American Scenes, and Christian Slavery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 236 pages of information about American Scenes, and Christian Slavery.
The men, especially, were among the worst hearers I had ever seen.  I felt ashamed of my countrymen.  The spitting was incessant, and attended with certain unmentionable circumstances which render it most disgusting and offensive.  What a contrast to my own clean and comely congregation of black and coloured people in New Amsterdam!  In about twenty minutes after the preacher had begun his sermon, one-half of the men had their heads down, resting on both arms folded on the tops of the pews before them.  Whether they were asleep or not, the attitude was that of deep sleep.  This behaviour was grossly rude,—­to say nothing of the apathetic state of mind which it indicated.  I wondered how the preacher could get on at all, with such hearers before him.  I am sorry to say that the Welsh too frequently manifest a great want of decorum and devotion in their religious assemblies.  This is telling, and will tell, against dissent in the Principality.

[Footnote 1:  Literally, “Of a Saviour for the lost.”]

LETTER XVI.

Stay at Cincinnati (continued)—­Close of the Welsh Service—­The Governor of Ohio and his Relatives—­The “Black Laws”—­Governor Bebb’s Hostility to them—­Dr. Weed and American Versatility—­Private Lodgings—­Introduction to Dr. Beecher and others—­A Peep at a Democratic Meeting.

The Welsh service being ended, my big friend on the next chair asked me, in the same language, if I was a llafarwr (preacher).  I answered him in the usual Welsh phrase, “Byddaf yn dweyd ychydig weithiau,” which means that I did a little in that way.  On learning this, he desired my “cyhoeddiad” (publication—­another Welsh phrase) to preach there some night during the coming week; and he wished it to be announced there and then, to which I would not consent.  He introduced me to Mr. Jones, the minister.  After most of the congregation were gone, a groupe, including my big friend and Mr. Jones, collected around me, and most earnestly pressed for my “publication.”  I told them I had never been a Welsh preacher, that it was nearly five-and-twenty years since I had left the Principality, and that, moreover, I could not preach at all to men who put down their heads in the sluggish and sleepy manner in which most of their men had done that night.  “Oh! but they won’t do so when you, a stranger, preach,” was the reply.  “Then,” I said, “there must be a great want of true devotion among them, if that would make all the difference.”  However, being much pressed, I promised at last to give them, before I left the city, a little missionary information in Welsh.

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American Scenes, and Christian Slavery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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