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preventive of mental activity and excitement of passion, or productive of a quiet habitude of mind. Forbidden the use of cards, and of music, and of dancing, and of the theatre, and of novels, it must be obvious that the individuals now under our consideration cannot experience the same excitement of the passions, as they, who are permitted the use of these common amusements of the world. In
consequence of an obligation to have recourse to arbitration, as the established mode of decision in the case of differences with one another, they learn to conduct themselves with temper and decorum in exasperating cases. They avoid, in consequence, the phrensy of him, who has recourse to violence, and the turbid state of mind of him, who' engages in suits at law. It may be observed also, that if, in early youth, their evil passions are called forth by other causes, it is considered, as a duty to quell them. The early subjugation of the will is insisted upon in all genuine Quakerfamilies. The children of such are rebuked, as I have had occasion to observe, for all expressions of anger, as tending to raise those feelings, which ought to be suppressed.
A raising even of their voice is discouraged, as leading to the disturbance of their minds. This is done to make them calm and passive, that they may be in a state to receive the influence of the pure Principle. It may be observed, again, that in their meetings for worship, whether silent or vocal, they endeavour to avoid all activity of the mind, for the same reason.
These different circumstances, then, by producing quiet personal habits on the one hand, and quiet mental ones on the other, concur in producing a complacency of mind and manner; so that a Quaker is daily as it were at school, as far as it relates to the formation of a quiet character.
CHAP CHAPTER V.
Third trait is, that they do not temporize, ör do
that, which they believe to le improper as'a body of Christians--subjects, in which this trait is conspicuous—Civil oaths-Holy or consecrated days --War-Tithes-Language-- Address Public Illuminations-Utility of this trait to their cha
racter, It is a third trait in the character of the Quakers, that they refuse to do whatever, as a religious body, they believe to be wrong.
I shall have no occasion to state any of the remarks of the world to show their belief of the existence of this good quality, nor to apply to circumstances within the constitution of the Quakers to confirm it. The trait is almost daily conspicuous in some subject or another. It is kept alive by their discipline. It is known to all who know them. I shall satisfy myself, therefore, with a plain historical relation concerning it.
It has been an established rule with them, from the formation of their Society, not to temporize, or to violate their consciences;
or, in other words, not to do that, which as a body of Christians they believe to be wrong, though the
of the world, or the Government of the country under which they live, should require it; but rather to submit to the frowns and indignation of the one, and the legal penalties annexed to their disobedience by the other. This suffering, in preference of the violation of their consciences, is what they call “ the bearing of their testimony," or a demonstration to the world, by the “ testimony of their own example,” that they consider it to be the duty of Christians rather to suffer, than have any concern with that, which they conceive to be evil.
The Quakers, in putting this principle into practice, stand, I believe, alone ; for I know of no other Christians, who as a body pay this homage to their scruples, or who determine upon an ordeal of suffering, in preference of a compromise with their ease and safety *
The Moravians, I believe, protest against war upon scriptural grounds. But how far in this, or in any other case, they bear a testimony, like the Quakers, by suffering, I do not know.
: The subjects, in which this trait is conspicuous, are of two kinds: first, as they relate to things enjoined by the Government; and, secondly, as they relate to things enjoined by the customs or fashions of the world,
In the first case there was formerly much more suffering than there is at present, though the Quakers still refuse a compliance with as many injunctions of the law as they did in their early times.
It has been already stated, that they refused, from the very institution of their Society, to take a civil oath. The sufferings, which they underwent in consequence, have been explained also. But happily, by the indulgence of the Legislature, they are no longer persecuted for this scruple, though they still persevere in it, their affirmation having been made equal to an oath in most civil cases.
It has been stated, again, that they protested against the religious observance of many of those days, which the Government of the country from various considerations had ordered to be kept as holy. In consequence of this they were grievously oppressed in the early times of their history. For