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 to face in the Valley of Decision. John Woolman, of course, was present,—a man humble and poor in outward appearance, his simple dress of undyed homespun cloth contrasting strongly with the plain but rich apparel of the representatives of the commerce of the city and of the large slave-stocked plantations of the country. Bowed down by the weight of his concern for the poor slaves and for the well-being and purity of the Society, he sat silent during the whole meeting, while other matters were under discussion. ‘My mind,’ he says, ‘was frequently clothed with inward prayer; and I could say with David that “tears were my meat and drink, day and night.” The case of slavekeeping lay heavy upon me; nor did I find any engagement to speak directly to any other matter before the meeting.’ When the important subject came up for consideration, many faithful Friends spoke with weight and earnestness. No one openly justified slavery as a system, although some expressed a concern lest the meeting should go into measures calculated to cause uneasiness to many members of the Society. It was also urged that Friends should wait patiently until the Lord in His own time should open a way for the deliverance of the slave. This was replied to by John Woolman. ‘My mind,’ he said, ‘is led to consider the purity of the Divine Being, and the justice of His judgments; and herein my soul is covered with awfulness. I cannot forbear to hint of some cases where people have not been treated with the purity of justice, and the event has been most lamentable. Many slaves on this continent are oppressed, and their cries have ’
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