accused of vanity until he has been found to assume to himself some extraordinary merit.  This being admitted, I shall now freely disclose the views which I have always been desirous of taking of my own conduct on this occasion, in the following words:—­

As Robert Barclay, the apologist for the Quakers, when he dedicated his work to Charles the Second, intimated to this prince, that any merit which the work might have, would not be derived from his patronage of it, but from the Author of all spiritual good; so I say to the reader, with respect to myself, that I disclaim all praise on account of any part I may have taken in the promotion of this great cause, for that I am desirious above all things to attribute my best endeavours in it to the influence of a superior Power; of Him, I mean, who gave me a heart to feel—­who gave me courage to begin—­and perseverance to proceed—­and that I am thankful to Him, and this with the deepest feeling of gratitude and humility, for having permitted me to become useful, in any degree, to my fellow-creatures.

CHAPTER XIII

[Sidenote:  Author returns to his History.—­Committee formed as before-mentioned; its proceedings.—­Author produces a summary view of the Slave Trade, and of the probable consequences of its abolition.—­Wrongs of Africa, by Mr. Roscoe, generously presented to the committee.—­Important discussion as to the object of the committee.—­Emancipation declared to be no part of it.—­Committee decides on its public title.—­Author requested to go to Bristol, Liverpool, and Lancaster, to collect further information on the subject of the trade.]

I return now, after this long digression, to the continuation of my history.

It was shown in the latter part of the tenth chapter, that twelve individuals, all of whom were then named, met together by means which no one could have foreseen, on the 22d of May, 1787; and that, after having voted the Slave Trade to be both unjust and impolitic, they formed themselves into a committee for procuring such information and evidence, and for publishing the same, as might tend to the abolition of it, and for directing the application of such money as had been already,

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