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A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume 1 by Clarkson

With every apostate or wicked man


With

respect to the mode of destroying them in either of these cases, it is not as expeditious, as it might be made by other means. It is on the other hand, peculiarly cruel. A poor animal is followed, not for minutes, but frequently for an hour, and sometimes for hours, in pain and agony. Its sufferings begin with its first fear. Under this fear, perpetually accompanying it, it flies from the noise of horses, and horsemen, and the cries of dogs. It pants for breath, till the panting becomes difficult and painful. It becomes wearied even to misery, yet dares not rest. And under a complication of these sufferings, it is at length overtaken, and often literally torn to pieces by its pursuers.

Hunting therefore does not appear, in the opinion of the Quakers, to be followed for any of those purposes, which alone, according to the original charter, give mankind a right over the lives of brutes. It is neither followed for food, nor for prevention of injury to man, or to the creatures belonging to him. Neither is life taken away by means of it, as mercifully as it ought to be, according to the meaning of the[12] great condition. But if hunting be not justifiable, when examined upon these principles, it can never be justifiable in the opinion of the Quakers, when it is followed on the principle of pleasure, all destruction of animal-life upon this last principle, must come within the charge of wanton cruelty, and be considered as a violation of a moral law.

style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 12: The netting of animals for food, is perfectly unobjectionable upon these principles.]

SECT. III.

_Diversions of the field judged by the morality of the New-Testament--the renovated man or christian has a clearer knowledge of creation and of its uses--he views animals as the creatures of God--hence he finds animals to have rights independently of any written law--he collects again new rights from the benevolence of his new feelings--and new rights again from the written word of revelation._

The Quakers try the lawfulness of these diversions again by the morality of the New-Testament They adopt, in the first place, upon this occasion, the idea of George Fox and of Edward Burroughs, which has been already stated; and they follow it up in the manner which I shall now explain.

They believe that a man under the new covenant, or one who is really a christian, is a renovated man. As long as Adam preserved his primeval innocence, or continued in the image of his Maker, his spiritual vision was clear. When he lost this image, it became dim, short, and confused. This is the case, the Quakers believe, with every apostate or wicked man. He sees through a vitiated medium. He sees of course nothing of the harmony of the creation. He has but a confused knowledge of the natures and ends of things. These natures and these ends he never examines as he ought, but in the confusion of his moral vision, he abuses and perverts them. Hence it generally happens, that an apostate man is cruel to his brute. But in proportion as he is restored to the divine image, or becomes as Adam was before he fell, or in proportion as he exchanges earthly for spiritual views, he sees all things through a clearer medium. It is then,


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