som. He moved right on, as his Saviour led him; and
others, won by the loveliness of truth shining in him, came
up with him to the advocacy of righteousness. Satan
raged—then trembled—then fell—and the fresh ocean air
of Britain again became too pure for a slave to breathe in.
It may here be observed, that Stewart, in prosecuting his
tyrant claim against Somerset, was supported by the
mighty influence and wealth of the West Indian faction.
4th. We are taught the liability to the basest influences
of the finest minds—and the consequent danger of resting
upon human opinion.
In the beginning of his researches, Granville Sharp had
found and noted the following passage in Blackstone's Com¬
mentaries, Book I, page 123, edition 1st. "And this spirit
of liberty, is so deeply implanted in our Constitution, and
rooted even in our very soil, that a slave or a negro, the
moment he lands in England, falls under the protection of
the laws, and with regard to all national rights, becomes
eo instanti a freeman."
This passage being quoted in one of the trials, was tri¬
umphantly repelled by the opposite counsel, who produced
the volume from which the quotation was made, and instead
of the words as noted by Granville Sharp, read as follows :
"A negro, the moment he lands in England, falls under the
protection of the laws, and so far becomes a freeman;
though the master's right to his service may possibly re¬
main." Upon further investigation, it was found that in
the course of the trials, Dr. Blackstone himself, had made
this alteration in the subsequent editions ; thus exhibiting
man's dreadful liability to corrupt influence, and the great¬
ness of the debt of gratitude which we owe to God, for
raising up in the moment of emergency, such a vindicator
of his truth as Granville Sharp.
Thus were the British Isles delivered from slavery.
Thus became they cities of refuge for the slave ! Let him
but land there, and miserable as the roof might be under
which he slept, he slept in safety ! No more was he liable
to be hunted through the streets as a beast of prey ! He
walked secure by the side of the stately ship, and feared no