AN EPISTLE of Caution and Advice, concerning the Buying and Keeping of SLAVES. From our Yearly Meeting for the Provinces of Pennsylvania and New-Jersey held and Burlington by Adjournments from the 14th. Day of the Ninth Month, 1754, to the 19th. of the same inclusive. Dear Friends, It hath frequently been the Concern of our Yearly Meeting, to testify their Uneasiness and Disunity, with the Importation and purchasing of Negroes 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, 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 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, or 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 Chirstianity, nor common Justice; and wehave good reason to believe, draws down the Displeasure of Heaven, it being a melancholy but true Reflection, That, where Slave keeping 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 publlish the Gospel of universal Love and Peace among Mankind, be so inconsistent with our selves, 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 extremely Cruel! What dreadful Scenes of Murther and