«PHILADELPHIA: Printed for the Author. 1737 This is an annotated text of All Slave-Keepers That keep the Innocent in Bondage, Apostates, published by ...»
Several eminent Friends amongst us of great Note, have boasted in my hearing of having Servants or Slaves born in their House, alluding to Abraham, for keeping Slaves; but I cannot find in all the Scriptures that Abraham ever had any Slaves; Servants he might have born in his House, and bought with Money for a time; but I do not believe that righteous, perfect good Man would keep his fellow Creatures in Bondage, them and their Off-spring, for evermore. I have a better Opinion of that tender hearted, good virtuous Man, that was stiled the Father of the faithful, by the Lip of Truth, and that rightly too, for so he was; but the unfaithful hypocritical Pharisees, would, for a cloak to their Wickedness, have him to their Father; but Truth told them, if they were Abraham’s Children, they would do the Works of Abraham; but now ye are of your Father the Devil, and his Works ye [page 91] will do. May not Truth say the same thing now, of our Preachers and Elders, Keepers and Traders in Slaves for nothing but their ungodly Gain. But what will our wicked Slave- Keepers get by flying beyond Gospel and Law, to Abraham, to patronize their cursed infernal practice;
but what Truth said to the Jews, it will say to them. Ye are of your Father the Devil.
Now Friends, you that are Slaves-Keepers, I pray and beseech ye. Examine your own Hearts, and see and feel too, if you have not the same answer from Truth now within; while you Preach and exhort others to Equity, and to do Justice and love Mercy, and to walk humbly before the Lord and his People, and you yourself live and act quite contrary, behave proudly, do unjustly and unmercifully, and live in and encourage the grossest Iniquity in the whole World. For I say, you are got beyond Gospel, law, Abraham, Prophets, Patriarchs, to Cain the Murtherer, and beyond him too, to the Devil himself, beyond Cain, for he Murthered but one, that we know of, but you have many Thousands, or caused ‘em to be so, and for ought I know many [page 92] Hundreds of Thousands, within 50 Years. What do you think of these Things, you brave Gospel Ministers? That keep poor Slaves to Work for you to maintain you and yours in Pride, Pride and much Idleness or Laziness, and Fulness of Bread, the sins of Sodom: How do these Things become your plain Dress, Demure, Appearance, feigned Humility, all but Hypocrisy, which according to Truth’s Testimony, must have the hottest place in Hell; to keep those miserable Creatures at hard Labour continually, unto their old Age, in Bondage and sore Capitivity, working out their Blood and sweat, and Bowels, youthful strength and vigour, then you drop into your Graves, go to your Places ordained or appointed for you; so leave these poor unhappy Creatures in their worn-out old Age, to your proud, Dainty, Lazy, Scornful, Tyrannical and often beggarly Children for them to Domineer and Tyrannize over, cursing them and you in your Graves, for working out their youthful Blood and strength for you, and then leave ’em to be a plague to us; and then of the abuses, miseries and Cruelties these miserable old worn out Slaves go through, no Tongue can [page 93] express, starved with Hunger, perish with Cold, lot as they go, for want of every thing that is necessary for an Humane Creature; so that Dogs and Cats are much better taken care for, and yet some have had the Confidence, or rather impudence, to say their Slaves or Negroes live as well as themselves. I could almost with such hardened, unthinking Sinful devilish Lyars were put into their Places, at least for a time, in a very hard Service, that they might feel a little in themselves, of what they make so light of in other People; and it would be but just upon ‘em, and indeed why should they be against it, if the Negroes live as well and better than they; but such notorious Lies will never go down well, with any Sober right tender-hearted People truly fearing God, and that love the Truth above all; for such I believe firmly, when they come to see, and rightly consider the vileness of this practice in all its parts, and the cursed Fruit it brings forth, they will never enter into it; and if they are in, will endeavour to get out as soon as they can; for I do believe if all the Wickedness Tyrany, oppressions and abominable Barbarities were written concerning this [page 94] Hellish Trade, it would fill a large Volume in Folio.
Many has said, they do not see it so great an Evil or Sin, that is, Negroe Keeping; who so Blind as them that will not see; but them that are willing to see, I think it my duty to inform them what I can by Word and Writing, and then leave it to the Lord.
There has been that has reflected on me, as if I wanted a Party, and to see what Numbers I could get on my side; the living Lord God Almighty is Witness for me, that I desire no Party, no Number but what is on the Lords side, and his Party, which hold the Blessed Truth in righteousness and holiness of Life, indeed and in Truth. I must confess I rather chuse that Number, though but 5, then 500 that hold the Truth in unrighteousness and in unholiness; and though I could get the Friendship of the World and worldly Spirits, even them amongst ourselves and all their wealth beside; which is gotten by the iniquity of Slave–Keeping or otherwise; my witness is in Heaven; but I must expect a great many more Slanders than these; nevertheless, I may say as it is [page 95] written, of Slave Keeping Ministers, unto the Wicked God saith, Psalm. 50. 16, 18. to the end.
What hast thou to do to declare my Statutes, or that thou should it take my Covenant in thy Mouth; when thou sawest a Thief, then thou consents with him, and hast been partaker with Adulterers. Is not this very applicable to Men-Stealers and Receivers.
But my dear Friends, as to my own part, if the Lord have stirred you up against me, let him accept of an offering; but if it be only Men, I don't fear in the least; but my dearest God, whom I serve with pure Love, fervently, will deliver me, and in his own Blessed time establish me in my Inheritance with Saints in Light. O that the Lord my God would be pleased to raise up some Worthies, that be Valiant for the Truth, upon Earth, and bring them forth into open view, in Sight of all Men, for his Name sake, which is the Truth. Hebrews. 11. 33, 34.
O that we may never sell our Birthright, for a morsel of Meat or any Advantage of this beggarly World; for Truth said of Old, and faith the same now, He that will not forsake all is not worthy of me, all for my sake, deny himself take up the Cross and follow me.
[page 96] Doth Truth lead its Ministers to keep their fellow Creatures in Bondage and sore Captivity and their Off-spring for evermore; if it does not, but the practice be proved by the Blessed Truth itself to be contrary and directly opposite to its diving Nature, as to be sure it is. Why I pray and beseech you my dear Friends, are some that seem to be Truth's Ministers, so Angry, in a Rage, and such a Fury, as many have been, are to my knowledge, when they have been reproved for, or opposed in this their wicked Sin, and very great Iniquity; for so it is proved by Truth itself, Do to all others, as you would they should do not you: Truth saith, Whosoever is Angry with is Brother, without just cause, is in danger of Judgment: but who dare judge a Minister, he will be in such a Fury if he is not true or reprove him, although he pretend to be a Servant in the Church to us all. I know what I write by large experience, for many Years, in several Nations, where my lot hath been cast; so that I am not as one that beats the Air in this cause, as concerning false Ministers;
but as to Truth's Minister, that always dwells in Truth and follows Truth wheresoever he goes, Truth bears wit-page 97] ness in me, that I love them and the pure dear Sweet Testimony Truth hath given us, better than all things in this vain World; now as concerning Offerers, Truth faith, If thou bring thy gift to the Altar, and there remember, thy Brother hath aught against thee, leave thy gift at or before the Altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy Brother, and then, not before, come and offer thy Gift. O that these Things were well considered by all Preachers and hearers; and that no Preacher might be suffered to appear in our Meetings, but such as were clear of this Sinful Practice, SlaveKeeping, as well as all others; then we should have but few Preachers for a time, I think, but much better Preaching: Dear Friends, I myself do consider how it stands, and what I may have to incounter with; but shall leave all to my dear sweet and forever blessed Ebenezer, which hath hither to helped, blessed be his Pious Name, Says B. L.
Is it not the Church's Prerogative, to judge of the Ministry and Ministers, and to call them to strict Account, concerning their Doctrine, Principles, Practices, and manner of living?
[page 98] Genesis 25. 6 Abraham's Concubines 2. Sam. 5. 13. David took him more Concubines and Wives.
Ver. 15, 16. Left ten Concubines, to keep his House.
I Chron. 3. 9. Sons of David, beside the Sons of his Concubines.
Solomon's Song. 6. 8, 9. Queens and Concubines.
Esther. 2. 14. Which kept the Concubines.
Dan. 5. 2, 3, 23. Then they brought the Vessels taken out of the House of God; which was at Jerusalem, and the Kind, his Wives and Concubines drank in them.
So that many Wives, Concubines or half Whores, and Trading in Slaves was, and is the Heathen Practice, although permitted to the Jews for a time for the Hardness of their Hearts, as Christ well said concerning the Divorce.
So the Pope, Papists, and may be some others called Christians, have lick'd up such like Filthiness, as Keeping Slaves, giving Licences for common Stews, Brothell Houses, which are common Whore Houses.
These things by him that is called his Holiness, and now Protestants have lick'd up some of their Filthiness.
[page 99] They Marry to Divorce, and Divorce to Marry again, as Seneca well observes.
Shall we as a People, professing such Purity, touch with such Filthiness.
1. Chron. 7. 4. 14. 3. Many Wives, Multitude of Wives. David took many Wives.
2. Chron. 11. 21. Took 18 Wives, 60 Concubines. Ver. 23. Desired many Wives.
Jeremiah. 35. 8. Drink no Wine.
Judges. 8. 30, 31. Gideon had many Wives.
Deuter. 17. 17. Neither shall he multiply Wives.
But the Children of Israel and Judah would not obey the Command, as well as others; neither their Kings or Common People.
Formerly I suppose by Scripture, they that were accounted good Men, went to Harlots sometimes, as well as kept Slaves, by what follows.
Genesis. 38. 15, 16, 25. Judah thought her to be an Harlot, and he turned in unto her; very severe against her, for what he had done himself. Something like poor David, would have her Burnt.
Lev. 21. 12, 13, 14. A Priest shall [page 100] not take a Divorced Woman, or an Harlot, others may.
Josh. 11. 1. 17, 22. They came into an Harlot's House, Rahab's, and lodg'd there.
Judges. 11. 1. Jeptha was a mighty Man of Valour, the Son of an Harlot.
Judges. 16. 1. Then went Sampson to Gaza, and saw an Harlot, and went in to her.
Joel. 3.3. They have given a Boy for an Harlot.
What condition were these People in.
1 Corin. 6. Shall I take the Members of Christ, and make them the Members of an Harlot; or keep Slaves, God forbid, Saith my Soul, Psalm. 141. 3, 4, 5. Set a watch O Lord, before my Mouth, keep the Door of my Lips; incline my Heart not to any evil thing, to practice wicked Works, with them that work iniquity by SlaveKeeping, or otherwise? And let me not eat of their Dainties.
Ver. 15. Let the righteous Smite me, it shall be a kindness, and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent Oyl, which shall not break my Head, for yet my Prayer shall be in their Calamity. I hope, and Sincerely desire it may ever be so with, B. L.
[page 101] Revelation. Chap. XII Some Thoughts concerning it Writ in ABINGTON, the 7th Mo. 1736 Verse 1. AND there appeared a great wonder in Heaven, the Kingdom of Heaven is within faith Truth the true Church, a Woman Cloathed with the Sun, Pure, Light and Brightness, and the Moon under her Feet, all changeable things put down, trodden under, in the Soul, and upon her Head a Crown of 12 Stars, very bright and beautiful to be hold.
Ver. 2. And she being with Child, cried travailing in Birth, until Truth was formed in her, you little Children for whom --till Christ be in you, the hope and Glory, and pained to be delivered, brought forth into Victory over all Sin.
Ver. 3. And there appeared another wonder in Heaven, in the Heart of Man, and behold a great red Dragon, a Furious Beast, and Bloody Monster, having seven Heads, and 10 Horns, and 7 Crowns upon his Heads, it may be he had gotten seven Victories over the Saints, but was over come at last.
Ver. 4. And his Tail, the beastly Nature, drew the third part of the Stars [page 102] of Heaven, bright Men, and did cast them to the Earth, inlightened Men that had received part of the Ministry, as Judas did, yet betrayed the Truth, for Gain, as our Slave-Keepers do now. I know what I write, and the Dragon, the Beast, stood before the Woman, which was ready to be delivered of the Heavenly Birth, for to devour her Child as soon as it was Born, to be sure, forfear it should grow strong and break his Head, and take away his Crowns, and Name of Blasphemy, which he is so proud of.
These Men, these fallen Stars have been, and are accounted the greatest of Anti-Christs, and worst of Devils; the true Church has had, and has still to incounter with wicked Spirits in high Places; as I can if it be desired, produce many worthy Authors to justifie what I write.
In almost all Ages of the World, former and latter times, as many of our worthy Elders G. Fox and many others sets them forth and that very justly, to be much worse and more dangerous than the common Hirelings of the times.
Ver. 5. And she brought forth a Man Child, begotten and Born of the Truth, [page 103] which is God, that good Spirit, in the Soul of man, who was to rule all Nations with a Rod of Iron; in his own time, and her Child was caught to God, and to his Throne, preserved in safety, and gloriously exalted in the Soul, and the Soul in him; he that Sanctifieth and they that are Sanctified are one.