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professions. Their education and their res ligion exclude them from some of these. Some, however, are to be found in the des partment of medicine; and others, as conveyancers, in the law.
Several of the Quakers follow agriculture. But these are few, compared with the rest of the Society, or compared with the number of those who formerly followed a rural life. Almost all the Quakers were originally in the country, and but few of them in the towns : but this order of things is reversing fast. They are flocking into the towns, and abandoning agricultural pursuits.
The reasons that may be given for this change may be the following. It is not at all unlikely, but that tithes may have had some influence in producing it. I am aware, however, it will be said, that a Quaker, living in the country, and strongly principled against these, would think it a dereliction of his duty to leave it on this account, and would remain, upon the principle, that án abode there, under the annual exercise of his testimony, would, in a religious point of view, add strength to his strength. But
it must be observed on the other hand, that where men are not obliged to remain under grievous evils, and can get rid of them merely by changing their occupation in life, and this honourably, it is in human nature to do it. And so far tithes, I believe, have had an influence in driving the Quakers into the towns. Of later years, as the Society has grown thinner in the country, I believe new reasons have sprung up. For the Quakers have had less opportunity of society with one another. They have been subjected also to greater inconvenience in attending their religious meetings. Their children, also, have been more exposed to improper connections in marriage. To which it
may be added, that the large and rapid profits, frequently made in trade, compared with the generally small and slow returns from agricultural concerns, may probably have operated with many, as an inducement to such a change.
But whatever reasons may have induced them to quit the country, and settle in towns, no temporal advantages can make up to them, as a Society, the measure of their loss. For, when we consider that the Qua
kers never partake of the amusements of the world ; that their worldly pleasures are principally of a domestic nature; that calmness, and quietude, and abstraction from worldly thoughts, to which rural retirement is peculiarly favourable, is the state of mind which they themselves acknowledge to be required by their religion, it would seem that the country was peculiarly the place for their habitations.
It would seem, also as if by this forsaking of the country they had deprived themselves of many opportunities of the highest enjoyment of which they are capable as Quakers. The objects in the country are peculiarly favourable to the improvement of morality in the exercise of the spiritual feelings. The bud and the blossom, the rising and the falling leaf, the blade of corn and the ear, the seed-time and the harvest, the sun that warms and ripens, the cloud that cools, and emits the frụitful shower,--these and a hundred objects afford daily food for the religious growth of the mind. Even the natural man is pleased with these. They excite in him natural ideas, and produce in him a natural kind of
pleasure. But the spiritual man experiences a sublimer joy. He sees none of these without feeling both spiritual improvement and delight. It is here that he converses with the Deity in his works. It is here that he finds himself grateful for his goodness ; that he acknowledges his wisdom ; that he expresses his admiration of his power.
The poet Cowper, in his Contemplation of a Country Life, speaks forcibly on this subject :
“O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
William Penn, in the beautiful letter which he left his wife and children before in my eye.
his first voyage to America, speaks also in
children be husbandmen and housewives. This occupation is industrious, healthy, honest,' and of good example. Like Abraham, and the holy ancients, who pleased God, and obtained a good report, this leads to consider the works of God, and nature of things that are good, and diverts the mind from being taken up with the vain arts and inventions of a luxurious world.” And a little further he says, of cities and towns of concourse beware.' The world is apt to stick close to those who have lived and
wealth there. A country-life and estate I like best for
my children. I prefer a decent mansion of a hundred pounds a year to ten thousand pounds in London or such-like place, in the
way of trade."
To these observations it may be added, that the country, independently of the opportunity it affords for calmness and quietude of mind, and the moral improvement of it in the exercise of the spiritual feelings,