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This, this is worth the denying ourselves and forsaking all things in this World for, if there were no fear of Torment, or Hope of Joy and Bliss, when these Bodies have changed their form.
I say, to have this most sweet, near, inward, intimate and perfect Fellowship, Acquaintance and Conversation Day and Night, at all times with God, and with his dear Children born again, this is Heaven itself, the Kingdom of God is known to be within, not known without above the Skies; in his dear Children, new Moulded, new Made, new Fashioned, and yet old Fashioned, according to Heb. xii. 22, 23. Col. ii 10. iv. 12. I John 2.5. John vi. 56. xvii.3. They were in it, and it was in them, and so it is now with some.
New formed in the Heavenly Image, having the Divine Essence, no Sin, no Deformity, as all Sin is; but Glorious and Beautiful, in the likeness, Nature & Substance of their Father, and are perpage 193] fect and compleat in the whole Will of God, and are compleat in their Beloved not out of him, for without him Mankind with all his Humane, Earthly and Worldly Wisdom, however excellent, were it Ten Thousand times more, all such still remains in Babylon, which is in Confusion, and in the Smoke of the Bottomless Pit, which darken their understandings, and those are in Torment and that is Hell. Coloss. ii.7, 8. Now, those that like to dwell there, and will not come out, I can but pity them.
The Sins of Sodom and many other Countries, (who knows but it may on this, if we do not repent in time) brought the firey Wrath and Indignation of the Lord upon them, whereby they were destroyed, after his merciful long Forbearance.
Q. The Sins of Sodom, What are them, or they?
A. Pride, Fulness of Bread, and abundance of Idealness, and I may say earthly Mindedness or Covetousness, that mighty, mighty, almost Almighty Monster, the chiefest of the Seven Devils and Supream Ruler, Head and Governor in Hell, Babylon and Bottomless Pit. The other Six Devils have Slain their Thousands [page 194] and Tens of Thousands; but this cursed, ugly, hateful, damned piece of Deformity and Mother Midwife, and Nurse of Enormities, has destroyed more Millions of Thousands, as it is thought and hath been thought by discerning and observing Men. Rev. xiii. 1, 2. For what gross Wickedness, I say, was there ever committed in all, or any part of the World, that we have had by Account of, in any History or News-Papers, but this Beast with his Seven Heads, Ten Horns, and Ten Crowns, and his Name of Blasphemy, have not had a share and hand in it, so then all Covetous Men are Beasts, Blasphemers, Lyers, Thieves and Murtherers as well as Idolaters.
Psalm 49. 12, 13, 20.
I Cor. 15, 32. Titus 1. 11, 12. 2 Pet. 2. 12.
I heartily wish we might be brought to see this Sin, as great and as dangerous as it really is, both in Church and State, in Ministers and Hearers, that we might with one accord by Fasting and Prayer, in Spirit and in Truth, Night and Day, in Publick and Private, seek to and beseech the Almighty Lord of Heaven and Earth, that he would be pleased to assist us with Strength and Courage to make War with, and engage against so [page 195] Capital an Enemy that is so dishonorable to God, and all true Religion, destructive to Government and Mankind in general; for I do believe here is in this Land of America, as selfish, sordid, greedy, Covetous, Earthly minded People of almost all Names, as any in the World. Oh!
that some Couragious Valiant little Davids might be raised up and furnished with their Slings, and Smooth Stones taken out of the Brook of the Lord, the River of Life, that runs through or in the Paradise of God, which is Heaven, and sent forth against this great Goliah, that defies the very Armies of the living God, and bring him down, cut off his Head, and give his Carcass, with all the uncircumcised Armies, in all Nations and Countries, to the Beasts of the Field; the Field is the World, Satan is the Beast of the Field, his Fowls are airy, and to the Fowls of the Air, where Satan the Prince of Darkness Rules, there let ‘em go together where they belong, Birds of a Feather let ’em go together; if they love to live in Hell, in Sin let ‘em take it, and the Reward of it, Torment. Kites amongst Chickens, and Wolves with Lambs, come but to devour, it is their Nature.
[page 196] The People in these Countries of America, have been Blessed with a great deal of Plenty and quiet living for many Years; it is to be feared many, yea the greatest Number by far are grown lukewarm, as to Religion especially, and are become careless, forgetful and negligent to make suitable returns to the Almighty for his innumerable favours which he hath been pleased to shower down upon us continually in such abundance, both Spiritually and Temporally for Body and Soul. I believe there was a time when many tender Souls (I hope there is some yet left) lived in a Divine Sense of these great Blessings, and sincerely endeavoured to make suitable returns or acknowledgments to the Lord, the Giver, for the same; by walking and living an Holy, Pious, Temperate, Righteous, Just and a Strict self-denying Life, and and so manifested their Sincerity and Love to the ever Blessed TRUTH, in the fight of God and Man.
By avoiding every thing that might seem to be Sin, these were without Sin, not omitting any thing, they in the Light of TRUTH see to be their Duty. But Oh! Oh! Oh! If such as these Chieftains turn their Backs in the Day of [page 197] Battle (against Sin and Satan.) What will become of the rest of the Army, if these turn with, or like, the Dog to lick up his Filthiness which he had cast out, and with the Swine that washed to wallowing again in the Mire of Sin and Iniquity of every and any Sort. What will become of us;
for old Men, may be some middle Age too, are centered in the Earth, Greedily Grasping and Gaping after the World.
Mamon, Mamon, Mamon, as though Satan ruled in them; for he is God of this World, and Satan is self, self, self unmortified; no worse Devil can be found either in under or above the Ground.
The young once they are got into the airy Region, where the Prince of Darkness rules in the Disobedient Hearts.
Riding, Drinking and Galloping about from House to House, Smoking, Snuffing, Chawing Tobacco, and other unclean fulsom, foul, indecent and Sinful Practice; spending their precious time in their Master (Satan’s) Service, and some wasting the Substance and Estates, which they never wrought for, live and die miserable, and leave their poor Children Forlorn and helpless for others to maintain, when they are gone thinking to their [page 198] Graves, and have left a bad Savour behind them, by their great Intemperance, Idleness, Carelessness and Slothfulness or altogether, and when they have so consumed their Substance, ride up and down to borrow of others, but take little care to pay it again.
Oh! that the poor tender young Creatures, and old too, that are still remaining, might consider in time and turn to the Lord by unfeigned Repentance and Amendment of Life that so those Evils and Misery, which otherwise will come upon them, might be avoided, is the hearty desire of my mind, and that is the end or intent of my Writing. B.L.
As I have said, it has been in my mind a pretty many Years, something concerning the true Reformation, Preservation and Welfare, or well being of Mankind, especially the well educating & instructing of Youth after the best manner or method for the Conservation, and Happiness of Posterity. There is a Method very excellent, called, A Reformation of Learning by William Dell, Author of that excellent Book, called The Tryal of Spirits, in Preachers and Hearers; to which I refer my Reader, hoping it may be of Service, and then my End will be answered intirely.
The Selling of JOSEPH, a Memorial.
By the Hon’ble. Judge Sewal, in New-England.
FORASMUCH as LIBERTY is in real value next unto Life; None ought to part with it themselves, or deprive others of it, but upon most mature Consideration.
The Numerousness of Slaves at this Day in the Province, and the Uneasiness of them under their Slavery, hath put many upon thinking whether the Foundation of it be firmly and well laid;
so as to sustain the Vast Weight that is built upon it. It is most certain that all Men, as they are the Sons of Adam, are Coheirs; and have equal Right unto Liberty, and all other outward Comforts of Life. GOD hath given the Earth [with all its Commodities] unto the Sons of Adam, Psal. 115. 16. And hath made of One Blood, all Nations of Men, for to dwell on all the face of the Earth, and hath determined the Times before appointed, and the bounds of their Habitation: That they should seek the Lord. Forasmuch then as we are the Offspring of GOD, & c. Acts. 17. 26, 27, 29. Now although the Title given by the last ADAM, doth infinitely better Mens Estates, respecting [page 200] GOD and themselves; and grants them a most beneficial and inviolable Lease under the Broad Seal of Heaven, who were before only Tenants at Will; Yet through the Indulgence of God to our First Parents after the Fall, the outward Estate of all and every of their Children, remains the same, as to one another. So that Originally, and Naturally, there is no such thing as Slavery.
Joseph was rightfully no more a Slave to his Brethren, than they were to him; and they had no more Authority to Sell him; than they had to Slay him. And if they had nothing to do to Sell him;
the Ishmaelites bargaining with them, and paying down Twenty pieces of Silver, could not make a Title. Neither could Potiphar have any better Interest in him than the Ishmaelites had. Gen. 37.
20, 27, 28. For he that shall in this case plead Alteration of Property, seems to have forfeited a great part of his own claim to Humanity. There is no proportion between Twenty Pieces of Silver, and LIBERTY. The Commodity itself is the Claimer. If Arabian Gold imported in any quantities, most are afraid to meddle with it, though they might have it at easy be ate; left if it should have been wrongfully.
[page 201] taken for the Owners, it should kindle a fire to the Consumption of their whole Estate. ‘Tis pity there should be more Caution used in buying a Horse, or a little lifeless dust; than there is in purchasing Men and Women: Whenas they are the Offspring of GOD, and their Liberty is,
----------Auro pretiosion Omni.
And seeing GOD hath said, He that stealeth a Man and Selleth him, or if he be found in his Hand, he shall surely be put to Death. Exod. 21. 16. This Law being of Everlasting Equity, wherein Man-Stealing is ranked amongst the most atrocious of Capital Crimes: What louder Cry can there be made of that Celebrated Warning, Caveat Emptor!
And all things considered, it would conduce more to the Welfare of the Province, to have White Servants for a Term of Years, than to have Slaves for Life. Few can endure to hear of a Negro’s being made free; and indeed they can seldom use their Freedom well; yet their continual aspiring after their forbidden Liberty, renders them Unwilling Servants. And there is such a disparity in their Conditions, Colour and Hair, [page 202]
that they can never embody with us, & grow up in orderly Families, to the Peopling of the Land:
but still remaining our Body Politick as a kind of extravasat Blood. As many Negro Men as there are among us, so many empty Places there are in our Train Bands, and the places taken up of Men that might make Husbands for our Daughters. And the Sons and Daughters of NewEngland would become more like Jacob and Rachel, if this Slavery were thrust quite out Doors.
Moreover it is too well known what Temptations Masters are under, to connive at the Fornication of their Slaves; lest they should be obliged to find them Wives, or pay their Fines. It seems to be practically pleaded that they might be Lawless; ‘tis thought much of, that the Law should have Satisfaction for their Thefts, and other Immoralities; by which means, Holiness to the Lord, is more rarely engraven upon this sort of Servitude. It is likewise most lamentable to think, how in taking Negroes out of Africa, and Selling of them here, That which GOD has joined together, Men do boldly rend asunder; Men from their Country, Husbands from their Wives, Parents from their Children.
[page 203] How horrible is the Uncleanness, Mortality, if not Murder, that the Ships are guilty of that bring great Crouds of these miserable Men and Women. Methinks, when we are bemoaning the barbarous Usage of our Friends and Kinsfolk in Africa, it might not be unseasonable to enquire whether we are not culpable in forcing the Africans to become Slaves amongst ourselves. And it may be a question whether all the Benefit received by Negro Slaves, will balance the Acompt of Cash laid out upon them; and for the Redemption of our own enslaved Friends out of Africa.
Besides all the Persons and Estates that have perished there.
Obj. I. These Blackamores are of the Posterity of Cham, and therefore are under the Curse of Slavery. Gen. 9. 25, 26, 27.
Ans. Of all Offices, one would not beg this; viz. Uncall’d for, to be an Executioner of the Vindictive Wrath of God; the extent and duration of which is to us uncertain. If this ever was a Commission; How do we know but that it is long since out of Date? Many have found it to their Cost, that a Prophetical Denunciation of Judgment against a [page 204] Person or People, would not warrant them to inflict that evil. If it would, Hazael might justify himself in all he did against his Master, and the Israelites, from 2 Kings 8. 10, 12.
But it is possible that by cursory reading, this Text may have been mistaken. For Canaan is the Person Cursed three times over, without the mentioning of Cham. Good Expositors suppose the Curse entailed on him, and that this Prophesie was accomplished in the Extirpation of the Canaanites. Vide Pareum. Whereas the Blackmores are not descended of Canaan, but of Cusb.
Psal. 68. 31. Princes shall come out of Egypt [Mizraim] Ethiopia [Cush] shall soon slretch out her Hands unto God. Under which Names, all Africa may be comprehended; and their Promised Conversion ought to be prayed for. Jer. 13. 23. Can the Ethiopian change his Skin? This shews that Black Men are the Posterity of Cush: Who time out of mind have been distinguished by their Colour. And for want of the true, Ovid assigns a fabulous cause of it.
Sanguine turn credunt in corpora sumnia vocato Etkioupum populos nigrum trexisse colorem.
Metamorph. lib. 2.
[page 205] Obj. 2. The Nigers are brought out of a Pagan Country, into places where the Gospel is Preached.