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be necessary, because it acts as a check upon such marriages, and because, by acting as such a check, it prevents the family disputes and disagreements which might otherwise arise; for such marriages have been found to be more productive of uneasiness than enjoyment. When two persons of different religious principles, a Quaker for example, and a woman of the church, join in marriage, it is almost impossible that they should not occasionally differ. The subject of religion arises, and perhaps some little altercation with it, as the Sunday comes. The one will not go to church, and the other will not go to meeting. These disputes do not always die with time. They arise, however, more or less, according to circum
If neither of the parties set any value upon their religious opinions, there will be but little occasion for dispute. If both of them, on the other hand, are of a serious cast, much will depend on the liberality of their sentiments : but, generally speaking, it falls to the lot of but few to be free from religious prejudices. And here it may be observed, that points in religion also may occasionally be suggested, which
may bring with them the seeds of temporary uneasiness. People of other religious denominations generally approach nearer to one another, in their respective creeds, than Quakers to either of them. Most Christians agree, for example, in the use of Baptism in some form or other, and also in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. But the Quakers, as will be shown in this volume, consider these ordinances in a spiritual light, admitting no ceremonials in so pure a system as that of the Christian religion.
But these differences, which may thus, soon or late, take their rise upon these or other subjects, where the parties set a value on their respective religious opinions, cannot fail of being augmented by new circumstances in time. The parties in question have children. The education of these is now a subject of the most important con
New disputes are engendered on this head, both adhering to their respective tenets, as the best to be embraced by their rising offspring. Unable at length to agree on this point, a sort of compromise takes place. The boys are denied, while the girls are permitted, baptism. The boys again are 6
brought up to meeting, and the girls to church, or they go to church and meeting alternately. In the latter case, none of the children can have
any fixed principles. Nor will they be much better off in the former. There will be frequently an opposition of each other's religious opinions, and a constant hesitation and doubt about the consistency of these. There are many points, which the mother will teach the daughters as right or essential, but which the father will teach the sons as erroneous or unimportant. Thus disputes will be conveyed to the children. In their progress through life other circumstances may arise, which may give birth to feelings of an unpleasant nature. The daughters will be probably instructed in the accomplishments of the world. They will also be introduced to the card-room, and to assemblies, and to the theatre in their turn. The boys will be ad mitted to neither. The latter will of course feel their pleasures abridged, and consider their case as hard, and their father as morose and cruel. Little jealousies may arise upon this difference of their treatment, which may be subversive of filial and fra
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 not 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 but 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 kepr 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-This confession of repentance censured ly 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 attachment to the Society, should bring up their children in the principles and customs of it