«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
Ans. Evil must not be done, that good may come of it. The extraordinary and comprehensive Benefit accruing to the Church of God, and to Joseph personally, did not rectify his Brethrens Sale of him.
Obj. 3. The Africans have Wars one with another: Our Ships bring lawful Captives taken in those Wars.
Answ. For aught is known, their Wars are much such as were between Jacob’s Sons and their Brother Jacob’s. If they be between Town and Town; Provincial or National: Every War is upon one side Unjust. An Unlawful War can’t make lawful Captives. And by Receiving, we are in danger to promote, and partake in their Barbarous Cruelties. I am sure, if come Gentlemen should go down to the Brewsters to take the Air, and Fish: And a stronger Party from Hall should surprise them, and sell them for Slaves to a Ship outward bound: they would think themselves unjustly dealt with; both by Sellers and Buyers. And yet ‘tis to be feared, we have no other kind of Title to our Nigers. Therefore [page 206] all things whatsoever ye would that Men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matt. 7. 12.
Obj. 4. Abrham had Servants bought with his Money, and born in his House Answ. Until the Circumstances of Abraham’s purchase be recorded, no Argument can be drawn from it. In the mean time, Charity obliges us to conclude, that He knew it was lawful and good.
It is Observable that the Israelite, were strictly forbidden the buying, or selling one another for Slaves. Levit 25. 39, 46. For 34. 8---22. And GOD gaged His Blessing in lieu of any loss they might conceit they suffered thereby. Dent. 15. 18. And since the partition Wall is broken down, inordinate Self-love should likewise be demolished. GOD expects that Christians should be of a more Ingenious and benign frame of Spirit. Christians should carry it to all the World, as the Israelites were to carry it one towards another. And for Men obstinately to persist in holding their Neighbours and Brethren under the Rigor of perpetual Bondage, seems to be no proper way of gaining Assurance that God has given them Spiritual Freepage 207] dom. Our Blessed Saviour has altered the Measures of the ancient Love-Song, and set it to a most Excellent New-Tune, which all ought to be ambitious of Learning. Matt. 5. 43, 44. John 13.
34. These Ethiopians, as black as they are; seeing they are the Sons and Daughters of the First Adam, the Brethren and Sisters of the Last ADAM, and the Offspring of GOD; They ought to be treated with a Respect agreeable.
Servitus perfecta voluntaria, inter Chrisnanum & Christianum, ex parle servi patientis saepe est licita, quia est necessaria; sed ex parte domini agentis, & procurando exercende, sux potest esse licita; quia non convenit regule illi genecrali: Quaonque volueritis ut faciam vobis homines, ita & vos facite eis. Matt. 7.12.
Perfecta servitus, pana non potest jure locum habere, nii ex delicto gravi quod ultimum supplicum aliquot modo meretur: quia Libertas ex naturali astimatione proxime accedit ad uitam ipsam, & eidem a multis praeferri solet.
Ames. Caf. Conse. Lib. 5.
Cap. 23. Thes. 2,3.
[page 208] Something concerning Back-Biting; that spreading soul Disease, that does so much mischief in the World.
DEAR Friends, meet often together, in the Name and Fear of the living God, and take heed of Words, see that the Witness speaks, which will cut down our own Wills, and it will Minister to the Witness in others, to the slaying of their Wills; and take heed of Watching one over another with an evil Eye, to spy out one anothers weakness, and declare it to others, and discover their Nakedness: Thou that art here are cursed Ham, and the Wrath of God will be revealed upon thee, but watch one over another with a pure single Eye, and if thou see the pure in Bondage, in any one by the Deceit, whisper thou, not behind their Back to others but let the witness in thee which sees the Deceit, and suffers with the Pure that is pressed down by it, let it declare and witness forth the mind of the living God against the Deceit, and it will cut it down, and the Pure Holy Seed will be set at Liberty, and thy Conscience will be kept clean unto the Lord in discharging thy Duty, and so will thy Captivated [page 209] Brother or Sister be restored again forth out of the Hand of the Destroyer, and then thou wilt have Unity together, in that which is pure forever in the Lord, and the eternal God of Power keep you all his Dear Children, in his pure Wisdom, to walk faithfully with him and one with another, and the Blessing of the Lord God Almighty be with you all, forever, Amen.
AN EPISTLE of William Leddra to Friends, Written by him the Day before he was put to Death.
To the Society of the little Flock of Christ, Grace and Peace be Multiplied.
Most dear and inwardly Beloved, THE sweet Influence of the Morning Star, like a Flood distilling into my Innocent Habitation, hath so filled me with the Joy of the Lord, in the Beauty of Holiness, that my Spirit is as if it did not inhabit a Tabernacle of Clay but is wholly swallowed up in the Bosom of Eternity, from whence it had its being.
Alas, Alas, what can the Wrath and Sprit of Man, that Lusteth to Envy, [page 210] aggravated by the Heat and Strength of the King of the Locusts which came out of the Pit, do unto one that is hid in the Secret Places of the Almighty, or unto them that are gathered under the healing Wings of the Prince of Peace, under whose Armour of Light they shall, be able to stand in the Day of Tryal, having on the Breast-Plate of Righteousness and the Sword of the Spirit, which is their Weapon of War against Spiritual Wickedness, Principalities and Powers, and the Rulers of the Darkness of this World both within and without. Oh! my beloved, I have waited as a Dove, at the Windows of the Ark, and have stood still in that Watch, which the Master (without whom I could do nothing) did Reward at his Coming with fullness of Love, wherein my Heart did rejoyce, that I might in the Love and Life of God, speak a few Words to you, sealed with the Spirit of promise, that the taste thereof might be a favour of Life to your Life, and a Testimony in you of my Innocent Death, and if I had been altogether Silent, and the Lord had not opened my Mouth unto you, yet he would have opened your Hearts, and there have Sealed my Innocency with the Streams [page 211] of life, by which we were all Baptized into that body which is in God, with whom and in whose Presence there is Life, in which as you abide, you stand upon the Pillar and Ground of TRUTH, for the Life being the TRUTH and the Way, go not one step without it, lest you Compass a Mountain in the Wilderness, for unto every thing there is a Season, as the flowing of the Ocean doth fill every Creek and Branch thereof, and then retires again towards its own being and fullness, and leaves a favour behind it, so doth the Life and Virtue of God, flow into every one of your Hearts, whom he hath made partakers of his Divine Nature, and when it withdraws but a little it leaves a sweet favour behind it, that many can say they are made clean through the Word that he hath spoken to them, in which Innocent Condition you see what you are in the Presence of God, and what you are without him; therefore my dear Hearts, let the enjoyment of the Life alone, be your hope, your Joy, and Consolation, and let the Man of God flee those things, that would lead the mind out of the Cross, for then the favour of the Life will be Buried, and alto’ some may speak of [page 212] things that they received in the Life, as Experiences, yet the Life being veiled, and the favour that it left behind washed away by the fresh Floods of Temptation, the Condition that they enjoyed in the Life, boasted of by the Airy things, will be like that Manna that was gathered Yesterday without any good scent or favour, for it was only well with the Man when he was in the Life of Innocency, but being driven from the Presence of the Lord into the Earth, what can he boast of?
although you know these things, and (many of you) much more than I can say, yet for the Love and Zeal I bear to the TRUTH and Honour of God, and tender desire of my Soul, to those that are young, that may read me in that from which I write, to strengthen them against the subtil Wiles of the Serpent that beguil’d Eve; I say, stand into the Watch within, in the fear of the Lord, which is the very entrance of Wisdom, and the State where you are ready to receive the Secrets of the Lord: Hunger and thirst patiently, be not weary, neither doubt, stand still and cease from thy own Working, and in due time thou shalt enter into the Rest, and thy Eyes shall behold thy Salvation, whose Testimonies are sure [page 213] and righteous altogether; let them be as a Seal upon thy Arm and as Jewels about thy Neck, that others may see what the Lord hath done for your Souls; confess him before Men, yea before his greatest Enemies, fear not what they can do unto you, greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the World, for he will cloath you with Humility, and the Power of his Meekness; you shall reign over all the rage of your Enemies in the favour of God, wherein as you stand in Faith, ye are the Salt of the Earth, for many seeing your good Works may glorify God in the Day of their Visitation; take heed of receiving that which you saw not in the Light, lest you give Ear to the Enemy; bring all things to the Light that they may be proved whether they be wrought in God, the Love of the World, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eye are without the Light, in the World, therefore possess your Vessels in Sanctification and Honour, and let your Eye look at the Mark, he that hath called you in Holy; and if there be an Eye that offends, pluck it out and cast it from you; let not a Temptation take hold, for if you do it will keep from the favour of God, and that will be a sad State, for without [page 214]
Boston Goal, the 18TH of the But the Day before he suffered Death Fifth Month, 1660-1661.
There are several other Letters and Epistles of this dear Lamb’s Writing and some other of our Friends, that were put to Death at Boston about same time, very weighty, with Sweet and Heavenly Advice, Caution, and Consolation and Comfort; all well worthy to be Reprinted; (but Oh me! Ink and Paper is too short) Written by Marmaduke Stevenson, William Robins and Mary Dyer, which were put to Death at Boston, beside others that were Condemned, of which a large Account is given of our Friends called Quakers Sufferings, by George Bishop, in his Book called New-England Judged, by the Spirit of the Lord.
I say, all Writing and Printing is too short, although by the directing of the Holy Ghost, without its own Work in [page 215] the Heart of Mankind, that is and ever will be the Summum Bonum.
I should be heartily sorry (I can say) if any of our Friends called Quakers should go about to attempt or undertake or assume to act the same things as the Bostoneers did to their Progenitors, it would be a bad Savour for or to our Testimony to the unchangeable TRUTH which we profess, and our dear tender and much Honorable and worthy Elders suffered so much for in OldEngland, as well as New-England, and other Countries. Oh this would be sorrowful for me and many other of my dear Friends to see or hear of, for Persecution is of the same Nature amongst all People wherever it comes, it points to its Center Root and Foundation, from whence it springs, and that is from the Pit, without Bottom, no good Bottom or Foundation, but full of smoke, and some false and soul Fire, which does abundance of hurt sometimes, amongst Brethren and Neighbours too, and in Kingdoms and Nations far and near; read Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, Josephus Wars of the Jews, History of the Waldenses, the Spirit of the Martyrs Revived, and of latter date, the History of the Wars in [page 216] England and Ireland, and in Boston; they were going on valiantly in their Master Satan’s Service, for time I never heard or read the like of it in Story, all things consider’d, and how far they would have proceeded if they had not been stop, no Man knows.
Q. And this Persecution began with Tongues, how so, may some say?
A. Why, there was a People raised up in Old England, whose Meat and Drink it was to do the Will of God, were Christ’s Friends and his own Brethren and Sisters, Begotten and Born of the same Father. I say born of the same Father, the TRUTH, which is the true God and eternal Life, these Saints hearing there was People Settled in America, that fled from Persecution in Old England, which were full of Notion, and empty of the Life of True Religion (as many of all Professions are) thought it their Duty to instruct the Ignorant, and them that were out of the way of God, and yet may be some thought in the way they were was right, as Man’s ways are right in his own Eyes, often times when he is wrong, as it appeared by those People in Boston.
[page 217] These dear Creatures loving the Truth more than all Men, leaves their Wives, Women their Husbands and Children, & their dear beloved inwardly Friends, & their other outward Comforts, in a faithful obedience undertakes a long hazardous, dangerous and chargeable Voyage to Boston, in the Love of TRUTH, to visit these high, yet very low, those full very full, yet empty Professors, as high as Heaven in conceit, and as low as the Earth in Substance, as full as the Sea in Pretention, as empty as Hell in goodness, as afterward was manifest, by their Murthering of several of the Saints and Servants of the living God, the Eternal TRUTH, and is the pure Holy Word, by which these Saints were Sanctified and cleansed throughout from all Sin, as well as the Saints before of old or since; they were and are made clean through this Word that speak to and in them, not in Notion but Experience, and it is the same now, where true Love, and pure Faith unfeigned ( not a sinful Faith ) abounds above all, Glory, Honour and Praise to this living Word, nothing to Man, no, no, not in the least Degree.