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vigilance, may be prepared to harmonize in singing praises to him who in the beginning made all things good; and I have longed that this pure influence may spread more and more, until it comes to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Oh! the sweetness, that would thereby be introduced among the children of men. The hungry would be fed, and the naked, clothed. Liberality would be found among those who are possessed of outward substance, and relief would be extended to the different situations of the depressed and afflicted poor. There would be no hard thinking one of another; nothing like jangling or contending in lawsuits or otherwise, about worldly interest, either among near connexions or others. These and all other animosities would disappear, together with the unchristian spirit of strife by which so many garments come to be stained with blood,—and many houses, great and fair, to be left desolate. Alas! how many souls, the numbers of whom are not to be reckoned, are hurried into eternity, I fear, in an unprepared state, through the unrighteous ambition or lusts of potentates and rulers, many of them being yet willing to be called by the name of him who is Prince of peace, notwithstanding they are thus actuated by a cruel anti-christian spirit. Under these considerations, which to me have been awfully alarming to think of, I have, as before mentioned, been induced to refrain from any voluntary contributions, either in the way of taxes on my property, or other demands, unless I was clearly informed that such demands had no connexion with warlike proceedings;- let the consequence of loss of goods, or property taken and sold under value, be whatever it might.
It seems with me to leave a brief account of some further exercises which attended me about the year 1774. On hearing some people complain of a scarcity of bread, I considered that our crops in many places had not so much failed, as to give cause for complaint. But the circumstance of sending out so much of our best flour, &c. to the West Indies, and in return, importing from thence great quantities of rum-brought my mind under weighty considerations on the traffic, by which so much of that and other strong distilled spirits have been introduced into our land; and I was led to doubt whether it could be safely called a righteous traffic. As we had been, for many years, much in the practice of using rum plentifully in time of harvest, which is the season of cutting and gathering in our choicest grain, as also at other times, I was induced to consider whether that be a justifiable practice, or not? As I viewed the subject, connected with divers attendant circumstances, the following serious thoughts and reflections presented to my mind: First, the rioting, drunkenness, vanity, foolish and loud talking, sometimes wicked words, and even quarreling, which we see, and hear of in harvest time,-a season, in parti. cular, when our minds should be humbly thankful to the Author of all good, for the continued blessings which the earth produces in return for our labours. Secondly, in addition to unbecoming folly, do we not sometimes see considerable waste of the precious grain, scattered among the stubble in our fields; which if carefully gathered might in some measure tend to the relief of those with whom bread is scarce? And are not such wanton folly and such wasteful work, frequently occasioned by the use of rum ?
Also, are not too many that work in our fields and meadows, apt to get inflamed and agitated by too freely partaking of spirituous liquors ?
The more I reflected on these things, and pondered on the subject, the more weighty my concern and exercise became. At length, as my mind was quietly turned inward to my guide, waiting to be instructed what was best for me to do, considering also that I possessed a farm, and had a crop of grain and grass to cut and gather, -I received a plain, gentle intimation, as in a silent language inwardly spoken on this wise: Use no more rum; it is a great evil in the country: and thou shalt have peace in declining it. This seemed to try me closely. It had been a custom, long practised, and was become deeply rooted. It was also generally believed to be of great service to drink rum, as thereby men were supposed to be supported under the fatigue of hard labour in time of hay-making, harvest, &c. I had been of the same opinion myself, and had heretofore used it pretty liberally; for some entertained a notion that men's health was in danger without the use of it; and I had heard of some who were said to have died instantly when they had drunk cold water, for want of rum in it.
A considerable struggle attended my mind on this occasion, and my exercise appeared to be three-fold. First, to testify against my own conduct, in using rum as I had done. Secondly, to withstand custom, and thus to endanger the labourer's health. Thirdly, to stand alone in the refusal of rum. Although I could not see my way clearly at first,-supposing I must sacrifice my harvest; for I was afraid none would reap for me if I denied them this liquor;
yet, in a short time, my mind became resigned not to use any more myself, nor to give it to others. I had at that time a larger harvest than usual; and concluded, if my neighbours refused to help me without rum, I would gather what I could accomplish myself, and let the remainder go. But I kept this exercise to myself, having none to confer with; yet my wife willingly united with me, although my friends were against me.
When harvest time came, I was free to offer additional wages to those who laboured for me, in lieu of strong liquor: and I informed them they must drink water, or a little milk in it, and that they need not expect rum from me. Although some were reluctant, others, on hearing the solid reasons I gave them for my not using or giving out strong drink, and mentioning the bad consequences which often follow a practice of that kind, -were satisfied; and I obtained assistance sufficient to answer my purpose: for those who wrought for me were convinced that I declined the former practice from a better motive than covetousness. I endeavoured afterward to keep steadfast in my resolution on this account, and found my way made easier than I expected: although some reflected on my singular conduct in this matter, of whom I might have expected rather a sympathy, being such who as it were dipped with me in the dish. I had reason to believe that many looked on my proceedings herein with contempt, but I was satisfied it was with my divine Master's approbation that I acted as I did; and that he would bless this testimony concerning the disuse of distilled spirituous liquors, and gradually carry forward his own work. Glory be to his great name. I have
since had to observe that my opposers have been convinced, and many advocates have been raised up for the establishment of such a practice of gospel temperance, among Friends and others.
Those various trials which I met with, although humbling to my creaturely will, were useful to discipline my mind; and I was enabled to resign thereto so as to become willing to be of no repute among
I also evidently felt my spirit more given up to serve my God with faithfulness.
Some years afterward, another exceedingly close trial of my faith and love towards him who had been so merciful, came upon me; and nothing short of full belief that it was my divine Master's requiring could have induced me to yield to it, so as to decline a generally prevailing custom in relation to shaving my beard. After my mind was brought into deep thoughtfulness on the subject, I was induced to conclude, that the practice of shaving was hardly introduced by the pure dictates of Truth. I contemplated the pure order of the creation, while things remained in their simple state, as being far more excellent than all the contrivances of men. It has been said, God made man upright, but he hath sought out to himself many inventions. Of these, I was induced to believe the shaving of the beard was one: for it seems to me to be changing the simplicity in which his all-wise Creator formed and left him; which I have no doubt was with a beard on, or likely to grow. I also considered it probable that the author of all pride produced a desire for shaving at first, which obtained place with some at a former period. This, it is likely was followed by others, and again by others after