Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

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Religion

The Yearly Meeting of 1776

"We, the committee, appointed to take under our consideration the deeply affecting case of our oppressed fellow-men of the African race and others, as also the state of those who hold them in bondage, have several times met, and heard the concurring sentiments of divers other Friends, and examined the reports from the Quarterly Meetings, by which it appears, that much labour and care have been extended since the last year, for the convincement of such of our members who had, or yet have them in possession; many of whom have of late, from under hand and seal, properly discharged such as were in their possession, from a state of slavery.

Yet sorrowful it is, that many there are in membership with us, who, notwithstanding the labour bestowed, still continue to hold these people as slaves; under the consideration whereof, we are deeply affected, and united in judgment, that we are loudly called upon to a faithful obedience to the injunction of our blessed Lord, ’To do to all men as we would they should do unto us; and to bear a full and clear testimony to these truths, that ’God is no respecter of persons,’ and that ’Christ died for all men without distinction.’ Which we earnestly and affectionately intreat may be duly considered in this awful and alarming dispensation, and excite to impartial justice and judgment, to black and white, rich and poor.

Under the calming influences of pure love, we do with great unanimity, give it as our sense and judgment, that Quarterly and Monthly Meetings should speedily unite in a further close labour with all such as are slave-holders, and have any right of membership with us. And where any members continue to reject the advice of their brethren, and refuse to execute proper instruments of writing, for releasing from a state of slavery, such as are in their power, or to whom they have any claim, whether arrived to full age, or in their minority, and no hopes of the continuance of Friends’ labour being profitable to them, that Monthly Meetings after having discharged a Christian duty to such, should testify their disunion with them.

And it appearing from the reports of the several Quarters, that there are many difficult and complicated cases, which relate to those oppressed and much injured people, requiring great circumspection and close attention, in order that our religious testimony may be promoted, and that the cause of Truth may not suffer by unprofitable delays, we apprehend all such cases might well be submitted to the Quarterly Meetings where they subsist, whose advice and judgment should be observed and regarded; so that any member who refuses or declines complying therewith, after being laboured with in the spirit of love and wisdom, should be testified against."

Text—A Brief Statement . . . Reprint,—The Friend, Vol. XVI, No. 52.

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Chicago: "The Yearly Meeting of 1776," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 556–557. Original Sources, accessed August 14, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WLTMHS4DYC6NEV.

MLA: . "The Yearly Meeting of 1776." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 556–557. Original Sources. 14 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WLTMHS4DYC6NEV.

Harvard: , 'The Yearly Meeting of 1776' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.556–557. Original Sources, retrieved 14 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WLTMHS4DYC6NEV.