18: Benjamin Lay Being Kept Out of Meeting at Philadelphia by the Constable, Anthony Morris, Israel Pemberton, S— P—n [Samuel Pemberton?], R— E—n

The 22nd of the Ninth Month [November] [1736?]:

When I have mildly reasoned with some Friends concerning their hostility in carrying a person or Friend, if I may call him so, out of Meetings [for Worship or Business] so often, and keeping of him out by constable and other ways—as at Philadelphia, Burlington, and Concord, etc., without so much as pretending they have used any gospel order with him, in any Monthly or Quarterly Meeting, as a disorderly person.

O but say some:

He is a very troublesome person, and has been so for many years, and is too censorious about trading in slaves or against traders in and keepers of slaves, and positively affirms that no man or woman, lad or lass ought to be suffered to pretend to preach Truth in our Meetings while they live in that practice—which is all a lie.

And further, he boldly affirms that no person whatsoever has any right or ought, according to Truth’s discipline, to be suffered to have the rule and government or any part of it in the church of God, which is the kingdom of God, while he himself is in league with the devil and is managing the affairs of his kingdom—which slave-trading is—as has been proved.

But some—that have not and will not keep Negroes [as] slaves of their own—may say:

We must not be too censorious, for we are often at their houses and eat and drink bravely and have their Negroes to wait on us, our horses, wives, and Children.