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LIBERIA.D. MONROVIA. Mall. j . LL. 20th MAY. AN ADDRESS DELIVERED *** IN THE SENATE CHAMBER. ^ V. Pali. 1906. -W- John Richardson & Sons. BY EDWARD W."^ (T *\ THE Significance of Liberia. +fr SECOND EDITION. Printers. BLYDEN.
Printers. . 1906. BLYDEN. -3*- John Richardson & Sons. 1907.DT -ID7 Significance of Liberia. -H- SECOND EDITION. 20th MAY. AN ADDRESS DELIVERED IN THE SENATE CHAMBER.D. MONROVIA. LIBERIA. LL. s EDWARD W. Pall Mall.
LEE LIBRARY BRIQHAM YOUNG l/NIVgRS<TY .HAROLD B.
Freetown. Dear Doctor Blyden. been apt learners. 1907. and I have been struck by the sad picture which it draws of the decay of our race under exotic forms of civilisation. 1906. in your military system. in your sciences particularly in those involving applied mathematics and in medicine but so far as your civilisation is based on Christianity and on a mediaeval European system of morals. It would seem that we are not the only sufferers from an obtrusive and unscrupulous system. who spoke of British rule thus: I have read it admit that we have.*) It appears that the Indian correspondent of the Pa 11 Mall Gazette] had an interview with this Indian statesman and scholar. as it were. —Through the courtesy of a friend." a lecture delivered in the Senate Chamber of Monrovia on 20th May last. I have been favoured with the loan of your pamphlet. entitled. with deep interest. Walpole 23rd January. l — primitive opposition.111. you have failed with us failed not only to convince us. " The Significance of Liberia. helpless by any means at present available to us It was just the other day that I to neutralise. we have become learned in your law. Sierra Leone. . which is an impressive protest from India by an eminent native of that country. some of us. We have taken readily to your language and your literature.. but you have strengthened our / " You will — — . came across the following extract of an article from the Pall Mall Gazette of 28th December. Street. the effect of which we are.
W. disease and insanity which disfigures your social system and undermines your race. articles I remain. the malignant calumnies on the race. Freetown. the liquor traffic. etc. namely. pamphlet. and I shall feel extremely obliged if you will kindly favour me with a list of the same. aspect of the question There see it at work in your own country. incidentally referred to some of the subjects so ably and courageously dealt with by you. point before I pass from this your system of morals. am making a collection of all your works. Yours very sincerely. I know that I voice the sentiments of many thinking Negroes when I ask that a second edition of your lecture may be published for wider I circulation among the natives of West Africa. E. suicide. Barrister-at-Law. together with particulars as to the best means of obtaining them. I learn that the first edition of the pamphlet is exhausted.IV. dear Doctor Blyden. Thomas Dr. [You have not spoken too soon or too strongly. . but to which one can trace the long list of illegitimacy. Thompson. J. in a series of publication of your published in our local Press." Such an expression of opinion struck me very Before the forcibly after reading your lecture. I had. Most of these very special curses (as they seem to me) you have done much to spread in India. are actions which you dub dishonourable and : " One more We which you render illegal. Blyden.
.THIS ADDRESS IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO Ibis j£ycellenq> Hrtbur Barclay PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA. UNDER WHOSE ADMINISTRATION A NEW AND MOST PROMISING CHAPTER HAS BEEN OPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC.
D. Blyden. B. R. . and that he be requested to furnish a copy publication. . W. made a motion to tender thanks to Dr. D. B. the Hon. Ex-Attorney General T.L. Associate Justice of the Republic. for Counsellor C. 1907. E. B. Blyden for his very able and instructive lecture. forwarded it is to the Author for its reproduced as nearly as possible as originally delivered. senior . Haynes. 1st February. this lecture being generally and subscriptions republication. A called second edition of for. LL. seconded the motion. LL. extended thanks to Dr. At the close of the lecture.D. W. Richardson. Johnson.. and Attorney General F. D. on the part of the audience. R. Sierra Leone. B.. presided. LL.On the occasion of the delivery of the following lecture. E. King.
of our hence in our own land. . I am free to say that as Africans in the land fathers. at the request of leading men in Monrovia. in thinking And it is not untrue that those sentiments. Our brethren in foreign lands are striving by all possible unnatural means to become White. while we are looking eastward and are determined to remain natural.INTRODUCTION. to our part backward great across the ocean. The following lecture was delivered. our ancestral home. While tion. if the main not in the whole. with the advantages gained be looking into slavery. are becoming the sentiments of a large class of the people of Liberia. at a meeting held in the Senate Chamber. we have It is not special duties and glorious privileges. still I do not take in and digest all the sentiments expressed in the lecture without modificait is not rendered less worthy of the all deepest thought and consideration of Africans. but forward the continent. at which the under- signed had the honour to preside.
did. they think (and rightly too). and convey them to the outside world. social and industrial. friends. difference. and our masters have told the Bereans . This is In the first place we should make new and renew forgotten acquaintances with the meaning of our aboriginal friends. what our best friends expect of us. all should be content to follow and imitate them on lines. but of religious. Let us not take for granted what we have heard with our us . to discover fresh interests for mankind too true. in an independent State Africa. This is what Liberia was founded for.X. It is our part to be learning new things which our thinking are not recorded in books. not by servile . religious. if gifts. as and see whether these things are so search both in the Book of Revelations and in the vast and fruitful book of nature around us. We This is should study their laws and customs. and which without us therefore. but let us search for ourselves. the world cannot learn. ears. not onlv of material. social and intellectual progress. . the But we are reminded how can we fulfil these as expectations we are for ever looking backward ? to the land of our three hundred years' bondage The world gains by imitation. It is in our power. new avenues. friends abroad think as it such a pity that Liberians. in Africans. with many prayers and tears in and consecrated lecture.
In the atmosphere in which
we were brought say, "Thank God, I
our relatives in the interior
and spontaneous as
to the nightingale to sing, or the cock to crow.
more than negative:
that they are not
or " Darkie "
White men, but gratitude
In our interior,
they are Black men.
—a term often America—
so offensive to our brethren
Travelling along an interior road some years ago
with a young friend,
a fine-looking native
woman, who stopped
and, looking steadily at us,
remarked (not supposing that we understood her
language), "These people are as pretty as
This shews that
a healthy, sound, trustus,
worthy patriotism and race pride behind
But even to go on our own
the aid of foreigners, especially
whose fathers our fathers
rendered three hundred years of unrequited service
sweat, in blood, and in tears.
material assistance to aid us to furnish the physical
I believe Africa is
and thereby come into immediate contact with her God and the spirit of her fathers.
But the time has now come for Practical and demonstrative work is
to be done on
to be accepted, that
now being shed forth is may prove "a lamp to our
and a light to our pathway
in our struggles
and natural development.
no problem with the natives.
Happily, now, on practical
with us Western-trained Negroes, and
some of the leaders of the country are moving
forward in ways to convince the masses at home
and the outside world that the African, as well as the other portions of humanity, has the "Thus saith
SIGNIFICANCE Op LIBERIA.
inde^efideTif State, and the eighty -fifth of the founding of the colony, has entered upon a new departure in her foreign relations, or rather in her relations with foreigners. She has secured the assistance of foreign experts,
C^f IBERIA, in this existence as an /S^j
guaranteed by the
This measure, it is believed, will have a most favourable effect upon the revenues of the country, and therefore upon the general life of the people. To every thinking citizen of Liberia, and to such friends of the Republic as are not citizens, the new departure suggests certain reflections, some of which I desire to bring to your notice to-day.
management of her Customs.
from the beginning of her existence as a colony, and through the nearly sixty years of her independence, has been a marvel to herself and
her neighbours. The policy of exclusion or isolation, forced upon her by circumstances, compelled the Government to maintain a hand-to-mouth existence. Weakness has been the prevailing characteristic,
" To be weak
to be miserable, doing or suffering."
I do not I mean the Egyptians and Ethiopians. if only for the sake of members of our race whose opportunities of education and research are limited. I know that from the greatest to the least of you. there is a great deal to be grateful for. The ingenuity and the power of in order to live. I rather like to feel that we are men by the grace of God.^ originated civilisation. too. . you are all thankful. . thankful that I am a Liberian. and I want you. referred to the connection of the modern Negro with the great races who. There is nothing to be ashamed of in the whole history of the continent or of the race on the contrary. contrivance. like to refer to this historical fact to strengthen the claims of the Negro upon the respect of the rest of mankind. the people one of the oldest races I have seldom in my recent writings of the planet. though standing high in the scale of civilisation. in the eastern and northeastern portions of Africa. and I want you to be thankful also. first : Take But since it is now the fashion of some foreigners. I have thought it only proper. and that is enough.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. J am proud also that I am an African. And yet I am . to be proud of that fact. on the part of her statesmen. and to insist upon the ignoble antecedents of the African to establish his inferiority. have been taxed to their utmost. It has been said of our Fatherland it was said that she is as long ago as the days of Aristotle new and ever bringing forth something new always helpful nothing detrimental to the interests of humanity. to boast of their own glorious antecedents in order to prove their superiority. — — .
Wilson could be induced to re-publish from the New York Journal so repugnant an anachronism in the pages of a periodical which has for eighty years (the Bulletin is. as valuable timber. General Joseph Wheeler has been allowed. General limitations Wheeler cannot overcome the of the narrow provincial education which he received in the South in the davs before the Civil War. I have been surprised to notice recently. William McLain and William Coppinger. in the pages of the Liberia Bulletin his crude and (February. he is very inferior. to recite what eye-witnesses of the past have said on the subject of this race. The Negro should also be impressed that the only elevation he has received above barbarism has been by associating with.SIGNIFICANCE OF LlBEBlA. 1906). to ventilate contemptuous views of the Negro. you have only to tell him that Africa possesses as good soil. as is possessed by the is " If any argument . : necessary to convince the Negro of his inferiority. and having the advantages of. Colonisation Society. the example and teachings of the Whites. Ormond Wilson. as rich and abundant mineral. and every other element of wealth. I believe. and successor of such men as Ralph Randolph Gurley. that to the liberality arid toleration of Mr. owing General Wheeler says " The true friend of the coloured man is he who impresses upon him that so far from being equal to the Whites. a successor of the African Repository) held a brief for the defence of the African. It is difficult to understand how or why Mr. Secretary of the American J.
Go back to the earlier period in the history of the human race. Alexander H. President. President. that all our efforts in Liberia will be unavailing that member of the human the African is a degraded family. Everett. . reject . early friends of the American Colonisation Society had a much more accurate view of this question. Mr. incapable of improvement in civilisation. when they occupied the forefront in the march of civilisation. the whole civilised world of their time. when they constituted. I state of hopeless barbarism." most But history fully vindicates the character of the Negro against the ignorant aspersions of his malignant persecutors. in the period of their greatness and glory. except in those localities where to some extent they have been thrown under the control of the Whites. The speech delivered at a meeting of the Massachusetts Colonisation Society in February. 1833. in fact. "We with contempt and indignation this miserable heresy . that a man with a dark skin and curled hair is necessarily.. enlightened and prosperous countries. as such... and seem to have been far more disposed to do justice to the Negro than some contemporary writers in the Bulletin. and condemned by the vice of his physical conformation to vegetate for ever in a Mr. and yet the Negroes of Africa have remained in an absolutely barbaric state. the Hon. a name honoured in the annals of America. See what the Blacks were and what they did three thousand years ago. said In a are sometimes told.: SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA.
and Delphi. came from Egypt. they had it from the Greeks and Romans and the Jews. They will be what they are now. But Sir. Moses. Homer. they were not black. But what says the father of history. Sir. to its origin. from Africa. and consequently. who travelled among them ' ' Well. and see where you will find We received it from our European ancestors. when the grass is growing on the sites of St. where did the Greeks and the Romans and the Jews get it ? They derived it from Ethiopia and Egypt in one word. # " : — — — the Egyptians ? They were Africans: and of what race? It is sometimes pretended. the Egyptians were the masters of the Greeks and the Jews. was instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians. France. The founders of the principal Grecian cities. and Italy. it. the delight and admiration of travellers from all quarters. New Zealand" was . Peter's and St. Thebes. Trace this very civilisation of which we are so proud. we are told. in civilisation. Paul's. the present pride of Rome and London. Germany. There it was that the generous and stirring spirits of that time Herodotus. as ours now make them in England. and they had carried it very nearly as far in some respects a good deal farther than any subsequent The ruins of the Egyptian temples laugh people. Pythagoras and the rest. and for centuries afterwards their descendants returned to that country as the source and centre of civilisation. that though African and of Ethiopian extraction. Sir.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. Plato. made their noble voyages of intellectual and moral discovery. who were * The drawn seven years picture of Macaulay's "Traveller from after this address was delivered. of the modern nations. to scorn the architectural monuments of any other part of the world. such as Athens.
20 and 114). writing in the simple innocence and candour of an unsophisticated eye-witness. and knew their appearance as well as we know that of our neighbours in Canada ? Sir. and which is the only ground of our present claim to superiority.. The ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians were. may say. Herodotus tells you that the Egyptians were Blacks with curly hair. I would much rather trust Herodotus than the whole tribe of modern commentators on his writings. who arrive at their conclusion by the aid of contemporary inspiration. # Dr. ix. Everett avers.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. Some writers have undertaken to dispute his authority.. 26. . He celebrates the Egyptians as the greatest of men. upon whom such work must devolve. Vol. and civilisers of the world. has generously anticipated the cultured Negro of the future. p. but I cannot bring myself to believe that the father of history did not know black from white. because they have black skins and woolly hair (Book II. chaps. It seems. clearly of the Black race. in his great and chivalrous work on Rhodesia. coloured by the prejudices of the day. 505). chap. and makes them the associates as Mr. * African Repository. that for this very civilisation of which we are so proud. Homer bears similar testimony of the Ethiopians. therefore. affirms that the Colchians must have descended from the Egyptians. and twice mentions the Ethiopians as the tallest and most beautiful of men (Book III. Maclver. we are indebted to the ancestors of these very Blacks whom we are pleased to consider as naturally " incapable of civilisation. Herodotus. Whatever modern research.
the black skin and woolly hair. she says (p. the traditions of civilisation associated for us with For they cover on the name of ancient Egypt. territories on which are "When ." On more recent witness. and 7 deg. one of the latest and most thorough of the modern explorers of Egypt. whom I am delighted to welcome among our friends and defenders against the calumny of ages. respectable in learning. either side of the Upper Nile. delightful in the arts. says." Book Book I. that there is much Negro blood in the oldest Egyptians. in the minds of these noble old Greeks. A 17) : the history of Negro-land comes to be written in detail. with ignorance and degradation. who takes an enlightened and practical interest in the work of In her work on " A Tropical Depenher husband. were inventions. wife of the eminent African administrator. Professor Flinders Petrie. in his recent work on "The Religion and Conscience of Ancient Egypt" (p. instead of being associated with the meanness and misery of slavery. 22. 26): "It is certain. dency. were associated with all that is noble in civilisation. it may be found that the kingdoms lying towards the eastern end of the Soudan were the home of races who inspired. " Iliad. the contrary. is Lady Lugard. corroborated by Homer." It cannot (" Odyssey. anatomically. between the latitudes of 10 deg. be supposed that if the statements of Herodotus. 423). they would have passed unchallenged by a people so cultured and critical as the Greeks.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. rather than received." just published.. and splendid in military achievements. and the favourites of the gods L.
This is one reason why I have been so anxious that Liberia should have all the facilities necessary to make able and critical students of history. rather than as the embryonic possibility of an era yet to come. From the standpoint of this Bepublic. If this should prove to be the case. it the Biblical records.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. it is the work of the African himself to vindicate his race in the world of letters a republic in which there is no such thing as caste. According appears that Jehovah selected Africa as the scene for the display of his wonders. I now to recall the part which the land —the soil of Ham^-has had •\ Hamo* in human development. We read of " wonders in the land of Ham. possessed of the English language greatest of human instruments for obtaining general culture and diffusing information it is impossible to calculate the extent and depth of the influence she might wield in behalf of Africa and the African : — — race. Meanwhile. it may happen that we shall have to revise entirely our view of the Black races. both in the material and spiritual world. Having considered the part which the man of Africa has had in the origin of civilisation. as a sovereign and independent that State." It was . freed from the necessity of using the African as a means of promoting their material interests." The time will come when the enlightened portion of mankind. and regard those who now exist as the decadent representatives of an almost forgotten era. will be willing to render to him his due. and the civilised world be forced to recognise in a Black people the parent of its original enlightenment. found monuments more ancient than the oldest Egyptian monuments.
: was either "We . In Africa beginning or the scene of the preservation of the three great religions to which the best elements of modern civilisation are supposed to be due. viz. and as the Mother goddess she has ruled the devotion of Italy ever since.. but out of whose defeat Rome was to arise. that of the Galileans. to whose descendants " were committed the oracles of God. and when she found a place in the other great movement.. Asia and America are largely indebted to our Fatherland. In the struggle between Greece and Troy. Judaism. when fashion and moral conviction could shake hands. to this land that the great Shemitic patriarchs. the Professor Flinders Petrie says may even say that but for the presence of Egypt we should Isis had obtained a never have seen a Madonna. But does Europe owe nothing secular or political affairs ? to Africa in her Let us see. which was to issue in the founding of the greatest of European empires. Europe. 489. et nigri Memnonis arma"* ("and the arms of the Negro Memnon. the weaker party to the contest. Book I. One of the African generals is tersely referred to by Virgil in the passage where the poet enumerates some of the most distinguished heroes who appeared in that li conflict. then her triumph was assured. It has already been pointed out in this paper that to this country came the enquiring philosophers of Greece and Rome in search of wisdom. Christianity and Islam.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. great hold on the Romans under the earlier Emperors her worship was fashionable and widespread. Africa sent her military contingents to aid the Trojans." came for training and inspiration. ") *Virgil. . For a great part of their religion then.
After the fall of Troy." to use the pathetic language of the Of the ships poet. Through the deserts of Africa. Driven from Europe and Asia. He fell. one of the most famous of the Greek warriors. tossed about. He did not at once reach the scene of his future "Much was he successes on the shores of Italy. libuae deserta peregro. and is He said poured out African blood in Europe in defence of the weak. reached the coast of Africa. the man who was to be the founder of the new Empire alone escaped. with a few followers. several He. and his skill in fight. with the remnant. perished in a storm. He slew Antilochus. but it was by the hand of the greatest of the Greeks. " on the land and on the deep. He himself fell in battle. the Queen of the country. to have been remarkable for his beauty." ("I am pious ^Eneas." with which he and his companions escaped. "a foeman worthy of his steel. Achilles. " Sum pius Apneas Ipse ignotus. found his way to the palace of Dido. and after some difficulty. his bravery. Europa atque Asia pulsus. and to her introduced himself in forma pauperis. where they found a quiet harbour. etiam hac defensa fuisset. and in distress. wander unknown.") I was after this touching address that the African Queen uttered that celebrated sentiment It —f Virgil. driven bv the force of the wind. egens." t 10 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. which it was not possible for the right hand of man successfully to defend. i( Si Pergama dextra Defendi posse?it." . Here iEneas landed.
and Africa will again open wide her maternal bosom to fulfil once more the functions of f the dry nurse of lions. In the order of Providence it may be accepted. I have which her stalwart building of America. Great Britain has offered them a home again in Africa. Turning from Asia. said." And here it is possible the criildren of Israel may perform . gave him the inspiration of a great love. do the called the cradle of empires. revived him. their ancestral home. the great commentator on Virgil. inheritors of the strength and wisdom and glory of Rome not owe to Africa ? In all this." SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. and sent him with renewed vigour on his So Africa might be mission of empire-building. out the important part contributed sons to the upleft But Africa has not yet finished her role as asylum and refuge for those who need succour. that England's offer should be accepted. the country of their exile. f " Not ignorant iEneas was the founder of Rome. the most control. Zangwill. What then. 11 of which Heyne. The Jews are to-day seeking a country where they may worship God in peace and freedom. Africa sheltered him. I have / learned how to sympathise with and succour \ the unfortunate. and in his exile. and from Europe. his hunger. the land of their ancient bondage and training. inspired of the modern prophets of Israel. that any youth who does not dwell on it with a feeling of delight ought to be excluded from a further perusal of Virgil : of misfortune myself. where they are to be invested with Jewish local autonomy under British I agree with Mr. his distress.
without being struck both with the lofty character of the American citizens who conceived the idea of founding this Republic. of elevated and fervent devotion. Latrobe. Liberia is the child ol but of American prayer. let us return to Liberia. early history of the colony. and with the learning. referred to the connection of his illustrious father with the John H. of brilliant and convincing oratory. will be proud to look upon her as one of the chief glories of American history. than are presented in the history of the American Colonisation And as time rolls on and Liberia arrives Society. 1906) of the pride with which General Latrobe. B. given to the colony on his We — . Begun in Africa great work may be finished on this continent. by the way. the distinguished parent of the General. the devotion with which those men laboured for the upholding and welfare of this independent Negro I do not believe that in the State in West Africa. many prayers. No one can look through the volumes of the African Repository for the seventy years during which it was the organ of the American Colonisation Society.12 SIGNIFICANCE 07 LIBERIA. at and develops her own African life. the eloquence. exhibiting the strength and beauty and force of genuine African character. of exalted liberality. however exalted his position. the zeal. the American citizen. was for fifty consecutive years one of the most eloquent and most versatile of the exponents and defenders of Liberia a name. history of any philanthropic movement can more examples be presented of magnificent purpose. of Baltimore. their crowning their work for humanity. But now read the other day in a recent number of the Liberia Bulletin (February. This Republic is the offspring not only of American philanthropy.
and are continuing to throw. suggestion. am and especially Monroe. in her religious and political affairs. I mean that the aim or intention of such prayers is always answered. in the Elysian fields. in the early days of the colony. after whom this city was named. guided by the scientific spirit of the age the light which anthropology. have thrown. Therefore. is our friends in America. have welcomed Roberts and Benson and Teage and Warner as kinsmen not unworthy of their fellowship. but the object meant is always attained. but the fish. upon man's racial character and the destinies of the different sections of humanity.r \ SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. ethnology. a I office sure that already. The Baptists and' social and religious affairs. and even theology. but the bread not the serpent. Now . in the land of the hereafter. diminishing under the influence of a larger experience. Not the stone is given. our American friends in secular and political life. the child of many prayers of earnest prayers. are taking less and less practical interest in our political. and such prayers are always answered. as well as some in religious life. Presbyterians have withdrawn their support from^ the establishments which for many years. desired. Washington and Jefferson. and in these days also there are some who desire that Liberia. The form of the answer is often disappointing. at great The Methodists expense. they kept up in Liberia.. not always the word or the form. while 13 of student in the law Robert Goodloe Harper. and Episcopalians have virtually withdrawn so far : . shall shape her course according But this desire is rapidly to the American model. I have said that Liberia .
and with the but I light they then had. in religion as in cut loose be politics. were philanthropic at heart and beneficent in intention. Everybody is for healthful finding out that progress. has been also greatly hampered by their conditions. as the history of all other peoples has taken They are discovering that all endeavour its course. or modify or qualify or improve in any to alter degree or in any detail the course of this African State. 1847. social and religious history of this Republic must take its course. did the best they could venture to think that if they had to make those bequests now.14 as their SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. and it was conceded to her by those Powers. Liberia declared herself a free. and are now pursuing. Those great men and eminent women who. on 26th must end in failure. will follow the White Presbyterians and the Baptists. or make them absolutely free. and is not . encumbered their gifts for education in Liberia with dogmatic conditions. and was by the great Powers acknowledged as such. she also proclaimed. in various parts of the United States. . and are admitting that the political. has never been successful. supervision is concerned. her right to deal finally with all political. and it is evident that before long they." though greatly assisted by those gifts. too. That the policy we have been pursuing. Liberia must from leading strings. to them. fifty or sixty years ago. . they either would not make them at all. When. this. and " tie no strings It is evident that Liberia College. July. sovereign and independent State. social and religious questions affecting her Our friends in America are recognising existence.
. the dissatisfaction everywhere prevailing in our religious. to destroy and to afflict. reviewing the situation in his last Annual Report (January. Shintoism. than there is to build up and to plant. but one thing is certain. purity of life. it is the detective tact and selective insight with which the Japanese chose what was best for their development out of the four systems of religion which offered themselves to the people for acceptance. BuddIt may hism and Christianity. eliminated. 15 be seen in the decay. viz." The Japanese selected from each of these systems those elements which they considered useful for their race and country. he was to Europe. by severe persecution. and that is that in the entire country there is a greater tendency to pluck up. Dr. Francis Xavier went as a missionary among them. in the sixteenth century. remarks as follows : may \ j "It appears that we are living in the dispensation) of God's destructive providence. I cannot divine. the disintegration. Confucianism. Whether it be really so. successful. social and industrial affairs. 1906). Of course. the President of Liberia College. and ." not be out of place here to refer to Japan. Richardson. or the perverse actions of men make it appear so. to break down.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. whose marvellous achievements are still the subject of unqualified eulogy among men of all races. A writer in a recent number of the London Quarterly Review says: " If there is anything to admire in the Japanese character as it exhibits itself to-day. as will be acknowledged on all hands. what was peculiar When. so struck with their virtue. which for clearness and point has never been excelled by any of its predecessors. from Christianity they took only what They [Christ himself taught in the four Gospels.
privileges. . independence. as Hawaii. which has led him into scenes of bloodshed and slaughter. but it was discovered by that gallant and wonderful filibuster." But had he succeeded in fastening upon them the European idea of religion. and punishes with death the natives who oppose his way. it has held its own against a formidable European Power. whether such conduct does not come under the The opinion that the interior of Africa head of filibustering has been thrown open to civilisation and trade by Mr. # converted by the missionary. has a right to assume such a warlike attitude. . that Henry M. the Sandwich Islanders." before it can be adopted. 1878. Instead of being one of the foremost nations of the world. but it has lost its outward devotion. he said of them. resisted foreign have done. the Philippine Islands and Madagascar Abyssinia. religious invasion. With regard to the conversion of Uganda to genuine Christianity. is one which requires to be supported by much stronger evidence than we at present possess That evidence is not yet forthcoming. Stanley has conducted a geographical raid across the middle of Africa. whatever those may be. the Australians. and not ending until he arrived in the neighbourhood The question will no doubt be hotly of the Western Coast discussed how far a private individual. Uganda was a great African State. Stanley's daringnavigation and descent of the Congo river. like Japan. they would long since have gone the way of the North American Indians. beginning at the Victoria Nyanza. " This people is the delight of my soul. January. It is now said to have been Stanley. said: "Mr. the New Zealanders. and to force his way through native tribes regardless of their rights. He voluntarily puts himself into a position from which there is no and it is a question which we escape except by battle and bloodshed shall not argue here.16 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. and like Japan. travelling as a newspaper correspondent. strong doubts are now entertained. A man who does so acts in defiance of the laws that He assumes sovereign are supposed to bind private individuals. and Eorty years ago maintained its independence. even in quarters most favourable to the idea * The Edinburgh Review. they would either have disappeared from the face of the earth or would have fallen into the hands of some foreign Power.
Mr. Victor Buxton name honoured in West African history wh visited Uganda last year (1905) for the purpose o examining its condition from the missionary poin of view. 1905. . no less than among the common people. These are the usual signs of the beginning of that downward course from which native races seldom return until they disappear nulla retrorsum vestigia. . because there are inexhaustible sources of reinforcement in the vast unconvertible forces of Paganism and Mohammedanism.'\ says Mr. does not seem to be reassuring. Many of the professing Christians do not prove to be really converted. "At a missionary conference which I attended at Mengo. as differing in no respect from what he learned from his own teachers in their sacred groves. Buxton. happily. who looks upon the teaching of the Christian propagandist. among African races. "no subject discussed was ofI greater importance than the means to be used for \ promoting holiness of life among the Christians \ but this session was marked by a tone of sadness. July. \7 of its permanent evangelisation. # — — .SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. which at first is simple and comprehensible. . As a rule. . and anxiety. deploring the low tone of public opinion among the leading men of the country. But as the peculiarities of European * The East and the West. Speaker after speaker dwelt upon the same subject. what the foreign missionary regards as conversion to his religion is the development of the spiritual forces in the African. that cannot take place on this continent. The report of a recent most friendly critic. and a lower moral / tone prevails as the Church grows in numbers and " outw ard prosperity. a result.
# If we in Liberia continue.18 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. sway. some foreign Power will step in and take charge. July. that in Uganda the CMS. and as we are sure to witness in Uganda. as a result of national. as I have told you. p. . did not expel the In religion of their fathers for a foreign religion. . it utilising indige- will only be a question of time when. outsider. notwith- I standing the curious evidence of proficiency in Christianity given by the East and the West. the Philippine Islands. them and study the laws affecting their sex. and study it. customs are brought more and more to the front. 1905. in dealing with the aborigines. but only expresses the ignorance of the cannot afford to neglect it. he recoils from the new system as a delusion and a snare and as we see everywhere in West Africa. physical. to conform to the ordinary missionary methods of suppressing instead of nous institutions. resemble races the Celtic of this respect they Two — We * See also The East and the West. converts have become so expert that they can read the New Testament upside down. Madagascar. as has happened in Hawaii. intellectual and moral degeneracy. as many a European Our women should enter has done. tion appeal to us The word Paganism does not in any sense describe the system. The Lagos and Sierra Leone papers all point out that the churches are losing their hold Paganism is re-asserting its upon the people. great indigenous agencies of self-preservaPaganism and Mohammedanism. We should enter its sacred groves. 350. and Uganda. The second and third generations of so-called converts do not continue in the footsteps of their fathers. and Islam is having the right of way. The Japanese.
brought into being partly by the wisdom and The French are a partly by the follies of men." They have not broken with their religious past. and which he valued. but to a deeply religious spirit. who with the Oriental religion blended reverence for the sacred places and sacred persons of their past history. I saw at Pere la Chaise. which are called superstition by those ignorant of their meaning and utility. and has suffered the fate of all who will not conform to the state of things as they exist. In their cemeteries they shew the same reverence for their dead. We hear France a great deal criticised because she has disestablished the Church. regard to the Church cannot be attributed to irreverence. who. and they recognise their connection with the living in the same practical manner as our aborigines do. probably the (greatest burial ground in Europe. The nation is a nation of truth-seekers. have their sacred places. simplicity and devotion of their fathers. deserving far more recognition from the rest of Europe than they have received from their courageous investigation and discoveries Their recent action with in the realm of truth. that the tombs were decorated with every little thing for personal use which belonged to the deceased. . and learned in all the wisdom' of the Church. said. nation of protesters. But I do not believe that there is a more religious people on the globe. I was struck with the similarity of this practice to our own native customs. " I left the Church that The people of France I might follow Christ. 19 Europe. in Paris. philosopher and teacher. Ernest brought up a priest. to which they pay periodical visits with all the earnestness. They have followed the example of their own great Renan. trained amid the glories of a magnificent hierarchy.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA.
destroyed everything which in their Pagan days their fathers reverenced so that in England and America there are no sacred places. never wholly abandons his aboriginal faith. . for Catechism amongst the infants. and wherever this has happened the natives are less spiritual and less moral. either in the building or its associations. fully attended when some new dress is to be displayed. The Bible has not There is no time its usual place in the schools. 1906." . The sacred spots are gone. and the people reverence neither places nor persons. The Church is no substitute for the everywhere in Christian West Purroh or Bundo Africa it is losing its hold upon the people. to appeal to the deeper feelings of the African. educated in the schools . I know of a native African clergyman. The Lagos Standard of 7th March. whatever his creed. says: "The Christian religion is at its ebb in the Protestant churches in Lagos. less obedient and less amenable to order than anywhere else. in their iconoclastic zeal. to clubs and secret societies than to the support of their ministers. . The churches are getting thinner and thinner in attendances. This is what the missionary has done in Africa wherever. as when a newly-married couple or a bereaved family has to attend the service in The rising generations subscribe more procession. Protestants. because there is nothing. he has had power to do so and he has substituted for what he has abolished. backed by foreign influence. less loyal. although the pulpits are everywhere filled The churches are now only with able preachers. An indiscriminate Vandalism has obliterated all the land-marks of native religion. now and ignorance of Bible history is most alarming.20 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. The true African. nothing as good.
in physical vigour and effectiveness. as Naaman was. 21 of Europe such a character. —to I know it is difficult —with some of us impossible But we have no example in history of any people going out of slavery to an alien race. satisfied. we should rapidly advance in numerical and material prosperity. Grant Allen has immortalised in his Rev. I am satisfied that there are elements in the two systems by which. where we are trying to be exile ourselves. when. which includes in its ranks all the most intelligent sixty millions. In fact. the Hebrews. and kept there forty years. he bowed down in the house of the god Rimmon." That man died in peace. that they the might forget. escape the prestige of the White man. The most conspicuous illustration we have on this subject is. as Mr. if adopted into the life of the people of Liberia. tribes of the Continent cannot afford to neglect that. "I die in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Fetish of my fathers. with the prophetic benediction. carrying with them or reproducing in their new home the politics or religion of the dominant race whom they had served. Moses : . instead of dying out. in pure morals and spirituis — The other system that appeals to us — We V ality. Islam.— SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. John Creedy who in his dying moments exclaimed. they never did forget generation that came out of Egypt had to perish in the wilderness. not excepting their leaders. . Before they were allowed to enter the land of freedom they were taken through a great and terrible wilderness. as we are now doing. which has played so important a part in the history of our and even here. of course. in chastity and sobriety. we feel the pressure of his influence. perhaps.
— : . as the training adapted to slaves. prostituted those gifts to produce an image of the object which they saw their masters worship in Egypt and they perished by thousands in conse: . except in its material and industrial aspects. They were to forget the magnificence of the Egyptian temples the glories of Isis and and their gorgeous ritual Apis were to be obliterated from their minds. as it was of the Hebrew. be said there is no analogy between the relation of the Hebrews to the religion of But it may . In prefacing the ten Commandments Jehovah "I am the Lord thy God. enter because the smell of Egypt remained on their garments. which brought thee said out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage. continually reminded of this The leeks and the onions the fleshpots of Egypt were to have no place in their memory. . a movable tent for the dwelling place of their Once they omnipresent and omniscient Guide.— 22 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. to remember the American Egypt as the house of bondage. artistic skill and mechanical competence were to be used in constructing and adorning the Tabernacle. who could lead the people only to the These men could not borders of the promised land. The duty of the African returning from America is. They were simply to " spoil " the Egyptians and cross the Red Sea: take of their material wealth. quence." The fact to be indelibly inscribed on and they were their minds was the bondage the house of bondage. and Aaron. Their but leave behind their religion and theology. and the training he received there. and the traces of its superstition or religion so clung to them as to unfit them for useful residence in the land of freedom.
" in their political life. 14th April. " There is no place. " Slaves. masters. Reuter. I am not prepared to deny that the religion professed in America is the true religion for humanity but I cannot admit that we have an — . but were probably innocent. A fire was then made under the bodies. and ours to the religion of America." But American politics flourish^ under the shadow of the American religion. We In coming to Africa we left behind us those political tenets and the religion that gave them * Springfield (Missouri). . which were burnt to ashes. Osiris or Isis. exemplification of the spirit of that religion. obey your had to obey those whose inspiration. standing in the American Senate.— SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. "there is no place in] American politics for the Golden Rule or the ten/ I 1 Commandments. under whose inspiration bricks without straw were exacted from the Hebrews. The Negroes were charged with assaulting a White woman. was neither the Golden Rule nor the ten Commandments. 23 Egypt. it is as it has affected us. there is not one of the ten Commandments which has not been violated with impunity. Therefore. 14th April. 1906. the religion we were taught in America was the religion of the house of bondage. decisions of the Supreme Court of that country affecting the Negro have been in diametrical opposition to the Golden Rule and in their social and industrial relations with us. it is the worship of the true God a religion adapted to men of all climes and races. and their male children ordered to be slain at their birth. # . Its fundamental tenet was. so far In its relation to us. if it is Nearly all the not the offspring of that religion." said Senator Ingalls. for the religion of America is not idolatry.— A mob to-day took two Negroes out of the local jail and hanged them on the statue of the Goddess of Liberty on the Court House building.
if haply they might feel after Him and find Him. and which the lowest human being that God ever This is : .) is Divine inspiration the gospel that Christ commanded His apostles to go and preach. who shall go over the sea for us. Who is the Way. and bring it unto us.24 inspiration. that thou shouldst say. Moses to the Hebrews. that we may hear it and do it ? But the word is very nigh unto thee. xxx. who shall go up for us to heaven. that thou mayest do it. first. 11-14. SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. and have come to a country where we can have uninterrupted access to the Founder of the religion which the American professes. that thou shouldst say." said and is within us. she will find that the common sense and righteousness of the world will be on her side. " This Commandment. though He be not far from every one of us for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts xvii. in thy mouth and in thy heart. it is not hidden from thee. It is the duty of the rulers and people of the Republic to seek. to tell the people that the kingdom of God is within them." (Deut. which is the kingdom of nature. neither is it far off. and bring it unto us that we may hear it and do it ? Neither is it beyond the sea. Truth and the Life. It is not in heaven. the kingdom of God. If or when Liberia shall elect to declare herself on the side of the natural laws of climate and race. which the learned Athenians approved of. confined to no race. and this was the gospel that Paul preached to the men of Athens that men of all nations who dwell on all the face of the earth are the offspring of God. and that they should " seek the Lord. . " which I command thee this day..) This is the gospel that men of all climes and countries understand and welcome. the.
which was foretold by the prophets and poets of humanity. . made — I am The words that I speak unto you. all things would become brighter and larger. the recovery of sight to the blind. to set at liberty them that are bruised I am sure that this I But am sure. no ignis fatuus. I am sure that Christianity. all goodness. # its oppressive hierarchy. 1907) furnishes a suggestive example of the methods which have so signally failed and so utterly discredited missionary operations in West Africa. Till moons shall wax and wane no more. all righteousI am sure that in its presence ness. 25 sure that genuine Christianity the Christianity of Christ of which we read in the Gospels. (4th January. sure that the Christianity of Christ is an energy that will stimulate all action. : : " Jesus shall reign where'er the sun Does his successive journeys run His kingdom stretch from shore to shore. to preach deliverance to the captive. I am sure that its spirit will ultimately prevail in the proceedings of men that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. all I " am men would be happier and more free. and which we see exemplified in the lives of individuals. "they are spirit and they are life" (John vi. also.. is not the Christianity of Christ." said Christ. I am sure that Jesus. 63)." * The striking letter of Bishop Hartzell in the West African Mail. . to disappear in darkness and confusion. will rejoice in. its caste that the Christianity of Christ is no cunningly devised fable. upon whom is the spirit of the Lord. On the other hand.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. its injurious intermeddling in the harmless and useful customs of alien peoples. its pecuniary burdens and exactions. is a life-giving power. with prejudices and limitations. because He hath anointed Him to preach the gospel to the poor. as conceived and modified in Europe and America. to heal the broken-hearted.
little influence I had with the Society to obtain a prohibition of the admission of ardent spirits into " The first . were considered indispensable. made the following statement as to his reason for ceasing to He said support the Society. : On — thing that shook my confidence in the Society was the fact that ardent spirits were allowed to be sold at the colony. Treading in the footsteps of our immortal countryman must strip we must bear the cross after Jesus. the system bearing the name of Christ makes no progress on this continent that it lingers. a distinguished philanthropist of New York. by the African. in giving the assortment suitable to make up an I used the invoice. Arthur Tappan. I want now — 26th March. and He will draw all men look. also. though there are several instances in the history of Liberia) shewing the helplessness of the religion we have been taught. must vanish as the truth We — We We unto Him. as the agents (of commercial houses) wrote me from Liberia. that all counterfeits. as He really is. am sure. of his friends.26 I SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. must bind up his wounds. pure and simple. He has been wounded in the house Jesus is lame. and at one time an ardent supporter of the American Colonisation Society. 1833 seventy-three years ago Mr. to give you an instance (the only one I shall on this occasion refer to. halts and limps on the threshold of a great opportunity. however bright or real they should not be discouraged because appears. distorting and obstructive habiliments by which he has been invested by the Let Him be lifted up materialising sons of Japhet. that He may be seen. and. him of the useless. to build up or preserve a people.
attempted to check it by legislation. that the Secretary be requested to prepare an address to the colonists." : As ' ' 8th following : On November. they adopted the " Resolved.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA." This was in 1833. that the friends of the Society throughout the country be informed that this Board will discourage the introduction and use of distilled spirits in the colony and among the native tribes. 1830. that at about twelve years old. having no international rights. pronounce against the One resolution. Most of the liquor was used by the aborigines in the purchase of slaves for the foreign The Society was afraid that in their weak trade. that they did all they could to stop it. they might intensify the evil. however. when the colony was only Just think of it. with what success may be seen in the fact that no less than fourteen hundred barrels of the liquid poison have been sold there within a year. if they state. they said: "Under the influence of these considerations the Board have deemed it best to rely on moral influences for preventing the introduction of ardent spirits into Liberia. Tappan. 1830. 27 the colony. was as follows Resolved. In their reply to Mr. that time one hundred barrels of spirits were consumed every month in Monrovia and its neigh- bourhood ! To the credit of the Society it must be stated. adopted 28th June. to be sent out . iquor traffic." a matter of fact they did. It must be remembered that the traffic was introduced by the slave traders long before the colony was settled. by resolutions Dassed three years before.
815 African Repository. such as foodstuffs.. But it would seem that the " moral influences upon which the Society relied have failed altogether For in the year to achieve the desired reformation.. . Value. # to be despatched. 1904.28 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. when compared with that of other articles. 1904. Whence imported Quantity.. Vol.267 35.812 8. DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1904.. The quantity of liquors brought in. would seem to offer an inviting field for temperance The statistics do not include the missionary work. England Netherlands 1.430 882 5. gallons.121 . 14. IMPORTS OF SPIRITUOUS AND MALT LIQUORS INTO LIBERIA. the American Minister in Liberia. Vol. Dr.419 10. and in commerce with the natives.116 p. Germany Total . p. Lyon. 23. nor the wines made from the palm and bamboo trees by the aborigines. IX. AFRICA.. 107. in which to form temperance societies.. vessel by the now about he shall encourage them and adopt such measures as may tend to diminish both the use and the sale of ardent spirits in the colony. taken from the report of the Government statistician for the quarter ended 31st March. was in a position to forward to his Government the following heartrending report : " submit a few facts concerning the imports of spirituous and malt liquors into the Republic of Liberia. rum made in local distilleries. Wealthy friends of the Society gave money for the sending out temperance emigrants and establishing temperance settlements. X. dollars. " I which are drunk in large quantities. 67.
Our youth. / such a fearful record has to be made.411 pounds of stock-fish. the same year in which Mr. Melville B Cox.— SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. In 1833." . valued at $4. then. champagne.496 pounds of rice. and America.499. 26. and 581 cases of canned meats and fish. valued at $2.047 pounds of smoked bacon. 596 barrels of flour. are being swallowed up in the vortex of the unhallowed \ stream which still flows unchecked through this/ \ so-called Christian community. 1. rum. before our eyes. and we only / have to look around us to verify the melancholy r The statements. he said it was a place of considerable trade vessels were constantly entering and clearing from England. valued at #2. Now me . which supplied not only the let . to as much. valued at $18. valued at $682. brandy. and canned meats and fish do not amount Monthly Consular Reports. France.863. Rev. 4. and wines. The imports of spirituous and malt liquors are exceeded in value only by the imports of rice and stock-fish the combined values of the imports of flour. liquors " . beer. distressing fact appears.476. " During the same three months the report shews that there were imported into the Republic 128. that after a / period of seventy-five years' Christianising effort. 29 The consisted whisky. ale. In his graphic descriptions of that colony. the founder of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Liberia. biscuits. on his way to this country touched at the Gambia. speaking of the commercial activity which he witnessed there. bacon. Arthur Tappan recorded his protest.531. valued at $26. I The liquor traffic is J give you another picture. of gin.296. the emblem of a high civilisation.196 pounds of biscuits.138. the trade mark of European) V enlightenment.
30 settlement SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. That State has been recently admitting Mohammedans into its counsels.. nearly Liberia and Abyssinia are the only two independent Christian Native States on the Continent of Africa. a tower of strength in the Presbyterian Church. / so far as it affects Liberia and Amca^ditiT5ot escape the earnest consideration of the early friends of colonisation. Dr. Breckinridge. Islam can suppress Vthe liquor traffic. referred at length to this subject in a paper published in the African Repository for January. the amendment of the Constitution to secure continuity in the policy of the Government. viz. vol. " do not mean to say said then. the suppression of the liquor traffic. the whole valley of the Gambia. 177. p. individually. as isay:now liberty to violate. but. and the liquor traffic has entirely disappeared. Sir George Denton. The question orVplural marriage. The Christianity we have received cannot. regarding it partly from the standpoint of public sentiment and partly from the He standpoint °C*u^iji£ under certain conditions. Recent papers inform us that Abyssinia has suppressed the introduction of European liquors. Rev. # The liquor traffic was then at its height. among the strictest of the orthodox. itself. with European goods. Robert J. 1834. . and the amendment of the Marriage Law. and the Governor there. that men are at and settled public feeling on subjects of the deep : We * African Repository. IX. informed me that the Gambia is now almost a Mohammedan colony. through the merchants. The perpetuity of Liberia depends upon three pieces of legislation. / In January of this year (1906). I visited the Gambia. etc.
marriage laws of Europe. Solomon. "is certainly worth something.. are other and far more serious aspects The marriage laws of Europe have of the question. in the lessons of Revelation. But there I : possible for was the extensive domestic relations of Solomon which made it him to bring so many tribes under his influence and to maintain peace among them and not a little of this influence was due * It . and he saw no method to secure peace among the multifarious classes of all Eastern nations better than the violation of the " This opinion. and Liberia is doomed not only to perpetual weakness as a nation. but to j \ extinction as a political force in Africa." as an African State in Africa. professional outcasts. without! virtue the burden and disgrace of the community. vol.000 women on the streets of London.. in any State." Dr.) If Liberia.. " asserted that the only possible way to place various castes and races of men. the policy of Solomon. ii. "of an Asiatic monarch. direct results of those laws. materially different from each other." V " Napoleon Bonaparte. 80. without homes. # . there is nothing that morally forbids it. and the universal course of events which confirms it For we believe it will be hard is worth still more. is to grow strong and expand in the ancestral home. But such men have a place in the designs of Providence and (Jewish Church. otherwise expansion is impossible. Europe could never have had a Stanley." says Dean to his Black wife from Egypt. should be carefully studied by the statesmen of this Republic. Breckinridge adds. this kind. 31 ' but only if society could be led into the scheme. without health. is the true type. have lived in the enjoyment of equal privileges where polygamy " ""*"-—-"*" has not been tolerated. There are to-day. was to allow polygamy J This was the result of his reflections on the political state of Egypt. though impracticable in the political arrangements of Europe." the Doctor goes on to say. to find a communitv in which races of men. without husbands. : "He . as one of the insurmountable. upon " a footing of perfect equality.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. created difficulties which are to the social reformer.
It is evident we cannot solve it thus. force certain features of its own problem upon We We ithers. and • they are not needed. from its birth and. before its birth every assistance that will fit it to withstand the rigours — — * Such a solution of the problem in Africa would destroy the entire population. Let each race. then. in Tropical Africa." everybody is above ground. . and do not. we are. * In the European system a portion of the female population is wholly degraded. indeed. : : 1 be far from final and The presence of a swamp. and of the accounts one gets of the presence in great cities of foundling hospitals and homes for fallen women. malarious exhalations. grapple with its own problem. under any pretext whatever. That this is so may be gathered from the unsavoury and infectious reports which one reads in every foreign newspaper of the proceedings in the Divorce Courts. confronted with the physiological or sanitary diffiThe infant born in this climate requires culty. Among the aborigines of Africa there are no such institutions. in the polygamic system the whole of the female population is But it is evident that the partially degraded." in which he has the courage to write as follows " It is best to hush the voice of sentiment and treat Mohammed's rules and innovations for the female sex as an attempt to grapple with a hopeless problem which the European nations solve by harbouring prostitution. prefer a partial degradation of the whole to the entire degradation of a part. however healthy the district. Why introduce conditions that will render them necessary ? : European system must But besides these evils attendant upon the European marriage law. Professor Margoliouth. has just published a book entitled "Mohammed and the Rise of Islam. with its satisfactory. must affect the entire atmosphere. Professor of Arabic at Oxford.' 32 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. In Africa can do without the "submerged tenth.
mother for two years must be wholly devoted to She must nurse it the building up of the babe. or the African who has been brought under or subjected to the European system who has violated the laws of his fathers and has not followed the example of his mothers ? He is perishing. Miss Kingsley. . Within . but we ours. and there is no part of this continent where any other law has been adopted with success. The brief period of liquid nutrition leaves the child for ever thirsty. is in a great degree responsible for the thirst for drink which is destroying the youth of the land who survive the perilous time of nursing. the strength of the also succumb. the perpetual . who studied the African in his own unsophisticated home from a scientific his social standpoint. race nor habits allow their permanent residence here. and to which hundreds After its birth. respected and defended institutions as a means of his preservation. In the city of Monrovia and in other settlements No children play there is a silence in our streets. The problem is They cannot live here. we have got But what about the Liberian a few years in Liberia whole families become extinct. of 33 heat and exhaustion of the situation to overcome the indigenous fever which assails it soon after birth.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. And I may remark in passing. This is the law of Africa. that the short period devoted to lactation by mothers in this country. daily perishing. He craves strong drink. theory. and as he grows older the thirst increases and water does not satisfy it. Foreigners may ridicule this must study it. Neither their to live here. without interruption during that period. in imitation of the custom in temperate climes.
listless. Those who touch at our ports in the steamers constantly remark on the worn. as in the neighbour- and romp. rigid and are not assailing a heap of unelastic with age.34 SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. The Church is getting to understand that it must adapt : . according to the slowness of our people are slow. incurious. the old is passing away. But humanity. Languid. I am informed that in no other West African port is there so much consumption of foreign drinks on board steamers by natives as in the Liberian ports. It will not cost us much to rub out the unmeaning that It is true we find this difficulty scrawl. they attract the attention of foreigners. Weak. and dance and ing villages among the aborigines. puny and incapable of exertion. to the notice of children in our families and pupils in our schools. haggard and weary appearance of the young men who visit the ships for the transaction of business. time-honoured prejudices and traditional institutions. have been What we have is all copied. The customs we are combating are not African customs. sing. time for the subjects which I have had the honour of bringing before you to-day to be taken They should be brought into serious consideration. happily. and copy- We We ing without question what they wrote on the slate. they rush to the saloon for drink. labour under the disadvantage of confronting. It is In attempting the necessary reforms we do not. The framework of our society is not hoary. ordinary New elements are entering into the situation. our children have not sufficient vitality to initiate or prosecute a game. looking over the shoulders of foreigners. On the contrary. old and venerable indigenous institutions. knowing neither rhyme nor reason for the record.
H^>x*X «I i' ' i: > m*^ . thing for the life of the people more important than The Love of the Church. The SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE IS THE HIGHEST LAW. or the people will flee from it. and that is Liberty. for life and preservation. ' ' National motto. Liberty." not love of the Church.SIGNIFICANCE OF LIBERIA. its 35 methods to climate." runs our inspiring " brought us here . as many in West Africa are There is a now doing. race and country.
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