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neral aim of the world, I know well. But I know also, in reply to this objection, that Christianity has no such word as independence in her book. For, of what do people wish to make their children independent? Certainly not of Providence, for that would be insanity indeed. Of the poor, then, shall I say? That is impossible, for how could they get their daily bread? Of the rich, then, like themselves? That would be folly; for where would they form their friendships or their connubial connections, in which they must place a portion of the happiness of their lives? Do they wish, then, to make them independent of society at large, so as not to do it good? That is against all religion. In short, it is impossible, while we exist in this life, to be independent one of another. We are bound by Christianity in one great chain, every link of which is to support the next, or the band is broken. But if they mean, by independence, such a moneyed situation as shall place their children out of the reach of the frowns, and crosses, and vicissitudes of the world, so that no thought or care shall be necessary for the means of their own livelihood, I fear they are procuring a situation
for them, which will be injurious even to their temporal interests as men.
The matter, then, seems to me to be brought to this question, Whether is it better, I mean as a general proposition, to bring up children with the expectation of such a moderate portion of wealth, that they shall see the necessity of relying upon their own honest endeavours and the divine support, or to bring them up with such notions of independence, that, in the pride and exultation of their hearts, they may be induced to account themselves mighty, and to lose sight of the power and providence of God?
If we were to look into the world for an answer to this question, we should find no greater calamity than that of leaving to children an affluent independence. Such persons, when grown up, instead of becoming a blessing, are generally less useful than others. They are frequently proud and haughty. Fancying themselves omnipotent, they bid defiance to the opinions of the virtuous part of the community. To the laws of honour and fashion they pay a precise obedience, but trample under foot, as of little consequence, the precepts of the Christian
religion, religion. Having sensual gratifications in their power, they indulge to excess. By degrees they ruin their health and fortunes, and get wisdom by experience when it is too late to use it. How many young persons have I know I wish I could make a different statement--whose ruin originated wholly in a sense of their own independence of the world!
Neither, if we look into the Society of the Quakers, shall we find a different result. It is undoubtedly true, though there are many amiable exceptions, that the worst examples in it are generally among the children of the rich. These presently take wings and fly away; so that, falling into the corruptive and destructive fashions of the times, their parents have only been heaping up riches, not knowing who were to gather them. And here it may be remarked, that the Quaker-education, by means of its prohibitions, greatly disqualifies its
young mem. bers, who
may desert from the Society, from acting prudently afterwards. They will be, in general, but children and novices in the world. Kept within bounds till this period, what is more probable, than that, when they 1
break out of them, they will launch into : excess ? A A great river may be kept in its
course by paying constant attention to its banks; but if you make a breach in these restrictive walls, you let it loose, and it deluges the plains below.
In short, whether we turn our eyes to the Quaker-Society, or to the world at large, we cannot consider an affluent independence as among the temporal advantages of youth. And as they, who only leave their children a moderate portion of substance, so that they shall see the necessity of relying upon their own honest endeavours and the Divine support, act wisely in their own generation, so they act only consistently with the religion they profess. For, what does the religion of the Quakers hold out to them as the best attainment in life? Is it not spiritual knowledge? Is it not that knowledge, which shall fit them best for the service of their Maker? But such knowledge is utterly unattainable while a money-getting spirit exists; for it has been declared by the highest authority, that we cannot serve God and Mammon.
СНАР. CHAPTER XIV.
Another trait is that of a Want of Animation or Affection—this an appearance only, and no reality, arising from a proper subjugation of the passions -- from the prohibitions relative to dress--and
address—and the amusements of the world. It is said next of the members of this Society, that they are a cold and inanimate people, and that they have neither the ordinary affection, nor the gradation of affection, of other people. I may immediately pronounce upon
this trait, that it is merely an outward appearance. The Quakers have as warm feelings as the rest of their countrymen. Their love of their fellow-creatures, more conspicuous in them than in many others, as has been amply shown, gives them a claim to the possession of warm and affectionate feelings. They have the character also of a domestic people; but surely, if they do not possess affection, and this in a very high degree, they must have miserable homes. There