In looking over the map, as thus explained, a number of thoughts suggest themselves, some of which it may not be improper to detail. And first, in looking between the first and second parallel, we perceive, that Morgan Godwyn, Richard Baxter, and George Fox, the first a clergyman of the Established Church, the second a divine at the head of the Nonconformists, and the third the founder of the religious society of the Quakers, appeared each of them the first in his own class, and all of them about the same time, in behalf of the oppressed Africans. We see then this great truth first apparent, that the abolition of the Slave-trade took its rise, not from persons, who set up a cry for liberty, when they were oppressors themselves, nor from persons who were led to it by ambition, or a love of reputation among men, but where it was most desirable, namely, from the teachers of Christianity in those times.
This account of its rise will furnish us with some important lessons. And first, it shows us the great value of religion. We see, when moral disorders become known, that the virtuous are they who rise up for the removal of them. Thus Providence seems to have appointed those, who devote themselves most to his service, to the honourable office of becoming so many agents, under his influence, for the correction of the evils of life. And as this account of the rise of the abolition of the Slave-trade teaches us the necessity of a due cultivation of religion, so it should teach us to have a brotherly affection for those, who, though they may differ from us in speculative opinions concerning it, do yet show by their conduct that they have a high regard for it. For though Godwyn, and Baxter, and Fox, differed as to the articles of their faith, we find them impelled by the spirit of christianity, which is of infinitely more importance than a mere agreement in creeds, to the same good end.
In looking over the different streams in the map, as they are discoverable both in Europe and America, we are impressed with another truth on the same subject, which is, that the Christian religion is capable of producing the same good fruit in all lands. However men may differ on account of climate, or language, or government, or laws, or however they may be situated in different quarters of the globe, it will produce in them the same virtuous disposition, and make them instruments for the promotion of happiness in the world.
In looking between the two first parallels, where we see so few labourers, and in contemplating the great increase of these between the others, we are taught the consoling lesson, that however small the beginning and slow the progress may appear in any good work which we may undertake, we need not be discouraged as to the ultimate result of our labours; for though our cause may appear stationary, it may only become so, in order that it may take a deeper root, and thus be enabled to stand better against the storms which may afterwards beat about it.