restricted access Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, Race Street, November 4, 1873
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Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, 1873 205 3. Speaking directly before LM, Abbot asserted, “I do believe that this effort to reproduce voluntarily within himself the unity of the universe and to help carry forward its laws and powers to their highest evolution in his own soul, has a direct tendency towards what I should name Theism” (Proceedings, 90–91). 4. LM had the “high privilege” of Channing’s “society” in the summer of 1842. She wrote, “He never seemed more lovely than in our free interchange of sentiments at that time” (Palmer, 128). 5. Abbot had told a story about James Douglas, Lord of Douglas, “the Black Douglas” who cut out the heart of the dead Robert Bruce and used it to inspire his men to defeat the Saracens: “We must pluck out of our own hearts our dearest faith, hurl it into the ranks of the enemy, and then, without fear, without hesitation, without a thought of our own safety, plunge into their midst, and bring it back by the sword of thought” (Proceedings, 93–94). Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, Race Street, November 4, 1873 I do not feel quite prepared to have the meeting close without first expressing my gratification in listening to the several forcible appeals that have been made,1 and at finding so strict an adherence to our great fundamental principles of individual teaching to the human mind through that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. As this is often claimed to be our great fundamental doctrine it is very gratifying to me when I find so slight an admixture of sectarianism interwoven into the ideas of one and another upon it. We know how difficult it is for us mingled as we are in society, and observing as we do how these systems of faith have become incorporated in every organization so that the various sects are now trying to become one in faith; how difficult it is for us to be willing to stand thus alone, as it were, and be not considered as evangelical, or having the right faith. We know also how easy it is for the young to accept imperceptibly—as interwoven as they are in their religious faith—some of these theological ideas. I know the great pains that are being taken for the improvement of the young,2 and the gathering together of our friends round about us for good purposes, endeavoring to train them in good habits and habits of industry, and also to instruct them, so far as they will be instructed, in that which is right and true, and my desire is that in thus gathering the young together there may be great care to preserve the simplicity of our faith as it is in Jesus; of the truth as it is in the divine will manifested to the will of man. I am anxious to express that desire, that hope that there may be great effort put forth to preserve our fundamental principles and that obedience to them may be manifested by increasing righteousness and good works. The spirit that is from above is always pure, peaceable, full of mercy, [full?] of good fruits. If our fathers were distinguished by any one thing more than another, it was in calling men, as Jesus called his disciples to him, to a higher righteousness, to a higher state of morality. We know that in the sectarian world morality is placed at too low an estimate, and good works at too little value. But when we feel ourselves called to higher works, [ms damaged] greater faith manifested by fruits, to do that which is truly humbling to [ms damaged] then it is that we are to be faithful [ms damaged ] the shining of this true light and these clear intimations of duty. While our 206 Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting, 1873 brother warned some not to be impatient for the time to come I felt as though I wanted him to add that they must not delay when the time did come. We know this, especially from our own experience. I feel there [are?] very many passing middle age of life who are suffering themselves, and their own power for good, to become dwarfed by expecting too much, looking for too high an evidence, for more than has been granted, not having sufficient faith to accept what has been given and obey it, and trust in the assurance that to be faithful thus in the little...