«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
Ver.17. And that no Man might buy or sell, save be that had the Mark, or the Name of the Beast, or the Number of his Name: Is it not so now in our Church Discipline? How many has been opposed in Meetings of Business, which could not receive the Beast Mark, in buying & selling Slaves and Souls of Men, the very worst part of the Idolatry; the grand old Whore’s or Merchandize.
Ver.18. Here is Wisdom. Let him that hath understanding, count the Number of the Beast; for it is the Number of a Man, and his Number is Six Hundred three score and fix; about the Age of some old Men, so many Months, all pointing to the Beastly Nature in Man, as I humbly conceive, or the Wisdom that is from below, which the Man of God calls earthly devilish; some Men now, as well as [page 117] of old, know nothing but what they know naturally as bruit Beasts.
Well my dear Friends, I hope, and know better Things of many of you, & Things which accompany Salvation tho’ I thus write, and sincerely with it might be so with all. Rev. 14. 9, 10.
They that worship the Beast, or his Image, or receive his Mark, must be so tormented.
Abington, the 5th of the 7th Mo. 1736.
IT was well said of one, Where the Truth of God suffers, there Unity is Schism, Church Government is Tyranny, and the Church is Rout.
Psal. 133. A glorious and precious thing indeed, is true Unity; but I know no stronger Bulwark the Devil has against it, in the Church of Christ, than Slave-Keeping, and all the train of abominable Filthiness, which does and will attend it, and is inseparable from it (especially in Ministers) who by their foul Example have lead (I suppose) many Hundreds, if not Thousands into the Snare, and will many, yea very many more, if there is not some more effectual and speedy care taken to prevent, withstand and suppress so potent and Enemy as it is, both in Church and State; what [page 118] I pray and beseech you, my dear Friends, whose Love and Unity in the Gospel Fellowship, which is sweet and precious, pure and peaceable, easy to be intreated; this I say is what I desire more than all the World, or a Thousand Lives, let People say what they please of me or my Proceedings, for the Truth’s sake, and all my fellow Creatures present and eternal Welfare, my witness is in Heaven, and in many of my Truth’s dear Friends whose Unity is precious to me and sometimes overcoming, in the pure precious Life of the Lamb; what, I say, will become of the innumerable Off-spring that is coming up, if all should have Slaves to do their Work within Doors and without, as many has, they might or may perish for want of Business, to get a Piece of Bread or a Coat to put on, in the next Generation, and so on without end. O hard Lot! I have been often asked what shall we do? If it is so hard now, what will you do when they are more increased, for they grow on us, as in other Places.
Isa. 3. 8, 9, 16. Ezek. 22.12, 13 to the end. 25. 26, 27, 28, 29.
Hebr. 13. 1, 2, 3. Some entertain Strangers, Slaves, not very much like Angels, but after an Hellish manner;
[page 119] how does our Demure Slave-Keepers remember them, that are in Bonds as bound with ‘em, except as Slaves are bound to them, so they to the Devil, and stronger, for as Death loosens one, it fastens the other in eternal Torments if not repented and forsaken.
2 Peter. I.5, to10. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see a far off; what will become of Posterity, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old Sins, and yet continues Preaching with great Demurity; O where is these Peoples Love, for they have cast down many wounded, and drawn many into the Snare by their bad Example, & twisting and straining Scripture, and all to cover their Sin.
Well my dear Friends, I can truly say with great Sincerity, I write these things, not to offend, but to inform, caution, and advise them that are concerned, to pray to the Lord for Wisdom and Strength of faith, to quit their Hands of them before it is too late; a Day of Vengeance will come.
We are apt to blame Pyrates for Stealing some of our Goods and Merchandize, and it may be they have many of them been brought up and instructed in that, [page 120] that is a hundred times worse, that cursed Guinea Trade.
O! O! That my Soul could find some relief, for the distress that is hath been in, for 17 Years and more at times, on this sad Account; but if Friends will not hear, O believe me, mine Eyes shall weep sore in Secret. B.L.
Because the Lord’s Camp is in Captivity; for they that keep Captives, are in Captivity and Bondage, and brings many of their Friends, Male and Female into Bondage, because of their Sin, and continuing in it.
Your Fathers have built a Wall of Iniquity, and you are daubing it with untempered Mortar, in Keeping Slaves & pleading for it; O vile and shameless practice, which we ought to be separated from, especially Ministers and Elders, whose example is ten times worse than others; such worthy Friends as them! Sure I may as well as he? Says the unthinking covetous Atheist, and may be some sober minded amongst all professions. So here the Leprosy spreads, and it spreads more and more; but dear Friends what shall we do in the end thereof, for my dear Friends, I think it is easy to prove that there is as great disproporpage 121] tion between Slave-Keeping, take it root and branch, and all the sad Fruit it brings forth, as there is between Light and Darkness, Christ & Belial.
2 Cor. 6. Chap. Read in the fear and love of God, our Saviour.
Ezek. 13. 10, to the end. One Built a wall the others daub it, wresting, and as a Nose of Wax, perverting Scripture, to justice, excuse or connive at Keeping Slaves; here’s Work for Minister!
Rev. 13. I, to II. The Beast that came up out of the Earth with two Horns like a Lamb, very demure, speaks like a Dragon, if it’s opposed; so does our Slave-Keeping Ministers, to my certain knowledge; they cry out sadly against R. Sandiford’s Mystery of Iniquity, which he writ in the fear of God, and his Fellow Creatures, which has kept many out of the Damned Snare; he that doubteth is damned, what is not of Faith is Sin.
Gen. 49. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26.
Gen. 13. 7, 8, 9. And Abrahim said unto Lot, Let there be no strife between me and thee, [I pray thee, for we be Brethren, depart I pray thee from me; if thou wilt take the left Hand, then will I go to the [page 122] right; or if thou go to the right, then will I go to, or take the left.
Lev. 22. 1, 2, 3. Numb. 6. 1, to 3 16. 20, to 26. 1 Kings. 8.53. Ezek. 6. 10, 11, 12, 13. Exodus.
33. 15, 16.
How can we expect the Holy presence of our God to go with us, if we keep our Fellow Creatures in everlasting Bondage, them and their Wives and Children.
Ezra. 9.1, to the end. Much to the to the purpose. Nebem. 13. 3. 2 Car. 6. 15, to the end. Gal.
2. 11, 12, 13. Many eminent Persons have been carried away with Slave-Keeping--Preachers bad example and foul Doctrine, and many more will I fear be so; O the Ministry, the Ministry is corrupted.
Job. 3. 1, to the end. If Job complained so heavily, well may our poor Slaves, and their Posterity. Some Friends has argued, when a People were grown very wicked, the Almighty was pleased to give them up, or suffer ‘em to be brought into Captivity, Bondage or Slavery, as he did own People and others: Well & what if it is so now, shall we join with the Heathen in Covetousness, to be as the Rod of his wrath; but I pray what bepage 123] comes of all Rods when they are done with? burned, or some way destroyed; it may be well for us to consider it may be our own lot, sooner than we are aware.
Isa. 62. 1, to the end. This Chapter likewise is very excellent if read with an inlighted mind, and that is the first thing to be prayed for, in order to a right understanding of what we read.
James. 4. 1, to 6. Then we shall know that War and Fighting, Killing and Stealing and receiving Slaves, and Souls of Men, cometh of our Lusts, which warreth in our Members, against the pure Holy Spirit of God in our Hearts.
Phil. 3. 18. O my beloved Friends, can a Minister of the Gospel, of Jesus Christ, which is the Power of God, keep Slaves and not be an Enemy to the Holy Cross of Christ; my Friends, I can freely call you, that are born again, and truly fear God, and love his pure Truth more than all, of what Nation or Profession soever you are, you I do believe abhor this vile practice, much more to be found in it.
Dear Friends, I have been for many [page 124] Years, almost 20 before I ever saw Pennsylvania, closely exercised, and sorely oppressed with a false and forward Ministry, where Slave-Keeping is not permitted by Law, and has been I firmly believe a great means of bringing in and spreading the Apostacy, and so continues to do, by some that pretend to preach freely, as well or ill as by the barefaced Hirelings of our time, who cannot deny but that they make a trade of Preaching for their Bellies, but gross Apostacy by the way.
I have had it in my mind for a considerable time, to write something concerning a false AntiChristian Ministry, and true Christian Ministry, fitted and sent forth by the Spirit of Truth itself, in this our day, with the Epistles of many worthy Men, of several persuasions, on that Subject;
but fearing it will swell this Volume too large; it is thought best to be reserved for another Impression, with something concerning the Kingdom, of Heaven, or Heavenly Kingdom, what it is, and where it is to be found, with the most ready, sure and certain way to attain it, plainly described; for the sake of the sincere in heart, who are traveling toward Sion, with their Faces [page 125] thiterward, of all persuasions, whose present and eternal welfare, I wish and desire for, as for my own Soul, of all Colours and Countries. B.L.
As no Man or Men can set forth in Words spoken or written, the great good, service, comfort, joy, strength & consolation, a true Ministry sent from God has been, and is of, for the building up
of the true Church in God, in their most Holy Faith:
So no Men or Angels, nor all the Men in the World can declare to the full, the great evil, that a false Ministry, sent from the Devil, has been, and is of, for the Building up of the false Church in their sinful, and unholy Faith and Practice.
I had it also much in my mind to write something concerning the Lives of the Primitive Christians, mentioned by William Penn, in his No Cross No Crown, and Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, Thomas a Kempis’s Christian Pattern, Michael de Molinus’s Spiritual Guide, a Book called The Apostolick Fathers, and some of the best of the Philosophers and others, which I have by me, which might be of Service, to them that live single Lives espage 126] pecially; but it must be left till another time.
O the strict Rules of Temperance that was amongst those Quakers in Old-England! what Persecution then was by Plundering, Robbing, and ruining of Families? What Whipping and Imprisoning, many Hundreds at a time, some suffocated to Death, some imprisoned during Life, some Banished, and other ways Tortured.
Then about the same in N. England, how many of our first dear and true Friends, called Quakers, suffered there by plundering and ruining of Families, Whipping and Banishing almost continually, with cutting of Ears, and Hanging there was in that Day, for the sake of the Testimony of or for the pure Holy unchangeable Truth, and of good Conscience, against all Iniquity, Cruelty, Bloodshed and Inhumanity, which was acted there, by them that had fled from Old-England to save their Backs and their Purses, according to the Account in a Book writ by George Bishop, called New-England Judged.
Much more might be writ concerning these and such like things, which might fill many large Volumes in Folio. But this [page 127] is not like Slave-Keeping; for those were dispatched or set at Liberty, and some crime or cause pretended; but these for no fault, so much as pretended, but only Devilish Covetousness in the Stealers and Receivers, and then by a lingering Martyrdom from one twenty Years to another, some above Ground and some under Ground in Caves & Dens or Mines, are Murthered by Working hard, and Starving, Whipping, Racking, Hanging, Burning, Scalding, Roasting, and other Hellish Torments, very sorrowful to consider. O when will there be an end of these Things, seeing it now going on with main strength by almost all Parties, as well as by some of those that pretend to the most strict self-denying Doctrine in the World, that is so full of Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness to the very worst of Enemies, Tenderness, Meekness, Mildness, Sweetness of love, and Pity to all Creatures of all kinds; the merciful Man is merciful to his Beast, and yet some of these Pretenders to this Purity can join with these Men-Killers and Stealers for Gain, which is hard to write, but it is True.
But yet I do know there is a faithful Remnant amongst the People called [page 128] Quakers, in America, that are zealous against this and all other Iniquity, to whom my Soul is nearly united in Spirit, blessed be the Lord my God, for so great a favour for evermore. And I believe some of other Professions also, whom I dearly love; and I have some Hope the Number of all Sorts, that truly fear God and Love his Truth at Heart, will increase, which I should rejoice to hear and see, although Things seem to look dark at present. B.L.
Abington, the 3d of the 3d Mo. 1736, between 3 and 4 this Morning.
IT was again revived in my Mind, the Practice of Slave-keeping, and thus to query.
Whether it is not as wicked and sinful a Practice to keep and trade in Slaves, as to commit the following Evils and filthy Abominations, which are now in Custom I suppose by Jew and Gentile, to whom our brave Slavekeepers allude, Abraham and the Law. That is to say, Keeping many Wives and Harlots or Concubines, going to and making use of Harlots when they please, and Mankind too; and many other Things mentioned in the Old Testament, and other Histories, and by Peter Charron in his Book of Wisdom, page 324.
[page 129] The 15th of the 1st month, 1736, 7.
JOHN MILTON wrote a Treatise concerning the likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church, which I gave to King George the I. and to the present King and Queen, that they might see what a Company of destructive Vermin they had about them. And I think there is as much need now to keep such as are of the same Spirit out of the Church, or it is in great Danger in the Opinion of some seeing worthy Friends, who can see beyond Profession, Formality or worldly Interest.