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ternal affection. Nor can religion be called in to correct them; for, while the two opposite examples of father and mother, and of sisters and brothers, are held out to be right, there will be considerable doubts as to what are religious truths.
The Quakers urge again in behalf of their law against mixed marriages, that, if these were nor forbidden, it would be impossible to carry on the discipline of the Society. The truth of this may be judged of by the preceding remarks, For, if the family were divided into two parties, as has been just stated, on account of their religion, it would be bur in a kind of mongrel-state. If, for instance, it were thought right that the Quaker part of it should preserve the simplicity of the Quaker-dress, and the plainness of the Quaker-language, how is this to be done, while the other part daily move in the fashions, and are taught, as a right usage, to persist in the phrases, of the world? If, again, the Quaker part of it are to be kept from the amusements prohibited by the Society, how is this to be effected, while the other part speak of them, from their own experience, with rapture or delight? It would be impossible therefore, in the opinion of the Quakers, in so mixed a family, to keep up that discipline which they .consider as a corner-stone of their constitutional fabric, and which may be said to have been an instrument, in obtaining for them the character of a moral people.
But though persons are thus disowned, they may be
restored to membership--Generally understood, however, that they must previously express their repentance for their marriages-Tris confession of repentance censured by the world but is admissible without the criminality supposed–The word repentance
. misunderstood by the world.
But though the Quakers may disown such as marry out of their Society, it does not follow that these may not be reinstated as members. If these should conduct themselves, after their disownment, in an orderly manner ; and, still retaining their attachnient to the Society, should bring up their children in the principles and customs of it;
they may, if they apply for restoration, obtain it, with all their former privileges and rights.
The children also of such as marry out of the Society, though they are never considered to be members of it, may yet become so in particular cases.
The Society advise that the monthly meetings should extend a tender care towards such children, and that they should be admitted into membership, at the discretion of the said' meetings, either in infancy or in maturer age.
But here I must stop to make a few observations on an opinion which prevails on this subject. It is generally understood that the Quakers, in their restoration of disowned persons to membership, require them previously and publicly to acknowledge that they have repented of their marriages. This obligation to make this public confession of repentance, has given to many a handle for heavy charges against them. Indeed, I scarcely know, in any part of the Quakersystem, where people are louder in their censures than upon this point. “A man, they say, cannot express his penitence 'for his marriage, without throwing a stigma
upon his wife. To do this is morally wrong, if he has no fault to find with her. To do it, even if she has been in fault, is indeli
And not to do it is to forgo his restoration to membership. This law therefore of the Quakers is considered to be immoral, because it may lead both to hypocrisy and falsehood.” I shall not take up much time in correcting the notions that have
this subject. Of those who marry out of the Society, it
may be presumed that there are some who were never considered to be sound in the Quaker-principles; and these are generally they who intermarry with the world. Now those who compose this class genesally live after their marriages as happily out of the Society as when they were in it. Of course these do not repent of the change. And if they do not repent, they never sue for restoration to membership. They cannot therefore incur any of the charges in question. Nor can the Society be blamed in this case, who, by never asking them to become members, never entice them to any objectionable repentance. Of those again who marry out of the
society, there may be individuals so attached to its communion, that it was never imagined they would have acted in this man
Now of these it may in general be said, that they often bitterly repent. They find, soon or late, that the opposite opinions and manners to be found in their union do not harmonize. And here it may be observed, that it is very possible that such persons may say that they repent, without
any crimination of their wives. A man, for instance, may have found in his wife all the agreeableness of temper, all the domestic virtue and knowledge, all the liberality of religious opinion, which he had anticipated ; but, in consequence of the mixed principles resulting from mixed marriages, or of other unforeseen causes, he may be so alarmed about the unsteady disposition of his children, and their future prospects, that the pain which he feels on these accounts may overbalance the pleasure which he acknowledges in the constant prudence, goodness, solicitude, and affection of his wife. This may be so much the case, that all her consolatory offices may not be able to get the better of his grief. A man therefore, in