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"To other animals He has given admirable instincts to guide them: 'Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming.' And to man He has given reason and understanding for his government; but, above all, to him is also given, the free gift of His Divine grace and light, as a guide through life unto salvation/'
It was found out that this pattern community had truly been built upon a sandy foundation, and it sunk to rise no more. The judgments of those who had been attracted to it by delusive hopes were soon corrected by actual observation, and they returned to the bosom of general society, there to pursue their avocations for their individual profit and the aggregate advantage. They returned with a valuable lesson in human experience, the more firmly fixed in right principles, and the fervent prayers of the righteous were accomplished. It was there proved, as often before, and often may be again, that the only reliable incentive for efficient exertion for man's maintenance and improvement of his condition, is that of his own interest, by securing to himself by law the complete protection of the fruits of his own industry. This alone will secure from each individual the greatest exertion and thrift, and carry the wealth of the community to the highest aggregate amount. This is the hope of the poor man as well as of the rich, for what worthy and industrious poor man is there that does not expect himself to realize, or that his children may, property for his comfort and independence in age? There will, of course, be cases of failure to succeed, and of inevitable hardships, but for these society must provide through her taxes, or the benevolent bestow their charities for relief. The enterprise begotten by this principle of action, gives a life and energy that keeps the social body in health and prosperity,—while communities, adopting a community of property, even where they can be held together by some peculiar fanaticism or religious profession, lose the highest incentive to human effort, and comparatively stagnate, become monotonous, and tend to extinction. It is when man is left free to choose and exert his own energies, under all the varying vicissitudes of society, as it has received its cast by all time and circumstances, physical, moral, and religious, that he achieves his highest success and obtains his greatest happiness. It is only then that life has a variety that gives it spice, and presents rewards to whet the appetite of highest enterprise. The natural development of the social arrangement is into families,—these smallest communities accomplishing the greater and better part of education, government, and protection, that maintain the order and security of society; and in the domestic circle, unfolding the most pleasing attributes and affections of the human heart, delightful for all good men to contemplate, and God to behold,— for " God setteth the solitary in families."
The writer freely confesses that he at the time sympathized with the experiment at New Harmony, so far as it promised a more equal and just distribution of the products of labour, and to afford the labourer a better opportunity to rise in the scale of social improvement, and in the acquisition of wealth and influence. He yet thinks that there is a great dereliction of duty on the part of those who legislate and have power to regulate the employment of labour in this respect. Those having capital, skill, and influence, should be encouraged, by its being made their interest, to divide profits with those who labour in proportion to their successful exertion of skill and industry, and incorporated or limited partnership manufactories should be put in motion, as New England whaling vessels are sailed, for a proportionate benefit to all, thus giving to all the highest incentive for the exertion of the greatest thrift, industry, and skill. But the dividend of profit should go to the individual account, and be felt and taken as the separate resource of every separate family, whose independent existence and the sanctity of whose relations should never be broken in upon by any earthly polity.
It was in advanced life, that the severest trials that proved the faith, patience, and love of the subjects of this Memoir, awaited them. The causes that had for some years before been actively operative, brought the difficulties in the Society of Friends to a crisis at the Yearly Meeting held in Philadelphia, in 1827. These causes related to doctrines, and the administration of the disciplinary affairs of the society. The influence that practically had guided the measures of the society was in comparatively a few, though all members of adult age were admitted to its ordinary meetings for discipline. All there were at equal liberty to express their views \ but only those spoke with weight whose communications carried with them the evidence of a Divine qualification and authority, and whose lives afforded the test of bearing good fruits. Such were recommended to the ministry, advanced to be elders, and appointed to superintend education, and to represent the society in a Meeting for Sufferings. These met in select meetings, and were not renewed by periodical appointments, but others were added as qualification appeared to be furnished and the service required. The frequent meetings of these select bodies afforded opportunities of a comparison of views, and naturally resulted in a concert of opinion and action. When the members of the body of the society became agitated upon the subject of doctrines and the steps taken to check the spread of those believed by many to be unsound, though thought by others to be edifying, a central influence was found to prevail in Philadelphia, and a jealousy arose through the society that this influence was operative to prejudge questions in its general meetings. Complaints were made that members were continued in the select bodies after their useful service had ceased, and after they failed truly to represent the views of those who appointed them; that the Meeting for Sufferings had attempted to impose a declaration of faith contrary to the practice of ancient Friends, who had avoided fettering the society with a creed; and that prominent members had unduly interfered with the progress in his religious service of an eminent minister, travelling under the usual sanction from another yearly meeting. With those thus complained of, the English ministers then travelling in this country concurred in sentiment, and the part they took served to awaken a further opposition by arousing the American feeling of independence and jealousy of an influence in the mother country. On the other hand, they that were designated orthodox, believed and charged that doctrines were preached and otherwise promulgated, that tended to lay waste the authority of the Holy Scriptures, to question the divinity of our Saviour, his propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind and mediatorial advocacy with the Father: and believing that the vital interests of Christianity were at stake, felt justified by the extraordinary emergency in resorting to more than usual measures and in acting without the accustomed unity of the members, which had theretofore remarkably characterized the movements of