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When, therefore, negroes are set against negroes, they delight in war; not only because it satisfies their revenge, but, also, because they can sell the prisoners they take for such things as they wish to obtain.
M. Oh, if negroes themselves help in the slave-trade, I am afraid it will never be put an end to!
Mr. F. Africans get about as much for a slave, as they do for a ton of palm oil; and as they can catch a man more easily than they can procure a ton of oil, and gratify their love of cruelty and revenge into the bargain, so it is no wonder that they help to carry on the slave-trade. Many people who know the character of the Africans say, that if a negro were offered double the reward, for the same amount of labour in any honest calling, that he employs in kidnapping a man, he would prefer that of catching the slave.
E. If that be the case, slavery will go on
M. Yes, that it will. The whole world cannot stop it.
Mr. F. But though the whole world may not be able to stop it, God can stop it. And now you may see, my dear children, the real humanity there is in sending missionaries abroad, that men ignorant and cruel may be instructed and rendered kind-hearted. Force has been tried to put an end to the slave-trade, but in vain. Treaties have been entered into
and evaded; and an attempt to introduce commerce, and agriculture, and trade among the
negroes, has been made, but the climate is against it; so that it may be the will of God to bring about that by the spread of his holy word, which cannot be effected by other means.
If the gospel should find its way to the heart of the slave dealer, he would no longer deal in slaves.
M. Yes, that would be best of all.
Mr. F. I told you, before, how you might perform acts of humanity on different occasions; and my object in speaking of seamen, and miners, and negroes, has been that you might grow up with kindness towards them in your hearts, and be ever ready when occasions offered to serve them, putting to yourselves the two questions, What can I do? And which is the best way to do it? In the meantime, pray for them, that your heavenly Father may be a father to them in all things, and pray
also that God, of his great mercy, may melt the hard hearts of their oppressors, and dispose them to do acts of humanity.
ACTS OF PRUDENCE.
It seemed to be an odd and unaccountable thing, that Mr. Franklin, so punctual as he usually was in all his movements and appointments, should keep his children waiting for a full half hour on the lawn, under the laburnum tree, where they had all assembled to learn to act. What made it the more remarkable, was, that they had seen their papa walking, to and fro, in the upper part of the garden, every now and then stopping, and stooping down to examine the flowers with a microscope, as though he were quite at leisure.
At last, they made up their minds that he had altogether forgotten them. All at once he was observed to pull out his watch, holding it to his ear, and then, oh! at what a rate did he hasten down the middle walk.
“My watch has served me a pretty trick," said he, joining the children; “why, for aught I know, it may have stopped this half hour.”
On further examination, however, it appeared that the watch was by no means in fault, for it had gone as long as the winding of it
up had allowed it to go. Mr. Franklin
then called to mind that, the evening before, he had placed his watch on the table, after partly winding it, to snuff his chamber candle, and, most likely, he had forgotten to finish winding it up. “This is always the way," said he to his children, “and always will be, one neglect of duty is sure to lead us into another. Had I acted more prudently, and been content to do one thing at a time, you would not have been kept, as you have been, waiting for me to help you in learning to act.”
Mary. We should not mind waiting an hour for you, at any time, papa; but we could not make out how it was that you did not come to us, when you were in the garden.
Mr. Franklin. No wonder that my conduct should have puzzled you;
but now let us talk about acting prudently. One act of prudence will be, remember, if ever you have a watch to wind, and a candle to snuff, to snuff the candle before you wind up the watch, or to wind up the watch before you snuff the candle.
All the young people laughed at their papa's reproof of himself; and he then went on to speak thus of acts of prudence.
“ Prudence has been called wisdom applied to practise; and it may also be called, sound sense in action, assisted by experience of the past, and a sober, clear-sighted estimate of the future; but, whatever it is, and by whatever name it
may be called, it is a quality more
valuable than diamonds. Neither riches, learning, reputation, benevolence, nor piety, will of themselves enable you to avoid many evils. “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished,' Prov. xxii. 3. Remember, that prudence consists a great deal in so acting, that the past is turned to good account, and the future provided for; or, in other words, prudence is sound sense, looking before and behind.”
M. That makes it plainer. We shall remember, that prudence is sound sense, looking before and behind.
Mr. F. And if you will remember it, and
apply it to all the acts you are called on to perform, I shall have been a means of rendering you more service by my remark, than if I