페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Wiem, from oppression.

or the end of their use, irom abuse. They must

powers and their years, as com excessive labour. They ipate their feelings, as to prowill pain. They must so estimate cinct, and make an allowance for

it of understanding, as not to attheir

petty mischiefs the necessity of becoming revenge. They must act

rds them, in short, as created for spe..I ends, and must consider themselves as their guardians, that these ends may not be perverted, but attained.

To this it may be added, that the printed Summary of the Religion of the Society constantly stares them in the face, in which it is recorded what ought to be the influence of Christianity on this subject. We are also clearly of the judgment, that, if the benevolence of the Gospel were generally prevalent in the minds of men, it would even influence their conduct in the treatment of the brute-creation, which would no longer groan the victims of their avarice, or of their false ideas' of pleasure.”

CHAP.

have described as co-operating to produce benevolence towards man, are not applicable to the species in question. But benevolence, when once rooted in the heart, like a healthy plant, from whatever causes it may spring, will in time enlarge itself. The man, who is remarkable for his kindness towards man, will always be found to extend it towards the creatures around him. It is an antient. saying, that " a righteous man regards the life of his beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."

But, independently of this consideration, there is a principle in the Quaker-constitution, which, if it be atteaded to; cannot but give birth to the trait in question. . It has been shown in the first volume, oh the subject of the Diversions of the Field, that the Quaker's consider animals not as mere machines to be used at discretion, but in the sublime light of the creatures of God, of whose existence the use and intention ought always to be considered, and to whom rights arise from various causés, any violation of which is a violation of a moral law.

This principle, if they attend to it, must, as I háve just observed, secure all animals,

which may belong to them, from oppression. They must so consider the end of their use, as to defend them from abuse. They must so calculate their powers and their

years, as to shield them from excessive labour. They must so anticipate their feelings, as to protect them from pain. They must so estimate their instinct, and make an allowance for their want of understanding, as not to attach to their

petty mischiefs the necessity of an unbecoming revenge. They must act towards them, in short, as created for special ends, and must consider themselves as their guardians, that these ends may not be perverted, but attained.

To this it may be added, that the printed Summary of the Religion of the Society constantly stares them in the face, in which it is recorded what ought to be the influence of Christianity on this subject. We are also clearly of the judgment, that, if the benevolence of the Gospel were generally prevalent in the minds of men, it would even influence their conduct in the treatment of the brute-creation, which would no ļonger groan the victims of their avarice, or of their false ideas of pleasure.”

CHAP

CHAPTER IV.

Second trait is that of Complacency of Mind, or

Quietness of Characterthis trait confirmed by circumstances in their education, discipline, and public worship, which are productive of quiet personal habitsand by their disuse of the diversions of the worldby the mode of the settlement of their differencesby their efforts in the subjugation of their will--by their endeavour to avoid all activity of mind during their devotional exercises all of which are productive of a qạiet

habitude of mind. A second trait in the character of the Society is that of Complacency, or Evenness, or Quietness of Mind and Manner.

This trait is, I believe, almost as generally admitted by the world as that of Benevolence.' It is a matter of frequent observation, that you seldom see an irascible Quaker. And it is by no means uncommon to hear persons, when the members of this Society are the subject of conversation, talking of the mysteries of their education, or wondering how it happens that they

should

should be brought to possess such a calmness and quietness of character.

There will be no difficulty in substantiating this second trait.

There are circumstances, in the first place, in the constitution of the Quaker-system, which, as it must have already appeared, must be generative of quiet personal habits. Among these may be reckoned their education. They are taught in early youth to rise in the morning in quietness; to go about their ordinary occupations in quietness; and to retire in quietness to their beds. We may reckon also their discipline. They are accustomed by means of this, when young, to attend the monthly and quarterly meetings, which are often of long continuance. Here they are obliged to sit patiently. Here they hear the grown-up members speak in order, and without any interruption of one another. We may reckon, again, their public worship. Here they are accustomed occasionally to silent meetings, or to sit quietly for a length of time,—when not aword is spoken.

There are circumstances, again, in the constitution of the Society, which are either

preventive

« 이전계속 »