«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
[page 51] Ver. 30. How shall one chase a Thousand, while this Trade is practised by us as a People.
Ver. 31. But blessed be the pure Name of our God, the Negroe-Keeping Rock is not our Rock, even our Enemies themselves being Judges; they are Enemies, though called Friends.
Ver. 32. For their vine is the vine of Sodom, and their Fruit bitter as Gall and Wormwood, as is very well known.
Ver. 33. Their Wine, their pleasures, and Profit, gotten by Slave-Keeping, will be as the Poison of Dragons, and the cruel Venom of Asps, in the end, or I am mistaken.
Ver. 41. Will not the Lord whet his glittering Sword, and take vengeance on such Enemies, that pretend to preach Truth, and Practice a Lie, the greatest in the world.
Job xx.12. Though this wickedness Slave-Keeping, be sweet in the Mouth, they can salve it with smooth Words, yet Torment is under the Tongue.
Ver. 13. Though he spare his Sin, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his Mouth; will not confess how it is within him.
Ver.14. Yet his Meat in his Bowels is [page 52] turned, his pleasant Gain, gotten by his Slaves, and swallowed down, it will bite as bad as the Gall of Asps and Vipers Tongue within him, if not repented of and forsaken before Death; for when Death approaches, Sin will sting.
Ver.17. Such without Repentance and forsaking, shall not see the Rivers, the Floods, the Brooks of Honey and Butter, that flow in a pure Conscience, and Holy Souls.
Amos vi. 12. Have not some turned Judgment, in Discipline into Gall, and Hemlock, which is bitter Poison.
Job xxi. 6, to 14. They that think they have the Blessing of God, with Slave-Keeping, because they prosper in this World. Psa. xvii. 10, and lxxiii. 3. Let such be intreated to read these Scriptures, to the end; for says David, I was envious at the wicked, or foolish, when I saw the property of the wicked, and so goes on, very excellently indeed.
Habb. i. 3, 4, 16. Why doesn’t thou show me iniquity, Men are in it, therefore wrong judgement proceedeth.
Isa. xxviii. 15, 17, 18, 19, 29, 21. You that keep Slaves, your covenant with Death, and Hell shall be broken when the over-flowing Scourge shall pass through [page 53] then ye shall be trodden down by it; the Lord hasten the time, faith my Soul; for they lay snares for him that reproves in the Gate.
Matt. v. 19. If they shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, that shall break the least Commandment, and teach Men so to do; Surely they are the greatest in the Kingdom of Hell, that break the greatest, and all of them, them, and teach Men so to do: But Slave Trading Preachers does do so, therefore.
Matt. 21. 28, to 31. He that said he would not, and yet did the Will of his Father was commended. But I believe these that say well sometimes in Meetings, and do ill in Slave Trading; will come far behind Publicans and Harlots.
Luke 14. 33, 34, 35.
He that for saketh not all, said blessed Jesus, cannot be my Disciple, Slave-Keepers covet all Body and Soul, Wives and Children of their Neighbours: such unsavoury Salt, good for neither Land or Dunghill. He that hath Ears to hear, let him hear.
9th Month, 1736, as I sat in Concord Meeting House, it was their Quarterly Meeting; I may say it was sweet and comfortable time to me; it came into [page 54] and arose in my mind, in Love of Truth, that is our Slave-Keepers had been, or now would be faithful to God, the Truth, and would bring up their Negroes to some Learning, Reading and Writing, and endevour to the utmost of their power in the sweet Love of Truth to instruct and teach ’em the Principles of truth and righteousness, and learn them some Honesty Trade or Imployment, and then set them free; and all the time Friends are teaching of them let them know that they intend to let them go free in a very reasonable time; and that our Religious Principle will not allow of such Severity, as to keep them in everlasting Bondage and Slavery.
This might according to my way of thinking, beget such Love and tenderness in them, towards their Masters or Mistresses, and to the blessed Truth for their sakes; that it might be a means to convince some of them.
And should they come to receive the pure Truth, in the love of it; as, blessed be the Lord, many of us have, and in that sweet Love, which is constraining, come under a concern and necessity, to go and visit their Brethren, of their own colour, and Country, and Language, [page 55] and preach the Gospel of eternal Salvation unto them, from Sin and Captivity, both of Body and Soul, this would be a glorious work indeed, and well worth our Friends pains, charge and time, that they might spend about it; and the best compensation to God and Man, as I think, that they can possibly make, for being so long in a practice that has so much Wickedness attending of it continually.
Isa. 61.1. As to this Chap. it is very excellent Prophesied of concerning the true anointing, which is the Spirit, and is God and was in Isaiah, and filled him with Love, to preach good tidings to the meek, and is of the same Nature, in all People, in all colours, and Countries.
The many Hundreds of Thousands, that are now in Slavery, were they at Liberty, as we are, had the same Education, Learning, Conversation, Books, sweet Communion in our Religious Assemblies; I believe many of them would exceed many of their Tyrant Masters in Piety, Virtue and Godliness; and their bright Genius, which I know they have, would be inlivened; for I have converst with many of them, for Liberty is Life, and Slavery is Death, nay the very [page 56] thoughts of it to the right thinking Animal, as Man or Woman.
Isa. 61. 1. Is this preaching glad tideings to the meek, as many of them are, and hind up the broken hearted; to proclaim Liberty to the Captives, and opening of the Prison, to them that are bound; and yet keep them in double Bondage, Body and Soul, them and theirs forever more. If there be greater contradiction under the Sun; many dear and tender Friends are mistaken, as well as myself.
Ver. 2. But how does Slave Merchants, proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord? To their Slaves the day of Vengeance they may, and a long Day it is; but I believe the Lord will repay it, tho’ he suffers it long: But I pray and beseech you; you hard-hearted Ministers, of all persuasions in Church and State, that are Christians; how do you comfort all that mourn, and are in Misery, as great for aught I can learn as any are that be under the very worst of Turks, Jews or Infidels, in the known World.
But my dear and tender Friends, how does this cruelty and partiality agree with our Principles as a People, which have been preaching up Perfections in holiness of Life, for near a Hundred Years, [page 57] and the universal Love of God to all People, of all colours and Countries, without respect of persons: Have we forgot this blessed Testimony for which our dear Friends suffered in Old and New England?
The 2d of the 9th Mo. 1736.
IF Two-Weeks Meeting had had any thing material against me, or Monthly meeting; they should have appeal’d to Quarterly Meeting before we came away: But some Friends have been the Instruments of the Death of my Dear Wife I believe. Hath it not been the Practice of the Nocents in all Ages, to lay Traps and Ginns, to intangle and insnare the Innocent? Did you not do so, two or three of you, of the Monthly-Meetings, at the Quarterly-Meetings, Yearly Meetings at Philadelphia and Burlington; when I insisted of having the Letter from Colchester read, did not you strenuously insist, that I should consent that then the matter should be concluded in that Meeting so to go no further; and you had got a strong Party there the same time, to conclude the Business, according to your own minds; is not this laying a Snare? In the same Meeting accusing me falsly, [page 58] for seeking a Party to deter, any from speaking their Minds; and opposed and hindred me from reading a Letter or two from Colchester; which you knew you did not like to hear, because they would have confirmed our Certificate more fully.
How did William Penn and William Mead, at their Tryal, in the Old-Baily, London, like such arbitrary Proceedings, as well as many, yea very many more of our Dear and Worthy Friends and Elders, in the beginning, before and by wicked unjust Judges, in Old-England and New-England too, in particular, as the Book of Sufferings largely sets forth, writ by George Bishop. But these things are forgotten by many, that are doing the same thing themselves, according to their power and ability: Let any Friend read G. Whitehead’s Account of Friends Sufferings, which is written in his Works. How many profuse, profligate Creatures, have come in Servants to this Country, which have been stated not only as Members, but Ministers in full Unity, in less time then I have been here; it is not intolerable then, that three or four Men that has the Mark of the Beast, and the Number of his Name, Slavepage 59] Keepers, upon them in their Foreheads should have the whole Rule of Discipline, and Govern contrary to all Justice and Equity. Time for such old rusty Candlesticks to be moved out of their Places, who have disowned many less Nocents then themselves; if it is not so now, who will make me a Liar, and my Speech nothing worth. Job. 24. 2, 3, 4, 25.
A B I N G T O N.
The 11th of the 9th Mo. 1736.
WHEN the strong Man armed keeps the House, his Goods are in Peace: Is not this the Devil?
Is not Hell in the Soul his House? Is not all his Goods Sin? Is not Slave–Keeping and Trading the greatest Sin in the World, when it is seen in the light of Truth in all its parts? Is not Truth the Light stronger then all? And when this appears in the Heart, and shews the Creature, this Capital Sin, and other Sins to be exceeding Sinful; does not the whole Creation, in the poor condemned or damned Creature groan, to be delivered? Then Hell-Torments, the Smoak and Darkness, of the Bottomless Pit arises and appears in the Soul; the Creature by some Glimmering of the Light sees itself in Darkness, feels itself in Hell tormented, then it cries to [page 60] Light to appear more and more for its help, and to bind the strong Man armed, the Devil and cast him out and spoil his Goods, which is Sin, and is the Devil's Furniture in Hell in the Soul, the Devil's House, where he has had his Residence so long; so when the Devil sees he and his Goods is discovered, which had been so long hid, and Ware appears in the Smoak of the Bottomless Pit;
and that he is like to lose one, or some of his chief Subjects and strongest Forces; and his Kingdom, Heads, Horns and Crowns are in danger, and all like to be lost; this puts all Hell in the Soul in an uproar. I know what I write, blessed be the Light, the Way, and the Truth; so here comes to be War in Heaven, Michael and his Angels fight, and the Devil or Dragon, which is one, and his Angels fight; for the Devil, Dragon, makes War with the Saints, and overcomes them that are not faithful, let them have been prosessing and preaching Truth never so long, and never so eminent or highly esteemed of; yet it may be said, Depart from me, I know you not, ye are Workers of Iniquity. Hosea 4. 1, 2 3, 7, 9. Ezek 9. 4, 9. viii. 10, 11, 12.
[page 61] I never read in History of the Waldenses, our first Reformers from Popery, that they kept any Slaves; I have understood they were very temperate, not eating Flesh, Milk or Eggs.
Something like John's Locusts and Wild Honey; and Daniel and his three Friends Pulse and Water, Israel's 40 Years Eating Manna, and I think James our Lord's Brother according to Josephus, ate no Flesh, and many Thousands more, I believe, good Men and Women.
William Penn, in his No-Cross-No-Crown, that excellent Book, mentions the Waldenses, with great esteem; as they are worthy.
Acts. 17. 26, 27, 28, 29.
I suppose the pure holy eternal Being, which made of one Blood all Nations of Men to dwell upon the face of the Earth, did not make others to be Slaves to us, any more then we to be so to them; if God has appointed the Bounds of their Habitations, What Man fearing God, dare to remove or receive them when they are removed?
How did many Dear Friends like to be banished from their Native Countries, from Wives, Children and Friends, although but for a few Years, both from [page 62] Old and New England especially? are all these Things forgotten by us, and a thousand times more; are the Progeny in this Age, doing the same Things themselves, which their Progenitors so greatly complained of, and justly too; but this Progeny have been and are acting a Thousand times worse, and more cruelly; for our dear and worthy Friends and Progenitors were Banished from England but for a few Years, and where they might and did Preach and help forward the Gospel of Christ; but the poor Slaves and their Progeny, have been Stolen, Banished, Tortured and Tormented, for ever more; to the great unutterable hinderance of the Blessed Gospel of Peace and Salvation, for which our dear Progenitors, suffered so deeply by their Persecutors.
And this now is carried on, encouraged and done by them, that profess to be lead by the same pure Holy Spirit, as their Progenitors were.
But my dear and tender Friends, you that are clear of this vile practice, I pray and beseech you, especially that you keep so, and have no Fellowship with such unfruitful Works of Darkness, [page 63] but rather, I say, rather reprove them, as being worthy, wherever you come, for the Lord, the Truths sake.
The 22nd of the 9th Mo.
WHEN I have mildly reasoned with some Friends concerning their Hostility, in carrying a Person or Friend, If I may call him so, out of Meetings so often, and keeping of him out by Constable and other ways; as at Philadelphia, Burlington and Concord, & c. without so much as pretending they have used any Gospel Order with him, in any Monthly or Quarterly Meeting, as a disorderly Person.
O But say some, he is a very troublesome Person, and has been so for many Years; and is too censorious about Trading in Slaves, or against Traders in, and Keepers of Slavers; And positively affirms, that no Man or Woman, Lad or Lass ought to be suffered, to pretend to Preach Truth in our Meetings, while they live in that Practice; which is all a lie.
And further, he boldly affirms, that no Person whatsoever has any Right, or ought, according to Truths Discipline, [page 64] to be suffered to have the Rule and Government, or any part of it, in the Church of God, which is the Kingdom of God, while he himself is in League with the Devil, and is managing the Affairs of his Kingdom, which Slave Trading is, as has been proved.