The 2d of the Ninth Month [November] 1736:
If Two-Weeks Meeting had had anything material against me—or Monthly Meeting—they should have appealed to Quarterly Meeting before we came away. [Ed.: These are Quaker meetings for church business.] But some Friends have been the instruments of the death of my dear wife, I believe.
Hath it not been the practice of the nocents in all ages to lay traps and jinns to entangle and ensnare the innocent? Did you not do so—two or three of you of the Monthly Meetings, at the Quarterly Meetings, Yearly Meetings at Philadelphia and Burlington [New Jersey]—when I insisted on having the letter from Colchester [Benjamin and Sarah’s English meeting, which issued a certificate of membership in good standing for transfer to an American meeting] read? Did not you strenuously insist that I should consent that then the matter should be concluded in that meeting so to go no further? And you had got a strong party there [at] the same time, to conclude the business according to your own minds. Is not this laying a snare? In the same meeting accusing me falsely for seeking a party to deter any from speaking their minds? And opposed and hindered me from reading a letter or two from Colchester, which you knew you did not like to hear, because they would have confirmed our certificate more fully.
How did William Penn and William Mead, at their trial in the Old Bailey, London, like such arbitrary proceedings? As well as many, yea very many more of our dear and worthy Friends and elders in the beginning, before and by wicked, unjust judges, in Old England and New England too, in particular, as the Book of Sufferings largely sets forth, writ by George Bishop.
But these things are forgotten by many, that are doing the same thing themselves, according to their power and ability. Let any Friend read George Whitehead’s Account of Friends Sufferings, which is written in his Works. How many profuse, profligate creatures, have come as servants to this country, which have been stated not only as members, but ministers in full unity, in less time then I have been here.
It is not intolerable then, that three or four men that have the mark of the beast, and the number of his name —slave-keepers—upon them in their foreheads should have the whole rule of discipline, and govern contrary to all justice and equity. Time for such old rusty candlesticks to be moved out of their places, who have disowned many less nocents than themselves. If it is not so now, who will make me a liar, and my speech nothing worth (Job 24:25).
Abington: The 11th of the Ninth Month [November] 1736:
When the strong man armed keeps the house, his goods are in peace. Is not this the devil? Is not hell in the soul his house? Are not all his goods sin? Is not slave-keeping and -trading the greatest sin in the world, when it is seen in the light of Truth in all its parts? Is not Truth the Light stronger then all?
And when this appears in the heart and shows the creature this capital sin and other sins to be exceeding sinful, does not the whole creation, in the poor condemned or damned creature, groan to be delivered? Then hell-torments, the smoke and darkness of the bottomless pit arises and appears in the soul. The creature by some glimmering of the Light sees itself in darkness, feels itself in hell tormented. Then it cries to Light to appear more and more for its help, and to bind the strongman armed—the devil—and cast him out and spoil his goods, which is sin and is the devil’s furniture in hell in the soul, the devil’s house, where he has had his residence so long.
So when the devil sees he and his goods are discovered, which had been so long hid, and war appears in the smoke of the bottomless pit; and that he is like to lose one or some of his chief subjects and strongest forces; and his kingdom, heads, horns, and crowns are in danger and all like to be lost, this puts all hell in the soul in an uproar.
I know what I write, blessed be the Light, the Way, and the Truth. So here comes to be war in heaven, Michael and his angels fight, and the devil or dragon—which is one—and his angels fight. For the devil, dragon, makes war with the saints and overcomes them that are not faithful, let them have been professing and preaching Truth never so long and never so eminent or highly esteemed of. Yet it may be said, Depart from me, I know you not, ye are workers of iniquity (Hosea 4:1–3, 7, 9; Ezekiel 9:4, 9; Ezekiel 8:10–12).