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ASTOR, LENOXIANUS TADEN FOUNDATIONE 1914

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Printed at the Salem Observer Office.

INTRODUCTION.

22.2

In making this compilation it has been my earnest wish to engage the sympathy of the youth of our country in favour of our Aborigines, in the hope that by being made acquainted with their character and unmerited sufferings, an interest would be excited which might rescue from utter ruin this persecuted and ill fated race. The digressions were principally made with a view to prove that colour or climate have no influence over the mind, and (in conformity with Scripture) to show that the Almighty is without any variableness or shadow of turning. The same yesterday, to day, and ver, and that His tender mercies are over all His works. Could these impressions be firmly implanted in the mind, we, who bear the name of Christians, should be freed from those narrow prejudices, and supercilious feelings, which lead us vainly to imagine ourselves to be the peculiar favourites of heaven; and thus to foster our pride by the notion that, notwithstanding our multiplied offences, we are still superior to all who have existed before our era, and to most of the present inhabitants of the earth.-Whilst we fondly cling to these unworthy prejudices it appears to me obvious, that we shall be wanting in a stimulous to improvement, or to reform abuses.

I have also endeavored to show that the light which lighteth every one that cometh into the world, is all sufficient, if rightly improved, to secure his present and eternal happiness; and that it is the same true and divine light which the ever blessed Jesus was sent to restore and confirm; but which had been greatly obscured by the indulgence of corrupt propensities and passions.

It is a solemn truth, which cannot be too strongly impressed on the mind, that nations, like individuals, have their periods of growth, maturity and decline ; like them enjoy happiness and prosperity, or decay and adversity, in proportion as they improve or abuse the gifts of heaven.

From the impartial investigations of some of the best and most intelligent men, we find that in all the great nations who have passed away, the arts and sciences have been cultivated with success, and philosophical investigations pursued with nearly the same results as at the present period. Above all, One Supreme Father of the Universe has ever received the true adoration and gratitude of mankind, however varied may have been their forms of worship. It is however painful and humiliating to find that, notwithstanding much superstition and ignorance prevailed in former ages, and prevails at present in heathen countries, respecting the moral attributes of God, nothing is found so truly debasing and derogatory to the character of the Universal Parent, as the dogmas maintained by the great portion of nominal christians, at the present period.

Notwithstanding the strong desire manifested by many to support the superiority of the moderns, over the an.

cient inhabitants of the earth, it is demonstrable from the works which still remain, to attest their wonderful ingenuity and perseverance both in sculpture and architecture, that in these we are greatly their inferiors. If in some instances we have carried to greater perfection some of the arts, they may serve as a counterpoise to those in which the ancients excelled; and the progress made by the Hindoos, and others, in the science of astronomy, proves beyond doubt that their knowledge, however obtained, produced the same results, as the most approved methods or systems of the moderns.

In closing this brief analysis I ask, are we better than those nations who have been doomed to destruction for their cruelty, their stupid bigotry, and overweening pride? Has there ever been in former ages any system of servitude so truly shocking to humanity, as the slavery to which we have subjected the natives of Africa ? Is not the land perpetually moistened with the blood of its native children, and do we not with the most persevering barbarity persist in forcing them from every place where they have found rest, and pertinaciously insist that they are incapable of civilization, whilst we compel them to quit their cultivated fields, and the beloved homes of their fathers, and banish them to a wilderness, to which they have expressed a decided aversion, to gratify an insatiable cupidity. Influenced by the same spirit, our Aborigines are represented as heathen, who are unable to comprehend the sublime doctrines of Christianity, because they cannot bend their reason to embrace the debasing superstitions which have been presented to them, and bow before the idols we have set up. Can we then hope

to escape the fate of those nations who founded their empire in blood and perfidy. The agonized cries and groans, of the miserable victims we hold in bondage, will call down the vengeance of heaven on our blood stained country, and the burning tears which furrow the manly cheeks of our indignant Indians, exasperated almost to frenzy by their wrongs, will rise up as a memorial against us before the Throne of God.

The hour of retribution must arrive, and will not long be delayed, unless we allow the divine influences of our benign religion to direct our ways, and lying aside all unhallowed prejudices, and the sins which most easily beset us, unite as christians, to undo the heavy burdens, and let the oppressed go free,

6 We need not search out the dark corners of the earth” to reform abuses, or to overcome superstition, too much is required at home, and nothing would, in my apprehension, so greatly facilitate our success abroad, as the glorious example we have it in our power to exhibit, and thus should we fulfil the divine behest, and let our light so shine before men, that they seeing our good works may glorify our heavenly Father.

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