in the evangelical movement that swept through the ranks of New World blacks. He undertook missionary drives in the south where he succeeded in setting up Baptist churches in the state of Georgia. At the outbreak of the Revolution, George was already an accomplished religious pioneer, as became evident when he was evacuated to Nova Scotia, where he arrived in 1782. There he resumed his preaching activity, putting up what he called 'a meeting house' and holding revival sessions. John Clarkson, brother of Thomas Clarkson and who arrived in Nova Scotia after Thomas Peters' intervention in London, went to one of George's revival meetings and testified about George's talent for the vocation. 'I never remember', said Clarkson, 'to have heard the Psalms sung so charmingly in my life before'. No business, obstacle, or thought of favour was capable of deterring George 'from offering up his praises to his Creator'. When in 1792 Clarkson as an 'unlikely Pied Piper' led the Nova Scotian blacks 'across the sea to the coasts of Africa', George, not surprisingly, was among their number. New World antislavery sentiments crossed the Atlantic to the African continent to decisive effect, for good and ill.
In Freetown, George expanded the scope of his work. He continued with his preaching duties, naturally, but he assumed an increasing role as community leader and unpaid ombudsman for the settlers. He defended what he called 'the religious rights' of the Nova Scotians against attempts by the authorities to impose an official Christianity as safeguard against seditiously inclined black preachers. Britain was a recovering protagonist of the American Revolution, still allergic to republican ideas in religion and politics, and still wary of the contagion in the colony of 'open house' religion, that is, with homes serving also as places ofworship. But the settlers would not budge, with George making the argument on their behalf that the status of blacks before God as carrying no stigma or prejudice should be reflected in their freedom and equality in state and society, however objectionably republican that might sound.
Officials decried such views as antinomian and they instituted the Colony Chaplaincy as a deterrent, refusing to recognize, or perhaps fearing, that the settlers were not preaching anarchy or subjective retreat, but a social activism of their own vintage. The charge of antinomianism was based on a theological misunderstanding, namely, the erroneous view that the settlers were appealing to the doctrine which says that 'to the pure all things are pure', so that those who are saved consider themselves exempt from moral and political accountability. That was, however, far from the case with the settlers. On a visit to London in 1793, for example, George urged commitment to the cause of abolition and mission in Africa, pleading with his English friends to bestir themselves to a similar endin England. On that visit George met John Newton, co-author ofthe
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