« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
vernment on account of religion, went over with them. A large party of Highlanders followed in the year ensuing, and the prospects of the colony were so promising, that parliament granted a supply of 26,000l. And when Mr. Oglethorpe returned bringing with him the Wesleys, he took out about three hundred passengers in two ships.
Such was the history of the settlement to which Wesley went out as Chaplain and Missionary ; and such had been its progress when he arrived there. No colony was ever established upon principles
Augsburg shut the gates against them, but the Protestants in the city prevailed, and lodged them in their houses. The Count of Stolberg Warnegerode gave a dinner to about 900 in his palace : they were also liberally entertained and relieved by the Duke of Brunswick. At Leipsic the clergy met them at the gates, and entered with them in procession, singing one of Luther's hymns; the magistrates quartered them upon the inhabitants, and a collection was made for them in the church, several merchants subscribing 1000 dollars cach. The University of Wittenberg went out to meet them, with the Rector at their head, and collections were made from house to house." We thought it an honour,” says one of the professors, “ to receive our poor guests in that city where Luther first preached the doctrines for which they were obliged to abandon their native homes." These demonstrations of the popular feeling render it more than probable that, if a religious war had been allowed to begin in Saltzburg, it would have spread throughout Germany.
Thirty-three thousand pounds were raised in London for the relief of the Saltzburghers; many of them settled in Georgia,– colonists of the best description. They called their settlement Ebenezer. Whitefield, in 1738, was wonderfully pleased with their order and industry. “ Their lands,” he says, “ are improved surprizingly for the tiine they have been there, and I believe they have far the best crop of any in the colony. They are blest with two such pious ministers as I have not otten seen. They have no courts of judicature, but all little differences rre immediately and implicitly decided by their ministers, whom they look upon and love as their fathers. They have likewise an orphan house, in which are seventeen children and one widow, and I was much delighted to see the regularity wherewith it is renageal,"
A vidurable to its projectors. The device sajmu their seal was the genius of the colony seated buchten the two rivers which were its boundaries, with the cap ot" liberty on his head, a spear in one hand, and a cornucopia in the other: on the reverse were some silk worms at their work, with the worus Non sibi sed aliis for the motto. The conduct of the trustees did not discredit their professions; they looked for no emolument to themselves or their representatives after them; and the first principle which they laid down in their laws was, that no slave should be employed. This was regarded at the time as their great and fundamental error: it was afterwards repealed; and it is worthy of remark, that this colony, being the only one in America which prohibited slavery at its foundation, was the last which gave its reluctant assent to the abolition of the slave-trade. But there were solid political reasons for the prohibition, even if the everlasting principles of humanity and justice had not been regarded; for the Spaniards, who have been little scrupulous as to the means of carrying on war in the new world, had formed a regiment of refugee negroes from Carolina, who were paid and clothed like the Spanish troops, and officered from among themselves; they had proclaimed freedom for all who would join them, and had emissaries actively employed in encouraging them to escape from slavery. Some other regulations, although equally well designed, were not equally wise. None of the colonists were to be permitted to trade with the Indians, except such as should obtain a special license for that purpose :this was placing the settlers in a worse condition than any other colonists, the law therefore was sure to render them discontented, and to be disobeyed. The lands were granted upon a feudal principle, the possessors being bound to take the field whenever the public service might require; but as if the evils of a feudal aristocracy could possibly arise in a commercial colony, estates were to be granted only in tail male, lest large tracks, by descents and intermarriages, should fall into one hand ;-thus, from the apprehension of remote and imaginary danger, the odious injustice of a Salic law in private possessions was introduced. And the importation of rum was prohibited: it is said that this spirit, when properly diluted, is proved by experience to be the wholesomest and most refreshing drink, as well as the cheapest, for workmen in that foggy and burning climate; and it is certain that to forbid the use of a thing good in itself, because it is liable to be abused, is subjecting the worthy part of the community to a privation for the sake of the worthless.
The ship in which Wesley was embarked cast anchor near Tybee island, “ where the groves of pines, running along the shore, made,” he says, “an agreeable prospect, showing, as it were, the bloom of spring in the depth of winter.” On the following morning they landed on a small uninhabited island, where Mr. Oglethorpe led them to a rising ground, and they all knelt and returned thanks to God for having arrived in safety. Mr. Oglethorpe went that day to Savannah, and returned the next, bringing with him Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg, one of the pastors of the Moravians. Wesley perceiving in him the same character which in his fellow-passengers had impressed him so strongly, asked his advice concerning his own conduct in a situation which was new to him ; the German replied, “ My brother, I must first ask you one or two questions. Have you the witness within yourself? Does the Spirit of God bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?” Wesley had hitherto been accustomed to be himself the teacher: it was the first time that he had been treated as a novice or a child in spiritual things : he was surprised, and knew not what to answer: the German perceived this, and said, “ Do you know Jesus Christ ?" After a pause he replied, " I know he is the Saviour of the world.” True,” rejoined Spangenberg, “ but do you know he has saved you?” Wesley answered, “ I hope he has died to save me.” The Moravian only added, “ Do you know yourself?” and Wesley, who was evidently awed by this catechism, confesses, that in answering “I do,” he feared he was but uttering vain words. The account which Spangenberg gave of himself strengthened the impression which this conversation had made. He had spent some years at the university of Jena, he said, in learning languages and the vain philosophy, which he had now long been labouring to forget. It had pleased God to overturn his heart by means of some who preached the word with power, and he then immediately
I am a
threw aside all learning, except what tended to salvation. He then began teaching poor children, and having been invited to Halle, was banished from thence, because many faults were found both with his behaviour and his preaching: he had removed accordingly to Herrnhut, and had been sent from thence to Georgia, to regulate the Moravian establishment. Wesley enquired whither he was to go next; his answer was, “ I have thoughts of going to Pennsylvania : but what God will do with me I know not. I am blind. child. My Father knows, and I am ready to go wherever he calls."
The brothers now separated. Charles went with Ingham to Frederica, a settlement on the west side of the Island of St. Simons, in the mouth of the Alatamaha. * John and Delamotte took up their lodging with the Germans at Savannah, till the house which was intended for them should be erected. • We had now,” says Wesley, “ an opportunity, day by day, of observing their whole behaviour; for we were in one room with them from morning to night, unless for the little time spent in walking. They were always employed, always cheerful themselves, and in good humour with one another. They had put away all anger, and strife, and wrath, and bitterness, and clamour, and evil speaking. They walked worthy of the vo
* The Duke de la Rochefoucault Liancourt says, that the three branches of the river Alatamaha, with the island of St. Simons; which lies facing them, form the best, deepest, and safest harbour'on the American coast, below the Chesapeak.