previous next
[143] evil of holding the people of Africa in slavery;1 and
chap VI.} 1754
by his testimony at the meetings of Friends, recommended that oppressed part of the creation to the notice of each individual and of the society. Having discerned by a bright and radiant light the certain evidence of divine truth, and not fearing to offend man by its simplicity, he travelled much on the continent of America, and would say to thoughtful men, that ‘a people used to labor moderately for their living, training up their children in frugality and business, have a happier life than those who live on the labor of slaves; that freemen find satisfaction in improving and providing for their families; but negroes, laboring to support others who claim them as their property, and expecting nothing but slavery during life, have not the like inducement to be industrious.’ ‘Men having power,’ he continued, ‘too often misapply it; though we make slaves of the negroes, and the Turks make slaves of the Christians, liberty is the natural right of all men equally.’2

‘The slaves,’ said he, ‘look to me like a burdensome stone to such who burden themselves with them. The burden will grow heavier and heavier, till times change in a way disagreeable to us.’ ‘It may be just,’ answered one of his hearers, ‘for the Almighty so to order it.’ And while he had fresh and heavenly openings in respect to the care and providence of the Almighty over man, as the most noble amongst his creatures which are visible, and was fully persuaded, that as the life of Christ comes to reign in the earth, all abuse and unnecessary oppression will draw

1 The Testimony of Friends in Yorkshire.

2 The Life and Travels of John Woolman. 5th edition, 25, 28, 47, 50, 51. I am indebted to some unnamed friend for a copy of this uncommonly beautiful specimen of spiritual autobiography.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Yorkshire (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Woolman (1)
Christ (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: