Criticism of Joseph Gurney, and Society of Friends

Joseph John Gurney, a minister of the Society of Friends, from England, preached a discourse last Sabbath evening in the Marlboro Chapel.  He spoke of the “fullness of liberty” enjoyed in this country in a manner which showed but too plainly that our two and a half millions of slaves were out of his mind.  Though a staunch abolitionist in England, his influence in this country is understood to be on the side of the portion of the Society of Friends who stand aside from the present anti-slavery efforts.  This is a matter  of deep regret to many who admire his talents as a minister.  For our own part, we do not believe that the Spirit of God tells him, or any other minister of any denomination, not to ‘open his mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction – to flame against oppression in England and to be silent in America!   Of all the heresies which have every crept into the Society of Friends in this country, none is as pernicious as that which leads too many of its members to ‘stop their ears to the cry of the poor; and we could wish that a sin of such magnitude might be faithfully pointed out to them.

                                                             (Liberator, August 3, 1838, pg 2)