Case Of Rev John Smith

The London Missionary Chronicle for March contains a statement

respecting Mr. Smith's case, occupying, with accompanying documents

nearly twelve pages, which confirms the impression that Mr. Smith was

innocent. The Directors of the London Missionary Society, after stating

some circumstances relative to his trial, says.

The Directors having stated these points of serious objection (and more

might easily be
found,) to the proceedings on the trial, conclude that

the members of the society, and the candid beyond its circle, will

approve of their declaring that they retain the conviction formerly

expressed, of the moral and legal innocence of their missionary, Smith;

that they do not withdraw from him their confidence; and that they are

"not ashamed of his bonds." They regard him as an unmerited sufferer, in

the diligent and faithful, and it may be added, useful discharge of his

duties, as a missionary; and they earnestly wish the Divine forgiveness

may be extended to those who may have been instrumental in causing his


The Rev. Mr. Austin, a clergyman of the church of England, and Chaplain

of the Colony, thus expresses his opinion in a private letter.

"I feel no hesitation in declaring, from the intimate knowledge which my

most anxious inquiries have obtained, that in the late scourge which the

hand of an all-wise Creator has inflicted on this ill-fated country,

nothing but those religious impressions which, under Providence, Mr.

Smith has been instrumental in fixing--nothing but those principles of

the gospel of peace which he has been proclaiming--could have prevented

a dreadful effusion of blood here, and saved the lives of these very

persons who are now (I shudder to write it,) seeking his."

The following extract of a letter from William Arrindell, Esq. of

Demerara, Mr. Smith's counsel, addressed to Mrs. Smith, after the trial,

is also inserted.

"It is almost presumptuous in me to differ from the sentence of a Court,

but, before God, I do believe Mr. Smith to be innocent; nay, I will go

further, and defy any minister, of any sect whatever, to have shewn a

more faithful attention to his sacred duties, than he has been proved,

by the evidence on his trial, to have done."

The Directors had resolved to take further measures for obtaining, in

England the reversal of his sentence.

This subject was brought before the English parliament, and after a full

and fair discussion, the innocence of Mr. Smith was established beyond a

question. The following from the London Christian Observer gives an

account of the proceedings in Parliament.

A debate of two days' continuance on the case of the missionary Smith

has taken place in the House of Commons. A motion was made by Mr.

Brougham, to express the serious alarm and deep sorrow with which the

house contemplated the violation of law and justice, manifested in the

unexampled proceedings against Mr. Smith in Demerara, and their sense of

the necessity of adopting measures to secure a just and humane

administration of law in that colony, and to protect the voluntary

instruction of the negroes, as well as the negroes themselves, and the

rest of his Majesty's subjects from oppression. This motion was

supported by Mr. Brougham with a power of argument and eloquence which

has seldom been equalled; and he was followed on the same side by Sir

James Mackintosh, Dr. Lushington, Mr. J Williams, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr.

Denman, and Sir Joseph Yorke. The motion was opposed by Mr. Horton, Mr.

Scarlett, Mr. Tindal, the Attorney General, and Mr. Canning, on the

ground, not of the legality of the proceedings, or of the justice of the

sentence, but that the motion went to condemn unheard the governor of

Demerara, and the court that tried Mr. Smith. On this ground the

previous question was moved and carried by 193 to 146, the largest

minority in the present session. The division, under all the

circumstances of the case may be considered as a triumph. Not an

individual attempted to defend the proceedings. In short, nothing could

have been more decisive of the innocence of Mr. Smith, and the injustice

of his condemnation.