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his wife. To do this is morally wrong, if he has no fault to find with her. To do it, even if she has been in fault, is indelicate. And not to do it is to forego his restoration to membership. This law therefore of the Quakers is considered to be immoral, because it may lead both to hypocrisy and falsehood.”
I shall not take up much time in correcting the notions that have gone this subject.
Of those, who marry out of the Society, it may be presumed that there are some, who were never considered to be sound in the Quaker-principles ; and these are mostly they, who intermarry with the world. Now those, who compose this class, generally live after their marriages as happily out of the Society as when they were in it. Of course these do not repent of the change. And if they do not repent, they never sue for restoration to membership. They cannot therefore incur any of the charges in question. Nor can the Society be blamed in this case, who, by never asking them to become members, never entice them to any objectionable repentance.
Of those, again, who marry out of the Society, there may be individuals so attached to its communion, that it was never imagined they would have acted in this man
Now of these it may in general be said, that they often bitterly repent. They find, soon or late, that the opposite opinions and manners to be found in their union do not harmonize, and therefore they experience a disappointment, which they did not expect.
I have no doubt that instances might be produced, not included in either of the cases now mentioned, by which it would appear, that persons of this Society might say
that they repented, and this truly, without any crimination of their wives; but the production of these is unnecessary, because they, who make the charge in question, have entirely misapplied the meaning of the word “repent.” People are not called upon on this occasion to express their sorrow for having married the objects of their choice, but for having violated those great tenets of the Society, which have been already mentioned, and which form distinguishing characteristics between Quakerism and the 1
religion of the world. They, therefore, who say that they repent, say no more than what any other
persons might be presumed who had violated the religious tenets of
any other society to which they might have belonged, or who had flown in the face of what they had imagined to be religious truths.
SECTION SECTION IV.
Of persons, disowned for marriage, the greater pre
portion is said to consist of women-Causes assigned for this difference of number in the two
It will perhaps appear a curious fact to the world, but I am told it is true, that the number of the women, who are disowned for marrying out of the Society, far exceeds the number of the men, who are disowned on the same account.
It is not difficult, if the fact be as it is stated, to assign a reason for this difference of number in the two sexes.
When men wish to marry, they wish, at least if they are men of sense, to find such women as are virtuous; to find such as' are prudent and domestic ; such as have a proper sense of the folly and dissipation of the world; such, in fact, as will make good mothers and good wives. Now, if a Quaker looks into his own Society, he will generally find the female part of it of this
description. description. Female Quakers excel in these points. But if he looks into the world at large, he will generally find a contrast in the females there. These in general are but badly educated. They are taught to place a portion of their happiness in finery and show. Utility is abandoned for fashion. The knowledge of the etiquette of the drawing-room usurps the place of the knowledge of the domestic duties. A kind of false and dangerous taste predominates. Scandal and the card-table are preferred to the pleasures of a rural walk. Virtue and modesty are to be seen with only half their energies, being overpowered by the noxiousness of novel-reading principles, and by the moral taint which infects those, who engage in the varied rounds of a fashionable life. Hence a want of knowledge, a love of trifles, and a dissipated turn of mind, generally characterize those, who are considered as having had the education of the world.