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Q U A K E R I S M,
A VIEW OF THE
MORAL EDUCATION, DISCIPLINE, PECULIAR
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
THOMAS CLARKSON, M.A.'
AUTHOR OF SEVERAL ESSAYS ON THE SUBJECT OF
IN THREE VOLUMES.
PRINTED BY R. TAYLOR AND CO., SHOE-LANE,
POR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME,
Motives for the undertaking-Origin of the name
of Quakers-George Fox the founder of the Society-Short history of his life.
From the year 1787, when I began to devote my labours to the abolition of the Slavetrade, I was thrown frequently into the company of the people called Quakers. These people had been then long unanimous upon this subject. Indeed, they had placed it among the articles of their religious discipline. Their houses were of course open to me in all parts of the kingdom. Hence I came to a knowledge of their living manners, which no other person, who was not a Quaker, could have easily obtained.
As soon as 'I became possessed of this knowledge, or at least of so much of it as to feel that it was considerable, I conceived a desire of writing their moral history. I
believed that I should be able to exhibit to
the rest of the world many excellent customs, of which they were ignorant, but which it might be useful to them to know. I believed, too, that I should be affording to the Quakers themselves some lessons of utility, by letting them see, as it were in a glass, the reflection of their own images. I felt also a great desire, amidst these considerations, to do them justice; for ignorance and prejudice had invented many expressions concerning them, to the detriment of their character, which their conduct never gave me reason to suppose, during all my intercourse with them, to be true.
Nor was I without the belief that such a history might-afford entertainment to many. The Quakers, as every-body knows, differ, more than even many foreigners do, from their own countrymen. They adopt a singular mode of language. Their domestic customs are peculiar. They have renounced religious ceremonies, which all other Christians, in some form or other, have retained.
They They are distinguished from all the other islanders by their dress. These differences are great and striking; and I thought, therefore, that they, who were curious in the development of character, might be gratified in knowing the principles, which produced such numerous exceptions from the general practices of the world. But though I had conceived from the
operation of these sentiments upon my mind, as long ago as I have stated, a strong desire to write the moral history of the Quakers, yet my incessant occupations on the subject of the Slave-trade, and indisposition of body afterward, in consequence
great mental exertions necessary in such a cause, prevented me from attempting to execute my design. At length these causes of prevention ceased. But when, after this, the subject recurred, I did not seem to have the industry and perseverance, though I had still the inclination left, for the undertaking. Time, however, continued to steal on, till at length I began to be apprehensive, but