Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Reverend Morgan Godwyn

Answer one of the following questions:

  • What were Reverend Godwyn's chief arguments against the practice of slavery?
  • What is Godwyn's view of the planter class?
  • How does Godwyn's experience in both Barbados and Virginia shape his argument?

9 comments:

Thabie Melvin said...

One of Godwyn's chief arguments against the practice of Slavery is seen on page 72 .Here he accuses the Slave owners one for not bringing the gospel to their slaves but also for treating their slaves in a manner not accepted by Christianity. In this argument he mentions that the slaves were " Pitifully underfed inadequately clothed, and ruthlessly overworked."
Another argument that Godwyn presents is that in his opinion it was "moreover worse to cosign slaves to eternal damnation be keeping them from the gospel than to enslave them in the first place, which implied that both sins were against human kind." He also argues that Christian slave should have better treatment and privileges then they got.

KristinSheppard said...

Having lived in both Barbados and Virginia, Godwyn was able to compare the two in their practices of slavery. He witnessed firsthand how the slave owners treated their slaves. He noticed the resistance of the slave owners to deny their slaves to receive Christianity, and the ignorance of the Europeans to believe the brutality. He refuted the belief that slaves were less than human, writing about instances where they were able to read and write, and comprehend the bible. His experiences and dealings with the slaves shaped his argument that they are capable of becoming Christians; his experiences with the slave holders resistance shaped his argument to write his beliefs.

monica said...

Godwyn saw the planter class as ignorant and abusive people. The planters told Godwyn that they did not teach their slaves the gospel because they would not understand it. That was only one of the reasons. Godwyn said no not only would they understand it but they would become better slaves. He is almost saying wake up! Godwyn said that the bonds of religion would tie them together in war against the enemies. This was not someting the planter class believed or there would have been more converts.

Peggy Maria said...

Godwyn viewed the planter class as cruel and heathenish towards Africans. Godwyn considered the planter class his opponents because of their denial to allow Africans to have exposure to religion. Godwyn's efforts to bring Christianity to the Africans were met with opposition, and barriers were put in his path. Many of the planter class scoffed at Godwyn and said he was wasting his time. Godwyn considered the denial of religion to blacks to be the most deplorable act. Godwyn vented his wrath against the planter class and in turn, he felt their wrath towards him. The planter class threatened him and verbally abused him. Godwyn recounted these atrocities of the planter class in his writings. He wanted everyone to be aware of the brutal tactics of the planter class to thwart the Christianization of slaves.

Tori said...

Godwyn thought the planter class lacked morals because they cared more about money and profit than slaves who he considered to be human and worthy of at least decent treatment. He thought their terrible treatment of the slaves, such as underfeeding and overworking them, made planters more heathenish than slaves. He also didn’t agree with the reluctance to convert slaves to Christianity. He thought it was the least slave holders could do for the slaves, since it was already so unfortunate that they were slaves.

Matthew McConnell said...

Godwyn saw the planter class as one that was focused more on the monetary aspect of slaveholding and refused to allow their slaves to be Christianized. This can be seen on page 72, where Godwyn "berated slave owners for not only failing to bring, or even allow anyone else to bring, the gospel to their slaves but for treating them with such un-Christian cruelty that the masters were more heathenish than their bondsmen." Godwyn even gave a sermon in 1685 in Westminister Abbey in which he made greed the central theme. This came out of Godwyn's belief that the colonial slave owners "know no other God but Money, nor Religion but Profit." Godwyn's overall view of the planter class is one of greed and selfishness, along with that the planter class did not want the slaves to know Christianity at all.

clthacker said...

Reverend Godwyn's chief arguments were slave owner brutality and the fault of the slave owners not bring the gospel to their slaves.He believed that the slave owners, not the slaves themselves were the obstacle to Christianity for Africans. His main audience was slave owners and he tried to target these issues with the owners themselves and less with legislature.

PaulT said...

Reverend Godwyn was against the institution of slavery in more ways than one. He pointed out the ways slave owners hindered their slaves from Christianity such as continuous labor, and harsh punishments unleashed on slaves who dared to become baptized. Godwyn also commented on the abuse ministers faced if they desired to Christianize the black slaves. The Reverend made it a point to also mention that slaves were treated in such un-Christian ways that he viewed the slave owners as heathens. He hated how the lives of the slaves took a back seat to the lust for profits by the planters. Godwyn was obviously horrified by the ways slaves were mutilated and butchered as well. As it was pointed out by Vaughan, Reverend Godwyn can be seen as an early abolitionist type.

Colin said...

Reverend Godwyn, while not trying to bring down the institution of slavery (he in fact defended it through the Bible) did have some qualms against it. His first was that the slave owners were not bringing Christianity to their slaves, and even turning away missionaries. This was totally unacceptable to Godwyn who thought that all should be able to hear the Gospel. His second big argument was the brutality of the slave masters. This was almost worse to Godwyn since Christians were treating their slaves the exact opposite of how a good Christian should.