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on his affairs. If the bankruptcy should appear by their report to have been the result of misconduct, he is disowned. He may, however, on a full repentance, (for it is a maxim with the Society that “ true repentance washes out all stains”) and by a
of every man his own, be admitted into membership again. Or, if he has begun to pay his creditors, and has made arrangements satisfactory to the Society for paying them, he may be received as a member, even before the whole of the debt is settled. : If it should appear, on the other hand, that the bankrupcy was the unavoidable result of misfortune, and not of imprudence, he is allowed to continue in the Society.
But in either of these cases, that is, where a man is disowned and restored, or where he has not been disowned at all, he is never considered as a member, entitled to every privilege in the Society, till he has paid the whole of his debts. And the Quakers are so strict upon this point, that if a person has paid ten shillings in the pound, and his creditors have accepted the composition,
and the law has given him his discharge, it is insisted upon that he
the remaining ten as soon as he is able. No distance of time will be any excuse to the Society for his refusal to comply with this honourable law. Nor will he be considered as a full member, as I observed before, till he has paid the uttermost farthing: for no collection for the poor, nor any legacy for the poor, or for other services of the Society, will be received from his
any thing remains of the former debt. This rule of refusing charitable contributions on such occasions is founded on the principle, that money taken from a man in such a situation is taken from his lawful creditors, and that such a man can have nothing to give, while he owes any thing to another.
It may be observed of this rule or custom, that, as it is founded in moral principles, so it tends to promote a moral end. When persons of this description see their own donations dispensed with, but those of the rest of the meeting taken, they are reminded of their own situation, and of the desirableness of making the full satisfaction required. The custom therefore ope
rates as a constant memento that their debts are still hanging over them, and prompts to new industry and anxious exertion for their discharge. There are many instances of Quakers who have paid their compositions as others do, but who, after a lapse of many years, have surprised their former creditors by bringing them the remaining amount of their former debts. Hence the members of this Society are often enabled to say, what few others can say on the same subject, that they are not ultimately hurtful to mankind, either by their errors or by their misfortunes.
But though the Quakers have made these regula
tions, the world finds fault with many of their trades or callings-- several of these specified standard proposed by which to examine them some of these censurable by this standard-and given up by many Quakers on this account, though individuals
may still follow them.
But though the Quakers have made these beautiful regulations concerning trade, it is 1
manifest that the world are not wholly.satisfied with their conduct on this subject. People charge them with the exercise of improper callings, or of occupations inconsisi tent with the principles they profess.
It is well known that the Quakers consider themselves as a highly professing people; that they declaim against the follies and vas nities of the world; and that they bear their testimony against civil customs and institutions, even to personal suffering. Hence, professing more than others, more is expected from them. George Fox endeavoured to inculcate this idea into his new society. In his letter to the yearly meeting in 1679 he expresses himself as follows: “ The world also does expect more from Friends than from other people, because they profess more. Therefore
should be more just than others in your words and dealings, and more righteous, holy, 'and pure,
in your lives and conversation; so that your lives and conversations may preach. For the world's tongues and mouths have preached long enough ; but their lives and conversations have denied what their tongues have professed and declared.” I may observe, therefore, that the circumstance of a more than ordinary profession of consistency, and not any supposed immorality on the
part of the Quakers, has brought them, in the instances alluded to, under the censure of the world. Other people, found in the same trades or occupations, are seldom noticed as doing wrong. But where men are set as lights upon a hill, blemishes will be discovered in them, which will be overlooked among those, who walk in the vale below.
The trades or occupations, which are usually condemned as improper for Quakers to follow, are numerous. I shall not, therefore, specify them all. Those, however, which I propose to select, I shall accompany with all the distinctions, which equity demands on the occasion.
The trade of a distiller, or of a spiritmerchant, is considered as objectionable, if in the hands of a Quaker.
That of a cotton-manufacturer, who employs a number of poor children in the usual way, or in a way which is destructive