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of religious principle, it continued to adorn their conduct, when wealth unlocked her stores, and invited them to banquet.
It requires no depth of penetration to discover, that the simplicity and pacific disposition enjoined by the testimonies of the Friends, must have powerfully contributed to the preservation of social order. Could principles like these-principles which, by chaining the passions, restrain the chief agents of human misery, be brought into general and effectual operation, our jails would be empty, our criminal tribunals deserted, and prison discipline matter of curious speculation, rather than as now a subject of immense practical importance.
What, indeed, on the score of morals and social improvement, might not be hoped for from a system which sought to destroy the current, by stopping up the source of vice? How profound and practical is the wisdom of that memorable provision of the first laws, which dictated that all children of the age of twelve years “ be taught some useful trade or skill, to the end that none may be idle, but the poor may work to live, and the rich, if they become poor, may not want !” A specific is here furnished for the maladies which the political physician is required to treat, more sovereign and effectual than sanguinary edicts, or the rigid sanctions of penal enactinents.
It may, perhaps, be thought that a state of society so pure, so simple, so regular, is congenial only to the limited scale of a narrow and unambitious community. It is true, indeed, that the theories of political experimentalists have seldom been fairly tested on an extensive scale. In not a few of its features, the system established by the Friends of Pennsylvania resembles the beautiful model attributed to the genius of the humane and enlightened Berkeley. If it did not exhibit the rich colourings, the
high-wrought mouldings, the splendid ornaments of some other systems, its arrangements were more convenient, its foundations were deeper, its materials more solid; it was better calculated to resist the shocks of faction, and the waves of time.
It is but a just tribute to her Quaker rulers to say, that under their mild and equable administration, Pennsylvania, the youngest of the colonial sisters, advanced with unparallelled rapidity in her career of prosperous improvement. Commerce poured her treasures into the lap of peace. The canvass of her merchants whitened the most distant waters. Long before the Parrys and the Franklins of our day had achieved immortality by their heroic enterprise, the ship Argo, equipped by the merchants of Philadelphia, sailed on the perilous voyage of polar discovery
With reference to our present and our future interests, the review of that portion of our annals to which your attention has been invited, is not without profitable instruction. If there be any truth in experience, any moral in history, any lesson inscribed on the tombs of empire, it is that virtue is the life of free institutions. Virtue was emphatically the glory of our fathers; may it long continue to be that of their sons ! And as a means of
preserving a heritage so inestimable, let us reverence the memory, and cherish the principles, and emulate the actions of those wise and good men, who planted the tree that now covers us with its broad shade. To look back upon their institutions, to retrace with historic step the paths they trod, will not fail to animate, invigorate, and refresh. Thus, gentlemen, may your society fulfil a higher and a nobler purpose than the mere gratification of literary curiosity. It may fulfil an important duty to our common country.
BY J. K. MITCHELL,
“ There remaineth, therefore, a rest (Sabbatismos) for the people of God."
THE Sabbath morn is calm and clear,
Around the cottage door;
Behold the pious poor.
The weekly toil is over now,
Of him who loves to trace
She has her mother's face!
While little Will stands silent by,
And meditative air;
The well-committed prayer.
See saucy Sally, stick in hand,
To Snap, at home to stay;
Yes, blessed Sabbath-morn, thy light
And shines into the breast!
That lustre brightens dim despair,
And gilds the captive's chain;
And dulls the edge of pain.
There's not an earthly lot too low
There's not a lot too fair
And love the house of prayer.
Then, reader, do not close the book, Before you take another look
At such a scene as this! Will such a bright example fail To make you Sabbath's morning hail,
And welcome Sabbath's bliss?