“As the old stock from Africa died out of the country the grosser customs, the ignorance and paganism of Africa, died with them. Their descendants, the country-born, were better looking, more intelligent, more civilized, more susceptible of religious impressions. Having brought distinctly to view this multitude of people introduced amongst us in the inscrutable providence of God, the original stock being in a state of absolute Heathenism, we may inquire into the efforts made for their Religious Instruction.”

“The Moral and Religious Condition of the Slave Negro Population. Ignorance of the doctrines and duties of Christianity is prevalent among the Negroes. Their notions of the Supreme Being; of the character and offices of Christ and of the Holy Ghost; of a future state; and of what constitutes holiness of life, are indefinite and confused. Some brought up in a Christian land, and in the vicinity of the house of God, have heard of Jesus Christ; but who he is, and what he has done for a ruined world, they cannot tell.”

“The Mohammedan Africans remaining of the old stock of importations, although accustomed to hear the Gospel preached, have been known to accommodate Christianity to Mohammedanism. “God,” say they, “is Allah, and Jesus Christ is Mohammed–the religion is the same, but different countries have different names.”

“Such being the state of affairs, we ought not to anticipate any remarkable degree of attention, to the religious instruction of the Negroes, within the Colonies, as an independent class of population. Especially too, as the effect of the slave trade, during its existence, was to harden the feelings against the unfortunate subjects of it, while their degraded and miserable appearance and character, their stupidity, their uncouth languages and gross superstitions, and their constant occupation, operated as so many checks to benevolent efforts for their conversion to Christianity. And thus, those who advocated the slave-trade on the ground that it introduced the Negroes to the blessings of civilization and the Gospel, saw their favorite argument losing its force, in great measure, from year to year.”

SeeĀ The Religious Instruction of the Negroes. In the United States: Jones, Charles Colcock, 1804-1863

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