The English government [he continues] hath been commended by candid foreigners for the disuse of racks and tortures, so much practiced in some states; but this multiplying slaves now leads to it; for where people exact hard labour of others, without a suitable reward, and are resolved to continue in that way, severity to such who oppose them becomes the consequence. . . . These things are contrary to the true order of kind providence. Admit that the first negro man and his wife did as much business as their master and mistress, and that the children of the slaves have done some more than their young masters. ... It follows, that in equity these negroes have a right to a part of this increase. . . . Again, if we seriously consider that liberty is the right of innocent men; that the Almighty God is a refuge for the oppressed; that in reality we are indebted to them . . . to retain them in perpetual servitude, without present cause for it, will produce effects, in the event, more grievous than setting them free would do. Keeping of negroes, p. 298.And so in a final passage breathing the very spirit of the Society of Friends, the Quaker liberator presents the fundamental objection to the keeping of the poor blacks in servitude:
There is a principle, which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names; it is, however, pure and proceeds from God.-It is deep, and inward, confined to no forms of religion, nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root, and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren. Keeping of negroes, p. 325.