« AnteriorContinuar »
pleasure. But the spiritual man experiences a sublimer joy. He sees none of these without feeling both spiritual improvement and delight. It is here that he converses with the Deity in his works. It is here that he finds himself. grateful for his goodness ; that he acknowledges his wisdom ; that he expresses admiration of his power.
The poet Cowper, in his Contemplation of a Country Life, speaks forcibly on this subject :
“O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
William Penn, in the beautiful letter, which he left his wife and children before
his first voyage to America, speaks also in strong terms upon the point in question.
“ But agriculture," says he, s is especially in my eye. Let my children be husbandmen and housewives.' This occupation is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good example. Like Abraham, and the holy antients, who pleased God, and obtained a good report, this leads to consider the works of God, and nature of things that are good, and diverts the mind from being taken up with the vain arts and inventions of a luxurious world.” And a little further he says,
6 of cities and towns of concourse be
The world is apt to stick close to those, who have lived and got wealth there. А country
life and estate I like best for my children. I prefer a decent mansion of a hundred pounds a year to ten thousand pounds in London or such-like place, in the
way of trade.”
To these observations it may be added, that the country, independently of the opportunity it affords for calmness and quietude of mind, and the moral improvement of it in the exercise of the spiritual feelings, is peculiarly fitted for the habitation of the
Quakers, on account of their peculiar love for the animal-creation. It would afford them a wide range for the exercise of this love, and the improvement of the benevolent affections. For tenderness,
For tenderness, if encouraged, like a plant that is duly watered, still grows. What man has ever shown a proper affection for the brute-creation, who has been backward in his love of the human race?
Trade-Trade seldom considered as a question of
morals—but Quakers view it in this light-prohibit the Slave-trade-privateering-manufactories of weapons of war-also trade where the revenue is defrauded-hazardous enterprises fictitious paper--insist upon punctuality to words and engagements-advise an annual inspection of their own affairs-regulations in case of lank
ruptcy. I stated in the last chapter that some of the Quakers, though these were few in number, were manufacturers and mechanics; that others followed the sea; that others were to be found in the medical profession, and in the law; and that others were occupied in the concerns of a rural life. I believe, with these few exceptions, that the rest* of the Society may be considered as engaged in trade,
Trade is a subject, which seldom comes under the discussion of mankind as a moral question. If men, who follow it, are honest * Except such as may have retired from business,
and punctual in their dealings, little is thought of the nature of their occupations, or of the influence of these
the mind. It will hardly, however, be denied by moralists, that the buying and selling of commodities for profit is surrounded with temptations, and is injurious to pure benevolent or disinterested feeling; or that, where the mind is constantly intent upon the gaining of wealth by traffic, it is dangerously employed. Much less will it be denied, chat trade is an evil, if any of the branches of it, through which men acquire their wealth, are productivé of mischief either to themselves or others. If they are destructive to the health of the inferior agents, or to the morality of the persons concerned in them, they must always be condemned by the Christian religion.
The Quakers have thought it their duty, as å religious body, to make several regulations on this subject. In the first place, they have made it a rule, that no person, acknowledged to be in profession with them, shall have any concern in the slave trade.
The Quakers began to consider this subject, as a Christian body, so early as in the