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[306] biographies of early and later Friends—is comparatively neglected for sensational and dogmatic publications. We bear complaints of a want of educated ministers; the utility of silent meetings is denied, and praying and preaching regarded as matters of will and option. There is a growing desire for experimenting upon the dogmas and expedients and practices of other sects. I speak only of admitted facts, and not for the purpose of censure or complaint. No one has less right than myself to indulge in heresy-hunting or impatience of minor differences of opinion. If my dear friends can bear with me, I shall not find it a hard task to bear with them.

But for myself I prefer the old ways.. With the broadest possible tolerance for all honest seekers after truth, I love the Society of Friends. My life has been nearly spent in laboring with those of other sects in behalf of the suffering and enslaved; and I have never felt like quarrelling with Orthodox or Unitarians, who were willing to pull with me, side by side, at the rope of Reform. A very large proportion of my dearest personal friends are outside of our communion; and I have learned with John Woolman to find ‘no narrowness respecting sects and opinions.’ But after a kindly and candid survey of them all, I turn to my own Society, thankful to the Divine Providence which placed me where I am; and with an unshaken faith in the one distinctive doctrine of Quakerism —the Light within—the immanence of the Divine Spirit in Christianity. I cheerfully recognize and bear testimony to the good works and lives of


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John Woolman (1)
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