« PreviousContinue »
equity from iniquity, or oppreffion in all cales whatsoever, by applying to them the comparable measures or principles of natural Right, commonly called MAXIMS, which, like the rules and squares of ordinary workmen, will affiit our natural discernment to ascertain exactly the right sense of Justice from the oblique or crooked deviations, and will enable even ordinary men to decide, with equity, all the controversies of their Brethren, over which, in Revealed Ren ligion, they are appointed the competent judges.
THE LORD OF THE UNIVERSe hath fo implanted this knowledge of Good and Evil in the nature of his creature Man, that all Mankind, of all complexions white or black, and of all the various degrees between them, do equally inherit it from the first common parents of mankind. But though it is natural to all, and written as it were on the hearts of all; yet, we know, that it is likewise improveable in all, because it is de clared to be the duty of all to have their 3
understandings exercised by habit to dir-
The wicked Braminical doctrines to the contrary about “ several species of " men, whether asserted by Whites or Blacks (by our English sceptics, petty philosophers, and superficial naturalists, or by the more artful black Bramins of India) are equally perverse, and obviously refutable, not only by the self evident principles of Natural Religion, but also by the express evidence of the second foundation, ReveALED RELIGION.
The following fample of EnglishGentoo-ism was lately advanced by a white advocate for the flavery of blacks:
Although a 'negroe is found in Jaar
maica, or elsewhere, ever fo sensible " and acute, yet if he is incapable of “ moral sensations, or perceives them only
as simple ideas, without the power of “ combination in order to use, &c.
(which I verily believe," [says the advocate for slavery] “ to be the case) it " is a mark," (says he) “ that distin
guishes him from the man who feels, " and is capable of these MORAL SENSA
Tions, who knows their application, " and the purposes of them as suffi
ciently, as he himself is distinguished
FROM THE HIGHEST “ BRUTEs." (" Confiderations on the “ Negro Cause, &c.” 1773, p. 79.)
This unchristian doctrine, built on fume wild atheistical notions of Hume, and other scepticks, has also been indiscriminately adopted by the author of
An History of Jamaica ;”, who has added many other ftrange conceits and inconfiftent remarks of his own for the same uncharitable purpose of degrading the Blacks from the dignity of Men, in
order to vindicate the inhuman pretenGions of the West Indian flaveholders to treat them like brutes!. (See Vol. III: p. 376 and 477:). The tyrannical fyrtem of the Black Indian Bramins (that their particular cast alone proceeded from the mouth of the Creator, and that all the other casts of the Indian tribes, (as they injurioully pretend). proceeded from inferior parts of his body; and the Sooders, or poor labourers, last of all, from the foles of his feet] is equally unjust and false, but not quite so wicked as the Braminical falfhoods of the English, Scotch, and Creol infidels, because the latter have had more ample opportunities of information than the illiterate Pagan doctors of Indoftan. But a very moderate acquaintance with the firji foundation of English law, and the ordinary means of employing it in the discernment of Truth, Justice, and Right, will sufficiently enable a man of common Jense to demonstrate the gross injustice, fal hood, and imposition of all these proud Braminical pretenders to a superiority in themselves over the reit of mankind,
as over a
different species of men.” The influence of this first foundation on the hearts even of the poor Indian Sooders (notwithstanding the dark mist of Paganism in which they are involved, and the deplorable bigotry and enthufiasm, which are generally the consequences of a false religion,) does some times, however, awaken in their minds such a conviction of their natural equality with the Bramins, that they have been induced even to assume the Braminical character and pretensions, in order to share the undue privileges of the Bramins, rather than endure their oppression with other miserable dupes to Braminical falsehood. I need not assign any other proof of this point, than the evidence of the Bramins themselves in their collection of the Gentoo laws; amongst which we find laws of such brutal severity, enacted against the poor Sooders, to prevent the very circumstance in question, as muft nccessarily degrade from the dignity, even of ordinary humanity, the framers, devisers, and maintainers of so detestable a sys