«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
But some that have not, and will not keep Negroes Slaves of their own, may see, we must not be too censorious, for we are often at their Houses, and Eat and Drink bravely, and have their negroes to wait on us, our Horses, Wives and Children.
Besides all these things, we buy, sell, trade, get gain by and with them, we must be careful how we offend our benefactors, and dear Friends, But here is yet a stronger Bond than the other, Pleasure and Profit, we love to Sleep with their Offspring, so they be but rich; for many of us have joined Affinity with these Ahabs (O that hard Word) and Jezabel’s for Gains, by marrying with their rich Children, and if we become Prophets, and can Prophesy such things as they like, we shall be highly favoured, and fed at Jezabel’s Table, though we should be twice 4500 of us.
What if he be as the Lying Spirit in [page 65] the Mouth of all Ahab’s Prophets, and cause him to go up and fall at Ramah, being Damned;
what if Jezebel be eaten with Dogs, what care we for that.
What if Jezebel be eaten with Dogs, if we can get into their Estates and Posessions; what care we? When they are dead and gone, they will not remember our Lying Prophesies. I Kings 18.40.
Indeed we should be loth to be served as Elijah did the Prophets, at the Brook Kishon.
2 Kings 10. 1, 5, 6, 7. We had rather destroy all the truly Begotten and Born Heirs of God, and joint or equal Heirs with Christ, the Truth, which testifie against us, and our Slave-Keeping Practice.
Ver. 18 to 26. We to be sure would sooner destroy all the Royal Off-Spring of Heaven, as our Elder Brethren, them wicked Elders in Ahab’s time, Slew 70 Innocent Children, for fear of their own dear Lives; but Jehu answered, and served them accordingly: It’s true Ver. 25. and if it should be so with us, its better to die by the Sword than by Famine, as the Scriptures Speak; or especially to be treated as many of our Brethren in this great Iniquity do their Slaves, up [page 66] and down in the World, and their Off-spring, always repeated and repeating for evermore, with all the Torture and Torments that Devil and Dragon, Death and Hell can invent or devise, with all their Accomplices.
But although some of us, that are Negroe Masters and Traders, do allow that the beginning of this Practice was of the Devil, and that he and we his Instruments are now carrying of it on very powerfully, and as it had a beginning there in Hell, so it must have an End.
Matt.8. 28, 29. But the time is not yet come, therefore surely we may be allowed to ask the same Question of Truth now as two of our Elder Brethren did formerly, which were possessed with Devils as well as we, what have we to do with thee; Truth?
Mark, 5, 7, 10, 12. Art thou come hither to torment us before our time? and all the Devils besought him, the Truth, saying, send us into the Swine; and Truth gave them leave, and so he does now; for Truth had rather the Devil should dwell in the Swine than in the Saints, for fear he should make the Saints Swine again, as some were before they were cleansed.
[page 67] Upon a time when I was reasoning with an eminent Preacher R. J. at his House in Philadelphia, concerning that great Goliah, Negroe or Slave–Keeping, which hath defied the little Army of the living God so many Years, and still continues so to do.
He the said R.J. was pleased then and there to tell me, that I loved the Negroes better than I did my Friends; and accused me at Stephen Jenkin’s House, before many Witnesses, of being Death of my Dear Wife, and a Persecutor of the Church; but before that I charged him with being instrumental of separating my Dear Wife from me by Death, in Writing for a separate Certificate for my Wife, to a Meeting to which we never did belong, as if he and two or three more had a mind to separate us; which is now brought to pass.
I shall leave them to the great Judge of Heaven and Earth, if he will be pleased to forgive them, I hope I shall in time. But these things must be borne with I suppose, and more; when I have said to some Friends, Negroe-Keepers and their Adherents, that it seemed a little strange or novel, that a Friend should be hurried out of Meetings so constantly and roughly, before he be disowned, [page 68] or some way dealt with for some Disorders to other, contrary to the known and acknowledged discipline of Friends as a People.
If thy Brother is overtaken in a Fault, go to him and tell him his fault, between him and thee;
if he hears thee thou hast gained thy Brother; if he will not hear thee, then take two or three with thee; if he will not hear them, then take him to the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, then, not till then, cast him forth. My Dear Friends, have any of these things been done to B.L.
and yet still continue to cast him out, cast him out, cast him out, he is a troublesome Fellow, and has been so for many Years. Did our Dear and well beloved Friends in Boston 60 or 70 Years ago, think this is a just way of Proceeding, to be taken into Custody, put into Bridewell, Whipt severely, and Banished the Town, time after time, without any legal Proceedings, only for being obstinate Quakers, as they were pleased to call them; dare to come again when they had Whipt them out of the Town so often. When I have put some Friends in mind of this, concerning our Dear Tender Friends great Suffering in New-England, in a [page 69] Book called New-England Judged, some Friends have been pleased to tell me that George Keith used to say so, or talk after that manner. What he said I cannot tell, but by report, which is not always true; but this of Friends Suffering in Boston is true, for I have been upon the Spot or Lot of Ground, where the Dear Lambs were put to Death, for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, the Truth.
As to G.K. he was an extraordinary Man, while he kept to the Testimony of Truth in his own Heart; I do firmly believe, according to the Account of Him by Friends; and a great Sufferer for Truth, by Imprisonment, and other ways, and an excellent Writer, and Ministers in Defence of Truth’s Principles for about 30 Years, as I remember; as many of his Books manifest, to Judgment of men that have read them, of right mind and good understanding in Things relating to God’s Kingdom; as his Revelation not ceased, his Way to the City of God, very excellent indeed, and many more; while he dwelt in the Truth and Walked in Truth, he did well; but when he went from that, he was like the unsavory Salt, good for neither Land nor Dunghill, [page 70] and so it is now with some, or I am mistaken. And so it hath been with the very best of Men and Instruments that ever were in the World, though they had never so much inlightened or illuminated from on High; they grow dark again, as they go from the Light, from God, from Truth, which are one in Nature and Essence, although three Names, for Men as Men do know that have good Natural Eyes, that the further they go from the Light outwardly, the more they go into Darkness until at length they cannot see anything clearly, or at last not at all; and this comes upon Men because they love Darkness, which is Sin, and they live in Darkness, and walk in Darkness, and at last Darkness in Sin seems to be Light unto them. This is a dreadful State indeed: O that it may appear so before it be too late, to some poor Souls, is my true Desire for their eternal Welfare. Which I desire, as for my own Soul. B.L Now it is written by a Child, a Son and Heir of Light, for the Encouragement of other Children and Heirs of Light: If you walk in the Light as he, God is Light, and Light is God; you shall have fellowship one with another in God the [page 71] Light, and the Blood, the Life, the Light the Truth, shall cleanse from all Sin, all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit. O blessed State indeed.
Now a certain Saint in Light, or an enlightened Saint, the same put the Primitive Saints in Mind to stir up their Memory, and keep them in a watchful frame of Mind; you that were once in Darkness, are now Light, in the Light, or in the Lord, the same bids them walk as or like Children of the Light, and of the Day, which is Light, and is to walk and work in as well as to live and dwell in; and this is in New-Jerusalem, the Church of the first or true Born with God, the Light in Heaven, whose Gates are always open to Saints in Light, no Night, no Darkness there, no need of Sun, Moon, Stars, Candles or Lamps, for the Lord God, the Lamb, the Truth, the Light, is or are the Light thereof, for evermore. Rev. 21.2,3.
And all that follow the Lamb, the Light, wheresoever he goes, are and shall be the Citizens thereof forever. Now you precious Babes, Children, Sheep or Lambs in Light, or by what ever Name you may be called, Ver. 7. yet you have but one Name, and that is [page 72] New, in the Light, and none can read and know, but them that are in our Heavenly Father, NewJerusalem, the Light, the Father and Mother of us all. And you precious Favourites in or of the Light, although but very few, a little Flock, and very obscure and hid, Rev. 9.11. from the dark Mind, from Darkness, the Devil, and Satan, Abaddon, Apollyon, Dragon, Serpent, Viper or Hell, or by whatever other Name, is all the same; Truth faith, Fear not little Flock, it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the Kingdom, the Light, which never ends. Ver. 3. The Tabernacle of Light is with these, and in these whether Male or Female, all one, in the Light of the Life, in Truth forever.
You Dear and inward Friends, have Right to feed in the green-Pastures of Light, of Life;
where none can make you afraid: No, No, there is Safety and great Security in the Munition of Rocks, the Light, New–Jerusalem, which is Heaven is in God, the Light, and the Light in it, Father, Word, and Spirit, the Light, the Tree of Life in Paradice, in the Light, in God, in Heaven.
Rev. 22. And is Heaven, and Heavenly Food for Saints to feed of freely;
[page 73] this is the Tree of Life, which bears twelve Manner of Fruit, and yields her Fruit every Month, always ready, always ripe, fresh, green, pure and lovely to behold, sweet and delicious to the Saints taste, to them that are clean, that have been cleansed by the Light, by the Life of the Lamb, which follows him through many Tribulations, wherever he goes and leads them until he brings them into the Green Pastures of Life beside the still Waters of Life, of Comfort indeed, the pure River of Water, of Life, which is with God, and is God, in his Throne, in sanctified Hearts.
These, these blessed ones have Right to the Tree of Life, to the pure River of Life, to Eat and Drink as much as their Vessels can hold at times, and sometimes running over and flowing out, to them that are in the outward Court, that is trodden by the Gentiles in this our Age; if happily they might be intreated and prevailed with if possible, by tasting some Drops as it were without, to turn into their own Souls, and wait there to be cleansed, that the Fruition, the pure River, clear as Chrystal, might run there freely and sweetly, without Interruption.
If the little Touches, the earnest of this [page 74]
The 7th Month, 1736.
MY Dear and Well-Beloved Friends; my Joy and the Crown of all my sweet Delights in this World, I can truly say, is the True Unity with my true Brethren, which are the true Church in God the Father, and he in the ever reigning in his own Blessed Kingdom, Body, House, Tabernacle, New-Jerusalem, or a Tent, synonimous Terms; while Israel abode here, no Divination [page 75] could prevail, or inchantments against ‘em; but when Israel, our Dear Friends, went out of their Tents to look at, and long after the Pleasures, Pride, Profit and Friendship of this World, then they came to be snared with this cursed Sin, Negroe-Trading, as well as some other gross Sins, of which this is Chief, considering the Hellish Train of Filthiness, which has, does, and ever will attend it, and is inseparable from it, for it is granted by all sober wife Men that truly fear God, and dearly love the Truth in Sincerity, and are well acquainted with this soul Trade from the beginning, and all its progressions to this Day; I say such as have had a true Account, do know that those that are employed in this Trade, are some of the worst of Men, and withal some of the worst of Thieves, Pyrates and Murtherers, from whence our lesser Pyrates have proceeded. And many of these lesser Pyrates have been punished with Death, and some other ways; but the much greater Villians by far, not only go free but are encouraged, and have been near 50 Years, if not more, by us as a People, by buying of their cursed Hellish-gotten Ware, at a very great Price.
And all this Time pretending to the [page 76] most holy pure Religion in the whole World, to do unto all, as we would they should do unto us, and as James writes, to Visit the Fatherless, and Widow, in their Afflictions, and keep ourselves unspotted from the World; but I know no worse Engine Devil has to make Widows and Fatherless Children, and to bring into Affliction and Bondage and sore Captivity indeed, than this Hellish Practice in Pennsylvania, Negroe-Keeping.
But these Hellish Miscreants, these Men-Stealers, pretend they fetch away these poor Creatures, that they may not kill one the other, when they are the Murtherers which sets’em to the Work (a cursed work it is) for as I have had an Account, near 35 Years ago, where 10 or 12 Sail of Vessels come on the Coast of Guinea, and they cannot catch Negroes enough to Freight their Vessels by the Sea side, and in Rivers where they send their Boats in Search and Pursuit of them, where they are acquainted; for they being us’d to the Business known where to go; and to find out some old Negroes that they have been used to trade with, which will bring off in Canoes, their Wives or Children, or their Neighbours [page 77] Wives, and Children if they can catch’em in Woods, or any where else, so bring’em and sell them to our brave Christians, which come there with Ships for that purpose--- O brave! give 30s.
for a Negro and sell him for 501. Or 40, 50 or 60, 70, 80, 90, 1001. Or more: Who would not be a Trader in Slave and Souls of Men, altho’ he goes to Hell for it, and in the mean time intail an Iniquity on his own, and his Neighbour’s Posterity to their Destruction and the Ruin of the whole Country beside.
Above 30 Years ago, when I was a common Sailor, I had this account, and likewise, by some Sailors on Board Capt. Reeves, coming this Voyage to Philadelphia, who had been at Guinea, and I suppose had been Pyrates, they did acknowledge they had been taken by them.