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‘ [331] entered into the ears of the Most High. Such are the purity and certainty of His judgments that He cannot be partial in our favor. In infinite love and goodness He hath opened our understandings from one time to another, concerning our duty towards this people; and it is not a time for delay. Should we now be sensible of what He requires of us, and through a respect to the private interest of some persons, or through a regard to some friendships which do not stand upon an immutable foundation, neglect to do our duty in firmness and constancy, still waiting for some extraordinary means to bring about their deliverance, God may by terrible things in righteousness answer us in this matter.’

This solemn and weighty appeal was responded to by many in the assembly, in a spirit of sympathy and unity. Some of the slave-holding members expressed their willingness that a strict rule of discipline should be adopted against dealing in slaves for the future. To this it was answered that the root of the evil would never be reached effectually until a searching inquiry was made into the circumstances and motives of such as held slaves. At length the truth in a great measure triumphed over all opposition; and, without any public dissent, the meeting agreed that the injunction of our Lord and Saviour to do to others as we would that others should do to us should induce Friends who held slaves ‘to set them at liberty, making a Christian provision for them,’ and four Friends—John Woolman, John Scarborough, Daniel Stanton, and John Sykes—were approved of as suitable persons to visit and treat with such as kept slaves, within the limits of the meeting.

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