Donald Durnbaugh notes in his book, The Brethren in Colonial America, that "the Brethren from the first took a strong stand against the institution of human bondage." Christopher Sauer II wrote strong editorials in his publications to influence public opinion against it. The following editorial comment is from February 15, 1761:
It is with the utmost regret that we learn that Germans are to engage in the nefarious slave traffic. Though they are well paid for everything they sell, they still begrudge laborers, servants, or maidservants their pay. This godless traffic could find, up to the present, no safe footing in Pennsylvania, owing to the abhorrence the Germans still have for it. But, for some years now, even some of them have begun to take part in this great injustice. For, as merchants learn that these "black goods" find a ready market they engage in it. Thus we are assured that three ships have been sent from Philadelphia to the African coast to steal these poor creatures, though this has never happened before. May God be merciful to our country before its measure of iniquity is full and the vials of His wrath are poured out upon it.