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small measure, I trust, manifested in the known conduct and deportment of its more consistent members.

With regard, then, in the first place, to the great Christian law of truth and integrity, the reader may already have remarked that the testimony of Friends, against the use of the oath in confirmation of the assertion, is founded on a just though exalted sense of this law. A similar high standard, with respect to the same law, may be observed in the peculiar care exercised (by means of our meetings for discipline) throughout the Society in this realm, that the king may not be defrauded, by any of our members, of his customs, duties, or excise; and that there be no using of goods or dealing in them, if they be even suspected to be contraband.' The views of Friends, with respect to the nice honesty which ought ever to be observed in trade, are also conspicuously strict. Thus, for example, it is universally understood among us, that, although a tradesman, who has entered into a composition with his creditors, or has been made a bankrupt, may have become legally clear of all pecuniary demands against him, he is, nevertheless, in honour bound, whenever the means are in his power, to carry on and complete the liquidation of his debts. The Quaker who, under the circumstances alluded to, omits the performance of such a duty, is considered by his brethren as a delinquent and a dishonest man:' nor is it customary with Friends, even for the support or education of their poor, to re

consisting of selections, made by the authority of our yearly meeting, from the public acts and advices of that body. To this book a very useful and interesting Appendix has lately been added.

" The following query is addressed to the preparative and monthly meetings of Friends, throughout Great Britain and Ireland, and answered by them respectively to their superior meetings, once every year.

" Are Friends clear of defrauding the king of his customs, duties, and excise, and of using or dealing in goods suspected to be run?"

2 And it is the sense and judgement of this meeting, if any fall short of paying their just debts, and a composition is made with their creditors to accept a part instead of the whole, that, notwithstanding the parties may look upon themselves legally discharged of any obligation to pay the remainder, yet the principle we profess enjoins full satisfaction to be made, if ever the debtors are of ability. And in order that such may the better retrieve their circumstances, we exhort them to submit to a manner of living in every respect the most conducive to this purpose. 1759. P. E. See Book of Extracts, Trade," p. 196, 9 5.

ceive contributions from any persons who have failed in business, until such a liquidation has been effected.

With reference, secondly, to the Christian law of mercy, charity, and love, the same high standard will be found to prevail in the professed sentiments, and to a great extent in the known history, of the Society of Friends. On this ground rests, as has been already stated, their total abstinence from military operations—the care which has prevailed among them, from their first origin to the present day, to afford no support or encouragement to the warfare of the world. A similar quickness and nicety of view, and general clearness of conduct, has been the result of their religious principles, with regard to capital punishments, the slave trade, and slavery.

It has long been the usual practice of Friends, at whatever cost to their own convenience, to abstain from prosecution in such criminal cases as might probably terminate in the death of the persons prosecuted. George Fox, so early as the middle of the seventeenth century, publicly remonstrated with the rulers in his day, respecting the cruelty, antichristian tendency, and radical injustice, of the punishment of death, as it is enacted by British law, and applied to so many offences of a secondary nature. Since that period, Friends have often declared their sentiments, and sometimes have addressed the authorities of the state on the subject; and, in so doing, they have abstained from all political views of it, and have grounded their testimony against the bloody provisions of our criminal code, on the plain principles of the Gospel of Christ.

The line of conduct which they have followed, in reference to the slave trade and slavery, is very generally known. Suffice it now to say, that, long before those interesting topics successively claimed the attention of the Christian world in general, the sentiments of the Society had been both established and declared, that the nefarious and abominable traffic in men, and also the holding of them in hopeless, cruel, degrading, bondage, are utterly inconsistent with the unalienable rights of the human race, and still more obviously so with the dictates of Christian love.'

It is unnecessary to advert particularly to the various efforts which Friends, in unison with other Christians, have found it their

See Book of Extracts, " Slave Trade and Slavery," p. 177.

duty to make, with a view to the relief of the distressed, and in promotion of philanthropic objects; and I may conclude this branch of my remarks on the moral views of the Society, by simply calling the attention of the reader to the care which has always been exercised by Friends in the support and education of the poor, and in the maintenance of love and harmony among all the members of their own body. If any Friends fall into poverty, and are found to be unable to provide for their own wants, and those of their families, they are not accustomed to avail themselves of that parochial aid to which the poor of this country so frequently have recourse; for it is the uniform practice of the religious society to which they belong, to supply them with such things as are needful for their sustenance and comfort. A similar care is maintained with respect to the education of their children; who, under such circumstances, are usually sent to our public schools, where they are clothed and fed, and instructed both in the elements of useful learning, and in the principles of religion. With regard to love and harmony among all the meinbers of the body, this is a subject which occupies much of private care throughout the Society, and on which we are almost annually advised by our yearly meeting; and in order, moreover, that it may never be neglected among us, our subordinate meetings are called upon,

three times in every year, to render an explicit answer to the following inquiry: “Are Friends preserved in love toward each other; if differences arise, is due care taken speedily to end them; and are Friends careful to avoid and discourage talebearing and detraction ?

Lastly, with respect to a humble walk with God. This essential characteristic of true religion is evinced more clearly by nothing than by a transformation from the spirit of the world, and by the watchful avoidance of the lusts, follies, vices, and vanities, so prevalent among unregenerate men. “ Know ye not,” says the apostle James, “ that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world, i sthe enemy of God.”' Such a circumspect and harmless walk in life is the sure consequence of that change of heart—that new and heavenly birth— without which no man can be a true Christian, and will indeed be ever found to distinguish the sincere and diligent followers of Jesus, of every name and profession. On the present occasion I would only remark, that no one sect of Christians, of whom I have ever. heard, have been led to uphold a higher standard than that maintained among Friends, respecting the importance of an entire abstinence from those customs, prevalent in the world, which are fraught with moral evil; for example, from profuse and extravagant enteio tainments—from the unnecessary frequenting of laverns and public houses—from excess in eating and drinking--fiom public diversions

1 James iv. 4.

- from the reauing of useless, frivolous, and pernicious booksfrom gaming of every description, and from vain and injurious sports'— from unnecessary display in funerals, furniture, and style of living—from seductive and dangerous amusements--and, generally, from all such occupations of time and mind as plainly tend to levity and forgetfulness of our God and Saviour.'

· The following extract, , from one of the printed epistles of our Yearly Meeting, is well worthy the attention not only of Friends, but of Christians of every name : “We clearly rank the practice of hunting and shooting, for dirersion with vain sports; and we believe the awakened mind may see that even the leisure of those whom Providence hath permitted to have a competence of worldly goods, is but ill filled up with these amusements, Therefore, being not only accountable for our substance, but also for our time, let our leisure be employed in serving our neighbour, and not in dis, tressing the creatures of God for our amusement.” Book of Extracts, Conduct and Conversation,” p. 25.

There is much reason to fear that some individuals among Friends, who take a strong view of the inconsistency of worldly vanities with the pure and devotional religion of Christ, have not been equally alive to the necessity of avoiding that “corelousness which is idolatry." Excluded as we are, by our principles, from some of the professions," and belonging so generally to the middle class of the people, it is very usually aur lot to be engaged in trade; and such being the case, peculiar watchfulness is un. doubtedly required of us—even watchfulness unto prayer--that we may not be numbered among those whose delight and trust are in riches ; for truly it remains to be impossible to “ serve God and Mammon.” However blameable may be the dis position and conduct of some of us, in this impor. tant respect, the Society to which we belong has not failed, in its public advices, to hold out for our instruction a pure standard on the subject : as will be amply evinced by the following passages, selected from the Book of Extracts : see head “ Trade," p. 195 et seq.

1. “ Advised that none launch into trading and worldly business, beyond what they can manage honourably and with reputation; so that they may keep their words with all men, that their yea may prove yea indecd, and

Before we proceed further, I must request the candid reader explicitly to understand, that, in making the observations which have now been offered, on the moral system maintained among Friends, I have been very far from any intention to panegyrize the members of that Society. On the contrary, when we consider the high degree of religious light which has been so mercifully bestowed upon us, and the clear views into which we have been led of the spirituality of the Gospel dispensation, we may readily confess that, in the inadequacy and shortness of our good works, we have peculiar cause for sorrow and humiliation. Nevertheless, the known views of the Society, and the general conduct of many of its members, may be sufficient to evince that our religious principles have an edifying tendency. It is, then, to the practical efficacy of those principles that I am desirous of inviting a more general and a closer attention; and, especially, to the unspeakable value and power of that word of God in the heart—that law of the Lord inwardly revealed—which it is so much our profession to follow, and which as it is followed, will

their nay, nay; and that thry use few words in their dealings, lest they bring dishonor to the truth.” 1638. P. E.--1675.

3. "It is earnestly desired that Friends be very careful to avoid all pursuit after the things of this world, by such ways and means as depend too much on hazardous enterpri:es ; but rather labor to content themselves wi h such a p'ain way and manner of living as is most agreeable to the se'f-denying princi; le of truih which we prof ss; and which is most conducive to that tranquillity of mind which is requisite to a religious conduct through this trouplesome world." 1724. P. E.-1801.

7. “Dear Friends, the continuance of covetousness and of earthly-mind. edness, in many, calls upon us to endeavor to awaken such as are infected by it to a sense of what they are pursuing, and at what price. The great Master hath shown the unprofitableness of the whole world, compared with one immortal soul; and yet many are pursuing a delusive portion of it, at the expense of their soul's interests. But, were all thus awakened, what place would be found for extensive schemes in trade, and fictitious credit to support them? To mix with the spirit of the world in the pursuit of gain, would then be a subject of dread; and contentment under the allotment of Providence, a sure means of preservation.” 1788. P. E.

8. “Circumscribed even as we are more than many, it is not unusual, in our pursuit of the things of this life, for our gain and our convenience to clash with our testimony. O then may we be willing to pause and give time for those passions to subside, which would hurry us to the accomplishment of the desired purpose, ere the still voice of wisdom be distinctly heard, to guide us in the way in which we should gn.!” 1795 P. E.

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