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A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume 1 by Clarkson

Are of opinion that the renovated man must have


the Quakers believe, that the creation is open to him, and that he finds his creator has made nothing in vain. It is then that he knows the natures of things; that he estimates their uses and their ends, and that he will never stretch these beyond their proper bounds. Beholding animals in this sublime light, he will appreciate their strength, their capacities, and their feelings; and he will never use them but for the purposes intended by providence. It is then that the creation will delight him. It is then that he will find a growing love to the animated objects of it. And this knowledge of their natures, and this love of them, will oblige him to treat them with tenderness and respect. Hence all animals will have a security in the breast of every christian or renovated man against oppression or abuse. He will never destroy them wantonly, nor put them to unnecessary pain. Now the Quakers are of opinion, that every person, who professes christianity, ought to view things as the man, who is renovated, would view them, and that it becomes them therefore in particular, as a body of highly professing christians, to view them in the same manner. Hence they uniformly look upon animals, not as brute-machines, to be used at discretion, but as the creatures of God, of whose existence the use and intention ought always to be considered, and to whom duties arise out of this spiritual feeling, independently of any written law in the Old-Testament, or any grant or charter, by which their happiness might be secured.

The Quakers therefore, viewing animals in this light, believe that they are bound to treat them accordingly. Hence the instigation of two horses by whips and spurs for a trial of speed, in consequence of a monied stake, is considered by the Quakers to be criminal. The horse was made for the use of man, to carry his body and to transport his burdens; but he was never made to engage in painful conflicts with other horses on account of the avarice of his owner. Hence the pitting together of two cocks for a trial of victory is considered as equally criminal. For the cock, whatever may be his destined object among the winged creation, has been long useful to man in awakening him from unseasonable slumber, and in sounding to him the approach of day. But it was never intended, that he should be employed to the injury and destruction of himself, or to the injury and destruction of his own species. In the same manner the Quakers condemn the hunting of animals, except on the plea of necessity, or that they cannot be destroyed, if their death be required, in any other way. For whatever may be their several uses, or the several ends of their existence in creation, they were never created to be so used by man, that they should suffer, and this entirely for his sport. Whoever puts animals to cruel and unnatural uses, disturbs, in the opinion of the Quakers, the harmony of the creation, and offends God.

The Quakers in the second place, are of opinion that the renovated man must have, in his own benevolent spirit, such an exalted sense of the benevolent spirit of the Creator, as to believe, that he never constituted any part of animated nature, without assigning it its proper share of happiness during the natural time of its existence, or that it was to have its moment, its hour, its day, or its year of pleasure. And, if this be the case, he must believe also, that any interruption of its tranquillity, without the plea of necessity, must be an innovation of its rights as a living being.

The Quakers believe also, that the renovated man, who loves all the works of the creator, will carry every divine law, which has been revealed to him, as far as it is possible to be carried on account of a similarity of natures through all animated creation, and particularly that law, which forbids him to do to another, what he would dislike to be done unto himself. Now this law is founded on the sense of bodily, and on the sense of the mental feelings. The mental feelings of men and brutes, or the reason of man and the instinct of animals, are different. But their bodily feelings are alike; and they are in their due proportions, susceptible of pain. The nature therefore of man and of animals is alike in this particular. He can anticipate and know their feelings by his own. He cannot therefore subject them to any action unnecessarily, if on account of a similar construction of his own organs, such an action would produce pain to himself. His own power of feeling strongly commands sympathy to all that can feel: and that general sympathy, which arises to a man, when he sees pain inflicted on the person of any individual of his own species, will arise, in the opinion of the Quakers, to the renovated man, when he sees it inflicted on the body of a brute.


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