PHILADELPHIA: Printed and Solde by JAMES CHATTIN, in Church-Alley. 1754.


From our Yearly Meeting for the Provinces of Pennsylvania, and New-Jerseys, held at Burlington by Adjournments from the 14th Day of the Ninth Month, 1754, to the 19th of the same inclusive.


IT hath frequently been the Concern of our Yearly Meeting, to testify their Uneasiness and Disunity, with the Importation and Purchasing of Negrocs and other Slaves, and to di­rect the Overseers of the several Meetings to advise and deal with such as engage therein. And it hath likewise been the continued Care of many weighty Friends, [Page 2] to press those that bear our Name, to guard, as much as possible, against, be­ing in any Respect, concerned in pro­moting the Bondage of such unhappy People: Yet, as we have with Sorrow to observe, that their Number is of late increased amongst us; we have thought proper to make our Advice and Judg­ment more public, that none may plead Ignorance of our Principles therein; and also, again, earnestly to exhort all to avoid, in any Manner encouraging that Practice of making Slaves of our Fellow Creatures.

Now dear Friends, if we continually bear in Mind the royal Law, of doing to others, as we would be done by, we shall never think of bereaving our Fellow Creatures of that valuable Blessing Li­berty; nor endure to grow rich by their Bondage. To live in Ease and Plenty, by the Toil of those whom Violence and Cruelty have put in our Power, is neither consistent with Christianity, nor common Justice; and we have good Reason to believe, draws down the Displeasure of Heaven, it being a melancholy but true Reflection, That, where Slave keeping [Page 3] prevails, pure Religion and Sobriety decline, as it evidently tends to harden the Heart, and render the Soul less sus­ceptible of that holy Spirit of Love, Meekness and Charity, which is the pe­culiar Character of a true Christian.

How then can we who have been con­cerned to publish the Gospel of universal Love and Peace among Mankind, be so inconsistent with ourselves, as to purchase such who are Prisoners of War; and there­by encourage, this antichristian Practice? And more especially, as many of these poor Creatures are stolen away, Parents from Children, and Children from Pa­rents, and others who were in good Cir­cumstances in their native Country, inhu­manly torn from what they esteemed a happy Situation, and compelled to toil in a State of Slavery, too often extreamly cruel! What dreadful Scenes of Murther and Cruelty those barbarous Ravages must occasion in these unhappy People's Country, are too obvious to mention: Let us make their Case our own, and consi­der what we should think, and how we should feel, were we in their Circumstan­ces. Remember our blessed Redeemer's [Page 4] positive Command, To do unto others, as we would have them do unto us, and that, with what Measure we mete, it shall be mea­sured to us again. And we intreat you to examine, whether the purchasing of a Negroe either born here, or imported, doth not contribute to a further Importa­tion; and consequently to the upholding all the Evils above mentioned, and pro­moting Man-stealing, the only Theft which by the Mosaic Law was punished with Death, He that stealeth a Man and sel­leth him, or if he be found in his Hand, he shall surely be put to death, Exod. xxi. 16.

THE Characteristic and Badge of a true Christian is Love, and good Works; our SAVIOUR'S whole Life on Earth was one continual Exercise of them: Love one a­nother, says he, as I have loved you. How can we be said to love our Brethren, who bring, or for selfish Ends keep them in Bondage? Do we act consistent with this noble Principle, who lay such heavy Burdens on our Fellow Creatures? Do we consider, that they are called, and sin­cerely desire that they may become Heirs with us in Glory, and rejoice in the Li­berty of the Sons of GOD, whilst we are [Page 5] with-holding from them the common Liberties of Mankind? Or can the Spirit of GOD, by which we have always pro­fessed to be led, be the Author of those oppressive and unrighteous Measures? Or do we not thereby manifest, that tem­poral Interest hath more Influence on our Conduct herein, than the Dictates of that merciful, holy and unerring GUIDE?

AND we likewise earnestly recommend to all who have Slaves, to be careful to come up in the Performance of their Duty towards them, and to be particu­larly watchful over their own Hearts; it being, by sorrowful Experience remark­able, that Custom and a Familiarity with Evil of any Kind, hath a Tendency to byass the Judgment, and deprave the Mind. And it's obvious, that the future Welfare of those poor Slaves, who are now in Bondage, is generally too much disregarded by those who keep them; if their daily Task of Labour be but ful­filled, little else perhaps is thought of; nay, even that which in others would be looked upon with Horror and Detestati­on, is little regarded in them by their [Page 6] Masters, such as the frequent Separation of Husbands from Wives, and Wives from Husbands, whereby they are tempted to break their Marriage Covenants, and live in Adultery, in direct Opposition to the Laws both of GOD and Men, although we believe, that CHRIST died for all Men, without respect of Persons. How fearful then ought we to be, of engaging in what hath so natural a Tendency to lessen our Humanity, and of suffering ourselves to be enured to the Exercise of hard and cruel Measures, lest thereby we in any Degree, loose our tender and feel­ing Sense of the Miseries of our Fellow Creatures, and become worse than those who have not believ'd?

AND, dear Friends, you who by Inhe­ritance have Slaves born in your Families, we beseech you to consider them as Souls committed to your Trust, whom the LORD will requite at your Hand, and who as well as you are made Partakers of the Spirit of Grace, and called to be Heirs of Salvation, and let it be your constant Care, to watch over them for Good, instructing them in the Fear of [Page 7] GOD, and the Knowledge of the Gospel of CHRIST, that they may answer the End of their Creation, and GOD be glo­rified and honoured by them, as well as by us, and so train them up, that if you should come to behold their unhappy Si­tuation, in the same Light that many worthy Men who are at rest have done, and many of your Brethren now do; and should think it your Duty to set them free, they may be the more capable to make a proper use of their Liberty. Finally Brethren, we intreat you, in the Bowels of Gospel Love, seriously to weigh the Cause of detaining them in Bondage: If it be for your own private Gain, or any other Motive than their Good, it's much to be feared, that the Love of GOD, and the Influence of the holy Spririt, is not the prevailing Principle in you, and that your Hearts are not sufficiently redeem­ed from the World, which that you, with ourselves may more and more come to witness, through the cleansing Virtue of the holy Spirit of JESUS CHRIST, is our earnest Desire. With the Salutation [Page 8] of our [...] we are your Friends and [...]

Signed, by Appointment, on behalf of the Yearly Meeting, by

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.