The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861.
to license seven Meeting-Houses, the nearest of which are twelve or fifteen Miles distant from each other, and the extremes about Forty; yet some of his People live twenty, thirty, and a few forty Miles from the nearest Meeting-House.  He computes his Communicants at about three Hundred.  He then says, ’There is also a Number of Negroes.  Some times I see a Hundred and more among my Hearers.  I have baptized about Forty of them within the last three Years, upon such a Profession of Faith as I then judged credible.  Some of them, I fear, have apostatized; but others, I trust, will persevere to the End.  I have had as satisfying Evidences of the sincere Piety of several of them, as ever I had from any Person in my Life; and their artless Simplicity, their passionate Aspirations after Christ, their incessant Endeavors to know and do the Will of God, have charmed me.  But, alas! while my Charge is so extensive, I cannot take sufficient Pains with them for their Instruction, which often oppresses my Heart....’”

At the Close of the above Letter, in the Historical Collections (vol. ii., page 338), there is added the following Marginal Note.—­“May 22, 1754.  Mr. G. Tennent and Mr. Davies being at Edinburgh, as Agents for the Trustees of the College of New Jersey, Mr. Davies informs,—­that when he left Virginia in August last, there was a hopeful Appearance of a greater Spread of a religious Concern amongst the Negroes;—­And a few weeks before he left Home, he baptized in one Day fifteen Negroes, after they had been catechized for some Months, and given credible Evidences of their sincerely embracing the Gospel.”

After these Gentlemen had finished the Business of their late Mission in this part of the World, Mr. Davies gave the following Particulars to his Correspondent in London, in a letter which he wrote in the Spring of the previous Year, six Weeks after his safe return to his Family and Friends.—­“The Inhabitants of Virginia are computed to be about 300,000 Men, the one-half of which Number are supposed to be Negroes.  The Number of those who attend my Ministry at particular Times is uncertain, but generally about three Hundred who give a stated Attendance.  And never have I been so much struck with the Appearance of an Assembly, as when I have glanced my Eye to that Part of the Meeting-House, where they usually sit; adorned, for so it had appeared to me, with so many black Countenances, eagerly attentive to every Word they hear, and frequently bathed in Tears.  A considerable Number of them, about a Hundred, have been baptized, after the proper Time for Instruction, and having given credible Evidences, not only of their Acquaintance with the important Doctrines of the Christian Religion, but also a deep Sense of them upon their Minds, attested by a Life of the strictest Piety and Holiness.  As they are not sufficiently polished to dissemble with a good Grace, they express the sentiments of their Souls so much in the Language of simple Nature, and with

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