An Exhortation & Caution to Friends Concerning Buying or Keeping of Negroes. Keith, George Created as a Text Encoding Project for Literature and Digital Diversity, Northeastern University, Spring 2021 Printed by William Bradford New York 193 Transcribed and regularized with in Early English Online (1) Seeing our Lord Jesus Christ has tasted death for every man, and given himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, and that his Gospel of peace, liberty and redemption from sin, bondage and all opression, is freeing to be preached unto all, without exception, and that Negroes Blacks and Taunies are a real part of mankind, for whom Christ has shed his precions blood, and are capable of salvation as well as White Man; and Christ the Light of the World has (in measure) enlightened them, and every man that comes into the World; and that all such who are sincere Christians and true Believers in Christ Jesus, and Followers of, him, bear his Image, and are made comformtable unto him in love, mercy, goodness and compassion, who came not to destroy mens lives, but to save them, nor to bring any part yet to detain them, or hold them therein, but to save and deliver the oppressed and distresed, and bring into liberty both inward and outward. (2) Therefore we judge it necessary that all faithful friends should discover themselves to be true Christians by having the Fruits of the Spirit of Christ, which are love, mercy, goodness and compassion towards all in misery, and that further oppression and sever usage, so far as in them is possible to ease and relieve them, and let them free of their hard bondage , whereby it may be hoped, that many of them will be gained by their beholding these good workds of sincere Christians, and prepared thereby, hrough the preaching the Gospel of Christ, to embracce the true faith of Christ. And for this cause it is, as we judge, that in some places in Europe Negroes cannot be bought and sold for money, or detained to be slaves, because it suits not with the mercy, love, and clemency that is is essential to Chritianity, nor to the Doctrine of Christ, nor to the liberty the Gospel called all men unto, to whom it is preached . And to buy souls and bodies of men for money, to enslave them and their posterity to the end of the world, we judge is a great hinderance to the spreading of the Gospel, and is occasion of much war, violence, cruelty and oppression, and theft and robbery of the highest nature; for commonly the Negroes that are sold to White Men, are either stollen away or robbed from thier kindred, and to buy such is the way to continue these evil practices of man- stealing, and transgressing that Golden Rule and Law: To do to others what we would have others do to us. Therefore, in true Christian Love, we earnestly recommend it to all our friends and brethren, not to buy any Negroes, unless it were on purpose to set them free, and that such who have bought any, and have them at present, after some reasonable time of moderate service they have had of them, or may have of them, that may reasonably answer to the charge of what they have laid out, especially in keeping Negroes Children born in thier house, or taken into their House, when under age, that after a reasonable time of service to answer that charge, they may set them at libterty, and during the time that they have them, to teach them to read, and give them a Christian Education. [3] Some Reasons and Causes of Our Being Against Keeping of Negroes for Term of Life. First, because it is contrary to the principle and practice of the Christian Quakers to buy price or stollen goods, which we bore a faithful testimony against in our native country; and therefore it is our duty to come forth in testimony against stollen slaves, it being account a far greater crime under Moses's Law than the stealing of goods; for such were only to restory four fold, but he that stealeth a Man and selleth him, if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to Death, Exod. 21. 16. Therefore as we are not to buy stollen goods (but if at unawares it should happen through ignorance, we are to restore them to the owners, and seek our remedy of the thief) no more are we to buy stollen slaves; neither should such as have them keep them and their posterity in perpetual bondage and slavery, as is usually done, to the great scandal of the Christian Profession. Secondly, because Christ commanded, saying, All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do you even so to them Luke. 6. 31. Therefore as we and our children would not be kept in perpetual bondage and slavery against our consent, neither should we keep them in perpetual bondage and slavery against their consent, it being such intollerable punishment to thier bodies and minds, that none but notorious criminal offendors deserve the same. But these have done us no harm; therefore how inhumane it is in us so grievously to press them and thier children from one generation to another. End of Excerpt. References for Interpretative Analysis Language related to Enslavement Language related to Morality Language related to Justice Language related to Wealth Language related to Class