Friends, and to hint at the effect of that act of justice and humanity upon the abolition of slavery throughout the world. At an early period after the organization of the Society, members of it emigrated to the Maryland, Carolina, Virginia, and New England colonies. The act of banishment enforced against dissenters under Charles II. consigned others of the sect to the West Indies, where their frugality, temperance, and thrift transmuted their intended punishment into a blessing. Andrew Marvell, the inflexible republican statesman, in some of the sweetest and tenderest lines in the English tongue, has happily described their condition:--
“What shall we do but sing His praise
Who led us through the watery maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms and prelates' rage;
He gives us this eternal spring,
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps, in a green night,
And doth in the pomegranate close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows.
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
Oh let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at heaven's vault,
Which then, perhaps rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexic bay.”
So sang they in the English boat,
A holy and a cheerful note;