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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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iiigs exercise a supervisory care over the Preparative
and Monthly, which are subordinate to them, and the
Yearly Meeting includes the whole; exercising a gene,
ral care over all departments of the Society, and making
all the rules for its government. The queries are an-
swered hy the inferior to the superior meetings, and
relate to the due attendance of the members at meetings
for Divine worship, and for the transaction of the dis-
cipline; to the maintenance of love and unity; the pro-
per religious and literary instruction of the children ;
the care of the poor; the observanceof temperance, and
of moderation in business; manner of living, &C. ; the
due support of discipline, and of the various Christian
testimonies which the Society believes itself called to
U|>hold. The answers to thcss queries are annually
sent up to the Yearly iMeeting, so as to place before
that liody the religious condition of all its subordinate
branches.



394



THE FRIEND.



ance or otherwise ; endeavouring to train
them up ia the principles of the Christian re-
ligion?"

While the Society was thus clearing itself
of the importing, and selling and purchasing
of negroes, the concern was spreading on
account of slavery itsolf, and Friends in vari-
ous quarters, felt more and more deeply, its
utter repugnance to the spirit of the gospel.
Among the foremost of these were John Wool-
man and Anthony Benezet, whose writings a
few years subsequent to this period, had so
great an inlluence upon public sentiment.
John Woolman's attention was more particu-
larly turned to this subject in the year 1742,
in consequence of being requested by his em-
■ ployer to write a bill of sale for a negro
woman whom he had sold. The thought of
writing an iustrument of slavery for one of his
fellow-crealures was uneasy to him ; yet,
through weakness, he yielded ; but at the
execution of it, was so afflicted in his mind,
that he felt constraineji, in the presence of his
employer, and the purchaser, to declare his
belief that slave-keeping was a practice incon-
sistent with the Christian religion. From this
time forward, he was a constant and earnest
pleader with his brethren for the liberty of
the slave.

In the year 1754, he published his Con-
siderations on the Keeping of Negroes, which
was widely and usefully circulated among
Friends.

In the same year, an Epistle to its mem-
bers, the substance of which was sent up from
Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, and which is
supposed to have been from the pen of Antho-
ny Benezet, was issued by the Yearly Meet-
ing. This paper shows the increasing hold
which the subject had taken of the Society,
and is a document well worthy of being again
revived. It is as follows :

" Dear Friends. — It hath frequently been
the concern of our Yearly Meeting, to testify
their uneasiness and disunity with the impor-
tation and purchasing of negro 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 tiiose 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 increas-
ed amongst us, we have thought proper to
make our advice and judgment more public,
that none may plead ignorance of our princi-
ples therein; and also again earnestly exhort
all, to avoid in any manner encouraging that
practice, of making slaves of our fellow-crea-
tures.

" 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 cru-
elty have put in our power, is neither con-
sistent 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 prevails, pure religion and sobri-
ety decline ; as it evidently tends to harden
the heart, and render the soul less susceptible
of that holy spirit of love, meekness and cha-
rity, 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, he so incon-
sistent with ourselves, as to purchase such
who are prisoners of war, and thereby encour-
age this anti-Christian practice : and more
especially as many of those poor creatures are
stolen away, parents from children, and chil-
dren 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 murder and cruelty
those barbarous ravages must occasion, in the
country of those unhappy people, are too ob-
vious to mention. Let us make their case our
own, and consider what we should think, and
how we should feel, were we in their circum-
stances. Remember our blessed Redeemer's
positive command, ' to do unto others as we
would have them to do unto us ;' and that
with what measure we meet, it shall be meas-
ured to us again. And we intreat all to ex-
amine, whether the purchasing of a negro,
either born here or imported, doth not contri-
bute to a further importation, and consequently
to the upholding all the evils, above mention-
ed, 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 hands,
he shall surelv be put to death.' Exod.
xxi. 16.

"The characteristic and badge of a true
Christian, is love and good works. Our Sa-
viour's whole life on earth, was one continued
exercise of them. ' Love one another,' savs
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 burthens on our fellow-crea-
tures? 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 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 ? Do we not thereby manifest, that
temporal interest hath more influence on our
conduct herein, than the dictates of that mer-
ciful, 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 ex-
perience remarkable, that custom, and a fami-
liarity with evil of any kind, have a tendency
to bias the judgment, and deprave the mind ;
and it is obvious, that the future welfare of
these 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 look-
ed upon with horror and detestation, is little
regarded in them by their 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 man. As 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 tenden-
cy to lessen our humanity, and of suflering
ourselves to be inured to the exercise of hard
and cruel measures, lest we thereby in any
degree, lose our tender and feeling sense of
the miseries of our fellow-creatures, and be-
come worse than those who have not be-
lieved.

" And, dear Friends, you, who by inherit-
ance, have slaves born in your families, we
beseech you to consider them as souls com-
mitted to your trust, whom the Lord will
require at your hands ; and who, as well as
you, are made partakers of the Spirit of
Grace, and called to be heirs of salvation.
Let it be your constant care to watch over
them for good, instructing them in the fear
of 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 duly 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 is much to be fear-
ed, that the love of God, and the influence of
the Holy Spirit is not the prevailing principle
in you, and that your hearts are not sufli-
ciently 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 earn-
est desire."

(To be continued.)



For" TbeFriond."
THE SLAVE TRADE.

From the latest intelligence, it appears that
this detestable traftic is still extensively car-
ried on, notwithstanding the vast sums of
mono}' paid, and the unwearied labours which
have been bestowed for its extinction. The
following details, taken from the British and
Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter, of Seventh
month 26th, show that it is attended with no
less cruelty and wickedness on the part of
those who prosecute it, and no less suffering
and outrage to its wretched victims, than in
former years. How aflfecting — how afflicting
is it to think, that any part of the rational cre-
ation of our heavenly Father should be thus



abused and oppressed, and this lou by men pre-
tending to be Cliristians! !

We should ever bear in mind, that slavery
is the support of the slave trade — witiiout it,
this system of theft, oppression, rapine and
murder, must of necessity cease. It is sla-
very that creates the demand for slaves, and
the demand for slaves stimulates the cupidity
of the man-slealer and the slave trader.
Hence the importance of keeping our minds
continually alive to the subject, and standing
prepared as Christians to lake such means as
Divine wisdom may point out for hastening the
termination of this crying evil.

Horrors of the Slave Trade. — The horrors
of the slave trade continue undiminished, as
the following selection of cases will amply
verify : —

Case of the " Jesus Maria." — " On the
29th of December, 1840, the Spanish slave
schooner Jesus Maria was captuied by H. M.
schooner Ringdove. This vessel was twenty-
five Spanish tons measurement, or about thir-
ty-five tons British. She was in fact a small
coaster, sailing from the Canary Islands to
the different settlements on the coast of Afri-
ca, with, principally, potatoes and onions; but
her captain, Vincente Morales, finding a num-
ber of Africans on the coast ready to be
shipped, and no vessel ready to take them,
changed the purpose of his voyage, and took
them on board. She was so old and leaky,
that had they met with the slightest bad
weather they must have foundered, yet they
embarked 278 unfortunate victims of the trade ;
besides having on board nine persons, calling
themselves passengers, and ten others, the
crew. In all, 297 persons, or eight and a half
persons to every ton. The whole of the ne-
groes, with the exception of four, were chil-
dren." — Slave trade Papers, Class A, 1841,
p. 175, 176.

The following extract of a letter from M
Consul Turnbiill to Colonel Cockburn, Gover-
nor of the Bahamas, dated Havana, 20th
January, 1841, will further show the dreadfu
circumstances to which these unhappy chil
dren were exposed on board the Jesus Ma
ria : —

" From the extreme state of emaciation
and debility in which they arrived, I have to
lament the loss of seven of their number, in
spite of all the care and anxiety with which
they have since been attended' by the com
mander and medical otlicers of Her Majesty's
ship Romney, and by myself. The survivors,
233 in number, 13ti males and 97 females, I
have now the honour to consign to your Ex-
cellency's care, in the exercise of the discre-
tion committed to me by Her Majesty's
government. Their age is far belo^v the
average of similar shipments, and I venture to
suggest to your Excellency, that their case
altogether is one which calls for a peculiar
degree of tenderness in the arrangements to
be made for their future disposal." * » *
" Independently of the fact, unhappily in this
island too little regarded, that these young
persons now committed to your Excellency's
care, and others their companions, who per-
ished on the passage, had uten stolen and re-



THE FRIEND.

duced to slavery, it becomes my duly to
acquaint your Excellency that several of the
have been the victims of the most revoltii
and atrocious crimes, such as would be visited
with condign punishment by a jury of slave
dealers. On the deck of this wretched schoon
er, the Jesus Maria, three murders were
conmiilted, on a grown woman and two boys,
for no other motive, that 1 have been able to
collect, than of wanton cruelty. These bloody
deeds were eflected by dashing the victims on
the deck, and by blows of so violent a nature
as to produce fatal results. In the cabin of
the Jesus Maria, a series of scenes were en-
acted of a still more odious and disgusting
character. The defenceless condition of the
young girls of the cargo afforded ihem no pro-
tection. I confess to your Excellency that i
have not the courage to enter on this horrid
catalogue of crime.

Case of the " Dovs Fevereiro." — " The
Portuguese brig Dous Fevereiro, of 280 tons
(Poriuguese) was captured by H. M. schooner
Fawn, on the 19th February, 1841. This
unfortunate brig left Bahia fort on the coast
of Benguela, on the 1st February, with 510
negroes; and on the 19th, the day of her cap-
ture, she had but 375 ! ! The following des-
cription, extracted from the log of the Fawn,
shows the miserable condition of the survi-
vors. On boarding the vessel, we found all
the slaves below with the hatches on : on turn-
ing them up, a scene presented itself, enough
to sicken the heart even of a Portuguese.
The living, the dying, and the dead, huddled
together in one mass. Some unfortunates, in
the most disgusting state of small-pox, in the
confluent state, covered from head to foot;
some distressingly ill with ophthalmia, a kw
perfectly blind, others, living skeletons, with
ditKculty, crawled from below, unable to bear
the weight of their miserable bodies. Moth-
ers, with young infants, hanging at theii
breasts, unable to give them a drop of nour-
ishment : how they had brought them thus
far appeared astonishing. All were perfectly
naked, and their limbs much excoriated from
lying on the hard planks tor so long a period.
On going below, the stench was insupportable ;
how beings could breathe such an atmosphere
and live, appeared incredible. Several were
under the loose planks, which was called the
deck, dying, one dead." On the few days'
passing to Rio Janeiro, thirteen more died,
twelve in the harbour, and a number on board
the Crescent, the recovery depot for captured
Africans in that port. Finally, of 180 who
embarked for Berbice, twenty died on the pas-
sage, though every care was taken, a good
supply of medicines and antiscorbutics, to-
gether with ample and wholesome provisions,
having been put on board. The following
tabular statement presents the mortality of
those embarked on board this vessel at one
view.

Total number of persons on board on

leaving Benguela, 510

D



395

Captured, 375

Died during four days' passage to Rio

Janeiro, 13

Died at Rio Janeiro, 12

Died during four days' passage to Ber-
bice, 20
At Berbice, two days after disembar-
kation, 4 — 49



Brought from Rio,



326

180



ed previous to capture,
Captured,



Number left at Rio (of whom perhaps
thirty may have died) 146

Allowing twenty for the mortality of those
left behind on beard the Crescent, we shall
have an aggregate loss of 204 out of 510, the
original number embarked, or, one person out
of every two and a half."

Cases of the " Uniao" " Olivera" and
" Flor de Teijo," late " Andorinha." — "The
Brazilian brig Uniao, of 244 tons, received on
board (at Loando) 683 slaves, of which num-
ber 183 died on the passage, having been at
sea forty-three days; the vessel much crowd-
ed; short of water and provisions. Landed
at Catuama (in the province of Pernambuca,
Brazil) in March, 1841, about 500 slaves, very
many in a sickly, weakly condition, from their
severe privations."

"The Portuguese brig Oliviera, of 313
tons, took on board (at Angola) 764 slaves ! of
which number 117 died during the voyage,
the remainder landed April, 1841, to the
southward of this port (Pernambuco,) many-
perished on the beach from excessive thirst,
weakness, and disease. Humanity shudders
at the picture drawn of their sufferings; some
were removed to the residence of one of the
partners, about four miles distant from this
city, where they are daily perishing victims
to the cupidity of those employed in this inhu-
man traffic."

"The Brazilian bark Flor de Teijo, lale
Andorinha, of 171 tons, received on board 720
slaves! More than 60 died on the passage;
landed at Catuama on May 16, 1841, about
650 to 670 ; very many in a most wretched
state from want and disease, through the over-
crowded condition of the vessel. The remarks
upon the Oliviera (above) are equally applica-
ble to the unfortunate slaves imported in this
vessel." — Slave trade Papers, class B, p.
754.

Caie of a Slaver captured by H. M. brig
" Wa/erieitch." — The South African Com-
mercial Advertiser of February 20th, 1841,
contains the following extract of a letter from
Si. Helena: —

" We have here a Portuguese schooner,
captured by the Waterwitch, for condemna-
tion, with 230 slaves on board. They have
the small-pox very bad ; those that are free
from it are landed at Lemon Valley, which
place is kept under strict quarantine. When
the Waterwitch first gave chase, the captain
endeavoured to get away by lightening the
vessel ; for which purpose he threw overboard
about 130 slaves, having originally on board
350. He then ran his vessel on shore, and



396

made his escape. The boats of the Water-
witch saved about seventy from drowning, but
the greater part of them died afterwards from
exhaustion."



For" The Friend."
ANN MERCY BELL.

(Conlinued from page 311:1.)

On the 10th, she appeared, first, about the
middle of the Old-btreet, in a short exhorta-
tion. Then, passing into VVhite-cross-street,
she stood up, on a bench, and delivered her-
self, with great strength and liveliness, for
about twenty-five minutes. Then, proceeding
down the street, she stopped by the door of a
widow, who brought a chair for her to stand
upon : this she accepted, and preached, a con-
siderable lime, to a great number; many of
whom were much aliecteJ with the close and
weighty truths she had delivered. The wi-
dow and her sister afterwards took her into
their house, and though of a different profes-
sion, treated her with that tender kindness,
which hath ever distinguished sincere, sensi-
ble, and friendly spirits.

Mercy stopped again at three different pla-
ces in that street ; but, by reason of the inter-
vention of carriages, could not well proceed ;
and the people pressing her to go into the mar-
ket, which they urged as a more convenient
place, she complied. Here she had a large
and lively testimony. Some were much ten-
dered, and most appeared solid and attentive.
One man said aloud, " it was more than
words ;" and a woman, laying her hand upnn
her breast, cried, " the evidence is here !" To
which several others assented.

The 11th she appeared, for some time, in
an open place in Wentworth-street, Spiltle-
fields, and the people, continuing to gather in
great numbers, desiring she might go into
Cox's Square, where they might stand conve-
niently, without interruption by carriages,
thither she went ; and, after standing a while
in silence, with the Friends who were present,
stepped up upon the steps of a warehouse, and,
through Divine assistance, delivered the gos-
pel message to a large concourse of people,
about the space of an hour, in a very lively
manner. The nature of Christ's spiritual
baptism and supper, were largely and experi-
mentally opened ; and so clearly distinguish-
ed, that several people, of reputable appear-
ance, joined in public acknowledgment of the
truth of the doctrine.

From hence, she returned into Wentworth-
street, and desired the people to collect as
many of their children together as they well
could, somewhat particular arising in her mind
towards them. With these she had a sweet
and tender season; accommodating her ex-
pressions to their little understandings ; in-
forming them what God is, where he is to be
found, and what he requires ; and suitably
advising them in respect to the duties of their
tender age. She then proceeded further in
the street, and had two opportunities more
with the people, to the apparent satisfaction
of many ; some of whom were extraordinarily
affected.

The 13th, she went to the upper end of



THE FKIEND.

High-street, Spittle-fields, and preached about
a quarter of an hour. She afterwards appear-
ed in two different places in Wells-street ;
here the people attended with much open-
ness, as might justly be inferred both from
their deportment and expressions. Then, pro-
ceeding to Friends' burial-ground, near White
Chapel, she stood up, apparently in great
weakness ; but the power of an endless life
gradually arose, and made her instrumental,
glh, to shower down the refreshing rain
of the gospel in a plentiful manner. The life,
isdom and goodness of eternal Truth were
ninenlly displayed, to many hundreds, in a
rge and powerful testimony, consi.->ting, prin-
cipally, of Scripture-openings, intermixed with
lively experiences, in great variety, and con-
cluding with a most comprehensive address to
the Almighty, on behalf of the people. She
appeared upwards of an hour. Slany seemed
heartily aflccted, and several were so much
broken, they could scarcely express their
thankfulness in intelligible accents.

The 14lh, she was at Westminster, in the
Broadway, near Queen's Square ; and a chair
being brought out for her, she stood up, in the
midst of the people, who had gathered round
her, and delivered herself to good satisfaction.
Then passing into Stretton Ground, she had a
time of tender warning and exhortation, upon
the door-steps of a friendly family ; who told
her, afterwards, she was welcome to their steps
and their house too, and were pressing with
her to go in ; but, acknowledging their kind-
ness, she excused herself, upon account of her
concern to further service.

In the road, at the upper end of the street,
she had a pretty large and laborious lime, with
a great number. During her appearance
here, a person, in liquor, endeavoured to in-
terrupt her, by firing a gun close by the
crowd, which startled and disturbed many ;
yet she was enabled to go on, and it was not
long before they were tolerably composed
again, and she had an opportunity of clearing
herself among them.

The loth, Leadenhall-market, having laid
before her with great weight, for some time,
in the afternoon she gave up to go. Entering
in at the lower end of the Poulterers' market,
she went through, calling to repentance, as
she passed, with uncommon force and solem-
nity ; and coming to a convenient place in the
Leather-market, after the people, who poured
in at every avenue, were gathered round her,
she had a large and favourable opportunity
with them. Their behaviour was very com-
mendable. They attended with stillness, and
afterwards expressed a general satisfact
wishing for more such opportunities. An
elderly woman, of good appearance, said,
" she had the gospel in her very soul, and she
believed many hearts were pierced."



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 146 of 154)