Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“The tenets of the sect I certainly do believe to be more in accordance with the Christian religion than any other; and I have no hesitation in asserting, from my knowledge of those who belong to that sect, that they, generally speaking, lead better lives.  There are some points connected with their worship, which, at first, I considered ridiculous:  the feeling has, however, worn off.  As to their quaint manner of speaking, that has been grossly exaggerated.  Their dress is a part of their religion.”

“Why so, Japhet?”

“I can reply to you in the words of Susannah Temple, when I made the same interrogatory.  ’You think the peculiarity of our dress is an outward form which is not required.  It was put on to separate us from others, and as a proof that we had discarded vanity.  I am aware that it is not a proof of our sincerity; but still, the discarding of the dress is a proof of insincerity.  We consider, that to admire the person is vain, and our creed is humility.  It is therefore an outward and visible sign, that we would act up to those tenets which we profess.  It is not all who wear the dress who are Quakers in heart or conduct; but we know that when it is put aside, the tenets of our persuasion are at the same time renounced, therefore do we consider it essential.  I do not mean to say but that the heart may be as pure, and the faith continue as stedfast without such signs outwardly, but it is a part of our creed, and we must not choose, but either reject all or none.’”

“Very well argued by the little Quakeress; and now, Japhet, I should like to put another question to you.  Are you very much attached to this young puritan?”

“I will not deny but that I am.  I love her sincerely.”

“Does your love carry you so far, that you would, for her sake, continue a Quaker, and marry her?”

“I have asked myself that question at least a hundred times during the last twenty-four hours, and I cannot decide.  If she would dress as others do, and allow me to do the same, I would marry her to-morrow; whether I shall ever make up my mind to adhere to the persuasion, and live and die a Quaker for her sake, is quite another matter—­but I am afraid not—­I am too worldly-minded.  The fact is, I am in a very awkward position with respect to her.  I have never acknowledged my affection, or asked for a return, but she knows I love her, and I know that she loves me.”

“Like all vain boys, you flatter yourself.”

“I leave you to judge, sir,” replied I, repeating to him our parting tete-a-tete, and how I had returned, and found her in tears.

“All that certainly is very corroborative evidence; but tell me, Japhet, do you think she loves you well enough to abandon all for your sake?”

“No, nor ever will, sir, she is too high principled, too high-minded.  She might suffer greatly, but she never would swerve from what she thought was right.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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