ã€€ã€€"As looking over the minutes made by persons who have put off this body hathsometimes revived in me a thought how ages pass away, so this list may probablyrevive a like thought in some, when I and the rest of the persons above namedare centered in another state of being. The Lord who was the guide of my youth hath in tender mercies helped me hitherto; He hath healed my wounds; He hathhelped me out of grievous entanglements; He remains to be the strength of mylife, to whom I desire to devote myself in time and in eternity.
ã€€ã€€On the 31st of Fifth Month, 1761, I was taken ill of a fever, and after ithad continued near a week, I was in great distress of body. One day there was acry raised in me that I might understand the cause of my affliction, andimprove under it, and my conformity to some customs which I believed were notright was brought to my remembrance. In the continuance of this exercise I feltall the powers in me yield themselves up into the hands of Him who gave mebeing, and was made thankful that He had taken hold of me by His chastisements.
ã€€ã€€After some further conversation I said, that men having power too oftenmisapplied it; that though we made slaves of the negroes, and the Turks madeslaves of the Christians, I believed that liberty was the natural right of all men equally. This he did not deny, but said the lives of the negroes were sowretched in their own country that many of them lived better here than there. Ireplied, "There is great odds in regard to us on what principle we act"; and sothe conversation on that subject ended. I may here add that another person,some time afterwards, mentioned the wretchedness of the negroes, occasioned bytheir intestine wars, as an argument in favour of our fetching them away forslaves. To which I replied, if compassion for the Africans, on account of theirdomestic troubles, was the real motive of our purchasing them, that spirit oftenderness being attended to, would incite us to use them kindly, that, asstrangers brought out of affliction, their lives might be happy among us. Andas they are human creatures, whose souls are as precious as ours, and who mayreceive the same help and comfort from the Holy Scriptures as we do, we couldnot omit suitable endeavours to instruct them therein; but that while wemanifest by our conduct that our views in purchasing them are to advanceourselves, and while our buying captives taken in war animates those parties topush on the war and increase desolation amongst them, to say they liveunhappily in Africa is far from being an argument in our favour.
ã€€ã€€In this swift race it pleased God to visit me with sickness, so that Idoubted of recovery; then did darkness, horror, and amazement with full forceseize me, even when my pain and distress of body were very great. I thought itwould have been better for me never to have had being, than to see the daywhich I now saw. I was filled with confusion, and in great affliction, both ofmind and body, I lay and bewailed myself. I had not confidence to lift up mycries to God, whom I had thus offended; but in a deep sense of my great folly Iwas humbled before Him. At length that word which is as a fire and a hammerbroke and dissolved my rebellious heart; my cries were put up in contrition;and in the multitude of His mercies I found inward relief, and a closeengagement that if He was pleased to restore my health I might walk humblybefore Him.
ã€€ã€€The latter end of the week their Yearly Meeting began; at which were ourfriends, John Scarborough, Jane Hoskins, and Susannah Brown, from Pennsylvania.
ã€€ã€€Surely the Lord calls to mourning and deep humiliation, that in His fear wemay be instructed and led safely through the great difficulties andperplexities in this present age. In an entire subjection of our wills, theLord graciously opens a way for His people, where all their wants are boundedby His wisdom; and here we experience the substance of what Moses the prophetfigured out in the water of separation as a purification from sin.