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Downtown: The Clickable Mystery

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Letter Taken from the Liberia Advocate

Letter taken from the Liberia Advocate, published in St. Louis; original presentation abridged.
Paulding Miss., Sept., 1846. Bro. Finley:--It is known to you that several years since, the Synods of Alabama and Mississippi resolved to unite in the noble christian enterprize of purchasing the slave Ellis and his family to be sent to Africa as a missionary family. The_two_[w_font_is_inverted]_Synods have as you have heard at last, after a long delay, succeeded in raising the desired amount, ($2500) and Ellis has now been purchased, and is in the hands of the committee of the Synod, and will sail in December. This I look upon as one of the most noble and interesting enterprizes which has been undertaken by the Southern Church for a long time. Perhaps none of equal interest, considering the magnitude of its prospective results, has ever been undertaken. To one who is familiar with the details of the history of this man Ellis, the subject is full of interest.

He is a remarkable man. For years past he has labored to acquire an education under circumstances of difficulty and discouragement rarely if ever surrounding any man. He is a most excellent blacksmith, and his shop has in consequence been always crowded with work; and of course at night it would be natural to expect that he would be fatigued, and willing to rest. But this, his leisure time, and every spare moment has been assiduously devoted to study. And thus he has studied the Greek and Latin language pretty thoroughly, and has made some proficiency in Hebrew. In addition to this he has paid considerable attention to the sciences and is now a far better scholar than many who have had every advantage. He is to be examined with a view to licensure at the meeting of the Tuscaloosa Presbytery on the fourth Thursday of the present mouth. He has a Latin exegesis, a critical exercise, and a popular sermon to exhibit, as parts of trial, It will no doubt be an interesting occasion.

Bro. McNair, who was appointed the agent of the Synod of Mississippi in this cape, related to me the circumstance of an interview which he and Bro. S[ti]llman of Eutaw, held with Ellis, and they were truly thrilling. It took place on the morning after the purchase had been completed. To use Bro. McNair's language, "he had often heard of expressions of gratitude, but never has he seen the visible manifestations of it to such a degree before."

Gratitude! How these slaveholding preachers can lie. They tell us in one breath that the slave is better off than he would be if free, and that he is happier and more contented, and in the next, that a poor fellow, to get out of slavery, was almost ready to jump out of his skin.

The work of the Southern Church has certainly been great. It has made a sin offering in the purchase of one missionary: but why it should send him away from his present field of labor, is more than we can imagine, for surely there are heathen enough there.--Dem. Standard and Whig.


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