All this time I lived with my parents, and wrought on the plantation; and having had schooling pretty well for a planter, I used to improve myself in winter evenings, and other leisure times.— John Woolman
The most unusual John Woolman quotes that are little-known but priceless
To Turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.
I find that to be a fool as to worldly wisdom, and to commit my cause to God, not fearing to offend men, who take offence at the simplicity of truth, is the only way to remain unmoved at the sentiments of others.
I believe that where the love of God is perfected and the true spirit of government watchfully attended to, a tenderness toward all creatures will be experienced, and a care felt in us that we do not lessen that sweetness of life in the animal creation which the Great Creator intends for them under our government.
O, that we who declare war against wars, and acknowledge our trust to be in God only, may walk in the light, and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding onto money! May we look upon our estates, our treasures, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these, our possessions.
Through the humbling dispensations of Divine Providence, men are sometimes fitted for his service.
Wealth is attended with power, by which bargains and proceedings, contrary to universal righteousness, are supported; and hence oppression, carried on with worldly policy and order, clothes itself with the name of justice and becomes like a seed of discord in the soul.
I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints in writing of my experience of the goodness of God, and now, in the thirty-sixth year of my age, I begin this work.
Now to act with integrity, according to that strength of mind and body with which our creator hath endowed each of use, appears necessary for all.
Now I find that in a state of pure obedience the mind learns contentment in appearing weak and foolish to that wisdom which is of the world; and in these lowly labors, they who stand in a low place and are rightly exercised under the cross will find nourishment.
I saw that a humble man, with the blessing of the Lord, might live on a little;
and that where the heart is set on greatness, success in business did not satisfy the craving, but that commonly with an increase of wealth, the desire of wealth increased.
I was born in Northampton, in Burlington County, West Jersey, in the year 1720.
Thus He whose tender mercies are over all His works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which incites to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing; but when frequently and totally rejected, the mind becomes shut up in a contrary disposition.
My heart hath often been deeply afflicted under a feeling that the standard of pure righteousness is not lifted up to the people by us, as a society, in that clearness which it might have been, had we been as faithful as we ought to be to the teachings of Christ.
I then wrought at my trade as a tailor;
carefully attended meetings for worship and discipline; and found an enlargement of gospel love in my mind, and therein a concern to visit Friends in some of the back settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The Lord had been very gracious, and spoke peace to me in the time of my distress, and I now most ungratefully turned again to folly; at times I felt sharp reproof, but I did not get low enough to cry for help.
When men take pleasure in feeling their minds elevated with strong drink, and so indulge their appetite as to disorder their understandings, neglect their duty as members of a family or civil society, and cast off all regard to religion, their case is much to be pitied.
The care of a wise and good man for his only son is inferior to the regard of the great Parent of the universe for his creatures.
My own will and desires were now very much broken, and my heart was with much earnestness turned to the Lord, to whom alone I looked for help in the dangers before me.
About the twenty-third year of my age, I had many fresh and heavenly openings, in respect to the care and providence of the Almighty over his creatures in general, and over man as the most noble amongst those which are visible.
After I had given up to go, the thoughts of the journey were often attended with unusual sadness, at which times my heart was frequently turned to the Lord with inward breathings for his heavenly support, that I might not fail to follow him wheresoever he might lead me.
If kind parents love their children and delight in their happiness, then he who is perfect goodness in sending abroad mortal contagions doth assuredly direct their use.
If a man successful in business expends a part of his income in things of no real use, while the poor employed by him pass through difficulties in getting the necessaries of life, this requires his serious attention.
From the steady opposition which faithful Friends in early times made to wrong things then approved, they were hated and persecuted by men living in the spirit of this world, and suffering with firmness, they were made a blessing to the Church, and the work prospered.
I knew I was going from the flock of Christ and had no resolution to return, hence serious reflections were uneasy to me, and youthful vanities and diversions were my greatest pleasure.
While I meditate on the gulf towards which I travelled, and reflect on my youthful disobedience, for these things I weep, mine eye runneth down with water.
Conduct is more convincing than language.
To say we love God as unseen and at the same time exercise cruelty toward the least creature moving by His life or by life derived from Him, was a contradiction in itself.
Many slaves on this continent are oppressed, and their cries have reached the ears of the Most High. Such are the purity and certainty of his judgments, that he cannot be partial in our favor.
Be careful that the love of gain draw us not into any business which may weaken our love of our Heavenly Father, or bring unnecessary trouble to any of His creatures.
There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren in the best sense of the expression.
May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.
We sought out and visited all the Indians hereabouts that we could meet with, in number about twenty. They were chiefly in one place, about a mile from where we lodged.
By the breaking in of enraged merciless armies, flourishing countries have been laid waste, great numbers of people have perished in a short time, and many more have been pressed with poverty and grief.
To consider mankind other than brethren...plainly supposes a darkness of understanding.