Such is the shameless position strangely postulated in regard to these men and their times!
We scruple not to affirm that this is more than a stupid gratuity!
It is a gross calumny upon humanity itself, of which the authors should be profoundly ashamed!
The advantages enjoyed in this day, by the great success which has attended the art of printing — an art for which we are indebted to the genius of a former age — would no doubt afford us a satisfactory history of the rise and progress of public opinion on such a subject, if it were to occur in this age. The state of the art at that period, the proscription of the press, and especially the new and unsettled condition of the colonies, furnishes good cause for the deficiency.
We may not, therefore, account for public opinion as satisfactorily now, as might have been done at that time.
Still we have abundant materials for a charitable construction of the conduct of our forefathers — both here and in England
The savage, and indeed the brutal condition of the larger portion of Africa
, had long since been a matter of history.
All well-informed men were familiar with the facts of African
They were not only Pagans, but Pagans of the most stupid and enslaved kind — without the knowledge of God, or the rudest forms of civilization.