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not be understood that he is acting inconsistently with his religious profession. The charge can only lie against him, where he furnishes the hat with the gold and the silver-lace, or the lady's riding-hat with its ornaments, or the military hat with its lace, cockade, and plumes. In this case he will be considered as censurable by many, because he will be looked upon as a dealer in the superfluities condemned by his own religion.
The last occupation I shall notice is that of a silversmith. And here the censure will depend upon a contingency also. If a Quaker.confine himself to the selling of plain silver articles for use, little objection can be raised against his employ. But if, in addition to this, he sell gold-headed canes, trinkets, rings, ear-rings, bracelets, jewels, and other ornaments of the person, he will be considered as chargeable with the same inconsistency as the follower of the former trade.
In examining these and other occupations of the Quakers, with a view of seeing how far the objections which have been advanced against them are valid, I own I
have a difficult task to perform. For what standard shall I fix upon, or what limits shall I draw on, this occasion? The objections are founded in part upon the principle, that Quakers ought not to sell those things, of which their own practice shows that they disapprove. But shall I admit this principle without any limitation or reserve? Shall I say, without any reserve, that a Quaker-woman, who discards the use of a simple ribbon from her dress, shall not sell it to another female, who has been constantly in the habit of using it, and this without
detriment to her mind ? Shall I say again, without any reserve, that a Quaker-man, who discards the use of black cloth, shall not sell a yard of it to another? And if I should say so, where am I to stop ? Shall I not be obliged to go over all the colours in his shop, and object to all but the brown and drab? Shall I say again, without any reserve, that a Quaker cannot sell
any thing, which is innocent in itself, without inquiring of the buyer its application or its use? And if I should say so, might I not as well say that no Quaker can be in trade? I fear that to say this would be to get into a
labyrinth, labyrinth, out of which there would be no clew to guide us.
Difficult, however, as the task may seem, , I think I may lay down three positions, which will probably not be denied; and which, if admitted, will assist us in the determination of the question before us. The first of these is, that no Quaker can be concerned in the sale of a thing which is evil in itself. Secondly, that he cannot encourage the sale of an article which he knows to be essentially, or very generally, that is, in seven cases out of ten, productive of evil. And thirdly, that he cannot sell things which he has discarded from his own use, if he have discarded them on a belief that they are specifically forbidden by Christianity, or that they are morally injurious to the human mind.
If these positions be acknowledged, they will give ample latitude for the condemnation of many branches of trade.
A Quaker bookseller, according to these positions, cannot sell a profane or improper book.
A Quaker spirit-merchant cannot sell his liquor but to those whom he believes will
use it in moderation, or medicinally, or on
A Quaker who is a manufacturer of cot
cannot exercise his occupation but upon an amended plan,
A Quaker silversmith cannot deal in any splendid ornaments of the person. This he cannot do for the following rea
The Quakers reject all such ornaments, because they believe them to be specifically condemned by Christianity. The words of the apostles Paul and Peter have been quoted both by Fox, Penn, Barclay, and others, upon this subject. But surely if the Christian religion positively condemn the use of them in me, it condemns the use of them in another. And how can any one, professing this religion, sell that, the use of which he believes it to have forbidden? The Quakers also have rejected all ornaments of the person, as we find by their own writers, on account of their immoral tendency, or because they are supposed to be instrumental in puffing up the creature, or in the generation of vanity and pride. But if they have rejected the use of them upon this principle, they are bound, as Christians, to
refuse to sell them to others. Christian love, and the christian obligation to do as we would wish to be done by, positively enjoin this conduct. For no man, consistently with this divine law and obligation, can sow the seeds of moral disease in his neighbour's mind,
And here I may observe that, though there are trades which may be innocent in themselves, yet Quakers may make them objectionable by the manner in which they may
conduct themselves in disposing of the articles which belong to them. They can never pass them off, as other people do, by the declaration, that they are the fashionable articles of the day. Such words ought never to come out of Quakers' mouths ; not so much because their own lives are a living protest against the fashions of the world, as because they cannot, knowingly, be instrumental in doing a moral injury to others. For it is undoubtedly the belief of the Quakers, as I had occasion to observe in a former yolume, that the following of such fashions begets a worldly spirit, and that in proportion as men indulge this spirit they are found to folļow the loose and changeable