THE WATCHMAN'S ALARM TO LORD N---H; or, the Britifh Parliamentary Bofton Port-Bill unwraped BEING AN ORATION ON THE MERIDIAN OF LIBERTY
Not to inflame but to cheer the Mind: Or as an APPLE of GOLD in the PICTURES of SILVER for the mourning CAPTIVES in AMERICA.
With [fome] OBSERVATIONS on the LIBERTIES of the AFRICANS.
By the BRITISH BOSTONIAN.
ing rays are the rays of the Deity. Wait on the LORD then and be of good courage for the morning cometh. Nor is it in the power of kings, princes, potentate, parliaments, or any arbitrary arm to ftop thefe morning mercies; for as the morning furely chafes away the darknefs of the night, fo the LORD JESUS, who is the light of the morning, fhall furely chafe away every night of forrow from them that fear him: Unto you that fear my name, fays GOD, fhall thy fun of righteoufnefs arife with healings in his wings.
One more inquiry: Watchman what of the night? Do you think we deferve it? I know we deferve it from GOD, but not from man; and I acknowledge that you deferve it from GOD? I am glad you are fo humbly fenfible: But what if I fay you deferve it from GOD, and will tell you for what; it is for your iniquitous and difgraceful practice of keeping African flaves, a cuftom fo evidenly contradictory to the laws of GOD, and in direct violation of the charter of this province, and the natural and unalienable rights of mankind; however any among you, profeffing christianity, although at the fame time are guilty of fo glaring a trefpafs on the laws of fociety and humanity, may inconfiftently glofs over their deteftable ufage with the idle pretence of chriftianizing them, when it is well known more than one half thofe who are owners of thefe black people do not care what becomes of the fouls of them, if they can reap the profits arifing from the labor of their bodies, at leaft until they arrive at the age of fifty, a period which is far beyond the meridian of man's natural life. I only judge from their conduct towards thefe miferable creatures, more efpecially with regard to their education, and this affection is notorioufly verified in refpect of thofe who hold flaves in the Weft-Indies, as well as in moft parts of America, even where the chriftian religion is profeffed, they are not learned to read one world of the holy fcripture, or fay their catechize: Nay, fome venture to fay, were they to have learning, and to be inftructed in the principles of religion, they would be of no fervice to any one: However, admitting their motives of importing thefe Africans to make chriftians of them, if they can, to be fincere, is it likely any man will be willing to bind himfelf for life, in order to obtain your chance falvation, by means of your prayers, feelings, movings of the spirit, &c. which perhaps moft of you may account works righteoufnefs?
This truly benevolent and public-fpirited way of freeing black men when they are old, reminds me of a ftory I heard of one who was held in bondage until he was near fixty years of age, when his mafter very generously offered him his freedom, after telling him he had been a faithful, honeft flave, and thanked him for his paft good fervices. But heat the honeft reply of the aged, decrepid, and untutored African, arrived at fuch a period of life as to occafion grey hairs, by age an hard labor; I tank you, Mafer, I tink you bab all de marrow, bes way you take care de bone.
Blufh ye pretended votaries for freedom! ye trifling patriots! who are making a vain parade of being the advocates for the liberties of mankind, who are thus making a mockery of your profeffion, by trampling on the facred natural rights and privileges of the Africans; for while you are fafting, praying, non-importing, non-exporting, remonftrating, refolving, and pleading for a reftoration of your charter rights, you at the fame time are continuing this lawlefs, cruel, inhuman, and abominable practice of enflaving your fellow-creatures, which is fo difgraceful to human nature; a practice which [muft?] redound to the eternal difhonor of any people muchmore to thofe who wear the chriftian name, and muft furely make the heart of every feeling perfon fhudder at the thought of being held in perpetual flavery, but fhocking to relate, it is realized by millions of unhappy mortals in the world, a greater part of which I am forry to fay are dwellers in this American land of freedom!
But if ye fail of abolifhing this vile cuftom of flave-making, either by a law of the province, common law, (which I am told has happily fucceeded in many inftances of late) or by a voluntary releafement, the oppreffed fonf of Africa may very juftly retort this ftubborn paffage of facred writ upon you, Ifaiah lviii. 6. Loofe the bonds of wickednefs, undo the heavy burdens, let the oppreffed go free, that ye break every yoke. And may truly fay with the fame Prophet, Ifaiah I. 13, 19. Bring no more vain oblation: The calling of affemblies I cannot away with; it is iniquity even the folemn-meeting. If ye be willing and obedient ye fhall eat the good of the land.
But let me afk you, I mean thofe who are guilty in this refpect, with what face can you look up to the ALMIGHTY, that juft and righteous Being, and beg of him his aid and affiftance in our political affairs, while we are oppreffing our African brethren ten thoufand times as much by keeping them in flavery for life? And what is a trifling three penny duty on tea in comparifon to the ineftimable bleffing of liberty to one captive? But O fhocking the very imagination! yet more amazing the reality! to know we have millions among us who are flaves to all generations, at least we defign them fuch, unlefs fome kind arm fhould interpofe in the behalf of thefe miferable people to put an end to their bondage. O how it makes me rejoice, yea it makes me leap for joy, when I mention the much honored names of thofe worthy patriots for liberty, thofe fincere friends to the rights and liberties of mankind, who, emulated with a fpirit of liberty, have fo nobly let public virtue triumph ever fordid felf-intereft, and have releafed a number of valuable black fervants who were held in bondage. May they and their children be bleffed for this truly god-like act; and may their public-fpirited example be followed by many, very many Gentlemen who are owners of flaves. Let it never be told in the ftreets of America, that nurfery of freedom, that there is one bond-flave dwells therein.
To conclude this folemn and much difcuffed fubject, however little regard may have been paid to it by thofe whofe intereft it may juftly be fupposed to be to flight every thing that fhall be advanced in favor of the Africans. However the time is coming, I hope, when inftead of thefe forely diftreffed and much oppreffed Africans retorting paffages of fcripture on you flave-makers, our favior's words may come with full power and have their defired effect, namely, Whatfoever ye would that men fhould do unto you, do ye even fo to them. Though little account may be made of them in the religious as well as political world, they ought to be the eternal rule of righteoufnefs to mankind.
Some of you may remember what your late Governor Pownall faid tto his fervant Frank, on his confining a number of birds in a cage: Says his Excellency, Whofe birds are thofe in that cage? Mine, Sir, replied his fervant. What did they coft? Two dollars, Sir. Says his Excellency, there are your two dollars for them, let them be free, for I will have no being that GOD has made, in bondage in my houfe. Soon after the Governor purchafed a number of flying-fuirrels to fend to England, which he confined in a cage: His man Frank feeing them, enquired of his fellow-fervants whofe fuirrels they were? They informed him that they belonged to his Excellency; on which Frank immediately let them all free: And on his carrying the tidings to his Excellency, enquired of him, what the squirrels coft? The Governor was a ...
Lamont Library, Harvard